KAWX News

Mena Students Qualify For Region 8 Concert Bands, All State Band

Congratulations to the following Mena High School Band students for making the Region 8 All Region Concert Bands:
 
Jaci Allen- 3rd band, 2nd chair Flute
 
Katie Benefield-3rd band, 8th chair Flute
 
Ranessa Ricker-3rd band, 11th chair Flute
 
Annika Thompson-1st band, 2nd chair Oboe
 
Lexi Williams-2nd band, 4th chair clarinet
 
Lexi Dilbeck-2nd band, 15th chair clarinet
 
Suzanne Lawrence- 2nd band, 18th chair clarinet
 
Breezy Hendrix-3rd band, 3rd chair bass clarinet
 
Emily Holloway-Alto Saxophone Alternate
 
Kate McDonald-2nd band, 2nd chair Tenor Saxophone
 
Cadence Barnes-2nd band, 3rd chair Tenor Saxophone
 
Shylee Head-2nd band, 1st chair Bari Saxophone
 
Levi McIntyre-2nd band, 13th chair Trumpet
 
Esmerelda Johnson- Trumpet Alternate
 
Gage Gorden-Trombone Alternate
 
Ayden Ludwig-2nd band, 3rd chair Baritone
 
Layla Spenser-3rd band, 2nd chair Baritone
 
Samuel Cross-2nd band, 1st chair Tuba
 
Daniel McDonald-3rd band, 6th chair Tuba
 
Alexia Minzel-2nd band, 8th chair Percussion
 
Summer Loar-3rd band, 4th chair Percussion.
 
Congratulations to the following students for qualifying to try out for the Arkansas All-State Band:
 
Annika Thompson, Lexi Williams, Kate McDonald, Shylee Head, Ayden Ludwig, and Samuel Cross.
 
1-18-21 10:26 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Arkansas Deer Hunters Break Harvest Record

LITTLE ROCK — With more than a month left in Arkansas’s archery deer season, hunters have checked 214,022 deer during the 2020-21 deer hunting season. That’s more deer than any season since the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission began keeping harvest records in 1938.

 

The previous record harvest was 213,487 deer, set in the 2012-13 season. With the exception of last year, Arkansas hunters have harvested more than 200,000 deer annually since that season as well. During the 2019-20 deer hunting season the harvest dipped to 188,151.

 

“Last season was the result of a perfect storm lined up against harvest,” Ralph Meeker, AGFC deer program coordinator, said. “Spring and summer flooding in 2018 and 2019 contributed to lower fawn recruitment in certain parts of the state. Then a massive crop of hard mast (primarily acorns) reduced deer movement and made deer feeders much less productive. On top of that, flooding during the peak of the gun season closed hunting in some parts of the state. All three of these factors contributed to what we witnessed in the 2019-20 deer harvest.” 

 

According to license sales numbers from the last five years, this year is the first in many when hunter numbers did not decline. In fact, this year’s resident and nonresident hunting license numbers are very similar to those recorded in 2018, but still are far below the numbers seen during the record-setting year nearly a decade ago. 

 

Meeker points out that this season’s increase in hunting licenses might be because of COVID-19 and people finding new ways to spend their time in an outdoor setting, but says the record-breaking year is not solely the result of new hunters joining the ranks.

COVID-19 also may have influenced hunters’ mindsets toward the number of deer they harvested. The pandemic caused many meat shortages throughout the nation last year, which may have increased people’s view of venison as a healthy and sustainable alternative to beef and pork.

 

“I know of several people who harvested (or attempted to harvest) more deer than they normally would this season to fill their freezer for the coming year,” Meeker said. “We’ve also likely seen some hunters who had not purchased a license in a few years get reactivated this year, but those are only two factors that went into the high harvest,” Meeker said. “All of the factors that hindered harvest in 2019 were nearly the exact opposite in 2020.”

 

Meeker says deer that normally would have been harvested last year may have also added to this year’s total. 

 

“What will be interesting to see is if hunters were able to harvest a larger percentage of older age-class bucks, another result of carryover from 2019,” Meeker said. “It also will be interesting to see how the harvest numbers per hunter break down once the season has ended.”

 

Things have come a long way since Arkansas’s first recorded deer harvest in 1938. That year, hunters checked only 203 deer, statewide. More than 20 years later, the deer harvest broke the 10,000-deer mark, and hunters did not reach a 100,000-deer season in Arkansas until 1987. 

 

With current annual harvests consistently exceeding 200,000 deer, is there still room for growth? According to Meeker, the current deer harvest and limits fit the factors that influence the state’s deer herd well and are likely where they need to be for a healthy deer population.

 

“Our current herd matches up well with the available habitat as well as the social carrying capacity of our state,” Meeker said. “The social carrying capacity is how many deer people can stand to live with.  At some point, deer can become a nuisance or safety risk. But when you see environmental stressors such as  flooding or buffalo gnat outbreaks followed by a good harvest, that is a good indication that the deer population is healthy enough to rebound quickly, so I’d say we’re in good shape where we are.”  

 

Meeker readily admits though that having too many or not enough deer greatly depends on who you are talking to.

 

Hunters and wildlife enthusiasts interested in learning more about white-tailed deer harvest records and scientific management of the species in Arkansas can find historical deer harvest reports and the AGFC’s Strategic Deer Management Plan at www.agfc.com/en/hunting/big-game/deer/deer-harvest-reports.

 

1-16-21 12:35 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: My Goals for the 93rd General Assembly

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: My Goals for the 93rd General Assembly
 
 
LITTLE ROCK – The 93rd General Assembly convened this week, and today I’d like to talk about the goals that I shared with legislators in my State of the State address.

I expect legislation that will boost our economy from tax cuts to reduced regulations. We need laws that will assure that our police officers have the highest standards, and are fully trained, funded, and supported. We also want laws to increase accountability and oversight.

Two years ago, legislators raised the pay of our dedicated public-school teachers. I support another round of pay increases. My goal is to raise average teacher salaries by $2,000 over the next two years, and I expect there will be great legislative support for this effort. 

During my time in office, we have become a national leader with our computer science initiative. But we can’t relax in our success. This year, I am asking the general assembly to support legislation that will require all students to take at least one computer science course in order to graduate, and to require all schools to employee at least one certified computer science teacher. We will have to increase the training of our teachers even more, but we are ready to do it because this will give our young people even greater opportunities right here in Arkansas. 

During each regular session while I have been governor, we have lowered taxes on hard-working Arkansans. As a result, we have moved $800 million from the government bank account into the hands of Arkansans.

This session, I am asking for two specific tax cuts. I would like to reduce the sales tax on used cars that sell between $4,000 and $10,000. The tax would be reduced from 6.5 percent to 3.5 percent. This would give relief to thousands of Arkansans who depend upon used vehicles for getting to work and to school.

To pay for tax cuts, we need to continue to grow our economy and bring people to Arkansas. To help with that goal, I am recommending a second tax cut. And that is that we lower our tax rate for new residents to 4.9 percent for the first five years they live in Arkansas. That will attract new Arkansans, who will spend money and pay taxes, and companies that will create jobs and contribute to our economy.

This year the individual income tax rate has been reduced to 5.9 percent, and I hope that within the next five years, Arkansas will reduce the rate to 4.9 percent for all residents.

We are entering 2021 with a balanced budget, a strong economy, and the strength of Arkansans to pull through these tough days. As I established my legislative goals for the 93rd General Assembly, I am mindful that the most urgent task is to respond and recover from the pandemic and to do everything needed to get our vaccines out to everyone in need.
 
1-15-21 6:18 p.m. KAWX.ORG

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

House members are now ready to begin the second week of the 2021 Regular Session.

 

Nearly 200 bills have been filed so far in the House and more than 135 have been filed in the Senate.

 

House members elected to serve in the 93rd General Assembly took the oath of office in the House Chamber on Monday. Upon swearing-in, members then voted to name Rep. Matthew J. Shepherd of El Dorado as the Speaker of the Arkansas House. This will be his second full term to serve as Speaker.

 

Speaker Shepherd announced the chairs for all House committees. You can find a complete list of committee assignments at www.arkansashouse.org.

 

On the second day of the Regular Session, Governor Asa Hutchinson addressed the General Assembly and outlined his legislative goals for this session.

 

He said he will be asking the General Assembly to affirm the current health emergency order and direct federal COVID-19 relief funds for vaccine distribution.

 

The Governor’s legislative agenda also includes the following:

 

·      Increase teacher pay by $2,000 over the next 2 years

·      Reduce the used car sales tax

·      Reduce income tax for new Arkansas residents

·      Appropriate $30 million for increased broadband in rural areas

·      Implement a computer science requirement for high school graduation

·      Increase sentencing for hate crimes

 

On Thursday, the House passed resolutions outlining new rules and changes to procedure due to COVID-19. These include mask requirements, changes to committee agendas, and remote voting options for members.

 

The House will not meet on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday or on Wednesday during the Presidential Inauguration.  We will meet on Tuesday and Thursday next week. Schedules and agendas will be available on our website.

 

As a reminder, the House live streams all of our meetings on the website. We also posted the guidelines for members of the public who wish to participate in the process at the Capitol.

 

We will continue to update you in the weeks ahead.

 

1-15-21 4:05 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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US Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column

Paycheck Protection Program Re-Launches with Improvements

 

Small business owners have faced unprecedented challenges for nearly a year as a result of COVID-19. Last March, Congress developed the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to help these businesses survive and continue paying their employees. More than 43,000 PPP loans were approved for Arkansas last year. Now, more help is on the way.

 

Last month, President Trump signed into law COVID-19-relief that extends the PPP, allocating more than $284 billion to expand the program. This will allow additional businesses to participate and provide those experiencing severe revenue reductions an opportunity to apply for an additional forgivable loan, particularly restaurants and hotels. These updates to the program will help prevent small business closures, allowing them to continue paying their employees, rent and utilities. We know the PPP has been a lifeline for small businesses, so strengthening the program to ensure it continues to deliver vital support was absolutely necessary.

 

I’ve advocated allowing local newspapers, radio and television broadcasters to be eligible for PPP loans. This is particularly essential as Arkansans rely on quality news coverage from local outlets to stay informed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Local newsrooms are reporting details residents need to know about things such as when they can receive the COVID-19 vaccine and where and how it will be administered.

 

Unfortunately, this crisis has intensified declines in advertising revenue forcing some news outlets to drastically reduce the number of staff, furlough workers or even close. This threatens the flow of reliable and community-centered information.

 

I worked with my colleagues to expand eligibility and ensure these local outlets have access to PPP funds. The new law fixes the Small Business Administration (SBA) affiliation rule that prevented local news outlets owned by larger parent companies from qualifying for PPP funding. TV and radio stations with 500 or fewer employees and newspapers with no more than 1,000 employees are now eligible for PPP loans – that’s more than 3,300 television and radio stations and 2,000 newspapers nationwide.

 

Arkansas Press Association Executive Director Ashley Wimberley says this “will help maintain these vital information sources and preserve local jobs” in our state.

 

Just as importantly as providing funds to small businesses, Congress has a role to oversee the implementation of the program so these critical resources only go to qualified recipients. For instance, last year we learned Planned Parenthood received PPP loans despite being ineligible to participate in the program. I joined my Arkansas colleague Senator Tom Cotton in calling on the Department of Justice to investigate this misuse of taxpayer dollars. As the SBA reopens the PPP, we’ve requested that agency officials take precautions to prevent this from happening again.

 

Congress made some necessary updates to the PPP that will improve how we can help struggling businesses. I’m pleased we are able to deliver additional aid so we can assist small businesses in rebounding quickly.

 

1-15-21 4:02 p.m. KAWX.ORG

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Are You Prepared?

We live in a volatile world with lots of uncertainties and confusion. If there were to be a sudden lack of food or medicine available to you due to a natural or manmade disaster, or civil unrest, would you be prepared?

 

This article is not intended to be a lesson in prepping, or by any means exhaustive, rather it is intended to be a general guideline that you can customize based on your specific needs and means.

 

Food - Water 

Two weeks worth of food per person on hand, and routinely rotated (oldest used and replaced with fresh) is a good rule of thumb. This may not be something that some can accomplish immediately, but a few extra non perishable items purchased each time you shop can be stored in a designated space, marked with a date, and added to as possible. Make a list of what you have on hand so you don't have to unstack or spend a lot of time inventorying. Purchase as many items as possible with: a long shelf life, nourishment, easy preparation, and that you or others in your household would eat. Fo more ideas, click here

 

Bottled water does not have an indefinite shelf life. While storing cases of bottled water is a very good idea, it needs to be used and restocked so as to not get old and possible unsafe to drink. Use a Sharpie to date the water and always uses the oldest first. Water purifiers are great to have too. Those with water wells should have a way of safely operating the pump during a power outage. For more ideas, click here

 

Medicine

Like food and water, the supply of medicine coming to your local pharmacy can be interrupted by weather or transportation problems. More commonly, an ice storm or power outage may keep you at home and your pharmacist from getting shipments on a timely basis. Plan ahead and try to always have at least two weeks of your medicines on hand. In other words, don't wait until the bottle is empty to request a refill. Your doctor and a local pharmacist will be able to help you with this. Over the counter items with long shelf life are good to stock up on too, especially first aid items.

 

Toiletries - Cleaning - Household 

Unlike some food items, toiletries, cleaning supplies and disinfectants, and household items like air conditioner filters and light bulbs have long shelf lives. Stocking up on these when bulk purchases are possible or items are on sale will be helpful. Think about what items are needed over a period of time and consider doubling up when you shop if you are unable to purchase backup items all at one time.

 

Heating - Cooling - Cooking

Without a generator, all electric homes should consider properly installed gas space heaters for emergencies. Those fortunate enough to heat with wood or LP gas need only have plenty of fuel to get through a crisis. Like refilling prescriptions, don't wait until you are out of LP gas or seasoned wood to resupply. Cooling can be a big challenge in the humid mid-south , especially in the summer months. Fans help assuming there is power to run them. Screened windows opened may be your only hope in some cases. When there are power outages and extreme heat or cold, this is a good time to check on older or sick relatives and neighbors. 

 

Communications

Communicating with family members, employers or employees, medical professionals, fire and police, and suppliers of energy or important services seems to be easier than ever with many ways to communicate. The problem is that they all depend on the internet either partially or completely. In Polk County when there is a fiber optic cable cut that cuts our county off from the world, 911 can be affected, phones don't work, cellular data is gone, you can't use a credit or debit card, you can't even use a prepaid shopping card or write a check. So don't assume all the ways we communicate will be available should there be a disaster. We've even started to see individuals blocked from certain social media platforms, and the old reliable landline phones are fast becoming a thing of the past. 

 

So how do we communicate? Communications is either one way or two way. The one way kind is a littler easier to prepare for. Have a good AM-FM radio that will operate on electricity or batteries on hand. NOAA Weather Radios are also very useful during emergencies, but need to be properly programmed and have good backup batteries installed. Police scanners are useful for more than listening to the police and fire department. Amateur or "ham" radio operators, long involved in emergency communications, have radio repeaters all over the country, including the Polk County area, that often can operate for many days without electricity or internet. These repeater frequencies can be added to your scanner and monitored for information when necessary. Get to know a ham radio operator, he or she can be a valuable asset in times of emergency. 

 

One other thing to consider is personal two way radios. Some people have them just for their family, others for a neighborhood or neighborhood watch organization, and there are even groups that have repeaters for people to use to extend the range of their small, low power radios. There are almost unlimited possibilities with these FRS (Family Radio Service) or GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) devices. Please note that some require a license and the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) still actively enforces radio rules, so ask your radio vendor if the radio you are considering requires a license. These licenses have a fee but unlike amateur or "ham" radio don't require a test. 

 

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) that come over your smartphone are a great idea, but as with any technology, not 100% dependable. During a recent spring storm outbreak, a number of alerts intended to Polk County, Texas went off in Polk County, Arkansas. Some people report that they never get the alerts on their phones, others that they get them for the wrong area. So while these are not to be ignores, they are not to be completely trusted. Again, of there is a fiber optic cable cut or cell tower out of service, these WEAs will not help you.

 

Remember that streaming services and apps that might be used to listen to radio or watch TV may not work during emergencies, internet or power outages.

 

Transportation

Since we have very little public transportation in our area, most people are on their own or dependent on friends or family members. Probably the best advice is to always keep your fuel tank as full as possible, especially if you know severe weather is possible, and keep you vehicle in good working order. It is also a good idea to keep a small emergency kit in all of your vehicles. For more ideas, click here.

 

Elderly Or Sick Relatives - Neighbors

During any disaster or civil unrest, the elderly or sick are very vulnerable. Check on them and let them know they can and should ask for help. Just a daily call or visit during troubled times may help them survive. Offer to pick up medicine or groceries for them, or take care of chores they might be unsafe doing if there is ice on the ground or dangerous cold or heat. 

 

Pets 

Planning for pet care during emergencies is a lot like planning for humans, just think about the needs your pet might have over a period of time. Food, medicine, grooming and shelter. For more ideas, click here

 

Know account numbers for your utilities and have those numbers stored with the phone numbers to report power outages or gas leaks. Never assume they utility company knows you have an outage. Be patient when reporting outages and be prepared to provide your account number, service location and description of the problem either to a customer service representative or automated system.

 

Never assume you won't have to deal with a natural or manmade disaster or civil unrest. Make a plan. Be prepared, not scared! 

 

For information on making a plan, click here

 

1-15-21 2:25 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

 

 

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Senator Larry Teague's Weekly Column

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

January 15, 2020

 

LITTLE ROCK – The 93rd General Assembly convened with a traditional day of swearing in ceremonies for new members, followed by the governor’s speech in a joint session of the legislature. Then lawmakers immediately got down to business.

 

More than 400 bills were filed in the first three days, and the public was able to participate as usual when they were heard in committee.

 

The governor proposed raising teacher salaries by $2,000 a year. It would take two years to phase in the increase, and would cost about $25 million annually. A spokesman for the Department of Education said that the average teacher salary last year was $49,822.

 

Also, the governor proposed an additional $50 million a year in tax cuts for middle class and low income families. One specific proposal was to lower the state sales tax on the purchase of used cars valued between $4,000 and $10,000, from 6.5 to 3.5 percent. Now, used car purchases of less than $4,000 are completely exempt from the sales tax.

 

Legislators have questioned another of the governor’s tax cut proposals, to lower income tax rates for new Arkansas residents in the top bracket, from 5.9 to 4.9 percent for the first five years they live in the state. The goal is to attract people to Arkansas who will invest and create jobs here.

 

Lawmakers expressed support for the governor’s proposal to spend $30 million to continue expanding broadband access across Arkansas.

 

Senate Bill 107 would require high school students to pass a computer science course in order to graduate, beginning with students who will be in the 9th grade in the 2022-2023 school year.

 

SB 107 was referred to the Senate Education Committee, which in the past has always been crowded with spectators and people wanting to comment, such as parents, patrons, superintendents and school board members.

 

This year Senate Education will meet in the Old Supreme Court Room rather than its traditional location in Room 207, because the Old Supreme Court Room is larger and people can more easily maintain safe social distancing.

 

The public and people waiting to speak on bills will wait in Room 272, which is just across the hall from the Old Supreme Court Room.

 

The Senate Judiciary Committee also tends to draw a crowd, due to the nature of legislation it considers. When the committee considered and gave a favorable recommendation to SB 24, commonly known as the “Stand Your Ground” bill, the public was allowed to voice opinions as always.

 

The Judiciary Committee met in Room 171, as always, while the public watched on live television monitors from Room 207.

 

The public can sign up to speak on legislation, as always, but this year they can also sign up online.

 

When a member of the public signs up to speak, they wait in a nearby room. When it is their turn to testify, a legislative staffer will escort them from Room 207 to the Judiciary Committee meeting in Room 171, or from the waiting area in Room 272 to the Education Committee in the Old Supreme Court Room.

 

All waiting rooms for the public are very close to the committee rooms, and they are clearly marked. Employees at the Capitol will help anyone with questions about where to go.

 

1-15-21 9:41 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Weekly Arkansas Fishing Report

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for Jan. 14, 2021. 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 for the lake or stream you plan to fish for current news. Note: msl = mean sea level; cfs = cubic feet per second. All Corps of Engineers lake and river readings were taken at 10 a.m. the day of publication (Jan. 14).

 

****Buy an Arkansas Fishing License by clicking here. Your purchase of a Fishing License helps support the AGFC’s work in maintaining the fishing resources throughout the state.

 

Quick links to regions:

 

Central Arkansas

 

North Arkansas

 

Northwest Arkansas

 

Northeast Arkansas

 

Southeast Arkansas

 

Southwest Arkansas

 

South-Central Arkansas

 

West-Central Arkansas

 

East Arkansas

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

1-14-21 3:18 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

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Polk County Circuit Court Arraignments

All criminal information is merely an accusation and the Defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. Prosecuting Attorney Jason Barrett, 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. Tony Caldwell, White Male age 66, Count I: Possession Of A Schedule I Or II Controlled Substance, a Class "D" Felony. The state of Arkansas intends to pursue enhanced penalties due to the fact that he had been convicted of four (4) or more felonies.
 
State of Arkansas Vs. Justin Glenn Heflin, White Male age 34, Count I: Domestic Battery In The Second Degree, a Class "C" Felony. Count II: Endangering The Welfare Of A Minor 3RD Degree, a Class "B" Misdemeanor. Count III: Interference With Emergency Communication 1ST Degree, a Class "A" Misdemeanor. Count IV: Aggravated Assault On A Family Member Or Household Member, a Class "D" Felony.
 
State of Arkansas Vs. Anthony M. Robertson, While Male age 30, Count I: Aggravated Assault, a Class "D" Felony. Count II: Residential Burglary, a Class "B" Felony. Count III: Criminal Mischief In 1ST Degree, a class "A" Misdemeanor. 
 
State of Arkansas Vs. Michael C. Martin, White Male age 37, Count I: Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class "D" Felony.
 
State of Arkansas Vs. Troy Caleb Denton, White Male age 29, Count I: Aggravated Assault, a Class "D" Felony. Count II: Violation Of An Order Of Protection, a Class "A" Misdemeanor. Count III: Criminal Mischief In 1ST Degree, a Class "D" Felony.
 
State of Arkansas Vs. Troy Caleb Denton, White Male age 29, Count I: Aggravated Assault, a Class "D" Felony. Count II: Terroristic Act, a Class "B" Felony. Count III: Violation Of An Order Of Protection, a Class "A" Misdemeanor.
 
State of Arkansas Vs. Justin Ashley, White Male age 27, Count I: Criminal Mischief In The 1ST Degree, a Class "B" Felony.
 
State of Arkansas Vs. Justin Ashley, White Male, age 27, Count I: Failure To Appear, a Class "C" Felony.
 
State of Arkansas Vs. Dustin Trevor Swinney, White Male Age 31, Count I: Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class "D" Felony. Count II: Fleeing, a Class "A" Misdemeanor. Count III: Possession Of Firearms By Certain Persons, a Class "D" Felony. Count IV: Possession Of Methamphetamine With The Purpose To Deliver, a Class "B" Felony. Count V: Simultaneous Possession Of Drugs And Firearms, a Class "Y" Felony. Count VI: Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class "A" Misdemeanor. Count VII: Possession Of A Controlled Substance, a Class "A" Misdemeanor. Count VIII: Possession Of A Schedule I Or II Controlled Substance (Fentanyl), a Class "D" Felony.
 
State of Arkansas Vs. Barbara Greer Braun, White Female, age 20, Count I: Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class "D" Felony. Count II: Possession Of Methamphetamine With The Purpose To Deliver, a Class "B" Felony. Count III: Simultaneous Possession Of Drugs And Firearms, a Class "Y" Felony. Count IV: Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class "A" Misdemeanor. Count V: Possession Of A Controlled Substance, a Class "A" Misdemeanor. 
 
State of Arkansas Vs. Trae A. Clouse, White Male age 29, Count I: Possession Of A Schedule II Controlled Substance, a Class "D" Felony. Count II: Endangering The Welfare Of A minor In The 1ST Degree, a Class "D" Felony. Count III: Fleeing, a Class "D" Felony.
 
State of Arkansas Vs. Casey Nicole Trantham, White Female age 23, Count I: Possession Of A Schedule II Controlled Substance, a Class "D" Felony. Count II: Possession Of A Schedule IV OR V Controlled Substance, a Class "A" Misdemeanor. Count III: Possession Of A Controlled Substance, a Class "A" Misdemeanor. Count IV: Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class "D" Felony.
 
State of Arkansas Vs. Jacob L. Baker, White Male age 36, Count I: Internet Stalking Of A Child, a Class "Y" Felony. Count II: Computer Child Pornography, a Class "B" Felony.
 
State of Arkansas Vs. Allen Timothy Starr, White male age 48, Count I: Domestic Battery In the 3RD Degree To A Family Member Or Household Member, a Class "D" Felony. Count II-III: Endangering The Welfare Of A Minor In the 1ST Degree, a Class "D" Felony. Count IV: Possession Of Firearms By Certain Persons, a Class "D" Felony. Count V: Aggravated Assault Upon A Certified Law Enforcement Officer, a Class "D" Felony. Count VI: Refusal To Submit To Arrest, a Class "B" Misdemeanor. 
 
State of Arkansas Vs. Marla Donne Fahrney, White Female age 44, Count I:Theft Of Property, a Class "C" Felony. Count II: Criminal Mischief In The 2ND Degree, a Class "A" Misdemeanor. 
 
1-12-21 4:57 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Polk County Sheriff's Report for January 4th - 10th

SHERIFF’S LOG

 

The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of January 4, 2021 – January 10, 2021. 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.

 

January 4, 2021

Report from complainant on Hwy 71N near Acorn of identity fraud.

Report from complainant on Polk 93 near Rocky of items missing from a residence. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant on Polk 301 near Cherry Hill of damage to a window and door and the theft of two flat screen T.V.’s for a loss in the amount of $1600.00. Deputy responded. Investigation continues.

Report from complainant on Polk 194 near Ink of the theft of a log splitter valued at $2000.00. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant on Polk 301 near Cherry Hill of the theft of a fifth wheel travel trailer. Deputy responded.

Arrested was Brittan Mist McCulley, 38, of Hatfield on a Warrant for Failure to Appear, and two Warrants for Failure to Comply.

 

January 5, 2021

Report of fraudulent checks on a business account. Deputies responded. Investigation continues.

 

January 6, 2021

Report of the unauthorized use of a vehicle led to the arrest of Marla D. Fahrney, 44, of Dierks on a Charge of Theft of Property and a Charge of Criminal Mischief.

Report of a hit and run accident on Hwy 71S. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant on Polk 627 near Dallas Valley of damage done to a vehicle. Deputy responded.

Report of a stolen license plate. Deputy responded.

 

January 7, 2021

Report from complainant on Polk 659 near Board Camp of an unwanted person on the property. Deputy responded.

 

January 8, 2021

No reports filed.

 

January 9, 2021

Report from complainant on Polk 277 near Vandervoort of a broken window. Deputy responded.

Report of problems involving child custody visitations. Deputy responded.

 

January 10, 2021

No reports filed.

 

Polk County Sheriff’s Office worked one vehicle accident this week.

 

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 18 Incarcerated Inmates, with 11 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

 

PC21-00024

 

1-11-21 1:49 p.m. KAWX.ORG

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Mena Police Report for January 3rd - 9th

 

Mena Police Department reports for the week of January 3rd through January 9th, 2021

 

 

January 3

 

A report of a disturbance was taken at a residence on Armour Street.

 

January 4

 

A death investigation report was taken at a residence on Evans Circle.

 

A report of disorderly conduct was taken at a residence on 10th Street.

 

Shannon Shaw, 40, was served with a warrant at the Polk County Detention Center.

 

January 5

 

Rachel Crow, 40, was served with a warrant at the Polk County Detention Center.

 

Lisa Caldwell, 53, was served with a warrant at the Polk County Detention Center.

 

Herbert Slater, 35, was served with a warrant at the Polk County Detention Center.

 

January 6

 

No reports taken.

 

January 7

 

Randy Lewis, 38, was charged with Possession of Meth, Obstructing Governmental Operations, and Resisting Arrest. He was also served with two warrants after a disturbance call to a residence on Ridge Street.

 

A report of assault was taken at a residence on Ridge Street.

 

January 8

 

No reports taken.

 

January 9

 

No reports taken.

 

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

 

1-11-21 10:31 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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US and Arkansas Flags To Half-Staff For Capitol Police Officers Sicknick and Liebengood

President Donald Trump has ordered the United States flag to be lowered to half-staff "as a sign of respect for the service and sacrifice of United States Capitol Police Officers Brian D. Sicknick and Howard Liebengood, and all Capitol Police Officers and law enforcement across this great Nation...."

 

Likewise, the state flag of Arkansas shall be lowered to half-staff also. Flags will remain at half-staff until sunset, January 13, 2021.

 

The President's Proclamation can be found HERE.

 

1-10-21 6:46 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

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Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Vigilance and the Vaccine

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Address: Vigilance and the Vaccine
 
 
LITTLE ROCK – We’re almost a month into our COVID-19 immunization program, and today I’d like to emphasize the importance of Arkansans taking one of the two approved vaccines so that we can stop the coronavirus and get back to our lives.

The vaccines are the most important tool in our fight against COVID. The masking, the social distancing, and the hand washing continue to be important, but they are placeholders while researchers developed a vaccine. The vaccine is our big gun, and if people participate widely, the number of cases will decline.

In Phase 1-A, we have received 194,000 doses of the vaccine to date, and we have administered nearly 59,000 to health care workers, long-term care facility residents and staff.  EMS and law-enforcement officers and firefighters have also been included as first-responders. We hope to inoculate all of the 180,000 people in Phase 1-A by January 30.

Phase 1-B, which we plan to start in February, includes people who are at least 70 years of age, teachers and school staff, food and agricultural workers, firefighters and law enforcement that were not included in 1-A. It will also include manufacturing workers, grocery store employees, public transportation workers, child care workers, and essential workers in government, including legislators.

Phase 1-C will include people at least 65 years of age, people ages 16-64 with high-risk medical conditions, and a number of other categories. From transportation and logistics workers, waste and wastewater employees, food-service workers, shelter and housing employees, and those in finance.  It will also include IT and communications employees, media, public safety, and public health workers. Phases 2 and 3 will round out the vaccination program.

Some people are reluctant to take the vaccine, and I understand that. Members of the black community have historically distrusted vaccines, but African Americans are disproportionately impacted by COVID, so it is all the more important that they have the vaccine.

Keith Jackson, a championship football player at Parkview High School, the University of Oklahoma, and in the NFL, has devoted his life after football to improving life for kids in Central Arkansas. He founded Positive Atmosphere Reaches Kids, or P.A.R.K. He knows that the COVID shot is important, which is why he will roll up his sleeve when it’s his turn.

Joe Booker, star of the Broadway Joe Morning Show, is encouraging his listeners to take the vaccine as well. He has made a public service announcement for the Arkansas Department of Health.

“For me, getting the vaccine is the right choice because I love my family,” he says. “I love my wife, my children. I would do anything to keep them all safe. Right now, the best thing I can do is to commit to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. For those of you who are unsure about getting the vaccine, I urge you to think about your loved ones. Many of you may have underlying health conditions or be at a higher risk of contracting the virus. I know keeping them safe is a high priority to you, just as it is to me.” 

Thank you, Broadway Joe.

I also have confidence in the vaccine myself.  The First Lady and I will be taking the vaccine when it is our turn. I hope you will also.
 
1-9-21 8:06 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

Public participation is an essential part of our democracy. In preparation for the upcoming session, House and Senate leadership have agreed to a few rules so Arkansans can participate in an environment that is as safe and healthy as possible.

 

With limited exceptions, a mask or other cloth face covering will be required to enter committee rooms and public comment holding rooms. All individuals will be submitted to a temperature check and onsite health screening at the entrance to either the State Capitol Building or the adjacent MAC Building.

 

We have provided nearby space for committee rooms for members of the public to watch the live stream while they wait for their turn to testify for or against a bill. These rooms will provide ample space for social distancing.

 

Staff will direct you to sign up sheets and they will be available at www.arkleg.state.ar.us.

 

In an effort to prevent crowds in committee rooms, the rules call for revised committee agendas. These are designed to let the public know what bills will be heard on a given day. Committee agendas will be divided into three categories.

 

(A) Regular Agenda–bills to be considered by the committee on the date of the agenda.

 

(B) Consent Agenda–bills on the committee agenda for which there is no known opposition or expected public testimony and that may be taken up at any time by the committee.

 

(C) Deferred Bills–bills for which committee consideration has been deferred either for failure of the sponsor to appear or at the request of the sponsor.

Committee agendas will be posted at least eighteen (18) hours prior to the committee meeting.

 

There is limited public seating in the House chamber. Our chamber proceedings and every committee is live streamed and archived on our website www.arkansashouse.org.

 

On Monday, January 11, members will be sworn into office and officially elect the Speaker for the 93rd General Assembly.

 

On Tuesday, January 12, the Governor will give his State of the State address in the House Chamber.

 

We will continue to update you during the session.

 

1-8-21 5:35 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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US Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column

Americans, Our Constitution and Democracy Deserve Better

 

The events that transpired in our nation’s capital were not only shocking and unlawful, but represent a dark moment in our history that we must reckon with in the weeks to come.

 

The Constitution gives every American the right to peaceably assemble and protest. It does not condone or provide for opportunities to sow chaos or provoke insurrection. Sadly, many of the demonstrators in the nation’s capital on January 6 failed to live up to this obligation, and an alarming number willfully participated in an attack on the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to thwart the constitutional responsibilities of Congress. ‘The People’s House’ is the place where the will of our citizenry is rightfully expressed through its elected representatives –– not a forum for mob rule and anarchy. The perpetrators of this despicable attack will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. The Department of Justice has arrested multiple people who are facing federal charges and we will continue to bring those responsible to justice.

 

It is also incumbent on every American to soberly recognize that the divisions in our society have reached a place beyond troubling, and we must prayerfully and diligently work to mend those divides so that what recently occurred is never repeated, or worse.

 

This assault is not the final word, however. Congress was not intimidated or cowed. We eventually reconvened and ultimately certified the vote of the Electoral College, performing our prescribed constitutional duty. Like many Arkansans, I am disappointed by the results of the 2020 presidential election, but we cannot erode the ideals that generations of Americans have fought to protect simply because we do not like the outcome of the election.

 

During the mayhem, there were countless acts of heroism and sacrifice including that of U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. Officer Sicknick fought to defend the Capitol building —as well as the members of Congress and staff in it— and was viciously attacked. He died of injuries resulting from the criminal mob. We honor his courageous service, mourn alongside his law enforcement colleagues and loved ones, and pray for comfort amid this senseless loss.

 

We all, as Americans, deserved better than what we experienced –– a disturbing, demoralizing and entirely avoidable episode. We must pray for healing, and we must pledge to demand better from each other. This incident cannot define us, but it must persuade us that choosing a different and better course –– one that lives up to the high ideals which have reliably sustained the United States and inspired our exceptional story –– is the only path forward.

 

1-8-21 4:15 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Senator Larry Teague's Weekly Column

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

January 8, 2020

 

LITTLE ROCK – When the Arkansas legislature convenes the 2021 regular session, the first major challenge on the agenda will be ensuring that the public can still safely participate in the democratic process.

 

Visitors to the Capitol must wear a face mask, and they will be given a temperature check to make sure they are not running a fever.

 

There will be limited seating for visitors, because of Health Department regulations that restrict the number of people who can safely sit in the public galleries.

 

Legislative leaders were finalizing details of a safety plan up until the beginning of the session, which this year will convene at noon on January 11. They were working with the Secretary of State, who is the constitutional officer who is in charge of maintaining the Capitol and its grounds.

 

Several changes were made in how legislative committees will function during the pandemic.

 

Legislative committees review all proposed legislation before they are voted on during full sessions of the Senate and House. It is during committee meetings that the public can comment on bills.

 

Committee rooms in the Capitol have been connected with video technology, so that when a committee is in session the public can keep up with the action from a nearby room. If members of the public want to voice opinions on a bill, they will be allowed to do so, but there will be rules about where they must wait until it is their turn to speak.

 

Senators will consider adoption of new rules for the 2021 session that would allow legislators to participate remotely, in the event they are under quarantine or have concerns about appearing in person at the Capitol.

 

The legislature will address a series of familiar issues, along with some new ones.

 

Funding public schools is one of the first duties that lawmakers will take care of, because of the state’s Constitutional obligation to adequately and equitably provide an education to every child in Arkansas. Education funding accounts for more than half of the Arkansas general revenue budget.

 

Other vital state services include operating prisons and re-entry programs for inmates returning to society. Juvenile justice, foster care and adoption services are run by the state.

 

The state pays for health care, treatment of drug and alcohol abuse, residential care for people with developmental disabilities and nursing home care.

Apart from setting budgets and spending levels for state agencies, there will be bills affecting the rights of taxpayers, gun owners, businesses and voters.

 

Revenue Report

 

The state revenue report for December shows that the Arkansas economy continues to recover from the impact of the pandemic.

 

For the first six months of Fiscal Year 2021, total general revenue was up $320.7 million over the same period of the previous year. That is a 9.5 percent increase.

 

The revenue report is an accurate gauge of economic activity in Arkansas, because tax rates have not gone up. In fact, the top state income tax rate just went down from 6.6 to 5.9 percent on January 1, thanks to a tax cut written into Act 182 of 2019.

 

1-8-21 10:12 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Virtual Meeting Concerning Passing Lanes In Polk And Scott Counties

Department Seeking Public Input about Proposed Construction of Passing Lanes on Highway 71

 

POLK & SCOTT COUNTIES (1-8) – The Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) will conduct an online public involvement meeting about the proposed plans to construct northbound and southbound passing lanes on Highway 71 between Mena and “Y” City in Polk and Scott Counties.

 

The public is invited to listen, view meeting materials, and provide written comments. The website will be available for comments until 4:30 p.m. on Friday, January 29.

 

Link To Virtual Meeting: CLICK HERE

 

To access the online public meeting, click on the link above. It will take you to the online neighborhood public meeting website. This website will provide project materials and handouts that would have been shown at the in-person meetings. A separate link (on that page) will provide a Spanish version of the presentation. There will also be an option to send online comment forms to ARDOT staff, or you can print the form and mail it to, Environmental Division, 10324 Interstate 30, Little Rock, AR 72209.

 

If you do not have internet access, please contact Karla Sims at 501-569-2000 to ask questions about the proposed project and how to access project information at karla.sims@ardot.gov.

 

1-8-21 9:55 a.m. KAWX.ORG

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OLT Presents LOVE LETTERS February 13TH and 14TH

OLT hopes to bring their regular schedule back as soon as possible, but in the meantime, the theatre group will continue to bring socially distant smaller productions to the stage. There is much excitement for the next play entitled “Love Letters” will take place February 13 and 14. Robby and Gini Burt will perform this readers theater style show on Valentine’s Day weekend. Their excellent acting skills will bring to life this touching story of two lifelong friends whose complicated relationship is observed through letters to one another. CDC guidelines, including masks and limited audience size, are still in effect.

 

Watch social media and this website for details of this and other upcoming shows this spring.

 

The Board of Ouachita Little Theatre recently declared January to be a “dark” month, which means the theater was closed to all public events during the first month of 2021. Since our patrons’ safety is paramount to us, this time was used to execute a deep cleaning and professional disinfecting regimen to the building. Repairs and modifications also took place to enhance a comfortable and safe environment.

 

The OLT office will be open only on Fridays from 10:00 – 2:00 until further notice. You can purchase season tickets at 610 Mena Street. The Memory Maker service is also located there where you can turn your old VCR tapes into DVD’s for long lasting preservation at a very reasonable cost.

 

The staff and players at OLT hope to see you soon!

 

1-8-21 7:37 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Weekly Arkansas Fishing Report

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for Jan. 7, 2021. 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 for the lake or stream you plan to fish for current news. Note: msl = mean sea level; cfs = cubic feet per second. All Corps of Engineers lake and river readings were taken at noon the day of publication (Jan. 7).

 

****Buy an Arkansas Fishing License by clicking here. Your purchase of a Fishing License helps support the AGFC’s work in maintaining the fishing resources throughout the state.

Quick links to regions:

Central Arkansas

 

North Arkansas

 

Northwest Arkansas

 

Northeast Arkansas

 

Southeast Arkansas

 

Southwest Arkansas

 

South-Central Arkansas

 

West-Central Arkansas

 

East Arkansas

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

1-7-21 4:34 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

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ARVAC Commodity Distribution In Mena Wednesday, January 20TH

Commodities will be distributed Wednesday, January 20th at the Polk County Fairgrounds in Mena from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. The information for the Commodity Distribution below. ARVAC and volunteers will be following all safety precautions, therefore this will be a drive through only distribution. They are asking that everyone please follow the directions of the ARVAC Volunteers, this will help insure safe and timely distribution.

 

Listed are the income guidelines, family size and monthly income below:

FAMILY SIZE

WEEK

MONTH

YEAR

1

$ 319

$1,383

$ 16,588

2

$ 431

$1,868

$ 22,412

3

$ 543

$2,353

$ 28,236

4

$ 655

$2,839

$ 34,060

5

$ 767

$3,324

$ 39,884

6

$ 879

$3,809

$ 45,708

7

$ 991

$4,295

$ 51,532

8

$1,103

$4,780

$ 57,356

Each additional family member

+ $112

+ $486

+ $5,824

 

The above income guidelines are based on 130% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

 

Add $468.00 for each additional family member.  You cannot pick up commodities for more than two households. Rules for acceptance and participation in the program are the same for everyone without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, or handicap.

 

Contact Person: Tim Riley, Community Programs Coordinator (479)968-7019 or (479)229-4861.

 

1-6-21 11:34 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Quorum Court Meeting Recap, Special Election, Swearing In, New JP

The Polk County Quorum Court convened for their first session of the new year on Monday, January 4th. Just prior to the meeting, County Judge Brandon Ellison administered the oath of office to the Justices of the Peace, including new JP Levi Ellison, and two by telephone, JP Jim Neugent who is self-isolated and JP Chris Daniel who is in quarantine. Deputy County Clerk Paula Clark filled in for County Clerk Terri Harrison who also in in quarantine. 

 

JPs took care of routine business and set the meeting time for 6:30 p.m. (it had been 6:00 p.m.) for meetings in 2021. Meetings will continue to be on the fourth Tuesday of each month.

 

In new business, two ordinances were passed by unanimous consent to pave the way for a special election on March 9th to replace the special road tax that will expire June 30th. This will not cause a tax increase, only continue the tax that had a built in sunset to allow voters the opportunity to renew it or not. The once cent tax money can only be used for roads and bridges in the county. If passed, the tax will go into effect July 1st.

 

While no action can be taken until November, there seemed to be agreement that if the sales tax passes, the current road millage would be rolled back from 1.2 to 0. Should the tax fail, the millage would have to be increased to the maximum allowed of 5.0.

 

Allowing a road sales tax to partially fund the maintenance and building of roads and bridges in the county, and not the millage, will take some burden off property owners and take advantage of taxable sales to the many people who visit here for recreation purposes and use the roads, as well as other county services. 

 

The 2021 - 2022 Quorum Count is made up of Justices of the Peace: Chris Daniel, Jim Neugent, Levi Ellison, Margo Kimp, Troy Lunsford, Terry Terrell, Tommy Floyd, Terry Scott, Basil Kesterson, Mitchell Tidwell, and Tawana Gilbert.

 

The next Quorum Court meeting will be held February 23rd at 6:30 p.m. 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.

 

1-5-21 10:56 a.m. KAWX.ORG

 

 

 

 

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Polk County Sheriff's Report for December 28th - January 3rd

SHERIFF’S LOG

 

The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of December 28, 2020 – January 3, 2021. The charges against those arrested are allegations and the cases are still pending in the courts. Individuals charged and whose names appear in this column may submit documentation to us at a later date that the charges have been dismissed or that they have been found innocent and we will include that information in this space in a timely manner.

 

December 28, 2020

Report from complainant on Polk 178 near Acorn of harassment. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.

Report from complainant of a rock striking a vehicle windshield. Deputy responded.

 

December 29, 2020

Report from complainant on Polk 299 near Dallas Valley of receiving threatening text messages. Deputy responded.

Report of a one vehicle accident on Polk 5 near Grannis. Deputies responded.

 

December 30, 2020

Report of a domestic disturbance on Hwy 375W near Potter. Deputy responded.

Report of receiving texts and threats from a family member. Deputy responded.

 

December 31, 2020

Report of an unattended death on Polk 642 near Ink. Deputy responded.

 

January 1, 2021

Report of a one vehicle accident led to the arrest of Brandi M. Santiago, 39, of Mena on a Charge of DWI.

Request for a welfare check on Polk 299 near Dallas Valley. Deputy responded.

 

January 2, 2021

Report of an assault on Hwy 71S near Cove. Deputy responded. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.

Report of a dispute between neighbors near Hatfield. Deputy responded.

Arrested was Bradley M. Verba, 23, of Mena on four Warrants for Failure to Appear.

 

January 3, 2021

Report of a domestic disturbance on Polk 42 near Potter led to the arrest of Christopher L. Huddleston, 41, of Mena on a Charge of Disorderly Conduct.

Report from complainant of the violation of an Order of Protection. Deputy responded. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.

Report of a structure fire on Polk 29 near Hatfield. Deputy responded.

Report of damage done to a building near Cove. Deputy responded.

 

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

 

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 15 Incarcerated Inmates, with 10 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

 

PC21-00010

 

1-4-21 11:39 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

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Mena Police Report for December 27th - January 2nd

 

Mena Police Department reports for the week of December 27, 2020, through January 2, 2021

 

 

December 27

 

Brandon Rose, 23, was charged with Public Intoxication, Resisting Arrest, Criminal Trespass, and served with a warrant after a call of a suspicious vehicle at a residence on Reeves Street.

 

Dixie Jones, 28, was charged with DWI and Fleeing in a vehicle after a reckless driving complaint on Highway 8 West.

 

Hunter Johns, 21, was charged with Disorderly Conduct and Resisting Arrest, and Marsha Denton, 36, was served with 2 warrants after a disturbance call on Finks Street.

 

December 28

 

Brandon Sturdivant, 34, was charged with Aggravated Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer, Fleeing in Vehicle, Fleeing on Foot, Resisting Arrest, Speeding, Running Stop Light, Driving Left of Center, Reckless Driving, Driving on Suspended License, and Theft by Receiving after an attempted traffic stop on Highway 71.

 

December 29

 

Zackery Summit, 28, was charged with DWI, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Driving with a Suspended License, No Vehicle License, and No Vehicle Insurance after contact in the parking lot of Elders Auto Sales.

 

December 30

 

No reports taken.

 

December 31

 

No reports taken.

 

January 1

 

No reports taken.

 

January 2

 

A missing persons report was taken on Amsterdam Street.

 

A report of disorderly conduct was taken from a walk-in complainant.

 

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

 

1-4-21 10:32 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Duck Hunting, An Arkansas Tradition

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Duck Hunting, An Arkansas Tradition
 
 
LITTLE ROCK – Duck hunting is one of the great cultural traditions of Arkansas, and it also pumps a lot of money into our economy.
 
Stuttgart and Arkansas County are known as the duck-hunting capital of the world. Every Thanksgiving, Stuttgart hosts the Wings Over the Prairie Festival and the World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest, which attract thousands of duck hunters. But duck hunting is special in hundreds of camps and bayous across the state, from Alicia to Des Arc to Dumas.
 
The late Pat Peacock of Stuttgart, the first woman to serve on the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission when she was appointed to fill an unexpired term, was an avid duck hunter. She is the only woman to win the duck-calling contest twice.
 
Ann Marie Doramus, whom I appointed as the first woman to a full term on the Game and Fish Commission, was eight when she killed her first duck.
 
I come from the hill country of Arkansas. I love the hills. But there is a certain beauty of a cold-morning sunrise over flooded timber in the Delta as ducks are flying in that you don’t see in other parts of the state. When you see that greenhead mallard coming in, pulling its webbed feet up, ready to land, the beauty of that moment is unmatched.
 
One of my greatest joys as a father and grandfather has been to pass that tradition along to my sons, my son-in-law, and my grandchildren. My grandson had the thrill of taking his first banded duck last season.
 
My daughter loves to watch the dogs work. The beauty of those black labs as they retrieve the ducks is a scene you won’t see in the mountains.
 
Of course, you’ve got to follow up with the duck recipes. My family and friends love the jalapeno duck poppers that I make for the holidays.
 
Bryan Hendricks, the outdoors writer for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, captured the essence of duck hunting in a column he wrote in November.
 
“Stars mottle a moonless sky as a squad of duck hunters count the minutes to dawn. The temperature is in the low 40s, but the edge of a sharp breeze seeps through insulated layers of modern fabrics. It stings the cheeks, but it feels different in the dark woods than it does in a parking lot. It's a sensation that I have associated with duck hunting since I first felt it as a child.
 
“There's much huffing as over-clad bodies squeeze into neoprene waders. Shotgun actions open and close with metallic clanks. Duck calls on neck lanyards sound like plastic wind chimes as they collide with every move. It is the sound of duck season in Arkansas.”
 
Thanks, Bryan Hendricks, for sharing that memory with us.
 
One of the missions of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is to spread the word about the joys of duck hunting. We want a new generation of hunters to experience the thrill and learn to love the outdoors. Today, I’m doing my part.
 
12-31-20 9:50 a.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 or click on the News Tips graphic above.

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

While we prepare to enter a new year and begin the 2021 Regular Session, we want to take a moment to review what has been taking place at the State Capitol in 2020. Some of the work accomplished in 2020 lays the foundation for future legislation.

 

In April, the House convened for an Extraordinary Session to address the urgent funding needs in our state created by the COVID-19 crisis. The legislation passed created the COVID-19 Rainy Day Fund by redirecting surplus funds. The fund helped to purchase ventilators and PPE for state hospitals. It also assisted agencies facing cuts due to a revised economic forecast for Fiscal Year 2020. The legislation also made it possible to extend the state tax deadline to July 15.

 

During the 2020 Fiscal Session, the Arkansas General Assembly passed a balanced budget prioritizing $5.9 billion in spending for the fiscal year. The House convened at the UALR Jack Stephens Center for the Extraordinary and the Fiscal Sessions to provide additional space for social distancing. 

 

The House and Senate Education Committees spent this year working with the consulting firm Augenblick, Palaich and Associates to complete the state's first comprehensive study of public school funding since 2003. 

 

The consultants made several recommendations, including revisiting current incentives to increase the number of highly qualified teachers serving students at high-need schools and small schools. Another recommendation is to conduct a larger-scale study every 6-10 years to focus on districts with specific challenges. These recommendations will be considered in the 2021 Regular Session.

 

The House Aging, Children and Youth, and Legislative Affairs Committee met jointly with the Senate State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee at various locations across the state to hear concerns from veterans and agencies that provide services to veterans. After hearing testimony, the committees proposed the following recommendations: 

 

· Develop a grant system and increase funding for non-profits that directly assist veterans; 

· Increase staffing for the Department of Health Injury and Violence/Suicide Prevention Program and the Suicide Prevention Hotline; and 

· Create a Veterans’ Advocacy Board. 

 

The Arkansas Legislative Council provided oversight for all CARES Act funding distributed in Arkansas.

 

Members approved requests to direct a portion of those funds for grants to assist struggling business owners and bonus pay for front line workers. Other CARES Act expenditures approved included funds to the Department of Health for testing and supplies to aid in contact tracing. And since more Arkansans were relying on the internet, House and Senate leadership requested a transfer of $100 million of CARES Act funding to the Arkansas Rural Connect Program (ARC). The Arkansas Legislative Council ultimately approved the measure.

 

We, like many of you, are looking forward to a promising new year. The 2021 Regular Session begins on January 11. Every committee meeting and floor session will be live-streamed and archived at www.arkansashouse.org.

 

12-31-20 9:43 a.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 or click on the News Tips graphic above.

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