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Friday, November 21, 2014

No quorum

In Hot Springs Village at precisely 10 a.m. today Keith Keck called the assessment vote meeting to order and turned the meeting over to Don Schnipper to give his statement about the legality of the POA vote. After Schnipper make his opening comments he explained the voting possibilities.

There were 25,298 lots in good standing in the Village eligible to vote. 12,650 votes were needed for a quorum. Schnipper said if  the POA lots were needed to reach quorum it would bring the eligible lot count up to 27,654, with a quorum of 13,828.

There were only 10,049 votes cast. The POA By-laws require the POA lots be counted to try to attempt to bring the count up to a quorum.

The POA lot votes are cast in a percentage reflective of the overall votes cast. The overall 10,049 votes cast were 5,999 for and 4,050 against.

With the POA lots counted that brought the vote up to 7,405 for and 5,000 against. The total vote was 12,405 with the POA lots counted. 13,828 votes were needed to make quorum. The vote count was 1,424 short of a quorum.

The POA can call for another vote on this issue and it will just need 25% of 25,298 lots to vote, that's 6,325 votes. If that were the case in today's vote the POA assessment would have passed.

The next POA board meeting will be on December 3 at 9 a.m. It will be a pivotal meeting discussing the direction the Village will take next to remedy its cash shortfall.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Pete Peterkin a blast

Last night the Hot Springs Village Concerts' Association introduced me to The Many Characters of Pete Peterkin and I was delighted. The third offering of the 2014/15 season was another success. This season just keeps getting better.

Pete Peterkin is a 60 year old dynamo you will think is 25 years younger with his endless energy and his James Brown dance moves. Last night Peterkin took the stage in his Ray Charles persona and rocked the house. I was lucky enough to see Ray Charles in concert twice, once on aisle three and now I consider that I have seen him in concert again, complete with the Rayettes. I was stunned by the performance. Peterkin nailed Ray Charles' every signature move and sounded just like him. If you love classics like You Don't Know Me, Hit the Road Jack, I Can't Stop Loving You and Georgia you will be in Ray Charles heaven.

Interspersed in the Ray Charles segment of the evening were glimpses of other period crooners. As Ray Charles, Peterkin talks about how his handlers want him to smooth out his voice to make more money and off he went singing snatches of tunes in dead-on imitations of the originals. There was Johnny Mathis, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dean Martin with a Jerry Lewis tag and my favorite, Louis Armstrong singing What a Wonderful World.

Stevie Wonder made an appearance on the Woodlands stage last night singing For Once in My Life. Again the character came to life with Wonder's brand of humor, characteristics and signature harmonica tunes. We saw Marvin Gaye and Smokey Robinson, the Tops and the Temps and even Michael Jackson strutted his signature dance moves.

For a good portion of the second act Peterkin was in the Little Richard groove talking about all the people Little Richard influenced over the years giving us snippets of Elvis, Tina Turner, Cher, Neil Diamond, Garth Brooks and Tom Jones. I was lucky enough to get a personal in-your-face rendition of Jones' Delilah, too much fun. Yes, Peterkin did stroll into the audience several times to catch a dance move or croon to an audience member.

The highlight of the evening was Chuck Berry. Peterkin grabbed up a guitar and broke into Johnny Be Good complete with playing the guitar behind his head and between his legs. He did the kick walk across the stage made famous by Berry and immortalized for all film goers as Michael J. Fox nailed his performance in Back to the Future.

Instead of being exhausted, the audience was exhilarated and welcomed Peterkin's James Brown's Good Golly Miss Molly. It was perfect as were all of Peterkin's reincarnations.

We were lucky enough to have two encores last night, Peterkin singing Unchained Melody as himself, powerfully moving, and Shout, what a way to end the evening.

The combo playing with Peterkin was a pick-up band led by Villager Clyde Pound. The professional musicians were just that, professional. The sound was tight like they had been playing together for years. The women vocalists of the Rayettes were also Arkansas musicians and sounded as good as they looked.

This was one for the books, a great night out. If you've got tickets to this show, don't miss it. If you don't have tickets you can buy tickets for what's left of the season for $17 a ticket or you can buy a ticket for this show for $27. It's well worth the investment. For tickets call 922-4231 or go to

Pete Peterkin will be here for three more nights. The rest of the season includes Adam Trent, illusionist in February and 100 Years of Broadway in March.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Duck pre-trial set for this morning

This morning at 8:30 the pre-trail hearing in the murder of Dawna Natzke in Garland County Circuit Court should take place. Last week I talked to Judge Wright's office, the Circuit clerk's office and the prosecuting attorney's office. All were ready to move forward in this matter.

I did not talk to Kevin Duck's attorney. I don't know if he filed a Motion to Continue. I will let you know more when I know more.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

DuPue Brothers Band at the Woodlands

The DuPue Brothers Band rocks, waltzes and plays toe-tapping bluegrass with abandonment. Last night's concert at the Woodlands Auditorium was full of energy and plain old fun.

The DuPue Brothers Band was the second serving of the Hot Springs Village Concerts Association season and it was delicious. The good news being the group will appear here in the Village for three more nights, tonight through Friday night at 7:30.

The three DuPue Brothers, Jason, Alex and Wallace were charming and endlessly talented violin virtuosos. Each brother and each member of the band had multiple opportunities to shine. During the concert I kept thinking this is the best jam session ever. In a jam session musicians come together to play the music for the utter joy of making music together with a big dose of one-upping each other with flair.

I loved Mike Munford picking away on his banjo, a look of utter concentration always on his face.

Award-winning flatpicking guitar player Mark Cosgrove brought tremendous talent, a good singing voice and a delightful sense of humor to the mix.

Kevin MacConnell wailed on his upright bass and floored with his bass guitar. He's been on the music scene since the mid-80's and has played for a smorgasbord of who's who in the music world.

That leaves us with the band manager and percussionist extraordinaire Don Liuzzi.  Not only can he play the heck out of everything that makes noise at the back of the stage but has a smooth singing voice I could listen to all night.

The DuPue brothers themselves bring so much to the table. Jason doesn't talk much but clearly made a deal with the devil for his talent on the violin. He also playfully shows off his mastery of the mandolin.

Wallace and Alex are the talkers of the group. Wallace, a steady workhorse stopped the show with his yodelling number. His variations on Little Brown Jug with styles from Viennese to contemporary was a real crowd pleaser.

Alex is a showman and takes several opportunities to show how to make fun sounds from his violin with a synthesizer. Hear the violin singing birds, sirens and exploding bombs. Fun, fun, fun.

Tickets to the remaining three DuPue concerts are available for purchase at the will call table in the lobby at concert time and from the POA during normal working hours and on-line.

Don't have to kick yourself later for missing this musician fest, get to the DuPue Brothers Band concert today. Oh, and for those of you that think all bands are loud, this one is set just right and won't make your hearing aids ring.

There still three concerts remaining in the Hot Springs Village Concerts Association 23rd season. Call 922-4231 to secure your seats to the Many Characters of Pete Peterkin, November 11 through 14, Adam Trent Illusionist, February 3 through 6 and 100 Years of Broadway, March 3 through 6.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Jeff Smith killed in head-on collision

Hot Springs Sentinel Record special sections editor, 49-year old Jeff Smith was killed in a head-on collision near Bismark on Highway 7, Friday, October 10, at 4:25 p.m. Smith was a 17 year resident of Hot Springs Village.

In addition to his coverage of Hot Springs Village and Northern Garland County, Smith was a prolific writer of books, both fiction and non-fiction. Many of the books are set in the Hot Springs area, all are available on Amazon or at All Things Arkansas on Central Avenue in Hot Springs.

His titles include: Within the Gates, 7 Days of Panic, Between the Elders, Memories of Spearsville, Secrets of Island 27, Death in the Darkness, Escape from the Big Easy, The East Mountain Murders, Death Comes to a Small Town, Vanished on the Vista and The Charleston Connection. He has at least one unpublished manuscript ready to go to press.

Smith has been active with the Hot Springs Village Players for the last six years. He was set to make his directing debut with Murder Can be Habit Forming. Lee Iafrate has agreed to step in and carry through his vision with the play coming to the Woodlands on November 7, 8 and 9.

Jeff Smith was a good reporter, writer and friend, a truly nice man and will be missed. His viewing is Thursday, October 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. His funeral is on Friday, October 17 at 2 p.m. at Ruggles-Wilcox funeral home in Arkadelphia.

Again, there was a fatal car wreck on Highway 7 near Bismark on Friday, October 10. Stephanie Philyaw's car crossed into on-coming traffic hitting two vehicles. Of the two cars Philyaw hit, driver Darren Brewster was not injured, driver Jeff Smith was killed.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Monday's news

Villagestock is rescheduled for Saturday October 25. The cost has been reduced to $15 for a day of music at Grove Park in the Village.


The Saline County candidates forum is set for September 16 at 4 p.m. at the Ouachita activities building.


The POA voting board meeting is set for this Wednesday at 9 a.m. at the Ouachita activities building. Immediately following the meeting is the next budget review meeting. The topic of the budget review is public works, public safety and recreation/food and beverage.


Garland County residents can bring items to the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day from 8 to 1 on Saturday, October 11 to the Garland County Fairgrounds at 4831 Malvern Avenue, Highway 270 East, for safe, free disposal of unused or leftover household products containing toxic, flammable, corrosive or reactive chemicals. There will also be a re-use center for paint that is still usable and stored in the original container with a legible label. Electronic waste and passenger tires, no rims, will also be accepted for disposal.

The event can help prevent hazardous items from ending up in landfills, sewer treatment, storm drainage or septic systems, streams and lakes. These products are also toxic, corrosive, flammable and/or irritating to skin. They can cause fumes and fires and can endanger animals and children if left improperly stored at home.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wednesday's news

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel and 38 other attorneys general urged the Federal Communications Commission to review whether phone companies may legally use call-blocking technologies that would enable consumers to block unwanted, annoying telemarketing calls.

Some phone companies have said that the FCC's legal framework prohibits the carriers from determining which calls should be blocked. McDaniel and his counterparts formally asked the FCC for an opinion as to whether carriers can block telemarketing calls at a customer's request.

Telephone companies have resisted implementing the technologies to block calls because of their legal concerns.

A brown bat picked up a week ago from the 200 block of Market Street in Hot Springs was sent to the state health laboratory and has tested positive for rabies.

Pet owners are reminded to vaccinate all dogs and cats at least four months old against rabies. To report any unusual daytime activity by nocturnal creatures such as skunks or bats, contact Animal Services in Hot Springs at 262-2091 and Animal Control in Hot Springs Village at 922-6547.

My biopsy results came back as inconclusive, so I will have to have surgery before the end of this month. I will find out then if I will need to undergo cancer treatment.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tuesday's news

Pre-register today to participate in the 2014 Hot Springs Village Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) Hunt, set for Nov. 1 – Dec. 15. The event, which is an archery only hunt, is regulated by the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission.

All hunters must attend the Hot Springs Village Mandatory Hunters Orientation Meeting on Saturday, Sept. 13 at 8:00 a.m. at the Ouachita Activities Building, Ponce de Leon Center, to participate in the hunt, no exceptions. Hunters will register, show proof of current licenses/cards and sign the POA waiver at the meeting. Maps showing designated hunting areas and dash passes will be distributed during the meeting. A question and answer session will also be held. The Ponce de Leon Center is located at 1101 DeSoto Blvd., in Hot Springs Village.

In addition to attending the mandatory orientation meeting, hunters must meet the following requirements to participate in the hunt:

·        Participants must have a current Arkansas Game & Fish hunting license.
·        Participants must have a current Arkansas Bow Hunter’s Association card.
·        Participants must also complete the International Bowhunter Education Program. Hunters who complete the class will receive a lifetime Bowhunter Education Card. For more information, go to or contact J.D. Crawford at or 501-733-2921.
·        Hunters must hunt from an elevated deer stand that is 10 feet above the ground.
·        Hunters must check deer harvested at the HSV Cortez Fire Station and with the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission via telecheck, internet, or smartphone. For more information, go to
·        The first deer bagged must be donated to Arkansas Hunter’s Feeding the Hungry Program. It is the hunter’s responsibility to deliver deer to the processor.

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission allows harvesting of both bucks and does. Hunters may harvest two bucks, but those deer must be checked using their license allocation. Bonus doe tags must be issued through DMAP.

For more information, contact the HSV Permitting & Inspections Department at 922-5562.

Relive your college days at the “drive in” showing of Animal House at the Magellan Golf Course Driving Range on Sept. 13. The movie, which is sponsored by Boomers Rock and the HSV Recreation Department, is a comedy about a misfit group of fraternity members who challenge the dean of Fabor College. The cast includes John Belushi, Karen Allen, Tom Hulce, Kevin Bacon and Tim Matheson. It is rated R.

Golf carts are welcome and the Magellan Deli will be open for beverages (beer, wine and soda). There will be a trivia contest with prizes and free popcorn courtesy of Boomers Rock.

Tickets, which are $5.00 per person in advance are available online at Tickets will be $7.50 at the door.

Bring your own lawn chair or blanket and enjoy a great evening at the movies!

Have you recently purchased a new vehicle? When selling or trading your personal vehicle, remember to remove the HSV member decal. Members who bring in a current year decal will receive a new current year decal at no charge. For more information, call 922-5556.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Monday's news

The requests to put the Lake DeGray Water Agreement to a November election vote were rejected Friday by the Hot Springs City Clerk’s office due to deficiencies identified in the filed petitions. It was determined that the petition is noncompliant with a significant provision of the Arkansas Constitution, and therefore insufficient to move forward to be placed on the ballot.

In a City Attorney’s opinion letter, the failure to include an enacting clause has resulted in a fatal defect in the submitted petitions. The lack of this constitutional requirement means the petition is not legally sufficient and should be rejected.

The City will continue their diligence in pursuing the alternate water source from Lake DeGray and obtaining an agreement with the Army Corp of Engineers for a long-term allotment from this source.

City Manager David Watkins stated, “It is very encouraging that our community has reached an agreement that will provide system users with water from two completely separate watersheds in order to secure a long-term supply and put this issue behind us.’

Improvements to Highway 270 (MLK Expressway) require lane closures in Hot Springs, according to Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) officials.

Crews will be doing routine maintenance including general cleaning, weed eating, and draining cleaning along the Highway 270 (MLK Expressway) median. The work will require closing the eastbound and westbound inside lanes within the moving work area.

The eastbound lane closures will be Monday, September 8th through Thursday, September 11th between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., each day, weather permitting. The westbound inside lane closures will likely begin the following week at the same times.

The number of days needed for the closures may be reduced if the work does not take as long as anticipated. Traffic will be controlled using barrels and warning signs.

Motorists should exercise caution when approaching and traveling through all highway work zones. Additional travel information can be found at or You can also follow us on Twitter @AHTD

Looking for a way to save a little cash when your grandchildren ages 6 through 15 visit Hot Springs Village? Stop by the HSV administrative building and sign them up for a temporary dependent recreational card. Show this card at select HSV recreation facilities to receive member rates. Golf discounts are not offered with this card.