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DeWitt Era-Enterprise
DeWitt , Arkansas
October 12, 2011     DeWitt Era-Enterprise
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October 12, 2011

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',%mall Town Papers =t 9J 7-!I 7 W Cot ..... ,-ielton, WA 9!?,4 00e00E:l.itt 00r+a--00nterprise Volume 129, Number 33 , DeWht, Arkansas, October 13, 2011 2 Sections, 18 Pages Single Copy 50 Around the county Ethel PO meeting The U.S. Postal Service will hold a public meeting to discuss its proposal to make possible changes in the way postalservices are provided in Ethel at 5:30 p.m. Oct. ! 9 at The Country Store/Mary J's Cafd. I Ethel Rd: Customers can meet witha postal service rep- resentative to discuss alternatives. GPHS meets Oct. 20 The Grand Prairie Historical So- + ciety will hold its Oct. 20 meeting in the former Schwab's Grocery in Crocketts Bluffat 6 p.m. Everyone is invited. Seniors honored Oct. 21 The DcWitt Athletic Booster Club will honorthe senior football players, cross-country runners, cheerleaders, golfers and their parents Oct 21 at 6 p.m. before the football game. Mt. Pleasant Cemetery Any memorials or donations to Mt. Pleasant Cemetery should be sent to JoAlla Nutt at 12 ! W. 14th St., DeWitt AR 72042 beginning Oct. 12. Josie Padgett has retired after many years of service. ACT Prep classes Phillips Community College's DeWitt campus will offer ACT Prep classes to prepare students for the Oct. 22 ACT. Students can take classes in reading/English Oct. 17 and math/science Oct. 18. Each class will meet from 5-8 p.m. and is $30. "9 oterans salute Patriotic Day World War II veteran Henry Brown and Iraq war veteran Daniel White salute as the colors are presented during a Patriotic Day assembly at DeWitt Elementary School last Thursday. (More pictures, page 5A.) School enrollment down By Christina Verderosa As usual, the public was notice- ably absent for the DeWitt School Board's annual report to the public Tuesday night. School officials reported on sta- tistics, progress in test scores and 4-H hamburger gupper new programs-to a small audience "+ ThTZPH'lTatlfr'tlV6flyfgh'? , ifi"ff6ii6al s and be Oct. 13 from 5-7 p.m. at the a few spouses. Arkansas County Fairgrounds in Superintendent Gary Wayman DeWitt.Ticketsareavailablefrom led off with a series of vital statis- any 4-H member. tics. Enrollment currently stands at 1.303. ompared with last year's first- and third-quarter average of 1,331 (the figure on which state foundation funding is based). The djst, rict has 16 daily bus routes and 856 bus riders, roughly 66 percent of the. student popula- tiofi. At922+gqub.iiFmiles, the DeWitt School District covers the largest area in the state, "which puts a lot of wear and tear on our buses.''Wa3 man said. In the district's most recent ac- creditation reort, all four schools were fully accredited with no citations for teachers teaching out of their areas, which is "a rarity in today's time," Wayman said. Adequatc Yearly Progress (AYP) stats'"hi n6[ 666n'officially released but according to pre- liminary reports. DeWitt High See REPORT, page 10A Fright Night set Oct. 15 Halloween invades Arkansas Post Museum State Park. The party begins at 7 p.m. with face painting, carnival games with prizes, fortune telling, spell cast- ing and lots of trick-or-treat candy. For those brave enough, the big haunted house will open at 7 p.m. as well. The Gillett Civic Group will have a concession stand. Admission to all activities is $1. Fright Night was started to give children a safe place to celebrate Halloween. Persons or groups interested in volunteering or making a donation, should call the museum at (870) 548-2634. Property taxes due Oct. 17 The deadline for paying 2010 Arkansas County property taxes is Oct. 17. Taxes unpaid after that dty will be subject to a penalty and interest. Flu shot clinics set The Arkansas County Health Unit has scheduled four mass flu shot clinics in Arkansas County over the next month: Oct. 14 -- Gillett Elementary School Oct.25 -- Grand Prairie Center, Stuttgart Oct. 27 -- Arkansas County Fairgrounds, DeWitt Nov. 2-4 -- DeWitt Public Schools. Children 8 and younger who have never received seasonal flu vaccine before will need a second dose of vaccine lbr full protection. The Arkansas Department of Health will seek insurance re- imbursement from people with insurance. People without insur- ance will receive the shot for free. Index Calendar .......... 2A Gillett ........... ....3B Classifieds ........ 7A Lifestyles ......... l B Editorial .......... 4A Police ............... 3A Education ........ 5A Obituaries ....... 5B Ethel ................ 2B Religiim ........... 4B Farm ................ 6A Sports .............. 6B Builder asks Council end subdivision By Frank Scott Eddie Carter, who launched the Caney Creek Subdivision with much fanfare in 2004, Tuesday. night asked the DeWitt City Council to allow him to vacate the subdivision. The subdivision, proposed on live acres at the intersection of Harrison and 16th streets, was plotted to have 13. lots. Five lots would be accessible off Harrison; the remaining eight would be ac- cessible via a proposed cul-de-sac off 16th Street. However, only three lots all on Harrison, sold. Carter is now seek- ing to have the subdivision sold so that he can sell the property behind that row of houses as one block. "1 had great hopes Ifor the sub- divisionl, but it didn't work out," Carter said. However, it won't be that easy. City Attorney T. Buie said that, since the subdivision exists as a r o plat eistcred with the Arkansas County Circuit Clerk, that plat must be altered before the subdi- vision cane be "un-subdivided." Carter must take his proposal to the DeWitt Planning Commis: sion, Buie said Tuesday, and have that body make a recommenda- tion to the Council to vacate the subdivision. That is the standard procedure foi'all proposals regard- ing changes to the city's zoning ordinance, Buie told Carter. In other business, Mayor Ralph Relyeatold ('ouncil members that most of the preliminary work on the strects had becn compleied and that actual rcpaving would likely start by the end of next week. He also said that he had ta!ked to the contractors, and they had agreed to pave the parking lot at the com- munity center for the same rate as the streets "if we have the money when they get here."'/he Counci! unanimously approved the plan. The money for the parking lot wilt come from the city's general revenues, not from the one-cent strcet salcs tax. The Council also approved Or- dinancc 73 I, which sets the city's property tax rate at 3.8 mills, l'his is the same as the existing rate; Arkansas law requires cities to pass it each year. Relyea and Public Works di- rector Bill Paxton told Council members that two condemned houses have already been cleaned up and that one or two more are in the works. "'We're making progress," Re: lyea said. Relyea also said that the city and Arkansas County would hold an- other E-waste recycling day Oct. 21 from 9 a.m.-I p.m. County unveils new districts for Justices of Peace By Christina Verderosa When the population of Arkan- sas County dipped below 20.000 in the 2010 Census. the county was required by Arkansas law to reduced the number of justices on the Quorum Cort from I l to nine. County officials unveiledj ust how that will be done Tuesday. (See maps, pages 8-9A.) In the 2012 election, twodistricts will have two incumbent justices instead of one, provided both de- cide to run.The new districts place District 5 justice Sherry Criswell in the new District 2 with current justice Roger Theis District 2 covers the area east of DeWitt: In district 4. which includes Humphrey and the western side of the county, j usticeTre) Daniels is now in the same district with district 11 justice Mary-Ashley lverson Election Commission mem- ber Alta Lockley explained the procedure to the court. The commissioners used the com- puter program at the Secretary of State's Office, the same one that was used for the state redistrict- ing. The commission set a target number of 2.113 people in each district and "we're pleased that each district was very close to the target number," Lockley said. The biggest variance was 14 people in district nine for a total of 2,127. The publication of the map in today's DeWitt Era-Enterprise marks the beginning of a 30-day period during which the plan may be challenged in circuit court. Chief Deputy Clerk Melissa Wood said the next step is to submit it See DISTRICTS, page 3A By Christina Verderosa Arkansas County Sheriffand Collector.Allen Cheek won'i ........................ for tax season this year. Cheek asked the Quorum CourtTuesday to provide extra part-time help, "as we have had for the last 30 years,, for the current tax season, The deadline for payment is Oct. 1% but Cheek explained that workers are stilt needed so that the office's other functions can be carried on and because so ........................ at the last minute. "We'll have long lines and disgruntled  taxpayers without it?' hell discovered ==that through er- rors n the Treasurer's offiee the Colfector : had exceeded its cash flow. The Collet0ti office requested $27;162=to:i Strapped down for safety She may be strapped to a gurney, but Candace McKinzie still thinks participating in the annual Farm Safety Day last Wednesday is fun. (More pictures, page 6A.) Many of the questions concerned what type of service residents would receive if the post office is closed. Only 14 boxes are rented at the Crocketts Bluff post office, but someof those box holders said the} do not want to set up home delivcry mailboxes, especially if they will have to do so on the main road. I 1S I 'S s pokes x oman I .t:'i sal'oll ; iver-Gay said later thht although the post offic6 has a Universal Service Obligation by law, thin obligation is not unlimited. Postal carriers cannot deliver on a private road, an unsafe road or a road, u,'here the vehicle would have to back up. In an e-maill'olli ve r-Ga3 laid out lhe policies for rOtllC extensions. See POST,I+, page 3A By Christina Verderosa Crocketts Bluff residents got the numbers that explain why the Crocketts Bluff post office has been identified for possible closure, but they still had plenty of questions for representativcs of the U.S. l'ostal Service. At a public meeting Friday, 38 rcsidcnts got Ihcir lirst chancc to talk with IJSPS rcprcscntatics since Crocketts Bluff was identi- fied as one of about 150 rural post offices in Arka0sas that arc being studied for closure. lJssc Fish, USPS manager of post ollice !perations for area one, said the ( rockctts Bluff post office had a net loss of $28,432 in2010. According to lISPS fig- urcs, closure of the facility would save $30,447 the lii'sl yc;Jr ;.tnd $363,916 over 10 years. Residents listened to the figures, but still had plcnty of concerns. One of the most common ques- tions was if ihe dccision was made to close, when it would happen. Kenneth (h'aves said Fish told the residents that it could take up I  5rc O to close the l'aci, lity, The coinmtmily also has an oplion to appeal the decision Crocketts Bluff residents question post office closure