March 22, 2017, 2017 Edition

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Hoxie Mayor Lanny Tinker (from right) shares plans for the Commerce Street development with those attending the March city council meeting, including Lida Tinker and Alderman Larry Couch. The development will be near the most recently opened portion of Highway 67, where commercial businesses should benefit from heavy traffic.
TD Photo ~ Megan Heyl

Hoxie moving forward
with development

After years of patiently awaiting the opening of U.S. Highway 67 through the Hoxie area, the city council is moving forward on the bidding process for the new road at the Commerce Street development.

In 2016, the city purchased about five acres across Owl City Road from Cox Powersports. The land is in full view and easily accessible from both Highway 67 and Highway 63. Hoxie Mayor Lanny Tinker said traffic count is a big factor in bringing in some of the businesses they are looking to have in Hoxie.

Charles Snapp says consolidation must wait

In a statement released on Tuesday afternoon, Walnut Ridge Mayor Charles Snapp expressed his opinion that now is not the right time to pursue consolidation with Hoxie.

His statement, in full, reads as follows:

"Following a vote by residents of Walnut Ridge and College City in May of 2016 in favor of consolidating these two towns, several residents from both Walnut Ridge and Hoxie approached me and inquired if I thought Walnut Ridge and Hoxie could or should ever consolidate. I thought enough residents were interested in the possibility of the consolidation of the two towns, that I established the Economic Impact Committee (EIC).

WR Drainage regulations set

An ordinance concerning drainage installation was approved at Monday night's Walnut Ridge City Council meeting.

The ordinance established the procedure required for landowners to make changes to drainage around all existing or new construction. Any work will require a permit and the landowner is responsible for assuring the work is done correctly.

If a drainage system is improperly installed, the city has the option to remove and replace the materials at the cost of the landowner. Likewise, should the system fail within 24 months of the final inspection, the landowner bears the responsibility for the repairs or replacements.

Hoxie bids Commerce St. project

During the March 14 meeting, the Hoxie City Council approved Miller-Newell Engineers, Inc., to let bids on the new Commerce Road being constructed off Owl City Road along U.S. Highway 63.

The development will be visible from the recently opened U.S. Highway 67. Preliminary cost estimates are about $140,000 for the project, which will come from the city's reuse funds designated for economic development. (See related story.)

In other business, the council authorized Mayor Lanny Tinker to pursue the purchase of a new backhoe. The council later approved the purchase of a New Holland backhoe at a special meeting Thursday night.

Air show to mark 75th anniversary of airfield

Plans for the Wings of Honor Museum's annual airfield reunion are underway, but this year's event will be a special celebration. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the Walnut Ridge Army Airfield in 1942 during World War II.

The Wings of Honor Festival was added to reunion activities last year, and this year, an air show, set for May 6, will highlight the festivities, which will also include a dinner on Friday night, two parachute jumps, entertainment by local groups and vendors.

Highway improvements planned in Lawrence Co.

The Arkansas State Highway Commission has approved a bid for improvements to roadways in Lawrence County, according to Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) officials.

The purpose of this project is to resurface 6.3 miles of State Highways 63B, 67B and 367 from State Highway 63 to U.S. Highway 67 through Hoxie and Walnut Ridge.

Accident claims life

A two-vehicle accident on Highway 63 near Bono at 4:34 p.m. on March 15 resulted in the death of a 15-year-old Hoxie boy, according to a preliminary fatal crash summary released by the Arkansas State Police.

Eric Harmon, a student at Hoxie School, was a passenger in a 1998 Chevrolet, driven southbound on Highway 63 by Dustin Harmon, 18, of Hoxie.

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