KAWX News

Weekend Activities at Queen Wilhelmina State Park Near Mena

For more information about any of the activities listed below, or the park, dial (479) 394-2863, or visit the park's webiste by clicking HERE.

 

Friday, December 6

 

Arkansas Symbols starting at 2:00 pm and lasting about 30 minutes. Meet in the Hearth Room. Do you know the symbols of Arkansas? Join Park Interpreter Melissa and find out our state drink, cooking vessel, bird and much more!

 

Wonder House Tour starting at 3:00 pm and 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.

 

Home Sweet Home starting at 4:00 pm and lasting about 1 hour. Meet at the Lovers’ Leap Trailhead. Meet Park Interpreter Melissa for a hike through our neighbors’ homes. Learn of all the different animals and their habitats as we hike at Queen Wilhelmina. We will start on the north side of the Lovers’ Leap trail.

 

Hearth Room Chat starting at 7:00 pm and lasting about 30 minutes. Meet in the Hearth Room. Have you ever wondered why we are called Queen Wilhelmina State Park? Join Park Interpreter Melissa as we gather around the fireplace and learn why we’re called Queen Wilhelmina State Park.

 

Saturday, December 7

 

Ouachita Walk starting at 11:15 am and lasting about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Meet on the west side of the Ouachita Trailhead. Join Park Interpreter Melissa and enjoy a serene fall 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.

 

Wonder House Tour starting at 2:00 pm and 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.

 

Arkansas Furs starting at 3:00 pm and lasting about 30 minutes. Meet in the Hearth Room. What animals do we have here at Queen Wilhelmina State Park? Join Park Interpreter Melissa and she will talk about the animals that we have here in the park and you will get to feel their furs.

 

Magic on the Mountain starting at 7:00pm and lasting about 1 hour. Meet in the Hearth Room. December can be a magical time of year. Come join our special guest Russell Turner as he performs his award-winning magic on the mountain.

 

Sunday, December 8

 

Wonder House Tour starting at 10:00 am and lasting about 1 hour. Meet in 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.

 

Reservoir Hike starting at 2:00 pm and lasting about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Meet at the Reservoir Trailhead. Join Park Interpreter Melissa on a hike to what used to be the old water system for the 1898 hotel.

 

Touch Table starting at 4:00 pm and lasting about 45 minutes. Meet in the Hearth Room. There will be different things that you can see and touch. Join Park Interpreter Melissa for a fun, interactive way of exploring things found in our park, and find out what they are.

 

12-5-19 6:47 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Ballot Positions For 2020 Primary Election In Polk County Announced

 

The Polk County Election Commission met Wednesday in the Polk County Courthouse to draw for ballot placement positions for contested races in the 2020 Primary Election which will be March 3rd. The results are listen below.

 

US President—Democratic Primary

 

Position 1-- Michael Bennet

Position 2-- Julian Castro

Position 3-- Joe Sestak

Position 4-- Tom Steyer

Position 5-- Tulsi Gabbard

Position 6-- John K. Delaney

Position 7-- Cory Booker

Position 8-- Kamala Harris

Position 9-- Joseph R. Biden

Position 10-- Steve Bullock

Position 11-- Elizabeth Warren

Position 12-- Michael R. Bloomberg

Position 13-- Mosie Boyd

Position 14-- Pete Buttigieg

Position 15-- Amy Klobuchar

Position 16-- Marianne Williamson

Position 17-- Bernie Sanders

Position 18-- Andrew Yang

 

US President—Republican Primary

 

Position 1-- Bill Weld

Position 2-- Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente

Position 3-- Donald J. Trump

 

State Representative—District 21—Republican Primary

 

Position 1-- Representative Marcus Richmond

Position 2-- Jim Reynolds

 

State Supreme Court Associate Justice Position 4—Non Partisan Judicial General Election

 

Position 1-- Judge Morgan “Chip” Welch

Position 2-- Barbara Womack Webb

 

Court of Appeals Associate Judge District 04 Position 2-Non Partisan Judicial General Election

 

Position 1-- Emily White

Position 2-- Prosecuting Attorney Stephanie Potter Barrett

 

Circuit Judge District 18 West, Division 01

 

Position 1-- Patrick McDaniel

Position 2-- Prosecuting Attorney Andy Riner

 

Mena School Board, Position 1

 

Position 1-- Brandyn Gortemiller

Position 2-- Todd Aynes

 

Mena School Board, Position 2

 

Position 1-- Robert Hines

Position 2-- Calvin Cummings

 

12-5-19 6:31 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Arkansas Flags To Half Staff For United States Navy Storekeeper 1st Class John W. Craig

 

Governor Asa Hutchinson has directed that the state flag of Arkansas fly at half-staff from sunrise, Thursday, December 5, 2019, to sunset, Friday, December 6, 2019, in tribute to the memory of United States Navy Storekeeper 1st Class John W. Craig of Monroe, Arkansas.

 

Petty Officer Craig was aboard the battleship USS Oklahoma when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Japanese fighter pilots torpedoed the ship, which capsized. Petty Officer Craig and 428 other crewmen perished. DNA analysis allowed the identification of Petty Officer Craig's remains, which had been buried in a cemetery in Hawaii. After 78 years, his body has been returned to Arkansas, where he will be buried in his final resting place at the Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery in North Little Rock.

 

The people of Arkansas are grateful for the sacrifice of Petty Officer Craig and the surviving members of his family.

 

The Governor declared December 6, 2019 as John W. Craig Memorial Day in Arkansas. The proclamation can be viewed HERE.

 

12-4-19 8:06 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Polk County Circuit Court Arraignments December 2nd, 3rd, 4th

 
All criminal information is merely an accusation and the Defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. Prosecuting Attorney Andy Riner, within and for the 18th-West Judicial District of the State of Arkansas, of which Polk County is a part, in the name and by the authority of the State of Arkansas, on oath, do hereby accuse the defendants of committing in Polk County, Arkansas the following crimes: 
 
State of Arkansas Vs. Brandon R. Falls, White Male, age 34, Count I: Possession Of Firearms By Certain Persons, a Class "D" Felony. Count II: Driving While Intoxicated, an Unclassified Misdemeanor.
 
State of Arkansas Vs. Jamie L. May, White Female, age 37, Count I: Possession Of A Schedule II Controlled Substance, a Class "D" Felony.
 
State of Arkansas Vs. Timothy Robertson, White Male, age 32, Count I: Aggravated Assault On A Family Member Or Household Member, a Class "D" Felony. Count II: Interference With Emergency Communication In The First Degree, a Class "A" Misdemeanor. Count III: Fleeing On Foot, a Class "C" Misdemeanor.
 
State of Arkansas Vs. Cheyenne Smith, White Female, age 25, Count I: Probation Violation. The Original Offense was Count I: Possession Of Methamphetamine With Purpose to Deliver, a Class "B" Felony. Count II Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class "D" Felony. Bond was set at $10,000.00.
 
State of Arkansas Vs. Timoth Robertson, White Male, age 32, Count I: Possession Of Firearms By Certain Persons, a Class "D" Felony. Count II: Criminal Tresspass, a Class "A" Misdemeanor. 
 
12-4-19 4:04 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Weekly Arkansas Fishing Report

 

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s weekly fishing report for Dec. 4, 2019. 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.

 

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.

 

12-4-19 3:41 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

If you have local news tips or would like to place an item on our KAWX.ORG Community Calendar, email us at communityradio@live.com.

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Polk County Sheriff's Report for November 25th - December 1st

 

SHERIFF’S   LOG


The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of November 25 – December 1, 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.


November 25, 2019
Report from complainant on Rodgers Street in Cove of an attempted break-in.  Deputy responded.
Report from complainant on Polk 301 near Cherry Hill of problems with an acquaintance concerning a business deal.
Arrested by a trooper with the Arkansas State Police was Crystal R. Donelson, 45, of Hatfield, on a Warrant for Failure to Appear.


November 26, 2019
Report of a domestic disturbance on Gamma Lane near Mena led to the arrest of Bryan M. Terry, 37, of Mena, on two Body Attachment Warrants.
Arrested was Tony P. Foster, 34, of Cove, on Warrants for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Failure to Appear.


November 27, 2019
Report from complainant on Polk 76 East near Acorn of a missing person.  The individual was later located.
Report from walk-in complainants of issues regarding child custody exchange.  Deputy responded.


November 28, 2019
Report of a disturbance on Polk 189 near Mena.  Deputy responded.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Report of an individual that refused to leave a business on Edgewater Lane in the Shady community led to the arrest of Tericea Pina, 45, of Texas, on a Charge of Criminal Trespass.
Report from complainant on Polk 90 near Acorn of vandalism done to a vehicle.  Deputy responded.
Report from a business on Industrial Lane near Mena of unauthorized individuals on the premises led to a 14-year-old male being issued a Juvenile Citation for Criminal Trespass.  The juvenile was released to the custody of a parent/guardian.  Additional information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.


November 29, 2019
Report of the discovery of an abandoned ATV, ramps, tools and a deer stand on Polk 35 near Hatfield.  Investigation continues.
Arrested was Jennifer L. Tyler, 45, of Cove, on a Warrant for Failure to Comply with a Court Order.
Arrested was Becky M. Stroud, 49, of Mena, on a Warrant for Failure to Appear and three Warrants for Violation of the Arkansas Hot Check Law.


November 30, 2019
Report from a Mena woman that her juvenile son had ran away.  The juvenile was located and returned to his mother.
Report from walk-in complainant of issues regarding child custody exchange.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Report from complainant on Polk 15 near Cove of an individual that refuses to return a vehicle to the owner.  Investigation continues.
Request from complainant on Powell Lane near Acorn for a welfare check on an elderly family member.  Deputy responded.
Report of a possible ATV accident on Polk 26 near Hatfield.  Deputy responded.  No accident had occurred.


December 1, 2019
Report from complainant on Dogleg Lane near Big Fork of a missing family member.  Investigation continues.

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

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 28 Incarcerated Inmates, with 16 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

PC19-00849

 

12-2-19 5:01 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Polk County Circuit Court Arraignments November 20th, 21st, 22nd, 27th

All criminal information is merely an accusation and the Defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. Prosecuting Attorney Andy Riner, within and for the 18th-West Judicial District of the State of Arkansas, of which Polk County is a part, in the name and by the authority of the State of Arkansas, on oath, do hereby accuse the defendants of committing in Polk County, Arkansas the following crimes: 
 
State of Arkansas Vs. David Eledge, White Male, age 57, Count I: Possession Of A Schedule II Controlled Substance, a Class "D" Felony. County II: Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class "D" Felony. Count III: Possession Of Firearms By Certain Persons, a Class "D" Felony. The State of Arkansas intends to pursue enhanced penalties due to the fact that he has been convicted of more than one (1) felony but fewer than four (4) felonies.
 
State of Arkansas Vs. David Eledge, White Male, age 57, Count I: Violation Of Suspended Imposition Of Sentence. The original offense was Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class "B" Felony. Bond was set at $5,000.00.
 
State of Arkansas Vs. Alan A. Currier, White Male, age 50, Count I: Terroristic Act, a Class "B" Felony.
 
State of Arkansas Vs. Elizabeth S. Finley, White Female, age 20, Count I: Possession Of A Schedule II Controlled Substance, a Class "D" Felony. Count II: Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class "D" Felony.
 
State of Arkansas Vs. Tony Foster, White Male, age 34, Count I: Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class "D" Felony.
 
12-2-19 12:18 p.m. KAWX.ORG 
 
 

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Winter Weather Awareness Week Observed December 1st-6th In Arkansas

 
Follow daily weather forecasts posts on KAWX social media for Winter Weather safety and prepardness information starting December 1st.
 
Winter can bring a variety of hazardous weather conditions to the Natural State, including heavy snow, ice, and cold temperatures. These conditions can make driving conditions hazardous, with power outages occurring at times. In the end, you may become exposed to the elements...with your life threatened.

To help Arkansans prepare for these conditions, a special week has been set to review safety rules and to better understand the hazards of winter. This year, Winter Weather Awareness Week runs from December 1 - 6, 2019.

For our Winter Weather Awareness Week, the following safety topics will be highlighted:
 
Sunday: Introduction to Winter Weather Awareness Week - Introduces the #WinterPrep week ahead.

Monday: Outlook for the Upcoming Winter — Provides a general outlook for the temperature and precipitation expectations expected from December - February across Arkansas this winter season.

Tuesday: Winter Precipitation Types — Highlights the different types of wintry precipitation that are possible across the state and what weather conditions typically cause these different types of wintry weather.

Wednesday: Winter Weather Watches, Warnings and Advisories — We will describe what the National Weather Service means when we issue winter weather watches, warnings, and advisories this winter. We will also be introducing a new warning, the “Snow Squall Warning”, which will be rarely issued, but is new for 2019.

Thursday: Winter Weather Safety Rules — We’ll talk about what you can do to prepare for winter storms, and offer tips and strategies to help keep you and your family safe at home or if you’re travelling across Arkansas this winter.
 
Friday: The Cold of Winter — We’ll be talking more about winter weather safety… but focusing strictly on cold weather versus staying safe in times of frozen precipitation. Even without snow and ice, cold air temperatures can lead to exposure dangers if you’re not properly prepared to be outdoors.

Each day we will be releasing information via social media, our web page, and NOAA Weather Radio highlighting the content listed above.

For more information, please visit: http://www.weather.gov/LZK/win1a.htm.
 
 
11-30-19 1:20 p.m. KAWX.ORG 
 
To listen to Mena, Arkansas NOAA Weather Radio Station KXI97 on your PC, click on the weather radio below, or download the Mena Weather Radio app for your tablet or phone from the App Store or Google Play. More local weather information is available at KAWX.ORG or by dialing (479) 394-5600.
 

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December Activities At Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area

 
For more information about any of the December activities at CRSP near Wickes, or the park, dial (870) 385-2201 or visit the park's website by clicking here.
 
Sunday, December 1st
 
9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Bundle Up! (1 hour) It is getting cold outside and it is the time of year for us to break out our coats and make hot cocoa to stay warm.  Join a park interpreter to learn about the animals that live here and how they stay warm to survive the winter.
Meeting Place:  Cossatot Falls Parking Lot.
 
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Feed the Critters (1 hour) It’s dinner time and the critters are hungry!  Come and watch them eat and learn about the animals here at Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area.
Meeting Place: Visitor Center.
 
Sunday, December 8th
 
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Feed the Critters (1 hour) It’s dinner time and the critters are hungry!  Come and watch them eat and learn about the animals here at Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area.
Meeting Place: Visitor Center.
 
3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Cossatot Craft Corner (1 hour) Do you enjoy being creative?  Would you like to begin earning an explorer badge?  Join a park interpreter to use your creativity, have fun, and discover something special that can be found in the park.
Meeting Place: Visitor Center’s Legacy Room.
 
Saturday, December 14th
 
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Christmas Open House Celebrate the holidays with the staff at Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area. Bring your kids to share their Christmas wish with Santa Clause. Please bring your camera if you would like a photo. Enjoy spectacular decorations in the Visitor Center and the trail of lights outside. Other activities available include a Christmas movie, a craft, and face painting. A chili dinner will be served by the Nazarene Church’s youth group. Donations for the meal will be accepted. Popcorn and hot cocoa will also be available.
Meeting Place: Visitor Center.
 
Sunday, December 15th
 
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Morning Stroll (1.5 hours) Join a park interpreter for a hike on the scenic River Corridor Trail. Feel Free to bring binoculars; who knows what we will see or stir up.  
Meeting Place: Cossatot Falls Parking Lot.
 
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Feed the Critters (1 hour) It’s dinner time and the critters are hungry!  Come and watch them eat and learn about the animals here at Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area.
Meeting Place: Visitor Center.
 
Saturday, December 21st
 
9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Constellation Exploration (1 hour) Clear winter skies offer great opportunities to see the stars. Constellations drew pictures for storytelling in both the past and the present at Cossatot River State Park.  Join a park interpreter to learn about the constellations you may see in the park and create your own constellation and story.
Meeting Place: Sandbar Picnic Area.
 
2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Animal Charades (1 hour) How creative is your mind and your team?  Meet a park interpreter in a couple of games like Charades and Pictionary, to see if you can imitate selected Cossatot River State Park creatures. The challenge is on!  May the best team win!
Meeting Place: Cossatot Falls Parking Lot.
 
Sunday, December 22nd
 
9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Morning Stroll (2 hours) Join Park Interpreter Carson for this easy to moderate, 2-mile guided hike to Goat’s Bluff Overlook on the Harris Creek Trail.  Feel Free to bring binoculars; who knows what we will see or stir up.  Meeting Place: Harris Creek Trailhead.
 
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Feed the Critters (1 hour) It’s dinner time and the critters are hungry!  Come and watch them eat and learn about the animals here at Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area.
Meeting Place: Visitor Center.
 
11-30-19 12:53 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: The Stradivarius of Turkey Calls

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: The Stradivarius of Turkey Calls 
 
 
LITTLE ROCK – An Arkansan you probably don’t know about was responsible for a lot of the turkey that made it to the Thanksgiving table a hundred-twenty years ago.
 
That was long before Arkansas became the Number 3 producer of turkeys in the United States. Did you know that every Butterball turkey that shows up at Thanksgiving in the United States came from Arkansas?
 
Every year, our turkey farmers raise 32 million turkeys, which weigh in at 595 million pounds, or 30,000 tons. The turkey industry creates and supports 20,000 jobs in Arkansas with an average of $46,000 in wages and benefits. Turkeys contribute $304 million a year to our economy. In 2018, the industry was responsible for nearly $5 billion in total economic activity throughout the state.
 
But in the late 1800s, a Thanksgiving turkey wasn’t always so easy to get. Today, I’m going to share the story of a man who changed that, at least for people who wanted wild turkeys for their table.
 
Henry C. Gibson was a farmer who lived in Dardanelle. He was a manager for the Western Arkansas Hedge and Wire Fence Company.
 
In 1897, he and a partner from Arkadelphia patented a turkey call that was a simple wooden box. A thin paddle is attached to the top of the box. When you scrape the paddle across the top, it makes the various sounds of a turkey.
 
Randy Zellers of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission says the Gibson Box Call is the most trusted and copied turkey call in the history of turkey calls. To the untrained human ear, the sound is like fingernails on a chalk board.  
 
Randy says that while many others have built similar calls over the years, the basic design hasn’t changed. With a couple hours of practice, even a beginner can sound like a turkey. The sound from the Gibson box has a way of cutting through the wind better than other types of turkey calls.
 
Collectors have paid thousands of dollars for a Gibson Box. Fathers hand them down to their children.
 
Will Primos is a call-maker in Mississippi who has hunted turkey in Arkansas. He calls the Gibson Box the Stradivarius of turkey calls. Several years ago, an elderly customer at his family’s restaurant gave him a Gibson Box that her father had given her. He later donated it to the National Wild Turkey Federation’s museum in North Carolina.
 
At the turn of the last century, the Gibson Box helped hunters put a lot of Thanksgiving turkeys on the family table.  The story of Henry Gibson is like the story of so many entrepreneurs in Arkansas. He invented a quality product, people liked it, and bought it, and he turned his idea into a successful venture that endures more than a century later.
 
Arkansas continues to be that kind of a state. Our entrepreneurs pursue their dreams and find success. Of the many things about Arkansas for which I’m thankful this Thanksgiving, people such as Henry Gibson are high on my list.
 
11-29-19 4:52 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

 

Typically when a bill is passed in the state legislature, if it does not have an emergency clause, it will take effect 90 days after we adjourn.  But there are occasions when a specific date is written into the bill.  This year, we passed several bills that will take effect January 1, 2020.  These impact everything from auto insurance to tax brackets.

 

Here are several pieces of legislation going into effect at the beginning of the year:

 

ACT 182 reduces the top income tax rate from 6.9% to 6.6%.  This will lower again to 5.9% in 2021.

 

ACT 869 requires the implementation of the online insurance verification system by January 1, 2020. In a routine traffic stop, the new online verification system allows the officer to confirm in real time whether the vehicle is insured. Under the current system, the insurance data accessed by the officer may be up to 30 days old.

 

ACT 774 requires the Department of Finance and Administration to provide space on individual income tax forms for a taxpayer to designate more than one account for the direct deposit of the taxpayer’s refund beginning with returns filed for tax year January 1, 2020.

 

ACT 1063 provides that a tow facility may tow heavy-duty motor vehicles as part of a law enforcement program if the tow facility is licensed by the Arkansas Towing and Recovery Board, passes safety inspections, and complies with state and federal laws.

 

ACT 564 requires the annual publication of the county budget and the annual financial report of the county.

 

ACT 653 prohibits state funding of human cloning and destructive embryo research.

 

ACT 1021 establishes the process for governing directed trusts and clarifies the applicability, principal place of administration, excluded powers, limitations, defenses, and duties and liability of trust directors and directed trustees.

 

ACT 866 prohibits a business that is subject to a business closure order by the Department of Finance and Administration from contracting or doing business with the state.

 

ACT 822 extends the net operating loss carry-forward period to eight years for losses occurring in the tax year starting Jan. 1, 2020.

 

ACT 988 amends the law concerning the reemployment of certain retired members of the Arkansas Local Police and Fire Retirement System. The act applies to a member of the system who on or after January 1, 2020, elects to participate in the Local Police and Fire Deferred Retirement Option Plan, retires from the system as a participant in the Local Police and Fire Deferred Retirement Option Plan, or retires from the system.

 

You can find a complete summary of all the legislation passed in 2019 on our website www.arkansashouse.org.

 

11-29-19 3:50 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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US Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column

Providing Reasonable and Responsible Rules for Effective Avian Predator Management

 

Aquaculture is an important component of Arkansas’s agriculture industry. Our state ranks second in the nation in aquaculture production, which includes species like baitfish, catfish, hybrid striped bass and more. Nearly 5,000 water surface acres across the state are used for aquaculture production, and Arkansas fish farmers contributed $71.1 million to our state’s economy in 2017. A growing number of fish farmers have shared with me their frustrations regarding a threat to their fish – the double-crested cormorant.

 

Double-crested cormorants are aquatic birds that eat mostly fish, so when they migrate south for the winter months, Arkansas fish farms make ideal locations for these birds to prey. With adult birds eating a pound of fish a day, they can do serious damage. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates double-crested cormorants cause more than $25 million in damage annually within the aquaculture industry. These birds have become the foremost antagonists of fish farmers.

 

Aquaculture producers aren’t alone in the fight against avian predators. Arkansas ranchers are increasingly defending their herds against black vultures. These birds are notorious for attacking during the spring and fall calving seasons. USDA reports that black vultures are responsible for 10 percent of all calves lost to predators. This is quite astonishing considering that other predators include the likes of wolves and bears.

 

These birds have proven to be a costly menace. Producers are left with few options to defend their animals because these predators are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. Today, populations of double-crested cormorant and black vultures are thriving. The International Union for Conservation of Nature, a leading authority on the global conservation status of species, considers these species of “least concern.” Still, the protected status prevents producers from taking proactive measures to guard their investment without a valid federal permit. The depredation permit is granted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), but it costs producers annually and caps the number of birds they can legally kill. The quantity permitted is often inadequate to stop these predators.

 

We need a commonsense solution that allows ranchers and aquaculture producers to safeguard their animals. I recently pressed FWS for flexibility so our farmers and ranchers can better protect their livestock or aquaculture. In a letter I led to the agency signed by members of the Senate and House of Representatives, including Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton and Congressmen Rick Crawford and Bruce Westerman, we urged the agency to streamline the permitting process and revise its rules to allow greater flexibility for producers to better protect their livelihoods.

 

This problem extends beyond Arkansas, but the good news is our state’s federal elected officials are engaged on this issue and proposing legislative solutions. This summer, cattlemen from Arkansas, Missouri and Mississippi met with FWS and USDA to discuss their problems and possible solutions in a roundtable hosted by Congressman Crawford. Legislation has also been introduced in both chambers of Congress. I am a cosponsor of the Cormorant Relief Act, legislation introduced by Senator Cotton that would allow fish farmers to manage the double-crested cormorants targeting their farms.

 

Fish farmers and ranchers need additional tools to defend their livestock and their livelihood. They shouldn’t have to suffer additional financial losses. We can provide reasonable and responsible rules for effective avian predator management.

 

11-29-19 12:47 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Senator Larry Teague's Weekly Column

 

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

November 29, 2019

 

LITTLE ROCK – The legislature created the Arkansas Trauma System 10 years ago, with passage of Act 393 of 2009.

 

The trauma system directs emergency responders to the closest hospital that provides the care needed by the trauma victim. That is not always the closest hospital.

 

It’s possible that an ambulance carrying a severely injured person would need to bypass a level four facility, in order to more quickly arrive at a level one facility that can immediately treat the trauma.

 

There are 62 facilities in the system. Six are level one, four are level two, 18 are level three and 34 are level four.

 

The six level one systems can handle the most severe trauma cases. Two are in Little Rock, two are in Memphis and two are in Springfield, Missouri. The level two hospitals are in Little Rock, Springfield, Hot Springs and Fayetteville.

 

The levels do not indicate the quality of care provided by the hospital. It indicates the resources available, for example, whether or not they have a neurologist on call.

 

Establishing the trauma system involved much more than coordinating emergency response teams with the closest hospital that offers appropriate care. The system has distributed grants to hospitals and firms that provide emergency medical services. More than 7,000 nurses have been trained in trauma care over the past 10 years.

 

For anyone who has suffered a traumatic injury, the system has possibly saved their life. Studies indicate that the Arkansas trauma system has lowered the mortality rate for traumatic injuries in Arkansas by 50 percent since 2009.

 

In many cases the system has made care more accessible and convenient for victims and their families. For example, since 2009 the trauma system has evaluated 3,565 burn cases, and one percent of the victims are now transferred out of state for further treatment. Ten years ago 12 percent of burn victims needed to be transferred out of state.

 

Hospitals and public health agencies maintain extremely complex medical records, such as images of X-rays and ultrasounds. The trauma image repository can send images to a facility, before the arrival of the patient, to eliminate the need for duplicate testing and to speed treatment.

 

Arkansas was one of the last states in the country to set up a statewide trauma system, but it’s now the first and only state to operate an ongoing “preventable mortality review.” More than 820 trauma cases have been closely reviewed, with the goal of improving care by streamlining protocols practiced by health care providers, and requiring that trauma care guidelines be more rigorous.

 

The trauma system has purchased 611 radios that operate under the Arkansas Wireless Information Network. The radios allow ambulances to stay in communication with emergency rooms in areas where there is no cell phone service, and in periods when cell service is down. This is vitally important should a natural disaster occur, or an event that affects massive numbers of people in a large area.

 

The Arkansas Trauma System is operated out of the state Health Department. On a regular basis it reports to the Senate Committee on Public Health, Welfare and Labor.

 

11-29-19 9:38 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 Nov. 27, 2019. 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 for fishing information from that area.

 

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.

 

11-27-19 8:03 p.m. KAWX.ORG

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Thanksgiving Day And Weekend Activities At Queen Wilhelmina State Park Near Mena

 

Thanksgiving Day at Queen Wilhelmina State Park there will be games, puzzles, cards and coloring upstairs in the conference room while guests wait patiently for a table. There will also be complementary coffee and hot chocolate in the conference room. Scroll down to the bottom of this article to see the menu and details about the Thanksgiving Day special in the restaurant.

 

Friday is the annual Green Friday event when guests are encouraged to have a family day at the park and to skip the crazy chaotic mess of black Friday shopping. Are you looking for a relaxing way to spend the Friday after Thanksgiving away from all the hustle and bustle of the holiday shopping? Join Park Interpreter Melissa and she will lead you on four guided hikes. For more information about Thanksgiving Day activities or the weekend activities below, call the park office at (479) 394-2863 or visit the park's website by clicking here.

 

 

Friday, November 29th

Nature Hike starting at 8:00 am and lasting about 1.5 hours. Meet on the North Side of Lovers Leap.

 

Join Park Interpreter Melissa for an invigorating afternoon hike down Lovers Leap Trail. There are trees we can identify, and we’ll possibly see some wildlife. Meet at the north side of Lovers Leap trailhead just below the lodge parking lot.

 

 

Reservoir Hike starting at 11:00 am and lasting about 1 hour 15 minutes. Meet at the Reservoir Trailhead.

 

Join Park Interpreter Melissa on a hike to what used to be the old water system for the 1898 hotel.

 

Spring Trail Hike starting at 2:00 pm and lasting about 45 minutes. Meet at the Amphitheater.

 

Join Park Interpreter Melissa for a leisure stroll on this short trail. Terrain is easy, so we will take our time and enjoy what nature has to offer us.

 

Ouachita Walk starting at 3:15 pm and lasting about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Meet on the west side of the Ouachita Trailhead.

 

Join Park Interpreter Melissa and enjoy a serene fall 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.

 

Saturday, November 30th

Tree ID Hike starting at 11:15 am and lasting about 1 hour. Meet on the north side of Lovers’ Leap Trail.

 

Join Park Interpreter Melissa as we take a stroll on the Lovers’ Leap Trail and identify the trees along the way.

 

Wonder House Tour starting at 2:00 pm and 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.

 

Tree Cookie Necklaces starting at 3:00 pm and lasting about 45 minutes. Meet in the Hearth Room.

 

What is a tree cookie? Want to remember your visit to Queen Wilhelmina State Park? Join Park Interpreter Melissa as we discover the unique qualities of tree cookies and create tree cookie necklace to take home!

 

Black Bears starting at 7:00 pm and lasting about 30 minutes. Meet in the Hearth Room.

 

Do we have bears here at Queen Wilhelmina State Park? Join Park Interpreter Melissa to find out if these once almost extinct animals live near the park.

 

Sunday, December 1st

Wonder House Tour starting at 10:00 am and 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.

 

Silent Hike starting at 2:00 pm and lasting about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Meet at the north Side of Lovers’ Leap Trail.

 

Have you ever been on a trail and never seen an animal? Join Park Interpreter Melissa as we hike silently down to the Lovers’ Leap platform. Along the way we will observe what we can see and hear as we silently walk through the woods.

 

Bird Bingo starting at 4:00 pm and lasting about 30 minutes. Meet in the Hearth Room.

 

This is not your ordinary bingo game. In this game of bingo, you will learn about the birds of Arkansas. If you are interested in birds, then you will enjoy this game. Join Park Interpreter Melissa for a fun filled game of Bingo.

 

11-27-19 11:29 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Search Underway For Missing Mena Area Resident

 
UPDATE: The body of the missing person, David Danley, has been located in a wooded area near his home and his next of kin has been notified, according to Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer. 
11-27-19 3:00 p.m. 
 
Polk County authorities launched a search early Wednesday morning for a Mena area man missing since Monday night or Tuesday morning.
 
Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer identified the missing person as David Danley, age 76, who resides on Polk County Road 76 East between Mena and Acorn.
 
Sheriff Sawyer said the man may be on a Yamaha ATV.
 
Crews are searching on foot, with ATVs, and by airplane Wednesday morning.
 
Anyone with information that might be helpful to authorities should contact the Polk County Sheriff's Department at (479) 394-2511.
 
11-27-19 8:17 a.m. KAWX.ORG 
To listen to the Polk County, Arkansas Online Police and Fire Scanner, click on the scanner below. Please listen responsibly! 

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Quorum Court Approves $11.6 Million Polk County 2020 Budget, Other Business

 
The Polk County Quorum Court met Tuesday night for their regular monthly session with Judge Brandon Ellison presiding. All eleven Justices of The Peace were present, as other elected officials and guests.
 
In addition to routine business, the JPs passed an ordinance to levy 2019 millage rates. The millage rates are voted on by voters, so the annual ordinance, while required, is more of a recognition of the rates by the Court than approval. There was also an ordinance approved that will allow the County to set up a special fund for accounting of a motor fuel tax that will come from the State and can only be used for certain things, by legislative action, necessitating the extra accounting.
 
The 2020 Polk County Budget, which had been discussed at the previous Quorum Court Meeting and a Budget and Finance Committee Meeting, totaling $11,600,537.83 was approved unanimously.
 
There were no comments from the public.
 
The December Quorum Court Meeting will be held on December 23, 2019 at 6:00 p.m., a day earlier than normal to avoid meeting on Christmas Eve.
 
Quorum Court meetings are open to the public.
 
11-27-19 7:47 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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November Polk County Sales Tax Report

 

Polk County Treasurer Tanya K. Fretz has released the November 2019 Sales Tax General and Road Improvement Sales Tax Reports, both 1% taxes on retail sales.

 

The amounts reflect collections for the previous month.?

 

The total for each was $124,293.71, a $6,472.92 increase for each compared to the same period in 2018.


To date the taxes have generated $1,394,706 each, a $41,686 increase compared to the same period in 2018.


The Road Improvement Sales Tax can only be used for road maintenance and construction in the county.

 

11-26-19 4:14 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

 

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Why Is Chick-Fil-A Being Grilled?

 

This past week, the Chick-fil-A Foundation issued a statement saying it had revised its giving priorities. Taken at face value, the meaning of that press release was clear: "Going forward, the Chick-fil-A Foundation will focus its giving toward key organizations that address education, homelessness and hunger."

The practical implications, however, were not clear. What did this mean for groups like the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which the Foundation had most recently supported in 2018? Many have wondered why the Salvation Army was left out of this round of giving, particularly given its commitment to the Foundation's stated priorities.

The mainstream media gleefully concluded that Chick-fil-A had succumbed to pressure from LGBTQ advocacy groups and others, and declared that the restaurant chain would no longer be awarding grants to "anti-LGBTQ" entities. This, despite the fact that the Chick-fil-A Foundation expressly stated that future grant recipients "could include faith-based and non-faith-based charities."

Based on the media's reporting, a predictable outcry occurred among ministry leaders and outraged Christians around the nation. If Chick-fil-A does intend to discontinue making grants to ministry entities such as the Salvation Army and Fellowship of Christians Athletes, it could impact the patronage of millions of customers who have long supported Chick-fil-A's commitment to Biblical principles. But is that truly what the fast food chain meant to convey?

That was the question asked by Rev. Franklin Graham to Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-fil-A. Graham then issued the following report:

"I picked up the phone and called Dan Cathy. Dan was very clear that they have not bowed down to anyone's demands, including the LGBTQ community. They will continue to support whoever they want to support. They haven't changed who they are or what they believe. Chick-fil-A remains committed to Christian values. Dan Cathy assured me that this isn't going to change. I hope all those who jumped to the wrong conclusion about them read this."

We are comforted by Dan Cathy's assurance that Chick-fil-A hasn't changed and isn't going to change. But what then was intended by the corporate announcement last week? It told readers that a change in policy had occurred. What was it really? JDFI and conservative Christians across the nation are awaiting further clarification.

 

11-25-19 9:39 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Mena Police Report for November 17th - 23rd

 

 

Reports from November 17, 2019 through November 23, 2019 

 

 

November 17 and 18, 2019

A local man reported a theft of gasoline.  Case is pending location and interview of suspect.

A local business owner reported that a wrench and tires had been stolen from his building.  Case is pending.

Report was made of a neighbor’s dog killing chickens.  The owner was warned to keep his dog inside or tethered if he is outdoors.

 

November 19, 2019

Michael Jamison, 44, was charged with criminal assault and fleeing.  The arrest followed a call from a local retail store.

Sarah Mitchell, 35, of Mena was served nine warrants.  The arrest followed a call from a Mena resident.

 

November 20, 2019

David Eledge, was charged with several warrants.  Arrest followed a call for a disabled vehicle at a   local convenience store.

 

November 21, 2019

Kaleb Rushin, 18, of Mena was arrested and served am outstanding warrant following a call from a Mena resident.

 

November 22 & 23, 2019

Tristan Chaney, 24, of Mena was charged with criminal trespass after officers responded to a call at a local retail store.

Elizabeth Finley, 20, of Mena was charged with possession of a controlled substance.

Nathaniel Riley, 26, of Mena was charged with driving on a suspended license.

Michael Wing, 32, of Mena was charged with public intoxication.

 

11-25-19 2:07 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

If you have local news tips or would like to place an item on our KAWX.ORG Community Calendar, email us at communityradio@live.com.

 

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Quorum Court Meets Tuesday

 

The Polk County Quorum Court will meet Tuesday, November 26, 2019 for their regular monthly meeting.

 
In addition to routine business, the following are on the meeting agenda:
 
 
     Consideration of an ordinance to adopt the 2020 Budget
 
     Consideration of an ordinance to levy 2019 millage rates
 
     Consideration of an ordinance to establish an additional motor fuel tax fund and declare and emergency (this is not a new tax, only a fund for accounting purposes).
 
 
The meeting will start at 6:00 p.m. Tuesday and be held in the Quorum Court Meeting Room at the Polk County Office Complex (old hospital) on pine Street in Mena.
 
Quorum Court meetings are open to the public.
 
11-25-19 7:22 a.m. KAWX.ORG

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Christmas Time's A Comin' To Mena and Polk County

 

It’s that time of year when downtown Mena transforms into a place of wonder and magic for children and adults alike with our Annual Mena Christmas Parade of Lights. Come join the fun as The Mena Polk County Chamber of Commerce kicks off the holiday season with the “North Pole Christmas” themed parade.

 

The magical and lively parade will make its way down Mena Street on Saturday, December 7th at 6pm, continuing on to Oak Avenue, DeQueen Street, Hwy 71 South and 7th Avenue, ending at Historic Janssen Park. You’ll see hundreds of smiling faces along the spectacular one-mile parade route as they delight in the sights and sounds of the season. Christmas themed entries will include illuminated and brightly decorated floats, marching bands, equestrian units, and non-profit groups. This is Mena’s biggest and brightest parade, making it a holiday favorite you won’t want to miss.

 

 

Pete Chambers, 2018 Volunteer of the Year, will be proudly leading the parade as our esteemed Grand Marshall. Pete won't be the only star of the show because Santa Claus is coming to town! Santa has marked his calendar to make a special appearance in Mena, Arkansas. For kids young and old, visions of jolly Ol’St.Nick mark the true beginning of the season and provide a fitting close to the night’s parade.

 

There will be a contest for the floats and entries with the best interpretation of the theme: “North Pole Christmas.” Parade attendees can cast their votes on the Mena/Polk County Chamber of Commerce Facebook page the night of the parade. Announcements of winners will be made at the Christmas Festival in Janssen Park following the parade. Candy and other goodies will be tossed to onlookers in this family-friendly holiday event.

We encourage everyone to line the parade route, fill the sidewalks, bring your chairs or sit along the curbs to enjoy the show. A few safety reminders for parade onlookers: We ask parents to help ensure the safety of the children and please do not allow them to go into the street during the parade while trying to retrieve candy and goodies. Walking Candy Tossers are encourage to “toss to the curb” in efforts to help. We also have to ask that you do not park any vehicles along the parade route, as this limits and blocks the viewing area of the parade. We truly appreciate your assistance in making this a wonderful and family-friendly event.

 

Be sure to follow Santa and the parade to Janssen Park for the Christmas Festival and Concert complete with Fireworks Show, and then close the evening with the official lighting of Janssen Park.

 

The Merriment of Mena Christmas Lights and Display Contest will also continue this year. Local businesses across Mena are encouraged to make it the brightest and most beautiful Christmas ever by going all in on their Christmas decorating. Two winners will be chosen and there is no entry fee.

 

 

Simply fill out a registration form and have your display completed by November 29th to be considered for judging. Forms are available through the Chamber of Commerce. Your participation is paramount in making Mena a destination for viewing Christmas lights.

 

Parade line up begins at 5:30p.m. We will be gathering and staging the parade behind the Old Middle School building directly across from the Courthouse. Please utilize the parking lot next to The Crossing church as well as the field and parking lot behind the school building. In addition, floats are encouraged to park on 9th Street and Port Arthur after the conclusion of the parade so the crowds can get a closer look at the hard work that goes into each one. Anyone wishing to participate in the parade MUST turn in a completed registration form to the Chamber office no later than Thursday, December 5th. Forms can be found at menapolkchamber.com, at the chamber office, or call 479-394-2912 for additional details.

 

11-23-19 12:22 p.m. KAWX.ORG

 

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Dewey Floyd Carroll Obituary

Dewey Floyd Carroll age 68 of Hatfield, Arkansas passed away Thursday, October 3, 2019 in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

He was born on December 28, 1950 in Johnson City, New York to the late Dewey Charles Carroll and the late Ada Ross Carroll. Dewey was married to Marie Barnes Carroll until his passing. He was a truck driver and carpenter by profession. He also was talented with leather, making rodeo gear. Dewey enjoyed hunting and fishing with family and friends. Above all he loved his family and grandchildren and would always say, “I love you to the moon and back!” He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend to all who knew him. He will be dearly missed by all.

He is survived by wife: Marie Carroll of Hatfield, Arkansas

Sons: Rick Carroll of New York, Jason Neer of Mena, Arkansas, Josh Neer of Hatfield, Arkansas, and Eric Fairless of Hatfield, Arkansas

Daughters: Bonnie Carroll of New York, Darlene Marcum of New York and Linda Neer of Mena, Arkansas

Many grandchildren and several great-grandchildren

Sister: Bonnie Bergman of New York.

He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother Charles Carroll and a grandson Dante Carroll.
 
Mr. Carroll was sent for cremation under the direction of the Beasley-Wood Funeral Home of Mena.

Memorial service will be Sunday, November 24, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. at Hatfield Freewill Baptist Church in Hatfield, Arkansas.
 

 

11-22-19 6:12 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Mena City Council Special Called Meeting Monday, November 25th

 

There will be a special called Mena City Council meeting on Monday, November 25, 2019 at 12:00 p.m. in City Hall.

 
The City Council Finance Committee will meet first to discuss the 2020 budget.
 
Agenda items include:
 
Consider a Resolution approving a proposed Consent Administrative Order Amendment with the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality reference actions necessary to complete a collection system rehabilitation plan for the Mena Wastewater Treatment Facility and authorizing the Mayor and City Clerk/Treasurer to execute the order on behalf of the City of Mena
 
Discuss a final loan payment to USDA Rural Development Administration
 
Announcements/Correspondence.
 
The next regular City Council meeting will be December 10, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. in City Hall.
 
City Council meetings are open to the public.
 
11-22-19 5:47 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Federal Grant Assists with the Gift of Reading

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Federal Grant Assists with the Gift of Reading
 
 
LITTLE ROCK – The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Arkansas a $38 million grant to improve literacy in the state, and today I’d like to talk about the benefits to Arkansas.
 
And it starts with a simple fact: Reading changes everything.
 
Literacy is not just another choice in life. For students who fail to develop high-level reading skills, life will always be a struggle. If our young people are going to reach their goals and dreams, they must know how to read.
 
During my five years in office, I have encouraged educators to create a culture of reading. This federal grant rewards and acknowledges the progress we’ve made. The money also helps us move closer to building that culture of reading.
 
Arkansas received the maximum amount allowed under the five-year grant. The state Department of Education will be able to fund reading projects with this $38 million to districts around the state. Our goal is to improve literacy at all levels of school, from preschool through the 12th grade.
 
The department will use the money to implement the Arkansas Comprehensive Literacy State Development Program. The goal of the program is to provide Arkansas children access to quality education, to improve the skills of teachers who teach reading, to strengthen literacy instruction, and my favorite goal, to create a culture of reading.
 
The department will receive the first $1.1 million of the grant this year. With the grant money, we will further increase our efforts to reach children who are living in poverty, children who aren’t fluent in English, and children with disabilities.
 
The rate of literacy in Arkansas has improved since 2017 when we launched the statewide reading initiative we named R.I.S.E., or the Reading Initiative for Student Excellence.
 
With this grant, we will expand our current programs and provide new resources that will reach even more students.
 
I am grateful for the grant, and I am proud the U.S. Department of Education is aware of our efforts to improve literacy and reading instruction.
 
Since we launched R.I.S.E., more than 6,000 teachers kindergarten through sixth grade have trained at R.I.S.E. Academies, and more than 3,000 teachers kindergarten through the 12th grade have received intensive training in the science of reading, or phonics.
 
Through the grant, we will provide books to families through a partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. The education department will increase the number of R.I.S.E. activities at the pre-K level.
 
Many aspects of our state’s success depend on the collective strength of our reading skill. But it is also a personal matter for me. I love to read. When I was a boy, I checked out the Hardy Boys books from the library in Gravette. I love to read history books, and I have learned much about leadership from books I have read. The First Lady and I passed our love of reading down to our children and grandchildren. As governor, I want to pass that legacy along to all Arkansans.
 
This $38 million grant will go a long way in helping us to give the gift of reading to our students.
 
11-22-19 5:17 p.m. KAWX.ORG 
If you have local news tips or would like to place an item on our KAWX.ORG Community Calendar, email us at communityradio@live.com.

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Mena Weather