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RIVER VALLEY NOTEBOOK: Radio-buys OK'd for sheriff's office | Conway Corp CEO gets national nod | New surgeon joins clinic in Conway

by Jeannie Roberts | November 21, 2021 at 3:52 a.m.

Radio-buys OK'd for sheriff's office

The Faulkner County Quorum Court approved a request to spend $136,265 for 22 handheld radios and four car radios for the Faulkner County sheriff's office at its regular meeting last week.

The money will come from federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funding.

County officials initially considered having the money come from federal American Rescue Plan funds. That changed when Justice of the Peace Randy Higgins expressed concern in the Budget Committee session held before the Quorum Court meeting that the county might be found in violation of the terms regarding the use of American Rescue Plan funds.

The purchase of the radio equipment was passed with Justice of the Peace Tyler Pearson opposing.

Conway Corp CEO gets national nod

Bret Carroll, Conway Corp CEO, was honored with the Wendell Woody Pathfinder Award from the Mid-America Cable Telecommunications Association.

The award and others were given at the Mid-America Cable Show, held virtually earlier this month.

Carroll has been with Conway Corp for 23 years, first serving as the chief financial officer and now as CEO for the past four years.

Established in 1997, the award recognizes cable industry professionals who actively participated for at least 20 years and made a significant impact on the industry.

Eleven Conway Corp employees also were honored with customer service excellence awards.

Business Solutions Sales Engineer Eleise Wood Myers was presented with the Five Star Cable Champion Award, which recognizes outstanding achievement in leadership in a cable system.

Lead Customer Service Specialist Eric Bell and Customer Care Team Leader Nicole Pizzolato were recognized with Five Star CSE Awards in the area of sales. Senior Customer Care Specialist Kelly Johnston-Jeffus and Customer Care Specialists Marilyn Boswell, Briana Sanders and Renisenb McGehee were honored with Four Star CSE Sales Awards.

In the area of service, Customer Care Specialists Neil Holman and Marcelo Maldonado received Five Star awards, and Four Star awards were presented to Customer Care Specialists Jazmine Lowery and Michelle Hatfield.

New surgeon joins clinic in Conway

Dr. Richard Rairigh, a general surgeon, recently joined Baptist Health Surgical and Speciality Clinic in Conway, the hospital system announced.

Rairigh said he recognizes that each patient is unique and strives to provide compassion, education for patient autonomy and trust.

"I couple these values with skilled surgical care to heal my patients and avoid harm," he said. "My goal is to provide excellent care, allowing each patient to perform at their highest capacity."

Rairigh, a native of Daytona Beach, Fla., received his medical education from the East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine. He completed residency training from Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

ATU scholarship to aid officers' kin

Arkansas Tech University in Russellville recently announced a new endowed scholarship for dependents of law enforcement officers.

The Peggy Bibler Hawkins Scholarship through the ATU Foundation was established with a $780,000 gift from the estate of the scholarship's namesake.

"My mother was an alumna of Arkansas Tech, and I am retired from the Russellville Police Department," John Ben Hawkins said. "It is our family's intention for this to provide full-ride scholarships to ATU for the dependents of law enforcement officers."

Peggy Hawkins taught in the schools at Waldron, Dover and Dardanelle. She loved books, as was evidenced by her status as co-owner of Centennial Bookshop and librarian at Second Baptist Church in Russellville.

She also worked at the family business, Bibler Brothers Lumber Co. Hawkins died on Dec. 21, 2019. She was 85.

Entering ATU students who apply for the Peggy Bibler Hawkins Scholarship must have a cumulative 2.5 high school grade point average on a 4.0 scale and a minimum ACT score of 17. GED students must meet the minimum admissions requirements as set by the university.

Returning ATU students who apply for the scholarship must have demonstrated the potential to succeed and show academic progress toward a degree.

Peggy Bibler Hawkins Scholarship recipients must maintain a minimum schedule of 12 hours per semester. Each scholarship is for one semester with the possibility of renewal if the student continues to meet the criteria.

To learn more about supporting or applying for private scholarships funded through the ATU Foundation, visit or call (479) 968-0400.


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