Second half headlines in the Nevada County Picayune in 2017 saw the reality of audits, lawsuits, and a Prescott playoff defeat.
In part two of a two-part series, the Nevada County Picayune takes a look back across 2017 with today’s January 3 edition featuring the headlines from July to December. Current updates to some of the past headlines are included as appropriate. Most original Picayune reports and photos in the second half of 2017 were produced by staffers Rick Kennedy, Gerren Smith, and Lisa Martin. The Picayune again appreciates its readers and the large number of reader-contributed stories and photos received and published over the course of the year.
Week of July 5:
• Third District State Representative Danny Watson, who represents both Nevada and Hempstead Counties, says state legislators may see special session sooner than later.
• Prescott native Trevor Rucker has arguably produced one of the most historic collegiate baseball careers during a successful four-year campaign resume for Southern Arkansas University Muleriders. He's achieved numerous accolades as one of the top D-II college baseball players in the nation and now claiming as the 2016-17 Great American Conference Male Athlete of the Year,
• Since producing an historic season on the gridiron unbeaten at 15-0 for 2016, the reigning Class 3A state champions Prescott Curley Wolves are expected to win the title for the up coming 2017 fall football season in the latest preseason predictions by league coaches in the 25th annual Hooten's Arkansas Football edition.
Week of July 12:
• Last Thursday afternoon, Izzy’s Restaurant hosted a unique first-time gathering as United States Senator John Boozman visited with Delbert DuCharme, Sr., a retired military hero now living in Prescott. DuCharme’s step-daughter, Connie Cox, of Camden, was present for the meeting, which she called “impressive” and “extraordinary.”
• After placing a spending limit for the Nevada County Judge in May, the Justices somewhat reversed course and rolled back the limit — as the one Justice who originally proposed the spending cap, George Smith, was out of the country — last Thursday night.
• Prescott football head coach Tommy Poole was amongst several of all the talented and best high school athletes and coaches in the Natural State in Conway on June 19-23 to kick off the 62nd anniversary of the Arkansas Army National Guard AHSCA All-Star event hosted at the University of Central Arkansas.
Week of July 19:
• Back on Saturday, June 24, an event billed as the “First Annual Freedom Ride Car Show and BBQ Cookoff” was getting Ready, getting Set, but never made it to “Go!” as inclement weather intruded. Fast forward to this Saturday, July 22, where the event organizers, three of Prescott’s major civic groups, are aiming to try, and try again.
• The Prescott Curley Wolves returned to the gridiron to continue their summer workout schedule for 7-on-7 battles in Mineral Springs and hosting team camp at their practice field.
Week of July 26:
• By the time mid-afternoon Saturday rolled around, the heat index hit around 105, and 40 or so hardy souls were still visiting, all huddled under the available tree shade around the Nevada County Courthouse as the “First Annual Freedom Ride Car Show and BBQ Cookoff” Best of Show awards were being announced.
• The Prescott High School Curley Wolves continued their preparation for the up coming 2017 football season in offseason summer workouts in team camp sessions on the gridiron last week in Mineral Springs and at the own practice field in Prescott.
Week of August 2:
• As originally reported in the May 31 edition of the Nevada County Picayune, a potential civil lawsuit against the Nevada County Quorum Court was finally filed last Monday claiming defamation of character by plaintiffs, who have been long time vendors for Nevada County.
• M&M Wrecker co-owners Donny McGuire and Nicky McGuire filed the suit July 24 claiming the Nevada Quorum Court defamed their company after it sold the county a used road grader. The lawsuit is seeks judgement against the Nevada County Quorum Court as well as attorney’s fees and court costs.
• Over the past Legislative session a number of headline grabbing issues, notably healthcare and guns at stadiums, took center stage, but under the radar, a far more ominous development occurred, according to one state association leader, which will appear in the form of a ballot measure at the polls in November 2018. Senate Joint Resolution 8 was a proposed constitutional amendment to institute Tort Reform, complete with caps on damages and awards, in Arkansas.
• At the 2017 Statewide Master Gardner training convention on Saturday, a familiar face to Nevada County residents was the lead-off speaker as Nevada County Extension Agent and Staff Chair Darrin Neal took the podium. Neal was the first of a number of presenters that also included Janet Carson, the executive secretary of the UA Ag Coop extension service and State Coordinator of the Master Gardner program.
Week of August 9:
• Hometown girl Rachel Hale, of Prescott will open for Joe Diffie at the 41st Annual Hope Watermelon Festival on Saturday, August 12 at 6:00 p.m. America took notice when Hale auditioned for Season 12 of American Idol and became a featured contestant and top 20 female competing on the show.
• Arkansas Titans 19-Under and 17-Under Dixie Majors and Pre-Majors baseball teams recently competed at the World Series with several local representatives from Prescott to represent the Natural State against some of the nation's top baseball talent.
• In a scene worth of the legendary History Channel series of the mid-2000s, Monsterquest, a 275-pound wild hog seen eating on a calf in rural Hempstead County, and not far from Nevada County, was shot and killed, but the owner of the farm says the problems are just bringing for rural residents.
Week of August 16:
• The expected item of discussion never made to the public stage, while an unexpected item in the form of a $5,000 donation did; otherwise, it was all business as usual at the Tuesday, August 8 meeting of the Nevada County Quorum Court. Justice Bob Cummings ran the August 8 meeting as County Judge Mark Glass was absent due to his wife being ill.
• On Friday, August 11, a convoy of local and state law enforcement vehicles converged on Prescott’s Firestone plant after an apparent bomb threat had occurred.
District 5 Quorum Court Justice Bob Cummings had heard about the incident and confirmed certain details while he was attending a dinner in Hope early Friday evening. “I’ve been told the employees were evacuated, and the place is on a lockdown,” Cummings said Friday.
• Two performers at the 41st Annual Watermelon Festival gave the event a decisive Prescott touch as Rachel Hale, who was actually the 2009 Watermelon Idol winner years ago, and Kendall Laughard, who was aiming for the 2017 title, took the stage at Hempstead Hall on Saturday night.
• Rachel Hale also announced she planned on leaving Nashville, TN soon for theology school in Redding, California; she said she wants to continue in ministry and serve God. Her mother Kim Hale, who was named Prescott District Teacher at the 2017 Chamber awards banquet, said “It has been a big year for both of us.”
Week of August 23:
• Weeks after turning 17 years old, Caney’s Brady Rhodes emerged as a surprise winner of the 2017 Watermelon Idol contest, winning over several more seasoned and experienced performers. His unexpected success even still amazes him days after winning, as he says “I really didn’t know what to expect. I just got up there and started singing.”
• The Hope Kiwanis Club had a number of special guests on Tuesday August 15. Mo-Ark District Governor Roger Jespersen of Jackson, Missouri addressed the Hope Club. He was accompanied by Lt. Governor Hyacinth Deon of Prescott.
•Just six days remain for the entire community of Prescott to witness their defending Class 3A state champions of the Curley Wolves finally step on the gridiron to make some noise in their quest for back to back championship title seasons for 2017.
Week of August 30:
• A big football extravaganza kicked off at Prescott High School for the defending Class 3A state champion Curley Wolves last Thursday Aug. 24 to kickoff the 2017 season. As a part of an eight team football special event, Prescott was involved in the 2017 Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield Kickoff Classic presented by Hooten's Arkansas Football hosted at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia.
• Tammie Rose, Prescott-Nevada County Community Development Director has recently completed the Year 2 Class of the 31st Annual Community Development Institute (CDI) at the University of Central Arkansas on August 4, 2017.
• The "Big 3" of Prescott's golf team Hank Crain, Tyler Doucet and Carter Neal continues to remain on the winning trail for the 2017 season to move to 5-0 under the direction of head coach Beau Brickell. The Curley Wolves came out victories last week of a three match sweep to top Nashville-Gurdon, Foreman-De Queen and Centerpoint-Ashdown for previous varsity competition.
Week of Sept. 6:
• A civil lawsuit against the Nevada County Quorum Court received an official response from county and its Justices, filed August 25, in essence asking the court to dismiss the action. Attorney Ralph Ohm, of Hot Springs, acting in the capacity of the Nevada County Court’s defense attorney, filed the response, which also states several times that the Plaintiffs, Donny McGuire and Nicky McGuire, have failed to mitigate damages.
• It was total domination on the gridiron Tuesday night for the No. 1 ranked and defending Class 3A state champion Prescott Curley Wolves successfully defeating Class 2A Hampton Bulldogs 30-6 in the 2017 Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield Kickoff Classic presented by Hooten's Arkansas Football hosted at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia.
• Derrick Flynn, a 2017 graduate of Prescott High School, enlisted in the Arkansas Army National Guard as an Infantry Soldier in Company B, 1st Battalion, 153rd Infantry Regiment, of the 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, August 29, 2017. Flynn, who led the Curley Wolves football team to the State Championship last year, is currently a freshman at Henderson State University.
Week of Sept. 13:
• As the Nevada County Fair is happening throughout the week, one of the highlights is the annual Miss Nevada County pageant, which is spread across two nights this year, Thursday, Sept. 14, and then, Saturday, Sept. 16, starting at 6 p.m. both nights at the Potlatch Building. At press time, the Miss Nevada County will see two contestants going head-to-head for the crown with Jamia Smith and Rayleigh Hart facing each other.
• The defending Class 3A state champion Prescott Curley Wolves extended their winning streak on the gridiron last Friday with a whipping season home-opener against visiting Camden Harmony Grove 41-20 at Eddie Jackson Field, Cummins Stadium.
This week, the unbeaten Curley Wolves turn their attention to their longtime familiar opponent of the Class 5A Hope Bobcats on Friday night at Hammons Stadium.
• Despite the official response from Nevada County and its Justices, the principal who filed the civil lawsuit Quorum Court said “it wasn’t going away” in a press statement last week. Plaintiff Donny McGuire said “They may want it dismissed, but I am here to tell you that it is not going away. We anticipate going into Discovery testimony soon, and we are going to start calling people in for depositions.” McGuire said, “I will not stand by as county officials downgrade its citizens. Enough is enough.”
Week of Sept. 20:
• In the grand finale of the 2017 Nevada County Fair week, the 2017 Miss Nevada County Pageant saw Rayleigh Hart emerge over Jamia Smith on Saturday night to become the new Miss Nevada County, and a surprise winner, Essence Thomas, emerged from a tight field of seven to claim the Junior Miss crown.
• Also winning on Saturday night was Harlie Hurt, who emerged from a field of six contenders for the Nevada Young Miss title.
•In the 2017 talent show, there were nine entries spread over three divisions, and three familiar faces emerged as winners. Brady Rhodes won in the Sr. division, with a singing performance of “Why Me Lord,” while Kendall Laughard was the winner in the Jr. division, singing “Piece by Piece.” And the soon-to-be named 2017 Nevada Junior Miss, Essence Thomas, also won an award for a dance performance.
• The reunion rivalry wasn't successful for the hometown Hope Bobcats falling to their longtime rivals' Prescott Curley Wolves 48-3 on Friday night on the Bank of the Ozarks Field at Hammons Stadium.
Week of Sept. 27:
• The 73rd annual Southwest Arkansas District Fair and Livestock Show is happening now and runs through Saturday at Fair Park in nearby Hope; events like the Nevada County Fair and other county fairs in the region have traditionally sent many of their winners to Southwest District Fair.
• The Prescott Curley Wolves golf team continues to make history in their athletic program for season 2017. PHS golfers won the boys district golf tournament on Monday Sept. 18 hosted at Glenwood Country Club. It was a close race, but Prescott came out victorious by one stroke to defeat Gurdon. Prescott golfers now 10-0, head to the state tourney Oct. 2.
• The Curley Wolf nation continues to keep buzzing off another historic win for their hometown defending Class 3A state champion Prescott Curley Wolves dominating the Centerpoint Knights, 53-0 on Friday night on Eddie Jackson Field at Cummins Stadium.
Week of October 4:
• The 73rd annual Southwest District Fair and Pageant had a distinct Nevada County flavor to it as several locals enjoyed big days winning crowns and accolades last week. The biggest winner was Prescott’s Heaven Zachary, age 14, who emerged from a competitive field of eight junior entries from across southwestern Arkansas to win Junior Miss Southwest District. Zachary also won Most Photogenic and Best Sportswear in her competition.
• Caney’s Brady Rhodes, who had won the 2017 Watermelon Idol contest in Hope back in August, continued his big year of regional performances, winning the Southwest District Fair’s Senior’s division talent contest in singing as well.
• Prescott’s Jamia Smith finished as second runner-up in the Miss Southwest District Fair Queen competition. Blaklee Glass was third runner-up in the Little Miss Southwest competition, but she was also named Most Photogenic and Best Dressed.
• Defending Class 3A state champion Prescott Curley Wolves showed no mercy Friday night in their return to the gridiron for week 5 of high school football to reunite against longtime rivals' Gurdon Go-Devils in 5-3A Conference play. The No. 1 ranked Curley Wolves displayed another shutout victory in their return trip to G-town and defeated the Go-Devils 48-0.
Week of October 11:
• The crowd in downtown Prescott started gathering early Wednesday evening some 20 minutes before parade time with a slight breeze in the air and above average temperatures for early October. Lining both sides of 2nd and Elm Streets, young and old alike anticipated the latest Prescott High School Homecoming Parade complete with its court of homecoming beauties and candy treats thrown from cars. Lacie Nolen was Prescott High School’s 2017 Homecoming Queen, and the Curley Wolves finished off homecoming week with 47-0 rout of Horatio.
• As the legal jousting between the Nevada County Quorum Court and plaintiffs Donny and Nicky McGuire continues, the case took a new turn with Defense Attorney Ralph Olm filing a number of interrogatories with the court for the McGuires to produce certain financial documents and records.
• Prescott Curley Wolves golf team completed a historic season for their program after competing amongst several top competitors in the Natural State at he 2017 Class 3A state boys golf tournament held Oct. 2 hosted at Mountain Ranch Golf Club in Fairfield Bay. Prescott golfers finished sixth overall with a team score of 276.
Week of October 18:
• An investigative report of the Arkansas Legislative Audit (ALA) dated Sept. 22 for the City of Prescott’s Police Dept. was revealed to have found unaccounted funds totaling $38,078 in the department’s Bond and Fine Accounts, according to a copy of the report obtained Friday by the Nevada County Picayune.
• Friday the 13th haunted defending Class 3A state champion Prescott Curley Wolves as they fell on the road against the Glen Rose Beavers 37-27. This was the first loss for the Curley Wolves since the postseason in 2015 and ended a 21 game winning-streak.
• The upset loss to Glen Rose, a conference foe, also puts Prescott in second place behind the Beavers in the Class 3A-5 Conference standings. Glen Rose is now 4-0 in the conference, while Prescott drops to 3-1. Both the Beavers and Curley Wolves have 6-1 overall records.
• Prescott senior top-notch golfer Hank Crain completed one of the overall best individual seasons in the history of the Curley Wolves golf program after finishing in the top 10 last week at the 2017 Overall Boys Championships hosted at Pleasant Valley Country Club golf course in Little Rock.
• Hundreds of local residents jammed in the Nevada County Courthouse square on a clear and warm October day as midday temperatures still hung around 92-degrees for the Prescott Fall Festival. Music from area talent like Hope's Jason Helms blasted from the main stage while Bunco players rolled dice for points and children of all ages shopped myriad arts and crafts booths.
Week of October 25:
• An early 2017 report of the Arkansas Legislative Audit (ALA) for the Prescott School District’s 2016 Fiscal Year revealed three findings, according to a copy of the report obtained Thursday by the Nevada County Picayune.
• After coming off a tough loss a week ago, defending Class 3A state Champion Prescott Curley Wolves bounced back effectively on the road last Friday night in dominating fashion to defeat Harmony Grove Haskell in Benton 48-10 in 5-3A Conference football action.
• Prescott's ace tennis star senior Timothy Hopkins made the return trip back to Burns Park to compete in the 2017 Class 3A State Boys Tennis Tournament Championships Oct. 16 in Little Rock. Hopkins battled hard in a fierce opening round match in singles competition, but came up short to Braxton Barnes of Riverside.
Week of November 1:
• Texarkana-based Texarkana Funeral Home has acquired Pharr Funeral Home in Prescott and Pharr Funeral Home in Gurdon as well as Herndon-Pharr Funeral Home in Hope. The acquisition was effective Wednesday, October 25, and while the name will change to Herndon-Fuqua Funeral Homes, all existing staff of all three locations is expected to remain the same.
• Defending Class 3A state champion Prescott Curley Wolves displayed another impressive and dominating performance on senior night last Friday hosting the Bismarck Lions 62-7 at home on Eddie Jackson Field, Cummins Stadium.
• The Nevada Blue Jays topped Blevins 73-71 in classic hoops battle at Rosston between historic basketball schools from Nevada and Hempstead Counties.
Week of November 8:
• Defending Class 3A state champion Prescott Curley Wolves will take on No. 4 seed Piggott Mohawks in a first round playoff game this Friday with kickoff at 7 p.m. at Cummins Stadium. The Curley Wolves finished second in the conference at 6-1, 9-1 overall as the No. 2 seed heading into the 2017 Class 3A state football playoffs.
• The Curley Wolves wrapped up the 5-3A Conference season in championship winning style at Jessieville 53-24 for "Thursday Night Lights" for week 10 high school football action.
• As holidays go, Halloween proved fun and festive as the Prescott/Nevada County Chamber of Commerce was active promoting both a Business Costume contest and later, a Halloween Costume contest along with the annual Trick or Treat on Elm Street. During the day on Tuesday, October 31, it was the adults that had fun first as a number of local businesses had their employees dress up, and it the end, it proved to be a clean broom’s sweep for local doctor’s offices. Using a clever Alice in Wonderland theme, Teague’s Eye Clinic was named the top Halloween winner in business with Dr. Alan Fox’s office placing second, and Dr. Michael Young’s office named third.
Week of November 15:
• As the members of the Nevada Quorum Court met twice last week, once in a special budget hearing, then their regularly scheduled session, developing a new county budget became a source of concern and contention among some of the key players. A Monday, November 6, budget hearing was a first ever endeavor for the Nevada Quorum Court in examining — and questioning — both revenues and expenses.
• It was a tough task for defending Class 3A state champion Prescott Curley Wolves facing Piggott Mohawks in first round competition in the 2017 Class 3A state football playoffs last Friday at Eddie Jackson Field, Cummins Stadium. The Curley Wolves had a battle on their hands, but in the end their will to win propelled them to victory over the Mohawks, 30-18 for the second consecutive year in postseason play.
Week of November 22:
• Prior to Thanksgiving Week and school break, the Nevada County Lions Club held its annual Holiday Auction stretched over two days, last Thursday, and then Saturday.
Kicking off on Thursday night, the gathering at the Potlatch Building at the Nevada County Fairgrounds had an interesting selection of items, among those being a custom-made Curley Wolves State Champion bench, a grill and a smoker custom-made made by the welding class at the University of Arkansas at Hope.
• The Nevada Blue Jays staying on the winning trail in basketball action thus far into the 2017-18 season with an impressive road win against the Camden Harmony Grove Hornets 73-54 to secure consecutive back to back victories. The Blue Jays have been one of the top five ranked teams in Class 1A for several years under the direction of veteran head coach Bobby Mullins.
• The University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana is partnering with the Prescott Public School District, Adult Education, and the Nevada County Office of Economic Development to offer an evening Basic Welding Course at the Prescott High School campus. Spring classes will meet on Monday and Tuesday nights from 6:00 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. Classes begin Tuesday, January 9.
Week of November 29:
• Thanks to a few hours and efforts of volunteer work, a 1958 legacy “PHS” monument sign, stationed in front of the present day Prescott Sports Arena, has been given a makeover, complete with an extensive wash down and new paint job. Sandy Morman, a principal in the sign’s makeover, said that according to local sources, the original monument sign was made by a known "concrete man,” named Carl White, and with the help of PHS Agriculture students, the monument was placed in front of Prescott High School in 1958.
• It was an unfortunate ending for the Prescott Curley Wolves in the second round of the 2017 Class 3A state football playoffs as their back to back title hopes were shattered by a very polished and seasoned Osceola Seminoles team 41-20.
• The Arkansas World War I Centennial Commemoration Committee and the Arkansas Forestry Commission have approved an application from the City of Prescott to sponsor a World War I Memorial Tree, which will be located at the Prescott Walking Trail.
Week of December 6:
• The First United Methodist Church in Prescott will present a new twist for the holidays with a proposed “Bethlehem Village” to be constructed and setup over the next couple of weeks in time for Christmas. The brainchild of new Pastor Sue Howe, the “Bethlehem Village” will be an interactive Nativity experience with live persons dressed as various characters and animals like goats and sheep populating the village.
• The Prescott Curley Wolves finally got their first taste of hardwood competition over the weekend in two big battles to open the 2017-18 basketball season. The Curley Wolves came up short in their season opener to the Sheridan Yellowjackets 60-33 last Friday night on the road.
• With 2018 being an election year with plenty of interest at the national and state levels, there will also be a number of contested races locally, and the current Nevada County Justice of the Peace for District 8, George S. Smith, of the Sutton Community, became the first official in the region last week to publicly announce his intentions to seek re-election in the coming year.
Week of December 13:
• This Saturday, Dec. 16 at the Bank of the Ozarks Arena in Hot Springs will be the host site for the 2017 Arkansas State Cheerleading Championships and the Prescott High School Curley Wolves cheer team aims to bring home the 2017 Class 3A state title trophy hardware. PHS cheerleaders finished first runner-ups last year, but this time the they're anticipating to be the newly crown Class 3A state champions.
• Although temperatures were cooler than normal, Prescott celebrated the start of the Christmas season with its traditional downtown parade and Christmas on the Square events last Thursday night. An estimated 22 floats and trucks were decorated in lights, and of course, reflected the traditional holiday theme. As in previous years, the parade and Christmas on the Square were sponsored by the Prescott-Nevada County Chamber of Commerce.
Week of December 20:
• The Prescott High School Curley Wolves varsity cheerleaders returned to Spa City over the weekend to compete in the 2017 Arkansas State Cheerleading Championships hosted at the Bank of the Ozarks Arena in Hot Springs. Prescott would finish with overall top honors to bring back some trophy hardwood and placed first runner-up in the Class 3A Game Day Division for the second consecutive season out of 21 teams to compete. Capturing first place and winning the 2017 Class 3A crown was Rivercrest, who edged Prescott by three points in scoring for the state title in their division.
• Peyton Chandler, senior football linebacker for the Prescott Curley Wolves was honored as one of three finalist for the Class 3A defensive player of the year last week in Little Rock at the 2017 Farm Bureau Insurance awards ceremony by Hooten's Arkansas Football.
• Prescott Curley Wolves and Lady Wolves finally got their taste of home action this 2017-18 basketball season hosting Nashville for their home-opener on last Friday night at the Prescott Sports Arena. The Lady Wolves had a dominant victory against the Lady Scrapperettes earlier this season in tournament play hosted at OBU back in November. This time the two teams met again but in Prescott and the Lady Wolves would suffer a tough and close loss to the Lady Scrapperettes, 44-40.
Week of December 27:
• According to one rural Nevada resident, hunters and game enthusiasts throughout the region should beware as deer season and consumption are in full swing these days as he claims “diesel corn” is being placed out for hog bait, but is being eaten by deer populations as well. Mitch Husky of the sprawling Cale community outside of Rosston claims people are placing “diesel corn” feed, basically a corn feed spiked with diesel fuel, out in hunting areas, such as those near his home.
• Still in search of their first win thus far into the 2017-18 basketball season, the Prescott Curley Wolves came very close on last Tuesday night hosting Genoa Central Dragons at home for the nightcap battle at the Prescott Sports Arena.
The Curley Wolves sparked early with the advantage, but the Dragons' second quarter rally held through just enough to secure a two point win over Prescott, 50-48.
• In 2017 the Prescott Kiwanis Club was pleased to recognize four members with the Legion of Honor Award for their exceptional length of service to Prescott-Nevada County. The experience of these servant leaders totaled 135 years. Award recipients are Glen Vasser (42 yrs), Freddie Hamilton (25yrs), Howard Austin (28yrs), Barry Barber (40 yrs).