KAWX News

Weekly Arkansas Fishing Report

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s weekly fishing report for April 1, 2020. If there is a body of water you would like included in this report, please email jim.harris@agfc.ar.gov 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 listed for the lake or stream you plan to fish for current news. Note: msl = mean sea level; cfs = cubic feet per second.

 

Click on the area of the state below where you would like current fishing information from.

 

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: https://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: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/current/?type=quality.

 

4-1-20 8:24 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Arkansas Limits State Parks to Day Use Only

(LITTLE ROCK, Ark.) —Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism (ADPHT), today announced all Arkansas State Parks will be open for day use only effective 8 a.m. on Friday, April 3, until further notice. ADPHT is eliminating all overnight stay opportunities. These changes will maintain some access to parks at this time but discourage trips from out-of-state visitors. This move is consistent with 28 other states.

Due to the inability to offer adequate space for social distancing, the following areas and trails will be closed:

 

  • Cedar Falls Trail and Cedar Falls Overlook at Petit Jean State Park
  • Day-Use Area on Highway 300 and the East Summit trailhead parking areas at Pinnacle Mountain State Park, including access to the West Summit, East Summit, Kingfisher and Base Trails, the Little Maumelle River Boat Ramp and the Picnic Area
  • Fossil Flats Mountain Bike Trail and the Woody Plants Trail at Devil’s Den State Park

 

Additional trails and facilities may be closed if visitors are unable to maintain physical distancing on other trails or other day-use areas.


“Our state parks are valuable resources for the citizens of our state,” said Hurst. “We are making this decision to slow the traffic to our parks and to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. People may still come and enjoy outdoor activities for the day. Our uniformed staff will be reminding them to practice social distancing and be good stewards of our beautiful parks.”

Any deposits to the parks will be refunded, and any fees will be waived. Questions about reservation cancellation should be made to the parks directly.

Additional limitations to day-use visitation will be implemented to reduce the opportunity to spread the virus.

 

  • Parking will be restricted at highly visited parks to designated lots only and enforced through citations/tickets issued by Park Rangers. Some parks will close the entry gate to the park when it is full for crowd control.
  • Problematic areas such as trails that are either too narrow for proper social distancing or so popular that crowding occurs at the trailhead may be closed.
  • Park Rangers will enforce social distancing by patrolling parks and dispersing gatherings of more than 10 people. Uniformed staff, including superintendents and interpreters, will actively help educate visitors on the grounds on busy days.
  • Park Rangers or other park staff from across the system will be deployed to highly visited parks as needed in anticipation of crowds.

 

Complete and up-to-date information on the parks and closings can be found at https://www.ArkansasStateParks.com/covid-19-update.

 

4-1-20 5:12 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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SBA Loans To Small Businesses For Payroll

Boozman: Paycheck Protection Program Critical to Recovery

Urges Arkansas Small Businesses to Apply for Relief

 

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) applauded the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) swift implementation of the Paycheck Protection Program, which authorizes lending institutions to quickly make loans to small businesses to help them remain operational during coronavirus outbreak.

 

The $349 billion program was included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress, and signed into law by President Trump, last week. It provides low-interest loans to small businesses to use for payroll, mortgage interest, rent and utilities, with a portion of the loan eligible for forgiveness. This program is crucial to help small businesses remain afloat despite the financial hardships caused by the coronavirus.

 

“Over 99 percent of Arkansas businesses are small businesses, and perhaps no one has been impacted more by the economic fallout caused by the coronavirus. The Paycheck Protection Program provides critical aid that will allow small businesses to stay in operation and keep employees on the payroll as we all weather this storm. There is an urgent need for these funds, and I encourage Arkansas businesses to apply for this assistance,” Boozman said.

 

“Our team here in Arkansas is working at a record setting pace to help bring lenders up online and prepare for a full implementation for the Paycheck Protection Program. This is an unpresented time where the federal government is working seamlessly with industry to help maximize availability of credit to our small businesses,” said Edward Haddock, district director for the Arkansas District Office of the SBA.

 

Paycheck Protection Program Highlights:

 

  • The program is retroactive from Feb. 15, 2020, so employers can rehire recently laid-off employees through June 30, 2020.
  • Eligible recipients may qualify for a loan up to $10 million.
  • Loan payments will be deferred for six months.
  • PPP loans can cover payroll, mortgage interest, rent and utilities.
  • For small businesses that maintain their workforce, SBA will forgive the portion of the loan used to cover the first eight weeks of payroll and certain other expenses.

How to get a Paycheck Protection Program Small Business Loan

Q: How can I apply?

 

SBA has approved lenders that process small business loans. Talk with your bank to see if it is participating in the program or find top SBA approved lenders here.

 

Q: When can I apply?

Small businesses and sole proprietors can apply beginning April 3, 2020. Starting April 10, 2020 independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply.

 

Q: Does my business qualify?

Small businesses with 500 or fewer employees—including 501(c)(3) nonprofits, veterans organizations, self-employed individuals, sole proprietorships and independent contractors— are eligible. Businesses with more than 500 employees are eligible in certain industries.

 

You can find more information about the Paycheck Protection Program on the SBA’s website and at the Department of Treasury.

 

4-1-20 12:56 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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SBA COVID-19 Disaster Loan Information, Upcoming Webinars

 
 
SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program has streamlined its process requirements to the qualified entities that are impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The information will be used in determining whether the applicant is eligible for an economic injury loan. If you do not submit all the information requested, your loan cannot be fully processed.
 
SBA is relying upon the self-certifications contained in the application to verify that the Applicant is an eligible entity to receive the advance, and that the Applicant is providing this self-certification under penalty of perjury pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1746 for verification purposes.
The estimated time for completing this entire application is two hours and ten minutes, although you may not need to complete all parts. 
 
SBA ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOAN & EMERGENCY GRANT
 
Overview
 
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act temporarily expands eligibility for SBA economic injury disaster loans (EIDL) and provides an emergency advance of up to $10,000 to small businesses and private non-profits harmed by COVID-19 within 3 days of applying for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). To access the advance, you first apply for an EIDL and then request the advance. The advance does not need to be repaid under any circumstance, and may be used to keep employees on payroll, to pay for sick leave, meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions, or pay business obligations, including debts, rent, and mortgage payments. 
 
Eligibility
 
In addition to the entities that are already eligible for SBA disaster loans (small businesses, private non-profits, and small agriculture cooperatives), eligibility is temporarily expanded to include:
 
  • Business entities with 500 or fewer employees
  • Sole proprietorships, with or without employees
  • Independent contractors
  • Cooperatives and employee owned businesses
  • Tribal small businesses
  • Private non-profits of any size.
 
Additionally, you must have been in business as of January 31, 2020. Expanded eligibility criteria and the emergency grants are only available between January 31, 2020 and December 31, 2020.
 
How to Apply
 
  • You can apply for an EIDL online with the SBA.
  • When you apply, you can request an emergency grant of $10,000.
  • The SBA will provide the grant within 3 days of receiving your application.
  • You will not have to repay the grant, even if your application for a loan is denied.
  • You can visit an SBA resource partner who can help guide you through the loan application process. You can find your nearest Small Business Development Center (SBDC) or Women’s Business Center here.
 
Can I apply for other SBA loan programs?
 
If you apply for an EIDL and the grant, you can still apply for a Paycheck Protection loan. However the amount forgiven under a Paycheck Protection loan will be decreased by the $10,000 grant.
 
More Information
 
For more information about SBA loan programs, please visit the  Small Business Administration. More information about small business programs in the CARES Act can be found on the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship  website.
 
If you need additional assistance, please reach out to your local  Small Business Development Center,  Women’s Business Center,  SCORE  chapter, or  SBA District Office.
 

UPCOMING WEBINARS

 

The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center is offering several no-cost webinars to help business owners respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. 

 

Upcoming Webinars 

 

“Applying for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans,” 10 a.m. March 31 or 2 p.m. April 2 – Many Arkansas small businesses and non-profits are eligible for the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. Learn about program requirements, how to apply and what to expect.

ASBTDC will repeat the EIDL webinar each Tuesday and Thursday through April.

 

“Take Your Business Online,” 10 a.m. April 1 – Hear about steps you can take to move business online and keep sales coming.

 

“Calma! Continúe con su Negocio," 2 p.m. April 1 – Get timely tips in Spanish for managing short-term cash flow and adapting your business model.

 

“Connecting to Capital,” 2 p.m. April 2 – The Economic Injury Disaster Loan isn't the right option for every business. Learn about other capital options.

 

Links to register for each program above are available at asbtdc.org/asbtdc-events/.

 

3-30-20 9:06 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Mena Police Report for March 22nd - 28th

 

Mena Police Department Reports for the Week of March 22, 2020 through March 28, 2020

 

 

March 22, 2020

 

A burglary report was taken at a residence.

 

March 23, 2020

 

David Sinyard, 44, was arrested for Inhaling an Intoxicating Substance after a call to a department store.

 

March 24, 2020

 

A report of a dog running at large was taken at a residence.

 

A report of a prowler was taken at a residence.

 

March 25, 2020

 

A report of harassment was taken at a residence.

 

A report of a dog bite was taken at a residence.

 

March 26, 2020

 

No reports taken.

 

March 27, 2020

 

No reports taken.

 

March 28, 2020

 

Devyn Purcell, 25, and Cristian Kieren, 19, were arrested for Theft of Property (Shoplifting) after a call to a department store.

 

A theft report was taken at a residence.

 

Officers responded to a disturbance call at a gas station.

 

All subjects should be considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

 

3-30-20 1:05 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Sen. Cotton Provides COVID-19 Relief Information For Arkansans: Checks, SBA Loans

 

China Virus Relief Information for Arkansans 

 

On March 27th, President Trump signed the CARES Act, legislation that will provide the emergency funds necessary to steer our economy through the outbreak of the China Virus and help Americans meet their financial needs. Part of that legislation provides a check in the form of a tax rebate to the vast majority of Americans. Information about those tax rebates is outlined below and can be found by clicking here. That legislation also provides loans to struggling businesses, non-profits, and other entities through the Small Business Administration. Those loans are also eligible for forgiveness when used for the certain purposes, including payroll, rent, mortgage interest, and utilities. Information about those loans is also outlined below and can be found by clicking here.

Senator Cotton encourages all Arkansans with questions about how the CARES act can benefit them to contact his office at (202) 224-2353 or (501) 223-9081 or by emailing through the form on his website

 

Recovery Checks For Americans

Background: On March 27th, President Trump signed the CARES Act, legislation that will provide the emergency funds necessary to steer our economy through the outbreak of the China Virus and help Americans meet their financial needs. Part of that legislation provides a check in the form of a tax rebate to the vast majority of Americans. Information about those tax rebates is outlined in this document.

Eligibility: All U.S. residents are eligible as long as they have a work-eligible Social Security number and meet the income requirements. People whose income is entirely from nontaxable, means-tested programs — such as Supplemental Security Income benefits — are eligible too. If a person is a dependent on someone else’s tax return — such as a young adult — they are not eligible for payments.

Click here to calculate how much assistance you will receive.

For Individual Filers: Americans who file their taxes as individuals will receive up to $1,200 in assistance. If your income was less than $75,000 in 2019, you will receive the full amount of $1,200. For those making above $75,000, reduced checks on a sliding scale will be paid. For every $100 you make over $75,000, your assistance will be reduced by $5.

For Married Couples Filing Jointly: Americans who file taxes jointly will receive up to $2,400 plus $500 for every dependent under the age of 17. If your joint income was less than $150,000 in 2019, you will receive the full amount of $2,400 plus $500 for every dependent under 17. For couples making above $150,000, reduced checks on a sliding scale will be paid. For every $100 you make over $150,000, your assistance will be reduced by $5.

For Heads of Household: Americans who file taxes as heads of household will receive up to $1,200 plus $500 for every dependent under the age of 17. If your income was less than $112,500 in 2019, you will receive the full amount of $1,200 plus $500 for every dependent under 17. For those making above $112,500, Reduced checks on a sliding scale will be paid. For every $100 you make over $112,500, your assistance will be reduced by $5.

 

Common Questions and Answers

Q: How will I receive the assistance?

A: For the vast majority of Americans, no action on their part will be required in order to receive a rebate check. The IRS will use a taxpayer’s 2019 tax return if filed, or in the alternative their 2018 return. This includes many low-income individuals who file a tax return in order to take advantage of the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. If you gave your bank account information to the IRS when filing your taxes, you will likely receive a direct deposit from the government. If you did not, you will likely receive a check in the mail. No later than 15 days after the date on which Treasury makes a payment to an eligible taxpayer, a notice will be sent by mail to that taxpayer’s last known address. That notice will indicate the method of payment and the amount of payment.

 

Q: When will my payment arrive?

A: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said he expects most people to get their payments within three weeks.

Q: Will I have to pay taxes on these payments?

A: No

Q: Do I need to have income to qualify?

A: No.

Q: What tax year will be used to determine my income?

A: If you have already filed your taxes for 2019, your income for that year will be used to determine your assistance. If you have not filed your taxes for 2019, the IRS will use your 2018 tax filing to determine your assistance.

Q: What If I haven’t filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019?

A: If you meet the eligibility requirements for a payment but have not filed a tax return in the last two years, you must file a tax return to receive a payment. If you make less than $69,000 a year, you can find free tax filing options at the IRS Free File webpage. If you make more than $69,000 a year, there may be free options available to you offered by several commercial tax prep companies, like Intuit (TurboTax), H&R Block or TaxAct. If you want in-person tax help for free, You may qualify for the IRS’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. To qualify, you must

  • Make less than around $56,000 a year, OR
  • Live with a disability, OR
  • Speak limited English

The program matches you with IRS-certified volunteers across the country who can help with free basic income tax preparation and electronic filing. You can use the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance locator tool or call 800-906-9887 to find someone to help you. Keep in mind that some locations may require an appointment.
 
Q: Would most people who are receiving Social Security retirement and disability payments each month also get a stimulus payment?

A: Yes.

Q: Will eligible unemployed people get these stimulus payments? Veterans?

A: Yes, to both

Q: If my income tax refunds are currently being garnished because of a student loan default, would this payment be garnished as well?

A: No.

 

SBA Paycheck Protection Loan Program Overview

Background: On March 27th, President Trump signed the CARES Act, legislation that will provide emergency funding to steer our economy through the outbreak of the China Virus and help Americans meet their financial needs. Part of that legislation provides loans to struggling businesses, non-profits, and other entities through the Small Business Administration. Those loans are also eligible for forgiveness when used for the certain purposes, including payroll, rent, mortgage interest, and utilities.

Interested Borrowers/Lenders: If you are a potential borrower interested in participating in the Paycheck Protection Program, you should contact your financial institution and ask if they are a Small Business Administration 7(a) approved lender or if they intend to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program. If so, they can likely help steer you through this process. If you would like to find an approved SBA lender or if you are a financial institution interested in participating in the program, you can contact the Small Business Administration Arkansas District Office at (501) 324-7379.

Borrower Eligibility:

  • The bill defines eligibility for loans as a small business, 501(c)(3) nonprofit, a 501(c)(19) veteran’s organization, or Tribal business concern described in section 31(b)(2)(C) of the Small Business Act with not more than 500 employees, or the applicable size standard for the industry as provided by SBA, if higher.
  • Applies current SBA affiliation rules to eligible nonprofits.
  • Includes sole-proprietors, independent contractors, and other self-employed individuals as eligible for loans.
  • For certain businesses classified under the North American Industry Classification System as “accommodation or food service,” those businesses may be eligible if they do not have more than 500 employees per physical location
  • Waives affiliation rules for businesses in the hospitality and restaurant industries, franchises that are approved on the SBA’s Franchise Directory, and small businesses that receive financing through the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program.

Lender Eligibility: 

  • Provides delegated authority, which is the ability for lenders to make determinations on borrower eligibility and creditworthiness without going through all of SBA’s channels, to all current 7(a) lenders who make these loans to small businesses, and provides that same authority to lenders who join the program and make these loans.
  • The SBA Administrator and the Treasury Secretary can authorize additional lenders they deem to have the necessary qualifications to process, close, disburse, and service these loans. These additional lenders approved by Treasury are only permitted to make Paycheck Protection Program loans, not regular 7(a) loans.

Loan Details:

  • The program will be organized through the Small Business Administration.
  • Under this program, the government will guarantee 100% of loans made through the Paycheck Protection program through December 31, 2020.
  • $349 billion is available for this program through December 31, 2020.
  • The covered loan period of this program is from February 15, 2020 to June 30, 2020.
  • The maximum loan limit is $10,000,000.
  • Size of loans will be determined by payroll costs incurred by business.
  • Allowable uses of the loan include payroll support, mortgage interest, rent, and utility payments. Payroll support includes employee salaries, paid sick or medical leave, and insurance premiums.
  • For eligibility purposes, requires lenders to, instead of determining repayment ability, which is not possible during this crisis, to determine whether a business was operational on February 15, 2020, and had employees for whom it paid salaries and payroll taxes, or a paid independent contractor.
  • Provides a limitation on a borrower from receiving this assistance and an economic injury disaster loan through SBA for the same purpose. However, it allows a borrower who has an EIDL loan unrelated to the pubic health emergency to apply for a PPP loan, with an option to refinance that loan into the PPP loan. The emergency EIDL grant award of up to $10,000 would be subtracted from the amount forgiven under the Paycheck Protection Program.
  • Requires eligible borrowers to make a good faith certification that the loan is necessary due to the uncertainty of current economic conditions caused by China Virus; they will use the funds to retain workers and maintain payroll, lease, and utility payments; and are not receiving duplicative funds for the same uses from another SBA program.
  • Waives both borrower and lender fees for participation in the program.
  • Waives the credit elsewhere test for funds provided under this program. Waives collateral and personal guarantee requirements under this program.
  • Outlines the treatment of any portion of a loan that is not used for forgiveness purposes. The remaining loan balance will have a maturity of not more than 10 years, and the guarantee for that portion of the loan will remain intact.
  • Sets a maximum interest rate of four percent.
  • Ensures borrowers are not charged any prepayment fees.
  • Requires the Administrator to provide a lender with a process fee for servicing the loan. Sets lender compensation fees at five percent for loans of not more than $350,000; three percent for loans of more than $350,000 and less than $2,000,000; and one percent for loans of not less than $2,000,000.
  • Includes a sense of the Senate for the Administrator to issue guidance to lenders and agents to ensure that the processing and disbursement of covered loans prioritizes small business concerns and entities in underserved and rural markets, including veterans and members of the military community, small business concerns owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.

Loan Forgiveness:

  • Establishes that the borrower shall be eligible for loan forgiveness equal to the amount spent by the borrower during an 8-week period after the origination date of the loan on payroll costs, interest payment on any mortgage incurred prior to February 15, 2020, payment of rent on any lease in force prior to February 15, 2020, and payment on any utility for which service began before February 15, 2020.
  • Amounts forgiven may not exceed the principal amount of the loan. Eligible payroll costs do not include compensation above $100,000 in wages. Forgiveness on a covered loan is equal to the sum of the following payroll costs incurred during the covered 8 week period compared to the previous year or time period, proportionate to maintaining employees and wages:
  • Payroll costs plus any payment of interest on any covered mortgage obligation (which shall not include any prepayment of or payment of principal on a covered mortgage obligation) plus payments on any covered rent obligation + covered utility payments.
  • The amount forgiven will be reduced proportionally by any reduction in employees retained compared to the prior year and reduced by the reduction in pay of any employee beyond 25 percent of their prior year compensation. To encourage employers to rehire any employees who have already been laid off due to the public health emergency, borrowers that re-hire workers previously laid off will not be penalized for having a reduced payroll at the beginning of the period.
  • Allows forgiveness for additional wages paid to tipped workers.
  • Borrowers will verify through documentation to lenders their payments during the period. Lenders that receive the required documentation will not be subject to an enforcement action or penalties by the Administrator relating to loan forgiveness for eligible uses. 
  • Upon a lender’s report of an expected loan forgiveness amount for a loan or pool of loans, the SBA will purchase such amount of the loan from the lender.
  • Canceled indebtedness resulting from this section will not be counted as taxable income.
  • Any loan amounts not forgiven at the end of one year is carried forward as an ongoing loan with terms of a max of 10 years, at max 4% interest. The 100% loan guarantee remains intact.

Other:

  • Requires the Administrator to register each loan using the taxpayer TIN, as defined by the Internal Revenue Service, within 15 days.
  • Increases the government guarantee of 7(a) loans to 100 percent through December 31, 2020, at which point guarantee percentages will return to 75 percent for loans exceeding $150,000 and 85 percent for loans equal to or less than $150,000.
  • Allows complete deferment of 7(a) loan payments for at least six months and not more than a year, and requires SBA to disseminate guidance to lenders on this deferment process within 30 days.
  • Increases the maximum SBA Express loan from $350,000 to $1 million through December 31, 2020, after which point the Express loan will return to $350,000.
  • Requires Veteran’s fee waivers for the 7(a) Express Loan Program to be waived.
  • Permanently rescinds the interim final rule entitled, “Express Loan Programs: Affiliation Standards” (85 Fed. Reg. 7622 (February 10, 2020).

Common Questions and Answers

Q. Where can I apply for the Paycheck Protection Program?

A. You can apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) at any lending institution that is approved to participate in the program through the existing U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) lending program and additional lenders approved by the Department of Treasury. This could be the bank you already use, or a nearby bank. There are thousands of banks that already participate in the SBA’s lending programs, including numerous community banks. You do not have to visit any government institution to apply for the program. You can call your bank or find SBA-approved lenders in your area through SBA’s online Lender Match tool. You can call your local Small Business Development Center or Women’s Business Center and they will provide free assistance and guide you to lenders.

Q. Who is eligible for the loan?

A. You are eligible for a loan if you are a small business that employs 500 employees or fewer, or if your business is in an industry that has an employee-based size standard through SBA that is higher than 500 employees. In addition, if you are a restaurant, hotel, or a business that falls within the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code 72, “Accommodation and Food Services,” and each of your locations has 500 employees or fewer, you are eligible. Tribal businesses, 501(c)(19) veteran organizations, and 501(c)(3) nonprofits, including religious organizations, will be eligible for the program. Nonprofit organizations are subject to SBA’s affiliation standards. Independently owned franchises with under 500 employees, who are approved by SBA, are also eligible. Eligible franchises can be found through SBA’s Franchise Directory.

Q. I am an independent contractor or gig economy worker, am I eligible?

A. Yes. Sole proprietors, independent contractors, gig economy workers, and self-employed individuals are all eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program. 

Q. What is the maximum amount I can borrow?

A. The amount any small business is eligible to borrow is 250 percent of their average monthly payroll expenses, up to a total of $10 million. This amount is intended to cover 8 weeks of payroll expenses and any additional amounts for making payments towards debt obligations. This 8 week period may be applied to any time frame between February 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020. Seasonal business expenses will be measured using a 12-week period beginning February 15, 2019, or March 1, 2019, whichever the seasonal employer chooses.

Q. How can I use the money such that the loan will be forgiven?

A. The amount of principal that may be forgiven is equal to the sum of expenses for payroll, and existing interest payments on mortgages, rent payments, leases, and utility service agreements. Payroll costs include employee salaries (up to an annual rate of pay of $100,000), hourly wages and cash tips, paid sick or medical leave, and group health insurance premiums. If you would like to use the Paycheck Protection Program for other business-related expenses, like inventory, you can, but that portion of the loan will not be forgiven.

Q. When is the loan forgiven?

A. The loan is forgiven at the end of the 8-week period after you take out the loan. Borrowers will work with lenders to verify covered expenses and the proper amount of forgiveness. 

Q. What is the covered period of the loan?

A. The covered period during which expenses can be forgiven extends from February 15, 2020 to June 30, 2020. Borrowers can choose which 8 weeks they want to count towards the covered period, which can start as early as February 15, 2020.

Q. How much of my loan will be forgiven?

A. The purpose of the Paycheck Protection Program is to help you retain your employees, at their current base pay. If you keep all of your employees, the entirety of the loan will be forgiven. If you still lay off employees, the forgiveness will be reduced by the percent decrease in the number of employees. If your total payroll expenses on workers making less than $100,000 annually decreases by more than 25 percent, loan forgiveness will be reduced by the same amount. If you have already laid off some employees, you can still be forgiven for the full amount of your payroll cost if you rehire your employees by June 30, 2020.

Q. Am I responsible for interest on the forgiven loan amount?

A. No, if the full principal of the PPP loan is forgiven, the borrower is not responsible for the interest accrued in the 8-week covered period. The remainder of the loan that is not forgiven will operate according to the loan terms agreed upon by you and the lender.

Q. What are the interest rate and terms for the loan amount that is not forgiven?

A. The terms of the loan not forgiven may differ on a case-by-case basis. However, the maximum terms of the loan feature a 10-year term with interest capped at 4 percent and a 100 percent loan guarantee by the SBA. You will not have to pay any fees on the loan, and collateral requirements and personal guarantees are waived. Loan payments will be deferred for at least six months and up to one year starting at the origination of the loan. 

Q. When is the application deadline for the Paycheck Protection Program?

A. Applicants are eligible to apply for the PPP loan until June 30th, 2020.

 Q. I took out a bridge loan through my state, am I eligible to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program?

A. Yes, you can take out a state bridge loan and are still be eligible for the PPP loan.

 Q. If I have applied for, or received an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) related to the China virus before the Paycheck Protection Program became available, will I be able to refinance into a PPP loan? 

A. Yes. If you received an EIDL loan related to the virus between January 31, 2020 and the date at which the PPP becomes available, you would be able to refinance the EIDL into the PPP for loan forgiveness purposes. However, you may not take out an EIDL and a PPP for the same purposes. Remaining portions of the EIDL, for purposes other than those laid out in loan forgiveness terms for a PPP loan, would remain a loan. If you took advantage of an emergency EIDL grant award of up to $10,000, that amount would be subtracted from the amount forgiven under PPP. 

 

Sentor Cotton's Office and Contact Information 

 

Washington
326 Russell SOB
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-2353

 

Little Rock
1401 West Capitol Ave
Suite 235
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: (501) 223-9081
Fax: (501) 244-9633

 

Springdale
1108 South Old Missouri Rd
Suite B
Springdale, AR 72764
Phone: (479) 751-0879
Fax: (479) 927-1092

 

Jonesboro
300 South Church
Suite 338
Jonesboro, AR 72401
Phone: (870) 933-6223
Fax: (870) 933-6596

 

El Dorado
106 West Main Street
Suite 410
El Dorado, AR 71730
Phone: (870) 864-8582
Fax: (870) 864-8571

 

3-30-20 12:25 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

 

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Polk County Sheriff's Report for March 23rd - 29th

SHERIFF’S LOG

 

The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of March 23, 2020 – March 29, 2020. 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 23, 2020

No reports were filed.

 

March 24, 2020

No reports were filed.

 

March 25, 2020

Report from complainant on Polk 68 near Cherry Hill of a prowler. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant on Polk 33 near Vandervoort of an ATV accident. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant on Polk 44 near Dallas Valley of a dog bite victim. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant on Polk 33 near Vandervoort of a vehicle break-in. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant on Polk 75 near Acorn of harassment by a family member. Deputy responded.

 

March 26, 2020

Report from complainant on West Dover near Hatfield of an incident involving a dog. Deputy responded.

Arrested by an Officer with the Grannis Police Department was Guillermos Farias, 34, of Grannis on a Warrant from another Agency.

 

March 27, 2020

Report from complainant on Polk 231 near Cove of vandalism and theft causing damage and loss in the amount of $1145.00. Investigation continues.

 

March 28, 2020

No reports were filed.

 

March 29, 2020

Report from complainant on Hilltop Lane near Hatfield of a disturbance between family members led to the arrest of Dale W. Howard, 51, of Hatfield on Charges of Public Intoxication and Criminal Trespass.

 

Polk County Sheriff’s Office worked no vehicle accidents this week.

 

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 12 Incarcerated Inmates , with 8 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

 

PC20-00198

 

3-30-20 12:08 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Residents, Especially Seniors, Use Phone or Internet For Motor Vehicle License Renewals

NOTICE OF SUSPENSION OF ARKANSAS STATUTES AFFECTING MOTOR VEHICLE REGISTRATION TRANSACTIONS IN REVENUE OFFICES

 

UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER (EO) 20-06 Pursuant to the authority under Governor Asa Hutchinson’s March 17, 2020 Executive Order 20-06, the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration has identified provisions of regulatory statutes stated below that prevents, hinders, or delays DFA’s ability to render maximum assistance to the citizens of Arkansas while adhering to guidelines to prohibit the spread of disease or seeking assistance from the state to obtain benefits or services related to health, education, employment, or any service rendered by the State in response to or to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

 

The identified statutes below are suspended for a period of thirty days from the date of EO 20-06, which is April 16, 2020. Ark. Code Ann. § 27-14-1004(a) – Penalty for Late Registration of Motor Vehicles • Ark. Code Ann. § 27-14-1004(a) imposes a late registration penalty of $3.00 for each ten days a person fails to properly register a motor vehicle until the penalty reaches the same amount as the annual license fee of the vehicle, which may range from $17.00 to $30.00. Under EO 20-06, DFA has suspended through April 16, 2020 the penalty under Ark. Code Ann. § 27-14-1004(a) for the late registration of a motor vehicle or the late renewal of a registration of a motor vehicle.

 

This notice also does not suspend any statute, rule, or law requiring payment of sales or use tax (including any assessed penalty or interest on tax owed) on a vehicle purchase or payment of any registration or other fee.

 

New motor vehicle registrations and renewals of registrations may be completed online at https://mydmv.arkansas.gov/. Renewal of registration is also available by phone by contacting DFA at 1-800-941-2580.

 

3-30-20 9:59 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Governor Hutchinson Calls For Day Of Prayer In Arkansas

 

Governor Asa Hutchinson issued a proclamation designating Sunday, March 29, a special day of prayer in Arkansas.

The governor is calling on Arkansans to pray for the state of Arkansas and for the Nation amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

The proclamation reads in part,

"As Arkansans, we strengthen our faith through prayer, and today, we come together united as a state seeking God's reassurance and thanking Him for his guidance . . . In Deuteronomy 31:8, we are reminded of God's promise, 'The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave or forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged' . . ."

You can read the entire proclamation here.

 

3-28-20 3:49 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: New Initiatives to Aid in the COVID-19 Crisis

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: New Initiatives to Aid in the COVID-19 Crisis
 
LITTLE ROCK – On March 11, I signed an executive order that declared a public health emergency in Arkansas, and every day since has brought new challenges in our efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.
 
Today I’d like to talk about the initiatives we launched this week to assist rural hospitals and to provide extra pay for non-physician direct-care workers who are on the front lines treating COVID-19 patients.
 
We have requested a waiver of Medicaid regulations to accomplish our goals, which we estimate will cost $116 million. The state’s share is much less than that and will be about $25 million.
 

COVID-19 has changed our world in ways we never imagined a month ago. We can’t deliver health care today the way we did just two weeks ago.

 

The leaders at hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, nursing homes, and in-home health care providers are having to rethink everything they do, and they are having to do it very quickly and without a road map. We want to help health care providers keep their doors open and their staff employed.

 

This plan places a particular emphasis on Arkansas’s rural providers, who face even greater challenges because of their location and limited infrastructure.
 
This initiative is designed for the COVID-19 crisis, but the benefits will remain long after we have moved past this.
 
We will provide financial assistance to hospitals with fewer than 65 beds and clinics that don’t have the capital to adapt their facilities to the new way of delivering health care. Some may need to modify a facility to add drive-through testing. Others may need to reconfigure patient intake areas to allow for adequate social distancing. 
 
To provide safe face-to-face service, clinics may need to extend hours or stagger schedules to separate sick patients from those who aren’t.
 
We will provide assistance to expand and upgrade telemedicine so that doctors can treat patients from their homes, and we will fund telemedicine training.
 
We will provide funding to companies that provide non-emergency transportation. During this period when fewer people need transportation to a doctor’s appointment, these companies can offer services such as prescription delivery.
 
DHS Secretary Cindy Gillespie and her team worked tirelessly to put together this innovative plan. In this moment of crisis, DHS has crafted a solid short-term solution with long-term benefits.
 
3-27-20 8:54 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

This week, the House convened for an Extraordinary Session to address the urgent funding needs in our state created by the COVID-19 crisis.

 

For only the second time in recent history, we convened outside of the Capitol. The Jack Stephens Center at the University of Arkansas Little Rock provided additional space for members to adhere to social distancing guidelines of at least 6 feet. All of us were screened by medical professionals before entering the facility. 

 

The legislation we were asked by the Governor to consider creates the COVID-19 Rainy Day Fund by redirecting surplus funds. The state currently has a surplus of $173 million.

 

The fund would be used to offset general revenue reductions, funding needs and unanticipated needs created by the COVID-19 crisis.

 

Any expenditure from the fund would require approval of at least two of three legislative leaders in both the House and Senate.

 

Allowing this type of flexibility with the budget is unprecedented, but we are in unprecedented times. This measure helps to ensure the needs we face in weeks ahead can be funded quickly.

 

This legislation also makes it possible to extend the state tax deadline to July 15.

 

Meanwhile, we continue to work on other needs you and your family may be facing during this time.

 

Resources are being made available to reduce waiting times on the hotline for unemployment claims.

 

You can call the hotline at 1-844-908-2178 or 501-534-6304.

 

Or go online at www.ezarc.adws.arkansas.gov.

 

While we are facing uncertain times, know that your legislature is here and functioning on your behalf.

 

If you run into issues navigating your way to needed assistance, reach out to your representative. Contact information for every representative is found on our website at www.arkansashouse.org.

 

3-27-20 8:49 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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US Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column: Help is on the Way

Help is on the Way

 

The public health crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic has brought economic activity in America’s large cities and small towns alike to a grinding halt. Businesses of all sizes are being forced to close during this crisis both to protect public health and because of a shrinking customer base, as consumers are urged to stay home to reduce the spread of the disease.

 

The unexpected closures or dramatic scale-down for small business owners, through no fault of their own, may spell their ruin by the time this is behind us. Their employees will be among those hardest hit financially by this crisis.

 

Entire industries that are vital to our nation’s economic wellbeing have been crushed by this pandemic. The markets have taken a huge hit, putting the retirement security of millions of Americans in jeopardy. And it is certainly expected that our health care sector, strained to capacity, will face substantial challenges moving forward.

 

Congress came together to pass a bipartisan, comprehensive package that dramatically increases efforts to prevent the spread of the disease, treat Americans diagnosed with COVID-19 and support research to find a vaccine. We appropriated a surge in funding—almost eight billion dollars—behind a government-wide strategy to mitigate the spread and treat those affected.

 

Providing immediate funding to address the public health threat was phase one of our response. Phase two—the Families First Coronavirus Response Act—marked the beginning of our efforts to address the coronavirus’s economic impact by funding paid emergency leave for workers, making testing widely available at no additional cost to patients and enhancing food security initiatives.

 

We have now moved on to phase three of our response, passing the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to help individual Americans negatively affected by this crisis get by and stave off a massive economic disaster.

 

The CARES Act increases our investment in hospitals and healthcare providers—the men and women on the front lines of this fight—while working to stabilize the economy and provide relief to Americans struggling in the wake of economic challenges created by this pandemic.

 

Checks will be sent to millions of American households to offset the financial impact of the crisis and allow for a much-needed injection of liquidity into our economy. Unemployment insurance will be expanded while stabilizing industries to prevent mass layoffs. Other steps, such as delaying federal student loans payments for six months, will be taken to help affected individuals.

 

Dramatic relief will be provided to the lifeblood of our economy—our small businesses—which have taken a massive financial hit. Loans will be delivered to small businesses to help continue operations, and if those funds are used for payroll and other vital necessities to maintain services, they will be forgiven.

 

The CARES Act is not a stimulus plan, it’s an existence plan.

 

It is designed to offer immediate relief, making it such that families and individuals whose lives have been turned upside down as a result of this crisis have money they need to survive.

 

We also have to create a path to economic recovery while helping individuals and families through this crisis. Americans can’t go to work. Businesses are unable to operate. Individuals are not getting paychecks. Not only do we have to help our fellow Americans through these challenging times, but we also have to make sure that they have jobs when we begin to return some normalcy to our lives.

 

That is the aim of the CARES Act. The magnitude of this crisis requires us to think big and act big. The CARES Act puts big ideas into action. We will get through this. We have to look after each other every step of the way until then. Help is on the way.

 

3-27-20 4:58 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Mena Senior Center Recipient of $21,000 SWEPCO Grant

SWEPCO Awards Emergency Funds To West Arkansas Nonprofits

 

FAYETTEVILLE, ARK., March 26, 2020 – The American Electric Power Foundation has announced $42,000 in emergency funding for two area nonprofits impacted by COVID-19 in Southwestern Electric Power Co’s (SWEPCO) service area.  

 

Mena Polk County Senior Center and Scott County Senior Citizens each were awarded $21,000 to provide additional meals to homebound seniors, as well as offer carryout meals, shelf-stable meals and other alternatives for their Meals on Wheels programs should delivery be suspended. 

 

The American Electric Power Foundation is funded by American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) and its utility operating units, including SWEPCO.

 

“We are pleased to present these agencies with additional funding on behalf of the AEP Foundation as they provide vital services to our community during this extraordinary time of need,” said Jeff Milford, SWEPCO External Affairs manager in Fayetteville. “We want to help ensure that the programs serving our community’s most vulnerable residents can continue and expand.”

 

The AEP Foundation recently approved $1.5 million in emergency funds in response to COVID-19 to support basic human needs – such as food and shelter – across AEP’s service area.

 

The Foundation provides a permanent, ongoing resource for charitable initiatives involving higher dollar values and multi-year commitments in the communities served by AEP and initiatives outside of AEP’s 11-state service area.

 

The Foundation focuses on improving lives through education from early childhood through higher education in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and by meeting basic needs for emergency shelter, affordable housing and the elimination of hunger.

 

Mena Mayor Seth Smith, on behalf of the citizens of Mena, thanked Jeff Milford with SWEPCO for his consideration and help getting the funds for the senior center .

 

The AEP Foundation is based in Columbus, Ohio. 

 

3-27-20 3:45 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Senator Larry Teague's Weekly Column

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

March 27, 2020

 

LITTLE ROCK – The legislature convened in special session to address potential revenue shortfalls, resulting from the sudden economic downturn caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus.

 

Applications for unemployment insurance had averaged about 1,500 per week. After so many businesses closed to prevent any further spread of the virus, more than 18,000 applied over a two-week period.

 

The sharp increase in job layoffs caused sales tax and personal income tax revenue to go down. Another decrease in state revenue is predicted to result from the extension of the filing deadline for taxes, from April 15 to July 15.

 

In his call for the special session, the governor noted that extending the tax deadline would cost the state millions of dollars this fiscal year, but it was the right thing to do to provide relief to taxpayers.

 

Budget officials predicted that revenue would be short by $353 million because of the slowdown in economic activity, combined with the extension of the tax filing deadline. June 30 is the final day of the fiscal year.

 

Arkansas operates under a balanced budget law, known as the Revenue Stabilization Act, which prioritizes state agency spending. When revenue drops, spending by the state government drops proportionately. Unlike the federal government, the state does not borrow to pay for budgeted programs, a practice commonly known as deficit spending.

 

The state has reserve funds because it has consistently approved very conservative budgets.

 

In order to protect vital services provided by the state Health Department and medical programs in the Human Services Department, the legislature voted on a transfer of money from a reserve fund to operating accounts. The reserve fund has $173.6 million.

 

Legislators took unique precautions during the special session in order to maintain social distancing. They did not all sit in their usual desks in the Senate chamber, but sat further apart than usual. Some senators participated from the public galleries.

 

The House of Representatives had more difficult challenges, because there are 100 representatives compared to 35 senators. The House convened in the basketball arena of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, which is large enough that representatives and essential staff could keep at a safe distance from others. It has seating for 5,600 people.

 

The hospitality and service industries have been hit hard. The state has closed DeGray Lake Resort State Park, Mount Magazine State Park, Petit Jean State Park and Queen Wilhelmina State Park.

 

Barbers, hair salons and gyms have been closed. Church services are being video streamed, because health officials strongly advise against any gathering of more than 10 people.

 

The Department of Workforce Services has waived the one-week waiting period that had been required of laid off workers before they could apply for unemployment, to accelerate the payment of claims. However, due to the spike in claims, be prepared to wait when you file a claim.

 

The Board of Nursing and the Medical Board are accelerating their licensing processes, so that the next generation of medical providers can get to work faster.

 

Banks have been notified that some regulations will be modified, to encourage them to restructure loans to troubled businesses.

 

3-27-20 10:32 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Arkansans Ordered To Limit Gatherings, Keep 6 Foot Separation, Some Exceptions

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has repeatedly said he does not want to order Arkansans to "shelter in place"  or "lockdown" citing the need to keep residents working and the economy moving, but today, as he promised in his briefing yesterday, the Arkansas Department of Health issued a Directive / Order limiting gatherings "occurring outside a single household or living unit" to consist of no more than 10 people who can stay 6 feet apart. There are some exceptions, as long as they can "maintain appropriate social distancing of at least six (6) feet to prevent the spread of this virus". The directive, which can be read below, also says that "The Secretary of Health reserves the right to exercise his authority to prevent the spread of disease in this State if, in his judgment, any of the excluded entities are operating in a manner that is a risk to public health."

 

Secretary of Health
DIRECTIVE (ORDER)
Limitations on Gatherings 10 people / 6 feet
March 26, 2020

 

The Secretary of Health, in consultation with the Governor, has sole authority over all instances of quarantine, isolation, and restrictions on commerce and travel throughout Arkansas, as necessary and appropriate to control disease in the state of Arkansas as authorized by Ark. Code Ann. §20-7-109—110. Based on available scientific evidence, it is necessary and appropriate to take further action to ensure that COVID-19 remains controlled and that residents and visitors in Arkansas remain safe.

 

All public and private gatherings of any number of people are subject to the following directives and exceptions:

 

  •  Due to the high risk of community spread of COVID-19, gatherings of more than ten (10) people in any confined indoor or outdoor space are prohibited until further notice. Gatherings subject to this directive include, without limitation, community, civic, public, leisure, commercial, or sporting events, concerts, conferences, conventions, fundraisers, parades, fairs, and festivals.

 

  •  This directive does not apply to gatherings of ten (10) or more people in unenclosed, outdoor spaces such as parks, trails, athletic fields and courts, parking lots, golf courses, and driving ranges where social distancing of at least six (6) feet can be easily achieved.

 

  •  This directive does not apply to businesses, manufacturers, construction companies, places of worship, the Arkansas General Assembly, municipal or county governing bodies, or the judiciary; however, these entities are advised to limit person-to-person contact and maintain appropriate social distancing of at least six (6) feet to prevent the spread of this virus.

 

  •  The Secretary of Health reserves the right to exercise his authority to prevent the spread of disease in this State if, in his judgment, any of the excluded entities are operating in a manner that is a risk to public health.

 

3-26-20 6:29 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

 

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Ouachita National Forest Campgrounds, Recreation Areas Shutting Down

HOT SPRINGS Ark. — To protect public health and safety and align with federal, state and local guidance, Ouachita and Ozark-St. Francis National Forests officials are announcing the temporary shutdown of recreational areas and campgrounds for the safety of visitors and staff.

 

Effective immediately, some recreation areas and campgrounds are temporarily shut down. Some campgrounds and cabins have not yet open for season, and will remain shut down. Dispersed camping is still available on both forests. On the Ouachita National Forest, all restrooms are shut down.

 

For a list of closures, more information and updates, visit the websites of the Ouachita National Forest at www.fs.usda.gov/ouachita or the Ozark-St. Francis National Forests at www.fs.usda.gov/osfnf/. Updates can also be found at the Ouachita National Forest Facebook site at www.facebook.com/ouachitanf and Ozark-St. Francis National Forest at www.facebook.com/ozarkstfrancis/.

 

The Ouachita and Ozark-St. Francis National Forests continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and evaluate potential impacts and adjustments to reservations and our reservation policies through Recreation.gov. Reservation holders will be notified via email and/or cell phone text messages of any changes affecting their reservation. Visitors will receive a full refund for their reservation.

 

By closing campsites and group recreation sites, the USDA Forest Service is taking necessary measures to safeguard the health of employees and the public. The health and safety of employees and the nearby communities is always our top priority at the USDA Forest Service. 

 

Visitors are primarily responsible for their own safety. Keep in mind, trails and roads may be open for use, but please recreate responsibly and follow public health guidelines regarding social distancing while you recreate in National Forests. Law enforcement and search and rescue operations may be limited due to COVID-19 issues. High risk activities such as rock climbing or motorized activities that increase your chance of injury or distress should be avoided. For the most current and accurate information about COVID-19, contact your local health officials or visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov. Information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture is available at: www.usda.gov/coronavirus.

 

3-26-20 1:50 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

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Polk County Man Arrested For Rape, Sexual Abuse Of A Child In Utah

The Polk County Sheriff's Department, acting on a felony warrant from Utah, arrested 34 year old Guillermo Farias at a residence in Wickes (Polk County) Thursday. Arrest records show Farias resided in Grannis.

 
Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer said that Farias was being held in the Polk County Detention Center awaiting extradition to Utah.
 
According to the Desert News in Salt Lake City, Farias was charged Tuesday in 1st District Court with rape of a child, a first-degree felony; and three counts of sexual abuse of a child, a second-degree felony.
 
The crimes alleged took place in 2012. 
 
3-26-20 1:34 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Arkansas Lt. Gov. Griffin COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall Meeting Thursday, March 26th

Lt. Governor Griffin to Host Virtual Town-hall with Infectious Disease Specialist 

Dr. Jennifer Dillaha Regarding COVID-19

 

LITTLE ROCK – Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin released the following public schedule for March 26, 2020

 

WHAT: Lieutenant Governor Griffin will host a Live town-hall streaming on Facebook/YouTube with infectious disease specialist Dr. Jennifer Dillaha regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and what Arkansans can do to protect themselves and others from the virus. 

 

WHEN: March 26, 6:00 PM

 

WHERE: Virtual town-hall hosted on Lieutenant Governor Griffin’s Facebook page and streaming on YouTube. (Note: Lieutenant Governor Griffin will host this from his office in the Arkansas State Capitol.)

3-26-20 6:59 a.m. KAWX.ORG

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Weekly Arkansas Fishing Report

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s weekly fishing report for March 25, 2020. If there is a body of water you would like included in this report, please email jim.harris@agfc.ar.gov 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 listed for the lake or stream you plan to fish for current news. Note: msl = mean sea level; cfs = cubic feet per second.

 

Click on the area of the state below where you are interested in current fishing information from.

 

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: https://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: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/current/?type=quality.

 

3-25-20 4:25 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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ATTORNEY GENERAL ALERT: Scammers Create Frenzy with Fake Government Checks

LITTLE ROCK – As Congress works to complete the COVID-19 economic stimulus package, con artists have also been working non-stop to identify new ways to take advantage of Arkansans concerned about the economy. These scammers impersonate government officials and reach out to Arkansans by phone, email or social media demanding the victims’ personal and banking information to verify their eligibility for the government’s stimulus check.

 

“Bad actors come out in bad situations and will do anything to make a quick buck on the backs of concerned Arkansans,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The federal government will never reach out asking for personal and banking information in order to confirm your eligibility for payment.”

 

Attorney General Rutledge has provided the following tips to keep you and your pocketbook safe.

  • Only rely on official government websites (.gov) for economic relief information.
  • Never give out your personal information over the telephone or email.
  • When information becomes available, the Attorney General’s website will direct you to reliable sources.

 

Arkansas residents encountering someone demanding personal information to receive federal funds or other assistance should immediately contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office by visiting ArkansasAG.gov or call (800) 482-8982.

 

3-25-20 1:03 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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TEMPORARY DRIVER LICENSE TESTING SCHEDULE CONTINUES

The Arkansas State Police will continue Class D (conventional motor vehicle) driver license testing under the temporary and limited adjustments made effective on March 18th.   State police commanders had planned to re-consider the schedule adjustments on March 27th.  That date has now been extended to the end of business day, Friday, April 3rd. 
 
No changes have been implemented, nor planned, relating to commercial driver license applicants.  CDL testing is continuing on a regular schedule.
 
Changes to the Class D schedules became necessary as city and county government buildings where state police driver license testing occurred began to temporarily close or limit public access.
 
Driver license testing is now restricted to Arkansas State Police Troop Headquarters (with the exception of Troop J at Clarksville).  Testing in the River Valley area is limited to a testing center operated in Russellville at 765 Hob Knob Road.  Only the knowledge portion of the Class D driver license is being administered during the temporary schedule.  No skills tests are being offered.
 
A directory of Arkansas State Police Headquarters with addresses and telephone numbers can be found at https://asp.arkansas.gov/divisions/highway-patrol/.

3-24-20 5:40 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Mena ARVAC Office Closed To Public

The Mena ARVA ooffice is cliosing to the public as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mandy Dunlap, the Polk County Family Support advocate siad today that "I just wanted to update our community partners regarding our office closing to the public, keeping in line with what the Governor has mandated for public schools; our Polk County ARVAC, Inc. office will be closed to the public until Monday April 20th. We are still able to help individuals with utility assistance.  At present we will still be distributing Commodities to the general public Tuesday April 28, 10:00 am to 1:00pm at the Polk County Fairgrounds.  The health and safety of the community is always our focus, therefore, for this distribution no one will have to leave their vehicle. If possible please post this updated sign where it may be visible to the public".

 

 

3-24-20 5:18 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

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Mena Police Report for March 15th - 21st

 

Mena Police Department Reports for the Week of March 15, 2020 through March 21, 2020 

 

 

March 15, 2020

 

A harassment complaint was taken at a residence.

 

Officers responded to a disturbance call a department store.

 

A harassment complaint was taken at a motel

 

March 16, 2020

 

A forgery report was taken from a convenience store.

 

A report of a stolen credit card was taken

 

A suspicious person report was taken at a residence.

 

A theft complaint was taken from a walk-in complainant.

 

March 17, 2020

 

Billy Fletcher, 33, was arrested for Criminal Trespass, Disorderly Conduct, and Resisting Arrest after a call to a residence.

 

Travis Parker, 39, was arrested for Theft of Property, Driving on Suspended License, and No Liability Insurance. Also, Misty Arceneaux, 41, was arrested for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. These arrests were made after a complaint from a convenience store and a traffic stop. Both suspects were issued citations and released.

 

March 18, 2020

 

A harassment complaint was taken at a residence.

 

An assault report was taken.

 

March 19, 2020

 

A report of battery and criminal trespass was taken at a residence.

 

March 20, 2020

 

Jimmy Davis, 44, was arrested for Theft of Property (Shoplifting) after a call to a department store.

 

Tyler Kamm, 23, was arrested for Theft of Property (Shoplifting) after a call to a department store.

 

Cathy Singleton, 59, was arrested for Theft of Property (Shoplifting) and Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor after a call to a department store.

 

All subjects should be considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

 

3-24-20 8:24 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

If you have local news tips or would like to place an item on the KAWX.ORG Community Calendar, email us at communityradio@live.com or click on the News Tips graphic above.

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Polk County Sheriff's Report for March 16th - 22nd

SHERIFF’S LOG

 

The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of March 16, 2020 – March 22, 2020. 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 16, 2020

Report from complainant on Polk 417 near Potter of a vehicle driven into a pond led to Citations for Careless and Prohibited Driving, No Seat Belt Use, and No Vehicle License being issued to Taylor Higgins, 25, of Mena.

 

March 17, 2020

Report from complainant on Polk 92 near Shady Grove of being harassed by an acquaintance. Deputy responded. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.

 

March 18, 2020

Report from complainant on Hwy 71S near Hatfield of damage to a sign valued at $500.00. Investigation continues.

Report from complainant on Polk 167 near Potter led to the arrest of William T. Smith, 40, of Mena on Charges of DWI, Refusal to Submit, Careless and Prohibited Driving, No Seat Belt, and Open Container.

 

March 19, 2020

No reports filed.

 

March 20, 2020

Report from complainant on West Johnson near Hatfield of a trailer license plate being removed.

Deputy responded.

Report from complainant on Hwy 71N near Acorn of a theft. Investigation continues.

Report from a complainant on Dover Street near Hatfield of a domestic disturbance led to the arrest of John A. Davis, 31, of Hatfield on a Charge of Domestic Battery 3rd Degree.

 

March 21, 2020

No reports were filed.

 

March 22, 2020

Report from complainant on 71S near Cove of an accidental shooting. Deputy responded.

 

Polk County Sheriff’s Office worked no vehicle accidents this week.

 

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 10 Incarcerated Inmates , with 11 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

 

PC20-00188

 

3-23-20 11:46 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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MRHS Visitor Policy Alert, COVID-19 Screening Update

Please read and share the MRHS visitor policy and COVID-19 screening update below.

 

"Mena Regional Health System continues to implement extreme safety measures in an effort to protect our patients and staff.  A new visitor infection prevention policy was announced and posted last Friday.  Our MRHS staff, along with any visitor or patient that enters the facility, will be screened  before allowed beyond the front entrance.  All other exterior doors will be locked at all times.  Exemptions to the number of visitors allowed will be based upon the unit in which the patient has been admitted.  There will be no visitors allowed for patients in isolation or Senior Behavioral Health. The Mena Regional Comfort Café is closed to the public until further notice.  Mena Medical Associates has updated the clinic hours to 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. through this Wednesday, March 25.  Determination regarding hours beyond Wednesday will be based upon patient volume and will be posted for the public."

 

3-23-20 11:39 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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