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James "Jim" Spears, who served as Twelfth Circuit Judge from 1993 until 2016, following a lengthy career in law and a lifetime of community service, was awarded the ninth annual Diligence to Victory Award Feb. 23 at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith Alumni Reunion Dinner. The award is the highest alumni honor bestowed by the University of Arkansas Fort Smith. Recipients are alumni who have distinguished themselves through service to the University, their community, state or nation, or whose outstanding leadership in their business or professional lives exemplifies this motto.

Casey Millspaugh, UPS account executive, founder of Fort Smith Popcorn Co., chairman of the Fort Smith Parks Commission and community leader, received the third annual Young Alumni Award from the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith's Alumni Association, recognizing his successful career as both an executive and entrepreneur, as well as his service to the university and community.

Bill Hanna, president, CEO and chairman of the board of Hanna Oil and Gas Company, received the inaugural Honorary Alumni Award from the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith's Alumni Association. The Honorary Alumni Award was established by the Alumni Advisory Council to recognize individuals who have demonstrated their support of the university through service and/or monetary gifts.

McInturff named Little Miss Arkansas

Kairi Grace McInturff of Pea Ridge was named Little Miss Arkansas 2019 in the Princess of America Pageant system.

Miss McInturff is a pageant veteran having won four titles in the Miss Pea Ridge Pageant hosted by Beta Alpha. She enjoys reading, coding, softball, cheerleading and playing the ukelele. Her career goal is to be a Disney Imagineer.

The 2019 National Princess of America Pageant will be held July 29 to Aug. 3 at the Mansion Theatre in Branson, Mo. Princess of America is an opportunity for all girls, whether they've had years of pageant experience or are just beginning their journey with pageantry. The national prize package is currently over $20,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded at the national pageant in Branson.

McInturff is the 9-year-old daughter of Carrie and Nathan McInturff.

Patterson presented Congressional Gold Medal

Congressman Steve Womack presented the Congressional Gold Medal to Concordia of Bella Vista resident Pat Patterson, 98, for his service as an overseas intelligence officer in World War II.

Patterson, a lieutenant assigned behind enemy lines in China during the war, received the highest civilian honor Congress can bestow in recognition of his duties with the Office of Strategic Services. The OSS, forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency, played a critical role in defeating the enemies of the United States by establishing secret intelligence networks, developing new technologies and supporting resistance forces throughout Europe and Asia.

"Lt. Patterson and all of the OSS patriots who defended our nation and democracy represent what makes America great. It may have taken some time, but I am ecstatic that at 98 years old, Pat and his comrades have received the recognition they long deserved," Womack said when he presented the medal to Patterson in October. "It was truly a privilege to present him with the Congressional Gold Medal today. We owe our Greatest Generation a debt that can never be repaid, and their heroic actions will forever be ingrained into the memory of our nation."

Patterson, a Little Rock native, was a University of Arkansas student and a member of the ROTC when the United States entered World War II. Upon graduation he received a commission as an officer in the U.S. Army and volunteered to serve in the OSS.

He said OSS agents received training from British spies because the American intelligence agency, established in 1942 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, had no experience in covert operations."We were amateurs," Patterson said.

Patterson and a few other operatives served as the Cryptographic and Message Center. As a cryptographer, it was his job to make sure the enemy could not break their secret message codes.

NAN Our Town on 03/14/2019

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