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New Year’s Eve: Some Folks go to Church, Some Folks go to Jail

January 1st, 2010 by

New Year’s Eve brought with it the usual activities, Thursday night, however the rain and cool temperatures seem to reduce the number of people celebrating.

Monticello Police arrested 3 drivers that were charged with DWI, proving the phrase, “if you drive hammered, you’ll probably get nailed” to be true.017

Several churches held New Year’s events as well.  The top photo is from Mt. Pleasant Campground United Methodist Church held a  “sing in the new year” recognizing the music of Gospel Music Publisher, Songwriter, Music and Singing School Teacher, Singer and Musician Marty Phillips, and his wive Ann.  Marty’s song, “What a Meeting in the Air” has been featured in one of Bill Gaither’s Homecoming videos.

IMG_2744Immanuel Baptist Uth took part in a lock-in, overnight.  Shady Grover and Holmes Chapel also had activities planned.

025The Robin Hood Family, Andy Brannon, and others joined together in an “all night singing” at Christ Church.

“Let Somebody Else Drive,” John Anderson, 1983

December 31st, 2009 by

Like country music star John Anderson sang about in 1983, “Let somebody else drive” is good advice for members of the celebrating crowd.

With tonight being New Year’s Eve, extra patrol will be taking place from both the Monticello Police Dept. and the Drew County Sheriff’s Dept.

As everyone welcomes 2010 into Drew County, take care of yourself, and everyone else on the road, choose a designated driver before the celebration, and “Let somebody else drive.”

Things Not To Do in Noon Traffic

December 22nd, 2009 by

425 278 This photo was taken by a MLive reader, while she was waiting at the stop light on HWY 425 North at the HWY 278 intersection.

Like they used to say on Sesame Street, “one of these thing doesn’t belong here.”

There was no wreck, and no one was injured.

Ridgeway Hotel Approved by ADFA to Get $5.4 Million in Funding

December 21st, 2009 by

095MEDC president Benji Ryburn announced at the Monticello City Council meeting Thursday night that the Ridgeway Hotel project has been approved by the Arkansas Development Finance Authority to receive $5.4 million in funding.

The city agreed several months ago to provide up to $32,000 in sidewalk and lighting improvements to the area, which will house the Ridgeway’s 32 elderly, low income residential units.

The project is expect to have much better benefits from exchange tax credits, than have been available recently.

Ryburn received an e-mail shortly before the meeting, and expects all of the details to become official in a month, when the actual letter arrives.

The Drew County Housing Authority has agreed to provide gap funding, if needed, up to $500,000.

“The Ridgeway” was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in February. Read the rest of this entry »

Update–Briney Found Not Guilty of Aggravated Animal Cruelty in Admitted Beating Death of Shetland Pony

December 10th, 2009 by

A Drew County jury found Benjamin Briney not guilty of aggravated animal cruelty, following the admitted beating to death of a horse on August 1, with a baseball bat.

This is Arkansas’ first attempt at prosecuting someone under the new “felony aggravated animal cruelty” law that went into effect as of midnight on July 31.  The death of this horse occurred approximately one hour later. Read the rest of this entry »

Update–City Council’s 9 Step Process of Cleaning Up “Nuisance” Properties, 7 For-1 Against

December 8th, 2009 by

MEDC director Truman Hamilton met with the Monticello City Council, Thursday night, for their planned committee meeting to discuss the process of dealing with properties that have been reported to be run down and/or abondoned.

After the meeting, MonticelloLive asked each of the eight council members if they were in favor of proceeding with the process of dealing with potentially “nuisance properties”, as explained by Hamilton.  The only council member who stated that he was opposed to the measures was Judge Clifton Bond.  All others stated that they were in favor of proceeding with the 9 steps, as they were described in the meeting.

Hamilton presented the following list to the group, outlining the order in which events are to take place in the process of dealing with the property owners of those potentially “nuisance properties.” Read the rest of this entry »

Monticello Billies Win Championship Game: 38-7.

December 5th, 2009 by

The Monticello Billies defeat the Camden Fairview Cardinals 38-7 to win the 5A championship.
Monticello second string goes in with 5:25 left in the game. Still 38-7.
Caleb Bryant carries the ball in to take the Billies 38-7 after a series of penalties against the Cardinals. Extra point is no good.
Joe Carmical keeps the ball to take the Billies 32-7. Extra point no good again.
Beginning of fourth quarter. Score unchanged. Billies will start 2nd & 6 on the Cardinals’ 11-yd line.
Cardinals TD, extra point good. 26-7 with 4:04 left in 3rd.
Billies TD, extra point good. 26-0 with 6:09 left in 3rd quarter.
Billies TD, extra point no good. 19-0 with 10:02 left in the third.
At halftime, Billies lead the Cardinals 13-0. Billies’ field goal attempt no good.
After their second interception of the game, the Billies have the ball on the 21-yd line, 2nd & 9 with 3:47 to go in the second.
Billies score with 11:29 left in second quarter. Extra point good. Billies 13-0.
After the Billies intercept, they take it to the 20-yard line to end the first quarter.
Billies score on the first drive of the game. Extra point no good. 6-0 with 7:32 left in first quarter.
The Billies are practicing and warming up below the War Memorial lights. Game time in less than an hour!

Scores will be updated regularly throughout the game.

Early Morning Friday Crash Rushes Rescue Team – Helicopter Lands in HWY for Emergency UAMS Flight

November 28th, 2009 by

004The “Dead Man’s Curve” area was the scene of another serious motor vehicle accident, Friday morning, around 3 o’clock.

According to reports from the scene, the driver of this eastbound   Volkswagon Jetta crossed the center line, into the path of the oncoming westbound Plymoth Voyager, causing a head-on collision.

008Both drivers had to be removed from their vehicles by Monticello Fire & Rescue, assisted by Drew County Sheriff Deputies.

z4SEEMS responded to aid the driver of the Voyager, and called for Air-Evac, an emergency helicopter transport, that has performed a training session with local emergency workers, but this is believed to be first “on scene” emergency pick-up in Drew County.

The victim was air-lifted to UAMS in Little Rock by chopper, from where it had landed, on the blocked off center line of HWY 278 East.

The driver of the Jetta was transported by MASI to Drew Memorial.

Triple A transported the Volkswagon, and J.A. Goad Towing removed the mini-van..

Gaines Street Re-opens, Clean Up Continues, After Sunday Night’s Path of Destruction

November 26th, 2009 by

 Clean up continues near Main St. and Gaines St. intersection, as shown in these photos, after Sunday night’s midnight crash, which closed the intersection overnight, and limited use of East Gaines St.

Here’s the informtion on the crash, with photos from Sunday night. 


Gaines Street opens with 2 lanes of traffic and a 4-way stop sign.



The driver of this Dodge truck reportedly fell asleep, before the crash.


Traffic light from Main & Gaines, waiting on inspection.


Light pole on northeast corner of Main & Gaines, leaning over blocked roadway


Clearview Glass staff replacing Barber Shop window.


AT&T crews re-installing phone lines.


"Barber Shop Row" after clean up.


The power pole that was laying across the street has been replaced, in front of lawyer's office.

East Gaines Partially Re-opened, See Story Below

November 23rd, 2009 by

069Around 8 o’clock Monday morning, AHTD personnel took over the damaged section of East Gaines Street from Main Street to Gabbert Street, and opened that area to small vehicle traffic.

076Large trucks will still be detoured back to HWY 425, to travel north to Rose Hill Cut-Off Road, and then turn either north to Dumas, or south to Dermott, McGehee, southbound destinations.

The daylight photos show the damage down by last nights wreck, which is described below.

Midnight Wreck Shuts Down East Gaines From Main to Gabbert Streets & Stop Lights on the Square

November 23rd, 2009 by

042A wreck just before midnight, Sunday night, shut down traffic on East Gaines Street, from Main Street, to Gabbert Street, as well as taking the two stop lights on the square out of service

043A Dodge Truck, apparently veered into the light pole, which hold the traffic light, then continued down East Gaines Street, knocking another power pole to the ground, completely blocking the street.

Some businesses also received minor damage.

E. Shelton to S. Gabbert Street is a good detour route on the south side of the square, and N. Main to Trotter, Jefferson, or Oakland can serve as detours from the north.

Monticello Police and city crews responded to the scene, as did Entergy, to restore power.

SEEMS transfered the driver to Drew Memorial, while Tommy’s Wrecker removed the Dodge.

Rifle Shot Fired into County Vehicle in Courthouse Parking Lot, Accidentally, by Man in Lawyer’s Truck

November 17th, 2009 by


Around 11 o’clock, Monday morning, as an attorney and his client were likely discussing their case before leaving the courthouse parking lot, the client reached into the back seat of the attorney’s pick-up truck to get a box.

004When he moved the box, a 243 rifle, reportedly, accidentally fired, sending it’s bullet out the back passenger side of the attorney’s truck, and into the tailgate of the Drew County Environmental Enforcement vehicle, a Jeep Cherokee, parked next to the north entrance of the courthouse.  Witnesses said that there were several rifles in the back of the vehicle. Read the rest of this entry »

Millage Tax to Remain at 1.8 Mils, Discussion, and Public Comment on QC Insurance & Taxes

November 17th, 2009 by

 As the topic turned to tax related issues, Gay Griffith asked the County Attorney Cliff Gibson for a clarification as to what limits would bind the use of the “1400” account, which is a sales tax fund, that can have multiple designated purposes.   Basically, Gibson responded the court can set it’s own purpose for the money in that fund, as long as it’s done in a public forum, once a year.


Next, Arlene Russell asked to come before the court and discuss her feelings on the possible increase of millage taxes. Russell is reluctant to support the tax increase due to the fact that the county is not “hurting” for money. She feels that the county is likely going to be getting more money. She also mentioned that the Quorum Court should be paying for their own healthcare benefits.

“We pay for our own, and I don’t see how you can in good conscience take it out of the general fund,” stated Russell.

 After several comments from the Quorum Court about the ad velorum (millage) tax issue, they voted to leave the tax on property at the same rate that it has been set at since 1983, which is 1.8%.

Local Musicians Entertain Major League Stars

November 11th, 2009 by

Tom Martin, Chipper Jones, Michael Murphy, Adam LaRoche, Jeremy Payne, Mitchell Murphy, Ryan Langerhans, Andrew Brannon, Willie Robertson, Matt Duff, and Tyler Chambers

CashboX, a local southern rock band, recently got the opportunity to perform for some “big time” stars. CashboX is made up of singer Andrew Brannon, from Monticello, guitarist Tyler Chambers, from Monticello, drummer Michael Murphy from Dermott, and Bassist Jeremy Payne from Lake Village. The band recently recorded the theme songs for the Duckmen 13: Fear the Beard, already out on DVD, and the Buck Commander 3: “The Bigs,” due out next year. The Duck Commander, a reality show about the Robertson family, airs weekly on The Outdoor Channel.



Michael Murphy, Tyler Chambers, Jason Aldean, Jeremy Payne, and Andrew Brannon.

 Because of CashboX’s success with the theme songs, Willie Robertson, star of the Buck Commander DVD series and Duck Commander DVD series and Duck Commander reality show series, sent the band and their families to the ranch of Major League Baseball player Adam LaRoche in Fort Scott, Kansas, where they played a concert for the Buck Commanders themselves. The Buck Commanders present were: Chipper Jones,3rd base for the Atlanta Braves; Adam LaRoche, 1st base for the Atlanta Braves; Matt Duff, a former St. Louis Cardinal pitcher; Tom Martin, a former New York Mets pitcher; Ryan Langerhans, outfielder for Seattle Mariners; and Willie Robertson. Read the rest of this entry »

City Council Fire Dept. Committee Discusses Plans for 1 or 2 More Fire Stations

November 4th, 2009 by

The city council met Tuesday night for several special committee meetings. The first meeting was for the Fire Department Committee. The council met to discuss locations for a new fire department. Fire Chief Steven Faulkner presented the committee with maps and drawings of possible locations for the new fire department, and what the mile and a half response time area would be for those locations.

Alderman Tim Chase stated that he believed that if the council was going to build a new fire department, they needed to renovate and maintain the central location, and build a fourth one in another location. Alderman Beverly Hudson stated that while that would be ideal, it would cost more money to do that.

The committee decided to meet again in December to discuss the future location of the fire department.

Will Duct Tape Really Fix Anything?

October 23rd, 2009 by

001After the collapse of the building on the east side of  the square’s south side, a temporary repair was noticed that had recently been applied to the building on the west end of that same row of building.

002The tape appears to be Duct Tape, a product that is usually made of aluminum, and used in the air conditioning and refrigeration industry, and not the standard grade of “duck tape.”

But it is still a shining example of a potential problem.

Council Discusses Cleaning Up “Eyesore” Buildings

October 19th, 2009 by


Beverly Hudson lead a debate last Thursday during the regular city council meeting on condemning buildings for city clean ups. She opened the topic by showing pictures taken by Truman Hamilton depicting the old, abandoned buildings. Hudson wanted the council to enforce the ordinance already in place that states that if the council deems a building to be a nuisance they can condemn it and ask the owner to tear it down and clean it up, or if the owner refuses, the city can take down the building. Read the rest of this entry »

Building Collapses & Shuts Down Traffic around Square-More Photos

October 14th, 2009 by

The back section of the former Thrifty Chicks, also known as the old Tree-0 and Apples & Amens building collapsed, shortly after noon, Tuesday afternoon, likely under the weight of heavy rain.

Monticello Police and Fire Units responded, and Drew County Deputies also assisted.

The front of the top floor was reportedly being used as an office by Judge Clifton Bond, a retired attorney and judge.

Centerpoint energy was also called to the site to turn of the natural gas supply, which was smelled immediately after the rumble of falling bricks came to an end.

The building collapse was covered on TV by KATV-7 and KLRT-16, who used photos provided by

Channels 4 & 11 were also reported on the event.


MonticelloLive Celebrates 2nd Birthday Under Burgess

October 13th, 2009 by is celebrating it’s 2nd  birthday this week, since business operations and reporting duties were taken over by Joe Burgess (“the MonticelloLive guy”) back in October, 2007.

Readership has grown constantly over the 2 year period, as shown by the 1.6 million pageviews that the site has received over in the past year.

While another website keeps posting impressive numbers, MonticelloLive makes it possible for readers to view our actual daily pageviews totals.  Just click on the black, white, & orange One logo at the bottom left of  MonticelloLive newspages. 

MonticelloLive is designed to be “User Friendly”, we don’t make you play “hide & seek” to find stories.  All new news stories at that the top of the front page.

When you click on the MonticelloLive icon on your desktop screen, it doesn’t take you to a roadmap of the website, you’re immediately taken to the most recent news items posted that day.  I’ts that simple.   If you want to see school lunch menus, obituaries, yard sales, or the classifieds, they’re just one click away, at the top of the page. 

News and events may be submitted to MonticelloLive by sending an e-mail to

And if you around town and see a big guy in a shirt, that’s probably Joe. You many want to slow down, because there may be a car wreck, fire, or other event nearby that would be better to read about, than be a part of.

If there are no flashing lights around, just stop and say “hi”.  Joe’s usually a friendly fellow, who likes to hear what folks think about Monticello.

Finally, say “Happy Anniversary” to the sponsors that make our time together each morning possible.

MHS Recycling

October 12th, 2009 by

DSCN7905Monticello High School EAST is making an effort to “go green”.

Every Thursday, students collect paper from the recycle bins that are placed in every high school classroom.

They also collect from the OEC and Administration Building.

After all of the paper is collected, the Drew County Recycling Center picks it up and starts the recycling process.

Each student on the recycling team feels that they are doing their part in helping the economy.

Small Gator Found on E. McCLoy St.

October 2nd, 2009 by

005010Shortly after Thursday night’s thunderstorn, a small alligator was seen crossing East McCloy Street by Drew County Deputy Steven Mitchell, near the city warehouse around midnight.

The alligator, estimated to measure around 2 1/2 foot long, was detained by city employee Charlie Hammock, with local law authorities present, and turned over to the Arkansas Game & Fish Commision.

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