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Because of the inclement weather, results of the Democrat’s Readers Choice voting are not in this week’s paper. They will be in the Dec. 18 newspaper. Also, any news items or photos brought into the office for publication this week will not be in the paper.

A reminder to kindergarten and first-grade teachers to get those Santa letters in to the paper by Monday, Dec. 16, for publication on Christmas Day. E-mail them to or bring them by our dowtown office. Please don’t change the children’s spelling and grammar.


The Shirley School Board will hold its monthly meeting at noon Monday, Dec. 16, in the district’s board room located in the superintendent’s office at 199 School Drive.


A Monday morning fire left one reactor offline at Arkansas Nuclear One in Russellville, Entergy Arkansas said.

The utility said a transformer fire broke out in a non-nuclear area of its nuclear plant near. No injuries were reported and Entergy said there were no threats to public safety. No radiation releases were reported.

Entergy said a second reactor remained operational.

The fire occurred when a transformer exploded in an electrical switch yard, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said.


The Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace Board of Directors voted last week to begin advertising for an executive director, a position the board hopes to fill next spring. The board set a Jan. 10 deadline to submit applications. The pay for the position has not been decided.

The insurance marketplace, or exchange, was mandated under the federal Affordable Care Act and has been operating since Oct. 1. It is currently operated through a partnership between the state and the federal government, but the board is charged with making a recommendation to the state Legislature on whether to pursue a state-run exchange next year.

The Van Buren County Democrat website is available only to print and digital subscribers. If you are already a subscriber, you can access the website at no additional charge.