NASHVILLE – A Delight man arrested on drug charges late last year entered guilty pleas to the allegations Wednesday in Howard County Circuit Court.
Brent Watts, 44, was sentenced to four years in the Arkansas Department of Correction with two suspended and a judicial transfer to an Arkansas Community Correction center after pleading guilty to an amended charge of possessing methamphetamine and possessing drug paraphernalia. Watts was originally charged with possession of methamphetamine with purpose to deliver in addition to the paraphernalia charge.
According to a narrative prepared by Deputy Travis Turner at the time of Watts’s arrest, the suspect was taken into custody after Turner “observed a Black Nissan Titan cross over the center line several times” on Dec. 18, 2014.
“I identified the driver as Jeremy Smith and the front passenger as Brent Watts,” Turner wrote in the affidavit of arrest. “While speaking with Mr. Smith, I noticed he wouldn’t make eye contact with me. Mr. Smith’s hands were shaking extremely badly while he handed me his insurance and registration.”
The affidavit further alleges that Smith, a convicted felon on parole, consented to a search of the vehicle during which the county’s new K9, Kilo, alerted to the presence of drugs on the passenger side of the vehicle.
“While I was searching the vehicle, Deputy Joey Davis located three small baggies of suspected methamphetamine inside … Mr. Watts’s right boot,” Turner wrote in the narrative. “Deputy Davis also located a syringe inside the subject’s boot.”
The alleged contraband weighed just over three grams, according to the affidavit.
In addition to his prison sentence, Watts was ordered to pay court costs and a drug assessment fee.
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NASHVILLE – Elections are fast approaching for school boards in Howard County. The elections, held mid-September each year, are for rotating five year terms for school board members. Of […]
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Caddo Hills High School recently attended the Homeland Security Cyber Discovery Camp at the University of Central Arkansas. Only eight schools across the state were invited to this intensive, week […]
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NASHVILLE – Continuing storm recovery efforts and preparation for the departure of longtime employee Miles Mitchell were primary topics at Thursday’s meeting of the Nashville Park Commission. Mitchell, who is […]
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MURFREESBORO – The annual jet boat races took place Saturday on Lake Greeson. Between spectators and racers, there were around 150-200 people gathered in Rock Creek Cove to watch boats […]
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Heather Grabin Editor MURFREESBORO—A Glenwood man entered a guilty plea to a second degree sexual assault charge, a class B felony, in Pike County Circuit Court Monday. Sixty-three-year-old Charles Wayne […]
NASHVILLE – A Delight man arrested on drug charges late last year entered guilty pleas to the allegations Wednesday in Howard County Circuit Court.
NASHVILLE – A check on the welfare of a person passed out at the wheel resulted in the arrest of a Lockesburg man early Saturday morning.
According to statements made by a representative of the Nashville Police Department, Officer Casey Parker noticed a small pickup truck stopped in North Main Street around 8 a.m. Saturday, and approached the vehicle to see that everybody in the vehicle was alright. Upon coming close to the vehicle, it is reported that Parker found Clifton Lee Roberts, 36, slumped in the driver’s seat with his foot on the brake. Parker reported that the vehicle was in reverse, but had stalled out.
Roberts is stated to have awoken when Parker called out to him, but was in a very confused state. Parker allegedly assisted Roberts in exiting the vehicle, where a subsequent search of Roberts’s person reportedly turned up three small, clear bags containing what is suspected to be methamphetamine.
Roberts was subsequently booked into the Howard County jail on a charge of possession of a controlled substance. No bond information was available for him as of press time.
CENTER POINT – For one of the two veterinary clinics in Howard County, three and a half decades is not enough by far.
Dr. Bonnie Harding, who opened the Center Point Animal Hospital in 1980, says that retirement in at best in the back of her mind after a combined 37 years of practice, and that while she may someday look for a vet to take over the clinic, she is in no hurry.
“I’m going to practice as long as my health permits,” she said in a recent interview, shortly thereafter proving that her health permits quite well while handling a large and frightened hound with ease.
One factor that makes it so easy for Bonnie Harding to keep going so strong after so many years is the fact that she is surrounded by family in her work. Her husband Dan has been assisting her almost from the beginning, leaving his job with Weyerhaeuser soon after the clinic opened, and the couple’s daughters Alicia and Nicki handling reception and technical work when they grew to adulthood.
Bonnie Harding talks about coming to found the veterinary hospital in Center Point, saying that she knew from an early age that working with animals was what she was meant to do. “My mother always doctored our animals, and I was there with her when she did,” Dr. Harding recalls. Her family, from Magnet Cove, encouraged her passion, and she attended college first at SAU, where she met Dan Harding, then to the University of Arkansas for a year before being accepted into the veterinary program at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. She intended to run a mixed practice, seeing both small animals and livestock, from the very beginning. She worked under an established veterinarian in El Dorado for two years before coming to her husband’s home to settle into her own career.
Dan Harding talks about the construction of the first building used for the animal hospital, which he and other family members worked on, saying that they were very lucky to get the design so usable through all the years that it has served them. The expansion that serves as the clinic’s entrance and main exam area now was added in 2005, and he states that aside from maybe some extra room for boarders, they have everything that they could want at the clinic.
Their clinic is fully equipped for large animals, with an ability to handle 20 to 25 cattle at one time – though cattle, horses or other large animals must be attended as they do not have long-term pens.
Fewer farmers are bringing them livestock, he explained, saying that many of their longtime customers had moved away from cow-calf operations to gain-calf systems, which require less intervention.
Dan Harding estimates that they make only around 100 trips out to farms in a given year – which is difficult in any case, because with only Bonnie Harding being an actual veterinarian, she feels that she should be close to the clinic in case of emergency. They are able to get out only two to three times a week to work with herds in the field he estimated.
He mentioned that their business has moved very much more in the direction of small animals and pets, claiming that small animals make as much as 90 percent of their work in a month – with Bonnie saying that it is at least 75 percent.
The business has moved in that direction, and so they have adapted to it, adding capacity to board nearly three dozen animals, a full grooming room, and facilities that are easy for pet owners to bring their beloved family members into, he explained.
The clinic is very busy tending to those small animals, daughter Alicia Lovewell noted, stating that she logs a cat or dog though her reception desk at least every 30 minutes. She took over the role of receptionist for her family’s business in 2007, and says that she has noticed the increasing emphasis on small animals through the years.
Her younger sister, Nicki Penney, went to college initially to become a nurse, but found herself drawn back to being a veterinary technician. She officially began working for the family business around the time that they opened the expanded wing. She assists in exams, but also largely in the clinic’s small laboratory.
“I always knew that I’d come back home. We grew up in the clinic, my sister and I,” Nicki explained.
The animal hospital is a small operation, and they recognize that the community of pet owners and veterinarians in the area work together.
Dan Harding mentions that they have never had an x-ray machine in their clinic, and says that they often send animals that need specialty care for broken bones to Nashville, just as they often see animals that are referred to them for more extended care. Cooperation to get the best care for animals is their goal, he said.
That pragmatic view of their role in the community is a strong part of the success of the Center Point Animal Hospital, and the Harding family, and likely will be for many years to come.
NASHVILLE – The air is very businesslike, with occasional whiffs of large animal, as one is led through a tour of the Nashville Animal Clinic.
Dr. Robert Bonner was able to take time for a tour and interview recently, speaking about the operation founded by his business partner, Dr. Russ Smith in 1984. The busy facility is filled with people and animals efficiently being seen and tended, while the well appointed lab, surgical theater, examination rooms and pens are filled with calm and paced activity.
Bonner explained that he joined the practice in 2005 after graduating from veterinary school at Oklahoma State University. The Murfreesboro alumnus said that he had also studied poultry science at the University of Arkansas before getting into veterinary medicine.
He and Smith are currently looking for a third doctor to add to their practice, he noted, saying that their work, especially with large animals is keeping them out in the field every day. Smith said that the partnership, and the urge to expand it, are pragmatic measures: “It’s way more efficient, more time off, and the physical plant of a clinic is the really expensive part,” he explained, saying that by inviting another veterinarian to use their facilities, costs are reduced for all while work can be spread around.
And there is a lot of work. Bonner estimated that they see a new animal every 15 minutes in the afternoons – and that is after the mornings, when the clinic will have as many as five surgeries scheduled and as many as 200 cattle may have been examined in the field. He noted that they keep a pair of fully outfitted service trucks, and they see a lot of use. In addition to the weekday work, he notes, “There’s not a weekend goes by that we don’t each get called out several times.”
When not in the field, the two doctors see large animals in a thoroughly modern setting, with several pens both open to the elements and climate controlled, as well as a hydraulic squeeze chute, which can fully control even a very large animal with minimal effort from the doctor. “The hydraulic chute is really an important safety measure, because a lot of the animals we see are sick and not happy. A 2,000 pound bull can get a bit rowdy when he’s not happy,” Bonner stated, explaining that they can even tilt an animal 90 degrees and perform surgery in the chute.
He estimates that they can hold roughly 20 cattle in their pens, and work a larger number through their chute and corral with animals coming directly off stock trailers. He said that though they work with more cattle, they also see many horses, sheep and goats in the livestock end of their business.
But their clinic is much more than just a large-animal practice, and Bonner explains that they have space for 17 large dogs and about the same number of smaller animals at one time. They are able to specialize there as well, offering orthopedic surgery where many veterinarians are not able. He mentioned that they have a good x-ray machine, one that was used by Howard Memorial Hospital until they replaced it, as well as a surgical suite that has equipment used in a human hospital until acquired by the animal clinic.
“Not a lot of people think of that – that there are all sorts of specialized vet clinics,” Bonner said, explaining that they receive referrals from many local clinics, and in turn have to send some of their patients on to specialists in other areas.
The group in Nashville are able to perform X-rays, ultrasound examinations both in the clinic and in the field, extensive laboratory testing, and endoscopy for all but the smallest animals – but some patients require even more technical care.
“I was very glad when I got here and Dr. Smith was already interested in and doing orthopedic work. I’m glad that our interests went together so well,” Bonner stated.
But more than their specializations, one quickly realizes that it is the energy of the two doctors that drives the Nashville Animal Clinic as they end the interview to go out to care for a hound and two cats that come in. The intense but controlled pace that they set allows them to care for a huge number of animals each day, and likely will for years to come.
NASHVILLE – A Hot Springs man wanted on allegations of financial identity theft entered a not guilty plea Wednesday in Howard County Circuit Court.
Edward Wagner Jr., 27, was ordered to return to court July 29 for a mandatory appearance, although his pretrial date has been scheduled for Aug. 5. Court documents indicate that the charge against Wagner is the result of an investigation that began May 31, 2013, when city officers received a report that 18 applications had been made to Citibank listing the address of 318 Sixth St. in Nashville.
“Four of those accounts were approved,” then-investigator Amy Marion wrote in an affidavit of arrest attached to Wagner’s case file. “Two accounts were approved under a valid social security number belonging to Jesse Medler; however, the name on the applications was Edward Wagner. Two other accounts were approved under a valid social security number belonging to Michelle Villarreal; however, the name on these applications was Miguel Ornelas.”
All four accounts were approved in February of that year, according to the affidavit, and none of the owners of the social security numbers used to garner approval had given authorization. The affidavit further alleges that a payment was made on Wagner’s fines in Howard County District Court with one of the credit cards.
Now Assistant Police Chief, Marion said Friday that city officers had been searching for Wagner since the initial investigation but finally located him in Kansas City, Missouri last week. He is currently out of jail on a $25,000 bond.
NASHVILLE – A Dierks woman was sentenced to probation Wednesday after pleading guilty to a drug charge during her arraignment in Howard County Circuit Court.
Johnnie Hughes, 39, was sentenced to three years of probation and fined $1,500 after pleading guilty to a single count of possessing drug paraphernalia.
The charge is the result of a June 15 incident during which Hughes and 45 year old Angelia Getts, also of Dierks, were stopped for multiple alleged traffic violations by a member of the Arkansas State Police.
According to police reports, a maroon Ford Mustang with very darkly tinted windows was observed driving not far from the Howard/Sevier county line toward Dierks around 10:45 p.m. The trooper’s report stated that the tint was so heavy he suspected that it might exceed the legal limit on window tint.
After following the vehicle some distance, the trooper reportedly noted that the Mustang’s taillight lens was covered with black tape and that the vehicle had crossed the center line of the highway more than once. The report goes on to state that the trooper stopped the vehicle on Highway 70 West, and that Dierks police investigator John McKee arrived shortly thereafter.
The suspects reportedly stated they were returning to their shared residence in Dierks after driving to the home of Hughes’s aunt to get cold medicine. The trooper’s statement notes that he felt the pair were acting in a nervous manner, and asked for consent to search the vehicle. After denying the presence of any type of contraband, the two allegedly consented to a search of the vehicle.
In the report submitted to the court, the state trooper claimed to have found a small white cloth bag containing a glass pipe wrapped in toilet paper. The pipe was noted as being similar to those used for smoking methamphetamine.
As a result of the incident, Getts also faces a charge of possessing drug paraphernalia, to which she entered a not guilty plea on Wednesday. She was ordered to return to court Aug. 5.
In other court news:
• Curtis Smith, 18, of Mineral Springs, entered not guilty pleas to charges of residential burglary and theft of property, and was ordered to return to court Sept. 16.
• Freddie Robinson, 25, of Nashville, entered not guilty pleas to charges of residential burglary and theft of property, and was ordered to return to court Sept. 16.
Compiled by Patsy Young
115 years ago: 1900
It is reported that the sixteen thousand Indians on the Hila reservation in Arizona are actually starving to death. The last congress appropriated $303,000 for the relief of these people, but no method of distributing the money was stipulated, hence it cannot be used for the purpose it was intended for. The authorities at Washington have been notified of the condition of the Indians and some relief will be given them.
A picnic was in progress at Pates, in the northern part of Howard County, Saturday when Newport Miller, a well-known character in this county and a Mr. Logan became involved in a quarrel which ended in a fight.
The two men were clinched when a brother of Logan came upon the scene. He drew his pistol and told Miller that if he did not let his brother alone he would shoot him. Miller paid no attention and Logan placed his pistol at Miller’s temple and fired. The ball passed through his head and lodged just under the skin on the opposite side.
We are informed that Newport Miller died, but have no information as to whether Logan has been arrested.
(Adv.) Hunt’s Lightning Oil. Cures catarrh, neuralgia, springs, cuts, colic diarrhea, headache. Good for man and beast
100 years ago: 1915
Leon Benedict, an employee at the box factory, lost the index finger of his left hand, and had two other fingers injured by a saw last Monday, while at work.
Mr. Keagy’s suggestion as to strawberries in our last issue was that the runners should be induced to root now so as to provide new plants for bearing next spring as the sooner they are rooted the better they will bear.
(Adv.) In our grandparents’ time, picture taking meant long sittings in uncomfortable, strained attitudes-with success always more or less in doubt. But today, clever photographers, in comfortable studios, with fast plates and fast lenses at their command, make the experience a pleasure. King’s Studio in new building.
60 years ago: 1955
Marine Corporal Ronald Gene Reed has returned to Camp Pendleton after spending a 30 day leave with relatives and friends in Nashville, Texarkana and Forth Worth.
Cpl. Reed has just returned from Japan where he served for fourteen months, along with service in Hawaii with the 3rd Marine Division.
Betty Jo Reddin, Nashville student attending Arkansas A&M College, was named on the school’s honor roll for the spring semester, Clara Willis registrar, reports. To be eligible students must average “B” or higher grades.
40 years ago: 1975
Joe Scott Floyd of Nashville was the quest of Glen and Wes Campbell Saturday in Little Rock. “The Country Comes Home Show” was the occasion and a number of Arkansas singers performed.
Floyd was the guest of the governor’s mansion, and he performed for the governor, his wife and guest. Floyd was accompanied by Wes Campbell on the piano. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Paul Floyd of Nashville.
FAYETTEVILLE – A law student with Nashville ties was recently named to the University of Arkansas’s law school dean’s list. Emily O’Neal, a first year law student and Nashville High School graduate, earned a 3.0 grade point average or higher during the spring 2015 semester to qualify for the honor.
NASHVILLE – A call from a local church to police has led to the discovery of a string of burglaries that were likely committed Saturday night.
According to Nashville Police Department investigator Larry Marion, the department was contacted early Sunday morning by congregants at Immanuel Baptist Church to report a break-in. Upon arriving, officers reportedly found damage to doors, but no evidence that anything was taken from the church. The officers then decided to canvass the area for further evidence of burglary, Marion reported, finding evidence of break-ins at nearby Nashville Elementary School and Nashville Primary School.
A small amount of cash has been reported taken from the primary school, and damage to doors has been noted at both campuses, Marion said.
The city police are currently pursuing leads in the case, but did not want to release further details until the investigation is concluded. Persons with information about the break-ins are urged to contact the Nashville Police Department by calling 845-3434.
Average retail gasoline prices in Arkansas have fallen 3.2 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.49/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 1,826 gas outlets in Arkansas. This compares with the national average that has fallen 1.3 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.78/g, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.
Including the change in gas prices in Arkansas during the past week, prices yesterday were 96.8 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 3.1 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 3.9 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 89.6 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.