Saturday, September 8, 2007

Prince Street Roundabout in Conway.......

ugh... I know one day...they say....I will look upon this with a grateful heart and thankful spirit.

....right now it is just annoying.

...and dangerous!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Former jailer unwilling in escape, mother says

Former jailer unwilling in escape, mother says
BY DEBRA HALE-SHELTON

Posted on Thursday, September 6, 2007

CONWAY — A former Faulkner County jailer who authorities say helped an Arkansas prisoner flee to Indiana with her three small children contends she was not a willing participant in the escape, her mother said Wednesday.

Jean Mendoza of Conway said she talked by telephone last week with her daughter, Sarah Bergmann, after police and the FBI arrested Bergmann and the inmate, James S. Johnson, in Elkhart, Ind.

"Her information to me was that this guy had threatened her and she was scared, and that's what it was all about," Mendoza said in an interview while she cared for Bergmann’s children - ages 3, 2 and 10 months.

Faulkner County sheriff's Capt. John Randall has said authorities believe Bergmann, 21, and Johnson, 34, were romantically involved while she was working at the jail and that she helped him escape Aug. 11 in her sport utility vehicle. The two had exchanged letters and phone conversations before she resigned as a jailer the same day of the escape, Randall has said.

Mendoza said she believed her daughter's explanation was part of the story, but added, "I believe there was more to it than we're probably ever going to know."

Mendoza said Bergmann indicated Johnson "told her he had people on the outside who would take care of her and her family if she did not help him."

"I don't know" whether that's true, Mendoza said in an interview. "Maybe it is; maybe it isn't."

Mendoza said the oldest child, who will turn 4 in December, has since told her that Johnson was "a mean man, and he was mean to her mommy."

Bergmann was crying during the phone conversation, Mendoza said. "She said she was glad she was in jail and the kids were safe because anywhere was better than being with him."

Randall said Wednesday he had no comment on Bergmann's reported statements. He said he has not talked with Bergmann since she was arrested Aug. 31 at an Elkhart store where she had gone to collect money she thought a friend or relative was wiring her. Instead, police and the FBI met her there.

Randall said Bergmann's husband, Robert Bergmann of Mount Vernon, has since gone to Indiana and brought the children back to Arkansas. "They're fine," Mendoza said.

Randall said that Johnson and Sarah Bergmann waived extradition on Tuesday and that officers were driving to Indiana on Wednesday to get them. The pair are to appear in Faulkner County Circuit Court, perhaps by video from the Faulkner County jail, on Friday, he said.

Randall said the sheriff’s office would set bail for Bergmann at $ 100, 000 upon her return to Arkansas. A judge could later change that amount. Johnson will be held without bail because he is a state prisoner.

Bergmann is being held on a felony charge of permitting an escape in the first degree, which is punishable by three to 10 years in prison. Johnson was serving a 40-year sentence out of Crawford and Sebastian counties for second-degree battery, forgery, theft by receiving and theft of property. He was in Conway under Arkansas’ Act 309 program, which allows certain prisoners to work for city and county jails.

A little more than three hours after Bergmann's arrest, police found Johnson at an Elkhart residence and took him into custody on escape and theft-of-property charges.

Randall said Bergmann helped police find Johnson by giving them the name of Johnson's new employer in Elkhart. Police then tracked Johnson to that person’s home.

While on the lam, the captain has said, Bergmann at times used her cellular phone to text-message family members, including her husband and even Randall, who had been her boss at the jail.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

1965 Tornado in Conway, Arkansas.....

......did you know that on April 10, 1965 a category 4 tornado struck southeast and east parts of Conway...killing 6 people, injuring 200+ and causing millions of dollars in damage?

The tornado hit at 6:26 pm and caused a great deal of damage to the area around the Children's Colony, the Polk/Ingram neighborhoods and out along where the Virco plant was. The girls at the Children's Colony were sheltered at Grove Gym on the campus of Hendrix and the boys were sheltered at UCA.

KCON radio was credited with saving lives as many heard their live broadcast of Mrs. Verna Jean Moore warning of the coming tornado.

Airmen from the Little Rock Air Force Base were amongst the many that responded to the relief efforts in Conway.

...

Speaking of rain here in Conway...

As long as we're on the topic of rain...figured I'd continue the theme by updating on the aftermath of the current rain here in Conway.

Reports are that the Acxiom parking lot flooded out.... yuck.

Along Oak Street, the usual flooding was occuring...no word on if the sandbags were helping keep out the water.

For such a dry August, the rain is a welcome sight...the flooding and drainage problems...not so much.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Wow...it really rained today in Conway!

Well...there I was raving about a few little raindrops yesterday. Today the buckets came!! :)

Of course, when it rains in Conway...you gotta wondering what is flooding where.

The last big rain flooded over in Victoria Park subdivision (back behind Grace United on Hogan)...that subdivision has grown and expanded from nothing....fields... to houses upon houses and houses. Now with the addition of Nottingham west of Victoria Park...wow, there are a lot of houses back there.

I've gotten accustomed to seeing the sandbags line the businesses downtown, but was surprised by the flooding in the residential areas.

Yuck.

Hopefully they (whomever they are) are working on the drainage issues that seem to be popping up all over town.

...growing pains

Monday, September 3, 2007

Speaking of Rain....

At long last...it is raining this evening!!!

After a long spat of no rain, hot, hot, no rain, hot, hot... I came home this evening to light showers and the smell of rain!

nice

More on Changes in Conway.....

I can't really think off hand....just random thoughts I suppose...makes you wonder what happened to the people who used to live there.

Did they die? Move off? Or just decide to sell because land was so high?

I wonder sometimes why people pay so much to live in Conway?

I know it's a "nice town" and it has "good schools" and whatever else selling points realtors may have...

but dang... it ain't cheap to live here....and I'm not so sure the city is keeping up with the growth so well at times.

I'd like to have a pond...but I'm not so sure I'd planned on having to settle for the pond-look-a-like my backyard takes whenever it rains hard. ha

More on the Changes in Conway....

In 1988, I moved out of Conway and Arkansas....but returned again in 1992.

Perhaps things had changed a lot or just I noticed different things since now I was a bit older. ;)

Harvest Foods was where Fred's is now on Morningside Dr off Prince Street. Second Baptist Church had not yet expanded. First Baptist Church hadn't burned and still had the beautiful stained glass windows that I loved gazing at when walking down Robinson.

Going west down Tyler showed new development with Eve Lane and Golden Meadow subdivision...out across from the Brown's place. At the corner of Hogan and Tyler, you could always see a horse or two wandering around amongst the trees. Hogan past Tyler did not exist...but for some off-road tracks.

You could take a four-wheel drive up there onto the mountainside...seemed sure to tip over, but never did. ha

Hogan Lane had some cool old houses set off on the right just down and across from Ms. Hogan's place. I think one was the old Favre place, but don't quote me on that one. ;)

I wasn't so surprised they tore down those old buildings and moved off the mobile homes...but when they tore down the two houses across from the Hogan's place...that was a little surprising...looked like nice houses. I guess the land was worth more...well, I'm sure it was since they tore 'em down.

Oh yeah....The bowling alley was in the same place over across from the cow fields....no mall in sight, lol.

Changes in Conway

Wow...changes in Conway...that's a loaded statement.

When I first moved to Conway, it was as a freshman at UCA in 1986. I lived in the dorm at Hughes Hall...on the 2nd floor above the doorway. You could crawl out onto the overhang, should you so desire...which I never did. ha

I didn't have a car, so my mobility around town was quite limited....mostly a venture across campus to the little grocery store that was located where Papa John's is now.

Scottie Pippen was playing in his senior year at UCA...and had become a big name for his basketball prowess....so we'd try to hit most of the games that were at home.

Going down Prince Street toward Toad Suck was a whole lot of nothing compared to how it is today. Homes along Prince, yes...but none of the three jillion subdivisions that now dot the landscape. I don't remember anything remarkable or unremarkable about the drive...except that I thought we were getting lost. lol

Wal-Mart was over where the furniture store/Office Depot is now. Kroger was where Big Lots is now. Piggly Wiggly was where the Glo Golf place is and Food-4-Less was Price Cutter.

thrilling...eh?

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Changes at the Prince Street Kroger

Has anyone been noticing the changes going on at the Prince Street Kroger store?

I, for one, have.

I don't like that they've stopped being open 24 hours. Bah. I understand that kids were hanging out in the parking lot mucking it up with beer bottles and what not. But I do miss not being able to bop in there once I got off the night shift.

I do like the discounts being placed on fruits and vegetables. I've never understood throwing away the fresh fruits and veggies...and I'm so glad to see that they are giving folks an opportunity to buy the ripe ones at a discount.

YEAH!

Word is a new manager is on the way as well. Happy retirement to Mr. Williams...hope the new management doesn't change the fruit discounts!!! ;)

Comment Section in the Log Cabin Democrat....

If you haven't stopped by the online edition of the Log Cabin Democrat lately, you may have missed out on the running chatter taking place.

They have a 'comment on this article' section following the articles posted online. I'm not sure what the purpose of these comments are...seems to be a rather mean-spirited place to gather and deride whomever is unfortunate enough to be found on that days topic list.

Odds are if it's in the paper, it's not good news. But even the good news articles are not safe zones. Ouch...it gets ugly in there.

I know Conway is a growing city, but does it have do be dispassionate too?