2011 was a very exciting year for ImbodenLive.com , over 500,000 visitors in the first two years along withÂ a multitude of Â great local storiesÂ made 2011 a year we will not soon forget.
January 1st marked the first days in office for our newly elected County Judge, Dale Freeman, our newly elected Sheriff, Jody Dotson and our newly elected State Representative James Ratliff.
Sheriff Dotson enacted one of our most popular series of the year, with the launch of the Lawrence County Sheriffâ€™s Website came the Most Wanted Page which continues to draw aÂ large amount of readers. The Lawrence County Sheriffâ€™s Office has made 31 captures from itâ€™s Most Wanted Page including several from tips by ImbodenLive readers!
Winter weather moved into the area after the first week of January with our first snowfall of the year on the 11th, followed by more ice and snow.
In late January, Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel made a trip to visit the Sheriffâ€™s Office in Walnut Ridge where he was shown the RX Takeback Drop Box in the lobby of the Sheriffâ€™s Office, this program implemented by Sheriff Dotson allows out of date or surplus prescription drugs to be discarded in a proper safe manner.
January 29th, area residents came together for a benefit for George Stallings, over $20,000 was raised as hundreds came together to show support for George Stallings during his illness.
In February, New Signs and Slogans were visible at Sloan Hendrix Schools. Snow in the second week of February closed Hwy 63 for some 5 hours, winter weather also led to area schools being closed for several days. Also in February the Imboden City Council approved funding for street repairs and the purchase of a fire truck for the Imboden Volunteer Fire Department. Late February and early March were busy times for the Imboden Volunteer Fire Department with dry condition the department stayed busy with several wildland fires and structure fires.
Another popular series was the Boss Hog Challenge done by Pig-N-OutÂ BBQ, several attempted this huge meal but never completed it.
March began with an investigation into forged checks belonging to Sloan Hendrix Schools, the investigation led to the arrest of several people in a check cashing scheme. In March, Chief Chris Jones and the entire Imboden Volunteer Fire Department received itâ€™s new Engine 2.
Sheriff Dotson began his Drug Prevention Program in March, visiting Walnut Ridge, Hillcrest, Black Rock and Sloan Hendrix Schools with K-9 Officer Blake Liscomb and his partner â€œBenâ€. Also in March, commuters were slowed by one lane of the Black River Bridge being closed for quite some time with bridge inspections and repairs which later led to the unveiling of the new bridge construction slated to begin in September 2012. City streets in Imboden also saw repairs in late March.
Imboden and Ravenden Fire Departments worked several serious motor vehicle accidents and responded to several brush fires during late March and early April.
Historic flooding in North East Arkansas consumed the last week of April, levee breaks in Pocahontas caused the Black and Spring Rivers to back up flooding Lawrence County. Hwy 115, 412, 62, 25 and 63 were closed in several places making travel impossible until the waters receded. In May F.E.M.A. declared Lawrence County a disaster area.
In June, the Lawrence County Sheriffâ€™s Office opened a sub-station in Imboden. The building is provided by the City of Imboden and gives deputies and office to return calls and complete reports while in the western part of the county without having to travel back to Walnut Ridge. Also in June, completions were being made to the new addition of Sloan Hendrix Elementary and itâ€™s new playground was completed in early August.
Residents were treated to Imbodenâ€™s Annual July 4th fireworks, a wonderful show was put on. July was also busy at the Bobbie Jean Memorial Library where a record number of children participated the Summer Reading Program.
August began preparations for the Lawrence County Fair and Rodeo held in Imboden. Sheriff Dotson assigned volunteers from his Inmate Work Program to assist with getting the fairgrounds and rodeo arena ready, the work program was used throughout the county, supervised inmates preformed work duties on public properties such as trash detail on highways and clean up details on public buildings and properties. The Lawrence County Fair, Rodeo and Car Show were all a huge success.
In September, Imboden was blessed to have the Arkansas Fallen Heroes Memorial in town, followed by the Celebration in the Park. Visitors to the event were treated to music, food and activities for the children.
Septemberâ€™s biggest story was an accident at the Walnut Ridge Police Department involving an out of control vehicle crashing through the building killing the driver, Brian Allen Davis of Pocahontas and injuring Robert Rice of the Walnut Ridge Police Department. Robert Rice is still recovering from his injuries, the Walnut Ridge Police Department has since moved to a new location due to damage to the building.
Also in September, the Beatles invaded downtown for a second time, a Beatles sculpture was unveiled at the 47th anniversary of the visit to Walnut Ridge by the band. Festivities were held drawing large crowds for the unveiling.
October was busy for area fire departments and sheriffâ€™s deputies due to several accidents and fires in the area. Also in Imboden, readers tips from an article posted on ImbodenliveÂ led to the arrest of two shopliftersÂ caught on camera at the Dollar General Store in Imboden, Sheriff Dotson released information and photos of the subjects resulting in tips to the whereabouts of the two.
The 5th Annual Halloween Block Party was held in Imboden with hundreds of â€œtrick-or-treatersâ€ involved. Walnut Ridgeâ€™s Iron Mountain Festival also drew large crowds and lots of vendors and music.
November brought news of the disappearance of former Walnut Ridge resident Karen Johnson Swift who disappeared in late October. Her body was later discovered outside Dyersburg Tennessee, the investigation is still ongoing.
December saw the many Christmas Parades held all over the county, Imbodenâ€™s was held on December 11th after being postponed one week due to rain.
Mid December was interrupted by a 2 vehicle accident at Hwy 115 and 63 in Imboden, one vehicle overturned during the accident, one person was transported to the hospital.
On December 17th, 34 local families were assisted by donations of food and gifts for the children, donations were made by local churches, businesses and individual donors. It was the 16th year for the program.
And those were just a few of the over 600 stories posted this year on ImbodenLive! We hope you enjoyed our 2011 Year in Review and the photo montage!
We look forward to 2012 and want to thank our readers and advertisers who make it all possible!
We love you all!!! Happy New Year from ImbodenLive.