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  1. Caring and Giving Season: Open Door Health

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    December 9, 2014 by Steve Winkler

    OpenDoor Business

    - Observer Staff- “We are here to stay,” say the Advance Practice Nurses of Open Door Health and Community Services. Lela Shipman and Julie Thibodaux opened their doors to offer medical care to the citizens of south Washington County on April 15, 2013. Since that time the clinic has had about 1300 patient encounters, with over 400 patients.

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  2. A Citizen Journalist in Tonitown

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    November 7, 2012 by wcobserver

    Tonitown is in western Washington county. So why, one might ask is the Washington County Observer which serves the south part be interested in why happens over there. Two reasons. First the size of the town and nature of the issues that are confronting their citizens are similar to those in West Fork. They also dissolved their independent water commissions in the past election, they have had city clerk problems and are struggling with police funding problems. But also, we want to showcase an excellent example of local citizen journalism written by Sunny Hinshaw, a retired veterinarian who is active in city politics and sends out a monthly newsletter. We applaud this effort and hope perhaps it will inspire others to write and share their observations of their town. Sharing information, observing and participating in ones town is vital to the well being of any community.   Tontitown News   November 4, 2012  Volume # 17   Dear Citizens, I will start this TTN with a reminder that the City Council Meeting has been moved from the 1st Tuesday meeting date to Wednesday due to Election Day this month.  Time and place are still the same, 7 PM at City Hall. …

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  3. County Cleanup Ordinance Passes

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    April 17, 2012 by Jack Suntrup

    Abandoned trailers in a junkyard a mile south of West Fork on scenic Highway 71 (Photo by Steve Winkler)

    The Quorum Court on Thursday passed an ordinance that will allow the county to clean up properties deemed “unsightly and unsanitary” by a county judge. According to the ordinance, if a complaint is made, the landowner will be given 30 days to clean the land. If the property is not cleaned within that time period, the county will do the job, billing the landowner. Though rules and ordinances have been made in the past, this will give the county the power to go in and clean up the property, county attorney George Butler said. The 30-day grace period was designed to give landowners notice, Butler said. “[Going onto a property], the intention is for that to be the last resort,” he said. The ordinance passed unanimously, but JP Tom Lundstrum had reservations about the bill only affecting land not zoned for agriculture. Butler said that wording was already state law, according to the City Wire. With cities like Fayetteville and Springdale already enforcing similar laws, giving the county an enforcement mechanism was necessary, JP Barbara Fitzpatrick said in an interview before the vote. “For the benefit of the entire community there are laws that say if it’s visible from the …

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  4. Trailblazing: Progress with Area Routes Connecting Many, If Not All, Residents

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    March 15, 2012 by Jack Suntrup

    Town_Branch_Trail_-_Greathouse_to_School

    WASHINGTON COUNTY – Progress is being made on the 36-mile long Razorback Greenway trail system, officials said. The trail system is meant to act as a “spine” to existing trails, connecting Bentonville, Rogers, Lowell, Spring- dale, Johnson and Fayetteville, said John McLarty, Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Committee Chairman. When all is said and done, various entities will have spent around $38 million on the project, with $15 million coming from federal stimulus funds. The Walton Family Foundation matched $3.75 million initially and will provide an additional $1.25 million for additional expenses, McLarty said. The initial $20 million will cover a 16-mile stretch of the trail from Lake Fayetteville to the New Hope Road in Rogers. Tentatively, $10 million more will come from the Walton Foundation and municipal funds. Local officials plan to launch a fundraising operation to collect the final $8 million. A 14-mile stretch near Crystal Bridges in Bentonville has already been completed. The project was put into jeopardy last year when congressional Republicans tried to strip out funding. This year, congressional leaders may try again, but the funds are expected to come in in June. The bidding process will start this month, McLarty said. Regardless, local business owners anticipate …

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  5. Democrat JPs To Square Off in Primary

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    March 15, 2012 by wcobserver

    democrat-jackass

    WASHINGTON COUNTY – Local Democratic candidates are going to be busy this election season. Candidates for county, state and national positions were required to file their intent to run by March 1 and Justice of the Peace races will see several Democrats go head-to- head in the primaries.

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  6. Spanish Speakers Still Without Voter Registration Forms

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    February 28, 2012 by Jack Suntrup

    via Flickr

    Partisan proxy wars concerning the 2012 election process are underway. Spanish-speaking citizens in Northwest Arkansas are still without up-to-date voter registration forms, said Maria Hicks, the Vice Chair of the Third District Democrat Hispanic Caucus. The oversight is causing confusion and could be in violation of the Federal Voting Rights Act and the Arkansas Constitution. “They’re not available … they have no forms in Spanish,” said Hicks, who is running for Washington County Justice of the Peace, District 7. “I was just there today and they said they were working on getting me the Spanish one. I told them it was a violation of the state constitution and they were surprised by that.” When Hicks had the same problem on Feb. 27, she said she called the Secretary of State’s office and was told that they were working on translating a new version. “They are going to be made available,” said Alex Reed, a spokesman for the Secretary of State. “What the issue was was they made some changes with the voter registration application, and so we’re working on getting them translated. But we are going to make them available and going to make them available shortly.” Though there are …

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  7. Scouting Out the Girl-Wide World

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    February 24, 2012 by wcobserver

    GirlScouts1

    WASHINGTON COUNTY – Local Girl Scouts have been coming out in full force lately, and not just because they’re selling delicious cookies. On March 8, the Girl Scouts of America celebrates its 100th anniversary and area troops have been keeping busy marking the occasion with events in Washington County. At Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park, Troop 5251 celebrated the scouts’ birthday with a room full of period displays of the past 100 years, along with a Chili supper for the public on Saturday, Feb. 18. There are about 12 troops comprised of over more than 100 girls in Lincoln, Farmington and Prairie Grove, said Troop leader Beth Swearingen at the chili supper. Cherokee Cole is another area leader, and like Swearingen, has been involved in Girl Scouts since she was a Brownie herself, in 1967. She’s seen plenty of changes in the 45 years she’s been involved. “One thing I do know is we wore our uniforms to school on meeting days and our leaders wore their uniforms to all the meetings,” Cole said. “I can still remember my leaders with their green, and their hats and their clothes and the whole nine yards. This is me now in my …

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