Video Shows Thief Using Forklift to Steal Atm from Arkansas Bank

The Conway Police Department posted a video to Facebook showing a person in a forklift tearing the ATM from its foundation and and carrying it away. (Conway Police Department)

CONWAY, AR – Police in Arkansas are asking the public for help identifying those responsible for stealing an ATM from a bank using a forklift.

Police say the ATM was taken from the First Service Bank drive-through lanes in Conway around 3 a.m. Wednesday morning.

The Conway Police Department posted a video to Facebook showing a person in a forklift tearing the ATM from its foundation and and carrying it away. The thief or thieves then reportedly loaded the ATM onto a truck and drove away.

An employee at the bank said she arrived for work Wednesday morning and noticed the drive-through area was damaged. She then discovered the ATM was missing.

Police believe the thieves likely work in the construction industry.

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What’s So Great About Conway Arkansas?

Arkansas is a pretty small state, but it has some amazing cities. One of the great ones in the state is Conway. The city is one that is amazing for so many different reasons. If you want to know what makes Conway a nice place to live or to visit, continue reading this helpful article.

First of all, the University of Central Arkansas, or UCA is in Conway. The school has a great reputation and is a nice place to receive an education. It has a beautiful campus and offers many majors for those who want to further their education and get their degree in a variety of fields.

Also, Conway has great shopping opportunities. You can find a nice selection of grocery stores, department stores, malls, specialty shops, and boutiques. No matter what you would like to purchase, or simply look at, chances are you can find it in the area.

There are many restaurants in Conway, too. What are you hungry for? Whether you want breakfast for dinner, international cuisine, a quick meal, or something home cooked, you can find a great meal, or two in Conway, Arkansas.

Then, Conway is quite close to the state’s capital, Little Rock. Even though Conway has many great jobs, shopping opportunities, and restaurants, there is an even bigger selection in Little Rock. Not only that, but Little Rock is a great place to visit from time to time to enjoy all of its greatness, too.

In conclusion, Arkansas has some really nice places to visit and Conway is one of the best. If you are interested in visiting the area, or possibly moving there, there are many great reasons to do so. Use what you learned here to help you during your time in Conway, Arkansas.

Paper Trails: Arkansans on Weather Channel Series; Singer’s Viral Video; Conway Woman on ‘Gong Show’

SURVIVING AND THRIVING: If you caught a promo for The Weather Channel’s new series SOS: How to Survive, premiering Aug. 20, you might have recognized familiar Arkansas faces.

Cathy Frye and her husband, Rick McFarland, of North Little Rock, both former Democrat-Gazette colleagues, will share the agonizing tale about the five days they were lost while hiking in the desert of Big Bend Ranch State Park in Texas in 2013. Their story is expected to air Sept. 3.

Former reporter Frye is now director of communications at the Arkansas Public School Resource Center and former photographer McFarland now works part time for Les Steen Hardwoods and also sells his own work via McFarland Woodcrafts.

Even after their ordeal, the adventurous duo still makes this annual trip.

They’ll celebrate their April anniversary having another big time at Big Bend.

BUNS, HON: The video for an unlikely cover song by Grammy-nominated country crooner and Rogers native Joe Nichols is going viral: “Baby Got Back.”

His twangy remix of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s rap anthem to bodacious backsides has taken music fans aback. The video (tinyurl.com/nicholsbabygotback), which stars Anthony Ray (Mix-a-Lot’s real name) himself has racked up nearly 5 million social media views.

Nichols’ “Baby Got Back” is kicking booty.

HOOP SCOOP: Katie “Sunshine” Wilson, 31, of Conway will hoop it up on Monday’s episode of ABC’s The Gong Show, performing her distinctive hula hoop act.

When she’s not teaching hoop fitness classes and selling handcrafted hoops, she manages the Arkansas Arts Center’s Museum Shop and works toward her master’s degree in art education at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

One of the celebrity judges for Wilson’s episode is Jennifer Aniston.

Perhaps the two will be Friends.

STONE ZONE: Keep an eye out around the state for colorful stones wearing the hashtag #870PRH. Such rocks are part of the 870 Painted Rock Hunt, which boasts a Facebook page (tinyurl.com/807PRH) with nearly 40,000 members.

The group, affiliated with The Kindness Rocks Project, encourages people to share creativity and goodwill by painting rocks — with everything from Razorbacks to scripture to Smurfs — and leaving them for others to find and share on social media.

I squealed when I spotted my first stone — a vibrant pyramid marked “Stamps, AR” — at the downtown Little Rock Sonic.

It totally rocked!

POST WITH THE MOST: Last week, Cissy Rucker of Little Rock posted a photo of a sign outside Blake’s Furniture in North Little Rock that stated “BUY BED FREE 1 NIGHT STAND.” Her response: “We’re wondering if you get to pick with whom?”

Contact Jennifer Christman at (501) 378-3513 or jchristman@arkansasonline.com.

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Traffic Alert: Wreck Shuts down U.S. 65 North of Conway

U.S. 65 is closed in both directions because of a wreck in the Pickles Gap area north of Conway, officials said.

The Arkansas Department of Transportation said shortly after 2:45 p.m. that the crash had caused power lines to fall across the highway. Traffic was shut in both directions, and there was no immediate word on when it might reopen.

An Arkansas State Police spokesman said preliminary reports indicated the crash involved a commercial truck, though that hadn’t been confirmed.

It wasn’t clear if anyone was injured in the wreck.

The Arkansas Online live traffic map showed stalled conditions in the area before 3 p.m.

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Conway Machine Announces Australia Distribution Agreement with SEAGA Group

CONWAY, AR, July 27, 2017 /24-7PressRelease/ — Conway Machine, Inc. announced on Friday that they had reached an agreement with Australia-based SEAGA Group for exclusive distribution of Conway Machine products. Conway manufactures aftermarket spare parts for flatbed die cutters and offset printing presses, specializing in delivery gripper bars. They have been in business since 1972 and have built a world-renowned reputation for high quality parts at competitive prices.

SEAGA Group is based in West Heidelberg, Victoria with another location in New South Wales. SEAGA CEO Tony Foley, along with his son Anthony Foley, has built a strong reputation for quality spare parts and service in the die cutting and printing industry.

“Anthony initially approached me about working together,” Rachael Cox of Conway Machine said. “We were looking to expand our market reach in Australia. When the opportunity arose with SEAGA, we Conway Machine Announces Australia Distribution Agreement with SEAGA Group began to do our research. SEAGA turned out to be a great fit. They are partnered with some high-caliber companies like Heidelberg, CITO and Perivo. So, offering Conway products is a natural addition for their current customer base.”

“The agreement, which grants exclusive distribution rights to SEAGA Group for all of Australia, was signed in May and took immediate effect. Conway customers in Australia will not see any increased pricing but they may see shorter lead times and better shipping rates,” Cox said.

“Conway customers are industry-savvy and like to work with industry professionals who understand that quality of product and customer service is more important than branding. SEAGA Group is a family business like Conway. A lot of people in the Print & Packaging Industry get into the business through familial ties, so I like that we have the camaraderie of the family business dynamic,” Cox said.

“When you grow up in the business, you have a long-term view of the industry. You’re familiar with the players, and a lot of key persons know you and lead you in your career. It’s very valuable,” Cox said. “We expect great things from our partnership with SEAGA.”

Conway Machine is based in Conway, Arkansas, USA. Conway Machine is a recipient of the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Global Trade. SEAGA Group can be contacted via email at sales@seagagroup.com.au.

Conway Machine, Inc. was formed in 1972 as a tool and die shop. We eventually began to produce replacement gripper bars for Bobst die cuttersin the late 1970s. By 1980, the tool and die division had been eliminated, and Conway Machine had begun its rise to be one of the leading worldwide manufacturers of aftermarket parts for the folding carton industry.

Conway Machine, Inc. provides gripper bars, sprockets, strip pins, KBA Planeta gripper barsand all related component parts of each item. All parts are manufactured on-site at Conway Machine’s USA facility, in adherence to strict OEM specifications.

In 2001, the Conway Manufacturing Group (dba Conway Machine) added a precision turning division through acquisition. Jet Machine is a high-tech precision component manufacturer and is a direct supplier to Original Equipment Manufacturers worldwide. Jet Machine serves several industries, most notably Defense & Aerospace and Medical Device Manufacturing.

Conway Machine added validity to our excellent quality reputation by becoming ISO 9001 series CERTIFIED in 2004. By adhering to the tenements of ISO 9001:2008, we expect to meet customer expectations and needs through continual improvement of the quality management system resulting in improved quality, cost, and delivery.

Conway Machine has been a proud member of the IADD since 2001 and has been a Conway Chamber member and an Arkansas State Chamber member since 2012.

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New Bike Share Program Comes to Conway

CONWAY, Ark.- A bike share program the first of it’s kind has pedaled its way to Conway and people seem to love the convenience and health benefits of it.

When it’s not a running day, Jamille Rogers, opts for a bike.

“Just a great tool to use to be able to see our beautiful city and just to hang out with friends,” said Rogers.

With now only a few months into the new bike share program, people are holding onto the handlebars and enjoying the trip.

“Grab one and ride and when you get to your destination you can just dock it at that station,” Rogers said.

The city of Conway and Baptist Health teamed up to provide , Zagster, which helps to make the process simple.

Rogers says it’s great for people like her who don’t want to invest in a bike.

“It doesn’t require a bike rack or having all the equipment I need to go on a long bike ride, it’s just something that’s quick and easy.”

There are currently 5 stations located across Conway.

Jack Branscum designed where they would be, some downtown and others near bike trails.

“We’ve had over 1,100 trips, over 1,100 riders,” said Branscum, a civil engineer. “The bikes are constantly being used.”

Many people also use Zagster for the added health benefits.

“All across the country, you’re seeing a focus on healthly living, healthy lifestyle and I was very proud that conway is embracing that with this bike share,” Bransum said.

From the college community, to the retirement community, various people are utilizing the system.

Branscum says it’s a big hit with the dating community too.

Zagster is $2 an hour to rent a bike, with several different memberships you can choose from.

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Young Professionals of Conway Launches with Better Personal Brand Seminar

Silverlake Design Studio Owner and Creative Director Jessica Crum shared her experiences about creating better personal brands during the Young Professionals of Conway meeting Monday at UCA Downtown.

Silverlake Design Studio Owner and Creative Director Jessica Crum spoke about building a better personal brand for business and job opportunities at the Young Professionals of Conway luncheon Monday at UCA Downtown.

Crum moved from Arkansas to Los Angeles for college, hoping for a career in acting, but instead worked as a freelance designer.

She said she often designed clothing before being asked to design websites, logos and other things.

Soon, the idea behind Silverlake was established, which she was able to fully open in Arkansas after moving to Conway.

“Ultimately, this Silverlake work has been so rewarding to me,” she said. “I was wondering why it was much more rewarding than the work I was doing in L.A. I think it is because I have been able to help other people find their purpose.

“Establishing that purpose for my life has been very definitive and it’s helped me establish myself professionally, but I know it aligns my purpose and my ‘why.’”

She said her “why” is part of her brand.

“When people first think of branding, they think of photos, fonts and colors, but I want to dig a little deeper. You want to tell people who you are, what you are doing and why you do it.

“I feel like putting yourself out there is to go on LinkedIn or other social media, saying who you are.”

“My “why” is ‘to encourage and empower others to find their purpose,’” she said. “I want to encourage everyone to make a mission statement about his or her life. When you know what you do and why you do it, it is time to establish who you are. “

She said it is beneficial to have strong upkeep of their online presence.

“If you want to grow your business, or online presence, I would add your accomplishments in and out of your job, and then take a little time to write a description about yourself,” she said. “I would also clean up your social media and set up a professional email address.”

She said these things will help employers to hire people or customers to check with business to see if the company is legit.

After Crum finished, YPC Board Member Chair Elect and Silverlake Account Manager Gage Jordan spoke about the new group.

“Ed Linck [Conway Chamber of Commerce Chief Operating Officer] came up to us with this idea to launch a satellite of the Rotary Club for 21 to 40 year olds because there is nothing there for that age group,” he said. “It kind of blew up from there. Over 100 people came for our first meeting at Fat Daddy’s Bar-B-Que. We had good eats there and had a chance to mingle.

“We really just kind of launched this for young professionals in Conway. We’re not going to have weekly meetings, but we will have professional development meetings like this every second Monday. We have some real exciting folks to speak at these luncheons. The idea is to have people mingle with people you don’t normally get to mingle with.”

Membership is $10 per month or $120 for an annual membership.

More information about the Young Professionals of Conway or the application to the group can be found at www.ypconway.com.

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Conway, Ar – Gateway to the Arkansas Ozarks

Conway AR sits right on the edge of the Arkansas Ozark Mountains. It is a pretty town with a friendly population and plenty to do. It is the Faulkner County seat and is a popular commuter community to Little Rock. Even so, most Conway residents work within the city.

Conway has become a regional hub for education, shopping, sports, healthcare, work, and culture. The economy of Conway is strong and there are many new jobs in higher education and technology. The largest employers in the area are the University of Central Arkansas, Hendrix College, Acxiom, Insight Enterprises, and Hewlett-Packard. There are also many new technology start-up companies in the area and they are contributing to the economic boom.

Conway has earned the nickname “The City of Colleges” because of the number of post-secondary institutions making their home in the city. Conway’s population is around 65,000 making it the 7th largest city in the state. With its close proximity to the Ozarks, Conway has become very popular with outdoor enthusiasts.

Lake Conway is more than 6,700 acres of fun and is the largest man-made lake in the United States. Another popular spot for local anglers is Beaverfork Lake. One of the unique spots in the area is Toad Suck Park. The park’s hilarious name comes from a local legend. It is said that barge workers on the Arkansas River used to spend their time off drinking and carousing in the area. They would get falling down drunk and would look like “toads sucking up water” when they fell down on the docks.

Conway is also home to s very strong cultural community. It is home to the only professional Shakespear company in the state, the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre.

Conway is a wonderful city located in some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Visitors can enjoy an abundance of both cultural and outdoor activities.

Fox News Host Confronts Conway on Trump Getting ‘Crazy with Twitter’

Fox News host Judge Jeanine Pirro confronted White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on Saturday about President Trump’s presence on Twitter in the wake of his recent highly personal attacks against MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski on the platform.

“The president at this point has, I think, made it clear what his strengths are and he needs to stay focused on speeches like this, and not get crazy on Twitter,” Pirro said, referencing Trump’s first 4th of July speech as president at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

“I love that he connects directly with people on social media and otherwise, Jeanine,” Conway said, pivoting from Pirro’s comment.

“We just appreciate that you’re covering the substance because all the things he talked about tonight, he did mention the press. But most importantly he mentioned all of the promises he’s keeping on the Supreme Court, on judicial restraint, on veterans,” she continued. “You’re one of the few shows, few networks, that even bothers to connect veterans with the information they need and deserve.”

Pirro, who frequently praises the president, is not the only Fox News host to speak out against Trump’s attack on Brzezinski, in which he called her “crazy,” “low I.Q.” and referenced her bleeding from a facelift.

Julie Banderas ripped RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel’s defense of Trump on Thursday saying he didn’t “need to stoop to that level.”

“I don’t care who you are. You don’t stoop to the level of that. I mean that’s like me scolding my 4-year-old for using a bad word and then me repeating it. That’s just not how you run a country or you parent a 4-year-old,” Banderas said.

“I mean I have to be honest, you know, if you see this negative commentary on a show, change the channel. Ignore it. I mean that’s what I tell my kids: When somebody’s mean to you, don’t fight back. Just walk away.”

After almost a decade of warnings that never came to pass, it appears as though the Bank of Canada is ramping up to hike its benchmark interest rate — possibly as soon as next week.

On July 12, Canada’s central bank will announce its latest decision on where to place its trend-setting interest rate, which has an impact on the rates that Canadian borrowers and savers get for their bank accounts, mortgages and other products.

Eight times a year, the bank’s board of governors meets to assess the latest economic indicators and decide whether Canada’s economy needs a shot in the arm from a rate cut, or a pump of the brakes by way of a hike.

And for the first time in 54 such meetings, it’s looking like the latter is in order.

It’s not like there haven’t been warning signs. By the time Stephen Poloz was named to replace Mark Carney atop the bank in 2013, the central bank had already been on the sidelines for more than two years, its benchmark interest rate set at one per cent.

But even as the bank kept loans cheap coming out of the financial crisis, the messaging from the top came early and often that Canadians should be forewarned — rates have to go up eventually.

As far back as 2014 Poloz warned Canadians that rates would rise “soon” — before oil’s plunge in 2015 caused the bank to lose its nerve. Instead, the central bank moved in the opposite direction, cutting rates twice that year to bring its rate to 0.5 per cent, where it currently sits.

At the time, those hikes were described as a temporary measure to help a Canadian economy that had been waylaid by an oil price that lost more than 70 per cent of its value in a matter of months. But in recent weeks the bank has starting leaving clear signals that despite oil still being in the $40-per-barrel range, those temporary conditions are over and it’s time for a return to normalcy.

It started on June 12, when senior deputy governor Carolyn Wilkins told a Winnipeg audience that Canada’s economy was starting to “pick up” and was showing signs of “moving past” the oil shock.

That prompted speculation that the bank was ready to take its foot off the gas, a notion that was reinforced by a number of pronouncements since then. Poloz told U.S. financial network CNBC this week that “those cuts have done their job.” That may not sound like a ringing endorsement, but economists who monitor the bank say it marks a sea change in messaging.

“If they think those cuts have done their job,” BMO economist Doug Porter told CBC last week, “now they can reverse them.”

He’s not the only one who expects a rate hike. It would be “imprudent to ignore the aggressive communication shift we have seen from the Bank of Canada,” Manulife’s senior economist Frances Donald said.

Since Wilkins’s speech started the speculation, the bank has had more than one chance to walk down those expectations, if it felt her comments were misinterpreted. The fact that the bank hasn’t done so speaks volumes, Donald said.

Currently, bets on the bond market imply there’s about a 60 per cent chance of a rate hike next week, something the Canadian economy hasn’t seen since September 2010.

While nobody’s expecting anything more than a slight 25-point ratcheting-up of the rate to 0.75, the symbolism of such a move is huge. Spurred on by cheap lending and housing prices that have been defying gravity for the better part of a decade, Canadians are now more in debt than ever before.

Canadians now owe $1.67 for every dollar in income they earn, official data show, and the typical borrower now owes more than $22,000 — on top of their mortgage.

Technically, the Bank of Canada’s mandate is to manage inflation, not worry about debt loads. But a major move to interest rates would be catastrophic with debt loads sitting so high, which is why the bank seems to be warning borrowers that they’re going to slowly start taking away the punchbowl from homebuyers who’ve overindulged.

As BMO economist Benjamin Reitzes put it, the “desire to instill a bit more discipline in the housing market,” is clearly in the back of the central bank’s mind while telegraphing their change of heart.

Scotiabank economist Derek Holt is among those who thinks a hike is coming next week, and maybe even another one before the year is out. Otherwise its own pronouncements may have painted the bank into a corner, he says.

“The Bank of Canada is going to have a serious credibility problem if it fails to raise interest rates … after providing such an aggressive turn in communications starting one month to the day ahead of the July meeting,” Holt said.

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Conway Native Talks Chamber Job, Cancer

Ed Linck, chief operating officer for the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce, left the city in 1997 to play college baseball and earn a business degree. Linck, who is married and has a 1-year-old daughter, also worked at the Little Rock and Irvine, Calif., chambers of commerce. He was diagnosed in October with a type of leukemia, but he said it’s controlled with medication. “I feel great,” he said.

Ed Linck had the best and worst year of his life in 2016.

The 38-year-old had the highs of becoming a father and getting hired at the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce. The low point was being diagnosed with cancer.

“It’s been pretty wild,” he said.

Spoiler alert — his cancer, chronic myeloid leukemia, is being controlled well with four pills a day.

Linck, who started in January 2016 as chief operating officer for the chamber, is back home in Conway after leaving the city in 1997. He attended Connor State College in Warner, Oklahoma, on a baseball scholarship. Then he went to Northwestern State University in Louisiana, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business and helped the baseball team win two Southland Conference championships.

He said his goal — the same since he was 8 years old — was to be shortstop for the Chicago Cubs. Although he didn’t become a Major League player, he had a brush with one. He played in a summer league on the Hays Larks team in Kansas with a little-known guy named Albert Pujols, “who turned into one of the great hitters of all times,” Linck said. Linck batted fifth in the lineup, right behind the future St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Angels player. “He hit more home runs,” Linck said.

Because he was an athlete, Linck figured he’d tie his business degree in with a sports-related career. Straight out of college, he lived in hotels and traveled Alabama and Illinois selling gym memberships. It didn’t take him long to figure out that living in hotel rooms wasn’t the lifestyle he wanted.

Living on a houseboat, however, was fine. His father and stepmother sold their home and lived on a houseboat, and his dad bought a 1968 boat that Linck lived on after college for five years on the Arkansas River in Little Rock. “It was a tank,” he said, laughing at the memory. “We fixed up the guts of the boat, but we never painted it. It looked horrible.”

While he lived there, he sold insurance for 2 1/2 years.

“That’s when things really starting taking off,” he said of that period of his life.

In 2003, he helped create the Arkansas Young Professionals Network, a nonprofit organization, and he was involved in Rotary Club. A couple of years later, he started the Next Generation Young Professionals through the North Little Rock Chamber.

It was through a Rotary group-study exchange that he spent a month in Norway that changed his way of thinking about life.

“Everybody there seemed to be happy,” he said. “They worked 8 to 4 and didn’t care about work afterward. I’m working long hours on a 100 percent commission job. I said, ‘I’m going to go find another career.’”

He landed a job at Eagle Bank as business development officer, but he was there less than a year.

“Looking back, that was one of the best jobs I’ve ever had,” Linck said.

However, he said Jay Chesshir, president and CEO of the Little Rock Regional

Chamber of Commerce, asked him to become director of membership.

“I thought, ‘I can’t pass this up,’” Linck said.

He left the chamber to work as director of sales and marketing for a company in North Little Rock, and one of his clients was Target. He took a good job at the Target Distribution Center in Maumelle, and when that closed, he transferred to Rialto, California, to work for Target.

“I’d never been to California; I’d just seen it on TV,” he said. Still young and single, he figured, “Why not?”

After working a while at Target, he got a job at the Irvine (California) Chamber of Commerce.

Linck said it was amazing to meet the entrepreneurs there who have been extremely successful.

“The diversity there — my gosh, every country is represented,” he said.

He was in California just over seven years, and he said he loved it. When he wasn’t working, Linck said, he played beach volleyball and went sailing.

He met his wife, Mariana, while living there, too, on the dating website Match.com.

“She’s the smartest person I ever met,” Linck said. Mariana, who was principal engineer at Medtronic, a medical-device company, has a doctorate in materials engineering. She was also Miss Washington and Miss Arizona, and her talent was playing violin.

The couple met and dated briefly, and four years later, he called her out of the blue. Their first date the second time around was as part of a running club; then they ate tacos and talked for hours after the run.

“The stars aligned,” he said, and they celebrated their two-year anniversary last week.

Mariana was pregnant in September 2015, and it changed everything.

“I said, ‘We’re never leaving California.’ It was awesome there,” he said. “Then we went to the doctor and heard that heartbeat for the very first time, and I said, ‘Maybe we should think about moving near family.’”

Her parents live in San Antonio, Texas, and she has a sister in Boston, but she has cousins in Little Rock. The couple decided to move to his hometown, and he said his wife was impressed with Conway on their first visit.

“She loved downtown Conway; she loved it,” he said.

Linck said he made contact with people he’d known when he was in Little Rock, and Brad Lacy, president and CEO of the Conway Chamber, was one of those. It just so happened that the chamber was looking for a chief operating officer, and Linck needed to start in January, which was immediately.

The trip to Arkansas was not a lot of fun, Linck recalled. It involved a three-day drive across the country in a U-Haul with his wife, who was 4 1/2 months pregnant.

“We had a flat tire; sparks were flying,” he said. Not sparks of anger, but the rim of the wheel hitting the asphalt.

But they made it, and he started his new job Jan. 4, 2016, the day after they arrived in Conway.

Their daughter, Catalina, was born May 10, 2016, named after Catalina Island, where the couple sailed with Ed at the helm. He was glad to have family nearby when she was born. He said his 96-year-old grandfather, John Green of Conway, was the first person to hold Catalina.

When Catalina was about 4 1/2 months old, Linck said, he noticed that he had begun feeling exhausted. He could no longer outlast his brother, Preston, in tennis. Linck had to take two-hour naps after work, and he sometimes would wake up with blurry vision. He also had headaches, which he attributed to being dehydrated, and he had trouble breathing deeply when he was on his back.

Linck, who had always been in shape, said he was lying on the ground “just dying” after a Conway Regional Health and Fitness Center class. He said he couldn’t understand how everyone else just “skipped off” afterward.

In October, right after he turned 38, his wife insisted that he go to the doctor. The doctor found a mass in his abdomen and ran blood tests. That night, as they were putting Catalina to bed, the doctor called and told Linck to go immediately to the emergency room. He and his wife were scared.

“We looked at each other in the kitchen; it was very emotional. But we were strong. We knew we were going to get through this,” he said.

Several of his family members met the couple at the emergency room, and the doctor confirmed that Linck had cancer, although he did not know the specific kind.

“That’ll make your heart sick,” Linck said. “I’m looking at Mariana and Catalina thinking, ‘What’s next? Am I on a time clock? How much time is on this clock?’”

When the diagnosis of CML was made, Linck said one doctor told him, “If I had to have cancer, I would want CML because it’s so treatable.”

Linck takes two pills twice a day.

“Within six months, my numbers were stable and good,” he said.

He’s the American Cancer Society’s 2017 Conway Celebrity Waiter Lip Sync for Life survivor honoree.

Linck said he eats more healthily and exercises more. Now when he works out in a class called The Grind, “I’m not literally dying,” he said, laughing.

Linck said this year versus last year, when he struggled with exhaustion, he has done so much more in his position at the chamber.

He oversees all chamber events and works on membership with Lindsey Henderson, chief revenue officer. Linck, Lacy, Henderson and Jamie Gates, executive vice president, started Outlook Conway, which brings in a speaker on an issue that’s driving the city’s economy.

“It’s been very successful,” Linck said.

“The success of our events, the impact we have on the community and the leadership is nothing like I’ve ever seen. I’m just shocked at how well this chamber is doing and the things it is doing,” he said.

He’s also amazed at how Conway has progressed and grown since he moved from the city in 1997, although he visited family through the years. As a baseball lover, he can’t get over the quality of the youth baseball fields.

“We grew up at the YBMA (Young Business Men’s Association), and you’d have to go pick up rocks in the infield just to make sure you got a good hop. Now they look like Major League fields. It blew my mind,” he said. “You come back as an adult with a much greater appreciation for things.”

Linck is going back to his passion of making connections, and he is helping start Young Professionals of Conway, technically a satellite club of the Conway Rotary Club, of which Linck is president-elect.

“I love the Rotary Club motto of ‘Service Above Self,’” he said. “I think it’s something Conway needs. To help young people learn service above self, how exciting is that?” he said. The “sweet spot” will be members ages 23 to 34, he said.

The launch party for Young Professionals of Conway will take place from 5-7 p.m. June 27 at Fat Daddy’s Bar-B-Que in downtown Conway. The group has three main components, he said — the social aspect, professional development and philanthropy.

Gates said he knew Linck when they were in their 20s.

“Here’s my No. 1 takeaway on Ed — he has a consistently good attitude. I mean that in that he’s always positive and upbeat, and I’ve literally never heard him complain — I’m talking about two Toad Suck Daze [festivals], cancer, a cross-country move, a new job, a new baby — cancer,” Gates said, repeating the word cancer.

“He genuinely has just a limitless energy for meeting new people and networking and connecting and helping people,” Gates said.

Linck said he’s glad to be back in his hometown, around his family and friends.

Cancer has changed him somewhat.

“I’ve really never sweated the small stuff, but I really don’t now,” he said. “My priorities are clear.”

He and Mariana celebrated their two-year anniversary last week, and Catalina is starting to walk and talk. He said he feels great, and he has a job he loves.

Suffice it to say that 2017 looks like a pretty good year.

Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or tkeith@arkansasonline.com.

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