KAWX News Archives for 2019-08

Gov. Asa Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Every Arkansan Counts

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Every Arkansan Counts
 
 
LITTLE ROCK – Today I’d like to talk about the importance of participating in the U.S. Census and about the ways we are already preparing for Census Day, which is April 1, 2020.

Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau surveys the United States to determine the nation’s population. Our founders created the census in order to allocate political power based on population rather than wealth. At the first census, taken in 1790 during George Washington’s second year as president, we had thirteen states and four states in waiting. Thomas Jefferson, who was secretary of state then, oversaw the census, which was limited to six questions.

Our population determines how many of the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives go to Arkansas. The history of the U.S. population shifts is interesting. In 1910, when there were 394 seats in the House and the population of Arkansas was 1.5 million, we held seven seats. In 1950, when our population was 1.9 million, we lost one representative. In 1960, when our population had slipped to 1.8 million, we lost two more representatives. For the last four decades, we have remained steady with four representatives.

But now, we are growing again. In 2017, the population of Arkansas topped 3 million for the first time. The Census Bureau last reported our population at 3,013,825. This history emphasizes the importance of an accurate census.

This week, I announced the formation of the Arkansas Complete Count Committee. The task of the 30 members on the committee who have agreed to serve is to promote statewide participation in the 2020 Census. I selected members of the committee from state agencies, the legislature, local government, and the business community.

An accurate count of our population is critical. The federal government allocates funding back to the states based upon population counts. An undercount of even 1 percent, or just 30,000 people, could cost Arkansas $990 million over the next decade.

Participation will be easier than ever. You can respond on your personal computer, your smartphone, or your tablet. If you prefer, you may respond the old-fashioned way by submitting your answers on the paper questionnaire and sending it back via regular mail. Whichever way you choose to participate, please do.

We’re counting on every Arkansan to participate, because when it comes to the census, every Arkansan counts.
 
8-30-19 9:29 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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US Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column: Serving Arkansas Veterans

Serving Arkansas Veterans

 

The Congressional calendar designates August as an opportunity for members of Congress to spend an extended period of time back home. As such, I strive to use this time to travel around to different parts of our state and meet with constituents in a variety of settings because it provides numerous occasions to listen and learn.

 

As part of my 2019 August in-state work period, I set out on a week-long tour focused on meeting with veterans, visiting veteran-owned businesses, examining Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities serving Arkansans and listening to voices advocating with and for former service members across our state.

 

As the son of a veteran and a longtime member of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee in Congress, I understand how critical it is for our nation to keep the promises made to those who have worn America’s uniform. That’s why I’ve made a substantial effort to work on veterans’ issues and help improve the quality of care and services offered by the VA.

 

The “Serving AR Vets” tour took me to communities such as Yellville, Salem, Pocahontas, Walnut Ridge, Russellville, Jonesboro and Pine Bluff to speak with veterans who own successful businesses; recognize Arkansans like Bill Strauss and Thomas Vaughns with incredible legacies of service; and talk personally with members of the veteran community, their loved ones and advocates.

 

I have made it my top priority to address veteran suicide in Arkansas and across the nation. We all must work together in this fight, which is why we hosted meetings with mental health professionals, military servicemembers, veterans, non-governmental organizations in the community and government officials to sit down and discuss ways to better coordinate and identify successful programs.

 

I’ve been working on policies in Washington to address this crisis, as well other legislation related to improving women veterans’ experiences with and access to VA health care services and providing the Department with the resources it needs to ensure our veterans receive the care they have earned.

 

VA medical centers and facilities play a critical role in delivering care and services to Arkansas’s veterans. Talking with VA staff and providers at hospitals in Pine Bluff, Memphis and Fayetteville and at Community Based Outpatient Clinics in Mountain Home and Fort Smith provided me the chance to hear directly from the men and women treating and interacting with Arkansas veterans regularly.

 

We are blessed that the facilities providing medical services to veterans in our state often receive high praise from those for whom they exist to serve. Where there are missteps or shortcomings – including issues like lack of providers and technological challenges – we must make sure that those problems are remedied. After visiting with so many VA health care providers during this tour, I’m committed to working even more diligently to make certain the VA continues to improve its performance and services.

 

I’m grateful to have been able to travel across Arkansas, listening and learning about the well-being and challenges of our state’s veteran community. I plan to take their input back to Capitol Hill to provide real-life examples and experiences alongside the policy proposals that impact those who served our nation.

 

Our state can be proud of the rich, awe-inspiring record of military service by our family, friends and neighbors. It was an honor to visit with so many of them and help ensure we continue to honor and serve Arkansas’s veterans in the future.

 

8-30-19 3:19 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

During the 2019 Regular Session, the General Assembly passed several pieces of legislation concerning our elections.

One of those pieces of legislation will change the date of our primaries.

 

Arkansas will join 13 other states holding a March 3, 2020 primary. Only 4 other states will hold their caucus or primary before March 3.

 

Act 545 provides for a March preferential primary election in the years in which the office of President of the United States is voted on and a May preferential primary election in the years in which the office of Governor is voted on.

 

The general election for non-partisan races, which includes judges and prosecutors, will also be held on March 3 of next year.

Early voting will begin on February 17, 2020. The deadline to register for the primary is February 3.

 

Act 545 also makes changes to the timing of fiscal sessions. Fiscal sessions have been held on the second Monday in February on even-numbered years. Act 545 states that on years in which the preferential primary is held in March, the General Assembly will instead meet for a fiscal session on the second Wednesday of April. 

 

Other legislation passed this year concerning elections include:

 

  • ACT 199 which allows the election officials at a polling site with fifteen (15) or more ballot styles to post the sample ballots on a public website and in bound volumes.
  • ACT 664 which provides ten (10) minutes for a voter to mark his or her ballot.
  • ACT 684 which allows digital photographic identification cards to be used as the voter identification required to vote.
  • ACT 949 which provides for a modification in the law concerning the number of voting sites in a city of the first class.
  • ACT 328 which allows high school students to volunteer as election officials.

 

For more information about voting dates and deadlines visit www.sos.arkansas.gov.

 

8-30-19 3:06 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Senator Larry Teague's Weekly Column

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

August 30, 2019

 

LITTLE ROCK – Almost three years ago a task force of Arkansas legislators submitted its final report on how to control the growing costs of the state Medicaid program.

 

Since then the state Human Services Department (DHS) has adopted a series of reforms recommended by the legislative task force and the governor.

The goal was to reduce spending from projected levels and save $835 million in Medicaid costs by the end of Fiscal Year 2021. DHS administers Medicaid.

 

At a recent meeting of the Legislative Council, the director of DHS reported that the Department was “on track to achieve the five year savings target of $835 million.”

 

Every agency in state government has a stake in the issue. The legislative task force concluded that Medicaid was on an unsustainable path, even if analysts used a conservative growth estimate of five percent for the next five years.

 

“Medicaid in Arkansas’s annual growth of 5 % represents a pathway that requires reform, as it is the largest program in state government and on its current trajectory, threatens the future viability of other critical programs across the state,” the legislative task force reported.

 

For example, over the past four years state spending on prisons has grown by a total of about 9 percent, from $322 million to $353 million. In comparison, state spending on DHS has grown by 33 percent over the same four-year period, from $1.3 billion to $1.7 billion.

 

State funding of education is protected from budget cuts, and less vulnerable to competition for state revenue from other agencies, because the legislature is mandated by the Arkansas Constitution to support public education.

 

In lawsuits over state funding of schools, the state Supreme Court has upheld the constitutional mandate.

 

The priority placed on education funding has resulted in what legislative budget officials call the “doomsday clause.”

 

If the chief fiscal officer determines there are not adequate funds in the public school accounts, all other agencies would have their budgets reduced proportionately by the amount needed to restore the school fund.

 

Because spending on kindergarten through grade 12 is protected under the Constitution, the growth in Medicaid spending has an inordinate impact on other areas of state government that are not protected, such as prisons and local aid to cities and counties.

 

Also, funding of higher education is affected because it does not enjoy the same Constitutional priority that K-12 does.

 

Controlling Medicaid is complex, because it has many components that drive growth in spending. For example, 74 percent of traditional Medicaid claims are for people who are elderly, blind or disabled. Those categories are sometimes referred to as “high risk, high cost” and mostly fall under institutional care provided by hospitals and nursing homes.

 

DHS has begun controlling costs for people with developmental disabilities and mental illness, through a program called PASSE. That stands for provider led Arkansas shared savings entities. DHS pays a fixed monthly amount for each patient, and the health care companies that receive the payments are responsible for treatment.

 

Medicaid pays for prescription drugs, and as the task force noted that spending on the pharmaceutical component was growing faster than other medical expenses.

 

8-30-19 2:59 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Forest Service To Conduct Environmental Analysis At Albert Pike To Determine Future Use

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – August 29, 2019 – The USDA Forest Service will conduct an environmental analysis using the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process to determine the future use of the Albert Pike Recreation Area.

 

The environmental analysis will carefully consider the physical environment of the site, consider public health and safety issues, analyze potential liability risks, and will provide multiple opportunities for productive public engagement.

 

Two of the four loops have been closed and overnight camping has not been allowed at Albert Pike since a flash flood killed 20 people at and around the campground in June 2010.

 

“To ensure visitor safety, the entire area will remain closed to overnight camping during the analysis and decision-making process,” said Chris Ham, Recreation and Planning staff officer on the Ouachita National Forest.

 

The use of the NEPA process will allow the Forest Service to make a well-informed decision on the future use of Albert Pike. The process will involve considering the physical environment of the site, the current and historic hydrologic status of the area, assessing the potential use of emergency detection and warning systems, and the opinions and comments of the public and other stakeholders.

 

The environmental analysis will allow feedback from the public and other stakeholders, along with a thorough understanding of public safety and liability risks, that will help make the best decision for the future use of Albert Pike.

 

The environmental analysis is scheduled to begin late autumn 2019. For more information on the Ouachita National Forest, visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/ouachita.

 

8-29-19 5:57 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Polk County Circuit Court Arraignments August 16th, 23rd, 26th

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. Melton Ray Cannon, W/M, age 54, Count I: Possession Of A  Schedule VI Controlled Substance, a Class "D" Felony.
 
Sate of Arkansas Vs. Vickie Ramirez, W/F, age 42, Count I: Refusal To Submit To Arrest, a Class "B" Felony. The State of Arkansas intends to pursue enhanced penalties due to the fact that she has been convicted of more than one (1) felony but fewer than four (4) felonies. 
 
State of Arkansas Vs. Matthew w. Hackworth, W/M, age 34, Count I: Possession Of A Schedule II Controlled Substance, a Class "D" Felony.
 
State of Arkansas Vs. David Howell, W/M, age 38, Count I: Failure To Appear, a Class "C" Felony.
 
State of Arkansas Vs. Crystal Thacker Farmer, W/F, age 31, Count I: Possession Of Methamphetamine With The Purpose to Deliver, a Class "C" felony. Count II: Possession Of A Schedule VI Controlled Substance, a Class "A" Misdemeanor. Count III: Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class "B" Felony.
 
8-29-19 9:10 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Weekly Fishing Report

 

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s weekly fishing report for Aug. 28, 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.

 

Click on any of the links below for the current report for your area. 

 

Central Arkansas

 

North Arkansas

 

Northwest Arkansas

 

Northeast Arkansas

 

Southeast Arkansas

 

Southwest Arkansas

 

South-Central Arkansas

 

West-Central Arkansas

 

East Arkansas

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

8-28-19 2:19 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

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Congressman Westerman's Mobile Office To Visit Mena September 4th

 

Congressman Bruce Westerman recently announced that his Mobile Office would visit Mena in September and encouraged residents with problems with any federal agency to visit with one of his filed representatives.

 
The Mobile Office will be in Mena on Wednesday, September 4th from 1:30 p.m. until 2:30 p.m. at the Polk County Courthouse.
 
The Mobile Office will also be in Mount Ida the same day from 3:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. at the Montgomery County Courthouse.
 
Questions about the Mobile Office visit or other constituent services may be directed to the Congressman's Hot Springs office by dialing (501) 609-9796.
 
Congressman Westerman represents Arkansas' Fourth Congressional District which includes all of Polk and Montgomery Counties. 
 
8-27-19 9:02 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Quorum Court Learns About ARVAC, Hears Explanation On Personal Property Tax Mistake By State Vendor

 

 

The Polk County Quorum Court met for their regular monthly meeting Tuesday evening. All eleven Justices of the Peace were in attendance as well as the County Judge, other elected officials, and around a dozen visitors.

 

After routine business was taken care of, Judge Brandon Ellison introduced Mandy Dunlap, the Family Support Advocate for ARVAC in Polk County, who gave an overview of the many programs available to citizens including utility bill assistance and commodities. ARVAC will also be placing a computer in the lobby of the Polk County Office Complex (old hospital) on Pine Street in Mena for citizens to use during the upcoming Census. Dunlap explained that if the Census gets accurate information there will be more assistance available to residents, and shared that Polk County has three of the top fifteen poorest towns in the state, Cove, Vandervoort and Wickes. Two of ARVAC's local clients spoke briefly of how programs had helped their families during difficult times.

 

                           Mandy Dunlap

 

Polk County Assessor Jovan Thomas was asked to explain the letters that many residents received recently advising them that some of their personal property, mainly automobiles, was improperly valued causing some to think their taxes would go up. Thomas said that the personal property taxes residents will pay will not necessarily go up, and in most cases won't. The problem was caused by a third party vendor (Price Digests) the state uses to determine values and depreciation amounts and affected all 75 counties. Polk County mailed 8,100 notice letters costing the county over $4,000 just in postage, plus the cost of envelopes, paper, toner, and labort o make sure residents were aware of the issue. If anyone has questions about the notice or how it might affect your tax liability, contact the Polk County Assessor at (479) 394-8157.

 

The September Quorum Court meeting date was changed to September 19th at 6:00 p.m. due to a conflict. 

 

All Quorum Court meetings are open to the public.

 

8-27-19 7:46 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

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Patricia Louise Cox Obituary

Patricia Louise Cox age 81 of Mena, Arkansas passed away Monday, August 26, 2019 in Mena, Arkansas.

Patricia was born on March 3, 1938 in Codora, California to the late Marshall D. Boggs and the late Dortha O. Craig Boggs. She worked in the Nursing profession as an LPN until she retired. She loved and was devoted to nursing. Patricia enjoyed sewing, reading and listening to old country music. She adored going to sing at nursing homes. Patricia was a loving and dedicated sister, and friend.

She is survived by sisters: Janice and husband Reginald Skinner of Mena, Arkansas and Linda K. Berry and husband Tom of Georgia

Brothers: Marshall Boggs, Jr. and wife Celia of Conway, Arkansas

Numerous nephews, nieces other relatives and friends. 

She was preceded in death by her parents, Marshall and Dortha Boggs, husband Paul Cox, brother Jerry D. Boggs, nephew Darrell Boggs, and great-nephew Ethan Denton. 

Graveside service will be Friday, August 30, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. at Mt. Gilead Cemetery with Brother Marshall Boggs, Jr. officiating under the direction of the Beasley-Wood Funeral Home of Mena.

Visitation will be general.

Online obituary at www.beasleywoodfuneralhome.com
 

 

8-27-19 4:42 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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September Mena City Council Meeting Postponed

The September Mena City Council meeting has been postponed until September 19, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.

 
City Council meetings are held at City Hall on Mena Street in Mena and are open to the public.
 
8-26-19 9:03 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Polk County Quorum Court Meets Tuesday

The Polk County Quorum Court will meet Tuesday, August 27, 2019 for their regular monthly session. The meeting will be in the Quorum Court Meeting Room in the County Office Complex (old hospital) on Pine Street in Mena at 6:00 p.m. Quorum Court meetings are open tot he public.

 
In addition to routine business, Mandy Dunlap with ARVAC will address the court. ARVAC Inc. is a nonprofit community action agency corporation established in 1965 to promote economic and social development of the region. The organization serves a nine (9) county area, including Polk County.  The agency’s headquarters office is in Dardanelle, Arkansas and has 10 satellite offices located throughout the area.
 
The Quorum Court is made up of eleven (11) elected Justices of the Peace: Chris Daniel, Jim Neugent, Harold Coogan, Margarett "Margo" Kimp, Troy Lunsford, Terry Terrell, Tommy Floyd, Terry L. Scott, Basil Kesterson, Mitchell Tidwell, and Tawana Gilbert.
 
8-26-19 8:43 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Sales Tax, Road Improvement Taxes Down For Second Month In A Row

For the second month in a row, and for the third time this year, Sales Tax and Road Improvement taxes collected are down in Polk County.

 
Polk County Treasurer Tanya K. Fretz released the monthly report for August, which shows collections for the calendar month of July, showing a decrease of $770 for each of the 1% taxes compared to the same period in 2018.
 
Collections for the calendar months of January and June were also lower than for the same months in 2018.
 
To date, each of the taxes has generated $1,032,866, or a total of $2,065,732. For the same period in 2018 the taxes had generated $1,020,902 or a total of $2,041,804.
 
Even with the three months of decreased collections, the year-to-date amounts are greater than this time last year by $11,963 each or a total of $23,926.
 
8-26-19 5:27 p.m. KAWX.ORG 
 
 

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Polk County Sheriff's Report for August 19th - 25th

SHERIFF’S   LOG


The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of August 19 - August 25, 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.


August 19, 2019
Report from complainant on Polk 71 near Yocana of an unauthorized person on their property.  Deputy responded.  Investigation continues.
Report from complainant on Polk 67 near Cherry Hill of being the victim of an online scam involving department store cash cards, totaling losses at $3,000.00.  Investigation continues.
Report from complainant on Polk 71 near Yocana of the theft of prescription medication.  Investigation continues.


August 20, 2019
Report from complainant on Polk 419 near Potter of suspicious activity near their residence.  Investigation continues.
Report from complainant on Polk 41 South near Potter of damage done to a residence and two vehicles.  Investigation continues.
Arrested was Rebecca L. Hamilton, 35, of Mena, on a Warrant for Probation Violation and a Body Attachment Warrant.


August 21, 2019
Arrested was Ricky D. Miller, 58, of Cove, on a Warrant for Failure to Appear.


August 22, 2019
Arrested was Jody L. Carter, 34, of Mena, on Warrants for Assault 3rd Degree, Failure to Appear and two counts of Failure to Comply with a Court Order.
Arrested by an officer with the Grannis Police Department was Jacob D. White, 28, of Dierks, on a Warrant for Failure to Comply with a Court Order.


August 23, 2019
Arrested was Charles V. Brown, 39, of Mena, on a Warrant for DWI.
Arrested was Zea Hibbs, 27, of Mena, on a Warrant for Probation Violation.
Arrested by an officer with the Grannis Police Department was Jeffery D. Parnell, 58, of Wickes, on three Warrants for Failure to Comply with a Court Order.


August 24, 2019
Report from complainant on Polk 71 near Yocana of being threatened by an acquaintance.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Report of a one-vehicle accident on Polk 76 East near Mena led to the arrest of Stran M. Strother, 18, of Mena, on Charges of DUI, Careless/Prohibited Driving and Refusal to Submit.


August 25, 2019
Report of a disturbance on Highway 71 South near Wickes.  Deputies responded.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Report of a disturbance on Polk 32 near Cove led to the arrest of James K. Bailey, 47, of Cove, on Charges of Disorderly Conduct and Resisting Arrest.
Report of a disturbance on Highway 71 South in Hatfield.  Deputies responded.  Investigation continues.

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

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 28 Incarcerated Inmates , with 18 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

PC19-00577

 

8-26-19 2:08 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Mena Police Report for August 18th - 24th

Mena Police Department Reports for the Week of August 18, 2019 through August 24, 2019 

 

August 18, 2019

 

Report was made of someone breaking glass from a bus stop.  No suspects at this time.

 

A local woman reported that her boyfriend had become violent and physically abused her.  He had left the residence.  The case was forwarded to the prosecuting attorney and a warrant was issued for the suspect.

 

August 19, 2019

 

Marcelino Williamson, 30, of Mena arrested on an outstanding warrant.  In the same incident, Kayla Odom, 31, also of Mena was charged with hindering apprehension and refusal to submit to arrest. 

 

August 20, 2019

 

Dennis Stinson, 41, of Mena was charged with disorderly conduct after officers responded to a call at a local clinic.

 

Carlos Gonzalez, 62, of Mena was charged with  possession of a schedule Vi controlled substance. and was served four outstanding warrants.

 

August 21, 2019

 

Robert Harless, 56, of Mena was charged with obstructing governmental operations and was served an outstanding warrant form the Polk County Sheriff.

 

Revels Brown, 36, of Mena was charged with possession of methamphetamine or cocaine.  The arrest followed a traffic stop.

 

Following a traffic stop, Timothy Roberts, 32, of Mena was charged with possession of a schedule VI controlled substance. 

 

August 22, 2019

 

Matthew Hackworth, 32, of Mena was arrested on an outstanding warrant.  He was also charged 6/1/2018with possession of methamphetamine or cocaine.

 

August 23, 2019

 

During a routine traffic stop, Bryan Russell, 37, of Mena was served an outstanding warrant. 

 

Vickie Ramirez, 42, of Mena was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and refusal to submit to arrest. The arrest followed a traffic stop.

 

Tina Marie Richey, 32, of Cove was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.  The arrest followed a routine traffic stop.

6/1/2018

Stacie Leann Shores, 29, of Mena was served an outstanding warrant

 

August 24, 2019

 

Crystal Lynn Thacker Farmer, 31, of Doddridge, AR was arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Tina Marie Richey, 32, of Mena was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, The arrest followed a traffic stop.

 

Mark William Ferguson, 30, of Mena was charged with possession drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana.  The arrest followed a traffic stop.

 

David William Howell, 38, of Waldron was served an outstanding warrant from Sebastian County.

 

Chad Hunter, 49, of Mena was served an outstanding warrant the Polk County Sheriff’s office.

 

Audrey Simmons, 33, of Mena was served an outstanding warrant and was issued a citation for hindering apprehension.

 

8-26-19 10:23 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Labor Day Holiday Travelers Be Warned: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

As the Labor Day holiday period approaches, Arkansans will begin to see to see more law enforcement officers patrolling streets and highways prepared to arrest drunk drivers.
 
  Starting this week the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will partner with Arkansas State Police, county sheriff’s offices, and local police departments during the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over mobilization which will continue through Labor Day (September 2nd).  Statewide and national advertising that explains the dangers of driving impaired, coupled with the stepped-up DWI enforcement, are part of a plan designed to improve highway safety by going on the offensive against drunk driving.
 
  “Labor Day should be a time for friends and family to enjoy the last days of the summer season,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.  “We’re asking motorists who may choose to drink, not to drive.  Choosing not to drink and drive will result in safer travel for everyone and keep impaired drivers out of jail.”
 
  According to statistical data from NHTSA, there was an increase in the total number of drunk-driving deaths during calendar year 2017.  The total number of deaths rose to 10,874 compared to 10,497 lives lost during 2016.
 
  During the 2017 Labor Day holiday period, there were 376 traffic fatalities nationwide.  Forty-four percent of those fatalities involved drivers who had been drinking (.01+ BAC).  More than one-third (36%) of the fatalities involved drivers who were drunk (.08+ BAC), and more than one-fourth (26%) involved drivers who were driving with a blood alcohol content almost twice the legal limit (.15+ BAC).
 
  Anyone who plans to drive in the days leading up to the holiday or during the holiday weekend should remember, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.
 
  The Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office recommends the following:
 
  • Always plan ahead whenever you expect to drive and consume alcohol.
  • Designate a sober driver and give that person your keys.
  • If you have been drinking, call a taxi, take the bus or call a sober friend or family member to get you to your destination safely.
  • Promptly contact law enforcement to report drunk drivers you see on the roadways.
  • Always wear your seat belt.
  • If you’re on a motorcycle, use protective safety equipment.

 

  For more information on the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, visit TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136. For more on the ongoing “Toward Zero Deaths” campaign, visit TZDarkansas.org.
 
8-26-19 7:52 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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QWSP Activities This Week and Labor Day

For more information about any of the listed activities or Queen Wilhelmina State Park near Mena, dial (479) 394-2863.

 

Wednesday, August 28

 

Color Hike starting at 9:00 am and lasting about 45 minutes. Meet at the Amphitheater. With summer in season, join Park Interpreter Melissa on a 1/2-mile hike to see how many different colors we can identify on the Spring Trail.

 

Wonder House Tour starting at 11:00 am and lasting about 30 minutes. Meet at the Wonder House. Do you ever wonder what the Wonder House is about? Join Park Interpreter Melissa and step back into history to see one of the first vacation homes built in the 1930’s.

 

 

Black Bears starting at 2:00 pm and lasting about 30 minutes. Meet at the Amphitheater. Do we have bears here at Queen Wilhelmina State Park? Join Park Interpreter Melissa to find out if these once almost extinct animals live near the park.

 

 

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

 

Friday, August 30

 

Tree ID Hike starting at 1:00 pm and lasting about 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 3:00 pm and lasting about 30 minutes. 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.

 

Touch Table starting at 4:00 pm and lasting about 1 hour. Meet in the Hearth Room. There will be different things that you can see and touch. Join Park Interpreter Melissa for a fun, interactive way of exploring things found in our park, and find out what they are.

 

Sunset Hike starting at 7:30 pm and lasting about 30 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, August 31

 

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

 

Wonder House Tour starting at 3:30 pm and lasting about 30 minutes. Meet at the Wonder House. Do you ever wonder what the Wonder House is about? Join Park Interpreter Melissa and step back into history to see one of the first vacation homes built in the 1930’s.

 

Frisbee Golf starting at 4:30 pm and 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!

 

S’mores starting at 7:30 pm and lasting about 30 minutes. Meet in the Picnic Area Did you ever wonder how S’mores came about? Come join park interpreter Melissa to learn about the history of S’mores, and try the delicious snack cooked over a campfire!

 

Sunday, September 1

 

Wonder House Tour starting at 10:00 am and lasting about 30 minutes. Meet at the Wonder House. Do you ever wonder what the Wonder House is about? Join Park Interpreter Melissa and step back into history to see one of the first vacation homes built in the 1930’s.

 

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

 

 

Volleyball starting at 3:00 pm and lasting about 30 minutes. Meet at the Volleyball Court. Join Park Interpreter Melissa in an afternoon game of volleyball. No experience needed. Just come and have fun.

 

Ask a Park Interpreter starting at 4:00 pm and lasting about 30 minutes. Meet in the Hearth Room. Have you encountered something in the park that has left you puzzled? Do you have any park or nature-related questions that you would like answered? Meet Park Interpreter Melissa in the Hearth Room an informal meet and greet and get some answers! This program is come and go.

 

Monday, September 2

 

Reservoir Hike starting at 10:00 am 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.

 

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

 

Edible Insects starting at 3:00 pm and lasting about 30 minutes. Meet in the Hearth Room. Is eating bugs a real thing? Join park interpreter Melissa and see who really eats bugs. If you’re brave enough, you can join the “I Ate A Bug Club!” Bring your appetite and take a bite, or come and watch!

 

 

Fo more information about any fo the activities listed, or the State Park, dial (479) 394-2863 or visit their website by clicking here.  

 

8-26-19 7:37 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

 

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Gov. Asa Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Expanding Access for Those in Crisis

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Expanding Access for Those in Crisis
 

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

 
LITTLE ROCK – Today I want to talk about what we are doing in Arkansas to expand access to mental health services and for those in need of drug-addiction counseling.
 
In the two years since we transformed Medicaid coverage, the number of counselors has risen from 31 in 2017 to 207 this last year. That is an increase of 567 percent. The number of behavioral health agency sites has increased from 253 to 311.
 
What that means for Arkansas is that more people have quicker access to the professional assistance they need.
 
Arkansas has not been exempt from the devastating impact of opioid addiction that is stealing the future from tens of thousands of people around our nation. In addition to the obvious ill effects of the abuse of drugs and alcohol, that lifestyle often leads to mental-health issues. Arkansas is blessed with leaders in the Department of Human Services, the Department of Health, and the General Assembly who understand that we have to find creative ways to help our neighbors. They know that if we don’t act, the epidemic will swamp families and entire communities.
 
The goal of the 2017 Medicaid transformation was to expand counseling for drug addiction and broaden access to mental-health services. The transformation led to several improvements in the system. We eliminated the rule that limited the number of providers that Medicaid could reimburse for services. We increased the rate of reimbursement to increase the number of counselors. This leveled the playing field for the small service providers.
 
The new rules also allowed counselors to work in the same building as doctors. This has improved the chance for successful treatment because a doctor is free to send a patient to a counselor down the hall rather than simply hope the patient will drive across town a week later to keep an appointment.
 
I talked about this tremendous growth at a news conference this week. I also announced that DHS has launched a helpline with trained staff members who will steer to the appropriate source those who are seeking help with mental-health issues and drug addiction.
 
The helpline complements Arkansas’s system of Crisis Stabilization Units, which offers a person in the midst of a mental-health crisis the option of immediate treatment rather than a trip to jail. Arrest isn’t always the best option for a person who is suffering a mental-health crisis. Staff members at the CSUs are trained to assess the needs of those in crisis, provide immediate aid, and then guide them to the appropriate help.
 
The success of our CSUs and the growth in the number of providers allows us to give more Arkansans a chance to improve their life. With the launch of the Mental Health and Addiction Services Support line, my hope is that our reach will expand faster and farther.
 
Our goal is to help Arkansans who are in distress to navigate their obstacles rather than add to their load with an arrest record or leave them to face their trouble alone.
 
As I have toured the state during natural disasters, I have seen over and over that we show up in huge numbers to rescue our neighbors. In that same spirit, we are showing up to help those who are suffering through a crisis of a different kind.
 
8-24-19 7:48 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

Arkansas recently set a new record low for unemployment. The unemployment rate for July was 3.4 %, breaking the previous record of 3.5% last month. There are 19,200 more jobs in our state than this time last year.

 

But the story of our work force does not end there.  As we approach Labor Day, it’s worth taking a look at our state’s largest occupations, what occupations are in demand, and what occupations are paying the most.

 

This information is released annually in the Department of Workforce Services Arkansas Labor Market and Economic Report.

 

Retail salespersons was estimated to have the most employees across the state with 37,050 employed in 2017 with an average wage of $24,990. Combined food preparation and serving workers was the second largest occupation with 35,520 employed, earning an average wage of $19,620.

 

When it comes to occupations in demand, the report is divided into three categories: high skill, moderate skill, and basic skill.

 

The most in-demand high skill occupations in our state are operations managers, registered nurses, clergy, elementary school teachers (except special education), accountants and auditors.

 

The most in-demand moderate skill occupations are truck drivers, nursing assistants, bookkeeping and auditing clerks, teacher assistants, and licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses.

 

The most in-demand basic skill occupations are food preparation and food serving workers, cashiers, retail sales, farmers and other agricultural managers.

 

Internists topped the occupations paying the most list with an annual salary of $247,280. Obstetricians and Gynecologists, with an average annual salary of $235,130ranked second.

 

The entry wage estimate for employers of all sizes was $20,160 for 2017. The median wage estimate for employers with 250-499 employees was $32,317, while wages for experienced workers averaged $50,710 for employers in all size categories.

 

Our labor market is expected to continue to grow. You can find more detailed information on the labor market in various regions of the state by reading the report we have linked on our website www.arkansashouse.org.

 

8-23-19 5:40 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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US Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column: Connecting with Arkansas Classrooms

Connecting with Arkansas Classrooms

 

Students across the state are back in class for the 2019-2020 school year. As administrators, teachers and pupils begin diving into new lesson plans and formulating goals and objectives to work toward this year, we are all excited for what the future holds.

 

I believe in interacting with students and teachers through the power of technology. That’s why I plan to continue connecting with Arkansas classrooms via video chatting services like Skype this school year as I have for the past several years. Spending time with teachers and students in our state even while I’m working in Washington, D.C. has proven to be a rewarding and fun experience.

 

Our educators have an incredibly meaningful and empowering responsibility to prepare students for success. Young Arkansans are well-served by their teachers’ efforts to help them learn, grow and develop the skills and abilities needed to chase their dreams and eventually contribute to our state and their communities.

 

As a former member of the Rogers School Board, I understand how challenging it can be for educators and administrators to do more with less. That’s why I will continue making it a priority to find ways to support and recognize the critical work they do on behalf of our students.

 

Having a dialogue with the education community in Arkansas, which I do by hosting video calls with classes across the state, provides me the opportunity to hear what is on students’ minds as well as receive real-time feedback and insight from their teachers.

 

I’ve hosted these discussions with many classes in the past and have consistently participated in conversations that are beneficial to myself and my staff in Washington and Arkansas. During these discussions, I usually try to help students understand what I do as one of their voices within the federal government in addition to helping inform and bring real-life examples to the lessons they’ve been taught about in civics, history and social studies. Our visits also give me the opportunity to personally tell educators how proud I am of them and how much I, on behalf of the entire state, appreciate what they do.

 

It’s my honor to represent the people of Arkansas in Washington as one of your United States Senators. Engaging with classrooms to share what I’m working on for our state and answer questions about current events, our government and my own path to public service is a unique and educational opportunity for all involved – and one that I am eager to expand this year.

 

If you know of a class that would like to connect with me, invite them to reach out to my office in Washington to learn more. I welcome the chance to visit with classrooms and educators in every corner of our state. To all those involved in our students’ education, I send my best wishes for a great school year and hope to talk with you soon.

 

8-23-19 2:08 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Senator Larry Teague's Weekly Column

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

August 23, 2019

 

LITTLE ROCK – Last year 426 Arkansas residents died from a drug overdose, according to death certificates filed with the state Health Department. That is an increase in fatal drug overdoses from 2017, when 417 people in Arkansas died from drugs.

 

The data is from the most recent annual report issued by the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, which is administered by the Health Department.

The program was created by the legislature in 2011 to curtail the rapidly growing abuse of controlled substances, such as painkillers and opioids. Since 2011 the legislature has steadily expanded the program’s reach.

 

Under state law, every time a controlled substance is dispensed to an individual, it must be reported to the monitoring program within seven days. In 2017 the legislature made it mandatory for prescribing physicians to check with the program before prescribing opioids and controlled substances.

 

Law enforcement, medical fraud investigators and authorities from the military and other states can access the data in the Arkansas prescription drug monitoring program. Early this year, the number of users who have access to the program went over 20,000 for the first time.

 

One goal is to reduce “doctor shopping” by people who abuse prescription drugs. The practice is defined as visiting multiple physicians in order to obtain numerous prescriptions for the same drug.

 

The program flags instances of “doctor shopping” if a patient sees five doctors and goes to five pharmacies within a 90 day period, all in order to purchase the same drug. In large part due to the flagging of this form of abuse, since the beginning of 2017, Arkansas has seen an 80 percent decrease in “doctor shopping.”

 

Arkansas shares data with 34 other states that also have a prescription drug monitoring program. Importantly, Missouri does not have a program and does not share data with Arkansas. All of our other neighboring states share information on prescription drugs, however.

 

The number of queries by law enforcement usually ranges from 180 to 190 per quarter. The number of queries from boards that license physicians, nurses and other health professionals, will vary to a greater degree, for instance, from 30 or 40 or 50 per quarter.

 

Queries from physicians, pharmacists and health care professionals average about 19,000 a month.

 

Opioids were the most widely prescribed drug in Arkansas in 2018, with 3.2 million prescriptions ordered and more than 186 million pills sold. That is a decrease from 2016, when 236 million opioid pills were sold in Arkansas.

 

Opioids treat pain and include hydrocodone, oxycodone and morphine.

 

The second most sold controlled drugs in Arkansas in 2018 were prescriptions for anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, seizures and muscle spasms. The drugs include Xanax and Valium. More than 1.7 million prescriptions, equaling 86 million pills, were sold.

 

Stimulants ranked third in the top-selling list. This category includes drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin, which are used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. In 2018, more than 762,000 prescriptions were ordered, totalling 26 million pills.

 

From 120,000 to 130,000 Arkansans were considered chronic users of opioids in 2018 because they received 90 days’ worth of medication in a 180-day period, with gaps between usages of less than 30 days.

 

8-23-19 10:47 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Arkansas Attorney General Rutledge Announces Anti-Robocalls Principles

Rutledge Announces Anti-Robocalls Principles

Multifaceted approach with public and private coalition to block illegal calls

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced a bipartisan, public/private coalition with every state attorneys general and the District of Columbia along with 12 phone companies, an agreement to adopt eight principles to fight illegal robocalls. This agreement sets the framework of prevention and enforcement by protecting phone users from illegal robocalls and making it easier for attorneys general to investigate and prosecute bad actors.

 

"Today's announcement was a collaborative effort between public sector and private industry to protect Arkansans by utilizing all available technology to stop these illegal calls," said Attorney General Rutledge. "I have lead the charge in Arkansas by working with telecom providers to hold them accountable and ensure providers are implementing technology to stop these criminals from robbing the citizens of Arkansas and Americans of their hard earned money."

 

 Phone companies will work to prevent illegal robocalls by:

 

·         Implementing call-blocking technology at the network level at no cost to customers,

 

·         Making available to customers additional, free, easy-to-use call blocking and labeling tools,

 

·         Implementing technology to authenticate that callers are coming from a valid source,

 

·         Monitoring their networks for robocall traffic,

 

·         Assisting attorneys’ general anti-robocall enforcement by,

 

·         Knowing whom their customers are so bad actors can be identified and investigated,

 

·         Investigating and taking action against suspicious callers – including notifying law enforcement and state attorneys general,

 

·         Working with law enforcement, including state attorneys general, to trace the origins of illegal robocalls,

 

·         Requiring telephone companies with which they contract to cooperate in traceback identification.

 

 Going forward, phone companies will stay in close communication with the coalition of attorneys general to continue to optimize robocall protections as technology and scammer techniques change.

 

 Rutledge has been paving the way for telephone carriers to aggressively block illegal robocalls before they reach consumers through conversations with the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). Rutledge has also expressed support for the passage of the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act and demanded the FCC take action in the Truth in Caller ID Act rulemaking process against illegal spoofing. 

 

 In Arkansas, Rutledge continues to lead the fight against robocalls by working with state legislators to pass legislation to require telecommunication providers to submit annual reports to the Arkansas Public Service Commission to certify that all available and applicable technology is being employed to identify and block illegal robocalls and spoofing. 

 

 The coalition of attorneys general, led by North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon MacDonald, and Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill, includes attorneys general from all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

 

 The coalition of companies includes AT&T, Bandwidth, CenturyLink, Charter, Comcast, Consolidated, Frontier, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Verizon, and Windstream.

 

8-23-19 8:29 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Rod Run Schedule of Events, Parade Route

The 44th Annual Queen Wilhelmina Rod Run gets underway Friday, August 23rd. The schedule of events is below.

 

The Rod Run parade will be Friday in downtown Mena. The parade will start at 5:30 p.m. at the Polk County Courthouse, travel south on Mena Street, cross the railroad tracks and US Hwy 71 and down to Martin Street, turn right on Martin Street and travel to 7th Street, 7th Street to Maple Street, then right on Maple Street back to Mena Street where the parade will disband for Show and Shine.

 

8-22-19 4:56 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Weekly Fishing Report

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s  weekly fishing report for Aug. 21, 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.

 

8-21-19 3:34 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

 

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Family Council Legislative Report Card Gives Maddox High Marks

The Family Council Action Committee recently released its 2019 legislative report card showing how Arkansas lawmakers voted on key legislation.

 
State Representative John Maddox of Mena received an "A" or 95%, and State Senator Larry Teague of Nashville received a "B" or 88%.
 
 
8-21-19 3:18 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Polk County Circuit Court Arraignments August 19th, 20th, 21st

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. William Pare, W/M, age 47, Count I: Possession Of Methamphetamine With The Purpose To Deliver, a Class "B" Felony.
 
State of Arkansas Vs. Juston M. Wikel, W/M, age 34, Count I: Aggravated Assault, a Class "D" Felony. Count II: Possession Of Firearms By Certain Persons, a Class "D" Felony.
 
State of Arkansas Vs. Rebecca Hamilton, W/F, age 35, Count I: Probation Violation. (Original offense was Possession Of A Controlled Substance, a Class "D" Felony.) Bond set at $10,000.00.
 
State of Arkansas Vs. Carlos G. Gonzalez, H/M, age 62, Count I: Failure To Appear, a Class "C" Felony. Count II: Failure To Appear, a Class "C" Felony.
 
State of Arkansas Vs. Candi M. Brown, W/F, age 36, Count I: Possession Of A Schedule II Controlled Substance, a Class "D" Felony. 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.
 
8-21-19 2:05 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Polk County Circuit Court Arraignments August 8th, 12th, 13th, and 14th

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.Gregory S. McDonald, W/M, age 41, Count I: Defrauding A Secured Creditor, a Class "D" Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Joni L. McKee, W/F, age 38, Count I: Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class "D" Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. George Trivette III, W/M, age 26, Count I: Tampering With A Public Record, a Class "D" Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. George Trivette III, W/M, age 26, Count I: Furnishing, Possessing, Or Using Prohibited Articles, a Class "C" Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Ashley Chumley, W/F, age 38, Count I: Failure To Appear, a Class "C" Felony.

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Eric D. Revels, W/M, age 35, Count I: Probation Violation. (The original offense was Theft By Receiving.) Bond was set at $10,000.00.

 

8-21-19 9:13 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Mena Police Arrest Two While Serving Federal Warrant

 

Mena Police made two arrests Monday night and releasesed the following statement:

 

"On 08/19/19 at about 1730 hours, Officers went to a residence in Mena to serve a federal warrant. Marcelino Williamson, age 30, was arrested on federal BATF warrant for one count of being a person subject to a court order in possession of a firearm. Kayla Odom, age 31, was also arrested and charged with Hindering Apprehension and Refusal to Submit to Arrest."

 

8-20-19 5:54 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Polk County Sheriff's Report for August 12th - 18th

 

 

SHERIFF’S   LOG


The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of August 12 - August 18, 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.


August 12, 2019
Report from complainant on Polk 1 near Grannis of the violation of an Order of Protection.  Deputies responded.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Report from complainant on Polk 121 near Mena of the theft of an air compressor and crow bar, all valued at $510.00.  Investigation continues.
Arrested was Ashley D. Chumley, 38, of Mena, on a Warrant for Felony Failure to Appear.


August 13, 2019
Report from complainant on Highway 8 East near Big Fork of being harassed by an acquaintance.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Arrested was George Trivette III, 26, of Mena, on Warrants for Furnishing Prohibited Articles and Tampering with Physical Evidence.
Arrested by an officer with the Grannis Police Department was Elmer O. Elmore, 39, of Gillham, on a Warrant for Failure to Appear.


August 14, 2019
Report from complainant on Polk 277 near Vandervoort of the theft of a piece of exercise equipment, valued at $150.00.  Investigation continues.
Report from complainant on Polk 41 North near Shady Grove of a disturbance that had occurred at an earlier time.  Investigation continues.
Report from a Mena couple that their 15-year-old daughter was missing.  The juvenile was later located.  A Juvenile Citation for Disorderly Conduct was issued to the female.  The juvenile was released to the custody of a parent/guardian.
Arrested was Joseph Y. Cunningham, 34, of Mena, on Warrants for Possession of a Schedule I/II Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Simultaneous Possession of Firearms & Drugs, Possession of a Firearm by Certain Person, Failure to Comply with a Court Order and Probation Violation.


August 15, 2019
Arrested was Melton R. Cannon, 54, of Mena, on a Warrant for Possession of a Controlled Substance.


August 16, 2019
Report of a disturbance on Polk 41 South near Potter led to the arrest of Robin L. Hames, 55, of Mena, on a Charge of Disorderly Conduct.
Report of a person threatening another with a firearm on Polk 24 near Cove led to the arrest of Juston M. Wikel, 34, of Cove, on a Charge of Aggravated Assault and a Parole Revocation.


August 17, 2019
Report from complainant on Polk 85 near Cherry Hill of the fraudulent use of a credit card, totaling losses at $463.75.  Investigation continues.

August 18, 2019
Traffic stop on School Street in Cove led to the arrest of Asa R. Dixon, 21, of Cove, on Charges of DWI, Equipment Violation and Expired Tags.

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

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 25 Incarcerated Inmates , with 20 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

PC19-00564

 

8-20-19 5:48 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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HOLLY HARSHMAN KICKS OFF BEARCAT WEEK

 

Holly Harshman Elementary kicked off opening week with a "Bearcat Eyes Are Watching You" Pep Rally.  School Counselor Vicky Maye and Behavioral Interventionist Ashlynn Watts are excited to be adding this as a positive behavior system for the school.  The following Special Alumni Bearcat guests were present to help kick off the new year:  Head of Security, Shane Torix; HHE Building Manager, Joe Bunch; Technology, Nathan Stone; Coach Ray Hunter; Coach Randy Peters; Elementary Behavioral Interventionist, Ashlynn Watts; Cheer sponsor, Andrea Hughes; Bearcat Head Football Coach, Craig Bentley; High School Teacher, Andy Philpot; and  Mayor Seth Smith. 

 

 

All alumni shared a few words about growing up as a Mena Bearcat and being back as part of the Mena TEAM staff member.  Mayor Smith signed a proclamation for the week of August 19-24, 2019 as "Be A Bearcat Week!"  Mr. Justin Goodnight, middle school instructor for Career Orientation and Agriculture was present to share his story of how he modeled kindness when he gave a student his shoes last school year.  Mr. Torix closed the pep rally with his famous quote, "It's a great day to be a Bearcat!" Maye shares, "HHE staff and students can look forward to the monthly pep rallies this school year!"  

 

 
Maye continued "Our first parent night will be September 23, 2019 at 6 p.m. We have had an awesome week back as we welcomed a huge turnout for Open House. Our Parent/Family Engagement Plans for HHE have been included in our beginning of the year important correspondence for HHE families. The following HHE parent/family advisory committee members met on Thursday, August 15th for lunch at Papa's Mexican to review and make plans for family engagement opportunities:  Building Principal, Tamara Smart; Building Manager, Joe Bunch; Behavioral Interventionist, Ashlynn Watts; Campus Facilitator and School Counselor, Vicky Maye; and parents, Bridgett Martin, Stephanie Miller, and Shelby Garcia.  The HHE Parent/Family Engagement Plan is available on the HHE School website at https://www.menaschools.org/o/holly-harshman-elementary-school.
 
8-19-19 3:40 p.m. KAWX.ORG

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Mena Police Report for August 11th - 17th

 

 

Mena Police Department Reports for the Week of August 11, 2019 through August 17, 2019 

 

August 11, 2019

 

Joni McKee, 38, of Mena was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. The arrest followed a traffic stop.

 

August 12, 2019

 

A local woman reported that several items were stolen from her vehicle while it was parked at a local business. Besides personal items, there was a handgun taken as well.  After speaking with a witness, officers were able to identify a suspect.  Case is pending location and interview of suspect.

 

August 13, 2019

 

Officers responded to a call at a local business regarding an individual who had become agitated and started throwing items in the store. 

 

Employees at a local nursing facility reported that someone had broken the knob on an entry door.  No suspects at this time.

 

Report was made of someone stealing several items from a local retail store. Case pending review of surveillance video.

 

August 14 & 15, 2019

 

William R. Pate, 47, of Mena was charged with possession of methamphetamine or cocaine with intent to deliver, failure to use a signal, and driving on a suspended driver’s license.  The arrest followed a traffic stop.

 

Patricia Miner, 48, of Mena was served an outstanding warrant from Mena Police for an original charge of theft of property.

 

Israel Flores, 26, of Fayetteville was served an outstanding warrant.

 

August 16, 2019

 

David Lee Maleski, 47, of Smithville, Oklahoma, was served an outstanding warrant.

 

August 17, 2019

 

Employees at a local fast food restaurant reported receiving a counterfeit $100.00 bill.  Case is pending.

 

8-19-19 9:37 a.m. KAWX.ORG

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Gov. Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: "Flashing Red. Kids Ahead"

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Stop for the Flashing Red Lights
 
 
LITTLE ROCK – Today, as our children start a new school year, I’d like to focus on the “Flashing Red. Kids Ahead” campaign.
 
I’ve known that vehicles are supposed to stop for a bus since I was a young student in Gravette. I routinely walked the half mile to catch a bus to school. Our bus driver was protective of his young passengers, and so anytime a car passed when red lights were flashing, if he could read the tag, he would write it down and report the car.
 
The purpose of the “Flashing Red. Kids Ahead” slogan is to make everyone aware that it is illegal to pass a stopped bus. This is the seventh year the Arkansas Department of Education has focused on the responsibility of drivers to stop every time they encounter a school bus with its stop signs out and red lights flashing.
 
Even with the ongoing emphasis, some drivers aren’t heeding the message. Each day of the 178-day school year, approximately 6,000 buses transport 350,000 students to and from school. Every year, on one day in April, the department asks bus drivers around the state to record the number of drivers who ignore the flashing lights and pass a stopped school bus.
 
This year, in the one-day survey, drivers reported 884 motorists illegally passing a bus. That means drivers illegally passed 15 percent of our stopped school buses. Put another way, drivers chose to ignore the flashing red lights and endangered the lives of our students 15 percent of the time.
 
This is a slight increase over last year. The most frightening statistic is that 12 drivers passed a bus on the right side where the children board.
 
Police agencies, including the state police, ticket drivers who illegally pass a bus. In 2017, troopers wrote 322 tickets, and last year, they wrote 285.

 

This year, members of the 92nd General Assembly passed and I signed a law that increases the penalty for illegally passing a bus.
No one would intentionally endanger a child, but we can’t be careless around school buses.
 
This week, Secretary of Education Johnny Key hosted a “Flashing Red. Kids Ahead” assembly in the rotunda of the capitol. One of the speakers was William Brian. He is the father of Isaac Brian, the 9-year-old who was killed in Saline County in 2004 when a woman failed to stop for his school bus as he dashed for home after a day at school.
 
In his brief remarks, Isaac’s father appealed to all of us who drive to always stop when you see a school bus stopped, so that no other family suffers the tragedy his family endured.
 
In 2004, city leaders, legislators, and educators mobilized as soon as they heard about the death. During the 2005 General Assembly, both houses of the legislature unanimously passed a law that increased the penalty for a driver who illegally passed a bus.
 
They named the legislation Isaac’s Law in honor of the 9-year-old who never saw the car coming.
 
“Flashing Red. Kids Ahead.”
 
8-17-19 7:49 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

During any given day in the school year, there are 350,000 children riding a bus on Arkansas roadways.

 

This week, legislators joined the Governor, Education Secretary Johnny Key, and state police in reminding drivers that Flashing Red means Kids Ahead.

 

It is illegal to pass a stopped school bus whenever its red lights are flashing, as students are present. The law requires drivers to stop on 2 lane and 4 lane highways in both directions, even those with a middle lane. Drivers cannot attempt to pass in any direction until the school bus has finished receiving or discharging passengers and is in motion again.

 

And yet, Arkansans violate this law routinely.  Back in April, Arkansas school bus drivers reported 884 instances of motorists illegally passing stopped school buses in one day. Twelve of those instances occurred on the right side of the bus, where students enter and leave the bus.

 

The penalties and punishment for anyone found guilty of illegally passing a stopped school bus were increased dramatically by Act 2128 of 2005, also known as Isaac’s Law. The legislation was named in honor of Isaac Brian, an elementary school student in the Bryant School District who was struck and killed when a driver illegally passed his school bus while students were exiting the vehicle. The legislature increased the fines in Isaac’s Law again this year with Act 166. Drivers can now face up to a $2,500 fine for a violation.

 

Isaac’s father, William Brian, spoke at the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday, “I’m encouraging you to take your responsibility as a driver seriously. I’m asking you eliminate distractions and have a heightened sense of awareness anytime you see flashing red lights.”

 

Everyone has a responsibility to ensure students arrive to and from school safely. Remember: Flashing Red. Kids Ahead. To learn more about the campaign, visit www.flashingredkidsahead.org.

 

8-16-19 8:55 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column

Retaining our Best Doctors and Increasing Health Care Access in Arkansas

 

More doctors are getting their education in Arkansas than ever before. The openings in recent years of the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Smith and the NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine in Jonesboro add to the well-established College of Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) which has been training doctors for more than a century and recently opened the doors to its Northwest Arkansas Regional Campus.

 

Despite an increase in training opportunities in our state, data from the Association of American Medical Colleges show the U.S. is expected to face a shortage of up to nearly 122,000 physicians by 2032. We’re taking action to prevent this shortfall and ensure we have well-qualified doctors for future generations of Arkansans and all Americans.

 

After medical school, prospective providers are required to complete a residency program to refine their skills in specialty fields and obtain their license to practice. An arbitrary cap on the number of residents funded by Medicare, the primary source of payment for residents, has contributed to the doctor shortage and prevented medical school graduates who want to continue living and working in Arkansas for their residency the opportunity to do so.

 

Earlier this year, I joined a bipartisan effort to introduce the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act that would gradually lift the caps on Medicare-supported doctor training slots by 3,000 per year over five years – creating 15,000 new residency training slots across the country. Half of these slots would be in specialty fields. This commonsense bill is a modest yet positive step we can take to improve access to quality medical services in urban and rural communities across Arkansas.

 

According to UAMS, there will be 439 medical school graduates in the next two years in Arkansas, but there are only 290 residency slots in our state. This means graduates will complete their residency elsewhere and potentially establish practices in states other than Arkansas. We want to train and retain the physicians who study here so they can provide care for us, our family and our friends. Additionally, residents become part of the communities they serve. UAMS Chancellor Dr.Cam Patterson says physicians are more likely to practice within 50 miles of their final residency training.

 

In addition to better access to care, updates to residency slots will have a positive economic impact. A report released by the Northwest Arkansas Council in January about the region’s health care needs showed an increase in physician residency positions is critical to the area’s growth.

 

I recently had the opportunity to talk more about the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act during a discussion with Arkansas health care providers and other government officials about solutions to the growing residency shortage in our state. We all share the common goal of increasing the number of physicians and investing in future doctors for our health care, and by working together we can help supply the medical professionals Arkansans need. They agreed that this bill is a good step to improving health care in our state.

 

Arkansas can be proud of the education it offers future physicians. We must be prepared to meet the future health care needs of Natural State residents. Passing the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act is a good place to start.

 

8-16-19 8:50 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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State Senator Larry Teague's Weekly Column

 

 

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

August 16, 2019

 

LITTLE ROCK – With the opening of the 2019-2020 school year, there are 26 open enrollment charter schools in Arkansas.

Two new ones are scheduled to open this year in Pulaski County.

 

The state Charter School Authorizing Panel recently recommended approval of an application for a new school set to open in Bentonville in 2020-2021. When it opens, it will bring to 27 the total number of open enrollment charter schools in Arkansas.

 

Under state law, the limit on the number of open enrollment charters in Arkansas is 34. However, it would automatically increase by five schools once the total number of charters is within two of the limit. That means the limit will remain at 34 until there are 32 charters in the state.

 

The original cap for open enrollment charters schools was 24. Every year there are usually several applications to open new charters, but there also are regular closings of existing schools. Financial deficits and lack of students’ academic progress are cited as reasons for several of the closings.

 

Charter schools are public, and receive state aid. However, they are free from many of the regulations that govern traditional public schools. The charter under which they operate is like a performance contract, which outlines the schools mission and goals, as well as how many students it will educate and how it will assess academic progress.

 

There are two types of charter schools. Open enrollment charters are operated by non-profit organizations, government entities or institutions of higher education. They can draw students from across district boundaries.

 

The second type are conversion charters, which are operated by local school districts and which can only draw students from within the district’s boundaries.

 

In exchange for the greater freedom from regulations, charter schools agree to oversight from the state Board of Education.

 

Crisis Stabilization Units

 

In 2017 the legislature approved Act 423 to create four Crisis Stabilization Units, where police officers can bring people who behave erratically and may need immediate treatment for mental health issues. They are to have 16 beds.

 

Three units are open, in Washington County, Sebastian County and Pulaski County. The unit in Craighead County is under construction.

 

Act 423 also provides for expanded training of law enforcement officers in how to recognize and handle people who are going through a mental health crisis. Most people are admitted for up to 72 hours, but can stay longer under extreme circumstances.

 

One of the main goals of the units is to keep people with mental illness out of jails, where they will not have access to medication and where their conditions are likely to worsen.

 

The Criminal Justice Institute, which is connected with the University of Arkansas System, is offering online courses for police officers that teaches officers how to distinguish escalating levels of danger when they encounter a person undergoing a behavioral health crisis. The course keeps the safety of the officer as the top priority.

 

The course is nine hours and counts towards degrees offered by the Institute. The courses teach the new protocol that police should follow when dealing with people suffering a mental health crisis.

 

8-16-19 8:41 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

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Pine Moore Shavings Fire In Mena Causes Major Damage

Mena residents heard a loud explosion, some even reporting feeling the blast in their homes, shortly before 10:00 p.m. Thursday night. Mena Fire Department was paged out at 10:00 p.m. to Pine Moore Shavings on Hwy 375 (the old Mid-South Wood Products location) and the first firemen were on the scene at 10:03 p.m. where there was a large fire in progress.

 

Highway 375 was closed at one point for safety and traffic control as well as to prevent blockageof a fire hydrant at the corber of Eve Street and Highway 375.

 

Pine Moore Shavings manufactures pet bedding products.

 

The cause of the blaze is under investigation.

 

No injuries were reported. One fireman did get overheated but after cooling down continued battling the blaze.

 

 

In addition to the Mena Fire Department, Shady Grove and Potter fire departments responded, as well as Mena Police, Polk County Sheriff's Department, Polk County OES, and SW EMS.

 

8-16-19 8:01 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Lottery Ticket Sales Report For July

The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration has released the Arkansas Lottery Retail Sales By County Report for July 2019.

 

Total combined sales for all 75 counties amounted to $39,938,936.50.

 

Pulaski County had the highest sales at $7,392,918.50.

 

The lowest sales were in Montgomery County at $39,536.50.

 

Polk County sales were $182,072.00.

 

According to the Arkansas Family Council, only about 19 cents of every dollar actually goes to scholarships.

 

8-15-19 4:28 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

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Friday and Saturday Activities At QWSP Near Mena

 

For more about these activites at Queen Wilhelmina State Park near Mena, or the park, dial (479) 394-2863 or visit the park website.

 

 

Friday, August 16

 

Butterflies 1:00 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.

 

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.

 

Ouachita Walk 3:00 pm lasting about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Meet on the west side of the Ouachita Trailhead. Join Park Interpreter Melissa and enjoy a serene summer walk on top of the mountain to catch a glimpse of the changes the season brings with it. This will be an easy hike for all ages.

 

Sunset Hike 7:45 pm 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, August 17

 

Sip and Shine 6:30 am lasting about 30 minutes. Meet on the south side of the platform. Are you a morning person? If so, grab a cup of coffee or your favorite morning drink and join Park Interpreter Melissa as we sip and watch the sunrise. Free coffee is available in the lobby of the Lodge. We recommend bringing your cameras to capture the beautiful sunrise.

 

Bird Watching 7:15 am  lasting 1 hour. Meet on 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 10:00 am lasting about 30 minutes. Meet at the Wonder House. Do you ever wonder what the Wonder House is about? Join Park Interpreter Melissa and step back into history to see one of the first vacation homes built in the 1930’s.

 

Edible Insects 1:30 pm lasting about 30 minutes. Meet in the Hearth Room. Is eating bugs a real thing? Join Park Interpreter Melissa and see who really eats bugs. If you’re brave enough you can join the “I Ate A Bug Club!” Bring your appetite and take a bite or come and watch!

 

 

Click on the map above for Queen Wilhelmina State Park activities.

 

8-15-19 4:16 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

 

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Weekly Arkansas Fishing Report

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s weekly fishing report for Aug. 14, 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. Geological Survey, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/rt

 

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

 

8-14-19 3:15 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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One Injured In Car - Bicycle Accident In Mena Wednesday Morning

The Mena Police Department released the following information about the accident Wednesday morning in Mena involving a car and bicycle. 

 

"On Wednesday 08/14/19, at about 0800 hours, Mena police officers responded to a vehicle v. bicycle accident at the intersection of Dallas Avenue and Lincoln Street. Witness statements advised that the vehicle was going west on Dallas Avenue and the bicycle was going north on Lincoln Street. The bicycle failed to yield, while crossing Dallas Avenue, and was struck by the vehicle. The man that was driving the vehicle was uninjured. The 12-year-old boy, that was riding the bicycle, was injured and was transported to the hospital."

 

No other details are available at this time.

 

8-14-19 1:36 p.m. KAWX.ORG

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Horatio Man Dead After Polk County Truck Wreck

A single vehicle accident on US Highway 71 just south of the Highway 246 intersection (Vandervoort junction) resulted in the death of a Horatio man around 8:50 Tuesday morning.


According the the Arkansas State Police Report, 34 year old Jonathan C. Smith of Horatio was southbound on Highway 71 in a 2010 Mack truck that left the highway and overturned.
 
The truck belonged to Tyson and was hauling live chickens.
 
The accident was investigated by Trooper Mike Thomas. 
 
8-13-19 3:17 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Governor Appoints Sheriff Sawyer To Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced that he had appointed Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Sawyer replaces Cory Sanders and his term will expire July 1, 2021.

The complete list of appointments announced by the Governor today is below.
 
Laura Abbott, Cabot, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2022. Reappointment.

Judge Blake Batson, Arkadelphia, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2022. Replaces Judge Vicki Cook.

Lisa Channell, Benton, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission.  Term expires July 1, 2021. Reappointment.

Major Jeffrey Drew, Sherwood, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2024. Replaces Deborah Roark.

Dorinda Edmisten, Clarksville, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2020. Reappointment.

Dr. Karen Farst, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2022. Reappointment.

Tess Fletcher, Conway, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2023. Replaces Stacey McKeown.

Gracie Gonner, West Helena, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2021. Reappointment.

Dr. Sufna John, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2024. Replaces Larry Combs.

Will Jones, North Little Rock, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2023. Replaces Avis Lane.

Courtney Leach, Conway, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2024. Replaces Eddie Schmeckenbecher.

Suzanne Ritter Lumpkin, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2020. Replaces Lott Rolfe.

Mischa Martin, Sherwood, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2023. Replaces Cecile Blucker.

Melanie Mata, Jonesboro, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2024. New Position.

Carol Maxwell, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2021. Replaces Susan Waggener.

Elizabeth Pulley, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2022. Replaces Karl Mounger.

Sheriff Scott Sawyer, Mena, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2021. Replaces Cory Sanders.

Cristy Sellers, Alexander, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2020. Replaces Patricia Scott.

Nathan Smith, Bentonville, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2020. Replaces Christina McQueen.

Judge John Threet, Fayetteville, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2021. Replaces Judge David Reynolds.

Jimmy Turnbow, Monette, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2023. Replaces Kristin Pawlik.

Dr. Karen Worley, Sherwood, to the Arkansas Child Abuse/Rape/Domestic Violence Commission. Term expires July 1, 2022. Reappointment.
 
8-12-19 5:46 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Mena Police Report For August 4th - 10th

Mena Police Department Reports for the Week of August 4, 2019 through August 10, 2019 

 

August 4 & 5, 2019

 

Bambe Mellard, 35, of Mena turned herself in to authorities and was served an outstanding warrant for probation violation.

 

Tatum Veal, 28, of Mena was cited for shoplifting after officers responded to a call at a local retail store.

 

A local man reported that a motorcycle disappeared from his residence.  Case is pending.

 

August 6, 2019

 

Christy Pruitt, 25, of Mena was arrested on an outstanding warrant for violation of Arkansas Hot Check Law from the DeQueen Police.

 

August 7, 2019

 

A 14-year-old Mena youth was charged with public intoxication and violation of curfew law.  Case was referred to juvenile authorities.

 

August 8, 2019

 

Officers responded to a local residence regarding a couple fighting.  No charges have been filed.

 

Rickey Looney, 38, of Mena, was charged with third degree battery and interference with emergency communications.  The arrest followed  a complaint and further investigation.

 

August 9, 2019

 

Garrett Bosley, 29, of Mena was charged with shoplifting and criminal trespass after a call to a local store.

 

Owner of a local ice machine reported that it had been vandalized by someone spray painting the structure.  Case is under investigation.

 

Nickie Landfair, 26, of Mena was charged with criminal trespass and resisting arrest.  The arrest followed a call to a local residence.

Jason Lovett, 45, of Mena was charged with shoplifting after officers responded to a call from a local retail store.

 

Kara Bone, 33, of Cove was charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of an instrument of crime.  The incident followed a traffic stop.

 

August 10, 2019

 

A local resident reported that his mail box had been damaged by a vehicle. Case is pending.

 

Justin Cole, 29, of Mena was served two outstanding warrants, one from the Polk County Sheriff and one from Mena Police.

 

Gregory Brewer, 50, of Mena was charged with possession of a controlled substance.

 

8-12-19 4:40 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

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Polk County Sheriff's Report For August 5th - 11th

SHERIFF’S   LOG


The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of August 5 - August 11, 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.


August 5, 2019
Report from two Hatfield families that their 13-year-old daughter and 15-year-old son were missing.  The juveniles were later located.


August 6, 2019
Report of a single-vehicle accident on Buddy Bean Lane in Hatfield led to Citations for No Proof of Insurance and Careless/Prohibited Driving being issued to Brandon R. Falls, 33, of Mena.
Arrested by an officer with Arkansas Probation & Parole was Patrick J. Bates, 46, of Norman, on a Warrant for Failure to Comply with a Court Order and two Warrants for Failure to Appear.
Arrested by a trooper with the Arkansas State Police was Clinton W. Mahaffey, 35, of Watson, OK, on a Warrant for Failure to Appear.
Arrested was Jonathan M. Tidwell, 40, of Wickes, on a Warrant for Failure to Comply with a Court Order.


August 7, 2019
Report from complainant on Butler Circle in Hatfield of an unauthorized person on their property.  Deputy responded.
Report from complainant on Polk 46 near Shady Grove of missing farm equipment, valued at $950.00, and unauthorized persons on their property.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Report from complainant on Race Lane near Mena of the theft of personal items, jewelry and knives, all valued at $152.00.  Investigation continues.
Report from complainant on Horseshoe Lane near Potter of an unauthorized person on their property.  Deputy responded.
Report from complainant on Polk 85 near Cherry Hill of being threatened by an acquaintance.
Arrested was Gregory S. McDonald, 41, of Mena, on a Warrant for Defrauding Secured Creditors.


August 8, 2019
Report from complainant on Polk 29 near Hatfield of a disturbance that had occurred earlier in the Mena city limits.  This case was forwarded to the Mena Police Department.
Report of a disturbance on Twin Pines Lane near Mena.  Deputies responded.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Traffic stop on Highway 8 East near Mena led to the arrest of James R. Grossman, 56, of Mena, on a Charge of Public Intoxication.
Report from a business on Highway 71 South in Cove of the theft of motor fuel, totaling losses at $61.53.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.


 August 9, 2019
Arrested was Eric D. Revels, 35, of Mena, on a Warrant for Probation Violation.

August 10, 2019
Report from complainant on Polk 76 West near Mena of the theft of prescription medication.  Investigation continues.
Report of a dog bite victim on Cloud Lane near Shady Grove.  Deputy responded.


August 11, 2019
Arrested was Billy R. Powell, 37, of Hatfield, on a Charge of Public Intoxication.
Arrested was Jennifer A. M. Emfinger, 33, of Horatio, on a Warrant for Probation Violation.

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

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 27 Incarcerated Inmates , with 12 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

PC19-00552

 

8-12-19 3:30 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Mena City Council Meets Tuesday, August 13th

The Mena City Council will meet Tuesday, August 13, 2019 for their regular monthly meeting. The meeting will start at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall and is open to the public.

 
New business on the agenda includes the consideration of bids for the 2019 Sidewalk Improvement Program, discussion of extra expenditure on a cost share project with Polk county to resurface Fairgrounds Road, consideration of a resolution authorizing the destruction of outdated records, consideration of a resolution authorizing Mayor Smith and Clerk/Treasurer Rexroad to execute a FAA grant amounting to $149,400.00 for the design phase of Runway 17-35 resurfacing and rehabilitation at Mena Intermountain Municipal Airport, and consideration of an ordinance to amend the 2019 budget.
 
The Council will also tend to routine business and hear reports from department heads and committees. 
 
8-12-19 8:47 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Dangerous Heat Sunday And Monday For Much Of Arkansas

Dangerous heat and humidity is expected across the state for Sunday (8-11-19) and Monday (8-12-19) with heat index values well above 100 degrees statewide. Heat advisories and excessive heat watches have already been issued for a good part of the state.

 

The National Weather Service has issued Heat Advisories to be in effect from 1:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Sunday and and 1:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Monday.

 

 

 

Stay hydrated and be alert for heat related illnesses.

 

 

Check on elderly neighbors and relatives during periods of excessive heat to insure they are safe, and extra care should be provided for pets and livestock. 

 

8-10-19 6:50 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

For the accurate time, official temperature, and local forecast, dial (479) 394-5600.

 

Click anywhere on this line to listen to Mena Weather Radio on your PC, or download the Mena Weather Radio app from the App Store or Google Play to listen on your phone tablet.

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John Maddox Among Family Council's 2019 Statesman Award Recipients

LITTLE ROCK, AR – On Thursday Family Council Action Committee released its legislative report card for the 2019 Arkansas General Assembly. The report card scored 25 bills in the Arkansas House and Senate. Bills ranged from right-to-life, education, marijuana, religious liberty, and other issues. Lawmakers earned letter grades ranging from A-F based on how they voted on the 25 bills. Lawmakers had to vote on at least 15 of the 25 bills in the report card in order to receive a letter grade and to be considered for the award.

 

Jerry Cox, President of Family Council Action Committee, stated, “We chose bills based on our core belief in promoting, protecting, and strengthening traditional family values. These bills were chosen because they address issues conservative Arkansans care about, including abortion; religious liberty; marijuana; education; and others. We wanted to answer the common question from constituents, ‘How did my legislator vote?’” Arkansans can order the report card by calling 501-375-7000, emailing ken@familycouncilactioncommittee.com or see candidates’ votes online at www.ArkansasReport.com

 

Family Council Action Committee also announced the recipients of the 2019 Statesman Award. “This year we are awarding a record number of legislators for their hard work and good votes,” Cox stated, “we commend these legislators for promoting, protecting, and strengthening traditional family values during the 2019 legislative session.” Ninety legislators received the award based on how they voted on the 25 bills in the report card.

 

The 2019 Statesman Award recipients included 24 senators and 66 representative:

 

Senator Bob Ballinger (R – Berryville)

Senator Cecile Bledsoe (R – Rogers)

Senator Ronald Caldwell (R – Wynne)

Senator Eddie Cheatham (D – Crossett)

Senator Alan Clark (R – Lonsdale)

Senator John Cooper (R – Jonesboro)

Senator Jonathan Dismang (R – Beebe)

Senator Lance Eads (R – Springdale)

Senator Jane English (R – North Little Rock)

Senator Scott Flippo (R – Bull Shoals)

Senator Trent Garner (R – El Dorado)

Senator Kim Hammer (R – Benton)

Senator Jim Hendren (R – Gravette)

Senator Bart Hester (R – Cave Springs)

Senator Jimmy Hickey (R – Texarkana)

Senator Ricky Hill (R – Cabot)

Senator Missy Irvin (R – Mountain View)

Senator Blake Johnson (R – Corning)

Senator Mark Johnson (R – Little Rock)

Senator Jason Rapert (R – Conway)

Senator Terry Rice (R – Waldron)

Senator Gary Stubblefield (R – Branch)

Senator James Sturch (R – Batesville)

Senator David Wallace (R – Leachville)

Representative Sonia Barker (R – Smackover)

Representative Rick Beck (R – Center Ridge)

Representative Mary Bentley (R – Perryville)

Representative Stan Berry (R – Dover)

Representative Justin Boyd (R – Fort Smith)

Representative Ken Bragg (R – Sheridan)

Representative Harlan Breaux (R – Holiday Island)

Representative Karilyn Brown (R – Sherwood)

Representative Sarah Capp (R – Ozark)

Representative Craig Christiansen (R – Bald Knob)

Representative Joe Cloud (R – Russellville)

Representative Cameron Cooper (R – Romance)

Representative Bruce Cozart (R – Hot Springs)

Representative Cindy Crawford (R – Fort Smith)

Representative Carol Dalby (R – Texarkana)

Representative Marsh Davis (R – Cherokee Village)

Representative Gary Deffenbaugh (R – Van Buren)

Representative Jim Dotson (R – Bentonville)

Representative Les Eaves (R – Searcy)

Representative Jon Eubanks (R – Paris)

Representative Brian Evans (R – Cabot)

Representative Charlene Fite (R – Van Buren)

Representative Lanny Fite (R – Benton)

Representative Jack Fortner (R – Yellville)

Representative Mickey Gates (R – Hot Springs)

Representative Jimmy Gazaway (R – Paragould)

Representative Justin Gonzales (R – Okolona)

Representative Michelle Gray (R – Melbourne)

Representative Spencer Hawks (R – Conway)

Representative David Hillman (R – Almyra)

Representative Grant Hodges (R – Rogers)

Representative Mike Holcomb (R – Pine Bluff)

Representative Steve Hollowell (R – Forrest City)

Representative Douglas House (R – North Little Rock)

Representative Lane Jean (R – Magnolia)

Representative Joe Jett (R – Success)

Representative Lee Johnson (R – Greenwood)

Representative Jasen Kelly (R – Benton)

Representative Jack Ladyman (R – Jonesboro)

Representative Mark Lowery (R – Maumelle)

Representative Robin Lundstrum (R – Elm Springs)

Representative Roger Lynch (R – Lonoke)

Representative John Maddox (R – Mena)

Representative Julie Mayberry (R – Hensley)

Representative Austin McCollum (R – Bentonville)

Representative Gayla McKenzie (R – Gravette)

Representative Ron McNair (R – Alpena)

Representative Stephen Meeks (R – Greenbrier)

Representative Josh Miller (R – Heber Springs)

Representative John Payton (R – Wilburn)

Representative Clint Penzo (R – Springdale)

Representative Marcus Richmond (R – Harvey)

Representative Laurie Rushing (R – Hot Springs)

Representative Johnny Rye (R – Trumann)

Representative Keith Slape (R – Compton)

Representative Brandt Smith (R – Jonesboro)

Representative Stu Smith (R – Batesville)

Representative James Sorvillo (R – Little Rock)

Representative Nelda Speaks (R – Mountain Home)

Representative Dan Sullivan (R – Jonesboro)

Representative Dwight Tosh (R – Jonesboro)

Representative Jeff Wardlaw (R – Hermitage)

Representative Les Warren (R – Hot Springs)

Representative Danny Watson (R – Hope)

Representative Carlton Wing (R – North Little Rock)

Representative Richard Womack (R – Arkadelphia)

 

Family Council Action Committee Political Director Ken Yang is working with the recipients to schedule presentation of the awards to the legislators in their districts in the coming weeks.

 

Family Council Action Committee is a conservative, pro-family, Christian 501(c)(4organization based in Little Rock, Arkansas.

 

8-10-19 10:00 a.m. KAWX.ORG

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Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: It's Time for a Change

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Address: It’s Time for a Change
 
 
LITTLE ROCK – As we continue to mourn the tragic loss of life in El Paso and Dayton, it appears that the suspect in the Texas attack is a white nationalist who hates immigrants. He traveled more than 600 miles to a border town, where the majority of the population is Hispanic. Law enforcement agencies are investigating the attack as a hate crime, which will allow the imposition of a more severe penalty if he is convicted.
 
In Arkansas, prosecutors could not file those charges because we do not have a hate-crime law. We are one of four states that does not allow an increased penalty for a defendant who violently attacks individuals simply because of who they are.
 
We must change that. Today, I am asking the General Assembly to pass legislation that will allow an enhanced penalty for a hate crime. I do not want Arkansas to be one of those states that does not increase the punishment for a person who is convicted of harming someone under these circumstances. I want Arkansas to say loudly and clearly that we are not going to tolerate violence inflicted on a person because of that person’s status.  
 
In the past, there’s been a reluctance to enhance penalties for crimes against specific categories of victims. As the thinking goes, every person is equally valuable, and the punishment for a crime against one person should be the same as it is for a similar crime against anyone else. But this is about evaluating motive and punishing the perpetrator.
 
The principle is already in place in our laws. When a person with a prior criminal record commits a crime, the sentence will be more severe than the sentence for a first-time offender who commits the same crime. The difference in punishment reflects the history of the offender and not the value of the victim.
 
If a terrorist attacks individuals because they are Jewish, that is a hate crime that deserves an increased penalty. It is that simple, but that important.
 
Arkansas already has laws on the books that enhance punishment. One of those is Act 332, sponsored by Representative Dwight Tosh, which increased the penalty for someone who is convicted of targeting a law-enforcement officer. Again, it is about the perpetrator and how we can punish or discourage this type of hate crime.
 
Arkansans must speak with one clear voice that we will not tolerate violence against a person simply because of who they are.
 
8-10-19 9:47 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

In Arkansas, there are on average 71 billion gallons of water flowing in rivers, 4.8 trillion gallons in lakes and 200 trillion gallons in the ground.

 

Our state is abundant with water resources and much of our economy depends on it. It is estimated Arkansans use 157 gallons of water every day.

 

August is National Water Quality Month.  It reminds us to take a look at what our households and communities are doing to protect sources of fresh water.

 

The Clean Water Act, passed in 1972, establishes the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants and regulating quality standards for surface waters. But most people are unaware of the little ways they can pollute their water.

 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends using and disposing of harmful materials properly. When hazardous waste is dumped on the ground it can contaminate the soil. Contaminated soil then contaminates the ground water or nearby surface water. A number of products used at home contain hazardous or toxic substances that can contaminate ground or surface waters, such as:

 

·         Motor oil

·         Pesticides

·         Leftover paints or paint cans

·         Mothballs

·         Flea collars

·         Household cleaners

·         A number of medicines

 

Next, don't overuse pesticides or fertilizers. Many fertilizers and pesticides contain hazardous chemicals which can travel through the soil and contaminate ground water.

 

It is also recommended to keep yard waste off the streets, sidewalks, and driveways, and gutters. If yard waste such as grass clippings and leaves enters our storm drains, it flows untreated directly to creeks, streams, and lakes. As yard waste breaks down, nutrients that are released can lead to water pollution. 

 

Overall, Arkansans have access to good quality water.  But it is not a resource to take for granted.  The University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension has extensive material on how to best protect conserve and protect our water at www.uaex.edu.

 

8-9-19 8:41 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column

Committee-Backed Highway Bill Will Produce Economic Benefits for Arkansas

 

The Senate will have a lengthy to-do list awaiting us when we reconvene in Washington next month. While some of the items on our to-do list will likely get slowed down by long, partisan debates, one that should receive quick, bipartisan support is the reauthorization of the highway bill.

 

The Highway Trust Fund is set to expire next year. However, since Republicans and Democrats have traditionally found common ground on infrastructure, this should be an issue that we can resolve well in advance of the deadline. We have a good head start, thanks to the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee’s unanimous approval of the America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019.

 

The bill authorizes $287 billion for upgrades that will improve the connectivity, efficiency and safety of our highways across the country. It provides resources and flexibility for states to build safer and more modern highway, rail and bridge systems. It also includes reforms for which I negotiated that will cut bureaucratic red tape, streamline review processes and improve safety in rural America.

 

Additionally, the EPW Committee amended the bill to include language that Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and I authored that would make federal discretionary grant funding available to modernize and deepen McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS). This amendment, along with another provision Sen. Inhofe authored, would open up $250 million in non-highway formula funding for Oklahoma to use for the MKARNS and will allow Arkansas and Oklahoma to jointly apply for federal freight grants that will total over $5 billion in the five years following the enactment of this legislation.

 

Expanding opportunities to fund improvements to the MKARNS is a key factor in leveraging its full economic potential. For far too long, the MKARNS has been operating under a critical backlog of much needed modernizations. Our changes will provide the MKARNS with a number of new funding outlets that were not previously available to this important project, bringing increased traffic to the waterways.

 

At its core, the America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019 is about jobs. Our national economy thrives in part because of the efforts to inter-connect the United States throughout its history. The ability to efficiently move goods and services across the country is a critical factor as to why the U.S. has been able to compete and thrive within the global marketplace.

 

While the state and local economies receive a short-term boost from highway projects once they are underway, the true impact is felt over the long-term through the increase in regional commerce. The quality of a state’s infrastructure is near the top of the list of factors that business owners consider when deciding where to locate a business or enterprise, so it is of vital importance to Arkansas’s economic outlook that we reauthorize the Highway Trust Fund.

 

However, there are more than economic reasons to get this bill across the finish line. Some of our roads and bridges are actually beginning to crumble and deteriorate. We’ve employed temporary measures that have succeeded in repairing and rebuilding many of these deficiencies in the short term, but upgrading and enhancing them is a better and more cost-effective long-term solution for addressing safety concerns.

 

Now is the time to push ahead and make sensible, productive investments in our nation’s infrastructure. Doing so will ultimately save money in the long-term. It will also help our economy grow and equip our country with the necessary resources to remain competitive in the global economy in the years ahead.  

 

8-9-19 4:42 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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State Senator Larry Teague's Weekly Column

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

August 9, 2019 

 

LITTLE ROCK – Back to school in Arkansas means that more than 6,000 buses will transport 350,000 students to and from school.

 

It also means that motorists need to remember that it is against the law to pass a stopped school bus that has its red lights flashing. That’s when children are getting on or off the bus.

 

Earlier this year, the legislature increased the potential penalties for illegally passing a stopped school bus. Act 166 of 2019 raises the minimum amount of the penalty from $250 to $500, and the potential maximum penalty from $1,000 to $2,500.

 

August begins the annual awareness campaign in Arkansas promoted by legislators, the state Education Department, the governor, school administrators, bus drivers and mechanics and parents. It’s called “Flashing Red. Kids Ahead.”

 

The need for heightened awareness is driven home by the alarming results of annual surveys done by bus drivers. Those results show that way too many motorists drive by stopped school buses, and the trend is getting worse.

 

In April, 3,896 school bus drivers participated in a one-day survey. They represent 227 Arkansas school districts. They reported that on a single day, 884 motor vehicles illegally passed stopped school buses that had red lights flashing.

 

That was an increase over the previous year. Most of the violations, 711, happened when motorists passed the bus while driving in the opposite direction. Whether going in the same or in the opposite direction, the overwhelming majority of motorists passed the bus on its left side.

 

However, 12 motorists passed the bus on the right side, which is cause for even greater alarm because the bus doors are on the right side, and it’s the side on which children get off and on the bus.

 

Nationally, the statistics are just as alarming. A one-day survey of 100,000 bus drivers indicated that more than 88,000 motorists passed a stopped school bus.

 

Keep in mind school buses lower the overall volume of traffic because parents and guardians don’t have to drive the students to school. That keeps the family car off the road.

 

If you pick up your children from a school bus stop, always wait on the side where they will be dropped off, so they are not tempted to run across the street to greet you.

 

In 2004, an elementary school student in Bryant was killed when a motorist illegally passed his stopped school bus as students were getting off the bus.

 

In 2005, the legislature increased the penalties for anyone found guilty of illegally passing a stopped school bus. The stricter penalties were in legislation known as Isaac’s Law, named after the boy who was killed in Bryant. It was Isaac’s Law that was strengthened during the 2019 legislative session.

 

Broadband Access in Rural Areas

 

The governor announced a plan to fund his initiative to bring high speed Internet to all communities, called “Arkansas Rural Connect,” with $25 million.

It calls for action this year by the Legislative Council to provide $5.7 million for grants for small communities that lack Internet service. In next year’s fiscal session the legislature will consider an appropriation for the remainder of the $25 million.

 

The program builds on work done earlier this year by the legislature, when it approved Act 198 of 2019. The measure allows local government entities to begin their own broadband services.

 

8-9-19 9:38 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Weekly Fishing Report

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s weekly fishing report for Aug. 7, 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.

 

8-7-19 4:02 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Suspect In Mena Arson, Bomb Threat Case Arraigned

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. Jacob Green, W/M, age 25, Count I: Arson, a Class "A" Felony. Count II: Threatening A Fire Or Bombing, a Class "A" Misdemeanor. Count III: Commercial Burglary, a Class "C" Felony.

 

Green is currently being held in the Polk County Detention Center.

 

8-7-19 10:18 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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The Oaks Assisted Living in Mena Closing

The parent organization of The Oaks at Mena Assisted Living made a brief announcement dated August 6, 2019 that the assisted living center in Mena would be closing as of midnight, August 17, 2019.

 

"The Ouachita Senior Community Development Limited Partnership, owners of The Oaks At Mena Assisted Living, have announced the closing of The Oaks At Mena effective at midnight Saturday, August 17, 2019 due to insufficient operating revenue brought about by a reduction in Arkansas Medicaid reimbursements which took effect July 1, 2019 with an additional reduction scheduled in the future."

 

No other information is immediately available. 

 

8-7-19 8:10 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Nationwide Emergency Alert System Test Today

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission, will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System, known as EAS this afternoon at 1:20 Central Time.


This is the fifth such test that all radio, television, and cable operators are required to participate in.

 

 

 

Arkansas State Emergency Communications Chairman Chris Daniel said that this test is different than the others since internet connectivity is not being tested through the Common Alerting Protocol Server using the Integrated Public Alerting and Warning System (IPAWS), with the purpose of determining if each state's EAS plan will allow for information to to get to all EAS systems at the local level in the absence of the internet. 

 

Unlike the old CONELRAD system developed in 1951, and the EBS system that replaced it in 1963, the EAS system which came online in 1997 has become increasingly dependent on the internet which has caused many, especially in rural areas of the country, to question how dependable the overall system would be if there were an actual emergency. 

 

There will little interruption in radio and television programming today when the test is activated, according to Daniel.

 

This test does not include cell phones and the WEA (Wireless Emergency Alerts) system.

 

Comments, questions and observations from the general public are welcome and reports after the test will be helpful. Direct correspondence to eas@arkbroadcasters.org

 

8-7-19 7:42 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Polk County Sheriff's Report For July 29th - August 4th

SHERIFF’S   LOG


The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of July 29 - August 4, 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 29, 2019
Report of a disturbance on The Fast Lane near Mena.  Deputy responded.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Report from complainant on Highway 8 West near Rocky of the violation of an Order of Protection.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Report from complainant on Stevenson Drive in Wickes of being harassed by an acquaintance.  Deputy responded, advised all parties to cease all contact with one another.
Report from Polk County Detention Center of the discovery of contraband in the facility.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Traffic stop on Third Street in Hatfield.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.
Report of a dog bite victim on Polk 49 near Mena.  Deputy responded.  Owner was advised to quarantine the animal for ten days.
Arrested was Jearl E. Wilkinson, 35, of Cove, on a Warrant for Failure to Appear.
Arrested was Dax X. Wood, 23, of Mena, on a Warrant for Theft of Property and Criminal Trespass.


July 30, 2019
Arrested was Ronnie L. Watts, 39, of Mena, on Warrants for Battery 3rd Degree, Criminal Mischief 1st Degree and a Parole Revocation.
Arrested by an officer with Drug Task Force was Michael R. Elmore, 35, of Gillham, on a Warrant for Delivery of Meth/Cocaine.
Arrested was Robert S. Wallace, 19, of Mena, on a Warrant for Failure to Appear.
Arrested was Sunya Y. Dominguez, 41, of Mena, on two Warrants for Failure to Comply with a Court Order.


July 31, 2019
No reports were taken.


August 1, 2019
Report from a Cove woman that her 17-year-old daughter was missing.  The juvenile was located.
Report from complainant on Strawberry Lane near Potter of the theft of a weedeater, valued at $200.00.  Investigation continues.


August 2, 2019
Report from complainant on Polk 57 near Nunley of the theft of clothing, electronics, tools and collectibles, all valued at $2,700.00.  Investigation continues.


August 3, 2019
Report from complainant on Polk 15 near Hatton of individuals shooting firearms while walking down the road.  Deputy responded.  The case has been forwarded to an officer with the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission.
Report of a single-vehicle accident on Bunch Road in Wickes.  Deputy responded.  Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.

Request for a welfare check on Polk 18 near Vandervoort. Deputies responded.


August 4, 2019
Report of a disturbance on Polk 1 near Grannis.  Deputy responded.  Investigation continues.
Report of a disturbance on Highway 375 West near Potter led to the arrest of Kristine Randt, 49, of Mena, on a Charge of Disorderly Conduct.
Report of a motorcycle accident on Polk 67 near Big Fork.  Deputy responded.
Report of a disturbance on Highway 71 South near Cove led to the arrest of Richard L. Maish, 43, of Cove, on a Charge of Disorderly Conduct and a Warrant for Failure to Appear.

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

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 20 Incarcerated Inmates , with 11 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

PC19-00537

 

8-6-19 9:44 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Senator Boozman Says I-49 and Broadband Necessary For Growth

US Senator John Boozman was in Mena Tuesday morning as part of a two day tour of southwest Arkansas. The Senior United States Senator for Arkansas was welcomed by County Judge Brandon Ellison who described Boozman as a statesman and friend to Polk County. 

 
The Senator spoke briefly about current events Congress is dealing with and said that the completion of I-49 and broadband development were key to economic grown for this area. Boozman is the founder and co-chair of the Senate Broadband Caucus.
 
 
Questions and comments from those in attendance were largely about I-49 and agriculture. Polk County Extension Agent Sherry Beaty-Sullivan asked about continued funding for extension programs and Senator Boozman, a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, and a former cattle rancher, spoke optimistically of continued support for such services and shared that all three of his daughters were 4-H members and showed cattle growing up. 
 
Also in attendance were Mena Mayor Seth Smith and State Representative John Maddox. 
 
Senator Boozman is also visiting NIDEC-US Motors and UARM while in Mena.
 
8-6-19 9:32 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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City Council Finance Committee Meeting

The Mena City Council Finance Committee will meet at 5:00 pm on Tuesday, August 6, 2019 in City Hall to discuss amendments to the 2019 Budget.

 

City Council and Committee meetings are open to the public.

 

8-5-19 3:26 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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President Orders Flags to Half Staff For El Passo, Dayton Victims

HONORING THE VICTIMS OF THE TRAGEDIES IN EL PASO, TEXAS, AND DAYTON, OHIO  
 
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA  
 
A PROCLAMATION  
    
     Our Nation mourns with those whose loved ones were murdered in the tragic shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, and we share in the pain and suffering of all those who were injured in these two senseless attacks.  We condemn these hateful and cowardly acts.  Through our grief, America stands united with the people of El Paso and Dayton.  May God be with the victims of these two horrific crimes and bring aid and comfort to their families and friends.  
 
As a mark of solemn respect for the victims of the terrible acts of violence perpetrated on August 3, 2019, in El Paso, Texas, and on August 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America,I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, August 8, 2019.   
 
I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.
      
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourth day of August, in the year of our Lord two thousand nineteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America two hundred forty-fourth.     
 

                             DONALD J. TRUMP 

 

8-4-19 4:06 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Texas Man Arrested In Connection With Bomb Threat, Fire In Mena Saturday Morning

The Mena Police Department released the following information on the bomb threat and fire Saturday morning in Mena.

 

"On Saturday, August 3rd at about 0340 hours, the Mena Police Department received a bomb threat to the Mena Post Office at 400 South Morrow Street.

 

After responding to the call, officer noticed the PCDC resale store “Just For Kids” at 811 Eagle Gap was on fire and the front glass door had been shattered. The Mena Fire Department responded. It was discovered that the bomb threat and fire were related.

 

The investigation led to the arrest of a 25 year old male. The Mena Fire Department, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, the Fort Smith Fire Department Bomb Squad, the US Postal Service and the ATF are assisting the Mena Police Department with this investigation."

 

Jail records indicate that a 25 year old male, Jacob Samuel Green of Denison, Texas, was booked into the Polk County Jail this morning on Commercial Burglary, Communicating a False Alarm and Arson charges.

 

 

No injuries were reported and post office employees were allowed back in the building before noon.

 

8-3-19 11:36 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: The Legacy of Winthrop Rockefeller Lives On

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: The Legacy of Winthrop Rockefeller Lives On
 
 
LITTLE ROCK – Today I’d like to share some thoughts about Winthrop Rockefeller, one of Arkansas’s great governors, and about the building we have named in his honor.
 
Governor Rockefeller and the building share a bit of history, so naming the building for him is an excellent idea. Senator Mark Johnson sponsored the bill that called for the renaming. The 92nd General Assembly passed the legislation. I signed Act 1086 into law.
 
On Wednesday, I had the honor of participating in the renaming ceremony. The building stands at 501 Woodlane Street, directly across from the State Capitol. I can see it from the east window of my office.
 
Until this week, the building has been known as the 501 Building. But when it was dedicated in 1956, it was the Old Line Insurance Company Building. Old Line Insurance was an Arkansas company that was chartered in March 1926. Little Rock architect Yandell Johnson designed the building. The dedication of the building was part of the company’s 30th anniversary celebration.
 
The exterior of the six-story building includes alternating windows and panels of Alabama limestone. In May, the National Register of Historic Places added the National Old Line Insurance Company Building to its register.
 
The sixth floor of the building included a three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath penthouse apartment. That is where Governor Rockefeller’s history intersects with the building. The governor and his family lived in that apartment in 1967 and 1968 during renovations to the Governor’s Mansion.
 
Governor Rockefeller changed Arkansas for the better. Through his support of the Freedom of Information Act, he created transparency in government. As governor, and even before, he brought industry and jobs to Arkansas in numbers the state had never seen. He overhauled the state’s prison system and cleaned out illegal gambling in Hot Springs. Three days after the murder of Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis, Governor Rockefeller improved race relations in Arkansas when he bravely stood on the steps of the state capitol and held hands with African-American leaders of Arkansas’s civil-rights movement.
 
I admire Governor Rockefeller, and I know that he loved Arkansas deeply. Although I never met him, his life and public service are examples to follow. As I was moving into the Governor’s Office, I asked his daughter-in-law, Lisenne Rockefeller, if I could have a picture of him. Thankfully, she came through for me. On the wall to the left of the door into my office, there is a 4-foot-by-nearly-5-foot black-and-white photograph of Governor Rockefeller. The picture is large enough that you can see his wristwatch reads 6:45.
 
W.F. Ault, the first president of the company, said that Old Line Insurance was conservative enough to survive and progressive enough to succeed.
 
That seems like a fitting description of Winthrop Rockefeller’s style as well.
 
It’s official: The Old Line Insurance Company Building is now the Winthrop Rockefeller Building. His name will live on on the building where he once lived.
 
8-3-19 10:36 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column

Secretary Esper is the Right Leader for the Pentagon

 

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper recently settled into his new Pentagon office after the Senate overwhelmingly approved his nomination prior to the start of the August work period.

 

He is taking the reins at the Department of Defense (DoD) at a time when the United States, our allies and our interests face a number of complex challenges and threats around the globe.

 

In recent weeks, Iran shot down a U.S. surveillance drone in international airspace and attacked or seized tankers flagged by our allies that were traveling the Strait of Hormuz. North Korea resumed missile testing, firing short-range ballistic missiles off its eastern coast, out of anger because of planned South Korea-U.S. military exercises. Two U.S. Army paratroopers were killed in a combat-related incident in Afghanistan, bringing the total number of U.S. servicemembers killed in action this year to 12.

 

The rising tensions with rogue nations like Iran and North Korea, along with the ongoing violence in conflict zones, are far from our only concerns. Near-peer competitors continue to challenge U.S. leadership on the world stage. Both Russia and China are showing off advanced technological capabilities and increased global reach while projecting an adversarial tone toward America and our allies.

 

Russia’s litany of belligerent acts—which includes aerial bombing campaigns on behalf of a murderous regime in Syria and cyberattacks on Western democracies—cannot be ignored. Nor can China’s ominous warnings that it is prepared to use force if Taiwan declares its independence. The two nations recently conducted what Russia called a “joint air patrol” that resulted in a Russian military plane intruding upon South Korean airspace while ignoring repeated radio warnings.

 

The multitude of pressures we face makes it vital that the role of Secretary of Defense is filled by the right person for the job. I am confident that Mark Esper is the correct choice to lead DoD.

 

Secretary Esper is a decorated combat veteran, a respected scholar and a proven leader. His expertise in national security policy, deep understanding of the inner-workings of the Pentagon and the bipartisan respect he has earned from members of Congress will make him a valuable partner as we work to ensure our armed forces are ready for today’s challenges and prepared to counter tomorrow’s threats.

 

With his forward-thinking mindset, Secretary Esper will advance our military capabilities to counter emerging threats and ensure that our military is prepared for the future of warfare. He understands that while we must remain able to confront the asymmetrical tactics of terror organizations like the Islamic State and al-Qaeda, an increased focus needs to be placed on the ability to quickly and decisively neutralize rogue nations while staying ahead of the military build-up of near-peer nations.

 

Secretary Esper is taking charge of a reenergized Pentagon, the result of Congress and the Trump administration’s shared focus on lifting our military out of a period of strategic atrophy and chronic budget uncertainty. For too long, this mismanagement allowed our adversaries to gain a strategic advantage and weakened our military’s readiness.

 

This shared commitment to our national security—which includes the largest investment in our national defense since the Reagan administration—has helped renew America’s strength. I am confident that Secretary Esper will continue to build upon the progress we have made, ensuring U.S. superiority and curtailing threats that our global competitors might otherwise be emboldened to mount. 

 

8-2-19 5:26 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Senator Boozman To Visit Mena Tuesday

Senator John Boozman will visit Mena on Tuesday, August 6th. 

 
At 7:30 a.m. he will participate in a breakfast round table at The Limetree with community leaders organized by the Mena-Polk County Chamber of Commerce.
 
Senator Boozman till then tour NIDEC U.S.Electrical Motors.
 
At 10:20 a.m. he will participate in the UA Rich Mountain Athletic Program Ribbon Cutting ceremony at UARM.
 
Senator Boozman will also visit Norman, Glenwood and Nashville while in the area.
 
Boozman, a Republican, is the Senior United States Senator for Arkansas and has been in the Senate since 2011. Prior to being elected to the Senate he was the United States Congressman for the 3rd Congression District. 
 
8-2-19 4:34 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

In 2018, there were 161 Amber Alerts issued nationwide.  5 of those originated here in Arkansas.

 

Those first minutes and hours after a child has been reported missing are crucial for law enforcement.  That is why this General Assembly took an extraordinary and first of its kind step to help ensure law enforcement has all the available resources when seconds count.

 

In the most recent legislative session, we passed Act 913 with a unanimous vote. The legislation states that the following agencies shall collaborate in an effort to rescue abducted or endangered children:


•       Arkansas Attorney General
•       Department of Arkansas State Police
•       Criminal Justice Institute
•       Arkansas State Game and Fish Commission
•       Arkansas Sheriffs' Association
•       Arkansas Department of Emergency Management
•       Arkansas Association of Chiefs of Police
•       Department of Community Correction
•       Office of the Prosecutor Coordinator

 

CART teams greatly expand the resources that are available when a child is missing or abducted and also ensures rapid deployment of critical resources and personnel. Just last month, Arkansas is the first state in the country to successfully obtain national statewide certification for Child Abduction Response Teams (CARTs), ensuring that all children in Arkansas are better protected if abducted, missing, or endangered.

 

National CART certification is awarded through the U.S. Department of Justice, AMBER Alert and Technical Assistance Program.

 

Twelve CARTs have been formed across Arkansas. These teams are pre-organized and practiced to respond, substantially saving time and increasing the likelihood of the successful recovery of a missing, endangered or abducted child.

 

In order to earn certification, members of the 12 teams formed attended a series of AMBER Alert classes. Each CART was also required to implement a Memorandum of Understanding with local law enforcement agencies and other key agencies and organizations. The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, the Arkansas State Police, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, and the Criminal Justice Institute developed a full call-out exercise built around a realistic child abduction scenario. AMBER Alert assessors evaluated the ability of each of the 12 CARTs to meet 47 standards covering 12 operational areas included in the developed exercise.

 

The legislation passed ensures this collaboration will continue.  We would all be relieved if the CART teams never have to work on a real life scenario, but knowing these teams are ready is the next best option.

 

8-2-19 12:50 p.m. KAWX.ORG

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State Senator Larry Teague's Weekly Column

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

August 2, 2019

 

LITTLE ROCK – Reading helps children avoid the “summer slide,” when lazy days can make them forget what they’ve learned over the previous year.

Researchers say that if they read just eight books over the summer, children are more likely to maintain their academic progress.

 

About 13,000 Arkansas teachers have trained in the science of reading, as part of a concerted effort to improve literacy. There are almost 34,000 certified teachers in Arkansas and almost 479,000 students.

 

In recent years, mediocre scores on standardized tests have led elected officials and educators in Arkansas to place greater emphasis on the science of reading.

 

One of their first steps was to expand and improve literacy training of teachers.

 

The legislature approved Act 1063 in 2017, and updated it with Act 83 of 2019. The new standards require schools to train teachers in new methods based on science, and by the 2021-2022 school new teachers must have knowledge of the science behind literacy in order to get a teaching license.

 

The state Education Department’s role in the new literacy effort is its R.I.S.E. Arkansas initiative. That stands for Reading Initiative for Student Excellence. The governor credited R.I.S.E for the training of 13,000 teachers in the science of reading during a recent speech.

 

He noted that for three consecutive years the high school graduation rate in Arkansas has risen, from 85 to 89 percent.

 

The new literacy training teaches phonics, which is traditional, but relies on new research that encourages young students to sound out words before checking for visual clues in pictures.

 

It teaches students to memorize “sight words,” which are very common words like “the” and “where.” This approach is traditional also, but the new science adds a new twist.

 

Rather than simply memorizing a list of sight words, students are taught to sound them out and “decode” them, as they do with unfamiliar words. Research indicates that young students build their list of sight words more quickly with the new method.

 

Volunteers who have been trained still can sit down with children and tutor them in literacy. However, they can also help address other factors that lower reading scores, such as regular absenteeism and encouraging more engagement from the student’s family.

 

R.I.S.E. brings schools and local community leaders together to create a culture of reading. The local leaders could come from businesses, churches or non-profits. Activities include having someone read to the kids, of course, and also include passing out bookmarks and posters, as well as taking kids on a field trip that promotes reading.

 

March 2, the birthday of Dr. Seuss, is a particularly popular day for reading activities.

 

Health Insurance Rates

 

Four companies offering health insurance through the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace (AHIM) proposed average rate increases of about 2 percent in 2020.

 

The state Insurance Commissioner cited several reasons for the relatively low increases proposed for consumers in the marketplace. One is elimination of a user fee of 1.25 percent.

 

Earlier this year the legislature enacted reforms in the marketplace to make it more efficient, and the stability in proposed rates is a reflection of those reforms.

 

More than 271,000 Arkansans purchase health insurance through the four companies in the marketplace.

 

8-2-19 12:44 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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AGFC To Host Bear Hunting Workshops In Several Arkansas Cities

LITTLE ROCK — If you’ve ever dreamed of taking on the challenge of bear hunting in The Natural State, you’ll want to free up your calendar for one of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s upcoming workshops. Myron Means, AGFC large carnivore program coordinator will host a series of seminars throughout Arkansas dedicated to hunting black bears during August and September.


Means will present every aspect of hunting Natural State bears from scouting and bear behavior, to preparation for the hunt and care of harvested bears.

 

“Bear hunting really is all about finding food,” Means said. “They don’t have a rut during the fall like deer, but are about to go into their den cycle so they’re focused on one thing - eating.”

 

Means will help hunters use this knowledge to increase their chances of harvesting a bear, with tactics developed for private and public land hunters.

 

“We’ll cover baiting sites and how to pattern bears on private land,” Means said. “But we’ll also cover public land hunting, where baiting is not allowed.”

 

Finding bears on public land still revolves around finding food sources, but the work spent in gathering and distributing food for bait is spent wearing out boot leather scouting natural sources. Means says if acorns and other foods are plentiful, the bears will not need to move much to eat. During low mast years, they’ll move more and focus harder on particular trees that may still be producing acorns. 

 

“The secret is finding these ‘natural bait sites’ and scouting them without disturbing bears that may be feeding,” Means said. “Bears are much less forgiving than deer. If you bust them out scouting, they won’t be back. On private land bait sites, you can get away with a little more, but on public land you have to really minimize your presence.”

 

Means says focusing your scouting on late morning and early afternoon improves the chances of not running into a bear before hunting season. Hunters should look for areas with good mast crop and telltale signs of bears visiting, such as bear droppings or scat and bear trails. Bear trails are easily distinguished from deer and other game trails by the presence of small, dished out impressions from repeated footsteps in the same spot.

 

“Bears will step in nearly the exact same spot every time they travel a trail,” Means said. “So it will literally look like you went and put down a bunch of saucers in alternating patterns on each side of the trail.”

 

The seminar also will address what to do if your new knowledge pays off. Hunters can be intimidated by the idea of having this massive bear down and not knowing what to do with it to take care of their trophy. 

 

“Bears are much different than deer and can spoil quickly if not cared for properly,” Means said. “The fat layer they are putting on when gorging themselves can be very oily. Combined with them putting on their winter coats, a downed bear’s fat layer can begin rendering itself from the animal’s trapped body heat. That oil can saturate the meat and taint it with an unpleasant flavor.”

 

Means says hunters after bears should prepare for success and have coolers, plenty of sharp knives and rope waiting in the truck should they hit their mark. Acting quickly to skin, quarter and cool the bear is the key to great meals later.

 

“You also want to get as much of the outer fat layer off as possible,” Means said. “There’s enough marbling in a bear’s muscles to give the meat flavor and prevent it from drying out while cooking.

 

“I’ll give you every bit of knowledge you need for success,” Means said. “But just like with any hunting, your hunt’s success will hinge on how much effort you put into it. Put in the work, and you have a much better chance of being rewarded.”

 

Seminars will be held at the following times and locations. Call 479-478-1043 for more information:

 

  • Aug. 15 — 6-8 p.m.
    AGFC Little Rock Headquarters
    2 Natural Resources Drive
    Little Rock, AR  72205
  • Aug. 22 — 6-8 p.m.
    Lake Dardanelle State Park
    100 State Park Drive
    Russellville, AR 72802
  • Aug. 27 — 6-8 p.m.
    National Park College
    101 College Drive
    Hot Springs, AR 71913
  • Aug. 29 — 6-8 p.m.
    Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center
    8300 Wells Lake Road
    Fort Smith, AR 72916
  • Sept. 3 — 5:30-7:30 p.m.
    Fayetteville Public Library
    401 W. Mountain Street
    Fayetteville, AR 72701.

 

8-2-19 9:20 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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James "Jimmy" Eugene Cox Obituary

James “Jimmy” Eugene Cox age 77 of Mena passed away Thursday, August 01, 2019 in Mena, Arkansas.

James was born on January 23, 1942 in Mena, Arkansas to the late Russell E. Cox and the late Nell Cox.

James loved watching television, especially westerns. He enjoyed eating and visiting with friends at the Skyline Café. He was member of the United Pentecostal Church and above all he loved the Lord and his family. He was a loving and kind brother, uncle, nephew, cousin, and friend. He will be dearly missed by all.

He is survived by sister: Susan Lanelle Cox of Mena, Arkansas 

Uncle: Edwin L. Cox 

Cousins: Ed, Jr., Barry, and Chan Cox of Dallas, Texas

Nephews: Keith Cox Wood of Bentonville, Arkansas, Ken Wood of Prosper, Texas
 
Niece: Lynn Ashley of Mena, Arkansas

Caregiver: Sandie Wagner of Mena, Arkansas.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and brothers Russell Eugene Cox and Jerry Cox.

Funeral service will be Saturday, August 03, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. at Beasley-Wood Chapel with Brother Mark Lyle officiating. Interment will follow in the Pinecrest Memorial Park under the direction of the Beasley-Wood Funeral Home of Mena.

Visitation will be general.

Pallbearers will be Keith Wood, Scott Buss, Shelton Bohlman, and Todd Hansard.

Online obituary at www.beasleywoodfuneralhome.com
 

 

8-2-19 7:19 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Back To School Sales Tax Holiday Weekend August 3rd and 4th In Arkansas

Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday August 3, 2019, and ending at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday August 4, 2019, the State of Arkansas will hold its sales tax holiday allowing shoppers the opportunity to purchase certain School Supplies, School Art Supplies, School Instructional Materials, and clothing free of state and local sales or use tax.    

 

All retailers are required to participate and may not charge tax on items that are legally tax-exempt during the Sales Tax Holiday.

 

For more information, click here.

 

8-1-19 3:53 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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ARDOT News Release Erroneously Announced Road Improvements For Polk County

(Polk County) The Arkansas State Highway Commission has approved a bid for improvements to a county road in Polk County, according to Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) officials. The purpose of this project is to overlay 4 miles of County Road 61 near Board Camp.

 

The Thursday news release, which has yet to be corrected, also referenced work on a county road near "Yucanna" (Yocana), but there is no such project according to Polk County Judge Brandon Ellison. Judge Ellison also pointed out that the project on County Road 61 involved county matching money and was not being paid for completely by ARDOT, as the release suggested. 

 

Blackstone Construction, LLC of Russellville was awarded the contract at $493,297.62. Construction is scheduled to begin in two to four weeks, weather permitting. Completion is expected in late 2019. 

 

8-1-19 3:37 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Mena Weather