April 19, 2017 Edition

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TREE REMOVAL PROJECT UNDERWAY - Mike Duckworth with Duckworth Tree Services shows one of the approximately 130 trees that will be removed from Stewart Park as part of a project to improve tree health and reduce mosquito population in the park. Walnut Ridge obtained a $4,000 Urban and Community Forestry Assistance Grant, which will be matched with in-kind labor by city employees and volunteers who will remove the fallen trees and debris after they are cut up by the tree service. Alderman Rob Combs was instrumental in Walnut Ridge receiving the grant and being a Tree City USA, which is a program of the Arbor Day Foundation.
TD Photo ~ Gretchen Hunt

Rezoning approved for Dollar Tree

The Walnut Ridge City Council approved a rezoning for property planned for a new Dollar Tree at Monday night's meeting.

A similar rezoning had previously been voted down as area residents were concerned about the store’s proximity to their property. Since then, Clark General Contractors has redrawn plans and adjusted the rezoning to include a residential buffer along the sides near residential property.

Nearby resident Peggy Maryman had some questions about drainage and light pollution, all of which were answered, and the area residents at the meeting said the new plans were agreeable.
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Hoxie works to establish property clean-up policy

At the April 11 meeting, the Hoxie City Council discussed implementation of a recently approved ordinance on property maintenance.

Mayor Lanny Tinker, Fire Chief Chris Ditto and Police Chief Glen Smith visited North Little Rock to learn about its property clean-up procedure in an effort to establish an effective one in Hoxie.

Having felt he has failed in implementing a successful clean-up procedure while in office, Tinker said they are on the right track in cleaning up the city.

"We are going to make this work," Tinker said.
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Sloan is new county attorney

Walnut Ridge attorney Clay Sloan has been named as Lawrence County attorney, according to County Judge John Thomison.

Former County Attorney Dick Jarboe passed away on April 1, creating a vacancy in the position.

Thomison said when the first legal question came up after the loss of Jarboe, Sloan was immediately who he thought to ask for advice, and therefore, who he chose to fill the position.

"It was obvious to me that he would be a good choice," Thomison said. "He is imminently qualified and very involved in our community."
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NEARA to receive award

Department of Arkansas Heritage Director Stacy Hurst has announced that the Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives (NEARA) in Powhatan, a branch of the Arkansas State Archives, has been named as the recipient the "More Than Home" award by Five Rivers Historic Preservation, Inc.

The award recognizes people and/or organizations who have made significant contributions toward preserving the history of Randolph County. Records kept at NEARA were instrumental in documenting the restoration of log structures in rural Randolph County as part of Project REACH (Researching Early Arkansas Cultural Heritage).
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Senator Boozman to speak at WBC commencement

Commencement exercises at Williams Baptist College are set for Saturday, May 13. U.S. Senator John Boozman will be the speaker for the ceremony, which begins at 10 a.m. in WBC's Southerland-Mabee Center.

Boozman is Arkansas' senior U.S. Senator and the dean of the state's Congressional delegation. First elected to the Senate in 2010, he was sworn in for a second term this year.

Prior to serving in the Senate, he represented Arkansas' Third District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
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