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  1. West Fork Hires Springdale Law Firm

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    March 30, 2011 by wcobserver

    Other Business Suspended Staff Report West Fork- The West Fork City council was facing a packed agenda for the regular March meeting, but work was halted after a council member made a motion to suspend all work until the city hired a new attorney.   By the meeting’s close ,an hour and a half later, the council had hired a new law firm with municipal law experience. At the opening of the meeting, Council Member Rodney Drymon made a motion to suspend the agenda and the council unanimously agreed. Mayor Frances Hime seemed surprised with the council’s decision to put city  business on hold noting that there were several issues on the agenda that needed attention, including reading the ordinances that needed to be redone due to not being published. She also mentioned that the department heads were there to give their reports. At last month’s meeting Hime recommended that department heads need only be present quarterly with reports to be submitted monthly. At that meeting council members asked department heads to report in person at monthly meetings. Hime also pointed out that the group could discuss a number of topics such as upcoming annexations and or the proposed fitness center.  …

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  2. Legos Inspire Problem Solving and Team Work

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    March 30, 2011 by wcobserver

    By Susan McCarthy WEST FORK- Alzheimer’s disease, robots, Legos and middle school students may not all sound like they should be in the same sentence, but West Fork’s First Lego League isn’t like most after school clubs either. On a table in Doug Hartman’s eighth grade classroom, about a dozen students are gathered after school.   Some are at computers.  Others are gathered around “the playing field”, a ping-pong sized table where robots are being tested as they perform various tasks.  Hartman and fifth grade math teacher Melissa Crowson are the club’s sponsors. Hartman says participating schools all work within a given theme each year and this year’s theme is “Body Forward.”  He says the students decided to focus their project on Alzheimer’s disease.  First Lego League members meet after school each week to research the disease and are developing a brochure and a skit that would normally be presented to judges, although the students didn’t participate in the competition this year.  Hartman says the project helps teach problem solving and team building skills. Students must also create a Robot Challenge and that’s where the Legos come in. “They have complete freedom to design the robots.  They have to program it …

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  3. Mayoral Goals 2011-2014

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    March 23, 2011 by wcobserver

    Mayoral Goals, Frances Hime, Mayor West Fork, Arkansas For submission to the West Fork City Council and Planning Commission March 16, 2011 GOALS FOR 2011  Planning for the future is an essential strategy for creating a quality future for West Fork.  Planning begins with a vision for the future and defining the (Goals) necessary to achieve the vision.  Goals are often prioritized based upon the need for one goal to provide a base for achieving the other.  The effort to achieve a goal is composed of smaller steps (Objectives) that can be measured and which produce outcomes that permit one to evaluate the degree of success.   GOAL 1:  For the year 2011, the Goal of financial stability and sustainability is my number one goal.  Financial stability is necessary to maintain operations necessary for the general welfare and safety of the population, our primary charge by the state and federal governments.  I define financial stability as “the City’s ability to maintain a steady revenue stream by monitoring its operations to prevent the loss of revenue and manage the income to hold sufficient reserves.”  The most important part of the definition is “monitoring its operations’.  Accounting is at the tail end of the …

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  4. Firefighter Fined, Gets Probation

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    March 17, 2011 by wcobserver

      City’s Personnel Handbook Prohibits Drug Use WEST FORK- A member of West Fork’s volunteer fire department has been found guilty and fined for two misdemeanor drug charges. Charles Ray Boone, 36, of West Fork, appeared before Judge Casey Jones at West Fork District Court on March 1 and was ordered to pay $420 in fines and court costs.  Boone’s jail time of 90 days was suspended provided he has no drug-related offenses in the next 12 months.  He was also given one year of probation.   Pauletta Welch, Chief Clerk, West Fork District Court said  Boone, like other first time offenders,  can petition the court after one year to have his record expunged if he has no alcohol or drug related charges during that time. Boone was charged by West Fork Police on Feb. 6 with possession of a controlled substance and possession or use of drug paraphernalia, both misdemeanor charges.    Following his arrest, Fire Chief Mitch McCorkle suspended Boone from the fire department for 30 days.   McCorkle said that Boone has served in the fire department for 16 years.   The city’s personnel handbook was updated last year and prohibits drug use.    “Communication has not been …

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  5. Planting by Signs

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    March 17, 2011 by wcobserver

    Screen Shot 2012-03-29 at 11.24.50 AM

    On Mt. Gaylor our long-time neighbor planted by the signs. Glen tried to teach me all about the moon’s waxing and waning, but I never got the hang of it. Up here, it seemed, potatoes had their own extra set of rules that went beyond the zodiac. He shared his secrets for superior home grown spuds. “Taters should go in the ground on St. Patrick’s Day,” he said. He showed me how his daddy had taught him to plant, hill up, and harvest. Here in far south Washington county, Arkansas, his family, the Pense family, had planted potatoes every St. Patrick’s Day for a century. He never doubted that if he followed God’s laws of sowing and reaping, there would be a harvest. He had lived up here since Highway 71 was a narrow twist- ing dirt road little improved since the days of the Butterfield Stage. “Back then,” he’d recall, “Model T’s couldn’t drive straight up the mountain because the hill was too steep. They backed up because reverse had a lower gear ration.” He was well into his 80’s before he departed this world. His wife cooked his meals, including his home grown potatoes, on their wood cookstove. …

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  6. Hope Springs Eternal

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    March 16, 2011 by wcobserver

    It’s been a rough season and it may not be over yet but there are definite signs of rejuvenation.  We’re not talking here about daffodils. We’re referring to the West Fork City Government. After a hot contentious election last fall that saw a five vote victory by the new mayor and a bumpy start, the special meeting of the city council last week was a clear sign change is in the wind. The mayor and council seem to be serious about dealing with the monumental task of pulling West Fork back from the governmental chaos and decay that engulfs the town. The tone and intensity of the special meeting to deal with the animal control problems was a surprise to some observers of city government. Many had expected a rather cut and dried meeting approving a contract for services with either Noah’s Ark or the City of Fayetteville. And it was expected that a few council members would make some generalized comments about a new ordinance adding the usual instructions to “Send it to the city attorney to draw up an ordinance,” with the unspoken understanding that it will probably never be enforced anyway. The meeting didn’t unfold that way. …

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  7. Arrests Made In McClinton Anchor Burglary

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    March 16, 2011 by wcobserver

    Six Tons of Copper Wire Recovered Staff Report WEST FORK- Sheriff deputies got a lucky break on Tuesday in a routine traffic stop that helped solve a burglary before it had even been discovered. At approximately 3:30 p.m. March 8, Washington County deputies pulled over a tan colored Ford 150 pickup pulling a trailer.  During the stop, deputies discovered about 6 tons of copper wire in the truck and trailer valued at $20,000. Sgt. Brett Hagen, with the sheriff’s criminal investigation unit, said deputies became suspicious and noticed copper wire consistent with what is used at APAC McClinton Rock Quarry in West Fork.  He said deputies were familiar with the type of wire used at the quarry because of an ongoing investigation into thefts that occurred at the quarry last year.  According to Hagen, deputies called APAC McClinton Anchor and after checking, reported the quarry had been burglarized within the last several hours. Michael Duane Beeks, 39 of Prairie Grove and Waylon Kenneth Hinshaw, 33 of Fayetteville were arrested on three felony charges including commercial burglary, breaking and entering and theft of property.   A Washington County Sheriff’s office news release stated that Beeks and Hinshaw used a cutting torch …

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