Thursday, December 12, 2019

Saint James AME Celebrates 109 Years

Bishop Michael L. Mitchell and Pastor Rev. Dr. James R. Hooper
Saint James African Methodist Episcopal Church members and guest gathered Sunday afternoon to celebrate 109 years of spreading the gospel and serving the Warren community.  Taking part in the service were Rev. Chris Goodman, Rev. Cecil Williams, Rev. Dr. Billy Reddick, Rev. Welton Boyce, Rev. Clarence Lucky, Rev. Jonas Williams, Sis. April Jackson, Sis. Marilyn Smith, Rev. Dr. LaNell Ross, Sis. Gloria Gant and Bro. Robert Carr.

Guest Speaker was Bishop Michael L. Mitchell, the 134th Elected and Consecrated Bishop.  Pastor of St James is Rev. Dr. James R. Hooper.

Listed on the program as some of the founding members, in 1911 included the following:
Rev. Arron Momom, Pastor, Elliot Beavers, Rev. Omer Beavers, Willie Mae Crain, Arvila Framer,
Dora Farmer, Gaines Farmer, George Farmer, Alberta Hampton, Willie Mae Taylor and Abby York.

St. James was rebuilt in 1954.  Included in the rebuilding were Rt. Rev. W. R. Wilkes, Bishop Rev. C.M. Hankins, Presiding Elder Rev. R. L. Williams, Pastor and Designer and J. Alexander, contractor.    Trustees were listed as W. C. Coleman, Charles Williams, J. S. Feaster, M. J. Clark, C. E. Alexander, II, Ben Shorter, William Blackmon, C. W. Webb, Robert Brodie and Hurley Bradley.

The Church and its members have been active in the work of God and in the service of the community of Warren.
Rebecca Gilbert and Dorothy Henderson

Civil Service Commission Hires Police Officer

The Warren Civil Service Commission meet Wednesday evening, December 11 and considered the hiring of a new police officer.  The position was currently vacant.

Commission members voted to hire Joey Shelton Martin as a patrolman for the Warren Police Department.  Mr. Martin is a certified police officer.  He will begin work January 1, 2020.

The Warren Civil Service Commission is appointed by the Warren City Council.  They review applications and interview candidates for certified positions within the Warren Police and Fire Departments.  The commission hires all personnel for certified jobs within the two departments.  The commission also acts as an appeals board when a police officer or fireman is terminated or disciplined.  

Hermitage School Board December 9 Meeting

Members of the Hermitage School Board met December 9, 2019 for the regular monthly board meeting.  The board approved the November minutes and the financial report as presented.  They also voted to pay the bills. 

Rosalynda Ellis gave the K-6/SIS report followed by Mistie McGhee who presented the 7-12/SIS report.  Superintendent  Dr. Tucker made a report.

The board then adopted the 2021-2022 budget.  The motion for approval was made by Kevin Reep and seconded by Harold Hampton.

Board members then went into executive session to discuss personnel.  Upon reentering open session, no actions were taken.  

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Students Compete In Spelling Bee

Warren School District Gifted and Talented Brunson 4th and 5th graders competed in the Brunson Spelling Bee.  After 18 rounds, Christopher Alford placed first, Ella Grace Green placed second, and Noah Childs placed third.  The winners will compete in the Bradley County Spelling Bee in January.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Fee Fee's Christmas Giveaway

For 25 years Fee Fee Jones and other individuals, churches and organizations have been working together to help those that stand in need during the Christmas season.  On December 7 the 2019 version of the "Christmas Giveaway" was conducted at the Bradley County Fairgrounds.  Fee Fee and a number of volunteers distributed food, cloths, toys and other items to those in need.  They invited any one with a need to stop by and be served.

Fee Fee told that among the many volunteers who helped gather donations and give out the items were First Baptist Church of Warren, First United Methodist Church of Warren, local school personnel and students, Warren Mayor Denisa Pennington and a large number of others.  She thanked them all for helping.  She above all thanked The Lord for his blessings.  Medical classes nd HOSA helped throughout the event.

Moro Bay State Park celebrates being named Region 4 Park of the Year, for a second year in a row!!!

Today Moro Bay State Park and staff were recognized and celebrated with friends, volunteers, many from the Leadership of Arkansas State Parks, and partners from other assisting agencies. Those attending have played a major role in the parks success and improvements. Park Superintendent Paul Butler said, "The staff we have at Moro Bay is truly exceptional. In fiscal year 19, despite 9 months of moderate flooding, the park set a new record in our attendance for our fall cross country event and reached a new record in total revenues. Our interpretive staff presented 254 programs (boat tours, guided hikes, live reptile programs) for visitors. If you look at what guest are saying on Trip Advisor, you will see visitors are impressed by the cleanliness of our cabins, the tidiness of the grounds, the condition of our facilities, and the level of customer service. This doesn’t happen without dedicated maintenance, housekeeping, and visitor center employees committed to serve those who visit the park whatever their interest. We have learned that partnering with local volunteers, agencies, professionals, and schools is also a key to the parks success so we seize every opportunity to do so. The carefully planned projects completed at the park this year included enclosing our 2nd pavilion, improving parking for the campers, and improvements to public restrooms. These projects, just like the service our staff provides, is geared towards the visitors experience. The photo shown reflects many of the important partnerships, volunteers, employees, and leadership who have contributed to the Park. It was impressive how many showed in support of the park on a cold snowy December Tuesday.

From Left to Right: Captain Norman Cornish of the Arkansas Game and Fish, Park Superintendent Paul Butler, Maintenance Assistant Matthew White, President of the Dericks City Good SAMS, Joy Godwin, Bradley County Game Warden Ashton Neece, Housekeeping Supervisor Patricia Doss, Seasonal Interpreter Caleb Myers, Office Manager Bobbie Sutterfield, State Parks Task Force Supervisor Travis McClure, Arkansas Game and Fish Regional Education Coordinator Laura Rogers, Region 4 Supervisor Mike Farringer, Region 4 Admin Assistant Darice Nations, Park Planner Chris Myers, Moro Bay Maintenance Supervisor Jeff Hendrix, State Parks Manager of Operations Mike Wilson, State Parks Buyer Shelly Quattlebaum, State Parks Procurement Administrator Mark Steindl, Directors Admin. Assistant LaJeana Carroll, Arkansas Highway and Transportation Dept. Supervisor of Bradley County Alan Quimby, Friend and Volunteer Tammy Wooten, Friend and Volunteer Bryant Wooten, Dericks City Good SAMS representative Frances Talley, Director of Arkansas State Parks Grady Span. Also those who were assisting but could not be in the photo include: Facility Manager Samantha Culwell and Assistant Superintendent Jennifer Gammon

The Medicine Cabinet Opens With Ribbon Cutting

The official opening of The Medicine Cabinet was held Tuesday morning, December 10 and was celebrated by the Bradley County Chamber of Commerce with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.  The new pharmacy is located at 319 South Main and is owned and operated by sisters Ashley Lucky and Lauren Lynch, the daughters of James Ray and Olivia Young.  Business hours are Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. til 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. til 12:30 p.m.  Th pharmacy also has a drive through window which is now open.

The ribbon cutting was attended by friends and family, and a number of members of the Chamber of Commerce.

The Medicine Cabinet will hold an open house Friday, December 20.  Drawings will be held for door prizes.

Committee Begins Preparing Incentive Plan to Entice Prison to Locate in Warren

The Community and Economic Development Committee of the Warren City Council met at 4:30 Monday, December 9 in the Municipal Courtroom with all members present:  Joel Tolefree - chairman, Councilwomen Dorothy Henderson and Angela Marshall.The first item of business was to consider  a draft "Request for Qualifications" for an advertisement to solicit interested parties to recruit economic development to Warren.  Councilwoman Henderson presented the committee with a draft previously written for approval.  The committee approved moving forward to seek approval from the City Council.

The committee was then asked by Mayor Pennington to ask the BCEDC to prepare an economic impact study of how the locating of the prison in Warren will impact the community economically.  She told the committee this would need to be done before Christmas and the earlier the better.  She also told them that they need to get BCEDC to prepare an incentive packet to entice the prison to locate here instead of another interested community.  She told them that the City needs to put forth its best proposal.  It was agreed to do this and to meet as a committee Monday, December 16 and then present it to the full council in a called meeting Tuesday, December 17.

City Council Adopts 2020 Budget

The Warren City Council met Monday night for its regular monthly meeting with all members present.  After approving the minutes of the November 12 meeting, they approved the financial report:  Statement of Revenue and Expenditures, City Sales and Use Tax (which was up 3% over this time last yer), County Sales and Use Tax, and District Court Clerk's Report.

Mayor Pennington presented her report to the council in which she requested to be allowed to sell items on the asset list no longer in use, such as vehicles.  The sales would take place at appropriate times to generate best possible prices.  This was approved by the council.  The council then adopted Ordinance 920  which will allow the City to collect increased liquor permits and fees for drinks from private clubs in the City.   Resolution A-641 was approved to allow the Water and Sewer Department to purchase land next to the City water tank at the North end of Main Street for a sum of $9,000.

Police Chief Shaun Hildreth reported that his department is currently operating with two vacancies.  He noted that he hoped to have one filled by January 1.

Acting Fire Chief Mike Ashcraft reported that the number of fire calls was up over last year.  The Fire Committee requested putting in a new position of part-time fire chief.  Fire committee chairman Memory Burks Frazer noted that this was not adding additional personnel, just an option for the Civil Service Commission.  The City would not have a full time and part-time chief concurrently.  With some opposition, the council voted 4-2 to approve adding the position. Aldermen Burks and Tolefree voted no.

Mike May gave the Sanitation and Building reports.

Street Foreman Ricky Joe Davis presented the street report.

The Community and Economic Development Committee gave an update on the meeting held prior to the Council Meeting. It was noted that $30,000 is included in the proposed budget to cover  a retainer for an economic recruiter.  Alderman Burks Frazer asked if this was going to be enough considering that a bonus might be given for success.  Mayor Pennington said it would not but that the budget can be revised at any time during the year.  When the measure was called to a vote, Aldermen Burks Frazer and Moseley voted no.

Alderman Henderson gave a report from the Ways and Means Committee.  The council adopted Ordinance 921 setting the 2020 budget.  They then adopted Ordinance 922 setting various elected officials' salaries for 2020.  The Council  approved a land lease contract with Scott Richardson who has purchased the land on which the city stores materials.  They approved a $2000 contract  with the Area Agency on Aging for the purchase of air conditioners instead of fans. They voted to approve the following additional  contracts:  Economic Development with BCEDC in the amount of $18,000, the Historical Museum in the amount of $2,400, and the Bradley County Chamber of Commerce in the amount of $18,000.

Kyle Wagnon, Director of Parks and Recreation gave a report to the council about repairs to a water leak at the baseball/softball complex.  He answered questions about the requirements for the use of the "old armory" building.  Some discussion suggested that the requirements might need to be revisited.  Alderman Henderson pointed out that it was originally set up as a small-business incubator.

Mayor Pennington announced that City will be closed December 24 and 25 in observance of Christmas and January 1 in observance of New Year's.  She noted that the Winter Conference is scheduled for February 12-14.  She announced that she will be providing lunch Friday to all city staff.

Driver's Testing Sites Closings Announced for Week

Please make note of the following driver’s license test site closures this week.

Wednesday - December 11th

The Crossett DL site will be closed all day;

The Eldorado Site will be closed all day;

The Warren site will be closed from 10:30am-1:00pm. Written tests will be given at the regular time.

Thursday - December 12th

The Camden DL Site will be closed all day;

The Warren DL site will be closed from 10:30a-1:00p. Written tests will be given at the regular time.

The Hampton Site will close at 10:00am and be closed the rest of the day.

Jerry Daniels Named a Platinum School Board Member

The Warren School Board met for their regular monthly meeting Monday night.  After approving the minutes from the November 12 meeting, they heard minute messages from building administrators. 
They moved into executive session.  Upon reconvening, they approved the hire of Ashley Tichardson as Warren Middle School Co-cheer Sponsor and Lindsey Cessor as Warren High School Co-cheer Sponsor.

They approved the financial report.

Superintendent Bryan Cornish reported that a television crew will be in the district soon to feature Warren's transportation department.  He reported that the district is one of only two that are currently using the extended arm on buses.  He noted that they have already seen a reduction in the number of people passing stopped buses creating greater safety for children.

He also announced that Warren Board of Education President Jerry Daniels has been named a Platinum School Board for his more than 400 board hours.  He has been elected to serve as Regional Director.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Shirts Promote Christmas Message

There is an old saying, 'When life hands you lemons, make lemonade."  When the county received a letter that threatened legal action if the large nativity scene was not removed from public land on the courhouse lawn, the community, led by Make Warren Shine, took that lemon and stirred up the best lemonade Warren has seen in years.

The nativity was moved to a highly visible location at the First Baptist Church.  Stores on Main Street put up nativities, banners of the nativity, signs of the nativity, and much more.  Local residents put nativity scenes in their yards.  An LED beautiful display was olaced at the corber of Main and Pine.

Make Warrens Shine paid for much of the work with funds they have raised.  The also go the idea to have t-shirts printed with a nativity on them.  MK3 Graphics designed and printed the shirts, and Make Warren Shine took orders and distributed them.

The atmosphere in this small hamlet changed.  Suddenly, it was on fire to promote their faith and the true meaning of Christmas.

In the photo above, many, but not all,  of the purchasers of the shirts gathered at the nativity.

(Just learned that the shirts aree in such high demand that a reorder is being made and will be available next week.  For more information contact Make Warren Shine's faceook page.)

4-H Sewing Club Delivers Ornaments

The Bradley County 4-H Sewing Club delivered homemade Christmas ornaments to the Guest House of Warren as part of their yearly community service outreach.  Pictured are: Mayli Castleberry, Michaela Stanley, Marlee Mann, Precious Thomas, Michelle Carter, and Kathy Williams.

Parade Delights All Ages

It takes a lot of time and effort to prepare a float or other entry in a parade.  When the parade is at night, it often takes a bit of technical skills to light up the entry.  And then it takes rounding up people and costumes.  When there are children riding on floats, it also requires that adults walk along with the floats for safety purposes.  Organizing a parade calls for countless volunteers to line them up and kick it off on time.  Arranging for and organizing judging of floats is another chore that has to take place,  All said, parades are a lot of work.  Kudos to those who made Warren's Christmas parade last night enjoyable.  We, at enjoyed the festivities. Thanks Mrs. Debbie Spencer for all your work and for organizing all the volunteers.

Arrest Report: December 9

The following are innocent until proven guilty:

Jimmy Epperdson, 214 Reaves Circle, Warren, AR, 4-23-78, Charged with domestic battery 3rd (12-3-19)

Casey Bennett, 408 Pumpkn Center Rd., Wilmar, AR, 8-9-80, arrested on warrant, (12-3-19)

Bruce Thomas, 235 S. 5th St., Wilmar, AR, 11-25-95, charged with domestic battery 3rd, arrested on warrant (12-4-19)

Patrick Golden, 207 Davenport, Warren, AR, 10-28-69, Charged with false use of 911, (12-6-19)

Charles Lawson, 716 McCauley St., Warren, AR, 2-27-89, arrested on warrant (12-8-19)

Santa's Workshop Came to the Warren Library

Santa’s Workshop came to the Warren Branch Library tonight!!  During the workshop, Santa read “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, and then they stuffed their very own reindeer (Reading buddy), and then they rotated through four different stations and had the opportunity to decorate their own cookie, drink Santa’s famous hot chocolate and cupcakes, make snow globes & magic reindeer food, and make reindeer/snowman ⛄️ ornaments.

We would like to thank everyone that was able to come out and participate as well as all the staff and volunteers for all their hard work putting it all together, and of course this program would not have been possible without our sponsors which included, Friends of the Library, Santa Clause (Ron Gamble), Cliff Morgan, and Taste & See Bakery! More photos from the event below the advertisement.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Warren GT Takes Part in Tech Fair

Warren School District Gifted and Talented:  The Brunson Technology Team recently participated in the Tech Fair at the CoOp in Monticello, AR.

Tech Team Members: Ava Denton, Raeleigh Milton, Blythe Calloway, Aiden Thomas, Brayden Hill, Zaydin Grider.

Remember Pearl Harbor

On Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, the American Army and Navy base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii was attacked by the Imperial Japanese Navy. The attack came as a surprise to the American Army and Navy and lead to great losses of life and equipment. More than 2000 American citizens were killed and more than 1000 were injured. The Americans also lost a large proportion of their battle ships and nearly 200 aircraft that were stationed in the Pacific region. More than 60 Japanese servicemen were killed, injured or captured. The Japanese Navy also lost five midget submarines and 29 aircraft.

The Japanese military had hoped that the attack on Pearl Harbor would prevent the United States of America from increasing her influence in the Pacific. However, the events in Pearl Harbor actually led to the escalation of World War II. The day after the attack, the United States declared war on Japan and so entered World War II. President Franklin Roosevelt in a speech to Congress stated that the bombing of Pearl Harbor was “a date which will live in infamy”. Shortly afterwards, Germany also declared war on the United States. In the months that followed the attack, the slogan “Remember Pearl Harbor” swept the United States and radio stations repeatedly played a song of the same name.

In 1991, which marked the 50th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States Congress established the Pearl Harbor Commemorative Medal. This is also known as the Pearl Harbor Survivor's Medal and can be awarded to any veteran of the United States military who were present in or around Pearl Harbor during the attack by the Japanese military. The medal can be awarded to civilians, who were killed or injured in the attack.

Christmas Concert Set for Sunday, December 8

Santa Will Not Be At the SEACAC Event This Saturday

Santa called and said that due to the fact that there were so many children on the Nice List this year he is needing to spend all his time at the North Pole with the elves helping them get all the presents together.  So he will not be able to make it to Warren at the Southeast Arkansas Action Corporation this Saturday 12/07/2019.  He said that he will see everyone Christmas Eve and to let all the children know he is so proud of them for being good all year long.

Litigation Pending Concerning Sale Barn/Sale Set For Saturday

SRC has learned that a lawsuit has been filed by Saline Ouachita Valley Livestock Association against Moncrief Ranch LLC regarding use of the sale barn facilities.  The original contract between Saline Ouachita Valley Livestock Association and Moncrief Ranch LLC goes back to January 25th, 2016.  According to the suit, Moncrief has not conducted the required number of sales and the Association terminated the contract on September 23, 2019.  The Association then entered an agreement with another company to manage the sale barn.

The suit goes on to allege that Moncrief is trying to disrupt sales scheduled for December by the new company.  It is reported that Moncrief does not believe the original agreement has been legally terminated.  It is also reported that a gate was put up blocking entrance to the sale barn and after it was removed, Moncrief blocked the entrance road with equipment.  SRC saw the road blocked on December 4th.  It is further reported that a Circuit Judge issued an injunction and the road has been cleared.  We are told the new management will hold an auction on Saturday, December 7th.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Immanuel Baptist to Present Cantata

Immanuel Baptist Church will present a Christmas Cantata “Always a King” Christmas Worship Celebration
Friday, December 13 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday December 15th at 10:00 a.m.

The public is invited, and both presentations are free.

Outdoor Burning Prohibited After Dark

The Warren Fire Department reminds all residents and businesses of the city that it is illegal to burn outdoors without securing a permit from the Warren Fire Department.  It is absolutely illegal to burn outdoors after dark, even with a permit.  Violators are subject to being issued a ticket and a possible fine. 

For information about burning contact the Warren Fire Department at 870-226-8302.

Coat Drive Saturday, December 21 At Powerhouse Church

Library's Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Sweater Drive Is A Success

The Warren Branch Library's Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Sweater Drive was a HUGE success with 200+ cold weather items donated! Special thanks to our community for supporting this worthy cause! The donations will be distributed by Ebenezer Baptist Church. Pictured with the donations are Pam Groves (L) and Donna Bratton (R) from the church.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

First United Methodist Advent Supper

First United Methodist Church of Warren will host an Advent Supper Sunday, December 8th immediately following the Christmas Parade to be held in downtown Warren.  The parade is scheduled to begin at 5:30PM.  Everyone is welcome to attend.

the supper will be held in the fellowship hall of the Church located at 111 West Church Street in Warren.  The Church is located on the corner of Church and Turner Streets.

St. James AME Church 100th Anniversary

Saint James African Methodist Episcopal Church located at 915 St.James Street in Warren will be celebrating its 100th anniversary Sunday, December 8th, with services beginning at 3:00PM.  Reverend Dr. James r. Hooper, Sr. is the Pastor and Presiding Elder.

The service will be entitled "A Church Emulating The Light" taken from "Matthew 5;14."  Guest speaker will be The Right Reverend Michael Leon Mitchell, Presiding Prelate of the 12th Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

St James has a storied history in the Warren community.  It has served the community in spiritual and community development activities during its 100 years of existence.  Its Pastors have been leaders both in Warren and throughout the AME Church.  The membership has been active and successful in community service throughout the life of the Church.

The public is invited to attend.  Happy birthday St. James!

Warren Police Urge Caution

As we enter the Christmas Holiday Season, the Warren Police Department urges all residents and businesses to practice caution by keeping a keen outlook for individuals who may seem out of place on personal property.  Keep houses and vehicles locked and valuables out of sight and in safe locations.  Be cautious while shopping and storing packages.  Be careful when returning home and be alert to your surroundings.  Call 911 if anything looks strange or not normal.

The Warren PD will be on constant patrol in both neighborhoods and commercial areas.

Have an enjoyable holiday season but be careful at all times.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Quorum Court Approves Prison Contract With State

After recently approving a contract with a private company to house at least 600 inmates, including state prisoners, the Bradley County Quorum Court met in special session and approved a contract with the state of Arkansas to accept state prisoners.  The Court adopted a resolution authorizing a contract with the state and an "Operations and Management Agreement" with LaSalle Arkansas Southeast Corrections, LLC."  Both agreements are three party agreements with both Bradley and Drew Counties. 

The "Description of Services" portion of the contract with the state reads as follows:
"Upon completion of the construction and equipping of the FACILITY, it shall be the responsibility of the COUNTIES, in accordance with any and all applicable laws, including but not limited to those of the State of Arkansas, and the United States, to confine and supervise, or contractually arrange for the confinement and supervision of ADC inmates/offenders in a Private Correctional Facility in Bradley or Drew County; to assure for their care and treatment, including the furnishing of subsistence, appropriate clothing, and access to medical care; to provide for their physical needs; to make available programs of training and treatment which are consistent with individual needs; to assure that they are retained in safe, supervised custody; to assure for the maintenance of proper  discipline and control; to make certain that sentences and orders of the committing court in the State of Arkansas are faithfully executed; to assure the provision of the same access to the law library as those inmates/offenders of an ADC Correctional Facility; and to otherwise comply with applicable law including, but not limited to, the requirements of the Act."

Six of the nine Justices were present.  No questions were asked and no comments made.  The meeting lasted about five minutes.  No comments were made as to why the state refuses to contract directly for the 500-600 state inmates.  The contract clearly designates the two counties as the contracting jurisdictions for the state inmates.  As previously reported, no bids are being taken for the private services to be procured. 

No comment or information was provided as to where the prison will be constructed.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Santa is Coming to Banks

The Town of Banks would like to invite you and your family to Banks, Arkansas December 6th, 2019 to the Banks Community center from 6:30- 8:30pm.

Come help us welcome Santa to town and enjoy some hot cocoa and cookies.
Take a family photo with Santa and enjoy story-time with the clauses.

Local Author Sarah Daniell will read her new book The Lost Elf.