Stories from Thursday, July 28, 2011
Trial date is set for CNA charged with manslaughter
Tiffany Hendrix, a 23-year-old certified nursing assistant (CNA) charged with manslaughter in the death of 65-year-old Danny Moore, has a court date set for Oct. 10 with a plea and motions date of Sept. 23, according to the Poinsett County prosecutor's office.
Detective Jeremy Bond with the Marked Tree Police Department said Hendrix, who works at Three Rivers Nursing and Rehabilitation in Marked Tree, was arrested June 16 and charged with manslaughter after Moore was found unresponsive at a local cemetery on June 4. Moore was taken to St. Bernards Medical Center in Jonesboro and later transferred to the burn unit at The Med in Memphis after second degree burns were allegedly found on his lower extremities.
Bond said Moore died approximately 12 hours later as a result of the burns.
His body then was sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for an autopsy, where the Arkansas Medical Examiner determined the injuries were scalding burns caused by contact with a hot liquid.
During the course of an investigation conducted by Detective Bond, assisted by Larry Dunnington with the Attorney General's Office, it was determined that Hendrix had allegedly given Moore a whirlpool bath approximately three hours before his discovery at the cemetery.
Valentine speaks on Cash Music Festival
Christy Valentine, director of development with Arkansas State University's Office of University Advancement, spoke recently to the Trumann Rotary Club about the first annual Johnny Cash Music Festival, to take place Thursday, Aug. 4, at the ASU Convocation Center.
"In April, ASU purchased the boyhood home of Johnny Cash," Valentine said. "We believe it's going to have a huge economic impact in northeast Arkansas and that we will see a boost in tourism."
Valentine estimates there will be 83 new jobs created from Sun Records bring tourists in, with an estimate of 1,000 tourists a week visiting the area.
"This purchase means a lot for the university, the surrounding communities and will have a great impact on our economy," Valentine said.
The road to purchase the Cash home was a long one for ASU. The Cash family initially wanted to sell the home for $450,000, but ASU was allotted only $100,000 in funds to spend, after the assessment of the home.
"If you've seen 'Walk the Line,' you've seen the home," Valentine said. "It's a small house, just two bedrooms. It needs a lot of work, but it has just great historical value."
ASU representatives knew they could not afford the $450,000 and talked about creating a replica Cash home, but on April 13, the Cash family took the $100,000 offer.
"We were very excited," Valentine said, "but now we had to figure out how to pay for the restoration of the home."
ASU plans to completely restore the old Cash home, making sure to painstakingly keep every detail, but this endeavor will cost a pretty penny and they must raise all of the funds themselves.
"After the restoration is complete," Valentine said, "the home is estimated to be worth around $600,000."
Ideas for raising the funds floated around, until finally a suggestion was made that ASU host a music festival featuring Johnny Cash's family and friends.
"At first they told me I would be lucky to sell 300 tickets the first day," Valentine said. "Then we ended up selling 1,800. We had a goal of raising $50,000 and sold $87,000 almost immediately. We haven't spent one dime for advertising."
There are only 7,500 tickets available for the Johnny Cash Music Festival, and currently ASU is selling about 100 tickets a day.
"Hotel rooms are sold out," Valentine said. "There have been great advertising opportunities for the community and local restaurants will see a lot of service. Everyone benefits from this event."
Two ticket packages are still available. The lower level package includes a $75 ticket with admission to an exclusive exhibit featuring photographs of Johnny Cash taken by renowned photographer Alan Messer. Basic concert tickets are still available at $37.50 each. All of the proceeds for this event go towards restoring the Cash home in Dyess.
The lineup for the concert includes Rosanne Cash, John Carter Cash and Laura Cash, Tommy Cash, Joanne Cash, Kris Krisofferson, George Jones, Dailey and Vincent, Gary Morris, Rodney Crowell, Chelsea Crowell, Denny Stickland and Matt Morris. Tickets can be purchased at www.johnnycashmusicfest.com.
"It's a great time to be a Johnny Cash fan," Valentine said. "It's finally time for northeast Arkansas to shine."
Lepanto hires new sports complex manager
The Lepanto City Council voted to hire Robby Betts to manage the sports complex after the previous manager quit.
Michael Pierce and Kevin Truelove gave a sports complex update to the city council, which resulted in the decision. Pierce said Anthony Smith, the previous manager, became overwhelmed and was not performing the duties required of him, such as mowing and bringing in tournaments.
"There's a lot of Bermuda grass growing where the baselines were cut out," Pierce said. "We need someone to maintain it. Eventually, tournaments could help the sports complex pay for itself once we get that going."
"It's an absolute embarrassment to the city," Truelove said. "The sports complex belongs to the city. The city should be managing it. Ninety-five percent of the work has been done by volunteers. The city has done nothing to promote it. Is it totally the responsibility of volunteers to get things done?"
Pierce and Truelove are part of an advisory committee for the sports complex that the city council set up, but the committee has no authority to make any decisions, such as hiring people to run the ballpark.
The city council decided it was time to appoint a commission with authority to run the sports complex, but that requires an ordinance. The council will have to wait until next month's meeting for an ordinance to be prepared. In the meantime, the council voted unanimously to hire Betts at $300 to mow and maintain the sports complex.
The council also voted to buy trimming equipment and to have irrigation installed on the two fields that do not have irrigation. The trimming equipment will come to around $1,000 and the irrigation will cost $2,500 per field.
The council passed an ordinance abandoning the west end of Russell Street, which has not been used in more than five years. This was after the planning committee voted to abandon the property and no opposition was raised at a public hearing.
The council reviewed an ambulance purchase agreement and passed a resolution authorizing the agreement. Riverside Ambulance Inc. wishes to purchase the ambulance from the city. The ambulance is worth $940 salvaged and the council offered to sell the ambulance for $1,000. Riverside Ambulance Inc. will give an answer after upper management has the chance to review the offer.
Mayor Steve Jernigan gave an update on the dog pound. He said the slab is poured and the water hooked up. All that is needed now is a roof structure and a dog catcher. Jernigan estimated the dog pound would need a budget of $5,000 to finish out the year but noted that money is tight. The council could not find a place in the city's budget to take the needed money from and took no action on the matter. Jernigan said city hall receives several dog complaints every week.
The council also heard from Bob Cordrick, a spokesman for Delta Environmental, regarding garbage collection. Cordrick said Delta Environmental had brought in new people and retrained their current employees. He added he had looked at the routes and fixed them. Instead of having only one truck available for residential pickup, there will now be three trucks, which he said will help get all the garbage picked up. Together with the two days of commercial pickup, "we'll have a total of five trucks in Lepanto every week," Cordrick said. "The problems will be solved quickly. We've got all the trucks in good shape now and have the drivers trained right."
The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality fined Lepanto $2,400 for operating without a sewer pump. The council authorized Mayor Jernigan to sign the consent order if the penalty is waived.
District Governor visits Trumann Rotary
Paul Roberts, the Trumann Rotary's District Governor, came to speak at Thursday's meeting.
Roberts has been active in Rotary for over nine years, acting as president for the Harrisburg Rotary Club. The Harrisburg Rotary Club was even named Club of the Year in 2006 under his leadership.
"Trumann is a smaller club," Roberts said, "with under 20 members, but it will be to raise your numbers. With the set goal of adding four new members, and I know Regina is working on three, you will almost have 20."
Roberts added that the club should continue to do what it has done in the past to help bring new members into the group. "This club is in great hands," Roberts said. "Scott (Trumann Rotary's current president) has set attainable goals. There is no reason why Trumann's Rotary Clue can't be Club of the Year this year."
Roberts also spoke about the global grants associated with the Rotary Club. One, in particular, helps provide clean water to people in Honduras.
"One of the largest expenses with providing clean water is the PVC pipe that is needed to transfer the water," Roberts said.
He spoke about a CEO of a company that produced PVC and how Rotary wanted to use the company in their PVC purchases. The CEO requested to come look at a former project and once he saw the work, he decided to donate the PVC for free.
"We are looking forward to doing a lot more work in Honduras," Roberts said.
This year's Rotary theme is "reach within to embrace humanity."
"You never know who might need you in a Rotary meeting," Roberts said. "Sometimes we do projects that aren't earth shaking, but it doesn't matter how small the project is to be a noble project. Our greatest gifts are our time and our energy."
Bateman speaks to Lions Club
April Bateman, administrator of Trumann Health and Rehabilitation, was the guest speaker at the Trumann Lions Club recently. She has been at Trumann for about a month but has been an administrator since 1999.
Bateman comes to Trumann from Walnut Ridge, where she served for nine years.
Bateman said Trumann Health and Rehabilitation currently has 60 patients and employs 73 people. She spoke about a change they are making at the workplace, calling it a "culture change." Bateman said she and staff members want to make the residents feel like they are at home. A committee has been established to see to the success of this new venture, she noted.
Bateman also told the group that Trumann recently got its first resident with the LVAD heart pump. The pump is a surgically implanted device that draws blood from the left ventricle and pumps it to the aorta, where it feeds the rest of the body. There also is an external part of the device that can be worn around the waist or on a shoulder strap, she said.
Checkers, the new therapy dog, also was introduced to the group. Checkers is a retired Greyhound who roams the halls and offers himself for patting and attention. "We are the only home in Arkansas to have this," Bateman said. "Our patients have responded well to Checkers. He loves meals of yogurt and bananas."
Arkansas education standards topic of Marked Tree Rotary
Jeanne Glover, who has taught at all levels from elementary to the university level and currently serves on the EPC Board of Education, was the guest speaker for the Marked Tree Rotary Club last week. Glover talked about educational standards and the benchmark tests.
Glover said the Arkansas Comprehensive Testing, Assessment and Accountability Program (ACTAAP) has been going on in Arkansas for at least 10 years. The math and literacy tests are for third through eighth grades and there is now a fifth and sixth grade science test.
She brought in some sample questions that have been released for the math portion of the test and noted that all of the questions were word problems.
"You see no naked number problems," she said. "There are no simple computation problems on the math section. The focus is now on teaching kids to be problem solvers because there is no job where you sit in a back room doing long division all day."
Benchmark scores fall into four categories: below basic, basic, proficient and advanced. Proficient means scoring consistently at grade level. Glover said students need benchmark scores in the neighborhood of 30 to 60 to be considered proficient or advanced. There are also set standards for how many students must score proficient or advanced.
She said that currently, 77.5 percent of grades in K-5, 73.41 percent of grades 6-8 and 73.45 percent of grades 9-12 have to score proficient or advanced. Schools must have a remediation plan which includes input from parents for students who do not score proficient or advanced. By the 2014-2015 school year, 100 percent of students are expected to score proficient or advanced.
The benchmark tests are comprised of 40 multiple choice questions and five open response questions taken over the course of three days.
Glover said the Common Core State Standards for math and literacy, which provide an understanding of what students are expected to learn, are now more focused. There are currently 25 to 30 standards instead of 80. This allows teachers to take more time to cover key concepts and go into more depth, she said.
She also said the Arkansas State Board of Education adopted new standards and new assessment programs this year with four assessments throughout the year. Other end-of-course tests include algebra I and geometry, where students are given three chances to pass. If they do not pass, then they must take an online class and test.
Beat the heat savings with Ritter
Ritter hosted a Beat the Heat event Thursday, July 21, with two awesome money-saving offers for back to school on their fantastic internet service and expanded cable TV service. They also showcased Tubetown on Ritter channel 21. Tubetown features local unique content that local customers want, including high school sports. Local radio station KISS FM showcased the event and helped with a cookout and an ice cream cool down.
Trumann School to be control group in Delta Garden Study
Trumann School Board had a special board meeting Monday night where it was announced that the intermediate school would be the control group in the Delta Garden Study.
Harrisburg Middle School will be the sister school, receiving a garden. The idea behind the garden is to promote good nutrition and increase the physical activity of students. At the end of the study Harrisburg and Trumann students will be evaluated in an anonymous and voluntary study that will compare BMI's and test scores.
Trumann Schools will receive $2,000 for participating in the study and Myra Graham, Trumann's new superintendent, hopes to use the funds in the intermediate science classes.
Also at the meeting, an English position was filled and Mary Valance was hired as the new tennis coach for the 2011-2012 school year.
Back to school events planned at Trumann
Registration for Cedar Park Elementary students will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, July 28. Those who want more information may contact Cindy Wright, Cedar Park Elementary principal, at 483-5314.
Open house for Trumann Intermediate School is scheduled at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11, in the TIS auditorium. Afterwards parents and students will be able to go to the students' rooms. The school building will be open until 7 that night.
Schedules for seventh and eighth grade students will be handed out in front of the cafeteria after the meeting in the auditorium. Classroom rosters for fifth and sixth grades will be posted on the auditorium door on Thursday, Aug. 11.
Orientation for ninth grade students will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4, in the high school auditorium. Students will purchase lockers and receive their schedules at this time. Parents are encouraged to attend.
Tenth, 11th and 12th grade students can pick up schedules and purchase lockers between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 8 and 9. For more information contact Jim Montgomery at 483-5301.
Poinsett Package Store in Harrisburg robbed
Poinsett Package Store in Harrisburg was robbed around 9:30 a.m. Monday, July 25, when a man took a bank deposit bag containing $751 out of some filing cabinets in the store manager's office.
The man was captured on the store's videotape rummaging through a desk in the office, opening the filing cabinet and taking the bag of money. Deputy Justin Kimble contacted CID deputy Brad Felkins to collect fingerprints and some were found.
At the time of the incident there were only two employees working, the store manager and store clerk, both of whom were not in the office during the time of the theft.
The man in the video has been described as a black male, around six feet and 240 pounds. He was wearing glasses, a dark shirt and dark pants at the time of the theft. It was observed that a black male driving an older model, light-blue, four-door Mercedes car with an unknown license plate and unknown direction of travel was seen around the time of theft.
The investigation for this crime is still pending. If anyone has any information on this theft, please contact the sheriff's department at 870-578-5411.
Marked Tree police seek owners of stolen items
The Marked Tree Police Department has located several stolen items that were taken in the last seven to 10 days from people's cars in Marked Tree.
"We have not been able to locate the owners of the property," said MTPD detective Jeremy Bond. "If anyone has had items stolen out of their vehicles during this time period, please contact the Marked Tree Police Department so we can get your property returned."
ECP funds available for flood damage
Sign up for the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) will begin Monday, Aug. 1, and continue through Aug. 30, as a result of the recent flood this past April and May. Those interested should call the Farm Service Agency Office at 870-578-2444 ext. 2 to schedule an appointment.
The Poinsett County Farm Service Agency County Committee has received funding for the Emergency Conservation Program. Farms and ranches suffering severe damage from flooding may be eligible for assistance, if the damage:
* Will be so costly to rehabilitate that federal assistance is or will be needed to return the land to productive agricultural use.
* Is unusual and is not the type that would recur frequently in the same area.
* Affects the productive capacity of the farmland.
* Will impair or endanger the land.
A producer qualifying for ECP assistance may receive cost-share levels not to exceed 75 percent of the eligible cost of restoration measures. No producer is eligible for more than $200,000 cost sharing per natural disaster occurrence. The following types of measures may be eligible:
* Removing debris from farmland.
* Grading, shaping, releveling or similar measures.
Conservation district sponsors youth workshop
The Poinsett County Conservation District and the Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts sponsors an annual summer Youth Conservation Workshop for students entering the ninth grade through senior level from across the state. The camp was held June 26 through July 1 at Camp Clearfork in Mt. Ida, near Hot Springs.
Students are nominated by the Poinsett County Conservation District to attend a week of outdoor hands-on educational experiences dealing with natural resources. Life skills, water resources, forestry, soils, a farm tour and potential career opportunities are the emphasis areas with two $500 scholarships and a laptop presented to the top participants each year. There is no cost to the participants except for travel to and from the workshop. Students also have multiple hands-on opportunities for canoeing, boat safety instructions and team building.
Those who know of a student who would be interested in participating next year may contact Brandy Gardner at the Poinsett County Conservation District office or visit www.aracd.org under youth activities.
Those attending this year's camp were Lily Glover of Tyronza and Walker Gardner and Brandy Gardner of Harrisburg.
Cedar Park Elementary open house
Cedar Park Elementary School in Trumann will hold an open house from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 8, for first and second grades and from 6:15 to 7:30 p.m. for third and fourth grades. Kindergarten orientation will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9. Wee Cat Academy open house will be from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 8.
Deadline coming up for FEMA help
Those who sustained damage in the storms, tornadoes and floods that hit Arkansas from April 14 to June 3 should circle Monday, Aug. 1, on their calendar. That's the deadline for residents in the 37 disaster-designated counties to register for assistance from the state and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
"We can't over-emphasize how important it is for storm survivors to register," said state coordinating officer David Maxwell. "Registering with FEMA could open the door to assistance for the different kinds of losses Arkansans suffered during this disaster."
To date, more than 10,100 Arkansas individuals and families have registered with FEMA, and more than $32.7 million has been approved for Individual assistance grants from the state and FEMA or low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
To register for assistance or check on their registration status, residents can go online to www.disasterassistance.gov, via web-enabled phone at m.fema.gov, or call 1-800-621-3362 or TTY 1-800-462-7585. FEMA phone lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week; multilingual operators are available.
"Survivors living in designated counties will cheat themselves out of possible federal or state assistance if they don't move quickly to register with FEMA," said Deputy Federal Coordinating Officer W. Michael Moore. "Registering is the necessary first step."
Follow developments in the Arkansas disaster recovery at www.twitter.com/femaregion6. Other online resources include blog.fema.gov, www.facebook.com/fema and www.youtube.com/fema.
Vela M. Payne
PAYNEWAY - Vela M. Payne, 91, of Payneway, was born Nov. 22, 1919, and died Sunday, July 24, 2011, in Flo and Phil Jones Hospice House in Jonesboro.
Mrs. Payne was the fourth child of nine children born to Walter Davis Kelso and Ada Pearl Kelso (Tucker) in Fulton, Miss. She married Gerald D. Payne on March 1, 1942, and they were man and wife for over 64 years. She was the owner/operator of Payneway's only Dairy Freeze, the "Dixie Queen" for 25 years. She will be greatly missed by her family and friends.
She is survived by two sons, Michael D. Payne of Sherwood and Jerry W. Payne of Wilmington, N.C.; brother, Dave Kelso of Fulton, Miss.; sister, Verb Curtis of Matthews, Mo.; three grandchildren, Dr. Michael Payne of Fordyce, Jarrod Payne of Jonesboro and Dr. Jason Payne of Memphis, Tenn., and four great-grandchildren, Brandon, Alex, Jenna and Hayden.
Visitation was Wednesday from 1 to 2 p.m. in Murphy Funeral Home in Marked Tree. Funeral services began at 2 p.m with Brother Patrick Tucker officiating. Burial followed in Marked Tree Cemetery.
Memorial gifts may be made to Flo and Phil Jones Hospice House, 1148 East Matthews, Jonesboro, AR 72401.
Dewayne Edward Carter
TRUMANN - Mr. Dewayne Edward Carter, 46, of Trumann, died Sunday, July 24, 2011, at St. Bernards Medical Center in Jonesboro, Ark.
He was born in Jonesboro and had lived his lifetime in Trumann. Mr. Carter worked for Delta Tool Box in Jonesboro and was of the Pentecostal faith. He was preceded in death by his father, Delbert Dee Carter.
Survivors include his mother, Annie Marie Henson Carter; one brother, Derrell Dee Carter, and five sisters, Teresa Marie Brown, Rose Ragan, Carol Richards, Francies Darline Williams and Barbara Christine Miller, all of Trumann.
Funeral service was Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the First United Pentecostal Church in Trumann with Rev. Murry Ray and Jimmy Loven Jr. officiating. Burial followed in Jonesboro Memorial Park Cemetery in Jonesboro, Ark., with Thompson Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
Active pallbearers were Jason Brown, Jonathon Brown, Joshua Brown, Jimmy Loven Jr., Steven Williams Jr. and Dustin Miller.
Honorary pallbearers were J-Al Young, Dylan Loven, Gary Joe McIllwain II and Kevin Lynn Montgomery.
Visitation was Tuesday from 5 until 7 p.m. at the First United Pentecostal Church.
An online register book can be signed at www.thompsonfuneralhome.net.