The Year in Review for 2015, Part Two

Thursday, January 7, 2016
One of the major sports highlights of the second half of 2015 was the renewal of the Piggott-Rector football rivalry after nearly a decade, as the Cougars hosted the Tribe at Temerian Field in week three of the season.

July

As the second half of 2015 began last minute plans were underway for the annual Piggott Fourth of July Picnic and Celebration, with local veteran Eugene Mann named as the parade Grand Marshal. The approaching holiday also marked the 50th anniversary of the memorial which stands at the gates to Piggott Cemetery. The memorial had been constructed in 1965 by O.L. Mowery with assistance from Emmitt Crittenden. Filing also got underway for the September school board election for seats on both the Rector and Piggott boards.

The Kinders wrapped up another successful summer reading program at the two local libraries, and performed in both Rector and Piggott. And, it was announced the Piggott-Rector football rivalry would be renewed in week three of the coming season, as the Cougars would host the Mohawks in non-conference play at Temerian Field.

Favorable weather accounted for a good Fourth of July across the region, and in addition to the regular seasonal offerings, an alumni football game consisting of former Mohawks was also played at Parker Field. Also in the news, the Arkansas State Police was called in to investigate a shooting in Rector after Mark Anthony Stewart suffered a gunshot wound at his home in East Sixth.

The Rector City Council heard a request from Rector Community Museum director Johnny Williams, to pass a resolution of support for his grant application for $53,000 and approved the measure. And, the Marmaduke Fire Department finalized purchase of a new 105-foot ladder truck.

As mid-July approached, the annual Pollard Picnic was set in that community.

The City of Piggott was recognized at the annual Arkansas Municipal League meeting in July with a Four Star Municipality Award. Meanwhile, the Rector School Board prepared for the coming year by hiring several staff members.

Also, some sad news to report in July as the Clay County Sheriff's Department K-9 officer, Moonshine, lost a three month battle with heartworms. An effort was also underway at that time to raise funds to pay for a replacement.

In sports, the Piggott Little League 11 to 12 year old team won the regional at Rector and qualified for the state tourney--set for Independence Park in Piggott.

The Clay County Health Unit got a facelift in late-July, as PHS art teacher Jerri Tate added kid-friendly art to the lobby and waiting room of the local facility. And, the quorum court cleared the way for the acquisition of grain bin rescue equipment by the Clay County Task Force.

Chuck Emerson was promoted to manager of the Country Mart in late July, and the Marmaduke School Board approved purchase of a new security door system. Strong storms also rolled through the region, downing trees and power lines in several locations. And, Piggott area resident Chad Speer was hailed as a hero after he rescued a woman from an overturned car in a water-filled ditch in Greene County.

The month drew to a close with the annual Greenway Picnic drawing near, and the announcement of the Ultimate Oldies show to be held in conjunction with the Rector Labor Day Picnic. The Rector Museum also began selling memorial tiles as a fundraiser.

It was also reported the Clay County Task Force had taken delivery of the new grain bid rescue equipment, and in sports it was Pine Bluff Western winning the Arkansas Little League state championship at Independence Park and advancing to the regional in Waco, Tex.

August

Courtney Roberts, of Holcomb, was crowned Miss Greenway at their annual picnic. The month of August also began with a discussion by the Rector City Council concerning the future use of the armory by the city. The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum also hosted a special event in August, as they held their first-ever writer's retreat for veterans.

The 2015 Rector High School Sports Hall of Fame inductees were announced, including the 1966 RHS basketball team, Paul Wiley Frets, Joe Perry Pruett and Owen "Bucket" Mosley. And, football practice got underway.

August was also back-to-school time for local students, as classes resumed. Volunteers also turned out for the Rector N2N Work Day, as the community prepared for the Labor Day Picnic. In addition to football, the high school golf season began as Rector's Kade Scott was set to defend his 2A state title.

Mid-August brought sad news, with the report of the deaths of former Piggott City Clerk Judy Parker and Alderman Junior Harris. A Piggott man, Aaron L. Beaver, was also killed when his car was struck by a train at the Lincoln Street crossing.

As the month drew to a close the annual Rector Labor Day Picnic schedule was set, the Piggott City Council authorized the purchase of a new fire truck for the PFD and in sports the Lady Mohawk volleyball season got underway and the PHS tennis squad was also in action.

September

Longtime Rector resident Bobby Tracer served as Grand Marshal for the annual Labor Day Picnic parade. And, early voting got underway for the school board election. No contested race in Rector, but Jennifer Rahn faced Katie Lipsey contended for a seat on the Piggott board. And, the Piggott Fire Department accepted delivery of their new service/rescue unit.

Rachel Lampkin was crowned Miss Rector for 2015 at the annual picnic, as good crowds and good weather greeted those attending the 76th annual event. Meanwhile local lawmakers Senator Blake Johnson and Rep. Joe Jett visited Piggott Elementary School and toured the campus.

Mid-September also brought with it the annual Clay County Fair, and chosen as Miss Clay County for 2015 was Chelsey Scott of Rector. At the regular Piggott School Board meeting members heard an update on energy saving efforts and discussed changing the date of graduation. The Howell Family Farms Sorghum Mill was also featured, along with a story about global adventurer Rosie Swale-Pope and her stop in Rector.

Elena Lopez joined the staff of Progressive Eye Center in Piggott as an optometrist, and Megan Johnson of Pollard was the big winner at the Clay County Fair Talent Show. And, plans were underway for the upcoming Native American Day at the Karl and Matilda Pfeiffer Museum in Piggott.

Finances dominated the September quorum court meeting, as the JPs reviewed budget matters. The Clay County Arts Council also announced plans for their upcoming fashion show and it was reported that longtime former Rector School Board member James Turner had died at age 72.

In late September registration commenced for the annual Rickman-Brown Memorial Fun Run, and in sports the Mohawks edged the Cougars 28-12 in their first meeting in nearly a decade. Meanwhile, Rector's Kade Scott finished second in district and qualified for state, as did Mohawks Ashlee Vaughn and Noah May.

As the month drew to a close it was reported that football homecoming was set at both schools and the Mohawk football team of 1965 was to be recognized at halftime of the Rivercrest game.

October

Hershal Wayne Horner, 76, of Rector was killed when his vehicle was struck by a train on the south edge of the city in early October. Also in the news, a large crowd turned out for the Rickman-Brown Memorial Fun Run, which served to promote autism awareness. And, Rector's Kade Scott made a strong showing at the 2A state golf tournament, winning for the second year in a row. The annual Piggott Elementary School fall festival was also held, and in sports the PHS tennis team earned longtime coach Paul Seegraves his 500th win.

Harvest began good for regional farmers in October, and Judge Gary Howell proclaimed the month as 4-H Month. The winner of the Piggott School Board election, Jennifer Rahn, also took office. Meanwhile, the Rector board approved salary increases. In sports, the Lady Mohawk tennis team won the district title while the boy's squad finished second. Both qualify for the upcoming state.

The annual Piggott Area Chamber of Commerce banquet was held in mid-October, and Congressman Rick Crawford visited the Piggott airport as the city seeks FAA grants for improvements. Red Ribbon Week was also set at both Rector and Piggott schools. And, although the Lady Mohawks weren't in the bracket, PHS was set to host the 3A state volleyball tournament.

Julio Juan was named the new manager of Harp's in Rector in October, replacing longtime manager Shayne Roofe. And, as the month drew to a close the filing period for the upcoming March primary got underway. Meanwhile the Piggott girls finished as 3A state runner-ups in tennis while the boys finished third overall. And, the schedule for the RHS HOF Basketball Classic was set.

The Clay County Arts Council celebrated in style in late October, with their fashion show at the SCCC. And, rainy conditions hampered Halloween activities, and the first-annual "Trunk-Or-Treat" on the Piggott square.

Early November also brought the story of Piggott native Joe Mowery's gift to RHS standout Kade Scott, as he presented him with tickets to attend this year's Master's golf tournament. And, the Mohawk football team's dreams of postseason play ended with a loss to Manila.

Veteran's Day was marked in November, and two countywide races developed for the March primary. Facing off for county judge are former State Rep. Mike Patterson and Jeff Young of Pollard. Meanwhile, former sheriff Gerald McClung, of Rector, has filed and will face incumbent Sheriff Terry Miller.

In sports, the Mohawks pounded Corning to end their season while the Cougars fell to Marked Tree on senior night. And, the Lady Mohawk basketball team began their campaign under new head coach Chase Halbrook.

As Thanksgiving approached, it was announced that the Rector Community Center would host its annual craft fair. Meanwhile, the quorum court approved the annual budget for 2016 and the Rector School Board approved bonuses.

The Rector Fire Department took delivery of new equipment in November, including thermal imaging devices and self-contained breathing apparatuses. Plans for the upcoming Rector Christmas Parade and Piggott Christmas Fest were also reviewed.

As the month ended Piggott Community Sharing Hearts made a sizeable donation to the PES Christmas project, and the second annual Ag for Autism and Make-A-Wish benefit were held at Marmaduke.

December

Piggott Community Hospital took delivery of their new ambulance as December arrived, and Shayne Roofe was set to serve as Grand Marshal of the Rector Christmas Parade. Issues with the aging community center roof dominated the Piggott City Council meeting, and the ballot draw for the upcoming primary was held.

The Rector City Council discussed budget issues at their December meeting, and approved a cost-of-living wage for employees. Meanwhile, both the Rector Christmas Parade and Piggott Christmas Fest enjoyed good weather and crowds. The Marmaduke Fire Department took delivery of their new truck and sponsors were sought for the annual Department of Human Services Christmas project.

In sports, the Lady Mohawks were off to a hot start while the Rector boys suffered an early season slump. The Piggott boy's played in the Bernie Invitational, and then hosted the Pre-Holiday. The winners of the tournament were the Westside Warriors.

The Rector Police Department investigated a robbery at Harp's just before Christmas, meanwhile the 1037th Engineer Company of the Arkansas Army National Guard donated $500 to Rector Elementary School for the clothes closet and backpack program. Clay County students also attended the 4-H ExCEL program in Little Rock and gathered for a group photo with State Rep. Joe Jett. And, in sports nine Mohawk football players received postseason honors, including five All-Conference and four All-Conference Honorable Mentions.

Christmas week brought with it news of a special gift presentation at Rector Nursing and Rehab, as veterans were honored with items by the Vietnam For Vets/Legacy Vets MC Club. The DHS Christmas project was also highlighted, as Mohawk football players served as special delivery "elves." And, Candy Hill of Rector was profiled for her efforts to raise funds for animals at the Kennett Humane Society. In sports, the Mohawk boys rolled into the holiday with two wins while the Lady Mohawks continued to struggle.

The year ended with the second flooding event in recent weeks, as Winter Storm Goliath left the region soaked. Strong winds are also being blamed for damage in downtown Rector. Melissa Williams, of Piggott, has been chosen to head the radiology department at PCH and RES fifth grade students took part in a Math-A-Thon to benefit St. Jude's.

In sports, the Lady Greyhounds of Marmaduke advanced in the NEA Invitational Tournament at Jonesboro.

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