January 1, 2014 Edition

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2013: A year in review

Gretchen Hunt
Editor

The following is a compilation of some of Lawrence County's headlines from 2013.

January

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the new Hoxie Mustang Gymnasium and multipurpose facility.

Sheila's Quick Shop marked 30 years of service to the Lynn community.

Jason E. Marshall was appointed as the new Lawrence County District Judge replacing Judge Larry Hayes, who had resigned in December.

February

The Beatles at the Ridge Festival, which has been held in downtown Walnut Ridge for two years, was awarded Best New Festival or Event honors at the ALFiE (Arkanans Love Festivals & Events) Awards.

Lawrence Health Services expanded services offered with the addition of Dr. Samantha Hatfield, who specializes in pediatrics and internal medicine.

The Screamin' Eagles senior boys basketball team earned regional championship honors in the Region 2 Basketball Tournament, which was hosted by Hillcrest.

March

Walnut Ridge was named the Welcome to Arkansas Community of the Year at the 2013 Arkansas Governor's Conference on Tourism. Downtown Walnut Ridge and the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce received The Bootstrap Award at the annual Henry Awards Banquet at the conference.

Walnut Ridge teen Sidney Randall was reported missing, sparking an effort that spanned the entire county, as well as bringing in volunteers from throughout the state and even outside of Arkansas. The search continued until May 18 when her body was discovered in the Black River.

April

Terry and Sherry Burnside announced they would end their partnership with the Walnut Ridge Sonic at the end of April.

A new sign recognizing the Bobby C. Watson Little League Field at Stewart Park in Walnut Ridge was dedicated during a special ceremony.

May

The Walnut Ridge Bobcats ended a successful baseball season with a loss to the Dierks Outlaws in the semifinals of the 2A State Tournament in El Dorado.

Many gathered at Sharum Gymnasium for a farewell tribute to 14-year-old Sidney Randall of Walnut Ridge.

June

The Williams Baptist College Lady Eagles softball team ended a dream season finishing in fourth-place in the 2013 NAIA National Championship.

The McDonald's Corporation informed the city of Walnut Ridge of plans to build a 5,100-square-foot restaurant at 511 Northwest Fourth Street (Hwy. 67B).

Eric Wilcoxson accepted a scholarship from Arkansas State University to play baseball for the Red Wolves.

July

Phase five of the Lawrence County Rail-Trail project was completed. Phase five extends the trail by a mile making the trail over six miles long.

Premature baby Maddox Adams was born at Lawrence Memorial Hospital at 26 weeks. The survival of the baby and his mother, Tonya Owens of Alicia, was deemed a miracle by personnel at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis, where Maddox was taken.

August

An additional half-cent sales tax for Lawrence Memorial Hospital was passed by Lawrence County voters. The resulting one-cent tax will be in effect through 2023.

The Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce launched the Lawrence County 100 effort to fund economic development for the county. The drive sought 100 individuals who were willing to give $100 each to fund economic development activities.

September

A grand opening event was held for the Hotel Rhea and The Venue in downtown Walnut Ridge.

Williams Baptist College broke ground on its new Billie Harty Dining Room, which will double student seating capacity in the college's Mabee-Gwinup Cafeteria.

October

The Lawrence County School Board voted at its Oct. 22 meeting to consolidate the Black Rock and Walnut Ridge campuses at the end of the 2013-14 school year.

Mayors and county judges from Lawrence, Randolph and Clay counties presented a unified request to the governor and the Arkansas Highway Transportation Department regarding the development of Highway 67 north to the Missouri line.

November

The Walnut Ridge junior high football team concluded the 2013 season with an undefeated record.

Bill Carter, a former U.S. Secret Service agent, attorney, politician, producer and more, was the keynote speaker at the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce's annual banquet.

Hoxie ended an outstanding football season with an 8-6 loss to Earle in the quarterfinals of the Class 3A State Playoffs. The Mustangs were undefeated in regular season play and won their first outright conference championship in school history.

December

Numerous holiday events were cancelled and all schools in the county were closed for several days after an early December ice storm made travel treacherous.

Coach Bobby C. Watson, who served as a coach in different capacities for more than 40 years, died on Dec. 13. Most of his career was spent coaching at Hoxie High School, and he oversaw the Walnut Ridge Little League program for many years.

Flippo Heat and Air closed its doors after 28 years of service to the Walnut Ridge area. Owners Randy and Ella Flippo have retired.

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