KAWX News Archives for 2018-12

Mena Has New Mayor, Police Chief

Mena has a new Mayor and a new Police Chief today. Seth Smith (shown below) became mayor today after out polling two other candidates in the general election and winning the runoff election. Smith is a Mena native, has a background in public service, and has been a local business owner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mayor Smith has named Tommy Stueart (shown below) as the new Mena Police Chief. Stueart is a veteran of the US Air Force, retired Arkansas State Police Trooper, and has recently served as Polk County's Office of Emergency Management Director. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kris Lyle is the interim Office of Emergency Management Director. 

 

Long time Mena Policeman and Assistant Police Chief Ed Gibson retired at the end of the year. Gibson was elected to the City Council so will still be a part of city government.

 

Newly elected officials and returning elected officials will be sworn in by Judge Danny Thrailkill at 9:00 a.m. Wednesday, January 2nd in the Courtroom of the Polk County Courthouse. The ceremony is open to the public. 

 

1-1-19 6:00 a.m. kawx.org 

 

 

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Polk County Sheriff's Log For December 17th - 23rd

SHERIFF’S LOG


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


December 17, 2018
Report from complainant on Wispy Lane near Mena of vandalism done to a license plate.  Investigation continues.
Report from complainants on Polk 35 near Hatfield of being threatened by an acquaintance.  Information has been provided to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.


December 18, 2018
Report of a structure fire on Highway 272 near Rich Mountain.  Deputies responded.
Traffic stop on Highway 88 East near Mena led to a Citation for Reckless Driving being issued to Logan A. Frost, 20, of Mena.
Report from complainant on Redbird Lane near Rocky of the theft and destruction of mail.  Investigation continues.
Report from complainant on Polk 13 near Wickes of damage done to logging equipment, totaling losses at $1,000.00.  Investigation continues.
Arrested was Gary D. Collier, 58, of Hatfield, on Warrants for Violation of Suspended Imposition of Sentence and two counts of Delivery of Schedule I/II Controlled Substance.


December 19, 2018
Reports from complainants on Penny Lane near Mena of an unauthorized person on their properties led to the arrest of Kevin L. Fryar, 33, of Mena, on Charges of Criminal Trespass and Criminal Impersonation and a Warrant for Felony Failure to Appear.
Report of a structure fire on Ruby Lane near Acorn.   Deputy responded.
Report from complainant on Polk 47 near Mena of the theft of a wood splitter, valued at $800.00, from a residence in Vandervoort.  Investigation continues.


December 20, 2018
Arrested was Jessica L. Martin, 31, of Cove, on Charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and two counts each of Delivery of Meth or Cocaine and Delivery of Schedule I/II Controlled Substance.
Report of a disturbance in the Polk County Detention Center.  Deputies responded.


December 21, 2018
Report from complainant on Highway 71 South near Potter of the theft of two vehicles.  Investigation continues.


December 22, 2018
Report of a disturbance on Polk 48 near Potter led to the arrest of Leon Thacker, 72, of Mena, on a Charge of Domestic Battery 3rd Degree.


December 23, 2018
Traffic stop on Highway 71 South near Hatfield led to the arrest of Victoria P. Tackett, 25, of Mena, on Charges of DWI and Driving Left of Center.
Report of a disturbance on Grove Street in Cove led to the arrest of Oscar Ramirez, 48, of Cove, on a Charge of Disorderly Conduct.
Report of a disturbance on Heritage Lane near Hatfield led to the arrest of Kenneth E. Cline, 55, of Hatfield, on a Charge of Domestic Battery 3rd Degree.

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

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

PC18-00860

 

12-31-18 4:17 p.m. kawx.org 

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Lum and Abner coming to KAWX December 31st

KAWX radio is pleased and excited to announce that the old time radio show Lum and Abner will be added to our weekday lineup starting December 31st. The Lum and Abner program will be the anchor program for the new Lum and Abner and Old Time Radio Show heard weekdays at 6:30 p.m. 

 
After the Lum and Abner program there will be another old time radio show each day.
 
To kick the new show off, the December 31st episode of Lum and Abner is when they try and start their own radio station over in Pine Ridge, followed by an episode of The Baby Snooks.
 
Starting January 1st and for some time the second program will be Superman.
 
During the Golden Age of Radio, the Lum and Abner show was one of the most popular and longest running shows, and the actors, Chet Lauck and Norris Goff, were both from Mena.
 
Listen locally on FM 93.1 or 94.9, anywhere in the world at kawx.org, with a free KAWX app available at the App Store or Google Play, on any smart device with the TuneIn app, or on Amazon Echo.
 
12-30-18 8:39 p.m. kawx.org 

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Polk County Equine Workshop Announced

Preregister by January 8th by calling (479) 394-6018.

12-28-18 8:34 p.m. kawx.org 

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Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address - 2018 Year-End Review

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

 

LITTLE ROCK – This will be the last radio address of my first four years as Governor. When I took office in January of 2015, four years looked like a long time. We accomplished much, and the time has passed quickly. As the year 2018 draws to a close, it is a good time to reflect and to be thankful. I am most grateful for family, community and friends, but I am also thankful for another four years to serve this state.

Every decision I have made has been driven by my desire to improve the quality of life in Arkansas. Whether the issue is creating a strong workforce, strengthening our schools or transforming and reducing the size of state government, the underlying question always had been – and always will be: “Will this make our state a better place in which to live and work?”

I am moving full speed preparing for my second term. I will continue to pursue my growth agenda of competitive tax cuts, pay raises for starting teachers, government transformation and a plan to improve our system of roads and highways.

As I looked to the future, I created the Red Tape Reduction Task Force to study licensing, certification and fees to see whether we can cut the costs and red tape for people in certain occupations; I created the Arkansas School Safety Commission to assess security at schools and recommend ways to ensure safety; the Transformation Advisory Board presented its plan to reduce state government from 42 cabinet-level agencies to 15.

My growth agenda builds on all we accomplished during my first term, including the Computer Science Initiative, which was the first law that I signed as Governor. The initiative established Arkansas as a leader in computer-science education.

We were the first state in the nation to require all high schools to offer a course in computer coding. Since the fall of 2014, the number of teachers who are teaching computer science has grown from 20 to 372; the number of students enrolled in computer science has increased by 620 percent from 1,100 to over 8,000; and the number of girls studying computer science rose from 223 to nearly 2,500. That’s an increase of 1,100 percent.

We have cut taxes by $180 million, the biggest cuts in state history; 90 percent of our individual taxpayers have benefited from the cuts.

Our economy is booming. Our unemployment rate has remained at historic lows, including a period in 2017 when it remained at 3.4 percent for several months.

We have also improved access to post-high school technical training, and we have worked with industry to provide training in high-need professions, such as ammonia refrigeration and the repair and maintenance of diesel engines.

Out-of-state business executives who are looking for a place to expand recognize that we are building a workforce that is well equipped for high-tech industry. We have successfully recruited 310 new and expanding companies, both national and international, to come to Arkansas. That has produced $7 billion in new capital investment in the state and 11,700 new jobs.

The new growth numbers from the census bureau are encouraging. The report confirms that we are creating opportunities in Arkansas that keep our homegrown talent at home and attract new residents. Arkansas’s natural beauty lures tourists, and then they fall in love with our state and make it home.

All of this is good news for the future of Arkansas, and I am grateful for the chance to help make it happen.

Have a safe and happy new year.

 

12-28-18 7:37 p.m. kawx.org 

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Reminder to Return US Flags to Full-Staff

Flags have been at half-staff in honor of President George H. W. Bush since December 1, 2018,  The 30 day half-staff observation period will expire at midnight on December 30, 2018.  Flags should be returned to full-staff at that time.

 

12-28-18 5:10 p.m. kawx.org 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

There is a new rule taking effect this session which changes the way our many of our committees are formed.

 

The House consists of 10 standing committees, 7 select committees and 3 special committees. A vast majority of legislation introduced in the Regular Session is assigned to a standing committee.

 

In years past, we gathered with other members in our geographical district caucuses and selected which standing committees we wanted to serve.  Members were given preference in the order of seniority.

 

However, last year the House voted to change the process.  The new House rules give the Speaker the authority to appoint the membership of all committees.

 

The Speaker will announce committee selections on the first day of session, January 14.  The Speaker also selects who will serve as chair and vice-chair of each committee and sub-committee.

 

Committees are where the lawmaking process begins.  It is where bills are first considered and publicly debated before a bill makes its way the House Chamber.  Committees provide an opportunity for the public to speak for or against a proposal. 

 

The Speaker assigns each bill to a committee germane to the subject matter. In 2017, more than 3,000 bills were introduced.  Less than 1,200 actually became law.  Many of those bills did not get the needed votes from the committee to advance any further in the law making process.

 

Although we have changed the way the standing committees are formed, the rules still ensure that each region of Arkansas is represented.  Each member serves on one “A” standing committee and one “B” standing committee.  House Rules state the Speaker must select five members from each of the four House District Caucus.  House District Caucuses are divided along the same geographical boundaries as our state’s congressional caucuses.

 

Standing committees are as follows:

 

Class A

Education

Judiciary

Public Health, Welfare, and Labor

Public Transportation

Revenue and Taxation

 

Class B

Aging, Children & Youth, Legislative & Military Affairs

Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development

City, County, & Local Affairs

Insurance & Commerce

State Agencies & Governmental Affairs

 

Once the committee selections are announced, we will post the lists on our website.  As a reminder, the House live streams all standing committee meetings and House floor proceedings during the Regular Session.  Visit www.arkansashouse.org.

 

12-28-18 5:05 p.m. kawx.org 

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Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column - In Support of Border Funding

In Support of Border Funding

 

 

As a member of the Senate Border Security and Enforcement First Immigration Caucus I am actively fighting for funding to protect our borders. National security is the federal government’s number one responsibility and we must allocate resources in support of border protection that accurately reflect this priority. I supported the president’s budget request for border security funding in the Senate Committee on Appropriations Fiscal Year 2019 Homeland Security bill and I will continue to advocate for increased resources for manpower and infrastructure in order to reduce illegal border crossings. 

 

There is no doubt we have a border crisis that is escalating. Department of Homeland Security data shows that apprehensions along our southern border have nearly doubled in the past year. It is in our national interest to take necessary steps to provide the tools our Customs and Border Patrol (CPB) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers on the frontlines need to control our porous border and protect our communities and themselves as they carry out this important mission.

 

I’ve seen firsthand the challenges our interdiction agents face. In September, I visited the southwest border in California and Texas to see how we can improve policies to better control illegal immigration, human trafficking and drug smuggling. The need for more infrastructure—including roads for access, electronic devices for surveillance and fencing for deterrence—was echoed at each stop. We heard how border security upgrades improved community safety. Increased federal investment is necessary to achieve this on a larger scale.

 

Constructing a strong border security system coupled with enforcement of our immigration laws is a deterrent to those who seek to illegally enter our country. This is the first step to reforming our immigration system. We are a nation of immigrants and we can be proud of our history of welcoming and naturalizing those who follow the proper, legal process. We naturalize more new citizens annually than the rest of the world combined. We can maintain this guiding principle and continue its success by ensuring that individuals and families who wish to immigrate to the United States do so by obeying our laws. 

 

Every day CBP, ICE and Coast Guard personnel put their lives on the line to enforce our laws, protect our borders and prevent drug smugglers from entering our country. Increasing funding in order to improve border security is a reasonable request. I agree with the president’s call for increased resources to defend our borders — a request that the House of Representatives recently supported. I am hopeful we can find a solution that expands investments in border security and funds the government. 

 

12-28-18 5:00 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

December 28, 2018

 

LITTLE ROCK – State government will get off to a fast start in 2019, when the legislature convenes in regular session on January 14 and takes up proposals to lower income taxes and simplify the tax tables.

 

Legislators and tax officials are calling the proposal the “two – four – five point nine” plan. That’s because it would phase in rates for all taxpayers of 2 percent, 4 percent and 5.9 percent.

 

One of the main questions is how quickly to implement the full amount of tax reductions. There are some who want to phase it in over four years, others prefer to do it in three years and some believe it can be fully implemented in two years.

 

Others want to proceed more cautiously with tax cuts, to make sure the reduction in state revenue does not force cutbacks in essential services.

There also are supporters of reducing the number of tax tables to one, instead of three.

 

Under the state Constitution the session must last for 60 days. Legislators may extend it, and in the past couple of decades they have generally lasted 80 to 90 days.

 

Also this year there will be heightened interest in the amount of teacher pay raises. The legislature appropriates funding for public schools, and to determine how much to spend on public education legislators conduct an adequacy assessment. It is a thorough review of the financial needs of public schools.

 

In this year’s adequacy report the Senate and House Committees on Education voted to recommend teacher pay raises of $1,000 a year, including raises for teachers with a master’s degree.

 

The adequacy report recommends another $1,000 raise for teachers in the second year of the biennium, which is Fiscal 2021.

 

The committee recommendations are similar to proposals by the governor to raise the minimum teacher salaries by $1,000 a year for the next four years. The plan would bring the minimum teacher salary from $31,800 to $36,000 a year.

 

Legislators on the Education Committees also recommended an increase in the school funding formula to allow for a general 2 percent increase in teacher salaries, in order to provide raises for teachers who earn more than the minimum.

 

Adding up all the categories, per pupil funding in FY 2020 should be $6,883, the Education Committees recommended. In FY 2021 it should go up to $6,985.

 

For the current biennium, the per pupil foundation funding rates are $6,713 in FY 2018 and $6,781 in FY 2019.

 

The governor has proposed reducing the number of state agencies from 42 to 15. By 2021 the savings would begin at about $15 million a year, and likely would grow over time.

 

Budget issues will dictate law enforcement policy, specifically regulations within state prisons and regulations governing parolees. For example, the governor has proposed adding 30 parole officers to the state Department of Community Corrections in order to lower their average caseload.

 

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

 

12-28-18 5:55 a.m. kawx.org 

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A Sherman Cline Christmas

 

A Sherman Cline Christmas
 
I remember the day I noticed that my friend Mr. Sherman Cline’s usual $25-a-month gift had not been mailed in to Family Council in several months.  For the past two years he had lived in government-funded apartments for senior citizens in Paris, Arkansas.  Not able to locate him, I called the local utility company to see if he had moved.  Instead, I learned that he was deceased.  I sat quietly at my desk and thought for a little while.  
 
Before moving to Paris, Mr. Cline lived alone in a small apartment in downtown Little Rock.  I clearly remember the Christmas morning when I loaded up our young boys, and we drove down to Mr. Cline’s apartment to invite him to come to our house for Christmas dinner that evening.  He had no phone, no family, and no plans for Christmas—he would just be alone.  It told him we’d be back later to pick him up for dinner. 
 
Later that day the boys and I arrived to pick him up.  He was dressed in slacks, a shirt, and his best jacket.  We had such a great time that evening. 
 
After dinner, Mr. Cline took out a hard-backed book filled with pictures of The War. “I was there,” he said.  My boys were wide-eyed when he told them about marching and fighting—wearing his boots for a solid month without ever taking them off. He talked a little about the horrific scenes he saw as he helped liberate the concentration camp at Dachau.  He told about guarding German prisoners near Nuremburg.
 
As it turns out, Mr. Cline and his younger brother and sister were from Coal Hill, Arkansas.  They were orphaned during the Great Depression.  His mother died.  His father caught a freight train to south Texas looking for work, and was never heard from again.  When his grandparents died, he and his brother and sister were placed in an orphan’s home. Life was hard there. His sister was adopted, and they mostly lost touch.  Soon, he and his brother struck out on their own to get jobs, but his brother was killed in an auto accident.  Sherman Cline was all alone.  Mr. Cline ended up picking cotton at the Dyess Colony, a place in east Arkansas made famous by the fact that singer Johnny Cash and his family lived there.  Then the war came. 
 
Mr. Cline served, survived, and came home.  But he never married.  He never had a family.  He worked blue collar jobs and made a living until he retired to live only on his small, monthly Social Security check.  Sometimes he ate only one meal a day.  He didn’t own a car or have a telephone.  
 
Mr. Cline was a Christian and pro-life.  Back in the 1980’s he served as a volunteer, helping us pass the Unborn Child Amendment, a law that prevents public funding of abortions in Arkansas.  I clearly remember the night we won that election.  By the time the final results came in, there were just a few people left in the room.  As we gathered in a circle to join hands and thank God for the victory, there was Mr. Cline, probably the poorest person in the room, joining hands with some very wealthy people who had helped fund the effort, but it didn’t matter to him or to them.
 
That Christmas when Mr. Cline came to our house for dinner, I thought we were doing something to bless him.  As it turns out, he blessed us.  Over 20 years later, Doris, my boys, and I still cherish the memories of that evening around the fireplace with Mr. Cline—a real hero that hardly anyone knows.
 
Today his cremated remains rest in a cemetery in Magazine, Arkansas.  When his ashes were interred, only about 10 people were there.  But there was ninety-one-year old Polly.  Her late husband and Mr. Cline had been good friends.  Only one of Mr. Cline’s earthly possessions remained—his Bible.  We presented Polly with Mr. Cline’s worn-out, marked-up Bible for her to keep.
 
The manager of the apartments told us more about that Bible and about the night Mr. Cline passed away.  “We found him alone,” he said, “sitting in his chair with that Bible open on his lap.”  Apparently he had suffered a stroke.  I thought, What a way bring this life to an end—reading God’s word one moment and in His presence the next!
 
As I wrap up this year and look forward to a brand new 2019, I am so grateful to those in our country’s greatest generation for their sacrifice, their hard work, and their quiet heroism that paved the way for so many who don’t even know it.  Even today, there may be those in Heaven who say thank you to Mr. Cline and others like him who fought their way across Europe and saved lives by ending the Holocaust and then worked here at home to end our own holocaust of abortion. 
 
Mr. Cline’s life counted for something important—things eternal.  That’s what we’re about at Family Council and the Education Alliance—things eternal.  Like Mr. Cline, you have helped us make a difference.  For this, I am eternally grateful.  I am confident that, if not in this life, in the one to come we will see how our work on earth made a difference for eternity. 
 
Thank you. May God bless you for standing with us! I hope you and your family have a very merry Christmas.

 

Jerry Cox is the founder and president of Family Council.

 

12-24-18 3:30 p.m. kawx.org 

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Activities at Queen Wilhelmina State Park Christmas Eve thru December 29th

 

For more information about any of these activities or the State Park, call (479) 394-2863.

 

12=24=18 3:07 p.m. kawx.org

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Ouachita, Ozark-St. Francis National Forests announce 2019 Recreation Use Fee increases

Ouachita, Ozark-St. Francis National Forests announce 2019 Recreation Use Fee increases

 

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — Recreation Use fees across the Ouachita and Ozark-St. Francis National Forests are increasing next year to help continue operation and maintenance of existing facilities.

 

In May, the Ouachita and Ozark-St. Francis National Forests conducted public outreach, receiving comments on the fee proposals.  The comments received were taken into consideration when presenting the proposals to the Southern Region Recreation Resource Advisory Committee as part of their review in August.

 

In October, an increase in use fees were approved by the Regional Forester based on recommendations by the committee. 

Use fees have remained the same since 2004 throughout the forests in Arkansas and Oklahoma.

 

“The proposed fees were evaluated, in comparison to other Federal, State, municipal, and private entities in the area providing similar amenities for the recreating public,” said Mary Cole, Ozark-St. Francis National Forests Planning and Public Services Staff Officer. “As required by law, the fees are to remain comparable, based on amenities, services provided, cost of operations, maintenance and market assessments.”

 

The fee changes are being implemented under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, where up to 95 percent of the fees collected on sites are returned to the Forest for operating and enhancement costs.

 

“The recreation fees we collect are essential to the Forest Recreation Program to ensure outdoor recreation opportunities for the visiting public remain available, safe and well-maintained,” said Chris Ham, Ouachita National Forest Planning and Recreation Team Leader. “Use fees collected have enabled the Forest to continue providing these facilities for the visiting public to enjoy and experience the Forest’s developed recreation opportunities.”

 

For information on the recreation areas affected and when fees will take effect, visit the recreation pages of Ouachita and Ozark-St. Francis National Forests websites:

 

The Ouachita National Forest: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/ouachita/home/?cid=FSEPRD606139&width=full

 

The Ozark-St. Francis National Forests: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/osfnf/home/?cid=FSEPRD606203&width=full.

 

12-21-18 5:52 p.m. kawx.org 

 

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Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address-Making the Season Bright for the Kids in Our Care

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Address - Making the Season Bright for the Kids in Our Care
 
 
LITTLE ROCK – The foster children who visited the state capitol were here for a Christmas celebration. They didn’t realize it, but they symbolize what’s at stake in the way we manage our child-welfare and foster-care system.
 
The children gathered in the old State Supreme Court chambers, where legislators, who had donated dozens of presents, and other volunteers threw a traditional Christmas party complete with a tree and adults in Santa hats.
 
It was a happy moment for these children who don’t often experience the holiday happiness that so many of us take for granted. These children are among the 4,400 Arkansas foster children without a permanent home. That is a decrease from a peak of more than 5,000 three years ago. We are heading in the right direction.
 
When I became governor, the state of our child welfare and foster care system was abysmal, according to a consultant’s study. The report was a heart-rending judgment on our inadequacy. Our leadership took the report to heart, and we moved with a sense of urgency to fix it.
 
The well-being of hundreds of our children was at stake.
 
I was especially alarmed to learn that caseworkers sometimes had to choose between bringing foster children to their homes, leaving them at a division office, or pleading with foster parents to make room for one more child.
 
We have made great improvement in that area. The average load for caseworkers has dropped from an average of 26 cases down to 19.
 
Our goal, of course, is to bring the number of children in foster care to zero. But until then, we want to place the children into a safe, home-like environment. Currently, more than 80 percent of the children in foster care are living in family-like settings.
 
The statistics we keep are critical to tracking our performance and improving the delivery of our services. But one thing we can’t really mark on a graph is the compassion of Arkansans. That’s what I saw at the state capitol on Tuesday as the foster children, and some older youth who are in our juvenile justice system, were able to forget about their hardships for a moment and enjoy the kindness of people they’ve never met.
 
For an afternoon, at least, they were having the kind of Christmas we would like for all our children to enjoy. And yes, I was one of the adults wearing a Santa hat.
 
Have a Merry Christmas! 
 
12-21-18 4:47 p.m. kawx.org 

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Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column - 2018 Year in Review

2018 Year in Review

 

We are getting ready to close the book on the 115th Congress. The past two years have been busy in Washington as we passed historic tax reform, rolled back needless regulation and implemented improvements to help Main Street lenders and job creators. I’m proud to be a voice for Arkansas in the nation’s capital, representing our shared values as Congress crafts polices that will make a difference in the lives of Arkansans and all Americans. We made great progress this year that will help our state.

 

The Arkansas Rural Water Association applauded a policy update, based on legislation I introduced, that was included in the water infrastructure bill passed by Congress in October. My proposal, which is now law, will modernize critical water infrastructure funding and increase access to financing, particularly for rural areas often unable to afford upgrades to aging water systems.  

 

Throughout this Congress, one of my top priorities has been to strengthen the ability of Arkansas farmers and ranchers to continue to be leaders in feeding and clothing the world. The farm bill that President Donald Trump recently signed into law improves essential programs for Arkansans, and I was proud to play a role in writing this law.

 

As is typical at the end of a Congress, there is a flurry of activity on the Senate floor as members work to pass their legislative priorities. My staff and I were driven to get significant legislation across the finish line that includes passage of the Forever GI Bill Housing Payment Fulfillment Act. This bill will ensure the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) reimburses veterans for missed or underpaid Forever GI Bill housing benefits. The department’s failure to fully comply with reimbursement rates set by the Forever GI Bill resulted from IT systems that had not been properly updated and a lack of internal processes to get the VA the necessary information about payment rates. This bill will correct this problem so our veterans can receive the full benefits they were promised.

 

In recent days Congress also passed the Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment (WEEE) Act. This legislation seeks to break down the gender-related barriers to economic growth for women in developing countries. Women make up the majority of the world’s poor. This is due in part to lack of access to financial services and credit. I was proud to bring this bill to the Senate floor and pleased my colleagues supported recognizing the importance of leveling the playing field for women around the world.

 

In Arkansas, parishioners of Walnut Grove Church in Garland County are celebrating approval of a land swap with the U.S. Forest Service. Working with Congressman Bruce Westerman and my Senate colleagues, we were able to facilitate a land exchange that provides the church ownership of the land it worships on, something the congregation has vigorously pursued for more than two decades. I was proud to guide this change through the Senate.

 

These are just a few of the achievements from this past year that are worth celebrating. There are countless others, including more targeted efforts to respond to and combat the opioid crisis, comprehensive legislation to reform benefits and services for our veterans and much more.

 

I’m pleased with what we have accomplished in the 115th Congress and I look forward to working to make our country better in 2019. I wish you and your family all the best in New Year. 

 

12-21-18 4:41 p.m. kawx.org 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

Christmas is a special time at the Capitol.  The halls are decorated with trees and garland.  School choirs from across the state come to carol in the rotunda. And we host a party every year that creates lasting memories for our state’s most vulnerable.  At that party, many of us in the Capitol bring gifts for the boys and girls in Arkansas’s foster care program.

 

But addressing the needs of our foster care children is not isolated to just the holidays.  We are charged with ensuring case workers are properly funded and that our laws create an environment that assures each child has a safe and loving home.

 

Members were given an update this week into the progress of our foster care system and needs that still to be addressed.

 

The quarterly report from the Department of Human Services Division of Children and Family Services shows the number of children in foster care has decreased from 4,902 this time last year to 4,478 today.

 

There are more positive numbers in this report.  We learned Arkansas exceeds the national average when it comes to the number of children who either return home or are discharged to relatives or an adoptive home.  Our state’s average is 93%.  The national average is 81%. And less than 8% of children who reunited with their families re-entered the foster care system this quarter.  That is also below the national standard.

 

Of the children who left foster care this quarter, 46% were reunified with their family, 25% were adopted. 20% were discharged to a relative. Progress in our system did not happen overnight. Arkansans in conjunction with their churches and non-profit organizations answered the call when the Governor declared it a crises in 2017. And in the 2017 Regular Session, the General Assembly passed several laws aimed at improving our foster care system.

 

The state budget that year included a $26 million increase to DHS for foster care support.

 

We passed legislation allowing for special circumstances in which DHS can petition a court to re-instate parental rights. We also broadened the definition of “fictive kin” so individuals with a close relationship with a child could provide a home if needed.  And we passed legislation to create ways for non-profits and community providers to provide more assistance.

 

We still have work to do. 

 

The average caseload statewide stood at just over 22 cases per worker at the end of the quarter. We will evaluate the need for more case workers this session.

 

Substance abuse and neglect are the two top reasons cited for a child entering foster care.  Preventing the need for another home will require work from all Arkansans, not just those at the Capitol.

 

Visit www.humanservices.arkansas.gov to learn how you can help.

 

12-21-18 4:12 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

December 21, 2018

 

LITTLE ROCK – The major political headlines of 2018 include voter approval of a constitutional amendment to allow casino gambling in four Arkansas locations.

 

Voters also approved an amendment to require citizens to present a government-issued photo ID in order to receive a ballot. An initiated act to gradually increase the minimum wage also was approved in the November election.

 

The four casinos are allowed in West Memphis, Hot Springs, Pine Bluff and Russellville. The minimum wage measure will increase the state minimum wage from $8.50 to $9.25 per hour in 2019, then to $10 per hour in 2020. Finally it would increase to $11 per hour in 2021.

 

The photo ID measure writes into the Constitution many provisions of voter fraud laws enacted by the legislature in recent years. Now that the requirements are in the Constitution, they can withstand lawsuits contending that they are unconstitutional.

 

An ongoing federal lawsuit has the potential to affect the state Medicaid program. Because Medicaid is such a large program, the lawsuit could affect the budgets of numerous other state agencies.

 

The lawsuit challenges Arkansas Medicaid regulations that require some participants to look for a job, volunteer or take adult education and job training classes in order to get benefits.

 

Since the requirements took effect, more than 12,000 people have been dropped from Medicaid rolls, and have been prohibited from re-enrolling until the end of the year.

 

The requirements apply to people in Arkansas Works, a Medicaid program for adults whose yearly income is below 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

 

Arkansas Works was formerly known as the private option and sometimes is referred to as Medicaid expansion.

 

It was originally established to comply with provisions in the federal affordable care act. The work requirements were essential in order to garner sufficient political support among conservatives in the legislature. Funding of Medicaid requires majorities of 75 percent in the Arkansas Senate and House.

 

All 75 counties in Arkansas, and the great majority of its towns and cities, have joined in a lawsuit against drug manufacturers and distributors of opioids, which are prescription painkillers that are highly addictive.

 

The state Drug Director told city officials the enormous volume of opioids being distributed in Arkansas makes enforcement and treatment extremely difficult.

 

For example, more than 235 million pills were prescribed in a single year, although Arkansas has a population of about three million. Opioids are painkillers such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, codeine and fentanyl.

 

Also in 2018, a non-profit organization called Information Superhighway ranked Arkansas schools first in the nation in rankings of high speed Internet capacity. The Arkansas Public School Computer Network can now provide Internet service at a rate of one megabit per second per user to 98 percent of the state's schools, which is more than any other state.

 

The Arkansas School Safety Commission recently submitted its final report. It was created in response to a school shooting in Florida.

 

The panel recommended that all schools have an armed person on campus whenever students are present. It also recommended improvements in how counselors and educators engage with students who have potential mental illnesses.

 

12-21-18 7:52 a.m. kawx.org 

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Polk County Circuit Court Arraignments December 19th-20th

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:

 

 

December 19th

 

State of Arkasnas Vs. Kevin L. Fryar W/M, age 33, Count 1 Failure to Appear a Class "C" Felony. Count 2 Failure to Appear a Class "C" Felony.

 

December 20th

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Alton R. Self W/M, age 40, Count 1 Possession of Drug Paraphernalia a Class "D" Felony.

 

State of Arkasnas Vs. Gary Dean Collier W/M, age 58, Count 1 Delivery of Methamphetamine or Cocaine a Class "C" Felony

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Gary Dean Collier W/M, age 58, Count 1 Delivery of Methamphetamine or Coacaine a Calss "C" Felony. The State gave notive of intent to pursue additional penalties since the alleged sale of methamphetamines was within 1,000 feet of a church and since he has been convicted of more than one (1) felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Gary dean Collier W/M, age 58, Count 1 Violation of Suspended Imposition of Sentence. (Original Offnce Count 1 Possession of Meth with Purpose to Deliver a Class "C" Felony. Count 2 Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Meth, a Class "B" Felony.) Bond was set at $2,500.00.

 

12-20-18 4:44 p.m. kawx.org 

 

 

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Polk County Sheriff's Office and Drug Task Force Make Drug Bust, Arrest at Local Motel

On Wednesday, December 19, 2018, the Polk County Sheriff's Office and the 18th West Drug Task Force arrested Jessica L. Martin, age 33, of Russellville, Arkansas. The arrest was the result of an investigation into a report of someone selling narcotics out of a Mena motel room.

 
Deputies seized approximately 110 grams of methamphetamines, 1 gram of heroin, 2 ecstasy pill, 2.7 grams of marijuana, $1,925.00 in cash, and a 2006 Cadillac CTS.
 
Martin in is custody at the Polk County Detention Center. She is facing numerous charges including Delivery of a Controlled Substance-Methamphetamines, Delivery of a Controlled Substance-Heroin, Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent, and Possession of a Controlled Substance.
 
Bond for Martin has not been set yet but she will be arraigned on Thursday, December 20, 2018.
 
Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer stated "This arrest was the result of persistence and hard work. We have made drug investigations a priority and we will continue to aggressively pursue drug dealers in our area".
 
12-20-18 9:18 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 Dec. 19, 2018. If there is a body of water you would like included in this report, please email AGFCfishingreport@outlook.com with information on possible sources for reports about that lake or river. Reports are updated weekly, although some reports might be published for two weeks if updates are not received promptly or if reporters say conditions haven’t changed. Contact the reporter for the lake or stream you plan to fish for current news.

 

Central Arkansas

 

North Arkansas

 

Northwest Arkansas

 

Northeast Arkansas

 

Southeast Arkansas

 

Southwest Arkansas

 

South-Central Arkansas

 

West-Central Arkansas

 

East Arkansas

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

NOTE: The Arkansas Wildlife Weekly Fishing Report will not be produced Dec. 26 and Jan. 2 because of the holiday season. The next Fishing Report will be issued Wednesday, Jan. 9.

 

12-19-18 9:09 p.m. kawx.org 

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Statewide holiday deer hunt December 26-28

LITTLE ROCK — Deer hunters using modern guns have one more chance to collect on their scouting time and tag a trophy. The statewide modern gun Holiday Deer Hunt is Dec. 26-28.

 

The hunt is another testament to the strong status of deer in The Natural State. As Arkansas’s deer population has grown, this opportunity was added to help manage the deer herd and offer hunters another reason to get together during the holidays for some fellowship and fun. 

 

Deer program coordinator Ralph Meeker says many of the deer processors he has talked to have been very busy, and many deer are being taken throughout the state. He expects that trend to remain strong during the upcoming hunt. 

 

“Hunters typically harvest around 10,000 deer during those three days,” Meeker said. “Many of the hunters who have been chasing bucks during the rut will switch their attention and take a doe or two, which helps us from a herd management perspective.”

 

The large number of does that is typically taken during the holiday deer hunt helps balance the buck-to-doe ratio in the state, which helps maintain a healthy deer herd.

 

Aside from the opportunity to fill a freezer with venison, the hunt has become a tradition in many homes as one last celebration of the outdoors.

 

“It’s a great way for everyone to spend time together at deer camp,” Meeker said. “A lot of extended family is visiting during this time and many people who hunted together growing up take advantage of getting back out to enjoy the outdoors. The weather also is much more indicative of what people envision when they are thinking about great times deer hunting, so it really is a great opportunity for hunters.”

 

The Holiday Hunt is structured identically to the regular modern gun hunts with the exception that no dogs are allowed anywhere in the state. All deer taken during the hunt count toward a hunter’s seasonal bag limit for the zone where they are hunting. Some wildlife management areas and national wildlife refuges are closed to modern gun hunting during the hunt, but many will be open. 

 

“The areas that are closed are typically permit-only hunts where we manage the harvest a little closer because of the popularity of the area or its propensity to become crowded and impact the quality of the hunt,” Meeker said. 

Also ahead is the second Youth Hunt, Jan. 3-4. This is also statewide with no dogs allowed. 

 

Hunters under 16 years old can go after deer with modern guns, muzzleloaders or archery gear. If youths have hunter education certificates, they may hunt on their own. If they do not have hunter education certificates, they must be accompanied by a person 21 or older. The adult mentor cannot carry a firearm.

 

Visit www.agfc.com/en/hunting/big-game/deer for more information on deer hunting in Arkansas.

 

12-19-18 12:52 p.m. kawx.org 

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Mena's Lum & Abner Festival a Finalist in The Grand Old Classic Special Event Award

Arkansas Tourism names Henry Awards finalists-Mena's Lum and Abner Festival in the running for The Grand Old Classic Special Event Award


The 2019 Henry Awards winners will be revealed at the 45th Annual Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism to be held in Hot Springs February 24-26, 2019. The awards ceremony will take place during the Governor’s Banquet on Tuesday, February 26. The Henry Awards honor Henri de Tonti, the man historians consider to be among the first “Arkansas Travelers.”
 
The awards and respective finalists are:
 
The Media Support Award, which is presented annually to a distinguished individual or organization for extraordinary attention to and/or support of Arkansas’s tourism industry through the use of media.
 
– Gary Jones Video
– JC Productions
– John Rech
 
The Bootstrap Award, which is presented annually to an individual, organization, or community that has achieved significant success “on a shoestring,” having limited means to work with, either in resources or finances.
 
– First Friday Monthly Market, Camden
– Melba Theater, Batesville
– Zombie Crawl, Eureka Springs   
 
The Arkansas Heritage Award, which is presented annually to an individual, organization, or community that has made a significant contribution toward the preservation of some aspect of Arkansas’s natural, cultural or aesthetic legacy.
 
– Arkansas Quilt Trails
– Edgemont House, North Little Rock
– George’s Majestic Lounge, Fayetteville
 
The Grand Old Classic Special Event Award, which is presented annually to a festival, fair or other special celebration that has “stood the test of time” and become an established example to follow.
 
– Lum & Abner Festival, Mena
– Fordyce on the Cottonbelt Festival  
– Old Soldiers Reunion, Mammoth Spring  
 
The Outstanding Volunteer Service Award, which is presented annually to a community, individual or organization that through outstanding volunteer spirit has made a substantial contribution to Arkansas’s tourism industry.
 
– Central Arkansas Trail Alliance  
– Ozark Off-Road Cyclists
– Searcy County Chamber of Commerce  
 
The Community Tourism Development Award, which is presented annually to a community or organization that has achieved substantial success in the enhancement of its local resources through imaginative and innovative development efforts.
 
– Discover Siloam Springs 
– Helena Advertising and Promotion Commission 
– Visit Hot Springs  
 
The Natural State Award, which is presented annually to a community, organization, special event or attraction that “stands out in the crowd” because of its unique appeal, media coverage, creative approach and/or enhancement of community pride, thus benefiting the state’s quality of life.
 
– 8th Street Market, Bentonville
– Fort Smith Bicentennial Celebration   
– Tour ‘da Delta Bicycle Ride, Helena-West Helena  
 
During the Henry Awards ceremony, the Tourism Person of the Year will also be announced. Selected by former honorees, the Tourism Person of the Year Award is presented annually to an individual who has been actively involved in tourism and who has made a substantial contribution, within the past year, to the betterment of the tourism industry as a whole.

 

12-19-18 10:09 a.m. kawx.org 

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Polk County Quorum Court Meets For Last Time In 2018

The Polk County Quorum Court met Tuesday night in Mena for the last meeting of 2018. The meeting was brief and mostly routines business.

 

Polk County Judge Brandon Ellison read a proclamation honoring retiring Justice of the Peace Ben Finley thanking him for his years of service to the county. The proclamation was signed by the Judge and Quorum Court members.

 
The next Quorum Court meeting will be held in January 2019.
 
On a related note, newly elected county and municipal officials and those re-elected will be sworn in at 9:00 a.m. on January 2, 2018 in the Polk County Courthouse by Judge Danny Thrailkill. The swearing in ceremony will be open to the public.
 
12-19-18 8:02 a.m. kawx.org 

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Arkansas Drivers Reminded to use IDriveArkansas.com for End of the Year Holiday Travel Information

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

 

Extensive highway improvements continue through the state. With those improvements come work zones. To aid in your holiday travel, ARDOT has been working hard to open as many lanes as possible. Still, travelers will likely face work zones and possible delays due to increased traffic volume.

 

The American Automobile Association (AAA) predicts that more than one third of Americans, a record breaking 112.5 million, will travel more than 50 miles from home between Saturday, December 22 and Tuesday, January 1.

 

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.

 

12-18-18 9:54 a.m. kawx.org 

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Governor Hutchinson Affirms Support of Legislators' Efforts to Reduce Conceal Carry Fees by Half

 
LITTLE ROCK – Senator Trent Garner, in conjunction with Representatives Bob Ballinger and Jim Dotson, have consistently vocalized the importance of reducing the costs associated with concealed carry licensure in Arkansas. Today, with support from Governor Hutchinson, Senator Garner filed legislation to enact the fee reduction.
 
Under the proposed legislation, the initial filing fee to receive a Conceal Handgun Carry License will be reduced from $100 to $50, and the license renewal fee will be decreased from $50 to $25.
 
Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement: 
 
“I appreciate the commitment shown by Senator Garner and Representatives Ballinger and Dotson on this issue. Their partnership with my office and the State Police has led to what I believe is good legislation that strikes the right balance in reducing these fees. I fully support their efforts, and if the legislature passes this bill in the upcoming session, I will sign it into law.”
 
12-17-18 2:52 p.m. kawx.org 

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Rutledge Steps Up Fight Against Robocalls

Rutledge Steps Up Fight Against Robocalls

Says, ‘Arkansans are frustrated and have asked me to eliminate these unwanted and unlawful calls’

 

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that she is leading a bipartisan coalition of 40 attorneys general to expand on her efforts to put an end to unyielding and potentially harmful robocalls. Participating states have been reviewing available technology that is currently under consideration by major telecom companies to assist in combating these illegal robocalls.

 

“As I travel across Arkansas, I consistently hear how Arkansans are troubled by the abusive and pesky robocalls by scammers,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Arkansans are frustrated and have asked me to eliminate these unwanted and unlawful calls, which commonly lead to people being scammed out of thousands of dollars. This coalition is another step in the right direction as we work with telecom companies to end these types of calls.”

 

Since it was formed, the multi-state group has had in-depth meetings with several major telecom companies. These meetings have led to greater information sharing about the technological capabilities currently in existence or in development to fight these calls.

 

Attorney General Rutledge and her colleagues are working to:

 

·         Develop a detailed understanding of what is technologically feasible to minimize unwanted robocalls and illegal telemarking

 

·         Engage the major telecom companies to encourage them to expedite the best possible solutions for consumers

 

·         Determine whether states should make further recommendations to the FCC

 

In addition to Arkansas, the group, led by Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and Vermont, also includes Alabama, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

 

12-17-18 2:44 p.m. kawx.org

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Polk County Sheriff's Log For December 10th thru 16th

SHERIFF’S LOG


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


December 10, 2018
Report from complainant on Mena Street in Hatfield of a break-in to a residence, causing damages of $25.00 to a door.
Report of a disturbance led to a 15-year-old female being issued Juvenile Citations for Battery 3rd Degree and Disorderly Conduct.  The juvenile was released to the custody of a parent/guardian.
Report from complainant on Highway 375 West near Mena of a missing firearm.  The firearm was later located.
Report from complainant on Davis Street in Hatfield of concerns regarding a juvenile.
Report from complainant on Polk 64 in Shady of being harassed by acquaintances.  Information has been provided to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Arrested was Logan E. Pitts, 39, of Mena, on a Warrant for Felony Failure to Appear.
Arrested was Katie Flood, 20, of Mena, on two Warrants for Failure to Comply with a Court Order.


December 11, 2018
Report of defiant behavior led to a 15-year-old male being issued Juvenile Citations for Disorderly Conduct and Resisting Arrest.  The juvenile was released to the custody of a parent/guardian.
Report of a disturbance on Polk 626 near Nunley led to the arrest of Melton Cannon, 53, of Mena, on a Charge of Domestic Battery 3rd Degree.
Report from complainant on Heritage Lane near Hatfield of fraudulent charges on their credit card that had been made in another state.  The information has been forwarded to the proper authorities.


December 12, 2018

Report of a disturbance on Highway 88 East near Mena led to the arrest of Jimmy R. A. Lindsey, 35, of Glenwood, on a Charge of Criminal Trespass.
Arrested was Lawrence V. Smith, 63, of Mena, on a Charge of Possession of Firearm by Certain Person and a Warrant for Failure to Appear.


December 13, 2018
Report from a business on Highway 71 South near Mena of the theft of cash, totaling losses at $4,794.42.  Information has been provided to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Arrested was Levi A. Wilson, 22, of Mena, on a Warrant for Failure to Appear.


December 14, 2018
Report of a disturbance that had occurred earlier on Polk 46 near Shady Grove.  Information has been provided to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Arrested was Neisha F. Wikel, 26, of Cove, on a Warrant for Terroristic Threatening 2nd Degree.

December 15, 2018
Arrested was Lee E. Wisnoski, 44, of Mena, on a Warrant for Failure to Comply with a Court Order.


December 16, 2018
Report of a disturbance on Heritage Lane near Hatfield.  Deputies responded.  One of the subjects left the residence for the night.
Report from complainants on Polk 184 near Acorn of damage done to three mailboxes, totaling losses at $100.00.

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

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 18 Incarcerated Inmates, with 5 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

PC18-00842

 

12-17-18 2:37 p.m. kawx.org 

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Mena Police Department Report for December 9th thru the 15th

Mena Police Department Reports for the Week of December 9, 2018 through December 15, 2018 

 

December 9 & 10, 2018

 

A 14-year-old Mena youth was charged with possession of a controlled substance.  Case was turned over to juvenile authorities.

 

Report was taken from local residents regarding allegations that someone had thrown a bottle and other items at their vehicle.  Case is pending further information.

 

Vincent Romero, 34, of Mena was charged with public intoxication and disorderly conduct after officers responded to a complaint call at a local apartment complex.

 

Jeff Allen White, 38, of Mena was arrested on several outstanding warrants from Polk and other counties.

 

Francine Sanders, 48, of Mena was charged with criminal trespass after officers received a call from a local retail store.  She was also served outstanding warrants.

 

December 11, 2018

 

Employees at a local convenience store turned over a counterfeit $100 bill that had been received in their store.  Case pending.

 

December 12, 2018

 

An Albertville, MN man reported that he had had items stolen from a motel room in Mena.  Officers questioned all parties involved.  The victim later reported that he had located the property.

 

 December 13, 2018

 

Report was made by employees at a local retail store regarding theft of items from their business. Case is pending further investigation and location and interview of suspects.

 

Renee Deann Veal, 47, of Mena was arrested on two outstanding warrants for failure to pay fines and court costs.

 

Shannon Koehler, 40, of Oklahoma City was charged with public intoxication.  The arrest followed the response of officers to a bus driver regarding an unruly passenger.

 

Melissa Marie Evans, 30, of Mena was served an outstanding warrant for probation violation.

 

Officers met with Montgomery County law enforcement officers in Oden and brought Audrey Stinson, 62, of Mena back to Polk County and served an outstanding warrant from the Mena Police Department.

 

December 14, 2018

 

Randy Len Cranfield, 21, of Mena was arrested and charged with criminal trespass after officers responded to a call at a local retail store.

 

December 15, 2018

 

Officers were dispatched to a local retail store, and arrested William Wecker, 40, of Mena on a charge of theft of property (shoplifting).

 

Arrested and charged with theft of property (shoplifting) was Kimberly Jones, 20, of Mena.  The arrest followed a call to a local retail store.

 

Krystal Machel Neer, 33, of Mena was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia after officers received a call regarding an altercation.  She was also served an outstanding warrant from Polk County.

 

Katherine Marie Laoyza, 37, of Mena was charged with theft of property (shoplifting) after officers responded to a call at a local retail store.

 

12-17-18 10:18 a.m. kawx.org 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

 

 

The Arkansas Tax Reform and Relief Task Force has completed its work.  This task force was created in 2017 in the same legislation that lowered the income tax rate for Arkansans making below $21,000 a year.

 

      Since that time, the task force has been exploring everything from capital gains taxes to registration fees on electric and hybrid cars.

 

      In its final meeting this week, the members were presented with fiscal impact estimates for several proposals.  They also voted on their top preference for reform going into the 2019 Regular Session.

 

      The top preference for the task force is to reduce the state’s top individual tax rate phased in over a 3 year period. 

 

      The Governor has submitted a proposal to reduce the rate over a 4 year period.  It has been referred to as the “2-4-5.9” plan since the rates would ultimately be charged at those percentages depending on income.

 

      Currently, Arkansas has six tax brackets, ranging from 0.9% to 6.9%. To offset the increase for the lowest tax bracket, the current proposals include an increase to the standard deduction.

 

The standard deduction would increase from $2,200 to $6,800 for single taxpayers and $4,400 to $13,600 for married taxpayers. 

 

The second preference of the task force is to implement the governor’s income-tax cut plan within two years.  The third preference would reduce the number of tax tables from three to one.

 

Any proposal will ultimately need final approval of the legislature.  The first and second preference of the task force would require a ¾ majority.  The third preference would require a simple majority for approval.

 

We have posted the economic impact of various proposals on our website www.arkansashouse.org.

 

The 2019 Regular Session begins on January 14, 2019.

 

12-14-18 4:52 p.m. kawx.org 

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Golkhajeh charged with First Degree Murder, Bond set at $1 Million

Michelle L. Golkhajeh, 33, of Mena was in court this afternoon before Judge Danny Thrailkill. Golkhajeh was arrested Wednesday night in Mena after her four year old child was found dead in the home. Golkhajeh was charged with Murder in the 1st degree of a person under the age of 14, a class Y felony punishable up to 10 to 40 Years or life in prison. Class Y felonies are the most serious crimes in Arkansas not punishable by death. A conviction for a Class Y felony can result in a prison term of 10 to 40 years or life. (Ark. Code § § 5-4-401, 5-4-201.) Bond was set at $1 million dollars.  Arraignment is set for Monday, December 17th, at 9:00 a.m. before Judge Jerry Ryan. Golkhajeh is being held in the Polk County Jail.

 
12-14-18 4:46 p.m. kawx.org 

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Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Living Healthy, Being Well

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Living Healthy, Being Well
 
 
LITTLE ROCK – I have always considered myself a Healthy Active Arkansan, and that is why I am pleased that my administration launched Healthy Active Arkansas, the 10-year campaign to reduce the rate of obesity in our state and to increase healthy lifestyles.
 
Healthy Active Arkansas offers encouragement for Arkansans to lose weight and to maintain a healthy weight through a healthy diet and exercise. Healthy Active Arkansas promotes a variety of good-health initiatives, from campaigns that encourage Arkansans to drink more water to support for private breast-feeding areas at public venues.
 
The Arkansas Department of Health is another partner in our effort to encourage healthy lifestyles.
 
The department recently announced a new program called Be Well Arkansas. This new initiative offers telephone counseling with a focus on tobacco use, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.
 
The website offers specific guidelines to create plans to improve health, including a plan to quit smoking.
 
The counselors, who have been trained through an MD Anderson program, provide over-the-phone tobacco and nicotine cessation services. They also offer counseling for managing diabetes and controlling blood pressure.
 
Programs that help tobacco users stop using tobacco in any form are especially important as the number of teenagers who use e-cigarettes has increased from less than 2 percent in 2010 to almost 20 percent. E-cigarettes are not harmless, and experts have said that one risk is that e-cigarettes break down the fear of tobacco cigarettes.
 
Aside from the threat to the health of young Arkansans, the health-related illnesses cost Arkansas billions of dollars in medical bills and insurance payments.
 
Obesity and diabetes are two of the other conditions of most concern. The health department has a lifestyle counselor in every region of the state to answer questions and to help you create a plan to improve your health.
 
One aspect of good health is to stay active. No matter how busy you are with your job or your children, you ought to find time for physical activity. Anyone can make time for a brisk 20-minute walk three or four days a week.
 
My schedule doesn’t allow much time for exercise, so I have to make a serious effort to fit it in. My routine is 30 minutes of daily workout that includes 100 jumping jacks and sit ups. And I try to have some fun along the way, so I play full-court pickup basketball once a week. Even when I’ve traveled internationally, I’ve managed to work in some basketball.
 
The state of our health ultimately is up to each of us. But in Arkansas, we like to guide Arkansans to a healthy lifestyle. I commend the Department of Health for launching Be Well Arkansas.
 
12-14-18 3:52 p.m. kawx.org 

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Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column

New Farm Bill Will Bring Certainty and Predictability

 

This summer, I embarked on the #ARisAG tour, traveling the Natural State to highlight the importance of agriculture to Arkansas and to hear firsthand the concerns and ideas of our farmers and ranchers. During that tour, I heard one message over and over again–pass a meaningful farm bill.

 

It took some heavy lifting, but we have delivered for our farmers and ranchers. Congress has approved a final five-year reauthorization of the farm bill law. This is very good news for production agriculture and rural communities across our nation.

 

First and foremost, the farm bill will bring much-needed certainty and predictability to farmers and ranchers over the next five years. This is especially important given the intense pressure our agriculture producers are under.

If you look at the numbers across the nation, net farm income is approximately half of what it was when we passed the last farm bill. Farm bankruptcies are up by 39 percent since 2014, financing has become more expensive, commodity prices have plummeted, input costs are rising and the trade outlook is volatile and uncertain.

 

Farmers across the country—regardless of where they call home or which crops they grow—are hurting. The farm bill that Congress approved delivers meaningful and real relief for our farmers and ranchers in these difficult times.

 

Along with strengthening key risk management tools for our farmers, this legislation also helps our rural communities by authorizing crucial economic development and job creation programs along with provisions that range from combating the opioid crisis to home financing to high-speed internet access.

 

The farm bill is vital to our continued economic growth in Arkansas. Agriculture is a driving force of the Natural State’s economy, adding around $16 billion to our economy every year and accounting for approximately one in every six jobs. That’s why agriculture advocacy groups in Arkansas were very excited when we passed the final version.

 

The Arkansas Farm Bureau said it was “pleased that Congress has recognized how important a new farm bill is to the hard-working farmers and ranchers of this country” and expressed gratitude that we came together to pass “this critical legislation before the new year.”

 

The Agricultural Council of Arkansas said it “cannot stress enough the importance of the farm bill and the need for it among Arkansas farmers.” The Council went on to add, “a farm bill with meaningful support is critical in preventing significant harm to Arkansas farms.”

 

And the Arkansas Rice Federation said the farm bill will provide “certainty in such a variable agricultural climate.”

 

The farm bill would not have been as beneficial to Arkansas farmers and ranchers without the diligent efforts of the conference committee leadership who worked to ensure that harmful, arbitrary policy changes were excluded from the final conference report. As a result of these efforts, family farms are protected from additional regulations and unnecessary paperwork.

 

This would not have been possible without the steadfast leadership of the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees. Their commitment to making this bill fair and equitable to the diverse needs of producers across all regions of the country. They worked hard to make certain we would get this done before adjourning the 115th Congress. I look forward to ensuring its successful implementation.

 

12-14-18 3:45 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

December 14, 2018

 

LITTLE ROCK – A new report from the U.S. Census Bureau had good news for Arkansas. The percentage of adults with a college degree has gone up by 2.9 percent.

 

In 2010 the percentage of adults in Arkansas with the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree was 19.1 percent, and last year it was 22 percent.

In spite of the improvement Arkansas is still below the national average. In 2017 the number of adults aged 22 or older who had a bachelor’s degree was 30.9 percent. In 2010 it was 27.9 percent.

 

Leaders in business, government and education have been working on policies that increase the rate of students who finish college with a degree, for the general prosperity of the state. On average, adults with a college degree earn more income over their lifetimes and they tend to lead healthier lifestyles.

 

Executives consistently say that we need a better-trained workforce in order to attract industries that are able to compete in the global economy. Knowledge-based industries, such as telecommunications and computer engineering, tend to pay more. Also, they tend to be more secure during economic disruptions.

 

A statewide policy change with the goal of improving college graduation rates was Act 148, which the legislature approved in 2017. It restructured the funding formula under which state aid is distributed to colleges and universities. Basically, it changed the formula so that retention and graduation rates drove the amount of state appropriations, rather than enrollment.

 

Three Arkansas counties are above the national average in their rates of adults with a college degree. They are Benton and Washington Counties in northwest Arkansas, with 31.7 and 31.9 percent. Pulaski County in central Arkansas has a rate of 33.7 percent.

 

According to the census report, more Arkansas high school students are graduating. Since 2010, the number of adults over 18 with a high school diploma has risen from 81.9 percent to 85.6 percent.

 

At the same time that a higher percentage of college students are finishing with a degree, fewer of our high school graduates are going on to college. Since 2013 the number of Arkansas high school graduates who go on to college has dropped, from 51.4 percent to 48.2 percent.

 

Enrollment in higher education is sensitive to the general state of the economy, especially at two-year colleges. When the economy is good and companies are hiring, people go to work. When the economy slackens and jobs become scarcer, people tend to enroll in college to improve their job skills.

 

Training for Computer Teachers

 

The governor announced the expansion of a program that provides stipends to teachers studying to be licensed in computer science. The governor approved the addition of $200,000 to the program, bringing the total available for stipends to $1 million.

 

Under the program, teachers from kindergarten through eighth grade can qualify for $2,000 in stipends.

 

In the summer of 2018, which was the first full year of the program, 301 teachers enrolled in the program and completed it. There is enough funding for another 200 teachers to take the training in the summer of 2019.

 

12-14-18 8:29 a.m. kawx.org 

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Mena Police Department News Release Concerning Death of Four Year Old Mena Child

The News Release below was issued late Thursday afternoon by Mena Police Chief Brandon Martin.

 

 

 

On 12/12/18 Officers of the Mena Police Department responded to a residence in Mena, the nature of the call was the death of a four year old child.

 

Officers arrived and a short time later took Michelle Golkhajeh 33 of Mena into custody. Michelle Golkhejah is being held at the Polk County Jail awaiting formal charges of First Degree Murder.

 

This is an ongoing investigation with the Mena Police Department, Arkansas State Police and the Polk County Sheriffs Office working the case and we ask that everyone please respect the privacy of the family.

 

 

12-13-18 5:27 p.m. kawx.org 

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Bridge on Polk County Road 34 at Hatfield Temporarily Closed

The bridge on Polk County Road 34 near Hatfield is temporarily closed while maintenance is performed, the County Judge - County Road Department announced today. Alternate routes will need to be used until the work is completed.

 
12-13-18 2:23 p.m. kawx.org 

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Mena Woman Arrested On Murder Charges

UPDATE-Mena Police Chief Brandon Martin has not released any information and there has been no comment from other agencies in the murder investigation as of 4:30 p.m. Thursday. Martin did say that due to the nature of the case that he could say nothing at this time other than his department, along with the Polk County Sheriff's Department and Arkansas State Police, were investigating and that formal charges were pending. The suspect is expected to be in Polk County Court Friday afternoon. (Original story below.)

 

Mena Police arrested 33 year old Michelle Leann Golkhajeh of 70 Evans Circle Wednesday night. Golkhajeh was booked into the Polk County Jail around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, and according to the Polk County Inmate web site charged with First Degree Murder, but no formal charges have been filed. No other details are available at this time, but Mena Police Chief Brandon Martin is expected to release more information today.

 

12-13-18 8:16 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 Dec. 12, 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.

 

12-12-18 4:12 p.m. kawx.org 

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Polk County Circuit Court Arraignments December 12th

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:

 

December 12th

 

Staet of Arkansas Vs. Francine Sanders W/F, age 48 Count 1: Probation Violation (original offense Possession of Schedule II Controlled Substance with Purpose to Deliver. Bond set at $5,000.00.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Logan E. Pitts W/M, age 39 Count 1: Failure To Appear, a Class "D" Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Jeff Allen White W/M, age 38 Count 1: Failure To Appear, a class "C" Felony .

 

12-12-18 3:59 p.m. kawx.org

 

 

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Polk County Sheriff's Log For October December 3rd - 9th

 

 

SHERIFF’S LOG


The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of December 3, 2018 – December 9, 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.


December 3, 2018
Report from a 16-year-old female of the theft of a wallet containing $250.00 cash and personal documents.  Investigation continues.
Report from complainant on Woodland Lane near Mena of damage done to a vehicle by a falling tree.  Deputy responded.
Report from complainant on Polk 24 near Cove of being harassed by an acquaintance.  Suspect was advised to cease all contact with complainant.
Arrested was Michael D. Rogers, 35, of Mena, on a Warrant for Probation Violation and Non-Payment of Child Support.


December 4, 2018
Report from complainant on Polk 286 near Hatfield of being harassed via social media by an unknown individual.  Investigation continues.
Report from complainant on McLaughlin Lane near Wickes of the theft of prescription medication, valued at $20.00.  Investigation continues.
Arrested was Russell G. Corbell, 37, of Van Buren, on a Body Attachment Warrant.
Arrested was Sarah M. Mitchell, 25, of Mena, on three Warrants for Failure to Comply with a Court Order.


December 5, 2018
Report from a Mena man that his adult daughter was missing.  Investigation determined that the individual was, in fact, not missing.
Report from a business on Highway 71 South in Cove of a shoplifter led to the arrest of Elizabeth A. Seman, 49, of Cove, on a Charge of Shoplifting.
Arrested was Brennan D. McMillan, 18, of Mena, on a Drug Court Sanction.


December 6, 2018
Report of a disturbance on Polk 178 near Mena led to the arrest of Randy L. Cranfield, 21; Jennifer E. Cranfield, 22; and Tyler L. Kamm, 21, all of Mena, each on a Charge of Disorderly Conduct.
Report of a disturbance on Highway 71 South near Cove led to the arrest of Shirley Sanders, 54, of  Cove, on a Charge of Battery 3rd Degree.


December 7, 2018
Report from complainant on Polk 141 near Cove of the theft of a firearm.  Investigation continues.
Report of an unattended death on Polk 61 near Board Camp.  Deputies responded.
Report from complainant on Polk 93 near Rocky of an assault that had occurred earlier in the year.
Reports from the cities of Grannis, Cove and Hatfield of forged checks.  Investigation continues.
Report from complainant on Highway 71 South near Cove of a fictitious email scam.  Investigation continues.


December 8, 2018
Report from complainant on Polk 26 near Hatfield of the theft of several firearms and a safe.  Investigation continues.
Report of a disturbance on Polk 24 near Cove led to the arrest of Neisha F. Wikel, 26, of Cove, on a Charge of Violation of a No Contact Order.


December 9, 2018
Traffic stop on Highway 246 West near Hatfield led to the arrest of Jerry L. Walters, 46, of Mena, on a Charge of DWI.
Traffic stop on Polk 37 near Potter led to the arrest of Colby J. Campbell, 32, of Cove, on a Charge of DWI.
Arrested was Tory B. Wilson, 27, of Watson, OK, on a Charge of DWI.

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

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

PC18-00828

 

12-11-18 12:18 p.m. kawx.org 

 

To listen to the online Mena - Polk County, Arkansas Police and Fire radio scanner, click anywhere on this line or on the police scanner below. Please listen respopnisbly! 

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Arkansans Spent Over $37 Million On Lottery Tickets In November

 

 

Arkansans spent $37,641,715.00 on lottery tickets in November of 2018 according to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration. 

 
Of the 75 counties, Pulaski County sales were by far the highest in the state at $7,018,185.50, while Montgomery County sales were the lowest at $30,349.00.
 
Polk County sales were $148,557.50.
 
The numbers are for purchases of various lottery products for the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery, also called the Arkansas Education Lottery, between November 1st and November 30th.
 
12-10-18 7:10 p.m. kawx.org

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Mena Police Department Report for December 2nd - 8th

Mena Police Department Reports for the Week of December 2, 2018 through December 8, 2018

 

December 2, 2018

 

Alton Roy Self, 40, of Mena was charged with theft of property (shoplifting) after officers responded to a call at a local retail store.

 

Carlos Gonzales, 61 of Mena was arrested on an outstanding warrant for failure to appear.

 

A local woman reported that her purse had been stolen.  It was later returned to her, but her wallet was still missing.  No suspects at this time.

 

December 3 & 4, 2018

 

Two separate reports were made of a couple harassing employees at a local fast food restaurant.  Case is pending location and interview of suspects.

 

A local woman reported that she and her family have been harassed by a neighbor for quite some time.  Case is pending.

 

December 5 & 6, 2018

 

Report was taken of a gasoline hose being accidentally damaged at a local convenience store.  The party responsible has agreed to pay for damages and no charges are pending.

 

A Mena man reported that he was missing a substantial amount of cash.  It was found on a local street and has been returned to the owner.

 

December 7 & 8, 2018

 

A complaint was filed regarding a local man being harassed by his brother’s girlfriend.  Case is pending.

 

Van Holman, 26, of Mena was charged with possession a schedule VI controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. The arrest followed a routine traffic stop.

 

Officers worked eight traffic accidents.

 

12-10-18 9:46 a.m. kawx.org 

 

To listen to the online Mena - Polk County, AR Police and Fire radio scanner, click anywhere on this line or on the police scanner below.

 

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SPECIAL YEAR-END SAFETY CAMPAIGN: "DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER"

Arkansas State Troopers will be joined by city and county law enforcement officers in the coming days in a unified effort to remove impaired drivers from local streets and roads as well as state and U.S. highways.  The special enforcement operation begins Friday, December 14th and continues through New Year’s Day, Tuesday, January 1, 2019.
 
   “Drive Sober or Get Pulled-Over” is a national campaign organized by the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  Participating law enforcement agencies will have no tolerance for drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
 
   According to NHTSA, 10,874 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes during 2017 which equates to one person killed every 48 minutes.  On average, 10,000 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes each year from 2013 to 2017. During December 2017, 885 people lost their lives across the country in traffic crashes involving a drunk driver.
 
   “Impaired driving is not acceptable behavior,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “Drivers should remember it’s up to them to make the smart decision to drive sober, not just during the holidays, but every time they’re behind the wheel.”
 
   Colonel Bryant stated that impaired driving is a growing problem in our country.  “In addition to drivers impaired by alcohol, we’re also seeing an increase in drivers who are under the influence of drugs.”
 
   NHTSA statistics from 2017 also indicate that motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes had higher percentages of alcohol impairment compared to other motor vehicle drivers (27% for motorcycle riders, 21% for passenger car drivers, 20% for light-truck drivers, and 3% for drivers of large trucks).  Nearly one in five children (14 and younger) killed in traffic crashes were killed in drunk-driving crashes. Fifty-four percent of the time, it was the child’s own driver who was drunk.
 
   The Arkansas Highway Safety Office offers the following tips for a safe holiday season:
 
  • If you plan on drinking, do not drive.  Plan ahead and designate a sober driver before you get in the vehicle.  Even one drink can impair your judgment and increase the risk of getting arrested for drunk driving, or worse, risk injury or death to someone by causing a crash.
     
  • If you have been drinking, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member or use public transportation to get to your destination safely.
     
  • Download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app, available on Google Play for Android devices and Apple’s iTunes Store for iOS devices. SaferRide allows users to call a taxi or a predetermined friend and identifies the user’s location so he or she can be picked up.
     
  • Promptly report impaired drivers to law enforcement.
     
  • Always wear your seat belt or use safety equipment while on a motorcycle.  These items are your best defense against an impaired driver.

  

For more information on the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, visitwww.trafficsafetymarketing.gov or call the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136. For information on Arkansas’ “Toward Zero Deaths” campaign to eliminate preventable traffic fatalities, visit www.TZDarkansas.org.

 
12-10-18 9:23 a.m. kawx.org 

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Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column-Serving Others is a Noble Calling

 

Serving Others is a Noble Calling

 

 

Former President George H.W. Bush lived a life dedicated to faith, family and his country. As we mourn his passing and share memories of his life and his remarkable leadership, we are reminded of his example of service and encouraged to open our hearts and give back to our own communities. 

 

The 41st President, fond of writing letters, once wrote “I believe I was right when I said, as president, there can be no definition of a successful life that does not include service to others.” He found fulfillment and gratification in service and knew that, with a little concerted effort, his fellow Americans could experience that same joy. This doesn’t mean we must accept the same roles and responsibilities of the former president, but rather that we all have a part to play in making our neighborhood, community, state, country and world a better place.

 

America is shaped by individuals who take initiative to serve others. Average citizens of all ages and backgrounds recognizing a need in their communities and contributing their talents and skills to make a difference happens every day in various capacities across our country. We don’t have to look far to find examples of Arkansans who are serving causes greater than themselves.

 

As a seventh grader, Alexis Roberson of Caraway was honored for her volunteerism. She experienced hardships growing up which fueled her passion to help others in difficult circumstances. This included launching ‘Books for Bailey,’ in memory of her friend who dreamed of collecting coloring books and crayons for sick children.

 

Those called to serve also wear our nation’s uniform and selflessly bear the burden of defending our interests, no matter the cost. Army Sergeant First Class Eric Emond, a member of 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group, called Springdale, Arkansas home when he enlisted in the Marine Corps 21 years ago. He dedicated his career to the military, serving in the Marines and later joining the Army. In 2009, he was severely wounded while serving in Afghanistan. Even during his recovery, he continued to help others, co-founding the Massachusetts Fallen Heroes, an organization that honors the fallen and supports Gold Star families.

 

In November, while on his seventh overseas deployment, Sgt. Emond was killed after his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device. Now his family will become a beneficiary of the organization he helped launch. In perhaps no better form of tribute, his friends remember Sgt. Emond as a person who was always doing the right thing for someone else.

 

I too have found that a life of public service is extremely rewarding because there is nothing more fulfilling and worthwhile than helping others. From my time as an eyecare provider to sitting on the fair board and the local school board and eventually serving in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, some of the most memorable moments of my career have centered around opportunities to give back or play a part in supporting, aiding or advocating on behalf of someone else.

 

We all have the capability within us. The opportunities are there and we shouldn’t overlook them or let them pass us by. Americans will continue to embrace George H.W. Bush’s vision of service and its noble calling. His legacy will continue to inspire future generations to serve the same great cause.

 

12-7-18 5:09 p.m. kawx.org

 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

We want Arkansans to know what is taking place in their Capitol.  That is why for the last 8 years, the Arkansas House has been live streaming several committees and all House floor proceedings.

 

In the upcoming session, we will be expanding that effort. 

 

Until now we have been streaming only House meetings held in the Capitol.  However, there are a few committees that convene in the building behind the Capitol known as the MAC building.

 

The Bureau of Legislative Research has recently added the necessary camera and equipment to begin streaming meetings held in the MAC building.

This means in addition to the committees already online, Arkansans can now watch the House Committee on City, County, and Local Affairs, the House Public Transportation Committee, House Rules, and the Joint Budget Committee.

 

Committee rooms are where our lawmaking process begins.  The rooms are where bills are first considered and publicly debated before a bill makes its way the House Chamber.

 

When you watch the Joint Budget Committee, you can see how your tax dollars are being spent and the questions members have about those expenditures.

 

We encourage Arkansans to take advantage of this technology and stay engaged on the issues.

 

The House archives all meetings.  If you can’t watch the proceedings live, you can always visit our website and search the Video Library.  You can search by bill number, key words in the bill title, or by a member’s name. 

 

As a reminder, the session begins January 14

 

At www.arkansashouse.org you will find links to watch the proceedings as well as agendas for each meeting.  And if you are visiting the Capitol during session, remember that committee meetings and House floor proceedings are open the public.

 

12-7-18 4:54 p.m. kawx.org

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Governor Hutchinson Weekly Radio Address The Final Report from the School Safety Commission

 
LITTLE ROCK – After nine months of interviews, statewide travel, and visits to 12 schools, the Arkansas School Safety Commission has submitted a 124-page report with recommendations to improve security for students and staff. This extraordinary report exceeded my expectations. It is comprehensive, and it already is enhancing safety in our school districts.
 
The Commission’s five subcommittees made 30 significant recommendations that address the wide range of measures we can take to make our schools safer.
 
It is important to note that the state recognizes the need for local flexibility in determining the best security practices, which is in keeping with my philosophy that the local educators are in the best position to decide what is best for their district. One of the recommendations is to alter the school facility funding program to allow schools to use money to improve security features in the schools. This is a good idea that I expect will be implemented.
 
Of the five categories the Commission addressed, the members wisely put mental health at the forefront. For all the things we can do to protect our children, the starting point must be our attention to the mental health climate at our schools and attention to each student.
 
And the best place to start is to review the current work load for counselors. We must reduce their administrative responsibilities and free them to spend more time interacting with students. This will allow them to identify students who are struggling with emotional or mental-health issues and to guide them to proper help. This focus will give us a better chance to head off a mass tragedy.
 
The commissioners, who reviewed cases of mass shootings nationwide, recommend that anytime students or staff are on campus, the school should provide some manner of armed protection. Some school districts already have responded. The number of School Resource Officers has increased by 54 in just one year.
 
This commission also notes that a rapid armed response to an ongoing attack saves lives.
 
I have made it clear, however, that this is voluntary and that no teacher or staff member should be required to carry a firearm. We can hire school resource officers, and schools may choose to have a commissioned school security officer.
 
I created the commission by executive order on March 1, two weeks after the tragic attack at the high school in Florida.
 
I knew this commission was necessary because we all know that there is nothing more important than the safety of our children.
 
I am grateful for the leadership of Commission Chair Dr. Cheryl May and Vice Chair William Temple and for the work of the commissioners. Their recommendations are the foundation of our commitment to parents that they can send their children to school confident that they are safe.
 
12-7-18 4:36 p.m. kawx.org

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State Senator Larry Teague's Weekly Column

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

December 7, 2018

 

LITTLE ROCK – The 35-member Senate held its organizational meeting to elect leadership and formalize the rules for the 92nd General Assembly of the legislature, which convenes in regular session on January 14.

 

The changes in Senate rules will affect which committees will consider proposed legislation affecting alcohol, tobacco, firearms and medical marijuana.

Previously, bills that affect gun laws would go to the Senate Judiciary Committee. However, under the new rules they will be referred to the Senate Committee on City, County and Local Affairs.

 

Bills affecting tobacco and alcohol used to be referred to the Committee on State Agencies and Governmental Affairs, but now they will go to the City, County and Local Affairs Committee.

 

Medical marijuana bills be referred to the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development. Arkansas voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2016 legalizing medical marijuana.

 

In the 2017 session, much of the enabling legislation that put in place the mechanism for cultivation and retail sales of medical marijuana was referred to the Senate and House Committees on Public Health, Welfare and Labor.

 

The general consensus among senators was that the changes in rules were necessary in order to more evenly distribute the workload during the 2019 session. The committees on Public Health, Judiciary and State Agencies traditionally have very lengthy agendas.

 

The rules changes were adopted before senators chose their committee assignments, therefore individual senators with a particular interest in alcohol, tobacco, firearms or medical marijuana had the opportunity to choose the committees with jurisdiction over those issues.

 

The senators elected Senator Jim Hendren of Gravette as President Pro Tempore for the next two years. Senator Bart Hester of Cave Springs will be the Majority Leader and Senator Scott Flippo of Bull Shoals will be the Majority Whip. Senator Keith Ingram of West Memphis will be the Minority Leader and Senator Will Bond of Little Rock the Minority Whip.

 

Senator Larry Teague of Nashville will chair the Joint Budget Committee. Senator Jonathan Dismang of Beebe will chair the Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee.

 

Senator Ronald Caldwell of Wynne will chair the Senate Committee on State Agencies and Governmental Affairs and Senator Jason Rapert of Conway will chair the Senate Committee on Insurance and Commerce. The Senate Judiciary Chairman will be Senate Alan Clark of Lonsdale. Senator Gary Stubblefield of Branch will chair the Senate Committee on City, County and Local Affairs.

 

Senator Missy Irvin of Mountain View will chair the Senate Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee and Senator John Cooper of Jonesboro will chair the Senate Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development Committee.

 

The Senate Education Committee will be chaired by Senator Jane English of North Little Rock. Senator Blake Johnson of Corning will chair the Senate Committee on Transportation, Technology and Legislative Affairs. Senator Bill Sample of Hot Springs will be co-chair of the Public Retirement and Social Security Committee. Senator Cecile Bledsoe of Rogers will be the Senate co-chair of the Legislative Council, and Senator Rapert will be the Senate co-chair of the Legislative Joint Auditing Committee.

 

12-7-18 10:05 a.m. kawx.org 

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American Flags to Half Staff December 7th, Remain Until December 30th in Honor of George Bush

United States Flags Should Remain at Half- Staff Until Sunset on December 30, 2018 in Honor of George H.W. Bush. Flags are flown at Half-Staff each year on December 7th for Pear Harbor Remembrance Day.

Presidential Proclamation on National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, 2018

 

Today, we honor those who perished 77 years ago at Pearl Harbor, and we salute every veteran who served in World War II over the 4 years that followed that horrific attack.

 

On December 7, 1941, America was attacked without warning at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, by the air and naval forces of Imperial Japan.  Just before 8:00 a.m., Japanese aircraft ripped through the sky, dropping bombs on ships of the United States Pacific Fleet and on nearby airfields and bases.  The attack took the lives of more than 2,400 American service members and wounded another 1,100 American citizens.  The brutal surprise attack halted only after nearly two hours of chaos, death, and destruction.

 

Despite the shock and confusion of the moment, American service members and first responders on the island of Oahu mounted an incredibly brave defense against insurmountable odds.  American pilots took to the air to engage enemy aircraft, sailors took their battle stations, and medical personnel cared for the wounded.  Many witnesses to the events of that day perished in the attacks, leaving countless acts of valor unrecorded.  Nevertheless, 15 Medals of Honor were awarded - 10 of them posthumously - to United States Navy personnel for acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty.

 

Although the United States Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor was badly impaired, America did not falter.  One day after the attacks, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared to the Congress:  "No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory."  And, in the weeks, months, and years that followed the brutal attack at Pearl Harbor, Americans united with a steadfast resolve to defend the freedoms upon which our great Nation was founded.  Millions of brave men and women answered their country's call to service with unquestionable courage.  These incredible patriots fought, bled, sacrificed, and ultimately triumphed for the cause of freedom.

 

We are blessed as a Nation to have as examples the incredible heroes of World War II, who fought so valiantly to preserve all that we hold dear.  Earlier this year, I had the tremendous honor of meeting Mr. Ray Chavez, who was the oldest living Pearl Harbor veteran.  Ray passed away only a few weeks ago at the incredible age of 106.  But his legacy is forever etched into our country's rich history, along with the legacies of all our brave veterans.  They tell of the mettle of the American spirit under fire and of the will of our people to stand up to any threat.  The selfless bravery and dedication of these extraordinary Americans will never be forgotten.

 

Today, we remember all those killed on the island of Oahu on that fateful Sunday morning in 1941, and we honor the American patriots of the Greatest Generation who laid down their lives in the battles of World War II.  America is forever blessed to have strong men and women with exceptional courage who are willing and able to step forward to defend our homeland and our liberty.

 

The Congress, by Public Law 103-308, as amended, has designated December 7 of each year as "National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day."

 

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim December 7, 2018, as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.  I encourage all Americans to observe this solemn day of remembrance and to honor our military, past and present, with appropriate ceremonies and activities.  I urge all Federal agencies and interested organizations, groups, and individuals to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff in honor of those American patriots who died as a result of their service at Pearl Harbor.

 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixth day of December, 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

President of The United States of America 

 

12-6-18 9:31 p.m. kawx.org 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Members of Arkansas & Missouri Congressional Delegations Announce $25 Million Grant for Critical Segment of I-49

WASHINGTON –U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Boozman (R-AR) and Tom Cotton (R-AR), along with U.S. Representatives Billy Long (MO-07) and Steve Womack (AR-03), announced that $25 million in funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has been awarded to complete work on a critical segment of Interstate 49 that will connect Arkansas and Missouri.

 

The Arkansas/Missouri connector, often referred to as the Bella Vista Bypass, is the only portion of the more than 290-mile route between Kansas City, Missouri and Fort Smith, Arkansas that is not interstate quality. Traffic signals in Bella Vista and just across the state line in Missouri cause major traffic congestion and dramatically slow travel time.

 

The states have worked to complete this 18.9-mile section of I-49 at the Missouri-Arkansas line for more than 25 years. Funding for the project is being awarded from the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) program which is allocated for nationally and regionally significant projects.

 

“Completion of the critical stretch of the I-49 Arkansas-Missouri Connector is 25 years in the making and I’m thrilled we’re one step closer to getting it done,” said Blunt. “Completing this project will increase safety, improve the quality of life, and strengthen local economies in Southwest Missouri and Northwest Arkansas. Missouri’s transportation networks are our greatest competitive advantage, and I appreciate the partnership of our Arkansas colleagues in moving this project forward.”

 

“This is exciting news for Northwest Arkansas and Southwest Missouri. Securing these funds for this shovel-ready project has taken years of vigorous and persistent advocating from my team. Our hard work has finally resulted in funding for a project that will yield dividends when it comes to economic growth and quality of life in the region,” Boozman said. “I appreciate Secretary Chao’s leadership in recognizing the importance of a project that I have championed throughout my time in Congress.”

 

“Interstate access heralds the continued economic growth of any area, which is why completing the Bella Vista bypass is vital for Northwest Arkansas and Southwest Missouri. Many businesses and future infrastructure projects depend on its finalization, and this funding will allow that project’s construction finally to move forward. I am grateful to Secretary Chao and the Trump Administration for their dedication to improving Arkansas infrastructure,” said Cotton.

 

“The completion of the I-49 corridor is long overdue,” Long said. “Today’s announcement is great news for individuals and businesses in southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas who have been waiting for this for more than 25 years. I am incredibly thankful for my colleagues in both Missouri and Arkansas who have long been strong advocates of I-49's completion, and their understanding of the numerous benefits it will bring to local economies in both states.”

 

“Today’s funding announcement is a game changer that will do more than just upgrade the I-49 corridor – it will transform and modernize our local transportation system to support Arkansas families and the growth of our state. This investment, which I have tirelessly advocated for, will increase travel safety, decrease congestion, create jobs, and enhance the economic vitality of our region. I am grateful to Secretary Chao for listening to the concerns I brought to USDOT, and for moving this important and long overdue project forward,” said Womack.

 

12-6-18 4:51 p.m. kawx.org 

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Polk County Circuit Court Arraignments December 3rd and 5th

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:

 

December 3rd

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Clay E. Breeden W/M age 39 Count 1: Possession of Drug Paraphernalia a Class "D" Felony, Count 2: Possession of Methamphetamine With The Purpose To Deliver a Class "C" Felony, Count 3: Possession of Drug Paraphernalia a Class "D" Felony, Count 4: Refusal To Submit To Arrest a Class "B" Misdemeanor, Count 5: Fleeing On Foot a Class "C" Misdemeanor.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Clay E. Breeden W?M age 39 Count 1: Delivery Of Methamphetamine Or Cocaine a Class "C" Felony.

 

December 5th

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Matthew Cannon W/M age 38 Count 1: Forgery In The Second Degree a Class "C" Felony, Count 2: Forgery In The Second Degree a Class "C" Felony, Count 3: Forgery In The Second Degree a Class "C" Felony, Count 4: Forgery In The Second Degree a Class "C" Felony, Count 5: Forgery In The Second Degree a Class "C" Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Kimberly Morriss W/F age 35 Count i: Probation Violation. (Original Offense Count 1: Fleeing a Class "D" Felony, Count 2: Possession of Drug Paraphernalia a Class "A" Misdemeanor, Count 3: Refusal To Submit To Arrest a Class "B" Misdemeanor, Count 4: Criminal Mischief In The First Degree a Class "A" Misdemeanor.) Bond set at $10,000.00.

 

12-6-18 12:10 p.m. kawx.org 

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Weekly Fishing Report

 

 

Weekly Fishing Report

 

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for Dec. 5, 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.

 

12-5-18 2:40 p.m. kawx.org 

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Seth Smith Wins Runoff Election For Mayor Of Mena

Seth Smith defeated Mena Police Chief Brandon Martin in the runoff election for Mena Mayor on Tuesday. With absentee, early, and election day votes all in, the complete but unofficial results are 70% or 720 votes for Seth Smith, 30% or 311 votes for Brandon Martin.


Seth Smith has been elected as Mena's next Mayor.

 
In the general election November 6th, none of the three candidates, Seth Smith, Brandon Martin, or Ron Tilley, garnered enough votes to win without a runoff. 
 
In early voting Smith received 428 votes to Martin's 190.
 
In absentee voting Smith received 37 to Martin's 22.
 
Election Day Smith received 255 to Martin's 99.
 
The Polk County Election Commission will meet soon to certify the votes. 
 
There are a few provisional ballots out, and there may be a military ballot still to be counted, but nothing that would change the outcome of today's runoff.
 
Seth Smith will assume his duties as Mayor of Mena on January 1, 2019.
 
12-4-18 8:28 p.m. kawx.org 

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Governor Hutchinson Receives School Safety Commission's Final Report 30 recommendations in all; emphasizes mental health and prevention

LITTLE ROCK – Five months to the day after the Arkansas School Safety Commission presented its preliminary report to Governor Asa Hutchinson, the commission submitted its final report to the governor this afternoon at a news conference at the State Capitol. 

The Commission’s five subcommittees made 30 recommendations that range from having an armed presence at schools to the design of school facilities to a focus on the effective use of counselors, which will allow better engagement with students in need of mental health services.

Recommendations regarding the mental health aspect include reviewing the roles and responsibilities of school counselors in order to provide increased time with students; conducting school climate surveys across all campuses in all districts; developing and implementing an action plan based on the findings of those school climate surveys; and providing training in Youth Mental Health First Aid to all personnel who interact with students.
 
“I appreciate Dr. May’s leadership of the School Safety Commission and the members’ diligent work to improve security in our schools,” Governor Hutchinson said. “In July, I directed the Commission to apply a greater focus on the mental health needs within our schools and to reduce the heavy administrative burden we place on our school counselors. 

“I am pleased that the Commission addressed those concerns in their final report, and I am confident that these recommendations, while not mandatory, will be a useful tool for our superintendents and principals as we seek to better secure our schools and create the safest environment possible for our children, our teachers, and our faculties."

The Governor was joined at today’s news conference by Dr. Cheryl May, director of the Arkansas Criminal Justice Institute and chair of the Arkansas School Safety Commission, along with several members of the Commission, and Dr. Ivy Pfeffer, Deputy Commissioner of the Arkansas Department of Education. 

The full report and executive summary can be found HERE and HERE

The Commission recommended that no campus should ever be without an armed presence when staff and children are attending class or a major extra-curricular activity. The Commission recommended further that when financially possible, school districts should hire at least one School Resource Officer (SRO) who has had specialized training for each campus. Governor Hutchinson maintains his position that no teacher will be required to carry a weapon.

The Commission also recommended that districts should:
  • Establish District Safety and Security Teams for all districts.
  • Designate one staff member as a School Safety Coordinator.
  • Enhance training for school nurses and staff in emergency medical response.
  • Establish and maintain a comprehensive, common communication plan for school officials, students, parents, law enforcement agencies, and other stakeholders.
  • Enhance physical security — from infrastructure to bus transportation — including a revision of the state’s Academic Facilities Partnership Program to allow districts to submit eligible campus safety and security upgrade projects for state financial assistance. 

 

“I am grateful for Governor Hutchinson’s leadership and passion for our children’s safety,” Dr. May said. “On behalf of the Commission, we thank all those who contributed to the Commission’s work, including the many presenters and the staff and students at the schools we visited. As Chair, I am especially grateful for the hard work and dedication of the Commission members and ADE staff who supported our efforts. We hope this report will help Governor Hutchinson and the Arkansas Department of Education to build upon the many good efforts currently under way in Arkansas and will contribute to the Governor’s vision of keeping our children safe in school.”

Governor Hutchinson created the Commission by executive order on March 1. Over the past several months, members of the Commission traveled to 12 schools across the state to evaluate mental health practices and policies, safety and security policies, emergency plans and policies, and the design of schools – including concepts such as single-point entry and electronic-access badges. 

“I want to thank the Arkansas School Safety Commission for its thorough review of school safety methods and its recommendations for making our public schools safer,” Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key said. “ADE is reviewing the report and will collaborate with Governor Hutchinson’s office regarding the implementation of recommendations that will improve the safety of all Arkansas public school students.”
 
12-4-18 5:01 p.m. kawx.org 

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Mena Mayor's Race Runoff Election Today, December 4th

The Runoff Election for the Mena mayor's race is today, December 4th. Vote Centers will be at Ninth Street Ministries (behind First Baptist Church) and the Polk County Office Complex (old hospital) on Pine Street, and both will be open from 7:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.

 
Three candidates, Ron Tilley, Seth Smith, and Brandon Martin ran in the general election which was November 6th. Since no candidate received enough votes to win on November 6th, the Runoff Election today will decide who the next Mena Mayor will be.
 
On the ballot today will be Seth Smith and Brandon Martin.
 
Be sure and take a government issued photo ID with you to vote. You are not required to have voted in the General Election to vote in the Runoff Election.
 
The winner of the runoff election today will replace retiring Mena Mayor George McKee on January 1, 2019.
 
12-4-18 5:37 a.m. kawx.org 

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Polk County Sheriff's Log For November 26th - December 2nd

 

 

SHERIFF’S LOG


The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of November 26, 2018 – December 2, 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 26, 2018
No reports were filed.


November 27, 2018
Arrested was Elizabeth A. Seman, 49, of Cove, on a Warrant for Failure to Appear.


November 28, 2018
Citations for Careless/Prohibited Driving and No Proof of Insurance were issued to Jeffery M. Prine, 53, of Cove.
Report of a disturbance on Highway 71 South near Cove.  Deputy responded.  Information has been provided to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Report from complainant on West Johnson Street in Hatfield of vehicles passing a stopped school bus.  Investigation continues.


November 29, 2018
Report from complainant on Milhall Lane near Shady Grove of the break-in and theft of keys from a vehicle.  The keys were returned.  Information has been provided to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.


November 30, 2018
Report from complainant on School Street in Cove of the theft of a vehicle.  Investigation continues.


December 1, 2018
Report from a business on Highway 71 North in Mena of forged checks, totaling losses at $2,000.20.  Investigation continues.


December 2, 2018
Traffic stop on Highway 71 South in Cove led to a Citation for Possession of a Schedule VI Controlled Substance being issued to Kaylee K. Earls, 19, of Fort Smith.  Additional information has been provided to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Traffic stop on Highway 71 North near Acorn led to the arrest of Lorne D. Edwards, 47, of Mena, on Charges of DWI 2nd and Careless Driving.
Traffic stop on Highway 71 South near Potter led to the arrest of Zachary W. Jones, 33, of Live Oak, FL, on a Charge of DWI.
Arrested by an officer with the Arkansas Game & Fish was Brian W. Peters, 46, of Mena, on a Warrant for Harassment.

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 20 Incarcerated Inmates, with 2 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

PC18-00810

 

12-3-18 4:55 p.m. kawx.org 

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Mena Police Department Report for November 25 - December 1

 

 

Mena Police Department Reports for the Week of November 25, 2018 through December 1, 2018

 

November 25, 2018

 

Employees at a local fast food restaurant reported that a customer had become verbally abusive and was making threats before leaving the business.  Case pending location and interview of suspect.

 

November 26, 2018

 

Report was made of an unidentified man taking items from a local retail store without paying for them.   Case is pending review of surveillance tapes and location and interview of suspect.

 

Donnie Dollarhyde, 45, of Mena was arrested on several outstanding warrants for failure to appear and failure to pay.

 

A Mena man reported that unauthorized debits had been made to his bank account.  Case pending.

 

Kimberly Morriss, 35, of Smithville, OK was arrested on an outstanding felony warrant.

 

Trinna E. Myers, 38, of Mena was arrested on an outstanding warrant from Polk  County.

 

November 27, 2018

 

A local woman reported that her daughter’s medication was missing.  Case is pending further investigation.

 

Kaylie Marie Stroud, 22, of Mena was charged with failure to vacate.

 

Amy Harrison, 29, of Mena was arrested on two outstanding warrants for failure to pay fines and court costs from the Mena Police Department.

 

November 28, 2018

 

A local man reported that he has a missing firearm.  Case is pending location and interview of suspect.

 

Michael Lynn Lance, 55, of Mena was charged with driving on a suspended driver’s license, having no liability insurance, and having no vehicle tags.  He was also served an outstanding warrant from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

 

Tori Veal, 25, of Mena turned herself in to authorities on an outstanding warrant for failure to pay fines and court costs.

 

November 29, 2018

 

A Mena man reported that he is habitually being harassed by a neighbor.  No charges have been filed at this time.

 

Clay Breeden, 39, of Mena was arrested and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, fleeing, obstructing governmental operations, having no liability insurance, two counts of possession of methamphetamine or cocaine, possession of schedule VI controlled substance, running a stop sign, possession of schedule I or II controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, and resisting arrest. The arrest followed a traffic stop.

 

November 30, 2018

 

A local man reported he is being harassed by an acquaintance.  No charges have been filed at this time.

 

A local woman reported that someone has charged several items to her account.  Case is pending further information.

 

December 1, 2018

 

Roger Burton, 29, of Mena was arrested and charged with violation of a no contact order.

 

12-3-18 9:34 a.m. kawx.org 

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Mena Christmas Parade Winners Announced

Winners of the 2018 Mena Christmas Parade are:

The Grand Marshall was Mena's Volunteer of the Year, Tiffany Lane (shown above).

 

Merriment of Mena -Mena Street: Washburn's Home Furnishings

 

Merriment of Mena - Citywide: The Shop

 

Best Small Business: Ouachita Regional Hospice

 

Best Church Float: Christ Community Fellowship

 

Chamber Choice: UA Rich Mountain

 

Best Theme Representation: Union Bank of Mena

 

Best in Show 3rd Place: Mena Regional Health System

 

Best in Show 2nd Place: Nidec Motor Corp

 

Best in Show 1st Place: The Crossing

 

People’s Choice: The Crossing

 

Attendees were treated to music and fireworks at Janssen park after the parade.

 

More pictures are on the Mena/Polk County Chamber of Ceommerce Facebook page.

 

Congratulations to the winners and thanks to all who partivipated and made this very special day possible! 

 

12-2-18 5:36 p.m. kawx.org

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December Activities At Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area Near Wickes

 

 

 

Saturday, December 01

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Weaving Wonders (1 hour) Looking for a Christmas gift that will surprise and delight everyone? Join a park interpreter and weave in the wonders of the season. Dress for the weather for we will be outside and inside.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center’s Amphitheatre.

 

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Primal Paints (2 hour) The world's first artists painted graceful animals and other scenes from their daily lives on cliffs and caves using homemade paints. Discover the artist in you as you create your own painting using these same techniques.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center’s Legacy Room.

 

Sunday, December 02

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Feed the Critters (1 hour) It’s dinner time and the critters are hungry! Come and watch them eat and learn about the animals here at Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center.

 

Saturday, December 08

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Bird Track Candles (1 hour) The glow of these candles will ignite warm memories of the beautiful birds whom call Cossatot home for the winter. With a park interpreter you can make your own take home candle to remind you who likes to hang around during the winter.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center’s Legacy Room.

 

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. “Who Eats What?” Workshop (2 hours) Have you noticed that some birds—for instance—spend most of their time in trees or shrubs, but others, are usually on the ground? In this workshop your park interpreter will help you get started with knowing “Who Eats What?” along with making a take home bird feeder. Admissions: $5/kid

Meeting Place: Visitor Center’s Amphitheatre.

 

Sunday, December 09

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? (1 hour) An animal’s favorite food can tell us a lot about them. Join a park interpreter to see if you can guess who’s coming to dinner!

Meeting Place: Visitor Center’s Wildlife Viewing Area.

 

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Feed the Critters (1 hour) It’s dinner time and the critters are hungry! Come and watch them eat and learn about the animals here at Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center.

 

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Homemade Gift Day (1 hour) Amanda Evanson said, “A Gift that’s handmade, Is a gift not replaced. Entrapping sweet memories, That can’t be erased.” There’s just something amazing about unwrapping a gift, wondering what’s inside. The kinds of gifts you can make is limitless, and if you don’t possess the skill to create a gift you can certainly use this as your excuse to learn! Join your park interpreter as we create a one of a kind gift on Homemade Gift Day.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center’s Legacy Room.

 

Saturday, December 15

9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Bir-r-r-r-rd, It’s Cold Outside! (1 hour) Did you know that not all birds fly to warm sunny places in the winter? Visit with a park interpreter as we discover the birds who spend their winter here.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center’s Legacy Room.

 

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. What If You Had Animal Hair (1 hour) “What if one day when you woke up, the hair on your head wasn’t yours? What if, overnight, a wild animal’s hair grew in, instead? Join a park interpreter to discover some of the wild animals living at Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area and why they have the hair they do.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center’s Wildlife Viewing Area.

 

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Paper Perfect (1 hour) The perfect present deserves the perfect paper. Join a park interpreter to learn about the park's evergreens and create a one of a kind wrapping paper featuring some of nature's prettiest patterns.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center’s Legacy Room.

 

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Bundle Up! (1 hour) It is getting cold outside and it is the time of year for us to break out our coats and make hot cocoa to stay warm. Join a park interpreter to learn about the animals that live here and how they stay warm to survive the winter.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center’s Amphitheatre.

 

Sunday, December 16

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Morning Stroll (1 hour) Join a park interpreter for this easy to moderate, guided hike on the Harris Creek Trail. Feel free to bring binoculars; who knows what we will see or stir up.

Meeting Place: Harris Creek Trailhead.

 

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Feed the Critters (1 hour) It’s dinner time and the critters are hungry! Come and watch them eat and learn about the animals here at Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center.

 

Saturday, December 22

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Forefathers’ Day (1 hour) Join a park interpreter as we venture back in time to discover Cossatot’s Forefathers and celebrate this unique holiday.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center’s Legacy Room.

 

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Caring for Critters (1 hour) Whether you know it or not there are all kinds of wildlife in your backyard! Join a park interpreter to discover how to provide for the wildlife that call your yard home. Today, we will be making a bird feeder to take home.

Meeting Place: Sandbar Picnic Area.

 

1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Solstice Star Stories (1 hour 30 mins) “With winter’s short days and Earth offering little food or comfort, many stories of winter constellations share a common theme?” Do you know what it is? Come and find out if you are up to a challenge.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center’s Legacy Room.

 

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Cossatot Craft Corner (1 hour) Do you enjoy being creative? Would you like to begin earning an explorer badge? Join a park interpreter to use your creativity, have fun, and discover something special that can be found in the park.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center’s Legacy Room.

 

Sunday, December 23

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Tracks, Scats, and Signs (2 hours) There are many wild animals in fields, and forests and ponds. Some of them are easy to see; but a lot of them are hard to find. Wild animals leave clues everywhere they go. Join a park interpreter as we look at some of the signs to help identify which animal(s) have been in the area.

Meeting Place: Cossatot Falls Parking Lot.

 

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Feed the Critters (1 hour) It’s dinner time and the critters are hungry! Come and watch them eat and learn about the animals here at Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center.

 

Saturday, December 29

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Constellation Card Game (1 hour) Meet a park interpreter to learn about winter constellations and create a card game to challenge your family and friends.

Meeting Place: Sandbar Picnic Area.

 

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Firefly Fun (1 hour) Did you know that fireflies are the only known night-flying insects that hunt? As you visit with a park interpreter you will discover a hidden code that they use to navigate the night and find their prey. We will even have fun trying to become a firefly through games and activities.

Meeting Place Visitor Center.

 

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Walk on The Wild Side (1 hour) Join a park interpreter for an “Adventure in a Box” walk. It is sure to be a Wild time!

Meeting Place: Cossatot Falls Parking Lot.

 

Sunday, December 30

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Navigating the Night (1 hour) Have you ever wonder how animals find their way in the night. Meet a park interpreter to discover the special adaptions that allow these animals to find their way in the night.

Meeting Place: Sandbar Picnic Area.

 

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Feed the Critters (1 hour) It’s dinner time and the critters are hungry! Come and watch them eat and learn about the animals here at Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center.

 

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. The “Lorax” Project (1 hour 15 mins) One of the greatest children’s book authors of all time, Dr. Seuss, wrote this thought provoking book, “The Lorax” over forty years ago. With quotes like, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” This book has spurred many people into action. Meet a park interpreter in Wildlife Viewing Area to hear the book and become a part of The Lorax Project.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center’s Wildlife Viewing Area.

 

Monday, January 01, 2019

1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. First Day Hike (3 hours) This family-friendly hike of the Harris Creek Trail will lead us to Goat’s Bluff, one of the most scenic vistas in the park. Afterwards, we’ll warm up with hot chocolate and S’mores. Cider and Hot tea will also be available for those who prefer to abstain from sweets. Contact the park at 870-385-2201 for more details.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center.

 

For more information about any of these programs or Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area, dial (870) 385-2201.

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President Makes Official Announcement of Death of President Bush, Calls For National Day of Mourning December 5th

 

Presidential Proclamation 

Announcing the Death of 

George H.W. Bush

It is my sorrowful duty to announce officially the death of George Herbert Walker Bush, the forty-first President of the United States, on November 30, 2018.

 

President Bush led a great American life, one that combined and personified two of our Nation's greatest virtues: an entrepreneurial spirit and a commitment to public service. Our country will greatly miss his inspiring example.

 

On the day he turned 18, 6 months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, George H.W. Bush volunteered for combat duty in the Second World War. The youngest aviator in United States naval history at the time, he flew 58 combat missions, including one in which, after taking enemy fire, he parachuted from his burning plane into the Pacific Ocean. After the war, he returned home and started a business. In his words, "the big thing" he learned from this endeavor was "the satisfaction of creating jobs."

 

The same unselfish spirit that motivated his business pursuits later inspired him to resume the public service he began as a young man. First, as a member of Congress, then as Ambassador to the United Nations, Chief of the United States Liaison Office in China, Director of Central Intelligence, Vice President, and finally President of the United States, George H.W. Bush guided our Nation through the Cold War, to its peaceful and victorious end, and into the decades of prosperity that have followed. Through sound judgment, practical wisdom, and steady leadership, President Bush made safer the second half of a tumultuous and dangerous century.

 

Even with all he accomplished in service to our Nation, President Bush remained humble. He never believed that government - even when under his own leadership - could be the source of our Nation's strength or its greatness. America, he rightly told us, is illuminated by "a thousand points of light," "ethnic, religious, social, business, labor union, neighborhood, regional and other organizations, all of them varied, voluntary and unique" in which Americans serve Americans to build and maintain the greatest Nation on the face of the Earth. President Bush recognized that these communities of people are the true source of America's strength and vitality.

 

It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of one of America's greatest points of light, the death of President George H.W. Bush.

 

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, in honor and tribute to the memory of President George H.W. Bush, and as an expression of public sorrow, do hereby direct that the flag of the United States be displayed at half-staff at the White House and on 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 for a period of 30 days from the day of his death. I also direct that, for the same length of time, the representatives of the United States in foreign countries shall make similar arrangements for the display of the flag at half staff over their embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

 

I hereby order that suitable honors be rendered by units of the Armed Forces under orders of the Secretary of Defense.

 

I do further appoint December 5, 2018, as a National Day of Mourning throughout the United States. I call on the American people to assemble on that day in their respective places of worship, there to pay homage to the memory of President George H.W. Bush. I invite the people of the world who share our grief to join us in this solemn observance.

 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of December, 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
 
12-1-18 1:17 p.m. kawx.org 

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US, Arkansas Flags To Half Staff In Honor Of President George H.W. Bush

Pursuant to U.S. Code (4 U.S.C. 7m), the United States flag should be flown at half-staff beginning immediately for 30 days due to the death of former President George H.W. Bush.

 

 

The state flag of Arkansas is to be flown at half-staff in the same manner.

 

Governor Asa Hutchinson today released the following statement on the passing of former President George H.W. Bush:

 

Last night the world witnessed the passing of someone we all considered our friend. It was always the personal touch of George H.W. Bush with so many Americans. I remember the notes he would write after a campaign visit to Arkansas in 1986; the hug he gave to encourage me and others after his defeat for a second term; the patriotic tears he might shed when he learned of the sacrifice and courage of our soldiers; and the love he always had for his family. All Americans can identify with the heart of a man we watched serve our country from WWII to the liberation of Kuwait. Susan and I will be remembering the Bush family as we all reflect on a friend and great American patriot."

 

 

U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) released the following statement on the passing of former President George H.W. Bush:

 

“George H.W. Bush was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and public servant who spent a lifetime answering his nation’s call to service. His love of country and example of faithful civic duty are standards we should all strive to meet. His legacy will continue to inspire future generations to serve the same great cause. My thoughts and prayers are with the Bush family, friends and our country as we remember this great American leader.”

 

 

 

12-1-18 12:09 p.m. kawx.org 

 

 

 

 

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