January 18, 2017 Edition

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Snapp states he's for
WR/Hoxie consolidation

Walnut Ridge Mayor Charles Snapp said in his state of the city address, which was presented at Monday night's city council meeting, that he is hopeful for another consolidation in 2017.

While not elaborating further at the meeting, Snapp later said he is positive that a Walnut Ridge and Hoxie consolidation would attract businesses, provide better jobs and create a more stable infrastructure for both towns.

Hoxie Mayor Lanny Tinker, however, said he finds it inappropriate that Snapp has made up his mind that this is the best possible outcome for the cities, especially as Snapp has not formally addressed the Hoxie council or the city of Hoxie prior to his claims.

TD editor is new chair of Chamber

Gretchen Hunt (right), new chair of the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce Board, works on the Chamber's 2017 budget with John Householder, Chamber board member.
TD Photo ~ John Bland

Gretchen Hunt, editor of The Times Dispatch, has begun her term as the 2017 chair of the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

Joining her on the board's executive committee are: Dina Rose, past chair; Aaron Andrews, chair-elect; Lorra Whitmire, vice chair; and John Householder, member-at-large. Fran Cavenaugh is continuing to serve as the executive director on a volunteer basis.

Kathy Bradley, administrative assistant, continues as the Chamber's only paid employee. "Kathy manages the office, maintains communication with our members, helps with numerous events throughout the year and so much more," Hunt said, adding, "She is the glue that holds everything together."

Hoxie sets 2017 budget, some rates increase

The city of Hoxie set its budget for all city accounts at a total of $1,928,330 for 2017. The budget was approved at the Jan. 10 meeting.

The new budget reflects two increases the council also passed at the meeting. The first of which is a $1 increase on garbage collection rates on residential units, a needed increase to match higher fees the city is required to pay.

Pickup is now set at $9 a month for residences and range from $17 to $232 for businesses determined based on amount of garbage generated and type of receptacle used.

Intermodal names Derrick Harris as executive director

The Northeast Arkansas Regional Intermodal Facilities Authority has named Piggott native Derrick Harris as its executive director.

Harris, who holds a baccalaureate degree in geography from Arkansas State University, was previously employed by the Jonesboro Metropolitan Planning Organization as a transportation planner. In this role, he worked alongside elected officials, area professionals and citizens to formulate strategic recommendations and develop plans to better serve the Jonesboro metropolitan area.

Harris plans to leverage his experience in business, community service and planning to serve the region on a larger scale in his role with the Northeast Arkansas Regional Intermodal Authority.

Walnut Ridge discusses improvements, police safety

The Walnut Ridge City Council discussed drainage, industrial park improvements and police department safety and liability at Monday night's meeting.

With an overgrowth of trees and brush causing the partial collapsing of a Village Creek drainage tile at West Main, flooding in the area has proven common in heavy rains.

Mayor Charles Snapp said the area can be cleaned out but will have to be done by hand as operating an excavator could damage the integrity of the road over the tile.

LMHF honors Dr. Paul Vellozo

The Lawrence Memorial Health Foundation held its Winter Gala Saturday night at The Studio and honored Dr. Paul Vellozo as the 2016 Special Advocate for his service to the success of Lawrence Health Services.

Dr. Vellozo practices at Family Medical Center, which is owned and operated by Lawrence Health Services.

Lila Floyd, a member of the Lawrence Health Services Board, made the presentation.

"Over the last 20 plus years of his life, he has worked tirelessly to establish an internal medicine practice where he has provided excellent medical care to many in our community," said Floyd.

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