City & County

Mark Overturf leaving Arkadelphia for ASU job

Mark Overturf

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders will appoint a DeGray area resident to carry out the term of a Clark County justice of the peace whose resignation is effective at the end of August

By JOEL PHELPS | The Arkadelphian

Longtime community leader Mark Overturf is uprooting from Arkadelphia for a position at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, where he will also live closer to his heirs.

Overturf has been an active member in the community during the 29 years he’s lived in Clark County, serving as a member of the Arkadelphia Area Chamber of Commerce Board, Arkadelphia Lions Club and the Volunteer Council for the Arkansas Human Development Center. Most recently, the Twin Rivers Architecture partner has added District 6 Justice of the Peace to his résumé, defeating challenger Johnny Ledbetter in a November 2022 election.

“It was never my intention when I ran for this position to leave,” Overturf said at Monday’s Quorum Court meeting. “My wife and I never thought we would leave Arkadelphia or Clark County.” Calling the move a “bittersweet” one, he added the ASU position “fell in my lap” and wanted to take the opportunity to live closer to his children and grandchild.

One fellow JP jokingly requested county Judge Troy Tucker to exercise his power of veto to keep Overturf.

Once the resignation becomes effective, Tucker will notify the governor’s office, which will appoint the next representative of District 6.

2024 eclipse event expected to impact region

The Arkansas counties that are in the line of totality of darkness for the 2024 solar eclipse are anticipating “thousands and thousands” of visitors. Clark County is supposed to be in the path and will be in complete darkness for about 2 minutes. Amity, in the northern part of the county, should be darker for longer.

Judge Tucker said he has appointed a committee comprised of various citizens throughout the county to oversee civic planning of the event. 

“There are a number of issues that will have to be addressed between now and the very near future,” Tucker said.

So far, he reported, several local hotels have been booked and the DeGray Lake Resort State Park Lodge has been booked for the event. Tucker and other elected county officials attended a recent association of counties event in Rogers, where they learned of potential issues expected to accompany the eclipse. For instance, restaurants are being cautioned that they may need to have plenty of extra food prepared, and traffic on Interstate 30 could be bogged down due to the additional visitors.

Men United Backpack Program

Justice Albert Neal, also a member of Men United, reported to the court that the organization’s recent backpack giveaway for K-12 students “turned out real well”, with upwards to 300 people in attendance. 

Neal said several people in the county made monetary donations, and he gave a nod to Hostess Brands employees for their presence at the event.

1 reply »