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story.lead_photo.caption FILE PHOTO Arvest Bank closed its downtown facility and opened a new $3-million branch on Heritage Parkway. Prairie Grove Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new building.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Lots of news happened in Farmington, Prairie Grove and Lincoln in 2018. The Enterprise-Leader will highlight some of the top stories from each community over the next three weeks.

Chamber Awards

Prairie Grove Area Chamber of Commerce honored Rick and Kara Ault as the 2018 Citizens of the Year and Crescent Department Store as the 2018 Business of the Year.

Crescent Department Store, located in downtown Prairie Grove, is owned by Travis and Shannon Stearman. They bought the store in 2007 and kept its original name from 1924.

Rick and Kara Ault have lived in Prairie Grove about 13 years and are involved in the community, their Prairie Grove church and Northwest Arkansas. Rick chairs the steering committee for Main Street Prairie Grove and the couple owns the new Prairie Grove Town Center.

New Sewer Customer

Prairie Grove City Council voted to enter into a contract with Washington County Property Owners Improvement District #5 to accept and treat wastewater from its customers in the Valley View residential area and nearby subdivisions. Later in the year, the Council agreed to participate in some of the costs to construct a sewer line to connect the Valley View area with the city's sewer system.

The city will cost-share with the improvement district in building a gravity flow line along U.S. Highway 62. A gravity line will allow the city to deliver sewer services to homes and businesses from near Battlefield Park east along Heritage Parkway to a point northeast of Triston Lane. It also provides the potential to extend the line northeast in the future.

Prairie Grove's cost for the project will be $566,466.

National Register of Historic Places

Two historic districts in downtown Prairie Grove were named to the National Register of Historic Places. The Prairie Grove Commercial Historic District is located on the south side of East Buchanan Street from the Southern Mercantile Building east to the Prairie Grove Children's Library. The nomination includes Mock Park.

The North Mock Street Commercial Historic District consists of buildings at 114 and 116 North Mock St. This includes the building that now houses Fat Rolls bakery and the building next door.

Main Street Designation

Main Street Arkansas announced that Prairie Grove would become part of its Arkansas Downtown Network, a network of cities seeking to revitalize their historic downtown areas. The Network falls under Main Street Arkansas but does not require as great a financial commitment as being a member of Main Street Arkansas.

Main Street Arkansas has a proven record that being a part of the program brings business into a town when cities embrace the goals and objectives of the program. Main Street Arkansas has a four-point approach in helping with downtown revitalization: design, economic vitality, organization and promotion.

Buddy Lyle Award

Keith Bostian, worship minister with Prairie Grove Christian Church, received the city's 2018 Buddy Lyle Citizenship Award, given annually to recognize someone who has volunteered time and service to make the city a better place. Bostian volunteers in the community in a number of ways, from coaching cross country for the high school to building houses locally and in disaster areas to playing guitar for the nursing home once a month.

Interim School Superintendent Named

In June, Prairie Grove School Board voted to move Allen Williams from his role as school superintendent into the position of assistant superintendent of finance. Middle School Principal Reba Holmes was named interim superintendent. The board held four executive sessions during a two-week period dealing primarily with the superintendent's position and spent more than six hours in executive session during that time. No reason was given for the change, with the board citing the action as a personnel decision.

New School Administration Office

Prairie Grove moved its administration office into the former Arvest Bank building on Buchanan. The school purchased the former bank in April 2017. In August 2018, the board voted to try to sell the building because of concerns expressed by some in the community about moving administration off campus. After looking at several options, the Board in October changed its mind once again and agreed the best decision for the school district financially would be to keep the building and use it for administration offices and as space for technology and other school staff.

Clothesline Fair

The 67th Annual Clothesline Fair attracted thousands of people over the three-day Labor Day weekend as visitors showed up for the square dance performances, original craft vendors, food and live music. Thrown in with all of that, visitors also had several opportunities to hear about Civil War history and life during the Civil War years.

New Prairie Grove Library

Work began on the new Prairie Grove Public Library, which will be located in the former Walmart building at 881 Buchanan St. The library will have a children's area, young adult section, adult section, large conference room and office, study rooms, public computer area and places for reading and relaxing.

Voters Approve New Sales Tax

Voters approved a new .50-percent sales tax to hire two new police officers and three more firefighters in the November election. The question passed with 1,259 votes in favor of the tax (65.5 percent) to 663 votes against the tax (34.5 percent). The new officers and firefighters will be hired in July 2019.

Battle Re-Enactment

Thousands showed up the first weekend in December to commemorate the 156th anniversary of the Battle of Prairie Grove. More than 950 Civil War participants either camped out over the weekend, drilled as units or fought mock battles during the re-enactments. It's estimated that 3,000 to 4,000 visitors watched the battle or participated in other activities going on as part of the event. The Battle of Prairie Grove was fought on Dec. 7, 1862, with the Confederate Army of the Trans-Mississippi clashing with the Union Army of the Frontier.

New Businesses In Town

Arvest Bank held a grand opening ceremony in September for its new branch on Heritage Parkway. The new $3 million branch has 4,500 square feet and 14 employees. The Bank sold its old building to Prairie Grove School District, closed its drive-through building at 150 E. Buchanan but left the ATM open. The ATM drive-through at 819 Douglas St., also was closed.

Other new businesses opening in 2018 included Flamingo Springs Vintage Retreat, Rustic Rooster flea market, Diamond in the Ruff salon, Junk Pink boutique and Mattyson Marie/Butch & Koonz Clothing Co.

General News on 01/09/2019

Print Headline: A Look Back At 2018

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