Mena Police made two arrests Monday night and releasesed the following statement:
"On 08/19/19 at about 1730 hours, Officers went to a residence in Mena to serve a federal warrant. Marcelino Williamson, age 30, was arrested on federal BATF warrant for one count of being a person subject to a court order in possession of a firearm. Kayla Odom, age 31, was also arrested and charged with Hindering Apprehension and Refusal to Submit to Arrest."
8-20-19 5:54 p.m. KAWX.ORG
The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of August 12 - August 18, 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.
August 12, 2019
Report from complainant on Polk 1 near Grannis of the violation of an Order of Protection. Deputies responded. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Report from complainant on Polk 121 near Mena of the theft of an air compressor and crow bar, all valued at $510.00. Investigation continues.
Arrested was Ashley D. Chumley, 38, of Mena, on a Warrant for Felony Failure to Appear.
August 13, 2019
Report from complainant on Highway 8 East near Big Fork of being harassed by an acquaintance. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Arrested was George Trivette III, 26, of Mena, on Warrants for Furnishing Prohibited Articles and Tampering with Physical Evidence.
Arrested by an officer with the Grannis Police Department was Elmer O. Elmore, 39, of Gillham, on a Warrant for Failure to Appear.
August 14, 2019
Report from complainant on Polk 277 near Vandervoort of the theft of a piece of exercise equipment, valued at $150.00. Investigation continues.
Report from complainant on Polk 41 North near Shady Grove of a disturbance that had occurred at an earlier time. Investigation continues.
Report from a Mena couple that their 15-year-old daughter was missing. The juvenile was later located. A Juvenile Citation for Disorderly Conduct was issued to the female. The juvenile was released to the custody of a parent/guardian.
Arrested was Joseph Y. Cunningham, 34, of Mena, on Warrants for Possession of a Schedule I/II Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Simultaneous Possession of Firearms & Drugs, Possession of a Firearm by Certain Person, Failure to Comply with a Court Order and Probation Violation.
August 15, 2019
Arrested was Melton R. Cannon, 54, of Mena, on a Warrant for Possession of a Controlled Substance.
August 16, 2019
Report of a disturbance on Polk 41 South near Potter led to the arrest of Robin L. Hames, 55, of Mena, on a Charge of Disorderly Conduct.
Report of a person threatening another with a firearm on Polk 24 near Cove led to the arrest of Juston M. Wikel, 34, of Cove, on a Charge of Aggravated Assault and a Parole Revocation.
August 17, 2019
Report from complainant on Polk 85 near Cherry Hill of the fraudulent use of a credit card, totaling losses at $463.75. Investigation continues.
August 18, 2019
Traffic stop on School Street in Cove led to the arrest of Asa R. Dixon, 21, of Cove, on Charges of DWI, Equipment Violation and Expired Tags.
Polk County Sheriff’s Office worked two vehicle accidents this week.
Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 25 Incarcerated Inmates , with 20 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.
8-20-19 5:48 p.m. KAWX.ORG
Holly Harshman Elementary kicked off opening week with a "Bearcat Eyes Are Watching You" Pep Rally. School Counselor Vicky Maye and Behavioral Interventionist Ashlynn Watts are excited to be adding this as a positive behavior system for the school. The following Special Alumni Bearcat guests were present to help kick off the new year: Head of Security, Shane Torix; HHE Building Manager, Joe Bunch; Technology, Nathan Stone; Coach Ray Hunter; Coach Randy Peters; Elementary Behavioral Interventionist, Ashlynn Watts; Cheer sponsor, Andrea Hughes; Bearcat Head Football Coach, Craig Bentley; High School Teacher, Andy Philpot; and Mayor Seth Smith.
All alumni shared a few words about growing up as a Mena Bearcat and being back as part of the Mena TEAM staff member. Mayor Smith signed a proclamation for the week of August 19-24, 2019 as "Be A Bearcat Week!" Mr. Justin Goodnight, middle school instructor for Career Orientation and Agriculture was present to share his story of how he modeled kindness when he gave a student his shoes last school year. Mr. Torix closed the pep rally with his famous quote, "It's a great day to be a Bearcat!" Maye shares, "HHE staff and students can look forward to the monthly pep rallies this school year!"
Maye continued "Our first parent night will be September 23, 2019 at 6 p.m. We have had an awesome week back as we welcomed a huge turnout for Open House. Our Parent/Family Engagement Plans for HHE have been included in our beginning of the year important correspondence for HHE families. The following HHE parent/family advisory committee members met on Thursday, August 15th for lunch at Papa's Mexican to review and make plans for family engagement opportunities: Building Principal, Tamara Smart; Building Manager, Joe Bunch; Behavioral Interventionist, Ashlynn Watts; Campus Facilitator and School Counselor, Vicky Maye; and parents, Bridgett Martin, Stephanie Miller, and Shelby Garcia. The HHE Parent/Family Engagement Plan is available on the HHE School website at https://www.menaschools.org/o/holly-harshman-elementary-school.
Mena Police Department Reports for the Week of August 11, 2019 through August 17, 2019
August 11, 2019
Joni McKee, 38, of Mena was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. The arrest followed a traffic stop.
August 12, 2019
A local woman reported that several items were stolen from her vehicle while it was parked at a local business. Besides personal items, there was a handgun taken as well. After speaking with a witness, officers were able to identify a suspect. Case is pending location and interview of suspect.
August 13, 2019
Officers responded to a call at a local business regarding an individual who had become agitated and started throwing items in the store.
Employees at a local nursing facility reported that someone had broken the knob on an entry door. No suspects at this time.
Report was made of someone stealing several items from a local retail store. Case pending review of surveillance video.
August 14 & 15, 2019
William R. Pate, 47, of Mena was charged with possession of methamphetamine or cocaine with intent to deliver, failure to use a signal, and driving on a suspended driver’s license. The arrest followed a traffic stop.
Patricia Miner, 48, of Mena was served an outstanding warrant from Mena Police for an original charge of theft of property.
Israel Flores, 26, of Fayetteville was served an outstanding warrant.
August 16, 2019
David Lee Maleski, 47, of Smithville, Oklahoma, was served an outstanding warrant.
August 17, 2019
Employees at a local fast food restaurant reported receiving a counterfeit $100.00 bill. Case is pending.
8-19-19 9:37 a.m. KAWX.ORG
Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Stop for the Flashing Red Lights
LITTLE ROCK – Today, as our children start a new school year, I’d like to focus on the “Flashing Red. Kids Ahead” campaign.
I’ve known that vehicles are supposed to stop for a bus since I was a young student in Gravette. I routinely walked the half mile to catch a bus to school. Our bus driver was protective of his young passengers, and so anytime a car passed when red lights were flashing, if he could read the tag, he would write it down and report the car.
The purpose of the “Flashing Red. Kids Ahead” slogan is to make everyone aware that it is illegal to pass a stopped bus. This is the seventh year the Arkansas Department of Education has focused on the responsibility of drivers to stop every time they encounter a school bus with its stop signs out and red lights flashing.
Even with the ongoing emphasis, some drivers aren’t heeding the message. Each day of the 178-day school year, approximately 6,000 buses transport 350,000 students to and from school. Every year, on one day in April, the department asks bus drivers around the state to record the number of drivers who ignore the flashing lights and pass a stopped school bus.
This year, in the one-day survey, drivers reported 884 motorists illegally passing a bus. That means drivers illegally passed 15 percent of our stopped school buses. Put another way, drivers chose to ignore the flashing red lights and endangered the lives of our students 15 percent of the time.
This is a slight increase over last year. The most frightening statistic is that 12 drivers passed a bus on the right side where the children board.
Police agencies, including the state police, ticket drivers who illegally pass a bus. In 2017, troopers wrote 322 tickets, and last year, they wrote 285.
This year, members of the 92nd General Assembly passed and I signed a law that increases the penalty for illegally passing a bus.
No one would intentionally endanger a child, but we can’t be careless around school buses.
This week, Secretary of Education Johnny Key hosted a “Flashing Red. Kids Ahead” assembly in the rotunda of the capitol. One of the speakers was William Brian. He is the father of Isaac Brian, the 9-year-old who was killed in Saline County in 2004 when a woman failed to stop for his school bus as he dashed for home after a day at school.
In his brief remarks, Isaac’s father appealed to all of us who drive to always stop when you see a school bus stopped, so that no other family suffers the tragedy his family endured.
In 2004, city leaders, legislators, and educators mobilized as soon as they heard about the death. During the 2005 General Assembly, both houses of the legislature unanimously passed a law that increased the penalty for a driver who illegally passed a bus.
They named the legislation Isaac’s Law in honor of the 9-year-old who never saw the car coming.
“Flashing Red. Kids Ahead.”
During any given day in the school year, there are 350,000 children riding a bus on Arkansas roadways.
This week, legislators joined the Governor, Education Secretary Johnny Key, and state police in reminding drivers that Flashing Red means Kids Ahead.
It is illegal to pass a stopped school bus whenever its red lights are flashing, as students are present. The law requires drivers to stop on 2 lane and 4 lane highways in both directions, even those with a middle lane. Drivers cannot attempt to pass in any direction until the school bus has finished receiving or discharging passengers and is in motion again.
And yet, Arkansans violate this law routinely. Back in April, Arkansas school bus drivers reported 884 instances of motorists illegally passing stopped school buses in one day. Twelve of those instances occurred on the right side of the bus, where students enter and leave the bus.
The penalties and punishment for anyone found guilty of illegally passing a stopped school bus were increased dramatically by Act 2128 of 2005, also known as Isaac’s Law. The legislation was named in honor of Isaac Brian, an elementary school student in the Bryant School District who was struck and killed when a driver illegally passed his school bus while students were exiting the vehicle. The legislature increased the fines in Isaac’s Law again this year with Act 166. Drivers can now face up to a $2,500 fine for a violation.
Isaac’s father, William Brian, spoke at the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday, “I’m encouraging you to take your responsibility as a driver seriously. I’m asking you eliminate distractions and have a heightened sense of awareness anytime you see flashing red lights.”
Everyone has a responsibility to ensure students arrive to and from school safely. Remember: Flashing Red. Kids Ahead. To learn more about the campaign, visit www.flashingredkidsahead.org.
8-16-19 8:55 p.m. KAWX.ORG
Retaining our Best Doctors and Increasing Health Care Access in Arkansas
More doctors are getting their education in Arkansas than ever before. The openings in recent years of the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Smith and the NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine in Jonesboro add to the well-established College of Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) which has been training doctors for more than a century and recently opened the doors to its Northwest Arkansas Regional Campus.
Despite an increase in training opportunities in our state, data from the Association of American Medical Colleges show the U.S. is expected to face a shortage of up to nearly 122,000 physicians by 2032. We’re taking action to prevent this shortfall and ensure we have well-qualified doctors for future generations of Arkansans and all Americans.
After medical school, prospective providers are required to complete a residency program to refine their skills in specialty fields and obtain their license to practice. An arbitrary cap on the number of residents funded by Medicare, the primary source of payment for residents, has contributed to the doctor shortage and prevented medical school graduates who want to continue living and working in Arkansas for their residency the opportunity to do so.
Earlier this year, I joined a bipartisan effort to introduce the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act that would gradually lift the caps on Medicare-supported doctor training slots by 3,000 per year over five years – creating 15,000 new residency training slots across the country. Half of these slots would be in specialty fields. This commonsense bill is a modest yet positive step we can take to improve access to quality medical services in urban and rural communities across Arkansas.
According to UAMS, there will be 439 medical school graduates in the next two years in Arkansas, but there are only 290 residency slots in our state. This means graduates will complete their residency elsewhere and potentially establish practices in states other than Arkansas. We want to train and retain the physicians who study here so they can provide care for us, our family and our friends. Additionally, residents become part of the communities they serve. UAMS Chancellor Dr.Cam Patterson says physicians are more likely to practice within 50 miles of their final residency training.
In addition to better access to care, updates to residency slots will have a positive economic impact. A report released by the Northwest Arkansas Council in January about the region’s health care needs showed an increase in physician residency positions is critical to the area’s growth.
I recently had the opportunity to talk more about the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act during a discussion with Arkansas health care providers and other government officials about solutions to the growing residency shortage in our state. We all share the common goal of increasing the number of physicians and investing in future doctors for our health care, and by working together we can help supply the medical professionals Arkansans need. They agreed that this bill is a good step to improving health care in our state.
Arkansas can be proud of the education it offers future physicians. We must be prepared to meet the future health care needs of Natural State residents. Passing the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act is a good place to start.
8-16-19 8:50 p.m. KAWX.ORG
State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague
August 16, 2019
LITTLE ROCK – With the opening of the 2019-2020 school year, there are 26 open enrollment charter schools in Arkansas.
Two new ones are scheduled to open this year in Pulaski County.
The state Charter School Authorizing Panel recently recommended approval of an application for a new school set to open in Bentonville in 2020-2021. When it opens, it will bring to 27 the total number of open enrollment charter schools in Arkansas.
Under state law, the limit on the number of open enrollment charters in Arkansas is 34. However, it would automatically increase by five schools once the total number of charters is within two of the limit. That means the limit will remain at 34 until there are 32 charters in the state.
The original cap for open enrollment charters schools was 24. Every year there are usually several applications to open new charters, but there also are regular closings of existing schools. Financial deficits and lack of students’ academic progress are cited as reasons for several of the closings.
Charter schools are public, and receive state aid. However, they are free from many of the regulations that govern traditional public schools. The charter under which they operate is like a performance contract, which outlines the schools mission and goals, as well as how many students it will educate and how it will assess academic progress.
There are two types of charter schools. Open enrollment charters are operated by non-profit organizations, government entities or institutions of higher education. They can draw students from across district boundaries.
The second type are conversion charters, which are operated by local school districts and which can only draw students from within the district’s boundaries.
In exchange for the greater freedom from regulations, charter schools agree to oversight from the state Board of Education.
Crisis Stabilization Units
In 2017 the legislature approved Act 423 to create four Crisis Stabilization Units, where police officers can bring people who behave erratically and may need immediate treatment for mental health issues. They are to have 16 beds.
Three units are open, in Washington County, Sebastian County and Pulaski County. The unit in Craighead County is under construction.
Act 423 also provides for expanded training of law enforcement officers in how to recognize and handle people who are going through a mental health crisis. Most people are admitted for up to 72 hours, but can stay longer under extreme circumstances.
One of the main goals of the units is to keep people with mental illness out of jails, where they will not have access to medication and where their conditions are likely to worsen.
The Criminal Justice Institute, which is connected with the University of Arkansas System, is offering online courses for police officers that teaches officers how to distinguish escalating levels of danger when they encounter a person undergoing a behavioral health crisis. The course keeps the safety of the officer as the top priority.
The course is nine hours and counts towards degrees offered by the Institute. The courses teach the new protocol that police should follow when dealing with people suffering a mental health crisis.
8-16-19 8:41 p.m. KAWX.ORG
Mena residents heard a loud explosion, some even reporting feeling the blast in their homes, shortly before 10:00 p.m. Thursday night. Mena Fire Department was paged out at 10:00 p.m. to Pine Moore Shavings on Hwy 375 (the old Mid-South Wood Products location) and the first firemen were on the scene at 10:03 p.m. where there was a large fire in progress.
Highway 375 was closed at one point for safety and traffic control as well as to prevent blockageof a fire hydrant at the corber of Eve Street and Highway 375.
Pine Moore Shavings manufactures pet bedding products.
The cause of the blaze is under investigation.
No injuries were reported. One fireman did get overheated but after cooling down continued battling the blaze.
In addition to the Mena Fire Department, Shady Grove and Potter fire departments responded, as well as Mena Police, Polk County Sheriff's Department, Polk County OES, and SW EMS.
8-16-19 8:01 a.m. KAWX.ORG
The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration has released the Arkansas Lottery Retail Sales By County Report for July 2019.
Total combined sales for all 75 counties amounted to $39,938,936.50.
Pulaski County had the highest sales at $7,392,918.50.
The lowest sales were in Montgomery County at $39,536.50.
Polk County sales were $182,072.00.
According to the Arkansas Family Council, only about 19 cents of every dollar actually goes to scholarships.
8-15-19 4:28 p.m. KAWX.ORG
For more about these activites at Queen Wilhelmina State Park near Mena, or the park, dial (479) 394-2863 or visit the park website.
Friday, August 16
Butterflies 1:00 pm lasting about 30 minutes. Meet at the Amphitheater. Join Park Interpreter Melissa as she guides you through a hands-on experience where you’ll learn about nature and create something you can take home. Materials are provided.
Wonder House Tour 2:00 pm lasting about 30 minutes. Meet at the Wonder House. Do you ever wonder what the Wonder House is about? Join Park Interpreter Melissa and step back into history to see one of the first vacation homes built in the 1930’s.
Ouachita Walk 3:00 pm lasting about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Meet on the west side of the Ouachita Trailhead. Join Park Interpreter Melissa and enjoy a serene summer walk on top of the mountain to catch a glimpse of the changes the season brings with it. This will be an easy hike for all ages.
Sunset Hike 7:45 pm lasting about 45 minutes. Meet beside the telescopes. Join Park Interpreter Melissa, for an easy stroll to watch the sunset. Feel free to bring your camera to take photos of this beautiful view.
Saturday, August 17
Sip and Shine 6:30 am lasting about 30 minutes. Meet on the south side of the platform. Are you a morning person? If so, grab a cup of coffee or your favorite morning drink and join Park Interpreter Melissa as we sip and watch the sunrise. Free coffee is available in the lobby of the Lodge. We recommend bringing your cameras to capture the beautiful sunrise.
Bird Watching 7:15 am lasting 1 hour. Meet on the north side of Lovers Leap. Whether you’re a beginner or pro at birding, join park interpreter Melissa as we hike to the observation deck. We will be watching for birds along the way. Bring your binoculars and we will see how many birds we can identify.
Wonder House Tour 10:00 am lasting about 30 minutes. Meet at the Wonder House. Do you ever wonder what the Wonder House is about? Join Park Interpreter Melissa and step back into history to see one of the first vacation homes built in the 1930’s.
Edible Insects 1:30 pm lasting about 30 minutes. Meet in the Hearth Room. Is eating bugs a real thing? Join Park Interpreter Melissa and see who really eats bugs. If you’re brave enough you can join the “I Ate A Bug Club!” Bring your appetite and take a bite or come and watch!
Click on the map above for Queen Wilhelmina State Park activities.
8-15-19 4:16 p.m. KAWX.ORG
The Mena Police Department released the following information about the accident Wednesday morning in Mena involving a car and bicycle.
"On Wednesday 08/14/19, at about 0800 hours, Mena police officers responded to a vehicle v. bicycle accident at the intersection of Dallas Avenue and Lincoln Street. Witness statements advised that the vehicle was going west on Dallas Avenue and the bicycle was going north on Lincoln Street. The bicycle failed to yield, while crossing Dallas Avenue, and was struck by the vehicle. The man that was driving the vehicle was uninjured. The 12-year-old boy, that was riding the bicycle, was injured and was transported to the hospital."
No other details are available at this time.
8-14-19 1:36 p.m. KAWX.ORG
A single vehicle accident on US Highway 71 just south of the Highway 246 intersection (Vandervoort junction) resulted in the death of a Horatio man around 8:50 Tuesday morning.
According the the Arkansas State Police Report, 34 year old Jonathan C. Smith of Horatio was southbound on Highway 71 in a 2010 Mack truck that left the highway and overturned.
The truck belonged to Tyson and was hauling live chickens.
The accident was investigated by Trooper Mike Thomas.
The complete list of appointments announced by the Governor today is below.
Laura Abbott, Cabot, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2022. Reappointment.
Judge Blake Batson, Arkadelphia, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2022. Replaces Judge Vicki Cook.
Lisa Channell, Benton, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2021. Reappointment.
Major Jeffrey Drew, Sherwood, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2024. Replaces Deborah Roark.
Dorinda Edmisten, Clarksville, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2020. Reappointment.
Dr. Karen Farst, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2022. Reappointment.
Tess Fletcher, Conway, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2023. Replaces Stacey McKeown.
Gracie Gonner, West Helena, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2021. Reappointment.
Dr. Sufna John, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2024. Replaces Larry Combs.
Will Jones, North Little Rock, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2023. Replaces Avis Lane.
Courtney Leach, Conway, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2024. Replaces Eddie Schmeckenbecher.
Suzanne Ritter Lumpkin, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2020. Replaces Lott Rolfe.
Mischa Martin, Sherwood, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2023. Replaces Cecile Blucker.
Melanie Mata, Jonesboro, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2024. New Position.
Carol Maxwell, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2021. Replaces Susan Waggener.
Elizabeth Pulley, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2022. Replaces Karl Mounger.
Sheriff Scott Sawyer, Mena, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2021. Replaces Cory Sanders.
Cristy Sellers, Alexander, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2020. Replaces Patricia Scott.
Nathan Smith, Bentonville, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2020. Replaces Christina McQueen.
Judge John Threet, Fayetteville, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2021. Replaces Judge David Reynolds.
Jimmy Turnbow, Monette, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2023. Replaces Kristin Pawlik.
Dr. Karen Worley, Sherwood, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2022. Reappointment.
Mena Police Department Reports for the Week of August 4, 2019 through August 10, 2019
August 4 & 5, 2019
Bambe Mellard, 35, of Mena turned herself in to authorities and was served an outstanding warrant for probation violation.
Tatum Veal, 28, of Mena was cited for shoplifting after officers responded to a call at a local retail store.
A local man reported that a motorcycle disappeared from his residence. Case is pending.
August 6, 2019
Christy Pruitt, 25, of Mena was arrested on an outstanding warrant for violation of Arkansas Hot Check Law from the DeQueen Police.
August 7, 2019
A 14-year-old Mena youth was charged with public intoxication and violation of curfew law. Case was referred to juvenile authorities.
August 8, 2019
Officers responded to a local residence regarding a couple fighting. No charges have been filed.
Rickey Looney, 38, of Mena, was charged with third degree battery and interference with emergency communications. The arrest followed a complaint and further investigation.
August 9, 2019
Garrett Bosley, 29, of Mena was charged with shoplifting and criminal trespass after a call to a local store.
Owner of a local ice machine reported that it had been vandalized by someone spray painting the structure. Case is under investigation.
Nickie Landfair, 26, of Mena was charged with criminal trespass and resisting arrest. The arrest followed a call to a local residence.
Jason Lovett, 45, of Mena was charged with shoplifting after officers responded to a call from a local retail store.
Kara Bone, 33, of Cove was charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of an instrument of crime. The incident followed a traffic stop.
August 10, 2019
A local resident reported that his mail box had been damaged by a vehicle. Case is pending.
Justin Cole, 29, of Mena was served two outstanding warrants, one from the Polk County Sheriff and one from Mena Police.
Gregory Brewer, 50, of Mena was charged with possession of a controlled substance.
8-12-19 4:40 p.m. KAWX.ORG
The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of August 5 - August 11, 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.
August 5, 2019
Report from two Hatfield families that their 13-year-old daughter and 15-year-old son were missing. The juveniles were later located.
August 6, 2019
Report of a single-vehicle accident on Buddy Bean Lane in Hatfield led to Citations for No Proof of Insurance and Careless/Prohibited Driving being issued to Brandon R. Falls, 33, of Mena.
Arrested by an officer with Arkansas Probation & Parole was Patrick J. Bates, 46, of Norman, on a Warrant for Failure to Comply with a Court Order and two Warrants for Failure to Appear.
Arrested by a trooper with the Arkansas State Police was Clinton W. Mahaffey, 35, of Watson, OK, on a Warrant for Failure to Appear.
Arrested was Jonathan M. Tidwell, 40, of Wickes, on a Warrant for Failure to Comply with a Court Order.
August 7, 2019
Report from complainant on Butler Circle in Hatfield of an unauthorized person on their property. Deputy responded.
Report from complainant on Polk 46 near Shady Grove of missing farm equipment, valued at $950.00, and unauthorized persons on their property. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Report from complainant on Race Lane near Mena of the theft of personal items, jewelry and knives, all valued at $152.00. Investigation continues.
Report from complainant on Horseshoe Lane near Potter of an unauthorized person on their property. Deputy responded.
Report from complainant on Polk 85 near Cherry Hill of being threatened by an acquaintance.
Arrested was Gregory S. McDonald, 41, of Mena, on a Warrant for Defrauding Secured Creditors.
August 8, 2019
Report from complainant on Polk 29 near Hatfield of a disturbance that had occurred earlier in the Mena city limits. This case was forwarded to the Mena Police Department.
Report of a disturbance on Twin Pines Lane near Mena. Deputies responded. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Traffic stop on Highway 8 East near Mena led to the arrest of James R. Grossman, 56, of Mena, on a Charge of Public Intoxication.
Report from a business on Highway 71 South in Cove of the theft of motor fuel, totaling losses at $61.53. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
August 9, 2019
Arrested was Eric D. Revels, 35, of Mena, on a Warrant for Probation Violation.
August 10, 2019
Report from complainant on Polk 76 West near Mena of the theft of prescription medication. Investigation continues.
Report of a dog bite victim on Cloud Lane near Shady Grove. Deputy responded.
August 11, 2019
Arrested was Billy R. Powell, 37, of Hatfield, on a Charge of Public Intoxication.
Arrested was Jennifer A. M. Emfinger, 33, of Horatio, on a Warrant for Probation Violation.
Polk County Sheriff’s Office worked two vehicle accidents this week.
Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 27 Incarcerated Inmates , with 12 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.
8-12-19 3:30 p.m. KAWX.ORG
The Mena City Council will meet Tuesday, August 13, 2019 for their regular monthly meeting. The meeting will start at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall and is open to the public.
New business on the agenda includes the consideration of bids for the 2019 Sidewalk Improvement Program, discussion of extra expenditure on a cost share project with Polk county to resurface Fairgrounds Road, consideration of a resolution authorizing the destruction of outdated records, consideration of a resolution authorizing Mayor Smith and Clerk/Treasurer Rexroad to execute a FAA grant amounting to $149,400.00 for the design phase of Runway 17-35 resurfacing and rehabilitation at Mena Intermountain Municipal Airport, and consideration of an ordinance to amend the 2019 budget.
The Council will also tend to routine business and hear reports from department heads and committees.
LITTLE ROCK, AR – On Thursday Family Council Action Committee released its legislative report card for the 2019 Arkansas General Assembly. The report card scored 25 bills in the Arkansas House and Senate. Bills ranged from right-to-life, education, marijuana, religious liberty, and other issues. Lawmakers earned letter grades ranging from A-F based on how they voted on the 25 bills. Lawmakers had to vote on at least 15 of the 25 bills in the report card in order to receive a letter grade and to be considered for the award.
Jerry Cox, President of Family Council Action Committee, stated, “We chose bills based on our core belief in promoting, protecting, and strengthening traditional family values. These bills were chosen because they address issues conservative Arkansans care about, including abortion; religious liberty; marijuana; education; and others. We wanted to answer the common question from constituents, ‘How did my legislator vote?’” Arkansans can order the report card by calling 501-375-7000, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or see candidates’ votes online at www.ArkansasReport.com.
Family Council Action Committee also announced the recipients of the 2019 Statesman Award. “This year we are awarding a record number of legislators for their hard work and good votes,” Cox stated, “we commend these legislators for promoting, protecting, and strengthening traditional family values during the 2019 legislative session.” Ninety legislators received the award based on how they voted on the 25 bills in the report card.
The 2019 Statesman Award recipients included 24 senators and 66 representative:
Senator Bob Ballinger (R – Berryville)
Senator Cecile Bledsoe (R – Rogers)
Senator Ronald Caldwell (R – Wynne)
Senator Eddie Cheatham (D – Crossett)
Senator Alan Clark (R – Lonsdale)
Senator John Cooper (R – Jonesboro)
Senator Jonathan Dismang (R – Beebe)
Senator Lance Eads (R – Springdale)
Senator Jane English (R – North Little Rock)
Senator Scott Flippo (R – Bull Shoals)
Senator Trent Garner (R – El Dorado)
Senator Kim Hammer (R – Benton)
Senator Jim Hendren (R – Gravette)
Senator Bart Hester (R – Cave Springs)
Senator Jimmy Hickey (R – Texarkana)
Senator Ricky Hill (R – Cabot)
Senator Missy Irvin (R – Mountain View)
Senator Blake Johnson (R – Corning)
Senator Mark Johnson (R – Little Rock)
Senator Jason Rapert (R – Conway)
Senator Terry Rice (R – Waldron)
Senator Gary Stubblefield (R – Branch)
Senator James Sturch (R – Batesville)
Senator David Wallace (R – Leachville)
Representative Sonia Barker (R – Smackover)
Representative Rick Beck (R – Center Ridge)
Representative Mary Bentley (R – Perryville)
Representative Stan Berry (R – Dover)
Representative Justin Boyd (R – Fort Smith)
Representative Ken Bragg (R – Sheridan)
Representative Harlan Breaux (R – Holiday Island)
Representative Karilyn Brown (R – Sherwood)
Representative Sarah Capp (R – Ozark)
Representative Craig Christiansen (R – Bald Knob)
Representative Joe Cloud (R – Russellville)
Representative Cameron Cooper (R – Romance)
Representative Bruce Cozart (R – Hot Springs)
Representative Cindy Crawford (R – Fort Smith)
Representative Carol Dalby (R – Texarkana)
Representative Marsh Davis (R – Cherokee Village)
Representative Gary Deffenbaugh (R – Van Buren)
Representative Jim Dotson (R – Bentonville)
Representative Les Eaves (R – Searcy)
Representative Jon Eubanks (R – Paris)
Representative Brian Evans (R – Cabot)
Representative Charlene Fite (R – Van Buren)
Representative Lanny Fite (R – Benton)
Representative Jack Fortner (R – Yellville)
Representative Mickey Gates (R – Hot Springs)
Representative Jimmy Gazaway (R – Paragould)
Representative Justin Gonzales (R – Okolona)
Representative Michelle Gray (R – Melbourne)
Representative Spencer Hawks (R – Conway)
Representative David Hillman (R – Almyra)
Representative Grant Hodges (R – Rogers)
Representative Mike Holcomb (R – Pine Bluff)
Representative Steve Hollowell (R – Forrest City)
Representative Douglas House (R – North Little Rock)
Representative Lane Jean (R – Magnolia)
Representative Joe Jett (R – Success)
Representative Lee Johnson (R – Greenwood)
Representative Jasen Kelly (R – Benton)
Representative Jack Ladyman (R – Jonesboro)
Representative Mark Lowery (R – Maumelle)
Representative Robin Lundstrum (R – Elm Springs)
Representative Roger Lynch (R – Lonoke)
Representative John Maddox (R – Mena)
Representative Julie Mayberry (R – Hensley)
Representative Austin McCollum (R – Bentonville)
Representative Gayla McKenzie (R – Gravette)
Representative Ron McNair (R – Alpena)
Representative Stephen Meeks (R – Greenbrier)
Representative Josh Miller (R – Heber Springs)
Representative John Payton (R – Wilburn)
Representative Clint Penzo (R – Springdale)
Representative Marcus Richmond (R – Harvey)
Representative Laurie Rushing (R – Hot Springs)
Representative Johnny Rye (R – Trumann)
Representative Keith Slape (R – Compton)
Representative Brandt Smith (R – Jonesboro)
Representative Stu Smith (R – Batesville)
Representative James Sorvillo (R – Little Rock)
Representative Nelda Speaks (R – Mountain Home)
Representative Dan Sullivan (R – Jonesboro)
Representative Dwight Tosh (R – Jonesboro)
Representative Jeff Wardlaw (R – Hermitage)
Representative Les Warren (R – Hot Springs)
Representative Danny Watson (R – Hope)
Representative Carlton Wing (R – North Little Rock)
Representative Richard Womack (R – Arkadelphia)
Family Council Action Committee Political Director Ken Yang is working with the recipients to schedule presentation of the awards to the legislators in their districts in the coming weeks.
Family Council Action Committee is a conservative, pro-family, Christian 501(c)(4) organization based in Little Rock, Arkansas.
8-10-19 10:00 a.m. KAWX.ORG
Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Address: It’s Time for a Change
LITTLE ROCK – As we continue to mourn the tragic loss of life in El Paso and Dayton, it appears that the suspect in the Texas attack is a white nationalist who hates immigrants. He traveled more than 600 miles to a border town, where the majority of the population is Hispanic. Law enforcement agencies are investigating the attack as a hate crime, which will allow the imposition of a more severe penalty if he is convicted.
In Arkansas, prosecutors could not file those charges because we do not have a hate-crime law. We are one of four states that does not allow an increased penalty for a defendant who violently attacks individuals simply because of who they are.
We must change that. Today, I am asking the General Assembly to pass legislation that will allow an enhanced penalty for a hate crime. I do not want Arkansas to be one of those states that does not increase the punishment for a person who is convicted of harming someone under these circumstances. I want Arkansas to say loudly and clearly that we are not going to tolerate violence inflicted on a person because of that person’s status.
In the past, there’s been a reluctance to enhance penalties for crimes against specific categories of victims. As the thinking goes, every person is equally valuable, and the punishment for a crime against one person should be the same as it is for a similar crime against anyone else. But this is about evaluating motive and punishing the perpetrator.
The principle is already in place in our laws. When a person with a prior criminal record commits a crime, the sentence will be more severe than the sentence for a first-time offender who commits the same crime. The difference in punishment reflects the history of the offender and not the value of the victim.
If a terrorist attacks individuals because they are Jewish, that is a hate crime that deserves an increased penalty. It is that simple, but that important.
Arkansas already has laws on the books that enhance punishment. One of those is Act 332, sponsored by Representative Dwight Tosh, which increased the penalty for someone who is convicted of targeting a law-enforcement officer. Again, it is about the perpetrator and how we can punish or discourage this type of hate crime.
Arkansans must speak with one clear voice that we will not tolerate violence against a person simply because of who they are.
In Arkansas, there are on average 71 billion gallons of water flowing in rivers, 4.8 trillion gallons in lakes and 200 trillion gallons in the ground.
Our state is abundant with water resources and much of our economy depends on it. It is estimated Arkansans use 157 gallons of water every day.
August is National Water Quality Month. It reminds us to take a look at what our households and communities are doing to protect sources of fresh water.
The Clean Water Act, passed in 1972, establishes the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants and regulating quality standards for surface waters. But most people are unaware of the little ways they can pollute their water.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends using and disposing of harmful materials properly. When hazardous waste is dumped on the ground it can contaminate the soil. Contaminated soil then contaminates the ground water or nearby surface water. A number of products used at home contain hazardous or toxic substances that can contaminate ground or surface waters, such as:
· Motor oil
· Leftover paints or paint cans
· Flea collars
· Household cleaners
· A number of medicines
Next, don't overuse pesticides or fertilizers. Many fertilizers and pesticides contain hazardous chemicals which can travel through the soil and contaminate ground water.
It is also recommended to keep yard waste off the streets, sidewalks, and driveways, and gutters. If yard waste such as grass clippings and leaves enters our storm drains, it flows untreated directly to creeks, streams, and lakes. As yard waste breaks down, nutrients that are released can lead to water pollution.
Overall, Arkansans have access to good quality water. But it is not a resource to take for granted. The University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension has extensive material on how to best protect conserve and protect our water at www.uaex.edu.
8-9-19 8:41 p.m. KAWX.ORG
Committee-Backed Highway Bill Will Produce Economic Benefits for Arkansas
The Senate will have a lengthy to-do list awaiting us when we reconvene in Washington next month. While some of the items on our to-do list will likely get slowed down by long, partisan debates, one that should receive quick, bipartisan support is the reauthorization of the highway bill.
The Highway Trust Fund is set to expire next year. However, since Republicans and Democrats have traditionally found common ground on infrastructure, this should be an issue that we can resolve well in advance of the deadline. We have a good head start, thanks to the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee’s unanimous approval of the America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019.
The bill authorizes $287 billion for upgrades that will improve the connectivity, efficiency and safety of our highways across the country. It provides resources and flexibility for states to build safer and more modern highway, rail and bridge systems. It also includes reforms for which I negotiated that will cut bureaucratic red tape, streamline review processes and improve safety in rural America.
Additionally, the EPW Committee amended the bill to include language that Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and I authored that would make federal discretionary grant funding available to modernize and deepen McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS). This amendment, along with another provision Sen. Inhofe authored, would open up $250 million in non-highway formula funding for Oklahoma to use for the MKARNS and will allow Arkansas and Oklahoma to jointly apply for federal freight grants that will total over $5 billion in the five years following the enactment of this legislation.
Expanding opportunities to fund improvements to the MKARNS is a key factor in leveraging its full economic potential. For far too long, the MKARNS has been operating under a critical backlog of much needed modernizations. Our changes will provide the MKARNS with a number of new funding outlets that were not previously available to this important project, bringing increased traffic to the waterways.
At its core, the America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019 is about jobs. Our national economy thrives in part because of the efforts to inter-connect the United States throughout its history. The ability to efficiently move goods and services across the country is a critical factor as to why the U.S. has been able to compete and thrive within the global marketplace.
While the state and local economies receive a short-term boost from highway projects once they are underway, the true impact is felt over the long-term through the increase in regional commerce. The quality of a state’s infrastructure is near the top of the list of factors that business owners consider when deciding where to locate a business or enterprise, so it is of vital importance to Arkansas’s economic outlook that we reauthorize the Highway Trust Fund.
However, there are more than economic reasons to get this bill across the finish line. Some of our roads and bridges are actually beginning to crumble and deteriorate. We’ve employed temporary measures that have succeeded in repairing and rebuilding many of these deficiencies in the short term, but upgrading and enhancing them is a better and more cost-effective long-term solution for addressing safety concerns.
Now is the time to push ahead and make sensible, productive investments in our nation’s infrastructure. Doing so will ultimately save money in the long-term. It will also help our economy grow and equip our country with the necessary resources to remain competitive in the global economy in the years ahead.
8-9-19 4:42 p.m. KAWX.ORG
State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague
August 9, 2019
LITTLE ROCK – Back to school in Arkansas means that more than 6,000 buses will transport 350,000 students to and from school.
It also means that motorists need to remember that it is against the law to pass a stopped school bus that has its red lights flashing. That’s when children are getting on or off the bus.
Earlier this year, the legislature increased the potential penalties for illegally passing a stopped school bus. Act 166 of 2019 raises the minimum amount of the penalty from $250 to $500, and the potential maximum penalty from $1,000 to $2,500.
August begins the annual awareness campaign in Arkansas promoted by legislators, the state Education Department, the governor, school administrators, bus drivers and mechanics and parents. It’s called “Flashing Red. Kids Ahead.”
The need for heightened awareness is driven home by the alarming results of annual surveys done by bus drivers. Those results show that way too many motorists drive by stopped school buses, and the trend is getting worse.
In April, 3,896 school bus drivers participated in a one-day survey. They represent 227 Arkansas school districts. They reported that on a single day, 884 motor vehicles illegally passed stopped school buses that had red lights flashing.
That was an increase over the previous year. Most of the violations, 711, happened when motorists passed the bus while driving in the opposite direction. Whether going in the same or in the opposite direction, the overwhelming majority of motorists passed the bus on its left side.
However, 12 motorists passed the bus on the right side, which is cause for even greater alarm because the bus doors are on the right side, and it’s the side on which children get off and on the bus.
Nationally, the statistics are just as alarming. A one-day survey of 100,000 bus drivers indicated that more than 88,000 motorists passed a stopped school bus.
Keep in mind school buses lower the overall volume of traffic because parents and guardians don’t have to drive the students to school. That keeps the family car off the road.
If you pick up your children from a school bus stop, always wait on the side where they will be dropped off, so they are not tempted to run across the street to greet you.
In 2004, an elementary school student in Bryant was killed when a motorist illegally passed his stopped school bus as students were getting off the bus.
In 2005, the legislature increased the penalties for anyone found guilty of illegally passing a stopped school bus. The stricter penalties were in legislation known as Isaac’s Law, named after the boy who was killed in Bryant. It was Isaac’s Law that was strengthened during the 2019 legislative session.
Broadband Access in Rural Areas
The governor announced a plan to fund his initiative to bring high speed Internet to all communities, called “Arkansas Rural Connect,” with $25 million.
It calls for action this year by the Legislative Council to provide $5.7 million for grants for small communities that lack Internet service. In next year’s fiscal session the legislature will consider an appropriation for the remainder of the $25 million.
The program builds on work done earlier this year by the legislature, when it approved Act 198 of 2019. The measure allows local government entities to begin their own broadband services.
8-9-19 9:38 a.m. KAWX.ORG