KAWX News

Polk County Quorum Court Meeting October 23rd At Courthouse In Mena

The Polk County Quorum Court will hold their regular monthly meeting for October on Tuesday, October 23rd at 6:00 p.m. The meeting will be held in the courtroom of the Polk County Courthouse this month since the regular meeting place in the county office building is being used for early voting.

 
The agenda for the meeting suggests mainly routine business for the court.
 
Quorum Court meetings are open to the public and anyone may attend.
 
10-22-18 6:42 p.m. kawx.org 

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Polk County Sheriff's Log For October 15th - 21st

SHERIFF’S LOG
 
The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of October 15, 2018 – October 21, 2018. The charges against those arrested are allegations and the cases are still pending in the courts. Individuals charged and whose names appear in this column
may submit documentation to us at a later date that the charges have been dismissed or that they have been found innocent and we will include that information in this space in a timely manner.
 
October 15, 2018
Report of $60.00 cash missing from a wallet led to a 14-year-old male being issued a Juvenile Citation for Theft of Property. The juvenile was released to the custody of a parent/guardian.
Arrested was Matthew Bohanon, 25, of Ashdown, on two Warrants for Failure to Appear.
 
October 16, 2018
Report from complainant on Polk 57 near Nunley of attempted identity theft.
Report from complainant on Polk 31 near Hatfield of the theft of a wallet, totaling losses at $62.89. Information has been provided to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Arrested was Joey W. Rymer, 34, of Horatio, on a Warrant for Failure to Appear.
 
October 17, 2018
Report from complainant on Highway 71 South near Cove of a missing family member. The family member was later located.
Arrested was Larry D. Graham, 53, of Mena, on a Warrant for Probation Violation.
 
October 18, 2018
Arrested was Lorenz A. Fehrenbacher, 18, of Jessieville, on a Warrant for Battery 3 rd Degree, Assault 3 rd Degree and Hazing.
Arrested was Thomas G. Lester, 18, of Bryant, on a Warrant for Assault 3 rd Degree and Hazing.
Report of an 18-wheeler stuck in a ditch in front of a business on Highway 71 North near Mena. Deputy responded.
Report from complainant on Polk 21 near Cove of a phone scam, posing as the IRS, that had managed to obtain their personal information.
Report from complainant on Polk 177 near Mena of the theft of a planer, valued at $350.00. Investigation continues.
 
October 19, 2018
Report from complainant on Highway 8 East near Board Camp of the theft of two tires. Investigation continues.
Report of an unattended death on Polk 189 near Mena. Deputy responded.
Arrested by an officer with Arkansas Game and Fish was Paul Ford, 26, of Jacksonville, on Charges of DWI, Careless/Prohibited Driving, Possession of Firearm by Certain Person and Refusal to Submit.
 
October 20, 2018
Report from complainant on Seay Lane near Mena of the theft of a trailer, valued at $3,250.00. Investigation continues.
 
October 21, 2018
Report from a Hatfield woman of being harassed by an acquaintance. Investigation continues.
Report from complainant on Polk 70 in Cherry Hill of the theft of property. Information has been provided to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Report of a domestic disturbance on Polk 34 near Hatfield led to the arrest of Brandon W. Gates, 33, of Hatfield, on a Charge of Disorderly Conduct.
 
Polk County Sheriff’s Office worked one vehicle accident this week. Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 23 Incarcerated Inmates, with 5 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.
PC18-00707
 
10-22-18 3:45 p.m. kawx.org 

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Annual Celebration Recognizes Efforts of Rural Fire Crews

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas firefighters and families are invited to attend the 2018 Rural Fire Show, hosted this Saturday, Oct. 27 by the Rural Fire Protection (RFP) division of the Arkansas Forestry Commission (AFC). This annual celebration will take place at the Greenbrier AFC Office, #20 Industrial Boulevard, Greenbrier, Ark., 72058 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 

The 2018 Fire Show is free to all attendees and recognizes and thanks rural firefighters for their work in the suppression and prevention of wildfires. This casual event is family-friendly, and lunch will be provided. 

 

Attendees can network with crews from across the state, connect with industry partners and agencies, and even have a chance to win door prizes tailored for fire departments, firefighters and children.  Additionally, a variety of fire service vendors will showcase equipment and vehicles.

 

“We have more than 30 vendors and several great door prizes lined up for the 2018 Fire Show, including a set of Power Hawk rescue tools, generators, and tool boxes,” said Kathryn Mahan-Hooten, RFP  Program Administrator.  “We have a strong partnership with rural fire departments, and this show is a great way to demonstrate our appreciation to firefighters and their families.”

 

Attending crews are encouraged to RSVP by contacting Carisa Aycock at 501-679-3171 or Carisa.Aycock@arkansas.gov.

 

The mission of the AFC is to protect Arkansas’s forests, and those who enjoy them, from wildland fire and natural hazards while promoting rural and urban forest health, stewardship, development, and conservation for all generations of Arkansans. The AFC is a part of the Arkansas Agriculture Department.

 

10-22-18 1:38 p.m. kawx.org 

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Mena Police Department Report for October 14th - 20th

Mena Police Department Reports for the Week of October 14, 2018 through October 20, 2018 
 
October 14 & 15, 2018
 
Report was made of a suspicious individual asking questions about property for sale at a local residence.  Case pending.
 
David Sinyard, 43, of Mena was arrested on several outstanding warrants from Polk County.
 
October 16, 2018
 
Gregg Brewer, 50, of Hatfield was charged with disorderly conduct after officers were called to a local office.
 
October 17, 2018
 
Roger Burton, 29, of Mena was charged with third degree assault after officers responded to an incident at a local residence.
 
October 18, 2018
 
Jeremy Lindsey, 30, of Mena was charged with theft of property (shoplifting) after a call to a local grocery store.
 
A local woman called officers to retrieve drug paraphernalia she found on her property.  Case is pending.
 
October 19, 2018
 
David Sinyard, 43, of Mena was arrested and charged with breathing, inhaling, or drinking certain intoxicants.  The arrest followed a call regarding a man having seizures at a local residence.,
 
October 20, 2018
 
A Mena man reported that someone had entered his log truck and taken items from the cab.  Case is pending further investigation.
 
10-22-18 9:37 a.m. kawx.org 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

Last year, there were 227 flu-related deaths reported in Arkansas.  This week, the health department announced that one Arkansan has died from flu-related symptoms during this flu season.

 

Since September 30, 2018, over 150 positive influenza tests have been reported in 21 counties.

 

The majority of reports came from Independence, Saline, Benton, Pulaski, Craighead, Drew, Faulkner, Franklin, Hempstead, Sebastian and Sevier.

 

It is important to get a flu vaccine every year, because the flu virus changes from year to year. This year’s vaccine protects against the flu viruses that are expected to cause the most illness this flu season.

 

The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) is providing flu vaccines across the state in preparation for the 2018-19 flu season. Each county health unit in Arkansas will be hosting a mass flu vaccine clinic, which is typically a day-long event when the health unit and numerous community volunteers come together to provide flu vaccine to as many people as possible.

 

People should bring their insurance cards with them to the flu vaccine clinic. If anyone does not have insurance, or the insurance does not cover flu vaccine, the vaccine will be available at no charge. Please contact the nearest local health unit for information about mass flu clinics. Local health unit contact information can be found at www.healthy.arkansas.gov.

 

People of all ages can get the flu. Certain people are more likely to have serious health problems if they get the flu. This includes older adults, young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions, people who smoke, and people who live in nursing homes. Therefore, the health department strongly recommends that people in these groups get a flu vaccine.

 

It is also recommended that friends, family members and people who provide care to people in these groups also get a vaccine—not only to protect themselves, but also to decrease the possibility that they might expose the people they love and care for to the flu.

For more information, go to www.healthy.arkansas.gov or www.flu.gov.

 

10-19-18 5:26 p.m. kawx.org 

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Early Voting Begins Monday, October 22nd For 2018 General Election

Early Voting for the November 6th General Election will get underway in Arkansas on Monday, October 22nd. In Polk County, registered voters may cast their vote early at the Polk County Office Complex (old hospital), located at 606 Pine Street in Mena. Hours will be 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. weekdays, and 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Saturdays. On the Monday before the General Election, early voting will end at 5:00 p.m.

 

To determine if you are a registered voter, click anywhere on this line.

 

To learn more about the candidates and issues on the ballot, click anywhere on this line for the Family Council's Voters Guide.

 

10-19-18 5:10 p.m. kawx.org 

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Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address New National Law Enforcement Museum Includes Arkansas Exhibit

To listen to the Governor's radio address, click anywhere on this line, or you can read the text below.

 

LITTLE ROCK – The National Law Enforcement Museum opened last week in Washington 18 years after President Clinton approved the site.

The building which houses the $100 million museum has three levels and 57,000 square feet, and two of the levels are underground. The site for the museum is adjacent to the National Law Enforcement Memorial at Judiciary Square. Of the 21,000 names of fallen officers inscribed on the wall, nearly 300 of them are Arkansans.

George H.W. Bush, who was president when the memorial opened in 1991, spoke these words about it: “Carved on these walls is the story of America, of a continuing quest to preserve both democracy and decency, and to protect a national treasure that we call the American dream."

Now, in addition to the memorial, we have the National Law Enforcement Museum.

The new museum tells the story of law enforcement in America with 20,000 artifacts and exhibits such as the desk that J. Edgar Hoover used as director of the FBI and the handcuffs that police snapped onto the wrists of Sirhan Sirhan moments after he shot Robert F. Kennedy.

The museum offers interactive exhibits that allow visitors to play the role of a 911 dispatcher. Another exhibit is a shoot-don’t shoot exercise that puts visitors in the place of an officer who has a split-second to decide whether the person coming around the corner is a good guy or a threat.

One of the exhibits includes the truck that Arkansas Game and Fish officer Michael Neal drove at 50 miles per hour into a van to stop a father and son who had just killed two West Memphis police officers.

Four years after the May 10, 2010, tragedy in West Memphis, Mike Neal became sheriff of Monroe County. Sheriff Neal, his wife and their three daughters were among the guests who attended the private opening of the museum last week.

The museum is a tribute to the officers who protect us on a daily basis and a reminder of the risks they take to do their job. I am grateful for the police officers at all levels – federal, state, county, and city – who devote their lives to protecting ours. Thank you.

 

10-19-18 4:05 p.m. kawx.org 

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Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column - Recognizing Arkansas Veterans

Recognizing Arkansas Veterans

 

Arkansas has a long and proud history of supporting our nation’s defense. Our state is home to military installations, businesses and jobs that contribute to our national security and the protection of our nation’s servicemembers. It’s also where brave men and women learn to serve a cause higher than themselves.

 

Sergeant Major (retired) John Canley a native of Caledonia, Arkansas in Union County was inspired to join the Marine Corps after watching the WWII movie the “Sands of Iwo Jima.” Using his brother’s birth certificate, he enlisted in the Marines, as a 15-year-old.

 

At a White House ceremony earlier this month, President Donald Trump praised Canley’s “unmatched bravery” for saving “the lives of more than 20 marines” during the 1968 Battle of Hue in Vietnam.

 

Canley recently received the Medal of Honor, the military’s highest and most prestigious decoration, for his valiant actions and courage in combat while serving as gunnery sergeant assigned to Company A, First Battalion, First Marines.

 

While those who wear our nation’s uniform do not often seek recognition, awards or honors, they deserve nothing less than our public and private displays of appreciation for their service. They are often unassuming individuals who have done great things under extraordinary circumstances. Their stories of immense sacrifice, courage and service should be preserved as we can all learn from them.

 

The Arkansas Military Veterans’ Hall of Fame (AMVHOF) was created in 2011 to honor the service, sacrifice and accomplishments of Natural State veterans. The achievements of inductees are preserved in the Hall of Fame display in the state Capitol. This exhibit is a testament to the willingness of Arkansans to do their part to serve and defend our country and serves as inspiration for future generations.

 

The 15 inductees of the 2018 class come from all corners of the state and have served in conflicts from WWII through Operation Iraqi Freedom. This distinguished group of men and women have demonstrated selflessness in uniform and continued service to their communities.

 

As the son of a Master Sergeant in the Air Force, I’m committed to veterans’ outreach. Members of this year’s class, including both current and former members of my staff, have demonstrated that devotion throughout their lives. Col (retired) Anita Deason’s hard work has led to hundreds of Arkansans being trained to collect the memories of our veterans for the Library of Congress Veterans History Project. Lt Col (retired) Steve Gray’s tireless devotion to veterans as a member of my team was known for, among other things, the many medal presentations he conducted throughout Arkansas. In retirement, he continues his commitment to his fellow veterans through his work as an active member of Arkansas’s veteran service organizations.

 

Honoring the service, sacrifice and commitment of veterans with commendation medals, induction into the AMVHOF and other special events shows our appreciation for their immeasurable sacrifice. Emphasizing the stories of sacrifice and bravery exhibited by Arkansas veterans really is about preserving the people and the values that make the Natural State the best place to call home.

 

10-19-18 3:59 p.m. kawx.org 

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State Senator Larry Teague's Weekly Column

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

October 19, 2018

 

LITTLE ROCK – The legislature has begun budget hearings in preparation for the 2019 regular session.

 

Generally, budget bills do not generate as much publicity as high-profile social measures, such as bills affecting firearms, unborn children or school choice. However, for many legislators the most time-consuming responsibility is consideration of state agency budgets.

 

Lawmakers begin work on budgets in mid-October, and put the finishing touches on the state’s budget in March of the following year, in the final days of the session. The 2019 legislative session begins on January 14.

 

State government is in Fiscal Year 2019, which will end on June 30, 2019. Legislators are now working on proposed budgets for Fiscal Year 2020, which begins on July 1, 2019.

 

The state general revenue budget for this year is about $5.63 billion, and at the end of the fiscal year there will be an estimated surplus of about $64 million. One of the challenges for lawmakers will be to estimate how much the Arkansas economy will expand next year. That estimate will determine how much state agencies will have to spend.

 

A red letter date is November 14, when the governor presents a balanced budget plan for next fiscal year, based on the most recent revenue forecast. The governor’s balanced budget proposal will also set the stage for serious discussions about tax cuts, and how much income tax relief is possible.

 

The proposed balanced budget will be the starting point for debate over fiscal matters, such as how much to spend on public education and school safety, how much should the Medicaid program receive and whether any state agencies should get a greater budget increase than all the others.

 

It is not unusual for an agency to receive a bigger-than-average increase in funding, compared to the rest of state government. For example, in 2017 the governor proposed and the legislature approved funding increases for the foster care system that were proportionately much greater than increases approved for other agencies. The goal was to reverse a recent trend of high turnover among staff, and extended periods in which children had to wait for placement with foster families.

 

This year there are 36,516 authorized employee positions in state government, and another 39,878 positions in higher education.

 

Public schools from kindergarten through grade 12 receive the single largest share of state general revenue, about 41 percent, but teachers and other school staff are not counted among the total of state government employees.

 

The largest agency is the Department of Human Services, with 8,357 employees spread throughout various divisions. The largest branch within the department is the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services, with 2,597 positions.

 

The Department of Transportation, which maintains highways, has 4,712 positions. The Correction Department, which runs prisons, has 4,740 positions and the Department of Community Correction, which hires parole officers and staffs halfway houses and drug courts, has 1,488 positions.

 

Law enforcement also is provided by three other state agencies. There are 1,063 employee positions in the Arkansas State Police and 144 in the state Crime Lab. The Arkansas Crime Information Center (ACIC) does criminal background checks and runs license numbers for local police departments and law enforcement agencies. It also keeps the sex offender registry up to date. ACIC has 74 authorized positions.

 

10-19-18 1:58 p.m. kawx.org 

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Acorn Mighty Oaks 4-H Pancake Breakfast Saturday Morning October 20th

The Acorn Mighty Oaks 4-H Club will host a Pancake Breakfast this Saturday morning, October 20th, from 7:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m., at the Extension Education Building located at 211 De Queen Street in Mena.

 

Delivery is available for 5 or more orders. To order for delivery, call (479) 216-1778, (479) 216-4955, or (479) 216-5408.

 

One the menu is pancakes, sausage, bacon, eggs, coffee, milk, and orange juice!

 

Have breakfast with The Acorn Mighty Oaks 4-H Club and enjoy great food and fellowship while supporting this 4-H club.

 

 

10-19-18 8:15 a.m. kawx.org 

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ATTORNEY GENERAL ALERT: Statewide Prescription Drug Take Back is October 27

LITTLE ROCK – The prescription drug epidemic is wreaking havoc across our state and country. More than half of Arkansas teens report it is easy to obtain prescription drugs from their parents’ or grandparents’ medicine cabinets. The bi-annual Prescription Drug Take Back Day is the ideal opportunity to turn in unused and expired medication, to ensure it stays out of the hands of addicted Arkansans.
 
“Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles have unknowingly become drug dealers to family members,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “Properly disposing of medication is imperative and can save the lives of family members, friends and fellow Arkansans. This epidemic impacts a staggering number of families across Arkansas and it takes action by all of us to make a difference.”
 
Attorney General Rutledge is reminding Arkansans about the national Prescription Drug Take Back Event and the various drop-off locations available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27. The National Prescription Drug Take Back Days are held twice a year, but to find event sites and year-round drop-off locations near you, visit ARTakeBack.org.
 
Rutledge released the following list of medications that will be accepted at these events across the State:
 
·       Opioids, such as OxyContin, Hydrocodone, Vicodin, etc.
·       Stimulants, such as Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, Dexedrine, etc.
·       Depressants, such as Ativan, Xanax, Valium, etc.
·       Other prescription medications
·       Over-the-counter medicines
·       Vitamins
·       Pet medicines
·       Medicated ointments and lotions
·       Inhalers
·       Liquid medicines in glass or leak-proof containers (up to 12 ounces)
·       Medicine samples
 
Medications may be returned in the original bottle or in any other container for increased privacy.
 
Properly destroying these medications also protects the environment. Medicines that are flushed or poured down the drain can end up polluting waters, which could contaminate food and water supplies. Wastewater treatment plants or septic systems may not remove many medicine compounds. Turning over these medications at Take Back Day events also reduces the risk of accidental poisonings by children, seniors or pets, as well as reduces the risk of drug abuse.
 
The Attorney General’s Office also partners with local law enforcement to host take back events at mobile offices around the State. Since 2016, 611.2 pounds of prescription drugs have been collected and safely disposed of by Attorney General’s office mobile offices – keeping them out of the hands of children and those with addictions.
 
Rutledge is partnering on the Prescription Drug Take Back with the Arkansas Department of Health, Arkansas Department of Human Services, Arkansas National Guard, Arkansas Rotary Clubs, Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy, FBI, Office of the State Drug Director, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and over 130 additional law enforcement and government agencies, community organizations and public health providers.
 
Prescription Drug Take Back days are just one step in Rutledge’s multi-faceted approach of education, prevention and litigation to end the opioid crisis. Last fall, Rutledge launched Prescription for Life, a first-in-the-nation educational tool offered at no cost to all high school students in the State to help them understand the dangers of prescription drug misuse and how to prevent abuse. To date, it has been launched in 80 schools, across 60 counties and reached over 8,600 students. Rutledge has a new initiative, called #Rx4LifeStories, inviting Arkansans to submit videos discussing how the nation’s opioid epidemic has impacted their lives and the lives of their families.
 
Rutledge is also suing the opioid manufacturers that created the crisis in Arkansas for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Arkansas Medicaid Fraud False Claims Act.
 
Each year, Rutledge partners with a number of agencies in hosting the Arkansas Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit. The summit is a free training and educational opportunity for law enforcement officers, medical professionals, pharmacists and educators. The seventh annual Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit is scheduled for Nov. 1 in Hot Springs, with more than 800 taking advantage of registration.

 

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

 

10-18-18 8:48 a.m. kawx.org 

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Black Powder Offers Early Shot At Whitetails

LITTLE ROCK – Deer hunting with a muzzleloader in Arkansas offers a chance to harvest a deer earlier than any other method other than archery. This year’s season opens Saturday, Oct. 20, in nearly every deer zone in Arkansas and will continue through Oct. 28. 

 

Brad Carner, the chief of wildlife management for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, plans to be in the public hunting woods Saturday with his 12-year-old son like many mentors passing down the knowledge and excitement of deer hunting. “Growing up in northeast Arkansas, the season framework for the deer zone and the WMAs up there required for modern gun season that you use a shotgun with slugs or a muzzleloader, so I started out using a muzzleloader there for the modern gun season and I’ve used one for 25 years,” Carner said.

 

The muzzleloading season has become tradition for the Carner family, he said. Carner’s son has hunted with a muzzleloader for the last 3 years and took his first deer with the gun at age 9. Carner’s wife, who “has harvested three or four deer,” he said, took her first buck during a muzzleloader season.

 

“It’s a good option for hunting,” Carner said. “Deer are in their pre-rut activities and still can be locked on a food source, but you’re also starting to see some buck activity on the trees now of rubs and scrapes, the precursor of the heavy rut activity that people start to see at the beginning of modern gun season.”

 

Ralph Meeker, the AGFC’s deer program coordinator, says this week’s spate of wet cold weather should set up for a fine weekend for the muzzleloading enthusiast and may attract more hunters than usual. Like Carner, Meeker plans to be out among the other deer hunters with a muzzleloader this weekend.

 

“It’s typically one of my top two favorite ways to hunt deer, along with archery,” Meeker said. “It just provides an early season and then a late season (in December for three days) opportunity. And, it seems like you’re able to connect to the more traditional style of hunting when you’ve got one shot. You take a little bit more time, you have to be a little more patient. The range is a lot different, much shorter than a centerfire rifle.”

 

Both Meeker and Carner note the technological advances in muzzleloaders in the past decade that have led to guns with an average range of 75-100 yards, but which can stretch out comfortably for some shooters to 150 yards or more. Hunting with a bow, Meeker says, usually means you’re targeting a deer 25-35 yards away.

 

“During the early days of our muzzleloader seasons, they really were primitive weapons with limited range,” Carner said, recalling starting with a musket-like Hawken muzzleloader with an open sight and a range of about 50-60 yards. “Now, you have the inline muzzleloader and the ability to have a nice scope on there … With the technical implementations, a limited range is not necessarily the case now. The effective range has been greatly extended.”

 

Carner suggests a newcomer familiarize himself or herself with the firearm and all its components, and not just the powder needed and type of bullet to use, before opening morning. “Practice and know the effective range of your muzzleloader,” he said.Carner lives in central Arkansas now but often will return to where he grew up hunting deer with a muzzleloader, in northeast Arkansas. As wildlife division chief, Carner says, he likes to visit as many WMAs as he can during the hunting seasons.

 

Meeker says that the first weekend of muzzleloader season usually sees an average of 7,000 to 9,000 deer harvested, and about 25,000 to 30,000 taken with a muzzleloader annually, or about 13 percent of the total deer harvest. Compare that to the expected 35,000 on average that Arkansas hunters take the opening weekend of modern gun deer season.

 

“Our total deer harvest has kind of stabilized to a little over 200,000 a year,” he said. “We’re expecting a similar number this year. We’ve had some odd weather, a fairly wet spring and a short, dry summer, and it’s starting to rain again.”

 

The weather patterns, he said, have caused some problems with the muscadines, persimmons and acorns that deer like to forage. Acorns in many areas have already fallen. So, a successful muzzleloading hunter will be wise to search out a good food source this weekend, he said. “You will improve your chances dramatically,” Meeker said. “There is going to be food out there for the deer, it’s just going to be used up pretty quickly. Late-season food plots will be good. The soft mast and hard mast will be used up pretty quickly because it’s already hit the ground.”

 

Refer to the Arkansas Hunting Guidebook at www.agfc.com/huntingguidebook for various deer zone regulations concerning muzzleloader use and harvest limits. The number of deer allowed per hunter with muzzleloaders can vary by location. Deer zones 4, 4B, 5 and 5B are closed completely during the muzzleloader season, but muzzleloaders may be used during their modern gun seasons.

 

10-18-18 8:45 a.m. kawx.org 

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Chamber of Commerce Announces Merriment of Mena Christmas Lights and Display Contest

New this year is our Merriment of Mena - Christmas Lights and Display Contest!

It's time to make that storefront sparkle and show off your hard work by entering our contest.

Open to all businesses IN Mena  - no entry fee - registration and display must be completed by November 26, 2018 to be eligible for judging.

Two winners will be chosen: Best Display on Mena Street and Best Display in Mena.

Registration forms can be found on our website or by contacting the Chamber office at (479) 394-2912. 

Mena High School Art Club will be available for window painting once again this year!
In order to get on the list, please contact the Chamber office ASAP so a representative from the Art Club can schedule an appointment with you.

This service is provided at no charge, we only ask you supply the paints for your display.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10-17-18 8:40 a.m. kawx.org 

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Weekly Fishing Report

Weekly Fishing Report

 

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for Oct. 17, 2018. If there is a body of water you would like included in this report, please email AGFCfishingreport@outlook.com with information on possible sources for reports about that lake or river. Reports are updated weekly, although some reports might be published for two weeks if updates are not received promptly or if reporters say conditions haven’t changed. Contact the reporter for the lake or stream you plan to fish for current news.

 

Central Arkansas

 

North Arkansas

 

Northwest Arkansas

 

Northeast Arkansas

 

Southeast Arkansas

 

Southwest Arkansas

 

South-Central Arkansas

 

West-Central Arkansas

 

East Arkansas

 

Arkansas River and White River levels are available at: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=lzk

 

For real-time information on stream flow in Arkansas from the U.S. Geological Survey, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/rt

 

For water-quality statistics (including temperature) in many Arkansas streams and lakes, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/current/?type=quality.

 

10-17-18 8:23 p.m. kawx.org 

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Polk County Sheriff's Log for October 8th - 14th

SHERIFF’S LOG
 
The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of October 8, 2018 – October 14, 2018. The charges against those arrested are allegations and the cases are still pending in the courts. Individuals charged and whose names appear in this column
may submit documentation to us at a later date that the charges have been dismissed or that they have been found innocent and we will include that information in this space in a timely manner.
 
October 8, 2018
Report of a disturbance on Polk 87 near Ink led to the arrest of Shawna M. Morris, 22, of Mena, on a Charge of Disorderly Conduct.
Report of an abandoned vehicle on Highway 375 West near Potter. Investigation continues.
Arrested was James E. Pike, 64, of Mena, on a Warrant for Failure to Appear.
 
October 9, 2018
Report from complainant on Polk 238 near Mena of $300.00 in damages done to a lawn mower. Investigation continues.
 
October 10, 2018
Report from complainant on Polk 238 near Mena of being harassed by an acquaintance. Information has been provided to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Report from complainant on Highway 71 South near Potter of the theft of a vehicle and various tools, all valued at $15,288.00. The vehicle was later located, destroyed by fire. Investigation continues.
Report of suspicious activity near Polk 38 near Hatfield led to the arrest of John L. Mitchell, 58, of Hatfield, on Charges of Murder 1st Degree and Possession of Firearm by Certain Person.
Arrested by a trooper with the Arkansas State Police was Bobby E. Hedrick, 48, of Wickes, on a Warrant for Delivery of Meth/Cocaine.
 
October 11, 2018
Report from complainant on Polk 121 near Mena of suspicious activity led to the arrest of Matthew P. Owen, 22, of Mena, on a Charge of Inhaling Intoxicating Substances.
Report from complainant on Polk 56 near Nunley of a forged check, totaling losses at $2,150.94. Investigation continues.
Arrested was Warren A. Null, 29, of Amity, on a Warrant for Non-Payment of Child Support.
 
October 12, 2018
Arrested was Oscar P. Garcia, 38, of Wickes, on Charges of DWI and Faulty Equipment.
 
October 13, 2018
Report from a Hatfield man of inappropriate behavior regarding a child. Investigation continues.
Request for assistance for a medical issue on Polk 191 near Yocana. Deputies responded.
Report of an ATV accident on Polk 61 near Board Camp. Deputies responded.
 
October 14, 2018
Report from complainant on Polk 26 near Hatfield of problems concerning a neighbor’s dog. Deputy advised complainant of legal options.
 
Polk County Sheriff’s Office worked one vehicle accident this week. Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 21 Incarcerated Inmates, with 4 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.
 
PC18-00690
 
10-16-18 3:53 p.m. kawx.org 

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Mena's Healthy Connections Named to Best Places To Work List

Healthy Connections, Inc., has been named as one of the Best Places to Work in Arkansas by Arkansas Business and Best Companies Group.
 
The sixth-annual survey and awards program was designed to identify, recognize and honor the best employers in Arkansas, benefiting the state’s economy, workforce and businesses. This is the second consecutive year Healthy Connections has been named to the list, which is made up of 40 companies.
 
Healthy Connections, Inc., is celebrating its 20th year of taking care of Arkansas and operates nine clinics throughout Southwest Arkansas. Services include primary and preventative medical care, general dentistry, pediatrics, cardiology, behavioral health, physical therapy, and outreach services.

 

Shown in the picture is (left to right) Healthy Connections CEO Tony Calandro, CFO Gretchen Cannon, and Mitch Bettis, President Arkansas Business Publishing Group.
 
Learn more at: www.healthy-connections.org/best.

 

10-16-18 9:05 a.m. kawx.org 

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Polk County Sales Tax and Road Tax Collections Increase For September

Sales Tax General and Road Improvement Sales Tax are both 1% taxes coolected on retail sales in Polk County, Arkansas. In September 2018 both taxes generated $124,190.31 for a total of $248,380.62.

 

The total year-to-date through September 2018 for both taxes was $2,290,185.60.

 

The year-to-date total for the same period in 2017 was $2,161,944.10. 

 

Taxes collected have increased each month in 2018 over the same months in 2017 suggesting increasing retail sales in the county.

 

10-15-18 2:54 p.m. kawx.org 

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Mena Police Department Report for October 7th - 14th

Mena Police Department Report for the Week of October 7, 2018 through October 14, 2018 
 
October 7, 2018
 
Shauna Kahn, 53, of Mena was charged with disorderly conduct after a call to a residence in Mena.
 
October 8, 2018
 
Officers responded to a call of a disturbance regarding a fight between two local brothers, ages 17 and 12.  The boys were left in the custody of their father.
 
October 9, 2018
 
A local woman reported that someone had stolen checks from her home, and several of them had been cashed without her knowledge or permission.  Case is pending further investigation.
 
Chad Dale Olson, 32, of Mena was arrested on an outstanding warrant.
 
October 10, 2018
 
A local woman filed a report regarding an acquaintance of violating an order of protection she had filed against him.  Case pending.
 
Eric W. Thacker, 30, of Mena was arrested and charged with residential burglary, theft of a firearm, theft of property, possession of a firearm by certain persons, possession of schedule VI controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia.  The arrest followed an investigation by local officers.
 
Candice S. Lawrence, 36 of Mena was charged with theft of property (shoplifting) after officers responded to a call at a local retail store.
 
Daniel Chaney, 23, of Mena was arrested on an outstanding warrant for violation of an order of protection.
 
October 11, 2018
 
A Mena woman reported that someone had gained access to her checking account and had charged items to her.  Case is pending further investigation.,
 
Veronica Mae Maddox, 21, of Mena was arrested on two outstanding warrants, one from the sheriff’s office and one from the police department.
 
October 12, 2018
 
Report was made of threats being made to a local couple by a former boyfriend of the woman.  Case is pending.
 
A local man reported that when he arrived home, someone was trying to break into his house.  Case is pending location and interview of suspect.
 
Report was taken of a pickup being stolen from the driveway of a local residence.  Case pending.
 
Jeffery S. Manning, 57, of Mena was arrested on a warrant from the police department for failure to pay fines and court costs.
 
October 13, 2018
 
A local woman reported that she is being harassed by her former husband.  Case is pending.
 
10-15-18 11:25 a.m. kawx.org 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

In Arkansas, 1 in 4 women will suffer abuse in their lifetime. Domestic violence is an epidemic affecting every community regardless of age, economic status, gender, race, or religion.

 

To end domestic violence and sexual assault, we all need to be part of the solution. 

 

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. We want to use this time to remind Arkansans about the resources available to victims and the legislation passed to help put an end to the violence.

 

More than 10,000 Arkansans a year will seek help in a domestic violence shelter. Arkansas has 34 such shelters across the state.  In 2017, we passed legislation to provide additional funding to these shelters without a cost to taxpayers.

 

Act 583 directs an additional court cost of twenty-five dollars to be assessed if an individual is convicted of domestic abuse or is the respondent on a permanent order of protection.  The money will be used to administer grants to domestic violence shelters. 

 

Another piece of legislation ensures victims of domestic violence have contact with family and friends.

 

Act 577 allows a judge to issue an order directing a cell phone provider to transfer billing and rights of a cell phone number to the person seeking protection from domestic abuse.  This legislation aims to not only provide victims of abuse with access to contacts of family and friends but it also protects records on their location.

 

In addition, we passed legislation requiring cosmetology students to receive training in recognizing the signs of domestic violence.  This legislation does not require hair dressers to become mandated reporters, but rather opens the door to perhaps an opportunity for help.  Hair dressers could take the lessons they learned to provide information to a client about how and where to get help.

 

Every session, we evaluate our laws regarding domestic violence.  We will continue in this effort and welcome input from anyone impacted by this epidemic.

 

10-12-18 4:12 p.m. kawx.org 

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Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address - Arkansas's 2019 Teacher of the Year

 
LITTLE ROCK – Stacey McAdoo is Arkansas’s 2019 Teacher of the Year. She learned the news Monday morning while she was doing what she loves. She was working with students at Little Rock Central High.
 
But this announcement was a surprise. Her students were on the stage in the auditorium. Ms. McAdoo thought she was preparing them to make a video. She didn’t know that several of us were waiting behind the curtain with a Teacher of the Year plaque and a check for $14,000.
 
After her students ran through a rap poem, the curtain opened. The communications teacher was so surprised that she was without words. But only for a moment.
 
To those who know of Ms. McAdoo’s work with students, the honor is not a surprise.
 
Ms. McAdoo, a graduate of Hall High, is known as a teacher with a heart for students who are at risk of falling through the cracks. She teaches communications and leads AVID – which stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. AVID is a college-preparation program, and many of the participants are the first member of their family to go to college.
 
One measure of Ms. McAdoo’s success is that her students have the highest attendance rate at Little Rock Central. Her students’ average ACT score is 21. That is higher than the state average.
 
Ms. McAdoo doesn’t confine her work to the classroom. She founded Writeous Poets. Those students write poetry based on their research about significant historical events.
 
I had the pleasure of hearing two of the Writeous poems in February when several members of the poetry club performed at the capitol during Black History Month.
 
Ms. McAdoo was one of 14 regional finalists for the honor. Now she will compete for National Teacher of the Year. The finalists and winner in the Arkansas Teacher of Year are the cream of the crop. The program allows us to honor the best in the profession. We tell their story to inspire and encourage all teachers in the state.
 
Another way to honor and encourage our teachers is to pay competitive salaries. I have proposed a plan that will increase the minimum teachers’ salary to $36,000 a year, which would be the highest in our region.
 
The future of Arkansas’s success greatly depends on our ability to attract and retain teachers such as Ms. McAdoo and last year’s Teacher of the Year, Randi House.
 
Some of Ms. McAdoo’s students refer to her as Mom-ager – a combination of mom and manager. That’s a fitting title for a teacher who is teaching life and communication skills. Her passion and devotion help students find their way in the world. Congratulations, Stacey McAdoo. And thank you.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
10-12-18 3:31 p.m. kawx.org 

 

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Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column - A New Approach to Funding Water Projects

The Senate added one more very important bill to its list of bipartisan accomplishments this Congress, passage of the America’s Water Infrastructure Act.

 

This bill authorizes critical water infrastructure projects across the country for the next two years, which will help ensure our nation’s continued growth and maintain our position as a leader in the global economy. It is in lock step with President Trump’s vision for modernizing our infrastructure which will lead to more economic growth, less red tape, stronger personal property protections and improved transparency—all while being fiscally responsible.

 

Included within the America’s Water Infrastructure Act is an innovative approach to modernizing critical water infrastructure—especially in rural areas often unable to afford upgrades to aging water systems—that is based off legislation I authored with Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ).

 

The new program will combine the best aspects of two existing funding programs to make the process easier and more affordable for states to meet their underserved or unmet water infrastructure needs. It will increase access to previously unavailable funding sources for small and medium-size communities, while removing high application fees which often prevent rural communities from applying for funding.

 

This policy change is the result of months-long negotiations. It blends the best ideas available to ensure this common sense, bipartisan approach will work effectively and efficiently while providing millions, and potentially billions, in project dollars to communities that have traditionally not had access to these types of funds. Making this change will allow a multitude of vetted water and wastewater projects to receive funding without the Environmental Protect Agency having to process thousands of additional applications.

 

With support from a diverse group of senators, ranging from Jim Inhofe (R-OK) to Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), this new initiative to address overdue water infrastructure upgrades has the opportunity to yield dividends across the country. The fact that this new policy has cosponsors from across the country, with vastly different political ideologies, underscores an important point. Infrastructure investment is not a rural issue, or a big city issue. It is not a red state problem or a blue state problem. This is a national emergency, and it is time we put partisanship aside and work together to provide safe and reliable drinking and wastewater services to every part of our country.

 

This message is echoed by the diverse voices in the industry and advocacy community, on both a national and state level, who have put their support behind my idea. Kristina Swallow, President of the American Society of Civil Engineers, praised our new funding option “that will improve our nation’s water infrastructure.” Dennis Sternberg, Executive Director of Arkansas Rural Water Association, applauded the policy update to extend these authorities to states and localities, noting that “small communities have more difficulty affording public wastewater service due to lack of population density and lack of economies of scale.” He agrees that this new program will be a real help to rural America.

 

Passage of the America’s Water Infrastructure Act is in itself a bipartisan victory, as it cleared the Senate 99-1 in the final vote, a strong show of support that is not often seen with a bill of this magnitude. It will soon become law, setting a great example of the good policy outcomes that can be accomplished if we work together.

 

10-12-18 2:48 p.m. kawx.org 

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State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

State Capitol Week in ReviewFrom Senator Larry Teague

October 12, 2018

 

LITTLE ROCK – Depending on the outcome of legal challenges that are being considered by the state Supreme Court, Arkansas voters could decide five ballot issues at the November 6 general election.

 

The legislature referred Issue One and Issue Two to the ballot during last year’s regular session. The other three issues were brought to the ballot by citizens’ groups that gathered signatures of registered voters on petitions.

 

The first four issues are proposed amendments to the state Constitution. The fifth is a proposed initiated act; approval by voters would place it in the statute books but not in the Constitution. The process of changing a statute is simpler than changing a constitutional amendment. It is less time consuming and less expensive, too.

 

Issue One would cap attorneys’ fees and the amounts that plaintiffs can be awarded in a civil case. Contingency fees for attorneys would be limited to a third of the net recovery for plaintiffs. Punitive damages would be limited to $500,000, or three times the amount of compensatory damages, whichever is greater.

 

The legislature could raise the cap on damages by an extraordinary majority of two-thirds of the membership of each chamber. The legislature could not lower the cap.

 

Opponents of the ballot measure were successful at the lower court level, when a circuit judge ruled that the various sections of the proposed amendment do not relate to each other, thus making the overall impact unclear.

 

For that reason he ruled that no votes should be counted, either for or against Issue One. However, his ruling is on appeal to the state Supreme Court.

Issue Two would require voters to present a government-issued photo ID in order to cast a ballot. So far there have been no legal challenges filed against Issue Two being on the ballot.

 

Issue Three would limit terms of elected officials even more than under our current term limits amendment.

 

The measure was stricken from the ballot by a special master appointed by the Supreme Court, who ruled that petitions submitted by supporters did not have enough signatures of registered voters. The Supreme Court will review the master’s findings.

 

Issue Four would expand legal gambling in Arkansas. It would authorize two new casinos - one in Jefferson County within two miles of Pine Bluff and another in Pope County within two miles of Russellville.

 

Issue Four, if approved by voters, also would authorize casinos adjacent to the dog racing track in West Memphis and adjacent to the horse racing track in Hot Springs. This ballot measure is being challenged in court.

 

The Supreme Court rejected two legal challenges to Issue Four, thus clearing the way for the measure to remain on the ballot.

 

Issue Five, the proposed initiated act, would raise the state minimum wage. It would go from $8.50 to $9.25 per hour in 2019, then to $10 per hour in 2020. Finally it would increase to $11 per hour in 2021. A special master has approved Issue Five for the November ballot, but the Supreme Court will review that ruling.

 

A proposal to increase the state’s minimum wage was on the ballot in 2014 and voters approved it by a vote of 66 percent to 34 percent. It phased in a minimum wage increase of $2.25 an hour, over a three-year period.

 

10-12-18 9:26 a.m. kawx.org 

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Rutledge Calls on FCC to Stop Illegal Robocalls and Spoofing Says, 'the FCC needs to urge telephone service providers to protect consumers from illegal robocalls'

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

About Attorney General Leslie Rutledge

 

Leslie Carol Rutledge is the 56th Attorney General of Arkansas. She is the first woman and first Republican in Arkansas history to be elected to the office. Since taking office, she has begun a Mobile Office program, a Military and Veterans Initiative, a Metal Theft Prevention program and a Cooperative Disability Investigations program. She has led efforts to teach internet safety, combat domestic violence and make the office the top law firm for Arkansans. Rutledge serves as Chairwoman of the Republican Attorneys General Association and Chairwoman of the National Association of Attorneys General Southern Region. She also re-established and co-chairs the National Association of Attorneys General Committee on Agriculture.

A native of Batesville, she is a graduate of the University of Arkansas and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. Rutledge clerked for the Arkansas Court of Appeals, was Deputy Counsel for Gov. Mike Huckabee, served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Lonoke County and subsequently was an Attorney at the Department of Human Services before serving as Counsel at the Republican National Committee. Rutledge and her husband, Boyce, have one daughter. The family has a home in Pulaski County and a farm in Crittenden County.

 

10-11-18 3:28 p.m. kawx.org 

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Rutledge Applauds Decision Affirming Arkansas Voter ID

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released the below statement following today’s Arkansas Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of Act 633, which establishes procedures for verifying voter registration.

 

“Successfully defending our Voter ID law is a huge win for everyday Arkansans and our election process,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Today’s decision protects the integrity of every voter’s ballot and ensures that your vote cannot be stolen by someone pretending to be you at the polls.” 

 

10-11-18 1:43 p.m. kawx.org 

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Jorge Oseguera Promoted To Sergeant, New Troop K Post Supervisor For Polk County

The Arkansas State Police Commission approved the recommendations for promotions received today from Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police.
 
Sergeant Matt Miller, 54, of Jonesboro, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant. He is currently assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop C (Jonesboro) and a 26 year veteran of the department.
 
Lieutenant Miller will assume new duties as assistant commander of Highway Patrol Division, Troop I (Harrison).
 
Corporal Jorge Oseguera, 50, of Hot Springs, was promoted to the rank of sergeant.  He is currently assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop K (Hot Springs).
 
Sergeant Oseguera will assume new duties as Troop K, post supervisor, in Polk County.
 
Corporal Dustin Morgan, 43, of Paragould, was promoted to the rank of sergeant.  He is currently assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop C (Jonesboro).
 
Sergeant Morgan will assume new duties as a supervisor assigned to the department’s Regulatory Division at state police administrative headquarters in Little Rock.
 
10-11-18 12:04 p.m. kawx.org 

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PCSO Arrests Hatfield Resident On First Degree Murder Charges, Victim Identified

On Wednesday, 10/10/18, at approximately 11:40 AM, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a dead body found on the Mountain Fork River along Polk Road 38, west of Hatfield, Arkansas. A short time later, Deputies with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office located the body of a white male in the rocks along side the river. The victim was identified as Don Earl Smith, age 60, of Hatfield, Arkansas. During the investigation conducted by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the Arkansas State Police, evidence was developed that led to the arrest of John Leonard Mitchell, age 58, of Hatfield, Arkansas. John Leonard Mitchell is currently in custody at the Polk County Detention Center. He is charged with Murder 1st Degree and Possession of a Firearm by Certain Person.
 
10-11-18 10:15 a.m. kawx.org 

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ATTORNEY GENERAL ALERT: Online Services May Not Be All That They Appear

LITTLE ROCK – From food delivery to job applications, many services are available online rather than requiring Arkansans to visit a storefront, but the quality of services may diminish if completed online rather than in person. Some companies are offering medical services online, including eye and hearing exams, potentially decreasing the accuracy of the services.
 
“Arkansans should take advantage of advances in technology often to make our busy lives easier,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “But we should all do our due diligence to research companies and apps to ensure that the services are accurate, effective and legitimate.”
 
Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips for consumers who decide to pay for services online:

 

  • Check the site’s privacy policy before providing any personal financial information and determine how the information will be used or shared with others. Also check the site’s statements about the security provided for your information. Some websites’ disclosures are easier to find than others — look at the bottom of the home page, on order forms or in the “About” or “FAQs” section of a site.
  • Pay by credit card, the most secure way. Under federal law, you can dispute the charges if you do not get what you were promised. You may also dispute unauthorized charges on your credit card. Many credit card issuers have “zero liability” policies under which you pay nothing if someone steals and uses your credit card.
  • Keep personal information private. Do not disclose personal information – address, telephone number, Social Security number, bank account number or email address – unless you know who is collecting the information, why they are collecting it and how they will use it.
  • Review monthly credit card and bank statements for any errors or unauthorized purchases promptly and thoroughly. Notify your credit or debit card issuer immediately if your credit or debit card or checkbook is lost or stolen, or if you suspect someone is using your accounts without your permission.

Rutledge encourages Arkansans to check a business’s status with the Attorney General’s Office or the Better Business Bureau to ensure its legitimacy.

 

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

 

10-11-18 9:49 a.m. kawx.org 

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Governor Hutchinson Declares October Arkansas Farm to School Month

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Governor Hutchinson has proclaimed October as Arkansas Farm to School Month, joining nationwide efforts to connect schools, early care and educational sites, and other organizations with farms to bring local, healthy food to children. Find the full Arkansas Farm to School proclamation, here.

 

“School gardens create valuable teaching experiences because they incorporate hands-on activities with lessons in food production and proper nutrition, and the overall importance of agriculture. I commend the efforts of educators and partners engaged in making our communities healthier through student-led food initiatives like school gardens,” said Governor Hutchinson.

 

More than 42,500 schools have joined the Farm to School movement across the U.S., engaging approximately 23.6 million students each year, including 192 schools and nearly 95,000 students in Arkansas. Find additional resources for Farm to School activities and support at: www.arkansasfarmtoschool.org.

 

Ways to participate in Farm to School Month in Arkansas include:

 

  • Schools: Plan a school garden through your FFA or 4H Club. Farm to School grants are available through a partnership between the Arkansas Agriculture Department and Farm Credit. Find out more at https://www.agriculture.arkansas.gov/aad-grants.
  • Schools: Create a Farm to School salad bar, using local products.
  • Teachers: Organize a farm tour or trip to the local farmers’ market.
  • Teachers: Connect garden-based, hands-on learning activities to curriculum.
  • Families: Take the kids to your local farmers market or harvest festival.
  • Families: Cook with seasonal products, and involve the entire family in meal preparation.
  • Farmers: Connect with your local schools, and offer to provide farm visits or classroom presentations.
  • Farmers: Connect with a local teacher to provide photos and stories to students about your farming operation.

 

The Arkansas Farm to School Month Proclamation is supported by a group of Farm to School state and private partners, including: the Access to Healthy Foods Research Group at Arkansas Children’s Research Institute, Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention, Arkansas Department of Education Child Nutrition Unit, University Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service, Arkansas Minority Health Commission, Arkansas Department of Health, Arkansas MarketMaker, Healthy Active Arkansas, and the Arkansas Agriculture Department.

 

10-11-18 8:28 a.m. kawx.org 

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Weekly Fishing Report

Weekly Fishing Report

 

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for Oct. 10, 2018. If there is a body of water you would like included in this report, please email AGFCfishingreport@outlook.com with information on possible sources for reports about that lake or river. Reports are updated weekly, although some reports might be published for two weeks if updates are not received promptly or if reporters say conditions haven’t changed. Contact the reporter for the lake or stream you plan to fish for current news.

 

Central Arkansas

 

North Arkansas

 

Northwest Arkansas

 

Northeast Arkansas

 

Southeast Arkansas

 

Southwest Arkansas

 

South-Central Arkansas

 

West-Central Arkansas

 

East Arkansas

 

Arkansas River and White River levels are available at: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=lzk

 

For real-time information on stream flow in Arkansas from the U.S. Geological Survey, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/rt

 

For water-quality statistics (including temperature) in many Arkansas streams and lakes, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/current/?type=quality.

 

10-10-18 4:34 p.m. kawx.org 

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Merriment of Mena Street - Christmas Lights and Display Contest Announced

On December 1st we invite you to participate in Mena's biggest and brightest parade!
 
Download your application at www.menapolkchamber.com or contact the Chamber office at 479-394-2912 ~ secretary@menapolkchamber.com.

New this year is our Merriment of Mena Street - Christmas Lights and Display Contest!

It's time to make that storefront sparkle and show off your hard work by entering our contest. Open to all businesses on Mena Street, no entry fee, registration and display must be completed by November 26, 2018 to be eligible for judging. Registration forms can be found on our website or by contacting the Chamber office.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
10-10-18 11:04 a.m. kawx.org 
 
 

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First Ladies of Arkansas showcased at Old State House Museum

The Old State House Museum in Little Rock has reopened one of its most popular exhibits, "First Ladies of Arkansas: Women of their Times." The newly renovated exhibit, which first opened in the 1950s, is known for having the largest display of first ladies’ gowns outside the Smithsonian.
 
“This whole exhibit, it’s not about the pretty dresses,” said Jo Ellen Maack, the museum’s curator. “It’s about the women themselves. It’s about their causes.”
 
Issues such as education, healthcare, the suffrage movement, and the arts have been championed by the first ladies and the exhibit also highlights their life after office.
 
“All of these women, none of them just sat back and said, ‘well I was first lady that was enough,’” said Maack. “Every one of them have gone on and led extraordinary lives. We try to talk about that in the exhibit.”
 
The exhibit showcases the accomplishments of governors’ wives throughout Arkansas’s history.
 
You can learn about Mary Jane Bradley Conway, Arkansas’s original first lady. Her husband was James Sevier Conway, who took office as Arkansas’s first governor after Arkansas became a state in 1836. His final resting place is the 11-acre historic site Conway Cemetery State Park in southwest Arkansas.
 
Anne McMath’s hand painted campaign gown is in the exhibit and highlights the accomplishments of Arkansas Governor Sid McMath during his first term in office. The McMath's were the first family to live in the Governor’s Mansion, which was completed in 1950.
 
Hillary Clinton’s 1979 inauguration gown, which was designed by Little Rock designer Connie Fails, is also on display as well as more information on the accomplishments of this former first lady of Arkansas who went on to serve as first lady of the United States, a U.S. Senator, the U.S. Secretary of State and a nominee for President of the United States.
 
The well worn and duct taped hiking boots of Gay White, who served as first lady in the 1980s, are also on display from her Grand Canyon adventures.
 
The gowns and artifacts will be rotated once a year in the gallery, which now includes motion-activated lighting and temperature controlled cases. The exhibit will also be added to. Text panels include a quick bio of the first lady and information on their gowns if one is shown.

The exhibit also has touch screen kiosks where you can learn more about the first ladies. “You can see photographs and go in deeper for information and there is also a video we did with them,” said Maack. “Some talk about their dresses but mostly they talk about what they want to be remembered for as first lady. It’s really getting to know them even more.”
 
This is phase one of the permanent museum exhibit, “First Families: Mingling of Politics and Culture.” Phase two, which will be located in the next room over from the First Ladies of Arkansas exhibit, is expected to open next summer and will focus on the governors of Arkansas. “The exciting thing is that it is going to be where the original governors’ offices were when the Old State House was the state capitol,” said Maack. “I was blown away by all the governors that went on to incredible things, once again like the first ladies.”
 
The Old State House Museum, which is located at 300 W. Markham, interprets Arkansas history from statehood to the present. Built in 1836, the Old State House was the state's original capitol until 1911. Admission is free and open to the public. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and 1-5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, visit oldstatehouse.com.

 

10-10-18 8:15 a.m. kawx.org 

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Rutledge Joins 17-State Coalition Amicus Brief Opposing New York's Overreaching Gun Restrictions Says, 'Allowing a government such control sets a dangerous precedent'

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today joined 16 other states in an amicus brief supporting the Second Amendment in response to New York City’s “premises permit” gun restrictions.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

10-10-18 7:59 a.m. kawx.org 

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POLK COUNTY SHERIFF'S LOG FOR OCTOBER 1st - 7th

SHERIFF’S LOG
 
The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of October 1, 2018 – October 7, 2018. The charges against those arrested are allegations and the cases are still pending in the courts. Individuals charged and whose names appear in this column
may submit documentation to us at a later date that the charges have been dismissed or that they have been found innocent and we will include that information in this space in a timely manner.
 
October 1, 2018
Report from complainant on Icy Lane near Wickes of the theft of a tiller, valued at $500.00. Investigation continues.
Report from the Polk County Office Complex of attempted entry into the building by unknown persons. Investigation continues. Report from complainant on Polk 407 near Cove of a disturbance that had occurred earlier. Investigation continues. Report from complainant on Polk 41 South near Potter of the theft of an ATV, valued at $800.00. Investigation continues. Arrested by an officer with the Grannis Police Department was Jennifer D. Jeanes, 40, of Grannis, on a Warrant for Failure to Comply with a Court Order.
 
October 2, 2018
Report from complainant on Polk 40 near Hatfield of an assault that had occurred earlier. Information has been provided to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Report from complainant on Polk 43 near Mena of an individual that refuses to return a vehicle to the owner. Information has been provided to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Report from complainant on East Dawn Lane near Mena of an assault that had occurred earlier. Information has been provided to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Report of a disturbance on Little Bear Lane near Mena. Investigation continues.
Report from complainant on Highway 8 West near Shady Grove of being harassed by an acquaintance. Investigation continues.
Arrested was George A. Boren, 59, of Mena, on a Warrant for Violation of an Order of Protection.
Arrested was Ryon L. Gregory, 26, of Smithville, OK, on a Warrant for Failure to Appear.
 
October 3, 2018
Arrested by an officer with the Drug Task Force was Billie C. Jennings, 58, of Mena, on a Warrant for Delivery of Meth/Cocaine.
 
October 4, 2018
Report from complainant on Polk 251 near Grannis of paying an individual $490.00 to perform work, but the work was never done. Information has been provided to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
 
October 5, 2018
Arrested was Asa R. Dixon, 20, of Cove, on a Warrant for Failure to Comply with a Court Order.
Arrested was James A. Jennings, 39, of Mena, on Warrants for Failure to Comply with a Court Order and Failure to Comply with Registration Requirements.
Arrested was Charles R. Czarnetzki, 43, of Mena, on a Sebastian County Warrant.
Arrested was Anastasia E. Jennings, 34, of Waldron, on a Warrant for Failure to Appear.
Arrested was Larry D. Graham, 53, of Mena, on a Warrant for two counts of Delivery of Meth/Cocaine.
Arrested by a trooper with the Arkansas State Police was Oscar Ramirez, 47, of Cove, on Warrants for Failure to Appear and Failure to Comply with a Court Order.
 
October 6, 2018
Report of property being removed from a residence on Butler Circle in Hatfield by an unauthorized person. After speaking with suspect, all property was returned to the owner.
Report of an ATV accident on Wolf Pen Trail Complex near Highway 375 East near Shady.
Report from complainant on Highway 71 South near Hatfield of the theft of a firearm, valued at $432.53. Investigation continues.
Report from complainant on West Johnson Street in Hatfield of a dog bite victim. Owner was
advised to quarantine the animal for ten days.
Report from a Cove woman of a missing 16-year-old family member. The juvenile was located and returned to the custody of a parent/guardian.
Arrested was Juston M. Wikel, 33, of Mena, on a Charge of Driving with a Suspended Driver’s License.
 
October 7, 2018
Report of a one-vehicle accident on Highway 8 East near Mena led to the arrest of Michelle L. Vest, 43, of Mena, on Charges of DWI, Possession of a Schedule VI Controlled Substance and Refusal to Submit.
Request for assistance on Polk 136 near Cove with an elderly neighbor. Deputy responded.
Report from complainant on Polk 105 near Acorn of the theft of a lawn mower valued at $600.00, and other miscellaneous household items. nvestigation continues.
Report from complainant on Polk 87 near Ink of the theft of prescription medication.
Report of a disturbance on Polk 24 near Cove led to a Citation for Criminal Mischief being issued to Neisha F. Wikel, 25, of Cove.
Arrested was Brian K. Whisenhunt, 37, of Umpire, on a Charge of Fleeing on Foot and two Warrants for a Parole Hold and Delivery or Meth/Cocaine.
Report from a Mena man of problems regarding child custody exchange.
 
Polk County Sheriff’s Office worked two vehicle accidents this week. Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 22 Incarcerated Inmates, with 3 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.
 
PC18-00676
 
10-9-18 3:28 p.m. kawx.org

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Mena Police Department Report for September 30th - October 6th

Mena Police Department Reports for the Week of September 30, 2018 through October 6, 2018 
 
September 30, 2018
 
Tyra Alley, 57 of Mena was charged with theft of property (shoplifting) after officers responded to a call at a local retail store.
 
A local man reported that someone had broken into his house and stolen tools.  Case is pending.
 
October 1 & 2, 2018
 
Report was taken of a local man entering an acquaintance’s house without permission, and refusing to leave.  No charges have been filed at this time.
 
A local woman reported that someone had vandalized her fence and cut the wires to her satellite dish.  Case is pending.
 
October 3, 2018
 
A local woman reported that her former boyfriend had come uninvited into her house and attacked her.  Case is pending further investigation and location and interview of suspect.
 
October 4, 2018
 
Report was made of license tags being stolen from a vehicle.  Case pending.
 
Derek Wayne Tarkinton, 25, and Shauna Michelle Morris, 22, both of Mena, were each charged with obstructing governmental operations after an incident on a local street.
 
Abram Abernathy, 21, of Mena was arrested on two outstanding warrants from the Mena Police Department.
 
Stephen Henry Hobbs, 31, of Cove was served an outstanding warrant from the Mena Police Department. 
 
October 5, 2018
 
Jonathan S. Colbert, 44, of Mena was charged with public intoxication, disorderly conduct, criminal trespass, and resisting arrest.  The arrest followed a call to a disturbance at a local residence.
 
October 6, 2018
 
Martha Maxine Tucker, 37, of Mena was served a warrant for probation violation.
 
10-8-18 12:14 p.m. kawx.org 

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Mena Students To Honor Veterans With Video, Pictures Requested

Mena Middle School students will be assisting with a luncheon to honor Polk County Veterans in November. There will be a video featuring pictures of local veterans shown at the luncheon, and families of veterans are encouraged to send pictures, as well as the full name, rank, branch of service, and years served to be used in the video tribute.

 

Pictures and information about the veteran should be emailed to polkcountyvets@gmail.com.

 

For more information, contact Jessica Smith at Mena Middle School.

 

10-8-18 12:01 p.m. kawx.org 

 

 

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Early Voting Starts In Two Weeks

Early voting begins two weeks from today. Do you know who your candidates are and where they stand on the issues?

Family Council is shipping thousands of printed copies of the Arkansas Voter's Guide statewide ahead of the election in November. You can request free copies of the guide by going to ArkansasVotersGuide.com.

So far we've shipped nearly 40,000 printed copies of the guide, and we have about 10,000 left.

If you haven't already ordered copies of the guide for your family, your home school group, your church, or your friends, don't wait. Order them today at ArkansasVotersGuide.com.


Since 1990 Family Council has produced the state's leading nonpartisan voter's guide.

We survey the candidates on issues like school choice, marriage, abortion, illegal immigration, and other topics, and we published their responses in print and online.

Our voter's guide tells you who the candidates are, how to contact them, and where they stand on a number of important issues.

You can order free copies of the guide right now at ArkansasVotersGuide.com.

We can only provide printed copies of the Arkansas Voter's Guide while supplies last, so don't wait.

The Arkansas Voter's Guide is completely free, but you can help support it by making a generous, tax-deductible donation to Family Council today. Click here to donate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10-8-18 8:09 a.m. kawx.org 

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Sex Offender Arrested By Polk County Deputies, US Secret Service Involved

The Polk County Sheriff's Department arrested Jeremy Golden, a Mount Ida resident, on charges of internet stalking of a child and sexual indecency with a child Wednesday (October 3, 2018) in Polk County. The prosecutor wanted Golden tried in Federal Court instead of State Court. After an indictment was handed down, Polk County deputies made the arrest and the United States Secret Service was on hand to transport Golden to Hot Springs for arraignment, according to Sheriff Scott Sawyer.

 

10-6-18 12:59 p.m. kawx.org 

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US, Arkansas Flags To Be Flown At Half Staff Sunday In Honor of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service

On Sunday, October 7, 2018, in accordance with Public Law 107-51, the flag of the United States and the state flag of Arkansas will be flown at half-staff in honor of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service.

 

To see the Presidential Proclamation for Fire Prevention Week, 2018, click HERE.

 

10-5-18 10:07 a.m. kawx.org 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

On October 16, legislators will begin meeting at the Capitol to review budget needs for the next fiscal year. Budget hearings are expected to continue through the middle of November.  During that time, members will review budget requests from boards, commissions, and state agencies.

 

On November 14, the Department of Finance and Administration is scheduled to present an annual forecast and recommendations for a balanced budget by the Governor.

 

We know from recent revenue reports that Arkansas’s financial outlook looks optimistic. General revenue for the current fiscal year is already $93.7 million more than this time last year.  That is 2.3% above the forecast for that period.  Individual income tax, corporate income tax, and sales tax collections are all showing an increase from last year.

 

For the month of September alone, general revenue was 9.8% or $50.7 million more than September 2017.

 

The Arkansas Tax Reform and Relief Task Force has been meeting on a regular basis for more than a year.  The task force has been reviewing existing tax structures and the implications of possible reductions.  The task force expects to make recommendations for tax cuts and have legislation drafted before the session begins.  Any new legislation would have to be enacted through the normal legislative process during the session.

 

The 2019 Regular Session begins January 14. Unless extended by a 2/3 vote, Regular Sessions are scheduled to last 60 days.  Therefore, if we don’t begin drafting appropriation bills before the session begins, there would be little chance of us finishing our work on time.

 

The meetings take place in the MAC building located directly behind the Capitol.  They are open to the public.  We will post the agendas daily on our website www.arkansashouse.org as well as our social media pages.

 

10-5-18 4:51 p.m. kawx.org 

 

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Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Governor's Plan to Transform Government

 
LITTLE ROCK – This week, I unveiled my plan to cut the number of cabinet-level agencies in state government from 42 to 15, a reduction of 64 percent. This initiative to make state government more efficient is one of the most important undertakings of my administration.
 
I developed this plan with the leadership of my Chief Transformation Officer Amy Fecher and with advice from the members of the Transformation Advisory Board, who have spent the past 18 months looking for ways to transform state government.
 
I also sought the views of the director of each of the 42 agencies. For perspective, as we consider the importance of reducing the size of government, consider that number for a moment: 42 cabinet-level agencies, all of which by law answer directly to me. If the director of each agency needed my attention for just one hour a week, that would be a 40-hour bite out of my schedule before I ever made the first telephone call to recruit a company or traveled the state to visit with farmers.
 
I wouldn’t have much time for other state business. When you add in the state’s more than 200 boards and commissions, we’re talking about a really big government.
 
Before I outline what this proposed reorganization accomplishes, I would like to emphasize what the plan does not do. We have been mindful that as we shrink the government, we are dealing with real people. This plan does not call for any layoffs or cut any essential services.
 
This reform has been an ongoing effort. In 2015, we moved the Department of Rural Services into Economic Development. We moved the Lottery Scholarship, which was an independent agency, into the Department of Finance. In 2017, the Energy Office went into Department of Environmental Quality.
 
Now we are finishing the job with a cohesive plan. This plan reduces the fragmentation of government using existing resources without increasing staffing levels. This will improve delivery of services to taxpayers by breaking down silos within state government and combining agencies in a way that allows for increased coordination. This will improve management control, and provides more support and accountability.
 
Regulatory and licensing boards will retain their authority and revenue sources. Agencies, boards, and commissions will retain their revenues streams as required by law.
 
This is the first comprehensive reorganization of state government in 50 years. It was 1971 when Governor Dale Bumpers reduced the number of major agencies from almost 60 to 13. It’s time we take a hard look at how we do things and improve our performance.
 
Now that the plan has been presented, it is important to listen. We want to listen to the comments from the public, legislators, industry, and state employees.
 
In January, I will formally present this plan to the General Assembly, and with their support, I will sign this historic transformation of government into law.
 
But my signature won’t mark the end of this process – only the beginning. Transformation of government will continue as we keep looking for new ways to make state government work better for the people of Arkansas.
 
10-5-18 4:46 p.m. kawx.org 
 

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Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column

Strengthening the Federal Response to the Opioid Crisis

 

The opioid epidemic took the lives of 72,000 Americans last year. Opioid abuse doesn’t discriminate, it threatens nearly every community across the United States.

 

Congress is aggressively working to combat this problem by expanding prevention efforts, empowering law enforcement and increasing access to treatment. President Trump recently signed into law added opioid crisis response funding and now additional legislation aimed at turning the tide is headed to his desk.

 

In early October, the Senate joined the House and passed a comprehensive opioid response package. It contains a wide array of avenues to counter the crisis, including ways to get individuals the help and support they need to recover. The bill focuses on prevention, treatment, providing additional law enforcement tools and expanding research into non-addictive pain treatments.

 

The legislation also enhances a grant program to train first responders administering naloxone, the drug that can be used to block the effects of opioids and prevent deaths from an overdose.

 

Since 2017, the Arkansas Naloxone Project has trained more than 3,300 first responders to administer the drug. This effort has saved at least 142 lives. The program continues to grow. Other states can replicate the success of Arkansas by utilizing these grant funds to train first responders.

 

Not only does this legislation help those already impacted by this crisis, it also aims to stop even more lethal drugs like fentanyl from getting into the country by improving detection of prohibited drugs being illegally imported through the mail.

 

The opioid epidemic has been keenly felt within our veteran population. During a bipartisan forum on opioid abuse last month, I highlighted the work we’ve done and continue to do to help veterans living with substance abuse.

 

We’ve established a drug take-back program in coordination with the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA); promoted flexibility in pain management by encouraging alternative treatments such as therapies that involve animals, outdoor activities and meditation; as well as provided more funding to Veterans Treatment Courts. We also improved VA policy to require practitioners to consult the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) database when prescribing medication in order to more closely monitor a veteran’s prescription history. 

 

The opioid epidemic directly touches veterans and virtually all Arkansans. We all have a stake in this fight. If individuals are living healthier lives they will be able to be more productive citizens, and help their communities thrive.

 

In recent weeks, Arkansas has received millions of dollars in additional federal funding to combat this crisis. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is investing more than $150,000 to convert the former Jackson County jail into the White River Women’s Shelter to provide prevention, recovery and treatment services to individuals recovering from opioid misuse. Additionally, nearly $3 million was awarded to several Arkansas Community Health Centers to help these facilities that are on the frontlines of the opioid epidemic.

 

Additional funding and policy updates are just a small piece of the puzzle. Together we can make a real difference and change the conversations we have around opioid abuse and addiction to focus not on the lives taken, but on the lives saved.

 

10-5-18 3:01 p.m. kawx.org 

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United States Flags to Half-Staff on Sunday, October 7, 2018 in Honor of National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service

The United States Congress created the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation to lead a nationwide effort to remember America's fallen firefighters. Since 1992, the tax-exempt, nonprofit Foundation has developed and expanded programs to honor our fallen fire heroes and assist their families and coworkers.
 
103 Fallen Firefighters will be honored during the 37th National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service on Sunday, October 7, 2018. The U.S. Fire Service will pay tribute to the lives of 80 firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2017 and 23 firefighters who died in previous years.
 
In accordance to Public Law 107-51, the American flag should be lowered to half-staff on Sunday, October 7 sunrise to sunset in observance of National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service. 
 
10-5-18 1:55 p.m. kawx.org 

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Military Service Members Can Vote Absentee

ATTORNEY GENERAL ALERT: Military Service Members Can Vote Absentee

 

LITTLE ROCK – Voting at the ballot box is an important right for all Americans, including our active duty military men and women, and their families. But voting absentee may be confusing and often an option some may not be aware of. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act ensures voting eligibility in the military member’s state of legal residence.

 

“The deadline is quickly approaching to register to vote to be able to cast a vote in November’s general election,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “It is important that all Arkansans have their voices heard in November, including our military service members who are currently stationed outside of their home State or country. Absentee ballots can be requested by contacting the county clerk where the service member is registered to vote.”

 

Attorney General Rutledge shares Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin’s list of qualifications for voting absentee:

·       The voter will be unavoidably absent from the polling site on election day.

·       The voter will be unable to attending the polling site on election day due to illness or physical disability.

·       The member of the Uniformed Services, merchant marines, spouse or a dependent family member are away from the polling location due to the member’s active duty status.

·       A U.S. citizen whose residence is in Arkansas but is temporarily living outside the territorial limits of the United States is eligible to vote absentee.

 

According to the Arkansas Secretary of State’s Elections Division, absentee ballots can be delivered through either the U.S. Postal Service or Ballot Safe, a secure online website. If the military service member decides to download the ballot instead of receiving a hard copy, the ballot will need to be printed, filled out and mailed to the county clerk, postmarked by Election Day, Nov. 6.

 

Military and family members are eligible to vote in their state of legal residence. This could be an original address, or the families can change their legal residence at each permanent duty station change. The American Bar Association encourages military families to keep voter registration, vehicle registration and State of legal residence the same for tax purposes.

 

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

 

10-5-18 9:44 a.m. kawx.org 

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Weekly Fishing Report

Weekly Fishing Report

 

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for Oct. 3, 2018. If there is a body of water you would like included in this report, please email AGFCfishingreport@outlook.com with information on possible sources for reports about that lake or river. Reports are updated weekly, although some reports might be published for two weeks if updates are not received promptly or if reporters say conditions haven’t changed. Contact the reporter for the lake or stream you plan to fish for current news.

 

Central Arkansas

 

North Arkansas

 

Northwest Arkansas

 

Northeast Arkansas

 

Southeast Arkansas

 

Southwest Arkansas

 

South-Central Arkansas

 

West-Central Arkansas

 

East Arkansas

 

Arkansas River and White River levels are available at: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=lzk

 

For real-time information on stream flow in Arkansas from the U.S. Geological Survey, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/rt

 

For water-quality statistics (including temperature) in many Arkansas streams and lakes, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/current/?type=quality.

 

10-5-18 9:38 a.m. kawx.org 

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State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

October 5, 2018

 

LITTLE ROCK – Since 2015, when the legislature approved Act 187 to upgrade the computer capacity of public schools, Arkansas has moved to the head of the class in national rankings.

 

The Arkansas Public School Computer Network can now provide Internet service at a rate of one megabit per second per user to 98 percent of the state’s schools.

 

That is more than any other state, according to a non-profit organization called Information Superhighway, which works to upgrade and expand computer access in public schools.

 

Act 187 required every Arkansas high school, including charters, to offer at least one computer science class. It also created a task force of educators, science teachers and people with expertise in computers.  Its duty was to ensure that computer courses are up to date and of the highest caliber.

 

The act was part of the governor’s legislative package. The progress made by Arkansas schools is even more impressive considering where they were before 2015.

 

In a 2011 study, 80 percent of educational administrators reported that their schools had problems with bandwidth that prevented them from offering computer and technology courses. They had to restrict student access to school computers because of a lack of bandwidth.

 

One problem was that too many schools relied on copper lines, which had been sufficient but had become obsolete. They were replaced with fiber optic cables, which can transmit much more data and will be able to better meet future demands.

 

Providing bandwidth in all areas of the state is significant because it helps level the playing field between rich and poor districts, as well as between urban and rural districts.

 

Academic success in the modern classroom is a parallel journey to success later in life in the modern economy. Technical skills, particularly in computers and telecommunication, are essential.

 

The expansion of broadband capacity resulting from Act 187 has meant that an additional 115,000 Arkansas children have access to high speed Internet.

 

Providing Internet access to schools throughout Arkansas was accomplished with funding from federal and state governments, as well as local school districts. They contracted with a coalition of 21 service providers.

 

The cost of purchasing broadband capability in Arkansas has been going down. In 2015 it cost $14 to provide 1 mbps and today it costs less than two dollars. Lower costs were a factor that allowed Arkansas officials to expand school network capacity by an average of 40 percent.

 

Government programs for expansion of bandwidth in schools go by a variety of acronyms, such as E-rate 2.0, Connect Ed, BTOP and Ed-Fi. The federal government provided $30 million for Internet in Arkansas schools, and there are 55 school districts that can access $8.3 million before the end of the year.

 

Revenue Report

The Arkansas economy was healthy during the first three months of the state fiscal year, judging by state general revenue collections. Gross collections were up 4.9 percent over the first three months of last fiscal year.

 

The increase was driven by strong collections of individual and corporate income taxes, as well as sales taxes, according to the director of the state Department of Finance and Administration. Increased revenue is an accurate gauge of increased economic activity because tax rates have not gone up.

 

10-5-18 9:30 a.m. kawx.org 

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Governor Announces Transformation Plan To Cut Cabinet-Level Agencies from 42 to 15 First comprehensive reorganization effort in 50 years

LITTLE ROCK – At a news conference this afternoon, Governor Asa Hutchinson unveiled his plan to cut the number of cabinet-level agencies from 42 to 15. This is first comprehensive effort to trim state government since 1972.
 
“This long-overdue and comprehensive reorganization effort will realign agencies to reflect a more modern and efficient way to operate state government without cutting any services,”Governor Hutchinson said during his presentation at the Arkansas State Capitol on Wednesday.“This will result in improved delivery of services and will ultimately save the state money and the taxpayer time.”
 
“Additionally, as was the case in the creation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security during my time as Undersecretary, all reorganization efforts will be implemented using existing resources and without adding any additional staff,” added Governor Hutchinson.
 
You can find the proposed reorganization chart and guide HERE and HERE
 
The Governor’s proposal accomplishes six key objectives to improve state government:
 
1.  This proposal will reduce the number of cabinet-level agencies by nearly 65 percent, from 42 to 15 without sacrificing any services. This move will increase an agency head’s flexibility to make quicker decisions that will improve the quality and delivery of services.
•    The proposed mergers will strengthen the affected agencies by providing more resources while at the same time eliminating duplicative processes.
Ex: Both the Arkansas Agriculture Department (AAD) and the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission (ANRC) will be strengthened by bringing ANRC under AAD.
Ex: Both the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) and the Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE) will be strengthened by bringing the two departments into one larger cabinet group.
•   NOTE: Higher Education Institutions will remain independent.
2.  This proposal will assign more than 200 boards and commissions to a larger umbrella department.
•   NOTE: Regulatory and Licensing Boards will retain their authority and revenue sources.
3.  This proposal will improve the delivery of services to Arkansas taxpayers by breaking down silos within state government.
Ex: The Department of Health and 15 health-related boards and commissions will be brought together under one umbrella department.
Ex: The new Department of Public Safety will bring all law enforcement and protection agencies together for the first time.
4.  This proposal will improve management control throughout state government through the creation of the Department of Transformation and Shared Services:
•    Office of Personnel Management
•    Division of Procurement
•    Employee Benefits Division
•    Division of Building Authority
•    Department of Information Systems
•    Geographic Information Systems
5.  This proposal will allow agencies to maintain their independent services, where appropriate.
•    NOTE: Any agency/board/commission will retain their special revenue streams required by law. Some agencies will remain independent for constitutional reasons or because of their specific function.
6.  This proposal will create savings for the state and taxpayers beginning in the FY 2021 budget through lease and rent savings, shared services, and a more responsive management approach, to name a few.
 
Finally, as noted above, in the same way the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was created during Governor Hutchinson’s time as Undersecretary of Homeland Security, all reorganization efforts will be implemented using existing resources and without adding any additional staff.
You can find a substantive list of “key points” on the proposal HERE
 
10-3-18 12:12 p.m. kawx.org 

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State Police Senior Corporal Becky Vacco Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, Arceneaux and Wolf From Mena PD Honored

Editors Note-In addition to Corporal Vacco, Mena Police Department Officers Paul Arceneaux and Mike Wolf were recognized as outstanding police officers from Polk County.

 

Rutledge Names Arkansas State Police Senior Corporal Becky Vacco Law Enforcement Officer of the Year

Recognizes regional winners and outstanding officer in each county

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

County Officers of the Year

 

Arkansas County

Officer Paul Colvin, Stuttgart Police Department

 

Ashley County

Wildlife Officer Eric Smith, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

 

Baxter County

Senior Corporal Becky Vacco, Arkansas State Police

 

Benton County

Officer Ericka Williams, Bentonville Police Department

 

Boone County

Trooper Jason Hutcheson, Arkansas State Police

 

Bradley County

Corporal Robert Sellers, Arkansas Department of Transportation

 

Calhoun County

Deputy Clifton Humphries, Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office

 

Carroll County

Wildlife Officer Kelli Sanders, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

 

Chicot County

Chief Percy Wilburn, Lake Village Police Department

 

Clark County

Investigator Sandra Jones, Clark County Sheriff’s Office

 

Clay County

Chief Deputy Tom Colbert, Clay County Sheriff’s Office

 

Cleburne County

Officer Austin Miller, Cleburne County Sheriff’s Office

 

Cleveland County

Chief Deputy Gary Young, Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office

 

Columbia County

Investigator Kelly Blair, Columbia County Sheriff’s Office

 

Conway County

Trooper Corey Earls, Arkansas State Police

 

Craighead County

Sergeant Philip Vanwinkle, Craighead County Sheriff’s Office

 

Crawford County

Trooper Joshua Elmore, Arkansas State Police

 

Crittenden County

Corporal Flarcell Tate, Arkansas State Police

 

Cross County

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

 

Dallas County

Chief Jimmy Vaughan, Fordyce Police Department

 

Desha County

Chief Everett Cox, Dumas Police Department

 

Drew County

Sergeant David Outlaw, Arkansas State Police

 

Faulkner County

Investigator Kennon Cook, Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office

 

Franklin County

Senior Corporal Rickey Denton, Arkansas State Police

 

Fulton County

Chief Deputy John Cawvey, Fulton County Sheriff’s Office

 

Garland County

Corporal Brandon Cook, Arkansas State Police

 

Grant County

Corporal Tommy Holcomb, Grant County Sheriff’s Office

 

Greene County

Lieutenant Scott Snyder, Paragould Police Department

 

Hempstead County

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

 

Hot Spring County

Lieutenant Glen Pye, Hot Spring County Sheriff’s Office

 

Howard County

Corporal Keith Teague, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

 

Independence County

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

 

Izard County

Trooper Rodney Villiger, Arkansas State Police

 

Jackson County

Corporal Ronald Laslo, Arkansas State Police

 

Jefferson County

Trooper Kevin Helm and Corporal Dustin Thompson, Arkansas State Police

 

Johnson County

Officer Lance Clubb, Clarksville Police Department

 

Lafayette County

Wildlife Officer Andrew Watson, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

 

Lawrence County

Deputy Joseph Carey, Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office

 

Lee County

Sergeant Dale Acosta, Marianna Police Department

 

Lincoln County (TIE)

Captain Kenneth Tillman, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office

Sergeant Ben Reeves, Star City Police Department

 

Little River County

Wildlife Officer Cody Standifer, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

 

Logan County

Trooper Jed Bolyard, Arkansas State Police

 

Lonoke County

Deputy Dallas Mauk, Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office

 

Madison County

Corporal Jonathon Cornelison, Madison County Sheriff’s Office

 

Marion County

Corporal Tim Davenport, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

 

Miller County

Detective Shane Kirkland and Detective Wayne Easley, Texarkana Police Department

 

Mississippi County

Deputy Johnathon Boatman, Mississippi County Sheriff’s Office

 

Monroe County

Corporal Damon Dobson, Arkansas State Police

 

Montgomery County

Lieutenant Greg Harmon, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office

 

Nevada County

Chief Joey Beavers, Prescott Police Department

 

Newton County

Lieutenant Kenny Seay, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

 

Ouachita County

Deputy Ryan Coleman, Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office

 

Perry County

Reserve Deputy Nathan Williams, Perry County Sheriff’s Office

 

Phillips County

Officer Princess Burnside, Arkansas Department of Community Correction

 

Pike County

Sergeant Ronnie White, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

 

Poinsett County

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

 

Polk County

Patrolman Paul Arceneaux and Patrolman Mike Wolf, Mena Police Department

 

Pope County (TIE)

Sergeant Chris Goodman, Arkansas State Police

Corporal Brenda Stephenson, Arkansas State Police

Captain Tammy Dougan, Arkansas Tech University Department of Public Safety

*Dougan and Stephenson were jointly nominated for the same incident

 

Prairie County

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

 

Pulaski County

Lieutenant Chris Ameling, Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office

 

Randolph County

Wildlife Officer Jeff Dalton, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

 

St. Francis County

Corporal Frank McMillion, Arkansas State Police

 

Saline County

Deputy Jack Campbell, Saline County Sheriff’s Office

 

Scott County

Special Agent Sam Bass, Arkansas State Police

 

Searcy County

Wildlife Officer Ken Nelson, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

 

Sebastian County

Officer Keith Shelby, Fort Smith Police Department

 

Sevier County

Wildlife Officer Sydney Grant, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

 

Sharp County

Detective Sergeant Aaron Presser, Sharp County Sheriff’s Office

 

Stone County

Corporal Chad Cruce, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

 

Union County

Deputy Aaron Galbraith, Union County Sheriff’s Office

 

Van Buren County

Patrolman Lyle Fultz, Fairfield Bay Police Department

 

Washington County

Trooper Ryan Leuer, Arkansas State Police

 

White County

Officer Kristen Higgs, Bald Knob Police Department

 

Woodruff County

Special Agent Randall Murphy, Arkansas State Police

 

Yell County

Sergeant Joe Carter, Arkansas State Police

 

10-2-18 5:32 p.m. kawx.org 

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Polk County Sheriff's Log For September 24th - 30th

SHERIFF’S LOG

The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of September 24, 2018 – September 30, 2018. The charges against those arrested are allegations and the cases are still pending in the courts. Individuals charged and whose names appear in this column may submit documentation to us at a later date that the charges have been dismissed or that they have been found innocent and we will include that information in this space in a timely manner.

 

September 24, 2018

Report from complainant on Polk 70 near Cherry Hill of damage done to a fence by a vehicle. Complainant refused to press charges.

Report from complainant on Highway 71 North near Acorn of the fraudulent use of a credit card. Investigation continues.

 

September 25, 2018

Report from complainant on Polk 41 South near Potter of problems with their neighbors’ animals. Deputy responded.

Report of a disturbance on Lil George Lane near Yocana. Subject fled before deputies arrived. Investigation continues.

Arrested was Jimmy L. Wright, 33, of Mena, on a Warrant for DWI and Careless/Prohibited Driving.

Arrested was Donnie R. Dollarhyde, 45, of Mena, on two Warrants for Failure to Appear.

Arrested by an officer with the Grannis Police Department was Emanuel L. Hernandez, 31, of Dequeen, on a Warrant for Failure to Comply with a Court Order.

Arrested was Martha M. Tucker, 37, of Mena, on a Warrant for Delivery of Meth/Cocaine.

Arrested was Kenneth N. Chaney, 42, of Mena, on Warrants for Delivery of Meth/Cocaine and Failure to Appear.

Arrested was Michael G. Taylor, 47, of Mena, on a Warrant for Breaking & Entering and Theft of Property.

Arrested by an officer with the Drug Task Force was Brandi M. Smith, 42, of Mena, on Charges of Delivery of Meth/Cocaine and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

 

September 26, 2018

Report from a Vandervoort woman that her son’s wallet had been stolen, containing personal documents and $85.00 in cash. The victim was compensated for losses. Investigation continues.

Traffic stop on Highway 375 West near Mena led to the arrest of Jack A. Curry, 38, of Hatfield, on a Warrant for Delivery of Meth/Cocaine.

Arrested was Matthew E. Cannon, 38, of Mena, on Warrants for Theft by Receiving, Violation of Suspended Imposition of Sentence and Failure to Comply with a Court Order.

 

September 27, 2018

Arrested by an officer with Probation/Parole was Trinna E. Myers, 38, of Mena, on Charges of Possession of Meth/Cocaine and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

 

September 28, 2018

Report from complainant on Highway 246 West near Hatfield of a missing family member. The individual was later located.

Report from complainant on Polk 701 near Cove of a disturbance that had occurred earlier. Information has been provided to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.

Report from complainant on Polk 26 near Hatfield of the theft of prescription medication. Investigation continues.

Arrested was Richard C. Russell, 44, of Mena, on a Dallas County Warrant.

Arrested was Carolyn Y. Burrell, 34, of Mena, on a Body Attachment Warrant.

Arrested by an officer with Probation/Parole was Aaron F. Ollar, 30, of Mena, on Charges of Possession of Meth/Cocaine and two counts of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

 

September 29, 2018

Report from complainant on Highway 88 West near Mena of vandalism done to equipment. Investigation continues.

Arrested was Mark K. Willingham, 53, of Mena, on a Charge of Possession of Meth/Cocaine, and a Warrant for Battery 3rd Degree and Criminal Mischief 2nd Degree.

Traffic stop in Cove led to a 17-year-old male being issued Juvenile Citations for Obstructing Governmental Operations and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. The juvenile was released to the custody of a parent/guardian.

Report from complainant on Polk 98 near Grannis of the theft of a vehicle. Investigation continues.

Arrested was Kymberlie A. Chaney, 21, of Cove, on Warrants for Failure to Comply with a Court Order, Felony Failure to Appear and a Sevier County Warrant.

 

September 30, 2018

Report of a disturbance on Polk 164 near Rocky. Deputy responded. Information has been provided to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.

Arrested was Tyra N. Cornelius, 33, of Mena, on a Charge of Disorderly Conduct.

 

Polk County Sheriff’s Office worked six vehicle accidents this week. Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 22 Incarcerated Inmates, with 6 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

 

PC18-00652

 

10-1-18 4:42 p.m. kawx.org 

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Mena Police Department Report for September 23rd - 30th

Mena Police Department Reports for the Week of September 23, 2018 through September 30, 2018 
 
September 23, 2018
 
Patrick Don Bates, 45, of Norman was charged with possession of a controlled substance.  The arrest followed a call to the parking lot of a local retail store.
 
 
September 24, 2018
 
Jack Ray Cannon, 24, of Mena was charged with theft of property (shoplifting) after officers responded to a call at a local retail store.
 
Leshonda Price, 34, of Mena was served on two outstanding warrants.
 
September 25, 2018
 
Two Mena brothers, ages 17 and 12, were arrested and charged with third degree battery after their mother requested assistance.  The case was transferred to juvenile authorities.
 
A Mena woman reported that her former boyfriend was harassing and threatening her.  Case is pending further investigation.
 
Report was made regarding a local girl harassing another girl.  Case is pending interview of all parties concerned.
 
Daniel Howard, 37, of Mena was arrested on three outstanding warrants.
 
September 26, 2018
 
Employees at a local convenience store reported the receipt of a counterfeit ten-dollar bill.  Case is pending.
 
September 27 & 28 & 30, 2018
 
A local woman reported that someone had tampered with fencing around her yard and had taken pieces of rope.  Case is pending.
 
10-1-18 9:50 a.m. kawx.org 

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Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column - Bipartisanship is Not Dead

Bipartisanship is Not Dead

 

Given the intense acrimony surrounding the Supreme Court confirmation hearings, it would be understandable if you missed all that Republican and Democrat senators have been able to accomplish by working together. The list has grown recently and deserves to be highlighted.

 

The return to regular order for appropriations bills is a perfect place to start. Passing the 12 bills that fund the government had become unmanageable given the years-long buildup of gridlock in Congress. Washington has come to the verge of government shutdown repeatedly for the past decade.

 

Now, under the leadership of Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Vice-Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT), all 12 of the spending bills have been reported favorably out of the Appropriations Committee at the fastest pace in thirty years. Half of these bills have now become law.

 

I am pleased the bill I authored, which determines allocations for military construction projects and veterans' benefits, was among the first ones President Trump signed into law. My bill, in coordination with the legislation that funds the Department of Defense becoming law, marks the first time Congress has funded our military on time, through regular order, in a decade.

 

The bipartisan work isn’t focused solely on funding bills either. The Senate has come together to pass a number of measures that will help Americans get ahead in today’s economy, keep our communities safe and deliver on promises to our veterans.

 

That last point, working to keep our promises to our veterans, is a particular point of pride for me. As a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee and the chairman of the appropriations subcommittee that oversees our veterans’ programs, I have long noted how these committees are unique in the manner in which members put aside partisan issues to help our veterans. This commitment extends to the full Senate, which approved a landmark bill that improves the Department of Veterans Affairs current healthcare delivery system by providing veterans with more choices and fewer barriers to care.

 

During the 115th Congress, the Senate has also passed bipartisan legislation that will help our economy continue to grow, including enacting a law that invests in career and technical education programs to help Americans get the skills they need to succeed in a modern economy, as well as passage of critical bills to reauthorize the Farm Bill and the Water Resources Development Act.

 

Republicans and Democrats have come together to pass legislation to strengthen the federal response to our nation’s opioid crisis by expanding prevention efforts, empowering law enforcement and increasing access to treatment. We have taken threats from Iran, North Korea and Russia head-on with tough sanctions and also enacted a new law to combat sex trafficking.

 

We’ve worked together to address issues in our health care system, reauthorizing an essential program that provides low-cost health coverage to children and passing legislation to prevent health insurers and drug companies from masking the lowest possible cost of prescription drugs.

 

The country is divided. Media coverage of the Senate reflects that in many ways, but the stories you don’t see as often paint a different picture. We can get a great deal accomplished when we work together. I hope we continue to proceed in that direction.

 

9-28-18  6:00 p.m.  kawx.org

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Governor Hutchinson Weekly Radio Address

To listen to Governor Hutchinson's weekly radio address click anywhere on this line, or read the text below.

 

Governor Hutchinson Weekly Address: Save 8. Donate: The Importance of Organ Donation

 

LITTLE ROCK – A hundred folks gathered in the rotunda at the capitol this week as the Arkansas Regional Organ Recovery Agency launched “Save 8. Donate," its campaign to encourage Arkansans to sign up as an organ donor.

The name is perfect for the cause. One donor can save up to eight lives with the donation of kidneys, lungs, heart and other vital organs. Even more, the donation of your tissue can improve or enhance life for up to 200 people.

Audrey Coleman, of the Regional Organ Recovery Agency, tells the story with numbers: 114,000 Americans are on the waiting list for an organ; 20 of them will die each day; 95 percent of adults say they support the idea of organ donations, but in Arkansas, only 56 percent are registered.

But you understand the story when you hear from the people who are alive because someone donated their organs, or from the people whose loved one was a donor.

Paul Owen told us about his daughter, Melissa, who had checked the box on her driver’s license as a teenager. On December 24, 2013, an aneurysm took Melissa’s life. She was 38.

One of Melissa’s kidneys went to New York, the other to Arizona. Then Paul said: “And who would have known, two miles away from us, a heart went to our new daughter, Yolanda.”

On Christmas Day 2013, a representative from the transplant center at Baptist Hospital called Yolanda Harshaw to tell her a heart was available. She lived about two miles from Paul and Becky Owen.

Yolanda was at the capitol, too. That was a moving moment, to see Melissa’s parents hug the woman who is alive because of their daughter’s gift.

If it were one of your children, or your spouse, in need of an organ, you would donate an organ without a second thought. You would appeal to strangers to donate, if that would save your loved one. You don’t need me to remind you that the people on the waiting list are someone’s children or spouse, and one of us might be that stranger who could save that life by registering as a donor.

Save 8. Donate. One donor can save up to 8 lives.

What a great name for this campaign. It says it all.

You can sign up at a motor vehicle office or online. It’s easy.

In fact, it’s so easy, even a governor can do it. I’ve checked the box on my driver’s license.

Donovan Tucker has written a song of gratitude to the person whose donation of an organ saved his life. To hear the song, YouTube “The Gift” by Donovan Tucker.
 

9-28-18  5:51 p.m.   kawx.org

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State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

September 28, 2018

 

LITTLE ROCK – An advisory committee has spent the past year studying the efficiency of how the state pays for improvements to public school facilities.

 

The advisory panel is made up of educators, contractors, engineers and architects. It recommended to the legislature’s Education Committees that the state provide $90 million next fiscal year. This amount would provide incentives for local school districts and continue the progress that Arkansas schools have made since 2005 in upgrading school campuses.

 

Lawmakers on the Senate and House Education Committees will take up the recommendation, although a final decision on the amount of facilities funding will be up to the entire General Assembly.

 

Legislative budget hearings begin in October, in preparation for the regular session that begins in January.

 

Some elected officials believe that current funding amounts for school facilities cannot be sustained over the long term. Others say that the state is obligated to comply with its constitutional mandate to provide adequate academic facilities for all children in Arkansas, regardless of where they live.

 

That mandate in the Constitution was a reason why the state Supreme Court ruled in favor of plaintiffs in the Lake View school funding lawsuit, and ordered the state to correct inequalities in school funding. In response, in 2005 the General Assembly authorized a massive spending program that has contributed to tremendous improvements in school facilities throughout the state.

 

Since 2004, the state and local school districts have spent more than $6 billion on facilities construction and improvements. Of that amount, 81 percent came from local sources, 15 percent came from the state and 4 percent from the federal government.

 

The national average of states’ share of facilities costs is 18 percent. There are 12 states that contribute nothing directly to the cost of local schools capital campaigns, and two states that cover all of their capital costs.

 

More than 1,500 old school buildings have been retired. For example, in 2004 there were more than 500 school buildings in use in Arkansas that were built before 1950. That number has been reduced by half.

 

Since 2000, more than 1,600 new structures have been built and more than 22 million square feet of academic space has been added to Arkansas schools. In a survey of principals, 65 percent said their facilities were about the right size and 4 percent reported that they had more space than they needed. The other 30 percent reported that their school space was inadequate, or was poorly distributed.

 

On average, local districts exceed the minimum effort required by state law to maintain and operate facilities, which is 9 percent of their foundation funding. Last year that 9 percent amounted to $375 million statewide. However, local schools actually spent $475 million, or 11.4 percent of foundation funding, on maintenance and operations.

 

Another political battle could take place if the legislature considers changing the wealth index, a formula that determines the percentage of state funds that go into individual construction projects. The advisory committee heard concerns about the fairness of the index, especially how it treats small districts that have seen enrollment go down.

 

9-28-18 12:38 p.m. kawx.org

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in Arkansas and in the United States.  Breast cancer continues to be one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers in Arkansas.  Today, one in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.

 

In 2015, there were 2,168 new cases of female breast cancer in Arkansas. That same year, 394 women died of the disease.

 

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. 

 

There is no sure way to prevent breast cancer. But there are things you can do that might lower your risk such as exercise and reducing alcohol intake.

 

Finding breast cancer early and getting state-of-the-art cancer treatment are the most important strategies to prevent deaths from breast cancer.

 

In 2017, we passed legislation in hopes of increasing the accessibility of new technology that could help save lives. Act 708 requires insurance companies to cover the cost of a breast ultrasound or 3-D mammogram without charging a co-pay or deductible.  While traditional mammograms are effective for many women, the ultrasound can detect changes in women with dense breast tissue.  

 

 

States that have demanded that insurance companies treat ultrasounds and 3-D mammograms the same as traditional mammograms have seen a reduction in deaths and the number of biopsies needed.  

 

American Cancer Society screening recommendations for women at average risk are as follows:

 

·      Women between 40 and 44 have the option to start screening with a mammogram every year.

·      Women 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year.

·      Women 55 and older can switch to a mammogram every other year, or they can choose to continue yearly mammograms.

 

The Arkansas BreastCare program provides breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services for eligible Arkansas women. If you qualify, you can receive services at no cost to you.  Visit www.arbreastcare.com to learn more.

 

9-28-18 8:37 a.m. kawx.org 

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CORPS TO CONDUCT YOUTH DEER HUNT AT DIERKS LAKE

The Army Corps of Engineers is taking applications from hunters ages 6-15 who want to participate in a special youth deer hunt Nov. 3 at Dierks Lake. 

 

Three permits will be issued to youth hunters who seek to experience the outdoors and have a great place to hunt that is normally closed to hunting.


Applicants must submit a completed application form to the Corps by Oct. 12.  A random drawing will be held Oct. 15 to select the three hunters.

  
Applicants must have parental permission, and be accompanied by an adult assistant at least 21 years old on the day of the hunt. Also, youth must be skilled enough to safely operate the firearms they bring to the hunt.  


This hunt will provide a great opportunity for youth hunters to hunt near food plots without pressure from other hunters in the woods.  Hunting blinds will be provided. 


Surveys have been conducted to ensure resources are properly conserved and public safety is considered.  Hunters must provide their own firearms. 

 

Application forms may be obtained at the Corps Dierks Project Office at 246 Jefferson Ridge Road, Dierks, Arkansas or by calling 870-286-2346.

 

9-27-18 10:16 a.m. kawx.org 

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Arkansas Fall Color Updates Now Available

Want to know the latest about Arkansas’s fall color? Or attractions to visit for the best viewing? You’ll find all this information – and more – on Arkansas.com. You can also receive updates via email at bit.ly/arfallcolor.

Updated fall color reports are sent to email subscribers and posted to the Fall Attractions page each Thursday. Using social media, the department browses hundreds of visitors' photos each day and hand-selects the most stunning shots to be displayed on the site. This information is then summarized into the report that is posted each week. The gallery on the site is updated throughout the week.

Want your pictures featured in our fall color gallery? Simply use #ArkansasFall when you post to Instagram or Twitter – and don't forget to tag or mention your location!

In addition to the leaf report, you’ll find information on various scenic drives across the state, popular fall color destinations and travel deals and packages to help in planning your trip.

Some of the state’s more popular scenic drives are nationally designated routes. These include the Talimena National Scenic Byway, which traverses the top of Rich Mountain in western Arkansas; Crowley’s Ridge Parkway National Scenic Byway and the Great River Road National Scenic Byway, both which cut through the colorful hardwoods of the St. Francis National Forest in eastern Arkansas. There are also US Forest Service Scenic Byways with impressive natural vistas. Five of these are in the Ozark National Forest: Mount Magazine(Ark. 309 from Paris across Mount Magazine to Havana), "Pig Trail" (Ark. 23 north of Ozark to its junction with Ark. 16), Ozark Highlands (Ark. 21 north out of Clarksville to the Buffalo National River), Highway 7 (Ark. 7 from El Dorado north through the Ozark National Forest into Harrison), and Sylamore (Ark. 5 and 14 from Calico Rock and Allison, which provides a peaceful and beautiful approach to Blanchard Springs Caverns).

Other Arkansas scenic byways include: the I-530 State Scenic Byway, which roughly follows Bayou Bartholomew (the longest bayou in the world) around the cities of White Hall and Pine Bluff; the West-Northwest Scenic Byway, a 261-mile interconnected route that stretches through both the Ouachita and Ozark National Forests; and the Boston Mountain Loop, offering two very different options to travel from Alma to Fayetteville in the northwest corner of the state.

For more information, visit Arkansas.com/things-to-do/attractions/fall-attractions.

 

9-27-18 9:29 a.m. kawx.org 

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ATTORNEY GENERAL ALERT: Flood-Damaged Vehicles Make Their Way to Arkansas

While the damage from Hurricane Florence was mostly concentrated to the Carolinas, the effects may be felt across the country as bad actors line their own pockets by selling water-damaged items and vehicles.
 
“Unfortunately Arkansas has some unscrupulous car dealers who may not follow Arkansas law by providing the proper documentation when selling water-damaged vehicles,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “It is common for these sellers to try to take advantage of consumers by selling damaged out-of-state vehicles without proper disclosure.”
 
Consumers should review a vehicle’s title for any flood damage reports. Arkansas law requires dealerships to place a separate disclosure in the window of cars for sale that have previously been submerged, but consumers should be careful if purchasing a vehicle through a private sale. Although the private seller is required by Arkansas law to notify the buyer of any flood damage, a posted disclosure is not mandatory for this type of transaction.
 
Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips for Arkansans to consider before purchasing a new or used vehicle that could have been involved in the recent flooding.

 

  • Ask the seller if the car has been damaged by hail or flood waters, and always check the car’s title history
  • Inspect the vehicle for water stains and mildew in the vents and behind the dashboard. Also look under the hood for signs of oxidation
  • Flood damaged cars may look fine because of cosmetic repairs, but they may have defective electrical systems, steering problems, faulty
  • computers, faulty air bag systems and persistent mold problems.
  • Have the car inspected by your own mechanic before you decide to buy.
  • If the car has experienced significant damage and is considered a salvage vehicle, a buyer’s notification should be posted, and the price should be much lower than the price of a similar car with a clean title. Consider that you may have difficulty later selling a salvage vehicle and its value will be compromised.

Consumers who believe they have been sold a flood-damaged item that was not advertised as such should file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office.
 
For more information about other common scams and consumer-related issues, please call the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.

 

9-26-18 7:18 p.m. kawx.org 

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Weekly Fishing Report

Weekly Fishing Report

 

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for Sept. 26, 2018. If there is a body of water you would like included in this report, please email AGFCfishingreport@outlook.com with information on possible sources for reports about that lake or river. Reports are updated weekly, although some reports might be published for two weeks if updates are not received promptly or if reporters say conditions haven’t changed. Contact the reporter for the lake or stream you plan to fish for current news.

 

Central Arkansas

 

North Arkansas

 

Northwest Arkansas

 

Northeast Arkansas

 

Southeast Arkansas

 

Southwest Arkansas

 

South-Central Arkansas

 

West-Central Arkansas

 

East Arkansas

 

Arkansas River and White River levels are available at: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=lzk

 

For real-time information on stream flow in Arkansas from the U.S. Geological Survey, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/rt

 

For water-quality statistics (including temperature) in many Arkansas streams and lakes, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/current/?type=quality.

 

9-26-18 5:53 p.m. kawx.org 

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Quadruple Homicide Suspect In Polk County Court Wednesday

Sheriff Scott Sawyer announded this afternoon that Polk County quadruple homicide suspect Brian B. Travis, age 39, appeared in the Polk County Circuit Court today, September 26, 2018. The purpose of today's hearing was to finalize the dates for Travis' upcoming Capital Murder Trial.

 

Polk County Circuit Court Judge Jerry Ryan has Travis' trial set to begin in March of 2019. In addition to setting the trial date, Judge Ryan also set dates for several administrative hearings for the upcoming trial.

 

Brian B. Travis is charged with four counts of Capital Murder in the April 2017 deaths of Bethany Wester, age 43, Steven J. Payne, age 66, Acelynn C. Wester, age 2, and Reilly J. Scarbrough, age 9.

 

Travis is currrently housed in the Varner Unit of the Arkansas Department of Corrections in Grady, Arkansas, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Department.

 

9-26-18 2:11 p.m. kawx.org 

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Polk County Sheriff's Log For September 17 - 23

SHERIFF’S LOG

 

The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of September 17, 2018 – September 23, 2018. The charges against those arrested are allegations and the cases are still pending in the courts. Individuals charged and whose names appear in this
column may submit documentation to us at a later date that the charges have been dismissed or that they have been found innocent and we will include that information in this space in a timely manner.


September 17, 2018
Report from a public water company of vandalism to their equipment, causing damages of $15.00. Investigation continues.


September 18, 2018
Report of a disturbance on Polk 34 near Hatfield. Deputy responded. Investigation continues.
Report from complainant on Polk 14 near Wickes of the theft of $200.00 in cash. Investigation
continues.
Arrested by an officer with the Grannis Police Department was Patricia D. Williams, 41, of Gillham, on a Warrant for Failure to Comply with a Court Order.


September 19, 2018
Arrested was Richard L. Young, 52, of Mena, on a Body Attachment Warrant.
Arrested by an officer with the Grannis Police Department was Kenneth R. Weisinger, 29, of Smackover, on Charges of Domestic Battery 3 rd Degree, Public Intoxication, Disorderly Conduct, Criminal Mischief 2 nd Degree, Terroristic Threatening 2 nd Degree and Interference with Emergency Communications, and a Body Attachment Warrant.


September 20, 2018
Report from complainant on Highway 270 in Acorn of an unauthorized person on their property. Information has been provided to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Arrested was Kelly W. McCarley, 39, of Wickes, on two Warrants for Failure to Appear.


September 21, 2018
Report of a disturbance that had occurred earlier in the day led to the arrest of Joshua A. Graham, 28, of Mena, on Charges of Domestic Battery 3 rd Degree and Escape 3 rd Degree.
Arrested was Isiaha T. Sipe, 21, of Mena, on two Warrants for Failure to Appear.


September 22, 2018
Traffic stop led to the arrest of Nicole C. Renard, 39, of Mena, on Charges of DWI and Driving Left of Center.
Report from a business on Highway 71 South in Cove of the receipt of a possible counterfeit $100 bill. Deputy responded.
Report from a Mena man of a missing family member. The individual was later located.
Report from another law enforcement agency of a possible stolen motorcycle being located in Polk County. Information has been provided to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.


September 23, 2018
Report from complainant on Polk 10 in Wickes of damage done to a vehicle window, totaling losses at $250.00. Investigation continues.
Report from a Vandervoort man of issues regarding child custody exchange.
Report from a business on Highway 71 South in Cove of an employee being threatened by an individual. The subject was advised to not return to the property.
Report from a business on Highway 71 South in Cove of damage done to the property by an unknown individual, totaling losses at $20,000.00. Investigation continues.


Polk County Sheriff’s Office worked two vehicle accidents this week.


Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 19 Incarcerated Inmates, with 4 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

 

PC18-00637

 

9-24-18 4:35 p.m. kawx.org 

 

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Mena Police Department Report for September 9th - 22nd

Mena Police Department Reports for September 9th, 2018 through September 22nd, 2018
 
September 9, 2018
 
Donna Hulbert, 47, of Mena was charged with DWI II.  The arrest followed a call to an accident on a city street.
 
Matthew Cannon, 38, of Mena was served an outstanding warrant from the Polk County sheriff’s office.
 
September 10, 2018
 
Melissa Hartin, 42, of Mena was charged with third degree battery and resisting arrest after officers responded to a call at a local residence.
 
Andy Ryan Sebren, 37, of Mena was charged with theft of property and public intoxication after a call from a Mena resident.
 
September 11, 2018
 
Report was made of a verbal altercation between two Mena residents.  Neither wished to press charges.
 
September 12, 2018
 
Rennee Rose Bruce, 32, of Wickes was arrested on an outstanding warrant for failure to pay fines and court costs.  The warrant was from the Polk County sheriff’s office.
 
Katie Danielle Flood, 20, of DeQueen was served an outstanding warrant from the Polk County sheriff’s office for failure to pay fines and court costs.
 
September 13, 2018
 
Kimberlina Upton, 19, of Mena was arrested on a warrant from Scott County.
 
A 17-year-old Mena youth was charged with assault on a family member and disorderly conduct following a call from a local citizen.  Case has been referred to juvenile authorities.
 
Kia Cottman, 32, of Mena was arrested on an outstanding warrant from Mena police department for failure to pay fines and court costs.
 
September 14, 2018
 
Shannon Shaw, 38, of Mena was charged with theft by receiving.  The arrest followed a call from a Mena resident.
Joshua Graham, 28, of Mena was charged with theft of property (shoplifting) following a
call from a local retail store.
 
Audra Cogburn, 28, of Mena was charged with theft of property (shoplifting) following a call from a local retail store.  She was also served five outstanding warrants.
 
September 15, 2018
 
Jack Allen Curry, 38, of Hatfield was charged with driving on a suspended driver’s license.
 
September 16, 2018
 
A local woman reported that she is being harassed by an acquaintance.  Case is pending receipt of further information and location and interview of suspect.
 
September 17, 2018
 
Report was made of a Mena man being harassed by a former employee.  Case has been sent to the prosecutor’s office for possible issuance of a warrant.
 
September 18 & 19, 2018
 
Report was made of harassment and threats being made to a local resident.  Case is pending.
 
September 20, 2018
 
A 13-year-old Mena boy was charged with curfew violation when he was reported missing and subsequently located after midnight.  Case has been referred to juvenile authorities.
 
September 21 & 22, 2018
 
Megan Casey, 20, of Hatfield, was charged with theft of property (shoplifting) after officers responded to a call at a local retail store.
 
Kamara Dowdy, 25, of Mena was arrested on an outstanding warrant Mena police department for failure to pay fines and court costs.
 
Benjamin Frost, 18, of Hatfield was charged with theft of property (shoplifting.)  The arrest followed a call to a local retail store.
 
Amber C. Lee, 22, of Mena was charged with theft of property (shoplifting) after a call from employees at a local retail store.
 
9-24-18 12:41 p.m. kawx.org 

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Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address Arkansans Answer the Call for Help

 
LITTLE ROCK – From a distance, we have all watched the devastation and flooding caused by Hurricane Florence. While the destruction was far away, I am proud of the way Arkansas has helped the recovery effort. Let me share a few examples of what we have done to help.
 
The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management has sent four people east – three to Richmond, Virginia, and one to Atlanta.
 
Arkansas Air National Guard is contributing 18 airmen from the 188th Wing in Fort Smith. And one soldier from the 39th Infantry Brigade has been deployed to the National Guard Bureau at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.
 
The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas have sent 118 linemen to assist in restoring power, and Entergy sent 100.
 
The Arkansas cooperatives have also sent approximately 100 pieces of equipment including bucket trucks, digger derricks, pickups, and pole trailers.
Tyson Foods plans to send 100,000 pounds of food and water, and several employees from Arkansas have volunteered to help prepare meals.
 
Sixteen members of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention’s Flood Recovery and Chainsaw teams are leaving for Bayboro, North Carolina, on Monday.
 
ADEM was able to deploy its four employees because of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, a mutual aid agreement that allows states to send personnel, equipment, water, food and other items that other states need during a disaster.
 
Once a governor declares an emergency, he or she can request assistance through EMAC. The compact eliminates issues of liability and cost, and it allows a state to honor credentials, licenses, and certifications from other states.
 
Jordan Abshire of Cabot is operations branch manager at ADEM and has been in Atlanta for the past week serving as our liaison. She has been monitoring requests for assistance, answering questions about EMAC deployments, submitting daily reports and participating in daily teleconferences.
 
Of those deployed from the 188th Wing, 15 are working for FEMA from their home site in Fort Smith. They collect video feeds and photographs from satellites, Google Earth and social media to assist the people in the disaster zone to know more precisely the conditions in the area.
 
They can alert rescuers to flooded roads and the possibility that floodwaters may top a dam. To put it in a technical term, they provide situational awareness.
 
Disasters tend to bring out the best in people, as we have seen in Arkansas when neighbors turn out to help neighbors. I’m grateful for the Arkansans who are willing to leave their families to help others.
 
As the folks at ADEM say, disasters don’t respect state borders. And with government pacts such as EMAC in place, and private companies and faith-based organizations, we don’t have to worry about state borders, either, when our neighbors need help.
 
9-22-18 8:16 a.m. kawx.org 
 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

Early voting for the upcoming election begins statewide on October 22. We encourage you to begin making plans to vote.  The first step is to make sure you are registered.

 

If you are not already a registered voter, you have until October 9 to mail in your voter registration form.

 

To register in Arkansas you must fill out a paper Voter Registration Application.

 

You can find an application at the following:

 

  • Your local county clerk.
  • The Arkansas Secretary of State Elections Division: 1-800-482-1127.
  • Local revenue or DMV office.
  • Public library.
  • Disability agency.
  • Military recruitment office.

 

We have posted a link to download a registration application on our website www.arkansashouse.org .

 

Never assume you are registered to vote until you have received your voter registration card from the county clerk.

Feel free to call your county clerk and inquire about the status of your application or you can check your registration status online at www.voterview.org.

 

You can also find your polling place on www.voterview.org.  

 

In most counties, early voting is conducted at the county clerk’s office. In counties with off-site early voting, local newspapers will publish the designated sites.

 

During a preferential primary or a general election, early voting is available between the hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, ending at 5 p.m. on the Monday before the election. Off-site early voting hours may vary by county; watch your local newspaper or contact your county clerk for information.

 

If your name or address has changed, you may update your information at the early voting site.

 

Voter turnout during a mid-term election is typically much lower than during a presidential election year.

 

However, the results of mid-term elections have an enormous impact on our state.  On this ballot, Arkansans will decide the outcome for the office of the governor, attorney general, and state representative just to name a few.  Depending on the outcome of ongoing legal challenges, there could be up to 5 ballot issues before voters.  We have also posted a link to a guide explaining the ballot issues in detail at www.arkansashouse.org.

 

You can find sample ballots including local races by contacting your county clerk.

 

9-21-18 5:06 p.m. kawx.org 

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Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column - Transparency Will Help Drive Down Health Care Costs

Transparency Will Help Drive Down Health Care Costs

 

Our health care system is in desperate need of some sunlight. Patients are kept in the dark about the true cost of their care, which often unnecessarily leads them to accept higher costs without question. That needs to change.

 

Senate passage of the Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act— which will prevent health insurers and drug companies from masking the lowest possible cost of prescription drugs—is a good place to start.

 

The bill takes on the health plans and pharmacy benefit management service providers that include “gag clauses” in contracts. This practice prohibits pharmacists from telling patients when a prescription drug would cost less if they paid out of pocket rather than using their health insurance.

 

Overpayments for prescription drugs happen far more often than one would think. A recent study published the Journal of the American Medical Association found that nearly one in four patients paid too much for their prescriptions. The study cast a large net, and found 2.2 million instances of overpayments in the 9.5 million claims that were analyzed. According to its findings, patients pay more than they need to approximately 23 percent of the time they pick up a prescription.

 

Karen Van Nuys of the University of Southern California, the study’s lead author, said she was shocked by "how common these overpayments appear to be."

 

The fact that agreements to conceal the true cost of medication are legal is upsetting—especially considering that insurance is supposed to save consumers money. The Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act will ensure that health insurance issuers and group health plans do not prohibit pharmacy providers from delivering drug price information to enrollees.

 

Transparency is a key component of a free market, and more reforms that usher it into the health care marketplace are desperately needed. Empowering patients with information will encourage accountability and fairness in the system.

 

While Washington seeks additional ways to promote transparency, we can be proud that Arkansas was the first state to sign price transparency into law. This leadership from Little Rock helps increase Arkansans’ understanding of the true cost of health care procedures and services.

 

Arkansas is one of fifteen states to maintain an All-Payer Claims Database (APCD). APCDs are large-scale databases that systematically collect and analyze medical and pharmacy claims from private and public payers. Cost and quality data become available to consumers through APCDs which, in turn, raises public awareness of price differences and makes lower-cost options more visible to consumers.

 

Research supports the notion that the transparency provided by APCDs helps make health care more affordable. One study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association documents the benefits of employer-sponsored private price transparency platforms. After detailing its impact on three common medical services, researchers established that the “use of price transparency information was associated with lower total claims payments.”

 

It is clear that simple, commonsense approaches to promote transparency can effectuate positive change in the system. Eliminating barriers that prevent Arkansans from fully understanding the costs of their health care is a mechanism that will force market changes. We must continue to do more to make health care costs transparent, sensible and fair.

 

9-21-18 5:01 p.m. kawx.org 

 

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State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

September 21, 2018

 

LITTLE ROCK – Enrollment at Arkansas colleges and universities is down slightly from last year.

 

All institutions must submit a preliminary report on enrollment to the state Department of Higher Education on the 11th day of classes. Those figures will change as the semester progresses, because of transfers and dropouts. However, from one year to the next they present a snapshot of higher education rates in Arkansas.

 

Keeping track of the number of students in college is not merely an academic exercise. It’s an economic issue for civic and business leaders, who understand that college graduates will be the future economic foundation of the state.

 

These days, corporate executives say that there are numerous highly paid jobs available, but a lack of skilled workers to fill them. This scenario presents a new and different set of challenges for policy makers than what they faced a generation ago, when the problem was to create enough well paid jobs to keep our brightest young people in the state.

 

Now, legislators and educators are working to increase graduation rates. A new higher education funding formula was approved by the legislature last year. Rather than rewarding enrollment growth, the new funding model rewards institutions that retain students and graduate them.

 

The effect of the new funding formula is reflected in the enrollment figures submitted by Arkansas colleges and universities.

 

Total numbers are down slightly at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro (-0.6 percent) and the University of Central Arkansas at Conway (-1.5 percent).

 

Growth is slower than usual at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville (0.8 percent). Over the past five years growth at Fayetteville is up 9.6 percent.

Officials at all the campuses pointed out the high academic standards of the incoming freshman class.

 

The freshmen at ASU scored an average of 24 on the ACT and their composite grade point average in high school was 3.56. At Fayetteville the average ACT score for freshmen is 26.2 and their high school GPA was 3.69. At UCA the composite ACT score for freshmen is 24.4 and the high school GPA is 3.55.

 

Enrollment at Southern Arkansas University at Magnolia was down 3.8 percent this year, but over the past five years it has grown by 31.3 percent. At the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith it was down 0.9 percent. At the University of Arkansas at Little Rock it was down 9.5 percent. At the University of Arkansas at Monticello it was down 13.2 percent.

 

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff has growth of 0.3 percent, Arkansas Tech at Russellville 2 percent and Henderson State at Arkadelphia 18.9 percent.

 

ASU emphasized improvement in the retention rate of last year’s freshmen. A record 76.6 percent of last year’s freshmen returned to campus this fall. ASU also noted the increase in minority students in this year’s freshman class. More than 10 percent of the class is African-American, and the number of African-Americans in the class jumped by 23 percent over last year.

 

The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville reported a 3.1 percent decrease in the total number of African-American students on campus, even though this year’s freshman class had an increase over last year. African-American students now make up 4.6 percent of the entire student body.

 

9-21-18 11:45 a.m. kawx.org 

 

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ATTORNEY GENERAL ALERT: Research Charities When Giving to Hurricane Florence Victims

LITTLE ROCK – Scenes of destruction left by Hurricane Florence in North Carolina and South Carolina have left many Arkansans wanting to find a way to help. But Arkansans should use caution and take time to research, ensuring their donations are actually used toward helping our fellow Americans. Following natural disasters, the Attorney General’s Office often receives reports of unscrupulous “charities” targeting the kind and generous spirit of Arkansans wanting to assist those in need.
 
“Scammers often create fake organizations by selecting a name and logo similar to an existing, legitimate organization that actually helps those in need,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “These scammers provide limited information, while still trying to tug at the heartstrings of potential donors to convince them the ‘charity’ is legitimate. Arkansans must remain vigilant and do research to know how their money will be used.”
 
Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips to help consumer give to only legitimate charities:

 

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

Also be wary of charities that pop up quickly in response to Hurricane Florence and other emergencies. Even if they are legitimate, they oftentimes do not have a system in place to get donations to those in need. Consider giving to an established organization which helps disaster victims in the area.
 
For more information about other common scams and consumer-related issues, please call the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or visit ArkansasAG.gov orfacebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.

 

9-20-18 8:51 a.m. kawx.org

 

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Weekly Fishing Report

Weekly Fishing Report

 

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for Sept. 19, 2018. If there is a body of water you would like included in this report, please email AGFCfishingreport@outlook.com with information on possible sources for reports about that lake or river. Reports are updated weekly, although some reports might be published for two weeks if updates are not received promptly or if reporters say conditions haven’t changed. Contact the reporter for the lake or stream you plan to fish for current news.

 

Central Arkansas

 

North Arkansas

 

Northwest Arkansas

 

Northeast Arkansas 

 

Southeast Arkansas

 

Southwest Arkansas

 

South-Central Arkansas

 

West-Central Arkansas

 

East Arkansas

 

Arkansas River and White River levels are available at: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=lzk

For real-time information on stream flow in Arkansas from the U.S. Geological Survey, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/rt

For water-quality statistics (including temperature) in many Arkansas streams and lakes, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/current/?type=quality.

 

9-19-18 3:26 p.m. kawx.org 

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Mena's Healthy Connections To Receive $285,000 Grant To Combat Opioid Addiction

Arkansas Community Health Centers Awarded Nearly $3 Million to Combat Opioid Addiction

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Facilities in the following Arkansas communities are recipients of funding:

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

 

9-19-18 11:40 a.m. kawx.org 

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Polk County Sheriff's Log For September 10 - 16

SHERIFF’S LOG

The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of September 10, 2018 – September 16, 2018. The charges against those arrested are allegations and the cases are still pending in the courts. Individuals charged and whose names appear in this column may submit documentation to us at a later date that the charges have been dismissed or that they have been found innocent and we will include that information in this space in a timely manner.

 

September 10, 2018

Report from complainant on Polk 282 near Hatfield of the theft of a license plate.

Report of a disturbance on Polk 75 near Mena. Deputy responded. Information has been provided to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.

Arrested was John K. Robertson, 43, of Mena, on Warrants for Fleeing on Foot, Failure to Appear and Felony Failure to Appear.

 

September 11, 2018

Arrested was Christopher Eslager, 47, of Mena, on a Warrant for Probation Violation.

 

September 12, 2018

Report from complainant on Highway 270 near Acorn of the theft of prescription medication, valued at $60.00.

Report of a disturbance on Polk 24 near Cove led to the arrest of Elizabeth A. Seman, 48, of Cove, on a Charge of Domestic Battery 3rd Degree.

Arrested was Jennifer S. Hale, 24, of Oden, on five Warrants for Failure to Appear.

 

September 13, 2018

Report of a disturbance on Highway 8 East near Board Camp. Deputies responded. Information has been provided to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.

Report from a Mena man that his 14-year-old daughter was missing. The juvenile was later located.

 

September 14, 2018

Report of a disturbance on Highway 375 East near Mena led to a Citation for Disorderly Conduct being issued to Tommy Earhart, 62, of Mena.

 

September 15, 2018

Report of a single-vehicle accident on Highway 88 East in Ink led to the arrest of Kenneth R. Deramus, 62, of Mena, on Charges of DWI and Careless/Prohibited Driving.

Arrested was David E. Hart, 47, of Miami, OK, on a Warrant for Probation Violation.

Arrested was Jack R. Cannon, 24, of Mena, on three Warrants for Violation of the Arkansas Hot Check Law.

 

September 16, 2018

Report from complainant on Highway 270 near Acorn of being threatened by an acquaintance. Information has been provided to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.

Report from complainant on Rock Creek Lane near Potter of a reckless driver. Deputy responded. Information has been provided to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.

Arrested was Debra L. Herring, 54, of Mena, on a Warrant for Probation Violation.

 

Polk County Sheriff’s Office worked three vehicle accidents this week.

 

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 24 Incarcerated Inmates, with 14 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

 

PC18-00623

 

9-17-18 4:40 p.m. kawx.org 

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Nationwide WEA and EAS Tests September 20th-What You Need To Know

There is a lot of media coverage about the upcoming nationwide tests of the Wireless Emergency Alert System and the Emergency Alert System. The tests will be conducted at 1:18 p.m. and 1:20 p.m. on Thursday, September 20, 2018.

 

The Wireless Emergency Alert or "WEA" system is a nationwide system that is designed to send emergency information specific to your area, or nationwide if warranted, to your smartphone. As many of you know, the system has not functioned well and is less than dependable. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On September 20th, your smartphone will hopefully receive the "Presidential Alert". If it doesn't, notify your cell company.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are listening to AM or FM radio or watching TV, you should hear the test as well as see text about the test on TV.

 

The purpose of the test is to give broadcasters, who are First Informers, an opportunity to make sure the system functions properly, and if not, learn why not and what corrections need to be made. This is not the first nationwide test. The addition of the WEA test just prior to the EAS test has resulted in increased media attention. 

 

The Emergency Alert System, in one form or another, has been around for decades. Originally it was the CONELRAD system, developed during the Truman administration in 1951, which was replaced by the Emergency Broadcast System or "EBS" in 1963, and finally the current system, the Emergency Alert System or "EAS" came about in 1997. In addition to being much more dependable, the EAS system uses local radio, TV, and cable systems, all of which must participate, and they are the sources in most communities for emergency information and followup information when needed. We are discussing an upcoming test here, but everyone should have a battery operated AM-FM radio on hand at all times to use to get news and official information during and after an emergency, and a NOAA Weather Radio with backup batteries for weather warnings. If I could emphasize any one thing about being informed before, during, and after an emergency-whether local, regional or nationwide-it would be to look to local radio and TV. These "First Informers" are much more likely to be able to keep you informed than any other media, including the internet. 

 

The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a national public warning system that requires broadcasters, cable television systems, wireless cable systems, satellite digital audio radio service (SDARS) providers, and direct broadcast satellite (DBS) providers to provide the communications capability to the President to address the American public during a national emergency. The system also may be used by state and local authorities to deliver important emergency information, such as AMBER alerts and weather information targeted to specific areas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The FCC, in conjunction with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service (NWS), implements the EAS at the federal level. The President has sole responsibility for determining when the EAS will be activated at the national level, and has delegated this authority to the director of FEMA. FEMA is responsible for implementation of the national-level activation of the EAS, tests, and exercises. The NWS develops emergency weather information to alert the public about imminent dangerous weather conditions.

 

The FCC's role includes prescribing rules that establish technical standards for the EAS, procedures for EAS participants to follow in the event The EAS is activated, and EAS testing protocols. Additionally, the FCC ensures that the EAS state and local plans developed by industry conform to FCC EAS rules and regulations.

 

9-16-18 5:29 p.m. kawx.org 

 

About The Author

Chris Daniel is a broadcaster, broadcast technical and compliance consultant, and the chairman of the Arkansas Emergency Communications Committee which is responsible for the "EAS" system for radio, TV, and cable in Arkansas, and is certified by the Society of Braodcast Engineers as a Braodcast Technologist and Radio Operator. Chris also serves on the board of directors of the Arkansas Broadcasters Association, and is an Emergency Coordinator for the American Radio Relay League. Chris holds the highest FCC commercial radio license (GROL) with a Radar Endorsement, and is a licensed amateur (ham) radio operator (W5AWX). 

 

 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

From 1999 to 2016, the suicide rate in half of all U.S. states increased by more than 30.  Arkansas was one of those states.

 

Last year, suicide was the leading cause of violent death in Arkansas.  There were 621 Arkansans who died by suicide in 2017.

 

September is National Suicide Prevention Month, a time to share resources and shed light on this highly stigmatized topic.

 

While suicide is often associated with mental illness, more than half of all people who die by suicide have no known mental health condition, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Researchers agree that multiple factors can affect an individual’s level of risk, such as economic hardship, relationship problems, substance use disorders, physical health problems, recent crises and a host of other factors.

 

Rural communities and communities with distressed economic conditions also show higher rates of suicide.

 

 

In the last legislative session, the General Assembly passed Act 811 which created the Arkansas Lifeline Call Center.  This call center is housed in the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) and answers calls to the national hotline that are made in Arkansas.

 

An average of over 1,000 Arkansans call the lifeline each month. Callers in crisis are able speak to someone here in Arkansas who has a strong understanding of the resources available in the state. This number is available for many reasons - whether a person is contemplating suicide or is having feelings of anxiousness, depression, hopelessness, or they just want to talk.

 

 

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Veterans can access the Veteran Crisis Line by calling the national line and pressing 1. Anyone can also text the crisis line by sending TALK to 741741, or chat online at www.chat.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

 

The ADH Injury and Violence Prevention Section works to prevent suicides through education, resources, and awareness. To learn more about the trainings and resources that are available for your group, business, or school, visit http://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/suicide-prevention.

 

9-14-18  5:15 p.m.   kawx.org

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Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column-Acting to Prevent Suicides and Treat Mental Health Crises

This year, the reality that many Americans face serious crises of mental health and wellness has been impossible to overlook or ignore. Not only have several high-profile celebrities tragically taken their own lives, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found the suicide rate in Arkansas increased by about 37 percent from 1999 to 2016.

 

This is sobering, but the good news is that our state and the country are taking steps to confront the challenges of mental illness and suicide head-on. Through a variety of treatment programs and public awareness campaigns, we’re turning our attention and resources toward solutions that help address this crisis and save lives.

 

Earlier this year, I toured the new Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) in Sebastian County. The first of four CSUs scheduled to open across Arkansas, this facility is equipped to provide services to Arkansans experiencing mental health crises. In the past, such individuals would have been transported to county jails that are already experiencing overcrowding in addition to being unsuited to diagnose, treat and respond to those who find themselves in need of specialized care relating to mental health.

 

Intervention and treatment are the keys to avoiding outcomes like suicide and helping individuals feel supported and find hope. The central Arkansas CSU began accepting patients in July and two more CSUs will open their doors in northwest and northeast Arkansas to help our loved ones, friends and neighbors in need of these life-saving services.

 

It’s not just CSUs that are helping confront mental health issues and prevent suicide. Congress and the federal government are acting as well. This year, Congress passed the National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act. The president signed the bill into law, requiring the Federal Communications Commission to evaluate the effectiveness of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and study the feasibility of creating a three-digit phone number – akin to 911 – intended to be a resource for those in a mental health crisis.

 

Mental health struggles and suicidal thoughts or feelings reach across every demographic, but one group that is particularly susceptible is our veteran population.

 

We know that 20 veterans commit suicide each day. In Arkansas, veterans account for about 20 percent of all suicides. Congress is working to provide the personnel, services and tools to help veterans facing mental illness struggles by improving the Veterans Crisis Line and enhancing screening and assessment of those at risk.

 

Arkansas ranked 14th in the nation for deaths by suicide in 2016. Our response to this problem cannot be delayed or downplayed. Governor Hutchinson has proclaimed September as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and state agencies are working together to provide resources and treatment.

 

These are all indications that suicide prevention is now a priority. Arkansans in need of mental health treatment and support are depending on us to treat this situation with the seriousness, empathy and action it requires. Together, we can support those at risk of suicide and help them believe that tomorrow is worth living for.

 

9-14-18 4:56 p.m. kawx.org 

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Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address Arkansas's Work and Community Engagement Requirement Update

 
LITTLE ROCK – On June 1, Arkansas became the first state to implement a work requirement for able-bodied Medicaid recipients who are of working age with no dependents at home. The goal is to identify and provide worker training to those who need employment and to improve their opportunity to get a good-paying job.
 
Since the reporting period opened, we have worked diligently to make sure those subject to the work requirement had the information they needed to show they are working or to seek an exemption.
 
Our Department of Human Services has sent 136,000 letters and emails, and made more than 150,000 phone calls.
 
They posted the message on social media sites, sent thousands of text messages and even knocked on doors to spread the information.
 
DHS staff members conducted more than thirty webinars, and offered other training and information sessions for advocacy groups. They distributed thousands of educational postcards in doctors’ offices and emergency rooms.
 
In addition, DHS created a way help those without computers or internet access to report in. Registered reporters were allowed to complete the process for beneficiaries by telephone.
 
And every DHS county office in the state also has staff on hand to assist those who need it. 
 
More than 43,600 enrollees complied with the requirement.
 
Despite all this effort, about 4,300 able-bodied Arkansans did not meet the state’s work requirements, which means they will lose the coverage for the remainder of the year.
 
There are a couple of things important to note about that number.
 
First, each of those people had three months to contact the state. We didn’t close cases because someone didn’t contact DHS the first month.
 
And the number doesn’t necessarily represent 4,300 people who are suddenly without insurance coverage. It could mean that for any number of reasons, some of the people in that number no longer needed the insurance. They may have found work, moved onto a spouse’s insurance, or moved out of state without notifying DHS. Some simply chose not to comply.
 
Personal responsibility is important. We will continue to do everything we can to ensure those who qualify for the program keep their coverage, but it is equally important that we make sure those who no longer qualify are removed. This not only allows the state to concentrate its limited resources on those who need it the most, but the work requirement is geared toward helping Arkansans find a job and move up the economic ladder.
 
In fact, we have already heard success stories about people who have taken the encouragement and decided to earn their GED and start vocational school. Through assistance from the Department of Workforce Services, some have started nursing school and made other decisions about picking a career.
 
This work and community engagement requirement reflects a balance of important Arkansas values such as compassion, work and responsibility.
 
9-14-15 4:19 p.m. kawx.org 

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State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

September 14, 2018

 

LITTLE ROCK – The state Department of Human Services announced that 4,353 Arkansans were no longer eligible for Medicaid benefits because over the past three months they failed to comply with work requirements.

 

Another 43,655 people met the work requirement and will retain their health coverage under Medicaid.

 

The news was the latest development in the long-running political struggle over the extent to which Arkansas should expand Medicaid, as required by federal mandates.

 

The federal law was enacted in 2010. It took several years and a number of lawsuits for the 50 states to implement its provisions.

 

Arkansas took a unique approach by making private health providers an integral part of the expanded Medicaid program. Lawmakers have adjusted our version of the health care act in each legislative session since the federal mandate was imposed. Currently, the program is known as Arkansas Works and it requires enrollees to either work, consistently look for work or attend classes that will teach job skills.

 

Two state agencies were present when the announcement was made – the Human Services Department because it administers Medicaid, and the Workforce Services Department because it provides the job hunting services required of enrollees.

 

For three months the 4,353 people who were removed from the Medicaid rolls failed to report their attendance at class, or their job schedules or any volunteer work that would have brought them in compliance.

 

Department officials announced that more than 5,000 people are in jeopardy of losing their benefits at the end of September because they have gone two months without complying with the work requirements.

 

Critics say that the requirements place too much of a burden on Medicaid recipients. For example, many recipients probably don’t have a computer, a smart phone or Internet access that is necessary to meet the requirements.

 

DHS officials defended their efforts to notify recipients of the requirements, and to help them respond. They sent 136,000 letters and made more than 150,000 phone calls. They sent text messages and in some cases visited people’s houses. They conducted training sessions and posted materials in doctors’ offices and emergency rooms.

 

Recipients who lack Internet access could get help by calling their insurance carrier, or visiting a county DHS office for help.

 

The people who lost coverage will be ineligible until the end of 2018, but they might qualify in other categories of Medicaid if their circumstances worsen, or if they are pregnant or have a disability.

 

Currently, the work requirement applies to enrollees from 30 to 49 years of age. They must work 80 hours a month, or take vo-tech classes. Up to 39 hours a month can be spent looking for work or attending a job search training class at a local Arkansas Workforce Center. Up to 20 hours in a year can be spent taking health education classes. Each hour spent volunteering counts as an hour of work.

 

It’s important to contact DHS when your economic circumstances change. In fact, it’s a good idea to keep in contact with DHS when people move in or out of your house, if a family member is discharged from a nursing home, or if you decide to claim a child as a dependent.

 

9-14-18 9:28 a.m. kawx.org 

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Family Council Publishes "Pro-Life Champions 2018" List

Little Rock, Ark. —  On Friday Family Council published its Pro-Life Champions 2018 list highlighting past and present elected officials who have championed pro-life legislation in Arkansas over the past five years.

 

Family Council President Jerry Cox released a statement saying, “Arkansas is the second most pro-life state in the nation thanks to several great members of the Arkansas General Assembly who have championed pro-life legislation over the past five years as well as Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.  Family Council has worked with every one of these individuals along with our friends at Arkansas Right to Life to protect the sanctity of innocent human life in Arkansas. It is important that Arkansans know who these pro-life champions are.  They deserve tremendous thanks from the people of our state.  I hope Family Council’s Pro-Life Champions 2018 list helps do that.”

 

Cox said the laws Arkansas has passed in recent years are saving lives. “Legislation sponsored by these lawmakers has helped reduce the number of abortions in Arkansas to a forty-year low.  Laws passed by these champions have already saved the lives of thousands of children, and they will continue to save the lives of children for many years to come.”

 

Current state legislators listed in Pro-Life Champions 2018 are Representative Bob Ballinger (R – Berryville); Representative Sonia Barker (R – Smackover); Representative Mary Bentley (R – Perryville); Senator Cecile Bledsoe (R – Rogers); Representative Charlie Collins (R – Fayetteville); Senator Linda Collins-Smith (R – Pocahontas); Representative Charlene Fite (R – Van Buren); Senator Scott Flippo (R – Bull Shoals); Representative Kim Hammer (R – Benton); Senator Jim Hendren (R – Gravette); Senator Bart Hester (R – Cave Springs);  Senator Missy Irvin (R – Mountain View); Senator Blake Johnson (R – Corning); Representative Robin Lundstrum (R – Elm Springs); Representative Andy Mayberry (R – Little Rock); Representative Aaron Pilkington (R – Clarksville); Senator Jason Rapert (R – Conway); Representative Brandt Smith (R – Jonesboro); and Senator Gary Stubblefield (R – Branch).

 

Cox said he hopes Arkansans will thank the elected officials in the Pro-Life Champions 2018 list. “We have provided contact information for each of lawmaker as well as Governor Hutchinson and Attorney General Rutledge.  I hope Arkansans will contact all of them and express their gratitude. They are doing tremendous work to stand up for the sanctity of human life in Arkansas.”

 

Family Council is a conservative education and research organization based in Little Rock.

 

9-14-18 9:21 a.m. kawx.org 

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ATTORNEY GENERAL ALERT: Scammers Stealing Arkansans' Social Security Numbers

LITTLE ROCK – Consumers should be on alert for persons calling and claiming to be government officials. The Attorney General’s Office has received complaints of callers claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service and even the Attorney General’s Office. And now Arkansans are reporting receiving calls from someone claiming to be with the Social Security Administration and requesting social security numbers and bank account information.
 
“The government will never call consumers requesting financial information,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “If the caller is requesting personal or financial information and claiming to be a government agency, hang up, find the phone number from an official source and call the agency directly. It is important for Arkansans to know who they are talking to at the other end of the phone line.”
 
Attorney General Rutledge and the Federal Trade Commission released the following tips for Arkansans who may be dealing with a government imposter:

 

  • Never give out or confirm sensitive information, such as bank account, credit card or Social Security numbers, unless the caller is trusted and his/her identity has been confirmed.
  • Be cautious of callers using organization names similar to existing agencies. Scammers use internet technology to spoof area codes, so although it may seem the call is from Washington, D.C., it could originate from anywhere in the world.
  • The Social Security Administration and other government agencies have warned about these scams and suggest contacting the agency directly.

The Social Security Administration can be contacted at 1-800-772-1213 to verify the reason for the contact and the person’s identity prior to providing any information to the caller.
 
To report this scam to the Social Security Administration, contact its Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271, or file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
 
For more information about other common scams and consumer-related issues, please call the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or visit ArkansasAG.gov orfacebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.

 

9-13-18 8:57 p.m. kawx.org 

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