KAWX News Archives for 2019-07

WARNING: Phone Scam Stating Your Social Security Number Has Been Cancelled

ATTORNEY GENERAL ALERT: Phone Scams Stating That Your Social Security Number Has Been Cancelled

Says, ‘The Social Security Administration will never contact you by phone’

 
LITTLE ROCK – A new variation of social security fraud has invaded the State of Arkansas, threatening the livelihood of Arkansans. This phone scam is typically initiated by someone saying they work for the Social Security Administration and claiming that your social security number has been cancelled due to fraud or misuse. In response, Arkansans will often verify their social security number over the phone. Once the number is shared, the scam artist steals the victim’s identity and uses it for their own monetary gain and to wreck the credit of the victim.
 
“From Lake Village to Salem to Lewisville, I have met with Arkansans who have received calls from someone claiming to be with the Social Security Administration stating their number has been cancelled,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Let me be clear: this is a scam to steal your identity to open up fraudulent credit cards — the Social Security Administration will never contact you by phone about your number.”

Social security fraud continues to be a big problem for Arkansans. The Attorney General’s office however, is taking back the fight. In March of this year, Attorney General Rutledge announced that Joseph Sensabaugh, from Conway, was ordered to pay more than $300,000 in restitution for the part he played in a social security scam. Likewise, Carl Smith, of Fort Smith, was ordered in June to pay $72,000 in restitution after being convicted on charges of social security fraud.

Attorney General Rutledge endorsed the following Federal Trade Commission tips for Arkansans who may be dealing with a government imposter:

 

  • Never give out or confirm sensitive information, such as a bank account, credit card or social security numbers unless the caller is trusted and his or her identity has been confirmed.
  • Be cautious of callers using organizational or familiar-sounding names similar to existing agencies. Scammers use internet technology to spoof area codes, so although it may seem that a call is from Washington, D.C., it could instead originate from anywhere in the world—even from scammers.
  • The Social Security Administration and other government agencies have warned about these scams. If contacted, hang up and call the government agency directly at a trusted number.

The Social Security Administration can be contacted at 1-800-772-1213 to verify the reason for the contact and the person’s identity prior to providing any information to the caller.

To report this scam to the Social Security Administration, contact its Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271, or file a complaint with the Attorney General.


For more information about other common scams and consumer-related issues, call the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.

 

7-31-19 3:52 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Weekly Fishing Report

his is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s weekly fishing report for July 31, 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. 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: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=lzk

 

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

 

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

 

7-31-19 3:44 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

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Polk County Circuit Court Arraignments July 29th, 31st

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.Sean D. Burns, W/M, age 27, Count I" Failure To Appear, a Class "C' Felony. 

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Bambe Mellard, W/F, age 35, 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 "A" Misdemeanor. Count IV: Driving On A Suspended License, an Unclassified Misdemeanor. 

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Michael Elmore, W/M, age 35, Count I: Delivery Of Methamphetamine Or Cocaine, a Class "C" Felony.

 

7-31-19 11:03 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Polk County Sheriff's Log July 22nd - 28th

SHERIFF’S   LOG


The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of July 22 - July 28, 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.


July 22, 2019
Report from complainant on Polk 710 near Potter of a missing phone.
Report from complainant on Highway 8 East near Big Fork of the theft of prescription medication, coins and firearms.  Investigation continues.
Report of an unattended death on Polk 48 near Potter.  Deputy responded.
Report from complainant on Polk 70 near Cherry Hill of the theft of two ATVs.  Investigation continues.
Arrested by an officer with Arkansas Probation/Parole was Jerry W. Haynes, 30, of Russellville, on a Warrant for Residential Burglary, Theft of Property and Possession of Firearm by Certain Person and a Parole Hold.
Arrested was Elia Flores, 39, of Wickes, on a Charge of Theft of Property.


July 23, 2019
Report from complainant on Polk 432 near Cove of an attempted burglary.  Investigation continues.
Report from complainant on Polk 32 near Cove of damage done to an air conditioner, totaling losses at $650.00.  Investigation continues.
Arrested was Scott A. Moran, 47, of Wickes, on a Warrant for Delivery of Meth/Cocaine, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of a Schedule VI Controlled Substance and Simultaneous Possession of Drugs and Firearms.
Arrested was Jeffery M. Prine, 54, of Mena, on a Parole Hold.


July 24, 2019
Report of a disturbance on Robin Lane near Mena.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Report from complainant on Canterberry Street in Vandervoort of the theft of two air conditioners, valued at $200.00.  Investigation continues.
Report from complainant on Polk 76 near Mena of the theft of a license plate.  Investigation continues.


July 25, 2019
Report of suspicious activity led to a 16-year-old female being issued a Juvenile Citation for Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle.  The juvenile was released to the custody of a parent/guardian.
Report from complainant on Seay Lane near Mena of unauthorized activity on a banking account, totaling losses at $555.00.  Investigation continues.
Report from complainant on Polk 48 near Potter of being harassed by an acquaintance.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Arrested was Joseph Y. Cunningham, 34, of Mena, on Warrants for Possession of a Schedule I/II Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of a Firearm by Certain Person, Simultaneous Possession of Drugs and Firearms and Failure to Comply with a Court Order.
Arrested was Ashley D. Chumley, 38, of Mena, on a Warrant for Delivery of Meth/Cocaine.


July 26, 2019
Report of an ATV accident on Polk 94 near Rocky.  Deputy responded.
Report from complainant on Polk 27 near Hatfield of being threatened by an acquaintance.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Report of a disturbance at the Polk County Courthouse led to a Citation for Disorderly Conduct being issued to Dennis R. Stinson, 41, of Mena.
Arrested by a trooper with the Arkansas State Police was Sean D. Burns, 27, of Mena, on a Warrant for Failure to Appear.
Arrested was Tina M. Richey, 32, of Cove, on a Warrant for Failure to Appear.


July 27, 2019
Report of a fight on Tilley Road near Hatfield led to the arrest of Jamie R. Arce, 36, and Christopher M. Sanders, 31, both of Hatfield, each on a Charge of Disorderly Conduct.
Report from complainant on Highway 88 East near Ink of the break-in and theft of several tools, welder and helmet, and gas.  Investigation continues.
Report of a disturbance on Polk 58 near Board Camp led to a Citation for Disorderly Conduct being issued to Benjamin Gilbert, 26, of Springdale.
Arrested by a trooper with the Arkansas State Police was Joe B. Ward, 65, of Parks, on a Charge of DWI.
Arrested by a trooper with the Arkansas State Police was Randy W. McGowan, 58, of Mena, on a Charge of DWI.
Arrested was Stacie L. Shores, 29, of Mena, on a Warrant for Failure to Comply with a Court Order.


July 28, 2019
Report of a disturbance on Treasure Lane near Acorn.  Deputy responded.
Report of a structure fire on Robin Lane near Mena.  Deputy responded.

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

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 22 Incarcerated Inmates , with 11 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

PC19-00521

 

7-30-19 2:42 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Mena Police Report for July 21st - 27th

Mena Police Department Reports for the Week of July 21, 2019 through July 27, 2019

 

July 21, 2019

 

Officers responded to a local residence regarding two individuals arguing. No charges were filed.

 

July 22, 2019

 

Matthew Martin, 35, of Mena was served three outstanding warrants.

 

Stephanie Thomas, 43, of Mena was served two outstanding warrants.

 

July 23, 2019

 

Officers received a call from Faulkner County asking for assistance in interview a victim of an assault. The information was forwarded to their jurisdiction.

 

Bradley Duncan, 28, of Smithville, Oklahoma was served three outstanding warrants from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

 

July 24, 2019

 

Garrett Bosley, 19, of Mena was charged with shoplifting after officers responded to a call at a local retail store.

 

Employees at a local retail store reported that they had received a counterfeit $100.00 bill. Case pending.

 

Benjamin Ghearghiu, 43, of Mena was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, obstructing governmental operations, and disorderly conduct.

 

July 25, 2019

 

Garett Bosley, 19, of Mena was charged with theft of property after officers were called to a local restaurant.

 

Jennifer Tyler, 24, of Hatfield was served an outstanding warrant.

 

July 26 and 27, 2019

 

Natasha Smith, 41, of Mena was charged with battery, endangering the welfare of a minor,

reckless driving, and disorderly conduct after officers responded to a call.

 

Bambie Mellard, 35, of Mena was charged with possession of methamphetamine or cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia, two counts and driving on a suspended driver’s license.

 

Rickey Holliday, 38, and Ronnie Tabor, 42, both of Mena were both charged with disorderly conduct after officers responded to a call at a local residence.

 

7-30-19 9:22 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Patrick McDaniel To Run For Polk/Montgomery County Circuit Judge

Mena City Attorney Patrick McDaniel previously announced his candidacy for Circuit Judge of Polk and Montgomery Counties, Arkansas. The election for this nonpartisan position will be with the primaries which will occur on March 3, 2020.

 

Patrick is a lifelong resident of Polk County, Arkansas having been raised here and returning after graduating law school. Patrick graduated from Mena High School in 1989.   He has practiced with his cousin, Danny Thrailkill, in the firm of Page, Thrailkill, and McDaniel since 1997. Patrick has a diverse practice, which has included not only criminal and civil state matters, but matters before the federal courts as well as administrative cases.  Patrick has served for many years as the city attorney for Vandervoort and as the city attorney of Mena since 2015. Before 2015, he served as a deputy city attorney for Mena.

 

Patrick graduated summa cum laude in 1993 from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville with a BSBA in accounting.  During both his junior and senior years, he was selected as the outstanding student in accounting for the university. After passing the Certified Public Accountancy test in the summer of 1994, he worked for Deloitte and Touche as an auditor for a year before returning to law school.

 

Patrick returned to law school in 1994.  During law school, Patrick served on the Arkansas Law Review, in addition to receiving numerous class awards.  Patrick graduated with highest honors from the University of Arkansas. Patrick is a previous president of the Polk County Chamber of Commerce, member of the Arkansas Bar Association house of delegates, as well as being involved in local organizations, both as a member and on the board.

 

Patrick has been married to wife Wendy since 1994.  Wendy is the daughter of Hershel Bell and Debbie Scott from the Cove/Vandervoort areas.  Wendy works as that Director Admissions at the University of Arkansas Community College Rich Mountain. Patrick and Wendy have two children, Colten and Courtney.  Colten graduated from Mena High School in 2015, and is currently pursuing a degree in computer engineering from the University of Arkansas, and Courtney graduated from Mena High School in 2017, and is currently pursuing a degree in bio-chemistry/pre-med from the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith.

 

Patrick believes that his connection with the community, his education, his experience as a business owner and entrepreneur, his diverse legal practice, and the examples set by the previous circuit judges that he has taken to heart, will allow him to bring the skills critical to the office of the circuit judge.   Patrick stated that he will be a judge that treats all litigants and attorneys with courtesy and respect, makes tough decisions with fairness and common sense, protects the community and advocates for victims, hold criminals accountable for their conduct, works with all agencies to find the appropriate services for those that appear in court, upholds the community’s values, follows the rule of law and bases decisions on the evidence.

 

7-29-19 1:22 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Andy Riner Announces Candidacy For Circuit Judge

Prosecuting Attorney Andy Riner, of Hatfield, has announced his candidacy for Circuit Judge for the 18th West Judicial District. The 18th West Judicial District encompasses Montgomery and Polk Counties. The election will be held on March 3, 2020, and is a nonpartisan judicial election. 


The position is currently held by Judge Jerry Ryan,who will be retiring when his term ends in 2020. 


Riner graduated from the William H. Bowen School of Law in May of 2000 and was admitted to the bar in September 2000. 


In addition to extensive criminal trial practice, Riner has experience in diverse areas of the law, such as juvenile, domestic relations, probate, and other areas of civil practice. He has previously served as an attorney for the Office of Child Support Enforcement, a deputy public defender, a deputy prosecuting attorney, a chief deputy prosecuting attorney, and in private practice. 


Since 2011, he has served the citizens of Montgomery and Polk Counties as their elected Prosecuting Attorney. As prosecuting attorney, he managed the largest law firm in this judicial district with offices in both Montgomery and Polk Counties. He supervises a staff of three deputy prosecuting attorneys, three law enforcement officers, a victim witness coordinator, hot check coordinator, and four deputy clerks. He also serves as project manager of the 18th West Judicial District Drug Task Force, and is a member of the 18th West Judicial District Drug Court treatment team. 


Riner holds a law enforcement instructor’s certificate from the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy, and enjoys training part time and reserve officers. 


He has completed numerous trial advocacy courses including the United States Secret Service’s In Court Prosecutor Training at the National Computer Forensic Institute in Hoover, Alabama, Combating Gun Violence at the National District Attorney’s Association National Advocacy Center in Columbia, South Carolina, and held the Arkansas Supreme Court’s Parent Counsel and Attorney Ad Litem certifications. In addition to these certifications, Riner won the 2017 Cooper-Anthony Child Advocacy Center’s “Super Hero Award.”


Over the course of his career, he has intensively prepared for and successfully tried numerous felony and misdemeanor jury trials. His broad range of trial experience has included homicides, violent crimes, property crimes, sex crimes, drug distribution, and domestic abuse. It is this trial experience that uniquely qualifies him to serve as Circuit Judge.


Riner is married to Candace Riner. They are members of First Baptist Church, Mena. The Riners serve together in various capacities at church and on several non-profit boards, including the Lea Memorial Law Enforcement Appreciation Organization, The Barnabas Partnership, and Created in His Image Ministries.

 

7-29-19 12:55 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Gillham Fire Department Kid's Day August 3rd

 

 

The 4th Annual Gillham Fire Department Kid's Day will be August 3rd from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. at the Gillham Volunteer Fire Deaprtment. In addition to life saving education demonstrations for kids and adults, there will be free goody bags and a meal provided by Tyson Foods.

 

For more information about this event, contact Gillham Fire Chief Marc Rosson at (870) 584-9434.

 

 

7-27-19 4:13 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

How to listen KAWX: Mena, Arkasnas area on 93.1 FM, Haftield and Cove, Arkansas area on 94.9 FM, anwhere in the world at KAWX.ORG, with a free KAWX app available at the App Store or Google Play, on any smart device with the TuneIn app, or on Amazon Echo! 

 

How to contact KAWX: Phone (479) 234-5428 or email communityradio@live.com.

 

For the accurate time, officail temperature, and area weather forecast, dial (479) 394-5600. 

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Gov. Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Honoring the Sacrifice of Arkansas's Finest

Honoring the Sacrifice of Arkansas’s Finest
 
 
LITTLE ROCK – Today I’d like to take a moment to remember Stone County Deputy Sheriff Mike Stephen, who was killed in the line of duty on July 18. Sergeant Stephen was responding to a report of domestic violence. He did his duty, went to the home, and when he arrived, a gun fired from inside the house killed him.
 
Public service was the center of Deputy Stephen’s life. He was a deputy sheriff and also chief of the Pineville Fire Department. Sergeant Stephen’s death is a reminder that every call or traffic stop is a risk for our public servants.
 
What can we do as a state to provide greater support to protect our police officers? That is the question.
 
As a state, we are looking diligently to identify areas where we can strengthen training and add resources. We want to do all that we can to see that our officers return home to their families.
 
One of our recent investments in law enforcement is the $1 million we allocated for the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training. We did this to improve our training facilities.
 
This year, I signed into law Act 660, which members of the 92nd General Assembly passed to provide enhanced 9-1-1 service throughout the state. The bill also provides for upgrades and maintenance of our Arkansas Wireless Information Network. Both of these systems are essential links of communication between first responders and their offices.
 
We have allocated money to finish construction of a driving track so that officers can improve their skills for driving in hazardous situations.
We have built a new headquarters for State Police in Northwest Arkansas, which will open this fall. We allocated money to open the state’s third crime lab, which shares the space with the new state police building. The crime lab staff is setting up equipment now.
 
As a show of support and honor for the families of those officers such as Sergeant Stephen who died in the line of duty, my administration raised the benefit from the Fallen Officers Fund from $500 to $5,000.
 
With my background as a U.S. attorney, as director of the Drug Enforcement Administration, and as a Homeland Security undersecretary, my respect for law-enforcement is great. I have seen first-hand the dangers that law-enforcement officers face every day.
 
To the statewide family of police officers who are mourning the death of Sergeant Stephen: The leaders of Arkansas support you. To Sergeant Stephen’s wife and children, to his parents and extended family: We share your sorrow. We are grateful for Mike Stephen’s devotion. We find comfort in knowing officers such as him put on the uniform every day.
 
 
7-27-19 9:18 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

Most students in Arkansas public schools head back to the classroom the second week of August. From recess to reading, there are several pieces of legislation passed in the most recent session which will impact the upcoming school year.

 

Below are some, but not all, of the acts taking effect this year.

 

Act 641 ensures that elementary schools provide 40 minutes of recess for students.

 

Act 190 states a school counselor shall spend at least ninety percent (90%) of his or her working time providing direct and indirect services to students.

 

Act 629 allows school districts to hire certified law enforcement officers as school resource officers. 

 

Act 1029 requires parents of the victim of bullying be notified as soon as reasonably practicable. It requires schools to write a report on the complaint within 5 school days. The bill also requires the school notify the guardian of the student who is determined to have been the perpetrator of the bullying.

 

Act 288 makes it a primary offense to use a handheld wireless device in a school zone.

 

Act 166 raises the maximum penalty for passing a stopped school bus from $500 to $2,000.

 

Act 530 makes it a Class A misdemeanor if a mandated reporter fails to notify law enforcement of a serious threat regarding violence in or targeted at a school.

Act 640 amends school discipline procedures, repealing mandatory expulsion from school for possession of weapons.

 

Act 428 makes it against the law for students to be shamed or stigmatized for not paying for lunch. It prohibits schools from providing a different meal or snack than other students or requiring the student to dispose of the meal.

 

Act 602 allows school districts to develop policies for distribution of excess food.

 

Act 83 enhances the Right to Read Act.  This bill would require public schools and open-enrollment public charter schools to include a literacy plan in their annual school level improvement plan.  The plan would have to include curriculum and professional development aligned with the literacy needs of that school and based on the Science of Reading initiative.

 

Act 466 allows high school students to earn credit for the required family finance course starting in ninth grade.

 

Act 245 requires that bleeding control training be taught as part of high school health courses.

 

We would also like to remind families that Act 757 of 2011 provides for a sales tax holiday in Arkansas during the first weekend of August each year to help families purchase clothing and supplies needed for school.  This year’s holiday will begin at 12:01am on Saturday, August 3 and end at 11:59pm on Sunday, August 4.

 

We’ve posted answers to frequently asked questions about the holiday on our website www.arkansashouse.org.

 

7-26-19 8:44 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column: Protecting Whistleblowers Leads to Accountability, Action

Protecting Whistleblowers Leads to Accountability, Action

 

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) whistleblowers recently exposed a nationwide problem to a Minneapolis-based reporter. These whistleblowers showed documentation from 2014 that detailed how the VA was wrongly charging disabled veterans home loan funding fees. The information provided to the reporter detailed a proposed solution to fix the problem, however, it was not implemented and veterans continued to pay a fee they were intended to be explicitly exempt from. This disclosure highlights the importance of men and women who expose wrongdoing within the federal government and calls attention to actions Congress can take to prevent such misconduct from happening in the future.

 

In June, the VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report that confirmed the details provided by the whistleblowers in the story regarding home loan funding fees. Congress exempts veterans who receive VA disability compensation from paying a funding fee to defray the cost of administering a VA home loan. Despite the exemption, the VA charged more than 70,000 disabled veterans over $286 million between 2012 and 2017. The OIG investigation discovered the Veterans Benefits Administration has known since 2014 that thousands of veterans may have been improperly charged these funding fees. The VA has yet to repay $189 million to more than 53,000 veterans.

 

Now Congress is taking action to ensure the veterans incorrectly charged are reimbursed and prevent other veterans from being wrongly charged this fee. In early July, Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and I introduced legislation to hold the VA accountable and end its practice of unlawfully charging a funding fee to disabled veterans. Our bill requires the VA to implement a process to reimburse veterans who weren’t required to pay in the first place and shield veterans from unfair penalties in the future. It also requires the VA to develop an automated process for generating a refund and report annually to Congress on the number of funding fee refunds it issues.

 

While media reports indicate payments to disabled veterans who were wrongly charged this fee will be processed by the end of September and veterans will receive notice in the mail of their forthcoming reimbursements, it is the responsibility of Congress to hold the VA accountable.

 

I am grateful for the whistleblowers who spoke up about this negligence. Their brave efforts to call attention to fraud, waste and abuse was recently recognized by the Senate in a unanimously-passed resolution marking July 30 as National Whistleblower Protection Day. As a member of the Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus, I am committed to promoting a culture that supports the brave individuals who are willing to speak out against wrongdoing and prevent retaliation against those who shine a light on misconduct.

 

Improving accountability, safeguarding taxpayer dollars and making our government better are objectives we should all aim to achieve. Whistleblowers help us do this, just as they did in the case of our veterans who were penalized despite the intent of Congress. We must recognize that oversight and accountability empower those in position to raise concerns and expose misconduct to do so free from fear of retribution or retaliation.

 

7-26-19 4:29 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Chamber Of Commerce Executive Director Ashley Smith Resigning

Mena / Polk Chamber of Commerce Executive Director  Ashley Smith has submitted her resignation effective August 7th. The chamber board of directors released the following statement today after a board meeting.

7-26-19 3:25 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

 

 

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State Senator Larry Teague's Weekly Column

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

July 26, 2019

 

LITTLE ROCK – A new law requiring stricter labeling of food products has placed Arkansas in the middle of an international dispute over truth in labeling.

 

Legislators approved Act 501 of 2019 to require truth in labeling of food products, and to prohibit labeling vegetable-based products as “bacon” or “burgers.”

 

The Senate voted 31-to-3 in favor of the act, and it went into effect on July 24. However, a national food manufacturer filed a lawsuit in federal court to have it stricken as a violation of free speech rights.

 

In the lawsuit, the company argued that it would have to pay a fine for selling its "plant-based jumbo hot dogs" and "smoked ham style plant-based deli slices" in Arkansas. In remarks to the media, its CEO accused Arkansas lawmakers of attempting to protect livestock growers, whose sales are declining because consumers want to buy healthier alternatives to beef, poultry and pork.

 

Another company spokesman told the press that terms like “plant-based meat” is truthful labeling, because consumers want to know that the products are made from plants.

 

Supporters of the law in Arkansas say that it eliminates confusion in labeling, and the company that filed the lawsuit claims that nobody is confused by terms such as “veggie dog” or “veggie burger,” and that the laws are an attempt to stifle competition and thwart the growing demand for plant-based products such as tofu burgers.

 

Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi and South Dakota have enacted similar truth in food labeling laws, several of which have been legally challenged by food companies that market plant-based products labeled as meat.

 

When the Arkansas law took effect, national and international news outlets ran news articles.

 

In Europe, elected officials on both sides of the political spectrum support a similar measure. An agricultural subcommittee of the European parliament has approved a food labeling bill, much like Act 501 in Arkansas, although it probably won’t take effect for another year or two.

 

The European sponsor, an elected official from France, said it was simply common sense to restrict meat labels to products that come from animals.

European courts ruled in 2017 that tofu, soya and other plant products cannot be marketed as cream or butter, and that products marketed as dairy must come from animals.

 

The penalties in Act 501 is $1,000 for each violation. The act is not limited to the labeling of meat substitutes, but rice. For example, it prohibits labels like “cauliflower rice” and specifically lists the species of the rice plant that can legally be packaged as rice.

 

Retirement Committee Meetings

 

The legislature’s Joint Committee on Public Retirement scheduled 11 meetings across Arkansas from September 5 to November 6 to inform state employees about the financial health of their pension systems, and explain proposed changes.

 

A series of changes in the Public Employees Retirement System failed to win approval from the committee earlier this year, when the legislature was in regular session. Committee meetings were packed with affected employees who had concerns about the impact of the changes.

 

APERS has assets of about $8 billion and about 75,000 retired and active members.

 

7-26-19 9:13 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

How to listen KAWX: Mena, Arkasnas area on 93.1 FM, Haftield and Cove, Arkansas area on 94.9 FM, anwhere in the world at KAWX.ORG, with a free KAWX app available at the App Store or Google Play, on any smart device with the TuneIn app, or on Amazon Echo! 

 

How to contact KAWX: Phone (479) 234-5428 or email communityradio@live.com.

 

For the accurate time, officail temperature, and area weather forecast, dial (479) 394-5600. 

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Polk County Circuit Court Arraignments July 19th, 23rd, 25th

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.Jeffrey D. Dollarhyde, W/M, age 30, Count I: Theft By Deception, a Class "C" Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Michelle Beaty, W/F, age 44, Count I: Forgery In The Second Degree, a Class "C" Felony. Count II: Forgery In The Second Degree, a Class "C" Felony. Count III: Forgery In The Second Degree, a Class "C" Felony. Count IV: Forgery In The Second Degree, a Class "C" Felony. Count V: Forgery In The Second Degree, a Class "C" Felony. Count VI: Forgery In The Second Degree, a Class "C" Felony. Count VII: Forgery In The Second Degree, a Class "C" Felony. Count VIII: Forgery In The Second Degree, a Class "C" Felony. County IX: Forgery In The Second Degree, a Class "C" Felony. Count X: Forgery In The Second Degree, a Class "C" Felony. County XI: Forgery In The Second Degree, a Class "C" Felony. Count XII: Forgery In The Second Degree, a Class "C" Felony. Count XIII: Forgery In The Second Degree, a Class "C" Felony. Count XIV: Forgery In The Second Degree, a Class "C" Felony. The State of Arkansas intends to pursue enhanced penalties due to the fact that she has been convicted of three (3) or more felonies. 

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Michael C. Martin, W/M, age 35, Count I: Delivery Of Methamphetamine Or Cocaine, a Class "C" Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Michael C. Martin, W/M, age 35, Count I: Delivery Of Methamphetamine Or Cocaine, a Class "C" Felony. The state of Arkansas intends to pursue enhanced penalties since it is alleged that the sales of methamphetamine were on the real property of a church or designated school bu stop, subjecting him to an additional consecutive sentence of ten (10 ) years.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Jerry Haynes, W/M, age 30, Count I: Residential Burglary, a Class "B" Felony. Count II: Theft Of Property, a Class "D" Felony. Count III: Possession Of Firearms By Certain Persons, a Class "D" Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Brennan D. McMillan, W/M, age 18, Count I: Probation Violation. The Original Offense was Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class "D" Felony. Bond was set at $10,000.00.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Malcom R. Wells, W/M, age 33, Count I: Violation Of Suspended Sentence. The original offense was Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class "D" Felony. 

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Ashley D. Chumley, W/F, age 38, Count I: Delivery Of Methamphetamine Or Cocaine, a Class "Y" Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Joseph T. Cunningham, W/M, age 34, 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 Firearms By Certain Persons, a Class "D" Felony. Count IV: Simultaneous Possession Of Drugs And Firearms, a Class "Y" Felony.

 

7-25-19 4:45 p.m. KAWX.ORG

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Polk County Sales and Road Improvement Tax Collections Down

Polk County Treasurer Tanya K. Fretz released the monthly Sales Tax and Road Improvement Tax Report for July 2019.

 
Both taxes are 1% on retail sales. The amounts reflect collections for the previous month, June 2019, and totaled $245,707.05.
 
In comparison, for the same period last year the two taxes generated $262,094.56, which was $16,387.51 more.
 
To date collections are $25,468.81 lower than for the same period in 2018.
 
7-25-19 10:52 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Weekly Fishing Report

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for July 24, 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. 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: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=lzk

 

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

 

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

 

7-24-19 5:15 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

How to listen KAWX: Mena, Arkasnas area on 93.1 FM, Haftield and Cove, Arkansas area on 94.9 FM, anwhere in the world at KAWX.ORG, with a free KAWX app available at the App Store or Google Play, on any smart device with the TuneIn app, or on Amazon Echo! 

 

How to contact KAWX: Phone (479) 234-5428 or email communityradio@live.com.

 

For the accurate time, officail temperature, and area weather forecast, dial (479) 394-5600. 

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Wickes Man Arrested On Drug Charges, PCSO Deputies Seized Drugs, Drug Paraphernalia, Firearms

PRES RELEASE 

 

Sheriff D. Scott Sawyer

Polk County Sheriff’s Office

 

On the morning of July 23, 2019, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and 18th Judicial West Drug Task Force executed a narcotics search warrant at a residence on Polk County Road 9 east of Wickes.

During the search of the residence, Deputies seized drugs, firearms, and drug paraphernalia.

Scott A. Moran, age 47, of Wickes, was arrested at the residence and transported to the Polk County Detention Center.  He was charged with three (3) counts of Delivery of Methamphetamines, Simultaneous Possession of Drugs and Firearms, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Possession of a Schedule XI (6) Controlled Substance.

The above charges are accusations.  All subjects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

 

7-24-19 1:44 p.m. KAWX.ORG

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Polk County Quorum Court July Meeting

The Polk County Quorum Court regular monthly meeting for July, 2019 will be Tuesday, July 23, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. The meeting will be 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 agenda is light with only routine business, reports, and one ordinance to appropriate to county accounts and make line item transfers.
 
7-23-19 8:45 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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June Lottery Ticket Sales Report

Polk County Treasurer Tanya K. Fretz has released the Arkansas Lottery Retail Sales by County report for the month of June, 2019.

 

Total sales in June for the state were $38,110,928.00

 

The highest sales were in Pulaski County at $7,081,804.50.

 

The lowest sales were in Montgomery County at $33,667.50.

 

In Polk County, June lottery ticket sales totaled $168,607.50.

 

According to the Family Council, only about nineteen cents of every dollar the lottery takes in goes to scholarships. 

 

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Polk County Sheriff's Report For July 15th - 21st

SHERIFF’S   LOG


The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of July 15 - July 21, 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.


July 15, 2019
Report from complainant on Polk 71 near Yocana of the attempted theft of a vehicle.  Suspects fled before deputy arrived.  Investigation continues.
Arrested by a trooper with the Arkansas State Police was Levi R. Cottman, 29, of Mena, on a Body Attachment Warrant.


July 16, 2019
Arrested by an officer with the Grannis Police Department was Rhonda F. Allen, 53, of Wickes, on a Charge of Theft by Receiving.
Arrested was Michelle R. Beaty, 44, of Hatfield, on Warrants for Probation Violation and Parole Revocation and a Body Attachment Warrant.


July 17, 2019
Report of a domestic disturbance on Polk 38 near Potter.  Deputy responded.
Arrested was Malcolm R. Wells, 33, of Mena, on a Warrant for Violation of Suspended Imposition of Sentence.


July 18, 2019
Report from complainant on Polk 227 near Cove of the theft of a travel trailer and several household items.  Investigation continues.
Report from complainant on Polk 67 near Big Fork of an unauthorized person on their property led to the arrest of Randall D. Burkett, Jr., 27, of Mena, on a Charge of Criminal Trespass.
Arrested was Brennan D. McMillan, 18, of Mena, on a Warrant for Probation Violation.


July 19, 2019
Report from complainant on West Dover Street in Hatfield of damage done to a car. Investigation continues.


July 20, 2019
Report of a domestic disturbance on Polk 76 East near Mena.  Deputy responded.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Attempted traffic stop on Highway 246 West in Hatfield.  Suspect fled from deputy.  Investigation continues.
Report from a Mena woman of a missing family member.  The individual was located.
Traffic stop on Highway 8 West near Shady Grove led to the arrest of Matthew R. Morrison, 29, of Mena, on a Charge of DWI.
Arrested was Lukas M. Holliday, 28, of Jonesboro, on a Warrant for Failure to Comply with a Court Order.
Arrested was Kenneth J. Chaney, 25, of Mena, on a Charge of Absconding.


July 21, 2019
Traffic stop on Polk 75 near Acorn.  Suspect fled from vehicle.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Arrested was Stephanie E. Thomas, 43, of Mena, on a Warrant for Harassing Communications.

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

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 18 Incarcerated Inmates , with 8 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

PC19-00500

 

7-22-19 4:39 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Portion of 1st Street in Mena Closed for Sewer Main Repairs

Mena Water Utilities will have a section of 1st Street in Mena closed from Hwy 71 to Eagle Gap Avenue for a few days to work on the sewer main starting Monday, July 22, 2019.

 

7-22-19 9:04 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Gov. Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Arkansas National Guard to the Rescue

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 – Today I’d like to highlight the work of the Arkansas Army National Guard’s Aviation Team.
 
As governor, I have the responsibility of also being commander in chief of the Arkansas National Guard. When I approve a mission, I am expressing my confidence in the leadership of General Mark Berry, my Adjutant General, and his 10,000 soldiers and airmen. I know the Guard will do its utmost to make the mission a success. That was the case in late spring when the Aviation Team assisted in three rescue missions in a two-week period that put their training, skills, and stamina to the test.
 
The team members were among many National Guardsmen who participated in various missions during the Flood of 2019. The Aviation Team flew more than 100 hours of missions, which included hay drops, sandbag drops, and reconnaissance.
 
The first mission started about 10 a.m. on May 26 as the Arkansas River was rising rapidly. Lieutenant Colonel Eric Ladd received word that two members of the Army Corps of Engineers were stranded on a building at Lock 13 at Trimble Lock and Dam near Fort Smith.
 
The current was battering the building with logs and other debris. Officials weren’t certain the building could withstand the pounding.
 
The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management contacted me for authority to start the rescue. Lieutenant Colonel Ladd alerted Chief Warrant Officer 4 Cole Brewer, Sergeant Johnathan Watson, and Sergeant Anthony Sellew. They met at Camp Robinson and were at Lock 13 by 11:30 a.m.
The rescue went smoothly using the UH-72 Lakota helicopter equipped with a rescue hoist. Twice, Sergeant Watson, with the expertise of hoist operator Sergeant Sellew, rode the cable the 120 feet down to the roof and rode up with each of the Corps employees. The entire rescue took 12 minutes.
 
The second rescue, occurring in the early morning hours on June 3, was the most challenging. A sight-seeing helicopter had crashed on Mulberry Mountain in Franklin County. The crew consisted of Chief Warrant Officer 2 Spencer Robinson, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Chris Converse, Sergeant Watson, Sergeant Smith, and Sergeant Sellew. The crew fought fog, wind, and dense foliage as the UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter hovered over the site of the crash. Sergeant Smith attempted to go down the cable with the rescue basket, but the rotor wash created by the chopper’s blades spun him so wildly that hoist operator Sergeant Watson pulled him back up to the helicopter out of concern for Sergeant Watson’s safety. Sergeant Watson then dropped the rescue basket to the ground by cable.
 
One of the rescuers on the ground was National Guardsman Micah Piker, who had responded to the accident in his civilian job as a Franklin County EMT. But he transitioned into his National Guard role when it became apparent they would have to rescue one of the tourists with the helicopter’s hoist, and the crew needed his help on the ground.
 
He strapped the man into the basket and then lay atop the man so that he could pin his arms and prevent further injury from the trees he had to go through. The rescue saved the man’s life; the pilot and two other passengers perished in the crash.
 
The final mission was a search for a hiker from Texas who was lost for several days in the Ouachita Mountains near Mena. The man had texted his mother on June 1 that he was lost. The National Guard crew flew out on June 7. Within 30 minutes of starting the search over the mountains, the UH-72 crew consisting of Chief Warrant Officer 2 Richard Rogers, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Matthew McMullen, and Captain Winston Cox had picked up a flashing light. The crew shared its location with the ground crews. An hour later, the searchers on the ground had found the hiker, who was dehydrated and suffered minor injuries.
 
The helicopter crews’ training, skill, and courage ensured success with every mission. That’s how things usually go with the Arkansas National Guard. We are fortunate to have General Berry and the soldiers and airmen who work for him.
 
7-20-19 8:54 a. m. KAWX.ORG 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

Arkansas is approaching the centennial of a historic vote in the House chamber.  On July 28, 1919, then Governor Charles Brough called a special session for the purpose of ratifying the Nineteenth Amendment.

 

The House Journal records a letter Brough sent to our chamber 100 years ago.

 

In it he states, “Eleven states have already ratified and, should your Honorable Body ratify, nation-wide Women’s Suffrage will have passed the first milestone, as one-fourth of the States will have then conferred full suffrage upon our splendid womanhood.”

 

The letter goes on to read, “I feel that the ratification of the Susan B. Anthony Amendment is of paramount national importance to the people of our country, and is a proper recognition of the patriotic activities and useful devotion to the cause of liberty and democracy of our womanhood”

 

The vote passed 74–15 in the House. The vote in the Senate was 29-2, making Arkansas the twelfth state to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment.

 

According to newspaper reports at the time, women filled the Arkansas Capitol carrying yellow banners reading, “Votes for Women.”

 

Arkansas was the second state in the South to ratify the 19th amendment. Texas was the first when it ratified on June 23, 1919.

 

Demands for suffrage had been made in Arkansas dating back to the Constitutional Convention of 1868.

 

That attempt and many others to allow women to vote failed in the Arkansas legislature over the course of the next 49 years.

 

Then in February 1917, Rep. John Riggs introduced legislation to allow women to vote in Arkansas primaries.

 

Despite testimony on the House floor “That nothing would be gained by giving women access to the ballot”, the House voted 71-19 in favor of the measure. The bill later passed the Senate with a vote 17-15. Arkansas was the first state in the South to allow women in vote in primary elections.

 

Governor Hutchinson created the Arkansas Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemoration Committee to lead the state’s remembrance of women receiving the right to vote. You can check out the committee’s work on history and upcoming celebrations at www.arkansasheritage.com.

 

7-19-19 11:43 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column

U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement Will Help Arkansas’s Economy Grow

 

Fair trade agreements have become increasingly important to Arkansas’s economy over the last half-century. The world is more connected than ever. Access to global markets is necessary, not just for the large corporations that call Arkansas home, but also for small and medium-sized businesses looking to expand their operations and footprints.

 

With a level playing field, Arkansas’s agriculture, manufacturing and small businesses can compete with anyone around the globe. The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is the type of mutually beneficial trade agreement we need to pursue to help Arkansas’s economy grow. 

 

According to the Arkansas World Trade Center, Natural State goods and services are exported to 181 countries, but Canada and Mexico combined for over one-third of our exports in 2017. Our exports to these two countries added $2.1 billion to Arkansas’s economy that same year.

 

Nearly 69,000 jobs in the state are dependent on trade with Canada and another 41,000 jobs are tied to trade with Mexico. They are the workers in the paper mills in south Arkansas. The employees of the steel mills in northeast Arkansas. The family farmers producing rice in the Delta. The line workers at the poultry processing plants in northwest Arkansas. These Arkansans, and many more, work in the industries that produce our top exports to Mexico and Canada.

 

For them, and countless others, the announcement that a trade agreement has been reached with Canada and Mexico was very welcome and promising news. Arkansas farmers, business leaders and workers understand how vital it is to have free—but also fair—trade, particularly with our neighbors to the north and south. It helps create the sense of certainty that has been sorely missing for our manufacturers, small businesses and agriculture industry.

 

Arkansas has a diverse economy ranging from aerospace and defense to steel production to the world’s largest retailer, but agriculture is by far our largest industry. It adds around $16 billion to our economy every year and accounts for approximately one in every six jobs.

For our agricultural community, it is particularly critical that we push this agreement across the finish line. Our farmers face a very tenuous situation right now.

 

Commodity prices are well below the cost of production. Farm incomes in 2018 dropped sharply again for the fifth consecutive year. Total farm debt has risen to levels not seen since the early 1980s. A rainy fall and spring have hampered planting season in Arkansas while producing one of the worst floods in our state’s history.

 

In my discussions with farmers on how we can help, the same mantra is often repeated—they prefer trade over aid. While they appreciate the president’s efforts to ease the pain during these trade standoffs, what they really need are more markets in which to sell their products. They understand that increased trade is the way to create a better long-term outlook for their operations. 

 

Our neighbors to the north and south are our natural allies and trading partners. The president and his team worked hard to get Canada and Mexico to the negotiating table to formalize a more mutually beneficial agreement. That hard work has paid off in the form of the USMCA. Now, Congress has a responsibility to see it through to the end.

 

7-19-19 11:38 a.m. KAWX.ORG

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Senator Larry Teague's Weekly Column

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

July 19, 2019 

 

LITTLE ROCK – Many of the bills approved by lawmakers earlier this year become effective on July 24, which is the 91st day after the legislature adjourned.

 

For example, Act 738, which strengthens traffic laws restricting the use of cell phones while driving, will be in place on July 24. The definition of texting has been expanded to include instant messaging and electronic data retrieval.

 

Act 738 prohibits drivers under the age of 18 from using a cell phone, or a hands-free device. Drivers who are 18, 19 and 20 may use a hands-free device while driving.

 

Drivers of all ages are prohibited from using a cell phone while in construction zones with workers present, or in school zones during school hours when students are present.

 

Fines for a first offense range from $25 to $250, and from $50 to $500 for a second offense. If the driver is in an accident or collision, the fines shall be doubled.

 

Also taking effect on July 24 is Act 650. It allows bicycle riders to slow down for stop signs and proceed through red lights, after stopping. In both instances the bicycles must yield to oncoming traffic and proceed cautiously.

 

Bills that had an emergency clause took effect immediately when the governor signed them.

 

For example, Act 423 clarifies when farmers may apply powerful herbicides such as dicamba. It had an emergency clause that made it take effect on March 11, when it was signed, to prevent egregious violations during the spring growing season.

 

A few bills have a specific date written into them, indicating when they are to go into effect.

 

For example, Act 784 raises the speed limit to 75 miles an hour on four-lane, controlled access highways, but not until July 1, 2020. The controlled access highways must be divided by a median strip and in rural areas.

 

The speed limit will be 70 miles per hour for commercial vehicles, which are defined as those weighing more than 26,000 pounds that carry passengers or property.

 

The Highway Commission may lower the limits if it completes an engineering and traffic safety investigation.

 

The effective date of new laws is set by Amendment 7 to the state Constitution, which gives citizens 90 days to file petitions seeking to overturn or amend any acts passed by the legislature.

 

In most cases bills without an emergency clause take effect on July 24. However, appropriations that authorize spending by state agencies took effect on July 1. That was the first day of state Fiscal Year 2020.

 

Three new symbolic designations will take effect on July 24. Act 510 designates the Bowie knife as the official state knife; Act 685 designates the shotgun as the official state firearm and Act 576 designates the alligator gar as the official state primitive fish, which is not to be confused with a game fish.

 

A total of 1,670 bills were filed in the Senate and House, and 1,092 became laws. The legislature convened on January 14, the second Monday of the year, and adjourned on April 24. The final day of regular business was actually on April 10.

 

During the two-week recess between April 10 and April 24 staff checked bills for typographical errors.

 

7-19-19 11:20 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Gov. Hutchinson Orders Flags To Half Staff For Deputy Mike Stephen

Governor Asa Hutchinson issued the following statement on the death of Stone County Sheriffs Deputy Mike Stephen, who was killed in the line of duty Thursday morning:

 

It was heartbreaking to hear that Stone County Sheriffs Deputy Mike Stephen was killed in the line of duty today. Deputy Stephens death is a somber reminder that our law-enforcement officers risk their lives every day to protect ours. I am grateful for the men and women who willingly put their safety on the line every time they put on the uniform. My heart goes out to his wife and son, and to his fellow officers and friends in their grief at the tragic loss of Mike Stephen.

 

Governor Hutchinson ordered the state flag of Arkansas to fly at half-staff in honor of Deputy Stephen. The flag is to be flown at half-staff immediately through the day of interment.

 

 

7-18-19 6:03 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Weekend Activities At Queen Wilhelmina State Park Near Mena

Friday, July 19

 

Finding the Uniqueness starting at 2:00 pm and lasting about 45 minutes. Meet at the 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.

 

Arkansas Furs starting at 4:00 pm and lasting about 30 minutes. Meet in the Hearth Room. What animals do we have here at Queen Wilhelmina State Park? Join Park Interpreter Melissa and she will talk about the animals that we have here in the park, and you will get to feel their furs.

 

Nature Art starting at 5:30 pm and lasting about 30 minutes. Meet at the Amphitheater. Who needs pencils, paint, or paper to create art? Join Park Interpreter Melissa as we create art with our natural resources.

 

Sunset Hike starting at 8:00 pm and lasting about 45 minutes. Meet beside the telescopes. Join Park Interpreter Melissa, for an easy stroll to watch the sunset. Feel free to bring your camera to take photos of this beautiful view.

 

Saturday, June 20

 

Tree ID Hike starting at 2:00 pm and lasting 45 minutes. Meet at the north side of Lovers’ Leap Trail. Join Park Interpreter Melissa as we take a stroll on the Lovers’ Leap Trail and identify the trees along the way.

 

Champion Trees starting at 4:00 pm and lasting 30 minues. Meet in the Hearth Room. Do you ever wonder what the largest tree of its species are called? Join Park Interpreter Melissa and she will talk about the Champion Trees in Arkansas and where their located.

 

Wonder House Tour starting at 5:00 pm and lasting about 30 minues. 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.

 

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

 

Sunday, June 21

 

Wonder House Tour starting at 10:00 am and lasting about 30 minugtes. 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.

 

Reservoir Hike starting at  2:00 pm  and 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.

 

Frisbee Golf 4:00 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!

 

7-18-19 2:35 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

 

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Flags To Be Flown At Half Staff For Justice Stevens

Fly the United States Flag at Half-Staff Immediately Through the Day of His Internment

 

(The end date for the half-staff time-frame has not been established. We will send an email when the date has been determined. )

 

 

As a mark of respect for the memory and longstanding service of John Paul Stevens, retired Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, I hereby order, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, that on the day of his interment, 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 on such day. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same period 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 seventeenth day of July, in the year of our Lord two thousand nineteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fourth.

 

DONALD J. TRUMP

 

7-17-19 6:08 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

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Weekly Fishing Report

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for July 17, 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: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=lzk

 

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

 

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

 

7-17-19 5:06 p.m. KAWX.ORG

 

Listen to KAWX in the Mena, Arkansas area on 93.1 FM, in the Hatfiled and Cove, Arkansas area on 94.9 FM. Listen anywhere at KAWX.ORG or with a free KAWX app available in the App Store or Google Play. You can also listen on any smart device with the TuneIn app, or on Amazon Echo!

 

To listen now on your PC, click on the radio below.

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Polk County Circuit Court Arraignments July 12th, 15th, 16th

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. Ian M. Murphy, W/M, age 23, Count I: Probation Violation. (Original offense: Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia Meth or Cocaine, Theft by receiving (Credit/Debit Card), Fraudulent Use of Credit Card.) Bond was set at $5,000.00.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Jeremy Ray Carter, W/M, age 35, Count I: Delivery Of Methamphetamine Or Cocaine, a Class "B" Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Jaylon Reese Parnell, W/M, age 21, Count I: Aggravated Assault On A Family Member Or Household Member, a Class "D" Felony. Count II: Domestic Battery In The third Degree, a Class "A" Misdemeanor. The State of Arkansas intends to pursue enhanced penalties due to the fact that he/she has been convicted of four (4) or more felonies. 

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Jayson Reese Parnell, W/M, age 21, Count I: Violation of Suspended Sentence, a Class "C" Felony. Bond was set at $10,000.00.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Tiana V.M. Thomas, W/F, age 31, Count I: Possession Of A  Schedule II Controlled Substance, a Class "D" Felony. Count II: Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class D"D Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Thomas J. Shaver, W/M, age 33, Count I: Aggravated Assault Upon A Certified Law Enforcement Officer, a Class "D" Felony. Count II: Resisting Arrest, a Class "A" Misdemeanor.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Brandon L. Everett, W/M, age 28, Count I: Residential Burglary, a Class "B" Felony.

 

7-17-19 11:25 a.m. KAWX.ORG

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CORPS WARNS RESIDENTS ABOUT RELEASES FROM DIERKS DAM

Little Rock, Ark.  - Recent heavy rains produced from the remnants of Hurricane Barry is filling the flood pool at Dierks Lake requiring the Army Corps of Engineers to begin releases from the lake between 10 p.m. and midnight, July 16.


The reservoir received more than 9 inches of rain in a nine hour period.  The flood pool is rising about 2 feet per hour.  Possible ungated spillway releases may be necessary.


Residents downstream of Dierks Dam should be aware of rapidly rising river levels and take necessary precautions.


Please pay close attention to announcements from local emergency officials and the National Weather Service.


Recreation information can be found on the Internet at www.swl.usace.army.mil, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/littlerockusace, and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/usacelittlerock.   

 

7-16-19 4:47 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Polk County Sheriff's Report For July 8th - 14th

SHERIFF’S   LOG


The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of July 8 - July 14, 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.


July 8, 2019
Report of a disturbance on Polk 41 South near Potter. Deputies responded.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Discovery of a suspicious vehicle on Polk 31 near Hatfield. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.


July 9, 2019
Report from a Hatfield woman of the theft and fraudulent use of checks, totaling losses at $4,835.88 thus far. Investigation continues.
Report from complainant on Highway 375 East near Mena of missing tools and equipment from a storage space. Investigation continues.
Report from complainant on Polk 691 near Nunley of the theft of a propane tank, valued at $500.00. The tank was later located.
Report from complainant on Polk 191 near Yocana of an individual that kicked their dog. Deputy responded.


July 10, 2019
Report from complainant on Highway 375 West near Potter of vandalism done to a vehicle, totaling losses at $10.00. Investigation continues.


July 11, 2019
Report from a Hot Springs woman of problems regarding child custody exchange regarding a child in Polk County.


July 12, 2019
Request for a welfare check on Polk 74 near Mena. Deputy responded.
Report of a domestic disturbance on Highway 88 East near Cherry Hill led to the arrest of Cecil D. Cole, III, 26, of Mena, on a Charge of Disorderly Conduct.
Arrested was Jaylon R. Parnell, 21, of Hatfield, on Warrants for Aggravated Assault and Violation of Suspended Imposition of Sentence.
Arrested by a trooper with the Arkansas State Police was Edwin A. Huber, 59, of Mena, on a Saline County Warrant.
Arrested was Thomas J. Shaver, 33, of Hatfield, on a Warrant for Aggravated Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer.


July 13, 2019
Suspicious vehicles on Highway 8 West near Rocky led to the arrests of Wesley J. Weeks, 29, and Brenda M. N. Powell, 28, both of Mena, each on a Charge of DWI.
Arrested by a trooper with the Arkansas State Police was Cody W. West, 31, of Texarkana, for Violation of Concealed Weapon Act. 
Arrested was Floyd T. Frederick, 45, of Hatfield, on two Warrants for Failure to Comply with a Court Order.
Arrested was Jonah M. Sarabia, 32, of Mena, on a Warrant for Failure to Comply with a Court Order.


July 14, 2019
Report of a structure fire at an abandoned residence on Tilley Road near Hatfield. Investigation continues into the origin of the fire.
Arrested by an officer with the Grannis Police Department was Norman H. Crump, 51, of Grannis, on Charges of Domestic Battery 3rd Degree and Disorderly Conduct.

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

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 20 Incarcerated Inmates, with 9 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

PC19-00490

 

7-16-19 11:28 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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OBEY THE SIGN OR PAY THE FINE

 “OBEY THE SIGN OR PAY THE FINE”: ADDED LAW ENFORCEMENT PRESENCE AND ASSIGNMENTS AIMED AT STOPPING SPEEDERS

 

 

JULY 15, 2019

 

  (LITTLE ROCK) – Arkansas law enforcement officers will be working overtime shifts and regular patrols committed to the assignment of making state highways and streets safer by stopping drivers who don’t obey the speed limit.  The special enforcement operation will begin today (Monday, July 15th) and continue through Sunday, July 21st.

 

  “Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine” is a coordinated effort aimed at stopping drivers who exceed the posted speed limit along streets and highways they’re traveling.  The intensified enforcement effort underscores the severity of the problem, both locally and across the nation.

 

  “Speeding translates into injury and death on our roadways,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.  “It greatly reduces a driver’s ability to steer safely around another vehicle, a hazardous object on the roadway or an unexpected change in the highway, such as a sharp curve.”

 

  During calendar year 2017, speeding was a contributing factor in 26 percent of all fatal crashes in the U.S., accounting for more than 9,700 deaths.

  “Speeding drivers put themselves, their passengers and other drivers at tremendous risk,” Colonel Bryant stated, “and the Arkansas State Police is prepared to dedicate whatever resources necessary to stop speeders and make the highways safer.”

 

  According to records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a motor vehicle crash on a road with a speed limit of 65 miles per hour or greater, is more than twice as likely to result in a fatality than a crash on a road with a speed limit of 45 or 50 MPH and nearly five times as likely from a crash on a road with a speed limit of 40 mph or below.  Each year across the nation approximately 15 percent of the speeding-related fatalities occur on interstate highways.

 

  Driver and passenger safety is also compromised when a vehicle is traveling at the speed limit but too fast for road conditions, such as during inclement weather, along sections of roads that are being repaired or during evening hours when a road may not be adequately illuminated.

 

  NHTSA officials consider a motor vehicle crash to be speed related when a driver is charged with exceeding the posted speed limit or driving too fast for conditions.

 

  For more information on the “Obey the Sign, or Pay the Fine” mobilization, please visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136. For more on Arkansas’ ongoing Toward Zero Deaths campaign to eliminate preventable traffic fatalities, visit www.TZDarkansas.org.

 

7-15-19 8:30 p.m. KAWX.ORG

 

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Mena Police Report for July 7th - 13th

 

 

Mena Police Department Reports for the Week of July 7th thru July 13th 

 

July 7, 2019

 

Teresa Ellen Evans, 34, of Cove was charged with endangering the welfare of a minor. The arrest followed a call for a welfare check at a local motel.

 

A local couple reported being harassed and threatened by an acquaintance. Case pending.

 

A 15-year-old Mena youth was charged with criminal mischief for breaking a window in a local building. Case was referred to juvenile authorities and he was released to his guardian.

 

July 8, 2019

 

Nancy E. Spencer, 50, of Mena was charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. In the same incident, Phineas K. Whittenburg, 51, also of Mena, was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

Donovan Thomas Hunt, 27, of Mena was served an outstanding warrant.

 

Marc Williamson, 29, of Mena was served an outstanding warrant. He was also charged with possession of a firearm by certain persons.

 

July 9, 2019

 

A local man reported that while he was out, someone stole his lawn mower from his property. Case is pending.

 

Mark Romero, 29, of Mena was charged with possession of methamphetamine or cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a schedule VI controlled substance. The arrest followed a traffic stop.

 

Caleb John Chiquica, 36, of Mena was charged with possession of a controlled substance.

 

A local man reported that an acquaintance had broken a window from his vehicle. Case is pending.

 

July 10 & 11, 2019

 

Julia Elizabeth Cureton,43, of Mena was charged with disorderly conduct, public intoxication, and fleeing.

 

July 12 & 13, 2019

 

Jacob C. White, 34, of Mena was charged with driving on a suspended license and having no liability insurance.

 

Tiara Thomas, 31, of Mena, was charged with possession of methamphetamine and two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

Mykos D. Pierce, 19, of Mena was served two outstanding warrants.

 

Gerald T. Davis, 41, of Mena was served an outstanding warrant from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

 

William Sullivan,48, of Cabot, was served an outstanding warrant from Polk County.

 

Jennifer Tyler, 44, of Mena was charged with theft after a call to a local retail store.

 

Two Mena youths, ages 15 & 16, were charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, curfew violation, having no driver’s license, no tags, and no insurance. They were referred to juvenile authorities.

 

Jeremy Carter, 35, of Mena, was served an outstanding warrant from Polk County.

 

7-15-19 11:10 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Mena City Council Meeting, Committee Meetings

Two Mena City Council Committees will meet on Monday, July 15, 2019 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) at City Hall on Mena Street.

 
The Finance Committee will meet to consider interest quotes received for CD investments and distribution of interest funds collected to date.
 
The Parks Committee will meet to review a lease agreement with with UARM for use of McMillan Park.
 
The fully City Council meets Tuesday, July 16, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall.
 
On the agenda is routine business as well as Department Head Reports, Committee Reports, a resolution authorizing the Mayor to execute a grant from the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program for electrical and plumbing upgrades at the Mena Depot, consideration of a resolution authorizing the Mayor to execute a lease agreement with UARM for use of McMillan Park, discussion of CD rates and use of interest received, consideration of quotes for a portable building to be used for restrooms at the Mena Animal Control Shelter, consideration of quotes for remodeling two restrooms at Mena Fire Station No. 1, and consideration of purchasing leak detection equipment for Mena Water Utilities and review quotes.
 
7-14-19 5:25 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Pine Crest Cemetery Meeting Monday, July 15th

The Board of Directors of Pine Crest Gardens, Inc., dba Pine Crest Cemetery, will meet Monday, July 15, 2019 for their regular monthly meeting. The meeting will be at the Cemetery on Bethesda Road in Mena and is open to the public.

 

For additional information, dial (479) 234-5428 or email pinecrestmena@gmail.com.

 

7-15-19 4:57 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

 

The number of Arkansas children in foster care has fallen by more than 700 since reaching an all-time high in 2016.  That information was part of an annual report presented a legislative committee this week.

 

On Tuesday, the Department of Human Services Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS) presented its annual Family Preservation Report to the Aging, Children and Youth, Legislative and Military Affairs Committee. 

 

The report outlines progress made and areas for improvement when it comes to the most vulnerable children in our state.

 

We learned from the report that the number of children in foster care declined by more than 10% during 2018. That is a decrease of 507 children.

 

Additional funding for DHS approved by the legislature in recent years has helped to increase the number of caseworkers and decrease the average worker caseload. As a result we are seeing children placed in permanent homes sooner and fewer children re-entering the foster care system.

 

Adoptions were finalized for 969 children in 2018, similar to the previous year and a 16% increase since 2016.

 

When it comes to areas for improvement, the report notes that the agency struggled to place children close to the homes from which they were removed. A total of 69% resided in either their home county or a neighboring county at the end of 2018, similar to previous years.

 

Children who are removed from their parents or guardian do better when placed with family members or people they know. Grandparents, aunts, and uncles are often willing to help and make the child feel safe and loved. The percentage of children in care residing with relatives was 27–29% over the past three years. While this is well above the relative placement rate from years ago it is still below the aspiring goal of 33%.

 

7-12-19   6:10 p.m.   KAWX.ORG

 

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Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Efficient Spending, Intentional Saving

 
 
LITTLE ROCK – Today I want to share the good news that we ended the 2019 budget year with a $295 million surplus. That means more people are working, we are controlling spending, and intentionally saving.
 
A budget surplus doesn’t happen by accident. Just like in your family budget, if you’re going to save, saving has to be intentional. You don’t spend more than you make.
 
We achieve that through efficient spending. Efficient spending requires a careful examination of every agency budget. We don’t cut budgets just so we can say we have saved money. We reduce where it makes sense.
 
Sometimes this means we invest more money in some programs even as we trim others.
 
When we succeed at this, we have the benefit of putting money into our long-term savings account, which we did again this year. Every month, we transfer money into our savings account. As you can see, our savings is intentional.
 
The question I often get asked is, “well now that you have this surplus, what’s going to happen to it?” The answer is that 25% of the surplus, or $73 million, was transferred to the Highway Transfer Fund to be available for highway needs. The remaining balance was distributed to two reserve funds: almost $50 million in one fund that can be used in an emergency, and the remaining $173 million cannot be touched until the General Assembly meets again.
 
As a result, our long-term reserve fund, or savings account, now has a balance of $150 million. That allows us to meet the needs when we have unexpected events, such as the Flood of 2019.
 
The evidence that we are spending efficiently is that the extra money was available to put into savings and to put into public safety even as we have cut the personal income tax rate. Our prudent spending allowed us to increase the minimum pay for starting teachers over the next four years.
 
We haven’t reduced support for essential services, and we have increased spending where that support is essential.
 
That’s part of my plan to reorganize and transform Arkansas government. Under my plan, which cut 42 executive-level agencies to 15, we are more efficient, more responsive, and more customer friendly. We are leaner and stronger.
 
Arkansans are seeing a good return on their investment of hard work, as we work to allow Arkansans to keep more of their paycheck in their own bank account.
 
It’s about growing our economy. Today we have more people working and paying taxes than we did five years ago and, in fact, more than any time in history.
 
We also achieve these levels by attracting new industry and creating new jobs. We have created more than 90,000 jobs over the past five years. Wages are increasing as well.
 
Arkansas is doing well, and we are well prepared for the inevitable down times. I am grateful for the leaders in our state who have joined me in the responsible management of state resources.
 
7-12-19 6:03 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column: Connecting with Arkansans

 

Connecting with Arkansans

 

Technology has changed the way we communicate. The improvements provide us all more efficient ways to reach our loved ones, stay informed and meet new people. For me, it’s made staying connected to Arkansans while at work in Washington a lot easier. During the school year I’m able to talk with students via Skype from my office in Washington, D.C. Similarly, it allows me to talk with thousands of Arkansans across the state in interactive telephone town halls.

 

The Congressional Management Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works to enhance the effectiveness of congressional offices, calls telephone town hall meetings “one of the most significant technological advances in Congress in the past two decades.” I’ve hosted a number of these events because they are a great way to engage with Arkansans about issues facing our state and nation. These allow me to speak with more people in a variety of locations and give me the opportunity to hear about the topics on the minds of the individuals and families I represent.

 

I hosted my most recent telephone town hall in early July. We had a great discussion on a variety of topics in the news including legislation I recently introduced to ensure children have access to nutritious meals when school is out. The Hunger-Free Summer for Kids Act will update federal child nutrition programs to make them more efficient and flexible so communities have more options to reach children in need of food assistance. Earlier this month I visited a meal site in Springdale to see firsthand how important this program is to the community and how these reforms will help support the needs of more children.   

 

Another topic on the minds of participants was the humanitarian and security crisis on the southern border. A record number of migrants have overwhelmed border facilities. The dramatic spike in the number of unaccompanied minors is creating a humanitarian crisis and we have a responsibility to care for them while their claims are adjudicated. That’s why Congress recently approved emergency funding to improve the housing standards and provide the basic necessities to protect these vulnerable children.

 

Several callers had specific questions about veterans benefits. My staff is here to help Arkansans who have questions or are experiencing problems with their Department of Veterans Affairs benefits and any issues involving federal agencies. While I cannot override the decisions made by a federal agency, I can often intervene to cut through the red tape, get answers and try to help resolve the issue.

 

I was pleased to hear that several individuals on the call have reached out to my office for assistance. We’re here to help. My goal is to make sure each Arkansan having trouble with a federal agency or a concern about policy a priority.

 

I appreciate citizens across the state who listened and asked questions during this latest telephone town hall. If you would like to participate in the next event, visit my website www.boozman.senate.gov

and sign-up to join. I look forward to talking with you soon.

 

7-12-19 2:54 p.m. KAWX.ORG

 

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State Senator Larry Teague's Weekly Column

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague
 
July 12, 2019
 
LITTLE ROCK – The state Human Services Department is reviewing every case this year in which people have been denied assisted living or home care services in the Living Choices and ARChoices programs.
 
Until January of this year, DHS staff used to determine whether people were eligible. The criteria include their medical condition, for example, whether or not they have a disability or dementia. Also, their financial income is a factor.
 
One of the most important criteria is their “functionality,” which means how well they can get around, clean themselves, prepare meals and go to the bathroom by themselves.
 
People who are elderly and frail qualify, as do people 21 and over who have a physical disability.
 
In January, DHS began using a new assessment tool to determine eligibility. The assessments are also used to set levels of care. Under federal regulations, eligibility for home care and assisted living is determined by an independent agency, not by the beneficiary’s physician or health care provider.
 
DHS has a contract with a private company called Optum Healthcare Solutions, Inc. to conduct the assessments.
 
Since January, DHS officials and legislators have been receiving complaints from people who have been denied services from Living Choices and ARChoices. Of the people who have been assessed this year, 44 percent of those in assisted living were denied and 31 percent who received some type of help from ARChoices have been denied.
 
DHS is working with Optum, and is reviewing 551 denials in the ARChoices program and 225 denials in the Living Choices program. A deputy director from DHS told lawmakers that the reviews should be complete by the end of July.
 
People who have been denied already and have filed an appeal have the option of continuing with their appeal or choosing a new assessment.
 
According to testimony at the legislative committee, people who have been in assisted living facilities for several years have been denied renewal. That is frightening to the ones who no longer have a home or resources to find a place to live. That’s why DHS is making it a priority to review their cases.
 
At a joint meeting of Senate and House Committees, several legislators expressed their frustration with the denials and with Optum, in strong terms. One frustration is that it takes too long to get an assessment, because of a lack of personnel. According to the DHS official, Optum has replaced some of its staff since the complaints have become more numerous.
 
Other lawmakers reminded their colleagues on the committee that it was the legislature that directed DHS to find cost savings in Medicaid and health programs.
 
One legislator said that it would be good if the state “grandfathered in” everyone who already is in assisted living, but a DHS official said that federal law requires regular reassessments to determine eligibility.
 
When the state’s contract with Optum is due to be renewed, it’s expected that the controversy over assessments will come up again.
 
Living Choices serves about 1,000 people in 59 assisted living facilities across Arkansas, and ARChoices about 8,800 people.
 
7-12-19 8:42 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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21st Annual Butterfly Count, Other Weekend Activities At Queen Wilhelmina State Park

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

 

Friday, July 12

 

Arkansas Furs 9:00 am lasting about 30 minutes. Meet in the Hearth Room. What animals do we have here at Queen Wilhelmina State Park? Join Park Interpreter Melissa and she will talk about the animals that we have here in the park and you will get to feel their furs.

 

Home Sweet Home 10:00 am lasting about 1 hour. Meet at the Lovers’ Leap Trailhead. Meet Park Interpreter Melissa for a hike through our neighbors’ homes. Learn of all the different animals and their habitats as we hike at Queen Wilhelmina. We will start on the north side of the Lovers’ Leap trail.

 

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.

 

Butterflies 4:00 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.

 

Saturday, July 13

 

21st Annual Butterfly Count 8:00am- 2pm lasting about 6 hours. Meet at the Wonder House. Right about peak butterfly season, Queen Wilhelmina State Park holds a butterfly count. If you would like to participate in the annual butterfly count, here is your chance. Each summer, people of all ages and walks of life join the count to create an annual snapshot of the distribution and abundance of butterflies. The results of the count are published in “Butterfly World” which is a journal enjoyed by butterfly lovers around the globe. All ages and levels of expertise are welcome. We will spend the entire day hiking and counting butterflies. Your participation can make a difference. Feel free to bring a sack lunch, sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. If you want your name published in the North America Butterfly Association Book, there will be a $3 fee. 

 

Sunday, July 14

 

Bird Watching 8:00 am lasting about 1 hour. Meet at the north side of Lovers Leap. Whether you’re a beginner or pro at birding, join park interpreter Melissa as we hike to the observation deck. We will be watching for birds along the way. Bring your binoculars and we will see how many birds we can identify.

 

Wonder House Tour 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.

 

Bird Bingo 3:30 pm 30 lasting about minutes. Meet at the Hearth Room. This is not your ordinary bingo game. In this game of bingo, you will learn about the birds of Arkansas. If you are interested in birds, then you will enjoy this game. Join Park Interpreter Melissa for a fun filled game of Bingo.

 

7-11-19 9:00 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

 

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Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area Activities July 12th - 14th

For more information about any of the activities listed below, or the state park, dial (870) 385-2201 or visit the park's website by clicking here.

 

Friday, July 12

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.

 

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Clue in to Cossatot (varies) Stay for a minute or an hour – it’s up to you. Each time slot offers a different adventure just waiting to be discovered! Will it be snorkeling? skins and skulls? marvelous macros? nature crafts? Clue in and find out! All activities are free and open to all ages. Find a park interpreter at river access areas during the day to join in on the fun!

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.

 

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Clue in to Cossatot (varies) Stay for a minute or an hour – it’s up to you. Each time slot offers a different adventure just waiting to be discovered! Will it be snorkeling? skins and skulls? marvelous macros? nature crafts? Clue in and find out! All activities are free and open to all ages. Find a park interpreter at river access areas during the day to join in on the fun!

Meeting Place: Sandbar Parking Lot.

 

Saturday, July 13

10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. “Girl Scouts Love State Parks” Inaugural National Event

Calling all Brownies and Juniors! Would you like to enjoy exploring a beautiful state park while completing badge requirements? Join a park interpreter at Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area for National Girl Scouts Love State Parks Weekend. You will discover the principles of Leave No Trace and how to use them. You can learn how to make a difference while you enjoy exploring, swimming, hiking and camping in your favorite outdoor places.

Today Girl Scouts of the USA are partnering with America’s State Parks on the first-ever National Girl Scouts Love State Parks event, for girls, families, and friends to experience the great outdoors, an integral part of the organization’s all-girl leadership program. Join thousands of girls in hundreds of state parks across the United States to find adventure, explore nature, and learn what Girl Scouts is all about.

Brownies will complete components of the Outdoor Adventurer Badge and Juniors will complete components of the Eco Camper Badge. Registration is required by July 3 by signing up with the Girl Scouts Diamonds council online at www.GirlScoutsDiamonds.org. Please bring a sack lunch, a change of swim clothes, and water shoes. #GSoutdoors #GSLoveStateParks.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center.

 

Sunday, July 14

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Clue in to Cossatot (varies) Stay for a minute or an hour – it’s up to you. Each time slot offers a different adventure just waiting to be discovered! Will it be snorkeling? skins and skulls? marvelous macros? nature crafts? Clue in and find out! All activities are free and open to all ages. Find a park interpreter at river access areas during the day to join in on the fun!

Meeting Place: Cossatot Falls’ Parking Lot.

 

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Feed the Critters (1 hour) It’s dinner time and the critters are hungry! Come and watch them eat and learn about the animals here at Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center.

 

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Fish Printing (1 hour) All fish are vertebrates, which means that they have a backbone. Join a park interpreter as we discover what body parts of the fish are like humans, what parts are different, and other fascinating facts. We will also make a fish printing to take home.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center’s Legacy Room.

 

7-11-19 8:45 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Polk County Circuit Court Arraignments July 5th, 8th, 9th, 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. Sandy Sharp, W/F, age 40, 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. Sean D. Burns, W/M, age 27, Count I: Possession Of A Firearm By Certain Persons, a Class "D" Felony. Count II: Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class "D" Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Crystal Lane Davis, W/F, age 35, 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. Jennifer Williams, W/F, age 48, 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. Teresa E. Evans, W/F, age 34, Count I: Endangering The Welfare Of A Minor In The First Degree, a Class "D" Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Mason Phillip Price, W/M, age 21, Count I: Failure To Register Or Comply With Reporting Requirements, a Class "C" Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Mason Price, W/M, age 21, Count I: Probation Violation. The original offense was Sexual Assault 2nd Degree. Bond set at $10,000.00.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Nancy K. Spencer, W/F, age 50, 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. Mark Allen Romero, W/M, age 28, Count I: Possession Of A Schedule II Controlled Substance, a Class "D" Felony. Count II: Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class "A" Misdemeanor. Count III: Possession Of A Controlled Substance, a Class "A" Misdemeanor. 

 

7-11-19 8:57 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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MENA FUGITIVE COUPLE ARRESTED IN CANADA, CHILDREN SAFE

FUGITIVE HUSBAND AND WIFE ARRESTED IN CANADA, ALL FOUR CHILDREN SAFELY RECOVERED

 

MENA, AR. – The Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Marshals Service in the Western District of Arkansas announce the arrest of Chad and Stephanie Voelkel in Manitoba, Canada on Wednesday afternoon. Chad Voelkel was wanted in Polk County for failure to appear on the charge of Rape, a class “Y” felony. Stephanie Voelkel was arrested on the charge of Permitting Abuse of a Minor, a Class “B” Felony. Four minor children, all considered endangered, were recovered and are now safe in the custody of Canadian Officials.


On May 23rd, 2019, a warrant was issued for Chad Voelkel on the charge of failure to appear. Voelkel had been out on bond pending his court date after he was originally charged with Rape on or about January 3rd, 2019 in the Circuit Court of Polk County. When Voelkel failed to appear for his court appearance, Polk County Sheriff’s Deputies immediately began a search. The search and investigation for Voelkel by Sheriff’s Deputies determined that Voelkel had fled the area. The investigation also revealed that Stephanie Voelkel and their four minor children had also disappeared. On May 29th, Stephanie Voelkel was charged in the Circuit Court of Polk County with Permitting the Abuse of a Minor. Due to the nature of the charges against the Voelkel’s, all four children were considered endangered by law enforcement.


Soon after the disappearance of Chad and Stephanie Voelkel and their four minor children, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Marshals Service began working together to locate the missing children and arrest Chad and Stephanie Voelkel. Early in the investigation, it appeared that the husband and wife fugitives had fled the area and had taken their four minor children to Canada. Polk County Deputies and Deputy US Marshals continued to investigate the whereabouts of the Voelkel’s and their four children. In recent days it was determined through investigation that the Voelkel’s were in the Portage la Prairie area of Manitoba, Canada. The information from the investigation was relayed to Canadian officials including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA). On Wednesday afternoon, the fugitive couple were arrested and the four children were safely recovered. 


The US Marshals Service and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the following entities for their assistance in this case. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canadian Border Services Agency, US Attorney Dak Kees, and the US Department of Justice, International Branch.

 

5:32 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Weekly Fishing Report

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for July 10, 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.

 

7-10-19 7:01 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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ATTORNEY GENERAL ALERT: Be Careful Posting Child Photos

LITTLE ROCK – Child predators see this time of year as an excellent opportunity to exploit pictures of children found on the internet. As the weather changes and the air gets warm, many families head out to enjoy the amenities that make the Natural State special. As families enjoy our state it is important to remember that sharing pictures and videos of family this summer while being seemingly innocent, can have unintended and harmful side effects.

 

It is common for ill-intending users of social media to search through popular hashtags such as #bathtime and #poolside to find pictures of children in order to sell or trade with others. It is important that parents be wary of posting content featuring children during activities such as swimming, sleepovers, lake days and tanning, among others.

 

“No Arkansans intend to subject their children to exploitation through the things they post online, but often predators will prowl social media sites in search of pictures featuring children in swimsuits, athletic gear or wearing other formfitting and revealing clothes,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “It is also a good idea to ask for consent from a child’s parent or guardian before including him/her in content with your child. Protection of our children is a community-wide responsibility.”

 

Attorney General Rutledge has issued the following tips to follow as you use social media this summer:

 

·         Think twice about posting pictures of children online, especially photos of children that show a lot of skin.

 

·         Remember that status updates, photos and videos posted on social networks are permanent. Once the user posts, it is out of his/her control and you do not know where it will end up. Consider purchasing cell phone monitoring services from a provider to monitor children’s mobile devices.

 

·         Just as children are taught to use strong privacy settings, adults should use the strictest settings that are available to prevent unwanted individuals from seeing images of their children. For example, on Facebook, one of the available privacy settings requires explicit permission from the account holder before he or she can be tagged in a post or picture.

 

·         Monitor social media posts from friends to ensure they are not posting photos of loved ones that could be stolen by people with sinister motives and end up in the hands of a child predator. Many social media platforms allow users to submit complaints regarding problematic posts and to request deletion of posts.

 

Whether enjoying a swim in Lake Ft. Smith, a hike at Petit Jean or just an afternoon with kids at a fair, it is important to remember that the safety of our children is everyone’s responsibility. We help by doing our part to protect our future by protecting our children.

 

Arkansans can report child exploitation by calling the National CyberTipline, (800) 843-5678, or visit CyberTipline.com. To report child abuse, call the Arkansas State Police Child Abuse Hotline, (800) 482-5964, or, in the event of an emergency, dial 911 or a local law enforcement agency.

 

For more information about other consumer-related issues or to file a consumer complaint, contact the Attorney General's office at (800) 482-8982 or consumer@arkansasag.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.

 

7-10-19 12:12 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

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Polk County Circuit Court Arraignments June 28th, July 1st and 3rd

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. James Edward Schroer, W/M, age 41, Count I: Distributing, Possessing Or Viewing of Matter Depicting Sexually Explicit Conduct Involving A Child, a Class "C" Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Jeffrey M. Prine, W/M, age 54, Count I: Theft By Receiving, a Class "D" Felony. The State of Arkansas intends to purse enhanced charges due to the fact that he has been convicted of four (4) or more felonies. 

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Ian M. Murphy, W/M, age 23, Count I: Residential Burglary, a Class "B" Felony. Count II-X: Theft OF Property, a Class "D" Felony. Count XI: Breaking Or Entering, a Class "D" Felony. Count XII: Possession Of Firearms By Certain Persons, a Class "D" Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Brandon L. Everett, W/M, age 28, Count I: Theft By Receiving, a Class "D" Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Mariah R. Wright, W/F, age 26, Count I: Residential Burglary, a Class "D" Felony. Count II-X: Theft Of Property, a Class "D" felony. Count XI: Breaking Or Entering, a Class "D" Felony.

 

7-9-19 4:01 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Mena Police Report for June 30th - July 6th

Mena Police Department Reports for the Week of June 30, 2019 through July 6, 2019 

 

June 30, 2019

Christopher James, 34, and Taylor Higgins, 24, both of Mena were cited for disorderly conduct after officers responded to a disturbance at a local residence

Haley Jo Griffin, 20, of Tecumseh, Oklahoma, was cited for shoplifting and criminal trespass after a call to a local retail store.

Summer Burkett, 20, of Cove was charged with DWI, disorderly conduct, and speeding. The arrest followed a routine traffic stop.

 

July 1, 2019

No report.

 

July 2, 2019

Officers responded to a call at a local residence regarding an out-of-control 15 year-old Mena girl. Case was turned over to juvenile authorities.

 

July 3, 2019

Samuel Roy Williams, 58, of Mena was charged with DWI and careless driving. The arrest followed a traffic stop.

 

July 4 & 5, 2019

A 15-year-old Mena youth was charged with third degree battery after officers responded to a call at a local residence. The boy was taken to the Polk County detention center and the case was turned over to juvenile authorities.

Jamie Arce, 35, of Hatfield was charged with shoplifting after officers received a call to a local retail store.

Jermey M. Lindsey,30, of Mena was served an outstanding warrant for failure to appear.

 

July 6, 2019

Employees at a local restaurant discovered a counterfeit hundred dollar bill in their cash drawer. Case is pending.

Aaron Ollar, 31, of Mena was charged with criminal trespass after a call to a local retail store.

Nickie Landfair, 25, of Mena was charged with public intoxication, resisting arrest, obstructing governmental operations, and impairing operations of a vital public facility.

 

7-9-19 3:25 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Polk County Sheriff's Report For July 1st - 7th

SHERIFF’S   LOG


The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of July 1 - July 7, 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.


July 1, 2019
Report from complainant on Polk 14 near Hatton of the break-in and theft of electronics. Investigation continues.
Arrested by an officer with the Grannis Police Department was Robert W. Pentecost, 29, of Hot Springs, on a Warrant for Harassing Communications.
Arrested was Jennah E. Myles, 20, of Mena, on a Warrant for Criminal Trespass and Assault 3rd Degree.
Arrested was Mariah R. Wright, 26, of Mena, on Warrants for Residential Burglary, Theft of Property, Breaking or Entering and Theft of a Firearm.


July 2, 2019
Report from complainant on Polk 99 near Vandervoort of a disturbance that had occurred previously.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Report from complainant on Highway 71 South near Hatfield of issues regarding a vehicle that they had purchased.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Arrested was Tyra N. Cornelius, 34, of Mena, on a Warrant for Criminal Trespass.


July 3, 2019
Report from complainant on Polk 35 near Hatfield of the break-in and theft of clothing and knives.  Investigation continues.
Arrested was Mason P. Price, 21, of Mena, on Warrants for Probation Violation and Failure to Comply with Reporting Requirements.


July 4, 2019
No reports were filed.


July 5, 2019
Report from complainant on Highway 71 South near Hatton of a domestic disturbance.  Deputy responded.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.


July 6, 2019
Arrested was Robert D. Smith, 21, of Cove, on a Warrant for Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle.
Arrested was Regina A. Phillips, 48, of Cove, on a Body Attachment Warrant.


July 7, 2019
Request for a welfare check on Polk 181 near Mena.  Deputies responded.

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 26 Incarcerated Inmates , with 6 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

PC19-00474

 

7-8-19 3:03 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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July Activities, Ecology Camp at Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area Near Wickes

For more information about any of the listed activites, the upcoming ecology cam, or the state park, dial (870) 385-2201 or visit the park's website by clicking here.


 

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.


 

Tuesday, July 09
 

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Clue in to Cossatot (varies) Stay for a minute or an hour – it’s up to you. Each time slot offers a different adventure just waiting to be discovered! Will it be snorkeling? skins and skulls? marvelous macros? nature crafts? Clue in and find out! All activities are free and open to all ages. Find a park interpreter at river access areas during the day to join in on the fun!

Meeting Place: Brushy Creek Access Area.


 

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Clue in to Cossatot (varies) Stay for a minute or an hour – it’s up to you. Each time slot offers a different adventure just waiting to be discovered! Will it be snorkeling? skins and skulls? marvelous macros? nature crafts? Clue in and find out! All activities are free and open to all ages. Find a park interpreter at river access areas during the day to join in on the fun!

Meeting Place: Cossatot Falls’ Parking Lot.


 

Wednesday, July 10
 

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. The Bear Facts (1 hour) What are the facts about black bears? What do they eat? Where do they live? Meet a park interpreter to answer these questions and other questions on the bear facts. We will also discuss the history of bear conservation in Arkansas and tell a few stories from the past and present about human interaction.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center’s Legacy Room.


 

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.


 

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.


 

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Blood Suckers! -The Silent Predator (1 hour) You live with them almost every day, even in the very cold winter months! They are everywhere; do you know who they could be? Join a park interpreter as we investigate who they are, become more aware and how we can protect ourselves from them.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center’s Legacy Room.


 

Thursday, July 11

 

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Town Ball (1 hour) Join park interpreter(s) as we venture back in time and learn to play an old-fashioned, friendly game of town ball. This pioneer game was the start of the baseball game we love today.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center’s Amphitheatre.


 

1:00 p.m. – 3:00 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.


 

Friday, July 12
 

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.


 

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Clue in to Cossatot (varies) Stay for a minute or an hour – it’s up to you. Each time slot offers a different adventure just waiting to be discovered! Will it be snorkeling? skins and skulls? marvelous macros? nature crafts? Clue in and find out! All activities are free and open to all ages. Find a park interpreter at river access areas during the day to join in on the fun!

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.


 

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Clue in to Cossatot (varies) Stay for a minute or an hour – it’s up to you. Each time slot offers a different adventure just waiting to be discovered! Will it be snorkeling? skins and skulls? marvelous macros? nature crafts? Clue in and find out! All activities are free and open to all ages. Find a park interpreter at river access areas during the day to join in on the fun!

Meeting Place: Sandbar Parking Lot.


 

Saturday, July 13
 

10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. “Girl Scouts Love State Parks” Inaugural National Event

Calling all Brownies and Juniors! Would you like to enjoy exploring a beautiful state park while completing badge requirements? Join a park interpreter at Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area for National Girl Scouts Love State Parks Weekend. You will discover the principles of Leave No Trace and how to use them. You can learn how to make a difference while you enjoy exploring, swimming, hiking and camping in your favorite outdoor places.

Today Girl Scouts of the USA are partnering with America’s State Parks on the first-ever National Girl Scouts Love State Parks event, for girls, families, and friends to experience the great outdoors, an integral part of the organization’s all-girl leadership program. Join thousands of girls in hundreds of state parks across the United States to find adventure, explore nature, and learn what Girl Scouts is all about.


 

Brownies will complete components of the Outdoor Adventurer Badge and Juniors will complete components of the Eco Camper Badge. Registration is required by July 3 by signing up with the Girl Scouts Diamonds council online at www.GirlScoutsDiamonds.org. Please bring a sack lunch, a change of swim clothes, and water shoes. #GSoutdoors #GSLoveStateParks.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center.


 

Sunday, July 14
 

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Clue in to Cossatot (varies) Stay for a minute or an hour – it’s up to you. Each time slot offers a different adventure just waiting to be discovered! Will it be snorkeling? skins and skulls? marvelous macros? nature crafts? Clue in and find out! All activities are free and open to all ages. Find a park interpreter at river access areas during the day to join in on the fun!

Meeting Place: Cossatot Falls’ Parking Lot.


 

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Feed the Critters (1 hour) It’s dinner time and the critters are hungry! Come and watch them eat and learn about the animals here at Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center.


 

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Fish Printing (1 hour) All fish are vertebrates, which means that they have a backbone. Join a park interpreter as we discover what body parts of the fish are like humans, what parts are different, and other fascinating facts. We will also make a fish printing to take home.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center’s Legacy Room.

 

Thursday, July 18
 

1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.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: Ed Banks Access Area.
 

Friday, July 19
 

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Testing the Waters (1 hour) The Cossatot River journeys through Gilliam Lake and meanders all the way down to the Arkansas River. The health of the river determines what life can survive there. Meet a park interpreter as we test the waters of Cossatot River to determine how healthy our river is and what type of diversity we can find in the river.

Meeting Place: Sandbar Parking Lot.


 

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. – 3:30 p.m. Clue in to Cossatot (varies) Stay for a minute or an hour – it’s up to you. Each time slot offers a different adventure just waiting to be discovered! Will it be snorkeling? skins and skulls? marvelous macros? nature crafts? Clue in and find out! All activities are free and open to all ages. Find a park interpreter at river access areas during the day to join in on the fun!

Meeting Place: Brushy Creek Access Area.


 

Saturday, July 20
 

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Lost and Found (1 hour) The program “Lost and Found,” has been developed to help prepare children for a situation we all hope will never happen—becoming lost in the outdoors. Children will become “aware of five basic skills” that will help them to survive and be found should they ever become lost in an outdoor environment. In addition, the program stresses preventative actions children can take to avoid becoming lost in the first place. Meet with a park interpreter to guide you through this program and discover the “five basic skills.”

Meeting Place: Sandbar 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: Brushy Creek Access Area.


 

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: Cossatot Falls’ Parking Area.


 

1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.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.

 

Sunday, July 21
 

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: Cossatot Falls’ Parking Lot.


 

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Feed the Critters (1 hour) It’s dinner time and the critters are hungry! Come and watch them eat and learn about the animals here at Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center.


 

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Hiss, Rattle & Roll (1 hour) Meet a park interpreter and a few of the snakes that live in Arkansas. We will discover the characteristics of the dangerous six and be able to tell them apart from harmless snakes. Games and activities will conclude the presentation.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center’s Legacy Room.
 

Wednesday, July 24 - Friday, July 26
 

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Ecology Camp

This jam-packed three-day adventure is perfect for those who want to have fun, but still sleep in their own bed each night. You’ll have a blast exploring the park trails and the river. Make memories as you discover how the Cossatot River benefits people, plants and wildlife. Costs include transportation, lunch on the last day, snacks each day, and program supplies. Registration deadline: July 19, 2018.

Meeting Place: TBD.

Admission: $50 + tax per camper.
 

Saturday, July 27
 

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Bigfoot Challenge (1 hour) Join a park interpreter to take the Bigfoot Challenge. Do you know what it takes to be like Bigfoot and leave no trace?

Meeting Place: Sandbar Picnic Area.


 

9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Clue in to Cossatot (varies) Stay for a minute or an hour – it’s up to you. Each time slot offers a different adventure just waiting to be discovered! Will it be snorkeling? skins and skulls? marvelous macros? nature crafts? Clue in and find out! All activities are free and open to all ages. Find a park interpreter at river access areas during the day to join in on the fun!

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. 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: Brushy Creek Access Area.


 

Sunday, July 28
 

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Clue in to Cossatot (varies) Stay for a minute or an hour – it’s up to you. Each time slot offers a different adventure just waiting to be discovered! Will it be snorkeling? skins and skulls? marvelous macros? nature crafts? Clue in and find out! All activities are free and open to all ages. Find a park interpreter at river access areas during the day to join in on the fun!

Meeting Place: Cossatot Falls’ Parking Lot.


 

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Feed the Critters (1 hour) It’s dinner time and the critters are hungry! Come and watch them eat and learn about the animals here at Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center.


 

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Water Jewelry (1 hour) 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.


 

Tuesday, July 30
 

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Testing the Waters (1 hour) The Cossatot River journeys through Gilliam Lake and meanders all the way down to the Arkansas River. The health of the river determines what life can survive there. Meet park interpreter(s) as we test the waters of Cossatot River to determine how healthy our river is and what type of diversity we can find in the 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: Sandbar Parking Lot.
 

Wednesday, July 31
 

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Testing the Waters (1 hour) The Cossatot River journeys through Gilliam Lake and meanders all the way down to the Arkansas River. The health of the river determines what life can survive there. Meet a park interpreter(s) as we test the waters of Cossatot River to determine how healthy our river is and what type of diversity we can find in the river.

Meeting Place: Brushy Creek Picnic Area.

 

7-6-19 1:02 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

 

 

 

 

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Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column: Providing for Our National Defense

Providing for Our National Defense

 

We’ve just celebrated America’s 243rd birthday, so it’s fitting that the Senate recently passed the annual authorization bill that helps ensure our nation’s military is able to perform a fundamental role prescribed by the Constitution – providing for the common defense.

 

For the last 58 years consecutively, Congress has approved the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which authorizes funding and provides authorities for our military to help strengthen our national security and make sure our service members have the tools and resources they need to defend the United States. That this annual bill has received such tremendous support for so many decades demonstrates just how vital it is acknowledged to be.

 

The Fiscal Year 2020 NDAA passed the Senate by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 86-8. It authorizes $750 billion in critical funding to our Armed Forces and makes significant investments in research and development for key defense technologies that will help the U.S. maintain our competitive advantage. Importantly, it includes a 3.1 percent pay increase for our men and women in uniform – which would deliver to them their largest raise in a decade – as well as needed reforms to private military housing.

 

The Senate-passed NDAA has provisions I offered that benefit Arkansas, our national security and our veterans. One significant aspect that will directly help our state deals with the expansion of the Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery. I led an effort supported by our entire congressional delegation to allow the transfer of nearly 141 acres of land at Camp Robinson to the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs in order to secure more burial space for Natural State veterans.

 

Other language that I successfully advocated to be included ranges from broadening wounded warrior adaptive sports programs to allow veterans who were enrolled in their respective service’s Wounded Warrior Program prior to their date of separation to continue rehabilitative services for one year, to providing an authorization for additional full-time Air Force Reservists – one of the top priorities for the Air Force Reserve.

 

I have also worked with the Departments of the Army and the Interior on growing Arlington National Cemetery, our nation’s most sacred shrine, because it is close to capacity. The FY20 NDAA includes my provision authorizing a land exchange to allow more burial space for veterans at Arlington so that our fallen men and women who are eligible will have the opportunity to be laid to rest amongst the many heroes who preceded them.

 

Supporting and strengthening our military forces during a time when we face evolving threats helps deter our adversaries from seeking out conflict with the United States and our allies. Protecting America and its citizens requires our combat force to be lethal and well-equipped. The NDAA makes the appropriate investments in order to maintain our superiority and curtail threats that our global competitors might otherwise be emboldened to mount.

 

Senate passage of the NDAA is an important first step in the efforts to bolster our national defense. We must continue that momentum by passing a good bill through both chambers and sending the legislation to the president’s desk to become law.

 

7-5-19 4:24 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

Arkansas had one of the most productive, if not most productive, legislative sessions in the country with regard to addressing occupational regulations. Occupational regulations are licensures, certifications, or registrations required for workers in certain occupations. A few examples of licensed occupations include real estate agents, cosmetologists, and veterinarians.

 

The success during the legislative session is partly due to Arkansas participating in the 15-state learning consortium through the U.S. Department of Labor (supported by the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL), National Governors Association for Best Practices (NGA), and The Council of State Governments (CSG)) and further addressing occupational licensure through the Governor’s Red Tape Reduction Working Group.

 

 For the 2019 legislative session, 41 bills were passed into law that were related to occupational licensing, certification, and registration.  One of the new laws (Act 250) ensures that an individual does not lose a license due to a defaulted or delinquent student loan.  Another law (Act 820) provides automatic licensure for active duty members, veterans and spouses of military members if they were practicing in another state.

 

Those forty-one acts can be categorized into specific areas of concern that were discussed as part of the Red Tape Reduction Working Group and the related, Occupational Licensing Advisory Group, including:

 

(1) Removing Barriers to entry and having the least restrictive regulations in place.

(2) Addressing impacted populations; e.g., military spouses/ veterans/ military members, those with criminal records, and immigrants.

(3) Focusing on licensing board composition.

(4) Engaging in reciprocity agreements & multi-state compacts.

(5) Various administrative and organizational improvements.

 

One of the acts passed was Act 600 which creates annual legislative reviews of occupational authorizations and entities.  This will help to ensure that we continue implementing the least restrictive form of authorization while protecting consumers.

 

In June, the Occupational Licensing Review Subcommittee of Legislative Council met to draft rules and begin establishing a timeline of occupations to be reviewed this year. The occupational authorizations and the occupational entities will be divided into six groups. The committee will review one group each year.  The subcommittee will meet again September 19.  You can review the materials and watch the proceedings at

www.arkleg.state.ar.us.

 

7-5-19 2:20 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Fourth of July in Arkansas History

 
LITTLE ROCK – Today, as you enjoy the 243rd anniversary of our nation’s independence, I’d like to note a few other reasons that July 4 is significant in Arkansas.
 
Civil War experts know that July 4, 1863, was the Battle of Helena. And on the Fourth of July in 1864, there were skirmishes in Searcy County and at Farr’s Mill.
 
Another historical occurrence on July 4th was in 1803 when President Thomas Jefferson announced the United States had paid France $15 million for the purchase of 827,000 square miles of land west of the Mississippi River; 53,000 square miles of the Louisiana Purchase became the Natural State. Congress declared Arkansas a territory in 1819. We became the 25th state on June 15, 1836.
 
Another historic July 4th was in 1899, 96 years after the announcement of the Louisiana Purchase, Arkansas started construction of the new Arkansas State Capitol. That was 123 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
 
The new state capitol, as it was called for years, replaced the original, which was called the State House and now is known as the Old State House Museum. The state had to build the new capitol because the original literally was falling in – chunks of ceiling plaster fell into the Senate chamber after a heavy rain. Impatient and safety-conscious legislators moved into the new capitol in 1911, four years before it was officially completed and open for business. George Washington Hays, the 24th governor of Arkansas, was the first governor of 22 governors to serve in the new state capitol.
 
Many important decisions have been made in this building in 120 years since we broke ground for it.
 
Today, the Arkansas State Capitol Building looks much as it did when construction was completed in 1915. One hundred twenty years later, the capitol is a familiar landmark and a destination for thousands of school kids, students of history, and visitors from around the world.
 
From the north window of the Governor’s Office, I can see the Arkansas River, and from the east window, I can see the Little Rock skyline, both symbols of all that makes Arkansas great. The sights remind me why Arkansas is such a great place to live. Even in our cities, you’re never too far from the natural beauty.
 
I’m grateful that I was born an Arkansan, and I am proud to occupy this office where 22 other governors have sat before me.
 
As we celebrate nearly 250 years as a nation, we also celebrate the birth of the greatest state in the greatest country in the world.
 
7-5-19 11:05 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Rutledge Announces Arrest of Polk County Man for Crimes Involving Children

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced the arrest of a Polk County man for crimes involving children.

 

James Edward Schroer, 41, of Cove, was arrested by the Attorney General’s Office Cyber Crimes Unit on 30 counts of distributing, possessing or viewing of matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child, a Class C felony. He is currently being held at the Polk County jail on $500,000 bond.

 

Special agents in the Attorney General’s office seized three phones, two computer hard drives, two tablets, three SD cards, and 12 flash drives from the home. This file will be turned over to 18th West Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Andy Riner.

 

7-5-19 10:47 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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State Senator Larry Teague's Weekly Column

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

July 5, 2019

 

LITTLE ROCK – The state Division of Youth Services (DYS) closed a secure facility at Dermott, which was the second closing of a juvenile lockup this year.

 

With support from the legislature, officials at DYS are changing their basic approach to handling adolescents who get in trouble with the law. Rather than relying primarily on locking them inside a secure facility, DYS is expanding access to less restrictive settings in the youths’ home towns.

 

The Dermott Juvenile Treatment Center opened in 1999. It had 32 beds on 90 acres in southeast Arkansas. A second juvenile facility in Dermott will remain in operation. It’s the Dermott Juvenile Correction Facility, with 32 beds for juvenile sex offenders who require treatment, and high risk male offenders.

 

Youths are considered “at risk” when their behavior, if continued, is likely to cause them to end up in the judicial system or in prison.

 

Earlier this year DYS closed a 28-bed secure lockup at Colt, in St. Francis County. After the two closures, DYS now oversees five residential facilities for juvenile offenders.

 

The division has a contract with a private company from Indiana, Youth Opportunities, Inc., to operate the lockups in Mansfield, Lewisville and Harrisburg, as well as the Dermott facility that will remain open.

 

A private company called Rite of Passage has the contract to operate the facility in Alexander Community programs for juveniles are wide ranging. They include therapy, intensive counseling and work with family members. They include education courses specifically designed to prevent youths from getting in trouble with law enforcement. Some youths live in emergency shelters, some live in supervised group homes and some remain at home under close monitoring by case managers.

 

Earlier this year the legislature approved Act 189, to authorize the shift in strategy by DYS away from secure detention and more toward community programs.

 

The act also makes the sentencing of juveniles more uniform, by requiring all judges to rely on the same risk assessment system.

 

One goal of Act 189 is to eliminate disparities in sentencing. Previously, youths in some areas were routinely locked up in a secure facility for committing offenses that were not treated as harshly by judges in other areas.

 

Levee Task Force

 

The governor announced the creation of a 20-member task force to improve the condition of levees throughout Arkansas. He also asked for $10 million to begin repairs on levees that failed during the flooding last month.

 

The task force will report by the end of this year on maintenance required and estimated costs to restore levees to good condition.

 

The floods of 2019 caused an estimated $100 million in damage to infrastructure.

 

The task force will build on the work done by the legislature in a 2016 special session. Lawmakers approved a plan to modernize the local governing authorities in charge of levee maintenance.

 

When the legislature began its work, state officials could not be certain of the exact number of levees in Arkansas, or who was responsible for maintaining them. Numerous local levee boards were no longer functioning because of vacancies.

 

7-5-19 7:51 a.m. KAWX

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Corps Advises Caution On Water During Holiday Weekend

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The Independence Day holiday is typically one of the three busiest weekends of the year on the region's lakes and rivers, and this year, will likely be no exception.  It is a great time for outdoor water fun, but Army Corps of Engineers officials advise everyone to practice good water safety habits.


In addition, visitors should be aware that extra precautions are advised because of high water at some Little Rock District projects in Arkansas and Missouri.


A small craft advisory remains in effect on the Arkansas River until at least the end of July because of high flows.  Pleasure boaters are advised to stay off the river.  More rain could cause the advisory to remain in effect longer.  


Also, 11 district lakes are still high because of spring flooding.  These include Beaver, Table Rock, Bull Shoals, Norfork, Greers Ferry, Millwood, DeQueen, Gillham, Dierks, Nimrod and Blue Mountain.  High lake levels can make boating more hazardous.  Officials advise boaters and anglers to prepare for these conditions and use extra caution.  


Always wear a life jacket and use the boat's kill switch when boating.  If you are on a lake that is higher than normal, slow down to watch for submerged debris.  Use caution when launching because high water can make ramps tricky.  Be patient if others take a little longer than normal.  When boating near the shore or in coves, go slow to avoid underwater obstacles such as signposts, picnic tables, trees, stumps and other obstructions that are normally on dry ground.


Little Rock District park rangers urge everyone to obey boating laws.  The rangers point out that more than half of all people who drown consume alcohol before their accident, so skip alcohol if you plan to be in or on the water.  For any lake you visit, whether it is at normal levels or not, the rangers offer the following additional swimming and boating tips:  


Swimmers
* Your best defense is to learn to swim.
* Never swim alone.
* Never rely on toys like inner tubes or water wings.
* When in doubt, wear a life jacket.
* Never dive into lakes and rivers from cliffs or ledges.
* Lakes are big; don't overestimate your swimming skills.
* Swim only in designated areas.
* Watch your children -- have a "Designated Child Watcher." 

Boaters
* Take a safe boating course.
* Check your tow vehicle, trailer and boat.
* Check all safety equipment.
* File a float plan with a friend.
* Check the weather before launching.
* Don't swim for a boat that is drifting away; get another boater to retrieve it.
* Wear a life jacket.
* Post a sharp lookout and add even more care at night.

 

7-4-19 8:53 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Weekly Fishing Report

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for July 3, 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.

 

7-3-19 2:30 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Polk County Sheriff's Report For June 24th - 30th

 

SHERIFF’S LOG


The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of June 24 - June 30, 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 24, 2019
Report from complainant on School Street in Cove of the violation of a No Contact Order.  Deputy responded.
Arrested was Debbie J. Beshears, 48, of Mena, on three Warrants for Failure to Comply with a Court Order.
Arrested was Andy Ross, 45, of Hot Springs, on a Warrant for Failure to Comply with a Court Order.


June 25, 2019
Report from complainant on Royster Lane near Potter of being harassed by an acquaintance.  Deputy responded.
Arrested was Deborah M. Holtzclaw, 48, of Mena, on a Warrant for Failure to Appear.


June 26, 2019
Report from complainant on Blissful Lane near Mena of damage done to a vehicle from another vehicle.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.


June 27, 2019
Report from complainant on Polk 87 near Ink of damage done to a vehicle by an unknown individual.  Investigation continues.
Report from complainant on Highway 375 East near Mena of the theft of four firearms, valued at $1,900.00.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Report of a domestic disturbance on Polk 42 near Potter.  Deputy responded.  Information has been provided to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Report of a domestic disturbance on Polk 46 near Potter led to the arrest of Kennith A. Kyle, 38, of Mena, on a Charge of Domestic Battery 3rd Degree and a Warrant for Domestic Battery 3rd Degree.
Report from a walk-in complainant of issues regarding child custody exchange.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Report from complainant on Polk 16 near Cove of being harassed by an acquaintance.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Arrested was James E. Schroer, 41, of Cove, on a Charge of Possessing Matter Depicting Sexual Conduct Involving a Child.


June 28, 2019
Report from complainant on Polk 185 near Ink of damage done to a sign.  Investigation continues.
Arrested was Logan E. Pitts, 40, of Mena, on a Warrant for Failure to Appear.


June 29, 2019
Report of a domestic disturbance on Polk 671 near Mena led to the arrest of Karson B. Crawford, 26, of Mena, on a Charge of Disorderly Conduct and a Probation Violation.

June 30, 2019
Report of a domestic disturbance on Highway 246 West near Hatfield.  Suspect fled before deputies arrived.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Report from complainant on Edwards Street in Vandervoort of the violation of a No Contact Order.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Arrested was Sterling R. Bowen, 21, of Cove, on a Charge of Public Intoxication.

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

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 29 Incarcerated Inmates , with 6 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

PC19-00468

 

7-2-19 8:56 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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State, County, City Offices Holiday Schedules

The State of Arkansas will observe Independence Day as an official state holiday on Thursday, July 4, 2019. State Capitol Offices and all State Buildings will be closed. The State Capitol Building will, however, be open to visitors that day from 10:00 AM until 3:00 PM.

 

The Polk County Courthouse will be closed Thursday, July 4, 2019 and will be open Friday, July 5, 2019.

 

Mena City Hall will be closed Thursday, July 4, 2019 and Friday July 5, 2019. The July City Council meeting will be held July 16th.

 

The Mena Water Utilities Office will be closed Thursday July 4th and Friday July 5th.

 

Trash pickup in Mena will follow the regular schedule this week, so if your trash is picked up on Thursdays it will be this week as well. 

 

All emergency services will be available as usual. 

 

Happy Independence Day! 

 

7-1-19 8:47 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Special Mena City Council Meeting Called

 

There will be a special called Mena City Council meeting Tuesday, July 2, 2019. 

 
Three items on the agenda include the consideration of quotes for a new copier for City Hall, consideration of an extra paid holiday for city employees on July 5th, and the consideration of changing the date of the regular July council meeting.
 
The meeting will start at 5:00 p.m. in City Hall and is open to the public.
 
7-1-19 8:36 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Forest Officials Encourage Safety During Independence Day Holiday

 

 

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — Ouachita and Ozark-St. Francis National Forest officials are reminding visitors to make safety their number one priority when enjoying the outdoors during and after the holiday.

 

“Before heading out to the forest, it is important for visitors to do some research on the areas they plan to visit,” said Robert Duggan, Ozark-St. Francis National Forests recreation supervisor. “Research includes looking at the weather forecast, taking the necessary items needed if they plan to go hiking, and visiting National Forests websites for more information.”

 

For more hiking tips, visit the Forest Service’s “Know Before You Go” page at https://www.fs.fed.us/visit/know-before-you-go/hiking.

 

During the holiday weekend, many people will be using fireworks to celebrate. However, using fireworks in the National Forests is prohibited year-round.

 

“We welcome visitors to come enjoy the forest during the Independence Day Holiday by participating in recreational activities which include swimming, hiking and camping,” said Bill Jackson, Ouachita National Forest recreation program manager.

 

Hikers, campers and recreationists are reminded to be careful with any use of fire in the outdoors and ensure that campfires are watched at all times and completely extinguish them before leaving campsites.

 

For additional information on opportunities on the Ozark-St. Francis National Forests, call 479- 964-7200 or the Ouachita National Forest at 501-321-5202 or visit the web at www.fs.usda.gov/ouachita or www.fs.usda.gov/osfnf

 

7-1-19 11:24 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Mena Police Report for June 23rd - 29th

 

 

Mena Police Department Reports for the Week of June 23, 2019 through June 29, 2019

 

June 23, 2019

 

Larry Dean Graham, 53, of Mena was served an outstanding warrant.

 

Robert Scott Williams, 52, of Mena was served two outstanding warrants from the Mena Police Department and the Polk County Sheriff’s office.

 

Kendra Dawn Davis, 34, of Mena was served an outstanding warrant.

 

Robert Scott Williams, 52, of Mena was served two warrants from the Mena Police Department for failure to pay fines and court costs.

 

June 24, 2019

 

Chad Aucoin, 34 was arrested on an outstanding warrant from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

 

Levi Cottman, 28, of Mena was served an outstanding warrant.

 

Eric Revels, 35, of Mena was arrested on a body attachment warrant.

 

June 25, 2019

 

Charles Czarnetzki, 44, of Mena was arrested on an outstanding warrant from the Polk County Sheriff for failure to appear.

 

June 26, 2019

 

Bambe Mellard, 35, of Mena was arrested on a failure to appear warrant from the Mena Police Department.

 

June 27&28, 2019

 

Billy Joseph Fletcher, 32, of Mena was served an outstanding warrant.

 

Michael Adaway, 50, of Mena was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.  The arrest followed a routine traffic stop.

 

June 29, 2019

 

Kimberly Jones, 20, of Mena was served two outstanding warrants for failure to pay fines and court costs.

 

Brandon Everett, 28, of Mena was arrested on a warrant and charged with probation violation.

 

Brianna Vanauken, 36, of Mena was arrested and charged with shoplifting after a call to a local retail store. She was also served four outstanding warrants.

 

7-1-19 11:13 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Mena Weather