Headlines from the Press Argus-Courier from May through August 2017:


 It is announced building permits in Van Buren for April topped $3 million with the announcement of an ALDI grocery store and Mark Hurst Dental Clinic.

 Tate Elementary School celebrates the opening of its Project Learning Garden.

 Dr. Debbie Faubus-Kendrick, the director of the Crawford County Adult Education Center in Van Buren, is elected secretary for the Coalition on Adult Basic Education.

 Alma Primary School teacher Donella Smither is named a fellow at the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington.

 A $100,000 pledge from Citizens Bank & Trust Co. pushes the center for Art and Education over the $1 million mark in its fund-raising effort for an art education and gallery facility in downtown Van Buren.

 Van Buren’s mandatory residential solid waste collection fee is increased from $14.40 to $14.81.

 Jamie Hammond is selected by Mayor Bob Freeman as the new Van Buren police chief. Hammond replaces a retiring Kenneth Bell.

 Jo Ann Jordan of Alma Intermediate School is recognized as the Alma School District teacher of the year.

 Alma Area Chamber of Commerce director Bryan Huff announces plans for the growth of the chamber over the next five to 10 years.

 Dr. Debbie Faubus-Kendrick, the director of the Crawford County Adult Education Center in Van Buren, is selected as the 2017 recipient of the Iverson Riggs Memorial Citizen of the Year award.


 D&R Trolley Stop opens in downtown Van Buren at 710 Main St.

 State Rep. Charlotte Douglas announces she will not run for a fourth term in the Arkansas House of Representatives.

 William D. and Sharlene Gaither of Richardson, Texas, donate 11 acres of land for the Van Buren School District to build an elementary school on Northridge Road.

 Longtime fire service coordinator Les Jenkins is recognized at a retirement party after 25 years of service.

 State Rep. Charlene Fite announces she will seek re-election toa fourth term.

 United Way of Fort Smith area hosts the second annual Touch-A-Truck on the parking lot at Van Buren High School.

 Van Buren Chamber of Commerce 2017 Excellence in Business awards are given to Firefly Boutique and Gifts, Matt Bodson State Farm Insurance and Citizens Bank & Trust Co.

 Sherry Marshall of Uniontown is named Ms. Senior Arkansas at a pageant at the Alma Performing Arts Center.

 Van Buren High School Hall of Honors announces the selection of Delores “Dee” Cox, Mayor Bob Freeman and Dr. John Wikman as the 2017 inductees.

 Veteran Arkansas State Police trooper Robin Kuykendall is named the new school resource officer for Tate Elementary School.

 Van Buren Walmart store manager Jeff Mathis retired after 35 years of service.

 State Sen. Terry Rice and Reps. Bruce Coleman, Charlotte Douglas and Charlene Fite are honored by the Arkansas Municipal League.

 Freedom Park in downtown Van Buren is dedicated. The entertainment and recreational venue is located in the 800 block of Main Street and adjacent to the train depot.

 Alma is selected by the the University of Central Arkansas as the 2017 Community Development Kick Start community.


 Alma announces a map of Lake Alma hiking trail and flying disc golf course.

 Van Buren School District recognizes master board member Jamie Hammond, who retires after being named Van Buren’s new police chief.

 Van Buren Municipal Utilities announces it has diverted about 203 tons of recycable materials from the Fort Smith landfill with its recycling effort.

 Longtime friends Brush Brammer, Connor Cline and Jet Turner become Eagles Scouts.

 Three veterans Van Buren police officers are promoted — Brent Grill to captain, Larry Brown to lieutenant and Brad Wiley to sergeant.

 A newly constructed section of Arkansas 162 in Alma in dedicated.

 The staff of the Press Argus-Courier placed first in general excellence and received six first-place awards at the 2017 Arkansas Press Association’s Better Newspaper contest.

 Walt Coleman, a referee for the National Football League, is guest speaker at the annual Mayor’s Prayer Luncheon hosted by the Kiwanis Club of Van Buren.

 Ground is broken for the new Mountainburg Public Library at 223 U.S. 71.

 Shawn Jernigan is sworn in as a justice of the peace on the Crawford County Quorum Court.

 Alma City Council members override Mayor Keith Greene’s veto of two measures that placed parks department duties under the city planner and increased his salary.

 Mountainburg receives a $135,940 grant for a quarter-mile of sidewalks in downtown.

 Citizens Bank & Trust Co. opens a new branch in Cedarville, the seventh in Crawford County for Citizens.


 Dogs Days, an event to support Almost Home Shelter and Rescue, is held at the Alma Farmer’s Market.

 Tony Alan Ray, convicted of killing a Van Buren woman when he was a teenager, is resentenced to life in prison with the possible of parole in 30 years, for the 1997 murder of Lisa Blasingame.

 The Crawford County Circuit Clerk’s office moves from the courthouse to newly remodeled offices in the former county jail.

 Six Crawford County deputies are promoted. They were Lt. Carrie Dowdy,Sgt. Cynthia LaRue, Sgt. Angela Vaughn, Cpl. Allison Testment, Cpl. Michael Comstock and Cpl. Ron Patterson.

 Local churches host back-to-school events in Van Buren.

 Mountainburg School District breaks ground on a $2.5 million saferoom and physical education room.

 The annual Taste of Crawford County raises funds for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).

 Alma School Board approves a 2017-18 budget of $26,174,833.07.

 Van Buren School District hires Nabholz Construction as the management firm for the district’s new elementary school on Northridge Drive.

 A house at Ninth and Webster streets in Van Buren is demolished to make way for a food court in downtown.

 Thousands around the county had their eyes on the sky for the first solar eclipse in 38 years.

 Phase II of Stone Brook Park in Van Buren is awarded federal housing tax credit, paving the way for 24 units to the north of the 41 rental properties at 207 N. 38th St.

 Robert Jack Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1322 dedicates a new outdoor pavilion.

 The Kum and Go store in Van Buren is presented a $20,000 commission check for selling a $2 million winning PowerBall ticket.

 Members of the Van Buren City Council approves the purchase of three 2018 Chevrolet Tahoes for $93,786 for the police department.

 September, October, November and December headlines will be in the Jan. 3 edition of the Press Argus-Courier.