Friday, February 15, 2019

Pastime – The substitute who made THE shot

by Maylon Rice
          It was on a cold, rainy night in late January I hitched a ride with a Warren couple on the way to see their sophomore son play a basketball game.

I was, you see, just a 16-year old kid without a car of his own, writing basketball stories for the Warren Eagle Democrat and phoning in the box scores and stories to the Pine Bluff Commercial and the Arkansas Gazette for  a little spare change.

My mentor, Bob Newton, made all the arrangement for me to “catch a ride” with G.C. (Sonny) and Wickie Morgan down to the 8AA Conference barn-burner at Hamburg on a Friday night.

I made two adult friends for life that night on that car ride from Warren to Hamburg. And none of us knew or could have guessed that the outcome from that game that night would feature a very reluctant guard taking a game winning shot.

But don’t let me get ahead of myself.

I was locking up the Eagle Democrat offices about 5:15 p.m. when Mr. Sonny Morgan pulled up in front of the building at the arranged time for me to gather up my jacket, spiral notebook and slip into the back seat of his sedan.

We headed to the West, stopping at the Morgan home, as Mr. Sonny said, to pick up “Miss Wickie,” a name I grew to use every time I saw her over the next 30 plus years, to join us.

Mr. Sonny hopped out of the car, opened Miss Wickie’s door for her and made my introduction.  Miss Wickie I knew from her  being a home-room mom at  various elementary school functions. This was my first time to meet Mr. Sonny.

I was armed with brief introduction by Bob Newton they were Hendrix classmates of his. Mr. Bob clued me in that ‘Miss Wickie,” was from the East Arkansas hamlet of Mariana.  Mr. Sonny, I knew was a Warren boy.

I am in the back seat being a quiet addition to their trip. They discussed the day at Potlatch where Mr. Morgan was in sales and Miss Wickie has been volunteering at the Warren Branch Library until 4 p.m. when she rushed home to get dressed for the game.

After some initial conversations about school, my grades, my work at the Eagle and how did I think the basketball Lumberjacks would do this evening, Mr. Sonny announced he were stopping to get “supper.”

He swung the sedan into Ben Young’s Grocery Store on the eastern edge of Monticello.

It was now about 6:15 or so and dusky dark.

“Just stay in the car,” Mr. Sonny said. “I’ll be right back.” He took soda pop orders and Miss Wickie, stepped out to smoke a cigarette beside the car while Mr. Sonny and Ben Young stood at a white meat counter and talked.

He emerged with three giant barbecue sandwiches on white bread. His and mine dripped with a sweet, red sauce. Miss Wickie, per her placing her own order, eschewed the sauce.

He pulled over out by Drew County Fairground, at a large paved turn around off the highway and we all three attacked the sandwiches and sodas.

After a bit, we merged back into the traffic headed to Hamburg. The gym was packed as the Lions were also in contention for the 8AA district, as were the Dennis Helms led Lumberjacks.

The ‘Jacks were 11-4 at this juncture and it looked like WHS was again positioning itself for a district crown if not a trip to the State Tournament held in Barton Coliseum in Little Rock each March.

We got into the gym, where I marched down to the wooden scorer’s table on the Hamburg home side and found a seat where I could write in my spiral notebook. The Morgan’s joined the locals on the opposite side of the gym.

The Warren Junior High, Junior Jacks were finishing up a 40-34 loss to the Lion Cubs.

Out came the Lumberjacks led by the late Jerry Watts, Otis Young, Tommy Mitchell, Steve Lipton, Robert Green, Steve Halley, Gary Thornton, Charlie Morgan, David Taylor, Earl Scott, Russell Woodard, Joe Davis, and Ronald Blackmon.

The game was a real battle. It was 14-14 at the end of the first quarter. The home team Lions surged to a nine point lead early in the next period, but the ‘Jacks sliced the lead to trail by one, 32-31 at the half time buzzer.

The game went back and forth. Hamburg lost their shooting guard, Ellis Lowe to fouls early in the fourth period. Both sides were making trips to the charity stripe. Odis Young, Tommy Mitchell and David Taylor, all fouled out for Warren.

In came sophomore guard, Charlie Morgan, Sonny and Miss Wickie's youngest son and a classmate of mine.

The game was so electric. With four seconds left and a last chance for the Lumberjacks to win, trailing 71-70, the ball was inbounded and the play was set for Jerry Watts to charge the lane.

Watts instead flicked a laser like pass to the left corner where Charlie Morgan stood, dribbled once and let it fly.

With less than one-second left; Morgan’s jump shot zipped through the net.

Lumberjacks won 72-71 and are now 12-4.

As preplanned, I found a payphone somewhere in the Hamburg area and telephoned in the game story to the late Frank Lightfoot, sports editor of the Pine Bluff Commercial.

The ride back to Warren in the cold, winter evening was long and I guess I fell asleep as Mr. Sonny had to wake me when we hit the city limits.

The headline the next morning, a Saturday, was simply this:



On that following Monday afternoon, I had a plate of homemade cookies waiting for me at the Eagle when I came to work after school.

And a friendship with one of the finest basketball playing families in Bradley County’s modern history that still exists today.

 It was a Pastime that I’ll never forget -  seeing Charlie drain that jump shot from the corner of that Hamburg gymnasium.

That shot and some other wonderful basketball play started the Warren Lumberjacks on a run of back-to-back District 8AA Championships and play in the state tournament.       

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Smokey the Bear Shout Out

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Arkansas Agriculture Department’s Forestry Commission (AFC) is sponsoring a Smokey Bear “Shout-Out” contest Feb. 11  through April 19 to celebrate Smokey’s 75th birthday.  Smokey is the fictional bear that was designated the symbol for forest fire prevention in 1944 by the U.S. Forest Service and the Ad Council.

 Elementary classes across Arkansas are invited to record a short video wishing Smokey a happy birthday and to share it with AFC and the Arkansas Agriculture Department’s (AAD) social media sites for a chance to win a birthday party with Smokey.

To enter the contest:

·         Make sure the school name and class can be clearly heard in the video

·         Keep it short (15-30 seconds)

·         Like AFC and AAD Facebook pages: and

·         Post your video to your school’s Facebook page, making sure to add #SmokeyBear75

·         Share the video, via messenger, with both pages

·         You may also post it on your school’s twitter page and tag us @ARDeptofAgricul and @ARForestryComm, again making sure to add #SmokeyBear75

·         Send an email to with the name of the school, city, county, what class is in the video, how many students are in the class and the teacher’s name, email and phone number

 Eight winners will be randomly selected for the birthday party to be held in the first two weeks of May, prior to the end of the school year.

For more information on the contest or the rules, contact Brett Dawson at or 501-219-6324.

The Arkansas Agriculture Department’s Forestry Commission, along with the U.S. Forest Service, Ad Council, and National Association of State Foresters, will be celebrating Smokey’s 75th birthday throughout 2019 and promoting his slogan, “Only YOU Can Prevent Wild Fires.”   Additional information about Smokey and learning resources for children and educators can be found at

The AAD is dedicated to the development and implementation of policies and programs for Arkansas agriculture and forestry to keep its farmers and ranchers competitive in national and international markets while ensuring safe food, fiber, and forest products for the citizens of the state and nation.

The Arkansas Agriculture Department offers its programs to all eligible persons.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Submissions sought for literary magazine

EL DORADO, Ark.—Submissions are being sought for Between the Lines, the online literary journal of South Arkansas Community College.
Stories, poetry and essays submitted by writers 18 years and older who live in Ashley, Bradley, Chicot, or Union County in Arkansas; or Union, Claiborne or Webster Parish in Louisiana will be considered. Fiction and essay submissions must be no longer than 3,000 words; poems must not exceed 50 lines.
Submissions are due by Feb. 28 by e-mail to editor Scott Larkin at<file:///2016-17/releases/>. Submissions may be edited at his discretion.

DISCLAIMER: Emails sent to or received from the College are subject to the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act, Ark. Code Ann. Sec. §§ 25-19-101 et. Seq.

2019 Arkansas Travel Guide now available

New edition features larger format, updated road trip ideas

The 2019 Arkansas Travel Guide is now available at Welcome Centers and tourism locations across the state. You can order a print edition or view the guide online at

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Jr. Auxiliary Supports Students at Eastside

The Junior Auxiliary of Warren recently collected boxes and provided decorating supplies to Eastside Elementary for students to create their own Valentine's boxes.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Arkansas Grown Program held “Local Conversations”

Event January 17 to
Connect Specialty Crop Growers with Local Food Buyers

HERMITAGE, Ark. –  To help farmers learn more about business opportunities in the locally grown food category, the Arkansas Agriculture Department (AAD) hosted an Arkansas Grown local conversation event on  Thursday, Jan. 17 at 9:30 a.m. at the Community Center in Hermitage. This event facilitated a discussion among institutional food buyers, food distributors and growers.
“A 2017 study conducted by the Food Marketing Institute found that consumers are willing to spend 20 percent more for locally produced fruits and vegetables,” said Arkansas Agriculture Secretary Wes Ward. “This type of collaborative event brings together representatives from the entire supply chain to identify ways to provide consumers more access to locally produced foods and products.”
There were 72 in attendance, 21 of which were specialty crop growers. Sixteen counties across Arkansas were represented.

The following panel discussions covered different parts of the food marketing channel:
1) Food distributor panel with Billy Bobbitt of AWG and Brad May of Ben E. Keith.
2) Farm to School panel, featuring Lori Carter, DHS Nutrition Director, Amanda West, Warren School District Nutrition Director, and Jenna Rhodes, Arkansas Farm to School Director.
3) Local Grower: Randy Clanton Sr., Steele Hamilton, and Michael Hensley.

“There is a demand for local. You’ve got to market yourself in every way,” said Billy Bobbitt of AWG.
The event concluded with a meal funded by Farm Credit.
The Arkansas Grown program promotes food and products grown by Arkansas producers and helps connect growers and food buyers. Go to to learn more about Arkansas Grown.
The AAD is dedicated to the development and implementation of policies and programs for Arkansas agriculture and forestry to keep its farmers and ranchers competitive in national and international markets while ensuring safe food, fiber, and forest products for the citizens of the state and nation. Visit

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

GFPB Joins Rural LISC

GFPB, Inc. Announces it has been selected to join the Rural LISC network.
Pine Bluff, Arkansas – January 29, 2019 – Ryan Watley, CEO, announces that Go Forward Pine Bluff (GFPB) has been selected to join the Rural LISC network of partner organizations. Rural LISC is a national program created by Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) a community development support organization working in metropolitan areas across the country, to expand its reach to include rural communities. Currently, Rural LISC partners with 87 rural community-based organizations across 44 states, helping them identify challenges and opportunities, and delivering the most appropriate support to meet local needs.
Rural LISC provides a wide range of services, including training, technical assistance, information, and financial support, to help rural communities address the problems they face. Rural LISC uses their Comprehensive Community Development Strategy to support its partners in expanding investment in housing and real estate, increasing family income and wealth, stimulating economic development, improving access to quality education, and growing healthy environments and lifestyles.
GFPB looks forward to working with Rural LISC and collaborating with the organizations in the network to bring to Pine Bluff best practices, expertise and financial support to continue the work of reimagining Pine Bluff. Rural LISC’s Comprehensive Community Development Strategy will help GFPB to better implement its plan’s recommendations for economic development, education, government and infrastructure, and quality of life.
Contact: Ryan Watley, CEO

Mark your calendars for three exciting events at UAM.

Tuesday February 5, 2019 Winthrop Rockefeller Distinguished Lectures Presents Liz Murray at 5:30 at the UAM Fine Arts Center.

Thursday February 14, 2019 Valentine’s Day Dinner at the UAM Trotter House at 5:30 or 7:30.

Presidents Day, Monday February 19, 2019 UAM Alumni and Friends Day at the Races at Oaklawn Jockey Club in Hot Springs. Doors open at 11:00 and post time is 1:00.

For more information and to rsvp for these events please see the fliers below.

*The public is encouraged to attend all events.

**Media may attend the Winthrop Rockefeller Lecture but will be allowed to record the lecture for B-roll footage purposes only.

***Free copies of “Homeless to Harvard” will be provide to all attendees at the lecture, courtesy of Mainline Health Systems.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Ross and Oelsen To Wed In April Ceremony

Mr. and Mrs. Bill Ross of Banks announce the engagement and forthcoming marriage of their daughter Elizabeth Ann Ross to Brian Keith Oelsen son of Bradley Oelsen of Missouri, Melissa and Jimmy Harper of Warren, and Donnie Watt of Crossett.  Elizabeth is the granddaughter of Paul Grice of Banks, the late Teresa Grice and the late Austin and Shirley Ross.  She is great granddaughter to Bill and Morris Jefferys of Banks and the late Roy and Martha Grice.  The groom is employed at Drew Foam in Monticello.  The couple will exchange vows on April 27th, 2019, at 5 in the evening at the home of the brides parents.  Invitations will be sent.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

U.S. Civil Rights Trail Marks One-Year Anniversary

Visitors can literally walk in the footsteps of civil rights history thanks to the U.S. Civil Rights Trail, which marks its one-year anniversary on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, January 21, 2019.

Central High School National Historic Site in Little Rock is one of the “Top Ten” sites on the trail, which links the country’s most important civil rights sites: more than 100 landmarks, including museums, churches, courthouses and memorials that were pivotal to the advancement of social equality during the volatile 1950s and 1960s.

Other Arkansas sites on the trail are:

Arkansas Civil Rights Heritage Trail
The trail marks sites in Little Rock that were significant to the Civil Rights Movement. It starts at the Old State House and will eventually end at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum.

Clinton Presidential Center
The Presidential Library of Bill Clinton resides within the William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park. The library chronicles Bill Clinton’s presidency and includes replicas of the Oval Office and Cabinet Room. On its grounds you can also find the Anne Frank Tree Exhibit that conveys the complex history of human rights in Arkansas.

Daisy Bates House
The home of Daisy Bates, who was president of the Arkansas chapter of the NAACP and liaison for the Little Rock Nine, was vandalized and bombed by those against integration. Her prominence as one of the few female civil rights leaders of the period was recognized by her selection as the only female to speak at the Lincoln Memorial at the March on Washington on August 28, 1963. The home is also a National Historic Landmark.

Little Rock Nine Memorial
A trip to the Arkansas State Capitol is not complete without a stop at the Little Rock Nine Memorial, a testament to the nine African-American students who desegregated Little Rock Central High School.

Mosaic Templars Cultural Center
The museum features exhibits on African-American entrepreneurs, innovators, fraternal organizations and racial integration. It also offers a variety of educational resources.

In addition to the Arkansas locations, the trail’s famous sites include the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., the Greensboro, N.C., Woolworth’s, where sit-ins began, the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn., and King’s birthplace in Atlanta, Ga.

The website profiles these landmarks and offers an interactive map, interviews with foot soldiers, past and present photographs and 360-degree video. Featured on the site is Little Rock resident Sybil Jordan Hampton, along with Katherine Sawyer of Topeka and Dorothy Lockett Holcomb of Farmville, who discuss their experiences during school integration after the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education court decision.

The 12 state tourism agencies known collectively as TravelSouth USA, including Arkansas Tourism, created the trail list.

The U.S. Civil Rights Trail has been featured in The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, The Wall Street Journal and The Telegraph in London.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Arkansas Archeological Society and UAM to Host Second Annual Cemetery Cleanup January 21, 2019

MONTICELLO, AR — The Tunican Chapter of the Arkansas Archeological Society and the University of Arkansas at Monticello are hosting our second annual cemetery cleanup on Monday, January 21 from 8 AM to noon. Participants will learn about cemetery maintenance and help clean up two cemeteries associated with Hollywood Plantation, or the Taylor House, near Winchester as a morning of service to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Jodi Barnes, an archeologist with the Arkansas Archeological Survey - UAM Research Station, will give an overview of the proper removal of invasive vegetation in cemeteries and provide a brief overview of the history and archeology of the Taylor House. Participants will help remove brush and clean up the Taylor family cemetery and the Valley Farm cemetery, the African American cemetery nearby.

Outdoor clothing and work gloves are recommended. The address is The Hollywood Plantation/Taylor House, 112 Plantation Ln, Tillar, AR  71670.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Morgan – Holt Wedding Plans Announced

Rosanne Gayle Morgan and Devin Alan Holt of Belton Missouri will be married June 22 in the Belton Christian Church. The reception will follow at Belton’s Memorial Station.
The bride is the daughter of Stephanie and Charlie Morgan. The groom is the son of Rebecca and Greg Hastie, all of Belton Missouri.
The maternal grandparents of the bride are Sue Woodard and the late Stephen Woodard. The paternal grandparents are the late “Wickie” and “Sonny” Morgan, all of Warren Arkansas.
The paternal grandparents of the groom are Bonnie and Fred Hastie. The maternal grandparent is Chris Venable, all of Belton Missouri.
The bride teaches in the Hickman Mills District and the groom is a technician at Discover Vision Center. The couple will reside in Belton Missouri.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Library to Host Family Craft Night

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Recently, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report  indicated that suicide among the nation’s working population (ages 16 to 64) has increased 34 percent from 2000 to 2016. The suicide rate rose from 12.9 per 100,000 people to 17.3. The workplace is an important part of suicide prevention efforts because it is where many adults spend a good portion of their week. In 2015, the nation’s highest suicide rate among males was found in those who worked in construction and extraction; arts, design, entertainment, sports and media; and installation, maintenance and repair. That same year, the nation’s highest suicide rate among females was found in those who worked in arts, design, entertainment, sports and media; protective service; and health care support. Suicide can be prevented. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Calls made in Arkansas will be answered by one of our full-time ADH Health Program Specialists who provide support, information, and links to local resources. Every struggle is different; the Lifeline can help people overcome crisis and find hope.

The Soup Kitchen Reaches Out to Those in Need

People in Warren have always been generous, especially around Christmas time.  Many organizations and individuals give money and items to help those who have needs.

One of the most generous is Fee Fee and the Soup Kitchen she oversees.  On December 15th she, along with numerous sponsors provided food, cloths, toys and many household items like paper towels, shampoo and numerous other things to several hundred people who visited the event.  It was held at the Warren Tomato Market and was open to the public.

Mrs. Fee Fee indicated the United Methodist Church was a key supporter of the event and many businesses and individuals made donations and gave money to buy the many items contributed to those in need.  First Baptist Church Pastor Russell Rhoden delivered a message during the activities.  This years event was the 25th anniversary of endeavor.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Ark Tank, A Startup Pitch Competition For Arkansas Tourism Announced

LITTLE ROCK (December 18, 2018) δΈ€ Arkansas Tourism, in partnership with Innovate Arkansas, is now accepting applications for Ark Tank, a startup pitch competition to be held on Tuesday, February 26, 2019, at the Hot Springs Convention Center in conjunction with the 2019 Arkansas Governor's Conference on Tourism. The pitch competition winner will walk away with a cash prize of $5,000, a guarantee for mentorship from professionals in the field related to the winning business idea, and ongoing advisement with Innovate Arkansas and the Arkansas Tourism research and development section. Applications are due by January 9, 2019.

Eat Less Sodium: Quick tips

Nine out of 10 Americans eat more sodium (salt) than they need. Eating too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure. High blood pressure can raise your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
The good news is that cutting down on sodium can help lower your blood pressure or keep it at a healthy level.