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“20 for the Future” Returns from Washington D.C.-Photos Added

March 8th, 2008 by

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“20 for the Futrue” listens to Congressman Mike Ross, as he explains how he will support issues in Monticello & Drew County.

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Monticello delegatin with Congressman Mike Ross ouside of his office.

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Senator Blance Lincoln, Benny Ryburn, Dave Dickson, Sheilla Lampkin, and Judy Lassiter discussing Drew County’s needs in Senator Lincoln’s office.

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Senator Blanche Lincoln with “20 for the Future”.

Photos courtesy of Curtis Larsen, of Union Bank.

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Monticello’s “20 for the Future” group left Tuesday, on their annual trip to Washington D.C., and returned late Thursday night.

While in Washington, they met with Congressman Mike Ross, Senator Blanche Lincoln, and staff members for our area’s other representatives.

They were also able to watch U.S. Senator Mark Pryor making a presentatin from the Senate floor.

MonticelloLive spoke to a couple from the group.  One member said, “with an effort like this, it will be next year before you know how much was accomplished”.  Another who was present commented, “Everyone we visited with seemed to be concerned.  They were also helpful with suggestions on other, possibly better, ways to achieve our goals.” 

Last year the group flew in to Nation’s Capitol during a snowstorm, and this year they arrived in Little Rock on the return trip with reports of snow as well.


New Ladder Truck for Monticello Fire Dept.

March 5th, 2008 by

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Monticello’s Fire Dept.’s new ladder truck came in today.

The 105 foot reach ladder truck was the result of an application that was made to a grant program, involving the Arkansas Forestry Commission.

The unit had been involved in the Navy’s station at Corpus Christi, TX, where our firefighters went to pick the truck up, and drove it to Monticello, arriving around 4 p.m. this afternoon.

Notice the size of the vehicle compared to the men standing next to it.


One Monticello Life: Kasey Earl

February 24th, 2008 by

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Usually, One Monticello Life is done in an interview type format, but this week will be a little different.

Someone suggested that we feature Kasey Earl a couple of months ago.  When I heard that he was playing at “the Coffee Bean” Friday and last night, I had to go.  It was great. But that’s not all.  Kasey is also the drummer for Gary Meggs & Ezekiel 3:18, who will be featured in the “Branson Comes to Monticello” event tonight.  It’s been a busy week for Kasey Earl, this week’s One Monticello Life.

This weeks edition may be in a different format, but I think you will be blessed by learning more about Kasey Earl.

When I asked Kasey to tell me about himself, and how he got to where the Lord has led him today, he sumed it up this way……

Read the rest of this entry »


10,000 Pageviews in 7 Days on MonticelloLive.com

January 30th, 2008 by

According to OneStat.com, the internet’s leading pageview analysis program, MonticelloLive.com had over 10,000 pageviews in the 7 day period from Tuesday, January 22 at midnight, until Tuesday, January 29 at midnight.

When your friends ask, “What’s going on in Monticello?”  Tell them about MonticelloLive.com.

Today’s news.  Today.


MonticelloLive.com Setting New Records for Readers

January 28th, 2008 by

Since last October, MonticelloLive.com has continued to grow.

Each month there have been increases, in stories, and in pageviews.

Last week set several new marks.

Most Daily Pageviews – 2104 on Friday, and Most Weekly Pageviews – 8699.

January will also set a new monthly record, we’re at 19,285 so far.

I just want to say thanks for your support, and your constant “coming back” to see “what happened in Monticello today.”

But please remember, you can make MonticelloLive even better by letting us know when something is going on.  Contact Joe at 367-0000 with tips and story leads.

Thanks again.


One Monticello Life: Lyle Welch, Southeast Emergency Services

January 20th, 2008 by

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On May 12, 2006, Southeast Emergency Services began operation, serving Monticello and Drew County with ambulance service.

SEEMS is owned and operated by Lyle Welch.  He also is a Paramedic. 

Lyle was born, raised, and graduated High School at Arkadelphia.

Lyle attended Henderson State University and became a paramedic on February 21, 1996.  He had taken an EMT class, since he was a member of the local Volunteer Fire Department.  The instructor complimented his work in class, and encouraged Lyle to enroll in the upcoming Paramedic class, that was being taught.  Lyle did, and has been a Paramedic for 12 years now.

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Lyle started his EMS career here in Monticello on April 1, 1996 and has been here working on an ambulance in Monticello ever since, with the exception of 6 months he was at MEMS in Little Rock.

He is married to Kim Fenton Welch. They have four children:  Shea Welch, who is planning on starting her junior year of college at the University of Arkansas in the fall.  Tyler Welch, an upcoming basketball star at Emmit High School.  Kayla Fenton who attends Monticello schools.  Jordan Welch, the youngest of the four.

Lyle and his family attend Serenity Baptist Church.

His hobbies include hunting, fishing, and remote control model airplanes.

Lyle is show above with “A.C.”, who arrived at the office a couple of days after SEEMS opened.  Lyle said, “A.C. adopted us. Not the other way around.” 

Lyle’s favorites include:

Restaurant-Young’s on Thursday, “It’s chicken and dumplin’ day.”

TV show-M*A*S*H.

Movie-Days of Thunder.

Actor-Clint Eastwood.

Music-Classic country and today’s rock.  Sometimes “disco” on XM.

Song-Long, Black Train.

Sports team-Excluding Billies, Pirates, Hogs, & Weevils-Dallas Cowboys & St. Louis Cardinals.

Favorite book-A Look At Life From A Deer-stand, by Steve Chapman.

Lyle Welch and SEEMS, another “person behind the scenes” that keeps Monticello going strong.

Click here to go to Southeast Emergency Services’ website. It’ll give you information on what are classified as “emergencies”, as well as info about their services.

Lyle Welch, thanks for sharing your One Monticello Life.

Click here to see the One Monticello Life archives.


MEDC Office-Old Post Office-Still Catching Peoples Eye With Historic Artwork

January 15th, 2008 by

Again recently, the sand sculptures at the old Post Office, currently the office of the Monticello Economic Development Commission, are drawing the attention of many people.

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The subjects of the sculpture; a basket of tomatoes, a mule, and someone picking tomatoes, are a reflection of the importance of agriculture in Drew County’s history.

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As it has been found out by research, the same creator of the Monticello Post Office’s artwork, is the same person who designed the work done in the Washington D.C. Post Office.

The Post Office construction began in early 1937, and the cost of the artwork was covered by the Dept. of Treasury’s Section on Fine Arts, at a cost of $750.

For more information, click here to read the original article from the Arkansas Preservation Society.


MonticelloLive Viewed Over 700 Times Tuesday.

January 10th, 2008 by

MonticelloLive.com had over 700 pageviews Tuesday, according to onestat.com.

This is the highest number of daily readers to the website, since May 4.  Tuesday had the 2nd highest view count ever for the web-site.

Thanks for “spreading the word” about MonticelloLive.com, Monticello’s community website.


Registered Child Sex Offender Sentenced to 1-6 Years in Prison

January 9th, 2008 by

Darnell Crosswhite, of HWY 278 East, Monticello, was previously required to register as a “child sex offender” in a Mississippi court, according to court records.

Crosswhite went before the Drew County Circuit Court Tuesday morning, charged as a “sex offender working with children”.

Although the Prosecuting Attorney’s office had reportedly agreed to a plea bargain of 3 years probation, Circuit Judge Bynum Gibson refused to let that plea agreement stand, and sentenced Crosswhite to 1-6 years in the Dept. of Correction.

The Circuit Court will hold a hearing on Feb. 19 to determine exactly how long Crosswhite’s 1-6 sentence will be.

After his hearing Crosswhite was released on an earlier bond, but with the stipulation that if he is found in the company of any child under the age of 18, he will be arrested on a $20,000 bond, and brought before Judge Gibson, again.


One Monticello Life: Darrell & Lee Ann McDaniel Family

January 6th, 2008 by

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As i was selecting a good subject for this weeks edition, I realized that there is a family of 5, that will be starting back to school tomorrow, in fact 5 different schools.  That would be the Darrell & Lee Ann McDaniel family.

Darrell & Lee Ann have been married for 25 years, as of last September.  The family is very active in Northside Baptist Church, where Darrell was brought up, and where Lee Ann began attending, when she and Darrell got married.

Darrell was born in Heber Springs, and moved to Monticello in the 5th grade.  Lee Ann was raised in Arkadelphia, until the 8th grade, when her family also moved to Monticello. 

Monday morning, when all of Monticello and Drew Central schools start their 2008 school years, the McDaniels will also go back to school.

All 5 of them, each going to a different school.

Darrell is an instructor at the Occupational Education Center (vocational technical school) for the Monticello School District.  Actually he’ll be teaching the same “Metal Trades” class that he took, when he was attending vo-tech.  Darrell took what he learned in that class, and spent over 20 years working at Burlington as a machinist, before coming full circle back to teaching.

Lee Ann will return to UAM. She works in the purchasing office for the University.  She has been there for 4 years.  Prior to UAM, Lee Ann worked at Bartons

As you’re reading this, Katie, a freshman at UA Fayetteville, is probably already on her way back to school.  She’s working on her Pre-Med major.

Julie, a MHS freshman, plays saxophone in the band, and is in EAST Lab.

Jordan is a 4th grader at MIS.

The family all likes to spend time outdoors, especially around the water.

Darrell’s hobbies include hunting, fishing, and metal craft.

Lee Ann likes to spend her free time reading, gardening, or watching NASCAR.

Katie spends her free time on the phone, according to her mom, when she should be studying.

Julie’s favorite past-times include reading and playing video games.

Jordan likes hunting and fishing, like his dad, and killed his first deer this year.  Jordan spends any free time he has harassing his older sisters (just ask them).

The family pets include Buddy, the dog, and 9 cats.

Usually now is the time in the interview when I ask about “favorites”, so this week will represent the family’s “combined” answers.

Their favorites include:

Restaurant-Rays.

TV show-NASCAR.

Movie-Toy Story and Santa Clause movies.

Music-Lee Ann likes contemporary Christian music and the family usually listens to country.

Favorite actors & books-Too hard to agree on.

Favorite songs-Amazing Grace and Sweet Beulahland.

Favorite sports teams-Billies and Hogs.

Monday morning, as we are all getting back in the habit of “school”, remember the McDaniel family.

5 family members, 5 different schools.

Thanks to all of the McDaniels, for sharing your One (or 5) Monticello Life.

To read other editions of One Monticello Life, Click here.


Monticello Man Dies in Single Vehicle Accident

January 2nd, 2008 by

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Raymond Glen Hale, age 59, of Drew County was killed in a single vehicle accident on HWY 35, approximately one mile east of the Drew County Fairgrounds, around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

According to unofficial reports from the scene, Hale’s vehicle, shown above, was heading towards Monticello, left the highway, hit a culvert, flipped at least once, and came to a stop, resting on it’s roof.

Mr. Hale was pronounced dead at the scene by authorities.


Monticello’s 39th National Guard Battalion to be Deployed to Iraq

December 31st, 2007 by

The Arkansas National Guard Delta Company 39th Brigade Support Battalion will be leaving during the next few days, to be stationed in Shelby, Mississippi, before being deployed to duty in Iraq.

The total planned time of deployment is set to be one year, which will begin upon their arrival at the base in Mississippi.

 The unit will leaving at different times beginning with the first group departing later this week, with the final departure expected to leave on January 8.

Keep checking back here on MonticelloLive.com for updates as they become available. 


EZ Mart, 425 South, Robbed at Gunpoint

December 31st, 2007 by

The EZ Mart, located on HWY 425 south, was the location of an armed robbery, early Monday morning just before 4 a.m.

Reports indicate that the store’s security video camera shows a black male, approximately 5 foot, 10 inches tall, wearing a mask, armed with a shotgun appears to have been alone in the hold-up.

The robber arrived and fled on foot.

The investigation is being conducted by the Monticello Police Dept.


One Monticello Life: Sharon Hancock, Young’s BBQ

December 30th, 2007 by

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Young’s Bar-B-Q has meant “lunch” to Monticello residents for decades.   The local restaurant has been chosen as Monticello’s “Best Bar-B-Q” for 7 years by the voters in the local newspaper, as well as having won “Best Lunch Buffet” and “Best Country Cooking” several times, along the way.

Sharon’s mom & dad, Ben & Cleo Young, sold Bar-B-Q out of their grocery store from 1954 until 1983.

In 1989, Sharon and her husband Billy Joe Hancock, re-opened “Young’s Bar-B-Q”.  They ran their “take out only” business in the back of the building, where Mr. Ben’s Bar-B-Q pit had remained.

In 1996, they moved the business into the front of the building, and opened a full service restaurant.  In July of 2003, the business burned and closed for a brief time.  But the Hancocks decided to close their laundromat operation, and moved the restaurant, complete with their famous buffet, into the newer building next door.  After a complete remodeling process, and a new kitchen, “Young’s Bar-B-Q with Country Buffet” re-opened in October of that same year.

When most people think of Young’s, they think of it’s owner, and daily hostess, Sharon Hancock.  She’s always there, with a “How are you doing, today?”, or her cheerful, “Ya’ll come back!”  She’s open every weekday for lunch, as well as Sunday lunch buffet.  They also serve catfish, fried shrimp, and BBQ ribs on Friday nights.

When I asked Sharon how she ended up in the restaurant business, she replied, “Well, I was 9 when we moved into the store………….”

She said that the best part of her job is pleasing folks.  “Full people are happy people.”

Sharon was born and raised in Monticello, and graduated from Monticello High School.

“I’ve been married to Billy Joe all my life”, she added with a smile.  Billy Joe served in the U.S. Army until 1962, and was stationed in Germany for a part of that time.

They have 2 sons, Mike, who works at the Pine Bluff Arsenal, and Steve, who is now part-owner of the restaurant, and handles the inventory and catering, as well as doing all of the B-B-Qing.

The Hancock’s have 3 grandchildren: Jake (age 17), Laura (age 14), and Somer (age 13).

Saron’s response to the usual “Get to know” type questions included:

Hobbies-Painting, especially Santa portraits and birdhouses.  (Her Christmas present from her husband was painting classes.)

Pets-“He has pets. They’re all his”.

Restaurant-She smiled, no response was needed. 

Favorite phrase-“‘Have a good day’ seems to say it all.”

TV show-Paula Dean’s Cooking Show, on the Food Network.

Favorite actor-Richard Gere.

Favorite movie-Sweet Home Alabama.

 Favorite music-Country.

Favorite author-James Patterson (mysteries).

Favorite sports teams-Billies, Pirates, Weevils.

In closing, Sharon considers herself a, “Plain old, what you see is what you get” type of person, but that’s the kind of person, business, and cooking that keeps so many Monticello people coming back for lunch. 

Thanks, Sharon Hancock, for sharing your One Monticello Life.

To read other editions of One Monticello Life, Click here.


One Monticello Life: John Carter

December 23rd, 2007 by

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John Carter, shown here during an emergency drill a few months ago at Drew Central Schools, is an agent of the 10th Judicial District’s Drug Task Force.

John began his law enforcement career with the Monticello Police Dept., where he remained for 4 years, until November of this year.  He had originally been a member for the Monticello Fire Dept. (he’s still a volunteer firefighter), and when Lt. Eddie Deaton suggested he become a member of the Police Auxiliary Unit, he soon became a full-time officer.

Read the rest of this entry »


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