The Hempstead County Collectors will be closed Friday September 22, 2017, Due to repairs in the office. The office will reopen Monday September 25, 2017 at 8:00 am. Sheriff and Collector James Singleton apologize for the inconvenience.
The Hope City Board met Tuesday September 19th for their second meeting of the month. Kiffenea Talley asked for a couple of corrections to the minutes before they were adopted.
George Smith, Executive Director of the Southwest Arkansas Arts Council made a presentation concerning a proposed "arts park". The proposal concerns making a city parking lot on Division an arts park and he said there would be no loss of parking. Smith said the organization would recruit local citizens and entities as well as art teachers from several counties. It would involve artwork on the sidewalk and the parking spaces as well. Smith said he'd gotten the idea from an alley in Europe. Smith asked that the city power wash the area and he has several artists ready to start. Smith also asked for the city to stripe the rail at the Cairo-Fulton Depot. The board voted to allow the arts council to move forward on the arts park.
The board looked at a proposal for monitoring groundwater at the landfill. Dan McCullough of SCS Engineers spoke to the board about the proposal. There appears to be some groundwater issues from the old part of the Hope Landfill. ADEQ wanted some monitoring wells installed and SCS is proposing a plan that would involve up to 20 small borings. The proposal would cost up to $34,000. The board voted to accept the proposal from SCS.
The board heard from Police Chief J.R. Wilson on accepting a $7,000 grant from the Arkansas State Police. The board voted to accept the grant.
Chief Wilson explained a "Selective Traffic Enforcement Program" or "STEP" grant the city has been awarded. The city would get approximately $25,000. $1,500 would go towards child safety seats and the rest would go towards speeding, DWI, and seat belt enforcement. The board voted to accept the grant.
The board looked at a requested zoning change on Beech Street. The owner wants to rezone so a manufactured home can be replaced. The zoning of the property doesn't allow for manufactured homes as it is now R-2. The board approved an ordinance changing the zoning to R-5.
The board looked at a request to change the zoning at the old skating rink from I-2 (light industrial) to C-2 (highway commercial). The board looked at some issues on whether to pave the parking lot. Samuel Turner, the owner, was present and has indicated he plans to put in a 100 space flea market. Turner indicated he has about 25 booths rented. The board approved the ordinance approving the rezoning.
Under the City Manager's report, Catherine Cook said the landfill expansion is finished except for a few minor items. She noted the new cell is expected to last 40 years.
Cook gave a report on the Texas Eagle Marketing and Performance organization (TEMPO) meeting she attended in St. Louis. She reported the Texas Eagle, the train that serves Hope, has been increasing in passengers. She also noted boardings of the train in Hope are growing.
Cook introduced new Street Superintendent Tim Blue.
Cook also talked about a grant available for $2,500 for city beautification from the Arkansas Flower and Garden Show. The board agreed by acclamation to allow the city to apply for the grant.
John Odom spoke about 18th Street and gave the Mayor what appears to be a petition about the street. Odom said he and other residents wish to see the street kept clear. Police Chief J.R Wilson noted they had seen the street being blocked during JV games and the school had been informed the street can only be blocked on Varsity home game nights. Odom said he believes the school should be responsible for finding another place to park the buses. It was agreed to have the Police Chief meet with school officials to determine what can be done.
Hazel Simpson thanked the board and officials for putting the marker at the North SIde Park. She also asked about having some work on her street.
John Akin asked about taxes on prepared food. The meeting then adjourned.
The Hope Kiwanis Club had a fascinating program from a man who was no stranger to many of those present. Tom Mitchell is the Assistant Executive Director of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame. He showed a power point presentation of exhibits, explained how anyone can be a member, and explained the selection process. The ASHOF is located at #3 Verizon Arena Way in North Little Rock and he encouraged the Kiwanians to drop in and see the exhibits. Mitchell is a native of Ashdown and a former long-time resident of Prescott where he served for almost twenty years as minister of the Central Baptist Church. After many years preaching in Little Rock he retired and four days later was offered the job at the ASHOF. He says he has greatly enjoyed the job!
The Hope School Board met Monday September 18th. Before convening the meeting, Board President Willie Buck gave an update on absent board member Denny Dickinson who has been under the weather.
Under the Superintendent's report, Mr. Bobby Hart noted that enrollment fluctuates but it had caught his attention that last month enrollment was 2,326 but as of Friday enrollment was 2,266. He noted some of that difference had to do with kids who were enrolled at the end of school but who it was determined had moved out of the district. Mr. Hart said he will continue to monitor enrollment numbers.
The board heard from Jerry Vaughn and Dr. Blaine Alexander of the Arkansas Leadership Academy. Vaughn is the district's performance coach. Vaughn says his rôle is to take his 36 years of experience along with the core beliefs to reach the goals of the district. The company works with the schools' administrative team on strategic planning and organizational development. There are three focus areas including "climate and culture", "accountability systems for adults", and "accountability systems for students".
Three students from the Hope Academy of Public Service spoke about a project they did concerning a video they participated in. The students are Mika Brown, Richard Ware, and Amber Cisneros. Mr. Hart said they are looking forward to seeing the video.
The board reviewed the district's strategic plan. They discussed three of seven focus areas. The board discussed retention rates and increasing graduation rates. Retention is at 90% for students in grades k-11 and graduation rates are at 87%. Mr. Hart says graduation rates are rising and they hope to get them to 95%.
Mr. Hart says the district has partnered with UAHT to create the "Hope Collegiate and Professions Academy". Students in this proposed academy in grades 10 thru 12 will concurrently attend Hope High and UAHT. The students will be housed on the college campus here in Hope and will be transported to Hope High to participate in such activities as band and sports. The district will petition the State Department of Education for a conversion charter and Mr. Hart says it will take about a year to get the program lined out. He said the letter of intent will go out in March. It will be open to students who live in the Hope School District. Mr. Hart says this will be the first such collaboration between a public school and a public college. He said it is a logical expansion of the HAPS program. Mr. Hart also says he thinks it will draw some families to Hope. The students that successfully complete the program will graduate high school with 60 hours of college, an associates degree, or a professional technical certificate. Mr. Hart says Hempstead County is 65th out of 75 counties in Arkansas in terms of population with college degrees. Currently 12.1% of Hempstead County residents have a college degree.
The board looked at proposal for a third party to handle custodial duties. He said they hope to have some possible submissions to look at in January.
The Hempstead County Shooting Sports Club received a check for nearly $3,500 from the Piney Woods Friends of the NRA on Monday September 18th at the Hempstead County Courthouse. Joining Cyril and Phyllis Stewart from Piney Woods was Erica Dunn, NRA Field Representative for the state of Arkansas. Dunn noted the funding for such grants come from the money raised at Friends of NRA banquets from around the state. The Piney Woods banquet is set for Saturday September 30th at 5:30pm at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Prescott. On hand from the Hempstead County Shooting Sports Club was Cody Lockhart, Harlie Lockhart, Mark Lockhart, Kelsea Beasley, Marcus Beasley, Kobey Powell, Landon Dougan, Trent Hammond, Lane Lockhart, and Kassidy Beasley. Hempstead County Judge Haskell Morse, an NRA supporter, was also on hand for the presentation.
The 73rd annual Southwest Arkansas Fair Parade is set for 6pm Tuesday September 26th. The parade will begin at 6th and Elm in Hope. Pre-registration is required for all parade participants. Those who wish to be in the parade must pre-register by noon Tuesday September 26th. You must register whether your entry is to be judged or not. Pre-register by calling 777-6772 weekdays from 8am until 5pm All judged entrants must come by the green tent at 6th and Elm to pick up their number by 4:30pm.
All horses must be checked in by 5:45pm at the Brazzel green tent on South Elm behind Main Street Cleaners and Domino's Pizza. ALL HORSES MUST SHOW PROOF OF A CURRENT COGGINS TEST (which is state law) before participating in the parde.
No candy may be thrown, no loud music, and three and four wheelers will not be allowed.
The parade will start going north on Elm to Division. At Division the parade will turn right and go east for two blocks to Walnut. At Walnut the parade will turn right and go south one block to 2nd. At 2nd the parade will turn left and procede east for three blocks to Shover Street. On Shover, the parade turns right and ends up in the Village Shopping Center Parking Lot.
The Theme for this year's parade is "Lost In the 50's".
Aliyah Kight, 22, of Hope, AR Failure to Appear
Regina Rush, 23, of Texarkana, TX Failure to Comply
Sergio Alvarado, 18, of Hope, AR Failure to Appear
1404 hours in the 1400 block of N. Hervey St. 2 vehicle
1530 hours in the 100 block of E. 3rd St. 2 vehicle
1830 hours in the 1600 block of N. Spruce St. 2 vehicle (Hit and Run/Private Property)
1804 hours in the 2700 block of S. Patmos Rd. 1 vehicle
1327 hours in the I-30/N. Hervey St. Intersection 2 vehicle (Hit and Run)
1600 hours in the 1100 block of N. Walker St. 1 vehicle (Private Property)
0807 hours in the 2000 block of E. Holiday Dr. (Super 8 Motel)
S – Steve Rosilier, 38, of Hope, AR
Mr. Rosilier was charged with theft of property.
1830 hours in the 900 block of N. Hervey St. (Super 1 Foods)
S – Angela White, 38, of Hope, AR
Ms. White was charged with theft by deception.
1931 hours in the 2400 block of N. Hervey St. (Wal-Mart)
S – Amy Creek, 27, of Hope, AR
Ms. Creek was arrested and charged with theft of property and possession of drug paraphernalia.
1327 hours in the I-30 and N. Hervey St. Intersection
S – Chester Moore, 60, of Washington, AR
Mr. Moore was charged with leaving the scene of an accident with property damage.
1747 hours in the 400 block of Caney Creek Circle
S – Alexis Washington, 39, of Hope, AR
Ms. Washington was charged with harassment.
Big crowd Thursday September 14th for the Forestry Workshop at the Southwest Research and Extension Center. Dr. Jon Barry and Dr. Kyle Cunningham spoke on assessing and marketing timber.