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Monticello Memories – Tour of Monticello – # 21

January 16th, 2012 by

Last week we discussed the portion of South Main Street between the corner of South Main and East Gaines Street and the present Drew County Courthouse. This week we’ll look at the courthouse “property” and continue to Jackson Avenue.

The current Drew County Courthouse is the fourth courthouse to be built for the official business of Drew County since the county’s 1846 beginnings. Since a fairly thorough description of the building of the “new” courthouse and its history was written by me and published in the 2007 Drew County Historical Journal, I won’t repeat all of that at this time. (Multiple copies of the 2007 Journal may be purchased at the museum for $5.00 each.)

Read the rest of this entry »


At the Museum – Antique Camera Collection

January 15th, 2012 by

This display has just about every camera one can imagine, and probably some you couldn’t , come by and see if you have seen some of these in your lifetime.

Come see this and many other interesting items on display at your Drew County Museum, We are open Fridays from 1pm till 5pm, and Saturdays from 2pm till 5 pm and Sunday by appointment..

If you are interested in becoming a member of the Drew County Historical Society, memberships are $25 Dollars for a single membership or $40 for a family membership. Please mail your membership request to The Drew County Historical Society 404 South Main Monticello, AR 71655.


Local Resident’s Granddaughter is Flying High, with US Air Force

January 13th, 2012 by

Tom Henry of the Montongo community recently brought a copy of a northwest Arkansas newspaper to church with him.

“That’s my granddaughter”, Tom said with pride.  

After reading the article printed in The Times of Northeast Benton County, written by Annette Beard, it was plain to see that he had a reason to be proud.

“I can’t believe I get paid to do this,” the 23-year-old Air Force second lieutenant said of flying.

Kristin Henry earned her bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., in 2010, and is now stationed at Vance Air Force Base in Enid, Okla. There, she is in the process of earning her wings – becoming a military-rated pilot.

In high school, when most teen-aged girls were getting their driver’s license, worrying about proms and their first car, Kristin had earned both her visual and instrumental pilot’s licenses.

Click here for the full story from “The Times” / NWAonline.com.


Mark Gober Announces for Re-Election to 5th Term as Sheriff

January 9th, 2012 by

Mark Gober has announced his candidacy for re-election to a fifth term as Drew County Sheriff. “During the past seven years I have worked closely with county, local and state officials in the prevention and deterrence of crime. We have increased the level of drug detection and substantially increased the number of drug related arrests. I have enjoyed meeting many citizens of this county while performing my duties as Drew County Sheriff and look forward to the many challenges that I face daily in this office.”

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At the Museum – Homemade Kerosene Lamp

January 8th, 2012 by

This is a homemade kerosene lamp made by MM Hardy.  This goes to show the ingenuity of the people back then to be able to take old parts, weld them together and make a lamp to light the house and be safe enough to do so.

Come see this and many other interesting items on display at your Drew County Museum, We are open Fridays from 1pm till 5pm, and Saturdays from 2pm till 5 pm and Sunday by appointment..

If you are interested in becoming a member of the Drew County Historical Society, memberships are $25 Dollars for a single membership or $40 for a family membership. Please mail your membership request to The Drew County Historical Society 404 South Main Monticello, AR 71655.

 


Monticello Memories – Tour of Monticello – #19

January 8th, 2012 by

I want to look briefly down West McCloy Street now to share information about the location of a public “meat storage locker” that once operated near the Square. Bill Dunlap, a kind gentleman who is a former Drew Countian and brother of the late Martha Sue McClain, called and supplied some information about the business. He also suggested I call his cousins, Shirley Burks of Wilmar and Hardy McKinstry of Banks, to hear their memories. I did and heard some delightful memories!

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Letter to the Editor – “what goes up…must come down”.

January 5th, 2012 by

We have all heard the saying that “what goes up…must come down”. For some reason, there are those people who do not believe this saying (or the law of gravity) applies to bullets fired into the air from a gun during the course of celebration. Over the New Year’s Eve holiday, a stray bullet pierced the hood of my car parked three feet away from my house during someone’s trigger happy celebration. There was also another incident in the Monticello area where a stray bullet went through someone’s roof and stopped in the family’s headboard where the parents were asleep in that bed with their small child. And this isn’t the first year this has happened.

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Savage Seeking Re-election as Circuit Clerk

January 3rd, 2012 by

Pat Scifres Savage announces that she is seeking re-election for the position of Drew County Circuit Clerk. She is currently serving her fourth term of office as the Circuit Clerk.

She graduated from Monticello High School and attended the University of Arkansas at Monticello. Pat is a Baptist and has three children: Chris Savage and wife, Kelly of Crossett; Brian Savage of Monticello, and Ashley Savage, a student at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia. She is a grandmother of two, Gavin and Jaxson Savage from Crossett. Pat is the daughter of Martha Scifres and the late Tommy Scifres.

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“She only eats at school.”

January 3rd, 2012 by

Grant presented by Delta Kappa Gamma

FEED THE KIDS RECEIVES GRANT

Delta Kappa Gamma recently awarded a grant of $500 in support of Feed the Kids weekend snack bags. The Extension Homemakers also contributed the proceeds from their winter fundraiser and the Shepherd Center gave a portion of their fall session registration to support the project. Feed the Kids is funded strictly through donations with some assistance from Rice Depot and a few grants. The group is awaiting final determination from the IRS to become a 501c3 entity.

Bags prepared for students.

Feed the Kids is a snack pack weekend feeding program active in Monticello and Drew Central Schools. The mission originally started by the Presbyterian Women of First Presbyterian Church has grown in the past five years from an experiment with six children to more than 150 children in both school districts. Children in Pre-K through 8th grade are identified by counselors, teachers, other school personnel, and sometimes even the children themselves as needing additional food.

beanie weenies to be distributed

The cost of each snack bag is about $6.00 and contains enough food to supplement a hungry child over the weekend. Clean-up bags are sent home on a quarterly basis and contain soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and seasonal items like socks, hats, and gloves. The cost to provide the bags has grown to over $2,000 per month.

Volunteers from the Methodist Youth Group, Second Baptist Church ladies’ mission group, Vera Lloyd Achievement Club, and individual community members pack and deliver the bags. The bags are packed the first Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m. during the school year at the Fellowship Hall of First Presbyterian Church. For more information, to volunteer, or to donate to Feed the Kids, contact Louisa Smith, Chair 367-7439 or Allison Collins, Vice Chair 367-2987

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2011 Headlines – The Top 40 Stories of the Year

January 2nd, 2012 by

2011 brought with it many headlines that affected our lives.   Some simply stirred our interest, while others changed the way we live.

MonticelloLive is posting the top 40 headlines of 2011, based on pageviews, video plays, and amount of public conversation that the stories inspired.

While we are reminiscing, here are links to the 2009 Headlines and the 2010 Headlines- The Year in Review.


New Year’s Eve Police Report – 1 Wreck, 5 DWI Arrests

January 1st, 2012 by

At least a dozen law enforcement officers were on patrol on New Year’s Eve, representing MPD, DCSO, and State Troopers, which may have been enough to convince some “celebrators” to “let somebody else drive.”

But that wasn’t the case for everyone, with 5 Drew County arrests being made on potential DWI charges, after the festivities ended well after midnight.

Read the rest of this entry »


City Council Votes to Build New Fire Station at W.C. Whaley Property —– “Top Headline of 2011”

December 30th, 2011 by

In a shocking turn of events, the City Council voted yes to building a new fire station on the W.C. Whaley lot. During Thursday night’s meeting Mayor Allen Maxwell asked MEDC Executive Director Nita McDaniel to present the slide show to the Council that was shown to the public during the ISO Rating Meeting (posted below).

Read the rest of this entry »


“2011’s Top Stories” – Special Edition- “And One to GROW On”

December 30th, 2011 by

The Local Economy


2011 brought with it many changes in Monticello’s business climate.  In August, SeaArk Marine announced their closing as of this month (SeaArk Boats remains unaffected by this change).  Last month, Drew County Speedway told of their operations ceasing, as well.  Larry’a Pizza, Topps Pizza, and other businesses closed during the year.

Even while experiencing the loss of several employers, and several dozen jobs, Monticello still remains one of the “brighter” spots in southeast Arkansas, based on the number of businesses that either started, expanded, hired more workers, were purchased by new owners, or added important equipment.  Each of these entities showed a commitment to their employees, and their intentions to remain a part of Monticello’s future.

Those  75   businesses, industries, and organizations include…..
(Hold mouse over image to view business identity)


2. (Tie) DCHS Principal Steve Noble Arrested

December 28th, 2011 by

Drew Central High School Principal Steve Noble was arrested at his home on December 8, 2011. Charges were filed after detectives from Phoenix, Arizona Police Department posed as a 14 year old girl in a chat room and Noble allegedly asked the “girl” if she wanted to “watch him.” The same chat room had led the detectives to identify other sexual predators previously.

Search warrants of Noble’s home and office were executed where items listed to cease were computers, hard drives, jump drives, digital cameras, camcorders, cds and dvds. A warrant also allowed his iPhone to be taken and searched.

Noble is currently out on bond and faces possible extradition to Phoenix.

This was the 2nd leading pageview story in 2011.


2. (Tie) Michael Binns’ Conviction and Death – Autopsy Update

December 28th, 2011 by

Though the tragic case against Michael Binns came to light in November of 2010, it is a story that shook nearly all of 2011 for Monticello.

Binns was arrested and charged on 2 counts of rape, the victims being 16 and 18 year old males and later charges also included two counts of introducing a controlled substance, without the knowledge of the victim, for the purpose of engaging in an unlawful sexual act.

After a two-day jury trial, Michael Binns, Sr., former MHS and MJHS choir director, was found guilty of two counts of 2nd degree sexual assault and one count of introduction of a controlled substance. He was sentenced to twenty years each on the second degree assault convictions and five years for the introduction of a controlled substance, for a total of 45 years.

After his conviction on July 14, 2011 Binns went to the Drew County Detention Facility until July 20, when he was then transported to Baptist Hospital in Little Rock. He returned to the CDF on the 21st and was sent to the Arkansas Department of Corrections on July 22nd. He then passed away on July 31, after being treated at JRMC in Pine Bluff for seizures.

A spokesperson for he department of correction confirmed in late December that Binns” cause of death has been determined by the State Crime Lab to be a “pulmonary embolism, complicated by a seizure disorder.”  They were unable to determine the cause of the embolism. 

Binns’ arrest in November, 2011 was that year’s leading pageviews story.  The updated coverage of his July trial day, was the leading pageview day for 2012.  This shows the impact that this case had on the community.


Arkansas Teacher of the Year – MHS’ Kimberly Wilson – One Monticello Life

December 28th, 2011 by

On December 2, Governor Beebe came to Monticello to present Kimberly Wilson, visual art teacher at MHS the award for being Arkansas’Teacher of the Year.

“You aren’t much of a person if you can’t understand the finer things in life… you’ve done that with our kids… you deserve Teacher of the Year,” Governor Beebe told Mrs. Wilson.

After hugging her children and her husband, accepting her roses and her large check to represent her financial award of $15,000 (from the Walton Family Foundation) Mrs. Wilson said, “I want to thank you… thank you. It humbles me.” “First, I’m privileged to be part of a fantastic school district.” “The other half… here’s what makes the difference… it’s your [students’] effort that makes it all work.”

Mrs. Wilson then said to the 4th and 5th grade students present, “You made me a great teacher; you made this possible.”

In closing Mrs. Wilson said, “Thank you to my family, my 2 children are here. They spend a lot of hours in the classroom.” “I could not do it if I did not have a fantastic, loving, supporting husband.” “I would like to thank my Principals..” She went on to describe how they never tell her no when she comes to them with her “crazy” ideas.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Kimberly Kaye Wilson – One Monticello Life

Read the rest of this entry »


5. Airport Awards & News

December 28th, 2011 by

2011 was definitely “the” year for Monticello’s airport, Ellis Field. Numerous improvements have been made, and well deserved honors and awards have been given to the airport over the past year.

A few of the impressive improvements the airport has seen over the past 12 months include moving the fuel pump from their old office building to the new one, and resealing of the runway pavement.

A new office building and hangar is under construction, thanks to hard work by aiport commission chairman Bennie Ryburn III in applying for grants, to be leased to EFS Geo-Technologies, the MEDC / Chamber of Commerce Industry of the Year.  This will provide long-term income to the airport, to help achieve it’s goal of being self sufficient.

Ellis Field had National recognition when Bob Worthington, writer for Fly Low magazine, wrote about his experience with the airport and its staff. His story of how the staff pulled together to provide him with transportation, when he was stuck due to weather, and being there to help problem solve was but one example of the prime service Ellis Field Airport provides to each of its customers.Benji Ryburn, Airport Commissioner, accepted the Outstanding Airport Award on behalf of the airport from the FAA. Monticello’s Airport was also given the honor of being chosen as Arkansas Airport of the Year in 2011. This was the second time the airport had received the award, the first time being in 2008.

Ellis Field definitely made news, and made Monticello quite proud in 2011.


9. Sadie Johnson Building

December 28th, 2011 by

October of 2010 brought the tragic news of the loss of the Sadie Johnson Building. A fire completely destroyed the well-loved and much used structure.

Bids were taken to see how much it would take to rebuild, and with the lowest bid coming in at a grand total of $757,900 (including the 10% engineering fee), the Parks and Recreation Commission would be left with a budget deficit of -$256,876 if they accepted.

The Commission voted to accept the low bid, and ask the City Council for more funding. With the City being projected as over budget for the 2012 year if the Sadie Johnson Building funding does occur, there has been no official vote yet on if they will grant the money to Parks and Recreation.

 


“Tour of Monticello” Continues – Part 20

December 28th, 2011 by

By popular request we’ll continue our tour of Monticello’s Main Street by looking at the history of South Main Street. Let’s start of the corner of South Main and Gaines Streets and continue south. This corner spot has a colorful history that is still changing today. An old photograph made in the 1880s shows a two-story wooden building sitting there. This structure housed R. C. Bennett’s saloon on the ground floor; the second floor held a poker room.

Read the rest of this entry »


13a. Crime

December 27th, 2011 by

From December of 2010 until January of 2011, local churches were suffering from unknown suspects breaking in and stealing from them. The count reached seven churches before the 20 year old suspect was apprehended.

Freddie Campbell, Jr. of Monticello plead guilty to six counts of commercial burglary and three counts of theft of property. He was sentenced to 24 months in Delta Regional Punishment Facility, with 96 months suspended, and ordered to pay over $6,000 in restitution.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Katlin Lidge, 25 years old, of Monticello, was shot and killed at a local apartment complex in Monticello in March of 2011. The prime suspect, Nicholas Nix, fled to Salt Lake City, Utah after the incident, and turned himself in a few days later. Arkansas State Police and Monticello Police Department drove to Utah and brought him back to face charges.

Nix has since been tried twice, both trials resulted in hung juries. He is scheduled to be retried for the third time in March of 2012.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One September Sunday morning around 12:30, a call came into MPD, reporting a stabbing on Davis Street.

Michael Ray Danzy, age 42 of Monticello, reportedly a family member of victim, was arrested by police, shortly after the crime.

The victim, Tony McCarney, age 48, of Pine Bluff, was transported to Drew Memorial by personal vehicle, and died in the emergency room, of laceration to the neck.

Danzy was charged with first degree murder. during his bond hearing in front of Circuit Judge Kenny Johnson.  Danzy also faced on a probation revocation hearing filed in Chicot County.

A state police special agent told the court that Danzy said McCarney hit him, before he used the knife.: but continued of the 3 witnesses who saw altercation, “No one saw Mr. McCarney strike Mr. Danzy.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Numerous break-ins and armed robberies of Monticello businesses occurred over the past 12 months.

Western Sizzlin was broken into twice in one week. Other businesses hit included Pizza Hut, Sonic, EZ Mart (numerous times), Piggly Wiggly, Topps Pizza, Crackerbox North, and the Tobacco Superstore.

 


20. MonticelloLive Earns “Business of the Year” Award (not because it was MLive, but because it was possible)

December 27th, 2011 by

The fact that MonticelloLive was recognized as the Chamber of Commerces’s “Business of the Year” was an honor, but the reason that this headline made the Top 20 list, is because this achievement was possible.

With the economy being a national topic, and the public impression being that most new businesses fail, this award proves that a new business (in operation only 4 years), with a dedicated owner, a small support staff, and big dreams, can still “keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars”, as Casey Kasey used to say.

MLive has had 2.7 million page views in the past 12 months, and over 30,000 video plays of local news and events. 

Several of it’s stories and videos have been picked up and aired by all 4 Little Rock television stations. 

MLive has also been included in articles in Arkansas Business and Arkansas Times, but owner Joe Burgess considers it’s most prized achievement to be the “Business of the Year” award.


28. Everybody Loves a Parade

December 27th, 2011 by

Although a parade may not be considered a “news story” the 2011 Drew County Fair Parade was the 7th most watched video of the year, with the Chamber of Commerce’s “Carols of Christmas” Parade coming in at #11.

Tillar’s 2nd annual Christmas parade also earned an impressive view level.

Note: An “engaging” event that occurred at the Christmas parade, which earned statewide news coverage, will rank higher in the “Top 40 Stories”.


30. Chicot & Desha County River Flood Warnings

December 27th, 2011 by

The top story for the month of May was the Mississippi and Arkansas River Flood Warning, that covered Chicot and Desha Counties.

There was no regular online daily coverage of the event, so MonticelloLive stepped in, with total co-operation of the county judges and emergency personnel in both counties, to provide daily updates on the river levees and the battle to keep residents and property safe.

These two videos were viewed a combined total of 1600 times.


33. Arkansas Weather

December 27th, 2011 by

Arkansas Weather held true to it’s reputation. If you don’t like it, wait for tomorrow and it will change.

2011 brought with it a drought and long burn ban, and weeks of rain.  Many trees fell, some because of thunderstorms and strong winds, some not.

This video of February’s snow reveived over 500 viewings.


SEEMS

Immanuel Baptist Church

Ray Ryburn Real Estate

Huddle House 2

Advertise With Monticello Live

BCMC Family Care Clinic 2

Bradley County Medical Center

Monticello Animal Clinic

Monticello Animal Clinic

Baker’s Electrical

Baker's Supply

Wing Tip Gear Dumas, AR

Wing Tip Gear Dumas

JRMC 4

Citizen’s Bank 2

Citizen's Bank

Ray’s

Arkansas AG Jon Deere

Arkansas AG

Monticello Realty

Monticello Realty

Lucky’s Of Monticello

Mullis Insurance

Sammy Mullis Insurance

B&B Auto Repair 2

B&B Auto Repair

War Eagle Boats

Cedar Hills Apartments

Cedar Hills Apartments

Bone’s Auto Parts

Bone's Auto Parts

JRMC 3

State Farm Mark Gray

AM Rental & Sales

AM Rental & Sales

ESA Staffing

Huddle House 1

Holiday Inn Express

Citizen’s Bank

Citizen's Bank

Cass Martin Realty

Cass Martin Realty

Malco Theater

BCMC Family Care Clinic 1

ASFCU

ASFCU

Atlas Foundation Repair

Prescription Pad Pharmacy

The Prescription Pad Pharmacy

A.J. Huffman Graphic Design

Farm Bureau

Union Bank 2

The Computer Guys

City Drug

City Drug

Pines Broadcasting Company

Pines Broadcasting Company

B&B Auto Repair 1

B&B Auto Repair

Drew Farm

O’Fallon Vet

0'Fallon Vet