KAWX News Archives for 2020-05

Early Morning Accident On County Road Claims Life Of Polk County Man

An early morning single vehicle accident on Polk County Road 60 near Board Camp (Polk County) claimed the life of a county man.

 
According to the Arkansas State Police report, 40 year old Jerin B. Ferguson was traveling westbound in a 2012 Jeep Wrangler when his vehicle left the roadway and went into the ditch and struck a tree.
 
The time of the crash was listed as 1:30 a.m.
 
Ferguson was pronounced dead at the scene by Deputy Coroner Garrett Lundberg at 8:10 a.m. 
 
The accident was investigated by Trooper Bo Hayes of the Arkansas State Police.
 
The Polk County Sheriff's Department responded the the call first then notified The Arkansas State Police since there was a fatality.
 
5-30-20 12:20 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Coming Back from the Health and Economic Crisis

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Coming Back from the Health and Economic Crisis
 
 
LITTLE ROCK – The Economic Recovery Task Force has submitted its interim report to me, and today I’d like to talk about some of the steps we need to take to boost our economy after COVID-19.
 
The report paints an accurate picture of COVID’s impact on the state. For example, it notes 5,500 jobs were lost in the hotel industry, and there has been a 13.4 percent decrease in total consumer spending.
 
We see the signs everywhere that the pandemic has dealt our state and nation a setback, but I am optimistic about our future and a return to a growing economy.
 
Typically, Arkansans have acted responsibly, which has blunted the loss of jobs that we have seen in other states. While the precautions and limits have been inconvenient, we knew they were necessary for everyone’s health. Arkansans’ willingness to look beyond their own personal comfort has allowed us to beat the national projections for the number of illnesses and deaths. Our rates of illness and death are among the lowest in the country.
 
In terms of our economy, before the coronavirus hit, Arkansas was enjoying historically low unemployment and a thriving economy.
 
By mid-April, when we hit the peak of business disruption, about 17,000 of Arkansas’s small businesses were closed, which represents 35 percent of the total. That is 10 percent below the national average.
 
The unemployment rate rose to 10.2 percent in April, but that is 4 percent lower than the national average.
 
A U.S. Census survey taken in early May found that 39 percent of Arkansans had lost some income since mid-March. Another 23 percent of Arkansas households reported “housing insecurity.”
 
The physical, economic, and emotional toll on Arkansans is hard to comprehend. But this isn’t the first time we have weathered difficult days. We have overcome hardship before.
 
The members of the Economic Recovery Task Force have been hard at work over the past six weeks. They have studied the impact from every angle as they chart a path to recovery. They have identified opportunities, such as increased workforce training and expanding rural broadband, that not only will help us as we work our way out of this but will have a long-lasting impact on Arkansas.
 
The task force also recommended liability protection as businesses return, open, and expand, and they also recommend new solutions for the childcare needs of workers.
 
The Task Force Chairman, Steuart Walton, expressed his optimism at a news conference this last week. He noted that the health crisis and the resulting economic crisis are linked. We can’t beat one unless we beat the other.
 
We will conquer both. Arkansans are doing a great job of looking out for one another. That is just the way we are.
 
5-30-20 9:06 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Free #GoFRESH Food Boxes Saturday, May 30 At First Assembly In Mena

 

FREE #GoFRESH Boxes with fresh fruit & vegetables will be distributed this Saturday, May 30 from 10 a.m. until noon or until all boxes have been distributed at 2111 Sutherland Avenue at the Mena First Assembly of God Church.

 

The GoFRESH items are FREE with no paperwork, no strings attached, and is offered through a drive through. Anyone in our area is welcome to drive through and receive for your family and/or pick up for others. You are welcome to take as many as you will use or share with others. The GoFRESH boxes with fresh dairy, produce, fruit, and/or vegetables will be distributed over the next 5 weeks. Watch our Facebook page for the next date and time.

 

Again, this is FREE to everyone in our community. PLEASE help us spread the word. LIKE and SHARE this post. Let's get the word spread so everyone can participate! 

5-29-30 8:46 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

On Wednesday, members of the Arkansas Legislative Council were given an update on unemployment claims in the state. This week, we have also been reviewing a preliminary report from the Arkansas Economic Recovery Task Force.

 

Arkansas’s unemployment rate doubled from 5.0% in March to 10.2% in April. The U.S. rate is 14.7%. There were more than 206,000 of initial unemployment claims filed from the week ending March 7 to the week ending May 9. For the week ending May 2, there were 119,332 continued unemployment claims.

 

Since May 1, close to 39,000 Arkansans have applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance resulting in $19.3 million of paid claims. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance is being offered through the CARES Act and provides compensation to those not typically eligible for unemployment benefits such as free-lancers and those who are self-employed.

 

If you have filed for unemployment or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, be sure to check your emails for updates to your account and make sure you submit your weekly claims.

 

While Arkansas’s economy is faring better than many other states, the fact remains that Arkansans are hurting. The challenge now is to restore our economy and consumer confidence in a way that protects the health of workers, customers, and communities.

 

The Arkansas Economic Recovery Task Force was created in April to develop a strategy for economic recovery efforts.

 

The task force released a preliminary report this week outlining several recommendations. Those recommendations include increase testing and tracing, addressing COVID-19 related liability concerns for businesses, increasing childcare resources, workforce training, and broadband availability. 

 

The task force noted that much of Arkansas’s recovery will be predicated by our citizens and our businesses continuing to be responsible stakeholders in the recovery efforts. The report states, “Over the next few months, we will all need to adhere to Arkansas’s Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control’s directives in order to manage the impact of COVID-19 throughout our state. Importantly, we need Arkansans to maintain social distancing protocols set out by the Arkansas Department of Health in public settings. Doing so will help protect our friends and relatives from the spread of the virus and undoubtedly accelerate our state’s economic recovery.”

 

You can read the entire report at www.arkansasready.com.

 

5-29-20 4:50 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Mena's McMillan Park Closed Until further Notice Due To COVID-19

The City of Mena made the following announcement today concerning the swiming pool at Mena's McMillan Park:

 

Due to health department guidelines concerning social distancing during the COVID-19 Pandemic, the City of Mena feels it is in the best public interest for McMillan Park Swimming Pool to remain closed until further notice.

 

5-29-20 3:42 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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US Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column

Pandemic Child Hunger Relief Efforts Can Be Replicated in the Summer

 

Arkansas children struggling with hunger during this public health crisis will be getting additional support now that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved the state’s operational plan for the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) program.

 

Created by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the program provides assistance to families of children eligible for free or reduced-price school meals who have been unable to benefit from these programs while closures are in place.

 

Over 300,000 children in Arkansas are eligible for assistance during the academic year. With schools closed, the pressure on parents to provide their children healthy meals has intensified. Many of these families were already struggling to make ends meet before COVID-19 appeared. They now find themselves facing even more difficult financial hardships as a result.  

 

The Pandemic EBT program will help relieve some of that stress by providing qualifying families with assistance to account for meals that their children would have received at school.

 

Unfortunately, food insecurity issues facing Arkansas children won’t disappear once the coronavirus crisis is behind us. The challenge arises every summer. When the school year ends, it takes with it the reliable prospect for a healthy breakfast and lunch for children who participate in the program.

 

I am leading the charge to make federal child nutrition programs more efficient, flexible and better equipped to reach those in need—like the one in four Arkansas children struggling with hunger—during the summer.

 

The Hunger-Free Summer for Kids Act of 2019—bipartisan legislation I introduced with Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT)—will add flexibility to the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), which provides access to healthy lunch and snacks for children from low-income families when school is out.

 

The SFSP is hamstrung by rules that date back to the 1960s and dictate a one-size-fits-all approach to the problem. Currently, children must travel to a central location and eat their meals together. In rural areas, it can be difficult for children to reach a site, if one even exists. In suburban and urban areas, inclement weather or violence can keep children from these locations and cause them to miss a meal. Because of the rigidity of the program, only 17 percent of eligible students actually receive summer meals.

 

The Hunger-Free Summer for Kids Act of 2019 would allow for meals to be consumed off-site through innovative means like mobile feeding and backpack meal programs. It also would authorize an EBT program for summer.

 

Our bill pre-dates the current public health emergency, but the efforts underway now mirror the reforms we’ve outlined for the summer meals program.

 

To reduce exposure risks for COVID-19, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act authorized nationwide waivers allowing off-site meal distribution to a parent or guardian to take home to their children. Our bill would create a similar option during summer, since requiring children to receive meals at a central location while school is out is often impractical for logistical and safety reasons.

 

Additionally, the Pandemic EBT program is essentially the same approach we proposed for families to use during the summer. In USDA pilot programs, summer EBT was shown to reduce child hunger by over 30 percent.

 

The federal government has rightfully taken steps to help children overcome food insecurity during these difficult times. We shouldn’t forget about these struggles after the crisis brought on by COVID-19 has passed. Efforts to fight hunger, particularly for our children, must remain a priority in order to ensure their health and wellbeing.

 

5-29-20 3:08 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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QWSP Programs Cancellation Extended Through June 30th, Train Will Open Later In Season

Queen Wilhelmina State Park near Mena announced today that all park-driven special events will be cancelled through June 30th, with the exception of fishing derbies (which must adhere to AGFC’s and ADH’s guidelines). 

 

The park lodge is currently open for reservations Friday-Monday. Everyone must wear a face-covering in any public spaces.

 

The restaurant is open with limited capacity and hours. Guests must wear a face-covering until served. 

 

Questions about reservation cancellations should be made to the park directly. You can find the latest COVID-19 updates from Arkansas State Parks on our detailed response page.

 

If you get a busy signal when calling the park, please email the park directly at queenwilhelmina@arkansas.com.

 

Mountain Glory Train Concessionaire has decided to open later in the season, so it is temporarily closed. 

 

For more information, visit the park's website.

 

5-29-20 12:30 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Senator Larry Teague's Weekly Column

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

May 29, 2020

 

LITTLE ROCK –More than 10,500 Arkansas businesses have been approved for grants to reimburse them for the expenses of protecting the health of employees and customers.

 

The grants are worth up to $100,000, and the total amount of approved grants is about $115 million. They were made available through the Ready for Business Program.

 

Based on a list provided by the Arkansas Commerce Department, 202 businesses qualified for the maximum grant of $100,000.

 

The department received 12,234 applications, but 201 were withdrawn or determined to be ineligible.

 

About 2,500 applications lack paperwork and can still be approved if missing items, such as tax forms, are submitted.

 

Federal funding was made available in Arkansas as part of a national effort to restore the economy from the negative effects of business closures and layoffs caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

 

In mid-May the legislature voted to allocate $147.7 million to the Ready for Business program. The governor appointed a steering committee, composed of legislators and administration officials, to recommend how best to use the $1.25 billion that Arkansas received from the federal CARES Act. That stands for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

 

Businesses that receive a grant can spend it on supplies such as protective equipment like masks, no-contact thermometers, hand sanitizer stations and cleaning products. They can purchase machines that allow a monetary transaction that requires no contact between the customer and the clerk.

 

At least 15% of grant recipients must be businesses owned by women or minorities. The Secretary of the Commerce Department said that approved businesses should see checks deposited in their bank accounts within the week.

 

A state senator on the steering committee said he would like to see some of the CARES Act money be put in a reserve fund.

 

Another senator on the steering committee noted that Arkansas is obligated to spend CARES Act funding before December 30. If a vaccine is not available before then, it raises the question of whether Arkansas can spend money now from the CARES fund in order to secure future supplies of the vaccine when they do become available. State health officials will look into the wording of the federal funding bill to get an answer to that question.

 

Food Aid for Children

 

Financial help is available for families whose children were getting free or reduced-price meals when schools were closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

For each child who was enrolled in the lunch program, the family will receive $319. If the family was enrolled in SNAP, the food stamp program, the money will be added to their EBT during the last week of May or first week of June.

 

If the family was not enrolled in SNAP, the state Department of Education will provide the Department of Human Services with the family’s address, which was on file in the children’s school. DHS will mail an EBT card to the family’s address in June.

 

The payment will be made only to families enrolled in the free or reduced-price school lunch program when the health emergency was declared and schools were closed. It is a one-time payment, meant to help low-income families who have had to pay for their children’s meals after schools were shut down.

 

5-29-20 10:29 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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OLT Election Results, Other News

OLT Election Results

 

Ouachita Little Theatre had to suspend the annual membership meeting in May due to pandemic related safety concerns for the public. For the first time, elections for officers and new board members were held by mail-in ballot among the members. There was a very positive response to this voting procedure.

 

The election results for officers and board members were tallied May 21 and reported online immediately. That information follows:

 

Rudi Timmerman – President; John Byers – Vice President; Judy Kropp – Secretary; Bill Hayes – Treasurer. Newly elected board members serving a two-year term are Lamar Austin, Jackie Biard, Robby Burt, Gayle Krahn, and Jessica Kropp. The remaining board members serving the second year of their term are Amanda Baker, Jane Buttermilk, Makayla Kenyon-Ortiz, and Julie Ulmer.

 

 

OLT Updates & Opportunities

 

Ouachita Little Theatre board of directors met May 21 to discuss scheduling of shows, the annual financial report, and other miscellaneous details pertaining to theater business.

 

While OLT is not losing sight of the wonderful success they have had starting with “Annie” last year and running a full schedule of shows through “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” they are struggling with scheduling the 2020-21 season. With COVID19 concerns, rehearsals for the next musical “BIG” have had to be postponed for the time being. The set is mostly constructed, cast and crew chosen, but obstacles remain and at this writing there is no definite word on when rehearsals will start back. According to Director Jessica Kropp and President Timmerman, OLT is determined that “BIG” will be the next production on the OLT stage. Whether it occurs late in the summer or fall depends on the severity of the pandemic in Arkansas and resulting safety guidelines.

 

The shows from season 2019-20 have left the theater fiscally sound for now. However, there is concern for the future, as there is virtually no income from OLT’s biggest source of income in ticket sales. The other two income sources are through memberships and donations. With maintenance of a historical 100-year-old building and royalties/fees paid for shows not yet produced, the financial cushion will not last long.

 

As an appeal to the public, if you are able, OLT encourages you to consider renewing your membership, possibly even a higher level than usual. You can also make a donation. Consider purchasing DVD’s made from your VHS, cassette tapes, or even 8 mm film from our Memory Savers service. Just send an email to oltwamembs@gmail.com to arrange a time to meet someone at the office on Main Street which is temporarily closed.

 

To keep our acting and musical skills sharp, OLT invites you to become part of a one-two minute video that will instruct or entertain others about a skill relating to theater. Be watching the Facebook and Instagram pages for examples soon, and if you wish to submit a video yourself, just send an email attachment to oltwamembs@gmail.com. Thanks for you continued support!

 

5-29-20 10:18 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Quorum Court Meets, Judge Optimistic About County Revenue

The Polk County Quorum Court met Tuesday and for the second month in a row met in the Courtroom at the Courthouse to allow for distancing, and were checked for fever before entering. While the meeting was open to the public, only elected officials and a few county employees were in attendance.

 
All eleven Justices of the Peace were present, even though one was present via technology.
 
The agenda was short with JPs taking care of routine business mainly.
 
Judge Brandon Ellison reported that the county sold some seized vehicles and miscellaneous items in the recent FFA fundraiser auction which netted $5,301. The money was spilt between the Sheriff's Drug Control Fund and the Prosecutors Drug Control Fund. The other items netted $360 which will go to the Sheriff's Department.
 
Judge Ellison told the JPs that he was pleased with the recent Sales Tax Report. The May 2020 sales tax collected (which was on sales in April) was only $345 less than last year. 
 
While some counties have been much more severely affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic, Polk County's good financial condition and the better than expected sales tax report are good news and the Judge doesn't see any need to look at cutting any services at this time.
 
Judge Ellison also told the JPs that the recent storms have not only damaged a lot of county roads buy also prevented his road crews from working. 
 
5-27-20 5:04 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Weekly Arkansas Fishing Report

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s weekly fishing report for May 27, 2020. If there is a body of water you would like included in this report, please email jim.harris@agfc.ar.gov with information on possible sources for reports about that lake or river. Reports are updated weekly, although some reports might be published for two weeks if updates are not received promptly or if reporters say conditions haven’t changed. Contact the reporter listed for the lake or stream you plan to fish for current news. Note: msl = mean sea level; cfs = cubic feet per second.

 

Click on the area of the state below where you would like current fishing information from.

 

Central Arkansas

 

North Arkansas

 

Northwest Arkansas

 

Northeast Arkansas

 

Southeast Arkansas

 

Southwest Arkansas

 

South-Central Arkansas

 

West-Central Arkansas

 

East Arkansas

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

5-27-20 4:34 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Wolfpen Gap ATV Trails CLOSED Temporarily

The US Forest Service announced Tuesday afternoon that the Wolf Pen Gap Complex of trails was closing temporarily. The announcement below appeared on their social media page.

 

Effective 5/26/20, the trails at the Wolf Pen Gap Complex are temporarily closed due to the recent excessive rainfall and wet conditions. For more information and updates, contact the Mena-Oden Ranger District at 479-394-2382.

5-26-20 2:52 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

 

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Day Use Areas Reopening On Ouachita And Ozark-St. Francis National Forests

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (May 26, 2020) — Ouachita and Ozark-St. Francis National Forest officials have announced that some day use areas on the forests are open today, but many services, such as toilet facilities and trash receptacles, will remain closed

 

Open day use areas on the forests can be found on the websites of the Ouachita National Forest at www.fs.usda.gov/ouachita or the Ozark-St. Francis National Forests at www.fs.usda.gov/osfnf/.

 

While some facilities remain closed in the short-term, come prepared with all the essentials you would need for a day trip, including food, emergency supplies, and the ability to pack-out trash.

 

The Ouachita and Ozark-St. Francis National Forests are coordinating with federal, state and county officials to reopen areas once it can be accomplished safely. Other developed recreation sites remain closed due to the limited availability of cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment.

 

Forest Service staff are examining each site to ensure operations comply with current public health guidance. Additional recreation area reopenings are expected on a case-by-case basis.

 

Visitors to our National Forests are urged to take the precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For tips from the CDC on preventing illnesses like the coronavirus, go to: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention.html.

 

5-26-20 2:24 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Mena Police Report for May 17th - 23rd

 

Mena Police Department Reports for the Week of May 17, 2020 through May 23, 2020 

 

 

May 17, 2020

 

Jerry Holliday, 31, was served with a warrant and Natalie Holliday was served with a warrant and charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia after a traffic stop.

 

Sara King, 22, and Joseph Holmes, 34, were both charged with Disorderly Conduct after officers responded to a disturbance call.

 

Brandon Falls, 34, was charged with Driving on a Suspended License, No Vehicle License, Possession of Schedule 6 Controlled Substance and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia after a traffic stop.

 

May 18, 2020

 

Misty Arceneaux, 41, was charged with Theft of Property (Shoplifting) after a call to a department store.

 

Lesia Land, 61, was charged with Theft of Property (Shoplifting) after a call to a department store.

 

A report of Shoplifting was taken at a department store.

 

A report of unauthorized use of a vehicle was taken from a walk-in complainant.

 

May 19, 2020

 

A theft report was taken at a residence.

 

Officers responded to a disturbance at a residence.

 

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

 

A report of Criminal mischief was taken from a walk-in complainant.

 

May 20, 2020

 

No reports taken.

 

May 21, 2020

 

Dennis Stinson, 42, was served with a warrant.

 

A forgery report was taken at a fast food restaurant.

 

Melynda Tilley, 41, was charged with Possession of Schedule 6 and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia after a traffic stop.

 

May 22, 2020

 

Officers responded to a disturbance call at a residence.

 

May 23, 2020

 

Officers responded to a disturbance call at a residence.

 

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

 

5-26-20 1:15 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Polk County Sheriff's Report for May 18th - 24th

 

SHERIFF’S LOG

 

The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of May 18, 2020 – May 24, 2020. The charges against those arrested are allegations and the cases are still pending in the courts. Individuals charged and whose names appear in this column may submit documentation to us at a later date that the charges have been dismissed or that they have been found innocent and we will include that information in this space in a timely manner.

 

May 18, 2020

Report from complainant of an online scam involving the sale of a boat. Investigation continues.

Report from complainant of problems involving the online purchase of a dog. Investigation continues.

Report from complainant on Polk 31 near Vandervoort of a trespasser. Deputy responded.

 

May 19, 2020

Report of a vehicle fire on Hwy 71S near Acorn. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant on Polk 77 near Acorn of an inappropriate website. Investigation continues.

Report of a single vehicle accident on 375E near Shady led to Citations for Careless and Prohibited Driving and Driving Left of Center being issued to Tyler J. Cornelielus, 26, of Mena.

Report from complainant on Polk 36 near Hatfield of an altercation between two males. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.

Report from complainant on Polk 87 near Ink of a break-in. Deputy responded.

 

May 20, 2020

Report from complainant on Polk 290 near Cove of illegal dumping. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant near Mena of a juvenile being harassed. Deputy responded,

Report from complainant on Polk 89 near Mena of criminal mischief and vandalism. Investigation continues.

Report from complainant of finding a gun in a parking lot of a trailhead. Investigation continues.

 

May 21, 2020

Report from complainant on Destiny Lane near Shady Grove of damage to a car. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant on Edwards Street near Vandervoort of being harassed. Deputy responded.

Request for a welfare check on Polk 287 near Cove.

Arrested was Tony P. Foster, 34, of Cove on Failure to Appear.

 

May 22, 2020

Traffic stop on Hwy 71S near Cove led to the discovery of a suspicious substance. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.

Arrested by an Officer with the Grannis Police Department was Hailey E. Wolski, 28, of Boyce, LA on a Charge of DWI, Driving Left of Center, and No Proof of Insurance.

 

May 23, 2020

Report from complainant on Polk 720 near Shady Grove of a verbal domestic dispute. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant on Hwy 71 of a person trespassing. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant near Hatfield of a scam involving salesmen. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant on Polk 44 near Dallas Valley of a vehicle being side swiped. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant on Polk 14 near Wickes of damage to a vehicle in the amount of $900.00. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant on Polk 11 near Wickes of a dispute between family members. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.

Report from complainant on Hwy 71S near Cove of harassment. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.

Report from complainant on Polk 85 near Cherry Hill of a stolen vehicle led to the arrest of Bradley E. Robinson, 28, of Cherry Hill on a Charge of Theft by Receiving, Possession of a Firearm By Certain Persons and a Warrant for Parole Revocation.

Report of a structure fire on Polk 49 near Shady Grove. Deputy responded.

Arrested was Kennith A. Kyle, 38, of Mena on two Charges of Failure to Comply.

 

May 24, 2020

Traffic stop near Cove led to the arrest of Jonathon W. Rye, 20, of Cove on a Charge of DWI.

 

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

 

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 13 Incarcerated Inmates , with 7 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

 

PC20-00331

 

5-26-20 12:30 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

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Stolen Truck Retrieved, Cherry Hill Resident In Jail

On Saturday, May 23, 2020, the Polk County Sheriff's Office took a report of a stolen vehicle in the Cherry Hill community. The vehicle, a 2000 Dodge truck, was stolen from a residence on Polk County Road 85.

 
On Monday, May 25, 2020, the vehicle was spotted in the Pine Ridge are of Montgomery County. After an extensive search, the vehicle was located and a suspect was arrested at a residence on Polk County Road 647 east of Mena.
 
Bradley Earl Robinson, age 28, of Cherry Hill, was arrested for Theft by Receiving and Possession of a Firearm by Certain Persons. He also had a parole revocation warrant. Sheriff Scott Sawyer stated that Robinson also has other charges pending.
 
Sheriff Sawyer stated "I'm very happy to get this truck recovered for the owner and I am extremely happy to get Bradley Robinson off the streets. He is a one man crime spree that has a total disregard for the lives of others. Polk County is a safer place with Bradley Robinson in jail".
 
5-26-20 12:11 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Memorial Day in 2020

 
LITTLE ROCK – Monday is Memorial Day, and today I’d like to pay tribute to the Arkansans who have given their lives through military service to ensure that Americans continue to live in freedom.
 
Memorial Day 2020 will be different than any of us has ever observed. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to alter most of our traditions, including Memorial Day. This year, we can’t congregate for memorial services at cemeteries and churches. But we can still honor the memory of those who died on our behalf by remembering them and all those who are still willing to go to the front lines.
 
Since last Memorial Day, we have dedicated a new monument just outside the west doors of the capitol. It is in memory of those who have died in war and in memory of their survivors, the Gold Star families. This monument acknowledges that these families have had to move on with their lives even as they grieve their loss. Their sacrifice never ends.
 
The monument also is a promise to them that to the best of our ability, we will continue to fight for freedom at home and around the world. We hope that we will never need to add another name to this roll of honor of those who have died on our behalf. But if a situation requires it, we will take up the fight. We will find inspiration in their courage and valor. We will battle to preserve the liberty they bought with their lives.
 
Those who fight for us understand that serving others requires us to put the interests of others ahead of what we want. That has never been more evident than during this pandemic. Wearing a mask in public is perhaps uncomfortable and inconvenient, but we wear masks because that protects others.
 
Right now, every retail shop in Arkansas is open to do business. As we head into summer, we will be able to lift even more limits as we reengage our economy, while at the same time we continue to wash our hands frequently and keep a safe distance from others in public.
 
Because of Arkansans’ willingness to work together, we have been able to allow greater use of our state parks, with all their lodges, cabins, trails, lakes, and rivers. This is a good weekend to begin to explore our life under new circumstances. It’s also a good time to honor the sacrifice of those who went before us.
 
5-22-20 9:09 p.m. KAWX.ORG 
 
US and Arkanas Flags should be flown at half stff through Sunday in honor of COVID-19 victims, and Monday for Memorial Day.
 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

Memorial Day will be different this year. The threat of the coronavirus will limit the large gatherings of people who typically come together at ceremonies.

 

But the virus cannot stop us from taking a moment of private reflection to honor the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform who died protecting freedom.

 

Arkansas was and is home to so many brave men and women who deserve our recognition.

 

Our state lost 2,183 Arkansans in World War I.

 

World War II had a great economic and social impact on the people of Arkansas. During the war, an estimated 194,645 Arkansans served the nation in the various branches of the U.S. armed forces. That was approximately 10% of our state’s population in 1940. As a result of combat, 3,519 Arkansans lost their lives.

 

Arkansans continued to answer the call to serve.  There were 461 Arkansans who lost their lives in the Korean War and 588 during the Vietnam War.

 

We lost 4 of our own in Desert Storm, 33 in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and 29 in Operation Enduring Freedom.

 

And today, there are thousands who serve willing to put their lives on the line to protect our freedom still.

 

In 2017, the Arkansas General Assembly passed Act 281 which instructed the Secretary of State to erect a monument honoring Gold Star Families.  The monument is located directly behind the Capitol and was dedicated last fall. The Gold Star Family Memorial Monument honors those families who sacrificed more than most of us, and illustrates that the United States has citizens in every community willing to make such sacrifices.  It further illustrates that families suffer and grieve when a dear relative is lost, and without their sacrifices, freedom could not and would not have been preserved.  

 

Monuments and ceremonies are just two of hundreds of ways to honor our men and women in uniform, but the one act of appreciation each of us can do, even in the middle of a pandemic, is to be the kind of American worth fighting for. 

 

5-22-20 6:21 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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US Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column: Helping Arkansas's Reopening Succeed

Helping Arkansas’s Reopening Succeed

 

We are all eager for a return to normalcy after strict measures were implemented in Arkansas and across the country to slow the spread of the coronavirus and prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed with patients infected by the disease. We have made significant progress, but what’s equally important now is safely resuming business and allowing Americans to return to work. At the same time, we must remain vigilant and continue to practice effective behaviors like social distancing as commerce restarts.

 

As a member of President Trump’s Opening Up America Again Congressional Group, I’ve joined discussions about how we can reopen our country in a safe way that protects the health of citizens and supports our businesses. This requires striking the right balance in order to revive the economy while prioritizing public safety and health. Fortunately, Arkansas is leading the way in getting back to business responsibly.

 

The phased approach to reopening businesses in the Natural State is essential. Governor Asa Hutchinson, along with Arkansas Department of Health Director Dr. Nate Smith and the guidance of his team of public health experts, are leading the way for our state’s return to business by establishing protocols to keep us all safe as doors reopen to customers.
 
Over the last several weeks, hospitals and clinics resumed elective procedures, churches welcomed parishioners, gyms opened their doors and dine-in services at restaurants across the state returned in limited capacity. In the coming days public pools will reopen to swimmers for the summer.

This measured reopening allows us to minimize health risks while increasing customer capacity at locations we frequented before the pandemic forced us to change our habits. While businesses are required to follow industry-specific guidance, some are also taking additional steps including installing plexiglass shields to separate workspaces in order to reduce the potential for transmission of the coronavirus.

 

One way we’re working to decrease the spread of the virus and safely reopen American is by expanding COVID-19 testing. Funding authorized by the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act has provided more than $80 million to Arkansas to increase testing capacity. This support will help achieve the governor’s goal of conducting 60,000 coronavirus tests in the state during May.

 

Widespread testing is critical to reopening businesses and giving citizens the confidence they need to resume contact with loved ones and interact with the businesses and services they rely on in their daily lives. We all want to resume normal activities. It will be a slow process, but I am confident that by continuing to practice social distancing and following the guidelines of medical experts, we can safely and successfully recover.

 

5-22-20 2:30 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Senator Larry Teague's Weekly Column

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague
 
May 22, 2020
 
LITTLE ROCK – In June the Senate Education Committee will hear a report on the effect that public schools have seen due to the recent widespread requests for waivers from education standards.
 
Almost every school district in Arkansas operates with some sort of waiver granted by the state. More than 1,000 public schools, in which 97 percent of the state’s students are enrolled, operate with some sort of waiver. They are in 229 of the 235 school districts in Arkansas.
 
The most common waiver allows districts flexibility in scheduling the opening day of the school year in August. In fact, all 229 districts with waivers have the waiver that allows flexible scheduling, which enables them to better align their first semester with winter break.
 
When legislators and consultants study the impact of waivers on public school standards, they will not include a study of flexible scheduling. It is so widespread that comparisons are impossible.
 
When you remove flexible scheduling waivers from the picture, in the current school year Arkansas has about 500 schools in 118 districts operating under a waiver of education standards.
 
The most common waivers release schools from state mandates regarding the licensing of teachers and library media specialists.  Other common waivers allow schools flexibility in the area of teacher salaries, curriculum and class sizes. Also popular are waivers from state requirements setting the number of hours a student must complete in order to receive credit for taking a class.
 
The increase in the number of schools seeking waivers from education standards is directly related to the inception of charter schools in Arkansas.
 
In the 1990s, the legislature approved the creation of charter schools. So-called conversion charters, created by legislation in 1995, are operated by traditional school districts. Open-enrollment charter schools were created in 1999 and are run by non-profit organizations and universities.
 
When the state Board of Education approves their charters, they are granted certain waivers from statewide education standards. At the same time, however, charters are expected to use innovative strategies that improve educational opportunities, and many charters teach students who do not do well in traditional school settings.
 
Two recent laws have spurred the explosion in waivers sought by traditional public schools. Act 1240 of 2015 allowed a district to request waivers that are held by charters within that district’s borders. Act 815 of 2019 expanded that provision to allow public schools to seek any waivers that have been granted to any charter in Arkansas.
 
The Senate Education Committee analysis basically will focus on two areas. One areas is the impact, if any, that waivers have made on student performance. The other area is the financial effect waivers have made on districts that claim them.
 
Historically, state aid to school districts has been distributed without regard for any waivers that districts hold. That has been the case even though some waivers release schools from requirements that cost money and for which the state provides funding, such as limits on class sizes and requirements to offer a library media program.
 
The Senate Education Committee is studying data on waivers compiled by legislative staff and by a private consulting firm.
 
5-22-20 10:03 a.m. KAWX.ORG

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US And Arkansas Flags To Half Staff For Coronavirus Victims, Then Memorial Day

1. President Trump orders flags to fly at half-staff to honor CoronaVirus victims

 

"I will be lowering the flags on all Federal Buildings and National Monuments to half-staff over the next three days in memory of the Americans we have lost to the CoronaVirus," the President tweeted the evening of Thursday, May 22nd 
 
*** Flags should be at Half-Staff Immediately for the Next Three Days per the President's Tweet.    


 

2. Memorial Day United States Flag Display

Memorial Day, which is observed on the last Monday of May, commemorates the men and women who died while in the military service.  In observance of Memorial Day, fly the United States flag at half staff from sunrise until NOON , and then raise it to full height from noon to sundown. 
 
United States Flag Code
Section 7.M
 

The flag, when flown at half-staff, should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then slowly lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day. On Memorial Day the flag should be displayed at half-staff until noon only, then raised to the top of the staff.  


Click here to see the entire US Flag Code....
 

*** Flags should be at Half-Staff From Sunrise Until Noon on Monday, May 25th.
 
5-22-20 9:54 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Farmers Market To Open Saturday May 23rd In Mena

The Farmer's Market in Mena, located at the Historic KCS Depot on Sherwood Street in downtown Mena, will open for the season Saturday, May 23rd at 7:00 a.m.

 
The Farmer's Market will be open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 7:00 a.m. until sold out.
5-21-20 10:09 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 May 20, 2020. If there is a body of water you would like included in this report, please email jim.harris@agfc.ar.gov with information on possible sources for reports about that lake or river. Reports are updated weekly, although some reports might be published for two weeks if updates are not received promptly or if reporters say conditions haven’t changed. Contact the reporter listed for the lake or stream you plan to fish for current news. Note: msl = mean sea level; cfs = cubic feet per second.

 

Click on the area of the state below where you would like current fishing information from. 

 

Central Arkansas

 

North Arkansas

 

Northwest Arkansas

 

Northeast Arkansas

 

Southeast Arkansas

 

Southwest Arkansas

 

South-Central Arkansas

 

West-Central Arkansas

 

East Arkansas

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

5-20-20 3:40 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

 

 

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Mena School Board Meets, Lee Smith New Assistant Superintendent, Other Personnel Changes

The Mena School Board met on Tuesday, May 19th. The meeting began with the Superintendents Report. Mr. Benny Weston updated the board on the multiple phases the leadership team is working on for reentry & the beginning of the 2020/2021 school year. Assistant Superintendent Paulette Sherrer added that a needs assesment is underway in anticipation of the award from federal COVID-19 CARES Act monies.

 

Personnel was next on the agenda.

 

RESIGNATIONS
Traci Gray
Malani Vega

RESCIND CONTRACT
Markie Blocker

 

TRANSFER
Amy Dollar - 6th grade social studies
Justin Goodnight - Mena High School Agri
Chelsea Johnson - 8th grade algebra
Susan McKeever - LDE Special Education paraproffesional

 

HIRE
Dr. Lee Smith - Assistant Superintendent
Cheyenne Burdess - HHE
Lisa Falls - HHE LPN
Alicia Farringer - MMS Special Education self contained
Amy Martin - MMS
Chase McCormick - MMS Agri
Colby Singleton - Secondary MHS

 

COACHING DUTIES
Landon Dover - head sr. girls track
Tia Fryer - assistant jr. boys basketball
Ryan Luttmer - head jr. boys basketball & head jr. boys track
Brad Lyle - assistant sr. boys basketball
Heather Goss - head jr. girls track


All were approved unanimously.

 

The board then renewed the contract with Aramark Food Service & also renewed the agreement with Horizon Software.

 

The board accepted the Freedom of Choice Applications of 9 students.

 

Next was an update on the district's Five Year Plan to improve the FTE (Full-time equivalent). For the 20/21 school year the FTE has improved to 91.4% & is expected to jump to 95% once final calculations are made.

 

Finally financial reports were approved & the meeting adjourned.

 

5-19-20 9:03 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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State, County and Local Government Offices Closed Monday For Memorial Day

State, county and local offices will be closed on Monday, May 25, 2020, in observance of Memorial Day. All emergency services will be available as usual.

5-19-20 12:22 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Mena Police Report for May 10th - 16th

 

Mena Police Department Reports for the Week of May 10, 2020 through May 16, 2020 

 

 

May 10, 2020

 

Hayley Myers, 28, was arrested for Theft of Property (Shoplifting) at a department store.

 

May 11, 2020

 

Jason Rosson, 38, was arrested on warrant.

 

May 12, 2020

 

Joshua Smith, 28, was arrested for 3rd Degree Domestic Battery at a motel.

 

Rachel Tarkington, 22, was arrested for Driving on Suspended Driver’s License, Possession of Schedule 2 Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of Schedule 6 Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia after a traffic stop.

 

May 13, 2020

 

A report of breaking or entering and criminal mischief was taken at a residence.

 

A report of breaking or entering was taken at a residence.

 

May 14. 2020

 

Cody Creekmore, 22, was arrested for 3rd Degree Domestic Assault after a disturbance call to a residence.

 

Alex Scofield, 31, was arrested for Public Intoxication after a disturbance call to a laundry mat.

 

May 15, 2020

 

A Juvenile was arrested for Curfew Violation and Fleeing.

 

Charles Walker, 71, was arrested for Driving on a Suspended Driver’s License and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia after a traffic stop.

 

Bobby May, 32, was arrested for Public Display of Obscenity after a call to a residence.

 

Robyn Jacobs, 64, was arrested for Criminal Trespass after a call to a department store.

 

May 16, 2020

 

No reports taken.

 

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

 

5-19-20 8:52 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Sarah Huckabee Sanders Launches Arkansas Fund For Forgivable Loans to Small Businesses

Little Rock, AR – In an effort to save as many Arkansas jobs as possible during the COVID-19 crisis, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her husband, Bryan Sanders, today launched the non-profit Arkansas 30 Day Fund to provide forgivable loans to struggling Arkansas-based small businesses.

The funds disbursed to small businesses by the Arkansas 30 Day Fund are intended to provide immediate financial assistance to meet payroll, preserve healthcare coverage for employees, and save jobs. The application process is quick, easy, and free of red tape. The loans do not need to be repaid. If businesses who receive the Fund’s assistance do, at a later date, wish to “pay it forward” to another Arkansas small business in need of assistance, they may do so by directing those dollars back to the Fund. The Fund will then disburse that funding to another Arkansas business in need.

Arkansas businesses that qualify for assistance from the Fund are:

• Small businesses that employ three to 30 people;
• Based in Arkansas and have been operating for at least one year;
• Owned and operated by an Arkansas resident.

Arkansas 30 Day Fund will begin accepting applications for forgivable loans today at: https://www.Arkansas30DayFund.com.

"My husband and I have been looking for ways to help people during this crisis and we are encouraged by the tremendous response we have received from Arkansans who want to partner with us in this effort. The Arkansas 30 Day Fund is nonpartisan, and we hope to work with people who may not agree with us on anything other than helping people in our community in need," said Sarah Huckabee Sanders. "It’s about Arkansans helping Arkansans, standing together in a time of crisis, and saving jobs."

According to a recent U.S. Census Bureau report, nearly half of small businesses don’t have enough cash to go more than a month, and more than half are waiting on government assistance.

"Our goal is to bridge that gap and help Arkansas small businesses save jobs now," Sanders said.

 

5-18-20 12:18 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Polk County Sheriff's Report for May 11th - 17th

SHERIFF’S LOG

 

The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of May 11, 2020 – May 17, 2020. The charges against those arrested are allegations and the cases are still pending in the courts. Individuals charged and whose names appear in this column may submit documentation to us at a later date that the charges have been dismissed or that they have been found innocent and we will include that information in this space in a timely manner.

 

May 11, 2020

Report from complainant on Hwy 71S near Cove of being harassed by an individual. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant on College Drive near Mena of the theft of a television valued at $200.00. Investigation continues.

Report from complainant on E. Dawn Lane near Wickes of trespassing at a storage building. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant on Hwy 8E near Board Camp of a domestic disturbance and the theft of household items and guns valued at $2,500.00. Investigation continues.

 

May 12, 2020

No reports filed.

 

May 13, 2020

Report from complainant on Hwy 88W near Mena of being harassed by an individual. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.

Report from complainant on Polk 7 near Wickes of a disturbance at a residence led to the arrest of Matthew B. Parnell, 27, of Wickes on a Charge of Disorderly Conduct.

Report from complainant on Hwy 71S near Hatfield of an altercation between two females. Deputy responded.

Arrested by an officer with the Drug Task Force was David M. Fraser, 52, of Hatfield on two Warrants for Failure to Appear.

 

May 14, 2020

Arrested was Summer D. Myers, 25, of Hatfield on a Warrant for Battery 3rd Degree.

 

May 15, 2020

Report from complainant on Heritage Lane near Hatfield of being threatened by an unknown individual. Deputy responded.

Arrested was Jeffrey C. Cude, 40, of Mena on a Warrant for Battery 2nd Degree and two Counts of Negligent Homicide.

Report of an accident on Hwy 8W near Mena led to the arrest of Hunter D. Johns, 20, of Mena on a Charge of Careless and Prohibited Driving and a Charge of DUI-Under Age.

 

May 16, 2020

Report from complainant on Hwy 8E near Board Camp of problems at a former place of residence. Deputy responded.

Traffic stop on Hwy 4 near Cove led to the arrest of Carl W. Wilson, 25, of Perkins, Oklahoma on Charges of DWI, Careless and Prohibited Driving, and Driving on a Suspended License.

Report from complainant on Polk 267 near Vandervoort of being threatened by an individual. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.

 

May 17, 2020

Report from complainant on Polk 47 near Rocky of damage done to two hay pastures in the amount of $1000.00. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant on Polk 414 near Hatfield of the theft of a chainsaw valued at $200.00.

Investigation continues.

Arrested was Jerry D. Green, 58, of Mena on Charges of Failure to Comply with a Court Order and Failure to Register.

Arrested was Shelton Bray, 28, of Broken Bow, Oklahoma on a Charge of Public Intoxication.

 

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

 

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 14 Incarcerated Inmates, with 7 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

 

PC20-00301

 

5-18-20 12:03 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address Testing: A Critical Part of Fighting the Virus

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address Testing: A Critical Part of Fighting the Virus
 
 
LITTLE ROCK – Today I’d like to talk about our COVID-19 testing and a new partnership with the Arkansas Community Health Centers.
 
In an effort to flatten the curve and increase testing for COVID-19, I have consistently encouraged individuals with a simple message: “If you think you have symptoms, don’t wait – get tested.”
 
On April 21st, I created a Testing Advisory Group to expand and increase testing in the state. We have increased testing in high-risk settings, such as long-term care facilities. We have expanded testing to include all people who think they have been exposed to the virus, even if they aren’t showing symptoms.
 
At the beginning of this month, we set a goal of conducting 60,000 tests during the month of May. If we are able to do 60,000 tests, that’s 2% of our state population and a key part of the White House Coronavirus Task Force recommendations for ramping up states’ testing numbers.
 
Since we had the first positive case in Arkansas on March 11th, when we first declared the emergency, we started increasing our testing. As of May 14th, we had a little over 29,000 this month. To put that in perspective, since March 11th, (or over the last 65 days) we have done about 81,000 tests. So even though we're not to our goal yet, the nearly 30,000 in the first two weeks in May alone shows we are on the right track, and we are optimistic about meeting our goal.
 
Earlier this week, I announced a new partnership with the Community Health Centers across Arkansas. When CEO, LaShannon Spencer, called upon her community health centers and asked them what more they can do to support the testing initiative of our state. In response, they committed to provide over 2,000 test collections, per week, in May to add to this objective of reaching our 60,000 goal. Their health centers across the state are offering multiple testing sites, including drive-thru screenings and testing tents, all free of charge.
 
I was delighted by a conversation that took place in my office between Ms. Spencer and Secretary of Health Nate Smith. When LaShannon said all we need are swabs and we might need some help with that, Dr. Smith responded, “Don't worry, we've got plenty.”
 
When you are talking about PPE and supply chain and working together for the health and safety of all Arkansans, that’s exactly what you want to hear. I applaud the leadership of the community health centers and our public health officials for working together in this critical partnership.
 
Another great partnership is with Walmart. They have partnered to provide approximately 130 mobile testing units across the country. Currently, they have three operating in Bentonville, Little Rock, and Fort Smith; and just this week announced additional sites in Jonesboro, Hot Springs, Texarkana, and West Memphis.
 

During this Phase One period of lifting restrictions, we must expand our economy, but we have to manage the expansion to minimize the virus impact.

 

If we’re in a war, radar tells us where the enemy is on the horizon. Testing is our radar system; and tracking is our first defense. It gives us an early warning capability for where there's an increased potential of an outbreak so we can get a handle on it. And that is our objective.
 
We have to learn to live and manage and work through the potential of COVID-19 in the next year until we get a vaccine. And to accomplish that, testing is a critical part having the proper infrastructure in place.
 
5-16-20 7:49 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

The COVID-19 pandemic could be a source of stress, fear, or anxiety for many Arkansans. May is Mental Health Awareness Month and a good time to remind Arkansans of the resources available to help during this time.

 

If you currently visit a provider for mental health services, these services can now be accessed by telephone or tele-video. 

Arkansas’s Community Mental Health Centers have also temporarily changed their services to utilize tele-video or telephone technology whenever possible. 

 

The Arkansas Lifeline Call Center can direct you to the center closest to you.

The Arkansas Lifeline Call Center (1-800-273-8255) is available 24/7. This call center housed within the Arkansas Department of Health answers calls from Arkansans to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call takers can route Arkansans to local resources.

 

Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming in both adults and children. 

Children and teens react, in part, on what they see from the adults around them. When parents and caregivers deal with the COVID-19 calmly and confidently, they can provide the best support for their children. Parents can be more reassuring to others around them, especially children, if they are better prepared.

 

The CDC recommends the following to cope with stress:

 

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  • Eat healthy meals and exercise regularly.
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.

 

While we may all be social distancing, it’s important to still connect with others. Technology allows us to connect in new ways. As we collectively work to get our state back to normal, don’t underestimate the importance of reaching out to family and friends.

 

Taking care of yourself can help you cope with stress and in turn, help others. Helping others is what will make communities stronger on the other side of this crisis.

 

5-15-20 6:36 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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US Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column

Mental Health is More Important Than Ever

 

We are only five months into 2020, but it is safe to say the coronavirus crisis has made this year unlike any other in our lifetimes.

 

A virus the world had never seen before has taken thousands of American lives. Millions more have lost their jobs as a result of the economic shutdown. Our daily routines and opportunities to gather with friends and family were drastically constrained by social distancing orders.  

 

The dramatic lifestyle changes brought on by the coronavirus caused or exacerbated mental and emotional hardships for nearly every American. Fear, anger, nervousness—all understandable reactions to an unknown enemy—began to seep into daily thoughts. For many, physical distancing and economic uncertainty generated increased feelings of isolation, disconnection and confinement, in addition to raising questions about their value. This anxiety, coupled with concerns for our own safety and that of our loved ones, certainly caused harm to the mental wellbeing of numerous Americans.

 

As Arkansas cautiously begins to reopen, many of these emotions linger—but for some, grappling with mental health struggles has been, and will be, a lifelong battle.

 

As he has in previous years, President Trump has declared the month of May to be National Mental Health Awareness Month. As the president noted in his proclamation, this year’s designation “coincides with one of the most complex and challenging periods in our nation’s recent history.” Given the gravity of the situation, Congress included $425 million for substance use treatment and mental health services in the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

 

Additional language within the CARES Act directs resources to vulnerable populations, including veterans, who are at higher risk of suffering from mental health issues. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is using these resources to expand its telehealth capabilities. This technology ensures continuity of care for veterans during a time when non-emergency visits are not an option. The VA also unveiled a new campaign called “Now is the Time” to highlight mental health resources available to veterans and their families.

 

My colleagues and I continue to pursue additional treatment options for veterans. The Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act of 2019—a comprehensive bill to expand veterans’ access to services received unanimous approval from the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. It is my hope that we can get this bill—which includes language I authored with Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) to increase veteran-serving non-profits’ participation in efforts to reduce veteran suicides—through the full Senate in a similarly quick manner.  

 

I also recently joined colleagues to introduce legislation to improve services for another vulnerable, and often overlooked, group—children in foster care. The trauma and challenges that children face before entering the foster care system, and throughout their time in it, put them at high risk of mental health struggles. Our bill, the Timely Mental Health for Foster Youth Act, will help identify the unique needs of the 400,000-plus children in foster care and put them on a path that improves their lives and mental wellbeing.

 

We are living in an unprecedented time. These past few months have been a stark reminder that we need to look out for one another. Let’s use National Mental Health Month to recommit to our own mental wellness and that of our families, friends and neighbors.

 

5-15-20 2:50 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Mena Resident Jailed, Charged With Two Counts Of Negligent Homicide

Jeffery Clayton Cude, age 40 of Mena, was arrested and jailed Friday on two counts of Negligent Homicide and Battery In The Second Degree. 

 

Cude was involved in an accident east of Mena on February 8, 2020 that resulted in the deaths of two Montgomery County women and the injury of a juvenile. The original story can be read by clicking here.

 

Cude is being held in the Polk County Detention Center with bond set at $250,000.00.

 

5-15-20 1:53 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Senator Larry Teague's Weekly Column

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

May 15, 2020

 

LITTLE ROCK – Disruptions in the food supply chain affect more than the quantity of products on the grocery store shelves. They have forced Arkansas cattlemen and farmers to make financial decisions today that will affect the supply and demand of food over the coming months and years.

 

The impact of the coronavirus outbreak on meat supplies was the topic of a recent meeting of the Senate and House Committees on Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development.

 

They heard from top officials in the University of Arkansas System’s Division of Agriculture. Also, they heard from a representative of the Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association.

 

First of all, the university’s vice president for agriculture emphasized that consumers should always keep in mind that the coronavirus does not come from any food products.

 

The speakers discussed erratic fluctuations in prices of meat; some increased supply and some increased demand at different stages of the supply chain.

 

For example, at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, some consumers were panic buying and there was little or no meat on grocery shelves. That drove up demand.

 

Next, government orders shut down or severely limited the restaurant and food service industry. That drove down demand significantly, because about half of the nation’s beef supply had been bought by restaurants.

 

Another set of issues affecting cattlemen resulted from bottlenecks at processing plants caused by labor shortages and shut downs. Outbreaks of Covid-19 among employees have caused bottlenecks in the supply chain for beef and pork processing plants.

 

The drop in broiler chick placements will hurt poultry growers, because they will be able to raise fewer flocks during the coming year.

 

Arkansas cattle are mainly cows and calves that are sold and sent to feed lots in other states. Feed lots are keeping calves longer because of the bottleneck at processing plants, which is causing a glut upstream in the supply chain.

 

At the beginning of March, cattle producers saw a drop of $88 a head for 550-pound calves. Other cattlemen and some sale barns have to navigate legal issues with processing plants, which no longer want delivery of cattle which they have contracted to buy.

 

When prices drop, cattle growers often have to reduce the size of their herds. Those decisions will affect the long-term supply of beef in months and years to come.

 

The solutions discussed included debt relief for producers who have fixed loans that need to be paid, no matter what disruptions the coronavirus causes.

 

The cattlemen on the committee discussed legislation to set up a state inspection system for meat, allowing local Arkansas producers greater access to local markets. Tennessee is the only neighboring state that does not have its own system of state inspectors.

 

State inspections would not be a “silver bullet,” the Cattlemen’s Association spokesman said, but it would benefit Arkansas producers by expanding their markets and creating a buffer from negative trends that disrupt the beef industry on a national scale.

 

A senator on the committee said he would sponsor legislation setting up a system in which state inspections take the place of federal inspectors.

 

5-15-20 10:05 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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June Kathleen Griffin Gray Obituary

June Kathleen Griffin Gray, age 88 of Hatfield, Arkansas, passed away Wednesday, May 13, 2020 in Mena, Arkansas.

She was born July 20, 1931 in Hatfield, Arkansas to William Albert (W.A.) Griffin and Minnie Ola Moore Griffin. June was united in marriage to Ted Gray on May 12, 1949. June was a retired sales clerk of Thomas Jewelry. In her free time, Mrs. June enjoyed gardening, reading, sewing, and anything to stay busy. She was a loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, and friend to all. She will be dearly missed.

Survivors are daughters: Terry G. Morrison and husband Terry L. of Glenwood, Arkansas, Kathy L. Watson and husband Bill of Lavaca, Arkansas, and Tyler Gray Stoker and husband John of Benton, Arkansas

Four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Ted Gray; father, William Albert (W.A.) Griffin; mother, Minnie Ola Moore Griffin; brother, Alton Griffin; sister, Norma McNew; and grandson, Jason Scott Morrison.

Graveside service will be held at Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Hatfield, Arkansas, on Monday, May 18, 2020 at 10:00 a.m., officiated by Reverend Buddy Corbell. Services are under the direction of the Beasley Wood Funeral Home.

Honorary pallbearers will be Mark Watson, Jonathan Corbell, Chris Fuller, Cole Stoker, Caleb Corbell, Luke Watson, Jake Watson, and Callie Corbell.
 

 

5-14-20 8:53 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Flags To Half Staff Friday For Peace Officers Memorial Day

Fly the United States and Arkansas Flags at Half-Staff Friday, May 15, 2020 in Honor of Police Officers Memorial Day 

Proclamation on Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week, 2020

 

 
On Peace Officers Memorial Day and during Police Week, we commend the brave men and women of our law enforcement community for continually summoning the courage to fulfill their solemn oath to protect and serve.  We also pause to remember all those who have lost their lives and who have suffered permanent disabilities defending their communities and the rule of law, including the heroes we have lost this year to the coronavirus.
 
Throughout our Nation's history, law enforcement officials have never wavered in the face of crisis or tragedy.  During uncertain times, law enforcement officers bravely face challenges and continue to protect the American people.  They steadfastly ensure the safety of our communities, providing a much needed sense of security for our citizens, and our country is extremely grateful for their efforts.
 
My Administration remains committed to ensuring our Nation's Federal, State, local, and tribal law enforcement officers have the resources and support they need to perform their duties safely and effectively.  Last October, I was proud to sign an Executive Order to establish the Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice - the first commission on law enforcement in half a century.  This Commission identifies ways to reduce crime while simultaneously bringing law enforcement officers and the communities they serve closer together.  We have also worked to expand lifesaving programs like the National Blue Alert Network.  Thirty-five States have enacted Blue Alert plans, which provide early warnings to law enforcement agencies, the media, and the public by transmitting Blue Alerts to cell phones, television stations, and other devices.  These alerts disseminate information on suspects who pose an imminent and credible threat to the safety of our officers, and this network demonstrates how we can work together to provide proactive programs, innovative resources, and cutting-edge technology to support and advance our law enforcement personnel.
 
We must continue working toward a time when all people respect and understand the important work that law enforcement officers do.  Unfortunately, our law enforcement officers do not always receive the respect they deserve.  These brave men and women must operate in an environment where their moral and legal authority is constantly being scrutinized, and they undertake the critical yet difficult task of addressing the actions of those affected by addiction, homelessness, and mental illness.  Their ability to work well in the face of these and other challenges is extraordinary, and we have incredible appreciation for their public service and selflessness.
 
On behalf of our grateful Nation, we proudly recognize the more than 900,000 sworn members of law enforcement for their resolve and dedication in the face of dangerous uncertainty.  The thoughts and prayers of our Nation are with them and their families, and we will always owe them our appreciation and support.
 
By a joint resolution approved October 1, 1962, as amended (Public Law 87-726, 76 Stat. 676), and by section 1 of Public Law 105-225 (36 U.S.C. 136-137), the President has been authorized and requested to designate May 15 of each year as "Peace Officers Memorial Day" and the week in which it falls as "Police Week."
 
NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 15, 2020, as Peace Officers Memorial Day and May 10 through May 16, 2020, as Police Week.  In honor of our hardworking law enforcement officers, Melania and I will light the White House in blue on May 15, 2020.  I call upon all Americans to observe Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week with appropriate ceremonies and activities.  I also call on the Governors of the States and Territories and officials of other areas subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day.  I further encourage all Americans to display the flag from their homes and businesses on that day.
 
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
eighth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fourth.
 
 DONALD J. TRUMP
 
In tribute to the memory of our State and Nations fallen law-enforcement officers, the United States flag and the state flag of Arkansas will fly at half-staff on Friday, May 15, for Peace Officers Memorial Day. Citizens are encouraged to display the U.S. flag on their homes and businesses on that day.
 
ASA HUTCHINSON 
 
Governor Hutchinson's proclamation for National Police Week and Peace Officers Memorial Day can be found HERE .
 
5-14-20 8:44 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Arkansas Squirrel Season Opens May 15th

With turkey hunting season wrapped up, deer and waterfowl hunting season may look like a million years away, but there’s another spring season that gives Arkansas hunters plenty of reasons to be excited. Arkansas’s squirrel season opens May 15, and for those who enjoy chasing these treetop targets, it’s a great excuse to be in the woods.

 

Spring squirrel hunting has been an Arkansas tradition for decades, and typically was available from mid-May through mid-June. In 2013 the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission voted to extend the season for those who wanted to continue pursuing squirrels from May 15 to the end of February, making it one of Arkansas’s longest hunting seasons.

Squirrel populations are largely dependent upon the previous year’s mast crop. When the acorns and hickory nuts are plentiful, squirrel populations will rise; but when hard mast is scarce, hunters may see declines in overall squirrel production. Following last fall’s explosion of hard mast throughout much of the state, squirrel populations should be seeing a healthy response and many young bushytails should be prowling the woods this spring. Add in the latest cooldown from Mother Nature, and this spring is shaping up to be one of the best prospects in recent years to break out a .22 rife or shotgun to chase these plentiful targets.

 

Fall season hunters have a few options when it comes to hunting styles: they can find a patch of hardwoods that are producing particularly well and sit a spell, or they can stay mobile and keep a sharp eye for the small animals as they make their way from tree to tree. Some hunters also opt to follow a trusty fiest or cur, dog breeds developed to watch and sniff out squirrels and lock them down to one tree until the hunter can catch up to take a shot. All of these tactics are excellent options, but in spring one outshines them all.

 

“Mulberries,” said Mark Hooks, regional wildlife supervisor for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Monticello Office. “Find mulberries in spring and you will find the squirrels.”

Red mulberry image courtesy of Paul Wray, Ioawa State Universioty

Just as a veteran squirrel hunter knows to focus on areas with abundant hickories and oaks during fall, a smart hunter will learn to identify the red mulberry tree as it is one of the best magnets for gray squirrels and fox squirrels this time of year.

 

“In fall, you’ll know when a squirrel has really been cutting hickories by the yellow stain on their chin,” Hooks said. “But if you can find a ripe red mulberry tree, you’ll see a bunch of squirrels with purple stains on their mouths and chest from the fruits of this tree.”

 

Former AGFC biologist and spring squirrel hunter Mike Widener used to joke about his recipe for spring squirrel success.

“Find a big mulberry tree with ripening fruit and camp out. Go no farther. Collect eight squirrels. Come back tomorrow,” Widner would say.

 

The only thing that has changed to that formula in the last decade is that squirrel hunters can now collect 12 bushytails as their daily limit.

 

Hooks says the key to identifying these magical mulberries is to focus on the leaves. Mulberry trees will have broad, pointed leaves that resemble a heart shape with a flat base. But the leaf also may have a depression in its margin that creates multiple lobes.

 

“The red mulberry leaf can be unlobed, have two lobes or multiple lobes all on the same tree,” Hooks said. “It’s one of our only trees that will have that. Another good giveaway is to break the leaf at its stem. Mulberry trees will have a white, milky sap at the stem you can see easily. That and the mulberries themselves that look similar to small blackberry fruits will help you find these trees when they are available.”

Mulberry leaves image courtesy of Rebekah Wallace, University of Georgia 

The main precautions for hunters looking to explore the spring squirrel woods are the same as those for turkey hunters. Ticks, gnats, mosquitoes and other biting insects can be waiting to hop aboard anyone who isn’t prepared. A good bug suit combined with insect repellent is the best route to take. If a bug suit seems too expensive or cumbersome, hunters may want to substitute for it by spraying their clothing with permethrin, an insecticide that will help deter some insects.

 

But a good bug spray using the chemical compound DEET is almost a requirement to keep the bugs at bay.

 

With the exception of the bugs, the only real thing to worry about is caring for your squirrels once they’re harvested. Keeping the carcass cool is more of a factor than in cooler weather. Wearing a vest with a mesh game pouch like those used during dove season works well to offer air circulation around your squirrel. If that isn’t available, carrying your squirrels by hand or hanging them from a game tote like duck hunters use is a good alternative to keeping the meat fresh and ready for a pot of squirrel and dumplings when you get home.

 

5-14-20 6:27 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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CASA Holding Upcoming Fundraiser to Support Local Abused & Neglected Children

Non-profits across the nation are experiencing significant disruptions in donations since the coronavirus pandemic was declared. Like other sectors across America, many are having to layoff employees amid sharp budget deficits. Adding to the economic carnage are the benefactors of these non-profits who are already vulnerable and experience additional loss of services and suffering. CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) is one such local organization. Their benefactors are the abused and neglected children in Polk and Sevier Counties who are taken into the foster care system.

 

Cynthia Martin, Executive Director, for the non-profit noted that the stress of this time causes increases stresses in the home and unfortunately, the children directly suffer from either inadequate resources, abuse, or overall neglect. “While much of America has essentially stopped, the need to advocate for the safety and well-being of these children has not,” said Martin. She noted they have seen a spike in “in-takes” with more children at home during the day rather than at school.

 

“We have been fortunate and have received a Paycheck Protection Loan and a $1,000 emergency grant from National CASA through the CARES Act but have had some fundraising events cancelled. We have chosen to continue with an upcoming golf tournament fundraiser on May 30. We believe that golf lends itself to proper social distancing and being outdoors adds to all possible safety protocols being observed,” Martin added.

 

Unfortunately, this event, like many others, has recruited less than half of the number of teams as last year. Martin is hopeful by sharing the mission of the organization and the need that more golfers will choose to join them for the event. “This is not a super competitive golfing event. It’s a fun event that supports the abused and neglected children in our area. We’re grateful for the support of The Mena Star and KAWX in helping us promote the event as well as Union Bank our gold sponsor. There are a number of businesses who have sponsored holes but we greatly need additional teams to help raise needed funds to support our non-profit.”

 

The event is scheduled for May 30 at the Mena Country Club. It is a 3-person scramble, $225 per team. For more information, contact Martin at cmartin1209@yahoo.com or 479.234.8566.

 

5-14-20 6:17 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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UARM & Foundation Award Over $109,500 in Scholarships

Dr. Phillip Wilson has announced local scholarship recipients.

 

David Grenier – Mena, UA Rich Mountain Board of Visitors Academic Scholarship - $6,600; US Electrical Motors (NIDEC) Endowment Scholarship - $2,000;

 

Jennifer Adams – Mena, UA Rich Mountain Board of Visitors Academic Scholarship - $6,600;

 

Lindy Hull – Mena, UA Rich Mountain Board of Visitors Academic Scholarship - $6,600;

 

Kaitlyn Simmons – Mena, UA Rich Mountain Board of Visitors Academic Scholarship - $6,600;

 

Cypriss-Rose Pruitt – Mena, UA Rich Mountain Board of Visitors Academic Scholarship - $6,600;

 

Cassandra Boening – Waldron, UA Rich Mountain Board of Visitors Academic Scholarship - $7,440.

 

To be eligible to receive the Board of Visitors Scholarship, students must have at least a 3.75 GPA on high school work and ACT composite of 25 or SAT composite 1200 and up.

 

Zane Stephens – Mena, Chancellor’s Academic Scholarship - $5,100;

 

Brendon Catlett – Mena, Chancellor’s Academic Scholarship - $5,100;

 

Tiffany Gwin – Waldron, Chancellor’s Academic Scholarship - $5,940.

 

Chancellor's Scholarship recipients must have at least a 3.50 GPA and ACT composite of 24 or SAT composite 1160-1190.

 

Additional scholarships were awarded by UA Rich Mountain to students out of the area that met the qualifying criteria.

 

Foundation Director Dr. Diann Gathright has announced that the UA Rich Mountain Foundation has awarded the following scholarships to local students.

 

Aaron Goodin – Caddo Hills, Charles Hansard Endowment Scholarship - $1,000;

 

Celina Arce – Cossatot River, Carroll G. and Louise Davis Endowment Scholarship - $2,000;

 

Esperanza Ortiz – Cossatot River, Carroll G. and Louise Davis Endowment Scholarship - $2,000;

 

Brian Strother – Cossatot River, Carroll G. and Louise Davis Endowment Scholarship - $2,000;

 

Kailey Wade – Cossatot River, Carroll G. and Louise Davis Endowment Scholarship - $2,000, Ed and Dorothy Stevenson Endowment Tuition Scholarship - $1,000;

 

Katelyn Baker – Cossatot River, Union Bank Endowment Scholarship - $1,000;

 

Macie Johnson – Mena, 40 Year Club Endowment Scholarship - $1,000;

 

Julianna Kennedy - Mena, 40 Year Club Endowment Scholarship - $1,000; US Electrical Motors (NIDEC) Endowment Scholarship - $2,000;

 

Lauryn Maechler - Mena, 40 Year Club Endowment Scholarship - $1,000;

 

Autumn Powell - Mena, 40 Year Club Endowment Scholarship - $1,000;

 

Andrew Graves – Mena, Mena Schools - $1,000;

 

Alexis Payne – Mena, Mena Schools - $1,000;

 

Hunter Waters – Mena, Mena Schools - $1,000;

 

Judy Cook – Oden High School, Harris-Percifull Endowment Scholarship - $1,000;

 

Teresa Cude – Oden High School, Margaret Hopper Endowment Scholarship - $1,000;

 

Hannah Caldwell – Smithville, Dr. L.O. Dickson Endowment Scholarship - $1,000;

 

Shasati Parsons – Umpire, Ed and Dorothy Scholarship Endowment Tuition Scholarship - $1,000;

 

Tiffanie Owens – Waldron, Dale Rodgers Family Tuition Endowment Scholarship - $1,000;

 

Kelli Adamson – Waldron, Nick Hawkins Endowment Scholarship - $1,000.

 

In total, the Foundation awarded 53 scholarships totaling $31,091 to local and out of area students based on criteria specified by the endowments.

 

5-13-20 5:34 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 May 13, 2020. If there is a body of water you would like included in this report, please email jim.harris@agfc.ar.gov with information on possible sources for reports about that lake or river. Reports are updated weekly, although some reports might be published for two weeks if updates are not received promptly or if reporters say conditions haven’t changed. Contact the reporter listed for the lake or stream you plan to fish for current news. Note: msl = mean sea level; cfs = cubic feet per second.

 

Click on the area of the state below where you would like current fishing information from.

 

Central Arkansas

 

North Arkansas

 

Northwest Arkansas

 

Northeast Arkansas

 

Southeast Arkansas

 

Southwest Arkansas

 

South-Central Arkansas

 

West-Central Arkansas

 

East Arkansas

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

5-13-20 5:22 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

If you have local news tips or would like to place an item on the KAWX.ORG Community Calendar, email us at communityradio@live.com or click on the News Tips graphic above.

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Boozman Recognizes Arkansas Law Enforcement in National Police Week Speech

WASHINGTON— In recognition of National Police Week, U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) spoke on the Senate floor in support of the men and women of our law enforcement communities and honored the lives of those tragically cut short in the line of duty, including Fayetteville Police Officer Stephen Carr and Stone County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Michael Stephen Sr.

 

To watch Senator Boozman's comments on the Senate floor, click anywhere on this line, or you can read the text below.

 

Mr. President, I rise today to recognize National Police Week and honor the men and women who serve and protect our communities.

 

The individuals called to uphold the rule of law do so in times of crisis and serve their families, friends and neighbors at a moment’s notice.

 

They are selfless public servants who courageously face danger head on.

 

Law enforcement officers respond to calls for help while not knowing what challenges they will face.

 

We are in a unique time and experiencing unprecedented challenges in our country. Law enforcement officers are working to protect citizens while also safeguarding themselves against the unseen enemy of COVID-19.

 

This disease has forced departments in Arkansas—and all over the country—to change protocols in order to prevent the spread of the disease, but that hasn’t stopped the resolve, determination and passion of officers to defend the community.

 

Despite this new challenge, they continue to serve with the same level of professionalism and integrity.

 

We’re working to provide departments and agencies with additional resources to safeguard these public safety officers. I’m pleased the Department of Justice recently awarded Arkansas nearly $7 million so we can better serve the safety needs of officers in the state and get them the personal protective equipment, gloves, masks and sanitizer they need in order to perform their job safely. This funding is vital as the calls for assistance keep coming and police officers continue to respond to these emergencies.

 

I want to thank our law enforcement officers for their bravery today and always. 

 

It takes a special person to put their life on the line every day to protect our communities. We are fortunate to have some of the very best in Arkansas.

 

National Police Week is a time that we honor the sacrifices of individuals who selflessly served their community and gave their lives while in the line of duty.

 

We preserve their legacies by adding their names to the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial in Washington, D.C. to serve as a reminder of their sacrifices.

 

This year, the names of 307 fallen officers will be added to the memorial including five Arkansans.

 

The names of Game Warden Ollie Mitts, Deputy Sheriff George Rogers, Deputy Sheriff Ulyss Baldwin, Fayetteville Police Officer Stephen Carr and Stone County Sergeant Michael Stephen Sr. are new to the memorial.

 

We will forever remember them as heroes.

 

I am a proud cosponsor of the Senate resolution marking National Police Week because we must always remember the brave officers whose lives were cut short because of their public duty and recognize those who continue to selflessly serve to keep us safe.

 

I am proud to honor the individuals who are called to serve and protect, and will advocate for policies that provide our communities and officers with the resources they need to protect themselves. Thank you to the officers in Arkansas and those all across the country for upholding the law, protecting communities and saving lives.

 

5-13-20 11:16 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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UA Rich Mountain Announces Spring 2020 Chancellor's & Vice Chancellor's Lists

 

The University of Arkansas Rich Mountain has announced the students named to the Chancellor's List and Vice Chancellor’s List who were enrolled for the spring 2020 semester.

 

Students named to the Chancellor's List are full-time, current students who complete 12 semester credit hours or more, excluding developmental coursework, and earn a 4.0 grade point average or higher.

 

BOLES: Emily Fry, Guadalupe Hamner;

BOONEVILLE: Paisley Templeman

CADDO GAP: Jordan Powell, Abigail West;

CHARLESTON, Ark: Maleea Woodard;

COVE: Allyson Hoyle, Jacob Lagoy, Alice Rogers;

GRANNIS: Katya Gonzalez;

HATFIELD: Jodi Croft;

MANSFIELD: Emily Boyd;

MENA: Shannon Abbott, Blake Brown, Grace Carmack, Holly Cassell, Tessa Chaney, Eric Hicks, Kelhan Howell, Anna Hunter, Patrick Irwin, Brenden James, Kaitlyn Martindale, Robert McIntyre, Payton Medlin, Holly Scott, Chloe Speight, Trevor Speight, Mason Stout, Kayla Terwilliger, Steven Tipton, Starla Yeomans;

MOUNT IDA: Kara Rowland;

NORMAN: Jeffery Burgen, M’Quelynn Wisener, Samantha Workman;

SMITHVILLE: Rasha Deja;

WALDRON: Angeline Adaway, Daly Barnett, Darla Goff, Kimberly Hewitt, Jasmine McKay, Aubrey McNatt, Eric Vatsana, Kristy Yarbrough;

WICKES: Monica Turner.

 

Students named to the Vice Chancellor’s List are full-time, current students who complete 12 semester credit hours or more, excluding developmental coursework, and earn a 3.5 to 3.99 grade point average.

The Vice Chancellor’s List for the spring 2020 semester are as follows:

 

BOLES: Dawson Owens;

BRAZIL: Joao Pedro Coehlo, Rodrigo deCastro; Marcos Vinicius

COVE: Kimberly Smedley;

DEQUEEN: Cristopher Barba, Melissa Herrera;

HUNTINGTON: Houa Xiong, Bonita Maples;

GRANNIS: Micah Dau;

MENA: Keilah Barney, Barbara Bernard, Bryar Browning, Clint Buck, Austin Coon, Sheryl Felix, Jonathan Gunn, Olivia Harvey, Mary Lewis, Olivia Lockhart, Gillian Moore, Destiny Ortiz, Riley Philpot, Jordan Powell, April Richardson, Kristen Smith, Destiny Stine, Jacob Ward, Destiny Wilkinson, Chassie Wornick;

PENCIL BLUFF: Crystal Graves

SOUTH AFRICA: Wandile Ngwenya, Maurice Theart;

SPAIN: Andrea Martinez

STORY: Sarah Hamilton, Victoria Scurlock;

WALDRON: Candace Bible, Tania Bonilla, Ariana Gonzalez, Katie Huffmaster, Alyssa Jones, Michael Millard, Rena Owens, Kelly Richmond.

 

5-13-20 7:15 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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UARM Announces In-Person Classes for Fall; Distributes CARES Funds to Students

 

Like many colleges across the nation, UA Rich Mountain made the difficult decision to transition to online or remote instruction courses in mid-March. The UA System kept all of its campuses online for both summer sessions. Chancellor Phillip Wilson announced last week they plan to be ready to resume in-person classes in August following a virtual meeting of the UA System Board of Trustees.

 

“College leadership has met continuously since the crisis began, developing plans and protocols that created the safest possible environment for our employees and students. Of course, we will continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 to ensure reopening plans are aligned with state and federal health directives as well as develop measures to protect campus constituencies from the spread of the virus,” stated Wilson.

 

Wilson also reported that construction is on schedule in-spite of the heavy rainfall. Work also continues at McMillan & Tapley Parks for collegiate soccer, baseball, and softball fields.

 

He said that the college is seeing a trend of high school graduates who had planned to attend 4-year universities choosing to stay in Mena and take advantage of having a college in their metaphorical “backyard”. He attributed the new on-campus housing, launch of an athletic program, the Arkansas Transfer Achievement Scholarship to Fayetteville, and sadly, the virus, to all be factors.

 

UA Rich Mountain will also disburse approximately $255,000 in emergency grants under the CARES Act. These are federal funds that were funneled through institutions of higher education to help students meet needs that have arisen from the disruption of campus operations due to the virus. Students taking credit classroom courses are eligible to receive these funds. The amount is determined by the number of credit hours the student was enrolled in and the students do not have to initiate.

 

An alternate grading scale was also approved by the faculty earlier this year to allow for the sudden change of instruction method.

 

“I appreciate the lengths that our faculty have taken to support our students through this semester. Neither the instructor or the student was prepared to be catapulted into the online environment and both groups certainly arose to the challenge. I’m proud of how our staff have supported our students and I’m proud of the students’ tenacity to persevere.”

 

5-12-20 11:28 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Wolfpen Gap ATV Trails Reopen May 15th

Ouachita National Forest Officials reopening Wolf Pen Gap OHV Complex

 

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (May 11, 2020) — Ouachita National Forest officials have announced today they are planning to reopen Wolf Pen Gap Off-Highway Vehicle Trail complex located near Mena, Ark., on May 15.

 

Designated OHV trails and trailheads will be open, however the restrooms will remain closed.


Forest visitors are asked to avoid congregating at trailheads and parking areas and refrain from gathering in groups of 10 or more.

 

“We are looking forward to opening the Wolf Pen Gap OHV complex for public use and enjoyment,” said Tim Oosterhous, Mena-Oden district ranger. “While we understand there may be some excitement from the public to return to the OHV trails, please continue to follow local, state, and federal guidelines on staying safe.”

 

Other developed recreation areas and campgrounds may not be immediately open and available for use. Expect recreation area reopenings and modified operations to happen on a case-by-case basis. Re-openings may not be quick or permanent, please be patient as this transition occurs.

 

The Ouachita National Forest continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation. Please remember to review current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention along with local and state guidelines for social distancing and cloth face coverings.

 

For more information, contact the Mena-Oden Ranger District at (479) 394-2382 or visit the Ouachita National Forest website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/ouachita/.

 

5-11-20 8:01 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Mena City Council Meets Tuesday, May 12th

NOTE THAT THE MEETING WILL BE HELD AT THE MENA FIRE STATION NUMBER 1 ON DE QUEEN STREET THIS MONTH. 

 

The Mena City Council will meet for their regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 starting at 6:00 p.m. at the Mena Fire Station No. 1 on De Queen Street in Mena.

 
Routine business as well as reports from department heads and committees plus a lengthy agenda of new business awaits council members.
 
Among the new business items on the agenda:
 
Consideration a resolution authorizing the mayor, city clerk.treasurer and city attorney to submit a grant application to the US Department of Transportation FAA in the amount of $3,433,335.00 for the construction phase of runway 17-35 Surface Rehabilitation at Mena Intermountain Municipal Airport and authorizing the City to contract with Garver LLC to oversee the project
 
Consider a resolution encouraging the Arkansas Municipal League to include in its legislative package a revision to Arkansas Code Annotated 14-235-223 (2012) concerning the procedure to raise sewer rates for the operation of sewerage systems by municipalities
 
Consider an ordinance amending the 2019 budget
 
Consider an ordinance permitting a member of the Mena Advertising and Promotion Commission to conduct business with the Mena Advertising and Promotion Commission
 
Consider an ordinance permitting the city attorney to conduct business with the Mena Advertising and Promotion Commission
 
Re-consider quotes received to re-roof the log cabin at Janssen Park and rock storage building in Janssen Park
 
Consider quotes received for landscaping and dress-up work around the playground at Janssen Park
 
Consider re-appointment of Derek Campbell to the Mena Advertising and Promotion Commission.
 
5-11-20 7:51 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

 

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Mena Police Report for May 3rd - 9th

 

Mena Police Department Reports for the Week of May 3, 2020 through May 9, 2020 

 

 

May 3, 2020

 

A theft report was taken from a walk-in complainant.

 

May 4, 2020

 

Tony Bunch, 69, was arrested for Theft of Property (Shoplifting) at a department store.

 

A juvenile was arrested for Criminal Trespass at a department store.

 

A theft report (shoplifting) was taken at a department store.

 

May 5, 2020

 

A theft report (shoplifting) was taken at a department store.

 

A theft report (shoplifting) was taken at a department store.

 

A harassment report was taken from a walk-in complainant.

 

May 6, 2020

 

A theft report was taken from a walk-in complainant.

 

May 7, 2020

 

A report of a dog running at large was taken at a residence.

 

James Cochran, 36, was arrested for Theft of Property (Shoplifting), Possession of Schedule 6 Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of Schedule 2 Controlled Substance, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

 

A report of domestic battery was taken at a department store parking lot.

 

May 8, 2020

 

A report of breaking or entering and criminal mischief was taken at a secondhand store.

 

May 9, 2020

 

Joseph Holmes, 34, was arrested for Domestic Assault 3rd Degree and Disorderly Conduct at a department store parking lot.

 

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

 

5-11-20 2:50 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

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

SHERIFF’S LOG

 

The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of May 4, 2020 – May 10, 2020. The charges against those arrested are allegations and the cases are still pending in the courts. Individuals charged and whose names appear in this column may submit documentation to us at a later date that the charges have been dismissed or that they have been found innocent and we will include that information in this space in a timely manner.

 

May 4, 2020

Report from complainant on Hwy 71N near Acorn of a vehicle causing damage to a building in the amount of $2500.00. Deputy responded.

Arrested was Neisha F. Wikel, 27, of Cove on Charges of Fleeing on Foot.

 

May 5, 2020

Report of an unattended death on Polk 70 near Cherry Hill.

Report from complainant on Hwy 270 near Acorn of a vehicle’s window being busted by a passing vehicle. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant on Hwy 88E near Ink of damage to a mailbox. Deputy responded.

Arrested was Robert S. Wallace, 20, of Mena on a Warrant for Possession of a Controlled Substance.

Arrested was Mitchell Poor, 42, of Mena on a Warrant for Domestic Battery 3rd Degree.

 

May 6, 2020

Report from complainant on Polk 721 near Shady Grove of a stolen vehicle. Investigation continues.

Arrested was Brian K. Whisenhunt, 39, of Umpire on Charges of Fleeing in a Vehicle, Fleeing on Foot, Speeding, Reckless Driving, Driving Left of Center, No Proof of Insurance, No Vehicle License, Endangering the Welfare of a Minor, No Seat Belt, No Turn Signal, Defective Signal Lamps, Aggravated Assault, Resisting Arrest, and Probation Violation.

 

May 7, 2020

Report from complainant on Hwy 8W near Shady Grove of the theft of headlights valued at $200.00. Investigation continues.

Report from complainant on Polk 46 near Shady Grove of being harassed by an acquaintance. Deputy responded.

Report of a one vehicle accident on Ransom Road near Mena. Deputy responded.

 

May 8, 2020

Report from complainant on Polk 602 near Shady of the theft of a pistol valued at $150.00. Investigation continues.

 

May 9, 2020

Report from complainant on Polk 89 near Ink of signs being damaged. Investigation continues.

Report from complainant on Polk 89 near Ink of vandalism to a mailbox causing damage in the amount of $30.00. Deputy responded.

 

May 10, 2020

Report of an unattended death on Polk 238 near Shady Grove.

Report of a one vehicle accident on Polk 78 near Potter led to the arrest of Justin A. Ashley, 27, of Mena on Warrants for Filing a False Report, Leaving the Scene of Property Damage, Reckless Driving, No Proof of Insurance, and Driving on a Suspended Driver’s License.

 

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

 

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 13 Incarcerated Inmates , with 7 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

 

PC20-00287

 

5-11-20 11:04 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Foster Families Answering the Call

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Address: Foster Families Answering the Call
 
 
LITTLE ROCK – May is National Foster Care Awareness Month, and today I’d like to thank our foster families and all the people who work so hard to put our neediest children in homes and other safe settings.
 
In my five years as governor, I have watched with admiration and gratitude as private citizens, many of them from the faith community, have toiled alongside employees of state agencies to reduce the number of children in foster care. They’ve reduced the number of children in foster care by more than 15 percent. The number was reduced from 5,200 in 2015 to the current 4,400.
 
The mission to take in foster children and to match with foster parents is a challenge on the easiest of days. The COVID-19 pandemic has added an unexpected layer of difficulty.
 
One challenge unique to COVID-19 is the understandable fear that a child placed into a foster home has been exposed to the coronavirus. Foster parents must consider the risk of accepting a child with the virus. At least one child placed in a home has tested positive.
 
But as Lauri Currier, executive director of The Call indicated, the family took the positive test in stride. As Lauri said, they did what these families do. They took care of the child and the other members of the family. They self-quarantined.
 
The Call is a faith-based organization whose members find and train foster families and supports them spiritually and financially. The Call is the largest nonprofit in Arkansas that is devoted to assisting foster children and families. As members of The Call began to comprehend that COVID-19 was going to be a problem, they determined the virus wouldn’t stop their work.
 
The county coordinators work closely with their families and know their needs. Volunteers bought and delivered meals and other necessities so the families could stay at home.
 
The Call conducts regular mandatory training sessions for families that want take in foster children. The leaders weren’t willing to let the limit on the size of gatherings put the training on hold. They developed a virtual program and trained 173 people, which represented about 85 families.
 
Our social-distancing requirements meant canceling the annual Walk for the Waiting fundraiser at War Memorial Stadium. But the three sponsoring organizations – The Call, Immerse, and Project Zero – refused to cave to the illness. They organized neighborhood walks, and last weekend, they raised a hundred-and-six thousand dollars.
 
We recognize the important work of foster parents and the sacrifices they make. For that reason, the CARES Act Steering Committee, which my administration created to oversee the distribution of federal assistance in Arkansas, recommended a one-time payment of $500 to any foster family that provided overnight care to at least one child between March 11 and April 30. It is a small way for us to thank those who take on financial challenges and health risks during this time.
 
Family challenges don’t stop for pandemics. New children in need of care arrive regularly. But those who are there to help children in the foster-care system haven’t let the pandemic stop them. As Lauri Currier of The Call said, kids lives are at stake. They can’t put their work on hold.
 
Thanks to people such as Lauri and our childcare workers and many others whose names we'll never know, the needy children in Arkansas are finding a safe place to go and lots of love when they get there.
 
5-8-20 4:50 p.m. KAWX.ORG 
 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

 

Since the beginning of this health emergency, more than 60,000 tests for COVID-19 have been conducted in Arkansas. 

 

While testing was initially limited, the capacity at commercial labs has increased significantly resulting in shortened turnaround times.

 

Earlier this week, the CDC committed to providing 90,000 kits and swabs per month to the State of Arkansas. The goal is to now test 60,000 in Arkansas during the month of May.

 

If you have symptoms such as a fever, cough, or shortness of breath OR if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 call ahead to your health care provider. Testing is available.

 

People who are considered high risk should contact their health care provider early, even if symptoms are mild. Those at higher risk for serious illness include older adults and people with underlying chronic medical conditions. 

 

There are now 165 testing locations in 56 counties. You can find one near you at www.healthy.arkansas.gov or call your health provider.

 

Increased testing is critical to preventing the spread of the virus. It also plays an important role in making decisions to re-open businesses and roll back restrictions.

 

Early testing can help identify anyone who came in contact with an infected person so they too can be treated quickly.

 

As more testing becomes available, the Arkansas Department of Health is also expanding the number of health experts working on contact tracing. Contact tracing is part of the process of supporting patients with suspected or confirmed infection. In contact tracing, public health staff works with a patient to help them recall everyone with whom they have had close contact during the timeframe while they may have been infectious.

 

Public health staff then warn these exposed individuals of their potential exposure as rapidly and sensitively as possible.

The Arkansas Department of Health currently has close to 200 individuals working on case investigation and contact tracing. They include nurses, disease intervention specialists, epidemiologists, and ADH trained staff. There are more than 125 student volunteers with the College of Public Health being trained to assist with contact tracing in the next few weeks.

 

While testing and tracing are key components to re-opening our economy, every Arkansan can play a significant role as well. We should continue to practice social distancing and wear a mask in public places. 

 

5-8-20 4:36 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

If you have local news tips or would like to place an item on the KAWX.ORG Community Calendar, email us at communityradio@live.com or click on the News Tips graphic above.

 

 

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Senator Larry Teague's Weekly Column

 

 

State Capitol Week in Review: From Senator Larry Teague

May 8, 2020

 

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas is gradually opening up businesses and public activities, under careful monitoring by public health officials to avoid bringing on a second wave of the coronavirus.

 

The governor announced that church services may resume, as long as the congregation wears masks and everyone stays at least six feet from each other.

Although places of worship were excluded from the governor’s executive order on March 26 that limited public gatherings, most pastors have been complying with the spirit of that order. Churches have stopped holding services in their sanctuaries and many have set up worship services online. Some have been holding services outdoors.

 

The Health Department strongly recommends that churches continue to have services online. In all denominations, elderly people make up a large percentage of a typical congregation. Here are Department’s guidelines:

Churches that hold services indoors must require everyone to wear masks, with the exception of children under 10. For them it is optional, and face masks for children under two are prohibited under Centers for Disease Control guidelines.

 

Preachers, worship leaders and singers can remove their masks while they are singing and while they are addressing the congregation. They should stay at least 12 feet from other people when they’re not wearing masks.

 

Families may sit together, but keep six feet from other groups. Individuals must keep six feet from other people.

 

Any “meet and greet” events and serving of refreshments should be outside.

 

Congregants who participate in Holy Communion should only remove their masks while actually consuming the Elements.

 

Refrain from using items touched by a lot of people, such as hymnals, prayer books, collection plates and communion chalices.

 

Refrain from having people come forward to a common area for services like a communion or blessing. Do not hold youth classes or offer child care.

 

Have plenty of hand sanitizer available. Post signs telling people not to enter the building if they have had a fever higher than 100.4 degrees in the past two days, if they have had shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, and if they have had contact with someone in the past two weeks who has Covid-19.

In related news, the Health Department moved up by a week the date on which some non-urgent dental work can resume, from May 18 to May 11.

 

Also, recreational visitors from out of state can once again book hotel rooms in Arkansas, unless they are from particular “hot spots.” Those are New Orleans, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and foreign countries.

 

The National Park Service will re-open the Buffalo National River for floating and hiking on May 15. However, Lost Valley Trail will remain closed.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin phasing in the opening of campsites along the Arkansas River, beginning May 20.

 

Barber shops and hair salons have been allowed to open for business, although with restrictions to protect the health of customers and staff.

Tattoo parlors and nail salons are also allowed to open again.

 

5-8-20 4:06 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

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US Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column

The coronavirus quickly forced us to change our daily lives, most notably by introducing us to the concept of social distancing. Since we first learned of this method to safeguard ourselves and protect others against the disease, medical experts have also switched the terminology to physical distancing, because preserving our social connection is essential to our sense of belonging and community, especially during this crisis. I’m encouraged by the communication methods Arkansans are using to conduct and maintain their regular operations, support friends and celebrate milestones while complying with the rules of local leaders and guidelines of medical experts.

 

Teachers adapted their lessons and moved classes online, employers shifted employees to telework and city leaders moved public meetings to online teleconferences. Instead of gathering on the weekends at restaurants, friends are meeting on online platforms, children are celebrating birthdays with drive-by parades and families are meeting new additions through hospital windows.

 

The pandemic has changed the venue where my team works, but that hasn’t slowed us down. We are using phone and video conferences more than ever to stay in contact with Arkansans. We’ve been communicating with county judges, business leaders, entrepreneurs and constituents about the challenges they are facing and how the federal government can help overcome them. I’ve shared information with Arkansas media about legislation Congress has passed to provide relief and we’re keeping everyone informed on social media platforms.

 

Arkansans of all ages are doing more remotely and adapting to this new normal. This way of communicating and conducting business has quickly become common and is transforming the way we will operate in the future.

 

This is particularly true of telemedicine. Medical providers are making it convenient, safe and efficient for patients to visit their physician without leaving home. Virtual visits are becoming more common as health care providers find alternative methods to ensure patients have access to care.

 

Telehealth has been an increasingly important component of medical services for veterans. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has expanded its capacity and now more veterans are connecting with their medical teams using this technology. 

 

The good news is the ability to communicate and get assistance is available, the challenge is we don’t all have the capability.

 

We already recognized the importance of expanding broadband, but this crisis has magnified the need to close the digital divide that exists in rural areas. As founder and co-chair of the Senate Broadband Caucus, we’ve been working with federal agencies and urging them to support broadband investment in rural America. Just recently there have been important steps taken and increased funding to reach rural households.

 

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act—emergency legislation to support hospitals and health care workers, small businesses and families during this pandemic —also provided $100 million for the United States Department of Agriculture’s ReConnect Program for grants to expand broadband service.

 

More resources are needed to get affordable, reliable internet to underserved households, which is why I continue highlighting this necessity and advocating for policies and means to make it a reality.

 

It’s inspiring to see the innovative practices Arkansans are utilizing to stay connected. That must continue as we follow the recommendations of medical experts in order to stay safe and help ensure we all can be together again in the future.

 

5-8-20 4:02 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

If you have local news tips or would like to place an item on the KAWX.ORG Community Calendar, email us at communityradio@live.com or click on the News Tips graphic above.

 

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Emergency Food Distribution In Mena May 18th

 

ARVAC, Inc. will have another TEFAP (The Emergency Food Assistance Program) Distribution in Polk County.

 

The Distribution will take place at the Polk County Fairgrounds on Monday, May 18th, from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Hopefully this will give those who work or are otherwise disposed during the day, the opportunity to take advantage of this program. 

 

Due to Covid-19 Concerns this will be a drive through only distribution.

 

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

 

FAMILY SIZE                            MONTHLY

1                                               $1,354                                   

2                                               $1,832

3                                               $2,311

4                                               $2,790

5                                               $3,269

6                                               $3,748

7                                               $4,227

8                                               $4,705 

 

Add $468.00 for each additional family member.  You cannot pick up commodities for more than two households. 

 

Rules for acceptance and participation in the program are the same for everyone without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, or handicap.

 

For additional information, contact Tim Riley, Community Programs Coordinator, at (479)968-7019 or (479)229-4861.

 

5-6-20 8:09 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 May 6, 2020. If there is a body of water you would like included in this report, please email jim.harris@agfc.ar.gov with information on possible sources for reports about that lake or river. Reports are updated weekly, although some reports might be published for two weeks if updates are not received promptly or if reporters say conditions haven’t changed. Contact the reporter listed for the lake or stream you plan to fish for current news. Note: msl = mean sea level; cfs = cubic feet per second.

 

Click on the area of the state below where you are interested in current fishing information from.

 

Central Arkansas

 

North Arkansas

 

Northwest Arkansas

 

Northeast Arkansas

 

Southeast Arkansas

 

Southwest Arkansas

 

South-Central Arkansas

 

West-Central Arkansas

 

East Arkansas

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

5-6-20 7:36 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

If you have local news tips or would like to place an item on the KAWX.ORG Community Calendar, email us at communityradio@live.com or click on the News Tips graphic above.

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Two Arrested, Two Still At Large After High Speed Chase With Polk County Deputies

On Wednesday, May 6, 2020, at approximately 8:00 a.m., the Polk County Sheriff's Office and 18th Judicial West Drug Task Force arrested Brian Keith Whisenhunt, age 39 of Umpire, at a residence in Hatfield, Arkansas.

 

Whisenhunt (shown below) was the driver of a vehicle that fled for Polk County Deputies on the evening of Monday, May 4, 2020. Whisenhunt led Polk County Deputies on a 30 mile pursuit into the Caney Creek Wilderness before his vehicle became disabled and the occupants of the vehicle fled into the woods.

A passenger in the vehicle, Neisha Fay Wikel (shown above), age 27 of Cove, was arrested after fleeing into the woods after the vehicle was disabled. Two other passengers in the vehicle have been identified and are currently being sought.

 

Whisenhunt is facing numerous charged including Aggravated Assault and Felony Fleeing. He is currently incarcerated in the Polk County Detention Center.

 

5-6-20 1:24 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Live Oak Baptist In Cove To Dedicate New Building After Rebuilding From Fire

Live Oak Baptist Church in Cove suffered a destructive fire in 2012 and has been working since to rebuild.

 

Pastor Dustin Cook has announced that there will be a dedication of the new sanctuary, which was just recently finished, and is inviting everyone to attend to help the congregation celebrate this special milestone.

 

Pastor Cook said that the dedication and celebration will be held on Friday, June 5, 2020 starting at 7:00 p.m.

 

Live Oak Baptist Church is located at 347 Polk Road 288 in Cove.

 

For more about the church or this special event, see their Facebook page.

 

5-5-20 1:18 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

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Polk County Sheriff's Report for April 27th - May 3rd

SHERIFF’S LOG

 

The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of April 27, 2020 – May 3, 2020. 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.

 

April 27, 2020

Report from complainant on 71N near Acorn of a break-in. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant on Shady Oaks Lane of a neighbor shooting a dog. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.

 

April 28, 2020

No reports were filed.

 

April 29, 2020

Report from complainant near Hatfield of a break-in at a storage unit and a missing trunk valued at $500.00. Investigation continues.

Report from complainant on Hwy 8E near Board Camp of a domestic disturbance. Complainant refused to press charges.

Report from complainant on Polk 54 near Dallas Valley of a domestic disturbance led to the arrest of Adian T. James, 18, of Mena on a Charge of Assault in the 2nd Degree.

 

April 30, 2020

Report of a structure fire on Dickerson Lane near Cove. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant on Polk Road 48 near Potter of a neighbor shooting a dog. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant on Hwy 8W of finding a shotgun on their property. Investigation continues.

 

May 1, 2020

Report from complainant on Polk 92 near Shady Grove of the theft of a nail gun valued at $100.00. Investigation continues.

Arrested by a Trooper with the Arkansas State Police was Joshua A. Graham, 29, of Mena on a Charge of Fleeing in a Vehicle and a Warrant for Violation of Suspended Imposition of Sentence, and a Body Attachment Warrant.

 

May 2, 2020

Report from complainant on 375W near Potter of a one vehicle accident led to Citations for DWI, Careless and Prohibited Driving, Driving Left of Center and No Proof of Insurance being issued to Braxton S. McBroom, 18, of Cove.

Report from complainant on Polk 27 near Hatfield of a child custody dispute. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant on Polk 56 near Dallas Valley of being threatened by an acquaintance. Deputy responded.

 

May 3, 2020

No reports were filed.

 

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

 

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 12 Incarcerated Inmates , with 11 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

 

PC20-00270

 

5-4-20 3:05 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Mena Police Report for April 26th - May 2nd

 

Mena Police Department Reports for the Week of April 26, 2020 through May 2, 2020 

 

 

April 26, 2020

 

A juvenile was arrested for Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle, Careless Driving, No Driver’s License, and Fleeing.

 

A report of criminal trespass was taken at a motel.

 

A report of criminal mischief was taken from a walk-in complainant.

 

Howard Arceneaux, 45, was arrested on a warrant.

 

A juvenile was arrested for Domestic Assault 3rd, Disorderly Conduct, Fleeing, and Resisting Arrest.

 

A theft report was taken from a secondhand store.

 

Renee Veal, 48, was arrested for Theft of Property (Shoplifting) at a department store.

 

April 27, 2020

 

Charles Kizziar, 32, was arrested for Theft of Property (Shoplifting) at a department store.

 

A theft report was taken at a residence.

 

April 28, 2020

 

No report taken.

 

April 29, 2020

 

No report taken.

 

April 30, 2020

 

A harassment report was taken at a residence.

 

May 1, 2020

 

Frances Brainerd, 67, was arrested for Theft of Property (Shoplifting) at a department store.

 

A report of assault was taken after officers responded to a disturbance call at a residence.

 

April 2, 2020

 

A report of criminal trespass was taken at a residence.

 

A report of criminal trespass was taken at a department store.

 

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

 

5-4-20 11:38 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Getting Back to Business

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Getting Back to Business
 
 
LITTLE ROCK – This has been a good week in Arkansas. We have made progress in containing COVID-19, so I was able to announce some good news about our path back to normal.
 
I announced we would allow the limited re-opening of restaurants, state campgrounds, fitness centers and gyms, and hair salons and body art parlors all within the next week and a half.
 
The campgrounds opened today for Arkansas residents. On May 15th, we will open visitor information centers, museums and exhibits, gift shops, golf pro shops, and marinas, and allow the rental of equipment - all at our state parks. We also will allow rental of cabins, lodges, and RVs Friday through Monday.
 
Gym owners may open on Monday. Hair stylists and body artists can open on Wednesday. Restaurants can resume limited dine-in service on May 11th.
 
These decisions are all made in close consultation with Secretary of Health Dr. Nate Smith and through close study of all our data. I want to stress that as we return to business, we will continue the practices we’ve adopted to stop the virus thus far. Wash your hands frequently, wear masks and gloves when it’s appropriate, stay six feet apart, and if you are not healthy, stay home as much as possible.
 
I also announced that we are opening the Arkansas Ready for Business initiative to aid the owners of small businesses recovering from the financial losses during the pandemic. This still needs approval by the Legislative Council of the General Assembly.
 
COVID-19 has touched nearly every aspect of our lives. Everyone has been adversely affected and made sacrifices at some level. But Arkansans met the challenge responsibly and with compassion. That is why we are now able to begin jump-starting the economy, which was booming before the coronavirus arrived. I am confident the setback is temporary, and that the economy will grow strong again.
 
We are not through this, but I am encouraged by the trends. Arkansans have been patient and responded well to the inconveniences this pandemic has brought to our state. We want to move quickly, but never too quickly. I am looking forward to the day when I can go to a gym for a game of full-court basketball.
 
5-2-20 7:37 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

 

The Arkansas Department of Health lifted several restrictions and issued new directives for restaurants, gyms, and hair salons this week. While Arkansas takes steps to re-open the economy, we recognize the challenges still ahead. This week, we want to update you on the programs available to help Arkansas employees and businesses during this difficult time.

 

On the federal level, Congress has approved additional funds into the Payroll Protection Plan. For businesses who are were not able to receive funding in the first round of funding, please visit www.sba.gov.

 

The hotline hours to file for unemployment have been expanded to 7 days a week from 6am-4pm. Callers in the queue by 4pm will be assisted. You can also file on line at www.arunemployment.com. The online system closes at 6pm to process claims filed each day.

 

At that site is also a link for self-employed, independent contractors, and others covered under the CARES Act. There you can submit your name and email address to be notified when a system is built to process these claims which is expected in a matter of days. Even if you start another job, you will still be able to file weekly claims backdated to the date you became unable to work because of a COVID-19 related reason. If requesting this assistance, the Department of Commerce recommends filing your 2019 tax return so you can verify your income. Payment can still be made by the deadline, but it’s helpful to go ahead and file.

 

While some restrictions are being lifted, we must continue to do our part to limit the spread of the virus.  Arkansans should continue to practice social distancing and wear a mask in public places. We will continue to update you on our progress as a state.

 

5-2-20 7:31 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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US Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column

Telemedicine is Safeguarding Arkansas Veterans’ Access to Care

 

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health system in the country. There are over nine million veterans enrolled in the VA health care program, and it is vital to meet their needs in the midst of a pandemic.

 

Arkansas is home to over 222,000 veterans, many of whom rely on the state’s two VA Medical Centers and its network of community-based outpatient clinics for their health care needs. That number grows even higher when factoring in Arkansans who visit VA facilities in neighboring states.

 

Arkansas veterans who depend on the VA for their care are facing changes brought on by the coronavirus crisis. Urgent and emergency procedures are continuing as scheduled, but the VA has shifted some outpatient care to telehealth, and some elective and non-emergency procedures have been postponed. These measures enable veterans to receive care through minimal contact with staff, which frees up personnel and resources—including personal protective equipment (PPE)—for critical use.

 

As the chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the VA’s funding, I am committed to ensuring the department has all it needs to provide care for coronavirus patients, while minimizing disruption of medical services unrelated to the crisis. We included billions of additional funds to support increased demand for health care services at VA facilities—including the purchase of medical equipment and supplies, testing kits and PPE—in the initial coronavirus response packages.

 

This infusion of funds has already resulted in benefits in Arkansas. So far, the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System (CAHVS) has made employment offers to 27 additional nurses and acquired critical protection supplies including large quantities of hand sanitizer and more than 10,000 N95 masks.

 

The relief packages also included billions of funds for telehealth to enable the VA to boost its technology infrastructure—including enhanced system bandwidth and support—to manage increased capabilities to deliver healthcare services directly related to coronavirus patients and mitigate the risk of virus transmission.

 

The VA’s technology infrastructure is crucial to the department’s ability to provide consistent care to veterans during the crisis. Telehealth gives veterans a reliable option to visit with primary care physicians, specialty care teams and mental health professionals from the safety and comfort of their own homes. 

 

Both CAVHS and the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks (VHSO) have expanded telehealth options to ensure continuity of care for veterans during this time when non-emergency visits are unavailable. The data shows an uptick in usage during these challenging times. CAVHS has seen a six percent increase in overall telehealth since February. VHSO had over 450 more completed visits through VA Video Connect over the past month 

 

Telehealth can even be used to monitor patients diagnosed with coronavirus and those exposed to it. CAVHS is currently utilizing it for these purposes, providing daily monitoring for veterans that fall in these categories. CAVHS is the first in its network to initiate these services and this effort has garnered the interest of officials who oversee the VA’s home telehealth program.

 

I am pleased the VA is showing it can deftly adapt in a quick manner to provide continuity of services to Arkansas veterans. Our veterans deserve all the benefits they have earned, including the best care in the world.

 

The sacrifices made by our veterans produced victories for us on the battlefield. We must ensure the VA has all it needs to win this fight for them on the home front. 

 

5-1-20 5:42 p.m. KAWX.ORG

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Senator Larry Teague's Weekly Column

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

May 1, 2020

 

LITTLE ROCK – The next few weeks will determine whether Arkansas moves forward or backward on the way to re-opening businesses.

 

The governor and public health officials announced that state parks could once again accept overnight visitors, and restaurants could begin serving dine-in meals. However, they may not simply open their doors to customers - a lengthy list of restrictions will apply.

 

Customers must maintain social distancing. For example, a group at one table must be at least six feet from customers at another table. Restaurants may only seat a third of their total capacity at one time. Customers must wear a face mask until their food arrives.

 

If the restaurant has a bar, it must remain closed. Entertainment areas also will remain closed, so there will not be live music during this phase of re-opening.

 

Restaurants cannot offer self-service, so there will not be any buffet lines. Groups of more than 10 customers will not be allowed. Staff will wear masks, and wash their hands frequently.

 

Staff must wear gloves, which they must wash the gloves or change them frequently. Wearing the same pair of gloves for long periods of time is the same as not wearing them. Staff will be screened daily for fever.

 

Tables must be cleaned and disinfected after each meal. Customers are encouraged to call in their orders ahead of time and make reservations.

The limited re-opening of restaurants will begin on May 11.

 

To help restaurants and other businesses purchase the protective equipment they will need in order to re-open, the state has begun a new grant program called Arkansas Ready for Business. It will be administered by the Arkansas Department of Commerce.

 

One goal is to help businesses with the costs of opening again, and another goal is to reassure consumers that it will be safe to visit the re-opened businesses.

 

On May 15, Arkansas residents will be able to camp overnight at state parks in self-contained RV’s. State parks can re-open lodges and cabins for rental.

 

The parks will also open their museums, gift shops and restaurants. Exhibits, golf pro shops and marinas also will open. At all facilities, limited attendance restrictions will apply, as well as social distancing requirements.

 

The facilities will be open only on weekends, so that staff has time to disinfect during the week. Popular trails at Pinnacle Mountain, Devil’s Den and Petit Jean must remain closed.

 

Announcements on the planned re-openings of gyms, barber shops, beauty parlors and churches were scheduled soon after those on restaurants and parks.

 

Voting places

 

The secretary of state will make $4.7 million in federal funds available to counties to help them cope with problems caused by the coronavirus outbreak. For example, counties may need to hire additional poll workers and rent additional space at polling places, so that they can spread out voting machines.

Also, poll workers will use more cleaning supplies and disinfectants. Voting officials anticipate that many people will choose to vote with absentee ballots. That will increases costs for postage and envelopes.

 

Counties also expect additional costs to communicate with voters about changes in voting procedures.

 

5-1-20 2:13 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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