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Author Archive

One Monticello Life: Jesus Christ

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

2 years ago, Jeff told about the life of Jesus, as the One Monticello Life for Easter Sunday. I suppose that featuring my Saviour has become an Easter tration, but if Christ hasn’t become the most important part of your life, he’is there waiting to accept you, as the hymn says, “Just As I Am”.

There’s not a more deserving subject for this week’s feature. Jesus, the One who has changed more lives than anyone else who ever walk on the earth, including mine. After reading, be sure to play the video at the bottom.

May God bless you all. – Joe Burgess

—————————————

Today is Easter and celebrated many ways throughout Monticello. Children enjoy the candy received from new-found Easter eggs. Spiral ham, mashed potatoes and fresh rolls are served at many family gatherings. Much of this happens after a time of reflection and celebration at one of the 50+ Christian churches in the area. The Holy One that is celebrated on this holiday isn’t a local, but Jesus Christ is found in the hearts of many Monticellonians. This is His story.

Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem, Israel. Roman historians subsequently used the birth of Jesus as the dividing line of history using A.D. (Anno Domini, which is Latin for “the year of our Lord”) to mark the coming of Christ.

picture-2.jpgJesus was born into humble circumstances. His mother’s name was Mary who was of the Israelite tribe of Judah. At best, the circumstances of his birth were complicated. Mary was engaged to marry Joseph, also of the tribe of Judah. Joseph could trace his lineage back to Abraham. Jewish lineage and ancestry was sacred to the Israelites. However, before they were married, Mary confessed to Joseph that she was pregnant but claimed that the pregnancy was a result of news she had received from an angelic messenger. (more…)

MonticelloLive: Up for sale or phasing out

Sunday, September 2nd, 2007

The cross roadsAfter a banner first year of activity, interaction, new relationships and community news and information, we’re ready to set MonticelloLive aside. We’ve loved having the interaction with people from all areas of Monticello and the surrounding community. We truly live in a wonderful area! Amazing people. Perhaps one of the most well-loved features of the site has been One Monticello Life – the weekly feature of your friends, neighbors and family.

We deeply appreciate the opportunity to serve the community in this way. We hope someone else will take up the mantle of MonticelloLive, but if not, it’s been a great season of life.

One of the primary reasons for turning loose of MonticelloLive is simply the high expectations it’s generated among so many. We simply can’t live up to it!

Another reason, and probably more meaningful, is that as a local pastor, I can no longer afford to divide my focus and time in the way I have with MonticelloLive. Being bivocational, I initially began the website as a hobby and possible source of supplemental income. It quickly – almost dramatically – surged to become a community icon. I simply was not prepared for the time demands – with meetings, interviews, deadlines and the need to justify all the investment by seeking advertising for revenue. I simply didn’t want to be seen as a “reporter” or as attempting to sell ads when folks saw me coming.

Therefore, we’re putting MonticelloLive up for sale. We’ll consider all offers. Please use the contact form to inquire. I will offer website support and full training. It really is a wonderful opportunity for someone, and it’s a vital source of community news and information. For someone who can give it more time than I, its future is indeed bright!

If no one expresses any interest, we’ll simply phase the site out. It will remain online for reference and archiving purposes.

We’re grateful for all the support, kindness and participation of our readers. We’re also very grateful for our regular banner advertisers that made the work more worth it. Thanks to Parkway Bank, A&B Rentals, and Union Bank & Trust.

MonticelloLive to scale back for summer

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

With summer upon us and kids home, as well as other responsibilities crying out for more attention, we’re making the hard decision to scale MonticelloLive back over the summer. We will still be accepting submissions for stories and news releases, but we will not be actively covering news events until sometime in August.

Last month was the first month that our traffic decreased…. by 5 total hits. In May, the site saw 12,450 pageviews, down from 12,455 hits in April! We continue to be grateful for your participation and help in making MonticelloLive your community site.

We’re offering 50% off on all advertising during the summer months. Just look at the advertising page and figure 1/2 off. With between 400-500 hits per day, that is still the best ad money you can spend in the area. While we expect that traffic will decrease as posting is scaled back, you may want to seriously consider placing an ad with ML over the summer.

We also encourage you to send us news stories, announcements, engagements and wedding information. Your continued participation may provide the “fix” that some MonticelloLive addicts need to get through the summer! ;)

Again, thanks for helping make this site fun and interactive! Oh, and as always, if you’d like to make a donation, you can do so by clicking the donate button on the main page.

Monticello radio stations sold

Tuesday, April 10th, 2007

In another large media sale, Monticello radio stations KHBM, KGPQ, and KXSA owned by Community Radio Network were purchased recently by Pines Broadcasting Inc., owned by Jimmy and Gwen Sledge. The sales prices of the stations was $1.05 million, according to the broadcastingcable.com site. In a letter to advertisers and businesses, Jimmy Sledge stated, “We have retained all of the employees at the stations, and we appreciate your patience during this time of transition of ownership.”

Pines Broadcasting announced that it plans to provide more local news, weather, and sports, as well as offering six different music formats to listen to on the stations.

Sold! Cablevision

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

It has been confirmed by MonticelloLive that Community Communications Company, better known as Cablevision, has been acquired by former general manager Bill Copeland.  Discussions have already begun on upgrades and the addition of new services.

Cablevision provides cable television to 27 South Arkansas communities and both cable television and high-speed Internet services in Monticello. Cablevision was founded in 1973 and was owned by the late Paul Q. Gardner, Jr. until his death in June 2006. His widow, Donna Gardner and sons, Chad Gardner and Paul (Chip) Q. Gardner III, assumed control of the company at that time.  Community Communications Company still remains the largest independently owned cable company in Arkansas.

An official press release has been promised by the new management, and MonticelloLive will publish it as soon as it’s released.

Twenty meets with congressional leaders

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

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Monticello leaders of Twenty for the Future had a busy morning today as they met with four different congressional leaders in the span of four hours.

While Representative Marion Barry was unable to meet due to scheduling conflicts, the group from Monticello met with his chief of staff as well as with Congressmen Mike Ross, John Boozman, and Vic Snyder.

Bennie Ryburn III was the spokesman for the group in all meetings today as he shared Twenty’s eight-point priority list. The group received a positive welcome from the delegation, and the congressmen pledged their support in many of the projects.

Representative Mike Ross said, “It’s a done deal, as far as I’m concerned,” in reference to the need for a north-south connector from Highway 278 to Jordan Drive to alleviate traffic around the hospital and schools.

Representative John Boozman said, “We’ll help you in any way we can.”

Members of the Congressional delegation and their staff remarked consistently what a positive impact the Monticello group is able to make by having such a large group of concerned civic, business and educational leaders present to advocate the needs of the community.

MonticelloLive is proud to present you with the podcast from the group’s meeting with Representative Mike Ross today:

Pictures of Tuesday’s Washington activities can be found here.

Busiest day for site

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

Yesterday, February 26, was MonticelloLive’s busiest day ever! Thanks for your continued interest and helping spread the word around our town and region about the site. We’re so pleased about the positive response, and you are directly to thank for that.

In addition, February has already become ML’s highest traffic month. As of yesterday, the site had already had more than 7,158 pageviews this month! We look forward to growing with you in the days ahead.

As usual, we depend upon you for help with stories and ideas, so keep ’em coming! Many of the stories you read were ideas submitted by others.

Next Monday through Wednesday, we hope to present you with an exciting feature. More about that soon! We’ll be sending out an email alert with the news about the feature in it first. If you’d like your business or group to advertise in the email newsletter, it’s only $25 for the ad! It’s also limited to the first two advertisers.

Again, thanks for your participation in MonticelloLive! It’s truly a community website!

Dumas hit hard by tornado

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

Early reports coming out of Dumas indicate that a tornado touched down and left a path of destruction through the community. Volunteers from the Monticello Fire Department and other organizations left Monticello shortly after the line of severe weather passed through Drew County to lend assistance. Unconfirmed reports are that there many have been some fatalities in Dumas. Dumas is located in Desha County and has a population of 5238, as of the 2000 census.

Monticello police officer injured in hit and run

Monday, January 29th, 2007

The Monticello Police Department responded to calls at approximately 1:30 a.m. Monday at Connelley and Gaines where initial reports indicated fights had broken out at the Chocolate Factory.

During officers’ attempts to bring order, Monticello police officer George Strain proceeded to the street to apprehend one of those involved in the fights, Christopher Smith, 18. While on the street, they were both hit by a car driven by McGehee resident Keshia Daniels’, 26, as she left the location.

Officer Strain incurred significant injuries and after being initially treated at Drew Memorial Hospital was transferred to Jefferson Regional Hospital in Pine Bluff. His injuries are not listed as life threatening. Smith was also hit and suffered a severely broken leg. He was transferred to the University of Arkansas Medical Center in Little Rock for treatment.

Daniels was arrested in McGehee an hour later for the hit and run.

City council meeting report

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

MonticelloLive is proud to provide you with an audio podcast of Thursday night’s, January 18, Monticello City Council meeting:


You may fast forward or rewind through the podcast by dragging the slider.

Results of the meeting included:

  • Mayor Joe Rogers proposed the abolishment of the Monticello Parks and Recreation Commission. Motion passed, 6-1, with Alderman Tim Chase voted against it.
  • Robert Rosegrant was approved as Roger’s selection for Chief of Police.
  • $262,000 of pool renovations were approved after lengthy discussion. Vote for approving renovations was 6-1, with Alderwoman Sherrie Gillespie voting against.
  • A proposal granted the mayor increased authority to approve up to $20,000 in expenditures without accepting competitive bidding was approved by at vote of 6-1, with Chase voting against. The former expenditure level was $10,000.
  • Contractual services to the following organizations were granted for the 2007 year: Monticello Boys and Girls’ Club, Monticello-Drew County Chamber of Commerce, and the Monticello Economic Development Commission.
  • The city accepted a contract with Garver Engineers for airport layout drawing in preparation for the airport’s capital improvement plan.
  • Mayor Rogers delivered his State of the City address.

A full story about the meeting will be posted Friday.

Monticello newspaper launches online edition

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006

The Monticellonian Advance launched an online edition of its weekly newspaper this past week. Located at www.monticellonews.net, the website will be free for the first month, and after that viewers will pay for an online subscription.

According to an article in the Advance publisher Tom White said, “We are pleased to be able to offer on online edition that will make local news immediately accessible to readers who are interested in Drew County happenings – both the local ones, and those living far away,”

“Many of our readers have long been asking for a website, and we have admittedly moved very slowly and cautiously. We have been working on this site for quite some time and we think we have created one of which we can be proud.

“We invite everybody to check it out during the free introductory period, and to keep watching as we work to make it even better.”

Wendy Tassin, advertising manager, told MonticelloLive Wednesday that plans for the online Advance had been in the works for almost three years as personnel selected the right package of services to offer the community from internet providers. The Advance chose Hometown News Hosting to provide the necessary framework for their online edition. The service offers a full features for a subscription-based site as well as services for advertisers.

Monthly MEDC meeting touts MonticelloLive, Monticello Speedway

Friday, October 6th, 2006

As the monthly meeting of the Monticello Economic Development Commission began Wednesday, (it meets the first Wednesday of each month in the UAM University Center Capitol Room) president Benny Ryburn informed those present about MonticelloLive and its contribution to community news and communication. In addition, Ryburn spotlighted Monticello Speedway as a business that is bringing Monticello quite a bit of attention.

“Each weekend, there are between 800-1200 spectators,” Ryburn said. With more than 100 race cars and their crew, the new race track consistently draws folks from other communities and out of state. Races take place every Saturday night from mid-March to mid-November. One night recently featured winners from five different states.

In items of business, it was reported the Monticello’s airport, Ellis Field, was recently classified as a Level 4 airport. This has significant implications for the community and region. Improvements at the field will help attract industries who require air transportation and support. According to the Arkansas State Airport System Plan, a Level 4 airport should strive to provide the following:

  • A primary runway at least 5500 feet long by 100 feet wide
  • Runway should be supported by a full parallel taxiway
  • On-site weather reporting capabilities
  • An LPV approach supported by medium intensity runway lighting and an approach lighting system
  • Pavement strength of 30,000 pounds dual wheel
  • Hangars for 80% of all based aircraft; apron area for all remaining based aircraft and 25% of daily transient aircraft
  • 5000 square feet of public-use space with phones, restrooms, pilot and conference space
  • Jet A and 100LL fuel; self service facilities
  • Full service FBO and aircraft maintenance facilities
  • Access to rental cars
  • An Emergency Response Plan

According to the report, the first round economic impact to Monticello is approximately $824,000. The second round impact is $1,700,400. Total airport impact is estimated to be: 17 jobs, a total payroll of $443,100 and a total economic activity of $2,525,200.

In the director’s report, Director Derrill Pierce related that money has been raised for the needed feasibility study of renovating the old Ridgeway Hotel located on East Gaines. The hotel has been completely cleaned up inside, and the study will help determine “if the Ridgeway can be redeveloped to its highest and best future use from both a construction and economic perspective.” Pierce’s report stated, “The Ridgeway Hotel project is a portion of MEDC’s commitment to revitalization of the inner city, particularly the east side of the community. That revitalization is entirely consistent with the vision of Monticello being created by the Community Design Center in terms of higher density residential development and more pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods.”

In addition, the upcoming one-cent sales tax vote in 2007 was discussed as being key to continuing the development of Monticello’s infrastructure, sports complex, and industrial sites.

Pierce also reported that a strong industrial candidate that had been considering locating in Monticello has decided to locate in Rison instead. Treated Materials Company, which produces telephone and power poles, was offered a package of incentives as well as 30 acres of land for their site by Rison. While the MEDC had offered to match Rison’s offer of 30 acres of land within the industrial park, the “company declined the offer because C&L Electric Co-op is a valued client regularly purchasing electric power poles from the company.”

Treated Materials had expressed a desire to locate on 50 acres north of the Intermodal site on Highway 278. However, the MEDC did not have the financial capability to buy the site from Plum Creek since the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department had paid an appraised price of around $3000 per acre for the I-530 Right-of-Way. The Intermodal Authority paid the same for its 400 acres on the south side of 278. While MEDC offered other types of assistance, it was not able to persuade Treated Materials to locate within Drew County.

MEDC continues to pursue an interested company in the Pacific Northwest as a viable prospect for purchase of and location of their business in the SPEC Building in the industrial park. The wood products company would create approximately 30 new jobs should they decide to locate in Monticello.

Monticello man shot after break-in

Wednesday, September 6th, 2006

Police are investigating a violent break-in in Tanglewood which resulted in one man being shot. Scott Pearson, 34, remains in critical condition. The incident occurred early Tuesday morning.

Two men apparently broke in the Tanglewood residence. The man’s wife was allegedly tied up. KTHV, Channel 11, reported the story in its early news show Wednesday. It is reported that the Pearson children were in the house at the tim and that one child attempted to escape to call police but was unsuccessful. Lt. John Dement of the Monticello Police Department related that after the shooting occurred, Pearson’s wife was able to free herself and call police. Neither child was harmed.

Hello world!

Saturday, September 2nd, 2006

MonticelloLive was introduced to the web on September 2, 2006. We’re excited to be able to service our community and southeast Arkansas with a comprehensive website that will enable better communication between members of our community, city, schools, and businesses. The unique approach of MonticelloLive allows any registered user (and you can register for free!) to post information, comment, and respond. In this fashion, MonticelloLive will truly be a place for instant news, feedback, and information. We hope you’ll take advantage of MonticelloLive for the latest in news, communication, and information.

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