and provide city services to those requesting these services outside the city limits.ż0aż0aThe last annexation was in 2008.ż0aż0a“You must have a reason to annex and it must adhere to state law,” said Mayor McKelvy.ż0aż0aThe areas being considered are located approximately one mile east of the current city limits and will encompass about a quarter mile on each side of Hwy. 71 East. The other area is approximately a quarter mile north of the current city limits on Hwy. 71 North. ż0aż0aThe mayor will gather more legal information about the areas being considered and present it at the Aug. 14 meeting in order to pass the ordinance. ż0aż0aOnce the ordinance is passed it will be presented to the electors qualified to vote on this issue at a general election to be held on Tuesday, Nov. 6.ż0aż0aIf the annexation is approved and becomes final the city shall incorporate the annexed territory will become a part of the city.ż0aż0aThe following services shall be extended to the area within three years.ż0aThese services are police protection, fire protection and sanitation service. It will take several years and be very expensive to provide sewer to all of the annexed areas.ż0aż0aż0aż0aż0aż0aż0aż0aż0aż0aż0aĦĦautoĦautoĦ24ĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦ9Ħ30ĦamĦ6ĦĦ2ĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦ2ĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦ2012080200930ĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦ1ĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦ 1503Ħ1343918077Ħ6Ħ1343918077Ħ6Ħ8Ħ2Ħ2012Ħ • Mrs. Jen's Happy House burnsĦThe home of Jim and Jen (Virginia) Arnold located at 222 5th Street caught fire Monday morning, July 30 around 1:50 a.m. and burned to the ground. They lost just about everything.ż0aż0a“We lost everything except five or six dresses and one pair of jeans for my husband,” said Jen Arnold. “I wasn’t even able to get my purse,” said Arnold.ż0aż0a“We were on the scene within three minutes and worked for three hours to control the fire,” said Dennis Pruitt, Fire Chief for the De Queen Fire Department. “We even asked Cossatot and Horatio fire departments to help us and actually had four fire engines and 18 personnel fighting the fire,” said Pruitt.ż0aż0aThe Arnolds have occupied the house for over 35 years and it was known in the community as Mrs. Jen’s Happy House. It was a place where kids met for day care and pre-school for lots of years.ż0aż0a“We gave many kids rides on the fire truck from the fire station to Mrs. Jen’s Happy House, we never thought that we would ever work a fire there,” said Pruitt.ż0aż0aAccording to Pruitt the house was a total loss but they were able to find and recover a safe that had $800 and some of the Arnold’s important papers in it.ż0aż0aThe cause of the fire was a smoker on the back porch that was smoking a chicken overnight when somehow it sparked the fire.ż0aż0aWithin hours of the fire Mrs. Arnold was busy making plans to keep the children so that parents would not have to miss work.ż0aż0a“This was the last week of school at my house, the next two weeks will be at my sister’s house and then we have two weeks off,” said Mrs. Arnold.ż0aż0aAccording to Mrs. Arnold they would love to rebuild at the same spot but are not sure if they will be able to do so or not at this time.ż0aż0aIf you would like to help the Arnolds there is a special account set up to accept donations at Diamond Bank in De Queen or First National Bank in De Queen.ż0aĦĦautoĦautoĦ24ĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦ9Ħ32ĦamĦ6ĦĦ2ĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦ2ĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦ2012080200932ĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦ1ĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦ 1504Ħ1343918948Ħ6Ħ1343918948Ħ6Ħ8Ħ2Ħ2012Ħ • Hill promoted to head administratorĦ“There’s a saying that you don’t want to be the guy who follows a legend. You want to be the guy who follows the guy who follows the legend,” said new De Queen School Superintendent Bruce Hill with a chuckle.ż0aż0a“Well, I’m the guy who’s following a legend.”ż0aż0aHill took over the head administrator post at De Queen when Bill Blackwood retired at the end of June. Blackwood spent 55 years with the De Queen school system, the last 30 as superintendent.ż0aż0a“That’s a pretty hard act to follow. I have a huge job ahead, very overwhelming at times,” Hill said. “I’m excited. I’m apprehensive a little. I’ve been an assistant superintendent for 13 years, but I have never been where the buck stops before. I think the sleepless nights might start up.”ż0aż0aHill is starting his seventh year at De Queen. The first half dozen were as assistant superintendent.ż0aż0aA native of Idabel, Okla., he graduated from Idabel Gray High School in 1974. He turned down football scholarship offers — Tulsa, Rice, UAM and others — and played baseball at Carl Albert State College then Southeastern Oklahoma State. He married his junior year.ż0aż0aHis first job after graduating was head ninth grade baseball coach and assistant football coach at White Settlement, Texas, west of Fort Worth. After a year in Texas, he returned to Idabel and spent 15 years as head baseball and assistant football coach.ż0aż0aHill then served eight years as head football coach with the last four as athletic director as well. He resigned the coaching position and spent his last years at Idabel as AD and assistant superintendent.ż0aż0a“I had a great experience at Idabel,” he recalled fondly. After a quarter century in education, Hill retired, but it didn’t take. “When I retired from Oklahoma I knew I wouldn’t quit working,” he said.ż0aż0a“De Queen had an assistant superintendent position available. They offered me the job. We couldn’t have wound up in a better place. I’ve never been treated like a stranger. I was made to feel welcome and still feel that way.”ż0aHill said the transition from assistant superintendent to De Queen superintendent has been made much easier by the staff. “We have the greatest office staff. They have such knowledge and such a good attitude. I think they are actually teaching me,” he said.ż0aż0a“The (school) Board has been very supportive, and probably they’ll have to have a little patience.”ż0aż0aWith the start of the fall semester getting closer, the new superintendent is anxious about completing two projects. ż0aż0aOne of them is the new classrooms for De Queen’s grades three through five. “We are nearly finished with the fourth grade. It should be completed real soon. It will be down to the wire whether we get the fifth grade finished by the time school starts,” Hill said.ż0aż0aThe other is at Lockesburg Elementary. “We had some damage when they replaced the roof,” Hill said. “I’d like to get that back together before school starts.”ż0aż0aHill listed projects that have recently been finished. They included completed paving of parking lots, renovation of the restrooms for the sixth, seventh, 10th and 11th grades and installation of a canopy and sidewalk between the high school and the arena.ż0aż0aThe new superintendent has some concerns about events that could affect the district.ż0aż0aOne is a certainty. “The state of Arkansas has received a waiver from the No Child Left Behind Act, meaning a new set of guidelines.ż0aż0aFinances are always a concern. “We’re either the lowest or next to lowest millage district in the state. Mr. Blackwood was obviously one of the best money managers in Arkansas,” Hill said.ż0aż0aHe said the only way to deal with the uncertainties is to plan for worse case scenario and hope it does not come to pass.ż0aż0a“Budget for the worse and hope for the best,” he said.ż0aż0aThe district has some issues that will require action in the not too distant future. The foremost is enrollment.ż0aż0a“The trend has been for the last few years to have huge numbers in the lower grades. They get smaller before they graduate,” Hill said.ż0aż0aHowever, the upper grades are filled to near capacity. “I don’t think we had an empty classroom in high school last year.” The same holds true for junior high and middle school as well.ż0aż0a“We have 209 pre-enrolled in kindergarten,” the superintendent said, noting that kindergarten always has students who do not enroll until the opening of the school year. ż0aż0a“It’s possible we’ll have a class with 240 kids. If they all stay in the district, we’ll have to add to the high school,” Hill pointed out.ż0aż0aAdministrators will not know exactly how many students the school has until the fall semester starts. This leaves open the possibility that the district will have to find more teachers.ż0aż0aIt might be due to his following Blackwood’s legendary tenure, but the new superintendent finds himself being asked a particular question.ż0aż0a“One thing people have been asking me is: how long are you going to do this?” Hill said.ż0aż0a“When it gets to be either not fun, or when I feel like I’m not helping the kids or teachers, I’ll bail out.ż0aż0a “I think I have some things to offer. When I feel like I don’t, I’ll go.”ż0aż0aHill’s wife Terri Hill is the principal of De Queen Primary. ż0aż0aThey have two sons and one grandson.ż0aż0aSon Joe is on the staff of Dan Boren, Oklahoma second district U.S. congressman.ż0aż0aThe other son, Brad followed his dad into coaching, literally. Brad has the same position at White Settlement as his dad did three decades ago. Brad has a son Slider Bruce Hill, age two.ĦĦautoĦautoĦ24ĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦ9Ħ46ĦamĦ6ĦĦ2ĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦ2ĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦ2012080200946ĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦ1ĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦ 1507Ħ1344517572Ħ6Ħ1344517572Ħ6Ħ