July 2, 2008 Edition

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ADN presentation highlights meeting

The Walnut Ridge City Council discussed purchasing new police cars and hired a new attorney Greg Phillips, assistant director of Main Street Arkansas, presents Walnut Ridge Mayor Michelle Rogers with a certificate recognizing Walnut Ridge as a new member of the Arkansas Downtown Network.
Gretchen Hunt

The induction of Walnut Ridge into the Arkansas Downtown Network was the highlight of the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce's quarterly meeting last Wednesday.

Greg Phillips, assistant director, and Susan Shaddox, interior design consultant, represented Main Street Arkansas at the meeting, and Phillips presented a certificate to Mayor Michelle Rogers welcoming the city into the ADN.

Prior to the official presentation, Cathy Harthorn, a member of Downtown Walnut Ridge, presented a PowerPoint that was shown to Main Street Arkansas representatives as part of the application process.

"We sat through an entire day of presentations and this was by far the best one we saw," Phillips told attendees at Wednesday's meeting.

With the induction into the ADN, Downtown Walnut Ridge will now have access to many resources through Main Street Arkansas. These resources include training and information, as well as assistance from Main Street Arkansas staff, including technical, design and architectural consultants.

Shaddox echoed Phillips' comments about Walnut Ridge's presentation and application.

"There was no question in our mind," she said. "We wanted Walnut Ridge to be a part of us." She said she is looking forward to working with the city on upcoming projects.

"You've already got a great start," she said.

Phillips congratulated Downtown Walnut Ridge members on their work thus far.

"We're just thankful that you all are a part of our family," he said. "We look forward to working with you in the future."

Chamber Board Chair Junior Briner made several announcements, as well, which he referred to as a continuation of the good news.

He commended Hoxie for its recent certification as an Arkansas Community of Excellence.

In addition, he announced the completion of phase one of the Rails to Trails project. The section from the trail head at Hoxie to Midway Road was paved last week.

A July 17 meeting with Lawrence County mayors is planned, according to Briner, to see what the county and individual communities can do to keep improving the area. He said the possibility of seeking ACE certification for the county as a whole will also be discussed.

He also reported that work in the economic partnership between Walnut Ridge, Hoxie, Lawrence County, Pocahontas, Randolph County and Corning is continuing.

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