January 17, 2018 Edition

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DUSTING OF SNOW - A light snowfall hit Lawrence County Monday afternoon and evening. All Lawrence County schools were closed on Tuesday. Roads remained mostly clear and accumulation was minimal.
TD Photo ~ Megan Heyl

WR sales tax added to primary

The Walnut Ridge City Council voted Monday night to call a special election to be held in conjunction with the May 22 primary election. The election will have two separate votes on a total of a one percent sales tax increase.

The sales tax was proposed as an alternative method to fund a new sewer treatment plant by the sewer upgrade committee. One tax would pay the bonds for the plant, while the other will cover the maintenance of the plant and pay for certain services currently being paid through the water bill.

The new plant is in response to mandated improvements required by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality. While the upgrades are estimated at $5 million, the bond issue will be set at a maximum of $6 million, as the actual preliminary figures will not be available until April.

Hoxie to prep land for market

The Hoxie City Council voted at the Jan. 9 meeting to move forward on preparing city-owned land at 800 Southwest Texas Street to be the site of several food trucks, as well as a farmer's market during the warmer months.

Mayor Lanny Tinker said the lot would require some initial gravel work to provide parking. He estimated about $10,000 would be used out of the city's reuse funds.

Tinker said a designated spot is needed as he has been in contact with three food trucks wanting to sell in Hoxie. He added that one of the food trucks is ready to set up as soon as possible, providing another meal option in Hoxie.

WR to conduct major street overlay project

The Walnut Ridge City Council approved overlay projects on six city streets at Monday night's meeting. Portions of East Fulbright Avenue, South Miller Drive, East Georgia Street, Northeast Front Street, Northeast Second Street and West Poplar Street will receive overlays.

The paving will be funded mostly through a $250,000 grant with utility work and rights-of-way being paid out of $160,000 the city has appropriated for street repairs. Mayor Charles Snapp said he is hopeful that the full $160,000 will not be needed and can be used for other street repairs throughout the year.

Starr retires as district conservationist

Ben Starr of Smithville retired from the Natural Resources Conservation Service on Jan. 3, after more than 38 years of service.

Starr served as district conservationist for the past 17 years in the Walnut Ridge Field Service Center.

A native of Smithville and graduate of Williford High School, he attended Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. He completed his degree in agriculture education in 1980 and accepted a soil conservationist position at Osceola.

Evans seeks re-election

Michelle Evans of Lynn has announced her candidacy for re-election as Lawrence County circuit clerk in the 2018 May primary. Evans is currently serving in her sixth term.

"As your current circuit clerk, I have enjoyed serving the citizens of Lawrence County and strive to be helpful by staying educated on the ever-changing laws that relate to the office so that we may assist the citizens of Lawrence County and those visiting.

"My current deputies are Connie Mullen, Michelle (Mimi) Waldrupe, Katie Watts and Bethany Haines, all of Walnut Ridge.

LMHF Gala is Jan. 27

Lawrence Memorial Health Foundation will host its eighth annual Gala on Jan. 27 at The Studio on Main Street in Walnut Ridge.

The event will include dinner and a silent and live auction. The meet and greet begins at 6, and dinner will be served at 7.

Shirley Murphy, executive director of the foundation, encourages everyone to attend.

Ag Expo set for Feb. 2

The 2018 Randolph and Lawrence County Agri Appreciation Expo has been set for Friday, Feb. 2, at Black River Technical College in Pocahontas.

Hosted by the Extension Services and Chambers of Commerce in the two counties, the event will feature a variety of speakers, including opening speaker, Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward.

The event, which runs from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. will feature row crop, livestock and horticulture speakers, as well as presentations for high school students.

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