The Year in Review For 2016, Part Two

Thursday, January 5, 2017
The annual Piggott Heritage Car Show enjoyed a good car count, and weather, this past May.(file photo)


In early April it was reported the City of Rector had approved acceptance of state funding for major street projects. The annual Piggot FFA farm equipment auction was held, and the Piggott Area Chamber of Commerce once again sold bid cards as a fundraiser, splitting the proceeds with the chapter. Also in the news, Vanessa Sisneros of Piggott was transported by air-evac following a crash at the two-mile-turn, near Piggott. Her vehicle apparently ran a stop sign and collided with one occupied by Carla Wagster and her daughter, Lilly, of St. Francis. The elder Wagster was held overnight for observation, while the younger was treated and released for minor injuries.

The beginning of the month also included the first in Jane Gatewood's series on barns, highlighting the Hardin-Benson barn. A Texas woman made a sizable donation to the Rector Library and the sheriff's department reported a number of arrests.

In sports, the Cougar baseball team battled a late season slump, the Lady Mohawks rolled over Hoxie and the baseball Hounds are battling a tough season. As for the Tribe, they dropped a game at home to Manila.

Dr. Steve White donated a copy of the manuscript his father, band director Ed White, used in the filming of the moving A Face in the Crowd to organizers of the upcoming celebration. The Rector School Board restructured debt and rehired staff. Meanwhile, the Piggott School Board tabled personnel issues and voted to fire food service provider Chartwell's.

Part two of the barn series focused on the Glasgow-Holifield barn east of Rector.

The Piggott High FBLA continued to have a strong year, competing at state and qualifying nine students for the nationals. The Marmaduke school board approved the calendar for the coming year, and donations are being accepted for the Ryan Rogers Memorial Scholarship fund. Piggott native Col. Damon Cluck took over as commander of the 87th Troop Command at Camp Joseph T. Robinson.

In sports, Cougar golfer Kade Scott enjoyed the trip of a lifetime to the Masters, thanks to PHS grad Joe Mowery, who was also state champ in high school. Meanwhile, the Mohawk junior high team beat Valley View and the Lady Greyhounds are still undefeated. As for the Cougars, they rolled into conference play while the softball squad dropped a pair.

The quorum court agreed to lease six road graders at their meeting, while Rector Downtown Central will host a business seminar. Rector council voted to hire an engineer to look into the water tower painting project. It's also prom season, with Holly Boyd and Landon Williams as Queen and King at PHS while Maddie Chandler and Austin Raspberry reigned at RHS.

In sports, the Mohawk track teams have been busy, and Junior Lady Mohawk Taylor Seal has already distinguished herself as a future star. Meanwhile, the Glen Sain Pre-Season Invitational was held at Rector, and the Lady 'Hounds suffered their first loss of the season, falling 5-0 to Greene County Tech.

It was the end of an era for Clay County agriculture, as Rector native Andy Vangilder retired from the local extension service after 35 years of service to enter private industry. Charlie Crow was the speaker at the Rector history luncheon and the Piggott City Council approved new rules of operation for the swimming pool for the summer.

Members of the Piggott FCCLA attended state, and have qualified several winners to the national competition. And, plans continue for the A Face in the Crowd anniversary, and this week a photo of Lee Remick and dozens of local kids was published.

The Piggott Area Chamber of Commerce has announced a unique fundraiser, as they'll be raffling off the old Piggott Fire Department 1941 Ford truck. And, King and Queen of this year's Marmaduke prom were Tyler Garrett and Angela Phillips.

In sports, the Cougars prevailed over Tunica Academy in the game played at AutoZone Park. The Mohawk lifting team took third at state and the Lady Mohawks are set for district softball. The Lady Cougars split a pair, and are also preparing for district, while the Junior Mohawks beat the Junior Cougars in baseball action at Independence Park.


The month of May brought with it news of several drug-related arrested by the Clay County Sheriff's Department. The Department of Human Services held a drive seeking donations of items to be used for foster kids entering the system, and reminded residents the need is year-round. The Rector council discussed re-paving efforts at their meeting, and the fire department reported the purchase of a new five-ton former military truck to be used as a tanker. Graduation was also set at Rector High, with 36 grads scheduled to take part in commencement. Meanwhile, the MHS horticulture team took the state title and a landowner digging holes on various properties prompted court action by the City of Greenway, and a temporary injunction was granted.

In sports, three local teams qualified for postseason, as the Rector Cougars won the district tourney over EPC, the Lady 'Hounds powered to the 2A-3 softball championship and the Piggott Lady Mohawks were third in 3A-3 and also qualify for the regionals.

Mid-May brought graduation at Piggott High School, with 77 grads scheduled to receive diplomas. The previous week commencement was held at both RHS and MHS. Local postal workers took part in the Stamp Out Hunger food drive, and the Piggott FCCLA is hosting a donkey basketball game. The Piggott School Board discussed the football field project, and set a public meeting on the subject, and later hired Anthony Dowdy as the new PES principal at their regular meeting. As for the Rector board, they approved the budget and hired several new staff members for the fall.

The Lady Mohawks and Lady Greyhounds won their regional titles in the past week, and will be headed to state. Meanwhile, Garrett Buck's walk-off single game the Cougars a 10-9 win over Tuckerman in their first round game and they're headed to state as well. The Mohawk track team also continues to have a good season, and has qualified several members for the state meet.

The Piggott School Board approved a compromise plan on the football field project following their public meeting, agreeing to new natural turf and seeking input on further improvements. Graduation was also held at PHS for the class of 2016. The Piggott Heritage Car Show was also set for the third week of May, which would include the Miss Piggott Heritage male beauty contest to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The Clay County Arts Council profiled two of this year's honorees--Larry Ross Norred and Cathy Jane (Jones) Norred.

In sports, all three of the local teams fell in their respective state tournaments. The Cougars fell to Mt. Ida in the first round at Parkers Chapel, the Lady Mohawks stumbled in the quarterfinals against Harmony Grove and WBC signee L.J. Helmich at Smackover. The Lady 'Hounds also fell in the quarterfinals at Parkers Chapel in the softball bracket to Foreman.

Late May brought with it news of the upcoming Memorial Day observations. The Piggott Heritage Car Show was a big success, and Jeremi Wicker of the Piggott PD had the honor of starting the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics for the second year in a row. Michael Hollis was hired as the new agri teacher at RHS at the regular school board meeting, while the Piggot board also handled personnel and discussed the football field project. Around 200 people were on hand for the Rector Downtown Central movie in the park, and a feature story outlined how the Rector community continues to benefit from the estate of the late Melvin Crockett.

Rector sixth grad honor grades were named, Marmaduke Schools moved ahead with a new technology effort and Brazillian exchange student Denise Cury graduated Piggott High and signed a letter of intent to attend, and play soccer for, WBC. Meanwhile, PHS held the annual spring sports banquet.


Clay County joined the remainder of the nation in pausing for a moment in late May to mark Memorial Day, with observations across the region. The CCAC also profiled the other two honoree for the upcoming Celebration of the Arts as Richard and Shriley Simmons were featured. The event will also serve to showcase several local artists, and a number of door prizes will be featured. Meanwhile, the Rector street project was approved by the AHTD, and Linda Banning retired from her job in the PES cafeteria after 24 years on the job.

The following week the celebration was held, with a large crowd on hand to honor the longtime supporters of the arts in Clay County. The week also brought sad news, as longtime Rector resident Zula George died at the age of 105. HPMEC announced their second military veteran writer's retreat, Stacy Shafer was named new Rector Postmaster and the Rector council discussed the armory. The pageant schedule for the upcoming Piggott Fourth of July Picnic was released, and organizers of the A Face in the Crowd celebration, set for September, continue to make plans for their event.

The Coleman family of Corning was introduced as the Clay County Farm Family of the Year in mid-June. A retirement celebration was also planned for Judge Gary Howell, and the Rector School Board voted to offer the city $10,000 for the old armory. As for the Piggott Board, they voted to approve the track and turf project as they addressed a 31-item agenda. The Ride the Fault Line tour also visited the county, making stops in Piggott and Rector.

Chances are still available for the Piggott Area Chamber of Commerce drawing for the old 1941 Ford fire truck donated to them by the city. And, congrats to April Lindsey, as she was winner of the Cardinal baseball package drawing sponsored by the Rector Lions Club.

Big crowds attended both the Rector movies in the park event, and Gary Howell's retirement celebration on the Piggott square, despite somewhat cool conditions for late June. The quorum court approved six ordinances, and discussed hiring an additional deputy, at their meeting. And, Independence Day celebrations are set in Piggott and Marmaduke.

An historic local building was lost to the wrecking ball late in the month, as the former Esso station at the corner of East Main and South Thornton in Piggott was razed to make way for additional parking for Cox Lumber Company.

In sports, local natives Marshall "Batsy" Sneed and Gary Adams have been nominated to be considered for the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame. And, Hootens has picked the football Mohawks to finish sixth out of eight in conference this coming season, and the Cougars seventh out of eight.

The month of June ended with a profile of Dr. Hillard Duckworth, grand marshal of the Piggott Fourth of July Parade. Allison Howell was named to replace Andy Vangilder as new extension agent, and the Piggott Council addressed the flood plain ordinance. School election filing is also set to begin in early July, water service to ARI dominated the Marmaduke Council meeting and Dr. Ruth Hawkins was given a lifetime achievement award by the Arkansas Historical Association.

Closing out the first half of the year in sports, Cougar multi-sport standout Garrett Buck was recognized as Best Under the Sun for his play on the baseball diamond and members of the Mohawk football team prepped for their campaign at the University of Arkansas Football Camp.

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