May 17th, 2012
Helena-West Helena Assistant Police Chief Ronald Scott reports that revisions need to be made to an ordinance establishing rank structure for the police and fire departments to determine the eligibility for testing for promotions of police and fire department employees.
“We are currently staffed with 26 certified officers including 7 sergeants, 6 lieutenants, 4 captains, an assistant chief and a police chief,” noted Scott.Scott said the department is waiting notification from the Civil Service Commission as to when the next round of tests will be conducted.Scott said he believed that the Civil Service Commission is expected to meet again on May 22 to set the next test date.
City Council members expressed concerns regarding whether or not the police department has enough officers to protect the citizens of Helena-West Helena. “Chief Wallace and myself are working right along side our officers and doing what we have to do to protect our citizens,” commented Scott.
May 14th, 2012
“Does the new Fort Curtis hold the same promise for us as it did for those slaves that were freed through the efforts of the original Fort Curtis some 150 years ago?” asked Federal Judge Brian Miller, who offered his reflections on Civil War Helena at the gala dedication ceremony held on the site of the replica fort.
Between 200 and 250 people attended the ceremony during the lunch hour Friday. The event featured short speeches, a special flag ceremony and re-enactors dressed in period costumes.
Miller made a moving speech the day following the loss of his father Dr. Robert Miller, who served as the first African American mayor of the Helena community. Miller is a fourth generation Helena native, whose great grandfather Abraham H. Miller was born a slave and came to Helena with his mother during the Civil War.
May 11th, 2012
All you artistic types who are also fans of the King Biscuit Blues Festival might wanna get out the brushes and oil paints and pastels and crayons and colored pencils and laptops, or whatever it is people use to make art these days. Because the Arkansas Delta Arts Partnership is seeking submissions for poster artwork for the 2012 KBBF, which is Oct. 4-6 in historic downtown Helena.
If the judges dig your work the most, you’ll get $800 and VIP access at King Biscuit. Catches: they get to keep the original and can use it for T shirts, postcards, mailers, knick-knacks, doo-dads and so forth. Encouraged: art that incorporates visual elements of Helena
May 10th, 2012
The dedication today of Fort Curtis, a Union fort replica, will begin Helena’s Civil War Sesquicentennial commemoration of a multi-faceted heritage that includes Federal occupation, seven Confederate generals, and an encampment of thousands of freed slaves. The block-long reproduction of Fort Curtis at the corner of York and Columbia streets recalls the historic river city’s occupation by Federal troops from July 1862, through the Civil War’s end in 1865, as well as the Confederacy’s failed attempt on July 4, 1863, to return the city and its strategic position along the Mississippi River to Southern control.
In 2009 a plan developed by Mudpuppy and Waterdog of Versailles, Ky, in conjunction with the local Civil War subcommittee of the Delta Bridge Project, was unveiled giving voice to those affected by the Civil War – Union and Confederate, black and white, soldier and civilian, men and women. As the plan states, “It is a story of people who lived through our na¬tion’s most trying time, a story woven from the unique thread of events that form Helena’s past and make it such a special place. It is a story of courage, passion, terror, death, hope, and sadness.”
The dedication program includes a keynote by federal Judge Brian Miller, a 4th generation Helena native. Judge Miller’s great grandfather Abraham H. Miller, was born a slave and came to Helena with his mother during the Civil War.
May 5th, 2012
Hernando, already on a roll with policies and programs to boost exercise and good health, is launching a partnership Saturday designed to get people on bicycles as a mode of transportation.
“What’s exciting about our ‘Dust Off That Bicycle’ training is that it’s not just for the cycling enthusiast, it’s also aimed at the person who wants to ride his or her bicycle to work, or to pick up groceries or visit someone,” Mayor Chip Johnson said. “Cycling for transportation, not just recreation.”
“This is a continuation of our master plan,” added Alderman Gary Higdon, an advocate of safer cycling and pedestrian infrastructure. “I’m really pushing all means of transportation.”
The city is teaming with the Hernando Bicycle Club and Southern Bancorp to offer the training, which starts Saturday at 8 a.m. with a basic one-mile trek beginning at the Southern Bancorp parking lot on the corner of McIngvale and Byhalia Road.