February 28, 2007 Edition

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Cleanup efforts underway
throughout WR, Hoxie

Wendell Jones (center), owner of Arkansas Excellent Transport ambulance service, and employees, Tasia Charles (left) and Gary Goff, work at removing the remains of a former service station being torn down to make room for a new facility for the business.
TD Photo ~ Gretchen Hunt

Amber Adams
Staff Writer

Cleanup efforts are underway throughout Walnut Ridge and Hoxie. Besides what the cities are doing to beautify the area, local businesses and schools are also taking initiative to clear out old buildings.

Wendell Jones, owner of AET Ambulance service has recently torn down the old service station near where his business has been located for the past few years. He is planning to rebuild in the same location. Jones said the new building will house ambulances, offices and sleeping quarters.

"We've been planning for a year or two, trying to get everything together," he said.

Walnut Ridge School has also done some recent demolition. Two structures located directly across from the gymnasium, which the school owned, were torn down a few weeks ago. School officials hope to put more parking in that area.

The old Tolson Motors building was also razed in recent months. Furniture and Appliances Now, currently located in Hoxie, is planning to build a new, larger store in that location.

Walnut Ridge Mayor Michelle Rogers said city officials are working on beautification for the city as well. The sanitation committee is planning to keep a 30-yard open top Class IV dumpster available at the City Shop year round. In the past, it has only been available during the spring and fall cleanups.

" Right now, we are looking at what restrictions need to be placed on its use," Rogers said. She added that aside from having the dumpster, the city will also do curbside pickup during the two annual citywide cleanups.

Walnut Ridge's spring cleanup will be April 9-21.

Donnie Roberts, mayor of Hoxie, said cleanup efforts have also been underway there. A Community Beautification Committee was recently formed. Lanny Tinker, chairman of the committee, and other members are looking at ways to improve the city to attract new businesses.

"I think its going to be a good year with Lanny working with us. He has a lot of experience in this area," said Roberts. "We also have a lot of really good people working with him on this."

Hoxie's citywide spring cleanup will begin April 2 and run at least two weeks. Roberts said it will be the same as in years past with curbside pickup of items, excluding tires, batteries, paint, etc.

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