KAWX News Archives for 2019-06

July 4th Week Fun and Activities at QWSP Near Mena

Wednesday , July 3

 

Reservoir Hike 9:00 am lasting about 1 hour. 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.

 

Butterflies 2:00 pm lasting about 30 minutes. Meet at the Amphitheater. Join Park Interpreter Melissa as she guides you through a hands-on experience where you’ll learn about nature and create something you can take home. Materials are provided.

 

Frisbee Golf 3:00 pm lasting about 30 minutes. Meet beside the Campground Bathhouse. Never played Frisbee Golf? That's no problem. Join Park Interpreter Melissa and she will give a crash course on how to play!

 

Ask a Park Interpreter 4:30 pm lasting about 30 minutes. Meet in the Hearth Room. Have you encountered something in the park that has left you puzzled? Do you have any park or nature-related questions that you would like answered? Meet Park Interpreter Melissa in the Hearth room an informal meet and greet and get some answers! This program is come and go.

 

Thursday, July 4

 

Wonder House Tour 9:00 am lasting about 30 minutes. Meet at the Wonder House. Do you ever wonder what the Wonder House is about? Join Park Interpreter Melissa and step back into history to see one of the first vacation homes built in the 1930’s.

 

Water Ball Volleyball 11:00 am lasting about 30 minutes. Meet at the Volleyball Court. What in the world is water ball volleyball? Come find out! Be prepared to get wet.

 

Watermelon/ Cantaloupe Time 2:00 pm lasting about 45 minutes. Meet at the Amphitheater. Yummy watermelon is even better outside – where the mess doesn’t matter! Join us to enjoy this timeless tradition of sticky, sweet, and deliciously juicy ice-cold watermelon. The 4th of July just wouldn’t be the same without this traditional treat. Everyone is welcome, kids of all ages! We hope to see everyone’s smiling face! No charge and best of all the mess is on us.

 

Bingo 3:30 pm lasting about 1 hour. Meet in the Conference Room. Are you feeling lucky? Join Park Interpreter Melissa as we play our annual July game of bingo!

 

Friday, July 5

 

Hearth Room Chat 9:00 am 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 round tables and learn why we’re called Queen Wilhelmina State Park.

 

Unnatural Hike 11:00 am lkasting about 30 minutes. Meet at the Amphitheater. How attentive do you really think you are? Join Park Interpreter Melissa to test your powers of observation in this fun interesting hidden item hunt along the Spring Trail.

 

Ice Cream 2:00 pm lasting about 45 minutes. Meet at the Amphitheater. What better way to spend this holiday week than by eating ice cream. Join Park Interpreter Melissa as we make homemade ice cream. We will start making ice cream at 2:00pm at the amphitheater.

 

Washer Toss 4:00 pm lasting about 30 minutes. Meet at the Picnic Area. Are you up for a challenge? Join Park Interpreter Melissa as we play the old time game washer toss.

 

Saturday, July 6

 

Ouachita Walk 11:00 am lasting about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Meet at the west side of the Ouachita Trailhead. Join Park Interpreter Melissa and enjoy a serene spring 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.

 

Dutch Oven Demonstration 2:00 pm lasting about 1 hour. Meet at the Picnic Area. Are you in need of a tasty treat for this weekend? Stop by Queen Wilhelmina picnic area to find out how much better dessert is cooked over a fire! Park Interpreter Melissa will be using the state vessel – a Dutch oven – to cook-up a simple and delicious dessert. Come by for a taste.

 

Wonder House Tour 4:00 pm lasting about 30 minutes. Meet at the Wonder House. Do you ever wonder what the Wonder House is about? Join Park Interpreter Melissa and step back into history to see one of the first vacation homes built in the 1930’s.

 

Edible Insects 6:30 pm lasting about 30 minutes. Meet in the Hearth Room. Are eating bugs a real thing? Join park interpreter Melissa and see who really eats bugs. If you’re brave enough, you can join the “I Ate A Bug Club!” Bring your appetite and take a bite, or come and watch!

 

Sunday, July 7

 

Silent Hike 9:00 am lasting abouyt 45 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.

 

Wonder House Tour 2:00 pm lasting about 30 minutes. Meet at the Wonder House. Do you ever wonder what the Wonder House is about? Join Park Interpreter Melissa and step back into history to see one of the first vacation homes built in the 1930’s.

 

Lawn Bowling 3:30 pm lasting about 30 minutes. Meet beside the Campground Bathhouse. Join Park Interpreter Melissa to test your aim in a game of lawn bowling. This is a great way to use your bowling skills or just relax and enjoy the company of your fellow visitors.

 

For more information about any of these activities or Queen Wilhelmina State park, dial (479) 394-2863 or visit the park's website by clicking here.

 

6-30-19 10:10 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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July 4th Week Activities At Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area Near Wickes

 

 

 

Tuesday, July 02

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Snorkeling Exploration (1 hour) Join park interpreter(s) as we snorkel a section of the Cossatot River and observe the underwater life while enjoying the clean, clear, cool water. Snorkel equipment provided. Wear appropriate clothing for swimming, Minimum age is 6. Meeting Place: Cossatot Falls’ Parking Lot.

 

3:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. Skins and Skulls (45 min) Have you ever felt the fur of an otter, or seen a fox’s skull? Meet a park interpreter to discover out more about the furry animals here at Cossatot River State Park- Natural Area. Meeting Place: Sandbar Picnic Area.

 

                                  Wednesday, July 03

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Pebbles and Rocks (1 hour) Every pebble and rock tell a story of how the earth was formed, shaped, and changed over time. Join a park interpreter to look at different characteristics, shapes and forms of pebbles and rocks that help make up Cossatot River. Meeting Place: Brushy Creek Access Area.

 

9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Fishing Fun! (2 hour) Fish are water-dwelling animals that live in oceans, rivers, lakes, streams, and ponds. There are about 20,000 species, or kinds, of fish exhibiting a wide variety of body shapes and lifestyles. Join a park interpreter as we discover some of these fish that dwell in Cossatot River.

Meeting Place: Cossatot Falls’ Parking Lot.

 

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Snorkeling Exploration (1 hour) Join park interpreter(s) as we snorkel a section of the Cossatot River and observe the underwater life while enjoying the clean, clear, cool water. Snorkel equipment provided. Wear appropriate clothing for swimming, Minimum age is 6. Meeting Place: Brushy Creek Access Area.

 

2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Rock It Out! (1 hour) Unearth the secrets of the earth! Park interpreter(s) will be your guide to discovery as we learn about the rocks that make up the Cossatot River Valley. You’ll uncover the secrets of how they’re made, what they’re made of, and why having the right type of rock can make all the difference.

Meeting Place: Sandbar Parking Lot.

 

Thursday, July 04~Independence Day 

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Fish Net Fun (1 hour) Fish can be found all around you when you are enjoying the Cossatot River. Join a park interpreter to have fun as we try to catch fish and discover what types of fish call the Cossatot River home. Meeting Place: Sandbar Access Area.

 

9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Fishing Fun! (2 hour) Fish are water-dwelling animals that live in oceans, rivers, lakes, streams, and ponds. There are about 20,000 species, or kinds, of fish exhibiting a wide variety of body shapes and lifestyles. Join a park interpreter as we discover some of these fish that dwell in Cossatot River. Meeting Place: Brushy Creek Access Area.

 

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Snorkeling Exploration (1 hour) Join park interpreter(s) as we snorkel a section of the Cossatot River and observe the underwater life while enjoying the clean, clear, cool water. Snorkel equipment provided. Wear appropriate clothing for swimming, Minimum age is 6. Meeting Place: Cossatot Falls’ Parking Lot.

 

1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Snorkeling Exploration (2 hour) Join park interpreter(s) as we snorkel a section of the Cossatot River and observe the underwater life while enjoying the clean, clear, cool water. Snorkel equipment provided. Wear appropriate clothing for swimming, Minimum age is 6. Meeting Place: Bushy Creek Access Area.

 

Friday, July 5

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Tree ID (1 hour) Join a park interpreter to beat the heat and enjoy a short hike on the shaded Brushy Creek Trail. We will discover how trees play an important role in protecting the Cossatot River. We will also learn some tips that will help you identify many of the trees that are found along the trail. Meeting Place: Brushy Creek Picnic Area.

 

9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Fishing Fun! (2 hour) Fish are water-dwelling animals that live in oceans, rivers, lakes, streams, and ponds. There are about 20,000 species, or kinds, of fish exhibiting a wide variety of body shapes and lifestyles. Join a park interpreter as we discover some of these fish that dwell in Cossatot River. Meeting Place: Sandbar Parking Lot.

 

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Snorkeling Exploration (1 hour) Join park interpreter(s) as we snorkel a section of the Cossatot River and observe the underwater life while enjoying the clean, clear, cool water. Snorkel equipment provided. Wear appropriate clothing for swimming, Minimum age is 6. Meeting Place: Brushy Creek Access Area.

 

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Kayak Demo Race (2 hour) Enjoy a fun-filled time on the Cossatot River for a crash course in Kayaking with a park interpreter as your guide. We will be learning how NOT to crash and navigate through a course set up on the river. Everything is provided so don’t worry about bringing anything besides yourself, sunscreen and a few bottles of water. Meeting Place: Low Water Bridge below Visitor Center.

 

Saturday, July 6

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Look at Those Teeth! (1 hour) Looking at an animal’s teeth can tell you a lot about their life! Have you ever wondered why a beaver’s teeth look orange? Do snakes even have teeth!? Join a park interpreter to learn the answers to these questions and many more. Meeting Place: Sandbar Picnic Area.

 

9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Water Jewelry (2 hours) This activity is a great opportunity to relax and take a break from the sun. Come find out why the water cycle is so important. We will also make unique jewelry that you can take home. Meeting Place: Brushy Creek Access Area.

 

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Snorkeling Exploration (1 hour) Join park interpreter(s) as we snorkel a section of the Cossatot River and observe the underwater life while enjoying the clear, cean, clool water. Snorkel equipment provided. Wear appropriate clothing for swimming, Minimum age is 6.

 

Sunday, July 07

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Snorkeling Exploration (1 hour) Join park interpreter(s) as we snorkel a section of the Cossatot River and observe the underwater life while enjoying the clean, clear, cool water. Snorkel equipment provided. Wear appropriate clothing for swimming, Minimum age is 6. Meeting Place: Sandbar 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.

 

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Plant to Pantry (1 hour) The Grist Mills used in communities surrounding Cossatot River State Park- Natural Area provided food to Arkansans by taking grains from the plant to the pantry. Visit with Park Interpreter Carson to see a grist mill and learn how it operates. Meeting Place: Visitor Center.

 

6-30-19 9:17 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

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JULY 4th HOLIDAY DRIVERS BEWARE: "DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER"

 (LITTLE ROCK) – Celebrating the Fourth of July typically means travel plans for Arkansans and others who will be crisscrossing the state on every highway and many local streets.  The holiday is also one of the deadliest because of drunk drivers who make the choice to get behind the wheel and drive.
 
  Beginning today (Friday, June 28th) law enforcement officers will devote additional time and resources patrolling to find and arrest drunk drivers.  Their special assignments will continue through Sunday, July 7th.  The added patrol work is one part of a statewideDrive Sober or Get Pulled Over operation designed to spread the lifesaving message that drunk driving is unacceptable, deadly, and illegal behavior.
 
  “There will be zero tolerance for impaired drivers,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.  “We want to be very clear about the consequences of drunk driving; it’s illegal and incredibly deadly and it’s a risk we don’t want anyone to take”.
 
  During the 2017 Fourth of July holiday period, 237 people were killed in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. These deaths accounted for 39 percent of the total motor vehicle traffic crashes that occurred over the holiday period. The deaths also represent a 23 percent increase from 2016, during which time 192 people were killed during the same holiday period.
 
  “The consequences are serious.  If we catch you driving under the influence of alcohol, we will arrest you, and you’ll go to jail,” said Colonel Bryant.
 
  On average, the cumulative costs of a DUI arrest can range upwards of $10,000 or more. Drunk drivers who are arrested face jail time, vehicle towing and impoundment fees, attorney fees, court costs and fines, and lost wages from employment. A conviction routinely leads to the loss of a driver’s license and higher vehicle insurance costs once driving privileges are restored.
 
   For those individuals who may consider the idea of driving after consuming alcohol beverages, the Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office recommends these options:
 
  • It’s never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had one intoxicating beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation to get to your destination safely.
     
  • If you’ve been drinking, call a taxi or someone who is sober to get you home.
     
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 911.
     
  • If you know someone who is about to drive or operate a motorcycle or any other vehicle while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to their destination safely.
     
  • Buckle up, always.  Your seat belt is your best defense against the drunk driver.

 

  More information about the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign can be obtained at www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136. Information about Arkansas' ongoing "Toward Zero Deaths" campaign to eliminate preventable traffic deaths can be found at www.TZDarkansas.org.
 
6-30-19 8:42 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Shoring Up Arkansas Levees

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Shoring Up Arkansas Levees
 
 
LITTLE ROCK – Today I’d like to talk about steps we took this week to deal with the damage from recent flooding. We also want to do all we can to minimize destruction from future floods.
 
This flood revealed the many weaknesses in our state’s system of levees and points to the urgent need to coordinate inspection and maintenance in cooperation with the Corps of Engineers and the local levee boards. We can’t postpone this planning until another historic flood puts us to the test.

 

The most crucial way for us to accomplish that is to study our levees, and then to incorporate the best practices and technology to strengthen them.
 
To address the immediate needs, I have designated $10 million from the Reserve Allocation Fund to pay for repairs and maintenance of the levees. I am asking legislators to approve this expenditure to show full state support for rebuilding our infrastructure. The money will go to the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, which will direct it to the appropriate areas.
 
My second act was to sign Executive Order 19-10. This order creates the Arkansas Levee Task Force. This task force will include representatives from several state agencies as well as a county judge, a county clerk, and an elected municipal official. As the need arises, I will add other citizens and legislators, especially those with knowledge of the engineering, construction, funding, or oversight of levees. I’ll probably also tap Arkansans as needed from areas that the flood impacted.
 
The $10 million for repair and maintenance is a good start, but we will also be asking for federal assistance.
 
This task force will report its findings and recommendations to me by December 31, 2019.
 
I will never forget the images of the powerful river as I flew by helicopter between Fort Smith and Little Rock. My tour also reaffirmed my understanding of the critical role of our levees.
 
In the wake of the flood, we now know that many of our 92 levees are in need of attention. We will never forget the scenes of the breach of the Holla Bend Levee in Yell County, or the other levees that looked as if they might break any second. We were fortunate that only one levee failed. We must act before we face another historic flood.
 
That means in addition to inspecting our levees, we must also talk to local officials about reviving the levee boards and assessing fees, where necessary, to pay for levee upkeep.
 
We must do everything humanly possible to ensure that our levees are up to the Corps of Engineer’s standards. This applies not just to the Arkansas River but to the levees across the state, whether along the White, St. Francis, Cache, or Red River. We now have the task of finding the weak and fixing the weak links.
 
6-28-19 4:42 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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ARDOT Reminds Drivers To Know Before You Go This Independence Day

The Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) reminds drivers to “know before you go” and visit IDriveArkansas.com before traveling during this Independence Day Holiday.

 

Extensive highway improvements continue through the state. With those improvements come work zones. To aid in your holiday travel, ARDOT has been working hard to open as many lanes as possible. Still, travelers will likely face work zones and possible delays due to increased traffic volume.

 

Overall travel volume for the holiday is expected to rise 4.1% over last year, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA). The AAA predicts that more than 41 million Americans will travel by automobile between Wednesday, July 3 and Sunday, July 7.

 

To help motorists find ways around accidents and work zone backups on Interstates, ARDOT has an Alternate Routes feature on IDriveArkansas.com. It displays linkages between the Interstate corridors and secondary routes that motorists may consider when travel is delayed. You can also follow us on Twitter @myARDOT.

 

6-28-19 4:17 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

Arkansas is home to more than 600,000 acres of lakes and more than 90,000 miles of rivers, streams, and creeks. As this is a popular time of the year for Arkansans to enjoy the waterways, we wanted to highlight boating safety in the state.

 

Last year, Arkansas saw a 9% decrease in boating accidents and a 36% decrease in the number of boaters who died from boating accidents. However, there were 60 reported boating accidents in 2018 which resulted in 29 injuries that required medical attention and seven fatalities.  Of those seven fatalities, six drowned.  According to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, three of those six were not wearing a life vest and the other three were either improperly wearing their life vest or their vest was in poor condition and not functioning properly.

 

In order to ensure your safety, we wanted to remind you of some of the laws passed over the years regarding boating safety so that we can continue to reduce the amount of property damage and to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities associated with boating. Make sure to keep in mind that:

 

·     Anyone born on or after January 1, 1986 must have successfully completed an approved Arkansas Game and Fish Boating Education course and carry proof while operating a motorboat or sailboat on Arkansas water.

·     Every boat must have at least one U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket per person on-board. Children 12 and under must be wearing their life jacket at all times. Also, no matter the age, every person aboard a personal watercraft must be wearing an approved life vest

·     To operate a personal watercraft, a person must be 16 year or older. Children aged 12-15 must be under the direct supervision of a person of at least 18 years old. Children 12 and under must be under the direct supervision of a person of at least 21 years.

 

For more information on boating safety please visit the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission at www.agfc.com.

 

6-28-19 4:11 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column: Unlocking the Veteran Suicide Crisis

Unlocking the Veteran Suicide Crisis

 

A retired Colonel in the Arkansas National Guard recently shared his frustration with missing the signs of mental health struggles among a former soldier under his command. Similar tragedies are happening daily across the country, but veterans – who represent about eight percent of Arkansas’s population –are particularly vulnerable. Sadly, they account for about 20 percent of suicides in our state. This is why we are working to fully understand the risk factors associated with suicide among veterans and to improve coordination of veteran mental health and suicide prevention services to change this tragic statistic.

 

Congress has taken steps to improve access and treatment for veterans at risk of suicide. That includes significant funding increases to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to decrease veteran suicide rates. In Fiscal Year 2010, the VA requested $62 million for suicide prevention outreach. That number nearly quadrupled to $222 million within ten years. Despite the sharp increase in resources, 20 veterans commit suicide each day. That number has unfortunately remained roughly unchanged. Only six of those 20 veterans are receiving healthcare services at the VA. This points to a significant need to empower the VA to work through community partners to expand outreach.

 

National data indicate that more than 50,000 organizations provide suicide prevention services for veterans, yet they are hard for veterans to find, access, apply for and use. The VA and these organizations share a common goal of saving the lives of veterans, but lack the framework and authority to coordinate their efforts.

 

That’s why I’m pushing the VA to improve information sharing between the department and veteran-serving nonprofits. I recently partnered with Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) to introduce legislation that would enable the VA to harness the potential of what is already occurring in communities by allowing it to provide grant funding to nonprofits and local organizations for expanded outreach to veterans. The IMPROVE Wellbeing for Veterans Act enhances coordination and planning of veteran mental health and suicide prevention services and would better measure the effectiveness of these programs in order to reduce the alarming number of veteran suicides.

 

The VA has a real opportunity to work with its partners to develop a tool that can be used to measure not just what services were made available to a veteran, but the effectiveness of the programs. As I talk with veteran-serving groups that provide suicide prevention assistance, I am more convinced that we can work together to create and use a standard measurement tool that helps us in this area. Some nonprofit groups have implemented their own tools to track progress and monitor the results of their veteran suicide prevention programs. The VA should examine how it can work with partners to develop or adopt a measurement tool that would be used uniformly across all groups. This will allow the VA and its partners to identify which suicide prevention efforts are having the most impact so that resources can be concentrated effectively.

 

The legislation has been well-received. VA Secretary Robert Wilkie expressed his support for our bill, calling it “key” to unlocking the veteran suicide crisis. Representatives Jack Bergman (R-MI) and Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives. We must continue this momentum.

 

Empowering veteran-serving nonprofits in addition to state and local organizations to work together in the fight against veteran suicide will ensure that we reach more veterans with more effective services so that we can break the trend of veteran suicide.

 

6-28-19 3:57 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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State Senator Larry Teague's Weekly Column

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

June 28, 2019

 

LITTLE ROCK – State officials announced that school nurses will be provided with kits containing naloxone nasal spray, which helps keep alive people alive when they have overdosed on painkillers known as opioids.

 

According to state drug officials, there have been three cases of opioid overdoses in Arkansas high schools in the past year.

 

Over the past two years, emergency first responders have revived 262 Arkansans who were in danger of dying from an overdose. Naloxone allows them to continue breathing so that they have time to get emergency medical treatment.

 

Equipping about 1,100 school nurses with a naloxone kit is the most recent in the state’s efforts to fight the deadly effects of opioid abuse. Arkansas is among the nation’s leaders in abuse of prescription painkillers.

 

In 2017 the legislature approved Act 284, which authorized 6,100 pharmacists in Arkansas to dispense naloxone without a prior prescription in cases of an overdose. Also in 2017 the legislature added employees of the state Crime Lab to the list of responders who could get naloxone kits from pharmacists. The list include family members of people in danger of dying from an overdose, as well as first responders and emergency medical technicians.

 

Earlier this year, the Arkansas Criminal Justice Institute distributed naloxone kits to 1,390 first responders and police officers, funded through a grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Blue and You Foundation.

 

Act 1114 of 2015 provides immunity from criminal prosecution for people who bring overdose victims to a hospital.

 

We became the 15th state to enact so-called “medical amnesty” laws. It was inspired by the case of a young man in Faulkner County who died of a drug overdose within a couple of blocks from a hospital.

 

Act 447 of 2019 requires that prescriptions of controlled substances be done electronically. This strengthened an existing law, Act 304 of 2011, which created the Arkansas Electronic Prescription Monitoring Program. It’s a database operated by the state Health Department that allows for analysis of the dispensing and use of controlled substance prescription drugs. It protects patient privacy, but allows monitoring agencies to spot potential abuse.

 

Arkansas is one of numerous states that have joined lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies that manufacture and distribute opioids.

 

In April the state Attorney General filed suit against three wholesale distributors of prescription drugs, alleging that they failed to comply with laws requiring them to report suspicious shipments of opioids. Instead, they distributed 67 dosage units for every person in Arkansas, the suit alleges. Arkansas has a population of about three million people and 236 million painkillers were delivered into the state in 2016.

 

A previous lawsuit was filed in 2018 by 72 of the state’s 75 counties and 210 cities, in which 90 percent of the state’s residents live. The suit contends that opioid manufacturers should pay for the cost of treating and preventing abuse of the drugs. The cities and counties say that since 2000, the number of fatal overdoses from opioids in Arkansas has gone up 300 percent, to about 400 people a year.

 

Both lawsuits emphasize that in Arkansas there are more prescriptions for painkillers than there are people.

 

6-28-19 9:13 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Mena Water Utilities OPEN July 4th, Closed July 5th

The Mena Water Utilities Office will be open on Thursday, July 4th, but closed Friday July 5th. The office will reopen on Monday, July 8th.

 

6-28-19 7:19 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

 

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Polk County Circuit Court Arraignments June 20th, 24th

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 J. Sartain, W/M, age 33, Count I: Probation Violation. The original offense was Breaking Or Entering and Theft of Property. Bond was set at $5,000.00.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Carlos Gonzalez, H/M, age 62, Count I: Failure To Appear, a Class "C" Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Kendra Dawn Davis, W/F, age 34, Count I: Theft Of Property, a Class "C" Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Chad A. Aucoin, W/M, age 34, Count I: Breaking Or Entering, a Class "D" Felony. Count II: Theft Of Property, a Class "D" Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Jeffrey M. Prine, W/M. age 54, Count I: Possession Of Methamphetamine With The Purpose To Deliver, a Class "A" Felony. Count II: Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class "D" Felony.

 

State Of Arkansas Vs. Cody Lee Enyeart, W/M, age 35, Count I: Breaking Or Entering, a Class "D" Felony. Count II: Theft Of Property, a Class "D" Felony.

 

Sate of Arkansas Vs. Katelyn E. Enyeart, W/F, age 26, Count I: Breaking Or Entering, a Class "D" felony. Count II: Theft Of Property, a Class "D" Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Ian Mackenzie Murphy, W/M, age 23, Count I: Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class "D" Felony.

 

6-27-19 10:58 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Weekly Fishing Report

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for June 26, 2019. If there is a body of water youl 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.

 

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. Geoloical Survey, visit: https://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.

 

6-26-19 11:22 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

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Arthritis Water Exercise Classes At Mena City Pool

Arthritis Water Exercise Classes will be offered in Mena Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. The classes will be at the City Pool located at Mena's Lee McMillan Park

 

This will be a shallow water, range of motion class and the instructor is certified by the Arkansas Arthritis Foundation.

 

There is no cost for participants thanks to Mena's Freedom Pharmacy.

 

For more information, dial (479) 234-1145.

 

6-26-19 7:06 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

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Mena Receives Historic Preservation Grant

In a ceremony today at the Department of Arkansas Heritage headquarters in Little Rock, four grants were given out to a number of worthy cities, groups, and projects, including a $28,568.52 grant to the City of Mena to be used for historic preservation of the Historic KCS Depot.

 


Shown left right: Mena Mayor Seth Smith, State Historic Preservation Officer Stacy Hurst, Tiffany Lane of the Mena Depot Commission, and Becky Horton of the City of Mena.

 

 

Mena Downtown Partners also received a $1,000.00 grant for downtown revitalization.

 

Certified Local Government Grants- This year, $94,000 in grant funding was given out to eight projects; Downtown Revitalization Grants- This year, $309,500 in grant funding was given out to 37 projects on Main Streets and in downtowns across Arkansas; Historic Preservation Restoration Grants- This year, $796,7061 in grant funding was given out to 24 worthy recipients who completed applications for consideration. The amount of funding fluctuates each year depending on the taxes collected; Courthouse Grants- This year, $1,531,520.00 in grant funding was given out to 25 worthy recipients who completed applications for consideration.

 

6-25-19 8:23 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Sales and Road Improvement Tax Report For June, Both Showing Increases

Polk County Treasurer Tanya K. Fretz released the Sales Tax General and Road Improvement Sales Tax report for June 2019. The June amounts reflect collections for the previous month.

 
Both are 1% taxes and amounted to $132,542.85 each, a $9,997.40 increase over the same period from 2018.
 
Year-to-date the taxes have generated $777,988.28 each, a $20,928.16 increase over the same period from 2018.
 
Both taxes have shown increases 5 of the 6 months so far in 2019 over the same months in 2018, and the one month there was a decrease could have been an accounting anomaly in Little Rock. 
 
Sales tax collection increases, especially with increased online buying, would suggest good local retail sales. 
 
6-25-19 7:16 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Polk County Quorum Court Holds June Meeting

The Polk County Quorum Court held their regular monthly meeting for June on Tuesday, June 25th. Ten of the eleven Justices of the Peace were present, as well as other elected officials and visitors.

 
County Judge Brandon Ellison recently moves the Public Comment time to the first part of the Quorum Court meetings to allow for comments that might pertain to something on the agenda. There were a couple of comments and questions during this time. Meeting agendas are available for public review prior to the meeting in the meeting room.
 
The meeting was mainly routine maters, including approval of last month's meeting minutes.
 
The JPs also approved some line item transfers, were presented with a list of inventory deletions, and given reports from County Treasurer Tanya K. Fretz on Sales Tax General and Road Improvement Tax collections.
 
County Judge Ellison told the court that recent rains have caused a lot of damage all over the county to roads, and that the road department was working on a number of issues including the replacement of a 72" culvert that was destroyed by flash flooding.
 
The next Quorum Court meeting will be July 23, 2019 at 6:00 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.
 

The Quorum Court is made up of eleven elected Justices of the Peace: Chris Daniel, Jim Neugent, Harold Coogan, Margarett "Margo" Kimp, Troy Lunsford, Terry Terrell, Tommy Floyd, Terry L. Scott, Basil Kesterson, Mitchell Tidwell, and Tawana Gilbert.

 

6-25-19 7:00 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 
 

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Mena Water Outage Today, June 25th, In The Area Of Reeves and Marion Streets

Mena Water Utilities has had a fire hydrant on Marion Avenue leaking for some time. Our crew has been working in the area the last couple of days to find the best way to turn the water off to the hydrant. Mena Water Utilities will need to turn the water off in the Reeves and Marion area around 1:00 p.m. this afternoon, June 25, 2019. Water should be off no more than one hour. Until the repair is complete, some customers may experience no water pressure, low water pressure, or dingy water. Mena Water Utilities will begin flushing of main lines once the repairs are completed. Once the main line flushing is complete, the Utility recommends that effected customers flush their lines, preferably an outside faucet or other cold water line until their water runs clean and free of air.

 

For further information, please call the Water office at (479) 394-2761.

 

6-25-19 10:10 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Queen Wilhelmina State Park Activities June 28th, 29th

For more information about any of these activities at QWSP, or the State Park, dial (479) 394-2863 or visit the park's website here

 

Friday, June 28


Finding the Uniqueness 1:00 pm 45 min Amphitheater
Queen Wilhelmina State Park is a unique resource filled with special things you
can discover while you are here. Join Park Interpreter Melissa to learn unique
aspects about our park.


Wonder House Tour 2:00 pm 30 min 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 ID Hike 4:00 pm 45 min 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.


Nature Art 7:00pm 30 min Amphitheater
Who needs pencils, paint, or paper to create art? Join Park Interpreter
Melissa as we create art with our natural resources.


Saturday, June 29


Wonder House Tour 2:00 pm 30 min 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.


Critter Signs & Tracks 3:30 pm 30 min Amphitheater
Do you know what animals eat or where they get their food? Join Park
Interpreter Melissa on a short hike to look for critter signs and track to see what
is eaten for food.


Volleyball 4:30 pm 30 min Volleyball Court
Join Park Interpreter Melissa in an afternoon game of volleyball. No experience
needed. Just come and have fun.

 

6-25-19 8:20 a.m. KAWX.ORG 
 

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Attorney General's Mobile Office In Mena Tuesday, June 25th

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge's Mobile Office will be in Mena on Tuesday, June 25th from 10:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. The Mobile Office will be at the Mena-Polk County Senior Center located at 401 Autum Drive, just off Race Track Road in Mena.

 

The Attorney General Mobile Offices assist constituents with consumer related issues by filing consumer complaints against scam artists as well as answering questions about the office and the other services it offers to constituents.

 

Rutledge continues her partnerships with the Cooperative Extension Service and local law enforcement across Arkansas. Law enforcement officials will be on hand to collect unused and expired prescription medications to ensure they are secured and properly disposed. Arkansans are encouraged to bring their old, unused or expired prescription medications to an upcoming mobile office. During Rutledge’s first term, over 618 pounds of medications were collected at mobile offices. Another 135 pounds of medications have been collected so far this year.

 

For more information about services provided by the Attorney General’s office, visit ArkansasAG.gov or call (501) 682-2007. Rutledge can also be found on Facebook at facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge and on Twitter at twitter.com/AGRutledge.

 

6-24-19 8:51 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Badges Win In The Annual Boots And Badges Blood Drive, 86 to 76

Polk County residents enjoy the good-natured ribbing local law enforcement officers and firefighters give each other to draw attention to the Boots and Badges Blood Drive every year. 

 
This year 169 people came to donate blood and support one of the two groups.
 
The final score was Law Enforcement 86, Fire Fighters 76.
 
Congratulations to the "Badges"!
 
We enjoyed the lead up and are thankful for the people who gave life saving blood today, and are already looking forward to the fun next year!
 
For any that were unable to donate today, there will be another Boots and Badges Blood Drive in Hatfield on June 27th from 1:15 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. at the Hatfield School Gym/Auditorium. 
 
6-24-19 8:37 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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USFS Temporarily Closes Wolf Pen Gap Trails Complex

The US Forest Service-Ouachita National Forest announced Monday, June 24, 2019 the the Wolf Pen Gap Trails Complex near Mena was being temporarily closed due to the wet weather and that the trails would re-open once the condition improve.

 
For more information contact the USFS at (479) 394-2382.
 
6-24-19 3:59 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Polk County Sheriff's Report For June 17th - 23rd

SHERIFF’S   LOG


The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of June 17 - June 23, 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.


June 17, 2019
Report from a Vandervoort woman of the break-in and theft of cash, collectible coins and a phone.  Investigation continues.
Report of a disturbance on Polk 42 near Potter.  Deputies responded.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Arrested was Donavon G. Ford, 22, of Dequeen, on a Warrant for Failure to Comply with a Court Order.


June 18, 2019
Report from a Mena woman of concerns regarding the welfare of a juvenile in another county.  The case was forwarded to the proper authorities.
Report of a suspicious vehicle led to the arrest of Daniel S. Green, 42, of Mena, on a Charge of Criminal Trespass.  A Citation for Trespassing was issued to Kymberlie A. Chaney, 22, of Mena.
Report from a Mena woman of issues regarding child custody exchange.


June 19, 2019
Report from complainant on Polk 121 near Mena of the violation of a No Contact Order.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Arrested was Aaron Hankins, 21, of Boles, on a Charge of Disorderly Conduct.
Arrested was Sarah M. Mitchell, 25, of Mena, on three Warrants for Failure to Comply with a Court Order.
Arrested was Samantha E. Coleman, 27, of Mena, on a Warrant for Failure to Comply with a Court Order and three Warrants for Failure to Appear.


June 20, 2019
Report of a two-vehicle accident on Polk 191 near Ink.  Deputy responded.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.


June 21, 2019
Arrested was Jeffery M. Prine, 54, of Cove, on Charges of Possession of Meth with Intent to Deliver, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and a Parole Hold.  Also, issued a Citation for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia was Rodney S. McQueen, 41, of Mena.
Arrested was Tony P. Foster, 33, of Mena, on four Warrants for Failure to Appear.
Arrested was David J. Sartain, 33, of Broken Bow, OK, on Warrants for Failure to Comply with a Court Order and a Probation Violation.


June 22, 2019
Report of a disturbance on Highway 88 West near Mena led to a Citation for Battery 3rd Degree being issued to Michael S. Curry, 32, of Mena.
Report from complainant on Polk 32 near Cove that an individual refuses to return a borrowed vehicle to the owner.  The vehicle was later located and returned to the owner.  Additional information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Report from complainant on Rogers Drive in Cove of $200.00 in damages done to a vehicle window.  Investigation continues.
Report from a Cove woman of four missing family members.  All individuals were located.


June 23, 2019
Report from complainant on Polk 18 near Vandervoort of receiving threatening messages from an acquaintance.  Deputy responded.

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

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 28 Incarcerated Inmates, with 15 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

PC19-00453

 

6-24-19 3:27 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Mena Police Report for June 16th - 22nd

Mena Police Department Reports for the Week of June 16, 2019 through June 22, 2019 

 

June 16, 2019

 

Justin Ashley, 26, of Mena was served several warrants for failure to pay fines and court costs.

 

June 17, 2019

 

A local man reported that a bicycle had been stolen from his property. Case is pending further investigation.

 

June 18, 2019

 

Two local youths were stopped for being out after curfew. Responsible guardians arrived to take the youths home. No formal charges were filed.

 

Daniel Roberts, 29, of Mena was arrested for theft of property, breaking or entering, and possession of drug paraphernalia. The arrest followed a call to a local retail store.

 

June 19, 2019

 

Report was made of someone taking a vehicle without authorization. The vehicle was later located and a juvenile was released to juvenile authorities.

 

Anita Morgan, 38, of Mena was served an outstanding warrant and charged with unauthorized use of a credit card.

 

Charles Kizziar, 31, and Clint Gene Morgan, 39, both of Mena were each charged with possession of a schedule VI controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

June 20, 2019

 

Carlos Gonzalez, 62, of Mena was charged with battery III and served an outstanding warrant.

 

Jeff White, 38, of Mena was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, expired tags, no liability insurance, defective equipment, and driving while under a suspension for DWI.

 

Shannon Ashcraft, 48, of Cove, was charged with having no liability insurance and no vehicle tags and was served an outstanding warrant from the Polk County Circuit Court.

 

June 21 & 22, 2019

 

Employees at a local convenience store reported that someone had filled up and failed to pay for the fuel. Case pending.

 

6-24-19 1:43 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column: Eliminating Summer Hunger Requires a Seamless Transition

Eliminating Summer Hunger Requires a Seamless Transition

 

For children, summertime brings a euphoric feeling of freedom. For a few months, it means no more early classes, pop quizzes or homework. But for too many children in Arkansas, it raises levels of anxiety instead of euphoria because they no longer have a reliable prospect to eat a meal at breakfast or lunchtime.

 

Over 300,000 Arkansas students depend on free or reduced-price breakfast or lunch served during the school year. Many of those students lose access to the same nutritious meals when school is out. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) was created to fill in that gap during the summer months.

 

The SFSP offers children from low-income families free lunch and snacks in the summer. While it works well in some communities, too many children still go hungry during the summer. This is evidenced by the fact that summer meals currently reach less than 20 percent of children who participate in similar programs during the school year.

 

The program is hamstrung by rules that date back to the 1960s and dictate a one-size-fits-all approach to the problem of summer hunger. Currently, children must travel to a central location and eat their meals together. In rural areas, it can be difficult for children to reach a site, if a site even exists. In suburban and urban areas, inclement weather or violence can keep children from these sites and cause them to miss a meal.

 

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and I are leading a bipartisan charge to overcome this challenge and make federal child nutrition programs more efficient, flexible and better equipped to reach children in need. Our bill, the Hunger-Free Summer for Kids Act of 2019, brings colleagues from different regions, with views across the political spectrum, together to address the issue and it counts Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as one of its cosponsors. We teamed up because we have seen the need for more options to end hunger in our communities and share a belief that the best solutions to this problem come from the ground up.

 

The bill proposes two alternative options states can utilize through SFSP to reach children who can’t access meals at a central location. The first would allow for meals to be consumed off-site through innovative means like mobile feeding programs and backpack meals. The other option would authorize the summer Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) program, which would provide eligible families $30 per summer month per child, with a maximum of $100 per child per year, to purchase food from approved retailers. In USDA pilot programs, summer EBT was shown to reduce child hunger by over 30 percent.

Local groups who currently operate summer meals sites do an excellent job providing a seamless transition from school lunches to summer lunches for many children in the state. Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, our local foodbanks and others want to be helpful in reaching children whose transition from school year to summer is not as smooth. The changes proposed in the Hunger-Free Summer for Kids Act of 2019 will channel the energy and want-to of these helpers to make the summer meals program work for all areas of the state.

 

6-21-19 6:04 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Gov. Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Building Business Relationships Abroad

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Building Business Relationships Abroad
 
 
LITTLE ROCK – Today I am in the Czech Republic as I conclude a week of work in Europe selling Arkansas to international companies looking to expand in the United States.
 
On the first day of the trip at the Paris Air Show, I joined leaders of Lockheed Martin to announce that the company will invest $142 million in its Camden-area operations and add 326 jobs to its 650-employee workforce. This is a significant expansion that will be a boost to the economy in South Arkansas.
 
The investment also demonstrates the company’s confidence that Arkansas is the right place to grow its business. We have the technical workforce skills to build rockets necessary for defense of a nation. The plan also reflects the momentum we are seeing in our defense and aerospace industries.
Lockheed Martin's announcement is the second in less than a year in the Highland Industrial Park. In April, Aerojet Rocketdyne broke ground on a $50 million expansion.
 
One of the values of attending the air show is that it gives us the opportunity to showcase Arkansas’s defense and aerospace industry on an international stage.
 
Another benefit is more basic. Business is based upon confidence. That is especially true in Europe and China, where I’ve traveled five times to sell Arkansas. Those are relationship-based cultures. It can take months – sometimes years – to court a business and close a deal. The best way to accomplish that is to meet in person.  
 
When the governor of Arkansas and my economic development team, led by our new Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston, travel thousands of miles to meet in person with a CEO who is thinking of investing millions of dollars in the United States, the CEO develops a quick sense of confidence that Arkansas is a serious trading partner.
 
Our trip also included a visit to the Switzerland headquarters of ABB, which has a facility in Fort Smith. We ate lunch with some of their apprentices who will be working in Fort Smith this summer and learned more about their apprenticeship program.
 
We met with executives of Nestle, which has plants in Ft. Smith, Jonesboro, and Northwest Arkansas. We also visited with the leaders of CZ at its headquarters in Prague, Czech Republic. The many fans of CZ’s shotguns and rifles were elated when we announced in April that CZ will open its first U.S. manufacturing plant at the Port of Little Rock.
 
My trade missions have focused on many industries, but much of this trip was very specific to the aerospace and defense industry because that is our largest category of export, which amounts to over a billion dollars annually.
 
In 2018, that amounted to 15.4 percent of our total exports. France is the largest buyer of aircraft and aircraft parts, followed by Switzerland and the British Virgin Islands.
 
More than 240 aviation and defense companies are located in Arkansas. More than 10,000 work in aerospace and defense manufacturing.  
 
Although we were here on the business of growing our economy, our success is often the result of personal connections. When we meet these international business leaders, they see that Arkansans are hard-working, creative, and dependable. It’s easy for them to see we will be a good friend as well as a great business partner.
 
6-21-19 5:26 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

From guided hikes to kayak outings, there are over 50,000 family friendly programs available at our Arkansas State Parks.  If you are still looking for a summer getaway, consider the options in our own backyard.

 

In 1996, Arkansas voters passed a constitutionally dedicated conservation sales tax benefitting Arkansas State Parks and three sister conservation agencies.  We now have 52 state parks on 54,400 acres with 1,800 campsites, 208 cabins, and 5 lodges serving 8 million visitors annually.

 

Arkansas has more than 9,700 miles of rivers and streams, and a good deal of it is perfect for floating—be it by canoe, raft or kayak. Experience a lake tour at DeGray Lake Resort, or view the sunset from your kayak on the Bull Shoals-White River. Park interpreters will guide you through the waters as they inform you about your surroundings.

 

Our state parks also offer lessons in how to cook in historic southern traditions.  Learn about the flavors of various herbs at the Ozark Folk Center or how to prepare pizza in an earthen oven at Davidsonville.

 

Or get away from the harsh city lights and attend a star party. Arkansas’s state parks welcome visitors to look for constellations and learn about astronomy this spring and summer.  Guided tours are offered at several parks including Village Creek and Pinnacle Mountain. 

 

And speaking of stars, don’t forget about the opportunities at our national parks. The International Dark-Sky Association just recently designated the Buffalo National River Park as a Dark Sky Park.  It is the first such designation for Arkansas and now becomes one of only 19 national parks to be officially recognized as a Dark Sky Park.

 

There will be a variety of ranger-led night sky programs offered at Buffalo Point this summer.

 

The Arkansas River flooding is impacting only a few park services.  We encourage you to call the park ahead of time to ensure your planned activities are still on schedule.

 

Check out all Arkansas parks has to offer at www.arkansasstateparks.com.  You can find information on our national parks at www.nps.gov.

 

6-21-19 5:07 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Fake Cancer Charity To Pay $2.5 Million

Rutledge Announced Fake Cancer Charities to Pay $2.5 Million

Says, ‘scam artists are being held responsible for preying on Arkansans with big hearts’

 

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the final step in a multistate enforcement action against four sham cancer charities, a lawsuit which was filed in May 2015. The $2.5 million will be distributed among cancer centers across the country as the result of the recovery of settlement dollars from the Cancer Fund of America Inc., Children’s Cancer Fund of America Inc., Cancer Support Services Inc., The Breast Cancer Society Inc., James Reynolds Sr., Kyle Effler, Rose Perkins and James Reynolds Jr. The complaint alleged that the leaders of these sham charities used donated funds to pay themselves exorbitant salaries, luxurious trips, purchase houses and cars as well as day-to-day expenses.

 

“These scam artists are being held responsible for preying on Arkansans with big hearts,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “People who wanted to honor loved ones were misled into sending money which only lined the pockets of these cons and their families.”

 

The complaint alleged that the so-called charities, led by James Reynolds and his family members, bilked the public out of more than $187 million between 2008 and 2012. Of the money collected, only 3% was directed to cancer patients in the United States in the form of “care packages” containing religious DVDs, Moon Pies, random items of clothing and various sundries. Cancer Fund of America also claimed to supply patients with pain medications and transportation to chemotherapy treatments, when it provided no such services. The charities also participated in a “gift-in-kind” program in which they sent drugs that had nothing to do with cancer to other countries. 

 

The complaint alleged that the purpose of this program was to make the organizations appear larger than they were while also hiding their high fundraising costs. The complaint also alleged that the leaders of these sham charities used donated funds to pay themselves exorbitant salaries and to go on trips to destinations like Thailand, Las Vegas and Disneyworld. The Reynolds also bought themselves cars, boats, jet skis and houses, and used the charities’ credit cards to buy designer handbags, jewelry and clothing, and to pay for day-to-day expenses such as gas, groceries and utility bills. 

 

The money will be transferred to Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) who, under a services agreement with the plaintiffs, will distribute the funds to select health and medical programs targeting breast and pediatric cancer. Eligibility will be determined through an invitation-only application process, and is limited to NCI-designated Cancer Care Centers, a designation bestowed by the National Cancer Institute on institutions and programs recognized for their scientific leadership, resources, and the depth and breadth of their research. RPA CEO Melissa Berman noted, “We are pleased to be part of this landmark process of ensuring that the philanthropic intent of donors is coming to fruition, despite the conduct of bad actors.” RPA will ensure that the funding will serve patients in all 50 states, and will monitor, ensure compliance and provide detailed reporting for all grants awarded.

 

6-21-19 10:33 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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State Senator Larry Teague's Weekly Column

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

June 21, 2019

 

LITTLE ROCK – The legislature updated Arkansas school choice laws when it approved Act 754 of 2019 earlier this year.

 

One goal of the act is to eliminate possible confusion about what are termed “opportunity choice” options, which allow a student to transfer from a school that is failing academically.

 

For a long time the state’s “opportunity choice” law allowed student transfers from schools designated as being in academic distress.

 

But in 2017 the legislature approved Act 930, a far-reaching modernization of accountability standards. The act erased 40 pages of school standards and replaced them with more modern methods on how to assess the quality of local schools.

 

One of the changes made by Act 930 eliminated references to schools in academic distress. Instead, it referred to those schools as needing intensive “Level 5” support from the state Education Department.

 

To eliminate confusion caused by the deletion of references to schools in academic distress, earlier this year the legislature passed Act 754. It clarifies that opportunity choice is available to students who attend a school needing Level 5 support. It also allows transfers from schools with an “F” on school report cards.

 

Students who apply for a transfer under the opportunity choice option cannot be denied unless the receiving district has a lack of capacity. In effect, it must show that it would have to build a new classroom or hire a new teacher to comply with standards that limit classroom sizes.

 

Act 754 makes a minor change in the public school choice option, which is distinct from the opportunity choice option.

 

The public school choice option allows students to transfer outside the district in which they live, but with limitations. For example, districts may choose not to allow transfers when they are under court orders to desegregate.

 

The Education Department has named 11 districts this year that do not have to allow transfers under the Arkansas school choice law, because they are involved in desegregation cases. Six are in Garland County and two are in Union County.

 

Precision is necessary in school choice laws, due to their controversial nature. State funding of schools is based on enrollment, so a district can lose substantial sums of state aid when they lose students who choose to transfer to neighboring districts.

 

That is one reason for the 3 percent limit on the number of students who may transfer out of a district in a given year under the public school choice option.

 

The 3 percent limit does not apply to opportunity choice transfers from schools that are failing academically.

 

Act 754 changes a key reporting date, to better prevent possible disputes over funding. Under the new act, the 3 percent limit on transfers out of a district will no longer be calculated according to enrollment on October 15, but on October 1.

 

The newer date is better suited to the dates on which school districts calculate their enrollment. Essentially, the change is meant to avoid the possibility that two separate districts expect to receive state aid for the same student.

 

6-21-19 9:44 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Annual Mena Boots and Badges Community Blood Drive, Monday, June 24th

The Mena Police Department, the Mena Fire Department and the Polk County Sheriff's Department will battle in the Annual Mena Boots and Badges Community Blood Drive, Monday, June 24th. The event will take place from Noon to 6 pm at the old Armory (corner of DeQueen & Maple Street). To schedule and appointment call (877) 340-8777.

 

6-20-19 9:29 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Weekend Activities at QWSP Near Mena, June 21-23

For more information about these activites or Queen Wilhelmina State Park, call (479) 394-2863 or visit the park's website by clicking here.

 

Friday, June 21

 

Nature Hike starrting at 1:00 pm and lasting around 1.5 hours. Meet at 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.

 

Wonder House Tour at 3:30 pm and lasting around 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.

 

Washer Toss at 4:30 pm and lasting around 30 minutes. Meet at the Picnic Area. Are you up for a challenge? Join Park Interpreter Melissa as we play the oldtime game washer toss.

 

Sunset Art in the Park starting at 8:15 pm and lasting around 45 minutes. Meet in the Picnic Area. It is time to express yourself! We all have an artist inside, and Queen Wilhelmina is the perfect place to get inspired. Join Park Interpreter Melissa and paint a picture of the sun as it sets on Rich Mountain with water colors.

 

Saturday, June 22

 

Wonder House Tour starting at 2:00 pm and lasting around 30 minutes. Meet at the Wonder House. Do you ever wonder what the Wonder House is about? Join Park Interpreter Melissa and step back into history to see one of the first vacation homes built in the 1930’s.

 

Ouachita Walk starting at 4:00 pm and lasting about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Meet at the west side of the Ouachita Trailhead. Join Park Interpreter Melissa and enjoy a serene spring 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.

 

S’mores starting at 8:15 pm and lasting around 30 minutes. Meet at the Picnic Area. Did you ever wonder how s’mores came about? Come join park interpreter Melissa to learn about the history of s’mores, and try the delicious snack cooked over a campfire! 

 

Sunday, June 23

 

Wonder House Tour  starting at 10:00 am and lasting around 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.

 

Unnatural Hike starting at 2:00 pm and lasting around 30 minutes. Meet at the Amphitheater. How attentive do you really think you are? Join Park Interpreter Melissa to test your powers of observation in this fun interesting hidden item hunt along the Spring Trail.

 

Edible Insects starting at 4:00 pm and lasting around 30 minutes. Meet in the Hearth Room. Are eating bugs a real thing? Join park interpreter Melissa and see who really eats bugs. If you’re brave enough you can join the “I Ate A Bug Club!” Bring your appetite and take a bite, or come and watch!

 

6-20-19 9:22 p.m. KAWX.ORG

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Polk County Circuit Court Arraignments June 17th, 18th

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. Teresa L. Destrini, W/F, age 53, 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. Jason Glen Hale, W/M, age 34, Count I: Possession Of Firearms By Certain Persons, a Class "D" Felony. 

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Jason Glen Hale, W/M, age 34, Count I:Delivery Of Methamphetamine Or Cocaine, a Class "C" Felony. The State of Arkansas hereby notifies the defendant that it intends to pursue enhanced penalties pursuant to Arkansas Code 5-64-411 since it is alleged that the sales of methamphetamine were within one thousand feet of a church, subjecting him to an additional consecutive sentence of ten (10) years.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Jason Glen Hale, W/M, age 34, Count I: Delivery Of Methamphetamine Or Cocaine, a Class "C" Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Jason Glen Hale, W/M, age 34, Count I: Probation Violation, a Class "D" Felony.


State of Arkansas Vs. Joe N. Hale, W/M, age 77, Count I: Possession Of Firearms By Certain Persons, a Class "B" Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Bradley James Crawford, W/M, age 24, Count I: Possession Of A Schedule I or Schedule II Controlled Substance, a Class "D" Felony. Count II: Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class D"D Felony. Count III: Possession Of Schedule VI Controlled Substance, a Class "A" Misdemeanor. 

 

State of Arkansas Vs. William Hinkle, W/M, age 45, Count I: Delivery O Methamphetamine Or Cocaine, a Class "C" Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Katelyn E. Enyeart, W/F, age 26, Count I: Residential Burglary, a Class "B" Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Cody L. Enyeart, W/M, age 35, Count I: Residential Burglary, a Class "B" Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Rebecca Nadene York, W/F, age 36, Count I: Probation Violation. York was arrested and bond was set at $10,000.00. (Original offense was Possession Of Schedule II Controlled Substance.)

 

6-20-19 11:05 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

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Weekly Fishing Report

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for June 19, 2019. If there is a body of water youl 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.

 

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. Geoloical Survey, visit: https://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.

 

6-19-19 10:23 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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POLK COUNTY SHERIFF'S LOG FOR June 10th - 16th

SHERIFF’S   LOG


The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of June 10 - June 16, 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.


June 10, 2019


Report of a structure fire on Polk 57 near Board Camp.  Deputy responded.  Investigation continues.


June 11, 2019


Report from complainant on Highway 71 South near Grannis of the break-in and theft of electronics and hunting accessories.  Investigation continues.
Arrested was Crystal M. Ducote, 41, of Mena, on a Warrant for Failure to Appear.


June 12, 2019


Report from complainant on East Boundary Road in Mena of a suspicious vehicle led to the arrest of Gordon W. Walters, 52, of Mena, on Charges of Criminal Trespass and Public Intoxication.
Report from complainant on Polk 98 near Grannis of being threatened by an acquaintance.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Arrested was Jason G. Hale, 34, of Mena, on Charges of Absconding and Fleeing on Foot, and Warrants for Probation Violation, Possession of Firearm by Certain Person, Failure to Comply with a Court Order, Fleeing on Foot and two counts of Delivery of Meth/Cocaine.


June 13, 2019


Arrested was Teresa L. Destrini, 53, of Mena, on Charges of Possession of Meth/Cocaine and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
Arrested was Joe N. Hale, 77, of Mena, on a Charge of Possession of a Firearm by Certain Person.
Arrested was Rebecca N. York, 35, of Glenwood, on a Warrant for Probation Violation.
Arrested was Cody L. Enyeart, 35, of Mena, on Warrants for Residential Burglary and a Parole Hold.
Arrested by an officer with Drug Task Force was William H. Hinkle, 45, of Cove, on a Warrant for Delivery of Meth/Cocaine.
Arrested was Katelyn E. Enyeart, 26, of Mena, on a Warrant for Residential Burglary.


June 14, 2019


Report from a business on Highway 71 in Mena of the unauthorized sale of certain property.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Report from complainant on Polk 44 near Mena of the theft of $4,000.00 in cash.  Investigation continues.
Arrested by an officer with Probation/Parole was John J. Mejia, 44, of Mena, on a Sebastian County Warrant.
Arrested was David E. Hale, 31, of Mena, on Warrants for Theft of Property, Fleeing in a Vehicle and Fleeing on Foot.


June 15, 2019


Report of a disturbance on North Eve Street near Mena.  Deputies responded.  One of the subjects left the residence for the evening.
Traffic stop on Highway 71 South near Hatfield led to the arrest of Gerald D. Aleshire, 22, of Mena, on three Warrants for Failure to Comply with a Court Order.  Also arrested was Ian M. Murphy, 23, of Mena, on a Charge of Possession of an Instrument of Crime.
Traffic stop on Polk 38 near Potter led to the arrest of Christina M. Shaver, 28, of Hatfield, on a Charge of DWI.  Also arrested was Thomas J. Shaver, 33, of Hatfield, on Charges of Public Intoxication, Disorderly Conduct and Resisting Arrest.  Additional information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.


June 16, 2019


Report from complainant on Polk 21 near Cove of damage done to a residence by a tree during a storm.  Deputies responded.
Report from complainant on Polk 7 near Wickes of $500.00 in damages done to a residence.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Report of a chicken house fire on Highway 375 West near Potter.  Deputy responded.

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

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 25 Incarcerated Inmates , with 12 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

PC19-00437

 

6-18-19 11:57 a.m. KAWX.ORG

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Mena Police Department Report For February June 9th - 15th

Mena Police Department Reports for the Week of June 9, 2019 through June 15, 2019

 

June 9, 2019

 

Robert Wallis, 38, was arrested for Fleeing and two warrants at a department store

 

Brinda McCarty, 59, was arrested for DWI and Careless Driving after a traffic stop.

 

A complaint was taken of dogs running at large. The owner, Amanda Head, 39, was issued a citation.

 

A theft complaint was taken at a department store.

 

Officers responded to a disturbance call at a residence. No charges have been filed at this time.

 

June 10, 2019

 

Charles Morgan, 42, was arrested on a warrant at a government office.

 

Renee Shaffer, 57, was arrested for Theft of Property (shoplifting) after a call to a department store.

 

June 11, 2019

 

Aaron Renard, 43, was arrested for Obstructing Government Operations after officers responded to a disturbance call at a residence.

 

Robyn Jacobs, 63, was arrested for Theft of Property (shoplifting) after a call to a department store.

 

Officers responded to a break-in at a self-storage unit. The case is under investigation.

 

Officers responded to a disturbance call in the parking of a department store. No charges have been filed at this time.

 

Officers responded to a disturbance at a residence. The case is under investigation.

 

A complaint of a business being burglarized was taken. The case is under investigation.

 

June 12, 2019

 

Christopher Hoover, 37, was arrested on two warrants in the parking lot of a restaurant.

 

Officers responded to a complaint of vandalism of a vehicle in front of a residence.

 

Albert Watson, 43, was arrested on a warrant at a residence.

 

Danny Haynes, 42, was arrested on a warrant at a residence.

 

Marcelino Williamson, 29, was arrested on a warrant at a government building.

 

June 13, 2019

 

A forgery complaint was taken at a grocery store.

 

Veronica Maddox, 22, was arrested for Theft of Property (shoplifting) after a call to a department store.

 

Chad Aucoin, 34, was arrested on a warrant after an officer had contact with him on the side of a highway.

 

June 14, 2019

 

Tammy Tomblin, 38, was arrested for Theft of Property (shoplifting) after a call to a department store.

 

Brittan McCulley, 38, was arrested for Driving on a Suspended License after a traffic stop.

 

Clifton Hale, 51, was arrested for Disorderly Conduct and Fleeing at an auto parts store.

 

June 15, 2019

 

Nickie Landfair, 26, was arrested for Loitering, Criminal Impersonation, Obstructing Governmental Operations, Resisting Arrest, and a warrant at the parking lot of a restaurant.

 

Bradley Crawford, 24, was arrested for Possession of Schedule 2 Controlled Substance, Possession of a Schedule 6 Controlled Substance, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia after a traffic stop.

 

6-17-19 6:43 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

There are now more than 460,000 students enrolled in Arkansas public schools. And an additional 18,000 attend an open enrollment charter school.

 

School districts range in size from less than 300 students to nearly 22,000 students. Charter schools range from about 60 students to more than 3,000.

 

How we fund education in our ever growing schools and provide for changing needs is through a process that begins in Education Committee meetings.

 

The House and Senate Education Committee met this week to begin that process for the next biennium.

 

Arkansas schools received many different types of funding totaling nearly 5.9 billion in 2017-18. Generally speaking, about half of school district/charter school operating revenue comes from state sources, about 40% is generated locally and about 10% comes from the federal government.

 

Foundation Funding primarily consists of local property tax revenues and the state aid portion of foundation funding. To determine the amount of foundation funding, Arkansas uses a specific formula, known as the matrix. The matrix calculates the per-student funding based on the cost of personnel and other resources needed to operate a prototypical school of 500 students.

 

Legislators involved in the biennial Adequacy Study determine the resources included in each line of the matrix and the dollar amount needed to fund it.

 

In the most recent legislative session, we increased the per-student funding from $6,713 to $6,899 per student for the 2019-2020 school year.  It increases funding to $7,018 per student the following school year.

 

The committee was also presented with information on student outcome measures. In 2016, the state began administering the ACT Aspire assessment. The 2018 ACT Aspire scores show a decrease in 4th grade students scoring ready or above in math and an increase in the 8th grade math scores.

 

Arkansas’s high school graduation rate has increased since 2011 to 88% of high school students. While the overall increase mirrors the national trend, Arkansas has consistently achieved higher 4-year graduation rates than the national rates.

 

The committee is scheduled to meet again on August 19. You can watch all Joint Education Committee meetings online at www.arkleg.state.ar.us.

 

6-14-19 5:07 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column: Creating Regulatory Certainty for Farmers & Landowners

Creating Regulatory Certainty for Farmers & Landowners

 

Arkansas agricultural producers feed and clothe the world. They need certainty and predictability in order to successfully operate their businesses, but too often federal regulations place unnecessary burdens on the industry. What our state’s farmers and ranchers want are simple, commonsense rules that are easy to understand so they can comply with the law and be good stewards of their land.

 

In a recent Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) hearing, my colleagues and I examined how one particular regulation –  known as theWaters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule –  has caused hardships for farmers and ranchers.

 

An interpretation by the previous administration told agriculture producers that their ditches, ponds and puddles are navigable waters. This put Washington in control of almost every body of water in Arkansas.

 

This definition resulted in inconsistent implementation and undue burdens falling on the agriculture community.

 

For example, farmers were told that they would not be subject to the WOTUS rule unless they were performing a new farming activity; any continued farming would be exempted. However, a Senate report conducted by the Senate EPW Committee found examples proving this is not the case.

 

In 2015, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) told a landowner that changing the use of a field from growing alfalfa to orchards would constitute a land use change that would allow Corps regulators to pursue enforcement action if plowing the field to plant trees involved a discharge to wetlands. The Corps regulator informed the landowner that despite an extensive farming history, orchards were never planted on the ranch so they are not the same kind of farming and might not be considered a normal farming activity.

 

Arkansas agricultural producers understand this is a common practice. When federal regulations prevent a farmer from engaging in sensible crop rotation and land management, that ultimately hurts their ability to properly manage their land. 

 

That’s why I fought against the broad interpretation and encouraged the Trump administration to redefine the WOTUS rule.

 

Within a month after taking office, President Trump issued an executive order directing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Corps to review and revise the WOTUS rule. Last December, the administration proposed new rules that would provide more regulatory certainty to agricultural producers and all landowners.

 

I am encouraged by the proposed rule that rolls back the Obama-era policy and establishes reasonable definitions that are clear and consistent.

 

The June hearing was the first the EPW committee convened on WOTUS since the Trump administration published its definition of the rule. Providing an opportunity for stakeholders to share their input on the proposed rule will help ensure the regulation will protect our water while simultaneously providing regulatory certainty. I will be closely following the rulemaking process to make sure there are no unintended consequences for landowners.

 

6-14-19 4:48 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: The First-ever National Computer Science Summit

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: The First-ever National Computer Science Summit

 

To listen to the Governor's radio address, click anywhere on this line, then click on the play button, or you can read the text below.

 

LITTLE ROCK – This week Arkansas hosted the first-ever National Computer Science Summit for State Leaders at the Governor’s Mansion, and today I’d like to share a bit about our event.

 

More than thirty states and Canada sent representatives to the summit, which was designed to encourage and educate people nationally about computer science education in schools. Our guests also included state representatives and senators, and commissioners and superintendents.

 

Our keynote speakers were Hadi Partovi, co-founder with his twin brother, Ali, of Code.org; and two governors who are among those who have led the way in computer science education in their states – Kim Reynolds from Iowa and Henry McMaster from South Carolina.

 

We also debuted The Arkansas Story, a video that tells how we launched the computer science initiative in Arkansas at the start of my administration in 2015.

 

The video told two success stories, including the work of Tate Rector, who changed careers from coaching football at Beebe High School to teach computer science. He was a special guest at the summit.

 

Computer science, and computer coding, remain an excellent career choice as technology grows more sophisticated. The statistics show that there are far more jobs than there are people to fill them. Nationally, there are over 500,000 computer science jobs available, and there are only 64,000 graduates to fill those jobs. A Gallup survey found that nine out of 10 parents want their children to study computer science but that only 35 percent of our schools offer a class.

 

Of course, all the public high schools in Arkansas offer the course, but we want more students to sign up, because fifty-eight percent of new STEM jobs are in computing, and only 10 percent of STEM graduates are in computer science.

 

I am proud to report that Arkansans have caught the computer-science vision. When I became governor, only 1,100 students were enrolled in a computer science class in Arkansas. In the fall of 2018, our enrollment had increased by 620 percent to more than 8,000 students. The number of girls taking a computer science class increased from 220 to over 2,400, an increase of more than one-thousand percent. The number of teachers who are teaching computer science courses has grown from 20 to over 370. This includes 184 fully certified and 188 alternatively credentialed computer science teachers.

 

Gerri McCann is one of those teachers. She had been teaching French at Manila High School when she decided to expand to computer science. She was one of our panelists on Monday. She told how her computer science program grew from seven students and one class to four classes, which required her to reduce the number of French classes she taught. She’s seen a lot of students go on to college to major in computer science or engineering. But she also told of the student who didn’t have support at home and often missed school. Everything changed when he discovered computer science. For the first time, she saw hope for this student.

 

There is a great need for a computer-literate workforce, which presents a great opportunity for our young people. We have come a long way in Arkansas, but our mission won’t be complete until every child in every nook and cranny in Arkansas is aware of the opportunities to study computer science and the benefits that come with that.

 

6-14-19 4:41 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Drivers Cautioned to Be Aware of Military Convoys

LITTLE ROCK (6-14) – The Arkansas National Guard’s annual training season has arrived, and motorists may notice more military vehicles on Arkansas’ highways.

 

Annual training is an organized event, usually conducted at a military installation that Service Members of the Arkansas National Guard complete each year. Convoys, a group of military vehicles traveling together, are utilized to transport necessary personnel and equipment to the training site.

 

 

Seeing a military convoy during annual training season is to be expected and no cause for alarm. Drivers are encouraged to be cautious around military convoys. Convoys travel up to 55 miles per hour on the interstate, significantly less than most vehicles. Military trucks accelerate slower than commercial vehicles and are built for combat, not comfort. It is discouraged for civilian vehicles to travel in between military vehicles involved in a convoy.

 

Arkansans can expect increased convoy traffic through the end of June. Routes are coordinated with the Arkansas State Police prior to movements.

 

6-14-19 4:31 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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State Senator Larry Teague's Weekly Column

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

June 14, 2019

 

LITTLE ROCK – Flooding has caused more than $100 million in damage to infrastructure in Arkansas, according to the governor’s request for federal relief.

 

Also, cleanup and removal of debris will cost local governments more than $8.5 million. State officials estimate that $27 million is needed for temporary housing, replacement housing and repairs to existing houses.

 

After a tour of flooded areas, the governor called for a renewed effort to assess the stability of the state’s levee systems.

 

Fortunately, that effort is already under way, thanks to a Senate bill enacted by the legislature during a 2016 special session.

 

Parts of Arkansas experienced flooding in 2015. Senators immediately began work on a plan to modernize the state’s system of levees, many of which were in bad condition. They used a legislative audit as a starting point, and concluded that it was time for a thorough re-organization of the levee system.

 

Legislators learned that it was impossible to accurately determine how many levees needed improvements, because local levee districts were not required to issue reports.

 

Although the governing boards of many levee districts are dedicated and responsible, many boards had faded out of existence. Others were ineffective due to a lack of membership, one reason being that they did not have a mechanism for replacing members who had died or resigned.

Those failings were corrected by Act 7 of the May special session of 2016.

 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers inspects levees if the local board joins a federal program. The Corps identifies where maintenance is needed, but has no power to mandate that maintenance be done.

 

The Corps can re-write flood zone maps to indicate areas that are prone to flooding due to inadequate levees. However, in order for necessary improvements to be made, a functioning local board must be in place.

 

Before Act 7, if a governing board had ceased to operate, there was no body to apply for and accept available grants and appropriations. Now, there is a process to replace vacancies and restore the ability of local boards to oversee maintenance of levees.

 

Lottery Scholarships

 

In May, lottery sales generated $8.3 million for college scholarships, which is about $360,000 more than was generated in May of 2018.

 

Lottery officials reported to legislators on an oversight committee that in May public interest was amplified by enormous jackpots in Mega Millions and Powerball games. They are known as draw games. In May, revenue from draw games increased by $2.3 million.

 

However, in May revenue from scratch off games went down by $1.6 million. Lottery officials attributed some of the decline to flooding and bad weather.

 

The fiscal year will end on June 30, and the sales of lottery tickets are on a pace to beat last year’s record of $502.4 million in total sales. Most of that amount was returned to players in the form of prizes, and $91.9 million was set aside for college scholarships.

 

With a month left in this fiscal year, lottery ticket sales have generated $84.9 million for scholarships. The record for a single fiscal year was set in 2012, when $97.5 million was set aside for scholarships. More than 34,000 students have received a scholarship this year.

 

6-14-19 9:59 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Weekend Activities at QWSP Near Mena, June 14th and 15th

 

Friday, June 14th Activities at Queen Wilhelmina State Park


Wonder House Tour starting at 2:00 pm and lasting about 30 minutes 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 Symbols starting at 3:00 pm and lasting abiout 30 minutes at the Amphitheater
Do you know the symbols of Arkansas? Join Park Interpreter Melissa and find out our state drink, cooking vessel, bird and much more!


Black Bears starting at 4:00 pm and lasting around 30 minutes at the Amphitheater
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.


Sunset Hike starting at 8:15 pm and lasting arounf 45 minutes Beside the telescopes
Join Park Interpreter Melissa, for an easy stroll to watch the sunset. Feel free to bring your camera to take photos of this beautiful view.

 

Saturday, June 15th activities at Queen Wilhelmina State Park Activities 

 

Reservoir Hike starting at 10:00 am and lasting about 1 hour at the Reservoir Trailhead

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

 

Wonder House Tour starting at 2:00 pm and lasting about 30 minutes 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.

 

Butterflies starting at 3:00 pm and lasting about 30 minutes at the Amphitheater

Join Park Interpreter Melissa as she guides you through a hands-on experience where you’ll learn about nature and create something you can take home. Materials are provided.

 

Volleyball starting at 4:00 pm and lasting about 30 minutes at the Volleyball Court

Join Park Interpreter Melissa in an afternoon game of volleyball. No experience needed. Just come and have fun.

 

6-13-19 6:42 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Polk County Circuit Court Arraignments June 10th

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.Isiaha Taylor Sipe, W/M, age 21, Count I: Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class "D" Felony. Count II: Possession Of A Schedule II Controlled Substance, a Class "D" Felony.

 

6-13-19 9:06 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Weekly Fishing Report

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s weekly fishing report for June 12 2019. If there is a body of water youl 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.

 

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. Geoloical Survey, visit: https://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.

 

6-12-19 10:05 p.m. KAWX.ORG

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Mena Police Report for June 2nd - June 8th

Mena Police Department Reports for the Week of June 2, 2019 through June 8, 2019

 

June 2, 2019

 

Joni McKee, 38, was arrested for Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. She was also issued an Ordinance citation for being in a park after hours.

 

Curtis Parnell, 34, was arrested on a warrant at a residence.

 

Wayne Johnson, 58, was arrested for Theft of Property by Deception after a call to a department store.

 

Heather Weir, 30, was arrested for Shoplifting after a call to a department store.

 

June 3, 2019

 

A theft complaint was taken from a department store. The case is under investigation.

 

A fraud complaint was taken. The case is under investigation.

 

A harassment complaint was taken.

 

June 4, 2019

 

A complaint was taken of a dog running at large. The case is transferred to animal control.

 

A complaint was taken of a dog running at large. The case is transferred to animal control

 

Kacey Murray, 33, and Zach Cochran, 22, were arrested on warrants after a traffic stop.

 

June 5 and 6th, 2019

 

Officers responded to a disturbance in front of a residence. No charges are filed at this time.

 

June 7, 2019

 

Wesley Weeks, 29, was arrested for Public Intoxication at a business parking lot.

 

Kenneth Bodwell, 50, was arrested on a warrant at a government office.

 

A complaint was taken of a vehicle being vandalized while parked at a business.

 

June 8, 2019

 

A complaint was taken of a dog running at large. The case is transferred to animal control.

 

A complaint was taken of a residence being broken into and items taken. The case is under investigation.

 

Officers responded to a disturbance at a nursing home. No charges have been filed at this time.

 

A theft of a vehicle was taken at a business. The case is under investigation.

 

A complaint was taken of a dog running at large. The case is transferred to animal control.

 

6-12-19 10:21 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

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Lottery Ticket Sales Total Almost $43 Million In May

Sales for the so called education lottery in Arkansas totaled $42,818,363.50 in May.

 
The highest sales were in Pulaski County at $8,078,139.00.

The lowest sales were in Montgomery County at $35,232.50.
 
Polk County sales were $181,979.50.
 
According to the Arkansas Family Council, the most recent information from the Lottery Commission suggest that only about 16.5% of the gross revenue goes to scholarships.
 
6-11-19 5:23 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Polk County Sheriff's Report For June 3rd - 9th

SHERIFF’S   LOG


The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of June 3 - June 9, 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.


June 3, 2019
Report of a suspicious vehicle on Highway 88 East near Mena led to the arrest of Karson B. Crawford, 26, of Mena, on Charges of Possession of Meth/Cocaine, Possession of a Schedule I/II Controlled Substance, Possession of a Schedule IV/V Controlled Substance, Possession of a Schedule VI Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and DWI-Drugs.
Report from complainant on Polk 76 West near Mena of an individual that had taken a vehicle without permission then refused to return it.  The vehicle was located and returned to the owner.  A Citation for Driving with a Suspended Driver’s License was issued to Renee D. Veal, 47, of Hatfield.


June 4, 2019
Report of a disturbance on Highway 8 West near Mena.  Deputies responded.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Arrested was Natasha S. N. Drager, 20, of Mena, on a Charge of Disorderly Conduct.


June 5, 2019
Report from complainant on Butler Circle in Hatfield of damage done to a vehicle window.  Deputy responded.
Report from a Mena woman of being harassed by an acquaintance.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.


June 6, 2019
Report from complainant on Highway 71 South near Cove of the theft of a rocking chair, valued at $75.00.  Investigation continues.
Report from complainant on Polk 63 in Board Camp of unauthorized persons in their residence.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Arrested was Freddy Sappington, 42, of Grannis, on Warrants for Terroristic Threatening 1st Degree and Terroristic Threatening 2nd Degree.


June 7, 2019
Report from complainant on Polk 267 near Cove of a break-in to their residence.  Investigation continues.
Arrested by an officer with the Grannis Police Department was Jessica P. Medina, 36, of Dequeen, on a Warrant for Failure to Comply with a Court Order.


June 8, 2019
Report from complainant on Polk 117 near Mena of the theft of a fence charger and wire.  Investigation continues.
Arrested was Kenneth J. Chaney, 24, of Mena, on a Warrant for a Parole Hold.


June 9, 2019
Traffic stop on Highway 71 South led to the arrest of Isiaha T. Sipe, 21, of Mena, on a Charge of Possession of Methamphetamine.

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

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 24 Incarcerated Inmates , with 7 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

PC19-00420

 

6-10-19 12:33 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Sheriff Sawyer On Missing Hiker Rescue, Audio Of First Contact By Rescuers

Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer commented in a press release about the almost week long search for a missing hiker in the Caney Creek Wilderness area of Polk County, and the dramatic rescue that thousands listened to live on a stream of the two way radio channel used by rescue workers provided by KAWX Radio. (To listen to the rescue recording, click anywhere on this line, then click on the play button.) Lost or injured hikers are not unusual in the area, but one missing for almost a week is, and the search and eventual rescue of Josh McClatchey caught the attention of the country with news outlets all over the United States and even abroad reporting on it.

McClatchey being loaded into a waiting SW EMS ambulance for transport to Mena regional Health Systems. 
 
The Press Release is below.
 
Press Release
 
6/9/19
 
Polk County Sheriff's Office

Ref: Josh McClatchey
 
Missing hiker Josh McClatchey (age 38) was located by Polk county Search teams late Friday night 6/7/19. McClatchey had been missing since Saturday 6/1/19 in the Caney Creek Wilderness when he became lost of the Buckeye Trail in the wilderness south east of Mena, Arkansas.
 
McClatchey was spotted by an Arkansas National Guard helicopter with the aid of FLIR technology. Sheriff Scott Sawyer said "The aircrew first located him about 1 mile south of the Caney Creek trail at about 9:00 p.m. He was heading north. Once he was spotted Chief Deputy Randy Jewell, USFS Joe Liles, and Arkansas Game and Fish Officer Ray Hines gathered up a team and we guided then towards McClatchey from the air. They sprinted 2.7 miles down a very treacherous trail in about 45 minutes. It was very impressive watching them from the air."
 
The helicopter had to leave to refuel before McClatchey was located. It was off scene for approximately 25 minutes before returning. "McClatchey was still moving north when we returned and it took about 30 minutes for us to reacquire him from the helicopter. Once we spotted him again, the search teams had to scale a steep ridge in the dark to locate McClatchey."
 
Rescuers finally made contact with McClatchey at around 11:30 p.m. Friday night. It toll about 3 1/2 hours to get him off the mountain and then carry him back to the trailhead. From there McClatchey was reunited with his family and transported to Mena Regional Health Systems.

Sheriff Sawyer stated "The team work, the dedication, and the effort pit out by these Rescue teams was truly remarkable. I'd like to thank my Deputies, the Polk County Judge and OEM, The USFS, the Arkansas Game and Fish, the Arkansas State Parks, the Grant County and other SAR teams, ADEM, the Arkansas National Guard, Governor Hutchinson, the Mena Fire Department, and SW EMS for their hard work and professionalism".
 
McClatchey was treated at Mena Regional Health Systems for dehydration and a cut on his head and released.
 
6-10-19 9:53 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Mena City Council Will Meet June 11th

The Mena City Council will meet Tuesday, June 11, 2019, for their regular monthly meeting. The meeting will be at Mena City Hall and is open to the public.

 
On the agenda is routine business, official reports from the City Clerk / Treasurer, Water and Sewer Commission, Department Heads, and Committees.
 
New business items on the agenda include:
 
Consideration of a Resolution to authorize Mayor Seth Smith and Clerk / Treasurer Linda Rexroad to submit a grant application to the Arkansas Parks and Tourism's Commission Outdoor Recreation Grant Program
 
Consideration of a Resolution to authorize Mayor Seth Smith and Clerk / Treasurer Linda Rexroad to submit a grant application to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration in the amount of $149,400.00 for runway 17-35 rehabilitation (Design Only)
 
Consider quotes received for the purchase of two dump trucks for the Mena Street Department
 
Consider an ordinance to provide for the waiver of competitive bidding in an exceptional situation for the purchase of necessary Street Department equipment; declaring an emergency to exist; and for other purposes
 
Consider cost-share project with Polk County to resurface Fairgrounds Road
 
Council approval for expenditures from the Special County Sales Tax Fund to assist Mena Water Utilities with costs for manhole repairs.
 
The elected Mena City Council consists of Andy Brown, Dwight Douglas, Ed Gibson, Mary Alice Head, Terri Neugent, and James Earl Turner.
 
City Hall is located at 520 Mena Street.
 
6-10-19 6:59 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Gov. Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Historic Flooding Doesn't Dampen Arkansas's Spirit

 
LITTLE ROCK – I have written to President Trump to request that he declare the Flood of 2019 a major disaster and provide the federal assistance that we will need to get back on our feet. My letter outlines the extensive destruction and loss along the Arkansas River and its tributaries from the Oklahoma border to Tennessee.
 
I made this request after I determined that the cost of recovery from the storms and flooding since May 21 is beyond the capacity of the state and local governments. It is important to note that I made the request while we are still under water. We won’t know the full extent of the loss until the water recedes. Early estimates show that nearly 900 homes in eight counties sustained major damage or have been destroyed.
 
I requested individual assistance for those eight counties. We are estimating that our losses will exceed $100 million in terms of public damage. Fortunately, Arkansans have heeded the advice to evacuate and to avoid driving through high water, and only one person has died in the flood.
 
For all the loss we’ve seen, it’s not as bad as it might have been because of the remarkable way Arkansans have pitched in to help – from the 6-year-old in Faulkner County to high school students to senior citizens.
 
People cooked meals for volunteers and delivered meals to those whose health or circumstances prevented them from going to the food sites. Volunteers staffed the shelters for people who had to leave home. And everywhere you looked from the Oklahoma-Arkansas line to the other end of the Arkansas River, people were filling sandbags.
 
Thousands of Arkansans have filled tens of thousands of bags. Six-year-old Collin Bradshaw and his 10-year-old brother, Spencer, were two of the youngest volunteers to shovel sand into bags. They were at the Conway Transportation Department in Faulkner County with their mother, Lindsay, a teacher with Conway Public Schools. She told the Log Cabin Democrat that she was proud to see many of her students helping others when they could have been out enjoying their summer break.
 
Tracy Touts was another teenager bagging sand. The 14-year-old lives near Tucker Creek. He was working at the Beaverfork Fire Department. His work could protect his own home as well as others, he told the Conway newspaper, and he encouraged others to help.
 
High school athletes turned out in big numbers. There’s no way to know how many teams volunteered, but I’m aware of a few – the Wampus Cat football players from Conway, Panthers football players from Greenbrier, Eagles from the Vilonia football team, Charging Wildcats basketball players from North Little Rock High, and a college baseball team, the Oklahoma City Ambassadors, which was in the state for a tournament.
 
Bobbie Peterson was another person who did what needed to be done. This wasn’t her first flood. She’s lived in the Dixie community in North Little Rock for more than 50 years. In the 1990 flood, the water was waist deep, she told a reporter. Bobbie, who is in her 70s, helps deliver meals, and then she goes back to filling bags.
 
The pictures and the video we’ve seen tell us this has been a bad flood. The weather watchers tell us we’ve never seen another one like it, and we’ve only just begun to count the cost. What I love about Arkansas is that I’ve never seen a catastrophe that’s bigger than our people. Thank you, Arkansas, for always rushing to help.
 
6-7-19 6:00 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 4 of adults in the United States have some type of disability. In Arkansas, that number climbs to 1 in 3.

 

In the most recent legislative session, there were a number of acts passed to help better ensure that everybody has the same opportunities to participate in every aspect of life to the best of their abilities.

 

Act 59 amends the Achieving a Better Life Experience Program.  This program allows Arkansans with disabilities to save up to $15,000 in an account without impacting eligibility for many public benefits.  Act 59 ensures that in the event of a death, the money in that savings account cannot be seized by Medicaid but can instead be transferred to a designated beneficiary.

 

Act 825 allows individuals to deduct up to $5,000 in contributions to the Achieving a Better Life Experience Program.

 

We also passed legislation addressing mental health for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.

 

Act 644 states a certified mental health professional shall offer culturally affirmative mental health services and linguistically appropriate mental health services to a client in the client’s primary communication method. It also states the Division of Aging, Adult and Behavioral Health Services of DHS shall do the same. The division is also instructed employ a coordinator to ensure linguistically appropriate mental health services are available and accessible statewide.

 

To protect our most vulnerable students, we passed Act 557. This legislation states that a school district shall not use corporal punishment on a child who is intellectually disabled, non-ambulatory, non-verbal, or autistic.

 

We also passed laws addressing how we write or speak about people with disabilities. It is important to put the person first. Catch-all phrases such as “the blind”, “the deaf” or “the disabled”, do not reflect the individuality, equality or dignity of people with disabilities.

 

Act 1035 amends laws regarding treatment for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This legislation ensures that respectful language is used within the Arkansas code including changing the term mental retardation to intellectual and developmental disabilities.

 

Act 236 concerns special license plates and certificates for persons with disabilities.  It states the special license plate issued by the DFA should contain the international symbol of access and not display the word "disabled".

 

Together, we can create inclusive communities where people with disabilities can be healthy and lead full, active lives. To find out what your community can do, visit www.cdc.gov.

 

6-7-19 5:36 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column: Commemorating the Turning Point of WWII

Commemorating the Turning Point of WWII

 

The late Thurlow Fernandez, a WWII veteran who called Sherwood, Arkansas home, recalled during an interview in the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project (VHP) how a medical condition he suffered from on June 6, 1944 prevented him from participating in the invasion of Normandy, France. He said it’s unlikely that he would have come home if he hadn’t been hospitalized because all of his shipmates were killed. More than 6,000 Americans died on D-Day, but their sacrifice and heroism marked the beginning of the end of World War II.

 

I was honored to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion in a ceremony with President Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron and my congressional colleagues. We reflected on the sacrifices that were made on the hallowed ground where American and Allied troops landed and where thousands of individuals gave their lives.

 

The Allied forces’ assault on the German-held French coastline during World War II is the largest amphibious invasion in history. It remains one of our nation’s greatest military achievements. The courage, strength and determination of members of the Greatest Generation who were called to defend freedom on D-Day will forever serve as an inspiration for future generations of Americans.

 

Many of these heroic individuals are buried at the Normandy American Cemetery. The graves of brave Americans dot the landscape where these courageous liberators fought and died. The crosses and Stars of David that mark their places of rest shine in the sun light on the cliffs of Normandy, giving hope for peace and reminding us of the costs of war.

 

The Normandy American Cemetery is the jewel of American Battle Monuments Commission sites. Approximately one million visitors each year pay their respects to those who lost their lives in the D-Day invasion and the battles that followed.

 

The cemetery and visitor center recognize the sacrifice of members of the Armed Forces who served at this turning point of the war, including the story of Private First Class Harold Eugene Sellers of Jonesboro, Arkansas.

 

Sellers was a member of the Army’s 101st Airborne Division. As a pathfinder, his mission was to lead the invasion by parachuting behind enemy lines into Normandy and setting up radar and lights for C-47s, which had been loaded with additional paratroopers the night before the amphibious landing. He jumped over France and was targeted by German gunfire. Sellers landed in a tree not far from Utah Beach, where he was killed. He was one of the first American casualties of D-Day.

 

As a co-chair of the Senate French Caucus, I was honored to introduce the Senate-passed resolution recognizing the 75th anniversary of this operation and acknowledging the courage and sacrifice of the Allied troops who came to the aid of those oppressed by the Nazi and Fascist regimes.

 

As we have just marked another anniversary of this historic and momentous occasion, let us resolve to reflect on the sacrifice and heroism displayed on behalf of our nation and the cause of freedom, and let us also commit to let it influence us in ways that challenge us to pursue the same devotion and service to America as the generation that stormed the beaches of Normandy in 1944.

 

6-7-19 12:15 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

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State Senator Larry Teague's Weekly Column

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

June 7, 2019

 

LITTLE ROCK – The Arkansas Tobacco Settlement Commission distributes funds to seven public health programs. According to an independent evaluation, they’re meeting an overwhelming majority of their goals.

 

The independent evaluation was by a team from the University of Central Arkansas at Conway. In its most recent report to the Senate Committee on Public Health, Welfare and Labor, the UCA team found that the seven programs had met, or were making progress toward meeting, 78 of 80 “indicator” goals.

 

One of the unmet goals was in the Medicaid Expansion Program paid for with tobacco settlement money. According to the independent evaluators, in late 2018 there was a slight decrease in the number of people getting coverage for hospital care under the program.

 

The other unmet goal was in the UAMS East Regional Campus program for assistance with paying for prescription medicines.

 

It was unmet because the program was discontinued for lack of need for its services, due to the availability of prescription drug coverage under the national Affordable Care Act. For that reason, future evaluation teams will no longer measure the UAMS programs effectiveness in reaching the “indicator” goal.

 

In 2000 the legislature created the Tobacco Settlement Commission and the programs it administers. Arkansas and other states had settled a lawsuit against major tobacco companies, in which the states sought compensation for the costs of treating illnesses caused by smoking.

 

Unlike those of many other states, Arkansas legislators decided to use all of the state’s share of the tobacco settlement to pay for health-related programs, as well as anti-smoking efforts.

 

For example, the UAMS East Campus and the Minority Health Initiative provided health screenings for 8,543 Arkansans at health fairs and wellness events where they work.

 

A portion of the tobacco settlement revenue pays for Medicaid coverage for people who otherwise may not have qualified. Last year 259 people with development disabilities were helped with Medicaid funding paid by the settlement. In all, 7,083 people received Medicaid services paid for by the tobacco settlement. They include pregnant women, senior citizens and eligible adults.

 

Settlement revenues pay for research at the UAMS College of Public Health, such as how to prevent and treat birth defects. Revenues also pay for 206 research projects at the Arkansas Biosciences Institute, which combines teams from Arkansas State University, the University of Arkansas, the U. of A. Division of Agriculture and UAMS.

 

Settlement revenue pays for geriatric care provided by the UAMS Center on Aging, which is working to improve the quality of life and expand the availability of health care of the growing number of seniors in rural areas. The program helps elderly people plan healthier diets, understand the effects of dementia, control their blood pressure and manage diabetes, among other services.

 

The settlement revenue also funds a Prevention and Cessation Program, with the goal of reducing the number of Arkansans who smoke or use tobacco. To measure its successfulness, the program set the baseline as 2013, when 32 percent of young people smoked or used tobacco products. According to its surveys, that rate has decreased to 26.2% in 2015 and to 23.1 percent in 2017.

 

6-7-19 12:00 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Polk County Circuit Court Arraignments May 31st, June 3rd and 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. Joni L. McKee, W/F, age 38, Count I: Possession of A Schedule II Controlled Substance, a Class "D" Felony. Count II: Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class "D" Felony. Count III: Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class "D" Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Karson B. Crawford, W/M, age 26, count I: Possession Of A Controlled Substance, a Class "D" Felony. Count II: Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class "D" Felony. Count III: Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class "D" Felony. Count IV: Possession Of A Schedule IV or V Controlled Substance, a Class "A" Misdemeanor. Count V: Possession Of A Schedule I Or II Controlled Substance. Count VI: Driving While Intoxicated, a an Unclassified Misdemeanor. 


State of Arkansas Vs. David Chase Egger, W/M, age 29, Count I: Failure To Comply With Sex And Child Offender Registration And Reporting Requirements, a Class "C" Felony. NOTICE-The State of Arkansas hereby notifies the defendant that it intends to pursue enhanced penalties pursuant to Arkansas Code Ann. 5-4-501 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 Chase Egger, W/M, age 29, Count I: Delivery Of Methamphetamine or Cocaine, a Class "C" Felony. Count II: Delivery Of Methamphetamine Or Cocaine, a Class "C" Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Ashley Cain, W/F, age 24, Count I: Probation Violation, a Class "D" Felony. (Original Offense Count I: Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class "D" Felony.) Bond was set at $5,000.00.

 

6-6-19 1:43 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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City Announces Street Closures, Handicapped Parking During Lum & Abner Festival

The following street closures will begin Thursday morning around Janssen Park in Mena for the safety of Lum & Abner Festival Attendees and Lum & Abner 5K participants. Please drive with care as many people, including small children, will be in the area around the park and downtown!


Thursday, June 6 - Saturday, June 8 No Parking on Janssen Avenue along the street beside the park from 7th to 9th Street during the festival.

 

Closed from 6 pm on Thursday (June 6) to 10 pm on Saturday (June 8): circle drive in Janssen Park. The drive is only open to pedestrian traffic during this time.

 

Closed from 6 pm on Thursday (June 6 to 10 pm on Saturday (June 8): 7th Street from Janssen Avenue to Port Arthur Avenue (includes being closed at Maple Avenue)

 

Festival Parking June 7 – June 8: handicapped & vendor parking off 8th Street by First Baptist Church.

 

Friday, June 7 - Saturday, June 8: Closed from 7 am on Friday (June 7) to 10 pm on Saturday (June 8): Port Arthur Avenue from 7th Street to 9th Street and Port Arthur at 8th Street and 8th Street from the two parking entrances to First Baptist Church to Port Arthur Avenue.

 

Saturday, June 8: Closed from 6 am to 10 pm on Saturday (June 8): 9th Street from Janssen Avenue to Port Arthur Avenue and Maple Avenue at 9th Street.

 

6-5-19 10:27 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Weekly Fishing Report

Weekly Fishing Report

 

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for June 5, 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 for the lake or stream you plan to fish for current news. mls= mean sea level. cfs=cubic feet per second.

 

Click here for this week's fishing report.

 

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: https://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.

 

6-5-19 5:00 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Sheriff Identifies Lost Hiker, Search Ongoing In Polk County

Searchers in the rugged Caney Creek Wilderness area of southeast Polk County are in their fourth day without results searching for a lost hiker. In addition to multiple searchers on the ground, aircraft has also been used. Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer issued the the following this afternoon.

 

POLK COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

Sheriff D. Scott Sawyer

June 4, 2019

On the afternoon of Saturday, June 1, 2019, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office received a call about a lost hiker on the Buckeye Trail in the Caney Creek Wilderness Area east of Mena.  The Caney Creek Wilderness area is a remote and rugged mountainous area southeast of Mena.  It has numerous hiking trails.

The hiker, Joshua McClatchy (37 year-old male from Texas) reported to the caller that he was lost somewhere on the Buckeye Trail.  The Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Forest Service sent a team in on the Buckeye Trail but were unable to locate him.  His car was located at the Buckeye Trailhead.

On Sunday, June 2, 2019, teams from the Sheriff’s Office, Forest Service, OEM, Arkansas Game & Fish, and the Mena Fire Department conducted a more extensive search of the Buckeye and Caney Creek trails.

Teams were back in the area on Monday and an aerial search was also conducted.

More searchers from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Arkansas Game & Fish, U.S. Forest Service, and Arkansas State Parks were brought in to replace fatigued volunteers on Tuesday morning as the search continued.  Sheriff Sawyer stated that the focus of Tuesday’s search was Short Creek, an area just north of the Buckeye Trail.

“We will do whatever it takes to find Mr. McClatchy and get him home to his family.  We will continues searching and we will find him.  The area we are searching today is extremely tough to negotiate.  It’s rocky, it’s steep, and it’s thick”.

Sheriff Sawyer stated that while lost hikers are common in the area, most are located within a few hours.

 

Click here for our earlier article on the lost hiker.

 

6-4-19 3:39 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Mena Police Report for May 26th - June 1st

 

Mena Police Department Reports for the Week of May 26, 2019 through June 1, 2019 

 

May 26, 2019

 

Officers took a theft complaint from a local residence.

 

Patricia Jackson, 51, was arrested for criminal trespassing at a local department store.

 

May 28, 2019

 

Kacey Murray, was arrested on a warrant after a traffic stop

 

May 29, 2019

 

Vicky Franz, 55, was arrested for public intoxication and criminal trespass after a call to a local residence.

 

Patricia Mcallister, 49, was charged with theft of property after a complaint was made from a local department store.

 

A theft report was taken from a local department store. The case is under investigation.

 

May 30, 2019

 

A theft complaint was taken from a man at a local convenience store. Due to the man not wanting to press charges, the case is closed.

 

A theft complaint was taken from a local department store. The case is under investigation.

 

Christopher Ridley, 56, was charged with public intoxication after a call to a disturbance.

 

Ashley Cain, 24, was arrested on a warrant at a local business.

 

May 31, 2019

 

Monica Quillin, 37, was arrested on a warrant at a local residence.

 

Karson Crawford, 26, was arrested for possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and careless or prohibited charges after officers responded to an accident on Highway 71.

 

Harold Ingram, 67, was arrested for DWI, careless or prohibited driving, and no vehicle license after officers responded to an accident on Highway 71.

 

A theft report was taken at a local residence. The case is under investigation.

 

June 1, 2019

 

A report of fraudulent use of a debit/credit card was taken. The case is under investigation.

 

Robert Pierce, 40, was arrested for driving on a suspended license and no liability insurance after a traffic stop.

 

Joshua Wilson, 39, was charged with theft of property after a complaint was made from a local department store.

 

6-4-19 8:35 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Polk County Sheriff's Report For May 27th - June 2nd

 

SHERIFF’S LOG


The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of May 27 - June 2, 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.


May 27, 2019
Report from complainant on Polk 141 near Cove of the theft of a pressure washer, valued at $250.00.  Complainant called the next day to advise that their property had been returned.


May 28, 2019
Report from complainant on Race Lane near Mena of an incident that had occurred at an earlier date.
Report from complainant on Polk 78 near Potter of the theft of a vehicle.  Investigation continues.
Report from complainant on Saddler Drive in Wickes of the violation of an Order of Protection.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Report from complainant on Polk 76 West near Mena of an attempted scam.
Report from complainant on Polk 57 near Nunley of a domestic disturbance that had occurred earlier.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.


May 29, 2019
Report from complainant on Polk 130 near Rocky of damage done to two vehicle tires.  Investigation continues.


May 30, 2019
Report from complainant on Polk 54 near Mena of an abandoned wrecked vehicle on their property.  Deputy responded.
Report from complainant on East Street in Cove of the break-in to a vacant property.  Investigation continues.
Report of a disturbance on Polk 168 near Potter.  Deputies responded.
Arrested was Shawn M. Leach, 27, of Mena, on Charges of Battery 1st Degree and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and a Warrant for Probation Violation.


May 31, 2019
Report from a Mena man of problems regarding child custody exchange.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Report of a domestic disturbance on Highway 71 North near Mena led to the arrest of Natasha S. N. Drager, 20, of Mena, on a Charge of Domestic Battery 3rd Degree.
Report from complainant on Sunset Lane near Vandervoort of a missing family member.  Deputy responded.  The individual was later located.
Report from a Cove man of a disturbance involving juveniles.  Deputy responded.  Information has been forwarded to the Polk County Juvenile Office.


June 1, 2019
Arrested by an officer with Arkansas Probation/Parole was David C. Egger, 29, of Mena, on a Warrant for a Parole Hold.

June 2, 2019
Report of a domestic disturbance on Polk 671 near Mena.  Deputy responded.  Suspect fled the scene before deputy arrived.

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

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 24 Incarcerated Inmates , with 6 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

PC19-00408

 

6-3-19 5:27 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Search Underway For Missing Hiker In Polk County

Multiple agencies are involved in a ground and air search for a missing hiker in the Buckeye Trail area which is in the Caney Creek Wilderness area located in southeast Polk County.

 
The hiker, a 37 year old man from Texas, started his hike Saturday, June 1st before noon, and around 5:00 p.m. notified his mother by cell phone that he was lost and needed help. 
 
Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer said that a ground search was conducted Saturday evening and again Sunday, and that an air search and more ground searching was conducted Monday with no sign of the hiker.
 
The search involves the Polk County Sheriff's Office, US Forest Service, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Polk County Office of Emergency Management, and firefighters from area fire departments. 
 
6-3-19 3:07 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Dale D.C. Spencer Honored With Street Named For Him

The street going into Tapley Park in Mena has been renamed "Dale D.C. Spencer Lane" in honor of the late Mr. Spencer, who was the Resident Engineer for the almost four year project of the “Talimena Scenic Drive” – Previously known as The Ouachita Skyline Drive, and who brought Aubrey Tapley Park into existence. He was also responsible for an unlimited number of freeways, highways and byways; bridges, railroad lines and waterway draining systems. 

 

Mena Mayor Seth Smith and other city officials hosted a ceremony Monday morning with the Spencer family present to formally re-name the street.

Mr. Spencer died earlier this year. 

 

6-3-19 12:04 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

 

 

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Mena Water Main Flushing Project Underway

Mena Water Utilities will again be conducting their bi-annual water main flushing program during the week of June 3, 2019 – June 7, 2019.

 

Mena Water has scheduled the lines on the south side of Highway 71 including the Nunley and Board Camp areas for flushing on Monday and Tuesday.

 

On Wednesday and Thursday the lines on the north side of Highway 71 are scheduled to be flushed.

 

Flushing is done as a part of a scheduled preventative maintenance program to help maintain good water quality and to improve the water flow in the water distribution system.

 

As Mena Water flushes your area, you may experience a temporary reduction in water pressure. You may also see some color and/or sand in your water, or you may notice a slight change in the taste and odor of your water. These conditions are normal during flushing activities, and only temporary.

 

If you should experience any of these changes, or if you see some cloudiness or rust color in your water, Mena Water recommends that you refrain from washing light colored laundry; likewise, we recommend that you flush the pipes of your home or business. Flushing of your home or business's pipes is accomplished by opening your front outside hose bib until it runs clear and has no noticeable taste or odor. Mena Water regrets any inconvenience the flushing may cause you.

 

If you have any questions or if you experience any persistent water quality problems as a result of this maintenance program please call Mena Water Utilities at 479-394-2761.

 

6-3-19 9:05 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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US, Arkansas Flags To Be Flown At Half-Staff For Virginia Beach Victims

By order of a Presidential Proclamation, the United States flag and the state flag of Arkansas are ordered to be flown at half-staff immediately on all public buildings and grounds in honor of the victims of the tragedy in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

 

Flags are to fly at half-staff until sunset, June 4, 2019.

 

Saturday, June 1, 2019


Honoring the Victims of the Tragedy in Virginia Beach, Virginia

A Proclamation By the President of the United States of America

Our Nation grieves with those affected by the tragic shooting at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Americans unite in praying for God to comfort the injured and heal the wounded. May God be with the victims and bring aid and comfort to their families and friends. As a mark of solemn respect for the victims of the terrible act of violence perpetrated on May 31, 2019, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, June 4, 2019. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand nineteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred forty-third.

Donald J. Trump

 

6-1-19 7:26 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

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