Gary Owens

When you’ve been in the shoe business for 61 years, you know what you’re doing. And let’s just say, Gary Owens of Union, knows his shoes.
Raised in Union, Gary began working for Noah Caruthers at the Salem Shoe Shop, when he was 11. He remembers running the shop alone for a week, at age 14, when Noah went on vacation. This job led Gary to Little Rock in 1966, where he worked for Snell Prosthetic Orthotics Lab until 2015. He remained there for 46 years. “There were five people employed there in the beginning, then 60 when I left, with ten labs. I was supervisor for all the labs,” he said. Gary built shoes, braces and orthopedic appliances until his retirement in February of 2015.
Gary and his wife Brenda opened Owens Corner Store in Union, a little over a year later, in June of 2016, and he has a workshop at the store, repairing shoes, saddles, purses and billfolds. He sells Cowtown boots at his shop as well. His slogan that can be seen on the storefront window is “Saving your sole so your boot can heel.”
Owens Corner Store is located on Hwy. 9, and they offer groceries, deli items, sandwiches, Hunt’s Brothers Pizza, wings and wingbites, ice, propane, and more. Gary and Brenda invite everyone to come by and have a free cup of coffee. The store is open Monday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and is closed on Sunday.

(January 25, 2017)

JoAnn Lowrie
Photo/C.Stafford


by Cassie Stafford
JoAnn Lowrie is retiring after 22 years working with the Head Start and NADC programs in Salem.
Lowrie began working at Head Start in 1992 and worked until 1998. She then took a few year’s break and had her own in-home daycare, and then she returned to “the front side of the building” as she called it. In 2000, she began in the Management position at NADC in Fulton County.
Lowrie was born in Salem in 1962 and graduated from Highschool in 1980. She then moved to Little Rock and started college. While in Little Rock, she attended a Jr. College and also UALR. She met her husband and married him in 1981, had two boys, Robert and James, and moved back to Salem in 1990 when Robert started kindergarten. She received her Child Development Associate license at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.
In 1991 the Head Start Program was a home based program, and in 1992, the program was going to center based. “It was a threat that Salem wouldn’t have a Head Start program because they couldn’t find a building,” said Lowrie. With her son, James, being in the program and being a Head Start parent at the time, Lowrie thought, “We can’t just let these kids be dropped.” Lowrie began to help look around for a building and talked to Cord Mosley who owned the property that the Head Start program is in. Head Start opened the center in December of 1992 and Lowrie served as the Assistant Teacher.
Looking back on what she enjoyed most in the 22 years, Lowrie said, “Head Start will always be in my heart, because just watching the kids when they would master tying their shoes, or being able to count to ten. Those little milestones and that little lightbulb would go off, and their face and their little eyes lit up. It would just be awesome.” She also enjoyed working with the parents because they would also set goals for the parents to obtain. “Just being involved in that family was a big plus.”
Lowrie also really enjoyed the Energy Assistance Program. “Our elderly and handicapped live on such a small income, sometimes it makes a difference in eating or medicine.” Lowrie explained that over the years, she has seen some people that are “too proud” to ask for help, but that she encourages people who need the help to take advantage of it, that way they can afford their medicine and food.
She explained that another aspect that she loved about the job was being able to refer people. Sometimes people call and just don’t know where to turn, so Lowrie tries to find the help that they need. Even if NADC is out of funds, she tries to lead people in the right direction they need to be in, and give them that little bit of hope. At times, when funds have been tight, she had to cover two counties. In 2016, Lowrie covered Fulton and Izard County and had to split four days between the two counties.
“I think God put me here, in this job, I really do,” said Lowrie. “Growing up, we didn’t always have the money, so I understand. It’s not an embarrassment to need the help, but if you don’t ask you can’t get it.”
Lowrie said something that has impressed her the past few years is that Fulton County Judge Darrell Zimmer has been the only Judge that she knows of that has helped unload the commodity truck. “It amazes me that he always stands in there and is in the assembly line unloading the boxes.”
After retirement, Lowrie said her main goal right now is to get her husband well, who has been dealing with some health issues since December 2016. “The main thing is just to be there for him. I also have four beautiful grandchildren; Peyton, Alex, Brooklyn and Jace.” Lowrie is looking forward to just being able to spend some time with her grandchildren outdoors. “They all love to be outdoors,” she said.
Lowrie loves scrapbooking and sewing. She has put her scrapbooking on hold lately, but said she’s ready to get back to it. “To me that’s sort of preserving the history of our family, plus the kids love it,” she said.
She commended Linda Cooper, who has been with NADC for over 40 years, for the good job that she does. “With her vision, this program has really grown. I thank her for giving me the opportunity to start. I appreciate the clients letting me be here in their time of need.”
Libby Hale, who began working at Head Start as a Health and Safety Aide in Fall 2016, was hired on Monday, January 17 to fill Lowrie’s vacant position. The Fulton County office will be open Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A trash truck ended up on its side in the curve by Morriston Road on Hwy. 289 on Monday, August 1 around 5 p.m. The Franklin Fire Department assisted in directing traffic as Skeeter Beene Towing of Melbourne pulled the truck back upright. No injuries were reported. Arkansas State Police Trooper Villiger worked the wreck. Photo/C.Stafford

Rollover on Hwy. 289 between Horseshoe Bend and Glencoe

Rollover on Hwy. 289 between Horseshoe Bend and Glencoe

Authorities have arrested two suspects that were involved in a theft of a church van in Horseshoe Bend plus additional thefts in Horseshoe Bend, Elizabeth, and Cave City.
Early Sunday morning, July 10, staff of the First Baptist Church in Horseshoe Bend reported to authorities that the church building had been broken into and that items including a guitar and the church van were stolen.
While Lt. Charles Melton, Sgt. Gabe Sanders and Horseshoe Bend assigned deputies were investigating, they developed at least two people of interest, located the guitar, and continued the investigation. During this investigation, it was reported that Doty Family Funeral Home of Horseshoe Bend had a van damaged. Someone had attempted to hotwire the vehicle that same night.
On July 11, Lt. Melton learned that his prime suspect had been arrested in Cave City. The suspect had fled from Cave City Police and had shot at them before wrecking the vehicle he was driving. Mac Ryan Chitwood, age 26 of Horseshoe Bend, currently in the Sharp County Jail, has been charged in Izard County in connection with the church and funeral home events. An Elizabeth man, 18 year old Dalton Michael Pflaumer, has also been arrested and incarcerated in the Baxter County Detention Center on felony charges related to the burglary of a private residence, vehicle thefts, and other thefts.
The events leading up to the arrest of Pflaumer came about in the early hours of July 11, when the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office was notified that officers in Sharp County had been involved in a vehicle pursuit with a 2001 Volvo V10 driven by Chitwood. It was determined that the registered owners of the vehicle involved in that pursuit reside in the St. Louis, Missouri area but have a vacation home in Baxter County on Diamond Bay Road. The owners were contacted and stated that their vehicle should still be parked at their residence on Diamond Bay Road, and indicated they had not been at that residence since July 5. Later that same morning, Corp. Kristofer Savino went to the residence on Diamond Bay Road and found that it had been burglarized. Items missing from the residence, in addition to their 2001 Volvo V10, were a handgun and a shotgun. It appeared that people had been squatting in the residence for a period of time. Entry had been made through the back door of the house.
Chitwood, who had been apprehended in Sharp County, told authorities there that he and another person had stolen a white van belonging to the First Baptist Church in Horseshoe Bend. He indicated the pair had travelled in the stolen church van to the Hand Cove area in Baxter County. They had concealed the stolen van in a heavily wooded area approximately one mile away from the residence they chose to burglarize.
Chitwood and Pflaumer parted company in the Brockwell area of Izard County after leaving the residence in the stolen Volvo. The vehicle pursuit involving Chitwood driving the stolen Volvo in Sharp County occurred afterwards.
The Baxter County Sheriff’s Office utilized its helicopter on the evening of July 11 to fly over the Hand Cove/Diamond Bay area in an attempt to locate the stolen and abandoned church van. After flying over the area for several minutes, the van was spotted from the air through dense foliage. The van was subsequently towed and removed for evidentiary processing.
In addition to the burglary investigation, the Sheriff’s Office had taken reports the previous day, July 10, that a private boat dock near Baxter CR 863, in the same area, had been entered and several items were stolen from the dock and from boats in the dock. These included speakers, binoculars, and fishing equipment. A cellphone was found on one of the boats. This cellphone was found to belong to Pflaumer. According to reports,

Pflaumer

Pflaumer

Chitwood

Chitwood

Pflaumer was located on July 12, admitted to committing the crimes with the other suspect, and helped investigators locate and recover some of the stolen items.
As to the funeral home, both Chitwood and Pflaumer have been charged with breaking and entering, a class D felony; and criminal mischief, a class D felony. Relating to the church, both have been charged with commercial burglary and theft of property, both class D felonies. The pair have an Izard County Circuit Court date of August 10. Pflaumer remains in custody in lieu of a $50,000 bond.

On Sunday, June 12, Weston Burk, son of Joey and Cassi Burk of Salem and brother to Natalie, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, ALL. He is undergoing treatments at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock. The entire community of Salem has pulled together for the Burk Family. Several fundraisers and raffles have been established. The Weston Burk Co-Ed Benefit Tournament was held last weekend.
Event coordinator Lena Smith of Salem stated, “I believe good things come to good people and you won’t find a better family than the Burks!”
Over $7,000 was raised on July 9 and July 10 during the tournament (t-shirts, raffles, entry fees, concessions and donations).
“Wow what a great showing of support, prayer, and fellowship at Salem yesterday. The Weston Co-ed Tournament was a huge success. Thank you to all 19 teams that stuck it out and worked throughout the day switching fields and keeping things on track and going. Thanks everyone that participated and helped with it all. I’m very glad to be a part of it and help bring it all together. What an incredible community we live in!” stated event coordinator Jake Smith of Salem.
“Today has just been absolutely amazing! Joey and I tried to make it around to everyone that came out to the tournament, but we know we missed some. So we are trying to reach out to everyone to tell you all how THANKFUL we are for everything. To the 19 teams that played, the umps, scorekeepers, concession stand workers, all the sponsors that donated food or money, the community that came out just to watch the games or eat, and to all the ones that had a helping hand in putting it all together, thank you. We know it was not an easy job and took a lot of hard work and time. We are so blessed to call you all our friends and family. Thank you again for everything you have done for our little boy and family, we love you all!” said Cassi Burk.
Sponsors of the Weston Burk Co-Ed Benefit Tournament were Sonic of Salem, Twin Lakes Packing and Processing, Town and Country of Ash Flat, Modern Woodmen – Trena Spears, Barker’s Funeral Home, Scribner’s Family Practice, Viola Hardware, Barker’s Hilltop Package Store, Janice Hensley and family, Salem Sweet Treats and Bakery, Cliff and Cheryl Pleasant, Gary Wayne and Lenisa Branscum, Terry Burk and North Arkansas Electic Cooperative. The Dirt Bags from Mt. Grove, Missouri, took first place in the tournament.dirtbags-001

A woman was assaulted outside her home on Wednesday, July 13, located on Hwy. 9 South in Fulton County.
According to the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, the woman, in her late 60s, was attacked by a white or hispanic male, while she was working in her yard. The victim never heard the man approach, and was assaulted from behind as the attacker attempted to strangle her with a rope around her neck. According to authorities, the woman was able to fight her attacker by kicking him and he fled the scene.
The woman received treatment at a local hospital. Fulton County authorities and the Arkansas State Police are investigating the assault.

Fulton County local results
Treasurer
Seth Jones 815, 57.39%
Boyd Dailey 605, 42.61%

Coroner
Steven C. Barker 818, 58.64% Melissa James 577, 41.36%

Sharp County local results
Judge
Dustin Rogers 583, 63.78%
Phillip D. Hood 330, 36.22%

A public meeting will be held on December 11 concerning the Strawberry River Watershed, according to the Izard County Extension Office.
The forum is for community members to discuss water pollution issues specific to the Strawberry River Watershed. The watershed includes communities in Fulton, Izard, Lawrence and Sharp Counties.
Forum participants will be asked to discuss local water quality concerns, to identify priorities for reducing pollution from runoff and about who should be involved in those efforts. The forum is an extension of an annual stakeholder meeting that the UA Division of Agriculture’s Public Policy Center holds each year in partnership with the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, which is responsible for developing and implementing programs to address nonpoint source water pollution in the state. December’s forum is a local opportunity for people to get engaged in addressing water issues.
The meeting will be held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Ozarka College, Student Center Room AFSC104, 64 College Dr., in Ash Flat.
For more information about the community forum or to RSVP, Call Amanda Philyaw Perez at 501-671-2228 or you can e-mail your RSVP to publicpolicycenter@uaex.edu.
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.

fallfest

The Salem Band Boosters will be having their annual Fall Festival on Saturday, October 25 at Salem Elementary. The Fall Festival will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. featuring bingo and pictures with Gary Greyhound. New games will also be played this year. Proceeds go to the Salem Band students.

The Fulton County Fair Association is now accepting vendors for the 11th Annual Spring Fairgrounds Flea Market on April 11 and 12 in Salem. Inside spaces are 8×8 ft. and rent for $30, a double space, 8×16 ft., is $50, or a triple space, 8×24 ft., is $80. Outside space is 12×20 ft. and the rental fee is $40. There is a $5 charge for electricity.
A limited number of spaces are available. Vendor applications are available at www.fultoncountyfair.org or an application can be mailed by calling 870-895-5565 or 870-458-3080 or email fultoncountyfair@centurytel.net.
The Salem Chamber of Commerce Community-Wide Yard Sale will also be on these dates.
The two events are advertised statewide and draw a large number of people to Salem for this weekend.

On Thursday, July 25, a shooting occurred at the residence of Dale Koeling on Pleasant Valley Rd. in northern Fulton County.
According to Fulton Sheriff Kenneth “Buck” Foley, Koeling and Ricky Due sustained gunshot wounds and were hospitalized.
The investigation is being conducted by the FCSO and Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police. The investigation is still in progress.

The 2012 Fulton County Fair Queen is Sara Perkins, 19, of Salem. After being crowned by Kelsey Pendergrass, last year’s Fulton County Fair Queen, Perkins said that winning the pageant “feels like a new adventure.” She will go on to represent Fulton County in the Arkansas State Fair Queen Pageant in Little Rock on October 17. Madison Jones, 1st runner-up, and Dalina Perkey, 2nd runner-up, will represent Fulton County in the Miss North Central Arkansas Fair Queen Pageant in Melbourne on September 22. The 2012 Fulton County Junior Fair Queen is Libbie Watkins, and this year’s Young Miss Fulton County is Emily Pate.

Contestants in the 2012 Fulton County Fair Queen Beauty Pageant. From the left, Dalina Perkey, 2nd runner up, Sara Perkins, Fulton County Fair Queen, and Madison Jones, 1st runner up.