De Queen Area News


The ultimate ballpark road trip
De Queen family accomplishes nine-year goal
of visiting all 30 major league baseball stadiums


By Patrick Massey

Ultimate Fans – Jay Bunyard and his son, Jacob, pose to autographed baseballs they collected during a nine-year family goal to watch games at all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums. They finished the tour in August with a game at Target Field in Minneapolis.

One De Queen father and son now share a special bond that's not just about family, and in the process realized one of the greatest accomplishments in America's most favorite pastime.

After almost a decade in the making, the two have successfully accomplished their goal of traveling to all 30 major league ballparks.
Jay Bunyard and his son, Jacob, recently completed their quest by watching the Twins and Tigers play at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minn. last month. The long journey began nine years ago with a visit to the nation's oldest ballpark and the home to the Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park.

"Whenever we'd go to a game we'd get our picture taken in front of the stadium and we saw others who were doing the same," said Jay. He started talking to a few folks who said they were traveling the nation to attend games at each ballpark. "I talked about it with the family and we decided it would be a really cool thing for us to do."

So their quest began, and along the way the family not only met players and other fans but had a chance to see parts of the country they had never visited before. They started off by visiting some of the nation's oldest and most historical ballparks like Fenway in Boston and Wrigley Field in Chicago.

Usually the Bunyards dedicated a week to their trips so they could travel the area and take in the other sights.

"We tried to see all the sights and historical places that we're around the ballpark, so we ended up getting to go to Gettysburg, seeing the Liberty Bell and a lot of other cities," Jay said. During a trip to New York City the family had a chance to visit Ground Zero in Manhattan.

To read the complete article, please see the Sept. 11 edition of The De Queen Bee.

Sep 13, 2014, 16:12


Craig Classic donates boards for Sportsplex
Johnny Bivins with the De Queen Parks and Recreation Dept. works on installing one of three new scoreboards recently donated by the Craig Classic association to the city for use at the Sportsplex softball and baseball fields. The signs carry are value of around $6,500 each.

DE QUEEN – Players and spectators visiting the De Queen Sportspex’s softball fields will notice several new scoreboards keeping track of the games thanks to a recent donation by an area group.

The Craig Classic association, which has sponsored benefit softball tournaments for years, donated three brand new scoreboards to the De Queen Parks and Recreation Department.

The scoreboards carry a value of approximately $20,000.
Craig Classic organizer Kendall Bagley said the group has normally given away scholarships in the past, but wanted to benefit even more area children by purchasing the sorely-needed scoreboards for the Sportsplex.

Workers with the parks department installed the new boards last week.

Sep 12, 2014, 16:30


Second novel by De Queen author releases Friday
SEQUEL – James Babb of De Queen was awarded earlier this year with an IPPY recognition for his 2013 novel, The Devil’s Backbone. His sequel, The Devil’s Trap, releases this Friday.

DE QUEEN – The second novel by De Queen author James Babb is scheduled to be released this Friday and will continue to follow the adventures of teenager Brody Martin in post-Civil War Arkansas.
Babb said the sense of adventure and self-dependence which made The Devil’s Backbone so enjoyable for young and reluctant readers will return in the next novel, The Devil’s Trap.

A reluctant reader as a child, Babb wrote The Devil’s Backbone to engage and entertain children similar to his own younger self. His passion for writing and goal to inspire a love of books among his readers led him on a hunt for the best self-publishing service.
He soon discovered Amazon’s independent-publishing platforms, CreateSpace for print books and Kindle Direct Publishing for eBooks – and he hasn’t looked back since.

To date, James has published two family-friendly titles, both of which have been well received by young readers and their families across the nation. In addition to self-publishing The Devil’s Backbone, James and his daughter, Tayler, recently teamed up to write Batty Wants to be a Bird, a children’s picture book.

The Devil’s Backbone follows Brody, a farm boy living in post-Civil War Arkansas in the late 1800s, as he embarks on a dangerous journey to find food for his starving family. While crossing the Devil’s Backbone, a treacherous mountain ridge and famous battle site, Brody encounters a terrible accident and meets a delusional ex-slave who believes the war isn’t over and may also be a murderer.

Food is scarce and time is ticking for Brody to return home, but as the story unfolds, he is the one who ends up wanted for murder.
The Devil’s Trap will continue the story, and will be available for Kindle and in paperpack on Amazon this Friday.

Sep 12, 2014, 16:25


Health shake store opens in De Queen
DE QUEEN – A new business in De Queen is hoping to help area residents lose weight by offering supportive services and a line of health shakes.

A Journey to Better Me opened Monday in Suite A of the shopping center 209 E. Collin Raye Drive. A family-owned business, A Journey to Better Me wants to provide those in the area struggling with weight loss a few more resources in their toolkit.

"I know it can be very difficult to lose weight and keep it off," said owner Veronica Ramirez, who worked formerly as a CNA for Brookewood Nursing and Rehab. Ramirez said she used to weigh 400 pounds, but through exercise and diet she has worked to lose the weight. One strategy she found successful in the dietary portion of her weight loss plan was the use of specialized health shakes.

"I have a lot of faith in these shakes because I saw the results myself. If they worked for me than they could work for others, so I thought it was something that needed to be shared with others in the community," she said.

The shakes come in a wide variety of flavors and, when combined with proper exercise and diet, can be a valuable resource for losing weight, said Ramirez.

To read the complete article, please see the Sept. 11 edition of The De Queen Bee.

Sep 12, 2014, 16:23


Health shake store opens in De Queen
DE QUEEN – A new business in De Queen is hoping to help area residents lose weight by offering supportive services and a line of health shakes.

A Journey to Better Me opened Monday in Suite A of the shopping center 209 E. Collin Raye Drive. A family-owned business, A Journey to Better Me wants to provide those in the area struggling with weight loss a few more resources in their toolkit.

"I know it can be very difficult to lose weight and keep it off," said owner Veronica Ramirez, who worked formerly as a CNA for Brookewood Nursing and Rehab. Ramirez said she used to weigh 400 pounds, but through exercise and diet she has worked to lose the weight. One strategy she found successful in the dietary portion of her weight loss plan was the use of specialized health shakes.

"I have a lot of faith in these shakes because I saw the results myself. If they worked for me than they could work for others, so I thought it was something that needed to be shared with others in the community," she said.

The shakes come in a wide variety of flavors and, when combined with proper exercise and diet, can be a valuable resource for losing weight, said Ramirez.

To read the complete article, please see the Sept. 11 edition of The De Queen Bee.

Sep 12, 2014, 16:23


Contestants sought in local area for Hoo Rah Days Beauty Pageant
DE QUEEN – October is just around the corner and that means organizers are preparing for the 2014 annual Hoo Rah Days celebration in De Queen.

The event always features numerous activities, and this year’s schedule will again include the Hoo Rah Days Beauty Pageant. This year’s event will mark the pageant’s 12th anniversary.

The pageant will be held the week before the event’s main activities, on Oct. 4 at the De Queen High School Auditorium. Registration will be held that morning from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. The pageant will start at noon.
Registration forms can be picked up at the Sevier County Museum, open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information contact Jackie Gonzalez at (870) 279-1787 or email jackie.gonzalez.sroq@statefarm.com. The pageant is open to girls ages zero to 21 and contestants do not have to be from Sevier County to enter.

Sep 12, 2014, 16:22


UA Cossatot sees another year of record fall enrollment
DE QUEEN – The numbers have all been calculated for student enrollment at UA Cossatot and once again, it is a record-setting semester.

Brenda Morris, Registrar and Director of Institutional Research at Cossatot, announced at the close of the census date, the college’s enrollment stood at 1584 compared to 1575 from the same semester in 2013. Although this number represents only a slight increase, predictions across the state had UA Cossatot staff prepared for a slight decline in enrollment.

“I am thrilled with the enrollment numbers,” said Maria Parker, UA Cossatot’s Vice Chancellor for Academics. “A record enrollment is truly a group effort. From the business office to advising, and many people in between, we are proving that we care about student success. We also have a record enrollment of high school students taking advantage of the opportunities we offer. This means more students than ever will graduate from high school with college credit – either in University transfer classes or from a technical program. These students are already familiar with the college atmosphere and studies show, they are more prepared to succeed and graduate.”

Hispanic student enrollment has also had another increase at UA Cossatot. The enrollment is now 22 percent Hispanic students. Part of the college’s strategic plan has been to increase recruiting efforts within the Hispanic demographic. Fall semester in 2013, Hispanic enrollment was 19 percent. “We are especially proud of this increase,” said Parker.

“We feel our student population should reflect the demographics of the community. We have worked to make students from all walks of life feel comfortable at UA Cossatot.”

Sep 12, 2014, 16:21



Football Winner – Lee Allen of De Queen, right, was named the first winner of the season in the 2014 Football Contest sponsored by The De Queen Bee. Allen, who only missed one game in last week’s contest, received a $25 check and t-shirt. Destiny Kimmel was named runner-up while honorable mention went to Sonny Kimmel. Both missed two games. Pictured with Allen is Jarred Smith of Baker’s Sales and Service.

Sep 12, 2014, 16:19


UA Cossatot instructor back safely in the U.S.after detainment by customs authorities
Back in Class– Molly Sirigiri, a biology instructor at UA Cossatot, is back in the U.S. and teaching classes after an uncertain two months in India. Sirigiri was detained by U.S. immigration and customs authorities in July after returning from a Guatemala mission trip, when she was told her visa would not allow her to reenter the United States. The college worked with several offices to get Sirigiri back.

DE QUEEN – The UA Cossatot instructor who was detained by federal immigration authorities earlier this summer after returning to the United States from a mission trip to Guatemala is home safely, say college officials.

Molly Sirigiri, who teaches biology for the college, was held by U.S. customs officials in Houston upon returning from the trip in July. While there, she and other members of the First Baptist Church of Nashville volunteered in an orphanage. Sirigir was informed in Houston that the visa she used to teach in the United States allowed her to travel outside the U.S., but would not authorize her to reenter the country. She was then detained and forcibly flown back to her native country, India.

Appalled by Sirigiri's detainment, officials with UA Cossatot worked with the University of Arkansas System and U.S. Sen. Mark Pyror's office to get her back in the U.S. Fortunately the advocates were able to appeal the case and get Sirigiri back in the U.S..

“Molly is a special person to UA Cossatot,” said Dr. Steve Cole, UA Cossatot Chancellor. “Not only is she a teaching rock star for us but more importantly, she is a vital part of her church and community. The best possible result came from this, and that was her quick re-entry back into the United States.”

“We owe many thanks to not only our US Senators and the UA System but also to Kelly Plunk, UA Cossatot Human Resources Director and Crystal Sims, Biological Science Instructor who were instrumental in processing her return and covering her academic duties,” Cole added.

“I am thankful to be back in Nashville and teaching,” said Sirigiri. “I am very thankful for people I consider my family in the United States.”
Sirigiri teaches a full course load of General Biology, Microbiology, and Anatomy and Physiology. Sirigiri started back with her full classload on Monday.

Aug 28, 2014, 17:22


Local group to meet and discuss weight loss
DE QUEEN – A local group has begun meeting weekly to discuss weight loss strategies and the challenge of keeping the weight off once it is lost.

Angie Ragan, an employee of Dr. Jason Lofton’s Wellness Center in De Queen, organized the classes based on some of her own experiences.
“I know losing weight can be difficult and keeping it gone even more so, but I think with a support group those who have the same issues might find the help they need,” she said.

The group held its first meeting on Thursday, Aug. 21, but plans to meet each Thursday in the future at 5:30 p.m. in The Wellness Center in downtown De Queen. For more information contact Ragan at (870) 642-4000, ext. 5.

Aug 28, 2014, 17:20


facebookContactSubscribe

dequeenbee.com

dequeenbee.com

dequeenbee.com

dequeenbee.com

dequeenbee.com