It Happened Here, Years Ago

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


A tragic single-vehicle crash in Jonesboro 40 years ago last week claimed the lives of three ASU students, two of which were Clay County natives and one a local man. Killed in the accident were Floyd Alan (Sonny) Rodery, 19, of Greenway and Danny Watson, 23, of Corning along with Larry Davidson, 21, of Marvell.

In other news, in light of the millage increase request for the local school district a comparison was published which indicated that Piggott's millage was 36, while Rector's was 40 and Corning's was 52. There were 49 teachers in the Piggott district, 35 at Rector and 59 in the Corning district. Average teacher salary in the Piggott district was $5,634, while Rector teachers averaged $5,718 and Corning educators averaged $5,924 per year.

At the Carolyn Theater this week the features included "Hellfighters" with John Wayne, "The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit" and "Lady in Cement" while the late show was "King's Pirate." And the Marching Mohawks will host a variety show March 7 at the PHS gym, master of ceremonies will be "Mister" Rudy Pylant of KBOA radio.

In sports, the annual football banquet was a big success as former Mohawks Tommy Dixon and Gary Adams were honored as they completed their collegiate careers with the Razorbacks. Tommy will be going to training camp with the Buffalo Bills later in the year, while Gary has signed to play for the Philadelphia Eagles.


Karen Cook, Karen Cox and Valerie Crossfield were the top spellers in the Piggott spell-down March 2, and will represent the local district in the county spelling bee at Greenway March 12. This year's alternate is Randy Hinkle. In other news, PHS juniors Tricia Gatewood and Lisa South served as pages for Rep. Jim Holland recently at Little Rock.

The region was covered with a layer of ice and snow over the past weekend, prompting a variety of snowman and snowball fight photos. Also in the news, John Watson announced that he had sold the local Shell Oil distributorship and service station to Bill Veal and thanked his customers for 16 years of patronage.

At the Carolyn Theater this week the feature was "Some Like it Cool" while the late show was "The New Adventures of Snow White."

ASU coach Gary Withrow was the speaker at the annual Mohawk football banquet March 3, as nearly 200 gathered. Players honored included Donnie Morrison, Jim Mann, Brad Wright, Bob Lack, Chris Camp, Roger Stokes and Kevin Morris.

Cub Scout Pack 46 held their annual Blue and Gold banquet recently, and took the opportunity to honor Cubmaster Darvin Stow with a new uniform.

And in the want ads, a $500 reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for burning the Red Dog Saloon at Fagus.


Piggott school patrons were scheduled to vote on a 4.6 mill increase 25 years ago next week, as the district continues to recover from the fire that destroyed much of the middle school. Also to be decided is the school board race between Larry Simpson and Lester Binkley. Meanwhile, Greenway patrons will decide whether to consolidate with Rector when they go to the polls.

Winners in the Piggott Times "Stamp Out Smoking" coloring contest for Kindergarten and first grade were, Kelly Vancil, Michelle Hendley and Sandy Trammel with Melanie Spinks gaining an honorable mention. For the second, third and fourth graders the winners were, Jerri Causey, Chris Ingram and Brian Duckworth.

At the Carolyn Theater this week the feature was "Unfaithfully Yours" with Dudley Moore, while the late show was "Farewell Scarlett." And it was announced that 337 people had signed up for Piggott Community Hospital's month-long "Slimathon."

Linda Bland and Pat Berry of Wonderland Pre-School and Daycare took their classes to the Piggott fire station for a visit in the past week. Firefighter Ronny Dixon gave them the grand tour and showed them the firetruck. And a local grad has been named to the Dean's list at Arkansas College in Batesville for the most recent term, as Michael Eugene Book (PHS class of '83) was honored with that distinction.

And it was reported that local National Guard members would be conducting maneuvers at the old city dump west of Piggott during the coming weekend. Local residents were reminded that there could be machine gun fire and explosions throughout the day Saturday, and Saturday night, but not to be alarmed.


Pay raises for city employees were approved at the recent city council meeting, although Alderman Norman Muse voted against the raises and asked for more time considering the measure. In other news, a major ice and snowstorm blanked the region in the past several days.

An effort is underway to build a recreational lake near Chalk Bluff, and was the subject of a recent meeting. The project is backed by the local Rod and Gun Club, and promoters of the idea will be looking for possible funding. Meanwhile, funding for upkeep of the state park at Chalk Bluff was approved by the legislature in the past week.

In other news, a new organization called "Helping Hands" has been formed at Piggott Elementary and the advisory board consists of, Betty Payne, Debbie Dunlap, Joe Ann Olds, Brenda McGrew, Mona Latimer and Della Jackson. Meanwhile, PHS senior Brock Coomer served as page for Senate President, Lt. Gov. Winston Bryant during the legislative session in Little Rock.

Clay County farmers harvested a total of 2,418,000 bushels of soybeans in 1988, representing 26 bushels an acre on 93,000 acres of land. Mississippi County led the state with a total of 7,392,000 bushels of beans, representing 28 bushels per acre on 264,000 acres of farmland.

Work is near complete on the new Smith's Farm and Tire building near Holly Island, and the business should be open in the coming weeks. And Rachel Edwards of Piggott celebrated her 90th birthday March 1, with a party at her apartment..and received 90 birthday cards from family and friends.