October 19, 2016 Edition

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Danny Games (from left), executive vice president, global business, with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, visits with John Thomison, the Democratic nominee for Lawrence County Judge and Dr. Brett Cooper of Williams Baptist College, following the Lawrence County Chamber quarterly meeting held in conjunction with the Business Expo and Job Fair.

AEDC's Games: work
behind scenes crucial

Arkansas Economic Development Commission Executive Vice President for Global Business Danny Games shared about economic development efforts on the local, state, national and international levels during Friday's Chamber meeting.

The Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce hosted the quarterly luncheon in conjunction with the Business Expo and Job Fair, which was held at the First Baptist Church MAC Building in Walnut Ridge.

Games said the AEDC works within the state, out of the state and even out of the country to develop opportunities for Arkansas.

New wastewater plant discussed at WR meeting

The Walnut Ridge City Council heard an update from City Water Works Manager Jon Kopp at Monday night's meeting. Kopp said he is working with the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality on correcting some violations with the city's wastewater treatment plant.

Kopp expressed that the city should be prepared for some major expenses in the coming years. While nothing has been requested yet, he said he expects a master plan to correct issues with the plant will be required.

A new plant was Kopp's recommendation as he said the current wastewater plant has had issues since it was built. He also added that the current treatment method, activated sludge, is more costly to operate than the alternative lagoon system, which is the method he would recommend if a new plant should be built.

Hoxie to review derelict properties

At the Oct. 11 city council meeting, Hoxie Mayor Lanny Tinker discussed some recent demolitions completed. Due to a string of dry weather, Tinker said the city was able to tear down three derelict properties on Southeast Fourth, Carolina and Fifth streets.

However, there are still as many as 50-60 buildings that need to be reviewed to determine a priority list for future condemnations.

Citizen Juanita Madden brought forth several properties near her that are vacant and have become a host for wild possums and raccoons, which eat the vegetation grown in surrounding yards, making it difficult to grow a garden.

Taco Bell opens with ceremonial 'first bites'

Taco Bell opened in Walnut Ridge with a bumper crowd on Friday and with local police officers directing traffic in the front of the restaurant during peak hours. Walnut Ridge Mayor Charles Snapp said he was told that Friday's grand opening sales were great.

On Thursday prior to the opening, Taco Bell invited several groups and individuals to the restaurant to sample their food. Among them were Walnut Ridge, Hoxie and county officials and employees.

County Judge Ann Pulliam and Mayor Snapp took some of the first bites of tacos to symbolically mark the county and city's effort to assist Taco Bell in locating here. Also on hand was John Thomison, unopposed Democratic nominee for county judge.

Early voting opens Monday

The early voting period for the Nov. 8 General Election begins Monday.

Early voting will be available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the two Saturdays during the early voting period. On the final day of early voting, Monday, Nov. 7, voting will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Nov. 8 election will include the presidential race, as well as two congressional positions. Republican John Boozman (incumbent) will face Libertarian Frank Gilbert and Democrat Conner Eldridge for the U.S. Senate seat, and Republican Rick Crawford (incumbent) will face Libertarian Mark West for the U.S. House of Representatives.

Christmas lights display to honor Wallin proposed

Kim Wallin presented plans to expand the Walnut Ridge "Christmas in the Park" lighting display to the city council Monday night. Her hope is to have the display, which would be dedicated to her father, the late Button Wallin, set up for this year's Christmas season.

This year's goal is to obtain 40-50 additional light sets to have a large display that would promote businesses that sponsored them and draw in visitors to create sales tax revenue for the city.

The city will sponsor up to $10,000 for the project and the Friends of the Park organization has promised $5,000. Wallin said that leaves about $15,000 still needed to reached their goal, which she hopes to have by Nov. 15 to allow time for ordering the lights and setting up.

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