Public meeting set for millage increase request De Queen School District asking taxpayers to support
eight mill increase for new high school, other facility projects
Room to Grow – District officials have received an architect rendering of what De Queen’s new high school may look like if voters approve an eight mill increase next month.
By Patrick Massey
The public is invited to provide feedback concerning the De Queen School District's millage increase request during a meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 27. The public meeting will be held from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the high school cafeteria with time alloted for members of the public for statements and questions.
The meeting will concern an eight mill increase to the district's existing 27.3 millage rate. Voters will decide the issue during a special election set for Feb. 9.
Officials are asking district taxpayers to support the construction of a new high school as well as address other facility issues in the district. The current millage is the lowest in the state. If approved, the eight mill increase would keep De Queen in the lower third of districts in Arkansas and behind Dierks, Cossatot River and Horatio.
The increase would add a projected revenue increase of $18 million. The vast majority - $12 million - would go towards constructing a new high school. The current high school campus, built in 1969, was designed to serve classes of around 80 students. With this year's graduating class numbering over 180, school officials say the district cannot hold off building a new campus.
"If there's one thing the district is in desperate need of, it's a new high school," said Superintendent Bruce Hill. "When that high school was built almost 50 years ago, it was designed to serve classes of around 80 students. We're looking at over double that this year."
With class sizes in the primary and elementary schools topping 220, that need is only expected to increase.
Besides lacking adequate room, the 46-year-old building also suffers from defects such as leaking roofs and an inadequate electric service.
To read the complete article, please see the Jan. 14 edition of The De Queen Bee.
Robbery at Plaza 66 under investigation DQPD asking for public’s help in identifying suspect
DE QUEEN – Investigators with the De Queen Police Department are seeking the public's assistance in identifying the suspect who authorities say robbed the Plaza 66 gas station in De Queen last week.
According to information released this morning by investigators, the man approached the store's cashier around 6 a.m. on Jan. 7 and stole an undisclosed amount of the store's money. The cashier told investigators she was robbed while loading her vehicle with money bags to be dropped off at the bank's night box. No weapon was used in the robbery.
The robbery occurred outside of the gas station where no surveillance cameras were present, said investigators. The suspect has been identified as medium height and build. He was believed to be wearing a pullover hoodie and dark-colored jogging pants. After stealing the money, the suspect fled on foot behind Burger King and Tiger Mart.
Anyone with information is advised to contact the DQPD at (870) 642-2213.