Perfect weather Wednesday October 18th added to a fun night at Hope Haven as St. John United Methodist Church prepared and served hot dogs to the residents at Hope Haven. St. John's minister Rev. Danny Dunlap cooked the hot dogs and they were served by St. John's parishioners and Hope Haven staff. After the supper, St. John's members demonstrated a color run for the residents. Music was provided by Shelley Keith and Jerrome Underwood
The Hope City Board held their annual "Tour of Facilities" Tuesday October 17th. The board met at City Hall and headed to the Hope Police Department to look at the detective's office and look at an area being considered for expansion. Currently four detectives share the cramped room. The board also checked out the police evidence storage facility. After the police department, the board traced the area from the Kiamichi tracks on 6th to Spring Hill Road to look at an area under consideration for reconstruction. 6th Street needs to be rebuilt and more storm drainage added. The board also hopes to add a bike lane if they are able to tackle the project.
The board headed to the West Wastewater Plant and the City Landfill. Both facilities are remarkably clean and neat. Work on the wastewater plant should prolong the life of that facility for several more decades. The board looked a new cell being developed at the landfill. The landfill project is nearly complete and comprises nearly 13 acres. This cell will hold household garbage.
The tour headed north to look at the Hope Airport. The 77 year old hanger is in particularly good shape with several new improvements. The board also discussed some possible improvements to the fueling area.
The tour ended up with a close-up look at the city's rail spur. The boad saw some ties that need to be replaced and will be shortly and also heard a description of what will be done to improve the spur if the city receives a grant. The board also heard about the spur's importance to local industries such as Hexion.
The board headed back to town for lunch following the tour. The city board met Tuesay night for a regularly scheduled meeting.
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Little Rock, AR: Governor Asa Hutchinson, AEDC Executive Director Mike Preston, AEDC Executive Vice President of Operations Amy Fecher and Rural Services Director Alex Johnston presented $246,225 to 21 rural communities selected for funding through the Rural Services Rural Community Grant Program for Fiscal Year 2018. The grant awards were distributed October 10th at an awards ceremony held in the Governor’s Conference Room at the Arkansas State Capitol.
In attendance were representatives receiving an Arkansas Rural Services Rural Community Grant award on behalf of Cale in Nevada County. The City of Cale received $4,133 to purchase and install a generator for the Cale Community Center.
The Division of Rural Services works in partnership with the Arkansas Rural Development Commission to select the Rural Services Rural Community Grant recipients. Incorporated cities and towns and unincorporated communities in rural areas of less than 3,000 in population are eligible to apply for assistance through the Arkansas Rural Community Grant Program.
All Arkansans are invited to attend the 2018 Rural Development Conference in Little Rock May 22nd -24th. Attendees will learn about additional programs and funding opportunities available to Arkansas’s rural communities. Over 75 state legislators will join over 600 mayors, county judges, other state and federal officials, and community leaders to participate in this annual conference.
For more information about the Rural Development Conference or Rural Services grant programs, please contact the Division of Rural Services at 1-888-RURAL-AR.
Pictured from Left to Right:
Shelley Morehead of Southwest Arkansas Planning and Development District (SWAPDD), State Representative David Fielding, Blake Harrell of SWAPDD, State Representative Danny Watson, Mayor William Worlow, ARDC Commissioner Claude Graves, Jani Worlow, Governor Asa Hutchinson, AEDC Executive VP of Operations Amy Fecher, AEDC Executive Director Mike Preston, ARDC Commissioner Lynn Hawkins, ARDC Commissioner Jamie Pafford-Gresham, ARDC Commissioner Davis Bell.
The Hope City Board met Tuesday October 17th. Tashia Martin of the Hope Rockers spoke and answered questions for the board. Martin noted the group is in the off-season now. Martin said the group is non-profit and the paperwork for the non-profit status is being prepared. Currently the group has about 30 members and can have more than 50 members. Martin says the group gets more active about February as many of the members cheer at football and basketball games. In answer to a board question, Martin says the financial proceeds go to such things as travel expenses and uniforms. She also said she serves girls aged 5 to 17. There was a question about Martin using the North Side Community Center more than one or two days per week. Martin said the "ladies at Fair Park" gave her permission and keys to the North Side Community Center. Charles Primus said he was not aware the troupe had been using the community center more than she had permission for. Also, it was requested if she doesn't need the North Side Center until February she would need to turn in her keys until after the first of the year. Also, there was a question about a routine in which the older girls dance on tables. This was a question of safety and liability. Mayor Steve Montgomery noted he was impressed after seeing dance routines of the group on Martin's Facebook page. Another board member questioned what had happened to the oversight of Charles Primus and Dr. LaDell Douglas. Martin said she didn't know what caused Dr. Douglas and Primus to cease involvement. Primus said he and Dr. Douglas would not sponsor the group again because he had heard of girls dancing on tables, he had seen a child sitting in the window,and Primus also said Martin's little boy had "run wild". Martin and Primus both made comments and indicated a problem between them. Mayor Montgomery said he would support the group using the building up to two nights a week in the future but asked if she could get more supervision and sponsors. Martin said she could do that and would come back to the board with sponsors. The board agreed to let her use the building in February if she'll agree to come back and report to the board.
The board looked at an ordinance to raise the city's general millage from 4.2 mills to 5 mills. The board initially voted to raise the millage from 2.2 to 3.2 in 2016, up to 4.2 in 2017, and indicated their intentions to consider going to 5 for 2018. Prior to the 2016 action, the millage had not been raised in 30 years. City Attorney Joe Short read the ordinance. The ordinance passed 5 to 1.
The board approved an ordinance approving a continuation of the 1 mill firemen's pension property tax for the coming year. The ordinance passed unanimously.
The board looked at finance options for 6th Street. The board is looking at reconstruction of 6th from the railroad tracks to Spring Hill Road. This would include additional storm drainage and a bike lane. City Manager Catherine Cook noted options include borrowing from city reserves or a bond issue. The project would continue into 2019. Cook suggested using $200,00 from street reserves, using half of the street construction fund in 2018 and 2019, and borrowing $400,000 from general fund reserves. The city is also hopes to get $400,000 from the city state aid Street committee. John Akin asked if the city state aid Street committee funds would be a grant and it was indicated that it would be. It was suggested that possibly some of the money be borrowed from the airport fund (which now has $200,000). The board voted to go with the city manager's proposal on the project.
Under the city manager's report, Catherine Cook said the city grant request for the downtown pavilion had gone past the first hurdle and the city will make a further presentation soon. A decision is expected in December. Cook also noted the city landfill project is nearly finished.
City Attorney Joe Short noted Al Fink had countered the city's offer of clearing the lien on his property at Hazel and Division for $22,000. Fink had proposed $19,000. The board voted to accept the offer.
Board member Kiffenea Tallry asked that residents please take down their yard salsigns in a timely manner. Board member Mark Ross noted the Chicken Express project is coming along well. Chief J.R. Wilson noted the Department of Comminity Correction has been scheduled to clean out the city planter at Third and Division. The meeting then adjourned.
The Hope City Board held their annual "Tour of Facilities" on Tuesday October 17th. The board visited the Hope Police Department, 6th Street, The Hope Landfill, the West Wastewater Plant, the Hope Airport, and the City Rail Spur. Here, Dr. Trevor Coffee listens as he is shown the Hope Police Evidence Storage Facility.
The Hope Rotary Club is getting ready to celebrate its 100th anniversary in early 2018. The club is the oldest active civic club in Hope and meets every Thursday at noon. At the most recent meeting the Centennial Committee met to discuss plans for the 100th anniversary. Tentative plans call for a public program although further details have yet to be worked out. Committee members present at the meeting included Dolly Henley, John Watkins, Paul Henley, President Terrie James, and Bobby Hart. Also present at the meeting but unable to stay for the photo was committee member Wendy Jones.
Deborah Parmer, 50, of Hope, AR Failure to Appear
Kimberly Wingfield, 34, of Hope, AR Failure to Appear
Brack Pondexter, 63, of Hope, AR Failure to Comply
Mechelle Rigney, 53, of Hope, AR Failure to Appear
Christopher Evans, 47, of Hope, AR Failure to Appear
Marcus Hamilton, 20, of Hope, AR Failure to Appear
1210 hours in the 100 block of S. Hervey St. 2 vehicle (Private Property)
0045 hours in the 200 block of N. Hamilton St.
S – Ramon Orellana, 42, of Hope, AR
Mr. Orellana was arrested and charged with false imprisonment in the second degree and sexual assault in the second degree.
2311 hours in the 1100 block of E. Ave H
S – Dartelli Turner, 32, of Hope, AR
Mr. Turner was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated, refusal to submit, driving on a suspended driver’s license, fleeing on foot, possession of a controlled substance, and served with a foreign warrant.
0940 hours in the 2400 block of N. Hervey St. (Wal-Mart)
S – Jeremy Conway, 19, of Hope, AR
Mr. Conway was arrested and charged with theft of property.
0920 hours in the 2400 block of N. Hervey St. (Wal-Mart)
S – Lakin Hulett, 19, of Hope, AR
Ms. Hulett was charged with theft of property by employee (embezzlement).
1931 hours in the 2000 block of N. Hazel St.
S – Darione Pridgeon, 25, of Hope, AR
Mr. Pridgeon was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance (marijuana).
2210 hours in the 400 block of E. 3rd St.
S – Jesus Mejia, 27, of Hope, AR
Mr. Mejia was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated.
The Hope Junior Auxiliary recently donated numerous clean up supplies and other items to the Bobcats Helping Bobcats project of the Hope Public Schools to benefit Hurricane Harvey victims in Refugio, Texas, home of the Refugio Bobcats. JA President Megan Cox, left, along with daughter, Lilly, and JA member Julie Washington made the presentation of cleaning supplies, new children’s socks and undergarments, buckets, mops, and shovels at the Clinton Primary School campus. Donation boxes prepared by Hope Academy of Public Service Student Council members have been placed at each HPS campus as well as the HPS administration building. – Ken McLemore/Hope Public Schools
Beryl Henry Elementary School students recently completed an Egyptian Tomb Art project as part of the Arts In Education program of the Hope Public Schools in conjunction with the Southwest Arkansas Arts Council. SWAAC Executive Director George Smith and his wife, Bobbie, judged the artworks which were created in Stephanie Smelley’s class under the guidance of AIE Mary Overton. Overall winner was Jodie Hill, with Cason Torres awarded first place; Quincee Key, second place; Miracle Martinez, third place; and Mizraim Reza, honorable mention. – Ken McLemore/Hope Public Schools