February 17, 2016 Edition

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EARLY VOTING BEGINS IN PRIMARY - Tommie Robertson of Black Rock (right), early voting worker in the County Clerk's Office, helps Sterling Martin of Walnut Ridge with voting machine Tuesday morning. Early voting began Tuesday and will continue through Feb. 29 at 5 p.m. The office will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays through Feb. 28, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. The Primary Election will be March 1.
TD Photo ~ Gretchen Hunt

Sanitation rates in WR
set to increase this year

During Monday night's meeting, the Walnut Ridge City Council, in an attempt to offset a predicted deficit of $77,000 in the sanitation department, passed an ordinance on its first reading to increase monthly residential and commercial sanitation rates $5 per account.

While the increase will help, Mayor Charles Snapp said it won't offset the deficit completely for this year due to the time it will take to go into effect with subsequent readings and legal delays.

Hoxie mayor struggling
to bring in grocery store

Questions regarding the empty Save-A-Lot building were brought up at the Hoxie City Council meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 9. Mayor Lanny Tinker said he is currently pursuing three or four prospects but has not had any follow-ups.

Last week, the city's reuse committee met and discussed some strategies for bringing in a business. Tinker said he was open to any and all suggestions on how to bring in a new store.

College City, WR effort
to consolidate continues

The effort to consolidate College City and Walnut Ridge continues after a kick-off ceremony and signing of petitions held Feb. 9 at Williams Baptist College. The petitions request that a special election be held to vote on the consolidation of the two towns.

The City of College City will be hosting a town hall meeting for residents of College City on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Sloan Science Center at Williams Baptist College. The meeting will allow residents an opportunity to discuss their perspective and ask questions surrounding the proposed merger with Walnut Ridge.

FNB receives settlement;
Smith expresses gratitude

First National Bank President Milton Smith expressed his appreciation to the bank's customers, following an announcement that the bank has received an insurance payment of $2.685 million related to a theft that was discovered in April of 2015.

"We would like to thank all of our customers for their support and loyalty during this ordeal," he said. "It will not be forgotten."

Silica production to start in May

American Silica, LLC, is making major strides toward opening up a new production plant in Lawrence County. The $40-million rock crushing facility, which is located north of Black Rock could send its first trainload of product as early as May.

The Florida-based company found the 200-acre site in 2011 and broke ground early 2015. Co-owner Dan Cook said the site featured many of the assets they were looking for, however the biggest selling point was access to a main railroad, which will be utilized in its exports.

Tompkins to speak at
youth summit at ASU

Ethel Tompkins, who was the first African-American to graduate from Hoxie School, will be the keynote speaker at the Nonviolence Youth Summit XVI: Remember Hoxie on Monday at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.

The Nonviolence Youth Summit is designed to encourage youth ages 10 to 18 to engage in positive leadership development and roles within their communities.

Ratliff seeks reelection

State Rep. James Ratliff has formally announced that he will be seeking a fourth term in the Arkansas House of Representatives in 2016. Currently, he represents district 60, which includes Lawrence, Randolph, western Greene and parts of Sharp county.

"I am proud of what the people of district 60 and my colleagues in state government have allowed me to accomplish in my three terms as representative," Ratliff said. "At all levels, we have been able to exceed expectations in providing help and services to friends and neighbors."

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