River Valley Latest News

Updated 12:00 a.m., Sun April 26, 2015
PHOTO BY: William Harvey

Karen and Rick Simon, with their daughter-in-law, Rebecca Simon, stand outside their new home on Tower Road in the Saltillo community. Karen and Rick are rebuilding on the same foundation where their house stood before it was completely destroyed by a tornado on April 27, 2014.

Family rebuilding house on same foundation laid bare by tornado

Carol Rolf/Contributing Writer

In January, after much soul-searching and praying, Rick and Karen Simon of Saltillo made a major decision. They decided to rebuild the home they lost in last year’s tornado on the same spot — on the exact same foundation that was laid bare on April 27, 2014. “I know we said we wouldn’t rebuild here,” Rick said, “but we just didn’t see any place else here on the farm that we liked.” Karen said it took the couple a while, “and a lot of pr... READ MORE

Mayflower recovery plan to be unveiled Tuesday

MAYFLOWER — Mayor Randy Holland said residents want to put the 2014 tornado behind them and see Mayflower move forward, and a proposed new town center is one of the possibilities.

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2015 RIVER VALLEY & OZARK EDITION ALL-AREA basketball TEAMs: Razorback signee Danberry is area’s Player of the Year DONNA LAMPKIN STEPHENS/CONTRIBUTING WRITER

CONWAY — One of the first calls Jimmy Dykes made after being named women’s basketball coach at the University of Arkansas last year was to Conway’s Jordan Danberry.

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Pope County Master Gardeners set annual plant sale for Saturday CAROL ROLF/CONTRIBUTING WRITER

RUSSELLVILLE — The Pope County Master Gardeners hope to fill the education building at the county fairgrounds with plants on Saturday. That’s the date of the group’s annual plant sale, which will open at 8 a.m.

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Major repairs done in Mayflower; donations needed By TAMMY KEITH

MAYFLOWER — Most of the “major, major repairs” to Mayflower homes damaged in the April 27, 2014, tornado have been completed, said Janice Mann, recovery coordinator for the Interfaith and Partners Disaster Recovery Alliance.

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2015 RIVER VALLEY & OZARK EDITION ALL-AREA basketball TEAMs: Football is first love, but Minix leaves mark on court MARK BUFFALO

MAUMELLE — J.B. Minix may be headed to play football at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia this fall, but he definitely left his mark on the basketball court for the Maumelle Hornets.

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2015 RIVER VALLEY & OZARK EDITION ALL-AREA basketball TEAMs: Payne coaches Nemo Vista to second straight state title DONNA LAMPKIN STEPHENS/CONTRIBUTING WRITER

CENTER RIDGE — The transformation Kyle Payne has witnessed in his three seasons as girls basketball coach at Nemo Vista has been nothing short of spectacular.

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Mayflower students to dedicate tornado marker By TAMMY KEITH

MAYFLOWER — Ministers and Mayflower High School students will gather at 7:30 a.m. Monday at the gymnasium on the one-year anniversary of the area’s deadly tornado to dedicate a stone marker in memory of the event.

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Vilonia 2030 includes new town center By TAMMY KEITH

VILONIA — It was a year ago that a deadly tornado tore through Faulkner County, “but it seems like an eternity,” Vilonia Mayor James Firestone said last week.

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New playground ready; baseball complex to start By TAMMY KEITH

VILONIA — The Vilonia playground that replaced the one destroyed by the April 2014 tornado is “absolutely awesome; there’s no other way to describe it,” Mayor James Firestone said.

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Balloons Over RussVegas back for second year By TAMMY KEITH

RUSSELLVILLE — Balloons Over RussVegas is back, and with it the chance for people to ride in hot-air balloons or sky dive, or participate in other activities that don’t require leaving the ground.

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Arkansas Jazz Festival is Friday and Saturday By TAMMY KEITH

DARDANELLE — Clay Hooten, the band director at Dardanelle High School, was the driving force to get the Arkansas Jazz Festival started five years ago, and it’s grown ever since.

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Library system director resigns By TAMMY KEITH

Tina Murdock of Conway, library director for the Faulkner-Van Buren Regional Library System, resigned effective May 1, although she did not get a job she had applied for in North Little Rock.

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Toad Store has new items, hours By TAMMY KEITH

CONWAY — People looking for Toad Suck Daze paraphernalia can find everything from technology to T-shirts at the Toad Store this year.

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Presidential inauguration is Friday at Arkansas Tech By TAMMY KEITH

RUSSELLVILLE — Robin E. Bowen will be inaugurated Friday as the 12th president of Arkansas Tech University and the first female president of a public, four-year university in Arkansas.

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