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March 20, 2018

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March 21, 2018 at 2 PM ET
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800-acre solar farm near Crossett to come online in 2021
Little Rock, Ark. — March 20, 2018 — Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC) of Little Rock has entered into a power purchase agreement with Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc. (RES) of Broomfield, Colo. to purchase up to 100 megawattsac of energy that will be produced by an 800-acre solar farm near Crossett in 2021.

“The addition of the 100 megawatts of solar capacity produced by the Crossett Solar Energy Farm will provide AECC with additional reasonably priced power that is ultimately delivered to the more than 1.2 million electric cooperative members in Arkansas,” said Duane Highley, president/CEO of AECC. “AECC's generation fuel portfolio now includes more than 17 percent of hydropower, solar, wind and biomass generation which supplements our traditional generation facilities.”

RES, a leading global renewable energy development and construction company, developed Crossett Solar and will construct the project. The project will provide the benefits of both energy diversity and job creation to the state of Arkansas. The 100-MWac project, consisting of more than 362,000 solar panels, will create as many as 175 jobs during the peak of construction, with up to three permanent jobs once construction is completed. 

Located in Ashley County, Arkansas, the construction of Crossett Solar is expected to begin in early 2021. 

“We’re excited to work with Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation again, and we are pleased to help AECC bring solar energy to the cooperative members,” said Graham Reid, RES CEO, Americas. “We look forward to bringing economic benefits and jobs to the state of Arkansas and to a community that has supported us throughout the project development cycle.”

Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation, a generation and transmission cooperative, provides wholesale power to Arkansas’ 17 electric distribution cooperatives that provide electricity to approximately 500,000 homes, farms and businesses in Arkansas and surrounding states.

Since 1997, RES has been providing development, engineering, construction, and operations services to the utility-scale wind, solar, transmission, and energy storage markets across the Americas. The company employs more than 1,500 full-time professionals; has over 10,000 MW of utility-scale renewable energy and energy storage projects; and has constructed more than 1,000 miles of transmissions lines throughout North America. RES’ corporate office in the U.S. is located in Broomfield, Colo. with regional offices located in Austin, Texas, Minneapolis, Minn., Old Saybrook, Conn. and Sacramento, Calif.

Program Helps Connect Ag Producers with Technology to Improve Methods, Teaches Vets to Start or Expand Farming Operations
WASHINGTON- U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), members of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, introduced the Veteran and Beginning Farmers Technical Assistance Act. This bipartisan legislation would reauthorize the Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA) program to continue educating farmers and ranchers on farming practices and assist veterans in becoming successful producers.

“Arkansas farmers and ranchers feed the world. Providing access and connecting producers to information helps them make smart business decisions, which is important to our economy and our food supply,” Boozman said. “Developing veterans’ agriculture skills equips them to become the next generation of producers. I’m pleased to work with Sen. Leahy to advance this legislation and preserve this critical program.”

Leahy said, “Farmers are constantly learning and searching for ways to improve their operations and strengthen their profitability.  The valuable information and resources that ATTRA provides to Vermont farmers and to farmers across the country -- for free, on a wide range of farm topics -- is vital for American farmers’ survival, particularly as they work to diversify and thrive in competitive markets.”

RA’s Armed to Farm program assists veterans in the transition to civilian life by training them for a career in farming. More than 20 participants in Arkansas have been trained through the program.

"ATTRA has served our nation's farmers for thirty years through training and technical assistance. In addition, we have been honored to assist military veterans as they enter farming careers through our ATTRA-supported Armed to Farm. We have seen veterans start and expand farming operations, enter new markets, and contribute to their local economies. We look forward to continuing this work for Arkansas farmers, and all the farmers and veterans across the country," said Margo Hale, Southeast Regional Director of the National Center for Appropriate Technology.

ATTRA was reauthorized in the 2014 Farm Bill. The program is set to expire this year.

This is Senator John Boozman with an update from Washington.

March is recognized as National Nutrition Month. This is a time to focus attention on the importance of a balanced diet and healthy eating choices. As a co-chair of the Senate Hunger Caucus,  I am committed to supporting and raising awareness of efforts that provide healthy meals, creating policies that fight hunger and advocating for programs that have proven to be successful.

I’ve seen how community involvement in Arkansas is fighting food insecurity. Efforts like the “Cooking Matters at the Store” initiative launched by the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance teaches families to compare prices, read food labels and buy fruits and vegetables on a budget.

These skills seem basic, but they go a long way in helping families maximize precious resources. Grocery stores are also allowing SNAP beneficiaries to purchase locally grown produce at a discount, which promotes health and affordability at the same time.

State educators know how essential breakfast is to students’ progress, so they’re implementing programs to promote this meal. They are also helping grow gardens where the food produced is used in school lunches.

Proper nutrition is crucial to our wellbeing. Creating opportunities to access healthy, nutritious food is also important to our state’s and the nation’s economic development.

The Department of Agriculture’s Child and Adult Care Food Program is a unique effort that uses public-private partnerships to meet the nutritional needs of vulnerable children and adults. It has become a critical tool in the fight against hunger. I was pleased to support this program and recognize the important role it plays in the health and wellness of those in Arkansas and throughout the country with a Senate resolution acknowledging its contribution.

Studies show that access to the Child and Adult Care Food Program can measurably and positively impact the cognitive, social, emotional and physical health and development of children, leading to more favorable outcomes such as decreased likelihood of being hospitalized, an increased likelihood of healthy weight gain and an increased likelihood of a more varied diet.

As a member of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, I will continue to press for flexibility in the Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program, so children who rely on school meals when class is in session can access healthy, nutritious meals during the summer.

In Arkansas, more than fifty thousand children receive nutritious meals through this program. For many rural areas of the country, including communities in the Natural State, this one-size-fits-all approach fails the children most in need. More than 60 percent of Arkansas children rely on free or reduced-price meals during the school year. We need to modernize the program so that summer meal sites are available to children, no matter where they live.

It’s time that federal policy provides the flexibility necessary to reach students in their communities.

In order to break the cycle of food insecurity we must work together. Hunger knows no boundaries, but it is preventable and we have the tools to help fight it. We’ve made significant gains in Arkansas, across the country and throughout the world to improve nutrition for the most vulnerable in our society and I will continue to be a champion of efforts to improve access to healthy, nutritious foods.

U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee, released the following statement after the Senate confirmed Kevin McAleenan to serve as Commissioner of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection:

“Kevin McAleenan is an outstanding public servant and has served our country in several capacities at U.S. Customs and Border Protection. He is well-qualified to lead one of the world’s largest law enforcement agencies and oversee securing our nation’s borders and ports of entry. I look forward to continuing to work closely with Mr. McAleenan to help ensure that Congress is providing the resources and tools necessary for CBP to improve enforcement and successfully accomplish its missions.”


(March 15, 2018) – The Arkansas Urban Forestry Council (AUFC) will host Arkansas ReLeaf project and Arbor Day celebration Saturday, March 24, at the public park, 306 Main Street, Higginson, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Mayor Randell Homsley will read the Arbor Day Proclamation, and a tree will be planted in the park to celebrate Arbor Day. Additional state, regional, and local representatives will be on hand to participate in the Arbor Day ceremony and Arkansas ReLeaf tree giveaway. Free hot dogs will be served, and shade trees will be given out to residents of Higginson, Kensett and Morning Sun to replace trees that were lost due to damage caused by an EF-1 tornado in February 2017.

The tree giveaway will begin at 10 a.m. and continue until 1 p.m. or all trees have been distributed. 

AUFC holds an Arkansas ReLeaf project to assist a community in Arkansas each year by helping restore the tree canopy that was lost due to environmental impact. These projects are planned and coordinated with individual communities and may be used for tree plantings on public lands, environmental stewardship and tree education programs in the public schools, as well as to render assistance to communities for participating in the Tree City USA Program. The project is made possible by donations from local, state, regional, private and public entities. Additional support is provided by fundraising events conducted by the AUFC. Other communities which have benefited from Arkansas ReLeaf project include Vilonia, Arkadelphia, Clinton, Cherry Hill, Dumas, Mena, Scotland, Marmaduke, Redfield, Vilonia, Mayflower and Nashville.

This event is sponsored by the Arkansas Urban Forestry Council, Arkansas Forestry Commission and the community of Higginson.

About The Arkansas Urban Forestry Council
The Arkansas Urban Forestry Council is a non-profit organization established in 1993.  The Council’s purpose is to assist Arkansans regarding the conservation of the state’s urban and community forests.


Washington, D.C.
— Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today released the following statement on the Supreme Court’s hearing of arguments for National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra:

“Today, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra on whether crisis pregnancy centers should be forced to advertise for abortions. Requiring a pro-life organization to promote the very thing it opposes is a gross violation of the Constitution, and I’m proud to have signed a brief in support of the petitioners’ First Amendment rights. In Arkansas, we have 40 centers that provide critical services to women in need, and I stand with them. I hope that the Court will uphold their freedoms.”


March 16, 2018

The Arkansas State Police Commission has approved the recommendations of Colonel Bill Bryant, state police director, to promote six veteran state troopers.  The promotions occurred today during a regular monthly commission meeting.

Lieutenant Barry Saffold, 54, of Jefferson County, was promoted to the rank of captain.  He is a twenty-eight year veteran of the department.

Captain Saffold, assigned to the Highway Patrol Division, Tactical and Aircraft Section, will assume command authority of the section.

Lieutenant William Dias, 51, of Jefferson County, was promoted to the rank of captain.  He is a twenty-four year veteran of the department.

Captain Dias, assigned to the Highway Patrol Division, Troop E, will assume duties as commander of Troop E.

Lieutenant David Cooper, 47, of Hot Spring County, was promoted to the rank of captain.  He is a twenty-three year veteran of the department.

Captain Cooper will leave his current assignment as assistant troop commander within Highway Patrol Division, Troop K, and assume new duties as commander of Troop L.

Corporal Ben Hoyt, 36, of Faulkner County, was promoted to the rank of sergeant.  He is an eighteen year veteran of the department.

    Sergeant Hoyt will be assigned to the department’s Administrative Services Division, Training Section.

    Corporal Tiffany Dycus, 46, of Faulkner County, was promoted to the rank of sergeant.  She is a thirteen year veteran of the department.

Sergeant Dycus is assigned to the department’s Office of Professional Standards.

Corporal Kyle Peek, 38, of Hempstead County, was promoted to the rank of sergeant.  He is a thirteen year veteran of the department.

Sergeant Peek will assume new duties as a post supervisor within the Highway Patrol Division, Troop G.

“AgHeritage Farm Credit Services paid $3.7 million in profits from 2017 to customer-owners this spring through the Patronage Program,” said Greg Cole, AgHeritage FCS, President and CEO.  “We are owned by the very customers we serve.  Ownership entitles our customers to special benefits such as sharing in our profits.  Over the past 12 years, we have distributed $36.05 million through the Patronage Program.”

“Farmers are running complex businesses.  And as businesses, it is important to have good financial resources and expertise.  Not only has Farm Credit supported rural America with reliable, dependable credit and financial services for over 100 years, we do so operating as a cooperative. Our cooperative structure allows customers local control through the Board election process as well as the opportunity to share in the profits through our Patronage Program,” stated Dwain Morris, AgHeritage FCS Board Chairman.  The Patronage Program returns a portion of the association’s net earnings to our eligible customer-owners. Patronage refunds are based on the proportion of interest paid on an individual’s loan to total interest earned.

For more information on the Patronage Program, call 1-800-444-3276 to reach your local AgHeritage FCS branch office.

AgHeritage Farm Credit Services is a financial cooperative with owned and managed assets of approximately $1.15 billion as of December 31, 2017, that provides credit and related services to more than 2,900 farmers, ranchers and producers or harvesters of aquatic products in 24 Arkansas counties.  Branch offices are located in Batesville, Brinkley, Dermott, Lonoke, Newport, Pocahontas, Searcy, Star City and Stuttgart.      


Washington, D.C.
 – Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) will next week unveil legislation to help fight the opioid epidemic that will ensure penalties for fentanyl distribution and trafficking better reflect the nature of the crime. Fentanyl, a fully synthetic opioid, is 100 times more powerful than morphine. It has been a driving force behind the opioid epidemic in the United States and is being dumped here predominantly from China.

Specifically, this bill will reduce the amount of fentanyl required for mandatory sentencing minimums to apply in distribution cases. It will also provide resources to the Post Office to stop shipments of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids arriving from overseas. 

“Fentanyl has had a devastating impact on our country. More than 20,000 Americans were killed by fentanyl last year, and overall drug deaths have nearly doubled in the past decade. It’s past time the punishment matched the crime when it comes to opioid distribution and trafficking,” said Cotton.

“Fentanyl is one of the most deadly drugs on the market and I look forward to working with Senator Cotton to substantially increase penalties for those who traffic this horrific drug,” said Graham. “I’ll also be working with Senator Cotton and others to explore the possibility of even stronger penalties—that could include the death penalty if the fentanyl results in someone’s death—for those who choose to push this deadly drug into our communities. Increasing these mandatory minimums is well-justified.”

U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) recognized the groundbreaking path Command Sergeant Major (retired) Deborah Collins paved in her 39 years of service with the Arkansas Army National Guard in ‘Salute to Veterans,’ a series recognizing the military service of Arkansans.

Collins, born in Booneville and raised in Russellville, graduated from Russellville High School. She is from a family with a history of military service and it was her aunt, who served in the Arkansas National Guard, who encouraged Collins to join.

“I’d been out of high school about one year. I was working because college wasn’t in my future. I just kind of needed some direction and wanted to do something different,” Collins said.

She joined the Arkansas National Guard on July 30, 1975. Collins recalled how women who enlisted in the Arkansas National Guard at that time were required to join for three years and have a high school education, but men didn’t have the same education mandate.

After serving for nearly four decades in the Arkansas National Guard, Collins laughed thinking back to how three years seemed like a long time when she was 18-years-old. She remembered how her first annual training put her on a path to a successful career.

“They put me driving a vehicle, first out, in a convoy. They didn’t tell me they were going to stop at a rest area,” she laughed as she talked about how the convoy stopped and she continued on to Fort Chaffee. The battalion commander and the sergeant major knew she was on her way and were at the gate when she pulled in. “The sergeant major didn’t just chew me out. He was decent to me and it did two things. It made me figure out real quick that I wasn’t going to be put in the position that I didn’t know what was going on again and number two, I might want to be a sergeant major someday.”

Collins was on the way to making that a reality and along the way changed the status quo.

The first award she received was for her work to get a WWII-era RATT RIG (tactical radio teletype station) to operate, which other soldiers had given up on long before. The challenge of pinning the medal to women’s fatigues was evident. “The field jacket didn’t have chest pockets like the male field jackets did. It just had flaps” Collins said recalling how the commander took the edge of the flap and gingerly raised it up to pin on the medal.

When the Arkansas National Guard was in the process of establishing a noncommissioned officer academy at the Arkansas Military Academy, Collins was selected as an instructor, making her one of two women on the NCO Academy staff.

While she worked alongside a few women in uniform, she was charting a new course for future generations of women and holding positions previously held only by men, including serving as the first female State Command Sergeant Major for the Arkansas National Guard.

Despite breaking the glass ceiling, she remains humble. “I know there are soldiers out there who have opportunities because of what I did,” Collins said.

Collins calls herself a “by the book soldier” which earned her the nickname ‘Iron Britches.’ “If something is said about Iron Britches, they know exactly who you’re referring to,” Collins joked.

Her list of accomplishments is long, but there is one that stands out for Collins - the development of the Arkansas Military Funeral Honors program.

“I did it because there was truly a need,” Collins said. “The soldiers who volunteered for that program were awesome. They just gave so much to do that service,” Collins said.

“I am grateful for Deborah Collins’ dedication and sacrifice to our nation. Her leadership made a tremendous difference in the Arkansas National Guard and throughout the National Guard. Her perseverance shows us all that you can be anything that you want to be. Preserving her memories is a fitting tribute to her successful career,” Boozman said.

Boozman will submit Collins’ entire interview to the Veterans History Project, an initiative of the Library of Congress’s American Folklife Center to collect and retain the oral histories of our nation’s veterans. 


Bishop Woosley Talks Jackpot Lottery

March 15, 2018

U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) applauded Senate passage of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, which will provide much-needed regulatory relief to small banking institutions.

“We need a regulatory system where small, medium and large financial institutions can succeed. Under Dodd-Frank, we have a system where some financial institutions are too big to fail and others are too small to succeed. 

Community banks and credit unions have been unfairly penalized by regulations targeting Wall Street. Eliminating the one-size-fits-all rules for small financial institutions will help free up resources and make it easier to provide capital to small businesses so they can invest and hire more workers.”

Washington, D.C. – Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today released the following statement after theSenate passed the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Bill:

“This bill has been years in the making, and I know just how much it will mean to Arkansas’s banks and credit unions. Reducing their regulatory burden will allow them to make more loans to the small businesses, farmers, and families who rely on them, and that will expand the circle of opportunity in our country. I'm also glad this bill includes two of my proposals that will help Arkansas’s community banks and protect homeowners from predatory lending. It was deeply unfair to impose Dodd–Frank’s excessive regulations on our small lenders, and now I urge the House to right this wrong by sending this bill to the president’s desk.”

March 14th, 2018

Murphy is Chairman of the Board for Murphy USA and was instrumental in the creation of the Murphy Arts District, known as MAD, in El Dorado. Highlights of this new arts and entertainment district include an outdoor amphitheater, farm-to-table restaurant, and music hall. He is also a founding member of El Dorado Festivals and Events, Inc., which gave rise to the project.
MAD aims to provide the city of El Dorado with creative outlets to explore music, dance, theater, art and food in fun and immersive ways. The outdoor amphitheater hosts large festivals and events for over 7,000 people with market pavilions for seasonal farmers markets, and the largest park in the city. The outdoor destination playscape and splash pad are for children and families to enjoy outdoor activities with programming that is both entertaining and enriching.
MAD’s second phase will bring the renovation of the much-loved Rialto Theater. Once a favorite meeting place for vaudeville performances and movies, the Rialto will live again with a variety of musical acts, plays, comedy shows, and movies. In addition, an art gallery with traveling exhibitions, art classes and events will also be part of this future phase.
Murphy, who was born in El Dorado, began his business career over 35 years ago pursuing an active participation in a wide variety of Murphy Oil Corporation positions. Along with his current role at Murphy USA, he is president of The Murphy Foundation, managing member of Murphy Family Management and on the boards of Murphy Oil Corporation and Deltic Timber Corporation. He is also on the boards of the National Council of Economic Education, the Arkansas Policy Foundation, and the Hendrix Board of Trustees.
Murphy and his wife Suzanne are both native Arkansans and graduates of Hendrix College. They have three children, Matt, Jonathan and Anna, and a granddaughter, Kate.

The EB Williams 4th Annual “Kidz Runnin’ the Show” Corvette Car Show will be held on Saturday, March 24th  from  8:00AM until 5:00PM.

 This year the grouop will continue to host a light show the night before the car show on Friday March 23rd at the Holiday Inn Express. The show will still be conducted by staff members shadowed by youth of the center to teach them the process of setting up for a show; greeting and registering participants, judging the vehicles, cooking and serving the public. This show will offer a show DJ for music, a gift to the first 10 registered, refreshments, raffles, trophies, door prizes, dash plaques, goodie bags for all participants and lots beautiful Corvettes.

This Corvette Show will be open to local residents and individuals who own corvettes along with numerous Corvette Clubs from other areas whom will be in attendance. Organizers are expecting 100-150 Corvettes for this event. The show will include all classes of Corvettes, from C-1 to C-7, stock and modified with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place trophies for each class along with a Best of Show, Kids Choice, People’s Choice and a host of other specialty awards. This show is to benefit the centers 'Gift of Progression' Program.

March 13, 2018

The IRS scam has seen a dramatic increase in recent weeks. Callers to the Arkansas Attorney General’s office are reporting scammers posing as the IRS in an attempt to steal money and personal information. The recent scam calls have all been made from an Atlanta phone number with a 470 area code.

“These scammers continue to update their tactics and try to intimidate Arkansans,” said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “We have seen a number of different versions of this scam, but Arkansans should know that the IRS will never call you in this manner.”

The IRS recently reminded consumers how to easily recognize scam calls. Consumers should know that the IRS will not do the following:

  • Call demanding immediate payment. The IRS will not call if you owe taxes without first sending you a bill in the mail.
  • Demand that taxes are paid without providing the individual the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
  • Require a specific form of tax payment. For example, demanding a payment with a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask consumers for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Threaten to bring in police or other agencies to arrest you for not paying.

The IRS strongly recommends that Arkansans who receive these threatening calls not give out any personal information and hang up immediately, contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at (800) 366-4484 to report the call and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. The agency also requests that any scam emails be forwarded to

The IRS encourages Arkansans with any questions about owed taxes to contact their office directly at (800) 829-1040.


Says, legislature should address ‘pressing issues’ of PBMs and 529s


LITTLE ROCK – Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin today issued the following statement in support of the special session to address Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) and Arkansas 529 college savings accounts:


"As the special session convenes, I urge my colleagues in the legislature to address two pressing issues facing Arkansans: First, we must address unfair pricing in the prescription drug market due to Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs). This unfair pricing impacts not only pharmacists and small businesses, but also every Arkansas household where prescription drugs are taken, and ultimately access to and the cost of healthcare. Second, we must change state law to align with federal law on 529 accounts. Arkansas parents work hard to save and invest their own after-tax money in 529 accounts, and they deserve the flexibility and opportunity this change will provide. These 529 accounts are especially important for military families who can't always choose their school district." 


About Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin

Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin was elected on November 4, 2014. From 2011-2015, Griffin served as the 24th representative of Arkansas’s Second Congressional District. For the 113th Congress, he was a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means while also serving as a Deputy Whip for the Majority. In the 112th Congress, he served as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the House Committee on the Judiciary.


Griffin is a graduate of Magnolia High School, Hendrix College in Conway and Tulane Law School in New Orleans, and attended graduate school at Oxford University. He has served in the U.S. Army Reserve for 20 years, was deployed to Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Lieutenant Colonel Griffin is currently pursuing a master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. He also served as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas and Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Political Affairs for President George W. Bush. Griffin lives in Little Rock with his wife Elizabeth, a Camden native, and their three children


March 12,2018

On March 2nd, an Officer was dispatched to 135 Cleveland SW in reference to Shannon Harris beating on the door.  During briefing we had been told by the day shift that there was an ongoing harassment issue between Shannon Harris and Allison Launius.  They were advised they should not have any more contact and Harris should not be at Launius's residence.  Upon the Officer's arrival, the officer made contact with Harris in the driveway.  The officer advised Harris to place her hands behind her back and that she was being detained until the officer figured out what was going on.  Harris then pulled away from the officer did not imply with the orders.  The officer advised numerous times to place her hands behind her back and she refused, the officer then placed her against his patrol unit.  Another officer arrived on scene and assisted in putting Harris in cuffs.  During the struggle of trying to place Harris under arrest, the officers right ring finger became caught in the handcuffs causing a minor cut.  The officer spoke with the victim Allison Launius and Launius said they had been dealing with Harris all day over money they supposedly owed Harris.  Launius said they talked to officers early in the day about the situation.  Launius said Harris was supposedly told by officers not to come back to Cleveland St.  Launius stated Harris pulled up in the driveway, came up and began beating on the door, then went and got in her car then began honking her horn.  The officer walked up to Harris's car and observed 2 small children in the back seat.  Harris was transported to the Camden Police Department where booking procedures were performed and completed.  Harris was charged with criminal trespass and refusal to submit to arrest.  Harris was given court date of April 18th at 9 am.  Harris was then transported to the Ouachita County Jail.


The storm season of 2017 brought hundreds of reports of flash flooding and long term river flooding which unfortu-nately led to 8 fatalities. With the 2018 spring flood season ramping up, the National Weather Service, in cooperation with the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, has designated the week of March 12th as Flood Safety Awareness Week. This is a safety campaign designed to help Arkansans prepare for the spring flood season.

For Arkansas’ 2018 Flood Safety Awareness Week, the following safety topics will be highlighted:
Monday: Flood Safety - Preparedness and Awareness
Tuesday: Turn Around Don’t Drown—This year marks the 14th anniversary of the NWS Turn Around Don’t Drown® campaign to alert the public to the dangers of driving or walking into floodwaters.
Wednesday: Flood Hazards - Flooding can occur any-where in Arkansas at any time of year. The source of the flooding can vary based on the weather, the terrain, and groundcover.
Thursday: NWS Services - Do you know the difference between a Flood Warning and a Flood Watch? It’s important to understand the terminology and prod-ucts from the NWS surrounding a flood event.
Friday: Partner Services - Learning the jobs and roles of partners and agencies who provide flood fighting re-sources and assistance.

The Time to Prepare is NOW!!


WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), a co-chair of the Senate Hunger Caucus, is leading efforts to recognize the work of the Child and Adult Care Food Program in fighting hunger by introducing a resolution designating the week of March 11 as “National Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Week.” 

“The Child and Adult Care Food Program plays a critical role in meeting the nutrition needs of those in Arkansas and throughout the country. As a co-chair of the Senate Hunger Caucus, I am committed to ending hunger both domestically and abroad, and the CACFP is one of the tools in our toolbox to achieve these results,” Boozman said.

Te CACFP is run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service. The program supports child and adult care facilities and family or group day care homes by providing healthy foods that contribute to the wellness, healthy growth, and development of young children, and the health and wellness of older adults and chronically impaired disabled persons.

An increasing number of studies have demonstrated that access to the CACFP can measurably and positively impact the cognitive, social, emotional and physical health and development of children, leading to more favorable outcomes such as decreased likelihood of being hospitalized, an increased likelihood of healthy weight gain and an increased likelihood of a more varied diet.

Through the CACFP, more than 4.2 million children and 130,000 adults receive nutritious meals and snacks every day.

The resolution that Boozman introduced with Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) honors and raises awareness about the important role the CACFP plays in improving the health of children and adults in childcare centers, adult day care homes and after-school programs by providing nutritious meals and snacks.

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month event reminds Arkansans to #SeeMeForMe
LITTLE ROCK (March 8, 2018) – ­Governor Asa Hutchinson today addressed a crowd of advocates for the developmentally disabled (DD) who gathered at a meeting of the Governors’ Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD).

“I am grateful to be here today with you, to celebrate the potential of every human being,” Hutchinson said. “I encourage all Arkansans to see each other – including those with developmental disabilities – as individuals who are striving to achieve, to grow and to be the best they can be, in the same way those without disabilities do. That’s what the GCDD and advocates across the state are doing this month and every day.”

Nearly 200,000 Arkansans have a developmental disability, such as cerebral palsy, autism, dyslexia or Down syndrome. Last week, Hutchinson officially proclaimed March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in Arkansas, which is being promoted through the #SeeMeForMe social-media campaign.

“And Arkansas has a plan in place to give our developmental-disability community hope beyond March,” he said, directly addressing those in the crowd with a developmentally disability. “The more we see you for you, the more lives we change and impact. You are an inspiration to me and an inspiration for others.”

GCDD, along with other DD partners around the state, oversees the state’s implementation of the federal Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act to ensure that individuals with DD and their families have local supports and services to live, work, play and worship in inclusive and integrated communities.

The 23-member Council helps identify the most pressing needs of DD individuals and addresses those needs by conducting outreach, fostering change and advancing public policy that works to champion the inclusion, integration and independence of those with DD.

At today’s event, several self-advocates (those with a developmental disability) shared their #SeeMeForMe stories:

“I have an intellectual disability and cerebral palsy but that is not who I am. It’s not my definition of myself,” said Kobe Roy, 15, a student at North Little Rock High School where he is a member of the Junior ROTC.  “Going to school is hard because no one sees me for me. They see someone who doesn’t always say the right things or walk how they walk. A kid can get lost when they don’t feel accepted. … I can start educating people about who I am and, just maybe, help change their perspectives so that they’ll invest in the person, not the disability.”

Christopher Tebbetts of Mountain View, who is also a member of the Council, told the crowd, through his speech-generating device, that “I am so fortunate that I have a husband-and-wife team to care for me full-time. Being an advocate on the Council means a lot to me because I want to make a difference in the lives of those with disabilities.”

“I was raised to believe in myself,” said Darren Morris, Arkansas's statewide self-advocate coordinator. “I've had jobs and places of my own since I got out of high school, and today, I really feel proud to go out and help those who have dreams. They want jobs; they want homes of their own. We want the opportunity to be heard. We are not defined by our disabilities; we are defined by our abilities.”

Hutchinson then shared his own story about DD: “My office employs an Arkansan with a developmental disability. He is our greeter, answers our phones and welcomes guests to our office, and he does a great job. He’s important to our team and to our office family, and he’s got a supportive team around him.”

GCDD, along with similar organizations across the nation, is celebrating Development Disabilities Awareness Month by promoting the #SeeMeForMe campaign that encourages others to see the person before the disability. The campaign focuses on bringing together those with a DD with allies to make deeper connections and form stronger relationships. Arkansans can engage and participate on Facebook and Twitter.

“We want Arkansas to be a place where those with a DD are included in all aspects of daily life,” said Eric Munson, GCDD executive director. “Our Council, in collaboration with DD advocates and service providers around the state, champion integrated employment opportunities that pay competitive wages, inclusive activities and recreation, and independence-building supports and services. We want to be a resource for Arkansans with DD, their families, employers, schools, and those organizations that provide services to them.”

For more information about GCDD and its mission, visit and follow on Facebook and Twitter.

March 07, 2018

Live On Stage, Inc. and the Ouachita County Community Concert Association announce Song-and-Dance Duo as part of their 2017 - 2018 Concert Season
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – (February 20, 2018) – Broadway veterans Melissa Giattino and Ron DeStefano are bringing their gorgeous vocals, exciting choreography and unique musical arrangements to Camden Fairview High School, 1750 Cash Road, Camden, Arkansas on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.  Children and students are admitted to all OCCCA performances at no charge if accompanied by an OCCCA ticket holder.  For more information please call 870-807-6915 or 870-818-2131, or visit

“... rhythm, style, humor, and Broadway flair…” – New Orleans Times

Two On Tap marks the creative collaboration of celebrated musical theatre veterans, Melissa Giattino and Ron DeStefano. Since its debut in February 2010, Two On Tap has entertained tens of thousands at countless theatrical concerts and gala events in the US, and enjoyed headliner status aboard luxury cruise liners. Heralded by presenters and critics alike, Two On Tap aims to breathe new life into classic song-and-dance with clever arrangements, a meaningful connection to the audience, and exciting high-energy routines. Featuring timeless Broadway show tunes, this show will keep you entertained from start to finish!

Local dancers from Edge Performing & Visual Arts Studio will perform during the show.  

The Ouachita County Community Concert Association has been presenting world-class entertainment to the Camden community since 1947! An enthusiastic group of volunteers work tirelessly to provide family entertainment and educational outreach performances to educate and entertain adults and students alike.

Live On Stage, Inc. provides excellent, affordable, entertainment attractions and support services to an American community of concert presenters. 


LITTLE ROCK – Winners have been announced for the 2018 class of the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame.  
The Arkansas Food Hall of Fame was launched by the Department of Arkansas Heritage in 2016 to recognize Arkansas’s legendary restaurants, proprietors and food-themed events across the state. Nominations were accepted from the public in five categories: Food Hall of Fame, Proprietor of the Year, Food-Themed Event, Gone But Not Forgotten and People’s Choice. 

The Arkansas Food Hall of Fame Committee chose the finalists in each category and the winners were announced at a reception and induction ceremony at Ron Robinson Theater in Little Rock on March 6.  

Winners are as follows: 
Arkansas Food Hall of Fame
Franke’s Cafeteria of Little Rock (Pulaski County)
McClard’s Bar-B-Q Restaurant of Hot Springs (Garland County)
The Venesian Inn of Tontitown (Washington County)

Proprietor of the Year
Mary Beth Ringgold (Pulaski County)

Food-Themed Events

Gillett Coon Supper (Arkansas County)


Gone But Not Forgotten

Cotham’s Mercantile in Scott (Pulaski County)


People’s Choice

JJ’s Lakeside Café in Lake Village (Chicot County)


450 nominations were received for the second class of the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame.


“We are so pleased to see the increasing response from the public in this conversation on Arkansas food and food culture. This is just the beginning of a program that will celebrate this special part of our heritage for years to come,” said Stacy Hurst, director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.


The 11-member selection committee includes Paul S. Austin, Evette Brady, C.C. (Chip) Culpepper, Cindy Grisham, Stacy Hurst, Montine McNulty, Tim Morton, Rex Nelson, Tim Nutt, Kat Robinson and Christina Shutt.


About the Department of Arkansas Heritage

The mission of the Department of Arkansas Heritage is to identify Arkansas’s heritage and enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors by the discovery, preservation and presentation of the state’s natural, cultural and historic resources. This is accomplished through the work of its eight divisions: Arkansas Arts Council, Arkansas Historic Preservation Program,

Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, Arkansas State Archives, Delta

Cultural Center, Historic Arkansas Museum, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center and Old State House Museum.

FORT SMITH AWARDED $8.5 MILLION GRANT FOR INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Congressman Steve Womack (AR-03) announced that Fort Smith will receive a $8,527,893 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to repair and rehabilitate three rail bridges that cross Clear Creek and the Arkansas River.

One bridge spans the Arkansas River, and the project will rehabilitate many of its structural components, along wih the electrical and mechanical systems controlling the lift span. The other two bridges cross Clear Creek, and the project will replace timber trestles approaching their spans, improving their safety and reliability.

“Upgrading our infrastructure is necessary to continuing and growing economic development in the region. This ivestment in Fort Smith will improve transportation routes to move Arkansas goods around the world,” Boozman said.

“Repairing these bridges will both protect the safety of all who use them and spur economic growth in the local comunity. This project is more than deserving of this assistance, and the people of Arkansas will put it to good use,” Cotton said.

“More than 50 Natural State businesses rely on these rail bridges for sending and receiving goods, and this funding will ensure that their products are able to move with greater efficiency, ultimately growing our local, regional, and national economy. I am confident it will have a positive impact on our communities,” Womack said.

The funding is awarded from the DOT’s TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Discretionary Grant program that invests in transportation projects that will have a significant economic impact.

“The highly competitive TIGER program recognizes projects that will have a significant impact on a region, metropolitan areas, or our country as a whole,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao said. 

Washington, D.C.
 – Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) along with Senators Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), David Perdue (R-Georgia) today introduced the Preserving Access to Cost Effective Drugs (PACED) Act, which restores the power of the Patent and Trade Office and federal courts, and the International Trade Commission to review patents regardless of sovereign immunity claims made as part of sham transactions.

Under current law patent holders can pay Indian tribes to take “ownership” of their patents, which allows the tribes to claim sovereign immunity and avoid review in the case of a dispute. This could lead to widespread patent abuse and increases costs for consumers.

“It’s far past time that we crack down on patent abuse, which is raising costs for our seniors. This bill will make sure unscrupulous patent holders can’t game the system and block their competitors from entering the market. That’ll go a long way to help seniors get the drugs they need,” said Cotto

“We watched a company brazenly try to exploit a potential legal loophole to game the system in an effort to protect their bottom line—and keep Missourians from access to cheaper generic drug options in the process. That should be illegal, and our bipartisan bill would make it so by ending this astounding assertion of sovereign immunity to avoid patent review, before any other companies follow suit,” said McCaskill.

“Sham transactions involving the transfer of patent ownership from a pharmaceutical company to a tribe for the sole purpose of shielding the patent from challenges are a clear abuse of our patent system and set a dangerous precedent for other consumer products. The PACED Act will improve our patent system and protect patients and consumers from higher drug prices by eliminating this egregious loophole,” said Toomey.

“Congress cannot look the other way as some pharmaceutical companies attempt to stifle competition and prevent Americans from accessing affordable generic drugs,” said Senator Ernst. “Failure to act could incentivize other industries to use similar tactics to block competitors. Through the Preserving Access to Cost Effective Drugs Act, we can speed up the entry of safe and affordable generic drugs into the market while maintaining the integrity of the U.S. patent system.”

“Gaming the patent system is not good for consumers or businesses,” said Senator Perdue. “I’m disappointed this legislation even has to be offered due to a few bad actors trying to do an end run around the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.” 


  • By avoiding review, pharmaceutical firms can prevent generics from coming to market and raise the cost of drugs.
  • Similarly, if non-practicing entities, often referred to as “patent trolls,” can skirt a review or use a tribe as a straw plaintiff, it becomes harder for businesses to defend themselves against dubious patent claims.
  • This legislation would do nothing to prevent pharmaceutical firms from partnering with Indian tribes for research, development, and licensing of drugs.

The PACED Act is supported by the following organizations which represent hundreds of companies across the U.S.: R Street, The Electronic Frontier Foundation, Engine, American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research, Public Knowledge, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), Association for Accessible Medicines, United for Patent Reform, High Tech Industry Alliance, Patients for Affordable Drugs Now, BlueCross BlueShield Association, Blue Shield of California


March 06, 2018

MARCH 6, 2018

Special Agents with the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division have been requested to assist the Stuttgart Police Department in the investigation of a deadly shooting that occurred at approximately 7:30 yesterday evening (Monday, March 5th), leaving one person dead and another seriously injured. 

According to initial statements, Natasha Russell, 21, of Stuttgart was the driver of a vehicle that entered the intersection of McKinley and Lowe Streets in Stuttgart. Upon entering the intersection, an unknown number of male individuals started shooting towards her vehicle. Two passengers within the vehicle were hit by gunfire.

Robert Brown, 46, of Pine Bluff was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. His body has been transported to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory to determine the exact cause and manner of death. 

Kevin Harvey, 56, of Stuttgart was transported to a Little Rock Hospital with critical injuries. 

The investigation is continuing.


Innovative robotics program stresses science, technology and math skills
Little Rock, Ark. — March 6, 2018 — The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas have entered a partnership with Arkansas FIRST, a volunteer-based, non-profit organization founded to ensure every Arkansas student has access to competitive robotics education programs.

“The Arkansas FIRST Robotics Competition provides great learning opportunities for students,” said Rob Roedel, corporate communications manager for the cooperatives. “We will work with Arkansas FIRST volunteers to promote and support the program. Our goal is to get teams in all 75 Arkansas counties and eventually hold four competitions within Arkansas to provide students with maximum exposure to science, math and technology.”

This year’s multi-state competition will be held in Little Rock and include approximately 3,500 contestants from eight states and Mexico. Arkansas’ teams will include students from Arkadelphia, Batesville, Bentonville, Booneville, Conway, DeWitt, Farmington, Fayetteville, Hope, Kirby, Mayflower, Mount Vernon, Mountain Home, Mulberry, Newark, North Little Rock, Pangburn, Pine Bluff, Pleasant Plains, Rogers, Searcy, Springdale and Texarkana. In addition to Arkansas, teams from Alabama, California, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas will also compete in the event.

According to Meredith Novak, president of Arkansas FIRST, the robotics program combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas to expand the Arkansas FIRST program throughout the state,” she said. “The program features strict rules, limited resources and time limits with teams of 25 students or more being challenged to raise funds, design a team brand, hone teamwork skills, and build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. Volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide each team. We look forward to a great partnership with the cooperatives.”

The 2018 Arkansas Rock City Regional FIRST Robotics Competition will be held on March 8-10 at Barton Coliseum in Little Rock. At least 55 Arkansas and regional high schools will bring 3,500 students, teachers, mentors, sponsors, spectators and family members to the event.

The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas comprise 17 electric distribution cooperatives; Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI), a Little Rock-based cooperative that provides services to the distribution cooperatives; and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. (AECC), a generation and transmission cooperative. The distribution cooperatives provide electricity to approximately 500,000 homes, farms and businesses in Arkansas and surrounding states

Statewide conference provides education, support, and a space for collaboration to individuals, organizations, and institutions interested in improving Arkansas Communities through service.
LITTLE ROCK, FEBRUARY 26, 2018—The statewide conference on community engagement and service, EngageAR will take place April 20-21, 2018 at the Embassy Suites in Little Rock Arkansas. Conference topics range from partnership development and collaboration to volunteer management and capacity building.  Wendy Spencer, CEO of Leadership Florida and former CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, will deliver the keynote speech on Friday, April 20th.

The two day conference will include workshops, breakout sessions, opportunities for networking, and for the first time in conference history a large-scale service project on Saturday, April 21 with local nonprofit organizations.  Conference registration is open until Monday April 2nd. More information can be found at

EngageAR is hosted by VolunteerAR, the state service commission and office for volunteerism, which seeks to engage citizens in meaningful and impactful volunteer opportunities opportunities with nonprofits, government agencies, and faith-based organizations.  The conference is directed by a steering committee representing higher education institutions, philanthropic foundations, disaster response organizations, AmeriCorps Arkansas, and the Governor’s Advisory Commission on National Service and Volunteerism.

March 05, 2018

​The Ouachita County Quorum Court will meet in regular session tomorrow, Tuesday March 6, 2018, at the Ouachita County Detention Center at 7:00PM. The meeting will be held in the District Courtroom. The Ouachita County Law Enforcement Committee will meet at 6:15 prior to the Quorum Court meeting. 

The agenda includes an appropriation ordinance to appropriate funs in the jail operating fund,  to the jail budget and an appropriation ordinance to appropriate funds in the general fund to the assessor budget. There will be a review of the 2016 legislative audit report and a discussion regarding the Courthouse Clock Tower.

Left to Right: Tiny Tot Ms. Daffodil Queen Madilynn Anyah Green, 1st runner up & Photogenic Caroline Olivia Duncan, 2nd runner up & People's Choice Melaina Thurman








Left to Right: Petite Miss 1st runner up Addilyn Claire Isbell, 2nd runner up & Photogenic Julianna Lamkin, Petite Miss Daffodil Queen & People's Choice Mya Hernandez. 






Left to Right: Princess People's Choice Haylee Alise Hunter, Princess Miss Daffodil Queen Skylar Annette Simpson, 2nd runner up Ember Leigh Wilson, Photogenic and 1st runner up Keaton Kinley.







Left to Right: Young Miss Daffodil Queen & Photogenic Autumn Neal, 1st runner up Fallon Taylor Lindsey, 2nd runner up Decoria Johnson.









Left to Right: 1st runner up & People's Choice Maleah Nicole Burton, 2nd runner up & Photogenic Makaylee Neal, Jr. Miss Daffodil Queen Chesney Reynolds.








Left to right: Ms. Daffodil 2018 Heather Nicole Williams, 1st runner up and People's Choice Winner Destiny Vaughan. 














MAGNOLIA – Registration will be available online starting March 8 for this summer’s fourth-annual Mulerider Kids College (MKC) and the second annual Mulerider Teen College (MTC).


The two Kids College camps will be June 25-28, 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Teen College is set for July 9-11, 8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.


Visit to complete the registration form and view the class schedule. Class placement will be awarded on a first come, first served basis.


A total of 403 students attended last year’s morning and afternoon camps, with 123 staying all day to attend both camps. Fifty-five students attended the first-annual MTC.


“We are so grateful to all the area teachers who submitted class ideas this year. We have a lot of new and fun classes planned and we’re looking forward to another great summer!” said Jana Walker, MKC and MTC coordinator.


Tuition for MKC and MTC is $60 per student, per camp. Registration deadline is April 25. Registration forms will be accepted with a $25 late fee through May 1, based on availability. For those without computer access, Walker said her office and assistance are available in the SAU Advising Center, Overstreet Hall 235.  


There will be 31 classes offered to MKC students and 16 to MTC students. The MKC camps are for youth entering into first through sixth grades. Both the morning and afternoon camps will consist of students enrolling in three 60-minute classes of their choice, per availability and grouped according to grade level. Children can attend one or both camps. Each participant will receive a t-shirt, snacks, and a MKC bag. Students choosing to enroll in both morning and afternoon camps will be provided lunch in the cafeteria.


The three-day MTC program will be for students entering grades 7-9. It is designed to give junior high students fun and educational experiences outside of a regular classroom setting. Tuition includes a t-shirt, bag, and lunch each day.


A limited number of scholarships are available, and will be awarded based on financial need and on a first come, first served basis. The scholarship application is also on the MKC website. Deadline to apply is April 5, and applicants will be notified by April 14.

U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, welcomed an announcement by Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue at the Mid-South Farm & Gin Show in Memphis, Tennessee that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will operate the Cotton Ginning Cost Share (CGCS) program based on a producer’s 2016 cotton acres. This will help cotton farming families who have been struggling to keep their farms operational.

“Over the past several years, cotton farmers have endured many pressing challenges so this announcement is great news for them,” Boozman said. “As producers are visiting with their bankers to obtain financing for the upcoming crop year, this payment could be the difference in getting an operating note or not. I’m pleased to have led the bipartisan effort in the Senate to encourage the Administration and Secretary Perdue to implement a cotton ginning cost share payment to provide relief to our nation’s cotton farmers.”


Last year, Boozman and Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) were joined by 24 of their colleagues in urging President Donald Trump to continue the USDA’s CGCS program. The overwhelming majority of cotton grown in the United States is exported, making the industry dependent on open trade relationships with key markets. Unfortunately, lately the market has been heavily distorted by foreign competitors’ domestic subsidies, tariffs, and non-tariff barriers to trade. Net farm income is projected to be the lowest level in 12 years.


Last month, seed cotton provisions included in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 made cotton producers eligible for the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs that are authorized in the Farm Bill. However, any assistance triggered by that program would not be paid until the fall of 2019. The CGCS program will complement the seed cotton provisions because assistance will be provided to producers now.

March 02, 2018

Two men arrested and catch a plethora of charges
In the very early hours Tuesday morning Officer Joseph Jones was patrolling in the Cleveland Street area when he saw a red vehicle in front of him make a right turn onto Clifton Street. The vehicle did not stop at the stop sign. The Officer turned right onto Clifton and observed a man run from the vehicle to a wooded area behind a residence. Officer Jones advised dispatch that he had one subject flee and another subject was walking away from the vehicle. The Officer told the subject to stop and come back to the scene, but the man refused and proceeded to walk behind the house. Yet another man got out of the vehicle, but he remained by the car. The officer asked the third man who was driving the car and who the two men were who had left the scene. The man stated that he did not know. While speaking to the man Officer Jones noticed a strong odor of marijuana coming from the car and on the man’s person.

While investigating the scene a man fitting the description of the subject that had walked away. The subject was advised to come and speak with the Officer. The man did not answer when he was asked if he had been in the car. The man had a smelled strongly of an intoxicant. The man was taken into custody. An open can of beer was found in the passenger side cup holder. Both men refused to answer when asked if the beer belonged to them. The Officer was unable to determine who had been driving the car. One of the subjects was identified as Gregory Askew. He was charged with a parole warrant and drinking on the highway. Askew was given a court date of April 18th and was transported to the Ouachita County Jail.

Officer Jones asked for the other subject’s name and he refused to give it. He stated that he was not in the car. He stated that he was inside the house the whole time. The Officer advised the subject that if he did not supply the requested information that he would be charged with obstruction. He continued to refuse to offer any information. He was transported to the Ouachita county Jail. It was there that the Officer was able to find the subject to be Mario Terrell. Terrill was then ran through the ACIC and it was confirmed the he had a parole warrant. Terrell was charged with parole warrant, fleeing, drinking on the highway and obstruction of government operations. He was given a court date of April 18th.

Man arrested for DUI and refusal to take a BAC
This past Sunday morning Officer Andrew Tollefson was dispatched to the intersection of U.S Highway 278 off ramp and California Avenue for a possible intoxicated driver. Dispatch stated a white Chevrolet pickup had been sitting at the light for several minutes and had not mover. The Officer arrived to find the vehicle in question witting at the intersection facing towards Wal Mart. The vehicle had a green light to proceed through he intersection but continued to sit at the light.

The Officer initiated his emergency blue light and made contact with the driver. The subject, identified as Gregory Garner, was slumped over in the driver’s seat asleep and snoring. Officer Tollefson knocked on the window several times to get Garner awake but was unsuccessful. The Officer then opened the driver door and placed the vehicle in park. He turned the truck off and removed the keys from the ignition. The Officer continued to wake Garner and noticed a very strong smell of intoxicants emitting from the vehicle.

Once Garner finally woke, he spoke with slurred speech and his eyes were very blood shot and watery. When asked for his license. Garner first began to dig in his pockets and dropped money on the floorboard. He then reached in his back pocket and pulled out his phone. Garner was told again that the Officer needed to see his license. After several attempts, the man was finally able to produce his license.

Garner was then asked to step out of the vehicle to perform a Standardized Field Sobriety Test. Garner agreed and exited the vehicle. The Officer motioned the man to the back of the vehicle but while walking to the rear of his vehicle he began to stumble and almost fell.

Garner was placed in the instructional position for the Horizontal Gaze Nystagnms test. He was given instructions but was unable or refused to comply. The Officer continued to give instructions on various tests but was unable or unwilling to perform the tests in the manner he was instructed.

Garner was taken into custody for driving while intoxicated and transported to the station. Upon arrival, Garner was read the Arkansas Statement of Rights for DWI. He signed the rights stating he understood as the Officer read them to him. Garner was also given a copy to read along. Garner was requested to submit to a breath test but refused to give a sample. He initialed and signed required paperwork in regard to his refusal.

Garner was charged with Driving While Intoxicated and Refusal of BAC. The vehicle was removed from the scene by a local wrecker service.

Below are some of Ouachita County's most wanted. If you know the whereabouts of or have any information about any of these individuals call the Ouachita County Sheriff's Office at 870-231-5300. Together we can help Law Enforcement apprehend the bad guys and gals and help make our county a safer place to live, work and raise our families.


Tyler Adams 
DOB: 12-13-1995
Adams is a white male with brown hair and blue eyes.
He is 5'7" and weighs 180 pounds.
Adams is wanted for a probation violation. 

Dedrick Alexander
DOB 08-02-1994
Alexander is a white male with brown hair and brown eyes.
He is 5’6” and weighs 130 pounds.
Alexander is wanted for a Ouachita County Circuit Court Bench Warrant. (Three Counts of Contempt of Court.


Christopher Rogers
DOB 04-21-1993
Rogers is a white male with brown hair and blue eyes.
He is 6’0” and weighs 147 pounds.
Rogers is wanted for a Ouachita County Circuit Court Bench Warrant.


Eric Easter
DOB 06-21-1996
Easter is a black male with black hair and brown eyes.
He is 5’10” and weighs 135 pounds.
Easter is wanted for breaking or entering.


Ronald McLelland
DOB 08-16-1960
McLelland is a white male with brown hair and blue eyes.
He is 5’9” and weighs 160 pounds.
McLelland is wanted for Criminal Mischief – 2nd Degree.

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) will be showcasing the Tire Accountability Program (TAP) as well as unveiling a Tire Sculpture Exhibit on Tuesday, March 6, 2018, at 12:00 p.m. The event will take place on the second floor rotunda at the Arkansas State Capitol. 

The sculptures on display are made entirely of bicycle and automotive tires. They were developed by two professional Arkansas artists, Danny Campbell and Alice Guffey Miller, as well as students from the eStem High School and Maumelle High School. ADEQ Associate Director of Land Resources, Kevin White, will speak briefly on TAP and honor the artists and students in a short ceremony.

The Arkansas General Assembly passed Act 317 in 2017, creating the Used Tire Recycling and Accountability Program. The program, implemented by Arkansas’s eleven Solid Waste Districts with support from ADEQ, replaces and improves upon Arkansas's former waste tire program by initiating an electronic, uniform, used-tire manifest system to increase accountability. It also provides incentives for used tire recycling, equalizes fee collection, and creates the Used Tire Recycling Fund.

The Tire Sculpture Exhibit will be on display until March 16, 2018.

U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) is leading bipartisan efforts to modernize water infrastructure investment. In early February, Boozman introduced the Securing Required Funding for Water Infrastructure Now (SRF WIN) Act, legislation that would make the funding process easier and more affordable for states to meet their underserved or unmet water infrastructure needs.

The Arkansas Natural Resources Commission and the Arkansas Water Association support Boozman’s bill to modernize water infrastructure investment.

“…it will be a significant addition to the “SRF tool box” of financing options for water and waste water infrastructure.” – Bruce Holland, Executive Director Arkansas Natural Resources Commission

“With this additional funding avenue the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission and other States Finance programs will be able to fund the many vetted infrastructure project proposals submitted by large and small communities in every state…” – Dennis Sternberg, CEO Arkansas Rural Water Association

Here are some other reasons why nationwide water and industry leaders support the SRF WIN Act:

“We believe the SRF programs remain the most effective means of providing municipalities the necessary support to build and improve water systems. We are heartened that your legislation recognizes the primary role of the SRFs in addressing this nation’s water infrastructure challenges.” Jeff Freeman, President Council of Infrastructure Financing Authorities

“The SRF WIN Act blends the most successful parts of SRFs and WIFIA to create a program that gives State Finance Authorities access to WIFIA loans for drinking and wastewater infrastructure projects. This program would offer a new and efficient tool to leverage limited federal resources and stimulate additional investment in our nation’s infrastructure while safeguard against any cuts to the existing SRFs and WIFIA programs.” – Kristina Swallow, 2018 President of the American Society of Civil Engineers

“With the availability of economical alternatives like water well systems and an affordable funding solution provided by the SRF Win Act, there should be no reason that every American should not have access to safe drinking water.” – Richard Mest, President Water Systems Council

“Providing State Finance Authorities with these WIFIA loans is the most effective and efficient means for the federal government to support water and wastewater construction projects in communities across the nation. Your legislation could not come at a more critical time for these communities.” – James Callhan, General President International Union of Operating Engineers

“This significant legislation will help communities across our nation maintain and enhance their drinking water infrastructure by providing much needed financial support.” William Mills, President American Public Works Association

“The SRF WIN Act advances significant, fiscally responsible, investments in our nation’s water infrastructure and the Water Infrastructure Network urges all Members of the United States Senate to cosponsor and support the passage of this landmark legislation.” -Water Infrastructure Network

“…we believe that the innovative loan program in SRF WIN, which has already proven its potential through a pilot program, is critical to strengthening our water infrastructure.” – Jim Creevy, Vice President Government Relations, ABB

“The SRF WIN Act provides for fiscally responsible investments in our nation’s critical water infrastructure that will improve US competitiveness in the long-term and support US manufacturing jobs in the near-term.” Karl Lobry, Director of Operations Danfoss

“…this legislation that will help small communities access additional WIFIA and SRF funding for much-needed water and wastewater infrastructure upgrades integral to economic growth in rural America.” Nathan Ohle, Executive Director Rural Community Assistance Partnership

“….we look forward to working with you to advance the SRF WIN Act to address the substantial backlog of water projects and preserve the existing role that the SRF serves.” Denis Bilodeau, President Orange County Water District

“The SRF WIN Act offers a useful complement to the existing SRF and WIFIA programs by providing states with an additional low-cost financing tool for recycled water systems that otherwise find it difficult to access necessary funds for investments.” – Patricia Sinicropi, Executive Director WateRuse Association.

On March 13-14, landowners, farmers, ranchers and those who serve agriculture throughout the state will gather for the Arkansas Women in Agriculture Annual Conference at the Wyndham Riverfront in North Little Rock. Registration for attendees and vendors is available at

Krista Cupp, Vice President at The Herald Group in Washington D.C., will anchor the conference with keynote addresses during lunch both Tuesday, March 13 and Wednesday, March 14. In her role at The Herald Group, Cupp leads the food and agriculture practice for the firm, specializing in strategic communications, crisis management, and grassroots activation for both corporate and non-profit sectors.

A Farm Bill Panel presentation will be held Tuesday morning. Panel participants are:  Cynthia Edwards, Deputy Agriculture Secretary, Arkansas Agriculture Department; Brandy Carroll, Assistant Director of Commodities, Farm Bureau; and Krista Cupp.

Sessions during the two day event include: How to Market Crops; Got Trees? Now What?; Agri Tourism; and Estate Planning. This year there will also be a Collegiate Session with topics on Ag Careers, Resume Building and Dressing Your Best.

“In addition to the educational sessions and networking provided to attendees of this year’s conference, we are excited to offer a tract specifically targeted for collegiate attendees this year,” said Monica Paskewitz, President, Arkansas Women in Ag.

In addition to the conference sessions, vendors will be on hand to provide valuable educational information to attendees as well as offering some shopping opportunities.

If you have any questions, please contact Jenni Burke via email at or by phone at 417-372-2012, or email For hotel reservations contact the Wyndham Riverfront at 501-371-9000 and request the ARWIA group rate.

March 2, 2018
LITTLE ROCK – As the legislature gets close to wrapping up the 2018 fiscal session, one of the final bills to be considered is the state balanced budget bill known as the Revenue Stabilization Act.

Whether in fiscal sessions or regular sessions, the balanced budget law is traditionally among the last measures passed by the General Assembly.

The appropriation for the Medicaid program is also one of the last bills approved by the legislature. It is one of the largest expenditures of state tax dollars, and usually is one of the most controversial spending bills in every recent legislative session.

The Revenue Stabilization Act was first passed by the legislature in 1945 by a unanimous vote in the House of Representatives and a 30-to-1 vote in the Senate.

It has proven to be a flexible method of balancing state government’s budget. A legal challenge of the Revenue Stabilization Act was filed in 1961 and the following year the state Supreme Court upheld its constitutionality. The ruling was unanimous.

The justice who wrote the majority opinion said that the “Revenue Stabilization Law is a complex accounting tool designed to insure that the recipients of State funds receive monies only so long as cash is on hand.”

It still functions well today. Legislators prioritize all state agency spending requests. If the economy is healthy and general revenue is collected at projected levels, state agencies receive what they are budgeted to receive.

When the economy goes into a downturn, income taxes decline because fewer people have jobs. Sales taxes decline because families cut back on spending. Corporate income taxes are reduced because profits suffer. The total amount of state general revenue falls below estimates, and as required by the Revenue Stabilization Act, state agencies must cut back on spending in the low-priority categories.

State aid for public schools is considered a top priority, after a legal challenge in the Lake View school funding case. The plaintiff was a small, rural school that challenged how the Public School Fund was distributed. In ruling for the Lake View District, the Supreme Court said that the state Constitution obligated the state to provide an adequate education for all Arkansas children. The practical result has been that school funding is considered immune from budget cuts.

School funding amounts to about half of state general revenue spending, therefore about half of state spending is protected from budget cuts. That means the rest of state government is hit even harder when the Revenue Stabilization Act mandates spending reductions.

School Safety

The Joint Performance Review Committee will meet regularly between now and next January to prepare a comprehensive package of measures to improve school safety, in the event of an active shooter. The measures will be presented to the legislature during the 2019 regular session.

In related news, the governor announced that he would create a commission to evaluate school designs, security policies, emergency plans, school counseling and mental health issues. The School Safety Commission’s initial report is due on July 1, 2018.

March 01, 2018

Little Rock, Ark.
— March 1, 2018 — Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas linemen recently completed a three-week mission to electrify two remote Guatemalan villages near the Mexican border resulting in approximately 105 villagers having electricity for the first time.

During the mission, the electric cooperative linemen from Arkansas worked with EMRE, a municipal electric utility, to expand service to rural areas including Las Tortugas and San Jorge communities. Their efforts included the construction of approximately 7.5 miles of power lines in jungle-like conditions. This span will ultimately provide power to hundreds of other rural Guatemalans.

The crew members were presented with plaques at a celebration event in Las Tortugas to commemorate the delivery of electricity to the village.

Linemen and their respective cooperatives that participated in the project included: Kenneth Byrd and Zac Pettis with Arkansas Valley Electric of Ozark; Terry Harkey with Craighead Electric of Jonesboro; Shawn Hammonds, Zack Lewis and Chris Wiles with First Electric Cooperative of Jacksonville; Keith Uselton with Mississippi County Electric of Blytheville; Joey Burk and Billy Smart with North Arkansas Electric of Salem; Richard Freeland with Ouachita Electric of Camden; Doug Evans and Jamie Reeves with Petit Jean Electric of Clinton; Kyle Thomason and Brandon Winer with Southwest Arkansas REA of Texarkana; Daniel Baker with Woodruff Electric of Forrest City; and Kevin Riddle with Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. of Little Rock.

NRECA International coordinated the project.

Combined with previous projects Arkansas electric cooperative linemen have assisted in providing electric service to more than 1,200 rural Guatemala and Bolivian residents that otherwise would not have service.

The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas comprise 17 electric distribution cooperatives; Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI), a Little Rock-based cooperative that provides services to the distribution cooperatives; and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. (AECC), a generation and transmission cooperative. The distribution cooperatives provide electricity to approximately 500,000 homes, farms and businesses in Arkansas and surrounding states. 

LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Department of Education will host the 2018 Educator Career Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday at the Wyndham Riverfront Hotel, 2 Riverfront Place, in North Little Rock. Attendees will have the opportunity to network with representatives from ADE, school districts and universities, as well as apply for jobs at districts around the state.

Participants will be able to learn more about the numerous routes to becoming a teacher, educator preparation programs, how to add areas of licensure to a current Arkansas teaching license and how to renew an expired license. ADE representatives will be available to assist with background checks and fingerprinting. 

The career fair is one of ADE’s many efforts to promote the teaching profession. ADE launched the Teach Arkansas campaign in February to promote the profession and encourage Arkansans to consider a career in teaching. 

“From a career in the medical field to one as a teacher, every profession begins in a classroom,” said Jeff Dyer, ADE’s teacher recruitment and retention program advisor. “To ensure success in life, excellent teachers inspire students every day to reach their full potential. A career that promotes service to others, the benefits of being a teacher are endless. I encourage anyone who has a passion for shaping the future to consider becoming an Arkansas teacher. Let’s inspire today and impact tomorrow!”

Representatives from approximately 25 districts and six universities will be at the event. To see the list of scheduled attendees, please visit To learn more about the Teach Arkansas campaign and how to get involved, visit


South Arkansas Arts Center presents two artists' works during the month of March. Mississippi artist Mary Hardy's exhibit will hang in the Price and Merkle Gallery, and El Dorado photographer Paul Waschka will show his photographs in the Lobby Gallery. The works will hang beginning March 2-28, with a reception on Saturday, March 3, 6-7:30pm.

Mary Hardy is a mixed media artist living and working on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Her show, "Varying Images; Same Path", deals with aspects of depth explored through random and entwined myths and memories. Hardy's education includes a Bachelor's and a Masters degree from the University of South Alabama, both in Art Education, and a very long list (which continues to be added to) of workshops taken throughout the U.S. and Mexico. 

Hardy has received numerous awards for her artwork. It has been recognized with grants, fellowships and residencies such as a Fellowship from Anderson Ranch Colorado, and a Mississippi Arts Commission Visual Arts Fellowship Award based on the merit of her work. The Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain recently awarded her a 4 month Artist Residency to produce work on their property at 12 Oaks. She was chosen as one of two artists to receive the "2005 Artist of the Year" given by the MS Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts for the state of Mississippi. 

Hardy's work was also used in the movie "Mississippi Murder" to represent the artwork of the heroine. 
During her 27years of teaching art, Mary Hardy maintained a dual career of a working and exhibiting artist and as well as being a full time art teacher. Hardy's teaching career culminated in retirement with her final position as Art Gallery Director and Instructor of Drawing and Painting for Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Mary Hardy's work is represented by Carol Robinson Gallery in New Orleans, Louisiana and Fischer Galleries, Jackson, Mississippi. Her work and additional information may be found on her website 

Paul Waschka's exhibit "On the Boards", a collection of photographs from past productions in the Callaway Theater, is his second solo show at SAAC. Paul became interested in photography during his high school years while working on the yearbook and has continued to explore the hobby throughout his life. He was asked by SAAC to take photographs of the plays, and he now has over 700 photographs from nine productions, which he had to go through to compile items for this show. He has photographed plays from "Oliver" to "Frankenstein" and everything in between. "This show highlights how my technique and expertise has changed through the years," said Waschka.

Not only has Waschka done a great job for SAAC in his photographic work, but he has also spent many volunteer hours serving in the past as president of the SAAC Board of Directors and as chairman of the Visual Arts Committee.

Waschka's photograph entitled "Light Rain" won Best in Show at the 2011 SAAC Membership Show, and he currently has the third place photograph entitled "Lonely Highway" in "The Viewfinder" Photography Contest hanging in the Price and Merkle Galleries.

For more information about the upcoming artists and their show, please call the SAAC office at 870-862-5474 or visit the website at www. SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas.

The Wetlands Policy Conservation Coalition recognized U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) for his efforts to protect wetlands with the coalition’s National Wildlife and Wetlands award.

“Arkansas wetlands are important to our state’s rich tradition of
duck hunting. Voluntary, incentive-based policies like the Wetlands Reserve Easement program, promote the conservation and restoration of these critical resources while preserving a popular pastime and an economic driver for our state. I look forward to continue working with the Wetlands Conservation Policy Coalition to support responsible conservation policies that balance the needs of landowners and wildlife as we craft the 2018 Farm Bill,” Boozman said.

The Wetlands Policy Conservation Coalition promotes efficient use of water resources and advocates for wetlands restoration and the Wetlands Reserve Easements program administered by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. Arkansas is a leader in the area of wetlands reserve easement with more than 240,000 acres enrolled in the program.


(StatePoint) Renovating your kitchen? Think about making updates that will add beauty and functionality to one of the most important rooms in the house. Here are a few innovative new looks and ideas to consider including in your plans.

Add Geometry
Geometric tile designs can create a bold modernized look in your kitchen, whether you’re adding a backsplash or redoing the flooring. Get creative by adding a mosaic design as trim around the perimeter or as a central point of focus.

Create Your Focal Point
Enhance any kitchen with an impressive new range that combines the functionality and green energy features of a modern appliance with the charm of old-world design. If you want an opportunity to tailor this look to your own specifications, consider those from ILVE. Known for their handcrafted Italian appliances, they have added even more ways to customize their ranges with a new, traditionally inspired solid door option for the ILVE Majestic Collection. Completely windowless, this model features a decorative country-style handrail on the oven door(s) and is available in a range of sizes and colors, from neutral tones like gloss black and matte graphite, to custom statement colors like ultramarine blue or ruby red.

Three trims -- brass, bronze and chrome -- give homeowners even more options when creating a look for the kitchen that is truly their own. For more information, visit

Get Cozy
Create a lounge in your kitchen with some furniture that lets you kick back and relax. A nook that contains a loveseat or couch, along with a small bookshelf and side table, may become your new favorite place to look through cookbooks or read a few pages of a novel while you’re waiting for the dough to rise. If possible, create this area in a sunlit corner of the kitchen that’s convenient to where the main cooking action takes place, so that those giving the chef a little company will have a comfortable place to sit and chat with their host.

Innovative new looks for your kitchen can transform the space into one that’s more functional and beautiful.