Press Releases & Media Relations

CHRISTMAS on the SQUARE HOLIDAY TABLES

NEW FOR 2019

CHRISTMAS on the SQUARE
HOLIDAY TABLES

Christmas 2019Come out to see this free addition to the Annual Christmas on the Square festivities to take place at Osceola City Hall. There will be beautiful Christmas themed tables decorated by local residents with an extensive Christmas village on display as well. We hope you will join us as a guest or a table host. 

If you are interested in hosting a table there are only 12 spots available. The deadline to enter is November 22nd, 2019.

Downloadable Application Form and Rules: Click pdfHERE

For more information contact:

Nancy Zenanko – 870-762-9467 or
Jane Stanford  - 870-740-7288.

Grant Award Aids "Bark Park" Completion

DogParkThe City of Osceola recently received a Mississippi County Community Foundation Grant award in the amount of $500.00. These funds will be used in continuing the construction of a new dog-themed park located within Osceolas existing Florida Park.

The City of Osceola wishes to extend a special word of "Thanks" to Shantelle Raper for the many long hours of volunteer work that she has contributed to this grant process. Her visison, leadership and dedication towards creating the municipal Bark Park is deeply appreciated.

Pictured from left to right are Nickie Bell, Executive Director of the Mississippi County Community Foundation, Jane Stanford, Human Resource Manager for the City of Osceola, Mr. Rogers Ford, Mississippi County Community Foundation Board Member, Shantelle Raper, Osceola School District, and Michael Ephlin, Osceola Parks and Recreation Department Supervisor.

UNITED for a CLEAN OSCEOLA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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The City of Osceola is Organizing Litter Pickup for Sept. 28th & Oct. 5th

Volunteers needed to help keep Osceola beautiful

UPDATED:
This years United for a Clean Osceola campaign has expanded. The “United for a Clean Osceola” organized volunteer clean-up effort will begin at 7:00 am on Sept. 28th and Oct. 5th at the Main Street Bingo Hall. Supplies such as bags, gloves, safety vests and t-shirts will be distributed at this time on a first come basis.
Advance material distribution for teams is available NOW at City Hall.

Osceola, Ark (September 12th, 2019) – Volunteers are needed to participate in United for a Clean Osceola’s annual fall litter pickup September 28th. Sponsored by The City of Osceola, the cleanup is being held in conjunction with the Great Arkansas Cleanup (GAC), the annual fall statewide litter pickup campaign promoted by Keep Arkansas Beautiful (KAB).

“Litter continues to be a problem in our community,” said Osceola Mayor Sally Wilson, local co-coordinator of this year’s cleanup. “It can leave a negative impact on our community for years to come. By participating in this year’s Great Arkansas Cleanup, local residents can help make and keep Osceola a vibrant community.”

UnitedClean upEveryone in Osceola is encouraged to participate in this year’s litter-pickup effort. Civic and service organizations, church and youth groups, school groups and clubs, scouts, individuals, families, neighborhoods, and businesses can organize cleanup teams and pitch in. Volunteer groups are asked to select an area to target their efforts and communicate this with one of the many event coordinators or through email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This event has been scheduled to coincide with a broader, county-wide clean-up effort. The Osceola Street Dept. will pick up at your curbside debris such as chairs, tables, mattresses, box springs, and other small items between the hours of 7:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Streets and Sanitation Superintendent Steve Choals advises that on this day no tires, shingles, limbs, leaves or household garbage will be picked up. Also, the Mississippi County landfill will be free to all county residents from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. if taken by residents personally. To assure the Saturday pick-up call 563-2612 and leave your name, phone number and address to be placed on the pick-up scheduled.

The “United for a Clean Osceola” organized volunteer clean-up effort will begin at 7:00 am on Sept. 28th and Oct. 5th at the Main Street Bingo Hall. Supplies such as bags, gloves, safety vests and t-shirts will be distributed at this time on a first-come basis.

“Litter is everyone’s responsibility,” Wilson said. “Although not everyone litters, we do all live in this community together and must work together to keep it clean and green. We do this out of community pride to maintain our outstanding quality of life and to improve our local economy.”

This year’s local cleanup is sponsored by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, Arkansas Department of Transportation, Keep America Beautiful and the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Foundation.

About the Great Arkansas Cleanup

The Great Arkansas Cleanup grew out of an effort that began more than 40 years ago as the Greers Ferry Lake and Little Red River Cleanup. In 1985, U.S. Sen. Dale Bumpers guided legislation requiring an annual pickup event during the weekend after Labor Day on all federal lands. This law, the Carl Garner Federal Lands Cleanup Act, honors the founder of the event. Mr. Garner continued his advocacy for a clean and litter-free environment as a member of the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Foundation board of directors until his passing in 2014. KAB organized the first statewide GAC in 1989.

About Keep Arkansas Beautiful
The Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission (KAB), consisting of a professional staff of three and a nine-member advisory board appointed by the governor, is a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. As a certified state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful Inc., KAB inspires and educates individuals to reduce litter, recycle and keep Arkansas beautiful. KAB is funded through its 1 percent portion of the eighth-cent Conservation Tax and, by mobilizing volunteers, returns to the state a cost-benefit of more than $6 in community service for each program dollar spent. For more information, visit KeepArkansasBeautiful.com or stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

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Grant Award Secures the Completion of Osceola’s “Coston Fine Arts Center”

Grant Award Secures the Completion of Osceola’s “Coston Fine Arts Center”

After years of hard work, planning, and more hard work the municipal project, which is now known as the “Coston Fine Arts Center” appears to be coming to fruition.

“It is a pleasure to announce the awarding of $295,569.00 in grants for revitalization of the Coston building in downtown Osceola. I deeply appreciate the personal dedication shown by Jane Stanford, Mississippi County Historical and Genealogical Society, Tamika Jenkins and other volunteers in their efforts to bring an exciting rehabilitation and reuse of a historic structure in our historic Downtown Business district.”  Mayor Sally Wilson stated in an announcement today.

It was only two years ago that cleanup and minimal preservation efforts of the historic Coston Building located in downtown Osceola, Arkansas began when the municipality received a Historic Preservation Grant through the Department of Arkansas Heritage for façade repair and tuck-pointing in the amount of $21,000.00. In-kind work of city employees as well as volunteers, for painting, building cleanup, and debris removal moved the preservation project forward.

The potential for creating the “Coston Fine Arts Center” was began taking shape with the awarding of sequential Historic Preservation Grants. The first grant in the amount of $39,794.00 was awarded in 2018 and the second for $39,797.00 was awarded June 25th, 2019. The later grand was designated to begin Phase 1 of a complete restoration of the Coston Building. 

In a letter to Mayor Sally Wilson (received July 1st, 2019) the City of Osceola was informed that their grant application to further fund the restoration of Coston1the historic Coston Building as a home for the CFAC was approved. The minimum total of the grant is $144,992.00. Furthermore, the awarding of this current grant has secured an additional $50,000.00 from the USDA Rural Development Facilities program. 

Jane Stanford, the lead project coordinator states; “The purpose of the CFAC is to engage the public by educating and entertaining through the arts. Programs will be made possible by the generosity of sponsors and contributing members.  Sustaining support will be made through the visual and performance art sponsorships, memorials or honoraria.”

Osceola’s Comprehensive Plan states that it is the policy of the City “to leverage public resources and infrastructure investments to encourage private investment in downtown, to encourage the coordination and joint-marketing of downtown businesses, to promote and assist in providing regular and seasonal events and programming for downtown.”  With downtown’s pedestrian-friendly scale and unique character, the Coston building’s revitalization will enhance the visual aesthetic of our city center and help transform its role into that of a district of diverse uses. The Coston Fine Arts Center will serve as the quality benchmark for many more things to come and in planning within our city center as we strive to preserve, protect and enhance our downtown. 

Sally WilsonCoston2 Mayor

The latest round of funding has put this project on track to be completed within the next six months.

The building is currently maintained by the City of Osceola.

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Funding History:

2017
Historic Preservation Grant through the Department of Arkansas Heritage to repair façade
and tuck-pointing for $21,000.00 In-kind work by city employees as well as volunteers, for
painting, building clean-up and debris removal.
2018
Historic Preservation Grant through the Department of Arkansas Heritage for phase 1 of
restoration in the amount of $39,797.00.
2019
Historic Preservation Grant through the Department of Arkansas Heritage for $39,780.00.
Community Development Block Grant through AEDC in the amount of $144,992.00 and USDA
funds set aside in the amount of $50,000.00

$295,569.00

 

07.03.2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDIA FILES FOLLOW BELOW

Contact:
Jane Stanford
City of Osceola (Arkansas)
(870) 563-5245

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May, 22nd 2019: Rural Connectivity Plan

OsceolaSeal2019Last week, Mayor Wilson represented The City of Osceola at the Arkansas Rural Development Conference in Hot Springs.  On Thursday, Governor Hutchinson spoke to the attendees regarding his plan to deploy high-speed broadband internet access to towns across Arkansas, see his press release below.  In his speech, the MCEC LogoGovernor specified that Mississippi County Electric Cooperative, along with other coops, have signed on as partners.  Afterwards, Mayor Wilson discussed the details of this plan with Brad Harrison of MCEC. Harrison said that they (MCEC) hope to provide broadband to all their customers and could include Osceola Municipal Light & Power customers. Wilson informed Harrison that Osceola could be interested.  He said that his office is working on an application for a feasibility study.  If all goes as planned, MCEC will have the study completed by the end of the third quarter 2019.  

It is hoped that we might be able to get as much as 100 megabits for as little as $55 per month.  It goes without saying that this would be very beneficial for Osceola residents and other OML&P customers. Osceola would also benefit by using this value-added service as an incentive for attracting new and retaining our existing small retail businesses.  I will keep you posted as the months progress. 
Sally Wilson

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For Immediate Release
From the Office of Governor Asa Hutchinson

Governor Hutchinson Releases Arkansas State Broadband Plan, Goal for Rural Connectivity in Four Years

25 Mbps/3 Mbps broadband to all population centers over 500 by 2022

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today released the Arkansas State Broadband Plan, which sets a goal to deploy high-speed broadband to all Arkansas communities with more than 500 residents by 2022. The high-speed broadband would have a rate of 25 megabits per second for download and 3 megabits per second for upload. 

This plan details the Governor’s goal, how close Arkansas is to achieving that goal, and outlines the means by which that goal can be achieved. You can view 47869124581 a7856cf78e zthe plan in its entirety below.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement:

“Arkansas has already established itself as a national leader in providing high-speed, broadband connectivity to our schools. Today, as a result, our students are developing 21st century skills in the classroom to succeed in tomorrow’s workforce. Our focus now extends beyond our schools and into our rural communities. Equal access to high-speed broadband in rural Arkansas is a critical component to the success and longevity of our state’s economy, and I believe this plan will help us accomplish that goal within the next four years.”

In March 2019, Governor Hutchinson charged the Arkansas Development Finance Authority Economic Policy Division, led by Nathan Smith, Ph.D., to develop a State Broadband Plan. Stakeholders from the private and public sectors assisted in preparing the plan and provided key feedback during the process. Stakeholders include: 

Arkansas Department of Information Systems; the University of Arkansas Agricultural Extension Service; the Arkansas Department of Health; AT&T; Cox; CenturyLink; Windstream; the University of Arkansas System and the ARE-ON Network; Larry Frazier of Rural Arkansas Telecommunication Systems; Arkansas Electric Cooperatives; the Rural Electric Cooperative Association; technology expert Brent Skorup of the Mercatus Center; Elizabeth Bowles of Aristotle and the FCC’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee; Ted Thomas, Chairman of the Arkansas Public Service Commission; the Arkansas Department of Transportation; and Cynthia Edwards, Deputy Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Agriculture.

With the Governor’s release of a state broadband plan, telecommunications companies, rural electric cooperatives, utilities and internet service providers will be able to cite the plan when applying for federal grants to expand broadband infrastructure and connectivity in rural Arkansas.

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