September 13, 2017 Edition

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Beatles at the Ridge
kicks off Friday

The Beatles at the Ridge festival will kick off Friday afternoon in downtown Walnut Ridge.

Doors will open for the Artists and Authors Symposium on Friday at 2 p.m. at The Studio, located on Main Street, and the official kickoff for the festival will be a "John Lennon" concert by Alan Bernhoft at 3:30 p.m.

Symposium events will continue through the evening, including a meet and greet and an interview of two stewardesses who traveled with The Beatles in 1964 on Reed Pigman's Electra II.

Thumperthon raises $10,000 for shelters

Brent Garner of Hoxie and dog, Lucy, were the first runner-dog duo to complete Thumperthon with a time of 28:28. Thumperthon 2017 raised $5,000 for both the Northeast Arkansas Humane Society and Jumpstart Animal Shelter in Walnut Ridge.
TD Photo ~ John Bland

Organizers of the seventh annual Cavenaugh Thumperthon 5K report that Saturday's event has raised $10,000. Sunny skies and cool temperatures provided nearly ideal conditions for the event.

"We are happy to report because of your generosity we will be able to donate $5,000 each to Jumpstart Animal Shelter and NEA Humane Society," said Fran Cavenaugh.

Andrew Pantoja, age 16, of Paragould was the overall winner with a time of 18:14. Other top finishers are as follows:

2. Shannon Box, age 43, of Batesville; 3. Sara Steimel, age 16, of Jonesboro; 4. Eli Schreit, age 15, Paragould; 5. Frankie Salinas, age 31, Paragould; 6. David Pantoja, age 16, Paragould; 7. Crystal Ring, age 29, Pocahontas; 8. Jonathan Quesada, age 25, Walnut Ridge; 9. Katelin Cavenaugh, age 27, Walnut Ridge; 10. Kelsey Dupuis, age 16, Paragould; and 11. Daniel Stevens, age 24, Walnut Ridge.

County employees get three percent raise

The Lawrence County Quorum Court unanimously approved a three percent raise for all county employees at Monday night's meeting.

The raises will be paid retroactively from the first of the year.

Also at the meeting, the court discussed signing on for an advanced practice nurse program to cover the new jail. The program will include its own liability insurance. Chief Deputy Tony Waldrupe said they may be able to negotiate the rate if other jails in the region also sign on.

Chamber members urged to
find their 'piece of the puzzle'

Members of the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce were challenged Thursday to find their "piece of the puzzle" and assist with the work of the Chamber in whatever way they can.

"What do you think your piece of the puzzle might be?" Sue McGowan asked, referring to how each Chamber member has the potential to make his or her unique contribution. McGowan is director of economic development and CEO of the Paragould Regional Chamber of Commerce and was the speaker at the quarterly Chamber meeting.

"Lesa can't do it alone," McGowan said, referring to Lesa Walter, new Chamber director.

Hoxie fire claims life

An early morning house fire in Hoxie on Friday claimed the life of a local resident, according to Hoxie Fire Chief Chris Ditto.

Ditto said the body of Leonora Light, who lived in the home, was found inside the residence on Southwest Case.

The original call came into dispatch at approximately 5 a.m. as a life alert panic alarm, according to Ditto, and when police and first responders arrived they found smoke coming from the home.

Williams Baptist notches
7.7 percent enrollment gain

A large increase in its freshman class led Williams Baptist College to a 7.7 percent jump in overall enrollment for the fall semester. Williams reported a total of 505 students enrolled this fall, up from 469 in the 2016 fall semester.

Much of the enrollment boost came from a 25.7 percent jump in the number of freshmen entering WBC for the 2017-18 school year. WBC has 142 freshmen this fall, compared to 113 in the same semester last year.

WBC also saw an increase in transfer students. Williams added 52 transfers from other colleges this fall, compared to 41 last year, for a 26.8 percent gain.

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