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KVOM NEWS
FRIDAY, MAY 18TH
A new front entrance for CHI St. Vincent Morrilton is now being utilized and hospital leaders held a ribbon cutting to celebrate the occasion on Thursday. The new entrance includes a new sidewalk that levels the curb and a covered drive with a large canopy that hospital President Bubba Arnold says is a much-needed safety feature that benefits everyone who enters the hospital. The project was funded primarily by the efforts of the Hospital Auxiliary, a group of women who volunteer their time and talents to raise money for improvements to the facility. The group raised approximately $150,000 for the project, which Delores Hartman says was done with tremendous support from the community. The Auxiliary raises its funds through bake sales, raffles, beans and cornbread lunches throughout the year and the occasional yard sale. In addition to the new front entrance, CHI St. Vincent Morrilton has also recently renovated and expanded its new emergency department with the help of funds raised by the Auxiliary and invested over $1.3 million for state-of-the-art MRI and digital mammography equipment...

A group responsible for negative television ads about the judicial record of Judge Bart Virden of Morrilton has been ordered to stop airing the ads. The Rapid Response Team, a group charged to investigate advertising claims in judicial races in Arkansas, sent a cease and desist letter to the Republican State Leadership Committee, which has no association with the national or state Republican Party. The complaint, filed by the Virden campaign, noted the RSLC is sponsoring TV advertisements which state that “Virden overturned the conviction of a habitual rapist on a technicality leaving victims without justice.” Judge Virden’s campaign stated that these statements are false or misleading. The Rapid Response Team determined that the Virden campaign met its initial burden to support its complaint. In a statement issued Thursday, Judge Virden, who is running for re-election on the Arkansas Court of Appeals, said “I am really pleased to be vindicated by the Rapid Response Team. If past behavior is any indicator, these sleazy Washington D.C. attack groups will ignore the cease and desist letter and the television stations will continue to play these lies. I can only hope the people of Arkansas will see through these attempts to hijack our judicial elections.” Judge Virden is running for re-election to the Arkansas Court of Appeals District 2, which encompasses much of north-central Arkansas. His challenger is Mountain Home attorney Johnnie Copeland...

One-hundred-fifty-three students will receive a diploma and become high school graduates during the 2018 commencement at Morrilton High School Friday night. This is the first year the ceremony will be held inside Devil Dog Arena. Superintendent of Schools Shawn Halbrook says they're looking forward to holding graduation in that venue for years to come. Halbrook says H.B. White Auditorium will be open so guests who park in the main high school parking lot can pass through the lobby to enter in the back of the arena, and maps that show parking areas and arena entrances are available on the school's website and Facebook page. The ceremony will start at 7:00 p.m. and doors will open at 6:00. School leaders have issued a few reminders for guests attending the ceremony. Saving seats in the arena is discouraged because they say it can lead to disruptions and hurt feelings. You're asked to stay off the arena floor until after the ceremony is completed and you're asked to not bring air horns, confetti, cow bells or any outside noise makers. School leaders say Morrilton High School has always had a dignified ceremony and they want this tradition to continue. They add that every effort is being made to make this a classy and memorable occasion, not only for the graduates, but to lay the foundation of a tradition that will last for years...

An Atkins tradition that started in 1992 continues this weekend. Opening ceremonies for Picklefest 2018 kick off at noon Friday in downtown Atkins. Individual talent acts will be on display all day and a rodeo will take place at 8:00 p.m. at the riding arena. Richard Pierce with People for a Better Atkins says several events are scheduled for Saturday, including pickle eating and juice drinking contests and a tractor pull. Various food booths, arts and crafts vendors, and a free pickle-tasting booth will be available both days...




















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Quarterback Jacolby Criswell and the Devil Dog offense shined in the Morrilton High School football spring game Thursday night at Devil Dog stadium. The junior-to-be completed 22-of-35 passes for 405 yards and six touchdowns, including two each to sophomore Reggie Toney and junior Shacoby Criswell. Junior Lamar Wofford led the receiving corps with 148 yards and one touchdown on seven receptions. The Devil Dogs didn't get much going in the run game, averaging just 2.8 yards on 44 carries. Sophomore Jackson Moll had the best numbers of any running back, with seven carries for 80 yards and the game's only touchdown on the ground. Defensively, senior Andrew Lentz led the way with eight tackles. Senior Jake Knowles and sophomores Cade Halbrook and Charles Muldrew each had a sack. The Devil Dogs will open the regular season August 24th against Searcy...

The Connecticut Sun of the WNBA are set to open their 2018 season on Sunday when they take on the Las Vegas Aces. Morrilton's Shekinna Stricklen is starting her fourth season with the Sun. The former Lady Devil Dog All-American was a free agent this past offseason, but chose to re-sign with Connecticut in the hopes of continuing to build on the success from last season when the team finished second in the Eastern Conference. The Sun recently wrapped up an undefeated preseason schedule and Stricklen is looking forward to getting the regular season started. Last season, Stricklen averaged 8.6 points and 3.1 rebounds per game while shooting a career-best 41 percent from three-point range...


The high school baseball, softball and soccer state championship games will be played Friday and Saturday. The baseball and soccer finals will be played at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. The softball finals will be played at Benton High School. It's an all-West finals in Class 5A softball as Greenbrier battles Farmington at 10:00 a.m. Saturday. Also on Saturday, the Sheridan softball team, coached by Morrilton native Tamara Strawn, takes on Marion in the Class 6A title game at 3:00. The Pottsville softball team, led by Morrilton native Coach Greg Jones, takes on Bauxite at 12:30 Friday for the Class 4A championship...

The St. Louis Cardinals dropped the opener of their four-game series to Philadelphia, 6-2, on Thursday night. The teams play again Friday at 7:15 at Busch Stadium. Pregame coverage starts at 6:20 on Motown Radio, 92.5 FM and 800 AM...

A six-run deficit proved too much to overcome for the Arkansas Travelers in a 9-7 defeat at the hands of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals on Thursday. The Travs start a four-game series in Tulsa Friday night...

The sixth-ranked University of Arkansas baseball team opened its final series of the regular season with an 8-6 win on the road over No.16 Georgia on Thursday. Game two of the three-game set is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Friday...