Category Archives: Little Rock District

Chris Turner is “Making a Difference”

Chris Turner makes a difference every day for those U.S. Army Corps of Engineers employees on the lower portion of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS), and at the Little Rock District’s annual awards ceremony he was formally recognized for his efforts. Turner received the District’s Making a Difference Award June 21, in front of hundreds of his fellow Corps employees.

Chris Turner (right) accepts the 2018 “Making a Difference” award from Chris Roark, the Little Rock District executive officer. Turner is the MKARNS Lock and Dam Equipment Mechanic Supervisor for locks 1-3.

According to his citation, “Turner has consistently established a high benchmark for safety, integrity, knowledge and dedication to the navigation mission. His “can-do” attitude coupled with his willingness to help others and excellent work ethic has made him an immeasurable members of the MKARNS team.”

The “Making a Difference” award is given to those who consistently go above and beyond all expectations and have garnered unwavering respect from peers and co-workers. The award was created in 2008 by former DPM Randy Hathaway and the awardees include employees and some of our partners and stakeholders. The very first recipient was MGEN Ed Jackson when he commanded Little Rock District in the 2008 time-frame. To date, only 29 “Making a Difference” awards have be presented to deserving recipients.

Spotlight on Chris S. Turner

Position:  MKARNS Lock & Dam Equipment Mechanic Supervisor

Years with SWL:  12 years

Hometown:  Tichnor, Arkansas

Hobbies:  Spending time with my wife and family. I also enjoy going to the deer camp, hunting with my boys, and working in the yard.

Q:  You have been with the district 12 years, how has your job changed over the years?

A:   I spend more and more time on the computer and less time out in the field.

Q:  What positions have you held in the district?

A:  Started out as a lock operator in 2006 then went on to become a lock mechanic in June 2010. From there I was promoted to my current position as lockmaster in August of 2011. I supervise operations at Locks 1-3 on the lower portion of the MKARNS.

Q:  What is your favorite thing about your current position and why?

A:  The diversity of the job.  I am not always doing the same thing day in and day out. Although it is leaning towards more office time.

 Q:  What are your short and long term professional and personal goals?

A:  Professional – To be the best supervisor I can be and to mentor to new employees and try to get them started in their career in the right state of mind to have a long and rewarding career. I want them to be happy and to take pride in what they do.

A:  Personal – To be able to provide for my family and in hopes of someday retiring and watching my children grow up with families of their own.

Q:  What do you do to instill your veteran knowledge in new employees?

A:  I try to lead by example. I do not want anyone to think that I am above getting out there and working. I try to let them know that they will have a name on the river and it may be good or bad, but that is entirely up to them. I try to encourage everyone to help one another.

Q:  What do you enjoy most about your job?

A:  I like the location and that all of my three locks are different from one another and from all the other locks on the river. The three rivers all coming together and the challenges that go with it.

Q:  What are some of the biggest challenges related to your position?

A:  Getting everything I need taken care of in a timely manner. One of my pet peeves is having an email not to get answered, but sometimes I may not get to it in the time I would like due to higher priorities at the time.

Q:  What motivates you to make a difference at work and for the Corps?

A:  I like to solve problems. When someone has an issue I enjoy trying to come up with a solution that will benefit everyone. I love to let my co-workers know that someone does care what they think and that it is not just a government job.  I want them to know the reasons behind the decisions being made.

Q:  What ways have you found to balance your home life with the busy schedule you have at work?

A:  I do what I have to do for both work and home. I knew when I accepted the position what it consisted of, but it doesn’t really interfere with the family time very often. I have a very understanding and supportive wife.

Q:  Tell us something about yourself we don’t know?

A:  I am the local fire chief going on 15 years and I am also a deputy sheriff and have been for 11 years.


Dewey Short Visitor Center Announces August Programs

The Dewey Short Visitor Center, located just south of Table Rock Dam on State Highway 165, is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The visitor center offers interactive displays, a 22 minute movie about the purpose and construction of the dam, and viewing decks overlooking Table Rock Lake and Dam. Picnic facilities and a 2.2 mile asphalt surface trail are located on the visitor center grounds. Park rangers will be offering the following interpretive programs and events at Dewey Short Visitor Center during the month of August.  All programs are free of charge and no registration is required.

Wednesdays, Aug. 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29 at 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., you can find one of our rangers at the overlook off Highway 165, just across the highway from Dewey Short Visitor Center. The ranger will be available to answer questions about hydropower and point out features of the dam and powerhouse. This program will be recurring every Wednesday at this time for the month of August.

Stop by the Dewey Short Visitor Center on Sundays, Aug. 5, 1219 and 26 at 11 a.m. to learn from a park ranger about a variety of topics.

On Aug. 5, a ranger will have the water safety trivia wheel out. Give it a spin in the visitor center lobby for a chance to win water safety prizes and learn how to stay safe on the water.

On Aug. 19, at 11 a.m., meet with the ranger at the entrance to the Dewey Short Visitor Center to join in on a small walk. During this walk, you will learn the names of and ways to identify native plants and trees that are around the visitor center.

Finally, on Aug. 12 and 26, at 11 a.m., learn about Table Rock Lake’s dam and the production and benefits of hydropower in the lobby of the visitor center.

Programs on Mondays, Aug. 6, 13, 20, 27 at 11 a.m. will be on native animals and water quality.

The visitor center’s old gift shop area by the front desk will be showcasing Animals of the Ozarks exhibit the entire month of August.

On Aug. 6 and 27 a ranger will be present to talk more about the exhibit and displays, the animal skins, skulls and more.

On Aug. 13 and 20, stop by to learn the importance of water quality and how the native animals are connected.

Additionally, on Friday Aug. 17, join us at 3 p.m. for our program, Crafty Critters. Craft your favorite native critter while learning more about the animals of the Ozarks.

On Aug. 11, 18, and 25, water safety programs at 11 a.m. will be held. Learn how to stay safe on and near the water.

On Aug. 25 will have a special water safety program called, ‘Knot’ical Safety. In addition to learning about water safety, learn how to tie some helpful boating knots.

Some programs may be cancelled in inclement weather.  For more information or to check the status of a program, please call 501-340-1943.