Judge Or­ders High­way 45 Prop­erty Cleanup

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By Lynn Kut­ter

FAYETTEVILLE — A Wash­ing­ton County Cir­cuit Court judge agreed last week to or­der the owner of prop­erty at 120 S. High­way 45 in Lin­coln to clean it up in 30 days or the city and county would be al­lowed to come in and clean it up for her.

Wash­ing­ton County and the city of Lin­coln filed a joint law­suit Jan. 3 against Robert R. Daugh­tery, trus­tee of the Robert R. Daugh­tery Trust, and Deb­bie Cain, who is pur­chas­ing the prop­erty along High­way 45 from the trust.

Of­fi­cials say Cain has re­peat­edly failed to clean up the prop­erty and that it is in vi­o­la­tion of city and county or­di­nances. Cain has 2.85 acres, with part of the land in the city of Lin­coln and part in the county.

In ad­di­tion to a clean-up or­der, Judge Doug Martin agreed to two other re­quests made by Lin­coln City At­tor­ney Steve Zega at an April 24 hear­ing at Wash­ing­ton County Court­house.

“I know none of this is easy but it needs to be done.”

Jim Lewis

Lin­coln Res­i­dent

Zega asked for per­mis­sion for the city or county to go on Cain’s prop­erty two times. One would be to al­low a con­trac­tor to en­ter the prop­erty dur­ing the 30-day pe­riod to give an es­ti­mate on the costs to clean up the land.

If Cain does not ad­here to the cleanup or­der, then a con­trac­tor would be al­lowed to go on site af­ter the 30 days to clean up the prop­erty.

Zega told Martin he was mak­ing the re­quests to go on the prop­erty be­cause “we don’t think Ms. Cain will fol­low this or­der.”

County At­tor­ney Brian Lester said he agreed with Zega’s re­quest.

Daugh­erty’s at­tor­ney, Wade Wright, also said he had no ob­jec­tions to a cleanup or­der and an or­der to al­low a con­trac­tor to come on the prop­erty.

“The Robert Daugh­tery Trust feels its in­ter­ests are in line with the city and county, at least at this point,” Wright told the court.

Daugh­erty filed a sep­a­rate law­suit against Cain on Jan. 12, claim­ing the con­tract for her to pur­chase the prop­erty from him is in de­fault for fail­ure to make pay­ments and fail­ure to main­tain the prop­erty. The com­plaint said she owed him about $70,000 as of Jan. 12.

Cain was not in the court­room dur­ing the hear­ing, which started af­ter 9 a.m. and lasted about 5 min­utes, but she came in af­ter it was fin­ished and ev­ery­one had left.

Cain, rep­re­sent­ing her­self, missed the dead­line by five days in sub­mit­ting a re­sponse to the law­suit filed against her. Martin signed an or­der Feb. 28 grant­ing a mo­tion for de­fault judg­ment against Cain be­cause she did not re­spond in the time re­quired by the Arkansas Rules of Civil Pro­ce­dure.

Cain last week said the city and county “need to go af­ter the guy putting the junk there and not me.” She claimed that a man who had been liv­ing with her was the one bring­ing ve­hi­cles and other de­bris onto her prop­erty. She said she’s tried to have peo­ple clean up her prop­erty and re­move the ve­hi­cles but he would not al­low it.

“I asked him not to put things there and he wouldn’t com­ply with it,” Cain said, stand­ing in the court­room af­ter the hear­ing.

Cain said the man is no longer with her and she be­lieves she will be able to get the prop­erty cleaned up within 30 days.

“I agree with them 100 per­cent. It needs to be cleaned up,” Cain said. “It was a beau­ti­ful piece of land.”

Jim Lewis, who lives near Cain and has filed nu­mer­ous com­plaints about the con­di­tion of the prop­erty for years, said peo­ple in Lin­coln will be pleased the prop­erty is go­ing to be cleaned up.

Lewis, who at­tended court, said he was ap­pre­cia­tive of the city’s and county’s ef­forts to pur­sue the is­sue. Lewis also thanked Joel Maxwell, a mem­ber of Wash­ing­ton County Quo­rum Court, for get­ting in­volved.

“I know none of this is easy but it needs to be done,” Lewis said.


Steve Smith with South­west­ern Elec­tric Power Co., talks to kinder­garten stu­dents at Lin­coln El­e­men­tary School about his job and about the dif­fer­ent tools he uses in his work. Smith was part of the school’s first “Touch a Truck” event on Fri­day. More than 25 ve­hi­cles and trucks were parked out­side on the school’s park­ing lots for stu­dents to see, touch and learn about. The goal was to ex­pose stu­dents to dif­fer­ent ca­reers and trans­porta­tion for those ca­reers. Ve­hi­cles on site in­cluded trac­tors, dump trucks, bucket trucks, fire en­gine lad­der truck, con­crete truck, am­bu­lance, po­lice K9 ve­hi­cle and a farm truck.

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