Sevier County Museum recognizes Black History Month
Honoring Black History – The Sevier County Museum has organized an exhibit to commemorate Black History Month in February. The display includes the uniform and pictures of Calvin G. Franklin of De Queen, who in 1977 was the first African-American to become a general in the National Guard.

By Patrick Massey

DE QUEEN – Though February is nearly over, the Sevier County Museum is inviting the public to celebrate Black History Month and local history with a new exhibit at the museum.

As part of Black History Month museum volunteers collected a variety of information on Sevier County's African-American community and its more prominent families.

Of particular interest, said museum director Karen Mills, is a display covering the life of Gen. Calvin G. Franklin. "We wanted to do something that highlighted the influence African-American's had in our community and of course Gen. Franklin is a big deal because of everything he did," said Mills.

A native of De Queen, Franklin devoted his life to the military and was promoted as the first African-American general in the National Guard. He first entered military service in the late 1940s, just shortly after President Harry Truman integrated the nation's military. He graduated magna cum laude from National University with a degree in engineering technology and a master's degree in human behavior from the U.S. International University, both in San Diego, Calif.

"You can't celebrate Sevier County's history without recognizing the contribution made by our black communities," said Mills.

To read the complete article, please see the Feb. 25 edition of The De Queen Bee.

Suspect in custody following homicide in De Queen
Aaron Loving

By Patrick Massey

Authorities have released more information regarding a homicide which occurred in De Queen Sunday night.

According to Bryan Chesshir, Prosecuting Attorney for Arkansas' Ninth West Judicial District, 37-year-old Amado Gallardo was killed inside his home on the corner of Ninth Street and Coulter Avenue shortly before 10 last night.

The suspect, 20-year-old Aaron Loving, is currently in custody in the McCurtain County, Okla. jail. Investigators believe Loving fatally shot Gallardo following an altercation at the home. Details surrounding the incident and motive are still not completely clear at this time.

According to Chesshir, Loving is also suspected of carjacking a vehicle near the crime scene and forcing the driver to travel to Idabel, Okla. There, Loving reportedly threw out the driver who then reported the carjacking to local police.

Loving was then located and stopped following a pursuit through McCurtain County. He was arrested by members of Oklahoma and Arkansas law enforcement agencies.

Chesshir anticipates charges of murder, kidnapping and carjacking against Loving. Loving is expected to extradited to face the charges in Sevier County.

Chesshir said the Loving's quick arrest was the result of coordination and cooperation among the agencies involved.

"We had not even finished investigating the crime scene before we had the suspect in custody," he said. "This couldn't have been turned around quicker. That's credit to the cohesiveness between the Arkansas and Oklahoma law enforcement agencies involved in this case."

2012 Graduation

2012 Graduation

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