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MARCH 22, 2019

STATE POLICE ASKED TO INVESTIGATE AUGUSTA USE OF FORCE DEATH
Local authorities in Augusta have requested the Arkansas State Police to investigate the death of Quinton Laird, 38, who died this morning at a Searcy hospital.

Augusta police officers were called to 601 Hough Street sometime after 3 AM when a resident inside the house reported a prowler outside the location and accused Laird later of kicking a door open and going to bed.

As Laird was removed from the house by police he reportedly began to resist as he was being handcuffed, leading to an officer to apply a chemical agent (pepper spray) to Laird who eventually became unresponsive.

Officers began life saving measures and called for an ambulance to transport Laird to Searcy where a physician pronounced Laird dead at 4:47 AM.

The Arkansas State Crime Laboratory has been requested to determine manner and cause of death.Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division have been assigned to the case and will present their findings to the Woodruff County Prosecuting Attorney.

CAMP HEALING HEARTS EXPANDS TO TWO-NIGHT EVENT TO HELP GRIEVING ARKANSAS CHILDREN, FAMILIES REFLECT, RECONNECT AND REDISCOVER
FREE Grief Camp Set for May 17, 18 and 19, 2019
LITTLE ROCK, AR (Mar. 20, 2019) – Because of overwhelming feedback from campers, Camp Healing Hearts is expanding from an overnight camp to a weekend event for Arkansas children and families struggling with grief. Coordinated by Kaleidoscope Grief Center, which is a program of Methodist Family Health, Camp Healing Hearts is FREE to families attending and will begin at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 17 and end at 10 a.m. on Sunday, May 19 at Camp Aldersgate in Little Rock. This camp is open to any family in Arkansas who is grieving a loss.

Losing a loved one is difficult for everyone, and grieving that loss is essential to accepting painful feelings and creating an opportunity for growth and a new sense of normal. Camp Healing Hearts is for Arkansas children ages 5 to 18 and their families who have lost a loved one and are coping with grief and bereavement. Utilizing both therapy and recreation, Camp Healing Hearts offers children and families an opportunity to discover their own inner strength.

The camp includes heart-to-heart time, swimming, fishing, crafts, games, campfires and s'mores, a challenge course and much more. An adult caregiver is required to accompany the grieving child or children attending camp. Only 100 spaces are available to those interested in attending are encouraged to complete and return an application prior to the deadline, which is Monday, May 6, 2019.

Camp Healing Hearts is made possible by community partners in the Alliance for Grief and Loss, including Arkansas Children's Hospital, Little Rock School District, Pulaski County Special School District, Griffin-Leggett Funeral Homes, Delta Society and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

For an application, visit MethodistFamily.org. For more information about Camp Healing Hearts or Kaleidoscope Grief Center, contact Dao Ward at dward@methodistfamily.org or call 501-537-3991 or 800-756-3709 toll-free.

ABOUT KALEIDOSCOPE GRIEF CENTER
Kaleidoscope Grief Center serves grieving children, teens and their families throughout Arkansas. Grief can be an isolating experience for children. We help those dealing with loss and bereavement through education, therapeutic and recreational services, grief support programs, counseling and Camp Healing Hearts.

ABOUT METHODIST FAMILY HEALTH
Founded in 1899 as the Arkansas Methodist Orphanage, Methodist Family Health is celebrating 120 years of rebuilding the lives of Arkansas children and families. Our mission is to give the best possible care to those who may need our help. Our continuum of care serves thousands of Arkansas children with psychiatric, behavioral, emotional and spiritual issues and their families each year. Methodist Family Health has locations throughout the state, including the Methodist Behavioral Hospital, two residential treatment centers, seven therapeutic group homes, an emergency shelter, a day treatment program, eight counseling clinics, nine school-based counseling clinics, a grief center for children and their families, and the Arkansas Center for Addictions Research, Education and Services (Arkansas CARES).

SAAC’s YOUTH COMMUNITY THEATER ANNOUNCES THE CAST OF “ANNIE, KIDS”
The South Arkansas Arts Center’s Youth Community Theatre is pleased to announce the cast for their spring 2019 production of “Annie KIDS”. The cast is made up of students in grades 2 through 8, who auditioned in January and tackled twice weekly rehearsals. “Rehearsal days for ‘Annie’ are my favorite days of the week!” said director Hannah Davis.

Cast members for “Annie KIDS” include Maryana Woolen, Annie; Tiffanie Duke, Miss Hannigan; Cayson Martin, Warbucks; Hannah Hickman, Grace Farrell; Clay Evers, Rooster; Emily Henderson, Lily St. Regis; and David Valero, Sandy.

Also included in the cast are Gideon Moncrief, Drake; Maddy Couture, Bert Healy; and Elllis Lyles, FDR; Gabriel Moncrief, Louis Howe; Ari Urbina, Lt. Ward; Ellery Palculict, Apple Seller; Analee Sanchez, Bundles; Abbey Williams and Mason Halstead, Stars to Be; and Mary Claire Parker, Usherette. 

Annie’s friends in the orphanage include Braelyn Allen, Molly; Georgia Blackmon, Duffy; Gemini Parker, Kate; Maggie Phillips, Pepper; Henlea Stevens, Tessie; Zoe Zahn, July and in the orphan ensemble Maya Blanton, Aubrey Daniels, Audrey Henderson, Lily Langston, Hadley Margis, Abbie McGee, Emma Nolan, Annalise Seabolt, and Annie Walker.

The New Yorkers are played Rebekah Cooley, Kalla Fudge, Luke Lain, Natalie Martin, Emma McGee, and Emily Tran. The Servants working the Warbucks household include Jaylynn Crawford, Gracie James, Bryce Martin, Sebastian Marquez, and Riya Nelson.

Producer Lynn Gunter said, “This is the most committed group of young actors. The combination of returning veterans from the program and a few new to the SAAC stage has made for a dynamic combination. It has been a delight to see what they bring new to the stage week.” 

Just the name “Annie” sparks excitement in children and adults alike, thanks to a story and music that weave a promise of hope that “the sun will come out tomorrow.” Based on the popular comic strip and adapted from the Tony Award-winning Best Musical, with a beloved book and score by Tony Award-winners, Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin, “Annie KIDS” features everyone’s favorite little redhead in her very first adventure.

Set in New York City in the 1930’s, Annie is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of an orphanage run by the cruel Miss Hannigan. Annie eventually foils Miss Hannigan’s evil plans, finding a new home and family in billionaire, Oliver Warbucks, his personal secretary, Grace Farrell, and a lovable mutt named Sandy.

Sponsored by the El Dorado chapter of Kiwanis International, the show will run April 12 and 13, with the curtain going up at 7pm on Friday and 11am and 2pm on Saturday.  Ticket prices are $5 for general admission seating. For more information about “Annie KIDS”, 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.

COTTON, CRUZ, GALLAGHER STATEMENT ON RECOGNIZING ISRAEL’S SOVEREIGNTY OVER GOLAN HEIGHTS
Washington, D.C.
 — Following a presidential announcement that the United States should fully recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas), along with Representative Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin), released the following statement:

“We applaud the president for formally recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, an acknowledgement that enhances the national security of both Israel and the United States. At a time when Israel's northern border is threatened by Iranian forces and their proxies in Lebanon and Syria, including by Hezbollah's rockets, armed drones, and newly discovered terror tunnels, this recognition will be great news for our ally and its right to self-defense. More work remains to be done to align American policy with today’s recognition. We look forward to advancing our bicameral legislation on the Golan Heights which acknowledges Israel’s sovereignty over its territory, streamlines Congressional language, and expands the basis for joint projects on the issue.”

Background
In February, U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Representative Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin) introduced companion bills establishing that it shall be the policy of the United States to recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

MARCH 21, 2019

 

BOOZMAN WORKS TO STOP VETERANS FROM BEING PUNISHED FOR VA'S MISCALCULATIONS
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR), Jon Tester (D-MT) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced legislation to prevent the VA from charging veterans for its own accounting mistakes. The VA annually sends as many as 200,000 overpayment notices totaling thousands of dollars to veterans and their families, sending them into crippling debt and withholding future benefits payments until the debt is paid. These overpayments are often a result of the VA’s own accounting errors, but the VA puts veterans and their families on the hook for repaying the debt.
 

Boozman, Tester and Brown introduced the Veterans Debt Fairness Act to reduce these overpayment errors and require the VA to hold itself, and not veterans, accountable for its mistakes. Their bill requires the VA to shoulder the debt burden of overpayments if the VA was responsible for the debt.  

“Veterans rely on their VA benefits to make ends meet and shouldn’t be penalized for the department’s accounting mistakes,” Boozman, a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee said. “Supporting veterans and their families by eliminating the potential for hardships caused by the VA’s errors is important to honoring our commitment to their service and sacrifice.” 

“It’s wrong to put the debt from the VA’s accounting mistakes on the shoulders of men and women who have served their country,” said Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “For some veterans, these benefits make the difference between paying monthly rent or missing payments, and we’ve got to stop the VA from pulling the rug out from under veterans and their families.”   

“Our veterans sacrifice so much already to serve our country. They shouldn’t be paying for the mistakes of the agency that’s supposed to serve them,” said Brown. 

VA benefit overpayment notices have been steadily increasing, sometimes for a payment period dating back as far as five years. Many of these debt overpayments are at no fault of the veteran or their dependents, but rather VA accounting errors and record mismanagement. Currently, the VA can send out debt repayment notices to veterans requesting the full amount due within 30 days while freezing all benefit payments until the debt is repaid. 

The Veterans Debt Fairness Act requires the VA to update its computer systems so veterans can update their own information regarding their beneficiaries, eliminating a key cause of overpayments. Under their bill, the VA would be required to offer electronic notification of debt notices, including information on how to file appeals and hardship waivers. Debt collection would have to adhere to a 5-year backlog time limit and no more than 25 percent withholding of benefit payments. 

Boozman cosponsored similar legislation last year. Provisions of that bill were signed into law as part of the Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018forcing the VA to allow veterans to make changes to their personal information themselves. The backlog of these information requests were a main contributor to VA overpayments. 

Cosponsors of the Veterans Debt Fairness Act include Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).

March 20, 2019

PLUG IN AND POWER UP FOR CAMDEN JOB SUCCESS AT THE CAMDEN JOB FAIR
Tuesday, April 16th, 2019 from 9am-3pm,
At the SAU Tech Student Center Grand Hall
(6523 Hussey Road, E. Camden Arkansas)
Camden Arkansas - Camden Arkansas serves as host to one of South Arkansas' largest Job Fairs, The Camden Job Fair, one day only! April 16th, 9am-3pm, at the SAU Tech Student Center Grand Hall, E. Camden Arkansas.

The 2019 Camden Job Fair offers an amazing opportunity for Camden and South Arkansas attendees to meet face to face with some of today’s largest companies about current and future openings in the area! Participating companies that will be at the Camden Job Fair and many ready to perform ON-SITE interviews, include:

  • Aerojet-Rocketdyne
  • Arkansas Department of Human Services
  • Arkansas State Police
  • Community Compassion Center of Magnolia
  • First Step
  • Floor Pro of Arkansas LLC
  • General Dynamics
  • HNO Blending Solutions
  • Guardian Security & Merritt Phone
  • NTS
  • Ken’s Discount Camden/El Dorado
  • Hugg & Hall Equipment Company
  • Kindred at Home
  • Kindred at Home - Home Health
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Manpower
  • Cam-Tel
  • Ouachita Enrichment Centers
  • SAU Tech
  • Silver Oaks Health & Rehabilitation
  • SubTeach USA
  • Tim Jordan Company, Inc.
  • Twin City Transportation
  • Woodland Hills Home Care
  • B & M Painting
  • ESA
  • Potlatch Deltic – Magnolia
  • and many more!

Job Prep Workshops

Prior to the event you can take advantage of free special training workshops to get you ready to go the next level in your career, with workshops on:

  • Resume Writing - March 26th
  • Interview Preparation – April 2nd
  • Job Search / Preparation – April 8th
  • Dress for Success – April 15th

These workshops will be held from 6PM – 8PM on the dates listed. Workshops will be held at Greater St. Paul Baptist Church, 896 S. Adams Ave, Camden. Transportation may be provided, if needed. All workshops are free and open to the public. Each workshop is taught by highly qualified trainers who specialize in the different areas surrounding career pursuit and career coaching for better job placement.

In addition: The Arkansas Department of Workforce Bus Unit will be in Camden to help job seekers to prepare for the upcoming CAMDEN JOB FAIR. The bus unit will help with resume writing, mock interviews, creating online profiles and other services. EVENTS ARE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

Department of Workforce Bus Unit Schedule

Tuesday, April 9th, 8:30 am – 4 pm, DWS bus unit at Arkansas Workforce Center 237 Jackson Street in Camden

AND On-Site at the Job Fair in the parking lot of the SAU Tech Grand Hall Monday, April 15th 9 am – 6 pm at SAU Tech’s campus Grand Hall parking lot 6523 Hussey Road, East Camden. DWS bus unit will be offering resume writing assistance, assistance to those creating online profiles for companies that are scheduled to actually be present and/or interviewing on site, and mock interviews as time permits at the actual site of the Job Fair.

Tuesday, April 16th at the Job Fair event 8 am – 2 pm at SAU Tech’s campus Grand Hall parking lot 6523 Hussey Road, East Camden. DWS bus unit actual site of the Job Fair for on-line applications and other services as needed.

Come to the Camden Job Fair dressed for success. Employers will have the option of conducting private interviews on site. Resume preparation and internet access to fill out on-line applications will be available on site.

Don’t miss this event to Plug In and Power Up for Camden Job Success! The Camden Job Fair on Tuesday, April 16th. Doors open at 9am and event closes at 3pm. At SAU Tech Student Center Grand Hall in Camden Arkansas!

Camden Job Fair Sponsored By: Ouachita Partnership for Economic Development, SAU Tech, The Department of Workforce Services and Camden Area Chamber of Commerce.

ARREST IN HIT & RUN CASE
Katley Amanda Johnson, 24, of Star City, has been arrested by Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division.  She is charged in connection with a motor vehicle hit and run incident at Monticello Saturday night (March 16, 2019) that left a Southeast Oklahoma University baseball player critically injured.

Johnson has been formally charged with leaving the scene of an accident with injury or death (Class D felony), tampering with physical evidence (Class D felony) and obstructing governmental operations (Class C misdemeanor).  Johnson was booked into the Drew County Detention Center about 4:30 PM today and bond has been set at $20,000.

Joseph D. Cerda, Jr., 21 (initially reported to ASP as age 20), was seriously injured at approximately 8:10 PM last Saturday when he was allegedly struck by a vehicle driven by Johnson that was traveling north along U.S. Highway 425.  Cerda was among a group of baseball teammates from Southeast Oklahoma University who were crossing the highway on foot to get to a local restaurant.  The Oklahoma baseball team had been participating in a game at the University of Arkansas – Monticello.

Teammates told Arkansas State Troopers they saw Cerda attempt to jump away from the path of the car, but was struck.  The driver of the car did not stop.

Cerda was transported to a Monticello hospital and later airlifted to be treated at a Little Rock hospital.

The Arkansas State Police investigation is continuing.

COTTON STATEMENT ON DEATH OF AIRMAN SHAWN MCKEOUGH
Washington, D.C.
 – Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today released the following statement on the death of Senior Airman Shawn McKeough Jr., who was assigned to Little Rock Air Force Base.

“Called by duty, Shawn McKeough Jr. lost his life doing exactly what he volunteered and trained to do: protecting his fellow citizens from danger. We mourn his death and grieve with his family, yet we also celebrate his life, his courage, and his service. May God welcome Shawn into His loving embrace and comfort his family.”

KIWANIS CLUB TO MEET
The Camden Kiwanis Club will meet this Thursday, March 21 at 12:00 at Catherine’s Bistro. The program will be presented by Eva Jorgensen, Event Chairperson for Relay for Life.

 
 

March 19, 2019

CITY OF CAMDEN POLICE REPORTS
POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE (MARIJUANA)
On March 17th at about midnight 00:01 hours Officer Jake Perry was patrolling the south zone and ran an Arkansas License Plate Number on a blue Cadillac. The The license plate returned to a tan Cadillac. A traffic stop was initiated. Contact was made with Van Edmondson who was in the passenger seat of the vehicle. Upon walking up to the vehicle Officer Perry could smell the strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. When asked about the strong smell of Marijuana Van stated, “I'm not going to lie I have two joints in my front right jacket pocket.” Officer Perry retrieved the marijuana cigarettes from Vans pocket. Van was taken into custody and transported to the Camden Police Station for booking. Booking procedures were completed. Edmondson was issued a Criminal Citation and given a District Court date.

CRIMlNAL TRESPASS
On March 17th at 10:54 P.M. Officer Nathan Lane was dispatched to 699 Lincoln Drive in reference to a church van parked there. Dispatch advised the driver of the van was selling drugs out of the vehicle and was asked to leave.

Upon arrival the Officer observed a white Dodge van that had “church van” on the hood parked beside the house. Contact was made with the driver of the vehicle who was identified as Delvecchio Bradford. When asked what he was doing at the house Bradford he just shrugged his shoulders. Bradford was advised as to why the Officer was there. Officer Lane then asked for permission to search the vehicle and Bradford gave consent.

While searching his vehicle, Wilson Rogers showed up on scene and told Bradford he was not allowed to be there. Before Police arrival Rogers had told Bradford he had to leave. Rogers stated that it is private property and that no one is allowed at the residence.

While searching the van, digital scales were located on the front passenger seat, along with a bottle of gin. In the back seat of the van was-water bottles belonging to a football team and some other football equipment.

Bradford was taken into police custody for Criminal Trespass due to the fact that Rogers explained he had told Bradford multiple times prior that he did not have permission to be there. When Officer Lane got into his vehicle Officer Lane notice a strong smell of smoked marijuana coming from Bradford’s person. Bradford was transported to the Police Station without incident. While getting Bradford’s information he stated he had smoked some marijuana at the property before the Police arrived. He also admitted to drinking some gin. He stated the vehicle belonged to Greater Grace church and that the Lion’s football team uses the vehicle. Bradford went on to say he drives for the team. Bradford was released with a Criminal Citation for Criminal Trespass. He was picked up at the station by his father.

FREE FAMILY CAREGIVER WORKSHOP TO BE MARCH 30TH IN EL DORADO
LITTLE ROCK – The Schmieding Home Caregiver Training Program of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) will hold a free family caregiver workshop March 30 for those who would like to learn about caring for an adult with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

The workshop, which is open to the public, will be held 10 a.m. - noon at St. John Missionary Baptist Church, 1018 Wilson Street in El Dorado. For more information or to register, please call. Refreshments provided. Space is limited.

The program is sponsored by UAMS’ Arkansas Geriatric Education Collaborative and AARP Arkansas.

The workshop will be taught by Bethany Moore, R.N., program director at the UAMS South Arkansas Center on Aging Education Center. She will present an overview of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and provide caregiving tips that maintain respect, dignity and quality of life for the person living with dementia. Information will also be presented on nutrition, behavior, communication techniques and activities.

About 452,000 family caregivers in Arkansas provide an estimated $4.7 billion in unpaid care each year, helping their loved ones with bathing and dressing, cooking meals, transportation, finances and complex medical tasks like wound care and injections.

AARP Arkansas State Director Herb Sanderson said support for family caregivers, including making available free training opportunities, is a top priority for AARP, which has more than 310,000 members in Arkansas age 50 or older.

“Family caregivers are the backbone of our care system, serving a crucial role in helping older Arkansans and other loved ones remain in their own homes and communities,” Sanderson said. “Because of their tireless efforts, older parents, spouses and other loved ones are able to live independently at home and in the community — where they want to be. It’s a labor of love, and often more than a full-time job.”

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world’s largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin.  To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @ARAARP on social media.

The Arkansas Geriatric Education Collaborative is funded by a federal Health Resources and Services Administration grant of $2.4 million for a Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program. The program improves the quality of care for older adults through education by offering programs for health professionals, first responders, family caregivers and direct care workers.

UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven 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, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. It is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 2,727 students, 870 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, 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.

SENATOR COTTON SEEKING SUMMER INTERNS FOR ARKANSAS STATE OFFICES
Washington, D.C. — Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today announced he is seeking summer interns in his state offices in Little Rock and Springdale. Internships will be offered in two sessions: May 13th through June 28th and July 8th through August 23. 

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 Nicole_Millar@cotton.senate.gov and specify their desired office location and session.

MARCH 18, 2019

CAMDEN WATER UTILITIES RELEASES STATEMENT REGARDING SYSTEM FLUSH
This statement was released by David Richardson, General Manager, Camden Water Utilities
Dear Camden Water Utilities Customers:

Camden Water Utilities has completed our 2019 Annual System Flush and water service should be back to normal. I just want to take the time to apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused our customers and to explain why we have to do System Flushes. We hate having to do these System Flushes just about as bad as our customers do. But if we didn’t do system flushes, we wouldn’t be doing our jobs correctly.  After all, our employees are customers of Camden Water Utilities, so we know what you’re going through when we do these flushes in the spring of the year.  We are friends and neighbors of yours and our goal is to provide the best drinking water possible for you and our own personal use.     

This year’s flush was extremely dirty, and we are currently researching why this year was worse than previous years. We feel the main reason is that we have replaced this past year several hundred feet of 80-year-old water mains in the down town area. As the results of these mains being replaced the volume of water is much greater, causing sediments to break lose more easily in areas that have not been replaced. Which is the whole purpose of a System Flush.

We are required by the Arkansas Department of Health to conduct these flushes and the reason being is to assure our customers that the water remains safe to drink and to prevent the mains from being restricted with buildup which affects the volume and flow in the mains.     

Please call our office if and when you experience any dirty water or loss of pressure so that we can correct the problem as quick as possible.  Thanks again for your patience and understanding as we continue to improve your water utility.

Sincerely,

David Richardson                                                                                                                                               Camden Water Utilities, General Manager

STATE POLICE INVESTIGATING HIT & RUN INCIDENT INVOLVING OKLAHOMA BASEBALL PLAYER
MARCH 17,2019

Joseph D. Cerda, Jr., 20, of San Antonio, Texas was seriously injured in Monticello last night (Saturday, March 16, 2019) when he was struck by what has been described as a “dark color car” traveling north along U.S. Highway 425.  Cerda was among a group of baseball teammates from Southeast Oklahoma University who at approximately 8:10 PM were crossing the highway on foot to get to a local restaurant.

Teammates told Arkansas State Troopers they saw Cerda attempt to jump away from the path of the car but was struck.  The driver of the car did not stop.

The Oklahoma baseball team had been participating in a game at the University of Arkansas – Monticello.

Cerda was transported to a Monticello hospital and later airlifted to be treated at a Little Rock hospital.

Anyone with information about a better description of the car or any information that may help law enforcement identify the driver is asked to call the Arkansas State Police at (870) 226-3713, or the Monticello Police Department at (870) 367-3411.

CAMDEN NOON LION’S CLUB TO MEET
The Camden noon Lion’s Club will meet Wednesday at Catherine’s Bistro. The speaker this week will be Dana Wetherbee  with the  Camden Police Department.  She will update us on what is upcoming for the PD.

REGIONAL RUTLEDGE RETIREE RESOURCE EVENTS SCHEDULED
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced a new initiative to educate Arkansas’s seniors about how they can protect themselves from vicious scam artists. The first Rutledge Retiree Resources event will be held March 26 at the Fayetteville Senior Activity and Wellness Center for seniors from across the region.

“Senior Arkansans are a consistent target of scammers from across the world,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “These educational events are aimed to teach Arkansans how to spot a scam and protect their personal information. I am pleased to offer these types of programs across the state to reach Arkansans where they are.”

Rutledge Retiree Resources events will be held regionally and are currently scheduled for April 29 for Jonesboro and June 25 for DeWitt. Registration is now open. Attendees will learn about protecting themselves from scams and identity theft, proper prescription drug disposal, resources regarding nursing homes and home care and protecting finances.

 
 

MARCH 15, 2019

BEARDEN MAN INVOLVED IN FATAL MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT
Early this morning a 20-year-old man from Bearden was killed in a traffic accident. The Arkansas State Police preliminary report stated they responded to the wreck around 3:20 a.m. on U.S. 79 near Buena Vista. The deceased with identified as Keyshawn Ware of Bearden who was the driving a Chevrolet Silverado. The report stated that Ware was northbound on Highway 79 when he crossed the center line, into the Southbound Lane before leaving the road and striking two trees. He suffered fatal injuries. The weather was clear, and the road was dry at the time of the accident.  According to preliminary records 74 people have died on Arkansas roads so far this year. 14 of those fatalities occurred in March.


CITY OF CAMDEN POLICE REPORTS
DRIVING ON A SUSPENDED DRIVER'S LICENSE  - 
On March 13th at 7:23 a.m., Officer Erin Manning conducted a traffic stop on a white GMC pickup truck at 2826 Mt Holly due to the vehicle having a head light and brake light out on the passenger's side. Upon approaching the vehicle, the Officer made contact with the driver, Tevin Williams. During the traffic stop, it was confirmed that Williams had a suspended driver's license for drug related charges. Williams was then taken into custody for driving on a suspended driver's license and transported to the station. After booking procedures were completed, Williams was released with citations and a court date. Williams received one citation for driving on a suspended driver's license as well as a warning for having a head light and brake light out. Williams' vehicle was released into the custody of his mother.

CRIMINAL TRESPASS  - On March 13th at 12:22 p.m., I Officer Manning was dispatched to 313 Jefferson in reference to a subject refusing to leave the property. The Officer arrived and made contact with subject, Crystal Johnston. Officer Manning observed Johnston to be standing in the middle of the room and arguing with one of the desk workers. Johnston also had several items of luggage sprawled in a disorderly fashion across the floor of the building. When the Officer made contact with Johnston, she advised me that she had a warrant for her arrest. Due to Johnston creating a scene in a public space and her refusing to leave when previously asked to do so by management, Johnston was taken into custody for criminal trespass and removed from the property. Johnston was found to have several valid warrants for her arrest, however, the counties would not extradite. Prior to being transported to the County Jail, Johnston was evaluated at Ouachita County Medical Center and received paperwork advising she was fit for incarceration. Johnston was then transported to the County Jail without incident.

PUBLIC INTOXICATION  - On March 12 at 7:10 p.m. Officer. Nathan Lane was dispatched to Express Liquor in reference to a subject being drunk inside the store. While in route dispatch advised the subject left and was heading west on Grinstead Avenue. Dispatch advised the subject was a black male with a purple colored hoodie on. When Officer Lane got to the Union Street and Grinstead Avenue intersection he located the male subject, later identified as Michael Hall, walking to the house located at 139 Grinstead Avenue. The Office then got out  of the patrol unit and met with Hall who made it to the porch of the house. The Officer could smell the odor of intoxicants on his person before he started talking. When speaking to Hall asking him about his visit to Express Liquor Officer Lane could smell the odor of intoxicants even more. Hall's speech was thick and very slurred, so much so that he was unable to recite his ABC's. Contact was made with Hall's sister, the owner of the house who stated he was actually homeless but uses 139 Grinstead for his mail purposes. She also stated he is not welcome on the property at all when he is intoxicated. Hall was advised he was under arrest for Public Intoxication. Hall was transported to the station without incident. Booking approval was completed. Hall was later transported to the Ouachita County Detention Center to be released pending sobriety. Hall will be released on Criminal Citation and a District court date.

DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED -
On March 11th at 3:29 p.m. Officer Brandon Brangaccio  and Sergeant Brian Finney were dispatched to Washington at Dooley Womack for a two vehicle collision. Officer Brangaccio was notified on the way to the scene that the vehicles were moved off to Jackson St SW. Officer observed the two vehicles on the side of Jackson St. The first vehicle (V1), driven by Kevin White, was a blue 2000 Grand Marquis Mercury had minor damage to the front grill and bumper. The damage consisted of a small dent in the front bumper and a cracked grill. The second vehicle (V2) driven by Anna Thompson was a black 2014 Ford Escape. V2 had minor functioning damage to the rear of the vehicle. The damage consisted of a small dent in the rear bumper and minor damage to the exhaust. The Officer spoke with the driver of V2, Anna Thompson, who stated that she was stopped on Highway 278 business waiting for a vehicle in front of her to tum left onto Dooley Womack, when the driver of VI (Kevin White) rear ended her. White was given a field sobriety test which he failed. He was transported to the Police Station. At the station White was read his Arkansas Statement of Rights which he signed and agreed to take the breathalyzer which came back with a result of .13 BAC. White was issued traffic citation for DWI and a traffic citation number for Driving without a license and following too closely.

PUBLIC INTOXICATION – LITTERING  - On March 12th at 1:32 a.m. Officer Jake Perry was patrolling on Monroe Street at the entrance to Fort Look Out Manor. He observed a black male later identified as Cecil Singleton take a drink of something then throw it in ditch. The Officer stopped the patrol unit and spoke with Singleton. As Singleton spoke the Officer could smell the odor of intoxicants coming from his breath and person. Officer Perry then asked Singleton what he threw in the ditch. He replied "My Beer". Officer Perry then walked to the ditch and located a 24 oz frao beer that was still cold and liquid was coming from the mouth of the can. Singleton was the arrested and transported to the station where booking procedures were completed. Singleton was given a Criminal Citation and a District Court. Singleton was held for 5-hour detox and later transported home.

U OF A AT MONTICELLO POLICE OFFICER KILLED IN TRAFFIC ACCIDENT
A University of Arkansas at Monticello police officer involved in a traffic accident early Wednesday on State Highway 530 on Bayou Bartholomew Bridge near Pine Bluff. Another vehicle crossed the center line.

According to the Arkansas State Police, Iciephine Green, 45, of Pine Bluff was driving a 2002 Hyundai north on Arkansas 530 shortly after midnight. A southbound 2012 Buick Lacrosse crossed into the northbound lanes and struck her vehicle on a bridge.

Green suffered fatal injuries from the wreck. The other driver, who wasn’t identified, wasn't listed in the report as being injured. According to the preliminary State Police report the weather was clear and the road was dry at the time of the crash.


SAAC’S BOX OFFICE OPEN FOR HEART HOMESCHOOL’S “MARY POPPINS JR”
The South Arkansas Arts Center’s box office is now open for tickets to the HEART HomeSchool’s production of “Mary Poppins JR”, which will run March 29-30, with the curtain going up at 7pm on Friday and 11am and 2pm on Saturday.  Open seating tickets for the play are $5 for all.

Everyone's favorite “practically perfect” nanny takes the stage in this “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” musical adventure.  “Mary Poppins JR” is an enchanting mixture of irresistible story and unforgettable song and dance numbers.  A fun show for the whole family and a great way to introduce your children to stage shows, the iconic Mary Poppins comes to life on the SAAC stage, portrayed by homeschoolers all under the age of eighteen.

The jack-of-all trades, Bert, introduces us to England in 1910 and the troubled Banks family. Young Jane and Michael have sent many a nanny packing before Mary Poppins arrives on their doorstep. Using a combination of magic and common sense, she must teach the family members how to value each other again. Mary Poppins takes the children on many magical and memorable adventures, but Jane and Michael aren't the only ones upon whom she has a profound effect. Even grown-ups can learn a lesson or two from the nanny who advises that ‘Anything can happen if you let it.’”

Thanks to the generosity of HEART HomeSchool, all proceeds from ticket sales will go to benefit SAAC programs. Lynn Gunter, director, said, “Our HEART HomeSchool group has been very blessed since 2013 of how giving SAAC has been, in training us up in theater- the time, the sets and costumes we’ve used, as well as the electricity!  I’ve tried to find ways to say thank you.  One of our homeschool moms came to me and suggested we sell tickets to this production, which we’ve never done before, and give the proceeds back to SAAC.  I was thrilled with that idea.  My kids have grown up at SAAC, and being there has impacted their lives in such a positive way.  A big part of their growing up and development has happened within those walls.  My heart just wants to give back to SAAC to say thanks.  And I’m so happy my group feels this same way.”

 For more information about “Mary Poppins JR”, 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.

BENEFIT PLANNED FOR BEARDEN FIRE CHIEF A. W. EVANS
Ouachita Fire District 1 & East Camden Fire Departments will be hosting a Benefit Fish Fry for Bearden Fire Chief A.W. Evans that was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. The dinner will be on April 6 from 2 til 5 at the Ouachita Fire District 1 Harmony Grove Station. The dinners are dine in or carry out and they are $10.00. For more information call 870-833-2080 or 870-818-6022. All proceeds will go to A.W. Evans to help with medical expenses.

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 bipartisan resolution that calls for a comprehensive and coordinated strategy to end violence against children globally.

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.    

“The outcomes the United States hopes to achieve with our global economic development initiatives will struggle to fully take hold in countries where violence against children goes unaddressed. Horrific acts like human trafficking and child labor have tragic lifelong consequences for individual children and devastate entire communities. This bipartisan resolution sends a strong message that a plan to end violence against children must be a priority in our global development strategy. We can maximize the results from initiatives like the Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment (WEEE) Act—which Senator Cardin and I worked hard to pass into law—if we promote the need for an effective strategy to create a safe environment for children in violence-prone areas of the world,” Boozman said.

“Millions of children around the world have lost their childhoods to physical, sexual and mental violence and abuse. As adults, it is our responsibility to keep them safe and prevent the types of inhumane treatment and developmental roadblocks found in far too many corners of the world,” Cardin said. “This is a local issue and a global one. I am proud to stand with Senator Boozman to lead the call for the U.S. government to develop and implement a strategy to address the widespread dangers being faced by children and youth that is in line with international standards and sustainable development goals.”

Specifically, the resolution would resolve that the Senate:

  • Condemns all forms of violence against children and youth globally, including physical, mental and sexual violence as well as neglect, abuse, maltreatment and exploitation;
  • Recognizes the harmful impact violence against children and youth has on the healthy development of children;
  • Should develop and implement a comprehensive and coordinated strategy built upon evidence-based practices, including the INSPIRE package of interventions, and adopt common metrics and indicators to monitor progress across U.S. government agencies to prevent, address and end violence against children and youth globally.   
     

The resolution is cosponsored by Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Chris Coons (D-DE), Susan Collins (R-ME), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dan Sullivan (R-AK) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).

BOOZMAN VOTES TO SECURE THE BORDER
WASHINGTON—
U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) released the following statement after voting against the resolution to reject President Donald Trump’s border security emergency declaration.

“A humanitarian and security crisis exists along our southern border that requires immediate action. It is in our national interest to secure the border. I support President Trump’s decision to provide resources necessary to overcome the challenges our Customs and Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers on the frontlines face in protecting our border. The president’s use of an authority in existing law will fund the construction of a strong border security system that will be a deterrent to those who seek to illegally enter our country.”

COTTON, WYDEN URGE SENATE: TAKE CYBER THREATS SERIOUSLY
Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) urged the Senate to take the cyber threats to congressional computers and cell phones seriously by providing an annual report on the number of successful hacks of Senate devices.

In a letter addressed to the Senate Sargent of Arms (SAA), Michael Stenger, the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee members wrote:

"During the last decade, hackers have successfully infiltrated U.S. government agencies including the Office of Personnel Management, health care firms such as Anthem, and technology giants like Google. Hackers continue to target all manner of government entities, and there is little doubt that Congress is squarely in their sights. Indeed, as your predecessor testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations in June 2017, ‘the Senate is considered a prime target for cybersecurity breaches.' The Sergeant at Arms must be transparent in providing members of the Senate all information about the possible existence and scale of successful hacks against the Senate."

In the letter, Cotton and Wyden requested that SAA provide annual reports to each senator revealing aggregate data on when Senate computers and smartphones have been compromised and when hackers have otherwise gained access to sensitive Senate data. The senators also pressed SAA to notify Senate leadership and all members of the Senate Committees on Rules and Intelligence of any breaches on Senate computers within 5 days of discovery.

RUTLEDGE ANNOUNCES OVER $300,000 RESTITUTION FOR SOCIAL SECURITY FRAUD
LITTLE ROCK – Yesterday, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced a Conway County man has been sentenced to probation and to pay more than $300,000 in restitution for social security fraud.

Joseph Sensabaugh, 47, from Hattieville, pleaded guilty in October to one count of theft of government funds. He has been sentenced to 18 months probation and ordered to pay $311,813 in restitution to the Social Security Administration, as well as a $100 special assessment fee.

“Social Security fraud on the backs of hardworking taxpayers is unacceptable,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This case was the result of outstanding coordination between multiple state and federal agencies.”

In addition to the Attorney General’s office, law enforcement officers from the SSA-OIG, Conway County Sheriff's Department and Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism contributed to the investigation initiated by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and led by the Social Security Administration’s – Office of the Inspector General (SSA-OIG) through Arkansas Cooperative Disability Investigation (CDI) Unit.

Two special agents and an analyst from the Attorney General’s Office are assigned to Arkansas’s CDI Unit which began operation in October 2015 as a state and local cooperative effort funded by SSA-OIG. The mission of the CDI Unit is to combat fraud by investigating questionable statements and activities of claimants, medical providers, interpreters or other service providers who facilitate or promote disability fraud. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Allison Bragg from the Office of United States Attorney Cody Hiland.

 

March 14, 2019

HAMPTON PEDESTRIAN HIT AND KILLED
Tuesday night at about 7:50 p.m. a pedestrian was struck and killed after walking into the path of a vehicle in Calhoun County. A truck traveling south on highway 167 in the Hampton City Limits. Willie May Momon, 53, was walking west across U.S. 167 when the 2001 GMC in the south lane struck him. According to authorities, Momon, who lived in Hampton, died at the scene. There were no other injuries reported. The weather was clear, and the road was dry at the time of the accident according to preliminary State Police reports.

BEARDEN SCHOOL DISTRICT SCHOOL CHOICE ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE 2019-2020 YEAR
The Bearden School District participates in the Arkansas Public School Choice Act 560 of 2015. This School Choice Act allows students, under certain conditions, to transfer to another school district other than the district in which they live. The Bearden District is accepting applications from outside its boundaries. Bearden Schools provide a quality education that helps prepare its students for future employment / continuing education in the workforce, vocational careers, college, or military occupations.  For a student to transfer to Bearden School District from another district, parents must submit a School Choice Act of 2015 form by May 1st. For applications or further information, please call 833-423-2733 ext 5200 or come by the central administration office at 100 Oak Avenue in Bearden.

ANNOUNCEMENT OF TOWN HALL MEETING
Duane “Dak” Kees, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, will be holding a town hall meeting on March 25, 2019 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at the Reynolds Center Grand Hall at Southern Arkansas University (SAU) located at 100 E University Magnolia Arkansas 71753. 

The topics for discussion will be cellular apps that are directed towards children, cyber bulling, and recent internet and phone scams directed toward senior adults.  This town hall is part of a series of town hall meetings the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District will be conducting throughout the state.  The purpose of which is to educate the public on the various types of dangers facing our children and senior adults.  The next meeting will be on April 22, 2019 in Camden Arkansas at Camden Fairview Auditorium from 6pm to 8pm. 

There will be a question and answer session to follow. 

As the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, Mr. Kees is the chief federal law enforcement officer for the district.  He oversees an office of 51 attorneys and support staff and has offices in Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Texarkana and Hot Springs.  Mr. Kees was appointed by President Trump in September of 2017 and took office in January of 2018. 

COTTON, JOHNSON, ERNST INTRODUCE LEGISLATION TO COMBAT CHILD MARRIAGE IMMIGRATION LOOPHOLE Washington, D.C.— Following the release earlier this year of a Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee majority staff report on how current U.S. immigration laws encourage child marriages, U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) introduced legislation to close a loophole in our immigration laws that can be exploited to enable child marriages. The bill prohibits spousal and fiancé immigration benefits if one of the applying parties is under the age of 18.

“Child marriage, almost always between a male adult and a female minor, can rob young girls of their education, personal development, and physical and mental health,” said Senator Cotton. “Unfortunately, U.S. law currently grants immigration benefits to individuals seeking adult-minor unions. Our immigration laws shouldn’t be used to encourage child marriage, and or bill would put an end to this exploitative practice.”

"A visa to enter the United States is a privilege, and this straightforward reform will help close a loophole that can lead to the abuse and exploitation of children,” said Senator Johnson. “I hope my colleagues will join me to advance this commonsense legislation.”

“Child marriage is a serious problem which puts young girls, in particular, at risk,” said Senator Ernst. “With more than 8,600 such marriages granted over a ten-year period, we must address this massive loophole in our immigration system with common sense solutions, and that’s exactly what our legislation does: require both parties be 18 years-old in order to obtain spousal immigration benefits.”

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin) is the author of the companion version of the bill in the House of Representatives:

“The committee’s eye-opening report shows the gruesome reality that people manipulate our immigration system to enter into child marriages,” said Representative Sensenbrenner. “I’m proud to lead the effort in the House to stop the exploitation of children through our immigration laws and am grateful to Senator Johnson for his work uncovering this disturbing information.”

Key findings from the staff report that spurred this legislation include:

  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approved immigration petitions for 8,686 spouses and fiancés in marriages involving minors from FY2007 to FY2017. In 95 percent of the cases, the younger person was a girl.
  • USCIS awarded petitions to people with significant age differences, including a 71-year-old U.S. citizen’s petition for a 17-year-old spouse from Guatemala and a 14-year-old’s petition for a 48-year-old spouse from Jamaica. 
  • USCIS approved 149 petitions involving a minor with an adult spouse or fiancé who was more than 40 years old.
  • USCIS awarded green cards to 4,749 minors in the United States on spousal or fiancé visas, allowing them to adjust status to become lawful permanent residents from FY2007 to FY2017.

Presently, under the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”), a U.S. child may petition for a visa for a spouse or fiancé living in another country, and a U.S. adult may petition for a visa for a minor spouse or fiancé living abroad. The committee’s recent report found that from 2007 to 2017 there were more than 5,500 cases of adults petitioning for a spouse or fiancé visa for a minor, and nearly 3,000 cases of a minor petitioning for a spouse or fiancé visa for an adult.

COTTON, CRUZ, GALLAGHER URGE BILL PASSAGE AFTER REPORTS OF HABOLLAH IN GOLAN
Washington, D.C.
 — Following news reports that Hezbollah has established military positions in the Golan Heights, U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas), along with Representative Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin), released the following statement:

 “Iran and Hezbollah have deployed fighters and terrorists, including those with American blood on their hands, to deepen their hold over the region. This aggression highlights the need for the United States to affirm Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Hezbollah’s missile arsenal and terror tunnels pose severe threats to the State of Israel. To support Israel's right to self-defense, both houses of Congress should take up our legislation establishing that it shall be the policy of the United States to recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan.”

 Background
In February, U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Representative Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin) introduced companion bills establishing that it shall be the policy of the United States to recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

PORT AUTHORITY TO MEET
The Camden Port Authority will meet on Monday, March 18, 2019 at 1:30pm in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Building.

RUTLEDGE ANNOUNCES HELENA-WEST HELENA BUSINESS OWNER GUILTY OF MEDICAID FRAUD AND FAILURE TO PAY TAXES
Says, ‘Charline Brandon has swindled money from Arkansas for long enough’
LITTLE ROCK – On Tuesday, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced that the owner of Bridge of Faith Hospice & Palliative Care in Helena-West Helena has pleaded guilty two counts of Medicaid fraud and one count of willful failure to pay or file taxes.

“Charline Brandon has swindled money from Arkansas for long enough and she is finally being held accountable,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Her actions hurt law-abiding Arkansans who work hard and follow our laws.”

Brandon, 63, of Cleveland, Mississippi, pleaded guilty to two counts of Medicaid fraud and one count of willful failure to pay or file taxes. The Medicaid fraud investigation revealed that from September 2013 through December 2016, Bridge of Faith Hospice & Palliative Care was paid gross income of $1,567,432.82 by Medicaid and Medicare and never filed an income tax return in Arkansas. The Medicaid fraud charges resulted from Brandon billing the Arkansas Medicaid Program $289,986.46 for hospice care services provided to two Medicaid recipients who were never terminally ill. She will be sentenced on April 9.

Brandon has pleaded guilty in federal court in Mississippi to similar allegations involving Medicaid and Medicare in Mississippi.

This case was referred to the Arkansas Attorney General’s office by the Mississippi Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of 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.

 
 
 

MARCH 13, 2019

CAMDEN CITY COUNCIL MEETS
The Camden City Council MET Tuesday night, March 12, in regular session in the Council Chambers at the Municipal Building. The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Mayor Julian Lott. The invocation was given by Pastor Wade Toddy of Cullendale First Baptist Church.

The Minutes and Financial Reports for the month of February were approved.

During the audience participation Mr. Willicur invited Counsel members to the Parents Advisory Board for Camden Fairview Schools. The Advisory Board will hear concerns of residents regarding the School.

Danny Glaze addressed the Counsel regarding the Daffodil Festival. There was an accident during the Festival. Mr. Glaze stated that he had brought the fact that at some point there would be an accident while he was on the Council. There is a big pole sticking out of ground and a Festival attendee got pushed up against it. Thankfully there was no serious injuries. Mr. Glaze thinks we all as citizens should walk the city and see what needs to be fixed. He stated we all should do our part and have more pride in our city.

The mayor’s report included reports from the following. David Richardson presented the Camden Water Utilities Biannual Water & Sewer Report. A letter of intent has been signed with the Scenic Solar Company. The City will continue negotiations and work on a contract. The department will continue the meter replacement project. When the project is complete all water customers will have Radio Meter Readers. Currently it takes 5 guys about 6 days to read all the meters. Once all customers have the new meters, it will take 2 guys 1 day to read the meters. The Water Department will also have access to a three-month history of usage if a customer wants to see what their usage has been. This can help identify possible leaks and aid the customer in identifying the issue. Other older equipment will be updated. The byways in the sewer system will continue to be flushed. The Water Department has been issued a new permit from the ADEQ. The Water Department remains compliant. The new permit is good for 5 years.

James Lee Silliman presented the Annual Report for the Ouachita Partnership for Economic Development. The following is a complete transcript of the OPED Report. Thank you for your continued support of a professional economic development office that serves Camden, Ouachita County, and Highland Industrial Park. Ouachita Partnership for Economic Development (OPED) works to promote, assist, and enhance economic development for our area. We are the lead economic development point of contact with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, (AEDC) for industry expansions and new job prospects for our area. We are a partnership and our partners include representation from: The City of Camden, Ouachita County, Camden Area Chamber of Commerce, Camden Area Industrial Development Corporation, Camden Fairview Public Schools, Harmony Grove Public Schools, area industry, and SAU Tech. The OPED Board establishes policy and the staff implements the policy. The Executive Director of OPED reports to the President of the board and ultimately the full board of directors.

Highland Industrial Park has been a partner with OPED since its inception. The park has had strong ties to Camden since it's construction as Shumaker Naval Ammunition Depot in the mid 1940's. Highland Industrial Park is, recognized as the defense industry HUB of Arkansas and has a major impact on our state and local economy. Camden has no business or industrial park in the city limits and thus Highland Park is Camden's Industrial Park. The current employment in the park include many of Camden's residents who live here and pay both property taxes and sales taxes into the City's coffers. These taxes are made possible by the paychecks provided by the business and industries in Highland Park. I shudder to think what Camden would be today without Highland Industrial Park. I assure you that many communities across the nation are envious of what we have in Highland Park. Current estimated employment numbers of Camden residents employed in Highland Park are estimated to be 40% of the workforce in the park. According to the Arkansas Department of Transportation (AR DOT) there are 5,900 vehicles per day traveling into Highland Industrial Park.

We must continue to support our existing business and industry as they retain and add to their employment base because statistics prove that most of your job creation comes from existing business's expanding their workforce rather than a new company locating in your community. This is what we are currently seeing in Highland Industrial Park. Aerojet Rocketdyne, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Raytheon and others continue to gain new contracts that will be increasing the size of their workforce.

Here is a compilation of our activities and recent successes for this past year:
• Artesana Soaps opened a storefront in downtown Camden. This business received business counseling from the Camden Accelerated)Business Services, (CABS) office located in the OPED building.

• The CABS office is staffed by a business consultant from the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center in partnership with OPED. The CABS office hosted nineteen events with seventy-two attendees in the OPED building in 2018. They served forty-one small business clients and provided 212 hours of counseling to these clients. This is a free service provided by OPED.

• The OPED training room hosted 64 training events for business and industry in 2018. We had 24 nonprofit meetings, 34 committee meetings, 2 hiring events, 5 prospect presentations, 8 tours, and 9 3D printing related events.

• The OPED building currently houses three tenants that have created approximately 21 jobs. These businesses include Woodland Hills Home Care, Ouachita Supply/Floor Pro, and Merritt's Phone Service.

• OPED provides 3 D printing services for industry, education and the general public. We are currently producing parts under a contract for an industrial client.

• OPED successfully "teamed up" with Ouachita County Medical Center (OCMC)1 and others to recruit and successfully locate the South Arkansas Cardiovascular and Vein Center in OCMC.  The center is currently performing Cath and heart procedures in a mobile Cath Lab in front of OCMC. Plans are for OCMC to build out a permanent Cath lab in the surgical operating suites area of the hospital. The doctors in this group plan to eventually locate and "build out' their clinic operations in the empty Family Dollar store located in front of the hospital on California Avenue. This could be the beginning of a "hub” of specialized medical services for our area and allow OCMC to become more financially stable and viable in the years to come. By providing more specialized medical services locally this will keep our patients here at home rather than transferring them to Little Rock for these needed medical procedures.

• Aerojet Rocketdyne announced a major expansion on August 15, 2018 at the Governor’s office at the State Capital. OPED worked with the Governor, AEDC and Aerojet on this expansion for over one year before it was announced. This expansion will create 141 jobs over three years at an average wage of $55,000.00 per year, and the company will invest over $50 million dollars in buildings and equipment. We continue to see investment in the Airport building leased by Aerojet Rocketdyne. Aerojet Rocketdyne is investing significant capital into the building for its expanded operations. This lease resulted in an increase of rent revenues to the Camden Airport Commission and put an underutilized building back into productive use.

• The former Molex building is now leased to General Dynamics. This put an unused building back into use.

• The South Arkansas lntermodal Park (former IP mill property) is beingmarketed on a   level in trade publications. To date we have seen investment of $1.3 million dollars in private investment and the creation of approximately 20 new jobs in the park. We anticipate further job growth in the upcoming year. The Camden & Southern Railroad, Strobel Energy Logistics and POL Systems have contributed to these employment numbers. The park is a work in progress and is continuing to evolve into a regional transportation hub for South Arkansas.

• Located a new light manufacturing facility, POL Systems in the park.

• Hosted our annual Industry Appreciation Golf Tournament with the Camden Area Chamber of Commerce at the Camden Country Club on October 5.

• OPED successfully requested from AEDC and the Governor's office designation of two census tracts in the City of Camden as Opportunity Zones. The Camden area now has two of the eighty-five designated zones in the state of Arkansas. This designation will hopefully attract new investment into our community through tax credits. We are marketing our opportunity zones in national trade publications to stimulate interest and investment in our designated zones.

• OPED continues to address workforce development through our workforce committee and working with the regional workforce development board.

• We prepared several packages and presentations with new prospects as well as maintained ongoing dialog with AEDC project managers working on different projects. OPED also prepared incentives offers in conjunction with AEDC on different projects.

• OPED hosted prospect visits in coordination with AEDC project managers.

• Participated in monthly conference calls with AEDC Director Mike Preston.

• On February 20, 2019 OPED hosted the AEDC Business Development Team on a tour of available buildings and sites.

Here is a list of various events and training I have participated in this past year:

• Attended the Arkansas Aerospace and Defense Alliance annual conference in Hot Springs on March 27 & 28, 2018.

• Hosted the AEDC commissioners for their monthly meeting on June 13 & 14 here in Camden.

• Attended a public relations and reputation management workshop at the Arkansas State Chamber office in Little Rock on June 20.

Listed below are the various boards and commissions that I currently serve on representing OPED:

• Chairman of the Southwest Arkansas Workforce Development Board of Directors.

• Southwest Arkansas Planning and Development District Board of Directors serving as the Ouachita County at-large representative.

• Golden Triangle Economic Development Council board member.

• Interstate 69 coalition board, Ouachita County representative.

• Camden Area Chamber of Commerce Board, ex-officio member.

• City of Camden Airport Commission, ex-officio member.

• Calhoun Ouachita Business and Industry Training Consortium, (COBITC).

LOOKING FORWARD IN 2019
• OPED and our partner/sponsors, SAU Tech, Camden Area Chamber of Commerce, and Arkansas Department of Workforce Services will be hosting a Job Fair at the SAU Tech Grand Hall on April 16 from 9a.m. until 3p.m. This is an effort to link up employers needing a workforce with potential employees.

• OPED is a member of the Arkansas Aerospace and Defense Alliance and I will be attending their annual meeting next month in Fort Smith.

• OPED plans to participate in the Competitive Communities Initiative (CCI) coordinated by AEDC. This will be an intense study of our overall preparedness for economic development as a community and is designed to assist Arkansas communities in identifying their strengths and weaknesses. It will address issues such as our economic development organization, board training, workforce and financial stability as an organization.

• The need for new housing for the anticipated influx of potential new residents moving to our area with new job opportunities with our defense industry should be addressed. The focus should be on patio type housing for workers beginning a new career path and seniors or "empty nesters" that don't have a need any longer for a larger family style home. This is a critical need for Camden, and we need to capitalize on these potential new residents.

• Workforce development and analysis of the working age unemployed to improve their skill sets for the modern workforce. We need to evaluate the skill sets with the jobs available. Ouachita County has a current unemployment rate of 4.6%, a workforce of 9,753, and a total of 446 unemployed, but we may have a higher rate due to a low labor participation rate-those who are not looking for a job.

Let me explain: Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell stated in an interview on Sunday that the United States has the lowest labor participation rate of any modern economy. This is not a good thing and not what our country was founded upon. Estimates say that maybe as many as 500,000 people nationwide are no longer looking for a job. He cited a variety of reasons including a lack of workforce skill sets due to inadequate training and technology advancing rapidly beyond the education level of these potential workers. He also mentioned the drug problem (opioids), and felony convictions. We have too many capable working aged citizens not contributing to the economy during their most productive years. This is a problem that needs to be addressed to get these people back into the workforce and contributing as taxpayers to our economy.

In summation, I believe we are doing more with less resources than we have had at our disposal in the past. The time is now that we must decide how we will continue to fund a professional economic development office for our area. We enjoy a good working relationship with AEDC and the Governor's office. I am optimistic that we are on the cusp of some new project announcements soon that involve both expansion of our defense manufacturing base and new investment in the timber industry. I believe the future is bright for Camden and Ouachita County and there is nothing we can't accomplish if we continue to work together as a TEAM. Our OPED meetings are open to the public and we welcome the publics input. Thank you again for your continued support.

After the OPED report Mayor Lott recognized Robby McAdoo and Quorum Court members in attendance. He talked about the March Amnesty Program. He encouraged those not working to attend the job fair. Mayor Lott mentioned the 5th Annual Kidz Runnin’ the Show Corvette Show and the Pub Crawl slated for March 16th. He reminded everyone that Business Licenses due by April 1st. First Friday Market will resume on April 6th. He encouraged everyone to get out and support the local events.

The Council heard the second reading of an ordinance amending the City of Camden Zoning Ordinance to allow residential uses in certain zones. A motion was made and passed to amend the rules and vote on the issue. Alderman Lindsey was for the ordinance but is concerned about parking. This ordinance would allow for apartments to be built in the downstairs of buildings in Downtown Camden. Currently apartments are allowed in the upstairs of existing buildings that are zoned C3. The Ordinance passed unanimously.

They also heard the second reading of an ordinance separating and establishing the elected office of City Clerk and appointed office of City Treasurer, and for other purposes. Motion was made and passed to suspend the rules and discuss and vote on the ordinance. There was a discussion and some concerns were voiced. The vote was a tie with 4 against and 4 for. The Mayor voted yes to break the tie and the ordinance passed.

The Resolution to fund OPED was not on the agenda but was supposed to be addressed again. Aldermen Aregood and Lindsey insisted that the resolution be put back on the agenda. Alderman Aregood contended that he insisted when it was tabled in February that it be re-addressed in the March Meeting. The resolution was brought back to the table. Alderman Askew asked if the City and the OPED Board had found any common ground. He addressed the issue of the Mayor not being at the “Secret Meetings”. This had been addressed in an earlier meeting. The Mayor has an automatic seat on the Executive Committee. Alderman James Bell made this point. When it comes to showing prospects site, the Counsel and OPED should stay out of the way until negotiations get to a certain point. Then is the time for the Executive Board to meet. Non-disclosure agreements prevent those that know who prospects are from revealing any information regarding the prospect. When a company is ready to commit the Executive Board meets and contracts are drawn up. When the prospect is ready to announce that they are locating to an area is the time everyone is informed. L.E. Lindsey spoke up for OPED and suggested that the Council approve funding OPED. He gave a bit of a history of economic development in Ouachita County. The Mayor spoke. He had developed a plan for the city for 2019. The need for housing and a workforce was addressed. Judge McAdoo spoke. He said that the Mayor came in and felt like he wasn’t getting the cooperation he needs. What the Mayor wants, the Judge will address. Judge McAdoo stated that he is with the Mayor and OPED. The discussion went on to address the fact that the city does need retail and restaurants. L.E. Lindsey stated that there should be an  evaluation of the City’s workforce to know what those unemployed that can’t work in the area can do. Then the city could target businesses that match the local unemployed with places they can work. Jim Golden wants to show support for the Mayor. Mayor and Jim Golden have been in contact and talking over the past couple of weeks. He asked that we all just work together.  After a very long discussion the resolution passed unanimously.

New business included an ordinance declaring concrete slabs to be a nuisance to include the removal of concrete slabs; and for other purposes. Alderman Bell stated that this had come before the council a couple of years ago and it failed. He cited a couple of articles. He feels that concrete slabs hurt the appearance of Down Town. Again, there was a discussion about the pros and cons of such an ordinance. In the end it passed with a 5 to 3 vote.

The Council also discussed an ordinance awarding the bid for the purchase of 45 Refuse Containers. These are the commercial containers. Ordinance passed.

There was a resolution authorizing a Budget amendment for salary increases to the departments excluded under Resolution No. 04-19. Motion was amended and passed. Motion was made to approve amended amendment. Motion passed.

There was also a resolution awarding the bid for the purchase of a 2019 4-Wheel Drive, Cab, Tractor with Front Loader Standard Bucket and Finish Mower for the Public Works’ Parks and Recreation Department. No real discussion. Motion passed.

In Other Business Aldermen Moore and Askew mentioned a couple of concerns they had. One addressed the need to improve the community buildings at the City Parks. There are plans underway to move forward updating the buildings. The other had to do with a problem with dogs running free in West Camden Heights. Police Chief Bo Woody assured the Counsel that the problem was being addressed.

At 9:47 p.m. Alderman Irene Galbert made the motion to adjourn and the Council was done with the March meeting.

GOVERNOR HUTCHINSON SIGNS BILL, APPLAUDS LEGISLATORS FOR BIGGEST HIGHWAY-FUNDING PLAN IN STATE HISTORY LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson signed the largest and most comprehensive highway-funding plan in Arkansas’s history today, which fulfills his goal of implementing a long-range strategy to bring the state’s roads and bridges up to date and to pay for their upkeep into the future.

This bill will provide $95 million annually through user fees and dedicated funds from casino revenue.

Governor Hutchinson also praised legislators for passing his plan to allow voters to vote on an amendment that will extend a 1/2-cent sales tax indefinitely. That amendment, which will be on the ballot in 2020, will produce $205 million a year to pay for the state’s highway infrastructure.

The bill and the 1/2-sales tax would bring in a combined $300 million a year.

“This is a great day for Arkansas,” Governor Hutchinson said. “A lot of people worked hard to make this happen, from the experts who crunched the numbers and crafted the bills to the legislators who took the bills to a successful vote with solid bipartisan support.

“Our roads are vital to so many areas of everyday life. We need good streets to get to work, school, stores, and doctor appointments. Our farmers need good roads to deliver their crops to the market. We need great highways if we are going to compete for the industry and business that are crucial to continuing to improve our quality of life. We have done this for ourselves and for our future.”

KIWANIS CLUB TO MEET
The Camden Kiwanis Club will meet this Thursday, March 14 at 12:00 at Catherine’s Bistro.   The program will be by Eric Gunter - “Kids Running the Show – Corvette Car Show”

AIRPORT COMMISSION TO MEET
The City of Camden Airport Commission will have their regularly scheduled meeting on Friday, March 15, 2019 at 11:30 a.m. at the Airport Terminal located at 255 Airport Road, Camden, Arkansas.

MARCH 12, 2019

E.B. WILLIAMS CORVETTE CAR SHOW
 The E. B. Williams Youth Center presents the 5th Annual “KIDZ RUNNIN’ the SHOW”Corvette Car Show March 22 & 23, in Camden Arkansas

The E. B. Williams Corvette Car Show will be bringing in Corvette enthusiasts from all over the United States.

Friday night we will host a light show contest in the Comfort Inn parking lot (#1 Ridgecrest Dr. , Camden, AR 71701) and Saturday the car show will be held from 8am to 5pm at the large multi venue parking lot on Hwy 278 (previous Walmart at 1450 US-278, Camden, AR 71701). Local DJs will offer music to keep the crowd pleased, as well as refreshments, raffles, trophies, door prizes, dash plaques and goodie bags for all participants.

Participation is open to all Corvette owners near and far, clubs and groups. The show will include all classes of Corvettes, from C-1 to C-7, stock and custom with, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place trophies offered for each class along with a host of specialty awards as well.

To register for this event, go to our www.facebook.com/EBWYC to pre-register, or call Eric Gunter at 870-818-2628. 

Registration will continue till day of the show. Cost to Pre-Register is $45.00, To register day of the show is $50.00. Cost to Register for the Friday Night Light Show is $10.00

The E. B. Williams Youth Center is a 501c(3) organization and was founding 2012. The center’s focus is to mentor and tutor area youth, empowering them with the tools to become an active and productive citizen of the community. The center also provides annual book scholarships to four (4) local high school seniors, annual distribution of back pack and school supplies, summer field trips, visiting local nursing homes, participating in the city’s Keep Camden Beautiful event, Adopt-A-Street Program and participating in and hosting various other community programs.

FIRST FRIDAY MARKET RETURNS TO DOWNTOWN CAMDEN APRIL 5TH
First Friday Market will be back on April 5th in downtown Camden! Don't wait, 3 categories are full already! Applications to participate in the April market must be submitted by March 19th. Also the app has tons of important information for any interested food vendors! Slots for direct sales, desserts, and info booths are already full for April. Forms are available at https://form.jotform.com/81584010187151

Less than a year from it’s inception in May 2018, First Friday: Monthly Market has grown immensely into one of the area’s most anticipated events. As a nonprofit organization aimed at encouraging and revitalizing the vibrancy of downtown Camden, event-goers always enjoy an intimate, hometown, family-friendly variety of local talent and entertainment. Whether it’s to try new cuisine or desserts, relax and listen to live music, peruse the local shops, discover new art, learn a new craft, gather information from other area businesses and organizations, let the kids play, or to just enjoy the fresh open air on a pleasant southern evening with friends and family, First Friday: Monthly Market truly has something for everyone.

Recently, in January 2019, the First Friday team proudly brought home the Bronze ALFIE Award for The Year’s Best New Event or Festival, provided by the Arkansas Festivals and Events Association. The Market will begin again on the first Friday in April 2019 and continue each month through November. Funds from the events are used to further develop downtown Camden, supporting it in a positive, lively, and growing image, and promoting it as an exciting place to live, shop, play, and invest."

CAREER CLOSET
Are you job ready? Need an outfit for a job interview? Visit the Career Closet for free attire. Greater St. Paul Baptist Church on Monday, Tuesday  or Thursday from 10:00 am till 12:00 pm. Call 836-5272 for more information. Please be respectful. This is for those seeking employment.

COLOR ME HAPPY FUN RUN/ WALK
The Color Me Happy Fun Run Walk will be held on Saturday, March 23rd, 2019 beginning at 8:00 a.m. in East Camden. Early Registration will be held on Thursday March 21st from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the East Camden Shopping Center. Day of Race Registration will be 7:00 a.m. Fee to register $20 T-Shirt packets guaranteed to all participants registered by March 14th)

Extra shirts were ordered and will handed out until they are gone for those who register laterInformation: Jana Garcia (870) 833-1791 or janalgarcia@yahoo.com.

RUTLEDGE BEGINS FIFTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR HOSTING MEETINGS IN EACH COUNTY 
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced that, for the fifth consecutive year she will hold Rutledge Roundtables in all 75 counties to hear directly from Arkansans about their concerns and the issues impacting their community. This week, Rutledge met with community leaders in Van Buren and Searcy counties.

“Meeting Arkansans face-to-face allows me to listen to their concerns and ideas so that we can work together on solutions,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “After all, Arkansas is just one big small town.”

Rutledge has hosted 306 round tables since taking office with more than 3,200 attendees since taking office in 2015.

 

March 11, 2019

WORKFORCE BUS TO BE IN CAMDEN AGAIN TUESDAY, MARCH 12TH
Job Seekers need help in preparing for the upcoming Camden Job Fair? We have you covered!

The Arkansas Department of Workforce Bus Unit will be in Camden Tuesday, March 12th, 9 am – 7 pm.@ OPED 625 Adams Ave. to help job seekers to prepare for the upcoming CAMDEN JOB FAIR Tuesday, April 16th 9am to 3pm at SAU Tech Grand Hall, 6523 Hussey Road, East Camden. The bus unit will help with resume writing, mock interviews, creating online profiles and other services. EVENTS ARE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

Department of Workforce Bus Unit Schedule

Tuesday, March 12th, 9 am – 7 pm, DWS bus unit at OPED 625 Adams Ave. Camden.

Tuesday, April 9th, 8:30 am – 4 pm, DWS bus unit at Arkansas Workforce Center 237 Jackson Street in Camden

Job Fair at SAU Tech in parking lot of Grand Hall

Monday, April 15th 9 am – 6 pm at SAU Tech’s campus Grand Hall parking lot 6523 Hussey Road, East Camden. DWS bus unit will be offering resume writing assistance, assistance to those creating online profiles for companies that are scheduled to actually be present and/or interviewing on site, and mock interviews as time permits at the actual site of the Job Fair.

Tuesday, April 16th at the Job Fair event 8 am – 2 pm at SAU Tech’s campus Grand Hall parking lot 6523 Hussey Road, East Camden. DWS bus unit actual site of the Job Fair for on-line applications and other services as needed.

For more information contact your local Arkansas Department of Workforce Services in Camden at 870-836-5024 or 237 Jackson Street, Camden, AR.
Sponsored by The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services.

CITY OF CAMDEN POLICE REPORTS
OBSTRUCTION OF GOVERNMENTAL OBSERVATIONS

On March 6, 2019 at 2:14 a.m., Officer Jacob VanAssche was patrolling the area of Tate Street when he observed two subjects walking Eastbound down Tate toward Baker Street. While pulling behind the two subjects, the Officer observed one look back and the quickly look back again. After doing this, the subject began to walk toward a house on the comer of Tate and Baker. Officer VanAssche was able to initiate his blue lights, and quickly exit my patrol unit before he lost visual of the subject. The subject was advised to approach the Officer and he complied. He identified himself as Michael Smith. The Officer requested a NCIC check be completed through dispatch and was later advised by dispatch there was no return on a Michael Smith. Smith was asked if he had an ID in any other states to which he replied either Michigan or Minnesota. Another NCIC check through dispatch with these parameters in place and was again advised there was no return on Michael Smith. While awaiting the return Officer VanAssche could overhear Smith whispering to the other subject to not give his name if we asked her for it. Smith was taken into custody and transported him to the station without incident. At the station Smith was identified as Thomas Kelly, and dispatch advised Kelly had a valid Bench Warrant with the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office. Kelly was booked for Obstruction of Governmental Operations.

PUBLIC INTOXICATION
On March 8, 2019 at 1:48 a.m., Officer Jacob VanAssche was dispatched to 948 Brooks for a subject refusing to leave the residence. Dispatch advised the reporting party stated Alicia Douglas was refusing to leave his residence. The Officer arrived and observed Douglas standing on Brooks Street in front of the reporting party’s residence. The Officer observed Douglas swaying back and forth, and it appeared she was having trouble standing. Upon making contact with Douglas he could immediately smell an odder of intoxicants coming from her person. While talking to Douglas it was very difficult to understand her, due to her speech being so slurred. Officer VanAssche also observed Douglas' eyes to be glassed over and bloodshot. While talking to Douglas she stumbled several times and was unable to maintain her balance. He asked Douglas how much she had to drink this evening, and she stated she had a few drinks. He then asked Douglas if she could contact someone to pick her up, to which she yelled "he (indicating the reporting party) can call somebody to come get me since he's being an ass." Douglas was then taken into custody for Public Intoxication and was transported to the station without incident. At the station booking procedures where completed. Douglas later was released into the custody of her sister.

PUBLIC INTOXICATION
On March 9, 2019 8:14 p.m. Officer Ashley Watts was dispatched to the Ouachita County Medical Center in reference to an intoxicated subject trying to leave the hospital. Upon arrival the Officer made contact with Stephen Holmes in room 3 of the emergency room. A nurse informed Officer Watts that Holmes' blood work showed he had an alcohol blood concentration of 0.14. Holmes stated he had not been drinking; however, his eyes were blood shot and watery. The Officer could smell an odor of intoxicants on his breath as he spoke. Holmes stated that he wanted to leave the hospital, and the Officer explained to him that in order to leave he would have to call himself a ride. Holmes refused to call for a ride. He said he would just get up and walk out, it explained that if he did that then he would be arrested for Public Intoxication. Holmes refused any further attention from the medical staff at the OCMC and refused to call himself a ride, so he was taken into custody and transported to the Camden Police Department. Dr. Ross Brown cleared Holmes for incarceration. Holmes was transported to the Camden Police Department without incident where booking procedures were completed. Just as Officer Watts was going to transport him to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, Holmes began to complain that he was not feeling well all of a sudden. He was holding his head and saying he felt very dizzy. He said he felt like he needed to go back to the hospital. Holmes was issued a citation for Public Intoxication and given a court date. Officer Watts  then transported Holmes back to the OCMC to be admitted, at Holmes request.


OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF REPORTS
POSSESSION CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE
POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA
POSSESSION CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE MISDEMEANOR

On March 03, 2019 Deputy Ryan Coleman was patrolling in Bearden when he observed a Chevy Impala making a right hand turn twice without using a turn signal. The Deputy stopped the on East Jordan. Street. While at the window the Deputy noticed pills in the driver’s side floor board as well as two blunts (marijuana wrapped in cigar paper). The driver of the vehicle was Meloni Bozararth. She was asked to step out of her vehicle and was asked if there was anything inside of her vehicle. Bozarath stated no. After talking to Bozarath the Officer asked Bozarath to retrieve her ID from the vehicle. Once arriving back to the driver’s side seat of her vehicle she was ask once again if she had anything at all inside of her vehicle. Bozarath answered no. It was then she was detained for the further investigation of drugs inside of her car. The two blunt's containing marijuana where removed from the side of her door. The pills in her floor where non-narcotic. In a search of Bozaraths purse a glass pipe was found with residue of meth, a dollar bill with meth residue, a straw with meth residue, a white torn plastic bag containing marijuana as well as one plastic bag containing meth with another plastic containing device containing meth inside of it and a plastic container was found containing meth. When she was asked about the items in side of her purse she stated she found them at the carwash and was taking them to destroy the items. Bozarath was transported to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office for processing. She was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug paraphernalia and Possession of Controlled Substance Misdemeanor.

THEFT REPORT
On March 05, 2019 at approximately 5:23 p.m. Deputy Justin Creech responded to 4270 Ouachita 2 in reference to a theft. The Deputy arrived and spoke with Thomas Riddell who stated he had a red 3.5 gallon boat fuel tank valued at $100.00 stolen out of his boat. Riddell showed the Officer that the tank was located under a plastic lid in the boat that was stored behind the residence. Riddell stated he last remembered seeing the tank there either February 22 or 23, 2019. Riddell went on to say he noticed the item missing on Sunday March 03, 2019. Riddell named two suspects that may have taken the  item. Riddell was advised a report would be on file.

CAMDEN NOON LION’S CLUB TO MEET
The Camden Noon Lion’s Club will meet Wednesday at Catherine’s Bistro. This week the Speaker will be Mark Cayce from Ouachita Electric Cooperative. He will give updates regarding their solar expansions and will be bringing their Tesla vehicle.

MARCH 8, 2019

CAMDEN CITY COUNSEL TO MEET
The Camden City Council will meet Tuesday night, March 12, in regular session in the Council Chambers at the Municipal Building. David Richardson, will present the Camden Water Utilities Biannual Water & Sewer Report. James Lee Silliman will present the Annual Report for the Ouachita Partnership for Economic Development.

The Council will hear the second reading of an ordinance amending the City of Camden Zoning Ordinance to allow residential uses in certain zones. They will also hear the second reading of an ordinance separating and establishing the elected office of City Clerk and appointed office of City Treasurer, and for other purposes.        

 New business will include an ordinance declaring concrete slabs to be a nuisance to include the removal of concrete slabs; and for other purposes, an ordinance awarding the bid for the purchase of 45 Refuse Containers, a resolution authorizing a Budget amendment for salary increases to the departments excluded under Resolution No. 04-19, a resolution awarding the bid for the purchase of a 2019 4-Wheel Drive, Cab, Tractor with Front Loader Standard Bucket and Finish Mower for the Public Works’ Parks and Recreation Department.

ARKANSAS BROADCASTERS ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES 70TH ANNIVERSARY
Little Rock - The Arkansas Broadcasters Association (ABA) is set to celebrate its 70th anniversary as the leading trade association for Arkansas Broadcasters. 

ABA began in 1949 as the trade association for broadcasters in Arkansas focused on providing broadcasters with a lobbying voice, while also providing them with technical and regulatory support and continuous professional enrichment opportunities. 

Over the years, ABA has been successful at helping Natural State broadcasters stay ahead of the ever evolving and changing landscape of broadcast media. 

“ABA has experienced exceptional growth and successes over the years. Moving forward, our focus will remain on offering the broadcasters of Arkansas the resources and education they need to stay at the forefront of the industry. We are excited to celebrate 70 years of Broadcasting Naturally at our convention, ARKCON this July” says Luke Story, Executive Director of the ABA. 

The association’s celebration will culminate July 18-19 at its annual ARKCON convention to be held at the DoubleTree Hotel and historic Robinson Center in downtown Little Rock. Governor Asa Hutchinson will be in attendance to recognize the broadcasters for their years of service and commitment to the communities of Arkansas.

For more information on the ABA and its 70th Anniversary celebration at ARKCON this summer please call the office at: 501-227-7564 or email at:  mail@arkbroadcasters.org

BENEFIT POKER RUN FOR OAKLEY NIMMO
There will be a benefit Poker Run for Oakley Nimmo on April 20th beginning at 10:00 a.m. Riders will meet at the Ross Center. There will be activities for everyone. BBQ Plates, Silent Auction, Bike Show, Car Show, 50/50 Raffle and a Baggo Tournament. All donations are appreciated. For more information call Chris Walker at 870-675-0118 or Bryan Jones at 870-675-6816. All proceeds to benefit the Oakley Nimmo Family.

RUTLEDGE URGES U.S. SENATE PASSAGE OF TRACED ACT
Says, ‘The TRACED Act will further protect Arkansans’
LITTLE ROCK – Just yesterday, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge urged the United States Senate to enact the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act, which will curb illegal robocalls and spoofing. Arkansas has joined the 49 other states and four U.S. territories in sending a letter to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation expressing support of the TRACED Act.

“Arkansans are fed up with being annoyed and ripped off by robocalls,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The TRACED Act will further protect Arkansans from falling victim to the high-pressure, relentless and often-convincing robocalls. This is just one step in my multifaceted approach to putting a stop to these unwanted calls.”

In the letter, the attorneys general state that the TRACED Act enables states, federal regulators and telecommunication providers to take steps to combat these illegal calls. The legislation will require voice service providers to participate in a call authentication framework to help block unwanted calls and creates an interagency working group to take additional actions to reduce robocalls and hold telemarketers and robocallers accountable.

More than 48 billion robocalls were made in 2018, resulting in millions of dollars in consumer losses. The state attorneys general work to protect consumers in their states from being harassed and scammed by robocalls.

The letter was led by Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, and North Carolina attorneys general, and was signed by all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

CAMDEN FAIRVIEW BOARD OF EDUCATION TO MEET
The Camden Fairview Board of Education will meet in regular session Tuesday night, March 12th at 6:30 p.m. at Garrison Auditorium. The agenda includes Student Hearings, . The Board will also hear presentation a recommendations regarding a resolution for a polling place fo School Board Elections, standard precaution policy and changes to the Spirit Team Handbook. There will also be a personnel session,

ARKANSAS VFW MEMBERS URGE PASSAGE OF BOOZMAN-LED BILL TO IMPROVE SERVICES FOR WOMEN VETERANS
WASHINGTON—
Arkansas members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) advocated for improvements to women veterans’ health programs and called for passage of the Deborah Sampson Act, legislation introduced by U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) that would ensure the VA better supports women veterans’ needs.

VFW members were in the nation’s capital this week to promote the organization’s 2019 priorities which include improving women veterans’ health care and combatting the epidemic of veteran suicides.

In addition to Boozman’s support of the Deborah Sampson Act, last week he helped introduce the Reach Every Veteran in Crisis Act, legislation to improve the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) suicide prevention programs. Boozman previously included language in the FY19 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill that requires the VA to develop metrics to evaluate the efficacy of all of its mental health and suicide prevention programs.

“The VFW is instrumental in helping Congress identify improvements that need to be made at the VA to ensure we live up to the promise we made to veterans. There is no substitute for coming to Washington to share these priorities. I look forward to advancing these policies so we can deliver results for veterans,” Boozman said.

During the VFW’s advocacy days, the organization’s leaders also testify before a joint hearing of the Senate and House Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

Boozman asked VFW Commander-in-Chief Vincent “B.J.” Lawrence about what Congress should focus on to improve the VA’s health care for women veterans during that hearing.

SENATORS COTTON, WARREN, THUNE AND SENEMA REINTRODUCE NATIONAL POW/MIA FLAG ACT
Washington, D.C.— United States Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), John Thune (R-South Dakota), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) today reintroduced the National POW/MIA Flag Act, which would require the POW/MIA Flag to be displayed whenever the American flag is displayed on prominent federal properties, including the U.S. Capitol, the White House, the World War II Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, every national cemetery, the buildings containing the official offices of the Secretaries of State, Defense, and Veterans Affairs, the office of the Director of the Selective Service System, each major military installation (as designated by the Secretary of Defense), each Department of Veterans Affairs medical center, and each United States Postal Service post office. The senators introduced this bill to honor the more than 82,000 Americans who are listed as Prisoners of War (POW), Missing in Action (MIA), or otherwise unaccounted for from our nation's past wars and conflicts.

Under current law, the POW/MIA Flag is required to be displayed by the federal government on certain prominent federal properties only six days per year: Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, National POW/MIA Recognition Day, and Veterans Day. The National POW/MIA Flag Act will ensure that the POW/MIA Flag is displayed whenever the U.S. flag is displayed, effectively ensuring that both flags are displayed concurrently and every day at federal locations already designated under existing law.

"Over 82,000 Americans, including hundreds of Arkansans, remain missing from past wars," said Cotton. "They are not forgotten. It is my hope that this small gesture reminds Americans to honor those who left our shores, and never returned."

"Honoring our service members who have fought courageously and honorably for our country's freedom is so important," said Warren. "I am proud to introduce this bipartisan bill alongside Senators Cotton, Thune, and Sinema to honor all service members, including those who have not made it home."

"May we never forget the cost of freedom or the sacrifice of those who are yet to return home," said Thune. "I display this flag outside of my office each day, and I hope the government will soon expand its recognition of these veterans and their families, a symbol of our commitment to bring them home."

"I come from a military family- honoring our veterans is personal for me," said Sinema. "We cannot forget those who sacrificed for our country and never returned home."

The House version will be introduced by Representatives Chris Pappas (D-NH-01) and Jack Bergman (R-MI-01). The bill is also endorsed by Rolling Thunder, Inc. National; Rolling Thunder Inc. Massachusetts Chapters 1 and 2; the National League of POW/MIA Families; Veterans of Foreign Wars; The American Legion; and the National Alliance of Families for the Return of America's Missing Servicemen.

This bill was first introduced in the Senate during the 115th Congress by Senators Cotton and Warren.

BOOZMAN HONORED WITH DISABLED AMERIAN VETERAN’S 2019 OUTSTANDING LEGISLATOR OF THE YEAR AWARD
WASHINGTON—
Disabled American Veterans (DAV) honored U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) by presenting him with the organization’s 2019 Outstanding Senate Legislator of the Year award in recognition of his legislative efforts to help veterans and his commitment to ensure the programs, benefits and services they have earned, and rely upon, remain a priority for Congress.

“My father was a veteran so this is personal for me. Thank you to the more than one million DAV members and Auxiliary members doing great work to ensure we keep the promise our nation made to the men and women who have served. I remain committed to helping our service members, veterans and their families. I am honored to receive this recognition and thank DAV for its efforts to serve the veteran population,” Boozman said.

“With DAV’s Outstanding Senate Legislator of the Year award, we want to recognize Sen. Boozman for his stellar leadership and commitment to provide sufficient funding for veterans programs, benefits and services. Sen. Boozman has worked diligently in a bipartisan manner to ensure adequate funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs remains a national priority. As the sponsor of the Deborah Sampson Act, he has also been a leader in improving benefits and services for women veterans. We look forward to our continued partnership on future legislative efforts that will enable veterans to lead high quality lives with respect and dignity,” DAV Washington Headquarters Executive Director Randy Reese said.

As a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee and Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies, Boozman is uniquely positioned to secure funding to improve veterans’ benefits and services.

The Fiscal Year 2019 veterans program funding bill authored by Boozman included a record level of discretionary funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs increasing its budget by of $5 billion above the FY2018 level. These additional resources will help provide the healthcare, benefits and memorial services earned by U.S. service members and veterans.

Boozman, along with Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), reintroduced the Deborah Sampson Act last month. The legislation would eliminate barriers to care and services that many women veterans face and would help ensure the VA can address the needs of women who are more likely to face homelessness, unemployment and go without needed health care.

 

March 07, 2019

SAAC TO HOST ARTIST’S RECEPTION HONORING LISA BURTON TARVER AND HELENE LAMBERT
The South Arkansas Arts Center will host an artist’s reception on Saturday, March 9, 2019 from 6:00- 7:30pm, to honor two South Arkansas artists with works currently on exhibit. Photographer Lisa Burton Tarver’s show will hang in the Merkle and Price Galleries, and Helene Lambert, well-known artist and art instructor, will show her works in the Lobby Gallery. Both shows will hang through the 27th.  Gallery viewing hours are Monday- Friday, 9:00-5:00pm.

Tarver has been taking photographs for years and loves seeing things through the camera’s lens. She has shown her work in five previous shows at SAAC, but this will be her first show shot solely with her iPhone. The exhibit, titled “Southern Elegance,” features the artist’s collection of vintage sterling-silver pieces photographed in black and white. “I am very proud and excited to bring ‘Southern Elegance’ to the South Arkansas Arts Center galleries,” she said.

Lambert, who recently retired from her career as a public-school art educator, has been immersed in art her whole life. Her works for this show, entitled “Cleverness Juggling,” include mixed-media abstracts with lots of texture in varied sizes.

“Currently, I have a studio in Hampton where I experiment. I am on a mission to find myself and paint what I feel. I love what I do, whatever it is, because all of my works are sketches in pursuit of happiness.”

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.


LISA BURTON TARVER'S "SOUTHERN ELEGANCE"
IN THE MERKLE AND PRICE GALLERIES MARCH 1-28

The South Arkansas Arts Center is proud to announce it will host El Dorado photographer Lisa Burton Tarver’s show, ”Southern Elegance,” which will hang in the Merkle and Price Galleries during the month of March. Tarver’s show will open on March 1, 2019 and hang through the 27th. An artist’s reception will be held to honor Tarver on Saturday, March 9, from 6:00-7:30pm. Gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm.

Lisa Burton Tarver has been taking photographs for years and loves seeing things through the camera’s lens. She has shown her work in five previous shows at SAAC, but this will be her first show shot solely with her iPhone. The exhibit, titled “Southern Elegance,” features the artist’s collection of vintage sterling-silver pieces photographed in black and white. “I am very proud and excited to bring ‘Southern Elegance’ to the South Arkansas Arts Center galleries.

“The subjects of my latest photography show are just that for me. They are old friends who have been present for every important event of not just my family, but three generations of our family. As early as the 1920’s, they have been there for Easter and Christmas festivals, baptisms, wedding and baby showers and, yes, for daily celebrations of lives well lived. While worn in places, their beauty serves to remind us of who we are and where we have been. They are like old friends whose mere presence warms us with the possibilities for the future and the people who will gather around a family table then.

“These items in my show played a part in all the important occasions of our family life. They became like the familiar faces of aging relatives, lined, then softened by the events of a life well lived. They were silent actors in the dramas and comedies of our lives, old friends sharing common experiences.

“I have long wanted to share that story and, finally, with an old shutter, my iPhone and the light of my sunporch, I have captured a treasured heirloom and the sweet memories of family and friends…with a tad of “Southern Elegance’.”

Tarver is an Arkansas Artist in Education artist and teaches her specialty, photography, in Arkansas schools. She and her husband, Jon, have a daughter, Claire, married to Wesley Beard, and a granddaughter, Layla.

GOVERNOR ASA HUTCHINSON ANNOUNCES INTENT TO GRANT EXECUTIVE CLEMENCY 
LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced his intent to grant 12 pardons and 1 restoration of firearm rights only. An additional 53 clemency requests were denied and 8 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:

Andrew J. Appler (Conway): Possession of Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver (C Felony), Failure to Keep Records/Maintaining Drug Premises (D Felony) (CR 2004-489).
This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (2004 – 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 the applicant’s request. 

Deborah Ford Brandon (Mount Pleasant): Delivery of a Controlled Substance To Wit: Marijuana, 9 Counts (C Felony) (CR 98-73); Possession with Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance To Wit: Marijuana (C Felony) (CR 98-74).
This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1999 and 1999 – Sharp 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. 

Andrew C. Breshears (Hot Springs): Commercial Burglary, 3 counts (C Felony) (CR 2006-1-IV); Underage Driving under Influence 1st offense (Misdemeanor) (HTS-06-1731).
This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (2006 and 2006 – Garland 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 the applicant’s request.

Morgana Morrison Carter (Searcy): Residential Burglary (B Felony) and Theft of Property (C Felony) (CR 2011-357).
This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (2012 – White 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 the applicant’s request. 

Joseph J. Comer (Kensett): Burglary (B Felony) and Theft of Property (C Felony) (CR 82-130). 
This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1983 – White 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. 

Shawn Cruz (Pensacola, FL): Threatening to Cause a Catastrophe (D Felony) (CR 2000-029).
This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2000 – Baxter 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 the applicant’s request. 

Paul Edds (Bonnerdale): Criminal Trespass (docket 1985-2506); Theft by Receiving over $200 (C Felony) (CR-87-175).
This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1985 and 1987 – 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. 

Richard B. Gossett (McCrory): Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (C Felony) (CR 2002-07). 
This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2003 – Woodruff 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. 

Roy L. Hughes (Downsville, LA): Delivery of a Controlled Substance, 3 counts (D Felony) (CR-85-224).
This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (1985 – Union 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. 

Raymond Lovett (Magnolia, DE): Terroristic Threatening (Felony) and DWI 1st (U Misdemeanor) (CR 96-362). 
This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (1996 – 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. 

Donny Pointer (Little Rock): Possession of Controlled Substance (B Felony) (CR 96-002649); Domestic Battery 3rd Degree (C Misdemeanor) (C-99-2969).
This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1997 – Pulaski County; 1999 – Saline 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.

Danny L. Reaves (Dermott): Theft of Property (B Felony) (CR 2001-60-1D).
This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2001 – Ashley 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.

Governor Hutchinson intends to grant the restoration of firearms right only to the following person:

Jackie Y. Robinson (Little Rock): Maintaining a Drug Premises (D Felony) (CR 93-2224A).This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1994 – Pulaski 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 Pulaski County has signed the Recommendation of the Chief Law Enforcement Officer as required by law. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

LOCKHEED MARTIN’S CAMDEN MANUFACTURING SITE PART OF $1 BILLION SAUDI MISSILE DEAL
Talk Business & Politics

Lockheed Martin Corp.’s industrial site in Camden is likely to be apportioned a significant amount of work from the Pentagon’s nearly $1 billion contract to provide so-called THAAD missiles to Saudi Arabia, part of the Trump administration’s controversial multi-billion dollar arms deal with the Middle Eastern ally.

According to details of the U.S. Department of Defense’s bid specifications released on Monday (March 4), Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control (MFC) division in Dallas was awarded a non-competitive hybrid contract under the Pentagon’s Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The total estimated value of this undefined contract is $945.9 million, under which the nation’s largest defense contractor will provide Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) for Saudi Arabia’s fledgling Phase I missile defense program.

Besides manufacturing THAAD systems, Lockheed will also provide “tooling and test equipment, key personnel, line re-qualification activities, initial training development, system Integration Lab and testbeds, three-level maintenance concept, exportability, and early engineering development,” the DOD bid specifications states.

According to video and marketing materials on Lockheed Martin’s website, THAAD can defend countries and entire regions against short- and medium-range ballistic missiles by basically knocking them out of the sky and rendering them useless. THAAD interceptors employ Lockheed Martin’s proven “hit-to-kill” technology to destroy missile threats inside and outside the atmosphere, the company said.

“When enemies attack, governments must be ready to defend their soldiers, citizens and infrastructure. That’s where THAAD comes in – one of the most advanced missile defense systems in the world,” Lockheed Martin boasts on its website. In the Trump administration’s recent talks with North Korea, the U.S. military’s THAAD anti-missile defense system in South Korea has been highlighted as their main defense against a possible nuclear strike from the northern part of the Korean Peninsula.

Final details of the contract award also show that work for the project will be performed at Lockheed MFC locations in Camden, Dallas and Lufkin, Texas; Huntsville, Troy and Anniston, Ala.; and Sunnyvale, Calif., over a seven and a half-year period from Feb. 28 to Oct. 31, 2026.

Lockheed officials declined to comment for this story.

The THAAD missile sales to Saudi Arabia are the first phase of a larger $15 billion THAAD deal that is part of the $110 billion joint arms deal signed by President Donald Trump and King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud on May 20, 2017 during a state visit to Saudi Arabia.

BOOZMAN PURSUES IMPROVEMENTS TO REDUCE VETERAN SUICIDES
WASHINGTON—
U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) is helping lead efforts to improve the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) operation, oversight and evaluation of its suicide prevention media outreach campaigns.

Boozman is the lead Republican cosponsor of the Reach Every Veteran in Crisis Act. The bill, authored by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), seeks to correct failures in VA’s suicide prevention outreach activities identified by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

“The VA has indicated that suicide prevention is its highest clinical priority and, with the alarming number of suicides in the veteran community, it absolutely must be. Congress is appropriating resources and the VA is turning that into action, but the numbers continue to trend in the wrong direction. This is why it is vital that we have metrics to measure the effectiveness of the VA’s mental health and suicide prevention programs. This bill will help Congress and the VA isolate meaningful suicide prevention programs so we can ensure resources are focused on efforts that save lives,” said Boozman.

“The Department of Veterans Affairs has a moral obligation to fight the scourge of veteran suicide with all the resources Congress has authorized, an obligation it is failing to meet with fatal consequences,” said Blumenthal. “VA must replace rhetoric with meaningful action and address the significant shortfalls in their suicide prevention media outreach campaigns. This bill provides an action plan to hold VA accountable for ensuring all veterans and their families are aware of the support services available during their time of need.”

In a 2018 report entitled Improvements Needed in Suicide Prevention Media Outreach Campaign Oversight and Evaluation, the GAO found that the VA had failed to establish targets to evaluate the efficacy of its campaigns, that leadership turnover led to a dramatic decline in media outreach activities and that the VA spent a fraction of its budget for suicide prevention media outreach during the last fiscal year.

The Reach Every Veteran in Crisis Act requires that the VA:

  • Establish targets—based on industry-standard metrics such as impressions and engagement rate—to evaluate the efficacy of its mental health and suicide prevention outreach campaigns;
  • Create a process to oversee VA’s suicide prevention media outreach campaigns;
  • Report to Congress on the expenditures and obligations of funds of the Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention; and
  • Ensure all future contracts regarding mental health and suicide prevention outreach include a clause that the contractor must track metrics established by the secretary and report these metrics to the Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.

Boozman previously included language in the FY19 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill that requires VA to develop metrics to evaluate the efficacy of all of its mental health and suicide prevention programs.

GRIFFEN PRAISES TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S BOLD NEW SCHOOL CHOICE PLAN
Says, plan is a ‘game changer’ that 'gives parents the freedom to choose’ how to ‘meet the individual learning needs of their children without impacting federal education funding’
LITTLE ROCK – Lt. Governor Tim Griffin today issued the following statement in support of the Trump Administration’s proposed Education Freedom Scholarships:

"I applaud President Donald Trump and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos for their bold, transformational plan to improve education through choice. The proposed Education Freedom Scholarships will give parents the freedom to choose the best educational options to meet the individual learning needs of their children without impacting existing federal education funding.  Every child, regardless of their ZIP code, deserves a world-class education, and this plan moves us one step closer to that goal. This plan is a game changer for our kids, and Arkansas should take full advantage of this opportunity and implement a similar program now."

About Educational Freedom Scholarships
The Educational Freedom Scholarships would allow for up to $5 billion in locally controlled scholarship programs at the state level to empower students and parents to choose the educational options that best fit their individual learning needs. The scholarships will be funded through voluntary taxpayer contributions to state-identified Scholarship Granting Organizations, and taxpayers who contribute to the scholarships will receive a non-refundable, dollar-for-dollar federal tax credit. Participation in the program will be optional for states, and each state will determine how to select eligible students, education providers, and allowable education expenses. For more information, visit www.ed.gov/freedom.​

About Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin
He was elected lieutenant governor of Arkansas on November 4, 2014, and was re-elected for his second four-year term on November 6, 2018. From 2011-2015, Griffin served as the 24th representative of Arkansas’s Second Congressional District. For the 113th Congress, he was a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means while also serving as a Deputy Whip for the Majority. In the 112th Congress, he served as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the House Committee on the Judiciary.

Griffin is a graduate of Magnolia High School, Hendrix College in Conway and Tulane Law School in New Orleans, and attended graduate school at Oxford University. Griffin has served as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve, Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps, for over 22 years and currently holds the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was recently selected for promotion to colonel. In 2005, Griffin was mobilized to active duty as an Army prosecutor at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and served with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) in Mosul, Iraq. He is currently serving as a senior legislative advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness at the Pentagon. Lieutenant Colonel Griffin holds a master's degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. He also served as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas and Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Political Affairs for President George W. Bush. Griffin lives in Little Rock with his wife Elizabeth, a Camden native, and their three children.

 

MARCH 6, 2019

BOOZMAN WELCOMES ADEQ DIRECTOR TO SENATE EPW SUBCOMMITEE HEARING
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) welcomed Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Director Becky Keogh to a hearing before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety. Keogh was testifying before senators on cooperative federalism and Arkansas’s past experience with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

Keogh testified before the subcommittee that the Trump Administration’s EPA has taken a cooperative federalism approach to better partner with Arkansas and other states to solve challenges they face and highlighted the positive impact that approach has on environmental protection efforts.

Boozman introduced Keogh to the committee prior to her delivering opening remarks.

“I would like to give a special thanks to Becky Keogh of Little Rock, Arkansas for coming up here today to testify. Mrs. Keogh has an impressive job history which has made her uniquely qualified to testify,” Boozman said.

“Becky Keogh has served as the Director of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality or ADEQ since 2015. Prior to her role as director, Mrs. Keogh served as Deputy Director of ADEQ from 1996–2006. She was subsequently appointed to serve on the Arkansas Geological Commission from 2006–2009.  

“Director Keogh is currently the President of the Environmental Council of the United States. 

“An Arkansas native, Director Keogh has a degree in chemical engineering from my alma mater, the University of Arkansas. 

“Director Keogh, we appreciate you coming up here for this important hearing, and look forward to your testimony,” Boozman said.

 
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RUTLEDGE APPLAUDS LEGISLATION APPROVINGBALLOT TITLE AMENDMENT
Says, ‘The law will give Arkansans a clear, concise and fair process’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released the below statement following the Arkansas Legislature’s approval of the ballot title process proposal that will head to Governor Asa Hutchison’s desk for his signature.

“Today’s final vote is a victory for all Arkansans,” said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “The law will give Arkansans a clear, concise and fair process to amend the State Constitution. This streamlined process will increase transparency by ensuring a public and bipartisan debate for all ballot measures proposed by Arkansans.”

 

March 05, 2019

 

RUTLEDGE CELEBRATES NATIONAL CONSUMER PROTECTION WEEK
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released the following statement to kick off National Consumer Protection Week.

“My office is dedicated to protecting Arkansans from con artists and criminals. I am sick of bad actors constantly adapting to find new ways to scam hard-working consumers. National Consumer Protection Week is an opportunity to educate Arkansans about common scams.”

Rutledge will be highlighting common scams and complaints received by the Attorney General’s office this week on social media.

Consumers who believe they have been scammed or would like to file a complaint can reach the Attorney General’s office at (501) 682-2007 or online at ArkansasAG.gov.

In her written testimony, Keogh discussed how “Arkansas is a model for how states efficiently and effectively take the lead in improving and maintaining air quality across the country. That is why a ‘state’s first’ approach to regulation makes sense.” 

Keogh previously testified before the subcommittee in 2015 on this same issue.

 

SAU TECH FOUNDATION TO HOST FIRST ROCKET ROCKET NIGHT FUNDRAISER
Southern Arkansas University Tech Foundation is holding its first fundraiser and benefactor dinner on April 13, 2019. The speaker is 30-year NFL Referee, Walter Coleman, III. Coleman is an executive for Hiland Dairy and spends much of his free time speaking and serving on various non-profit and service organization boards.

The SAU Tech Foundation Rocket Night is the first event of its kind for the College in recent history. Foundation Executive Director, Kimberly Coker, stated that " I have been an employee of SAU Tech almost 17 years and I have no memory of an event where donors, potential donors, supporters of SAU Tech, athletes and students were all invited to an event to celebrate the success of the past academic year. Coker recently stated during a KCAC interview with Rocket Launcher Live's, Joel Gray, that the event is an opportunity for local businesses to act as underwriters to support the celebration. The SAU Tech Foundation Board Members are local volunteers who oversee the financial responsibilities of the Foundation.

Tickets are on sale now and can be ordered online or requested from the Communications & Development Office at SAU Tech. The event is open to the public and dinner will be provided. Additional event and ticket information can be found at https://www.sautech.edu/rocket/

JOIN Y95 AT THE DAFFODIL FESTIVAL
Daffodils are in full bloom and Radio Works is on the move. Join the Road Crew in beautiful Downtown Camden for the Daffodil Festival as we broadcast live. We’ll look forward to seeing you Friday afternoon from 2 until 4 and Saturday from 11 until 2. There is going to be constant activity. Don’t miss a single minute. More vendors than ever before. Kids activities. Festival food. We will be set up in the little park right by Stinson’s. Thanks to our sponsors Ouachita Abstract, Dripper's Vape Shop, Bank of Bearden, Dickson Chevrolet, bounds Tire, Southwest Saw, Hodnett Realty, Ken's Discount, Blackmon's Furniture, The Vapor Shop, Smackover State Bank, St. John's Place, Holt Builders, Southern pipe and Supply, Wells Fargo Investment/Raquel Sparkman, Mitch Lowe's Body Shop, Cardinal Care Clinic, Country Village Sporting Goods, Car Mart of Camden and Hogskin Festival and Rodeo Committees. We look forward to seeing YOU at the Daffodil Festival.


COTTON APPLAUDS PROPOSED RESTRICTIONS ON PREDATORY GREEN ENERGY LOANS
Washington, D.C.—
Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) on residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing. Following that announcement, Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) released the statement below:

“Predatory lenders have tricked seniors and other vulnerable citizens into taking out high-interest loans for green-energy appliances using their homes as collateral. In some cases, these loans have squeezed Americans to the point of foreclosure, robbing them of the very homes they sought to improve. Soon this predatory lending scam will come to an end thanks to my Protecting Americans from Credit Exploitation provision, which passed last year. Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took steps to implement this provision to protect consumers from predatory green-energy loans. I look forward to working with the administration to ensure all homeowners are protected from these predatory lending practices.”

Background:
PACE loans are a financing program that provides homeowners with solar panels or other housing improvements in exchange for a lien on the home and increased property tax payments for up to 20 years. There are no federal underwriting or disclosure requirements, the loans have high fees, and they are far more expensive than mortgages or home equity loans.

COTTON, COLLEAGUES INTRODUCE LEGISLATION HONORING CENTENNIAL OF THE TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER AT ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
Washington, D.C. — Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), along with fellow Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut), Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia), Doug Jones (D-Alabama), Steve Daines (R-Montana), Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Mississippi) introduced the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Commemorative Coin Act, which would direct the Secretary of the Treasury to mint commemorative coins in recognition of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier's upcoming centennial in 2021.

After the bill’s introduction, Senator Cotton released the following statement:

"A few months after the World War I Unknown was laid to rest, the commander of the Military District of Washington declined a request to post a sentry at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, saying that visitors to Washington ‘can reach the distantly located tomb only with great difficulty' and predicting that the Tomb ‘is not and never will be visited by the thousands of visitors as is done in England, France, and Italy.' Yet one hundred years later, more than four million people pass through the gates of Arlington National Cemetery each year, and most visit the Tomb to observe the Changing of the Guard. Americans venerate the Tomb and its Sentinels as a shrine to all the brave men and women who have served in our Armed Forces, and especially those who laid down their lives so we could live in freedom. This commemorative coin will be a fitting tribute to those heroes and to the Sentinels who have guarded our Tomb for so many years.”

Endorsements: 
The National Rural Letter Carriers' Association, the VFW, the Society of the Honor Guard Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Gold Star Peak Inc, the World War I Museum, and the Independence Seaport Museum.

Background:
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a memorial site at Arlington National Cemetery approved by Congress on March 4, 1921 to honor the unknown soldiers who died in World War I. Inscribed on the back of the Tomb are the words "Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God." Today, the site also honors unknown soldiers from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is guarded 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and in any weather by Tomb Guard Sentinels. The Sentinels, all volunteers, are considered to be the best of the elite 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), headquartered at Fort Meyer, Virginia.

Proceeds from the sale of the commemorative coins would benefit the National World War I Museum and Memorial for the purposes of assisting in commemorating the centennial. The minting of such coins will not result in any net cost to the United States government.

 

March 04, 2019

CITY OF CAMDEN POLICE REPORTS
DRINKING ON THE HIGHWAY

On March 02, 2019 at  2:52 a.m. Officer Nathan Lane was on patrol in the area of Grinstead Street and Adams Street, when he observed a vehicle making a left tum from the non-turning lane. Officer Lane followed the vehicle down Grinstead Street where it crossed left of center three times. The Officer initiated his lights when they got to Warner Street to pull the vehicle over. When contact was made with the driver, Tiondra Lewis, the Officer observed an open wine bottle in the center console. When asked whose bottle it was, Lewis stated it was hers. Lewis was advised she was under arrest for Public Intoxication. Lewis was then transported to the station without incident. Lewis was later released with a Criminal Citation  and given a District of Camden court date.

CRIMINAL TRESPASS
On March 01, 2019 at 5:03 p.m. Officer Frank Remick was dispatched to a subject on the ban list at Walmart. Upon my arrival the Officer spoke with Morgan Pope of Asset Protection. She advised that Bryshelle Henderson was inside the store. Pope provided a confirmed copy of Walmart ban list confirming Henderson was banned. Officers observed Henderson leaving the store and made contact with her. Henderson was taken into custody and transported to the Camden Police Department. Booking procedures were performed. Henderson paid the bond of $250 and was released and given a criminal citation and a District Court date.

PUBLIC INTOXICATION
On March 1, 2019 at 10:02 p.m. Officer Nathan Lane was dispatched to 201 Fort Lookout in reference to a theft report. Upon arrival contact was made with the reporting party Marvin Maxey. While talking to Maxey the Officer could smell an odor of intoxicants coming from his person whenever he spoke. Maxey was swaying back and forth and had to take steps in order to avoid falling over. Maxey did not want a report and I advised him to stay inside. Later on at 10:25 hours Officer Lane was on patrol in the area of Fort Lookout, when he saw a male subject on the sidewalk. The male subject kept walking in a zig zag motion down the sidewalk. The Officer then got out with the male and realized it was Maxey from earlier. Maxey was advised that he was under arrest for Public Intoxication. When walking Maxey to the patrol vehicle he had to lean on on the Officer to keep from falling. Also, while walking Maxey to the vehicle, Officer Lane could smell the odor of intoxicants coming from his person. Maxey was transported to the station without incident. Booking procedures were completed and Maxey was transported to the Ouachita County Detention Center and later released pending sobriety. He was given a citation and court date.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB TO MEET
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet on Wednesday at Catherine’s Bistro. This week the speakers will be Dr. Steve Keller speaking about chiropractic practices and Barbara Russell speaking about recovering from leukemia through major diet changes.

BOOZMAN PURSUES IMPROVEMENTS TO REDUCE VETERAN SUICIDES
WASHINGTON—
U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) is helping lead efforts to improve the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) operation, oversight and evaluation of its suicide prevention media outreach campaigns.

Boozman is the lead Republican cosponsor of the Reach Every Veteran in Crisis Act. The bill, authored by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), seeks to correct failures in VA’s suicide prevention outreach activities identified by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

“The VA has indicated that suicide prevention is its highest clinical priority and, with the alarming number of suicides in the veteran community, it absolutely must be. Congress is appropriating resources and the VA is turning that into action, but the numbers continue to trend in the wrong direction. This is why it is vital that we have metrics to measure the effectiveness of the VA’s mental health and suicide prevention programs. This bill will help Congress and the VA isolate meaningful suicide prevention programs so we can ensure resources are focused on efforts that save lives,” said Boozman.

“The Department of Veterans Affairs has a moral obligation to fight the scourge of veteran suicide with all the resources Congress has authorized, an obligation it is failing to meet with fatal consequences,” said Blumenthal. “VA must replace rhetoric with meaningful action and address the significant shortfalls in their suicide prevention media outreach campaigns. This bill provides an action plan to hold VA accountable for ensuring all veterans and their families are aware of the support services available during their time of need.”

In a 2018 report entitled Improvements Needed in Suicide Prevention Media Outreach Campaign Oversight and Evaluation, the GAO found that the VA had failed to establish targets to evaluate the efficacy of its campaigns, that leadership turnover led to a dramatic decline in media outreach activities and that the VA spent a fraction of its budget for suicide prevention media outreach during the last fiscal year.

The Reach Every Veteran in Crisis Act requires that the VA:

  • Establish targets—based on industry-standard metrics such as impressions and engagement rate—to evaluate the efficacy of its mental health and suicide prevention outreach campaigns;
  • Create a process to oversee VA’s suicide prevention media outreach campaigns;
  • Report to Congress on the expenditures and obligations of funds of the Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention; and
  • Ensure all future contracts regarding mental health and suicide prevention outreach include a clause that the contractor must track metrics established by the secretary and report these metrics to the Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.

Boozman previously included language in the FY19 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill that requires VA to develop metrics to evaluate the efficacy of all of its mental health and suicide prevention programs.

MARCH 1, 2019

CITY OF CAMDEN POLICE REPORTS
FLEEING

This past Monday, February 25th at 2:25 p.m Officer Frank Remick arrived at 1485 Country Club Road Apartment 23 for Warrant Service. Officer Remick and Officer Jake Perry placed themselves at the backdoor of apartment 23 in order to apprehend possible fleeing subjects. An individual wearing white shoes stumbled to the backdoor, opened the door, then turned around once the Officers were noticed. Officer Perry entered the backdoor and made the statement, "He's fleeing out the window". Officer Remick ran around to the front of the building through a walking trail and noticed two individuals climb out of the window. One suspect ran towards the Officer in the trail, halting once he noticed Police presence, then fled the opposite direction. Officer Remick pursued the subject, later identified and Brandon Jenkins. Jenkins attempted to hurdle debris and was tripped up. The Office was in close proximity when Jenkins fell to the ground.  The then pulled taser and continued tasing Jenkins. He then tackled Jenkins to gain a defensive position on him. After a brief struggle Jenkins was taken into custody by Officer Perry and Officer Remick. Jenkins was then escorted to a patrol unit where it was found he had a. small laceration to his upper right eye, possibly from the struggle on the ground. EMS was called to the scene. Jenkins was transported to the Ouachita County Medical Center where he was provided First aid by ER staff. Once cleared for incarceration, Jenkins was transported to the Camden Police Department. Booking procedures were completed After being given criminal citation and a court date, Jenkins was taken to the Ouachita County Detention Center for holding.

CRIMINAL TRESPASS
TERRORISTIC THREATENING 2ND
PUBLIC INTOXICATION
DISORDERLY CONDUCT

On Wednesday,February 27, 2019 at 7:56 a.m. Officer Ashley Watts, responded to Soapy Suds in reference to a subject refusing to leave. She arrived and made contact with Fredrick Gilmore. Office VanAssche arrive to back Officer Watts up. Sergeant Elliott was also at the scene.  Gilmore was sitting in a chair with his arms in his shirt. The manager, Vivian Ridley, advised that she asked Gilmore to leave the premises and he refused so she called the Police Department to have him removed. She also advised that Gilmore has recently been asked not to return onto the property of Soapy Suds. Officer VanAssche asked Gilmore why he was there to which he responded he was asleep.  Gilmore continued talking and it was difficult to understand due to Gilmore's speech being slurred. Gilmore was then asked how much alcohol he had to drink, and he stated last night he had a few drinks while he was at home before he left to go for a walk. The Officer then asked Gilmore why he was at Soapy Suds if he wasn't there to wash clothes, and he stated he stopped there to rest after his walk. Officer Watts advised Officer VanAssche that Gilmore was banned from the establishment, due to him damaging the washing machines. Officer VanAssche then took Gilmore into custody and began to escort him to his patrol unit. While taking Gilmore into custody the Office could smell a strong odor of intoxicants coming from his person. Once the two had exited the establishment Gilmore began yelling profanities. He was advised to stop yelling profanities, at which point Gilmore yelled at threats at the Officer.  He continued to yell threats and began pushing against Sergeant Elliott and Officer VanAssche. Gilmore then had to be assisted into the patrol unit, where he continued to yell threats. Gilmore was later transported to the station without incident, while enroute to the station Gilmore continued to threaten the Officer. This continued at the station while taking Gilmore into the booking Gilmore is being charged with Criminal Trespass, Terroristic Threatening 2nd, Public Intoxication, and Disorderly Conduct. Gilmore was transported to the Ouachita County Sheriffs Office where he was held awaiting first appearance.

LAW ENFORCEMENT AND IMMIGRATION GROUPS SUPPORT SINGH’S LAW
Washington, D.C.
– Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today announced support for Singh’s Law from the National Sheriff’s Association, FAIR, and Numbers USA.

“The nation’s sheriffs strongly support Senator Cotton for this legislation that will equip local law enforcement with the additional resources they need to keep their communities safe from criminal gangs. We also applaud his honoring of the fallen officer. Families of law enforcement know too well the sacrifice officers and deputies make every day and we must never forget that sacrifice they and their families make,” said Jonathan Thompson, Executive Director of the National Sheriffs Association.

“Corporal Ronil Singh, a police officer with the City of Newman (Calif.) Police Department, was a shining example of the American dream. A lawful immigrant from Fiji, Singh dreamed of becoming a police officer. He worked tirelessly to obtain his badge, even taking English lessons to overcome his accent in an effort to be better understood on the job. Cpl. Singh’s dream ended one tragic night last December, when he was brutally murdered in the line of duty by an illegal alien with multiple DUI arrests and an active gang affiliation. In recent years, criminal gangs from Latin America have developed a strong foothold in the United States, perpetuating criminal activities such as drug dealing, human trafficking, and murder. FAIR applauds Senator Cotton for recognizing the growing gang issue and honoring a true American hero with the introduction of Singh’s Law. This FAIR-supported bill would provide law enforcement with additional tools to combat criminal alien gangs operating in American communities, while ensuring that illegal aliens with gang affiliations are promptly removed from the country. Congress must act quickly to protect other families from suffering the same unimaginable loss as Cpl. Singh’s family,” said Dan Stein, President of FAIR.

“Officer Singh's brutal murder by a criminal illegal alien last December was entirely preventable. Perez Arriaga was in the country illegally, had known gang affiliations and two previous DUI convictions. And yet California's sanctuary policies protected him from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, enabling him to commit this heinous crime. Singh's Law would block aliens with criminal convictions and known gang affiliations from entering the country and allow for the removal those already here. NumbersUSA and its 9 million grassroots activists applaud Sen. Tom Cotton for introducing this legislation and for prioritizing the safety and security of U.S. citizens,” said Chris Chmielenski, Deputy Director of NumbersUSA.

BOOZMAN, ARKANSAS DAV MEMBERS PRESS FOR IMPROVEMENTS FOR WOMEN VETERANS
Urge Passage of Deborah Sampson Act
WASHINGTON— Arkansas members of Disabled American Veterans (DAV) applauded U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) for his introduction of the Deborah Sampson Act, legislation to help ensure the VA supports the unique needs of women veterans.

DAV members were in the nation’s capital earlier this week pressing for congressional support of the organization’s 2019 legislative priorities which include improvements to women veterans’ health programs. DAV has endorsed the Deborah Sampson Act. The legislation would eliminate barriers to care and services that many women veterans face and would help ensure the VA can address the needs of women who are more likely to face homelessness, unemployment and go without needed health care. 

“DAV has been influential in identifying ways the Department of Veterans Affairs can strengthen its services. I look forward to continue working with DAV members as Congress crafts policies to ensure women veterans have equitable access to VA healthcare,” Boozman said.

Arkansas members met with Boozman in advance of the joint Senate and House Veterans’ Affairs hearing to highlight DAV priorities for 2019 on February 26.


BOOZMAN QUESTIONS AG SECRETARY ON RURAL BROADBAND IMPLEMENTATION
WASHINGTON—
Members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry received an update from U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on the implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill. U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), a strong supporter of the bill, urged its expeditious implementation and questioned the secretary about the progress of USDA programs to improve rural broadband.

“One of the biggest challenges facing Arkansas – and much of rural America – is access to reliable broadband,” Boozman said.

The 2018 Farm Bill allows USDA to leverage grants and loans with loan guarantees to fund projects that deploy high-speed broadband in rural America. Coupled with the December 2018 launch of USDA’s ReConnect Program to facilitate broadband deployment, the farm bill made positive policy changes to increase opportunities for rural areas to get resources to bridge the digital divide.

Boozman recognized the enthusiasm toward the ReConnect Program and has supported the department’s efforts to improve connectivity in rural communities.

“There has been immense interest in [the ReConnect Program]. My goal in doing that was to administer that and deploy those resources in a way that you all trusted us to do more because we need a moonshot about broadband connectivity across this country in order to do the things that we think will bring our nation back together from a rural-urban perspective,” Perdue said.
According to FCC’s 2018 Broadband Deployment Report, about a quarter of Arkansas’s population doesn’t have access to broadband.

Boozman is a co-chair of the Senate Broadband Caucus. He is actively leading efforts to strengthen broadband deployment in Arkansas and across the country.

RUTLEDGE ANNOUNCES START OF WELLS FARGO CONSUMER REDRESS REVIEW PROGRAM
Says, ‘This program is a significant step for Wells Fargo toward fixing the harm it caused to Arkansans’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that Wells Fargo has begun a consumer redress review program to allow consumers, who have not yet been made whole through other remediation programs already in place, to have their inquiry or complaint reviewed by a Wells Fargo escalation team for possible relief.

“The redress review program was a key component of my settlement with Wells Fargo due to betrayal of consumer trust,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This program is a significant step for Wells Fargo toward fixing the harm it caused to Arkansans by ensuring that eligible consumers receive the restitution due to them under the settlement. Requiring Wells Fargo to implement this program is another example of how I will hold any business accountable that unlawfully takes advantage of Arkansans.”

The December settlement between Wells Fargo and attorneys general of all 50 states and the District of Columbia resolves claims the bank violated state consumer protection laws by opening millions of unauthorized accounts and enrolling customers into online banking services without their knowledge or consent, improperly referring customers for enrollment in third-party renters and life insurance policies, improperly charging auto loan customers for force-placed and unnecessary collateral protection insurance, failing to ensure that customers received refunds of unearned premiums on certain optional auto finance products, and incorrectly charging customers for mortgage rate lock extension fees.

As part of the program, Wells Fargo will maintain a website for at least one year that contains information regarding consumers' eligibility for redress and to help answer consumer questions. Wells Fargo's website describes the issues covered by the settlement agreement and provides phone numbers consumers may use to request review. In addition, Wells Fargo will provide periodic reports to the states about ongoing remediation efforts.

Wells Fargo's consumer redress review website may be accessed at Wellsfargo.com/commitment/Redress

Consumers with questions or concerns may call the following Wells Fargo phone numbers for assistance:

  • Unauthorized Accounts/Improper Retail Sales Practices: 1-844-931-2273
  • Improper Renters and Life Insurance Referrals: 1-855-853-9638
  • Force-Placed Collateral Protection Auto Insurance: 1-888-228-9735
  • Guaranteed Asset/Auto Protection Refunds: 1-844-860-6962
  • Mortgage Interest Rate Lock Extension Fees: 1-866-385-5008

Participating in the program with Arkansas include Attorneys General from: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

 

February 27th OPED Audio

February 28, 2019

RUTLEDGE ANNOUNCES FAULKNER COUNTY MAN SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS FOR VIDEOS SHOWING RAPE OF CHILDREN
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has announced that a Faulkner County man has been sentenced to 15 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction on child pornography charges.

Jason Coppock, 28, of Mayflower, pleaded guilty to five counts of distributing, possessing, viewing of matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child. He was found in possession of videos and images of sexual intercourse and penetration with girls as young as 5 years old to 12 years old.

“I am committed to removing disturbing criminals like Coppock from our neighborhoods,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “His actions prolong the vicious victimization of innocent children.”

Coppock was arrested in April 2017 by the Attorney General’s Office Cyber Crimes Unit when special agents seized laptops and external storage devices from his residence. An attorney from the Attorney General’s Office was appointed Special Deputy Prosecutor in the case by the 20th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Carol Crews.

SMALL BUSINESS SEMINAR “FACEBOOK BUSINESS PAGES “BEYOND THE LIKES”
Have you created a Facebook page for your business and want to turn it into a strategic advantage? The SAU Small Business and Technology Development Center is here to help! Along with an overview of Facebook basics, get tips for managing your page, setting goals, measuring content reach, and analyzing post effectiveness. Please bring your computer, tablet, or mobile phone for hands-on training! iPads available if requested by Monday, March 4, 2019.

If you would like assistance setting up a Facebook business page, please contact us to make a one-on-one appointment. You will need a personal Facebook page setup in order to create a business page.

When - Tuesday, March 5, 2019 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM 
Where - OPED Building  - 625 S Adams  - Camden, AR 71701
Co- Sponsors -Team Camden, Partnership Ouachita for Economic Development
Cost - FREE!

COTTON, COLLEAGUES REINTRODUCE BIPARTISAN DRIVE-SAFE ACT
Washington D.C.
– U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Todd Young (R-Indiana) and Jon Tester (D-Montana) today reintroduced the Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy (DRIVE-Safe) Act to address the driver shortage in the trucking and logistics industry, and enhance safety training and job opportunities for young truckers. U.S. Senators Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), Angus King (I-Maine), Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), and Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) joined as cosponsors of the bill.

Though many states allow individuals to obtain a commercial driver’s license at the age 18, federal law currently prohibits those operators from moving goods from state to state until they are 21. The DRIVE-Safe Act establishes an apprenticeship program that would allow for the legal operation of a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce by CDL holders under the age of 21. The apprenticeship training program would help ensure these drivers are trained beyond current standards while instituting rigorous safety standards and performance benchmarks.

“Tens of thousands of commercial trucking jobs go unfilled each year across the United States. To make that problem worse, current regulations prevent younger drivers from participating in interstate trucking at all, denying them the opportunity for good-paying jobs. The DRIVE-Safe Act tackles both problems by allowing drivers under the age of 21 to pursue this career, as long as their employer adopts an apprenticeship program that includes rigorous training and safety standards,” said Senator Cotton.

SENATORS COTTON, CRUZ, REPRESENTATIVE GALLAGHER INTRODUCE RESOLUTIONS RECOGNIZING ISRAEL’S SOVEREIGNTY OVER GOLAN HEIGHTS
WASHINGTON, D.C.
– U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Representative Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin) yesterday introduced companion bills establishing that it shall be the policy of the United States to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. The United States has been committed for over 40 years to ensuring Israel’s security from attacks emanating from across the Golan Heights. The threat Iran poses to America and Israel requires acknowledging the reality of Israel’s control over the territory as a matter of national security. 

The bill is also sponsored by Senators Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota), and Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), and Representatives Brian Mast (R-Florida), Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado), Jim Banks (R-Indiana), Elise Stefanik (R-New York), Tom Cole (R-Oklahoma), Mark Meadows (R-North Carolina), Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), Scott Perry (R-Pennsylvania), Roger Marshall (R-Kansas), Mark Green (R-Tennessee), Lee Zeldin (R-New York), Ted Budd (R-North Carolina), and Jody Hice (R-Georgia.).

The bill states in part that “it is in the United States national security interest to ensure that Israel retains control of the Golan Heights [and that] the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad faces diplomatic and geopolitical consequences for its killing of civilians, the ethnic cleansing of Arab Sunnis, and the use of weapons of mass destruction.”

ADEQ SEEKS ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERS FOR 2019 ENVIRONMENTAL AWARDS
NORTH LITTLE ROCK
—The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is seeking the State’s top environmental leaders to apply for this year’s ADEQ Environmental Awards. Businesses, nonprofits, and government entities who are working to help achieve a vision of a healthy environment and prosperous economy across the state are encouraged to apply.

For the past 15 years, ADEQ has recognized environmental leaders from around the Natural State. The ADEQ Environmental Awards is one of Arkansas’s most prestigious environmental recognition programs. The awards highlight what Arkansas companies are doing in areas of sustainability, innovative technology, and environmental stewardship. This year’s award program will include three prestigious awards—the Arkansas Environmental Stewardship (ENVY) Award, the Arkansas Environmental Technology (TECHe) Award, and the E² Energy Award.

ADEQ honors exceptional environmental projects and programs in Arkansas with the ENVY award. The award showcases the work of citizens, businesses, industries, farms, and government agencies that are protecting and enhancing the environment in extraordinary ways, demonstrating that they deserve to be the ENVY of Arkansas. The TECHe Award recognizes the use of new developments in technology or the use of technology to protect our resources or improve the environment. The E² Award honors organizations that demonstrate outstanding leadership by implementing forward-thinking initiatives in areas of energy efficiency, advance energy, and renewable energy. Additionally, the ADEQuest Science Award is given to a student who has made strides in science and protection of the environment.

If you would like to apply for an award or nominate an environmental leader in your community, then please contact Ometra Okuwoash, ADEQ Program and Outreach Manger, at 501.682.0977 or okuwoash@adeq.state.ar.us. Additional information about the awards and application forms can be found online at www.adeq.state.ar.us/poa/enterprise-services/awards/.

COTTON, WHITEHOUSE, MOULTON, KING REINTRODUCE ALS DISABILITY INSURANCE ACCESS ACT
Washington D.C.
- Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) and Congressmen Seth Moulton (D-Massachusetts) and Peter King (R-New York) have reintroduced the ALS Disability Insurance Access Act, bipartisan legislation to eliminate the five-month waiting period before ALS patients can receive the Social Security Disability Insurance benefits they earned by contributing into Social Security.  This legislation would build on previous steps by Congress and the Social Security Administration to accommodate the difficult prognosis for those diagnosed with ALS. 

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a neurodegenerative disease affecting the ability of the brain to control muscle movements.  Individuals with ALS progressively lose the ability to speak, walk, and breathe.  The intended purpose of a five-month waiting period is to allow temporary conditions to reverse.  However, there is currently no cure or treatment to halt or undo the effects of ALS, and some ALS patients lose their fight with the disease before ever receiving benefits.  The ALS Disability Insurance Access Act would help alleviate some of the financial hardship that accompanies an ALS diagnosis, and support those living with ALS and their families.

“ALS is a progressive and disabling disease for which there is no cure.  Those who suffer from this terrible disease endure enough pain, and they shouldn’t be subject to the usual waiting period for disability benefits—especially given their tragically short life expectancy,” said Cotton.

“I am proud to co-sponsor this bill to eliminate the waiting period for those battling ALS,” said Whitehouse.  “It takes tremendous courage from patients, family members, and friends to cope with an ALS diagnosis.  I hope that as a simple act of humanity we can set aside bureaucratic considerations and allow Americans who face the extraordinary blow of this diagnosis to immediately receive the benefits they have earned.”

“Nobody bravely fighting Lou Gehrig’s Disease should have to wait months for benefits that will help them confront the disease because of government red tape,” said Moulton. “Every American pays into Social Security with the idea that we have each other’s backs and that those benefits will become available to us when we need them—whether it is because of an ALS diagnosis, a disability or simply to help make ends meet in retirement.  This bill will help our country keep that promise.”

“When battling an unforgiving and aggressive disease such as ALS, time is of the essence.  That is why Congress must ensure that those diagnosed with this disease can immediately receive the SSDI benefits they have earned and try to mitigate the certain and devastating financial costs of their fight,” said King.

“Over the course of a five-month waiting period, people living with ALS will have only experienced progressive loss of function and will have incurred significant expenses for care and treatment,” said Calaneet Balas, President and CEO of The ALS Association.  “We urge Congress to pass this legislation and remove the arbitrary five-month waiting period that creates an unfair financial burden on people whose life expectancy is so tragically abbreviated.  People with ALS have earned and should receive both Medicare and Social Security Disability Insurance benefits immediately.  They simply don’t have months to wait.”

 
 
 
 

February 27, 2019

RUTLEDGE ANNOUNCES MARCH MOBILE OFFICE SCHEDULE
LITTLE ROCK
 – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced mobile office locations for March.

Attorney General Rutledge created this initiative during her first year in office to increase office accessibility for all Arkansans, particularly to those who live outside the capital city. Office hours were held in all 75 counties each year during her first term, assisting 3,300 Arkansans.

Rutledge believes face-to-face conversations are the best way to truly hear from Arkansans. The Attorney General Mobile Offices assist constituents with consumer related issues by filing consumer complaints against scam artists as well as answering questions about the office and the other services it offers to constituents.

Rutledge continues her partnerships with the Cooperative Extension Service and local law enforcement across Arkansas. Law enforcement officials will be on hand to collect unused and expired prescription medications to ensure they are secured and properly disposed. Arkansans are encouraged to bring their old, unused or expired prescription medications to an upcoming mobile office. During Rutledge’s first term, over 618 pounds of medications were collected at mobile offices.

For more information about services provided by the Attorney General’s office, visit ArkansasAG.gov or call (501) 682-2007. Rutledge can also be found on Facebook at facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge and on Twitter at twitter.com/AGRutledge.

The upcoming mobile office schedule is below:

Calhoun County
Tuesday, March 5
9:30 to 11:00 a.m.
Calhoun County Nutrition Center
1120 Prestress Drive Hampton, AR 71744

 

Howard County
Thursday, March 7
 9:30 to 11:00 a.m.
Howard County Senior Citizens Center
206 E. Howard St. Nashville, AR 71852


Pulaski County
Friday, March 8
10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
West Central Community Center
4521 John Barrow Road
Little Rock, AR 72204

10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Donaghey Student Center (200A)
3259 S. University Ave. Little Rock, AR 72204


Cross County
Tuesday, March 12
10:30 a.m. to noon
Cross County Courthouse
705 E. Union St. Wynne, AR 72396


Pope County
Wednesday, March 13
11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Arkansas Tech University Chamber Cafeteria
204 W. O St. Russellville, AR 72801


Jefferson County
Thursday, March 14
10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Service
500 Idaho St. Pine Bluff, AR 71601

Dallas County
Tuesday, March 19
10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
Dallas County Cooperative Extension Service
203 N. Clifton St. Fordyce, AR 71742


Cleveland County
Thursday, March 21
10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
Rison Senior Citizens Center
#50 I.E. Moore Drive Rison, AR 71665


Madison County
Tuesday, March 26
10:30 a.m. to noon
Madison County Senior Activity and Wellness Center
903 N. College St. Huntsville, AR 72740


Van Buren County
Thursday, March 28
10:30 a.m. to noon
Van Buren County Aging Program
311 Yellowjacket Lane Clinton, AR 72031

 

 

 

THE CALL IN OUACHITA COUNTY
The CALL in Ouachita County is a faith-based nonprofit that is working to unite the local church with orphans right here in our county.  The CALL is working to recruit foster/adoptive families from the Christian community, train those families along beside DHS, and provide a support system when they begin caring for their children. In Ouachita county, The CALL is serving families with support groups, The CALL mall, and mentoring.

The CALL works to mobilize local churches to provide a future and a hope to children in foster care. The group is seeing that happen but has a long way to go.  They are looking for leadership and volunteers in Ouachita County. They are also looking for congregations that will partner with us as we work to complete this mission.

The CALL will hold an informational meeting on March 7th at Grace Baptist Church at 6 PM.  If you are interested in volunteering with The CALL in some way or want to learn more about how to become a foster parent, then this meeting is for you! For more information, contact Wesley Stewart at 675-0138. The CALL has offices at 107 Garden Oaks Court in Camden, AR. Visit ouachitacounty@thecallinarkansas.org.

COUNTY FAIR COVER ARTWORK CONTEST
The Ouachita County Fair would like to announce their first Cover Artwork Contest. We are inviting young people between the ages of four (4) and eighteen (18) who enjoy drawing to submit an original picture that they think goes with our 2019 Fair Theme of: Yesterday’s Memories, Tomorrow’s Dreams

Eligibility: The contest is open to legal residents of Ouachita county who are four (4) to eighteen (18) years of age at the time of entry. The Ouachita County Fair Board reserves the right to verify the eligibility of any winner. Only one (1) entry per individual allowed.  All entries must be the student’s original and previously unpublished work.

Contest Period: Admissions will be accepted beginning February 8, 2019 through March 4, 2019.  Winners will be announced March 15, 2019.

How to Enter: Begin by drawing your original artwork using an 8 1/2” x 11” piece of white paper and using no more than 2 colors. Be sure the image reflects the 2019 Fair Theme of Yesterday’s Memories, Tomorrow’s Dreams. Place the artwork unfolded into a large 8 ½” x 11” manila envelope, include a 3” x 5” card with the Student’s Name, Age, Address, and Phone Number. Do not put your name on your artwork. Mail to: Megan Yerkes, 141 Gatling St., Camden AR 71701  Put ATTN: Cover Artwork Contest in the lower left-hand corner.

Judging: Pieces will be judged on originality, artistry, and adherence to the theme.  A panel of independent judges will be selected.  The decision of the judges is final. A Grand Prize will be awarded to one student and five honorable mentions.

Prizes: the Grand Prize winner will have their artwork featured as the cover of the annual Ouachita County Fair Book, a modified version will be used for the annual Clothesline coloring contest, as well as in advertising. The Grand Prize winner will also receive a $50 Hobby Lobby gift card and a County Fair Family Pack [$100 value includes 4 Free Gate admissions ($20.00 value) and 4 Free Ride Armbands ($80.00)]. Each Honorable Mention will be featured in the Fair book and will receive a $10 Sonic Card.
Other Information:  By submitting your artwork you are giving permission to the Ouachita County Fair to reproduce or modify your image. Full credit will be given to the artist. Artwork becomes the property of Ouachita County Fair.

BOOZMAN SAYS ALLIES CONTINUE TO EXPRESS NEED FOR “STRONG RELATIONSHIP” AS RUSSIAN, CHINESE AND IRANIAN INFLUENCE GROWS
WASHINGTON–U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) said allies voiced concerns about the increasing influence of Russia, China and Iran at high-level meetings in nine countries last week.  

Boozman traveled with a delegation led by the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK). After representing the U.S. Senate at the Munich Security Conference—where the delegation conducted discussions with officials regarding political, economic and security issues—the delegation traveled to Kosovo, Israel, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Algeria and Spain to discuss bilateral relations between these countries and the U.S. and participated in classified briefings about U.S. military cooperation and regional security efforts.

“The message we received at each stop was that a strong relationship with our allies is important as Russian, Chinese and Iranian regional influence continue to grow at alarming rates. As we face evolving security challenges, it is critical that we reinforce our commitment to strong, capable partnerships. I remain dedicated to protecting and advancing our goals while working with our allies around the globe,” Boozman said.

While at the Munich Security Conference, the delegation met with Ashraf Ghani, President of Afghanistan; Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General; Mariusz Blaszcak, Polish Defense Minister; and Ursula von der Leyen, German Defense Minister with a delegation from the German Bundestag.

The post-Munich leg of the trip included a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu where discussions focused on the possible U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and Syria as well as the influence of Iran and Russia in the region. The delegation also visited the Iron Dome Missile Defense Site while in Israel. In Djibouti, the delegation got a firsthand look at China’s growing influence in Africa when it flew over the first Chinese military base outside of its territory. The members of Congress also met with political and security leadership in each nation as well as U.S. military leadership and service members, including Arkansans, stationed at U.S. military installations.  

“With tensions on the rise around the globe, it is important to ensure that our troops serving abroad have everything they need to complete their mission and return home safely. It is always extra special to see Arkansans who are deployed far from the Natural State, working hard to ensure that the U.S. and our allies are safe,” Boozman said.


COTTON, BOOZMAN INTRODUCE NATIONAL, MANDATORY E-VERIFY LEGISLATION
Washington D.C.
- Arkansas Senators Tom Cotton and John Boozman have reintroduced legislation that prevents illegal aliens from taking jobs meant for American workers and legal immigrants while ensuring employers have the tools they need to certify a legal workforce. The Accountability Through Electronic Verification Act would permanently authorize the E-Verify program, an internet–based system that assists employers in determining whether current or prospective employees are authorized to work in the United States. The bill requires employers to use E-Verify to determine eligibility of every employee.

The bill is co-sponsored by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia), Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Mississippi), Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), James Lankford (R-Oklahoma.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), David Perdue (R-Georgia) and Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi). Representative Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) is introducing companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

“Most illegal immigrants come here in search of jobs, where they ultimately compete against working Americans in the job market, bidding down wages. Because illegal aliens are willing to work under the table for little pay and few benefits, crooked employers have a strong incentive to hire them, regardless of the law. Permanent, nationwide E-Verify will help us build an economy that works for American citizens, while eliminating a serious incentive for illegal aliens to come here in violation of our laws.” Cotton said.

“E-Verify is a commonsense, cost-effective tool that provides employers with confidence during the hiring process while holding bad actors accountable when they try to cheat the system. It has a proven track record of success and should be permanently reauthorized and made mandatory for employers,” Boozman said.

 

Currently, employers voluntarily submit information from an employee’s Form I-9 to the Department of Homeland Security through the E-Verify system, which works in partnership with the Social Security Administration to determine worker eligibility.  There is no cost for employers to use E-Verify.  More than 750,000 businesses use the program today.

E-Verify was established in 1996 as a pilot program with employers in five states allowed to participate.  The pilot program was reauthorized in 2001, expanded to employers in every state in 2003 under Grassley-authored legislation and reauthorized several times since 2008. 

The Accountability Through Electronic Verification Act does the following:

  • Permanently reauthorizes the E-Verify program that was created in 1996. 
  • Makes the program mandatory for all employers within one year of enactment, requires federal contractors and agencies to use the program immediately, and directs “critical employers,” as identified by the Secretary of Homeland Security, to use the system within 30 days of designation. 
  • Increases penalties for employers who break the law by hiring illegal aliens.
  • Reduces the liability that employers face if they participate in E-Verify when it involves the wrongful termination of an individual. 
  • Allows employers to use E-Verify before a person is hired if consent is provided by the employee.
  • Requires employers to check the status of all current employees within 1 year. 
  • Requires employers to terminate the employment of those found unauthorized to work due to a check through E-Verify. 
  • Helps ensure that the Social Security Administration catches multiple uses of Social Security numbers by requiring them to develop algorithms to detect anomalies.
  • Establishes a demonstration project in a rural area or area without internet capabilities to assist small businesses in complying with the participation requirement. 
  • Amends the criminal code to make clear that defendants who possess or otherwise use identity information not their own without lawful authority and in the commission of another felony is still punishable for aggravated identity fraud, regardless of the defendant’s “knowledge” of the victim. 
  • Requires employers to re-verify an employee’s immigration status if the employment authorization is due to expire. 
  • Establishes an Employer Compliance Inspection Center (ECIC) within ICE to streamline program audits and review compliance with worker eligibility laws.

COTTON, BOOZMAN, WOMACK ASK EPA FOR FEDERAL ASSISTANCE FOR TRAFALGAR ROAD FIRE
WASHINGTON- U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton, along with Congressman Steve Womack (AR-03), are inquiring with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about the potential for federal assistance for extinguishing the Trafalgar Road fire in Bella Vista.

Boozman, Cotton and Womack sent a letter to EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler to obtain additional information on how the federal government can be of assistance as the state continues to address the issue.

“As we continue to learn more about the situation, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the state of Arkansas will require federal assistance to address the issue. We understand the law provides for a particular threshold of scientific data to trigger the EPA’s assistance on these types of environmental projects. It is the delegation’s intention to learn specifically what can be done at the federal level when the threshold is met so we can readily partner with the EPA to ensure funds and resources are swiftly dispatched to the state,” the letter reads.

Specifically, the letter asks the EPA to provide a precise threshold of scientific data that would trigger the EPA’s emergency response, provide any and all options from which the state may receive financial assistance and an air monitoring system that receives continuous information over an extended period of time for reliable and up-to-date data.

Boozman, Cotton and Womack thanked the EPA for the assistance provided so far and said they look forward to continuing a positive dialog with the agency on the issue.

“Arkansas’s congressional delegation along with the local and state officials acknowledge and appreciate this assistance as well as the technical assistance provided by the EPA Region 6 Office in Dallas, Texas. We look forward to continuing to work with EPA to help the state of Arkansas best address the Trafalgar Road fire,” they wrote. 

February 26, 2019

CAMDEN CITY COUNCIL HOLD WORKSHOP
The Camden City Council met for a workshop on Tuesday night at 6:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers at the Municipal Building,

The first item that was presented to the Council was a Presentation by Bryan Wyndam of Computer Troubleshooter’s regarding changes to Windows 7 next year. In January of 2020 Windows 7 will no longer have any support services leaving the city open to viruses and attacks.. There were some other issues regarding the City’s practices regarding the network and email servers. Wyndam gave the Council estimates on approximately how much it would cost the city to upgrade computers, put in a secure router, put a firewall in place and e-mail options. The Mayor wants to consider budgeting for upgrades. This issue will be discussed further in future meetings.

Next on the agenda was a discussion regarding giving the City Treasurer retirement. When the Office of City Clerk/ Treasurer was divided several years ago, retirement for the City Treasurer was not addressed. The City Clerk is an elected position which receives retirement after 10 years. The City Clerk is now an appointed position and there isn’t verbiage addressing retirement for that position. Job descriptions need to be updated for the separated offices. At the last City Council meeting there was an ordinance presented to the Council regarding the Treasurer dilemma. Past Clerk/Treasurers have received retirement benefits.  The Council seemed to be in agreement to change the Ordinance to go back to 2010 and Jim Green would be entitled to draw retirement benefits. Retirement pay would equal half of the Treasurer’s current salary. The Ordinance will be on the March agenda.

The last item on the Agenda addressed future funding of Ouachita Partnership for Economic Development (OPED) The discussion regarding OPED became quite heated in the February Council Meeting. Mayor Lott questioned James Lee Silliman about sending incentive money to Corporations in the Highland Industrial which is located in Calhoun County. The Mayor feels that incentive money from OPED should be spent in Ouachita County and should include retail incentives. At one time. There were incentive monies spent on retail ventures but there were many problems with that practice. OPED does give incentives monies to Corporations in Calhoun County to help create jobs in the area. OPED is asking the City for $50,000 for operations to come from the City Budget and $100,000.00 from the Economic Development tax money for incentives. The Mayor asked for a breakdown of what the $150,000 would be used for. Note that the Council had approved the Operations money in this year’s budget. Ouachita County has put a line item in their budget in the amount of $150,000 to help fund OPED. The Mayor contends that Camden needs to benefit from the work OPED does. He says there are many residents that can not work in the Industrial Park and there need to be jobs those people can work. Silliman stated that he and the OPED Board are currently working with a prospect to bring jobs to Camden proper.  During the heated debate the Mayor stated that he had asked OPED to bring him a plan and stated that they didn’t do that. Later in the meeting James Nixon said  “We were not informed to bring a plan, but we will present a plan now that we know” The Mayor questioned the purpose and the very existence of OPED. He reiterated that he wants Camden proper to benefit from the work at OPED. Mayor Lott does not feel that he is being taken seriously. He asked How OPED works and why is the City spending the money. Mayor Lott has been on the OPED Board for 4 years himself. As Mayor, Lott has a seat on the Executive Board however, there hasn’t been any activity to warrant an Executive Board meeting since the Mayor took office.  Alderman Aregood then spoke up. He stated that he is sympathetic to those who can’t work in the area but he asked the Mayor what he plans to do to make the city a more attractive place to live in order to aid OPED in being able to more successfully market Camden. The mayor turned it back to OPED and that they need to bring jobs that are non-defense jobs that those that are unemployable in East Camden. The mayor contends that if the jobs are here, the people will work. Aregood cited the high poverty rate and the number of units of public housing in Camden. It is believed the housing authority advertises all over the country to keep those units filled so many low-income people are being moved into the City. Aregood said that there is 20 to 23% government housing in the City of Camden. The national average is 5 to 7 percent. Aregood went on to say that people are leaving, and our tax base is dropping as a result. He stated that there are a whole lot of residents of Camden that pay no taxes. There was a short discussion but at this time the Mayor does not have a plan to address public housing. He did say he would visit with the Housing Authority people.

Mayor Lott was in the studio this morning sharng his thoughts on the matters at hand. Morning Mayhem with Doc Bryce is on KBEU-FM, 92.7 on your dial. We hope to have James Lee Silliman, Alderman Chris Aregood and possibility others in later this week to give their take on the meeting.

KIWANIS CLUB TO MEET
The Kiwanis Club will meet this Thursday  February 28 at 12:00 at  Catherine’s Bistro.   The program will be by Judy Brooks who will talk about  “An invitation to the White House.” Mrs. Brook’s went to Washington, D.C this past November to decorate the White House for Christmas.

COTTON STATEMENT ON THE BORN-ALIVE ABORTION SURVIVORS PROTECTION ACT VOTE
Washington, D.C.—
Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today released the following statement on the Senate vote on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act:

“In rare but horrific cases, babies survive attempts on their life by abortion providers. When this occurs, morality and humanity demand the baby be treated like any other patient fighting for his or her life. Tonight’s defeat of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act is a setback for a just cause, but the pro-life movement will keep fighting until every human being is recognized and protected under the law.”


RUTLEDGE DEMANDS FCC REQUIRE TELECOMMUNICATION COMPANIES STOP ROBOCALLS
Says, ‘I am determined to end these incessant robocalls’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today sent a letter to the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) demanding that the FCC take more aggressive measures to require all telecommunication companies (telecoms) to use existing technology to identify and stop illegal robocalls.

“The telecoms have the technology to identify phone numbers and block calls that are likely scams, and it is time they take responsibility for continuing to connect scam calls,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “These calls are frustrating and extremely costly for Arkansans. I am determined to end these incessant robocalls and protect Arkansans from these con artists.”

Telecom carriers have long claimed that FCC rules restricted them from blocking calls. But in November 2017, the FCC released the 2017 Call Blocking Order granting telecoms the authority to block certain numbers known to be illegitimate. Rutledge is urging the FCC to take further measures to grant telecoms more authority to block illegal robocalls. Rutledge is also pressing the FCC to reconsider its decision to not hold third-party caller ID services, e.g., spoofing services, legally responsible for verifying that users have ownership of the number being spoofed such as the number displayed from a pharmacy or doctor’s office call.

In October 2018, Rutledge joined a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general that called on the FCC to urge telephone services providers to protect consumers from illegal robocalls. Rutledge also sits on the executive committee of the Robocall Technology Working Group which consists of 37 state attorneys general who have taken on the task to find ways to stop the epidemic of illegal robocalls. The executive committee has also met with senior executives from leading telecoms to discuss efforts and obstacles to combatting illegal robocalls, and how the telecoms and the attorneys general can work together in this effort. The group is currently working with experts in the field to develop best practices for the telecom industry, which, if adopted, will enable telecoms to better identify and prevent illegal robocalls and aid law enforcement agencies in identifying and prosecuting the originator of these calls. The group is also supporting congressional actions to address these issues and are urging telecoms to make call-blocking available to consumers for free.

CITY OF CAMDEN POLICE REPORTS
OBSTRUCTING GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS

On February 22, 2019 at 8:10 a.m. hours Officer Ashley Watts made contact with Michael McKenzie at 2240 South Adams Ave. McKenzie stated his name was Michael Jackson. After getting no return on Michael Jackson the Officer asked him if he had a driver's license and he said no. After she verified the spelling of the name he advised his name was actually Michael McKenzie.

McKenzie had a valid warrant for his arrest and was taken in to custody and transported to the Camden Police Department without incident. A search of his person revealed McKenzie to have a valid driver's license in his wallet.

Booking procedures were completed and McKenzie was served two warrants for. He was issued a city court date for Failure to Appear and Obstructing Government Operations. and county court date for failure to appear.

McKenzie was transported to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office and later released.

PUBLIC INTOXICATION
DISORDERLY CONDUCT
OBSTRUCTION OF GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS

On February 22, 2019 at 12:52 a.m. Officer Nathan Lane stopped at the stop sign at the intersection of Ratcliff Street and Visor Avenue. While stopped he could hear two people yelling coming from the direction of Ratcliff Street and Scales A venue. The Officer proceeded through the intersection and could see two figures walking toward him on the roadway. A female on the left side of the road, and a male on the right side of the road walking in a swaying motion, zig-zagging down the road toward him.

The Officer exited his patrol unit. When getting out the male subject kept getting really close to Officer Lane and he was able to smell the odor of intoxicants on the subjects breath. The female subject kept talking in a loud voice and using profanity. When the male was asked what his name was, he said it was "Jimmy Davis." The Officer then asked "Jimmy" how much he had to drink to which he replied “a lot”. The Officer then asked the female for her name to which she stated was "Tamshea Renee."

Officer Manning then arrived on scene as back up. Both subjects names were ran through dispatch for warrants. Dispatch could not locate a "'Tamshea Renee" in ACIC and advised the Officer of this multiple times. "Renee" then started to yell at Ofc. Manning and continued to use profanity. Officer Lane then advised Officer Manning to place "Renee" in custody while he took "Jimmy" into custody.

“Jimmy” was advised that he was under arrest for Public Intoxication and "Renee" was advised that she was under arrest for Obstruction and Disorderly Conduct.

Office Lane transported "Jimmy" to the station, while Officer Manning transported "Renee" to the station. Both parties were transported without incident.

Upon arrival at the station Lt. Parker was asked to help identify the female subject. She was identified as Jessica Hampton. Booking approval was completed. Both subjects were then transported to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office. Hampton is being held for unrelated charges and "Jimmy" was to be released pending sobriety.

While at the Sheriff’s Office, Officer Lane was looking through "Jimmy's" belongings and noticed his wallet had an identification card and Social Security Card belonging to Timmy Davis. When asked about this and “Jimmy” stated it was his twin brother's wallet. The jailers began to bring up pictures of Jimmy Davis and "Jimmy" did not look like the pictures. They then brought up pictures of Timmy Davis and the pictures did match. Timmy was then advised that he would also be charged with Obstruction as well.

BASEBALL, SOFTBALL SIGN-UPS UNDERWAY
Baseball Softball and T-Ball sign-ups are in progress through March 4th!!! Sign up at the Ouachita County Recreational Center, formerly the Boys and Girls Club. Boys 4 to 15 and girls 4 to 14 are eligible. March 4th is the deadline. $65-dollar fee per child. No registrations after March 4th. Ouachita County Recreational Center - 2708 Fairview Road - Sponsors, Umpires and Coaches are needed. Call 231-2611 or email camdenareansasyouth@gmail.com for information.

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES IN STEPHENS
The Stephens Chamber of Commerce Banquet will be held on March 2nd  at 6:00 p.m. at the Stephens Community Center located on Highway 79 across from the old Stephens Elementary School. Tickets are on sale now for $25.00. Dine in and carry-out is available.

Stephens 1st Annual Spring Festival is slated for April 27th. There will be a Miss Stephens pageant on April 20th.  The pageant will be held in Stephens Auditorium at 3:00 p.m. For more information on the Pageant call Amy at 870-299-1308 or Tameka at 870-904-4977

The Festival will see live entertainment, a 5K race, a pie eating contest as well as chicken and rib cookoffs. A 10 x 10 booth with electricity will cost $30.00 with electricity or $20.00 without electricity. A 10 x 20 with electricity will be $60.00 and without electricity will be $50.00.  

If you wish to have a booth or to sign up to perform or more information on the festival call Amy at 870-299-1308 or La at 870-947-2577.


DEPARTMENT OF ARKANSAS HERITAGE ANNOUNCES 2019 ARKANSAS FOOD HALL OF FAME WINNERS
LITTLE ROCK – Winners have been announced for the 2019 class of the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame, including food-themed events, restaurants, and proprietors from across the state.

The Arkansas Food Hall of Fame was launched by the Department of Arkansas Heritage in 2016 to recognize Arkansas’s iconic restaurants, proprietors and food-themed events. Nominations were accepted from the public in five categories: Food Hall of Fame, Proprietor of the Year, Food-Themed Event, Gone But Not Forgotten and People’s Choice.

The Arkansas Food Hall of Fame Committee chose the finalists in each category and the winners were announced at a reception and induction ceremony at Ron Robinson Theater in Little Rock on February 25.

Winners are as follows:

Arkansas Food Hall of Fame
The Craig Brothers Cafe of DeValls Bluff (Prairie County)
Burge’s Hickory Smoked Turkeys and Hams of Little Rock and Lewisville (Pulaski County and Lafayette County)
Keeney’s Food Market of Malvern (Hot Spring County)

Proprietor of the Year
Loretta Tacker of Marion (Crittenden County)


Food-Themed Events
Hope Watermelon Festival (Hempstead County)

Gone But Not Forgotten
Klappenbach Bakery of Fordyce (Dallas County)

People’s Choice
Honey Pies Gourmet Bakery and Cafe of Little Rock (Pulaski County)

Nearly 650 nominations were received for the third class of the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame.

“People are passionate about their food! We are so pleased to see the increasing response from the public in this conversation on Arkansas food and food culture,” said Stacy Hurst, director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage. “From classics to new flavors, Arkansas’s food landscape continues to develop and we are pleased to be telling that story.”

The 13-member selection committee includes Paul S. Austin, Swannee Bennett, Evette Brady, C.C. (Chip) Culpepper, Cindy Grisham, Stacy Hurst, Montine McNulty, Tim Morton, Rex Nelson, Tim Nutt, Dr. Wendy Richter, Kat Robinson and Christina Shutt.

About the Department of Arkansas Heritage
The mission of the Department of Arkansas Heritage is to identify Arkansas’s heritage and enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors by the discovery, preservation and presentation of the state’s natural, cultural and historic resources. This is accomplished through the work of its eight divisions: Arkansas Arts Council, Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, Arkansas State Archives, Delta Cultural Center, Historic Arkansas Museum, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center and Old State House Museum.

February 25, 2019

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB TO MEET
The Camden Noon Lion’s Club will meet on Wednesday at Catherine’s Bistro. The speaker this week will be Melissa Warren.  Melissa is a county extension agent for Calhoun County.  She will be speaking on the services the office offers.


BLANE HOWARD TO PERFORM IN CAMDEN THURSDAY NIGHT
Beginning with the third concert of the 2018-2019 Concert Season, the Ouachita County Community Concert Association is offering an annual
“Arkansas Roots Concert” featuring a performing artist born in or growing up in the Natural State. Arkansas has lots of native talent who call Arkansas their home. Performers such as Kris Allen of American Idol fame, Gretha Boston, Elton Britt, Jim Ed Brown, Ed Bruce, Sonny Burgess, Camden’s own Michael Burks, Glenn Campbell, Johnny Cash, Floyd Cramer and so many more.

The first Arkansas Roots performer will be the Blane Howard Band. Blane’s wife is a Camden native and he has found his way back many times to South Arkansas to delight audiences with his high energy. He describes his unique style of country as “modern-traditional,” mixing the authenticity of the 90’s with the contemporary edge of today! A country music artist and songwriter, he now makes his home in Nashville.

Blane will perform this Thursday night, February 28th, at the Camden Fairview Little Theatre. The show will begin at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are still available for $15.00 and can be purchased at the door. Call 807-1915 for advance tickets. Remember, One adult admission entitles ticket holder to bring as many students as they would like for free.

CHANGES ARE COMING TO THE OUACHITA COUNTY RELAY FOR LIFE
2019 Ouachita County Relay for Life Banquet
"Cruizing for a Cure"
May 31, 2019 5:00pm-9:00pm
Held in the Student Center of SAU Tech - East Camden, AR.
Registration at 5:00pm * Serving L,ine at 6:00pm


The Ouachita County Relay for Life is making changes in the venue for the 2019 relay. Arkansas summers are so hot that many survivors are not able to attend the relay, so the Relay is leaving the hot, dusty, humid, many times rainy weather of Coleman Stadium for the inside, air-conditioned Student Center of SAU Tech to make the event more comfortable for the survivors as well as everyone else who attends.

The inside of the building walls will be lined with luminaria bags selling for $5 each with the name of the person provided. The luminarias may be purchased in advance from any team member or at the door from 5 :00 to 7 :00 p.m. These bags may be purchased for family or friends who have cancer as well as any animal. At approximately 8:00 p.m., lights in the luminarias will be turned on; the overhead lights turned off, and every name for whom a luminaria was purchased will be read aloud. This is to honor the survivors, remember those that lost the battle and promise ourselves to fight back until there is a cure for the horrible disease.

Teams will be doing fundraisers, so please help them to reach their individual goals. Each team is responsible for decorating the table for their team, and clean when the banquet is over. The theme for 2019 is "Cruizing for a Cure". Be prepared to see cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats, ships and any mode of transportation.

There will be food served by Woods Place. Each survivor and 1 caretaker will receive the meal free, all others will purchase a ticket for $20 to help cover the cost of food.

The night will include food, music, awards, silent auction items and a great fun filled night for all who attend. And also help Ouachita County reach this year’s goal of $100,000.

If you would like to help Relay for Life or just need information, please call 870- 807-0020.


BOOZMAN RECOGNIZES FORT SMITH RETIRED AIR FORCE COMMANDER
WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) recognized Lt. Col. (retired) Robert M. Horn, a Vietnam War veteran who dedicated a career to serving his country, in ‘Salute to Veterans,’ a series commemorating the military service of Arkansans.

Horn was destined to serve in the military.
He grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the home of the
U.S. Air Force Academy. He learned firsthand about military service from his father who served in the Army Air Corps in WWII. His uncle was a member of the Air Force and was in his first year as an ROTC instructor at the University of Colorado (CU) when he encouraged Horn to participate in his program. “He got ahold of me and said ‘why don’t you give ROTC a try. If you don’t like it you’re no worse for wear.’ I did. I never came up with a good reason for getting out of ROTC,” Horn said. “The desirability of getting a commission grew stronger as I was aware that the draft was getting closer to me all the time.”

In 1970 the military was ridiculed by some of the CU student body; wearing a uniform on campus was at times dangerous for Horn who was then Vice Commander of the ROTC wing. “I had my office blown up,” he said. 

Horn was stationed at Cam Ranh Air Base as an auditor. His primary mission was to monitor the transition of supplies and equipment to the Army of Vietnam and the Vietnamese Air Force during the closure of American bases. His position required extensive travel which likely exposed him to Agent Orange and resulted in health challenges he lives with today.

He made an unwished-for trip back home in the fall of 1970 to accompany the body of his brother-in-law, Captain Halton Ramsey Vincent, a fighter pilot shot down over Laos. “I questioned a lot of things at that point, but nevertheless a few days later I had to get on an airplane to go back to Vietnam,” Horn said.

Later, Horn was assigned to four years in Panama ahead of the U.S. invasion. “What was an idyllic assignment for three years, for the last year I had to have my family ready for evacuation,” Horn said. He saw an increase in the harassment of Americans and on occasion his children were in dangerous situations. Despite the challenges, Horn said his time there was meaningful because of his involvement with operations and groundwork for the invasion of Panama. “I kind of have a vicarious feeling like I did something with that successful outcome. They took out Noriega and Panama is back to having democratic processes today.”

Horn’s final assignment was in Hawaii, but he soon realized he needed to focus on finding a career outside of the military. His time in uniform helped him land his second career in Fort Smith as the Vice President of Finance and Administration for Westark Community College, which today is the University of Arkansas Fort Smith.

“The president was a retired Army officer who was sympathetic to that military experience being transferrable to higher ed,” Horn said. “I’ve had a wonderful second career, in large part because the military trained me up in ways and means that were extremely beneficial in the role that I found in higher education.”

“Lt. Col. Robert Horn honorably served our country in uniform for more than two decades. He is a great example of leveraging skills learned and honed in the military for life after public service. I am grateful for his leadership in the military and in Fort Smith. Preserving his memories for the Veterans History Project is a great way to show our appreciation for his outstanding service to our country,” Boozman said.

Boozman will submit Horn’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. 

February 22, 2019

COTTON STATEMENT ON THERMO FISHER'S DECISION TO STOP SELLING GENETIC SEQUENCERS IN CHINA'S XINJIANG PROVINCE
Washington, D.C.- Yesterday, Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) released the following statement on Thermo Fisher Scientific's announcement that it will no longer sell or service genetic-sequencing devices in China's Xinjiang Province:

"Thermo Fisher Scientific has finally done the right thing by halting sales of genetic-sequencing technology in China's Xinjiang Province. China is committing human-rights abuses on an industrial scale in Xinjiang. American companies must not be complicit in these crimes."

"We must stop our own companies from helping China build this new Evil Empire. Companies like Thermo Fisher Scientific, which sells the DNA sequencers China uses to build genetic dossiers on its ethnic minorities. This is the twenty-first century rope that capitalists will sell to hang themselves. And it ought to be a lesson to companies like Google, which is performing cutting-edge AI research in China and contemplating even greater investment in that country."

BOOZMAN DETAILS ARKANSAS PRIORITIES IN RECENT FUNDING BILL
WASHINGTON-
Provisions in a new law passed with the support of U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) stand to deliver numerous benefits for Arkansas for the remainder of the government’s Fiscal Year 2019. The bill funds federal agencies, including the Departments of Homeland Security, Transportation, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, State, Treasury and Justice and contains measures advancing many of the Natural State’s priorities and interests.

“This bill provides crucial funding for federal agencies –– many of which directly impact Arkansas’s economy and help meet vital needs in our state –– while avoiding a government shutdown. I fought to advance these priorities in addition to securing additional funding for border security and, while it doesn’t fund the president’s request in its entirety, it does increase resources for improved safeguards at our southern border. I’m proud to have helped deliver a funding package that contains a variety of measures critical for our state and will continue to advocate for increased funding for our border security in addition to supporting programs Arkansans rely on,” Boozman said.

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Boozman again demonstrated his commitment to Arkansas by supporting legislation that funds programs, initiatives and grants that are crucial to the state.

The following departments and agencies with direct, Arkansas-specific relevance were funded as a result of passage of this measure:

Department of Agriculture, including Rural Development programs, the Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies:

  • National Center for Toxicological Research: The bill includes $66.7 million for this facility located in Jefferson, Arkansas near Pine Bluff. This funding will support the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) research to promote and protect public health.
  • Agriculture Research: The bill includes $3 billion to support research conducted by land grant and non-land grant universities through the Agricultural Research Service. This funding will support agricultural research at the University of Arkansas and Arkansas State University that ranges in scope from innovative crop production practices to the protection of clean source water.
  • Rural Development: Included in the bill is significant funding for programs that help rural areas by supporting business development and job training opportunities. The Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Access (ATTRA) is a program that connects Arkansas agricultural producers to information that helps them improve their operations. This bill funds the program at $2.8 million. ATTRA administers the Armed to Farm program that assists veterans in transition to civilian life by training them for a career in farming. ATTRA has a regional headquarters located in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Departments of Commerce and Justice, as well as science-related programs and agencies:

  • Drug Courts and Veterans Treatment Courts: The bill supports the critical components of our judicial system that offer an alternative treatment to jail for individuals suffering from drug and alcohol addiction. Drug courts received $77 million and veterans treatment courts received $22 million to help break the cycle of addiction. Arkansas launched its first drug court in 1994 and participation in these rehabilitation practices continues to increase.
  • Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS): At Boozman’s request, the bill includes language related to the equitable use of grant funding for rural areas and asks the Department of Justice to consider the unique needs of rural communities when making grant awards. Arkansas law enforcement agencies have used this grant to hire additional personnel. 

Department of the Treasury, including Financial Services and General Government funding:

  • High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program (HIDTA): The bill includes $280 million to support effective and innovative drug control efforts by federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies operating in HIDTA areas. In Arkansas this includes Benton, Jefferson, Pulaski and Washington counties.
  • Drug Free Communities Program: The bill provides $100 million for community-based coalitions organized to prevent youth substance use.

Department of Homeland Security:

  • Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) and Staffing for Adequate Fire/Emergency Response (SAFER) Grants: The bill provides $350 million for Assistance to Firefighter Grants and $350 million for SAFER Grants which provide funding to local fire departments to hire firefighters, support the training needs of personnel and purchase essential equipment. Arkansas fire departments have received hundreds of thousands in funds to procure critical tools and equipment.
  • Emergency Management Performance Grants: The bill provides $350 million in funding that can be allocated to local emergency management services to support emergency preparedness.

Department of the Interior, EPA and Related Agencies:

  • Flatside Wilderness Study: The bill includes report language related to studying land adjacent to the Flatside Wilderness Area for inclusion within the Flatside Wilderness Area.
  • Land and Water Conservation Fund: The bill includes funds to support conservation projects in Arkansas including the Buffalo National River and the Cache River.
  • Water Infrastructure: The bill provides $2.9 billion to finance infrastructure improvements to public wastewater and drinking water systems.
  • Protecting and Restoring Quality Wetlands – The bill funds the North American Wetlands Conservation Act at $42 million. These grants are important to conserving our nation’s fish and wildlife resources and have led to the conservation of more than 77,000 acres of wildlife habitat in Arkansas. 
  • US Forest Service: The bill provides increased funding for fire assistance to protect the more than 19 million acres of forests in Arkansas. It provides $77 million for the Forest Inventory and Analysis which is used to assess forest health and the spread of non-native insects and diseases, make economic planning decisions, monitor wildlife habitat, gauge wildfire risk and assess rates of land use change. Forest Inventory Analysis data allows foresters, landowners and policy makers to effectively monitor forest trends and make informed management decisions. The bill also funds the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program which supports two ongoing projects in Arkansas: The Ozarks-Highlands Ecosystem Restoration Project in the Ozark National Forest and the Shortleaf-Bluestem Community project in the Ouachita National Forest.

Departments of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development:

  • Contract Tower Program: The bill funds this program, which provides enhanced safety, improved air traffic control services and significant FAA cost savings, at $168 million. There are five contract towers in Arkansas: Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville and Texarkana.
  • Community Planning and Development– The bill provides $3.3 billion for the Community Development Block Grant program, the federal government's largest and most widely available source of financial assistance supporting state and local government-directed neighborhood revitalization, housing rehabilitation and economic development activities. Grants are used to implement plans intended to address housing, community development and economic development needs, as determined by local officials.

 

February 21, 2019

CAMDEN FAIRVIEW BOARD OF EDUCATION SPECIAL MEETING
The Camden Fairview Board of Education will meet in Special Session on Tuesday 26th at 6:30 p.m. at Garrison Auditorium. The agenda includes student hearings and a personnel session.

THE SYMETRA TOUR’S MURPHY USA EL DORADO SHOOTOUT PRESENTED BY PEPSICO ANNOUNCES APRIL TOURNAMENT DATES
Murphy USA and the Symetra Tour announce 2019 El Dorado Shootout dates to be at the end of April
EL DORADO, AR, February 4, 2019 – Murphy USA is excited to announce the 2019 Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout dates. For the first time, the El Dorado Shootout will be held in the Spring.  El Dorado has hosted the Symetra Tour in the Fall for four years. This will be the first time the Symetra Tour will be able to experience all South Arkansas has to offer in the Springtime.  Since hosting the first El Dorado Shootout Tournament in 2015, this event has become a favorite among both the female athletes on the Tour and those living in the South Arkansas community.

The 2019 Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout presented by PepsiCo will be held April 26th through 28th at Mystic Creek Golf Club in El Dorado. Numerous activities will occur throughout the week leading into the Tournament, including a Junior Clinic for children ages six to eighteen and Pro-Am scrambles that pair Symetra Tour professionals with various local and national sponsors.

This April will mark the fifth year that Murphy USA and the El Dorado community will host the 54-hole stroke-play format event, which has been recognized for two consecutive years as the Sporting Event of the Year by the Arkansas Festivals & Events Association. Each year, the El Dorado Shootout welcomes a player field comprised of the top aspiring female professional golfers from around the world. Competitors will vie for a $150,000 total purse, in which the winner will earn $22,500 and take a significant step toward obtaining her LPGA Tour Card for the 2020 season. The top 10 players on the year-end Volvik Race for the Card money list receive their full-time LPGA Tour Cards for the following season. Symetra Tour players have gone on to win 428 LPGA Tour events, including 46 major championships.

Not only does hosting this high-profile professional Tournament provide El Dorado with a valuable platform to showcase its incredible downtown, restaurants, hotels and entertainment venues; it is also an important way for these young women to pursue their dreams of professional golf success. This event also provides the opportunity to give back to the community, as each year one El Dorado charity is chosen to benefit from the Tournament.

The reason for the change in Tournament timing is exciting as it is to accommodate construction of a new clubhouse at Mystic Creek. By moving the El Dorado Shootout to April of 2019 and back to the Fall in 2020, Mystic Creek will have the 18 months needed to complete construction of a new clubhouse prior to the 2020 tournament. The world-class golf course looks forward to the benefits that the beautiful new club house will bring.

Mystic Creek Golf Club was designed by acclaimed golf architect Ken Dye. The par-72 course with its Champion Bermuda greens and Celebration Bermuda fairways is considered challenging. Many of the Symetra Tour athletes describe Mystic as the best course they play all year and respect its level of difficulty.

For more information about the Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout visit the Tournament’s website at www.eldoradoshootout.com.

About the Symetra Tour
The Symetra Tour is the official qualifying tour of the LPGA Tour and enters its 39th competitive season in 2019. With the support of its umbrella partner Symetra, the Tour’s mission is to prepare the world’s best young women professional golfers for a successful career on the LPGA Tour. Since Symetra’s inaugural sponsorship year in 2012, the Symetra Tour has grown from 16 tournaments and $1.7M in prize money to $3M in prize money awarded over the course of 21 tournaments. With more than 600 alumnae moving on to the LPGA, former Symetra Tour players have won a total of 433 LPGA titles. Follow the Symetra Tour on the web at www.SymetraTour.com, Facebook.com/RoadtotheLPGA, Twitter.com/Road2LPGA, and YouTube.com/Road2LPGA.

About Murphy USA
Murphy USA (NYSE:MUSA) is a leading retailer of gasoline and convenience merchandise with more than 1,470 stations located primarily in the Southwest, Southeast and Midwest United States. The company and its team of nearly 10,000 employees serve an estimated 1.6 million customers each day through its network of retail gasoline stations in 26 states. The majority of Murphy USA's sites are located in close proximity to Walmart stores. The company also markets gasoline and other products at standalone stores under the Murphy Express brand.  Murphy USA ranks 279 among Fortune 500 companies.

 

February 20, 2019

SOUTH ARKANSAS KENNEL CLUB DOG SHOW
Camden is going to the dogs one last time. The South Arkansas Kennel Club Dog Shows and Obedience Trials will host their final show on Saturday and Sunday February 23rd and 24th at the old General Dynamics Building. If you have always intended to go and never have, be sure to come out this weekend.

The S.A.K.C. (South Arkansas Kennel Club) of Camden, Arkansas, co-founded by Darlene Wheelington, Darla Stivers, Betty Rigby, D.V.M., and Robin Vaughan in 1989 has brought many purebred dog shows to South Arkansas. Because dog shows are the second oldest sport in America next to horse racing, there was an obvious need for a club in South Arkansas.

The SAKC began hosting annual dog shows in Camden every February. Since the first SAKC dog show in 2000, thousands of visitors have come to Camden and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars here. Wheelington repeatedly has proven to the people of Camden that we have a great deal to offer. As a result of her efforts, dog show people all over the world write “Go to Camden, Arkansas” on their calendars every February.

Wheelington uses her love for dogs to promote her home–Camden. This will be the 20th and final show in Camden.  These events bring an estimated 5,000 people to Camden each year, thus strengthening the economy of this small town.

The Radio Works family would like to thank Darlene Wheelington and the South Arkansas Kennel Club for the years they have spent their time, money and energy to bring a class Dog Show to Camden. We will miss having this event each year. It is a loss for the entire community.

Remember, No un-entered dogs are allowed.  Admission is $5.00 for adults - $1 dollar for Seniors and kids 6 to 12, Children under 6 get in free. Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy this weekend as Camden goes to the dogs. 


SAAC BOX OFFICE OPEN FOR “YOURE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN”
The South Arkansas Arts Center’s box office is now open for tickets for the spring musical, “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown“.  Dates for the show are March 1-3 and 7-10, with the curtain going up at 7:00 pm on Thursday evenings and 2:00pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Ticket prices are $25 for general admission, $15 for SAAC members, and $5 for students.

SAAC invites the audience onstage to meet your favorite character after the Saturday show. Have your camera ready to take photos and talk with the cast to get some fun behind the scenes info about why they loved being in this show. “Whether you’re musical like Schroeder, adorable like Snoopy, lovely like Lucy, or just a BLOCKHEAD, we wanna meet you on stage - sort of!” says Lucy, aka Felice Scott.

For fans of the Charles Schulz’s classic Peanuts cartoons and comics, SAAC’s production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” is sure to bring a wave of childlike glee. The show is energetic, colorful, and full of laughs for the whole family.

The beloved comic strip comes to life in Clark Gesner’s classic musical.  The whole gang is here: bossy Lucy is hopelessly in love with piano prodigy Schroeder, who doesn’t give her the time of day. Perfectionist Sally is still mocking blanket-toting Linus, Snoopy is in the doghouse, and “blockhead,” himself, Charlie Brown, is in rare form.

Charlsie Falcon, music director for the show said, “This is going to be so much fun for the whole family!  The music ranges from gospel tunes with backup choirs for some characters to classical Beethoven from Schroeder… and everything else in between.”

For more information about "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown", sponsored by Southern Bancorp and Teague Auto Group, 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

 PORT AUTHORITY TO MEET
The City of Camden Port Authority Commission Will meet Tuesday, February 26, 2019 at 1:30 p.m. at City Hall, located at 206 Van Buren NE

OLD WASHINGTON STATE PARK PRESENTS SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK
“The Winter’s Tale” and “The Comedy of Errors”
March 1-2, 2019
1940 WPA Gym: 7:30 pm –10 pm

Enjoy two evening performances by the American Shakespeare Center 2018/19 Hand of Time Tour of Williams Shakespeare’s “The Winter’s Tale” and “The Comedy of Errors” at Historic Washington State Park. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. with a pre-show performance at 7 p.m. in the 1940 WPA Gym. Doors open at 7 p.m. On Friday, March 1, The Winter’s Tale will be performed. On Saturday, March 2, The Comedy of Errors will be performed. 

Four afternoon workshops on Saturday, March 2, led by the American Shakespeare Troupe, will be provided covering topics of how to perform Shakespeare on the modern stage. They are: Staging Shakespeare @ 11 a.m.; Staging the “Bear” Scene in Shakespeare @ 1 p.m.; Music and Shakespeare @ 2:30 p.m.; and How to Stage “Twins” in Shakespeare @ 4 p.m. Workshop admission is $5 per person for ages 14 and older. 

The American Shakespeare Center brings a unique performance style, blending Shakespeare’s stage craft with modern sensibility. The company uses Shakespeare’s staging conditions including universal lighting, minimal sets, doubling, cross-gender casting, and music. In Shakespeare’s day, the company couldn’t turn the lights out on the audience; actors and audience shared the same light. Leaving the lights on allows for a type of audience contact rarely seen in modern day theatre. Audience members share directly in the action onstage as they become part of the play in The Winter’s Tale, and The Comedy of Errors.

Since 1988, the American Shakespeare Center has toured the country with shows incorporating Shakespeare’s staging conditions. Based out of Staunton, VA, the company.

GOVERNOR HUTCHINSON SIGNS 5.9 TAX BILL, LOWERS TOP MARGINAL RATE TO COMPETITIVE LEVEL
LITTLE ROCK
 – The 5.9 Tax-Cut Plan that Governor Asa Hutchinson signed into law today is good for the state’s economic development and an assist to individual taxpayers, the Governor said after the bill-signing ceremony in the Governor’s Conference Room.

“The lowered tax rate puts us in the same bracket with most of our neighboring states, which strengthens our sales pitch to CEOs who are considering expanding into other states,” Governor Hutchinson said. “As we attract more business, we will create more jobs, and higher-paying jobs, which will lead to higher salaries and an improved quality of life for all Arkansans.

“Combined with my administration’s first two income-tax cuts, the largest in state history, this reduction enhances Arkansas’s reputation as one of the most business-friendly states in the region.

“I am grateful for the support and diligence of Senator Jonathan Dismang, Senate President Jim Hendren, House Speaker Matthew Shepherd, and Representative Joe Jett, who won strong bipartisan support for this bill.”

SB 211 was the third phase of Governor Hutchinson’s three-part plan to reform Arkansas’s tax code. In 2015 and in 2017, he signed into law the two biggest tax cuts in the state’s history. With the passage of Senate Bill 211 today, 100 percent of Arkansas income-taxpayers will benefit from nearly $250 million in reduced income taxes.

BRING IN THE SPRING AT THE 26TH ANNUAL CAMDEN DAFFODIL FESTIVAL
March 8th and 9th, Friday and Saturday, 2019
Camden Arkansas- Join Camden as we Celebrate Spring at one of South Arkansas' largest and most beautiful events, the 26th Annual Camden Daffodil Festival, March 8th & 9th in Beautiful Downtown Camden.

Join thousands from all around the region at this unforgettable weekend for the entire family at the 2019 Daffodil Festival! Tour the amazing Daffodil Gardens, with millions of blossoms! Enjoy the rich History of South Arkansas with guided tours through Camden's famous museums, antebellum homes, and historical sites complete with costumed re-enactments, or shop ‘till your heart's content along the sidewalks of downtown Camden where you will find a myriad of food, collectables, and crafts.

Stay for the entire weekend complete with the annual 5k run, Arts and Crafts show & sale, and Live Music acts and stage events. Bring the entire family for the downtown booths, children’s activities and Antique Car Show. Shop for one-of-a kind gifts along the sidewalk vendors with food, crafts, and other festival favorites and enjoy some of the best food in South Arkansas at our famous Steak Cook-off!

Start by visiting the beautiful Garden Tours open where you will find amazing Daffodil Gardens. Be taken back in time with guided, costumed tours through the historic Oakland Cemetery. Also tour the Historic Homes. After touring the sites, visit downtown for a variety of events the whole family is sure to love where you will find a day full of activities Friday and Saturday.  Don’t miss the region’s favorite Championship Steak Cook-off on Saturday with the World’s Finest char-grilled Black Angus Rib Eyes complete with music and iive entertainment throughout the festival. If you enjoy food, fun, beauty and history then this is the place for you. It’s all at the 26th Annual Camden Daffodil Festival, March 8th & 9th, 9am to 6pm Friday & 9am to 5pm on Saturday in Beautiful Downtown Camden. (205 W. Washington, Camden AR. 71701)

For more information or questions please contact the Daffodil Festival at: Chairman@camdendaffodilfestival.com or call 870-836-9243.

For more information, tour and steak cook-off ticket locations, prices, and PRESS, visit at www.camdendaffodilfestival.com

The festival is free and open to the public with tickets available for purchase to specific events and tours.

Visit the Downtown booth to purchase tour tickets and Steak Cook-Off tickets at the festival.

KIWANIS CLUB TO MEET
The Kiwanis Club will meet Thursday, February 21st at Noon at Catherine’s Bistro.  The program will be presented by Anna Warriner. She will tell the Kiwanians about the South Central Service Co-Op

GRIFFIN APPLAUDS GOVERNOR ASAS HUTCHINSON’S INNOVATION COUNCIL
Says, Council includes 'top innovation leaders' who will 'develop pro-growth policies' for Arkansas to 'grow jobs and compete globally'
LITTLE ROCK – Lt. Governor Tim Griffin today issued the following statement praising the Arkansas Innovation Council:

“I applaud Governor Asa Hutchinson for his efforts to make Arkansas a leader in technology and innovation by creating the Arkansas Innovation Council. Arkansas already leads the way in computer coding education and is prioritizing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education. The council includes some of Arkansas’s top innovation leaders who will work to develop pro-growth policies so we can grow jobs and compete globally.”

About Arkansas Innovation Council
Governor Asa Hutchinson appointed key leaders from Arkansas businesses, research universities, philanthropic organizations, and state agencies to form the Arkansas Innovation Council. The founding members of the Arkansas Innovation Council are:

Dr. Donald R. Bobbitt, President, University of Arkansas System

Albert Braunfisch, Chairman, MSpark

Amy Callahan, Cofounder, Collective Bias

Ross DeVol, Walton Fellow, Walton Family Foundation

William T. Dillard, III, Executive Vice President, Dillard’s Inc.

George Dunklin, Jr., Dunklin Farms

Richard Howe, CEO, Inuvo

Doug McMillon, President and Chief Executive Officer, Walmart Inc.

Judy McReynolds, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, ArcBest Corporation

Jeffery W. Nolan, President and Chief Executive Officer, Loutre Land and Timber Company

Dr. Cam Patterson, Chancellor, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Mike Preston, Executive Director, Arkansas Economic Development Commission

John Rutledge, President, First Security Bank, Little Rock

Cheryl Schluterman, Interim President, Arkansas Development Finance Authority

Josh Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Metova, Inc.

Warren Stephens, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Stephens, Inc.

Dr. Chuck Welch, President, Arkansas State University System

Troy Wells, President and CEO, Baptist Health

Noel White, President and CEO, Tyson Foods Inc.

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

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

CONINE NAMED INTERIM PRESIDENT/CEO OF ARKANSAS ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES
Little Rock, Ark.
— Feb. 19, 2019 — Bill Conine has been named as the interim president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation and Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. He replaces Duane Highley, who recently accepted the position of CEO of Tri-State Generation and Transmission Cooperative in Westminster, Colo.

Conine currently serves as the CEO of Petit Jean Electric Cooperative of Clinton.

The boards of directors of Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC) and Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI) have launched a nationwide search for the next president and chief executive officer.

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

FEBRUARY 19, 2019

CITY OF CAMDEN POLICE REPORTS
DWI 1ST OFFENSE

DRINKING ON THE HIGHWAY
FAILURE TO YIELD AT A STOP SIGN
LEFT TO CENTER
On February 14, 2019 at about 9:30 p.m. hours, Officer Kayla Reynolds was on routine patrol traveling west on Washington Street approaching Harrison Street when she observed a red 1994 Mercury Cougar approaching the intersection on Harrison Street. The Officer noticed I the Mercury to not make a complete stop at the stop sign on Harrison at Washington Street. She saw the Mercury roll through the intersection making a very wide right tum on to Washington Street.

Officer Reynolds then observed the Mercury drift to the middle of the road going left to center then back into its lane traveling westbound on Washington Street. She followed the vehicle to further observe its driving manner. She observed the Mercury make a left tum on to California. As the Mercury made the turn the Officer observed the vehicle to go left to center once more then back on to its side of the road. Traveling southbound on California she watched as the vehicle cross the line at the area of California Avenue at Center Street.

At this point Officer Reynolds believed the driver of the vehicle to be distracted or impaired.

She waited until she could find a safe location initiate a traffic stop. The traffic stop was initiated at Soapy Suds on Lincoln Drive, but the driver did not stop until they reached Lincoln Drive in the Murphy's Parking lot.

Officer Reynolds met with driver Larry Harris and passenger Synicia Madison. Harris had slurred speech and blood shot watery eyes. The Officer identified herself, her department and the reason for the stop. She stated there were two containers of 25 ounce Natural Ice beer in the center console. Harris was asked how much alcohol he had consumed. Harris stated he had a few beers and stated both beers in the console were his. The Officer could smell the odor of intoxicants on Harris's breath.

Harris was asked for his ID and proof of insurance. He struggled to find his ID even though the Officer could clearly see the ID to be in the front fold of his wallet. Harris looked at the ID then fumbled through his wallet. Harris would try to speak to Officer Reynolds incoherently stating “we did not have to do this.” Harris was again advised that the Officer needed his ID. Harris once again stared at his wallet with the ID clearly visible and fumbled through it again. The Officer had to request Harris's ID multiple times until he finally gave it to her. She once again had to request his proof of insurance. Once provided with both it was clear Harris's mannerisms were impaired.

Harris was instructed to exit the vehicle. Harris complied but struggled to get out of the vehicle and appeared unsteady on his feet when he exited. Office Reynolds requested Harris perform field sobriety tests. Harris mumbled as he spoke saying he could not take the test because he had pins in his legs.  Harris was asked again if he was sure he was unable to take the test. Harris began mumbling and stuttering incoherently saying something which couldn’t be understood. The Officer asked Harris once more if he was sure and he stated there was no reason to give him the tests, the the Officer could just charge him with drinking on the highway.

Due to the open containers in the vehicle, Harris's mannerisms, and ,Harris admitting he had a "few beers" Officer  Reynolds believed Harris was too impaired to be driving. Harris was taken into custody for DWI.

While conducting an inventory search of the vehicle the Officer noticed that both beer cans were cold to the touch. One beer can was approximately 1/3 full of alcohol and the other was approximately half full of alcohol.

Harris's vehicle was towed by Kelly's Wrecker to their storage facility.

Harris was transported to the Camden Police Department by Sgt. Finney. At the Camden Police Department, Officer Reynolds asked Harris once more if he would be willing to take field sobriety. Harris stated he could not because of the pins in his legs. I asked if he could take the horizontal gaze nystagmus test while sitting down. Harris stated he could but he failed the test.

Harris was read his Arkansas Statement of Rights. Harris was then asked if he would comply to take the BAC test. Harris muttered incoherently about how he did not think it would make a difference. The Officer had to ask him multiple times. Harris kept asking what taking the BAC test would change. He told Harris it was his choice to do so. Harris eventually decided to take the BAC. Harris was able to give a sufficient sample on BAC which resulted with a reading of .180.

Booking procedures were completed for Harris. Harris was issued citations for DWI, driving left to center and drinking on the highway Harris was given a warning for failure to yield at a stop sign.

Harris was transported to the Ouachita County Detention Center for a sobriety hold. Harris was released to a family member at a later time.

POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE (MISDEMEANOR)
On February 18, 2019 at just before 10 p.m., Officer Erin Manning made contact with subject Brandon Byrd in reference to a traffic stop she had been conducting on Country Club Rd near Brookshire's. She had been conducting a traffic stop on subject Bryshelle Henderson, and Byrd arrived to the scene after being asked by Henderson to give her a ride home.

When Byrd arrived at the scene, Officer Manning asked for his identification in order to confirm that he had a valid driver's license. While speaking with Byrd, the Officer detected a strong odor of marijuana coming from him. Byrd was asked if he knew why there would be an odor of marijuana coming from his person. Byrd then stated he'd been around people at his job who were smoking marijuana, but he himself did not have any on his person. Byrd was asked if the Officer had permission to search him in order to verify that no marijuana was on his person. Byrd then gave consent.

During the search, the Officer discovered that Byrd had a small, firm object in the lower front pocket of his right pants leg. After retrieving the object, she discovered it to be two firm clumps of a green leafy substance consistent with marijuana packaged in a piece of plastic which had been balled up inside of torn off piece of brown paper. Officer Manning observed the substance to have a strong odor of what appeared to be marijuana. After seeing the Officer remove the package from his pocket, Byrd stated "I'm sorry Officer, I forgot I had that on me."

Byrd was then transported to the station and booked for possession of a controlled substance. While at the station, I observed the substance to weigh around l gram. After being booked in, Byrd was released with a citation and court date.

 STRONG WOMAN KILLED IN CAR CRASH
Arkansas State Police have released a preliminary report regarding a two-vehicle accident that occurred yesterday at 7:10 p.m. The accident occurred on Highway 82 West in Lake Village. Lanor Lowery Poole, aged 81, of Strong was killed in the crash. Rickey Dee Rhodes, 59, of Greenville, Mississippi and Cora Parks, 75 of Strong were injured. Rhodes was driving a 1992 Peterbilt and Parks was driving a 2014 Hyundai. Both vehicles were westbound on Highway 82. Parks attempted to pass Rhodes and struck the left rear trailer tires causing an impact to the front end of the Hyundai. Poole was pronounced deceased at the scene by Chicot County Coroner Skyler King. The weather was clear and the road was dry at the time of the accident.

 GOVERNOR HUTCHINSON SIGNS HB1145 TO RAISE MINIMUM TEACHER SALARY TO HIGHEST AMONG SURROUNDING STATES
LITTLE ROCK – With educators, teachers in training, and the commissioner of education looking on, Governor Asa Hutchinson signed into law HB1145, the bill that raises minimum teacher pay by $4,000 over the next four years.

“This is an important day for Arkansas teachers, who will start their career at a salary that better reflects the importance of the job and our respect for their role in the lives of our children,” Governor Hutchinson said. “It’s also an important day for our state as we signal yet again that Arkansas is a great place to live, to work, and to teach school. This will allow us to retain our homegrown teachers and attract talented teachers from other states.”

Five of the eight the teachers who joined the governor for the bill signing were Arkansas Teachers of the Year. Two were members of the Teacher Leader Advisory Group who met with Governor Hutchinson last year as he formulated the details of the bill. Two of those teachers are from a district that will benefit immediately.

You can watch the bill signing in its entirety HERE and view photos HERE. Media outlets are welcome to use photos and video. Please attribute credit to the Governor's Office.

DEFINING AND PRACTICING THE PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN BEGINS MARCH 13
Building on her previous elements of art class, Kelly Campbell will teach a six week class defining and practicing the principles of design starting March 13, 6-7:30pm and meeting weekly through April 17. Cost of the class is $150, and class size is limited to 10.

Kelly said, “If you didn’t take the elements of art class, you can still take principles of design. Once a week for six weeks will give us ample time to talk about each of the principles in depth and to practice using them effectively to create unity in a piece of art.”

A retired art teacher with 26 years experience, she believes that learning about the principles of design is important for beginning artists as a base for their art. She also believes that occasionally revisiting those basics can help practicing artists take their art in new directions.

 

 

February 18, 2019

FATAL ACCIDENT REPORTED IN EL DORADO
Arkansas State Police have released a preliminary report regarding an accident that occurred Early Sunday morning. The accident occurred on Highway 7 Spur north of El Dorado Chemical Company. Jerome Wade Curtis, 41 of El Dorado suffered from fatal injuries as a result of the crash. Curtis was driving a 2002 Chevrolet Suburban when he failed to negotiate a left-hand curve. He traveled across the center line going through the southbound traffic lane. The vehicle then left the road the east side of the highway into the ditch flipping several times in the ditch before it struck a tree. It was raining and the road was wet at the time of the incident.

RUTLEDGE ISSUES STATEMENT ON PRESIDENT TRUMP'S DECLARATION TO SECURE AMERICA'S SOUTHERN BORDER
LITTLE ROCK – On Friday, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued the following statement in support of President Donald J. Trump’s declaration of a national emergency on the southern border.

“From day one, President Trump has been committed to securing America’s southern border and today he honored that promise,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Following decades of failed policies, I support these efforts to restore security and integrity to our immigration system.”

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB TO MEET
The Camden Noon Lion’s Club will meet on Wednesday at Catherine’s Bistro. The speaker will be Mayor Julian Lott.  He will give an update on the city.

METHAMPHETAMINE SENT TO JAIL LANDS WOMEN IN FEDERAL PRISON
According to federal court records, postcards sent to Union County inmates sent from “Mamaw” landed three women in federal prison. They had put methamphetamine under stamps and return address labels.

According to the records, Carla Dawn Smith sent Kasey Doss and Meredith Atwell, who were incarcerated in the Union County Jail, postcards to in September 2017. The return address on the postcards were in the name of Atwell’s grandmother, who she calls “Mamaw”.

Doss and Atwell were in federal custody and Union County was holding them under contract with the federal government is why they were charged with Federal Crimes.

Jailers were suspicious that the postcards concealed drugs when they arrived in the mail, so they were put into evidence and sent to the state Crime Laboratory in Little Rock where they were tested and found to contain methamphetamine.

Atwell had told deputy marshals that Smith was good at smuggling drugs into the jail. Smith admitted to the marshals she had sent eight postcards to Atwell. Smith also filled a coffee stirrer with methamphetamine and inserted it in the seam of a bra. The bra was then  passed on through a jailer to Atwell.

Deputy Marshals recorded phone call between the three women, according to the records. The conversations confirmed communication and said that Doss told Smith that she was “in need of mail.” In one conversation, Atwell told Smith “I could not feel that stuff, but I think Kasey did. I need you to mail me a label tomorrow."

Smith pleaded guilty and was sentenced Thursday to 46 months in prison with credit given for time served, according to the court records.

Atwell and Doss pleaded guilty to possession or attempting to possess methamphetamine while they were inmates in a federal facility. Atwell was sentenced to 18 months in prison, with the sentence to be served consecutively with a 12-month sentence she was given in a separate case after pleading guilty to fraud. She also was ordered to pay $141,505.52 in restitution for stealing money in 2016 from the Southern Arkansas Substance Abuse treatment center where she was the bookkeeper, records said.

Doss was sentenced to 12 months and a day in prison to run consecutively with an 84-month sentence she received after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

BOOZMAN RECEIVES DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD FOR EFFORTS TO PROMOTE VOLUNTEERISM
WASHINGTON—
U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) was presented the Distinguished Service Award from Voices for National Service in appreciation of his exemplary efforts to expand high-quality opportunities for citizens to serve their community and our country.

Boozman was honored along with a bipartisan group of distinguished leaders in government, business and journalism from across the nation at the 16th Annual Friends of National Service Awards in Washington, DC. The event was hosted by Voices for National Service, a diverse coalition of national service programs, state service commissions and individual champions who work to ensure Americans of all ages and backgrounds have the opportunity to serve and volunteer in their community.

AnnMaura Connolly, President of Voices for National Service, called Boozman “a vocal champion for the benefits of national service.”

“As a member of the Appropriations Committee, he is passionate about working with his colleagues on both sides of the political aisle to ensure Americans of all ages and backgrounds have the opportunity to serve the nation and their communities. In recognition of his leadership and dedication to AmeriCorps and Senior Corps, Voices for National Service presents Senator Boozman with our Distinguished Service Award,” Connolly said.

Boozman was nominated for the award by Denise Grace, director of RSVP of Central Arkansas, who was on-hand for the presentation. Throughout his tenure in Congress, Boozman has strongly supported efforts to highlight and increase volunteerism. He is a member of the bipartisan National Service Congressional Caucus, annually cosponsors the AmeriCorps week resolution and works to promote National Days of Service.

“I’ve personally found giving my time in service of others to be a deeply rewarding experience which is why I have continuously sought to promote and support volunteer organizations like AmeriCorps and Senior Corps. The positive impact Arkansans have on their communities when they are provided an opportunity to make a difference is powerful. Volunteering brings out the best in participants as they put their talents to use on behalf of others and we are all better off as a result of their willingness to serve their neighbors in need,” Boozman said.

Boozman’s Senate colleagues Roger Wicker (R-MS), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Jack Reed (D-RI) were also honored at the event. U.S. Representatives Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Joe Courtney (D-CT), New Hampshire Governor and First Lady Chris and Valerie Sununu and Mark Donovan, President of the Kansas City Chiefs received awards as well.

Founded in 2003, Voices for National Service has built strong bipartisan support among our nation's leaders and helped to elevate national service as a powerful strategy for tackling unmet needs, preparing young people for work, uniting our country and developing civic character.

In communities across the country, national service members of all ages and backgrounds provide critical services to fulfill unmet needs through their work with AmeriCorps and Senior Corps. National service members tutor and mentor struggling students, help fight the opioid epidemic, provide job training and other services to returning veterans, preserve the nation’s parks and public lands, offer disaster relief and recovery assistance after natural disasters and support independent living for seniors and Americans with disabilities.

 

FEBRUARY 15, 2019

CITY OF CAMDEN POLICE REPORTS
DISORDERLY CONDUCT

On 2/12/2019 at 1118 hours, Camden Officer Lt. Ben Opelt was in the lobby of the station while Captain Sanders was speaking with Carolyn Freeman whom Lt. Opelt had just arrested and released on misdemeanor charges. Freeman seemed to be determined to cause a scene at the station for no apparent reason other than the fact that she was upset she had been arrested. Both Officers ordered her to leave the property. Freeman then walked into the parking lot where Officers observed her stop, turn around, and walk back towards the front door. Lt. Opelt then watched as Freeman walked into the flowerbed at the station, stomping in it, and then she attempted to take the flag down from the flag pole. Lt. Opelt walked outside and confronted Freeman, again ordering her repeatedly to leave the property. Freeman refused and she was advised that  I would she had one last chance to leave or she would be arrested. The Officer walked back inside the station and watched as Freeman continued to stand in the middle of the parking lot, making it impossible for anyone to park a vehicle, or leave in a vehicle. When confronted Freeman again, she became combative and began screaming and yelling at Officers while passively resisting. She was advised she was under arrest and she still did not comply. Officers were eventually able to take her into custody. She was transported her directly to the Ouachita County Detention Center. Freeman was jailed at booked for Disorderly Conduct. Freeman was held for bond and would later be released on criminal citation.

SHOPLIFTING
On February 13, 2019 at 0944 hours, Camden Officer Sergeant Sharlotte Elliott was dispatched to Macs in Garden Oaks, located at 1137 West Washington Suite 116, for a shoplifter. Dispatch advised the female has left the scene and management knew who she was. The Officer arrived at the business and made contact with manager, Jack Bigby. Bigby escorted Officer Elliott to view the video surveillance. Around 0811 hours, the Officer observed a black female, whom she knew as Terri Richardson Johnson, walking up the isle while placing a large bag of candy inside her purse. Johnson continued to walk up the isle as the video stopped. Bigby stated he wanted Johnson banned from the store. He provided the Officer with the Macs Fresh Market banned form in the event Officer Elliott made contact with Johnson. Bigby was advised that a report would be on file at the station. Officer Elliott then relocated to 244 Grinstead, where she knew Johnson lived. Contact was made with Johnson and asked her if she was at Macs this morning and she stated she was. JoShe admitted to being at Mac’s that morning. Johnson was taken into custody for shoplifting and transported to the station without incident and booking procedures were completed. She was given the banned form, and advised she was no longer allowed on Macs' premises. She signed the banned form and was given a copy for her records. Johnson was issued criminal citation. Johnson was able to post a $400 bond.

POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE.
On 02/13/19 at 2300 hours Sgt. Jamairo Bush made contact with Lindsay Mullins inside Wal-Mart while conducting a security check. The Officer had previous knowledge that Mullins had active warrants. He verified with dispatch and was advised she had three failure to appears and one fail to pay fine with the City of Camden. Mullins also had a failure to appear with the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Department. The Officer advised Mullins she had warrants and she was under arrest. Mullins was transported to the station without incident. At the station during a search of Mullins purse Officer Bush located a Newport cigarette box in her purse that contained 16 yellow pills with the encryption "R039". When asked what kind of pills they were and Mullines  stated she was unsure. Mullins stated the pills belonged to an unknown black male who she gave a ride too. She went on to say the male wasted the pills in her back seat and she had picked them up and put them in the cigarette box. Officer Bush used the pill identifier to identify the pills as being "Alprazolam" a schedule 4 controlled substance. He then advised Mullins she was being charged with possession of a controlled substance. Mullins was later transported to the Ouachita County Detention Center and is being held for a court appearance on 03/20/19.

CRIMINAL TRESPASS
REFUSAL TO SUBMIT TO ARREST

On 2/12/19 at 07:37 Lt. Ben Opelt was dispatched to Meeks Pest Control in reference to a subject refusing to leave. Lt. Opelt met with the Owner who stated an unknown black female was on his property trying to get into his storage building. He stated when he confronted her, she walked towards the wood line of his property and then stopped. He then pointed to the wood line and the Officer saw and individual who he knew to be Carolyn Feeeman. He made contact with her and she could give no logical explanation as to why she was on Meeks Pest Control property. She was asked multiple times to leave the property, but she continued to argues with the Officer. Officer Opelt took Freeman by the wrist to take her into custody and she began to resist. A brief struggle ensued before the Officer was able to gain control of her and secure the second handcuff on her wrist. Freeman was transported to the station where she was booked for Criminal Trespass and Refusal to Submit to Arrest. She was late released with a criminal citation and a court date.

JOB SEEKERS NEED HELP IN PREPARING FOR THE UPCOMING CAMDEN JOB FAIR? WE HAVE YOU COVERED
The Arkansas Department of Workforce Bus Unit will be in Camden to help job seekers to prepare for the upcoming CAMDEN JOB FAIR Tuesday, April 16th  9am to 3pm at SAU Tech Grand Hall, 6523 Hussey Road, East Camden. The bus unit will help with resume writing, mock interviews, creating online profiles and other services. EVENTS ARE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

Department of Workforce Bus Unit Schedule
Thursday, February 21st, 9 am – 6 pm, DWS bus unit at OPED 625 Adams Ave. Camden.
Tuesday, March 12th, 9 am – 7 pm, DWS bus unit at OPED 625 Adams Ave. Camden. Tuesday, April 9th, 8:30 am – 4 pm, DWS bus unit at Arkansas Workforce Center 237 Jackson Street in Camden

Job Fair at SAU Tech in parking lot of Grand Hall
Monday, April 15th 9 am – 6 pm at SAU Tech’s campus Grand Hall parking lot 6523 Hussey Road, East Camden. DWS bus unit will be offering resume writing assistance, assistance to those creating online profiles for companies that are scheduled to actually be present and/or interviewing on site, and mock interviews as time permits at the actual site of the Job Fair.

Tuesday, April 16th at the Job Fair event 8 am – 2 pm at SAU Tech’s campus Grand Hall parking lot 6523 Hussey Road, East Camden.  DWS bus unit actual site of the Job Fair  for on-line applications and other services as needed.

For more information contact your local Arkansas Department of Workforce Services in Camden at 870-836-5024 or 237 Jackson Street, Camden, AR. This Job Fair is sponsored by The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services.

CAMDEN FAIRVIEW SCHOOL BOARD TO MEET
The Camden Fairview School Board will meet in regular session on Tuesday, February 19th at 6:30 p.m. at Garrison Auditorium. The agenda includes a presentation by the Junior FFA Team, Student hearings the Superintendent’s report, the Financial report and a personnel session. The Board will also hear presentations and recommendations regarding the 2019-2020 school calendar, new student transportation by parent coordinators and a revised student check-out policy, along with a presentation and recommendation regarding the Summer Food Service Program.

BOOZMAN, TESTER RENEW EFFORT TO PASS LANDMARK LEGISLATION TO SUPPORT WOMEN VETERANS
Senators Reintroduce Deborah Sampson Act to Improve VA Care, Services for Women
WASHINGTON— This week U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Jon Tester (D-MT) reintroduced their bipartisan Deborah Sampson Act to support women veterans.

Women are the fastest growing demographic of veterans, but many VA facilities don’t have the ability to provide equitable care or services to women veterans. The Deborah Sampson Act would eliminate barriers to care and services that many women veterans face and would help ensure the VA can address the needs of women veterans who are more likely to face homelessness, unemployment and go without needed health care.

“There are more than 20,000 women veterans in Arkansas. This population continues to increase as more women answer the call to serve in uniform. We must update VA services to support the unique needs of today’s entire veteran community,” Boozman, a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, said. “This legislation will improve healthcare, services and benefits that women veterans have earned.”

“Women veterans must feel comfortable and empowered to turn to the VA for the health care and benefits they earned,” said Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “It’s important we ensure the VA is holding up its end of the bargain to our sisters, mothers and daughters. Our bill will help change the culture at the VA to better support women veterans’ service and sacrifice.”

The Deborah Sampson Act includes the following provisions:

Empowers women veterans by expanding group counseling for veterans and their family members and call centers for women veterans,
Improves the quality of care for infant children of women veterans by increasing the number of days of maternity care VA facilities can provide,

·Eliminates barriers to care by increasing the number of gender-specific providers in VA facilities, training clinicians and retrofitting VA facilities to enhance privacy and improve the environment of care for women veterans,

·Authorizes additional grants for organizations supporting low-income women veterans and increases resources for homeless women and their families,

·Improves the collection and analysis of data regarding women veterans, expands outreach by centralizing all information for women veterans in one easily accessible place on the VA website and requires the VA to report on the availability of prosthetics made for women veterans.

The Deborah Sampson Act is endorsed by veterans across the country, including the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) and the Disabled American Veterans (DAV).

“Women have bravely served their country for more than a century, from serving in disguise during the Civil War to the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Bob Wallace, VFW Executive Director. “The VFW applauds Senators Tester and Boozman for introducing the Deborah Sampson Act, which would improve the quality of gender-specific care women veterans receive, enhance benefits such as homeless assistance, and require VA to develop a better understanding of where it may be falling short. This bill must pass immediately to show that Congress is serious about caring for all veterans, regardless of gender, and ensure women veterans receive the benefits they rightfully deserve.”

"IAVA is profoundly appreciative for the reintroduction of the bipartisan Deborah Sampson Act by Sens. Tester and Boozman," said Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America Chief Policy Officer Melissa Bryant. "The face of our military has changed and the VA must adjust as well to ensure our increasing numbers of women veterans like me get the care we need. This bill is the centerpiece of our She Who Borne The Battle campaign and we call on Congress to finally pass this bill this year."

“The number of women veterans seeking VA health care services has more than doubled over the past decade, yet in many cases this population still feels marginalized by a VA health care and benefits system that was designed primarily for men and does not address their unique needs," said Dennis Nixon, DAV National Commander. “This bill would establish many critical provisions DAV has advocated for to improve access and the quality of care for women patients. We applaud Senators Tester and Boozman continued commitment to the nation's women veterans and urge swift passage of this important measure."

The Deborah Sampson Act is sponsored by Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Jack Reed (D-RI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Patty Murray (D-WA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Bob Casey (D-PA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Gary Peters (D-MI) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).


COTTON STATEMENT ON SPENDING BILL VOTE
Washington D.C. – Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) released the following statement on the Senate vote on the spending bill:

“While I’m pleased this bill makes a down payment on border security, I can’t support its limits on the construction of physical barriers as well as law enforcement’s authority to detain and deport criminal illegal aliens. Congress must act to fully secure our border and stop the flow of illegal aliens and deadly drugs into our country.”


BOOZMAN STATEMENT ON PASSSAGE OF LEGISLATION TO FUND THE GOVERNMENT AND INCREASE BORDER SECURITY
WASHINGTON—
U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) released the following statement after voting for legislation to avoid another government shutdown and provide additional resources to secure our borders: 

“While far from a perfect bill, passage of this legislation ends the uncertainty by fully funding the government while supporting additional resources to secure our nation’s borders.

The bill includes nearly $23 billion for overall border security. It provides an unprecedented level of funding for immigration enforcement agencies to ensure that our law enforcement officials have the resources they need to keep the American people safe, protects our ability to detain criminal illegal aliens and includes nearly $1.4 billion in funding for 55 new miles of physical barriers in the most needed areas along the southern border. This is an important step, considering the initial resistance on the part of Democrats to additional border security funding and their insistence that no money for a physical barrier would be provided.

More work remains to be done in order to achieve the level of border security that the American people are calling on Congress to deliver. My colleagues and I are committed to building on this down payment moving forward to resolve the crisis at our southwest border.”

RUTLEDGE CONGRATULATES U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL WILLIAM BARR
Says ‘I look forward to working closely with him’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge congratulates President Donald J. Trump’s nominee William Barr on his confirmation for U.S Attorney General.

“Attorney General Bill Barr is an excellent addition to President Trump’s administration with his longstanding dedication to public service and the rule of law. I look forward to working closely with him and the Department of Justice to defend and protect Americans and our Constitution.”

February 14, 2019

WHO WAS MAUD CRAWFORD
By Beth Brickell
Growing up in Pine Bluff, Maud Robinson's mother died when Maud was nine years old. Two weeks later her two-year-old sister died. Her father then sent Maud to be raised by her maternal grandmother who ran a boarding house in Warren while he took her two brothers and moved to St. Louis.      

Losing her mother and brothers, abandoned by her father, and unable to save her baby sister, perhaps Maud felt she had to prove something. She would make a total commitment and excel at everything she would do in life.      

She graduated Valedictorian of her Warren High School class in 1911. After one year at the University of Arkansas, she went to work as a secretary in Camden at the law firm of Judge T. J. Gaughan and Judge John T. Sifford. It was said that Judge Sifford was so impressed with her that he took her under his wing and mentored her.      

In 1927, 10 years after women were permitted to become lawyers for the first time, she "read for the law," took the Arkansas bar exam with the University of Arkansas law school class and passed with the highest grade — becoming the first woman lawyer in south Arkansas.     

Oil was discovered in Ouachita and Union counties in 1921, and Maud Crawford, who by then had married a desirable Camden bachelor Clyde Crawford, quickly became the most respected title lawyer in south Arkansas. It was said that Standard Oil of New Jersey wouldn't drill a well in south Arkansas unless Maud Crawford's name was on the title.     

Judge Oren Harris, federal district judge in 1985 and former U.S. Congressman from El Dorado, described her as, "quiet, modest, not outgoing, studious, very well thought of as efficient. She was probably known as well or better than some lawyers in that law firm or in Camden. Everybody liked her. I liked her very much."       

She developed a reputation for honesty. Ouachita Sheriff Grover Linebarier said, "If a Negro owned interest in land, she'd find out and tell him so. She never took a payoff."  

She looked for ways to help others. Betty Poindexter (Mrs. Fred) Greenlee was a secretary in the Gaughan law firm. "One day she said to me, 'Have you ever thought about buying your own car? I'd be glad to sign your note.'" Stewart Dabbs, a cousin, remembers, "She wanted to send me to college. She paid my tuition to Hendrix and whatever I needed I got." Mattie Garner, who owned a corner grocery store in the Crawford neighborhood, added, "I know of so many things she did for people under cover, so to speak. We had a poor family in the neighborhood. Instead of doing anything direct, she'd bring things to the store, boxes of shoes and clothing for the children, and have me give it to them."    

As a Methodist, Maud became very involved with church activities. Annie Lee (Mrs. D. W.) Harrell, remembered, "When she came here to work for Gaughan & Sifford, she was a big worker in the Methodist church, the Epworth League, which was the young people's society. We looked up to Maud. She was always planning programs and picnics. She was president of the Epworth League.       

Mary Emma Sullenberger Hess, daughter of one of Maud's best friends, said in 1988, "She had strong beliefs in the church. She did her part all the time and tried to live by the principles that were taught there." Stewart Dabbs referred to those principles, "Maud was the kind of person that if she knew you were doing something wrong, she would stand you up against the wall and give you a lecture."      

As time went on, she served as president of every woman's club — the Pilot Club, which was the sister club of the Rotary Club, the Business and Professional Women's Club, and the American Legion Auxiliary, an organization for wives of veterans.        

Clyde Crawford had served on the front lines during World War I, winning a medal and suffering afterwards from what we now call PTSD, post traumatic stress syndrome. Nine years into his marriage, he had a nervous breakdown and it was said that after that Maud took care of him "like a baby."  Jimmy Crawford, Clyde's nephew, explained, "He was at the Argonne Forest. He was a machine gun sergeant. He come apart about a year after he got back. Sometime later on he had some mental problems, had a nervous breakdown. He was on the front line right in the thick of the Argonne Forest and other battles." A friend, Johnnie (Mrs. Archie B.) Gilchrist, added, "Clyde had a breakdown earlier in their life. Maud took her files and typewriter home and did her work from home until he recuperated. And she bought him fine woodworking machinery to learn his trade." Clyde sanded floors and refinished furniture in Camden.

She also helped raise several cousins when an uncle died following his wife's death.      

While looking out for Clyde, raising cousins, and taking on the responsibility of primary breadwinner for all of them, she continued to increase her standing in the community. In 1940 she ran for and was elected the first woman to serve on the Camden City Council. Re-elected to three more two-year terms, she served a total of eight years on the council. She gained a reputation for high principles and taking a stand for what she believed was right. Camden Chief of Police G. B. Cole said, "When she served on the city council, all her dealings were fair and above board. If you asked her something, she would answer you straight."     

In 1942, two years after Arkansas Boys' State was established in Arkansas, Maud believed it was important for girls also to learn how state government worked. She founded Arkansas Girls' State with then president of the American Legion Auxiliary in Camden, Jeanette Simpson (Rose Berg's niece). Jeanette was the first chairman of the state-wide program, and Maud would serve as one of its eight counselors every summer from 1942 until her last summer in 1956.     

The Camden News reported that she "helped every worthy cause such as Red Cross, Community Chest, band or any community drive such as heart, cancer, and Easter Seal drives."      

In 1954, she was selected "Woman of the Year" by the Pilot Club.       

Adding to her responsibilities, when Rose Berg was declared incompetent in 1955, Ouachita County Judge Bob Launius appointed her to be the personal guardian of Mrs. Berg — her across-the-street neighbor, friend, and lawyer. Chief Cole said, "She was Mrs. Berg's personal guardian and would attach receipts to every check she wrote. I don't know of a more honest person in the world."  

Camden was chosen in 1955 for an Achievement Award for Outstanding Community Improvement by the state Chamber of Commerce and the Arkansas Economic Council. Maud was asked to go to Little Rock to receive the award since she had more to do with the city getting it than anyone else. In a speech upon accepting the award, she said partially, "The achievements in Camden were brought about by many groups working together. In our charity drives and cultural matters, we just about had the full cooperation of every living soul."

In 1957, Camden lost community leader Maud Crawford. Twelve years later, the Probate Court of Ouachita County legally established her death: "During the evening of March 2, 1957, the decedent, Maud R. Crawford, mysteriously and unexplainably disappeared from her home in Camden, Arkansas. Her disappearance has received widespread publication and notoriety and has been the subject of many police investigations throughout the United States. Inasmuch as no information has been disclosed which would in any way indicate that Maud R. Crawford was alive at any time subsequent to her disappearance, it is the finding of the Court that Maud R. Crawford is deceased and has been dead since March 2, 1957 as a result of foul play perpetrated by person or persons unknown."

Beth Brickell's books, "The Disappearance of Maud Crawford," and "In Their Own Voice: Interviews from the Maud Crawford Investigation" are available at luminousfilms.net.

altCOTTON, JONES INTRODUCE BILL TO ALLOW HOMESCHOOL PARTICIPATION IN JROTC
Washington, D.C.—
 Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Senator Doug Jones (D-Alabama) today introduced legislation clarifying that all Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) programs are required to accept homeschool students who reside in their jurisdiction. JROTC is a voluntary program for high school students run by the military and designed to teach citizenship and leadership. Its mission is “to instill in students in United States secondary educational institutions the values of citizenship, service to the United States, personal responsibility, and a sense of accomplishment.” Current law does not specify whether JROTC is open to homeschool students, resulting in a patchwork of polices between programs that denies some students the opportunity to participate in JROTC.

“JROTC is a valuable program that provides high school age students with discipline, confidence, and skills they will carry with them throughout their lives. We should be looking for ways to make these programs more inclusive, not keeping kids out. This bill will make clear that the benefits of JROTC are available to all students who want them, including those pursuing their education at home,” said Cotton.

“For more than a century, JROTC programs have provided excellent opportunities for young folks to develop leadership skills, responsibility, and character and to learn the value of service to our country. Unfortunately, it’s not clear whether students who are educated at home are allowed to participate. With an estimated 1.5 million American children in home-schooling today, including more than 20,000 in Alabama, we should be taking steps to make certain these young men and women can participate in this important program. I encourage my colleagues to support this bill that will ensure that any eligible student could take part in JROTC,” said Jones.

Congressman Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) plans to introduce companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) Background:

  • JROTC programs exist in all 50 states and American schools overseas (including Germany, Japan, Korea, Italy, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands). 
  • JROTC has an estimated enrollment of over 500,000 students.
  • JROTC is not a military recruiting program, and students in the program have no obligation to serve in the military.
  • JROTC programs include leadership training and classroom instruction emphasizing service history and traditions. 

altGOVERNOR HUTCHINSON AND LEGISLATIVE LEADERSHIP ANNOUNCE $300 MILLION HIGHWAY PLAN, LARGEST IN STATE'S HISTORY
Plan protects education, prisons, and public safety from funding interruption

LITTLE ROCK – On Monday, Governor Asa Hutchinson joined legislative leadership to announce details of a proposed $300 million, long-term highway plan. At $300 million in increased annual revenue to State Highways, this plan would be the largest in Arkansas’s history.

The plan is broken down into two parts, the first of which is an extension of the half-cent sales tax of 2012 through a Referred Amendment for 2020. This would generate $205,590,000 a year for highways.

A large portion (roughly 28 percent) of the current half-cent sales tax will go toward paying off bonds for road projects. By extending the half-cent sales tax, the state would be able to shift to a “pay as we go” system.

The second part of the plan would produce $95,071,995 in additional, ongoing funding. That legislation will include:

  • New index on gas (+$0.03) and diesel (+$0.06) prices = $58,097,076 (net to State)
  • Additional registration fees for hybrid and electric vehicles = $1,974,919
  • Dedicated casino tax revenues and Restricted Reserve Funds or other General Revenue = $35 million minimum, guaranteed

In addition to the extension of the half-cent sales tax, other components of this plan, such as the registration fees on hybrid and electric vehicles and the casino tax revenues, have future growth potential. This upward trajectory in funding will provide certainty for our highway program where none previously existed.

In addition to the $300 million to the Highway Department, cities and counties will receive $110 million annually to help maintain local streets and roads.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement:

“I’m delighted to detail this plan that is both a prudent and a responsible approach to establishing a historic, long-term highway plan for our state. I appreciate the spirit of cooperation from legislative leadership in working with my office to come up with a plan that can capture a majority of support from both chambers.

“While the state is providing additional funding from General Revenue for this plan, it is important to note that the long-term funding will come from the new revenue stream provided by the passage of the Casino Amendment. By dedicating casino tax revenues, we are able to protect other essential services, like education, public safety, and prisons from any funding interruption.”

The new index on gas and diesel prices is commonly referred to as a “user fee.” That means that those who use state highways most often will pay more than those who use the highways less. Unlike the income tax, which is taken directly from a person’s income, a “user fee” focuses on those who use our road system.

Over the past four years, Governor Hutchinson has cut more than $150 million in income taxes for low- and middle-income categories, including a $100 million cut for middle income in 2015 and a $50 million cut for lower income in 2017.

Even with the increase in user fees from this highway plan, all taxpayers will have an overall tax reduction this year and next with the decline in the grocery tax and the $50 million low-income tax relief that goes into effect this year.

alt65-YEAR SENTENCE FOR POSSESSION OF 1,000 CHILD PORN VIDEOS
Rutledge Says, 'committed to removing evil people from our neighborhoods'
LITTLE ROCK – Yesterday, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced that a Pulaski County man has been sentenced to 65 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction on child pornography charges. 

Thomas Mullikin, 57, of Little Rock, pleaded guilty to seven counts of distributing, possessing, and viewing of matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child. He was found in possession of more than 1,000 videos and images of adult men engaging in sexual intercourse and penetration with girls as young as 3 years old.

“I am committed to removing evil people from our neighborhoods,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Mullikin possessed more than 1,000 horrific videos involving the rape of small, innocent children. I will ensure that he and others who engage in this repulsive conduct are held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

Mullikin was arrested in May by the Attorney General’s Office Cyber Crimes Unit when special agents seized laptops and external storage devices from his residence. An attorney from the Attorney General’s Office was appointed Special Deputy Prosecutor in the case by the 6th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley.

TERRY “TACO” HOWARD MEMORIAL TRAIL AND ATV RIDE
It’s time again for the Terry Taco Memorial Trail and ATV Ride sponsored by Holly Springs Baptist and Methodist Churches. The event will be held on Saturday, April 6th from 9:00 a.m. to 2:oo p.m. beginning at the holly Springs Baptist Church in Holly Springs Arkansas.

Negative Coggins are required. No alcohol or drugs are allowed. All kicking stock must have something red on their tail. Participants will be asked to stay in tight groups for easy flagging.

The line up order will be wagons, buggies, carts and horses. There will be no horse allowed between wagons, buggies or carts. Horses will depart at 9:00 a.m. followed by ATV’s departing at 10:00 a.m.

There will be a Show and Shine Car Display for 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. “Measure of Grace” will be in concert form 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

There will also be a Dine in or Carry Out BBQ meal with all the trimmings beginning at
11:00 a.m. in the Holly Springs Baptist Church Fellowship Hall. Adult plates will be $10.00 and children 12 and under will be $5.00.  

There will be a live auction after all riders have eaten.

Friday night, April 5th there will be a soup or Chili meal from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. in the Family Life Center. Cost will be a donation.

The Holly Springs Baptist Church is located at 168 Highway 9, Sparkman, Arkansas. Visit Terry “Taco” Howard Memorial Trail and ATV ride on Facebook or call Hank Mahan at 870-687-1962 or text or call Peggy Mahan at 870-687-1138 for more information.

ARKANSAS LAWMAKERS INTRODUCE RESOLUTION TO RECOGNIZE THE MARSHALLESE
WASHINGTON-
U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton along with Congressman Steve Womack introduced a resolution recognizing the strategic importance of the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Marshallese who live in the United States—of whom the largest concentration in the continental U.S. reside in Springdale, Arkansas.

“This resolution acknowledges the unique partnership our country has with the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the need for this support to continue. In Arkansas, the Marshallese have integrated and assimilated into our communities while also preserving and sharing their unique customs and traditions. To better meet their needs it is necessary to better understand and account for this population calling the U.S. home, making the 2020 census crucial to this goal,” Boozman said.

“The large Marshallese community in Northwest Arkansas is a constant reminder of the close relationship our nation shares with the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Just as the people of Arkansas and our Marshallese neighbors continue to strengthen their friendships, so the United States ought to continue bolstering its own relations with their home republic. This resolution celebrates the bond our countries share and the need for our two nations to keep working together,” Cotton said.

“The Marshallese in Springdale and across Arkansas enrich our state. This resolution highlights the contributions of the Marshallese and the important relationship we have built and shared as a community. With the 2020 Census approaching, as well as the Compact of Free Association up for renewal in 2023, it is also critical that we accurately account for the Marshallese residing in the U.S. to better serve them and the cities they live in,” Womack said.

The U.S. has a unique relationship with the Marshall Islands. In the aftermath of World War II, the Marshall Islands was a U.S.-administered United Nations Trust Territory. In 1986, the Marshall Islands entered into a Compact of Free Association (COFA) with the U.S. and became a sovereign, “freely associated” state. Under the COFA, the U.S. is obligated to defend the Republic of the Marshall Islands against attack or threat of attack. The U.S. also maintains unique military basing rights in the Marshall Islands that extend through at least 2066. The security and sovereignty of the Marshall Islands is important to our country and to the thousands of Marshallese who have planted roots in Arkansas. The COFA agreement is up for renewal in 2023.

Since the 1980s, thousands of Marshallese have legally migrated to the United States. The 2010 census estimated 4,324 out of the 22,400 Marshallese individuals living in the U.S. resided in Arkansas. However, that population is actually estimated to be between 8,000 to 14,000. In addition to its embassy in Washington, D.C., the Republic of the Marshall Islands also has a consulate in Springdale.

The resolution has the support of the entire Arkansas Congressional delegation. The largest populations of Marshallese residing in the U.S. today live in Arkansas and Hawaii.

altCOTTON, ERNST, TOOMEY INTRODUCE THE PRESERVING ACCESS TO COST EFFECTIVE DRUGS ACT
Washington, D.C.
- Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) along with Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania) today reintroduced the Preserving Access to Cost Effective Drugs (PACED) Act, which restores the power of the Patent and Trade Office, federal courts, and the International Trade Commission to review patents regardless of sovereign immunity claims made as part of sham transactions.

Under current law patent holders can pay Indian tribes to take "ownership" of their patents, which allows the tribes to claim sovereign immunity and avoid review in the case of a dispute. This could lead to widespread patent abuse and increased costs for consumers. After Allergan transferred its Restasis patents to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe in 2017, the District Court, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, the Federal Circuit, and the 5th Circuit all ruled that this was an invalid transfer aimed at raising the costs of prescription drugs. The case is now pending further review by the Supreme Court.

"It's past time to end the patent abuse that is raising drug costs for our seniors. This bill will make sure unscrupulous patent holders can't game the system and block their competitors from entering the market. That'll go a long way to help Arkansans get the drugs they need more affordably," said Cotton.

"High prescription drug and health care costs impact all Iowans, but especially our seniors and those on a fixed income. It's past time we remove loopholes that allow manipulators to unfairly stifle competition and inflate prescription drug prices for Iowans who need them most," said Ernst.

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

Background:

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

The PACED Act is supported by the following organizations: Association for Accessible Medicines, The R Street Institute, and Patients for Affordable Drugs Now.

February 13, 2019

CAMDEN WOMAN HIT BY TRAIN
A Westbound Union Pacific Train had a collision Wednesday just after 1 PM with two pedestrians.  According to witnesses, Jennifer Eltabbakh, 30 of Camden along with an unidentified male were walking the tracks Eastbound.  Jenifer appeared distraught about something, stripping from her clothes as she walked the center part of the tracks.  The train had just cleared the Fairview State Highway 376 crossing coming in to the bend of the track just back behind Waggin Trails. The Train Engineer quickly applied the horn to wave Jennifer off the tracks, and when she refused to yield to the train, the brakes were applied as fast as they could, and she was struck by the train and thrown off the side.  According to Sheriff Deputies, she was still alive at the scene while waiting for paramedics to arrive.  She was sent via ambulance to Ouachita County Medical Center to be airlifted to UAMS Little Rock. The Transportation Manager, Alan Lockhart with Union Pacific came to investigate the scene, switch out crews, and had the train back “on track” by 3 PM enroute to Stevens.

CAMDEN CITY COUNCIL MEETING
Camden City Council met last night at the Municipal building for the February meeting.  Alderman Lawrence Askew took his Alderman hat off, and symbolically gestured putting on his tax payer hat and voiced to the council his outrage of the recent Mac’s Cash Savers flyer, that had a religious as well as political message that said, “Heaven has a wall, gate, and a strict immigration policy.  Hell has open borders.  Let that sink in. Askew said he’s offended by the message that it is racist, mixing scripture in with “Trumps” message.  Askew encouraged those in the audience, to exercise their options and shop elsewhere.  You have a choice Camden.  Mac’s is not the only game in town.  Keep the money local, here in Camden.  Askew followed up with everyone is entitled to their opinion, but there is no place for garbage like this.  Askew says, “Our merchant, where we’re taking our hard earned dollars, they wanna take us back and we’re trying to move forward.”

Bill Halter from the Science Hill Solar Company gave his presentation.  They’ve been in previous talks with Judge MacAdoo with Ouachita County about constructing a solar farm to reduce energy bills with the County, and made their presentation to the city council.  If approved, the solar farm could reduce energy costs to all city owned facilities as well as the water treatment plant.  Over the course of 30 years, the city could see savings up to eight million dollars  using alternative power. The City Council approve Resolution Number 15-19 to execute a letter of intent with Science Hill Solar Company.

Fire Chief Robert Medford gave his annual report on the Camden Fire Department and it’s budget for 2019.  Services have decreased over the year, but medical responses are on the rise considering the increasing age of some of the citizens. Resolution number 13-19 passed to amend the budget to increase the salaries for the following fire department classifications: Assistant Fire Chief, Fire Captain, and Fire Lieutenant

GOVERNOR HUTCHINSON NAMES THE ARKANSAS INNOVATION COUNCIL TO EXPAND ARKANSAS' KNOWLEDGE-BASED ECONOMY
Governor Asa Hutchinson has invited a group of key leaders from Arkansas businesses, research universities, philanthropic organizations, and state agencies to form the Arkansas Innovation Council. The Arkansas Innovation Council will meet twice a year with the Governor serving as chair of the council. 

"The long-term success of our state will hinge on the development and expansion of Arkansas’s knowledge-based, technology-driven economy," Governor Hutchinson said. "We can accelerate our development if we draw on the experience of a diverse group of key leaders. The members of this council are to partner with me to identify resources and skills that will transform the ability of businesses to grow in Arkansas."

The council will work with the Governor to identify gaps and seek new ideas, initiatives, and recommendations to form a strategic plan complete with specific action steps. This plan will guide the efforts of Arkansas business and industry, higher education, not-for-profits, and state and local governments to create a measurable expansion of Arkansas’s knowledge-based economy.

"Promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship for technology and technology-enabled companies is a vital economic development strategy," said Mike Preston, executive director of Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC). "It is essential to the generation of cutting-edge research, to help our existing industries grow, and to create high-paying jobs. Arkansas is building an environment of opportunity with incentives and programs to help entrepreneurs and innovators start up and scale new business enterprises, but there is more work to do."

The council will focus on innovation in industry sectors in which Arkansas leads nationally and globally, as well as those that are crucial to the lives of its citizens: retail and retail technology; transportation, distribution, and logistics; agriculture, food processing, forestry, and natural resources; healthcare and biosciences; financial services; data sciences, advanced analytics, and software development; energy and power electronics.

“The task of growing our knowledge-based economy will require a focused and sustained effort from leaders of our principal industries, research universities, philanthropic organizations, state agencies and other stakeholders who want to move Arkansas forward,” said David Sanders, director of Innovate Arkansas at Winrock International.

The Arkansas Innovation Council will meet twice a year with the first meeting scheduled for February 19th in Little Rock at the Robinson Center. Innovate Arkansas, a program administered by Winrock International, will coordinate the council’s activities.

The founding members of the Arkansas Innovation Council are:

Dr. Donald R. Bobbitt, President, University of Arkansas System
Albert Braunfisch, Chairman, MSpark
Amy Callahan, Cofounder, Collective Bias
Ross DeVol, Walton Fellow, Walton Family Foundation
William T. Dillard, III, Executive Vice President, Dillard’s Inc.
George Dunklin, Jr., Dunklin Farms
Richard Howe, CEO, Inuvo
Doug McMillon, President and Chief Executive Officer, Walmart Inc. 
Judy McReynolds, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, ArcBest Corporation
Jeffery W. Nolan, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer, Loutre Land and Timber Company
Dr. Cam Patterson, Chancellor, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Mike Preston, Executive Director, Arkansas Economic Development Commission
John Rutledge, President, First Security Bank, Little Rock 
Cheryl Schluterman, Interim President, Arkansas Development Finance Authority
Josh Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Metova, Inc.
Warren Stephens, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Stephens, Inc.
Dr. Chuck Welch, President, Arkansas State University System
Troy Wells, President and CEO, Baptist Health
Noel White, President and CEO, Tyson Foods Inc.

HELP SMOKEY BEAR CELEBRATE HIS 75TH BIRTHDAY WITH A SHOUT OUT
The Arkansas Agriculture Department’s Forestry Commission (AFC) is sponsoring a Smokey Bear “Shout-Out” contest February 11th through April 19th to celebrate Smokey’s 75th birthday. Smokey is the fictional bear that was designated the symbol for forest fire prevention in 1944 by the U.S. Forest Service and the Ad Council. Elementary classes across Arkansas are invited to record a short video wishing Smokey a happy birthday and to share it with AFC and the Arkansas Agriculture Department’s (AAD) social media sites for a chance to win a birthday party with Smokey.

 

To enter the contest:
Make sure the school name and class can be clearly heard in the video
Keep it short (15-30seconds)
Like AFC and AAD Facebook pages: www.facebook.com/ArkansasForestryCommission and www.facebookcom/ArkAgricultureDepartment
Post your video to your school’s Facebook page, making sure to add #SmokeyBear75
Share the video, via messenger, with both pages

You may also post it on your school’s twitter page and tag us @ARDeptofAgriculand @ARForestryComm, again making sure to add #SmokeyBear75

·Send an email to marketing@agriculture.arkansas.govwith the name of the school, city, county, what class is in the video, how many students are in the class and the teacher’s name, email and phone number.

Eight winners will be randomly selected for the birthday party to be held in the first two weeks of May, prior to the end of the school year.

For more information on the contest or the rules, contact Brett Dawson at brett.dawson@agriculture.arkansas.gov or call 501-219-6324.

The Arkansas Agriculture Department’s Forestry Commission, along with the U.S. Forest Service, Ad Council, and National Association of State Foresters, will be celebrating Smokey’s 75th birthday throughout 2019 and promoting his slogan, “Only YOU Can Prevent Wildfires.” Additional information about Smokey and learning resources for children and educators can be found at smokeybear.com.

The AAD is dedicated to the development and implementation of policies and programs for Arkansas agriculture and forestry to keep its farmers and ranchers competitive in national and international markets while ensuring safe food, fiber, and forest products for the citizens of the state and nation.

The Arkansas Agriculture Department offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability and is an Equal Opportunity Employer

altCOTTON, ERNST, TOOMEY INTRODUCE THE PRESERVING ACCESS TO COST EFFECTIVE DRUGS (PACED) ACT
Washington, D.C.
 - Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) along with Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania) today reintroduced the Preserving Access to Cost Effective Drugs (PACED) Act, which restores the power of the Patent and Trade Office, federal courts, and the International Trade Commission to review patents regardless of sovereign immunity claims made as part of sham transactions.

Under current law patent holders can pay Indian tribes to take "ownership" of their patents, which allows the tribes to claim sovereign immunity and avoid review in the case of a dispute. This could lead to widespread patent abuse and increased costs for consumers. After Allergan transferred its Restasis patents to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe in 2017, the District Court, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, the Federal Circuit, and the 5th Circuit all ruled that this was an invalid transfer aimed at raising the costs of prescription drugs. The case is now pending further review by the Supreme Court.

"It’s past time to end the patent abuse that is raising drug costs for our seniors. This bill will make sure unscrupulous patent holders can't game the system and block their competitors from entering the market. That'll go a long way to help Arkansans get the drugs they need more affordably," said Cotton.

“High prescription drug and health care costs impact all Iowans, but especially our seniors and those on a fixed income. It’s past time we remove loopholes that allow manipulators to unfairly stifle competition and inflate prescription drug prices for Iowans who need them most,” said Ernst.

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

Background:

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

The PACED Act is supported by the following organizations: Association for Accessible Medicines, The R Street Institute, and Patients for Affordable Drugs Now.

altSAAC TO HOSE CORKS AND CANVAS WITH KELLY CAMPBELL
The South Arkansas Arts Center offers a little inspiration for spring during the next Corks & Canvas adult art class on Thursday, February 21, from 6-9pm. Award winning artist Kelly Campbell will guide attendees into the wonderful world of acrylics on canvas as they create their own 11x14 painting of lilacs in a jar.

 A retired art teacher with 26 years’ experience, Kelly has been teaching various art classes at SAAC for 10 years. She said, “I love teaching Corks & Canvas – we have the best time, and everybody leaves happy! Bring your favorite beverage, and we’ll paint!”

Corks & Canvas is an art class for non-artists who have always wanted to paint. Each class is conducted by a different award winning 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.  Class size limited to 15.

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 Main Street, El Dorado, Arkansas.

February 12, 2019

altCOTTON, MANCHIN, MCSALLY AND JONES INTRODUCE RESOLUTION SUPPORTING GOLD STAR FAMILIES REMEMBRANCE DAY
Washington, D.C.—
Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) along with Senators Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), Martha McSally (R-Arizona), and Doug Jones (D-Alabama) last week introduced a resolution expressing support for the designation of March 2, 2019 as “Gold Star Families Remembrance Day.” Gold Star Families are those who have lost a family member in combat. Currently the United States observes Gold Star Mother’s Day and Gold Star Spouses Day. Congressman Bob Latta (R-Ohio) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives last month.

“America will always honor service members who fall defending our flag. That means honoring families who carry on their memory, and the sorrowful burden of life after the death of a loved one. It has been 90 years since President Coolidge approved a pilgrimage so Gold Star families could visit the resting places of their loved ones. We can continue that legacy today by designating March 2, 2019 as Gold Star Families Remembrance Day, to be observed by all Americans in recognition of those who sacrificed greatly for our sake,” said Cotton.

“America remains the greatest country on earth because of the patriotism of our fallen service members and their families. These individuals have paid the ultimate price so that we can enjoy the freedoms of this great country. I cannot imagine the pain that losing a loved one in the line of duty causes, my heart truly goes out to them.  To honor these gold star families, I am a proud to help introduce this resolution so that on March 2nd, every American can take time to pray and reflect on the sacrifice of Gold star families,” said Manchin.

"Gold Star Families' sacrificed deeply for our country and freedoms. Their pain and loss is real every single day with the absence of their loved ones who paid the ultimate price in service. The sacrifice of our Gold Star Families should be honored and remembered by us all,” said McSally.

“It is important to remember that it’s not just the men and women in our armed forces who make sacrifices in the defense of our nation – it’s also their families. They support them while on deployments and during difficult training cycles, and sometimes must bear the unimaginable heartbreak of losing them in the line of duty. It is appropriate that we should set aside a day to honor them and to express our gratitude, and I am proud to join Senators Cotton, Manchin, and McSally in sponsoring this bill,” said Jones.

The resolution is supported by the following Veterans Service Organizations:

  • Gold Star Wives of America Inc.
  • American Gold Star Mothers Inc.
  • Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS)
  • MOAA
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America 
  • Wounded Warrior Project
  • Jewish War Veterans of the USA
  • American GI Forum of the United States
  • Blinded Veterans Association
  • American Red Cross
  • The Retired Enlisted Association

altSAAC ANNOUNCES CAST FOR “YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN
The theater committee of the South Arkansas Arts Center is thrilled to announce the cast for its upcoming production of "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown". Sponsored by Southern Bancorp and Teague Auto Group, the production will run March 1-3, 7-10, 2019 in the Callaway Theatre.

Charles Schulz's beloved "Peanuts" characters come to life in Clark Gesner's beloved musical "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown". The whole gang is here, taking on adventures and experiences inspired by the classic comic strip.

The cast includes Jacarllus Hill as Charlie Brown, the main Peanuts protagonist, who is gentle and insecure, yet so very lovable. Lainey Walthall will appear as Sally Brown, Charlie's little sister, who is too rambunctious and unreliable and usually needs protection and guidance. Lucy Van Pelt, Charlie's mean and sarcastic sidekick with an undying affection for Schroeder, will be played by Felice Scott.

Linus Van Pelt, played by Clay Evers, is Charlie's best human friend, who always means well and tries to smooth over every storm that arises among the gang. Distinguished by his precocious skill at the piano and his love of Beethoven, Schroeder will be played by Jimmy Martinez. Most beloved of them all, Snoopy, played by Abigail Callaway, is Charlie's constant canine companion.

The small ensemble of singer and support characters rounding out the cast are Addie Bosanko, Tyler Cunningham, Sarah Faith, and Holland Ruff

About the cast, director Justin Howard said, "I could not be more proud of this cast! During auditions, we had people who we had never seen before come in and thoroughly impress us. There is a good mix of familiar faces with the new ones. I couldn't have asked for a better cast for my SAAC main stage directorial debut."

For more information about "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown", sponsored by Southern Bancorp and Teague Auto Group, 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

KIWANIS CLUB MEETING
Just a reminder, the Kiwanis Club will meet this Thursday, February 14 at 12:00 at Catherine’s Bistro.   The program will be presented by Darleen Wheelington . She will discuss the South Arkansas Kennel Club Dog Show Event

AIRPORT COMMISSION TO MEET
The City of Camden Airport Commission will have their regularly scheduled meeting on Friday, February 15, 2019 at 11:30 a.m. at the Airport Terminal located at 255 Airport Road, Camden, Arkansas.

OUACHITA COUNTY PRESIDENT’S DAY SCHEDULE
The Ouachita County Courthouse and the Ouachita County Extension office will be closed on Monday, February 18th in observance of President’s Day. The Ouachita County Sanitation Department will run on regular schedule. The Sanitation Department will not observe the holiday.

FEBRUARY 12, 2019

alt

COTTON, MANCHIN, MCSALLY, AND JONES

INTRODUCE RESOLUTION SUPPORTING

GOLD STAR FAMILIES REMEMBRANCE DAY

Washington, D.C.-Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) along with Senators Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), Martha McSally (R-Arizona), and Doug Jones (D-Alabama) last week introduced a resolution expressing support for the designation of March 2, 2019 as "Gold Star Families Remembrance Day." Gold Star Families are those who have lost a family member in combat. Currently the United States observes Gold Star Mother's Day and Gold Star Spouses Day. Congressman Bob Latta (R-Ohio) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives last month.

"America will always honor servicemembers who fall defending our flag. That means honoring families who carry on their memory, and the sorrowful burden of life after the death of a loved one. It has been 90 years since President Coolidge approved a pilgrimage so Gold Star families could visit the resting places of their loved ones. We can continue that legacy today by designating March 2, 2019 as Gold Star Families Remembrance Day, to be observed by all Americans in recognition of those who sacrificed greatly for our sake," said Cotton.

"America remains the greatest country on earth because of the patriotism of our fallen service members and their families. These individuals have paid the ultimate price so that we can enjoy the freedoms of this great country. I cannot imagine the pain that losing a loved one in the line of duty causes, my heart truly goes out to them. To honor these gold star families, I am a proud to help introduce this resolution so that on March 2nd, every American can take time to pray and reflect on the sacrifice of Gold star families," said Manchin.

"Gold Star Families' sacrificed deeply for our country and freedoms. Their pain and loss is real every single day with the absence of their loved ones who paid the ultimate price in service. The sacrifice of our Gold Star Families should be honored and remembered by us all," said McSally.

"It is important to remember that it's not just the men and women in our armed forces who make sacrifices in the defense of our nation - it's also their families. They support them while on deployments and during difficult training cycles, and sometimes must bear the unimaginable heartbreak of losing them in the line of duty. It is appropriate that we should set aside a day to honor them and to express our gratitude, and I am proud to join Senators Cotton, Manchin, and McSally in sponsoring this bill," said Jones.


The resolution is supported by the following Veterans Service Organizations:

  • Gold Star Wives of America Inc.
  • American Gold Star Mothers Inc.
  • Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS)
  • MOAA
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America 
  • Wounded Warrior Project
  • Jewish War Veterans of the USA
  • American GI Forum of the United States
  • Blinded Veterans Association
  • American Red Cross
  • The Retired Enlisted Association

 

 


Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge

 

ICYMI: STOP THE UNWANTED ROBOCALLS

Rutledge says, ‘I will take all measures necessary to advocate on behalf of Arkansans to stop these calls and prosecute those responsible.’

LITTLE ROCK – Sunday, an op-ed written by Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge appeared in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, calling for the federal government to do more to stop illegal caller ID spoofing and robocalls.

The phone rings and rings and rings. The number on my caller ID looks familiar, but I know better. It is another robocall. I could scream ... and I just might! Just like every other Arkansan, I just want these calls to end immediately.

For each of the past four years, I have visited every county in Arkansas, and the most common complaint I hear is that people want these calls to stop. They are tired of the incessant and pestering robocalls and spoofing.

Spoofing is when a fake but familiar-looking number is displayed on your caller ID that tricks you into answering the call. And while these calls are frustrating for most, they are costly and dangerous for far too many of our families, friends and neighbors.

Hard-working Arkansans who spent years saving for retirement so they could travel, spoil grandkids or buy a couple of momma cows to add to their herd become prime targets for these low-life con artists. People with no values or integrity prey on those who were raised right and want to always do the right thing.

These cons make outrageous claims: "I'm calling from the IRS because you owe back taxes and law enforcement will be there to arrest you if you don't make a payment this second"; or "You haven't paid your electric bill and I'm shutting the lights off unless you pay over the phone right now." Or they take advantage of the love of family: "Grandma, this is your favorite grandchild, and I am in jail out of state and you have to pay right now to get me out of here."

As your attorney general, let me be clear: These are all scams!

Spoofing is illegal in Arkansas, but it still happens, and Arkansans feel they have no way to protect themselves. Law enforcement investigates and prosecutes these crooks routinely. Unfortunately, the sheer volume of spoofed robocalls originating out of country turns efforts to identify the source into a perpetual game of whack-a-mole as different phone numbers are continuously used. My job as attorney general is to protect Arkansans, which is why I am taking this problem directly to the providers: the telecommunication companies.

According to First Orion, a call-blocking company based in Little Rock, nearly half of all cellphone calls in the next year will come from scammers. This is unacceptable. Every telephone call passes through a telecommunication service--a "telecom.

Regulatory roadblocks had previously prevented telecoms from having the legal authority to block many illegal calls. In 2017, I successfully urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to authorize telecoms to block illegal calls from invalid numbers, unassigned numbers and numbers whose owners have requested blocking. Telecom service providers have the authority to stop these never-ending robocalls, but they are not taking the necessary steps to verify whether a number is valid or a spoof. Consumers are so fed up with these calls that they would flock to a phone company that blocked all suspected robocalls involving a spoofed caller ID.

Telecom service providers can no longer have a free pass. It's time to put pressure on these companies and demand action. Telecoms must be required to block spoofed calls automatically.

Blocking spoofed calls is one part of a multi-faceted strategic solution. During this legislative session, I am working to strengthen our state laws to silence these calls. And I am on the 37-state Robocall Technology Working Group to develop best practices for the telecom industry to prevent robocalls and prosecute the originator of these calls.

I do not dismiss the technological challenges involved in this effort. Neither do I diminish the ability of the telecoms to identify and prevent these calls. I will take all measures necessary to advocate on behalf of Arkansans to stop these calls and prosecute those responsible.

This problem is not limited to our state. There is also legislation in Congress to increase the enforcement powers of the FCC to deal with unlawful robocalls. I will remain on the front lines of this effort, pushing these measures through Congress and to President Trump's desk. I will urge the FCC to implement rules to remove obstacles that would allow telecom service providers to use new and existing technology to detect and block illegal spoofed calls.

I am taking the fight to the criminals, the telecoms, the FCC, the Department of Justice and to the White House.

Arkansans are fed up, and so am I. It is time to stop the calls.

FEBRUARY 11, 2019

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB TO MEET
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet Wednesday at Catherine’s Bistro. This week’s speaker will be Kenny Meeks with the Steak Trail of Champions.  This is a new organization which will hold competitions throughout South Arkansas beginning with the Steak Cook-off at the Daffodil Festival.

altSAAC OFFER KITE WORKSHOP
February 16th and 23rd
Let your child's imagination fly free and make memories that will last a lifetime at the family Kite Workshops on Saturday, February 16th and 23rd at 12:00 a.m. Each event will be an opportunity for children and parents to work together to build, decorate, and fly a kite, with a healthy, homemade snack to round out the morning

Cost for the workshop is $20 per kite, and space is limited. The activity is designed for kids 4-10, but all ages are welcome, with a parent.

Participants will receive a kite kit to assemble and design with guidance from one of SAAC’s talented art instructors.

At the February 16 workshop, artist Mike Means will conduct the instruction, while February 23 will be led by Maria and Jorge Villegas. To keep your strength from flagging during the workshop, local chef Lilli Ellen will create a special sweet-and-savory snack inspired by the whimsical kite-flying theme.

The Kite Workshop is held in conjunction with SAAC’s production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” which opens March 1. During the show, the character of Charlie Brown endures a lengthy struggle with his own kite, ending with its eventual stranding in the infamous “Kite-Eating Tree.” If weather permits, the workshop will end with an outdoor kite-flying session, hopefully with a much more positive outcome!

Box office for “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” will be open during the workshop, so participants can nab great seats to the show. The production runs March 1-3 and 7-10, with performances at 7 p.m. on week nights and 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets will be available for $15 for members, $5 for students, and $25 for general public.

To register for this event, please call the SAAC office at 870-862-5474.

altRUTLEDGE WELCOMES SPRING LAW CLERKS
Says ‘Law clerks play a valuable role for the state’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge welcomed a new class of law clerks during the spring session to the Attorney General’s office. These law students work in various departments assisting with legal research, drafting memos and legal documents and accompanying lawyers at trials, client meetings and hearings.

“The law clerk program exposes students to the fulfilling experience of public service,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Law clerks play a valuable role for the state performing research and writing for Arkansas’s top attorneys in a great service-learning environment.”

Sarah Fendley, a second-year student at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UA Little Rock) William H. Bowen School of Law, is clerking in the Civil Department. She graduated from Lyon College with a Bachelor of Arts in English and art in 2009, and from Henderson State University with a Master of Liberal Arts degree in 2013. Fendley is from Hot Springs and graduated from Lake Hamilton High School in 2005.

Hannah Johnston, a second-year student at the UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law, is clerking in the State Agencies Department. She graduated from Auburn University in 2017 with a degree in public relations. Johnston is from Auburn, Alabama and graduated from Auburn High School in 2013.

Edward Mader, a second-year student at the UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law, is clerking in the Criminal Department. He graduated from the University of Dallas in 2006 with a degree in philosophy. Mader is from Bentonville and graduated from Bentonville High School in 2002.

Robert Murphy, a third-year student at the UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law, is clerking in the Public Protection Department. He graduated from Hendrix College in 2015 with a degree in creative writing. Murphy is from Little Rock and graduated from Episcopal Collegiate School in 2011.

Amanda Partridge, a second-year student at the UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law, is clerking in the Public Protection Department. She graduated from Harding University with a degree in English in 2011. Partridge is from Little Rock and graduated from Central Arkansas Christian High School in 2008.

Sydney Sadler, a second-year student at the UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law, is clerking in the Public Protection Department. She graduated from the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Arts in political science in 2017. Sadler is from Springfield, Missouri and graduated from Kickapoo High School in Springfield in 2013.

Christian Scott, a second-year student at the UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law, is clerking in the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. She graduated from the University of Central Arkansas with a major in history in 2016. Scott is from Mountain View and graduated from Mountain View High School in 2012.

Chandra Smith, a second-year student at the UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law, is clerking in the Civil Department. She graduated from Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa with degrees in business administration and criminal justice in 2017. Smith is from Bloomfield, Iowa and graduated from Davis County High School in Bloomfield in 2013.

Katelyn Spellman, a second-year student at the UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law, is clerking in the Criminal Department. She graduated from the Penn State University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Spellman is from Montrose, Pennsylvania and graduated from Montrose Area High School in 2011.

February 08, 2019

CAMDEN CITY BOARD OF ALDERMEN TO MEET
The City of Camden Board of Aldermen will have their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Building. The agenda includes the annual Fire Department Report which will be given by Fire Chief Robert Medford, the  annual Police Department Report given by Police Chief Bo Woody, an ordinance amending the City of Camden Zoning Ordinance to allow residential uses in certain zones. an ordinance assessing a lien on certain property located at 239 Monroe Street NE, an ordinance permitting an elected official to be interested in contracts with the City of Camden, Arkansas, an ordinance amending Ordinance No. 12-10 separating and establishing the elected office of City Clerk and appointed office of City Treasurer, and for other purposes, a resolution confirming the appointment of Garrome P. Franklin to the Airport Commission, a resolution confirming the appointment of Gregory Nettles to the Civil Service Commission, a resolution awarding the bid for the purchase of two (2) New 2018 Police Package Sedan Vehicles for the Camden Police Department, and a resolution authorizing a budget amendment for salary increase to the following Fire Department Classifications: Assistant Fire Chief, Fire Captain and Fire Lieutenant.

altaltSAU TECH PARTNERS WITH TODAY’S POWER, OECC IN SOLAR PROJECT
by Kyle Massey, Arkansas Business on Friday, Feb. 8, 2019 11:45 am  
South Arkansas’ march toward solar power got another nudge Friday when Southern Arkansas University Tech in Camden broke ground with Today’s Power Inc. of Little Rock on a 1-megawatt array to generate more than two-thirds of the campus’ electricity.

The 10-acre project, featuring single-axis tracking, is in line with projects that TPI has completed for many of the state’s nonprofit electric cooperatives and several other businesses, including Ouachita Electric Cooperative in Camden and South Arkansas Telephone Co. in Hampton (Calhoun County). East Camden is home to the one of the state’s largest solar power generators, the 77-megawatt complex built by Silicon Ranch for Aerojet Rocketdyne’s manufacturing facility in Highland Industrial Park.

SAU Tech’s system will provide a fixed price for electricity for 20-25 years, with savings to be applied to growing the college and educating students.

“We believe that it is our responsibility and goal as a state-funded college to use all the means available to us to be fiscally responsible,” SAU Tech Chancellor Jason Morrison said in a statement. “Creating an avenue for sustainable, renewable energy for our campus is a great example of an action toward that goal. We are grateful for all the hard work that Ouachita Electric Cooperative and Today’s Power have invested toward the success of this project.”

SAU Tech saw the potential in solar power when Today’s Power installed solar power at OECC’s Camden headquarters. A partnership model between SAU Tech and OECC required coordination with the the Arkansas Department of Finance & Administration, local legislators and the Arkansas Public Service Commission.

“SAU Tech has been a key partner developing solar as an energy resource in South Arkansas since planning for the first utility-scale solar project in the state began in 2014,” said Mark Cayce, the OECC general manager who has gained a reputation as an innovator in renewable power. “It was only natural the school would have a solar facility for its own use. The ability to demonstrate the economic benefits of clean renewable energy while educating young people as they begin to enter the workforce is an invaluable tool.”

SAU Tech, a two-year college with 150 staff and faculty members, expects to save about $105,000 a year, and the college will get about 30 percent of its power from OECC while 70 percent comes from the new array. The project is the 23rd for TPI, a wholly owned subsidiary of Arkansas Electric Cooperatives Inc. of Little Rock.

“We are so proud to have been selected to partner with SAU Tech and Ouachita Electric in developing this project,” TPI President Michael W. Henderson said in a news release. “The unique ownership partnership with SAU Tech makes us partners for the next 20 years, and I couldn’t think of any other institution that fits our culture so well.”

altGOVERNOR HUTCHINSON DIRECTS TRANSITION OF ARKANSAS NATIONAL GUARD PERSONNEL FROM NEW MEXICO BORDER TO TEXAS
LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has directed Adjutant General Mark Berry to move Arkansas National Guard personnel from New Mexico to Texas to assist with border security there.

“Our National Guard assets were deployed at my direction to assist in a multistate effort to secure our southwest border,” Governor Hutchinson said. “At this time, I have directed General Berry to shift those assets to Texas, where they have additional security needs and are requesting our assistance.”

Since May 2018, as many as eight Arkansas Guard personnel and two helicopters have been on mission at the southwest border in New Mexico at President Donald Trump’s request for state assistance. 

Earlier this week, New Mexico Governor Lujan Grisham ordered the withdrawal of the New Mexico National Guard from border deployment and also directed that troops from other states return home immediately. “New Mexico will not take part in the president’s charade of border fear-mongering by misusing our diligent National Guard troops,” Governor Grisham stated in a press release.

According to a report from Army Times, one week ago members of the state Guard’s contingent in one of the state’s LUH-72 Lakota helicopters “helped federal agents seize large sacks of marijuana and arrest four camouflage-clad men hiding in brush at night” along the border of New Mexico. The sacks contained nearly 136 pounds of marijuana.

P. ALLEN SMITH TO HEADLINE FIRST AGRITOURISM CONFERENCE
The Arkansas Agritourism Association will host its inaugural conference from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wed., Feb. 20, 2019, at the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service in Little Rock. The keynote speaker is P. Allen Smith, an author, television host, conservationist, lifestyle expert and garden designer. Smith is the owner of Moss Mountain Farm, located in Roland, Ark. The farm is available for tours, private gatherings, weddings and other social or business events.
 
The conference will commemorate the Arkansas Agritourism Association’s one-year anniversary. The event will feature workshop sessions on food safety, marketing techniques, hospitality, an insurance roundtable and various networking opportunities.
 
Due to limited seating, early registration is encouraged and can be reserved online at: https://www.arkansas.com/arkansas-agritourism-association-conference. Completed registration forms can be mailed or processed at the conference.  
 
The Arkansas Agritourism Association was organized by a group of Arkansas agritourism operators in 2017 to explore the possibility of forming a statewide association. Technical assistance was provided by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service, Arkansas Tourism and the Arkansas Agriculture Department.
 
The organization provides support, education, technical assistance and networking opportunities for current and potential agritourism operators throughout the state. The group held its first official meeting February 26, 2018, to establish bylaws and elect officers and board members.
 
For more information: Contact: Ruth Pepler, President, Arkansas Agritourism Association, Phone:  870-504-1306, Email: info@agritourism.com  

altBOOZMAN HELPS INTRODUCE BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION TO COMBAT DOCTOR SHORTAGE
WASHINGTON—
U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) helped introduce a bipartisan bill that will address the shortage of more than 120,000 primary care and specialty physicians the nation is expected to face by 2030.

Boozman joined as the lead Republican sponsor of the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act, authored by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ). The bill would ease the arbitrary cap on the number of Medicare-funded graduate medical education (GME) positions imposed by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.

“Lifting this antiquated cap on training slots for medical school graduates is a perfect example of a small reform that can make a big difference. The number of available physicians per population in the Natural State is among the lowest in the nation and providers of all specialties are facing a serious shortfall, especially in Arkansas’s rural communities. This commonsense bill is a small step toward a system that ensures access to affordable, quality care for every American,” Boozman said.

The Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act seeks to gradually lift the caps on Medicare-supported doctor training slots by 3,000 per year over five years creating 15,000 new residency training slots across the country.

“It is no secret that significant reform needs to be brought to our health care system. However, there are some reasonable, simple steps we can take to increase access to quality medical services in Arkansas while we work toward the larger goal. This bill I helped introduce with Senator Menendez is a perfect place to start,” Boozman said.

The bill prioritizes states with new medical schools, hospitals that partner with VA medical centers and hospitals that focus on community-based training for the increases.

altARTIST RECEPTION SATURDAY AT SAAC FOCUSES ON STUDENT ARTISTS
The South Arkansas Arts Center will host an artist reception Saturday, February 9, from 2:00 to 3:30pm, for "Love and Reflections" by Emmaline Landes and for the 2019 SAAC Student Art Competition. The reception is free and open to the public.

The SAAC Student Art Competition consists of 70 works by local student artists. Helene Lambert will present awards for four places in each of four divisions, as well as overall Best of Show, at 2:30. Gallery manager Kelly Campbell said, "I truly enjoy the student competition - I am truly amazed at the quality of artwork that the students in grades K-12 produce. We have this competition in alternating years, and I always look forward to it!"  The 2019 Student Art Competition, sponsored by William P. Cook and Associates, PLLC, will be on display in the Merkle and Price Galleries throught February 26.

Sixteen year old Emmaline Landes' work will be in the Lobby Gallery. She enjoys all art media, but mainly works with acrylics on canvas. Studying under Maria Villegas, Katie Harwell, Sara Howard, and Patrick Johnson, she's continually evolving. In 2013, Emmaline created her own nonprofit project called "Heartworks", a series of small paintings that she sells and then donates the proceeds to fund charities close to her heart. As a result of "Heartworks" and her charitable giving, she was awarded The Presidential Volunteer Service Gold Medal and The Prudential Spirit of Community Bronze Medal in 2017.

The gallery is open Monday-Friday from 9:00-5:00 and this exhibit is free and open to the public. SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas. For more information, please call the SAAC office at 870-862-5474 or visit the website at www.saac-arts.org.

February 07,2019

alt

CITY OF CAMDEN POLICE REPORT
DRINKING ON THE HIGHWAY
DISORDERLY CONDUCT

OBSTRUCTION OF GOVERNMENTAL OPERATIONS

On February 4, 2019 at 1308 hours, Officer Jacob VanAssche was patrolling the area of McCollough at Agee when he observed a white Buick, bearing Arkansas LP# 761XRX, fail to yield the stop sign at the four way intersection. The Officer initiated his blue lights and conducted a traffic stop.

While conducting a traffic stop Officer VanAssche could hear the backseat passenger's speech to be slurred and could smell the oder of intoxicants coming from his person. The subject identified himself as David Dobbie (it was later discovered his correct last name was Boddie). The Officer asked Boddie if he had been drinking, and he advised he had a couple beers before heading out.

Sergeant Elliott arrived on scene to assist and began walking up to the vehicle while Officer VanAssche was finishing the traffic stop. Once she reached the rear passenger side of the vehicle she observed Boddie attempting to hide an open container of alcohol in the floor board between his feet. Boddie admitted to drinking the beer while in the vehicle.

Boddie was then taken into custody, and while doing so he began to yell profanities. He was advised to stop yelling profanities due to there being children and other residents in the neighborhood outside. Officer VanAssche observed one resident take her children inside her apartment, due to Boddie's behavior. Boddie continued to yell profanities until he was placed min the patrol unit. Boddie was then transported to the station.

At the station Boddie refused to cooperate with booking procedures, and was eventually booked for Drinking on the Highway, Disorderly Conduct, and Obstruction of Governmental Operations. Booking procedures where completed, and later approved by Sergeant Elliott. Boddie was later transported to the Ouachita County Detention Center, set to be released after 12 hours due to his intoxicated state. Once released Boddie will receive Criminal Citation 11728, and will be given a District Court date of March 20, 2019 at 0900 hours.

altRUTLEDGE ANNOUNCES TAX EVASION ARREST OF MISSISSIPPI WOMAN ALREADY FACING MEDICAID FRAUD CHARGES
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the owner of Bridge of Faith Hospice & Palliative Care in Helena-West Helena has been arrested on charges separate, but in addition to the previous charges of engaging in a criminal enterprise and Medicaid fraud she is currently facing.

Charline Brandon, 62, of Cleveland, Mississippi, is charged with attempting to evade or defeat taxes, a Class C felony, from 2010 to March 2017. Brandon was arrested for fraudulently billing the Medicaid program in Arkansas in October 2017. It was subsequently learned that from September 2013 through December 2016, Bridge of Faith Hospice & Palliative Care was paid gross income of $1,567,432.82 by Medicaid and Medicare and never filed an income tax return in Arkansas. Brandon turned herself in to the Pulaski County District Court. She currently faces similar charges in Mississippi.

“Brandon’s laundry list of charges include finding ways to steal from the Arkansas Medicaid Program and avoid paying taxes,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Brandon’s failure to pay taxes on behalf of the company or from her personal income to the State of Arkansas hurt law-abiding Arkansas families and businesses who work hard to follow the laws and serve Arkansans.”

This case was referred to the Arkansas Attorney General’s office by the Mississippi Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of 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.

altELECTRIC COOPERATIVES OF ARKANSAS OFFER 2019 LEGISLATIVE DIRECTORY
Little Rock, Ark.
— Feb. 7, 2019 — The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas recently launched a 2019 digital version of its popular Arkansas Legislative Directory. The digital directory is free and offered to iPhone and Android users.

“The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas Legislative Directory provides an easy to use tool to allow Arkansans to contact their state and federal elected officials,” said Duane Highley, president/CEO of the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas.

The digital application provides names and detailed profiles of state and federal officials, interactive contact links with telephone numbers and e-mail addresses, detailed district maps and other pertinent information.

“We work on behalf of the interests of Arkansas’ electric cooperative members,” said Kirkley Thomas, vice president of governmental affairs with the cooperatives. “The legislative directory app is a great resource to ensure that our members’ voices are heard.”

To download the app, please go to: http://aecc.com/legislative-app and follow the instructions. The directory may also be downloaded at: https://aecc.com/government-affairs/legislative-directory/

The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas comprise 17 electric distribution cooperatives; Arkansas Electric Cooperatives Inc. (AECI), a Little Rock-based cooperative that provides various services to the distribution cooperatives; and AECC, a generation and transmission cooperative. The distribution cooperatives provide electricity to more than 500,000 members, or customers, in Arkansas and surrounding states.

For additional information, contact: Rob Roedel, Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, 501.570.2296 or rroedel@aeci.com.

altADE NAMES SCHOOL SAFETY COORDINATOR
LITTLE ROCK —
In an effort to promote a safe school environment and provide continued leadership, support, and service to Arkansas public schools, the Arkansas Department of Education has named a school safety coordinator to assist districts with implementing school safety measures. ADE’s Doug Bradberry has assumed this new role.

As the school safety coordinator, Bradberry will assist schools and districts with developing school safety policies and procedures. He also will assist districts with comprehensive school safety assessments, will work with the Division of Public School Academic Facilities and Transportation regarding revisions to the "Arkansas Public School Academic Facility Manual," and will collaborate with the Governor’s Office to implement recommendations provided by the Arkansas School Safety Commission.

“When I created the Arkansas School Safety Commission in March 2018, I tasked the commission with providing recommendations that would improve school safety for all students,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “The commission provided a very comprehensive list of recommendations for consideration. I commend the Department of Education for making school safety a priority and reallocating an existing position to assist districts with their efforts to improve school safety for all students."

Bradberry has worked at the ADE for almost 14 years. During his time at the department, he has worked in the Commissioner’s Office, Curriculum Unit, and Research and Technology and has provided assistance for the State Board of Education and the Commission on Closing the Achievement Gap. Through his various roles at the department, Bradberry also assisted with drug education and safe school efforts, including providing support for the Arkansas School Safety Commission.

For more information about school safety and to read the commission’s report to the governor, visit http://www.arkansased.gov/divisions/communications/safety.

 CAMDEN FAIRVIEW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR ABC PRE-SCHOOL
Camden Fairview ABC Pre-School is accepting applications for children ages 3, 4 and 5. Children must be 3 years old by August 1st. Required documents are birth certificate, proof of income, Social Security card, proof of residency, wellness check-up, updated shot record and proof of insurance. Applications can be completed or picked up at Fairview Elementary School located a 735 Robin Road in Camden, between 8:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Registration will through May 3rd. Call Cecelia Willis at 231-5434 for more information.

HOPE TABERNACLE OF FAITH HOSTS BLACK HISTORY PROGRAM
The new Hope Tabernacle of Faith Church of God in Christ in Camden is hosting the Annual Black History Program Service. The service will be held on February 24th at 3 p.m. The Pastor is Roy L. Wesley Sr. Special Guest Elder will be Connell muse and the Prince Chapeol Church of Gin Christ of Taylor Arkansas. Everyone in invited.

NEW HAVEN BAPTIST PASTOR ANNIVERSARY
The New Haven Baptist Church, Reverend Jeffery Cl Fields, Pastor,  will have the 7th Pastor and Wife Anniversary on February 10. The Celebration will begin at 3:00 p.m. The Word Family Church where Bishop Jacovis Davies is Pastor, will be the guest church. Everyone is invited to attend.

NEW HAVEN YOUTH HOST VALENTINE’S SWEETHEART DINNER
The Youth at the New Haven Baptist Church, located at 336 Stewart Street in Camden are host a Valentine’s Sweetheart Dinner. This event is a fundraiser for the Youth. Come out and dine with your sweetheart or treat yourself to an elegant night out. Dress to impress. There will be a photosphere in the building to capture the special and memorable night of you and your love. All proceeds will go towards the summer trip for the Youth Department. Tickets are $25.00 for a couple or $15.00 for a single. RSVP to 501-804-7510. For more information call 836-6158.

ST. PAUL CHRISTIAN CHURCH HOST WOMEN’S CONFERENCE
The St. Paul Christian Church, Elder Stephone Avery, Pastor, is hosting a Women’s Conference on Saturday February 23rd at 10:00 a.m. The Theme is “The Power of God,s Love”. You’re invited to help celebrate the Colors of Love. St, Paul Christian Women’s Ministry is on the move, praying, sharing, teaching and leading ladies of all ages to walk in the will and purpose of God. St. Paul Christian Church is located at 134 Ouachita 404 in the Harmony Grove area.

 

FEBRUARY 6, 2019

SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE FOR OUACHITA COUNTY STUDENTS
Applications accepted February 1st through April 1st, 2019
Camden, Ark. (February 6th 2019) – Beginning February 1, Arkansas students can apply for more than 200 private scholarships through Arkansas Community Foundation. April 1, 2019 is the deadline to apply for most opportunities. Students can begin their application by visiting www.arcf.org/scholarships.

“Post-secondary education is a key to financial stability and opportunity,” said Heather Larkin, president and CEO of the Community Foundation. “When Arkansans earn college degrees or professional certificates, they benefit as individuals and we all benefit as a state. The Community Foundation is honored to help connect students with the resources they need to keep learning.”

Each scholarship has its own eligibility criteria; in general, the Community Foundation’s scholarships are for Arkansas students pursuing higher education at two- or four-year colleges or universities, vocational schools or technical training programs. Some scholarships are designated for graduates of a particular high school or those who plan to attend a particular college. Others are based on extracurricular activities or intended college majors.

Locally, students from Ouachita valley are eligible to apply for these scholarships, established for students in the area:

  • Dian Hendrick Memorial Teachers Scholarship
  • Dr. Judy Abbott Memorial Scholarship
  • Harmony Grove Alumni ScholarshiP
  • Judy Abbott P.D., M.D. Scholarship
  • Leadership Camden Area Junior Leadership Scholarship
  • McGill Family Fund of 1999

“Funding for these scholarships comes from families, businesses and individuals who want to support higher education and invest in Arkansas students,” said Rajveer Kang executive director of Ouachita Valley Community Foundation, Arkansas Community Foundation’s affiliate in the area. “These donors determine the size and eligibility criteria for the scholarships they create, and we manage the scholarship process on their behalf.”

More information is available online at www.arcf.org/scholarships.

Arkansas Community Foundation is a nonprofit organization that fosters smart giving to improve communities. The Community Foundation offers tools to help Arkansans protect, grow and direct their charitable dollars as they learn more about community needs. By making grants and sharing knowledge, the Community Foundation supports charitable programs that work for Arkansas and partners to create new initiatives that address the gaps.  Since 1976, the Community Foundation has provided more than $156 million in grants and partnered with thousands of Arkansans to help them improve our neighborhoods, our towns and our entire state. Contributions to the Community Foundation, its funds and any of its 28 affiliates are fully tax deductible.

SOUTH ARKANSAS KENNEL CLUB DOG SHOWS & OBEDIENCE TRIALS, RALLY & LURE COURSING CELEBRATES 20 YEARS
South Arkansas Largest Dog show returns to East Camden AR at the Highland Airport Facilities in East Camden AR. February 23-24, 2019
LOCATION:

HIGHLAND AIRPORT FACILITIES (FORMER GENERAL DYNAMICS BUILDING)
204 OUACHITA 212 (VETERANS ROAD) CAMDEN, AR *Turn left beside Dollar General in East Camden and go to the end of the road.

DATE:
Saturday & Sunday
February 23-24, 2019

SCHEDULE:
SHOW HOURS:  Saturday 9:00 A.M. TILL 5:00 P.M. EACH DAY INDIVIDUAL BREEDS BEGIN SHOWING AT 9:00 A.M. ON SATURDAY AND 8 A.M. ON SUNDAY. GROUPS BEGIN AT APPROXIMATELY 12:30 - 1:00 P.M. 

INFO:

  • Admission for the dog shows is $5.00 Adults $1.00 Children 6-12 yrs of age $1.00 for Senior Citizens. Children under 6 yrs get in free.
  • The public is encouraged to come out and see some of the most beautiful and smartest dogs in the country.
  • Please bring your lawn chair  
  • Sorry NO un-entered dogs allowed per AKC rules.
  • Northwest Arkansas Kennel Club is joining our shows again this year hosting Lure Coursing Ability Test.  This will be a fun event to watch.  Two tests on Saturday and one Sunday morning
  • Vendors from around the country will be there with lots of cool stuff.
  • Come Hungry!!  The American Cancer Society will have great home cooked food

CONTACT:
For more info contact:
Darleen Wheelington
870-818-7588
or visit www.arkansasdogs.dog to see the judging schedule for the time different breeds show. Judging schedule will be online by February 20th.

SaltENATE & HOUSE VA AUTHORIZERS, APPROPRIATORS CALL FOR TRANSPARENCY, ACCOUNTABILITY
WASHINGTON—
As the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) begins implementing historic reforms passed into law during the 115th Congress, the leadership of the Congressional committees overseeing the department is calling on Secretary Robert Wilkie to work collaboratively with Congress throughout the process. 

In a letter to Wilkie, eight committee chairmen and ranking members—including U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), who chairs the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that funds the VA—called for transparency and accountability from the department. It comes at a time when the VA is managing the simultaneous roll-out of major laws including the VA MISSION Act, which overhauls how veterans receive health care, and the Forever GI Bill, which significantly updates educational benefits offered to veterans—all while undertaking the largest health record modernization project in the nation’s history.

“With all of the reforms underway simultaneously, it is vital for VA to share information openly–even pre-decisional information–so that we can work together and have a common understanding of the impact of changes, including costs, and are able to assess the impact any changes will have on other parts of VA. We share the common goal of VA’s success, and our hope is that early, frequent, and fully transparent dialogs will allow VA and Congress to jointly head off the kind of serious missteps we have seen in some recent implementation efforts. All of the changes being implemented require VA to be more open, transparent, complete, and candid when engaging with Congress in the critical implementation stages of these programs,” the letter states. 

The letter was spearheaded by Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Ranking Member Jon Tester (D-MT). He was joined by the Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Mark Takano (D-CA) and Phil Roe (R-TN), and Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Senate and House Appropriations Subcommittees that fund the VA, including Boozman, Brian Schatz (D-HI), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), and John Carter (R-TX).

Boozman—the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies—noted that this good faith outreach effort from the critical members of Congress who will be overseeing the VA’s efforts is aimed at ensuring there is an ongoing, positive dialogue between Congress and the VA throughout the process.

“The VA is moving forward to implement many positive changes Congress has passed into law for our veterans. We simply need to ensure these changes are being instituted properly,” Boozman said.

altCOTTON, HASSAN AND WARREN INTRODUCE THE FULL MILITARY HONORS ACT
Washington, D.C.—
Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) along with Senators Maggie Hassan (D-New Hampshire) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) today introduced the Full Military Honors Act, a bill that would allow all Medal of Honor recipients and former prisoners of war to receive a full military honors burial ceremony with an escort, regardless of rank. Currently, full military honors with an escort are reserved for senior officers, non-commissioned officers, and servicemembers killed in combat. The Full Military Honors Act passed the Senate in December of 2018. Representatives Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), Elaine Luria (D-Virginia), Jimmy Panetta (D-California), and Scott Taylor (R-Virginia) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

“Rank is not the sole or final measure of service to this country,” Senator Cotton said. “The dignity of a fallen servicemember’s interment should be measured by their courage, not simply the insignia on their sleeves or shoulders. The Senate passed this bill once before and we should move quickly to pass it again to show our servicemembers and their families that the United States will always honor its veterans appropriately for their service.”

“The extraordinary individuals who earned Medals of Honor or were held as prisoners of war deserve a full military honors burial ceremony, regardless of their ranks,” Senator Hassan said. “We owe every sign of our respect and gratitude to those who have given the highest level of service to our nation, and I urge the full Senate to pass this bipartisan bill without delay.”

“It’s so important that we honor our veterans and servicemembers,” said Senator Warren. “I’m glad to partner with Senator Cotton and Senator Hassan on a bipartisan bill to provide veterans who receive the Medal of Honor or Prisoner of War medal with a full military honors funeral—regardless of their rank. These veterans served our country honorably and courageously and we owe them and their families the very best.

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 certain 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 Full Military Honors Act would provide full military honors with an escort to both Medal of Honor recipients and POWs, regardless of their rank.

WORK BY YOUNG ARTIST EMMALINE LANDES ON DISPLAY IN SAAC’S LOBBY GALLERY
The South Arkansas Arts Center welcomes student artist Emmaline Landes for her first solo exhibition, showing in the Lobby Gallery during the month of February. Landes’ exhibit, called “Love and Reflections,” will be honored with an artist reception on Saturday, February 9 at 2 p.m.

One of the youngest artists to present a solo show at SAAC, Emmaline is a junior at El Dorado High School. She has studied art throughout her life, learning from teachers including Maria Villegas, Katie Harwell, Sara Howard, and Patrick Johnson. While she enjoys working in all mediums, her work for “Love and Reflections” focuses on acrylic on canvas.

Emmaline said, “I find inspiration for my art in the joy I feel in helping others. I believe that an artist’s work is a representation of themselves, and it’s my hope that my work reflects the light I feel from helping others. This exhibit is my way of passing the light along.”

Putting that philosophy into practice, Emmaline launched her own nonprofit project in 2013, called “Heartworks.” Through the project she created a series of small, heart-focused paintings, which she sells, donating the proceeds to fund charities close to her heart. As a result of “Heartworks” and her charitable giving, she was award the Presidential Volunteer Service Gold Medal and the Prudential Spirit of Community Bronze Medal in 2017.

Emmaline’s teacher, Patrick Johnson, said “Emmaline Landes is the art student that art teachers want to clone, so they can have a room full of students who want to make awesome art. She thinks past the ordinary and develops original ideas that drawer the viewer in, both in the visual and the conceptual. The maturity level of Emmaline’s work is well beyond her years.”

Beyond her work in the art studio, Emmaline works with similar focus in all her academic and extra-curricular pursuits. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Arkansas Student Leadership Initiative, Beta Club, Junior Steering Committee, and serves as Treasurer of the Student Council, as well as a three-year letterman on the Varsity Cheer Team. Emmaline is also a member of Camp Fire and attends First Presbyterian Church, where she serves as Youth Elder. Her artwork is on permanent display at fayrays Restaurant, the South Arkansas Arboretum, and HOPE Landing.

For more information about this exhibit, 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.

 

altCOTTON MEETS WITH ATTORNEY GENERAL
NOMINEE WM. BARR

Yesterday, Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) released the following statement after meeting with Attorney General nominee William Barr:


"Today I met with Bill Barr, whose nomination to be Attorney General I will support. Mr. Barr is committed to protecting our streets and families from criminals, upholding the rule of law, and defending our constitutional rights, including our Second Amendment. Mr. Barr has a long and distinguished record of public service-including an earlier tour as Attorney General-and I thank him on behalf of Arkansans for once again answering the call of duty for our nation."

alt

RUTLEDGE STATEMENT ON STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released the below statement
following President Donald J. Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday night.

“President Trump’s State of the Union address was an inspiring message setting the course for a productive and prosperous year in the United States. The President demonstrated his determination to enhance the quality of life for all Americans while recognizing the extraordinary level of bipartisanship that will be necessary. America’s priorities must be aligned to stop the humanitarian crisis at the border, stop the over-regulation of our small businesses, ensure a sound infrastructure across the country and lower the cost of quality healthcare and prescription medications. I applaud President Trump for his optimistic view of America as he encouraged us to all work together and choose greatness.”

FEBRUARY 5, 2019

UPDATE ON LOUIE CULP – ARRESTED FOUR TIMES IN FOUR DAYS
Over the past four days, a Fordyce man has been arrested on four separate occasions in Camden.  Louie Culp, 52 was first taken into custody at Save-A-Lot on California.  Culp appeared to be intoxicated with slurred speech and staggering.  A few days later, Culp had police called on him at the Soapy Suds in reference to a man living in a trailer back behind the business.  Culp was identified as the person of interest, sitting in a booth, trying to hide a beer.  Culp was, once again picked up for public intox.  Culp was also charged with trespassing, because the local business said they had asked to leave and not to return, prior to this incident.   He was detained at the Ouachita County Detention Center, and later released pending sobriety.  Then later, Culp was picked up again for public intoxication at Morrison’s Pharmacy. Two days later Culp was arrested at Sonic due to strange behavior and public intoxication. Louie Culp now has a court date on March 6th for all four incidents.

OUT OF STATE COUPLE GET BUSTED FOR DRUGS ON ARKANSAS HIGHWAY
A couple from California on their way to Georgia pulled off the Interstate to refuel, where they ended their trip in an accident.  Rebecca Brenes 43, and her passenger Jose Cruz 27, quickly found themselves in a criminal investigation. The traffic accident turned into one of the biggest drug busts in Arkansas State History.  A report on facebook said there was a bust off Interstate Highway 40, that led to the seizure of over 70 pounds of methamphetamine and over 500 oxycodone 30 mg pills.

LAWMAKER WANTS TO DO AWAY WITH DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME IN ARKANSAS
Arkansas Republican Lawmaker Sarah Capp, wants to end Daylight Saving time across the State of Arkansas.  Representative Sarah Capp believes it time to do away with Daylight Saving Time, and thinks it has more momentum this time around than it did with similar legislation that failed in 2015.  It’s getting to a point in society to where Daylight Saving Time is more of a hassle than it is beneficial and wreaks havoc on people’s health trying to adjust their biological clocks.  Oklahoma is also considering a similar type of measure but wanting to see what Oklahoma’s neighboring States do.

altADE LAUNCHES R.I.S.E. SPOTLIGHT CAMPAIGN
LITTLE ROCK —
Learning to read is a rewarding experience, but when community partners provide additional support, everyone benefits. To aid in the sharing of best practices and promote community collaboration, the Arkansas Department of Education today launched the R.I.S.E. Spotlight campaign. Through this social media campaign, ADE will shine the R.I.S.E. Spotlight each month on a partner that is actively engaging the community in reading.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson and the Arkansas Department of Education launched R.I.S.E. (Reading Initiative for Student Excellence) Arkansas in January 2017. The initiative focuses on three main goals: strengthen reading instruction, create community collaboration, and build a culture of reading. The R.I.S.E. Spotlight campaign focuses on the second goal.

“Community support and collaboration is essential to the success of any initiative, and never is that more important than when promoting the importance of reading” Hutchinson said. “Through the R.I.S.E. Spotlight campaign, ADE is highlighting partners who are doing exceptional things to encourage reading in the community. I commend both the department and these partners for sharing best practices, and I encourage others to do the same."

AR Kids Read, a nonprofit that connects struggling readers with volunteer tutors, is the first partner organization that will be featured through the R.I.S.E. Spotlight campaign. Information about the organization is available on the ADE website at https://bit.ly/2Tsit8S. ADE also will post and share information each Tuesday on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using #RISEArkansas.

Since the launch of R.I.S.E. Arkansas more than 10,000 kindergarten through twelfth-grade teachers around the state have received intensive training in the science of reading instructional practices, and more than 350 schools were named R.I.S.E. Schools for their commitment to promoting a culture of reading. To learn more about R.I.S.E. Arkansas, visit www.risearkansas.org.

altBOOZMAN EXAMINES IMPLEMENTATION OF VA’S ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORDS
WASHINGTON-
U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, held an oversight hearing to examine the implementation of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) electronic health record modernization.

The VA is in its first year of what is expected to be a 10-year, $16 billion project to update its electronic health records (EHR) to allow seamless coordination with the Department of Defense (DOD) and better serve the needs of veterans.

The following is Chairman Boozman’s opening statement as prepared for delivery:

Good morning and thank you for coming today to discuss the Department of Veterans Affairs’ electronic health record modernization effort.

For years the Departments of Defense and VA struggled to share health information as service members transitioned to civilian life. Even within VA, there were more than 130 different versions of VISTA, the legacy electronic medical record.

Last May, VA kicked off a 10-year, $16 billion effort to modernize VA’s health IT system. This includes a $10 billion contract with Cerner. By adopting the same EHR platform as DOD, VA argued that patient data would be seamlessly shared between DOD, VA and community providers, improving efficiency and transparency. Many of us on this committee have long advocated for a single, joint medical record that will follow a servicemember throughout their career in the military and into their time as a veteran. We are hopeful that this collaboration between VA, DOD and Cerner can deliver on this vision.

Since last May, VA has undertaken efforts to address lessons learned from past EHR modernization initiatives. VA conducted detailed workflow analysis, technology assessments, change management workshops and outreach to key stakeholders.

However, challenges remain including interoperability with both legacy and community health systems, simultaneous implementation with other initiatives and spending at a lower than expected rate. Perhaps the most important challenge facing VA is the need for its workforce to embrace what will be a wholesale change in the way they do business on a daily basis. We look forward to discussing these and other issues this morning.

altCITY OF CAMDEN POLICE REPORTS
PUBLIC INTOXICATION

On January 29th at just before 4:00 p.m., Officer Jake Perry was dispatched to Morrison Pharmacy for a suspicious person. Upon arrival Officer Perry made contact with the male subject identified as Louie Culp. Culp was sitting in the chair inside the Pharmacy. When talking to Culp the Officer could smell the odor of intoxicants coming from his breath. Culp's eyes were bloodshot and watery and his speech was thick and extremely slurred. Culp was asked if he had any alcoholic beverages and he responded with “a couple”. Culp was then taken into custody for Public Intoxication. He was issued a Criminal Citation and given a District Court date of March 6th at 0900 hours and later released pending his sobriety

Some people just don’t learn. On January 31st at about 10:30 p.m.  hours Sgt. Jamario Bush was dispatched to Sonic-Drive In for a suspicious male wearing a hat and a brown jacket. The reporting person stated the male was looking through the window of the business. Upon arrival Officer Bush made contact with Louie Culp. Upon speaking with Culp the Officer could smell intoxicants coming from his person and his speech was slurred. Culp stated he was at Sonic trying to get food. He admitted to drinking beer but did not say how many. Culp was taken into custody for public intoxication and booked before being transported to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Department. Upon being released pending his sobriety, he will be issued criminal citation for public intoxication with a court date of March 6th at 0900 a.m.

POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE
POSSESSION OF INSTRUMENT OF CRIME

On January 29, 2019 at about 10 p.m Officer Kayla Reynolds was parked in the Guadalajara Parking lot when when she observed a 2002 dark blue Dodge Ram, bearing the license plate 239YBE, approaching her location traveling north bound on Highway 7 with the passenger side head lamp malfunctioning. Officer Reynolds observed the Dodge take a right on the off ramp to US Highway 278 east bound. The Officer followed behind the vehicle until she could find a safe location to initiate a traffic stop. She initiated a traffic stop on US Highway 278 east near Bradley Ferry Road and made contact with the driver, Christian Word. Officer Reynolds identified herself, department, and reason for the traffic stop. While speaking to Word, the Officer observed he was very nervous as he spoke and shook as he gave her his paperwork to the vehicle. Officer Reynolds knew Word to have previous history in narcotic arrests which was later confirmed when dispatch ran Word's identification through ACIC. Due to Word's mannerisms and prior history in narcotics the Officer had reasonable suspicion there were narcotics in the vehicle. She called for an additional unit to confirm with a K-9 narcotic sniff on the vehicle. Word was removed from the vehicle and advised that a narcotic sniff would be performed on his vehicle and the reasons why. K-9 Tyson was ran around the vehicle. K-9 Tyson did not alert on the first round on the vehicle due to his speed of the search, which is common for K-9 Tyson. On the second round of the vehicle K-9 Tyson showed adamant interest in the driver side of the vehicle with body changes and deeper sniffs. K-9 Tyson gave an alert on the front driver side door. Officer Reynolds informed Lt. Parker and Word of the alert. Word admitted there was possibly a small amount of marijuana in the center console of the vehicle. While searching the vehicle Officers seized a small brown and white smoking pipe with the smell of burnt marijuana emitting from it. Marijuana cigarette butts were observed in the center console as well. There were also several empty bags which appeared to have green leafy residue in the bottom which smelled of marijuana. Word was advised of the findings and he admitted to using the pipe to smoke marijuana. Word was taken into custody for possessing an instrument of crime. While searching Word's persons a small black container was recovered from his right jacket pocket which contained a small amount of green marijuana. Word was transported to the Camden Police Department by Lt. Parker. Word was later released on citation number 11721 for possession of control substance and possession of instrument of crime with the District Court date March 20th at 0900 hours.

KIWANIS CLUB TO MEET
The Kiwanis Meeting is this Thursday, February 7th, at noon at Catherine’s Bistro.   The program will be by Travis Daniel who is the Code Enforcement Officer for the City of Camden

altOP-ED BY LT. GOVERNOR TIME GRIFFEN “GIVE FAMILIES FREEDOM TO CHOOSE”
Ensuring our children receive a quality education is one of the primary responsibilities of state government. 

Look at our state's budget: Almost half of all general revenue the state collects funds K-12 education. Despite this robust investment, our educational outcomes still lag behind most other states. Arkansas typically ranks between 39th and 45th in public education among the 50 states, and only 41 percent of our third- through 10th-graders are reading at grade level.

Like most Arkansans, my wife and I attended Arkansas public schools. My son is a student in the Little Rock School District (LRSD) and my oldest daughter spent seven years in the LRSD. We all have a stake in public education and must drastically improve education in Arkansas. Governor Hutchinson and his administration have made important strides through the computer coding program and the Reading Initiative for Student Excellence initiative, but expanding school choice is the critical next step we must take in education.

My definition of school choice is simple: Parents, not the government, should choose where and how their children are educated. Whether it is a traditional public school, a charter school, a private school, or a homeschool, parents know best when it comes to their precious and unique children.

The status quo doesn't give parents many choices. The system is designed so that students attend the local school in the district in which they live. Imagine if you could only buy your groceries in the arbitrary district assigned to you. Want to shop at Walmart or Kroger? Too bad, there's not one of those in your district. We would reject this one-size-fits-all model if it were applied to any other area in our lives.

When parents have a choice, schools have to earn the business of their customers--parents and children. When FedEx and UPS compete for customers, the result is innovation, efficiency, and better delivery of services. Choice drives competition, competition drives innovation, and innovation leads to excellence. That healthy competition lifts the performance of all schools, including traditional public schools. Raising the bar and welcoming excellence, whatever its source, benefits everyone--schools, parents, teachers, and especially students.

According to the Arkansas Policy Foundation, nearly 28,000 Arkansas children currently attend charter schools. Another 20,500 attend private schools. Over 15,000 children take advantage of public school choice. And 19,500 children are homeschooled. That means approximately 83,000 Arkansas children are currently exercising a form of school choice.

Why are parents seeking choice? Some students are trapped in under-performing schools, and their families can't afford to move their residence. Others have students with individualized needs, and schools like The Hannah School in Little Rock, which specializes in teaching students with dyslexia, are better equipped to meet them. Some are from military families and don't control where they live. Some face severe bullying or attend schools that are unsafe. Many desire the pedagogy used or values taught at a particular school. Given these and other reasons, it is not surprising that a recent poll found 74 percent of Arkansans surveyed said they believe children learn best when parents can customize an education to fit their individual needs.

A few years ago, the Legislature passed the Succeed Scholarship Program For Children, the state's first opportunity scholarship program tailored to children with disabilities. This program gives children a stipend so they can attend a private school that meets their individualized needs. Although the program is limited in scope, there are already many success stories. Legislators who supported the Succeed Scholarship Program, which passed unanimously in the state Senate and with 90 out of 100 votes in the state House, should naturally support expanding those scholarships beyond that small group of students to other students such as the sons and daughters of military personnel, foster children, or any child for that matter.

We must do a better job of expanding choice to all Arkansans. The wealthy already have choice. They can afford to live in neighborhoods that have the best school districts or pay to send their kids to private schools. We shouldn't begrudge them those options, but we should work to provide all families with that sort of choice. No child should be forced to attend a school that doesn't meet their needs simply because they were born in the wrong zip code.

Other states have been leading on choice for years. Florida began giving parents more choice 20 years ago through programs like the McKay Scholarship for students with disabilities and the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program. Today, Education Week ranks Florida's K-12 achievement as the fourth best in the nation even though its adjusted per pupil spending ranks 48th out of 50. We should learn from Florida's experience.

Opponents of choice, such as union bosses and some on the far left, oppose anything that upsets the status quo. They believe there is something inherently wrong about taxpayer money funding private schools, even though they don't object to giving taxpayer money to private insurance companies, non-profits, and private corporations. The foundational problem with all the anti-choice arguments is that they ask parents to set aside the best interests of their children today in hopes that decades down the road the system will improve for children yet to be born.

Improving education through school choice should not be a partisan issue. We should all be able to agree that every child deserves a quality education. Our kids come first--before politics, before unions, and before party label.

We have a limited amount of time to solve this problem. I'm not interested in the 100-year plan. A child in the fourth grade today will only get one chance at the fourth grade, and that's why we must act now. Many of our legislators understand this problem and will be working to address it during the current legislative session. If we succeed, all Arkansans will benefit.
 

altBOOZMAN RECOGNIZES FORT SMITH CHILDREN'S EMERGENCY SHELTER ASANGEL IN ADOPTION
 Yesterday, U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) recognized the Fort Smith Children’s Emergency Shelter for its commitment to advocacy of foster care. On Friday, Boozman presented shelter staff with the 2018 Angels in Adoption award. 

“The Children’s Emergency Shelter team makes a life-changing difference for hundreds of young people each year and is helping turn the tide to ensure a bright future for foster youth in Arkansas. I’m proud to recognize these accomplishments by honoring them as an Angel in Adoption,” Boozman said.  

The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, coordinates the Angels in Adoption program and raises awareness about the tens of thousands of orphans and foster children in the United States, and the millions of orphans around the world in need of permanent homes.Since 1999, the Angels in Adoption program has honored more than 2,600 groups and families for their outstanding support of adoption and the foster care system. 

Each year Boozman nominates an Arkansan who has made an extraordinary contribution on behalf of children in need of families as an Angel in Adoption.

 

FEBRUARY 4, 2019

A.W.  EVANS BENEFIT AND APPRECIATION DINNER
The Bearden Senior Coffee Club and the Bearden Fire Department are hosting a Benefit and Appreciation dinner for Bearden Fire Department Chief A.W. Evans on March 2, 2019 at 6:00 PM at the Assembly of God Fellowship Hall located at 400 1st Street in Bearden. Donation of $15.00 per person or more if you wish. Make checks payable to Bearden Fire Department. Mail to Sherry Hiller: P O Box 233 Bearden, AR 71720 For more information and to donate toward this Dinner please call Sherry Hiller at 870 687-2997. All proceeds to benefit Chief Evans and his ongoing medical costs due to cancer.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB TO MEET
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet Wednesday at Catherine’s Bistro. The speaker this week will be JoAnn Womack with the South Central Co-op.  She will be talking about the Services they have for schools and what they have coming for children.

altRUTLEDGE ANNOUNCES ARREST OF ANGEL'S ON DUTY OWNER, IN-HOME CARE PROVIDER, IN DUMAS 
On Friday, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced the arrest of the owner and operator of Angel’s On Duty in Dumas.

Merissa Griffin, 40, of Sherwood, is accused of billing the Arkansas Medicaid Program for services obtained using non-authentic/photocopied signatures of her nurse, and by falsified timesheets, between August 1, 2017 and December 8, 2017, totaling $74,456.80. Following an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office, Griffin turned herself in at Pulaski County District Court. She is charged with one count of Medicaid fraud, a Class A felony.

“Griffin took advantage of a program intended to help Arkansas’s most vulnerable citizens,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Griffin not only photo-shopped one of her employees’ signatures to ‘sign off’ on certain services, she also falsified employee timesheets to boost her payments and steal from the Arkansas Medicaid Program. As the Attorney General, I will prosecute those stealing taxpayer money resources.”

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.

FEBRUARY 1, 2019

altCAMDEN AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BANQUET
The Camden Area Chamber held the 95th Annual Banquet and meeting last night at the SAU Tech Student Center. There were about 250 attendees to the event.  Wood’s Place catered and did not disappoint.

Lauren Mitchell of Gilchrist Bag welcomed those in attendance before the invocation delivered by Reverend Greg Nettles, Pastor of the bethel AME Church. Executive Director Beth Osteen then recognized Elected Officials in attendance. Then it was time for the anticipated awards for the year. Wendi NIx, owner of Nix’s Airport liquor presented the 2018 Industry of the Year Award to Joe Roger’s of Rogers Lumber Company. County Judge Robbie McAdoo presented the 2018 Small Business Award to Ken Blackmon, owner of Ken’s Discount. Michael Shelton of Generations Bank presented Krissy Basetti the coveted 2018 Searcy Harrell Community Service Award.

Oliver Warren, Manager of Brookshires, introduced the evenings speaker, Rex Nelson.

Rex Nelson is one of the most high-profile writers and speakers in the state. As senior editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, he writes three columns a week and essays for the cover of the newspaper's Sunday Perspective section. He's the author of three books -- the first full-length biography of Hillary Rodham Clinton, a biography of Arkansas educator Ben Elrod and a collection of his essays on Arkansas. He's also the author of a popular blog known as Rex Nelson's Southern Fried and makes regular television and radio appearances.

Nelson served for almost a decade as the policy and communications director for Gov. Mike Huckabee and then served for four years in the administration of President George W. Bush as one of the president's two appointees to the Delta Regional Authority. He has been inducted into the Arkansas Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame. In 2016, Gov. Asa Hutchinson and the Arkansas Rural Development Commission named Nelson as its Rural Advocate of the Year for the state of Arkansas.

Nelson talked about Arkansas History and events that brought Arkansas to where it is today. He cited various disasters throughout Arkansas History, some natural and some man-made disasters, have shaped the state.  The speech was very informational and entertaining.

Beth Osteen gave final remarks to close the evening. Thanks to all who worked hard to make this another great Chamber Banquet.

INFORMATIONAL MEETING FOR THOSE CONSIDERING FOSTERING
The Call is holding a meeting concerning fostering children. Ouachita County is in desperate need of people to foster children. The informational meeting is for those that are interested in fostering and desire to learn more. February 5th @ 6 PM at First Assembly.  Contact Wesley Stewart at (870)833-7125 with any questions.

RUTLEDGE: SUPREME COURT UNANIMOUSLY REAFFIRMS STATE'S AUTHORITY TO ENSURE UNIFORMITY OF ANTI-DISCRIMINATION LAWS
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released the following statement in response to the Arkansas Supreme Court unanimously upholding the Arkansas Intrastate Commerce Improvement Act and declaring Fayetteville’s attempt to circumvent state law as invalid in Protect Fayetteville v. Fayetteville and unanimously reversing the circuit court’s decision denying legislative and executive privilege in a companion case.

“Today’s unanimous decisions reaffirm the State’s authority to ensure uniformity of anti-discrimination laws statewide and to prevent businesses from facing a patchwork of nondiscrimination ordinances,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “These decisions show that the City of Fayetteville is not above or immune from State law.”

 

January 31, 2019

GOVERNOR NAMES JACKSON TO SAU BOARD OF TRUSTEES
MAGNOLIA –
Gov. Asa Hutchinson has announced the appointment of Charley Jackson of Camden to the Board of Trustees of Southern Arkansas University.
Jackson will replace Edgar Lee who has served two consecutive terms on the SAU Board starting in 2009. Jackson’s appointment expires Jan. 14, 2024.
“In order to keep SAU Magnolia in its esteemed position in our community, move it forward and maintain its competitiveness, we have to make sure it can adapt to a changing world,” Jackson said. “I am honored and privileged for this appointment to serve on the Board of Trustees to help make a positive impact to this wonderful institution of higher learning and bring about the improvements we need for the next century.”
Jackson is a human resources professional with Lockheed Martin in Camden. She is the vice president for the South Arkansas HR Association and a steering committee member for Unity in the Community in Camden. She is also a member of the Magnolia Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., in Magnolia and sits on the Board of Governors for the Southern Arkansas University Foundation. 
“We are so excited that Governor Hutchinson has appointed such an outstanding person to our Board of Trustees,” said Dr. Trey Berry, president of SAU. “Charley Jackson truly loves SAU and has a heart for students and student success. Her current service on the SAU Foundation Board of Governors has allowed her to have a broad understanding of the University and our various needs and goals. She is an incredible leader and I look forward to working closely with Charley as we continue to move SAU forward.”
Jackson earned her BA degree in mass communication (public relations) from Grambling State University and her MBA degree in human resource management from LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas. She is married and has two children.

DEADLINE TO SUBMIT PUBLIC COMMENT TO AR STATE PLANT BOARD AGAINST DICAMBA QUICKLY APPROACHING- Feb. 5th
Little Rock, AR - Freedom To Farm Foundation
The Freedom To Farm Foundation is reminding citizens that the deadline to submit their public comment to the Arkansas State Plant Board regarding the historical policy change of the use and application date of the controversial herbicide dicamba is quickly approaching.

The Arkansas State Plant Board will be voting on the extension of the current cutoff date of April 15th to allow dicamba application until May 21st. This is an incredibly important decision that could negatively impact Arkansas and it’s natural habitats, local farms, gardens, trees, bees, ducks, birds, and various natural vegetation for years to come.

This date extension is specifically dangerous for the herbicide dicamba due to its volatility in warmer months. Because of dicamba’s unique chemical composition when it is applied in warmer weather it can volatilize, turn into a gas, and drift for several miles away from the application site before settling on gardens, trees, natural habitats, and homes. Arkansas is already seeing the negative effects of this harmful chemical. Recently, Crooked Creek Bee Co., Arkansas’ largest commercial beekeeper, closed its doors this month due to dicamba damaging or killing vegetation essential to pollination bybees.

Arkansans are speaking out against this change. Shawn Peebles, owner of Peebles Organics said “This chemical cannot be controlled. Dicamba will not only hurt our local food sources, bees, crops, and natural habitats, dicamba threatens my livelihood and could put me out of business.”

This is not the first time dicamba and it’s usage has been up for debate. Previously, the Arkansas State Plant Board would receive about 1 dicamba-related complaint per year, whereas over 1,000 dicamba related complaints of damage to crops and other vegetation not tolerant to the herbicide were received in 2017 when dicamba was first allowed after April 15. The Plant Board declared an emergency in June 2017 and stopped the in-season usage of dicamba. Farmers who grow anything other than those specific crops manufactured to resist dicamba now have to worry about another farmer’s dicamba ruining their crops. Still, those large manufacturers and the farmers who use dicamba are fighting to be allowed to apply this herbicide during the growing season.

Make your voice heard and submit your online comment before February 5th by going to https://www.cognitoforms.com/ArkansasAgriculture1/_2019ProposedDicambaRule or mailed to:
Attn: Pesticide Division, Arkansas State Plant Board, P.O. Box 1069, Little Rock AR, 72203. A public hearing on the proposed regulations will be held Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 9:00 a.m. at the Embassy Suites, 11301 Financial Centre Parkway, Little Rock. Comments may be made in person at the public hearing.

altBOOZMAN RECOGNIZES VIETNAM VET
WASHINGTON-
U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) recognized John Edmond Ross Sr., a Vietnam War veteran, in ‘Salute to Veterans,’ a series commemorating the military service of Arkansans.

Ross grew up in Kansas during the Great Depression. He was working for Beech Aircraft Corporation in Wichita when he went to the draft board. “They told me I would probably be next month’s pick,” Ross said. Shortly after this meeting, he was inspired by the Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis movie “Jumping Jacks” about Army paratroopers. “The sergeant was all enthused. He hadn’t recruited a paratrooper in some time and he was telling me how glamorous it was going to be,” Ross said.

altIt was months before he would experience excitement as a paratrooper. First he had to endure basic training at Fort Campbell, Kentucky and kitchen police duties which included what Ross calls “the filthiest job”cleaning out the grease traps. Once his eight weeks of basic were completed, he learned that he would have to continue his training before Airborne School because there were no spaces available for new students.

Eventually he started “jump school” at Fort Benning, Georgia and underwent more intense physical training. Many guys washed out because they “just couldn’t take the day-to-day endurance.” Ross and the other students were required to complete five jumps. His first jump was memorable because he became tangled with another parachute, but his training served him well and he and the other paratrooper landed unharmed.

Ross left the Army in 1956, but after getting married he realized how great the paycheck and the benefits were so he rejoined later that year within the allotted time for him to retain his rank.

In 1960, he received orders to go to Vietnam. Ross wasn’t familiar with the country and asked his colleagues who were also uncertain where in the world it was. He looked it up in a geography book to learn where he was going.

“We were there for about a week and they couldn’t find jobs for us,” Ross said. He went to personnel and asked for a job or be sent back home. He was assigned to Duc My Camp in south central Vietnam, with officers and other senior non-commissioned officers. “That was about as un-army as the Army could be.”

He served another tour in Vietnam in 1970. For his service he earned the Bronze Star among other distinctions. Ross retired from military service in 1974. “I loved the Army. It was great. It was my home,” he said.

Today, Ross calls Conway home.

“I am grateful for John Ross’ dedication to our country and his willingness to serve. Capturing his memories and sharing his experiences of serving our nation in uniform is a great tribute to his service,” Boozman said.

Boozman will submit 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.

SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT PROMOTING WIOA PROGRAMS
The Southwest Arkansas Planning and Development District is promoting a few WIOA Programs to assist individuals that qualify in striving for self-sufficiency. The SWAPDD's goal is to educate the public regarding available resources and on diverse skills that will aid individuals with striving for self-sufficiency, being self-sufficient, and be more marketable in the work place.

 

alt

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: BOOZMAN MEASURE EMPOWERING

WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS, BUSINESS OWNERS PRAISED

WASHINGTON— A measure authored by U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) and signed into law in January 2019 is receiving praise and recognition.

The Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment (WEEE) Act was signed into law by President Donald Trump in January 2019 after being approved by Congress in December 2018. The bill was introduced in the Senate by Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) and enjoyed support and advocacy from anti-poverty and humanitarian groups in addition to being vocally backed by White House advisor Ivanka Trump.

Here’s what some are saying about the WEEE Act so far:

  • “[S]trengthens US efforts to promote opportunity for female entrepreneurs worldwide. At a time when bipartisanship is elusive, elected officials on both sides of the aisle agree on one thing: Women's economic participation is a worthwhile investment.”

–– Jamille Bigio and Rachel Vogelstein, Women could boost the global economy, but outdated laws are holding them backCNN Business Perspectives (1/15/19)

  • “[The Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment Act] bolsters efforts focused on women by the United States Agency for International Development. First daughter Ivanka Trump, a White House adviser who has made supporting women in business part of her portfolio, led the policy process over the past year and a half.”

            –– Ivanka Trump plans global women’s economic development pushAssociated Press (1/1/19)

  • “[T]he bill would significantly boost global efforts to support more women to start or grow businesses, enter the workforce, or otherwise advance economically… The WEEE Act strikes at the roots of poverty using modern tools that can’t be contained in a box. Its passage brings us one small but important step closer to achieving gender parity in the world economy, which could add an astonishing $28 trillion each year to the global GDP.”

            ­–– Michelle Nunn, Empower women, turbo-charge the global economyThe Hill (12/28/18)

  • “[The WEEE Act] aims to provide support for women-led ventures in developing countries and help them overcome gender-related barriers to economic growth… The measure had similar goals to the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi), a project [Ivanka Trump] helped launch with the World Bank in mid-2017.”

            –– Women's Economic Empowerment Bill Supported By Ivanka Trump Becomes Law, Refinery 29 (1/10/19)

  • “Fortunately, there are steps being made to understand and tackle the barriers facing women entrepreneurs… Recently in the USA, President Trump signed into law the Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment (WEEE) Act.”

            –– Editorial, The number of women starting businesses is on the rise, but more can be doneBOSS Magazine (1/16/19)

Boozman also took to the Senate floor in late January 2019 to hail the passage of the bill and its enactment into law. He expressed confidence in U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Mark Green and the entire USAID team which is charged with implementing the law.

“USAID, which uses strategic investments to promote growth and development while advancing U.S. interests and influence, is perfectly situated to implement this initiative because it understands how to effectively deploy resources to – as its mission states – ‘lift lives, build communities and establish self-sufficiency,’” Boozman said.

 

 

 

January 30, 2019

altCAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT RAISE OVER $4000 FOR EAST CAMDEN OFFICER GRUMMER
January 24th, the Camden Police Department held an online desert auction to help raise funds for Officer Grummer’s medical expenses to help in his fight with cancer.  The Facebook online auction ran from 10 am to 2 pm, and raised $4,192 dollars!  The Camden Police department, along with Mayor Julian Lott, Police Chief Bo Woody and Public Relations Dana Weatherbee presented Officer Grummer with the proceeds from the Facebook Online Desert auction.  Thank you Camden and Ouachita County for answering the call to help Officer Grummer and his family in this difficult time.

LOCAL SHOP NOW SELLS CBD HEMP
If you’re into herbal remedies for what ails you, the new medical marijuana laws have introduced CBD hemp into the market place that does not require a medical card to use or purchase.  Jesse and Star Hooks of Star Fire Art Gallery and Smoke Shop in Camden just started selling what they call CBD buds, Shea Butter, iceolet powder and prepackaged cigarette form.  These are legal to possess and use without a medical marijuana card because they contain less than 0.3% THC, the main compound found in cannabis that gives you the high effect.

WARRANT AMNESTY PROGRAM
Warrant Amnesty program begins for some Counties in Arkansas.  For a short time, Miller County District Courts both City and County in Texarkana will Grant Amnesty beginning Jan 28th through March 29, 2019 for individuals that have outstanding warrants for failure to appear. Probation violation or failure to report.  Closer to home, Dallas County is offering an Arrest Warrant Extension until January 31st. Dallas County Sheriff’s Office has received such a positive response to the initiative,  they’ve decided to extend the event till January 31st for Dallas County misdemeanor warrants.  You’re got until tomorrow to take advantage of this special offer, so act now, and don’t miss out!

WORKSHOP SCHEDULED FOR FESTIVAL VENDORS
If you want to be a festival vendor, there now a workshop for that!  Ouachita Partnership for Economic Development at 625 S, Adams Street will be holding a free event at 10 AM to noon, Tuesday, February 5th, for people interested in becoming successful vendors at festivals.  The workshop will uncover how vendor fairs, street fairs, summer festivals,  non-profit events, and even business expos are great opportunities to reach a large audience about your wares and services. You can register by calling Kristen Cribb at 870-254-5033

altWALGREENS TO PAY $1 MILLION TO ARKANSAS IN MEDICAID SETTLEMENTS
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has joined with the federal government and other states to settle two separate allegations against the Walgreen Co., or Walgreens, totaling $1,054,839.77 for Arkansas.

“Walgreens took advantage of Medicaid and its patients with their unacceptable business practices,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Walgreens must be held accountable for their actions which hurt patients and taxpayers.”

The first settlement resolves allegations that, between January 2006 and December 2017, Walgreens under reported the number of days that insulin pens should last if the patient used insulin strictly according to the prescriber’s directions causing the federal government and state Medicaid programs to pay for more insulin than certain patients needed. Under the terms of the settlement, Arkansas will receive $127,966.49 of the $209.2 million settlement.

The second settlement resolves allegations that, between January 2008 and December 2017, Walgreens submitted claims to state Medicaid programs in which the prices it identified as the usual and customary prices for certain prescription drugs that it sold through the Prescription Savings Club program were higher than the prices it charged for those drugs to customers who did not participate in the program. The total settlement is $60 million, of which Arkansas will receive $926,873.28.

The settlements were negotiated by several states’ Medicaid Fraud Control Units and the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units.

THE ARKANSAS BAR ASSOCIATION NAMES JENNIFER L. JONES AS THE MEMBERSHIP AND MEETINGS COORDINATOR
The Arkansas Bar Association is pleased to announce that Jennifer L. Jones has been named the new membership and meetings coordinator for the statewide organization.

“Jennifer has great insight and experience in creating engaging events,” Executive Director Karen K. Hutchins said. “She has exceptional communication skills and excels under pressure. She will be a great addition to the association planning both small and large events. We are excited to have her plan our Mid-Year Meeting that starts at the Little Rock Marriott on February 6.”

Jennifer most recently worked as an Event Coordinator and Sales Manager for the Little Rock Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. She has over seven years of experience in meeting planning and sales. Jennifer has been afforded the opportunity to work with many clients throughout the years ranging from small meetings to large conferences, Broadway shows, concerts and much more.

About the Arkansas Bar Association
The Arkansas Bar Association is a voluntary, statewide organization with more than 5,000 members. Among its purposes are the advancement of the administration of justice and the fostering among its members of high ideals of integrity, learning and public service.

DEADLINE TO SUBMIT PUBLIC COMMENT TO AR STATE PLANT BOARD AGAINST DICAMBA QUICKLY APPROACHING- Feb. 5th
Little Rock, AR - Freedom To Farm Foundation
The Freedom To Farm Foundation is reminding citizens that the deadline to submit their public comment to the Arkansas State Plant Board regarding the historical policy change of the use and application date of the controversial herbicide dicamba is quickly approaching.

The Arkansas State Plant Board will be voting on the extension of the current cutoff date of April 15th to allow dicamba application until May 21st. This is an incredibly important decision that could negatively impact Arkansas and it’s natural habitats, local farms, gardens, trees, bees, ducks, birds, and various natural vegetation for years to come.

This date extension is specifically dangerous for the herbicide dicamba due to its volatility in warmer months. Because of dicamba’s unique chemical composition when it is applied in warmer weather it can volatilize, turn into a gas, and drift for several miles away from the application site before settling on gardens, trees, natural habitats, and homes. Arkansas is already seeing the negative effects of this harmful chemical. Recently, Crooked Creek Bee Co., Arkansas’ largest commercial beekeeper, closed its doors this month due to dicamba damaging or killing vegetation essential to pollination bybees.

Arkansans are speaking out against this change. Shawn Peebles, owner of Peebles Organics said “This chemical cannot be controlled. Dicamba will not only hurt our local food sources, bees, crops, and natural habitats, dicamba threatens my livelihood and could put me out of business.”


This is not the first time dicamba and it’s usage has been up for debate. Previously, the Arkansas State Plant Board would receive about 1 dicamba-related complaint per year, whereas over 1,000 dicamba related complaints of damage to crops and other vegetation not tolerant to the herbicide

were received in 2017 when dicamba was first allowed after April 15. The Plant Board declared an emergency in June 2017 and stopped the in-season usage of dicamba. Farmers who grow anything other than those specific crops manufactured to resist dicamba now have to worry about another farmer’s dicamba ruining their crops. Still, those large manufacturers and the farmers who use dicamba are fighting to be allowed to apply this herbicide during the growing season.

Make your voice heard and submit your online comment before February 5th by going to https://www.cognitoforms.com/ArkansasAgriculture1/_2019ProposedDicambaRule or mailed to: Attn: Pesticide Division, Arkansas State Plant Board, P.O. Box 1069, Little Rock AR, 72203. A public hearing on the proposed regulations will be held Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 9:00 a.m. at the Embassy Suites, 11301 Financial Centre Parkway, Little Rock. Comments may be made in person at the public hearing.

January 29, 2019

altRUTLEDGE ANNOUNCES ARREST OF DENTIST FOR ILLEGALLY BILLING MEDICAID
LITTLE ROCK – Yesterday, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced the arrest of a North Little Rock dentist for making false statements on billing records to the Arkansas Medicaid Program.

Dr.Brian Moore, 47, of Maumelle, is accused of billing the Arkansas Medicaid Program for services not rendered between January 24, 2016 and December 31, 2017, totaling about $9,000. Following an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office, Moore was arrested today at his North Little Rock business. He is charged with two counts of Medicaid fraud, a Class B felony and a Class A misdemeanor.

“Moore has taken advantage of his young Medicaid patients and the Arkansas Medicaid Program,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I will not tolerate people cheating the Medicaid system and will continue to prosecute those who abuse this important safety net.”

Records indicate Moore submitted false dental information on patients between the ages of 2 and 21 so that the recipient’s dental conditions appeared they needed to receive, and were eligible for, various dental services, such as amalgam and resin composite fillings in order to bill the Medicaid program.

This investigation is being conducted in cooperation with the two State dental managed care companies, Delta Dental of Arkansas and Managed Care of North American, and the Office of the 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.

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GOVERNOR HUTCHINSON ANNOUNCES MORE THAN 40 APPOINTMENTS TO STATE BOARDS, COMMISSIONS
Camden, Smackover and El Dorado residents included in appointments

Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Monday announced more than 40 people who will serve on various state boards and commissions. The full list appears below:

• Wayne Gibson, El Dorado, to the Board of Trustees of South Arkansas Community College. Appointment expires December 31, 2025. Replaces Veronica Creer.

• Jose Covas, El Dorado, to the Board of Trustees of South Arkansas Community College. Appointment expires December 31, 2025. Reappointment.

• Crystal Yeager, Smackover, to the Board of Trustees of South Arkansas Community College. Appointment expires December 31, 2025. Replaces Patty Cardin.

• Charley Jackson, Camden, to the Board of Trustees of Southern Arkansas University. Appointment expires January 14, 2024. Replaces Edgar Lee.

• Mike Gibson, Heber Springs, to the State Parks, Recreation, and Travel Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2025. Replaces Danny Ford.

Weston Lewey, Forrest City, to the State Parks, Recreation, and Travel Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2025. Reappointment.

• Candace Franks, Little Rock, to the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees’ Retirement System. Appointment begins on March 10, 2019, and expires March 9, 2025. Reappointment.

• Mayor Joe Hurst, Van Buren, to the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees’ Retirement System. Appointment expires March 9, 2022. Replaces David Morris.

• Andrew Branch, Benton, to the Arkansas Local Police and Fire Retirement System Board of Trustees. Appointment expires December 31, 2022. Replaces Beverly Lambert.

Mayor Mike Gaskill, Paragould, to the Arkansas Local Police and Fire Retirement System Board of Trustees. Appointment expires December 31, 2022. Reappointment.

• Dr. Terry Fiddler, Conway, to the Board of Trustees of the University of Central Arkansas. Appointment expires January 14, 2026. Replaces Brad Lacy.

• Dr. Tim Langford, Little Rock, to the Board of Trustees of Arkansas State University. Appointment expires January 14, 2024. Reappointment.

• Courtney Baird, Little Rock, to the Arkansas State Claims Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2024. Replaces Billy Lancaster.

• Paul Morris, Rogers, to the Arkansas State Claims Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2024. Replaces Mica Strother.

• John Felts, Little Rock, to the Parole Board. Appointment expires January 14, 2026. Reappointment.

• Gina Radke, North Little Rock, to the Arkansas Economic Development Council. Appointment expires January 14, 2023. Replaces Mike Roberts.

• Mike Carroll, Fort Smith, to the Arkansas Economic Development Council. Appointment expires January 14, 2023. Reappointment.

• Will Brewer, Paragould, to the Arkansas Economic Development Council. Appointment expires January 14, 2023. Replaces James Freeman.

• Jon Wickliffe, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Economic Development Council. Appointment expires January 14, 2023. Replaces Ken Shollmier.

• Rick Barrows, Springdale, to the Arkansas Economic Development Council. Appointment expires January 14, 2023. Reappointment.

• Tony Moore, Russellville, to the Arkansas Real Estate Commission. Appointment expires December 31, 2021. Reappointment.

• Linda Prunty, Jonesboro, to the Arkansas Real Estate Commission. Appointment expires December 31, 2021. Reappointment.

• Judge Stephen Tabor, Fort Smith, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CR-18-171 Steven Wade Miller v. State of Arkansas. Replaces Associate Justice Robin F. Wynne.

• Rebecca Hurst, Fayetteville, to the Advisory Council of the Arkansas Arts Council. Appointment expires June 30, 2022. Replaces R. Mitchell.

• Donna Young, Van Buren, to the Advisory Council of the Arkansas Arts Council. Appointment expires June 30, 2022. Reappointment.

• Sandi Sanders, Fort Smith, to the Advisory Council of the Arkansas Arts Council. Appointment expires June 30, 2022. Reappointment.

• Jeannie Stone, Russellville, to the Advisory Council of the Arkansas Arts Council. Appointment expires June 30, 2022. Replaces Emily Davidson.

• Laura Bryan Curtner, Little Rock, to the Advisory Council of the Arkansas Arts Council. Appointment expires June 30, 2022. Replaces Hana Hatta.

• Dr. Tammy Vanover, Little Rock, to the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening, Tracking, and Intervention Advisory Board. Appointment expires January 14, 2021. Replaces Dr. Jessica Newman.

• Dr. Rachel Glade, Fayetteville, to the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening, Tracking, and Intervention Advisory Board. Appointment expires January 14, 2021. Replaces Judith Eddington.

• Jeffrey Jenkins, Little Rock, to the Capitol Zoning District Commission. Appointment expires May 1, 2019. Replaces Albert Hurst.

• Glen Fritsche, Fort Smith, to the State Board of Registration for Professional Geologists. Appointment expires October 1, 2024. Replaces Debbie Fritsche.

• Jim Smith, Fayetteville, to the Board of Trustees of Arkansas Tech University. Appointment expires January 14, 2024. Replaces Charles Blanchard.

• Lowry Robinson, Osceola, to the Board of Trustees of Arkansas Northeastern College. Appointment expires December 31, 2025. Reappointment.

• Curtis Walker, Blytheville, to the Board of Trustees of Arkansas Northeastern College. Appointment expires December 31, 2025. Reappointment.

• Judge Daniel Ritchey, Blytheville, to the Board of Trustees of Arkansas Northeastern College. Appointment expires December 31, 2025. Reappointment.

• Jan Haven, Forrest City, to the Board of Trustees of East Arkansas Community College. Appointment expires December 31, 2025. Reappointment.

• Brent Howton, Palestine, to the Board of Trustees of East Arkansas Community College. Appointment expires December 31, 2025. Reappointment.

• Kevin Lewey, Forrest City, to the Board of Trustees of East Arkansas Community College. Appointment expires December 31, 2025. Replaces Sheriff Bobby May.

• Stan Green, Fayetteville, to the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Development Finance Authority. Appointment expires January 14, 2023. Reappointment.

• Rod Coleman, Fort Smith, to the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Development Finance Authority. Appointment expires January 14, 2023. Replaces John Cooley.

• George O’Connor, Little Rock, to the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Development Finance Authority. Appointment expires January 14, 2021. Replaces Tom Spillyards.

• Ramonda Housh, Pocahontas, to the State Board of Nursing. Appointment expires October 1, 2023. Reappointment.

• Jasper Fultz, Augusta, to the State Board of Nursing. Appointment expires October 1, 2023. Replaces Haley Strunk.

ROUNDTABLE: THE PATH TO FESTIVALS
Vendor fairs, street fairs, summer festivals, non-profit events, and business expos are all great opportunities to reach a large audience and raise brand awareness. Figuring out what you need to have a successful booth at a festival-style event can be overwhelming. We can help! We have gathered the pros to guide you on your path to festival-vendor success. From those interested in entering the world of festivals to seasoned vendors ready to grow their small businesses we invite you to
join the conversation!

WHEN: Tuesday, February 5, 2019
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
WHERE: OPED Building
625 S Adams
Camden, AR 71701
CO-SPONSOR: Team Camden and Ouachita Partnership for Economic Development
COST: FREE!

For more information or to pre-register, contact Kristen Cribb.
Phone: (870) 235-5033

Email: kristencribb@saumag.edu

altARKANSAS STUDENTS SELECTED FOR UNITED STATES SENATE YOUTH PROGRAM
Students Headed to Washington, D. C. and to Receive $10,000 Scholarship
Washington, D.C. —The United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) announces that high school students Ms. Isabelle Florence Jones and Mr. Sojas Sameer Wagle will join Senator John Boozman and Senator Tom Cotton in representing Arkansas in the nation’s capital during the 57th annual USSYP Washington Week, to be held March 2 — 9, 2019. Isabelle Jones of Jonesboro and Sojas Wagle of Springdale were selected from among the state’s top student leaders to be part of the 104 national student delegation who will also each receive a $10,000 college scholarship for undergraduate study.

The USSYP was created by Senate Resolution 324 in 1962 and has been sponsored by the Senate and fully funded by The Hearst Foundations since inception. Originally proposed by Senators Kuchel, Mansfield, Dirksen and Humphrey, the impetus for the program as stated in Senate testimony is "to increase young Americans’ understanding of the interrelationships of the three branches of government, learn the caliber and responsibilities of federally elected and appointed officials, and emphasize the vital importance of democratic decision making not only for America but for people around the world."

Each year this extremely competitive merit-based program brings the most outstanding high school students - two from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity - to Washington, D.C. for an intensive week-long study of the federal government and the people who lead it. The overall mission of the program is to help instill within each class of USSYP student delegates more profound knowledge of the American political process and a lifelong commitment to public service. In addition to the program week, The Hearst Foundations provide each student with a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship with encouragement to continue coursework in government, history and public affairs. Transportation and all expenses for Washington Week are also provided by The Hearst Foundations; as stipulated in S.Res.324, no government funds are utilized.

Isabelle Jones, a senior at The Academies of Jonesboro High School, serves as Senior Class president, and is Spanish Honor Society president, National Honor Society treasurer, Swim Team captain, and a Mu Alpha Theta reporter. She received the 2018 George Washington University Book Award, and is a member of Amnesty International, a National AP Scholar, and a Girls State delegate. Her volunteer activities include working with the Patient Ambassador Program at her local hospital, Habitat for Humanity, and serving as a confirmation leader at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church. She plans to pursue a degree in international studies and pre-med, with the goal of becoming a hematologist and working in the international health field. Sojas Wagle, a senior at Har-Ber High School, serves as the treasurer of National Honor Society and the president of HOSA, an organization for future health professionals. He is co-president of Young Democrats, a member of the Spanish Honor Society, Student Congress captain, and journal editor in chief of the International Youth Neuroscience Association. He founded the Brain Club and started a scientific and Spanish bimonthly newsletter at his school. Sojas is a National AP Scholar, National Merit semifinalist, and was a first chair violinist with the Arkansas Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. Volunteer activities include his work with Arkansas United, Laureate Institute for Brain Research, Gayatri Agnew for state representative campaign, and ACT tutoring. In college, he hopes to double major in cognitive science and theater with the goal of becoming a practicing psychiatrist, researcher and advocate.

Chosen as alternates to the 2019 program were Mr. Jackson Chandler Parker, a resident of Paragould, who attends Paragould High School and Mr. Walli Zaman, a resident of Fort Smith, who attends Southside High School.

Delegates and alternates are selected by the state departments of education nationwide and the District of Columbia and Department of Defense Education Activity, after nomination by teachers and principals. The chief state school officer for each jurisdiction confirms the final selection. This year’s Arkansas delegates and alternates were designated by Mr. Johnny Key, Commissioner of Education.

While in Washington the student delegates attend meetings and briefings with senators, members of the House of Representatives, Congressional staff, the president, a justice of the Supreme Court, leaders of cabinet agencies, an ambassador to the United States and senior members of the national media. The students will also tour many of the national monuments and several museums and they will stay at the historic Mayflower Hotel in downtown Washington, D.C.

In addition to outstanding leadership abilities and a strong commitment to volunteer work, the student delegates rank academically in the top one percent of their states among high school juniors and seniors. Now more than 5,700 strong, alumni of the program continue to excel and develop impressive qualities that are often directed toward public service. Among the many distinguished alumni are: Senator Susan Collins, the first alumnus to be elected U.S. senator; Senator Cory Gardner, the second alumnus to be elected U.S. senator and the first to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives; former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the first alumnus to be elected governor; former Chief Judge Robert Henry, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit; former Ambassador to West Germany Richard Burt, and former presidential advisors Thomas "Mack" McLarty and Karl Rove. Additional notables include former Lt. Governor of Idaho David Leroy, Provost of Wake Forest University Rogan Kersh, military officers, members of state legislatures, Foreign Service officers, top congressional staff, healthcare providers and other university educators.

Members of the bipartisan U. S. Senate Youth Program 2019 Senate Advisory Committee: Senator Joni K. Ernst of Iowa, Republican Co-Chair; Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Democratic Co-Chair; Advisory Members: Susan M. Collins (R-ME), Steve Daines (R-MT), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), John Kennedy (R-LA), Michael F. Bennet (D-CO), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD). Each year, the Honorary Co-Chairs of the program are the vice president of the United States and the Senate majority and minority leaders.

For more information please visit: www.ussenateyouth.org

January 28, 2019

GENERATIONS BANK MOVING HEADQUARTERS FROM HAMPTON TO ROGERS
Arkansas Business

Generations Bank of Hampton is relocating its headquarters from Calhoun County to northwest Arkansas.

The $496 million-asset lender intends to transform its Rogers branch into its flagship office. The location entered the Generations fold when it was acquired from Fayetteville’s Signature Bank of Arkansas in November 2010 along with a Siloam Springs office.

The Rogers office houses deposits of $62.8 million, second largest among the bank’s nine full-service locations. The biggest block of deposits held by Generations is at the 1325 Hwy. 278 Bypass office in Camden: nearly $80.2 million.

Originally chartered in 1907 as Calhoun County Bank, the financial institution changed its name to First Bank more than eight years ago. The move to Generations Bank followed in April 2016.

The bank recorded a $3.3 million profit through the first nine months of 2018, the most recent reporting period available. Generations reported net in-come of $2.9 million during 2017.

Since 2009, the staff has doubled from 55 to 116 as the bank has expanded its south Arkansas footprint northwest into Benton, Washington and Crawford counties.

altRUTLEDGE ANNOUNCES FEBRUARY MOBILE OFFICE SCHEDULE
LITTLE ROCK – On Thursday, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced mobile office locations for February.

Attorney General Rutledge created this initiative during her first year in office to increase office accessibility for all Arkansans, particularly to those who live outside the capital city. Office hours were held in all 75 counties each year during her first term, assisting 3,300 Arkansans.

Rutledge believes face-to-face conversations are the best way to truly hear from Arkansans. The Attorney General Mobile Offices assist constituents with consumer related issues by filing consumer complaints against scam artists as well as answering questions about the office and the other services it offers to constituents.

Rutledge continues her partnerships with the Cooperative Extension Service and local law enforcement across Arkansas. Law enforcement officials will be on hand to collect unused and expired prescription medications to ensure they are secured and properly disposed. Arkansans are encouraged to bring their old, unused or expired prescription medications to an upcoming mobile office. During Rutledge’s first term, over 618 pounds of medications were collected at mobile offices.

For more information about services provided by the Attorney General’s office, visit ArkansasAG.gov or call (501) 682-2007. Rutledge can also be found on Facebook at facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge and on Twitter at twitter.com/AGRutledge.

The upcoming mobile office schedule is below:

Garland County
Tuesday, Feb. 5
10:30 a.m. to noon
CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs Senior Center
301 Broadway St.
Hot Springs, AR 71901

Saline County
Thursday, Feb. 7
10:30 a.m. to noon
Central Arkansas Development Center Benton Senior Wellness and Activity Center
1800 Citizens Drive
Benton, AR 72015

Lonoke County
Tuesday, Feb. 12
10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
Cabot Senior Citizens Center
506 N. Grant St.
Cabot, AR 72023

Faulkner County
Friday, Feb. 15
10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
Conway Senior Center
705 E. Siebenmorgen Road
Conway, AR 72032

Arkansas County
Thursday, Feb. 21
10:30 a.m. to noon
Arkansas County Cooperative Extension Service – DeWitt office
1009 Liberty Drive
DeWitt, AR 72042

Lincoln County
Tuesday, Feb. 26
10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
Star City Senior Citizens Center
201 N. Drew St.
Star City, AR 71667

Jackson County
Thursday, Feb. 28
10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
Jackson County Senior Life Center
400 N. Pecan St.
Newport, AR 72112

 

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JUDSONIA OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING UNDER INVESTIGATION
JANUARY 26, 2019
A law enforcement officer involved shooting is under investigation arising out of an incident that occurred in White County shortly before 5 PM yesterday (Friday, January 25th).

Matthew Garrett, 24, of Judsonia, was wounded by gunfire from at least one Judsonia police officer as Garrett, holding a knife, lunged toward the officer.

At approximately 4:55 PM Judsonia police encountered Garrett after seeing him stumble across Arkansas Highway 367.

As the police officers exited their patrol vehicle to assist Garrett, he began to run into a nearby wooded area followed by police.

According to the officers, Garrett stopped and turned toward them brandishing a hunting knife.

Following several minutes of attempts by the officers to persuade Garrett to drop the knife, Garrett “lunged” toward one of the officers who shot Garrett.

Garrett was transported by ambulance from the scene to a Searcy hospital where he underwent surgery last night.  (*No updates from the hospital on Garrrett’s medical condition.)

Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division were called to the community to begin an investigation.

An investigative file documenting the facts of the incident will be prepared and presented to the White County prosecuting attorney to determine if the use of deadly force by a law enforcement officer was consistent with Arkansas law.

altSAAC PROUDLY WELCOMES JUDGE HELENE LAMBERT FOR 2019 STUDENT ART SHOW AND COMPETITION
The South Arkansas Arts Center is pleased to have retired art instructor Helene Lambert serve as contest judge for this year's Student Art Show and Competition.

"I am excited and delighted," said Lambert, "to judge the 2019 Student Art Show and Competition. I look forward to viewing the artwork from new and blooming young artists as well as seeing the growth from seasoned young artists." Lambert also said that this opportunity provides her "a chance to interact with former students and parents", who, since her retirement, she has dearly missed. She said it is also an honor, with a show that she says she cannot wait to be a part of.

Lambert retired after 34 years of teaching art, working with grades K-12 at the Norphlet School District as well as students at Barton Junior High in El Dorado. Following retirement, she earned the El Dorado Education Foundation Middle/Junior High School Teacher of the Year Award.

SAAC is currently accepting entries for the 2019 Student Art Show and Competition. Entry deadline for works is Tuesday, January 29. The competition is open to all students in grades K-12.

Students in grades K-12 may enter original artwork, completed within the last year. The four divisions for judging are grades K-2, 3-5, 6-9, and 10-12. A Grand Prize will be awarded to the Best of Show, with additional cash prizes awarded in each division for First Place, Second Place, and Third Place.

The student work will be on display from February 8 to February 26 in the Merkle and Price Galleries, with artist reception on February 9 at 2pm.

Sales are encouraged during the exhibition, and all works not for sale must be legibly marked NFS. Entry fee is $5 per entry and is non-refundable. All submissions must have the child's name on the work written on the back in pencil.

For more information about entering the 2019 Student Art Show and Competition, sponsored by William P. Cook & Associates, PLLC, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474 or visit www.saac-arts.org.

PRESIDENT WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON BIRTHPLACE HOME NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE REOPENS
Hope, AR – With enactment of the continuing resolution, staff at President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site will resume regular operations on 1/27/2019 at noon. Please visit www.nps.gov/wicl for updated information about the historic site.  

President Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site employees are happy to be back at work, serving people and welcoming visitors to their national parks.

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees who care for America’s 418 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities.

President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site visitor center is open daily from 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Admission is free. For more information call (870) 777-4455.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB TO MEET
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet Wednesday at Catherine’s Bistro. The speaker this week will be Samantha Garrard with Project Search.  She will be telling us The Lions Club about the program. Project Search is wrapping up another year and are looking for applicants for next year.

DRIVER TESTING CANCELLED
There will be no written Driver Testing done in Camden this Thursday, January 31st.

 

JANUARY 25, 2019

altBOOZMAN STATEMENT ON AGREEMENT TO TEMPORARILY END THE PARTIAL SHUTDOWN
WASHINGTON— U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) released the following statement after President Donald Trump announced an agreement to end the partial government shutdown for three weeks:

“This announcement is a promising step. Hundreds of thousands of federal employees have missed paychecks and Arkansans who rely on shuttered agencies have experienced unnecessary anxiety as a result of this partial shutdown. We can, and must, resolve our differences over border security without this extra turmoil.

I agree with the president’s call for more resources to defend our border. We must provide the funds for increased manpower, technology and infrastructure—including roads for access, electronic devices for surveillance and fencing for deterrence. These measures will help reduce the number of illegal immigrants coming across our border in addition to combatting drug and human trafficking. An increase in resources had bipartisan support from Senate Appropriations Committee members for Fiscal Year 2019. It’s time to act on that.

Speaker Pelosi refused to discuss border security until the government was fully open. The president has offered this good faith effort to move discussions on additional border funding forward. Speaker Pelosi should follow suit. Let’s come together to reach a consensus that puts the interests of our nation first.”

altCOTTON STATEMENT ON COURT RULING IN ARKANSAS TIMES V. MARK WALDRIP
Washington, D.C.—Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today released the following statement on the federal court ruling in Arkansas Times v. Mark Waldrip, et al:

 “A federal district court judge this week acknowledged the obvious: Businesses do not have a constitutional right to discriminate against the Jewish State. Government contractors in Arkansas are required to certify they will not participate in the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement designed by Israel’s foes, or else face consequences. This requirement has been upheld.

 “Congress now has the opportunity to build on this pro-Israel victory by passing the Strengthening America's Security in the Middle East Act of 2019 (S.1). This bill would authorize continued military aid to Israel while protecting states like Arkansas that are combating the BDS movement.”

altRUTLEDGE HOSTS OVERDOSE DEATH INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION TRAINING
More than 300 in attendance
LITTLE ROCK – On Wednesday, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge partnered with the National Association of Attorneys General Training and Research Institute to host the Overdose Death Investigation and Prosecution training. More than 300 law enforcement officers, coroners and prosecutors attended.

“We are losing too many of our friends and loved ones to opioid addiction,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “It is imperative those on the front lines know how to address and examine the information at the scene. While the number of overdose deaths is absolutely heartbreaking, I fear the numbers are even greater as people may be unaware of the tell-tale signs of heroin and fentanyl deaths.”

The training covered drug overdose death investigation techniques, discussed legal requirements and issues involved in drug overdose death investigations. The training also addressed drug safety awareness particular to heroin and fentanyl and highlighted proper evidence handling and protocols.

The purpose of the training was to change the mindset from accident to homicide in responding to and investigating drug overdose deaths, including what evidence to look for, documenting the death scene, electronic evidence, witness and suspect interview techniques, search and seizure issues, legal theory and case development, intelligence gathering and sharing, officer safety with dealing with drugs like fentanyl, and case analysis.

Attorney General Rutledge has been a leader in the State and nation combatting the opioid epidemic by using a multifaceted approach through education, prevention and litigation. Her first-in-the-nation Prescription for Life program is free for high schools and over the last year has reached almost 12,000 students. In November, the Attorney General hosted the annual Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit with record attendance, which provided training and educational opportunities for law enforcement, medical professionals, pharmacists and educators. Rutledge has taken an aggressive approach to protect Arkansans and combat the epidemic by suing Johnson & Johnson, Purdue Pharma and Endo, 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.

altGRIFFIN CELEBRATES NATIONAL SCHOOL CHOICE WEEK
Says, 'parents, not the government, should decide' how to meet the 'individual learning needs' of their children
LITTLE ROCK – Lt. Governor Tim Griffin today issued the following statement in support of school choice after attending the School Choice Rally at the Arkansas State Capitol: "Parents, not the government, should decide where and how their children are educated. I will continue fighting to expand school choice in Arkansas so that every child, regardless of their ZIP code, can obtain a world-class education that fits their individual learning needs. School choice raises the quality of our entire educational system through innovation and excellence and prepares our children to thrive in a global economy."

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

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

JANUARY 24, 2019

SOUTH ARKANSAS KENNEL CLUB DOG SHOWS & OBEDIENCE TRIALS, RALLY & LURE COURSING - FEBRUARY 23 - 24, 2019
HIGHLAND AIRPORT FACILITIES (FORMER GENERAL DYNAMICS BUILDING)  204 OUACHITA 212 (VETERANS ROAD)  CAMDEN, AR
Turn left beside Dollar General in East Camden and go to the end of the road.

SHOW HOURS:  Saturday 9:00 A.M. TILL 5:00 P.M. EACH DAY INDIVIDUAL BREEDS BEGIN SHOWING AT 9:00 A.M. ON SATURDAY AND 8 A.M. ON SUNDAY. GROUPS BEGIN AT APPROXIMATELY 12:30 - 1:00 P.M.  

• The public is encouraged to come out and see some of the most beautiful and smartest dogs in the country.
• Please bring your lawn chair 
• Sorry NO un-entered dogs allowed per AKC rules.

• Northwest Arkansas Kennel Club is joining our shows again this year hosting Lure Coursing Ability Test.  This will be a fun event to watch.  Two tests on Saturday and one Sunday morning
• Vendors from around the country will be there with lots of cool stuff.

Come Hungry!!  The American Cancer Society will have great home cooked food.
Admission for the dog shows is $5.00 Adults $1.00 Children 6-12 yrs of age $1.00 for Senior Citizens. Children under 6 yrs get in free.• For more info contact Darleen Wheelington, 870-818-7588 or visit www.arkansasdogs.dog to see the judging schedule for the time different breeds show. Judging schedule will be online by February 20th.

 

altCOTTON STATEMENT ON PRESIDENT'S RECOGNITION OF JUAN GUAIDO AS INTERIM PRESIDENT OF VENEZUELA
Yesterday, Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) released the following statement on President Trump's recognition of Juan Guaidó as interim president of Venezuela:

"Nicolás Maduro's outlaw regime has immiserated Venezuela and its people. Now Venezuelans are in the streets demanding leaders who will give them freedom, not the anti-American scapegoating and empty store shelves of socialism. I commend the president for recognizing opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the rightful president of Venezuela. The United States proudly supports the Venezuelan people against the corrupt elite who have oppressed them for far too long."

January 23, 2019

altRUTLEDGE REACHES SETTLEMENT OVER ILLEGAL PROMOTION OF HIP IMPLANTS
Arkansas to receive $1.7 million
LITTLE ROCK – Yesterday, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced she has joined 45 attorneys general to reach a $120 million settlement with Johnson & Johnson and its wholly-owned subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. to settle allegations that DePuy unlawfully promoted its metal-on-metal hip implant devices. Arkansas will receive $1.7 million in the settlement.

“Today’s settlement helps to ensure that doctors and patients have necessary and accurate information when considering implant options,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Surgeons who implant devices like these metal-on-metal hip replacement systems need to have the most up-to-date information concerning patient outcomes.”

The Attorneys General allege that DePuy engaged in deceptive practices in its promotion of the ASR XL and Pinnacle Ultamet hip implant devices by making misleading claims as to the longevity, also known as survivorship, of metal-on-metal hip implants. DePuy advertised that the ASR XL hip implant had a survivorship of 99.2% at three years when the National Joint Registry of England and Wales reported a 7% revision rate at three years. Similarly, DePuy promoted the Pinnacle Ultamet as having a survivorship of 99.8% and 99.9% survivorship at five years when the National Joint Registry of England and Wales reported a 2.2% three year revision rate in 2009 increasing to a 4.28% five year revision rate in 2012.

Some patients who required hip implant revision surgery to replace a failed implant experienced persistent groin pain, allergic reactions, tissue necrosis, as well as a build-up of metal ions in the blood. The ASR XL was recalled from the market in 2010. DePuy discontinued its sale of the Pinnacle Ultamet in 2013.

As part of the settlement, DePuy has agreed to reform how it markets and promotes its hip implants, including:

  • Advertised claims of survivorship, stability or dislocations will be based on scientific information and the most recent dataset available from a registry for any DePuy hip implant device.
  • Maintain a post market surveillance program and complaint handling program.
  • Update and maintain internal product complaint handling operating procedures including training of complaint reviewers.
  • Update and maintain processes and procedures to track and analyze product complaints that do not meet the definition of medical device reportable events.
  • Maintain a quality assurance program that includes an audit procedure for tracking complaints regarding DePuy products that do not rise to the level of a medical device reportable event but that may indicate a device-related serious injury or malfunction.
  • Perform quarterly reviews of complaints and if a subgroup of patients is identified that has a higher incidence of adverse events than the full patient population, determine the cause and alter promotional practices as appropriate.

Arkansas was joined in the settlement, which was led by South Carolina and Texas, by Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.


alt

 

GRAND JURY SESSION FOR WESTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS CANCELLED
Duane (DAK) Kees, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced today that the Grand Jury Session for January has been cancelled due to a lack of resources as a result of the Government shutdown. No criminal cases will be dismissed and no trials or other hearings will be moved at this time due to this cancellation. The cases that would normally be presented to the Grand Jury for indictment this month will be resolved in other ways. Criminal defendants have the option to waive indictment by a Grand Jury and proceed to plead guilty to a criminal information filed by the United States Attorney’s Office. This is one option that will be used for the United States Attorney’s Office to continue to prosecute cases and promote the safety and welfare of people in the Western District of Arkansas. Another option is to request an order from the United States District Court to impanel a new Grand Jury later for each division that would be able to meet without incurring travel expenses by traveling to Fort Smith, Arkansas from throughout the State of Arkansas. Regardless of the manner in which criminal cases are resolved going forward during this Government shutdown, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Arkansas will continue to work diligently with our State, Local, and Federal agency partners to investigate and prosecute criminal cases throughout the Western District of Arkansas.

Despite the lack of necessary funding, the attorneys and staff members of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Arkansas continue to work tirelessly to support and advance the mission of the United States Department of Justice. These employees do so by working long hours to support state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies and to continue to promote the safety and welfare of the Western District of Arkansas by prosecuting federal criminal cases throughout the district.

altSENATORS URGE PRESIDENT TRUMP TO SEND ISIS FIGHTERS TO GUANTANAMO BAY
Washington, D.C.— Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) along with Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas), Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Marco Rubio (R-Florida) today sent a letter to President Trump urging him to send the worst of the ISIS fighters currently detained in Syria to Guantanamo Bay. Doing so would prevent these dangerous terrorists from being released to commit further acts of terror.

Ten years ago today, President Obama signed a misguided executive order ordering the closure of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. This executive order drew sharp criticism from elected Republican officials on Capitol Hill – and rightly so. The subsequent rise and fall of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has only underscored the need for a detention facility in Guantanamo Bay.

The full text of the letter can be found below

The Honorable Donald J. Trump

President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Trump,

As U.S. and partner forces have waged a campaign against the Islamic State over the past four years, we have captured hundreds of foreign enemy combatants. Our partners, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), are currently detaining over 700 of these battle-hardened terrorists in northeast Syria. These detainees include two of the so-called “Beatles,” expatriated British citizens suspected of joining ISIS and beheading Western hostages. Given the rapidly shifting dynamics in Syria, it is possible that these terrorists may escape or be released from SDF custody in the coming weeks and months. It is imperative that these Islamic State fighters not be released. If given the opportunity, many of them will take up arms against our Syrian and Iraqi partners or attempt to infiltrate the United States and Europe to carry out terror attacks against civilian targets, like they have already done in France and Belgium.   

We urge you to consider transferring the worst of these Islamic State fighters to the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, where they will face justice. Thank you for your continued leadership in our military campaign against the Islamic State and your willingness to consider this matter of national security. 

Sincerely,
Senator Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas
Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas
Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas
Senator Marco Rubio, R- Florida

 

January 22, 2019 - Minimum Wage Bill

Arkansas State Senator Bob Ballinger last week introduced Senate Bill 115, which would add exceptions to the States original minimum wage law, as well as subsequent minimum wage legislation, including last November's Initiated Act 5, which would raise the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $11.00 an hour by 2021.

The Bill, if passed, would provide exceptions to the minimum wage law for individuals under eighteen, educational institutions, employers with fewer than fifty employees, and nonprofit organizations, as well as amend the law impacting Initiated Act 5 Of 2018.

We asked Sen. Ballinger to explain the exceptions.... Listen below - 040002601

What are you proposing?.....Listen below - 040012501

This Senate Bill then would go back to the original Minimum Wage Bill passed in the 1990's and add to it?.......Listen below - 040013701

The Senate Committee on Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee will host a hearing on this Bill, Wednesday, January 23rd at 10am in Room 272.

January 22, 2019

altARKANSAS MUNICIPAL LEAGUE WINTER CONFERENCE
The Arkansas Municipal League hosted their Winter Conference on January 16th, 17th and 18th. The Arkansas Municipal League was founded in 1934 and exists to act as the official representative of Arkansas cities and towns before the state and federal governments; to provide a clearinghouse for information and answers; and, to offer a forum for discussion and sharing of mutual concerns.

During the three-day session City Officials from across the state attended a number of seminars updating Mayor’s and Councilmen on various laws. There is a special session for newly elected officials to help them understand what local government is and what they need to know. The Conference provides continuing education for Officials who have held their positions for one or more terms. There are sessions on things like Workmen’s Comp, how to make cities attractive to potential businesses, and how to cultivate workplaces of respect and civility to name a few.

City Officials from Camden who attended the conference are Mayor Julian Lott along with Assistant to the Mayor, Amy Perrin, City Clerk Donna Stewart, Director of Public Works, Shamir Dorsey and his assistant Yolanda Lewis and Fire Chief Brian Medford. Aldermen Chris Aregood and Joe Askew also attended the Conference.

Wednesday night the Opening Night Banquet was held. During the event, attendees heard from State Senator Jim Hendren, State Representative Matthew Shepherd, Chief Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court Don Kemp, Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, Commissioner of State Lands Tommy Land, Secretary of State John Thurston, State Auditor Andrea Lea, and Treasurer of State Dennis Milligan. Each Official briefly stated the reason for the Office, what they do and how they support municipalities.

Thursday morning began with breakfast and a voluntary Prayer Session followed with the Opening General Session. The Winter Conference officially begins with the Presentation of Colors and the singing of the National Anthem. The Little Rock Fire Department Color Guard presented the Colors. The National Anthem was sung by Officer Allison Walton of the Little Rock Police Department. Host City mayor Frank D. Scott, Jr. welcomed delegates. Arkansas Business presented the 2018 Trendsetter City Awards to cities and towns that have shown themselves to be innovative and creative at the local government level.

Thursday also saw the Community of the Year Awards Luncheon. Governor Asa Hutchinson spoke and presented the awards. He encouraged the Municipal League to work with the legislature and the Governor’s Office. He talked about the partnership between the municipalities and the Municipal League and how they work together. He talked about what Arkansas is doing with the schools and computer technology. Governor Hutchinson spoke to the difficulty of the jobs Mayor’s have. He commended their hard work. The Governor talked about his big agenda items for the current session. He referred to the as the 4 “T’s” - Transformation of State Government, Increase in Teacher Pay, Tax Cuts and a new Transportation Highway Funding Bill. He spoke to each of these, explaining what each item would do for the state. He has a plan to reduce the number of departments in State Government. He would like to get teacher pay up by $4000 upward over the next 4 years. That will put us at the highest in the region. It will help the state attract new teachers and retain the current teachers. The Governor said teachers are fundamental to education and education is fundamental to economic growth and what we need to do in the state. He went on to explain why he supports more tax cuts. Industries have told the Governor that Arkansas is not competitive because of the tax structure. The current tax structure is costing the state new Industry. He wants to develop a highway plan. The plan is not in place as of yet but it is being hammered out. There are different ideas being considered and the legislature has to decide the best way to do this while not hurting anyone.

The remainder of Thursday afternoon and Friday morning consisted of continuing education seminars. The Arkansas Municipal League will meet again for a Summer Session in June 2019.

January 21, 2019

U.S. District Judge Susan O. Hickey ruled Thursday in favor of four school districts that asked to be exempted from participating in inter-district student transfers because of their decades-old federal school desegregation lawsuits.

Hickey issued four separate but similarc decisions enabling the Hope, Junction City, Lafayette County and Camden Fairview school districts to claim exemptions from participating in the state’s School Choice Act in the 2019-20 school year and beyond.

Hickey, however, said she wouldn’t require students allowed to transfer this school year to return to their home districts.

The state’s School Choice Act, which dates to 1989 but has since undergone multiple legislative revisions, allows students to attend schools in districts other than the ones in which they reside — unless the receiving district has inadequate space for the transfer student or if a district submits proof to the Arkansas Department of Education that transfers present a genuine conflict with an active desegregation order or desegregation plan that explicitly bars interdistrict student transfers.

“I call it a win,” Allen Roberts of Camden, an attorney for the four districts, said about the judge’s decision. “I think it’s real good for the districts.”

The four districts had applied to the state and had been denied exemptions from the School Choice Act for the coming 2019-20 school year. Roberts said he’ll confer with the districts and with Education Department attorneys in the coming days on how best to change that.

The Arkansas attorney general’s office defended state education leaders in the case.

“The Attorney General will decide the appropriate next steps after reviewing today’s disappointing decision, which limits parents’ rights to choose the best educational opportunities for their own children,” spokeswoman Amanda Priest said.

Roberts and attorney Whitney Moore of Little Rock argued to state education leaders last year allowing students to cross district lines to attend schools in districts in which they don’t reside would result in “white flight” and put the four school systems in conflict with their long-standing federal court-ordered desegregation mandates.

The Department of Education and the state Board of Education denied or, in the case of the CamdenFairview district, partially denied the requests for School Choice Act exemptions.

The four districts followed up by filing motions in their federal desegregation cases asking Hickey to either declare the School Choice Act to be in conflict with the desegregation obligations or to direct the districts’ desegregation orders be altered to reflect the School Choice Act provisions.

After the districts submitted those motions to Hickey, the state sought and received permission to intervene in the three federal cases in which it wasn’t already a party — Hope, Lafayette County and Junction City.

The state’s attorneys argued the four districts were in effect proposing an interdistrict remedy in their cases, which would be impermissible because the courts hadn’t found interdistrict constitutional violations, only intra-district violations.

Bobby Hart, Hope superintendent, said Thursday that 23 students who reside in Hope transferred out of the district this year. He said he believed the number of Hope transfer students was capped by the number of new students the neighboring district could accommodate.

“At the time those students transferred, the Davis decree did not contain the necessary language contemplated by the 2017 act for Hope to claim an exemption from school choice,” Hickey wrote about the Hope School District case.

ARKANSAS WOMAN CHARGED IN FATAL NEW YEAR’S DAY HIT-AND-RUN
A probable cause affidavit filed in circuit court shows that on Jan. 8, a woman from Fordyce was charged with the hit-and-run death of an El Dorado woman killed in Hampton on New Year’s Day.

The Arkansas State Police filed a fatality report stating  the accident happened at 8:40 a.m. Tuesday, January 1st, on U.S. Highway 167.

It is reported that Jocelyne Evans, 28, of Fordyce, was driving a 2010 GMC Acadia south on U.S. 167 when the vehicle crossed the northbound traffic lane, left the road, traveling 130 feet south before hitting Melissa Womack, 40, of El Dorado. Womack was pronounced dead at the scene.

Evans was charged with negligent homicide, driving while intoxicated, and leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury or death.

The document states that Evans crossed the center line of the roadway and struck Womack, causing her to “travel approximately 60 feet” and come to rest in the parking lot of Granny’s Grill in Hampton. Womack had been walking along the roadside near the Hampton eatery.

Evans left the scene, but returned to the area shortly after the accident, the affidavit states.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB TO MEET
The Camden Noon lions Club will meet Wednesday at Catherine's Bistro. The speaker this week will be Jeff Arrington, Regional Director Southern Administrative Services with Pine Hills Health and Rehabilitation.

altSAAC TO HOST “WRAP PARTY” FOR CANDICE ALEXANDER’S EXHIBIT
Lake Charles, Louisiana artist Candice Alexander is wrapping up her exhibit that been on display in the Price and Merkle Galleries at the South Arkansas Arts Center.  SAAC will host a “Wrap Up Party” on February 2, 2019 from 4:00-5:00 PM, on the extended closing day of her exhibit, “Fleur de Lis—Worlds Within”.  This event is intended for anyone who has not had a chance to enjoy her work up close and personal, as well as for clients who purchased artwork during the show to pick up their purchases. Alexander will be on hand to sign her artwork and help “wrap it up” to go to its new home. 

For over 12 years, Candice has been crafting Louisiana-inspired art, which gets collected nationally and internationally.  Alexander Art Studio, which she founded in 2002 in Lake Charles, Louisiana, houses more than 800 of her designs, all inspired from the fleur de lis, depicting a myriad of subjects, mostly pertaining to Louisianan culture and life.

The pop-up shop at SAAC features a range of items, diverse in size and interest: paintings and prints, glass cutting boards, jewelry, lithographs, and art installations.  Included in the show are subjects such as Mardi Gras, sports, sea life, and nature, as well as portraits of dogs, goats, and other pets. 

With the "Fleur de Lis–Worlds Within" series having begun in 2007, Candice Alexander’s latest collection on sale is sure to capture the essence of the artist's native community, while also being able to share it with residents of the El Dorado community.   

The gallery is open Monday- Friday from 9:00-5:00 and this exhibit is free and open to the public.  SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas. For more information about "Fleur de Lis- Worlds Within", please call the SAAC office at 870-862-5474 or visit the website at www.saac-arts.org.

 

altCOTTON, BOOZMAN REINTRODUCE THE PAIN-CAPABLE UNBORN CHILD PROTECTION ACT
Washington, D.C.—
Arkansas Senators Tom Cotton and John Boozman this week joined their colleagues in reintroducing the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The legislation would provide common-sense protections for unborn children at 20 weeks after fertilization, a point at which there is significant scientific evidence that abortion inflicts tremendous pain on the unborn.

“Medical science increasingly confirms the common experience of parents and the religious and ethical belief of the ages: an unborn baby is just as much a person as each of us—only more innocent, more helpless, and therefore even more deserving of protection. As we celebrate Arkansas’s 42nd annual March for Life this weekend, this legislation is particularly appropriate. I look forward to working with my colleagues to promote a culture of life and bring this legislation to the floor for a vote,” said Cotton. 

“Science has proven that at twenty weeks the infant actually feels pain and yet we are one of only seven countries that still allow abortion after this point. This bill--which includes exceptions for rape, incest or to save the life of the mother--would end this practice. It is the right thing to do for any society that purports to value human life and dignity,” said Boozman.

Background on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act
At the age of 20 weeks post-fertilization, scientific evidence tells us an unborn child can feel pain.  Anesthesia is administered directly to the unborn child in second-trimester fetal surgery. The unborn child shows physical, chemical, brain and stress responses demonstrating pain at this stage of development.

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is based in science, has overwhelming public support, and is necessary to protect unborn children from painful and untimely deaths.

Highlights:
This legislation protects unborn babies after 20 weeks or five months, more than halfway through the pregnancy.

The United States is one of only seven countries that allows on-demand abortions past 20 weeks. The other six are: North Korea, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Canada, and the Netherlands. Pain-Capable legislation has already passed in South Carolina and other states.  They include Ohio, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Indiana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Idaho, Iowa, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, and Arizona. 

Advances in modern medicine help babies born at 20, 21 and 22 weeks post-fertilization survive outside the womb. The pain these babies feel outside the womb gives evidence to the pain their unborn counterparts feel while in utero.

Ultrasounds show unborn babies at 20 weeks sucking their thumb, yawning, stretching and making faces. 

Summary of Provisions:
The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would make it illegal for any person to perform, or attempt to perform, an abortion without first making a determination of the probable post-fertilization age of the unborn child.

If the post-fertilization age of the unborn child is determined to be 20 weeks or greater, an abortion shall not be performed, unless –

  • It is necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman;
  • The pregnancy is a result of rape and the woman has received medical treatment or counseling at least 48 hours prior to the abortion; or if she chooses to do so, has made a report to law enforcement; or
  • The pregnancy is a result of rape or incest against a minor and the abuse is reported to either social services or law enforcement.

In the case of the exceptions

  • the abortion may only proceed in a manner that provides the best opportunity for the unborn child to survive unless that would pose a greater risk of death or serious bodily injury to the pregnant woman; and
  • the abortion provider must receive informed consent from the pregnant woman, certifying that she has been provided the child’s gestational age, a description of the law, and her rights under the law.

A woman on whom an abortion was performed in violation of this Act may bring a civil action against the abortion provider in court to recover damages.

Abortion doctors are required to submit annual data to the National Center for Health and Statistics providing statistical information about abortions carried out after 20 weeks post-fertilization age.

The criminal punishment for a violation of this Act is imprisonment of up to five years, fines, or both.

The Act makes clear that a woman who receives an illegal abortion in violation of this act may not be prosecuted.

COTTON, BOOZMAN AND BLUNT INTRODUCE THE ESTATE TAX RATE REDUCTION ACT
Washington, D.C.—Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) along with Senators John Boozman (R-Arkansas), and Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) today introduced the Estate Tax Rate Reduction Actwhich would reduce the estate tax to 20 percent, the same as the current capital gains tax rate.

“Families shouldn’t have to sell major portions of their businesses or farms after the death of a parent just to afford the 40% estate tax. Breaking apart a family’s livelihood is neither fair or good for the economy, especially since families are often forced to sell to large corporations. My legislation would cut that rate in half, bringing the rate in line with the current capital gains rate and making it much easier to preserve a family’s legacy and way of life,” said Cotton.

“Punishing years of hard work and investment, as the estate tax does, has never been fair or reasonable to family farmers and small business owners in Arkansas who rightly view it as a real threat to passing their businesses and assets on to the next generation,” Boozman said. “Reducing the rate of the estate tax is another step in the right direction and builds on previous efforts to reduce this burden for families.”

“The current estate tax is often a crushing blow to family businesses and farmers who are trying to plan for the future,” said Blunt. “This legislation will bring relief to family farms and businesses as they transition from one generation to the next.”

JANUARY 18, 2019

altRUTLEDGE REACHES SETTLEMENT FOR ILLEGAL DIESEL EMISSIONS
Arkansas to receive more than $1.5 million in settlements with Fiat Chrysler and Bosch
LITTLE ROCK
– Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has reached two settlements in the form of consent judgments requiring Fiat Chrysler and auto supplier Bosch to pay a total of $171.2 million nationwide for their roles in selling and leasing diesel vehicles equipped with illegal and undisclosed defeat device software.

“Fiat Chrysler is being held accountable for cheating on emissions testing, and Bosch is answering for its role in providing the software,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I will continue to hold automobile makers and their suppliers accountable for wrongful and deceptive conduct.”

Following a nearly two-year investigation, Rutledge, with 51 jurisdictions nationwide, filed suit against Fiat Chrysler and its subsidiaries, for having installed unlawful defeat device software and undisclosed auxiliary emissions control devices in several models of its diesel vehicles. The attorneys general found that Fiat Chrysler cheated on federal and state emissions tests by calibrating the software to conceal that vehicles emitted higher than permitted levels of harmful nitrogen oxides in real-world driving conditions, and misled consumers by falsely claiming some vehicles were environmentally friendly.

After a separate but related investigation, Rutledge, along with 49 other jurisdictions, filed suit against Bosch which is the engineering company that supplies Fiat Chrysler and other automobile manufacturers with electronic control units housing the complex software that controls nearly all aspects of an engine’s performance, including emissions systems. The investigation concluded that Bosch facilitated the implementation of the defeat device software in more than 600,000 Volkswagen and Fiat Chrysler vehicles over a period of more than 10 years.

Under the terms of the two settlements, Fiat Chrysler will pay a total of $72.5 million to the litigating jurisdictions for consumer and environmental violations, with Arkansas receiving $763,750. Bosch will pay $98.7 million, with $737,100 for Arkansas.

The settlement requires Fiat Chrysler to eliminate the defeat device features through a software “flash fix”; provide eligible owners and lessors extended warranties; and, together with co-defendant Bosch, pay eligible owners who take their vehicle to an authorized dealer for the software repair an average restitution payment of approximately $2,908 and lessees and former owners who do so restitution of $990. Fiat Chrysler is also prohibited from engaging in future unfair or deceptive acts and practices in connection to its dealings with consumers.

Bosch has also agreed to injunctive terms and to maintain robust processes to monitor compliance and must refuse to accommodate requests for software development and programming that could result in the installation of defeat device software.

Rutledge reached a settlement with Volkswagen in 2016 on similar allegations.

January 17, 2019

alt"ANNIE, KIDS" AUDITION UPDATE FROM SAAC
The South Arkansas Arts Center is reminding the public about auditions for youth, for both boys and girls, those exclusively in grades 2-8, who are interested in trying out for the upcoming Youth Community Theatre Production, "Annie KIDS", sponsored by Kiwanis Club of El Dorado. Auditions will be held on January 22 and 24, 2019, starting at 3:45 PM at the Arts Center, with later production dates on April 12-13.

"There has already been an enthusiastic response to this project," said Laura Allen, Executive Director for SAAC, "and, if attendance at the recent interest meeting is any indication, turnout for auditions will be terrific!" Allen has in addition stated that, while the Arts Center would like to include everyone who tries out, its building and theater's physical limitations may not allow for everyone's participation, crediting that the production staff "will make every effort to cast as many participants as possible while ensuring that the ensemble can be seen, heard, and safely accommodated".

Parts are available for 7 females, 8 males, 1 dog, lots of orphans, and New Yorkers. Those auditioning should fill out an audition form and review the rehearsal schedule. Children should plan to be at SAAC for auditions at 3:45pm on both Tuesday and Thursday, January 22 and 24. Everyone will be taught a song and some simple dance steps. Wear appropriate footwear and be prepared to move.

Two songs will be used in auditions: N.Y.C. and Maybe. The songs will be taught at the audition, but, for those that want to listen to and learn the songs before arriving for the audition, look online at the SAAC website, www.saac-arts.org <http://www.saac-arts.org> , for video links to the songs. Those wishing to be considered for a primary role will be asked to read at auditions-no preparation required.

For more information, please call the SAAC office at 870-862-5474 or visit the website at www.saac-arts.org <http://www.saac-arts.org> . SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas