With half of 2017 now over, the Siftings looks back at some of the top headlines in Arkadelphia and Clark County from January to June. Events are listed on the date they were printed and not necessarily on the date of occurrence.

January 4
• Ruby Floyd was the first baby to be born in Baptist Health Medical Center-Arkadelphia for 2017. She was was born at 9:56 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017 and weighed 7 pounds, 5.4 ounces and was 19.75 inches long at the time of her birth. Ruby’s parents are Timothy and Tiffany Floyd of Nashville.
• District Judge Randy Hill swears in Ward 2 Director Mark Overturf, Ward 3 Director Scott Byrd and Ward 5 Director Jason Jones to the Arkadelphia City Board of Directors.


January 7
• Two people were killed in an airplane crash that occurred on Thursday, Jan. 5 the east of Gurdon. The aircraft, reportedly a 2007 fixed wing single-engine, was flying from Dallas to Franklin, North Carolina.
• Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced the formation of the Southern Arkansas Regional Alliance (SARA) between Henderson State University, National Park College (NPC), College of the Ouachitas (COTO).
• Director-at-Large Julie Winfrey submitted her letter of resignation from the Arkadelphia City Board of Directors.
• Arkadelphia and Clark County residents awakened to find where light snow had fallen. The light accumulation caused slick roads and forced schools throughout the county to close for the day.


January 14
• Clark County Circuit Judge Robert McCallum announced his plans to retire on April 30.


January 18
• Multiple events were held Monday to honor the birth of Civil Rights legend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Events began at the Community Family Enrichment Center and concluded with a Marade and program at Third Street Baptist Church.


January 21
• Clark County District Judge Randy Hill swears in Debbie Roberson; Treasurer/Recorder, Bill Ratliff; Ward 3 Position 1, Dona Burton; Ward 3 Position 2, Stan Roberson; Ward 1 Position 1, Larry McClain; Ward 2 Position 1, Allen Golden; Ward 2 Position 2 Brock Crawley Ward 1 Position 2 to the Caddo Valley City Council.
• Arkadelphia Public School Superintendent Donnie Whitten reported that the district was in the final stages of getting its construction management team and architects on the same page to determine costs for the new school buildings.


January 25
• Perritt Primary, Central Primary and Peake Elementary Schools observe Kindness Week.
• Plans are hatched for the annual first responders dinner.


January 28
• Chairs share history of the Clark County Strategic Plan.


February 1
• Dr. Kenneth Harris, Vice-President of the Arkadelphia Board of Education, was the recipient of the President’s Award from the Arkansas School Board Association.
• Approval is granted by members of the Economic Development Corporation of Clark County to explore a possible site for a new county landfill.


February 4
• An 18-wheeler caught fire on Interstate 30 near the Gum Springs exit. Westbound traffic was delayed for nearly six hours.
• Walmart opens its new training academy in Arkadelphia.
 
February 8
• A statewide Amber Alert was called off after Yimi Navarro-Cruz was arrested in Arkadelphia.
• Arkadelphia Police Chief Al Harris announces plans of retirement.


February 22
• Group Living Inc. announces plans to convert the former Honeycomb Restaurant into a space for its clients to sell and display their art work.


February 25
• A suspect is taken into custody following a shooting in Gurdon.
• Plans are announced for the upcoming “Go Red For Women Empowerment Luncheon.”
 
March 1
• The Siftings takes a look back on the 20th anniversary of a tornado that struck Arkadelphia.
• More than 10,000 food items are collected during a food drive to benefit area children in need.


March 4
• Greater Pleasant Hill Baptist Church scheduled a four-church unity service with Mount Olive Baptist Church, Gennesaret Baptist Church and New Generation Baptist Church. The event was part of Greater Pleasant Hill’s 150th church anniversary celebration.


March 8
• The Arkadelphia City Board of Directors voted 5-1 to name Roland Gosey as Director-at-Large on the city board.


March 15
• An altercation at the Clark County District Court resulted in a misdemeanor battery charge for Juan Horton.
• Members of the Arkadelphia Quiz Bowl Team won third place at the Murfreesboro Invitational Tournament.
• The Arkadelphia City Board of Directors address an ordinance pertaining to the residence of individuals appointed to city boards, commissions, committees or authorities.


March 18
• Dr. Lewis Shepherd is named chairman of the Metro Little Rock Alliance; a membership-based marketing organization comprised of 12 counties in Central Arkansas.
• Ouachita Baptist University Board of Trustees review the university’s strategic plan process.


March 29
• A fire destroyed a home on Logan Street.
• Ashley Graves is named the new director of the Clark County Library.
 
April 1
• Arkadelphia Police Chief Al Harris looks back on his career in law enforcement.
• One person is left dead and another injured following a stabbing incident at the Pilot Travel Center.


April 5
• Casanoba Florez of Pleasanton, Texas is charged with the first-degree murder of his son, Casanova Florez, following a stabbing incident at the Pilot Travel Center.


April 8
• Jason Allen Jimerson faces additional charges after allegedly striking a jailer at the Clark County Detention Center.


April 15
Kolby Harper becomes the first African American Deputy Prosecutor for Clark County.


April 19
• Rickey Rogers is named dean of students and director of residence life at Ouachita Baptist University.


April 22
• Jason “Shorty” Jackson is sworn in as the new chief of the Arkadelphia Police Department.
• Gary Brinkley is named Arkadelphia City Manager.
• Greater Pleasant Hill Baptist Church celebrates its 150th church anniversary.
• The Arkadelphia City Board of Directors make a counteroffer to the Clark County Quorum Court for the National Guard Armory.


April 29
• Relay for Life nets $50,084.75.
• “The Snurkies” team of Arkadelphia High School won a $1,000 prize at Arkansas Tech University for micro shelter construction.
 
May 6
• Brannon Rogers is named the winner of the 2017 Downtown Crawfest Crawfish Eating Contest.


May 10
• The building at 2740 Pine Street is demolished to make room for the new Citizens Bank branch.


May 17
• Andy and Christine Hatley celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary.


May 20
• More than 120 Arkadelphia High School students are challenged during the Arkadelphia Promise Signing Day.


May 27
• Steak Soiree nets $30,000 for Baptist Health Medical Center Foundation. Plans are to use the funds to update the security system in the Labor and Delivery Unit of BHMCA.


May 31
• The Arkadelphia Public School District and the City of Arkadelphia’s Parks and Recreation Department partnered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to sponsor a Summer Grab-n-Go lunch meal.
• Jeff and Leslie Smith of Smith Family Funeral Homes purchased Ruggles-Wilcox Funeral Home in Arkadelphia. Though he is not retiring, the buyout will allow Mike Wilcox of Ruggles-Wilcox an opportunity to work part-time.


June 3
• The Arkadelphia Police Department arrested a suspect for the theft of a customized Jeep from Wylie, Texas.


June 9
• First Baptist Church of Arkadelphia welcomes Jimmy Darby as its new Senior Pastor.


June 14
• Clark County Judge Troy Tucker presents a check to the City of Arkadelphia in the amount of $125,000 for the purchase of the National Guard Armory.


June 16
• Members of the Arkadelphia Water and Sewer Committee discuss a potential water rate increase.


June 21
• The Arkadelphia City Board of Directors approved a grant application for a drainage study at the Arkadelphia Municipal Airport.


June 23
• Lynn and Debbie Pye of the Shakertown Community are named the Clark County Farm Family of the Year.


June 30
• Members of the Caddo Valley City Council pass an ordinance to increase the city’s water rates.