$6,500 reward offered for illegal killing of alligators in Pond Creek NWR By Jim Williamson
of The Texarkana Gazette
A $6,500 reward is offered for the arrest and conviction of person or people who illegally shot two alligators in the Pond Creek National Wildlife Refuge in Southwest Arkansas.
An alligator was shot March 18 near the last bridge at the access to Ashley’s Camp on Little River in Pond Creek National Wildlife Refuge.
A second alligator was killed and decapitated on April 5 at the same refuge.
“It seems someone doesn’t like alligators, but to kill them because they do not like them is senseless and will not be tolerated,” said Paul Gideon, Pond Creek refuge manager.
“We need good people who care about the refuge and the animals that live on it to help us catch these poachers and stop this from happening here. Pond Creek NWR is home to many species of wildlife, and laws are set in place to protect them,” Gideon said.
“Alligators are protected as a threatened species under state and federal law, and shooting them is illegal. We applaud the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission for their tireless work to investigate this shooting,” said Nicole Paquette, vice president of wildlife protection for Humane Society of the United States.
Anyone with information about this case should contact the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Poaching Hotline at 1-800-482-9262 or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office at Pond Creek NWR at 870-289-2126.
All information is confidential, and callers are kept anonymous.
The $6,500 reward is being offered by the HSUS, the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
A common bond Litchfords are long-serving father, son duo on DQVFD
By Patrick Massey
Like father, like son – Tim Litchford, a 30-year veteran of the De Queen Fire Department, says he couldn’t be prouder of his son, Jay, who became a full-time firefighter for the department last year. Both have held a passion for emergency response for years, and Jay has been a fixture of the department since he was a child.
Tim and Jay Litchford still remember the day they helped extricate a burglar who got himself stuck inside a chimney while trying to rob a home.
It's one of the memorable moments for the father and son, who are De Queen firefighters and local EMTs.
Jay wasn't on the fire department at the time but he was a fixture of the city's firefighting team - which includes his father, who has served almost 30 years as a volunteer on the department. Jay's tagged along with his dad on emergency response calls since he was a kid, helping where he could by rolling up hoses after a fire or cleaning up the station.
Now Jay is one of just three full-time firefighters on the De Queen Fire Department, and his dad couldn't be prouder to have watched his son follow those same footsteps.
"It means a lot as a dad to be able to pass on a tradition like this to your son," said Tim.
There's something in the Litchford blood that calls members of the family to emergency response services. Tim's wife, Tina, is a trained EMT and has helped dispatch for the fire department in the past. Both Tim and Jay are military veterans, having served in the Army Reserves and the Arkansas National Guard.
The two are closely linked to the De Queen Fire Department, and say they owe much to the other members for the support they have shown the family. Jay suffered from an illness when he was a child and the costs of traveling and treatment became a growing concern for the family. After hearing about Jay's situation, the department's firefighters got together and donated their fire checks to the family.
"That really meant a lot to me and my wife," said Tim. "We only got $5 or $10 for each fire we went to back then, and even then it wasn't a whole lot of money. But those guys still helped us out and it made a lot of difference."
Tim said that kind of brotherhood has existed since his first day on the department. He joined in 1985 when the De Queen Fire Department only had two trucks and 11 firefighters.
"It was a chance to change my life from the wild side to settled down," he laughed.
Over the years Tim has helped fight more fires and responded to more accidents than he can remember. When Jay got older he started tagging along.
Together the two have seen many things they don't want to remember, but they've also experienced some miracles along the way.
To read the complete article, please see the April 10 edition of The De Queen Bee.