Several races have emerged following the filing deadline of March 1 for candidates running for county offices.
Filings in Izard County, for Judge, Eric Smith (R) incumbent, Thomas Ward (D), Warren Skelton (D); Sheriff, Earnie Blackley (R), Carl Russell (R), Rick Kimble (D); Clerk, Shelly Downing (D) incumbent; Treasurer, Warren Sanders (R) incumbent; Collector, Marilyn Downing (D) incumbent, Paul D. Womack (R); Justice of the Peace: District 1, Justin Sanders (D) incumbent; District 2, Thomas W. Rushing (D) incumbent, Walter Hagan (R); District 3, Jared Johnson (D), Randy “Hank” Sherrell (I), John Walker (R), Dale Ivy (R); District 4, Willie Moser (D) incumbent, Michelle Graetz (R); District 5, John David Miller (D) incumbent; District 6, Seth Engelhardt (D) incumbent; District 7, Brian Biard (D), Tony Gill (I), Christopher Blake Johnson (R); District 8, Wayne Boren (D) incumbent; District 9, Richard “Rich” Emmens (R) incumbent; Constable: Millcreek, Timothy Whitehurst (D) incumbent; Pleasant Hill, John Mark Rogers, (I); Gid, George F. Whitfield (I), Donnie Tate (I); School Board, Melbourne, Phillip Edwards (I) incumbent.
Filings in Fulton County, for Judge, Darrell Zimmer (D) incumbent, Brock Love (D), Jim Kendrick (R); Sheriff, Albert “Al” Roork (D) incumbent; Clerk, Vickie Bishop (D) incumbent; Treasurer, Seth Jones (D) incumbent, Barry Abney (D); Collector, Michalle Watkins (D) incumbent; Assessor, Brad Schaufler (D) incumbent; Coroner, Steven C. Barker (D) incumbent; Surveyor, Brian Keen (D) incumbent; Justice of the Peace: District 1, Cris Newberry (D) incumbent; District 2, Lynn Guffey (I) incumbent; District 3, Burton Yarnell, (D) incumbent, Michael Barnett (D), Gene McBride (R); District 4, Seth Martin (D) incumbent, Bill Worsham (D); District 5, Johnny Moody (D) incumbent, Randy L. Wilson (R); District 6, Marjorie A. Rogers (R) incumbent; District 7, Tesa Bishop Nelson (D) incumbent, Ray Matthew (R); District 8, Jack Haney (D) incumbent; District 9, Jimmy Marler (D) incumbent, Charles R. Kendrick (R); Constable Township #1, Clay Divelbiss (D). In the City of Salem: Mayor, Daniel Busch (D) incumbent; Jimmy D. McBride (D); Alderman, Ward 1, Position 1, Betty Teague (D) incumbent; Ward 1, Position 2, Marcia Newton, (D) incumbent; Ward 2, Position 1, Richard Frazier (D) incumbent; Ward 2, Position 2, Ted York (D) incumbent; School Board: Salem, Position 3, Jason Miller, incumbent; Viola, Position 3, Max Ray Shrable, incumbent.
Filings in Sharp County, for Judge, Gene Moore (I) incumbent; Treasurer, Wanda Girtman (D) incumbent; Sheriff, Mark Counts (I) incumbent; Clerk, Alisa Black (I); Assessor, Kathy Nix (I) incumbent; Tax Collector, Charlotte Ratliff (I) incumbent; Coroner, Renee Clay-Circle (R) incumbent, Seth H. Wortham (D); Justice of the Peace: District 1, Roger C. Stark (D) incumbent, Phillip Sullivan (R); District 2, Briana Dilorio (R) incumbent, Garry Lawrence (D); District 3, Greg Prenger (D) incumbent; District 4, Chuck Murphy (D) incumbent; District 5, Tony Vaughn (R) incumbent, Derek Ford (R), Ruth Rogers (D); District 6, Everett McGuire (R) incumbent, David R. Cook (D), Jackie Pickett (I); District 7, Bart Schulz (I) incumbent; District 8, Jeral Hastings (D) incumbent; District 9, Todd Price (I) incumbent; Constable: District 1, Kevin Dienst (D) incumbent; District 2, Steven R. Rose (D) incumbent; District 3, Mary Wanley (D) incumbent; District 4, Michael R. Orosz (I) incumbent; District 5, Kelly Newcom (R) incumbent; District 6, Israel Hester (D); District 7, Eric J. Pickle (D) incumbent, District 9, Aaron Hunter (D) incumbent; School Board: Highland, Position 2, Jason Rhodes incumbent; Position 3, Julea Garner incumbent; Cave City, Position 5, Donald Simmons incumbent, Jon Hodges.
The Preferential Primary Election is Tuesday, May 22. Voters will decide on candidates in the Democrat and Republican races. Deadline to register to vote in the Preferential Primary is Monday, April 23.

A group of individuals from Horseshoe Bend and the outlying areas have gotten together to try and re-open the Horseshoe Bend Music in the Mountains Theater.
This group is looking at different formats for the shows, hoping to bring the area some professional shows on top of showcasing local talent.
The first endeavor will be a show on March 24 at 6 p.m. with the professional talents of The Creek Rocks that has performed in many different venues, Eureka Springs, Little Rock, Springfield and Branson, MO, to name a few. There will be a ticket charge for the professional shows to help with the expenses of, not only bringing great talent to our area, but assisting in keeping the doors of the theater open.
Watch the Pacesetting Times for more details and ads to come. Mark your calendars. There is also a reunion show being planned for the future, hopefully bringing back some of the great talent we have heard in the theater over the years. The theater is also going to be made available to groups needing a venue of this kind. The new board of the Theater looks forward to bringing great talent to our area and asks for your support for this piece of history in Horseshoe Bend.

by Bobby Stapleton, sports
Izard County punched their ticket, this time a Golden Ticket, last Saturday, when they knocked off the Mount Vernon-Enola Warhawks at Morrilton in the semi-finals of the State Tournament. Ten years ago, the Izard County Cougars went to the Summit in Hot Springs and brought home the 1A State Championship trophy. This weekend, they will try to duplicate that achievement. The Cougars head back to the Spa City for a 7:45 p.m. tipoff on March 10, where they will face the Guy Perkins Thunderbirds.
The Cougars jumped out to an early lead when Justus Cooper lit things up with a baby hook shot in the lane and Dalton Dillard stroked a trey from the left wing. Cooper upped the lead with a step back jumper from the top of the key, making it an early 7-zip lead for the Cougars. Mt. Vernon-Enola finally got on the scoreboard at the 3:18 with a free throw and Dylan Tharp answered that with a pull up jumper off the free throw line, pushing the Cougar lead up to 9-1.
The Warhawks racked up back-to-back treys to close the gap down to a two point game, but Caleb Faulkner hit a jumper in the lane and Dillard hit one of two free throws to bump the lead to 12-7. The Warhawks capped the first stanza with a couple of charity tosses and the Cougars kept the lead, 12-9. Mt. Vernon-Enola made it a one point game with a bucket with less than half a minute gone from the clock in the second, but Faulkner drained a trey from the top of the key to make it a two possession game once again. The Warhawks picked up a bucket at the other end to keep it close, but Faulkner sank a couple of free throw to keep it a two possession game. The Warhawks picked up five straight points to claim their first lead at the 2:50 mark, taking an 18-17 lead. A little less than a minute ticked off the clock and Cooper stuck back a rebound and followed that with a traditional three point play, pushing Izard County back out in front 22-18, which held up until halftime.
The Warhawks opened the third quarter with six straight points, going up 24-22. Faulkner hit a jumper from near the free throw line to knot the game back up at 24-all, but a traditional three point play at the other end kept the Cougars trailing. Faulkner stole a ball on defense and took it back for the lay up, pulling Izard County back to within one. Another old fashioned three point play by Mt. Vernon-Enola gave them a two possession lead at 30-26, but a baby hook by Cooper off the right side and a floater in the lane from Faulkner tied the game 30-all with 3:40 left in the third. The Warhawks retook the lead with a trey, but Cooper hit a jumper from the top to keep it a one point game. Mt. Vernon-Enola stayed with the long range bombs, hitting their third trifecta of the frame to up their lead to 36-32 before Mike Uecker hit a reverse lay up to pull the Cougars back to within two. The fourth trey of the third quarter upped the Warhawks lead to 39-34, but Faulkner crashed the offensive glass and stuck back a rebound to close out the frame, pulling the Cougars back to within three points at 36-39.
Izard County had eight minutes to get things lined out and head back to Hot Springs, where Coach Kyle McCandlis has fond memories, since he was on the team ten years ago when Izard County last won the Championship. Uecker hit a jumper off the right side after getting the no look pass from Cooper, making it a one point game. The Warhawks made it four in a row as they nailed a trey to up their lead, and the Cougars started climbing back with a vengeance. Back-to-back buckets by Faulkner knotted the game to 42-all with 6:03 left in the game, then Cooper came back with two free throws at the 5:34 mark to put Izard County on top 44-42. With the Warhawks spreading the floor to pressure Izard County, Faulkner attacked the basket and hit the jumper in the lane to make it a two possession game at 47-43. Mt. Vernon-Enola never could put together back-to-back scores and Izard County hit free throws from there on to secure their ticket to the Championship game by taking a 52-48 win. For Izard County: Faulkner (22), Cooper (17), Uecker (6), Dillard (4), Tharp (2), and Everett (1).

The Mammoth Spring Lady Bears battled hard this season and after almost 17 years, made it to the State Elite 8.
The young team drew a bye for first round in state and took on the Quachita Lady Warriors on Wednesday, February 28 at the Devil Dog Arena in Morrilton.
The Lady Bears led by 14 points at the half and never looked back, defeating the Lady Warriors 85-67.
Mammoth Spring rallied to a 50-36 halftime lead and were ahead by 20 at the half, 68-48.
Whitlee Layne had game high points with 27, Brianna Hocum had 19, Stephine Henry hit 14 and Lauren Mitchell scored 12.
The Lady Bears (30-11) met the Kirby Lady Trojans in quarterfinal action on Friday, March 2, another young team, and the battle ensued. The Lady Bears were down by three at the end of the first quarter, but scored 19 points to lead the Lady Trojans at the half 32-29.
The Lady Bears set the pace, outscoring their opponent in the third quarter, and kept the lead, 45-38.
The Lady Trojans tied the game 45-all with a little over four minutes left in the game, and the Lady Bears regained the lead for a short time. The Lady Bear’s season came to an end with a loss to the Lady Trojans 61-55.
Layne led the Lady Bears with 23 and Mitchell scored 10.
Coach Denny Young praised his team and their great season. “It’s all about the experience, getting to play post-season,” said Young. “This is a close-knit group, and everybody is coming back next year.”
Congratulations Lady Bears on a great season!
JUMP FOR IT: Brianna Hocum hauls in a rebound against Kirby at Morrilton. Photo/D.Russell

The Melbourne Lady Bearkatz proved their strength this year, and made it to the Class 3A State Final Four. The last time the Lady ‘Katz were in this position was in 1991.
The Melbourne Lady Bearkatz took on the Two Rivers Lady Gators in the Class 3A State Tournament first round, at Drew Central High School in Monticello, on Wednesday, February 28 at 1 p.m.
The Lady ‘Katz rallied to defeat the Lady Gators, 38-33, shooting 85 percent from the free throw line, sinking 18 out of 21.
The Lady Bearkatz (27-7) came from a four point deficit after one, to tie the game 19-19 at the half. The Lady Bearkatz took the lead at the end of three, 30-26 and captured the win 38-33. Regan Rapert led the Lady ‘Katz with 18 and Dani Hardaway added 7.
The Lady Bearkatz made their way into the State Final Four with their win over Junction City 59-42 on Friday, March 2. This is the first time in 27 years that the Lady Bearkatz were in the State Final Four.
The Lady Bearkatz great season came to an end on Saturday, March 3, with their loss to the Mountain View Lady Yellowjackets 40-63.
The Lady Yellowjackets came out with a vengeance, outscoring the Lady Bearkatz by 15 points in the first quarter, and 9 points in the second. The Lady Bearkatz scored 18 in the third quarter and 9 in the fourth, but couln’t overcome the Yellowjackets.
The Lady Bearkatz’ young team, coached by Eric Teague, looks forward to next year.
SHOT: Lady Bearkat Josie Roark goes in tough to the hoop in quarterfinal action against Junction City last week. Photo/L.Hoskinds