features from july 2017 and forward

Taxpayer refunds later

this year, federal and state

Tailgate News Editor
Gurdon based Quick Tax, which also has an Arkadelphia facility, has released information for the 2018 tax season indicating refunds will be a little late this year in many cases.
Sue Uchtman, owner of Quick Tax since 2001, said state officials have told Quick Tax to alert customers that no state refund checks will be issued until March 15.
As to federal, many checks won’t be released until February 15, although she said there will be exceptions to that.
“We still encourage early filing, as we need to determine each taxpayers status for possibly getting money back more quickly if they file electronically,” she said. “The IRS released the following official rules for the 2018 tax season.”
The United States Internal Revenue Service has determined the nation’s tax season will begin on Monday, January 29, and reminds taxpayers claiming certain tax credits that refunds won’t be available before late February.
The nation’s tax deadline will be April 17, giving taxpayers two additional days beyond the traditional April 15 cut off.
Many tax professionals will accept tax returns before January 29 and then will submit the returns when the IRS systems open. Although the IRS will begin accepting both electronic and paper tax returns on January 29, paper returns will begin processing later in mid-February.
IRS officials strongly encourage people to file their tax returns electronically for faster refunds.
The IRS set the January 29 opening date to ensure the security and readiness of key tax processing systems in advance of the opening and to assess the potential impact of tax legislation on 2017 based returns.
Uchtman said, as of the first of this year, standard mileage rates for the use of cars, vans, pickups or panel trucks will be: 54.5 cents per mile traveled for business, 18 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes and 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.
The business travel, medical travel or moving mileage rates are up 1 cent from the 2017 tax season rates.
Uchtman said both her Gurdon and Arkadelphia facilities are open from 9 until 6 p.m. Monday thru Friday, 9 until 3 p.m. on Saturdays or by appointment. (See ad on this page for details)

Thomerson’s AllCare has

drive thru, two  service lanes

Tailgate News Editor
Thomerson’s AllCare, which recently relocated from the old Thomerson’s Drug Store facility to a modern and more spacious store on Highway 67 in Gurdon across from Johnny Calley’s Gas Station, has been operational, complete with the added feature of a two-lane drive-thru, since the last week of December.
Pharmacist Larry Thomerson, who has been a Gurdon icon since the 1970’s, is manager of the new store.
“AllCare, owned by Senator Percy Malone out of Arkadelphia, took over Thomerson’s Drug Store as owner and it evolved to Thomerson’s AllCare on February 15, 2017,” Thomerson said. “Senator Malone has a great appreciation for Gurdon and we both encourage old and new customers to use this tremendous new facility.”
Thomerson said the two-lane drive thru is a big help to the disabled and older customers especially, or to those simply in a hurry. The new store has plenty of room and Thomerson said a gift section, similar to what was available at Thomerson’s Drugs, will be added in the near future.
The 67-year-old Thomerson comes from a pharmacy oriented family and has lived in Gurdon since the 1950s. He said his dedication to serving the people here has been steadfast and he invites the public to come by, see the new facility and “take advantage of the resources.”
The change of ownership to W.P. Malone,doing business as AllCare community pharmacies, has opened up many opportunities to purchase drugs at lower volume rates and simply provide the community of Gurdon with a more helpful pharmacy service.
Store hours are: Monday thru Friday, 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Saturdays, 8 a.m. until noon.
The new facility has four full-time employees, including Thomerson, plus five part-time. There are two other pharmacist besides Thomerson.
Pharmacist Amy Bridges Babb, of Arkadelphia, is one of them. She is married to Chris Babb, athletic director for Arkadelphia schools.
The second pharmacist, besides Thomerson, is Christina Taylor Kelly, a Gurdon High School graduate.
“One of our goals is to stay locally trusted and present familiar faces to serve the public. This is Gurdon’s pharmacy,” Thomerson said.
“And former Senator Malone has invested much into making it a facility where more can be offered to the public, but people can still feel at home,” he said.
As to services and products, Thomerson’s AllCare offers a full line of over-the-counter generic medications, as well as a full prescription drug service, house hold items and more.
The Gurdon AllCare is one of 15 AllCare retail stores owned by Malone in Arkansas.
Thomerson’s AllCare can be reached by telephone at: (870) 353-4442.
Thomerson said Senator Malone has been instrumental in keeping local pharmacies local since the 1970’s and earlier.
AllCare, he said, in Arkadelphia where the company is based, evolved from the former Fuller Drug Store, to Medic-Aid and then to the AllCare of today.
“The idea Percy Malone had was to keep the spirit of the local pharmacy in tact and yet improve what those places can offer,” Thomerson said.
Larry Thomerson is a 1973 pharmacy school graduate from Northeast Lousiana pharmacy school. He came back to Gurdon to continue serving the people he knows and loves in 1977.
“Come on by and we will get you what you need,” he said. “It took a little while to learn this new lay out and more elaborate facility, but as always, we are here to serve you and appreciate your business.
“That two-lane drive-thru is something new for Gurdon that provides a big help to a lot of people.”


Emergency worker asks

Rotarians for recovery help

Tailgate News Editor
Although there are at least four categories involved in emergency services work for the Clark County coordinator, Mikki Hastings told Rotarians Thursday one area the club could help in is the recovery phase of disaster relief.
John Woods, Red Springs Missionary Baptist minister, invited Hastings to the weekly Rotarian luncheon at Gurdon and asked her about the post emergency process.
Hastings said, “I can give you an example. Suppose your home is partially demolished in a tornado. Immediate assistance is pretty well organized, but what happens during the next few weeks for a family trying to get back in their living quarters can end up being difficult financially and reconstruction wise.”
She pointed out that funding for fire victims, storm victims and the like was limited and families often had a hard time getting things back the way they were before a disaster, as far as day to day life and functionality.
Hastings said giving training on first responder equipment, contacting governmental agencies for assistance and much more was involved with her job, plus she is on call 24/7.
“If you need me, you can get me on Facebook or call me at: (870) 403-7668,” she said.
In addition to the recovery stage of various disasters, natural or otherwise, Hastings named some of the challenges she faces in traditional, or non-traditional emergencies.
Weather is a big factor she deals with. Winter storms, straight line winds and tornadoes are circumstances she is very familiar with.
“I stay aware of a very local forecast for our area,” she said. “The first part of my program is being prepared for the various disasters.”
Hastings said her volunteers do storm spotting, but the Clark County terrain is too filled with hills and curves to make storm chasing feasible due to safety considerations.
She gave other non-weather examples next that are common here with Interstate travel, and train travel, being spread out in Clark County. She described what happens when a semi truck spills hazardous waste in a wreck or a train carrying harzardous waste derails.
“My job involves accessing state and federal funds quickly and getting first response teams in action,” she said. “I do grants and am the Homeland Security liason for our area.”
Hastings said Clark County even has a Swat team ready for police emergencies.
“If you spot an an apparently dangerous situation, take care of yourself first. Then call if you need me.”
Hastings said she offers medical equipment training to first responders in fire situations and the like, as well as teaching CPR whenever a church group, or other volunteer group, comes forward and asks her for the training.
With the large number of emergencies possible, Hasting said she must wear many hats when something big, like a tornado, strikes Clark County. She is in charge of evacuation plans as well, and implementing those plans.
Closing roads if a storm is detected is also her responsibility. But after a disaster, when the disaster teams are gone, is again the real challenge. As might be expected, people want things back to normal. And for this, they could use some help….
“In recovery, peoples lives have been disrupted and they need repair help, financial aid and moral support,” she said.
Gurdon Rotarians are considering getting involved with this effort.


Gurdon mayor promotes

small business seminar

Gurdon Mayor
Have you had the flu yet? I hope not. It sure is going around. I was under the weather for the first part of 2018. I stayed in bed for several days and managed not to get anyone else sick.
This week work resumes on the FUN Park project. The metal pavilion posts will receive a protective coat of primer and paint. The street department men have completed removing and storing our beautiful Christmas lights and that it a big job.
We received many compliments on the lights this year. Now, they can begin work on the four wheelchair accessible picnic tables that will be placed in the pavilion. They are also doing some upgrades and maintenance on The Market On Main. It was a very busy holiday season for the event center and we already have a baby shower booked for next week.
The Gurdon Business Center is gearing up for our next seminar, “Small Business Start Up Summit”. This free informative session will be held on Friday, February 2, from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Our instructor will be Chelsea Goza from the Henderson State University Small Business and Technology Development Center.
Not only will the class be free of charge, we will also offer free childcare and Southern Bancorp will provide a free lunch. If you own a business in Gurdon and attend this class you will receive $20 off of your Gurdon business’s water bill for the month of February. We want to assist all Gurdon and area businesses to stay profitable as well as help those that are thinking of starting a new business.
To register call the Gurdon Business Center at 870-406-5515 or call me at 406-1396. Everyone is welcome. There will be a ribbon cutting for the Center a little later this month. I will be sure to invite you and let you know the date.
Our water department has been busy and working hard on the problems that crop up when you have aging infrastructure. The holidays don’t always mean rest and relaxation for these city workers.
I sure do appreciate them and everyone who works for our city.


Street superintendent

thanks Malvern council

for new repair truck

Tailgate News Editor
Malvern Street Superintendent Mike Smith thanked City Council members and Mayor Brenda Weldon at the regularly scheduled council meeting Monday for buying the new work truck, as the old one is down for repair and street improvement work needs to continue.
Smith said paving work continues in Malvern, but completion has been delayed on parts of Page Street and elsewhere due to winter weather.
“We will be getting the old truck fixed as a back up,” he said.
“But the new truck really made a difference this week in regard to our street repair schedule.”
Smith said work will continue on East Page Street once the cold spell is over.
Another 4 to 6 inches of overlay is pending to be installed.
In other business, the City Council approved the second reading of a ruling desgined for abolishing a 1968 ordinance granting too much levity for those who choose to sleep in Malvern City Park.
Earlier discussion on the matter revolved around allowing Police Chief Donnie Tabor and his patrol officers to have more authority to run off those who use city electricty during their snoozes and also to limit folks from sleeping on park picnic tables during the daytime hours – especially when others are trying to use the park facilities.
Moreover, a discussion took place concerning the replacement of a no parking sign at the Malvern Historical Society building.
Mayor Weldon suggested the city place a regulation sign there and bill the historical society in order to maintain a uniformed look.
Weldon said, “Our police committee has already approved the placement of the no parking sign and has full authority to get the job done.
“I just wanted this City Council to be aware that we are doing it.”
The mayor thanked the City Council members for approving a new city handbook and said state and county training will take place in the near future.
The mayor noted that former County Judge Bill Schrimshire is turning 80 years old and invited members to participate in the celebration.
Mayor Weldon encouraged the City Council members and guests to attend the Martin Luther King Jr. parade, slated in downtown Malvern for 3 p.m. on Monday.
Other MLK celebrations, headed by such entities as the Mt. Zion Church will also be adding to the celebration of the civil rights leader.


Local barber calls

hair business an

American success

Tailgate News Editor
Recent news reports question what professions originate in the USA and stay in the USA. Barbering is one verifiable answer.
Long-time hair specialist Charles Kirkpatrick, who has served as an inspector for the state and done accounting on the national level in the hair profession, said Tuesday at his Arkadelphia barber shop, The Cutting Edge, “There are nearly 350,000 barbers in the United States making a living at their profession who were trained in the USA and now work in the USA.
“Our industry is big and growing. It is a success story and I have spent my career working to make it an even bigger one.
“We are talking about hard working men and women who trained for a year and are now productive and gainful American workers who have no need for foreign intervention to flourish in their careers.”
Kirkpatrick, an Amity native, said his uncle got him in the barbering business. The late James Herbert Adams encouraged Charles to go to barber college. Some of Kirkpatrick’s hair business legacies include being and examiner for the Arkansas State Board of Barbers from 1987 until 2014.
He also served 25 years as the chief funding officer for the National Association of Barber Boards of America. In 1958, after graduating from Amity High School, Kirkpatrick began barber college in Little Rock at the Eaton Barber College and completed the 1-year course in 1959.
Before barber college, Kirkpatrick was employed at the then East Nursery of Amity. He said his barber college move was a successful one and he never had to go back to his old employer.
“I worked in the barber business for five years in Little Rock before moving back to Arkadelphia to raise my family, after marrying my high school sweetheart, Everlyn Sue Norris of Amity,” he said.
Kirkpatrick said his first barbering job in Little Rock was at the Village Barber Shop, University Avenue and Asher.
The Kirkpatricks had two daughters; Beth and Charsa. Beth followed in her dad’s foot steps, graduating Arkadelphia Beauty School before graduating Arkadelphia High School in 1979.
When Charles came to Arkadelphia, he worked at Woody’s Barber Shop and Joe Neel’s Barber Shop.
“I bought into it after I got there,” he said. “I kept the name of Woody’s Barber Shop and had it until 1980.
“Once my daughter Beth graduated and began to practice the hair business, she fell in love with it and has been my business partner for 37 years.”
Kirkpatrick and his daughter bought the Arkadelphia Beauty College shortly after she came into the profession.
Beth operated the school, while her father went to work for the Arkansas State Board of Barber Examiners.
“I bought the Arkadelphia Beauty College in 1980,” he said. “I was there with Beth and then went to work for the State Board of Barber Examiners in 1987.”
Kirkpatrick said he gave the state barber examination for all incoming Arkansas barbers for 28 years. He retired from this pursuit in 2014.
“I have been working here at The Cutting Edge and for the National Barbers Association ever since,” Charles said. “In 2016, I had some health issues that kept me from performing my total duties for the National Barbers Association so I pretty well retired from that too.”
Kirkpatrick said he still does some work for the NBA. He stressed that the jobs created through his efforts, and the efforts of his colleagues, graduate approximately 125 new working barbers per year for Arkansas alone.
In August of 2016, the partners shut down the Arkansas Beauty College after 36 years of operation. He said the beauty college graduated approximately 30 new cosmetologists per year.
“These folks were mainly trained by Beth, as my part in the beauty college was mostly managerial,” he said.
Kirkpatrick said he also owned a barber college in Hot Springs from 1995 until a recent sale of that school.
“I have enjoyed my career, especially helping others get started in their hair thing efforts,” he said.
“This profession creates many USA jobs and is growing. I know this first hand and I am glad to have been a part of it these many years.”
Charles can be contacted at The Cutting Edge and old customers walk in nearly daily. He has no plans to completely stop his barbering.
He has published light hearted short stories from humor collected in and for his barber shop. Good humor is a specialty that has kept many a customer coming back. As a sign above his barber chair says, “What is said in this barber shop, stays in this barber shop.”
“The main jest of what I want to get across is that barbering sometimes involves long hours, but a career in a year is very possible and will be a USA growing business for many years to come.
“It is indeed an American success story,” he said.


Tax refund increases

mostly tagged for

next year…

Tailgate News Editor
Changing tax laws will help those with earned income credit, standard deductions and child credit, but not until 2019, said Sue Uchtman, owner of Quick Tax in Gurdon and Arkadelphia.
Uchtman said Friday, “We will see traditional increases in refunds for this tax season, but not the larger ones as mentioned in our national news.”
According to Uchtman, the child credit increase for this year will be the already in place $1,000, but in 2019 that credit is slated to go up by $2,000.
She said for married filing jointly, the standard deduction will rise this year from $12,600 to $12,700.
She said for head of household filers, the deduction goes from $9,300 to $9,350.
For those filing single, the deduction goes from last year’s $6,300 to $6350.
Although it is a tentative figure, Uchtman said one of the most encouraging tax breaks she has read about for the 2019 season is the married filing jointly standard deduction going up to $24,000.
“I still encourage itemization, especially this year if you can, as the increases for the 2018 filing year are just status quo,” she said.
Uchtman said state officials have told Quick Tax to alert customers that no state refund checks wil be issued until March 15.
As to federal, many checks won’t be released until Feburay 15, although she said there will be exceptions to that.
“Jodi Coplen, of Gurdon, will be my contact operator at the Arkadelphia office this year. We are still at 109 East Joslyn Street in Gurdon and at 2901 Main Street in Arkadelphia,” she said. Our main number here in Gurdon is: (870) 353-6262,” Uchtman said.

Tailgator predicts

good year for

business in 2018

Tailgate News Editor
Welcome to 2018! I read some tax change stuff that will help the working class in 2019 so it would seem that the business minded president now in office may have a slightly better understanding of promoting free enterprise than our former president.
Somehow, loading the small business man and single moms of this world with a bit more cash instead of giving it away to foreign powers and endless line of folks who simply refuse to work for a living does not sound too dumb to this editor.
It is all in how you look at things. Those of us enjoying putting effort into our careers and jobs have a different outlook than the giver uppers of this country and world.
It is also interesting to me that, in general, folks coming here from such places as Mexico seem to have the old fashioned American work ethic.
I personally applaud them. It was not too long ago that many folks wanted something out of life in our United States besides a new cell phone…
So yes, this writer is optimistic that hard work and persistence just may start panning out again for all of the races and ethnic groups represented in America. There are good and bad people everywhere. But with the philosophy that we are now once again rewarded for our hard work, things are bound to change for the better.
On the local level, construction of Sun Paper pulpwood facility in Gum Springs is to begin in March, according to industrial coordinator Stephen Bell.
They will need nearly 2,000 construction workers to build the new project. This should be a 2018 economic boost for Gurdon, Arkadelphia and the surrounding area. Once that plant is in operation, 250 permanent jobs are to be created where the day to day operations are governed by those with computer know how and ambition.
The Sun Paper facility will also require 400 loads of logs a day to do its thing. Local growers says Clark County, Ouachita County, Nevada County and Hot Spring County can grow suitable trees on a 15-year cycle to keep the plant going.
There are always critics of those folks who are trying to boost the economy. But the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has already approved Sun Paper’s intentions.
Many independent log truck drivers are ready to go to work to forfill the extra demand.
Here is how it is folks. Workers provide a tax base. Without them, none of the entitlement programs could keep going.
Gurdon is getting in on the improvement possibilities. A grant came through this past year to restore the old First National Bank on Main Street. A small business entrepreneur teacher from Henderson State University is providing classes there to help independent thinkers manager small businesses at a profit.
So it is the age of the worker once again, in the optimistic view of this writer. School starts in Gurdon this coming week again. Let’s all work hard and give those kids an example of integrity.





Simulators should help

Gurdon students get

logging jobs…

Tailgate News Editor
Two logging heavy equipment simulators are now available at Gurdon High School which should give students a leg up in getting jobs in the logging industry, as well as protect the potential logging industry employees from serious or fatal accidents.
Jeremy Bell, curriculum coordinator for the Gurdon School District, said Thursday simulator demonstrator Reid Ledbetter Sr. will train students on how to enter the logging work world simulator style after Christmas break.
Bell said, “Gurdon High School now has two Caterpillar simulators that arrived November 30.
“The equipment puts the student in similar situations that they might face on the job operating potentially hazardous logging devices and teaches them how to avoid accidents and remain safe and productive.”
Bell said the two simulators, a Track Feller Buncher and an FM Log Loader, provide valuable experiences to prepare the users for real-world applications in the logging industry.
Gurdon School District Superintendent Allen Blackwell and other school personnel coordinated with stakeholders from across the community to make this a reality.
The cost of the simulators and the travel trailer was $175,000, with funding provided by the Arkansas Department of Career and Technical Education, by the Clark County Reuse Funds and by the local C. Louis Cabe Foundation.
Bell said, in anticipation of the arrival of Sun Paper in the area, this was a vital next step to prepare students for employment opportunities using the most modern equipment available.
Blackwell said, “This was a collaborative effort among various stakeholders – state and area leaders and patrons.
“I appreciate this shared vision and effort to help our students and community as we gear up for this next economic step.”
Blackwell said company personnel will provide the training to use these devices to their fullest potential.
“Then we will be ready to give our students and our local community greater access to these resources.”
Bell said the simulators have two large chairs with hydraulics designed to give the user the impression they are actually operating the equipment from say the main cab of a Caterpillar log loader or tree cutter, depending on which simulator the student is sitting in. Bell said the training from simulator company personnel will be conducted sometime in January.
“Students should become a lot more employable with this training, and also pose a lot less threat of having an accident when operating the real thing,” he said.
GHS also recently purchased 140 N Spire Texas Instrument graphic calculators for $25,000, which students may use on ACT college admittance tests.


Santa requests; did you

get what you asked for?

Tailgate News Editor
Christmas is upon is for yet another year and Gurdon Primary School students are now out of class and with family.
Before leaving the school, Shanna Bradley’s third grade class, as well as Michaelyn Jester’s equally enthusiastic third graders, wrote letters to Santa.
The following letters have been sent to Santa special delivery by way of the ever expanding super highway called the Internet.
Dear Santa, I have been good this year. For Christmas, I want some pajamas because mine don’t even fit me at all. Also, I want a tablet because I won’t be bored when I go somewhere like Mexico. I want pajamas that are so warm and I will be so warm when I am sleeping in my bed at night. Sincerely, Julia
Dear Santa, Can you make one huge miracle happen please? I really want my Grandma to come this Christmas. She is very special to me.
First, because I love her sooo much. Next, because she can help my aunt take care of us because my aunt is pregnant. Finally, because she will make me and my mom cry of happiness. Sincerely, Emily Santos
This year for Christmas it is going to be better than last year! I want a hoverboard because I watch a lot of YouTube videos and it looks fun. I would like to have it when I go on vacation. Last, but not east, I really want it because it looks fun to ride. I will leave your cookies and milk under the tree. Sincerely, Kelly
Dear Jesus, Hello Jesus. How have you been? Did you like the letter I sent last year? Okay, here we go! This year for Christmas I really have not talked about it much, but could you give the kids in foster care a home and parents?
I know everybody needs a good Mom and Dad. Also, kids do not need to be lonely. Everybody needs a lot of love! Please and thank you! Sincrely, Anabelle Davis
Dear Santa, I have been a really good boy this year. I want a Ninetendo switch for Christmas. I want to trave to Canada with it so I can see my best friend, Typicalgamer. We will play it all the time, even on the road. So that is what I want for Christmas. I want Santa to have a big bowl of cookies. Sincerely from Hayden
Dear Santa, I want a PS4 for Christmas. I never had one before.I have been waiting for 8 years.
I really, really, really want the Camo version of PS4. It is $300 each. I will leave Santa cookies and milk in the kitchen. Love, Christian
Dear Santa, This year I have been a pretty good girl. This Christmas I want a pig and money. I want a pig so I can love it and cuddle it. I want money so I can give it to the families who don’t have food and clothes. Santa, I will leave you and your reindeer a special treat. Sincerely, Caroline
I would like to have a lap top because I have never had one and I always see people using one. I type better on a lap top and they are bigger. You can do more stuff on them.
And I might get one that is a tablet lap top. It comes apart and I want one because they are cool and awesome. Sincerely, Arianna
Dear Santa, I would like to get money for Christmas this year. That would be great. I love money because you can buy anything and you can be rich. Also, I could buy my friends and teachers some good presents for Christmas. Ja’Marius
Dear Santa, This is going to be the best Christmas. For this Christmas, I want some magic things. I like some magic toys and coins. I want a magic book that shows me how to do the magic tricks. I want the book to be full with magic tricks. I will leave chocolate chip cookies and milk. See you on Christmas. Sincerely from Jordan Smith
Dear Santa, I can’t wait until Christmas. I really want an Xbox360 because I could play with my friends.
I also want it because I can play different games on it. I also want it because I can play with different people on it. Santa, I will leave you cookies and milk. Sincerely, Alan
I want a German Shepherd so I can go rabbit hunting and I can go squirrel hunting. So I can find my squirrel and rabbits if I get a German Shepherd for Christmas. I hope I get this dog because I have been a very good boy. Sincerely Braxton
MS. JESTER’S CLASS – Dear Santa, I have been pretty good this year. For Christmas, I want a red bike. The reason I want a bike is so I can ride with my friends. Thank you Santa. Sincerely, Kihren
I have been a good girl this year. For Christmas, I want a lap top. I want it because I can play games on it. I will leave cookies for you. Sincerely, Jaelin Bolanos
Dear Santa, I have been pretty good to get presents from you. What I want for Christmas is a hoverboard. The reason I want it is so I can ride it outside. My friends and I will ride our own. I hope you give the children that have cancer presents from you. I will leave you cookies and milk under the tree. Sincerely, Marilyn
Dear Santa, I have been a good girl. I want some Sqishies because they are so fun to play with. They are so sqishie and cute. I will play with them every day. I will sleep with them a lot. Santa, I will leave you some cookies and milk. Sincerely, Lyla
Dear Santa, I have been good this year. I want an I-pad mini-case. My case for my I-pad is broke. Please, I want a case for my I-pad. Also, I will use my I-pad a lot. I’ve wanted one for a long time. Santa, I will leave a treat for you under the tree. Sincerely, Sadic Pace Griffin
Dear Santa, I have been good this year. I want a puppy this year please. I will take care of it. I will get all of the stuff it needs to survive. I will feed it and walk it. I love puppies because they are cute. Santa, I will leave you some cookies and milk. Sincerely, Alexis
Dear Santa, I have been very good this year. I want a Polaics Scrambler 850. I want to ride it to Logan’s house. Also, I will ride it in the woods. I promise to leave you cornbread and cheese. Sincerely, Ardyn
Dear Santa, I have been good this year. I really want a Ninetendo switch with Super Mario Oddesy for Christmas; because I can play when it rains.
Also I can play with my friends and family, and i can see the world in video game. I will leave cookies and hot chocolate for you. I will give your reindeer carrots. Sincerely, Eder
Dear Santa, I’ve been a good boy. For Christmas I want a Nintendo switch. When I am done with my chores, I will play Super Mario Oddesy until Mom tells me to stop. I am going to do my homework. Then when I am done, I will play my game. When it is too cold to go outside, I will play with my brother on the Super Mario Oddesy. I will leave you cookies and milk. Sincerely, Joel
Dear Santa, I have been very good this year. For Christmas, I want a 2BS. I will take it everywhere I go. KK, my sister, wants a My Life doll.
My brother, Noah, wants a Goldberg ring. Please bring my Mom and Dad some good stuff for our house. I will lay out cookies and milk for you. Sincerely, Tess
Dear Santa, I’ve been very good. I want a guitar. First, I want Paps to teach me how to play it. Next, I want to play it in the talent show.
Last, I will sing and play the song. I need you to write now. I will leave you choco chip cookies fresh out of my Easy Bake oven. Sincerely, Emilee
Dear Santa, I’ve been as good as I can be. I want a computer so I can watch YouTube and so I can play games with my friends, like Tristan and Adyn.
I an get Snap Chat on the computer so I can chat to you too maybe. Santa, I will leave you and the elf and raindeer some snacks on Christmas Eve. See you Christmas. Sincerely, Tripp
Dear Santa, Can you please give me 2K17 for my Xbox360 because I’ve been the only really good kid around.
I will leave you and the reindeer carrots and homemade cookies and candy canes for elves. 2K17 is a really fun game. Can you please give the game to me. Sincerely, Jordan Lamor Henry.
Dear Santa, I am very excited for Christmas. I want Mrs. Forthman because she will be like a Mom to me, and she will give me candy and she will take care of me. Sincerely, Kharsyn
Dear Santa, I am good. I am glad you like coming down the chimney. I won’t be doing that. I went to Benton and watched the Bears.
I imagined you in the game. I watched you use your time-out alert whistle. I watched you use it again. Bring me a whistle alerter so I can have fun too. Sincerely, Daniel


Prescott adopts new

sexual harassment policy


Tailgate News Reporter
The Prescott City Council approved the addition of a sexual harassment policy to the personnel handbook during its December meeting.
The new sexual harassment policy was worked on by Glenn Vasser, Bobbie Brown, and Perry Nelson. It was approved by Council members as resolution number 19 of 2017.
There was an amendment to the 2017 budget. It was based upon the financial statements as of October 31. They were projecting a decrease in expenses of almost $2000 a year. They are anticipating a decrease in revenue of $345,000.
This amendment 1 of 2017 was approved and accepted. Council members approved an adoption of ordinance number 6 of 2017 to rename a street, known as Third Avenue, as Sandra Kay Evans Avenue. This street was requested to be renamed in honor of Sandra Kay Evans for her volunteer work and dedication to the City of Prescott. She has passed away a few days ago and several people have requested to name a street after her.
A representative with Turner Rogers Manning and Plyler, PLLC certified public accounts of Arkadelphia, came to speak about the 2016 audit reports. He said the assets proceeded by 14 million dollars in 2016. There were no citizen’s comments.
Mayor Terry Oliver called the meeting to order at 6:30. Jerry Hightower opened the meeting in prayer. Terry Oliver lead everyone in saying the pledge of allegiance. The council members approved the November 2017 minutes.
They approved the November 2017 financial report. They approved the November 2017 monthly police report.
The next City Council meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, January 15.


Editorial: Future looking good;

Sun Paper and new jobs coming

Editorial; Pulpwood plant on horizon
We want to encourage the people of the Gurdon area to look forward to the pulpwood plant coming to Clark County.
Naturally the whole process is happening much slower that we all want, but Sun Paper, as some refer to it, will begin construction in the spring, now that all environmental regulations have been met.
This is not only going to be good for the 250 folks who are expected to start jobs there at competitive pay rates, but also to the independent loggers of the area who will be hauling 400 loads a day to Sun Paper.
We at the Tailgate News are looking forward to keeping the citizens of Gurdon and the surronding are as to the progress being made by this project.
As we look back on 2017, for many of us it was a hard year economically. But it is good to remember that it is always darkest before the dawn.
This new industry will mean real estate values going up in Gurdon, the school population increasing and basically the tax base of our little city increasing to allow us to breath a little easier.
It is much easier to see our cup as half full, rather than half empty. Merry Christmas to all and looking foward to a happy and prosperous new year!











Badgers earn championship;

first time in 30 years!

Tailgate News Editor
The Arkadelphia Badgers football team played for the state chamionship against Warren December 9 at War Memoria Stadium in Little Rock and won.
Arkadelphia Insurnace Agent Max Brown said Arkadelphia supporters probably numbered more than 3,000 in attendance. The final score was Arkadelphia 28, Warren, 27!
Keith Runyan, of Arkadelphia’s Wall Street in the Woods, said it was the first such state championship won by Arkadelphia in more than 30 years.
“This is a very big deal for our community,” he said.
Another football fan, who attended the event, said players shook hands as usual after the game, but the Warren coach pushed away the hand of the Arkadelphia coach in a jesture of apparent disappointment. Congratulations to the Badgers and Head Coach J.R. Eldridge.

Students offer letters to Santa…

Tailgate News Editor
This year the Tailgate News asked the GPS third graders to write letters to Santa.
The three classes have turned said letters in. One class, Janell Forthman’s, will be published in this weekender issue. The other two classes, with class photos will be in the December 22 weekender.
But we had a blasting of the ranks. Ashley Collins’s kindergarteners insisted on getting in on the act of submitting letters to Santa. Naturally, we obliged. Said letters will also be presented here. Good luck kids in getting all you want!
Dear Santa, For Christmas I would like a phone. Ho Ho Ho! Love, Johtlahd. Dear Santa, For Christmas, I would like a rrDwbdwahon. Ho Ho Ho! Love, Kevin.
Dear Santa, For Christmas, I would like a computer. Ho Ho Ho! Love, Stella. Dear Santa, For Christmas, I would like a phone. Love, Bristol Nolan.
Dear Santa, For Christmas, I would like a chainsaw. Ho Ho Ho! Love, Amos Self.
Dear Santa, For Christmas, I would like a 1 Xbox. Ho Ho Ho! Love, Bell.
(more kindergartner requests from Miss Collins room will be in the December 22 weekender)
Dear Santa, I want for Christmas is a red bike because my dad haven’t buy me a red bike.
I been cleaning the house, doing my bed clean, my mom’s room and sweap the kitchen. Clean my mom’s red car and today rake the leaves. And I need my sister. My brother will leave reindeer food. Sincerely, Esteban
Dear Santa, I have been pretty good this year. I want a tablet for Christmas so I can have a bunch of games on my Amazon tablet. I really want Facebook and Youtube so I can watch my favorite videos. I will take very good care of my Amazon tablet.
I hope I can bring my Amazon tablet everywhere I go. I also hope I can get a four-wheeler for Christmas so I can ride my four-wheeler everywhere I go. I would get my four-wheeler some snow and road tires for my four-wheeler. I and my friends would take it down to the river and cross the river to the other side of the bank. When I got done, I would go mudding with my four-wheeler. Sincerely, Tristan Gober
Dear Santa, I would like a bike. I would like to race with my brother. My brother and I could ride our bikes together. I would love to have a bike for Christmas. Sincerely, Anahi Leon.
Dear Santa, I have been good Santa. I will leave you peanut butter crackers. I want an Amazon tablet for Christmas. They are cheap at Wal-Mart. We can play on a tablet and can download games too. Sincerely, Cory Yarbough.
Dear Santa, I want an Xbox1 for Christmas so my dad and I can play with each other. Another reason why I want it is so my friends and I can play and have lots of fun on it. I am really excited about Christmas this year. Sincerely, E’lyas Lanton.
Dear Santa, I have been a good girl. what I want for Christmas is a Barbie house. Because you can get your friends to play with your Barbie dolls. Another reason because you can have fun looking at the house and then playing with it. The last reason is because you can discover stuff in the house. I will leave you some cookies and milk under the tree. Sincerely, Venus Cruz.
Dear Santa, I did my best in school. I want a bike for Christmas. I like to ride around with my friends – because when you ride your bike you will get exercise on your legs. I can ride with my family. You can go on a journey.
If you ride your bike, and you see something you love, you can treasure it. When I wake up, I will ride my bike on Christmas. Sincerely, Jason.
Dear Santa, I have been a very good girl this year. For Christmas, I want a twin Hatchamel. They seem to be so cute, and look real fun. My family and I will have fun playing with them. I hope that I can get one for Christmas. Sincerely, Hailey Stuart.
Dear Santa, I want a baby Olive for Christmas. It is so much, and it so fun to be me. First, because it is so fun to play with. Next – I won’t be so bored after school. My Addi Jack, and Caroline, can play with her! I am so excited for Christmas this year. Sincerely, Lilly Stroud!
Dear Santa, I have been pretty good this year. For Christmas, I want a shiny white Xbox3bo with two controllers so my brother and I can play together. We can play many games and when I am bored, I can play with it. When it is cold, and I can not go outside, I can play on my Xbox3bo with my friends too. I will leave reindeer food. Sincerely, Xavier Ruben Moreno.
Dear Santa, I want a Lego 5 Nights at Freddy’s so I can be entertained and won’t bug my Poppa. Second reason why is so me and my cousin named Holden and so we can have fun with it. And it will be so fun. Third reason why is because it will be so much FUN!!! Sincerely, McCurley Madie.



Gurdon readies for Polar;

parade Tuesday night

Polar show Dec. 16;
Bell football field
Gurdon Mayor
Come one, come all to the free public showing of the Christmas movie “The Polar Express”.
A large outdoor screen will be set up at the Gurdon High School Football field located near the Mt. Canaan Baptist Church between Bell and Third Streets.
There will be popcorn and hot chocolate. Bring a blanket and or lawn chairs and get ready for a wonderful time. Show time is 6:30 on Saturday, December 16.
Everyone is also invited to first free seminar at the new Gurdon Business Center “Marketing Your Business On Facebook”. The class begins at 9:30 a.m. and concludes at 1 p.m. on Monday, December 11, at 106 Main Street.
Presented by Henderson State University Small Business and Technology Development Center this informative class will be a hands on experience that will give you all the tools to take your business to the next level. Call me at 406-1396 to register.
The new AllCare Pharmacy on Highway 67 is now open. I took a peak inside last week and I was very impressed. Spacious and well laid out this new store offers a fantastic gift department that is decorated for Christmas in the most glorious fashion.
Aisles of health, first aid supplies and even snacks round out the generous interior. There is plenty of parking area out front and the two drive-through prescription bays will so convenient for those who don’t feel like going inside.
We are all very excited about this new retail service.
There will be a Gurdon Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting for “Just Pedal’n” on December 12.
Located on Front Street in the former Forget Me Knot building, Just Petal’n is a florist and gift store. Be looking for more on Just Petal’n in The Tailgate News this issue.
December 12 is also the date of the Gurdon Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade. Line up is at city hall at 5:15 and the parade starts at 6 p.m.
This year’s theme is “Twas the Night Before Christmas” and there will be cash prizes in several categories.
Contact Michelle Anderson at the First State Bank of Gurdon for more information.



Malvern considers arresting

those sleeping in city park

Tailgate News Editor
Malvern City Council will meet in regular session Monday and determine the 2018 budget, but will also discuss an unusual problem – too many people choosing to sleep in the city park…
City Attorney Cecilia Ashcraft told Mayor Brenda Weldon and City Council members sleeping in the park has an actual city government ruling attached to it, dating back to 1962.
“The 1962 ordinance says if people need a place to sleep, send them to the park. It was seen back then as a better alternative than allowing them to sleep near existing businesses or elsewhere on private property,” she said.
Ashcraft said city and police concerns have arisen in recent years due to sleepers plugging into public utility sockets or vandalizing bathrooms. Mayor Weldon said the city is now in the process of getting new park restrooms via a recent grant.
“What would you like to see happen with the sleepers at the park,” Ashcraft asked the Council members. “Our officers want to have discretion with the sleepers if there is a complaint, but the wording on the old ordinance does not really allow much of that.”
Council members discussed repealing the old ordinance allowing the park sleeping practice “and see how that goes.”
Ashcraft said if the ordinance is repealed, then officers will be able to site them by way of the nuisance statutes.
A second suggestion by Council members was to leave the sleeping ordinance in place and simply put up signs saying no sleeping on park picnic tables.
Ashcraft noted that in 1968 it was declared a misdemeanor to be in the park after 12:01 a.m., but also said if folks were there for sleeping purposes they were exempted from this rule.
In addition to putting up signs to keep people from sleeping on the picnic tables, Councilman Larry Stiles suggested primitive camping still be allowed.
Mike Smith, Malvern street superintendent, said many people sleep in their car out there and suggested signs be put up that no fan hook-up to city electricity be allowed.
Police Chief Donnie Taber addressed the City Council and said, “You decide what you want to do and we will enforce it.”
Mayor Weldon said, “I don’t want them sleeping on our picnic tables or using our electricity.”
A discussion on spending tax money from the recently passed 1 cent sales tax went over items previously mentioned in Tailgate News, with the mayor saying her budget, after all is said and done, will have an ending balance of around $25,000 in the bank.
Street equipment purchases, street repair, the hiring of a narcotics officer and a code enforcement officer were among items discussed.
Mayor Weldon said the city is expecting $250,000 in turnback monies after January 1.
As mentioned, Weldon is starting work on new public restrooms at the city park and trying to find funding for new playground equipment as well.
“I would love to see these changes for our kids,” she said. “The new restrooms will cost $166,000 and we will tear down the old ones to take advantage of existing hook-ups.”
The mayor said college students are helping her come up with a long range drainage and street improvement plan for Malvern to give a guide line as to the wisest use of the anticipated sales tax money.
“We will work hard on a solid improvement plan for Malvern after the first of the year,” she said.
Finance Committee Chairman Wayne Reynolds said he is in favor of the mayor’s budget plan for 2018 and put it to a vote for approval to be on Monday night’s agenda to pass or reject said proposed budget.
Mayor Weldon noted that Malvern received $1,969,000 in sales tax revenue this past year and anticipated a $10,000 increase in sales tax money collections for the upcoming year.
However, she low balled her spending budget and used the sales tax anticipation number of $1,950,000.


Just Petal’n helps Gurdon

with Angel tree for kids


Tailgate News Editor
Just Petal’n Flowers and More, a new business in Gurdon with a ribbon cutting slated for Tuesday, December 12, is not only a well stocked place to shop for your special loved ones, it also has two owners already involved in helping the less fortunate.
Jordan Purifoy Swayze and Meghan Robbins McCain, both Gurdon High School graduates (2005 and 2007), understand that many local children will go without a Christmas gift unless someone intervenes. So in their flower and gift shop is located an Angel tree.
For those not familiar, names are placed on the tree by those who know of a child living in financially unstable conditions and local businessmen, church members and other good hearted members of the general public take a name from the tree and provide a Christmas to one of these children.
Swayze said, “We have about 50 area kids who need a helping hand. The Angel tree effort is designed to get them clothing or other type gifts.”
Just Petal’n Flowers and More is the place to get a big assortment of flower arrangements, both live and silk.
Their wide selection is perfect for birthdays, anniversaries, “just because” circumstances, funerals and other events. As to funerals, Swayze said complete casket floral arrangements are available. Just Petal’n carries a variety of plants.
“We also carry the saddles, which go on tombstones,” Swayze said.
Just Petal’n is the place to go for gifts, Christmas time or any time. They have baby gifts, wedding gifts, home decor, candles and even fudge. The store offers a variety of toys, including toys for babies.
Jordan and Meghan are both registered nurses at the Baptist Health Medical Center in Arkadelphia. They admitted working some long hours now that they run a flower and gift shop too, but both said they looked forward to serving customers, seeing old friends and making new ones.
In addition to other products, their new Just Petal’n Flowers and More offers boutique clothing. Future plans include gaining new customers and adding a wedding registry.
Meghan is married to James McCain and the mother of 6-month-old Harlen. Meghan and her family now live in Arkadelphia.
Jordan is married to Justin Swayze. They live in Gurdon and are the parents of Triton, 8, who is a second grader at Gurdon Primary School.
Meghan is the daughter of Darin and Gina Robbins of Okolona. Jordan is the daughter of Terry and Janet Purifoy of Gurdon.
The owners will be busy on Tuesday with the ribbon cutting, an open house after the Gurdon Christmas parade and also with Santa pictures.
All are welcome to stop by and inspect the remodeling job at what has been a location for a flower and gift shop in Gurdon for many years.





Pam’s Posies offers

fresh, silk flowers, craft classes

Tailgate News Editor
Pam’s Posies, at 100 East Walnut Street in Gurdon, opened its doors on September 18 as a full service flower shop, both fresh and artificial, a gift shop and a place to express crafting talent with instruction from an enthusiastic and educated hometown girl.
Pam McMillan, a 1986 Gurdon High School graduate, said Monday she can be contacted at: (870) 406-3508, Pami’s Posies on Facebook and Pam’s Posies Gurdon on Instagram.
Store hours are: Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 9:30-5:30p.m. Pam’s Posies is also open on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.
McMillon is open from 4:30 until 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays or by appointment.
To make an appointment, you may contact her by phone, Facebook, Instagram or email Pam at: pamsposies71743@gmail.com
In addition to her GHS high school education, McMillan earned an associates degree in entrepreneur small business from Southern Arkansas University (SAU) Tech at East Camden.
Pam is the sole proprietor of Pam’s Posies which offers: fresh flowers, silk flowers, home decor, candles, jewelry, a make and take workshop and a reminder program called “Get Her Done.”
“You can sign up for the Get Her Done program and I will text or call a reminder for special days such as birthdays and anniversaries to the guys so they stay on the wife or girl friend’s good side.
“Participants also get free or discounted delivery charges for being in the program,” McMillan said.
The next make and take workshop at Pam’s Posies will be at 6 p.m. on Thursday, December 7 at the Walnut Street shop.
“We will be making Christmas table decor or wreaths and I supply the crafts to put their projects together. Participants make their items and get to take them home that night,” she said.
The cost of each workshop is $50 per class. The last workshop was about general floral table arrangements and held on Nov. 16.
“I also do window paintings. I did the scenes painted on the windows at Allen’s Barbecue here in Gurdon,” she said.
“I have done many types of crafts for a lot of years and worked at Ellis Homes and Gardens, which sharpened my skills.”
McMillan said the decision to start her own business and come home to Gurdon was made because she believes in her ability to work on her own and wanted to be a part of her growing hometown.
As to plans in the future for Pam’s Posies, McMillan said she hopes to grow the business by reaching more and more customer base with the knowledge that her store has something for everyone.
The store offers a discount loyalty card, which keeps the costs of buying items for loved ones down. The cards reduce the price, starting with every $10 purchase.
Pam’s Posies will be open extended hours after Dec. 11 for Christmas shoppers. Contact McMillan for details.
“Come on in and visit,” Pam said. “You will find we have a very unique store and you will feel very welcome here.”
One satisfied customer posted on Facebook, “ If y’all have not been to Pam’s Posies in Gurdon, you are missing out.
“Very pretty floral arrangements and decor. Very good prices too! Thank you Pam McMillan for making and delivering such pretty flowers!”
Pam reflected on what Gurdon has met to her as a home town and how her great uncle Jess McMillan had a store on this same Walnut Street corner in the 1950’s and 1960’s.
“He passed away in the 1970’s and his store sold dry goods, produce and more,” she said.
“My Dad brought Uncle Jess watermelons to sell.”
Pam has two grown children; Kayla Doherty, 26, married to Clay Doherty, of Hampton, Arkansas. The couple has her first grand baby; Cami, 3.
Pam’s second daughter is Harlee Pennington, 21, who is a senior at Henderson State University in the nursing program at Arkadelphia.
The business owner’s parents are Eddie and Mollie McMillan of the Shiloh community at Arkadelphia.
In looking through the store for Christmas attire, this reporter noticed a small Christmas tree designed with unique fashion.
“The bed spring Christmas tree is perfect for a small place,” McMillan said. “And the cost is just $25. Lights are included.”
For the traditional male shopper, looking to buy his wife or girl friend a dozen roses, they are $49.99.
Don’t forget to get your loyalty card for discounts. Ask about delivery service.


School Board lobbies

for early school start up date


Tailgate News Editor
The Gurdon School Board met on Tuesday, Nov. 28 and approved an administrative request and resolution to the Arkansas Department of Education for a waiver allowing school to start in the 2018-19 school year on the same mid-August date as this year.
Superintendent Allen Blackwell said, “If we do nothing, the first day of school would be August 20. All of the other schools in the Dawson Co-op are asking for this waiver because without it the school year could extend into June.”
According to the superintendent, the state school board will meet on December 14 to decide to approve or disapprove the waiver applications of the various districts involved.
In other business, school board members approved the purchases of two mixers and an ice maker for the middle school and high school cafeterias. The bid went to Krebs Brothers out of Little Rock.
The board also approved the purchase of a plasma cutter, engraver, router CNC table for the agriculture building. Moreover, board members approved increasing the pay for gate keepers at sporting events from $10 to $25 per night.
Band director Devin West presented trophies resulting from various contests band members had won so far this school year and reflected to the board on progress being made in regard to the development of musical talent and success in competition.

Austin takes Prescott School Board post

Reporter, Tailgate News
with contributions from
PRESCOTT – Howard Austin has been appointed to serve on the Prescott School Board, as he replaced Sandra Evans, who passed away while in office.
The decision was made during the November School Board meeting. Austin’s term will run until the May primary election.
Austin will be the new board member for Zone 2 for the Prescott School Board. Evans was also the board’s secretary and was replaced in that position by Ryan Harvey, who was voted in by the members present.
The board discussed when to hold the next school election, as the Arkansas Legislature now requires school elections to be held in either May, with primary elections, or November, with the General Election.
The panel discussed both options before going with May, and setting May 24, 2018, as the date for the next school election.
Board members reasoned that having the election in May means it won’t be competing with as many other offices up for election as there would be in November.
The board approved a resolution to this effect and the Nevada County Clerk will be notified of its decision.
Prescott School Board members also approved a purchase order for $16,103.80 for Renaissance Learning, Inc. for the district’s accelerated reader program. This, Robert Poole, superintendent, said, isn’t anything new, just the renewal of the district’s contract with the company for K-12 services.
Records indicate enrollment in the Prescott School District is 979, with 529 in Prescott Elementary School and 450 in Prescott High School.
A resolution requesting the district be given permission to start school earlier than schedule was approved as well. Poole said the way the calendar falls for the 2018-19 school year, it would put the opening of school a week later, which would mean it would be June before school ended in 2019.
The resolution will be submitted to the Arkansas Department of Education for approval. Should the ADE grant the PSD permission to start early, the first day of school would be Aug. 13, 2018.
A list of inventory items was approved for disposal. Most, Poole said, are out of date or broken and need to be taken off the inventory before the district is audited. One item dates back to 1967.
Poole updated the board on the joint venture between the PSD and the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope (UACCH) with a welding program to start Jan. 9, 2018, and run for a semester. Those taking the course, which will meet Mondays and Tuesdays from 6-8:45 p.m. at PHS, will also give students four credit hours. PHS students taking the course will have their tuition paid by the district, while financial aid is available for all others.
The course is open to all interested. UACCH will be bringing its portable welding trailer to PHS, with the district’s agriculture department also being used.
Poole said if this goes well, the two schools will look into partnering up for more classes at PHS.
The next meeting of the School Board will be Dec. 19, due to holiday scheduling. The last day of school will be Dec. 20, before letting out for the Christmas break.

Tailgate Traveler readies for Christmas

Tailgate News Editor
Christmas seems to come earlier every year. I did get to go take some photos of Gurdon hosting Jessieville in basketball this past Tuesday.
As some may know, I moved from my house to an apartment so my kids could use the house.
Moving, to see the least, has been a challenge. Need to get my Christmas tree up so the grand children can enjoy it this coming weekend.
Again, as some may know, I am contemplating a divorce for desertion after 20 good years of marriage. Sometimes our predictions are just wrong.
I would have bet you a rivalry football game outcome that my current wife and I would have been together another 20 years. But you just never know what is going to happen.
My Thanksgiving went well. I spent it with my daughter and grand kids and got a good dose of relatives, friends and plenty of turkey. I hope yours went well.
One good thing, current federal politics is no longer complaining about people saying Merry Christmas. The Gurdon Christmas parade is to be on the evening of Tuesday, Dec. 12. It will probably get started about 6 p.m. as usual. I always look forward to the Chamber of Commerce sponsored event every year.
This year Gurdon has two new flower shop owners and open house with hot chocolate will be going on in at least one of them. Loving hot chocolate, I am looking forward to taking photos at said events.
I have a new friend, Diana, who I hope will go to the parade with me. We started dating about a month ago when I realized Blondie was never coming home.
Sometimes a person just has to move on in life. In sports, Prescott will no longer be on the Gurdon football slate for next year. Something about them getting too numbered for us.
I suppose I can see the point of the administrators. The kids do need a fighting chance at every game they play. Still, the Curley Wolves rivalry has been a Gurdon football tradition for many years.
Even though I just arrived in Gurdon back in 2004, I am saddened by the discontinuation of said tradition. One friend at Prescott wants to know why the Go-Devils are now too chicken to play his school?
I frankly had the same reaction to the rescheduling. We have only beat them a few times, but the extra challenge, in my mind, did the Go-Devils team a lot of good.
It instilled humbleness when we lost the battle and a serious sense of team value when we won.
In short, I disagree with the decision. But who am I right? Well to answer my own question, I am the town sports writer.
There will be no Dec. 29 Tailgate News, as I hope to spend Christmas with Diana, my daughter Kelley and my three grandchildren; Josh, Rayne and Daniel. Time, as always, will tell.
I will approach Gurdon Primary School this week with my annual request for Santa Letters. This year I hope to get the third grade classes involved with the writing exercise to Old St. Nick.
Due to scheduling problems, I was unable to attend this Saturday’s Santa party at Evergreen Church. Perhaps someone can Facebook me a photo of an expectant child on the old guy with the white beard’s lap. I hope so.
GPS usually has a photo session with Santa in the library. I will ask about it when I submit my Santa letters request on Monday.
Yes sir, it is a changing world. It is my understanding a new tax bill made it through the Senate to help us independent business owners survive. If so, and revenue goes up any in my marketing end of the publication, that will be a great Christmas present indeed!
The Gurdon Christmas lights seem especially pretty this year. My camera bag goes off to Mayor Sherry Kelley for all she does for our little town.
So if I get some response from GPS, enjoy those Santa letters. I will high light in black, as usual, my top three selections. You, of course, have the right to disagree. Happy Christmas shopping ladies, as most of your men are still in the deer woods! Merry Christmas everyone!


Mayor plans special

Christmas show

Gurdon Works on
Polar Express show
Gurdon Mayor
Our City Council is working on a Christmas event, an outdoor showing of The Polar Express. Kolbi Harper is spearheading the project which is on track in cooperation with Arkadelphia Parks and Recreation’s Mike Voltz who is willing to lend a large outdoor screen for viewing the movie which is geared toward children but is also a treat for adults.
We are looking at early December with the location at the former Gurdon High School Football Field in town. I will keep you informed as we move forward.
The Community Pantry and Evergreen Church are hosting “Breakfast With Santa” at the Community Pantry on Saturday, December 2, from 8:30 till 10:30 a.m. All children are welcome and encouraged to attend this special free event.
The Gurdon Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade is scheduled for December 12. Everyone is invited to attend and participate. The theme is “The Night Before Christmas.” Prize money is given in several categories. The city will begin setting up lights and decorations this week.
I’ve been working with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Economic Institute since August. We had a productive meeting with members of our community on Friday at The Market On Main. UALR’s April Campbell and Randy Wright compiled a presentation for those assembled using the results of a detailed survey that was distributed in September. Following the presentation and analysis of the data we selected two action plans that we hope to accomplish in 90 days. You will hear more on this in December.
The DeGray Tourism event at the lodge provided a wealth of information that I hope to utilize as we attempt create a Gurdon Light Trail along the old railroad tracks. This effort is ongoing and there is nothing concrete to report but I have some great partners and some irons in the fire, so to speak. I will inform you when and if developments occur.
All indicators show that the Sun Bio Project in Gum Springs is on track. Arkadelphia Alliance’s Stephen Bell explained the progress at the Economic Development Symposium that I attended at Henderson State University. The air permit is expected to be completed in January and construction should begin in May. Extra requirements for the air permit have changed the construction date from March to May. But all is looking very well and Governor Hutchinson confirmed this information at the State Chamber Luncheon on Friday. The Market On Main is available for your holiday party, call or text me at 406-1396.


Sherry Kelley talks

of special Christmas event

Gurdon Mayor
Our City Council is working on a Christmas event, an outdoor showing of The Polar Express. Kolbi Harper is spearheading the project, which is on track in cooperation with Arkadelphia Parks and Recreation’s Mike Voltz who is willing to lend a large outdoor screen for viewing the movie which is geared toward children but is also a treat for adults.
We are looking at early December with the location at the former Gurdon High School Football Field in town. I will keep you informed as we move forward.
The Community Pantry and Evergreen Church are hosting “Breakfast With Santa” at the Community Pantry on Saturday, December 2, from 8:30 till 10:30 a.m. All children are welcome and encouraged to attend this special free event.
The Gurdon Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade is scheduled for December 12. Everyone is invited to attend and participate. The theme is “The Night Before Christmas.” Prize money is given in several categories. The city will begin setting up lights and decorations this week.
I’ve been working with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Economic Institute since August. We had a productive meeting with members of our community on Friday at The Market On Main. UALR’s April Campbell and Randy Wright compiled a presentation for those assembled using the results of a detailed survey that was distributed in September. Following the presentation and analysis of the data we selected two action plans that we hope to accomplish in 90 days. You will hear more on this in December.
The DeGray Tourism event at the lodge provided a wealth of information that I hope to utilize as we attempt create a Gurdon Light Trail along the old railroad tracks. This effort is ongoing and there is nothing concrete to report but I have some great partners and some irons in the fire, so to speak. I will inform you when and if developments occur. The tourism event was produced in part by Henderson State University’s Small Business and Technology Development Center. While there I visited with director, Leah Hasley. We are working together on the Gurdon Business Center on Main Street, which is very near completion. The first one day seminar offered at the city’s new center will be “Marketing Your Business On Facebook”. We will have room and computers for all who wish to attend in early December. Call me at 406-1396 to reserve your space. More information to come on this opportunity.
All indicators show that the Sun Bio Project in Gum Springs is on track. Arkadelphia Alliance’s Stephen Bell explained the progress at the Economic Development Symposium that I attended at Henderson State University. The air permit is expected to be completed in January and construction should begin in May. Extra requirements for the air permit have changed the construction date from March to May. But all is looking very well and Governor Hutchinson confirmed this information at the State Chamber Luncheon on Friday. The Market On Main is available for your holiday party, call or text me at 406-1396.



High speed impact

damages Pilgreen Electric

Tailgate News Editor
An unidentified vehicle ran into the side of the building at Pilgreen Electric in Gurdon on Monday, November 13, according to a report available at the Gurdon Police Department.
Investigating officer Toby Garner said in the report parts of the vehicle were left at the scene and he believes it struck the building at a high rate of speed. The incident is still under investigation.
Damage to the building was estimated at less than $5,000.
In other police news, Lucy Jester, of South Second Street, reported fraud involving her food stamp card. Jester told police the card was taken from her home on November 8 and $15 was currently missing from her funds.
Jester named a suspect to police. That incident is also under investigation. Moreover, Mike Lemons, of Wildwood Circle in Gurdon, said he lost his wallet at a local store last week. The wallet was found but $90 was missing, according to Lemons.


How to Cook

a turkey…

Tailgate News Editor
Although being thankful and eating together as a family on Thanksgiving seems to be fading from American tradition, the tradition is alive and well in Gurdon, according to second graders at the primary school.
GPS students had their annual Turkey Trot celebration Friday morning are and off of school for Thanksgiving vacation this coming week. Before leaving, the two second grade classes offered the following advice on “How to Cook a Turkey.” Participating in the educational effort this year were second graders from the classes of Mrs. Susan Norris and Mrs. Brittany Rogers.
Maddox – First put seasoning on the turkey and decide who is going to cook the turkey. Dana will. Next stuff it with dressing and put it in the oven for 4 minutes stuffed.
Put salt on it. Last, get it out of the oven and your lunch is readay. Dana gets the turkey out of the oven. Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you have a great day; mom Cooper, MeMe Grace Justen, Eric Taiten and Dad.
Jimena Garcia – First you find a turkey or buy one. Then you must clean it or wash it. Next you put the turkey in a bowl. Then put stuffing. Then cook it at 400 degrees. You must cook the turkey outside or in your oven? Then you cook it for 90 minutes. And when the turkey is done, the turkey is done. Happy Thanksgiving!
Lavtev – You need to get the sink and even the turkey and put it in the oven. Then cook him for one hour. You can eat it with your vanilla milk bisquits on Thanksgiving Day!
Makay Jalililliam – First go buy your turkey and thaw it out! Next stuff it with dressing and put it in the oven. And set it for you. Last take it out. And you will have a wonderful turkey and my family and me will eat our delicious turkey!
Happy Thanksgiving! I love Thanksgiving!
Ja’Mia Lacy – First, my mom will buy the turkey. We will stuff it and set the oven for 400 degrees. And the turkey will be cooked in a big square pan.
Next, after the turkey has been in the oven for an hour you can make other dishes like the ham, corn, green beans – or even a cake or two. Last, when all that is over and the foods are all done, have a feast and some fun. Happy Thanksgiving!
Carlee Bristal Salinas – You need to get a turkey from the store or you can kill it. Put the turkey on the grill, but make sure your mom does all this.
Make sure everything is perfect and then you can dig in. Happy Thanksgiving. Who’s coming? Gigi, Uncle Mikel, Mim, Papa Emmy Avery, Mom, Dad, Gaga, Pop, Tucker and Jaxson.
Hermiah Mizell Smith – First you need to cook it in the oven or microwave. And it’s you do not need to put it on long but it needs to be on 400 degrees.
Then you need to wait and wait and wait until its done. And hot and hot, it is so hot in the oven. Last you need to take it out of the mircrowave. Then it is done.
Now lets have our first naw. Remember it is 400 degrees in that oven! It will be hot. Happy Thanksgiving!
Tucker – My mom puts it in the oven. She buys it at Walmart. Then we put it in the oven for 30 minutes. It is time to take it out of the oven.
Then we cook dressing in a pot. We get to have a big Thanksgiving supper. Then we have a big feast. Happy Thanksgivign to Calee, Jaxson, Mom, Dad, Jojo, Derick, Avely, Mimi, Popo and Emmy.
Jesse Dewitt Kent – First, my mom needs to cook it in the microwave after the wraper has been taken off. Then mom needs to press the 30 minute button. Because that is how long it needs to be cooked. After its done, you are ready to eat the turkey. And you will have our fork. Happy Thanksgiving!
Oscar Kacha – My mom got us a huge, fat turkey. It is put in the oven because she has killed 200 turkeys. My mom also killed fish too. My mom put the turkey in the oven and we are thankful for November day.
Caleb Dylan Davis – You need to get a turkey. I get a turkey from Walmart. I don’t know if we put stuffing in it.
My grandparents every holiday give us presents. Then you need to cook the turkey for at least 30 minutes. We put it in the oven. I think my dad is going to cook the turkey.
Then you need to take the turkey out of the oven. Get all your food ready, have your blessing and then eat. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tamia Kennedy – First, I’m going to aks my dad to go turkey hunting.
Next, when he comes back home with a turkey, we are going to pull the skin off with a knife. Next, when we get done with that, we are going to put it in the turkey oven for a few minutes.
Very last, when that get done, we going to chill and watch TV in the livingroom until it get done. Then when it is done, we are going to wait but we will eat it.
Jikaya – First I would rinse the turkey off. Next, I would get a boiler for the turkey and put in the seasoning in the pot.
Last, I would put it in the oven to cook.
Samantha – First, pick the time you want to cook the turkey. When it is done, skin the turkey and put it on a plate. Last you eat it, yummie!
Milton – First you drane the blood from the turkey’s body. Then you put it in the oven. Then you take it out of the oven and eat it.
Maggie – First you stuff it with vegetables and get the fat out of it. Next you wash it and clean it and stick it in the oven for 5 degrees. Last, you let it steam and eat it. That is how you cook a turkey.
Janya Nettles – Buy the turkey at Walmart. You take the skin off. Cook it 10 minutes in a hot oven. Put it in the oven. When its done, it is good!
Landon Myers – You go hunting with Paw Paw. You pluck the feathers off. Before you cook the turkey, you stuff it. Then put it in the oven for 2 minutes at 10 degrees. Then eat it off the platter. Yummy!
Conner – First you hunt the turkey. Then you pull off the feathers. Then you pull all the fat out. Then you put it in the oven. When it is done… you eat the turkey!
Chassidy – First, kill the turkey. Then take it to your house. Next, take the stuffing out and chop the head off.
Then take the blood out and pull the feathers out. Last, put it on a plate and put in in the oven for 3 minutes and eat it.










Malvern decides on

best budget expenditures

Tailgate News Editor
MALVERN – The Malvern City Council held an agenda meeting on Monday, Nov. 6 and discussed what would be the wisest way to spend an upcoming $5 million city budget.
Voters earlier this year passed a 1 cent sales tax in order to get streets repaired, fix sink holes and generally modernize the city’s intra structure for the safety and well being of citizens.
Mayor Brenda Weldon presented a budget, which involves getting a gravel truck and a backhoe, but most importantly hiring an engineering firm to create a plan to eliminate, and/or reduce storm water erosion problems through out Malvern as the occur in the future.
Weldon said, “In order to give the voters what they have asked for, we have to have a plan to stop the storm water drainage problems that are causing sink holes and other street damage here.
“We have to have proper equipment to tackle what we can with our own street department and we have to have guidance and direction from a reputable engineering firm so that the intra structure of Malvern is stable in the future. We can no longer afford to just react to structural disasters. We must take steps to prevent them from happening for the security of this city and the people who are a part of it.”
The mayor said she has been talking with FTN Engineering out of Little Rock in order to come up with a concrete storm drainage security plan for the future of Malvern.
Work on street improvement continues, with paving and structural repair slated for such areas as East Page and Stanley Streets in the near future.
Mayor Weldon asked Council members to pass the 2018 budget by the end of the year and for approval on budget line items to begin this coming Monday, November 13 at 6:30 p.m., which is the new meeting time for the regular City Council.
Councilman and Finance Committee Chairman Wayne Russell said at the agenda meeting he approves of Mayor Weldon’s budget line item proposals and her overall plan to not just fix existing street problems but to prevent storm water structural damage in the future by implementing a solid engineering plan to do so.
“Yes, I approve of this course of action and believe it was what the voters had in mind when they passed our 1 cent sales tax,” Russell said.
Councilman Larry Stiles expressed concern about agreeing to spend money that has not been collected yet, but agreed that steps must be taken to prevent further structural damage of Malvern streets in the future. He also questioned the hiring of two new permanent employees before the tax money is in the coffers.
“All I am saying is, buying equipment and hiring an engineer etc. is fine, but we need to take all this one step at a time as the finances come in and keep our promise to those voters about getting these streets solid for public use,” he said. “In other words, lets keep in mind what we can afford and make sure we spend the money as we were directed to do by the voters.”
Equipment purchases in the current budget proposal include a gravel truck for approximately $140,000 and a backhoe for $80,000.
Street Superintendent Mike Smith told council members the rest of his proposed 2018 street repair and upkeep budget was in line with what it had been in the past, but the new equipment is needed in order to accomplish the tasks at hand.
Weldon said projections are that the 1 cent sales tax will produce $975,000 in first year collections, with $400,000 going into the general fund and two new employees being hired. One is a narcotics officer and the other a code enforcement officer for the City of Malvern.




Chamber banquet set

for February, NFL official to speak

Tailgate News Editor
Rotarians met Thursday in Gurdon and discussed the Tuesday, February 13 upcoming Chamber of Commerce banquet.
Entertainment Coordinator Anita Cabe told the group this year’s guest speaker has been booked and is NFL official Walt Coleman.
Although the date has yet to be set, there will also be a Chamber auction this coming year.
Rotarians honor high academic seniors every spring and are considering a new banquet night to honor members of the Gurdon High School Band.
Because of the decrease in Rotarian members, Mrs. Cabe suggested the group start planning activities with the Arkadelphia Rotary clubs. Club president David Williams agreed with the idea.
Rotarians also contribute to the Close-up program every spring, where juniors and seniors get to visit the nation’s capitol and see United States politics in action.
The Gurdon group plans to have weekly programs slated on a consistent basis after the first of the year. Those interested in joining the group should come to CADC senior center at noon on Thursdays.

Veteran saw bodies

falling from the sky

in his dreams…

Tailgate News Editor
Mike Reddick, who died at age 65 in March of 2016 of perhaps an early death, did two tours in Vietnam and worked for the government as a hit man for 29 years.
He had an accident 14 years before he passed away and was pretty much confined to a wheel chair. We were best friends for 22 years. He told me much of his past. One very interesting part was his showing me the paper work on his psychological profile the Army did before releasing him. The evaluation sheets said this United States Airborne Ranger had a serious medical problem, in that he sees bodies falling from helicopters whenever he closes his eyes to sleep.
Mike was always a giver. He worked in child care during one of his marriages with is wife Renee. But Renee cheated with her doctor. Mike threw them both out of an upstairs window into a landing in the snow.
His FBI boss gave him a month off to get his head together. Mike, like myself, loved to drive and explore. But he could not find peace from his travels. He married three times but the hell he went through from Vietnam could not wash with any of them. The marriages were over before he was 40 and his family called him Uncle Mike.
This is Veterans Day weekend. Folks like Mr. Mike are on the minds of even us Gurdon residents. Most of the men are headed to the deer woods. Their dears are left behind to wish them well in the hunt.
Many of those redneck hubbies did time in service. Our Southland has many more veterans than most other places in this United States. I am proud of each one of them, as Mike would be if he were still among the living.
I lived with Mike in Trumann, Arkansas for a spell, after one of my own divorces. President then, Mr. Bill Clinton, called and asked Mike to go out of the country on an assassin assignment.
Clinton and I formed a friendship at a Chitlin Supper in Marianna, Arkansas back in 1983. Being so intelligent, with a photographic memory, the president still knew me in 1993 when he decided to dedicate the Arkansas State University library in Jonesboro, Arkansas.
The man was used up by the government. He was proud of all 122 government assassination assignments. Eagle Thunder, as the Indian nations called him, had very few friends who were not fellow tribesmen. Since he rarely missed, people were afraid when they heard his name…
He used to shoot live ammo at me when we went fishing. It was funny to him that I got up and cussed him and had no fear. He said I was unusual in that respect. I doubt if he ever realized my true background, but who knows at this point. I loved him. He knew it. That was all that really mattered. Love, in his life, was a rare commodity. Most people, who read his background report, again, were scared to death.
This was a United States Airborne ranger, recruited as a government assassin out of a peaceful life as a child care facility supervisor. Life, as they say, is not fair. To this man, the saying was taken to extreme. To make matters worse, his then partner, a cop named Renee, cheated on him. That girl, to my understanding, has been married again for years and has three kids.
When Mike had his accident with the double cab pick-up, he was in the hospital and had 28 operations. Roots hospital doctors at Little Rock called in the family and left him for dead.
He lived in Gurdon his last five years, as he said his family got mad when he did not want so much help. He was a very independent soul. Mike was a vet; A vet in a very unpopular war…
Whatever else he was, he served our country. Yet when it came right down to it, the government cut his pension from $2,600 a month to $1,200 a month for unexplainable reasons. Wake up folks. Vets saved our lives…

Gurdon mayor talks of new sign, Fun Park;

calls holiday season a busy time

Mayor says
holiday season busy at Gurdon
Gurdon Mayor
This is an extremely busy time. We had a fine Forest Festival and a wonderful Monster Mash On Main.
The second USDA inspection of the Gurdon Business Center went well. That project is progressing very nicely and we expect to have a ribbon cutting soon and to offer a one day seminar to benefit business owners this month.
I will be working with Henderson State University Small Business and Technology Development Center to offer this opportunity. We have not yet scheduled the date, but I will surely keep you posted.
Last week I attended a recycling board meeting at West Central Arkansas Planning and Development. Soon we will ship off our trailer of electronic waste to the recycler.
I also attended a Southwest Arkansas Regional Intermodal Authority Board meeting in Fordyce. We discussed many topics including the Sun Bio project in Gum Springs. We are working diligently on the rail service to and from the plant.
Things are moving forward. At the Fordyce meeting, Damon Daniels and I talked about the proposed Gurdon sign at the city gateway of Highway 53 South and Highway 67. The future sign’s location will be on Randy Weems property and it will let travelers heading North know that Gurdon has many things to offer including; shopping, dining and diesel services to name a few.
The Gurdon sign is a project of the recently completed Clark County Leadership Class. Damon’s wife, Tonya, is a leader on her class’s project. I am pleased to say that Daniels pledged $500 to the construction. I am currently working on the design and layout.
On Saturday evening I had the pleasure of co-emceeing the Group Living Gala with Director Yukiko Taylor. There was great food, entertainment and company. The event was well attended and the silent and live auction raised funds for Group Living’s important work.
It’s a joy to be affiliated with such good people who make a positive difference in so many lives and enrich our community at the same time.
This week I will attend an economic development symposium at Henderson State University, a tourism conference at Lake DeGray and will host a University of Arkansas at Little Rock Economic Development Institute meeting. Things are moving right along, to say the least. Our new AllCare Pharmacy is looking great and should open this month and we are receiving a little more paving from the State Highway Department.
The Gurdon Water and Sewer Department has completed a 400-foot sewer replacement line. The Gurdon Street Department has a full plate. We will begin painting the FUN Park Pavilion and construct picnic tables for the space. I have also asked them to build some soccer goals for the city park field and very soon it will be time for Christmas decorations.


Gurdon School Board president

resigns after 15 years of service

Tailgate News Editor
The Gurdon School Board met on Tuesday, October 24 and accepted the resignation of Mark Sanford, who has served the board for 15 years and been president much of that time.
Superintendent Allen Blackwell said Friday, “Mark has served us well, but work duties are now too stringent for him to continue. We appreciate his long years of service to the Gurdon School District.”
Sanford is being replaced by Michael Dillard of Gurdon, a local firefighter and lifetime resident of the community. Blackwell said Dillard will serve until the May School Board election and continue if elected or appointed for more time.
In addition, School Board member Bernard Hatley was elected as the new president of the board, with Elaine Halliday being elected vice president. Chris Harper was re-elected as School Board secretary.
In other business, the board voted to purchase playground equipment for the Cabe Middle School for $57,501 from Davis Playground out of Maumelle. Blackwell said the funds came from the catastrophic monies, but the equipment would be used by all students.
Moreover, long-time agriculture teacher Stacy Stone will retire in December. Blackwell said the board is seeking a replacement. He expressed confidence a new agricultural teacher will start in January. Newly appointed board member Josh Griffin will also be up for election in May.


Gurdon football season ends;

no playoff action this year…

Tailgate News Editor
The Gurdon Go-Devil football season has ended with Gurdon standing at 4-6 overall and 2-5 in conference play.
Assistant Coach David Davis said Glen Rose was the victor, 63-24, in the last game of the season which took place Friday at Glen Rose.
“We had a 10-7 lead in the first half and had a 91 yard touchdown run called back by penalty,” he said. “Then Glen Rose just took off.”
In regard to the Senior night game the week before, against Haskell Harmony Grove, Coach Davis said the Go-Devils lost that battle 34-10. It was 10-3 at halftime in favor of the Haskell Cardinals. The coach offered the following stats for the Haskell contest:
In passing, DJ Anna had 5-9, 118 yards, with B.J. Brewer 0-6. For rushing, KJ Tidwell was 13-63 yards and 1 fumble. Brewer had 10-26 yards, one touchdown and one fumble. Dickens, 5- 34 yard; Jameson “Cookie” Threadgill, 1-4 yards; Anna, 3-1 yard, 1 fumble; Jose Chacon, 1 (-6) 1 fumble; 33 plays, 122 yards total.
Receiving, Brewer, 3-95 yards; Tidwell, 1-18 yards (was 45 yards but negated by penalty); Cookie, 1-5 yards. There were 48 plays with 240 yards total.
Basketball season will begin shortly. A schedule should be in the next weekender of Tailgate News.

Editor complements Charles Cabe

for years of service to Gurdon

We have been reporting the news for Gurdon since 2004 and have known Charles and Anita Cabe, supervisors of the Cabe Foundation, ever since landing on this burg 13 years ago.
There are a lot of givers in Gurdon and that is a fact. But Charles Cabe was one of the most generous men we have ever known.
His family made it big in the lumber business. But during the lifetime of Charles, the Cabe Foundation came into its own. Gurdon was a primary target to help, as this was Mr. Cabe’s hometown and very near and dear to his heart.
He and his wife helped build such things as Cabe Middle School and the Cabe Auditorium on the high school campus. They recently donated money for many Chrome pads to help the children here.
Charles always had an ear to give you. His wife will no doubt carry on the legacy alone, but Mr. Cabe will be missed by this community.
This editor can remember several times when Miss Anita was unsure about a proposed advertising package and Mr. Charles said go ahead and do it to help the local paper – The Tailgate News.
Our little digital paper is the only one at this time to have a reporter at such basic events as School Board and City Council meetings. Charles knew that. And whether it was the newspaper, or any other hard working entity, Charles believed in helping folks have the tools to work hard to make their dreams come true.
He was a Republican and active politically. Mr. Cabe, like myself, believed in the idea of giving a man or a woman a leg up to accomplish something instead of a free ride to just ease things temporarily. Sure, some can not work. That is different. But like this editor, Mr. Cabe believed that those who can work should get up every day and hit a lick. He was a quiet natured man, letting Miss Anita do a lot of the negotiating. But Charles was there for all of us and quick to make the decision to give a man or a woman a chance to improve.


Tailgator inspired by inner city playground

Tailgate News Editor
I have noticed a nice pavillion going up across the road near City Hall.
It is the first step toward an inner-city playground that will be built in the next few months. Our mayor here at Gurdon, Sherry Kelley, was able to get a $45,000 grant to put the playground up in part of City Hall parking lot and the pavillion will have picnic tables for parents to watch their children.
The playground will have a fence between it and Cherry Street to avoid kids going out in the street.
My family home is close to the up and coming facility and I hope to watch my grand children play there.
Mayor Kelley works very hard at getting grants such as this one to improve Gurdon. It is like anything else when a town or family struggles financially, hard work is the only way to cope that does any good.
Our current park and playground, out on Highway 67 by Gurdon Pond, is a wonderful facility, but this new area will give children who do not have a ride to the park somewhere to unwind.
Being next to the City Hall reunion/family get together room, it will also mean less worry for those who bring their kids to the gatherings.
As a Gurdon resident since 2004, I have seen some tragedy with kids getting hit by cars on their bikes etc.
It is the part of being a reporter I don’t like, but is a necessary thing to inform the public about. Maybe this new playground will reduce the number of those reports and allow this editor to concentrate on more good news…



Forest Festival 37 honors babies in costumes;

city wide candy give away planned for Tuesday

Tailgate News Editor
The 37th Annual Gurdon Forest Festival kicked off early Saturday and lasted until evening when the entertainment was done.
One highlight was the Halloween Costume Baby Competition.
First place baby was Auatyn Ferguson, 18-month-old daughter of Leroy and Melissa Ferguson of Gurdon. Auatyn joined her dad in dressing up as a scare crow.
Second place went to pink sheep Ruby Jo Brown, 1, whose grandmother Laura McQueen of Texarkana, formerly of Gurdon, held during the contest.
Third place went to 2-month-old tiger Adrein Timothy Gulley, held by her grandmother, Carla Green.
Out of town members of the Hoo Hoo were around for the judging and also had their traditional float in the 10 a.m. annual Forest Festival parade.
Sunny, but chilly weather, was the order of the day as hundreds checked put booths, musical entertainment, log chipping and the like. A magician was even on the schedule this year and small children enjoyed free rides.
Monster Mash
Mayor Sherry Kelley reminded everyone of the annual Halloween night free candy distribution.
“Keep your Halloween costumes ready for the Monster Mash On Main on Tuesday, October 31. This giant-sized trunk or treat event is held downtown. A safe, fun and candy filled extravaganza of kids, churches, businesses, clubs, individuals and organizations will convene on Main Street for hours of fun.
“Those handing out candy and offering games are welcome to select locations and set up during the afternoon and the trick or treating will commence around 5 p.m.”

Go-Devils cream

Bismarck, 42-6

Tailgate News Editor
The Gurdon Go-Devils shut down the Bismarck Lions 42-6 on Friday, October 20, and played “about as good as I have seen,” said Assistant Gurdon Coach David Davis.
Coach Davis offered the following statistics for the game on the hometown players: Rushing— Dickens 14-68 3 touchdowns; Tidwel 10-43 1 TD; Brewer 4- (-1); Leon 2-15; Marks 2-7; Anderson 1- (-6) 33 rush att 126yds.
Passing: Brewer 3-3 for 79 1 TD. Receiving: Dill 1-37 yds; Chacon 2-42 yds 1TD, 36 plays, 205 total yards.
Things were not so blissful on senior night, October 27, as Coach Davis said they lost 34-10 to the Haskell Harmony Grove Cardinals.
The loss, he said, means Gurdon will not be in the playoffs.

Mayor says town will

miss Charles Cabe…

Gurdon Mayor
Gurdon mourns the loss and celebrates the life and legacy of Charles Cabe. A huge crowd attended Mr. Cabe’s Funeral at the Gurdon First United Methodist Church.
He was well known and loved by many for his compassion, sense of humor and unmatched generosity. He and his wife, Anita, have positively impacted our city in countless known ways and in many unannounced philanthropic acts of kindness. Gurdon would not be the very special city that it is without the Cabes’ support.
From City Hall to the schools and beyond, Mr. Cabe’s benevolence to the health, education and welfare of our citizens is evident to all. But beyond his unwavering support for Gurdon, Mr. Cabe was very present and accessible. He and Anita were sure to attend local meetings, events, banquets, church and he was always available to the community at the Cabe Land Offices. Earlier this year, Mr. and Mrs. Cabe celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. The love and devotion they shared for each other is inspiring. Mr. Cabe is already missed and will always be loved and remembered. Gurdon’s thoughts and prayers are with his wife and son Clay and the many who loved and cared for him.
The Gurdon Forest Festival is this Saturday. Come early and stay late for the city’s biggest annual event to celebrate our mainstay; timber and those whose who work in the timber industry. All the rides will be free all day for all the children.
There will be entertainment, festival food, a parade, vendors, a street dance, magic show, costume contests, treasure hunts, soup luncheon, pancake breakfast, carnival games, car show, log loading contests, an auction, plenty of visiting with friends, old and new, and much more. Then keep your Halloween costumes at the ready for the Monster Mash On Main on October 31.
This giant-sized trunk or treat event is held downtown. A safe, fun and candy filled extravaganza of kids, churches, businesses, clubs, individuals and organizations will convene on Main Street for hours of fun.
Those handing out candy and offering up games are welcome to select their location and set up during the afternoon and the trick or treating will commence around 5 p.m. Everyone is welcome.


Tailgate Traveler says

Haskell loss for Go-Devils

means no playoffs this year

Tailgate News Editor
The loss of 34-10 at the Gurdon Senior Night on Friday against Haskell Harmony Grove’s Cardinals means the Go-Devils will not see playoff action this season.
According to Assistant Coach David Davis, Gurdon is now 4-5 and 2-4 in the conference. Next week, the Gurdon Go-Devils will travel to Glen Rose to face the Beavers.
As to the Haskell game, this editor usually goes to the first quarter and gets his photos and then relies on the coaches to fill him in on the stats and play by play action.
During that first quarter, Gurdon came on strong and scored a field goal, making it 3-0 and it looked like we were off and running to a win.
But as they say, looks can be deceiving. Toward the end of that first quarter, the Cardinals made a touchdown and I believe the extra point was also good. Zounds. Things took a wrong turn somewhere. Still yet, Gurdon has had some strong moments this season.
Last week, the Go-Devils walked away from Bismarck with a 42-6 victory over the Lions. As Coach Kyle Jackson, who is Gurdon’s head coach, has said to me several times, a lot of playing ability in teenagers depends on having the right attitude during the game. Mental concentration is a must to make the correct moves on the field. Lets hope they have their thinking caps on against the Glen Rose Beavers!

Charles Cabe gone at 73…

Tailgate News Editor
Charles Cabe, 73, a Gurdon lifelong resident and financial backer of his hometown, passed away on Monday, October 16 in Arkadelphia.
Mr. Cabe and his wife, Anita, celebrated 50 years of marriage this past summer. In addition to being survived by Anita, the Cabes have one son, Clay, a writer in Hot Springs.
Cabe, whose family was in the lumber business, graduated Henderson State University where he met his wife Anita, also an HSU graduate.
The Cabe Foundation, with an office at Gurdon, was instrumental in the construction of Cabe Middle School and the Charles and Anita Cabe Auditorium on the Gurdon High School campus.
“The generous heart and appreciation for those folks in our town wanting to pursue a constructive dream beat in Charles Cabe,” said editor John Nelson. “He will be greatly missed by our community.”
The Cabe Foundation will continue operations under the helm of Anita Cabe. Visitation for Charles Louis Cabe Jr. will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, October 21, in the First United Methodist Church of Gurdon, Arkansas. Mr. Cabe was an active member of the church in the Christian ministry for many years.
The funeral service will be at 11 a.m. at the church. For a complete obituary, see page 2 of this publication.

Ernesto’s doing well

Tailgate News Editor
Ernesto’s Tire & Repair Service, at Southfork Truck Stop, opened in May and owner Ernesto Juarez says between the big trucks from Interstate 30 and the wonderful support from Gurdon “so far so good.”
Juarez, 37, came to Gurdon from Mexico 20 years ago and is a former employee of Johnny Calley’s Station on Highway 67. The new business offers tire repair for any tires, is a tire dealer for new and used tires, plus offers truck and trailer repair along with welding.
Ernesto’s offers roadside assistance for any vehicle 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The number to call is: (870) 353-2603. After hours, call: (870) 353-8077. The company has three full time employees, counting Juarez. Ricky Riley and Octavio Leon are also full-time.
Ernesto is married with four children who attend Gurdon public school.
His family attends the United Pentecostal Church of Gurdon, Bill O’Connell, pastor.
The business owner’s wife is Maria Juarez. The four children are: Crystal, 16; Ernesto Daniel, 14; Joshua, 12, and Noah, 10.
“Years ago, I came here from Mexico and started out at Gum Springs. Then we moved to Gurdon in 1999,” he said.
“I have many good friends in Gurdon and I love what I do.
I want to really thank the people of Gurdon for being there for me and this business. Their support has really met a lot.
“I enjoy helping people whenever I can. Anytime our services can help you, we want to do that.”
As to the future of his business, Juarez said, “I hope to keep it going if the Lord continues to help me.
“And we are willing to grow with the help of the Lord.”
Ernesto said, in addition to his Gurdon customers, he would like to thank the passing through semi tractor trailer drivers for keeping his crew busy “and keeping us going.”


Mayor touts pageant success

Gurdon Mayor
The Charles and Anita Cabe Auditorium at the Gurdon High School was packed with parents, grandparents, other relatives and well wishers for the Gurdon Forest Festival Pageant. There were nearly 50 beautiful contestants.
It was my pleasure to emcee the event again this year. The pageant is one of the major fund raisers for the Gurdon Forest Festival where all the children’s rides are free all day on Saturday, October 28.
This year there will be a Halloween themed magic show on the Main Street Stage at 11 a.m. featuring Tommy Terrific. All the Forest Festival contestants are invited to ride in the Gurdon Forest Festival Parade which begins at 10 a.m., line up at 9:30 at the old Bell High School. There are still some booths available for vendors and Forest Festival T-shirts are available. Both are at City Hall, see Angie or call 353-2514.
This week Angie Harper will be graduating from Leadership Clark County.
The graduation will be held at DeGray Lake State Park. I am looking forward to attending. Leadership Clark County is a wonderful program and I recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about our community and who wants to be involved in our future.
Tiffany McNeal and Stephen Bell from the Arkadelphia Regional Economic Development Alliance do a great job with this program.
I was a graduate of the inaugural class and Angie is a graduate of class 7. Soon they will be looking for candidates for class 8. If you are interested in attending call Tiffany at the Alliance.
The Gurdon Flu Shot Clinic at City Hall was well attended. The health department nurses and staff did a great job.
There has been something going around for the last few weeks that starts with a sore throat. It is highly contagious and many people have been affected.
Doctors seem to think that it is not the flu. But it is so important for your health and the health of those around you that you receive a flu shot. The flu can be deadly at worst and make you feel miserable at best. The flu can spread like wildfire.
The flu can be deadly at worst and make you feel miserable at best.
The flu can spread like wildfire. Please get vaccinated. If you don’t feel well stay home. Remember to wash your hands and carry hand sanitizer. Let’s do our best to have a flu free season.


FOREST FESTIVAL QUEEN – Gurdon High School’s Kira Accor is the 2017 Forest Festival beauty pageant queen and received her title on Saturday night. She also won for the prettiest smile.

Deer season rules, dates

Tailgate News Editor
Sportsmen in the area are fine tuning their weapons, getting
deer stands ready and figuring out dates to go to deer camp.
As to legal times of hunting this year, Clark County and
Nevada counties are in Zone 12 and Hot Spring County in Zone
Upon inspection, the dates and times seem the same for
hunters, but there is a slight difference in the bag limits for the
two zones.
Archery season started on September 23 and runs through
February 28. Muzzleloader is from Oct. 21-29 and December 29-
31. There is a private land antlerless only modern gun hunt
this year from October 14-18.
This anterless new event is legal in both zones. The special
youth modern gun hunt this year will be held November 4 and 5
and January 6 and 7.
Modern gun in both zones will be from November 11 –
December 17 and December 26-28 for the after Christmas event.
In Zone 12, Gurdon and Prescott area, the bag limit is six
deer, no more than two bucks, which may include: two bucks with
archery, muzzleloader or modern gun; six does with archery;six

does with muzzleloader and
modern gun combined.
In Zone 13, Malvern area,
the bag limit is four deer, no
more than two bucks, which
may include: two bucks with
archery, muzzleloader or modern gun; four does with
archery; or four does with muzzleloader and modern gun
Zone notes are the same
for Zone 12 and Zone 13. Dogs
are allowed for deer hunting
from November 11 through
December 17. Up to two dogs
may be used to blood trail
wounded deer outside of the
November 11- December 17
time frame.
Legal bucks must be button
bucks or have at least
three points on one side of
their rack.
Having lived in Southern
Arkansas since 2004, this editor has heard quite a few deer
stories over the years.
One thing noted is the
young statute of many of our
hunters who participate in the
youth hunts. We sincerely hope
caution will be taken in all
cases when it comes to gun
safety and such young children.
And we also hope all of
the families involved will have a
successful deer hunting season.
In years past, we have
reported on extra deer meat
being given to food banks for
the needy and hope this practice will always continue in
Southern Arkansas.
If you hit a big deer in
your hunting efforts, and you
would like it to appear with
your smiling face, or the face
of a family member, attach it
to: John Hancock Nelson,
facebook messenger or
email it to: tailgatenewskid77@gmail.com
We want to share in the
proud family moments of a successful hunt and to share such
news with our readers.
Deer hunting is very popular
in the Gurdon and Prescott
area and hunters here in Zone
12 had the top deer harvest
statewide last year, coming in
at 62,821 deer harvested.
Malvern Zone 13 got third
in harvest totals with 14,616
deer harvested.

Tailgater recalls first

deer hunt with a

bit of regret…

Tailgate News Editor
It has been a few years now since I first went deer hunting in Paragould, Arkansas with my best friend and the deputy chief of the Cherokee Nation of Western Arkansas and Missouri…
Actually, it was on 160 acres of Indian land out by Lafe, a small burg near Paragould.
Mike Reddick and Larry Turman had to have been very patient men. They set me up in a chair by a stream at the crack of dawn and then went to their own spots to shoot deer from.
I am a traveling hunter. I go from fishing hole to fishing hole, advertising client to advertising client, rabbit hole to rabbit hole and on and on.
I tried the car sales business once but had no luck sitting still waiting on customers to come to me.
It was the same way I felt out there that early morning at the beginning of deer season – probably around 2010 or so. I wanted to go find a deer, but had been instructed to sit still.
It was cool that morning but I have always enjoyed brisk weather so I sat there drinking my hot coffee, shotgun in hand, waiting on the dawn to come up and thinking of my wife Blondie at home sleeping alone without me there to pester her for favors like I did so often in those days.
I was pondering the pleasant appearance of my wife’s image in my brain when I heard a rustling over by the stream. A deer, probably a 6-point, was staring at me – well within shooting range with the 20-guage slug in my gun that was supposed to be waiting for the kill.
The thing looked like Bambi on television. I stared. He stared. My 30-second hesitation cost me the prize. I shot but the creature was already on the run.
Both my buddies shot as well, but all three of us missed Bambie and all we saw was a white puff scooting off into the distance.
Here came Mike and Larry, irritated at me to say the least.
Mike said, “Hey Nelson, you are supposed to shoot when you see a deer that close in front of you. What in the ?&#@ were you doing?”
Larry just shook his head and smiled. He told Mike John was dreaming of some Playboy bunny as usual and not thinking about killing a deer…
Mike laughed and the two of them went back to their respective posts. I felt embarrassed.
After all, they were right. But they were also right that I was supposed to be out there deer hunting, not “dear” dreaming.
I have been deer hunting with friends two or three times since but never had that good of a shot at my disposal.
It is possible I may go again this year. Douglas and Mark have both asked me to do so. So far, this mighty hunter has only shot rabbits and squirrels. Deer are not on the list of my kills just yet.
But the night is young. Perhaps if I go again this year, I will have more determination to tend to business.
The embarrassment of the chance I had that very first time is great motivation.
And since I was born with no quit switch, I will keep on trying until Bambi is butchered and safely in deer burger packages in my freezer.
By the way, if you have a big deer kill this season, send it to me on Facebook, John Hancock Nelson, as a message attachment and I will use it in the magazine.
Just give me the name of the hunter, the place it was killed and how big the deer was to go under the photo.
I realize hunters take this seriously around these parts. Sorry my story was sort of comical like the Three Stooges went hunting or something. Perhaps I will get better at the sport with time.
This is your mighty hunter Tailgater guy saying, good luck hunters.
The season is nearly upon us. A friend gave me a hunting book so I will list some seasonal dates elsewhere in this issue.
My friend Mark and my friend Douglas have both given me deer meat in the past so I know somebody out there must be killing at least one or two. If you go, have a great outing.


Gurdon mayor recalls

successful Curtis yard sale


We had a great time at the Seventh Annual Curtis Country Mile Yard Sale. The members of the Curtis Volunteer Fire Department and others who work on the event are some great people. There were nearly 70 big yard sales under the oak trees and the weather was perfect. Food vendors and seeing old friends made it even better.
Joy Chitwood said that the Curtis Volunteer Fire Department raised thousands of dollars last year and expected to do the same this year. It’s nice to see so many people enjoying themselves in Curtis.
The Gurdon Homecoming Parade and football game were another good time had last weekend. The band, cheerleaders, players and fans supported the team to victory and many Gurdon High School Alumni were on hand. The Class of 2007 held a 10-year class reunion at The Market On Main.
The Gurdon Forest Festival Pageant is Saturday at the Charles and Anita Cabe Auditorium at 7 p.m. Rehearsal begins Saturday morning at 8:30. This is one of the major fundraisers for the Forest Festival where the rides are free all day for all the kids.
Timber is king in Gurdon and it’s nice to celebrate all those that work so hard in the log woods. But my favorite thing, and there are many, is the free rides. All the children at the Forest Festival can have fun together, side by side, regardless of socioeconomic differences. This helps to create bonds that will last a lifetime.
The Monster Mash On Main Trunk or Treat is Tuesday, October 31, Halloween. Everyone is invited to participate in the free and safe trick or treat event downtown on Main Street. Call me at 406-1396 with any questions.
The new Gurdon AllCare Pharmacy is really looking good. What a beautiful and helpful addition to our town. I know that when the weather is rainy we will sure enjoy the two drive through windows for our prescriptions.
I wonder what this winter will be like, weather-wise. We have had an unusual proliferation of horse flies and caterpillar type worms on Maple Street.
The pecan trees in town are really producing a lot of nuts and there seems to be a bumper crop of acorns. The Farmer’s Almanac indicates a cooler and wetter winter. Maybe we will have some snowfall. It’s hard to say. I’m going out on a limb and will predict a white Christmas. No ice, just a dusting of snow.


Fall in
a small town

By Danielle Cooper
Tailgate News Reporter

Fall in a small town
is same as
in big cities,
is the same
world wide.

But it is a little more beautiful…

Fall in a small town
is more scenic,
is more relaxing,
is more enjoyable.

There is more
open space
in a small town
so you can see
the colors of fall.

There is more
to catch
the relaxing
sense of fall.


Marshal questions police saturation

as competent way to catch parole violators

Tailgate News Editor
Sources told the Tailgate News editor Friday morning that the town of Gurdon was flooded with out of town officers of the law on Thursday night.
Marshal Don Childres said Friday the hunt amounted to not much. He said someone broke parole and the common occurrence only busied law enforcement, with out much results.
“If you ask the sheriff’s depatment, you will hear a story that I simply do not believe. Violation of probation happens so often in Gurdon, most of us local police offficers take the whole thing with a grain of salt,” Childres said. “The real deal is catching them.”

Tailgater praises Go-Devils

over homecoming win, 31-14

Tailgate News Editor
I love magazine issues like this one where I can report a victory to you.
The Gurdon Go-Devils played well, according to Assistant Football Coach David Davis, in their homecoming game against the Centerpoint Knights.
I was there at the start of the game to take photos and watch the game. Nobody scored during the first quarter.
But then the Go-Devils started perking. By the middle of the second quarter, it was 3-0 Gurdon and the momentum was under way.
I sat with the fans awhile after I got the photos I wanted. I ran into an old friend, Bill, and enjoyed watching the game with him.
Life in a small town is what it is. Life in general is what you make it. One of the singers I listen to is Kid Rock. In one of his songs he tells us in life you get what you put in and people get what they deserve. Amen.
The 2017 Gurdon Go-Devils, under the leadership of Head Coach Kyle Jackson, have been working hard in practice and also being diligent in the weight room. These guys were ready Friday night to show the crowd and themselves what they are made of.
The scrapbooks of the future will note this homecoming victory and produce many smiles as friends, relatives and actual team members remember that wonderful night when the Go-Devils slapped the dickens out of the Knights!
By the way, it was 31-14 Gurdon over Centerpoint. Hopefully my coach source will give us some details for next week’s magazine so the players who did the work will get some credit and names mentioned.
I want to shift gears here a moment and just tell you something I think. I have been a writer and community journalist since 1980 and seen many changes in this profession.
I survived by converting my skills to the digital Internet world and have done so online now since 2013. I hope to retire when I hit 72 or so to go into such jobs as fishing and traveling full time.
I am currently 58 so as you can see that will be awhile. I love what I do so that does not bother me in the least.
But what does bother me is the attitude of the big corporations in my profession. If you inspect this magazine on any given week, you will note about 60 or more banner advertising supporters. At best guess, according to Facebook widget counters, we get around 3,000 readers per week.
This popularity if you will is why the banner advertisers stick with me as much as they do. They realize a lot of folks are seeing their ads in Gurdon, Malvern, Arkadelphia, Prescott and even Hot Springs.
So its a living. It aint great financially but its a living. And it allows me to keep writing, which is why I do this thing. I am sure there are many other things I could sell and make a bigger profit, but profit on a personal level has never been a big drawing card with me. Me, I love to serve the people, such as writing about a homecoming victory that apparently will not even get a mention in the corporate newspaper world. If it does, great. But frankly, it will probably be ignored except in my friend Joe May’s Standard, which is also an independent publication.
My point is this. I am very curious as to why corporate America does not follow my example of converting a hybrid shopper format to the web and start selling banner ads as they cover the news like back in the old days? But it is cool. For an independent digital publisher like me, it means I can continue to survive under their radar.
Gurdon plays Jessieville away this coming Friday. Malvern will host Robinson at home. I hope to cover that Malvern home game.
If you ever take photos of football for your home town in my area, send them to my business email and we can use them here; tailgatenewskid77@gmail.com. Have a great week!

Mayor talks of Curtis Yard Sale,

busy and happy October at Gurdon

Gurdon Mayor
This is my favorite time of year, from now until the New Year. I enjoy the cooler weather, although with 10 large oak trees there is a LOT of raking.
But I mostly enjoy that, too. I particularly like the anticipation of the major holidays and events that will transpire. Looking forward to things is fun.
This Friday is Gurdon Homecoming. The parade will be at 4 p.m. on Main Street. I am happy to help judge the floats.
It is tough assignment because the students really go all out and create some amazing floats.
Speaking of parades, the Gurdon Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade will be held on Tuesday, December 12 at 6 p.m.. If the weather won’t cooperate the alternate date will be on Thursday, December 14.
All Gurdon Chamber members are asked to participate. We hope to have entertainment this year to start at 5 p.m. Groups, churches and organizations are welcome to offer hot chocolate and other treats.
The theme for the parade is “Twas the night before Christmas.” There are cash prizes for winners in several categories.
The Gurdon Forest Festival Pageant will be held on Saturday, October 14, at the Cabe Auditorium.
Call Angie Harper or Heather Nolan for rehearsal times. All contestants are encouraged to ride in the Gurdon Forest Festival Parade on Saturday, October 28, at 10 a.m. I am excited to be emceeing the pageant this year.
The Gurdon Flu Clinic will be held at Gurdon City Hall on Friday, October 13, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Come and get your flu shot at city hall at little or no cost to you.
Experts predict that this could be a worse than average season for the flu.
My family and I always get a flu shot and we are happy to say that we have not had the flu for many a year.
The Curtis Country Mile Yard Sale is this Saturday in Curtis on Highway 67. Don’t miss it. Call 246-5664.
Work is progressing very well on both the Gurdon Business Center and the FUN Park at City Hall.




Council grants discount to nice neighbors

who pay for lawn cutting to beautify area

Tailgate News Editor
The Gurdon City Council met in regular session Monday and decided to have mercy on neighbors paying for abandoned lots to be mowed in the city limits by lowering the cost of the volunteers to one half in order to encourage their good stewardship.
Mayor Sherry Kelley suggested the price reduction for the good Samaritan neighbors paying for mowing not on their property and received no objections from City Council members.
The decision evolved after Code Enforcement Officer Thomas Edwards said it was a long and tedious process to run down owners of some of the abandoned properties and in the meantime the grass still has to be mowed down if the city is to continue its goal of improving the looks of Gurdon properties.
City Office Worker Angie Harper said a lot of the problem is street department workers have trouble mowing abandon lots and still completing all of their other duties.
Even so, Mayor Kelley received no objections to the new price-reduced mowing fee as the Gurdon Good Neighbor Policy.
In other business, Gurdon City Council members passed Ordinances 17-006 and 17-005, which renewed the traditional 5 mill tax for the city and 4 mills for the firemen’s fund.
Mayor Kelley said the amount of mills has not changed and passing of the taxes is just something required on an annual basis. The current passage will make the taxes good to go for collection through 2018.
Moreover, Councilman Danny Paul changed the subject back to beautification of the town and asked if any success was pending concerning the eyesore old hospital possibly being either renovated or torn down?
Kelley said she had tried to contact the owner of the hospital building three years ago when she was a Clark County Justice of the Peace, but he was in Texas and very hard to locate.
“We can try to find him again, but it is a slow process trying to pin down these out of county or out of state owners.”
Edwards said he also had trouble getting a hold of the owners of dilapidated residential homes for possible tearing down.
“We have three or four houses that need to be torn down right now, but we have to make sure all of the legal work is done correctly to avoid lawsuits and that takes time,” he said. “This is especially time consuming when you are dealing with out of state owners.”
In conclusion, Mayor Kelley noted that the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s economic improvement team has taken an interest in Gurdon and its development.
Kelley is negotiating a presentation meeting by UALR staff at the Gurdon City Hall, tentatively slated for 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 19.
The the exact day of the meeting will be announced, with a working lunch to be included for those who can attend.
She encouraged all City Council members, and the Tailgate News editor, to attend and listen to the new ideas on economic development for the City of Gurdon.
Moreover, Harper gave an update on the effort to include small cemetery markers when lots were purchased at Gurdon and said she is collecting price comparisons from several marker stores.
In another update, Mayor Kelley said renovation has started on the old First National Bank building to create the new Gurdon business education center and said the building should be ready to use by December.
“Everything like that we do on available full grant money,” she said. “Our city can not afford higher payments so we apply for grants that will pay 100 percent on improvement projects.”
As to the planned fun park playground, also financed by grant money and to be located next to City Hall, she said the playground equipment and proper safety fencing should be up and running by the first of the year.
She said guidelines from the grant are being adhered to and playground equipment is being evaluated and priced.
The cement for the picnic table area near the Gurdon Police Station was poured this week.


Mayor talks of fun October

October fun
with yard sale,
beauty pageant,
Forest Festival!
Gurdon Mayor
By the time you read this the weather should be cooler! But I am not complaining, it has been a tolerable summer.
The Curtis Country Mile Yard Sale is coming up on Saturday, October 7. A fantastic event for folks looking to make some money and find some treasures. Beginning early in the morning, folks will begin setting out there wares in up to a hundred simultaneous yard sales under the oak trees that line Highway 67 in the tiny town of Curtis.
There are plenty of spaces left so reserve yours today by calling 246-4797 or 246-5664.
All proceeds from space rentals benefit the Curtis Volunteer Fire Department. This year there are some great Curtis Country Mile T-Shirts for sale, too.
Looky lou’s, bargain hunters and treasure seekers are sure to attend in droves throughout the day. A super-fun time.
The Gurdon Forest Festival Pageant is coming up on Saturday, October 14, at the Cabe Auditorium. Deadline to enter is this coming Friday.
Call Angie at 353-2514 for more information. This pageant features age categories from 1 month to 18 years.
All contestants are invited to ride in the Gurdon Forest Festival Parade on the last Saturday in October, this year October 28. The Forest Festival Pageant is a major fundraiser for the Forest Festival which features free rides all day for all the children.
The Monster Mash On Main trunk or treat Halloween event will be held on Tuesday, October 31, on Main Street.
Churches, clubs, groups and individuals are welcome to set up games and or hand out candy to just about every kid in the community and surrounding area who is sure to attend.
We hope to offer a small haunted house this year and there will be plenty of spooky surprises.

Alcoa explosion leaves three injured

Tailgate News Editor
An anonymous source told the Tailgate News editor Tuesday that the “fire” at the Alcoa plant near Gum Springs was actually caused by a natural gas explosion.
Fire or explosion, three employees were injured, according to a news release by fireman Blake Batson. No fatalities were reported. The incident is still under investigation.
The fireman’s report said firefighters responded to a call from Alcoa personnel about 3:15 Tuesday after there was an explosion in a building adjacent to the plant facility.



Gurdon School Board passes budget;

approves bonus for all employees


Tailgate News Editor
The superintendent of Gurdon School District has expressed concern over the decrease in student population of the district, noting there are only 33 4-year-olds currently enrolled at Gurdon.
Overall student population for the district is said to be approximately 710. Classes have traditionally graduated between 50 and 60 seniors per year and the number 33 of the pre-school group is cause for alarm, said Superintendent Allen Blackwell Tuesday.
School Board members passed on overall $6.8 million budget for the current school year, also passing a request by the superintendent to grant a $500 bonus to each employee of the Gurdon School District. This includes 123 employees.
In years past, the superintendent noted, the bonus has been done on 5 percent basis, but told School Board members Gurdon can just not afford that this year.
Moreover, School Board members approved: Act 1120 5 percent review and resolution; a minority recruitment plan; approved ESEA Assurances; approved the 2017-18 budget; approved the employee bonus, and approved a transfer of funds from the building account to the operating account.
Blackwell told the board the district has hired 21 percent more minority employees in cooperation with the minoritiy recruitment plan.
“We are not where we need to be on a percentage basis, but we are getting there,” he said.
The superintendent noted that administrator Jeremy Bell is in charge of minority recruitment and any questions may be directed to him concerning the effort.
The superintendent said the majority of the school district’s budget comes from an allotment of $6,746 per student enrolled from the state of Arkansas. He also said this money is not all state funds, as the district millage tax goes into a pool with other monies and then is inclusively sent back to the district in the form of the $6,746 per student.
In other business, the board approved Blackwell’s specific request to move $151,000 from the building fund to operating fund in order to cover this year’s overall district budget.
He said 83 percent of the budget goes to finance the staff salaries, benefits etc., while the remaining 17 percent is for other purposes. Blackwell noted there is $14,700 for the Alternative Learning Education (ALE) program and $10,000 for new academic enrichment.
The superintendent said poverty levels amongst Gurdon families are helped by the National School Lunch Act (NSLA), as 75 percent of the total student population is eligible for free or reduced lunches. The district, he said, receives approximately $1,000 per eligible student from NSLA.
Blackwell noted that this year’s sports budget for basketball, baseball and track is $59,000 – about the same as last year. That money pays district officials, referees etc. Football, he said, without naming a specific budget, is handled on a need basis. Since it is the biggest sport in the district, Blackwell said in his nine years as superintendent he does not recall ever turning down a financial request from the football program workers.
Blackwell noted that coaches of all sports are encouraged to conduct at least one large fund raiser on their own per school year to supplement the financing required to run the sports programs.
The superintendent said the overall debt carried by the Gurdon School District is approximately $450,000, which includes the cost of maintaining the school’s bus fleet.
“We try to buy a school bus at least every five years,” he said.
“Our district has not had to let any teachers go over the student reduction yet. So far, we simply cut staff by attrition.”

New flower shop

to evolve in Gurdon

Forget Me Knot Flower Shop of Gurdon has been sold to Jordan Swayze and Meghan McCain, both of Gurdon. Jordan’s husband, Justin Swayze, was remodeling the shop this week and said the new store will include flowers, gifts and much more. It is estimated to open in two weeks and will be called “Just Petal’n.” The shop is located on First Street next to Cabe Land offices.

Mayor predicts more

paving down the road

Gurdon Mayor
The state funded paving project is now complete. We have new surfacing on several streets thanks to the Arkansas State Highway Department.
Everyone involved in the project was a joy to work with. I was really glad to have the road to the Deer Creek Apartments and Crestwood Apartments paved.
There are so many families served at these locations. We also paved adjacent to our two new banks’ drive-throughs, our CADC Senior Center, City Hall, Cabe Library and other locations. While we are grateful for what was paved, we realize many other streets are in need. The City of Gurdon will reapply to the highway department and get back on the list for future paving.
The new Gurdon Business Development Center construction/remodel is moving right along. The interior is looking GREAT. The drop ceiling is removed and the original tin ceiling is very ornate.
We painted it a color called silver-bright (which is used on residential propane tanks), three walls are a rich brown and one is a deep forest green.
The original ceramic brick from the Gurdon Brick Company forms a beautiful wainscoting.
This historic brick looks like porcelain with a cream, brown and green coloring.
The floor is 50 percent original terra cotta tiles and will be 50 percent concrete stained to match. It’s a rich color combination that really makes a statement.
The outside of the building is lovely, the most impressive facade in the downtown area.
What a blessing to have this building restored and to have it offer opportunity to our current and future business owners. Deaton Construction is doing a fine job.
The city expects to offer the first Henderson State University Small Business Development and Technology Center’s one day seminar before the end of the year.
I will keep you posted. I will staff the Gurdon Business Development Center as a volunteer.
We will pour the slab for the FUN Park Pavilion this Friday. Have a great weekend.

Prescott reporter talks of fishing;

Council finances electricity for Fair


Tailgate News Reporter
The Prescott City Council met in regular session on Monday, Sept. 18 and approved a resolution to apy for the electricity and utility bills incurred by the Nevada County Fair at the fair grounds.
Mayor Terry Oliver callled the meeting to order and a prayer and pledge of alligiance was said by all. The Council members accepted the minutes for the August meeting, as well as the August financials.


Tailgate News Reporter
Eugene Cooper went fishing from Friday 9-15 to Sunday 9-17. He caught a total of 25 catfish and 1 baby alligator.
He used 1 trotline, 2 yo-yos, and 2 limb lines.
He used catfish Charlie, liver, and some other kind of bait.
The baby alligator started toying around with 1 of his yo-yos. Before he got to it to get the yoyo away, the gator took the yoyo.
He kept 8 catfish. They were all about 4-5 pounders. It was hot and sunny all weekend.
The mosquitos were out real heavy Saturday night.

More rabbit contest winners

noted for Clark County Fair

Special to Tailgate News
The Clark County Fair rabbit contest results were determined this past Tuesday at the fair. The following results were noted.
Peewee Show Participants: Jackson Collier with his Dutch and Mini Rex; Tatum Collier with her Mini Rex.
Clover Bud Classes: Mini Rex Jr Doe; 1st – Emilee Davis.
Mini Rex Jr Buckz; 1st – Braydon Massey; 2nd – Emilee Davis.
Mini Rex Sr Doe; 1st – Emilee Davis; 2nd – Braydon Massey. Mini Rex Sr Buck; 1st – Emilee Davis; 2nd – Braydon Massey.
Mini Rex Best of Breed – Jr Doe – Emilee Davis; Dwarf Hotot; 1st – Braydon Massey; 2nd – Bryce Forthman; Jersey Wooly; 1st – Braydon Massey. Mini Satin; 1st – Kerry Miller. Netherland Dwarf; 1st – Carley Calley.
Junior Breed Show: Giant Chinchilla; 1st – Brady Daniell; Holland Lop; 1st – Thomas Miller. Jersey Wooly; 1st – Haley Gibson, 2nd – Drake Givens and 3rd – Drake Givens. English Lop Jr Doe; 1st – Drake Given; English Lop Sr Buck, 1st – Cooper Clark.
English Lop Best of Breed – Sr Buck – Cooper Clark; Dwarf Hotot Jr Buck;1st – Tyler Thompson; Dwarf Hotot Jr Doe, 1st – Drake Givens; Dwarf Hotot Best of Breed – Jr Buck – Tyler Thompson; Mini Rex Jr Doe; 1st – Brady Daniell; 2nd – Brady Daniell; Mini Rex Jr Buck; 1st – Addison Jones, 2nd – Addison Jones, 3rd – Alyssa Davis.
Mini Rex Sr Buck; 1st – Addison Jones, 2nd – Alyssa Davis, Mini Rex Best of Breed – Jr Buck – Addison Jones, Californian Jr Doe, 1st – Blakely Thompson; Californian Sr Buck, 1st – Blakely Thompson; Californian Best of Breed – Sr Buck – Blakely Thompson.
OVERALL BEST IN SHOW from the Breed Show – Tyler Thompson’s Dwarf Hotot
Single Fryers:
Grand Champion – Alyssa Davis
Reserve Grand Champion – Ashley Pittman
3rd – Nicole McMahan
4th – Brady Daniell
Meat Pen:
Grand Champion – Alyssa Davis






Clark County Fair produces

many winners, fun for many

Tailgate News Editor
Whether it was winning a rabbit contest, providing a bull from the Jarett farm to star on Channel 4 Little Rock television news or winning a quilting competition, many young 4-Hers became stars during the 2017 Clark County Fair this past week.
The following is a partial list of 4-Hers who won in the Tuesday night, Sept. 12 rabbit competition at Clark County Fair 2017; Thomas Miller, Best of Breed Mini Satin; Kerry Miller, Best of Breed Holland Lop; Tyler Thompson, Best of Breed Dwarf Hotot/Best in Show; Emilee Davis, Best of Breed Mini Rex (5-8 age group); Addison Jones, Best of Breed Mini Rex (9-19 age group), and Alyssa Davis, Grand Champion Meat Pen (Californians) and Grand Champion Single Fryer.
Tyler Thompson, of Arkadelphia, won grand champion in poultry. Katie Mae Clark had the reserve champion poultry prize.
In the arts and crafts division, Karen Kirkpatrick, of Arkadelphia, won a blue ribbon with her T-Shirt quilt. In regard to gardening, this year’s first place giant watermelon was 126.5 pounds and grown by Chloe Smith. The first place giant pumpkin for 2017 was 65 pounds and grown by Carlee Helms.
For a complete list of all of the contests and winners, contact the Clark County Fair office in Arkadelphia. Parking was free this year, with a $3 admittance charge to go watch such contests as the rabbits, poultry, cattle, goats or sheep.
A carnival armband special will take place from 1 until 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16, with the annual George T. Sharp Jr. livestock sale slated for that morning.
A Mutton Busting will take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the rodeo arena with the Clark County Fair Rodeo scheduled for 8 p.m. All exhibits must be picked up from 2 until 3 p.m. on Sunday.

Mayor talks of fun park

being reality very soon

Gurdon Mayor
Business in Gurdon is booming. Hudspeth Diesel opened their brand new parts store, LTG Parts, at their location on Hwy. 53 South in town on Tuesday. Owner Heath Hudspeth has worked in diesel repair and parts for nearly 15 years.
He opened shop earlier this year and has enjoyed a brisk business ever since. Now with the addition of LTG Parts, Hudspeth Diesel offers all heavy duty truck and trailer parts.
Hudspeth Diesel services and repairs all makes of diesel truck and trailers. LTG has a $13,000,000 inventory company wide. Most parts are in stock but if they don’t have it on hand it will be in Gurdon tomorrow with the LTG overnight delivery. This will be so convenient for all our local and area truck drivers and owners. Their phone number is 870-406-3506 or 870-724-3076. They offer 24 hour service and have received a lot of call outs on the interstate.
The Gurdon Headstart children and teachers came to City Hall. We had a great time. The group saw the police, water and fire departments. We danced the Hokey Pokey and had snacks in the municipal room and then all went outside to see where the new FUN Park will be. The kids were invited back to play when the FUN Park is complete.
Construction starts September 11 on the remodel for Gurdon Small Business Development Center in the historic First National Bank on Main Street. We have about everything moved and safely store until it’s moved back again. The Market On Main is doing well and we are receiving many calls about the upcoming months. Lots of dates are available. Call 406-1396 for information.
I want to thank my mom for being such an all around good volunteer and pal. The Clark County Fair and Parade are coming up. I hope to see you there.

Coach reveals details

of Gurdon over Dierks game

Tailgate News Editor
The Go-Devils took the field at home on Friday, Sept. 8 and blew out the Dierks Outlaws, 44-8. Assistant Coach David Davis described the second victory in a row for the varsity Go-Devils as a memory he would like to hold on to.
In the opening series, #2 Gavin Deaton hit #3 BJ Brewer on 3rd and 11 for 71 yard touchdown. PAT kick by #11 Jose Chacon. This action made it 7-0 Gurdon, according to Davis.
Then both both teams took turns punting to each other after short possessions. The Dierks Outlaws drove 53 yards on 5 plays and took an 8-7 lead. Gurdon answered with a 10-play, 70-yard touchdown drive. #21 Antonio Dickens scored on 12 yard run. Jose Chacon’s successful PAT kick made it 14-8.
Following an Outlaw punt, the Go-Devils took over at their own 35 and drove the length of the field before settling on a 32-yard Jose Chacon field goal. That made it 17-8 Go-Devils.
Late in the second quarter #4 Kelton Anderson intercepted an Outlaw pass and returned it 47 yards for a touchdown. Jose Chacon’s PAT kick made it 24-8 Gurdon.
On the Go-Devils first possession of the second half, Deaton hit Keyshawn Buckley for a 33 yard pass completion and Deaton later ran for a 15 yard touchdown. Fernando Garcia’s kick made it 31-8.
Then there were late touchdown runs by Deaton and Dickens, making the final score 44-8 Go-Devils.


Searching and
letting God do
the finding…
I woke up this morning,
felt good and alive.
Lots of goals to reach,
not so far dying inside.

Empty nest is real,
for not just ladies.
Sometimes I feel
like life is too shady.

I woke up alone,
still not used to that.
Time changes things,
even for a pole cat.

But as I search for new,
I realize inside.
Genesis two will come,
when God’s will I abide.

Let Jesus do the finding,
as He can get it done.
We humans putter along,
never seeing the sun…

I have heard it said,
life is just a ride.
A constant adventure,
so let God turn the tide.

Our time is just
a fly speck in the
scheme of eternity.

We can win this battle,
if we just conquer
the me…


UCA president wants

students to finish college

Tailgate News Editor
The new UCA at Conway president, Houston Davis, told Gurdon Rotarians Thursday he fully intends to continue recruiting the majority of his students from every county in Arkansas and he recognizes poverty is a problem in finishing higher education goals.
“We have a good record at the University of Central Arkansas as to serving students from this state first,” he said. “The problem is many do have to quit before they are finished for the non-academic reason of running out of money.
“One of my big desires is to make sure that students able to make the grades will also find funding sources to finish their educational goals.”
Davis offered his telephone number for anyone considering attending the Conway higher education campus; (501) 450-5286.
He brought Kale Gober, formerly employed at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia in public relations and now vice president for the administrator in UCA advancement, to the Gurdon Rotary Club meeting. Gober said funding for a variety of goals at UCA falls at his feet.
Davis started his position as president of the University of Central Arkansas at Conway in January, after serving in a similar capacity at Kennesaw State University in Georgia.
He touted the now extensive computer programming and engineering course at Conway as one of the better recent advancements academically on the campus, saying UCA can compete now with just about anyone as far as how to command the Internet and anything computer.
“No matter what your major, unless its aviation, is no problem for us,” he said.
“This college made a name for itself graduating teachers and we still do a lot of that, but the expansions in what we now offer for majors are many.”
Davis noted that a high percentage of the student population at UCA live on campus. He said this really adds to what they can take away from the college experience.
“We are 11,600 students strong and every time one of them graduates it makes a tremendous difference in the economy,” he said.
“Many are first time college graduates in their families and that inspires other academically talented family members to go to school and achieve their higher educational goals.”
Davis is a 1991 Clarksville North End High School graduate from Mississippi and said higher education took him out of a life-ling rural life and helped him realize his goals and dreams.
“Going to school and finishing is the thing,” he said. “Sure we have an out of state student population like most colleges, but UCA is about helping Arkansas students first.
“We don’t want to just help them get here. We want to help them finish and reach where they want to be.”
Davis noted his student population also includes the academically inclined from places like Memphis, Tenn., Dallas, Texas and Tulsa, Okla.
He noted UCA also has an excellent music and art department, saying talent in the fine arts sometimes can be the scholarship key that lands folks into a chance at higher education.
Kale Gober, vice president for advancement at UCA, said one of the biggest challenges he faces in raising money for the university is alumni who have been ignored several years.
“We tell them we care what is happening to them and they ask why they have not heard from us in forever?” he said.
“We plan to do a better job of keeping in touch with our graduates because we do care and also because it is a better way to insure contributions to help students who are still trying to finish their academic goals.”
Gober said the university has been averaging about $5.1 million in donations per year but going after the rich is not the way to do it. He said the most effective fund raising is to get about $1,000 from a lot of people. His efforts have raised this year’s contributions to nearly $6 million.
The vice president said the university usually sees about 647 donors face to face to ask for help but now has a goal of seeing 1140.
“The hardest part is our alumni over 45 who have been ignored so it is part of my job to make them feel reconnected to UCA in Conway,” he said.
Davis said he plans to meet the principals in the Gurdon School District for purposes of recruiting new students.
“I respect their judgment as to which students are really college material,” he said. “Besides we have many alumni teaching.”


Coach Davis calls Lafayette game

comedy of errors; Gurdon 21, Lafayette Co. 20

Tailgate News Editor
Gurdon Assistant Coach David Davis said the Gurdon/Lafayette County game on Sept. 1 was a comedy of errors on the part of the Go-Devils.
But even with all of the errors, Gurdon beat those Cougars 21-20.
In the first quarter, neither team got on the board. By halftime, it was 12-7 Cougars. In the third, the Go-Devils were still struggling, making it 20-14 at the end of three.
But then the mighty Go-Devils rallied in the fourth quarter with 7 more points to Lafayette County’s goose egg; ending the game 21-20 Gurdon.
It was the first game of the season of the new Go-Devil team but the 1 point win put them on a roll, so sources say. Gurdon beat the Dierks Outlaws this Friday, 31-8 if those rumors are correct.
Of the Lafayette County game, Coach Davis said, “It was a comedy of errors from us. We were nervous or something. But the hard practices and full crowd support helped us come together for the slim win.”
The Go-Devils MVPs were: defense-Remi Williams; 9 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, one forced fumble, one blocked kick; offense- Quarterback #2 Gavin Deaton; 117 passing yards, 48 rushing yards, 1 TD passing, 1 TD rushing; special teams-Jose Chacon 3 extra point kicks.
The Cougars jumped to a 12-0 lead after a scoreless first quarter. Then an 80-yard Deaton to BJ Brewer pass made it 12-7 after a Chacon PAT kick.
Coach Davis said the Go-Devils turned the ball over on a fumble in the first offensive play after halftime. Then Lafayette County made a short drive for a touch down, 20-7 Cougars…
With 3 minutes left in game, KJ Tidwell alertly wrestled the football away from the LC ball carrier and returned it 41 yards for the winning TD! Chacon’s PAT set the final score at 21-20 Gurdon!


Mayor prepares for Monster Mash


Gurdon Mayor
After a nice holiday weekend the city is back to work. We have our streets repaired from the water main breaks and the State paving project continues.
The construction work on the new Gurdon Food Pantry and AllCare Pharmacy is going very well.
The dirt work for the FUN Park pavilion has began and the removal of the contents of the former historic First National Bank to begin construction on the new Gurdon Business Development Center is under way.
The Gurdon Go-Devils had a great win Friday night.
The Gurdon High School Tennis Club with Coach Kay is ongoing at the city park.
It’s fun to watch the students practice tennis in such a beautiful setting.
We hope that everyone had a good Labor Day Weekend.
Planning for the Monster Mash on Main has begun. This year’s Monster Mash is scheduled for Tuesday, October 31, new features such as; music and a haunted space on the Main Street sidewalk under the awnings will be included.
Interested? Call 353-2514 or 406-1396 or Wendy Ledbetter.
Sponsorship for Gurdon Forest Festival T-shirts are now available. This is a fun time of year.

Pee Wee Football
Jamboree Saturday
Coach Quincy Dickens requests Pee Wee football players and coaches arrive early Saturday for the 10 a.m. football jamboree slated to be at Gurdon.

Anyone wanting to submit pee wee photos to Tailgate News should use the messenger attachment on facebook, John Hancock Nelson, editor. Thank you!

Editor’s Note: Clark County Fair is this coming week. The rabbit show is at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Come on out and support the kids at the fair!

Gurdon still has

water leak woes

Tailgate News Editor
Gurdon repairs continue on the aging water system, as many town’s folk were doing without it Saturday morning.
It was apparently off from about 8 a.m. until 11 a.m., as this editor’s water was gone during that time. Here is hoping this is the final repair for awhile, as most of us use our water on a consistent basis.
Mayor Sherry Kelley indicated the leaks were all fixed last week, but with a system that has piping from a half of a century ago, fixing is not easy.
Thankfully, the Saturday morning shut-off was short lived for town this go around…

Go-Devils start season

with bang, not whimper

Tailgate News Editor
The Great Gurdon Go-Devils pulled out a win from behind against the Lafayette County Cougars Friday by strking the Cougars and finishing them off by 1 point.
It as the first game of the football season with players, cheerleaders, band members and fans all ready to be filled with enthusiasm.
The first half was a heartbreaker for awhile with the Go-Devils lagging behind 12-0 before coming alive in the second quarter.
Gurdon came back with 7 points and the crowd came alive. The Go-Devils went into their locker room with renewed vigor and Coach Kyle Jackson snapping the whip.
Although a hard battle the second half, Gurdon came out on top with the true spirit of a winning team. Details of the game should be available in next week’s Tailgate News.
There will be another home game next week at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 8 when Gurdon hosts the Dierks Outlaws.
Coach Jackson’s words at the beginning of the beginning of the year football banquet echoed in the stands after the victory; “When we hit the field in September, I promise you this team will be ready to play and win!”

Gurdon Council could

raise cemetery plot

costs to include marker

Tailgate News Editor
Gurdon City Council met in regular session Monday with no motions passed.
However, the group had a discussion concerning an ongoing problem at the cemetery. It would seem many residents are buying plots and then not for filling their agreement to follow up by placing markers.
City worker Angie Harper told the council and mayor that many graves remain unmarked and asserted that a solution to the problem needs to be rendered.
“Perhaps our citizens need incentive to mark the graves. Any added expense in today’s economy is hard, but we really need some sort of markers at Rose Hedge Cemetery,” she said.
Mayor Sherry Kelley asked the City Council to come up with a solution to the problem. Councilman Danny Paull suggested the fee on the lot be raised slightly to allow the city to purchase an inexpensive marker if the family neglects to do so.
Although there were no objections to Paull’s proposal, the issue was tabled until the September meeting.
In other business, Mayor Kelley assured the Council and audience that Gurdon’s two main water leaks, which caused customers to lose service last week, were now fixed.
“We still have some ground repair to do, but otherwise everything seems to be back to normal,” she said.
Kelley said she was grateful for the local school superintendent’s kindness during the ordeal, although the leaks caused a few unexpected school dismissals.
Kelley assured the council that the city crew would stay on top of the water leak situation and continue being diligent in fixing any future leaks.
Moreover, Mayor Kelley noted the recent grant award for the old First National Bank, and subsequent creation of a business training center within a year, did not cost the citizens of Gurdon any money.
“We will be cleaning the old bank out shortly,” she said. “I am excited about this upcoming addition to Gurdon.”
Kelley mentioned the Fun Park grant which should allow the construction of a new playground next to City Hall to benefit children and parents of the community.
“Getting non-matching fund, free grants takes a lot of work, but it is worth it,” she said.
“After the playground is constructed and operational, the folks who rent our City Hall facilities will know that their children are safe during reunions, church gathers and more.
“The new playground will have a durable fence which will protect the youngsters from any danger presented by it being next to a city street.”
Kelley also noted that good progress is being made to pave about a mile of streets by way of another $250,000 non-matching grant through the state highway department.
“We realize there will still be many streets in Gurdon in need of paving and I am applying for more grant money from the highway department to get the job done,” she said.
“I will keep this council posted on progress made toward more paving grants.”
In another matter, Mayor Kelley praised AllCare Thomerson Pharmacy for electing to build a brand new facility, modeled after the one in Hope, right here in Gurdon.
Pharmacist Larry Thomerson agreed that the facility’s new drive through would benefit his customers, especially those with severe disabilities.
“I am glad to see it coming for that reason,” he said. “It will be a little more work on me and my staff, but it will be worth it.”
Owner Percy Malone is cracking the whip on the construction of the new facility, with the building apparently going up in a hurry. City Council will meet again at 6 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 25 in City Hall.

Tailgater praises

those who are helping

Texas hurricane victims

Tailgate News Editor
I have been attending church services at the Gurdon First Assembly of God for several years off and on and have always considered it a kind-hearted and wonderful church home.
This week I had occasion to meet with our pastor, Brother Andrew Goodwin, on a business matter. I ease dropped on a conversation that made my heart sing with joy.
Brother Andrew, who happens to be a Texas native, was preparing to go join others in the Assembly, and probably other church organizations, in an effort to curb the homeless situation created for probably thousands of people in Texas this past week because of hurricane damage.
For a full report on the hurricane, look it up on Yahoo News. As to this column, I just want to thank Brother Andrew and others like him.
Gurdon was supposed to receive some rain fall out from the hurricane this week, but that was quite a bit less than was predicted. But as to the actual damage in the Houston area and so forth, that was apparently more than most people expected.
Whether you live in Gurdon, Malvern, Prescott, Arkadelphia or Hot Springs, you are probably aware that living conditions are a bit scary in Southern Texas just now.
Some of the Gurdon High School children were collecting money to send the hurricane victims at the Gurdon verses Lafayette County first of the season football game Friday night. By the way, a fan just informed me the Go-Devils won the game by 1 point! I will get a complete report on how it went from Gurdon Head Football Coach Kyle Jackson before next issue if God is willing and the Creek Indians do not have an uprising.
But if what the fan said was true, congratulations boys! The Tailgater is very proud of all of you. Indeed, you are Great!
And so young and old in Gurdon, and the surrounding news towns associated with the Southern Arkansas Tailgate News Magazine, are very concerned with people in our neighboring state losing their homes and hard earned possessions to this weather crisis thing called a hurricane.
As many of you know, I was a Southern Florida resident for nearly two years back in my youth, but fortunately I never experienced a hurricane. I hear they are just awful.
So again, my hat goes off to those kids raising money for Texas refugees and my pastor for being a part of the physical and financial effort to return normalcy to many unsuspecting weather victims.
I have one friend working in Houston. She tells me cars are lined up for gas and smokes and the wait is considerable.
Price gouging on gasoline is also a reality. It has even gone up 30 cents a gallon in many places right here in Southern Arkansas.
In this predominantly wicked and money hungry world, there is always someone crooked trying to make a buck off of somebody else’s pain. That, as they say, is just the way the bore eats the cabbage. My friend Jennifer, who works in Houston, said she was in line for two hours to get a pack of smokes.
So folks, post hurricane life is certainly not easy for the folks in Southern Texas. I understand the victims from several years ago in New Orleans are offering rebuilding advice and no doubt President Donald Trump is doing what he can to get federal assistance to victims.
So are the students in the Gurdon School System and the pastor at Gurdon First Assembly of God. All this writer can do is to pat them on the back at this time.
If I had the money, I would personally donate in some way or another. But at present, money is tight and prayer is about all I have left to offer. If I were a living hurricane victim, I believe I would have the good sense to thank the Great I Am that he spared my life.
As my daddy used to say, life is a roller coaster. Sometimes you are up and sometimes down. Our job is not to worry either way, but to enjoy the ride.
Here is hoping each living hurricane victim gets their home life together in short order and a big thank you to all of the kind hearts who are making it happen.

Mayor thanks superintendent

for patience during

water leak crisis

Leaks fixed,
Bank getting
good cleaning
Gurdon Mayor
It has been quite the ordeal with the two water main breaks in one week. I am very glad that no one was injured during any of the extensive repairs.
Thank you to all our water department workers and to all of those at Ron Penny Construction. Thank you to Allen Blackwell, Gurdon Schools Superintendent for his patient kindness.
Apologies to all the school staff for all of the extra work and stress. Apologies to all the parents, children and water customers for all the hardships caused by these circumstances.
Except for the collapsed roadways, everything is once again in good repair.
We will begin moving the contents out and clearing the space at the former First National Bank on Monday. Deaton Construction should get started the first week in September to transform the building into The Gurdon Small Business Development Center.
I am looking forward to seeing the progress. Stop by anytime to take a look. We also hope to begin dirt work for the new pavilion at Gurdon City Hall the first week in September.
The Gurdon Go-Devils fire up their season with a home game Friday night. We won the first one, so fans say.
Now for home game number two, 7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 8 againt the Dierks Outlaws!

Prescott reporter offers

thoughts on Fall Colors…

Tailgate News Reporter

Fall colors
Can be relaxing
Can be annoying
Can be what you take it

Fall colors
Are beautiful.
Means cold is coming.
Means the heat will
start to go away.

Fall colors
Brings out a difference
in the atmosphere.
Brings out different
attitudes in people.
Bring in great holidays.

Fall colors
Means it’s almost
the end of the year.
Brings families
closer together.
Is the prettiest
time of year.

Love your family
for what it’s worth.
It’s been said
that people pass on
in this time of year.

So hold tight
to your loved ones
and be sure they
know you love them.


Gurdon gains $55,000

grant for business center

at old First National Bank

Tailgate News Editor
Gurdon received a $54,253 fully paying grant on Tuesday from the United States Department of Agriculture rural Arkansas division.
USDA representative Kimberly Hooks signed off on the grant Tuesday, with Gurdon Mayor Sherry Kelley at the Market on Main. Dignitaries from all over Clark County were on hand to witness the signing.
Hooks said the project should be ready for action in between nine months and a year and will be a fully functional small business education technology center.
After the signing, Gurdon Mayor Sherry Kelley took a group of well wishing politicians and dignitaries from Clark County and beyond on a tour of the Old First National Bank building on Main Street where the educational center will be located.
Kelley said it was the second grant she has worked on with USDA and the remodeling and implementation of the new business center will not cost the city of Gurdon any money.
She said independent businesses in Gurdon, whose owners choose to take the business improvement courses offered at the First National Bank “may very well be given a break on their water bills.”
Clark County Industrial Committee Chairman Stephen Bell was on hand for the grant signing and gave an update on the Sun Paper Pulpwood facility, to be built and fully functional at the Gum Springs Industrial Park in the next two years.
“We are trying to get EPA clearance on air permits and expect the company to have the certification in October or November,” Bell said.
“Our new projected construction start-up month is March of 2018.”
Sun Paper is expected to bring approximately 250 “good paying” jobs to the area and also will need approximately 400 loads of logs delivered to the facility per day.
Construction itself is projected to need around 2,000 temporary construction workers to build the huge facility. Sun Paper is China based and the new Gum Springs pulpwood mill is the biggest facility of its kind to be build in the United States for several decades.
Logs from Clark County and surrounding counties are expected to repopulate over 15 year growing cycles and never run out as to the needs of the facility.
Gurdon now has three working banks, a new Tiger Exxon, Sonic has built a new facility and AllCare Thomerson Drug is constructing a new facility on Highway 67 with a drive thru due to a projected population increase occurring because of an expected surge of people who will be associated with Sun Paper. In short, dignitaries are saying Gurdon will continue to grow.
Once over in the bank/new business center, Mayor Kelley told onlookers that realistically construction remodeling of the facility should start in September and knowing how delays occur she is projecting the facility will be operational a year later.

Gurdon water leaks

hopefully solved this time

Tailgate News Editor
Despite two reoccurring leaks in the Gurdon water system, by Friday evening the entire town was back in business.
Water Department Superintendent Gary Smith said early Friday afternoon the problem had been reduced to two streets in town; Maple and Cherry Streets.
Smith said the goal was to restore water to those two streets by that evening and he was successful in reaching his goal.
This editor lives on Cherry Street and had plenty of water this Friday evening.
Gurdon School Superintendent Allen Blackwell said school was on an unplanned vacation again Wednesday because of the two major leaks.
Blackwell said the leaks were on Elder Street and the corner of Honeywell and Taylor Dairy Road. Again, the entire water system became operation Friday evening and Mayor Sherry Kelley said she believes the problem has now been taken care of.
“I would like to commend our water workers for a fine job in a difficult situation,” she said.
“It was hard getting the necessary repair parts because some of our system is many decades old and so we had to do more waiting around than we would have liked to in order to once again return our city to full water power. We recommend you boil water again for a couple more days.”
The City of Gurdon had a water leak last Thursday that put the whole town out of water plus logging employer Georgia Pacific.
Gurdon City worker Angie Harper said the leak was being worked on at about 10:30 a.m. “and we have already received at least 200 calls from Gurdon residents who have concerns as to when we will have the water back on.”
Harper added that the crews were working with the goal of having it back on line by dark, although the leak was just discovered around 9 a.m. that day. She said it is understandable that people fear whether they have been shut off, but that this go around has nothing to do with bills or alleged late payments.
The water came back on Friday, Aug. 18 and this editor, plus at least 200 more Gurdon residents, will most likely be eternally grateful. Mayor Sherry Kelley said boiling the water for a couple of days is a strong suggestion and a boil order for 48 hours is in effect.
“We just don’t want anyone getting sick if there is anything in our water system from fixing the leak that could cause problems,” she said.
As to Thursday, Aug. 17, the Gurdon School system shut down at 12:30 p.m. due to the lack of water. The Central Arkansas and Development Center gave out water to those in need, as that facility was on the side of town that did not lose its water supply.
Rotarians had a discussion at noon time about the water leak. Ashley Pennington, loan officer at the Bank of Delight, said the early school pick-up for area children would be hard on parents whose kids did not ride the bus, but she totally understood why it was necessary.
Water lasted through Tuesday, but then the two new leaks developed and it was back to the drawing board for the Gurdon water crew.
The problem, to the understanding of this editor, is now fixed and will hold.


Mayor looks forward

to eclipse, street paving

Gurdon Mayor
The community came together in a wonderful way during our 12 inch water main break on Thursday. Due to the loss of water pressure caused by the break, schools were let out early and there was no school on Friday.
The area was under a precautionary boil order. James Cox and everyone at the Gurdon Water Department and I want to thank Scott Francis, Steve Whitson, Jimmy Martin, Bryan Watson and other volunteers who lent a hand. Hundreds of homes and businesses were affected. All city departments worked as one to handle the phone calls and repairs.
It was imperative that the precautionary boil order was lifted before Monday so that schools could be in session during the eclipse. Allen Blackwell and his staff had planned careful protocol to ensure their students’ safety during the lunar event.
Once the water line was repaired, I took several water samples to the Arkansas Health Department (AHD) in Little Rock and was told we would receive the results on Saturday between noon and 2 p.m.. When my health department contact was unable to retrieve the lab results as planned, I reached out to Mikki Hastings at Clark County Emergency Management and she helped me retrieve the information from Jeffery Stone, Director of the Engineering Section at AHD.
He informed me that the tests showed the water was fine and to lift the boil order. It was an eventful few days. Our men worked many long hours and I am proud of the way we all worked as a team and that we kept our positive attitude. Relationships are so important and it was great to see so many from the community pitch in. We apologize to water customers for the trouble that they experienced and we thank them for their patience.
United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development Service Specialist Kimberly Hooks will come to Gurdon bringing the closing papers for the Rural Business Development Grant for my signature. This is the second grant that Kim and I have worked on together and I am excited to get started on our new Gurdon Business Development Center.
This is another example of the community coming together. Many friends and colleagues in Gurdon, Arkadelphia, Clark County and Little Rock assisted. This center, which will be based on Main Street in the historic former First National Bank building, will have the potential to impact business owners and entrepreneurs in a very positive way.
This week our Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department funded paving project begins. Please watch for the bright orange construction signs and drive carefully.

Editor thinks passing cases

could help court room security

Tailgate News Editor
This editor attended a Malvern City Council agenda meeting a couple of weeks back and wrote a story in this publication about a proposition to improve the security during Malvern court time under Judge Sherry Burnett.
A spokes lady for Burnett told Council members there was $15,000 available to improve security in the courtroom and it was necessary to do so because of the dockets being so overcrowded that present security could lead to the judge or courtroom officials incurring injuries or being in a possibly life threatening situation.
The primary reason for the spokesperson to address the council was a bathroom that is located just behind the judge’s seat in the courtroom that has an outside entrance and is open to the public.
She said Judge Burnett has already been approached by members of the public in said restroom and the situation does not leave her adequate protection from possible harm.
We were unable to attend the subsequent City Council meeting the following Monday due to circumstances beyond our control. If this issue has already been settled, so be it.
The spokes lady at the agenda meeting said the court was looking at two options. She said the restroom could simply be turned into a handicapped facility and not available to the general public. That would mean the door to the bathroom would be locked except in the case of someone unlocking it for a handicapped individual and then relocking the facility.
The second solution was to keep the restroom open to the public and reconstruct it into having steal reinforcement and a closed off public entrance to give the judge more security as she conducts her courtroom agenda.
The spokes lady sought approval from the Malvern City Council to use option one, to just simply lock the bathroom and make it handicapped accessible only.
The reason she came to the council is because the building is under the jurisdiction of the city fathers and Mayor Brenda Weldon. The mayor and council have final say so before any structural changes to the facility can be made.
Council members and mayor were agreeable to making the bathroom in question handicapped accessible only so that the $15,000 in available security monies could be used to make other changes in the courtroom, such as petition between the judge and the general public and some sort of space where fines could be collected securely without unreasonable risk of theft of money by some of the members of the public.
City Attorney Cecelia Ashcraft told the City Council that there were as many as 150 cases slated for any given 8:30 a.m. court session and this made for some very crowded proceedings with ample opportunity for the accused to get rowdy.
City Council member Larry Stiles spoke up and asked why Judge Burnett did not schedule 50 or so accused folk to be there at 8:30 a.m., 50 at another time during the day and 50 at a third time? In short, the City Council member questioned the scheduling management of the judge.
We applaud Stiles for doing this. Indeed the courtroom may need the proposed changes for better security to handle the accused as they are processed through the legal system.
But it is this editor’s opinion that Stiles had a good point. Some of the danger could be alleviated by simply making sure there was a smaller crowd limit at any given time.
There may be some legal reason that this is impossible for the judge to change. But if there is no legal reason, tapered scheduling might surely present another security change that would neutralize the situation.
We look forward to reporting on what security changes are made, as we too believe Judge Sherry Burnett and her court need adequate protection from harm as they perform their legal duties.


Gurdon Superintendent warns

decrease in students could mean cuts

Tailgate News Editor
Gurdon School Board members met Tuesday and discussed the possibility of student population going down even more and possible cut-backs on staff if it does.
Superintendent Allen Blackwell said the beginning of the year student population for the district is 710 students, a few more than at the end of the year. However, he warned that traditionally that population will decrease slightly when school has been in session for a short time.
Blackwell said, “Last year, at school’s end, the student population was 699 for the district. We had 705 for an average throughout the year. So far we have been able to handle expenses in the district by not replacing those who retire. But we have to get ready for more cutbacks if our student population continues to decrease.”
According to Blackwell, the 4-year-old pre-school population is at an all time low with 27 students. Six more are at Central Arkansas Development Corporation (CADC) pre-school, pushing the total pre-school population to 33 for this coming year. The superintendent said the 2017 senior class numbers 54 students, which means in the long run there is the distinct possibility of Gurdon graduating a class with 20 or more less students.
“Hopefully, the new Sun Paper pulpwood plant, which is to be operational in a couple of years, will increase Gurdon’s population and subsequently the student population, but just looking at the numbers more cuts in staff and improvements may be necessary do to the reduction we will incur by not getting as much money into the district for a smaller student population,” Blackwell told the School Board.
He admitted if the population down turn continues consideration is being given to reconstructing the district into two campuses instead of three.
“It would be hard because of our existing buildings, but we may to look into creating a K-6 campus and a grades 7-12,” he said.
“We will have to find some money somewhere if we are going to keep open all three schools (senior, middle and primary),” he said. “And we are going to have to come up with $10,000 to $15,000 to replace a freezer at the primary.”
Blackwell complemented administrators and school staff on doing a good job of keeping expenses to a minimum with the decrease in government monies that are awarded based on each enrolled student.
In other business, the School Board voted to replace resigning member Ed Reeves with Josh Griffin. Blackwell said he was not consulted about the replacement choice before the meeting.
Moreover, the School Board approved a discarded inventory list; approved a resolution on a polling place for board member election; discussed the School Board election timeline for 2018;
Approved the 2017-18 salary schedule with board member Elaine Halliday no and lobbying for female employees to be given equal wages to males; approved a transfer from the building account to adjust for the ending legal budget, making said ending budget at $623,000; plus the School Board approved the hiring of Kendrick Davis and Hannah Hampton. Davis was hired as a bus driver. Middle School Principal Amanda Jones aid Hampton will help out with math classes and will have certain other teaching duties.
Head Football Coach and Sports Administrator Kyle Jackson told the group the Go-Devils are ready for football action and should have a good year.
Acting Board President Bernard Hatley said the board naturally backs all of the sports programs that Go-Devils have but questioned why more fund raisers are not instigated through the basketball program?
“I am in favor of raising money for all of our sports programs but coaches need to all do their parts for each program we have.
“It is much easier to help those who help themselves,” he said.
Superintendent Blackwell said each coach, of every sport, is asked to do at least one major fund raiser per year.

Water leak leaves 200 customers in Gurdon dry Thursday;

crews fix leak on Friday

Tailgate News Editor
The City of Gurdon had a water leak Thursday that put the whole town out of water plus logging employer Georgia Pacific.
Gurdon City worker Angie Harper said the leak was being worked on at about 10:30 a.m. Thursday “and we have already received at least 200 calls from Gurdon residents who have concerns as to when we will have the water back on.”
Harper added that the crews were working with the goal of having it back on line by dark Thursday, although the leak was just discovered around 9 a.m. She said it is understandable that people fear whether they have been shut off, but that this go around has nothing to do with bills or alleged late payments.
The water came back on Friday and this editor, plus at least 200 more Gurdon residents, will most likely be eternally grateful. Mayor Sherry Kelley said boiling the water for a couple of days is a strong suggestion and a boil order for 48 hours is in effect.
“We just don’t want anyone getting sick if there is anything in our water system from fixing the leak that could cause problems,” she said.
As to Thursday, the Gurdon School system shut down at 12:30 p.m. due to the lack of water. The Central Arkansas and Development Center gave out water to those in need, as that facility was on the side of town that did not lose its water supply.
Rotarians had a discussion at noon time about the water leak. Ashley Pennington, loan officer at the Bank of Delight, said the early school pick-up for area children would be hard on parents whose kids did not ride the bus, but she totally understood why it was necessary.
Janet Purifoy, president and manager of First State Bank, echoed Pennington’s feelings. She said her bank still had water during the leak but the water pressure was very low.
“These things are going to happen,” she said. “Nobody likes it, but it is no one’s fault. We applaud the efforts of our city crew to get everything back to normal.”
Water Department manager Virginia Childres said the calls were numerous. Many water users were concerned about their bills. She assured them that all was well and that their water would come back on without any extra charges.
Again, all returned to normal on Friday. Crisis solved.

Gurdon Primary has smooth start
Tailgate News Editor
Gurdon Primary School (GPS) started accepting students for the school year at about 7:30 a.m. Monday.
Principal Rusty Manning was on hand to greet the first time students, as well as the primary school students who were returning to active duty in regard to gaining an education.
Gurdon Marshal Don Childres was at the crossing guard station to make sure the children got to school safe and sound.
Student school crossing guards will have that duty shortly, but Gurdon police will continue to be on hand to prevent speeding in a school zone and some horrible accident from happening to a child. Kids got out of cars, came in from bus routes and generally settled in to the first day of school.
Due to a city water leak, Gurdon schools dismissed early on Thursday, thus giving students in the district an expected additional afternoon of vacation.
Although Pre-K enrollment is down this year, according to Superintendent Allen Blackwell, there are still high hopes the population will increase as pulp factory workers move their families to the Gurdon district.
School Board members gave students and parents a financial break this year by paying for school supplies.
According to Blackwell, approximately 76 percent of the district’s student population qualifies for free or reduced lunches.
“People have had to move from here to find good jobs in the past,” he said. “We are hoping the construction of Sun Paper in Gum Springs will turn this around.”
The district receives some where around $3,500 a student from the government to hire staff, make school improvements or otherwise invest in the students’ educations.
“The future looks brighter for student growth in our district,” Blackwell said. “If cuts are made to deal with where we are now, we look forward to reversing those cut back in the next few years.”

Gurdon begins paving streets

Gurdon Mayor
This week we are gearing up for a state funded paving project. We applied several years ago in 2014 to receive $250,000 worth of resurfacing.
The identification of street sections to be improved has been a lengthy process beginning in 2015.
Nearly every street in Gurdon could use some attention. However $250,000 does not go far. So rather than paving whole streets, we are paving a block or two here and a few blocks there.
I expect to receive a lot of phone calls over the next few weeks as residents question why one area was chosen over another.
There is no perfect solution here since the total area paved will only be about one mile.
Population served, traffic density, proximity to major gateways and amount of damage were among the determining factors. Many important areas were left out due to the limitations. We will apply again for more resurfacing.
The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department personnel have been great to work with. Street and Water Department heads; Gary Smith and James Cox and their men have been working on ditches, culverts, manholes and more on the affected roadways.
We are nearing the construction phase on the FUN Park and we are hearing very good things about our Gurdon Business Development Center Grant. I am getting excited to begin implementing these improvements. Building on both of these projects could begin in September.


Tailgater recalls photo of star

football player making 90-yard TD

Tailgate News Editor
I have been covering Gurdon football games since August of 2004. Things have changed in the media a lot since then.
A radio station used to cover every Go-Devil game, both home and away. It allowed me to take notes and present written copies of the play by play action.
Somewhere along the line, it was apparently determined by new station owners that Gurdon was no long profitable to keep on the airways.
I was very disappointed, but bean counters will be bean counters. In other words, some people only look at the profit rather than service to a community.
More importantly, the 2017 football season is upon us and Gurdon will host two home games to kick things off at the Go-Devil stadium.
We start off at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 1 by hosting Lafayette County. Gurdon Head Coach Kyle Jackson assured folks who attended the football kickoff banquet a few weeks back that we have a great chance of beating them this year.
His words were that our 27 football players have the right stuff, have practiced hard and are going to be ready when game time comes.
The second home game will be at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 8 against Dierks. Those Outlaws are going down, according to the Gurdon fans I know.
In the closer future, Gurdon fans will get a chance to see the Go-Devils play on Tuesday, Aug. 22. That night Fouke will come to Go-Devil country for a scrimmage. Junior High School action starts at 6 p.m., with the high school teams kicking off at 7 p.m.
The first look game last week was rained out so this will also be the first opportunity for fans to check out Go-Devil skills.
I am sure us Go-Devil fans may get a chance to yell, “And that is another Go-Devil first down!”
The team motto is “Be Great.” Coach Jackson is big on encouragement, hard work and making sure his players maintain integrity and a tremendous desire to win.
At this year’s football kickoff, professional super bowl winning player Keith Jackson out of Little Rock gave the players and fans something to think about.
He said his mother said it best about keeping your head up and keeping on going no matter what the odds look like when she said, “Life is not fair. You take what you get and you go from there.”
I whole heartedly agree. Life has never been fair. It is full of challenges and we soon find out that many people do not play by the rules. They just want to win, no matter who gets hurt.
Sportsmanship is big at Gurdon. Coach Jackson believes in being tough on the field but also to be courteous. He encourages the players to go by the rules of the game.
And we are not politically correct at Gurdon. When a player is injured on the field, the team members take a knee and ask the good Lord to allow that player to get up.
Being Christian, I am proud our school still does this. My view is freedom of religion means just that. When God is ignored so are his blessings.
For more on that, read my sermons in this publication.
Getting back to the past in football at Gurdon, I was one of the few reporters former Head Coach John Pace would talk to with any frequency.
We had many good interviews together, as I now do with Coach Jackson. Coach Pace was a more private person, but he had a winning spirit and the Go-Devil record prospered under his skills and leadership.
Many times I could write my story by simply going to the post game huddle in the middle of the field. Coach Pace would go over the successes and mistakes with his players and usually lay out a game plan for winning the next one.
Football is a sport that runs deep in the blood of many Southern Arkansas residents. It is also a time when many are preparing for deer hunting season with equal or even more passion.
This is one thing I love about Southern Arkansas. The people here seem to believe in working hard as well as playing hard. Life is a question of balance and always has been. I see this enthusiasm as healthy and wise.
We at Gurdon have had some star players over the years. The recent one that comes to mind is Jackie Harvell. He has graduated and gone on to bigger and better things. But I will never forget how I got his picture at a football game a few years ago.
Harvell was running in a 90-yard touchdown for the Go-Devils and was so far ahead of the players pursuing him that he nearly came to a dead stop and posed before the TD when I yelled, “Let me get a picture!”




Malvern Council considers

court room security improvements

Tailgate News Editor
Malvern City Council members will be working with District Court Assistant Chris Beason to make the City Council meeting room/district court facility safer for the judge and others.
Beason told council members at the Monday agenda meeting there is $15,000 available to heighten security as the number of prisoners passing through the Malvern courts is on the increase and the restroom outside entrance, behind where the judge presides, has become a safety concern.
Beason said the bathroom behind the bench could become a shooting range and authorities fear for the judge’s safety if a change does not occur. The simplest solution is to lock the restroom to the public and make handicap accessible only.
The secondary solution, which would cost the better part of monies available, would be to create a steal wall where the outside entrance now is and make an entrance into the courtroom for the judge to use.
Beason presented other security plans for the money to be used for if the City Council were to opt for simply locking the outside entrance to the public. Beason said nothing has been found to confirm the necessity for a public restroom but the facility will have to be accessible to handicapped people.
“The judge has already been approached by member of the public in that restroom. She could easily be trapped in there if it is left the way it is,” Beason said. “She could even be shot.”
The security issue may be discussed further at the regular City Council meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, August 14.
In addition to bathroom security, Beason also told the group there is a need to take fine money through the court and the ladies taking the money need more safety measures.
If the restroom in question is remodeled, Councilman David Cross said there is a breaker box that must be replaced and it would cost approximately $12,000 of the $15,000 available just to replace it.
City Attorney Cecila Ashcraft said, “I had 152 cases in court today and they all had to be there at 8:30 a.m.”
The heavy case load is causing seating problems and lack of adequate security because of the sheer numbers.
Ashcraft and Beason suggested the City Council agree to installing a bar between the crowd and the judge to eliminate close contact between the public and the legal officials.
Beason said, “What it boils down to is we want the bathroom door locked to the public so we are free to use our $15,000 on other security measures.”
Mayor Brenda Weldon told council members, “The courts are using this facility but it is our building and we are the ones officially in charge of approving any changes.”
Beason said having court every day, with more and more cases to process, has caused this security concern.
Councilman Larry Stiles said, “What about scheduling some of the cases a little later in the day. Why would you have 100 plus people mandated to show up in court at 8:30 a.m.?”
Beason did not answer but affirmed that she wanted approval to lock the outside entrance to the bathroom behind the judge and make it handicapped accessible only.
The City Council agreed to let them lock the bathroom door to prevent outside entry and to put up handicapped bathroom signs if necessary.
In other business, Weldon explained why an ordinance for purchasing equipment is necessary on the City Council meeting agenda for Monday.
It may tie in with a resolution also under consideration involving a tax break program for Arkansas Stave and Barrel.
“We are going to have a business that needs to buy some equipment for the old DLM plant called Arkansas Stave and Barrel and they need equipment to make whiskey barrels,” she said.
This will mean 25 new jobs in Malvern that pay between $13 and $25 an hour, according to the mayor.
Weldon said, “Arkansas Stave and Barrel has a 501 3 C so we have waved sales tax on the equipment they will purchase.”
Other agenda items will include: an ordinance to change the regular City Council meeting time from 7 to 6:30 p.m.; an amendment ordinance to change the school zone speed limit in Malvern to 25 mph in order to use existing signs; an ordinance for purchasing equipment, second reading; an ordinance levying taxes for 2018;
A discussion on special pay to the Walthall Law Firm because of a pending legal battle with Rockport over a Dollar General store and other matters;
A Republic Services agreement and a discussion on plans for using the sales tax money in the wisest manner, as said tax money will start January 1, 2018.
City Attorney Cecilia Ashcraft is a member of the Walthall Law Firm and presented the special circumstances around the pending Rockport legal battle over whether the new Dollar General belongs to Rockport or Malvern.
She said the case is taking many hours but she feels certain the Circuit Court will declare the resolution by Rockport declaring taxable ownership of the store to be invalid.


CD&E plans Forest Festival,

pageant to take place Oct. 14

Tailgate News Editor
The Community Development and Entertainment (CD&E) club of Gurdon met Tuesday to begin organizing the 2017 Forest Festival.
It will be the 37th year for the event, always held on the last Saturday in October. Mayor Emeritus Clayton Franklin is the president of the club, with Heather Nolan in charge of entertainment recruitment and the Forest Festival Beauty Pageant.
City Hall office worker Angie Harper is the secretary of CD&E and her public office at City Hall is the easiest point of public contact for questions or to pick up a T-Shirt.
The beauty pageant will be held this year at 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 14 in the Cabe Auditorium. Interested parties should pick up entry blanks and pay entry fees at Gurdon City Hall or contact pageant chairman Nolan directly.
Advertising recruitment is under way for having your business name on the back of a Forest Festival T-Shirt. This year’s shirts will be red.
If you are interested in having your business name on the back of a Forest Festival shirt, contact Angie Harper at City Hall.
Shirts should be in early this year, Harper said. If you want to be red-shirted for the festival, the cost per shirt for 2017 is $15.
Harper is sending letters to all who sponsored the shirts last year. The cost to have your business name on a Forest Festival T-Shirt remains at $175.
Contact Harper ASAP as print deadline will be set soon. Harper said last year’s shirts had 22 business sponsors.
In other business, Nolan told the group the carnival company has added some new rides this year. Cost to the CD&E club will be approximately $7,000 so donations would be appreciated.
President Franklin said, “Last year’s rides cost us $4,500, but it is worth every penny to see the kids have such a good time.
“Our Forest Festival rides will remain free to the public.”
Nolan said this year’s rides will include a new bounce house, new swings and a bungee jump. There will also be a big slide.
Moreover, the CD&E club is working on having another scavenger hunt for Gurdon this year and logging professionals are already volunteering for the logging show.
Shuffield Music, of Arkadelphia, has committed to being in charge of the sound system for the Main Street stage.
Pageant winners and guests will once again be invited to ride in the annual Forest Festival Parade, slated for 10 a.m. on Saturday, October 28.
The next meeting of the organizational committee of the Gurdon CD&E club will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 22 at the Gurdon City Hall. New CD&E members are welcome and encouraged to join.

First Day of School

Aug. 14, smile kids…

Tailgate News Editor
Miguel Paramo was in Pre-K last year and just starting his career in public school.
He seemed happy enough about the whole thing and glad for the new activity.
School will start this year on Monday, August 14. School population for Gurdon has dropped some so money is tight.
But superintendent Allen Blackwell is optimistic the numbers will go back up due to the new pulpwood factory that is supposed to be operational in two years at Gum Springs.
School usually takes up at 8 a.m. but to catch a few first timers for the 2017-2018 school year, this reporter plans to be at Gurdon Primary School by 7:30 a.m.
It is an exciting day for the first time students as well as for their parents. The PDFs on this web site are always free to copy for your scrapbook so have at it.
The newcomers face Pre-School, kindergarten and 12 years of public school. At the onset, with all the other kids around, it looks like a walk in the park.

Football Facts


Editors Note: This is the fifth of a 5 part series of a column by Gurdon High School football coach Kyle Jackson. The articles will deal with information on the upcoming football season as well as a look back at some facts and stats about Go Devil football history. These stats come from the post season booklet prepared for each player.
COMING EVENTS: Meet the Devils- August 14th @ 7 p.m.
COACHES CORNER: We finished up our second week of fall camp this past week. We made some definite strides in the right direction. Hopefully we can continue to do so all the way up until the first game on September 1st. I would like to commend every young man that has been there each and every day of August camp. We have been blessed with great weather this year, but it is still a grind that not many 15-17 year old boys can make it through. They deserve to be applauded for their commitment and effort.
SENIOR SPOTLIGHT: Cole Dill- Cole plays fullback and linebacker for the Go-Devils. He has been a steady hand for us for the past 3 years and we are counting on him having his best season yet as a senior.
Jose Chacon- Jose does a terrific job handling the kicking duties for the Go-Devils. We are also counting on his experience to help us out in the secondary as well as in the receiving corps.
2016 SCOUTING REPORT: Week 9: Haskell Harmony Grove – Week 9 bring the Cardinals to Go-Devil stadium for senior night. Gurdon lost a nail biter last year 20-28 to Haskell. Coach Calley will have his squad of more than 60 players fired up and ready for the conference showdown. Haskell is led by senior quarterback Hunter Hilson for their 2017 campaign.
Week 10: Glen Rose.- The Go-Devils will travel in week 10 of the season up the road to Glen Rose. The Beavers lost a good group of seniors off last year’s team but they will reload and again have a physical squad to be reckoned with. This week 10 match up could very well have serious playoff seeding implications on the line.
WORD OF THE WEEK: Persistence- firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.
THOUGHT OF THE WEEK: “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
RECORD SECTION: If anyone sees anything that needs correcting please call the GHS football office. 870-353-4454. Ext. 145.
Team: Least penalized teams: 1. 2000- 58…………2. 2015-58…………3. 1997-61………….4.2014-68…………5. 1999-68
Defensive total rushing yards allowed- 1. 1997-1091 yards………2. 2000-1458…………..3.2012-1503………..4. 1999-1561
Individual: Rushing yardage in a career- 1. Jackie Harvell- 4,299 yards…………..2. Austin Kirkpatrick- 2588…………………3. Brannon Hatley- 2494………….4 Chauncey Charles-2005
Tackles in a season- 1. John Clemons- (2014) -135………….2. Aaron Taylor (2012) 107……………3. Jackson Kirkpatrick (2013) 107………..4. Aaron Taylor (2011) 103……………5. Kaleb Williams (1996) 100
AWARDS SECTION: 2011- All District- Austin Kirkpatrick, AJ Brown, Jujuan Marks, Aaron Taylor
All State: AJ Brown, JuJuan Marks
SUPPORT STAFF: This week we would like to recognize our administration in the Gurdon School District. They provide all the tools and resources we need to be successful in our sports programs. We would also like to recognize and thank all the fans and supporters who come out and watch the Go-Devils on Thursday and Friday nights. The last groups of people associated with any high school football program are the critics and locker room lawyer know-it- alls. We will recognize them in a later edition!!!!

Tailgater looks forward

to Monday game at Gurdon

Tailgate News Editor
If I have my dates straight, about 7 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 14, Head Coach Kyle Jackson will proudly present the 2017 football playing Go-Devils for public inspection on the Go-Devil Stadium field.
It will be my first opportunity for the season to get a photo of some players that I hope to write many winning game reports about.
Just from attending the football kick-off banquet a couple of weeks back, I am convinced our new crew of players will have a winning record this year.
As a long-time reporter, I am very glad about this. It will make my job a lot easier.
I am excited about seeing them play Lafayette County and on into the season. Coach Kyle has assured me and the rest of our town that his team will be ready for action.
We are facing, once again, being in a conference that we do not fit in as a town our size. Coach Jackson says that will change after this season, as the powers that be realize they made a mistake.
We were put in this conference because of bus travel time. This is just one more example of bean counters. They did not care about the players. They cared about the bottom line.
But the Go-Devils are strong this year. If we can avoid a lot of injuries, we can win a lot of games.
As to advice from this old Tailgater, fans show up. Show up and help our very competent cheerleaders get these players hipped up that the town is behind them.
It is indeed true that it takes a village to raise a boy right. Let’s be that village and make sure the Go-Devils know it.
Show up. Join Booster Club and put your money where you mouth is if you have any to contribute.
I know our team can do this. But those players will need a big fan section shouting, “That is good enough for another Go-Devil first down!”
Coach Jackson said it well. A well loved football team with a winning record, improves any community.

Prescott reporter talks

to ball playing grandma

Tailgate News Reporter
Marion Helen Nelson, 87, has lived in Prescott as far as she can remember ask her life.
Her life was mostly about loving and supporting kids and grand kids. She said playing ball with them was the most fun!
She has worked in chicken houses, a nursing home for a little bit. She raised crickets on a bait farm for 10 years and as a home health nurse for 10 years until she got sick and had to quit.
She was also a house wife.
Grandma has had three heart attacks. She has had two cancer surgeries. She has had 1 stroke.
Her more recent illness was the stroke. She was in the hospital from Christmas of 2016 to February of 2017. Marion Nelson is on social security and only gets $16 a month on food stamps.
She is being cared for by her children and one of her grandchildren.
She has home health nurses and therapists coming out to be sure she continues to progress in regaining full muscle control.
She has 12 children from 2 previous marriages. There were 7 boys and 5 girls. The kids are as follows: Nelly Jewel, Eugene Cooper, George Cooper, Raymond Cooper, Jackie Cooper, Ora Faye Griffin, John Cooper, Jerry Cooper, Helen Berry, Betty Sanders, Patsy Sandford and James Dickson. She also raised one grandson named William Eugene Cooper.
Her late husband was Delmar Nelson. He passed away several years ago from a collapsed lung caused by smoking. Delmar was a carpenter.
Marion is a Christian woman. She is very kind hearted. If someone needed help, she would do her best. She is a happy lady and the sweetest person to be around.
Her ball playing days with the kids bring a smile to her face.
The doctors and nurses do a great job of making sure she is all right but she sure would like to get out of bed and play some more ball!

Looking forward
to next time…
The winds of time
are rolling in.
It is time to move
it along.

I think on the past,
look around my world and still can sing my song.

I am a man with
many dreams, many have come true. But the best is yet to come my friends, for me and for you.
The first time I thought of simple plans, I understood quite well. My grandfather lived until 96 and never his dreams did he sell.

He always told me I will be such and such old next year. He lived every moment God gave him and held his life quite dear.

And so it is with me my friends, I will be here till I am not. But while I am still here, I see no point in laying on a cot.


Gurdon Coach predicts

winning season for 27

ready Gurdon Go-Devils

Tailgate News Editor
Head football coach Kyle Jackson addressed players, parents and friends at the annual football kickoff banquet last Thursday saying the formula for greatness in a football team involves head, hustle and heart “and its not changing.”
Coach Jackson said the G on his 27-member football team this fall stands for Greatness rather than just Gurdon because Gurdon players stand for Greatness and hard work pays off.
Following the banquet, his senior team got involved with an all night practice, which was to end when the sun came up.
“Not all 27 of our senior team will make it through the many practices between now and September but when that first game starts, we will have the right kids on the field,” he said.
The Go-Devils will host two home games to start the season this year, with Lafayette County coming to Gurdon on Friday, Sept. 1 and Dierks coming to town on Sept. 8. Game times will be at 7 p.m.
Gurdon will host arch rival Prescott this year at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29 in the Go-Devil Stadium.
“We have a group of senior team Go-Devil players who are ready to win some football games,” Coach Jackson said.
“They are sick and tired of hearing about what happened last year and ready to turn things around. Believe me, we will be ready for Prescott.”
On Sept. 25, the Go-Devils will travel to Bearden. Coach Jackson said that game will be the toughest to win in the first half of their season “but I believe we can win!”
Week four is another away game aganst Horatio. Coach Jackson said they will go there to get a win and that is that.
Coach Jackson told the crowd, “We want to be the best small school program in the state of Arkansas. We are not there yet, but we will get there.”
Jackson said the goal can be reached but it will take fans and everybody in town having the vision.
He said a top rate high school football team makes a better school and even makes the town itself better.
He thanked many groups for being behind the Go-Devils, such as School Board members, the superintendent, the principals, teachers and “a fine group of assistant coaches working with our young men on these football teams.”
“A special thanks to our booster club members and Anita Cabe, who made it possible for Green Bay Packer Super bowl winner Keith Jackson to speak to our kids.
“By the way, your younger eighth grade players are the giants of the weight room and coming on stronger every day!” Coach Jackson said.

Gurdon Council raises

water bill reconnect fee

Tailgate News Editor
The Gurdon City Council voted Monday to raise the reconnect fees for those residents who have had their water shut off because of non-payment.
The traditional reconnect fee of $25 will still apply to the first time a disconnect happens, but on the second time the fee will be $35 and every subsequent reconnection will cost water customers $50 to get service turned back on.
Mayor Sherry Kelley and council members have considered this change for several months and the action was taken because water department workers are “spending too much time turning off water and then turning it right back on when they could be out fixing leaks and making other improvements to the Gurdon water system.”
In other business, the City Council voted to give easement and right away to Mt. Canaan Church in regard to a city alley that was designed to access the old Bell High School but is not being used. The alley is surrounded by church property and church officials plan to construct an additional parking lot over it.
Moreover, Mayor Kelley gave an update on water tank and sewer line repairs that have been accomplished with the $12,000 a month increase in water department revenue due to the recent $5 a month rate hike in Gurdon water bills.
Mayor Kelley said, “We paid half of the water tank repairs on Red Springs Road and we will pay the other half with next month’s revenues.”
Kelley said the $36,000 in court fees the Gurdon incurs per year is being paid by other city cut backs and the increase in water revenue is being used to improve the water and sewer system.
The mayor said she was proud of the way a 2016 city audit came out and said this year the city has been forgiven a $27,000 debt on the old First National Bank building on Main Street.
“It looks like our grant will make it possible for that First National Bank building to be used for training business entrepreneurs, starting this November,” she said.
“The USDA grant is for $55,000 and with that $27,000 debt forgiven we should reach our goals in regard to restoring the old bank.”
Kelley stressed that her grant applications do not include any matching funds and Gurdon is not overextended in any way.
In other business, the mayor said local welder David Williams is starting work on football and soccer poles at the new pee wee football and soccer field next to Gurdon Park.
“We plan to watch many games there in the near future,” she said. “Work is also continuing on acquiring a grocery store for Gurdon.”
Mayor Kelley mentioned there will be an eclipse of the sun during the last part of August and encouraged residents to not risk eye injury by looking at it without protective eye wear.
She noted a $6,200 expense incurred recently by the city for fixing sewer and pipeline.
“We are finding good solutions for fixing pipeline that is nearly 100 years old,” she said. “Some of it was installed in 1921.”


Gurdon mayor notes

continuing improvements

Kelley continues
improving Gurdon
SEWER SOLUTIONS – After spending most of last week with our friends from Arkansas Rural Water Association and Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality we have identified some solutions to a couple of sewer issues.
Most of the repairs can be accomplished by Gurdon Water Department’s James Cox (manager), Ricky Evins and J. D. Smith.
Our repairs will alleviate the immediate problem in two sections of town for two of our customers. Considering that some of our sewer lines are nearly 100 years old, it is a blessing that we have so few problems.
Even though they affect so few, it is important to us. We have been working on this for more than a year and we are glad to have a definitive answer.
But that still leaves us with antiquated lines and manholes in several areas. We are still investigating a third sewer problem that has also been our focus for many months.
We have made some real progress and we are continuing to make sure things run smoothly. I will be searching for grant money to update and replace sewer lines as we move forward.
I will be reaching out to a number of agencies and state officials and this will be an ongoing effort. We are proactive and will be working again in August with Rural Water to smoke test our sewer lines in town.
Gurdon students will be back in school on August 14. This year there will not be a school supply list to fill. All the necessary items will be furnished at the schools.
That’s a great help to parents and I want to thank everyone who is involved in making this possible. This week the Gurdon Street Department will take down our summertime red, white and blue banners and replace them with the purple and gold Gurdon Public Schools and Gurdon Go-Devil Banners.
Local welder, David Williams is starting work on the football goal posts and soccer goals for our new field at the Gurdon City Park.
The bleachers are in place and we are looking forward to seeing some good games very soon.
Arkadelphia Chamber Alliance’s Shelley Loe and Ouachita Baptist University’s Dr. Wesley Kluck were in town Friday to get some new photos for the Clark County Relocation Guide.
They took photos at the city park, The Market On Main and the walking trail. We appreciate their generous assistance.
Every summer, in August, the Persieds Meteor Shower occurs. It is the best one of the year. The highest rates of viewing these shooting stars will be on Saturday, August 12.
Looking toward the North or Northeast, there may be as many a 60 to 70 an hour. Peak time should be around 1 a.m.
Every year I have watched from my backyard in Gurdon. This year I’m asking for your help.
Do you know of a nearby place without street or other outdoor lights? If you have a good recommendation give me a call at (870) 406-1396.

Prescott reporter

loves being a mom

How to be a mommy
By Danielle Cooper
Tailgate News Reporter

How to be a mommy
Is hard
Is fun
Is scary
Is hilarious

How to be a mommy
You gotta deal with fussiness
You get to play
You got to deal with illnesses
You got to be in control

How to be a mommy
Life may not always be the way you want it.
Life may not always be easy.

Just remember that your child loves you no matter what you do, they depend on you for everything. They need you to be their rock and foundation.

We can’t break down because we are the basis for our children to grow on.



NFL football player

brings encouragement

to Gurdon Go-Devils

Tailgate News Editor
Legendary Football Hall of Famer, 1991 Green Bay Packers Super Bowl winner, 1988 Little Rock alumni and alumni of the University of Oklahoma Keith Jackson revealed his football success secrets to Gurdon Go-Devil players, coachs and fans on Thursday at the GHS Football kickoff banquet saying, “Many years ago I told my mother I was going to the NFL and buy her a house.”
Jackson, who is the founder of Posing Achievement Reaches Kids (PARK), a non-profit organization designed to help young people achieve their goals in Little Rock, is also a successful post professional football player sports broadcaster. He said his football career started in his early youth when his coach offered to buy him a pop sickle to play football.
“He had to give me two pop sickles, then I started playing football and never looked back,” Jackson told his Go-Devil audience. “Football was my goal. When you set your goal, you have got to find a system to achieve it, then set the wheels in motion and do the hard work it takes to reach that goal. Once those wheels are in motion, never give up.”
Jackson told the players, coaches and fans at Gurdon, “When you have faith, you can accomplish anything.”
Jackson told the Gurdon group you get great team mates in life and working as a team unit helps create the formula for success in football, broadcasting or whatever your goal happens to be.
“You get your excitement going toward your success, but you can not succeed by stepping on the other guy’s toes,” he said.
He used the Louisiana State University Tigers as a football team example of “playing mean sometimes without reason.”
“They have a philosophy that everyone is Tiger bait and teach it to their young people at an early age,” Jackson said. “I recall meeting a father from there and his 6-year-old boy who was being taught to call everyone not on their team tiger bait.
“The youngster took one look at me and did not say his line, saying to his dad instead, but he is a big one dad!”
Jackson said football is a mirror of the realities found in every aspect of life.
“I compare my life to things that happen on the field. In football, and in life, we all get knocked down,” he said.
“That is not the tragedy. The tragedy is not getting back up.”
Jackson said yesterday may have been a bad, but tomorrow is a new day! He said technique and leverage were two more keys to success. Careful study and faith lead to that light bulb coming on!
“It is the same thing in life. If you get your fundamentals down, you will find that is so important to reaching goals,” he said.
“If we worked more on fundamentals in life, we would all be better human beings.”
He used ESPN sports network coverage as an example of not looking at the whole picture before making a fundamentally sound decision about opponents.
“On ESPN, you get to see about six plays of a game,” he said. “People judge a whole game, which has about 70 plays, after taking a look at just those six plays. This is not a realistic picture of what happens in a football game.”
Jackson stressed the importance of what is achieved in a collection of effort during those 70 plays, saying, “What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.”
To win in football, or life, he said, it means enduring hard work in the process, without quitting no matter how hard it gets.
But what we achieve through hard work, endurance and determination, we value on and off the field. Life is not about “I,” it is about cooperation and working as a team unit to achieve a common goal through a group effort.
Jackson said his mother has a quote he can not forget. She says, “Life is not easy. Life is not fair. You take what you get and then take it from there.”
“Go-Devils, as you endure those 110 degree summer practices in preparing for your season, think of my experiences in a Super Bowl. There is nothing like playing in a Super Bowl. As the clock comes down, you get excited,” he said.
“All your hard work is put in motion. Your Green Bay Packers Super Bowl win begins now, as this is your journey.”


Benton Beauty Academy

has 100 percent success

in getting students licensed

Tailgate News Editor
Benton Beauty Academy, at 920 East Edison Ave, Section 8, has been in operation six years without anyone who took the written and practical state exams to become a licensed cosmetologist ever failing to get licensed.
Owner and director Misty Wright said she is also proud of the additional training offered by the academy “so these students can broaden their horizons and make more money in their careers.”
Those additional services include: mink inu lashes, spray tans, chemical peels and kinetic derm abrasions. All services are performed by students under the supervision of an instructor and are done with quality at an affordable rate.
“No other school that I am aware of offers these services to benefit students to increase their future incomes,” the owner said.
Wright said two ways to finance attending her programs are through Arkansas Rehabilitation Services or a Veteran’s Administration portal. A VA portal is the specific facility assigned to a certain veteran based on his or her residential location.
“You can also work your way through our school and pay so much a month,” she added.
Three main courses are offered: cosmetology, nail technician and aesthetics.
Classes start the first Tuesday of every month. Wright said since hers is a small school, students receive a lot of one on one instruction, which helps keep that 100 percent state boards passing rate in tact.
Hours of operation at Benton Beauty Academy are: Tuesday thru Friday, 9:45 a.m. until 5 p.m.; and Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.
As to student attendance, gaining the hours necessary to take the state tests can be achieved by going to school part-time or full-time. The school is flexible to allow students to hold jobs or meet family obligations.
Wright said, “We also have extra class opportunities available with additional certifications. The state board preparation classes are in place for all students.”
She said the academy offers a course in introduction to careers, on going communication and school staff members help students make progress in their goals and discover new options.
Wright said finding additional financing to go to her school can sometimes be achieved through Arkansas Workforce for qualified individuals. If you are on unemployment, you may sign up to attend a qualified school or vocational school. Cosmetology and Benton Beauty Academy meet those requirements.
As to Arkansas Rehabilitation Services funding for the beauty school, you must sign up in the county where you live.
Prospective students may apply online at www.aref.org/loan for Arkansas Rural Endowment Fund available monies.
Wright encourages those interested in attending Benton Beauty Academy to call her at: 501-860-6100.


Gurdon mayor involved

in Gurdon Light film

Last week’s filming of the documentary about Arkansas Legends including the Gurdon Light went well. Independent filmmakers Amy and Jason Mansfield made the project fun.
We filmed at The Market On Main, the Gurdon Light storefront next door, the mural and on the trail to the Gurdon Light. Besides the Mansfields and myself, Russell Butler and Chance Russell relayed their experiences while viewing the light.
The film we made will be submitted to PBS for an October air date if all goes well. The Fouke Monster and White River Monster will round out the three legends featured in the film. On a side note: I’ve been working for over a year with some great people on a proper Gurdon Light Trail. If the plan comes to fruition, I will be sure to let you know.
The Gurdon Pee Wee Football players and cheerleaders held a car wash fundraiser last weekend. My dog, Spot, and I stopped by to make a donation. The little cheerleaders took a shine to Spot and the dog patiently stood still as the little girls gave her a bath. It was a lot of fun. Those are some great kids and parents. It looks like this will be the year that the teams will play some games on the new field at the park. Local welder, David Williams, plans to have the goal posts completed by football season.
As a board member of the Southwest Arkansas Regional Intermodal Authority, I look forward to our quarterly meeting this week. One of our focuses will be the rail line to the Sun Bio Tech facility. This is an exciting time for our area.
Also this week, I will meet at The Market On Main with April Campbell, a Community Development Specialist with the Arkansas Institute of Economic Development at University of Arkansas Little Rock. This will be the first of what I hope will be many meetings. It will be an honor to team with her and have the resources of UALR in our corner as we work to better our community.
We are continuing to work on our infrastructure. The Gurdon Water Department along with Texas Aqua Store and Ron Penny Construction, have already completed two major projects at a cost of nearly $90,000 for repairs and maintenance to the water tank on Red Springs Road and the replacement of a manhole and 100 feet of sewer main in town. Gurdon, like nearly every other city in Arkansas, has aging water and sewer lines. This week we have enlisted Arkansas Rural Water Association’s Jeff Ford to help us take a closer look at our sewer lines with Rural Water’s camera truck and vacuum truck and the technicians who operate them.
Also partnering with Gurdon is Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality’s Red Smith. We are working hard to provide the best service to our customers, the citizens of Gurdon.The summer heat continues as we go through the dog days of summer. It’s important to keep watch of your own well being and of those around you. That includes the elderly and pets. Come to City Hall if you want or need a place to cool off.
In a few weeks on Monday, August 21, Arkansas will experience a partial solar eclipse. In Gurdon, it will begin at 11:47 a.m. and continue until 2:46 p.m. with maximum eclipse at 1:18 p.m. The only safe way to directly view this event is with certified eclipse glasses that meet the international standard of IS0 12312-2 and to follow all the directions.
I trust that as we near the date the media will make these and other safety measures well known to the public. Gurdon Public Schools go back in session on Monday, August 14. So that will definitely help with safety.
In addition to keeping our children safe through school personnel influence, we are working hard to give them an additional playground. Many stringent requirements accompany the FUN Parks grant and we will adhere to all of them. We hope to be able to advertise for bids this week.

Life for poor folks…

By Danielle Cooper
Tailgate News Reporter
When your living the poor life, it is hard. It adds even more stress when you add a toddler to the mix.
You have to constantly worry about; am I going to have enough money for food, am I going to have enough money for our light bill and many other things like that. The beginning of this month was one of those times that really hit home to me.
We received our light bill for this month and we were gathering the money the best we could. The light bill was due on July 15.
The city workers came on the 10th and turned off our lights due to us missing $35 on last month’s bill. We didn’t realize we had forgotten it. Luckily our toddler was at his grandparent’s out of town for the week when the lights got turned off.
We didn’t have it right off so I called my mother and asked her to keep our son for a few more days until we got our lights back on.
We went to Bois D’arc Lake and pitched our tent for a couple of days until we could get the money.
My husband had to pawn our boat to get the money to pay the bill. We had to pay $65 once you add the $20 reconnect fee.
It took two days to get our lights back on. Once we got the lights paid, we went to my parents and got our son. Then we had to figure out how to get this month’s bill of almost $200 paid for before the due date.
Thank God that at the beginning of this month we received a paper in the mail from a group known as SWADC. They help out folks like us by paying part of, if not all, of our light bill maybe once or twice a year.
After our lights got turned on, we had to figure our what we were going to eat. All of our meat had thawed out, our son’s milk ruined and all our other refrigerated items ruined.
So I had to go to the food pantry here in town by the first Baptist Church to get a few items.
It turned out, again by God’s Grace, they had a pallet of boxes of whole chickens. I happened to get there in time to get a box before they ran out.
So I sent my husband to go get the box because I was on my bicycle. When he got back, we began to bag the chicken up for separate meals.
There were 10 chickens so we had enough for 20 meals. Now we have to worry about getting our boat out of pawn along with paying all our other bills. With my husband and I both on SSI, we are on a very limited income. So getting our bills paid along with having enough for everything else for our toddler is a challenge. The pull ups, wipes, spot chops, soap, and many other things that we all need throughout the month are very hard to come by.
Editor’s Note – Danielle Cooper, staff reporter, has a disability that stops her from driving efficiently. Her husband was a roofer and fell off of a roof, which caused his physical disability.
The couple has a healthy toddler and they reside in Prescott, Arkansas. They regularly seek part-time work to add to their very limited income.





Tailgate News will vacate;

next issue July 28, 2017

Tailgate News Editor
It is that time of year again. I will shut the magazine down for a week to explore new things and hopefully do a little fishing.
Tailgate News magazine has now been in publication since May of 2007. We converted it to a digital weekly in 2012, with 49 issues a year becoming the norm for the Friday weekly in January of 2013 on this web site.
Our goal has been to present Christian testimonies, encouraging news from Gurdon, Malvern, Arkadelphia and Prescott and for this editor to continue a career in the profession of journalism, which he started in 1980.
So far so good. With the blessings of the community fathers and mothers, and a fairly consistent advertising base, the publication has survived. We keep track of readership on the Facebook widget system.
To date, the average weekly readership is around 3,500, with our highest count being a Christmas issue in 2014 when 8,300 site hits came up on our records!
As the editor always says, there is no use in writing unless someone reads it. We intend to continue trying to be a useful as a reliable news source for our readers. The publication will return on Friday, July 28.
In many cases, writers are not writers by choice of lifestyle. Hard times are familiar to many of us. But the profession continues to be enjoyable to this editor. Keeping track of current events, sports star and the like serves the public in a scrapbook way that many modern venues of information no longer do. We are glad to provide it and hope you all have a great summer!


Malvern pays $35,000

for genealogy house

Tailgate News Editor
The Malvern City Council passed a request Monday to reimburse $35,000 for the purchase of a genealogical house next to the Hot Spring County Library.
Clare Graham, a chief in the library system, said the house was purchased two years ago with the help of a donation from the estate of Jessie Ashford. The librarian said there is a genealogical committee, headed by funeral director John Allan Funk.
She said with the City Council approving the money the building can now be repaired and used for the purpose for which it was intended.
“The more we examine the house, the more repairs that we realize must be done to get it fully functional as a genealogical annex. This is a happy day for those of us who care about the study of genealogy,” Graham said.
The Hot Spring County genealogy house is located at 219 South Ash Street in Malvern.
In other business, City Council members passed a resolution adopting the Hot Spring County mitigation plan.
This was necessary to be sure emergency workers are on the same page in case facilities like Hot Spring County school systems are ever under threat from hazardous materials.
Moreover, the council also authorized Mayor Brenda Weldon to sign task agreements with crisis engineers for water works improvements. An ordinance approving a time change for City Council meetings from 7 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. was approved on its second reading and awaits final approval and confirmation at the August meeting of the council.
Although invited to attend the meeting, a medical marijuana dispensary advocate did not attend.
She had been on the agenda for City Council consideration at last week’s agenda meeting, which she also chose to skip.
A discussion at the agenda meeting indicated that the new medical marijuana law passing could change things in Malvern.
Police Chief Donnie Taber said the distribution of medical marijuana is a $200 million per year business. He believes if it comes to Malvern the government will allow the city to collect taxes on the dispensing of the previously illegal drug.
Chief Taber said, “We could have a public vote that would make a dispensary for medical marijuana illegal still in Malvern, but I have a feeling that will not happen.
“I want to go on record as saying Malvern has values that I do not necessarily understand.
“I mean it looks like it is going to still be illegal to buy a beer in city limits but it will soon be fine to buy a joint.”
Council woman Ashcraft, a retired nurse, said she is waiting on more information about the proposed Malvern medical marijuana dispensary – as she might be interested in an investment.
Mayor Weldon said the new law allows a limited number of medical marijuana dispensaries for each district in Arkansas.
“We are allowed four dispensaries in our district,” she said,”but each district covers a large amount of ground.”
Weldon said a representative of the proposed Malvern medical marijuana dispensary must come to the City Council to gain approval for the projects within city limits.
In regard to their being a legal city tax on the dispensary, Weldon pointed to Colorado, saying “they have to do things as a cash business and there are a lot of problems.”
Although the dispensary must seek a vote from the City Council, Mayor Weldon said the only thing that can really stop it from coming to the city is a vote by the people.
The City Council vote will simply be a show of approval or disapproval by the city government. The vote will carry no real weight.
Weldon added that only five marijuana growing stations will be authorized statewide.
“This is simply too new for all of the laws to be clear at this point,” she said.
The August City Council agenda meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, August 7.

Florida Days; Chapter 5 – Respecting Alfonzo

Tailgate News Editor
My adventures back in 1979 and 1980 were not without help. A mysterious body guard, who I always referred to as Alfonzo, seemed to have my back at all times.
If I was conducting a spin to help a young lady, Alfonzo was close by. He was a large black man with a big smile. But what I really remember about Alfonzo that sticks out was his hand in my escape from Florida.
The time was toward the end of my journey in Florida, probably the spring of 1980. I found myself in a facility that was not a mental hospital and not a jail, but it was some sort of government holding tank.
I had probably done 30 or more spins at that time. I had also been approached by the police to see if I wanted to train at Cape Canaveral and go full time on the force. I told them I wanted to return to Indiana and finish my degree and thanked them for their invitation.
So then I was taken to this holding tank facility. I met a guy there that claimed to be the head of the United States mafia.
He said his name was Homer Peacon. To get to Mr. Peacon, I was taken through a series of underground tunnels.
Once before the man, I was asked if I would like to train to be a leader in their organization. Mr. Peacon told me what that would be like before I could answer.
He said he had to have body guards to even walk across the street to get a cup of coffee at a cafe.
He talked of being a truck driver of Spanish descent, letting me know that money and power were not very good substitutes for being free to do as one wants to do in day to day life. I listened respectfully with probably 10 scary looking men surrounding me. I realized I might just be in over my head in this situation and that honesty was my only defense weapon.
When Homer finished his speech, he asked me what I thought of the idea of joining organized crime and training for his position some day? My words came slowly, but the following is about what I had to say.
“Homer, I am 20 years old. I have never been married, never known the joy of being in love or hearing the cry of my first baby at the hospital. And when I came down here to Florida, I promised my grandparents I would come home and finish college. I want to do that very much.”
The man called Homer Peacon had serious physical disabilities. He did not look capable of arising from his chair. But he looked at me, apparently deep in thought. Finally, he spoke these words to me.
“I make this decision out of respect for John and Marvel (the names of my grandparents who raised me that I did not know he knew). Because of all they are, and you are their only grandchild, I will let you leave this place alive,” Peacon said.
“You will be allowed to go home.”
As soon as this man finished talking, the group of men around me took me back down the tunnels. They turned me loose at the end of the tunnels and I saw Alfonzo’s face.
He told me to come with him. I did and he took me back to a hotel-like room. He told me not to worry and to be ready to travel at 2 a.m.
I told him I would be ready. At exactly 2 a.m., he came to my room dressed in a suit. He asked me to turn around and placed handcuffs on me. Then he took me to a limo and I got in. We went to Tampa Airport and got on a plane to Dayton, Ohio.
Once airborne, Alfonzo took the handcuffs off. He talked to me about my farm in Indiana.
He thanked me for my help in the fight against white slavery. We laughed and joked, reliving some of the old spins.
Once we got to Dayton, Alfonzo told me to go home and be happy. I got off the plane and my grandfather was waiting on me.
He was in his late 80’s but still able to drive and such just fine.
His words to me were, “Johnny, you take the keys. You know I don’t like driving at night.”
Alfonzo got back on the plane and waved to us. I know that this chapter might have been better suited for closer to the end of this account, but in order for you the reader to understand what happens next, you need to at least explore the possibility that I am telling you the truth.
Those wanting to continue using my talents as a spinner did not give up. I write this to you at 58 years old. Frankly, I never expect them to give up as long as I am able-minded and able-bodied enough to pick up where I left off.
Of course, with the passage of time, many things change. If I were to spin in our modern world, I would need to study the habits of folks now in their teens and 20s in 2017.
And I would need a lot more training to be a part of a modern police department sting operation. You never know, I just might take them up on it if asked.
But in our next chapter, we will go back in time to a spin that happened after I started to return to college.
As it was the last spin until I re-entered the world in another form last year, it is very clear in my mind. Be sure and find out what happens in the spin in Indianapolis.

Football Previews; Go-Devils

Football Facts
Editors Note: This is the second of a 5 part series of a column by Gurdon High School football coach Kyle Jackson.
The articles will deal with information on the upcoming football season as well as a look back at some facts and stats about Go Devil football history.
These stats come from the post season booklet prepared for each player.
COMING EVENTS: Senior High weights: July 17,18,20 @ 7:30 am. QB School July 21st @ 6:30 am. QB/WR school @ 9:00 am… Jr Weights July 17,20 @ 10:00am
COACHES CORNER: We started back our summer workouts last week preparing for the upcoming season. Overall we had a great turnout each day of young men committed to getting better each day.
Although, we still have a few who have to realize the dedication it takes to prepare and perform as a champion.
Hopefully this week will bring 100% attendance of hungry Go-Devils working their tails off to get better.
SENIOR SPOTLIGHT: Thomas Muldrow will be a senior quarterback for the Go-Devils this fall. He was chosen to wear the #3 for the 2016 season. We are counting on him to lead the Go-Devils to a successful year in 2017.
KJ Tidwell will be a 3 year starter at cornerback for the Go-Devils. KJ also plays a big role in the receiving corps on the offensive side of the ball. We are expecting KJ to play a huge role on both sides of the ball for his senior year.
2016 SCOUTING REPORT: Week 3: The Go-Devils will hit the road for the final non-conference game of 2017 as they travel to Bearden. The Bears were able to squeak out a 14-11 win over Gurdon last year.
The Go-Devils will have their hands full containing Bearden’s senior QB Tyler Berry. He is a dual threat QB that makes their offense go. The Bears will also feature an offensive line that averages over 280 pounds. We have had some great games against Bearden in the past and we expect this one to be no different.
Week 4: The Go-Devils will open conference play on the road at Horatio. Gurdon will have to contain the flexbone attack triggered by senior quarterback Zach Izzo.
Gurdon will need to be focused to come out of week 4 with a win to start the brutal conference play of the 5-3A.
Hopefully the Go-Devils will be chomping at the bit to get on the field with the Lions after Horatio handed us a loss last year at Go-Devil stadium.
WORD OF THE WEEK: Dedication-the quality of being dedicated or committed to a task or purpose.
THOUGHT OF THE WEEK: “There are only two options regarding dedication. You’re either all in or you’re all out. There’s no such thing as life in-between.”
Pat Riley. Will the Go-Devils be dedicated enough between now and weeks 3 and 4 to pick up wins against the Bears and the Lions?
RECORD SECTION: If anyone sees anything that needs correcting please call the GHS football office. 870-353-4454. Ext. 145.
Team: Offensive rushing yardage per game average. 1. 2011-307.8 yds…..2. 2012-291.8…. ….3. 1998-232.8…….4. 1999-220……..5. 2013-203.5
Defensive total takeaways for a season. 1. 2014-33…..2.2012-31…… 3. 1998-31……………. ..4. 1997-30………5. 2000-30
Individual: Rushing carries in a season. 1. Brannon Hatley (1999) 215 carries…. 2. Jackie Harvell (2015) 213……3. Chauncey Charles (1998) 160…..4. Kedreus Norvell (2011) 148…..5. Jackie Harvell (2014) 147
Sacks in a season
1. JuJuan Marks (2011) 12 sacks……2. Ed Hood (2012) 9…..3. Ed Hood (2011) 8………..4. Devonte Charles (2013) 6……..5. BJ Brewer (2015) 3
AWARDS SECTION: 1998- All District- Eric Allen , Rashaun Hopson, Flint King, Brannon Hatley, Adrian Meeks, Josh Griffin, Demond Beasley.
All State- Eric Allen, Flint King, Josh Griffin, Chauncey Charles, Demond Beasley
SUPPORT STAFF: We are very fortunate to have John Miller from Henderson State University with us on Friday nights in the fall. He and his staff do a great job with all of our athletic training needs.
From taping ankles to dealing with broken bones they make sure the Go-Devils are taken care of properly.
We would also like to thank our press box crew. They volunteer their time to make sure everything runs smoothly on Thursday and Friday nights.
They are Milton Franklin, Mark Sanford, Kenny Beaver, Victor Riley, Jerry Clemons, Steven Orsburn, and Gary Kirkpatrick.

Tailgator looks forward

to football sidelines this fall

Tailgate News Editor
Our head coach at Gurdon, Kyle Jackson, is presenting a series of articles in our publication giving statistics and facts about Gurdon High School football players.
I have had the privilege of covering the Go-Devils since 2004. I look forward to doing it again this fall.
My favorite part, other than writing up a Gurdon victory, is being on the sidelines taking pictures of the local stars.
It is a time in many of their lives that will never be forgotten. They get a chance to fight for something they believe in; team spirit and town honor.
Small town life is not like what folks experience growing up in urban America. There is nothing I have experienced in my 58 years that compares to community pride and kinship.
Football, especially in small towns here in Arkansas, is a part of the culture that produces stars akin to Hollywood’s best.
As singer Miranda Lambert once sang, “Everyone is famous in a small town.”
I will give you a taste of the joy of covering Go-Devil football these past few years.
We had a player here recently called Jackie Harvell. I am not sure which college picked him up, or what his future will hold, but this guy was a natural when it came to running in touchdowns.
Coach Jackson once told me he wished he could have a whole team of Jackies.
At any rate, there I was, watching Jackie run in an 80 plus yard touchdown. I yelled at him from the sidelines to slow down for the photographer. He smiled and did so. Nobody was even close to catching him.
It was a great photo. I am not sure where it is on my system or I would share it again here.
But the circumstances were a once in a lifetime experience for a sports photographer. Jackie was a very respectful type athlete, as so many are that go through the Gurdon program.
Respect is something our society as a whole lacks. Sorry for that opinion, but it seems validated by evidence to this writer.
That is not the case among most football players in high school. Respect for others and academics are part of the playing program at Gurdon, Malvern and elsewhere I have covered.
I have always found it easier to be kind than to be abusive in my public life. And I appreciate it when others do the same. Sporting events are usually happy times for high schoolers so usually the encounters are pleasant.
Besides, most folks, young and old, enjoy having their picture made.
I grew up in a small town, Hagerstown, Indiana. I was in band and was there to cheer on our football players, basketball, baseball and the like. So attending such events is nothing new for me.
Oh, I tried the city life. I just could not get into the notion that absolutely nobody around me had any idea who I am or what my hopes, dreams and desires really are.
All of those things come up when you are a journalist dealing with high school minds on a consistent basis.
I was the sports editor of the Helena World and then the Phillips County Progress in Helena/West Helena.
Players started talking to me on the sidelines. I realized then the spirit of competition, a good work ethic and the spirit of winning were being developed in most, if not all, of the players participating.
It changed my mind about the theory that these young men were simply having fun. No, they are also developing good character.
So here we are in July. In August, we will be involved in some football scrimmages. At this point, football clinics for high schoolers and younger players are taking place.
The Gurdon Go-Devil football team kickoff dinner will be held at 6:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 27. Coach Kyle Jackson said Keith Jackson will be the speaker.
Tickets will be $15 or $100 for a reserved table of six. The Go-Devil team will host a live auction, silent auction and do player introductions.
So folks, the season is nearly upon us. I will be getting a new pair of white tennis shoes soon to go with my Go-Devil T-shirt.
Our team slogan is “Be Great!”
To the other fans, come on out and support the Go-Devils this fall. Last year may have been a rebuilding experience but I am willing to be you Coach Kyle Jackson and his players will have a few surprises up their sleeves this go around.
Be there for yet another Go-Devil first down!

Church League

Church league
Gurdon Mayor
It looks like the typical July and August weather pattern has arrived. A summertime church league will begin playing at the Cabe Fields this week. It’s good to see the ballparks being enjoyed by these teams. Thank you to everyone involved.
While it is still many weeks until the kids go back to school, it is a pleasure to report that the Gurdon Public Schools will be providing the school supplies for all the students. I’m sure that parents will appreciate the convenience and the savings of not making those many purchases. What a blessing.
Charles and Anita Cabe celebrated 50 years of marriage with a party last week in the fellowship hall of the First United Methodist Church on Sunday, July 2. Many friends and relatives from near and far attended the fete. Anita’s wedding dress and photos were on display. The Cabes, their love and devotion to each other and to the city, are inspirational.
A Gurdon Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting was held at the Gurdon Sonic on July 3. Manager Dorothy Leamons gave us a tour of the new restaurant. Everyone agreed that it is very spacious and well laid out. Another Gurdon Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting was held on June 29 for the Exxon Tiger Mart. Owner David Blackmon showed guests the new facility which features fuel, convenient items, Pizza Inn and Baskin Robbins. Both of these businesses are doing great and the city looks forward to hopefully seeing an increase in sales tax revenue.
I know it’s a way off, but I can’t stop thinking about the Annual Monster Mash on Main Halloween event. Last year, Wendy Ledbetter and I discussed making a “haunted house” type attraction. Her idea is to utilize the awnings on the north side of Main Street. By draping dark colored visqueen over the edge of the awning we hope to create a tunnel that kids could walk through. It sounds like it would work. Volunteers will be needed to decorate the inside and to dress up and spook the kids (nothing too scary). So if this sounds like something you would be interested in, please let me know.
This week I meet with Jason Mansfield, an independent film maker from Northern Arkansas, to discuss the history of The Gurdon Light.




Sacrifice comes

with a high price

By Rose Parrin
Special Writer
It was Clare Boothe Luce that said, “No good deed goes unpunished.” While I never wanted to believe this, it would appear it’s true. I spent the last few years helping, advocating and caring for my sick ex only to be now accused of doing things I did not do – all because those who should have been involved were not and have no clue what their loved one’s relationship was with me or what his last few years were like. Why?
Because it was too inconvenient for them and they were happy to let someone else do it so long as their inheritance was in place. I can’t believe I advocated for them for years to insure they weren’t disinherited. In spite of it, my ex tried to find a way to do just that but it has backfired because of the way he did it. It has saddened my heart because I always wanted to think the best.
Greed – Jealousy – Self Righteousness – Entitlement are such evil motivators. While I don’t regret loving and caring for him, I do regret doubting what he knew to be true of his offspring. I’m thankful I was there for him and his journey at least he didn’t have to do it alone AND he had the one person he truly wanted by his side. From our first date all he ever wanted to do was be with and take care of me. The day before he passed he was still trying to do so.
To hold a loved one while he took his final breathe is a profound experience. Having just asked God to take him from my embrace into HIS loving arms and moments later he was gone leaves no doubt in my mind that God was present in that room at that moment. There was a sad peace that followed but I knew without a doubt God had answered my prayer.
One thing for sure, I will never act in that capacity for anyone else ever again. To be subject to riddicule, false accusations and financial hardship because of carrying out a person’s instructions and wishes is a cross no one should have to bear. Nor is it a fitting reward for compassion, love, concern and empathy.
I will however, keep the faith that we reap what we sow.
Galatians 6:9 Let’s not get tired of doing what is good, for at the right time we will reap a harvest—if we do not give up.

Prescott mother remembers

favorite Independence Day;

son born in July


Tailgate News Reporter
I have has several good Independence Days growing up. There are so many that have made me happy. There are some that I wish had never happened.
But all in all, I am truly glad I enjoyed them all. My family has always been there. On some Independence Days, I had friends over as we celebrated. It would be hard to pick my favorite July 4.
If I had to choose one to be my favorite, it would have to be in 2015.
You see, back in August of 2014, my then fiance, now husband, had a double hernia surgery. His hernias were in his lower abdomen. The surgeon told him that he was to stay in bed for about two months. Well he stayed in bed for about a month and a half.
In November, I noticed that something was not right with my body. So I told him that I needed to get a pregnancy test. He just played it off and said that maybe I was just over thinking. Well close to December of 2014, he finally went and got a pregnancy test from the dollar store. He brought it home to me. We went to a friend’s house where I took the test. It came back positive, and I was ecstatic. He was worried. He looked at me and said we will figure out how we will take care of this child.
I called the health clinic the next day, and they had me to come do a pregnancy up there. Their tests are supposed to take three minutes to get a full reading. It wasn’t even two minutes and the nurse, who also went to church with us, looked at it then back at us and said, “you are DEFINITELY pregnant.” So we got a hold of Dr Elkins to be my OB-GYN. He said that I was due August 4.
Well in March of 2015, my fiance and I got married. Then July 4 came around. We didn’t have much money but we got a few Roman candles and some bottle rockets. I sat on the porch as my husband shot off the Roman candles.
One of them, he mistakenly thought was done shooting the balls out… So he threw the stick on the steps by my feet with the rest of the fireworks that had been shot. When it hit the steps, it started shooting some more. And some of the powder somehow shot out at my face. It was scary then but yet is funny now.
The reason that July 4 is my favorite is because it was spent with my husband, and our son was born that month. On that July 28th, at 12:30 a.m., I started having what felt like cramps and started rocking in bed trying to ignore the pain until later on. But my husband decided to call his grandmother since this was our first child. She told him to send me on to the hospital by ambulance and they would meet me there.
I was in labor for a full 12 hours. My son was born at 12:31 p.m. on July 28. He was a healthy 8 pounds and 14 ounces. He is now 23 months old. He is a hyper and joyfully ambitious little boy. He is the light of my life. He is the center of my world. And I would do anything to be sure my little angel is safe and happy as much as I can. He will grow up knowing he is loved and that nobody will love him more than his mom and dad ever will.