KAWX News Archives for 2020-11

Polk County Sheriff's Report for November 23rd - 29th

SHERIFF’S LOG

 

The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of November 23, 2020 – November 29, 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.

 

November 23, 2020

Report of two stolen vehicles led to the arrest of Barbara G. Braun, 20, of Hatfield on Charges of Possession on Meth or Cocaine with Purpose to Deliver, Fleeing in a Vehicle, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of Schedule I or II, Possession of Schedule VI, and Simultaneous Possession of Drugs and Firearms, and to the arrest of Dustin T. Swinney, 31, of Jacksonville, Arkansas on Charges of Possession of Meth or Cocaine with Purpose to Deliver, Simultaneous Possession of Drugs and Firearms, Possession of Firearms by Certain Persons, Fleeing in a Vehicle, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of Schedule I or II, Possession of Schedule VI, and a Parole Hold.

Report of locating a missing truck on Polk 149 near Potter. Deputy responded.

Report of a one vehicle accident on Hwy 71N near Acorn led to the arrest of Joan M. Austgen, 48, of Gary, Indiana on a Charge of Driving While Intoxicated.

 

November 24, 2020

Report of a vehicle accident on Polk 407 near Cove. Deputy responded.

 

November 25, 2020

Report from complainant on Polk 92 near Shady Grove of trespassing. Deputy responded.

Arrested was Jacob S. Rowe, 23, of Wickes on a Warrant for Criminal Mischief 1st Degree.

 

November 26, 2020

Report of child abuse. Deputy responded.

 

November 27, 2020

Report from complainant on Hwy 8W near Shady Grove of damage done to a mailbox. Deputy responded.

 

November 28, 2020

Report from complainant on Amber Lane near Dallas Valley of a missing family member. Deputies responded. Family member was later located.

 

November 29, 2020

Report of a one vehicle accident on Polk 16 near Vandervoort . Deputy responded.

Report from complainant on Polk 21 near Cove of trespassing. Deputy responded.

Report of an unattended death. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant near Wickes of identity fraud.

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

Report of a runaway juvenile. Deputies responded. Juvenile was located and returned to the custody of a parent/guardian.

Report from complainant on Hwy 375E near Dallas Valley of domestic battery. Deputy responded. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.

Arrested was Troy C. Denton, 29, of Mena on a Warrant for Domestic Battery 3rd Degree, a Warrant for Criminal Mischief 2nd Degree, and a Violation of a Protection Order.

 

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

 

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 21 Incarcerated Inmates, with 9 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

 

PC20-01104

 

11-30-20 2:11 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Mena Police Report for November 22nd - 28th

 
Mena Police Department reports for the week of November 22 through November 28, 2020
 
 
November 22
 
A report of assault and endangering the welfare of a minor was taken at the Northside Shopping Center. 
 
November 23
 
A report of a vehicle theft was taken on Magnolia Avenue. 
 
A report of a vehicle theft was taken on Craig Street. 
 
Jacob Baker, 36, was charged with Internet Stalking of a Child, Computer Child Pornography, and Sexual Indecency with a Child. The arrest was made on a traffic stop on South Mena Street following an investigation.  
 
November 24
 
A report of theft of property (shoplifting) was taken at Dollar General.
 
November 25
 
No reports taken.
 
November 26
 
A theft report was taken from a person at Janssen Park. 
 
A report of a welfare check was taken on Highway 8 East. 
 
November 27
 
No reports taken.
 
November 28
 
A report of a disturbance was taken on Oak Grove Avenue. 
 
A report of theft was taken on Dewey Avenue. 
 
A report of criminal mischief was taken on Sherwood Avenue.
 
All subjects should be considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
 
11-30-20 10:40 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Mena Jazz Band Students Rack Up Honors At All Region Competition

 
Congratulations to the following MHS students for making the All Region Jazz Band!
 
 
1. Shylee Head- 1 st band, 1 st chair Bari. Sax.
 
2. Lexi Williams- 2 nd band, 1 st chair Bass Guitar.
 
3. Gage Gorden-2 nd band, 4 th chair Trombone.
 
4. James Taylor- 1 st Alternate Trombone.
 
Congratulations to Shylee Head for qualifying to audition for the All-State Jazz Band.
 
11-30-20 9:23 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Thanksgiving and Arkansas Turkey Week

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Thanksgiving and Arkansas Turkey Week
 
 
LITTLE ROCK – It’s Thanksgiving week and Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the year. I do like the reminder that we as individuals and as a state and nation should pause and give thanks. I grew up in a small country church in which we always sang the old hymn, “Count your blessings, name them one by one.”

Even during this pandemic, there are so many blessings of life that follow us every day. In the United States of America, we are particularly grateful for our freedom to worship, freedom to assemble, and the freedom to disagree politically. We are blessed in Arkansas with an amazing geography that adds beauty to our lives each day. The fall foliage continues to be one of the most beautiful I have seen in recent years. We are blessed to have the beauty of our hill country and the unique Delta sunrises. I am thankful for my family and friends who are there with me through thick and thin.

But Thanksgiving week means it’s also Arkansas Turkey Week, which gives me another opportunity to pose for pictures with a 4-H turkey on the front steps of the capitol while I talk about Arkansas’s poultry industry.

Arkansas’s poultry business includes turkeys, broilers, and eggs. Poultry leads Arkansas’s agricultural sector with total cash receipts of $4.5 billion, which is 52 percent of state agricultural cash receipts. The Arkansas turkey industry creates and supports nearly 20,000 jobs in Arkansas.

Arkansas raises an average of 30 million turkeys per year, which is about 576 million pounds of protein, the third-largest number of turkeys in the nation.

Kenny and Dolly are two of the Arkansas turkeys raised this year. They come from a noble line. They are the fourth and fifth turkeys that sisters Victoria and Kristin Lehmann have raised and brought to the capitol for Arkansas Turkey Week. Penny, Nellie, and Gertrude came the first three years, and this year they brought two new turkeys.

As usual, they showed their turkeys at the fair, with everybody wearing masks and keeping their distance. They gave away many of their turkeys, which will be just about the perfect size for Thursday.

Victoria is a freshman in animal science at the University of Arkansas. She is on the pre-vet track. Kristin is a junior at Nemo-Vista High School.

As the official ambassadors for Arkansas turkeys, Kenny and Dolly won’t suffer the fate of thousands of their kin on Thanksgiving Day. They are back at the farm with the sisters and their parents, living a life of turkey royalty.
 
11-28-20 5:24 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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US Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column: Vaccine Advancements Offer Hope

Vaccine Advancements Offer Hope

 

The holiday season is officially upon us. This year, however, it feels uniquely different as we remain in the midst of a deadly pandemic that is showing no sign of slowing down. Despite that reality, there is reason for optimism.

 

We have learned a great deal about COVID-19 over the past several months. We understand more about how the virus is transmitted, the effects it has on the human body and the ways in which therapeutic treatments can aid recovery. We also know how we can protect ourselves, and others, from contracting it. That means following the “three w’s”–wearing a mask in public settings, washing hands and watching our distance–to help stem the spread. If we heed and act upon the advice of our medical experts, we can make a safer environment for our neighbors and our loved ones as we celebrate the holidays.

 

While the concern for increased transmission is understandably high as we enter the cold weather season, there is promising news on the horizon. Multiple COVID-19 vaccines are in the final stages of clinical development and may soon be available.

 

Pharmaceutical maker Pfizer recently announced that preliminary data from late-stage clinical trials show its COVID-19 vaccine is 95 percent effective. A vaccine developed jointly by the drug company Moderna and the National Institutes of Health has shown in early trials to be more than 94 percent effective. A third company, AstraZeneca, also reported that late-stage trials showed its coronavirus vaccine was up to 90 percent effective. Its breakthrough is a big development that would be less expensive and easier to distribute than others that require cold storage.

 

Researchers continue to explore additional options. Some of that work is being done right here in Arkansas. Woodland International Research Group located in Little Rock is among the research firms coordinating clinical trials for potential vaccines.

 

The incredible medical advancements we are witnessing will help save lives around the world. These accomplishments are a testament to American ingenuity, resolve and our propensity to meet a challenge head-on. We would not be in this position so quickly without the work of incredibly intelligent researchers, the courageous commitment of trial participants and a historic public-private partnership to get this heavy lift off the ground.

 

Operation Warp Speed brought all this together. It is hard to say how far along we’d be in the process without the program’s multibillion-dollar investment in research and development. Similarly, moving at this rapid pace would have been impossible without the federal government’s commitment to pre-purchase a future vaccine and streamline regulatory authorization.

 

While we await the final approval for these vaccines, it is important to know that distribution planning has already been underway. Military planners are working with officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure that states have a plan in place to efficiently administer the vaccines on a mass scale, adequate personnel to carry out delivery and the data tracking infrastructure necessary for a successful program. Operation Warp Speed continues to play a key role here as well, procuring the necessary supplies—such as needles and swabs—to ensure smooth distribution. 

 

2020 has been an incredibly difficult year. As we celebrate the holidays, let’s enjoy the season without becoming complacent. COVID-19 is still very much with us, but advancements on the vaccine front offer a brighter future. 

 

11-27-20 5:16 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Holiday Happenings at OLT!

Holiday Happenings at OLT!

 

We can still celebrate the Christmas season together at Ouachita Little Theatre if we follow the Governor’s statewide mandates. All of OLT events require masks to be worn at all times unless consuming concessions. Audience sizes will be limited so patrons can socially distance while seated in the theater. So here are three opportunities for your family to enjoy some cheer together at the OLT!

 

December 9 – Come to our monthly movie party at 6:30 PM which will be showing the Christmas classic, “Home Alone!” It’s just not the holidays without Kevin McAllister. Bring the kids; admission is free! Concessions are two for $3, including popcorn, soft drinks, and candy bars.

 

December 11-13 – Three performances of “A Christmas Carol” will be presented in a Readers Theatre style live onstage at OLT. Judy Kropp is directing a creatively modern version of the Charles Dickens tale of Scrooge, Fezziwig, Tiny Tim, ghosts and redemption. Written by Flip Kobler and Cindy Marcus, and true to the original story, this heartwarming play is not to be missed. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door or on any Friday leading up to the performances at the OLT office from 10:00 to 2:00. Friday and Saturday performances are at 7:30 PM, and Sunday is at 2:30 PM.

 

December 18 – A Christmas Concert by Harmony, a Christian family musical group will be performed live. Many people enjoyed them last year, and they are set for another great show on Friday, December 18, at 7:30 PM at the theater. Admission is by your choice of donation at the door.

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Ouachita Little Theatre!

 

11-27-20 2:09 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

The dedication of our doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals is nothing short of heroic. They are saving lives, easing pain, and creating a better future for Arkansas. These individuals continue to come into work every day, despite the risks they face.

 

During this season of thanksgiving, we want to send a special thank you to individuals on the front lines. More than 80,000 healthcare practitioners and technical healthcare workers call Arkansas home. And it continues to be a growing industry. The 2020 Arkansas Labor and Economic Report listed registered nurses, nursing assistants, licensed practical nurses, and medical assistants as some of the state’s top in-demand occupations.

 

The Governor recently created the COVID-19 Winter Task Force and appointed 19 physicians, state officials, and health care executives to advise him as to the needs of the medical community during this time. One of the challenges hospitals face right now is sufficient staffing. In an effort to address that challenge, the state will be expediting the licensure process for more than 1,000 graduating nursing students.

 

While a state task force continues to find ways to meet the needs of frontline workers, there are ways all of us can help. If you have a friend or neighbor who works in healthcare, offer to pick up groceries or deliver a meal. Many healthcare workers are being asked to take on extra hours, so a little help at home could go a long way.

 

The best way we can support our healthcare workers now is to do our part. By staying home when possible, practicing social distancing, and wearing a mask in public, we can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep the virus from overwhelming our healthcare providers.

 

11-27-20 10:34 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Boozman Encourages Support for Local Retailers, Recognizes Small Business Saturday

 

WASHINGTON— U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) released the following statement encouraging Arkansans to support small businesses in their communities Saturday, November 28 as part of Small Business Saturday:

 

“Many small businesses continue to experience hardships as a result of COVID-19. Their success depends upon customers willing to support them. We can help make their holidays brighter by boosting sales for our local, independently-owned businesses. Small Business Saturday is a great time to show our appreciation for the entrepreneurs in Arkansas,” Boozman said.

 

In 2019, shoppers spent a record high $19.6 billion at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday.

 

11-27-20 7:13 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Senator Larry Teague's Weekly Column

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

November 27, 2020

 

LITTLE ROCK – Over the past two years, few areas in state government have changed as much as the Division of Youth Services.

 

In November of 2018 the division began an extensive overhaul of its physical facilities, and at the same time brought in widespread changes in how it handles juveniles who get in trouble with the law.

 

The legislature embraced those reforms by passing Act 189 of 2019, which put into law many of the ideas that division officials were proposing.

 

The number of teenagers in custody has gone down significantly. Before the reforms, there were 73 juveniles in county-run lockups and 352 young people in a residential facility operated by the division. Earlier this year the division reported that only six juveniles were in county detention centers and 235 were in residential programs.

 

The division is placing youths in programs closer to home and has closed two detention centers, in Dermott and Colt.

 

Last week it was reported that another former detention center, at Lewisville, will be converted into a substance abuse treatment facility for teenagers.

 

Judges who hear juvenile cases said that a treatment center was needed, and were glad to have an option besides locking up troubled youths.

 

Some juveniles need drug treatment more than they need to be in custody in a secure detention center, one judge said.

 

Under Act 189, juveniles are assessed under a uniform statewide system. Previously, in some areas of the state juveniles were placed in custody for relatively minor offenses. Staff are instructed to involve parents more in their child’s treatment plan.

 

Measuring the long-term success of the reforms will be whether or not juveniles change their course in life and avoid prison sentences as adults.

 

CARES Act Relief Funding

 

The CARES Act steering committee has recommended using $50 million in federal relief funds to hold down expected increases in rates for unemployment insurance.

 

The state Workforce Services Division said that doing nothing would cause 2021 tax rates for unemployment insurance to significantly increase.

 

Businesses that would be charged with the largest increases would in many cases be the same businesses hit hardest by the pandemic, the division director said.

 

Rates are set based on the amounts put into a state unemployment insurance fund, and by factoring in the amount of unemployment benefits paid to laid off workers.

 

So far this year, there have been about $207 million charges against the fund for about 26,000 companies. Among the most affected businesses are restaurants, hotels, retail stores, hospitals, clinics and manufacturers.

 

The payment of benefits to laid off workers could result in rate increases of 36 percent for those businesses, the state Commerce Secretary said. He gave the example of one large business that would see its unemployment insurance costs go up from $21 to $340 per employee, if nothing is done.

 

The steering committee and legislators already had approved putting $165 million into the unemployment trust fund. This second round of funding would bring the amount of government relief for unemployment to $215 million.

 

11-27-20 7:09 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Weekly Arkansas Fishing Report

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for Nov. 25, 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 for the lake or stream you plan to fish for current news. Note: msl = mean sea level; cfs = cubic feet per second. All Corps of Engineers lake and river readings were taken at 2 p.m. the day of publication (Nov. 25).

 

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

 

Quick links to regions:

 

Central Arkansas

 

North Arkansas

 

Northwest Arkansas

 

Northeast Arkansas

 

Southeast Arkansas

 

Southwest Arkansas

 

South-Central Arkansas

 

West-Central Arkansas

 

East Arkansas

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

11-25-20 5:40 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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Polk County Sheriff's Report for November 16th - 22nd

SHERIFF’S LOG

 

The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of November 16, 2020 – November 22, 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.

 

November 16, 2020

Report from complainant on Polk 45 near Shady Grove of a domestic altercation. Deputy responded. Information forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.

Report from Mena Regional Health System of a dog bite victim. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant on Dirt Lane near Shady Grove of identity fraud.

 

November 17, 2020

Report from complainant on Hatton Lane near Wickes of a window broken on a vehicle. Deputy responded.

Report of a one vehicle accident on Polk 78 near Potter. Deputy responded.

 

November 18, 2020

Report from complainant on Polk 164 of a windshield on a vehicle being busted out. Deputy responded.

Report of a disturbance led to a juvenile male being issued citations. Juvenile was released to the custody of parent/guardian.

 

November 19, 2020

Report from complainant on Polk 56 near Dallas Valley of missing medication. Deputy responded.

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

 

November 20, 2020

Report from complainant on Hwy 375E near Dallas Valley of a domestic altercation led to the arrest of Allen R. Henry, 31, of Mena on a Charge of Battery 3rd Degree.

Report of an online scam involving the purchase of dogs. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant on Hwy 71S near Cove of being threatened. Deputy responded.

 

November 21, 2020

No reports filed.

 

November 22, 2020

Report from complainant on Polk 16 near Vandervoort of a missing family member. Family member was later located.

Report of a domestic disturbance on Polk 90 near Acorn. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant on Polk 32 near Cove of a stolen vehicle. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant of Hwy 246W near Hatfield of a break-in. Deputy responded.

 

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

 

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 15 Incarcerated Inmates, with 11 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility

 

PC20-01069

 

11-23-20 12:26 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Mena Police Report for November 15th - 21st

 

Mena Police Department reports for the week of November 15 through November 21, 2020

 

November 15

 

Caroline Harvey, 48, was charged with Disorderly Conduct after a disturbance call to 1st Street.

 

A report of a theft was taken on Janssen Avenue.

 

A report of theft of property (shoplifting) was taken at Walmart.

 

 

November 16

 

A report of financial identity fraud was taken from a walk-in complainant.

 

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

 

 

November 17

 

A report of theft was taken on Reeves Street.

 

A report of financial identity fraud was taken from a walk-in complainant.

 

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

 

Mykos Pierce, 20, was charged with Criminal Trespass after a complaint from Walmart.

 

 

November 18

 

David Heard, 32, was charged with Reckless Driving and Driving on a Suspended License after a traffic stop on Hamilton Street.

 

 

November 19

 

A report of criminal mischief was taken from a person at Walmart.

 

A report of a lost cell phone was taken from a walk-in complainant.

 

Corrie Ward, 31, was served with a warrant at the Sheriff’s Office.

 

 

November 20

 

No reports filed.

 

 

November 21

 

A report of a disturbance was taken on Polk Street.

 

A report of sexual assault was taken from another agency.

 

A report of a stolen vehicle was taken on Southerland Avenue.

 

A report of financial identity fraud was taken from a walk-in complainant.

 

 

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

 

11-23-20 12:20 p.m. KAWX.ORG

 

 

 

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Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Address: Setting the Pace in Computer Science Education

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Address: Setting the Pace in Computer Science Education
 
 
LITTLE ROCK – This year for the first time, enrollment in computer science courses topped 10,000, the sixth straight year enrollment has increased, and today I’d like to talk about what’s happening and what’s down the road.

To be exact, the number of Arkansas high school students taking at least one computer science course is 10,450. That is an increase of six-and-a-half percent over the last school year and nearly 850 percent increase over the 1,100 students who were enrolled six years ago.

We showed improvement in other areas as well. For the first time in Arkansas, the percentage of African American students who are taking a computer science class exceeds the percentage of all African American students enrolled in Arkansas high schools. Also for the first time, the percentage of all minority students taking a high school computer science course exceeds the percentage of all minority students enrolled in our high schools.

In addition, we continue to show tremendous growth in the number of girls who are taking computer science. When we started this initiative, 223 girls were enrolled in a computer science class. This year, the Arkansas Department of Education reports that the number has jumped to 3,135. That is a 1,300 percent increase over 2014.

Many publications and tech organizations, such as Code.org, have recognized Arkansas as a leader in computer science education. But we can’t rest on our success, which is why I’m working with the Arkansas General Assembly to open up more opportunities for our young people. Last year, I created the Computer Science and Cybersecurity Task Force, and one of its recommendations is to require a computer science course to be taken for graduation. I am grateful to Senator Jane English for sponsoring this legislation and recognizing its importance.  And, by the school year 2022-2023, every high school in the state must employ at least one teacher who is certified to teach computer science.

When we became the first state in the nation to require all high schools to teach computer science, our goal was to increase enrollment to 7,500 by the 2019-2020 school year. We surpassed that goal a year early. This year, even with COVID-19, we topped over 10,000. We have done that because educators and students embraced the initiative. We have enhanced our education system, strengthened our workforce, and we are continuing to set the pace.
 
11-21-20 6:26 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase across the state, the Arkansas Department of Health reminds Arkansans that the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to celebrate at home with the people who live with you.

 

While the number of people around your table may be smaller this year, we want to take a moment to express our thanks for Arkansans who make it possible for what is on the table.

 

Our grocery store employees have worked tirelessly to keep the doors open. Our food processors, truckers, and farmers also deserve our utmost appreciation for keeping the shelves stocked.

 

Arkansans made not only your meal but countless meals across the country possible.

 

Arkansas is forecast to rank 2nd in the nation in the number of turkeys raised, accounting for 14% of all turkeys raised in the United States.

 

The Arkansas turkey industry creates and supports close to 20,000 jobs in Arkansas.

 

Arkansas is the 5th largest producer of sweet potatoes. And last year, Arkansas farmers harvested more than 740,000 acres of corn.

 

Although few go shopping for actual soybeans for Thanksgiving, there is an excellent chance the soybean plays a significant part in your feast. This year Arkansas ranked as 11th in the nation in soybean production. Soybean oil is used in cooking and frying foods. Salad dressings, margarine, and mayonnaises are made with soybean oil.

 

Arkansas farmers may have contributed to your dessert menu as well, especially when it comes to the pies. We are one of 15 states to grow pecans.

 

You can help show your appreciation to our Arkansas farmers and food service workers by looking for the “Arkansas Grown” label at your local supermarket.

 

From our house to yours, we wish you a very happy and safe Thanksgiving.

 

11-20-20 4:12 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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US Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column: Giving Thanks for Arkansas Adoption Advocates

Giving Thanks for Arkansas Adoption Advocates

 

Danny and Dawn Curtis always wanted a large family. They already had two sons when they saw a photo album of Arkansas children in foster care waiting to be adopted. They fell in love with the picture of a young girl and learned that she had three brothers. After much discussion and prayer, they adopted the sibling group and turned their family of four into a family of eight.

 

The Curtis family eventually adopted a total of 10 children and became valuable advocates for foster children in Arkansas, through their professional lives and personal example. I was privileged to visit with Dawn recently and congratulate her as she and her late husband were honored by the Congressional Adoption Coalition as 2020 Angels in Adoption.

 

Fortunately, other families are also demonstrating their commitment to change the lives of children through adoption. Thousands of families make room in their homes and their hearts each year. It is inspiring to see the love and commitment Arkansas families and organizations have to helping children in need. As willing families work with government agencies, courts and non-profit organizations throughout the state, you can see their common purpose to give every child the best life possible. 

 

As a member of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, I am pleased, once again, to support a U.S. Senate resolution recognizing November as National Adoption Month and November 21, 2020 as National Adoption Day. There are approximately 424,000 children in the foster care system in the U.S. and half of them are waiting for adoption. The average foster child spends 20 months in that system and 65 percent of them are 10 years old or younger. This year, the COVID-19 health crisis has created even more challenges for the foster care system, prospective adoptive parents and the children who are praying for a permanent home. 

 

There has been a lot of discussion in recent years about the high number of Arkansas children in foster care. I am heartened to see the dedicated response to this crisis from organizations like The CALL and Project Zero that help place children in loving homes, to facilities like the Young Children’s Home where they provide a family atmosphere for many children so they are not forced to move far away or be separated from their siblings while in foster care. 

 

We are blessed to have the advocacy in our state that is making a positive impact on the lives of young Arkansans. As we give thanks for our friends and family this year, let us remember to count our blessings and keep children who are seeking the opportunity to be surrounded by loved ones at Thanksgiving in our hearts.

 

11-20-20 3:50 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

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Senator Larry Teague's Weekly Column

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

November 20, 2020

 

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas schools this fall have seen a drop in enrollment of about 6,428 students.

 

The good news is that the number of students in computer science courses is more than 10,000, which is a record high.

 

The number of children being home schooled has gone up by 3,888 compared to last year. The total number of children in Arkansas being home schooled this year is 26,039.

 

The total enrollment in Arkansas public schools this year is 473,004, based on a count done in October by state education officials and reported to the state Board of Education. This year’s enrollment is down more than 1 percent compared with October of 2019, when it was 479,432.

 

The change in enrollment from public schools to home schools can be attributed to parents’ concerns about the safety of their children during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

The younger the age group, the more remarkable is the increase in home schooling this year. For example, there has been a 72 percent increase in the number of kindergarten students being home schooled. For first graders the increase was more than 55 percent and for third graders the increase in home schooled children was more than 51 percent.

 

Public education is high among the priorities of the Arkansas legislature, and state aid provides more than half of local school district revenue. Funding is based on enrollment, so financial consequences follow any changes in the number of children in the classroom.

 

In the proposed budget for state government for next fiscal year, the general revenue fund would be about $5.8 billion. Of that amount, more than $2.5 billion would go into the state’s Public School Fund.

 

During the interim between legislation sessions, the Senate and House Education Committees work at length on the school funding formula, in order to recommend the amount that will adequately fund public schools. The Arkansas Constitution makes it the state’s duty to provide an equal and adequate education for all children, and the state has lost school funding lawsuits when it failed to do so.

 

The number of students in computer science classes rose by 6.5 percent over last year, according to the recent enrollment reports.

 

The Education Department reported that more girls than ever are taking at least one computer science class. The number of female students rose to 3,135, which is 28 percent more than last year and 1,300 percent more than in 2014, when 223 girls were enrolled in computer science classes.

 

When the legislature convenes in January, it will consider a bill that would require all students to pass a computer science class to graduate. It also would require all high schools to hire at least one certified computer science teacher.

 

Enrollment has been dramatically increasing since 2015, when the legislature approved Act 187 to require all Arkansas high schools to offer at least one computer science course. Since then, the state also has increased opportunities for teachers to become certified in computer sciences.

 

There were 274 teachers certified in computer science last year, compared to only six when Act 187 was passed.

 

11-20-20 9:23 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Arkansas Heritage Grant Awarded To Local Partnership

In a partnership with the University of Arkansas Rich Mountain (UARM), Quality of Life (QOL), Inc. received a $5,000 Arkansas Heritage Grant to promote awareness and enjoyment of Arkansas’s heritage. QOL plans to display local artists’ work in the Ouachita Center on the UARM campus throughout 2021. To support the community and to strengthen the planned programs, the Polk County Library Board has pledged an additional financial commitment.

Pictured left to right: Mary Renick, Polk County Librarian, Brenda Miner, UARM Librarian, and Charlotte Wiles, QOL board member. For more information about the grant and the planned programs, please contact Dr. Diann Gathright at 479.394.7622, ext. 1212.

 

11-19-20 5:37 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Weekly Arkansas Fishing Report

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for Nov. 18, 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 for the lake or stream you plan to fish for current news. Note: msl = mean sea level; cfs = cubic feet per second. All Corps of Engineers lake and river readings were taken at 9 a.m. the day of publication (Nov. 18, 2020).

 

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

 

Quick links to regions:

 

Central Arkansas

 

North Arkansas

 

Northwest Arkansas

 

Northeast Arkansas

 

Southeast Arkansas

 

Southwest Arkansas

 

South-Central Arkansas

 

West-Central Arkansas

 

East Arkansas

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

11-18-20 3:56 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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OLT Presents Love Makes a Home: The Life of Rebecca Boone

OLT Presents “Love Makes a Home: The Life of Rebecca Boone”

 

The figure of Daniel Boone has reached legendary proportions in America’s frontier mythology. Playwright Kiesa Kay’s one-woman drama “Love Makes a Home: The Life of Rebecca Boone” tells the compelling but lesser known tale of his remarkable wife, portrayed by OLT veteran Ann Glenn. The production, directed by Scotty Jenkins, is accompanied by music that intensifies the emotion of the plot.

 

“Rebecca Boone’s grit and determination too often gets overshadowed by her larger-than-life husband,” said Kiesa Kay, playwright. “She moved more than 20 times, gave birth to ten children, and raised six others.”

 

The play has been performed in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky, in venues as diverse as Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, the Orchard at Altapass, and Berea College. This performance on November 20, 21, and 22 on the OLT stage will mark its Arkansas premiere with a live performance.

 

Ann Glenn gives voice to 72-year-old Rebecca Boone’s thoughts as she shares the accumulated wisdom of her time on the American frontier. Ann Glenn is herself an intrepid world traveler, and her deep connection to nature gives her rare insight into the spirit of the indomitable Rebecca.

This well-researched play offers insight into the hopes and hardships of frontier life from the point of view of a hard-working woman. The heartbreaks of life did not extinguish her strong and abiding faith.

 

“Each director, too, has a different vision for the play, and I am honored that Scotty Jenkins has chosen to direct it,” Kay said. “It’s exciting to see this play come to life at Ouachita Little Theater.”

 

Friday and Saturday performances (11/20, 21) will be at 7:30 PM and Sunday (11/22) will be 2:30 PM. You may use your OLT season pass or purchase a ticket for $10 at the door or in advance on Fridays at the office between 10:00 – 2:00. CDC guidelines remain in place, so please wear your mask and respect the socially distanced seating arrangement.

 

11-18-20 3:35 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

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Mena School Board Approves Shooting Sport Program, Bonus For Full Time Employees

The Mena School Board met for their November meeting on Tuesday via Zoom. There was a short agenda and the meeting was brief.
 
The meeting began with the Superintendent's Report. Mr. Benny Weston started by updating the board on the COVID-19 cases and quarantine situation in the district and stated that they have been able to isolate those cases.
 
Next, Weston was happy to report that the response to Flex Friday has been very positive. A total of 602 students attended class on the first Flex Friday, 683 on the second and 593 on the third. The Flex Friday option for students will continue through the Christmas break and will be reevaluated before the 2nd semester begins.
 
There were two action items that were a part of the Superintendent's Report. One being a request by the Future Farmers of America chapter to proceed with the establishment of a shooting sport program, and that request was approved.
 
The other was a proposal to give all full time Mena Public School employees a $750.00 bonus. That proposal was approved by the board and the bonus will be issued at the same time as the December payroll.
 
Finally, the board approved the financial report and adjourned for the evening.
 
11-18-20 7:09 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Polk County Sheriff's Report for November 9th - 15th

SHERIFF’S LOG

 

The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of November 9, 2020 – November 15, 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.

 

November 9, 2020

Report from complainant on Polk 274 near Vandervoort of a domestic altercation. Deputy responded. Complainant refused to press charges.

Report from Mena Regional Health System of an accidental gunshot victim. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant on Polk 61 near Board Camp of a stolen four-wheeler. Deputy responded.

Report of an incident with a person the complainant met online.

Arrested was Colton K. Baker, 20, of Cove on Charges of Delivery of Schedule I or II, Delivery of Schedule VI, and Contributing to Delinquency of a Minor.

 

November 10, 2020

Report from the Polk County Detention Center of the discovery of contraband in the facility.

Report from complainant on Polk 301 near Cherry Hill of the theft of a plumbing pipe rack valued at $1000.00. Deputy responded.

Arrested was Justin A. Ashley, 27, of Mena on six Warrants for Failure to Appear, a Warrant for Criminal Mischief 1st Degree and a Warrant for Failure to Appear.

Arrested by a trooper with the Arkansas State Police was David D. Heard, 34, of Mena on Charges of Fleeing in a Vehicle, Fleeing on Foot, Driving on a Suspended Driver’s License, and Racing on Highway.

 

November 11, 2020

Report of illegal contraband led to a juvenile being issued a Juvenile Citation for Possession of a Schedule VI. Juvenile was released to the custody of parent/guardian.

Report from complainant of the theft of ATV parts. Investigation continues.

 

November 12, 2020

Report of a vehicle being sideswiped. Deputy responded.

 

November 13, 2020

Report from complainant on Polk 164 near Rocky of a dispute between neighbors. Deputy responded.

Report of receiving inappropriate text messages. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant on Polk 164 near Rocky of the theft of a chainsaw and crossbow valued at $500.00. Investigation continues.

Report from complainant on Hatton Lane near Wickes of a vehicles back glass being shot out. Deputy responded.

 

November 14, 2020

Report from complainant on Hwy 246W near Hatfield of a trespasser. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant on Polk 165 near Potter of damage to a driveway. Deputy responded.

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

Report from complainant on Heritage Lane near Hatfield of the theft of a firearm. Investigation continues.

Report from complainant on Polk 8 near Wickes of a break-in. Investigation continues.

Report from complainant on Polk 75 near Acorn of the unauthorized use of a vehicle and problems involving child custody. Deputy responded.

Report of problems between family members. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant on Polk 67 near Big Fork of stolen guns. Investigation continues.

 

November 15, 2020

No reports filed.

 

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

 

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 15 Incarcerated Inmates, with 9 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

 

PC20-01069

 

11-16-20 1:35 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Mena Police Report for November 8th - 14th

 

Mena Police Department reports for the week of November 8 through November 14, 2020

 

 

November 8

 

A report of criminal mischief was taken on Maple Street.

 

A report of theft of property (shoplifting) was taken from Walmart.

 

A report of breaking or entering was taken on 4th Street.

 

A report of harassment was taken on Jolie Way.

 

November 9

 

Rachel Tarkinton-Wolf, 23, was served with a warrant at the police department.

 

November 10

 

A report of criminal mischief was taken on Sarah Way.

 

A report of battery and theft of property was taken from a walk-in complainant.

 

November 11

 

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

 

November 12

 

A theft report was taken from Peach Tree Assisted Living.

 

Kurtis Sitz, 30, was charged with Theft of Property (Shoplifting) after a complaint from Walmart.

 

Kristie McCarty, 29, was charged with after a disturbance call to Westmoreland Avenue.

 

A report of battery was taken on Tupelo Drive.

 

November 13

 

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

 

November 14

 

A report of criminal trespass was taken on 11th Street.

 

Rachel Stentz, 27, was charged with Public Intoxication and Obstructing of Governmental Operations at Sun Country Inn.

 

Jeremy Tyler, 25, was served with a warrant at the county jail.

 

Michael Harper, 42, was served with four warrants after a traffic stop.

 

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

 

11-16-20 10:04 a.m. KAWX.ORG

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

The 2021 Regular Session begins in less than two months. We want to take this week to update you on the ongoing budget hearings in preparation for the session.

 

Pre-session budget hearings have been extended. They began last month and will continue from now to November 19. 

 

This week, members were presented with the General Revenue Forecast and the Governor's Balanced Budget Proposal.

 

The Governor's plan calls for a reduction of sales tax on vehicles priced less than $10,000. His proposal also calls for a reduction in the income tax rate for new residents moving into Arkansas.

 

The proposal includes recommendations for one-time funding from the $240 million expected budget surplus. Those recommendations include a transfer of $100 million to the Long Term Reserve Fund and a $30 million transfer to the Department of Commerce for rural broadband.

 

By law, the Governor is required to submit a balanced budget proposal. While we take the proposal from the executive branch into consideration, appropriation bills and the budget are ultimately drafted and voted on by the legislature.

 

The House and Senate Education Committees have recommended an increase of $99.7 million in funding for k-12 education for the next fiscal year. The committees recommended an increase of $86.9 million for Fiscal Year 2023.

 

Currently, state funding is $6,985 per student. The committees' recommendation increases the amount to $7,131 next year and to $7,281 in Fiscal Year 2023. The committees' proposal is also reflected in the Governor's proposed budget.

 

This week, the Department of Finance and Administration issued its economic forecast. For the next fiscal year, the department expects state revenue to increase by $172 million or 3% more than the current fiscal year. The short-term outlook for the Arkansas economy remains mixed. The forecast states there are noticeable lags in recovery by travel, conventions, and full-service restaurants. 

 

As a reminder, members can begin filing bills for the upcoming legislative session on Monday, November 16. You will find a link to all recently filed legislation on our website, www.arkansashouse.org.

 

We have also posted the General Revenue Forecast and the Governor's Balanced Budget.

 

The 2021 Regular Session begins on January 11.

 

11-13-20 3:56 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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US Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column

Legislative Win for Conservation

 

Arkansas is blessed with a wonderful landscape and incredible wildlife that people from all across the country come to our state to enjoy. Preserving and protecting our environment is vital to enabling future generations of Americans to participate in popular outdoor activities. This Congress, we’ve taken significant action to improve federal conservation programs, most recently with the enactment of America’s Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act.

 

This bipartisan conservation law advances and expands programs to safeguard wildlife and ecosystems. It will enable us to better implement collaborative strategies to protect and restore wetland habitat by reauthorizing critical programs that have a track record of success like the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA). This program has resulted in the restoration of thousands of acres of wildlife habitat in Arkansas and more than 30 million acres nationwide.

 

Our state has also benefited from the National Fish Habitat Partnership (NFHP), a program Arkansas Game and Fish Commission assistant chief of fisheries, Jason Olive, says has recently helped projects on Lake Poinsett and Lake Ouachita. This law codifies the NFHP and increases federal support for its efforts to improve fish habitat and the jobs and businesses that depend on a healthy and robust fish population.

 

This law also helps maintain a healthy wildlife population. Arkansas hunters are facing new challenges and emerging threats to the safety of the deer population as a result of chronic wasting disease (CWD). Since it was first detected in the state four years ago, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has taken strategic actions to prevent the spread of this degenerative disease in deer, elk and moose by implementing innovative ways to address this problem. The ACE Act establishes a CWD task force within the U.S. Department of the Interior so we can expand federal assistance to better collaborate with state and local officials to fight this disease.

 

As an avid outdoorsman, I’m proud to advocate and support federal programs that strengthen our nation’s wetlands and bolster waterfowl habitat. That’s why I cosponsored this legislation in the Senate and worked with wildlife conservation groups to help move this through the legislative process. When President Trump signed this bipartisan bill into law last month, there was widespread support among conservationists, hunters and anglers because all of these stakeholders want what’s best for our public lands, and we all want to be able to utilize these national treasures for years to come.

 

Earlier this year, Congress passed, and the president signed into law, the Great American Outdoors Act which invests in the upkeep of public lands. With both bills signed into law, this Congress has been a “banner year for the conservation community” one wildlife conservation leader said. This underscores how broad the consensus is around the necessity to protect our natural resources.

 

We’ve made remarkable progress this year, and I’m committed to advocating for and promoting policies that preserve and protect our wildlife and wetlands.

 

11-13-20 3:33 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Flags To Half Staff For Helena-West Helena Police Officer Travis C. Wallace

Governor Hutchinson Orders Flags to Fly At Half-Staff in Memory of Officer Travis Wallace
 
LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has ordered the United States flag and the Arkansas flag to be lowered to half-staff in tribute to the memory of Officer Travis Wallace, a Helena-West Helena police officer who was killed in the line of duty last night. The flag shall be lowered immediately and remain at half-staff to the day of interment.   
 
Governor Hutchinson released this statement:  
 
“I was heartsick to hear that we have lost another police officer in the line of duty. Helena-West Helena Officer Travis Wallace was shot and killed as he pursued a suspect in a violent crime. Officer Wallace’s death is a tragic reminder that our police officers risk their lives with every encounter and every traffic stop. In his 10-year career as an officer, Travis risked his life for hundreds of people. Let us honor his memory by renewing our respect and support for all officers. I offer my condolences to Officer Wallace’s family and his fellow officers.”
The full proclamation can be found HERE.
 
11-13-20 3:23 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Senator Larry Teague's Weekly Column

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

November 13, 2020

 

LITTLE ROCK –The governor presented a balanced budget proposal to the legislature for next fiscal year. It would authorize about $5.8 billion next year in spending from the state’s general revenue fund, about three percent more than this year.

 

The legislature has been working on balancing the budgets of state agencies since mid-October. The final spending plan for Arkansas state government will be set when the legislature adjourns the 2021 regular session. It begins in January.

 

The governor’s plan would reduce taxes by $50 million a year for people in low and middle income brackets.

 

Under the governor’s plan, the sales tax would go down on purchases of used cars that cost less than $10,000. Now, used cars sold for less than $4,000 are exempt from the sales tax. The new rate would reduce the state sales tax from 6.5 percent to 3.5 percent on used vehicles sold for $4,000 to $9,999.

 

The proposal would encourage upper income families to establish a residence in Arkansas. The top income tax bracket for new residents would be reduced from 5.9 percent to 4.9 percent for the first five years they live in Arkansas.

 

Legislators questioned the fairness of creating a different income bracket for new residents, when people who have always lived in Arkansas would pay a higher rate although their income is the same.

 

Spokesmen for the governor responded by saying that limiting the top bracket at 4.9 percent for new residents would create a clear goal for future reductions for people who have always lived in Arkansas.

 

When the pandemic hit earlier this year, state budget officials reduced the official forecast, in anticipation of an economic slowdown. Under our balanced budget law, when the economy slows and tax revenue drops off, spending is reduced accordingly. In April the forecast was lowered by more than $200 million.

 

The governor’s proposed budget would restore many of the spending cuts made necessary in April. Categories that would get funding increases include higher education, health care and human services.

 

Law enforcement categories scheduled to see increased funding include the state Crime Lab, reimbursements to county jails and crisis stabilization units. The budget for state prisons would increase next fiscal year by 3.9 percent under the governor’s proposal, to $375 million. It has more than 16,000 in custody, with 3,658 staff positions currently filled.

 

Community Corrections would get an increase of 6 percent, to $97 million a year. Its officers supervise offenders on parole and probation. It operates drug courts and six residential treatment facilities. It has 1,304 staff positions now filled. More than 60,000 adult offenders are under the Department’s supervision.

 

Under the governor’s recommendation, the Public School Fund, from which state aid is distributed to local school districts, would increase by 1.4 percent, to $2.25 billion.

 

The Human Services Department would get a funding increase of 4.8 percent. It administers Medicaid, services for people with disabilities, long-term care facilities, drug treatment programs and benefits for low-income families such as food stamps.

 

State support of four-year universities would increase to $612 million, from $575 million this year. Support for two-year colleges would increase from $112 million to $118 million. In addition, five technical colleges would get a funding increase from $31 million to $32 million.

 

11-13-20 12:30 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Mena School District Addresses COVID-19 Rumors, Acknowledges Cases In Schools

The Mena School District released the following statement today.
 
"The Mena Public Schools would like to take this opportunity to put our patrons at ease and address recent rumors concerning COVID-19. We are aware of an increase of cases in the area. As of November 10th there are 7 positive cases involving staff and students. At this time there are no plans to close for an extended period of time unless we do not have enough adults to safely monitor students. If and when we reach that point, we will make the public aware through our normal communication methods.
 
Arkansas Department of Education Secretary Johnny Key addressed such rumors on Tuesday as a part of Governor Asa Hutchinson’s daily COVID-19 Update. Key said “There is a rumor that the state might call off on-site instruction between Thanksgiving and the Christmas break. There is not a plan to do that, and it has not been suggested to the Governor.”
 
You may check the ACHI School District Geographic Boundary Level Maps to see the trends for new positive COVID-19 cases for school districts. Just follow the link https://achi.net/covid19/."
 
11-11-20 4:35 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Weekly Arkansas Fishing Report

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for Nov. 11, 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 for the lake or stream you plan to fish for current news. Note: msl = mean sea level; cfs = cubic feet per second. All Corps of Engineers lake and river readings were taken at 7 a.m. the day of publication (Nov. 11, 2020).

 

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

 

Quick links to regions:

 

Central Arkansas

 

North Arkansas

 

Northwest Arkansas

 

Northeast Arkansas

 

Southeast Arkansas

 

Southwest Arkansas

 

South-Central Arkansas

 

West-Central Arkansas

 

East Arkansas

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

11-11-20 2:34 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Howard County Drug Bust Lands Mena Resident In Jail

On Monday, November 9, 2020, officers with the Howard County Sheriff's Department, Arkansas State Police, 9th West Drug Task Force, and the Dierks Police Department executed a search and seizure warrant at a residence on 6th Street in Dierks. Upon executing the warrant, officers located and arrested Jesse Price and John Smith. Upon a search of the residence, officers located approximately 8 grams of suspected methamphetamine, numerous smoking pipes, a set of digital scales, numerous small plastic zip lock baggies, a glass jar that contained suspected marijuana, and a firearm.

 
Jesse Price, 61 year old while male of Dierks (Howard County), Arkansas was transported to the Howard County Detention Center where he will face charges of Possession of Methamphetamine with the Purpose to Deliver, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of a Firearm by Certain Persons, and Maintaining a Drug Premises . 
 
John Smith, 42 year od while male of Mena (Polk County), Arkansas was transported to the Howard County Detention Center where he will face charges of Possession of a Schedule II Controlled Substance (methamphetamine) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
 
Special Agent Blake Eudy with the 9th West Drug Task Force said that the search and seizure warrant was the result of a two month narcotics investigation conducted by the 9th West Drug Task Force and the Dierks Police Department.
 
11-10-20 2:39 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Polk County Sheriff's Report for November 2nd - 8th

SHERIFF’S LOG

 

The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of November 2, 2020 – November 8, 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.

 

November 2, 2020

Report of a one vehicle accident on Polk 41S near Shady Grove. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant on N. Main Street near Cove of a man with a gun led to the arrest of Dennis R. Hopper, 45, of Smithville, Oklahoma on Charges of Aggravated Assault and Terroristic Threatening 1st Degree.

Traffic stop on Polk 48 near Potter led to the discovery of suspicious items in the vehicle. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.

Report of a structure fire on Polk 70 near Cherry Hill. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant on Wild Rose Lane near Acorn of stolen guns. Investigation continues.

 

November 3, 2020

Report of two missing children near Hatfield. Deputies responded. Children were later located.

Arrested was Jerrett A. Alston, 39, of Hatfield on a Warrant for Criminal Trespass, Assault in the 3rd Degree, and Harassment.

Arrested was Charles L. Sherwood, 49, of Mena on a Warrant for Failure to Appear.

Arrested was Devin M. Turner, 27, of Mena on a Warrant for Failure to Appear.

 

November 4, 2020

Report of damage to storage units near Cove. Deputy responded.

Arrested was Robert W. Doty, 46, of Mena on Assault in the 3rd Degree, Criminal Trespass, Battery 3rd Degree, Criminal Mischief 1st Degree.

 

November 5, 2020

Report of an incident involving hunting.

Report of a domestic disturbance on Hwy 88E near Cherry Hill. Deputy responded.

 

November 6, 2020

Report of a stolen cell phone near Acorn. Deputy responded.

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

Report of two lost hikers. Deputies responded. Hikers were later located.

Arrested by an officer with the Grannis Police Department was Kerri L. Ballew, 40, of DeQueen on a Charge of Domestic Battery.

Arrested was David M. Fraser, 52, on nine Warrants for Failure to Appear.

 

November 7, 2020

Traffic stop on Polk 18 near Cove led to the discovery of suspicious items. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.

Report of a single vehicle accident near Hatfield. Deputy responded.

Report from Mena Regional Health System of a domestic battery victim. Deputy responded. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.

 

November 8, 2020

Report from complainant on W. Barton Ave near Cove of a break-in led to the arrest of Charles L. Dees, 71, of Cove on Charges of Possession of Meth or Cocaine and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Report from complainant on Polk 44 near Dallas Valley of vandalism to a vehicle. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant on Joshua Lane near Board Camp of the theft of a four-wheeler. Investigation continues.

Report from complainant on Polk 71 near Ink of damage to a camper trailer. Deputy responded.

 

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

 

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 16 Incarcerated Inmates, with 9 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

 

PC20-01045

 

11-9-20 12:52 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Mena Police Report for November 1st-7th

 

Mena Police Department Reports For The Week Of November 1 - 7, 2020

 

 

November 1

 

A report of theft of property (shoplifting)was taken from Walmart.

 

A report of domestic battery and harassment was taken from a person at Citgo.

 

November 2

 

Michael Williams, 49, was served with two warrants at the police department.

 

A report of fraud was taken on Magnolia Avenue.

 

Billy Fletcher, 33, was charged with Disorderly Conduct and Obstructing Government Operations after a disturbance call on Jones Street.

 

A report of theft of property (shoplifting) was taken from Walmart.

 

A report of theft of property (shoplifting) was taken from Walmart.

 

November 3

 

A report of theft of property (shoplifting) was taken from Walmart.

 

A report of theft of property (shoplifting) was taken from Walmart.

 

A report of theft of property (shoplifting) was taken from Walmart.

 

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

 

A death investigation report was taken on Locust Street.

 

A theft report was taken from a person at Executive Inn.

 

November 4

 

A report of theft of property (shoplifting) was taken from Walmart.

 

November 5

 

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

 

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

 

A report of trespassing was taken on Amsterdam Street.

 

November 6

 

A report of harassment was taken at the EZ Mart.

 

A report of theft was taken on Janssen Avenue.

 

A report of theft of motor fuel was taken at the Corner Store.

 

November 7

 

No reports taken.

 

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

 

11-9-20 10:26 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

Veterans live and work in every community of Arkansas.

 

We are their friends, their family, their co-workers, and their neighbors. It is up to us to ensure that every veteran feels that his or her service to this country is appreciated.

 

There are ways every Arkansan can help our veterans. Shop at your local businesses that support the military and hire veterans. Reach out to your veteran community and find ways to volunteer. We can all teach our children about the sacrifices veterans have made and create a new generation of appreciation.

 

But the easiest way is to simply say, "Thank you for what you have done for our country."

 

On this Veterans Day, we would like to say a special thank you to the more than 219,000 veterans who call Arkansas home.

 

Every session, we introduce legislation to make Arkansas a better place for our military members and vets. In the most recent session, we passed legislation to make it easier for military spouses to find employment quickly and legislation paving the way for an extensive study on veteran affairs in our state.

 

Act 551 directs the House Committee on Aging, Children and Youth, and Legislative and Military Affairs and the Senate Committee on State Agencies and Governmental Affairs to meet jointly to conduct the Arkansas Legislative Study on Veterans Affairs. The study aims to examine veterans' issues in the state, including the occurrence of suicide among the veteran population. The committees have conducted town-hall-style meetings across the state to hear from veterans. They will use the information they've gathered to make recommendations for the 2021 Regular Session.

 

We also passed Act 820. This legislation states an occupational licensing entity shall grant active military members and returning veterans, as well as spouses of active military and returning veterans, with automatic licensure to engage in an occupation or profession if they have an equivalent license in another state.

 

And in 2017, we passed legislation exempting military retirement benefits from state income tax.

 

We look forward to continued progress. May we continue to make our state a place our vets are proud to call home.

 

11-6-20 4:16 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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US Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column: Improving Veterans Services

Improving Veterans Services

 

On Veterans Day, we pause to honor the selfless sacrifice of the men and women who wore our nation’s uniform and renew our obligation to care for these brave individuals. They’ve given their best to our nation and deserve our best in return. An important part of this mission is providing timely and quality healthcare. It is exciting to see improvements for these services in Arkansas and it is something I continue to focus on in the U.S. Senate.

 

In late October, veterans and community leaders celebrated the groundbreaking of a much-needed new, expanded and modernized Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) in Fort Smith. At the ceremony, Kelvin Parks, the Director of the Veterans Health Center of the Ozarks called this an “important milestone in our journey to ensure our veterans have access to the world class health care that the VA provides.”

 

Arkansas is home to 16 CBOCs that make an important difference in giving veterans access to VA health care much closer to home. Throughout the nation, there are 800 of these clinics in the VA system providing every day outpatient services including health and wellness visits. The Fort Smith CBOC had outgrown its space over 20 years. This new facility will allow the VA to better meet the needs of veterans in Sebastian, Crawford and Franklin Counties.

 

Although local VA clinics make routine health care more accessible to veterans in rural areas, in Arkansas, more advanced care can mean a full-day trip to the nearest VA hospital. Two years ago, Congress provided more flexibility for veterans to access health care and services without extended travel by passing the VA MISSION Act. This reform to community care has enabled veterans to receive quality health services within their own community. This policy has improved how the VA delivers health care and provides more options to better support the needs of veterans, no matter where they live.

 

Like many programs, there is always room for improvement. As a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I’m working with my colleagues to ensure a successful implementation of the MISSION Act.

 

We routinely make improvements to policies in order to make the lives of veterans and their families better. With input from Veteran Service Organizations and Arkansas veterans sharing their experiences with VA programs and benefits, we continue to look at new measures and implement innovative programs to resolve existing flaws.

 

That’s what we’re doing to address one of our greatest challenges, reducing and preventing veteran suicides. We’ve spent a decade making significant investments in suicide prevention programs within the VA system, but that hasn’t changed the number of veterans who take their own life. That’s why I advocated for a new approach and introduced legislation to create a VA grant program to empower veteran-serving non-profits and other community networks to expand their successful programs and reach veterans not using VA resources. Last month, President Trump signed into law the Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act, which includes this new plan.

 

How we take care of and support veterans is a mark of our nation’s character. We have a responsibility to advocate on their behalf and ensure they have access to the benefits and services they have earned. I’m proud to honor their service and sacrifice by supporting legislation, shaping policies and expanding services that help veterans and their families.

 

11-6-20 4:10 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Going Above and Beyond for Foster Children

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Address: Going Above and Beyond for Foster Children
 
 
LITTLE ROCK – November is National Adoption Month in Arkansas, and November 21st is National Adoption Day. Today I’d like to share the story of an amazing employee of the Division of Children and Family Services, which is a part of our state Department of Human Services, or DHS. This employee is typical of the hundreds of DHS employees who care for our most vulnerable children all over Arkansas.

But first, let me start with some good news on our state foster-care and adoption programs. During the last fiscal year, Children and Family Services finalized 872 adoptions, and thirty-six percent of those children went to live with relatives. Of the over 4,300 children in foster care, fifty-five percent were in the system less than a year. Eighty-four percent of the children statewide received a face-to-face monthly visit from a caseworker, and ninety-three percent of those children met face-to-face with a staff member, even those who aren’t a caseworker.

And now to the story.

Ewonda Baker, a twenty-seven-year program assistant for the agency, is one of those employees whose concern for the children extends beyond her duties.

Ewonda was helping to look after two boys – one six and the other eleven. She took the younger boy to school every day. On October 12th, she arrived as usual at 6:45 at the foster home. When the boys didn’t come out, she called the foster mother, only to learn she was in the hospital with COVID-19; the boys were quarantining with the foster father.

The next morning, Ewonda called to check on the foster mother, and learned that the foster father was now sick and likely needed to be hospitalized. Ewonda volunteered to care for the boys until Family Services could find a place for them. She put on her mask, shield, gloves, and rolled down the windows in her van. The boys climbed into the back seat, and she drove to a testing site. Guess what, both boys tested positive. As Family Services staff searched for a placement to take the boys temporarily, Ewonda stayed in the vehicle with the boys for hours.

When Family Services couldn’t find a family that could take the boys, Ewonda volunteered. She already had been with the boys. Family Services accepted Ewonda’s offer and sent the trio to a quarantine house in Searcy that one of the Division’s partners, Methodist Family Health, provided. Ewonda, who has five grown children, said the decision wasn’t difficult. Someone had to take care of the kids.

They were the only occupants of the fully furnished quarantine house. For fourteen days, Ewonda checked the boys’ temperature twice a day and helped them stay on track with their schoolwork. They never developed symptoms. The boys, who aren’t brothers, have been placed with other families. The foster father remains in the hospital but is improving.

Health Department guidelines required Ewonda to quarantine for another fourteen days. She can return to work after November 6. She is also back at home with her husband, Brian, who is pastor of St. Mark Community Church in Jacksonville.

Ewonda says her job is more than a job. It’s a ministry. “These kids are more than a file folder,” she says. “These are people who need our help, our love, and compassion.”

Thank you, Ewonda, and all the other employees of DHS who have chosen to help other Arkansans, often at great inconvenience and sometimes at the risk to their own health. I am always amazed by stories such as Ewonda’s but never surprised. That’s who Arkansans are. Many of you have accepted the call to foster or adopt children. Because of you, our foster children have a better life now and a bright future.
 
11-6-20 3:13 P.M. KAWX.ORG 

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Senator Larry Teague's Weekly Column

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

November 6, 2020

 

LITTLE ROCK – The state is helping people who have trouble paying their rent because of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

People affected by the pandemic are eligible for help if their household income is less than 80 percent of the median income in their area. They can qualify for two-and-a-half months of rent under the newly created Fresh Start program.

 

Money comes from about $10 million in relief grants received by the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and the Arkansas CARES Act Steering Committee. It will be administered by the Arkansas Community Action Agencies Association (ACAA).

 

To get help, apply to your local Community Action Agency, which are non-profit organizations. There are 15 in Arkansas and they serve all 75 counties in the state.

 

The CARES Act Steering Committee comprises top state officials appointed by the governor. The group considers how best to allocate about $1.25 billion in federal relief funds approved by Congress at the beginning of the pandemic.

 

The state Secretary of Commerce, who is over the AEDC, said that short-term rental assistance provided through the Fresh Start program would benefit both renters and landlords.

 

A recent survey by the United States Census Bureau estimated that as many as 139,000 Arkansas households are in danger of not being able to pay rent, specifically because of financial hardships created by the pandemic.

 

If you’re interested in applying for rental assistance, a list of community action agencies and their contact information is available on the ACAA website. It is at acaa.org.

 

Click on the tab first tab on the front page of the site, which is labeled “Emergency Services.”  It opens to a new page, and Rent Payment Assistance Information is the top tab on the new page. If you click on it, you will see a list of the 15 community action agencies in Arkansas and their contact information. It also lists the counties that each agency serves.

 

College Athletics

 

State-supported colleges and universities spent $191.5 million last year on athletics, which was 4.8 percent below the amount they spent the previous year.

 

State law requires the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board to set uniform standards for institutions to report athletic expenditures, so that comparisons are fair.

 

The bulk of the money spent on athletics was generated by income from athletic events, such as ticket sales and souvenir sales. That category generated $115 million, or more than 59 percent of the total.

 

Student fees for athletics generated more than $26 million, which amounted to 13.5 percent of the total spent on sports.

 

The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville accounted for the lion’s share of athletic spending, about $117 million. Arkansas State University at Jonesboro was second, spending about $21 million on athletics last year.

 

The University of Central Arkansas at Conway spent about $13 million on athletics, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock spent $9 million, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff spent $7.8 million and Arkansas Tech University in Russellville spent about $6 million.

 

Seven of the state’s two-year colleges spent $1.7 million on athletics.

 

About 8 percent of athletic department spending came from transfers from colleges and universities’ education and general accounts. That amounted to $15.7 million.

 

11-6-20 9:29 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Polk County Circuit Court Arraignments

 

All criminal information is merely an accusation and the Defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. Prosecuting Attorney Andy Riner, within and for the 18th-West Judicial District of the State of Arkansas, of which Polk County is a part, in the name and by the authority of the State of Arkansas, on oath, do hereby accuse the defendants of committing in Polk County, Arkansas the following crimes:

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Christopher Pollard, White male, age 25, Count I: Theft Of Property, a Class "B" Felony. 10-27-20

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Rhett H. Loyd, White Male, age 23, Count I: Possession Of Methamphetamine With The Purpose To Deliver, a Class "B" Felony. Count II: Possession Of A Controlled Substance, a Class "A" Misdemeanor. Count III: Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class "D" Felony. Count IV: Refusal To Submit To Arrest, a Class "B" Misdemeanor. Count V: Contributing To The Delinquency Of A Juvenile, a Class "A" Misdemeanor. Count VI: Disorderly Conduct, a Class "C" Misdemeanor. 10-27-20

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Coty Michael Stiers, White Male, age 29, Count I: Possession Of A Schedule II Controlled Substance (Methamphetamine), a Class "C" Felony. Count II: Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class "D" Felony. 10-27-20

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Thomas Lee Kidwell, White Male, age 41, Count I: Commercial Burglary, a Class "C" Felony. Count II: Criminal Mischief In 1ST Degree, a Class "A" Misdemeanor. 10-28-20

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Tony Caldwell, White Male, age 65, Count I: Possession Of A Schedule II Controlled Substance, a Class "D" Felony. The State of Arkansas intends to pursue enhanced penalties due to the fact that he has been convicted of four (4) or more felonies. 11-3-20

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Joe Kind, White Male, age 38, Count I: Possession Of A Schedule I Or II Controlled Substance (Psilocybin), a Class "D" Felony. Count II: Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class "D" Felony. Count III: Possession Of A Schedule I Or II Controlled Substance (Fentanyl), a Class "D" Felony. Count IV: Possession Of Methamphetamine With The Purpose To Deliver, a Class "D" Felony. Count V: Tampering With Physical Evidence, a Class "B" Misdemeanor. 11-3-20

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Michael Thomas, White Male, age 34, Count I: Possession Of Methamphetamine With The Purpose To Deliver, a Class "C" Felony. Count II: Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class "D" Felony. Count III: Possession Of A Controlled Substance, a Class "A" Misdemeanor. Count IV: Possession Of A Schedule I Or II Controlled Substance (Psilocybin), a Class "D" Felony. The State of Arkansas intends to pursue enhanced penalties due to the fact that he has been convicted of four (4) or more felonies. 11-3-20

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Jamie Crider, White Female, age 31, Count I: Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class "D" Felony. Count II: Possession Of Methamphetamine With The Purpose To Deliver, a Class "C" Felony. Count III: Possession Of A Schedule I Or II Controlled Substance, a Class "D" Felony. Count IV: Possession Of A Controlled Substance, a Class "A" Misdemeanor. Count V: Maintaining A Drug Premises, a Class "C" Felony. 11-3-20

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Charles Sherwood, White Male, age 49, Count I: Failure To Appear, a Class "C" Felony. 11-4-20

 

State of Arkansas Vs. Dennis Hopper, White Male, age 45, Count I: Possession Of A Schedule I Or II Controlled Substance, a Class "D" Felony. Count II: Possession Of A Schedule III Controlled Substance, a Class "A" Misdemeanor. Count III: Possession Of A Schedule VI Controlled Substance, a Class "A" Misdemeanor. Count IV: Assault In The Third Degree, a Class "C" Misdemeanor. Count V: Terroristic Threatening, a Class "D" Felony. 11-4-20

 

11-5-20 6:37 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

 

 

 

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Arkansas Youth Deer Hunt November 7th-8th

The kickoff to modern gun season is less than two weeks away, but hunters under 16 will get an early crack at a deer this weekend during the Arkansas modern gun youth deer hunt.

 

Only hunters 6-15 may harvest deer during the modern gun youth deer hunt. Youths who have not completed hunter education must be under the direct supervision of an adult at least 21 years old. Mentors may not hunt any species during the hunt. Youth who have completed hunter education may legally hunt on their own at their parent or guardian’s discretion.

 

Youth hunters are allowed to take bucks during the youth hunt and during regular deer season without regard to antler-point restrictions for both of the bucks in their seasonal bag limit. They must follow modern gun deer zone limits, and deer taken during the youth hunt count toward their seasonal bag limit.

 

This year youth hunters will need their own unique Customer Identification Number to check their deer upon harvest. The CID number is free to obtain and will remain with the hunter throughout their life. Anyone who already has purchased a hunting license or applied for a permit hunt of any kind has already been issued a CID number and will use that to check their deer.

 

In years past, hunters would check a deer of a youth hunter to the mentor’s license or explain to the operator receiving the call that it was a youth hunter and the deer would be recorded with the youth’s name and date of harvest. However, if the youth needed to refer to their checking number later for any reason, finding that number required a call to the AGFC and database requests. With hundreds to thousands of such requests possible each year, the system was in need of a change.

 

“The requests from the tens of thousands of records of youth deer harvests added up to a lot of staff time and frustration for our young hunters,” Brad Carner, chief of wildlife management for the AGFC, said. “But with their own CID, hunters can look up their checked deer on the AGFC’s smartphone app. They also can speed up any requests by giving their unique number to the operator and get results almost instantly.”

 

Carner explained the CID would be issued the first time a hunter purchases their hunting license at 16, and it is only needed when the hunter goes to check their deer.

 

“There have been some misconceptions that the CID is required to hunt, but it’s only required once the youth needs to check a deer,” Carner said. “But it would be smart to go ahead and get one for your youth hunter so you don’t have to worry about it when trying to check a deer in the woods.”

 

Hunters have 12 hours from the time of harvest to check deer and other big game animals in Arkansas. If a hunter cannot immediately check their deer before moving it, they must tag the deer with any piece of paper or material with their name, address, date and time of harvest and the sex of the deer. Once the deer is checked, this tag may be removed. Once checked, physical tags are no longer necessary as long as the deer remains within the hunter’s immediate presence. If the hunter leaves the deer at a camp, processor or other location before arriving home, the deer’s carcass must be tagged with the hunter’s name, address, date and time of harvest, and sex of the deer if it has not been checked. The check confirmation number must also be included if the deer has been checked. Deer may be checked online at www.agfc.com, by phone at 877-731-5627 or through the AGFC’s smartphone app (available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store). The app even allows a hunter to check a deer without a cell phone signal.

 

Visit www.agfc.com for more information on the modern gun youth deer hunt. Obtain a free Customer ID number by clicking the “Buy Licenses/Check Game” button at the top of the page and creating a new customer profile for your youth hunter.

 

iPhone users download or update the AGFC app here.

 

Android users download or update the AGFC app here.

 

11-5-20 8:06 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Weekly Arkansas Fishing Report

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for Nov. 4, 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 for the lake or stream you plan to fish for current news. Note: msl = mean sea level; cfs = cubic feet per second. All Corps of Engineers lake and river readings were taken at 10 a.m. the day of publication.

 

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

 

Quick links to regions:

 

Central Arkansas

 

North Arkansas

 

Northwest Arkansas

 

Northeast Arkansas

 

Southeast Arkansas

 

Southwest Arkansas

 

South-Central Arkansas

 

West-Central Arkansas

 

East Arkansas

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

11-4-20 3:15 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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JP Coogan and Councilman Gibson Defeated, Other Local Election Results

 

Polk County, Arkansas Local Election Results

 

There are 20,049 people in Polk County, 12,129 are eligible to vote, 8,497 or 70% of them did vote either by Absentee, Early, or on Election Day.

 

With 9 of 9 Vote Centers, Absentee and Early all reporting, below are the Complete but Unofficial Results for the local contested races.

 

NOTE-There are military and provisional ballots out and it is possible that they could change the outcome of a very close race.

 

The apparent winners are bolded.

 

JP District #3

Harold Coogan 324 or 38.57%

Levi Ellison 516 or 61.43%

 

JP District #5

Troy Lunsford 419 51.10%

Scott Kiersey 401 or 48.90%

 

Mena City Council Ward 3 Position 2

Ed Gibson 1,004 or 48.04%

Larry Stewart 1,086 or 51.96%

 

Hatfield City Council Position 1

Diane Osborne 57 or 48.72%

Paige Self 60 or 51.28%

 

Constable Potter Township

Eddie Price 575 or 71.70%

James Richardson 227 or 28.30%

 

Constable Eagle Township

Jimmy Titsworth 103 or 38.01%

Ray Hagler 168 or 61.99%

 

Issue 1, the .5 percent permanent sales tax for roads, passed in Polk County and statewide. Issue 2, changes term limits to twelve consecutive years for state legislators with the opportunity to return after a four-year break, passed in Polk County and statewide. Issue 3, changes initiative process and legislative referral requirements, failed in Polk County and statewide.

 

Issues 4, 5 and 6 were removed from the ballot. 

 

While the outcome of the Presidential Election won't be known for some time, President Donald Trump received 7,018 votes or 82.88% in Polk County. Former Vice President Joe Biden received 1,242 or 14.67%.

 

US Senator Tom Cotton and Congressman Bruce Westerman, who represents Polk County, were easily re-elected. 

 

State Representatives John Maddox and Marcus Richmond, as well as a number of Justices of the Peace (Quorum Court Members) and City Councilmen were re-elected without opposition.

 

The Polk County Election Commission will meet Monday November 9, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. in the conference room of the Polk County Courthouse to review all provisional ballots cast during the November General Election, according to Polk County Clerk Terri Harrison. All meetings of the County Election Commission are open to the public.

 

11-4-20 9:33 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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UA Rich Mountain Names Softball Field in Honor of Cecil-Cummings Family

UARM Chancellor Dr. Phillip Wilson has announced that the new collegiate softball field being constructed at McMillan Park will be named the Cecil-Cummings Field in honor of the family’s donation made by Rhonda Weatherford and her three sons, Aaron, Brandon and Calvin Cummings to support Bucks Athletics and the Nursing Program, of which Rhonda is an alumnus. Rhonda was the only child of Don Cecil, founder of the Don’s E-Z Pay stores, which now boasts 7 locations across southwest Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma.

 

“A gift such as this, especially from an alumnus, is such an honor to receive because it demonstrates not only their approval, but more importantly, their belief in our vision and what we’re building. This gift goes far beyond just reinvesting in the local community. Generations for years to come will be the benefactors of this generosity,” said Dr. Wilson.

 

Standing on the freshly laid sod at McMillan Park, UA Rich Mountain administration and coaching staff announced the naming of the new collegiate softball field as the Cecil-Cummings Field to honor a generous gift to its Foundation. Rhonda Weatherford, joined by her three sons, Aaron, Brandon and Calvin Cummings, have made a $144,000 donation to the Foundation to support Bucks Athletics and the Nursing Program

 

Rhonda Weatherford knows first-hand how instrumental UA Rich Mountain can be in transforming lives with purpose. She earned her GED at the age of 21 from Rich Mountain when classes met at City Hall under the instruction of Pat Phillips. She then returned to Rich Mountain Vo-Tech to become an LPN. “Ms. Sheppard was the instructor… she was a retired Army nurse,” said Rhonda. “There were 12 in my class at that time.” She stated that she was inspired to go into nursing following the pre-mature birth of her first son, Aaron, who spent 10 weeks in a neo-natal unit.

 

Following that experience, Rhonda’s dream of becoming a veterinarian transitioned to the nursing profession, “I love to help people, especially the elderly.” Rhonda continued her nursing education, commuting to Poteau, in pursuit of her RN licensure. “It was very demanding as I remember; clinicals were in Fort Smith.” She said she’s never forgotten the encouragement she received from her dad, who had been a trailblazer in the rent to own furniture/appliance business. He was part of a three-man group who wrote by-laws and drafted early contracts to establish the industry in Arkansas. “People thought the concept was crazy at the time.”

 

She said circumstances warranted her to join her dad in managing their then three stores (Mena, Waldron, DeQueen) in 1996, but she continued working as a nurse. The first order of business was getting all of the stores computerized, which took a year.

 

Her dad passed in 2008, always wanting to open one more store. So, when the opportunity came to open a store in Idabel, Rhonda seized it and added to their growing list of operations. “We had so many customers from that area, it just made sense. We now have third generation customers there and we’re so grateful for their loyalty and support.” Another location was later opened in Broken Bow as well. “Our customers are what’s made it all. They are a hard-working group of people.”

 

Her sons have since joined the business: Brandon in 2009, Aaron in 2011, and Calvin in 2015. “They’ve each found their niche, and slowly, we’ve figured out how to all work together.” The boys saw the opportunity to open a store in Poteau five years ago and have recently begun the process to open a location in Booneville. “But that’s enough,” said Rhonda smiling. “We have a great team that works for us, and on average our employees are with us for a long time. One regional manager began with us 26 years ago doing deliveries.”

 

She is incredibly complimentary of the transformation that Rich Mountain has undergone since she first came to earn her GED, “It’s just unbelievable… its leaders, past and present, who all truly care about education and providing opportunities to the people of this area… without Rich Mountain, this community wouldn’t be what it is.”

 

11-3-20 4:20 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

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Polk County Sheriff's Report for October 26th - November 1st

 

SHERIFF’S LOG

 

The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of October 26, 2020 – November 1, 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.

 

October 26, 2020

Report from a convenience store on 71S near Hatfield of an incident involving a credit card.

 

October 27, 2020

Report of a disturbance led to the arrest of Christopher D. Brown, 36, of Mena on a Charge of Disorderly Conduct.

Report from complainant on Polk 24 near Cove of a stolen vehicle. Deputy responded.

Report of a disturbance led to the arrest of Lonnie R. Fairless, 48, of Smithville, Oklahoma on a Charge of Public Intoxication.

Arrested was Jarad A. Miller, 21, of Gillham on a Charge of Driving While Intoxicated.

 

October 28, 2020

Report from complainant on Bruster Lane near Potter of receiving threatening text messages. Deputy responded.

Report of an accident on Hwy 8W near Shady Grove led to the arrest of John E. Phillips, 23, of Mena on a Charge of Public Intoxication.

 

October 29, 2020

No reports filed.

 

October 30, 2020

Report from complainant on West Johnson near Hatfield of being scammed online. Deputy responded.

Report of an accident in a pasture. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant on Polk 42 near Potter of a vehicle being vandalized. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant on Polk 614 near Acorn of dogs killing chickens. Deputy responded.

Report of an accident on Polk 76E near Acorn led to the arrest of David A. Nix, 19, of Mena on a Charge of Driving While Intoxicated.

Arrested by Deputies with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and an Officer with the Drug Task Force was Joe T. King, 38, of Malvern, Arkansas on Charges of Possession of Schedule I or II, Possession of Meth or Cocaine, Possession of Schedule I or II, Tampering with Physical Evidence, and a Hold for Other Agency.

Arrested by Deputies with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and an Officer with the Drug Task Force was Jamie M. Crider, 34 of Mena on Charges of Possession of Meth or Cocaine, Possession of Schedule VI and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Arrested by Deputies with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and an Officer with the Drug Task Force was Tony L. Caldwell, 65, of Mena on a Charge of Possession of Schedule I or II.

Arrested by Deputies with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and an Officer with the Drug Task Force was Michael A. Thomas, 34, of Shawnee, Oklahoma on Charges of Possession of Meth or Cocaine, Possession of Schedule VI and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Arrested by a Trooper with the Arkansas State Police was Gary E. Allen, 39, of Mena on a Charge of Driving While Intoxicated, Public Intoxication, and Speeding.

 

October 31, 2020

Report from out of state complainant of an incident with an acquaintance. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant on Polk 181 near Ink of damage to a mailbox. Deputy responded.

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

Report from complainant on Polk 601 near Shady of wanting an individual to leave their property. Deputy responded.

 

November 1, 2020

Report from complainant on Deshong Lane near Cherry Hill of unauthorized purchases on a credit card. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant on Polk 125 near Rocky of damage done to two tires valued at $100.00. Deputy responded. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for further consideration.

Report from complainant of items taken from a vehicle while left in a parking lot. Deputy responded.

Report from complainant on Polk 194 near Ink of issues involving juveniles. Deputy responded.

Report of an unattended death on Polk 47 near Shady Grove. Deputy responded.

 

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

 

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 16 Incarcerated Inmates, with 8 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

 

PC20-01025

 

11-3-20 8:33 a.m. KAWX.ORG

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Mena Police Report for October 25th - 31st

 

Mena Police Department Reports for the Week of October 25, 2020 through October 31, 2020 

 

 

October 25, 2020

 

A report of dogs running at large was taken on Reeves Street.

 

A report of missing dogs was taken on Oak Grove Avenue.

 

Donald Hummel, 27, was charged with Criminal Trespass after a complaint from Walmart.

 

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

 

October 26, 2020

 

A report of harassment and terroristic threatening was taken from a person at China Restaurant.

 

A report of theft of property (shoplifting) was taken from Walmart.

 

Taylor Higgins, 25, was served with a warrant in the lobby of the jail.

 

James Brown, 56, was served with a warrant in the lobby of the jail.

 

Samuel Bloodworth, 21, was charged with Theft of Property (Shoplifting) after a complaint from Walmart.

 

Barbie Connell, 35, was charged with Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia after a disturbance call to Bonner Circle.

 

October 27, 2020

 

A Commercial Burglary report was taken on Dallas Avenue.

 

Jessi Condor, 33, was served with two warrants in the lobby of the jail.

 

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

 

October 28, 2020

 

A missing person report was taken on Amsterdam Street.

 

A report of breaking or entering was taken on Southerland Avenue.

 

October 29, 2020

 

Logan Jacobs, 25, was served with a warrant for Internet Stalking of a Child, and two other warrants after being extradited from McCurtain County Oklahoma.

 

A report of criminal trespass was taken on Port Arthur Avenue.

 

October 30, 2020

 

No reports taken.

 

October 31, 2020

 

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

 

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

 

11-3-20 7:06 a.m. KAWX.ORG

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Election Day 2020 November 3rd - Vote Centers in Polk County open 7:30 am to 7:30 pm

The much anticipated Presidential Election of 2020 is finally here. Even though almost 100 million voted early, turnout on Election Day is expected to be good, including here in Polk County, Arkansas.

 
Early Voting in Polk County brought out 5,694 people, which is 47% of the registered voters according to County Clerk Terri Harrison.
 
Many people commented how well organized, easy and quick it was to vote early. Election workers had to not only handle the voting, but deal with social distancing and sanitizing equipment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Election Day will be no different. Why not offer to drive a friend or relative to a vote center on Election Day? 
 
Vote Centers (polling locations) will be open Election Day, November 3rd, from 7:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. See the list with addresses below.
 
Registered voters may vote at any Vote Center in the County.
 
I will have live election results for the local races on KENA and on my personal Facebook page as they become available. 
 

VOTE CENTERS-POLK COUNTY, ARKANSAS 2020-GENERAL ELECTION

 

VOTE CENTER #1

DEQUEEN STREET ARMORY

601 DEQUEEN STREET

MENA, AR 71953

 

VOTE CENTER #2

FIRST BAPTIST FELLOWSHIP HALL

811 PORT ARTHUR (8TH STREET SIDE)

MENA, AR 71953

 

VOTE CENTER #3

AMERICAN LEGION BUILDING

3253 HWY 71 N.

MENA, AR 71953

 

VOTE CENTER #4

CONCORD BAPTIST CHURCH

3467 HWY 88 E.

MENA, AR 71953

 

VOTE CENTER #5

SALEM BAPTIST CHURCH

115 POLK ROAD 56

MENA, AR 71953

 

VOTE CENTER #6

HATFIELD AUDITORIUM

117 CEMETERY ROAD

HATFIELD, AR 71945

 

VOTE CENTER #7

COVE TOWN HALL

5568 HWY 71 S.

COVE, AR 71937

 

VOTE CENTER #8

WICKES COMMUNITY CENTER

136 STEVENSON DR.

WICKES, AR 71973

 

VOTE CENTER #9

GRANNIS TOWN HALL

132 FRACHISEUR ROAD

GRANNIS, AR 71944

 
 
 
 

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