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Meth Ring Busted by Law Enforcement, “Ice” Recovered

April 14th, 2010 by

According to Lt. Jason Akers of the 10th Drug Task Force, a Central Arkansas based methamphetamine trafficking operation was shut down by Task Force Agents this past week.

According to Akers, an investigation into methaphetamine traffickers from Little Rock, Arkansas that began in Monticello resulted in the arrest of several suspects believed to be involved in bringing the drug to Bradley, Drew and other counties throughout the State. 

Read the rest of this entry »

Charges against Taylor “Nolle Prossed” in Parole/Probation Vandalism Case

March 12th, 2010 by

Documents filed with the Drew County Circuit Clerks office show the the charges against Robbie Taylor have been “nolle prossed”, by the prosecuting attorney’s office, due to issues involving evidence. 

The court order includes the phrases,”without prejudice,” and “insufficient evidence to convict the defendant at this time.” Read the rest of this entry »

Gray seeking re-election to Quorum Court for District 5 Position

March 1st, 2010 by


Tommy Gray has announced that he will seek re-election to another term as District 5 Justice of the Peace.

A native of south Arkansas and a resident of Drew County for more than 33 years, Gray is president and manager of Monticello Tire and Service, Inc. Goodyear. He is a member of Pauline Baptist Church and the Monticello Lions Club, a 32nd Degree Mason, past master of Eureka Lodge #30, a member of the Eastern Star, a Shriner in the Sahara Temple, and a board member of the Drew County Historical Museum and the Drew County Historical Society.

Gray and his wife, LaWanda, have four children: Tess Kilcrease and Ted Gray of Monticello, Jackie Jarrett of Dumas and Debbie Fraser of Gould.

In seeking reelection, Gray states that he will work with and for all the citizens of Drew County. “I pledge to continue work and support for our hospital, library, schools and economic development. I will continue to work for new industry and will support the industry and growth of what we now have.

“I care about Drew County and all of its people. I take pride in my service to District 5. Thank you for the trust and support you have placed in me,” he said.

‘Twenty for the Future’ Meets With Elected Officials in Washington D.C.

February 25th, 2010 by

U.S. Representative Mike Ross met with representatives of Drew County’s “Twenty for the Future” group in his Washington, D.C., office Wednesday, during their visit to the nation’s capital to meet with federal legislators.

Ross, as well as our other elected Washington delegation members, met with the group to discuss Monticello and Drew County’s economic challenges and needs and how best to facilitate economic growth in the region.

Items on the agenda to be covered included:
University of Arkansas at Monticello, for funding of projects for the Arkansas Forest Resources Center, the School of Nursing, and to replace the university’s current phone system.
Drew Memorial Hospital intended to request funding for an electronic medical records system, a nurse call system, a digital mammogram machine, a 64-slice tomography scanner, and a telemetry system for the E.R.
The City of Monticello planned to point out the  benefits of a potential Monticello community center.
Other topics to be discussed were: I-530, the Southeast Arkansas Regional Library to build a new library the local Intermodal Facility, and nearby Yellow Bend Port.

Meeting were held Wednesday, and the group is returning to Monticello, today.

Car Drives into Western Sizzlin’, 3 Customers Injured

February 23rd, 2010 by

Just before noon Monday, the driver of the vehicle shown here was attempting to park outside of Western Sizzlin’, and reportedly pressed the accelerator instead of the brake pedal of the car.

The car then crashed through the wall and window of the restaurant, injuring 3 customers while they were eating their lunch.

Two of the injured customers were taken by ambulance to Drew Memorial; the third was being transported by personal vehicle.

Monticello police, fire & rescue, Drew County sheriff’s deputies, and Arkansas State Police responded to the scene.

McGehee Police Chase Leads Through Monticello Late Tuesday Evening-Twice

February 3rd, 2010 by


Between 9:30-10 p.m., Tuesday evening, as many North and South Gabbert Street residents were getting ready for quiet night’s rest, police lights and sirens caught everyone’s attention, not once, but twice, as a police chase that began in McGehee, after a reported domestic disturbance, headed toward Lincoln County, and then turned south, traveling down HWY 83, North Gabbert Street,  and South Gabbert Street, before the driver hit a dead end and reversed, traveling back north on South Gabbert and North Gabbert, then east on Oakland, north on Cooper, and finally gave up at the end of East Calhoun Street

The pursuit, which started with McGehee police, grew to include Arkansas State Police Troop E and Troop F patrol units, as well as Drew County deputies and Monticello police officers.

At the dead end of Calhoun Street, the suspect stopped the car, and officers quickly took  the driver and female passenger out of the vehicle, and placed them under arrest. Read the rest of this entry »

City Council Passes Ordinance over Property Clean Up

January 22nd, 2010 by

The Monticello City Council discussed an ordinance at their regular monthly meeting that will require citizens to clean their property and require a certain procedure to be followed. After much debate, the council decided that grass should remain below 12” and that if it exceeds 12”, they could require the owner of the land to clean it up.

City Council is considering exempting undeveloped land from the ordinance, but as it stands right now, all property is included. If the council exempts undeveloped land, landowners must still keep trash off that land. They are trying to clean up the city and keep it looking clean.

The ordinance was approved with only Clifton Bond objecting.  Bond decided to clarify his reason for opposing the ordinance by stating that he is not against cleaning up the city, but he doesn’t “think this is the right way to go about it.”

The council also approved a resolution to authorize the mayor to apply for a grant from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, approved a resolution to accept the contract for the MEDC, approved a resolution to accept the contract for the Chamber of Commerce, and approved a resolution to accept the contract for the Boys & Girls Club.

Larry Smith, Jr. Announces Campaign for Sheriff

January 20th, 2010 by

089Larry Smith, Jr..has announced his candidacy for the position of Drew County Sheriff and Collector. During my ten years in law enforcement I have graduated from the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy in Camden, and have been certified in numerous law enforcement classes, such as postal inspection, special street crime operations, crime scene investigations, methamphetamine identification and safety, basic Spanish, and domestic violence. I also graduated from SSA K-9 Academy with several more certifications in law enforcement.

I am employed as a police officer by the City of Monticello. Previously, I was a Drew County Sheriff’s deputy for approximately seven years.

I am the son of the late Larry Smith of Monticello, who was my biggest mentor and friend. I am the father of four children; Lawton, Kelby, Karter, and Jalie.

I believe in strong family morals and will pledge to do the best possible job to uphold those values.

If elected, I will do my best to be fair and just, and also to have an open door policy for all Drew County citizens. I am asking you, the citizens of Drew County, to elect me Sheriff and Collector of Drew County, because I have the experience, heart, and leadership to make this a better community.

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 wife 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 Grove 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.

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%.

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