by Rev. David Tews
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church invites you to attend this year’s special services.
Regular worship services will be held on Sunday, December 24 at 9 a.m. and December 31 at 9 a.m.
There will be special services on Christmas Eve (Candlelight) at 5 p.m., Christmas Day at 9 a.m., with Christmas Dinner at 12 p.m. If you plan on attending the Christmas Dinner please call 870-670-5482 or 870-670-4814. There will also be a service on New Year’s Eve at 5 p.m.
Christmas Day Dinner at 12 p.m., a free ham dinner with all the fixings and dessert is open to all. Thanks to a special grant from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans called Action Teams, this meal is being expanded to accommodate more home bound and shut-ins. After the noon dinner, take-out boxes will be prepared to be delivered to the homebound.
If you know of someone who would benefit and enjoy a take-out meal please talk to them and encourage them to make a request for a take-out box. To help in preparation for the dinner, reservations for the meal and take out boxes need to be made by noon, December 22. Call 870-670-5482 or email

xmas background

by Karen Sherrell
Spectacular lighting displays can be seen throughout Horseshoe Bend this year. Don’t miss your chance to see them!
The 24th Annual Spirit of Lights Lighting Contest had 14 entries this year, representing some of the best displays in town, in addition to dazzling displays not entered. Take a drive down the business district to begin your night of viewing noting Reeves Propane on Hwy. 289, Cedar Glade Resort at 900 Fourth Street, Garden Park on Bend Drive, FNBC Community Bankers, First National Bank of Izard County, Horseshoe Lanes, Box Hound Marina, Horseshoe Health and Medicine and others.
Christmas lights may be seen on Clark Lane, Jade Lane, Fairwater Circle, Pearl Drive, Emerald Cove Drive, Fairway Drive, Scenic Acres, Dawn Lane, Mohawk, Primrose Lane, North Bend Drive and more. Judging was held Friday, December 15, and winners of the lighting contest will be announced in next week’s edition of Pacesetting Times.
Thanks everyone for lighting up Horseshoe Bend! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Word “bonus” inside a gift box with colorful ribbon, serpentine and confetti isolated on white

Changes to the stipend paid by the state of Arkansas to National Board certified teachers have been implemented, and the deadline for registering to become a candidate is approaching.
Teachers in high poverty schools located within high poverty districts will get a yearly $10,000 bonus under the new changes. Lesser amounts are given to teachers in schools/districts that are not high poverty. Deadline for registering is January 1.
Eve Hatman, principal at Izard County Elementary, is the facilitator for a support site to help candidates achieve their certification. Meetings are held at the elementary school in Violet Hill. “Eight teachers are currently working in our district toward their certification,” said Hatman.
Anyone interested in more information may contact Hatman at 870-322-7229 from 8 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.

by Rich Fischer
The team of volunteers, working to fund and construct a chapel building on the grounds of the Arkansas Department of Corrections North Central Unit near Calico Rock, has ramped up the effort to raise money to move the project forward by announcing the activation of a Text-to-Donate capability enabling potential donors to use their smart phones to show their support.
Anyone interested in donating is invited to text the keyword: Chapell to the number 41444 which when done will bring up a link to a donation app. Once in the app the texter will be asked to input how much they wish to donate along with credit card info with the funds then being deposited directly into the project bank account.
One time donations as well as periodic, ongoing donations are both supported. Project manager Rich Fischer shared that one might set up a monthly donation of $10 which shows on a donor’s monthly credit card statement each month. “I have done this for other causes and I never miss the money which is paid out automatically charging my credit card. It is also important to note that the project has been granted non-profit 501(c)3 status by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service under which all donations are deductible from one’s income tax.”
The project also has begun publication of a quarterly newsletter titled The Clarion Call, the first issue of which is now available. Anyone interested in receiving the publication may contact newsletter editor Rich Fischer via email and request to be added to the distribution list.

On Sunday, December 10 at 4 p.m. the First Baptist Church of Horseshoe Bend Choir will present, Night of the Father’s Love by Pepper Choplin.
Everyone is invited to come and share this worshipful and beautiful re-telling of the Christmas story with narration and music.

On Sunday, December 10 at 4 p.m. the First Baptist Church of Horseshoe Bend Choir will present, Night of the Father’s Love by Pepper Choplin.
Everyone is invited to come and share this worshipful and beautiful re-telling of the Christmas story with narration and music.

Fulton County Sheriff Al Roork and other law enforcement officers and community leaders are getting ready for the first Shop with a Cop Program for Fulton County. The Shop with a Cop Program is a fantastic event which pairs children, who may not have a Christmas or have never got to shop for gifts with a local law enforcement officer, to shop for gifts for themselves and family members. On December 9, children will be transported by the officers to the Ash Flat Wal-Mart for a shopping spree.
The Fulton County program was initiated last December after Sharp County held a very successful event for 105 children. Sharp County Sheriff Mark Counts and John Kunkel from First Community Bank met with Fulton County Sheriff Al Roork and Fulton County Fair Manager Carolyn Lewis and offered their help in starting a program in Fulton County. Representative Scott Baltz, Senator Linda Collins-Smith, North Arkansas Electric Cooperative, Wal-Mart at Ash Flat, First Community Bank and Kunkel each pledged funds for the Fulton County project. After hearing about the program, the Saddle Baptist Church started a monthly donation to the fund and community organizations and individuals have made donations; however, there is still a need for funds for the program. The goal is to involve 40 to 50 children and to have funds for $100 per child.
Businesses, organizations and individuals who want to make a donation can drop it off at the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office or the Fulton County Fair Office. Donations can also be mailed to Shop with a Cop, P.O. Box 910, Salem, AR 72576. For more information on the program contact the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office or call the Fulton County Fair Office at 870-895-5565.

by Jacque English
The Five Rivers Bee Club, FRBC, meets the second Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. at Grandma’s Country Cookin’ in Hardy. John Goodson, Sharp County Board of Health Food Inspector, will be the guest speaker at their Tuesday, December 12 meeting. Goodson will discuss selling honey as a hobbyist beekeeper.
They are a small non-profit club for hobbyists, backyard honeybee beekeepers, and wish to extend an invitation to come to our meetings to learn more about Honeybees and how we can help to increase their dwindled numbers.
The mission of FRBC is to provide our membership and local community with a forum for sharing knowledge and mutual interests in beekeeping, to educate and promote the benefits of beekeeping to the public.
The Bee Club covers many counties in the State of Arkansas and Missouri (Sharp, Fulton, Izard, Baxter, Randolph, Lawrence) and more folks are joining every month.
To learn more about them, visit or call President Arrie Goodwin at 870-966-3666.

‘Hounds set school record making it to State Final Four
by Bobby Stapleton
After reaching the third round of the State Football Playoffs for only the second time, the Greyhounds matched up against a familiar foe, conference rival Earle.
Earle had won the conference and had the home field advantage, but Salem was coming into the game on a hot streak.
After winning the toss and deferring until the second half, the Greyhound defense took the field first. Earle wasted no time in lighting up the scoreboard, using a six play, 82 yard drive that resulted in a touchdown with a second over two minutes gone in the game.
Salem started their first drive on their own 33 yard line and back-to-back runs by Jordan Turner picked up a fresh set of downs and more, setting Salem up at the Earle 40. After trading out penalties on second down and needing only five more yards to move the sticks, Salem went back to Turner who went left side all the way down to the 11 yard line. From there, the Greyhounds stalled out and Paul Goetzmann booted a 27 yard field goal to put Salem on the board.
Earle increased their lead on their next series, going up 14-3 with 2:21 left in the first quarter. After stalling out on their second series, the Greyhounds had to punt the ball back over to Earle who used a five play drive that covered 85 yards for their third TD of the game, going up 20-3 with 8:21 left before half.
Salem had trouble getting untracked on their third series and went three and out. With things looking bleak, the defense stepped up and changed the outlook. Holding Earle to six yards on three plays, Salem forced the Bulldogs into a punting situation. A bobbled snap by Earle was the break Salem needed and a tackle in the backfield, before they could get the punt away, gave Salem the ball only 20 yards from paydirt.
One play, one score. QB Harrison Henley hit Austin Goodson with the pass for the touchdown. Goetzmann split the uprights and Salem was right back in it, only trailing 10-20.
Earle used up pretty much all the time left in the first half on their next drive, scoring their fourth TD with 37 seconds left. Once again, just when things were looking bleak for Salem, a big play comes through. Goodson took the ensuing kickoff and went 80 yards on the return to keep in the game, trailing 17-28 at the half.
Salem got the ball to open the third, but stalled out at the Earle 23 yard line, turning the ball over on downs. Earle got the momentum going on their next play, which was a 77 yard touchdown then added the two point conversion, going up 36-17 with 6:44 left in the third. The Greyhounds started their next drive on their own 32. With Goodson and Turner churning up the yards and getting Salem all the way down to the Earle 39. With a mix or pass plays and the ground game keeping the defense guessing, Salem got down to the four yard line on a run by Turner. Back-to-back QB keepers by Henley got Salem into the endzone with 2:15 left in the quarter. With Goetzmann nailing the PAT, Salem only trailed 24-36.
Salem looked to have things going their way after recovering the onside kick on Earle’s side of the 50. With a draw play to Turner on second down and Eli Hale busting through the line for a first down at the Earle 36, Salem was looking to close the gap on the scoreboard. On second and 15, Henley hit Ethan Sanders with a pass that picked up 11. Two plays later, Salem turned the ball over to Earle on a fumble on the second play of the fourth quarter.
The Bulldogs did not waste time and punched the ball in for a touchdown, going up 42-24 with 6:32 left in the game.
After forcing Salem to turn the ball over on downs on the Greyhound’s next possession, Earle scored once again with 2:53 left, going up 50-24.
Salem started their next drive on their own 20 and with three straight runs by Peyton Barker that moved the ball down to the Earle 30, a facemask penalty against the Bulldogs moved the ball even closer to the endzone for the Greyhounds. After moving down to the five yard line for a fresh set of downs, Turner bulled his way over the goal line for a touchdown with :11 left on the clock. Goetzmann provided the PAT to set the final score of 50-31, with Earle advancing to the next round.
Salem Football continues
After a defeat at Earle in the third round of the State Playoffs sent Salem into the offseason and onto the hardwood for basketball, a surprising turn of events has reversed the course for the Greyhounds.
Earle self-reported the use of an ineligible player during this season to the AAA and declared the season and all games a forfeit. With the sudden change of events, the AAA has slotted the Greyhounds in as the team in the semi-finals of the State Playoffs and they will be taking on Foreman with only one win separating them from a trip to War Memorial Stadium for the Championship game.
With the announcement coming mid-week, the AAA actually stepped up and did the right and fair thing, they postponed the games for a week to allow Salem to get back into football mode and prepare for the game. Salem will travel to Foreman for the 7 p.m. matchup this Friday night.
Good luck Coach Wiggins and the Greyhounds!

The City Horseshoe Bend is pleased to announce a new service, Electronic Billing and Payments. Water/Sewer Utility customers are able to view their bills online, saving the City the cost of printing and mailing bills. Customers participating in online billing receive emails when their bills are ready for viewing. They simply click through and the bill appears with all the information they would have received on a paper bill.
“This is a win for everyone involved,” said Mayor Bob Barnes. “We spend 34 cents in just postage to mail an average bill to a customer. Add to that paper, ink, upkeep on printing equipment expenses, it is costly. The cost to post a bill for online viewing is about a penny. It is just one way we are holding down costs for our customers.”
“We would like our customers to opt out of receiving paper bills to help us reduce costs,” said Public Works Director Donny Dawson, “However, if they prefer to have paper bills sent, they can still pay electronically. When they pay online, by smart phone, or by calling, the payments post to our software, saving time and eliminating manual input errors.” Another benefit is that up-to-date amounts due are posted daily, so customers can know how much they owe by simply going online or viewing it on our mobile app.
Customers can pay from the comfort of their homes, seven days a week, 24 hours a day; log onto, download “PSN Payments” from the App Store® or Google Play™ or call a toll-free automated phone service (877-885-7968) to pay. “Our customers can now pay by credit or debit card as well as making an electronic payment from checking or savings,” noted Water Clerk Barb Kurtzweil. Residents can pay immediately, schedule a payment or set up Auto-Pay and not have to worry about making payments for each bill. Auto-payments can be for the amount of the bill or a set budgeted amount.
Of course, online billing and payments are a green initiative as well. “It is great to do something that benefits our residents while at the same time being kinder to the environment,” commented Recorder/Treasurer Michelle Grabowski.
Electronic payments and bills are easy to use. Once registered, the payment process is just three quick steps. “Registration is simple, customers can just enter their name and account number, and the system will locate their accounts,” noted Kurtzweil. Customers can also print receipts and bills, view current balances and view their electronic payment histories whether the payments were made online, on the mobile app or by phone. A handy tool is available to “group” accounts so that customers can pay multiple billing accounts in one visit.
If customers have questions about using the online, mobile and phone system, they can call the PSN Call Center, which operates during extended business hours, 365 days a year. Call Center can also make payments on behalf of customers should the need arise. Call Center support and the automated phone system are available in English and Spanish.
The City’s payment processor charges a convenience fee of $1 for check/savings payments and 2.75% (plus 50 cents if under $100) for credit/debit card payments. Viewing bills and balances due are free services.
Security of online information is always a concern, so when the City looked for a company to provide online bills and payments, that was a top consideration. They chose Payment Service Network, PSN, which has attained Level One Certification by the Payment Card Industry – Data Security Standard, PCI-DSS, the highest degree of security awarded by the industry. PSN specializes in providing billing, payment and communication services to utility companies and municipalities. The company was a pioneer in the online payment industry and is based in Madison, WI. If residents have any questions, they can call PSN’s HELP line, toll free at 1-866-917-7368.

Due to the basketball tournament at Mammoth Spring High School on December 9, the following changes to the Christmas Parade and related activities have been made:
1. Christmas Parade line up has been moved to 8th Street at 5 p.m.
2. Christmas Extravaganza activities are cancelled from 3 to 6 p.m.
3. Pictures with Santa at the Mammoth Spring Fire Department will go on as planned.
4. The Christmas Parade at 6 p.m., Choir performance and Little Miss Merry Christmas crowning will all go on as planned.
The Chamber of Commerce thanks you for your cooperation on this and hopes to see you there!

by Bill Stephens
The VFW Post 4687 in Melbourne will conduct their monthly meeting on December 12 at 6 p.m. The Post is located at 584 West Road in Melbourne and all current members and those wishing to join the VFW are welcomed.
Community interest projects that will be discussed include having the local Cub Scout Troop 316 help in planting Veteran Grave Markers in several local cemeteries and participating in a Worn Flag Burning Ceremony to destroy the numerous US Flags accumulated by Izard County Flag Disposal box located in the Courthouse.
Other items will be the pinning of several new officers, discussion for the Christmas Dance with Santa Claus for the children and supporting the Melbourne High School graduating class.
Any Veteran that served during a combat related tour overseas is encouraged to come out and join the VFW in recognition of your duty in a foreign land.
Reminder that the Melbourne VFW Post 4687 conducts a dance every Friday evening and hosts the Vietnam Veterans Coffee Meeting every first and third Thursday of the Month. The VFW Post also rents its facility to anyone desiring a large meeting hall for weddings, family reunions or other celebrations where a large in-door facility is required.

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