February 22, 2017 Edition

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Rezoning denied,
store plans halted

Plans to locate a Dollar Tree along Main Street in Walnut Ridge came to a halt when rezoning of the property site was denied by the city council at Monday's meeting.

The property rezoning, at the corner of Main and Southwest Seventh streets, had already met some opposition from area residents during a public hearing held at the beginning of the month. While a buffer of 80-feet of green space was promised along the south side of the property, residents still had concerns about the store.

Former Alderman Jeff Taylor was among those against the rezoning as he lives on adjacent property. Concerns he brought up included drainage and increased truck traffic.

Alderman Allen Smith said that drainage is one thing that regulations cover very thoroughly and he believed it would be designed in such a way as to not drain into their property.
Stephanie Mondy of Hoxie accepts a donation during a roadblock in Walnut Ridge on Friday to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Lawrence County raised nearly $14,500.
TD Photo ~ Ashley George

Volunteers raise money for wishes

Lawrence County once again participated in the annual Have-a-Heart Wish-a-thon to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

On Friday, volunteers manned roadblocks in Walnut Ridge and Hoxie to accept donations for the organization, which grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses.

Jennifer Archer, who helps coordinate the Lawrence County team, said the local total so far for this year is nearly $14,500.

Phil Baiza, who also assists with the event each year, is currently enrolled in the police academy, so Archer said Lindsey Cooper stepped up and took charge of the Hoxie roadblock.

Hoxie prepping for economic development

Hoxie Mayor Lanny Tinker gave his state of the city report at the Feb. 14 city council. In it, he addressed some developments in the city as well as its financial status.

Tinker provided figures for the beginning balances of the different city funds. Showing $633,601.55 between general, street, water and sewer, this is a slight increase from the beginning balances in 2016 and 2015 and a significant increase over 2014's $556,512.96 beginning balances.

Additionally, the city has $335,414.22 in a job stimulus fund to be used in economic development, $57,000 in a garbage truck replacement fund and a $128,000 reserve that is meant for true emergencies.

Hoxie forms committee to assess consolidation

The "Keep Hoxie Hoxie" committee has been formed in response to ongoing discussion in the community about a consolidated Hoxie and Walnut Ridge.

A similar committee was formed by Walnut Ridge last year and its findings were reported in last week's edition of The Times Dispatch. In that release, the committee stated it would welcome a meeting with Hoxie Mayor Lanny Tinker and the new committee to go over their findings.

Walnut Ridge Mayor Charles Snapp also spoke in his state of the city address about hoping for another consolidation in 2017, having just finished the process of consolidating with College City.

Portia Dairy King makes the best of a bad situation

An unfortunate accident at the Dairy King in Portia on Saturday, Feb. 11, could have been much worse, said Gina Rorex, restaurant owner.

The accident occurred shortly before noon when a driver accidently pressed down on the accelerator instead of the brake, causing the vehicle to plow into the restaurant's front entrance and to jar two diners at a table nearest to the entrance. Security cameras at the Dairy King recorded the event, showing the impact and damage to the front doors, wall and ceiling.

Talking about the accident last Wednesday still made Rorex a little emotional.

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