KAWX News Archives for 2019-03

Acorn and Ink Fire Departments and AFC Battle Blaze On Treasure Lane

The Acorn Fire Department was paged out around 9:31 Thursday night, March 28th, to a home fire on Treasure Lane north of Acorn. When firemen arrived they found the dwelling fully involved. Ink Fire Department and the Arkansas Forestry Commission were paged out for mutual aid according to Kris Lyle of the Acorn Fire Department. 

The homeowner was transported to Mena Regional Medical Center by Southwest EMS for treatment of smoke inhalation. 
 
The structure was a total loss.
 
3-29-19 5:08 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

Legislation passing the House this week addressed everything from robocalls to property taxes.

 

While illegal robocalls are frustrating for most, they are also costly and dangerous for far too many Arkansans.

 

An alarming number of illegal robocalls originate from scammers using automatic telephone dialing systems to send out thousands of phone calls per minute with fictitious or misleading names or telephone numbers displaying on unsuspecting consumers' telephone caller identification.

 

SB514 addresses this in a few ways.  It makes “spoofing”, or displaying fictitious names or numbers, a crime.  It makes robocalling a Class D felony and holds telecommunication providers accountable with the Public Service Commission.

 

The House also passed legislation this week ensuring that firefighters who have completed 5 or more years of employment are granted at least 1,456 hours of paid leave for treatment of any cancer caused by his or her job.

 

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, firefighters face a 9 percent increase in cancer diagnoses, and a 14 percent increase in cancer-related deaths, compared to the general population in the U.S. 

 

HB1773 is title Crump’s Law. It is named in honor of Little Rock firefighter Nathanial Crump who was forced to go back to work after exhausting his sick leave while being treated for occupationally caused cancer.

 

The House also passed legislation providing tax relief to property owners across the state.

 

SB447 increases the homestead credit from $350 to $375. It also diverts $8.2 million from the property tax relief fund to the county voting systems grant fund.  It also directs excess funds to the state’s long-term reserve fund.

 

Other legislation passing the House chamber this week includes:

 

SB493-This bill states that if a person's driving privileges are suspended solely as a result of outstanding driver's license reinstatement fees, the office of Driver’s Services shall permit the person to pay only one reinstatement fee of $100 to cover all administrative orders. The driver must have paid all costs associated with the criminal offense that led to the suspension and graduate from a specialty court program.

 

HB1634-This bill includes acts committed by a victim of human trafficking under the state’s rape shield law. Arkansas’s rape shield law prohibits an accuser's previous sexual conduct from being presented in court.

 

HB1695-This bill directs prosecutors to ensure children were not victims of human trafficking before they can be charged for prostitution.

 

HB1786-This bill requires a public school to create and publish an online report that provides the number of students who have an exemption from the requirement to obtain vaccinations.

 

HB1708-This bill raises the minimum age for girls to get married.  The current minimum, with parental consent, is 17 years old for boys and 16 years old for girls. This bill raises that age to 17 for girls.

 

HB1868-This bill allows voters to present their identification in a digital format at polling precincts.

 

HB1824-This bill allows recipients of the Arkansas Academic Challenge and the Governor’s Distinguished Scholarship to continue to receive a scholarship if they are enrolled part-time in their senior year of college.

 

HB1623-This bill requires anyone who sells a dog or a cat to provide documentation to the buyer regarding whether the dog or cat has been properly vaccinated.

 

SB383-This bill allows school districts to hire certified law enforcement officers as school resource officers. 

 

HB1775-This bill requires an able-bodied adult under 60 years of age who receives Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits to participate in employment and training programs. Those with dependent children under 6 years old would be exempt from the requirement.

 

HB1856-This bill prohibits state agencies from consenting or approving the termination of a pregnancy for an individual in the custody of the state and from spending state funds for the purpose of terminating a pregnancy.

 

We are expected to complete our work this session by April 12. We will continue to keep you updated.  And remember you can watch all House proceedings at www.arkansashouse.org.

 

3-29-19  4:31 p.m. KAWX.ORG

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Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: What's Next for Arkansas's Work Requirement

 
LITTLE ROCK – On Thursday, we received news that a district judge in Washington, D.C., had struck down the work requirement in Arkansas Works Medicaid Program.
 
Arkansas’s work requirement has put us on the leading edge nationally. We were the first state to implement the waiver. Many states have followed our lead, and waiver requests are in the pipeline.
 
Often when you lead on an issue, you have to overcome many obstacles because no one else has been there before. This court decision is one of those obstacles.
 
The judge’s ruling made a couple of points that I want to emphasize.
 
First, he did not strike down the work requirement on our Medicaid program based upon the reporting requirements. 
 
This is because he had a fundamental disagreement with the concept of a work requirement. His view is that Medicaid is an entitlement program, and you cannot place additional requirements that may lead to a loss of coverage. 
 
Judge Boasberg is wrong, and I am urging the Department of Justice and Department of Health and Human Services to appeal the ruling. Today, I spoke with Eric Hargan, the deputy secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, and encouraged him to seek an expedited appeal of this decision. Secretary Hargan assured me that the Trump administration is fully committed to support Arkansas on this initiative.
 
Second, the judge noted that this could just be a pause. I hope he is correct on that point, and I remain fully committed to a work requirement. We are in this for the long haul.
 
President Trump and his administration remain committed as well to a work requirement.
 
This requirement applies to those who receive the public benefit and who are able-bodied so they will have the best opportunity to work, to receive training, and to have employment opportunities.
 
Since last June, more 12,000 Arkansans have been referred to the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services as a result of the work requirement notice and have found employment.
 
And in the last few years, 79,000 have moved off the rolls because they have found a job and an income. Of those who were subject to the work requirement, 88 percent have stayed in compliance.
 
Although we have seen these successes, the judge’s ruling will require us to make adjustments.
 
Since he has vacated the waiver amendment for the work requirement, DHS has shut down the online portal, and no one will lose coverage because of a failure to report.
 
And the original Arkansas Works waiver is now in place. Work referrals will continue, and training and outreach will proceed.
 
The DHS appropriation should not be in jeopardy. Legislators who are voting on that agree that the work requirement is a good thing.
If we want to continue the fight for a work requirement, the best course is to appeal.
 
If not, we lose the opportunity to lead nationally in this effort to provide training and work opportunities for those on Medicaid.
 
I am proud to be governor of a state where its residents are compassionate and want to help their fellow Arkansans. But we also understand that compassion requires giving others the opportunity to work, to pay their own way, and to climb out of poverty.
 
3-29-19  4:26 p.m.  KAWX.ORG

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Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column

Recognizing Arkansas’s Unique Role in Pursuit of Women’s Equality

 

In 1987, Congress passed legislation that designates March as Women’s History Month. This is a special time to reflect on the countless women who have shaped our nation and those who continue to devote their time and energy to the pursuit of equality here at home and abroad.

 

In 1932, Arkansas elected Hattie Caraway to the U.S. Senate, which made her the first woman ever elected as a U.S. Senator. She broke barriers, changed norms and helped lay the foundation for the new role women were beginning to be recognized as deserving to play in the Senate throughout her legislative career. During her 14 years as a legislator, she was the first woman to chair a Senate committee and became the first woman to preside officially over the Senate.

 

The path Hattie Caraway trail-blazed for more women to enter the ranks of the “world’s greatest deliberative body” has without a doubt made the Senate a better, stronger institution and has benefitted our nation immensely.

 

Today, more women are serving in Congress than ever before. We need look no further than Hattie Caraway to understand the magnitude of her decision to step forward and serve her state and country.

 

More women are also answering the call to serve our nation in uniform.

 

Women are the fastest growing demographic of veterans, but many Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities don’t have the ability to provide equitable care or services to women veterans. This Congress, Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) and I have reintroduced legislation to eliminate barriers to care and services that many women veterans face. Our bill is appropriately named the Deborah Sampson Act, which honors the service and sacrifice of the American Revolutionary hero who disguised herself as a man in order to serve in the Continental Army.

 

We can be proud of Deborah Sampson and the countless women patriots who have followed in her footsteps. We must update VA services to support the unique needs of our entire veteran population, including the growing number of women relying on the VA for care.

 

While opportunities remain to advance women’s equality, the United States recently took an important step to empower women worldwide.

 

Congress approved and President Donald Trump signed into law the Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment Act. Senator Ben Cardin (D-ME) and I introduced this legislation to eliminate global gender-related barriers and empower female entrepreneurs around the world.

 

In some parts of the world, women are pushed so far to the sidelines that they are denied access to even the most basic of financial services. Cultural and historical barriers prevent women from launching a business, building savings and supporting economic growth in their communities. Leveling the playing field will help the world economy grow substantially.

 

Providing women access to tools for economic success supports global prosperity. Our country can lead by example and help deliver these tools and empower women. I look forward to seeing women succeed because of this legislative effort.

 

Empowering women strengthens families, communities and our nation. As we take time this month to reflect on the challenges women have overcome and still face, let us continue the momentum started generations ago by hardworking, courageous and determined women who envisioned a country full of opportunities for success for all.

 

3-29-19 3:40 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

March 29, 2019

 

LITTLE ROCK – The Senate voted to refer to Arkansas voters a term limits amendment that would restrict future legislators to 12-year terms.

Also, the Senate approved a Medicaid budget for next fiscal year, which is one of the most important appropriations in state government.

 

The measure is Senate Joint Resolution 15 (SJR 15). It was adopted by a vote of 27-to-3.

 

If the House of Representatives goes along with the Senate resolution, it will be on the general election ballot in November of 2020.

 

The House and Senate have already agreed to refer to voters HJR 1018 to extend permanently the current half-cent sales tax that generates about $294 million a year, with the revenue going for highway and bridge projects.

 

The current term limits amendment in the state Constitution limits legislators to a lifetime of 16 years. The proposed SJR 15, while restricting a lawmaker to 12 years, would not be a lifetime limit.

 

After 12 years the legislator would have to leave office and remain out of office for at least four years before running again for a position in the legislature.

 

Under SJR 15, current office holders would be “grandfathered in,” meaning that they could continue to serve until they reach 16 years. The 12-year limit would apply to anyone elected in 2021 or afterword.

 

The Medicaid budget is in Senate Bill 99, the appropriation for the Division of Medical Services for the Department of Human Services. It passed by a vote of 27-to-4, with approval requiring an extraordinary majority of 75 percent, or 27 votes in the 35-member Senate. It now goes to the 100-member House, where it will need 75 votes.

 

SB 99 appropriates more than $8 billion in state revenue and federal matching funds.

 

Medicaid subsidizes health care services for children working families who cannot afford private insurance, nursing home care and medical care for people with low incomes.

 

When physicians, hospitals and pharmacies provide services to eligible Medicaid recipients, they are reimbursed by the Medicaid program.

The House passed HB 1775 to impose a work requirement for about 50,000 food stamp recipients. In order to receive a food stamp card, they would have to look for work or take job training.

 

The work requirement would apply to people under 60 whose children are older than six. It also would apply if they had no children. HB 1775 will next be considered by the Senate.

 

The Senate voted to increase penalties for political candidates who break campaign finance laws by converting contributions to personal use. If they convert more than $2,500, the offense will be a felony. The increased penalties are in SB 258, which was sent to the House.

 

Both chambers have approved and sent to the governor for his signature HB 1409 to guarantee that elementary students get at least 40 minutes a day of recess.

 

The bill recognizes that mandates enacted over the years by the legislature have made it difficult for schools to fit in all of the required classwork, as well as recess.

 

The Senate has passed SB 383 to enable schools to hire their own law enforcement officers for security, so they do not have to rely on local sheriffs’ offices and police departments.

 

3-29-19 10:18 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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The Right To Read Act 1063 Taken Seriously By Mena Public Schools

Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.—Maya Angelou

This sums up the wave that is moving across Arkansas in regards to The Right To Read Act 1063 requiring Arkansas educators to achieve levels of proficiency and awareness in the knowledge and practices of the science of reading.

Mena School District Dyslexia Coordinator, Vicky Maye shares that our school is committed to making preventative curriculum changes with whole group and small group instruction to put the science of reading in motion to close the gap in literacy achievement for our struggling readers. We are teaming with Winsor Learning’s Sonday System which is an Orton Gillingham Reading Intervention System that provides multi sensory tools and training to help equip our educators to become master multi sensory instructors who can use daily instruction to wire and train our students’ brains to successfully read.


Our administration has been willing to go above and beyond to make the much needed changes to move forward with closing the literacy gap in our school. I’ve worked closely with our federal coordinator, Paulette Sherrer; building principals Jimma Holder, Tamara Smart, and Clifton Sherrer, our LEA-Laura Bunch for special education and our teachers to get these changes in motion. It’s got to be a team approach with everybody being a stakeholder and having ownership in making the very most of our investments in our students!

Pictured is Winsor’s Educational Consultant, Kristen Koeller leading this initiative with Mena teachers representing K-8th regular education and special education teachers and dyslexia paraprofessionals. Koeller will provide continuous support with this endeavor. Maye shares that it’s important to keep Sally Shaywitz’s words in mind as our mission, “.....the struggling reader needs someone who will not only believe in him but will translate that belief into positive action....and then actively and relentlessly work to ensure that he receives what he needs.”

 

3-29-18 9:29 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

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Bill Could Let Planned Parenthood Teach Sex Education In Arkansas Schools

There's a bad bill at the Arkansas Legislature that could let Planned Parenthood worm its way into your local public school, and your state representative needs to hear from you.

The bill is S.B. 304 by Sen. Will Bond (D - Little Rock) and Rep. LeAnne Burch (D - Monticello).

This bad bill requires every public school district in Arkansas to offer "evidence based" health courses to 7th - 12th graders that include instruction about preventing pregnancy and sexually-transmitted diseases.

If this bill passes, it may open the door for Planned Parenthood to conduct sex education in your local public schools.

Besides being the nation's largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood is also the nation's largest provider of sex education, and their "evidence based" sex education programs teach students to be sexually active.

The Obama Administration gave millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood to conduct "evidence based" teen pregnancy prevention programs in America from 2010 - 2016.

If S.B. 304 passes, the state Department of Education or your local public schools may look to Planned Parenthood to provide the sex education programs that the bill mandates.

That's why I hope you will contact your representative right away.

Please ask your representative to vote against S.B. 304, the bill requiring public schools to teach "evidence based" teen pregnancy prevention programs. 

You can leave a message for your state representative by calling the Arkansas House of Representatives during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, at (501) 682-6211.

You can read S.B. 304 here.

Please let us know if you have any questions or comments about the bill, or if you need any additional help contacting your state representative. Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jerry Cox, President

Arkanas Family Council 

Phone (501) 375-7000

familycouncil.org

 

3-28-19 4:27 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Polk County Circuit Court Arraignments

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

 

State of Arkansas Vs. James E. Pike, W/M, age 64, Count I Delivery Of Methamphetamine Or Coacaine, a Class "C" Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. David Marshall Fraser, W/M, age 30, Count I: Possession Of A Schedule I or Schedule II Controlled Substabnce, a Class "D" Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Johnny E. Head, W/M, age 21, Count I: Probation Violation. Bond set at $10,000.00.

 

3-28-19 9:24 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

 

 

 

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Rich Mountain Conservation District Co-Hosts Forestry and Land Contest

The Rich Mountain Conservation District and Cossatot Conservation District co-hosted the annual Forestry and Land Contest on Wednesday, March 27th, at the Cossatot River State Park Visitor Center. Fifteen schools competed with a total of 135 students. Teams traveled from all parts of the state to compete in the yearly event.

 

The overall team winner for the land contest was Ouachita High School, with Acorn High School as the Polk County team winner.

 

(L to R) – Ethan Sides, Jarrett Wilhite, Eric Mowdy

 

Shanna Johnson from Cossatot River High School was the high point individual for the county.

Shanna Johnson

 

The overall team winner for the forestry contest was Hermitage High School, with Mena High School as the Polk County team winner. Brendon Catlett from Mena High School was the high point individual for the county.


(L to R) – Brian May (ag teacher), Matthew Bowser, Brendon Catlett, Noah Swall, Cooper Hughes

 

The Rich Mountain and Cossatot Conservation Districts would like to thank the Cossatot River State Park and Don Youngblood for the use of land for both the Forestry and Land portions of the contest. There are several organizations that donated their time and knowledge: Natural Resources Conservation Service, Arkansas Forestry Association, Arkansas Forestry Commission, University of Arkansas Extension Service-DeQueen, and Farm Credit of Western Arkansas. Pilgrim’s Pride donated chicken for lunch.

 

3-28-19 8:54 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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AGFC nature centers offer family fun for Spring Break

LITTLE ROCK — Unplug from the electronics and take your kids on an outdoor adventure this Spring Break at an Arkansas Game and Fish Commission nature or education center. All eight AGFC-operated centers will be open with special programs and events March 19-23 to keep families entertained with wholesome outdoors fun. 

 

The AGFC operates four nature centers and four education centers across the state, with a new one currently being built in Northwest Arkansas. Each center offers a variety of experiences from archery, kayaking and canoeing, bb gun shooting and nature-themed arts and crafts for people of all ages.

 

Each center boasts excellent hiking trails with interpretive signs to teach hikers about some of their surroundings, and indoor displays offer visitors the opportunity to get their outdoors fix when the weather takes a turn for the worse. 

 

Tabbi Kinion, chief of the AGFC’s Education Division, says each center tries to offer a variety of programs each day, so visitors can get a new experience each time they come.

 

“Even if you’ve been to one of our centers before, we are always adding new exhibits, trails and programs to keep it exciting for everyone,” Kinion said. “And during spring break, we try to make sure there’s something for everyone, so you can spend the day or just drop in during the programs that interest you most.”

 

Best of all, admission to the centers and regular programs are absolutely free thanks to Amendment 75, which created a ?-cent Conservation Sales Fund to help the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Arkansas Parks and Tourism, The Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission and Keep Arkansas Beautiful.

 

Each center has its own website and Facebook page to keep you up to date on the latest programs going on and a profile of the many exhibits and trails you will find during your trip. Visit www.agfc.com/naturecenters to learn more about each center, view their calendar of events and link to their Facebook page.

 

3-13-19 5:15 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Polk County Circuit Court Arraignments March 11th, 13th

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


State of Arkansas Vs. Marlena F. Parnell, W/F, age 49, Count I: Possession Of A Controlle Substance, a Class "C" Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Melton Ray Cannon, W/M, age 53, Count I: Domestic Battery In the Third Degree, a Class "D" Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Malcom R. Wells, W/M, age 32, Count I: Refusal To Submit To Arrest, a Class "B" Felony. Count II Fleeing, a Class "D" Felony. Count III: Endangering The Welfare Of A Minor In The First Degree, a Class "D" Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Mitzie M. French, W/F, age 45, Count I: Posssession Of A Scheduled II Controlled Substance, a Class "D" Felony. Count II: Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class "D" Felony.

 

3-13-19 5:07 p.m. KAWX.ORG

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ATTORNEY GENERAL ALERT: Favorite Grandchild Scam Fools Arkansans

LITTLE ROCK – Elderly Arkansans are often a target of con artists, and one of the most convincing ones is called the favorite grandchild scam. This scam involves a scammer calling an elderly individual, saying they are his/her favorite grandchild and are in trouble and need money wired immediately. Grandparents are often willing to do whatever it takes to help their grandchild, and so they more commonly fall for the scam.
 
“Under no circumstances should you wire money or give a credit/debit card number to a caller claiming to be a grandchild in jail unless you have verified that information with another close family member,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “The caller tricks Arkansans into saying the names of family and then pretends to be that family member in dire need of money.”
 
Attorney General Rutledge recommends the following strategies to avoid falling victim to the “favorite grandchild” scheme:

  • Resist pressure to act quickly.
  • Never give or wire money based on any unsolicited phone call.
  • Verify the family member’s location by directly calling another family member or the grandchild.
  • Do not send money to an unknown account or entity.
  • Ask the caller for his or her name, and if they cannot provide it, hang up immediately.
  • Have a plan in place when family members are traveling to easily identify whether or not a need is genuine.

For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or consumer@arkansasag.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.

 

3-13-19 2:43 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 March 13, 2019. 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.

 

3-13-19 2:38 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Polk County Sheriff's Log For March 4th - 10th

SHERIFF’S LOG


The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of March 4, 2019 – March 10, 2019.  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.


March 4, 2019
Report from complainant on Polk 181 near Mena of the break-in and theft of several firearms, knives, ammunition and a gun safe.  Investigation continues.
Report from complainant on Anders Avenue in Hatfield of the break-in and theft of coins and electronics.  Investigation continues.
Arrested was Lee S. Dorenbach, 66, of Texarkana, TX, on a Warrant for Failure to Appear.


March 5, 2019
Arrested was Laura K. Giesel, 47, of Mena, on two Warrants for Failure to Comply with a Court Order.


March 6, 2019
Report from walk-in complainant of the discovery of two dead goats.  Investigation continues.


March 7, 2019
Report from complainant on Polk 277 near Cove of being harassed by an acquaintance.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Report from Mena Regional Health System of a domestic violence victim.  Deputies responded.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Report from complainant on Polk 119 near Mena of suspicious behavior.  Deputy responded.


March 8, 2019
Report of a disturbance at the gym in Hatfield.  Deputy responded.
Report from complainant on Highway 88 East near Ink of the theft of gasoline and firewood.  Investigation continues.
Arrested was Charles R. Czarnetzki, 44, of Mena, on a Warrant for Failure to Appear.


March 9, 2019
Report of a one-vehicle accident on Polk 37 near Potter.  Deputy responded.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Report of a gunshot victim on Polk 42 near Potter.  Deputies responded.  Investigation has been forwarded to the Arkansas State Police.
Report from a Mena man of being threatened by acquaintances.  Information has been provided to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Report of a disturbance in the Polk County Detention Center.  Deputies responded.
Arrested was Terrie J. Williams, 31, of Mena, on a Warrant for Failure to Appear.


March 10, 2019
Report of a disturbance on Crystal Lane near Mena led to the arrest of William R. Linch, Jr., 48, and Nicholas A. Linch, 18, both of Waldron, each on Charges of Criminal Trespass and Disorderly Conduct.
Report of a disturbance on Highway 84 near Wickes led to the arrest of Christopher L. Chesser, 33, of Cove, on a Charge of Battery 3rd Degree, a Warrant for Contempt of Court and a Parole Hold.
Traffic stop on Highway 375 East near Mena led to the arrest of Daniel P. Gray, 57, of Burleson, TX, on a Charge of DWI.
Report from complainant on Polk 44 near Mena of vandalism done.  Investigation determined that nothing criminal had occurred.

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

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 30 Incarcerated Inmates, with 5 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

PC19-00172

 

3-13-19 11:02 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Mumps outbreak closes Cossatot River School District

The Cossatot River School District closed all campuses to deal with a mumps outbreak. The following was released today:

 
Due to an outbreak of mumps across the district, school will dismiss at 2 p.m. today (3-12-19) and be out for the remainder of the week.  We will be using three A.M.I. days for contagious disease.  Parent Teacher conferences will be cancelled and rescheduled at a later time.  Students will return 3/25/19 after Spring Break.
 
 
A number of schools in Arkansas have closed due to high numbers of students being absent due to the flu, but this is the first closing due to mumps.
 
 
For more information on mumps contact your family doctor or the local Health Unit.
 
3-12-19 7:21 p.m. KAWX.ORG  

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Governor Hutchinson Declares March 10-16 Arkansas Agriculture Week

LITTLE ROCK, AR – During a ceremony today at the State Capitol, Governor Asa Hutchinson joined nearly 150 farmers, agriculture leaders, and industry partners in declaring March 10-16 as Arkansas Agriculture Week. The Arkansas Agriculture Week proclamation event, held in conjunction with Arkansas Farm Bureau’s Farmers’ Day at the State Capitol, highlighted the state’s largest industry that contributes more than $21 billion annually to the state’s economy.   Find the full Arkansas Agriculture Week proclamation, here.

 

 

“Farmers produce the food we enjoy in the comfort of homes and restaurants that are built from the timber they raise. With the cotton and leather they produce, we create our clothing, our coats, our quilts and linens,” said Governor Hutchinson. “I am proud to proclaim this week as Arkansas Agriculture Week in honor of the farmers and ranchers who touch and improve every aspect of life as they sustain agriculture as our No. 1 industry.”

 

Agriculture provides one in every six jobs in Arkansas.   The state consistently ranks in the top 25 nationally in the production of 15 different agricultural commodities, and ranks in the top one-third of the nation for agricultural cash receipts.   Arkansas is home to over 43,000 farms on 13.7 million acres.  Approximately 19.2 million acres, 57% of the state’s total land, is forestland.

 

“Our farm families our dedicated to helping feed, clothe, and shelter those here in Arkansas and across the globe,” said Arkansas Agriculture Secretary Wes Ward. “We are honored to have Governor Hutchinson proclaim March 10-16 as Arkansas Agriculture Week as a celebration of their daily efforts and to recognize ag industry professionals for their work to drive growth in our state’s largest industry.”

 

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

 

3-12-19 4:51 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Fire Destroys Vacant House In Mena Early Monday

The Mena Fire Department was paged out Monday morning March 11th around 1:30 to a structure fire on 9th Street in Mena.

 
Fire Chief Steve Egger said the house at the corner of 9th and Sherwood was vacant and no utilities were connected.
 
The house was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived but were they able to protect the adjacent structures even though the house was a complete loss.
 
 
Photo by Andrew Vance.
 
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
 
3-12-19 9:43 a.m. KAWX.ORG

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Meet the New Hosts of FamilyLife Today Radio, Heard Locally on KAWX

Fulfilling Dennis Rainey’s long-standing commitment to hand the microphone to a new generation when he reached 70 years of age, we’re so pleased to announce that DAVE AND ANN WILSON will join Bob Lepine on-air as the new hosts of the daily broadcast.
 
 
The Wilsons are longtime friends of the ministry, speaking often at FamilyLife’s Weekend to Remember® marriage getaways. They are cofounders of Kensington Church—a multicampus church in Michigan that serves a diverse community by intentionally coming alongside those seeking to grow in relationship with God.
 
Dave and Ann are excited and humbled by this opportunity: “When we got the phone call to consider being the new hosts, it felt like this was a call from God—out of nowhere. We’ve seen the impact of FamilyLife Today and Dennis and Barbara Rainey for decades all around the world. It is an amazing ministry that we’ve benefited from, applauded, and supported through the years. To be asked to be a part of this ministry is so amazing! We don’t deserve it. To God be the glory—and we can’t wait to see what God does in the days ahead!”
 
Audiences will be introduced to Dave and Ann, alongside Bob and Dennis, on theFamilyLife Today program the week of February 18-22. During the following week, the Wilsons along with the Raineys will be featured in a full series of shows as the final transition is made. In addition to the normal shows, the Rainey’s legacy will be celebrated on-air as a farewell tribute to their many years on the radio.
 
Dennis and Barbara Rainey have stepped out of leadership at FamilyLife, but they are not retiring. They will continue to serve with Cru (FamilyLife’s parent organization) and passionately fulfill their mission as ambassadors for Christ and the family.  Dennis will continue to be heard on the daily short feature, Real FamilyLife®, and continue to be a contributing thought leader for FamilyLife® audio.  He will also be at NRB to give a personal word of thanks to station friends.  To find out more about their work, visit DennisAndBarbara.com starting February 18. 
 
FamilyLife is heard in Mena on KAWX 93.1 FM weekdays at 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. and Saturdays at 8:00 a.m. You can also listen to FamilyLife on KAWX with a free KAWX app, online at KAWX.ORG, on any smart device with the TuneIn app, or on Amazon Echo.
 
Coming soon KAWX will also be heard in the Hatfield and Cove area on 94.9 FM!
 
3-12-19 8:56 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Death of gunshot wound victim near Mena being investigated by PCSO, ASP CID

On Saturday, March 9, 2019 at approximately 2:00 a.m., the Polk county Sheriff's Office received a 911 call about a gunshot victim on Polk County Road 42 east of Mena. Upon arrival, deputies discovered Calvin "CJ" Goforth, age 36, deceased in a vehicle parked on the road. The Polk County Sheriff's Office and the Arkansas State Police CID are currently investigating the death. Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer stated "This is an active investigation and to protect the integrity of our investigation, no further details will be released at this time. Please keep the Goforth family and friends in your thoughts and prayers".

 
3-11-19 2:17 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Lottery Ticket Sales Top $40 Million in February, Almost $150,000 in Polk County

Polk County Treasurer Tanya K. Fretz released the most current Arkansas Lottery Retail Sales By County report for the month of February 2019 today.

 
According to the report compiled by the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, during February 2018 total lottery sales in Arkansas were $40,547,537.50.
 
The highest sales were in Pulaski County and totaled $7,635,133.00. The lowest sales were in Montgomery County and totaled $29,977.00.
 
Polk County sales totaled $149,719.00.
 
According to Family Council, only about 19 cents of each dollar taken in by the lottery goes to scholarships. 
 
3-11-19 2:02 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Mena Police Department Report for March 4th - 9th

Mena Police Department Reports for the Week of March 3, 2019 - March 9, 2019

 

March 3, 2019

 

A Hot Springs National Park man reported that his vehicle had been vandalized and items taken.  Case is pending further investigation.

 

A local man reported that he has been harassed and threatened by an acquaintance.  No charges have been filed at this time.

 

March 4, 2019

 

A Mena woman reported that someone came into her house while she was out and stole her dog.  Case is pending interview of suspect.

 

Debra Robbins, 58, of Mena was charged with theft of property (shoplifting) after officers responded to a call at a local retail store.

 

Tatum Veal, 28, of Mena was arrested and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

Robert E. Jones, 34, of Mena was arrested for possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

Brandon Everett, 28, of Mena was arrested for disorderly conduct after an incident at a local residence.

 

Brandon Dewayne Stowe, 21, of Smithville, Oklahoma, was arrested on an outstanding probation violation warrant.

 

A 17-year-old Mena youth was charged with possession of marijuana.

 

March 5, 2019

 

Matthew Morrison, 28, of Hope was charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and driving on a suspended driver’s license.  He was also served two outstanding warrants.  One warrant was from Montgomery County and one from the Mena Police Department.

 

Michelle Bice, 40, of Mena was arrested on three outstanding warrants from the Mena Police Department and the Polk County Sheriff’s Department.

 

Kimberlee Chaney, 21, of Mena was arrested on an outstanding warrant.

 

Logan Pitts, 39, of Mena was charged with possession of methamphetamine or cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, and simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms.

 

Bambe Millard, 35, of Mena was charged with possession of methamphetamine or cocaine, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

Debra Stepiens, 56, of Mena was served an outstanding warrant from the Mena Police Department for failure to pay fines and court costs.

 

March 6, 2019

 

A Mena man reported a disagreement with a tenant in one of his rental properties.  No charges have been filed.

 

March 7, 2019

 

A Mena man reported he is being harassed and threatened by an acquaintance.  Case is pending location and interview of the suspect.

 

March 8, 2019

 

Mark Solomon, 32, of Mena was charged with possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.  He was also served an outstanding warrant from the Polk County Sheriff’s Department.

 

Veronica Mae Maddox, 21, of Mena was served three outstanding warrants from the Polk County Sheriff’s Department.

 

A Hatfield man reported that someone had obtained a cell phone in his name.  Case is pending further investigation.

 

Thomas Kidwell, 40, of Mena was arrested on five outstanding warrants from the Mena Police Department for failure to appear.

 

March 9, 2019

 

Shearley Christine Scroggins, 43, of Mena was charged with theft of property (shoplifting) after a call to a local retail store.

 

Donovan Thomas Hunt, 27, of Mena was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia after a traffic stop.

 

Marlena F. Parnell, 49, of Mena was charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

In last week’s police report, it was stated that Jack Henry, 59, of Mena was served an outstanding warrant.  The individual was actually Jack Henry, 34, of Mena.  We apologize for the misinformation.

 

3-11-19 10:15 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Ouachita and Ozark-St. Francis National Forests recreation areas opening for season

HOT SPRINGS, Ark — The Ouachita and Ozark-St. Francis National Forests are beginning seasonal openings of recreation areas and facilities in March.

 

Visitors to the 1.8 million-acre Ouachita National Forest and 1.2 million-acre Ozark-St. Francis National Forests will find diverse recreational activities available to them. 

 

Recreation contributes greatly to the physical, mental, and spiritual health of individuals, bonds family and friends, instills pride in heritage, and provides economic benefits to communities, regions, and the nation.

 

Forest visitors are encouraged to view a current listing of open sites by checking the respective websites for the Ouachita National Forest at https://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/ouachita/recreation or call (501) 321-5202 and Ozark-St. Francis at https://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/osfnf/recreation or (479) 964-7200.

 

3-10-19 9:39 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

Arkansas ranks forty-fourth in the nation when it comes to maternal mortality rates.  Maternal mortality is defined as the death of a woman who is pregnant or dies within 42 days after the end of the pregnancy.

 

Arkansas currently has 35 maternal deaths per one hundred thousand 100,000 live births, compared with the national average of 20 deaths per one hundred thousand 100,000 live births, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

Thirty-five states in the nation either conduct or are preparing to conduct organized maternal mortality reviews that help prevent maternal death through data collection, data analysis, and implementation of recommendations.

 

With roughly half of pregnancy-related deaths being preventable, state maternal mortality review committees can be instrumental to as to understanding why women are dying during pregnancy, childbirth, and the year postpartum.  The committees also help in improving maternal health and preventing future deaths.

 

This week, the House passed legislation to create such a review committee in Arkansas with HB1440. 

 

Arkansas also ranks 46th in the nation for infant mortality.

 

In 2018, almost eleven percent 11% of babies born in Arkansas were preterm.

 

To improve infant mortality, the House also passed HB1441 which directs the Department of Health to establish the Maternal and Perinatal Outcomes Quality Review Committee. This committee will review data on births and develop strategies for improving birth outcomes. 

 

On Monday, the House passed two pieces of legislation addressing highway funding.

 

In a vote of 71-26, the House passed SB336.  This bill outlines $95 million in additional funding in three ways.

 

First, it diverts all revenue from casino gaming that exceeds $31.2 million to the State Highway and Transportation Department Fund.

 

Second, it includes a wholesale tax on fuel raising gas prices by 3 cents a gallon and diesel by 6 cents a gallon.

 

And third, it imposes a $100 registration fee on hybrid vehicles and a $200 registration fee on electric vehicles.

 

The second piece of legislation addressing highways before the House was HJR8.

 

This is a proposed constitutional amendment which would permanently extend a ½ cent sales tax for the purpose of funding state highways.  The current ½ sales tax funding highway improvements is set to expire in 2023.  This resolution will be on the ballot for voter approval in November 2020. 

 

Other legislation passing the House this week includes:

 

HB1522-This ensures that soldiers and airmen of the Arkansas National Guard are afforded the same benefits and protections as active duty soldiers when they are called on state active duty.

 

HB1407-This bill requires truth in labeling of agricultural products that are edible. The bill states the seller cannot sell the product under the name of another food.   

 

HB1263-This bill allows pharmacists to prescribe certain types of tobacco cessation products.

 

HB1278-This bill allows pharmacists to administer childhood vaccines to children age 7 and older under a written protocol by a physician.

 

HB1565-This bill seeks to provide funding for a national cancer institute-designated center at UAMS.  The bill provides the funding by diverting existing taxes on medical marijuana from general revenue to the institute trust fund. The trust fund would also receive new revenue created by a 50 cents per pack tax on cigarette rolling papers, removing a border tax exemption on cigarettes and increasing the minimum mark price on cigarettes. In addition, HB1565 raises the legal age to use or possess vape or tobacco products to 21, with an exception for military.

 

HB1506-This bill imposes a criminal penalty (class A misdemeanor on first offense & class D felony on second offense) for theft of items from a cemetery or grave site.

 

HB1251-This bill amends the definition of practice of optometry.

 

HB1569-This bill allows school districts to develop policies for distribution of excess food. As long as health department standards are met, this bill would allow schools to give students the left-over food from lunch to take home.

 

HB1290-This bill allows pharmacists to provide access to oral contraceptives.

 

And SB10 which prohibits level 3 and level 4 sex offenders from wearing a costume or passing out candy during the two weeks before and after Halloween.

 

The House will enter the 9th week of the session on Monday.  You can watch all House proceedings at www.arkansashouse.org.

 

3-8-19 5:24 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: My Four Legislative Priori-'Ts'

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Address: My Four Legislative Priori-‘Ts’
 
 
LITTLE ROCK – My long list of goals for the 92nd General Assembly included legislation that I call the “Four ‘Ts'” – Tax reduction. Transportation funding. Teacher pay increases. Transformation of state government.
 
As of today, we have checked off three of the "Ts."
 
The pay for starting teachers was our first success. House Bill 1145 raises starting pay for teachers across the state by $1,000 every year for four years until we reach $36,000.
 
On Thursday, I signed another bill that is important to our teachers and students. Senate Bill 199 is the School Counseling Improvement Act. It requires schools to implement a plan that cuts the administrative duties of counselors so they can interact directly with students.
 
This bill came out of the School Safety Commission, which I created a year ago. Members of that commission recommended in order to make our schools more safe that our trained counselors needed more time interacting directly with students.
 
This bill complements legislation we passed to reform our juvenile justice system. By providing for better assessment of our troubled youth in detention and providing sentencing guidelines that are more appropriate to each person, we reduce the risk that a teenager will re-offend and return to the system.
 
The day after the pay raise bill, we checked off a second "T" when I signed into law SB 211, also known as the 5.9 Tax Cut Plan. The law cuts our top marginal income-tax rate from 6.9 percent to 5.9 percent. This tax rate makes Arkansas more attractive to companies such as Colorado-based CoorsTek. Just this week, I helped break ground for an expansion at the company’s facility in Benton.
 
SB 211 was the third phase of my three-part plan to reform Arkansas’s tax code. In 2015 and in 2017, I signed into law the two biggest tax cuts in the state’s history. With the passage of Senate Bill 211, 100 percent of Arkansas income-taxpayers will benefit from nearly $250 million each year in reduced income taxes.
 
"T" Number Three is the historic $300 million highway funding plan that will pay for our highway infrastructure now and into the future. The first part of the plan would raise $95 million a year through user fees and dedicated revenue of $35 million from casinos.
 
The second part of our transportation funding is the legislation that will give voters a chance to decide whether to extend a 1/2-cent sales tax at the polls in 2020. That will raise $205 million a year for the benefit of the state.
 
Now we are tackling the fourth "T" – Transformation of state government, which might be the most ambitious of the four.
 
I am asking the legislature to work with me to reduce the number of cabinet-level agencies from 42 to 15, which is the largest reorganization of state government in almost 50 years.
 
I am hopeful that members of the 92nd General Assembly will join me in making history by passing this legislation.
 
3-8-19 5:05 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column

Green New Deal’s Massive Costs, Government Expansion Would Harm Arkansans

 

The Green New Deal didn’t quite receive the celebration its supporters were expecting when it was unveiled. Its release was greeted with a combination of bewilderment, amusement and confusion, which gave way to anger and disbelief the more that Americans learned about it.

 

The reason for this negative reaction is quite simple. Most Americans don’t like it when you suggest the government should have control over nearly every aspect of their lives. Yet that is exactly what the Green New Deal seeks to do under the pretense of ending climate change.

 

The authors of the Green New Deal and its accompanying memo suggest their plan is the cure for all of society’s ills. They cast themselves as saviors who will end global warming, income equality and oppression in one fell swoop.

 

What supporters can’t say is how they will implement this plan, what impact it will have on the average American and where they intend to find the trillions of dollars it will cost.

 

These details are important when you are asking for support of a plan that is estimated to cost up to $93 trillion dollars and dramatically expand the federal government’s reach into the daily lives of every American.

 

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated that senators will have an opportunity to let Americans know where they stand on this poorly designed plan when he brings the Green New Deal up for a vote in the near future. It should easily be voted down.

 

We have an obligation to cut emissions and move our energy consumption toward renewable sources. These are worthy goals that we must continue to work toward achieving.

 

However, only a fraction of this unworkable plan deals with climate change and there is no conceivable way its energy mandates can be implemented. The Green New Deal dictates that the nation will rely 100 percent on renewable power within a decade. Experts say that is impossible to accomplish by 2050, much less within a constricted 10-year timeline.

 

The uncomfortable truth for Green New Deal proponents is that the U.S. is already leading the charge on carbon emissions reduction. We can continue to build on that progress, and encourage change within the international community, without mandating a government takeover of nearly every sector of our economy.

 

The way forward to solve our environmental challenges should be driven by positive incentives, research and development—not heavy-handed regulation.

 

As a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, I have long advocated an all-of-the-above approach to energy security. This strategy includes wind, renewable biomass, hydroelectric and solar power. And it absolutely needs to include the expansion of nuclear power, which the Green New Deal mysteriously leaves out.

 

Policies that incentivize production and usage of renewable forms of energy are the way forward to responsibly balance our energy needs with our concerns for the environment. The Green New Deal—which makes undeliverable promises, proposes to dramatically drive up costs for every American and will lead to a staggering loss of jobs—is not.

 

Single moms, seniors and people living on fixed incomes—the very people that supporters of the plan purport to help—will be the most negatively impacted by the Green New Deal. We can find ways –– including those outlined by myself and my colleagues that encourage innovative, private sector-driven solutions –to address climate change without a massive government takeover of our nation’s economy and culture. 

 

3-8-19 3:52 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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UARM Recognizing Substance Abuse Awareness Week March 11-15

U of A Rich Mountain to join 18 other institutions from across the state of Arkansas for Substance Abuse Awareness Week

 

For the first time ever The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas State University, Arkansas Tech University, University of Central Arkansas, Henderson State University, Southern Arkansas University, University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, University of Arkansas at Monticello, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, ASU Mountain Home, Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas, East Arkansas Community College, Northwest Arkansas Community College, Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas, University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville, University of Arkansas Community College at Hope, University of Arkansas at Rich Mountain, and University of Arkansas Pulaski Technical College are joining forces to combat substance abuse across the state of Arkansas. All of these institutions of higher education will be participating in the inaugural “Save AR Students” substance abuse awareness week on March 11-15, 2019.

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2017 Arkansas has the 2nd highest opioid prescription rate in the country at a rate of 105.4 percent per 100 persons, and based on information from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, youth ages 18-25 are at the highest rate for illicit drug use at 22.7 percent. Additionally 9.9% of College students are abusing Adderall compared to 6.2% of Non College adults according to drugabuse.org. Adderall is a stimulant effect on the central nervous system that can be both physically and psychologically addictive when overused.

“It’s no secret that substance use is drastically affecting the state of Arkansas. It’s concerning that statistics have us towards the top for opioid prescriptions here in our state. It is very concerning seeing this issue affect our college campuses,” said Trevor Villines.

 

U of A Rich Mountain will have a ‘Dose of Reality’ presentation at 12:15 p.m. on Thursday, March 14 in the Ingles Lecture Hall located on the Mena Campus inside the Spencer Building. DOR is a statewide campaign which educates our youth and young adults about the dangers of prescription opioids. ADH has educational material and a DOR educational course available. The course is being taught throughout the communities and schools. ADH has nurses and health educators that provide the training. The training consists of a presentation with a pre and post survey and evaluation. The course length is between 30-45 minutes.

 

Chancellor Dr. Phillip Wilson stated, “We are grateful to be joining this state-wide initiative to bring additional awareness to this overwhelming issue. It is not discriminatory in who it affects and the ripple effects of it are far reaching. We can accomplish much when we come together as one. I’m incredibly grateful of our SGA’s leadership in this campaign.”

 

Throughout the week participating institutions will be distributing informational flyers on prescription opioids, fentanyl, heroin, amphetamines, and the Joshua-Ashley Pauley Act.

 

“Substance abuse has no borders. It affects people of different gender, race, and religion. If we’re going to do something about it, the time is now. We’ve got to roll up our sleeves, put politics aside, and come together as one. It’s up to us to Save AR State, Save AR Future, but more importantly Save AR Students,” said Trevor Villines.

 

 

Shown is Polk County Judge Brandon Ellison signing the Proclamation for Substance Abuse Week- March 11-15.

 

3-8-19 3:47 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Taxiway Project at Mena Airport Progressing Well According To Airport Manager Fred Ogden

Mena Intermountain Municipal Airport manager Fred Ogden reports that the Taxiway Bravo project  is progressing well despite weather delays. 
 
"Good progress is being made on Taxiway Bravo in spite of the persistently bad weather since before Thanksgiving.  Mark Word and the Redstone team are making the best of a difficult situation.  
 
If the all goes well, Redstone and their subcontractor may be able to start laying asphalt on about 3000' of the taxiway sometime during the week of March 18, or sometime the next week depending on the weather. A diagram is attached that depicts the areas they hope to pave during this "lift."
 
Please also be aware that Mr. Word and I will meet every Wednesday morning for a few minutes at 08:30 to discuss the plans for the near term.  The meeting is open to airport operators and other interested stakeholders. So, if you have any questions about what is going on with the project, please feel free to drop by my office at that time. Let me know if you need directions!
 
Also, please remember it will be necessary to shut-down Runway 09-27 and the ILS for the final 90 days of this project. Presently, it looks like that will be in early June through early September, depending on the weather.
 
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone on the field for their patience thus far. Also, thanks for continuing to be safety conscience. Please continue to be aware of incoming and outgoing aircraft before crossing or back-taxiing the runway, especially on these cloudy days when incoming aircraft may be inbound for RWY 17 on the RNAV approach.  Please continue to listen to those radios!" 
 
 
3-8-19 12:00 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

March 8, 2019

 

LITTLE ROCK – The legislature has approved and the governor has signed a package of bills sponsored by female lawmakers. The coalition of legislators dubbed their package “Dream BIG for Arkansas.”

 

Act 198 expands access to the Internet by allowing towns, cities and local government entities to acquire, lease or build facilities to deliver broadband services.

 

Act 181 the process of designating the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute at UAMS as a National Cancer Institute.

 

Act 83 requires schools to include literacy in their school improvement plans, and to follow curricula and use materials and methods proven scientifically to be effective in helping children with dyslexia.

 

A driving force behind the bill is the recognition that only 38 percent of third graders read at “ready” or “exceeding” on 2018 standardized reading tests (ACT Aspire).

 

Act 131 encourages entrepreneurship in child care facilities, especially in rural areas and other places where there is a lack of child care. It requires DHS to simplify its licensing requirements and grant applications, and to eliminate duplication and unnecessary paperwork.

 

The legislature has enacted most of a package of bills proposed by the veterans’ caucus, including Act 171 to ease the deadlines for school transfer applications for children whose parents live on a military base.

 

Act 148 authorizes the Adjutant General of Arkansas to remove officers from the National Guard if they are substandard in carrying out their duty, deficient in character, medically unfit or unsuited for military service.

 

The governor’s authority to order the militia into service now includes using the militia to address cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities in state information systems, thanks to Act 149.

 

The former site of the Southeast Arkansas Community Correction Center may be donated to an Arkansas-based non-profit organization that serves veterans, under Act 160. No inmates have been housed at the site since 2016.

 

The Senate approved SB 445 to permanently move the date of primary elections to March in years when there is also a presidential election. Our primaries have traditionally been in May, and in both major political parties the eventual candidate has virtually wrapped up the nomination by then. The goal of moving up the date to March is to make the Arkansas primary more relevant in national politics.

 

The Senate Committee on Revenue and Taxation advanced SB 447 to increase the homestead property tax credit from $350 to $375. In 2018, a total of 716,525 property owners received tax credit benefits of $230,000,000.

 

The act will save homeowners more than $12.5 million a year. It also transfers $8.2 million from the excess amounts in the property tax relief fund into a grant program for updating voting machines. The state chief financial officer will determine the amount needed to maintain the property tax relief fund, and any excess will be transferred to general revenue for tax relief.

 

The excess also can be used for financial aid to school districts whose revenue has declined as a result of Amendment 79, which voters approved in 2000 to create the homestead credit and place limits on growth in taxable value of property.

 

3-8-19 11:26 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Rutledge Urges U.S. Senate Passage of TRACED Act Says, 'The TRACED Act will further protect Arkansans'

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today urged the United States Senate to enact the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act, which will curb illegal robocalls and spoofing. Arkansas has joined the 49 other states and four U.S. territories in sending a letter to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation expressing support of the TRACED Act.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

3-7-19 1:37 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Polk County Circuit Court Arraignments March 5th and 6th

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


State of Arkansas Vs. Tatum Veal, W/F, age 29, Count I: Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class "D" Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Robert E. Jones, W/F, age 35, Count I: Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class "D" Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Kymberlie A. Chaney, W/F, age 22, Count I: Failure To Appear, a Class "D" Felony. Count II: Failure To Appear, a Class "C" Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Logan E. Pitts, W/M, age 40, Count I: Possession Of Methamphetamine With Purpose To Deliver, a Class "C" Felony. Count II: Simultaneous Possession Of Drugs And Firearms, a Class "Y" felony. Count III: Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class "D" Felony. County IV: Possession Of A Controlled Substance, a Class "A" Misdemeanor. Count V: Possession Of Firearms By Certain Persons, a Class "D" Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Bambe Mellard, W/F, age 36, Count I: Possession Of A Schedule II Controlled Substance, a Class "D" Felony. Count II: Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class "D" Felony. Count III: Possession Of A Controlled Substance, a Class "A" Misdemeanor.

 

3-7-19 1:11 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Arkansas Senate Committee Advances Bad Sex-Education Bill

This morning the Arkansas Senate Education Committee passed a bill that forces public schools to teach graphic sex education material to junior high and high school students.

S.B. 304 by Sen. Will Bond (D - Little Rock) and Rep. LeAnne Burch (D - Monticello) requires every school district in Arkansas to offer "evidence based" health courses to 7th - 12th graders that include instruction on preventing pregnancy and sexually-transmitted diseases through abstinence and contraceptives.

We know from experience that the kind of curriculum S.B. 304 mandates won't actually teach students to be abstinent. Instead it will encourage students to be sexually active.

In the 1990s Governor Bill Clinton and Dr. Joycelyn Elders promoted these same kinds of sex-education programs in Arkansas. Family Council strongly opposed their programs, because they treated every public school student as if he or she would be promiscuous, and they failed to have a meaningful impact on Arkansas' teen birth rates and teen abortion rates.

A few years ago, the Obama Administration spent millions of taxpayer dollars on "evidence-based" teen pregnancy prevention efforts nationwide. By and large, the program was unsuccessful; in fact, in some cases, students who went through the pregnancy prevention course were more likely to become pregnant afterward--not less likely.

S.B. 304 is just a continuation of these same bad programs.

Your state senator could vote on S.B. 304 very soon. You can leave a message asking your senator to oppose S.B. 304 by calling the Arkansas Senate during normal business hours at (501) 682-2902.

 

3-6-19 2:32 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 March 6, 2019. 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.

 

3-6-19 1:11 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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AGFC honors 11 enforcement officers, Including Mena's Ray Hines and Bernie Soliz, with annual awards

LITTLE ROCK — Eleven Arkansas Game and Fish Commission enforcement officers and a K-9 were recipients of the division’s top honors Tuesday in the sixth annual AGFC Enforcement Division Awards at the Crowne Plaza.

 

Two of the officers and K-9 Lucy, a 7-year-old black Labrador retriever, were honored in two areas, once for life-saving heroics and another for keeping an event from escalating into tragedy.

 

Pat Fitts, AGFC director and former head of the Enforcement Division, spoke to the gathering that included other officers, winning officers’ families and AGFC volunteer chaplains:

 

"While many people may view the work of our officers as just checking for licenses or handing out tickets, I can tell you the work we do is unimaginable at times … when West Memphis is mentioned and we think of our officers’ involvement there (in ending a murderous rampage by a father and son on the run from authorities in 2010) … or what our dive team faces when they are called upon.”

 

Noting that when wildlife officers sign on to the job, they give up their weekends, regularly start shifts at midnight, and often are working 24/7 on assignments, Fitts added, “Thank you to the officers for the job you do, and to the families — you sacrifice a lot. I appreciate what all of you do.”

 

Four AGFC Commissioners were on hand, including Chairman Ford Overton, who addressed the group. Awards were presented by Fitts, AGFC Enforcement Chief Greg Rae, Major Jason Parker and Major Glenn Tucker. The event speaker was U.S. Magistrate Judge Joe Volpe of the Eastern District of Arkansas, who swears in new officers each year.

 

“You are committed to this job every single day. All those everyday events you experience prepare you for the moment of crisis when it arrives,” Volpe said.

 

The Warden’s Cross, considered the second highest honor awarded by the Enforcement Division next to the Medal of Valor, goes to wildlife officers who demonstrate courage, bravery and selflessness above and beyond the norm. The Warden’s Cross was awarded to Wildlife Officers Troy Sayger and Matt Tenison, who helped find a 15-year-old who had fled from custody in Prairie County to the White River. They launched a boat and located the teen in sleety, 30-degree weather with 15 mph winds. The handcuffed youth jumped into the river to elude capture, but the officers pulled him out of the water and requested medical help for him because of the frigid temps.

 

“Officers Sayger and Tenison launched a boat on a flooded river, in freezing temperatures with wind and sleet, demonstrating courage and bravery,” Parker said. “They without a doubt saved the life of this troubled juvenile, earning them the Warden’s Cross.”

 

Three officers earned the Governor’s Lifesaving Award and AGFC Lifesaving Medal, presented to an officer who, through direct lifesaving measures, sustains the life of another person. There are Cpl. Doug Small; Cpl. Gary Don Stell and K-9 Lucy; and Wildlife Officer Cody Standifer. Small’s investigation into debris he spotted on a county road in Baxter County, coinciding with a friend not showing up for work the next day, led to his finding the victim of a wreck who had been ejected well off the road and had serious injuries that included a broken neck. The accident victim now is in rehabilitation. Stell and Lucy tracked down a woman who had threatened to commit suicide, fled emergency personnel and had run off into a wooded area. Stell and Lucy guided a medical crew to her location and ultimately saved her life. Officer Standifer assisted Little River County Sheriff’s Office personnel with a motor vehicle accident, extracted from the back window a seriously injured victim who had a weak pulse and had bled extensively, saving his life.

 

Certificates of Commendation are awarded for actions above and beyond normal duty requirements and demonstrate such traits as courage, resourcefulness and unselfishness in situations that otherwise could escalate into a tragic one. Certificates went to Sr. Cpl. Roger Tate and Cpl. Wade Spence, Wildlife Officer Tyler Hill, and to Standifer.

 

Tate and Spence answered a call regarding a possible drowning and saved an elderly man who had floated off on the Black River from the boat launch and was suffering from heat exhaustion. Hill responded last December to a call of three duck hunters whose boat capsized in Lake Earling and rescued them despite awful weather conditions. Standifer, responding to another motor vehicle accident in LIttle River County that resulted in seven injured people and two fatalities, rescued 4- and 8-year-old children, and his quick thinking in treating the 8-year-old’s head injury with applied pressure before emergency personnel could arrive was “instrumental in the outcome of this situation,” the accident report said.

 

The Warden’s Star is awarded to a Wildlife Officer who performs an act of heroism involving an unusual situation or sudden occurrence of a serious and urgent nature that demands immediate action, the use of exceptional tactics, demonstration of good judgment, enthusiasm or ingenuity over and above what is normally demanded and expected, preventing an incident from escalating.

 

Warden’s Stars went to Cpl. Stell and K-9 Lucy and to the trio of Sgt. Jeff Black and Wildlife Officers Ray Hines and Bernie Soliz. Hines, Soliz and Black rescued an injured hiker who was more than 4 miles into the Caney Creek Wilderness Area. The trio determined that the victim could not be moved so set up a camp overnight, then had a helicopter flown in the next morning to extract the victim, who had a broken ankle and leg and required surgery.

 

Meanwhile, Stell and K-9 Lucy were summoned Columbia County by the sheriff’s office to find a missing 85-year-old male suffering from dementia in cold temperatures that were expected to drop below freezing that night. Early search efforts had thrown Lucy off the scent, but Stell decided on a different route into the woods, which proved to be correct for a “colder” trail, and the man soon was found.

 

Enforcement officers are nominated for the awards by each of the 12 AGFC enforcement districts. A committee chaired by Capt. Nakia Crims of the AGFC’s regional office in Fort Smith makes certain the nominations fit the particular criteria for each award and chooses the winners.

 

3-6-19 12:44 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Rutledge Applauds Legislation Approving Ballot Title Amendment Says, 'The law will give Arkansans a clear, concise and fair process'

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

 

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

 

 

3-5-19 5:17 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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House Passes Contraceptive Bill

This afternoon the Arkansas House of Representatives narrowly passed H.B. 1290 by Rep. Aaron Pilkington (R – Clarksville) and Sen. Bart Hester (R - Cave Springs).

The bill lets pharmacists give oral contraceptives to women without a prescription from a doctor.

Family Council opposes the bill primarily for two reasons.

First, oral contraceptives carry a number of health risks — including heart attack, blood clots in the lungs, and bleeding in the brain. That’s why these pills currently require a prescription from a doctor. Letting pharmacists dispense them without the oversight of a physician jeopardizes women’s health.

Second, according to the federal Food and Drug Administration, oral contraceptives can cause the death of an unborn child. These drugs not only prevent the conception of unborn children, but they can also stop an unborn child from implanting inside the mother’s womb, causing the child to die and be miscarried. The fact that these drugs can cause the death of an unborn child makes this a human life issue.

The bill was amended last week before the House Public Health Committee passed it, and now there are concerns that some of the changes made to the bill may make it possible for pharmacists to refer women to abortion facilities like Planned Parenthood when they dispense birth control pills.

This fight now shifts to the Arkansas Senate.

H.B. 1290 will go to the Arkansas Senate Public Health Committee, where it could be voted on very soon. That's why I hope you will encourage your state senator to oppose H.B. 1290, the bill letting pharmacists dispense oral contraceptives without a prescription from a doctor.

You can leave a message for your state senator by calling the Arkansas Senate during normal business hours at (501) 682-2902. 

Look at the list below to see how your state representative voted on the bill today.

THE FOLLOWING REPRESENTATIVES VOTED AGAINST THE BILL

Rep. Rick Beck
Rep. Stan Berry
Rep. Harlan Breaux
Rep. Joe Cloud
Rep. Cameron Cooper
Rep. Marsh Davis
Rep. Gary Deffenbaugh
Rep. Brian Evans
Rep. Lanny Fite
Rep. Jack Fortner
Rep. Mickey Gates
Rep. Lee Johnson
Rep. Jasen Kelly
Rep. Mark Lowery
Rep. Julie Mayberry
Rep. Gayla McKenzie
Rep. Ron McNair
Rep. Stephen Meeks
Rep. John Payton
Rep. Clint Penzo
Rep. Keith Slape
Rep. Brandt Smith
Rep. Nelda Speaks
Rep. Dan Sullivan
Rep. Les Warren
Rep. Danny Watson
Rep. Carlton Wing
Rep. Richard Womack
Rep. Jim Wooten

THE FOLLOWING REPRESENTATIVES VOTED FOR THE BILL

Rep. Fred Allen
Rep. Mary Bentley
Rep. Charles Blake
Rep. Justin Boyd
Rep. Karilyn Brown
Rep. LeAnne Burch
Rep. Sarah Capp
Rep. Frances Cavenaugh
Rep. Craig Christiansen
Rep. Nicole Clowney
Rep. Bruce Coleman
Rep. Andrew Collins
Rep. Andy Davis
Rep. Jana Della Rosa
Rep. Jim Dotson
Rep. Dan Douglas
Rep. Deborah Ferguson
Rep. Kenneth Ferguson
Rep. David Fielding
Rep. Vivian Flowers
Rep. Denise Garner
Rep. Jimmy Gazaway
Rep. Don Glover
Rep. Megan Godfrey
Rep. Justin Gonzales
Rep. Michelle Gray
Rep. Spencer Hawks
Rep. David Hillman
Rep. Grant Hodges
Rep. Monte Hodges
Rep. Steve Hollowell
Rep. Joe Jett
Rep. Jack Ladyman
Rep. Fred Love
Rep. Roger Lynch
Rep. Stephen Magie
Rep. Austin McCollum
Rep. Tippi McCullough
Rep. Josh Miller
Rep. Reginald Murdock
Rep. Milton Nicks
Rep. Mark Perry
Rep. Rebecca Petty
Rep. Aaron Pilkington
Rep. Jay Richardson
Rep. Chris Richey
Rep. Laurie Rushing
Rep. Johnny Rye
Rep. Jamie Scott
Rep. Stu Smith
Rep. DeAnn Vaught
Rep. John Walker
Rep. Jeff Wardlaw
Rep. David Whitaker

THE FOLLOWING REPRESENTATIVES VOTED “PRESENT” (DID NOT VOTE FOR THE BILL OR AGAINST THE BILL)

Rep. Sonia Barker
Rep. Ken Bragg
Rep. Cindy Crawford
Rep. Carol Dalby
Rep. Charlene Fite
Rep. Mike Holcomb
Rep. Robin Lundstrum
Rep. Jim Sorvillo
Rep. Dwight Tosh

THE FOLLOWING REPRESENTATIVES WERE ABSENT OR DID NOT VOTE

Rep. Bruce Cozart
Rep. Les Eaves
Rep. Jon Eubanks
Rep. Doug House
Rep. Lane Jean
Rep. John Maddox
Rep. Marcus Richmond
Rep. Matthew Shepherd

 

3-5-19 5:07 p.m. KAWX.ORG

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Mena Police Department Report for February 24th - March 2nd

Mena Police Department Reports for the Week of February 24, 2019 March 2, 2019 

 

February 24, 2019

Report was made of a vehicle being stolen in Benton County that turned up in Polk County.  The vehicle was returned to the legal owner.  No charges have been filed at this time.

 

Randall Dale Burkett, 26, of Mena was charged with possession of methamphetamine or cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia.  The arrest followed a routine traffic stop.

 

Donnie Dollarhyde, 45, of Mena was arrested on an outstanding warrant from Polk County.

 

February 25, 2019

Melissa Mettie, 31, of Mena was arrested for criminal trespass after officers were called to a local retail store.

 

Stacy Lynn Van, 50, of Mena was charged with theft of property (shoplifting) followed a call from employees at a local retail store.

 

A Mena woman reported that the father of her unborn child was harassing her and threatening her.  The suspect resides in California.  No charges have been filed at this time.

 

February 26, 2019

A local man reported that someone had accessed the crawl space under his house, as well as remove a vent cover.  Case is pending.

 

A local youth reported that his wallet had been stolen.  Case is pending.  There are no suspects at this time.

 

Angela Cabello, 29, of Mena turned herself in to authorities on an outstanding warrant from the Mena Police Department for failure to pay fines and court costs.

 

February 27, 2019

Crystal Lane Davis, 39, of Mena, was arrested on an outstanding warrant from the Mena Police Department.

 

Report was taken that a local man is being harassed and threatened by an acquaintance.  Case is pending.

 

Jimmy Lee Wright, 33, of Mena was charged with driving on a driver’s license suspended for DWI.

 

Jack Henry, 59, of Mena was arrested on a warrant from the Mena Police Department for failure to pay fines and court costs.

 

February 28, 2019

Sean Eric Craddock, 24, of Mena was charged with theft of property (shoplifting) after officers responded to a call at a local retail store.

 

Brandon Everett, 28, of Mena was charged with driving on a suspended driver’s license and careless driving.

 

Brenda Gebhardt, 45, of Mena was charged with possession with intent to deliver of methamphetamine, possession of a schedule VI controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and driving on a suspended driver’s license.  The arrest followed a traffic stop.

 

A Mena man reported that he is being harassed by an acquaintance.  Case is pending.

 

Bradley Chandler, 52, of Mena turned himself into authorities for an outstanding warrant from the Polk County Sheriff.

 

March 1, 2019

Aaron Frank Ollar, 31, of Mena was charged with theft of property (shoplifting) after officers responded to a call at a local retail store.

 

Nathan Allen Gastineau, 37, of Mena was arrested on an outstanding warrant for failure to pay fines and court costs from the Mena Police Department.

 

March 2, 2019

Report was made by a local woman regarding a battery.  Case is pending further investigation and interview of all persons involved.

 

3-4-19 2:36 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Polk County Sheriff's Log For February 25th - March 3rd

SHERIFF’S LOG


The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of February 25, 2019 – March 3, 2019.  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.


February 25, 2019
Report from a Mena woman of disruptive 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 from complainant on Polk 136 near Cove of a vehicle that had been driving recklessly.  Investigation continues.
Report from complainant on Polk 32 near Cove of an individual stuck under a trailer.  Deputies responded.
Report from complainant on Polk 286 near Hatfield of a missing license plate.
Traffic stop on Highway 88 near Mena led to the arrest of Gary T. Dobbs, 64, of Mena, on a Body Attachment Warrant Additional information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.


February 26, 2019
Report from complainant on Polk 76 East near Mena of receiving inappropriate messages from an individual in another jurisdiction.  The information has been forwarded to the proper authorities.
Report of disruptive behavior led to a 17-year-old male being issued a Juvenile Citation for Disorderly Conduct.  The juvenile was released to the custody of a parent/guardian.
Report from complainant on Polk 35 near Hatfield of the theft of a dog.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.


February 27, 2019
No reports were filed.


February 28, 2019
Report of a death on Polk 7 near Wickes.  Deputy responded.
Arrested was Kristian D. Taylor, 33, of Hatfield, on a Charge of Violation of a No Contact Order and a Warrant for Bond Revocation.
Arrested was Gregory S. Brewer, 50, of Hatfield, on Charges of two counts of Aggravated Assault.
Arrested was Micah A. Steffler, 33, of Dequeen, on a Child Support Warrant.


March 1, 2019
Request for welfare check on Polk 290 near Cove.  Deputy responded.
Arrested was Brenda L. Gebhardt, 45, of Mena, on a Warrant for Delivery of Meth or Cocaine.
Report from a Wickes woman of the theft of a phone valued at $100.00, and of being harassed by acquaintances.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Report from complainant on Polk 181 near Mena of an attempted scam involving a check cashing scheme.
Arrested was Celest A. Branson, 21, of Mena, on two Warrants for Failure to Comply with a Court Order.

March 2, 2019
Report from complainant on Highway 71 South near Cove of the break-in and theft of military medals and a computer, all valued at $200.00.  Investigation continues.


March 3, 2019
Report of a disturbance on Venable Lane near Mena led to the arrest of Brandon L. Everett, 28, and Kaylie M. Stroud, 23, both of Mena, each on a Charge of Disorderly Conduct.
Report of a chimney fire on Dove Lane near Hatfield.  Deputy responded.

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 21 Incarcerated Inmates, with 5 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

PC19-00157

 

3-4-19 12:34 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: A Dramatic Shift in Arkansas's Juvenile Justice System

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Address: A Dramatic Shift in Arkansas’s Juvenile Justice
 
 
LITTLE ROCK – This week, the General Assembly passed a comprehensive bill that is a giant step forward in reforming our juvenile justice system. The bill provides for better assessment of our troubled youth and allows for sentencing guidelines that are more appropriate to each person.
 
This reform is a long overdue response to the needs of youth who are struggling. It holds great potential to improve the life of our youth and to reduce the number who commit another crime and return to the system.
 
This law does two very important things. First, it requires the court to provide a validated independent assessment of each youth in the system.
 
This will allow the court and the probation officers to understand the issues that have led the teenager to this point in his or her life. It will point out the risks that may lead the young person to re-offend. And it will help determine the appropriate discipline.
 
This law will make the system more equitable across the state. When it is necessary to confine a youth to a treatment center, we may be able to move the youth to a facility that is close to his or her community.
 
This opens the possibility that family and people in the community can better prepare for the young person’s return.
 
The law also makes it possible for us to offer treatment for drug addiction or mental-health issues when that is appropriate.
 
The second part of this reform is that we are closing two treatment centers. Over time, this will allow us to reinvest money into local treatment options.
This is a dramatic shift in our system of juvenile justice that will help us get our teenagers back on track when they get into trouble.
 
The reform of the juvenile justice system has been one of my top priorities since I took office. The month before my first inauguration, in fact, I made a surprise visit to the state’s largest center for juveniles so that I could see the conditions firsthand and make it clear that this issue is important to me.
 
Now we’ve passed this law and taken an important step to reforming our juvenile justice system.
 
3-1-19  6:05 p.m.  kawx.org

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Prosecuting Attorney Warns Of Scam Targeting Local Residents

The following information was shared by the Prosecuting Attorney.

 

Several local residents have reported the receipt of letters purported to be from Publisher's Clearinghouse (PCH) and other entities. The letters claim that the recipient won a large sum of money, usually millions of dollars. Unfortunately, these letters are unaffiliated with reputable entities. Instead, they are one step in a multi-layered scam targeting the elderly and those desperate to earn extra money from home.

 

Here's how the second level of the scam works . . .

 

Enclosed with each letter is a legitimate looking check claiming to cover the payment of taxes on a grand prize. The recipient is instructed to cash the check and send the proceeds via wire transfer back to the fake sweepstakes company. According to the scam letter, once the fake sweepstakes company receives the proceeds of the check, the millions of dollars that the recipient allegedly won can be released.

 

Those who cash the checks and wire the money to the fake entity end up holding the bag when the checks, usually between $5000 and $10,000 inevitably bounce. The bank then seeks repayment of the proceeds from the victim of the scam.

 

And there is another victim . . .

 

The scam usually begins with an individual who responds to a Craigslist "work from home" add. This person is told that an offshore company needs a US based person to process and mail checks and letters. The person on this side of the scam is instructed to buy checks at an office store to print and mail them to a list of people provided via email. Of course, for their efforts this person also prints a fake check that ultimately bounces. The bank then seeks repayment from the victim of this level of the scam.

 

Use common sense . . . If something is too good to be true then it probably is.

 

1. Pay attention to the envelope

 

Since the letters and checks are sent from individuals, they are usually mailed in plain white envelopes with peel and stick postage stamps. Would a large company like PCH would not be likely to use such a mailing method?

 

2. Never pay money to receive money

 

Why would a reputable business send a person a check and ask the person to cash the check and send the cash proceeds back?

 

3. Do not agree to process payments for anyone

 

Why would a large company handling millions of dollars need to use a person working from home to process its payments?

 
3-1-19 4:43 KAWX.ORG
 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

In Arkansas, there are two ways to put a constitutional amendment on an election ballot.

 

First, an individual or group can draft a ballot measure and then collect the needed number of signatures.

 

The second way amendments are put forth is by the General Assembly.  Article 19 of the Arkansas Constitution allows the General Assembly to refer up to three amendments for the next general election.

 

This week, the House State Agencies began hearing proposed amendments. Topics addressed in the proposals range from term limits to inmate labor.

 

You can watch the presentations on the video library section of www.arkansashouse.org.

 

Meanwhile, in the 7th week of the session, the House passed the following legislation:

 

HB1437-This bill makes it a Class A misdemeanor if a mandated reporter fails to notify law enforcement of a serious threat made by an individual regarding violence in or targeted at a school.

 

HB1356-This bill makes it against the law for students to be shamed or stigmatized for not paying for lunch. It prohibits schools from providing a different meal or snack than other students, from requiring a wristband or hand stamp, or requiring the student to dispose of the meal. It also requires the Department of Education to implement a system of best practices in collecting for unpaid lunches.

 

HB1416-This bill removes the enrollment cap on school districts which separation may occur.

 

HB1413-This bill states private school and home school students who enroll in an endorsed concurrent enrollment course in a public school should not be charged for the course unless the district also charges public school students.

 

HB1491- This bill mandates DHS dissolve the wait list for the alternative community services waiver program (Developmental Disabilities Waiver) within 3 years.

 

HB1493-This bill amends the Arkansas Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit.  It lowers the minimum threshold for the credit from $25,000 to $5,000 of rehabilitation expenses in non-income producing properties.

 

HB1439-This bill prohibits abortions after 18 weeks’ gestation except in the event of a medical emergency.

 

HB1304-This bill amends the Arkansas Speed Trap Law. It requires Legislative Audit to include information to determine if a municipality is potentially abusing police power in the agency’s routine audit reports.

 

HB1438-This bill makes repeat offenses of voyeurism and video voyeurism a Class C felony.

 

The House also passed a resolution this week extending the session until April 12. 

 

As a reminder, you can watch all House proceedings at www.arkansashouse.org.

 

3-1-19 3:51 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column

Babies Who Survive Abortion Deserve Protection & Dignity

 

Recently a very disturbing and revealing discussion has been taking place in our country, raising serious questions about how much value and worth we ascribe to babies in the womb and especially those born despite an attempted abortion procedure.

 

This year several states have passed or proposed laws to codify the right to abortion up until the moment of birth. Entertaining the idea that the rights and privileges that newborn babies possess is an open-ended question is alarming. I believe we must defend their rights to life and to receive the same care that any other child born at the same gestational age would instead of being callously discarded or worse, intentionally killed in the name of reproductive freedom.

 

That’s why I supported the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act on the Senate floor last month. Although this legislation seeking to protect newborns who survive an attempted abortion received a bipartisan majority of votes, it regrettably did not pass.

 

The utter failure to recognize and affirm the right to life, especially after an infant has already been born, is greatly concerning. There should be no mistake or ambiguity regarding our commitment to uphold this basic, fundamental right and protect every child no matter the circumstances of his or her birth.

 

The legislation would create criminal penalties for doctors who allow infants surviving abortion to die rather than provide them medical care and also require that born-alive abortion survivors be transported to a hospital for treatment.

 

Abortionists who defied these mandates to render aid to abortion survivors would face the justice they are due instead of being ignored or permitted to continue committing this cruel, inhumane act that amounts to infanticide.

 

It is time for our country to speak with one clear voice and say that every human being is made in the image of God and is therefore in possession of dignity and worth that cannot be displaced or dispossessed. Anything short of this unambiguous declaration would be a tremendous disservice to our children and fatally undermine the values our society claims to uphold.

 

As a former medical provider, I believe that to end a newborn child’s life either by refusing to provide life-saving care or actively taking that child’s life – as in the case of infamous abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell and others – violates the oath every medical provider takes to “do no harm.”

 

As a dad and a grandfather, I know from my own experience just how precious each life is. Every new life is a treasured gift that brings families like mine immeasurable joy and meaning and any suggestion otherwise is tragic, heartbreaking and outrageous.

 

I am proud to have stood with my colleagues in support of this legislation seeking to protect these precious, vulnerable little ones. We can and should do this as a reflection of the country we want to be. While I’m disappointed with the result of the vote, my colleagues and I, along with millions of Americans across the nation, will continue to raise our voices on their behalf.

 

If we as a nation are to hold any claim to a moral character that deserves to be admired and emulated, we must be willing to say that the lives of newborn children have inherent value and are worthy of protection. There is simply no way to credibly claim otherwise.

 

3-1-19 1:44 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

March 1, 2019

 

LITTLE ROCK – The legislature advanced a major highway program and tougher new ethics laws.

 

Senate Bill 336 is part of the governor’s proposal to raise funding for highway construction and maintenance. The Senate approved the measure and sent it to the House of Representatives, where it received a favorable vote in committee.

 

The bills is supported by a significant portion of the business community, as well as representatives of Arkansas trucking companies.

 

It levies a new wholesale sales tax on gasoline and diesel, which will result in an additional 3 cents a gallon on gas and 6 cents on diesel. The new state rate for gasoline will be 24.5 cents a gallon, and for diesel it will be 28.5 cents.

 

When fully in effect, in Fiscal Year 2021, this new wholesale sales tax will generate $59 million a year for state highway projects and $12.6 million each a year for both cities and counties.

 

Increases from one year to the next will be limited to 0.1 percent per gallon.

 

Both the Senate and the House have approved SB 249 to SB 256 to strengthen laws on ethics for public officials and campaign finance. SB 249 increases the maximum fine that the Ethics Commission can impose, from $2,000 to $3,500. SB 256 prohibits a legislator or constitutional officer from being a registered lobbyist, not only in Arkansas but in other states.

 

Act 191 will improve enforcement of the new ethics laws by increasing the staff of the state Ethics Commission from nine to 11 employees.

 

Several measures affecting public schools advanced. House Bill 1419, which would require public schools to offer individual classes to home-schooled students, was endorsed by the House Education Committee.

 

HB 1182 would make it a primary offense to use a cell phone while driving through a school zone when children are present. A police officer could stop drivers solely for the purpose of finding out if they were using a phone, which they could not do if it were a secondary offense. Both chambers have approved HB 1182.

 

Both chambers have approved and sent to the governor HB1014 to require high schools to teach bleeding control and the use of a tourniquet, as a component of health classes.

 

HB 1356 requires schools to treat students no differently although they may owe money for lunches. It was endorsed in House committee. For example, schools could not make students wear wrist bands if they had a debt for meals.

 

The House also approved HB 1437, which professionals who work with children to notify law enforcement if they have reason to believe there is a serious and imminent threat of violence targeted at a school.

 

The list of occupations is long, and includes doctors, teachers, social workers, foster parents, school counselors and school officials, mental health professionals and advocates for children.

 

The House approved and sent to the Senate HB 1431to prohibit abortions after 18 weeks of gestation, except in cases of medical emergency that threatens the life of the mother.

 

3-1-19 8:04 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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