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Monticello’s Stephanie Harton Featured on CBS Morning Show

November 8th, 2010 by

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 Native Charles Crowson Departs KTHV, Accepting Baltimore Broadcasting Position

November 1st, 2010 by

After four years with KTHV, Charles Crowson is leaving Arkansas for a new position as morning anchor/multi-media journalist with WMAR in Baltimore, Maryland.

“It was an opportunity I simply couldn’t pass up,” Crowson said while signing off during his final broadcast on Today’s THV This Morning Oct. 29. “Arkansas is my home. It always has been and always will be, regardless of where my career takes me.” Read the rest of this entry »

One Monticello Life: Tommy Maxwell

November 1st, 2010 by

Allen and Ruby Lee Maxwell gave life to six children, one of which they named Tommy. It was May 4, 1949 when Tommy Maxwell came into the world in Warren, AR. Warren would be the city he would call home for all of his years growing up.

Life growing up was good in the Maxwell home. Allen worked with Arkansas Power and Light plus other side jobs that the kids were allowed to work with him.

“As kids, we helped dad with little odds and ends jobs like wiring and trimming trees. For fun, we loved to hunt and play sports. My favorite sport was football. I played until I hurt my back as a Junior in high school. I was injured during a game against Monticello High.” Read the rest of this entry »

City Council Updated on Sadie Johnson Center

October 25th, 2010 by

At Thursday’s meeting, Mayor Rogers reported that the city is still waiting for the insurance company to act in regards to the recent fire that destroyed the Sadie Johnson Community Building. Mayor Rogers reported that the insurance company had stated it would be 2-3 weeks before they will do anything.

The current insurance policy on the building is for $175,000 worth of coverage and there is an additional $20,000 coverage for contents. Mayor Rogers estimated the cost of rebuilding a similar structure at $400,000-$500,000.

The council then discussed having full-coverage insurance on all city buildings, and since insurance bids are being put out now, they will ask for full cost bids to be available.

Truck Reported Stolen in 2004 “Fished” Out of Lake Monticello – Edited

October 21st, 2010 by

Tuesday, a Nissan 4-wheel drive pick-up, which was reported as being stolen back in 2004, was pulled out of the Old HWY 13, Plantersville Road Access end of Lake Monticello.

With the recent lack of rain, the water level in Lake Monticello is much lower than usual, and allowed the top of the truck to be seen by someone fishing from their boat.

The truck was located in water estimated to be  9 feet deep, approximately 50 from the boat ramp.

The ongoing investigation is being done by the Drew County Sheriff’s Dept.  The Arkansas Game & Fish Commission and the Fire Dept. Dive Team assisted Triple A Towing in the recovery of the Nissan from the lake.

Eric Chisom and Kyle Berryman of the Fire Dept. are shown in the lake, as the truck is being towed out.

The photo was provided by

Roof Blown Off of Fairgrounds Exhibit Building

October 19th, 2010 by

The Drew County Fairground’s educational exhibit building, mysteriously, had it’s roof  “blown” off, Monday afternoon between 1:30 and 3:30.

The fairgrounds was destroyed , to a large extent, back in May, 2009, by a tornado, and this building’s roof was rebuilt and re-attached, as indicated by the “shinier” tin before the roof-line.

The new roof is now laying in large sections on the north side of the building, and doesn’t provide any clues as to what happened this afternoon.

The Monticello Airport reported no wind gusts Monday afternoon stronger than 15 miles per hour.

There was no electricity or gas hooked up to the building, and an explosion of some type does not appear to be the cause for the damage.

When informed about the damage to the structure, many fair board member’s were in disbelief, after the recent history of fairground’s structures, being destroyed by weather and wind.

MonticelloLive Celebrates 3rd Birthday, since Re-Launch

October 18th, 2010 by celebrated it’s 3rd birthday last week, since operations were taken over by Joe Burgess (“the MonticelloLive guy”) back in October, 2007.

Readership has grown consistantly over the 3 year period, as shown by the 1.8 million pageviews that the site has received over in the past year, averaging 150,000 pageviews each month.   Just click on the black, white, & orange One logo at the bottom left of MonticelloLive newspages, to view updated statistics.

MonticelloLive is still designed to be “User Friendly”, with all current news stories on the front page.  For 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

If you are around town and see a 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.

And, of course, “Happy Anniversary” to the sponsors that make our time together each morning possible.


At this time, we’d also like to announce that MonticelloLive has implemented a new policy concerning the posting of reader’s comments.

Positive comments are welcome and encouraged.

However, certain readers have felt that MonticelloLive was designed to be a forum to annonymously post comments intended to start rumors, stir up controversy, emphasize their specific causes, or insult another party.

While comments have been moderated in the past, before being posted: that policy will now be more specific, as to the negativity that has previously been accepted.  I agree with everyone’s “Freedom of speech”, but that does not include the “freedom to insult.”

Comments that are supportive of someone receiving an honor, or losing a loved one are appropriate; while, name-calling and comments that appear to only be meant to “draw fire” will not be posted.

While the embarrassment of someone that has been arrested may begin with an article that tells the public of that person’s list of charges, it does not seem appropriate to publicly detail every act that led them to this point.

Please remember, with over 1.8 million pageviews in the past year, MonticelloLive continues to be Monticello’s leading daily news source; a locally owned and operated business, providing a service to it’s readers.

Since taking over operation of MonticelloLive, it has been my intention to cover the news and events that affect Monticello and Drew County, not to provide a public discussion forum for the benefit of annonymous individuals hiding behind false e-mail addresses.

All comments will be read by MonticelloLive management, but the standards that must be met for them to be publicly posted has been raised. reserves the right to reject or remove any comment. does not endorse or adopt any comment.  Comments do not reflect the views or opinions of MonticelloLive or it’s owners, employees or associates.

Your understanding in this matter is appreciated.

Update – Col. Avery Found Not Guilty of Sexual Assault

October 8th, 2010 by

A jury of 6 men and 6 women took approximately 30 minutes to find Col. Robert Avery not guilty of the charge of sexual assault of a former student of the Warren ROTC program director.

The alleged victim had reported 3 different dates during late October 2009, as being the date the single act took place, included homecoming Friday, Halloween, and the date that she testified to in court.

She also admitted, on the witness stand,  that she had lied to Arkansas State Police investigators about prior sexual activity.

Although her “skin DNA” was found on a couch cushion, where the alleged intercourse took place, there was no other form of DNA present there.  This seemed important, due to the 17 year old’s testimony that the act lasted “around an hour” and based on her “cycle”.

In summary, the jury did not believe that Avery had sex with the former student, who was a part of the ROTC program he supervised at Warren High School.

Robert Gibson and Cliff Gibson represented Avery, all of whom were pleased with the jury’s decision.

Read the rest of this entry »

One Monticello Life: Dr. Sylvia Simon

October 3rd, 2010 by

The oldest of seven children, Sylvia Simon describes life growing up as “very busy.” Raised mostly in Warren, AR, she says that things in her family were a little different than in your traditional family.

“We didn’t watch TV at all, so we entertained ourselves in other ways like gardening, quilting, crocheting, and things like that. I’m really an old lady I guess because those are still the things I do.. those are my hobbies now.” Read the rest of this entry »

177 Acres Destroyed in Forest Fire, Near Midway Rt., Friday

October 3rd, 2010 by

Around 3 pm, Friday afternoon, a grass fire in a field at the end of Old Troy Road crossed into a nearby forest, and started a major forest fire, southeast of Monticello.  The fire, according to Sheriff Mark Gober, was likely started by a downed power line.

An early estimate from someone at the scene indicates that around 200 acres of timberland were destroyed.

Read the rest of this entry »

16 People Transported to DMH, Following 2 Separate Auto Accidents

September 29th, 2010 by

For the second afternoon in a row, car crashes have kept police, ambulance crews, tow trucks, and hospital staff busy.

Tuesday around 2:30, according to reports from bystanders, a westbound Pontiac Grand Prix, shown here, failed to stop, at the intersection of HWY 278 East and Cherry Street.  The Pontiac collided with the rear of a GMC Envoy.

There were 5 passengers in the Pontiac, and 3 in the GMC.  SEEMS and MASI both responded.  A total of 8 people were transported to Drew Memorial from the wreck, including a couple who went by personal vehicle.

Monticello Fire & Rescue was paged out to remove occupants from the vehicles.   MPD worked the wreck, assisted by Arkansas State Troopers.  Triple A towed the Pontiac.

2 hours later, around 4:30, a Hyundai Elantra pulled out of a driveway at Montongo hill, on HWY 425 North, into the path of a southbound Mazda Tribute.

The Hyundai came to a stop after crossing a deep ditch, with passengers remaining trapped inside, causing Fire & Rescue to be called again.

SEEMS responded with 2 ambulances, and along with some who chose to ride in personal vehicles, a total of 8 accident victims were transported to Drew Memorial, from this crash as well.  Following this collision, 2 patients were taken to Little Rock and 2 more went to JRMC in Pine Bluff.

Drew County Sheriff’s deputies worked the scene.

2 2-vehicle car crashes in 2 hours sent a total of 16 victims to Drew Memorial.

One Monticello Life-Miss Drew County 2010, Toni Findley

September 26th, 2010 by

“My mom taught me, if you want anything, you have to do it yourself.”

Raised by single mother, Rhonda Findley, Toni Findley learned early in life what it meant to work hard for what you want, and to lean on those closest to you. Her childhood years shaped a strong passion to help single parents, and to always believe in second chances for others.

Toni attended McGehee schools until her family moved to Monticello right before her sixth-grade year. School was not easy for Toni. She suffered from ADHD and said the problems that came with the condition made everything difficult, from schoolwork to making friends.

Toni & her mom, Rhonda Findley, at the Miss Drew County Pageant

“I was very impulsive, blunt, and I couldn’t wait my turn for anything. It made things really difficult. I was also a perfectionist so if I couldn’t do something the perfect way, I just wouldn’t try to do it at all. I’d rather give nothing than only do it half-way.” Read the rest of this entry »

1,185 Acres Destroyed, as Forest Fire Burned Across Southern Drew County, Over Weekend

September 20th, 2010 by

Around 2:30, Saturday afternoon, a forest fire was reported in the southern part of Drew County.

For several hours, the fire was moving north on two separate fronts, and south, with another fire wall, centered around Gates/Mainline Road, between the south section of Midway Route and Collins Line Road, about 15-20 miles from Monticello.

Local fire departments were standing by area deer camps and watch for road crossings, while 2 planes were dropping water, another plane guiding the firefighters, and 9 fire-plows were also working to extinguish the blazes.

Around 7:30, Saturday night,  it was estimated the the fire was 50% contained, and that the planes and plows would be able to contain and control the remaining fire; and at 9 pm Arkansas Forestry Commission crews reported that the fire had been contained. Read the rest of this entry »


September 20th, 2010 by

Of our three branches of government, most people are least familiar with the judicial branch. While voters choose the judges who sit on the Arkansas Supreme Court and Arkansas Court of Appeals, these judges keep much lower profiles than legislators or constitutional officers. Very few Arkansans will ever be personally involved in cases heard before our highest state courts, but the decisions of these courts impact the lives of all our citizens on a daily basis.

I have emphasized for years that the best way to restore the faith of our people in their government is through candor, access, and citizen involvement. This is why I was especially glad this week to take part in an announcement by the Arkansas Supreme Court, which is taking those very tenets to heart. Read the rest of this entry »

Miss Drew County 2010 Is……………….. Toni Findley

September 19th, 2010 by

Toni Findley won the title of Miss Drew County in the annual fair pageant, Saturday night.

Toni also won the swimsuit and interview portions of the pageant.

Toni is the 20 year old daughter of Rhonda Findley, and a student at UAM.

Haley McLemore was selected as 1st runner-up and photogenic.

Lily Burchfield was chosen 2nd runner-up and Miss Congeniality.

Share The Gift Of Love, Become A Foster Parent

September 15th, 2010 by

Family foster care is a program designed to provide a substitute family life experience. The purpose is to provide a healthy home and community experience for the child while conditions which caused the placement away from the birth/legal family are being resolved.

Foster care is intended to be temporary. Children are placed in foster homes because they have been removed from their own families due to abuse, neglect or other family problems that endanger their safety. The children may range from infancy to 18 years. The Children may belong to any ethnicity or race as well as belong to a sibling group of brothers and sisters that need to be placed together.

Click Here For More information about Foster Care in Drew County.

Drew County Division of Children & Family Services :
444 Hwy 425 North
Monticello, AR  71655
Phone:  870-367-6835

9/11, A Busy Day for Local Emergency Personnel

September 13th, 2010 by

Monticello Firefighters Spent 6 hours Battling "Old Bradley Mill" Fire in Warren, Saturday Night. Photo by David Forrest, of the Guesthouse.

On a day when emergency personnel are recognized across the nation, our local fire dept, police officers, sheriff’s deputies, state troopers, and both ambulance services were busy proving how important they are to our community.

Here’s a portion of their day…….

Before midnight Friday, Monticello Fire & Rescue was paged out to a single car wreck on HWY 293 near Selma, where an Oldsmobile’s 3 passengers needed them.  Arkansas State Troopers worked the wreck, assisted by Drew County Sheriff’s Deputies.  SEEMS transported the 3 victims to Drew Memorial.  Although it turns out that Fire & Rescue weren’t needed, the caller who reported the crash believed the 3 victims were pinned inside the vehicle.

Prior to this Arkansas State Troopers had made 3 DWI arrests late in the evening, protecting Drew County drivers.

4 am Car Crash on Barkada Road, Saturday.

Around 4am, Saturday morning, a Chrysler 300 crashed into a tree, 4 miles out, on Barkada Road.  The person who called this in reported that the driver was still inside the car, and it looked like the car was on fire.  Fire & Rescue were called out to save the crash victim.  When Drew County Deputies arrived on the scene, with Fire & Rescue right behind them, it was discovered that the “possible fire” was “air bag dust”, but at 4 in the morning, the caller couldn’t tell.  MASI transported the driver to DMH.  Triple A towed the vehicle.

First Responders Recognized by Local Veterans at Flag Dedication Ceremony at 1st Baptist Church

Several of our emergency personnel were recognized for their dedication and service, during a flag and flagpole dedication at First Baptist Church at 10 o’clock, by our local veteran’s organizations and Woodmen of the World.

House Fire at Dead Man's Curve, Saturday, 12:45.

Many of them attended a Community Prayer Rally at the Drew County Courthouse at noon, but were called out to a double-wide mobile home at 12:45, which was called in “the cars are there, but no one is standing outside.”  The photo shows how engulfed the structure was when it was called in.  Firefighters battled the blaze for 4 hours, hauling water from Carpenter Road, 1.5 miles away, until the fire was out.  Also worth noting, SEEMS came to the scene, “just in case” there would’ve been someone inside who needed medical care, and also, Sheriff Gober, an off-duty auxiliary deputy, and an area constable were at the fire, in case they were needed.

SEEMS Displayed a U. S. Flag on their Ambulance, in Honor of 9/11, Saturday

After getting the trucks ready for their next call, whatever it may be, and a very late lunch (at around 4:30), they got to sit down for the first time all day.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end of the day for the Monticello Fire Dept.  The “Old Bradley Mill” in Warren caught on fire around 11 pm, Saturday night, and they were called to assist Warren’s Fire Dept.  Monticello’s firefighters arrived back at the fire-station 6 hours later.

Throughout the day, our Monticello Police and Drew County Sheriff’s Deputies answered calls of all types, around the clock.  SEEMS and MASI were on duty, providing their services, as always, at a moments notice.   The emergency room staff at Drew Memorial were ready and waiting, for whatever illness or injury came through the door next.

There wasn’t a minute of the day that there wasn’t a dispatcher standing by take you call, in case of emergency at MPD, ready to send whichever of these dedicated public workers your way, in your time of need.

As we look back on 9/11/2001, we should also recognize that same dedication that our Drew County emergency personel serve us with.

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