MARMADUKE, AR. (KAIT)- It's extreme town makeover for Marmaduke residents as newly appointed mayor, Steve Dixon, rolls up his sleeves to clean up the town.
The January ice storm added insult to injury when it devastated Marmaduke, just as the community was continuing to recover from the 2006 tornadoes that ravaged the land.
"There's still a lot of debris that needs to be addressed," Vickey Pruett, a Marmaduke resident, claims.
These tragedies, along with crime rates, drug usage, and lack of jobs has caused many natives to move to neighboring towns. Current residents, along with the Mayor, are ready for them to come back.
"The cleanup will improve the looks of Marmaduke and maybe get residents to come back," says Pruett.
Bruce Drope, Criminal Investigator with the Greene County Sheriff's Department, grew up in Marmaduke. His mother was the mayor, pryor to former mayor Byron Phillips. Drope, like others, left Marmaduke after the tornadoes. He is ready to see a change in the town as well.
"It's hard to drive through Marmaduke and look at the way it is now compared to what it used to be," Drope says, "It's an odd feeling that you just can't explain unless you've lived there and seen the changes."
Drope, knowing Dixon for years, claims he comes from a good family and will do a good job.
"He will try his best to get Marmaduke headed in the right direction and it appears that he is already attempting that."