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Wednesday September 2, 2015

Thousands raised in honor of local student

First Flight — pictured above (from left): Lisa and Darren Lillard; Dalton Lamons, third place; Dylan Kirk, second place; Steve Powell, first place; Landon Downing, event organizer; and Jody Hewitt, complex manager. Bottom Photo: Second Flight –– (from left): Downing; Braiden Wright, third place; Billy Bass, second place; Josh Gates, first place, and Hewitt. Photos submitted

A crowd of over 200 people gathered at the Paul H. “Rocky” Willmuth Shooting Sports Complex in Batesville, Saturday, Aug. 15, to honor the memory of Zachary Kern Lillard with the first annual Zachary Kern Lillard Memorial Trap Tournament.

Lillard, a member of the Lyon College Trap Team, died June 6 in a canoeing accident. The Batesville native had recently completed his freshman year at Lyon, where he was a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity.

“Kern was one of our best shooters, one of our best friends, someone you were guaranteed to have a good time with, and a true blessing to his family, friends and community,” said Landon Downing, assistant director of admissions and the team’s coordinator.

Hosted by his former shooting teammates, the tournament raised over $7,000 in just a few hours through shooter registrations, raffle items, t-shirt sales, and donations. All proceeds benefitted a scholarship fund set up in memory of Lillard by his family.

Spectators enjoyed lunch plates provided by Hawg’s BBQ as they entered to win raffle items ranging from a 50 qt. Yeti Cooler with a $1,000 Gift Certificate for Sitka hunting gear donated by Cup’d Up Outdoors to one of two shotguns donated by Ducks Unlimited and Ballistic Specialties.

The individual style tournament drew 61 shooters in two flights, each shooting two rounds of 25 targets. Trophies and prizes were awarded for first, second, and third place in each flight. First (Champion) Flight winners were Steve Powell, first; Dillon Kirk, second (17 and under high overall); and Dalton Lamons, third. Second Flight winners were Josh Gates, first; Billy Bass, second; and Braiden Wright, third.

In raffle drawings, Barry and Darren Lillard won a guided duck hunt from Ducks Unlimited. Landon Gillmore walked away with a custom shotgun also from Ducks Unlimited. Helen Shaw won a custom shotgun from Ballistic Specialties. Shooters under the age of 21 were entered for a chance to win a custom shotgun from Cup’d Up Outdoors, and Braiden Wright was the lucky draw.

“It warms my heart to see the amount of support this event generated. It proves what a great man we lost and what a great community we live in,” said Downing. “We intend for this to become an annual event in his memory and hope future generations of students may benefit from the scholarship fund in Zach’s name.”

The winner of the raffle for the Yeti Cooler/Gift Certificate combo from Cup’d Up Outdoors was scheduled to be announced at the inaugural Lyon College Scots football game on Saturday, Aug. 29, at Pioneer Stadium.

T-shirts are also still available for sale at Hawg’s Exxon. For photos of the shirts and a complete list of event sponsors, visit the Zachary “Kern” Lillard Memorial Trap Tournament page on Facebook.

Donations can be made to the Zachary Kern Lillard Scholarship Fund at Citizens Bank in Batesville. 

Williams Equipment Co. hosting John Deere Drive Green Demo Days through Sept. 5

Williams Equipment Co., 1550 White Dr. in Batesville, is hosting their 2015 Drive Green Demo Days event through Saturday, Sept. 5. This event will give area residents a chance to check out the latest utility tractors, lawn and garden tractors, loaders, implements and other equipment from John Deere, as well as take advantage of special Drive Green savings.

In addition, attendees the legal age of majority who register at the event will also receive a $500 discount coupon that can be used toward the purchase of John Deere equipment and get special discounts on wide variety of attachments. Plus, they’ll be entered to win a John Deere 32-horsepower 3032E Compact Utility Tractor with D160 Loader and Frontier RC2060 Rotary Cutter to be given way later this year.

This is the seventh year that John Deere dealers across the country have participated in the national Drive Green program by hosting local demo events in their communities. More than 50,000 people attended Drive Green events held across the United States and Canada last year.

Bill Miller, general manager at Williams Equipment Co., says area residents will enjoy the chance to test drive different models of equipment and take advantage of the special savings.

"The best thing about our Demo Days event is the fact that we have lots of different John Deere and competitive equipment available so folks can check out all the features for themselves,” said Miller. “At the same time, we want to make our event a fun, informative and rewarding experience for everyone who attends.” Representatives from Williams Equipment Co. will be on hand to answer questions about the equipment.

“Our Drive Green event gives customers a one-stop opportunity to talk with our equipment professionals to find out exactly what horsepower tractor and implements and attachments will best fit their property and the jobs they want to accomplish,” said Miller. “We’ll have something for about everyone who stops by.”

For more information about the Williams Equipment Co. Drive Green Demo Days event in Batesville, call (870) 793-4133 or visit the John Deere Drive Green Web site at 



Schools throughout the area are back in session. The Southside School District started classes on Monday, Aug. 17. Over 1,800 students are enrolled at Southside Schools for the 2015-2016 school year, according to the district. Fifth grader Emily Buchanan (left) finishes breakfast on the first day of class at Southside Schools.(Right) The Southside Schools Elementary cafeteria staff prepare for the lunch rush on the first day of school. Photos submitted

First Community Bank celebrates billion-dollar milestone

First Community Bank has reached $1 billion in assets, according to Dale Cole, the bank’s chairman and chief executive officer. Locally owned and managed, First Community Bank opened Aug. 4, 1997, with 14 employees, the backing of 153 shareholders, and $3.5 million in capital.

“This is a milestone that we have looked forward to achieving for a long time,” said Cole. “We actually hit the billion in assets on July 31, 2015. Seeing that $1,000,000,000 number on our financials was significant to me, and a very important day in the history of the bank. When the numbers started getting close, we asked our employees to email their prediction of when we might hit the big day. Suzy Oakley actually predicted the correct day, which happened to be just four days prior to the bank’s 18th anniversary.

“When we opened our doors 18 years ago, our customers embraced First Community Bank because of our commitment to the communities we serve. Although we are growing continuously, we have never strayed from our commitment. We know that the level of success we now enjoy is all because of the support we have received from our customers, investors, employees and directors. When you bank with First Community Bank, you are making an investment in your community.”

The bank will celebrate the billion-dollar achievement with employees participating in a balloon release at each of the bank’s 17 locations at 7:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 4.

First Community Bank now employs 274 professional bankers. Arkansas branches are in Batesville, Bald Knob, Cabot, Cave City, Highland, Mountain Home, Searcy, Jonesboro and Bay, and Missouri has branches in Neosho, Goodman and Jane. In addition to full service banking options, mortgage lending is offered through the network of branches, with an additional stand-alone origination office in Jonesboro, Ark. 

Two UACCB students awarded scholarships to University of Arkansas at Fayetteville

University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville (UACCB) students were recently awarded the Independence County Arkansas Alumni Chapter’s Scholarship to the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Each student received $500 to help with the cost of their education.

Jennifer Theos and Hannah Stroud both earned their associate of arts in general education degree from UACCB.

Theos, a Memphis native, said Arkansas was where she belonged. She will use her scholarship to help with tuition costs at Fayetteville where she is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in horticulture, landscape and turf sciences. She is minoring in agricultural business and anticipates she will graduate in May 2017.

Stroud is a Batesville native. She said the scholarship she received will help her pay for textbooks for her classes at Fayetteville. She is studying psychology and hopes to be the on-call psychologist for a children’s hospital after she graduates.