Thursday, June 17, 2021

BCMC to host LifeShare Blood Drive June 22

WARREN, Ark. (6/16/21) – There will be a LifeShare Blood Drive on Tuesday, June 22 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the BCMC Rural Health Clinic parking lot where the LifeShare bus will be located for people who want to donate blood. The BCMC Rural Health Clinic is located at 304 East Central Street across the street from the Emergency Room entrance at Bradley County Medical Center.

There has been a shortage of blood supply on a regional and national level so blood drives like this are crucial to ensuring we have enough blood on hand at BCMC. Local blood drives are the main source of blood for our hospital.

Around 1 in every 7 people entering a hospital need blood. One blood donation, approximately one pint of blood, can save up to three lives. Your blood donation will go to someone battling cancer, enduring sickle cell disease, undergoing surgery, or suffering through a traumatic accident. You will also receive a free “Summer Blood Drive” T-shirt when you donate, while supplies last.

It is safe to donate blood. The COVID-19 coronavirus does not pose any known risk to blood donors during the donation process or from attending blood drives. It is also safe to donate blood if you have received a COVID-19 vaccination.

LifeShare Blood Center regularly supplies blood components to more than 100 medical facilities throughout Louisiana, East Texas and South Arkansas. Founded in Shreveport, La., in 1942, it is a nonprofit community service provider governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees. LifeShare is a member of America's Blood Centers and the American Rare Donor Program, is licensed by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and accredited by AABB.

For the latest news and updates regarding BCMC please like the Bradley County Medical Center Facebook page. To keep up with the most recent news and updates for the BCMC Rural Health Clinic, please like the BCMC Rural Health Clinic page on Facebook.

Watch this month's Southark Spotlight: Cooperative Extension Service

Warren man arrested on multiple counts of rape and sexual assault

Press release from the Bradley County Sheriff's Office:

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Warren School Board gets update on new school and arena groundbreaking, plus full meeting report

Four members of the Warren School Board were present June 14, 2021 for the monthly meeting of the Board.  Minutes and financial reports were submitted and reviewed by the board.  The meeting was the last one for District Treasurer Debbie Hargraves.  She concluded a lengthy career with the District and was wished a fond farewell by members of the Board and Superintendent Cornish.  Each member thanked her for her excellent and dedicated service.   The new Treasurer is Denecia Sellers.

Minute messages were submitted by administrative staff as follows:
  • High School Principal Tiffany Gathen reported on the success of the High School Cheerleaders and ROTC.
  • Middle School Principal Kathy Cornish reported on the success of the Jr. High Cheerleaders.
  • Eastside Principal Sara Weaver reported on current activities.
  • Brunson Principal Regina Scroggins reported on Summer School and stated she needed a literacy teacher for next school year.
  • SEACBEC Director Devin McDiarmid gave a report on the various programs and accomplishments of students and the program associated with AHFP Flooring. She indicated four students have been hired for full time jobs.  
After returning from executive session, the Board took the following actions:

Accepted the resignations of Morgan Stroud, Selena McDougald Jacks, Blake Washington and Katie Davis.
Voted to hire:
  • Aalexus Marche Jones as Middle School Coding instructor, PE Instructor and 7th grade Girls Head Basketball coach
  • DarShauna Shepherd as Middle School Assistant Principal
  • Eugene Tate as Jr High Head Girls Basketball coach and Assistant Girls Senior HIgh Basketball coach and Assistant Track Coach.
  • Fielder DuFrene as Head Softball Coach
  • Tiffani Harton as Assistant Softball Coach
  • Billy Reed as Yearbook Sponsor for the 2021-2022 school year
In other business, the board approved the electronic transfer of funds, the school choice students and approved Superintendent Bryan Cornish and Treasurer Denecia Sellers as Ex-Officio to handle funds.

Mr. Cornish stated that bids on the new elementary and arena are set to be opened in the middle of July and it is hoped that ground can be broken in August.  There may need to be a called 
board meeting to finalize plans.

Bradley County leading the State in COVID vaccination rate

According to a UAMS article published June 6 on COVID-19, Bradley County has the highest COVID vaccination rate in the entire State of Arkansas by percentage of the population with 40% of Bradley County citizens fully vaccinated.

To read the full article, click here.

Intermodal Board discusses prospects and railroad crossing

By Tim Kessler

Southeast Arkansas Regional Intermodal Facilities Authority board members made some progress towards enticing an industrial prospect during their monthly meeting Wednesday at Bradley County Economic Development Corp.

The board was represented by Chairman John Lipton, Dr. Bettye Gragg and Nita McDaniel. Also present were accountant Bob Milton, BCEDC/Bradley County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ashley Foreman, project engineer Charles Cullen of Garver Engineers and members of the news media.

Cullen said Union Pacific Railroad officials had made a few changes in an agreement to construct a railroad crossing. The biggest change was that the estimate of $181,000 construction costs had gone up to $222,000 plus a $20,000 fee for UP’s costs. Board members said they realized they had no choice but to approve the agreement in order for the long-standing project to go forward, so they authorized Lipton to sign it.

McDaniel said an industrial prospect would need access to the crossing if the project came to fruition so she said it needed to be stressed to UP that “time is of the essence.”

As is customary, she said the prospect required a non-disclosure agreement. She said that such companies are highly competitive and they needed to keep proprietary information about their company confidential. She said the BCEDC Executive Committee would deal with details of any agreement but did say the company was forestry-related.

“If we don’t get the crossing, this one may go away. Any public entity is entrusted to do what is right for the taxpayers,” McDaniel commented.

Motions were approved to allow Lipton to sign a non-disclosure agreement and to sign a letter of intent giving the company the option to purchase 80-100 acres of Intermodal property at a negotiated price. If the company agrees to locate at the property, C&L Electric Cooperative may be contacted about putting in an electric substation, which could take about 18 months to construct.

Lipton said there is also a second forestry-related prospect looking at the Intermodal property.

In the only other business, Milton gave a financial report. He said total cash balances in three bank accounts were $193,179.37, including about $230 per month gained in interest from a First State Bank account.

A motion was approved to pay invoices of $21.16, C&L Electric Cooperative; $175, Milton’s services; and a bill still to be received from AT&T.

Receivables from the four SEARIFA partners (Monticello, Drew County, Warren and Bradley County totaled $100,953.45, but it was noted that Bradley County had done some in-kind labor with heavy equipment and had not submitted a bill against the $127,760.99 shown that the county owed the Intermodal.

South Arkansas team wins Bowfishing World Championship

Team Natural Disaster members Craig Wardlaw, Josh York, Brandon Carter, and Clint Horn won the 2021 Bowfishing Association of American World Championship which was held June 5-6 in Brookings, South Dakota.  There were 152 competing teams, making this the largest World Championship ever held.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Warren's Sonic robbed Saturday, Police seeking information on suspects

On Saturday, June 12, 2021 at approximately 11:25 p.m. members of the Warren Police Department and Bradley County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call at Sonic in reference to an armed robbery.

Upon law enforcements arrival the two suspects had fled the scene. The suspects were reported to have been wearing all black.

The investigation is still on-going. Anyone with information in reference to this crime please contact the Warren Police Department at 870-226-3703.

City Council approves contract for Shooting Range expansion

In an hour long meeting of the Warren City Council conducted June 14, 2021, the Council voted 5-0, with one member absent, to approve a contract with Pioneer Construction to build an addition to the Warren Shooting Range, consisting of a rifle and pistol shooting area.  This project has been underway for several years utilizing State Game and Fish funding and local city tax revenues.  The project had to be bid twice due to cost, and plans were revised.  The city will do a considerable amount of in-kind work to fit the available budget.  The addition will be of major benefit to the City and provide a safe place for the practice of shooting rifles and pistols.  The current facilities provide for skeet shooting, utilizing shotguns.  The range is open to the public and used for competitive contests, school shooting teams, and will be available for law enforcement qualifying.  The contract is for $273,010.00.

The Council handled routine monthly business including approval of the May minutes and review of all financial reports. City and county sales tax revenues took a substantial jump from May.  City sales tax was up $13,000.00 for a total of $92,742.00.  City sales tax is up 4% for 2021.  The city's share of the county sales tax was $63,545.73 for May.  The county sales tax is up 7%.  It should be noted the figures represent sales tax generated in March, 2021.  

Mayor Pennington presented Resolution #659 authorizing a letter of credit with Warren Bank & Trust Company in an amount of just over $97,000.00 to provide insurance for closure of the city's former landfill.  By securing the letter of credit, the City does not have to put up a cash bond in accordance with law.

Council Member Henderson passed along the appreciation of Mrs. Janice Smith for the city building officials efforts with property adjacent to her home.  Mr. Calvin Davis addressed the council relating to 
the need to clean ditches near 611 S. Rock St. and the problem with litter clogging up drainage.  He is experiencing flooding problems in his yard.  This triggered a detailed discussion as to how to prevent littering and the overall issue of property maintenance.  Mayor Pennington informed Mr. Davis that the Street Foreman will investigate and try to solve his problem. It was noted the City is trying to pick up trash throughout town and has used, and plans to use, local and state inmates to help. 

Police Chief Shaun Hildreth reported the City has two officers attending the police academy and the City has hired another new officer and is preparing to hire yet another one.  He said the recent pay increases for police officers has made it easier to find new applicants when vacancies occur.  

The Council then approved pay step increases for Dispatch Supervisor Vallen Correll and Officer Thomas Miller.

Acting Fire Chief Larry Hayes reported there were 10 fire department calls in May and the full-time and volunteer firemen went through CPR training.

Mike May, City Building Official and Sanitation Manager, gave reports on both departments.  He said the City's new building permits were steady but small in size.  He expects some bigger projects in the coming months. The council then voted to order property at 1720 W. Pine Street cleaned up.  The council voted to ask the Sanitation committee to review the city ordinance that deals with clean up of city property and seek ways to strengthen enforcement.  It was requested the committee report back at the July meeting.

Street Foreman Ricky Joe Davis reported on the need to install new culverts on Clingman Road.  A portion of the street has fallen in.  He had two quotes from private contractors.  The estimated cost is around $30,000.00.  The Council voted to declare an emergency and authorize the Mayor to work out a contract with whichever company could get the work done the fastest.  There is a shortage of culverts.

Council Member Henderson, Chairperson of the Ways and Means Committee, reported a recommendation to pay tenured bonuses to qualified employees in the amount of $11,682.50.  The council approved the bonuses 5-0.  

Reports of all city boards and commissions were reviewed and the council voted to pay all May, 2021 bills.  The next Agenda meeting is set for July 8 at 7:00am and the July Council meeting for July 12 at 5:30pm.

City of Warren Westside Pool open

The Warren Westside Swimming Pool is now open to the public.  Hours of operation are Monday through Friday 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Kids under the age of nine must be accompanied by someone age 18 or older.  The daily entrance fee is $1.00 per swimmer.  Fully accredited lifeguards are on duty.  

The Pool Manager is Memory Burks Frazer.  For additional information contact the Warren Mayor's office at 226-6743.

Warren JROTC Cadet Alice Regalado wins Command Sergeant Major's Perseverance Award

Cadet Alice Regalado recently won the Command Sergeant Major's Perseverance Award out of 213 cadets.

BBQ Burgers and Tours!

Monday, June 14, 2021

Do You Know the Geographical Center of North America?

By Gregg Reep

Recently while visiting with a group of retired gentlemen at the First United Methodist Church of Monticello, I was shown a picture of my good friend John Bullock of him standing at a monument marking the geographical center of the North American Continent.   The picture was taken several years ago while he was visiting his son in the Military.  John is retired from the Arkansas Department of Human Resources.  He worked at one time in the Warren office and knows a lot of Warren folks.

If you read the wording on the monument you know the geographical center of the continent is Rugby, North Dakota.  Remember, we are not talking about the continental United States, but the entire North American Continent.  I learned something!

Just for our information, the geographical center of the United States is approximately 20 miles north of Belle Fourche, South Dakota.  This is the geographical center, including Alaska.

The center for the 48 contiguous is near Lebanon, Kansas.  For our Arkansas readers, the capital city of Little Rock is the center of our state.

ATV stolen in Warren recovered in Crossett

Press release from the Warren Police Department:

On the on morning of June 12, 2021 it was reported to the Warren Police Department that an atv had been stolen from within the Warren Fire Department over night. After reviewing video footage the suspect was identified and a search for the suspect and atv were conducted. Richard Montgomery (24) of Warren was apprehended and interviewed by Sgt. Tim Nichols. After a formal interview the atv was recovered at a residence off of Ashely County Rd. 4 in Crossett, AR. with the assistance of the Ashley County Sheriff's Office. Montgomery is being charged with Breaking or Entering and Theft of Property. He is currently in custody and awaiting a First Appearance.

53 year-old Warren man arrested for alleged assault on mother

Press release from the Warren Police Department:

On the date of June 11, 2021 Officers were dispatched to Warren Manor Apartments in reference to a domestic situation in which alleged that a senior citizen female had been assaulted by her son and that she was unconscious. Once on scene Sgt. Michael Sharp and Officer Reagan Korban arrested Marvin Davis (53) of Warren. Davis has been charged with Domestic Battery 2nd and Aggravated Assault. He is currently in custody and awaiting a First Appearance.

Warren arrest report for June 9-13, 2021

The following is a direct re-print of the Warren Arrest & Confinement Record from the Warren, Arkansas Police Department.  All people listed are innocent until proven guilty.

James D. Phillips Jr. / 615 Bradley 18 R E, Warren, AR / DOB 9-2-97 / Poss of stolen vehicle and warrant on 6-9-21

Tony McCoy / 1006 Peer St, Warren, AR / DOB 8-20-77 / Poss Sch II, Poss of drug para on 6-10-21

Terry Adams / 232 Wheeler St, Warren, AR / DOB 10-23-82 / Poss meth GT2GM, poss drug para, and poss sch I

Matthew Greer / 2776 Plantation Tri, Bogue Chitto, MS / DOB 9-22-93 / DWI Drugs on 6-10-21

Marvin Davis / 433 Burnett Rd, Apt 9, Warren, AR / DOB 10-5-67 / domestic battery 2nd and aggrevated assault on 6-11-21

Richard Montgomery / Warren, AR / DOB 7-22-96 / Breaking or entering and theft of prop. on 6-12-21

Ty M. Calbert / 911 Abernathey St., Warren, AR / DOB 12-25-90 / Driving on suspended D.L., warrants, and body attachment on 6-13-21

Two men arrested on multiple charges, including possession of a controlled substance

Press release from the Warren Police Department:

On the date of June 10, 2021 Sgt. Tim Nichols conducted a traffic stop on a 1976 Ford F100 pickup for fictitious tags. The occupants of the vehicle were identified as being Tony McCoy (43) and Terry Adams (38) both of Warren. During the course of the stop Officer Alexandra Meeks noticed Adams put something into the front of his pants while sitting in the vehicle. The item in which he was attempting to hide was a small amount of a crystal like substance believed to be Methamphetamine. Adams and McCoy were placed under arrest for active warrants. During the search of the vehicle other illegal substances were located such as a bag containing a crystal like substance believed to be methamphetamine, a glass pipe with a white residue, a baggie containing various colors of pills believed to be ecstasy and another baggie containing other unidentified pills. Tony McCoy and Terry Adams were both charged with possession of a Schedule I Controlled Substance, Possession of a Schedule II Controlled Substance (Greater than 2 grams), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia along with their misdemeanor charges and warrants. They were taken before Judge Bruce Anderson on June 11, 2021 for their First Judicial Appearance. They are currently still in custody awaiting bond.

Local man arrested for truck theft

Press release from the Warren Police Department:

On the date of June 9, 2021 information was received that James D. Phillips JR. (23) of Warren was in possession of a 2017 Toyota Tacoma truck in which was allegedly stolen out of Texas. Based upon this information, Sgt. Tim Nichols relayed the information to members of the Warren Police Department and Bradley County Sheriff's Office and began to search for the vehicle and Phillips. During the time of the search, Officer Bryan Johnston observed a truck matching that description sitting at a stop sign for a period of time and then backed onto someone's property. The driver, who was identified as being James Phillips JR., fled from the vehicle on foot and was apprehended a short time later by Bradley County Deputy Daniel Robinson a few blocks away. The vehicle was identified as being stolen out of Fort Worth, Texas along with a pistol. Phillips was arrested for Theft by Receiving (greater than $25,000). During the course of the investigation by WPD and BCSO it was determined that Phillips was involved in other thefts around Bradley County in which involved the stealing of a vehicle belonging to the City of Warren. Phillips was taken before Judge Bruce Anderson for his First Judicial Appearance on June 10, 2021. He is currently still in custody awaiting bond.

PTF Bike decorating contest winners announced

1st place Evan Savage, 2nd Jackson Hammons, 3rd place Caper Groves. We want to thank Hall Eyecare and Snow Mountain for helping sponsor.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

2021 Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival finishes with firework spectacular

Photos by Tim Kessler

Earlier in the morning participants in the 5K Walk/Run go past Massey's.

2021 Tomato Eating Contest results(all divisions)

Photos by Tim Kessler

Celebrities participating in the Tomato Eating Contest were state Rep. Jeff Wardlaw, state Sen. Ben Gilmore; state Rep. David Ray for Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin, who is running for attorney general; state Rep. Howard Beatty; Doyle Webb, who is running for lieutenant governor; Leon Jones Jr., who is running for attorney general; Michael Deel, running for U.S. Senate; Land Commissioner Tommy Land; Mat Pitsch, running for state treasurer; Joseph Wood, running for lieutenant governor; Teen Miss Pink Tomato Olivia Cook; and Secretary of State John Thurston. Winner of that category was Gilmore; Wardlaw, second; and a tie for third among Deel, Pitsch and Cook.

Children Tomato Eating Contest winners were Edie Gage, first; Benjamin Green, second; and David Rawls, third.

Professional Tomato Eating Contest winners were Gauge Weaver, first; Cody Gage, second; and Steve Aucapa, third.  Gauge Weaver donated his winnings to the Jake Weaver fish fry fundraiser.

New Edinburg All-School Reunion Set for July 10

The New Edinburg All-School Reunion will be presented from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, July 10, 2021 at the New Edinburg Convention Center.

Participants should bring their favorite dish for the potluck lunch at noon.

“It is time for us to get together for a visit and to remember our school days,”

If you were a winner of a door prize last time we met, please bring a door prize for this year’s drawing.

Mya Hernandez of Hermitage named Little Miss Pink Tomato 2021

Little Miss Pink Tomato Pageant winners were, from left, Mya Hernandez of Hermitage, winner; Maisyn Elle Milton, first runner-up; and Ellisyn Blace Vickers, second runner-up.

All photos by Tim Kessler

Little Miss Pink Tomato 2019 Meelah Robinson is shown with pageant MC Jimmy Sledge.

Pink Tomato Pageant winners appeared at the Little Miss Pink Tomato Pageant. Shown, from left, are Petite Miss Sadie Saffold, Pre-Teen Miss Leah Grice, Teen Miss Olivia Cook and Miss Pink Tomato Reese Morman.

2021 Tomato Packing Contest winners(all age divisions)

Tomato Packing Contest, adult, winners were, from left, Torrie Cook, first; Jessica Hill, second; and Maribeth Gambill, third.

All photos by Tim Kessler

Tomato Packing Contest, 15-19, winners were, from left, Weston Gavin, first; Kaylee Nichols, second; and Blake Forrest, third.

Teen Miss Pink Tomato Olivia Cook competed in the Tomato Packing Contest.

Tomato Packing Contest, 9-14, winners were, from left, Emanuel Strong, first; Bristol Ballentine, second; and Olivia Cook, third.

Tomato Packing Contest, 8 and under, winners were, from left, Joey Hill, first; Ella Jones, second; and Riley Wetmore, third.

March, Kessler, and Eyman win Tomato Festival's Great Balls of Fire Salsa Contest Friday

Great Balls of Fire Salsa Contest winners were, from left, Michael March, hottest, and Tim Kessler Jr., representing Melinda Kessler, best tasting. Not pictured is Duke Eyman, best looking.

All photos by Tim Kessler

Salsa Contest judges were, from left, Krystal Ramirez, Brayan Resendiz and Nora Pacheco.