October 3, 2007 Edition

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875th receives warm welcome

Sgt. John Jordan of Hoxie and his wife Margarett share an emotional embrace. Jordan was a member of the 875th Engineering Battalion, which returned to Jonesboro on Saturday following a year-long deployment in Iraq.
Submitted Photo ~ Nikki Davis

Just over a year ago nearly 400 soldiers left for a yearlong deployment following training time at Fort McCoy, Wis. On Saturday, hundreds of friends, family members and neighbors came to the armory in Jonesboro to welcome the 875th Engineering Battalion's A and B Companies home. Thousands of people lined the highways to wave flags and ribbons as the two companies rolled through Jonesboro.

Several families from Lawrence County waited impatiently for the buses to arrive. Cell phones were abuzz with calls and text messages as the group got closer to the armory. Every leg of the road family members could be heard reporting the progress, "They're at Trumann! They're at Bay! They're on Caraway!"

When the buses arrived shouts drowned out the wailing sirens on the police escorts. Family and friends rushed to the doors to greet the troops as they off-loaded.

Among those there to greet the soldiers was the Patterson family. Joshua Patterson, 20, of Alicia enlisted in the National Guard right after high school. His parents, Randy and Donna Patterson, along with his brothers and sisters, Katie, Joy, John David and Bethany, all went to meet him Saturday morning. Josh's oldest brother, Donnie, and his wife, Heather, were not able to be there.

39th begins training for deployment

On Monday, approximately 3,000 Arkansas soldiers reported to their local armories for military duty in preparation for deployment to Iraq with the Arkansas National Guard's 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

ATOD Coalition awarded grant

The Alcohol, Tobacco, Other Drugs Coalition of Lawrence County has recently been awarded a $50,000 Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant. This award from the Office of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention (ADAP) of the Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services Division of Behavioral Health Services is to assist the county coalition in addressing the issues of underage drinking and binge drinking among the youth in the county. The award was one of only fifteen awarded in the state.

Tax deadline is next week

The deadline to pay personal and real estate taxes without penalty is Oct. 10.

City of WR sets cleanup

The city of Walnut Ridge will hold its fall cleanup Oct. 15-27.

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