Thursday, January 26, 2012

COMMENTARY>>Black Knights, Team Little Rock, Community…

By Col. Mike Minihan
19th Airlift Wing commander

No words can capture the amount of gratitude and respect I have for You, your Families, and this Community. “Thank You!” falls embarrassingly short of what I and my family owe each of you.

It has been an honor to watch you in action. You make magic happen both at home and abroad.

You dominate our Nation’s enemies in combat. You train daily to a standard worthy of the title “C-130 Center of Excellence.” You execute a state mission to a level that leaves 49 other states extremely envious. And you provide meaningful support to our most important assets…Airmen and Families.

On April 25, 2011, I watched you fight for each other on “Miracle Monday.” I’ve seen some powerful things in my life…but never to the level of what I witnessed after the tornado struck.

You perform under pressure. Your combat, crisis, and inspection record proves it.

You define resiliency. You define community.

To truly understand the level of your sacrifice, you need to see your families cry in pain on the day you deploy. You need to see their strengths and struggles on day 30…day 60…day 90 and beyond. You need to see them…along with your parents, grandparents, and friends…bursting with pride and excitement in the waning minutes before you arrive back home.

Since August 2, 2010, I have dreaded the moment of my departure. That moment is now.

You will continue to support Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coastguardsmen in harms way with unrivaled combat airlift.

You will continue to set the standard for Total Force. You are a seamless team…Airmen, Guardsmen, Reservists, Civilians, Retirees, Community, Elected Officials, and Families…it takes everybody to execute our mission and live up to our sacred vow of taking care of each other.

My physical journey with you ends on Jan. 31…but my love, respect, and gratitude for you and your families will endure. You made me a better husband, father, Airman…citizen.

Ashley and I will forever treasure our time with you all.

TOP STORY >>AETC marks 70 years of training and education excellence

By Dianne Moffett
Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AFNS) – The demand for flying training caused by the United States’ entry into World War II after the attack on Pearl Harbor, resulted in the creation of the Air Corps Flying Training Command Jan. 23, 1942.

Today marks Air Education and Training Command’s 70th Anniversary. After several re-designations, the Air Corps Flying Training Command became Air Training Command and finally Air Education and Training Command, headquartered at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.

Despite changing production goals for trained personnel brought on by the events of WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the end of the Cold War, the Persian Gulf War and the terrorist strike on New York City and the Pentagon, AETC continues to meet the demands for trained and educated Airmen.

AETC recruits, assesses, commissions, educates, and trains Air Force enlisted and officer personnel. It provides basic military training, initial and advanced technical training, flying training, and professional military and degree-granting professional education.

The command also conducts joint, medical service, readiness and training to build partnerships with foreign air forces.

Training conducted at AETC bases provides the major Air Force commands and combatant commanders with skilled, expert Airmen who are able to perform at the highest level whether they are at home running nuclear enterprises or overseas fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Today, AETC consists of 12 bases and is hosted at four more. The command is home to more than 56,000 active-duty members, 16,000 civilians, and 4, 000 Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve personnel. Over 6,000 Airmen from AETC are also deployed around the world in today’s fight.

“Major transformations in training and education came to AETC after the Persian Gulf War and 1992 was designated the Year of Training,” said Ann Hussey, an Air Education and Training Command historian.

The initiative to create a single and consistent education and training structure for officer, enlisted and civilian personnel led to AETCs current designation.

“The year of training revamped the Air Force’s education and training requiring all enlisted personnel attend technical training,” Hussey said, “The goal was to make all Air Force members mission ready upon arrival at their first duty station.”

The Air Force merged Air University and ATC on July 1, 1993, re-designating the command to AETC. The command gained two numbered Air Forces, the Nineteenth to oversee flying training from Randolph Air Force Base, and the Second to manage basic and technical training from Keesler Air Force Base, Miss.

The command also converted its training centers to training wings and resumed responsibility for much of the aircrew training mission, freeing the operational commands to focus on warfighting.

Hussey said what is most significant at AETC today is its focus on modernization and enhancing the level of education for all Airmen.

“New advanced weapons systems, such as the C-130 J at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., the F-22 at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., the F-35 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and the CV-22 at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., requires highly skilled trainers, pilots and maintainers,” Hussey said.

“Simulator flying training integrates new technology while maintaining cost effectiveness and affordability.”

Currently, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. provides high-fidelity training in HC-130 flight simulation, which emulates aircraft handling, refueling, air drops, defensive tactics and emergency procedures for the entire crew.

“Air University offers both in-residence and distance learning opportunities. The Community College of the Air Force offers Airmen online courses that combine military and technical training with accredited courses to receive associate degrees,” she said.

“The first Ph.D. program offered by Air University is through the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.”

Throughout its history, AETC, known as the “First Command,” has been committed to creating innovative training and education programs built on the achievements and hard work of thousands of dedicated men and women.

AETCs foundation for success in the Air Force will continue to advance its programs “to develop America’s Airmen today... for tomorrow.”

Friday, January 20, 2012

TOP STORY >> Celebrating MLK day

By Staff Sgt. Jacob Barreiro
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Team Little Rock, along with members from the Calvary Baptist Church, the second and third grade classes of Arnold Drive Elementary School and other citizens from the local community we’re present Jan. 13, when the base celebrated the accomplishments and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a three-part event.

The event began at the base theater with songs sung by the Arnold Drive Elementary School students, followed by a speech on Dr. King by guest speaker Col. Todd Pavich, 314th Airlift Wing vice commander, then followed by a rendition of Dr. King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech by Calvary Baptist Church minister Cecil Gibson, then followed by the remembrance walk from the base theater to Hangar 1080, where the festivities we’re concluded over a luncheon.

“I want to thank everyone who came and made this event the success it is,” said Col. Thomas Crimmins, 19th Airlift Wing vice commander, to the crowd at Hangar 1080. “Martin Luther King accomplished a lot of things … he died when he was 39, and accomplished a lot more than many people who have lived twice as long. We lost a great leader too early … and hopefully after today we can better appreciate why we celebrate (Dr. King’s) birthday on Monday.”

While the event was about the legacy of a man who was assassinated at the age of 39, the event was celebratory rather than somber, as Pavich highlighted in his speech not only the accomplishments of King, but the underlying conditions of them, and why they we’re necessary.

“Dr. Martin Luther King was a great man,” Pavich said during his speech. “Cleary he’s done some fantastic things for our country and our nation.”

He would go on to say King was the right man, at the right place, at the right time, with the right preparation and goals to make a difference when numerous other people couldn’t.

“We the people … we need to be more like Dr. Martin Luther King every day, from this day on and into the future,” he said.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

TOP STORY >>Qualified to fly

By Staff Sgt. Jacob Barreiro
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

A lot of work goes into maintaining the largest fleet of C-130 airplanes in the world residing on base here. Countless hours and unmatched effort are put into making these airplanes mission capable and ready to fly, and, for the Airmen working at the 314th Maintenance Operation Group Quality Assurance unit, the details can be deviling.

The group QA team oversees and assures the maintenance compliance of 28 C-130H and J model airplanes. Each airplane has numerous pieces of equipment requiring thorough and detailed inspections; this requires routine maintenance inspections on top of additional check-ups required for repairs or replaced pieces of equipment. Yet, these inspections and checkups, while routine, are anything but perfunctory ... the team of inspectors understand the impact and consequences of missed details.

Tech Sgt. George Terrell, 314th MXG avionics quality insurance inspector, said the QA team inspects nothing less than all of the systems on these 28 airplanes.

“We check all the systems that let the pilot know what direction they’re going, how fast they’re going, if they’re going up or down, what altitude the aircraft is (flying) at,” said Terrell.

The job of inspecting aircraft requires diligence and thoroughness, said Terrell.

“Every maintenance action that’s performed on the aircraft has a governing directive of some sort,” said Terrell. “The majority of them are covered in technical orders, we use those along with maintenance group operating instructions, Little Rock operating instruction, Air Force Occupational Safety and Health standards, and that’s just to assess how well individuals (maintaining the aircraft) have complied with those publications.”

The publications governing the maintenance of the airplanes are based on the specific type of maintenance action being performed. Terrell said it is the QA team’s job to ensure these publications are being adhered to because he knows that if they aren’t, the consequences can be serious.

“The impact (of what we do) is significant,” said Terrell. “What we do is tied directly to the (Logistics Compliance Assessment Program) inspection, and basically the quality assurance is the maintenance component of the LCAP. Those guys come to measure compliance, and on a day to day basis that’s what we do too. If we do our job well, we should be able to give an indication of what we should get on an LCAP.”

Maintaining inspection-readiness and mission capability is a large part of the QA team’s function; however, an equally important aspect of what they do is ensuring safety standards are being met.

“Compliance with publications goes hand-in-hand with safety,” said Terrell. “We’ve got to keep people safe and alive on the flight lines, and when people deviate from the prescribed procedures, that’s when the potential for injury or mishaps is greatly increased.”

As much responsibility as his unit has for maintaining the safety of the airplanes on base, Terrell acknowledges that the maintenance isn’t a one man, or one unit, job.

“It’s takes a lot of coordination and looking into the details,” he said. “From the people doing the repairs to my unit inspecting them, there are a lot of details that go into maintaining these aircraft.”

Friday, January 13, 2012

COMMENTARY >> Ready, Fire…Aim?

By Lt. Col Mike Nelson
62nd Airlift Squadron commander

The military has a tendency to attract “Type A” personalities. We are bold, goal-oriented and determined to succeed no matter the obstacle. We like to believe we can shape most aspects of our life and the world around us – and in most cases we are correct. Type A personalities prove to be a valuable commodity in a profession where initiative and decisiveness are markers of excellence; the ability to operate autonomously in uncertain circumstances might well be the difference between life and death. While Type A personality traits generally promote military success, they also present challenges.

One downside to this gung-ho mentality is portrayed through our desire to control. We want everything to work perfectly. But let’s face it: things rarely do come off without a hitch. And when they don’t, we go into crisis action mode. Whether it’s an aircraft accident or the latest challenges at the mortuary in Dover, we pride ourselves on detecting a problem, identifying its root cause and resolving it quickly.
Most times, the root causes are obvious and we can get back on track almost immediately. Some problems, however, do not lend themselves to the “quick fix,” so getting us back on the right track may take time…and that will cause friction with our Type A impulse to resolve the issue without delay.
This leads me to a quote my father, a 26-year veteran of the United States Coast Guard, recites to this day: “All hands not doing so, do so immediately!” The sarcasm of the quote highlights the irrationality of acting quickly when the way ahead is not clear. To avoid falling prey to this mentality when an issue arises, first understand the situation then make a timely decision.

“Timely” does not mean “quick” or “immediate”; rather, it’s better defined as “appropriately-timed.” The difference is subtle, but important. Just as some decisions are best made with little delay, others require time to simmer and evolve. We should let each situation define our way ahead.

Appropriately-timed (and presumably correct) decisions promote confidence in the abilities of superiors, subordinates and peers; they also confirm our status as fervent and reputable stewards of our country’s trust.

So this holiday season, sit back and relax. Take a break – you deserve it! Make a promise to your family, your service and your country to work even harder for the betterment of all next year. But also make a promise to yourself to trust your instincts and your fellow Airmen. Understand that we cannot plan everything out – bad things will happen to good people, no matter how hard we try to prevent them. We can shape outcomes, but we can’t permit our Type A personalities to lead us astray. Let’s focus on making decisions in a timely manner: in the end, take the time to make the right decision the first time when the situation inevitably eludes your control.

TOP STORY >> Base loses three in round two of AF civilian restructuring

WASHINGTON (AFNS) – Team Little Rock is losing three more authorizations as part of the continuation of the Air Force’s fiscal 2012 Civilian Workforce Restructure. The base was originally hit with the loss of approximately 41 authorizations in November as part of the first round of the restructure.

The three cuts announced today are the base’s portion of the Air Force’s 4,500 additional positions eliminated as a continuation of its FY12 Civilian Workforce Restructure.

“We’ve worked incredibly hard to minimize the impact of the loss of these positions on our employees,” said Col. Thomas Crimmins, 19th Airlift Wing vice commander. “We understand the significance these three positions have on the affected individuals and their families. Our civilian personnel staff has worked tirelessly to help find on-base positions for those affected by this announcement.”

This reduction builds on the realignments announced in November, including the elimination of 9,000 positions and the addition of 5,900 positions against the Air Force’s top priorities. In addition, these reductions respond to the Secretary of Defense’s direction to target civilian funding at fiscal year 2010 levels.

“We value our talented and experienced workforce and are trying to do everything possible to manage these reductions with as little impact to our people as possible,” said Michael B. Donley, Secretary of the Air Force.

In an effort to encourage voluntary separations and retirements, the Air Force is currently offering its second round of voluntary separation incentive pay and voluntary early retirement authority programs. Civilian employees received VERA/VSIP eligibility surveys from their personnel managers earlier this month and the applications are due no later than Jan. 27. Approved applications will result in separations or retirements that take effect by April 30.

Air Force officials are still evaluating the need for a Reduction in Force.

“At this time, we are surveying the workforce for a second round of VERA/VSIP and are in the midst of management reassignments resulting from the first round of the restructure,” said Brig Gen Gina Grosso Director of Manpower, Organization, and Resources. “Once we exhaust all voluntary force management measures, a determination will be made whether or not a RIF is necessary. We hope to have more information in the spring.”

 This announcement marks the end of civilian reductions associated with the Air Force’s FY12 civilian workforce restructure.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

COMMENTARY>>American dreams: The legacy of MLK

By Staff Sgt. Jacob Barreiro
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Born into an inconspicuous family on Jan. 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Ga., few would have predicted that Martin Luther King Jr. would go on to become one of the most recognized icons in American history. Yet little of what King is remembered for was inconspicuous, from when he was a 13-year-old skeptic in Sunday school, to earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology at the age of 19, to his time as a minister in his 20’s delivering vociferous sermons, to his emergence as a key leader of the civil rights movement that swept across the country in the 50’s and 60’s, to him becoming the youngest Noble Peace Prize recipient in 1964, and up to his inglorious assassination on April 4, 1968, King lived an extroverted life.

Not to say that all of King’s actions we’re inconspicuous in a good way. He was the subject of wiretapping from the Federal Bureau of Investigation for alleged socialist activity, he has been accused of plagiarizing his doctoral thesis, and many other people and organizations, including close friend Ralph David Abernathy, have written about King’s life-long struggle with substance abuse and infidelity. Regardless, through all the allegations of moral turpitude or praise bestowed by admirers, what stands firm about King’s legacy is the affirmation of human and American values. Values like endurance, moral courage and a desire for equality and justice embodied his life-long work.

Read this excerpt from King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”, written to his fellow clergymen who criticized him for making “unwise and untimely” protests in Birmingham that lead to his arrest. The letter is one of the most widely read of King’s writings and possesses the same theme of the indominable human and American spirit present in other imperishable work’s like Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath or Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address:”

I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial “outside agitator” idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.

It was this desire to achieve equality and eliminate outsiders that drove King to defy his fellow clergy’s advice and continue to organize non-violent protests. In some places the protest we’re more effective than others, but through it all King became an icon of the civil rights movement and has taken a place as one of the most recognizable American names in history. His birthday isn’t just recognized as a federal holiday for nominal reasons, his accomplishments actually mean something.

In today’s America, particularly in the armed services it’s easy to take for granted that we’re a “melting pot”, and comprised of people with diverse ethnicities, races and cultures united in a common cause. However, we would do a disservice to our distinguished ancestors if we didn’t pay homage toward the Americans who had the moral courage, if not always moral perfection, and longsuffering fortitude, and who made living in a diverse country with ample opportunities for all people alike possible.

It was conspicuous behavior that made King so beloved by his supporters and so derided by his detractors. Yet it wasn’t his oratory skills or eloquent verbiage that made him a great American, it was the action of pursuing and achieving equality, in the face of adversity. Because of men like King we can live, and serve, in a diverse Air Force today, and be proud of it.

TOP STORY >>OPSEC, AF core values vital in social media

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. (AFNS) – While Airmen are encouraged to tell the Air Force story, they should be mindful to do so in ways that lend credit to themselves and the service, officials said.

With the emergence of social media, information sharing has changed in unprecedented ways. It continues to be dynamic and evolving.

Now a cultural norm around the globe, social media is part of the daily activities of Airmen and their families, who use social media sites to stay connected.

The Air Force has specific guidance related to social media. In particular, Airmen should remember to heed both operational security and Air Force core values as they exercise the privilege of accessing social media, officials said.

“A helpful reminder for Airmen is to use our core values as a filter before engaging in a public forum,” said Col. Steve Clutter, the Air Education and Training Command public affairs director. “Core values will guide them to be cautious before crossing the line between funny and distasteful, or sharing good information without creating an OPSEC violation. We must reinforce to our Airmen to use good judgment when using social media sites as there may be consequences with what is posted.”

Careless use of social media can jeopardize the mission. An OPSEC violation was detailed in an article written by Airman 1st Class Precious Yett, with the 502nd Air Base Wing OL-B Public Affairs at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas.

“I had a situation with a member who was deployed downrange in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom,” said Tech. Sgt. Darrell Williams, the 902nd Security Forces Squadron Military Working Dog section NCO in charge. “I logged onto Facebook one morning and noticed he had checked-in to his search pit on the base.

“He wasn’t thinking that by doing so, he’s broadcasting the grid coordinates to a strategic location on base via an unsecured medium,” Williams said. “Anyone with hostile intentions could have utilized those coordinates to not only locate an entry point into the installation but target those who work there. Additionally, the deployed member had posted what equipment was currently in use and identified these pieces of equipment by name.”

Williams said he immediately sent the Airman a Facebook message and reminded him of operational and communication security procedures. The post was deleted, but with the information already online, the damage could have already been done.

The Air Force pamphlet “Social Media and the Air Force,” produced by the Air Force Public Affairs Agency Emerging Technology Division, states, “Airmen should note that anytime they engage in social media, they are representing the Air Force and therefore should not do anything that will discredit themselves or the Air Force.”

It goes on to say, “Airmen must abide by certain restrictions to ensure good order and discipline. All Airmen are on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and all actions are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Even if Airmen state they are not representing the Air Force, other audiences may not interpret the information that way.

Officials advise Airmen to be careful of the details, text, photos and video posted to profiles on MySpace and Facebook and other social networks. Employers and adversaries can search these sites, and there are numerous examples of people losing a job due to their inappropriate photos or comments.

“Airmen, by the nature of the business, are always on the record and must always represent the core values, even on the Web: integrity first, service before self and excellence in all that is done,” the pamphlet stated.

(Courtesy of Air University Public Affairs.)

Friday, January 6, 2012

EVENTS >> 1-07-12


The Cabot Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominees for its 2011 Business of the Year award. The prize honors businesses that have contributed to the economy and development of the city. Nominees should demonstrate growth, successful performance, innovation, competitiveness and community involvement. The award will be presented at the chamber’s annual banquet.

Nominated businesses must be chamber members and have been in business at least two years. Applications are available at the chamber office, 110 S. First St. or by email to Call 501-843-2136 for details.

The Cabot Chamber of Commerce’s annual membership banquet will be held Friday, Jan. 20 at the Cabot Junior High North cafeteria. Craig O’Neill will speak. A reception will be held at 6:30 p.m., and dinner will be served at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person or $225 for tables of eight. To RSVP, call 501-843-2136 by Friday.

CJHN is located at 38 Spirit Drive.


The Nanjing Acrobatic Troupe will perform Friday, Jan. 20 at the Jacksonville Community Center in celebration of the Chinese New Year, Year of the Dragon. Tickets are $20.

The event will raise money for the Jacksonville Art Center to be located at 108 S. Oak St. The center will house classrooms, a museum and an exhibition hall in the historic Jacksonville Elementary School.

A silent auction and cake-decorating contest is slated for 5:30 to 7 p.m. with the Nanjing Acrobats and other performances from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Art by Jacksonville High School teacher Marvin Lindley and his students will also be on display, as well as a Kung Fu demonstration, music and dancing by various performers.

There is a $10 registration fee for the cake-decorating contest. First-place will receive $100 and a ribbon; second-place, $50 and a ribbon, and third-place, $25 and a ribbon. All cakes will be auctioned to the highest bidder.

The event is sponsored by the Arkansas Asian Association and Unique Furniture. 

The University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service in White County is seeking participants for its master gardener program to be held on five consecutive Wednesdays in February: Feb. 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29. The deadline to apply is Friday.

The program is open to anyone with a strong interest in gardening and a desire to educate others in recommended gardening practices. The course costs $50.

All sessions will be held in Searcy. Each day’s activities will begin at 8 a.m. and end about 4:30 p.m. Participants will receive 40 hours of instruction in basic horticulture.

To apply, contact the White County Extension Service at 411 N. Spruce St. in Searcy, call 501-268-5394 or e-mail Sherri Sanders at


The Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual banquet and silent auction Thursday, Jan. 26. Rep. Tim Griffin (R-Ark.) will speak. Tickets are $50 for members and $55 for nonmembers. Tables of eight are $400. Reservations must be made by Jan. 19.


Sylvan Hills High School will hold a scheduling night on Tuesday for the next school year.

Parents of students interested in attending the high school, including current 8th-graders, are invited. Eighth-graders and their parents should arrive at 6 p.m. All other students and their parents should arrive at 6:30 p.m.

Counselors and teachers will be on hand to provide information about classes. Information will also be provided on Smart Core, the Arkansas Academic Scholarship and advanced-placement classes.


The Cabot Community Coalition will meet at The Diner at noon Thursday. The organization is a group of agencies and individuals providing charity services to those in need in the Cabot area, as well as individuals looking for places to volunteer.

Donnie Copeland of Arkansas METRO will speak.

The restaurant is at 3286 S. 2nd St. in Cabot. For more information, call 501-529-0604.


The Lonoke County Fair and Livestock Association will hold its annual membership meeting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the conference room of the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Office, 2001 Hwy. 70. The meeting is open to all county residents. For more information, call Leigh Ann Pool at 501-605-0519.


Jacksonville AARP will begin its next drivers’-safety course at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25. The cost is $12 for members and $14 for nonmembers. The class is held at St. Jude Catholic Church, 2403 MacArthur Drive. Call 501-982-4891 to register.

OBITUARIES >> 1-07-12


Roxanne Self Proffer, 49, of Jacksonville, born Sept. 8, 1962, in Mt. View, Calif., to Elbert and Virginia Self, passed away Jan. 4.

She had been employed as a legal assistant for several law firms. She worked for Hosto and Buchan Law Firm for eight years, Monnat and Spurrier in Wichita, Kan., for four months and recently started with Gill, Elrod, Ragon, Owen and Sherman.

Her parents preceded her in death.

Roxanne is survived by her husband, Kirk Proffer; mother-in-law, Marilyn Proffer; brothers-in-law, Bob Proffer and his wife Sharon, and David Proffer, and sister-in-law, Susan and her husband Danny Hill. She is also survived by four brothers, Gary Self, Steve Self and his wife Phyllis, Ron Self and Mike Self; several nieces and nephews, and her two beloved dogs, Emmie and Ronnie.

Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7 at Arkansas Funeral Care in Jacksonville.

A private funeral service will be at 4 p.m. Monday, Jan. 9 at Arkansas Funeral Care.

Arrangements are by Arkan-sas Funeral Care in Jacksonville.


Edward Eugene Grimes, 91, of Cabot passed away Jan. 4.

He was born Feb. 24, 1920, in Guion to the late Alfonso Grimes and Dora Keener Grimes.

He was a veteran of the Marine Corps, serving during World War II. He was also a retired salesman for Mont-gomery Ward.

He is survived by his wife, Louise Light Grimes, of the home; children, Joni Watson and her husband Brad of Scottsdale, Ariz., Scott Grimes and his wife Patricia of Denville, N.J., Kenneth Grimes of Washington; two stepsons, Robert M. Eddy of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Roger Light of Cabot; two sisters, Irene Morgan of Jacksonville and Dottie McCrady of North Little Rock, and four grandchildren, Miles Watson, Jeff Grimes, Kelly and Lydia Grimes.

A graveside service will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 7 at Chapel Hill Memorial Park in Jacksonville.

Flowers may be sent to the funeral home, or memorials may be made to the John L. McClellan Memorial Veterans Hospital, 4300 W. 7th St., Little Rock, Ark. 72205.

Arrangements are by Moore’s Jacksonville Funeral Home.


Dorothy Louise Ingle, 67, died Jan. 3.

She is survived by a son, Adam Ingle, of Carlisle; siblings, Mary Lee Bowlan, Elizabeth Hansel, Frances England, Clarence Underwood and Lewis Underwood; the father of her children, Troy Ingle; two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

She is preceded in death by a sister, Audrey Skinner, and brothers, Gene and Kenneth Underwood.

The funeral will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7 at First Baptist Church in Carlisle.

Arrangements are by Boyd Funeral Home in Lonoke.


Robert Jerry “Bob” Brackin, 81, of Beebe was born Jan. 7, 1930, at Poplar Bluff, Mo., to Robert and Mattie Jones Brackin, and he died Jan. 4.

One of 16 children, Bob was a veteran of the Korean War, earning the United Nations Medal, Korean Ribbon, Japanese Occupation, Good Conduct and China Service awards.

He was an accomplished steel guitar player and was a strong Christian who loved the Lord Jesus.

Bob is survived by his wife of 59 years, Melba Petrie Brackin; four children, June Brackin of Beebe, Cassie Turner and her husband Doug of Lewisville, Tracy Ragen and her husband Gary of Beebe and Scott Brackin and his wife Christie of Arcadia, Okla., six grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, four sisters and six brothers.

He was preceded in death by his parents, four sisters and one brother.

The family will receive friends from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Westbrook Funeral Home in Beebe.

The funeral will be at 2 p.m. Monday, Jan. 9 at Westbrook Funeral Home, with burial in Weir Cemetery.


Eurlene Brown, 85, of Beebe, more recently of Searcy, left this earth to be embraced by her Lord and Savior on Jan. 5.

Mrs. Brown was born in Des Arc to Aldron B. and China Nicholson on July 11, 1926. She was a graduate of Des Arc High School.

She married James C. Brown on Dec. 28, 1944, and moved to New Orleans. While in New Orleans, Eurlene was an active member of Mid City Baptist Church, the Sweet Adelines, and was a local organizer for the Billy Graham Crusade when it was in the area. One of the proudest moments in her life was meeting and having lunch with Dr. Graham in person. She always said that her unwavering faith in Christ sustained her through many tragedies and illnesses.

Mrs. Brown was preceded in death by her husband of 28 years, James C. Brown; two sons, James Alan Brown and Ellard Aldron Brown; her parents, A.B. and China Nicholson, and two brothers, Leon and Lenville Nicholson.

She is survived by a son, Dr. Mark Brown of Searcy and his wife Danielle; two granddaughters, Alexandra Nicole Brown and Lauren Elizabeth Brown, both of Searcy, whom she adored more than anything in the world; a sister, Bobbie Jean Green of Des Arc, as well as multiple nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.

The family will receive friends from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Westbrook Funeral Home in Beebe. The funeral will be at 2 p.m. Monday, Jan. 9 at First Baptist Church, with Bro. Bob Hall officiating. Burial will be in Beebe Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 67, Beebe, Ark., 72012.

Heles Stoneking, 75, of Jacksonville, born June 3, 1936, in Vilonia, passed away Dec. 30.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Clyde Stoneking; a son, Charles Schmit, and a sister, Alice Johnson.

Heles is survived by two sons, Jackie Larell McCoy Jr. and Orville Lee McCoy; one brother, David McDaniel; three grandchildren; one niece, and one nephew.

Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Jan. 10 at Arkansas Funeral Care in Jacksonville. The funeral will follow at 1 p.m. at the Arkansas State Veterans’ Cemetery in Sherwood.

Arrangements are by Arkansas Funeral Care.


A funeral for John M. Marvin of Hazen, formerly of Little Rock, was held Jan. 6. Rev. James Walter officiated the service.

Burial was in Pinecrest Cemetery in Alexander.

He is survived by his mother Evelyn D. Marvin; his brother, James Marvin and his wife Florence of Little Rock; an uncle, James L. Marvin of Littleton, Colo., and his pets.

Arrangements were by Weems Family Funeral Services in Carlisle.


Ronald Lee Martin Sr., 76, of Little Rock died Jan. 4 at the VA Hospital in Little Rock.

No funeral will be held.

Arrangements are by Weems Family Funeral Services of Carlise.

EDITORIAL >>Tamales for a new year

Like most American adults, my New Year’s resolution will be to eat lighter and move more. But as I have for years, I don’t make that resolution for about two weeks, which is about how long the New Year’s tamales last.

Josh, my youngest son, gave me a galvanized tamale pot for Christmas about 10 years ago. Inside was a sack of masa, a package of corn shucks and a bag of large, dried peppers. Apparently, he wanted tamales and I was the one who would make them for him whether I had any idea how to do it or not.

Lucky for me, the recipe was on the sack of masa. So on New Year’s Day, I made tamales for the first time. I’d always heard they were time consuming and a lot of work. But as it turned out, they were only multi-stepped.

Boil the meat until it’s falling off the bone; mix the masa with lard, baking powder and salt and meat broth according to the recipe on the bag; take the seeds out of the peppers; fry them in hot oil and blend them with meat broth into a sauce; shred the meat; mix with the pepper; spread the masa dough on corn shucks that have been soaked to make them pliable; put dollops of meat on top of the dough; roll them up; place the tamales in the pot and steam them for about two hours until the dough is set.

Josh helped me the first few years. My kitchen was small and there was barely room for the two of us. But I looked forward to the time with him.

After a couple of years, we added other dishes – salsa, guacamole, rice, refried beans, white cheese dip with chips, enchiladas… Our menu can’t compete with the local Mexican restaurant, but it’s pretty adventurous for a family of Delta transplants who are much more accustomed to the traditional New Year’s fare of black-eyed peas and hog jowl.

In 2010, we made tamales in the new kitchen that is three times larger than the original because we knocked out walls and took in two more rooms. And for the first time, there was room for everyone to help make the tamales.

My niece Jenny Holmes and her husband, Jeremy, helped roll, while Josh and my oldest son Jim alternated between rolling and trying to perfect dipping sauces made from the leftover peppers. My son Jason breezed in and out, helping a little, making suggestions and, as always, looking good. Those who love him say Jason’s motto is, “It’s not how good you do it, but how good you look doing it.”

They talked about their jobs, movies I had never heard of and childhood adventures that I had been blessedly unaware of until then.

When we were done, we had filled the galvanized pot and the new larger aluminum pot that was a gift from my husband.

We had tamales to eat, give away and freeze. And they were good. But it should be obvious if you’ve stayed with me this long; it’s really not the tamales I like as much as making them with the 30-year-old-plus adults that I still call the kids.

New Year’s Day 2011 was a little different. My mother-in-law died on Christmas Day and was buried on New Year’s Eve. But tradition is called tradition because you keep it up. So on New Year’s Day, we rolled tamales with the help of relatives from Pennsylvania, down for the funeral.

For us, 2010 was a hard year from beginning to end. There was a cancer scare with my husband, the death of my daughter-in-law’s dad from cancer and Rosemary McCoy, my favorite sister-in-law, had surgery for a brain tumor on her 58th birthday just days before Christmas.

The Pennsylvania relatives seemed to really enjoy helping out with the tamales but for most of us, there was a sense of carrying on because it needed to be done.

In our family, 2011 rivaled 2010 in difficulty. My mother and Rosemary’s dad died, and our oldest children divorced.

But on New Year’s Day, Rosemary was standing at my kitchen island wearing a hat to keep her regrown hair out of the masa. And my son’s half-Mexican girlfriend, who speaks little Spanish and cooks no Mexican, was trying to make tamales for the first time.

As usual, many hands produced tamales of varying sizes while Josh chopped meat, chicken and shrimp for tacos. Jim worked on fajitas and Jason looked good while making his fruit salsa.

It felt right. It looks like 2012 might be the good year we all hope it will be. —Joan McCoy

TOP STORY >>Middle school welcomes Crawford

Leader staff writer

First District Rep. Rick Crawford (R-Ark.) toured Cabot Middle School North on Wednesday with state Sen. Eddie Joe Williams (R-Cabot).

They discussed plans to hold roundtable discussions with school districts on ways to help struggling schools in the congressional district.

Crawford said there is dissatisfaction with the No Child Left Behind Act, which is having an opposite effect of what it was supposed to do. Later this year legislators will be voting on re-authorization of the education bill.

The proposed meetings with school district administrators will be held at six to eight locations, including one in Cabot. Crawford said the discussions will allow for sharing ideas, voluntarily paring up schools that are achieving with struggling schools.

Last year Cabot Middle School North was re-designated as a Diamond School to Watch, a 19-state program developed by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform.

As part of the Diamond School distinction, CMSN administrators were invited to Washington, visit Congress and tour the Capitol. While there, they invited Crawford to visit Cabot Middle School North.

The middle school was also honored last year with the Shannon Wright Award for the “Outstanding Middle Level Program in Arkansas.”

The award is presented to one middle school in the state each year during the Arkansas Association of Middle Level Educators Conference.

“The school is beautiful and state-of-the-art. What sticks in my mind the most is the enthusiasm of the students,” Crawford said.

The congressman said he noticed most of the children raised their hands when the teachers asked them questions.

Crawford said the classroom environments were soothing, not over-stimulating and did not let students’ attention wander.

CMSN Principal Tanya Spil-lane remarked that Crawford’s visit was very nice. She said the congressman appeared relaxed and comfortable while visiting the classrooms and meeting the students.

Spillane said Crawford displayed his human side when he played Nintendo Wii Tennis with the youngsters.

She said she was impressed on how Crawford listened to the students, making them view him as more approachable.

“I’m impressed with his concern with AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) status for our building. He seemed aware of the challenges we’re facing with the No Child Left Behind requirements,” Spillane said.

Superintendent Tony Thur-man said, “Congressman Craw-ford understands that there are concerns with the current accountability system and how schools are being labeled as “needing improvement” based on unreasonable criteria.

“Congressman Crawford has always been willing to listen when I've contacted him about concerns about education policy at the federal level and how it is impacting our local schools.

“We are appreciative that he took time from his busy schedule to visit with teachers and administrators and his willingness to consider options that we believe still provide the necessary accountability for every school in our state and nation,” Thurman said.

“I’m excited about the plan for roundtable discussions. It is a great honor for our building and the district,” Spillane added.

“Of all the schools in his district, (the congressman) chose us. It is an honor,” Assistant Principal Adam Koehler said.

TOP STORY >>Air base gets set for a new commander

Col. Brian (Smokey) Robinson will soon assume command of the 19th Airlift Wing from Col. Mike Minihan at Little Rock Air Force Base.

Robinson is executive officer to Gen. Raymond Johns Jr., commander of Air Mobility Command at Scott AFB, Ill.

Minihan, who has been commander here since August 2010, will assume command of the 89th Airlift Wing at Joint Base Andrews, Md., whose responsibilities include Air Force One and other planes assigned to top officials.

Minihan’s new assignment will include worldwide special airlift missions, logistics and communications support for the president, vice president, cabinet members, combat commanders and other senior military and elected leaders.

Robinson was previously assigned to the Pentagon and was vice commander at the 437th Airlift Wing at Charleston, S.C.

He graduated from Philadelphia University in 1987 with a bachelor’s of science degree in computer science and received his commission from Air Force Officer Training School in December 1987 at Lackland AFB, Texas.

His career as a pilot began in 1989 after earning his Air Force pilot wings at Vance AFB, Okla., followed by a position as a T-38B instructor pilot.

At LRAFB, Minihan leads the world’s largest fleet of C-130 aircraft and is responsible for providing worldwide deployable C-130 aircraft, aircrews, support personnel and equipment for Air Mobility Command and Air Expeditionary Force missions.

He ensures support for combat, contingency and humanitarian requirements with 12,000 personnel and families at LRAFB.

Minihan entered the Air Force in June 1989 after receiving his commission through the ROTC program at Auburn University. He completed undergraduate pilot training in 1991 and served as an aircraft commander, instructor pilot and evaluator pilot in the C-130 Hercules.

Minihan commanded an airlift squadron and four deployed expeditionary airlift squadrons. Most recently, Minihan served as vice commander, 60th Air Mobility Wing, Travis AFB, Calif.
Minihan is a command pilot with more than 3,200 flying hours in the C-130 and KC-10.

TOP STORY >>LRAFB backs up traffic

Leader staff writer

It wasn’t the billboard moratorium that took up most of the Jacksonville City Council’s time Thursday night. It was all the complaints the council and city received Wednesday morning when the air base initiated a new security-check system and had traffic blocked, stopped and parked from the front gate, down Vandenberg Boulevard, up the frontage road, back up Toneyville Road and Hwy. 67/167 almost to Cabot.

Delays for the same reason at the back gate had Hwy. 107 blocked north and south for most of the morning.

“I live just a mile from work,” lamented Alderman Aaron Robinson, “and it took me an hour to get to work that morning.”

Mayor Gary Fletcher said the first complaint call came from his brother, who was stuck in the middle, and the mayor was inundated with calls once he got to the office.

He said the city’s director of administration, Jim Durham, took pictures of the stack up. “I wish we had a helicopter available to get a good aerial view of the backup,” the mayor said.

He plans to use the pictures and list of complaints when he meets with the Highway Department soon in his efforts to get an interchange at the nearby Coffelt Crossing.

“Even if we had just the exits and entrance ramps a lot of people would have been able to get on Hwy. 67/167 and bypass the base delays,” the mayor said.

Robinson asked for more communication and coordination and asked why more police weren’t out there. He was told they were there, but the traffic backed up so quickly and so densely that there wasn’t much they could do.

Col. Mike Minihan, 19th Airlift Wing commander, apologized to the mayor for the problems and modified the implementation of the system. The colonel also put a letter on the air base’s Facebook page.

“On Wednesday,” the colonel wrote, “we implemented a mandatory new security measure for entry onto the base. Despite our best efforts to make this as painless as possible, enormous delays occurred…please accept my apologies.”

He went on to write, “Please know my team has the best interests of the base and the community in mind. The last thing we want to do is cause delays. My priorities are to ensure the mission and security of the base, ensure the safety of those traveling onto and around the base, be a good neighbor to our community and expedite travel onto the base without compromising security.”

The mayor said he had a telephone conference call Friday afternoon with Police Chief Gary Sipes and base officials. “I believe all the kinks have been worked out, and there might be some minor delays and backups, but the worst is over,” Fletcher said.

Minihan, the mayor said, will be writing a letter for the mayor to take to the Highway Department explaining the backup issues and pushing for the Coffelt Crossing or other help.



The Jacksonville Youth Baseball Association will meet at 6 p.m. every Wednesday at the Jacksonville Middle School football field house. The purpose of the meetings is to elect committee members and officers, and begin making plans for the upcoming season, including issues such as registration and the league draft. The meetings are open to the public.

Anyone interested in coaching or otherwise being involved in the youth baseball league should be present.

SPORTS>>Jackrabbits overcome mistakes, stay perfect

Leader sports editor

The Jackrabbits had a 7-0 lead seemingly before you could blink, and it was pretty even from that point Tuesday at Lonoke High School. Lonoke went on to beat the Stuttgart Ricebirds 46-39 in a 4A-2 conference matchup.

“We did what we talked about and that was holding home court for conference,” Lonoke coach Dean Campbell said. “I thought we left some things out there, but we’re growing and getting some experience and we got a win.”

Lonoke’s Tarrale Watson hit a pull up jumper, Reid McKenzie got a shot from the post and Darrius McCall nailed a three pointer, giving the Jackrabbits a 7-0 lead, and forcing Stuttgart to call timeout with 6:32 left in the first quarter.

After the timeout, the game became a series of turnovers by both teams. Lonoke scored just two points over the next five minutes, while the Ricebirds didn’t get on the scoreboard at all until the 1:50 mark. Jordan Daniels’ bucket made it 9-2, but Lonoke scored the last four points of the frame to give the Jackrabbits a 13-2 lead heading into the second quarter.

The Ricebirds made a run midway through the period to pull within 20-15, and had three possessions at that score.

While Lonoke’s offense was struggling mightily with turnovers, the defense was playing hard and well enough to keep the Ricebirds at bay.

“I don’t know if it’s anything we stopped doing,” Campbell said. “I think they did a good job of changing the tempo and changing the pressure. It’s a credit to them because they were down 13-2 and had to do something, and they did.”

Stuttgart got to within 22-18 with 40 seconds left in the second quarter and had an opportunity to get even closer with two free throws. But Daniels missed both and Jackrabbit sophomore Blake Mack went the other way for a layup to set the score for halftime at 24-18.

Lonoke committed 17 turnovers in the first half, including 10 in the second quarter.

“The last few games we’re just getting sped up,” Lonoke coach Dean Campbell said. “We’re still trying to get comfortable with a new point guard and it’s definitely a work in progress. But we’re 3-0 right now and the more we play the more comfortable we’re going to get with what we’re trying to do.”

Lonoke made a small run to start the second half to get the lead back into double digits, but Stuttgart again made a run at the end. Daniels hit a three pointer with 50 seconds left in the third to make it 35-30, and that’s where it stood to start the fourth.

Neither team scored for a couple of minutes in the final frame, but senior guard Keli Bryant came off the bench to make one of the biggest plays of the game.

McKenzie missed the front end of a one-and-one, but Bryant battled and came up with the offensive rebound under the basket. In no-man’s land for a small guard, Bryant dribbled baseline out of the lane, turned and found Watson breaking to the basket for a bucket and a foul. Watson made the free-throw to make it 38-30.

About a minute later, Bryant was fouled attempting a three pointer and made two of three from the line to give Lonoke at 10-point lead that all but sealed the game.

“There wasn’t much there that’s going to jump off the stat sheet at you, but those were huge plays that (Bryant) made,” Campbell said. “Those are the things we talk about, just do the things you can when you get the opportunity. He really gave us a lift in the fourth quarter.”

McKenzie led the Jackrabbits with 13 points, and had a double double by adding 10 rebounds.

“Reid, I think, had his best game so far,” Campbell said. “I think we got away from going to him in the fourth quarter and we’ll have to work on that.”

Lonoke’s overall record improved to 10-4 while Stuttgart dropped to 2-9 overall and 0-5 in league play. The Jackrabbits played at home against Cave City on Friday and will host Marianna on Tuesday.

SPORTS>>Bears trudge by Monticello

Leader sportswriter

There were dunks-a-plenty, but the 46 total combined turnovers and 21 trips to the free-throw line drug out an ugly 53-40 victory for Sylvan Hills over Monticello at the Sylvan Hills High School gymnasium on Thursday.

The Bears (9-3, 2-0) got an early boost from senior guard Archie Goodwin to help build a 9-2 lead, and withstood a Billies comeback to start the second period to pick back up on 5A-Southeast Conference play with another win after a layoff of nearly three weeks.

“Defensively, I thought we did a nice job,” Sylvan Hills coach Kevin Davis said. “I thought they were a unit defensively. I was a little concerned about the turnovers; we talked about it at half. We played a lot of guys, and sometimes when you play that many, finding chemistry can be a little difficult. I thought we found each other a little during that third quarter.”

The third quarter was by far the cleanest for the Bears, as Goodwin put his elite skills on display with seven of his game-high 26 points in the first 3:26 of the period before playing sporadically for the remainder of the game. Goodwin also pulled down five rebounds in his limited time on the court to lead the Bears along with Larry Ziegler and post player Devin Pearson, who also had five boards each.

“This is a kid that averages seven rebounds a game,” Davis said of Goodwin. “You’ve got Devin and David and Larry working in there, but if you can get a guard to come in there and get you those 7-10 boards, that’s nice.”

The Bears used nine players in the first half and 10 in the second half, and many of the personnel swaps led to turnovers initially. Sylvan Hills went most of the third quarter with just two turnovers before wholesale lineup changes eventually led to nine giveaways before the end of the game. It was their first game back from the Christmas break, but Davis was unwilling to use that as an excuse.

“Yeah, you could say it’s pretty typical, but I didn’t want it to be typical for my team,” Davis said. “I thought we would come out and play a little more solid than that. Turnovers – we’ve had a terrible problem all year, and that concerned me that we were just, I don’t think we were careless, we were just hurrying a little bit.

“It is typical, but I didn’t expect us to be that way tonight.”

Goodwin handled most of the point-guard duties while on the floor as well as leading the scoring, while Dion Patton took charge on defense. Patton had the green light to shoot from the perimeter, but finished with one point from a second-quarter free throw while making no shooting attempts in the second half.

“He’s been shooting the ball so well,” Davis said. “I moved him into the 2-slot with Archie at the 1 – kind of a floating system. But I’ve been riding Dion saying, ‘Man, you need to carry me a little bit, because you’re shooting the ball so well from the perimeter.’ You have to really be proud of what he has accomplished from a new position.”

Goodwin started the game with a dunk and drove the paint for a lay-in moments later to give the Bears and early 4-0 lead with 6:20 remaining in the opening quarter. He also ended the quarter big time with a steal and another dunk to give Sylvan Hills an 11-4 lead, with Goodwin responsible for nine of those points.

Pearson added nine points for the Bears while Jacob Gates had six and Ziegler finished with five. For Monticello (8-4, 0-1), junior guard Tony Butler led with 21 points, eight rebounds and three steals.

SPORTS>>Red Devils roughed up by Warriors

Leader sportswriter

The Jacksonville Red Devils went into Thursday night’s game against the two-time defending state champion Little Rock Hall Warriors knowing they had to be the aggressor.

Unfortunately for the Red Devils, the Warriors were the more aggressive team from the start, and despite a late Jacksonville run in the third quarter, Hall managed to get the 65-52 win at Little Rock to win the 7A/6A East conference opener.

The Warriors’ basketball program has been beyond stellar over the past four years, winning three of the last four state championships in its class. The year they didn’t win state, they finished as the state’s runner-up in 2009, losing that championship game to Jacksonville.

Hall won the 6A state title the next year, and even though the Warriors moved up a class in 2011 and finished third in conference behind 6A Parkview and Jacksonville, they finished the season by winning the 7A state title.

Regardless of the Warriors’ elite reputation, Jacksonville coach Victor Joyner believes his team is on the same level and should’ve and could’ve played a lot better.

“They just came out and seemed to be more battle tested than we were,” Joyner said about the Warriors. “We didn’t come off of our screens tight. They pushed us away from screens. They were more aggressive than us early. It was obvious because of the point output.”

The Warriors out-rebounded the Red Devils 21-11 and had 12 steals to Jacksonville’s five. Hall was the dominant team early, scoring the first four points of the game with wide-open dunks that were the result of Jacksonville turnovers.

Hall was suddenly up 10-2 early in the first quarter, but Jacksonville regrouped and started to play defense. The Warriors only other point in the quarter came from the free-throw line, but the Red Devils could only manage four more points in the quarter, and Hall led 11-6 at the end of the first.

Hall dominated the second quarter, out-scoring Jacksonville 26-13 to take a 37-19 lead at the half.

“They were just more aggressive. We played timid, at least it looked like that to me,” Joyner said. “I wouldn’t say we were shell shocked, I just believe they were way more aggressive than our kids were.

“Even when we would drive to the bucket with open shots, they would come up and block it, because we weren’t attacking the bucket with any ferocity. We just weren’t aggressive.”

Jacksonville played with more aggression in the third quarter, and went on a 15-6 run to begin the quarter, cutting the Warriors’ to lead to single digits with 2:48 left in the third.

Hall out-scored Jacksonville 6-5 in the final minutes of the quarter to lead 49-39 going into the fourth. In the final quarter, Hall out-scored Jacksonville 16-13 to set the final margin.

Joyner was very disappointed with the team’s effort.

“Since I’ve been at Jacksonville, I’ve never had a team come out and be that passive, ever,” Joyner said. “Hall was just more physical and aggressive than our kids. That’s just the bottom line.”

Hall finished the night leading every statistical category, including free throw percentage. Hall shot 76 percent from the line as opposed to Jacksonville’s 61 percent. Both teams had more than 20 free throw attempts.

Jacksonville junior point guard Justin McCleary led the Red Devils with a game-high 17 points. 13 of those points came in the second half. Senior post player Tirrell Brown finished with 11 points and three blocks.

Senior guard Quan Jones and junior post player Bobby Portis led the Warriors with 15 points.

Jacksonville (10-3, 0-1) will try and earn its first conference win Tuesday, when the Red Devils face another aggressive and physical opponent in Little Rock Parkview.

SPORTS>>Pressure lifts Cabot to win

Leader sportswriter

Pressure and patience were the key ingredients in Cabot’s 52-32 victory over Greene County Tech at Panther Arena on Tuesday.

The Panthers (9-0) finished their non conference schedule with a perfect record and made a statement to 7A-Central competitors with a stout defensive performance that kept the visiting Golden Eagles on the run to try and avoid the pressure. Offensively, Cabot worked the ball thoroughly and waited for the perfect shot, resulting in good scoring nights for several Panther players, including senior guard Sam Howe, who had game-leading 13 points.

“I thought in the second half, we played much better,” Panthers coach Jerry Bridges said. “That’s why we put this game here with our break like it was to try and get this one before we start off for real Friday. To be 9-0, I don’t know who we’ve played, but they work hard for us every day.”

Tech kept things close in the first half with a series of well-timed three-point baskets, but when the outside dried up for the Eagles in the second half, the hard-nosed play of scrappy senior guard Andrew Ferguson was all they seemed to have left for Cabot. Ferguson led the Eagles with 12 points.

Cabot held the ball nearly two minutes on some possessions in the second half, which opened up lanes inside for dumps into the post. Sophomore Josiah Wymer was the biggest beneficiary for the Panthers, scoring eight of his 10 points in the second half.

“One thing we do well is executing our high-low,” Bridges said. “First half, I thought we did a poor job of hitting our big men on the block. They were open, and we weren’t getting it to them. I looked up there in the second half. We were up 20, and I didn’t know where it came from.”

Arthur West added 10 points for Cabot, though two of those points were disputed most of the first half. West stole the ball from Tony Valdez in the closing seconds of the first quarter and made his way to the basket for a lay-in at the buzzer. One official called for the basket and a foul while another referee waved off the shot.

That was the start of a five-minute debate at the scorers table, which resulted in the basket not being counted to leave the score at 6-4. The basket was eventually counted, however, as the halftime margin of 17-14 mysteriously went to 19-14 just before the start of the third quarter.

Wymer’s only first-half points came with 2:04 remaining until the break with an assist from West to give the Panthers a 15-9 lead. He scored again inside at the 2:39 mark of the third quarter to make it 32-20 in favor of Cabot. He then scored on a put back following a missed free throw by Clayton Vaught for a 35-21 Cabot lead.

“We keep telling him, ‘Josiah, if you catch the ball down on the block, make them stop you,’” Bridges said. “As big as he is, when he gets that momentum going one direction, you can’t stop the kid, but man, he’s a good lift for us. We feel like we’ve got 10 guys that we can play.”

Ferguson never quit battling for Tech, though sometimes it appeared as if he was in the fight alone.

He converted a basket and free throw with 4:24 left to play in the first half to cut Cabot’s lead to 28-20, only to watch as the Panthers picked up a turnover and scored on a lay up by Howe to begin a 7-1 run that put Cabot at a comfortable 35-23 margin heading into the final period.

Junior guard Kyle Thielemier showed little signs of rust in his first game back from injury as he added eight points for the Panthers.

“I don’t know; we didn’t expect this – they work hard,” Bridges said of his team’s early success. “There’s a lot of basketball left, but I never thought we would be 9-0 now. They’re very unselfish. I think we’ve had four or five different leading scorers in every game.

What I like about tonight’s win is, we can shoot the ball a lot better than what we did tonight.”

The Panthers began league play at home against Conway last night after Leader deadlines. Look for details of that game in Wednesday’s Leader.

TOP STORY >> 189th AW impacts C-130s across the fleet, augments value of Guard

By 1st Lt. Chris Nelson
189th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

In this era of persistent conflict, a fully leveraged National Guard provides this nation a highly cost-effective and proven force. Adding to the National Guard’s proven value for this nation, the 189th Airlift Wing located on Little Rock Air Force Base is “putting on the brakes” to further increase its worth.

The 189th AW is the first C-130 unit in the Air Force to modify its aircraft with the Wheel and Brake System Improvement components.

WBSI is an Air Mobility Command funded Improved Item Replacement Program for the C-130 that is expected to exceed $327 million dollars in life-cycle cost avoidance.

“As a recognized leader in C-130 operations and training I think that it is fitting that the 189th was selected for this new program,” said Col. Harold S. Eggensperger, 189th Airlift Wing commander. “This wing has shown time and time again how exceptional it is by leading the way in efficient efforts and tax payer savings.”

 Since 2009, the 189th AW has been working with the Air Force Global Logistics Support Center, Warner-Robins Air Logistics Center, Headquarters AMC and the Air Force Flight Test Center as the Subject Matter Experts responsible for the final design, fit testing, technical order verification/validation, flight testing, and the Field Service Evaluation.

 “This is an outstanding program. It’s going to save a lot of time and money over the life cycle,” said Maj. Chris Montanaro, 189th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander. “We were picked to stand up this initial break system because we have the best maintainers in the Air Force by far. We have the most experienced, the most lean-forward attitude, and we are a can-do unit.”

Gerald E. Wheeler, a C-130 landing gear engineer, said, “The OO-ALC Landing Gear office continued to request the 189th AMXS’s support throughout the development and test phases of the WBSI program because of their exceptional support and unparalleled expertise.”

 The modification includes a digital Mark IV anti-skid system including an improved anti-skid valve and a fault display unit to enhance maintenance troubleshooting. The modification also introduces a new lock ring wheel assembly that reduces the mean time to repair by 50 percent and eliminates the requirement to torque and do a non-destructive inspection on wheel bolts.

 Master Sgt. James Pearson, 189th Maintenance Squadron aircraft hydraulic supervisor, said, “Brakes are currently changed on average every 236 landings. It’s amazing that the new brake is rated at 2000 landings or an average of 10 years.”

 The improved carbon disc brakes improve thermal capacity by 25 percent and increase on-axle time to 10 years versus the current C-130E/H brakes that last approximately six months to one year.
 “The wing currently is scheduled to modify five additional aircraft over the next several months. All remaining 189th aircraft should be modified by the end of fiscal year 2012, and all 535 C-130H aircraft in the AF are projected to be retrofitted by the end of FY14,” said Pearson.

 “Because of the reduced maintenance, the reduced-acquisition cost, the reduced-logistics footprint and the better maintainability and reliability of these systems, there is a significant cost savings over the legacy system,” said Wheeler.

(Lt. Col. Marc A. Sicard, 189th MXS commander; contributed background information for this article)

TOP STORY >> Trash in the woods behind base housing

By Airman 1st Class Regina Agoha
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Bits and pieces of litter have been found scattered across the base. Over the course of years these pieces of trash can accumulate to become truckloads. It appears as if some people have chosen to carelessly walk into the woods, discard household items, trash and other waste they no longer want and generously pass them off to the great outdoors not realizing the ecological consequences their actions bring. Why would one toss tires, fast food garbage, and other filth into the woods, disfiguring the beauty of the base and causing others to work harder and pick up their slack? The natural resources office on base urges people to stop illegally dumping, take the time to deposit their trash in the right place, and respect their fellow Team Little Rock Airmen and the environment.

Throughout the years, James Popham, the 19th Civil Engineer Squadron natural resources manager, Joanne Carlon, the 19th CES capital asset manager, and others have found trash items such as tires, a mini refrigerator, kid’s toys, pooper scoopers, mattresses, old carpet, television screens and monitors, lawn chairs, and even a washing machine dumped into the woods, not only around base housing, but the entire base.

“We’re not totally sure that base-housing residents are the ones dumping the trash in the woods around their area,” said Carlon. “Some of the trash we find could have easily been deposited by the tornado in April.”

Popham also doesn’t blame base-housing residents, but finds the places where he locates trash to be oddly conspicuous.

“Behind the immediate tree line surrounding base housing is where we find trash, and that’s where the residents are,” Popham said. “When you find trash like kid’s toys and pooper scoopers, it’s hard not to think base-housing residents have a part in the littering, but we still cannot hold them completely responsible for these actions because we don’t know.”

Carlon wants everyone on the base, including base-housing residents to be aware that there are opportunities for everyone to recycle and get rid of their trash. There is no need for people to dump trash in the woods when there are facilities provided to sort trash and recyclables, she said.

“Base-housing residents have three opportunities to get rid of their trash,” said Carlon. “Mondays are bulk trash pickup, where residents can dispose of large items like broken furniture. Tuesdays are for regular household garbage pickup, and Thursdays are for recycling.”

Littering is illegal dumping whether people know that or not. Carlon urges everyone around the base to be on the watch for people who litter. If one spots someone carrying items and headed toward the woods, notify the 19th Security Forces Squadron at 987-3221.

There are consequences for this action, said Joe Ott, 19th SFS industrial security. If the person caught littering is a civilian, the Jacksonville Police Department will come to the base and assist the 19th SFS. If the person is a military member, the 19th SFS will detain the person and a report will be made. The report will be sent to that person’s commander, and he or she will take further actions.

When trash is found in the woods by Popham, Carlon and others, they have to take time from their normal responsibilities to collect them and place the items in its rightful place. Sometimes these items take time to move because of their weight, so it’s not an easy task.

To prevent littering, there have been signs put up in certain areas around the base, said Popham. An important prevention method is education. Knowing where to dump the trash and which items are recyclable can help reduce the amount of litter found around the base. There are many recycling bins around the base.

Locations for recycling on base are at the old Base Exchange, the Airman and Family Readiness Center, the small base lake and the recycling center. At the recycling center there is a drive-through service available Monday - Friday that accepts plastic, newspaper, junk mail, office paper, magazines, scrap metal electronics, batteries, cooking oil, cardboard, phone books, glass and metal/aluminum cans. For tires, since they aren’t recyclable or picked up by base housing garbage services, the City of Jacksonville Recycling Center accepts them.

Natural disasters such as tornados don’t need help in wrongfully relocating items and trashing the woods; however, the base does need everyone’s help to make sure that the woods and the entire base remain a clean place to work and live.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

COMMENTARY>>Now is the time for leadership

By Chief Master Sgt. Andy Kaiser
Command Chief, Air Mobility Command

Life as an Airman in service to our country is honorable and rewarding. There is no higher calling than to be a part of a group of Americans who pledged their lives in our country’s defense. This choice is definitely not for the faint of heart. It takes an exceptional person just to earn the title of Airman, officer or enlisted, and the demands continue to grow the longer we serve. If you are charged with leading other Airmen, whether as a first-line supervisor, NCOIC, flight chief, commander, etc., you have a solemn obligation to serve those you lead with high standards and expectations, true compassion, up-to-date guidance, genuine caring, and most important, by splendid example. While this is always true, now is unquestionably the time for strong and compassionate leadership, considering the amount of “churn” Airmen are experiencing these days.

Our opstempo remains high, with a number of Airmen continuing to deploy at greater than a 1:1 deploy/dwell ratio. If you are not currently deployed, you are carrying heavier buckets of water because many of your teammates are “downrange”. We have been executing missions in Afghanistan for over 10 years now and we just completed our mission in Iraq after nearly nine years. Many Airmen have deployed “outside the wire,” many in harm’s way. Sadly, a number of our Airmen have joined our Soldier, Sailor, and Marine brothers and sisters in the ranks of wounded warriors. And tragically, we have had brave Airmen give the last full measure of devotion to our country.

So yes, these are challenging times to lead. Add to this all the news of ongoing budgetary constraints, the spectre of sequestration on the horizon, its impact on personnel programs, and you have a recipe of great concern for our future. Airmen are asking:

“Will I have a retirement to look forward to?”

“Will I be able to continue serving in our Air Force?”

“Am I affected by the enlisted high year of tenure changes?”

“What do you mean I can’t reenlist in my current AFSC?”

“What is a career job reservation constraint?”

Understandably, the list goes on.

All this leads to a point: if there was ever a time for strong, effective, informative, engaging, and compassionate leadership, it is now. We, as leaders, have to anticipate the concerns and issues that will be on the minds of those we lead. Instead of waiting to be asked, we need to be proactive in talking with our Airmen, share what we know and create an environment where our Airmen feel free to approach us with questions, concerns, and opinions on what lies ahead.

In addition to being the epitome of our Air Force core values, leaders at all levels need to manifest three “ilities” – Availability, Visibility, and Approachability. The degree to which we demonstrate these three “ilities” has a direct impact on mission success and Airman wellness. Availability simply means being able to be contacted 24/7. Airmen should be able to reach out to their leaders at any time for mission or personal reasons. Seldom does anyone relish a phone call at 0200, but we have to make it clearly known we want to be contacted at 0200, or any other “inconvenient” time if our Airmen have a need. No harm, no foul.

Another way to define visibility is “Leadership By Wandering About,” or LBWA. Our Airmen need to see us all over the environment within our sphere of influence. For example, if we serve at the flight level, we cannot be a stranger to anyone in that flight. While it is true LBWA becomes more challenging as our echelons of service become broader (squadron, group, wing, etc), visibility remains a critical component to effective leadership. Often we discover emerging issues before they are full-blown, and we can “nip it in the bud.” Plus, Airmen love to see their leaders on their “home turf” -- it shows they care.

Undergirding availability and visibility is approachability. It does not matter how available we say we are, or the degree to which our Airmen see us out and about, if we have not created an atmosphere of approachability in the minds of the Airmen we serve and lead. We will be ineffective at best. However, if we take a genuine personal interest in the betterment of our Airmen and do not “schwack” them the minute they come to us on a matter, they will soon know you are one to go to on any given situation. There is a reason why the following quote endures: “People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.” It endures because it is true.

So in this time of prolonged high opstempo, uncertainty about future end strength, force management programs, and fiscal austerity, the need for strong and compassionate leadership is critical. By being proactive, informative, available, visible, and especially approachable, we will enable our Airmen to navigate through some unchartered waters and come out the other side not just in survival mode, but thriving. To do any less would be a great disservice to those who have pledged their lives to our Nation’s defense.

TOP STORY >>Defense bill affects pay, separation bonuses, more

By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON (AFNS) – President Barack Obama signed the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act on Dec. 31, 2011, which increases active-duty and reserve pay by 1.6 percent and governs Defense Department activities, from procurement to military personnel policy.

Several provisions in this year’s act will potentially affect active-duty and retired service members and their families.

Section 347 requires DOD to finance an independent assessment of overseas troop basing, advising retention, closure, realignment or establishment of U.S. military facilities outside the U.S. “in light of potential fiscal constraints on (DOD) and emerging national security requirements in coming years.”

Section 402 reduces authorized Army minimum end strength from 562,000 to 547,000. The other services’ authorized minimum strengths are unchanged, with 325,700 for the Navy, 202,100 for the Marine Corps and 332,800 for the Air Force.

Section 512 of the act creates a new member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which currently includes the Army and Air Force chiefs of staff, the chief of naval operations and the Marine Corps commandant. The new member will be the chief of the National Guard Bureau, who will have responsibility for “addressing matters involving non-federalized National Guard forces in support of homeland defense and civil support missions.”

Section 526 extends voluntary separation pay and benefits authority, formerly set to expire Dec. 31, to the end of 2018. Section 530 converts the high-deployment allowance from mandatory to authorized. The allowance currently pays $100 a day, in addition to all other pay andallowances, to a deployed service member who has been deployed 401 days or more out of the preceding 730 days.

Section 701 limits annual TRICARE enrollment fee increases for retirees and their family members to an amount equal to the percentage by which retired pay increases that year.

Section 702 sets mental health assessment requirements for service members deployed for contingency operations. The act calls for a series of assessments: one within 120 days before deployment; another during the period between 90 days after a deployment begins and 180 days after it ends; a third within a year after the deployment ends; and a fourth between 18 months and 30 months of redeployment.

The act states assessments are intended to “identify post-traumatic stress disorder, suicidal tendencies, and other behavioral health conditions ... in order to determine which such members are in need of additional care and treatment for such health conditions.”

Assessments are not required for service members “not subjected or exposed to operational risk factors during deployment in the contingency operation concerned,” the act states.

Section 954 affirms that DOD “has the capability, and upon direction by the president may conduct offensive operations in cyberspace to defend our nation, allies and interests,” subject to the law of armed conflict and the War Powers Resolution.

Signing the bill into law, President Barack Obama acknowledged “serious reservations” about parts of the act, particularly provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation and prosecution of suspected terrorists.

“I have signed the act chiefly because it authorizes funding for the defense of the United States and its interests abroad, crucial services for service members and their families, and vital national security programs that must be renewed,” Obama said in a statement released today.

The act also contains critical initiatives to control spiraling health-care costs within the Defense Department, develop counterterrorism initiatives abroad, build the security capacity of key partners, modernize the force, and boost the efficiency and effectiveness of military operations worldwide, he noted.