This is part two of the Year in Review, stories that topped the pages of The Sun Times.
The fire department was kept busy after the Fireworks Extravaganza due to fireworks setting a couple small brush fires. The band “Funkle Sam” performed on Sandy Beach prior to the fireworks. Funkle Sam consisted of Specialist Les Sellers on bass, Sgt. Brooks Gatlin also on bass, Staff Sergeant Kris Perkins on guitar and vocals, Specialist Richard Vorwerk on lead vocals, Staff Sergeant Kaede Wilson also on Lead vocals, Sgt. first class Mark Wallace on drums, Specialist Lisa Butler on keyboard and vocals, Sgt. Zach Foster on keyboards, horns and vocals, Specialist Justin Holt on horns and keyboards and Specialist Richard King, sound technician.
Around 10:26 a.m., on Saturday July 7th Cleburne County Deputies responded to Damsite Park in reference to a possible drowning. It was reported that a 17 year old juvenile male slipped and fell into the water near Trouble Island. Deputies, along with members from the Corps of Engineers Rangers, North Star EMS, Heber Springs Police Department and Fire Department, and Cleburne County Search and Rescue arrived on scene to help assist in locating the teen. At approximately 10:50 a.m., divers pulled the teen's body out of the water. North Star EMS transported the teen to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Boaters came from as far away as Tulsa, Oklahoma to compete in Boat Wars. Some competitors had been here before while others were competing for the first time. One group of young ladies from Crestwood STEAM academy made the CBBR their summer science project. It paid off for them with a 2nd place finish in the Youth Team division and the awarding of the Titanic plaque for the best sinking.
The Brantley family from England came again this year and went home with two first place finishes in Youth One and Two Person Division and the Youth Team Division and a second place finish in Youth One and Two Person. The Brantleys have competed in the CBBR before and they start them out early, even the littlest competed with her older siblings
Heber Springs welcomed a new fire chief to lead the Heber Springs Fire Department at the recent City Council meet- ing. Chief Jason Robitaille comes to Heber Springs with 16 years of fire experience and a degree in business administration which helps him run an efficient, effective unit.
Baptist Hospital celebrated 20 years of dedicated service from home- town son, Ed Lacy, by honoring him with a reception when he recently retired. Lacy said he was fortunate to be a hospital administrator in Heber Springs for the past 20 years and he enjoyed the job, but said “Things can get stagnant and it’s time for new leadership.”
The CALL in Cleburne County recently announced that Casey and Felicia Stone of Heber Springs are the 2018 Arkansas Foster Parents of the Year. The Stone family are true advocates for foster care and The CALL.
The 49th annual Lake and River Clean Up was held on Saturday with groups of people from all over taking part in cleaning up around the lake and river.
Ronnie Walters, owner of Eden Isle Marina and the driving force behind the Beach Project, spoke to the Cleburne County Quorum Court. Walters also spoke to the city councils of Heber Springs, Greers Ferry, Quitman and Fairfield Bay about the project, which he feels would bring in more tourism and help the county.
Friday night, September 21, saw the culmination of work throughout the year by Relay for Life Teams. The event was moved to the Heber Springs Community Center due to the weather. This may have caused a lighter turnout but the turnout was still enough to raise over $20,000 for the American Cancer Society. There was a Survivor Dinner prior to the event starting where approximately 60 people were present. There was a Survivor Walk before the Relay for Life walk began.
Bob and Margaret Noble were a little surprised when they walked out on their porch to find the Heber Springs Jazz Band performing in their front yard. Several friends and families were on hand to help commemorate this day, their 73rd wedding anniversary. The Nobles are both 93 years old. While sitting on the porch listening to the sounds of the Jazz Band, they were holding hands. Unfortunately Mr. Nobles would pass away a short time later.
The U.S. Fire Service honored two firefighters, who died in the line of duty, from Arkansas during the 37th National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service on Sunday, October 7, 2018. They are among the 80 firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2017 and 23 firefighters who died in previous years who were remembered at the official national service at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
Fire Chief Scotty Douglas Deckard, age 51, of the Cove Creek-Pearson Fire Department, was killed
on April 30, 2017, by a passing motorist after he exited his car to check water conditions along the
highway during severe storms.
Scott Habley was introduced as the new Public Works Director.
Sen. John Boozman visited Big John Mfg. Wednesday to see what products they make and hear about their international trade.
The Charlie Johnson Memorial Car and Bike Show Scholarship Fundraiser was held on Saturday, October 27 at the Heber Springs Community Center. The parking lot was full of cars and bikes in all shapes and sizes.
People’s Choice winners were: GM : Bill and Mary Richardson; Ford: Joe Smith; Mopar: Scot Pulley; Rat Rod: Marcus Andrews Import: Dave McGinley; Bike: Stewart and Lisa Holland; Kid’s Choice winners were: 1922 Ford Bus Rat Rod - Marcus Andrews and 2004 Harley Davidson VROD- Michael Meaders
Best of Show Winners were: Stewart and Lisa Holland for their 2017 Indian Springfield for the bike and Tom and Linda Biggs for their 1966 Chevy Chevelle.
The Heber Springs Middle School was ranked in the Top 6-10 percent. Performance and their award is $18,790.82.
“We are so excited that the State of Arkansas is recognizing the Middle School at Heber Springs for outstanding academic achievement. The staff at the Middle School have embraced doing everything necessary to see that our children are taught in an exceptional way! I want to applaud our staff for their hard work and dedication. The community should be proud of our schools.” said Superintendent Dr. Alan Stauffacher.
At approximately 2:20 p.m. on Wednesday, November 7, classes at The Other Side came out of their classroom to see their old gym, new gym, classrooms and shop with smoke coming out of the roof. Fire departments from Wilburn, Pine Snag Lobo, Cove Creek Pearson, Heber Springs, Pang- burn, Greers Ferry, Concord, Rose Bud, Drasco, Tumbling Shoals/Ida, Prim. Hickory Flat and from White County Let- ona, Albion, Fairview responded to the fire, bringing more tankers and water to help fight the fire. First electric was on hand in case they were needed. Cleburne County Deputies, Arkansas State Police were on hand to help with traffic control. The buildings were a total loss.
Rosie Sparks was presented with a collection of Matchbox Corvette cars, collector cards and playing cards sent from Randy Bidwell, a Parts City Regional Manager from Minnesota, to Dave McCollum, Regional Parts City Manager from Arkansas, at the Parts City store in Quitman.
The Heber Springs Fire Department held joint training exercises that paid off a couple weeks later when a car accident happened and a person was trapped in the car.
Sheriff Chris Brown recognized the two retiring officers, Deputy Don Sims and Deputy Floyd Guynes. Sims gave an emotional talk about his many years under different Sheriff's. Guynes started his career in Lee County in 1993. Sims started his career on January 1, 1969. Brown then awarded Lt. Jeff Bittle as the Deputy of the Year and Jailer Jennifer Chapman as Jailer of the Year
The Cleburne County Search and Rescue held training at the Rock Quarry on a cold November night so they would be prepared in the event of an emergency.
Some years back, Steve “Flip” Phillippo drew cartoons for The Sun Times. Life being what it is, Flip took a sabbatical for a few years and is now coming back. A native of Chicago, Phillippo has been in the Heber Springs area for about 20 years. He is a Navy veteran, a Cleburne County Deputy and has played music and traveled for years.
Jack Sullivan, of Waste Connections, along with Rhonda Needham, Rachael Blanton and Derek Fleming pulled up to the Arkansas Dream Center on Wednesday with a trailer loaded with 26 bicycles for their Christmas Mall. Sullivan said the Heber Springs, Ash Flat, Midway and Cherokee Village facilities had come together to donate $2,000 towards Christmas donations for needy families.