KAWX News Archives for 2021-11

Polk County Sheriff's Report for November 22ND - 28TH

SHERIFF’S LOG

 

The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of November 22, 2021 – November 28, 2021. 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 22, 2021

Phillip Riley, 52 of Cove was arrested on a Misdemeanor Warrant for Theft of Property and two Misdemeanor Warrants for Failure to Appear.

 

November 23, 2021

Deputies were dispatched to an address on Florence Street near Vandervoort in reference to a dog being shot.

A traffic stop on Polk 45 near Mena led to the arrest of Jared White, 36 of Hot Springs Village on charges of DWI and Driving Left of Center.

 

November 24, 2021

Shannon House, 54 of Hatfield was arrested on a Felony Failure to Appear Warrant.

Deputies were dispatched to a domestic disturbance at a residence on Hidden Lane near Mena.

Deputies responded to a walk-in complaint of a vehicle being stolen from Cardinal Lane near Acorn.

Veronica Maddox, 24 of Kansas City, KS was arrested on a Felony Failure to Appear Warrant.

 

November 25, 2021

Deputies responded to a complaint of a vehicle being taken without permission.

 

November 26, 2021

Deputies were dispatched to an address on Polk 32 near Cove in reference to a structure fire.

 

November 27, 2021

A report of a domestic disturbance led to the arrest of Amanda Davis, 36 of Hatfield on a charge of Public Intoxication.

While patrolling on Hwy 71 N near Acorn, deputies performed a welfare check leading to the arrest of Taylor Higgins, 26 of Mena on a charge of Public Intoxication.

Deputies were dispatched to a property on Polk 59 near Board Camp in reference to theft of property.

Deputies responded to a Criminal Mischief complaint at a residence on Polk 24 near Cove.

Deputies were dispatched to a residence on Polk 90 near Acorn in reference to Criminal Mischief.

A patrol on Polk 41N near Mena led to the arrest of Zachary Bryan.

 

November 28, 2021

Deputies responded to a report of the dispatchers being harassed via phone.

After an altercation on Polk 90 near Acorn, Justin Abbott, 39 of Mena was arrested on a charge of Third-Degree Battery.

Polk County Sheriff’s Office worked 2 vehicle accidents this week.

 

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 19 Incarcerated Inmates, with 12 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

 

PC21-00985

 

11-29-21 4:30 p.m. KAWX.ORG

Mena Police Report for November 21ST - 27TH

Mena Police Department reports for the week of November 21st through November 27th, 2021

 

November 21

A report of a dog bite was taken at a residence on South Cherry Street.

 

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

 

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

 

November 22

A report of forgery was taken from Branding Iron.

 

A report of sexual indecency with a child was taken from a walk-in complainant.

 

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

 

November 23

A report of harassment was taken from a person at Walmart.

 

A report of theft was taken at a residence on 4th Street.

 

Lesia Land, 62, was served with a warrant at the police department.

 

November 24

A report of violation of a protection order was taken at a residence on Dixon Road.

 

A report of assault was taken at a residence on 10th Street.

 

Cheryl Smith, 32, was served with two warrants at a residence on Dixon Road.

 

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

 

A report of theft was taken at a residence on West Boundary Road.

 

November 25

Samuel Dawson, 29, was charged with Theft of Property after a complaint on Vivian Street.

 

Rachel Turner, 44, was charged with Disorderly Conduct and Resisting Arrest after a disturbance call to Mountain View Drive.

 

November 26

A report of unlawful burning was taken at a residence on Locust Street.

 

November 27

A report of criminal trespass was taken at Atwood’s.

 

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

 

11-29-21 11:01 a.m. KAWX.ORG

Governor Asa Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: The Importance of Thanksgiving
 
 
 
 
LITTLE ROCK – Today I’d like to talk about the importance of Thanksgiving, but first I have to talk turkey. Arkansas turkey to be exact. Turkeys are one of Arkansas’s many claims to fame for which we can be thankful, right up there with the Buffalo National River and the World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest, which starts Friday.
 
In 2020, Arkansas farmers raised 31 million turkeys, which puts Arkansas second in the nation for the number of turkeys raised. That’s 595 million pounds, which is 14 percent of all turkeys produced in the United States.
 
The Arkansas turkey industry creates and supports over 17,500 jobs. Cargill and Butterball, two of the largest turkey companies in the United States, have facilities in four Arkansas cities: Jonesboro, Springdale, Huntsville, and Ozark. Every Butterball-branded whole turkey is raised in Arkansas.
 
If we kept all Arkansas-raised turkeys in the state, each of our more than 3 million residents could have approximately ten turkeys. That’s not how life works, unfortunately. And as we observe the second Thanksgiving of the pandemic, some of our family, friends, and neighbors are struggling to put food on the table.
 
Many have lost loved ones to COVID-19, and the cost of fuel, food, and merchandise has increased over the past year.
 
During this time of year, we become acutely aware of the plight of the less fortunate, and our nonprofit organizations are tireless in their efforts to help. The Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, the state’s six food banks, and the more than 700 agencies that distribute food around the state are running at full steam to assist as many people as possible.
 
But with all the challenges, there is much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. The United States has observed a day of thanks all the way back to our founding. But it was Abraham Lincoln who made it official with a proclamation in October of 1863, a decision that was rooted in his desire to see an end to the Civil War and peace among all the states.
 
In words that remain as timely as the day he read them, the President noted that the nation had continued to prosper in spite of the war, and that except on the fields of battle, “order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere.”
 
Mr. Lincoln recommended that as Americans thanked God for his protection, they also should care for those who had become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers.
 
He asked Americans to “fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation, and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.”
 
His words are a constant reminder to trust God and be thankful.
 
11-26-21 6:35 a.m. KAWX.ORG 
 

State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

Small businesses are the heartbeat of our neighborhoods and the lifeblood of our local economy. 

 

In Arkansas, small businesses make up the majority of the business landscape, at 99.3% of all businesses in the state. This equates to 258,552 businesses. Small businesses can be found in every corner of our state. 

 

Small Business Saturday is the day after Black Friday. It is a day to celebrate and support small businesses and what they do for communities. If you are looking for a way to find unique gifts while also supporting the local economy, Small Business Saturday is the perfect day to do so.

 

When you shop locally, you support your neighbors and community. Local businesses are owned by people who live in our towns. They go to our churches, donate to our Little League teams, and show up to parent/teacher conferences. 

 

It is estimated that for every $100 spent in a local business, $68 dollars recirculates and remains in the local economy. Small businesses employ 47.1% of Arkansas employees, or 491,383 people total. Women own 43.1% of small businesses in Arkansas. Veterans own 9.3%, and racial minorities own 12.8%.

 

When you shop at small businesses, you are doing business with someone who took a chance on their dreams. The employees are likely personally invested in the products or services they are selling. That often means they can provide more specific product expertise and a personalized shopping experience.

 

Your small purchase can make a big difference this year. Our small business owners are emerging from one of the most challenging economic times in our history. 

 

Despite the difficulties posed by the past year, Arkansas was recently ranked no. 2 for states with the most pandemic-proof small businesses. Personal finance website WalletHub compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia’s small business environment, determining which states’ small businesses were the most pandemic-proof and had the greatest potential to bounce back. Your continued support helped to make this a reality. We encourage you to support small businesses in your community this holiday season and year-round.

 

11-26-21 6:30 a.m. KAWX.ORG

US Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column

Keeping Seniors Safe from Scams

 

More shoppers turn to online retail to fulfill Christmas wish lists and fill stockings. As we search for gifts to give loved ones this holiday season it’s important to safeguard our information so we can protect our personal data from cyber criminals and teach those who are most vulnerable how to avoid becoming victims.

 

Last year, nearly 800,000 individuals called the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. More than 25 percent of the victims were older than 60 and accounted for $1 billion in losses as a result of Internet scams. Nearly $100 million was lost to COVID-related hoaxes.

 

It is vital that seniors know how to protect themselves and their finances from these schemes and can prevent becoming a target in the future. In order to save our loved ones from potential thieves, we must familiarize ourselves with common tactics and scams.

 

The pandemic exacerbated internet fraud at a time when all Americans were searching for hope and security. In the early months, seniors were more isolated and unguarded than ever and many dishonest scammers saw this as an opportunity to further deceive and steal from this vulnerable population.

 

Con artists have developed a series of fake scenarios that force seniors to make fast decisions and urge them to give up sensitive personal information.

 

One of the most shameful schemes is commonly referred to as the “romance scam” which is blamed for $340 million in losses just last year. In this ploy the fraudster targets a widowed senior and manipulates them into sending money or personal information.

 

Other scams place Medicare and Social Security benefits in the crosshairs, with impersonators portraying agency officials, as well as thieves continuing to promote unproven COVID-19 cures.

 

The issue is one officials at all levels of government are working to combat. Locally, Better Business Bureaus have flagged these warning signs and are educating consumers about what to look out for so we can stop this theft before it happens. In Arkansas, the Attorney General’s office is holding those who swindle our seniors accountable. 

 

At the federal level, the Federal Trade Commission has a division devoted to consumer information and increasing awareness about avoiding and reporting scams. My colleagues on the Senate Special Committee on Aging recently released a fraud book with instructions, tips and guidelines to avert and deal with such situations. I strongly encourage all Arkansans to consult this resource to learn more about scams aimed at older adults so we can protect those we care about.

 

The committee has created a toll-free Fraud Hotline at 1-855-303-9470 where committee staff will provide callers with information to report incidences to the proper officials. If you or someone you know has suffered from one of these scams or feel you are currently being subjected to one, do not hesitate to call this hotline.

 

This is one way we can fight back and take control from those who hide behind screens and shamelessly steal from their victims.

 

This issue requires all Arkansans to be mindful of the risks and dangers of fraud on the Internet and work together to combat these scammers and especially protect our senior community. Criminals will continue to find new ways to be a scrooge during the holidays, but by educating ourselves we can stay one step ahead of their hoaxes.

 

11-26-21 6:20 a.m. KAWX.ORG

 

State Senator Larry Teague's Weekly Column

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

November 26, 2021

 

LITTLE ROCK – State agencies have experienced the same problems as many companies with difficulty hiring entry-level employees.

 

Several agencies have contacted the state Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to report a difficulties attracting applicants for available positions.

 

OPM put together a proposal that allows for higher entry-level salaries for all state agencies and presented it to legislators in June.

 

A broad approach was proposed, rather than simply raising salaries at a few specific agencies. OPM was aware of the possibility of a ripple effect that would cause employees to leave one agency to work at another.

 

“This becomes particularly critical at the county levels where everyone tracks the salaries of others,” OPM officials wrote in a letter to the Legislative Council’s Personnel Subcommittee.

 

“There has been increased media attention regarding salary increases of jobs within the national economy requiring less strenuous qualifications and duties,” OPM officials wrote.

 

Some private companies offer bonuses and some help new employees pay their college tuition. The letter specifically mentioned salary increases announced by Walmart, Tyson, Chipotle, McDonald’s and Amazon.

 

The Personnel Subcommittee reviewed the request for higher salaries for jobs at the bottom of the scale. Not all state agencies have taken advantage and raised salaries, but some major divisions have.

 

For example, the state Board of Correction has approved changes to its pay grid that will raise salaries for more than 3,500 prison staff.

 

According to the Office of Personnel Management letter, other agencies have experienced difficulty hiring new staff, including the Human Services Department and the Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism.

 

Employees could receive raises as high as $5,000 a year, depending on their duties and their job’s slot in the state pay grid.

 

In their request for authority to raise entry-level salaries, officials at the Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) mentioned the pressures on the Office of Child Support Enforcement. The office has about 600 employees in 27 offices around Arkansas.

 

Their work is high volume and demands acute accuracy. They prepare documents for legal cases that are often contested by one of the parties in a divorce or child support case.

 

Employees must communicate professionally with parents of children in disputed cases, and with businesses that employ those parents, officials within law enforcement, the judicial system and other state agencies.

 

The work is “often high stress due to the subject matter and the level of conflict that sometimes exists in the families we serve,” DFA officials wrote.

 

Historically, DFA would get 100 applications when a job became available. Now, the agency receives only seven or eight applications for each job opening.

 

Often, the agency offers people jobs and they accept. However, before their first day on the job they will call to say that they have found a better paying job somewhere else.

 

“DFA is simply not able to compete for qualified employees in the current environment,” agency officials said.

 

The pandemic has worsened the problem because many people are concerned about working with a steady flow of customers, such as a revenue office where people renew licenses.

 

11-26-21 6:12 a.m. KAWX.ORG

OLT Presents "A Doublewide Texas Christmas" and Harmony Concert

OLT Presents “A Doublewide Texas Christmas” and Harmony Concert

 

Many Polk County residents look forward to celebrating the Christmas holidays with festive activities from Ouachita Little Theatre. This year, OLT is producing a Jones Hope Wooten comedy entitled “A Doublewide Texas Christmas” directed by Amanda Baker. Performances are scheduled over two weekends on December 3rd, 4th, 5th, 10th, 11th, and 12th.

 

Opening Night (Dec. 3) will start approximately at 8:00 PM to allow patrons to enjoy the festivities downtown, including the fireworks and parade. That performance will begin once the fireworks have ended. The rest of the Friday and Saturday performances will be at 7:30 PM and Sundays at 2:30 PM.

 

This fast-paced comedy is set in of one of the smallest trailer parks in Texas, consisting of four doublewides and a shed. The inhabitants of the trailer park are distressed to learn that the nearby town of Tugaloo is determined to annex them. Confusion and hilarity ensue, and this show is sure to appeal to OLT patrons looking for some original holiday entertainment. Be sure to look for the “Doublewide” cast and crew in the Christmas Parade on December 3!

 

Tickets are on sale now at the OLT office, 610 Mena Street on Thursdays and Fridays from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, and Saturdays from 4:00 PM- 6:00 PM.

 

Also, on Friday, December 17 at 7:30 PM, the musical group HARMONY will once again will bring their musical talents to perform a special live Christmas show for local residents. Donations will be taken at the door which will be split between the musical family and OLT.

 

Happy Holidays from Ouachita Little Theatre!

 

11-23-21 8:35 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

Polk County Sheriff's Report for November 15th - 21st

SHERIFF’S LOG

 

The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of November 15, 2021 – November 21, 2021. 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 15, 2021

Deputies responded to an altercation near Cove. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney for further consideration.

Deputies responded to a report from a walk-in complainant of receiving an unexpected package.

Deputies responded to a report of items taken from a vehicle.

 

November 16, 2021

Deputies were dispatched to a residence on Polk 76 near Acorn in reference to the Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle.

Deputies were dispatched to a residence on Hwy 88E near Ink in reference to a stolen mailbox.

 

November 17, 2021

Deputies responded to a report of a break-in from a walk-in complainant.

Deputies were dispatched to Hay Hurst Lane near Acorn in reference to a vehicle parked on someone’s property.

Deputies responded to a report of tires and wheels being taken from a truck.

 

November 18, 2021

Deputies responded to a walk-in complainant whose motorcycle had been stolen.

Johnny Webb, 41 of Mena was arrested by an officer with Probation/Parole to be held for another agency.

 

November 19, 2021

Deputies were dispatched to a report of an accidental shooting on Polk 410 near Hatfield.

Bobby Shelton, 42 of Mena was arrested by an officer with Arkansas Game and Fish on a Hold for Another Agency.

 

November 20, 2021

Deputies were dispatched to a residence on Hwy 71 South near Hatfield in reference to a missing vehicle.

 

November 21, 2021

Deputies were dispatched to a residence on Polk 18 near Vandervoort in reference to a Verbal Domestic.

 

Polk County Sheriff’s Office worked 3 vehicle accidents this week.

 

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 20 Incarcerated Inmates, with 14 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

 

PC21-00968

 

11-22-21 12:40 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

Mena Police Report for November 14th - 20th

Mena Police Department reports for the week of November 14th through November 20th, 2021

 

November 14

 

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

 

A death investigation report was taken at a residence on South Eve Street.

 

November 15

 

A report of battery 3rd degree was taken from a person at Mena Regional Health System.

 

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

 

A report of harassment was taken from at a residence on Crescent Drive.

 

November 16

 

A report of battery 3rd degree, disorderly conduct, and criminal trespass was taken at a residence on Crescent Drive.

 

Kenneth Clements, 58, was charged with Public Intoxication at District Court.

 

A report of harassment was taken from a person at Greenhouse Cottages.

 

November 17

 

A death investigation report was taken at a residence on Vivian Street.

 

A report of criminal trespass was taken at a residence on 10th Street.

 

November 18

 

Mitchell Symens, 21, was charged with Theft of Property (Shoplifting) at Walmart.

 

A report of theft and breaking or entering was taken from a walk-in complainant.

 

Jesse Jinkins, 41, was served with two warrants at Walmart.

 

November 19

 

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

 

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

 

A report of financial identity fraud was taken at a residence on 7th Street.

 

A report of breaking or entering was taken at Sander’s Moving Company.

 

November 20

 

A report was taken of a dog bite victim at the Men Ark Apartments.

 

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

 

11-22-21 10:05 a.m. KAWX.ORG

US Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column: The Most Expensive Thanksgiving Ever

The Most Expensive Thanksgiving Ever  

There is perhaps no holiday with a stronger connection to food than Thanksgiving. Family and friends gather around the table to enjoy favorites like turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and more. And then of course there’s the pumpkin pie and other sweets that await for dessert.

 

Unfortunately the staples that make the traditional Thanksgiving meal will cost a lot more this year.

 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the wholesale price for the lynchpin of the spread, turkey, will cost nearly 20 percent more than last year. Familiar side dishes like potatoes and green beans could cost 17 percent and 39 percent more, respectively. And count on spending an extra 2 percent to have bread on the table, as much as 29 percent more for the butter to go with it, and onions to add to family-favorite casseroles could be more than double last year’s price.

 

The numbers reported by the American Farm Bureau are even higher. The organization’s annual survey indicates 2021’s average cost of a Thanksgiving dinner for 10 is $53.31. This amounts to a 14 percent increase from last year’s average.

 

For travelers, driving to a Thanksgiving gathering will also be more expensive. Gas prices are the highest they have been in seven years. If guests are staying overnight, their bacon and eggs at breakfast will both cost nearly 30 percent more, according to BLS data. And if it’s cold and you need to keep everyone comfortable, expect to pay more. Energy prices have risen by almost 25 percent. Using either data set brings you to the same conclusion. This will be the most expensive Thanksgiving ever.

 

Not only do all of these holiday fixtures cost more this year, reduced supplies and supply chain disruptions will make many of the Thanksgiving favorites harder to find.

 

This is not the fault of our farmers. It’s not the delivery truck driver’s fault or the store’s fault. The blame falls squarely on the White House and the Democrat leadership in Congress for not addressing the challenges we face today.

 

The economic pressures of the Biden era – labor shortages and higher costs for raw materials and transportation – are raising costs throughout the food supply chain. Retailers are contending with tremendous bottlenecks and complications, which will mean long waits, shortages and higher prices for shoppers.

 

Democrats have done nothing to alleviate to the supply chain struggles. They refuse to address the private sector’s massive labor needs, and their focus on the reckless tax and spending legislation is poised to send inflation to record heights.

 

Americans’ paychecks are being stretched further and further, and that hurts people like seniors on fixed incomes and single parents most. Meanwhile, inflation is rising at a pace not seen in decades. The Consumer Price Index increased 6.2 percent over the last year, reaching a high not seen since December 1990. Food inflation under President Biden’s watch is the highest since the Carter administration.

 

The price tag that accompanies their reckless tax and spend package, estimated by some academics to be as high as $4 trillion, is sure to continue to push inflation even higher.  

 

It’s time for the Democrats to abandon their cradle-to-grave agenda, reach across the aisle and work with Republicans to find bipartisan solutions to bring relief to Arkansans.

 

11-19-21 3:56 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

Next week, most of us will gather around a table with family and friends and think about the things we are most thankful for.

 

This year, we encourage you to think about the men and women who helped bring your meal to the table.

 

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

 

In 2020, Arkansas poultry producers raised 31 million turkeys. We rank 2nd in the nation for turkeys raised, accounting for 14% of all turkeys raised in the United States.

 

The industry is responsible for approximately $4.3 billion in total economic activity throughout the state and supports more than 17,500 Arkansas jobs.

 

When it comes to sweet potatoes, Arkansas farmers harvest more than 4,000 acres every year. Arkansas is the 4th largest producer of sweet potatoes.

 

Arkansas ranks 18th for corn production in the United States, with Arkansas, Lee, and Craighead counties being the top three producing counties. Over 111 million bushels of corn were produced last year in Arkansas on 830 thousand acres.

 

On the surface, soybeans may seem unrelated to your thanksgiving feast. But soybean meal, oil, and soy foods are key to making some of your favorite family traditions possible. Soybean oil is used to make hundreds of foods, including mayonnaise, peanut butter, and ranch dressing. These special ingredients may be the secret to pulling off the perfect pumpkin pie, casserole, and stuffing.

 

Soybeans are Arkansas’ largest row crop accounting for more acres than rice, corn, sorghum, and wheat combined. Arkansas currently ranks 11th in the nation in soybean production, producing more than 139 million bushels annually valued at more than $1.5 billion.

 

Arkansas farmers may have contributed to your dessert menu as well, especially when it comes to the pies. Arkansas has more than 15,736 acres of pecan trees. Arkansas’ commercial pecan production contributes an average of $11 million to the state’s economy every year. The 87th General Assembly designated the pecan as the official nut of Arkansas.

 

Agriculture is Arkansas’ largest industry, providing more than $21 billion in value to Arkansas' economy annually. We thank our farmers for the meal this Thanksgiving and for providing for our dinner tables every day of the year.

 

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.

 

11-19-21 3:53 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

Governor Asa Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Arkansas’s Pillars for Educational Success
 
 
LITTLE ROCK – Today I’d like to talk about the pillars of our education system that allow Arkansans to adapt to an economy that grows more complex and more high-tech by the day. We must preserve and strengthen these pillars for our young people as they pursue satisfying careers.
 
The first pillar is an unshakable commitment to the fundamentals of education: in-classroom learning built upon effective instruction in core subject areas taught by high-quality teachers.
 
In Arkansas, we know that school isn't really school without that pillar. That was one of the crucial considerations when we decided to continue in-person learning throughout the past school year, even in the face of well-intentioned resistance. Arkansas was one of only four states to do that.
 
The value of in-person school — with sports, band, socializing, and teacher contact — over the isolation of remote learning was clear. In rural areas, we boosted teacher pay to retain good teachers so that all students had adequate instruction regardless of their ZIP code.
 
A commitment to the fundamentals goes beyond attending school in person. Core reading and literacy skills are vital to success in the classroom, in life, and in every career path.
 
Here’s a bit of history to confirm our commitment to the basics. In 2017, we saw a pressing need to increase reading skills throughout our schools. We established the Reading Initiative for Student Excellence to provide reading instruction based upon the science of reading emphasizing phonics. We also worked to create a culture of reading in the schools, with individualized help to assure third-grade students read at grade level. This significant initiative will increase the number of students who are reading and performing at the highest level.
 
The second pillar is our commitment to embrace 21st Century tools as we teach the fundamentals. The first step in that was the computer science requirements we implemented. These requirements have set us apart from other states and contributed to our reputation as an attractive state for innovative companies across a host of industries.
 
Our success in Arkansas is proof that we can quickly overcome stereotypes and increase test scores. Computer science was just the beginning. Even before COVID struck, broadband connectivity was fast becoming essential for us to compete with other states. When the CARES Act opened new opportunities for funding, we redoubled our efforts to take broadband to students in rural and low-income areas.
 
The third pillar is our public-private partnerships. When it comes to connectivity and workforce training, the government cannot and should not go it alone. Arkansas’s Ready for Life initiative allows the private sector the opportunity to participate in building our workforce. Ready for Life is a one-stop website where job-seekers, educators, and employers can find each other.
 
That’s our formula. No. 1. Teach the old-school fundamentals. No. 2. Enthusiastically embrace 21st Century tools to teach the fundamentals. No. 3. Enhance public-private partnerships in support of education. Do those three things, and success will come naturally.
 
11-19-21 11:38 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

State Senator Larry Teague's Weekly Column

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

November 19, 2021

 

LITTLE ROCK – In the past couple of years Arkansas has made a massive financial commitment to expanding broadband access to all parts of state.

 

So far $275 million has been approved, and the Legislative Council is set to increase that investment to $400 million when it considers an additional $125 million in broadband proposals at its November meeting.

 

The investment so far has financed 132 projects that have brought high-speed Internet access to 89,276 households. A total of 213,570 Arkansans live in those households.

 

The legislature faces several challenges to make sure that the money is spent effectively. It has hired a consultant to develop a master plan to coordinate the “footprint” of each project, similar to how highway projects are connected.

 

Another challenge requires balancing political and social demands. There are 222,000 households in Arkansas with a yearly income of less than $20,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. About 91,000 of those households have no Internet subscription at all. They probably could not afford an Internet service that exceeds $100 a month.

 

There are 583,000 households with annual incomes between $20,000 and $75,000, and of those 114,000 have no Internet service. Their access to Internet will depend on what is available.

 

Since Arkansas began its program to provide broadband access to rural and unserved areas, the technical requirements have increased.

 

It used to be that the minimum speed required by the Federal Communications Commission was 25/3 megabytes of data per second. The 25/3 refers to upload/download capacity.

 

State officials alerted the legislature to expect higher standards of 100/100 Mbps when new rounds of federal funding become available. Of course, the higher minimum standards have raised the costs of providing broadband.

 

Also, under previous standards broadband could be provided by satellite, fixed wireless connections and fiber optic cables. New standards will limit funding to projects that install fiber optic cables.

 

BroadbandNow, an independent policy research organization, ranks Arkansas 41st in the country in broadband access. The FCC reports that 63 percent of residents in rural Arkansas have access, while 95 percent of the people in urban areas have access.

 

About 57 percent of the state has coverage that allows downloads of 100 Mbps or greater. However, that high performance standard comes at a higher price. When you factor in people’s ability to afford more expensive plans, only 22.8 percent of Arkansans have equitable access to broadband with a minimum capability of 100 Mbps.

 

Legislators will consider whether broadband expansion worsens the “digital divide,” by increasing opportunities for some people while low-income families fall further behind because they cannot afford high-speed Internet service.

 

The digital divide is important because it signifies much more than the capacity to watch movies and television shows. As the pandemic has proven, Internet access affects education, health care and work. Without broadband, there are students who cannot turn in their homework and parents who cannot keep their jobs.

 

Policy makers equate today’s efforts to expand broadband access with rural electrification in the 1930s, and the building of railroads in the 19th century. Broadband allows people to seek opportunity, education and health care outside of their local region.

 

11-19-21 10:16 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

Flags To Half Staff For Deputy Frank Ramirez

Governor Asa Hutchinson has ordered the United States flag and the state flag of Arkansas to be lowered to half-staff in tribute to the memory of Independence County Patrol Deputy Frank Ramirez. Flags will remain at half-staff until the day of interment.

 

Deputy Ramirez died in the line of duty on the morning of Thursday, November 18, 2021, after being involved in a one vehicle accident.

 

Governor Hutchinson released the following statement:

 

“Deputy Frank Ramirez lost his life in service to his community. Susan and I are praying for the comfort of Deputy Ramirez’s wife, two children, extended family, and fellow deputies. Deputy Ramirez’s death is a reminder that there is no such thing as a routine assignment for a police officer. I am grateful that in spite of that risk, hundreds of Arkansas officers such as Deputy Ramirez choose law enforcement as a career and go to work every day to assist and protect the rest of us.”

 

The Governor’s proclamation for Deputy Frank Ramirez can be found HERE.

 

11-18-21 4:47 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

Mena Resident Found Guilty of Negligent Homicide

A Howard County Circuit Court jury this week found a Mena resident guilty on charges that include Negligent Homicide. 
 
23-year-old Chance Austen Manasco was convicted Tuesday evening and sentenced to five years on the Negligent Homicide charge. 
 
Jurors also found him guilty on a felony count of First Degree Battery. 
 
He was sentenced to five years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections on the battery count.  The sentences will run consecutively.  
 
Manasco was charged in 2019, following a motor vehicle accident on Highway 84 near Umpire in northern Howard County. 
 
A passenger in Manasco's vehicle died from injuries received, while at least one other passenger sustained serious injuries. 
 
According to the Arkansas State Police, Manasco's blood alcohol level was above the legal limit at the time of the wreck. 
 
During Tuesday's deliberation process, jurors took nearly two hours to find Manasco guilty and deliberated another 25 minutes on the sentencing phase. 
 
He is being detained in the Howard County Jail in Nashville awaiting transfer to the state prison system.
 
11-17-21 6:15 p.m. KAWX.ORG

Mena School Board Meeting Recap

The Mena School Board had a short agenda to manage on Tuesday (11-16-21)  at the District Administration Building, and predictably, the meeting was brief.
 
In the Superintendent’s Report Dr. Lee Smith informed the board that the Annual Report to the Public has been completed and will be available to view online. Smith also told those in attendance that Covid-19 numbers continue to improve and there have been less than ten people under quarantine for the last two weeks . Finally he noted that they served 670 Thanksgiving meals at Louise Durham Elementary on Tuesday to students and guests. The other campuses will serve the meal later this week.
 
Smith then suggested that the district liquidate their older, high mileage vehicles and take advantage of a special state school vehicle fleet contract that is available through Red River Dodge. The board approved.
 
Next Maintenance Supervisor Danny Minton gave an update on projects and asphalt bids for work at Bearcat Stadium. Three bids were received and the low bid of $45,150.00 by B&L Paving was approved with dirt work in preparation for the paving by Bill Decker. Minton also reported that HVAC replacement at Mena Middle School has begun and work at Holly Harshman will follow. The shot clocks have also been installed at the Union Bank Center in preparation for use in the 2022/2023 basketball season.
 
New board zones have been drawn and the board approved those new zones. Watch local media, the Mena Public Schools website and social media for details on the new zone map.
 
Financial reports were quickly approved after a short discussion.
 
The final item on the agenda was personnel.
 
Peggy Foster asked to rescind her resignation as a bus driver and the board approved. The board approved the hiring of Cherish Michael as a contract bus driver and terminated the teaching contract with Elizabeth Thompkins.
 
11-17-21 11:08 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

"The Bert" Raises Over $10,000 for UARM Foundation

The annual Bert Hensley Memorial Golf Tournament, also known as “The Bert,” successfully generated over $10,000 for the UA Rich Mountain Foundation. It was held October 23, 2021 at the pristine Glenwood Country Club Golf Course, despite two postponements due to weather.

 

A total of 28 teams competed in the beloved 4-man scramble that includes other fun contests throughout the course. Results from the 1st flight are:

 

1st Place – Steve Bell, Mike Hobson, John Ponder, and Burl Collinsworth

2nd Place – Mike Lewis, Anthony Lewis, Chuck Rummel, Charlie Dubois

3rd Place – Doug Roberts, Better Roberts, Denise Hutt, David Young

 

L-R Steve Bell, John Ponder, Burl Collinsworth, and Mike Hobson

 

Results from the 2nd flight are:

 

1st Place – Danny Miner, Camden Broderson, Debbie Miner, Jeff Cunningham

2nd Place – Jay Quebedeaux, Max Rocha, Colton Quebedeaux, Alex Rocha

3rd Place – Gary Albrecht, Ethan Peters, Brandon Peters, Brody Peters

 

L-R  Danny and Debbie Miner, Camden Broderson, and Jeff Cunningham

 

Longest Putt – Brody Peters

Longest Drive – Michael Wood

Straightest Drive – Kyle Carpenter

Closest to the Pin (hole 7) – Charlie Dubois

Longest Drive – Charlie Dubois

Pitch in the Pool – Steven Hubbard

Closest to the Pin (hole 17) – Justin Romine

Closest the Wavy Line – Mike Hobson

Putting Contest – Phillip Wilson

 

This was the 10th consecutive year for the golf tournament that raises funds to support the college’s mission to provide transformative education to all learners.

 

11-16-21 9:08 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

 

Polk County Sheriff's Report for November 8TH - 14TH

SHERIFF’S LOG

 

The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of November 8, 2021 – November 14, 2021. 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 8, 2021

As a result of a traffic stop, Shaun Gunn, 35 of Cove was arrested on charges of Simultaneous Possession of Drugs and Firearms, Careless and Prohibited Driving and Driving on a Suspended Driver’s License.

Charles Morgan, 44 of Mena was arrested on Felony Warrants for Theft, Criminal Conspiracy and Criminal Trespass.

Deputies responded to a report of Theft of Property from a walk-in complainant.

Zachary Abner, 29 of Watson, OK was arrested on Misdemeanor Warrants for Failure to Appear, Criminal Trespass and Violation of a no Contact Order.

 

November 9, 2021

Johnny Webb, 41 of Mena was arrested by an officer with Probation/Parole on a Parole Hold.

 

November 10, 2021

Deputies were dispatched to an address on Ponderosa Lane near Mena in reference to a Theft.

Deputies were dispatched to an altercation on Hwy 8 W near Mena. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney for further consideration.

Carrie Bass, 44 of Mena was arrested on a Felony Warrant for Probation Violation.

Deputies were dispatched to an address on Polk 117 near Acorn in reference to a domestic dispute. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney for further consideration.

Deputies responded to a report of a stolen gun from a residence on Wild Rose Lane near Acorn.

 

November 11, 2021

No reports were filed.

 

November 12, 2021

Austin McCulley, 27 of Hatfield was arrested on two charges of Third Degree Domestic Battery and two charges of Endangering the Welfare of a Minor.

Officers responded to a report of Harassment from a walk-in complainant. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney for further consideration.

Deputies responded to a report of a stolen vehicle.

Deputies responded to a report of a sexual assault.

Deputies responded to a vehicle window being broken at a property on Polk 58 near Board Camp.

Deputies responded to a report of a Residential Burglary at a residence on Polk 414 near Hatfield.

 

November 13, 2021

No reports were filed.

 

November 14, 2021

Elizabeth Trusley, 28 of DeQueen was arrested on a Felony Warrant for Probation Violation.

Cheyenne Smith, 27 of Mena was arrested on two Felony Failure to Appear Warrants.

 

Polk County Sheriff’s Office worked 3 vehicle accidents this week.

 

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 21 Incarcerated Inmates, with 13 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

 

PC21-00950

 

11-16-21 8:45 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

Quality of Life Hosts Wildlife Photographer at Ouachita Center

With a grant from the Division of Arkansas Heritage (DAH), Quality of Life, Inc. hosteds a presentation by Mike Martin in the Ouachita Center on the campus of UA Rich Mountain on November 8. DAH was created to preserve and promote Arkansas’s natural and cultural heritage.

 

Martin is a renowned photographer featuring wildlife in Arkansas, including eagles and elk. His photographs have been featured in the Arkansas, New York State, Florida, and California parks departments’ literature as well as Cornell University’s Ornithology Department and the Field Museum of Chicago. Additionally, his eagle photos have been published in Wildlife and Science magazines.

 

L-R: Brenda Miner, Director of Johnson Learning Commons at UARM, photographer Mike Martin, Quality of Life Chair Bethany Hughes, and Director of Development Diann Gathright

 

Mena's Holly Harshman 5th grade class attended as well as members of the local community.

 

This is the third exhibit held on the UARM campus in 2021 that has been made possible through the DAH grant authored by Miner. The event is open to the community, however, if you do plan to bring a group of 10 or more, you are encouraged to contact Miner at 479.394.7622 ext. 1370.

 

To become familiar with or to purchase Martin’s work, please visit his website at https://www.ozarknaturegallery.com/index.

Chancellor Phillip Wilson expressed his appreciation to Miner for her efforts in securing the grant and bringing programs such as Martin’s to campus and the local community.

 

UA Rich Mountain’s mission is to provide transformative education to all learners.

 

11-15-21 10:17 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

Mena Police Report for November 7TH - 13TH

Mena Police Department reports for the week of November 7th through November 13th, 2021

 

November 7

 

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

 

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

 

Matthew Miller, 39, was served with two warrants at a residence on Dickson Road.

 

November 8

 

A report of harassment was taken at James’ Food.

 

A report of criminal mischief was taken at a residence on Casey Way.

 

A report of theft by receiving and a stolen vehicle was recovered at Price Mobile Homes.

 

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

 

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

 

Ricky Roberts, 29, was served with a warrant at the police department.

 

November 9

 

Whitney Reynolds, 31, was charged with Possession of Schedule 6 Controlled Substance after a traffic stop on Gilham Avenue.

 

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

 

A report of possession of schedule 4 controlled substance was taken after a traffic stop on Janssen Avenue.

 

James Lane, 42, was served with two warrants at the police department.

 

November 10

 

No reports.

 

November 11

 

A report of theft was taken at a residence on Pine Avenue.

 

Kayla Irons, 34, was charged with Domestic Battery 3rd and Disorderly Conduct after a disturbance call to a residence on 1st Street.

 

November 12

 

A death investigation report was taken at a residence on Midland Drive.

 

Justin Close, 34, was served with a warrant at the police department.

 

November 13

 

Brianna Ramirez, 22, was served with a warrant at the police department.

 

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

 

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

 

11-15-21 9:37 a.m. KAWX.ORG

Mena Man Killed In Crash on Highway 88

A single vehicle crash on State Highway 88 near Cherry Hill (Polk County) claimed the life of a Mena man Saturday night.


According to the Arkansas State Police, 30 year old Daniel Ray Roberts of Mena was eastbound on Highway 88 when the 2003 Chevrolet Trailblaer he was driving left the highway and struck two trees at just before 7:30 p.m.

 

Roberts was pronounced dead at the scene by Polk County Deputy Coroner Garrett Lundberg.

 

The accident was investigated by Trooper Seth K. Smedley of the Arkansas State Police.

 

11-14-21 12:50 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

Right now, there are about 349 children and teens in Arkansas whose parents’ parental rights have been terminated and are currently seeking a forever family.

 

November is National Adoption Month. It is a time to encourage others to learn about adoption and recognize the many children who are still waiting.

 

Recently, the Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS) launched the Every Day Counts campaign as a reminder for people that every day these children and teens spend in foster care is a day too long because every day counts! 

 

The agency says the most significant needs right now are families for sibling groups and older teens.

 

In the 2021 Regular Session, the General Assembly passed Act 574, which directed the House Committee on Aging, Children and Youth, Legislative and Military Affairs, and the Senate Interim Committee on Children and Youth to conduct a study of the best practices for reducing the number of children in foster care. 

 

As part of that study, members recently received a report from DCFS on reducing the number of children in foster care.

 

Arkansas became one of the first states to implement the landmark federal Family First Prevention Services Act. More commonly known as Family First, it is the first major federal child welfare reform effort in decades and impacts every piece of the child welfare system. 

 

Now, in-home services providers are using approved programs eligible for federal funding. These programs emphasize safely preventing children from entering DCFS custody or reunifying them with family as quickly as possible if out-of-home care is necessary. 

               

Family First changes also reinforced the direction in which Arkansas had been heading: that children in foster care should be placed with family until they achieve permanency. The law includes reforms to help keep children safe with their families and avoid the traumatic experience of entering foster care. At the same time, the law stresses the importance of children growing up in families and helps ensure children are placed in the least restrictive, most family-like setting to meet their needs when they do come into foster care. 

 

The priority is to place children with safe and appropriate relatives and fictive kin. DCFS staff have worked hard over the last several years to ensure children are placed with relatives and fictive kin when safe and appropriate, with 41% of children placed with relatives statewide as of September 30, 2021 as compared to the 28.1% of children who were placed with relatives statewide as of March 30, 2019.

 

While we continue our study and work to reduce the number of children entering the foster care system, we encourage you to explore how your family may be able to help.

 

If you are thinking about adoption, DCFS is encouraging you to fill out an application, go through the process and take the training. 

 

As part of the Every Day Counts campaign, Project Zero took on the challenge of creating a short film about every child currently waiting. Project Zero is a non-profit organization with a mission to promote adoption through the foster care system with the ultimate goal of finding a forever family for every child who is waiting.

 

You can find the short films and more information about each child on Project Zero’s Arkansas Heart Gallery. We’ve posted the link at www.arkansashouse.org.

 

11-12-21 3:44 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

Governor Asa Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Arkansas Takes the World Stage with New Technologies
 
 
LITTLE ROCK – Because of all that Arkansas has to offer, we are actively seeking U.S. and international companies to invest in our state. On my recent trip to Israel, I was able to meet with President Isaac Herzog and talk about my initiative for computer science and technology company growth in our state. I also met with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. The Prime Minister talked about Israel’s defense system known as the Iron Dome and how the work done in Camden, Arkansas helps protect Israelis from rocket attacks and save the lives of millions.
 
I also spoke at the Prime Minister's Smart Mobility Summit which hosted business leaders, innovators, and policymakers from around the world for a global dialogue about the future of transportation. While there I was able to talk about the economic success we are having in our state. A company that truly embodies the Arkansan spirit is Walmart, founded right here in the Natural State, and thanks to Sam Walton’s vision and boldness, he turned one store into the United States’ biggest retailer.
 
And at the mobility summit, I was proud to announce a new partnership between Walmart and a company called Gatik. With their new partnership, they will be rolling out the world’s first autonomous driverless delivery service. Gatik is now operating daily in Bentonville, without a safety driver aboard the vehicle. This is the first time that fully autonomous operations have ever been achieved on the “Middle Mile,” a term to describe moving goods from warehouses or micro fulfillment centers to a pick-up location such as a retail store.
 
After two years of testing, Walmart and Gatik are taking to the streets of Northwest Arkansas to demonstrate the next big logistics solution. This was all made possible by our state legislators who had the foresight to pave the way for this innovation. In 2019, I signed legislation to allow testing of autonomous vehicles in a controlled regulated fashion. Since the pilot program was started, Gatik’s autonomous box trucks have been moving merchandise in Bentonville.
 
The complex urban route required the vehicles to safely navigate intersections, traffic lights, and to merge onto a dense urban road at speeds up to 45 mph. In December 2020, Gatik submitted documentation of 18 months of successful operation. They then received the first-ever approval for fully autonomous operations in the state. In other words, Gatik could operate its vehicles without a safety driver aboard, which had been required until that point.
 
The hope of these tests is to truly unlock the advantages of autonomous delivery for Walmart’s customers enabling speed and choice on how customers access goods and a business's responsiveness to fulfilling online orders. With companies like Walmart and Gatik pushing the envelope on business and expansion, Arkansas will continue to grow into a world-class hub for new technologies.
 
11-12-21 3:38 p.m. KAWX.ORG

US Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column: A Bright Future Ahead for Arkansas

A Bright Future Ahead for Arkansas

 

I am continuously impressed by the enthusiasm and eagerness demonstrated by Arkansans in schools around our state who are committed to making a difference. I believe in the importance of investing in the future of our studious and determined young people interested in civic engagement and my office works to help fuel their passion for bettering their communities, supporting their neighbors and improving the outlook for the next generation. We’re happy to play a part in nurturing and fostering these efforts.

 

This is one reason I launched my Congressional Youth Cabinet. This non-partisan program offers students an opportunity to learn about the legislative process and lend their voices to important debates before Congress. From attending meetings to researching national issues, these bright high school juniors have time and time again exhibited a commitment to public service and an excitement for learning.

 

I was pleased to recently reconvene more than 60 students from across the state who aim to be more engaged and shape the future of our state for this initiative. These participants and their peers have lived through an interesting time in our history, and bringing them together throughout this school year will help apply their experiences in search of solutions. When we work together, we can develop meaningful and lasting change. I look forward to hearing about their progress and proposals to challenges facing our country as the program unfolds. I am confident they will find this to be a valuable experience and I look forward to their presentations in a few months about the issues they are choosing to focus on.

 

Arkansans of all ages come to Washington to voice their concerns and support for policies Congress is crafting. It’s great to see involvement from youth who desire to learn more about advocacy, be part of the solution and help their fellow Arkansans.

 

That’s what brings many students to serve internships on Capitol Hill. Hundreds of Arkansans seeking to learn more about the legislative process have served as an intern and helped provide outreach to people all across the state while realizing their passion for public service.

 

We’re proud to welcome students who have a variety of interests and are from communities throughout the Natural State to join my team with the purpose of serving Arkansans. We are fortunate to have had some of the state’s future leaders participate in our internship program in Washington, D.C. and our state offices.

 

As we confront the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 on our lives, I’m encouraged by the young people I interact with who have overcome adversity. The high school and college students I’ve met during the last 18 months continue to inspire me with their resilience, innovative thinking and determination. Whether finishing up their high school careers, grappling with very different college experiences, starting military careers or searching for jobs, our next generation of leaders do not plan to let a pandemic stop their forward momentum.

 

By engaging students across the state, we continue to promote community involvement among our youth. I am so thankful that I have been able to meet so many of them and learn about their goals to better themselves and give back to their communities and our state. The experiences they have gained from internships and various congressional youth programs have shaped and sharpened these future leaders of America.

 

11-12-21 3:33 p.m. KAWX.ORG

State Senator Larry Teague's Weekly Column

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague
 
November 12, 2021
 
LITTLE ROCK –Solar power is growing in popularity in Arkansas, in large part because of passage of Act 464 of 2019.
 
Last year solar energy accounted for six percent of the electric power generated in Arkansas, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That is 60 times more solar power than was generated in the state in 2015.
 
Nationwide, the amount of electricity generated from renewable resources has quadrupled since 2011. Wind power and geothermal springs are other sources of renewable energy, but neither is growing in Arkansas as fast as solar power.
 
Act 464 allows third-party financing of solar projects, which is especially helpful to tax-exempt organizations and government entities that otherwise would not qualify for federal tax incentives for installing solar panels.
 
Colleges, universities, school districts, counties, churches, prison units and non-profit organizations have taken advantage of Act 464 to sign leasing agreements with third parties that install solar power systems.
 
When the legislature passed Act 464 in 2019, Arkansas joined 26 other states that allowed third party financing of solar projects.
 
Act 464 made another significant change in regulations governing the production of electric power. It raised the limit for commercial customers of electric utilities that have solar systems, from 300 kilowatts to 1,000 kilowatts. That provision helped Senate co-sponsors of Act 464 recruit support from a range of private companies.
 
An estimated 16,000 Arkansans work in renewable energy, according to an estimate by a trade association that represents solar power installers.
 
The state Public Service Commission regulates utilities, and its rate cases and policy decisions are very complex. A Senate co-sponsor of Act 464 credited the chairman of the PSC with helping to shepherd the bill through the legislature.
 
As Act 464 was going through the legislative process, an issue that had to be resolved was the impact on net-metering customers. Those are customers who generate their own electricity, sometimes in excess of what they need. They send the excess power to the electric utility and get credit for it.
 
A point of contention between utilities and net-metering customers is the value of the excess electricity that the customer sends to the utility’s power grid.
 
Utilities have fixed costs beyond the expense of operating power plants. For example, they have to maintain a power grid with transmission lines. Those fixed costs are spread out to all the utility’s customers, both residential and industrial.
 
Act 464 allows net-metering customers to send electricity to the utility’s power grid. At the same time, it allows utilities to take steps to prevent inordinate shifts in their fixed costs to other types of customers.
 
The legislature also promoted more efficient energy use by passing Act 507 of 2019, which allows government entities to issue bonds for energy savings projects. School districts can choose to participate.
 
It allows energy performance contracts to extend beyond 20 years if the project is guaranteed to last more than 20 years, and if the project’s useful life is more than 20 years. Many solar projects meet the criteria.
 
More than 9,000 jobs have been created because of the incentives in the energy performance contract program.
 
11-12-21 8:58 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

Polk County Sheriff's Report for November 1ST - 7TH

SHERIFF’S LOG

 

The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of November 1, 2021 – November 7, 2021. 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 1, 2021

Deputies responded to a complaint of a dog being run over on Polk 614 near Acorn.

Deputies were dispatched to an address on Polk 283 near Hatfield in reference to a break in.

Cody Dees, 36 was arrested by an officer with the Arkansas Drug Task Force on charges of Possession of Methamphetamine or Cocaine with Purpose to Deliver, Possession of a Schedule VI Controlled Substance, Theft by Receiving and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

James Wright, 42 of Mena was arrested by an officer with the Arkansas Drug Task Force on charges of Theft by Receiving, Possession of a Schedule VI Controlled Substance and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

 

November 2, 2021

Gary Tudor, 55 of Mena was arrested by an officer with the Arkansas Drug Task Force on charges of Theft by Receiving, Possession of a Schedule VI Controlled Substance and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Deputies responded to a report of Harassment from a walk- in complainant.

 

November 3, 2021

Deputies responded to a report of a dog being shot on Polk 48 near Potter.

Michelle Hogan, 40 of Mena was arrested on charges of Driving on a Suspended Driver’s License and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

 

November 4, 2021

Deputies responded to a report of suspicious activity on a bank account.

Deputies responded to a report of a break-in on Polk 48 near Mena. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney for further consideration.

Deputies responded to a report of Indecent Exposure.

A traffic stop led to the arrest of Terrina Williams, 50 of Hatfield on a Felony Warrant for Possession of a Schedule II Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Possession of a Schedule VI Controlled Substance. Additional charges include, Possession of a Schedule II Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of a Schedule VI Controlled Substance and two charges of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

 

November 5, 2021

Deputies responded to a report of a theft from a business near Mena.

Deputies responded to a report of a vehicle stolen from a residence on Polk 45 near Shady Grove.

Deputies responded to a report of a dog being attacked by another dog.

Deputies were dispatched to a residence on Polk 659 near Board Camp in reference to a theft.

Deputies were dispatched to an abandoned vehicle on Frost Lane near Mena.

 

November 6, 2021

A traffic stop led to the arrest of Michael Obaugh, 65 of Mena on charges of DWI, Refusal to Submit and Driving Left of Center.

Deputies responded to an MVA on Hwy 8 W.

Deputies were dispatched for a welfare check at a residence on Hwy 71 South near Potter.

Jeffrey Sisemore, 57 of Hodgen, OK was arrested by an officer with the Arkansas State Police on charges of DWI, Possession of a Schedule VI Controlled Substance and Careless and Prohibited Driving.

Michael Wilson, 38 of Mena was arrested on two Felony Child Support Warrants and two Body Attachments.

 

November 7, 2021

Justin Martin, 27 of Hatfield was arrested on charges of DWI and Careless and Prohibited Driving.

Edwin Huber, 61 of Mena was arrested on a Felony Warrant for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

 

Polk County Sheriff’s Office worked 4 vehicle accidents this week.

 

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 26 Incarcerated Inmates, with 13 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

 

PC21-00932

 

11-8-21 3:46 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

Mena Police Report for October 31ST - November 6TH

 

 

Mena Police Department reports for the week of October 31st through November 6th, 2021

 

 

 

October 31

 

Douglas Manley, 39, was served with a warrant after a traffic stop on Evans Circle.

 

A theft report was taken at a residence on Cordie Drive.

 

Ramon Owens, 59, was served with a warrant at a residence on Hamilton Avenue.

 

November 1

 

A search warrant was served at a residence on Ridge Avenue.

 

Gary Tudor, 55, was charged with Possession of Meth with Purpose to Deliver, Possession of Marijuana with Purpose to Deliver, Possession of a Schedule 2 Controlled Substance, Possession of a Schedule 4 Controlled Substance, two counts of Theft by Receiving, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of Firearm by Certain Persons, and Maintaining a Drug Premises.

Cody Dees, 36, was charged with Possession of Meth with Purpose to Deliver, Possession of Marijuana with Purpose to Deliver, Possession of a Schedule 2 Controlled Substance, Possession of a Schedule 4 Controlled Substance, two counts of Theft by Receiving, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Possession of Firearm by Certain Persons.

James Wright, 42, was charged with Possession of Meth with Purpose to Deliver, Possession of Marijuana with Purpose to Deliver, Possession of a Schedule 2 Controlled Substance, Possession of a Schedule 4 Controlled Substance, two counts of Theft by Receiving, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Possession of Firearm by Certain Persons.

 

November 2

 

No reports.

 

November 3

 

No reports.

 

November 4

 

Barbie Connell, 36, was served with a warrant at the Executive Inn.

 

 

A report of a disturbance was taken at Janssen Park. Joshua Tucker, 38, was charged with Domestic Battery 3rd Degree and Disorderly Conduct. Jennifer Curtis, 37, was charged with Disorderly Conduct.

 

November 5

 

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

 

A report of criminal trespass was taken at Salvation Army.

 

Misty Scott, 49, was served with a warrant at the police department.

 

A report of forgery was taken at James’ Food.

 

Kenneth Sipe, 44, was served with a warrant at District Court.

 

November 6

 

A report of Fraudulent use of a credit card was taken from a walk-in complainant.

 

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

 

A theft report was taken at a residence on 2nd Street.

 

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

 

11-8-21 10:06 a.m. KAWX.ORG

Pedestrian Struck and Killed by KCS Train in Cove

Polk county Sheriff Scott Sawyer released the following information concerning a pedestrain fatality in Cove early Friday evening.
 
"On Friday, 11/5/21 at approximately 6:30pm, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of pedestrian hit by a train at the RR crossing on East Barton St in Cove, Arkansas.
 
Upon arrival at the scene, Deputies and emergency personnel discovered a male victim deceased in the ditch along the RR tracks just north of East Barton Street.
 
 Witness statements indicate that the victim was walking eastbound on East Barton Steet when he was struck by the northbound KCS train.
 
The identity of the victim is not being released at this time."
 
11-5-21 10:14 p.m. KAWX.ORG

State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

Arkansas is home to more than 200,000 veterans. They live and work in every community throughout our state.

 

As we approach Veterans Day, we would like to thank our veterans for their sacrifice, their bravery, and the example they set for us all.

 

The majority of Arkansas veterans served in Vietnam. We are home to more than 2,000 veterans who served in World War II. Arkansas is also home to those who served in the Korean War, the Gulf War, post 9-11, and in peacetime.

 

The Arkansas House is proud to have 12 veterans currently serving as a state representative.

 

Veterans contribute $4.5 to $5 billion to the Arkansas economy. If veterans were an industry, they’d be the 4th largest in Arkansas.

 

Every session, the General Assembly reviews legislation drafted to make life better for veterans and their families.

 

In the most recent session, we passed several pieces of legislation to address challenges facing veterans.

 

In the most recent legislative session, we passed Act 640. This act requires the Arkansas Department of Health to ensure that the Suicide Prevention Hotline employs individuals who have experience working with veterans or are veterans.

 

We also passed Act 58, which creates a veterans treatment specialty court program.

 

Act 988 expands tuition waivers for a dependent of a disabled veteran, a prisoner of war, or a person declared to be missing in action or killed in action. Previously the waivers were only applied to state-supported institutions of higher education. This act allows the use of those waivers to be used in private colleges and universities.

 

Act 888 waives the licensing fee for a license to carry a concealed handgun if the applicant is a veteran of the United States Armed Forces or is currently serving in the United States Armed Forces.

 

Act 135 establishes the Arkansas Occupational Licensing of Uniformed Service Members, Veterans, and Spouses Act of 2021. It expanded previously existing automatic occupational licensure requirements for uniformed services members, returning uniformed services veterans, and their spouses to include army reserve, national guard, and coast guard members who move to Arkansas with existing licensure from another state.

 

We will continue to study ways to continue to make Arkansas a welcoming place for our veterans and their families.

 

May all of us honor the service of our veterans this Veterans Day and every day of the year.

 

11-5-21 5:41 p.m. KAWX.ORG

US Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column: Thank You, Veterans

Thank You, Veterans

 

On Veterans Day, we take time to reflect on and honor all of those who wore our nation’s uniform. They bravely served our country on battlefields and military installations around the world. These men and women are all too familiar with spending countless hours at work and many nights away from their families. How we treat our veterans defines us as a nation. This patriotic day should renew our commitment that we will always have their backs.

 

This day is personal for me and reminds me of the love of country my father passed along to my siblings and me. He was a B-17 waist gunner in Europe during World War II and served in the U.S. Air Force for 23 years. I saw firsthand what military families experience as their loved one answers the call to serve. This drove me to serve on the Veterans Affairs’ Committee and seek improvements to the services and benefits our veterans earned. Before she passed away, my mom regularly asked what I’d been doing to support veterans. Fortunately, we could have a long conversation because we’ve advanced historic reforms that enhance veterans services and benefits.

 

Expanded access to health care, education opportunities and suicide prevention programs have made a positive impact in the lives of veterans and their families. Yet we continue to improve the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) policies and outreach. With input from Arkansas veterans sharing their experiences with VA programs and benefits, our work to institute new measures and implement innovative programs to resolve existing flaws marches on because our veterans deserve world-class care. 

 

The Senate VA Committee passed a measure this year inspired by an Arkansas veteran who was turned down for benefits because of a VA policy that narrowly defines who is eligible for service-connected benefits as a result of toxic exposure during Vietnam War-era service in Thailand. We advocated for the change in policy so more veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange can get the help they need.

 

In early November, I introduced the Vet Center Support Act, legislation to require the VA to assess its ability to furnish the full spectrum of mental health and counseling services at its Vet Centers. Arkansas’s two Vet Centers are responsible for serving a veteran population of more than 200,000. This legislation aims to correct these inequities and improve the delivery of mental health care to veterans in our state.

 

Today’s veteran population looks a lot different than it did a few decades ago. According to the Census Bureau, in 2018, female veterans made up nine percent of the total veteran population. That figure is predicted to nearly double by 2040. The VA must modernize its services to support the needs of women. Congress advanced landmark legislation that was signed into law earlier this year so we can provide them better care and assistance. We’re building on this momentum.

 

The prevalence of breast cancer in women veterans and military populations is estimated to be up to 40 percent higher than the general female population. I’m proud to lead legislation to improve mammography services and ensure the VA has the best imaging equipment so we can detect breast cancer earlier and prevent and treat those who develop this disease. The Supporting Expanded Review for Veterans in Combat Environments (SERVICE) Act unanimously passed the Senate VA Committee this year and I am urging the full Senate to support this measure.

 

Our veterans are a national treasure and we have an obligation to take care of them. I’m honored to champion policies that demonstrate my appreciation for the service and sacrifice of our veterans and their families.

 

11-5-21 5:35 p.m. KAWX.ORG

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Thankful For Our Veterans

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Thankful For Our Veterans
 
 
LITTLE ROCK – November 11 is the day we pause every year to honor the surviving veterans who served the United States in a branch of our armed forces.
 
This year, we have nearly 203,000 military veterans in Arkansas; 51,000 of them served since 9/11; 35,000 served during the Gulf War; 41,000 served during peacetime; 64,000 served during the Vietnam War; and 8,000 served during the Korean conflict.
 
In the Second World War, 195,000 Arkansans served, which was about 10 percent of Arkansas’s population in 1940. More than 3,500 Arkansans were killed. Two-thousand eight-hundred-and-two (2,802) of our veterans are still alive from World War II.
 
Ernest Ennis is one of those veterans. Ernest, who celebrated his 99th birthday on Thursday, fought in the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944 through January 1945. Military historians consider that battle one of the most costly in the history of the United States.
 
Ernest went into the U.S. Army Infantry in September 1943 and was a radio operator. He deployed to England in the fall of 1944.
 
In mid-December of that year, as the Germans launched a massive assault on American and British troops in the Ardennes Forest of Belgium, Ernest and his fellow soldiers were fighting on snow-covered ground in sub-zero temperatures. From the front line, Ernest radioed the German movements to headquarters.
 
For one week during the battle, Ernest and the soldier in the foxhole next to him survived on one can of beans between them. Ernest was watching when his friend raised his head from the foxhole, and a German bullet killed him.
 
Winston Churchill described the Battle of the Bulge as “undoubtedly the greatest American battle of the war and will, I believe, be regarded as an ever-famous American victory.”
 
Louis Strickland was another of Arkansas’s World War II veterans who fought in one of our major battles. Louis went ashore at Normandy in 1944. Louis died in June of this year, shortly after his 101st birthday, a somber reminder that the number of our veterans from the Greatest Generation is shrinking.
 
This year’s ceremony to honor our veterans will be at 10 a.m. next Thursday at the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History. Senator John Boozman and Colonel Angela Ochoa, commander of 19th Airlift Wing at Little Rock Air Force Base, will speak.
 
Arkansas has 200,000 veterans. I join 3 million Arkansans in thanking you.
 
11-5-21 2:52 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

State Senator Larry Teague's Weekly Column

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

November 5, 2021

 

LITTLE ROCK – In a settlement of a major lawsuit, pharmaceutical manufacturers who make and market opioids will pay $216 million to Arkansas cities, counties and state government.

 

The money will be spent on prevention and treatment of people who became addicted to painkillers such as hydrocodone, oxycodone and fentanyl.

 

Arkansas was one of 40 states who sued drug companies over their trade practices. Thousands of cities and counties in the United States joined the lawsuit. In July, four companies agreed to pay $26 billion to settle a flood of litigation.

 

The lawsuit was unprecedented because of the number of jurisdictions that joined the fight. The lawsuit was initiated in 2018, when 72 Arkansas counties and 210 cities joined the state in seeking damages from the pharmaceutical manufacturers. The plaintiffs represent about 90 percent of the population of Arkansas.

 

The plaintiffs argued that drug companies should pay the enormous costs of drug treatment and rehabilitation, rather than taxpayers.

 

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control, more than 500,000 Americans died from overdoses of painkillers in a 10-year period.

 

The Covid-19 pandemic made the opioid epidemic even worse. According to federal authorities, 93,000 people died from an overdose last year. The previous record was 72,000 deaths from opioid overdoses.

 

The CDC reports that in 1970, there were only 7,200 deaths due to overdoses of prescription painkillers. In 1970, drug enforcement was focused on an alarming rise in heroin use.

 

In 1988, when law enforcement was battling a surge in the use of crack cocaine, about 9,000 Americans died from abusing painkillers.

 

The alarming rise in the number of deaths from overdoses has coincided with large increases in the sales of painkillers. For example, in Arkansas in 2017 there were more prescriptions for painkillers than there were people. Enough opioids were prescribed in Arkansas for each person to have 80 pills.

 

Nationwide, drug companies have been paying hundreds of millions to plaintiffs. An Oklahoma judge ordered one company to pay $465 million in 2019. However, in a legal first, drug manufacturers won a legal battle in California recently, when a judge ruled that government officials had failed to prove that drug companies used deceptive marketing practices.

 

A key component in the lawsuits is that drug companies downplayed the risks of addiction when they marketed opioids to physicians. Also, the plaintiffs alleged that drug companies overemphasized the benefits of opioids in treating chronic pain over long term periods of time.

 

In the 1970s and 1980s, opioids were more commonly prescribed for short-term relief of pain, usually after surgery, or for pain from a terminal illness such as cancer.

 

According to reports from the Mayo Clinic, OxyContin was approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration in 1995. Its makers began aggressively marketing it for chronic pain in 1998, producing 15,000 videos for primary care physicians.

 

“The promotional message encouraged prescribers to use this opioid as an ongoing treatment for chronic pain and highlighted the lack of side effects,” Mayo reported. The annual number of prescriptions for OxyContin increased from 670,000 to 6.2 million between 1997 and 2002.

 

11-5-21 9:18 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

USFS Reminds Hunters About Regulations on Public Lands

Hunting season is in full swing, and Forest Service managers are reminding hunters to be safe and follow State and Federal laws on the Ouachita and Ozark-St. Francis National Forests in Arkansas and Oklahoma.

Before embarking on a hunting trip, it is a good practice for hunters to provide their itinerary to a family member or friend, complete with hunting location, travel route and time of expected return.

All state wildlife regulations are in effect on national forests in Arkansas and Oklahoma. State and federal law enforcement officers work cooperatively with forest officials to enforce federal regulations. Prohibited activities include:

·      Baiting game species on the national forests.

·      Shooting from or across a county, state or federally maintained road.

·      Possessing or consuming alcohol during any hunting activity or while operating a motorized vehicle, including off-highway vehicles.

·      Traveling off designated routes for motorized vehicle use.

·      Leaving dispersed campsites up and unoccupied for longer than 30 days. Any unoccupied (held) campsite is considered abandoned. At the end of the 30-day period, dispersed campsites must be completely dismantled and moved at least one mile from the original campsite. The 30-day period begins the first day any item is placed at the campsite.  Campers may camp up to 90 days in a calendar year. Dispersed campsites may not be reserved.

Hunters should also be aware of requirements that apply specifically to individual national forests or wildlife management areas on a forest:

 

Ouachita National Forest (Arkansas and Oklahoma)

·      Hunting stands may be erected for up to 14 days at a time and must be moved to another location more than 200 yards away if the hunting trip continues. All stands must have the owner’s name and address permanently affixed. Remove stands from the forest at the end of the hunting season.

 

·      Off-highway vehicles are allowed on designated routes only or in game retrieval corridors while retrieving legally downed large game.

 

·      Oklahoma forest visitors are reminded that riders under the age of 18 must wear a safety helmet while operating an OHV, and only one person at a time may ride an OHV unless the vehicle is specifically designed for two riders.

 

Ozark-St. Francis National Forests (Arkansas)

·      Remove hunting stands from the forest at the end of the hunting season.

Know Before You Go! Maps and OHV Regulations

 

  • OHVs are allowed on designated routes only. Not all Forest Service roads are designated as legal routes. Hunters may print a map before leaving home to ensure they are riding legally. Visit https://bit.ly/ONFMVUM for Ouachita National Forest Motor Vehicle Use (MVUM) maps, or https://bit.ly/OSFNFSMVUM for Ozark-St. Francis National Forests’ MVUM maps.
  • Want to go paperless? Download the smartphone app Avenza for digital MVUM maps: https://www.avenza.com/avenza-maps/. Hunters can track their activities all season long with this free interactive mapping tool!

For more information on hunting the Ouachita or the Ozark-St. Francis National Forests, consult hunting regulations published by the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission or the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.  Call the Ouachita National Forest at (501) 547-6943, or the Ozark-St. Francis National Forests at (479) 280-8162 for National Forest questions. National Forests do not issue hunting licenses.

 

11-4-21 3:31 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

Multi Agency Drug Bust on Ridge Avenue in Mena

On 11/01/21 at about 7:19pm, the Mena Police Department in conjunction with the 18th West Judicial District Drug Task Force, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, and Arkansas Probation and Parole conducted a search warrant at a residence on Ridge Avenue.

 

During the search, approximately 10 pounds of marijuana, approximately two ounces of methamphetamine, several pills of two different types of prescription drugs, three handguns, one rifle, and one sawed off shotgun were seized. Digital scales, packaging and other paraphernalia associated with the distribution and selling of illegal drugs/narcotics were also seized. During the search, one stolen handgun and one stolen motorcycle were recovered.

 

Gary Tudor, 55, was charged with Possession of Meth with Purpose to Deliver, Possession of Marijuana with Purpose to Deliver, Possession of a Schedule 2 Controlled Substance, Possession of a Schedule 4 Controlled Substance, two counts of Theft by Receiving, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of Firearm by Certain Persons, and Maintaining a Drug Premises.

 

Cody Dees, 36, was charged with Possession of Meth with Purpose to Deliver, Possession of Marijuana with Purpose to Deliver, Possession of a Schedule 2 Controlled Substance, Possession of a Schedule 4 Controlled Substance, two counts of Theft by Receiving, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Possession of Firearm by Certain Persons.

 

James Wright, 42, was charged with Possession of Meth with Purpose to Deliver, Possession of Marijuana with Purpose to Deliver, Possession of a Schedule 2 Controlled Substance, Possession of a Schedule 4 Controlled Substance, two counts of Theft by Receiving, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Possession of Firearm by Certain Persons.

 

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

 

11-4-21 2:31 p.m. KAWX.ORG

Polk County Sheriff's Report for October 25TH - 31ST

SHERIFF’S LOG

 

The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of October 25, 2021 – October 31, 2021. 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 25, 2021

Deputies responded to a report of a stolen and forged check. Losses totaling $300.

 

October 26, 2021

A traffic stop on Hwy 246 near Hatfield led to the arrest of Randi Fields, 35 of Hatfield on a Felony Failure to Appear Warrant.

Deputies responded to a report of Residential Burglary from a walk-in complainant.

Deputies were dispatched to an address on Hwy 270 near Eagleton in reference to an Unattended Death.

A walk-in complainant reported Vandalism to an RV on Polk 624 near Board Camp.

Deputies responded to two reports of Paint Splatter on vehicles on Hwy 375 W near Potter.

 

October 27, 2021

Nathaniel James, 22 of Mena was arrested on a Felony Failure to Appear Warrant.

 

October 28, 2021

Deputies were dispatched to a report of an out of control juvenile.

Jesse Saxour, 33 of Mena was arrested by an officer with the Drug Task Force on a Felony Failure to Appear Warrant.

 

October 29, 2021

Deputies responded to a call of a stolen boat.

Deputies responded to a report of a vehicle in the ditch on Polk 65 near Board Camp.

Deputies responded to a report of a Physical Domestic Disturbance at a residence on Polk 266 near Hatton leading to the arrest of Tonya Blake, 30 of Wickes on a charge of 3rd Degree Battery.

While on patrol, deputies responded to an altercation between juveniles at a business near Cove.

Chad Thornton, 30 of Waldron was arrested by an officer with the Arkansas State Police to be held for another agency.

Shealeena Phillips, 37 of Wickes was arrested by an officer with the Arkansas State Parks on Felony Failure to Appear Warrant.

Veronica Smith, 42 of Cove was arrested on a Felony Failure to Appear Warrant.

 

October 30, 2021

Deputies were dispatched to a residence on Polk 616 near Mena in reference to a Domestic Disturbance.

 

October 31, 2021

Deputies were dispatched to a residence on Hwy 71 S near Hatton in reference to a Domestic Disturbance.

Shelly Cassity, 46 of Mena was arrested by an officer with the Arkansas State Police on charges of DWI, Refusal to Submit and Careless and Prohibited Driving.

 

Polk County Sheriff’s Office worked 2 vehicle accidents this week.

 

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 24 Incarcerated Inmates, with 12 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

 

PC21-00911

 

11-1-21 12:38 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

Construction Underway on UARM's Mena Campus

Construction Underway on UARM’s Mena Campus

 

[November 1, 2021 | MENA, Ark.] Construction continues on the Mena campus of the University of Arkansas Rich Mountain for the new 1,920 s.f. “SIMS” (simulation) building that will house both the EMT and trucking academy courses as well as the new e-sports.

 

The construction is made possible through a Regional Workforce Grant of $186,000 written by Dr. Krystal Thrailkill, Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs. The funds will enable the purchase of a full-scale ambulance simulator and the construction of this building to house it.

The grant proposal was prepared and submitted by Thrailkill in an effort to continue to build the college’s Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) program. “We are grateful to be able to add this to the EMT program. This ambulance simulator is truly the optimal and realistic way to train and educate students for the EMS tasks and protocols,” stated Thrailkill. “Our instructor is highly skilled, but the ability to simulate a crisis will be a huge benefit to students.”

 

Thrailkill explained that there is high local interest in the EMT program, and at least one course is offered annually. She added that this full-scale simulator will help the college in its efforts to encourage more students to consider EMT as a profession. “We are hoping to expand our EMS offerings to include Paramedic in the near future. This is an excellent step in that direction.”

 

For more information on the EMT program, contact Wendy McDaniel / Mike Godfrey with the admissions department by calling 479.394.7622 or admissions@uarichmountain. For inquiries into the new Arkansas Trucking Academy, contact Carlos Clark at 870-200-0899 or ArkTruckingAcademy@gmail.com.

 

UA Rich Mountain’s mission is to provide transformative education to all learners.

 

11-1-21 9:51 a.m. KAWX.ORG

Mena Police Report for October 24TH - 30TH

 

Mena Police Department reports for the week of October 24th through October 30th, 2021

 

 

 

October 24

 

No reports.

 

October 25

 

John White, 36, was served with four warrants at a residence on 11th Street.

 

October 26

 

A report of criminal trespass and littering was taken at First Church of Nazarene.

 

October 27

 

Christopher Wilt, 29, was charged with Possession of Schedule 6 Controlled Substance and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia after a traffic stop on Morrow Street.

 

Joy Reed, 33, was served with a warrant at the police department.

 

October 28

 

No reports.

 

October 29

 

Jason McKee, 41, was served with a warrant at Atwoods.

 

Lisa Saum, 55, was charged with Theft of Property (Shoplifting) at Walmart.

 

A juvenile was charged with Domestic Battery after a disturbance call to a residence.

 

Matthew Miller, 39, was charged with Criminal Trespass after a complaint from Walmart.

 

October 30

 

A report of a disturbance was taken at a residence on Evans Circle.

 

A report of criminal mischief was taken at a residence on Sampson Street.

 

A report of domestic battery was taken at a residence on Dequeen Street.

 

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

 

11-1-21 8:28 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

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