KAWX News Archives for 2018-11

Mena's Spotlight Singers To Perform At State Capitol

The Mena High School "Spotlight Singers" will perform at the Arkansas State Capitol December 12th at 12:40 p.m.

 

Every year during the holiday season, school choirs from all

across Arkansas come to the State Capitol, which has been

beautifully decorated for the holiday season, 

to sing and to spread Christmas cheer.

 

Come listen and enjoy the music!

The public is welcomed and invited to attend.

 

Video of each performance will also be streamed live at http://www.arkansashouse.org.

 

Photos will be posted to the Secretary of State's Flickr page at https://www.flickr.com/photos/arsecofstate/albums.

 

11-30-18 5:02 p.m. kawx.org 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

If you are already thinking about your new year’s resolution, we want to direct your attention to a state program that may help you achieve your goals.

 

The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) recently launched Be Well Arkansas, an enhancement of previous tobacco cessation services, to provide Arkansans with resources to improve their health and well-being.

 

With Be Well Arkansas, Wellness Counselors answer calls from Arkansans who are interested in improving their health. This could be anything from managing diabetes to quitting smoking. Arkansans can call 833-283-WELL or visit BeWellArkansas.org.

 

Wellness Counselors are able to provide counseling over the phone and connect people to online and text resources, and services that may be available to them through their insurance plans, if they have insurance. This service will also offer local, in-person cessation counseling as an option for callers.

 

The program even offers a diabetes risk assessment via text. You can find out if you are at risk by texting “RISKTEST” to 97779.

 

Text messaging programs are also available to help you quit smoking. You can find that information at BeWellArkansas.org as well as links to support groups and even apps that provide motivation and track you progress.

 

BeWellArkansas.org can also be a great place to start if you want to be more active in the new year.  The website has resources that can help you, your family, your workplace, your faith-based group, and even your community get started on a path to lifelong health and well-being.

 

In Arkansas, the leading causes of death include stroke, heart disease and cancer. The good news is that many illnesses can be managed, or even prevented, with access to the right resources.

 

Whatever you want to be—a good parent, a great athlete, a role model, etc.—it all starts with being well. An active, healthy lifestyle is key to being at the top of your game. It’s never too late to make decisions to help you lead a healthier lifestyle, and to be the best version of you that you can be. Being well is the first step.

 

11-30-18 4:53 p.m. kawx.org 

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Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column - Why NATO is as Important as Ever

Why NATO is as Important as Ever

 

When the Second World War came to an end, the uneasy alliance between Western powers and the Soviet Union quickly dissolved into acrimony and tension. While European nations struggled to rebuild from the devastation, they were forced to grapple with an increasingly hostile and aggressive Soviet Union. It was amid this backdrop that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was born.

 

The Soviet Union no longer exists, but the threat of a hostile and aggressive superpower in eastern Europe remains. Russia’s seizure of Ukrainian Navy vessels is the latest in a long line of aggressive actions undertaken by Vladimir Putin’s regime. Putin has overseen the hostile annexation of Crimea, destabilization in Syria, election meddling in Western democracies and a litany of additional aggressions. The need for a strong NATO is as important as ever.

 

As a former member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA), I firmly believe that strong relationships with our NATO allies are vital to confronting the security and economic challenges of the 21st century. The assembly, while institutionally separate from NATO, provides a critical forum for international parliamentary dialogue on an array of security, political and economic matters. Members of parliament from NATO countries are key to ensuring that the alliance’s funding obligations are met and the case for NATO actions is conveyed to the public.

 

I recently joined my NATO PA counterparts from other nations in Nova Scotia, Canada to discuss critical issues facing our alliance. Discussions like these, where members of parliament from member countries participate, are vital to influencing NATO decisions.

 

The American delegation demonstrated and reaffirmed the strong Congressional support of NATO. While leaders from the allied nations won’t always be on the same the page on every issue, including the amount of defense spending each nation commits, that does not diminish the U.S. commitment to the alliance. We will continue to encourage other member nations to meet the agreed upon defense spending levels—which not all nations have done as President Trump and his predecessors have noted—but that does not conflict with the fact that the U.S. still views the alliance as immensely valuable to global security.

 

Pushing for all nations to uphold spending obligations is meaningless unless we continue to lead by example.

 

That is why I consistently support funding for NATO programs and included funding for the NATO Security Investment Program—which provides infrastructure for NATO’s response to challenges posed by Russia and threats from the Middle East and North Africa—in the Senate Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies (MilCon-VA) Appropriations bill I authored.

 

NATO PA’s principal objective is to foster mutual understanding of key security challenges facing the transatlantic partnership. Our bipartisan, bicameral delegation traveled to Canada with that in mind and brought a strong message of support for democratic values around the world, as well as our continued commitment to NATO and our allies. Our discussions and debates are important to developing consensus and bolstering alliance policies. Maintaining this open global dialogue helps protect and advance our foreign policy goals as we strive to expand democratic ideals and shape policies to protect our interests—and those of our allies—abroad.

 

11-30-18 4:51 p.m. kawx.org

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Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Reforming Arkansas's Juvenile Justice System

 
LITTLE ROCK – Two weeks ago, I announced the details of our plan to reform the state’s juvenile justice system. The most obvious change is the decision to close two of our youth treatment centers.
 
The reform of our juvenile justice system has been a priority of my administration since day one. A few weeks before my inauguration as the 46th governor of Arkansas, I made a surprise visit to the Alexander Juvenile Treatment Center to make it clear that I intended to protect the youth in the custody of our state.
 
And then in 2016, after continued reports of violence and poor management of the system, the state took over operation of Arkansas’s seven youth treatment centers.
 
In January, I made another surprise visit to the treatment center at Dermott. I wanted to see the operation first-hand, and I wanted to remind our leaders that I am serious about the way we treat our youthful offenders.
 
Over the past four years, we have fixed problems that needed immediate attention. During this time, the leaders of the Department of Human Services and the Administrative Office of the Courts have critiqued the system and consulted experts outside state government.
 
Now we have released the details of our big-picture plan, which we will implement over the next six months and then fully implement next summer. This plan accelerates the transformation of the juvenile justice system and will better equip the system to meet the needs of youth in our care, their families, and the judicial system.
 
The goal of our plan is to strengthen the system and to reduce the number of those who are housed in locked facilities. As often as is possible and safe, we want to return youthful offenders to community-based treatment that will involve their families and local supervision.
 
In the upcoming general assembly, I will ask legislators to pass mandatory risk assessment to ensure juveniles receive the appropriate level of guidance and assistance. One circuit judge who requires the assessment process for every offender in his court saw 47 percent fewer detentions between 2015 and 2017. Offenders spent less time in jail, and the number of repeat offenders dropped by 33 percent.
 
We will close the treatment center at Dermott and Colt, and we are preparing the requests for bids from firms that operate juvenile treatment centers. Our goal is to return the centers to private operation at the start of the new fiscal year in July 2019. We will require quarterly reviews of treatment for each offender.
 
I want to thank the legislators who are members of the Juvenile Justice Reform Board, the Administrative Office of the Courts, and some of our juvenile court judges who have been invaluable partners in developing proposals for reform.
 
While punishment is a necessary part of the justice system, the more significant element is the rehabilitation of our youth. We need to give them the attention and teach the skills that will give them the best hope of escaping the cycle of violence, abuse, and incarceration that many of them have known throughout their young life.
 
These reforms are costly, but we can’t afford the cost of failing to reform our system of juvenile justice. The return on that investment is the lives we salvage because we truly rose to the challenge.
 
11-30-18 3:48 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

November 30, 2018

 

LITTLE ROCK – The Arkansas Tax Reform and Relief Legislative Task Force is working until the proverbial last minute to finalize a package of recommendations for the regular session of the legislature, which begins January 14.

 

A few details remain to be ironed out, but it is highly likely that one recommendation will be a major reduction in individual income taxes.

The legislature created the 16-member task force during the 2017 session. Its purpose is to recommend bills that will modernize and simplify the tax code, while encouraging job creation.

 

The act that created the task force specifically directed its members to ensure fairness to all individuals and businesses that pay taxes in Arkansas. Also, recommendations should have the purpose of making our taxes competitive with other states, in order to attract businesses to Arkansas.

 

Over the past two years the task force has met regularly and sometimes at great length. December 12 may be its final meeting. After that, the task force will forward a package of recommendations to the entire General Assembly. They will be introduced as bills and referred to the Senate and House Committees on Revenue and Taxation.

 

The recommended tax cuts would begin to take effect on January 1, 2020.

While the task force has been working on its version of an income tax cut, the governor and his administration have also been building support for an income tax cut.

The governor’s plan is similar in many ways to the task force proposal, but not completely identical.

 

Both the governor’s proposal and the task force’s recommendation would simplify the income tax codes, while lowering the tax burden paid by Arkansas families.

 

Task force members and state tax officials commonly refer to the legislative proposal as “Option A,” to distinguish it from several other options that were considered.

 

They refer to the governor’s tax cut proposal as the “2, 4, 5.9” plan, because it would lower income tax rates to 2 percent for people who earn up to $8,000 a year, 4 percent for those who earn between $8,001 and $18,000 a year and 5.9 percent for people who earn more than $18,000 a year.

 

Those rates would be phased in gradually. Legislative leaders have said they want to protect the state budget from a drastic shortfall that would negatively affect its capacity to provide essential services. For that reason, the task force has been studying possible “triggers.” In other words, certain tax cuts would not take effect until a designated “trigger” occurs, such as revenue growth reaching 2 percent.

 

Also, the tax force heard from tax officials in other states. The intent was to model Arkansas reforms after states that were successful, such as North Carolina and Indiana.

 

Also, Arkansas wants to avoid the experiences of Kansas and Oklahoma, where tax cuts were a factor when declines in revenue created problems in school funding.

 

Because of unique language in the state Constitution, some tax measures require a 75 percent majority of legislators for approval, while others require simply a 51 percent majority.

 

The different thresholds will affect the strategies employed by sponsors of tax cut legislation.

 

11-30-18 8:35 a.m. kawx.org 

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Distinguished Acorn Alumnae To Speak to UARM 60+ Group

The 60+ Program offered through UA Rich Mountain is hosting a potluck luncheon featuring keynote speaker Dr. James P. Barnett and is open to the community.

Barnett is an Acorn alumnae, born in the sawmill community of Rich Mountain, going on to earn degrees from Arkansas Tech, Louisiana State and Duke Universities. He has dedicated more than four decades to conducting and supervising a program of forest reforestation and management research for the U.S. Forest Service. He has over 350 published articles and his leadership has been recognized by the Chief of the Forest Service, the Secretary of Agriculture, and the Society of American Foresters and over a dozen countries have benefitted from his experience.

During the luncheon, Dr. Barnett will address the historical significance of the Civilian Conservation Corps, a work relief program that provided young men from the ages of 17 to 28 with jobs and skills training while building critical infrastructure across the country. Numerous local bridges, dams, erosion prevention projects and roads were built between 1933 and 1942 by the CCC, many of which are still in use today.

This potluck luncheon featuring Dr. Barnett as the keynote speaker will be held Monday, December 3, in the Ouachita Center on the campus of UA Rich Mountain beginning at 11 a.m. The 60+ Program encourages you to invite friends or neighbors who share an interest in history to attend this special event as a way to introduce them to the active 60+ program at UA Rich Mountain. Please bring a dish, drinks, or dessert of your choosing.

 

11-29-18 3:09 p.m. kawx.org 

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Wallace "Howard" Ross Obituary

Wallace "Howard" Ross

January 25, 1940 - November 28, 2018

 

Wallace "Howard" Ross, age 78, of Mena, Arkansas, died Wednesday, November 28, 2018 at home. He was born on Thursday, January 25, 1940 to Robert Stanley and Eva Lee Ross in Delight, Arkansas.

Howard lived his life serving the Lord, his family and his country. He attended the Faith Missionary Baptist Church in Mena. He served in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam era. After leaving the military, Howard re-entered civilian life and took jobs in Indiana, Texas and Arkansas to provide for his family. All those who knew Howard, know that providing for his family was his greatest calling, and played a large part in guiding his life. Howard was fascinated with genealogy and especially enjoyed researching the Ross family history. He also loved gardening and grew some of the most amazing vegetables which he gladly shared with others. Howard was a loving husband, a dedicated father, grandfather and brother. Over the years many people have had the privilege of calling him friend and to those who truly knew him, he will be missed.

He is preceded in death by his parents, his brothers Charles, Wilburn and Clifton and grandson Kyle Titsworth.

Howard is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Audrey Ross of Mena; their two sons, Tony Ross of Fayetteville, and Daren Ross and his wife Dena of Mena; one brother and sister in law, Bud and Alice Ross of Wren, Ohio; six grandchildren, Nichole Titsworth Sullenger of Washington, Missouri, Logan Ross and wife Melanie of Fayetteville, Madison Ross of Bentonville, Hannah Ross of Fayetteville, Aubrie Ross of Fayetteville, and Owen Ross of Fayetteville; six great grandchildren; several nieces and nephews and a host of other relatives and friends.

Funeral services will be held Friday, November 30, 2018 at 2:00 P.M. at the Bowser Family Funeral Home Chapel in Mena, Arkansas with Brother Tim Harper officiating. A visitation will be held before the service on Friday, November 30, 2018 at 1:00 P.M. Arrangements are entrusted to Bowser Family Funeral Home in Mena, Arkansas

In lieu of flowers, the family requests giving to the Gideons International, P.O. Box 781, Mena, Arkansas 71953.

Online Guestbook: www.bowserffh.com

 

11-29-18 8:13 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 Nov. 28, 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.

 

11-28-18 2:30 p.m. kawx.org 

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Polk County Circuit Court Arraignments November 28th

All criminal information is merely an accusation and the Defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. Prosecuting Attorney Andy Riner, within and for the 18th-West Judicial District of the State of Arkansas, of which Polk County is a part, in the name and by the authority of the State of Arkansas, on oath, do hereby accuse the defendants of committing in Polk County, Arkansas the following crimes:

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Kimberly Morriss, age 35 W/F Count 1: Possession Of Firearms By Certaion Persons a Class D Felony; Count 2: Criminal Mischief In 1st Degree a Class A Misdemeanor; Count 3: Disroderly Conduct a Class C Misdemeanor.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Trinna Elaine Myers, age 38 W/F Count 1: Forgery In The Second Degree a Calss C Felony.

 

11-28-18 1:26 p.m. kawx.org 

 

 

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Polk County Sheriff's Log For November 19 - 25

SHERIFF’S LOG


The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of November 19, 2018 – November 25, 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.


November 19, 2018
Report from complainant of being ran off the road on Highway 8 East near Mena, causing damage to their vehicle.


November 20, 2018
Report of a structure fire on Kodiak Lane near Mena.  Investigation continues into the origin of the fire.
Report of a structure fire on Highway 8 West near Mena.  Deputy responded.
Report from a business on Highway 71 South in Cove of a two-vehicle accident in the parking lot.  Deputy responded.


November 21, 2018
Report of suspicious behavior led to Citations for Possession of a Firearm by Certain Person, Criminal Mischief and Public Intoxication being issued to Kimberly R. Morriss, 35, of Smithville, OK.
Report from complainant on Cardinal Lane near Mena of being threatened by an acquaintance.  Deputy responded.
Report of a structure fire on Polk 419 near Potter.  Deputy responded.


November 22, 2018
Traffic stop on Highway 71 South in Potter led to the arrest of Lazaro Hidilberto, 37, of Mena, on Charges of DWI and No Driver’s License.
Report of a disturbance on Highway 375 West near Potter.  Deputies responded.  Information has been provided to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Report of a domestic disturbance on West Johnson Street in Hatfield led to the arrest of Phillip F. Farris, 50, of Newalla, OK, on a Charge of Domestic Battery 3rd Degree.
Arrested was Amy D. McLeary, 42, of Meeker, OK, on a Charge of Public Intoxication.


November 23, 2018
Report from complainant on Highway 8 East near Big Fork of the break-in and theft of copper from a residence, totaling losses at $1,000.00.  Investigation continues.
Report from complainant on Highway 8 West near Shady Grove of the theft of $229.00 cash.  Information has been provided to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Report of an unattended death on Polk 69 near Opal.  Deputy responded.


November 24, 2018
Report from complainant on Highway 71 South near Hatfield of the theft of a tractor, valued at $27,000.00.  Investigation continues.
Report from complainant on Polk 184 near Ink of an unauthorized person on their property led to the arrest of Royce T. Green, 43, of Mena, on Charges of Public Intoxication, Criminal Trespass, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Theft of Property and a Parole Hold.
Arrested was David M. Fraser, 50, of Mena, on two Warrants for Failure to Comply with a Court Order and three Warrants for Failure to Appear.
Arrested by a trooper with the Arkansas State Police was Daniel J. Proctor, 35, of Nashville, GA, on a Hold for a government agency.


November 25, 2018
Report of a disturbance led to a 16-year-old male being issued Juvenile Citations for Domestic Battery and Disorderly Conduct.  The juvenile was released to the custody of a parent/guardian.
Report of a disturbance at a business on Highway 375 East near Mena led to the arrest of William M. Hale, 55, of Mena, on a Charge of Criminal Trespass.
Report of a one-vehicle accident on Highway 71 South near Grannis.  Deputy responded.
Report of a disturbance on Polk 24 near Cove led to the arrest of Neisha F. Wikel, 26, of Cove, on a Charge of Domestic Battery 3rd Degree.
Report from a business on Highway 71 South in Cove of the discovery of a strange substance.  Deputy responded.

Polk County Sheriff’s Office worked three vehicle accidents this week. Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 20 Incarcerated Inmates, with 3 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

PC18-00797

 

11-27-18 8:34 a.m. kawx.org 

 

Listen to the online Polk County, Arkansas Police and Fire radio scanner by clicking on the scanner below. The online scanner is compliments of Mena Community Radio KAWX. Please listen responsibly

 

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Mena Police Department Report November 18 - 24

Mena Police Department Reports for the Week of November 18, 2018 through November 24, 2018 

 

November 18, 2018

 

Hana Orr, 31, of Kirby was charged with theft of property (shoplifting) after officers responded to a call at a local convenience store.

 

November 19, 2018

 

A Mena woman reported that she had received information that someone had used her identity to have been used in another state.  Case is pending further investigation.

 

Officers responded to a call at a local retail store regarding an unruly customer who had since left the business.  No charges have been filed at this time.

 

November 20, 2018

 

Report was made of someone taking items, including televisions from a local residence.  Case is pending further investigation.

 

November 21 and 22, 2018

 

Employees at a local convenience store reported a gas-skip.  Case is pending location and interview of suspect.

 

Debra Jean Gee, 57 of Mena was charged with theft of property after a call from employees at a local retail store.

 

November 23 and 24, 2018

 

A local woman reported that someone unknown to her had followed her and was acting suspiciously.  Case is pending.

 

Report was made of a problem with custody of a minor child.  The child is now with the custodial parent, and parties were advised to seek legal assistance.

 

11-26-18 8:47 a.m. kawx.org 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

Did you know that every frozen Butterball turkey was produced right here in Arkansas?  And that may not be the only thing on your plate this holiday season that came from the work of an Arkansas farmer.

 

Our farmers produce everything from the main course to the ingredients of the pecan pie.

 

Arkansas is number three in the nation in turkey production. 

 

And we are the sixth largest producer in the United States of sweet potatoes. 

 

Our farmers also have a hand in the pecan and pumpkin pies.  We are one of fourteen states in the nation to grow pecans.  And while we are proud to be home to many pumpkin patches across the state, we do not produce enough to support every supermarket.  Arkansas pumpkins however can be found at your local farmers markets or pumpkin patch.

 

Corn is another major crop.  Our farmers harvested more than 595,000 acres of corn last year.

 

Although few go shopping for actual soybeans during the holidays, there is a very good chance the soybean plays a significant part in your feast.  This year Arkansas ranks as 10th in the nation in soybean production. Soybean oil is used in cooking and frying foods.  Margarine is a product made from soybean oil.  Salad dressings and mayonnaises are made with soybean oil.  It is also used for animal feed for farm animals.

 

 Agriculture contributes more the $21 billion in economic value for the state. For those Arkansans who do not live on a farm or have relatives who are farmers, we encourage you to reconnect your children with the origin of food.  Visiting a farm can build a conceptual understanding of food sources, while also providing an opportunity to form healthy eating habits.

 

So this holiday season, thank a farmer.  And look for the “Arkansas Grown” label at your local supermarket as another way to show your appreciation.

 

11-23-18 4:55 p.m. kawx.org 

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Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column - Recycling's Benefits Significant and Widespread

Every year in November, our nation renews its commitment to reduce waste and preserve our limited resources on “America Recycles Day.” The day of recognition serves as a timely reminder as we approach the holiday season—a period when used envelopes, wrapping paper, shipping material and gift boxes quickly pile up— that we all have a role to play in reducing our landfill input. 

 

Recycling is an easy way to do our part. It is a win-win solution, as it allows us to be responsible stewards of our environment while creating needed resources for U.S. manufacturers, valuable export commodities and jobs for over 500,000 Americans. Recycling truly does help build a stronger America.  

 

This is the message Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) and I routinely share with our colleagues as the co-chairs of the Senate Recycling Caucus. Through the caucus, we work with our colleagues and stakeholders to raise awareness of recycling’s impact on advancing our nation's environmental and economic interests and to support public policies that increase the practice across the country.

 

The caucus, which was formed in 2006, is committed to educating our colleagues on new and innovative ideas to make recycling practical for all stakeholders. With that in mind, we held a briefing on the eve of “America Recycles Day” to promote the benefits of recycling and help find ways we can work together to turn challenges into opportunities.

 

Zach Freeze, Senior Director for Sustainability at Walmart Stores Inc, was one of the expert panelists at this briefing. Given that the large majority of recycled material is generated outside of the household, it is vital that we encourage businesses, large and small, take a proactive, conscientious approach to sustainability.

 

Walmart’s innovative efforts to reduce waste in its operations and increase sustainability are ideas that can translate into bigger benefits for the industry. I appreciate that Zach made the time to share how Walmart is carrying out its vision by increasing focus on product sustainability efforts, more sustainable packaging solutions and it’s bold “Project Gigaton,” which seeks to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions produced by the company and its suppliers by one billion metric tons by the year 2030.

 

The Senate Recycling Caucus aims to raise the visibility of the importance of recycling from a conservation standpoint as well as the important role the industry plays in our economy. Events such as this are a good way for us to listen, learn and share ideas. We need to take the best of those ideas and turn them into action. 

 

Recycling is one of the few solutions to a problem that is truly bipartisan. Waste reduction is not a red state issue or a blue state issue. Nor is it a big city problem or a rural problem. We all can do our part, and share the benefits, by recycling.

 

With the holiday season upon us, I encourage everyone to make a concerted effort to recycle. When you recycle, you literally reinvest in American manufacturing, providing raw materials for America’s factories and economic opportunity for your community. Recycling doesn’t take much effort, but it makes all the sense in the world. 

 

11-23-18 4:50 p.m. kawx.org 

 

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Virginia Anderson Smith Obituary

Virginia Anderson Smith age 88 of Mena, Arkansas passed away Wednesday, November 21, 2018 in Ft. Smith, Arkansas.

Virginia was born on October 26, 1930 in Brule, Nebraska to the late Amos Anderson and the late Calista Carpenter Cerreto. She was married to the late Homer Smith until his passing in 2014. She was a loving homemaker to her family. Virginia was a faithful and loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, and friend to all who knew her. She will be dearly missed. 

She is survived by children: Homer “Skip” Smith and wife Vickie of Mena, Arkansas, Richard “Frank” Smith and wife Glynda of Chickasha, Oklahoma
Stephen Smith of Plunkettville, Oklahoma, Patricia Swierzowski and husband David of New York

Grandchildren: Stephanie, Eric, Mindy, Bradley, Christina, Michelle, Kimberly, Lori, Amos and Calista

Twenty-eight great-grandchildren

Sisters: Lois Barker, Rebecca Roberts, and Mary Ann Simonds.

She was preceded in death by her parents Amos Anderson and Calista Cerreto, husband Homer Adam Smith, and brothers John Anderson, Harry Anderson, Harold Anderson and an uncle Arthur Carpenter.

Funeral services will be Monday, November 26, 2018, at 10:00 a.m. at Beasley Wood Chapel with Brother Steve Ellison officiating. Interment will follow in the Westview Cemetery under the direction of the Beasley Wood Funeral Home of Mena.

Family and friends visitation will be Sunday, November 25, 2018 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. at Beasley Wood.

Pallbearers will be Amos Smith, Chris Vaughn, Jose Rodriguez’ Vadez, and Raven Rodriguez.

 

11-23-18 12:14 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

November 23, 2018

 

LITTLE ROCK – Every year Arkansas judges send about 350 youths into state custody. Some are sent to a secure lockup and some to a less restrictive environment, such as a group home.

 

The state Division of Youth Services (DYS), an agency within the much larger Department of Human Services, is responsible for those facilities.

 

Earlier this month, DYS officials and the governor announced that they had begun far-reaching changes in how the state treats troubled adolescents.

 

Fewer young people will be sent to lockups and more will be supervised in community group homes.

 

Teenagers who get in trouble and are placed in state custody will be assessed without delay. A treatment plan will be written individually for each juvenile, and its effectiveness will be measured regularly. DYS officials will involve families from the beginning, with the goal of preparing the youth for his or her eventual release back into the community.

 

The news was greeted with enthusiasm by non-profit groups that work with young people. For example, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families publicly thanked the governor and DYS for making the changes, which the organization said were long overdue.

 

The director of a group with the authority to monitor treatment of juveniles called the changes a “first step” and pledged to hold the administration accountable.

 

The governor called the changes “monumental,” adding that they would “fundamentally shift” the state’s approach toward young people who get in trouble with the law.

 

The focus will be on treating juveniles in the least restrictive settings, rather than punishing them by locking them in a secure unit. The new approach recognizes that the majority of youths in DYS custody committed non-violent offenses.

 

There are now seven facilities across Arkansas where juvenile offenders are placed. They’re in Alexander, Colt, Dermott, Harrisburg, Lewisville and two at Mansfield. The Juvenile Treatment Center at Dermott facility will be closed by June 30 of next year. It has 32 beds. The Colt center will be combined with the one in Harrisburg, which will be an all-female facility. It will expand from 26 beds to 32 beds.

 

The total number of beds in DYS residential treatment centers will decrease from 285 to 262. The total number of slots in specialized residential treatment programs will increase from 90 to 111 beds. Funding will be shifted accordingly.

 

Over time, the changes are expected to save the state money because they will reduce the use of confinement and commitment, which cost more than community programs. The purpose is to provide opportunities for non-violent offenders, such as vocational training and education, so that they successfully return to their homes. DYS custody should not be an inevitable first step toward prison time as an adult.

 

Juveniles who don’t need to be locked up should be better served under the new approach, while DYS staff will be able to focus more attention on the especially tough cases of troubled and potentially dangerous offenders.

 

The remaining five residential treatment facilities are currently run by state employees working for DYS. However, the division is preparing to privatize their operations, and will be seeking bids from private organizations in December.

 

11-23-18 7:45 a.m. kawx.org 

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State Capitol Christmas Lighting December 1st

 Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin will host the 80th Anniversary of the State Capitol Lighting Ceremony. This year’s emcees will be local celebrities Officer Tommy Norman and "Big Sarge" Vince Sherrill.

 

In the last two lighting ceremonies, Secretary Martin chose to honor those who have dedicated themselves to public service, including firefighters and law enforcement officers. This year, we honor the men and women of our nation's military, many of whom cannot be with their families during the holidays. 

 

The tradition of lighting the Capitol began in 1938, when then Secretary of State “Crip” Hall began this time-honored tradition as a gift to children at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.  He himself suffered from polio as a child and wanted to help lift the spirits of children suffering from life threatening illnesses.  Not only did he lift their spirits, but as a leader, he showed empathy, kindness, and joy to these children in their time of need.  In honor of this tradition, we continue to light the entire Capitol Building so it will be visible from Arkansas Children’s Hospital.  

 

Weather permitting, the Capitol Lighting will be followed by fireworks.  After the fireworks, the public is invited to come into the Capitol for activities and to see all of the Christmas decorations.  The Arkansas Gospel Mass Choir will perform on the second floor of the rotunda.  Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand to see all of the children in his workshop, also in the second floor rotunda.  Children's author Carol Dabney will host a music and story time in the Old Supreme Court Room.

 

Come join us for a great time of holiday fun at your Arkansas State Capitol on Saturday evening, December 1st, starting at 5:30 pm, after the Little Rock Big Jingle Jubilee Holiday Parade.  This is a free, family-friendly event.

 

If you cannot join us at the Lighting Ceremony, the Capitol will be open to the public for extended hours during the December holiday season. The Capitol will be open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 9 pm, and on weekends and holidays from 10 am to 9 pm. 

11-22-18 6:26 a.m. kawx.org 

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Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address - So Much to be Thankful For

 
LITTLE ROCK – From the first Thanksgiving with the pilgrim settlers to the modern tradition of football and turkey, it is important for us as a state and nation to pause from the hustle of life and simply give thanks.
 
For me, I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the people of Arkansas for another four years.
 
I am thankful for family, health, and that Arkansas is truly blessed as the Natural State with extraordinary beauty and wildlife.
 
I am particularly thankful to serve a state whose citizens are so quick to lend a hand, as I have seen over and over as neighbors show up with chainsaws, meals, and money after a tornado has knocked down houses and businesses, or when unrelenting rains have destroyed thousands of acres of crops.
 
I am grateful for teachers who love teaching and are dedicated to molding young minds into future leaders.
 
I treasure the encounters that remind me of the importance of dreams, such as the evening when I was to deliver the commencement speech at Ozarka College. Barbara Wilson told me that her granddaughter, Lexxy Scott, was the only woman graduating from the school’s aviation program that evening.
 
I asked, “What is she going to do now?”
 
Mrs. Wilson replied, “Anything she wants.”
 
I am grateful to serve a state where the residents have dreams and believe they can come true.
 
I relish the humbling moments, such as the time at the Hogskin Days Parade in Hampton when a woman waited her turn to meet me and insisted that I needed a hug. Then she stepped back and asked, “Now just who are you?” I realized she was a friend to many, and the hug was for everyone.
As I recall the many Thanksgiving feasts I’ve shared over the years, I’m proud to note that the farmers of Arkansas can produce everything we need for our tables and enough as well to export around the world.
 
Arkansas is great place to live, and together, we are making it better. I am grateful for the chance to participate in this great adventure.
 
11-22-18 6:19 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 Nov. 21, 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.

 

11-21-18 8:43 p.m. kawx.org 

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Polk County Sales and Road Improvement Taxes Report

Polk County Treasurer Tanya K. Fretz released the monthly report showing the Polk County Sales Tax and Polk Road Improvement Tax numbers, both 1%, for October, 2018.

 
The two taxes generated $124,293 each for a total of $248,586.
 
To date in 2018 the two taxes have generated a total of $1,394,706.
 
The October Sales Tax and Road Improvement Tax for 2018 was $970 less than it was for the same month in 2017, but the two taxes are still up $7,012 to date over the same period in 2017.
 
The decreased amount could be from lower retail sales but is likely due to an accounting oversight in Little Rock and will be corrected in coming months. 
 
11-21-18 3:32 p.m. kawx.org 

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Boozman Encourages Support for Local Retailers, Highlights Small Business Saturday

WASHINGTON— U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) released the following statement encouraging Arkansans to support small businesses in their communities this Saturday, November 24 as part of “Small Business Saturday”:

 

“Small businesses drive our economy in Arkansas and across the country. They employ our family, friends and neighbors and provide in-demand goods and services all while giving back to the communities they operate in. I hope Arkansans will join me in patronizing these economic engines this holiday season, beginning on Small Business Saturday,” Boozman said.

 

Boozman is a cosponsor of the Senate-passed resolution that designates Saturday, November 24, 2018 as Small Business Saturday. The measure urges consumers to shop locally and highlights the importance of small businesses to our economy. Last year, 108 million Americans shopped or dined at independently-owned businesses for Small Business Saturday.

 

11-21-18 2:02 p.m. kawx.org

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Catch a Rainbow Trout at Russellville Trout Fishing Clinic and Derby

RUSSELLVILLE - The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is teaming up with CADDIS Fly Fishing Club and the Russellville Recreation and Parks Department to host a special trout-fishing derby Saturday, Dec. 1 at Pleasant View Park Pond.
 
The AGFC’s Family and Community Fishing Program will stock hundreds of rainbow trout from the Jim Hinkle Spring River State Fish Hatchery before the event to make sure young and beginning anglers have plenty of opportunities to catch fish. Derby participants should bring their own bait and tackle. The derby will begin at 9 a.m. and last until noon.
 
A special trout-fishing clinic also will be held from 6 p.m.-7 p.m. on Nov. 27 at the Hughes Community Center to help new anglers learn how to catch trout.
 
“Many people hear ‘trout fishing’ and think it’s too complicated to give a try, but nothing could be further from the truth,” said Maurice Jackson, FCFP coordinator. “Fishing for trout can be as simple as a cane pole and bobber, or as complicated as hand-tied flies and fly rods, depending on how in-depth a person wants to get. For most of us just looking at having a good time and catching some fish to eat, trout are a great fish to target.”
 
Anglers 15 and younger will get a bonus if they attend both the seminar and fishing derby the FCFP has planned. The first 50 youth anglers will receive a voucher for a free rod and reel they can redeem the morning of the derby.
 
Youths do not need a license or trout stamp to fish in Arkansas, and the derby is free. Anglers 16 and older are welcome to fish as well, but they must have a valid AGFC fishing license and trout stamp, available to purchase at www.agfc.com. Anglers must bring their own bait and tackle, and chairs or coolers to sit on are strongly encouraged.  
 
Call 479-968-1272 to register for the clinic. Registration is not required for the derby.
 
11-21-18 1:52 p.m. kawx.org 

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Big Timber WMA Addition Expands Leased Land Program For Hunters

AMITY - Southwest Arkansas has one of the most dense deer populations of anywhere in the state, and finding public access in this part of Arkansas is much easier thanks to special leased lands opportunities offered by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. This year, an additional spur of 3,500 acres is available near the town of Amity, to help hunters find a tree for their deer stand.

 

“We worked with the Olds Foundation, a nonprofit organization in Amity, to add about 3,500 acres to our leased land at Big Timber WMA this year,” Nimmo said. “This brings the total acreage of the WMA to about 45,000 acres.”

 

Nimmo says the addition will offer more public opportunities to people around Amity, who had fairly little public property available nearby. 

 

“That’s really the great thing about our leased lands WMA’s,” Nimmo said. “We can’t purchase property everywhere in the state. Other areas may be broken up into hundreds of smaller holdings, which makes it nearly impossible to procure in its entirety. By leasing the land, we are able to open up access to anyone who wants to hunt the area without paying a high cost.”

 

Garrick Dugger, assistant chief of wildlife management, says the AGFC leases more than a quarter-million acres each year to open them up for hunting and trapping.

 

“A lot of these places just aren’t for sale, but are owned by timber companies and nonprofit groups who work with us to offer hunting access as long as it doesn’t interfere with their use of the land,” Dugger said. “The AGFC owns about 380,000 acres in Arkansas, and we use the leased land program to offer another 280,000 acres to hunters. It’s all about giving people more places to hunt.”

 

Dugger says leased lands also enable the AGFC to expand hunting properties in the state without expanding manpower. 

“It’s extremely difficult to provide the manpower needed to manage the acreage we own, but these leased properties already have some sort of management and infrastructure in place to benefit hunters,” Dugger said. “This means more land for everyone to access, and in many cases, the land is right in the heart of where people normally would be paying some high prices for deer leases.” 

 

Leased lands WMAs are still considered public hunting areas in regard to regulations concerning seasons and bag limits. Each WMA has its own set of regulations regarding harvest of all game species. For deer, they typically follow the same dates and bag limits as the private land deer zone surrounding them, but they do require the hunter to check their deer to the WMA zone number instead of a private land zone number. 

 

Leased lands WMAs have one caveat - hunting, camping and trapping on one requires an additional special annual use permit, which costs $40. The permit fees help to offset a very small portion of the leased land program’s cost and helps gauge hunter participation levels and interest on the property. Managers can see which areas have the most participation, and which areas are losing popularity and make judgements on future leases in surrounding areas. 

 

“We take in about 20 percent of the program’s cost through the permits,” Dugger said. “The AGFC pays for the rest of it, so people have an affordable option to go hunting. We can’t provide AGFC-owned land everywhere, but we can help make it a little easier to get your deer without spending a bunch of money in the process.”

 

Visit the links below to learn more about each leased land WMA:


AGFC Leased Lands WMAs

 

 

11-21-18 1:43 p.m. kawx.org 

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Polk County Circuit Court Arraignments November 19th - 23rd

All criminal information is merely an accusation and the Defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. Prosecuting Attorney Andy Riner, within and for the 18th-West Judicial District of the State of Arkansas, of which Polk County is a part, in the name and by the authority of the State of Arkansas, on oath, do hereby accuse the defendants of committing in Polk County, Arkansas the following crimes:

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Martha M. Tucker, age 37 W/F Count 1: Failure to Appear a Class D Felony (original offense Possession of Drug Paraphernalia). Bond set at $100,000.00.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Rosie Rubymae Arthur, age 45 W/F Count 1: Theft of Property a Class D Felony; Count 2: Possession of a Schedule II Controlled Substance a Class D Felony; Count 3: Possession of Drug Paraphernalia a Class D Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Debra Herring, age 54 W/F Count 1: Failure to Appear a Class D Felony (original offense Possession of Schedule II). Bond ste at $100,000.00.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Benjamin Farley, age 19 W/M, Count 1: Probation Violation (original offense Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Meth, a Class D Felony). Bond set at $2,500.00.

 

11-21-18 1:15 p.m. kawx.org 

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Mayor's Race Runoff Election Early Voting Starts November 27th In Mena

Early voting for the Mena mayoral race runoff election will begin Tuesday, November 27th at the Polk County Office Complex (old hospital) on Pine Street in Mena in the Quorum Court Meeting Room.

 
Early voting will be available from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. weekdays only through December 3rd. There will be no early voting on Saturday.
 
The runoff election between Seth Smith and Brandon Martin for Mena mayor will be Tuesday, December 4th.
 
11-21-18 9:43 a.m. kawx.org 

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Quick Response By Fire Departments Saves Acorn Area Home

Quick response by several fire departments prevented an Acorn area home from total destruction Tuesday afternoon late. Kris Lyle of the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) said that Acorn, Ink, and Mena Fire Departments, as well as OEM, all responded and that the fire on Kodiak Lane just off US Highway 71 was confined to the master bedroom, attic, and outside wall. Lyle said the cause of the fire has not been determined but that the quick action of all the departments kept the damage to a minimum. Lyle added that the Polk County Sheriff's Office also assisted.

 
11-20-18 7:14 p.m. kawx.org 

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Arkansas Lawmakers Ask Small Business Administration to Maintain Vital Program for Family Poultry Farms

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton along with U.S. Representatives Rick Crawford, French Hill, Steve Womack and Bruce Westerman pressed the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to reverse a proposed rule that would harm Arkansas poultry farmers’ ability to access vital funding for their operations.

 

The delegation sent a letter to SBA Administrator Linda McMahon urging the agency to revise the proposed rule, which if implemented would impose unworkable eligibility requirements on poultry farmers who rely on SBA’s 7(a) loan program. The 7(a) program provides loan guarantees to assist small businesses in obtaining credit.

 

“Poultry is the largest segment of Arkansas's agricultural industry, creating and supporting over 150,000 jobs including thousands of family farms. Access to capital is one of the most significant barriers to entry for farming, which is why Congress specifically included agriculture in the SBA's mandate. This proposed rule would jeopardize the livelihood of thousands of small family farms and small businesses across Arkansas,” the lawmakers wrote.

 

To view the full text of the letter sent to the Small Business Administrator, click here.

 

11-21-18 6:03 p.m. kawx.org 

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Governor Hutchinson Declares November 19-25 as Arkansas Turkey Week

LITTLE ROCK, AR –  During a ceremony today at the State Capitol, Governor Hutchinson joined agriculture leaders, industry partners and 4-H and FFA members in declaring  November 19 to 25 as Turkey Week in Arkansas.  The Turkey Week proclamation highlights the state’s turkey industry and its value to Arkansas’s economy and agriculture industry.  The full proclamation can be found, here.

 

“The traditional family meal is an important part of the Thanksgiving holiday, making it a perfect occasion to recognize farmers and ranchers for providing us with nutritious food every day of the year,” said Governor Hutchinson. “A turkey raised in Arkansas will be at the center of many dining tables this Thursday so I especially want to recognize our state’s turkey industry, which creates more than 14,000 jobs. Please remember to give thanks to Arkansas farmers and agriculture leaders who help drive our state’s largest economic sector.”

 

Each year, agriculture contributes more the $21 billion in economic value for the state. “The poultry industry, which includes turkey, chicken and eggs, is an important part of Arkansas’s diverse agribusiness landscape,  representing  almost 50 percent of agriculture’s total cash receipts, said Agriculture Secretary Wes Ward. “We all should be thankful for the farmers who provide this protein throughout the entire year.” 

 

Marvin Childers, president of The Poultry Federation, added that Thanksgiving week is the perfect time to recognize everyone involved in making Arkansas the third largest producer of turkeys in the nation. “Thank you to our dedicated farmers, who raise 26 million turkeys per year, and industry leaders, like Cargill and Butterball, for their impact on our state,” he said. Learn more about the Arkansas turkey industry and its economic impact, here.

 

The proclamation featured a live turkey, provided by Victoria and Kristin Lehmann of Scotland, Ark.  The sisters raised the turkey, provided by Butterball, as part of their project with the Conway County 4-H.

 

Photographs from this event can be found, here.

 

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

 

11-19-18 6:23 p.m. kawx.org 

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Arkansas Drivers Reminded to use IDriveArkansas.com for Thanksgiving Holiday Travel Information

 

The Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) reminds drivers to “know before you go” and visit IDriveArkansas.com before traveling this Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

 

To help motorists find ways around accidents and work zone backups on Interstates, ARDOT has an Alternate Routes feature on IDriveArkansas.com. It displays linkages between the Interstate corridors and secondary routes that motorists may consider when travel is delayed. You can also follow us on Twitter @myARDOT.

 

11-19-18 6:19 a.m. kawx.org 

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WANTED: Arkansas' Longest Married Couple

LITTLE ROCK, AR – For the second year, Arkansas Family Council is accepting nominations for Arkansas’ Longest Married Couple.

 

Last year’s celebration was a lovely reception hosted by Family Council and Governor Asa Hutchinson and First Lady Susan Hutchinson at the Governor’s Mansion. The top 10 longest married couples were honored with an official letter of recognition from the governor’s office and were entered in the Family Council Arkansas Marriage Hall of Fame. When this year’s search ends in early February 2019, Family Council will again honor the longest married couples and their families “Sharing these couples’ lifetime stories of commitment and faithfulness to each other encourages the next generation that ‘married happily ever after’ still exists. We are blessed and honored to be able to share these stories of forever love,” Jerry Cox, President of Family Council, said. “In today’s society we are surrounded by naysayers of marriage but the married couples we find will prove them all wrong and show that marriage can last a lifetime.”

 

“Marriage is a sacred covenant between a man and a woman,” Cox said. “It is not every day that you meet a couple married over 70 years, and when you do, there is truly something special about that relationship.”

 

Entries for couples married over 70 years can be submitted before February 1, 2019, by sending contact information for both yourself, the candidates for consideration, and marriage date to ken@familycouncil.org.

 

For more information, please call the Family Council office at 501-375-7000.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11-19-18 3:38 p.m. kawx.org 

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Polk County Sheriff's Log For November 12th - 18th

SHERIFF’S LOG


The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of November 12, 2018 – November 18, 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.


November 12, 2018
Report from complainant on Polk 117 near Mena of vandalism done to a barn.


November 13, 2018
No reports were filed.


November 14, 2018
Report of an unattended death on Polk 16 near Hatton.  Deputy responded.


November 15, 2018
No reports were filed.


November 16, 2018
Report from complainant on Highway 375 East near Mena of damage done to a mailbox, totaling losses at $75.00.  Investigation continues.


November 17, 2018
Report from a Crawford County resident of being scammed by a Polk County resident, totaling losses at $100.00.  Information has been provided to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Report from complainant on Polk 93 near Rocky of vandalism and theft. Investigation continues.
Arrested was Martha M. Tucker, 37, of Mena, on a Warrant for Felony Failure to Appear.
Arrested was Benjamin D. J. Farley, 19, of Mena, on a Warrant for Failure to Appear.


November 18, 2018
Report from complainant on Rhodes Lane near Potter of an unauthorized person having been in their residence.  Investigation continues.
Report from complainant on Highway 4 West near Cove of unauthorized persons on their property led to a Citation for Obstructing Governmental Operations being issued to Travis G. Davis, 30, of Dequeen.
Traffic stop on Highway 71 South near Grannis led to the arrest of James McEntire, 49, of San Diego, CA, on a Charge of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
Report of a single-vehicle accident on Polk 37 near Hatfield led to a Citation for Careless/Prohibited Driving being issued to Alex S. Weatherford, 26, of Mena.  Additional information has been provided to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Arrested was Debra L. Herring, 54, of Malvern, on a Warrant for Felony Failure to Appear.

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

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 21 Incarcerated Inmates, with 2 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

PC18-00776

 

11-19-18 1:29 p.m. kawx.org 

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ARDOT's Randy Ort Report Speaks In Mena

Randy Ort, the Assistant Chief of Administration of the Arkansas Department of Transportation or ARDOT, was in Mena today at the request of State Representative John Maddox, to report on highway projects in Polk and Montgomery Counties and the department in general.

 
Ort told the small audience in the Ouachita Center on the UARM campus that ARDOT has enough money to address about 25% of the needs in the state and would need around $9 billion dollars in additional revenue over the next decade without any new construction. Major capital improvement projects, like the completion of I-49, are not included in that estimate. The completion of I-49 alone is estimated to cost $3.5 billion.
 
While Ort gave little hope of any I-49 completion progress in the foreseeable future, he did share that within the next three years, and maybe as early as late 2019, US 71 and State Hwy 88 inside Mena city limits would be resurfaced.
 
The existing 1/2 cent sales tax in Arkansas for highways will expire in 2023, and Governor Asa Hutchinson is already talking about the need renew it, but Ort said that while the tax is very important, it will fall short of funding highway needs and likely take increases in fuel taxes and registration fees as well as other revenue sources.
 
Ort answered a number of questions concerning I-49, the unsafe condition of US 71, passing lanes, the importance of highways for economic growth, and revenue for ARDOT.
 
Twenty-four people attended Ort's presentation today in Mena, 6 of those were ARDOT employees. 
 
ARDOT maintains 16,418 miles of highways and 7,335 bridges in the state, has 3,700 employees, and is the third largest state agency.
 
More information about ARDOT is available on their website.
11-19-18 12:35 p.m. kawx.org 
 
 

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Mena Police Department Report for November 11 - 17

Mena Police Department Reports for the Week of November 11, 2018 through November 17, 2018 

 

November 11, 2018

 

Report was made regarding a custody dispute between the parents of two juveniles.  No charges were filed.  They were advised to speak to their attorneys to work a settlement.

 

November 12, 2018

 

Employees at a local business reported that several windows in their building had been broken.  No suspects are known at this time.

 

November 13, 2018

 

Joshua Fernandez, 32, of Mena, was arrested on several outstanding warrants for failure to pay fines and court costs.  Local officers travelled to Malvern to bring him back to Polk County.

 

November 14, 2018

 

A local woman reported that someone had been one of the vehicles in her yard.  She noticed the dome light on, and went to investigate. A suspect jumped from the bed of another vehicle and fled the scene.  No suspects at this time.

 

A Mena woman reported that she heard someone inside her house, and that she had witnessed a man fleeing the scene.  The area was searched with negative results.  Case is pending.

 

Report was made by employees at a local fast food restaurant regarding someone damaging a menu sign in the drive through lane.  No suspects located.

 

November 15, 2018

 

Shawnna Michelle Morris, 22, and Rachel Tarkington, 21, both of Mena were each charged with theft of property (shoplifting) after officers responded to a call at a local retail store.

 

November 16 & 17,  2018

 

Report was made of someone taking a vehicle without permission and wrecking it.  Case is pending location and interview of suspect.

 

Fernando Ochoa, Jr., 32 of Tucson, Arizona was charged with DWI, obstructing governmental operations, refusal to submit to a BAC, driving left of center, and having no vehicle tags. 

 

11-19-18 9:12 a.m. kawx.org

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

Bill filing for the 2019 Regular Session began this week.  Eight bills and two proposedconstitutional amendments were filed on the first day.

In recent sessions, more than 2,000 bills were ultimately considered.

 

You can review the bills as they are being filed with a link we have provided on our website www.arkansashouse.org.

 

Another development at the Capitol this week was the presentation of the Governor’s balanced budget proposal.

 

Governor Asa Hutchinson told members his proposal provides funding for 24 new State Troopers and an increase in starting teacher salaries.

 

His proposal for teacher salaries mirrors the recent recommendation of the Education Committee to raise the minimum salary by $1,000 each year. He is also proposing the creation of a $60 million program to address funding needs of school districts below the new minimum.

 

Other proposed increases include $68 million for Department of Human Services, $4.1 million for higher education, $2.3 million for Arkansas State Police, $2.5 million annually for the state’s Crisis Stabilization Centers; $1.13 million increase for the Division of Ag; and a $1.55 million increase for UAMS.

 

The Governor’s proposal also includes a tax cut of $111 million over the next two years. 

 

The budget anticipates an additional $20 million will be collected next year in Internet sales tax. The United States Supreme Court recently upheld the ability of states to compel out-of-state sellers with no physical presence in the state to collect state sales and use taxes.  A bill addressing the tax collection has already been filed.

 

The executive branch is required to submit a balanced budget proposal.  However, the budget is ultimately approved by the legislature.  It is our job to review the new recommendations.  We will also be reviewing the research and recommendations of the Tax Reform and Relief Task Force. 

 

We will continue to update you as we approach the session.  The 2019 Regular Session begins on January 14. 

 

11-16-18 5:18 p.m. kawx.org 

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Dorothy Lea Dollarhyde Obituary

Dorothy Lea Dollarhyde

December 21, 1929 - November 15, 2018

 

Dorothy Dollarhyde, age 88, of Mena, Arkansas, died, Thursday, November 15, 2018 at the Rich Mountain Nursing and Rehab in Mena. She was born on Saturday, December 21, 1929 to William and Nancy Lee Ketcher Russell in Miami, Oklahoma. 

Dorothy loved her family and spending time with them. She was a homemaker and loved to sew for her family and cook. Some of her family's favorite dishes were her cornbread dressing at Thanksgiving and her chocolate gravy and hot biscuits in the morning. Dorothy loved going to church and was of the Pentecostal faith. Dorothy was a loving mother, grandmother, aunt and friend and will be missed by all who knew her.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Roy Dollarhyde; five sons, Donald Dollarhyde, Mark Dollarhyde, Roy Dollarhyde Jr., Ross Dollarhyde, and Jody Dollarhyde; two daughters, Nancy lane and Rebecca Dollarhyde; and fourteen brothers and sisters which included five sets of twins, Jessie and Jasper, Paul and Pauline, Alice and Dallas, Pearl and Earl, Lee and Leona, as well as William, Gracie, Helen, and Maxine.

Dorothy is survived by her son, Matthew Dollarhyde of Alabama; her daughter, Michelle Rosson of Mena; twenty seven grandchildren, sixty two great grandchildren; twenty-four great-great grandchildren; several nieces and nephews and a host of other relatives and friends.

A graveside service will be Tuesday, November 20, 2018 at 2:00 P.M. at the Elm Cemetery in Leach, Oklahoma under the direction of Bowser Family Funeral Home in Mena. Visitation will be general. 

Online Guestbook: www.bowserffh.com

 

11-16-18 4:18 p.m. kawx.org 

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Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address The Governor's Balanced Budget

 
LITTLE ROCK – This week I presented to the Legislative Joint Budget Committee my proposed balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2020, and it reflects my commitment to public safety, teachers and education, and tax cuts.
 
This balanced budget plan, which the General Assembly will consider when members convene for the 92nd Session on January 14, increases the budget for the Arkansas State Police by $2.3 million. This new funding is necessary and will allow the agency to hire 24 new State Troopers over the next two years and will establish an annual trooper school. My budget also includes $900,000 for the new Northwest Arkansas Crime Lab in Lowell.
 
Another of my priorities is an increase in the minimum salary for starting teachers, which is essential if we are to compete with our neighboring states for the best teachers. I have proposed to raise the starting pay by $1,000 a year over four years until we reach a $36,000 annual salary. That will be a higher starting salary than any of the surrounding states.
 
The cost of that increase is $60 million. In addition to increasing overall education funding, I have submitted a budget letter requesting a transfer of $60 million from the Educational Adequacy Fund to be set aside for the sole purpose of funding the increase.
 
Since I took office in 2015, my administration has cut taxes by more than $160 million. Legislators share my desire to further reduce taxes, which we will do incrementally with the 2-4-5.9 plan. That will cut our top marginal tax rate from the current 6.9 percent to 5.9 percent over four years.
 
The plan will simplify tax tables and brackets, and provide a sizable increase in standard deductions.
 
Other items in my proposed budget include $2.5 million annually for the state’s Crisis Stabilization Centers, a pilot program to address mental health issues in our communities. It is now going into its second year. Also, we are providing a $1.1 million increase for the Division of Agriculture and a $1.5 million increase for University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
 
The budget also adds money to the state’s Long Term Reserve Fund and continues funding for my computer science initiative.
 
Now that we have put the budget together, the real work of passing it and implementing it begins. I have every confidence that we’ll get there, as we always do.
 
11-16-18 2:56 p.m. kawx.org 

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Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column - Support for Curing Alzheimer's

Gabbie, a 10-year-old Bentonville resident, has been raising money for the last three years for Alzheimer’s and dementia research. She recently wrote to me about her dedication and support in the quest to find a cure for her father’s dementia. Her tremendous efforts are inspiring and I am proud to say that Washington is supporting the search for a cure. This Congress, we dedicated record-level funding to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease research in hopes of helping Gabbie and others whose loved ones have been devastated by this cruel disease.

 

More than 50,000 Arkansans are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. It is estimated that just as many are living with the disease but are undiagnosed. This is our nation’s deadliest and most expensive disease, costing $277 billion a year including $186 billion to Medicare and Medicaid. Without a breakthrough, it’s projected that by 2050 the cost will balloon to more than $1 trillion a year to treat the 16 million Americans predicted to be diagnosed with the disease.

 

As a member of the Bipartisan Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease, I’m fighting to reverse this trend. In September, Congress increased funding for Alzheimer’s research at the National Institutes of Health to $2.34 billion. I was proud to support the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill that prioritizes investments in medical research to fight Alzheimer’s. This funding level is above the $2 billion goal established for research by the Department of Health and Human Services’ National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease and will allow for expanded research to develop prevention, treatment and a cure.

 

Additionally, this Congress I was proud to support the Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act, introduced by Sen. Susan Collins, Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee. This legislation would create a public health infrastructure to combat Alzheimer’s disease similar to the successful framework that has helped us prevent once-deadly communicable diseases. Replicating this comprehensive approach is a step in the right direction.

 

The bill would establish Centers of Excellence in Public Health Practice dedicated to promoting effective Alzheimer’s disease and caregiving interventions, as well as educating the public on the disease. These centers would implement the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthy Aging Public Health Road Map and empower communities to improve the quality of life for patients and caregivers as well as aid social services on the frontlines of this battle. There is an urgent need to respond to this crisis. It’s clear that more assistance is necessary.

 

President Ronald Reagan first announced November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Month in 1983. Sadly, this disease robbed him of his memories and his independence, and today too many Americans are facing the same prognosis.

 

It’s likely that we all know someone who is touched by Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. I am committed to providing resources and creating policies that will help find a cure and help provide families like Gabbie’s hope for a bright future.

 

11-16-18 2:49 p.m. kawx.org 

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ARDOT Meeting Monday November 19th in Mena to Discuss Highways in Polk, Montgomery Counties

Randy Ort, the Assistant Chief Administrator for the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT), will be conducting a meeting to discuss past and future highway projects in Polk and Montgomery counties on Monday, November 19th in Mena. The meeting, which is open to the public, will be at 10:00 a.m. in the Ouachita Center on the campus of UARM. Ort told KAWX News that he had recently been invited to participate in a similar meeting by State Representative DeAnn Vaught of Horatio. Vaught suggested to other representatives that they do the same. Ort said he was invited to Mena by Stare Representative John Maddox.

 

11-16-18 1:43 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

November 16, 2018

 

LITTLE ROCK – During legislative budget hearings, the governor presented his balanced budget plan for the next biennium, Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021.

 

The highlights of the proposed budget include a cut in income taxes, an increase in minimum teacher salaries and the hiring of 24 additional State Troopers and 30 parole officers.

 

The state would add $30.8 million to the Public School Fund, an increase of 1.4 percent over this year. The governor also proposed increasing the Public School Fund by 2.5 percent in the second year of the biennium, Fiscal Year 2021.

 

Providing adequate funds for public schools is the single, largest category of expenditure of state tax revenue. Human Services is the second largest category, and it is supplemented by much greater amounts of federal matching funds.

 

In the second year of the biennium, state government would reap about $7.5 million in savings under his plan to reduce the number of cabinet agencies from 42 to 15, the governor said. The details of the proposed restructuring must be approved by the legislature.

 

The governor proposed an income tax reduction that would provide about $111 million in tax relief after they take effect. His administration worked closely with the Tax Reform and Relief Legislative Task Force on the tax cut plan. The top rate would go from 6.9 percent to 6.5 percent next year, and 6.3 percent the following year. The plan would simplify the state’s income tax tables and also lower taxes by increasing the standard deduction.

 

The minimum teacher salary in 174 school districts would gradually go up to $36,000 over the next four years, under a proposal by the governor. The state minimum is now $31,800, but many districts pay more than that. The cost for the teacher pay raise is an estimated $60 million a year, which the state would provide.

 

The Department of Community Correction now employs 489 parole officers with an average caseload of 98. Adding 30 officers would lower the average to 90, the director of the department said. Last year the department supervised more than 57,000 offenders on probation or parole.

 

The administration also presented its official forecast for next fiscal year. An indication of the good general health of the Arkansas economy is that the state’s gross general revenue is expected to grow by 2.9 percent, according to economists at the Department of Finance and Administration.

 

The current fiscal year began on July 1 and will end on June 30, 2019. If the economy continues in its current state, growth this year will be 2.8 percent over last year.

 

Legislators will use the proposal as a framework on which to build a spending plan for state government. They are holding budget hearings in preparation for the regular session that convenes on January 14, and will continue working on state agency spending requests throughout the session.

 

An official state budget for next fiscal year won’t be complete until the session’s final days, likely in late March.

 

Under the Constitution, the legislature has the duty of appropriating state revenue for the operations of state agencies, and for providing state services such as education.

 

11-16-18 9:47 a.m. kawx.org 

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Governor Hutchinson Presents Balanced Budget that Reflects Savings and Commitment to Public Safety, Teachers, and Tax Relief

LITTLE ROCK – On Wednesday morning, Governor Asa Hutchinson presented his balanced budget for the next biennium to the Joint Budget Committee of the General Assembly.
 
In his remarks, Governor Hutchinson highlighted several key aspects of his budget, including his commitment to raise the minimum salary for teachers by $4,000 over the next four years. This would make Arkansas’s minimum teacher salary the highest among neighboring states.
 
The estimated cost of this proposal is $60 million. In addition to the increase in adequacy funding through general revenue commitments, Governor Hutchinson today released a budget letter requesting that $60 million be transferred from the Educational Adequacy Fund to the Public School Fund for the sole use of implementing the teacher salary increases. To view a copy of the letter, click HERE.
 
The Governor also emphasized his commitment to public safety by increasing the budget for the Arkansas State Police by $2.3 million. This new funding will allow for 24 new State Troopers over the next two years and will establish an annual trooper school in order to maintain troop strength. His budget also includes $900,000 for the new Northwest Arkansas Crime Lab in Lowell.
 
Governor Hutchinson underscored his and the legislature’s shared commitment to further reduce the state’s income tax rate. His budget allocates $111 million in tax cuts over the biennium for the 2-4-5.9 plan developed in partnership with the Legislative Tax Reform and Relief Task Force. This plan would reduce the state’s top marginal rate from 6.9 percent to 5.9 percent over four years; simplify tax tables and brackets; and provide for a sizable increase in standard deductions.
 
The 2-4-5.9 plan, if passed, would be the third major income tax cut of Governor Hutchinson’s administration. This includes the $100 million middle class tax cut of 2015 and the $50 million tax cut for low-income Arkansans in 2017.
 
Additional items of note in the Governor’s budget include: $2.5 million annually for the state’s Crisis Stabilization Centers; $1.13 million increase for the Division of Ag; $1.55 million increase for UAMS; additional savings to the state’s Long Term Reserve Fund; continued funding of the Governor’s computer science initiative; and estimated savings of $7.5 million from transformation efforts in year two of the biennium.
 
Governor Hutchinson issued this statement following his presentation:
“This budget reflects a number of shared priorities between the Executive and Legislative branches of government. It reflects a strong commitment to teachers and education needs, as well as public safety. It reflects our continued commitment to tax cuts; continued savings through the Long Term Reserve Fund; and increased funding to the Division of Agriculture. Tools to spur economic growth also remain a top priority in this budget. 
“This budget decreases spending in some agencies and reduces our reliance on one-time funding for ongoing budget needs,” added Governor Hutchinson. “Furthermore, in year two of the biennium, it recognizes estimated savings from my proposed plan to transform state government. This responsible approach meets the important needs of our state and supports our collective priorities. I look forward to working with the legislature on the details of this budget in the 2019 session.”
 
You can view the Governor’s balanced budget presentation to the legislature HERE. To view a copy of the Governor’s Balanced Budget Letter, click HERE.
 
If you would like a copy of the Governor’s balanced budget, please contact Scott.Hardin@dfa.arkansas.gov at the Department of Finance and Administration.
 
11-16-18 8:50 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 Nov. 14, 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.

 

11-14-18 4:35 p.m. kawx.org

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Polk County Sheriff's Log For November 5th - 11th

SHERIFF’S LOG


The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of November 5, 2018 – November 11, 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.


November 5, 2018


Report from complainant on Treasure Lane near Acorn of threatening messages from an acquaintance.  Investigation continues.
Report of a domestic disturbance on Polk 53 near Mena.  Deputy responded.  Information has been provided to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Report from complainant on Highway 88 East near Mena of an unauthorized person on their property.  Information has been provided to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Traffic stop on East Depot Street in Cove led to the arrest of Windal D. Loyd, 37, of Mena, on Charges of DWI and Driving with a Suspended Driver’s License.
Arrested was Norman R. Morgan, Jr, 22, of Mena, on a Warrant for Failure to Comply with a Court Order.


November 6, 2018


Report from complainant on Little Bear Lane near Mena of issues regarding a neighbor.  Deputy responded.
Report from complainant on Highway 88 East in Cherry Hill of being threatened by an acquaintance.  Deputy responded.
Request for assistance with a 17-year-old female.  Deputy responded.
Report of a domestic disturbance on Polk 284 near Hatfield.  Deputies responded.


November 7, 2018


Report from a business on Highway 980 near Mena of fraudulent activity, resulting in losses of $9,351.72.  Investigation continues.
Arrested was Kristian D. Manley, 31, of Hatfield, on a Drug Court Sanction.
Arrested was Julian L. Craig, 35, of Mena, on a Drug Court Sanction.
Arrested was Katelyn E. Enyeart, 25, of Fort Smith, on a Drug Court Sanction.


November 8, 2018


Report from complainant on Highway 71 South near Hatfield of the theft of a vehicle, valued at $37,123.11.  Investigation continues.
Report from complainant on Polk 194 near Acorn of problems with a neighbor regarding livestock.
Report from a Mena woman of problems with a 17-year-old male.  Deputy responded.
Report from complainant on Hilydily Lane near Potter of an attempted scam.
Arrested was Stanley E. Dreyer, 66, of Mena, on a Charge of Hindering Apprehension.
Arrested was Jeffrey A. Fisk, 30, of El Dorado Springs, MO, on a Vernon County, Missouri Warrant for Failure to Appear.


November 9, 2018


Report from the Polk County Treasurer’s Office of a fraudulent check, totaling losses at $362.32.  Investigation continues.
Report from complainant on Polk 34 near Hatfield of the theft of a television and an ATV, all valued at $1,700.00.  Investigation continues.
Arrested was Joshua R. Neer, 33, of Hatfield, on a Warrant for Failure to Comply with a Court Order.


November 10, 2018


Report from complainant on Rodgers Street in Cove of the theft of a package from a mailbox, valued at $8.00.
Report from complainant on West Johnson Street in Hatfield of damage done to a vehicle, totaling losses at $100.00.  Investigation continues.
Report of a vehicle in the ditch on Highway 71 North near Mena led to the arrest of Lorne D. Edwards, 47, of Mena, on a Charge of DWI 2.


November 11, 2018


Traffic stop on Highway 71 South near Hatfield led to the arrest of Jackie Gearhart, 51, of Shepherd, TX, on Charges of DWI, No Driver’s License, Open Container and Refusal to Submit.
Report from complainant on Raccoon Ridge Lane near Mena of a suspicious fire.  Investigation continues.
Report from complainant on Polk 24 near Cove of being threatened by an acquaintance.  Information has been provided to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Report of a domestic disturbance on Polk 24 near Cove.  The subject fled the residence before deputies arrived.  Information has been provided to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Arrested was Nathan W. Donelson, 20, of Mena, on a Warrant for Failure to Comply with a Court Order.

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

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 25 Incarcerated Inmates, with 5 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

PC18-00767

 

11-13-18 4:49 p.m. kawx.org 

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THANKSGIVING BEGINS WITH BUCKLING-UP FOR HOLIDAY TRAVEL

 The Arkansas State Police will be working alongside law enforcement agencies across the state during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday period (November 19 – 25) looking for motorists who are not using their vehicle safety belts.  State troopers, local police officers and sheriff’s deputies are reminding all motorists to “Click It” or risk getting a ticket.
 
  The Thanksgiving holiday is typically one of the more dangerous and deadliest times for highway or local street travel.  Whether the trip is across town or across the county, distance makes no difference, safety belts and child restraints save lives.
 
  During the 2016 Thanksgiving holiday period (November 23rd – 28th), 341 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes nationwide.  Nearly 50 percent of those killed were not buckled-up. 
 
  “Unfortunately too many people need a reminder and that’s why city, county and state law enforcement officers will be working overtime this Thanksgiving with a strong Click It or Ticket mobilization effort,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.  “Our state troopers will be out in full force to ensure drivers and passengers alike are buckled up as they travel to their destinations.”
 
  An intensified enforcement emphasis will be noticed along Interstate 40 during the most heavily traveled hours of the Thanksgiving holiday and violators will be ticketed.
 
  “The Arkansas State Police will partner with several other states including Tennessee, Oklahoma and Texas in an additional enforcement effort designed to protect motorists along the I-40 corridor,” Colonel Bryant stated.  “Each state plans to assign a trooper to every 20 mile segment of Interstate 40 during peak traffic hours.”
 
  Arkansas state law requires that all front seat passengers, not just drivers, be buckled up. It requires all children under fifteen years of age to be properly secured in the vehicle.  A child who is less than six years of age and who weighs less than sixty pounds shall be restrained in a child passenger safety seat. If the driver has a restricted license, all passengers in the vehicle must be properly buckled up.
 
  Regular seat belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  Research has shown that when lap and shoulder belts are used properly, the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers is reduced by 45 percent and the risk of moderate to serious injury is reduced by 50 percent.
 
  For more information about highway safety during Thanksgiving, please visitwww.trafficsafetymarketing.gov or call the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136. For more on Arkansas’ ongoing Toward Zero Deaths campaign to eliminate preventable traffic fatalities, visit www.TZDArkansas.org.
 
11-13-18 1:41 p.m.  kawx.org 

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Mena Police Department Report for November 4th - 10th

Mena Police Department Reports for the Week of November 4, 2018 through November 10, 2018
 
November 4, 2018
 
Employees at a local retail store reported that a local woman was seen in their establishment after she had been warned in writing to stay out.  Report was sent to the prosecuting attorney for possible issuance of a warrant charging the suspect with criminal trespass.
 
A local woman reported that her purse had been stolen from a cart at a local retail store.  Surveillance tapes from the incident have been reviewed, and a suspect has been located and the report was forwarded to the prosecuting attorney for a warrant for the suspect.
 
November 5, 2018
 
Report was taken regarding individuals using a self-checkout lane at a local retail store and failing to scan all items.  Tapes have been reviewed and suspects will be located and interviewed.
 
November 6, 2018
 
Officers responded to a dispatch call regarding a verbal altercation between two men at a local park.  The complainant reported that the men were yelling obscenities at one another.  When officers arrived at the scene, one of the men had left the area.  No charges have been filed at this time.
 
Employees at a local retail store reported that two people had used a self-checkout lane and that tapes show that they did not scan all items.  The case is currently being reviewed to identify suspects.
 
Tyra Ann Alley, 57, of Mena was cited for theft of property (shoplifting) after an investigation into a complaint made by employees at a local retail store.
 
November 7 & 8, 2018
 
A local man reported that an unknown woman came to his home and told him she was there to purchase drugs.  He informed her that she needed to leave his property.  He notified authorities so that they could be aware of the incident.
  
November 9, 2018
 
A Mena woman reported that she is being harassed by an acquaintance.  No charges have been filed at this time.
 
A local woman reported that someone had broken into her house and had stolen approximately $400.00 worth of food.  Case is pending location and interview of suspect.
 
Julian Craig, 35, of Mena was issued a citation for theft of property (shoplifting) after officers investigated and earlier incident from failing to scan items at a local retail store.
 
November 10,2018
 
Kimberly Huff, 25, of Mena was charged with theft of property (shoplifting) for failing to scan items at a self-checkout lane at a local retail store. 
 
Cord Olson, 32, of Mena was charged with theft of property (shoplifting) after an investigation into an earlier incident from a local retail store regarding individuals failing to scan items when using the self-checkout lane.
 
11-13-18 9:23 a.m. kawx.org 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

The Arkansas House continued a long standing tradition to hold a House Caucus the Friday after the election. The freshmen members drew for seniority positions and then all members chose their seat in the chamber for the duration of the next two years.

 

This is the first opportunity many of us have to meet our new colleagues. 

 

The House will have more women and more minorities serving next year. In fact, records have been broken for the legislature.

 

There will be 25 women serving in the House.  This ties the record for the House set in 2009. However, with 7 women serving in the Senate, there will be more women serving collectively in the legislature in the history of our state.  This record is broken on the same year we will be celebrating the centennial of Arkansas ratifying the 19thAmendment.

 

We also have more minorities serving in the House than ever before. There will be 13 African Americans serving in the House next year.

 

Members will have more experience in the House than the previous two decades.

 

We have 10 members who will come into the chamber serving their 5th term. 

 

  • 21 members will be serving their 4th term.
  • 27 members serving their 3rd term.
  • 20 members beginning their 2nd term.
  • 22 members are incoming freshman.

The political make-up is 24 Democrats and 76 Republicans.

 

In years past, membership for standing committees has been determined on the same day as the caucus.  The House voted in favor of a rule last year to allow the Speaker to select the membership of all committees.  Those announcements will be made on the first day of session.

 

The Regular Session begins January 14.  Bill filing begins next week. 

 

We will continue to update you.  In the meantime, be sure to check our website and social media posts for more information about the 92nd General Assembly.

 

11-9-18 5:18 p.m. kawx.org 

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Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column - Our Policies Are Moving the U.S. Economy in the Right Direction

Ten years ago, the global financial crisis roiled the economy in the United States and elsewhere. The way our economy is performing right now means it might be easy to forget how dire the situation was then, but reflecting on this contrast helps us appreciate how far we’ve come and how we got here.

 

October’s jobs report was widely celebrated, and for good reason. The economy exceeded expectations and added 250,000 jobs. The unemployment rate remains at a nearly 50-year low.

 

Wages grew by 3.1 percent – the best year-over-year gain since 2009. Additionally, real disposable personal income is up 3.5 percent so far in 2018.

 

The U.S. economy grew by 4.2 percent in the second quarter and by 3.5 percent in the third quarter of 2018, according to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce. We’re growing the economy at the fastest pace in nearly four years.

 

These are all positive indicators that our economy is healthy and that federal policy is helping to create a climate where businesses are positioned to capitalize and flourish.

 

When I travel across Arkansas speaking with business people and local leaders, I hear an unmistakable sense of optimism and excitement in their voices as they explain how businesses feel empowered to grow and expand. This didn’t happen by accident or coincidence. It’s the result of thoughtful, deliberate policies that are designed to boost confidence, relieve unnecessary burdens and spur growth.

 

Tax reform is at the top of the list of reasons why our economic indicators are moving in the right direction. Reforming America’s tax code for the first time in 31 years was long overdue and something that businesses were desperate for in order to make them more globally competitive. The changes we made to the tax code not only sought to help individuals and families, but by lowering the tax rate for pass-through businesses to 21 percent we’ve incentivized them to use their resources to hire new employees or invest further in their operations.

 

More than 1.8 million jobs have been created since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act became law.

 

We have also used the Congressional Review Act to roll back harmful regulations from the Obama era. I, like most Arkansans, agree that there are some regulations and safeguards that we need in place to ensure safety and fairness. At times, though, the federal government tends to create regulations for regulation’s sake which often hinder businesses, forcing them to divert resources to comply with overburdensome rules that stifle growth and hiring.

 

By removing excessive red tape, Republicans in Congress and this administration have saved Americans at least $50 billion in regulatory costs in the last 1.5 years.

 

These policies are working for Americans and for our economy. Consumer confidence is now at a 17-year high. Optimism from small business owners is at historic levels. Business investment is up. Median household incomes are at an all-time high and the percentage of Americans living in poverty is at the lowest level since 2006.

 

We are moving in the right direction and people across Arkansas and America can feel it. They know that when Washington gets out of the way and frees businesses and entrepreneurs to do what they are capable of doing, the benefits reach far and wide.

 

We’ve seen the results for ourselves. Now we must commit to keep working toward solutions that help build on the strong fundamentals of this economy and improve the lives of people across our state and throughout the country.

 

11-9-18 4:56 p.m. kawx.org 

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UA Rich Mountain First and Only Arkansas Public College to Offer Massage Therapy

The Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE) has officially approved a new massage therapy program to begin in January 2019 at UA Rich Mountain, making the local college the first and only Arkansas public college to offer such program.  Dr. Maria Markham, Director of ADHE stated, “Part of the mission of Arkansas community colleges is to be responsive to industry and economic needs.  I applaud UA Rich Mountain’s creation of a program in response to regional demand.  Massage therapy is being recommended by physicians for its many wellness benefits and being the first public higher education institution in the state to offer this program shows the dedication UA Rich Mountain has to not only students but also the health of the community.”

 

Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Dr. Krystal Thrailkill, who has worked extensively advocating for the new program the last year, explained that the program will save students almost two-thirds of the cost of a private program and financial aid will be available to qualified students.

 

Massage therapy is manual manipulation of soft body tissues (muscle, connective tissue, tendons and ligaments) to enhance a person's health and well-being. There are dozens of types of massage therapy methods (also called modalities). In Arkansas, the average median income for a licensed massage therapist is just over $45,000.

 

The program hours will be Monday – Thursday from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. and will be housed within the UA Rich Mountain Cosmetology facility currently located inside the Northside Shopping Center. Minor modifications were made to the cosmetology facility to accommodate the additional program.

 

The instructor for the massage therapy program will be Tammy Parnell, a licensed master massage therapist certified in medical massage.

 

UA Rich Mountain Chancellor Dr. Phillip Wilson said this is another example of the college’s responsiveness to interests in the community, “The public’s input on our programs is critical to us and we appreciate hearing from them. The new massage therapy program is an excellent example that we are willing to pave new roads in the realm of higher education to make it available to our students. New programs don’t happen overnight but when we know there is a high enough interest, we work diligently to make those happen. We are in the early stages of developing a criminal justice program so we encourage you to always communicate your interests with our staff throughout the communities we serve. Your feedback is important to our mission.”

 

Registration will open November 12th and financial aid will be available to qualified applicants. There are only 15 slots available for the program so interested students are encouraged to apply online at UARichMountain.edu, text RICHMTN to 34166, contact Dr. Thrailkill by email or calling 479-394-7622 ext. 1300.

 

Chancellor Dr. Phillip Wilson said the college is committed to being responsive to the needs and interests of the community and is continuously working to develop additional programs.

 

11-9-18 4:36 p.m. kawx.org 

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UA Rich Mountain to host author talk & book signing featuring Elizabeth Griffin Hill

UA Rich Mountain is pleased to announce its next author talk & book signing will feature Elizabeth Griffin Hill, who is an independent researcher and writer specializing the history of Arkansas women. Her newest book, Faithful to Our Tasks: Arkansas’s Women and the Great War, provides the context for women’s actions and reactions during World War I.

 

            The United States was a vital, if brief, participant in the Great War, spending only 18 months fighting in World War I. But that short span marked an era of tremendous change for women as they moved out of the Victorian 19th century and came into their own as social activists during the early years of the 20th century.

 

            Hill superbly incorporates the mitigating factors and experiences of American women in general and compares Arkansas women’s Progressive Era actions with those of other southern women. The contextual underpinnings provide a rich tapestry as we attempt to understand our grandmothers and great-grandmothers’ responses to wartime needs.

 

            Primary records of the World War I era, accessed in archives in central Arkansas, reveal that the state’s organized women were suddenly faced with a devastating world war for which they were expected to make a significant contribution of time and effort. “Club women” were already tackling myriad problems to be found in abundance within a poor, rural state as they worked for better schools, a centralized education system, children’s well-being, and improved medical care.

 

            Under wartime conditions, their contributions were magnified as the women followed a barrage of directions from Washington, DC, within a disconcerting display of micromanagement by the federal government. The important takeaway, however, is that the Great War created a scenario in which Arkansas’s organized women – as well as women throughout the nation – would step forward and excel as men and governments stood up and took notice. After the war, these same organized women won the right to vote.

 

            Elizabeth Griffin Hill is an experienced author, holding a Master of Arts degree in rhetoric and writing, also penning A Splendid Piece of Work, a history of Arkansas’s home demonstration and Extension Homemakers clubs.

 

            She will be speaking on Monday, November 12, Noon - 1:30 p.m. in the Ouachita Center of the UA Rich Mountain campus. The event is free and is open to all members of the community.

 

11-9-18 4:23 p.m. kawx.org 

 

 

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Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Computer Science Enrollment Grows 30 Percent, Tops 8000 Students

 
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas has become a national leader in computer science education, and the increase in this year’s enrollment numbers suggest we’ll remain at the front of the pack.
 
Eight-thousand-and-forty-four (8,044) students are enrolled in computer science classes for the 2018-2019 school year. That is an increase of 1,860 students over last year, which is a 30 percent jump. That is an increase of 620 percent since 2014. Another measure of how well we are faring is those 8,044 students are enrolled in over 9,000 classes, which means many of our students are taking more than one class.
 
We already are ahead of our own schedule. In 2015, the Department of Education set a goal of enrolling 7,500 students in a computer science class within five years. We achieved that within four years.
 
This is an amazing improvement in the numbers since I became governor in 2015, and this report confirms my confidence that Arkansans are ready to have technology as part of our future – both in terms of our economy and education.
 
The year before I took office, the number of students enrolled in a computer science class was about 1,100. I took office in January 2015, and the first law I signed as governor required all high schools in Arkansas to offer at least one course in computer science.
 
In addition, we have built coding into the curriculum of our K-8 grades.
 
In the fall of 2015, the number of students enrolled rose from 1,100 to almost 4,000, which is an increase of 260 percent. Enrollment has grown every year.
 
Another one of our goals was to increase the number of young women who were taking computer science classes, and we have achieved that in spectacular fashion. The number of girls has increased from 220 in 2014 to over 2,400 in this school year. That is an increase of over 1,000 percent over four years.
 
We have achieved this growth through the leadership of Education Commissioner Johnny Key and Anthony Owen, director of computer science education. But as important as their leadership is, we couldn’t have done this without the enthusiasm of our principals and teachers, many of whom had to attend a summer term to learn how to teach coding.
 
Under this initiative, the number of teachers who are teaching computer science courses has grown from 20 to over 370. This includes 184 fully certified and 188 alternatively credentialed computer science teachers.
 
This is a great start, but we have more to do.
 
11-9-18 2:25 p.m. kawx.org 

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Governor Hutchinson Says Casinos Will Cost The State $40 Million

Yesterday Governor Hutchinson told reporters that passage of Issue 4 on Tuesday is going to create a $40 million budget shortfall for the state.

 

Talk Business reports,

Hutchinson was asked about the passage of Issue 4 legalizing casinos at Oaklawn Racing & Gaming in Hot Springs, Southland Park Gaming & Racing in West Memphis, and in Pope and Jefferson counties. Hutchinson said he had voted against the amendment. It passed with 54% of the vote.

“My first budget meeting today showed a $40-plus million gap because that amendment passed,” he said. “That reduced the tax rate [for Oaklawn and Southland], and so we have to adjust for that down the road.”

Hutchinson said he didn’t know what the amendment’s long-term effects would be.

Under Issue 4, Oaklawn and Southland will pay less money in taxes for their casino games than they currently do for their so-called “electronic games of skill.”

 

Overall, casinos in Arkansas will pay some of the lowest taxes of any casinos in America, and the State Legislature will not be able to raise the taxes on casino revenue.

 

Instead of boosting Arkansas’ economy and providing more tax revenue, it seems Issue 4 is going to be a drain on the state from Day One.

 

11-9-18 11:35 a.m. kawx.org 

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Boozman Bulletin: Salute to Veterans

On Sunday, November 11, bells across Arkansas will ring 11 times at 11 a.m. in commemoration of the end of World War I. Ever since November 11, 1918, we’ve set aside this day to celebrate the men and the women who selflessly served in our nation’s uniform.

 

Veterans Day is an important time to pay tribute to the men and women of our Armed Forces, who have stood in defense of our nation, our cherished values, and our way of life. As our servicemembers have risked their lives to protect the interests of our nation, so must we honor our commitment to support them.

 

As a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and chairman of the Senate Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, I continue to fight for improvements to veterans’ benefits and services, and will remain a strong a voice for those who selflessly served our country. 

 

 

The Arkansas Military Veterans’ Hall of Fame recently celebrated its class of 2018 inductees in Hot Springs. I was honored to join Congressman Bruce Westerman to recognize this distinguished group of men and women who have demonstrated selflessness in uniform and continued service to their communities. 

 

We made great progress this year with  landmark legislation President Trump signed into law to improve the Department of Veterans Affairs’ current health care delivery system and provide veterans with more choices while reducing barriers to care. The VA Mission Act streamlines and strengthens VA community care programs to ensure veterans receive efficient, timely and quality care. We’ll be closely monitoring its implementation in the coming year to ensure veterans are getting the treatment and care they earned.

 

Our Armed Forces are made up of patriots from all corners of our nation who are called to a higher service in defense of our freedoms. I encourage all Americans to use this day as a time to thank our veterans for their courage, commitment and honor. It’s because of their dedication and sacrifice that we are the greatest, freest country in the world.

 

To all of our veterans, thank you and may God bless you, your families, and the United States of America.

 

11-9-18 11:19 a.m. kawx.org 

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State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

LITTLE ROCK – When the Arkansas legislature convenes in regular session in January for the state’s 92nd General Assembly, the 35-member Senate will have 26 Republicans and nine Democrats. That ratio did not change after this year’s elections.

 

The Senate will have seven women and three African-Americans.

 

Political and demographic influences shape the philosophies of individual senators, but also of importance are their personal backgrounds. As it has been since the state’s inception, the General Assembly in Arkansas is a citizen legislature.

 

The 2019 regular session will last about three months, then the senators will return to their hometowns, their jobs and their businesses. They are not professional politicians.

 

Ten senators run their own businesses and four work in economic development. Four senators are farmers, two are bankers and two have experience in the insurance industry and financial services. Three senators have worked in the medical field or long term care.

 

Three senators are in real estate and development. Four are retired or former teachers. One has a background in forestry, another in accounting. Two have backgrounds in electronics. One senator is in graphic arts and design, another is in the marketing field and another is a chaplain and pastor in hospice care.

 

The expertise the 35 senators will bring to public policy issues covers the spectrum of the social and economic levels of Arkansas.

 

One senator played football for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks; another played baseball for the Razorbacks. Another senator rode bulls in the rodeo for four years.

 

The major budget issues the legislature determines in every session include funding of public schools and institutions of higher education, highway and bridge maintenance, health services and state prisons.

 

According to the results of the most recent census, each member of the state Senate represents about 83,300 people.

 

The 2019 regular session will convene on the second Monday of the year, January 14, and will last for at least 60 days. Under the state Constitution, the legislature may extend it, and in recent decades regular sessions usually last 80 to 90 days.

 

Revenue Report

 

State budget officials reported that in October, revenue collections exceeded forecasts. That is an accurate gauge of the Arkansas economy, because tax rates have remained unchanged and thus any increase in tax revenue is due to an increase in economic activity.

 

The state fiscal year began on July 1, and revenue has exceeded forecasts for each of the first four months of the fiscal year. Two specific categories point to economic health; sales tax collections were up, meaning that consumers were confident and purchasing more, while the growth in individual income taxes indicates more people are working.

 

This year the state will collect more than $6.7 billion in state taxes that will go into its general revenue fund. The state will receive more than $7.5 billion in federal funds, and although the federal government has broad authority in how those funds are directed, state officials administer the spending of it.

 

The state will spend special revenue from taxes dedicated for specific purposes, such as motor fuels taxes for highway repairs. Also, the state has revenue from cash funds, such as college tuition payments. Last fiscal year, total state expenditures were more than $25 billion.

 

11-9-18 11:14 a.m. kawx.org 

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Arkansans Turned Over 26,000 Pounds of Pills at Statewide Prescription Drug Take Back Day

NOTE-there is a permanenet drop off box for unused / unneeded medication at the Polk County Sheriff's Offcie in Mena.

 

LITTLE ROCK – The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Assistant Special Agent in Charge Justin King, joined by Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, announced that 26,529 pounds of medication was collected as part of the semi-annual Prescription Drug Take Back held on Saturday, October 27.

 

“The Prescription Drug Take Back days are an important piece of my collaborative approach to combatting the opioid crisis,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “By safely disposing more than 26,000 pounds of old, expired or unused prescription medications we are ensuring these lethal drugs are kept off the streets and out of the hands of our friends and neighbors.”

 

“The people of the state of Arkansas should be proud of their efforts during the recent Drug Take Back which resulted in the collection and destruction of 26,529 pounds of potentially dangerous, expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge King. “Arkansas continues to lead other states in the region in the volume of drugs collected during Take Back, which is a testament to the outstanding efforts of everyone involved. We would like to thank everyone who participated in this critical event which makes our homes and communities safer, while raising awareness of the opioid epidemic threatening the people of Arkansas.”

 

Semi-annually a Prescription Drug Take Back Day is held with the Arkansas Attorney General’s office, Arkansas Department of Health, Arkansas Department of Human Services, Arkansas National Guard, Arkansas Rotary Clubs, Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy, DEA, FBI, Office of the State Drug Director and over 130 additional law enforcement and government agencies, community organizations and public health providers.

 

Event sites are held at various locations across the State but year-round locations are also available and can be found at ARTakeBack.org. The Attorney General’s office also hosts take back events at mobile offices around the State. Since the program began, more than 72 tons of medication have been collected in Arkansas, which is an estimated 201 million individual pills.

 

11-9-18  8:11 a.m. kawx.org 

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Polk County Deputies Arrest Dangerous Missouri Fugitive Near Mena

Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer announced this afternoon the arrest of Jeffery A. Fisk, age 30, of El Dorado Springs, Missouri. Fisk was wanted by the Vernon County, Missouri Sheriff's Office for Armed Criminal Action, Domestic Assault 2nd, Burglary 1st, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Theft, and Failure to Appear. The warrant listed Fisk as Dangerous with extremely violent tendencies.

 
Fisk was arrested at a residence east of Mena at approximately 1:00 p.m. Thursday, November 8, 2018. Sheriff Sawyer stated that his office developed information that Fisk was in the area on the morning of November 8, 2018. The Polk County Sheriff's Office raided a residence on Amber Lane and located Fisk hiding in a back bedroom. Fisk was arrested without incident and transported to the Polk County Detention Center. He is currently awaiting extradition to Vernon County, Missouri.
 
Sheriff Sawyer stated "I am extremely happy to have Fisk off the streets and locked up. He is a dangerous and desperate individual. Polk County is a safer place with him in jail".
 
11-8-18 2:52 p.m. kawx.org 

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US, Arkansas Flags To Half-Staff In Honor Of California Shooting Victims

In honor of the victims of the tragedy in Thousand Oaks, California, President Trump has ordered that the United States flag fly at half-staff until sunset, November 10, 2018. The Arkansas state flag also is to fly at half-staff for that period.
 
HONORING THE VICTIMS OF THE TRAGEDY IN THOUSAND OAKS, CALIFORNIA

 

 

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

 

 

A PROCLAMATION

 

As a mark of solemn respect for the victims of the terrible act of violence perpetrated in Thousand Oaks, California, on November 7, 2018, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, November 10, 2018. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand eighteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-third.

 

DONALD J. TRUMP
 
11-8-18 12:06 p.m. kawx.org 

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Planned Parenthood Agrees to Follow Arkansas Law

Planned Parenthood Agrees to Follow Arkansas Law

Says, ‘After challenging this requirement for three years and claiming it could not comply, Planned Parenthood has finally agreed to obey this common sense law’

 

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge filed a motion in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit to vacate a federal district court’s order preliminarily enjoining Arkansas’s contract-physician requirement. The State’s motion followed Planned Parenthood’s announcement that they will comply with the state’s contract-physician requirement after claiming for three years they could not comply with it.

 

“The removal of the preliminary injunction will allow Arkansas law to take effect, ensuring that women have access to reliable emergency healthcare following complications associated with medication abortions,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “After challenging this requirement for three years and claiming it could not comply, Planned Parenthood has finally agreed to follow this common sense law. Protecting women’s health and the unborn is an important Arkansas value that I will defend for all Arkansans.” 

 

In December 2015, Planned Parenthood sued to enjoin the contract-physician requirement on the grounds that it could not comply, and a federal district court in Little Rock agreed, preliminarily enjoining that requirement.  Arkansas appealed that decision to the Eighth Circuit where the court unanimously vacated the district court’s preliminary injunction. Last December, Planned Parenthood then asked the United States Supreme Court to review the case, and the Supreme Court—without dissent—declined. The case returned to the district court, where Planned Parenthood once again claimed that it could not comply, and the district court issued a new preliminary injunction. Arkansas again appealed the district court’s decision to the Eighth Circuit.

 

11-8-18 8:41 a.m. kawx.org 

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Introducing the 2018 Arkansas State Capitol Christmas Ornament

(LITTLE ROCK, ARK.) – Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin is proud to introduce the 2018 Arkansas State Capitol Christmas Ornament for the upcoming holiday season.  This year's ornament depicts the Arkansas Vietnam Veterans Memorial which sits on the Arkansas State Capitol's front lawn at the corner of Woodlane and 7th Streets in Little Rock.

 

This ornament's design fits in with the upcoming Capitol Christmas Lighting Ceremony, which will honor veterans and members of the military.  Many service members do not get to be home with their families during the holidays.  Some never come home.  This is a small way to honor their service and sacrifice.

 

These collector's item ornaments are available for purchase online or in the Arkansas Capitol Gift Shop, located on the first floor of the Capitol building.

 

About the Arkansas Vietnam Veterans Memorial

In 1983, the Arkansas 74th General Assembly enacted Act 394  authorizing the construction of a memorial to Arkansas’s Vietnam Veterans on the Arkansas State Capitol grounds. Arkansas Secretary of State Paul Revere was provided authorization to appoint a design selection committee. He chose the concept for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial submitted by Steven K. Gartman, an Architecture student from the University of Arkansas.


The design features 175 light-gray granite uprights, arranged in two outer and one inner section. The names of Arkansas’s 669 known Vietnam casualties are engraved on the sixteen French Creek granite panels. The engravings are placed toward the inside of the plaza where a bronze statue of a Vietnam-era infantry soldier, mounted on a 5 sided granite plinth, stands. Local Little Rock artist, John Deering created the statue which was named “Going Home”.

 

The memorial was dedicated on March 7, 1987, in a ceremony which brought more than 5,000 people to view a parade that passed through downtown Little Rock on its way to the memorial site at the southeast corner of the State Capitol grounds.


A few notable parade marchers included retired Army General William Westmoreland, former commander of U.S. Troops in Vietnam along with Chad Colley of Barling, Arkansas, former National Commander of the Disabled American Veterans who was pushed through the parade lines by General Westmoreland. At the Arkansas Vietnam Veterans site, crowds heard speeches from General Westmoreland and Governor Bill Clinton before the memorial, draped in a camouflage cover, was unveiled. The unveiling was followed by a single bugler sounding “Taps” as the crowd was silent.

 

11-8-18 8:21 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 Nov. 7, 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.

 

11-7-18 2:22 p.m. kawx.org 

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Tuesday Is Election Day, Polk County Voters May Vote At Any "Vote Center" In County

Voters are no longer required to vote at a specific polling location with the advent of "Vote Centers". You'll still be voting on the same issues and for the same candidates, but with the convenience of doing so at any one of the eight "Vote Centers" in the county.
 
Tuesday, November 6th, is the Mideterm General Election, and the "Vote Centers", or "polls" as most will continue to call them, will be open from 7:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.
 
Be sure and take a government issued phot ID with with, like a driver's license or ID card. 
 
While Issues 1 and 3 will appear on the ballot, they will not be counted since they have been struck down by the Arkansas Supreme Court.
 
We will be posting returns on KAWX socail media accounts as they are available Tuesday night.
 
Polk County's Vote Centers are listed below.
 
Vote Center #1 Polk County Office Complex  (old hospital) 606 Pine Street in Mena
 
Vote Center #2 9th Street Ministries building 306 9th Street in Mena
 
Vote Center #3 Acorn High School 143 Polk Road 196 in Acorn
 
Vote Center #4 Concord Baptist Church 3467 Hwy 88 East in Ink
 
Vote Center #5 Salem Baptist Church 115 Polk Road 56 in Nunley
 
Vote Center #6 Hatfield Town Hall 115 Town Hall Park in Hatfield
 
Vote Center #7 Cove Town Hall 5568 Hwy 71 South in Cove
 
Vote Center #8 Grannis Town Hall 132 Frachiseur Road in Grannis
 
11-5-18 5:14 p.m. kawx.org 

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Polk County Sheriff's Log For October 29th - November 4th

SHERIFF’S LOG


The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of October 29, 2018 – November 4, 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 29, 2018
Report from complainant on Polk 71 near Yocana of the theft of a vehicle.  Investigation continues.
Traffic stop on Highway 8 West near Shady Grove led to the arrest of Jessica C. Glenn, 35, of Cove, on Charges of DWI and Driving Left of Center.


October 30, 2018
Report of a disturbance on Polk 151 near Hatfield.  Deputies responded.  One of the subjects left the residence for the night.
Report from complainant on Polk 36 near Hatfield of identity fraud.  The complainant refused to press charges.
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 31, 2018
Report of a disturbance on Polk 50 near Mena.  Deputies responded.
Report from a business on Highway 71 North near Mena of the theft of a trailer, valued at $2,500.00.  The trailer was later located.
Report from complainant on School Street in Cove of damage done to a vehicle and a camper.  Investigation continues.


November 1, 2018
Report from complainant on Polk 277 near Vandervoort of a vehicle on fire.  Deputy responded.
Report from complainant on School Street in Cove of a break-in and damage done to an article of clothing.  Investigation continues.
Report from a business on Highway 88 East in Cherry Hill of a fraudulent check, totaling losses at $163.00.  Information has been provided to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Arrested was Sheila M. Akers, 40, of Cove, on a Warrant for Felony Failure to Appear.
Arrested was Amanda K. Harvey, 30, of Mena, on a Warrant for Failure to Comply with a Court Order.
Arrested was Thomas E. Fall, 38, of Cove, on a Warrant for Failure to Appear.
Arrested was Kimberly J. Bailey, 58, of Cove, on a Warrant for Failure to Appear.
Arrested by an officer with Arkansas Probation/Parole was Derek W. Tarkinton, 26, of Mena, on a Probation/Parole Hold.


November 2, 2018
Report from a business on Highway 71 South in Cove of a shoplifter led to the arrest of Neisha F. Wikel, 26, of Cove, on a Charge of Theft of Property.
Report of an abandoned vehicle on Town Hall Park Drive in Hatfield.  Deputy responded.
Report from complainant on Polk 24 near Cove of an unauthorized person on their property.  The subject was transported from the premises.
Arrested by an officer with the Drug Task Force was Leatha L. Robey, 46, of Cove, on Charges of Fraudulent Use of a Communication Device, Warrants for Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and a Parole Hold.


November 3, 2018
Traffic stop on Highway 375 West near Mena led to the arrest of Rosie R. Arthur, 45, of Cove, on three Warrants for Failure to Comply with a Court Order, and Warrants for Theft of Property, Breaking or Entering and Forgery 1st Degree.


November 4, 2018
Traffic stop on Cemetery Road near Hatfield led to the arrest of Jade A. Buck, 30, of Hatfield, on Charges of Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Possession of a Schedule VI Controlled Substance.
Report from complainant on Highway 71 South near Potter of the break-in and theft of several tools, equipment and auto parts, totaling losses at $500.00.  Investigation continues.
Report of a vehicle on fire on Polk 166 near Mena led to the arrest of Thomas L. Kidwell, 39, of Mena, on a Warrant for Failure to Appear.

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

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 25 Incarcerated Inmates, with 4 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

PC18-00744

 

11-5-18 3:55 p.m. kawx.org 

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Mena Police Department Report for October 28th - November 3rd

Mena Police Department Reports for the Week of October 28th through November 3rd
 
October 28, 2018
 
A Mena man reported that a former girlfriend had taken utilities out in his name without his permission.  Case pending.
 
Report was made of someone trying to pass a counterfeit $100.00 bill at a local convenience store.  Case is pending location and interview of suspect.
 
A local man reported that someone had destroyed his mailbox, possibly with a vehicle.  Case pending.
 
Dennis Stinson, 40, of Mena was charged with disorderly conduct and criminal mischief after an incident at a local residence.
 
October 29, 2018
 
Report was made of a local woman being followed and harassed by a neighbor.  This is an ongoing altercation, and is under investigation.
 
A woman who owns a house in Mena reported that someone had taken out a telephone using her name and the address of the local property.  The house is vacant, and she did not authorize the transaction.  Case is pending.
 
Luke Stockton, 45, of Mena was charged with DWI, second offense and speeding after a routine traffic stop.
 
October 30, 2018
 
A woman reported that she had had prowlers at her residence, and that some damage had been done to a fence on the property.  Case is pending further investigation.
 
Several items were stolen from a two local businesses, including two riding lawnmowers, a go-cart, and a push-mower, as well as several smaller items.  Case is pending, and suspects are being identified.
 
October 31, 2018
 
Employees at a local convenience store reported a gas-skip.  No suspects were identified.  Case pending receipt of further information.
 
November 1, 2018
 
A local woman reported that an acquaintance had stolen cash from her purse.  Case is pending interview of suspect.
 
Tonya L. Henry, 43, of Mena was charged with theft of property (shoplifting) after officers were dispatched to a local retail store.
 
A Mena woman reported that someone had gained access to her banking account and charged approximately $4,000.00 to her account. Case is pending further investigation.
 
Vandalism was done to the restrooms at a local park.  Case is pending further investigation.
 
Levi Cottman, 28, of Mena was arrested on a body attachment warrant for failure to pay child support.
 
Melissa Turpin, 44, of Mena was arrested on two outstanding felon warrants from Sebastian County.
 
November 2 & 3, 2018
 
A Mena woman reported that someone had stolen her checkbook from her purse as she was shopping at a local store.  Case is pending review of surveillance tapes from the business.
 
11-4-18 9:35 a.m. kawx.org 

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Early Voting In Polk County Brisk, Voting Centers For Election Day

Almost 2,700 people voted early in Polk County, Arkansas for the midterm general election according to Polk County Clerk Terri Harrison.

 
Early voting started Monday, October 22nd, and after the the polling locations closed today, November 3rd, 2,690 voters had voted early, or 22.5% of the county's registered voters.
 
The daily breakdowns are below.
 
Oct 22nd—321
 
Oct 23rd—263
 
Oct 24th—223
 
Oct 25th—220
 
Oct 26th—249
 
Oct 27th— 70
 
Oct 29th—268
 
Oct 30th—217
 
Oct 31st—187
 
Nov 1st—-239
 
Nov 2nd—331
 
Nov 3rd—-102
 
Early voting will continue on Monday, November 5th, from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. at the Polk County Office Complex (old hospital) on Pine Street in Mena.
 
Tuesday, November 6th is Election Day and the Vote Centers in Polk County will be open from 7:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. Registered voters will be able to vote at any of the eight Vote Centers in the county.
 
Vote Center #1 Polk County Office Complex  (old hospital) 606 Pine Street in Mena
 
Vote Center #2 9th Street Ministries building 306 9th Street in Mena
 
Vote Center #3 Acorn High School 143 Polk Road 196 in Acorn
 
Vote Center #4 Concord Baptist Church 3467 Hwy 88 East in Ink
 
Vote Center #5 Salem Baptist Church 115 Polk Road 56 in Nunley
 
Vote Center #6 Hatfield Town Hall 115 Town Hall Park in Hatfield
 
Vote Center #7 Cove Town Hall 5568 Hwy 71 South in Cove
 
Vote Center #8 Grannis Town Hall 132 Frachiseur Road in Grannis
 
11-3-18 4:46 p.m. kawx.org 
 
 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

There a few updates this week from the Capitol.  Budget hearings continue.  A new revenue report was released.  We have new recommendations for funding education.  And there are several important dates ahead leading to the next legislative session.

 

The latest General Revenue Report shows October revenue at $435.4 million.  That is 5% more than October 2017 and 5.9% above forecast.

 

Four months into the fiscal year, net available general revenue is now $114.6 million above year ago levels.

 

This week, the Education Committee presented the Speaker with recommendations for funding education in the next two fiscal years.

 

The committee spends more than a year reviewing every component of public education to determine what areas need increased funding.  This is referred to as the Educational Adequacy Study.

 

Currently, the state provides schools with $6,781 per student for the school year.  The recommendation from the committee is to increase that to $6,880 per student next year.  The recommendation for Fiscal Year 2021 is $6,985 per student.

 

Included in report is a recommendation to increase the minimum teacher salary by $1,000 each year. 

 

This will bring the minimum salary for teachers with a BA to $33,800 and for teachers with an MA to $38,450 by Fiscal Year 2021.

 

There are several important dates ahead.  On the Friday after the election, November 9, the newly elected and returning members will convene for a House Caucus.

 

The newly elected members will draw for seniority positions.  Then all members, in order of their seniority, will chose their seat in the chamber for the duration of the 92ndGeneral Assembly. 

 

Budget hearings began October 16 and will continue through mid-November.  The Governor’s balanced budget proposal will be presented to members on November 14.

 

From December 3-6, members will return to the chamber for the Legislative Institute.  This is a 4 day behind the scenes look at the law making process designed primarily for freshman members.

 

Members can begin filing bills on November 15 .  The 2019 Regular Session begins January 14.

 

Be sure to check our website www.arkansashouse.org.

 

11-2-18 4:28 p.m. kawx.org 

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Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Rewarding Schools

 
LITTLE ROCK – Students from the Bismarck School District gave up their first day of fall break to travel to the capitol this week for a news conference in which we celebrated their academic achievement.
 
Bismarck schools achieved Award status in the Arkansas School Recognition Program, which honors schools whose academic achievement is in the top 10 percent in the state. The state provided awards of about $7 million to the top schools. In Bismarck, the elementary, middle, and high schools all achieved that ranking for the second straight year.
 
The program also rewards the schools whose growth in achievement on the ACT Aspire tests is in the top 10 percent.
 
The program gives financial rewards to the high-achieving schools. This year, 175 schools made the Top 10 percent list.
 
The largest single checks went to Bryant and Cabot high schools. Bryant High qualified for $133,000 and Cabot High will receive $104,000. Their awards recognize them for academic growth and improved graduation rates.
 
But that wasn’t all for the Cabot district, which had six campuses on the list. The district was awarded a grand total of $353,000.
 
Each of the winning schools will create a committee that will decide how to spend this windfall. They can give money to faculty and staff as a bonus, and schools can buy equipment and books.
 
It was a pleasure for Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key and me to meet the folks from Bismarck and to present the oversize ceremonial checks to them.
 
It is gratifying to know that educators are working so diligently to teach our students, and that our students are responding by growing academically.
 
It’s not all about the money, of course, but the financial reward is a real-life lesson for students who learned that hard work can pay off with a good paycheck.
 
Congratulations to all the Award schools.
 
11-2-18 4:08 p.m. kawx.org 

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Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column - Commemorating the End of WWI

Commemorating the End of WWI

 

 

On November 11, bells across Arkansas will ring 11 times at 11 a.m. in commemoration of the end of World War I.

 

It’s been a century since men were fighting in the Great War, or the “war to end all wars.” We remember the Arkansans who played an integral part in this tremendous conflict. Some served in uniform; others provided care to heal the wounded; and many more supported home front efforts to supply our troops with the weapons, clothing and food necessary to accomplish their mission. Nearly 72,000 Arkansans served in uniform during WWI and 2,183 of them paid the ultimate sacrifice.

 

I recently commemorated the life of Arkansan and WWI soldier Robert Jack with members of the Van Buren VFW post named in his honor. Jack was 23-years-old when he was killed by shrapnel on September 22, 1918, during the fourth day of the famous allied drive of St. Mihiel.

 

Jack’s service to our country is a piece of the long and proud history Arkansans have written in support of our nation’s military. He was a member of the Arkansas National Guard’s 142nd Field Artillery and the 39th Infantry Brigade. As active combat teams today, the men and women who wear the insignia of the 142nd and the 39th can be proud of the legacy of those who served before them in defense of our nation’s ideals no matter the price they may pay.

 

While our countrymen and women made important contributions to the Allied victory, it is important to remember that victory came at a considerable cost. One of the mothers of a WWI soldier who gave his life channeled her energy to support others who experienced the loss of a loved one in military service.

 

This year we recognize the 90th anniversary of the founding of that organization, American Gold Star Mothers ­­—an exclusive group that no one seeks to join. The group was named after the Gold Star that families hung in windows in honor of their deceased soldier. Its members are all too familiar with the pain of losing someone close to their heart. Their continued strength serves to comfort one another as well as other families in their time of need.

In 2013, Congress created the WWI Centennial Commission to commemorate the end of the Great War. One way the commission has seen fit to honor and memorialize WWI soldiers is with the creation of a national WWI monument in our nation’s capital. Arkansas native and 2013 graduate of the Fay Jones School of Architecture at the University of Arkansas, Joseph Weishaar, submitted a design for the memorial competition, which was ultimately selected by the commission. There is still a long way to go to complete the memorial, but we can be proud of Arkansas’s connection to this project.

 

WWI changed the world and helped establish our nation’s place in it. Commemorating WWI is important to honoring the service and sacrifice of the soldiers who gave their lives, those who were wounded in action and each and every service member who played their part at home or abroad. We also express our deep gratitude to the families who sent their loved ones to serve in uniform. The centennial is a time to reflect on the sacrifice of the men and women who fearlessly served the greater cause of democracy and freedom and the families who supported them.

 

11-2-18 1:38 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

November 2, 2018

 

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas has 1,034 public schools and each one recently received a letter grade, from A to F, to give parents an easy method of evaluating them.

 

The release of school report cards usually occurs in April, and it creates quite a bit of discussion among principals, administrators, elected officials and of course, parents.

 

This year, the state Education Department worked with extra diligence to produce the report card six months earlier than usual. One reason was that school staff had requested more timely reports, so that they could more quickly use the information in the report cards to improve their schools.

 

Failing schools can apply for support from state and federal sources, and the sooner they apply the sooner their students will reap the benefits of added resources. They can use the information in the reports to improve this school year, and not have to wait until next year.

 

This year, the number of schools that received an A grade fell from 163 to 152. However, the number of schools that got a D grade also dropped, from 170 to 145. The number of failing schools that got an F increased from 33 in the 2016-2017 school year to 44 in the 2017-2018 school year.

 

Both this year and last year, a little more than a third of all Arkansas schools received a C grade. Last year 384 got a C and this year 380 got a C.

The number of schools receiving a B went up strongly, from 290 to 313.

 

The letter grades are based on numerous factors, including standardized test scores, student attendance, graduation rates and the proportion of students who read at their grade level.

 

The school report cards were released at the same time as a much more complex indicator of school success, the ESSA Index.

 

ESSA stands for the Every Student Succeeds Act, a 2015 federal law that took the place of controversial federal education standards known as the No Child Left Behind Act. Under the old federal standards, consistently getting low grades meant that a school could be penalized.

 

Schools that received low grades will not be penalized, the state Education Commissioner said. They will be offered extra help from the state Education Department.

 

The most recent ESSA School Index and school report card can both be found online at the Education Department’s My School Info page. It is at this web address: https://myschoolinfo.arkansas.gov/.

 

You can find the page with an Internet search engine, such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, by typing in My School Info and Arkansas.

 

The web page has search features so that you can look up specific reports for your children’s school. It also has instructional videos, on the right side of the page under a headline of “What’s New.” One of the videos will show you how to navigate the numerous links on the Education Department website that contain reports and comparisons.

 

The legislature approved Act 696 in 2013 to direct the Education Department to begin issuing school report cards, to make it easier for parents to evaluate their children’s schools. The first report cards were for the 2014-2015 school year.

 

Under Act 696, the Education Department considers schools that get an A as exemplary.  B schools are “achieving,” C schools “need improvement, D schools “need improvement – focus” and F schools “need improvement – priority.”

 

11-2-18 12:50 p.m. kawx.org 

 

 

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Polk County Sales Tax and Road Tax Collections Continue To Increase

Polk County Treasurer Tonya Fretz released the monthly report showing sales and road improvement tax collections for Polk County. Both the taxes are one percent.

 
The October report shows that in September 2018 the county sales and road improvement taxes generated $125,320 each, which is an increase of $1,862 for each.
 
To date the county has collected $2,540,826 which is $131,965 more than for the same period last year, suggesting growing retail sales.
 
The taxes collected have increased each month this year compared with the same month last year.
 
The county sales tax money is used for many things including law enforcement, jail costs, and other county services. The road improvement tax is used only for county roads.
 
11-1-18 8:24 p.m. kawx.org 

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