Yes Radio Works

OCTOBER 19, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

ARKANSAS FOOD HALL OF FAME

NOMINATION PERIOD DRAWING

TO CLOSE

Final day to nominate: October 31

LITTLE ROCK – Nominations for the Department of Arkansas Heritage Arkansas Food Hall of Fame are closing October 31, 2018. This is the third year for the statewide program to recognize the legendary restaurants, proprietors and food-themed events across the state. Nominate your favorites for all five categories at ArkFoodHOF.com now.

 

“I hope everyone will take a minute and join us in celebrating food as an interesting and important aspect of our state’s heritage,” said Department of Arkansas Heritage Director Stacy Hurst. “Now is the time to honor your favorite food-themed event, local restaurant, chef or proprietor by making nominations to the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame.”

 

Nominations are being accepted in five categories:

  • Arkansas Food Hall of Fame – This award recognizes restaurants that have been in business for 25 years or more and are locally owned. These places have earned an iconic status within Arkansas’s food scene.
  • Proprietor of the Year – This award honors a chef, cook and/or restaurant owner in Arkansas who has made significant achievements in the food industry.
  • Food-Themed Event – This award honors a community food-themed event or festival that has been in existence for five years or more and makes our state an authentic and interesting place to live and visit.
  • People’s Choice – This award identifies the public’s favorite. It is truly in the hands of Arkansans. The restaurant or food truck that receives the highest number of votes wins.
  • Gone But Not Forgotten – This award remembers the collective culinary legacy of a once-and-always influential Arkansas restaurant that has since ceased operations.

 

Winners will be chosen this winter by a blue-ribbon committee composed of Arkansans who are historians, chefs, foodies and food authors. Committee members include, Paul S. Austin, Evette Brady, Chip Culpepper, Cindy Grisham, Stacy Hurst, Montine McNulty, Tim Morton, Rex Nelson, Tim Nutt, Kat Robinson, Dr. Wendy Richter, Christina Shutt and Swannee Bennett. Honorees and finalists will be announced at a special ceremony on February 25, 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GOVERNOR ASA HUTCHINSON

ANNOUNCES APPOINTMENTS

Yesterday, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced the following appointments:

Dr. Sarah Hays, Little Rock, to the Arkansas State Board of Chiropractic Examiners. Term expires June 9, 2023. Replaces Dr. Thomas Taylor.

Hal Gunter, Jacksonville, to the Arkansas State Board of Chiropractic Examiners. Term expires June 9, 2023. Reappointment.

Dr. Lynn Crouse, Lake Village, to the Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy. Term expires June 30, 2024. Replaces Dr. Thomas Warmack.

Cindy Allen, Fort Smith, to the State and Public School Life and Health Insurance Board. Term expires December 1, 2021. Replaces Shelby McCook.

Dr. Jesse Hargrove, Alexander, to the Black History Commission of Arkansas. Term expires January 14, 2025. Replaces Dr. John Graves.

Phillip Milligan, Fort Smith, to the Board of Trustees of the State Police Retirement System. Appointment expires July 1, 2025. Replaces Ivan Miles.

David Smith, Arkadelphia, to the Arkansas State Board of Registration for Foresters. Appointment expires July 18, 2023. Replaces Caroll Guffey.

Rodney Leggitt, Greenbrier, to the Compliance Advisory Panel. Appointment expires August 1, 2021. Replaces Lisa Douglas.

Sam Stathakis, Hot Springs, to the Arkansas Tobacco Control Board. Term expires July 1, 2023.  Reappointment.

Carol Dyer, Hot Springs Village, to the Arkansas Tobacco Control Board. Term expires July 1, 2023. Reappointment.

Derek Gibson, Springdale, to the Board of Directors of Northwest Technical Institute. Term expires June 30, 2023. Replaces Dr. Clifton Braker.

Aaron Wright, Rogers, to the Board of Directors of Northwest Technical Institute. Term expires June 30, 2022. Replaces Kurt Schrock.

Mark Roberts, Malvern, to the Board of Trustees of College of the Ouachitas. Term expires June 30, 2025. Reappointment.

Bob Olvey, Pocahontas, to the Board of Trustees of Black River Technical College. Term expires June 30, 2025. Replaces Leo Baltz.

Don Pierce, Hot Springs Village, to the Arkansas State Board of Physical Therapy. Term expires July 1, 2021. Replaces Robert Hill.

Donald Perry, Jonesboro, to the State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Professional Surveyors. Appointment expires July 1, 2022. Replaces Dan Young.

Stewart Bryan, Greenwood, to the Arkansas Fire Protection Services Board. Appointment expires October 14, 2019. Replaces Timothy Stuckey.

Bill Gossage, Little Rock, to the Board of Control for Southern Regional Education. Appointment expires June 30, 2022. Replaces Dr. Lary Whitten.

Greg Smith, Brookland, to the Arkansas Board of Hearing Instrument Dispensers. Appointment expires July 31, 2021. Reappointment.

Chris Turnage, Hot Springs, to the Arkansas State Board of Athletic Training. Appointment expires January 14, 2020. Replaces Breanne Davis.

Paul Stevens, Bryant, to the Arkansas Alcohol and Drug Abuse Coordinating Council. Appointment expires July 1, 2019. Replaces Dean Kelsey.

Richard Bell, El Paso, to the Arkansas State Board of Public Accountancy. Appointment expires August 17, 2023. Replaces Robert Redfern.

Kevin Canfield, Springdale, to the Arkansas State Board of Public Accountancy. Appointment expires August 17, 2023. Replaces James Gately.

Jack Avery, Fayetteville, to the State Board of Private Career Education. Term expires April 15, 2025. Replaces Dr. Ann Thomas.

Brittney Matthews, Ward, to the State Board of Private Career Education. Term expires April 15, 2024. Replaces Mary Harris.

Butch Calhoun, Des Arc, to the Boll Weevil Eradication Committee. Appointment expires July 1, 2020. Replaces Terry Walker.

Joe Mencer, Lake Village, to the Boll Weevil Eradication Committee. Appointment expires July 1, 2022. Reappointment. 

Randy Reynolds, Wilson, to the Boll Weevil Eradication Committee. Appointment expires July 1, 2022. Reappointment. 

Bruce Davis, Hot Springs Village, to the Governor’s Advisory Commission on National Service and Volunteerism. Appointment expires August 30, 2021. Reappointment.

Robert Coon, Little Rock, to the Governor’s Advisory Commission on National Service and Volunteerism. Appointment expires August 30, 2021. Reappointment.

Sheila Boyd, Cabot, to the Governor’s Advisory Commission on National Service and Volunteerism. Appointment expires August 30, 2021. Replaces Ken Wasson.

Vernard Henley, Little Rock, to the Governor’s Advisory Commission on National Service and Volunteerism. Appointment expires August 30, 2021. Reappointment.

Stacey Caplener, Pleasant Plains, to the State Fire Prevention Commission. Appointment expires August 24, 2021. Reappointment.

Jason Wills, Jonesboro, to the State Fire Prevention Commission. Appointment expires August 24, 2021.

DeWayne Rose, Marion, to the State Fire Prevention Commission. Appointment expires August 24, 2021. Replaces David Fletcher.

James Kerr, Hot Springs, to the State Fire Prevention Commission. Appointment expires August 24, 2021. Replaces Travis Hollis.

Ronnie Rogers, Fort Smith, to the State Fire Prevention Commission. Appointment expires August 24, 2021. Reappointment.

Bobby Edmonds, Hot Springs, to the State Athletic Commission. Appointment expires August 24, 2020. Reappointment.

Dr. John Erwin, Hot Springs National Park, to the State Athletic Commission. Appointment expires August 24, 2020. Reappointment.

Brittany Dilworth, Hot Springs, to the State Athletic Commission. Appointment expires August 24, 2020. Reappointment.

Danielle Hoefer, Little Rock, to the State Athletic Commission. Appointment expires August 24, 2020. Reappointment.

Daniel Dring, Sherwood, to the State Athletic Commission. Appointment expires August 24, 2020. Reappointment.

Jennifer Sommer, Bentonville, to the State Athletic Commission. Appointment expires August 24, 2020. Reappointment.

Dr. Jennifer Vincenzo, Bentonville, to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Aging. Appointment expires August 24, 2022. Replaces Lynda Hogue.

Amy Culver, Springdale, to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Aging. Appointment expires August 22, 2022. Replaces Dr. Mary Ellis.

Vernon Maupin, Malvern, to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Aging. Appointment expires August 24, 2022. Replaces Don Hindman.

Raymond Phillips, Van Buren, to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Aging. Appointment expires August 24, 2022. Replaces Billie Dougherty.

Sharyn Ahlstrom, Magnolia, to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Aging. Appointment expires August 24, 2022. Reappointment.

Dr. Brian Jones, El Dorado, to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Aging. Appointment expires August 24, 2022. Replaces William Doerhoff.

Matthew Hodges, Wynne, to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Aging. Appointment expires August 24, 2022. Reappointment.

Billy Williams, Hampton, as a Justice of the Peace for the Calhoun County Quorum Court, District 4. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Max Brister.

Sam Terry, Fort Smith, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-18-18 Reginald R. Early v. Wendy Kelley, Director, Arkansas Department of Correction. Replaces Justice Robin F. Wynne, who has disqualified himself from the case.

Mark Wankum, Little Rock, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-17-235  Reginald R. Early v. Keith Crockett, Clayborn Carroll, Roberta Lewis, and Lamon Mayo. Replaces Justice Robin F. Wynne, who has disqualified himself from the case.

Judge Hugh Finkelstein, Little Rock, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-17-849 and CV-17-873 State of Arkansas; Protect Fayetteville f/k/a Repeal 119, et al. v. The City of Fayetteville, et al. Replaces Justice Courtney Hudson Goodson, who has disqualified herself from the case.

Judge Maureen Harrod, Heber Springs, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-17-849 and CV-17-873 State of Arkansas; Protect Fayetteville f/k/a Repeal 119, et al. v. The City of Fayetteville, et al. Replaces Justice Josephine Linker Hart, who has disqualified herself from the case.

Josh Farmer, Bryant, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-95-985 Greg Hogue v. State of Arkansas. Replaces Justice Courtney Hudson Goodson, who has disqualified herself from the case.

Jason Owens, Conway, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-16-898 Dexter J. Harmon v. State of Arkansas. Replaces Justice Courtney Hudson Goodson, who has disqualified herself from the case.

Judge Chris Carnahan, Conway, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-18-522 Comcast of Arkansas, Inc.; and Tegna, Inc.; v. Courtney Goodson; and Courtney Goodson Campaign. Replaces Chief Justice John Dan Kemp, who has disqualified himself from the case.

Judge James Cox, Fort Smith, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-18-522 Comcast of Arkansas, Inc.; and Tegna, Inc.; v. Courtney Goodson; and Courtney Goodson Campaign. Replaces Justice Rhonda Wood, who has disqualified herself from the case.

Judge Spencer Singleton, El Dorado, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-18-522 Comcast of Arkansas, Inc.; and Tegna, Inc.; v. Courtney Goodson; and Courtney Goodson Campaign. Replaces Justice Shawn Womack, who has disqualified himself from the case.

Lee Watson, Fort Smith, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-18-522 Comcast of Arkansas, Inc.; and Tegna, Inc.; v. Courtney Goodson; and Courtney Goodson Campaign. Replaces Justice Courtney Hudson Goodson, who has disqualified herself from the case.

Judge John Wright, Hot Springs, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-18-522 Comcast of Arkansas, Inc.; and Tegna, Inc.; v. Courtney Goodson; and Courtney Goodson Campaign. Replaces Justice Robin Wynne, who has disqualified himself from the case.

Judge Doug Schrantz, Bentonville, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-18-136 Jeff Crow, Individually and as Director of Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, et al. v. Greg Heslep and Keith Heslep. Replaces Justice Courtney Hudson Goodson, who has disqualified herself from the case.

J. Cliff McKinney, Little Rock, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-18-486 Michael Murphy v. Nancy Murphy. Replaces Justice Rhonda Wood, who has disqualified herself from the case.

Judge John R. Scott, Bentonville, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-18-228 Koppers, Inc. v. Kelvin Trotter, et al. Replaces Justice Courtney Hudson Goodson, who has disqualified herself from the case.

Judge Meredith Switzer, Hot Springs, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-18-616 Austin Prince, et al. v. Arkansas State Highway Commission, et al.  Replaces Justice Courtney Hudson Goodson, who has disqualified herself from the case.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image result for Leslie Rutledge logo

 

ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE HOLDS

OFFICE HOURS IN ALL 75 COUNTIES

FOR FOURTH YEAR IN A ROW

Yesterday, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge  held office hours in Sevier County which concluded the fourth consecutive year she has hosted mobile offices in all 75 counties.

“My mobile office initiative has expanded over the years, but making the office accessible to Arkansans where they are remains the goal,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “It is important that Arkansans know they do not have to drive to downtown Little Rock to file a consumer complaint face to face, or a safe location to drop off their prescription drugs. Each year, my mobile office initiative has expanded and it will continue to evolve as I see more opportunities to educate and protect Arkansans statewide.”

Since 2015, over 325 statewide mobile offices have provided Office of Attorney General services to over 3,400 Arkansas consumers providing unprecedented levels of access. Rutledge has also personally met with 3,240 Arkansans at Rutledge Roundtables during her term.

Mobile offices provide a location to personally assist consumers in filing consumer complaints and answer questions about the full range of services provided by the Attorney General’s Office. This year, the Cooperative Extension Service was also on hand at each mobile office to offer information on its services.

Attorney General Rutledge created the mobile office initiative in May 2015 so that her office and staff would be accessible to everyone, and after the success of the initiative in 2015, Rutledge expanded to include Prescription Drug Take Back boxes. The officer partners with local law enforcement agencies across the State to handle a secure box and properly dispose of the prescriptions collected. Since the addition of this service, the boxes have allowed authorities to properly dispose of nearly 620 pounds of old or unused medications.

 

 

October 18, 2018

 

SENATORS INTRODUCE BIPARTISAN RESOLUTION

CELEBRATING WORLD FOOD DAY

On Tuesday, U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) joined senators Chris Coons (D-DE), Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) to introduce a resolution in the Senate designating October 16 as “World Food Day.” 

Global hunger has been on the rise for the last three years, and an estimated 821 million people were undernourished in 2017. Each year, the United States joins 130 other nations and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in celebrating World Food Day to promote global awareness and action for those who suffer from chronic hunger and for the need to ensure food security and good nutrition for all. World Food Day also commemorates the founding of FAO on October 16, 1945.

The text of the resolution is available here.   

“World Food Day should be seen as a call to action for us all,” said Boozman. “While hunger continues to rise around the globe, it is preventable and we are in a position to help. World Food Day raises awareness about the need to find solutions to the hunger crisis, both on a global scale and in our individual communities. The U.S. has made significant contributions to improve nutrition and agriculture worldwide, and we are committed to building on that progress to end global hunger.”

“With global hunger on the rise, World Food Day is an important reminder of why the United States needs to sustain its investments in food security both at home and abroad. Congress recently affirmed the United States’ commitment to reducing hunger by reauthorizing the Global Food Security Act, which has led to increased agricultural productivity, efficiencies in our food aid program, and nutrition education,” said Coons, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and lead author of the resolution. “I am pleased to work with this bipartisan group of colleagues to recognize World Food Day and the work that still needs to be done to ensure that all people have access to quality food.” 

“Today, on World Food Day, we must reinvigorate our commitment to ending hunger in the United States and around the globe,” said Moran. “World Food Day is an opportunity to raise awareness and promote action for the one in every nine people who suffer from hunger. Hunger is an issue that transcends politics, and together we must remain committed to finding new and innovative ways to bolster food security and combat hunger. As the co-chair of the Senate Hunger Caucus, I’m proud to carry on Sen. Dole’s legacy and represent the compassionate spirit of Kansans and the farmers who help feed the world.” 

“America has the talent, the bounty and the economic vitality to lead in ending hunger and malnutrition here and abroad.  It’s woven into our values,” said Leahy, vice chairman of the Appropriations Committee and a leading member of the Agriculture Committee.  “I’m proud to celebrate World Food Day by continuing to work for the expansion and improvement of international food aid, nutrition and local food access programs.  The McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition program, Food for Progress, and Farm Bill nutrition and international food aid programs are some of the many ways we should build upon to address hunger and food access as we face protracted humanitarian crises across multiple continents. 

Vimlendra Sharan, the Director of the FAO Liaison Office in North America, said, “The United States and FAO share a vision for a hunger-free and healthy world that can be achieved together. The United States’ robust partnership with FAO is essential to achieving global hunger targets, alleviating rural poverty, and provides an invaluable return on investment for the U.S. We are grateful to see leaders in Congress continually striving for policies that effectively reduce hunger; and today I am pleased to join these members in highlighting the everyday actions that Americans can take and continue to take in order to eradicate hunger.” 

U.S. Representatives Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.), Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), and David Young (R-Iowa) introduced a similar resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

To find out more ways you can take action to achieve a hunger-free world and celebrate World Food Day on October 16 and all year long, please visit http://www.fao.org/world-food-day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACT RESULTS FOR 2018 GRADUATING CLASS HOLD STEADY
LITTLE ROCK —
The percent of 2018 graduates in public and private schools who met all four ACT readiness benchmarks (English, math, reading and science) increased from 16 percent in 2017 to 17 percent in 2018. 

Science also experienced a slight increase in the percent of graduates meeting the benchmark, from 25 percent in 2017 to 26 percent in 2018. Reading (36 percent), math (27 percent) and English (53 percent) remained the same. The benchmarks represent the minimum score a student needs in a subject area to likely have a 50 percent chance of obtaining a B or higher or a 75 percent chance of obtaining a C or higher in corresponding college courses. 

According to the ACT profile report for the 2018 graduating class, 100 percent of the 2018 Arkansas graduating class (34,468 students) took the ACT test, with an average composite score of 19.4. This remained unchanged from 2017. This report reflects a graduating senior's most recent ACT score.

"This is the second year that results from the statewide administration of the ACT in the 11th grade are reflected in the graduating class report," Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key said. "Based on these results, we will continue to work with districts and communities to improve the delivery of education in Arkansas. With ongoing implementation of statewide programs such as R.I.S.E. Arkansas and the computer science initiative, we are confident that student performance on the ACT will increase across the state."

"As education moves forward in our state, I applaud the efforts of the Department of Education who has made the test available for all high school students," said Arkansas Department of Higher Education Director Dr. Maria Markham." Just by taking the exam, many students are more aware of their options for education beyond high school. Arkansas higher education offers many different degrees, certificates and workplace skills that will only help to prepare the next generation for the labor market."

A total of 61.3 percent of 2018 Arkansas graduates who took the ACT two or more times had an average composite score of 21.2. This is an increase of 4.7 percent compared to graduates who took the test only once. 

To learn more about the report, please visit http://www.act.org/condition2018

ARKANSAS ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES CONTINUE TO WORK IN GEORGIA AND FLORIDA FOLLOWING HURRICANE MICHAEL
The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas line workers continue to work in Florida and Georgia to assist with power outages caused by Hurricane Michael.

Crews included 104 linemen from Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI) of Little Rock, Carroll Electric Cooperative of Berryville, C&L Electric Cooperative of Star City, Craighead Electric Cooperative of Jonesboro, First Electric Cooperative of Jacksonville, North Arkansas Electric Cooperative of Salem and Southwest Arkansas Electric Cooperative of Texarkana. The distribution cooperative crews are assisting fellow electric cooperatives in Georgia, while the AECI crews are working at Tyndall Air Force Base, which is about 12 miles east of Panama City, Fla.

Less than a week after Hurricane Michael devastated the Southeast, electricity has been restored to more than 2.6 million—or approximately 95 percent of—consumers impacted by the fast-moving and devastating storm. In just days, investor-owned electric companies, public power utilities and electric cooperatives mobilized an army of more than 35,000 workers from 27 states and Canada to restore power safely and as quickly as possible.

Approximately 138,000 electricity consumers remain without power as of Oct. 16, with the majority of outages isolated in the Florida Panhandle communities. Entire sections of the energy grid need to be rebuilt in some of these communities, and many of the consumers still without power may not be able to be reconnected due to the severe damage to their homes and businesses.

“This was a historic storm, and we continue to see a historic response from the crews who are working around-the-clock to restore power,” said ESCC Co-chair, Duane Highley, president and CEO of Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation. “Never before have so many workers been mobilized so quickly from across our industry, and workers continue to be redeployed to the hardest hit areas where, in many cases, the energy grid is being completely rebuilt.”

ZOMBIE 5K
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and the Harmony Grove Sr. High FBLA members are sponsoring a Zombie - yes, Zombie - 5K walk/run on October 20 to raise money for Susan G. Komen "Race for the Cure."  Early registration is $20 and due by October 12 in order to obtain a t-shirt. Late registration is $25 and may be paid October 20.

OCTOBER 17, 2018

NEED A RIDE TO THE POLLS?
Call The Ministerial Alliance  at 870-807-4850 or 870-807-4038.

RUTLEDGE ANNOUNCES TWO MEDICAID FRAUD ARRESTS
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced yesterday the arrest of a Benton County woman and a Randolph County woman on unrelated Medicaid Fraud charges.

Angela Miller, 36, of Bentonville, is accused of stealing hydrocodone and oxycodone pills while working at a northwest Arkansas facility in December 2017 and January 2018. Following an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office, Miller was arrested. She is charged with one count of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, a Class D felony.

Cindy Bass, 32, of Pocahontas, is accused of fraudulently billing for unauthorized services and for altering documents in order to bill for services prior to authorization, in an amount totaling $12,132.00. Bass is charged with one count of Medicaid fraud and turned herself in to the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office.

“As Arkansas has been devastated by the opioid epidemic,” says Attorney General Rutledge. “I will continue prosecuting prescription drug theft as well as fraudulent activities that take away essential services from Arkansans in need.”

The Miller case is being prosecuted by Fourth Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Matt Durrett. The Bass case was referred to the Attorney General’s Office by the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General and the Attorney General’s Office is prosecuting in cooperation with the 6th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley.

Medicaid fraud occurs when providers use the Medicaid program to obtain money to which they are not entitled. To report Medicaid fraud or abuse or neglect in residential care facilities, contact the Attorney General’s Medicaid fraud hotline at (866) 810-0016 or oag@arkansasag.gov.

ISO – INSURANCE SERVICE OFFICE
How Does Your Community’s ISO Rating Affect You?
Submitted by Fire Chief Robert Medford

How Does Your Community’s ISO Rating Affect You?

I am often asked questions about Camden’s Insurance Service Office (ISO) rating. How beneficial it is to the city? Probably the most difficult question, how does ISO work? There is no one minute “elevator speech” that will answer any of these questions in a way that makes sense to anyone but a firefighter. The truth is firefighters sometimes find ISO a mystery as well. As a result, I have put together some information that I hope will help the citizens of Camden and the surrounding area understand what ISO does, how it can affect your home or business insurance cost and what the fire department does to earn these ISO ratings.

What is ISO?
The Insurance Service Office (ISO) is an organization owned by Verisk Analytics that determine the effectiveness of fire departments. ISO determines the effectiveness of fire departments by completing a Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS). The FSRS evaluates the fire suppression capabilities of the fire department by assigning a score in four categories, Fire Suppression, Communication, Water Supply, and Risk Reduction. ISO will then assign a Public Protection Classification (PPC) based on the scores in each category of the FSRS. The PPC is then used by some, but not all, insurance companies to determine the fire risk to homeowners in a particular area. The fire risk is then used in the companies actuarial to determine how much insurance premium is needed to offset the risk.

The Fire Suppression Rating Schedule.
As stated above the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS) evaluates the abilities of a fire department in four areas. The four areas are; Fire Suppression, Communication, Water Supply, and Risk Reduction. The fire suppression ability of the fire department is scored by evaluating the department’s historical response times, the number and type of fire apparatus that historically respond to structure fires on the first alarm, the number of firefighters and the training of the fire fighters that respond on the first alarm. The second area evaluated is communication. The department’s communication ability is scored by looking at the number of trained dispatchers on duty at any given time, the number of times a call will be transferred before it reaches the fire department, and redundancy in communication, and the reliability of communication in the event of a disaster or power failure. The third area evaluated is water supply. Water supply is evaluated by determining the amount of water available for fire suppression at any given time and the reliability of the water system in the event of a disaster or power failure. The last area evaluated is risk reduction. Risk reduction is scored by evaluating the departments community outreach, how often businesses are inspected, how often pre-incident planning is conducted, how current the fire codes are that are being enforced and what is the level of enforcement.

Training
Training is the most time-consuming part of lowering a PPC. For that reason, we should go a little more in depth into what that means. Many people believe that their fire department sits around waiting for some kind of emergency to occur. Since only about 10% of a firefighter’s day is responding to emergencies, waiting around would be a monumental waste of time and taxpayer money. So, what do we do with our time? We do building plans reviews, commercial inspections, pre-incident planning, equipment maintenance, station maintenance, hydrant maintenance, and we train. We train…. a lot! There are over 350 National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards that are used by ISO to determine the level of training of a firefighter and of the fire department in general. Each code will have multiple sections and sub- sections. That means there are thousands of topics that need to be taught. It also means that there is almost always some type of training going on at your local fire department.

How does ISO affect you?
The ISO rating, also known as a PPC, will in most cases have an effect on your insurance. premiums. The PPC alone is not the determining factor in establishing your homeowners or commercial property insurance, but it is one of the factors. When establishing your premiums, the insurance company will look at many factors such as when your home or building was built, what it is built from, such as concrete block or wood, how far from a fire hydrant you are and even your credit rating is used, along with your communities PPC. All that information plays a part in your insurance premiums, which is why you can’t call an insurance company and ask for a quote based on the PPC alone. Even if your insurance company states that it does not use the PPC to determine your insurance premium, historical loss data is used. Historical loss data is directly affected by the ability and preparedness of your local fire department which is very similar to how ISO assigns PPC’s. Therefore, by default your communities PPC rating, or how your fire department earned it’s PPC rating, does help determine your insurance premiums.

Insurance companies that don’t consider ISO ratings
Some insurance companies that state that they don’t use the ISO rating as a factor for determining insurance premiums use what they refer to as a Geographical Rating Identification, (GRID) system to determine insurance premiums. While the Insurance Service Office (ISO) rating is not used directly in their rating algorithm, the ability of the fire department over time is part of the algorithm. The insurance companies use loss history for particular geographic area to determine premiums. Therefore, if fire losses for a particular area is high, premiums would be higher as a result. For that reason, the faster and more effective we are as a fire department, (which are factors that ISO considers in their rating) the lower the losses for the area which results in lower premiums.

What does ISO mean to you if you don’t live in the city?
ISO’s PPC rating is assigned to every fire department and the same things that determine the PPC rating for a paid, full-time fire department will determine the PPC for a volunteer department. If a volunteer department has a higher rating, remember the lower the rating the 
better, that doesn’t mean that they are not working as hard to provide the same services as a full- time paid department. It just means that they can’t provide the same level of service because they volunteer their time and work full-time jobs. Volunteer departments provide the highest level of service that they can within the limits of their time and resources. The volunteers do the same things that paid departments do, they just don’t do it as much.

Do fire departments work together to lower ISO ratings?
The short answer to this question is yes, they do. The complete answer is that many fire departments in an area will develop what are known as Mutual Aid Agreements or Memorandums of Understanding. In Ouachita County each fire department will sign agreements with the departments that border their district to help each other in the event of a fire that exceeds their abilities or just to have more resources available. There are generally two types of mutual aid agreements. The standard mutual aid agreement will state that each fire department that has signed the agreement will aid when requested. The second type of agreement is an automatic aid agreement. This means that in the event one fire department is called for a particular kind of emergency, a structure fire for instance, the other fire department or departments will be called at the same time. Memorandums of understanding are generally between two different types of service. For example, a memorandum of understanding might exist between the fire department and a company that has heavy equipment. These types of agreements are vital in situations where equipment or services are needed that a fire department wouldn’t normally have and could not afford to buy. These agreements are all considered by ISO when they are evaluating the resources of a fire department. These agreements also mean that we can pool resources in the event of a disaster without lengthy delays.

Summing it all up.
While many will tell you that the ISO rating doesn’t really have much effect on your insurance cost, that is not entirely a true statement. A community’s ISO rating
many not have a direct impact on your insurance cost, but the things your fire department does to earn that rating does have an impact on your insurance cost. Things like how quickly the fire department responds, their equipment they respond with, the number of personnel that respond and their level of training directly affects the amount of money insurance companies pay out in claims. The better trained and equipped your fire department is, the more lives and property that they can save. The lower the amount that insurance companies have to pay out in claims, the lower the amount they must take in to recover their cost. Therefore, you pay lower premiums. As a direct result or as an indirect result, your community’s ISO rating, or more importantly what your fire department does to earn that rating, helps to lower the cost of living and to make the community more inviting to outside business’ and to people wanting to invest in our community.

NASHVILLE LEGACY TO PERFORM IN CAMDEN ON OCTOBER 25TH
Live On Stage, Inc. and the Ouachita County Community Concert Association announce Duo country legend tribute as part of their 2018 - 2019 Concert Season

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – (October 4, 2018) – Join Jason Coleman and Meagan Taylor as they pay tribute to their country music icon relatives, Floyd Cramer and Chet Atkins, in a one-of-a-kind concert at Camden Fairview High School, 1750 Cash Road, Camden, Arkansas on Thursday, October 25, 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 www.camdenaliveonstage.com.

“Loved them!” - Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts

Floyd Cramer and Chet Atkins were two of the biggest names in country music, and are considered legends at their instruments. Cramer’s “slip-note” style was an integral part of countless country, rock, and pop songs in the 50s and 60s; Atkins’ innovative “thumb-and-two-finger” style brought him unparalleled success as a guitarist and is regarded as one of the most prolific record producers of all time. Although they both lost their lives to cancer (Floyd in 1997 and Chet in 2001,) their Nashville Legacy lives on today through Floyd’s grandson, pianist Jason Coleman, and Chet’s niece, guitarist Meagan Taylor. The accomplished musicians celebrate their rich musical heritage and honor their late relatives in a unique concert that features hits made famous by Cramer and Atkins, as well as other songs that turned Nashville into “Music City, USA”.

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. 

30TH ANNUAL MAIN STREET CHRISTMAS PARADE
Let’s get creative!  We can’t wait until December 8th, 2018 when we get to see all of your wonderful ideas come to life at the 30th Annual Main Street Christmas Parade.  This year’s theme is Songs of the Season.  We know everyone is still waiting for Halloween to get here.  However, all great things take time; so, if you are interested in being a part of this year’s Christmas celebration, you may start getting your entry forms turned into the Camden Area Chamber of Commerce.  You can get an entry form at the Chamber Office or we have the forms here at the station.

October 16, 2018


GOVERNOR HUTCHINSON TO HOST PUBLIC TOWN HALL MEETINGS THROUGHOUT THE STATE

LITTLE ROCK – Throughout the month of October, Governor Asa Hutchinson will host a series of public town hall meetings across the state to discuss his efforts to transform state government, reduce taxes, increase teacher salary, improve highways, and other topics. Governor Hutchinson will highlight his priorities for the 2019 General Session and take questions and feedback from the public.

Locations, dates and times are listed below.

“This marks the second round of town halls this year, and there’s nothing more important than hearing from you—where you live,” said Governor Hutchinson“Leaders cannot be a voice for others unless they listen to the voices of those they lead, and your questions and feedback are critical as we approach the next legislative session in January. I am looking forward to yet another opportunity to speak with, listen to, and answer questions from Arkansans at each of these town halls.”

Monday, October 15, 2018

CONWAY
Town Hall Meeting 
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
UCA Downtown
1105 W Oak St.
Conway, Arkansas

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

JONESBORO
Town Hall Meeting 
5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Arkansas State Cooper Alumni Center
2600 Alumni Blvd.
Ballroom
Jonesboro, Arkansas

Friday, October 26, 2018

HOT SPRINGS
Town Hall Meeting 
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Further details TBA
Hot Springs, Arkansas

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

FORT SMITH
Town Hall Meeting 
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
The Blue Lion at UAFS Downtown
101 N 2nd St.
Fort Smith, Arkansas

NWA
Town Hall Meeting 
5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Further details TBA
Northwest Arkansas

CAMDEN CITY POLICE REPORTS
Very early his past Saturday morning Officer Joseph Jones with the Camden Police Department was sitting at Camden Fish Market when he observed a vehicle traveling west on Van Buren at a high rate of speed. The vehicle made a left turn onto Adams almost striking the light pole. The Officer initiated his blue lights. The vehicle blew through the four way stop at Jackson and Adams. The vehicle stopped at the Ray’s TV parking lot. Officer Jones saw two black males standing outside the car. The subjects were identified as David Clark and Shantonio Gordon. They both denied knowing who was driving. Gordon stated it was his car but contended that he was not driving. Officer Reynolds and Lieutenant Parker arrived to assist Officer Jones. After other evidence was found, Gordon admitted he was driving. Gordon smelled of intoxicants and he stated that he had consumed one beer. He said they were trying to get home from TBo’s. Dispatch advised that the man’s license was suspended. After performing a field sobriety test, Gordon was placed under arrest for DWI. While Officer Jones transported Gordon to the Police station, Officer Reynold stayed with the vehicle until a wrecker arrived. She had dispatch run the plates and they returned to a different car. Gordon was charged with Driving while Intoxicated, 2nd offense, careless and prohibited driving, driving on a suspended license, disobeying a stop sign and fictitious license plate. Gordon was transported to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office where he was placed on an 8 hour hold due to his level of intoxication.

CAMDEN FAIRVIEW BOARD OF EDUCATION TO MEET
The Camden Fairview Board of Education will meet in regular session on Tuesday, October 16th at 6:30 p.m. at Garrison Auditorium. The agenda includes student hearings, and Presentations and recommendations regarding statement of Assurance for Driver Education Program, the Dolly Parton Imagination Library Memorandum of Agreement, the Annual Equity Compliance Report, a one-time non-recurring salary payment for licensed employees, classified employees and part-time employees, facility rentals, the Superintendent’s report, the financial report and a personnel session.

OUACHITA COUNTY IMPLEMENTS VOTING CENTERS
Ouachita County Clerk Britt Williford has announced changes in the way we vote in Ouachita County. The County will now have voting centers instead of polling sites. There will be 6 voting centers throughout the county on Election Day, November 6th. Anyone, regardless of your address, can vote at any of the 6 Voting Centers. Voting Centers will be located at Bearden Lion’s Club, Calvary Baptist Church, Chidester City Hall, Elliott Baptist Church, Stephens Library and the Ross Center. You must have a state issued photo I.D in order to vote. Call the Clerk’s Office at 837-2220 if you have any questions.

HOT SPRINGS MAN SENTENCED TO OVER 12 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR BANK ROBBERY
Hot Springs - Duane (DAK) Kees, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Henry Smith, age 67, of Hot Springs, was sentenced to 151 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Bank Robbery. The Honorable Susan O. Hickey presided over the sentencing hearing in the United States District Court in Hot Springs. Duane (DAK) Kees, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Henry Smith, age 67, of Hot Springs, was sentenced to 151 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Bank Robbery. The Honorable Susan O. Hickey presided over the sentencing hearing in the United States District Court in Hot Springs. Smith was indicted by a federal grand jury in December 2017 and pled guilty on March 5, 2018.  Smith has a lengthy criminal history that includes prior convictions for bank robbery. This case was investigated by the Hot Springs Police Department and assisted by the FBI. Assistant United States Attorney David Harris prosecuted the case for the United States.

CAMDEN FAIRVIEW MINI CHEERLEADER PRESENTATION
The Camden Fairview Mini Cheer presentation will be this Friday, October 19th. The mini cheerleaders will perform at the football game at 6:20 p.m. Mini cheerleaders need to be at the Multi-Purpose Building at 5:45 p.m. and should wear their mini cheer t-shirt and shorts of skirts. Practice will be Thursday, October 18th form 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Multi-Purpose Building.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB TO MEET
The Camden Noon Lion’s Club will meet Wednesday at Catherine’s Bistro. This week’s speaker with be Petty Abbott, Ouachita County Medical Center Administrator.  She will be letting us know about some new upcoming things happening with the hospital.

OCTOBER 15, 2018

AMBULANCE TO PROVIDE STROKE CARE THROUGH TELEMEDICINE IN PILOT STUDY BY AR SAVES, HEALTH DEPARTMENT, PROMED
LITTLE ROCK — To provide faster stroke care, an emergency medical services stroke telemedicine pilot study was recently established by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS)-led AR SAVES program, the Arkansas Department of Health and ProMed Ambulance Service in El Dorado.

As part of the pilot study, telemedicine equipment has been installed in a ProMed Advanced Life Support (ALS) Ambulance to provide a live, mobile video consult with a stroke neurologist.

The AR SAVES (Arkansas Stroke Assistance through Virtual Emergency Support) program is a partnership between the UAMS Center for Distance Health, the state Department of Human Services and 55 participating hospitals, including Medical Center of South Arkansas in El Dorado, Magnolia Regional Medical Center, Ouachita County Medical Center in Camden and Ashley County Medical Center in Crossett.

The pilot program will study the effectiveness of telemedicine in an ambulance in decreasing the treatment time for stroke patients arriving at area hospitals via ambulance through better identification in the field and enhanced pre-notification to receiving hospitals.

The telemedicine equipment’s electronic, wireless connections have been tested in various areas of the region and are working well. Protocols and training with paramedics to perform a modified stroke assessment have been implemented. Mock drills with the AR SAVES Call Center and training sessions with the staff at area hospitals also have been completed.

“We want all the communities served by ProMed to know that EMS Stroke Telemedicine is available in their town and to call 911 and specify that they or someone they know are having stroke symptoms,” said UAMS’ Sanjeeva Reddy Onteddu, M.D., AR SAVES medical director. “That will ensure that the telemedicine ambulance is dispatched.”

The AR SAVES program uses a high-speed video communications system that links vascular neurologists to rural emergency departments statewide to provide immediate, life-saving treatments to stroke patients 24 hours a day. One of the stroke neurologists evaluates whether emergency room physicians should use a powerful blood-clot dissolving agent within the critical three-hour period following the first signs of stroke. 

“ProMed is excited to take part in this pilot study with all the partners involved, especially because of what it enables us to offer to the people of Union County and the areas around it — a stronger hope of survival and recovery from stroke,” said Ken Kelley, ProMed CEO.

Only 1 percent of stroke patients living in rural Arkansas received stroke care before 2008 when the AR SAVES Program began. Today, more than 34 percent receive care. Nearly 70 percent of AR SAVES patients treated have completely recovered or recovered with slightly impaired function.

“This partnership gives us an opportunity to enhance the high level of quality care that residents in our region can find close to home here at Medical Center of South Arkansas in El Dorado,” said Scott Street, the hospital’s CEO. “We’re committed to helping reduce the number of deaths and disabilities in Arkansas caused by stroke each year and to being a vital part of this important pilot study.”

UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; northwest Arkansas regional campus; statewide network of regional centers; and six institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and Translational Research Institute. It is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 2,727 students, 822 medical residents and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses throughout the state, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit www.uams.edu or www.uamshealth.com. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.
 

RUTLEDGE CALLS ON FCC TO STOP ILLEGAL ROBOCALLS AND SPOOFING
Says, ‘the FCC needs to urge telephone service providers to protect consumers from illegal robocalls’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today joined a bipartisan coalition of 37 states calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to allow telephone services providers to block more illegal robocalls being made to consumers.

“Arkansans have long suffered the abusive and pesky robocalls by scammers, and the FCC needs to urge telephone service providers to protect consumers from illegal robocalls,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I hear from Arkansans regularly asking to eliminate these unwanted and unlawful calls. Ending these types of calls will save Arkansans from being scammed out of thousands of dollars and undue stress from burdensome daily calls from con artists.”

The formal comment to the FCC explains that scammers have found ways to evade an order allowing providers to block certain calls entered last year by the FCC. Despite efforts by federal and state regulators and the telecommunication industry, robocalls continue to be a major irritant to consumers in Arkansas and across the United States. In 2017, the Federal Trade Commission received 4.5 million illegal robocall complaints – two and a half times more than in 2014.

Last year, the FCC granted phone service providers authority to block certain illegal spoofed robocalls. But now the states seek added authority for the providers to work together to detect and block more illegal spoofed robocalls, including “neighbor spoofing.”

“Spoofing” allows scammers to disguise their identities, making it difficult for law enforcement to bring them to justice. “Neighborhood spoofing” is a technique that allows calls, no matter where they originate, to appear on a consumer’s caller ID as being made from a phone number that has the same local area code as the consumer. The manipulation of caller ID information increases the likelihood that the consumer will answer the call.

“Virtually anyone can send millions of illegal robocalls and frustrate law enforcement with just a computer, inexpensive software and an internet connection,” the attorneys general wrote in the formal comment filed with the FCC.

The added authority sought by the attorneys general will allow service providers to use new and existing technology to detect and block illegal spoofed calls – even those coming from what are otherwise legitimate phone numbers. Service providers will be ready to launch this new authentication method in 2019.

To date, the FCC has not issued a notice of proposed rulemaking concerning additional provider-initiated call blocking. The attorneys general anticipate that further requests for comments will take place on this subject.

Attorney General Rutledge was joined on the comment by the attorneys general of Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and the Hawaii Office of Consumer Protection.

OCTOBER 12, 2018

 

 

COTTON STATEMENT ON RELEASE OF PASTOR BRUNSON
Washington, D.C.
 — U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) issued the following statement after the release of Pastor Andrew Brunson:

“I am pleased to see that Pastor Brunson will finally be free to return safely to American soil. His release is long overdue, and the Turkish government never should have detained him in the first place. Thankfully, this administration has made it clear that the U.S. will not ignore the plight of Americans held hostage abroad.”

OCTOBER 11, 2018

COTTON INTRODUCES BILL TO INCLUDE MILITARY ESCORT FOR MOH, POW BURIALS

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) introduced the Honoring our Heroes Act of 2018, a bill that would allow all Medal of Honor recipients and prisoners of war who are eligible for burial at Arlington National Cemetery to receive a full military honors burial ceremony with an escort. Currently, full military honors with an escort are reserved for commissioned officers, warrant officers, and senior non-commissioned officers. 

“The rank of a Medal of Honor recipient or POW should not be the final measure of their service to this country,” Senator Cotton said. “Instead, their courageous actions and the sacrifices they made should be enough to prove their dedication, and their funeral honors must reflect the same. Passage of this bill will show the families of the deceased and members of our military that the United States will always honor its veterans appropriately for their service.”

Background:

  • Most veterans who are eligible for burial in Arlington are entitled to a bugler, a firing party, and a casket team (all part of the full military honors ceremony). However, the additional funeral escort honors are currently reserved for retired officers and those who were killed in action. 
  • Escort honors include a caisson and a marching element made up of a band and a color guard. 
  • The Honoring our Heroes Act of 2018 would provide full military honors with an escort to both Medal of Honor recipients and POWs, regardless of their rank.
  • Representative Mike Bishop (MI-08) has introduced companion legislation, H.R. 6734, in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Supporting Organizations:
American Legion, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Military Officers Association of America, National League of POW/ MIA Families, Special Operations Association, Special Forces Association, American Ex-Prisoners of War, the American Fallen Warriors Memorial Foundation, and Rolling Thunder Inc.

STATE POLICE COMMISSION APPROVES RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PROMOTIONS
The Arkansas State Police Commission approved the recommendations for promotions received today from Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police.

Sergeant Matt Miller, 54, of Jonesboro, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant. He is currently assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop C (Jonesboro) and a 26 year veteran of the department.

Lieutenant Miller will assume new duties as assistant commander of Highway Patrol Division, Troop I (Harrison).

 Corporal Jorge Oseguera, 50, of Hot Springs, was promoted to the rank of sergeant.  He is currently assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop K (Hot Springs).

Sergeant Oseguera will assume new duties as Troop K, post supervisor, in Polk County.

Corporal Dustin Morgan, 43, of Paragould, was promoted to the rank of sergeant.  He is currently assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop C (Jonesboro).

Sergeant Morgan will assume new duties as a supervisor assigned to the department’s Regulatory Division at state police administrative headquarters in Little Rock.

OCTOBER 10, 2018

CAMDEN BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEET
The Camden City Board of Aldermen met in regular session Tuesday night, October 9th. Mayor Marie Trisollini called the meeting to order at 7 p.m. After the invocation, given by Reverend Beth Waldrip, Pastor of the First Methodist Church of Camden and the Pledge, the Council went to work. The Council approved the minutes and Financial Report from September. During Audience participation Samantha Gerrard educated the Council on Project Search which is an intern program at the Hospital for people with disabilities to move them to the workforce. During the Mayor’s report she said that in the past month she had attend ed amunicipal League Budget Class. She also reported that the Audit exit from last year only showed a handful of verbal suggestions but no write ups. The  Mayor attended the Kick Start Sheridan Program. She reported on the excellent success of the Barn Sale this year.

The meeting included a Public Hearing to consider the closure of a portion of Helen Avenue between Pearl and Banner Streets. One resident spoke telling the council that she was for the closure. Travis Daniel. Code Enforcement Officer told the Council that everyone that lives in the area were in agreement that the portion of that street should be closed. The Council will hear more on this issue in future meetings

There was an ordinance fixing the rate of taxation for the year 2019. A Motion to suspend the rules and put it up for a third rearding passed and the Council voted for the rate of taxation to remain the same as it has been for the past three years.

Ordinance 30-18 repealed Ordinance 9-04 assessing a lien on certain property located at 233 Walnut Street S.W. Motion made to suspend rules and put up for a third reading. Motion passed and the Ordinance was approved.

The Council heard a resolution to accept donated property for the City’s community Development Program. Motion to approve was made and seconded. Resolution was approved.

The next resolution provided for and adopted a revision in the base salary for newly elected officials and for other purposes. After heated discussion the resolution was pulled.

The final resolution on the agenda confirmed the appointment of Artie Graham to eh Historical Advisory Commission. Resolution passed unanimously.

BOOZMAN'S WATER INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT LEGISLATION INCLUDED IN COMPREHENSIVE LEGISLATION BILL ON WAY TO PRESIDENT FOR SIGNATURE
WASHINGTON—
An innovative approach to modernizing critical water infrastructure—especially in rural areas often unable to afford upgrades to aging water systems—is one step closer to reality as a result of a new policy initiative authored by U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR).

The new approach—based off the Securing Required Funding for Water Infrastructure Now (SRF WIN) Act introduced by Boozman earlier this year—was included as a provision in the final version of a comprehensive bill that reauthorizes funding for the nation’s water infrastructure programs. That bill, the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, has been approved by both chambers of Congress and is expected to be signed into law.

Boozman’s provision combines the best aspects of State Revolving Funds (SRFs) with the leveraging power of the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) to make the process easier and more affordable for states to meet their underserved or unmet water infrastructure needs. It increases access to previously unavailable funding sources for small and medium-size communities, while removing high application fees which often prevent access to funds for rural communities.

“This is an innovative solution to updating our water and wastewater infrastructure in a way that communities of all sizes can afford. I appreciate that my colleagues who finalized this comprehensive bill saw it fit to include the language I authored to help state and local governments overcome the barriers that have stalled water infrastructure improvements for far too long. Fixing our crumbling infrastructure is a national priority and my provision creates another option for any community, including those in rural America, to address overdue water infrastructure upgrades,” Boozman said.

The policy changes put forward by Boozman will provide a direct and politically viable path to providing dramatic increases in funding for our nation’s SRF programs that will help address the backlog of long-awaited local infrastructure projects. It will allow thousands of vetted water and wastewater projects to receive funding without the Environmental Protect Agency (EPA) having to process thousands of additional applications.

In a speech on Tuesday, Boozman called this provision “a critical component to future water infrastructure financing.”

Boozman’s efforts have garnered praise from Arkansas and national water infrastructure advocates.

Dennis Sternberg, Executive Director of Arkansas Rural Water Association, applauded the policy update to extend these authorities to states.

“We are very pleased a version of Senator Boozman’s bill was included in the package. Small and rural communities have more difficulty affording public wastewater service due to lack of population density and lack of economies of scale. Rural America is very appreciative for the help,” Sternberg said.

President of the American Society of Civil Engineers Kristina Swallow, P.E., said the benefits of this approach will be felt nationwide.

“The SRF WIN provision secures a significant increase in investment for water infrastructure, which is sorely needed given our nation’s ‘D’ grade for drinking water and ‘D+’ grade for wastewater in the 2017 Infrastructure Report Card. Sen. Boozman’s leadership and vision led to this new funding option that will improve our nation’s water infrastructure,” Swallow said.

STATE ASSOCIATION OF MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCHES OF ARKANSAS TO MEET IN EL DORADO  
117th Annual Meeting – November 1-2, 2018
El Dorado Conference Center
311 South West Ave., El Dorado, AR  71730

El Dorado Missionary Baptist Church, and Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church, in El Dorado will serve as host churches for this year’s annual meeting.  Along with area churches, they have been praying for and planning for a meeting that will encourage and inspire the messengers and visitors who attend.  These two host churches invite all messengers and guests to attend special services Wednesday, October 31, at 7:00 p.m.  This special service will be held at the Municipal Auditorium, 100 West 8th Street, El Dorado, Arkansas, 71730

The two host churches, along with Pastor Daniel Clark, invite messengers and visitors to come early and enjoy a time of fellowship and worship. The public is also invited, as there will be times of inspirational worship.  Mark your calendars now for this great meeting.
You may visit our website for more information at www.armissionarybaptist.com

Please contact:
Jerry Grimes (publicity director) at jgrimes@armissionarybaptist.com or Cederic Etheridge (assistant publicity director) at cederic.etheridge@gmail.com if you have any questions about the meeting.

 

SAAC TO HOST BUCCANEER BRUNCH AS SPECIAL EVENT FOR 'PETER AND THE STARCATCHER'

Ahoy, Mateys and Landlubbers! Bring your sea legs and come join the fun as the South Arkansas Arts Center hosts a “Buccaneer Brunch” as a special event during the production of “Peter and the Starcatcher”. The high seas themed brunch will be held on Sunday, October 28, 2018, from 11:00am-1:00pm and is sponsored by Murphy-Pitard Jewelers.

The “Buccaneer Brunch”, a feast for the eyes and the senses, will offer many scrumptious, hearty dishes. Brunch offerings include Starcatcher Egg Strata and Peter Pan’s Pasta Salad. Also on the hearty side of the menu, feast on Cheesy Grits and Shrimp Scalawag, Treasure Tea Biscuits stuffed with Kentucky Legend Ham and Jezebel Sauce and a Fruit, Yogurt and Granola bar for making your own Pirate Parfaits. Merrymaking libations include Marauding Mimosas and Box Office Bloody Marys. Coffee and sweets round out the menu.

At a recent committee meeting, SAAC board member and chairman of the fundraising committee, Lynn Dwight, remarked “Brunches are such a fun event. We’re going to have a delicious and fun meal and support SAAC at the same time!” Tena Hughes, SAAC visual arts committee member added, “Who doesn’t like brunch? It’s going to be fabulous!”

Tickets for this enchanted brunch are $25 for adults and $10 for children and may be purchased at the SAAC box office or Murphy- Pitard Jewelers on the square. For more information about the “Buccaneer Brunch”, please call the SAAC office at 870-862-5474 or come by SAAC at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas.

“Peter and the Starcatcher” is a tale about how Peter Pan actually became Peter Pan. This swashbuckling show is filled with pirates and mermaids and treasure chests full of ‘starstuff’. It’s a fast paced and hilarious take on the life of Peter and the Lost Boys and their pirate nemesis, Black Stache, as they protect precious cargo on the Neverland ship. The show runs November 1-6, with performances at 7:30 p.m., with the exception of the Sunday 2:30 p.m. matinee.

COTTON STATEMENT ON GOOGLE DROPPING BID FOR DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE CLOUD CONTRACT

Washington, D.C. - This week, Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) released the following statement on Google's decision to drop their bid for the Department of Defense's cloud contract:

"This is sadly not the first time Google has refused to work with the United States military, while still entertaining the authoritarian demands of the Chinese Communist Party. I hope Google takes a long, hard look at their so-called ‘principles.' They ought to remember they're an American company and reconsider this decision."

 

RUTLEDGE JOINS 17-STATE COALITION AMICUS BRIEF OPPOSING NEW YORK'S OVERREACHING GUN RESTRICTIONS
Says, ‘Allowing a government such control sets a dangerous precedent’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge yesterday joined 16 other states in an amicus brief supporting the Second Amendment in response to New York City’s “premises permit” gun restrictions.

“The Founding Fathers ensured our right to bear arms with the Second Amendment, and it is important that no government try to take away that right,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Allowing a government such control sets a dangerous precedent.”

New York City requires a costly and restrictive “premises permit” to own a personal handgun for self-defense. The permit prohibits taking the weapon outside the home for any purpose other than to practice at one of the New York City shooting ranges and entirely prohibits leaving the state with the weapon. The costly “carry” permit is required to remove the weapon from the home for other purposes and is difficult to obtain.

The 17-state coalition urges the Supreme Court to review the case and provide clear guidance on the scope of the Second Amendment and specifically to confirm that the right to self-defense is not limited to the home.

The states argue that while city and state governments have an interest in public safety and crime prevention, New York City offered no evidence that demonstrated its regulations actually enhance public safety and crime prevention. In fact, its restrictive scheme has the opposite effect by arbitrarily limiting a gun owner’s ability to become proficient with his or her own weapon, requiring thousands of people to buy additional weapons and causing thousands of weapons to be left in unoccupied houses.

The states also point out the significant economic impact of hunting and shooting sports.

“New York’s regulatory scheme discriminates against interstate commerce because it ‘deprives out-of-state businesses of access to a local market’ by forbidding its citizens from hunting and patronizing ranges outside the state with their own guns,” the states wrote.

The 16 states joining Arkansas in the brief through their Attorney Generals are Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin, and the Governors of Mississippi and Kentucky.

October 09, 2018

 

Description: AUFC_green.jpgORGANIZATION ACCEPTING NOMINATIONS FOR ARKANSAS URBAN FORESTRY LEADERS
Group recognizing individuals, businesses, nonprofits for planting, protecting trees

LITTLE ROCK (October 8, 2018) – The Arkansas Urban Forestry Council is accepting nominations in its annual awards program to recognize the actions of exceptional individuals, businesses and organizations for contributions to community forestry in Arkansas. Nominations are due December 31, 2018. Nominees will be presented awards in the spring of 2019.

“Any person or organization may be nominated that has played a significant role in building stronger communities by practicing and promoting the conservation and planting of trees,” said Danielle Semsrott of Bentonville, president of the Arkansas Urban Forestry Council. 

Award categories include:

  • Outstanding Volunteer and/or Volunteer Program
  • Outstanding Community
  • Outstanding Business
  • Outstanding Professional
  • Outstanding Developer
  • Outstanding Organization

To submit a nomination, visit http://arkansastrees.org/awards/  to complete the   nomination form online. Nominations must include the nominee’s name, title and organization, contact information, and contribution to urban and community forestry in Arkansas. For more information, email info@arkansastrees.org or call 501-625-3710.

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S REPORT
On the 2nd of October 2018 at approximately 2236 hours Stephens Officer Cody Bright and Deputy D. Vaughan were dispatched to 118 Adams street in reference to a criminal trespass. Upon arrival the Officers made contact the resident who advised around 10:30 p.m., her security cameras sent her ipad an alert that there was human motion at the back of her residence. She said she looked at the camera and observed a black male wearing a white shirt, white shorts and a red bandana. The woman went on to say the subject walked through her back yard and went into the carport and stayed inside for a few seconds before walking out.

While at the residence talking to the reporting party, a female subject arrived on scene and advised that her son was with Marquese Porchia and Porchia walked into the carport. She had her son come to the residence in question he advised that him Porchia and another subject were walking down the road. The youn man advised while walking down the road Porchia told them he would be right back and walked to the back of the house and then walked into the carport. He stated he did not know the intentions of Porchia.

The Officers went to Porchia’s aunts residence at 108 Jones Street. Porchia came out of the residence and spoke to them. Porchia advised that he walked to the back of the residence and walked into the carport to use the phone but no one answered the door. Porchia was arrested for criminal trespass and transported to the Ouachita County Detention Center without incident.

While at the Detention Center Porchia stated again that he only went to the back of the residence and walked into the carport to use the phone again. Porchia was issued a criminal citation and given a court date.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB TO MEET
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet on Wednesday at Catherine’s Bistro. The speaker this week will be some of the member of Camden Connections telling us about the upcoming Chili Cook-off that will take place on Saturday, October 27th.

BLOOD DRIVE AT ALETA TODAY
There will be a blood drive at the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy better known as ALETA today from 9 a.m to 2:30 p.m. The drive will be held in the Flat Classroom. You can make an appointment by visiting arkbi.org or walk-ins are welcome. All donations support 44 Arkansas Hospitals. All donors get a Hog-Wild T-Shirt. Photo ID is required. Save a life and get a free Razorback Shirt. Anyone can go and donate. Save a life and get a free Razorback T-Shirt.

October 08, 2018

 

 

 

Little Rock School District Teacher Named 2019 Arkansas Teacher of the Year 

LITTLE ROCK — When Stacey McAdoo arrived at school this morning, she had no idea she would receive the surprise of a lifetime. During a special presentation, Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key recognized McAdoo as the 2019 Arkansas Teacher of the Year.

McAdoo, a 16-year educator, teaches communication and Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) for grades nine through 12 at Little Rock Central High School in the Little Rock School District.

“Second to parents, teachers play the greatest role in shaping our students,” Hutchinson said. “Their ability to guide, teach and positively influence the next generation is one of the greatest responsibilities in any profession. What they do in the classroom can impact the future of our state for years to come. In Arkansas, we are blessed with an abundance of first-rate teachers, like the 2019 Teacher of the Year, Stacey McAdoo. Congratulations, Stacey. Arkansas’ future is even brighter because of your investment into the lives of our students."

“From incorporating rap and slam poetry in the classroom to utilizing creative opportunities that foster parent, community and civic engagement, Ms. McAdoo serves as a model of excellence for all Arkansas teachers,” Key said. “She gently guides her students to think outside the box and challenge stereotypes. I both commend and congratulate Ms. McAdoo for the example she has set for her students, co-workers and parents."

McAdoo has taught speech communication at Little Rock Central High School since 2002 and has taught both speech communication and AVID since 2007. Through AVID, McAdoo provides support to help students prepare for college. Because of her efforts, Little Rock Central High School has been named a Highly Certified AVID School since 2007.

A graduate of Hall High School in Little Rock, McAdoo has a Bachelor of Arts in Professional and Technical Writing from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Arkansas at Monticello. She is certified in several licensure areas.

Having received the Distinguished High School Mentor Award in 2017, McAdoo is the 2018 Little Rock Central High School Teacher of the Year, 2018 Little Rock School District Teacher of the Year and 2019 Arkansas Teacher of the Year Regional Finalist. She is the founder and sponsor of the Writeous Poetry Club, co-sponsor of the Troubadour Club (drama and debate), and is an Arkansas Communication and Theater Association presenter.

In August, McAdoo was named one of four 2019 Arkansas Teacher of the Year State Semi-Finalists and received a $2,000 award sponsored by the Walton Family Foundation. The ATOY Selection Committee then conducted site visits for each of the state semi-finalists and selected McAdoo as the 2019 Arkansas Teacher of the Year. In addition to a paid, year-long sabbatical that will begin July 1, 2019, McAdoo received an additional $14,000 award sponsored by the Walton Family Foundation.

To learn more about the Arkansas Teacher of the Year program, visit http://www.arkansased.gov/divisions/communications/teacher-of-the-year

Left to right: Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key, Gov. Asa Hutchinson, 2019 Arkansas Teacher of the Year Stacey McAdoo, and 2018 Arkansas Year of the Year Randi House.

CAMDEN FAIRVIEW SCHOOLS: CELEBRATING HOMECOMING 2018
If you or your club or organization would like to participate in the 2018 Homecoming Parade on October 12, 2018 you must pre-register your entry with Jeannie Franklin, Darla Stivers, or Tavitha Wooten by October 11, 2018.  The theme for this year’s parade is “You’re the Cards That I Want”.   The start time for the parade is 3:00 p.m.  Lineup will be at the First Baptist Church parking lot on Washington St. The parade route will be as follows: Starting on Washington St. in front of the Post Office down to Adams St. turn right. Proceed down Adams St to Jackson St. turn right. Proceed down Jackson St to Pope St. The parade will end at Camden Fairview Intermediate School. For more information email: jfranklin@cfsd.k12.ar.us or call Jeannie Franklin at Camden Fairview High School at 837-1300. Entries may be mailed to:
Camden Fairview High School

Attention: Counseling Center
1750 Cash Road
Camden, AR 71701

CITY OF CAMDEN BOARD OF ALDERMEN TO MEET
The City of Camden Board of Aldermen will meet in regular session on Tuesday, October 9th at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Building. The Agenda includes an ordinance fixing the rate of taxation for the year 2019, an ordinance repealing Ordinance No. 9-04 assessing a lien on certain property located at 233 Walnut Street SW., a resolution to accept donated property for the City's community Development, a resolution providing for and adopting a revision in the base salary for newly elected officials and for other purposes and A Public Hearing to consider the closure of a portion Helen Avenue between Pearl and Banner Streets.

Boo Bash 2018 is coming up on October 31st in Downtown Camden. Radio Works has once again teamed up with the Camden City Police to bring the kids more fun than ever before. Downtown Trick or Treat and Boo Bash will be from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Costume Contest will begin at 5:15 p.m. There will be prizes for the best costume in 2 age brackets. Costume is for kids aged newborn to 12 years old. Stay tune for more details as the date approaches.

For more on these and other stories, visit yesradioworks.com/news. This is Helen Aregood from the Radio works news room. Have a great rest of the day.

OCTOBER 8, 2018

RUTLEDGE APPLAUDS APPOINTMENT OF JUSTICE KAVANAUGH

Says, ‘Justice Kavanaugh will continue to use his extensive legal education and experience to protect the Constitution’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released the below statement following the U.S. Senate’s confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

“Just like he has done for years on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Justice Kavanaugh will continue to use his extensive legal education and experience to protect the Constitution. I have been proud to support President Donald J. Trump’s nomination of Justice Kavanaugh because of his proven record of adhering to the Constitution and the rule of law, ensuring the liberties of all Americans are protected.”

October 05, 2018

SAAC WELCOMES TWO NEW ART EXHIBITS, RECEPTION SATURDAY 

The South Arkansas Arts Center welcomes two new exhibits to the galleries in October. The 151st Annual International Exhibition of the American Watercolor Society will be on exhibit in the Price and Merkle Galleries October 6-30. The AWS traveling exhibition is sponsored by Richard Wharton, in memory of his parents, Frances and Wayne Wharton. Showing in the Lobby Gallery will be Sherman, Texas, acrylics artist Beth Hubbert. Her show, "In Living Color, Moments and Memories", will run October 6-30, as well. An artist's reception is planned for this Saturday, October 6, from 6:00-7:30pm in the Price and Merkle Galleries.

The American Watercolor Society's annual exhibition is one of the most revered watercolor exhibits in the world. More than 1,100 artists from throughout the United States and 27 foreign countries submit their work to a panel of jurors chosen from Signature Members of the AWS. Of these submissions, 150 paintings are selected for the exhibition. Forty paintings from the show are selected for the Traveling Exhibition, which tours six museums and galleries across the country in California, Texas, Florida, and Tennessee during the next year, with SAAC being the only scheduled exhibit in Arkansas . While inclusion in this exhibition is itself an honor, participants also compete for the Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medals of Honor, and 29 other awards and medals totaling nearly $50,000 in prize money.

Hubbert is an ARTIST in capital letters, because she simply must create. She is enthused by colors and the happiness they create. Art has been, is, and will continue to be an essential part of her core being. She is thrilled to be coming to El Dorado to show her works, and it is a bit of a homecoming for her since her Mother, Betty Lu Pittman, originally hailed from El Dorado. Hubbert said "if my Mom was alive still, she'd be so thrilled that her daughter is showing her art at SAAC! " 

Taking art lessons in elementary school led Hubbert to a desire to learn more about art in college, where she received a fine arts degree in painting and drawing from the University of North Texas. She later returned to college to become certified as an all level art educator, enabling her to share the passion for creative learning with young people in public and private art education for 27 years before retiring from teaching.

Beth and her husband, John, are travel enthusiasts, which leads to experience inspired creation. These works vary widely from colorful landscapes to whimsical birds to abstract paintings and collages. No matter how much she learns artistically, the entire process is a continuous and spectacular journey with her goal being to make someone smile. Beth describes her art quest with one of her favorite quotes from Danny Kaye, "Life is a great big canvas and you should throw all the paint on it you can."

For more information about these exhibits, please call the SAAC office or visit the website at www.saac-arts.org. SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas.

 

CAMDEN POLICE REPORTS
Tuesday morning, Officer Jake Perry went tot 201 Carver Courts to serve a warrant. A man answered the door and when asked, said the person the Officer was looking for was not there. The Officer then asked if he could come inside and check the apartment and the man gave consent to search. While inspecting the first bedroom, Officer Perry opened the closet door and found a black male, known as Christopher Jackson, hiding in the closet. Jackson was placed in custody as he is on the Camden Housing Authority ban list. When asked why he was hiding, he stated that he knew he was on the ban list and assumed that is why the Police were there. After booking at the Camden Police Department, he was transported to the Ouachita County Detention Center.

On October 2nd, Officer Alec Faulkner was dispatched to WalMart in reference to a shoplifter. The Officer met with the loss prevention agent who stated that Michaiel Utley was inside of the store and had stolen from the store before, but that he was difficult to catch. The suspect went to the check out aisle. As he place items on the conveyer belt, the Loss Prevention Agent stated she observed him lift up the child seat in the buggy and placed a watch underneath it concealing it from the cashier but it was still visible on the security camera. After checking out an dpaying for his items, he attempted to exited the store. The Officer intercepted the suspect was at the grocery entrance to the store. Utley was found to have placed a bottle of Men’s Cologne inside a Ramen noodle package and the watch was found outside of it’s packaging underneath the bags of purchased items. He was place in custody for shoplifting. Utley was banned from Wal Mart and all of its associated properties. The total value of the stolen items was $74.89. Utley was transported to the Police Station and was issued a criminal citation for Shoplifting before being released.

Tuesday night Officer Erin Manning was dispatched to the Best Value Inn in reference to a report of a tenant making a complaint against another guest. After speaking to the manager he decided that due to the nature of the complaints that everyone one involved would have to vacate the premises immediately. Inez Gutierrez and the wo other men were the tenants who had complaints against them. The manager explained to Gutierrez that he must leave the property. The man walked near the manager and demanded to know why. His manner appeared to be challenging. The manager repeated that he must leave at which time the man began so speak loudly statin that he has the room for a week. The officer intervened and advised the man the law enforcement had been called due to complaints against him and the he was no longer allowed on the property. The man was also advised that if he refused to leave he would be charged with trespassing.The man then began to speak loudly, refusing to cooperate. He was warned again that if he continued his behavior, he would be taken into custody. He continued to disregard the Officers warning. He was taken into custody for disorderly conduct. After booking procedures were complete, Gutierrez was released.

 

OCTOBER 4, 2018

ELECTION 2018: AETN DEBATES TO BE HELD OCTOBER 8TH - 12TH 
Debates at Reynolds Performance Hall in Conway open to the public
CONWAY, Ark. (AETN) — Candidates in eight races will participate in “Election 2018: AETN Debates,” which will tape and air on the Arkansas Educational Television Network Oct. 8-12.

All debates will be held at the Donald W. Reynolds Performance Hall, 223 Beatrice Powell St., on the University of Central Arkansas campus in Conway. Admission is free, and the public is invited. Seating is available on a first come, first served basis. Doors will open 30 minutes prior to taping times on Monday, Oct. 8, and one hour prior to taping times Oct. 10-12. Debates will also stream live on aetn.org.

The debate schedule is as follows:

  •          U.S. Congressional District 1, with candidates incumbent Rick Crawford (R), Chintan Desai (D) and Elvis Presley (L), will tape Monday, Oct. 8, at 9 a.m. and air Oct. 8 at 8 p.m.
  •          U.S. Congressional District 4, with candidates Tom Canada (L), Hayden Catherine Shamel (D) and incumbent Bruce Westerman (R), will tape Monday, Oct. 8, at 11:30 a.m. and air Oct. 8 at 9 p.m.
  •          U.S. Congressional District 2, with candidates incumbent French Hill (R), Joe Ryne Swafford (L) and Clarke Tucker (D), will tape Monday, Oct. 8, at 2 p.m. and air Tuesday, Oct. 9, at 8 p.m.
  •          U.S. Congressional District 3, with candidates Michael Kalagias (L), Josh Mahony (D) and incumbent Steve Womack (R), will tape Monday, Oct. 8, at 4:30 p.m. and air Tuesday, Oct. 9, at 9 p.m.
  •          Attorney General, with candidates Kerry Hicks (L), Mike Lee (D) and incumbent Leslie Rutledge (R), will tape Wednesday, Oct. 10, at 10 a.m. and air Oct. 10 at 8 p.m.
  •          Secretary of State, with candidates Susan Inman (D), Christopher Olson (L) and John Thurston (R), will tape Wednesday, Oct. 10, at 2 p.m. and air Oct. 10 at 9 p.m.
  •          Lieutenant Governor, with candidates Anthony Bland (D), Frank Gilbert (L) and incumbent Tim Griffin (R), will tape Thursday, Oct. 11, at 2 p.m. and air Oct. 11 at 8 p.m.
  •          Governor, with candidates Jared Henderson (D), incumbent Asa Hutchinson (R) and Mark West (L), will tape Friday, Oct. 12, at 1:30 p.m. and air Oct. 12 at 8 p.m.

In addition to keeping viewers informed about the candidates, “Election 2018: Ballot Initiatives” will air Friday, Oct. 12, at 7:30 p.m. The proposed initiatives that have reached the ballot will be discussed in this 30-minute program produced in conjunction with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service.

Debates for U.S. Congressional Districts 1, 2, 3 and 4 will be rebroadcast Sunday, Oct. 21, beginning at 12:30 p.m. Debates for attorney general, secretary of state, lieutenant governor and governor will be rebroadcast Sunday, Oct. 28, beginning at 12:30 p.m. Ballot initiatives will also be rebroadcast each day. Additional information, including debate attendance rules, is available at aetn.org/election.

Major funding for “Election 2018: AETN Debates” is provided by AARP Arkansas.

AETN makes all debates available free of charge to all commercial and public television and radio stations for simulcast or rebroadcast. Interested networks should contact Tanisha Joe-Conway at 800-662-2386 to specify a format and make arrangements for receiving the debates.

The Arkansas Educational Television Network is Arkansas’s only statewide public media network, which enhances lives by providing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all walks of life. AETN delivers local, award-winning productions and classic, trusted PBS programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers through the distinct channels AETN PBS, AETN Create, AETN PBS KIDS, AETN World and AETN AIRS on SAP. Audiences can also watch on several digital platforms, and members with AETN Passport have extended on-demand access to a rich library of public television programming. AETN depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the state of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. Additional information is available at aetn.org. AETN is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro) and KETZ (El Dorado).

AGREEMENT FINALIZED FOR QUAPAW HOUSE TO ACQUIRE ASSETS OF PREFERRED FAMILY HEALTHCARE
Quapaw House, Inc. (QHI), a Hot Springs-based substance-abuse rehabilitation and behavioral health facility, and Preferred Family Healthcare (PFH) have finalized an agreement to acquire the assets of PFH in the state of Arkansas, according to QHI CEO Casey Bright. 

“The agreement has been reached, transferring all Arkansas assets and property, minus PFH’s real estate holdings to QHI effective on or around October 12, 2018,” said Bright. “Simultaneously, we have reached a deal that will allow QHI to use PFH-owned properties, including all the Arkansas clinics and other facilities,” he added.

“Our leadership team is developing an operational integration strategy and will soon provide additional information on the enrollment process for those clients interested in transitioning to QHI,” Bright added.

“As you can imagine, an acquisition of this size will take time to work through,” said Bright. “We are analyzing every facet of their existing operation, taking equipment and facilities inventory, reviewing personnel and most importantly working to help transition the client base to QHI if they choose to do so. We also must work through the process of licensing, credentialing and certification before fully taking over the PFH sites,” he added.  

According to Bright, the PFH facilities will be rebranded as QHI facilities.  

Quapaw House, Inc., is an accredited substance-abuse rehabilitation and behavioral health facility.

LRAFB HOSTS 2018 THUNDER OVER THE ROCK AIR AND SPACE SHOW
LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. – Little Rock Air Force Base is proud to announce its 2018 Air and Space Show coming October 27 – 28. This will be the base’s first full air show in nearly six years and provides Team Little Rock the opportunity to showcase our assets and capabilities to the supportive community surrounding LRAFB and beyond.

Air Show performers include:
-USAF Thunderbirds
-US Army Golden Knights Parachute Jump Team
-C-130J Demo Team
-Army National Guard Black Hawk and Lakota Helicopter Demo
-USAF Academy Wings of Blue Parachute Jump Team


There will also be several static displays, live entertainment and food vendors at the event. Please be mindful that as the date gets closer, the list above may change.
The space part of the show emphasizes the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, and its impact on students of all ages.


Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, will host a STEM festival Oct. 26 as a field trip opportunity for students grades K-12. The event will continue Oct. 27 and 28, 2018, during the air and space show and will be open to the general public. The STEM Fest will be held at Hangar 250, a space as large as five football fields. Admission to the festival and air and space show is free for all attendees.

“The STEM festival is designed to bring educational opportunities to people and show what kind of possibilities are out there,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Mark Castleberry, 19th Civil Engineering Squadron superintendent of operations engineering. “It’s less about having students come out, set up attractions and compete and more about hosting educational and career opportunities for the entire state and the surrounding areas.”

Students wishing to attend the student-only Oct. 26 event are required to be a part of a field trip with their school. Schools have a deadline of Oct. 1 to register on the website (see below).
“Everything here is education based,” Castleberry said. “The cool thing about the STEM community is that it’s here to educate and help out. We’ve had people reach out to us for this because they want to show people how STEM can help them. It’s an opportunity a lot of young people may never get again in their life.”

After the student day, the festival is open to anyone who would like to attend and will have a multitude of different attractions, including: educational robotics exhibit, NASA, electronic vehicle challenge, virtual reality engine and many others.

“We want this to build a network of STEM organizations in the state, who can continue to produce more programming in future statewide festivals,” said Maj. Kyle Sanders, 19th Operations Group STEM festival director. “It’s an investment in Arkansas.”

Team Little Rock members are hosting a STEM festival to invigorate the community and show Arkansans the opportunities in their own backyard.

“Arkansas has an economy that’s reliant on innovation,” Sanders said. “We want to connect students and young people with professionals in STEM fields and increase the talent pool of future scientists and engineers for the good of everyone.”

The 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs office is looking to work with as many radio, television and print news outlets to get information about this exciting event out to the public. If you are interested in conducting interviews and providing announcements for the show, contact Lt Hunter Rininger at hunter.rininger.1@us.af.mil or 501-987-3434.

For more information, including aerial performers, static displays, and a list of prohibited items, visit https://www.thunderovertherock.com/. We also encourage the public and media to follow us on Facebook @ThunderOvertheRock.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY DAY SET FOR OCTOBER 5
NORTH LITTLE ROCK—The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) invites Arkansans to learn more about saving energy and money on Energy Efficiency Day Friday, October  5th, 2018. The third annual national observance was created to serve as a reminder for consumers that simple actions can help the environment and a budget. On Energy Efficiency Day, ADEQ encourages residents to visit www.energyefficiencyarkansas.org to learn about the benefits of energy efficiency for a home or business.

October is Arkansas Energy Efficiency Month. ADEQ’s Arkansas Energy Office is providing daily social media energy efficiency tips as well as making local media appearances to inform Arkansas residents and business about energy incentives and resources available to them.  

 

GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES TRANSFORMATION PLAN TO CUT CABINET-LEVEL AGENCIES  FROM 42 TO 15
First comprehensive reorganization effort in 50 years
LITTLE ROCK – At a news conference this afternoon, Governor Asa Hutchinson unveiled his plan to cut the number of cabinet-level agencies from 42 to 15. This is first comprehensive effort to trim state government since 1972.

“This long-overdue and comprehensive reorganization effort will realign agencies to reflect a more modern and efficient way to operate state government without cutting any services,” Governor Hutchinson said during his presentation at the Arkansas State Capitol on Wednesday. “This will result in improved delivery of services and will ultimately save the state money and the taxpayer time.”

“Additionally, as was the case in the creation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security during my time as Undersecretary, all reorganization efforts will be implemented using existing resources and without adding any additional staff,” added Governor Hutchinson.

The Governor’s proposal accomplishes six key objectives to improve state government:

  1. This proposal will reduce the number of cabinet-level agencies by nearly 65 percent, from 42 to 15 without sacrificing any services. This move will increase an agency head’s flexibility to make quicker decisions that will improve the quality and delivery of services.
  • The proposed mergers will strengthen the affected agencies by providing more resources while at the same time eliminating duplicative processes.
    • Ex. Both the Arkansas Agriculture Department (AAD) and the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission (ANRC) will be strengthened by bringing ANRC under AAD.
    • Ex. Both the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) and the Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE) will be strengthened by bringing the two departments into one larger cabinet group.
       
  • NOTE: Higher Education Institutions will remain independent.
  1. This proposal will assign more than 200 boards and commissions to a larger umbrella department.
  • NOTE: Regulatory and Licensing Boards will retain their authority and revenue sources.
  1. This proposal will improve the delivery of services to Arkansas taxpayers by breaking down silos within state government.
  • Ex: The Department of Health and 15 health-related boards and commissions will be brought together under one umbrella department.
  • Ex: The new Department of Public Safety will bring all law enforcement and protection agencies together for the first time.

 4. This proposal will improve management control throughout state government through the creation of the Department of Transformation and Shared Services:

  • Office of Personnel Management
  • Division of Procurement
  • Employee Benefits Division
  • Division of Building Authority
  • Department of Information Systems
  • Geographic Information Systems
  1. This proposal will allow agencies to maintain their independent services, where appropriate.
  • NOTE: Any agency/board/commission will retain their special revenue streams required by law. Some agencies will remain independent for constitutional reasons or because of their specific function.
  1. This proposal will create savings for the state and taxpayers beginning in the FY 2021 budget through lease and rent savings, shared services, and a more responsive management approach, to name a few.

Finally, as noted above, in the same way the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was created during Governor Hutchinson’s time as Undersecretary of Homeland Security, all reorganization efforts will be implemented using existing resources and without adding any additional staff.

RUTLEDGE OPENS OPIOID ABUSE AWARENESS EXHIBIT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS
Says, ‘I am thankful for all of the partnerships that brought this to Arkansas’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge yesterday opened Prescribed to Death: A Memorial to the Victims of the Opioid Crisis with Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council, the Association of Arkansas Counties and the Arkansas Municipal League at the University of Arkansas. The National Safety Council’s opioid memorial will be on display at the Arkansas Union in Fayetteville from October 3-9 and is free to all members of the public.

“The ‘Prescribed to Death’ memorial is a powerful display to remind us all of the lives lost in just one year at the hands of this deadly epidemic,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I am thankful for all of the partnerships that brought this to Arkansas. It is one more avenue to open critical conversations between family, friends, neighbors, church members and other loved ones about this deadly epidemic.”

The centerpiece of the multifaceted exhibit is a wall of 22,000 engraved white pills – each representing the face of someone lost to a prescription opioid overdose in the United States in 2015. Arkansas alone lost 169 residents to opioid overdose in 2016, and it has the second highest rate of opioid prescribing in the country – trailing only Alabama.

The National Safety Council launched Prescribed to Death as a part of the National Safety Council’s Stop Everyday Killers public education campaign.

In addition to Rutledge’s office, the Association of Arkansas Counties and the Arkansas Municipal League, the exhibit is underwritten by contributions from Stericycle, Nationwide Insurance, Walmart and EverFi. Visit StopEverydayKillers.org for more information. Other supporting partners include the Associated Student Government of the University of Arkansas, the Office of the Arkansas Drug Director and the Criminal Justice Institute, University of Arkansas System.

In August, Rutledge announced a new initiative, called #Rx4LifeStories, to allow Arkansans to talk about how the nation’s opioid epidemic has impacted their lives and the lives of their families. Last fall, Rutledge launched Prescription for Life, a first-in-the-nation educational tool offered at no cost to all high school students in the State to help them understand the dangers of prescription drug misuse and how to prevent abuse. To date, it has been launched in 74 schools, across 56 counties and reached over 8,000 students.

Rutledge is also suing the opioid manufacturers who created the crisis in Arkansas for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Arkansas Medicaid Fraud False Claims Act.

Each year, Rutledge partners with a number of agencies in hosting the Arkansas Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit. The summit is a free training and educational opportunity for law enforcement officers, medical professionals, pharmacists and educators. The seventh annual Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit is scheduled for Nov. 1 in Hot Springs, with more than 800 taking advantage of early bird registration.

Rutledge also partners with federal and state agencies for the biannual National Take Back Day. Since 2016, more than 600 pounds of prescription drugs were collected at Attorney General Mobile Offices across Arkansas. The fall National Take Back Day is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 27.

OCTOBER 3, 2018

RUTLEDGE NAMES ARKANSAS STATE POLICE SENIOR CORPORAL BECKY VACCO LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OF THE YEAR
Recognizes regional winners and outstanding officer in each county

BENTON – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge yesterday hosted the annual awards and recognition luncheon during the 2018 Law Enforcement Summit at the Benton Event Center, where she announced Arkansas State Police Senior Corporal Becky Vacco as the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. A record 648 officers from across the State attended the summit, which is in its 16th year.

Corporal Vacco recently assisted three law enforcement agencies in investigations of crimes against children. One was a case of an 8-week-old child with 18 broken ribs and a leg fracture. The case resulted in the father pleading guilty to first degree battery and sentenced to 35 years. Another case was the death of a 23-month-old child that resulted in a life sentence for the suspect. In the third case, a 3-week-old male had a broken clavicle and numerous bruises including one that had caused brain swelling and seizures. Vacco conducted numerous interviews and after seven months arrested both parents. The victim, now 2, will require round-the-clock care for the rest of his life.

Vacco was nominated by Arkansas State Police Lieutenant Kim Warren who said, “Perhaps the greatest attribute of Special Agent Vacco is her willingness to take on cases involving child abuse. It’s my opinion that no other type of investigation takes as great a toll on the investigator as crimes in which children are victimized.”

“The dedication of Corporal Vacco to stand up for victims of child abuse is admirable,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Arkansas is lucky to have officers like Corporal Vacco who are willing to represent these victims against their accuser, often giving a voice to those unable to speak for themselves. It is an honor to not only recognize her, but also the regional and county winners and to thank the many brave men and women in blue who sacrifice so much to protect our communities.”

The other Regional Officers of the Year included: Wildlife Officers Troy Sayger and Matt Tenison, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Southeast Region, for their work to save a suicidal teen in inclement weather; Corporal Brandon Cook, Arkansas State Police, Southwest Region, for saving a woman who had jumped off a bridge; Lieutenant Chris Ameling, Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office, Central Region, for tending to a woman trapped inside a structure fire by keeping her calm until firefighters could arrive; Patrolman Lyle Fultz, Fairfield Bay Police Department, Northwest Region, for entering a burning building to rescue a resident, saving his life.

A list of the outstanding officer winners from each county can be found at the conclusion of this release.

Rutledge also presented a VALOR tribute, which is given in honor of members of the law enforcement community who tragically lost their lives while in the line of duty this past year. This year’s tribute was presented to K9 Trooper Hemi with the Arkansas State Police.

Rutledge gave special recognition to Richard Davis, the Director of the Arkansas State Fusion Center, who passed away in May.

The summit was kicked off by Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, who spoke about his efforts to combat human trafficking. Attorney General Reyes has been a leader and an international voice leading Utah to aggressively fight human trafficking by introducing innovative education campaigns, support of anti-human trafficking legislations, victim recovery and advocacy. The success of his multifaceted effort has been accomplished by grassroots and non-governmental organizations efforts, partnerships with local law enforcement officers and agencies, as well as work initiated by his office through the Utah Trafficking in Persons Task Force and prosecutors of Utah SECURE Strike Force.

Dennis Debbaudt spoke to attendees about autism risk and safety management in various emergency situations, especially in regard to individuals on the autism spectrum. It is critical that first responders have working knowledge of autism and the wide variety of behaviors individuals on the autism spectrum may exhibit in emergency situations.

And the afternoon concluded with a presentation from Jeffrey McGill, formerly with the Okalossa County, Florida, Violent Fugitive Task Force. McGill discussed surviving traumatic stress to address the far reaches of a critical incident and what officers, supervisors, trainers and families need to know about traumatic stress.

County Officers of the Year
Arkansas County
Officer Paul Colvin, Stuttgart Police Department

Ashley County
Wildlife Officer Eric Smith, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Baxter County
Senior Corporal Becky Vacco, Arkansas State Police

Benton County
Officer Ericka Williams, Bentonville Police Department

Boone County
Trooper Jason Hutcheson, Arkansas State Police

Bradley County
Corporal Robert Sellers, Arkansas Department of Transportation

Calhoun County
Deputy Clifton Humphries, Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office

Carroll County
Wildlife Officer Kelli Sanders, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Chicot County
Chief Percy Wilburn, Lake Village Police Department

Clark County
Investigator Sandra Jones, Clark County Sheriff’s Office

Clay County
Chief Deputy Tom Colbert, Clay County Sheriff’s Office

Cleburne County
Officer Austin Miller, Cleburne County Sheriff’s Office

Cleveland County
Chief Deputy Gary Young, Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office

Columbia County
Investigator Kelly Blair, Columbia County Sheriff’s Office

Conway County
Trooper Corey Earls, Arkansas State Police

Craighead County
Sergeant Philip Vanwinkle, Craighead County Sheriff’s Office

Crawford County
Trooper Joshua Elmore, Arkansas State Police

Crittenden County
Corporal Flarcell Tate, Arkansas State Police

Cross County
Sergeant Luke Cantrell and Sergeant Jeff Nichols, Cross County Sheriff’s Office

Dallas County
Chief Jimmy Vaughan, Fordyce Police Department

Desha County
Chief Everett Cox, Dumas Police Department

Drew County
Sergeant David Outlaw, Arkansas State Police

Faulkner County
Investigator Kennon Cook, Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office

Franklin County
Senior Corporal Rickey Denton, Arkansas State Police

Fulton County
Chief Deputy John Cawvey, Fulton County Sheriff’s Office

Garland County
Corporal Brandon Cook, Arkansas State Police

Grant County
Corporal Tommy Holcomb, Grant County Sheriff’s Office

Greene County
Lieutenant Scott Snyder, Paragould Police Department

Hempstead County
Corporal Dennis Hovarter and Corporal Jeffery Neel, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Hot Spring County
Lieutenant Glen Pye, Hot Spring County Sheriff’s Office

Howard County
Corporal Keith Teague, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Independence County
The late Chief Deputy Jeff Sims, Independence County Sheriff’s Office

Izard County
Trooper Rodney Villiger, Arkansas State Police

Jackson County
Corporal Ronald Laslo, Arkansas State Police

Jefferson County
Trooper Kevin Helm and Corporal Dustin Thompson, Arkansas State Police

Johnson County
Officer Lance Clubb, Clarksville Police Department

Lafayette County
Wildlife Officer Andrew Watson, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Lawrence County
Deputy Joseph Carey, Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office

Lee County
Sergeant Dale Acosta, Marianna Police Department

Lincoln County (TIE)
Captain Kenneth Tillman, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office
Sergeant Ben Reeves, Star City Police Department

Little River County
Wildlife Officer Cody Standifer, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Logan County
Trooper Jed Bolyard, Arkansas State Police

Lonoke County
Deputy Dallas Mauk, Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office

Madison County
Corporal Jonathon Cornelison, Madison County Sheriff’s Office

Marion County
Corporal Tim Davenport, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Miller County
Detective Shane Kirkland and Detective Wayne Easley, Texarkana Police Department

Mississippi County
Deputy Johnathon Boatman, Mississippi County Sheriff’s Office

Monroe County
Corporal Damon Dobson, Arkansas State Police

Montgomery County
Lieutenant Greg Harmon, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office

Nevada County
Chief Joey Beavers, Prescott Police Department

Newton County
Lieutenant Kenny Seay, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Ouachita County
Deputy Ryan Coleman, Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office

Perry County
Reserve Deputy Nathan Williams, Perry County Sheriff’s Office

Phillips County
Officer Princess Burnside, Arkansas Department of Community Correction

Pike County
Sergeant Ronnie White, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Poinsett County
Sergeant Charles Jones and Assistant Chief Jon Redman, Trumann Police Department

Polk County
Patrolman Paul Arceneaux and Patrolman Mike Wolf, Mena Police Department

Pope County (TIE)
Sergeant Chris Goodman, Arkansas State Police
Corporal Brenda Stephenson, Arkansas State Police
Captain Tammy Dougan, Arkansas Tech University Department of Public Safety
*Dougan and Stephenson were jointly nominated for the same incident

Prairie County
Wildlife Officers Troy Sayger and Matt Tenison, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Pulaski County
Lieutenant Chris Ameling, Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office

Randolph County
Wildlife Officer Jeff Dalton, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

St. Francis County
Corporal Frank McMillion, Arkansas State Police

Saline County
Deputy Jack Campbell, Saline County Sheriff’s Office

Scott County
Special Agent Sam Bass, Arkansas State Police

Searcy County
Wildlife Officer Ken Nelson, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Sebastian County
Officer Keith Shelby, Fort Smith Police Department

Sevier County
Wildlife Officer Sydney Grant, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Sharp County
Detective Sergeant Aaron Presser, Sharp County Sheriff’s Office

Stone County
Corporal Chad Cruce, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Union County
Deputy Aaron Galbraith, Union County Sheriff’s Office

Van Buren County
Patrolman Lyle Fultz, Fairfield Bay Police Department

Washington County
Trooper Ryan Leuer, Arkansas State Police

White County
Officer Kristen Higgs, Bald Knob Police Department

Woodruff County
Special Agent Randall Murphy, Arkansas State Police

Yell County
Sergeant Joe Carter, Arkansas State Police

October 02, 2018

 

SAU TECH FOUNDATION SUPPORTS COLLEGE'S BUS PURCHASE 

SAU Tech Foundation Board Members pictured above: Jim Golden, David Reynolds, Barbara Finley, John Dawson, III, Ted Barnes, Gene Hill, Deloris Kitchens, Troy Alphin, and Paul Lindsey. Not pictured- Randy Graham, Mark Cayce, Tessa Wilson, Linda Gaston, Krissy Bassetti, and Phil Foster.

The SAU Tech Foundation members pose in front of the new bus purchased by SAU Tech with the support of the Foundation. The Board provided $25,000 toward the cost of the new bus which will be used for student athletics and to transport students to various events.

The SAU Tech Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that raises funds and friends for SAU Tech. The Foundation is currently working on raising support for the College’s Tech Scholars and Rocket Athletic programs. For more information, call 870-574-4533.


CABUN CLINIC SIGNS MOU WITH SAU TECH

Image
This partnership is just one more way we are working to provide our students with a caring, supportive environment.
Dr. Jason Morrison

Dr. Daniel Whitelock, Dr. Joe Sarniki, and Cabun Clinic, CEO, Melanie Shepard, were all present on Tuesday, September 18 to officially agree to a memorandum of understanding with SAU Tech regarding the provision of health care services to the College’s students. Cabun Clinic, located in Hampton, Arkansas, will provide medical services to students at a charge of $30 per visit. They will provide the following services to SAU Tech as lined out in the MOU:

  1. To serve in the capacity of the healthcare provider for “SAU Tech”.
  2. To be available for consultations with “SAU Tech” staff as needed.
  3. To be accessible by phone to discuss patients as needed.
  4. To consult with corporate officers as needed.
  5. To maintain all necessary licenses according to State and Federal laws.
  6. To participate in medical peer and utilization review as requested.
  7. To maintain medical records for all patients.
  8. To review the program as needed and make the necessary changes which are agreeable and beneficial together/both parties to ensure the sustainability of operations.
  9. To provide on-campus physicals for SAU Tech Athletic Teams at a mutually agreed upon date and time as the rate shown on the attached “Reimbursement Schedule”.
  10. To provide an on-campus Flu Clinic (when requested by SAU Tech) at a mutually agreed upon date and time. Flu vaccines will be charged at the standard rate of $20.00 for uninsured, or insurance will be billed with no out-of-pocket expense
  11. To provide staff to promote this partnership to Students at SAU Tech Student Orientation.
  12. To give written sixty (60) day notice of termination unless termination is agreed upon by both parties.

The agreement is the first ever of its kind for the College marking the need for SAU Tech’s housing students to have these types of services more readily available as its housing population has grown from around 100 to 180 this fall. Dr. Whitelock with the Cabun Clinic will also serve as the Rocket Basketball Team Physician. He had this to say about the partnership, ” I think it’s definitely a positive agreement because this is a patient population that often doesn’t think to seek medical care and when we have something like this, a good strong foundation and partnership, which we do have,  I think it will be beneficial for both of Cabun Clinic and SAU Tech students. Students will be able to have access to a full service clinic and be able to get the necessary care,
especially preventive care, which tends to be neglected in this population, so I think it’s a positive thing.” 

CABUN’s leaders made the decision to become a community health center in 1978 so that we could serve as a “safety net” for rural communities to ensure that no one who needs healthcare is denied access. Cabun Clinic believes that healthy communities are the essence of American life. The direction CABUN has taken in the last few years is a visible expression of the unswerving commitment they have to the Arkansas communities they serve. The Clinic’s partnerships with local businesses and concerned citizen groups, as well as our participation in community development activities, speak to their ongoing commitment to provide affordable health for all in Arkansas.

GOVERNOR ASA HUTCHINSON'S PUBLIC SCHEDULE THROUGH OCTOBER 6TH
LITTLE ROCK
 – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Sunday, September 30, 2018, through Saturday, October 6, 2018: 

Monday, October 1, 2018

BERRYVILLE
Connect Four Technical School Open House
10:00 a.m.
Connect Four
1002 S. Main St.
Berryville, Arkansas

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

HOT SPRINGS
Arkansas Public School Resource Center Fall Conference
Drew Central High School
8:30 a.m.
Hot Springs Convention Center
134 Convention Blvd.
Hot Springs, Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK
News Conference
11:30 a.m.
Governor’s Conference Room
500 Woodlane St.
Little Rock, Arkansas

Thursday, October 4, 2018

HOT SPRINGS
Arkansas Environmental Federation 51st 
Annual Convention & Trade Show
9:45 a.m.
Hot Springs Convention Center
134 Convention Blvd.
Hot Springs, Arkansas

ROGERS
Fall 2018 Northwest Arkansas Summit
11:30 a.m.
Cross Church Pinnacle Hills Campus
2448 S. Pinnacle Hills Parkway
Rogers, Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK
Arkansas Forum on Innovation, Growth and Technology 
6:00 p.m.
Governor’s Mansion
1800 Center St.
Little Rock, Arkansas

CAMDEN CITY POLICE REPORTS
Last Wednesday evening, September 26th, Officer Erin Manning of the Camden Police Department, performed a security check through the 500 Block of Carver Courts. Recently, there has been an increase in violent crimes involving loitering subjects who do not live in Carver Courts as well as narcotics use and sales. There is a group known to usually be involved in the unlawful activity. While conducting the security check, Officer Manning observed a large group of individuals gathered in the road in the 500 Block. As the Officer approached the group, the crowd dispersed and began entering a nearby apartment. The Officer made contact with Taquavious Curry, who had remained standing in the middle of the sidewalk. Curry stated the he was just “hanging outside” while his brother visited friends in a nearby apartment. Officer Manning asked Curry if had had been warned by Officers earlier about loitering on the property. He confirmed that he had been warned not to loiter but that he chose to do it anyway. Curry was taken into custody and booked at the Police Station for loitering. He was released with a citation and a court date.

Saturday evening, September 29th, Officer Kayla Reynolds was dispatched as back up, to 2355 Avon Street, for a disturbance in progress. Leeander Ellis was threatening to hit people with a large board which had nails sticking out of it. Lt. Parker and Officer Jones made contact with the residents. Officer Reynolds noticed Ellis leaving the scene at a fast pace. A woman stated that Ellis had threatened her with the board earlier in the evening and had walked in front of her home swinging it around and making sounds. She said that as soon as Ellis realized the Officers were on scene, he threw the board down in a nearby field and tried to leave the scene. Officer located a long stick with nails driven into the wood exposing the nails to resemble a weaponized club. The Officers spoke with a witness who stated that he heard Ellis threatening another young man with the club. Soon after Ellis’ mother, Lynetra Ellis, showed up on scene. Lt. Parker attempted to explain the situation to her but she argued that her son was innocent. She became very loud and was told to stop yelling as she was getting to the point of disorderly conduct in public. People were coming out of their homes to see what was going on. About 4 of Ellis’ family were on scene. On woman was attempting to calm the Lynetra down but was unsuccessful. She pushed past the woman trying to calm her down, yelling loudly and moving toward Lt. Parker. Officer Reynolds attempted to place her under arrest, but she resisted. The Officer had on arm in the cuffs but was forced to walk in a circle with the woman. Despite her resistance. Officer Reynolds secured the second arm in the handcuffs. Even then, she continued to yell and argue about the situation. Lynetra was transported to the Police Department. After booking procedures she was released on a citation for Disorderly Conduct and Refusal to Submit to Arrest. The report was unclear as to what actions were taken against Leeander Ellis.

AUTUMN MARKET HOSTED BY THE OUACHITA EXTENSION HOMEMAKERS
The 8th annual Autumn Market, hosted by the Ouachita Extension Homemakers, will be Friday, October 26th from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Camden. Proceeds raised go to fund three $500.00 scholarships for graduating seniors in Ouachita County. Come early to shop for homemade crafts and baked goodies, then join the Homemakers for a home cooked meal from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Support students by purchasing your $10.00 luncheon tickets. To purchase tickets and for more information contact the Ouachita County Extension Office at 231-1160. The University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture is and equal opportunity, equal access, affirmative action institution.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB TO MEET
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet on Wednesday at Catherine’s Bistro. The speaker this week will be Ouachita County Clerk Britt Williford.  He will be talking about the new voting machines and the vote centers.

FREE JOB SKILLS AND CAREER READINESS CONFERENCE
There will be a Free Job Skills and Career Readiness Conference in the Grand Hall at the SAU Tech campus on Saturday, October 6th from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. This is a single parent event geared toward single Mothers’. The topic is “What Employers Wish You Knew.” A free lunch will be provided. You must register be Wednesday, October 3rd. You can register at swarren@aspsf.org. Every attendee will receive a $50.00 Walmart card and a free portfolio.

COLOR FUN RUN/WALK 
The 3rd annual Color Fun Run/Walk, as put on by the Women's Crisis Center of South Arkansas, is Saturday, October 13 starting at 8:00 A.M. The start of race: the WCC's business office at 1112 W. Washington in Camden. Registration forms are due by October 1. For more information, phone 870-839-0375.

PINK PUMPKIN 5K RUN/WALK 
The 5th annual Anytime Fitness Pink Pumpkin Breast Cancer 5K Run/Walk is Saturday, October 27 at 9:00 A.M. in Camden. The entry fee is $20 through October 13th. display – framed in a clean, neat and professional manner with a secure wire hanger. 3-D works, and multi-media presentations must be display ready.   

SOUTH ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER TO HOLD MEMBERSHIP SHOW
The South Arkansas Arts Center invites all area artists to submit their work for the SAAC Membership Show, which will be held from November 1-30, 2018, in the Price and Merkle Galleries. Artists who are not SAAC members are welcome to join the SAAC when they deliver their artwork if they would like to participate in the show.  The SAAC Membership Show is sponsored by William P. Cook and Associates.   Cindy Snelson, current visual arts committee member, said about the show, “We on the committee are so excited to see a lot of membership participation in this show. If you are not a SAAC member, now is the time to become one.” New SAAC members may submit two entries for free when they join SAAC, instead of one.  For existing members, the first artwork entry is free, and the second piece is $10 to enter.     Chrystal Osborne, chairman of the visual arts committee commented, "Our membership show is one of the more inspiring shows for me.  It enables south Arkansas to enjoy, celebrate and explore its local artists.  We love all the artists that share their gifts with us, however it is even more special when it is one of our own."   Area artists are welcome to select two favorite works, created at any point in their lifetime, and deliver them to the SAAC for the Membership Show.  The only rule is that work shown in the previous year’s Membership Show cannot be submitted again.  Participants are encouraged to sell their work, but it is not a requirement. Entries should be delivered by Tuesday, October 30.  Artists may pick up their works on Monday, December 2.   As in past years – anything goes! All 2-D and 3-D fine arts media will be accepted, including photography, computer generated art, fiber art, video and multi-media presentations.  Pieces must be original.  Artwork completed under classroom supervision and/or reproduced from published material or work by other artists is not accepted.  2-D works must be completely ready for gallery display – framed in a clean, neat and professional manner with a secure wire hanger. 3-D works, and multi-media presentations must be display ready.   

For more information about the membership showcase, please call the SAAC office at 870-862-5474 or visit the website at www.saac-arts.org.  SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado.

 
 
 

OCTOBER 1, 2018

 

THREE ARKANSAS SCHOOLS NAMED 2018 NATIONAL BLUE RIBBON SCHOOL
LITTLE ROCK — The U.S. Department of Education today named three Arkansas public schools as 2018 National Blue Ribbon Schools.

J.B. Hunt Elementary School in the Springdale School District, Kingsland Elementary School in the Cleveland County School District and Woodrow Cummins Elementary School in the Conway School District were among 349 schools nationally that received the recognition. The Blue Ribbon program recognizes public and private schools for high academic achievement or progress toward closing the achievement gap.

“I applaud the teachers, administrators and staff at these Blue Ribbon Schools for their exemplary work and their tremendous commitment to providing their students with a high-quality education,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “While the work of an educator is never done, their hard work has paid off, and it communicates that Arkansas is serious about education. Thank you, teachers and students, for leading the way, and congratulations.”

J.B. Hunt Elementary School and Woodrow Cummins Elementary School received the Exemplary High Performing Schools designation for student performance on state assessments. Kingsland Elementary School received the Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools designation for its efforts to close achievement gaps between student groups and all students over the last five years.

“I commend the students and educators at these three schools for their commitment to student learning and success,” Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key said. “They serve as models of excellence and are helping Arkansas lead the way in student-focused education."

 

 

ARKANSAS FOOD HALL OF FAME NOMINATIONS ARE NOW OPEN
Department of Arkansas Heritage Opens Nominations October 1
LITTLE ROCK – Department of Arkansas Heritage Director Stacy Hurst announced today that the nomination period for the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame is now open as of October 1, 2018. Nominations will remain open through October 31, 2018. This is the third year for the statewide program to recognize the legendary restaurants, proprietors and food themed events from every part of the state.

“Food is an integral part of who we are as Arkansans. The Arkansas Food Hall of Fame honors Arkansas food culture as a significant and specific aspect of our state’s heritage,” said Hurst. “We want to hear about your local favorites when it comes to food – food events, people and places.”

Nominations are being accepted at ArkFoodHOF.com in five categories:

  • Arkansas Food Hall of Fame – This award recognizes those long- standing restaurants that have become legendary attractions in Arkansas.
  • Proprietor of the Year – This award honors a chef, cook and/or restaurant owner in Arkansas who has made significant achievements in the food industry.
  • Food-Themed Event – This award honors a community food-themed event or festival that makes our state a great place to live and visit.
  • People’s Choice – Identifies the public’s favorite. This award is truly in the hands of Arkansans. The restaurant or food truck that receives the highest number of votes wins.
  • Gone But Not Forgotten – Remembers the collective culinary legacy of a once-and-always influential Arkansas restaurant that has since ceased operations.

Winners will be chosen this winter by a committee of Arkansans who are historians, chefs, foodies and food authors. Committee members include, Paul

S. Austin, Evette Brady, Chip Culpepper, Cindy Grisham, Stacy Hurst, Montine McNulty, Tim Morton, Rex Nelson, Tim Nutt, Kat Robinson, Wendy Richter, Christina Shutt and Swannee Bennett. Honorees and finalists will be announced at a special ceremony on February 25, 2019, at the Ron Robinson Theater.

RUTLEDGE JOINS FORCES FOR VETERANS HISTORY PROJECT
Says, ‘It is critical that we capture and preserve the memories of our wartime veterans’
LITTLE ROCK
– Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge on Wednesday announced that she will join forces with the U.S. Library of Congress to encourage Arkansans’ participation in the Veterans History Project (VHP). The nationwide project is an effort to create an audio and video archive with recordings of firsthand accounts from American wartime veterans.

Personal histories are compiled through audio- or video-recorded interviews hosted by the Attorney General’s Office, which may include original correspondence, photographs and diaries. In addition to submitting the videos to the Library of Congress, the Attorney General’s webpage will compile and highlight Arkansas veterans’ personal experiences during various conflicts in American history.

“More than 250,000 veterans make their home in Arkansas,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I am honored to help these men and women tell their stories of courage, bravery and service by recording and submitting them to the Library of Congress. It is critical that we capture and preserve the memories of our wartime veterans so that future generations can honor them and learn about our nation’s proud history directly from those who lived through the events.”

In collaboration with Senator John Boozman’s office, the program will share an interview with 100-year-old Paul Lux of Fort Smith, a World War II Army veteran and grandfather to Senior Assistant Attorney General Shawn Johnson. Lux tells the story of his experiences in the Panama Canal Zone, England, France, Germany and in the Battle of the Bulge. During World War II alone, an estimated 194,645 Arkansans, or approximately 10 percent of the State’s population, served the nation in the various branches of the U.S. armed forces. Over 3,500 Arkansans were killed.

To date, about 1,400 stories from Arkansas veterans have been submitted to the Veterans History Project. If you or someone you know is a veteran of World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War, Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, please contact Tim Johnson, Senior Representative of Military and Veterans Affairs, by emailing him at Tim.Johnson@ArkansasAG.gov or calling (501) 682-2007.

 

SEPTEMBER 28, 2018

 ADE'S MY SCHOOL INFO WEBSITE REACHES 1 MILLION PAGE VIEWS  
LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Department of Education is pleased to announce that the My School Info website has received more than 1 million page views since the website’s launch in November 2016. In the last six days, the website has received approximately 50,000 page views with the release of the 2018 Arkansas ESSA School Index Private Reports.

Through My School Info, ADE combines multiple sources into one location to provide free, online access to school and district data. The user-friendly site is interactive and allows users to do the following:

access school and district information (such as address, phone number and website address);
• review testing and financial information;
• compare schools and districts;
• analyze trends over multiple years; and
• view the School Performance Reports and ESSA School Index Report.

ADE'S BECOME AN ARKANSAS TEACHER EVENT SET FOR OCT. 1 IN LITTLE ROCK
LITTLE ROCK — Those interested in becoming an Arkansas teacher are encouraged to attend the Arkansas Department of Education’s annual Become an Arkansas Teacher Event October 1 in Little Rock.

ADE hosts the event each year to give potential teachers the opportunity to network with representatives from ADE, higher education institutions and other education preparation organizations. The October 1 event will be held from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza, 201 S. Shackleford, in Little Rock.

“It is important for interested educators to know that there are multiple pathways to become a licensed teacher in Arkansas,” Jeff Dyer, ADE’s Teacher Recruitment and Retention program advisor, said. “In addition to the traditional route that involves getting a bachelor’s degree in education, there are several master’s degree programs in the state, as well as other programs that lead to licensure. Anyone who has an interest or passion for teaching should attend this event to learn more."

Participants at the October 1 event can begin the background check process, learn more about the routes to becoming a teacher, obtain information about loan forgiveness, and network with ADE and other education representatives. Former teachers, including those who have retired or left the profession, can learn how to renew their license.

The event is free! To learn more, visit https://bit.ly/2R48zcI

Additional Information:

  • Fifteen areas have been designated as critical shortage areas for the 2018-2019 school year. Teachers in shortage areas may be entitled to financial incentives. To learn more, visit https://bit.ly/2xCK6TZ.
  • To learn more about the different routes to become an Arkansas teacher, go to https://bit.ly/2u02ZxC.
  • Those who are interested in becoming a teacher but are unable to attend the Oct. 1 event can visit the ADE website or call 501-682-6349.


Follow us on Twitter @ArkansasEd.
Like us on Facebook at Arkansas Department of Education.
Follow us on Instagram at arkansas_ed.

SEPTEMBER 27, 2018

U.S. HOUSE PASSES $425 MILLION INCREASE FOR ALZHEIMER'S RESEARCH FUNDING

On Wednesday the U.S. House of Representatives approved an appropriation for a funding increase of $425 million for Alzheimer’s and dementia research at the National Institute of Health (NIH). The increase will now move to the president’s desk where it is expected to be signed into the law, bringing the annual budget for Alzheimer’s and dementia research to $2.3 billion for FY 2019. This appropriation saw support by all six of Arkansas’s delegation. The Arkansas chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association wants to thank Sen. Boozman, Sen. Cotton, Congressman Crawford, Congressman Hill, Congressman Westerman, and Congressman Womack for their support of this appropriation.

Currently, more than 56,000 Arkansans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease, a number that is expected to increase by 19.6% over the next five years as baby boomers begin to reach retirement age. Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death here in Arkansas and as the number of diagnoses continues to climb research is critical in our search for a cure to this impactful disease.

The Arkansas Chapter would like to encourage you to join us in thanking the Arkansas delegation for their support of this effort to increase funding for research. Policymakers do not often hear gratitude from their constituents and it is important for us to remember that they are sacrificing time away from their families to represent our state.

The Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. For more information, you can visit alz.org/arkansas

The Alzheimer’s Impact Movement (AIM) is the advocacy arm of the Alzheimer’s Association. AIM works to develop and advance policies to overcome Alzheimer’s disease through increased investment in research, enhanced care and improved support. To join our movement visit alzimpact.org

CAMDEN CITY POLICE REPORTS
Wednesday afternoon Animal Control Office Wisinger requested Officer Perry, both of the Camden Police Department, to meet her at 296 Tulip Circle. When Officer Perry arrived, Officer Wisinger advised him that she was there for an animal concern but when she arrived she could hear an elderly lady screaming for help.

Officer Perry approached the door and heard and elderly lady screaming “don’t hurt me, I need oxygen, don’t kill my dogs.” EMS was called. Once they arrived, they were able to gain entry to the residence but were stopped at the door due to the smell and surprise of 18 dogs ranging from small to very large inside the living room where the woman was sitting in a recliner. The Officers and EMS were able to talk the woman to the door. She was covered in what was believed to be human and dog feces and urine. EMS took the woman by ambulance to the Ouachita County Medical Center as she was screaming for oxygen.

Officer Wisinger and Officer Perry entered the house but could only stay in the residence for a short amount of time due to the Horde and odors. A deceased dog was found very near where the woman had been sitting. The other dogs had began eating the dead dog. Another Officer and Detective were called to the residence to take photos for abuse of an elderly person. The Adult Protective Services were notified.

While on scene, Officer Perry was told by neighbors that the woman has two sons and gave the sons names to the Officer. The Officer surmised the neighbors giving the information are the landlords of the woman’s residence and believe they were aware of the conditions and the situation inside the residence. An investigation is underway.

Tuesday night Camden Police Officer Joseph Jones was dispatched to Walmart in reference to a shoplifter in custody. He met with the WalMart APA Representative, who stated she had a female, identified as Keondra Harris, in custody for shoplifting. The APA stated she had observed Harris on camera at the self-checkout lane and she was not checking out all of the items she had in the buggy. Harris stated that she thought she could get away with it. Harris was advised that she was being place on the ban list. Harris was taken into custody and transported to the Camden Police Department where booking procedures were completed. Harris was released with a citation and court date. The total price for the items taken was $66.17.

RUTLEDGE, UBER REACH SETTLEMENT
Arkansas will receive more than $8 million
LITTLE ROCK
– Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge on Wednesday announced that Arkansas, along with the 49 other states and the District of Columbia, have reached an agreement with California-based ride-sharing company Uber Technologies, Inc. (Uber) to address the company’s one-year delay in reporting a data breach to its affected drivers.

“Uber needs to ensure that it is taking every precaution to protect driver and customer data on its website and mobile app,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Data breaches can open consumers up to identity theft and have lasting negative impacts on an individual’s credit.”

Uber learned in November 2016 that hackers had gained access to personal information that Uber maintains about its drivers, including drivers’ license information for approximately 600,000 drivers nationwide, including 934 Arkansas drivers. Arkansas law requires Uber to notify affected residents, but Uber failed to report the breach in a timely manner, waiting until November 2017 to report it to affected residents.

As part of the nationwide settlement, Uber has agreed to pay $148 million to the states. Arkansas will receive $1,847,812.50. In addition, Uber has agreed to strengthen its corporate governance and data security practices to help prevent a similar occurrence in the future.

The settlement requires the company to:

  • Comply with Arkansas data breach and consumer protection law regarding protecting Arkansas residents’ personal information and notifying them in the event of a data breach concerning their personal information.
  • Take precautions to protect any user data Uber stores on third-party platforms.
  • Use strong password policies for its employees to gain access to the Uber network.
  • Develop and implement a strong overall data security policy for all data that Uber collects about its users, including assessing potential risks to the security of the data and implementing any additional security measures beyond what Uber is already doing to protect the data.
  • Hire an outside qualified party to assess Uber’s data security efforts on a regular basis and draft a report with any recommended security improvements. Uber will implement any such security improvement recommendations.
  • Develop and implement a corporate integrity program to ensure that Uber employees can bring any ethics concerns they have about any other Uber employees to the company, and that it will be heard.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia participated in this multistate agreement with Uber.

 
 

September 26, 2018

MUSICFEST 31 RETURNS AND MAIN STREET EL DORADO PUTS THE FEST IN MUSICFEST
October 19th and 20th on Union Square in Downtown El Dorado
EL DORADO, AR — With entertainment, food, carnival rides, games and more, Main Street El Dorado is putting the "Fest" into MusicFest XXXI, which is set for Friday, October 19, and Saturday, October 20, in the Union Square District.

For the second successive year, Main Street is teaming up with the Murphy Arts District (MAD) to present MusicFest, the seven-time Arkansas Festival of the Year winner and South Arkansas' largest music event.

MAD is booking musical headliners for ticketed shows in its amphitheater on Locust Street, while two blocks north, Main Street will offer loads of entertainment, attractions, and fun for the entire family!

Gate admission is free for "Fest" events, with costs for some attractions and festival vendors.

New events
The weekend will be filled with popular MusicFest attractions, along with a fresh batch of new activities, including a night dedicated to celebrating Hispanic culture and heritage. Fiesta El Dorado is the theme for the opening night of MusicFest. Vendors will serve up authentic Mexican food and display arts and crafts that showcase Hispanic culture. Tejano music group Grupo Tremendo De Zacatecas will take the PJ's Coffee Main Stage at 8:15 p.m.

"We're very excited about MusicFest and (Fiesta El Dorado) night," said Bruce Butterfield, president of the Main Street board of directors. The city's history will also be incorporated into MusicFest XXXI this year with tours to visit historic buildings and sites in Union Square and other areas in El Dorado. Local cooks will be able to show off their best recipes with a Dutch Oven Gathering, which will be presented at the Newton House Museum by the South Arkansas Historical Preservation Society.

The Jason Hardy State Farm Baggo tournament with adult and kids' divisions will be another new addition to MusicFest.

Returning this year are the Miss MusicFest Pageant on Sunday, October 14 presented by Cole’s Jewelers, and the MusicFest 5K/10K Run on Saturday, October 20, presented by the Medical Center of South Arkansas.

Attractions
Downtown El Dorado will be bustling with a bevy of ticketed attractions during MusicFest XXXI, including a 70-foot tall Ferris wheel, four-man bungee jumper, zip line, mechanical bull, Nascar simulator, pit-stop challenge, jousting, a cannonball blaster and laser tag.

Flight Crew, a jump rope troupe who appeared on America’s Got Talent, will offer free performances at 11 a.m. 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 20, presented by Delek US.

Lanxess Kids World, a MusicFest staple, will be back with free inflatables, games, face-painting and more!

Looking for a parents' night out at MusicFest? Take advantage of a paid childcare service that will be provided by Victory Church of El Dorado, 1432 N. West Ave.

Music
While MAD is taking care of the MusicFest headliners Oct. 18-20, Main Street will fill two downtown stages — PJ's Coffee Main Stage and Murphy USA Acoustic Stage — with live music from local and regional acts and performances by marching bands, choirs and orchestras from El Dorado schools.

Schedule
PJ’S COFFEE MAIN STAGE

FRIDAY
5:00-6:30 Crutchfield the Band
7:00-7:45 Sode Street Steppers
8:15-12:00 GrupoTremendo De Zacatecas

SATURDAY
10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. El Dorado schools
2:30-3:30 Country Thunder
4:00-5:00 The Burners
5:30-6:30 Jimmy Lewis & 8 Second Ride

MUSA ACOUSTIC STAGE
SATURDAY
12:00 Josh Walker and the Tannehill Band
1:00 Moonshine Mafia
2:00 Emily Cole
3:00 Zach O’Neil
4:00 Hammons, Hooks and Wells
5:00-6:30 JT Lee

Tickets and Information
Admission is free to Main Street events on the square. For more information about costs for attractions, historic tours and the childcare service; entry fees and registration deadlines for the pageant, 5K/10K Run and Baggo tournament; or the MusicFest schedule, call Main Street at 870-862-4747 or visit 
www.musicfesteldorado.com.

To purchase tickets for MusicFest concerts, call MAD at 870-863-4547 or go
to www.eldomad.com.

IS YOUR HEATING SYSTEM READY FOR COOL WEATHER?
(StatePoint) Savvy homeowners know that with cool weather, comes a bit of preparation. A quick audit of your heating equipment can mean less wasted energy, a more comfortable home and lower energy bills.

Nearly half of all heating and cooling equipment in U.S. homes never performs to its advertised capacity and efficiency due to incorrect installation, according to U.S. government estimates. And if you have an older system that was built before current efficiency standards, you could be spending more than needed on heating your home.

If it’s time to replace your system, be sure to have it properly installed by an HVACR professional, certified by North American Technician Excellence (NATE), the nation’s largest nonprofit certification body for HVACR technicians. NATE-certified technicians are skilled professionals who have proven their knowledge in the HVACR industry by passing specialized certification tests.

Beyond having an efficient heating system properly installed, you can prepare for the season in the following ways:

• Clean heating filters. Check them every couple of weeks and change them at least twice in the season, or as directed by the manufacturer.

• Check and maintain insulation. Improperly insulated walls, floors, attics, basements and crawlspaces drain away heat and can also lead to moisture imbalance. Adding weather stripping and caulk around windows and doors can also improve a home’s insulation.

• Turn down the thermostat or install a programmable thermostat to regulate temperature.

• Clean the furnace area. Don’t keep chemicals or cleaning products near a heater, and don’t store anything next to it that could impede ventilation.

• Free all vents and returns of obstructions. Don’t lay carpet over vents, place furniture over or in front of them, or obstruct the flow of air.

• Dry air feels cooler than moist air, so install a humidifier. A simple humidifier may make the home feel five degrees warmer than a home with dry air.

• Look into geothermal heating systems which use earth’s natural heat and are among the most efficient and energy-conserving heating and cooling technologies currently available.

• For optimal performance of your HVAC system, get an annual service contract which includes both heating and cooling maintenance. But take care to avoid poor service and scams. To find a qualified local contractor who employs certified HVACR professionals, look for the NATE logo or go to www.natex.org.

By incorporating a few energy-friendly habits into your routine and by making sure your heating system is operating optimally, this season, you can keep utility bills low while maintaining a cozy, comfortable home.

NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS MONTH: KEEP YOUR FAMILY SAFE IN AN EMERGENCY
Natural disasters can contaminate and disrupt water supplies, making it difficult to access safe drinking water at home. Emergencies also force families out of their homes, making it necessary to hydrate from natural water resources where harmful contaminants like bacteria, chemicals, microplastics and heavy metals may be present.

“The everyday public health concern of water contamination is elevated during emergencies, when water can be unreliable for drinking,” says Alison Hill, managing director of LifeStraw, a manufacturer of water filtration systems that is often involved in disaster relief both in the U.S, and around the globe.

“If an emergency has your family on the move, being able to hydrate safely from any fresh water source -- fountains, streams, rivers and ponds is key,” points out Hill.

When building your emergency supply kit, be sure to include a portable filter to help eliminate harmful contaminants from your drinking source.

LifeStraw makes it easy to hydrate safely at home and outdoors. LifeStraw Go is a refillable bottle that incorporates a two-stage filter removing bacteria, chemicals, microplastics and bad taste from drinking water. Another good option for personal use is LifeStraw Flex, a multi-use filter that removes heavy metals including lead as well as bacteria and parasites. Finally, those traveling in groups may find it more efficient to use a filter specifically designed for a crowd, such as the brand’s Mission model, a high-volume gravity-powered purifier that also filters viruses, available in a 12-liter compact roll bag.

Being prepared for any situation will help keep your family safe and healthy, for whatever comes your way. This National Preparedness Month, gain the confidence of knowing that you will have access to safe water for days, weeks and even months should your water supply be compromised by a natural disaster or other emergency.

ARKANSAS' PERSONAL INCOME GROWTH 5.1% IN SECOND QUARTER; INCREASE RANKS SIXTH AMONG ALL STATES
I look forward to continuing to build on this momentum, Governor says
LITTLE ROCK – Personal income in Arkansas grew 5.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018, the sixth highest increase among all states. This information was released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) in its State Quarterly Personal Income report, which can be found at https://www.bea.gov/news/2018/state-quarterly-personal-income-2nd-quarter-2018.

The report also notes Arkansas led all states in the growth of property income at 3.7 percent in the second quarter of 2018.

“From my first day in office when I called the leaders of several companies and encouraged them to consider locating or expanding in the state, job creation has remained the top priority of this administration,” Governor Asa Hutchinson said. “Our focus is not creating any job, but good paying jobs that make a difference in the lives of Arkansans. The fact that Arkansas ranks as a top ten state in personal income growth shows our growth strategy is working. I look forward to continuing to build on this momentum.”

74TH ANNUAL SOUTHWEST DISTRICT FAIR
Don't miss the 74th annual Southwest District Fair September 25th through 29th in Hope's Fair Park. Enjoy state fair spectacular rides, the largest parade in Southwest Arkansas, exhibits from a fifteen-county area, great music from Night Hawk. There's a ranch rodeo Thursday night. Thursday is armband day for the carnival. Armbands are on sale at the fair office for $20 and you can all the rides for one low price. Don't forget the ranch rodeo in the arena at 7:30pm. Friday and Saturday. It's Roughstock Productions "Bulls, Broncs, and Barrells" inside the rodeo arena. Enjoy the rides, the exhibits and the fun at the 74th annual Southwest District Fair. More southwestarkansasdistrictlivestockshow.com. The Southwest District Fair September 25th through 29th in Hope's Fair Park.

CAMDEN FAIRVEW BOARD OF EDUCATION TO MEET
The Camden Fairview Board of Education will meet on Thursday, September 27th at 6:30 p.m. at Garrison Auditorium. The agenda includes student hearings and facility rentals. Johnny Embry, Assistant Superintendent, will give the annual report to the public. There will be a presentations and recommendations regarding the 2018-2019 School District budget, the Statement of Assurance of compliance with Arkansas and nurse pay for nurse subs.

September 25, 2018

FIRST FRIDAY MARKET COMING UP OCTOBER 5TH
Join all your friends and neighbors October 5th, from 6:00 till 9:00PM in downtown Camden for First Friday Market.  The October market will celebrate all things fall.  Washington St. will be lined with a vast array of vendors, giving you an opportunity to shop from artist, crafters, jewelry, produce, grass fed meats, Local honey and more! Enjoy the live music of Harper and Lee from the corner of Washington and Adams along with a special appearance from some character of the upcoming “Peter and The Star Catcher” from South Arkansas Arts Center.  Other music will also be provided by Conner McMurray. There will be the downtown window display contest as well as the scarecrow competition that you will have the opportunity to vote for your favorite!  Cast your ballot On Facebook at First Friday: Monthly Market in Camden AR or you can vote at the market that evening. Catch the special children’s activity happening on the Farmer’s Bank parking lot, meet up with special visitors from the past and enjoy the free hay rides that will take Place from the gazebo at the corner of Washington St. and Madison Ave. As a reminder, downtown merchants will be open late during the market for all your shopping convenience. Whatever your interest, you can find it at the October First Friday Market in downtown Camden.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB TO MEET WEDNESDAY
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet on Wednesday September 26th at Catherine’s Bistro. The speaker this week will be Lauren Mitchell.  Lauren is the Chamber board President.  She will be discussing the upcoming Barn Sale as well as other things going on with the Chamber of Commerce.

LIFE SHARE BLOOD DRIVE SLATED FOR WEDNESDAY
Life Share Blood Center will be at the Ouachita County Medical Center in the Green Room tomorrow, September 26th,  from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Contact Cathy Hailey at chailey@ouachitamedcenter.com or call 836-1322 for more information. Give the gift of Life.

SAAC HONORS FOUNDING MEMBER LYDA MERKILE WITH GALLERY EXHIBIT RECEPTION ON SEPTEMBER 29TH
The South Arkansas Arts Center presents “Lyda Talley Merkle, A Retrospective” in the Price and Merkle Galleries hanging now through October 2, 2018. SAAC and the Merkle family will host a closing reception in the galleries in Mrs. Merkle’s honor on Saturday, September 29, from 6:00-7:30 pm. 

The idea to feature the late Mrs. Merkle, a founding artist at South Arkansas Arts Center, and her expansive body of work came from SAAC gallery manager Kelly Campbell. She worked closely with Merkle’s family to curate an exhibit that honors her years and work as an artist and as a patron of the arts. Paintings were gathered from the homes of Merkle’s family, as well as private collectors and SAAC’s permanent collection. The exhibit includes many paintings in her preferred medium of watercolor, along with rare drawings and oil paintings, many of which have never been exhibited to the public before.  

Lyda Talley Merkle, born and raised in Enid, Oklahoma, began drawing at a very young age and kept her school books filled with drawings. She attended Oklahoma A&M (Oklahoma State), where she met and married Jess Merkle. She focused her attention on her young family, but as her children grew older, her interest in painting and the arts became more and more a focus.

Lyda and Jess were part of the group that founded the South Arkansas Arts Center. She, along with Janette Morgan, Myrt Hill, Sarah Ragsdale, and others founded the El Dorado Art League, a precursor to the SAAC. She served several times as the Art League’s President. She also served numerous times on the Board of Directors of SAAC after its creation in 1964. She was also a member of the Southern Watercolor Society, Southwestern Watercolor Society, and a signature member of the Mid-Southern Watercolor Society.

Sarah Merkle, Lyda’s daughter-in-law, said about her love for painting, “Lyda loved to paint and if you stayed very still for very long, you might somehow end up in a painting, too!”

For more information about “Lyda Talley Merkle, A Retrospective”, please call the SAAC office at 870-862-5474 or visit the website at www.saac-arts.org.  SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas.
 

ICYMI: DEMOCRATS UNDERMINE DUE PROCESS NORMS WITH KAVANAUGH ACCUSATIONS
In case you missed it — This morning, U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) joined the Hugh Hewitt radio show to discuss the Judge Kavanaugh confirmation. 

“The Democrats and the media have spent a lot of the last couple of years talking about undermining basic democratic norms — they should look in the mirror. Talk about undermining basic democratic norms of due process and the presumption of innocence. These are things that go back 800 years to the Magna Carta.

And the Democrats, like Mazie Hirono, or Richard Blumenthal, or other senators are essentially saying that Brett Kavanaugh is guilty simply because he faces an allegation — allegations in the New Yorker article that are completely unsupported by any evidence and that by the accuser’s own admission only came to her after she spent six days working with a former elected Democrat and her lawyer. And allegations from Mrs. Ford that are disputed by the four people she claims were in the house at the time.

Now, she’ll have a chance to present her case on Thursday, but some of the statements of my Democratic colleagues truly not just resemble McCarthyism, they resemble the kind of Stalinist show trials you saw in the Soviet Union — that merely making an accusation is enough if it’s in the greater interests of the party and the state, as Mazie Hirono essentially said on Jake Tapper’s show on Sunday."

 
 

SEPTEMBER 24, 2018

 

MORE THAN $2 MILLION DOT GRANT APPROVED FOR NORTHWEST ARKANSAS REGIONAL AIRPORT
Work on Taxiway to Improve Transit Time & Save Fuel
WASHINGTON
– U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton, along with U.S. Representative Steve Womack, announced that the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA) will receive $2.7 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation to rehabilitate a taxiway in need of repair.

"Investments in airport infrastructure keep Arkansas connected to the national and global economy. Northwest Arkansas needs updated taxiways to ensure accessibility for travelers in addition to positioning the region for continued growth. These funds will improve safety at the airport while helping spur economic progress,” members said.

The grant will go toward reconstructing 1,300 feet of Taxiway B pavement which has reached the end of its life. This improvement will result in more efficient transit times and savings on fuel costs.

XNA services a region that is home to three Fortune 500 companies and continues to see impressive growth. Last year, the airport served more than 1.4 million passengers.

BOOZMAN RECOGNIZES SEARCY COUNTY WWII VETERAN
WASHINGTON-
U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) recognized the service and sacrifice of Cecil Blair, a WWII veteran, in ‘Salute to Veterans,’ a series recognizing the military service of Arkansans.

When Blair was born on February 28, 1923 his hometown was named Magic Springs; today it’s called Witts Springs. The lifelong Searcy County resident grew up on his family’s farm.

As a teenager, Blair worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps before being drafted into the Army in May 1943.

Blair was first sent to Camp Robinson where he received his initial issue of uniforms. He still laughs about his shoe fitting. “The ole boy there was telling me to ‘stand that way, stand that way.’ He had his finger under my foot and I stepped on his finger. I thought I was in trouble.”

Blair trained stateside at Fort Custer, Michigan and Camp Reynolds, Pennsylvania before deploying to the European Theater. He was assigned to Battery “B” 551st Field Artillery. “We landed in Scotland and rode a train to England,” Blair said.

He didn’t know it at the time, but the training that he and his fellow troops were undergoing was in preparation for D-Day.

“We got on a boat and went across, but I didn’t make land. They hit the ship I was on and had to pull us back,” Blair said. It was another three days after D-Day before Blair landed in France. “That’s when all hell broke loose.”

Blair remembers the danger of combat wiping out most of his unit. The inexperience of a replacement soldier cost even more lives. “They had sent me down there to tell him to get in his foxhole and stay. Before I got back, he shot and that’s when they started dropping the bombs.” Blair was in the line of fire but escaped by jumping into a foxhole, a move that saved his life, but injured his neck.

During the Battle of the Bulge, Blair was briefly captured. “The Germans told us to put our hands behind our head and get out. The ole boy sitting in front of me, I guess he forgot. He reached down on the seat buckle and they just blew his head off.” Blair and the two surviving soldiers were forced out of the truck while the Germans continued their attack. “They came around and went through to see if we were all dead. I knew I was going to have to do something.” Blair was still armed with hand grenades and a small rifle which he used to escape his captors. 

Blair earned five campaign stars in five major battles in the European Theater. He was discharged from military service on December 1, 1945. After being released from the military, he returned home and continued farming.

“Cecil Blair humbly served our nation in uniform, fighting on the frontlines to defend the world against tyranny. His memories offer a unique perspective of the selfless sacrifice of the men and women who put their lives on the line in duty to our country. I am pleased to preserve and share his memories of military service for future generations,” Boozman said.

Boozman will submit Blair’s 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.

BOOZMAN WELCOMES NEW CONGRESSIONAL YOUTH CABINET
WASHINGTON – Arkansas high school students are lending their voices to discussions of federal policies as members of U.S. Senator John Boozman’s (R-AR) Congressional Youth Cabinet. The program is in its second year and seeks to expose students to the legislative process and opportunities for advocacy and civic engagement.

The group of 30 students from all four congressional districts met for the first time in Little Rock on Friday, September 21.

“I am pleased to continue this program in Arkansas and bring together young leaders from all corners of the state,” Boozman said. “We have an enthusiastic group of students who represent the future of Arkansas so it’s a unique and invaluable opportunity for them. I look forward to receiving their feedback on national issues of interest to them and their peers.” 

The Congressional Youth Cabinet is a nonpartisan initiative that allows students to gain first-hand experience with engaging in the democratic process. Participants will attend several meetings throughout the school year. As part of the program, they will research a national issue they select and present policy solutions and recommendations to Boozman at the final meeting in April in Little Rock.

Students actively involved in their communities and who had demonstrated leadership experience were selected from each of Arkansas’s four congressional districts.

The following students were selected for the 2018-19 school year:

1st Congressional District
Lorena Bemis – Mountain View
Isabella Bevel – Mountain Home
Sean Cunningham – DeWitt
Olivia Eggleston – Cabot
Madeline Johnson – Cabot
Shyra Moody – Wynne
Austin Sweat – Batesville
Maggie Williams – Piggott
Zach Wilmoth - Cabot

2nd Congressional District
Sarah Jackson – Little Rock
Pallavi Prodhan – Little Rock
Jennifer Resendiz – Benton
Lily Ryall – Little Rock

3rd Congressional District
Austin Abercrombie – Rogers
Lena Davis – Van Buren
Matthew Hollenbeck – Fort Smith
Adriana Huezo – Bentonville
London Jones – Fort Smith
Jenna Pluimer – Bentonville
Jada Portillo – Bentonville
Beautiful Reliford – Rogers
John Blake Sooter – Bentonville
Rachel St. Onge – Fort Smith
Brook Weber – Fayetteville

4th Congressional District
Jack Bunyard – DeQueen
Joshua Earl – Jessieville
Camden Jones – El Dorado
Hayden Rogers – Magnolia
Kendal Shamel – Pearcy
Emilee Webb – Leola

RUTLEDGE JOINS 11-STATE PUSH FOR DEEPER CUTS IN OPIOID PILL MANUFACTURING
Says, ‘I am committed to an all-of-the-above approach that includes decreasing the number of opioids released into the system’
LITTLE ROCK
– Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge joined an 11-state coalition calling on the federal government to implement sweeping reforms by accounting for the misuse of prescription painkillers and ultimately leading to the manufacturing of fewer opioid pills in 2019.

“Arkansas has been at the forefront of fighting the opioid epidemic,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This is a multi-faceted problem, and I am committed to an all-of-the-above approach that includes decreasing the number of opioids released into the system as one more way to fight this deadly epidemic. This reform, along with my educational Prescription for Life program, Arkansas’s lawsuit to hold opioid manufacturers accountable, and other statewide efforts will curb this crisis impacting families across our state and nation.”

Rutledge and her colleagues believe that despite current recommendations to reduce manufacturing rates, cuts should be deeper because the current proposed quotas remain excessive. The manufacturing rate should be determined based on information gathered by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which has not yet accounted for illicit diversion and relevant input from states and federal agencies.

Much more can be accomplished by fully factoring in the results of the DEA’s new drug quota rule now.

The coalition contends further reduction in the supply of dangerous, addictive opioids is possible and would be of greater benefit to Arkansas, and the nation as a whole.

Fully implementing the reforms will require the DEA to consider relevant information from the Department of Health and Human Resources, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and relevant information obtained from states.

Arkansas joined the West Virginia-led filing with attorneys general from Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska and Utah.

 
 

September 21, 2018

CAMDEN CITY POLICE REPORTS
Late Wednesday night, September 19th, Officer Joseph Jones was dispatched to Walmart in reference to a female crying and screaming. Officer Jones arrived a saw a white woman sitting by the grocery side entrance. She was swaying back and forth and seemed to be very upset. The Officer made contact with the woman and identified her a Briannna Brown. When asked what was going on, she stated she was waiting on some friends who were in the store. The woman smelled of intoxicants, her speech was slurred, and she had a hard time understanding the questions she was asked. Officer Jones asked if there was anything in her purse that he should know about. She said no and said her could search her purse. She did say there was a marijuana pipe in the purse which the Officer located. She kept saying she was dropped off by “Marcus” and said he had hit her in the head and tried to choke her but there were no marks on the woman’s head or neck. She kept telling conflicting stories of how she arrived at Walmart. She said she was from Texarkana but couldn’t say why she was in Camden. Lieutenant Parker arrived on scene and told Brown to stand up but she was unable to keep her balance. Due to the fact Brown was in public and her overall manner, she was placed under arrest for public intoxication and possession of an instrument of crime. She taken to the Police Station for booking procedures before being transported to the Ouachita County Detention Center and put on a 12 hour hold due to her level of intoxication.

Thursday morning Officer Nathan Lane was on patrol in the area of Willie B. Cole place and Church Avenue. The Officer observed and black male, later identified as Stephen Lewis attempting to get into a vehicle. When Lewis noticed the Police, he began to walk away. Officer Lane got out of his patrol unit and made contact with the man. While talking to Lewis, the Officer observed a bulge in the man’s left sock and asked Lewis why his ankle looked to be swollen. Lewis stated he rolled his ankle playing basketball. Officer Lane asked if Lewis if he had the ankle check out by EMS and he said no. The Officer asked Lewis if he would roll the sock down so he could look at it. Lewis complied When Lewis was rolling his sock down, the Officer observed a plastic bag with a green substance suspected to be marijuana. Lewis handed the bag over to Officer Lane and said it was marijuana. Lewis was advised the he would be charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance. Lewis was transported to the Police Station without incident. Booking procedures were completed and Lewis was released with a citation and Court date.

 

September 20, 2018


STATE FINALISTS FOR PRESIDENTIAL AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE ANNOUNCED
LITTLE ROCK — Six Arkansas teachers were recently selected as 2018 state finalists for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

Amy Burks – Crestwood Elementary, North Little Rock School District
Stacy Dustman - Elza R. Tucker, Rogers School District
Anna Shaw – J.O. Kelly Middle School, Springdale School District
Cheri DeSoto – Holt Middle School, Fayetteville School District
Joyce Dooley – Ardis Ann Middle School, Bentonville School District
Tonya Hogue – Mayflower Elementary School, Mayflower School District

The National Science Foundation, on behalf of The White House, oversees the program that recognizes outstanding teachers who have demonstrated a commitment to professional development, innovative teaching techniques and technology use in their classrooms.

“Our teachers are truly invaluable,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “The job that our educators do each day is instrumental in creating growth and opportunities for our state and our citizens. I appreciate all that these six finalists have done to ensure our students receive the best science and mathematics education that Arkansas can give."

A total of 51 Arkansas teachers were nominated. The state review committee selected DeSoto, Dooley, and Hogue as science finalists and Burks, Dustman, and Shaw as mathematics finalists. Arkansas’ finalists are now eligible to be considered for recognition by the national committee.

Each year a national committee comprised of scientists, mathematicians and educators recommends up to 108 teachers to receive PAEMST awards in mathematics, science, and computer science from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. territories, and schools operated in the United States and overseas by the Department of Defense Education Activity. Teachers who are selected as national PAEMST awardees each receive a $10,000 award, a presidential citation, and a trip to Washington, DC, for a series of recognition events, professional development activities and an awards ceremony.

The State Board of Education and Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key will honor the 2018 finalists at the December 13, 2018, State Board meeting in Little Rock. To learn more about the awards program, go to https://www.paemst.org/


COTTON, BLACKBURN PUSH BACK AGAINST EARLY RELEASE FOR FENTANYL TRAFFICKERS
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (TN-07) introduced the No Early Release for Fentanyl Traffickers Act, a bill that would prevent high-level fentanyl traffickers from qualifying for early-release credits.

“Fentanyl traffickers, who killed more than 20,000 Americans last year, should not be eligible for reduced sentencing,” said Senator Cotton. “Given fentanyl’s incredible capability for the destruction of human life, I am thankful for Congresswoman Blackburn’s leadership in the House and her dedication to ending the opioid crisis in Tennessee.”

“In 2017, fentanyl overdoses killed 500 Tennesseans – a 70% increase over 2016,” said Congresswoman Blackburn. “It is clear that active steps must be taken to get these drugs off the streets, and this solution will keep the public safe and ensure that dangerous fentanyl traffickers will serve their full sentences in prison.  I thank Senator Cotton for his diligent work on this issue in the Senate and look forward to continuing to work with him to bring an end to the opioid crisis.”

Background

  • Today, fentanyl traffickers are eligible for early release time credits so they can reduce their time in prison by 54 days for each year served, or about 15% of their sentence.
  • This means that a fentanyl trafficker who is sentenced to 10 years can be back on the streets in 8.5 years.
  • While these time credits may be appropriate for some federal prisoners, trafficking fentanyl is serious enough that the offender should serve the full sentence.

AG ALERT: RESEARCH CHARITIES WHEN GIVING TO HURRICANE FLORENCE VICTIMS
LITTLE ROCK – Scenes of destruction left by Hurricane Florence in North Carolina and South Carolina have left many Arkansans wanting to find a way to help. But Arkansans should use caution and take time to research, ensuring their donations are actually used toward helping our fellow Americans. Following natural disasters, the Attorney General’s Office often receives reports of unscrupulous “charities” targeting the kind and generous spirit of Arkansans wanting to assist those in need.

“Scammers often create fake organizations by selecting a name and logo similar to an existing, legitimate organization that actually helps those in need,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “These scammers provide limited information, while still trying to tug at the heartstrings of potential donors to convince them the ‘charity’ is legitimate. Arkansans must remain vigilant and do research to know how their money will be used.”

Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips to help consumer give to only legitimate charities:

  • Do not fall prey to high-pressure sales tactics as they are often the first sign of an unscrupulous and fraudulent charity.
  • Before getting out a checkbook or credit card in response to a phone solicitation, make attempts to determine the validity of the organization by conducting research.
  • Get the organization’s name, address, website and phone number, or give directly to a known nonprofit of your choice. Make sure the nonprofit organization is registered with the Arkansas Secretary of State.
  • Use GuideStar.org to compare nonprofit organizations and to get more information.
  • Ask the organization how it will spend your donation.
  • Watch out for similar but different organization names as some con artists will use names like those of existing, reputable nonprofits in order to trick consumers.
  • Do not give out financial or personal information over the phone or through email to an unknown entity. This information could fall into the wrong hands, or the scammers could use it to steal your money or identity.
  • Never send cash. Make check or credit card payments for increased security and tax purposes.
  • If donating via text message, verify the organization’s number prior to sending information.

Also be wary of charities that pop up quickly in response to Hurricane Florence and other emergencies. Even if they are legitimate, they oftentimes do not have a system in place to get donations to those in need. Consider giving to an established organization which helps disaster victims in the area.

For more information about other common scams and consumer-related issues, please call the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.
 

CITY OF CAMDEN POLICE REPORT
Late last Saturday night, September 15th, Officer Joseph Jones was on routine patrol on Grindstead Street he overheard a woman yelling profanities in front of a residence. He located the woman, identifies as Shadreka Watson, sitting in the passenger side of a vehicle. She stated she was trying to get her keys from a man so she could go home but that he refused to give her the keys. The woman smelled of intoxicants, her speech was slurred, her eyes were blood shot, she was unable to stand having to lean in the vehicle or sit in the car seat. She had two children with her. The children were sent home with a family member. Officer Jones asked Watson if there was someone who could come get her and take her home. She began to yell more profanities causing a scene. She was unable to locate a ride and Officer Jones offered to take her home, but Watson said she would not get in a Police Car. She was then placed in custody for public intoxication. After booking procedures she was transported to the Ouachita County Detention Center where she was placed on an eight hour hold due to her level of intoxication.

 

ARKANSAS ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE CORPORATIONS SUPPORTS MONARCH BUTTERFLY CONSERVATION
Rock, Ark.
— Sept. 19, 2018 — Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC) is supporting the Arkansas Monarch Conservation Partnership during the Fall migratory season by participating in current research on the monarch butterfly population.

“The Arkansas Monarch Mapping Project is an opportunity for Arkansans to identify where and when they see monarch butterflies around the state,” said Casey Shepard, environmental engineer for AECC and member of the partnership steering committee. “This will allow biologists to tailor conservation and management strategies for this species, which has experienced significant population declines in the past several years and is under consideration to be listed as a threatened or endangered species next year.”
According to Shepard, monarchs begin migrating through Arkansas in late August and early September as they make their way from the northern United States and Canada to their overwintering grounds in Mexico. In the spring, they begin migrating north, making their way back into Arkansas in early April.

Anyone who observes a monarch in Arkansas is asked to participate in the citizen science project by visiting https://www.inaturalist.org/ to create a free account. Then, click on

"Add Observations" and tag the "Arkansas Monarch Mapping Project" under "Projects" to begin contributing data. A downloadable app, iNaturalist, is also available to document sightings. Data gathered with help identify important breeding areas and migration corridors for monarchs as well as better understand the timing of both spring and fall migrations.

According to Shepard, AECC and the state’s electric cooperatives are dedicated to assisting in the preservation of Arkansas’ natural resources for present and future generations.

Arkansas’ 17 local electric cooperative distribution systems, statewide association and generation and transmission cooperative serve approximately 500,000 members in 74 of the state’s 75 counties. The cooperatives are member-owned utilities established to provide reliable, affordable electric service to farms, homes, schools, churches, businesses and other establishments across the state in a responsible manner.

The distribution cooperatives own and govern Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI), a service association for the electric cooperatives, as well as Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation, a generation and transmission cooperative, which provides wholesale power to the distribution cooperatives.

 

SEPTEMBER 19, 2018

ARKANSAS COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS AWARDED NEARLY $3 MILLION TO COMBAT OPOID ADDICTION WASHINGTON –U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton along with U.S. Representatives Rick Crawford, French Hill, Steve Womack and Bruce Westerman announced that Arkansas is the recipient of nearly $3 million for Community Health Centers to advance substance abuse and mental health treatment. The funds are awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through its Expanding Access to Quality Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Services program.

“Community Health Centers have long been on the frontlines of the opioid epidemic. Throughout this escalating crisis, they have played a vital role in addressing the mental and behavioral health needs of those seeking treatment, no matter the circumstances. In spite of the growing number of patients with opioid use disorder, they have expanded services to meet the needs of the communities they serve. Their efforts to implement effective treatment, recovery and prevention methods are critical in addressing this crisis. This funding will support the implementation of care that will help turn the tide of opioid epidemic,” Boozman said.

“Improving access to treatment and recovery services must be a component in our strategy to defeat opioid addiction in Arkansas. This welcome funding will allow our Community Health Centers to continue administering critical treatment for substance abuse and often-associated mental health problems,” Cotton said.

"Opioid addiction is a nationwide crisis that knows no geographic or demographic boundary. Addiction treatment is often difficult to access and administer in rural America due to lack of infrastructure and funding. Our Community Health Centers serve some of our most vulnerable populations and this critical grant will bolster and expand the work they are already doing to battle this epidemic,” Crawford said.

“Across Arkansas, tearful families have told me their stories about how the opioid crisis has personally affected them, which is why I’m especially pleased to hear that our Arkansas Community Health Centers will receive more funds to combat this epidemic. We can’t let another Arkansas family be devastated by this crisis, and with legislation and community-wide effort, we can help fight this tragedy hurting the ones we love,” Hill said.

“The opioid abuse epidemic knows no boundaries. This deadly crisis requires aggressive action on all fronts, and these grants will support those struggling with addiction to find recovery. By equipping our local, on-the-ground experts with the resources they need to implement treatment and rehabilitation programs, we will help save lives and end this scourge,” Womack said.

“Access to treatment and recovery is vital in our fight against the opioid epidemic in the Natural State. These grants to Community Health Centers across Arkansas help meet the needs of patients in all corners of the state, saving lives and giving those suffering with addiction hope for a brighter future,” Westerman said.

Facilities in the following Arkansas communities are recipients of funding:

  • Augusta - ARcare                                                                      $298,250
  • Clarendon - Mid-Delta Health Systems, Inc.                            $284,904
  • Corning - 1st Choice Healthcare, Inc.                                        $285,000
  • Hampton - Cabun Rural Health Services, Inc.                          $285,000
  • Marshall - Boston Mountain Rural Health Center, Inc.            $285,000
  • Mena - Healthy Connections, Inc.                                             $285,000
  • Pine Bluff - Jefferson Comprehensive Care System                 $110,000
  • Portland - Mainline Health Systems, Inc.                                  $285,000
  • Ratcliff - River Valley Primary Care Services                          $285,000
  • Springdale - St. Francis House NWA, Inc.                                $285,000
  • West Memphis - East Arkansas Family Health Center, Inc.    $285,000

 

THE CALL ANNOUNCES INFORMATIONAL MEETING
The Call has announced and informational meeting to be held at The Call Office located at 115 Garden Oaks Shopping Center on Thursday October 11th at 6:30 p.m. Join The Call to find out how you can help children in foster care by becoming a foster or adoptive family or by serving as a volunteer. You will learn more about The CALL, explore the certification process, and get answers to your questions.  No obligation.  For more information, contact Wesley Stewart at ouachitacounty@thecallinarkansas.org.

2018 CAMDEN BARN SALE
Don’t Miss South Arkansas’ Largest Arts & Crafts Show. The 50th annual Camden Barn Sale is Saturday, September 29th in Camden.

Experience the appeal of Southern Living at South Arkansas’ Largest Arts & Crafts Show, the 50th Annual Camden Barn Sale, Saturday, September 29th, from 9am-4:30pm in Camden at Oakland St. & Monticello Streets. The Camden Barn Sale has grown into one of Arkansas’ major tourist attractions. Join thousands from all around the region to shop handcrafted southern favorites as you browse over 130 booths of vendors and artists from all over the US featuring traditional crafts and contemporary styles. The massive old oak trees provide a breathtaking fall landscape as you stroll beside the historic barn site while browsing the crafts and original handmade works of art. Expect to find handcrafted wooden pieces, ceramics, paintings, floral arrangements, handmade clothing, jewelry, stained glass, one-of-a-kind toys, and much more. Enjoy the historic southern plantation setting and shop till your heart's content.
Enjoy a myriad of authentic foods as vendors from all over the South descend on the Barn Sale with their own unique southern favorites and festival treats. Musical entertainment takes place throughout the day with individual performances by the artists themselves at their vendor booths.

It’s fun for the entire family with the Antique & Classic Car Show, Kids Zone with inflatables, and festival traditions including the Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast, 5k Run, St. Louis Catholic Church Spaghetti Supper and much, much more.

For more information contact: The Camden Barn Sale, 870-836-6426 or visit, www.CamdenBarnSale.com
 

ADE RECEIVES $9 MILLION GRANT FOR SCHOOL-BASED MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMS
LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Department of Education is pleased to announce that the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has awarded ADE a $9 million grant to develop and support school-based mental health programs in the state.

ADE will receive approximately $1.8 million each year for five years to fund the Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education program, which will do the following: 

  • develop comprehensive school mental health programs in three pilot locations: Texarkana School District, Marvell-Elaine School District and Ozarks Unlimited Resource Educational Service Cooperative;
  • develop a statewide infrastructure of support and training for school personnel in the Mental Health First Aid, Trauma Informed Schools and Adverse Childhood Experiences programs and initiatives; and
  • promote a safe, supportive and positive school environment for students, staff, educators and the community. 

“This grant comes at an especially significant time as we are studying ways to keep our students safe at school,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “The money will allow the department to seek training for educators that will equip them to recognize and address issues of substance abuse and mental health in schools. This awareness is essential to keeping our schools safe. We must take the administrative load off of school counselors so that they are free to interact with students and to counsel those in need of that attention. This is one of the most important things we can do to ensure that our schools are as secure as we can make them. I commend Commissioner Key for his leadership in securing this grant. Our schools will be the safer for it."

“This grant gives ADE an opportunity to provide leadership and support to schools and educators around the state to address critical mental health and school safety concerns,” ADE Commissioner Johnny Key said. “Through Arkansas AWARE, we will build partnerships with stakeholders to enhance the prevention and intervention components of a safe school environment, resulting in increased safety and learning for all students."

The grant will allow ADE to develop a formal partnership with the Arkansas Department of Human Services’ Division of Behavioral Health Services to implement the goals and objectives of the grant. ADE also will collaborate with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (ARBEST), Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care, Arkansas State University at Jonesboro (Center for Community Engagement and Office of Behavioral Research and Evaluation), National Council for Behavioral Health and Center for School Mental Health at the University of Maryland to support the implementation.

COTTON STATEMENT ON SENATE PASSAGE OF FISCAL YEAR 2019 DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS BILL
Washington, D.C. 
— Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today released the following statement on Senate passage of the FY19 defense appropriations bill:  

“Fully funding our military before the start of the fiscal year allows our troops to keep their attention on the wide range of threats we face. This funding lays the necessary groundwork to check China’s technological investments and to modernize our nuclear deterrent against Russia. Now, Congress must look ahead to next year to stop sequestration from undoing the progress we’ve made.”

SERVICE MEMBER PAY RAISE, CRITICAL ARKANSAS MILITARY PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS INCLUDED IN SENATE-PASSED LEGISLATION
WASHINGTON
–Legislation that will provide a pay raise to the men and women of our armed forces while funding critical military installations and programs in Arkansas cleared the U.S. Senate with the support of Senator John Boozman (R-AR).

The Senate’s overwhelming approval of the final version of the bill allocating Fiscal Year 2019 funding for the Department of Labor, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Education and the Department of Defense (DOD) puts it one step closer to becoming law.

The bill provides $674.4 billion to DOD for FY19—an increase of $19.8 billion over the previous fiscal year’s levels—to allow the military to carry out operations, buy new equipment, invest in new technology and compensate personnel. It reaffirms Congress’s commitment to the men and women of our armed forces with a significant allotment for personnel that will allow end-strength growth and provide a 2.6 percent pay increase for troops—the largest servicemember pay increase in nearly a decade.    

Boozman praised the servicemember pay raise and the inclusion of funding that will support programs in Arkansas.

“This bill takes responsible steps to ensure that our military leaders have what they need to confront today’s threats head-on while planning for the future. It seeks to deliver what the brave men and women of our military need to safely complete their missions and provides them with a well-deserved pay raise. Additionally, the bill reaffirms Washington’s confidence in the important work that takes place at military installations across Arkansas,” Boozman said.

Specifically, the bill includes the following Arkansas-related priorities:

  • $9 million for readiness training ranges, which will support ongoing operations at Razorback Range at Fort Chaffee and will preserve the capability for use by the many units from across the country who benefit from it;
  • Over $20 million for munitions manufacturing at Pine Bluff Arsenal;
  • Increases in funding for research in which Arkansas schools and companies are engaged:
    • More than $35 million for silicon carbide research to make smaller components for more sophisticated, modern weapons
    • Over $300 million for medical research, including for bone regeneration that seeks to help speed healing of injured service personnel
  • Increases in funding for critical missiles and munitions that are manufactured in Arkansas:
    • $30 million for rockets that the Army included in its list of unfunded priorities
    • An increase of $140 million for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor

The bill also included $156 million for more Army National Guard Blackhawk helicopters and more than $300 million for cyber research, both of which will benefit Arkansas military units.

SEPTEMBER 18, 2018

SEPTEMBER IS SUICIDE PREVENTION AWARENESS MONTH
Suicidal thoughts, much like mental health conditions, can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. In fact, suicide is often the result of an untreated mental health condition. Suicidal thoughts, although common, should not be considered normal and often indicate more serious issues.

Each year, more than 41,000 individuals die by suicide, leaving behind their friends and family members to navigate the tragedy of loss. In many cases, friends and families affected by a suicide loss (often called “suicide loss survivors”) are left in the dark. Too often the feelings of shame and stigma prevent them from talking openly.

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month—a time to share resources and stories in an effort to shed light on this highly taboo and stigmatized topic. This month is used to reach out to those affected by suicide, raise awareness and connect individuals with suicidal ideation to treatment services. It is also important to ensure that individuals, friends and families have access to the resources they need to If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call 911 immediately.

  • If you are in crisis or are experiencing difficult or suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273 TALK (8255)
  • If you’re uncomfortable talking on the phone, you can also text National Alliance on Mental Illness to 741-741 to be connected to a free, trained crisis counselor on the Crisis Text Line.

While suicide prevention is important to address year-round, Suicide Prevention Awareness Month provides a dedicated time to come together with collective passion and strength around a difficult topic. The truth is, we can all benefit from honest conversations about mental health conditions and suicide, because just one conversation can change a life.

AMERICAN PICKERS TO FILM IN ARKANSAS
Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, and their team are excited to return to Arkansas! They plan to film episodes of the hit series American Pickers throughout your area in November.

AMERICAN PICKERS is a documentary series that explores the fascinating world of antique “picking” on History. The hit show follows Mike and Frank, two of the most skilled pickers in the business, as they hunt for America’s most valuable antiques. They are always excited to find sizeable, unique collections and learn the interesting stories behind them.

As they hit the back roads from coast to coast, Mike and Frank are on a mission to recycle and rescue forgotten relics. Along the way, the Pickers want to meet characters with remarkable and exceptional items. The pair hopes to give historically significant objects a new lease on life, while learning a thing or two about America’s past along the way. ­

Mike and Frank have seen a lot of rusty gold over the years and are always looking to discover something they’ve never seen before. They are ready to find extraordinary items and hear fascinating tales about them. AMERICAN PICKERS is looking for leads and would love to explore your hidden treasure. If you or someone you know has a large, private collection or accumulation of antiques that the Pickers can spend the better part of the day looking through, send us your name, phone number, location and description of the collection with photos to: americanpickers@cineflix.com or call 855-OLD-RUST, or find them on facebook: @GotAPick

AIRPORT COMMISSION TO MEET
The City of Camden Airport Commission will have their regularly scheduled meeting on Friday, September 21, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at the Airport Terminal located at 255 Airport Road in Camden, Arkansas.

LATEST SBA EVENTS IN SOUTH ARKANSAS
Meet the SBA in Hope
Tuesday, September 18, 2:00 - 3:30 PM
Hope Chamber of Commerce, W 2nd Street, Hope, AR

Meet the SBA in Camden
Wednesday, September 19, 10:00 - 11:30 AM
OPED Building, 625 S Adams, Camden, AR

Discuss valuable SBA programs & services to start & grow a small business in Arkansas. Topics include: Access to Capital, Community, Federal Contracting & Disaster Assistance.

Register by September 17.

Meet the SBA in El Dorado
Thursday, September 20, 10:00 - 11:30 AM
El Dorado Chamber of Commerce, 111 West Main Street, El Dorado, AR
Discuss valuable SBA programs & services to start & grow a small business in Arkansas. Topics include: Access to Capital, Community, Federal Contracting & Disaster Assistance.

Register by September 17.

SAB Series #2: How to Write a Business Plan
Tuesday, October 2, 12:00 - 2:00 PM
OPED Building, 625 S Adams, Camden, AR

All businesses, especially new ventures, need a business plan. Crafting a plan helps you define your concept, evaluate your competition, determine risks, and estimate costs. Using our "To the Point" outline, learn how to put together a plan that will guide the growth of your business and that you can share with lenders and investors. Free thanks to a sponsorship from Team Camden!

Register by October 1.

BOOZMAN SUPPORTS COMPREHENSIVE OPIOID PACKAGE
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) voted for a comprehensive package to respond to the opioid epidemic that is devastating communities across America.

This latest step taken by Congress to address the nation’s opioid crisis provides law enforcement with additional tools to combat the spread of opioids, helps Americans struggling with addiction and expands research into non-addictive pain treatments.

In a speech on the Senate floor, Boozman said “the comprehensive response to this crisis shows how committed we are as a nation to combatting opioid addiction.”

Boozman specifically praised the bill’s expansion of a grant program to train first responders administering naloxone—the drug that can be used to block the effects of opioids and prevent deaths from an overdose—by highlighting the lives it has saved in Arkansas.

“Since 2017, the Arkansas Naloxone Project has trained more than 3,300 first responders to administer the drug. This effort has saved at least 142 lives. The program continues to grow. It is working. Other states can replicate the success we’ve seen in Arkansas by using grant funds to train first responders,” Boozman said.

Among the highlights of this package are provisions that:

  • Combat illegal drugs at the border, including additional measure to crack down on the shipment of synthetic opioids;
  • Encourage recovery by supporting states’ efforts to address substance use disorders by increasing access to medication-assisted treatment, health professionals, long-distance care and recovery housing services;
  • Support caregivers and families by improving plans of safe care and support for substance-exposed babies and their mothers and increasing family-focused treatment and recovery; and
  • Drive innovation and long-term solutions aimed at spurring development of new non-addictive painkillers and ensuring parity in mental health and substance use disorder benefits.

SEPTEMBER 17, 2018

QUAPAW HOUSE TO ACQUIRE ARKANSAS ASSETS OF PREFERRED FAMILY HEALTHCARE
(Hot Springs, Ark., Sept. 14, 2018) Quapaw House, Inc. (QHI), a Hot Springs-based substance-abuse rehabilitation and behavioral health facility, and Preferred Family Healthcare (PFH) are currently finalizing an agreement to acquire the assets of PFH in the state of Arkansas.

QHI Chief Executive Officer Casey Bright said, “We desire to retain as many PFH staff members as possible and will immediately begin to extend offers.” 

The PFH staff who choose to accept offers will transfer into the QHI organizational structure once a final agreement is reached, Bright said.

“The goal is for QHI to begin operating these assets on or around Oct. 12.  QHI will continue operations in the same manner as PFH is now doing and as it has been doing in the past until an integration plan is developed,” Bright said. “We are working to reach a final agreement that will allow QHI to purchase PFH assets. By doing so, we hope to continue providing quality services to the current PFH clientele, and for the dedicated PFH staff to join the QHI team.”

“When PFH notified the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) of our intent to cease operations in Arkansas, we committed to them as well as our employees and clients that we would continue to work toward a smooth transition for all involved. We were pleased when QHI reached out this week and while we are continuing with our plan, look forward to finalizing ongoing discussions toward an agreement to acquire our assets,” PFH said.

Quapaw House, Inc., is an accredited substance-abuse rehabilitation and behavioral health facility.

 

COTTON, BOOZMAN, HILL ANNOUNCE VETERANS CEMETERY FUNDING
U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and John Boozman (R-AR) and Congressman French Hill (AR-02) announced that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is awarding a grant of $5,709,990 for costs associated with expansion and improvement of the Arkansas Veterans Cemetery in North Little Rock.

The grant will fund the construction of 2,000 columbarium niches, 106 pre-placed crypts, roadways, storage room, Honor Guard room, irrigation, landscaping, and supporting infrastructure.

Upon the announcement, the lawmakers released the following statement:

“Creating additional inurnment sites is needed to fulfill the promise we made to veterans. These funds will allow the Arkansas Veterans Cemetery in North Little Rock to continue providing an honorable place of rest for the men and women who served in uniform.”

RUTLEDGE ANNOUNCES OPIOID ABUSE AWARENESS EXHIBIT COMING TO UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS IN OCTOBER
Exhibit on display Oct. 3-9 at Arkansas Union in Fayetteville
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced she is partnering with the Association of Arkansas Counties (AAC) and the Arkansas Municipal League (AML) to bring the National Safety Council’s opioid memorial to be on display at the Arkansas Union on campus at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville from October 3-9. The Prescribed to Death: A Memorial to the Victims of the Opioid Crisis is free to all members of the public, not just students at the university. Parents, grandparents and teenagers are all encouraged to walk through this moving exhibit.

The centerpiece of the multifaceted exhibit is a wall of 22,000 engraved white pills – each representing the face of someone lost to a prescription opioid overdose in the United States in 2015. Arkansas alone lost 401 residents to opioid overdose in 2016, and it has the second highest rate of opioid prescribing in the country – trailing only Alabama.

“I am proud to bring the ‘Prescribed to Death’ exhibit to the University of Arkansas campus because we are losing too many of our bright, promising young people to opioid addiction,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This powerful display is a resounding reminder of the lives lost in just one year at the hands of this deadly epidemic. I will not stand idly by as Arkansans are devastated by the scourge of addiction. I am thankful for the willingness of our city and county leaders and local businesses to work collaboratively with me to educate Arkansans so that together we will save lives in our communities.”

“Education about the dangers of opioids has been at the heart of the AAC’s efforts to combat the opioid epidemic in Arkansas. The AAC is honored to collaborate with Attorney General Rutledge, the Arkansas Municipal League, and other sponsors to bring the ‘Prescribed to Death’ memorial to Arkansas. We can share statistics, but many people are visual learners. I believe people will be profoundly affected when they see this representation of the number of lives that are lost to opioid overdoses each year in our country,” said AAC Executive Director Chris Villines.

“The AML’s desire and assistance in bringing the ‘Prescribed Death’ memorial to our state, along with the Attorney General's Office and the AAC, is representative of our organization's solid commitment to correct and fully recover from Arkansas's opioid epidemic,” said AML Executive Director Mark Hayes. “We all have personal and very painful stories concerning opioids. The wall, and the lives lost to opioids that are represented, will serve as an incredible motivating factor in furthering our efforts to prevent, educate and effectively treat this epidemic that has plagued our state.”

“The most important thing about this crisis is not the statistics, but the faces,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “The data speak to our head but the individual stories speak to our hearts. The Prescribed to Death memorial not only brings visitors face to face with this everyday killer, but also encourages actions that will help us eliminate these preventable deaths.”

The National Safety Council launched Prescribed to Death as a part of the National Safety Council’s Stop Everyday Killers public education campaign.

In addition to Rutledge’s office, the Association of Arkansas Counties and the Arkansas Municipal League, the exhibit is underwritten by contributions from Stericycle, Nationwide Insurance, Walmart and EverFi. Visit StopEverydayKillers.org for more information. Other supporting partners include the Associated Student Government of the University of Arkansas, the Office of the Arkansas Drug Director and the Criminal Justice Institute, University of Arkansas System.

In August, Rutledge announced a new initiative, called #Rx4LifeStories, to allow Arkansans to talk about how the nation’s opioid epidemic has impacted their lives and the lives of their families. Last fall, Rutledge launched Prescription for Life, a first-in-the-nation educational tool offered at no cost to all high school students in the State to help them understand the dangers of prescription drug misuse and how to prevent abuse. To date, it has been launched in 73 schools, across 55 counties and reached over 7,700 students with an additional 17 schools committed to launch the program this fall.

Rutledge is also suing the opioid manufacturers who created the crisis in Arkansas for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Arkansas Medicaid Fraud False Claims Act.

Each year, Rutledge partners with a number of agencies in hosting the Arkansas Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit. The summit is a free training and educational opportunity for law enforcement officers, medical professionals, pharmacists and educators. The seventh annual Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit is scheduled for Nov. 1 in Hot Springs, with more than 800 taking advantage of early bird registration.

Rutledge also partners with federal and state agencies for the biannual National Take Back Day. Since 2016, more than 600 pounds of prescription drugs were collected at Attorney General Mobile Offices across Arkansas.

SEPTEMBER 17, 2018

DAUGHTERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION PROMOTE CONSTITUTION WEEK
Constitution Week, September 17-23, was initiated by the Daughters of the American Revolution. The signing of this beloved document was September 17, 1787.  This living document, which upholds and protects the freedoms central to our American way of life, sets forth the framework for the federal government that is still in use today. Constitution week was officially declared by President Eisenhower on August 2, 1956.   

September 14, 2018

FORMER ARKANSAS STATE REPRESENTATIVE SENTENCED TO 3 YEARS PROBATION FOR WIRE FRAUD 
Fayetteville, Arkansas - Duane Kees, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas announced today that Micah Neal, age 43, of Springdale, Arkansas, was sentenced today to three years probation including the first year to be served as home confinement and the second and third years to include 300 hours of community service, he was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $200,000.00. The Honorable Timothy L. Brooks presided over the sentencing hearing in the United States District Court in Fayetteville.

"Public corruption cases are among the most serious crimes that are investigated and prosecuted in our District," said U.S. Attorney Kees. "These cases represent the very worst in deception and fraud because they involve a betrayal of the public trust.  Jon Woods and Micah Neal were elected to offices in the State of Arkansas and swore an oath to protect and uphold the Arkansas Constitution.  They failed that oath by betraying those who voted for them and scheming to steal money that rightfully belonged to the tax-payers and voters in the State of Arkansas.  The sentences last week and this week in the public corruption scheme involving G.I.F. funds and bribery are the result of years of hard work by the assigned Assistant United States Attorneys working in partnership with the FBI and the IRS Criminal Investigation.  It is my sincere hope that these sentences will serve as a deterrence for any individuals who would attempt to corrupt the legislative process in our State in the future.  My office will continue to aggressively pursue public corruption cases and work with our partners in bringing those individuals to justice."

According to the evidence presented at trial, Jonathan Woods served as an Arkansas State Senator from 2013 to 2017.  Between approximately 2013 and approximately 2015, Woods used his official position as a senator to appropriate and direct government money, known as General Improvement Funds (GIF), to two non-profit entities by, among other things, directly authorizing GIF disbursements and advising other Arkansas legislators - including former State Representative Neal, to contribute GIF to the non-profits.  Specifically, Woods and Neal authorized and directed the Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District, which was responsible for disbursing the GIF, to award a total of approximately $600,000 in GIF money to the two non-profit entities.  The evidence further showed that Woods and Neal received bribes from officials at both non-profits, including Paris, who was the president of a college.  Woods initially facilitated $200,000 of GIF money to the college and later, together with Neal, directed another $200,000 to the college, all in exchange for kickbacks.  To pay and conceal the kickbacks to Woods and Neal, Paris paid a portion of the GIF to Shelton's consulting company.  Shelton then kept a portion of the money and paid the other portion to Woods and Neal.  Paris also bribed Woods by hiring Woods's friend to an administrative position at the college.   

For his part in the scheme, Neal pleaded guilty on Jan. 4, 2017, before U.S. District Judge Timothy L. Brooks of the Western District of Arkansas to one count of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud.  Paris pleaded guilty on April 5, 2018, before Judge Brooks to one count of honest services wire fraud. Woods was sentenced September 5, 2018 to 220 months in federal prison, Shelton was sentenced September 6, 2018 to 72 months in federal prison and Paris was sentenced September 12, 2018 to 36 months in federal prison.

The FBI and IRS investigated the case.  First Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth Elser, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kyra Jenner and Aaron Jennen of the Western District of Arkansas and Trial Attorney Sean F. Mulryne of the Criminal Division's Public Integrity Section of the U.S. Department of Justice prosecuted the case.

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S REPORT
Early this past Wednesday morning Lieutenant Cedric Gregory of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the Fellowship Baptist Church in Bearden in response to a report of a break-in and arson. Lt. Gregory made contact with the reporting party who is the Pastor at the church. The man said that he had come by the church early to check on the church before going to work. When he arrived he smelled smoke. He entered the building and found a fire in the Pastor’s office. He extinguished the blaze and then called law enforcement. A check of the premises revealed that entry to the building had been gained through a rear door. The door had been pried open. It appeared that once inside the subject had gone into the Youth Pastor’s office and had taken what was believed to be about $20.00. The subject had also force entry into the Pastor’s office where they had taken about $40.00. Two black briefcases were also taken. A stack of paper had been removed from a file cabinet and piled on the floor before being set on Fire. The pastor believes that he must have arrived pretty quickly after the blaze was set. It was flaming three to four feet high when it was discovered. The fire cause damage to the carpeting and the floor as well as destroying a guitar. An investigation is underway.

ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES OF ARKANSAS DISPATCH LINEMEN TO AID IN HURRICANE FLORENCE RESTORATION
Little Rock, Ark.
— Sept. 13, 2018 — The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas have sent 118 linemen to the east coast to assist with power restoration efforts that may be required after Hurricane Florence makes landfall.

Crews from Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc., Arkansas Valley Electric, C&L Electric, Carroll Electric, Clay County Electric, Craighead Electric, First Electric, North Arkansas Electric, South Central Arkansas Electric, Southwest Arkansas Electric and Woodruff Electric are staged to assist electric cooperatives impacted areas.

The Arkansas cooperatives have also sent approximately 100 pieces of equipment that include service bucket trucks, bucket trucks, digger derricks, pickups and pole trailers. The number of crews may increase as damage assessments are finalized by cooperatives in impacted areas.

Arkansas’ 17 local electric cooperative distribution systems, statewide association and generation and transmission cooperative serve approximately 500,000 members in 74 of the state’s 75 counties. The cooperatives are member-owned utilities established to provide reliable, affordable electric service to farms, homes, schools, churches, businesses and other establishments across the state in a responsible manner.

The distribution cooperatives own and govern Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI), a service association for the electric cooperatives, as well as Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation, a generation and transmission cooperative, which provides wholesale power to the distribution cooperatives.

FUNDRAISER FOR ROBERT PARHAM
There will be a BBQ Lunch Fund Raiser for Robert Parham on Sunday, September 30th from 11 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. The Flaming Pig BBQ will be in the parking lot across Washington Street from the First Baptist Church of Camden. Choose from a BBQ Sandwich or Chicken Leg Quarter with baked beans and coleslaw and tea or water for only $10.00 per plate. Dessert will be available for a $1.00 donation. All proceeds to to Robert Parham for expenses for cancer treatment.

September 13, 2018

CAMDEN CITY POLICE REPORTS
Tuesday, the Camden City Police Department Dispatched Officer Nathan Lane to Fox Creek Apartment 76 in reference to terroristic threatening. The Officer made contact with the reporting party, Ammira Al-Amri. The Officer ran the woman’s name through dispatch for warrants. Dispatch advised the woman had a Criminal Summons that need to be served. Al-Amri was taken into custody for an unrelated crime. She was transported to the Police Station and served with a Criminal Summons and she was also charged with Criminal Trespass.

This past Monday night Officer Brotherton was advised of an Order of Arrest and a warrant service on Eddie Hampton III. Hampton had been taken into custody on other charges. He was advised of his Order For Arrest and Failure to Appear with the City of Camden. He was also advised of his warrant with Ouachita County for Failure to Pay Fines. He was given Court Dates for all the warrants.

Monday evening Officer Nathan Lane was dispatched to 209 Carver courts regarding a group of people sitting outside gambling. As the Officer approached the apartment he noticed one of the men, later identified as James Kirtz, grab his son who was just running around. The Officer advised the group as to why he was there. Kirtz got up with his son and walked inside the apartment. Officer Van Assche, the back up Officer, went into the apartment to get Kirtz. He walked outside holding his son’s hand. Kirtz said he was on the ban list and if the Officers wanted to talk to him they would have to walk with him. Kirtz was advised multiple time to stop and stay with the group so they could arrange to have his son picked up. He repeatedly refused to stop. Officer Lane grabbed the man’s arm and told him to stop but he kept trying to pull away. Officer Van Assche came to help get the man into custody. Kirtz had the strong odor of intoxicants on his breath. Kirtz was transported to the Police Station and later transported to the Ouachita County Detention Cent to be held until he sobered up. Kirtz was charged with Criminal Trespass, Refusal to Submit, Disorderly conduct, Endangering the Welfare of a Minor and Public Intoxication.

 

SEPTEMBER 13, 2018

COTTON URGES THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND THE DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY TO ACT ON UNWASHED POPPY SEEDS
Washington, D.C. — Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) on Wednesday sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration Uttam Dhillon urging them to do more to stop the sale of morphine-laced unwashed poppy seeds, an apparent violation of the Controlled Substances Act that is causing an increasing number of deaths.

He asks the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration to answer three questions about current policy on unwashed poppy seeds:

  1. Although poppy seeds are exempt from the definition of narcotic drugs under 21 U.S.C. § 802, does the Department of Justice consider the sale of morphine-laced poppy straw along with poppy seeds a violation of the Controlled Substances Act?
  2. If it does constitute a violation, what kind of criminal liability can a manufacturer or distributer face for manufacturing, distributing, and dispensing morphine-laced unwashed seeds?
  3. What are the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Agency doing to address this problem?

In April 2016, a 24-year-old Arkansan, Stephen Hacala, was found dead from a morphine overdose caused by drinking tea made with unwashed poppy seeds. At Senator Cotton’s urging, Walmart agreed to stop selling unwashed poppy seeds earlier this year.

SEPTEMBER 12, 2018

CAMDEN CITY BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEET IN REGULAR SESSION
The Camden City Council met in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Building in regular session Tuesday night, September 11, 2018. Mayor Marie Trisollini called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. The Invocation given by Reverend Knight, Pastor of Cullendale Assembly of God Church was followed by the Pledgge of Allegiance, the roll call the approval of minutes and the acceptance of Financial reports.

The meeting moved on audience participation.

David Chilcote addressed the Council regarding the uneven sidewalks causing a dangerous situation. He stated that he and his wife had gone out and his wife fell and wound up in the Emergency Room because of the sidewalk. She is ok but Chilcote is extremely concerned with the situation. The Mayor stated that she was aware of the situation and that they are looking for a way to ensure the safety of residents while the work on the sidewalk is completed.

Julian Lott spoke to the Council regarding the “I am Camden” celebration to be held this weekend. He went on to explain why he is the best candidate for Mayor in the upcoming election. He used the time on the floor as a campaign speech.

Mayor Trisollini then gave her report. She attended press conference at the Governor’s Office regarding the Aerojet announcement that more jobs are coming to Camden. She also reported that she had attended the Municipal League Planning Commission Meeting. She told the council that the Municipal League Winter Conference is January 16th through the 18th and that they should maker reservations early if they wanted a room near the conference. The Mayor talked about Bass Tournament held on the river this past weekend. She arrived early. She said that the National Anthem that time of the morning on the river was absolutely beautiful. The tournament was beneficial to the Community in that it brought in outside visitors who stayed, ate and shopped in Camden. They are planning to make the tournament a yearly event in Camden.  The Mayor reported that the First Friday event was a huge success despite having to be moved indoors. She talked about the October First Friday event that will include a Scarecrow Contest and musical entertainment. She talked about the jobs available in the area currently She cited a number of businesses and the number of job openings they currently have.

There was no old business.

Under new business ordinance 26-18 was introduced assessing a lien on property located at 436 Locust Street SW. There was a motion to suspend the rules and put the ordinance up for a third reading. The Council voted and approved to suspend the rules and went on to vote on the ordinance. The ordinance was passed unanimously.

Ordinance number 27-18 was introduced assessing a lien on property located at 450 Locust Street SW. There was a motion to suspend the rules and put the ordinance up for a third reading. The Council voted and approved to suspend the rules and went on to vote on the ordinance. The ordinance was passed unanimously.

Ordinance number 28-18 was introduced assessing a lien on property located at Avon Street SW. There was a motion to suspend the rules and put the ordinance up for a third reading. The Council voted and approved to suspend the rules and went on to vote on the ordinance. The ordinance was passed unanimously.

Resolution number 29-18, a resolution appointing Kim Sponer to the planning Commission. Motion was made to approve, and the resolution passes unanimously.

Resolution number 30-18 a resolution authorizing the sale of City-owned property located on Short Street. Motion was made to approve, and the resolution passes unanimously.

Resolution 31-18 a resolution confirming the appointment of Jackie R Ross to the Civil Service Commission. A motion was made and seconded to approve, and the resolution passes unanimously.

Resolution Number 32-18, a resolution awarding the bid for the purchase of a Scale house for the public Works Department. After some discussion, a motion was made and seconded to approve, and the resolution passes unanimously.

Under other business there was a discussion regarding the Disposal of Property. These are items that are waiting to be auctioned off or some that is waiting to be auctioned off. Property Council had already approved for the items to be disposed of, but they need to approve having the items from the assets list. A motion was made and seconded and it was approved.

There was then an open discussion about a number of issues the aldermen wished to discuss. They will have a work shop before the next council meeting to try and resolve some of the items in question.

The next regular council meeting will be October 9th.

FIRST FRIDAY SCARECROW COMPETITION
Your business, group or family is invited to enter the First Friday scarecrow design competition!   Scarecrows will be displayed on light posts on Washington St and Adams St. from Friday, September 28th through Thursday, November 1st.  The contest is FREE to enter and there will be 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place ribbons.   There are only 18 spots available so get your entry in fast!!  All entries must be received by Friday September 21st.

The Scarecrow contest is open to all individuals, groups, churches, organizations and businesses.  Adults and children of all ages are encouraged to participate. Children under the age of 18 must have an adult sponsor. Scarecrows and décor must be as weather resistant as possible, withstanding wind, rain, humidity, and heat for multiple weeks.  The use of non-organic materials like fake greenery, pumpkins, etc. is encouraged.

It is suggested the scarecrow overall height be no less than 5' and no more than 7'. Each entry must be in place by 8pm on Friday, September 28.  You will receive a light post location from the First Friday team after acceptance and should attach your scarecrow to the light post using zip ties.  Please only use zip ties to attach the scarecrow to the light post.  Any other method used to secure the scarecrow to the post could be automatically disqualified.  It is recommended that construction of the scarecrow is completed before you bring it downtown to attach to your light post.  No painting downtown.

The scarecrows will remain on display until no later than Thursday, November 1.  Please monitor your scarecrow through the time of display and keep it looking fresh, remove any decaying organic matter, etc. and repair anything as needed.

All voting will be done by the public on Facebook and at the October 5th First Friday Market.  Voting will open online Sunday, September 30 and end Friday, October 5th.  Winner will be announced after the Friday, October 5th First Friday Market.

Show your creativity, but please keep scarecrows family friendly.  No inappropriate or over frightening designs.  Creepy and spooky are ok, gory and bloody are not. No political, religious, or offensive statements/designs.

CAMDEN FAIRVIEW SCHOOL BASED HEALTH CENTER OPEN HOUSE
The Camden Fairview School District will host Open House at their brand new School Based Health Center. The open House will be Wednesday, September 26th from 10: a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The Health Center is located at 647B Dooley Womack Drive in Camden.

SR. CITIZENS DAY AT THE FAIR
Senior Citizens Day at the Fair will be Thursday, September 13th from 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m at the Ouachita County Fair Grounds. Everyone 60 years of age and older are invited to play bingo and have hot dogs and a drink. There will be prizes awarded. This event is sponsored by the Ouachita County Fairboard and Kindred at Home


AUDITIONS SET FOR SAAC'S "PETER AND THE STARCATCHER" SEPT. 17-18
Directors Mike Means and Bill Meyer invite the community to auditions for the fall theater season opener, “Peter and the Starcatcher”.  Auditions will be held on September 17 and 18, 2018. Auditioners may attend one or both nights.

Registration begins at 6:00 pm on audition nights, with actual auditions beginning at 6:30 pm.  There is no advance preparation necessary for these auditions, but the directors would “like to see you do a cold reading from the script, sing a song of your choice in a swashbuckling tone— it can even be  ‘Happy Birthday’ or ‘Twinkle , Twinkle’—and also hear your attempt at a British accent, no matter how bad it is”, said Means.  The show includes a bit of music, but mostly of the pirate variety, and the part of Molly is the only one that needs to be filled by a true singer.  Meyer said about auditions, “Auditions are meant to be fun, not nerve-racking.  So come on out, have fun and relax.  We’ll have a big time.”

There are parts for 11 men, 3 women, and 3 boys (13-19). Among those parts are the Orphans: Peter, Prentiss and Ted.  The British subjects include Lord Aster, his daughter Molly,  Mrs. Bumbrake (Molly’s nanny), Captain Scott (the commander of The Wasp), and Gempkin (the schoolmaster). 

Aboard the ship, The Neverland, you will find Bill Slank, Alf and Mack, a group of no count sailors. In charge of the rival ship, The Wasp, is the ruthless pirate known as The Black Stache and his bumbling cohorts, Smee and Sanchez.  

Rounding out the cast are the Natives, consisting of Fighting Prawn, his son Hawking Clam, and a teacher.  There is also an ensemble of sailors, seamen, seafarers, orphans, pirates, mermaids, mollusks and narrators to be filled.

“Peter and the Starcatcher” is a swash-buckling, rambunctious story of how a miserable orphan boy becomes the legendary Peter Pan.  In this grown-up prequel to "Peter Pan", a cast of brilliant actors playing pirates, mermaids and our favorite Lost Boys set out for an adventure filled with ingenious stagecraft and the limitless possibilities of theatrical storytelling.  The story is an adventure on the high seas and on the faraway Mollusk Island, where Peter and his mysterious new friend, Molly, overcome bands of pirates and thieves in their quest to keep a magical secret safe and save the world from evil.

Come join in on the fun on the high seas and be a part of this hilarious show, sponsored by Murphy-Pitard Jewelers.  For more information on auditions, please call the SAAC office at 870-862-5474 or visit the website at www.saac-arts.org  SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas.

September 11, 2018

BOOZMAN BILL TO FUND MILITARY CONSTRUCTION & VETERAN PROGRAMS ONE STEP CLOSER TO BECOMING LAW
Package Includes Measure to Protect Veterans from Clinical Errors at VA Facilities and Funding for Improvements at Little Rock Air Force Base

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) joined fellow Senate and House conferees in introducing a final conference agreement on the Fiscal Year 2019 appropriations bills for Energy and Water Development, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Legislative Branch.

“This bill is the result of a bipartisan commitment to return to regular order. The critical investments included in this package fund construction of national defense facilities and family housing for our Armed Forces in addition to upholding our promises to our veterans by supporting their health care and benefits. I appreciate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby’s leadership which has provided all members a voice in determining how taxpayer dollars are spent,” said Boozman, Chairman of the Senate Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies (MilCon-VA) Appropriations Subcommittee and author of this portion of the funding package.

The bill includes a provision that requires the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) to submit a departmental response plan to Congress that can be applied at the Fayetteville VA Medical Center and all future cases of clinical disclosures and provide recommendations about changes necessary to prevent such incidents.

It also contains $14 million for improvements to the hydrant fuel system at Little Rock Air Force Base in addition to a measure to move forward with improvements to the base’s runway.

Military Construction – Resources to fund 190 military construction projects including construction and renovation projects on military bases within the United States and around the globe.

Veterans Affairs– The record level of funding for the VA will provide the health care, benefits and memorial services earned by U.S. service members and veterans.

  • VA Medical Care – Funding to support medical treatment and health care for approximately 9.3 million enrolled patients in FY2019. 
  • Veterans Homelessness – $1.8 billion for VA Homelessness programs including $380 million for the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program. 
  • Claims Processing – Funding to ensure that proper staffing and resources are utilized to reduce the wait time and backlog of disability decisions on appeal, and to meet the demand for other benefit programs. 
  • Construction – Funding for major and minor construction associated with VA hospital replacement, correction of seismic deficiencies, scores of projects to improve access to VA health care, and the VA’s National Cemeteries. 
  • VA Mandatory Funding – The bill fulfills mandatory funding requirements, including veteran disability compensation programs for 4.9 million veterans and 432,000 survivors; education benefits for nearly one million veterans; guaranteed home loans for 519,000 veterans; and vocational rehabilitation and employment training for more than 149,000 veterans.
  • Advance Appropriations – $75.6 billion in FY2020 advance discretionary funding for veterans’ health care, and $123.2 billion in FY2020 advance mandatory funding for veterans’ benefits.
  • Electronic Health Records - The bill provides $1.1 billion for the Veterans Electronic Health Record system and management to improve the efficiency and quality of veterans’ health care. 

Related Agencies – The legislation also includes funding for:

  • American Battle Monuments Commission 
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims 
  • Arlington National Cemetery 
  • Armed Forces Retirement Home 

The bil provides additional resources for the Veterans History Project, an initiative that builds an archive at the Library of Congress of oral histories and personal documents of the men and women who served our country in uniform. Boozman and his staff have conducted nearly 50 interviews of Arkansas veterans for inclusion in the archive and have trained more than 400 people across the state to participate in the project.

 

COTTON STATEMENT ON SEPTEMBER 11TH

Washington, D.C. - Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today released the following statement on the 17th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001:

"September 11 is a solemn anniversary, because 17 years later, we still remember the pain of that day. But just as we mourn all the innocent lives lost, we also remember the heroism of our first responders, who rushed to the aid of their fellow Americans. Out of the ashes of a terrible tragedy arose a strength and unity that the whole world came to admire. We must never forget the resolve we showed that day, nor the people who have fought in uniform since then to keep us safe. It is this heartfelt gratitude for freedom and its guardians, after all, that represents the true spirit of 9/11."

CITY OF CAMDEN POLICE REPORTS
Late last Wednesday night, Officer Brotherton and Officer Jones were dispatched to Murphy’s USA in reference to a theft of motor fuel report. The Officers made contact with the reporting who was an employee of the station. She stated that a two-door brown SUV with chrome rims drove up to a pump and started to fuel the vehicle. She stated the driver of the vehicle used a pay later feature accessed at the pump. She saw the driver getting ready to leave without paying. She called out on the intercom but the driver ignored her and drove away. Very early last Thursday morning Officer Kayla Reynolds was dispatched to Maple and locust Street for a suspicious person. Dispatch gave a description and Officer Reynolds and Lieutenant Parker made contact with Eric Gulley. Dispatch confirmed that Gulley had an active warrant with the City of Camden for failure to appear three time and failure to pay fine. He was taken into custody and issued a criminal citation. After booking, Gulley was transported to the Ouachita county Detention center to be held until the next available District Court date.

Later Thursday morning, Officer VanAssche was at 109 Goodgame for warrant service. The Officer made contact with Monika Goyson and informed her that she had a warrant for her arrest. She was transported to the Police Stations where she was served with a warrant for Failure to Appear and Failure to pay Fines. Goyson paid a bond fee and was released with a Criminal Citation and a court date.

Early last Friday morning Officer Manning was dispatched to 100 Goodgame in reference to a report of a vehicle in a ditch. The Officer arrived and found the vehicle in question. The car had the front passenger’s side tire protruding over the concrete barrier in front of the store. The vehicle was empty. There didn’t appear to be any damage to the vehicle. While investigating the vehicle, the Officer saw subject Kerry McAnulty walking toward the vehicle. The officer asked the woman if she was the reporting party and she stated that she was not. He asked why her vehicle was sitting on the concrete barrier to which she replied, “because I parked it that way.” Her speech was slurred and as the Officer got closer he could smell a strong odor of alcohol. She said she had consumed alcohol earlier but was unable to convey how many drinks she had consumed. While talking with McAnulty she began to show signs of injury. She repeatedly clutched her right shoulder and yelled in pain. EMS was called to the scene. McAnulty stated that she had recently broke her collarbone but was unable to give a clear date of when the injury occurred. While waiting for EMS to arrive the Officer observed that McAnulty’s shoulder area was continuing to swell and turn purple. EMS arrived and advised the McAnulty should be transported to the hospital. McAnulty declined a report for her vehicle being stuck on the barrier. A wrecker was requested to remove the vehicle from the property. McAnulty was given a citation for public intoxication.

Saturday morning, Officer Watts saw a Chevy S10 parked in the middle of Stinson Street. It appeared to have been in an accident. The windshield was busted, the driver door was partially open, and he rear bumper was barely intact. Officer Watts radioed dispatch to check the registration when he noticed a white male sitting on the curb across Fairview Road. The man noticed the Police Unit and got up to walk across Fairview Road toward the Officer. The Officer identified himself and asked the man his name and date of birth. He stated his name was Tommy Pennington and his date of birth was November 11, 1998. The Officer asked if he was sure he was born in 1998 the ma corrected himself, saying he was born in 1969. When asked about the condition of the truck, Pennington said he had loaned the truck to his son a few days prior and that is how he got it back. Dispatch advised that Pennington had an active warrant in Union County. He was placed under arrest and transported to the County line where he was remanded to the custody of Union County Deputy Braswell. The truck was towed.

While on patrol Saturday afternoon, Officer Perry made contact with Timothy White at 627 Lincoln Center. Officer Perry had previous knowledge of White having an active warrant with the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office. The warrant was confirmed, and White was taken into custody. He was transported to the Camden Police Department, booked and had the warrant served and was then transported to the Ouachita County Detention Center.


VETERANS AND PATRIOTS RECOGNITION
Ouachita County Judge Robbie McAdoo had announced Veterans and Patriots Recognition at Cullendale First Baptist Church today from 5 – 7 p.m. All Veterans and their families are invited to celebrate “Veteran’s and Patriot’s Awareness and Appreciation Month” with an appreciation celebration and meal. There will also be door prizes drawn for veterans. County Veterans Service Officer Jim Bob Davis, and others will also be available to educate veterans on services available to them. All veterans and their families are invited and encouraged to attend the event.

STATE POLICE ASSISTING WARREN AUTHORITIES IN HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION
Officials of the Warren Police Department have requested the assistance of the Arkansas State Police in the investigation of a homicide reported to local police last Friday night. At 11:36 PM, Warren Police Officers responded to the report of a shooting incident outside a residence located at 1105 Kelley Street.  Caleb White, 29, reportedly died from a gunshot while inside a truck parked along Kelley Street. White’s body has been transported to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory to confirm a manner and cause of death.  Meanwhile Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division are continuing to question individuals who were at the shooting scene when police arrived.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB TO MEET
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet Wednesday at Catherine’s Bistro. The speaker this week will be Camden Police Chief Bo Woody.  He will be giving an update on what is going on with the Police Department and upcoming events.

SEPTEMBER 10, 2018

LAURA BARROW TO TEACH SAAC’S CORKS AND CANVAS CLASS 
The South Arkansas Arts Center will host Corks and Canvas night with El Dorado artist Laura Barrow on September 20, from 6:00-9:00 pm. Barrow will lead the group in painting a decorative white fall pumpkin in acrylics on a 12”x12” canvas.

 Barrow, a local artist and stage veteran at SAAC, is a self-taught artist.  “It really is just a fun hobby for me, a good stress relief!” she said.  “I like to paint and draw.  My paintings have a lot of texture and are usually mixed media.  I paint with acrylics, but I like to get creative and use fun things like turmeric from the spice cabinet or spray rubbing alcohol onto the paint to create interesting movement.” 

Corks and Canvas is an art class for non-artists who have always wanted to paint. Each class is conducted by a different art instructor, who takes the class through the step - by - step process to complete a work of art in three hours. The $40 fee covers all supplies and snacks.  This class is limited to 12. Those taking the class should bring their favorite libation and get ready to have a good time.

 For more information or to register for this class, please call the SAAC office at 870-862-5474 or visit the website at www.saac-arts.org.  SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas.

OUACHITA COUNTY FAIR NEWS
Those who wish enter items in the Exhibit Hall at the Ouachita County Fair can do so today between the hours of 2 and 8PM. There have also been some changes since the Fair Book was printed. Instead of live entertainment on Friday night you can enjoy karoke. The Steak Cook-Off has been moved to Friday. You can get a Steak Dinner for $25.00 if you want to eat at the Fair. This includes gate admission. If you want to pick up your Steak Dinner at the Gate and not enter into the Fair Grounds, tickets are $20.00 Dinner plates will be served from 6:30 to 7:30PM on Friday night. Mirriam’s Midway will be back with lots of fun for the entire family on the Midway. Arm bands can be purchased in advanced until Tuesday for $20.00. Advance tickets can be bought at Ken’s Discount and the Main Branch of Farmer’s Bank in Downtown Camden. If bought at the Fair, armbands will be $20.00. The Carnival will open at 6PM each night. Come out for a load of fun at the Ouachita County Fair.

ADEQ TO HOST GREAT ARKANSAS CLEANUP SITE IN NORTH LITTLE ROCK 
The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is joining the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission to pick up a stretch of the Arkansas River as part of the annual Great Arkansas Cleanup on Saturday, September 8th, 2018. ADEQ is hosting a site near the Department’s headquarters in North Little Rock and is seeking volunteers to help clean up areas near the Big Dam Bridge and the Arkansas River Trail.

Check-in for the ADEQ cleanup begins at 8:00 a.m. with cleanup scheduled from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Volunteers should meet at the Cook’s Landing Pavilion by the Big Dam Bridge in North Little Rock. Volunteers can register ahead of time by contacting ADEQ Education Coordinator Erika Droke at droke@adeq.state.ar.us or 501.682.0022. Supplies such as gloves, trash bags, and drinking water will be provided, and volunteers will receive a t-shirt (while supplies last).

This will be the sixth consecutive year that ADEQ has hosted a Great Arkansas Cleanup site. Last year, ADEQ employees and community members fanned out to pick up litter from the banks and trail areas of the Arkansas River. Statewide, last year’s cleanup featured 215 community events across the state involving more than 6700 Arkansans, who picked up waste from roughly 1117 miles of roadway and more than 727 miles of waterway. 

As a certified state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, Inc., Keep Arkansas Beautiful works to inspire and educate individuals to reduce litter, recycle, and help keep Arkansas beautiful. It operates as a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism and is overseen by a nine-member commission appointed by the governor. For more information about Keep Arkansas Beautiful, or to volunteer for cleanups scheduled across the state as part of the Great Arkansas Cleanup, visit www.keeparkansasbeautiful.com.

CAMDEN FAIRVIEW BOARD OF EDUCATION TO MEET
The Camden Fairview Board of Education will meet on Tuesday, September 11th at 6:30 p.m. at Garrison Auditorium. The agenda includes student hearings, the presentation and recommendation regarding a resolution required for a salary increase for CFSD employees, Selection of Camden Fairview  School District official delegate to the Arkansas School Boards Association 2018 Delegate Assembly, a presentation and recommendation regarding Statement of Assurances for programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act, a presentation and recommendation regarding minority Teacher and Administrator Recruitment Plan, a presentation and recommendation regarding medication Administration Policy and facility rental requests. The Superintendent will give a report to the Board and there will be a financial report and personnel session.

DONALD BENTON NAMED ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER FOR RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY
LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key is pleased to appoint Donald Benton as the new assistant commissioner for Research and Technology. Benton will assume his new role on September 17. 

“Mr. Benton’s information technology credentials and reputation precede him,” Key said. “From his previous work in numerous IT roles at the Hot Springs School District to his current efforts as director of the Hot Springs Technology Institute and assistant professor of educational leadership at Henderson State University, Mr. Benton brings valuable expertise and perspective to the ADE team.”

As assistant commissioner, Benton will oversee technology initiatives and resources such as ADE’s Ambassador Academy, Arkansas Digital Sandbox and Student GPS dashboards. He also will oversee the Arkansas Public School Computer Network, which includes eSchoolPlus.

Prior to joining the ADE team, Benton served as an assistant professor in educational leadership at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, a position he held since 2009. He also has been the director of the Hot Springs Technology Institute since 1998 and founded Schools Without Walls, which provides professional development for technology leaders and educators, in 2010. He previously served as the director of technology and information, information technology security officer/disaster recovery, technology plan developer and E-Rate coordinator at the Hot Springs School District.

Benton has a Bachelor of Science in Education (Vocational Business Education), a Master of Science in Education (P-12 Building Level Leadership) and an Education Specialist in District Level Leadership from Henderson State University. He currently is pursuing a Doctor of Education in Educational Technology from Boise State University in Idaho. He is a member of the Arkansas Society for Technology in Education, Association for Educational Communications and Technology, International Society for Technology in Education and serves on several committees at Henderson State University.

SAAC ANNOUNCES MEANS AND MEYER TO DIRECT "PETER AND STARCATCHER"A
The theater committee at SAAC is thrilled to announce the selection of Mike Means and Bill Meyer as directors for the upcoming play "Peter and the Starcatcher," which is sponsored by Murphy-Pitard Jewelers. Auditions for the swashbuckling production are scheduled for September 17 and 18.

The comedic team of Means and Meyer have a long history at SAAC. Means first stepped on the SAAC stage in 1998 in "The Musical Comedy Mystery Murders of 1940", with Meyer's first production the holiday show "Fruitcakes" in 2006. It was just a few years later in 2010 when they appeared together in the Agatha Christie classic murder mystery "The Mousetrap" with many more shows to follow - including "The 39 Steps" and "Twelfth Night". For the last six year the two have been making people laugh as part of El Dorado's improv group Give Me A Second.

In this swashbuckling grown-up prequel to "Peter Pan", a dozen brilliant actors playing pirates, mermaids-and of course, our favorite Lost Boys-set out for an adventure filled with ingenious stagecraft and the limitless possibilities of theatrical storytelling. Means invites the community to "channel your inner pirate and join us for auditions. We want the project to be fun for the cast and the audience." Meyer added, "If you leave feeling inspired or at least a little seasick, we'll consider it a success.

It's the directors' comic timing and joy of laughter that make them a perfect fit for this production. SAAC Executive Director Laura Allen said, "Mike and Bill have an enthusiasm for this project that is truly infectious. It's going to be as much fun to participate in this show as it will be to watch it!"

In 2004, "Peter and the Starcatcher", the first in a series of five novels written by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, took on the story of the central character before he becomes Peter Pan. Peter and the Starcatcher was adapted for the stage by Broadway veteran Rick Elice, known for the Tony Award-winning hit Jersey Boys, a jukebox musical about the ‘50s rock band "The Four Seasons."

For more information about "Peter and the Starcatcher", please call the SAAC office at 870-862-5474 or visit the website at www.saac-arts.org. SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas.

RUTLEDGE ANNOUNCES ARREST OF TWO ARKANSAS WOMEN FOR MEDICAID FRAUD
LITTLE ROCK
– Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the arrest of Crittenden County and Desha County women.

“Those who take advantage of the Medicaid program will be prosecuted,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “As Arkansas’s chief law enforcement officer, I will not tolerate people who abuse this vital safety net.”

Tylisha Pope, 28, of Marion, is accused of forging a physician’s signature on the paperwork for two Medicaid patients in order to authorize services. Pope is also accused of billing for services not rendered from October 2016 to January 2017, totaling more than $3,900. She is charged with two counts of Medicaid fraud, Class C felonies. Following an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office, Pope turned herself in to the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department and was released on $2,500 bond.

Shirley Owens, 62, of Dumas, is accused of being married to the Medicaid recipient to whom she was providing services while submitting billing documents for her services, totaling more than $10,000 for services she was not eligible to provide due to the marriage. She is charged with one count of Medicaid fraud, a Class B felony. Following an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office, Owens turned herself in to the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department and was released on her own recognizance.

Both cases were referred to the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit by the Office of Medicaid Inspector General.

Medicaid fraud occurs when providers use the Medicaid program to obtain money to which they are not entitled. To report Medicaid fraud or abuse or neglect in residential care facilities, contact the Attorney General’s Medicaid fraud hotline at (866) 810-0016 or oag@arkansasag.gov.

 

 

GOVERNOR ASA HUTCHINSON'S PUBLIC SCHEDULE: SEPTEMBER 9-15

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Sunday, September 9, 2018, through Saturday, September 15, 2018: 

Monday, September 10, 2018

PEA RIDGE
Governor’s Fall 2018 Computer Science Tour
Pea Ridge Middle School
9:30 a.m.
1391 Weston Street
Pea Ridge, Arkansas

LOWELL
Grand Opening of Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper Bottling Company 
NWA Distribution Center
Speaking
2:00 p.m.
Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper Bottling Company
1201 Federal Way
Lowell, Arkansas

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

MONTICELLO
Governor’s Fall 2018 Computer Science Tour
Drew Central High School
12:45 p.m.
250 University Drive
Monticello, Arkansas

MONTICELLO
Grand Opening of UAM Student Success Center and University Police Building
Speaking
2:00 p.m.
Student Success Center
350 University Drive
Monticello, Arkansas

Thursday, September 13, 2018

NORTH LITTLE ROCK
County Judges Association Conference
Speaking
Noon
Wyndham Hotel
2 Riverfront Place
North Little Rock, Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK
First Ladies of Arkansas: Women of their Time
Speaking
6:00 p.m.
Old State House Museum
300 West Markham Street
Little Rock Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK
Governor’s Quality Award Celebration
Speaking
6:00 p.m.
Marriott Hotel Ballroom
3 Statehouse Plaza
Little Rock, Arkansas

Friday, September 14, 2018

FORT SMITH
Dan Burton FCA Outdoor Expo
Speaking
6:30 p.m.
Kay Rodgers Park
4400 Midland Boulevard
Fort Smith, Arkansas

Schedule is subject to change. For further updates from Governor Hutchinson, follow on Facebook or Twitter (@AsaHutchinson).

 
 

SEPTEMBER 7, 2018

ICYMI: Cotton Supports Classmate Dominic Lanza for U.S. District Judge for Arizona
Washington, D.C.
— Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) spoke on the Senate floor yesterday in support of the nomination of his friend and fellow law-school classmate Dominic Lanza to be the U.S. district judge for Arizona. In addition, a full transcript of the speech can be found below.


I speak today in support of the nomination of Dominic Lanza to be a district judge for the District of Arizona. Dominic is my old friend and law-school classmate, and maybe most importantly, intramural basketball teammate, when he was known as “Dom,” or perhaps, “the Dominator.”

Now, I can’t claim the credit for Dominic’s nomination. He has the highest qualifications, and his whole life has prepared him for this moment to be a United States district judge. Dom graduated with highest honors from Dartmouth in 1998, where he was also an All-Ivy League and Academic All-American offensive lineman on the Dartmouth football team. He received the Barrett award for being the outstanding graduate of his class in achievement, character, and leadership.

In law school together, he excelled, graduating with honors, serving as a member of the Law Review.

He went on to clerk for Judge Pam Rymer on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. For five years, he worked in private practice with Gibson, Dunn, & Crutcher in their constitutional and appellate-law practice, and won awards for his pro-bono work.

For the last 10 years, Dom has served the people of Arizona and the people of this country in the U.S. attorney’s office for the District of Arizona. As an assistant U.S. attorney from 2008 to 2012, he prosecuted over 300 defendants for a wide variety of crimes, including immigration offenses, drug trafficking, and public corruption.

He authored more than 20 appellate briefs and argued more than 11 cases in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. From 2012 to 2015, he then served as chief of the district’s financial-crimes-and-public-integrity section, and he now is the chief and executive assistant U.S. attorney—the number-two position in the district—where he oversees the Phoenix office.

Dom has said the most important thing he’s learned from his time in the U.S. attorney’s office is the need to represent the facts and the law fairly and accurately to the Court and opposing council. He’s also learned the necessity of treating everybody involved in the legal process—from judges to jurors, court staff, opposing council, and parties—with courtesy, dignity, patience and respect.

Dom has volunteered in the Court Works Program, in which students from at-risk schools can perform simulated trials, and he has participated in the Veterans Court program, which provides increased support and guidance to federal criminal defendants who are veterans.

Dom participated in, completed, and received the highest marks from Senator McCain and Senator Flake’s judicial-nomination panel. He now has the support, as well, of Senator John Kyl. I commend all three men for an outstanding selection.

As I said, I can’t take credit for Dom’s nomination, but I can perhaps add a little bit of perspective to the kind of judge he will be, from the man I knew on the basketball courts.

Dom was tough. If you were driving to the basket or fighting for a rebound, you did not want him in your way.

Dom was fair-minded. If he fouled an opposing player or knocked the ball out of bounds, you’d get no argument from him. He would admit that he had knocked it out of bounds or that he had committed the foul, and play would go on.

Dom, I have to say, was even-tempered, something of a gentle giant. When tempers flared on the basketball courts in Hemenway, as they, in retrospect, did too often, and over silly matters, Dom was a peace maker, separating those who might otherwise be in an altercation.

Dom was a team player. When it was time for him to take the shot because that’s what the team needed, that’s what he would do. But he was just as happy to pass the ball off, to set a screen, to box out for a rebound.

And Dom was good-natured. Competitive to be sure, but he understood that in the grand scheme of things, we’re just a bunch of washed-up high-school and college athletes enjoying a few hours off from our studies.

These are all traits that are going to put him in the best position possible to deliver justice, not only for the people of Arizona, but for the people of the United States. Everyone who comes before him is fortunate that Dominic Lanza will soon be a district judge.

For 42 years Dominic has been known as “Dom” or “the Dominator,” but in just a few hours, he will be known as “Your Honor.” Few men, by their character and by their lives, better deserve that title than the Dominator, Dominic Lanza.

RUTLEDGE ANNOUNCES ARREST OF WARREN DENTIST FOR MEDICAID FRAUD
Accused of falsifying dental records totaling more than $185,000

LITTLE ROCK – On Wednesday, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced the arrest of a Bradley County dentist.

Dr. John Durmon, 59, of Warren, is accused of purposefully falsifying the dental records of more than 100 Medicaid participants to fraudulently bill the Arkansas Medicaid program, totaling more than $185,000. He is charged with two counts of Medicaid fraud, both Class B felonies. Following an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office, Durmon turned himself in to the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department.

“As Arkansas’s chief law enforcement officer, I will not tolerate people taking advantage of the Arkansas Medicaid Program,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I will continue to prosecute those who abuse the system.”

In one charge, Durmon submitted 2,557 claims for X-rays for 85 Medicaid recipients from October 2016 through December 2017. Records indicate Durmon had not properly taken, developed, used or maintained X-rays as required by Medicaid program regulations. Durmon was paid a total of $153,077.95 for the claims.

In the second charge, Durmon submitted 637 claims for various dental services, including extractions, amalgam and resin composite fillings for 33 Medicaid recipients from September 2015 through December 2017. Records indicate Durmon charged the Medicaid program for those services, but the services were not provided. Durmon was paid a total of $33,383.05 for the claims.

Medicaid fraud occurs when providers use the Medicaid program to obtain money to which they are not entitled. To report Medicaid fraud or abuse or neglect in residential care facilities, contact the Attorney General’s Medicaid fraud hotline at (866) 810-0016 or oag@arkansasag.gov.

 

GOVERNOR ASA HUTCHINSON ANNOUNCES INTENT TO GRANT EXECUTIVE CLEMENCY

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson on Wednesday announced his intent to grant 17 pardons. An additional 28 clemency requests were denied and 6 had no action taken upon it. These include requests from both inmates and non-inmates.

The applicants intended for pardons have completed all jail time, fulfilled all parole and probationary requirements and paid all fines related to their sentences. There is a 30-day waiting period to receive public feedback on the notices before final action is taken.

Governor Hutchinson intends to grant pardons to the following people:

Anthony Christopher (College Station): Theft of Property (C Felony) (CR 91-36); Possession of a Controlled Substance (B Felony) (CR 91-79).

This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (1991 and 1991 – Little River County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application. 

Stephen Harris (Winslow): Theft by Receiving (B Felony) (CR 83-83); 1st Degree Assault on a Family or Household Member (A Misdemeanor) (CR 99-1159).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1984 and 1999 – Washington County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further felony convictions. There are no law enforcement objections to the application. 

Lance Horton (Hot Springs): Possession of a Controlled Substance, Marijuana, with Intent to Deliver (C Felony) (CR 98-294); Criminal Attempt to Manufacture Methamphetamine (A Felony) (2000-543).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1998 and 2000 – Craighead County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application. 

Tony E. Mullenax (Conway): Uniform Controlled Substance Act (B Felony) (CR 95-876), Omnibus DWI Act (U Misdemeanor) (CR 95-876), Reckless Driving (U Misdemeanor), and Carrying a Weapon (A Misdemeanor) (CR 95-877).

This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (1996 – Faulkner County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. The Prosecuting Attorney has raised objections to applicant's request.

Jeffery Pearman (Jefferson, TX): Burglary (B Felony) and Theft of Property (C Felony) (CR 83-22); Delivery of a Controlled Substance (C Felony) (CR 86-107), Delivery of a Controlled Substance (C Felony) (CR 86-108), Delivery of a Controlled Substance (C Felony) (CR 86-109), Delivery of a Controlled Substance (C Felony) (CR 86-110), and Delivery of a Controlled Substance (C Felony) (CR 86-127); Possession of a Controlled Substance (C Felony) (CR 96-133).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1983, 1987, and 1997 – Arkansas County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further Arkansas criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Christopher Skeya (Hot Springs): Theft By Receiving over $2,500 (B Felony) and Commercial Burglary (C Felony) (CR 2005-614-IV); Residential Burglary (B Felony) (CR 2005-672-I); Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card (C Felony) (CR 2005-634-I); Residential Burglary (B Felony) (CR 2007-9-I); Residential Burglary (Revocation) (B Felony) (CR 2005-672-I).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (2006, 2006, 2007, 2007, and 2007 – Garland County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Amanda Rogers Zeth (Clinton): Theft of Property ($500 or less or with Subjective Value) (A Misdemeanor) (CR 2007-075). 

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2008 – Van Buren County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. The Prosecuting Attorney has raised objections to applicant's request. 

Jerald Crews (Glenwood): Violation of the Arkansas Hot Check Law (C Felony) (CR-97-473).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1998 – White County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further Arkansas criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Darin Harden (Ozark): Possession of a Controlled Substance, Methamphetamine (C Felony) (CR-2003-106).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2003 – Franklin County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Kenneth E. Harman (Chester): Battery 2nd Degree (D Felony) (CR-95-647).
 
This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1995 – Sebastian County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Andre L. Jordan (Conway): Forgery 2nd Degree (C Felony)(CR 2001-1874).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2001 – Pulaski County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Craig B. Poindexter, convicted using the name Craig Allen Burleson, (Broken Bow, OK): Theft Of Property (C Felony) (CR-95-80) and Commercial Burglary (C Felony), Theft Of Property (C Felony) (CR-95-81).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1996 – Howard County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further Arkansas criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

John Rogers (Lonoke): Possession of a Controlled Substance-Methamphetamine (C Felony) (CR 99-531).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2000 – Lonoke County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Angela Smith (West Memphis): Theft of Property (C Felony) (CR 97-1253).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1998 – Crittenden County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Thomas Turner (Batesville): Burglary and Grand Larceny (Felonies) (CR-67-1058).

This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (1967 – Independence County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Michael Warren (Harrison): Theft by Receiving (C Felony) (CR-95-811).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1996 – Faulkner County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. The Sheriff of Faulkner County has raised objection to applicant's request.

Gary Butler (Colt): Possession of a Controlled Substance (C Felony) (CR 2001-456); Criminal Conspiracy to Manufacture a Controlled Substance (A Felony) (CR 2002-4); Possession of a Controlled Substance (C Felony) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (C Felony) (CR 2005-247).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (2002, 2002, and 2005 – St. Francis County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

September 07, 2018

THE OUACHITA COUNTY FAIR IS GEARING UP FOR 2018 CELEBRATION SEPTEMBER 12TH THROUGH THE 15TH
The 2018 Ouachita County Fair will kick off 4 days of fun on Sept. 12-15 at the Ouachita County Fairgrounds (151 Wiggins Marden Road Camden, Arkansas 71701) with the chance to explore both familiar and new sights, sounds, flavors and excitement.

This year’s Ouachita County Fair features an exciting line-up of music and competitions to compliment the list of longstanding fan favorites. Enticing food competitions, a lumberjack college competition, on-stage talent show and a close out concert will make the 2018 Ouachita County Fair one you won’t want to miss.

Several exciting features will dot the fairgrounds in 2018. Enjoy trips through the livestock barns to observe great entries from local youth. Cheer for your favorites in the Fair Idol Competition or enjoy a perfectly grilled steak from Friday Evening’s Steak Cook Off. You’ll certainly want to catch this year’s Lumberjack Competition on Saturday afternoon between 5 colleges from 4 states – an action-packed competition from the country’s best in men and women’s bow saw, men and women’s cross cut, jack and jill crosscut, single buck sawing, knife and ax throw, and log chop.

For those who crave music and entertainment, the musical lineup will offer 3 days of must-see events. From competitions for Fair Idol in both youth and adult, to karaoke and ending on Saturday with deFrance playing their brand of southern boogie. deFrance is coming to us fresh off their European Tour and recently opening for Bon Jovi. There will be something available for all ages to enjoy.

The Ouachita County Fair has always been a venue to showcase the county’s top livestock and agriculture. Kids will love seeing their favorite barnyard animals up close, and adults can soak up the fun of competitions, whether it’s Fair Idol, Steak Cook off or Lumberjack. There is a competition everyday to cheer your favorite on to victory.

And if you’re in for the food and fun, the Ouachita County Fair has no shortage of that! With a midway packed with rides and games, unique exhibits, and a variety of free musical competitions and concerts, fairgoers will find fun in every corner of the fairgrounds and a myriad of favorite fair foods and shopping.

Advanced armbands can be purchased beginning August 15th through September 11th for $15.00 at Ken’s Discount and Farmers Bank and Trust (downtown location only). Armbands will be available to purchase at the fair once it opens for $20.00

Whatever your interests, the Ouachita County Fair has something that’s sure to excite your imagination, tickle your taste buds, or spark your imagination.

COST:

Admission – $5.00
Advance Armbands – $15.00
Armbands – $20.00
Parking – Free!

TIMES:

Carnival opens at 6:00pm on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and at 11:00am on Saturday.
Free Admission on Saturday 11:00 till 5:00 with free hands on learning activities.
*The armband is not a gate pass.

EVENTS & ACTIVITIES SCHEDULE:

Youth Rally
MERGE Youth Rally begins at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday. All churches are invited.
Music & Speaker Cliff Preston
Hot Dog & Drink $1.00
$3.00 gate admission

Fair Idol
Youth competes on Thursday at 6:30
Adults compete on Friday at 6:30
No entry fee
Judging will be by people’s choice
Saturday night finals will be judged by judges

Sr. Citizens Day
Sponsored by Kindred at Home
Thursday 10:30 - 12:30.
Free Hot Dog and Drink

Karaoke
Saturday 12:00 till 2:00
Sign up at the sound booth.

Steak Cook-off
Friday Night 6:30 - 7:30
Register on the SCA website.
Tickets are $25 and include gate admission.

Lumberjack Competition
Five colleges will compete for prize money.
Competition will begin at 12:00p.m. on Saturday.
Winners announced at 6:00p.m.

Concert: No Excuses and DeFrance
No Excuses will be in concert at 8:00pm. on Friday.
DeFrance will be out at 8:00pm on Saturday. Bring your lawn chair, and enjoy the music!

CITY OF CAMDEN BOARD OF ALDERMEN TO MEET
The City of Camden Board of Aldermen will meet in regular session on Tuesday, September 11th at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Building.


The agenda includes an ordinance assessing a lien on property located at 436 Locust Street SW,  an ordinance assessing a lien on property located at 450 Locust Street SW, an ordinance assessing a lien on property located at 2132 Avon Street SW, a resolution appointing Kim Sponer to the Planning Commission, a resolution authorizing the sale of City-owned property located on Short Street, a resolution confirming the appointment of Jackie R. Ross to the Civil Service Commission and a resolution awarding the bid for the purchase of a Scale House for the Public Works Department.

GLANCE AT WEEKEND EVENTS
Don’t forget First Friday Market in Downtown Camden is tonight. First Friday is an open air evening market which takes place from 6PM till 9PM in downtown Camden. In addition you can stroll the streets downtown and enjoy live music, shop a great variety of vendors and artists, while enjoying a relaxed fun evening. The planners do have a contingency plan in case of rain. If they decide to move the event, alternate location will be posted on the First Friday Market Facebook page.

Also, the Bass Tournament will be held on the Riverfront area of the Ouachita River on Saturday. If you haven’t registered Final registration will be held today, September 7th from 5-7pm at The River Walk Park in Downtown Camden. The fishing begins at 6AM and the weigh-in will be at 3PM. A free lunch will be provided to all participants. during the weigh-in.

Beauty and the Beast will be showing at Movies on the River on Saturday night. Final registration will be held Friday, September 7th from 5-7pm at The River Walk Park in Downtown Camden, AR.

SEPTEMBER 6, 2018

ICYMI: COTTON WARNS FACEBOOK AND TWITTER EXECUTIVES AGAINST WORKING WITH U.S. ADVERSARIES
In Case You Missed

Senator Cotton: I want to commend both of you for your appearance here today for what was no doubt going to be some uncomfortable questions. And I want to commend your companies for making you available. I wish I could say the same about Google. Both of you, and your companies, should wear it as a badge of honor that the Chinese Communist Party has blocked you from operating in their country. Perhaps Google didn’t send a senior executive today because they’ve recently taken actions such as terminating cooperation they had with the American military on programs like artificial intelligence that are designed not just to protect our troops and help them fight and win our country’s wars, but to protect civilians as well. This is at the very same time that they continue to cooperate with the Chinese Communist Party on matters like artificial intelligence or partner with Huawei and other Chinese telecom companies that are effectively arms of the Chinese Communist Party. And credible reports suggest that they are working to develop a new search engine that would satisfy the Chinese Communist Party’s censorship standards, after having disclaimed any intent to do so eight years ago. Perhaps they didn’t send a witness to answer these questions because there is no answer to those questions. And the silence we hear from that Google chair right now is reminiscent of the silence that witness would provide.

BOOZMAN ADVOCATES FOR ARKANSAS AGRICULTURAL PRODUCERS IN FARM BILL CONFERENCE MEETING
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) —a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry— delivered remarks during the first meeting of the 2018 Farm Bill Conference Committee.

Boozman stressed the importance of providing certainty and predictability for farmers, ranchers and all rural Americans.

“A few weeks ago, I traveled across Arkansas and heard firsthand from farmers. For Arkansans, the message was clear – pass a meaningful Farm Bill. We must do right by our farmers, ranchers, foresters, rural Americans, taxpayers, tribes, retailers, and consumers, and hammer out the remaining differences to send a workable Farm Bill to the President’s desk,” Boozman said.

The following are Boozman’s remarks as prepared for delivery:

Chairmen, Ranking Members, and fellow Conferees, I am pleased to be here at the first meeting of the 2018 Farm Bill Conference Committee. Several months ago, many folks doubted that we would actually be here finalizing the 2018 Farm Bill. But here we are, working in regular order, in a bipartisan fashion to provide certainty and predictability for our farmers, ranchers, and rural Americans.

With net farm income half of what it was five years ago, farmers and ranchers are experiencing the most fragile farm economy since the 1980s. In both chambers, we have crafted policies, not to make the good times better, but to make the tough times bearable.

But, we are not without our differences.

I am deeply concerned that the ‘actively engaged’ eligibility provisions included in the Senate bill will only exacerbate the pain being felt throughout rural America by arbitrarily excluding some farmers from Title I programs.

This is often characterized as a regional difference, but let me be clear – this provision does not discriminate against regions, it discriminates against farmers and those who feed and clothe this nation. It will hurt family farms across the country and in each one of your states and districts.

‘Actively engaged’ requirements have been around since 1987, and in the 2014 Farm Bill, Congress included provisions that further tightened program eligibility. We have not yet seen the full effects from that.

I have concerns that this is a policy that no farmer has asked for, that has not been publicly debated, nor thoroughly vetted. I think that the House did a much better job in this regard.

Throughout this bill, there are several areas where we have the opportunity to truly make a difference.

  • We have the opportunity to pass commonsense, bipartisan provisions to provide meaningful regulatory relief to folks like agriculture aviators.
  • We must pass a robust forestry title that gives our rural communities the tools to actively manage our timberlands.
  • We must ensure that our nutrition programs are serving the most vulnerable while also maintaining program integrity and support of the general public.
  • Both bills work to advance voluntary, incentive-based conservation. As we resolve differences between the bills, we must ensure that both our livestock and row crop producers maintain access to robust and flexible working lands programs like EQIP, as well as retain increased funding and positive policy changes for programs like WRE, which is important to waterfowl in Arkansas.

A few weeks ago, I traveled across Arkansas and heard firsthand from farmers.

For Arkansans, the message was clear – pass a meaningful Farm Bill. We must do right by our farmers, ranchers, foresters, rural Americans, taxpayers, tribes, retailers, and consumers, and hammer out the remaining differences to send a workable Farm Bill to the President’s desk.

I look forward to working with you to achieve this goal.

SEPTEMBER 5, 2018

CITY OF CAMDEN POLICE REPORTS
This past Saturday evening Officer Brotherton and Officer jOnes of the Camden City Police, were on patrol in the area of Carver Courts. The Officer were flagged down by a woman who stated that a man in a red shirt and blue jeans had harassed her on her property located on Grinstead Street. The Officers were able to make contact with the man, identified as Shane Suttle. He was questioned regarding the incident with the woman. Suttle stated that he was just walking by the house and that he had just gotten back from The Cellar and stated that he had been drinking. Suttle had the odor of intoxicants emitting from his person. He was arrested for public Intoxication and was transported to the police station where booking procedures were completed. He was transported to the Ouachita County Detention Center and later released with a criminal citation for public intoxication.

Saturday evening Sergeant Kyle McDaniel was dispatched to 620 Lear Street in reference to Christopher Jackson causing a disturbance. On the way to the residence, Officer McDaniel observed a person fitting Jackson’s description. Jackson was swaying and had the odor of intoxicants on him. The Officer attempted to take Jackson into custody, but he resisted. Officer Reynolds arrived and with her help, Jackson was taken into custody. He was charged with public intoxication and refusal to submit to arrest. Jackson was transported to the Ouachita county Jail.

Saturday night Officer Brotherton and Officer Jones were dispatched to McDonald’s in reference to a disturbance. Contact was made with Jerry McKenzie who stated he was trying to get his money back from the lady at the counter but that she wouldn’t give his money back. The man smelled of intoxicants. When asked, McKenzie stated that he had a drink earlier in the evening. Due to his demeanor and the smell of intoxicants, he was taken into custody for public intoxication. He was transported to the Ouachita County Detention Facility and given a court date.

Very early Sunday morning, Officer Kayla Reynolds was on routine patrol on California Avenue. She observed a vehicle driving sporadically. At the light at Hospital Drive the light was green and the vehicle sat through and entire light cycle. At this point, the Officer exited her car and approached the vehicle in question. She smelled a sweet smoky odor emitting from the vehicle. The Officers believed the odor is linked to K2. She saw a man, later identified as DeAnthony Westbrook, slumped over on his gear shift face down. The Officer tried to make contact but he was non-responsive. She notified dispatch to call EMS. She then opened the car door and after many attempts to wake Westbrook. He eventually picked up his head. He was unable to form full sentences. Officer Reynolds told him to exit the vehicle and he refused. Officer Brotherton and Jones had arrived to assist. Officer Reynolds had to get in the passenger side of the car to undo the man’s seat belt so the Officers could get him out of the vehicle and take him into custody. A small bag of leafy green substance consistent with marijuana was found on the man. For Westbrook’s medical safety he was sent to OCMC until cleared by the ER Doctor for incarceration. The car was towed from the scene. Westbrook was later transport to the Camden Police Department and was booked. He ws charged with public intoxication, obstructing Government operations and possession of a controlled substance. He was taken to the Ouachita County Detention Center and held for a 12 hour detoxification.

ENTERGY ARKANSAS TO BRING ADVANCED METERS TO HOMES AND BUSINESSES
Company uses technology to modernize electric grid, build smarter energy future
LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas – Outages identified more accurately. Faster outage restoration response times. Billing and service questions answered more efficiently. Potential energy saving tools for customers. These are all benefits of Entergy Arkansas’ vision for a smarter energy future, through the company’s deployment of advanced metering. This multi-year project is already underway with the design and build of the communications network and IT systems taking place over the past two years. This network equipment will start to be installed on electric poles and structures in September. Advanced meters will begin to be installed in 2019 with projected completion in 2021.

“The PSC’s forward-thinking commissioners have approved our plan to install advanced meters at the homes and businesses we serve throughout Arkansas,” said Laura Landreaux, Entergy Arkansas president and CEO. “These meters represent not only the foundation for building grid modernization technologies, but also our ongoing commitment to providing the best possible service, safely and securely to our communities.”            

Upgrading to advanced meters has numerous benefits, including:

· New online tools will be available to customers that help them better understand and manage energy usage more effectively, which can lead to energy usage reduction and potentially lower bills.
· No more waiting until the end of the month to review energy usage. Via the online tools, customers can log into their account and view how much electricity has been used the day prior, shown in 15-minute increments.
· With better information, Entergy Arkansas can answer customers’ billing and service questions more quickly and effectively, improving customer service.
· The company will have a clearer real-time picture of the power grid and how it is operating. Outages can be identified more accurately, so crews can arrive on the scene more quickly to make repairs.

Advanced metering is digital technology that enables secure two-way communication between the customer and Entergy Arkansas. Each meter is equipped with a network radio. The radio transmits meter readings to the electric network access point, housed on an electric pole near the meter. This data is then transmitted to the utility through a secure cellular network. Once a customer’s meter is installed, they may access their online account to view daily energy use, displayed in 15-minute increments. Advanced metering also brings opportunities for potential new programs that can help further reduce customers’ energy usage and better support environmentally sustainable communities.

Learn more about the company’s vision for a smarter energy future in Arkansas by visiting energyfuturearkansas.com – view the installation schedule, watch a video that explains more about advanced metering, and more.

Entergy Arkansas provides electricity to approximately 700,000 customers in 63 counties. Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including nearly 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.9 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of approximately $10.8 billion and more than 13,000 employees.

More information is available on Entergy’s website at entergy-arkansas.com.

CAMDEN NOON LION’S CLUB
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet on Wednesday at Catherine’s Bistro. The speaker this week will be Katrina Hegler  LPH/DEQ  with Pine Hills Nursing Home.  She will speak on what services Pine Hills offers.

MASTER’S VOICE TO PERFORM IN HAMPTON
Since 1995, Master’s Voice has been committed to bringing an evangelistic approach to singing and preaching the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ till all know...or He returns. This team is also devoted to musical excellence, understanding that this “music with a message” requires the utmost professionalism, preparation, commitment, clarity, doctrinal soundness and passionate vocals.Master's Voice will perform in Hampton at the Hampton High School Gym on October 14th at 5:00 pm. Free Admission and everyone is invited!

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: THE CASE FOR CONFIRMING KAVANAUGH
Rutledge says, ‘He has a proven record of adhering to the Constitution and the rule of law, ensuring that the liberties of all Americans are protected.’

LITTLE ROCK – Sunday, an op-ed written by Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge encouraging the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Nominee Brett Kavanaugh, appeared in the Arkansas Democrat- Gazette.

Very few decisions afforded to the president of the United States have as significant an impact as the nomination of a justice to the Supreme Court. Lifetime appointments mean that justices will likely serve on the Court long after a president leaves the White House, thus ensuring that their judicial philosophy lives on long after their administration.

Following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, Americans knew that the next president would have at least one Supreme Court appointment, raising the stakes of the election. I am proud to have been an early supporter during President Donald J. Trump’s campaign, having served as a surrogate throughout 2016 and being the only elected official from Arkansas to be a Trump delegate at the Republican National Convention. For me, President Trump was the obvious choice to nominate the next Supreme Court Justice, and he proved himself worthy of that trust when he nominated Justice Neil Gorsuch.

President Trump believes, as I do, that judges must ensure our government does not take actions that violate individual constitutional rights. He promised that if elected he would nominate judges who faithfully interpret and follow the Constitution as written by our founders and not invent constitutional rights by legislating from the bench. And President Trump has fulfilled that promise.

Since he took office, President Trump has nominated outstanding individuals to the courts at every level and at a record pace. President Trump is doing his part to ensure our judiciary is filled with judges who will interpret the law, not invent it.

The president has nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy. I have no doubt that if confirmed to serve on the Supreme Court, Judge Kavanaugh will continue to use his extensive legal education and experience to protect the Constitution.

Judge Kavanaugh has a proven record from his days on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the country’s most influential federal court of appeals. One example of his commitment to the rule of law is his dissent in Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, where he argued that shielding PCAOB board members from political accountability violated the president’s Article II powers, and the Supreme Court ultimately adopted Judge Kavanaugh’s approach.

Another example is Judge Kavanaugh’s dissent in Garza v. Hargan—a case in which I joined a multi-state brief seeking to protect the life of the unborn—where Judge Kavanaugh argued that the federal government cannot be required to facilitate an abortion on demand for an unaccompanied minor.

I am proud to support the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh. He has a proven record of adhering to the Constitution and the rule of law, ensuring that the liberties of all Americans are protected. In the 2016 election, President Trump promised to nominate well-qualified Americans who will faithfully interpret our Constitution as the founders wrote it, and with this nomination, the president has done just that.

The president has made and kept his promises to the American people, now it is time for the U.S. Senate to do the same: confirm Judge Kavanaugh.

SEPTEMBER 4, 2018

HUNTER’S EDUCATION COURSE TO BE HELD AT LOGOLY
 There will be a Hunter's Education Course at Logoly State Park on September 8th, from 9:00am to 5:00pm and September 9th, 2018  from 1:00pm to 5:00pm

It is state law for any person born after December 31, 1968 to have successfully completed an approved hunter education course before hunting in the state of Arkansas.

The course includes classes in firearm safety, wildlife management, sportsmanship, bow hunting, muzzle loading, first aid, and more. You must attend all scheduled classes and pass the final exam to complete the course.

The course is recommended for individuals 11 years of age and up and is offered free of charge, but class size is limited so pre-registration is required.  All registration is now done on-line at www.agfc.com. Click on the hunting tab.  Call the park at (870) 695-3561 if you have any questions or need help registering.

DRAMA CLUB TO BEGIN AT SAAC
The South Arkansas Arts Center kicks off its fall Arts Academy classes on the heels of Labor Day, and one of the offerings this semester is Drama Club for grades 7-12, which will produce Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Director Lynn Gunter has headed up this group many times, and this year she will be joined by Haley Phillips, a veteran of the SAAC stage and a self-described Shakespeare fan.

Haley Phillips is a homeschool mom of four teenagers, with a background in theatre and a love of all things Shakespeare. She has performed in many productions at SAAC and directed a few, as well. In 2015, she directed SAAC's production of "Twelfth Night." Haley has been sharing Shakespeare with young people for many years, first as an Arkansas Artist in Education, and more recently through classes that she offers at HEART homeschool co-op. She is very excited to be a part of an all-teen cast production of a Shakespeare play, and even more excited that it's one of the funny ones. "Too many people think of Shakespeare's work as 'over their heads' or 'too difficult to understand.' I love helping people, especially young people, see that it's actually great fun! These teens will know exactly what they're saying and hearing by the time we have an audience, and they'll have the joy of having accomplished something that many people wouldn't even attempt."

Lynn Gunter has spent the last 15 years being a homeschool mom to her three children: Will, Nathan, and Bekah. Gunter became involved with SAAC in 2012, when her children began taking classes, which she thinks have greatly enhanced the lives of her children. Since 2013, Gunter has become a familiar face at SAAC through her direction of local homeschool group, HEART, and their children's productions of "House at Pooh Corner," "Peter Pan," and Disney's "Alice in Wonderland, Jr.," as well as leading the Drama Club productions. "What I enjoy most about directing kids is witnessing their self-confidence increase as well as teamwork, humility, work ethic, and satisfaction in accomplishment, breeding the attitude that "I can do anything."

Both Phillips and Gunter are enthusiastic about staging "A Midsummer Night's Dream". "It is a perfect Shakespeare show for teens, because the story revolves around teenaged characters," said Phillips. "Chasing love, running from love, best friends, enemies, 'frenemies,' authority figures and parents who just don't understand. There's also the drama of a marriage on the rocks, misleading appearances, and some general silliness. And it all takes place in a magical wood at night."

Drama Club for grades 7-12 will meet on Wednesday and Thursday from 3:45-5:45 pm. The class will meet for the first time on Thursday, September 6, from 5-7 pm, to cast roles and to pick up scripts. Regular weekly rehearsal starts on September 19. Expect the rehearsal schedule to include a Saturday workday, a tech rehearsal and a few dress rehearsals in addition to the regular Wednesday and Thursday classes. Performances will be December 7 and 8. Drama Club for grades 7-12 will meet on Wednesday and Thursday from 3:45-5:45 pm. The class will meet for the first time on Thursday, September 6, from 5-7 pm, to cast roles and to pick up scripts. Regular weekly rehearsal starts on September 19. Expect the rehearsal schedule to include a Saturday workday, a tech rehearsal and a few dress rehearsals in addition to the regular Wednesday and Thursday classes. Performances will be December 7 and 8. 

NEW BIG BUCK CONTEST PAYS BIG CASH PRIZES
Beginning with the opening of deer season September 22 and running through January 31, Arkansas hunters will have an opportunity to win thousands of dollars in a brand new deer hunting contest titled ‘Racks For Stacks.’  A group of local hunters developed the contest to promote the sport of deer hunting and to reward hunters who bag the biggest buck of the season.

Racks For Stacks (www.racks4stacks.com) requires each hunter to pay a $20.00 entry fee, with half of the entry fee going to charity.  Successful hunters will be competing with other hunters in the county where each county will pay a $1,500 cash prize for each of the 75 counties in Arkansas.  Each of the 26 deer zones will pay $2,000 for the largest buck taken. Other cash prizes will be awarded to the largest buck taken in each of the four regions of the state and the overall largest buck taken during the 2018-’19 deer season will pay a $20,000 cash prize.

Other winning categories will be paid in other divisions:  ladies, youth, bow, muzzleloader, as well as a ‘Freak of the Week’ weekly prize given to the largest deer entered each week of the contest.

Racks For Stacks will donate $10 of each entry fee made to Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Hope Outdoors Ministries, and the AG&FC Wildlife Restoration Program. Contest prizes must be funded prior to any charitable donation, but with strong hunter participation, the organizers of Racks For Stacks are pushing to make the charities the recipient of significant cash donations.

Hunters can enter this new and exciting contest at www.racks4stacks.com and you must be registered seven days prior to entering your buck.  A complete list of prizes and rules can also be found on the website.

This contest is supported by the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission as well as many major outdoor sponsors.

RUTLEDGE MARKS INTERNATIONAL OVERDOSE AWARENESS DAY 2018
Launches webpage and social media campaign #Rx4LifeStories

LITTLE ROCK – Last Friday, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge launched Prescription for Life Stories (#Rx4LifeStories) to mark International Overdose Awareness Day. #Rx4LifeStories is an ongoing initiative that will allow Arkansans to talk about how the nation’s opioid epidemic has impacted their lives and the lives of their families.

Rutledge will post videos of Arkansans telling their stories on her Twitter and Facebook accounts. The links on the website will show Arkansans telling their stories of the opioid crisis. Their words will drive home the sad reality that addiction and overdose are stealing an alarming number of young Arkansans who are leaving behind supportive and loving families.

“Who better to tell the story of addiction than the families, friends and individuals who have traveled this rocky path,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “These individuals and families understand how hard it is to endure the merciless struggles of addiction, and in some cases, they have suffered the shattering grief of losing a loved one to these debilitating drugs. Today’s expansion of the Prescription for Life initiative is an opportunity for Arkansans to learn from our neighbors about the devastation of prescription drug use and abuse – in our homes, our towns and across our State. You too can make a difference by sharing your story to save a life.”

International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on August 31st each year that aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of addiction. The day also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of a drug overdose.

Drug overdose deaths are on the rise in Arkansas, increasing from 287 in 2015 to 401 in 2017, according to data from the Arkansas Department of Health. More than 40 percent of teenagers in Arkansas have tried prescription drugs and more than half of all teens report that it is easy to obtain prescription drugs from their parents’ or grandparents’ medicine cabinets.

North America continues to experience the highest drug-related mortality rate in the world, accounting for one in four drug-related deaths globally, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that between 59,000 and 65,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2016, up from 52,404 in 2015 and double the death rate a decade ago. That is more than the number of deaths from car accidents in 2016. And according to the Centers for Disease Control, the majority of drug overdose deaths – six out of 10 – involve an opioid.

Prescription for Life Stories is the latest in General Rutledge’s multi-faceted approach to combatting the opioid crisis.

Rutledge is also suing the opioid manufacturers who created the crisis in Arkansas for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Arkansas Medicaid Fraud False Claims Act.

Last fall, Rutledge launched Prescription for Life, a first-in-the-nation educational tool offered at no cost to all high school students in the State to help them understand the dangers of prescription drug misuse and how to prevent abuse. To date, it has been launched in 73 schools across 55 counties and reached over 7,700 students with an additional 17 schools committed to launch the program this fall.

Each year, Rutledge partners with a number of agencies in hosting the Arkansas Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit. The summit is a free training and educational opportunity for law enforcement officers, medical professionals, pharmacists and educators. The seventh annual Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit is scheduled for Nov. 1 in Hot Springs, with more than 800 taking advantage of early bird registration.

Rutledge also partners with federal and state agencies for the biannual National Take Back Day. Since 2016, more than 600 pounds of prescription drugs were collected at Attorney General Mobile Offices across Arkansas.

AUGUST 31, 2018

GOVERNOR HUTCHINSON ANNOUNCES FALL 2018 COOMPUTER SCIENCE TOUR OF ARKANSAS SCHOOLS 
LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced his Fall 2018 Computer Science Tour, his seventh tour of Arkansas schools since he took office in 2015. Governor Hutchinson has visited more than 60 schools to promote computer science education and to encourage students to enroll in computer science and coding courses. Schools, dates and times are listed below.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement: 

I look forward to my Computer Science Tour of Arkansas schools every spring and fall. After visiting more than 60 schools to share about the value of computer science education, I continue to be encouraged by the enthusiasm of our students and teachers for computer science—it’s their hard work that has made Arkansas a national leader in these efforts. I look forward to hitting the road once again to talk about the value of coding in these students’ lives and in Arkansas’ economy. 


Tuesday, September 4

Genoa Central High School
1:15 p.m.
12472 AR Highway 196
Texarkana, Arkansas

Monday, September 10

Pea Ridge Middle School
9:30 a.m.
1391 Weston Street
Pea Ridge, Arkansas

Tuesday, September 11

Drew Central High School
12:45 p.m.
250 University Drive
Monticello, Arkansas

AUGUST 30, 2018

CAMDEN CITY POLICE REPORTS
 Very early this past Tuesday morning Officer Kayla Reynolds was dispatched as back up to Fort Lookout for a report of a man with a gun. Dispatch stated that the reporting party said a male was chasing another man around with a gun and had heard 5 shots fired. Officer Reynolds observed several individuals standing in front of the 300 block of Fort Lookout. The Officer asked one young female if she had heard any gun shots. She said that she did and it sounded as if they cam from behind her building. Officer Reynolds circled behind the building in her vehicle but did not see anything. The Officer decided to conduct a security check on foot in the area. While on foot she could smell fresh gun powder in the air indicating a firearm had been discharged in the area. Officer Reynolds spoke with another woman. She attempted to redirect the Officer to the 1000 block of Fort Lookout stating she heard the shots from a different area. As the Officer walk toward the back of 300 Fort Lookout she heard rustling leave and twigs breaking in the woods. She approached the fence near the back of the playground and saw a young male laying on his stomach in the tree line. There was another person hiding behind a tree next to the man on the ground. The man behind the tree took off running into the dark wood lines., The Officer made contact with the man on the ground who was later identified as Demondtac Sledge. Sledge related a story regarding a fight and stated that another man had fired shots. The man kept looking behind him many times during the conversation. Deputy Tollefson advised that he saw a gun on the ground in the direction Sledge was looking. A 9mm hand gun was found about 3 feet from Sledge originally laid. The gun had 9 bullets in the magazine. When Lt. Adams asked Sledge about the firearm, Sledge denied that the gun was his. Due to the area which the gun was found in and Sledge’s mannerisms he was taken into custody for the stolen firearm. He was transported to the Camden Police Department where booking procedures were completed. He was charged with theft by receiving and taken to the Ouachita County Detention Center.

Monday night Officer Brotherton and Officer Jones were on patrol near Adams and Grinstead Street. They noticed a Black Nissan Maxima pull into the parking lot of Stop 1 Gourmet Deli. The Officers ran the plates and the returned to a Toyota Corolla. A traffic stop was initiated. Contact was made with the driver identified as Donovan Briggs. The Officer noticed the strong smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle. Officer Jones had a passenger, identified as  Catorey Robinson,  to stop out of the vehicle and he was detained. A black scale was located under the vehicle in the proximity of where Robinson was sitting in the vehicle. Briggs and another passenger identified as Howard Robinson Jr. were instructed to step out of the vehicle. Officer Jones located marijuana in a black bag in the front passenger floor board. Briggs was issued a citation for fictitious tags and failure to pay registration fee. Robinson was transported to the Camden Police Department  and was charged with possession with intent to deliver. He was transported to the Ouachita County Detention Center to await first appearance.

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S REPORTS
Last Sunday afternoon, Deputy Justin Creech and Deputy Dustin Vaughan along with Elliott, Louann and Frenchport Fire Departments responded to 3376 Highway 376 South in reference to a house fire. The Officers and Fire Departments arrived to find the residence fully engulfed in flames. A resident reported the she had gotten her son and grandson out of the home. One of the residents had lit a piece of paper on fire and dropped it causing the fire to spread to a mattress. He attempted to extinguish the fire with water but was unsuccessful. It is believed the fire was an accident. The home was a total loss.

Last Sunday evening Deputy Justin Creech and Deputy Dustin Vaughan responded to 686 Ruby Street in Stephens in reference to a disturbance involving a stolen vehicle. Deputies spoke with the home owner who stated that his stepson, David Ramos, had walked to his home. Ramos hung out for a while. The man’s juvenile son came in after a time and told the man that Ramos had taken the man’s work truck. The two went to Stephens and found Ramos in the work truck. A verbal altercation occurred. Ramos took the truck back to the residence but then began yelling and cursing. Ramos approached the man in an aggressive manor continuing to scream at him. The juvenile son Hit Ramos to keep him from hurting his father. The victim and two juveniles held Ramos on the ground until he calmed down. After Ramos calmed down, he was allowed back in the house while they waited on Deputies to arrive. Ramos bolted out the back door when he saw the Officers. The Deputies searched but could not locate Ramos. Later on received a call that Ramos had returned to the residence. Ramos bolted again but Deputies eventually spotted him and placed him into custody and charged with theft of property.

OUACHITA COUNTY LABOR DAY SCHEDULE
The Ouachita County Courthouse and the Ouachita County Extension Office will be closed on Monday, September 3rd in observance of the Labor Day Holiday. The Ouachita County Sanitation Department will run on regular schedule.

19th ANNUAL “CRUISING FOR A CURE”
Charlie’s Angels Relay for Life Team is once again putting on the “Cruisin’ for a Cure” Car Show in conjunction with the Barn Sale. The Car Show will be September 29th at the Camden Fairview High School. Hours are 9AM until Noon with Judging at Noon. Awards will be presented at 2PM. There will be goody bags, class judging, trophies, entertainment, door prizes and food and drings for sale. Pre-registration for all cars, trucks and bikes is $20.00 for the first vehicle and $5.00 for each additional vehicle. Day of event registration is $25.00. All proceeds to to Relay for Life. For more information email evajorgensen@yahoo.com.

WOMEN’S CRISES CENTER 3RD ANNUAL COLOR FUN RUN/WALK
The Women’s Crises Center will host the 3rd Annual Color Fun Run/Walk on Saturday, October 13th beginning at 8AM. Registration must be completed by October 1st to be guaranteed a T-Shirt. Entry fee is $10.00 for ages 0 to 12 and @20.00 for ages 13 and up. Registration forms may be picked up at the Women’s Crises Center located at 1112 West Washington Street in Camden. For more information call the Women’s Crisis Center Business Office at 836-0375.

OUTSTANDING WOMEN OF DISTINCTION ANNUAL BANQUET
The Outstanding Women of Distinction in Southern Arkansas will hold the 13th Annual Banquet and Gala on Saturday, October 27th beginning at 6PM. The Banquet and Gala will be held at the SAU Tech Ross Center in Camden. For ticket information see and OWOD member or call Mrs. Essie Arnold at 818-2200.

KIWANIS MAKE-A WISH MID-SOUTH 5K RUN WALK
The Kiwanis Club has scheduled the Make A Wish Mid-South 5K Run/ Walk. The 5K will be held Saturday, September 29th beginning at 7:30AM. The Entry Fee through September 22nd is $20.00 and includes one t-shirt in your size choice. After September 22nd fee is $25.00 and includes you choice of one t-shirt from those available. Day of Race, registration is $25.00 from 6:15 to 6:45AM. For more information contact Krissi Bassetti at 836-5840 or email kbassetti@hotmail.com. Net proceeds benefit Make-A-Wish.

MCCURDY PROMOTED TO DIRECTOR OF ALUMNI RELATIONS AT SOUTHERN
ARKANSAS UNIVERSITY

This week, Megan (Maye) McCurdy named Southern Arkansas University’s Director of Alumni Relations in an announcement by SAU President Dr. Trey Berry and SAU Alumni Association Board of Directors Chair Bobby Thompson.

McCurdy brings the perfect combination of leadership, vision, and passion to the director’s position. She has served as the Assistant Director of Development since 2015, giving her a firm foundation for her new role in Alumni Relations.  Through her previous work in the Division of Advancement, she has been hands-on in coordinating external communications to alumni and friends, planning special events and strategic planning. McCurdy, SAU alumna, earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in finance in 2014 and Master of Business Administration degree in 2017. She also served as the University mascot, The Mulerider, for three years and was involved in numerous marketing and recruiting initiatives for SAU, including “Mulerider on the Road.”

Her professional activities include Leadership Magnolia, Magnolia Advertising and Promotion Commission, Emerging Leaders Council in the Rankin College of Business, Business Advisory Board for the SAU Enactus Team and Columbia County Fair Association Board of Directors.

McCurdy shared, “It is such an exciting time to be a Mulerider. I look forward to being more involved with our current students, visiting with Mulerider alumni both near and far, enhancing alumni experiences on campus, taking SAU on the road through upcoming alumni events and working with the Alumni Association Board to roll out our brand new all-inclusive alumni membership structure.”

Alumni and friends are welcome to contact McCurdy at (870) 235-4079 or meganmccurdy@saumag.edu, and are encouraged to stop by the newly renovated Alumni Center to meet her during a visit to campus.

RUTLEDGE ANNOUNCES SPEAKERS FOR 2018 LAW ENFORCEMENT SUMMIT
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the full slate of speakers for the 16th Arkansas Law Enforcement Summit, which will be held on Oct. 2 at the Benton Event Center in Benton. The annual event is a free training and educational opportunity for Arkansas’s law enforcement community, including officers, prosecutors and criminal justice personnel.

“As Arkansas’s Chief Law Enforcement Officer, it is important for me to offer trainings to our law enforcement on topics such as human trafficking and emergency situations involving individuals on the autism spectrum,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The annual Law Enforcement Summit provides a unique opportunity for our men and women in blue to network and learn valuable knowledge as they protect us in our communities. I encourage all officers to register to attend so they can hear and learn from these remarkable speakers.”

This year’s summit will begin with Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes discussing human trafficking prevention. Attorney General Reyes has been a leader and an international voice in the fight against human trafficking and continues to lead Utah to aggressively fight through education campaigns, support of anti-human trafficking legislation, victim recovery and advocacy. This is accomplished through grassroots and non-governmental organizations’ efforts, partnerships with local law enforcement officers and agencies, as well as work initiated by his office through the Utah Trafficking in Persons Task Force and prosecutors of the Utah SECURE Strike Force. Reyes’ remarks and presentation will begin at 8:30 a.m.

Rutledge will also welcome Dennis Debbaudt, who will speak at 9:45 a.m. Debbaudt will speak on autism risk and safety management because just as each emergency differs from the next, so do individuals involved, especially in regard to individuals on the autism spectrum. Officers are trained to respond to crisis situations with certain protocols, but these protocols may not always be the best way to interact with individuals on the autism spectrum. It is critical that first responders have working knowledge of autism and the wide variety of behaviors individuals on the autism spectrum may exhibit in emergency situations.

During a noon luncheon, Rutledge will again recognize one outstanding law enforcement officer from each county in addition to the statewide and regional award winners who will be announced.

The afternoon will include a presentation from Jeffrey McGill, formerly with the Okalossa County, Florida, Violent Fugitive Task Force. McGill will discuss surviving traumatic stress. This training will address the far reaches of a critical incident and what officers, supervisors, trainers and families need to know about traumatic stress.

Sworn officers who attend the Summit will receive a Bayco MT-120 Mini-TAC light.

Registration is open and available at ArkansasAG.gov.

August 29, 2018

“NOT FADE AWAY” TO PERFORM IN CAMDEN ON SEPTEMBER 18TH
Live On Stage, Inc. and the Ouachita County Community Concert Association announce Buddy Holly tribute band as part of their 2018 - 2019 Concert Season

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – (August 28, 2018) – Celebrate over 50 years of Rock n’ Roll hits with the high-energy Buddy Holly tribute band, Not Fade Away in a special concert at Camden Fairview High School, 1750 Cash Road, Camden, Arkansas on Tuesday, September 18, 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 www.camdenaliveonstage.com.

Not Fade Away was created out of the survival of this incredible, legendary and important music created well over 50 years ago. Having also been a part of many standard tribute shows, Not Fade Away wants to create a new show that will keep this music relevant, give it edge, bring it into today’s music scene, while not forgetting the importance of the music’s place in history and the impact it had on the world. They’re not just looking to dwell on “The Day the Music Died”. These greats were more than their last night on Earth; they were the pioneers of Rock n’ Roll. They gifted an energetic new kind of music, changing the landscape for an entire generation of music listeners and music makers alike. Not Fade Away hopes to revamp and re-gift those songs to a new generation so that they may last another 50 years. Click Here To View A Video Of Not Fade Away.

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.  View a video about Live On Stage.  

SOUTHARK OUTDOOR EXPO IN EL DORADO 
The SouthArk Outdoor Expo is coming to the El Dorado Conference Center Saturday, September 8 between 9:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. 5K, Photo Contest, Rib Cook Off, Live Music, Exhibits, Car Showvendors, Kids Activities, Dog Show and much more. Register now online at southarkexpo.com.  The admission: 1 can or packaged food. Celebrate everything outdoors! Find SouthArk Expo on Facebook for all the information.

LABOR DAY CLOSURES
The Public Works Dept. and the City of Camden will be closed Monday, September 3 in observance of Labor Day. The sanitation route will run as scheduled but the transfer station will be closed. If you have questions, phone 870/837-5570

50th ANNUAL CAMDEN BARN SALE
Don’t Miss South Arkansas’ Largest Arts & Crafts Show. The 50th annual Camden Barn Sale will be Saturday, Sept. 29th in Camden. Experience the appeal of Southern Living at South Arkansas’ Largest Arts & Crafts Show, the 50th Annual Camden Barn Sale, Saturday, September 29th, from 9am-4:30pm in Camden. The site of the Barn sale is Oakland St. & Monticello St. in Camden.

The Camden Barn Sale has grown into one of Arkansas’ major tourist attractions. Join thousands from all around the region to shop handcrafted southern favorites as you browse over 130 booths of vendors and artists from all over the US featuring traditional crafts and contemporary styles. The massive old oak trees provide a breathtaking fall landscape as you stroll beside the historic barn site while browsing the crafts and original handmade works of art. Expect to find handcrafted wooden pieces, ceramics, paintings, floral arrangements, handmade clothing, jewelry, stained glass, one-of-a-kind toys, and much more. Enjoy the historic southern plantation setting and shop till your heart's content.

Enjoy a myriad of authentic foods as vendors from all over the South descend on the Barn Sale with their own unique southern favorites and festival treats. Musical entertainment takes place throughout the day with individual performances by the artists themselves at their vendor booths. It’s fun for the entire family with the Antique & Classic Car Show, Kids Zone with inflatables, and festival traditions including the Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast, 5k Run, St. Louis Catholic Church Spaghetti Supper and much, much more.

For more information contact: The Camden Barn Sale, 870-836-6426 or visit, www.CamdenBarnSale.com.

PRESCHOOLERS WELCOME AT SAAC
SAAC offers classes tailored to four-year-olds.  This semester’s PreK teachers include from left Maria Villegas (PreK4-2nd Grade Art in Spanish), Hannah Davis (PreK4-1st Grade Drama), and Gay Bechtelheimer (PreK4 Art).  Now is the time to sign your children up for lots of fun and learning.   In SAAC’s ongoing quest to use arts to educate, these classes are dedicated to the fact that learning can be fun, and by nurturing the creative spirit, creative thinkers are created.  

Art in Spanish class begins September 5 with both Pre-K Art and Drama classes beginning September 10.  Register at the South Arkansas Arts Center located at 110 East 5th Street in El Dorado or call 870-862-5474 for more information.

August 28, 2018

BOOZMAN WELCOMES ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEW TRADE DEAL WITH MEXICO
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) released the following statement regarding the announcement of a preliminary agreement between the United States and Mexico that stands to strengthen the two nations’ trading relationship:

“Solidifying our partnership with Mexico while improving the terms of our trade agreement is a positive, welcome development. It moves us one step closer to ensuring Arkansas’s businesses and agriculture industry maintain access to this crucial market. I congratulate the president and his team and look forward to a comprehensive deal being reached quickly. America can compete with any nation in the world when the playing field is level, so continued pursuit of fair trade agreements with our partners across the globe must remain a priority.”

 

SENATOR’S COTTON AND BOOZMAN STATEMENTS ON THE PASSING OF SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN
Senator John McCain passed away at the age of 81. He was known as a War hero,
father and preside
ntial candidate. He had been fighting aggressive brain cancer since last summer - and leaves behind a proud legacy of public service.

Senator Tom Cotton released the following statement on the passing of Senator John McCain: “John McCain was an American original. Tough, independent, and outspoken, he was captured, but he never surrendered. The inner strength he showed in the Hanoi Hilton shone through during his 36 years in the Congress. Wherever one stands on the political spectrum—and most people had occasion to stand both with and against this maverick—John McCain was a passionate fighter for his ideas, for our troops, and for a better America. While we mourn his passing today, and extend condolences to Cindy and his children, let us also celebrate his life, now and in the days to come. John McCain kept the faith of his fathers in the country we all love.”  U.S. Senator John Boozman issued the following statement regarding the passing of his friend and colleague Senator John McCain. “Senator McCain was a true American hero who led an extraordinary life dedicated to his country. He was a passionate public servant whose courage was demonstrated in Vietnam and continued on the Senate floor as a fierce advocate for the military and veterans. We remember John’s tenacious spirit and unyielding determination to make our country better. His leadership will be missed but his legacy will live on. My thoughts and prayers are with John’s beloved wife Cindy and his entire family at this time.”

FREE SMALL BUSINESS TRAINING SCHEDULED AT CABS
Starting a Business in Arkansas will be offered on Tuesday, September 4th from noon to 2:00PM. This basic seminar discusses essential startup steps, legal business structures, regulations and licensing, key issues that affect your business success, and common pitfalls entrepreneurs face. A must for first-time small traditional/home-based business owners! This seminar will be held at Camden Accelerated Business Services (CABS) Center located at 625 Adams SW in Camden. (OPED Building). Call 870-836-2210 or email oped@att.net to Pre-Register.

SAAC WELCOMES NEW BALLET INSTRUCTORS
The fall semester at South Arkansas Arts Center Arts Academy is set to begin soon, and one of the most popular studies, ballet, has two new instructors. Cami Lowrey and Bekah Gunter are joining Stephanie Lowrey, who has taught ballet at SAAC for many years. Lowrey and Gunter are both seniors in high school this year.

For Cami Lowrey, teaching this semester brings her full circle. She entered SAAC's ballet program in 2007 under high school senior Victoria Lehew, who had studied under Marilyn Russell. She is excited to give back to the program she has been a part of for the past 11 years. Cami was recently seen as Alice in the summer ballet camp production of "Alice in Wonderland".

Bekah Gunter began taking ballet at SAAC under former instructor Melissa Spears in 2010. She has been an integral part of the ballet program ever since and has been seen in several SAAC theatre productions through the years. Most recently Bekah choreographed "Honk, Jr" for the summer theatre camp and the current Penguin Project at SAAC.

The instructors are very excited for the ballet program to kick off this semester. The three have been preparing for this semester with new music, new barre work, and new center combinations. The instructors are thrilled to see returning students and to meet new ones. Currently they are creating a ballet based on the children's book "The Great Reindeer Rebellion" by Lisa Trumbauer. This comedic ballet is sure to be a great way to kick off the Christmas season.

SAAC offers ballet classes level 1-5, for students from kindergarten through 12th grade. Classes begin the week of September 4-10.

For more information on SAAC's ballet class schedule, please call the office at 870-862-5474 or visit the website at www. saac-arts.org. SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado.

BOX OFFICE OPEN FOR PENGUIN PROJECT'S "HONK, JR"
The South Arkansas Arts Center announces the box office is open for tickets to the Penguin Project’s production of “Honk!, JR”, sponsored by LANZESS. Performances are scheduled to run September 14 at 7:00pm and at 2:00pm on September 15.  Tickets are $5 for everyone and there will be open seating.

The Penguin Project is a unique opportunity for children with special needs to perform in a live stage production in front of an audience. Through targeted outreach, special needs children are recruited as artists and cast in the production, from starring roles to ensemble. Each special-needs artist is paired with a mentor of similar age, who guides them through the production from start to finish, helping them learn lines, dances, songs, and blocking. The children operate as a pair throughout the entire process and appear on stage together, resulting in a full theatrical performance, with costumes, sets, and music.

Cassie Hickman, musical director for the production said, “The musical score of ‘Honk Jr’ beautifully unveils Ugly Duckling's first year of life. As the curtain opens, one is immediately drawn in to life down on the farm, as our ducks, turkeys, geese and even a felonious feline invite you to come along on the adventure.  Next Ugly's mom, Ida, heartwarmingly teaches him to ‘Hold His Head Up High’ as he's navigating the waters of life. When his siblings reject him, one can't help but feel Ugly's pain as he sings about being ‘Different’. That encounter leads to a life changing journey where he learns everyone is loved, ‘Warts and All’, and climaxes in the haunting melody of the ‘Blizzard’.  The music and precious voices of our artists and mentors, will take you along on this melodic journey and leave you cheering for joy as Ugly finally makes his way home in celebration, where his true identity is revealed! You don't want to miss this journey!”

Bring your children to see this heartwarming musical, and join this fun celebration of what makes everyone special.  For more information, please call the SAAC office at 870-862-5474 or visit the website at www.saac-arts.org. SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB
This week the Camden Noon Lions Club will be meeting at SAU Tech on Wednesday at noon for the Student Appreciation Day and celebrating Tech’s 50th anniversary.

 

AUGUST 27, 2018

 

 

MAGIC SPRINGS WELCOMES JACOB SARTORIUS ON SEPTEMBER 1!
YouTube sensation to take the stage at 8 p.m.
HOT SPRINGS, Ark.
(August 27, 2018) Magic Springs Theme & Water Park welcomes YouTube sensation, Jacob Sartorius, to the Timberwood Amphitheater as part of the Magic Springs 2018 Summer Concert Series, Saturday, September 1, 2018.

Access to Timberwood Amphitheater starts at 6 p.m. and the opening act begins at 7 p.m. Open seating in the lawn area is available. Guests are advised to bring an outdoor chair or blanket.

Jacob Sartorius started his following on his popular YouTube channel, where he showcased his charm, displayed his abilities in acting and singing, and connected with his fans. Now, after releasing multiple top hits and growing into a full-fledged artist, Sartorius continues to grow in fame and talent.

Don’t miss your chance to see Jacob Sartorius and other thrilling performances that are part of the Magic Springs 2018 Summer Concert Series and celebrate 40 years of magic with us!

It’s not too late to get a 2018 Magic Springs Season Pass, guaranteeing you FREE entry to all of the summer concerts.

A Magic Springs Season Pass offers an entire season of fun and includes:

  • Unlimited admission to Arkansas's biggest theme and water park
  • FREE live concerts
  • FREE Magic Screams with new extended hours
  • Season Pass Holder appreciation events

AUGUST 24, 2018

FARMER’S BANK DONATES NEW SIGN TO SAU TECH
(Camden, Arkansas) Southern Arkansas University Tech is pleased to announce the completion of a new digital sign at the 

entrance to the College’s campus in Highland Park. The sign was made possible by a donation from Farmers Bank & Trust in the amount of $53,790. Farmers gift of the new sign is already making a difference on the campus as people are able learn about community and college events as they enter and leave the industrial park, Dr. Jason Morrison, SAU Tech’s Chancellor stated of the new sign. Farmer’s Bank & Trust has always been a supporter of SAU Tech’s Black History Celebration and ACT workshops as 

they are always eager to invest in the community they serve. The SAU Tech Foundation is providing the funds needed to landscape the new digital sign as well as the original entrance sign to the College.

Founded in 1906, Farmers Bank & Trust is a community bank owned by the privately held holding company, Magnolia Banking Corporation, headquartered in Magnolia, Arkansas. Farmers Bank & Trust now has over 20 locations in Arkansas and Texas, and approximately $1.4 billion in assets.  Farmers

 offers a full range of deposit services, trust and investment management services, as well as business, commercial real estate, construction, mortgage, residential and consumer loans.  To learn more, visit their website at MyFarmers.Bank.  

Southern Arkansas University Tech (SAU Tech) is celebrating 50 years of providing education in our community. The College started in 1968 and today is welcoming the addition of NJCAA Basketball for men and women and new programs and housing for students. For more information go to www.sautech.edu or www.sautrockets.com.

4th ANNUAL ARMY RESERVE REUNION
The 4th Annual Army Reserve Reunion will be held on September 22nd. The event will be held at the Camden Armed Forces Center located at 1020 Gibson Road in Camden. The cost is $30.00 per person and is due by September 1st. This is a semi formal event with a catered meal. For more information call 870-665-1774, 870-574-1459 or 352-1723.

CAMDEN A&P COMMISSION TO MEET
The Camden Advertising and Promotions Commission will meet on Tuesday, August 28th in the Council Chambers at the Municipal Building. The agenda includes the welcome of new commissioner, Teresa Lampkin. They will here the second reading of the following groups requesting funds. Missy Chambers will represent the Ouachita County FairCharlies Angel Car Show – 2nd reading will represent the O uachita County Fairis requesting funds for the upcoming Car Show, Kathy Boyette will represent the Cemetery Walk and Terry Thornhill is requesting for an upcoming Chili Cook-Off. The Commission will hear the first reading from the Camden News for Christmas Advertising and Charlie’s Angels Relay for Life team will be requesting funds for the upcoming Pink Pumpkin Run.

SAU TECH CELEBRATES 50 YEARS
SAU Tech is celebrating 50 years! Everyone is invited to SAU Tech’s Student Appreciation and Birthday Party. Celebrate with cake and punch and meet the students. The event will be on August 29th at noon in the student center! This event is made possible in part through the generous support of community organizations, local businesses and the local Chamber of Commerce.

 

SERVICES OFFERED BY OUACHITA PARTNERSHIP FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Many residents don’t know the many services offered through The Ouachita Partnership for Economic Development. I thought that educating the public would be a great idea.
OPED offers resources for existing, expanding, and new businesses.


 


Camden Accelerated Business Solutions or CABS provides services to small and minority businesses in Camden and Ouachita County. The Center provides space for training, coaching, and consultation for both existing and startup businesses. The CABS Center also is a self-paced learning center and offers:

  • Business Library
  • How-To Business Guides
  • Business Software & Videos
  • Online Training & Tutorials
  • Video Connection To Technical Assistance
  • Telephone, Fax, Scanner, Printer, & Copier
  • Computer & Internet Access
  • Office & Conference Space

There is no one way to tackle a problem, and it’s the same in starting or retooling a business. We all have our own stories and our own approaches. At the CABS Center, we treat you as your unique self and help you to put together a plan for following your dream. We say “Dream Big” because we want you to be all that you can. It’s about you, your vision and your investment. Our job at CABS is to listen to you. Drop in or call 870-836-2210 to schedule an appointment with a Small Business Coach.

Business planning is hard work. No one can do it for you. It has to be your plan, your labor, your investment. Our job is to guide you – to support and work with you. We’re going to ask a lot of questions; some will be easy to answer, others will be challenging. In the end, your hard work will greatly improve your chances for success.

Here are five things that you can do to be more productive:

  1. Write a short description of your existing or proposed business and its products.
  2. Describe your customers and how you will get them to buy your product.
  3. Make a complete list of all of your actual or expected business costs.
  4. What investments will you make in your business?
  5. What are your weaknesses – what kind of help do you need?

Executing your plan can mean many things, including getting financing, securing permits and licenses, preparing your business space, marketing your business, hiring employees, and setting up your financial books. We are here to help.

BOOZMAN HEADS TO SOUTHWEST BORDER
WASHINGTON
– U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), a member of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, will leave Thursday, August 23 to tour locations along the Mexican border in California and Texas known to be highly traveled by illegal immigrants, human traffickers and drug smugglers.

These sites include:

  • Underground tunnels
  • Physical barriers
  • River crossings
  • Ports of entry which are often used to smuggle narcotics
  • Processing centers for illegal immigrants

“One of the top priorities of the federal government must be to secure our border. Having the opportunity to see first-hand the challenges that we face in controlling illegal immigration and narcotics trafficking will help us create and promote policies and provide resources to fight these crimes. Our Border Patrol and air interdiction agents, field operations officers and Coast Guard men and women are on the frontline of this battle. I look forward to showing my appreciation for their sacrifice and hearing how we can help them accomplish their mission and keep them safe,” Boozman said.

Boozman will also receive briefings aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf whose crew is responsible for interdicting millions of dollars in narcotics annually.

AUGUST 23, 2018

SAAC ARTS ACADEMY REGISTERING FOR FALL SEMESTER
School is underway in El Dorado, which means it's time to register for fall classes at South Arkansas Arts Center's Arts Academy too. Along with learning academics every day, it is fun and empowering for children to have a creative outlet, boosting their skills in teamwork and problem solving. Classes are offered for all ages, from preschool through high school, and registration is open now in the SAAC office. The first week of the fall class schedule will begin the week of September 4-10, and most classes meet for 12 weeks.

Drama classes for younger children will be taught by instructor Hannah Davis. The PreK 4 - 1st grade drama class will meet on Monday from 4:45-5:45. Drama 2-3 will be offered on Tuesdays from 3:30-4:30, and Drama 4-6 will follow from 4:30-5:30. The price for the drama classes is $125 for members and $145 for non-members.

Lynn Gunter and Haley Philips will teach Drama Club for students in grades 7-12. Drama Club will be producing Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" for fall. A team meeting will be held Thursday, September 6, 5-7pm to cast roles, with rehearsals beginning on September 19 and performances on December 7-8. Drama Club will meet 3:45-5:45 on Wednesday and Thursday. The cost is $140/$160.

For children in preschool, Gay Bechtelheimer will teach a PreK4 Art class, which will meet on Mondays from 3:45-4:30. The cost is $120/$140.

Visual Arts instructor Maria Villegas offers classes in art for students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. K-1 will meet on Tuesdays from 3:30-4:30. Villegas offers classes for students in second and third grade on Tuesdays from 4:30-5:30. The cost of these classes is $125/$145. Visual Art for students in grades four through six will be offered on Mondays from 3:30-4:45. For students in grades seven through twelve, Villegas offers Visual Arts on Wednesdays from 4:30-5:45. The cost of these classes is $140/$160.

Villegas will also teach Art in Spanish, which will meet on Wednesday from 3:30-4:30 for PreK4 - 2nd grade at a cost of $125/$145.

Special Gifts/Special Needs Art with instructors Jorge and Maria Villegas is offered on Tuesdays from 5:30-6:30.

Piano and voice instructor Charlsie Falcon offers private lessons in both areas of study. The cost of private instruction is $300/$320 for 12 weeks of 30 minute lessons.

Amy Allen will again head up Glee, which will meet on Mondays from 3:45-4:45 for grades 1-12. Cost will be $125/$145.

Graphic artist Mike Means offers Graphic Arts for students in second and twelfth grades in the computer lab. Graphics 7-12 meets on Mondays from 3:45-4:45, followed by Graphics 4-6 at 4:45-5:45. Graphics 2-3 class will meet each Thursday from 3:45-4:45. The cost will be $125/$140.

Ballet instructor Stephanie Lowrey offers Ballet Level 1 for students in kindergarten and 1st grade. The class will meet on Wednesdays from 3:45-4:30. Level 1 places emphasis on ballet fundamentals and music connection. The cost of the class is $120/$140.

Ballet Level 2, for students in second through fourth grade, will meet on Mondays from 4:00-5:00 with Stephanie Lowery, or with Cami Lowrey and Bekah Gunter on Mondays from 5:00-6:00. Ballet 2 students will focus on developing techniques learned in Level 1. The cost of the class is $125/$145.

For students in grades 5-8, Cami Lowrey and Bekah Gunter will teach Ballet Level 3 on Tuesdays from 4:00-5:00. Cost is $125/$145. Ballet 3 students will focus on developing techniques learned in Level 2.

Ballet Level 4 will be held twice a week. Stephanie Lowrey teaches this class on Monday 6:00-7:15 and Thursday 6:00-7:15 at a cost of $165/$185.

Ballet Level 5 students meet 3 times a week. Students will attend the Level 4 classes plus an "intensive skills" class held on Tuesday from 5:00-6:00. The class costs $190/$210. Level 5 will only be offered in the fall, and instructor's approval is required.

Private lessons are also available in Fine Arts with Jorge Villegas and Maria Villegas and Computer Arts with Mike Means. Contact the instructor to schedule through the SAAC office.

Registration is currently ongoing and some classes are limited in size, so sign up early to secure your spot. Scholarships are available. Fees are due at registration and nonrefundable. For more information about all of SAAC's Arts Academy offerings, visit saac-arts.org or contact the SAAC office at 862-5474. SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas.

OUACHITA PARTNERSHIP FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING
The Ouachita Partnership for Economic Development Board of Directors met on Wednesday, August 22 at the Ouachita Valley Business and Technology Development Center. Alan Dean called the meeting to order at 10AM. Guests were recognized. A Quorum was not present so the approval of minutes and financial reports were skipped. James Lee Silliman gave the Executive Director’s report which included a video from the Governor’s Office from last week when 141 new jobs were announced by Aerojet Rocketdyne. Over the past month Silliman has been busy with  a workforce executive meeting at OPED, the  Camden City Council meeting, Airport Commission meeting, Chamber Board meeting, OPED Future Funding Committee meeting and many other meetings and calls.

Dotty Harris reported on all the meetings that were held at the building in July. She also reported that the 3D Printer had been fixed. Harris does all of the report, announcements, monthly and quarterly tax deposit forms, maintains all insurance policies just to name a few of the duties she is responsible for.

The workforce is of a big concern. Silliman stated it’s not just here, it’s a problem everywhere. The is a workforce project underway to help grow the current workforce in Camden.

There was a discussion regarding the perception that local residents have of Camden and the fact that some move to nearby communities to work here as they hear bad things about Camden. The pluses the city has were discussed and ideas were discussed to counter the negative comments regarding the city. Housing was also discussed. It was the consensus that the Board needs to investigate what needs those possibly moving to the area want and see what can be done to encourage new workers to move to Camden.

During the month of September there will be a seminar discussing essential startup steps to start a business in Arkansas. The Seminar will be held September 4th from Noon until 2. We’ll bring you more details on the seminar as the date approaches.

SUPERMAJORITY OF ANKANSANS WANT STRICTER TERM LIMITS: NEW POLL CHAMBER OPPOSITION SEEEN AS PROTECTING ITS "FRIENDS IN THE LEGISLATURE" 

In the aftermath of corruption scandals that sent several Arkansas politicians to prison, a new poll shows overwhelming bipartisan support for tightening term limits on state lawmakers. Even more remarkably, the poll — conducted by Remington Research and commissioned by U.S. Term Limits — shows that when voters hear the opposition’s arguments against term limits, they actually become more supportive of tightening term limits.

The poll found that voters, by a 69-18 margin, support changing Arkansas’ term limits law from the 16-year overall limit established in 2014 to a six-year House limit and eight-year Senate limit with a 10-year overall cap.

The stronger limits are supported by 73% of Republicans, 63% of Democrats and 71% of independent voters. When voters are told that the new limits would be the strictest in America, which is the main argument politicians have made against Issue 3 — 55% become more supportive of the amendment than they already were. Only 26% become less supportive after hearing of the historic strictness.

“These poll numbers are consistent with how voters have felt for decades,” said Arkansas Term Limits spokesman Tim Jacob. “It shows how little regard our legislature had for the voters opinions in their 2014 deception to increase their own time in office.”

When voters are told that Arkansas term limits would be changing from the weakest in the nation at 16 years overall to the strongest at 10 years overall, 71% say they are more likely to support the amendment Arkansas Term Limits has petitioned onto the November ballot. Just 16% are less likely to support it after considering this factor.

Respondents were also confronted with a common objection found within a three-block radius of the State Capitol: that term limits “create legislatures filled with inexperienced and ineffective lawmakers who are easily dominated by savvy lobbyists and bureaucrats at state agencies.” When weighing this claim against the fact that the U.S. president has an eight-year term limit, voters found the lobbyist-bureaucrat argument unpersuasive. 62% said they were more likely to back Issue 3 after hearing it, versus just 23% who became less persuaded.

Finally, voters were asked about the attempt by the state Chamber of Commerce to get Issue 3 thrown off the ballot. By a 60-26 margin, Arkansans believe the Chamber is fighting the initiative to “protect their friends in the legislature” rather than “out of real concern for the voters.”

After considering the arguments for and against Issue 3, support climbed from 69% to 76% among registered voters.

The poll was conducted August 18th through August 19th by Remington Research. The respondents were 1,503 likely general election voters. The poll had a margin of error of +/- 2.5%

AUGUST 22, 2018

OUACHITA COUNTY FAIR 2018
County fairs are more than just a yearly carnival, they’re a chance for community building and leadership development opportunities.

The county fair tradition is woven into the fabric of nearly every American community. It presents opportunities for young people to foster life skills such as communication, leadership, goal setting, work ethic, responsibility and sportsmanship. Community service and volunteer leadership are at the root of the success of the county fair. Generations of community leaders have been born out of the ideologies instilled in our youth and their families through their involvement in 4-H and FFA clubs, an institution that furnishes a legacy of volunteer service and youth development; renewing leadership to the local community and beyond. Many hands make light work is a living philosophy that accomplishes tasks beyond imagination.

The electric atmosphere of the county fair stimulates cultivation of a vibrant community. People from throughout the area are drawn together for a common cause: showcasing the achievements of their citizens and promoting their youth. Individual talents are employed toward the success of the whole community. Families take time to learn together, sharing in life lessons and building new skills. Cross county relationships are developed, broadening perspectives and intermingling experience. Long-time friendships are rekindled over new memories.

Next time the county fair sets up shop in your town, don’t just dismiss the event as another entertainment option. Certainly the affair will have an economic impact, but more importantly the influence on catalyzing community development will have a longer lasting stimulus. Immerse yourself in the community building and leadership development opportunities at your local county fair to discover the real impacts it has on American communities.

The Ouachita County Fair is September 12th through September 15th. Start registering your fair items, livestock and poultry today! Online entries are ready at www.ouachitacountyfair.com. You have until Tuesday, September 4th. A friendly reminder for all you 4H and DAD students. Registration for poultry and livestock has been extended to Sept. 4th.

Showcase your business or organization at the 2018 Ouachita County Fair to over 5,000 residents of South Arkansas. Booths are available, both outdoor and indoor spaces. For more information contact Nathan Greeley @ ngreeley@ouachitacountysheriff.org.

The fair books are ready. You can go by Shopper's Guide to pick one up. The book is online too. Hopefully the people of Ouachita County are working on quilts, taking pictures, making crafts, canning and other items for the HT educational building.

The Ouachita County Fair Pageant will be Saturday, Sept 8th at 6:00p.m at the Camden Fairview Middle School. You can pick up applications at Camden Drug.

Be listening for more details as the fair dates approach.

GRIFFIN PRAISES SUCCEED SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM FOLLOWING TOUR OF HANNAH SCHOOL 
Says, education is not 'one-size-fits-all,’ and HANNAH School is ‘proof positive’ school choice should be expanded
LITTLE ROCK – Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin toured the HANNAH School on Wednesday, a private school in Little Rock that provides specially-tailored education to students with dyslexia. Approximately half of students enrolled in the HANNAH School utilize the Succeed Scholarship Program. Following a school tour and meetings with officials from the school, Lieutenant Governor Griffin released the following statement praising the Succeed Scholarship Program:

“Education does not require a one-size-fits-all approach. Children should not be forced into cookie cutters: Each child is unique and has different learning needs. The HANNAH School is proof positive that the Succeed Scholarship Program (SSP) has been a success for the families who have used it, and we must remain steadfastly committed to expanding school choice and empowering parents in Arkansas for the sake of our children. I remain concerned about the numerous complaints I receive regarding those who are resisting the SSP and denying students with special needs the benefits of the program. Specifically, some kids are having difficulties obtaining an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) because of those who are more concerned about maintaining funding.  We must shine a light on this problem and work to get children the education they need.”

 

AUGUST 21, 2018

OUACHITA BAPTIST UNIVERSITY AND

BAPTIST HEALTH PARTNER TO PROVIDE

INNOVATIVE NURSING EDUCATION

Little Rock, AR (August 21, 2018) - Ouachita Baptist University and Baptist Health today announced a partnership to address the shortage of nurses in the state and region.



Ouachita recently received approval from its accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission, to offer a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. The inaugural class convenes in the 2018 fall semester with 23 students.



The partnership with Baptist Health College Little Rock (BHCLR), the teaching component of the Baptist Health System and one of the largest nursing programs in Arkansas, creates a distinctive dual enrollment RN-to-BSN completion program. Capitalizing on the strengths of both institutions, the program will allow nursing students to work as RNs a full semester earlier than most traditional BSN programs.



“This is an innovative partnership with Baptist Health College Little Rock that expands nursing education and makes it more affordable,” said Dr. Ben Sells, president of Ouachita. “This program allows students to earn two degrees in four years and expedites their entry into the healthcare workforce.”



Students will attend Ouachita during the first four semesters of the program, giving them the opportunity to experience campus and college life. Subsequently, students will continue their degree through Ouachita Online while dually enrolled at Baptist Health College Little Rock to earn an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree.



Midway through their senior year, students will sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses. Once that exam is passed, they will be licensed to work as RNs during the final semester of their senior year while completing Ouachita’s BSN requirements for graduation.



“This partnership with Ouachita makes sense for Baptist Health,” said Troy Wells, president and CEO of Baptist Health. “Our respective missions and cultures are very much aligned, and we share a commitment to faith-based education. We strongly complement one another.”



Baptist Health is Arkansas’ largest healthcare system, with hospitals in Little Rock, North Little Rock, Arkadelphia, Conway, Heber Springs, Malvern and Stuttgart. Additionally, it recently purchased Sparks Health System, with locations in Fort Smith and Van Buren.



“As we grow, so too does our need for nurses, preferably those with BSN degrees,” Wells added. “Healthcare demand is growing at a rapid pace, and we must be diligent and innovative in our efforts to respond to the demand for services.”



“BHCLR has a reputation of producing quality graduates,” said Dr. Judy Pile, chancellor of Baptist Health College Little Rock. “Our students receive extensive clinical experience early in the educational process, giving them the opportunity to distinguish themselves from other professionals in the field.” 



Ouachita also has a longstanding record of successfully preparing students for health-related professions. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree will complement Ouachita’s existing degree programs in natural sciences while answering nationwide calls for innovation in nursing education.



“This partnership is ideal for Ouachita and Baptist Health, and for the benefit of healthcare in the state and beyond,” said Dr. Sells. “Baptist Health can tap into Ouachita’s significant pool of potential students in Arkansas and surrounding states. Our university, on the other hand, can play a leading role in helping find solutions in a time of significant disruption and change in higher education and healthcare.”



While research and conversations into a potential partnership had been underway for several years, Ouachita and Baptist Health began the formal planning process three years ago.

 

AUGUST 20, 2018

CHILD FOUND ON ROADWAY - TRAGIC ENDING TO THE STORY
At approximately 7:48 this morning a motorist reported to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office that they had found a child in the ditch on Highway 24. The caller stayed with the child until Deputies arrived. The child was taken to the Sheriff’s Office and DHS was notified. The child was described as a black male, 2 to 3 years of age, standing about 3 feet 3 inches tall, weighing 70 to 80 pounds with long brown braided hair. He was wearing a red t-shirt and black sweat pants. He didn’t have shoes or socks on. It is believed he had been out most of the night as he was dirty and scratched up but otherwise he seemed to be ok. The boy wouldn’t talk but understood when offered food and water. DHS took the child.

Later on in the day Sheriff Norwood reported that the child’s grandmother had been located.

The search continued for the child’s mother. It was learned that she had not been to her home in Camden in a couple of day. The Sheriff’s Office were searching the area where the child was found and noticed tire marks going off the road. The found a car with the mother and another child crashed. The car was not visible from the roadway.

The mother was deceased and the other child was still buckled in a car seat but was not injured. The child that was found had somehow escaped the vehicle and had wandered away.

The Arkansas State Police are investigating the accident. The name of the mother has not been released at this time.

CAMDEN CITY POLICE REPORTS
This past Friday afternoon the Camden Police Department dispatched Officer Faulkner to Wal Mart in reference to two shoplifters. The Officer made contact with store management and met with Jessica and marquise Nelson. The Store Official stated that Jessica had brought a cart full of merchandise to the self-check isle and began to check out her cart. Jessica allegedly had a twenty-four pack of Kool Aid which she used the bar codes off of to pass them off as merchandise she was scanning. The Store Official observed Jessica cover the barcodes on the merchandise while simultaneously scanning the barcode for the Kool Aid package. After she was done scanning her husband, Marquise, payed using his card. Marquise had bagged all the merchandise that his wife had scanned the Kool Aid codes for. The Itemized receipt of items that were not paid for totaled $172.44. The Nelson’s had paid for about $96.00 worth of merchandise. The woman said that she had done the scanning and that her husband didn’t have a clue what was going on. They were placed in custody for shoplifting and taken to the station. They were cited for shoplifting and given a court date.

Later on Friday afternoon Officer Jones and Officer Brotherton were dispatched to Mac’s Fresh Market in reference to shoplifting in progress. The Store Official directed the Officer’s to the Office where the suspect was. Contact was made with Justin Jenkins. The man stated that he was only doing what he had to do to feed his family and if he had money he would have paid for the food. The Officers were advised that the store wanted to pursue charges on Jenkins as he had shoplifted from them earlier. He was taken into custody and placed in the patrol unit. A review of the camera showed Jenkins attempting to conceal a package of Velveeta Cheese down his shorts. He was transport to the Camden Police Department where he was booked and given a court date.

Friday night while completing a security check at Walmart, Sergeant Bush observed Kayla Grantham shopping in the store. He requested a warrant check through dispatch and was advised the Grantham had a valid warrant for her arrest with the County. Officer Lane and Officer VanAssche assist to assist. Grantham was taken into custody outside the Wal mart exit. She was transported to the station where booking procedures were completed. She was served with a warrant for Failure to Appear. Grantham was transported to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office.

Early Saturday morning Officer Lane was patrolling on Lyons Lane when he observed the driver’s doo on a black Chevy Trailblazer standing open. The vehicle was parked in front of 971 Lyon’s Lane. The Office went to investigate and observed a black male, later identified as Terry Jones, sitting in the driver’s seat sleeping. He had a 24-ounce Natural Light Ice open in his hand. The keys to the vehicle were in his other hand. Officer Lane began to shake Jones in an attempt to wake him. The man smelled strongly of intoxicants. The Officer took the beer and the keys out of Jones’ hands. He patted the man down looking for some Identification which he did locate. After about 5 minutes of efforts Jones woke up. When asked where he was, Jones answered in slurred speech that he was either on Crestwood or Chestnut Street. He then looked around and said he was in front of his girlfriend’s house on Lyons Lane. He told the officer his girlfriend’s name. The Officer mad contact with the woman who stated the Jones was not to be at her house due to an unrelated altercation. She said didn’t know he was at her house. Jones was told to exit the vehicle and his eyes were very bloodshot. Due to slurred speech and his confusion as to where he was, Jones was taken into custody for public intoxication. He was transport to the Police Station and booked and given a court date. He was transported to the Ouachita County Detention center. He was to be released depending on his sobriety.

Saturday morning Officer Brotherton and Officer Jones were on patrol in the area of Lincoln Drive.  A black male was seen standing by a 2001 Black Pontiac Firebird bearing license plat 297 PSP. When the license plate was run returned to a 1998 Red Ford Explorer. The car left the area and a traffic stop was initiated. Contact was made with the driver, identified as Eric Davis. Dispatch advised the Davis had a suspended license and a valid warrant with the city for failure to appear and failure to pay fine. Davis was advised of the warrant and taken into custody. When searched, suspected marijuana was found on Jones’ person He was issued a citation for suspended license, no proof of insurance, fictitious tags and possession of marijuana.

ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES OF ARKANSAS, CLINTON SCHOOL CHRONICLE HISTORY OF ELECTRIFICATION IN STATE 
Little Rock, Ark.
Aug. 20, 2018 — The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas recently completed an oral history video project to chronicle the state’s electric cooperatives’ efforts to provide electricity to those who otherwise would not have been served.

The project was undertaken by graduate students from the Clinton School of Public Service, who partnered with the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, to collect the stories of people who remembered and were positively affected by rural electrification.

“Electricity is an essential public service often taken for granted,” said Duane Highley, president and CEO of the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas. “For rural Arkansans in the early-to-mid 20th century, electrification changed their lives and transformed their communities.”

The Clinton School team (Amie Alexander, Paxton Richardson, Fiona O’Leary Sloan, Emily Smith, and Josh Snyder) and electric cooperative employees conducted nearly 50 interviews during several months across rural Arkansas to document this important piece of Arkansas’ history.

“The results of this project will educate generations to come about the importance of cooperatives and electrification,” said Lori L. Burrows, vice president and general counsel for the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, who led the project. “Capturing this oral history in a video format ensures that this important part of our state’s history is preserved in a meaningful and accessible manner.” 

Highley added that as the state’s electric cooperatives continue to evolve and provide electricity and other services, it is important to remember the efforts of past generations.

“We work diligently to improve the quality of life for the present and future generations of electric cooperative consumers, just like the electric cooperative pioneers,’ he said. “Our heritage of service is a testament to our pledge to continue our mission.”

Arkansas’ 17 local electric cooperative distribution systems, statewide association and generation and transmission cooperative serve approximately 500,000 members in 74 of the state’s 75 counties. The cooperatives are member-owned utilities established to provide reliable, affordable electric service to farms, homes, schools, churches, businesses and other establishments across the state in a responsible manner.

The distribution cooperatives own and govern Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI), a service association for the electric cooperatives, as well as Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation, a generation and transmission cooperative, which provides wholesale power to the distribution cooperatives.

SAAC TO HOST CORKS AND CANVAS WITH GARY HALL
Why go to a museum, when you can be one? Local artist and stage veteran Gary Hall will be bringing a special treat to the South Arkansas Arts Center classroom this month and will feature wearable art, a very popular choice, for his Corks and Canvas class. SAAC's Corks and Canvas class will be held at SAAC on August 27 from 6-9pm.

Hall's class will offer a painted design on a white tuxedo shirt. The design he will teach is primarily built around a peacock, but can easily be modified to be a phoenix or a dragon. Colors will depend on the creature of your choice. SAAC has a limited selection of free tuxedo shirts available that you can pick from ahead of time if you are interested in getting a certain size (10am-4pm Monday-Friday), or you can pick from the SAAC shirt stash at class time or bring your own white shirt.

"Corks & Canvas" is an art class for non-artists who have always wanted to paint. Each class is conducted by a different art instructor, who takes the class through the step by step process to complete a work of art in three hours. The $40.00 fee covers all supplies and snacks. Those taking the class should bring their favorite libation and get ready to have a good time.

Gary Hall is primarily known for his work with the SAAC theatre, and had his first art exhibition in October of last year. Gary trained under Dinah Van Hook and Gay Bechtelheimer in public school and continued his studies in two and three dimensional design at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He holds an MA in Theatre from Louisiana Tech University with a specialty in directing, costume and set design. Several of Hall's artistic endeavors have graced the SAAC stage. He looks forward to sharing this creation with other artists.

Call 862-5474 for more information or to register and pay by phone, or come by the SAAC office at 110 East 5th St.

August 16th LRPD Helicopter Crash

The Little Rock Police Department is currently on the scene of a helicopter crash belonging to the Little Rock Police Department. The crash occurred shortly after take off just before 11:00 o’clock this morning as it was performing a routine maintenance check flight, There were 2 officers on-board, One a Retired/Senior Officer is seriously injured, the other Officer Is reportedly uninjured. The location of incident is just west of Interstate 530 and a couple miles east of the Police Department's training facility. Reports claim straight line winds were to blame for the incident.

(Photo Courtesy of The LRPD)

AUGUST 16, 2018

 

 

Boozman, Cardin Introduce Resolution to Elevate U.S. Efforts

 

to End Violence Against Children

 

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) introduced a resolution that recognizes the harmful impact that violence has on child development, calls for a comprehensive and coordinated strategy to end violence against children globally and reaffirms the Senate’s commitment to ending their suffering. The introduction of the resolution follows International Youth Day, which was August 12.

 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than one billion children worldwide are exposed to physical, sexual and mental violence in their communities, which includes being subjected to abuse, maltreatment, exploitation and more. Research shows exposure to violence negatively impacts a young person’s cognitive and emotional development. Additionally, the global economic impact of physical, psychological and sexual violence against children can be as high as $7 trillion, or eight percent of the world’s gross domestic product.    

 

“Congress and the State Department have been working on multiple fronts to promote global economic development, but failure to address violence against children—horrific acts like trafficking, child labor and proximity to violent conflicts—threatens to undermine those efforts every step of the way. Senate passage of this bipartisan resolution would send a strong message that having a plan to end violence against children must be a priority in our global development strategy,” Boozman said.

 

“One measure of our common humanity is how we care for and support our children. In too many ways we have come up short, particularly when it comes to protecting them from violence and keeping them safe. Senate passage of this resolution would encourage the U.S. government to create and begin implementing a strategy to prevent, address, and end violence against children and youth globally, in line with the international standards and sustainable development goals the international community aspires towards,” Cardin said.

 

The resolution introduced by Boozman and Cardin seeks to ensure ending violence against children remains a global policy priority for the United States. It calls for government-wide coordination, enhanced methods of monitoring and an increase of public-private partnerships to prevent and respond to violence against children.

Camden City Council Meeting 08-14-18

AUGUST 15, 2018

550 POUNDS OF MARIJUANA CONFISCATED BY CAMDEN CITY POLICE
On Sunday August 12, 2018, it was reported to the Camden Police Department that (3) males were on top of a rail road tanker car in the city limits of Camden. Officers responded to the area and located a tool bag with tools inside and some rope. It appeared these items had been used to enter the tanker car. Late Monday afternoon it was reported to the police department a male was in the area of the tanker car driving around. Tuesday, investigators collected enough evidence to obtain a search warrant for the tanker car. Upon execution of the search warrant (22) bundles of marijuana were located inside the tanker car. Each bundle weighed approximately (25) pounds with a total weight of 550 pounds. The street value of the marijuana is approximately $500,000. The marijuana has been moved to an undisclosed location because of the volume and having gas residue on the packing. The Mayor voiced her pride on the Police Department and their ability to take 550 pounds of marijuana off of the streets of Camden.

 

CAMDEN CITY COUNCIL MEETS IN REGULAR SESSION
The Camden City Council met in regular session Tuesday night, August 14, 2018, in the Council chambers at City Hall. The meeting was called to order by Mayor Marie Trisollini at 7PM. The invocation was given by   Dr. Earl H. Anderson, Pastor of Shiloh missionary Baptist Church followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and roll call. The minutes from the regular meeting of July 10, 2018 as well as the acceptance of financial reports. It was then time for audience participation. One resident spoke to street crossings The Trace and the fact that drivers are not yielding to right of way. The Mayor stated that lights will be placed at the intersections in due time. The trace is funded by grants and one such grant is in the works. She did say that those walking, jogging or bicycling on the Trace should practice caution. A member of St. Louis Catholic Church addressed the current street construction. He said that it is causing issue for parishoners trying to get in the church. He asked when the project would be completed. The Mayor stated that a report would be given during the meeting that would answer his concerns. Dr. Larry Braden presented for the County Extension Service in plea for funds to help the extension service. He asked for half to come to from the county and half to come from the cities in the area.  It was stated the all the other entities had agreed to help with the exception of the City of Camden. Travis Daniel spoke and listed the many things the Extension had helped with projects around the city. Nathan Greeley addressed the Council regarding the Ouachita County Fair. He stated that several years ago the Fair Board was asked to look to the future for a new site. The organization has acquired land and has begun to develop it. The current lease expires September 30, 2018 but are under the impression that the current agreement may not be extended. He asked for a date as they want to move some of the current buildings to the new site after this year’s fair. He only asked for time to move the things that they feel belong to the fair. He asked for the Council’s help with any influence they have with the Air Port Commission. Susan Green, coordinator of CASA then spoke to the Council regarding the need for funds. 17 cases of child abuse in Ouachita County. CASA goes in and helps with the process as an advocate for the child. She requested that CASA be included in the new budget. There were several other residents who spoke regarding issues that they had around their property.

 The Mayor’s report included a report on a class she had taken a couple of weeks ago. David Richardson gave the Bi-Annual Water and Sewer Report. Streets were scheduled to be done by April but due to rain days extensions etc. Work should be completed on this part of the project by September 15, 2018.

The Council then passed an ordinance assessing a lien on certain property located at 461 Maple street SW, a resolutions confirming the appointment of Teresa Lampkin to the Advertising and Promotion commission and a resolution authorizing the mayor to enter into a lease with the Planting a Seed Foundation.

After some discussion amongst the Aldermen regarding various concern the meeting was adjourned. The next regular meeting of the Camden City Council will be Tuesday, September 11th at 7PM in the Council Chambers at City Hall. The recording of the entire meeting is posted above.

ARKANSAS BASS TEAM TRAIL AND THE CITY OF CAMDEN AR PRESENTS "THE RUMBLE ON THE RIVER BASS TEAM TOURNAMENT"
Saturday, Sept. 8th with over $10,000 in prize money!

Camden, AR – The Rumble on the River Bass Team Tournament is a 1 day only event held on Saturday, September 8th at the Camden River Walk on the Ouachita River in Downtown Camden, AR. Take off is at 6am and weigh-in is at 3pm at River Walk park and boat launch (405 Washington St. SE. Camden, AR 71701) in Downtown Camden. Free lunch provided for all participants at weigh-in.

  • 1st place $3,500
  • 2nd place $1,500
  • 3rd place $1,000
  • 4th through 10 place guaranteed Cash!

Entry fee is only $200 per boat with a 2 person per boat limit.

Special Discount of $150 per boat with Adult/Junior team (junior under 18 years of age) in boat.

Registration will begin online August 1st, early registration August 1st - Sept. 3rd will be entered in a drawing for a $50 Academy Sports Gift Card.

Register online at www.arkansasbassteamtrail.net, in Person at Walthalls Sporting Center (1250 California Ave SW), Monroe’s Outdoors (441 E Washington St), and The Camden Area Chamber of Commerce (314 S Adams Ave) in Camden, AR.

Final registration will be held Friday, September 7th from 5-7pm at The River Walk Park in Downtown Camden, AR.

In addition to the tournament, come early on Friday evening for family fun in Camden, AR with the First Friday Market and a wide variety of restaurants and shops open late Friday evening the day before the event. First Friday is an open air evening market which takes place from 6PM till 9PM in downtown Camden. In addition you can stroll the streets downtown and enjoy live music, shop a great variety of vendors and artists, while enjoying a relaxed fun evening. Stay Saturday evening after the tournament for Camden’s award winning Movies on the River to watch Hollywood blockbuster for FREE in the Camden Riverwalk Amphitheater against the backdrop of the Ouachita River. There are LOTS of things to see and do while you visit Camden for the tournament.

For Rules and Registration, visit www.arkansasbassteamtrail.net.

Direct Contact:
Keith Green, Arkansas Bass Team Trails
keith@arkansasbassteamtrail.net
501-844-5543

For more Information on Camden, lodging and travel, visit www.explorecamden.com

 

SAAC TO HOST CORKS AND CANVAS WITH GARY HALL
Why go to a museum, when you can be one? Local artist and stage veteran Gary Hall will be bringing a special treat to the South Arkansas Arts Center classroom this month and will feature wearable art, a very popular choice, for his Corks and Canvas class. SAAC's Corks and Canvas class will be held at SAAC on August 27 from 6-9pm.

Hall's class will offer a painted design on a white tuxedo shirt. The design he will teach is primarily built around a peacock, but can easily be modified to be a phoenix or a dragon. Colors will depend on the creature of your choice. SAAC has a limited selection of free tuxedo shirts available that you can pick from ahead of time if you are interested in getting a certain size (10am-4pm Monday-Friday), or you can pick from the SAAC shirt stash at class time or bring your own white shirt.

"Corks & Canvas" is an art class for non-artists who have always wanted to paint. Each class is conducted by a different art instructor, who takes the class through the step by step process to complete a work of art in three hours. The $40.00 fee covers all supplies and snacks. Those taking the class should bring their favorite libation and get ready to have a good time.

Gary Hall is primarily known for his work with the SAAC theatre, and had his first art exhibition in October of last year. Gary trained under Dinah Van Hook and Gay Bechtelheimer in public school and continued his studies in two and three dimensional design at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He holds an MA in Theatre from Louisiana Tech University with a specialty in directing, costume and set design. Several of Hall's artistic endeavors have graced the SAAC stage. He looks forward to sharing this creation with other artists.

Call 862-5474 for more information or to register and pay by phone, or come by the SAAC office at 110 East 5th St.

August 14, 2018

 BOOZMAN RECOGNIZES ARKANSAS VETERAN OF KOREAN AND VIETNAM WARS WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) recognized the service and sacrifice of Edwin ‘Pete’ Ross, a veteran who served during the Korean and Vietnam Wars, in ‘Salute to Veterans,’ a series recognizing the military service of Arkansans.

Ross graduated from Perryville High School in 1949. He enlisted in the military shortly after graduation.

"We went to Russellville, Arkansas to see the Navy recruiter who said he couldn’t take us this week because he was going to be gone,” Ross said. Instead of waiting for the following week, Ross and his friend walked across the hall to the Army recruiter. The next day Ross was headed to Camp Chaffee in Fort Smith for basic training. 

Ross was assigned to battalion supply after volunteering information about his typing ability. “It was my job to coordinate and take care of the paperwork for the battalion,” Ross said. He did this until spring when he received orders to deploy to Okinawa.

He worked his way up to chief clerk in the unit. After nearly two years of his deployment he was expecting to be discharged, but at the last minute, things changed. “I had my bags packed. The very day that I was supposed to go and get on the ship to be discharged,” Ross’ first sergeant told him that his orders were extended another year.

Ross enjoyed military service and wanted to rejoin after he was discharged from the Army. In early 1953, he went to inquire about the Air Force. He was able to retain his rank as an E-5 and was assigned to Barksdale Air Force Base.

During his 20 years of service in the Air Force, Ross was stationed around the country including at Little Rock Air Force Base and played a critical role in maintaining personnel records, counseling on survivor benefits and assisting retirees with their benefits. In addition, he served as the base career advisor with the responsibility of reenlisting the airmen or helping them transition to civilian life.

He served as the senior non-commissioned personnel officer during his time at Binh Thuy Air Base, Vietnam in 1969 and 1970. While the comprehensive records were kept at another base, Ross maintained basic records such as changes to rank and salary.

ross retired from the Air Force in 1973 as a Senior Master Sergeant. He lived in Shreveport, LA before moving back to Arkansas in 1991 where he bought a farm and raised horses. Today he calls Conway home.

“Pete Ross humbly served our nation in uniform, and in doing so, earned our appreciation and respect for his selfless sacrifice. His memories of his military career are an important part of our history and I am pleased to preserve and share his stories for future generations,” Boozman said.

Boozman submitted Ross’ 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. 

ARKANSAS STATE TROOPERS LOOKING FOR RECRUITS TO FILL 2019 ACADEMY CLASS
AUGUST 14, 2018

The Arkansas State Police is looking for eligible recruits to fill the 2019 academy class. Qualified individuals will be selected to enter the Arkansas State Police Recruit Academy, with a start date of February 24, 2019.

 “If you have what it takes to become an Arkansas State Trooper, we want to meet you,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police.  “If you are selected, you will find yourself on the path of one of the most rewarding careers imaginable.” 

The expectations placed on Arkansas State Troopers are extraordinary, and that is why the Arkansas State Police has the highest required standards for applicants. Minimum qualifications to be considered are:  

    - Must be a United States citizen and at least 21 years of age.
   - Must possess a medical release to participate in a physical fitness test.
   - Must possess a current and valid driver license.
   - Must be a certified high school graduate or possess a GED equivalency.
   - Must meet visual acuity requirements. 
   - Never convicted of a felony criminal charge.
   - Never convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence charge.
   - Pass a comprehensive background check.
   - No tattoos shall be visible on an applicant’s body that could be seen if wearing the uniform      of  an Arkansas State Trooper.  

 The Arkansas State Police Recruit Academy is a 21 week intense training environment, designed to teach our recruits the job skills necessary to perform the duties of a trooper. Those selected to attend our academy will receive more than 1,000 hours of training covering all aspects of law enforcement. 

 Recruits begin earning a salary after being offered a position by the Director of the Arkansas State Police and reporting to the academy.  The entry salary for an Arkansas State Trooper Recruit is $40,340.  Following four and ½ years of service, a trooper becomes eligible for promotion to the rank of Trooper First Class, receiving a salary increase of 10% or an increase to the entry pay level of $45,010, whichever is greater.  Upon seven and ½ years of service a trooper is promoted to the rank of corporal, awarded a 10% raise or an increase to the entry pay level of $50,222, or whichever is greater.  

 Benefits include:  
    - Healthcare insurance is paid by the state for a trooper (recruit) and family
   - Certificate pay up to $1,200 annually (*state police director discretion)
   - Retirement contributions are paid by the state.
   - Uniforms and equipment are furnished.
   - Eligible for career service pay following ten years of state service.

  Interested applicants are encouraged to visit the Arkansas State Police web site at www.asp.arkansas.gov, where they can find all the forms necessary to start the hiring process. The recruiting page also provides applicants a means to directly contact a recruiter.
 

 

SCHOOL SAFETY TIPS FROM THE CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT
Dana Wetherbee with the Camden Police Department has released a number of safety tips for back to school. Local residents should note that it is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus while it is loading or unloading children. When the school bus is stopped with the yellow or red flashing lights and stop sign up, drivers must stop and wait. Stop your vehicle far enough to allow the space around the bus to be exited safely. Give as much space as you can and wait until the bus has moved before continuing driving.

When you are riding behind a school bus, it is easy to want to zoom on by or get past. They move slow and wer a usually trying to move quickly because we are running behind. That said, the kids on those school buses are far more important and we should only pass when there is a very clear opening to do so safely. Make sure you watch out for the bus stops and the lights coming on every so often. Running these lights or stop signs can cost you a small fortune, but more importantly, can cause a horrible disaster. Never be in too much of a hurry to get past a school bus

Give extra following distance when driving behind a bus, more than you would for a regular vehicle. This added distance will give you more room and more time to stop.

Many children are car riders. There are tips to make this an easier task each day. Schools may have their own drop-off rules so be sure you are aware of them. Don’t double park or block a crosswalk. Always stop for a crossing guard and pedestrians crossing the intersection. Never pass a vehicle that is stopped for pedestrians. Do not talk on cell phones in a school zone. Be extra alert as children are not.

School Zone speed limits are in play. During the back to school season, school zone speed limits are enforced very strictly, and they should be. Be very careful of these areas around schools and keep your eyes and ears open to unexpected movements. Kids tend to run out first and accidents can still happen even at slow speeds/ The Camden Police Department and the Radio Works family of radio stations hope that every one has a great and successful school year.

AEROJET ROCKETDYNE, GOVERNOR, AEDC TO HOST ANNOUNCEMENT WEDNESDAY
Gov. Asa Hutchinson, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) and Aeroject Rocketdyne officials will host an announcement related to operations at the company’s Camden facility. The announcement will come at 11 a.m., Wednesday, August 15 at the Arkansas State Capitol in the Governor’s Office in Little Rock. Keep listening for details as they unfold.

CAMDEN NOON LION’S CLUB TO MEET
The Camden Noon Lion’s Club will meet Wednesday at Noon at Catherine’s Bistro. This week’s speaker will be Toni Greenlee with The Christian Health Center & The Hub.  She will be talking about their upcoming Fundraiser – A Pop Up Shop.  She will also discuss the services they offer to our community.

CAMDEN KIDS CRAFT FAIR
The Camden Kids Craft Fair is August 25 between 9:00 A.M. and 3:00 P.M. at the Events Center at Fairview Park. T-Shirts, insulated mugs, original artwork, pulled pork, spinners, jewelry, home décor, furniture, slime, baked goods, key chains, painted signs, sewn items, antiques and collectibles and many more food and crafts, made and sold by kids.  Customers can be entered in a drawing to win a resort stay Thanksgiving Week in Branson plus many more door prizes. For more information visit the Events Center at Fairview Park on Facebook or call 870-210-4513.

August 13, 2018

SAAC ANNOUNCES UPCOMING THEATRE SEASON 
The South Arkansas Arts Center’s Theatre Steering Committee announces its upcoming 2018-2019 theatre season, beginning in the fall, as a celebration of imagination and storytelling.

Opening the season is the Tony Award winning "Peter and the Starcatcher", sponsored by Murphy-Pitard Jewelers.  The play follows the century-old story of how a miserable orphan comes to be “The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up” (a.k.a. Peter Pan).  From marauding pirates and jungle tyrants to unwilling comrades and unlikely heroes, “Peter and the Starcatcher” playfully explores the depths of greed and despair and the bonds of friendship, duty and love. From the books by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, adapted for the stage by directors Roger Rees and Alex Timbers and written for the stage by Rick Elise with music by Wayne Barker, the show will run November 1-6.

"You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" is the second production in the line-up, sponsored by Southern Bancorp & Teague Auto Group.  Currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” is a fresh approach to the all-time 1967 classic, based on the beloved comic strip by Charles Schultz. Sally Brown joins Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Schroeder, and Snoopy in this charming revue of vignette.  The show depicts an average day in the life of Charlie Brown, with experiences ranging from Valentine's Day to the baseball season, from wild optimism to utter despair, all mixed in with the lives of his friends (both human and non-human). Based on the Comic Strip “Peanuts” by Charles M. Schultz; book, music and lyrics by Clark Gesner, the show will run March 1-3, 7-10.

"The Hunchback of Notre Dame", sponsored by Murphy USA, will round out the season as the summer musical. Based on the Victor Hugo novel and songs from the Disney animated feature, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” showcases the film's Academy Award-nominated score.  An equally powerful story and score make “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” an instant classic.  Audiences will be swept away by the magic of this truly unforgettable musical.  Book by Peter Parnell, musical score by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz, the show will run July 18-21, 24-28.

Laura Allen, SAAC executive director, said about the upcoming season, “We’re thrilled to announce the SAAC Theater Steering Committee’s selections for our 2018-2019 theatre season. This year’s productions are all infused with that particular element of imagination that can truly create magic onstage. While these three shows have very different subject matter, they are all rooted in a strong tradition of storytelling that is both engaging and entertaining for all ages.”

For more information, please contact the SAAC office at 870-862-5474 or visit the website at www.saac-arts.org.  SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas.

November 1-6/ Auditions Sept 17-18
"Peter and the Starcatcher" - sponsored by Murphy-Pitard Jewelers A Play By RICK ELICE Based on the Novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson Music By WAYNE BARKER Originally produced on Broadway by Nancy Nagel Gibbs, Greg Schaffert, Eva Price, Tom Smedes, and Disney Theatrical Productions.
https://www.mtishows.com/peter-and-the-starcatcher

March 1-3, 7-10 / Auditions January 14-15 "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" - sponsored by Southern Bancorp & Teague Auto Group Based on The Comic Strip "Peanuts" by Charles M. Schulz Book, Music and Lyrics by Clark Gesner Additional Dialogue by Michael Mayer Additional Music and Lyrics by Andrew Lippa Original Direction for this version of "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown" by Michael Mayer Originally Produced in New York byArthur Whitelaw and Gene Persson http://www.tamswitmark.com/shows/youre-a-good-man-charlie-brown-revised

July 18-21, 24-28 / Auditions May
"The Hunchback of Notre Dame" - sponsored by Murphy USA Based on the Victor Hugo novel and song from the Disney film Music by Alan Menken Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz Book by Peter Parnell
https://www.mtishows.com/the-hunchback-of-notre-dame 
 

OUACHITA BAPTIST SETS FUNDRAISING RECORD
Arkadelphia, AR (August 13, 2018) – Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia has received a record $17.2 million in private support in academic year 2017-2018. The fundraising total surpasses the previous record set in 2005-2006 by almost $1 million.

“We are fortunate to work with alumni, friends and churches who believe in, and give so generously in support of, the mission and vision of Ouachita,” said Dr. Ben Sells, president. “Our donors appreciate our success in developing leaders in so many walks of life and extend our impact around the world.”

Of the $17.2 million given, 58% is in the form of cash and pledges. The remaining 42% is in realized estate bequests. The bulk of the funds, approximately $12 million, will be applied to annual and endowed student scholarships. The remainder is earmarked for programs, facilities and strategic initiatives.


In the previous academic year, 2016-2017, total fundraising was $12.3 million.

“We are proud of the fact that most of our giving comes from individuals and Arkansas Baptist churches,” said Terry Griffin Peeples, Ouachita Vice President for Development. “But alumni support is vital. We want our alumni to be engaged and participate no matter what amount they are able to give.”

Ouachita’s success runs counter to national trends in higher education, which has experienced a 25-year decline in the percentage of annual alumni giving. At Ouachita, alumni giving slightly increased last year to 19.75%. The University has approximately 12,700 alumni.

The median alumni giving percentage for private universities in 2017 was 17%. For public universities, that number was 4.8%.

“We believe that our donors are responding favorably to the momentum we are enjoying here,” Dr. Sells said. “Last fall, we experienced a significant increase in freshmen, were recognized for the highest graduation rate in the state and achieved a high placement rate for graduates. Our alumni, students and friends are excited to see Ouachita on the rise, and we are poised for continued growth.”

Last December, Ouachita’s Board of Trustees adopted a five-year plan that includes six strategic directions:

*       Sustain Christ-Centered Identity
*       Advance Faculty/Staff Support
*       Ensure Transformative Learning
*       Grow Residential Learning
*       Diversify Educational Offerings
*       Strengthen Key Partnerships

CAMDEN CITY POLICE REPORTS

This past Saturday evening at about 8:42 Officer Elliott of the Camden Police Department was dispatched to Stage located in Garden Oaks for a walk through of the store. Contact was made with the store manager. She stated that the individuals inside the store, who were later identified as Ambra McCarter, Rachel Rowlett and Mark Carver, had been in the store earlier using another person’s Stage Credit Card. Officer Elliott observed McCarter walking around the store. She appeared to be avoiding the Officer. He encountered the woman as he noticed that the woman’s purse changed shape each time he saw her. He asked if she had anything inside her purse that did not belong to her and she replied that she did not. McCarter gave consent to search. There did not appear to be any merchandise belonging to the store. A warrant check was conducted through dispatch and it was confirmed that she had a valid warrant with the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Department. Officer Elliott advised McCarter of the warrant. She was taken into custody and transported to the Police Station without incident. After booking procedures were completed she was served with a warrant for Failure to Appear. A search of McCarter’s belongings were conducted and a Debit card belonging to another individual was found. She stated that it belonged to her child’s father who allowed her to use it. The card was collected as evidence. She was advised to contact the owner of the card and have him contact the investigator over the case. McCarter was then turned over to Ouachita County. She was transported to the Sheriff’s Department.

Late this past Saturday night Sergeant Opelt along with Officer Elliot and Officer Manning responded to Fox Creek Apartments in reference to a fight in progress. They arrive to find a large group of people standing in the area. Officer Elliot and Officer Manning began speaking with one party involved. Sergeant Opelt observed a subject known as Max Wright. Wright walked towards the other Officers stopping about 20 feet from them and slammed a full trash bag on the ground. He then began staring at the officers with and extremely angry look on his face. Officer Opelt confronted Wright and asked if he could help him. Wright immediately went on the defensive. He told the Officer that he didn’t need to worry about him and the problem was elsewhere, however, he was the only person in the parking lot raising his voice and making a scene. Several time Wright cursed and Officer Opelt advised him not to yell profanity in public.  Moments later, Wright walked down the road toward the back of the apartment complex steadily yelling louder as he walked. Officer Opelt walked back to the other officers as they were completing the call. Wright could still be heard screaming profanity towards Officer Opelt. Wright was about 60 yards away and every profane word could be heard by not only the Officer but every other citizen who was outside. Officer Opelt went to Wright’s location and took him into custody for Disorderly Conduct. Wright was transported to the station where he was booked and later transported to the Ouachita County Detention Center until he could post bond. He was later released with a citation and a Court date of September 9, 2018.

AEROJET ROCKETDYNE, GOVERNOR, AEDC TO HOST ANNOUNCEMENT WEDNESDAY
Gov. Asa Hutchinson, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) and Aeroject Rocketdyne officials will host an announcement related to operations at the company’s Camden facility. The announcement will come at 11 a.m., Wednesday, August 15 at the Arkansas State Capitol in the Governor’s Office in Little Rock. Keep listening for details as they unfold.

CAMDEN NOON LION’S CLUB TO MEET
The Camden Noon Lion’s Club will meet Wednesday at Noon at Catherine’s Bistro. This week’s speaker will be Toni Greenlee with The Christian Health Center & The Hub.  She will be talking about their upcoming Fundraiser – A Pop Up Shop.  She will also discuss the services they offer to our community.

 
 

AUGUST 9, 2018

 

STATE TREASURY'S INVESTMENT RECEIPTS

TOTAL $77.2 MILLION IN FISCAL 2018

Treasurer credits proactive monitoring of markets

 

Little Rock, AR – Arkansas’ investment receipts for fiscal year 2018 totaled $77.2 million – topping the totals for fiscal years 2006 and 2009, Treasurer of State Dennis Milligan reported to the State Board of Finance today. In fact, 2018 ended the highest fiscal year the State Treasury has recorded in a decade.

 

Milligan credited the high investment receipts to his team’s active management of the Treasury portfolio.

 

“If you look at years 2004-2007, you’ll notice that our treasury receipts lagged behind the increasing interest rates. If you look at years 2016-2018, you see the opposite: Treasury receipts are rising in advance of the interest rate hikes,” Milligan said. “We’re proactively managing the treasury portfolio – making calculated decisions based on market analysis – instead of simply reacting to market conditions.”

 

Fourth quarter receipts for fiscal 2018, which ended June 30, were the highest they’ve ever been in one quarter under Milligan’s tenure as Treasurer, totaling $21.29 million. The fourth quarter total is higher than the yearly totals for fiscal years 2003, 2004, 2013 and 2014.

 

“I realize interest rates are a driving force of any investment activity, but I fully believe that our active management style is helping us make the most advantage of market conditions, while also helping us meet our primary objective which is liquidity,” Milligan said.

 

As of fiscal year end, the State Treasury had an investment portfolio of roughly $3.7 billion, including about $2.95 billion in bonds and commercial paper, $474.5 million in demand and money market accounts and about $283.4 million in the State Treasury Money Management Trust.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ARKANSAS FOODBANK LAUNCHES CAPITAL

 

CAMPAIGN  FOR NEW VOLUNTEER CENTER

 

 

LITTLE ROCK, AR – August 8, 2018 – Arkansas Foodbank announced today the public launch of its “Bridging Hope Capital Campaign” to fund the construction of a 22,000 sq ft packaging and processing center for volunteers onto its current Donald W. Reynolds Distribution Center in Little Rock.  The $4.1 million campaign serves to leverage more food donations and dramatically increase the volunteers’ production hours.

“Last year, more than 11,000 volunteers donated their time through the Foodbank,” says CEO Rhonda Sanders.  “With the new volunteer center we can quadruple our capacity to engage volunteers – up to 44,000 volunteers annually.  The service provided by these volunteers will save us more than $800,000 a year.”

The packaging and processing center will not only engage more volunteers but also allow the Foodbank to accept more fresh, nutritious, and perishable food.  Such food donations are time sensitive – perishable – and require the Foodbank to have greater physical capacity.  The new volunteer center will also allow two million more pounds of donated food to be accepted and processed annually.

Thanks to the Mabee Foundations recent award of a $500,000 challenge grant to the Bridging Hope Campaign, the Foodbank must raise a final $1.6 million from the public for the project by June 2019.  

“We have less than ten months to raise the balance,” says Chief Development Officer Sarah Riffle.  “Thankfully the Mabee Foundation accepts pledges which can be gifted over five years. We must have gifts and pledges totaling $3.6 million by June of next year to recevie the $500,000 from the Mabee Foundation.”

Each year, 450 local partners across 33 Arkansas counties depend on the work of the Foodbank.  The reward of being able to feed more Arkansans is worth it.

“More than 280,000 people a year benefit from the work of the Foodbank.  30 percent are children. 11 percent are seniors. The working poor need a bridge from time to time to overcome employment and health challenges,” says Sanders.

One in six people in Arkansas may not know where their next meal is coming from. For children the number is even higher.  Last year, the organization distributed 26.5 million pounds of food to its local partners.

“Nothing can measure what it means to help everyday people take control of their lives. For these individuals, hope is a hot meal, a bag of groceries, a well-nourished child,” says Sanders. “The new Volunteer center will dramatically impact the Foodbank’s ability to reach families, children and seniors, while also better serving its partner agencies.

AUGUST 8, 2018

 

 

DEFENSE SPENDING BOOST FROM LOCKHEED

 

MARTIN'S $40 BILLION F-35 STEALTH FIGHTER

 

PROJECT SPILLS INTO ARKANSAS

 

 

 

Lockheed Martin ramps up next generation production of its $406 billion F-35 fighter jet program, Arkansas is benefiting from offshoot contract work that is filtering into the state from the mammoth industrial project that is supporting jobs in 46 states, company officials told Talk Business & Politics Tuesday (Aug. 7).

Just two weeks ago, after the Trump administration highlighted stronger defense spending by showcasing a full-scale F-35 model on the White House lawn, Lockheed Martin officials announced that the company had hired more than 1,800 new employees in support of stealth fighter jet program, meeting a commitment made in January 2017.

“The F-35 is an iconic product that represents the best of U.S. innovation, technology leadership, and advanced manufacturing,” said Marillyn Hewson, the company’s chairman, president and CEO. “The program supports 194,000 direct and indirect jobs nationwide, and as we ramp up production we are creating even more opportunities for American workers. The men and women who participate in the F-35 program take pride in delivering unmatched, fifth-generation capabilities to the U.S. military and our allies around the world.”

Lockheed Martin spokeswoman Brecke Boyd told Talk Business & Politics that the multi-state project now has five supplier locations in Arkansas that support nearly 400 direct and indirect jobs with a $33.9 million annual boost to the state’s fast-growing aerospace sector. Altogether, the 5th generation Lightning II version of the stealth fighter program supports 1,600 suppliers across the globe, including more than 1,500 companies based in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

One of those companies, Triumph Fabrications of Hot Springs, announced on Thursday (Aug. 2) that it received a contract extension from Lockheed Martin to continue supplying titanium hot form machine exhaust screens for use on the F-35 blocker doors.

“We are honored to continue supporting Lockheed Martin and the F-35 program,” said Pete Wick, executive vice president for Berwyn, Penn.-based Triumph Aerospace Structures. “The F-35 is the most lethal, survivable and connected fighter aircraft ever built and we are very proud of the role it will play in enabling the men and women in uniform to execute their mission and return home safe.”

Triumph Fabrications officials did not immediately respond to questions from Talk Business & Politics concerning the terms of its supplier deal with Lockheed Martin, including the length of the contract extension and financial arrangements. The Hot Springs manufacturer is a subsidiary of Triumph Group Inc., which reported $3.2 billion in annual sales in fiscal 2017 and has nearly 14,000 employees worldwide, according to the company’s annual report.

The Hot Springs company was recognized in March for exceptional supplier performance in support of their Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky helicopter business. The Arkansas factory produces complex sheet metal components for Sikorsky’s UH-60 Black Hawk platform, according to SEC filings.

Nationwide, the Pentagon’s F-35 Joint Program Office and Lockheed Martin delivered the 300th production F-35 aircraft in June. The first 300 F-35s delivered this year included 197 F-35A conventional takeoff and landing variants, 75 F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing aircraft, and 28F-35C carrier models that have been delivered to U.S. and international customers. More than 620 pilots and 5,600 maintainers have been trained, and the F-35 fleet has surpassed more than 140,000 cumulative flight hours, company officials said.

Despite the broad economic impact, the fifth-generation of the joint strike fighter is $163 billion overbudget and seven years behind schedule. In response to those cost overruns, Lockheed Martin officials said as production volume increases and additional efficiencies are implemented, the project is on track to reduce the cost to $80 million per aircraft by 2020, which is equal to or less than legacy 4th generation fighters.

“We are focused on reducing costs, increasing efficiencies, and ensuring the highest level of quality as we ramp to full rate production and sustainment of the operational fleet,” said Greg Ulmer, Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager of the F-35 program.

Besides the F-35 program, the nation’s largest defense contractor also produces guided missile systems and warheads at the company’s industrial manufacturing facility in Camden, Ark. Earlier this summer, the South Arkansas munitions factory received a $364 million contract to produce the U.S. Army’s Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) missile.

The ATACMS is the U.S. Army’s only tactical long-range, deep precision-strike surface-to-surface weapon system. The long-range missiles can be fired from the entire family of Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) launchers, enabling battlefield commanders the capability to operate in contested environments.

According to the Arkansas Aerospace and Defense Alliance, the aerospace industry is the state’s number one export, generating more than $1.8 billion in annual revenues for the nearly 180 aviation and aerospace-related companies in the state.

AUGUST 6, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

ICYMI: Cotton, Hatch Op-Ed in the Washington Examiner ‘Close the Loophole That's Letting Violent Criminals Go Free’

 

cid:10C916F5-6BD3-43EC-B6A8-4F06582B7B96

 

Close the Loophole That's Letting Violent Criminals Go Free

Washington Examiner

By: Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)

 

In April, a gang member convicted of nine felonies, Cornelius Spencer, was charged with raping two homeless Arkansans, a 62-year-old woman and a 21-year-old autistic man.

 

What’s worse, these crimes would never have happened if Spencer had not been released a full five years before his sentence was up.

 

Because of a Supreme Court ruling that negated an important act of Congress, Spencer managed to slip through the cracks of our justice system. Until Congress acts to fix the law that was struck down, more hardened criminals will be able to roam the streets.

 

The law in question is the Armed Career Criminal Act, or ACCA. In 1984, Congress passed this law to protect the public from violent, repeat offenders like Cornelius Spencer. The law imposed a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years for illegal possession of a firearm for offenders convicted of at least three different violent felonies or serious drug offenses on at least three separate occasions. While in force, about 600 offenders were charged under ACCA each year.

 

But in 2015, the Supreme Court declared that an important part of the law was unconstitutional. In Johnson v. United States, the Court ruled that how the law defined some “violent felonies” was unconstitutionally vague, specifically referring to a catch-all phrase that described “conduct that presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to another.”

 

Because the law failed to specify which kinds of conduct presented such a risk, the court ruled that it didn’t give the public fair notice of what conduct could be punished. The law was, therefore, in violation of the Fifth Amendment’s due-process clause.

 

Importantly, the Court took no issue with the law’s mandatory minimum penalty for certain violent, repeat offenders. It simply said that Congress needed to be more clear about what types of conduct could lead to an enhanced penalty.

 

Whatever the merits of the Court’s decision, the results were tragic. The federal government was forced to prematurely release hundreds of felons back into the public. One example is Jerrod Baum, a neo-Nazi in Utah who had been charged with a long list of crimes: attempted murder, aggravated assault, and two counts of illegally possessing a firearm. He was released in 2016, four years before his sentence was up. Earlier this year, Baum was arrested and charged for kidnapping, stabbing, and throwing the bodies of two teenagers down a mineshaft. If the ACCA had still been in force, those two Utahans—just like those two Arkansans—would not have been harmed.

 

The only way to protect the public from hardened criminals like Spencer and Baum is to keep them off the streets, which is why we introduced the Restoring the Armed Career Criminal Act. Our bill would restore the mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years, but clarify which violent offenses qualify. Specifically, it would do away with the concepts of “violent felonies” and “serious drug offenses,” and replace them with a single category: “serious felonies,” defined as all crimes punishable by 10 years or more.

 

This much-needed clarification would solve a host of problems. First, it would comply with the Supreme Court’s ruling. Second, it would respond to the Federal Sentencing Commission’s recommendation that Congress clarify the statutory definition of violent felony. And third, because our bill would still require three felony convictions on three separate occasions, it would help federal prosecutors target the most dangerous criminals. In other words, this would not apply to low-level or first- or even second-time offenders.

 

It’s been three years since the Supreme Court’s ruling on the ACCA, during which time we’ve seen far too many innocent, law-abiding citizens suffer at the hands of hardened criminals. These violent offenders are the worst of the worst, and there’s no excuse for letting them roam free because of a legislative technicality. We encourage our colleagues to join us in supporting this bill before more good people get hurt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAGIC SPRINGS WELCOMES

EN VOGUE ON AUGUST 11!

R&B legends take the stage at 8 p.m.

 

 

 

 

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (August 6, 2018) Magic Springs Theme & Water Park welcomes R&B icon, En Vogue, to the Timberwood Amphitheater as part of the Magic Springs 2018 Summer Concert Series, Saturday, August 11, 2018.

 

Access to Timberwood Amphitheater starts at 6 p.m. and the opening act begins at 7 p.m. Open seating in the lawn area is available. Guests are advised to bring an outdoor chair or blanket.

 

En Vogue has never been afraid to break the mold and step ‘outside’ the norm. From “Free Your Mind” to “Whatta Man,” they have been trendsetters in music and style! Two of the group's singles rank in Billboard's most successful girl group songs of all time list, "Don't Let Go (Love)" and "Hold On.” They are sure to bring a great show to visitors at Magic Springs.

 

Don’t miss your chance to see En Vogue and other thrilling performances that are part of the Magic Springs 2018 Summer Concert Series and celebrate 40 years of magic with us!

 

It’s not too late to get a 2018 Magic Springs Season Pass, guaranteeing you FREE entry to all of the summer concerts.

 

A Magic Springs Season Pass offers an entire season of fun and includes:

§   

§   

  • Unlimited admission to Arkansas's biggest theme and water park
  • FREE live concerts
  • FREE Magic Screams with new extended hours
  • Season Pass Holder appreciation events

 

Learn more about these performances and find additional resources here.

AUGUST 3, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 BOOZMAN TO SPEND WEEK WITH ARKANSAS AG

 

 

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, will visit farmers, ranchers and educators during his annual agriculture tour on August 6 – 9. The tour covers a wide variety of agriculture operations throughout the state and will highlight the diversity and future of Arkansas’ largest industry.

 

“The agriculture industry is an economic driver for our state. As Congress finalizes the 2018 farm bill, it’s important for me to hear the ideas of our farmers, ranchers and producers about the impact the legislation has on their operations. Talking directly with these stakeholders and experts is vital to ensuring we eliminate provisions harmful to the industry,” Boozman said.

 

On Wednesday Boozman was named a Senate conferee to the Farm Bill conference committee between the House and Senate. Arkansans can follow the tour via social media on the hashtag: #ARisAg.

 

The media is invited to attend the following:

 

Monday, August 6

 

Don Tyson Center for Agriculture Science

Boozman will learn about current research underway at the University of Arkansas and take a brief tour of this new facility.

 

Time:               9:45 – 11 a.m.

 

Location:         1371 West Alzheimer Drive

                        Fayetteville

 

 

Tour of Belle Point Ranch

Boozman will visit this ranch in the river valley that produces Angus cattle.

 

Time:               1:30 – 2:45 p.m.

 

Location:         21002 Highway 22

                        Lavaca

                       

 

 

Tuesday, August 7

 

Tour Peach Pickin’ Paradise

Boozman will visit this heavily diversified farm with peach orchards, turkey houses and cattle.

 

Time:               8 – 9:30 a.m.

 

Location:         1901 McGuire Road

Lamar

 

 

Big D Ranch

Boozman will meet with ranchers Phillip and Elizabeth DeSalvo regarding their cattle operation and join members of the Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association for lunch.

 

Time:               11:00 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

 

Location:         173 Miller Lane

                        Center Ridge

 

 

Farmer Roundtable at Dow Brantley Farms

Local farmers will visit with Boozman to discuss the Farm Bill, agriculture, trade and other issues of concern to industry producers.

 

Time:               3 – 4:30 p.m.

 

Location:         4091 Central High Road

                        England

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, August 8

 

University of Arkansas Rice Research and Extension Center

Boozman will tour the facility and meet with new director, Bob Scott.

 

Time:               10:45 – 11:45 a.m.

 

Location:         2890 Highway 130 East

                        Stuttgart

 

 

 

Davis Farms

The Senator will visit with the Davis family and take a field tour of their multi-generation rice farm.

 

Time:               1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

 

Location:         57 Ora Lane

                        Stuttgart

 

 

Ag Aviators

Boozman will discuss regulations concerning this industry at Tommy Anderson Flying Service. The Senator will fly with one of the aviators if weather permits.

 

Time:               3:30 – 5 p.m.

 

Location:         411 Jim Ford Road

                        Sherrill

 

 

 

Thursday, August 9

 

UAM Forestry, Agriculture and Natural Resource Department

Boozman will visit with the Dean, Dr. Philip Tappe, and tour the department.

 

Time:               8 – 9 a.m.

 

Location:         University of Arkansas – Monticello

                        110 University Court

                        Monticello

 

 

Meet with local farmers

Senator Boozman will have lunch at Pickens Store with area farmers to hear their concerns.

 

Time:               11 a.m – 12:15 p.m.

 

Location:         Pickens Store

                        122 Pickens Road

                        Pickens

 

 

 

Wetland Reserve Easement site visit

Discuss conservation programs in the Farm Bill.

 

Time:               1 – 2 p.m.

 

Location:         422 Collins-Line Road

                        Collins

 

 

 

AUGUST 2, 2018

 

 

 

 

Boozman Advocates for Expanded Benefits for Blue Water Navy Veterans and Improved Hiring Practices for VA Physicians

 
 
 

 

 

Watch Boozman’s questions

 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, advocated for much-needed improvements to veterans’ healthcare during a hearing on Wednesday.

 

Boozman applauded the progress of House-passed legislation to expand the benefit eligibility for veterans who were exposed to the chemical Agent Orange during their military service in Vietnam. The legislation also includes a provision from a Boozman-authored bill that authorizes the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide any child of a veteran of covered service in Thailand who is affected by spina bifida the same health care, monetary allowance and vocational training and rehabilitation required for the children of Vietnam veterans similarly impacted by spina bifida.

 

“While I would like to see the remaining provisions of my Thailand Toxic Exposure bill taken up and passed, I am encouraged by this forward progress we are seeing on the Blue Water Navy legislation,” Boozman said.

 

The committee also examined the VA Hiring Enhancement Act, Boozman-authored legislation that aims to align the VA’s hiring processes with private sector organizations to allow the department to compete for the best and brightest doctors coming out of medical school. The bill is intended to help the VA fill some of the critical unfilled jobs for healthcare providers.

 

VA leaders said the department is in support of efforts to allow it to release physicians from non-compete agreements, one of the components of the bill. The VA also indicated that it would benefit from a new authority proposed in the bill to extend job offers to providers earlier than it currently does.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arkansas works to keep Kimberly Clark plant open


Recently our state received disturbing news that Kimberly Clark is considering closing its facility in Conway, putting the jobs of 350 people in jeopardy. It is important to know that the Arkansas Economic Development Commission is working with Gov. Asa Hutchinson to do everything in our power to keep those jobs in Arkansas.

We understand that these decisions are tough for businesses and that Kimberly Clark may ultimately choose to close the Conway plant. However, we are unrelenting, and we will work with Kimberly Clark to keep this facility open and keep these jobs in Conway.

That is our mission and our responsibility.

Let’s face it, this is more than just 350 jobs. Each job represents real people with real families to raise and real bills to pay.

Should Kimberly Clark close the Conway plant, we will work with its Maumelle facility to extend new lines, or partner with the Governor’s Displaced Workers Taskforce to help find new opportunities.

But why put our friends and neighbors in such a stressful situation if we don’t have to? To that end, we are putting together an aggressive package to assist Kimberly Clark in keeping the Conway plant open, as well as working to grow their neighboring facility in Maumelle.  Governor Hutchinson has had, and will continue to have, discussions with Kimberly Clark executives to encourage them to keep the Conway plant open.

Contrary to recent criticism on the use of incentives, neither the Arkansas Economic Development Commission nor Governor Hutchinson will ever make a business decision without doing a great deal of research. The result must positively impact Arkansas taxpayers and the state.

If an incentive package is offered to a business, it is carefully evaluated to ensure a positive cost-benefit to taxpayers. Arkansas’ incentives are performance-based, which means companies are required to employ a specific number of people at a certain wage for a designated amount of time. If the company does not meet and maintain these numbers, it doesn’t receive incentives. It is a win-win for businesses and taxpayers.

Some people believe that the state should not offer incentives for companies to stay. We disagree. Our incentives program is an important tool in competing with other states and global economies for business. Trying to compete in economic development minus incentives would be akin to the old idiom of “bringing pennies to a high-stake poker match.” We have to operate on a level playing field.

Be assured, we do not offer incentive packages that are not economically viable to the state. It makes no business sense for us to give money if we don’t see a return on our investment.

The aim of the state is to retain, protect and grow our existing businesses first and foremost. An overwhelming amount of growth and jobs in the state is attributed to those businesses who are already here. Kimberly Clark has been in Arkansas for more than half a century. During that time, it has invested heavily in the community and the state. Its largest customer is Walmart, and staying in Arkansas near such a valued customer benefits everyone involved.

We refuse to sit idly by and watch 350 Arkansans lose good jobs if there is something we can do to keep our fellow citizens employed and contributing to our economy. It’s not fair to our workers, and it’s not fair to our taxpayers.

In business it’s said, “It’s much easier to keep a customer than it is to find a new one.” For economic development that mantra holds true – we must protect and grow our existing companies and then look for ways to attract new ones. An overwhelming amount of growth and jobs in the state is attributed to those businesses who are already here. In fact, the largest division at the Arkansas Economic Development Commission is our Existing Business Resource Division.

Keeping existing jobs in Arkansas simply makes good economic sense for all Arkansans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

Seven Cabot Schools Receive Purple Star School Award 

LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Department of Education is pleased to announce that seven schools in the Cabot School District have been awarded the Arkansas Purple Star School Award for their commitment to serving military students and their families.

The seven schools are Southside Elementary School, Eastside Elementary School, Stagecoach Elementary School, Mountain Springs Elementary School, Cabot Middle School North, Cabot Junior High School North and Cabot Freshman Academy.

“This significant program affirms to our military families that we value their contribution to our community, and it teaches our students at a young age the importance of the military to our nation,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “I congratulate and commend the educators and students at these seven Purple Star schools for making life in Arkansas more pleasant for the military families who live in the Cabot School District.”

“Arkansas has a strong tradition of supporting our military,” said John Kaminar, the Arkansas commissioner for the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children. “We’re thrilled to be able to recognize schools that are going the extra mile to support the children of military families, especially as those families transfer into and out of Arkansas for the parents’ military service.”

“The Cabot School District is proud to have seven schools recognized as Arkansas’ first Purple Star Schools,” said Dr. Tony Thurman, superintendent at the Cabot School District. “Our district is dedicated to supporting our military students and families. Cabot is home to a large number of military families due to its close proximity to Little Rock Air Force Base. With more than 1,000 military children enrolled in Cabot Schools, we are committed to supporting our families emotionally, academically and providing the resources they need to be successful. We appreciate the sacrifices our families make each and every day and are honored to receive the Purple Star School Award."

Each school will receive a certificate from ADE Commissioner Johnny Key, the commissioner of the Arkansas State Council for the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children, and the executive director of the Arkansas Activities Association. The Arkansas Activities Association also will provide a sign for display at the school.

To be named a Purple Star School, schools had to meet the following criteria:

  • designate a point of contact and liaison for military students and families;
  • complete professional development regarding federal considerations for military students and families;
  • identify military students and inform teachers about the services military students should receive;
  • pass a school board resolution showing support for military students and families; and
  • feature resources for military families on its website. 

In addition to completing these required criteria, schools had to complete one of the following optional criteria: coordinate professional development for military students and families regarding school records, enrollment, school placement, attendance, eligibility and graduation; coordinate awareness training for military students and families; or host a military recognition event to demonstrate a military-friendly culture at the school. 

Applications for the award were reviewed by representatives from the Arkansas State Council for the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children, the Little Rock Air Force Base Airman and Family Readiness Center, and the Arkansas National Guard Child and Youth Programs Office.

The Purple Star School designation is for two years. The Arkansas State Council for the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children will check for compliance at the end of the first year. At the end of the second year, the school may reapply by submitting a statement of continued compliance. 

To learn more about the award, please visit http://www.arkansased.gov/divisions/legal/military-families.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BOOZMAN STATEMENT ON BEING NAMED

FARM BILL SENATE CONFEREE

 

WASHINGTON–U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) released the following statement after being named a Senate conferee to the Farm Bill conference committee between the House and Senate:

 

“I’m honored to be named as a Senate conferee to the Farm Bill conference committee and I look forward to sitting down with our counterparts in the House to ensure we finalize a bill that works for Arkansas. The farm economy and rural America have been struggling for the past few years, so timely passage of a Farm Bill would be welcome news to those who feed and clothe our country and the world.

 

“Now, Congress must get to work to find consensus and produce a final bill that both chambers can approve and the president will sign. Our farmers and ranchers deserve certainty and predictability and I look forward to contributing to that effort.”

 

 

AUGUST 1, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

FLASHING RED. KIDS AHEAD. CAMPAIGN PROMOTES

SCHOOL BUS SAFETY

 

LITTLE ROCK — With school starting in a few short weeks, school bus safety once again becomes a priority for students, teachers and motorists. To help build awareness, the Arkansas Department of Education, Arkansas Association of Pupil Transportation and Arkansas School Bus Mechanics Association are teaming up to launch the sixth annual Flashing Red. Kids Ahead. school bus safety campaign.

What has been a three-week campaign in the past has been expanded this year to the entire month of August.

“As the 2018-2019 school year begins, about 350,000 youngsters around Arkansas will be boarding one of about 7,000 school buses every day,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “Once again, the Department of Education is rolling out its bus-safety campaign. Flashing Red. Kids Ahead. rolls easily off the tongue and is an easy-to-remember slogan. When you see the flashing red lights on a stopped school bus, that means children are crossing the street, and state law requires drivers to stop. We owe our children a future, and one of the most basic contributions to their future is to ensure that they get to school and back home safely. Flashing Red. Kids Ahead. Easy to say. Vital to remember."

“School bus safety is important throughout the entire year,” said Jerry Owens, the senior transportation manager at the Arkansas Division of Public School Academic Facilities and Transportation. “It is important for all motorists to know that it is illegal to pass a stopped school bus when its red lights are flashing. Remember: Flashing Red. Kids Ahead."

In April, more than 3,200 Arkansas school bus drivers reported more than 850 instances of motorists illegally passing a stopped school bus in one day.

“Through the Flashing Red. Kids Ahead. campaign, our goal is to educate all motorists about the importance of obeying all traffic laws, including those involving school buses,” Owens said. “The safety of our students depends on it.”

This year’s Flashing Red. Kids Ahead. campaign will feature information such as sample press releases districts can use to tailor the program for their area, handouts and brochures that feature safety tips for parents, videos and a link to the law regarding bus safety.

Everyone is encouraged to be a part of the 2018 campaign by posting videos and pictures that promote school bus safety on social media using #2018FlashingRed. To learn more about the campaign, visit http://bit.ly/FlashingRedKidsAhead

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BOOZMAN, TESTER & HELLER

 

INTRODUCE BILL

 

TO ADDRESS PHYSICIAN STAFFING

 

SHORTAGES AT VA

 

Aim to attract best & brightest doctors to VA system

 

 

WASHINGTON—The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has long struggled to recruit and retain highly qualified physicians, but legislation introduced by a bipartisan group of senators would change that trend and level the competitive playing field for the VA.

 

Currently, the department is at a disadvantage when it comes to recruiting medical students as the hiring process begins much earlier for private sector providers than it does for the VA. This results in the VA missing out on opportunities to compete for available residents

 

The VA Hiring Enhancement Act—introduced by Sens. John Boozman (R-AR), Jon Tester (D-MT) and Dean Heller (R-NV)—aims to align the department’s hiring processes with private sector organizations to allow the department to compete for the best and brightest doctors coming out of medical school by allowing it to extend contingency offers to residents earlier than currently authorized.     

“There are some incredible people working to deliver the best care to our veterans, but the VA simply does not have enough of them. For years, the VA has struggled to compete with the private sector to attract the best and brightest doctors. An answer to this problem has long eluded Congress, but we believe this bill can help make great strides to address the problem,” said Boozman.   

 

“The VA must have qualified medical professionals on staff to serve veterans,” said Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “The VA Hiring Enhancement Act addresses workforce shortages by making the VA more competitive with the private sector when it recruits talented doctors, clinicians, and medical students.”

 

“As a senior member of the U.S. Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I’m working to see that every veteran has access to the quality care that they deserve. That’s why addressing the doctor shortage is a top priority of mine because it continues to particularly affect Nevada’s rural areas such as Elko, Gardnerville, and Pahrump, where the clinic that opened its doors two years ago still doesn’t have a full-time doctor,” said Heller. “I’m proud to join Senators Boozman and Tester to co-author this bipartisan legislation that aims to close the physician gap by making it easier for the VA to hire and retain skilled doctors to serve our nation’s heroes, and I look forward to continue working with them to send it to the President’s desk.”

 

The VA Hiring Enhancement Act is among the bills which will be discussed during the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing Wednesday. The bill has the support of key Veterans Service Organizations including the American Legion, Paralyzed Veterans of America and the Veterans & Military Families for Progress.

 

Specifically, the VA Hiring Enhancement Act seeks to:

  • Allow the VA to release physicians from non-compete agreements, provided they commit to VA services for at least one year, which makes it easier to hire local doctors since non-compete contracts are often designed to prevent doctors from competing with their previous employer in the same local area;
  • Grant the VA authority to make binding job offers up to two years prior to completion of residency which would help the VA become more proactive in its healthcare provider hiring practices and is particularly important to attracting specialists; and
  • Set the minimum education requirement for VA doctors as completion of residency.

 

The VA believes that portions of the bill “solves a problem known to medical facility Chiefs of Staff across the country,” and that the “legislation should make it easier to hire physicians.”

JULY 31, 2018

 

ADE, STATE BOARD LAUNCH 2018-2019

MY CHILD/MY STUDENT CAMPAIGN

 

 

LITTLE ROCK — Ongoing, positive and productive communication between parents and teachers helps build a network of support that leads to student success. To support this interaction, the Arkansas Department of Education and State Board of Education are launching the 2018-2019 My Child/My Student public awareness campaign.
In its fifth year, the campaign highlights specific college and career readiness and student safety topics each month from August through May, when the campaign ends for the school year. In addition to sample questions for each topic that both parents and teachers should consider when communicating, the campaign also provides links to additional resources and information parents and teachers can use at home or in the classroom.
In its fifth year, the campaign highlights specific college and career readiness and student safety topics each month from August through May, when the campaign ends for the school year. In addition to sample questions for each topic that both parents and teachers should consider when communicating, the campaign also provides links to additional resources and information parents and teachers can use at home or in the classroom.
“The most important education-related conversations are the ones between parents and their children, but regular communication with teachers is also crucial to a student’s success,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “The Arkansas Department of Education offers parents a wide array of resources to enhance communication at home and at school as you guide your children toward a choice of a career and a college. It’s your child and your student, and with the information the department makes available, you can stay up to date on your student’s education."
Topics for 2018-2019 are listed below.
Month 
College and Career Readiness Topic
Student Safety Topic 
August 
Setting Goals 
School Bus Safety 
September 
R.I.S.E. Arkansas 
Mental Health Awareness 
October 
Family and Community Engagement 
National Substance Abuse Prevention Month 
November 
Internship / Job Shadowing 
Anti-Bullying 
December 
Computer Science 
Texting and Driving Hazards 
January 
Building Character 
Child Abduction / Human Trafficking 
February 
Testing 
American Heart Month 
March 
Fine Arts 
National Nutrition Month 
April 
National Volunteer Month 
National Child Abuse Prevention Month 
May 
Keep Learning 
Summer Safety 
To learn more about the 2018-2019 My Child/My Student campaign, visit http://bit.ly/MyChild_MyStudent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SAU SAXOPHONE STUDENT BROADENS HIS HORIZONS,

 

REPRESENTS ARKANSAS WITH PERFORMANCE IN CROATIA

 

 

MAGNOLIA - Benjamin Facundo, a senior at Southern Arkansas University, recently participated in the World Saxophone Congress in Zagreb, Croatia. Facundo performed with the Arkansas Saxophones Choir, an ensemble comprised of professionals, teachers and students of the saxophone.

The La Feria, Texas native is attending SAU on a full band scholarship, majoring in music education. His trip to the Croatian capital broadened his outlook as well as his exposure to different musical styles. The Congress was held at the Zagreb Academy of Music, July 10-14.

The opportunity to travel to Croatia presented itself in January, when Facundo, a member of the SAU Saxophone Quartet, was returning from the Saxophone Symposium sponsored by the U.S. Navy Band in Washington, D.C. Facundo was invited by the ensemble’s director, Dr. Jackie Lamar, to come to Croatia to fill out the choir.

“I said yes immediately,” Facundo said. “It was my first time to travel overseas.”

The World Saxophone Congress, organized in Chicago in 1969, has been held in England, Scotland, France, Japan, and Italy, among other countries. It offers participants a unique opportunity to meet professional musicians, attend workshops and lectures and experience a wide range of musical expressions. Facundo attended with 10 other players from Arkansas.

“I was blown away that this opportunity landed in my lap,” he said. “I had never heard of the Congress until I was asked. I was ecstatic to be invited, and being there made me realize I want to be a performer and saxophone teacher at the university level.”

Facundo was able to meet two of his musical heroes, Dr. Kenneth Tse, professor of music at the University of Iowa, and Claude Delangle, a saxophonist from France. “It was a great chance to network,” Facundo said. He also met graduate professors from the University of Georgia, Oklahoma State University, University of Texas and Central Michigan.

The Arkansas choir performed on Thursday, July 12, in the Croatian National Theatre. “It was an amazing experience,” Facundo said. The ensemble premiered two works on the world stage at the Croatian National Theatre: Phantasms, by Philip Wharton, and Groovin’ Goliath, by Craig Wadley.

That same week, Croatia was participating in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. “We were able to watch the game there,” Facundo said. “Croatia lost, but everyone was so happy just to have gotten that far.”

Overall, Zagreb’s beauty exceeded Facundo’s expectations. “It was even more beautiful than Google told me,” he said, with a laugh.

While en route to Croatia, the group experienced a 12-hour layover in Paris, giving them the chance to explore such famous Parisian sites as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and Notre Dame. “My heart was very happy,” he said. "I never thought I'd get to see Paris."

Facundo returned to Magnolia feeling inspired. “I was reminded that music is a universal langauge. I want to expose students to a variety of music from around the world.”

“My parents are so proud,” he said. “They have seen me grow as a person and as a musician. Because they live so far away, they’ve only been able to come to one performance, my junior recital, and they were very proud.”

He thanked Dr. Andy Peeks, instructor of music at SAU, and J.P. Wilson, director of bands, for encouraging students to do their best. “They are great mentors,” he said. “The entire faculty strives to make sure you have everything you need to be successful.”

“Ben is a wonderful young man and gifted musician,” Wilson said. “He continues to exceed the goals and accomplishments of a student his age. Ben has been, and will continue to be, a huge asset to our band program and SAU.”

Facundo looks forward to performing in Senior Recital this November and will begin his pre-screenings for graduate school applications.

JULY 30, 2018

 

 

BOYD M. WOODY
Chief of Police
Camden Police Department
 #1 Police Drive                       870-836-5755
bwoody@camdenpolice.com                                         Camden, AR 71701                                                       fax  870-836-8523


PRESS RELEASE


July 27, 2018

On 07/24/2018 at approximately 6:00 am, Officers with the Camden Police Department responded to Williams Street for a report of gun shots.  When they arrived, they did locate and arrest William Milner and charge him with Possession of Firearm by Certain Person and Discharging a Firearm inside the City Limits.  At the same time this incident was occurring, Detective John Voss began investigating a suspicious house fire located at 120 Van Buren, the home of Richard Milner.
During the fire investigation, William Milner (DOB 1/15/73) did become a suspect and after obtaining a search warrant and collecting evidence, Det. Voss did charge Milner with Arson and Residential Burglary.  On July 26, 2018 at approximately 4:30 pm, Milner was taken before Judge Hamilton Singleton for a probable cause hearing where Milner’s bond was set at $100,000.


Chief Boyd Woody

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

cid:image001.png@01D2C984.12AFC1A0cid:image002.png@01CD9CD6.C2965960

United States Attorney Duane (DAK) Kees

Western District of Arkansas

_____________________________________________________

 

 

 

TWO NORTH LITTLE ROCK MEN SENTENCED TO A TOTAL OF OVER 25 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR ARMED BANK ROBBERY

 

       Hot Springs, Arkansas – Duane (DAK) Kees, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced today that Jarvis Molden, age 22, of North Little Rock, Arkansas was sentenced Thursday to 180 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release and Maceo Harris, age 19, of North Little Rock, Arkansas was sentenced yesterday to 126 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count each of Bank Robbery and Use of a Firearm During a Federal Crime of Violence. The Honorable Susan O. Hickey presided over the sentencing hearing in the United States District Court in Hot Springs.

 

       According to court records, On February 13, 2017, at approximately 11:46 a.m., Molden and Harris robbed the Farmers Bank and Trust branch located at 1929 Oliver Lawrence Boulevard in Rockport, Arkansas, which is within the Western District of Arkansas, Hot Springs Division. At the time of the robbery, the bank was insured by the FDIC.

 

       As Harris entered the bank, he climbed over the teller counter while Molden, remained on the lobby side of the counter. Both made oral demands for money to the effect of "give me all your money," and both brandished firearms during the robbery.

 

       Harris and Molden were observed driving away from the bank approximately 30 minutes after the robbery. An Arkansas State Police Trooper located the vehicle and attempted to stop it. As the vehicle exited the Broadway exit in North Little Rock, it struck a white pickup truck broadside, causing the truck to turn over on its side. The passenger, Molden, exited the vehicle and fled from officers. Harris was quickly apprehended and taken into custody.

 

      Witnesses at the scene observed Molden place a backpack in a green trashcan. Molden was subsequently arrested nearby and positively identified. The backpack contained stolen currency from the bank and a pair of grey sweatpants.

 

      A  check  of  the  Honda  Pilot's  VIN  conducted  on  scene  revealed  the vehicle was reported stolen from Roanoke, Texas on January 28, 2017. During an inventory of the vehicle, two dark hoodies, a Mossberg .22 rifle that resembles an AR-15 and a Glock 43, 9mm caliber pistol were located.

 

      Molden and Harris were indicted in April 2017 on federal charges. Molden plead guilty in November 2017 and Harris plead guilty in December 2017

 

      This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Rockport Police Department, North Little Rock Police Department and the Arkansas State Police.  Assistant United States Attorney David Harris prosecuted the case for the United States.

 

      This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BOOZMAN ENCOURAGED BY RETURN OF AMERICAN

SERVICEMEN REMAINS IN NORTH KOREA

 

 

 

 

 

WASHINGTON–U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) released the following statement after the White House announced that North Korea has transferred to the care of the United States the remains believed to be those of 55 American servicemen:

 

“The families of the brave service members who fell during the Korean War and whose remains languished in North Korea have suffered for decades, hoping and waiting for the day when their loved ones might return home and be laid to rest where they belong. This revelation means that day may be closer for some and I join with them in welcoming the conclusion of this tragic and heart-wrenching episode and hope it brings them some degree of comfort and closure.

 

“The United States has and continues to make every effort to bring home those who fall in combat and the tireless efforts of public sector agencies and private organizations have helped make this day a reality. I am confident the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency will work diligently to identify these heroes and notify their families. It is my hope that North Korea will expeditiously return any additional remains in its possession.”

 

Background

The remains, aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster, landed at Osan Air Base south of Seoul, South Korea. They were met by American service members and a military honor guard. They will eventually be transferred to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency in Hawaii for identification.

 

Approximately 5,300 of the 7,700 American troops whose remains are unaccounted for as a result of the Korean War are thought to be in North Korea. President Trump had asked North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to return to the U.S. the remains of Americans who had perished in the conflict. Friday, July 27 marks the anniversary of the armistice that halted the Korean War in 1953.

JULY 27, 2018

 

 

 

Griffin Named Distinguished Graduate, Awarded Master's Degree in Strategic Studies
 

from U.S. Army War College

Says, attending War College 'has been a great honor' that has prepared me for 'the strategic challenges we as a nation face'

 

LITTLE ROCK – Lieutenant Governor Griffin today released the following statement upon being named a Distinguished Graduate and receiving his master's degree in strategic studies from the United States Army War College (USAWC), Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania:

 

"It has been a great honor to attend the U.S. Army War College, and after two years, I am excited to be graduating. I have learned so very much about the strategic challenges we as a nation face and how best to approach them. More importantly, I have developed a number of new friendships and have had the opportunity to learn from my colleagues. All that I have learned in the last two years of study is already serving me well not only in my military role, but also in my civilian career. I especially want to thank my wife and kids for their patience and support throughout this twenty-seven month journey."

 

Below is a photo of the U.S. Army War College Graduating Class

 

 

 

About the United States Army War College 

 

The United States Army War College (USAWC) educates leaders to serve at the strategic level and develops their knowledge in the global application of Landpower.

  • The USAWC was established in 1901 by Secretary of War Elihu Root under President Theodore Roosevelt.
  • The Carlisle Barracks, located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, is one of the oldest military installations in the nation.
  • Notable alumni of the USAWC include former Secretary of State Alexander Haig and Generals Dwight D. Eisenhower, Omar Bradley, George S. Patton Jr, and Norman Schwarzkopf.
  • President Dwight D. Eisenhower is quoted as saying of the USAWC: 

“The War College marks a great change in the thinking, or let us say, the formal education of officers of our armed services. That formal education up until the time of the War College concerns the techniques, the tactics, the logistics of battle, of campaigns with their preparation and the operation of troops. Now you are thinking about war, about victory in war or better, keeping us out of war… I wish sometimes I could go back to my own year in the War College. It was the one year that was set aside completely for the study of our profession, the profession we entered as Lieutenants many, many years earlier.” 

  • The USAWC recognizes students as Distinguished Graduates based on their performance during the academic year. The selections are based on students exceeding standards.

Additional information about the USAWC can be found here: www.armywarcollege.edu/overview.cfm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

cid:image001.png@01D2C984.12AFC1A0cid:image002.png@01CD9CD6.C2965960

United States Attorney Duane (DAK) Kees

Western District of Arkansas

_____________________________________________________

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

July 26, 2018

 

HOT SPRINGS MAN SENTENCED TO OVER 33 YEARS

 

     IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR KIDNAPPING

 

AND AGGRAVATED SEXUAL ABUSE BY FORCE

 

        Hot Springs, Arkansas – Duane (DAK) Kees, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced today that Lynn Terrance Breckenridge II, age 28, of Hot Springs, Arkansas was sentenced today to 405 months in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release for the remainder of his life on one count each of Kidnapping and Aggravated Sexual Abuse by Force. The Honorable Susan O. Hickey presided over the sentencing hearing in the United States District Court in Hot Springs.

 

       According to court records, Breckenridge spoke to a Hot Springs woman who was walking her dog in the early morning hours of October 5, 2014, and offered her a ride under the guise that he and the woman had a mutual acquaintance and that Breckenridge would drive the woman and her dog back to the place where she was living. The woman accepted the ride and she and her dog got inside Breckenridge’s car.

 

        Instead of taking the woman where Breckenridge had promised, he confined the woman inside his car and drove her and her dog throughout Hot Springs, preventing her and her dog from getting out of the car.  Eventually, Breckenridge drove the woman and her dog to West Mountain, which is part of Hot Springs National Park and under exclusive federal jurisdiction.  There, Breckenridge threw the woman’s dog out of the car, sexually assaulted the woman, threatened to kill her and continued to hold her against her will.

 

        Sometime after the woman had been restrained inside the car and sexually assaulted, she was able to escape from Breckenridge’s vehicle.  She ran and hid from Breckenridge until she saw a passing taxi.  The woman flagged down the taxi and was later taken to the Hot Springs National Park Medical Center for treatment and evidence collection. Subsequent forensic examination of evidence obtained from the woman at the Hot Springs National Park Medical Center revealed bodily fluids that matched Breckenridge’s DNA.

 

       Breckenridge was indicted in July 2015 on federal charges and plead guilty in February 2017.

 

       This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Hot Springs Police Department and the National Park Service.  Assistant United States Attorneys Kyra Jenner and Candace Taylor prosecuted the case for the United States.

JULY 26, 2018

/var/folders/54/mcrjl6t15z39k7kp0trv053wmkjl26/T/com.microsoft.Outlook/WebArchiveCopyPasteTempFiles/cidimage001.png@01D40732.B90B45F0

 

 

Cotton Seeking Fall Interns for Washington, D.C. Office

 

Washington, D.C. — Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) announced today he is seeking fall interns in his Washington, D.C. office. Interns will have the opportunity to experience the daily operations of Senator Cotton’s office and witness the legislative process firsthand. Depending on their university’s requirements, students may be able to receive academic credit for their service. Internships are open to both undergraduate and graduate students. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Part-time and full-time internships are available. Internship duration will vary based on availability of applicant and internship program space.

 

To apply, please submit a resume and cover letter explaining why you want to intern for Senator Cotton to internships_cotton@cotton.senate.gov. In your cover letter, please state your availability. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you love old books, special printings and books as works of art?  Have a passion for historical documents, old maps and postcards?  Love Arkansas history and all things Arkansas? The Arkansas Book and Paper Show is the place for you!

The Arkansas Antiquarian Booksellers Association will host the 33rd Annual Arkansas Book and Paper Show August 11th & 12th at the Jacksonville Community Center at 5 Municipal Drive in Jacksonville, Arkansas.  The show features dealers from around the region selling rare antique books, special printings, first editions, author signed editions, and out of print books.  Dealers will be on hand featuring historical documents, old photos, postcards, maps, advertising media and ephemera from Arkansas and the U.S. Local authors will be on hand for book signings and sales.

Hours are Saturday August 11th from 10 – 5 and Sunday August 12th from 11 – 4.  Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for students and school employees with current school ID.  Parking is free at the Community Center.  For additional information call 501-985-1663, contact mcintrcoll@aol.com, or visit www.arkansasbookandpapershow.com.  Sponsored by the Arkansas Antiquarian Booksellers Association.  Supported in part by the Antiquarian Bookdealers’ Association of America.

 

JULY 25, 2018

/var/folders/54/mcrjl6t15z39k7kp0trv053wmkjl26/T/com.microsoft.Outlook/WebArchiveCopyPasteTempFiles/cidimage001.png@01D40732.B90B45F0

 

COTTON STATEMENT ON U.S. AIRLINES' REMOVAL

OF REFERENCES TO TAIWAN

Washington, D.C. — Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today released a statement on the decision of three major U.S. airlines—American, Delta, and United—to remove references to Taiwan on their websites in order to comply with an ultimatum issued by the Chinese government: 

 

“It’s disappointing that American Airlines, Delta, and United complied with this ultimatum, but the Chinese Communist Party’s obsession with Taiwan—the only democracy on Chinese soil—is pathetic. These demands are the mark of insecure, impotent leaders who know the future will not belong to them.”

 

JULY 24, 2018

CAMDEN FAIRVIEW SCHOOL DISTRICT

OPEN HOUSE & REGISTRATION

FAIRVIEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

August 2: 5:30-7:00 P.M.

IVORY PRIMARY SCHOOL

August 7: 5:30-7:00 P.M.

CAMDEN FAIRVIEW INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL

August 9: 5:30-7:00 P.M.

Registration information is online at www.cfsd.k12.ar.us under Intermediate School Campus.

CAMDEN FAIRVIEW MIDDLE SCHOOL

August 9, 10, and 13: 8:30-:3:30 P.M. - Registration for 7th and 8th grades

August 13: 6:00 P.M. - Orientation for 6th grade

August 23: 6:00 P.M. - Open House

CAMDEN FAIRVIEW HIGH SCHOOL

August 9, 10, and 13: 8:30-:3:30 P.M. - Registration

August 9: 7:00 P.M. - Freshman Orientation

August 21: 6:00 P.M. - Open House

SBearden High 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

/var/folders/54/mcrjl6t15z39k7kp0trv053wmkjl26/T/com.microsoft.Outlook/WebArchiveCopyPasteTempFiles/cidimage001.png@01D40732.B90B45F0

 

 

       COTTON SEEKING FALL INTERNS

FOR STATE OFFICES

Washington, D.C. — Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today announced he is seeking fall interns in his state offices in Little Rock and Springdale. Internships will be offered in two sessions: August 20October 12 and October 22December 7.

 

Interns will have the opportunity to help with the daily operations of Senator Cotton’s office. Depending on their college requirements, students may be able to receive academic credit for their service. Interested applicants should send a resume and cover letter to vanessa_moody@cotton.senate.gov and specify their desired office location and session.

 

 

JULY 23, 2018

 

BOOZMAN RECOGNIZED 100-YEAR-OLD WWII ARMY VETERAN PAUL LUX

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) recognized the service and sacrifice of WWII Army veteran Paul Lux in ‘Salute to Veterans,’ a series recognizing the military service of Arkansans.

Lux was born on December 21, 1917 and raised on his family’s farm in Subiaco where they grew cotton, corn, wheat and grain. Wanting to experience more than what farm life had to offer, he joined the military and embarked on an adventure he still reflects on with humor and gratitude.

In 1939, Lux enlisted in the Army. “I just thought I’d like the Army. And I did. I loved the Army,” Lux said.

He wasn’t fond of the drilling so he sought a cooking position and was assigned to be first cook. “I never cooked a day in my life. I couldn’t boil water,” he laughed. His on-the-job training taught him well as he worked his way up to mess sergeant.

Lux has great memories of the friends that he made while serving in uniform. He fondly recalls the fun he had with his pal Joseph McNamara, a supply sergeant. “He and I had a party every night,” he laughed.

Letting loose was necessary to cope with the reality of the situation Lux and his fellow troops were in. “I could hear the guns shooting and going off. I was writing a letter home. I figured that’s probably my last letter. The next day we went into combat. That was rough.”

Lux recalled the generosity of a Belgium woman and her daughters who gladly accepted coffee from the mess truck. In exchange for this rare luxury, the family gave Lux and his friends a private bed to sleep in.

The enthusiasm Lux had for his time in uniform continues to show more than seven decades after he was discharged. He laughed a lot as he recalled his memories with McNamara and his fellow service members, including a friend from Jonesboro who made the mistake of taking off his shoes before falling asleep on a train. “While he was asleep I sold his shoes,” Lux laughed.

Affer his discharge, Lux returned to Subiaco where he met his wife Ann. The couple raised six children in Fort Smith where Lux worked for Railway Express.

“I appreciate Paul Lux’s service to our nation. Military service has a different effect on every servicemember, but Paul’s attitude about his time in uniform and the experiences he had still resonate with him strongly over a half-century later. His memories of his military service are an important part of his own legacy as well as our country’s history and I am pleased to be able to collect, preserve and share his stories,” Boozman said.

Lux’s entire interview was submitted by Arkansas Attorney General Lesley Rutledge’s office 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. 

https://meltwater-apps-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/images/555603611a46ac78c6af6139/blobid3_1530804145799.pngMAGIC SPRINGS WELCOMES SKILLET THIS WEEKEND
Venue Gates Open at 6 for an evening of Rock under the Stars
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – (July 23, 2018) Magic Springs Theme & Water Park welcomes Skillet to the Timberwood Amphitheater as part of the Magic Springs 2018 Summer Concert Series, Saturday, July 28, 2018.

Access to Timberwood Amphitheater starts at 6 p.m. and Skillet takes the stage at 8 p.m. To celebrate the park’s 40th anniversary, this concert series is bigger and better than ever! Open seating in the lawn / festival area is still available so be sure to bring your outdoor chair or blanket.

The band's style has been described as Christian rock, Christian metal, alternative rock, hard rock, nu metal and symphonic metal which allows them to draw so many different listeners to their music. The band's eponymous debut album was characterized by its grunge influences, while their follow-up album, “Hey You, I Love Your Soul,” was noted for "its electronic elements and industrial feel." Their music can also be described as an aspiration; according to band founder, John Cooper's idea for a perfect music is to 'unite' individuals spiritually and socially.

Don’t miss your chance to see this and other thrilling performances that are part of the Magic Springs 2018 Summer Concert Series and celebrate 40 years of magic with us!

It’s not too late to get a 2018 Magic Springs Season Pass, guaranteeing you FREE entry to all of the summer concerts.

A Magic Springs Season Pass offers an entire season of fun and includes:

  • Unlimited admission to Arkansas's biggest theme and water park
  • FREE live concerts
  • FREE Dive-In Movie Nights in July
  • FREE Magic Screams with new extended hours
  • Season Pass Holder appreciation events

About Magic Springs Theme and Water Park:
Located on the FUN side of Hot Springs, about 50 miles west of Little Rock, AR. Magic Springs is Arkansas's ONLY theme and water park. A single price admission includes entrance to both the theme and water park, including use of the rides, slides, attractions, concerts and special events. The park is open weekends during April and May, and daily Memorial Day weekend through mid-August. Magic Springs is operated by Premier Parks, LLC.

Visit MagicSprings.com for more information, or to purchase season passes or discount tickets.

July 20, 2018

News Release - Arkansas State Police Public Affairs Office | Contact Information: (501) 618 - 8232| asp.pio@asp.arkansas.gov

NEW STATE TROOPERS HEADED FOR HIGHWAY PATROL IN 27 COUNTIES
Thirty-eight Arkansas State Police Trooper Recruits graduated tonight and will begin their careers patrolling state highways within the department’s Highway Patrol Division.  The graduation ceremony was held at Pleasant Valley Country Club, Little Rock.

The recruits reported to the Arkansas State Police Training Academy in Little Rock on February 25, 2018 and during the past twenty-one weeks each recruit has accumulated more than one-thousand hours of classroom and practical training.

Major General Mark H. Berry, Adjutant General of the Arkansas National Guard, was the keynote speaker addressing the graduates and assisted Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police, in presenting the new troopers their certification and commission credentials.

Arkansas Supreme Court Chief Justice John Dan Kemp administered the Oath of State Trooper Commission.

Other dignitaries present for the ceremony included representatives of the Arkansas State Police Commission, department deputy directors, and division, troop and company commanders assigned across the department.

Graduates of the Arkansas State Police 2018 Troop School are:

Jackson Dorman, 24, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop G, Nevada County.  He is a graduate of Harrison High School and Arkansas Tech University.  Trooper Dorman served as recruit class leader. 

Ross Allen, 32, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop F, Ashley County.  He is a graduate of Hamburg High School.

Diego Araujo, 29, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop H, Scott County.  He is a graduate of North Side High School and the University of Arkansas Fort Smith.

Tyler Ashcraft, 25, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop C, Mississippi County.  He is a graduate of White Hall High School.

Brandon Bird, 30, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Prairie County.  He is a graduate of Russellville High School.

Kendrick Davis, 22, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop A, Pulaski County.  He is a graduate of Gurdon High School.

Brandon Dotson, 25, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop A, Pulaski County.  He is a graduate of North Little Rock High School.

Tyler Gentry, 22, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop F, Drew County.  He is a graduate of Blevins High School and Southern Arkansas University.

Rafael Guerra, 32, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop E, Arkansas County.  He is a graduate of North Side High School.

Zachery Guest, 22, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Crittenden County.  He is a graduate of Collinsville High School (Oklahoma).

Cameron Hankins, 22, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop A, Pulaski County.  He is a graduate of De Queen High School and Arkansas Tech University.

Quincy E. Harris, 22, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop A, Pulaski County.  He is a graduate of Covenant Keepers Charter School (Little Rock).

Brian Heinley, 46, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop K, Pike County.  He is a graduate of Malvern Senior High School.

Montae E. Hernandez, 22, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Phillips County.  He is a graduate of Malvern High School.

Tanner Hess, 21, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Cross County.  He is a graduate of Calvary Christian High School (Little Rock) and East Arkansas Community College.

Brad Hitchcock, 45, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop C, Mississippi County.  He is a graduate of Manila High School.

Kevin Hrabal, 28, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop F, Dallas County.  He is a graduate of Fordyce High School and Henderson State University.

Jarueben Lee, 26, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop E, Jefferson County.  He is a graduate of Little Rock Central High School and University of Arkansas Pine Bluff.

Remington Lively, 23, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop I, Izard County.  He is a graduate of Calico Rock High School and Arkansas State University.

William Taylor Lockwood, 23, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop E, Arkansas County.  He is a graduate of Sterlington High School (Louisiana).

Jeffery Lovelis, 29, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop E, Lincoln County.  He is a graduate of Nashville High School.

Antonio May, 30, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop G, Hempstead County.  He is a graduate of Ashdown High School and Utah State University.

Tanner Middlecoff, 30, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop C, Mississippi County.  He is a graduate of Hoxie High School and Southern Arkansas University Tech.

Steve Miller, 31, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop A, Pulaski County.  He is a graduate of Three Rivers High School (Missouri) and Missouri Evangel University.

Don Moreland, 31, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop A, Pulaski County.  He is a graduate of Glen Rose High School.

Spencer Morris, 30, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Crittenden County.  He is a graduate of Marion High School and Arkansas State University.

Robert Neese, 27, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, St. Francis County.  He is a graduate of Faith Christian Academy (Texas).

Tyler Pendarvis, 24, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop I, Searcy County.  He is a graduate of Highland High School and Ozarka College.

Jimmy Plyler Jr., 34, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop F, Dallas County.  He is a graduate of Gurdon High School and South Arkansas Community College.

Quinton T. Porter, 26, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop H, Logan County.  He is a graduate of Booneville High School.

Jake Price, 22, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Lee County.  He is a graduate of Magnolia High School.

Robert Puckett, 29, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop B, White County.  He is a graduate of Beebe High School and Arkansas Tech University.

James Ray, 21, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop H, Franklin County.  He is a graduate of Booneville High School.

James R. Reed, 22, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop F, Bradley County.  He is a graduate of Rison High School and Southern Arkansas University.

Jeff Richardson, 33, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop L, Madison County.  He is a graduate of South Side High School.

Justin Starnes, 36, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop F, Calhoun County.  He is a graduate of Camden-Fairview High School.

Trevor M. Stevenson, 28, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop A, Pulaski County.  He is a graduate of Tuckerman High School and University of Arkansasa Community College.

Lucas Talley, 28, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop G, Lafayette County.  He is a graduate of Lafayette County High School and Southern Arkansas University.

Special recognition and awards were presented to the recruits who attained the highest scores within the respective training categories listed as follows:

 Academics
1st place - Kevin Hrabal
2nd place - Kendrick Davis
3rd place - James Reed

Physical Fitness
1st place - Trevor Stevenson
2nd place - Remington Lively
3rd place - Jackson Dorman

Firearms
1st place - Spencer Morris
2nd place - Quincy Harris
3rd place - Jimmy Plyler Jr. and Trevor Stevenson (tie)

Upon reporting for duty at their respective troop headquarters, the new troopers will be placed with a certified departmental Field Training Officer (FTO).  Each graduate will work in tandem with their respective FTO for a transitional period prior to being released to their assignment.

JULY 19, 2018

FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF NON-PROFIT PLEADS GUILTY TO
CONSPIRACY WITH UNNAMED STATE SENATOR AND CONVICTED LOBBYIST

El Dorado, Arkansas - Duane Kees, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Jerry Kennedy Walsh, age 72, of Magnolia, Arkansas pleaded guilty today to conspiring to misapply over $380,000 from South Arkansas Youth Services without the authority of the non-profit's Board of Directors.  According to plea documents, the scheme involved steering the non-profit's funds to an Arkansas state senator, to the lobbying firm of convicted lobbyist Milton "Rusty" Cranford, and to a relative of Cranford.

Kees and Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department's Criminal Division made the announcement. 

Walsh of Magnolia, Arkansas, who served as the Executive Director of South Arkansas Youth Services (SAYS) pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan O. Hickey to an information charging him with conspiracy to misapply the non-profit's funds without authority from the Board of Directors. 

As part of his plea, Walsh admitted that beginning in 2013, while serving as Executive Director for SAYS, he agreed to divert SAYS funds to Rusty Cranford and an unnamed Arkansas state senator in exchange for the state senator's influence in protecting the non-profit's state contracts with DHS and DYS.  As part of that agreement, Walsh was to provide a monthly "legal retainer" to the Arkansas state senator without the expectation that the senator ever provide any legal work.  Instead, the purpose of the payment was to obtain the senator's assistance in preserving the contracts in his official capacity.  According to the plea, the amount paid to the senator was negotiated by convicted lobbyist Rusty Cranford and amounted to over $120,000.   

Additionally, as part of the agreement, Walsh was to lock SAYS into a more expensive contract with Cranford's lobbying firms and employ a relative of Cranford who would have a "no-show" job with SAYS.  Between the new contract with the Cranford lobbying firm and the payment for the no-show job, the non-profit paid out an additional $262,000.    As part of his plea, Walsh admitted that these payments and those to the state senator were not authorized by the SAYS Board of Directors.   

"This plea exposes the depths to which 'pay to play' politics has corrupted a non-profit organization which was formed with the best of intentions, to help children," said Kees.  "Unfortunately, there are many victims in a scheme like this.  The people of this state were deprived of the uncorrupted functioning of their government agencies, the non-profit was stripped of funds, and now that the non-profit has been shuttered, the community is deprived of a non-profit dedicated to providing services to their most vulnerable children, those who are incarcerated and in state custody.  I look forward to a day when all politicians exercising influence do so based upon the best interests of the children in their communities and not on who is paying them for no-show jobs."       

"Jerry Walsh diverted hundreds of thousands of dollars intended to help vulnerable children in southern Arkansas as a part of a corrupt scheme to influence the award of state contracts," said Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski. "Walsh's actions ultimately risked destroying the non-profit he helped lead and undermining the public's confidence in its elected officials.  The Criminal Division and our law enforcement partners are committed to protecting the integrity of charitable programs, rooting out corruption, and ensuring that individuals like Walsh are held accountable for their actions."

The FBI investigated this case along with the assistance of the Columbia County Sheriff's Office (Sheriff Mike Loe),  the 13th Judicial District of Arkansas Prosecuting Attorney's Office (Prosecuting Attorney John Shepherd) and the Magnolia Police Department (Chief Glenn Maxwell).  Assistant United States Attorney Ben Wulff of the Western District of Arkansas and Trial Attorney Marco A. Palmieri of the Criminal Division's Public Integrity Section are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Deputy Prosecutor Ryan Phillips with the 13th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney's Office.  This is a combined investigation with the Public Integrity Section of the Department of Justice, the Eastern District of Arkansas, Western District of Arkansas, and the Western District of Missouri.

 

COTTON INTRODUCES IRAN HOSTAGE ACT
Washington, D.C. 
— Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today introduced the Iran Hostage Act, legislation that would sanction Iranian officials responsible for holding American hostages. It would also bar these officials’ family members from coming to the United States for any reason. 

“Anyone who takes an American hostage has no right to come to the United States and enjoy its freedoms. Until the Iranian regime respects Americans’ basic human rights, they and their relatives will not be welcome in this country,” said Cotton

Companion legislation passed the House of Representatives 410-2 earlier this year.

Specifically, the bill: 

  • Expresses a sense of Congress that the U.S. government should use all necessary and appropriate measures to prevent Iran from taking U.S. persons hostages.
  • Declares that the U.S. government does not pay ransom for U.S. hostages.
  • Imposes visa, property, and financial sanctions on Iranian officials responsible for the “politically-motivated harassment, abuse, extortion, arrest, trial, conviction, sentencing, or imprisonment of citizens of the United States or lawful permanent residents with significant ties to the United States.”
  • Gives the President the authority to declare family members of these Iranian officials inadmissible to the United States and revoke these individuals’ existing U.S. visas.
  • Sanctions terminate 30 days after the President declares that Iran no longer holds U.S. citizens or LPRs hostage.

JULY 17, 2018

BOOZMAN, WARNER ENCOURAGE CERTAIN COMBAT-INJURED VETERANS TO FILE WITH IRS TO RECOVER MONEY

WASHINGTON—The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is advising veterans who have been separated from service for combat-related injuries and received a severance payment that was improperly taxed to take advantage of the relief offered to them by the Combat-Injured Veterans Tax Fairness Act (P.L. 114-292), a law based off a bill authored by U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Mark Warner (D-VA).

Under federal law, veterans who suffer combat-related injuries and who are separated from the military are not supposed to be taxed on the one-time lump sum disability severance payment they receive from the Department of Defense (DoD). However, for years DoD improperly withheld taxes on these payments from thousands of qualifying veterans, who were typically unaware that their benefits were being improperly reduced.

The Combat-Injured Veterans Tax Fairness Act rights that wrong, but affected veterans only have a short window in which to seek restoration. The IRS is advising qualifying veterans to file Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to claim a credit or refund of the overpayment attributable to the disability severance payment.

“When we introduced this bill, it was apparent that some combat-injured veterans had been unjustly deprived of their full severance upon separation by DoD despite federal law and clear Congressional intent that this not happen. When we started the process of fixing this legislatively, we believed that we would be helping several thousand veterans. We have now learned that number is much higher and there still may be more than 130,000 veterans who have yet to claim refunds. I encourage qualifying veterans to make sure they receive the benefits they are rightfully due by filing the proper paperwork with the IRS,” Boozman said.

“When we introduced this bill, it was estimated that there were only about 13,800 veterans who had been affected by a longstanding problem with DoD’s payroll system that resulted in taxes being improperly withheld from their separation payments. We’ve now learned that in fact more than 130,000 combat-injured vets may be eligible for refunds. DoD, the IRS, and Congress should do everything possible to make sure these vets know they are eligible, and I encourage any Virginia veteran with questions about the process or their eligibility to contact my office for assistance in getting their money back from the government,” Warner said.

The National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP), which identified the problem in 2014 and notified Congress of the error so legislation could be passed, is continuing to help potentially affected veterans.

“Congress did the right thing in passing this legislation so thousands of combat-injured veterans could recover the money that was wrongly taken from them by the government. However, we are not at the goal line yet. NVLSP will issue advice to help veterans and their families in the coming weeks through its website at www.nvlsp.org and social media accounts,” NVLSP’s executive director Bart Stichman said.

Most veterans who received a one-time lump-sum disability severance payment when they separated from their military service will receive a letter from the DoD with information explaining how to claim tax refunds they are entitled to, including an explanation of a simplified method for making the claim. The IRS has worked closely with the DoD to produce these letters, explaining how veterans should claim the related tax refunds.

The IRS has posted an announcement with the steps to be taken to recover improperly taxed income and links to Form 1040X.

ARKANSAS 529 COLLEGE INVESTING PLAN LAUNCHES INDUSTRY-FIRST MOBILE 
Application Arkansas emerging as innovative leader among state-run 529 plans
Little Rock, Ark. - (July 17, 2018) The Arkansas 529 College Investing Plan,administered by the Treasurer of State's office, unveiled a new mobile application today for smartphone users - becoming the first state-run 529
plan in the country to do so.

"This is a monumental day for our state," said Treasurer Dennis Milligan. "To be the first state plan in the country to launch an app for their 529 plan just further shows that we are innovative and thinkingoutside-the-box."

The mobile app will be released in several versions. Today's version is 1.0, which will allow Arkansas 529 account owners to view their account balances and transaction history, get deposit and security alerts, and stay up-to-date on news concerning their plans.

"One of the things we want to do by creating this app is to be able to share pertinent information with account owners using a tool that almost everyone has - a cell phone," Milligan said.

Statistics show that 95 percent of Americans own a cell phone. About 77 percent of adults in the United States own a smartphone, according to the Pew Research Center.

Being able to identify and reach Arkansas 529 account owners has been a challenge and a problem that most state-run 529 plans encounter, said EmmaWillis, director of the Arkansas 529 College Investing Plan.

"So our thought was to reach out to people where they're at. Most people have their phones within an arm's reach of them 24/7," Willis said.

According to a study by King University Online, Americans spend an average of five hours a day on their mobile devices.

Arkansas 529 teamed up with Central25 App Works of Springdale to create the mobile application.

To download the app, visit the App Store on your device or use this link:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gift-ar529/id1405894918?mt=8. The app is currently available to Apple users now and will be available to Android users very soon.

About the Arkansas 529 College Investing Plan The Arkansas 529 College Investing Plan allows Arkansas taxpayers to deduct up to $10,000 in contributions to an Arkansas 529 account from their Arkansas adjusted gross
income taxes. The Arkansas 529 program is administered by the Treasurer of State's office. 529 plans were established to help parents and grandparents save money for college that can be used at schools across the country and some institutions abroad. More information is available at www.arkansas529.org.

 

COTTON, COLLEAGUES INTRODUCE BIPARTISAN PACKAGE OF BILLS TO HELP AMERICANS SAVE FOR RETIREMENT, BOOST ECONOMIC SECURITY
Washington, D.C. — Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota), Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), and Todd Young (R-Indiana) today introduced a bipartisan package of commonsense bills that would help boost retirement security for individuals and families during a time when nearly half of all American families do not have any retirement account savings.

More than one-third of full-time employees do not have access to a workplace retirement plan. On top of that, projections show that 44 percent of Baby Boomers and Gen Xers risk running short of funds for retirement. Additionally, 40 percent of American adults would be unable to come up with $400 for an emergency expense account without borrowing money or selling a possession.

The senators’ bills would make needed reforms to improve retirement security for individuals and families, especially as the costs of health care, education, homeownership, and other expenses have continued to rise, squeezing families financially. The bills would:

 

  • Help workers set up short-term savings accounts to help with financial emergencies;
  • Expand access to workplace retirement plans by giving small employers more flexibility when setting up 401Ks for their employees;
  • Enable individuals to build emergency savings during tax time by allowing filers to save a portion of their tax refund for “rainy day” or long-term savings; and
  • Make it easier for savers to auto enroll into long-term savings plans and more quickly escalate their savings.

Last year, Heitkamp and Cotton held their first hearing as ranking member and chairman, respectively, on the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs’ Subcommittee on Economic Policy, on the vulnerabilities and struggle too many rural and working American families face in saving and preparing for retirement. 

“This legislation will help lighten the burden Arkansas small businesses face in offering retirement plans to their employees,” said Cotton. “Making these few simple changes could make a big difference for Arkansas workers and help them retire with financial security and peace of mind.”

“Every day, millions of Americans go to their jobs, work hard, and play by the rules to support their families and put food on the table each night,” said Heitkamp. “But far too often, they still struggle to get by each day, as they aren’t able to think about their futures and plan for retirement so that they are taken care of down the road. Our goal is to invest in workers throughout their lives by making sure they are able to save for retirement now so they will be set up for success in later years. That just makes sense. Our work on these bills shows a bipartisan commitment to improving economic security for workers and families, and I hope we can move them forward as they will make a difference for so many Americans who deserve to live with dignity both as workers and retirees.” 

“Too many Americans working full time jobs lack adequate savings to meet even small emergency expenses, and find that the retirement they had worked so long and hard for is simply out of reach,” said Booker. “As everyday expenses—from drug prices to childcare to college tuition—continue to rise, these targeted, bipartisan bills are, together, an important step to providing more financial security for working families.”

“Americans work hard day after day with often little promise of economic security in the future,” said Young. “That is why I joined a group of bipartisan colleagues to tackle the growing problem of families not being prepared for retirement. Our bipartisan legislation would strengthen retirement security for hardworking Americans by reforming and improving access to retirement plans. By allowing Hoosiers easier opportunities to save for the days ahead, retirees can enjoy the fruits of their labor and the peace of mind of financial security.”

“We applaud the bipartisan work of these four senators in leading on the critical issue of retirement security,” said former U.S. Senator Kent Conrad and the Honorable James B. Lockhart III, co-chairs of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Commission on Retirement Security and Personal Savings. "These four bills take common sense steps to help more Americans gain access to workplace retirement accounts, save millions more for retirement, and build personal savings for emergencies.”

 

July 16, 2018

GENE MORTON ANNOUNCES RUN FOR CAMDEN CITY COUNCIL
Gene Morton has announced his intention to run for City Council and will be on the November ballot for Alderman, Ward 1, Position 1 for the city of Camden.

Morton has been married to his high school sweetheart, Barbara, for 48 years.  They have two grown children, Mark Morton and wife Cheryl who live in Shreveport, and Carrie Sloan and her husband Charlie who live in Camden.  They have one grandson, Griffin who is in college in South Dakota.

Morton has been retired from General Dynamics (GD) for almost two years.  During his fifteen years of service there he served as a Quality Engineer, Facilities Manager, and the last ten yeas was the Production Manager overseeing the production of a rocket system. 

Morton had oversight over 100-120 production personnel that covered nine production buildings, was responsible for the safety, quality and production of a multi-million-dollar rocket program. He was responsible for the design, writing statements of work, and installation of multiple capital equipment projects that provided safe, efficient and reliable additions to the production lines.  He was also responsible for reviewing various budgets in order to track and maintain required labor requirements. Morton tracked spending expenditures on multiple projects so that there were not any overruns to the approved budget.

Morton is a member of Grace Baptist Church, where he serves as a Deacon, adult Sunday School teacher, choir member and serves on the Finance Committee.  Morton also volunteers at the Ruby Snider Ministry Center located on Mt. Holly Road.  He has been an active member of the Leadership Camden Area Board for the past eight years and currently serves as Vice Chair.

Morton graduated from Louisiana Tech in 1971 with a degree in Business Administration with a minor in Industrial Management.

Morton saidI am running for Alderman, Ward 1, Position 1 for the city of Camden. I believe that with my background in management of people, facilities, and budgets, as well as my people skills, I can facilitate a more efficiently run city government.  This will provide better city services without an increase in city taxes.  He went on to say I would like to see the relationship of the Camden city council and the mayor be one that shows better unity and to have more common goals for the city of Camden.  The council and the mayor have a responsibility to work together to focus on public safety, infrastructure and the delivery of necessary services, and promoting an environment that attracts and retains businesses. I believe that the issue facing voters in the city of Camden is getting the right combination of mayor and eight Alderman/Alderwomen that will work together, finding common goals for our great city and move forward to make Camden a better place to live.”

JULY 13, 2018

 

 
 

TWO ARKANSAS TEACHERS RECEIVE NATIONAL HONOR 

LITTLE ROCK — The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Science Foundation recently selected two Arkansas teachers as 2016 state recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

Justin Leflar, a science teacher who formerly taught at Holt Middle School in the Fayetteville School District, and Amy Sandy, a math teacher at Sonora Elementary School in the Springdale School District, were selected for their commitment to professional development and innovative teaching techniques and technology use in their classrooms. They are among more than 140 teachers from around the country who were selected to receive this honor.

“Thank you, Justin and Amy, for investing in our students,” Governor Asa Hutchinson said. “This recognition enhances Arkansas’ reputation as a state that is serious about educating her students and building a strong workforce. Congratulations.”

Leflar and Sandy will each receive a $10,000 award, a presidential citation and a trip to Washington, DC, to attend recognition events, professional development activities and an awards ceremony.

The Arkansas State Board of Education and Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key will honor Arkansas’ winners at the State Board of Education meeting August 9, 2018, in Little Rock. 

To learn more about the awards program, go to https://www.paemst.org/. To see a complete list of 2016 winners, which were just announced, visit https://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=295842&org=NSF&from=news

 

SPRING RIVER SINKHOLE REPAIRED, COSL ANNOUNCES

(July 11, 2018) HARDY, AR — A sinkhole that opened in the Spring River last month has been closed, Commissioner of State Lands John Thurston announced today.

The Commissioner of State Lands office, alongside the Attorney General’s office, Game and Fish Commission, Geological Survey, the Department of Transportation, Department of Parks and Tourism, Fulton County Sheriff Albert Roork and Fulton County Judge Darrell Zimmer, as well as local landowners and volunteers, completed work Thursday repairing the sinkhole, located south of Mammoth Springs, Arkansas.

The team of officials used a track hoe to collapse the travertine roof of the sinkhole. The structure fell into itself, resolving the water hazard that had been created by erosion and claimed the life of one person in early June.

State, federal and local officials had met in June to discuss the hazard and to determine how to correct the problem and ensure public safety. They enlisted the help of hydrogeologist Tom Aley, PG with Ozark Underground Laboratory in Potem, Missouri. After visiting the site, where Aley conducted a survey of the area with a dye tracing technique to determine the characteristics of the hazard, the agencies began examining potential fixes.

Thurston extended thanks to all of the agencies and individuals involved in the project. He acknowledged additional assistance from Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Sen. Missy Irvin, as well as the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for expediting permits for the work.

“Without the tireless work of many people, we would not have completed this project in a timely manner,” he said. “Each agency, official and volunteer has given a great amount of time to put together the plan and act upon it before anyone else was injured.

 

COTTON, COLLEAGUES URGE NDAA CONFEREES TO INCLUDE MEASURES TO REINSTATE ZTE  PENALTIES AND REFORM CFIUS
Washington, D.C. 
— U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland), Mark Warner (D-Virginia), Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) and Bill Nelson (D-Florida) today urged the chairmen of the Senate and House Armed Services committees to include the Senate-passed Cotton-Van Hollen-Schumer-Rubio amendment that would reinstate penalties against ZTE in their upcoming NDAA FY2019 Conference Report. Additionally, they urged the conferees to include reforms to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which were part of the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA).

The text of the letter is below:

Dear Chairmen McCain and Thornberry, and Ranking Members Reed and Smith:

We write to express our strong support for measures in the Senate-passed Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (FY 2019 NDAA) that would reinstate U.S. government penalties against ZTE, a Chinese state-directed telecommunications company, and modernize the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). As you begin deliberations over the final version of the FY 2019 NDAA, we request that you include these two measures.

Section 6702:  Prohibition on Modification of Civil Penalties under Export Control and Sanctions Laws and Prohibition on Certain Telecommunications Equipment.

We strongly oppose the June 2018 deal with ZTE negotiated by the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) to lift the seven-year ban against the export of U.S. parts and components to ZTE. BIS imposed this seven-year ban and other penalties against ZTE in April 2018 in response to its numerous violations of U.S. export controls and sanctions laws.

We also note that our nation’s six top intelligence leaders testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee in February 2018 about their concern that ZTE, Huawei, and other Chinese state-directed telecommunications companies are beholden to the Chinese government and Communist Party, which provides the capacity for espionage and intellectual property theft, and therefore poses clear threats to the national security, people, and economy of the United States. 

As you prepare the Conference Report, we therefore urge you to retain—and further strengthen—Section 6702 of the Senate-passed FY 2019 NDAA, which would not only reinstate the April 2018 penalties against ZTE and prohibit the modification of any penalties against a Chinese telecommunications firm unless certain conditions are met, but also prohibit the U.S. government from using or procuring equipment from, or entering into a contract with ZTE or Huawei.

Title XVII:  Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018

We also thank you for your work protecting our national security and intellectual property by ensuring that foreign countries are not engaged in illicit behavior when investing in the United States.

As you are aware, the Senate version of the FY 2019 NDAA includes important reforms to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States that were part of the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA). Those reforms are vital to protecting our national security and preventing intellectual property theft by foreign countries—including the People’s Republic of China.

As you negotiate a conference report for the 2019 NDAA, we urge you to include the Senate-passed CFIUS reforms and ensure that the final language fully addresses our national security and competitiveness concerns. We believe that efforts to weaken the robust protections in the FIRRMA will embolden our adversaries and present threats to our national security.

We thank you for your leadership, and we appreciate your consideration.

Sincerely,

COTTON, BOOZMAN, CORNYN, CRUZ, INHOFE, LANKFORD PEN LETTER TO GENERAL PERNA IN SUPPORT OF RED RIVER ARMY DEPOT ASSIGNMENT
Washington, D.C. 
— U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), John Boozman (R-Arkansas), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), John Cornyn (R-Texas), James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), and James Lankford (R-Oklahoma) sent a letter to General Gustave F. Perna to support the Army’s assignment of Red River Army Depot in Texas as the depot source of repair (DSOR) for the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) program, which provides enhanced force protection, survivability, mobility, and power generation for the next generation warfighter.

“Red River’s technical experts maintained Army ground combat and tactical systems for multiple generations, representing an invaluable resource that would be extremely costly and time consuming to reproduce at an alternate location,” the senators wrote. “Their extensive experience rotating Bradleys into combat and training environments have endowed them with a firm understanding of the vehicle and the environments where it is employed. Fortunately for the Army, the AMPV is already benefitting from these highly skilled experts’ institutional knowledge. In a time when readiness is the Army’s top priority, bringing the AMPV to Red River would capitalize on existing capabilities and expertise while ensuring a minimal impact on readiness.”

Read the full letter below:

July 12, 2018
General Gustave F. Perna
Commanding General
Army Materiel Command
4400 Martin Road
Redstone Arsenal, AL 35898

Dear General Perna:

We write to support the assignment of Red River Army Depot (Red River) in Texarkana, Texas as the depot source of repair (DSOR) for the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) program. The production and deployment of this new Army system provides enhanced force protection, survivability, mobility, and power generation for the next generation warfighter. The assignment of depot maintenance responsibilities and planning for the sustainment of the AMPV program is a critical decision in maximizing the system’s service life while, simultaneously, generating great efficiencies for the Army. Red River offers a turnkey solution that possesses all the components necessary to seamlessly transition to AMPV depot maintenance support.

These components include trained personnel, tooling, production lines, and technical expertise from decades of experience working with BAE Systems, the original equipment manufacturer for the AMPV program. As the Army’s primary depot for ground combat and tactical systems sustainment maintenance operations, Red River has already integrated into the AMPV production process by disassembling, processing, and shipping Bradley Fighting Vehicles (Bradleys) to BAE’s production site for AMPV vehicle production. Due to these factors, Red River would be the most natural and cost efficient location for AMPV maintenance and sustainment.

Red River’s technical experts maintained Army ground combat and tactical systems for multiple generations, representing an invaluable resource that would be extremely costly and time consuming to reproduce at an alternate location. Their extensive experience rotating Bradleys into combat and training environments have endowed them with a firm understanding of the vehicle and the environments where it is employed. Fortunately for the Army, the AMPV is already benefitting from these highly skilled experts’ institutional knowledge. In a time when readiness is the Army’s top priority, bringing the AMPV to Red River would capitalize on existing capabilities and expertise while ensuring a minimal impact on readiness.

In addition to the workforce, Red River has been the Bradley’s DSOR since the 1980’s and the Center of Industrial and Technical Excellence since 2002. These designations, coupled with the 75 percent commonality that AMPV shares with the Bradley, make Red River the most effective and efficient choice for the maintenance and sustainment of this new vehicle. The cost to relocate these capabilities to another depot facility would result in a great loss of government funding, manpower, and intellectual resource.

Red River plays a critical role in maintaining warfighter readiness and is in the best position to fulfill the role as the AMPV DSOR. We appreciate your careful attention to this matter and request that you keep our offices informed of any decisions concerning the AMPV DSOR designation at Red River.

Sincerely,

JULY 12, 2018

BOOZMAN NAMED CONFEREE FOR MINIBUS APPROPRIATIONS BILL

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) will be among a select group of lawmakers tasked with reconciling the differences between a trio of appropriations bills to fund the Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the legislative branch, as well as military construction and water projects, for the coming fiscal year.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) announced the names of the nine senators, including Boozman, who will work with appointees from the House of Representatives to finalize the minibus appropriations bill, which packages together the Fiscal Year 2019 Energy and Water Development, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Legislative Branch appropriations bills.

“I am honored to be among those chosen to finalize this appropriations package as we continue toward restoring regular order to the federal funding process. This important legislative package includes funding for critical investments in our nation’s priorities for infrastructure, facilities for U.S. military forces and their families and upholds our promise to our veterans by funding VA health care and benefit programs,” Boozman said.

Boozman serves as Chairman of the Senate Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies (MilCon-VA) Appropriations Subcommittee. In addition to authoring the portion of the Senate-passed funding package that pertains to military construction and veterans programs, Boozman led the Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma delegations in introducing an amendment adopted by the Senate that requires the VA to submit a departmental response plan to Congress that can be applied in Fayetteville—and all future cases of disclosures—and provide recommendations about changes necessary to prevent such incidents.

“I will continue to work to ensure that the final version includes language I authored to ensure VA has procedures in place to prevent tragedies that result because of physician misconduct, like that at the Fayetteville VA Medical Center, from happening in the future – both in Arkansas and around the country,” Boozman said.

The amendment requires that any plan must detail:

  • Identification process for individuals impacted by disclosures
  • Procedures for expediting follow-up care as required
  • Detailed outline of proposed changes to clinical quality checks and oversight
  • Communication plan for the entire Department
  • Implementation timeline
  • Identification of a senior executive responsible for ensuring compliance
  • Identification of potential impacts of the plan on timely diagnoses
  • Identification of the processes and procedures for employees to express concerns

JULY 11, 2018

 

 

SAU's UPWARD BOUND PRESENTS "IF THE SHOE FITS, BUY IT" ON JULY 12TH 
MAGNOLIA –
Southern Arkansas University’s Upward Bound program will present the play, “If the Shoe Fits, Buy It,” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 12, at Harton Theatre.

The play is written by Michelle Raskey and directed by Larry Dunn, director of choral activities for the Magnolia School District.

In this comedic spin on the classic tale, we meet Cinderella, the fast-talking sales dynamo of the Castle Shopping Network (CSN).  As the winner of the Fairytale Land Advertising Award Necklace (FLAAN) for several years running, she is the apple of her stepmother’s eye. After all, CSN is a family business, and Cinderella’s stepmother is the CEO and her biggest fan.  Now, those pesky stepsisters have invented a product so popular they just might take the top sales spot at this year’s FLAAN Ball! Merry Mike, who wears tacky Christmas sweaters year-round, also dreams of winning the coveted award.  Who will emerge as victor at the FLAAN Ball this year, living happily ever after?

The cast includes Kenadi Savannah, a junior at El Dorado High School, as Cinderella; Traci Stafford, also a junior at El Dorado High School, as Jacky Beans; Jason Cooper, a senior at Camden Fairview High School, as Gilman; Sharissa Olivarez, also a junior at Camden Fairview High School, as Daphnina; Diamond Muldrow, a junior at Magnolia High School, as Agatha; Jacqueline Culley, a junior at Hope High School, as Beulah, and Matthew Hall, a junior at Taylor High School, as Mike.

Crew members include Denzel Jackson, a junior at Magnolia High School; Raedeshia Tucker, a junior at Magnolia High School; Rashad Hartsfield, a senior at Magnolia High School, and Tomothias Smith, a junior at Magnolia High School.

Admission is free and the public is invited to attend.

Upward Bound is a federally funded program for low income and/or first generation college-bound high school students. SAU’s program is designed to generate the academic skills and motivation that will enable each participant to complete a secondary educational program, subsequently gain admission to and successfully complete a post-secondary training program.

It provides academic tutoring, counseling, career orientation, and cultural and social enrichment activities to 180 south Arkansas high school students who reside within a 50-mile radius of the University.

JULY 10, 2018

SENATOR BOOZMAN ON PROVIDING THE BEST CONSTITUENT SERVICE IN CONGRESS

Last week the Congressional Management Foundation recognized Senator Boozman as providing the best constituent service in Congress. The nonpartisan nonprofit whose mission is to build trust and effectiveness in Congress announced that Senator Boozman won its Democracy Award in the Constituent Service category. In this audio message, Senator Boozman talks about the award and how he and his staff help Arkansans.

The transcription:

This is Senator John Boozman with an update from Washington.

I recently heard from Patty Bateman whose husband served in the Vietnam War. When they ran into hurdles getting care and benefits he earned, Patty called my office for assistance.

The Batemans are one of the thousands of Arkansas families who have reached out to my office for help navigating the federal bureaucracy and resolving issues with government agencies.

We do our best to get answers, find solutions or just cut through the red tape that Arkansans face.

One of the mottos I live by as an elected official is “to use the power of the office for good.”

I’ve used this phrase to help foster a culture among my staff about the importance of serving Arkansans and being a resource for constituents who need assistance.

As a public servant I aim to achieve the standard set by longtime Arkansas Congressman John Paul Hammerschmidt who consistently managed to help an enormous number of people when they encountered problems involving the federal government.

It’s an honor and privilege to carry on this legacy of service and I’m proud of the work my staff and I do to help Arkansans who have run into roadblocks with government agencies.

For these efforts, the Congressional Management Foundation recently recognized the work my office does providing the best constituent service in Congress.

The Congressional Management Foundation awarded my team with its Democracy Award in the Constituent Service category based on our consistent record of helping Natural State residents.

My staff and I are proud of this recognition and pleased to offer unmatched assistance to Arkansans who reach out for help.

The Congressional Management Foundation President and CEO called our office a “model” for my fellow members of Congress and applauded our work to “restore trust and faith that our democratic institutions can work.”

Helping Natural State residents is one of my most important responsibilities. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or what candidate or party you vote for – we’re here to help you however we can.

There are a lot of ways to reach my office so I can help. You can visit our website at www.boozman.senate.gov that was designed to make it easier to submit requests for assistance via mobile devices and keep Arkansans updated about the work we’re doing for you.

Constituent service often gets little attention, but it makes a real difference in the lives of people across the state, just like the Batemans. Please don’t hesitate to reach out so we can help you. 

COUPLE ARRESTED FOR SEVERE CHILD ABUSE AND ATTEMPTED MURDER
On July 09, 2018, Antwon Davidson and Janecia Moore, of Camden, AR turned themselves in to the Camden Police Department for an active warrant for their arrest, for Criminal Attempt Murder 1st Degree, Domestic Battery 1st Degree and Permitting the Abuse of a Minor.

On July 06, 2018, it was reported to the Camden Police Department that a 5 year old female, Antwon Davidson’s daughter, was at the O.C.M.C. ER with Davidson’s live in girlfriend, Janecia Moore, for the child falling down the stairs and complaining of her neck hurting. Medical Staff were concerned with the young child’s weight. When officers entered the exam room they noticed the child was very “bony” and undersize for her age.

As a result of the young child’s condition she was transferred to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock for further evaluation. Detective LaRohonda Moore received a preliminary report which was taken from several workers at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

The child was described as being severely malnourished, emaciated and frail with sunken facial features, and was crying out for food and drink upon her arrival at the Children’s Hospital. The young child reported to the staff she was not allowed to drink after 6:00 pm because she “potty’s on herself”. The staff noted her upper thighs had circular burn marks and bruising on her back side.

When first placed in a room at the hospital she was allowed to have a sandwich, but she ate it to slow so Janecia Moore took it from her and gave it to her brother. The young child told the staff about her Pop Tarts being cold and her brother gets his warned up, when she doesn’t eat it fast enough, her “Daddy” throws it in the trash

The young child was moved to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for severe malnutrition, dehydration and hypernatremia. Her electrolytes were remarkably high for Sodium. The doctor reports the Sodium was so high, it was likely to have caused permanent injury or death if the conditions persisted without medical intervention. The young child reported to the staff “They put salt in my rice, they put a big spoon full of salt in my rice and make me eat it.” The young child’s disclosure about her salt intake, explains the extraordinarily high Sodium and Chloride levels and is consistent with salt poisoning, which is a dangerous and potentially fatal mechanism of poisoning.

The doctor said high levels would result in an intense thirst drive, which explains why the girl had gotten in trouble at home for drinking from the toilet.

The summarized report form the Children’s Hospital is consistent with physical abuse and neglect and the child would be at grave risk of serious injury or death in her home environment.

BOOZMAN STATEMENT ON SUPREME COURT NOMINEE JUDGE BRETT KAVANAUGH

WASHINGTON–U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) released the following statement after President Donald Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the District of Columbia Federal Circuit Court to serve on the United States Supreme Court:

“Judge Kavanaugh is a distinguished jurist whose extensive experience and respet within the legal community make him uniquely qualified to serve on the Supreme Court. He has had an impressive legal career that the Senate recognized by confirming him with bipartisan support to the federal bench.

I encourage my colleagues to thoroughly consider this nomination. I look forward to a fair confirmation process and hearing more from Judge Kavanaugh about his judicial philosophy.”

v

JULY 9, 2018

News Release - Arkansas State Police Public Affairs Office | Contact Information: (501) 618 - 8232| asp.pio@asp.arkansas.gov

 “OBEY THE SIGN OR PAY THE FINE"
CONCERTED STATEWIDE SPEED ENFORCEMENT PATROLS SCHEDULED
Additional Information Contact: ASP Highway Safety Office - Ann Whitehead
(501) 618-8133
July 9, 2018
(LITTLE ROCK) – Arkansas law enforcement officers will launch a concentrated week-long speed enforcement plan next week.  The operation will be promoted across the state using the message headline, “Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine”.

  The intensified enforcement effort will begin Monday, July 16th and continue through the following Sunday, July 22nd.  The enforcement plan involves law enforcement departments across the state.

  “Speeding leads to death on our roadways,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.  “Higher speeds reduce a driver’s ability to steer safely around other vehicles, roadway hazards and unexpected highway exits or directions."

   Drivers who ignore the speed limit put themselves, their passengers and other drivers at tremendous risk.  During calendar year 2015, speeding was a contributing factor in 27 percent of all fatal crashes in the U.S. and more than 9,500 lives were lost in such crashes, according to the latest data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

  “Driving above the posted speed limit or speeding in bad weather conditions dramatically increases the probability that a motorist will be involved in a crash,” Colonel Bryant said.  “State troopers and other law enforcement officers will be on the lookout for speeding drivers.”

  The goal of the operation is to save lives and make drivers aware that no excuses are acceptable.  When it comes to speeding; Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine.

  For more information on the “Obey the Sign, or Pay the Fine” mobilization, please visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136. For more on Arkansas’ ongoing Toward Zero Deaths campaign to eliminate preventable traffic fatalities, visit www.TZDarkansas.org.

MAGIC SPRINGS WELCOMES FOGHAT & BLUE OYSTER CULT THIS WEEKEND!
Venue Gates Open at 6 for an evening of Rock under the Stars
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – (July 9, 2018) Magic Springs Theme & Water Park welcomes rock legends, Foghat and Blue Oyster Cult together for an evening of radio favorites you will not soon forget, as the Magic Springs 2018 Summer Concert Series continues.
Saturday, July 14, 2018.
Access to Timberwood Amphitheater starts at 6 p.m. and the opening act begins at 7p.m. To celebrate the park’s 40th anniversary, this concert series is bigger and better than ever! Reserved seating is available and can be secured at MagicSprings.com.

Foghats live performances show why the band is still around today and why they will be able to keep on rocking’ as long as they want. Hit songs include “Slow Ride,” “Honey Hush” and “Take Me to The River.”

For over four decades, Blue Oyster Cult has been thrilling fans of intelligent hard rock worldwide with powerful albums loaded with classic songs. You may recognize “I love The Night,” “Godzilla” and “Burning for You.”

Don’t miss your chance to see this and other thrilling performances that are part of the Magic Springs 2018 Summer Concert Series and celebrate 40 years of magic with us! It’s not too late to get a 2018 Magic Springs Season Pass, guaranteeing you FREE entry to all of the summer concerts. A Magic Springs Season Pass offers an entire season of fun and includes:
 Unlimited admission to Arkansas's biggest theme and water park
FREE live concerts
FREE Dive-In Movie Nights in July
FREE Magic Screams with new extended hours
 Season Pass Holder appreciation events
Learn more about these performances and find additional resources here.

About Magic Springs Theme and Water Park:
Located on the FUN side of Hot Springs, about 50 miles west of Little Rock, AR. MagiC Springs is Arkansas's ONLY theme and water park. A single price admission includes entrance to both the theme and water park, including use of the rides, slides, attractions, concerts and special events. The park is open weekends during April and May, and daily Memorial Day weekend through mid-August. Magic Springs is operated by Premier Parks, LLC.

Visit MagicSprings.com for more information, or to purchase season passes or discount tickets.

 

GOV. HUTCHINSON WELCOMES 15 WILDLIFE OFFICERS TO AGFC
CONWAY – Fifteen new faces will be joining the ranks of Arkansas Game and Fish Commission wildlife officers this summer. The latest class of wildlife officer cadets celebrated graduation from the AGFC’s training program today at Antioch Baptist Church.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson spoke as the keynote speaker of the commencement ceremony for the new officers.

“Most people don’t appreciate the amount of training and knowledge we require for our wildlife officers,” Hutchinson said. “In addition to the core requirements it takes to be considered a cadet and go into the training, it requires 16 weeks of training in the classroom and the field, experts you have to become in 90 different subjects, and you’re not simply checking licenses and deer tags and running down poachers.”

Hutchinson reminded the new officers of their role as representatives of the state of Arkansas.

“We want [visitors to the outdoors] to respect what we have in the state, but we also want them to feel welcome here,” Hutchinson said. “In today’s world, enforcing the law is not easy. You have to be trained in a lot of areas, you have to use good judgement and discretion in how you go about that.”

The process to become a wildlife officer began in March when 17 individuals were selected from several hundred applicants to participate in the AGFC’s wildlife officer training program. All applicants chosen were required to have a minimum of a four-year college degree, four years of full-time law enforcement, four years of military service, or a combination of those criteria.
During their 16-week training, cadets spent most of their waking hours at the H.C. “Red” Morris Training Center east of Mayflower on Lake Conway. They received 740 hours of training in self-defense, firearms, first-aid and rescue, drug enforcement, physical conditioning, criminal law and wildlife code enforcement.

AGFC Director Pat Fitts welcomed the cadets, “We are proud of these cadets for the work they’ve accomplished so far and we are thankful for the support they have received at home to make their sacrifice possible.”

In Arkansas, wildlife officers are certified law enforcement. They enforce state law as well as wildlife law. Much of their job includes keeping the woods and waters safe, and that requires the authority to make arrests for criminal cases as well as wildlife code violations.

Capt. Sydney Carman directs the cadet-training program with Lt. Tracey Blake. Many AGFC enforcement officers serve as instructors, and many AGFC biologists and experts from other agencies are brought in to teach specialized topics.

Assignment of the new officers will fill several vacancies in the AGFC enforcement ranks.

The 2018 graduates and their county assignments are:

  • Tyler A. Barber, Calhoun County
  • Christopher B. Crawford, Bradley County
  • Aaron P. Dillard, Ashley County
  • Blake S. Forga, Sevier County
  • Chad H. Herndon, Yell County
  • Tyler L. Hill, Lafayette County
  • Dustin C. Houart, St. Francis County
  • Matthew A. Malone, Mississippi County
  • Douglas F. Martisek, Union County
  • Brandon R. Motley, Crawford County
  • Barry C. Robinson, Nevada County
  • Joseph K. Turner, Johnson County
  • Kurt A. VanMatre, Crawford County
  • Andrew L. Watson, Lafayette County
  • Keenan W. Wilson, Lee County

 

JULY 5, 2018

 

 

July 5, 2018
CONTACT: Kimberly Friedman
PHONE: (501) 683-4788
kimberly.friedman@arkansas.gov

ARKANSAS' ACT ASPIRE RESULTS SHOW GROWTH: ACT RESULTS FOR GRADE 11 HOLD STEADY
LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas students demonstrated growth in multiple areas on the 2018 ACT Aspire. The 2018 preliminary results reflect the third statewide administration of the assessment in grades 3 through 10. 
Overall, the percent of students at or above ready in English remained steady or trended upward in all grades except for grades 6, 9 and 10. Reading results at or above ready trended upward in all grades except for grades 6, 9 and 10. For 2018, overall writing scores were not reported; however, writing scores were incorporated in the overall English Language Arts scores.
Arkansas’ percent of students at or above ready in math trended upward in grades 3 and 8 through 10 and downward in grades 4 through 7. Science scores at or above ready remained steady or trended upward in grades 3, 8 and 9 and downward in grades 4 through 7 and grade 10.
“The increase in overall growth reflects the hard work and dedication of Arkansas’ students and teachers,” Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key said. “The results reflect educators’ commitment to teaching strong, rigorous education standards and the positive effects of the R.I.S.E. Arkansas and Computer Science initiatives. The results show we still have work to do to improve education in Arkansas, but I am confident that as we move toward implementation of Arkansas’ Every Student Succeeds Act plan this fall, we will lead the nation in student-focused education.”
ACT Aspire Benchmark Changes
While there were no changes in the benchmarks, or cut scores, for individual subject areas (English, Reading, Science and Mathematics), ACT set new ACT Aspire readiness benchmarks for the English Language Arts score (reflective of the English, Reading and Writing combined scores) and STEM score (which represents a combined Science and Math score). Because ACT Aspire scores are predictive of performance on the ACT, ACT updated the ELA and STEM cut scores to more accurately reflect the increased performance expectations of the ACT and college readiness.
It is important to note that 2018 ACT Aspire ELA and STEM scores cannot accurately be compared to those for previous years because of the change in this year’s cut scores. A better comparison of 2018 ELA and STEM scores to previous years is to compare the average scale scores.
Average ELA scale scores for grades 3 through 10 exhibited an increasing trend with the exception of grade 5, which declined slightly from 2017. Average STEM scale scores for grades 3 through 7 vary, with some grades demonstrating little change and some grades demonstrating decreases.
At the national level, the percentage of students meeting the updated benchmarks is far less than in previous years.
ACT Grade 11 Results
In addition to the release of the 2018 ACT Aspire results for grades 3 through 10, 2018 ACT grade 11 results were released as well. These results, which held steady, also reflect the third statewide administration of the ACT for grade 11. 
A total of 31,227 students were tested, which is consistent over the last three years. The 2017-2018 average composite score is 18.7, compared to 18.8 in 2016-2017. A total of 14 percent of students met all four readiness benchmarks (Reading, English, Math and Science), which is unchanged from 2016-2017.
More Information
To learn more about the 2018 ACT Aspire (Pre-Appeals) data sets release, visit ADE’s My School Info website at https://myschoolinfo.arkansas.gov. My School Info is the department’s online reporting portal that reports school and district data such as enrollment, testing and financial information. A tutorial video regarding how to access ACT Aspire data is available athttps://youtu.be/csRfwjw1Cc8.
The correction window for districts to suggest possible corrections to the preliminary data opens July 31 and closes August 13. Final ACT Aspire data will be released on the My School Info website in September. 

SAAC BOX OFFICE OPEN FOR "SINGIN' IN THE RAIN" 
The South Arkansas Arts Center box office is open for tickets to the 2018 summer musical, "Singin' in the Rain", which will run July 12-15 & 18-22, with the curtain going up at 7:30pm. Sunday matinees begin at 2:30pm.

Tickets are $30 for general public, $20 for SAAC members and $10 for students. SAAC will also host an
Opening Night Champagne Reception with tickets costing $30 for all adults and $10 for children.

Tap your toes and sing along in this splashy adaptation of the celebrated and beloved film! Each unforgettable scene, song and dance from the film is accounted for, including the show-stopping title number, complete with an onstage rainstorm! Hilarious situations, snappy dialogue and a hit-parade score of Hollywood standards make "Singin' in the Rain" the perfect entertainment for any fan of the golden age of movie musicals.

"Singin' in the Rain" has all the makings of a Tinseltown tabloid headline - the starlet, the leading man and a love affair that could change lives and make or break careers! In the silent movies, Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont are a hot item but, behind the scenes, things aren't always as they appear on the big screen! Meanwhile, Lina's squeaky voice might be the end of her career in "talking pictures" without the help of a talented young actress to do the talking and singing for her.

Special events for this show include an Opening Night Champagne Reception at 7:00pm on Thursday, July 12 as well as Talk Back sessions with Dr. Yates on Sunday, July 15 and Thursday, July 18.

For tickets call the box-office at 870-862-5474. SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas.


SAAC TO HOST "THE PORTRAIT EXPERIENCE" RECEPTION FRIDAY
The South Arkansas Arts Center will host “The Portrait Experience” in the Price and Merkle Galleries.  A collaboration between three talented area artists and their high school art students, the show consists of 81 photograph portraits and 81 painted self-portraits. They will hang July 2- 15 with an artists’ reception to be held on July 6 from 5:30-7pm.

Lisa Burton Tarver, local photographer and Arkansas Artist in Education teacher, Maria Botti Villegas, also an Artist in Education teacher and visual arts instructor at SAAC, teamed up with Sarah Beth Howard, who teaches art at El Dorado High School to bring this self-portrait experience to the high school art classes. 
 
Tarver explained, “I took photographs of the students, and they allowed me to ‘capture them’ in their photographs. The greatest reward for me was seeing them smile when they saw their portraits for the first time. The painted portraits became what the students wanted them to become, depending on their skills. They all are different, but they all are fabulous.  Some painted their portraits realistically and others felt a ‘freedom’ in painting their piece.”
 
Villegas, who helped the students transform their photograph portraits into paintings on canvas said about the experience, “Sara prepared the students with exercises to be able to draw and paint these portraits. Lisa’s formidable photo portraits made a difference in the mind of the students since they chose the photos they wanted to represent. After many hours sorting photos, charcoal drawing and transferring, and discovering pallets and colors, we painted the self-portraits shown in this exhibit. These portraits are unique, the result of the students’ choice of color, shape, form and content. They are different and special. The fact that most of these high schoolers have not had any contact with a task like this before made it difficult at times, but very rewarding.” 
 
Howard was instrumental is teaching the students on a daily basis and helping them to create their portraits. “This exhibit is unique,” she said.  ‘To create this many varied, expressive and successful self-portraits is a feat of the imagination. It is inconceivable that so many novice art students would dig so deeply within themselves and accomplish what eludes many professional artists. To teach art is to teach others to see. As human beings we are endowed with an ego and preconceived notions of ‘self’. ‘Who am I?’ is a spiritual and existential question. It is a question that an astounding number of artists have attempted to answer. During a three month period EHS students had a chance to examine and respond visually to that question.
 
“Working collectively is something artists do routinely. However, an art classroom is a bit like a kitchen...if you get too many cooks working at the same time it can get dicey. Working together, working through difficulties for the benefit of the students was key. Watching these young people be so engaged, soaking up all the personalities and abilities of their instructional team was incredible. It is truly what AIE was created for.”
 
For more information on “The Portrait Experience”, please call the SAAC office at 870-862-5474 or visit the website at www.saac-arts.org. SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas.

JULY 2, 2018

EXPLORE THE ARKANSAS FOOD HALL OF FAME
If you are in Arkansas for any length of time, you are sure to discover the delicious food and unique food culture of our state. Whether it’s Delta tamales from Rhoda’s in Lake Village, the world’s sweetest watermelon in Hope, or that signature burger and fries from Feltner’s Whattaburger in Russellville, Arkansas is packed with flavors, places, events and chefs that tell a unique story of our people and communities.

As the State Historic Preservation Officer and director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage (DAH), I find the study of food heritage in Arkansas very interesting and illuminating. Every aspect of food - from the ingredients chosen, to cooking techniques and even portion sizes – conveys a message about our culture. Food is the cornerstone of many important life events, so, not surprisingly, everyone has a story to tell about food. Although opinions may differ, food brings us together and contributes mightily to our shared heritage as Arkansans.

But how do you know where to find these great tastes of our state’s food heritage? DAH just launched the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame app to help you do just that. With the app, you can explore the state’s heritage foods, legendary restaurants, remarkable cooks and influential chefs, as well as culturally significant food-themed festivals and events. Each entity listed on the app is a finalist or a winner in DAH’s Arkansas Food Hall of Fame program, so you’ll know they are the best of authentic Arkansas.

If you’re traveling the state this summer and searching for a great local spot to eat, the app will help guide you. Whether you’re in Marianna, Camden, Tontitown or Blytheville, the perfect lunch stop is in the palm of your hand. Simply download the app on your mobile device, whether you use an Apple or Android product, and discover restaurants by cuisine or location. You are sure to find the perfect place to satisfy your taste buds, and learn about our state’s food history in the process.

The Arkansas Food Hall of Fame was created to recognize our iconic restaurants and events, our leading proprietors, and our unique Arkansas foods. If you don’t see your favorite on the list, you’ll be able to nominate online and through the app when nominations for 2019 open in the fall.  I hope you’ll tell us about your own hometown gems that contribute to the story of Arkansas.

Soak up the flavor of our state as you explore our unique food culture with help from the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame app. It’s available now on your Google Play or Apple App store; simply search for “Arkansas Food Hall of Fame.” For more information, you can visit www.arkansasheritage.com or call (501) 324-9150.

JUNE 29, 2018



BOOZMAN, COTTON ANNOUNCE AMERICORPS FUNDING FOR ARKANSAS
WASHINGTON –U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton announced that Arkansas will benefit from $2.8 million in AmeriCorps funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency responsible for AmeriCorps and other national service programs. These investments will support 124 AmeriCorps members on the ground who will work on some of the most pressing issues in Arkansas including education improvement and civic works.

“AmeriCorps brings out the best in participants as they strive to make our country better. I am pleased to see the investments in Arkansas that will allow volunteers to continue responding to the needs of our communities while enriching their own lives and developing skills for future success,” Boozman said.

“I appreciate the contribution that AmeriCorps is making to education and volunteer efforts across our state. This funding, like the private donations that support it, will allow more AmeriCorps members to work in low-income areas,” Cotton said.

“Building on Arkansas’s strong tradition of neighbor helping neighbor, AmeriCorps members will change lives, improve communities, and build a safer, stronger, and more united Arkansas,” said Chester Spellman, director of AmeriCorps. “While they serve others, AmeriCorps members will also create opportunities for themselves – gaining skills and experience to jumpstart their careers. I salute all the AmeriCorps members for their dedication and thank all those who help to make their service possible.”

The following organizations are Arkansas recipients of 2018 AmeriCorps competitive grants:
Kiwanis Activities, Inc. – The organization was awarded a $191,199 grant for its Alternative Classroom Experience and Summer Incentive Program that will support 20 AmeriCorps members to serve with the Pfeifer Kiwanis Camp and help implement programs for at-risk youth.
City of Little Rock – The city was awarded $252,932 which will support 28 AmeriCorps members to conduct safety assessments and home improvements, energy efficiency evaluations and upgrades and neighborhood and housing revitalization in seven low-income Little Rock areas.
Southeast Arkansas Education Service Cooperative’s (SEARK) Smart Start AmeriCorps Tutoring – This program received $281,220 to support 46 AmeriCorps members as literacy and math tutors to 500 at-risk elementary school students in eight counties in the Arkansas Delta region.
Southeast Arkansas Education Service Cooperative’s (SEARK) AmeriCorps Future Teacher Initiative- Grant funding of $12,000 was awarded to allow 30 AmeriCorps members to participate in the Future Teacher Initiative (FTI) to provide one-on-one and small group tutoring to at risk preschool students in Ashley, Bradley, Calhoun, Clark, Cleveland, Desha, Drew and Faulkner Counties.

The federal investment also includes $1.6 million for the Arkansas Service Commission, the Governor-appointed state service commission. In the coming months, it will award additional grants to Arkansas organizations to support AmeriCorps members in the state.

AmeriCorps’ unique model means that these grants will leverage an additional $1.5 million from the private sector, foundations and other sources – further increasing the return on the federal investment.

CNCS will provide an additional $408,000 in education scholarships for the AmeriCorps members funded by these grants. After completing a full term of service, AmeriCorps members receive an award of approximately $6,000 that they can use to pay for college or to pay off student loans.

Every year, 75,000 AmeriCorps members serve through 21,600 schools, nonprofits and community and faith-based organizations across the country.

 

 

ARKANSAS TEACHERS, LIBRARIANS TO RECEIVE RECOGNITION FOR PARTICIPATION IN ARKANSAS DECLARATION OF LEARNING PROGRAM
LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Asa Hutchinson and the Arkansas Department of Education are pleased to recognize 26 Arkansas teachers and seven mentors this afternoon for their participation in the third year of the Arkansas Declaration of Learning program.
Arkansas is the first state to participate in this national program. Through national and state partnerships, 6th through 12th grade librarians and art, English language arts and social studies teachers use historic art and objects from partner museums and libraries to develop lesson plans that focus on the importance of stewardship and civic engagement. Since the program began in 2013, 110 educators have participated and more than 6,000 students have benefited from the program.
“Through the direct observation of historic objects and our nation’s great works of art, our students are learning the history of our nation and the importance of diplomacy and civic engagement,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “I am honored that the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Reception Rooms chose Arkansas for the pilot Declaration of Learning project. This has given our teachers the resources to increase opportunities to enhance our students’ grasp of history."
“I am proud of the Arkansas educators who have dedicated their time and expertise to making the Arkansas Declaration of Learning initiative a success,” Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key said. “Arkansas is the first state in the country to implement this national program, and through our partnerships with other organizations, we have enhanced student learning by providing access to historical objects that are rich in history. Together we are transforming Arkansas to lead the nation in student-focused education."
The Declaration of Learning program was formed in 2013 as part of an inter-agency educational initiative. Representatives from 13 national organizations signed the Declaration of Learning, which pledged that the organizations would work with state and local partners to create learning tools for educators and students in middle and secondary education. In addition to ADE, other partners are the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Reception Rooms, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Central Arkansas Library System’s Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, and the Clinton Foundation.
Today’s recognition will be held at 3:30 p.m. in the Choctaw Building on the Clinton Presidential Center campus. The event is free and will highlight the work of year-three participants and feature presentations by three educators who are receiving the Best of the Best award. The event also marks the launch of the program’s fourth year by celebrating the 31 teachers and school librarians and nine mentors who spent the week in an immersive summit and will spend the next year implementing the ADOL into their classrooms and school libraries.

To learn more about the program and to see a list of past and current program participants, visit the ADE website at https://bit.ly/2Ig48WQ. The webpage also features a video about the program.

 

BOOZMAN STATEMENT ON FARM BILL PASSAGE
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) released the following statement after he joined a bipartisan majority of the Senate to pass the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, commonly referred to as the Farm Bill.

“I want to congratulate Chairman Roberts and Ranking Member Stabenow on passing a bipartisan Farm Bill through the Senate. We are one step closer to providing certainty and predictability to Arkansas’s farmers and ranchers who are experiencing the most fragile farm economy since the 1980’s farm crisis. I was pleased to see the process move forward. However, I have serious concerns about provisions that were included at the last minute that have the potential to negatively impact farmers in Arkansas and across the country. I am committed working with my colleagues to address these concerns, so that the final bill ensures all farmers and ranchers are able to compete on a level playing field in the global marketplace.”

During the debate, Boozman spoke in support of the legislation on Senate floor while voicing his concerns about some of the provisions. 

JUNE 28, 2018

FREE TRAVELING EXHIBIT VISITS SOUTH ARKANSAS
The Great War: Arkansas in World War I
Smackover, AR -   The Great War: Arkansas in World War I, a free traveling exhibit that tells the story of Arkansas’s role during World War at home and on the battlefields, will be displayed at the Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources, 4087 Smackover Hwy., Smackover, AR 71762 on June 7-July 27, 2018 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

The traveling exhibit consists of 9 panels that showcase images from the Arkansas State Archives’ holdings, including original documents, photographs, posters, maps and historical objects, giving a first-hand look at the lives of Arkansans during the war.  The exhibit covers the chronology of the war as well as various facets of the conflict, such as training troops in Arkansas, actions overseas, the Home Front, providing for the war, healthcare and Arkansas heroes.

I am very pleased that the Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources is sharing The Great War: Arkansas in World War I with their visitors and community,” stated Julienne Crawford, the Arkansas State Archives’ Curator.  She continued, “This exhibit, created to commemorate the centennial anniversary of America’s entry into World War I, powerfully memorializes the impact this first modern, global war had on the 65 million who were mobilized, including the 70,000 soldiers from Arkansas.”

The Arkansas State Archives is located in Little Rock. It maintains the largest collection of historical materials on Arkansas in the world and is dedicated to collecting and preserving the documentary history of Arkansas. The State Archives also has two branch locations: the Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives is located in Powhatan and the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives is located in Washington.

For more information about the exhibit at the Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources, call 870-725-2877. To schedule this exhibit at your institution, call the Arkansas State Archives at 501-682-6900 or email state.archives@arkansas.gov. To learn more about the Arkansas State Archives and its collections visit http://archives.arkansas.gov. The agency changed its name from the Arkansas History Commission to the Arkansas State Archives when it became a part of the Department of Arkansas Heritage on July 1, 2016.

This exhibit is funded in part by a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council, the Department of Arkansas Heritage and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Arkansas State Archives is a division of the Department of Arkansas Heritage and shares the goal of all eight Department of Arkansas Heritage divisions, that of preserving and enhancing the heritage of the state of Arkansas. Other agencies of the Department of Arkansas Heritage include the Arkansas Arts Council, the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, the Delta Cultural Center in Helena, the Old State House Museum, the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, and the Historic Arkansas Museum.

SAU SETS GAME DEVELOPMENT CAMP FOR JULY 16-19
MAGNOLIA – Southern Arkansas University is hosting a Game Development Summer Camp July 16-19, which will allow participants to learn about game development and design with hands-on activities in programming, design, and art in an overnight camp setting.

All applications must be submitted online by July 2. It is open to students in grades 10-12,
and there is a fee of $325 per participant.

Applicants can pay online using the registration form or by check. Register online at https://web.saumag.edu/game-camp/registration/ .

Curriculum will include an introduction to basic coding, game tools and mechanics; awards in design and programming, and after-hours activities including video game tournaments, virtual reality and board games.

Participants are asked to bring a pillow, sheets and blankets, towels, soap and other
toiletries, an alarm clock, money for sodas and video games, and a notebook and pen.

Checks may be payable to SAU with a memo line Game Development Camp to SAU, ATTN: Rhaelene Lowther, 100 E. University, MSC 9378, Magnolia, AR 71923.

 

BOOZMAN PRESSES VA SECRETARY NOMINEE TO ENACT IMPROVEMENTS TO PREVENT INCIDENTS SIMILAR TO FAYETTEVILLE VA MEDICAL CENTER

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, urged Robert Wilkie, President Donald Trump’s nominee to serve as Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, to commit to closely monitor the clinical review process underway at the Fayetteville VA Medical Center and implement policies to prevent such tragedies from happening at VA facilities in the future.

During Wilkie’s Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Boozman applauded the VA for its response to notifying patients about potential misdiagnoses by a VA physician at the Fayetteville VA Medical Center, but pressed Wilkie to ensure continued attention from senior VA officials.

“Do I have your personal commitment that you will keep a close eye on this situation as it continues to unfold to ensure timely notifications continue to remain a priority, veterans receive timely follow-up care should they need or request it and the independent reviews are handled expeditiously while maintaining the integrity of the review process?” Boozman asked.

Wilkie affirmed his commitment and vowed to support efforts, including those by the department’s independent inspector general, to identify misconduct at the VA.

On Monday, the Senate approved a package of appropriations bills that included language authored by Boozman that requires the VA to submit a departmental response plan on changes that should be implemented to protect our veterans from clinical errors at VA facilities.

JUNE 27, 2018

 

SAU WILL PURCHASE 24-APARTMENT COMPLEX TO MEET ENROLLMENT GROWTH

MAGNOLIA – The Board of Trustees of Southern Arkansas University voted Monday to purchase an 80-bed apartment complex near its campus.

As SAU continues to see significant growth, it has constructed three new residence halls, with ground recently
broken for a fourth, and converted a nearby property to residential space. It will now purchase the property at 1300 Bluebird, known as the Bluebird Hill Apartments, located about one-half block from the campus. This addition will help meet the long-term strategic goals for SAU.

The purchase price is not to exceed $1.3 million. Trustees, in a teleconference meeting, approved an additional $100,000 for parking and other improvements. Trustees voted unanimously on Monday to authorize financing $1.4 million for the purchase, at a rate of about 4.25 percent, for up to 10 years.

The property will be used for student housing and operate under the SAU Student Housing Office. Approximately half of the units are currently occupied by SAU students. Payment will be derived from the revenue received from the rent of student housing units.

The five-building, two-story complex contains 24 one or two-bedroom units, with a total capacity of 80 students. It includes a swimming pool and laundry room.

Dr. Trey Berry, president of SAU, said the enrollment growth “has been a blessing,” and that additional growth is anticipated for the fall.

INVESTIGATION FOLLOWS TRAFFIC STOP & CRASH
An Arkansas State Police investigation is continued yesterday as the result of a traffic stop that occurred on Monday at 3:42 in Hempstead County along the eastbound lanes of Interstate 30. 
Larry Jones, 22, believed to be from Tennessee, is the subject of a search that began after he fled from a state trooper during the traffic stop.

ear the 46 mile marker exit in Nevada County local sheriff’s deputies deployed spike strips in an attempt to stop the fleeing vehicle.  A short distance later, Jones lost control of the eastbound vehicle and was ejected from the car.

Jones fled from the crash scene and was last seen in a wooded area along the north side of the highway.

A search for search Jones continued through the evening hours.

Both Arkansas State Police Highway Patrol Division and Criminal Investigation Division are actively working together to prepare affidavits seeking formal charges associated with the ongoing investigation.

AHPP AWARDS NEARLY $3 MILLION IN GRANTS FOR ARKANSAS HISTORIC PRESERVATION PROJECTS
TB&P - The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program (AHPP), a division of the Department of Arkansas Heritage (DAH), has awarded $2.96 million in grants for projects in 58 Arkansas counties through its County Courthouse Restoration Grant, Historic Preservation restoration Grant and main street Downtown Revitalization grant programs. 

“These grants help protect our state’s historic resources, encouraging community revitalization, civic pride and quality of life,” DAH Director Stacy Hurst said in a news release. “We are proud to partner with these entities and protect the best of authentic Arkansas.”

Twenty-four counties shared $1.76 million in County Courthouse Restoration Grants, which are financed through Real Estate Transfer Tax funds distributed by the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council for rehabilitation of historic county courthouses across Arkansas. Funding requests totaled $6.91 million.

Counties receiving courthouse grants were:
Arkansas, $5,280; Boone, $56,510; Bradley, $36,000; Cleburne, $40,000; Cleveland, $29,500; Crittenden, $20,000; Dallas, $47,500; Desha, $235,430; Hot Spring, $100,000; Independence, $54,600; Johnson, $37,510; Lafayette, $40,000; Lawrence, $215,730; Lee, $100,000; Lincoln, $66,498; Little River, $127,000; Madison, $57,153; Monroe, $16,577; Montgomery, $24,000; Pike, $82,500; Prairie, $74,269; Stone, $111,929; Van Buren, $102,000, and Washington, $76,000.

Twenty-nine projects shared $874,795 in Historic Preservation Restoration Grants (HPRG), which distribute funds raised through the Real Estate Transfer Tax to rehabilitate buildings listed on the Arkansas or National Registers of Historic Places and owned by local governments or not-for-profit organizations. Grant requests totaled $2.28 million.

HPRG recipients, the amount of their grants, and the properties to be restored, were:

  • Bradley County Historical Museum, $10,540 for roof and siding restoration at the John Martin House in Warren;
  • City of Arkadelphia, $19,333 for roof restoration at the Missouri-Pacific Depot;
  • City of Eureka Springs, $9,999 for documentation and restoration work at the Eureka Springs Cemetery;
  • City of Highfill, $20,000 for roof restoration at the Highfill Community Center;
  • City of Little Rock, $63,333 for roof and masonry restoration at the Oakland and Fraternal Cemetery Mausoleum;
  • City of Nashville, $10,000 for restoration work at the American Legion Building;
  • City of Osceola, $39,757 structural frame restoration at the Coston Building;
  • City of Paris, $10,000 for HVAC and electrical upgrades at the American Legion Hut;
  • City of Paragould, $20,000 for roof restoration at the Linwood Mausoleum;
  • City of Rogers, $16,667 for window restoration at the Victory Theater;
  • City of Stephens, $67,000 for wood-deck restoration on the Arkansas Highway 57 Bridge;
  • City of Warren, $50,000 for HVAC and to make the former Warren and Ouachita Railway Station accessible to all;
  • Drew County Historical Society and Museum, $94,265 for roof restoration at the Garvin Cavaness House in Monticello;
  • Fort Smith Museum of History, $18,000 for masonry restoration at the Atkinson-Williams Warehouse that houses the museum;
  • Garland County, $79,333 for roof restoration at the former National Guard Armory;
  • Huntsville School District, $19,667 for moisture control and restoration work at the St. Paul School in St. Paul;
  • Little River County Training School Alumni Association, $20,000 for an accessible bathroom at the Home Economics Building near Ashdown;
  • Mount Salem School/Church, $10,000 for roof and front entrance restoration at the school near Paris;
  • Nevada County Industrial Development and Charitable Foundation, $8,985 for monument conservation and vegetation control at the Moscow Cemetery near Prescott;
  • People Helping Others Excel by Example (P.H.O.E.B.E), $30,964 for structural repair at the John L. Webb House in Hot Springs;
  • Perry County Historical Museum, $12,000 for window and door restoration at the former American Legion Hut;
  • Prairie County, $36,371 for window restoration at the former First Presbyterian Church in Des Arc;
  • Shiloh Museum of Ozark History, $19,435 for a condition assessment of the Fitzgerald Station and Homestead in Springdale;
  • Singleton Cemetery Association, $4,000 for restoration work at the Singleton Cemetery in Charleston;
  • John’s Episcopal Church, $50,221 for restoration work at the church in Fort Smith;
  • Paul’s Episcopal Church, $51,678 for basement, window and roof restoration at the church in Batesville;
  • Trumann Community House, $10,000 for an accessible bathroom at the Poinsett Community Club in Trumann;
  • Valley Springs School District, $41,712 for window restoration and other work at the Ole Main Building;
  • Women’s Literary Club of Van Buren, $31,553 for restoration work at the former First Presbyterian Church.

Twenty-one Main Street Arkansas programs shared $315,000 in Downtown Revitalization Grants, which are funded through the state Real Estate Transfer Tax and are available to accredited Main Street programs for building rehabilitations, parks, streetscape improvements and other design-related projects that will have major long-term impacts in the local Main Street area.

Main Street programs in Batesville, Blytheville, Dumas, El Dorado, Eureka Springs, Helena-West Helena, Osceola, Ozark, Paragould, Rogers, Russellville, Searcy, Siloam Springs, Texarkana, West Memphis, the Conway Downtown Partnership, Downtown Little Rock Partnership, Downtown Jonesboro Association, Southside Main Street Project, Pine Bluff Downtown Development and the Argenta Downtown Council in North Little Rock each received $15,000 grants through the program.

An additional $18,000 in Downtown Revitalization Grants was awarded to cities involved in Main Street’s Arkansas Downtown Network. Grants of $1,000 each were awarded to the programs in Arkadelphia, Clarksville, Forrest City, Fort Smith, Hardy, Heber Springs, Hope, Malvern, Mena, Monticello, Morrilton, Newport, Paris, Pocahontas, Prairie Grove, Rector, Warren and Wynne.

JUNE 26, 2018

CHRISTIAN HEALTH CENTER FUNDRAISER
The Christian Health Center will be having a Fundraiser on Friday, August 24th and Saturday, August 25th from 7am until 5pm each day. Visit the Pop-Up Shop for all kinds of treasures. Find household items, purses, kitchen items, books, furniture, sports equipment, luggage, clothes and more. There will be a Ladies’ Preview Party on Thursday, August 23rd from 6 to 9PM. Enjoy Door prizes, food and music with your lady friends and family. Tickets for the Preview Party are $10.00. Be on the look-out for location information. The Christian Health Center is currently taking donations for the Pop-Up Shop. If you have large items like furniture, call and arrangements can be made for the items to be picked up. All other donations may be taken by the Christian Health Center. All proceeds will benefit the Christian Health center and The Hub. For more information call 231-1111.

JULY 4th REMINDER: DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER
Arkansas Police & Deputies On The Lookout For Drunk Drivers

 (LITTLE ROCK) – During the upcoming July 4th holiday period, nationwide projections indicate the number of Americans who plan to travel fifty miles or more away from home could top 47-million travelers, according to the American Automobile Association.

Law enforcement records show a pattern of increased consumption of alcohol by many drivers during the summer holiday period.

Statistics from the 2016 Fourth of July reporting period reveal a fateful fact that 188 people were killed nationwide in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.  Compared to 2015, this is a 28 percent increase.

The Arkansas State Police and local law enforcement agencies will assign additional personnel to saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints beginning June 28 through July 9.  This effort is part of the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign designed to educate, identify and apprehend drunk drivers. 

“No matter your age, if you’ve been drinking or may be impaired in any manner, you should find a safe and sober ride to your destination or face the likelihood of being arrested,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.  “We will show no tolerance and accept no excuses in our dedication to protect travelers, not only during the holiday, but all year long.”

 The Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office recommends these alternatives to drinking and driving:

  • It’s never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation to get to your destination safely. Plan a safe way home before you leave.
  • If you’ve been drinking, call a taxi or someone who is sober to get you home.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road call 911.
  • If you know someone who is about to drive or operate a motorcycle or any other vehicle while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to their destination safely.
  • Buckle up, always.  Your seat belt is your best defense against the drunk driver.

For more information on the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136. Information about Arkansas' ongoing "Toward Zero Deaths" campaign to eliminate preventable traffic deaths can be found at www.TZDarkansas.org

SAU OFFERING ENGINEERING SUMMER CAMP JULY 9-11; APPLICATION DEADLINE JULY 2

MAGNOLIA – Southern Arkansas University is hosting a three days, two nights Engineering Summer Camp, July 9-July 11, 2018. High school students from grades 8-12 are welcome to attend.

To help ensure all interested participants have the opportunity to attend Engineering Summer Camp, the SAU Engineering program is offering four scholarships for top-performing campers this year. Scholarship winners will be selected over the course of the camp, and their registration fees will be refunded by the University after the camp is finished.

The primary goal of this summer camp is to grow interest in studying engineering and physics among high school students.

Participants will do hands on projects related to engineering and physics. Engineering projects include building and programming of Lego Mindstorms robots, playing with Arduino based electronics and hardware, designing the path of a robotic arm, building of model bridges and structures, design and modeling with Solid Works, and material testing using a force tester. Activities will include demonstrations in physics, as well as an astronomy night observation. Lodging and food will be included in the price. All participants will receive an engineering T-shirt.

There will be an awards ceremony at the end of the 3-day camp on Wednesday.

All applications must be submitted online by July 2, 2018.

BOOZMAN'S BILL TO FUND MILITARY CONSTRUCTION AND VETERANS PROGRAMS APPROVED IN SENATE APPROPRIATIONS PACKAGE

Includes Requirement for VA Plan for Clinical Disclosures in Response to Fayetteville Incident
WASHINGTON- The Senate approved a trio of appropriations bills in a package that included legislation crafted by U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) that supports military construction and veterans’ benefit programs and requires the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to implement changes necessary to protect our veterans from clinical errors at VA facilities.

“I’m happy to see the Senate returning to regular order and passing appropriations bills. This package includes funding for critical investments in our nation’s priorities for infrastructure and facilities for U.S. military forces and their families and veterans’ health care and benefits. It’s especially timely that we make improvements to VA policies to ensure we have procedures in place to prevent tragedies that result because of physician misconduct, like that at the Fayetteville VA Medical Center, from happening in the future – both in Arkansas and around the country,” said Boozman, Chairman of the Senate Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies (MilCon-VA) Appropriations Subcommittee and author of this portion of the funding package.

In response to the Fayetteville VA Medical Center issue, Boozman led the Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma delegations in introducing an amendment adopted by the Senate that requires the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to submit a departmental response plan to Congress that can be applied in Fayetteville and all future cases of clinical disclosures and provide recommendations about changes necessary to prevent such incidents.

The amendment requires that any plan must detail:

  • Identification process for individuals impacted by disclosures
  • Procedures for expediting follow-up care as required
  • Detailed outline of proposed changes to clinical quality checks and oversight
  • Communication plan for the entire Department
  • Implementation timeline
  • Identification of a senior executive responsible for ensuring compliance
  • Identification of potential impacts of the plan on timely diagnoses
  • Identification of the processes and procedures for employees to express concerns

Boozman also included a measure to move forward with improvements at the Little Rock Air Force Base runway.

The bill also includes a Boozman-supported provision that provides additional resources for the Veterans History Project, an initiative that builds an archive at the Library of Congress of oral histories and personal documents of the men and women who served our country in uniform. Boozman and his staff have conducted nearly 50 interviews of Arkansas veterans for inclusion in the archive and have trained more than 400 people across the state to participate in the project.

Additionally, the legislation includes a record level of funding for the VA. These resources will provide the healthcare, benefits and memorial services earned by U.S. service members and veterans. The bill also provides funding for 169 military construction projects within the United States and around the globe.

JUNE 25, 2018

FREE SMALL BUSINESS TRAINING OFFERED AT OPED 
Camden Accelerated Business Services (CABS) Center
625 Adams SW, Camden, AR 71701 (OPED Building)
Call 870-836-2210 or oped@att.net to Pre-Register
Tuesday, July 10, 2018 | 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

JULY
Google - Get Found on Google Search and Maps
Explore Google My Business, a free tool for local businesses, who want to connect with customers on Google Search and Maps. Get hands-on help creating or updating your listing, and take advantage of a free website.
Tuesday, July 10, 2018 | 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.


GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL ON DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES MEETS FEDERAL COMPLIANCE BAR, IS BETTER POSITIONED TO SUPPORT THE aRKANSAS DD COMMUNITY INTO THE FUTURE

 

LITTLE ROCK (June 25, 2018)The Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities’ three and one-half years early completion of a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) has paved the way for the Council to move forward in overseeing the implementation of the federal Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 (DD Act).

 

“It is exciting to know the dedication and hard work by our Council have allowed us to accelerate the completion of our CAP and to do so far ahead of schedule,” said Eric Munson, the Council’s executive director. “We hope other states seeking to make turnarounds will view Arkansas as a model and use some of our best practices to help them achieve success.”

 

The completion of the CAP brought Arkansas’s Council into compliance with the DD Act. This allowed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) and the Administration for Community Living (ACL) to remove the “high-risk” status that was placed on the Council in 2015.

 

“The Council’s turnaround is phenomenal,” Governor Asa Hutchinson said. “Just three years ago, the federal Department of Health and Human Services classified the Council as ‘high risk,’ cut funding and limited its activities. Through its strong leadership and hard work, a completely revamped Council responded to the challenge and resolved critical issues. Congratulations and thank you to the Council for overcoming the obstacles and leading the way. This is the way Arkansas does things.”

 

The DD Act provides federal funds so that people with developmental disabilities has access to and participates in all aspects of community life. The Council – alongside partners in the statewide DD Network – oversees the implementation of the DD Act in Arkansas by connecting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to the resources and programs they need to be independent, productive, integrated and included into all parts of community life.

 

The current Council was created by Governor Hutchinson via an Executive Order on July 30, 2015. The governor’s action came after AIDD and ACL suspended the Council’s authority to administer federal program funds to support implementation of the DD Act in Arkansas. He appointed an all-new, 23-member governing board; a new executive director, Eric Munson of Little Rock, and three new staff members were hired.

 

“The Council’s diligent work and great accomplishment have allowed us to look to the future for Arkansans with developmental disabilities by creating opportunities for integration, inclusion and independence,” Council Chairman Chris Johnson said. 

 

“The support from key leaders, including the governor, of the developmental disabilities community through the Council’s work creates opportunities for advocacy, capacity-building and systems change to flourish. …” Sheryl Matney, director of the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities’ Information & Technical Assistance Center for Councils on Developmental Disabilities. “The Council is addressing complex issues and developing and fostering key relationships with stakeholders working on issues important to people with developmental disabilities and their families.”

 

For more information about the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities and its mission, visit GCDD.ar.gov and follow on Facebook and Twitter.
 

VOLUNTEERS IN 67 COUNTIES PICK UP MORE THAN 133,000 POUNDS OF LITTER

LITTLE ROCK (June 22, 2018) – Arkansans from 67 counties collected more than 133,600 pounds of litter and 5.6 million pounds of bulky waste during this year’s Great American Cleanup™ in Arkansas, a nationwide program of Keep America Beautiful and promoted statewide by the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission (KAB).

Additionally, 4,624 acres of parks and public areas were cleaned up and 1,287 trees, shrubs and flowers were planted during the three-month campaign that began in March. Arkansans volunteered nearly 47,000 hours to clean up Arkansas’s parks, public areas, roadsides and other places.

KAB promoted the Great American Cleanup statewide via the #MakeArkansasGreen challenge as a call-to-action to encourage volunteers to register at least one cleanup event in each of the state’s 75 counties during March, April and May. Each week, KAB posted a challenge map on its social media pages with the hashtag to keep followers abreast of the progress being made across the state. In all, 166 cleanup events were registered with KAB in 67 counties, the highest number of counties to have ever registered with KAB during a Great American Cleanup.

“The results from this year’s Great American Cleanup can only be attributed to our dedicated coordinators and volunteers,” said Liz Philpott, CVM, volunteer program manager at KAB and statewide coordinator of the Great American Cleanup in Arkansas. “Nearly 90 percent of the counties in Arkansas registered with KAB, and we are so grateful for the amazing turnout. Thank you for making Arkansas green before the busy summer tourism season!

BOOZMAN RECOGNIZES WWII NAVY VETERAN 
WASHINGTON-
U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) recognized the service and sacrifice of WWII Navy veteran Robert Stroud Jr. in ‘Salute to Veterans,’ a series recognizing the military service of Arkansans.

Stroud was born in a log cabin in west Little Rock on March 5, 1919. When he was young, his family moved to North Little Rock. As an adolescent he says he was a “marble shark.” His marble shooting skills allowed him to earn enough money to buy a bicycle.

Stroud married his wife Mildred in 1942. The couple started a family and had two young daughters when he started his military service in the Navy. “It was tough. You get homesick real bad in the service,” Stroud said.

His wife came to visit him in Rhode Island where he was receiving specialized training to become a Seabee, serving in the Navy’s Construction Battalion.

While on leave, he went to New York and had the opportunity to dance with a siren of the silver screen, Bette Davis, at a USO location.

“I saw a girl giving out cookies so I walked over there and I looked at her and thought oh my gosh,” before asking Davis to dance. He recalled her saying that she didn’t think anyone would ask. They danced to the song “Sentimental Journey” and talked about his Arkansas accent.

Before deploying to the Pacific Theater, Stroud trained in California. “They told us we were going to have six weeks of hard training and you’re going to wish you were dead every day,” Stroud said. “You know what? They were right.”

Stroud says he didn’t stay six weeks. He remembers the 3 a.m. wake-up that alerted him to his deployment overseas. He sailed aboard the USS Florence Nightingale, which came in the crosshairs of a Japanese torpedo. “I was standing on the back and saw it coming. There was nothing I could do,” Stroud recalled, describing the evasion of the torpedo thanks to the zig zagging of the ship.

The ship resupplied on the Philippines before bringing the troops to the Battle of Okinawa.

On his return trip stateside, Stroud sailed on the USS J. Franklin Bell and saved the ship and members aboard from a potential disaster when he identified a mine in the water and alerted the crew so they could turn the ship away from the explosive device. For his efforts to protect the ship, Stroud was invited to dine with the ship’s commander and he remembers the menu.

“We had porkchops,” Stroud fondly remembered “and English peas. I’ll never forget that. And I love English peas today.”

Stroud returned to Arkansas and reunited with his family including his four-month-old son. In the years that followed he and his wife had three more children and Stroud bought and ran a successful business.

“I am grateful for Robert Stroud’s dedication and service to our nation. His memories of his military service are an important part of our history and I am pleased to be able to collect and preserve his stories,” Boozman said.

Boozman submitted Stroud’s 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. 

 

News Release - Arkansas State Police Public Affairs Office | Contact Information: (501) 618 - 8232| asp.pio@asp.arkansas.gov

FATAL CRASH UNDER INVESTIGATION FOLLOWING EARLIER TRAFFIC STOP

 Arkansas State Troopers assigned to the department’s Highway Patrol Division and Criminal Investigation Division has been investigating a fatal motor vehicle crash sixteen miles west of Forrest City (St. Francis County).  The 44 year-old man killed in the crash was a suspect who had earlier fled from state troopers during a Lonoke County traffic stop.

  At 10:37 AM June 22, a state trooper stopped a late model Chrysler sedan and during the course of the traffic stop the driver fled eastbound along Interstate 40 at the 183 mile marker.

  A pursuit of the suspect by state police continued until the trooper lost visual contact with the vehicle.

  Nearly an hour later the suspect vehicle was observed traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes of Interstate 40 and moments later at 11:31 AM state troopers responded to the report of a head-on crash involving four vehicles at the 257 mile marker.  The suspect wanted from the traffic stop was pronounced dead at the scene.  Four vehicles were involved in the crash and at least four individuals not related to the suspect vehicle were injured, one believed to be in serious condition, but stable when he was airlifted from the crash scene.

  Additional information will be released once next of kin have been notified and will be provided at the Arkansas State Police Preliminary Fatal Crash Summary web site.

 

JUNE 21, 2018

DR. KAREN LANDRY NAMED NEW CHAIR OF DEPT.OF  NURSING AT SOUTHERN ARKANSAS UNIVERSITY

MAGNOLIA – Dr. Karen Landry of Texarkana, Texas, has been named chair of the Department of Nursing at Southern Arkansas University.

In making the announcement Wednesday, Dr. David Lanoue, provost and vice president for academic affairs, said, “We are delighted that Dr. Landry has chosen to come to SAU. She has a wealth of experience as a successful nursing educator,