News & History

Week in Clark County History: May 7

For the Week in Clark County History, we combed through bound copies of the Daily Siftings Herald to choose some front-page news from editions dating 10, 20 and 30 years ago.

10 years ago this week (2013)

Dr. Charles Dunn, the 14th president of Henderson State University, died at age 67 following a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Elgin Tyree Balch, 27, was sentenced in Clark County Circuit Court to serve a 100-year prison sentence on charges of arson for setting fire to a Ross Apartments residence while an infant lay asleep inside. No one was injured in the fire, which forced the evacuation of some 30 residents.

A corner of the student library at Perritt Primary School was officially dedicated in honor of the late Adiele and Marley Crutchfield, ages 6 and 4, who were slain alongside their stepfather the previous December.

An estimated 11,000 people gathered at Amity’s Timber Lodge Ranch for the second annual Warrior Dash event at which runners participated in a 3-mile run filled with gnarly obstacles like mud pits and barbed wire.

Henderson State University’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved a policy barring employees to carry concealed weapons on campus.

20 years ago this week (2003)

A storm that dumped 5 inches of rain onto Arkadelphia and Clark County flooded city streets. As Mill Creek swelled its floodwaters threatened to enter homes on Welch Street. Other areas — 6th and Walnut streets and the train depot parking lot — became small lakes temporarily. Gildner’s AutoPlex and the Arkadelphia Community Family Enrichment Center sustained damage from the storm.

Arkadelphia police named a Malvern suspect in the beating death of 39-year-old Wayne Keeling, who was found lying in the street at the intersection of 15th and Cutler streets. Keeling was transported to a Little Rock hospital where he died from head trauma.

Clark County justices of the peace approved a $20,000 purchase that networked each courthouse office, allowing the six offices to “communicate back and forth simply by using their computer keyboards.”

30 years ago this week (1993)

A groundbreaking ceremony was set for what would become a two-story Merchants & Planters Bank building at 526 Main St. Once built, the building would later serve US Bank.

About 60 residents showed up to a public meeting in Gum Springs to voice concerns over modifications to a Reynolds Metals air permit. Citizens spoke of the need for jobs but also for caution in dealing with a potential hazard. An evening hearing on the matter held at the courthouse drew an even larger crowd of about 100 residents.

Henderson State University was set to graduate 300 students at its spring commencement ceremony.

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