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Archive for the ‘News’ Category

1903 Time Capsule Found in Bradley County Courthouse

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

Warren historian Rob Reep, director of the movie, Captain, is shown with Bradley County Judge Keith Neely, examining the 112 year old artifacts, found Friday.

According to, the Bradley County Courthouse is undergoing extensive foundation work funded by an Arkansas Historic Preservation grant. When construction workers removed the brick and the original cornerstone from the front of the structure, they discovered a time capsule from 1903, the year the courthouse was constructed, behind the original cornerstone.


State Rep. Sheilla Lampkin Donates To Local Food Banks With Help From The Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance

Friday, October 12th, 2012

“The Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance is an Arkansas non-profit dedicated to fighting hunger in the state. Among their many fundraising activities are occasional fundraising breakfasts or dinners dedicated to raising funds to fight hunger. At many of these occasions legislators are invited to “serve” and part of the funds raised are sent to food pantries in their districts.

State Rep. Sheilla Lampkin recently participated in such an activity and eceived checks of $475 dollars each for Immanuel Baptist Church and Revival Center Church food pantries. Here Rep. Lampkin is shown presenting the funds to Bertie James and Bill Jones of Revival Center and Linda Caldwell representing Immanuel Baptist Church.”

Power Restored to 1,792 Customers

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

A fallen tree at Winchester Road and Wood Street caused a grass fire, as well as several hundred customers to lose power and air conditioning, Sunday afternoon.

Entergy crews had electricity restored to users by 7 pm.

Mt. Zion Water Contract Extended

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

The City Council voted to extend Mt. Zion Water Association’s contract until May 7, 2012. This will give the City more time to collect data and stats on Mt. Zion in order to make a decision about allowing them to become part of the Monticello Water System. The issue will come back to the council after the 6 month waiting period is up for reconsideration.


Information Limited on Monticello Man’s Fishing Death

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Johnny Donaldson, age 68, of Monticello, died in the waters of Big Bayou Meto, southwest of Gillett, Tuesday morning.

According to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Donaldson, died Tuesday, around 11:30 a.m, when he apparently fell into the water, near a floodgate, near the Arkansas river.  No one knows how he fell into the water.

Donaldson, who was fishing alone that morning, was best know in Monticello as a contractor, and as owner of several apartment complexes.

Local Models Participate In Little Rock Fashion Week

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Kohl McCone, Drew Higginbotham, and Taylor Parker were chosen to participate in Little Rock Fashion Week, July 11-16. Hundreds of people tried, out but only 87 models were chosen.

Brandon D. Campbell is the director of LRFW. After interviewing with Higginbotham, Campbell signed her as one of his models. Parker was also offered a modeling contract with Campbell. McCone is with IMinc Agency in Little Rock. (more…)

Lee Busby Accepts Invitation To Increase Holding In Jones Financial Cos.

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Lee Busby, an Edward Jones financial advisor in Monticello, has accepted an invitation to increase his limited partner holdings in The Jones Financial Cos., the holding company for the St. Louis-based financial services firm.

Kedran Handly, a senior branch office administrator at Edward Jones in Monticello, has accepted an invitation to become a limited partner in The Jones Financial Cos., the holding company for the St. Louis-based financial services firm. (more…)

Walmart Celebrates 30 Years In Monticello

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

On Thursday Nov. 18th, Walmart Super Center #348 celebrated 30 years in Monticello. Co-manager Carl Petty welcomed the crowd of employees, customers and members of the Chamber of Commerce who were in attendance. 

Petty also acknowledged two employees who have been with the Monticello Walmart since the beginning, Cathy Webb and Judy Kelly. Cake and punch were served to customers and employees.

Monticello’s Stephanie Harton Featured on CBS Morning Show

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Stephanie Harton operates the weigh station for Potlatch, and provides the weather forecast for for their drivers.

Her “dream job” was to do the weather on the radio.  Thanks to the CBS morning show’s “Dream Job” series, that dream came true.

Last Friday, Harton was featured on the CBS Early Show, where she wasa shown broadcasting the weather on The Point 94.1.  She also got to go do the weather at KTHV Channel 11.

Stephanie told MonticelloLive, “The most fun I had was doing the afternoon show with Mike Kennedy and Sharpe Dunaway the past couple Fridays, I wish that was my full time job.”

Monticello schools enter lockdown mode on Friday

Friday, May 4th, 2007

At Monticello Middle School, two female students related to school officials earlier this afternoon that they had seen “a guy” walking near the school with what looked like a gun in his hand. Officials immediately contacted local law enforcement, and with their help began a thorough search of the buildings in the school district.

The lockdown comes just a week after an incident at Drew Central Schools was determined to be a “childish prank.” Last month, a University of Arkansas at Monticello employee was arrested after making threatening comments and spitting on law enforcement officials.

The high school office related that everyone is “ok,” and that after a thorough search of the school, no weapons had been found. The students who reported seeing the individual were interviewed thoroughly and assisted officials by providing a description of the individual.

While police did find an individual meeting that description, no weapons were found, and the lockdown was lifted before school was dismissed. Officials will continue looking into the incident to ensure the safety of the students.

According to Assistant Superintendant Tommy Tyler, the principals of the schools had just completed a revision of the district’s crisis plan last week, and it allowed all officials to proceed smoothly through today’s incident.

“We were not going to take it lightly. The police responded great. We’re thankful,” said Tyler.

Public notice: strawberry meth targeting kids

Monday, April 30th, 2007

MonticelloLive recently received a copy of a letter which was sent to Camden schools warning of a new form of crystal methamphetamine being manufactured, apparently to sell to children. From as far away as California and Nevada, and as close as Texas and Missouri, strawberry flavored crystal meth, known as “Strawberry Quick” has been finding its way into the hands of young people.

According to a recent USA Today report, crystal meth use has been on the decrease in recent years, and dealers and manufacturers have had to resort to new tactics in order to market the drug. Because methamphetamine is commonly white or brownish and bitter-tasting, the pink color and sweet taste make it more appealing to younger children, authorities say. Meth cooks have also been known to manufacture the drug in flavors such as cola and chocolate.

In a report aired on San Francisco television earlier this year, Dr. Alex Stalcup, a drug counseling expert, warns about a newer and more alarming danger associated with the drug. Whereas long-term addiction has been the biggest problem for meth users in the past, the new danger posed by flavored meth is overdose. Since dealers will often claim that it is a milder form of the drug, or not even meth at all, new users are prone to ingest potentially fatal doses.

According to an item from a Missouri TV news report, it hasnÂ’t taken long for this latest threat to spread to this part of the country. Parents and teachers are urged to educate themselves and talk to their children about the dangers associated with drugs.

One dead, others injured in wreck on Thursday

Friday, April 13th, 2007

One Monticello resident is dead, and two others are injured after a one-vehicle accident in Drew County yesterday.

According to a report by the Arkansas State Police the accident occurred at 12:48 p.m. on Midway Route in Drew County. The report states that a 1999 Mercury Sable driven by Don Simpson, age 18, of Monticello was traveling north on Midway Route at a high rate of speed. The driver lost control after over-compensating for a curve, and the vehicle left the roadway and overturned multiple times. All three passengers were then ejected from the vehicle.

Also injured in the accident were Steven Piper, age 34 and Austin Piper, age 4, both of Monticello. According to the State Police report Simpson was pronounced dead at the scene by a Drew County coroner. The other passengers were transported to Drew Memorial Hospital and Austin Piper was later transferred to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock. The report states that no seatbelts or child restraints were in use by any of the occupants. According to officials at the Arkansas State Police, toxicology tests results are pending.

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 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.

Two-year old drowned at Monticello Speedway

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

On Saturday night, March 24, Faith Reed, two-year old daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Chris Reed of Rison, AR, died after drowning. Her death is the result of an accident on a Polaris Ranger four-wheeled ATV. The accident occurred at Monticello Speedway in a resevoir used for watering the dirt track.

The incident is currently under investigation by the Drew County Sheriff’s Department.

Other News Sources:

Twenty meets with congressional leaders

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007


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.

Confirmed tornado in Drew County

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

The National Weather Service in Little Rock has confirmed that the tornado that touched down in the northern part of Drew County on Saturday was of F2 intensity. An F2 tornado is defined as a significant tornado with sustained winds of 113 to 157 miles per hour. 25 percent of tornadoes reported in the United States yearly fall within this category.

Crews from the National Weather Service were on the scene in Drew County on Monday to survey the damage and confirm whether the damage sustained was characteristic of a tornado or high velocity straight line winds. A tornado track was discovered that had a path length of 15 miles stretching from 4.5 miles north of Monticello to 3.5 miles southeast of Garrett Bridge in Lincoln county.

To put the scale of an F2 tornado in perspective, the tornado that struck Dumas Arkansas on Saturday has been classified as an F3 Tornado. National Weather Service officials stated on Monday that the people of Drew County are very “lucky.” The tornado struck a mostly rural area of the county damaging only a few homes and outlying buildings.

The tornado tracks in Drew and Desha County were eerily similar to the February 24, 2001 tornado outbreak.

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.

Photo Essay: Officer returns home

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007


strain1.jpgOfficer George Strain returned home Friday after several weeks in recovery at the hospital in Little Rock. He was run over by a patron of the Chocolate Factory as police were attempting to control a disturbance there on January 29.

Members of the police department, Mayor Joe Rogers, and Ricky Calhoun worked over the weekend to build a ramp leading into his home in order for his walker and wheelchair to be able to be more accessible.

Photos courtesy of Susan Hollinger. More photos found at ML’s Flickr account.

Drew Central’s Thurman receives honor

Thursday, February 1st, 2007

The Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation honored 20 Arkansas educators at an awards luncheon on January 24 in Little Rock. The winning teachers received $500 mini grant awards for creative ideas they will bring to life in the classroom. The 10 elementary and 10 secondary teachers in Arkansas public schools claimed a total of $10,000 in mini-grants. The Arkansas Community Foundation administers the program. Included in this year’s winners was Dennis Thurman of Monticello’s Drew Central High School.
thurman.jpg“These teachers’ imaginations are apparent even with the project titles. Oh, It’s Just Water under the Bridge and Growing Is Knowing are just two of many,” said Kathy Stacey, Weyerhaeuser public affairs manager. “‘When these projects hit the classrooms, it will make it more fun for the students to learn math, science and the environment. That’s what it’s all about.”

The Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation is a non-profit organization funded from the earnings of Weyerhaeuser Company. The international forest products firm manages more than 700,000 acres of commercial timberland in Arkansas and has operations or offices in Russellville, Magnolia, Dierks, De Queen, Emerson, Fort Smith and Hot Springs. The mission of the Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation is to improve the quality of life in communities where Weyerhaeuser has a presence, and to increase understanding of the importance and sustainabiiity of forests and the products they provide to meet people’s needs.

Pictured: Pamela Baade, Education and Volunteer Program Manager; Dennis Thurman; Dr. Ken James, Commissioner of Education Arkansas Dept of Education; and Pat Lile, President/CEO Weyerhaeuser.

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.

Council abolishes Parks and Rec Commission; approves pool repairs

Friday, January 19th, 2007

The Monticello City Council met last night with a long list of topics to tackle, including the city pool issue. After much discussion, the Council voted unanimously to continue the repairs and replacement of the liner with contractor Kenny Johnson for a new contract price of $268,083. The original contract was for $242,585 but Mr. Johnson reported that once the project began it was discovered that “the pool is sub-standard construction-wise”. His concern is having to warranty the job for a year, wanting to be confident in the work he’s done. At $268,083 Mitch Rose, the engineer representing the city from McClellan Engineering, projects 5-10 more years use with the current restoration. At this cost, the liner will be replaced with upgraded material, some pipes will be replaced, the diving board will be repaired, a working drainage system will be installed, and the pool lights will be checked and replaced if needed. Alderwoman Sherrie Gillespie asked why the city keeps pumping so much money into the upkeep and maintenance of the old city pool, but was told that this is the first major renovation in the life of the pool, since 1993.

Another major decision reached on the initiation of new Mayor Joe Rogers was his proposal to abolish the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission. Extensive discussion followed this proposal. Rogers responded to Tim Chase’s statement that the city office was taking on more responsibility than they’ve ever had before by saying, “I take full responsibility, 100%”.

As part of this responsibility, Rogers proposed that the city’s Parks and Recreations Commission be done away with, leaving him in control of this area with an advisory board. The Parks Commission has been in place since 1998, serving the community by completing projects such as park improvements, a new baseball complex, a sports complex, among other things. Nevertheless, the Council voted 6-1 with Tim Chase opposing, to grant the disbanding of the Commission.

Just before the meeting adjourned, Parks and Recreation Commission chairman Steve Hartness was given the opportunity to speak. He wanted to voice his concern over the issue and let it be known that the Commission had worked diligently within the boundaries established for them, and that he didn’t understand the decision.

Hartness stated, “Everything we have done has been upfront. I have come to you for two years with budgets and laid it on the line for the city council to approve or disapprove. We’ve accomplished a lot in the past five years. I’m proud of what we’ve done. I’m a little disappointed tonight. I wasn’t considered important enough to even know about this except through the grapevine.”

The mayor argued that he had left a message with Hartness’s wife but Hartness reiterated that he had been contacted at work and on his cell phone on other occasions but wasn’t about the meeting and what was proposed to happen to the commission.

Hartness continued, “There were things in the paper that skirted right on the verge of us being irresponsible with tax money. I hope you don’t think that. I’m not understanding what the difference is in a 15-member advisory board and a parks commission. I’m not understanding how it’s different, other than you’ve got eight more voices or opinions. If something needed done, it’s gotten done.”

He concluded, “I wish ya’ll the best and I’ve enjoyed working with you guys.”

Appreciation for the commission was expressed by Alderwoman Beverly Hudson who said, “I’d like to say they’ve done a tremendous job, and I think that we should thank them for the many hours. I certainly have had no complaints. I think the mayor just wants to take us in a different direction, and we should give him the opportunity.”

Another issue that stirred discussion was the proposal to grant Rogers the ability to approve up to $20,000 in city expenditures without engaging in a competitive bidding process. The previous limit was $10,000. The council also approved that initiative, by a vote of 6-1, with Chase voting against.

Rogers gave his first State of the City address, reading from a prepared manuscript. In it, he stated, “…where others have found persistent problems; let us discover new opportunities.”

Listen to the full meeting on the MonticelloLive-provided podcast here.

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.

Hospital board passes expansion to quorum court

Thursday, December 14th, 2006

Billed as the largest single economic development package since the 1975 construction of the existing hospital, the Drew County Memorial Hospital expansion project formally moved forward today as the hospital board voted to send a resolution to the Drew County Quorum Court requesting that a referendum be placed on the ballot for a March 2007 vote.

The resolution asks for a 3/4 of one-cent sales tax to be added, bringing the current tax rate to 9.75% for Monticello and Drew County. That means that a resident who earns $50,000 a year would be paying approximately $180 per year for the expansion, after they pretax expenditures like housing payments

The project is ambitious. Totaling $21 million, the expansion and renovation will include the following:

  • Creation of a “medical mall” on the first floor which will include emergency services, radiology, laboratory, and same-day outpatient surgical procedures which will be supported by three operating rooms and surgery rooms.
  • It will add a second floor to the existing structure which will provide 49 private beds.
  • A nursing care unit which will include an obstetrical unit with private rooms and a comprehensive nursery, all private medical and surgical patient rooms, and a state of the art Intensive Care Nursing Unit.
  • Renovation of the 30 year old facility will allow repairs to the existing structure and realignment of services.

New services added by the project are comprehensive and will allow the hospital to be a regional source for health care. Some of the list of services and features of the massive project include:

  • Seven new ICU/CCU rooms
  • Four labor/delivery/recovery/post partum rooms
  • Expanded and fully equipped nursery
  • Three operating and procedure rooms
  • Dynamically expanded emergency room area that will allow 10 patient care positions
  • Imaging department
  • Expanded specialty clinics
  • Enlarged pharmacy
  • Double the space for the physical/occupational therapy department
  • Three room sleep lab
  • Enlarged dining and serving area
  • Realigned offices and business areas to improve organization and efficiency

The expansion of the hospital will conservatively create at least 35-40 new jobs, according to hospital board chairman Gary Shrum.

The existing hospital is approximately 75,000 square feet and was built in 1975. It is classified as an Acute Care hospital and has 49 beds available.

Shrum commented, “If we were to build the same facility that we currently have today, we would not be licensed by the state because we are 40,000 square foot underfloored. With this expansion, we will be able to offer a number of services that we don’t now have the room to offer.”

The hospital anticipates that the construction will not only bring new health care professionals to the area but will also bring a number of other health-care related jobs and services to the community. By voting to bring the resolution to the Quorum Court and to the community in March 2007, the hospital board wants to place the decision squarely in the hands of local residents.

If the Quorum Court agrees to place the resolution as a referendum for next year’s vote, the project could begin as early as September 2007. The expansion and renovation would take about two years to complete.

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, 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.

One Monticello Life: Van Paschal

Sunday, October 15th, 2006

Friday night, Monticello High School celebrated Homecoming. The Billies’ hopes were high, but White Hall proved too much for them this year, defeating MHS. However, the loss does not dampen the spirit of their coach. Behind a good football team is a great coach and person, Van Paschal.

Here is his story:

Van Paschal grew up in Brinkley, Arkansas. He was raised most of his life by his hard-working mother who was a shirt seamstress for Van Husen. He played football in Brinkley through the 7th-12th grades.

"I was a guard, linebacker, and defensive end. My mother always wanted to know why I wasn’t a quarterback. The kids always comment on how I can throw the ball. I tell them, ‘Yea, my momma said I should have been a quarterback, but coach said we needed a guard.’" (Hear this part of the interview here..)


After Coach Paschal graduated from high school, he was recruited by UCA to play football and by UAM to play baseball. He went to UCA in 1981. Soon after that, however, he tore his shoulder. He ended up at UAM to play baseball. After shoulder surgery and a couple of years playing baseball, he returned to football. He played for UAM his last one and a half years.

Paschal started out at UAM with a business degree. Everything changed when he took Business Math. He then started asking himself what exactly did he want to do with his life. He couldn’t stray far from football and decided to look into coaching. He then pursued a Physical Education degree. He loved the classes and excelled in them.

After graduating in 1985, Van realized he couldn’t find a teaching job in Arkansas without a teaching field. Most of the classes he took were business-related. The Arkansas schools wanted him to be able to teach science, history, and math. His high school coach suggested he try to coach in Texas where "football is king."

Van landed his first coaching job in Fort Worth, Texas, and the same year, he also married his hometown sweetheart, Lisa. The newlyweds didn’t stay in Texas long. Being newly-married and the long coaching hours made their time there tough. After one year in Texas, they came "running back" to Arkansas to be closer to family.

He coached in Marked Tree and Palestine for a short while. The Paschals ended up in their hometown of Brinkley. Van became the assistant football coach for two years and then head coach for 11 years. They had four children while there, and Lisa home-schooled. At that point, Van took a coaching job in Sheridan.

"That was not a very good move. I’ve found out since leaving Brinkley that coaching is 10% coaching, and the other 90% is the guys that can play. You’ve got to have players to win ball games," he said.

After one year in Sheridan, he coached in DeQueen for a couple of years. He left there to come to Monticello, where he has coached the Billies for the last two seasons.

"I think I have the greatest job there is. I’m still the little boy that goes and plays football everyday. And I get paid for it!" Van smiled.

When asked about his time in Monticello, Coach Paschal said, "Monticello has been a blessing. We have great facilities, good kids, and a lot of people involved. It is a good school." Being close to family and being near his Milo deer camp are extra benefits to being in Monticello, he added.

"God leads, directs our path. Everything just fell into place. I went to college here. We are east Arkansas folks, flat grounders. We like trees and the country life," Paschal offered.

When he first came to town and met the Monticello football team, he knew it was different.

"The black and white kids get along," he said. "They like each other, and that’s a pretty neat thing."

Coach Paschal and the team have worked hard on leadership. "Most of our kids are not natural-born leaders. They are mostly laid-back guys. But they like the game of football. They work hard, and they play hard," he observed.

Van sees them getting better each week. They continue to bond and become a unified team. They have great attitudes and want to improve, he sees.

When asked how the football players might describe their coach, he replied, "I don’t know what they would say. My nature is pretty hard-nosed. I have to watch myself and not get too focused, where I have blinders on and all I see is football. I try to widen back out and get these things in (points to his Bible on his desk). Kids come and talk to me, and all I want to talk about is blocking and tackling, when they really want to talk about life.

"I want them to say, ‘Man, that’s a godly man.’ They might say, ‘That’s a rough guy, but we know he loves Jesus.’ I want them to say I am a coach that cares about them and teaches them to never give up. Because when you leave football, you have the game of life.

Football teaches the game of life. When you get married, you may want to give up on your marriage. Don’t give up on your marriage. You may want to give up on your kids or vice versa, but don’t give up on them. You may want to give up or just run away. You can’t do that. You gotta keep fighting!"

Coaching has been Van Paschal’s life. Few people love to win as much or hate to lose as much as Coach Paschal. Winning or losing, he is a great coach in the game of football, and a great man in the game of life. Monticello is fortunate to have Coach Van Paschal – one Monticello life.

Wing Tip Gear Dumas, AR

Wing Tip Gear Dumas

Bone’s Auto Parts

Bone's Auto Parts

Greenscape Nursery

Delta Greenscape Nursery


Be A Weevil

Holiday Inn Express

State Farm Mark Gray

Reggie’s Lock & Key

Reggie's Lock & Key

PDQ Inc.

PDQ Inc.

Ashley County Medical Center

Ashley County Medical Center

Interfor Job Openings

Interfor Job Openings

NorthSide Baptist Church

Northside Baptist Church

Farmer’s Insurance

Cass Martin Realty

Cass Martin Realty

Malco Theater

Union Bank 2

Atlas Foundation Repair

Farm Bureau

Citizen’s Bank

Citizen's Bank

Custom Truck / Spee-D-Lube

Custom Truck / Spee-D-Lube



City Drug

City Drug

Drew Farm / Drew Outdoor & Casual Wear

The Computer Guys

The Guest House

The Guest House

Monticello Tire (Goodyear)

Monticello Tire (Goodyear)

Razorback Body Shop

Razorback Body Shop

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Cash Saver

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Monticello Animal Clinic

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Monticello Realty

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