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KVOM NEWS HEADLINES
FRIDAY, APRIL 17TH
A record 90 high school seniors from Conway County were honored at a ceremony Thursday morning as School Counts! graduates for 2015. School Counts! establishes a set of criteria for students in the four years of high school that values the importance of education and, when successfully completed by a student, equips the student for postsecondary and career learning. The criteria students are required to meet to qualify as a School Counts! graduate are in the areas of quality, attendance, persistence and goal setting. Students who meet the yearly criteria upon graduation from participating high schools are eligible to receive up to $1,000 per semester to attend the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton, including a $250 tuition waiver from the college. For students who choose to attend UACCM but already receive over $1,000 in other scholarships and grants, School Counts! awards a $250 book scholarship. In a program at Morrilton High School's H.B. White Auditorium, Sacred Heart Catholic School graduate Dr. Chris Magie, owner of Magie Veterinary Clinic, spoke to the students about the importance of setting goals and continuing their education beyond high school as the keys to success in life.  Following the program, the students enjoyed a reception sponsored by Katherine Foust and the ladies of the GFWC Pathfinder Club. School Counts! is a partnership between the business community, the county's K-12 schools, and UACCM. The goal of the School Counts! initiative is to enhance the community's economic development efforts by emphasizing the value of education and the importance of a highly qualified workforce to parents, students enrolled in elementary and secondary school, college students and the business community. The 90 School Counts! graduates for 2015 came from all four high schools in Conway County - Morrilton, Nemo Vista, Sacred Heart and Wonderview...

A former central Arkansas circuit court judge has voluntarily surrendered his license to avoid a disciplinary hearing. The Arkansas Supreme Court accepted the surrender Thursday from Michael Maggio, barring him from practicing law in Arkansas. The Faulkner County judge pleaded guilty to bribery earlier this year. Maggio pleaded guilty in January for accepting campaign donations from a nursing home owner and a lobbyist in exchange for reducing the award from a wrongful death lawsuit. He faces up to ten years in prison. The family of the woman who died in the nursing home filed a separate lawsuit against Maggio because he reduced a jury award of $5.2 million to $1 million. A judge dismissed that lawsuit in March, saying Maggio has judicial immunity...

Employees of the South Conway County School District will receive a pay increase next year. The district's Board of Education on Monday approved the 2015-16 salary schedules for teachers and staff, and Superintendent Shawn Halbrook says it includes a $1,000 base increase and an additional experience step for licensed staff members.  A change in the way bus drivers are paid was also approved that should add approximately $16,000 to the salary pool for bus drivers. Beginning next school year, drivers will be paid their daily rate plus mileage and a stipend based on the number of students transported per day. Classified staff members will be paid an additional 30 cents per hour. In personnel matters, Board members approved the retirement requests from Morrilton Primary School teacher Stephanie Nicholson and custodian Linda Hunley and the resignations of Morrilton Elementary teacher and junior girls' basketball coach Brittney Eickhoff, high school teacher Casey Crane, agri teacher Travis Rowe, custodians Lynn Gulley and Robert Gulley and bus driver Lena Smith. The Board also agreed to hire Mary Jo Alexander for high school career technical education, Mason Hudson as the high school agri teacher, Ashley Walker as a high school math teacher, Nicole Lindsey as a junior high math teacher and Scott Jones as a high school science teacher...

The Perry County Sheriff's Department is still searching for a man wanted in connection to the theft of a wood splitter from a home on Highway 9 north of Perry. The alleged theft occurred February 9th, and according to a report from the sheriff's office, Investigator Ricky Jones spotted a truck on Highway 113 in Bigelow on March 9th pulling a wood splitter matching the one reported stolen. According to investigators, the driver of the vehicle was identified as Chad Carden. During a stop of Carden's vehicle for having fictitious tags, Investigator Jones took pictures of the wood splitter before leaving to have it identified. By the time Investigator Jones and Sergeant Keenan Carter returned to Carden's home, according to the report, the suspect had left the property. Officers then followed tire tracks to Carden's grandmother's residence and located the truck Carden was driving and the wood splitter hidden behind some other vehicles. Investigators say the grandmother stated she had not seen Carden, and authorities were unable to locate him after that. The wood spliter has since been returned to its owner, but Sheriff Scott Montgomery says an affidavit for an arrest warrant has been issued for Carden and he's asking for the public's help. He asks anyone who may have seen Carden to call the sheriff's office at 889-2333...

This week the Conway County Library has been celebrating National Library Week with a variety of special activities. On Thursday, Conway County Judge Jimmy Hart issued a proclamation declaring the day to be "Conway County Library Day" and called on citizens to recognize the services provided by the local library. The ceremony was also held to honor Darlene Cree for her years of volunteer service to the library. Mayor Allen Lipsmeyer proclaimed the day to be "Darlene Cree Day" in the City of Morrilton and throughout Conway County. Cree said she was grateful and humbled for the recognition.  Cree has been a volunteer for the library for about 40 years. The Conway County Library was established in 1916 and is one of only two Andrew Carnegie-founded libraries still in operation in Arkansas...































































































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Tracy Blakley's two-out double in the sixth inning chased home Tanner Albillar to break a 1-1 tie and the Morrilton High School baseball team held on for a 2-1 victory over Farmington, completing a doubleheader sweep of the Cardinals on Thursday in 5A West conference play in Morrilton. Albillar picked up the win for the Devil Dogs, pitching all seven innings, limiting the Cardinals to one run on six hits and two walks with nine strikeouts. Another dominant pitching performance keyed Morrilton's 6-0 victory in game one. Quentin Bowling held the Farmington offense to just five hits and one walk, picking up eight strikeouts along the way. Albillar paced the offense with two hits and two RBIs. Hunter Lentz and Cash Mitchell each had two hits and an RBI in the game and Jaren Hill also drove in a run for Morrilton. With the sweep, the Devil Dogs improve to 3-5 in league play. Morrilton is scheduled to play a junior varsity doubleheader at Vilonia on Friday. The next varsity game is Monday at Dardanelle...

Joe Beck shutout Mount Vernon-Enola on three hits on Thursday to lead Sacred Heart's baseball team to a 6-0 win over the Warhawks in 1A 5-North conference play in Morrilton. Now 6-3 in conference play, the Rebels will play at Guy-Perkins on Monday...

Sacred Heart's softball team fell to 3-5 in conference play with a 15-8 loss to Mount Vernon-Enola on Thursday. The Lady Rebels will play at Guy-Perkins on Monday...

In area action scheduled for Friday, the Wonderview baseball team plays at home against Perryville and the Morrilton High School soccer teams play host to Greenbrier in 5A West conference play...

St. Louis starter John Lackey had little trouble with the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday. He threw seven scoreless innings and benefited from two Matt Carpenter doubles in helping the Cardinals to a 4-0 victory over the Brewers. Lackey gave up five hits, struck out eight and walked one as the Cards improved to 5-3 on the season. The Cardinals begin a three-game series against Cincinnati on Friday at Busch Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. Pregame coverage will start at 6:20 on KVOM AM-800...

The Arkansas Travelers played at home for the first time on Thursday and lost for the first time this season, falling 2-0 to Frisco at Dickey-Stephens Park. The Travs and RoughRiders are scheduled to play again Friday in North Little Rock with first pitch scheduled for 7:10 p.m...

The University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton Foundation Board announces plans for its tenth annual “Links for Learning” golf tournament to be held May 21st at the Morrilton Country Club. The three-man-scramble will begin with a shotgun start at 10:00 a.m. The Foundation is seeking teams and sponsors for this year’s tournament. The entry fee is $300 per three-person team and includes two mulligans per player, goody bags, lunch, and beverages on the course. Petit Jean Meats gift boxes will be awarded to winners in three flights. Sponsorships are available at levels from $100-$4,000. In addition, there will be a golf ball drop at the end of the tournament. Tickets are available for $10 and a cash prize of up to $1,000 will be awarded to the person with the number that drops closest to the hole. Proceeds from the tournament will support the UACCM Foundation and its mission to provide broader opportunities and services to UACCM's students, alumni, and the residents of the college’s service area by supporting the advancement of the institution. The deadline for sponsorships is May 1st, and the registration deadline for participants is May 15th. Registration forms and sponsorship information are available online at www.uaccm.edu or by calling 977-2085...