UA Cossatot Lockesburg site is a go Lockesburg voters to decide quarter-cent sales tax
for UA Cossatot in November general election
Lockesburg Extension – An architect's rendering provides an approximate glimpse into what the former Lockesburg High School campus will look like after UA Cossatot completes renovations to the facilities. The campus will be the site of UA Cossatot's newest extension learning site.
By Patrick Massey
Officials with UA Cossatot say the college is in the process of clearing the final hurdle to start renovating the former Lockesburg High School into an extension learning site.
After more than a year in the making, the proposed project could see work begin before the year is up. Currently, the college is finalizing title work with an abstract company to ensure acquisition of the Lockesburg High School property.
"We hope to have that done in the next couple of weeks," said UA Cossatot Chancellor Steve Cole. "Once that is out of the way, we can begin cleaning up the property - possibly even before the year is up.
The project was first proposed last October when Cole met with members of the De Queen School Board to share the college's idea of building an extension learning site on the former Lockesburg High School campus. The school board voted to close the campus in 2010 due to low enrollment numbers, and the grounds have sat empty ever since. The De Queen School District, who said they had no plans for the campus, agreed to donate the property to UA Cossatot for the new learning site. A clause in the resolution authorizes the school district to regain control of the property if UA Cossatot decided in the future to close the proposed learning site.
Cole said he expects the new facility to bring benefits to both students and the Lockesburg community.
"Lockesburg is centrally located between our campuses in De Queen, Ashdown and Nashville, so having a site there could open up new possibilities for our students," Cole explained.
For instance, Cole said the college would eventually like to move its new pipe welding program to Lockesburg. The program is currently centered on UA Cossatot's Nashville campus, but moving it to Lockesburg would make attending classes easier for interested students in De Queen and Ashdown.
Cole said the college also hopes to set up a truck driving program at the Lockesburg site.
To read the complete article, please see the Oct. 23 edition of The De Queen Bee.
Early voting now underway in Arkansas Arkansas Supreme Court
strikes down voter ID requirements
Early Voting Underway – Sevier County Clerk Debbie Hughes, left, shows Emily Walker how to operate the ballot machine set up for early voting in the clerk’s office. Walker stopped by the office on Tuesday to cast her vote early for the November general election. Early voting will continue until the day before the election. Earlier this week, the Arkansas Supreme Court struck down the state’s new voter ID law.
By Patrick Massey
DE QUEEN – Early voting for the November general election is now open across Arkansas. Voters wishing to miss the rush on the Nov. 4 election day have until 5 p.m. on Nov. 3 to cast their ballots early.
Voting may be done between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. the weeks of Oct. 20 through Oct. 24 and Oct. 27 through Oct. 31.
Voters can visit the county clerk’s office between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 25 and Saturday, Nov. 1.
Early voting can also be done from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 3.
The polls will be open from 7:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. on election day.
In contrast to earlier reporting in this newspaper and others, the Voter ID law passed in 2013 was struck down last week by the Arkansas Supreme Court.
Voters are no longer required to provide proof of identity (photo ID) in order to vote in person in the November 4 general election after an Arkansas Supreme Court opinion last week that the law setting the requirement was unconstitutional.
The law reverts to the statute that existed prior to Act 595. Poll workers are still required by law to ask for identification; however, voters are not required to provide identification in order to vote.
Before the passage of the Voter ID law, state and federal law required first time voters to provide identification.
Voters who register to vote by mail and fail to include valid identification will be required to provide identification at the polls.
For those first time voters, examples of identification required are a valid photo id or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document that shows the name and address of the voter.
The Arkansas Supreme Court struck down the challenged parts of Act 595, otherwise known as the Voter ID law. The General Assembly passed Act 595 on April 1, 2013, which required Arkansas residents to provide proof of identity when voting at the polls.
Voters can vote a provisional ballot at the polls if any problems or discrepancies should arise. The county board of election commissioners will notify voters of their appointment time to provide any additional information in order for their vote to count.
Sevier County Clerk Debbie Hughes said Sevier County voters are still encouraged to bring photo identification when voting, but will not be required to present ID to vote. First time voters, however, will still need to provide photo ID.
For more information contact the Sevier County Clerk's office at (870) 642-2852.
Gillham and Lockesburg voters are remined that they will be able to decide several sales tax issues on the general election ballot.
Check out next week’s edition of The De Queen Bee for a list of candidates, ballot issues and sales tax initiatives slated for this year’s ballot.