KAWX News Archives for 2022-05

Mena Police Report for May 22nd - 28th

Mena Police Department reports for the week of May 22nd through May 28th, 2022


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


May 22

James Ralph, 22, was served with a warrant after a traffic stop on Mena Street.


May 23

A report of theft was taken from Walmart.


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


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


May 24

Shannon Shaw, 41, was charged with Criminal Trespass, Fleeing on Foot, and served with four warrants after contact in the parking lot of Northside Super Stop.


May 25

Jennifer Solo, 45, was served with a warrant after a traffic stop on Highway 71.


A report of theft was taken from Walmart.


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


May 26

Andria Main, was charged with Possession of Methamphetamine and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia after a traffic stop on Port Arthur Avenue.


May 27

A report of theft was taken from Northside Super Stop.


Thomas Adams, 53, was charged with DWI 2 and Driving on Suspended License after a traffic stop on 11th Street.


May 28

A theft report was taken from Walmart.


Al’Lexzaous Ott, 19, was charged with Disorderly Conduct at Sonic.


William Watts, 31, was served with a warrant at the police department.


A report of dogs running loose was taken from a walk-in complainant.


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


Gary Tudor, 56, was charged with Assault at a residence on Ridge Avenue.


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


5-31-22 1:22 p.m. KAWX.ORG

Polk County Detention Center Inmates 

Flags Half Staff for Memorial Day

Pursuant to 4 U.S.C. 7m, flags should be lowered to half-staff on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, 2022, from 12:01am until noon.


Memorial Day, which is observed on the last Monday of May, commemorates the men and women who died while in the military service. 


Governor Asa Hutchinson's proclamation for Memorial Day can be viewed HERE.


5-29-22 5:02 p.m. KAWX.ORG

State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

Arkansas is home to so many families of brave men and women who deserve our recognition this Memorial Day.

More than 2,183 Arkansans lost their lives fighting in World War 1. During World War II, an estimated 194,645 Arkansans served the nation in the various branches of the U.S. armed forces, and more than 3,500 were killed as a result of combat.

Arkansans continued to answer the call to serve.  There were 461 Arkansans who lost their lives in the Korean War and 588 lost their lives in Vietnam.  We lost several of our own in Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and in Operation Enduring Freedom.

And today, there are thousands who willing put their lives on the line to protect our freedom. Arkansas has citizens in nearly every community serving our country.

Their sacrifice is a true expression of selfless service. Whether they were drafted, volunteered, or served during peacetime, they represent the best America has to offer.

As the first weekend of summer, Memorial Day is typically filled with barbecues or days at the lake.

As you make your plans for the weekend, we encourage Arkansans to consider how they can best pay tribute to the service members who have died in military service.

We can all honor the lives lost by remembering and retelling their stories.

In addition to placing flowers at veteran cemeteries, Arkansans can donate to charities that provide for their families.

We can recognize their sacrifices by taking care of their comrades who served. This could include volunteering at the VA Hospital or picking up the tab for the table with a soldier at a restaurant.

And we can honor the fallen every day of the year by committing to live a life worthy of their sacrifice.


5-27-22 6:50 p.m. KAWX.ORG

Gov. Asa Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Remembering Our Fallen Warriors

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Address: Remembering Our Fallen Warriors
LITTLE ROCK – Monday is Memorial Day, and this week, hundreds of volunteers are placing an American flag in front of every gravestone in each of Arkansas's five military cemeteries.
We observe Memorial Day, which began shortly after the end of the Civil War, to honor the memory of those who died in service to the United States. The flags honor everyone who served in one of the five branches of our military – the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines, and the Navy.
The three national cemeteries are in Little Rock, Fort Smith, and Fayetteville. The state's Veterans Cemeteries are in North Little Rock and Birdeye.
On Wednesday, just five days before Memorial Day, the commander of all U.S. military special operations asked to visit the Fort Smith National Cemetery. It was General Richard Clarke, who is the 12th commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, and he wanted to visit the grave of General William O. Darby.
General Darby is a native of Fort Smith, and a graduate of Fort Smith Senior High and West Point. In 1942, the commander of the 34th Infantry Division promoted William Darby from captain to major and assigned him to organize an elite commando unit taken from all branches of the military. This was the start of the United States Army Ranger Battalion, sometimes called Darby's Rangers.
Major Darby fulfilled several assignments in the theater of war and at the Pentagon. He returned to Europe in early 1945, and volunteered to take command of the Tenth Mountain Division. On April 30, 1945, as he outlined strategy for the next day, a German shell exploded in the midst of his meeting and killed him. He was 33.
So on May 25, seventy-seven years and 25 days after General Darby died in World War II, General Clarke visited General Darby's grave in Fort Smith.
Marshall Murphy, director of the national cemeteries in Fort Smith and Little Rock, stood by as General Clarke and Representative Womack visited the grave.
Mr. Murphy, a veteran who served in the Marines, says that General Darby is a patron saint for Army Rangers. He also noted that General Clarke carries on the tradition of General Darby with a quiet dignity. You would never guess by his words or manner that he commands all U.S. special forces, which perform the most dangerous, sensitive, and secret missions around the world.
This week in Fort Smith, General Clarke did what he always does – he led the way with his visit to honor General Darby. The volunteers who work in the cemeteries to place a flag at each gravestone share in the General's mission to remember our fallen warriors.
5-27-22 4:57 p.m. KAWX.ORG

US Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column

Honoring Fallen Heroes

Arkansas native Brady Prewitt was recently laid to rest at his family’s plot in Sharp County. His return to The Natural State was a long time coming. The Navy Seaman 2nd Class was serving on the USS Oklahoma when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.


His remains were interred with other unidentified crew members at the National Member Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii until they were exhumed for forensic analysis in 2015. With the help of DNA testing, he was identified in 2019 and has finally been reunited with his loved ones after more than 80 years. Prewitt’s cousin called his homecoming “very special.”


Honoring our fallen heroes and continuously working to ensure they return home is part of our nation’s commitment. As we commemorate Memorial Day, we pay tribute to selfless and courageous individuals like him who have made the ultimate sacrifice.


This is a humble reminder that our freedom is a privilege fought for and earned by brave men and women protecting the promise of our country and future generations of Americans. They have put others before themselves because they believed in what our country stands for and the beacon of light it represents worldwide.


Arkansas can be proud of the heroes from our state called to serve in uniform. My thoughts and prayers are with those from our state who laid down their lives, as well as their families whose support and understanding of the soldier’s call to duty is one reason we enjoy the freedoms we do today.


Just as importantly, we must always care for the loved ones these heroes left behind. 


That’s why we need to modernize benefits for surviving family members. I’m proud to champion the Caring for Survivors Act of 2021 so we can continue to honor the promise we made to servicemembers and their loved ones. This legislation adjusts the earned monthly benefits provided to survivors of servicemembers who die in the line of duty in line with payments to surviving spouses of other federal employees, allowing us to better care for the loved ones of troops who have made the ultimate sacrifice.


While I’m committed to improving policies supporting families who have lost a loved one in service to our country and upholding their legacies, I’m pleased to see how these heroes continue to be an inspiration for Arkansans.


The Northwest Arkansas veteran-serving nonprofit Bo’s Blessings regularly organizes volunteers to clean headstones at the Fayetteville National Cemetery. This labor of love is a simple yet meaningful way to honor the memories of the men and women who defended our freedoms and way of life. I was proud to participate recently to show my appreciation for those who wore our nation’s uniform and are laid to rest on that hallowed ground.


May God Bless every man and woman we’ve lost in battle as they fought in defense of our ideals. Let us honor the willingness of all troops called to serve in our nation’s uniform and always remember the brave individuals who have given everything for us to be the greatest, freest nation in the world.

State Senator Larry Teague's Weekly Column

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

May 27, 2022

LITTLE ROCK – The state Forestry Division is known for managing woodlands, helping control fires and supporting rural fire departments.


Not so well known is its work in cities and towns. In mid-May, the division hosted forestry professionals from across the Southeast for a training event designed to improve the skills of Urban Strike Force Teams.


Team members are certified by the International Society of Arboriculture. They respond in areas that have suffered tornadoes, high winds, flooding, ice storms and other types of natural disaster. They evaluate the damage done to trees and assess the risks posed by damaged trees. They also help local residents recover from storm damage by applying for federal assistance.


Of course, the damage from severe storms isn’t restricted to rural areas. Cities and towns experience tornadoes too.


The training exercise hosted by the state Forestry Division was at Trumann, where residents are recovering from devastating tornadoes last winter.


The strike force teams assess damage to trunks, branches and roots and recommend if any trees should be removed or trimmed for safety reasons.


More Arkansans are probably aware of the Division’s work to train and equip rural fire departments. Since the legislature created the Rural Fire Protection Program in 1979, the program has provided more than 700 firefighting vehicles for rural fire departments.

The Division also makes available oxygen masks, generators, hand tools, tools for digging trenches, bandages and jacks that can lift heavy equipment.


Interest free loans are available for rural fire departments in which more than 75 percent of the firefighters are volunteers.


The Division also works with the U.S. Forest Service to help local firefighters obtain excess federal equipment, and will also help make any needed repairs or refurbishing.


The Division has a program called Firewise that educates and trains homeowners and civic leaders about preparation against wildfires. Arkansas cities and towns have grown, so more neighborhoods and houses now border woodlands. This increases the risk from grass, brush and forest fires.


Fire professionals can help homeowners adapt their property by setting aside defensible areas between structures and forests.


They can be effective within a range of 30 feet to 300 feet.


The Division works with private landowners to improve the health of their woodlands with proven management methods.


The Division regularly provides seedlings. Last month it held a “Free Tree Friday” at 36 separate events and gave away 17,800 trees. Last October the Division held tree-planting ceremonies at 12 schools where the playgrounds lacked shade. Forestry Division staff chose tree types that are best suited for the soil and regional climate conditions of the schools.


Also, the Division awards grants to cities and towns for improving forest health and preventing erosion in parks and community areas. Healthy urban forests improve air quality.


Recently the Division announced the availability of its Pocket Guide to Arkansas Forest Health. It’s free at Division offices around the state. The guide lists the types of insects and diseases that damage tree health, and has tips on how to recognize and prevent them.


Arkansas is the nation’s ninth leading timber producer, according to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. About 55 percent of the state is forest.


5-27-22 9:44 a.m. KAWX.ORG

Congressman Bruce Westerman's Weekly Column

Implement the VIP Act

Each Memorial Day, Americans look forward to a weekend filled with friends and family, good food, and maybe a few sales from our favorite stores to kick-off the summer. The day off work should be enjoyed, and the time with loved ones should be cherished, but as a country, we must not forget the true reason for the holiday. Memorial Day was first proclaimed in 1868 to honor deceased Union and Confederate soldiers and was expanded after World War I to honor those who died in all wars. It became an official federal holiday in 1971, known as Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day. Today, Memorial Day honors over 1 million men and women who have died in military service since the Civil War began in 1861.


American soldiers have given their lives time and again since the founding of our young country to defend freedom at home and abroad. The liberties that we enjoy daily are thanks to their sacrifices. Too many soldiers never came home from war and those who did return often do so with physical or mental wounds that color the rest of their lives.


It is our duty to assist and honor these heroes any way we can. That is why I co-sponsored the Alexander Lofgren Veterans in Parks (VIP) Act to grant veterans, active-duty servicemen, and Gold Star Families free access to our National Parks. Thankfully, the VIP Act was included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY2022 and was signed into law by President Joe Biden in December 2021.


Despite NDAA becoming law in December, the VIP Act has not yet been implemented, and no date has been announced for doing so. This is unacceptable. In response, I sent a bipartisan and bicameral letter to Secretary of the Interior Debra Haaland and Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack urging them to implement the VIP Act by Memorial Day. Our veterans, Gold Star Families, and active servicemembers deserve the best our nation has to offer, including unfettered access to our beautiful national parks. Time spent outdoors is proven to help bring healing to trauma victims, something which veterans and Gold Star Families are sadly too familiar.


We owe it to these individuals and families to provide them every opportunity to enjoy the land they sacrificed to protect. I hope to see the VIP Act implemented quickly so that they can receive the lifetime passes they have been promised. Join me in taking time to pray for and remember our veterans and Gold Star Families this Memorial Day and all of those who gave their lives for our exceptional Republic.


US, Arkansas Flags Half-Staff Notification: Tragedy in Uvalde, Texas

Fly the United States Flag at Half-Staff Immediately through Sunset on Saturday, May 28, 2022 Honoring the Victims of the Tragedy in Uvalde, Texas
 Proclamation Honoring The Victims Of The Tragedy In Uvalde, Texas
MAY 24, 2022
As a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on May 24, 2022, by a gunman at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, May 28, 2022. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fourth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-sixth.
5-24-22 7:08 p.m. KAWX.ORG

Polk County Sheriff's Log for May 16th - 22nd



The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of May 16, 2022 – May 22, 2022. The charges against those arrested are allegations and the cases are still pending in the courts. Individuals charged and whose names appear in this column may submit documentation to us at a later date that the charges have been dismissed or that they have been found innocent and we will include that information in this space in a timely manner.


May 16, 2022

Deputies responded to a walk-in complainant in reference to a stolen car.

Deputies responded to a walk-in complainant in reference to harassment and terroristic threatening. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney for further consideration.

Deputies responded to a second walk-in complainant in reference to harassment and terroristic threatening. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney for further consideration.

Deputies were advised of an altercation in the jail. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney for further consideration.

Deputies arrested Travis Dollarhyde, 33 of Mena on one county Misdemeanor Warrant for Failure to Appear and four city Misdemeanor Warrants for Failure to Appear.


May 17, 2022

Bradley Moss, of Mena was arrested on two Misdemeanor Warrants.


May 18, 2022

Deputies responded to a Theft of Property report near Hatfield.

Austin Nickles, 24 of Smithville was arrested on a charge of DWI.

Deputies responded to a report of a break-in at a residence on Hwy 71 S near Wickes.


May 19, 2022

Tyler Cornelius, 28 of Mena was arrested on a Felony Warrant for Probation Violation.

Charles Morgan, 46 of Mena was arrested on two Felony Warrants for Failure to Appear and two Body Attachment Warrants and on a charge of Possession of Methamphetamine.

Robert Owens, 45 was arrested on a hold for another agency.

Deputies were dispatched to a disturbance at a residence on Polk 16 near Vandervoort. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney for further consideration.

Deputies responded to a report of a structure fire on Hwy 8 E near Board Camp.


May 20, 2022

Deputies responded to a walk-in complainant in reference to Financial Identity Fraud.

A traffic stop on Hwy 71 S led to the arrest of Roger Brundage, 51 of Mena on charges of Fleeing in a Vehicle, Reckless Driving, DWI, Refusal to Submit to Arrest, Driving Left of Center and Open Container.

Deputies responded to an altercation at a residence on Polk 70 near Cherry Hill. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney for further consideration.

Casey Trantham, 24 of Mt Ida was arrested on a Felony Probation Violation Warrant.


May 21, 2022

Deputies were dispatched to an address on Hwy 71 S near Wickes in reference to an Unattended Death.


May 22, 2022

No reports filed.


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


Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 21 Incarcerated Inmates, with 7 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.



5-23-22 3:44 p.m. KAWX.ORG

Mena Police Report for May 15th - 21st

Mena Police Department reports for the week of May 15th through April May 21st, 2022


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



May 15

A report of battery and violation of a no contact order was taken at a residence on 7th Street.


A report of harassment was taken at a residence on Hidden Valley Road.


May 16

Shaylan Crider, 32, was served with a warrant at the county jail.


May 17

Dennis Goodner, 62, was served with a warrant after a disturbance call to a residence on 9th Street.


A report of disorderly conduct was taken at Executive Inn.


William Pierce, 38, was served with a warrant at a residence on Janssen Avenue.


May 18

A report of battery and endangering the welfare of a minor was taken at a business parking lot on Highway 71.


Timothy Hooks, 36, was served with a warrant after a traffic stop on Janssen Avenue.


May 19

Spencer Powell, 33, was served with four warrants after a traffic stop on 7th Street.


A report of theft was taken from Walmart.


A report of a disturbance was taken at a residence on Turner Street.


May 20

Kelly Galloway, 53, was charged with theft at Walmart.


A report of theft was taken at Northside Superstop.


May 21

No reports.


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

Polk County Dentention Center

5-23-22 8:45 a.m. KAWX.ORG

Additional Funds Aid Efforts to Remove Feral Hogs from Arkansas

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is pleased to announce that additional funding has been made available to assist with feral hog eradication efforts in Arkansas. Senator John Boozman was instrumental in securing $650,000 in federal funding through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022 for the Arkansas Department of Agriculture to implement additional eradication efforts across the state. Additionally, the Buffalo River Conservation Committee (BRCC) allocated $74,960 to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Wildlife Services (USDA Wildlife Services) to expand eradication efforts within the Buffalo River watershed.


“We appreciate the efforts of Senator Boozman and the BRCC to provide additional resources that will enable the Department and our partners on the Arkansas Feral Hog Eradication Task Force to expand efforts to remove more feral hogs from Arkansas’s croplands, pastures, forests, and wetlands,” said Wes Ward, Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture. “


The Arkansas Department of Agriculture will use the federal funds to work with USDA Wildlife Services to implement a statewide feral hog management plan. These efforts will supplement ongoing removal activities, including eradication efforts in 12 Arkansas counties funded through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Feral Swine Eradication and Control Pilot Program. 


USDA Wildlife Services will use the funding from the BRCC to purchase additional traps and other equipment to expand trapping efforts within the Buffalo River watershed.


Approximately 30,000 feral hogs have been removed from the state by members of the Feral Hog Eradication Task Force (Task Force) since January 2020. The Task Force was created by the Arkansas legislature in 2017 to create a plan for the eradication of feral hogs in Arkansas and is made up of 21 federal and state agencies and non-government organizations. More information on the Task Force can be found at bit.ly/FeralHogETF


Feral hogs are an invasive species that are especially destructive to agricultural crops, native wildlife, and young domestic livestock. In Arkansas, the latest survey by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated that feral swine cause at least $41 million in agricultural damages every year, including $34 million in damages to soybeans, corn, cotton, wheat, hay, pecans, and rice, and $7.3 million in damages to livestock. Landowners experiencing feral hog damage are encouraged to call USDA Wildlife Services at (501) 835-2318 for assistance.


5-21-22 6:57 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

Gov. Asa Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Your Vote Matters

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Your Vote Matters
LITTLE ROCK – If you’re not convinced that every vote counts, consider the race for one of the U.S. Senate seats in Pennsylvania. At last count, the difference in the totals was 31.2 percent to 31.1 percent – two tenths of a percentage point difference.
Closer to home, in our neighboring state to the south, the new mayor of Pineville, Louisiana, won by five votes. If only six of the loser’s supporters had voted, he would have won by a single vote.
In the 2020 election, the candidates for a school board seat in California tied. So the winner, as the law requires, was decided by a roll of the dice. The challenger rolled snake eyes, and the incumbent threw a three. Even with the dice, the winner won by only one.
Stories such as those are interesting. Since they are rare, we may be inclined to overlook the one fact that each race had in common: The winner was chosen by the slimmest of margins. That slim margin will determine who will make consequential decisions that affect voters.
Arkansas’s 2022 election may be one of the most consequential in a decade. We have redrawn the state’s legislative boundaries, which the law requires every ten years after the U.S. Census. Although many legislators will be re-elected, we are in a sense electing a brand-new general assembly.
Thanks to Arkansas’s term-limit law, we also are electing a new governor, attorney general, lieutenant governor, and treasurer; the incumbent Republican secretary of state has a challenger in the primary and will face a Democrat Party challenger in the general election. The incumbent land commissioner will have an opponent in the general election, and three people are running in the general election to become auditor. We will be choosing three associate justices of the Arkansas Supreme Court, four court of appeals associate judges, sixteen circuit judges, twenty-eight prosecuting attorneys, and one district court judge.
Our four representatives in the United States House are running for re-election, as is one of our U.S. senators.
Every one of the candidates we elect will have a direct effect on many Arkansans. Voting in Arkansas is easy. Early voting continues Saturday and until 5 p.m. Monday. On Tuesday, Election Day, the polls are open from 7:30 in the morning until 7:30 p.m. That gives every voter twelve hours to cast a ballot.
Even with a one-hundred percent voter turnout, the outcome of a race could be razor thin. But a large turnout at least gives us the assurance our government reflects the authentic voice of voters. The United States is a free nation because many worked and fought to give us freedom. Our vote is a note of thanks.
5-20-22 4:38 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

The House Aging, Children and Youth, Legislative and Military Affairs Committee met jointly with the Senate Children and Youth Committee this week to hear from groups actively working to combat human trafficking.


The Arkansas Crime Information Center (ACIC) testified that there were 13 arrests for human trafficking charges in Arkansas in 2021.


In 2022, there have been 4 arrests.


Since the year 2000, there have been 14 convictions for individuals facing human trafficking-related charges in Arkansas.


Representatives for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) also testified in the committee.


In 2021, the organization received more than 17,000 reports of possible child sex trafficking. The organization estimates that 1 in 6 of the children reported missing to NCMEC who had run away were likely victims of child sex trafficking.


Boys made up 6% of the child sex trafficking cases reported to NCMEC.


The committee also heard from organizations helping survivors recover from abuse.


Members will review the information presented to determine if there is a need to strengthen existing laws.


In the 2021 Regular Session, we passed a number of acts addressing human trafficking in Arkansas.


Act 798 provides heightened conditions for release on bail for persons accused of human trafficking and human trafficking-related offenses.


Act 1106 establishes an affirmative defense for victims of human trafficking accused of certain offenses.


Act 1098 creates the offenses of grooming a minor for future sex trafficking and traveling for the purpose of an unlawful sex act with a minor.


Child sex trafficking victims often are unable to self-identify as victims or disclose their abuse because of fear, shame, or loyalty to their abuser(s). It is not a child’s responsibility to ask for help. It is up to the professionals and trusted adults in these children’s lives to recognize the signs associated with child sex trafficking, so they can intervene and help them get the support they deserve.


You can report suspected child sex trafficking or make a tip at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) CyberTipline.org.


5-20-22 4:34 p.m. KAWX.ORG

US Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column

Delivering Improved Benefits and Services for Veterans

As a senior member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I’ve been blessed to play an active role in updating Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) policies including expanding access to health care, improving suicide prevention efforts and eliminating barriers for women veterans to receive VA care and services. I’m continuing that commitment to the men and women who served in uniform. In recent days, the House of Representatives approved a trio of legislative initiatives I championed that are now headed to the president’s desk to be signed into law.


With two of these bills modernizing breast cancer screening policies and providing the delivery of lifesaving care for women veterans, these significant legislative developments signal a major win for women veterans. 


Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women. For women veterans and servicemembers, the incidence of breast cancer is estimated to be up to 40 percent higher than the general population. Given the dangerous environments in which military members serve and additional risk factors associated with these locations, it’s long overdue for the VA to update its policies for administering mammograms.


We know early detection is crucial to preventing and treating breast cancer, so making sure those who are more vulnerable receive screenings at a younger age is not only reasonable, but critical.


Dr. Kate Hendricks Thomas was unaware of the increased risk she faced as a result of her deployment to Iraq. That’s why she was surprised to hear her doctor’s recommendation to undergo a mammogram at age 38. That exam subsequently led to her diagnosis of stage 4 breast cancer.


She spent her final years fighting to modernize VA’s policies so other veterans don’t experience the same struggles. Sadly, she passed away before realizing her dream of passage of legislation to accomplish this.


We honored her activism with the Dr. Kate Hendricks Thomas Supporting Expanded Review for Veterans in Combat Environments (SERVICE) Act. It will broaden veterans’ access to mammograms and also require the VA to compile data regarding the rates of breast cancer among members of the veteran and the civilian populations so we can continue improving procedures to better treat breast cancer patients. We can be proud Congress unanimously advanced this bill.


This was just one critical proposal to help advance breast health. Congress is also sending the Making Advances in Mammography and Medical Options (MAMMO) for Veterans Act to the president’s desk to expand access to high-quality breast cancer screenings, improve imaging services in rural areas and allow clinical trials through partnerships with the National Cancer Institute.


The VA is uniquely positioned to be a leader in the prevention and treatment of breast cancer. Taking full advantage of the department’s unique capabilities, resources and outreach will help deliver the lifesaving care veterans deserve.


Additionally, Congress expanded the VA watchdog authority strengthening VA oversight by advancing the Strengthening Oversight for Veterans Act of 2021, an initiative to provide the VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) the authority to subpoena testimony from former VA employees who have left federal service and others relevant to its inspections, reviews and investigations. Empowering the OIG with this ability will help ensure accountability and transparency.


It is unique for a senator to have several bills sent to the president’s desk to be signed into law in the same week. I’m pleased Congress has prioritized the needs of veterans with broad support of the measures I’ve championed. My colleagues and I will continue working to improve the services our former servicemembers have earned and urge the president to quickly sign these into law.


5-20-22 4:01 p.m. KAWX.ORG

Congressman Bruce Westerman's Weekly Column

America Deserves Congress' Full Attention

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi recently announced the extension of remote voting through June 28th due to risks of COVID-19 as a "public health emergency." The proxy voting system has been abused by Members on both sides of the aisle from the start. Simply watch any vote on CSPAN to see the ridiculous number of M.I.A. members. Or watch a committee hearing where Members tune-in from a boat, their car, or even their beds. These absent legislators are neither ill, nor exposed to COVID-19. They simply would rather be home or at other events.

As frustrating as Speaker Pelosi's decision is, its hypocrisy truly came to light in April when President Joe Biden announced his decision to allow Title 42 to expire on May 23. Title 42 is an immigration order requiring immigrants to remain in their country of origin until their paperwork is processed based upon COVID-19 as a public health emergency. He claims that this order is no longer needed as a health measure, ostensibly because COVID-19 isn't an emergency anymore. Think about that. The Speaker says it's a health emergency, but the President says it's not. The Democrats are in disarray.

What's more, this week, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) court filing revealed that 234,088 migrants were encountered at the border in April, the highest in DHS history. In this nod to the radical Left, President Biden ignores his advisors who fear that allowing Title 42 to expire will cause a "mass migration event" and sow chaos at a time when we need stability in America. It is expected that a federal judge will rule on the constitutionality of President Biden's decision to reverse Title 42 within the next couple of days. I will be watching the decision closely, and I hope to see Title 42 upheld. Arkansans are rightly concerned about how our tax dollars are being used at the border by this President, especially when Democrat leadership can't decide whether we are or aren't in a public health emergency.

Our nation is facing myriad crises including a historic baby formula shortage, inflation not seen in 40 years, gas prices topping $4.00 a gallon in every state, and a dangerously overrun southern border. Congress needs to do the job we were sent to Washington, D.C. to do. We were sent to advocate and vote according to our constituents' values, but that job is simply impossible to manage effectively when the Members are not in Washington, D.C. I encourage my fellow Members to vote in-person regardless of Speaker Pelosi's extension of proxy voting. We have a duty to the American people to not cut corners when dealing with policy that will drastically affect folks' lives.


5-20-22 3:55 p.m. KAWX.ORG


Polk County authorities have requested the Arkansas State Police to investigate a shooting incident that occurred in Mena as sheriff’s deputies were about to enter a residence where a domestic disturbance had been reported just before 10 PM, Thursday (May 19th).
Rickey Looney, 40, of 108 Majesty Lane was shot by a law enforcement officer after Looney reportedly ordered authorities to leave, then pointed a gun at one of the three sheriff’s department personnel who was about to enter the home.  Looney was transported by ambulance to a local hospital where he later died.
Sherriff’s department personnel initially responded to Looney’s home after a woman reported she had accidentally shot Looney with a pistol as he attempted to stop her from leaving following an argument between the two.
Special agents of the state police Criminal Investigation Division are conducting an investigation into the use of deadly force by a law enforcement officer.  The investigative case file will be used by the Polk County prosecuting attorney in making a decision whether the use of deadly force was consistent with Arkansas law.
The identity of the law enforcement officer who shot Looney is not being released at this time.  The sheriff’s department and prosecuting attorney will decide when to move forward in making the identity public.
State police special agents are continuing their investigative work today and will obtain an autopsy report from the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory where the medical examiner will determine the cause and manner of death.
5-20-22 11:48 a.m. KAWX.ORG

Polk County Domestic Dispute Results In Death Of Suspect, ASP CID Investigating

The Polk County Sheriff's Department released the following statement today concerning a domestic dispute that resulted in the death of an unidentified suspect.

"On Thursday, May 19, 2022, at approximately 10:00 p.m., the Polk County Sheriff's Department responded to a domestic dispute involving a firearm. Tragically, the situation ended in an officer involved shooting that resulted in the death of the original suspect. The Arkansas State Police were notified and is conducting a full investigation into this incident. The Polk County Sheriff's Office will not make any additional comments regarding this matter. Any additional inquires should be forwarded to the Arkansas State Police CID Unit at Troop K."
5-20-22 9:41 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

State Senator Larry Teague's Weekly Column

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

May 20, 2022


LITTLE ROCK – Two strengths of Arkansas manufacturing are in the aviation and defense industries.


Both sectors will become even stronger, thanks to a commitment recently announced by Lockheed Martin and Airbus.


Executives of the two companies announced that western Arkansas would be the location of a new plant to manufacture the LMXT strategic tanker boom refueling system for the U.S. Air Force.


The system will install the most up-to-date technology on airplanes with large tanks of jet fuel that is siphoned through a boom into other Air Force jets. The refueling is done in midair.


An exact location was not announced, but the facility will hire 60 to 100 people.


Lockheed Martin has had a manufacturing plant in Camden since 1978. It employs 1,030 people at its Camden Operations plant which is a manufacturing and final assembly facility. It also has testing and storage facilities.


The LMXT aerial refueling system represents the first time Airbus has opened a manufacturing facility in Arkansas.


Aerospace and defense are thriving industries in Arkansas. The Arkansas Economic Development Commission lists these notable aerospace manufacturing companies in the state: Dassault Falcon Jet, which established its largest facility in central Arkansas, Lockheed Martin, Aerojet Rocketdyne, and General Dynamics.


The Air Force chose Ebbing Air National Guard in Fort Smith as the location for an F-35 Lightning II training center for foreign military sales. Its estimated economic impact in Arkansas is about $1 billion a year.


Also in the past couple of years, other companies such as SGL Carbon, Radius Aerospace, CoorsTek, and Aerojet Rocketdyne have expanded facilities in Arkansas.


Aerospace and defense companies employ more than 14,000 people, whose average wages were $62,875 in 2017, according to the AEDC.


Part of the growth in aviation jobs is due to national and international business trends, but state government has done its part to take advantage of those trends. One effort is to strengthen education standards in the STEM fields – science, technology, engineering and math.


Two-year colleges and four-year universities are offering a wider variety of training programs that equip graduates with the job skills most in demand by aerospace facilities.


Airbus has an extensive presence across the southeastern part of the United States, with locations in Alabama, Mississippi and Florida where aerial refueling systems are built for the Air Force. Military veterans make up 30 percent of the workforce.


The announcement of the Arkansas facility follows an expansion by Lockheed Martin and Airbus in Alabama and Georgia.


Revenue Report

State government collected a surprising amount of tax revenue in April. Net available revenue was 44 percent greater than in April of last year.


For the first 10 months of the current fiscal year, net available revenue is up 19 percent over last year. That is $988 million more than budget forecasters had predicted.


The three major sources of state revenue are sales taxes, individual income taxes and corporate income taxes.


5-20-22 9:19 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

UA Rich Mountain's PTK Chapter Inducts New Members

The UA Rich Mountain Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) recently inducted new members. Phi Theta Kappa recognizes and rewards high-achieving students and provides opportunities through Honors in Action and the Five Star Competitive Edge to develop such critical skills as problem solving, project planning, team building, effective communication and conflict resolution. These skills give students a competitive edge when planning for transfer or applying for jobs.


New inductees are: Jaci Allen, Lakelin Ashley, Brayden Autry, Daly Barnett, Madison Blair, Grace Carmack, Hope Carmack, Alicia Castrejon, Brendon Catlett, Cole Clark, Tyler Coon, London Copelin, Avery Cotton, William Doolan, Mary Kate Duncan, Matthew Ford, Natalie Ford, Alyssa Howard, Allison Irwin, Julianna Kennedy, Madelyn Lacaze, Ciara Lance, Michael Lee, Robin Lehnerd, Rebeka Lewis, Maggie Lilly, Yvette Martinez, James McCormick, Dalton McCourtney, Valley Meeks, Michael Millard, Abigail Nance, Presleigh Payne, Kailey Pentz, Autumn Powell, Krisitina Provence, Morgan Puckett, Joseph Rickman, Lauren Sikes, Carleigh Smart, Chloe Speight, Christopher Tarr, Daniel Taylor, Jennifer Taylor, Taylor Thacker, Irvin Trejo, Kailey Wade, Mary Emily Wagner, Hunter Waters, Alyssa Wilson, and Alexandrea Wright.

Serving as PTK Leadership is Dalton McCourtney, President; London Copelin, Vice-President; Ally Wright, Secretary.


Phi Theta Kappa is recognized as the official honor society for community colleges by the American Association of Community Colleges. The UA Rich Mountain PTK Sponsor is Penny Lunsford.


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


5-18-22 2:47 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

Mena School Board Meeting Recap

Mena School Board Meeting

Tuesday, May 17th, 2022


The meeting began with special guests and a presentation. Mena High School yearbook advisor Andy Philpot, yearbook editor Lexi Dilbeck and student life human interest editor Leilani Knight spoke to the board about their strategies and experiences while producing the 2022 yearbook. The trio presented each board member with a copy of the yearbook.


Superintendent Dr. Lee Smith then reminded those in attendance that early voting is currently underway through May 23rd and that election day is May 24th. Smith also reminded everyone that the board will be required to restructure at the June meeting.


Next Dr. Smith notified the board that he had learned that the district will be able to use ARP Funds to replace the tile floors with polished concrete. Polished concrete has been shown to be 

A cleaner option. Approval was given that will allow Smith to seek proposals and act on them accordingly.


Mena High School Principal David Maxwell then shared the plan for the 2022 Graduation Ceremony on Saturday, May 21st, at 10:00am. A total of 94 graduates will receive their diploma at Bob Carver Bearcat Stadium. In the event of rain the ceremony will be moved to the Union Bank Center with overflow set up in the cafeteria and performing arts center. 


Maxwell was then asked to address the board about academic options at Mena High School that have been or will be implemented in order to maximize the 716 academic days that are afforded each student. These include increased offerings in science, math, ag science and business. A streamlined course catalog, continued efforts to engage students and more.


Assistant Superintendent Bridget Buckley then spoke on summer school and the summer camps that will be held during the summer months. An impressive number of students have signed up for summer school including 45 students at Louise Durham Elementary, 91 students at Holly Harshman Elementary and 35 students at Mena Middle School. A number was not available for Mena High School. The summer day camps are planned in June at all four campuses and so far 95 students have signed up with more expected.


District Maintenance Supervisor Danny Minton then updated the board on projects. He stated that the location for the new outdoor classrooms at each campus have been selected. A new dishwasher has been ordered for LDE. A new freezer will be installed soon at HHE. Turf replacement at BCBS is scheduled to begin on May 27th and should be completed in three weeks with paving of the “D” zones to follow. A number of projects are scheduled for this summer including power washing the stadium bleachers, moving gas lines at MMS, replacing flanges on bathroom toilets at MHS and remodeling one of the kitchen classrooms at MMS.


Next on the agenda was the renewal of the contract keeping Aramark as the food service management company. As well as the renewal of the agreement with Horizon for free and reduced lunch fund software. Both passed with no discussion.


Dr. Smith then spoke about a communication gap that was recently exposed in the school bus fleet. He recommended and the board approved the purchase and installation of two way radios at a cost of $41,000.00 to help insure the safety and security of the students.


The board next approved the use of Emergency Connectivity Funds to purchase 830 Chromebooks for student use. 


Dr. Smith then explained how additional COVID duty pay will be made available to employees through the American Recovery Plan. This will be for 116 school days during the pandemic.


The board quickly approved the new salary schedule. It included an increase in pay for all employees that was discussed and finalized in previous meetings.


The school choice deadline ended on May 1st and Dr. Smith notified the board that 7 students chose to leave the district and 8 students will be coming to Mena from surrounding districts.


The board approved the financial reports after Smith stated that revenue is outpacing expenses and the district is on pace to complete the year on target. He also noted that in the first year partnering with Aramark on concessions there was a profit of $11,000.00.


Finally there were a large number of changes in personnel.



Karen Purvis

Rod Purvis.



Kalie Clibrey

Tyler Huntington

Carri Cranford

Jennifer Baber.



Corey Collins – Jr. Boys Basketball /Asst. Baseball / MMS instructor

Kelly Bowen – Bus Driver

Max Hartwig – AE Para / Bus Driver

Susan Tyler – MHS SPED Teacher

Jamie Copelin – Lead PreK Paraprofessional

Rebecca Sprague – LDE SPED Teacher

Crystal Reed – MHS SPED Para

Sandra Spencer – LDE SPED Para

Reagan Hansard – HHE Para



Robert Gallego - From a “C” bus route to a “D” route.

Wanalynn Alexander – From MHS SPED to MMS SPED due to increased student count.

Bethany Meaders -  From SPED to general education.

Debbie Hankins  -  From LDE SPED self contained to SPED resource classroom.

All were approved as was the early release of Amy Montgomery effective May 31st,2022. Montogmery submitted her resignation at the April meeting.


5-18-22 8:46 a.m. KAWX.ORG

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


The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of May 9, 2022 – May 15, 2022. The charges against those arrested are allegations and the cases are still pending in the courts. Individuals charged and whose names appear in this column may submit documentation to us at a later date that the charges have been dismissed or that they have been found innocent and we will include that information in this space in a timely manner.


May 9, 2022

Deputies were dispatched to a residence on Polk 282 near Hatfield in reference to a break-in.

Deputies were dispatched to a residence on Hwy 375 E near Mena in reference to a trespasser.


May 10, 2022

Deputies responded to a walk-in complainant in reference to a violation of an order of protection.

Deputies responded to a walk-in complainant in reference to the theft of property.


May 11, 2022

Deputies responded to a walk-in complainant in reference to a violation of a no contact order. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney for further consideration.

Deputies responded to a report of Domestic Battery. Information was forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney for further consideration.

Deputies were dispatched to a residence on Polk 417 near Mena in reference to an animal being hit by a car.

Deputies were dispatched to a residence on Polk 659 near Board Camp in reference to a violation of an order of protection. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney for further consideration.


May 12, 2022

Deputies responded to a walk-in complainant in reference to a windshield being shattered after being hit by a rock thrown from a school bus tire.


May 13, 2022

Aramis Candelaria, 20 of Mena was arrested on a Felony Warrant for Residential Burglary, Criminal Trespass and Theft of Property.


May 14, 2022

Deputies responded to a residence on Polk 659 near Board Camp in reference to a violation of an order of protection.


May 15, 2022

A traffic stop near Hatfield led to the arrest of Richard Cheshire, 60 of Mena on charges of Possession of Methamphetamine or Cocaine with Purpose to Deliver and two Misdemeanor Warrants for Failure to Appear. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney for further consideration.

Deputies were dispatched to a business on Hwy 71 near Hillcrest in reference to a break-in.


Polk County Sheriff’s Office worked 0 vehicle accidents this week.


Polk County Detention Center Jail Population:  24 Incarcerated Inmates, with 11 Inmates

currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.




5-17-22 11:00 a.m. KAWX.ORG

Mena Police Report for May 8th - 14th



Mena Police Department reports for the week of May 8th through April May 14th, 2022:


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



May 8


No reports.


May 9


A report of theft was taken from Walmart.


May 10


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


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


Robert Wallace, 22, was served with a warrant at the county jail.


Michael Krulcik, 27, was charged with Possession of a Schedule 6 Controlled Substance, Driving on Suspended License and Speeding after a traffic stop on Highway 71.


May 11


Windal Loyd, 41, was served with two warrants after contact on 8th Street.


Jerry Allen, 28, was charged with Possession of Schedule 6 Controlled Substance and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia after a traffic stop on Highway 71.


Marcus Hackworth, 39, was served with two warrants at Janssen Park.


May 12


Michael Krulcik, 27, was served with a warrant at the county jail.


Adian James, 20, was charged with Loitering and served with a warrant after a suspicious person complaint on 4th Street.


Darrell Sanders, 52, was served with a warrant at the county jail.


May 13


Jonathan McBee, 20, was served with a warrant at a residence on Morrow Street.


Benjamin Bonner, 36, was served with a warrant at a residence on Eagle Gap.


Bradley Crawford, 27, was charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia after a traffic stop on North Adams Street.


Michael Krulcik, 27, was charged with Possession of Schedule 6 Controlled Substance and Driving on Suspended License after a traffic sop on Eagle Gap Avenue.


May 14


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


A report of breaking or entering was taken at a residence on Oak Grove Avenue.


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


5-17-22 9:16 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

Polk County Detention Center 

OLT Auditions Announced for Hilarious Summer Show

OLT Auditions Announced for Hilarious Summer Show


Ouachita Little Theatre is providing summer entertainment that will be popular with a large group of comedy fans. It is entitled “Monty Python’s Edukational Show” which is a musical comedy comprised of a collection of skits, songs, and videos from the “Flying Circus” series as well as some of Monty Python movies. This production was purposely written for student actors and actresses from 8th grade through college age. If you are not familiar with this comic genre, it appeals to the junior high through the older adult set. Therefore, individual parental discretion is advised for our youngest fans.


Auditions will be held Thursday, May 26th from 6-8 PM and Saturday, May 28th from 9 AM-12 PM. Director Jered Biard is seeking approximately fifteen young people from an age range of 8th graders through college undergrads. Each actor will be asked to fill a variety of roles. Even though Monty Python was an all-male comedy troupe, this show will have acting opportunities for both male and females.


Performance dates for this show are slated for July 29-31 and August 5-7. If you have any questions, you can contact director Jered Biard through the OLT website at OLTMENA.COM. There you may also find more information about this show and Ouachita Little Theatre membership.


5-16-22 3:01 p.m. KAWX.ORG

UA Rich Mountain Announces Spring 2022 Honor Recipients

The University of Arkansas Rich Mountain has announced the students named to the Chancellor's List and Vice Chancellor’s List who were enrolled for the spring 2022 semester.


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


Lakelin Ashley – Mena, Ark.

Brayden Autry – Aubrey, Texas

Katie Benefield – Mena, Ark.

Lauren Bollmeyer – Mena, Ark.

Alicia Castrejon – Wickes, Ark.

Brooke Detommaso – Las Vegas, Nev.

Madison Dettmer – Benton, Ark.

Saleen Dixon – Boles, Ark.

Cynthia Doty – Mena, Ark.

Jessica Douglas – GATESHEAD, United Kingdom

Mary Duncan – Bauxite, Ark.

Lawrence Erickson – Mena, Ark.

Natalie Ford – Mena, Ark.

Christopher Foster – DeQueen, Ark.

Melanie Glossup – Allen, Tex.

Tiffany Gwin – Waldron, Ark.

Mandy Harrison – Mena, Ark.

Shannon Helm – Whitesboro, Okla.

Altarra Higgins – Mena, Ark.

Allison Irwin – Hot Springs, Ark.

Paul Kaelin – Mena, Ark.

Daniel Kennedy – Oden, Ark.

Barkan Kilic – BRAUNSCHWEIG, Germany

Katherine Klingbeil – Mount Ida, Ark.

Madelynn Lacaze – Longview, Tex.

Brenci Marrufo – Grannis, Ark.

James McCormick – Benton, Ark.

Kaylin McKee – Wickes, Ark.

Miriam Mendez – Mena, Ark.

Christopher Moore – Grannis, Ark.

George Morgan – Wickes, Ark.

Kimberly Morriss – Wickes, Ark.

Abigail Nance – Mena, Ark.

Tammy Nelson – Mena, Ark.

Darla Parnell – Mena, Ark.

Presleigh Payne – Grapevine, Tex.

Victoria Rollins – Mena, Ark.

Gina Santoria – Lawrence, Kan.

Grant Shankle – Van Buren, Ark.

Lauren Sikes – Mena, Ark.

LaMonte Warta – Batiest, Okla.

Abigail West – Ida, Ark.

Salem Weston – Oden, Ark.

Silas Weston – Oden, Ark.

Kara Wymann – Mena, Ark.

Kelsey Yother – Waldron, Ark.


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

The Vice Chancellor’s List for the spring 2022 semester are as follows:


Steven Armstrong – GLASGOW, Scotland

Brenna Aynes – Mena, Ark.

Hope Badger – Mount Ida, Ark.

Jackson Baker – Sherwood, Ark.

Connor Bise – Damascus, Ark.

Madison Blair – Mena, Ark.

Emily Burtnett – Booneville, Ark.

Yeremi Camacho Vazquez – Wister, Okla.

Heather Carlton – Wickes, Ark.

Cole Clark – Clarksville, Ark.

Brookely Coffey – Sims, Ark.

London Copelin – Mena, Ark.

Avery Cotten – Longview, Tex.

Trey Coughran – Waldron, Ark.

Natalee Dinnerville – Carthage, Tex.

Gracie Evans – SHREWSBURY, United Kingdom

Halie Ewing – Glenwood, Ark.

Drake Fontenot – Bossier City, La.

Edward Garcia – DeQueen, Ark.

Aubrey Garrison – Ward, Ark.

Tyreek Gilkey – Fort Smith, Ark.

Emmylyn Goss – Mena, Ark.

Maddison Gunn – Mena, Ark.

Rhiannon Holmes – NEWCASTLE, United Kingdom

Madeline Hopper – Pencil Bluff, Ark.

Amy Huffmaster – Waldron, Ark.

Jaden Hutchens – Waldron, Ark.

Morgan Johnson – Rowlett, Tex.

Aletha Jones – Waldron, Ark.

Hayden Koller – Texarkana, Ark.

Ciara Lance – Mena, Ark.

Makayla Leonard – Mena, Ark.

Rebeka Lewis – Mount Ida, Ark.

Emily Liles – Mena, Ark.

Randy Little – White Hall, Ark.

Ayden Ludwig – Hatfield, Ark.

Macy Maddox – Mena, Ark.

Haley Magueyal-Perez – Nashville, Ark.

Christina McCarley – Grannis, Ark.

Matthew Nance – Mena, Ark.

Shasati Parsons – Newhope, Ark.

Isaac Pelts – Knoxville, Ark.

Kailey Pentz – Siloam Springs, Ark.

Morgan Puckett – Mena, Ark.

Elizabeth Rochen – Grand Saline, Tex.

Jonas Rodriguez – Wickes, Ark.

Kendra Rose – Mount Ida, Ark.

Esmerald Salgado – Grannis, Ark.

Bailey Sawyer – ANGUS, Scotland

Dawson Sawyer, BRECHIN, Scotland

Levi Self – Wickes, Ark.

Amy Singleton – Greenwood, Ark.

Sydney Smith – Siloam Springs, Ark.

Christopher Tarr – DURBAN, South Africa

Irvin Trejo – Wickes, Ark.

Sarah Wallace – Mena, Ark.

Jamie Watt – ARBROATH, Scotland

Christopher Webb – El Dorado, Ark.

Jackson Wells – Lowell, Ark.

Cooper White – Sheridan, Ark.

Sunnie Wilkinson – Colmesneil, Tex.

Jah Kaiya – Little Rock, Ark.

Alexandrea Wright – Mena, Ark.


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


5-14-22 3:07 p.m. KAWX.ORG

Flags to Half-Staff Sunday for Fallen Peace Officers

In tribute to the state and nation's fallen law enforcement officers and as an expression of public sorrow, Governor Asa Hutchinson has directed the state flag of Arkansas to fly at half-staff on Sunday, May 15, 2022, for Peace Officers Memorial Day.


May 15th through May 21st, 2022, is National Police Week and Sunday, May 15th, 2021, is designated as Peace Officers Memorial Day to honor the service and sacrifice of those law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty while protecting our communities and safeguarding our democracy.


The Governor's Proclamation can be viewed at this LINK.


The United States flag and the state flag of Arkansas are currently at half-staff by order of a presidential proclamation for remembrance of the one million American lives lost to COVID-19.


Flags will return to full staff at sunset on Monday, May 16, 2022.


5-14-22 2:59 p.m. KAWX.ORG

State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

From patrolling morning rush hour to responding to a domestic call late at night, we ask a great deal from our men and women in law enforcement. We cannot thank them enough for their selfless service.


The Governor issued a proclamation declaring May 15-May 21 as National Police Week. Sunday, May 15 is designated as Peace Officers Memorial Day to honor the service and sacrifice of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. The proclamation directs that the state flag of Arkansas be flown at half-staff on Sunday as an expression of public sorrow.


There are an estimated 7,000 officers are protecting and serving 3 million Arkansans. We recognize that a single week is not a sufficient amount of time to honor their continually sacrifices. We hope the legislation enacted in the most recent session helps to support them and their families throughout the year.


In the most recent fiscal session, we passed an appropriation providing a one-time stipend of $5,000 to full-time certified city and county law enforcement officers, as well as probation and parole officers. It also provided for a $2,000 one-time stipend for state troopers.


We also increased the budget for Arkansas State Police by $7.4 million increase to assist in raising the salaries for state troopers.

In the 2021 Regular Session, we passed Act 714, which requires a city of first-class to establish a city police department and provide the department with proper resources.

We also addressed the mental health of our officers by passing Act 747. This bill states law enforcement agencies must assist a law enforcement officer involved in a critical incident in obtaining services that may help the officer recover from psychological effects.

We passed legislation that was recommended by the Governor’s Task Force to Advance the State of Law Enforcement in Arkansas. Act 218 limits a law-enforcement agency to two part-time officers for every full-time officer. The task force report noted that the higher ratio of full-time officers would strengthen in-house training and enhance stability.

And we passed legislation making sure K-9 units get the necessary medical services they need if injured in the line of duty with Act 790 titled Gabo’s Law.

We will continue to explore ways to support our law enforcement. We encourage Arkansans to take this week as an opportunity to say thank you and show your appreciation to those who keep your communities safe.


5-13-22 4:38 p.m. KAWX.ORG


US Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column

Honoring and Applauding Law Enforcement Officers

On behalf of all Arkansans, I’m honored to mark National Police Week and Peace Officers Memorial Day by paying tribute to our law enforcement officers in The Natural State and across our country.


These men and women who swear an oath to protect and serve their communities are committed to keeping us safe and upholding the law. They take on tremendous risks and are always willing to run toward danger when the rest of us are running away from it.


That requires a special kind of strength and character. It’s what sets them apart and gives us hope that there’s never a situation so dire as to keep them from doing their job.


Arkansas is blessed. In towns and cities across our state, our police departments are filled with humble, dedicated and courageous public servants who exude professionalism and compassion under tremendous pressure. The 10 Arkansans whose names will be added to the National Law Enforcement Memorial’s Roll Call of Heroes this year – Scott Hutton, Hasain El-Amin, Christopher Cummins, Joshua Pierson, James Gardner, Frank Ramirez Jr., Danny Guynes, Kevin Apple, Lesley Green and Malachi Thacker – all fit that description.


Two of these fallen lawmen perished last year while on the job, protecting the public.


Independence County Sheriff’s Deputy Frank Ramirez Jr. made the ultimate sacrifice in an early morning car crash that occurred while he was responding to a call for help. Pea Ridge Police Officer Kevin Apple lost his life in the line of duty when he was struck by a suspect’s vehicle as the driver attempted to flee from police.


Their stories remind us why we are so grateful for those who wear the badge, patrol our streets, secure our communities and answer calls for help without regard for their own well-being.


So, this week especially, we pause and take the opportunity to say thank you to our law enforcement officers for doing a tough job so well and for their willingness to serve as beacons of light in times of crisis and darkness.


We appreciate them, and all they represent.


It is inspiring to watch them carry out their duties without much fanfare, but with determination and discipline.


That’s exactly what earned Arkansas State Trooper Spencer Morris recognition earlier this year when he was named the National State Trooper of the Year by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, State, and Provincial Division. Trooper Morris exhibited incredible bravery when helping the U.S. Marshals Service apprehend an armed fugitive. He was shot in the chest after attempting to pull the suspect’s vehicle over, returned fire and called for backup, leading to the shooter’s apprehension.


His story is like so many others among our law enforcement ranks – looking past danger and setting self-preservation aside to keep the peace, ensure safety and protect communities.


Understanding that reality is what motivates me to support policies that acknowledge how much our law enforcement officers are needed, provide the funding and resources necessary for them to do their jobs properly, and create harsh penalties for those who would target them with violence because of their profession.


And it’s why I encourage you to join me in expressing publicly what we feel all year: we cannot thank them enough for their service and sacrifice.


Arkansans must always share how much we appreciate the members of the Thin Blue Line. May God bless them as they continue working in our communities with heroism and skill. We applaud them and commit to always Back the Blue.


5-13-22 4:03 p.m. KAWX.ORG

Governor Asa Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: To the Class of 2022



Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Address: To the Class of 2022


To listen to Governor Hutchinson's weekly radio address, click anywhere on this line, then click on the play button.


LITTLE ROCK – The graduation season is upon us, so today I am congratulating the members of the Class of 2022 who overcame the expected difficulties of high school and college and then surmounted the totally unexpected challenges of a worldwide pandemic.


COVID-19 forced you to do many things differently. You attended some classes virtually from time to time. You might have missed some extracurricular activities such as music programs, competitive sports, and clubs.


For all that you missed, you also learned some lessons that you wouldn’t have otherwise. You watched leaders at all levels of health care and government assess the medical information and decide how to combat COVID-19 and how to keep Americans safe. We witnessed robust debate about the intersection of science, medicine, public opinion, and emotion. I imagine that these are lessons many of you will take into your careers, whether you are in public service or the private sector.


In Arkansas, we went virtual in our schools for a short time. We knew the best outcome for our students was to return them to in-classroom instruction as soon as possible. And we did. Our Department of Education worked with school districts all over the state to implement procedures and protocols to ensure in-classroom learning continued. Secretary of Education Johnny Key and educators in all corners of Arkansas sometimes worked seven days a week to support our teachers and students.


As we come out of the pandemic, we are enjoying all of our traditions, including graduation. I join you in your success as I imagine the sights and sounds as you walk across the stage, receive your diploma to the tune “Pomp and Circumstance,” your caps flying in the air as you finish one era of your life and head into the next.


Graduation time is a good time to pause and reflect on the challenges and what you have learned to overcome the next challenge.


As you look to the next stage of your life, don’t forget the people who helped you get to this point: your family, your friends, your teachers and professors, and your mentors. You can thank them in person, and you can thank them by passing on their good work in your life when it’s your turn to mentor and lead.


The world needs your insight, creativity, energy, perseverance, and compassion. Graduation is not the end of your education but a brief stop on your way to learning even more. Learning never ends, and as you already have experienced, life will be a hard taskmaster. But never give up, because your greatest victories will come out of your greatest trials.


My Number 1 goal has been to make Arkansas an even greater place to live, work, and raise a family. Many of you in the class of ’22 will go to far-away places to chase your dreams. I wish you Godspeed. But wherever that may lead, I hope your path eventually brings you back home to join us in making Arkansas the best place in the world.


5-13-22 3:20 p.m. KAWX.ORG

Congressman Bruce Westerman's Weekly Column: Biden Cannot Undermine our Energy Sector Any Further

Biden Cannot Undermine our Energy Sector Any Further

President Biden said last month that he was doing “everything in [his] power” to bring down gas prices, while simultaneously blaming Vladimir Putin for the problem and taking no responsibility for his own part in the crisis. While Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine is certainly contributing to higher energy prices worldwide, the reality is, President Biden’s own reckless policies started the energy crisis well before Russia invaded Ukraine. Cancelling the Keystone XL Pipeline, killing oil and gas leases on federal lands, and, just last week, doubling down on those poor decisions by axing oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska, will only worsen domestic supplies and America’s ability to be energy independent. These policies will continue to drive prices in the wrong direction. President Biden has done everything in his power to raise prices on hard-working Americans, and no amount of obfuscating from the White House will hide that truth.


The President’s tone-deaf, destructive pronouncement comes at a time when a gallon of gas averages $4.43 in the U.S., costing American households an extra $2,000 per year. Inflation continues to stand at 8.3% according to this week’s Consumer Price Index report, hovering at a 40-year high. Inflation has quadrupled since Biden took office, resulting in lower real wages for the past 13 straight months. Americans simply cannot afford for President Biden to deliberately undermine our energy sector any further.


In an embarrassingly predictable speech this week, President Biden attempted to blame everyone but himself for a flailing American economy. When asked if he takes any responsibility for inflation, Biden said, “my policies are helping, not hurting,” but his own Treasury Secretary disagrees.  In a recent address, Secretary Janet Yellen said that the Administration’s excessive spending caused an increased demand for goods which has certainly fed inflation. Spending, coupled with poor policy has jeopardized our economy and energy security. President Biden can blame others, but, as he said in the beginning of his Presidency, the buck stops with him. He must answer for the strain felt by every American trying to make ends meet.


Biden’s attack on domestic energy has not done one thing to help the environment or the economy. Instead of efficiently producing our own energy, this Administration would rather beg OPEC+ to meet our energy needs and drain the Strategic Petroleum Reserve by 40%, a level not seen since 1984, in a vain attempt to lower gas prices. Families should not have to choose between groceries or filling their gas tanks. Congressional Republicans have done all we can to push President Biden in the right direction to once again unleash American energy independence and allow gas prices to naturally fall. Sadly, he refuses to listen to reason, the American people, his Treasury Secretary, or the Federal Reserve Chairman who said this week that “the most painful thing would be if we were to fail to deal with [inflation] and inflation were to get entrenched in the economy at high levels.” He may say he has a plan, but Americans haven’t seen it. All we see is a blame game and energy policies that increase prices to satiate far-left environmentalists at the expense of American families.


5-13-22 2:20 p.m. KAWX.ORG

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

May 13, 2022


LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas is making a massive public investment to bring broadband access to every corner of the state.

Last year the state hired a consultant firm, Broadband Development Group (BDG), to develop a master plan.

The firm’s chief technical officer made a lengthy presentation to the legislative Joint Performance Review Committee.


BDG is recommending fiber optic technology, in spite of its potentially higher costs, because it would “future proof” the system.


In other words, it may be faster and cheaper to install wireless cells in rural areas, but the dramatically growing demand for high speed Internet would soon overburden the capacity of wireless systems, he said.


The demand for greater Internet capacity has been growing by 50 percent a year, he said. As networks build more capacity, telecommunications companies tend to offer products and services that require more capacity.


The new services include holographic displays, lengthy videos in high definition, and real time telephone connections that include video as well as audio.


As broadband speed increases, new applications are developed that demand more speed and the circle creates its own momentum. Thus, a minimum standard for broadband capacity is a moving target.


Wireless is good for mobile phones and satellite connections in automobiles, but BDG’s mission is to recommend technology for households, the executive told legislators.


Nationally, the consensus is that a minimum speed of 100 megabits per second is a good household standard.


For a typical family, a minimum capacity of 100 Mbps would allow two children to do online schoolwork, to allow another family member to stream a show on a platform like Netflix and for another family member to attend a Zoom meeting, all at the same time.


A drawback to wireless is that new satellites are not in a stationary orbit above the earth. They are lower to the ground and move constantly. Satellite dishes must constantly search for the satellite that is moving overheard, and to do that the dish must have a clear view of the horizon. Trees and hills block signals, and in Arkansas there are lots of trees and hills, the executive said.


A current estimate of the cost is about $550 million. The federal government has several large grant programs ongoing. The most recent one is just getting underway. Rules will be written in June. It should provide $1 billion to Arkansas, he said.


The state will have to decide how best to subsidize installation of new fiber networks, for example, whether to award private companies a flat fee, such as 75 percent of project costs, or whether to guarantee a minimum rate of return on investment.


BDG recommended a detailed application process for Internet providers to follow if they wish to participate. It also recommended allowing a broad diversity of companies to apply, such as utilities, electric companies, municipalities, Internet service providers and cable networks.


Asked by a senator if it would be good to allow two or more providers to compete in a certain area, in order to increase options and enrollment, the BDG executive replied that “most people in the telecom business like having a monopoly, if they can.”




Early Voting Underway in Polk County for May 24th Primary














MENA, AR 71953 





MENA, AR 71953 




3253 HWY 71 N.

MENA, AR 71953




3467 HWY 88 E.

MENA, AR 71953




115 POLK ROAD 56

MENA, AR 71953



Hatfield Auditorium

117 Cemetery Road

Hatfield, AR 71945



Cove Town Hall

5568 HWY 71 S.

Cove, AR 71937



Wickes Community Center

136 Stevenson DR.

Wickes, AR 71973



Grannis Town Hall

132 Frachiseur Road

Grannis, AR 71944


If you are a registered voter in Polk County, select any Vote Center to vote early or vote on election day, May 24th.


5-10-22 5:12 p.m. KAWX.ORG


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



The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of May 2, 2022 – May 8, 2022. The charges against those arrested are allegations and the cases are still pending in the courts. Individuals charged and whose names appear in this column may submit documentation to us at a later date that the charges have been dismissed or that they have been found innocent and we will include that information in this space in a timely manner.


May 2, 2022

No reports filed.


May 3, 2022

Deputies responded to a report of a stolen car from a residence on Bunyard Lane near Ink.

Cody James, 21 of Mena was served two Misdemeanor Failure to Appear Warrants.

Deputies responded to a walk-in complainant in reference to Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card.


May 4, 2022

Deputies took a report of theft from a walk-in complainant.


May 5, 2022

A search warrant was served on a residence leading to the arrest of Kenneth Fry, 50 of Cove on a Body Attachment and Probation Violation. Robert Wallace, 22 of Cove was arrested on charges of Possession of Methamphetamine or Cocaine and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Jason Hoyle, 52 of Cove was arrested on Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Jearl Wilkinson, 37 of Cove was arrested on a charge of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Kristalynn Ollar, 32 of Cove was arrested on a charge of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Nora Taylor, 41 of Cove was arrested on a charge of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Possession of Methamphetamine. Also arrested was Tammy Moudy, 50 of Cove on a charge of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.


May 6, 2022

Deputies were dispatched to a residence on Polk 50 near Mena in reference to a verbal domestic. After further incident, Zachary O’Neill, 25 of Colorado was arrested on charges of Public Intoxication and Disorderly Conduct.

Deputies responded to a walk-in complainant in reference to Harassment.

Deputies were dispatched to a report of a dog bite.

Deputies responded to a report of theft at a residence on Hwy 71 S near Hatfield.


May 7, 2022

Deputies took a report of livestock being killed.


May 8, 2022

No reports filed.


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


Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 21 Incarcerated Inmates, with 11 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.



5-10-22 4:44 p.m. KAWX.ORG



Survivor families and friends of 19 Arkansas State Troopers killed in the line of duty spanning the departments 87 year history will gather at state police administrative headquarters at 10 AM Tuesday morning (May 10th) for a memorial service honoring the personal sacrifice of each trooper.
The service is being held in advance of National Police Week, which begins Sunday, to allow the Arkansas survivor families to attend services in Washington D.C. next week.
Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police, will lead the tribute as state troopers from across the state and other law enforcement officers gather around the families of the fallen troopers.  The service will take place in front of the Hall of Honor located off the main lobby of headquarters located at One State Police Plaza Drive, in southwest Little Rock.
The Hall of Honor will be opened to families of the troopers killed in service following the memorial service.
During the service Colonel Bryant will announce the recent placement of memorial plaques located in the exit vestibule of the Hall of Honor memorializing the service of two Arkansas State Police K9’s, Charlie and Hemi, who were killed assisting troopers in 2000 and 2018 respectively.
5-9-22 2:48 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

Mena Police Report for May 1st - 7th

Mena Police Department reports for the week of May 1st through April May 7th, 2022


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



May 1

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


A report of domestic battery was taken at a residence on Reeves Avenue.


May 2

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


A repot of terroristic threat was taken from a person at James’ Food.


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


May 3

A report of fraud and theft was taken at Sun Country Inn.


Jennifer Tyler, 47, was served with a warrant at District Court.


Cody James, 21, was served with a warrant after a traffic stop on Highway 71.


Michael White, 56, was served with a warrant at District Court.


May 4

Windal Loyd, 41, was charged with Criminal Trespass after a complaint on 8th Street.


May 5

Gloria Clovis, 35, was served with two warrants on Cherry Street.


May 6

Bryor Loyd, 19, was served with a warrant after a traffic accident on Dallas Avenue.


A report of theft was taken from Walmart.


A report of violation of a protection order was taken from a walk-in complainant.


A report of theft was taken from Family Dollar.


May 7

A report of theft was taken from EZ Mart.


A report of theft was taken at Dollar General.


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


5-9-22 9:20 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

Polk County Detention Center 

Governor Asa Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Helping with Housing Stability

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Helping with Housing Stability
LITTLE ROCK – There is no question that many families suffered financial setbacks as the coronavirus swept across the nation two years ago. Today I’d like to discuss my vision to stabilize housing and to assist Arkansans with opportunities to move up the economic ladder.
Arkansas’s unemployment rate rose to more than 10 percent in the early months of the pandemic. The federal government stepped in with Emergency Rental Assistance, which allowed many to remain in their homes and softened the financial blow for landlords.
But our economy has returned, jobs are plentiful, and our unemployment rate is even better than before the pandemic. Many still are recovering, but as employment opportunities abound, we are returning to our pre-pandemic assistance programs.
Our goal is to educate Arkansans so they can move into trades that will allow them to build a career that will support their family. We must do more than pay the rent.
Arkansans want to work. We recognize the dignity that comes with earning a living rather than a lifetime of accepting help. For this to work, we must assess the needs of individuals. What training does a person need? What challenges prevent a parent from finding a job? Some need help to overcome a mental illness or an addiction to alcohol or another substance.
We still have programs that assist renters, including the Emergency Solutions Grants, the Community Services Block Grants, and the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
Arkansans’s belief in the value of work has been a foundation of my approach to lending a government hand to those in need. I recently informed the U.S. Treasury that Arkansas would accept no more than about $58 million in funds the federal government is offering through the second round of  the Emergency Rental Assistance program. That is about 39 percent of the total the state was offered.
We still have approximately $16.5 million available in housing stability funds through other programs, and that includes more than $6 million for rental assistance. So we don’t need the entire $146 million the federal government offered. The money we do accept from the second round of Emergency Rental Assistance could better be used to continue pilot programs with various nonprofits from Our House to Restore Hope and others, or to start new programs that promote housing stability.
I thought long and hard about whether to accept all of the federal funds, but I didn’t think we should take the money when we already have rental assistance funds available through other programs. It makes no sense to start an absolutely new rental-assistance program that would make it too easy for people to accept help rather than improve their job skills.
The federal money also came with strings and limited our flexibility in program-integrity efforts.
We are not going to ignore the needs of Arkansans. Community action agencies throughout the state can distribute aid from the remaining funds.
But now that we are putting the pandemic behind us, we must focus on giving Arkansans the best kind of help, which is the chance to train and the ability to succeed. Our goal is not only to help someone find work today, but to help them achieve the dignity and pride of putting their family into a house and putting food on the table.
5-6-22 4:54 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

All children deserve to grow up in a loving and stable home. Unfortunately, many children in Arkansas are lacking that stability.

Currently, there are more than 4,600 children in foster care in Arkansas. There are fewer than 1,700 foster families statewide.


May is National Foster Care Month. Children in foster care do better in homes with families, not facilities. DHS needs caring, patient, and flexible foster families who can provide temporary care to children while we work to get them safely back home to their original families as quickly as possible.


Foster care is home-like care provided by licensed foster parents and providers for children who cannot live with their parents because they are either unsafe, have special care or treatment needs that their parents are unable to manage, or other circumstances resulting in their parents or family being unable to care for them.

Placement in foster care is usually temporary and gives families time to make necessary changes so the child can safely live in his or her home and community. Most children in foster care return home to their families, which is called reunification. When children cannot return home, they find permanence through adoption, guardianship, or other means.


You don’t need a lot of money to become a foster parent. However, you must have sufficient resources to meet the financial, medical, physical, educational, emotional, and shelter needs of the child without relying solely on state or federal financial assistance to meet those needs.


Foster home applicants must be at least 21 years of age. Two-parent homes may apply and must demonstrate a stable relationship. A single person also may apply.


Foster parents do not do it alone. They have multiple staff from the Division of Children and Family services to help support the family.


If you think you could provide a loving home to a foster child, visit humanservices.arkansas.gov to apply.


5-6-22 4:07 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

US Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column

More Must be Done to Address the Looming Global Food Shortage

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is run by my good friend David Beasley. Under his leadership, WFP was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts to combat hunger, promote peace in conflict-affected areas and prevent the weaponization of food as part of war and hostilities.


David will remain at WFP’s helm for another year, which is very good news. The world is about to find out just how vital his steady leadership is during a time of crisis.


Global food prices are a whopping 34 percent higher than they were this time last year. The high cost of food has complicated humanitarian efforts to help those suffering from food insecurity at a time the world is seeing those in need increase dramatically.


The massive market disruptions brought on by Russia’s ruthless invasion of Ukraine will make it more difficult for WFP and other organizations to feed the hungry. Ukrainian ports are closed, and likely to remain so until the invasion ends. Additionally, Russia is threatening to only export agricultural and food products to countries it considers “friendly.” This spells trouble for many nations that rely on exports out of the Black Sea.


Russia and Ukraine are major grain exporters to regions of the world most at-risk for food insecurity-driven conflict. On average 18 percent of corn, 30 percent of wheat, 71 percent of barley, and close to 80 percent of sunflower-based cooking oils are exported from these two countries annually. Disruptions in the supply of these commodities will affect food security and further increase ballooning global inflation.


President Biden has acknowledged the looming threat of international food shortages is “going to be real.” Despite this pronouncement, his administration has been slow to act.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has not provided Congress its plans to address the forthcoming global food crisis and support domestic producers’ efforts to meet increasing demand.


It’s past time for the administration to do that as well as empower American farmers to help ward off this emergency.


If USDA were to grant flexibilities for current or prospective participants in its programs, such as the Conservation Reserve Program, millions of acres of cropland and pasture that would have otherwise remained idle can be farmed for food production. It’s a win-win solution.


Time is of the essence. An estimated 323 million people are at risk of food insecurity this year. Furthermore, WFP estimates more than 44 million people around the world are on the brink of famine.


Arkansas family farmers stand ready to help to bridge the gap globally and help bring down food costs here at home. President Biden should allow them to scale-up capacity to aid those desperately in need.


As major importers of Ukrainian and Russian agriculture products, countries across North Africa and the Middle East have experienced a significant increase in wheat prices as domestic production has been crippled by droughts. These same nations will be dealt another blow when the supply of wheat exported via the Black Sea dwindles. The economic conditions in these parts of the world are already grim. Inaction could very well lead to Arab Spring 2.0.


Violence breaking out in any of these countries could also result in migrant crises with tragic consequences as people take drastic measures to flee their war-torn homelands.


David Beasley and his dedicated team at WFP are on a mission to prevent these scenarios from occurring. Farmers in The Natural State and across the country can help accomplish that goal. However, what is missing is leadership from the Biden administration to make this happen.


5-6-22 3:40 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

Congressman Bruce Westerman's Weekly Column: It's Time for Roe to Go

It’s Time for Roe to Go

This week, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s draft majority opinion in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was leaked to the press by an unknown source. The draft opinion overturns Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey and returns abortion law to the states, where it belongs.

I was ecstatic to see a potential decision that could save millions of unborn lives, but I was extremely disheartened to see the institution of the Supreme Court degraded by the decision of one person to leak the confidential deliberations of the body, something that has never before happened in the history of the Court. As a nation, we depend on the non-partisan nature of the Court. The Supreme Court rules on some of the most controversial and impactful questions of our time, and our society respects the institution as an impartial, expert body.

The motivation of the leaker remains unknown, but whatever the goal, he or she must be punished to the full extent of the law. Justice John Roberts has launched an investigation into the source of the leak calling the actions “absolutely appalling.” Regardless of the intention, the leaker’s actions threaten the impartiality of the Court as intense political pressure is now descending on the Court. Within a couple days of the leak, a fence was built around the Court to protect the building and those working within, as violence has been reported outside the Court as protesters clash.

This draft opinion is likely just one of many drafts circulating within the Court, so we do not know what the final decision will be, but I am hopeful to see abortion end in my lifetime. Over 60.2 million lives have been violently ended by abortion since 1973, when Roe was imposed on the nation in a “one-size-fits-all” policy. This issue should always have been decided state-by-state by elected representatives to reflect the moral beliefs of its voters. I am grateful Arkansas has a “trigger law” called the Arkansas Human Life Protection Act in place to instantly ban abortion except to save the life of the mother once Roe v Wade is overturned. Arkansas has been ranked as the most pro-life state for the past two years, and I am proud to represent Arkansas’ pro-life values in Congress.


5-6-22 3:27 p.m. KAWX.ORG 

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

May 6, 2022


LITTLE ROCK – Last year the legislature enacted a series of new election laws, and four of them were challenged in court by plaintiffs who argued that they restricted voting rights.


In March the four new laws were stricken by a circuit judge after a trial of four days. He ruled that they were unconstitutional and he issued an injunction ordering that they not be enforced.


In defending the new voting laws the state attorney general filed an urgent appeal at the state Supreme Court.


In April the Supreme Court overturned the lower court injunction. The result, for now, is that the four new voting laws will apply when Arkansas citizens vote in the May 24 primary elections.


These are the four laws under challenge:


Act 249 repeals a previous section of the law that allowed voters to sign an affidavit at their polling place if they didn’t bring a photo ID.


Under Act 249, if voters fail to show an ID, they must cast a provisional ballot and in order for their votes to be counted they must show an ID to the county board of election commissioners or the county clerk by noon on the Monday following the election.


Act 728 prohibits people from entering or remaining in an area within 100 feet of the entrance to a voting site while voting is taking place. An exception allows people to enter or leave the building for "lawful purposes."


Proponents of the bill said it aims to prevent voter intimidation, electioneering activities and violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, while objectors said it was overly broad and could prevent nonprofits from distributing food and water.


Act 736 changes the rules for voting with absentee ballots. It states that possession of more than four absentee ballots is presumed to be election fraud. Previously, possessing 10 or more absentee ballots was presumed to be proof of election fraud.


Act 736 also requires county clerks to provide the county board of election commissioners with a daily count of absentee ballot applications.


A controversial provision in Act 736 directs county clerks to compare signatures on applications for absentee ballots with signatures on the applicant’s voter registration document.


If the signatures don’t match, the clerk will not send an absentee ballot to the applicant. Plaintiffs argued that a person’s signature changes over the years, especially if they get arthritis.


Act 973 moves the deadline when absentee ballots must be turned in to the county clerk, from Monday, the day before the election, to the preceding Friday, before the final weekend of the election season.


One new law that is not being challenged is Act 128, which requires the Secretary of State’s office to post sample ballots on an Internet site.


If you do an Internet search for “Arkansas Voter View,” the site operated by the Secretary of State site will be the first in the list of links. You have to submit information such as your name and date of birth.


If you’re registered to vote your name will appear, along with the address of your polling place and a list of early voting sites. At the bottom of the page are pdf files that can be opened to show sample ballots.


5-6-22 10:30 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

Mena Wildlife Rehabber To Release Bald Eagle

Local wildlife rehabber Tommy Young will release an adult female bald eagle on Saturday, May 21, 2022 at 1:00 pm. The eagle will be released at the vista overlook on Hickory Nut Mountain near Mt. Ida, Arkansas. Bring the family to see this symbol of our country fly off and head for home. Public is invited to attend. Free of charge.


IMPORTANT TIMING NOTE: While Tommy plans to release the eagle right at 1:00, it may happen earlier. Please do not wait until the last minute to arrive. Events will begin at noon, with ceremonies to honor friends lost in the last year and talks with Tommy about this latest eagle. There have been times at previous releases where the eagle dictated the time, because it was too hot, or the bird was just ready to go, and delaying might have been harmful. Come early rather than late!


The event will be attended by various indigenous tribes for whom the eagle is an important symbol. They will present a drumming ceremony. Come early, to see this and hear Tommy talk about this eagle and the work he does.


The event is suitable for families and all ages. There is no charge to attend. Donations are gratefully accepted, however, as this important work receives no government funding and is supported solely by donations. [If you are unable to attend but would like to support this work please mail a check to ANPWC (Arkansas Native Plant & Wildlife Center) at PO Box 1881, Mena, AR 71953. All donations are tax deductible.]


Hickory Nut Mountain Vista & Picnic Area

US Highway 270

Mt. Ida, Arkansas


The turn off for Hickory Nut Mountain is located about 13 miles East of Mt. Ida on your left, or 23 miles West of Hot Springs on your right, approximately 1.3 miles West of the Garland/Montgomery county line. Follow Hickory Nut Mountain Road as it climbs the mountain, taking the Left fork at 1.0 mile. At 3.5 miles is a sign on your left for the picnic area. The road ends at 4.2 miles at the vista overlook, where the eagle will be released.


5-4-22 10:35 a.m. KAWX.ORG 

Hometown Hero Scholarship Founded at MHS

Webster’s defines "hero" as "a person of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his or her brave deeds and noble qualities." Heroes come in many forms, ranging from family and friends to athletes and movie stars. Sadly, in today’s world the prior is replacing the latter. Long lost are the true small-town heroes that I grew up with. Teachers, doctors, nurses, soldiers, mechanics, repair men, little league coaches, Girl Scout leaders and Ministers were the people we interacted with every day, and by their example we learned to become caring citizens and to put others’ needs before our own. 


Growing up in Mena, teachers were probably the biggest influence on me. Laverne Kelly was both my first grade and Sunday school teacher. As her Obituary read “she was a lady of faith and love for her family. She was a follower of Jesus Christ and lived her life serving the Lord. She loved working with young people and being a wonderful example of a Godly educator.” It was just impossible to be in her presence and not love and admire her. 


Ask anyone from my generation who were the best teachers encountered, and almost all would name James Lynn and Joe Mannon. Mr. Lynn made sure every middle school child left his class with a college level science background. Everyone I know can still quote the definition of inertia, identify a venomous snake, and correctly spell dessert and desert. Joe Mannon made History come to life, and as one classmate recently shared with me, “he got so excited about History that he made us excited about it.”  He was such an influence over me that I majored in History in college. 


Family was a big influence on me growing up in Mena. I remember my dad, Clark Riley, getting up in the middle of the night to answer service calls for local businesses. They insisted they must have air conditioning before they could open for business the next morning. He told me these midnight service calls allowed him to perform service calls for the elderly free of charge. He knew they were on a pension and couldn’t afford a service call.


Sadly, during the last two years Mena has lost too many of these men and women – role models dedicated to the community – to the Pandemic as well as unfortunate accidents. This is how the journey to this Memorial Scholarship Fund started – thinking through the impact of those lost and how best to memorialize the people that meant so much to the lives of so many.


The list is far too long to name everyone, but these are the ones who touched my life and left a lasting impression on me. The first thoughts started last fall with the passing of two people that played huge roles in my early life – Allen Stewart and Shelton Bohlman (yes, he did have a last name unbeknownst to most of us!). 


Allen and his wife Mary played a huge part in my young life, and always made me feel loved and welcomed in their home. Allen’s smile, quick wit, and good-natured ways made him loved by everyone who knew him. I loved listening to his Navy stories but his duty to community and country didn’t stop at his military service. He volunteered hundreds of hours as a founding member of the Board Camp Fire Department, President and State Board member of the Farm Bureau, the Soil Conservation Board, and the National Beef Council. 


Shelton probably touched the life of everyone in Mena along the way. My generation grew up with him as the unofficial town babysitter. Every parent in town could call the Cone N Cue and he would know where their teen was at any time day or night – much to the chagrin of many of us! Later, he became a florist specializing in beautiful arrangements for weddings, funerals and holidays - often delivering the flowers himself along with one of his delicious homemade pies to offer congratulations or condolences. 


As the year rolled on, so did the unfortunate news of lost loved ones – Larry McMellon, DeeDee Riley (my aunt), Jesse Cogburn, Cathy Anderlee, Marilyn Maxwell, Snapper Carpenter, Patrick Greene, Vernon Hampton and too many others. All were leaders in their own way, and examples of a couple immediately come to mind.


Larry McMellon was a Mena native and MHS graduate. While at MHS he lettered in seven sports. His love of Bearcat sports was so great he could be found at MHS games long after his son Rob had graduated. In recent years he could be found cheering on his grandsons at MHS events. Larry worked for the phone company in Mena for 33 years and in the day of land lines was a hero to many. When the line went dead, we knew “The Phone Guy” would be right over to fix it. In later years, Larry volunteered as greeter at The Depot Museum which allowed him to share his vast history of Mena with visitors. He was one of the founding members of the Freedom Water Association which brought fresh drinkable water to residents living out Hwy 375. Rob considers it one of Larry’s greatest accomplishments, saying that he spent years going door to door getting people to agree to let pipes be laid across their property. 


In many ways, like her good friend Shelton, DeeDee Riley kept track of everything going on around town and touched so many lives just by going about hers.  A visit to her shop for a haircut was an adventure. You left with a haircut, a new story, life advice and usually a new dirty joke. Through the many comments after her passing, we have discovered that everyone in Mena has a DeeDee story.


Like so many, I usually send a donation to a charity in memory of a loved one instead of flowers, but often those gifts leave the community and seem to fade away with time. I wanted something that would stay in Mena and honor the generous spirits and memories of our citizens. With the help of Mena High School Principal David Maxwell, we decided to create the “Hometown Hero Memorial Scholarship” at MHS to provide something for the future generations of Mena leaders. 


My experience as a parent and volunteer has been that hard-working students in the middle of the class rankings are oftentimes overlooked even though they have the same or better work ethic as peers at the top of the class making all A’s. That grit and determination has often been the impetus to help students rise up, work their way through obtaining a college degree, and move on to great things where they end up giving back to the community in so many ways. 


This observation led me to the inspiration for creating the guidelines for this scholarship which is two hometown farm boys - Robbie McMellon and David Maxwell – who were my classmates and lifelong friends. Neither were honor students and as Rob admitted to me it was fair to say they really showed up everyday for the sports and the girls. However, they both had an amazing work ethic and never gave up. Former Rich Mountain Community College leader Jack Smith and others encouraged them to continue their education and go to college. They decided they would go to college together and be roommates. They flipped a coin to pick which college to attend. Henderson State won and they both attended and received degrees in Education. 


David has continued his education obtaining his Educational Specialist degree. and working as a teacher, coach, and Principal. He returned home as the Principal at MHS while continuing to ranch and work his family’s farm at Ink. Robbie returned to Mena and went to work at the airport doing modification and recovery on airplanes. He founded R&C Aviation and employed as many as seventeen people before selling the business to retire and spend his days farming, ranching, and volunteering with all the many sports his sons play. Both men show the true spirit of this scholarship by pursuing a college education, never giving up and returning to Mena to become leaders in the community and role models for a new generation. 


The Hometown Hero Scholarship has been founded at MHS so that local citizens can donate in memory of their loved ones, classmates, and mentors. The money stays in Mena to help a student who otherwise would not get a scholarship. For the first year the chosen student will receive $500 for the first semester and $500 for the second semester if they maintain a 2.0 grade average. The hope is to build the fund, so we can eventually increase the fund and provide more in the future. The scholarship is good for any college or trade school that the student chooses. The hope is that the student will return to Mena after college and become a leader and mentor to others.


I want to thank the people who helped make this a reality:  Scott Stewart, David Maxwell, The MHS Scholarship Committee, and the Donors.


 Jennifer Riley Stewart


5-3-22 7:52 p.m. KAWX.ORG


Polk County Sheriff's Report for April 25th - May 1st



The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of April 25, 2022 – May 1, 2022. The charges against those arrested are allegations and the cases are still pending in the courts. Individuals charged and whose names appear in this column may submit documentation to us at a later date that the charges have been dismissed or that they have been found innocent and we will include that information in this space in a timely manner.


April 25, 2022

Gacxil Trujillo, 21 of Mena was arrested by an officer with the Arkansas State Police on a charge of DWI.


April 26, 2022

Cody Dees, 36 of Mena was arrested on two Felony Failure to Appear Warrants and Bond Surrender.

Deputies took a report of possible stolen property at a residence on Mullen Street near Hatfield.


April 27, 2022

Deputies responded to a walk-in complainant in reference to financial fraud.

Deputies were dispatched to a residence on Hwy 246 W near Hatfield leading to the arrest of Codie Shifflett, 28 of Hatfield on a charge of 3rd Degree Battery.

Deputies were dispatched to a residence on Polk 67 near Big Fork in reference to a Domestic Assault.

Michael Martin, 38 of Pencil Bluff was arrested by an officer with Probation Parole on a Felony Warrant for Possession of a Firearm by Certain Persons.

Deputies were dispatched to a single vehicle accident on Polk 32 near Cove. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney for further consideration.


April 28, 2022

Deputies responded to a walk-in complainant in reference to harassment. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney for further consideration.

Deputies responded to a walk-in complaint of harassment.

Deputies took a report of a possible Domestic Battery. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney for further consideration.

Deputies responded to a walk-in complainant in reference to a stolen mailbox.


April 29, 2022

Patrick Warren, 42 of Mena was arrested by an officer with the Arkansas State Police on a Body Attachment.

Michelle Hogan, 40 of Mena was arrested on a Felony Probation Violation Warrant.

Deputies were dispatched to a residence on Woodland Lane near Potter in reference to a verbal domestic leading to the arrest of Stanley Foster, 56 of Mena on a charge of 3rd Degree Domestic Battery.


April 30, 2022

Deputies responded to a report of an altercation at a residence on Polk 39 near Potter.


May 1, 2022

Deputies responded to a report of a gas drive off from a business near Cove.

Deputies responded to a report of a structure fire on Polk 6 near Wickes.

Deputies were dispatched to a residence on Stoker Lane near Rocky in reference to a damaged vehicle.


Polk County Sheriff’s Office worked 1 vehicle accident this week.


Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 19 Incarcerated Inmates, with 11 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.



5-2-22 5:17 p.m. KAWX.ORG

Mena Police Report for April 24th - 30th

Mena Police Department reports for the week of April 24th through April 30th, 2022


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


April 24

Heather Hilderbrand-Judd, 47, and Amanda Hilderbrand, 39, were charged with Domestic Battery after a disturbance call to Evans Circle.


Gary Smith, 44, was served with a warrant at Exxon.


A report of battery was taken from a person at Sonic.


Pesina Leonardo, 58, was charged with DWI after a traffic stop on Highway 71.


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


April 25

Brittany Mendell, 32, was served with a warrant after contact on Cherry Street.


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


Kaylie Stroud, 26, was charged with Public Intoxication, Criminal Trespass, and served with a warrant after a disturbance call to South Eve Street.


April 26

Heath Spencer, 25, was served with a warrant at the county jail.


A report of criminal mischief was taken at Budget Inn.


April 27

A report of breaking or entering and theft was taken at a residence on Stephens Drive.


April 28

A report of battery was taken from a person at Davis Brother’s Collision Repair.


April 29

Zachery Shurley, 18, was charged with Domestic Battery at an address on Marion Avenue.


Windal Loyd, 41, was charged with Disorderly Conduct and Public Intoxication after a disturbance call at the hospital.


April 30

Jessie Zamora, 39, and Heather Turbeville, 27, were served with warrants at an address on Dixon Road.


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


5-2-22 11:12 a.m. KAWX.ORG

Polk County Inmates