April 27, 2016 Edition

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Walnut Ridge Airport has 18
applicants for manager position

The Walnut Ridge Regional Airport Commission discussed the hiring process of a new airport manager at their meeting Monday night.

With 18 resumes submitted, Commission Chair Don Cavenaugh said he hopes to have a recommendation for the council in a couple weeks time.

Cavenaugh, as well as Commissioners Ron Ingram and Lloyd Clark, will review applicants and conduct interviews. After the best applicants have been determined a recommendation will be presented to the commission in full.

Chamber hosts first Lunch & Learn

Bryan Exum (right), area director with USDA Rural Development, visits with Walnut Ridge Administrative Assistant Sharon Henson at Thursday’s Lunch & Learn sponsored by the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce.
TD Photo ~ Gretchen Hunt

The Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce hosted the first of what Chamber Board Chair Dina Rose hopes will be a series of Lunch & Learn sessions on Thursday at the Lawrence County Meeting Room.

Representatives of USDA Rural Development were on hand to share information and answer questions about programs that could help residents, municipalities, non-profits, businesses and developers in Lawrence County.

Bryan Exum, area director with USDA Rural Development, shared information on loans for multi-family housing, farm labor housing and single-family housing, as well as grants for health and safety repairs for elderly homeowners.

Tim Smith, business and cooperative programs director, talked about economic development in rural areas and ways Rural Development can help through its business and industry guaranteed loan program, as well as Rural Business Development Grants, which can be awarded to non-profits and municipalities to assist with business development.

Provision would designate Hwy. 67 as 'Future I-57'

U.S. Senator John Boozman, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, included a provision in the Fiscal Year 2017 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development funding bill that would put Arkansas on path to add another highway to the nation's interstate system.

The Senate Appropriations Committee reported the bill on Thursday containing Boozman's language designating Hwy. 67 from North Little Rock to Walnut Ridge as "Future I-57." The bill would also give Arkansas the ability to request that any segment of the road that is built to interstate standards be officially added to the federal interstate system as "I-57."

"Arkansas has worked for decades to build this road. The time has come to start calling it what it is - an interstate-quality highway that connects Arkansas farms, factories and travelers, to the rest of our country," Boozman said.

Kiwanis renames pancake breakfast for Keith Brand

Members of the Kiwanis Club of Walnut Ridge have voted to rename their annual Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast the "Keith Brand Memorial Pancake Breakfast" in his honor and memory.

Brand, who was a Walnut Ridge banker and community leader, died in May of 2015. "Keith was a great friend, leader and vital member of our club," said Karen Pratt, Kiwanis Club president in 2015, when the club voted on the name change.

"We feel that our breakfast is more than just a fundraiser for a good cause. We believe it promotes good fellowship and helps build a sense of community, two matters that were important to Keith," Pratt said.

Biofuel airplane trip includes WR stop

The Walnut Ridge Regional Airport was one of the stops that Ross McCurdy and his 12-year-old son, Aedan, made last week while completing a 5,000-mile coast-to-coast trip in a biofuel airplane.

McCurdy is a science teacher at Ponaganset High School in Rhode Island, and the trip started at the North Central State Airport in Rhode Island on April 16.

The fuel used to power the aircraft is made from renewable Camelina plant seed oil and had to be shipped ahead to the different destinations, including Walnut Ridge, for refueling.

WR takes 'Shop Local' to next level

Walnut Ridge Mayor Charles Snapp is taking the city's "Shop Local" effort to the next level with a new online promotion with local manufacturer Douglas Quikut.

"Small-town America relies on the people who shop local and the jobs and tax dollars that are generated by shopping local," Snapp said. "Walnut Ridge is no different than any other small town; we need the tax dollars and we need to support those jobs."

This new promotion will not only encourage Lawrence County residents to purchase products manufactured by the Walnut Ridge industry, but anyone from anywhere can do so from the comfort of their home.

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