Local Owners Offer Fireworks, Fun, and Prizes

June 29, 2009
This locally owned fireworks tent is located on Highway 170 and is open every day from 8 am until dark

This locally owned fireworks tent is located on Highway 170 and is open every day from 8 am until dark

Jason Napier stands in front of a $300 display of fireworks that their family fireworks tent is giving away in a $1.00 per chance game.   Customers can put quarters in a gumball -like machine and instantly win everything from bouncy balls to fireworks, including the one featured in this photo.

Jason Napier stands in front of a $300 display of fireworks that their family fireworks tent is giving away in a $1.00 per chance game.

Colorful tents selling fireworks began popping up all over Northwest Arkansas this week in preparation for July 4th celebrations. 

If you’d like to support a local owner, check out Jerry and Kristi Napier’s tent on Highway 170 just as you leave West Fork. 

Managed by their son, Jason and operated with other family members including Jason’s son Ethan, their location feels more like a backyard party than some place hocking fireworks. 

A large circle of chairs creates a gathering spot under cool shade trees and a large jump house gives kids a place to hang while parents shop. 

Jason, who assists his parents with their family farm and works construction, looks forward to working in the tent, now in its second year. 

“We know everyone on this mountain and it’s a way for everyone to get together” he says. 
Ethan who helps his dad, Jason Napier, stands beside his favorite fireworks.

Ethan who helps his dad, Jason Napier, stands beside his favorite fireworks.

The tent is open every day from 8:00 am until dark and will be open late of the Fourth of July.


The Young Cub At Coyote Farm

June 29, 2009

Not yet out of high school, Eli Priest works hard, even during the summer break 

If you think every teen sleeps until noon, you haven’t met 15 year old Eli Priest.  Up as early as 5:30 am and as late as 6:45 am, he plants seeds, hoes and weeds, harvests, washes and does most anything else to help his family prepare for the Fayetteville Farmer’s Market three times a week. 

Eli Priest, 15, rises as early as 5:30 am to help his family care for their family's flowers and vegetables that are sold at the Fayetteville Farmer's Market three days each week.

Eli Priest, 15, rises as early as 5:30 am to help his family care for their family's flowers and vegetables that are sold at the Fayetteville Farmer's Market three days a week.

It already feels late  at 8:00 a.m. during a visit to the family’s Coyote Farms in West Fork.  The entire family and crew is in motion and their work clothes show signs that work began some time ago.

Eli’s favorite food in the garden is watermelons,  even though “you have to really work to keep the weeds away in the beginning,” he says. 

Eli spends most summer mornings working in the garden and then spends the heat of the day catching a nap or watching television.  When the heat passes, he helps wash all of the produce picked in the morning.  He works side by side with his Dad and usually accompanies him to the market on Saturdays.  It sounds like hard work, but Eli says  working with his Dad is “fun and challenging.”

“You know you have to pull your weight or it puts everyone behind a little bit.” 

Eli Priest, 15, stands next to his Dad, Mark on their family farm, Coyote Farm, in West Fork.

Eli Priest, 15, stands next to his Dad, Mark on their family farm, Coyote Farm in West Fork.

On this particular morning, Eli is in full swing after spending a few days in Oklahoma on a whirl-wind tour of college campuses.  Eli, who will be a sophomore at West Fork High School this fall, was recruited by the University of Arkansas as part of the Educational Talent Search program.  He is interested in becoming an Engineer. 

Asked if farming has taught him any life lessons, he says, “I’ve learned nothing comes free.  You always have to work to get what you want.”  And that he does.

Coyote Farms grows a wide range of flowers and vegetables without the use of pesticides and can be found at the Fayetteville Farmer’s market every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.


BREAKING NEWS

June 23, 2009

City Council wants the best deal possible.  

 That was the outcome of the Special Meeting held Monday evening June 22.  The meeting was called to chart a course of action if no agreement was reached between Steve Caudle, owner of property that the council had previously voted to demolish,  and the City.  No such agreement materialized.   City Attorney Rusty Hudson reported that Arkansas Municipal League attorney, Mike Mossley, who wasn’t at the meeting,  filed for a Summary Judgement and Expedited Hearing,  asking the Court to dismiss Mr. Caudle’s pending  suit.  Mr. Caudle has 14 days to reply.  The City would prefer to have a ruling prior the removing the buildings.  Still in question is Mr. Caudle’s willingness to pay the total cost of the removal and todismiss his suit.   City Business Manager Butch Bartholomew reported a $10,500 estimate to remove both buildings.

Mayor Throgmorton expressed concern for a deadline and attorney fees.  Councilmember Lowery suggested Mr. Caudle be required to put some money “up front.”  Councilemember Drymon said he wants to go to court and “not drag it out”.  It was pointed out that this has been a five year effort and a resolution seems near.  The discussion ended with Mayor and Council agreeing to exercise patience and stay the course suggested by legal counsel.   

 Attorney Hudson expressed to the West Fork Zephyr  that he is confident the Court’s ruling on the Summary Judgement will be in favor of the City.  If not, he stated that he is even more confident that the city would prevail if the issue should reach a trial scheduled for February 12, 2010.


4H Club Lends a Helping Hand

June 22, 2009

If you came to the Renewable Resource Center this past Saturday you may have been a little overwhelmed by the eager kids ready to give you a hand sorting your recycling.  These kids were so energetic and hard working that they were a joy to be with.  We do hope  they will volunteer again soon. 

If you know any of the children that are listed below why don’t you thank them for being such community minded citizens?  It will mean more to them than you think to be recognized for helping out.  Tracy Roebke is their leader and she sent the following information: 

These are members of the West Fork 4H Club (West Fork also has the Farm 4H club and the Woolsey Community 4H).

These are members of the West Fork 4H Club (West Fork also has the Farm 4H club and the Woolsey Community 4H).

For anyone interested in becoming a part of 4H, we meet the 2nd Monday of every month at the High School Cafeteria and we have an email list if they would like to be reminded of meetings.

West Fork 4H Members that worked were:
Dalton, Kelby and Tarik Biswell, (Baby Emmitt waved at the people leaving),  Cody and Laney Roebke,  Mesa and Brylee Kutz,  Shelby Dockery, Sidney and Rylan Brock
 
Adult Volunteers were:  Tracy Roebke,  Debra Biswell, Sarah Brock
 
Thanks again for letting us help out at the Recycling Center.  The kids had a great time and keep asking when we can do it again.

Tracy Roebke can contacted at:  troebke@aaabm.com  

– Submitted by Patty Baker


A Clean River is a Happy River

June 21, 2009

 Woah. It’s really been a beautiful weekend. And it looks as if this is just a sign of Saturdays and Sundays to come. We hope you got a chance this weekend to work on your garden, watch the hogs play, or take a trip to Beaver Lake. When you get some downtime, however, check out what our local enviromemitalists  are up to.
 
Last Saturday, the West Fork Environmental Protection Association (WFEPA), along with Audobon Arkansas, coordinated a massive clean up of the West Fork of the White River, including West Fork’s popular stretch. Sandi J. Formica, Executive Director of the Watershed Conservation Resource Center said the clean up attracted more than 100 volunteers. Boy, did they work! The end result was an entire trailer filled with some seriously slimy (and stinky) junk. DSCF0686
 
After the cleanup, volunteers enjoyed a cookout at the Riverside Park Pavilion, while local families waded in the river and the bigger boys took turns cliff jumping. There were prizes, giveaways and some seriously good hot dogs. This year marked the clean-up’s fourth year with participation increasing every year, said Ms. Formica.  The clean up this year was dedicated to the memory of Henry Griffith, who had helped start and run the clean up since the beginning.
 
So, as you can see, there’s plenty of fun to be had on these beautiful weekends, while also helping out in the community. The WCRC is always working on projects to help protect riversides and prevent erosion. At the cleanup, they had amazing before and after shots of the riversides’ they’ve improved, and they are impressive. If you feel like getting some sun and doing something to preserve the river, contact WFEPA honcho Francese Hines at info@wfepa.org or Ms. Formica at formica@watershedconservation.org.


West Fork Real Estate Market Report

June 21, 2009

Keep in touch with local real estate on the Real Estate Page of the West Fork Zephyr.


What’s your Idea?

June 20, 2009

So, we made the plunge.  The West Fork Zephyr is off the launch pad, out of the gate and pulling away from the station.   But, with the excitement of the big splash fading like last week’s news we thought it might be prudent to calm down a bit, maybe even go fishing.

Readers may have noticed we haven’t been including a  comment box at the end of a post which provides the “interactive” aspect unique to this media.   But with this second “issue” we are ready to interact.  This is a community effort and we want the content to be a reflection of  us.  

There are between 60 to 300 curious citizens visiting this site on any given day.  What are they expecting?  What do our readers want?   The request line is open.   We want your ideas about the Zephyr….big ideas, little ideas.   In fact we are fishing for ideas.  Maybe movie maker David Lynch can explain it better.