The Izard County Consolidated School District has scheduled an Open House at all campuses for Thursday, August 9 from 5 to 6:30 p.m.
Parents, guardians and students are invited to attend this event and meet their teachers and administrators for the 2018-19 school year. New students may register from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. between now and the first day of school on August 13.
The Melbourne School District has an Open House on Thursday, August 9. Bearkatz Academy will be from 4:30 to 6 p.m.; the Elementary is from 4 to 6 p.m.; fourth through sixth grade orientation is at 4 p.m. at the Melbourne Elementary Gym; the High School Open House runs from 5 to 7 p.m.; seventh grade orientation is at 5 p.m.; and ninth grade orientation is at 5:30 p.m. The first day of school is on August 13.
The Calico Rock School District will host Open House on Thursday, August 9 from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at both the Elementary and High School. Seventh grade students will meet in the High School Cafeteria at 6 p.m. The first day of school is on August 15.
The Salem School District will hold an Open House on Thursday, August 9 from 6 to 7 p.m. at both the Elementary and High School. The first day of school is on August 13.

The 39th annual Cave City Watermelon Festival will be held July 26 through 28. The festival will feature craft and food vendors, kids games and entertainment. Also featured will be a WetZone, with armbands sold at $10 each, and attendees may bring a towel and/or a swimsuit. No pets or alcohol are allowed in the park. Bring your lawn chairs.
On Thursday, July 26 entertainment will be provided by the LeFevre Quartet at 8 p.m. on the Melon Stage. The Amazing Watermelon Race will be held at 5 p.m. at Cave City Middle School, followed by the First Freewill Baptist Church Praise Team at 6 p.m. and First Baptist Church Worship Band at 7 p.m., both on the Melon Stage.
On Friday, July 27 Mo Pitney of Nashville, TN, will headline the night’s entertainment at 8 p.m. Friday’s activities start at 9 a.m. with a kid’s fishing derby at the city park. At 5:15 p.m. will be the watermelon speed eating contest on the Melon Stage, followed at 6 p.m. by Luke Stroud & the 50s Beat on the main stage, and 6:45 p.m. the Cave City Cruizers Drive Thru at the city park. Maggie Thorne will perform at 7 p.m. on the main stage.
On Saturday, July 28, Little Texas will perform at 8:30 p.m. Their hits include God Blessed Texas and What Might Have Been.
Saturday activities include a Melon Dash 5K at 7 a.m. at the city park and a Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast at the Cave City First Baptist Church family life education center. Registration for the Cave City Cruizers car show is at 9 a.m. at the city park, followed by the parade at 10 a.m. at the middle school. A watermelon selfie challenge will also follow the parade at the city park.
The Tri-County Antique Tractor Club show will be at 11:30 a.m. and the Cave City Sharpshooters Horseshoe Pitching Tournament will begin at 1 p.m. at the walking track. The Band Trippp will perform at noon followed by Walter, Rounds and Company, both on the Melon Stage. On the Melon Stage, Watermelon Growers Games will be at 3 p.m., a free watermelon feast at 4 p.m., and a prize melon auction at 5 p.m. Randy Morrison and Andy Buschmann will perform at 5:45 p.m. and Kristin Kelly at 6:45 p.m. on the main stage.
For a complete schedule visit or find them on Facebook.

The city pool in Horseshoe Bend remains closed until repairs can be made.
In addition to leaking skimmers, additional repairs are necessary according to Josh Jackson, manager with the Municipal Recreation Improvement District, MRID.
Jackson has comprised a list of the following items needing repair: five out of eight skimmers and the main drain leaks; the main pump needs to be rebuilt, four leaks have been detected in the interior plumbing; cracks on the deck over 1/4 inch need to be filled, this is a recurring problem caused by the way the deck was laid in the 1970s; and the pool’s flow rate/turnover rate pumping is 120 gallons per minute and the requirement is 220 gallons per minute. There may be additional problems that are not visible or detectable.
The city pool was professionally winterized last year, and in 2012 the liner was replaced, costing approximately $40,000.
Jackson has contacted pool repair companies to provide a cost assessment to get the pool back in use. The 40-year-old structure is in need of extensive upgrades and fixes, and the MRID would like to get all repairs done for a long-term fix.
The commissioners may be able to apply for a grant to assist with the cost of the repairs.
As Jackson stated earlier this summer, “We’re at a standstill right now.”

Abbreviations = bf: Bond Forfeiture; FTA: Failure to Appear; BAC: Breathalyzer Test; gt: Guilty/Timepay, ng: not guilty; NP: nolle pros; VAHCL: Violation of the Arkansas Hot Check Law.
Anderson, Randy, littering on public property, gt.
Casey, Melissa, failure to pay/show cause, cont. July 10.
Eaton, JaNae, drinking in public, gt; domestic battery 3rd, gt.
Freeman, Jeff, no proof of insurance, guilty.
Goforth, Paul Jr., discharge firearm in city limit, criminal mischief, disorderly conduct, cont. Sept. 4.
Harris, Jhondell, no proof of insurance, failure to pay vehicle registration, fictitious tags, dismissed.
Harrington, John, domestic battery 3rd, cont. July 10.
Johnson, Jonathan, driver’s license suspended, gt; domestic battery 3rd, np.
Johnston, Sharleen, unlawful dog attack, np, restitution.
Jones, Donald, no proof of insurance, dismissed.
Kitts, William, failure to appear, failure to pay, dismissed.
Knighten, Jessica, failure to pay fines, bf.
Lubelski, Natasha, leaving scene of accident, cont. Aug. 7.
Margerum, Larry, no driver’s license, cont. July 10.
McFarland, Christopher, harassing comm., np.
Mero, Rusty, battery 3rd, cont. Oct. 9.
Milsap, Anthony, theft by receiving, bf.
Montes-Rubio, Crystal, failure to appear, contempt of court, failure to pay fines, time served.
Pillow, Lance, maintenance of real property, cont. July 10; unlawful burning, bf.
Smith, Memory, terroristic threatening, FTA.
Sourwine, Michael, theft of property, cont. July 10.
Sparks, Leonard, driver’s license suspended, failure to pay fine, dismissed.
Steward, Jennifer, filing false report, cont. July 10.
Stroud, Alan, unsightly conditions, cont. July 10.
Taylor Jones, Laci, FTA x2, failure to pay, time served.
Vincent, Dyre, theft of property, cont. July 10.
Williams, Kimberly, no proof of insurance, failure to pay registration, over 60 days, gt.
Williamson, George III, domestic battery 3rd, np.

by Randy Zellers, Assistant Chief of Communications
Anyone can help the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission keep tabs on the state’s bear population, thanks to the social media site iNaturalist. AGFC biologists have set up a special online survey dedicated to learning more about where bears are expanding in the Natural State under the title “Arkansas Bear Survey.”
Myron Means, AGFC large carnivore program coordinator, says game cameras and mobile technology have really made it possible for the public to take an active role in helping manage certain wildlife species.
“We receive images and reports of bears in feeders all the time, and we know the bears are expanding into new areas,” Means said. “This survey will help us gather location information as well as basic biological information such as sex, recruitment and relative age class to supplement our other methods of tracking the population.”
Participating in the survey requires a free account with, which takes less than five minutes to set up. Once you have established an account, you may enter sightings as you come across bears in The Natural State.
“Ideally, the best information will be photos that are accurately date stamped and in electronic format where they can be uploaded to the website for further review,” said Mark Hooks, regional biologist supervisor for the AGFC at the Monticello Regional Office. “Actual observation information without a picture is also useful, particularly if you can provide the approximate location and date of that observation.”
For more information on how to participate in this survey, contact Hooks at 877-367-3559.

story and photo submitted by Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
HARDY – A sinkhole that opened in the Spring River last month has been closed, Commissioner of State Lands John Thurston announced Thursday, July 12.
The Commissioner of State Lands office, alongside the Attorney General’s office, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Arkansas Geological Survey, the Arkansas Department of Transportation, Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, Fulton County Sheriff Albert Roork and Fulton County Judge Darrell Zimmer, as well as local landowners and volunteers, completed work Thursday repairing the sinkhole, located south of Mammoth Spring.
The team of officials used a track hoe to collapse the travertine roof of the sinkhole. The structure fell into itself, resolving the water hazard that had been created by erosion that claimed the life of one person in early June.
State, federal and local officials had met in June to discuss the hazard and to determine how to correct the problem and ensure public safety. They enlisted the help of hydrogeologist Tom Aley, PG with Ozark Underground Laboratory in Potem, MO. After visiting the site, where Aley conducted a survey of the area with a dye tracing technique to determine the characteristics of the hazard, the agencies began examining potential fixes.
Thurston extended thanks to all of the agencies and individuals involved in the project.
He acknowledged additional assistance from Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Sen. Missy Irvin, as well as the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for expediting permits for the work.
“Without the tireless work of many people, we would not have completed this project in a timely manner,” he said. “Each agency, official and volunteer has given a great amount of time to put together the plan and act upon it before anyone else was injured.”

Diamond Cove Healthcare and Rehabilitation of Horseshoe Bend is proud to announce Linda Hall as new administrator of the facility.
Hall has over 30 years experience in long-term care and assisted living and looks forward to working with the staff and residents at Diamond Cove. “We have a good staff,” said Hall. “My goal is to make the diamond in the rough, shine.” Hall welcomes anyone interested in finding out more about Diamond Cove to call or stop by. “We can visit about your long-term care needs,” said Hall. Tours of the facility are also available.
Diamond Cove is a 78 bed skilled nursing facility that provides 24-hour skilled nursing, occupational, physical and speech therapies, post-acute care following surgery or hospitalization, hospice and palliative care, respite care for at-home caregivers, and outpatient therapy. The center has private rooms available, and a registered dietician on staff. They accept Medicare, Medicaid and select private pay.
Diamond Cove Healthcare and Rehabilitation is located at 1203 S. Bend in Horseshoe Bend and may be reached by calling 870-670-5134.

On June 21 the Arkansas Supreme Court overturned the circuit court’s decision to halt the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission’s (MMC) award of marijuana cultivation licenses. At issue was the MMC process that resulted in awarding five top scoring applicants, out of 82, medical marijuana cultivation facility licenses. Each applicant paid a $100,000 licensing fee and posted a $500,000 performance bond.
Naturalis Health, one of the applicants, and ranking 38th, brought a complaint forward stating that “the MMC carried out the application process in a flawed, biased, and arbitrary and capricious manner, and that commissioners failed to uniformly apply their rules when scoring the applications,” according to the case filed in the Supreme Court, CV-18-356.
The circuit court agreed and declared the MMC’s licensing decisions null and void and enjoined the MMC from issuing the cultivation-facility licenses.
MMC appealed the decision and last month the Supreme Court held that the circuit court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction under the Administrative Procedure Act. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Dan Kemp wrote, “I agree with the majority’s conclusion that we must reverse and dismiss this case for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. I write separately to note the respective roles of the court and MMC.”
As of June 25, a total of 5,463 medical marijuana identification cards have been approved in Arkansas, according to the Arkansas Department of Health. This represents .2 percent of the state’s population order their cards online. Cards will not be available for printing until one month prior to medical marijuana availability in Arkansas dispensaries.

The Horseshoe Bend Area Chamber of Commerce will host Pizza and Politicians, a question and answer session for Izard County candidates running for Tax Collector, Judge and Sheriff. This event will take place on Thursday, July 19 at 6 p.m. in the Recreation Center at Crown Point Resort. Papa Dick’s Pizza will cater the event, cost is $10 per person. The deadline to reserve your seat is noon on Tuesday, July 17.
Questions for the candidates will be read by a moderator and their responses will be timed. The deadline to submit your questions is also noon on Tuesday, July 17. To RSVP or to submit a question, please call the Horseshoe Bend Area Chamber of Commerce at 870-670-5433 or email You can also RSVP/submit questions via Facebook at

IZARD COUNTY — Hwy. 354 from Horseshoe Bend to Oxford will soon receive chip and seal, approximately 9.5 miles, to provide a new wearing surface for the highway.
According to Tim Dunlap, District 5 Maintenance Engineer with the Arkansas Department of Transportation, the work consists of spraying a layer of oil over the surface and then spreading small aggregates, or chips, on to the roadway. This will seal cracks in the asphalt. There are five other locations in other counties that will also be sealed.
“Work should begin in mid-July and continue until all projects are complete, some time in August,” said Dunlap. The work will be performed by the District 5 sealing crew, after the Izard County maintenance crew prepares the roadway by repairing pot holes. District 5 consists of Cleburne, Fulton, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Sharp, Stone and White Counties.
Additional roadwork has been approved by the Arkansas State Highway Commission for improvements to roadways in Franklin, Melbourne and Mount Pleasant.
Road projects include resurfacing 2.6 miles of selected sections of city streets in Franklin, S. Main, Military Road and N. Main. In Melbourne, 2.1 miles will be resurfaced including Knob Creek Road and Jumbo Road, and in Mount Pleasant 1.3 miles, Ash Trail, Pearl Drive/School Street, Barren Fork Road, Reeves Street/Circle Drive and McSpadden Drive.
Atlas Asphalt, Inc. of Batesville was awarded the contract at $643,867.76.
Construction is to begin in two to four weeks. Drivers are reminded to be attentive when traveling.

HORSESHOE BEND –An arrest has been made in connection with several reports of recent break-ins occurring in Horseshoe Bend and the surrounding area.
Matthew J. Sollock, age 25 of Mount Pleasant, was arrested on June 30 for thefts committed during the early morning hours of Friday, June 29.
Over ten vehicle break-ins were reported in the Manor Home/Pioneer Village subdivision in Horseshoe Bend, and in the Violet Hill and Oxford areas according to Chief Deputy Earnie Blackley. “The vehicles were all unlocked,” said Blackley. Items taken included a 2010 Dodge Challenger, a Taurus 40 caliber hangun, small amounts of money, a GPS, sunglasses and more. Some of the stolen items have been recovered.
A Horseshoe Bend resident posted on social media that someone with a mask making their way through an outside door at her home ran away when a family member spotted them during the early morning hours.
Sollock was apprehended without incident in Hoxie and transported to Izard County. He was charged with felony breaking or entering – 15 counts; theft of property – nine counts, and one count of criminal mischief.
His bond was set at $100,000.

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