KAWX News Archives for 2022-09

Governor Asa Hutchinson's Weekly Address

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Address: Expanding Electric Vehicle Infrastructure in Arkansas

 

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

 

LITTLE ROCK – Today I would like to talk about how we are expanding opportunities for electric vehicle industries in our state.

First, to make driving electric vehicles in Arkansas a possibility for many, the infrastructure must be there to support it. We are working hard to make that happen.

 

Recently, Arkansas was approved to receive $54 million dollars in federal grants over the next five years, which will be used to work with partners in the installation of accessible charging stations throughout the state. The deployment of the charging stations will be led by the Arkansas Department of Transportation in coordination with my Department of Energy and Environment.

 

The goal is to have as many charging stations around the state as we can. Step one includes locating stations at every 50 miles along the most used Arkansas interstates. Step two is to build out infrastructure in rural areas. Anyone in Arkansas who wants to drive electric vehicles should have no worries about the availability of charging stations, no matter where they live within the state.

 

In addition to the $54 million plan, we are also receiving funding assistance for the installation of 150-kW DC fast charging stations, which can charge electric vehicles in as little as 30 minutes. And we also plan to provide rebates for the installation of Level 2 electric vehicle charging stations, which can fully charge electric vehicles in eight hours or less. Both programs are possible thanks to the Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Fund, and they are moving quickly to establish EV charging in key locations throughout the state.

 

In Arkansas, we have been working to make our state a leader in using advanced energy technologies. With the creation of teams like the Arkansas Council on Future Mobility, and our focus on innovative technologies, Arkansas is uniquely positioned to be a leader in the electric vehicle industry.

 

Improving the electric vehicle infrastructure will benefit Arkansans, but it will also benefit many out-of-state travelers and our tourism economy. When people plan to visit, they will have confidence that Arkansas can accommodate their charging needs.

This week is a time many states have established as Electric Vehicle Week. It is a week meant to provide education and spread awareness about the benefits of electric vehicles to our country. I have joined in and proclaimed this time as National Drive Electric Week in Arkansas.

 

EV charging infrastructure has been a key priority of mine for several years, and I want it to remain a priority well into the future. Arkansas has the potential to develop the best infrastructure in the region and continue leading the nation in advanced technology.

 

9-29-22 4:25 PM KAWX.ORG

US Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column

Help Protect Seniors from Scams

 

In recent weeks there have been more news stories in Arkansas about novel methods scammers are using to take advantage of unsuspecting individuals and steal their money. It’s important to be educated about this issue and stay up-to-date on the ways thieves are operating so we can safeguard against these crimes and prevent seniors – the population that is most often the target of these scams – from becoming a victim.

 

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) scammers stole $1 billion from America’s seniors in 2021. Data from the agency reveals 25 percent of individuals over age 60 were contacted by thieves via phone last year.

 

In The Natural State, one woman recently reported a scam to police after receiving a phone call from what she thought was her bank about suspicious activity on her account. The phony bank employee told her the CIA could help resolve the situation and then duped her into paying more than $50,000 for assistance.

 

Scammers are using a variety of methods and mediums, including the internet where they prey on the vulnerabilities of the elderly by building connections they later exploit.

 

A letter from one constituent recently asked my office to help a retired servicemember overseas whom she met online.

 

The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command receives hundreds of reports each month similar to this scenario. This common tactic is identified as a romance scam. Thieves use the names, pictures and personal information of U.S. military members and retired servicemembers to build a fake identity and attract future victims.

 

The FTC reports romance scams hit a record high in 2021 and now criminals are using this scheme to lure people into phony investments, particularly with cryptocurrency. Just two months ago the FBI warned about the uptick of a similar ploy in Northwest Arkansas.

 

While the techniques vary in how scammers operate, the objectives are the same. I’m working with my colleagues to share the latest information and resources to prevent unsuspecting Americans, particularly seniors, from becoming victims.

 

The Senate Special Committee on Aging recently released its annual Fraud Book detailing the top swindles reported to the committee’s fraud hotline. Launched in 2012, the hotline aims to help identify scams targeting seniors and better educate this population so they know the signs to watch for to stay safe.

 

According to the report, Arkansans have called about a variety of scams including the top complaint filed with the hotline for several years––the government imposter scam. In these cases, an individual falsely claims to represent a federal agency such as the IRS and asks for personal information such as a Social Security number. Then they threaten to withhold benefits unless you follow their instructions, which often call for wiring money or sending prepaid debit or gift cards.

 

The toll-free number 1-855-303-9470 is operated from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Central time to record suspected fraud attempts. Arkansas seniors who believe they are a victim are welcome to call. As always, incidents of crime can be reported to local law enforcement.

 

Recognizing the signs of common scams can reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim. We can also help educate our elderly loved ones, friends and acquaintances to stay one step ahead of these bad actors.

 

9-29-22 3:55 PM KAWX.ORG

Congressman Bruce Westerman's Weekly Column

It’s Time to TAP into American Energy

Americans are struggling to pay the price for President Joe Biden’s energy policies. This winter, families are expected to pay the highest prices in over a decade to heat their homes. Natural gas prices continue to remain near a 14-year-high. As of Sunday, the national price for a gallon of gas was approximately $3.71 – over a dollar more than when President Biden took office. As Arkansans know, high energy costs effect every industry, especially food. When farm input prices on fuel and fertilizer increase, every American feels the strain at the grocery store.

 

The U.S. has the ability to produce the most efficient, cleanest energy in the world. We can easily meet our own needs and export to our allies. There is no reason to rely on the good will of dictators like those of Russia and Venezuela to power our economy.

 

That is why I introduced the Transparency and Production of (TAP) American Energy Act. The TAP American Energy Act responsibly opens access to our rich natural resources, reforming and streamlining permitting processes, and incentivizing innovation.

 

My bill would prevent any president from imposing bans on federal energy leasing and mineral withdrawals without congressional approval, require the Department of the Interior to immediately resume quarterly lease sales on federal lands, with a minimum of four lease sales per year in each state with eligible lands, and require a minimum of two annual oil and gas lease sales in available federal waters in the Central and Western Gulf of Mexico and Alaska. My bill would also streamline the environmental review process to allow pipeline, renewable energy, and transmission projects to move forwards efficiently, without compromising environmental protections.

 

It's time to reverse President Biden’s war on American energy and become fully energy independent. This is a pivotal part of the Republican Commitment to America: to maximize American-made energy and reduce reliance on foreign countries.

 

We cannot simply rely on our Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), which is meant for natural disasters or national security emergencies, to bring down gas prices, as President Biden has done. The SPR is now at its lowest point since 1984 for no reason other than to cover for the consequences of President Biden’s anti-energy policies. I am proud to lead this effort to bring down energy costs for the county and strengthen our national security by securing our energy independence.

 

9-29-22 3:50 PM KAWX.ORG

State Senator Larry Teague's Weekly Column

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague:

 

September 30, 2022

 

LITTLE ROCK – In the fiscal session earlier this year the legislature appropriated a million dollars for pregnancy resource centers.

 

The state has awarded grants totalling about $455,000 to 14 centers. Because $545,000 has still not been awarded, the Department of Finance and Administration will open a second round of applications in October.

 

The department will accept applications for 30 days. There will then be a 30-day review period, so the second round of awards should be announced by late November or early December.

 

Act 187 of 2022 defines pregnancy resource centers as organizations that seek to provide services to women facing unintended pregnancies. The purpose is to encourage them to give birth.

 

No organization qualifies if it makes referrals for abortions or is affiliated with an organization that performs abortions.

 

Grants are available for centers that traditionally have been known as crisis pregnancy organizations. Also, adoption agencies, maternity homes and social service agencies qualify if they provide material support and assistance to pregnant women, in order to help them with delivery of their babies.

 

In a Mississippi case known as Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the U.S. Supreme Court in June overturned Roe v. Wade, eliminating the constitutional right of a woman to have an abortion.

 

Arkansas had a “trigger law” in place, Act 180 of 2019. It is called a “trigger law” because it was written to take effect in the event the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. When that happened, the state attorney general certified Act 180 and said that abortion was illegal in Arkansas except to save the life of the mother.

 

The attorney general also said that Arkansas was now the most pro-life state in the nation.

 

Legislative funding of pregnancy resource centers was in anticipation of the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade. The decision was expected to increase the number of unwanted pregnancies in Arkansas, and more young women will need help.

 

Faith-based organizations are eligible for grants, and accepting a grant will not restrict the group’s ability to support religious activities. However, the money must be used to help pregnant women and may not be used to promote religious activities.

 

Grant funds may not be used for food and beverages, such as at a baby shower. It can be spent on advertising.

 

Grant money can be used to hire staff, but only if the staff person assists pregnant females. If the staff person has other duties, such as supporting religious activities, the position must be “split.”

 

For example, if half of the staffer’s time is dedicated to supporting religious activities, then half of that person’s salary must come from a source other than the state grant.

 

Pregnancy centers can use the grant money to contract with health care professionals, if the medical services provided are to help pregnant females.

 

To qualify for a grant, the organization must be physically located in Arkansas. The finance department rejected one application because it was submitted by an organization that applied for the entire $1 million and is not located in Arkansas.

 

The awards to the 14 pregnancy centers ranged from $5,880 to $40,000. Many were between $30,000 and $40,000.

 

9-29-22 3:50 PM KAWX.ORG

Polk County Sheriff's Report for September 19th - 15th

SHERIFF’S LOG

The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of September 19, 2022 – September 25, 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.

 

September 19, 2022

Deputies were dispatched to the area of Polk 65 and Polk 67 in reference to damaged mailboxes.

 

September 20, 2022

Deputies responded to a report of theft from a residence on Polk 98 near Grannis.

 

September 21, 2022

Deputies were dispatched to a residence on Polk 647 near Mena in reference to a break-in.

Deputies responded to a domestic dispute. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney for further consideration.

 

September 22, 2022

Deputies were dispatched to a residence on Polk 298 near Mena in reference to a death.

 

September 23, 2022

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

Deputies were dispatched to a residence on Hwy 375 East near Mena in reference to harassment. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney for further consideration.

Deputies responded to a residence on Medlin Lane near Hatfield in reference to a child custody dispute.

 

September 24, 2022

Bobby Hedrick, 52 of Wickes was arrested on a Felony Probation Violation Warrant as well as three Misdemeanor Failure to Appear Warrants.

Deputies were dispatched to a business near Rocky in reference to a theft. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney for further consideration.

Deputies were dispatched to a residence on Polk 41 North near Mena in reference to an altercation.

Deputies were dispatched to a residence on Polk 129 near Mena in reference to stolen property.

 

September 25, 2022

Policarpio Rios, 50 of Wickes was arrested on a Misdemeanor Warrant for harassment.

Codie Shifflett, 29 of Hatfield was arrested by and officer with the Arkansas Highway Patrol on charges of Public Intoxication and Endangering the Welfare of a Minor.

 

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

 

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 22 Incarcerated Inmates, with 12 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

 

9-26-22 3:00 PM KAWX.ORG

UARM Celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month

 
The University of Arkansas Rich Mountain (UARM) held a Fall Fiesta September 15 in the Ouachita Center. The event featured authentic Hispanic snacks like chips/salsa, sopapillas, pan dulce, fruit cups, flavored water; a soccer demonstration by Bucks Soccer athletes and coaches; a panel discussion; a photo booth and a colorful folkloric dance performance.
 
The event was made possible through a grant through the American Library Association’s American Rescue Plan: Humanities Grants for Libraries, an emergency relief program to assist libraries that have been adversely affected by the pandemic. Director of Library Services Brenda Miner is responsible for writing for the competitive $10,000 grant, which is assisting  Johnson Learning Commons at UARM in delivering programs and services related to culture, history, literature, and other humanities subjects. This event was the third event hosted this year at UARM, all made possible through the grant. Miner expressed her sincere appreciation to PaPa’s Mexican Café, LaVilla’s, Mamita’s, and the UARM Student Government Association for their sponsorship and assistance of the event.
 
The event was well attended by elementary and high school students as well as the community. Chancellor Dr. Phillip Wilson commended the work of Miner and the many campus volunteers who worked together to host the event. “It was a tremendous success and one that we would love to see become an annual campus celebration.”
 
Those unable to make the event can watch a video of it on the University of Arkansas
Rich Mountain’s YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsr25JPjPYYwNBFEP5HcVjw.
UA Rich Mountain’s mission is to provide transformative education to all learners.
 
 
 

Mena Police Report for September 18th - September 24th

Mena Police Department reports for the week of September 18th through September 24th, 2022:

 

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

 

September 18

 

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

 

A report of theft was taken on Jansen Avenue.

 

September 19

 

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

 

Aaron Morse, 48, was served with a warrant at the county jail.

 

A report of theft was taken at a residence on 7th Street.

 

Wanda Haffelder, 77, was served with a warrant at Walmart.

 

September 20

 

A report of theft was taken at Walmart.

 

Brittainy Mendel, 32, was served with a warrant at District Court.

 

Tatum Veal, 32, was served with a warrant at District Court.

 

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

 

September 21

 

No report.

 

September 22

 

Douglas Gross, 63, was charged with Disorderly Conduct, Public Intoxication, Fleeing, and Resisting Arrest on 7th Street.

 

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

 

September 23

 

No report.

 

 

September 24

 

James Deweese, 51, was charged with Disorderly Conduct after a disturbance call at Sonic.

 

A report of theft was taken at a residence on 3rd Street.

 

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

 

A report of theft was taken at United Country Real Estate.

 

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

 

9-26-22 10:40 PM KAWX.ORG

Polk County Detention Center Inmates

State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

According to the Arkansas Department of Health, suicide is the leading cause of violent death in Arkansas. In 2020, 583 Arkansans died by suicide. That same year, close to 46,000 individuals died by suicide nationwide. That is one death every 11 minutes.

 

The number of people who think about or attempt suicide is even higher. In 2020, an estimated 12.2 million American adults seriously thought about suicide, 3.2 million planned a suicide attempt, and 1.2 million attempted suicide.

 

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.  By working together to recognize the signs, raise awareness of suicide and open the conversation with each other, you can make a difference and save Arkansas lives.

If someone you know is struggling emotionally or having a hard time, you can be the difference in getting them the help they need.

 

In 2017, the legislature passed an act that ensured Arkansans were answering calls made from Arkansas to the crisis hotline. Now when someone calls the hotline, they are speaking to someone with knowledge of local resources available.

 

In the 2021 Regular Session, we passed Act 640. This act ensures that the crisis line employs individuals who have experience working with veterans.

 

Every month, the Arkansas 988 crisis call centers answer an average of 965 calls. Arkansans who are thinking about suicide or experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis can now call an easily remembered number – 988 – to speak with a trained, experienced crisis counselor who will talk to the individual, listen to and understand their situation, explore options, help the individual create a safety plan, and direct the individual to additional resources or facilities if needed.

 

You can call or text. You can also chat online with a trained crisis counselor at 988lifeline.org.

 

9-24-22 10:10 PM KAWX.ORG

US Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column

Understanding the Deadly Consequences of Our Overrun Southern Border

 

The disaster on our southern border has been raging since the beginning of the Biden administration. Migrants have been rushing to cross into the United States ever since it became clear President Biden was not committed to border security and immigration enforcement.

 

This is a crisis in every sense of the word, and it’s only getting worse despite every possible sign that a course correction is necessary.

 

There are numerous examples demonstrating this is not just a policy failure, but a complete breakdown of the rule of law whose effects are spilling out across our society.

 

Over 200,000 migrants were encountered at the southern border in August, extending a pattern of increased illegal immigration levels since January 2021. There have been over two million border crossings this fiscal year, already breaking last year’s historically high level.

 

Beyond the erosion of sovereignty and undermining of our commitment to the rule of law, there are even greater causes for concern.

 

Border security is national security. If the picture at the border is any indication of our preparedness, then we are under serious threat.

 

As of August, 78 individuals on the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Database have been apprehended by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel.

 

FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before Congress that there are “significant security issues” related to our southern border and that terrorists are looking for any potential vulnerability to exploit, which should be genuine cause for alarm.

 

Other potential criminal elements are also seeking to use the chaos to their advantage. Over 600 known gang members have been stopped at the border this year – nearly twice as many as in 2021 or 2020 – as well as 9,381 criminal migrants, almost quadruple the number encountered two years ago.

 

None of these figures include the over 500,000 migrants who escaped apprehension – known as “got-aways” – who reached the interior of the United States this year and disappeared.

 

Bad actors flocking to our country presents all sorts of risks to our communities, but one unquestionably heightened danger is the relentless flow of fentanyl onto America’s streets.

 

Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that’s up to 50 times stronger than heroin, is now the leading cause of death among Americans aged 18-45. Lethal doses, amounting to just two milligrams, have taken the lives of hundreds of Arkansans in the last few years. Worse still, the Drug Enforcement Administration is warning that in addition to this narcotic being mass-produced and laced into fake prescription medication, it is now also being targeted at some of our youngest Americans in the form of brightly colored pills made to look like candy. “Rainbow fentanyl” has been seized in at least 18 states to date.

 

This deadly drug flows into our country from China with the help of Mexican drug cartels. Although CBP is seizing record levels at our ports of entry, they aren’t intercepting all of it, including what’s brought by smugglers who avoid detection altogether.

 

This just scratches the surface of what our overwhelmed border means for Americans.

 

With such a failure of border and immigration policy, every state in the union is now a border state. It’s time the administration and my Democratic colleagues in Congress recognize it and work in a bipartisan way to restore order, promote safety and uphold the rule of law at our southern border.

 

9-23-22 4:00 PM KAWX.ORG

Governor Asa Hutchinson's Weekly Address

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Address: Celebrating the Heritage of Hispanic Americans

 

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

 

LITTLE ROCK – Today I would like to talk about Hispanic Heritage Month and what this occassion represents. Hispanic influence can be seen in all aspects of American life and culture.

 

In the 1980’s Arkansas saw a growth in the Hispanic population, which continued well into the 21st century. According to the 2020 census, Arkansas was one of 15 states where the Hispanic population made up more than half of all population growth in the state. Hispanic roots in Arkansas run deep and have become a vital part of our communities around the state.

 

In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law a week-long celebration for Hispanic Heritage. He believed that it was important to celebrate the heritage of our American citizens who were of Hispanic descent because it was those who came before them who helped settle our land and built our country into what it is now.

 

Later in 1988, Hispanic Heritage Week grew into Hispanic Heritage Month after President Ronald Reagan signed it into law.

 

It is no coincidence that this falls in September as Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua celebrate their independence on September 15. But also, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively.

 

Hispanic Heritage is American heritage because the American story is about every person who takes responsibility, works hard, and dreams big. When we take the time to honor those who made this American story possible, we can overcome America’s challenges and continue to be a beacon of freedom for the world.

 

When President Reagan signed into law the month-long celebration, he did so because he believed that the celebration of Hispanic Heritage was an example of how fundamental family is to our country.

 

He believed that the strength of America’s families translated into the strength of our country. This time of celebration looks into a culture’s strongest qualities, and Hispanic Heritage Month is a time where we can honor a love for family and connect through the stories of those who came before us.

 

9-23-22 4:00 PM KAWX.ORG

Congressman Bruce Westerman's Weekly Column

Our Commitment to America

Since President Joe Biden’s first day in office, America has watched as he and Congressional Democrats hastened our economic instability and allowed shelves to go bare, communities to be ravaged by crime, and savings to evaporate. I’ve heard from many Arkansans who feel left behind. President Biden has sarcastically asked, “what are Republicans for?” Well, Mr. President, this is our Commitment to America: We will deliver a strong economy, create a safe nation, and restrain federal overreach while ensuring our government is accountable to the people. With our plan, Americans across the country can be confident in the steps Republicans will take from Day One of the 118th Congress to foster a strong America that works for everyone.

 

We will build a strong economy. As the Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee, I would make it my top priority to build American energy independence in order to reduce gas prices and the cost of utilities, end our reliance on foreign countries, and prevent rolling blackouts. As a Congress, we will fight inflation by reducing wasteful government spending and strengthen our supply chain by bringing back U.S. manufacturing and ending our reliance on China.

 

We will protect our communities. We will secure our border, combat illegal immigration, and work to end the fentanyl smuggling that has killed tens of thousands of Americans. We will support the hiring and retention of 200,000 new police officers and reject the “Defund the Police” movement that harms low income and minority communities the most. We will also crack down on prosecutors and district attorneys who refuse to prosecute crime. Criminals will no longer be given a pass and released back on the streets to harm others.

 

We will protect our freedoms. Parents have been rightfully furious at the way in some parts of the country  they have been told to sit down and be quiet by too many school systems. As a former school board member, I know that no one should ever attempt to exclude parents from their kid’s education, and I will w make sure parents always have a say and more choices in their child’s education. We will also ensure that only women compete in women’s sports.

 

We will keep government accountable.  For too long, bloated government has overreached into the lives of every American. We will conduct vigorous government oversight to rein in government abuse of power, promote transparency, and demand answers from the White House for its incompetent withdrawal from Afghanistan which cost the lives of 13 U.S. service members and hundreds of innocent Afghans.  It is one of my top priorities to end special treatment for Members of Congress by repealing proxy voting and return to regular order serving the American people. As Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee, I will require each hearing to be in person so that Members can speak and work with each other face-to-face.

 

With these priorities and more, Republicans will deliver concrete solutions to solve the crises created by Democrat one party rule. Republicans have already written bills to advance each of these issues, including the “Securing American Mineral Supply Chains Act,” which I authored and which will be a critical part of Republicans’ “all-of-the-above” energy strategy in the next Congress. I am proud to support the Commitment to America and help ensure a government that works for its people again.

State Senator Larry Teague's Weekly Column

 

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

September 23, 2022

 

LITTLE ROCK – Over the next three years about 3,200 Arkansans with disabilities will be able to get Medicaid services at home or in their community, rather than in an institution.

 

The Legislative Council approved the expansion of eligibility, submitted by the state Division of Developmental Disabilities Services.

 

The division doesn’t have sufficient staff to care for the additional 3,200 people. A provision in the new rules approved by legislators will allow the division to make up for the shortage of labor. Basically, Medicaid will now be able to hire, train and pay family members and legal guardians.

 

Currently, 5,400 children and adults receive Supportive Living services, which brings support staff to their homes and communities.

 

The program is called the Community and Employment Supports (CES) waiver. It costs about $300 million a year, with the federal government paying 71.62 percent and state government paying 28.38 percent.

 

During the 2022 fiscal session earlier this year, legislators voted to dedicate an additional $37.6 million for the CES waiver program, with the intention of eliminating the current waiting list for services.

 

The Legislative Council also signed off on a Department of Human Services proposal to add 200 more slots for children in foster care, and to increase the allowable bed capacity of group homes from four to eight.

 

The cost of the rule change will be $132 million next fiscal year. The state will provide $34 million and the federal government will provide $94 million, with a premium tax on care providers accounting for the remainder.

 

During a public comment period on the new rule, the division heard from a spokesman for a non-profit agency that provides care and services for people with disabilities. The spokesman said there is a “very real crisis in the home and community-based service system,” specifically a shortage of direct care professionals.

 

He said the division should pay higher reimbursements to providers for competitive salaries, because “nothing short of that will fix the problem.” He also asked for funding for training and workforce development of direct care staff.

 

Director of DHS Resigning

Cindy Gillespie, the secretary of the Department of Human Services, announced that she would resign after six years. Her final day is scheduled to be October 7.

 

The department has more than 6,600 employees who administer a wide variety of social services.

 

Its annual budget is more than $10 billion in state and federal revenue. The largest program is Medicaid, a health care program for people with disabilities, senior citizens and low-income families. More than 470,000 Arkansas children benefit from Medicaid services. Statewide, more than 1.2 million Arkansans received some type of service through Medicaid.

 

The department subsidizes child care and runs meals programs for senior citizens. It also investigates allegations of abuse or neglect of children and elderly people. It finalized 732 adoptions last year. At the end of the year DHS was responsible for 4,854 children in foster care.

 

DHS also administers welfare and food stamps programs. It operates secure facilities for troubled youths and contracts with non-profit organizations that diagnose and treat abuse of alcohol and drugs.

 

 

 

Mena School Board September Meeting Recap

The Mena School Board held their regular September meeting on Tuesday at the District Administration Building.

 

Dr. Lee Smith began the meeting by giving the board details about the proposed budget for fiscal year 2023.Smith stated that overall it was a healthy budget that included raises for all staff that would amount to $175,000 - $200,000. He also said that enrollment at the Mena Public Schools was up to 1751 students. That is an increase of 52 students over last year. Dr. Smith also noted that the October school board meeting would be moved to Monday the 17th due to a scheduling conflict.

 

The first item under new business was the approval of the previously mentioned budget. Which was accomplished promptly and with no discussion.

 

Next the board approved the 2022-2023 standard  of assurance and also the accreditation statement of assurance as required by the state.

 

The board then approved the renewal of the Polk County Virtual Academy  with minor changes in the mission and vision as proposed by Dr. Smith.

 

The board was then made aware of an appraisal on 6.5 acres owned by the district on East Boundary Road. The appraisal came in at $10,000.00 an acre and the board approved the sale of said property in that amount. The property is not being used at this time nor is it in any plans to be used in the future.

  

Next was a proposed waiver of employment for a candidate who had a deficiency in their background check when applying with Aramark. The incident occured twenty four years ago and the applicant supplied numerous character references. It was determined that the applicant poses no threat to either students or staff and the waiver was approved by the board. It will now be reviewed by the state for their approval. 

 

In the Maintenance update Dr. Smith told the board that work continues on the drainage issue under the home stands at Bob Carver Bearcat Stadium.

The project includes paving and a larger pump installed. He also updated the board on progress at the new environmental science area.

 

Finally in Personnel the board accepted the resignations of Monica Belcher, Raegan Hansard and Mallory McConnell.They accepted the retirement of Dalynne Randolph. They also approved the hiring of Emily Jacobs as a Para at MMS, Amanda Hohmann as a Para at MHS and Melody Rowe as a Para at LDE.

9-21-22 1:15 PM KAWX.ORG

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

SHERIFF’S LOG

 

The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of September 12, 2022 – September 18, 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.

 

September 12, 2022

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

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

 

September 13, 2022

Deputies were dispatched to a residence on West Barton in Cove in reference to a welfare check.

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

Deputies were dispatched to a residence on Polk 122 near Mena in reference to a vehicle being broken into. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney for further consideration.

 

September 14, 2022

Deputies responded to a walk-in complainant in reference to a theft from a residence on Polk 25 near Hatfield.

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

 

September 15, 2022

Deputies responded to a report of identity theft at a residence on Polk 42 near Mena.

Deputies responded to a walk-in complainant in reference to a theft from a residence on Butler Circle near Hatfield.

Deputies responded to a dog bite victim.

 

September 16, 2022

Chad Thornton, 31 of Mena was arrested on a warrant for 2nd Degree Criminal Mischief and a warrant for Harassment.

Deputies were dispatched to a campsite near Lake Wilhelmina in reference to the theft of property.

 

September 17, 2022

John D Huff, 45 of Hatfield was arrested on a warrant for Aggravated Assault and a warrant for 3rd Degree Domestic Battery.

An incident near Ward Lake near Mena led to the arrest of Kathy Harper, 42 of Mena on charges of Resisting Arrest, Public Intoxication and Disorderly Conduct.

Deputies were dispatched to a residence on Polk 77 near Mena in reference to a theft.

Deputies were dispatched to a residence on Polk 625 near Mena in reference to damage to a fence.

 

September 18, 2022

Heather Griffis, 37 of Eudora was arrested on a Felony Warrant for Non-Support.

Deputies were dispatched to a residence on Polk 74 near Mena in reference to a theft. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney for further consideration.

Deputies were dispatched to a residence on Mills Lane near Mena in reference to a vehicle fire.

Deputies were dispatched to a residence on No More Loop Lane in reference to a verbal altercation. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney for further consideration.

Deputies were dispatched to a residence on Polk 646 near Mena in reference to a physical altercation. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney for further consideration.

 

 

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

 

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 21 Incarcerated Inmates, with 12 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

 

9-19-22 4:00 PM KAWX.ORG

Mena Police Report for September 11th - September 17th

Mena Police Department reports for the week of September 11th through September 17th, 2022:

 

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

 

September 11

 

Heath Spencer, 25, was served with a warrant after a traffic stop on 10th Street.

 

Bradley Verba, 25, was served with a warrant after a traffic stop on Pine Avenue.

 

A report of theft was taken from Walmart.

 

A report of theft was taken from Walmart.

 

A report of theft was taken from Walmart.

 

Matthew Hackworth, 37, was served with a warrant on Bethesda Road.

 

September 12

 

Tony Odom, 62, was charged with Domestic Battery 3rd at a residence on Bell Lane.

 

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

 

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

 

A report of theft and criminal mischief was taken from Walmart.

 

September 13

 

No report.

 

September 14

 

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

 

Timothy Robertson, 35, was served at the county jail.

 

September 15

 

Larry Garrett, 43, was charged with Breaking or Entering, Assault, and Criminal Mischief after a disturbance call to Walmart.

 

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

 

September 16

 

Larry Garrett, 43, was served with a warrant at the county jail.

 

September 17

 

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

 

 

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

 

9-19-22 9:45 PM KAWX.ORG

Polk County Detention Center Inmates

 

Woman's Body Found Inside Fire Scene at Mena Residence

WOMAN’S BODY FOUND INSIDE FIRE SCENE AT MENA RESIDENCE

 

SEPTEMBER 18, 2022

 

Mena police and fire officials have requested the Arkansas State Police to investigate the death of a woman whose body was found inside a residence yesterday (Saturday, September 17th).

 

The Mena Fire Department responded to the report of a residential fire at 407 1st Street about 1 PM. While attempting to gain control of the fire, authorities discovered the body. The house was initially believed to be unoccupied and without utility connections.

 

Special agents of the state police Criminal Investigation Division are trying to determine whether there is a connection between the fire and the disappearance of a woman who lived in the same neighborhood. The body will be transported to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory where pathologists will determine the manner and cause of death as well as the identity of the unknown woman.

 

9-18-22 4:00 PM kawx.org

State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

 

Every community feels the impact when adults lack a high school diploma or the skills to compete in the 21st century workforce.

 

Not only is it devastating for the adults who may dream of a better life for their families, but it may impact education for future generations. Studies show that children of adults with low literacy skills have a 72% chance of being at the lowest reading skills themselves.

 

It is estimated that nearly 300,000 Arkansas adults do not have a high school diploma. The good news is that in our state there are resources for every adult to continue their education at either a minimal cost or no cost at all.

 

The week of September 18 has been proclaimed as Adult Education Week in Arkansas.

 

There are 37 adult education providers that serve all 75 counties. On Thursday, September 22, every adult education center will be holding an open house from 9am until 3pm. The open house will provide an opportunity for Arkansans to learn what services are available in their community.

 

Adult education has served close to two million Arkansans since 1965, with more than 457,718 individuals passing the GED or earning their high school diploma since 1966.

 

Today, adult education programs do much more than GED preparation. The programs help Arkansans complete job training through the Workforce Alliance for Growth in the Economy program and help Arkansans improve their English language skills with English-as-a-Second Language classes.

 

Participation in these programs has an impact on accelerating growth toward a healthier economy. The ripple effect of adults continuing their education can have far-reaching results. Family members who are still in school see that education is important. Their determination influences others who are struggling.

 

You can find an adult education center near you by visiting www.aalrc.org or calling 1-877-963-4GED.

 

9-18-22 1:05 PM KAWX.ORG

Governor Asa Hutchinson's Weekly Address

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Address: Life Lessons from the Friday Night Lights

 

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

 

LITTLE ROCK – Every year, near the end of Summer, the smell of popcorn, face paint, and freshly mowed grass fills the air in cities and towns around the state. Friday night lights and the chill of the early fall air is a familiar feeling to Arkansans of all ages.

High school sports are important to every community in Arkansas, but it is most important to those who participate, the student-athletes. Our students spend so much time of their young life learning how to serve, dribble, and catch a ball. They learn to make a tackle or march in the band.

 

But the special thing about sports for our children is what they can learn that translates to the rest of their life. Sports teach responsibility and discipline. Our children learn to practice honesty and to have passion for their goals.

 

They teach how to be resourceful and take situations they aren’t familiar with and make the best out of them. There was a time, not too long ago, during the pandemic that many states canceled school and cancelled sports. I heard from parents, teachers, and student-athletes about how important school was and the sports and other extracurricular programs that go with school.

 

I told our Secretary of Education and the public that we had to have school in the fall of 2020, and that’s exactly what we did. We had to make many changes to how we operated, we made adjustments to our daily lives, but ultimately we as a community, were resourceful and made it work. Our students continued to participate in the extracurricular activities they hold dearly, all while going to school and continuing their education.

 

In fact, Arkansas ranked second in the nation for in-classroom instruction during the pandemic. Allowing our school districts to make decisions based on their unique needs kept the health and safety of our students and families a top priority without forcing all schools to follow one set of rules.

 

In the fall of 2020, I received a letter from a senior at Greenwood High School. Her name was Hannah Watkins and she played volleyball for the Bulldogs. In her letter she talked about how her team huddled around the T.V. watching a press conference where I announced that high school sports would be played during that upcoming school year.

 

Hannah and her team went on to win the 5A State title in volleyball that season. In the letter she told me they followed all the precautions “to a T” and did whatever they could to make sure they were ready to play. Now, Hannah is playing college volleyball in Arkansas.

 

This is an amazing example of how sports instill meaningful qualities in our children. They had a goal. They did everything it took to reach that goal, and even though many things had to adjust they were successful in their endeavor.

 

Tonight, many young Arkansans will be battling it out against each other on the turf, and in the end some teams will win and some will lose. But the sun will rise again tomorrow, and those life lessons they learned will carry on with them for a lifetime. 

 

9-17-22 9:11 AM KAWX.ORG

US Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column

Celebrating 75 Years of the U.S. Air Force

 

The United States Air Force has bravely fought to protect freedom, liberty and peace on every continent. As co-chair of the Senate Air Force Caucus and the son of a retired Air Force Master Sergeant, I have personally witnessed the service and sacrifice of those individuals, past and present, comprising this distinguished branch of our Armed Forces. That’s why I’m proud to recognize the 75th anniversary of the Air Force and provide ongoing support to the needs of our Airmen.

 

Our Airmen deliver the best airpower the world has ever known, defending our nation and interests in all corners of the globe, and I’ve joined with state leaders and the congressional delegation to preserve our history and advance Arkansas’s role in ensuring our exceptional air superiority continues.

 

We can be proud of the accomplishments of the men and women who served at Eaker Air Force Base in Blytheville supporting U.S. military efforts from World War II through Desert Storm, and we’re working to commemorate their contributions by designating it as the National Cold War Center.

 

A few weeks ago, I met a new resident of Arkansas who moved to the state because her husband is a C-130 pilot stationed at Little Rock Air Force Base. The community at LRAFB is made up of people from around the country dedicated to serving their country because every C-130J Super Hercules pilot and crewmember receives their training here.

 

Since 1971, central Arkansas has been “The Home of Herk Nation.” Thanks to local, state and federal efforts to strengthen and advance that mission, it will remain so for years to come.

 

We have an obligation to ensure our facilities meet the needs of the families and men and women called to serve. As lead Republican on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, I’ve worked to secure funding for improving base dormitories so Airmen have a safe, reliable and affordable place to call home.

 

Last year, we joined Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne Bass to discuss updates to improve the quality of life for those in uniform. That visit underscored the necessity of additional support in the area of childcare.

 

Investing in accommodations and childcare for military families is part of our commitment to servicemembers. I’m proud to champion a new child development center at LRAFB to meet these families’ needs.

 

Additionally, Arkansas is poised to expand its role in our national defense with the selection of Fort Smith’s Ebbing Air National Guard Base as the Air Force’s preferred location for F-35 fighter planes and a Republic of Singapore F-16 squadron as part of the Foreign Military Sales program.

 

This will tremendously benefit the local and state economy and it’s good for the entire country. The Fort Smith community has welcomed the leaders of Singapore to share the opportunities available for its military members and the congressional delegation has met with the Singapore Ambassador to reaffirm our commitment to working together.

 

The connection between the Air Force and The Natural State is sturdy and deep. As we celebrate the service’s 75th anniversary and recognize the Airmen and their families who support its mission, we pay tribute to their dedication to continuing a proud legacy of honor and valor.

Congressman Bruce Westerman's Weekly Column

After a month of August Recess, Democrats still refuse to bring bills to the floor that address the real issues that impact Arkansans. Folks are rightly concerned about our border crisis, our energy crisis, our fentanyl crisis, or our inflation crisis, but instead of acting on any one of these issues, Democrats brought forward 18 bills that deal exclusively with the federal bureaucracy.

 

Although these bills were important to daily governance, and several were bipartisan, I am frustrated that we are blocked by the Democrat majority from debating and voting on solutions for the kitchen table issues that are seriously harming Arkansans every day.

 

A new Census poll found that 26% of Americans were forced to choose between basic expenses like food and medicine in order to pay their energy bills in the past 12 months. One in six people reported the inability to pay the full amount of their energy bills at least once in the past year. This is simply unacceptable, especially when the solution is simple: tap into our country's vast natural resources to easily meet our energy needs.

 

Many of these issues have solutions that I truly believe can be worked through in a bipartisan fashion if my friends across the aisle were willing to come to the negotiating table in good faith. Sadly, politics is taking precedence over good policy.  

 

I call on the Democrat majority to bring the real issues to the floor for debate so that we may properly serve the American people and ensure a prosperous future for all Americans for generations to come.

 

9-16-22 3:40 PM KAWX.ORG

State Senator Larry Teague's Weekly Column

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

 

September 16, 2022

 

LITTLE ROCK – Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic Arkansas has received billions of dollars in federal relief funding.

 

The PEER subcommittee of the Legislative Council has grown significantly in importance because it reviews how state agencies, institutions of higher education and public schools proposed to spend those federal relief dollars.

 

When the entire Legislative Council votes on whether or not to approve distribution of federal relief funds, the recommendations of the PEER subcommittee carry tremendous weight.

 

Legislators refer to the subcommittee simply as PEER, an acronym for Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review. It monitors the financial and fiscal performance of state agencies and educational institutions.

 

PEER has reviewed and recommended approval of about $739 million in federal relief funds for public schools. Those funds are part of more than a billion dollars in American Rescue Plan that the state received for elementary and secondary schools.

 

At its most recent meeting, PEER approved authority for 23 school districts to spend about $65.6 million. Much of that money will be spent on bonuses for teachers and classified staff.

 

Also at its most recent meeting, PEER recommended that legislators approve spending authority of about $280 million for water, waste water and irrigation projects.

 

According to the state Secretary of Agriculture, about $135 million would be available for drinking water projects. Another $135 million would be available for waste water projects and about $10 million for groundwater and irrigation projects.

 

The Agriculture Department plans to accept applications during a 50-day period.

 

In July numerous local elected officials, engineers and managers of water systems asked legislators to approve funding of water projects. They referred to a survey completed last year that indicated the need for about 1,400 water projects costing about $5 billion.

They also expressed a sense of urgency caused by inflation. It takes a long time to complete the various stages of water and waste water projects, so it is important to get them started before inflation severely reduces the buying power of current funding amounts.

 

PSC Chairman Resigns

 

The chairman of the state Public Service Commission, Ted Thomas of Conway, will resign effective October 1. His resignation is important because he has been outspoken in his support of alternative energy such as solar power.

 

The PSC regulates utilities. Thanks to passage of Act 464 of 2019, solar power has grown in popularity in Arkansas. A Senate co-sponsor credited Thomas with helping to win legislative approval of Act 464.

 

The act resolved the issue of net-metering customers, such as solar power plants that generate their electricity, sometimes in excess of what they need. The excess power is transmitted to the utility’s grid and the customer gets credit for producing it.

 

The value of that credit was the bone of contention. Utilities want to pay less and net-metering customers want to be paid more for the excess electricity. Electric companies point out that they have fixed costs beyond the expense of operating power plants, such as maintenance of transmission lines.

 

The fixed costs are shared by all classes of rate payers, such as commercial, manufacturing and residential customers.

 

9-16-22 3:45 PM KAWX.ORG

UARM to Host Conference on Tourism

The Director of Tourism Travis Napper will be the keynote address at the University of Arkansas Rich Mountain’s (UARM) upcoming Tourism Conference slated for October 5.

 

Napper took the lead of the department in 2020. He had previously led the Ruston Lincoln Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau in Ruston, La. As the president and CEO. Prior to that he was director of orientation and special programs at Louisiana Tech University, also in Ruston. He holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Louisiana Tech University and earned the Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) designation in 2016.

 

“We are thrilled to have the Director of Tourism join us for the conference. Clearly, it is a testament of the significant developments coming to our area that will bolster an already thriving and growing tourism industry,” said conference organizer LeAnn Dilbeck who serves as the Vice Chancellor for External Affairs & Communications at UARM.

 

Noting the rapidly increasing local tourism industry, Dilbeck said that the conference was designed specificially to:

1.) bring all of the tourism stakeholders, both private and public, together to network;

2.) increase awareness of various entities and services that can bring added exposure to help grow their business;

3.) to educate the community, as a whole, of multiple large tourism developments/events in the local area over the next couple of years.

 

“Mena is poised to see phenomenal growth in the tourism industry in the coming months and it is important that the community be well informed and have working relationships with each other to fully capitalize on upcoming opportunities as well as establish a foundation that will allow us to maintain a thriving tourism industry,” Dilbeck added. “As a college, we want to support that growth and be a resource to our community.”

 

Napper will discuss the strength Arkansas tourism exhibited during the height of the pandemic, much unlike other tourism destinations who suffered record loss in tourists. He will also discuss the importance of preparing for the upcoming Solar Eclipse coming in 2024, in which parts of Polk County will experience a 100% total eclipse. He will discuss the departments efforts to bring tourist to the state as well as share valuable free resources available to local business owners in the tourism industry.

 

We will have a number of other local speakers that will share local resources, branding, building an audience with social media, etc.

 

This conference will be beneficial to anyone in the local tourism industry, hotels, motels, cabin rentals, AirBnBs, VRBOs, restaurants, retail, event venues/planners but is certainly open to anyone interested in community development and the positive economic impact brought through tourism dollars.

 

Mayor Seth Smith encourages the community to participate with the conference. “I am grateful to UA Rich Mountain for bringing all of these speakers together for a one-day event. It’s a great way to bring awareness to multiple projects and developments coming to our area as well as educating those in the industry of all the resources available to them.”

 

The event is $25/person and open to the community. It will begin at 9 am and conclude by 3 pm. Participants will need to register by September 30. Register by calling 479.394.6805 or by emailing ldilbeck@uarichmountain.edu.

 

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

 

9-15-22 4:00 PM KAWX.ORG

Mena Mayor Seth Smith proclaimed September 17-23 as Constitution Week

Members of the James K. Polk Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution watched as Mayor Seth Smith signed the Proclamation. Left to right: Ruby Hartsfield, Deonna Williams, Ann Garrett, Julie Wiltrout, Shelly Collins, Kathy Hagler, Brenda Cunningham. Seated: Mayor Seth Smith.

 

Constitution Week September 17-23

 

The aim of the Constitution Week observation is to emphasize citizens’ responsibilities for protecting and defending the Constitution, inform people that the Constitution is the basis for America’s great heritage and the foundation for our way of life, and to encourage the study of the historical events which led to the framing of the Constitution in September 1787. The Constitution is America’s most important document. It stands as a testament to the determination of Americans throughout history to maintain their liberties, freedoms, and inalienable rights.

 

The observation of Constitution Week began in 1955, when the Daughters of the American Revolution petitioned Congress to set aside September 17-23 as an annual week-long observance commemorating the history and importance of the Constitution, and bringing attention to how it still serves us today.

 

The public is encouraged to help celebrate the signing of the U.S. Constitution by participating in Bells Across America, an annual celebration in which participants gather to ring bells, much as the church bells of Philadelphia rang out on September 17, 1787, after the delegates reached an agreement and emerged from Independence Hall. James K. Polk Chapter encourages individuals, churches, businesses, and organizations to unite at 3:00 p.m. on September 17 to ring a bell for one minute.

 

Daughters of the American Revolution is a 132-year-old service organization dedicated to historic preservation, education, and patriotism. DAR members come from a variety of backgrounds and interests, but all share a common bond of having an ancestor who helped contribute to securing the independence of the United States of America. Any woman 18 years or older, regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background, who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution is eligible to join.

 

For more information contact Carolyn Hanna at carolynhanna220@gmail.com or Dotty Kinnun at thekinnuns@gmail.com.

 

For additional information about DAR and its relevant mission, visit www.dar.org

 

9-13-22 4:00 PM KAWX.ORG

Polk County Sheriff's Report for September 5th - September 11th

SHERIFF’S LOG

 

The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of August 5, 2022 – September 11, 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.

 

September 5, 2022

Buck Stricklin, 51 of Gladewater, TX was arrested by an officer with the Arkansas Game and Fish on a Felony Warrant for Indecent Exposure and to be held for another agency.

Silas Lewis, 35 of Dallas, TX was arrested by an officer with the Highway Patrol to be held for another agency.

Fred Dean, 49 of Cove was arrested by an officer with the Arkansas State Police on a Felony Rape Warrant.

Deputies were dispatched to an area on Polk 412 near Potter in reference to a vehicle in the ditch leading to the arrest of Anita Mann, 38 of Mena on a charge of DWI.

 

September 6, 2022

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

 

September 7, 2022

Deputies responded to a walk-in complainant in reference to a theft near Irons Fork Lake.

 

September 8, 2022

No reports.

 

September 9, 2022

Deputies responded to a report of a trespasser at a residence on Polk 703 near Mena.

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

Kimberly Huff, 29 of Mena was arrested on a Felony Warrant for Possession of Methamphetamine or Cocaine.

 

September 10, 2022

Deputies responded to a report of an altercation. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney for further consideration.

 

September 11, 2022

Deputies were dispatched to a residence on Polk 23 near Cove in reference to a verbal domestic altercation. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney for further consideration.

Deputies were dispatched to Polk 48 near Mena in reference to a vehicle accident.

A traffic stop on Hwy 71 S led to the arrest of Douglas Manley, 40 of Hatfield on five Misdemeanor Failure to Appear Warrants as well as charges of Ignition Interlock Device,

Driving on a Suspended Driver’s License, No Vehicle License and No Proof of Insurance.

 

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

 

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population24 Incarcerated Inmates, with 11 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility

 

9-12-22 11:03 PM KAWX.ORG

Mena Police Report for September 4th - September 10th

Mena Police Department reports for the week of September 4th through September 10th, 2022:

 

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

 

 

September 4

 

Timothy Robertson, 35, was charged with Public Intoxication and served with a warrant after a disturbance call to a residence on Maple Avenue.

 

James Grossman, 59, was charged with Domestic Battery after a disturbance call at a residence on Westmoreland Drive.

 

Heather Hilderbrand-Judd, 47, was charged with Criminal Trespass at Walmart.

 

A report of harassment was taken from a person at Shoe Sensation.

 

September 5

 

No report.

 

September 6

 

Crystal Evans, 34, was served with a warrant after a traffic stop on Highway 71.

 

A report of breaking or entering was taken at Train Station Antiques.

 

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

 

Donavan Hunt, 31, was served with a warrant at District Court.

 

A report of criminal trespass was taken at a residence on Himes Avenue.

 

September 7

 

Dare Garrison, 28, was served with a warrant after a traffic stop on Highway 8 East.

 

Martin Dollarhyde, 47, was served with a warrant at a residence on 10th Street.

 

Bradley Brumfield, 32, was served with a warrant after contact on Highway 71 North.

 

A report of breaking or entering and criminal trespass was taken at a residence on Dallas Avenue.

 

A report of criminal trespass was taken on Hornbeck.

 

A report of theft was taken at Washburn’s Home Furnishings.

 

September 8

 

Billy Fletcher, 35, was charged with Public Intoxication and Disorderly Conduct after a suspicious person complaint on Rodger Street.

 

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

 

A report of disorderly conduct was taken at Mountain View Clinic.

 

September 9

 

A report of criminal trespass and criminal mischief was taken from Farmer’s Coop.

 

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

 

Dax Wood, 26, was served with a warrant at a residence on Sarah Way.

 

September 10

 

Terry Duke, 57, was served with a warrant at Exxon Super Station.

 

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

 

9-12-22 11:00 PM KAWX.ORG

Polk County Detention Center Inmates

OLT's "Silas Marner" Cast is Announced

Director Brad Storey has publicized his cast choices to play the characters in his original script based on the novel “Silas Marner.”  This classic tale is about a mysterious, lonely man who discovers beauty and joy in a most surprising and unusual way. Six shows will be performed during the last two weekends of October.

 

 

The cast is as follows:
Narrator - Alex Night; Silas Marner - Austin Zarrella; Jem Rodney - Robert Canterbury, Mr.
Macey - Eddie Huckaby, Snell / Crackenthorpe - Stacey Musgrave, Tookey / Dr. Kimble - Chris
Beaver, The Farrier - Mike Moe,  John / Aaron - Silas Baker, Bob / William - Scott Roberts,
Andrew - BJ Hart, Godfrey Cass- Ryan Lewis, Squire Cass- Scotty Jenkins,  Dunstin Cass -
Tommy Myers, James - Tillman Putman, Minister - Brad Storey,  Bryce  - Michael Rolland,
Elizabeth / Molly - Angel Moe, Jane - Tia Moe, Young Eppie – Katie Norris, Nancy- Sarah
Lewis, Dolly Winthrop - Kirsten Casperson,  
Eppie - Jocelyn Biard

 

Some of the crew is already at work including Makayla Kenyon-Ortiz as Stage Manager, Tia
Moe as Assistant Director, and Set Painters Natalie Raby, Susan Raby, and Lorraine
Timmerman. Additional crew will be named at a later date.

 

9-10-22 11:44 AM KAWX.ORG

State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

It is estimated that more than 20 percent of Arkansas households are food insecure. The Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance also estimates that 1 in 3 children in the state are facing food insecurity.

 

Food insecurity describes a household’s inability to provide enough food for every person to live an active, healthy life.

 

September is Hunger Action Month.  This is an annual campaign dedicated to driving awareness and inspiring action to help end hunger in America, both at a national scale and in local communities.

 

Many families are making tough budgeting decisions while facing rising grocery prices. Now is a good time for communities to collectively act against hunger. You can choose to donate or advocate. You can choose to volunteer at your local food bank or raise awareness.

 

In the 2021 Regular Session, the General Assembly passed the Excess Food Distribution. This allows a public school or open-enrollment public charter school to distribute excess food to students for consumption on the school campus or at home.

The 93rd General Assembly also addressed food insecurity with the passage of Act 418. This act created the State Meat Inspection Program. Without a state meat inspection program, it was prohibitively expensive for food banks to receive and distribute meat. This act will make it easier and less costly for Arkansas food banks to provide senior citizens with meals containing high amounts of protein and other important nutrients.

 

Arkansas has six Feeding America food banks. These food banks are at the heart of the Hunger Relief Alliance network of hunger relief organizations. The food banks serve as giant distribution sites for millions of pounds of food and other relief items that go out into the regions they serve. In 2021, these six food banks distributed more than 90 million pounds of food.

 

We encourage Arkansans to find ways they can help. You can opportunities near you at www.arhungeralliance.org.

 

9-9-22 8:04 PM KAWX.ORG

 

US Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column

Marking Suicide Prevention Month

 

In Arkansas, 554 lives were lost to suicide and over 100,000 adults had suicidal thoughts last year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The tragic reality is a growing number of our family, friends and neighbors suffer from mental health conditions and despair that can lead to attempts to take their own lives.

 

There are steps we can take to tackle this crisis and get our loved ones and others struggling in our communities the help they need.

 

One is to remove the stigma from disclosing mental health issues and another is to empower those in need of support and treatment to seek it. It’s ok to talk about it –– and doing so can lead to lifesaving outcomes.

 

This is not just a challenge that affects a particular demographic. It can touch people from all walks of life.

 

For years, the rate of suicide has been higher in rural America than in urban areas. Farmers and ranchers experience incredible stress, anxiety and pressure in the course of their efforts to plant and harvest each year. Combined with limited access to mental health resources, these factors present a serious risk that leaves too many working and living in farm country as part of the agriculture industry feeling hopeless.

 

Similarly, our nation’s veterans can often find themselves in dire mental health straits. Those who have deployed in combat zones can bring back invisible wounds of war that manifest in a variety of ways. We know that over 17 former servicemembers die by suicide each day, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs, despite many good faith efforts to get them the outreach and assistance necessary to cope.

 

These are just two groups among countless others that are susceptible to mental health crises and suicide. The list, unfortunately, goes on and on.

 

Understanding who is at risk is just one piece, though important, of the larger puzzle to prevent suicide. The next step is to get resources and appropriate care to vulnerable populations. That has been a priority at all levels of government because our society’s awareness of this issue is increasing almost daily.

 

We’re pushing resources and information out to those in crisis, including through federal and state agencies, establishing programs that seek to leverage successful existing approaches to community support and prevention, and expanding access to mental health care.

 

The latest example is the creation of the 988 National Suicide Hotline, a quick and convenient way to connect any American who calls or texts this number to a trained crisis counselor. This critical tool can make a difference in the lives of those who are moments away from a tragic decision by providing free, confidential guidance.

 

Coming together to confront this problem is what it will take to make a difference. September is National Suicide Prevention Month and serves to remind us how urgent it is to find solutions that will improve mental health and reduce the rate of suicide. This month also marks the 21st anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, which showed us just how resilient and supportive Americans can be for and with one another.

 

Join me in pledging to rise to this occasion just as we did then so our family, friends and even strangers know they aren’t alone.

 

9-9-22 5:00 PM KAWX.ORG

Congressman Bruce Westerman's Weekly Column

We Remember

This week marks the 21st anniversary of the horrific attacks on our nation that look nearly 3,000 innocent lives on September 11, 2001. 9/11 is known as one of the darkest days of American history. It changed the world forever and shaped a generation. In the days following the shocking attack, we turned as a country to process our grief and consider our next steps forward. The horrors of those days transformed into something the terrorists never intended. We came together to comfort and support each other in unprecedented unity. There were no Democrats, Republicans, or Independents. Only Americans. 

 

What was intended to incapacitate us was no match for the American spirit. Our response to these acts of terrorism was swift and defiant. Thousands of men and women answered the call to protect freedom and execute the Global War on Terrorism with strength and precision. Al-Qaeda was hunted down and the Taliban was removed from power, protecting our nation and allowing a generation of Afghans to know freedom for the first time. 

 

Over two decades after 9/11, our nation still mourns those we lost. We will never forget the victims whose days were cut short and the men and women who gave their lives to protect our way of life from those who hate liberty. 

 

In 2016, President Barack Obama federally recognized September 11 as the National Day of Service and Remembrance. I encourage every Arkansan and American to find ways to serve, support, and pray for each other, regardless of our political, religious, or socioeconomic identities. In times as divisive as these, it is important to remember that we are one people, living in the greatest country in the world. In our kindness and compassion for each other, we honor those who lost their lives on 9/11 and in service to our great nation. There is no better way to keep their memories alive.

 

9-9-22 5:00 PM KAWX.ORG

Governor Asa Hutchinson's Weekly Address

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Address: Supporting Fairness for States’ Workers

 

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

 

LITTLE ROCK – Today I’d like to talk about a proposed federal rule dealing with construction contracts and my efforts to lead the 17 other governors who oppose this executive order.

 

Earlier this year, President Biden signed an executive order which requires Project Labor Agreements for federal construction projects. This action will require federal construction contracts of $35 million or more to have a government-mandated project labor agreement.

 

A project labor agreement is a collective bargaining agreement with labor unions to establish the terms and conditions of employment for a specific construction project.

 

When a project labor agreement is required by government agencies, this interferes with the current competition between union and non-union contractors. This executive order requirement will discriminate against local construction workers in favor of out-of-state union jobs for these federal contracts.

 

The federal government will decide who will work on a construction project and favors union over non-union construction companies. This is directly interfering with our workforce and the ability of Arkansas companies to receive these construction contracts.

 

A reduction in competition from some of the best union and non-union construction firms and workers in our state will exacerbate the construction industry’s skilled labor shortage. It will delay projects and increase construction costs by an estimated 12%-20% per project. These issues will result in fewer infrastructure improvements, less construction industry job creation, and higher costs to the taxpayers. All of which I oppose.

 

In 2021, Arkansas had one of the lowest rates of union membership in the nation at 3.9%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This proposed rule will put Arkansas at a disadvantage when utilizing our funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

 

Labor unions have played an important role in our nation’s history. But I believe the government’s role in business is to provide an avenue for success and not a roadblock. This rule will create a playing field that isn’t level because it provides an advantage to unionized companies.

 

Onerous regulations and red tape raise the cost of doing business and suppress economic vitality. The proposed rule from the Biden administration will hamper our state’s ability to efficiently and fully utilize federal funding.

I’m honored to have the support of 17 fellow governors from all corners of our nation as we seek to oppose this rule and support fairness for our states.

 

9-9-22 5:00 PM KAWX.ORG

State Senator Larry Teague's Weekly Column

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

September 9, 2022

 

LITTLE ROCK – The Senate and House Committees on Education are scheduled to vote on next year’s adequacy report at their meeting in early October.

 

The committees went over a draft of the adequacy report at their September meeting. The legislature has been conducting adequacy reviews since 2003, to ensure that state funding of public schools is constitutionally adequate and equitable. The committee’s final report is due November 1.

 

There is heightened interest in this year’s report because it will lay the groundwork for any pay raises for teachers next school year.

 

The adequacy report is important for other reasons too. It will establish the school funding matrix for next year, including recommendations for state funding of upgrades to school facilities and transportation.

 

Before the October meeting, some committee members want to clarify the definition of teachers, counselors, classroom aides, librarians and other certified staff.

 

Another issue is salary equity. Some districts pay the state minimum salary, and they have difficulty retaining teachers.

 

The funding matrix sets per pupil expenditures in numerous categories. One is for alternative learning environments (ALE), for students who do not learn well in traditional classrooms, perhaps due to excessive truancy or disruptive behavior. Students who are homeless, or who have suffered abuse, often need an alternative learning environment.

 

Another category of state funding to local schools is to provide classes for English language learners (ELL). Last school year 39,000 students, about eight percent of the total of 450,000 students in Arkansas, were in the ELL category because English was not their native language.

 

The spending levels in the adequacy report must take into account inflation, so the legislature subscribes to two economic data providers. They are HIS Markit and Moody’s Analytics. Both firms predict that the rate of inflation will slow down over the next five years.

 

During the 2023 regular session the legislature will approve public education funding for school years 2023-2024. The predicted inflation rate that year, after averaging the projections of the two economic firms, is an estimated 1.84 percent. The following school year, 2024-2025, the projected inflation rate is 2.16 percent.

 

The state also provides extra funding to school districts based on the number of students whose families earn less than the federal poverty level.

 

In 2021 the federal poverty level was $26,500 for a family of four. Children in a family of four were eligible for a reduced price lunch if their family’s income was below $49,025. That is 185 percent of the federal poverty level.

 

The children received free meals at school if their family income was less than $34,450, which was 133 percent of the federal poverty level.

 

About two thirds of the children in Arkansas public schools qualify for free meals, or meals at a reduced price.

 

More than 66,000 Arkansas students last year received special education because they had learning disabilities, health impairments or a combination of emotional and intellectual disabilities. More than 5,700 were on the autism spectrum. Almost 17,000 children had speech impairments.

 

Arkansas schools recognize 12 categories of disability to determine whether a student qualifies for special education, and whether the school should receive bonus funding.

 

9-9-22 10:48 AM KAWX.ORG 

Flags To Half Staff For Queen Elizabeth II

A Proclamation on the Death of Queen Elizabeth II
 
SEPTEMBER 08, 2022
 
 
  Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was more than a monarch. She defined an era.
 
  In a world of constant change, she was a steadying presence and a source of comfort and pride for generations of Britons, including many who have never known their country without her. Queen Elizabeth II led always with grace, an unwavering commitment to duty, and the incomparable power of her example. She was a stateswoman of unmatched dignity and constancy who deepened the bedrock Alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States. She helped make our relationship special. The seven decades of her history-making reign bore witness to an age of unprecedented human advancement and the forward march of human dignity. Her legacy will loom large in the pages of British history, and in the story of our world. 
 
  As a mark of respect for the memory of Queen Elizabeth II, 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, on the day of interment. 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 eighth day of September, 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-seventh.
 
                              JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.
 
9-8-22 4:02 PM KAWX.ORG
 
 
 
 

Fly the United States Flag at Half-Staff on Sunday, September 11, 2022, Patriot Day

Patriot Day 2022
 
Sunday, September 11th, 2022 marks the 21 year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon, and United Airlines Flight 93 which crashed in suburban Pennsylvania. Patriot Day serves as a remembrance of the lives lost on that September morning.
 
By a joint resolution approved 12/18/2001, (Public Law 107-89) has designated September 11th of each year as "Patriot Day" which also directs the flags be lowered to half-staff for the entire day on September 11.
 
9-8-22 3:08 PM KAWX.ORG 

Art of the Heartland Show Winners Announced

“Art of the Heartland Show 2022”

 

The Mena Art gallery is excited to present the 2022 “Art of Heartland” Show. This is a spectacular event with a large amount of skill and care on display.

 

The “Art of the Heartland National Competition” debuted in 2015 and has become a prestigious national show held at the Mena Art Gallery. This outstanding exhibit showcases some of the finest in representational paintings from across the country. It will be formally on exhibition from the 31st of August through the 29th of October. When you stop by, please take some time and choose your favorite as you vote for People's Choice. You do not want to miss it!

 

Mena Art Gallery will be open extended hours for this show. Wednesday and Thursday the hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday the hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

 

This year’s winners:

 

Best in Show: “Catch of the Day” by Jeff Legg

 

1st Place: “I Must Escape This Emptiness” by Daniel Cassity

2nd Place: “Ovoid Crock” by Tim Tyler

3rd Place: “Kayeleigh” by Linda Lucas Hardy

 

Arkansas Artist: “Dottie and Sparkie” by Susan Gibson

 

Honorable Mentions:

 

“The Long Shot”, by Joseph Barbieri

 

“The Craftsman”, by James Brantley

 

“Summer Evening-Gulf Islands National Seashore”, by Theresa Grillo Laird

 

“Portrait of a High School Art Teacher”, by Danielle Piloto

 

“Happy Birthday to Ewe”, by Cheryl Harley-Volz

 

Best in Show:              “Catch of the Day” by Jeff Legg

 

1st Place:                       “I Must Escape This Emptiness” by Daniel Cassity   

 

2nd Place:                      “Ovoid Crock” by Tim Tyler

 

3rd Place:                      “Kayeleigh” by Linda Lucas Hardy

 

Arkansas Artist:          “Dottie and Sparkie” by Susan Gibson 

 

“The Long Shot”, by Joseph Barbieri

 

“The Craftsman”, by James Brantley 

 

“Summer Evening-Gulf Islands National Seashore”, by Theresa Grillo Laird

 

“Portrait of a High School Art Teacher”, by Danielle Piloto

 

“Happy Birthday to Ewe”, by Cheryl Harley-Volz

 

9-8-22 1:26 PM KAWX.ORG 

Mena Police Report for August 28th - September 3rd

Mena Police Department reports for the week of August 28th through September 3rd, 2022

 

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

 

August 28

William Goodwin, 30, was charged with Public Intoxication in an alley off Gillham Avenue.

 

A report of criminal mischief was taken from Allbaugh’s Florist.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Steven Runyon, 24, was charged with Driving on Suspended License, No Insurance, and served with a warrant after a traffic stop on Highway 71.

 

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

 

August 29

A report of sexual indecency with a child and battery was taken after a disturbance call on Sherwood Avenue.

 

Brittainy Mendel, 32, was charged with Disorderly Conduct and Public Intoxication at Healthy Connections.

 

A report of breaking or entering was taken at Lottie Da’s.

 

August 30

Nathaniel James, 23, was served with a warrant after a traffic stop on Highway 71.

 

August 31

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

 

A report of theft was taken at Mena Short Stop.

 

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

 

September 1

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

 

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

 

Brittainy Mendel, 32, was charged with Criminal Trespass at Walmart.

 

Joshua Heifner, 21, was served with a warrant at Janssen Park.

 

September 2

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

 

September 3

Jason Loyd, 34, was charged with Domestic Battery and Public Intoxication at a residence on Reeves Avenue.

 

A report of fleeing, possession of drug paraphernalia, suspended driver’s license and no insurance was taken after an attempted traffic stop on Highway 8 East.

 

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

 

A report of theft was taken at Big D’s Station.

 

David White, 59, was charged with DWI, Violation of Ignition Interlock Device, and Possession of Marijuana after a traffic stop on Highway 71.

 

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

9-6-22 1:41 PM KAWX.ORG

Polk County Detention Center Inmates 

Body Found In Polk County Identified

Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer announced today that the human remains recovered by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office on August 9, 2022 have been positively identified as Erin T. (Pepper) Lawrence (age 42) of Hatton, Arkansas. 

 

Erin Lawrence was reported missing to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office in April 2020.

 

Sheriff Sawyer stated “ Since the initial missing persons report was filed, Deputies and Investigators have conducted over 100 interviews in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Nebraska. They’ve done an outstanding job investigating Erin’s disappearance.” 

 

On August 8, 2022 an inmate in the Polk County Detention Center took Deputies from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office to a shallow grave in a wooded area west of Hatfield. The remains were recovered the next day and sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab. 

 

Sheriff Sawyer stated that a case file has been sent to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and that he anticipates criminal charges being filed in the coming weeks. 

 

9-6-22 1:29 PM KAWX.ORG

Polk County Sheriff's Report for August 29th - September 4th

SHERIFF’S LOG

 

The following information was received from Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer for the week of August 29, 2022 – September 4, 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.

 

August 29, 2022

Deputies were dispatched to a residence on Polk 16 near Vandervoort in reference to stolen property.

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

 

August 30, 2022

Deputies were dispatched to a residence on Polk 97 near Acorn in reference to an altercation leading to the arrest of Luke Richmond, 29 of Mena on a charge of 3rd Degree Domestic Battery.

Deputies responded to a report of vandalism at a residence on Polk 178 near Acorn.

Deputies responded to a report of an unattended death on Heritage Lane near Hatfield.

 

August 31, 2022

Deputies responded to a residence on Polk 41 S near Potter in reference to a dog being shot.

 

September 1, 2022

Deputies responded to a report of Animal Cruelty at a residence on Hwy 8 E near Board Camp.

Christopher Chesser, 37 of Mena was arrested on a Body Attachment.

 

September 2, 2022

Deputies were dispatched to a residence on Well House Lane near Hatfield in reference to harassment.

 

September 3, 2022

A report of a domestic altercation near Board camp led to the arrest of Amber Self, 37 of Mountain Pine on charges of Public Intoxication and Aggravated Assault upon a Certified Law Enforcement Officer and Christopher Robins, 45 of Hot Springs National Park on a charge of DWI and 3rd Degree Domestic Battery.

Deputies responded to a residence on Polk 703 near Mena in reference to a dog being killed by a neighbor’s dogs.

Deputies responded to an ATV accident on Polk 42 near Mena.

 

September 4, 2022

Deputies were dispatched to a residence on Polk 703 near Mena in reference to dogs being killed by a neighbor’s dogs.

Deputies were dispatched to a residence on Polk 720 near Mena in reference to a structure fire.

 

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

 

Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 26 Incarcerated Inmates, with 10 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.

 

9-6-22 8:29 AM KAWX.ORG

Congressman Bruce Westerman's Weekly Column

I always look forward to August recess when I am able to spend time traveling across the Fourth District visiting with constituents and local officials to hear directly from them about the challenges their families, businesses, and communities are facing. When I hear the unvarnished truth from the people who are living with the choices made in Washington, D.C., I can do a better job of making government work with you and for you, not against you.

 

Over and over again, folks expressed concerns about how high input costs, particularly energy prices, are still seriously hurting their businesses. While gas prices have dipped some, the Administration has not changed the same harmful policies that drove up prices to begin with. Natural adjustments in the market from people choosing to avoid driving in order to save money, paired with President Joe Biden’s order to release thousands of barrels of oil from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which is meant for natural disasters and national security emergencies, not self-inflicted economic crises, has brough mild relief. Prices, however, are still 60% higher than when President Biden took office. Diesel prices are still extremely high. While diesel is not used by most Americans every day, diesel prices greatly affect farmers, ranchers, producers, and loggers, which in turn affects everyone. No one understands better than Arkansans that farm input costs directly affect the price to the consumer. At a time where inflation has hit Americans at the grocery store the hardest, high energy costs will only exacerbate the crisis in the U.S. and across the world. 

 

It does not have to be this way. The United States is rich in natural resources that could easily meet our needs. Marcellus and Utica gas reserves in the Pennsylvania region make up the largest reserves in the world. When combined with gas reserves in Arkansas, Texas, and across the country, we could easily meet our needs and our allies needs for many years to come. There is no reason we should rely on dictators who hate the U.S. and everything we value. 

 

While the war in Russia certainly affected the supply of gas in the U.S. and Europe, we should never have given Vladimir Putin the power to affect our markets so drastically. President Biden’s and Congressional Democrat’s “not in my backyard” mentality when it comes to mining and energy development will never solve our energy crisis. We must start utilizing the natural resources we have here at home immediately. Not only will American energy production bring down prices for everyone, but it also will provide good paying jobs for countless families. 

 

9-2-22 5:40 PM KAWX.ORG 

State Representative John Maddox's Weekly Column

Labor Day is a time to reflect on the social and economic achievements of American workers. The labor force in Arkansas and its forecasted potential is worth celebrating.

 

The most recent report from the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services (ADWS) shows unemployment in our state at 3.2 percent. The jobless rate nationwide stands at 3.5 percent.

 

According to an ADWS report titled Long-Term Industry and Occupational Projections, Arkansas will add 124,387 new jobs by the year 2030. That’s a 9.05% increase.

 

Goods-Producing industries are expected to add 14,340 new jobs, while the Services-Providing industries should see most of the growth, with 114,345 new jobs being added.

 

Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations is estimated to add 21,219 jobs during the projection period, a 21.11 percent increase, making the major group the top and fastest growing in the state. Restaurant cooks are slated to be the second fastest growing occupation in the major group, increasing employment by 51.77 percent.

 

Nurse Practitioners are slated to be the fastest growing occupation statewide, increasing by 54.04 percent. Healthcare Support Occupations is projected to add 11,271 jobs by 2030 and be the second fastest growing major group, increasing the workforce by 20.13 percent.

 

Fastest growing occupations by expected percentage changes also include fundraisers, occupational therapy assistants, speech pathologists, and operation research analysts.

 

When it comes to the highest paying jobs in the state, Obstetricians and Gynecologists topped the list with an annual salary of $258,940. Anesthesiologists, with an average annual salary of $234,970, ranked second on the Occupations Paying the Most list. Surgeons, physicians, and pediatricians are also in the top 5.

 

Whether you are searching for the right job or the right person for the job, the Division of Workforce Services can help. ADWS offers a variety of services, like job search and résumé assistance, career counseling, workforce readiness training, and referrals to employers who are hiring. Learn about the labor market and the occupations that are most in-demand in your area by visiting www.dws.arkansas.gov.

 

9-2-22 5:37 PM KAWX.ORG

US Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column: Advancing Policies to Fight Hunger

Advancing Policies to Fight Hunger

 

Classrooms across the state are full of eager students ready to learn. Many Arkansas school kids are better prepared to learn as a result of a bipartisan law approved months ago helping ensure children could enjoy summer vacation without having to worry about being hungry.

 

As the lead Republican on the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, I joined with my Democrat counterpart to broker a deal to ensure kids have access to healthy, nutritious meals over the course of the summer and this school year.

 

The Keep Kids Fed Act allowed meal program operators to continue to utilize flexibilities granted at the onset of the pandemic over this past summer break. It also extends administrative and paperwork flexibilities through the current school year to help schools streamline meal operations and continue serving food despite supply chain disruptions.  

 

We’re all well aware of the skyrocketing food costs. On the Biden administration’s watch, food inflation has shot up to its highest rate since Jimmy Carter was president. This trend has increased food insecurity at home for many young Arkansans while also making it more difficult for schools and hunger relief organizations to step in and help those same children.  

 

This need is especially acute during the summertime when families with children who rely on  meals at school no longer have access to this resource. In Arkansas, and across the country, there are a number of excellent organizations that step in to help during those months, but they are hamstrung by rules dating back to the 1960s. 

 

I have long-championed reforming the summer meals program to fix this outdated model. The flexibilities Congress granted providers during the pandemic were based off the Hunger-Free Summer for Kids Act which I introduced in the Senate. Removing outdated requirements during the pandemic spurred innovation with public-private partnerships and provided access to nutritious meals for young Arkansans. The success of this updated model offers a good recipe for how to reach more children in need.  

 

In order to comply with social distancing mandates, Congress waived the requirement for children to travel to a central location and eat their meals together. While the congregate feeding standard works well in some communities, it clearly was not possible to operate in this manner during a pandemic. Even before COVID, it wasn’t feasible in many rural areas, as it can be difficult for children to reach a site—if one even exists. In suburban and urban areas, inclement weather or violence can keep children from these sites and cause them to miss a meal. 

 

The pandemic-instituted changes proved new options—from off-site, grab-and-go models, to home delivery, to electronic benefits transfer—do in fact reach a broader audience of those in need. While continuing to ensure that children have access to healthy meals this coming school year, the summertime flexibilities provided through the Keep Kids Feed Act should be part of an overdue child nutrition reauthorization. As we recognize September as Hunger Action Month, I am committed to fighting hunger and will continue pushing for passage of the Hunger-Free Summer for Kids Act in a broader reauthorization to ensure all options for summertime meals remain on the table. 

 

9-2-22 4:49 PM KAWX.ORG 

Governor Asa Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Radio Address: Arkansas’s Greatest Resource
 
 
LITTLE ROCK – Today I’d like to talk about the celebration of Labor Day and the importance of our workforce.
 
Barbeques, pool parties, and parades are a common occurrence when Americans today celebrate Labor Day, but it wasn’t always about friends and families getting together for fun.
 
One hudred twenty-seven years ago, President Grover Cleveland signed a bill making the first Monday of September a national holiday. But the work it took to reach that point started years before the bill was ever signed.
 
At the time, employees, including children, were working more than 12 hours a day, six to seven days a week, in places that were crowded, not ventilated, and not ideal for the work that was being done. The need for better conditions was high.
 
In 1882, the first Labor Day parade took place in New York City where approximately 20,000 union members marched down the streets of the city demanding better working conditions and shorter hours. In the years leading up to 1894, 24 states declared Labor Day as an official state holiday. Once again, you see states leading the way.
 
Today we still celebrate Labor Day as a time to commemorate the contributions made by every American to strengthen our nation and preserve its prosperity.
 
In Arkansas, we have beautiful mountains, rivers, and the Delta. Arkansas has a robust highway system and access to many resources that are in high demand. Arkansas ranks in the Top 25 nationally in the production of 16 different agricultural commodities.
 
But none of that matters without our state’s greatest resource: Arkansans.
 
Arkansas’s workforce is diverse and dedicated. With an unemployment rate less than the national average, Arkansans are working and excelling in the agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, military, and technology sectors of our economy. With the explosive growth of my computer science initiative, we have the talent to compete and succeed in the 21st century.
 
One of my favorite jobs as governor is to show new companies the benefits of doing business in Arkansas. With my team at the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, led by Secretary Mike Preston, we work hard to bring in more high-paying jobs by recruiting companies from all over the nation and the world to come to our state. Just this year alone, AEDC has signed 17 new incentive agreements, which is expected to result in over 2,700 new jobs with an average wage of over $28 an hour. These new and expanding companies plan to invest nearly $4 billion of capital in Arkansas.
 
But it’s the Arkansas worker who is the most important attraction for any business looking to put down roots in our state. When I talk with CEOs, one of the first things they ask is, “How are the people?” To which I reply, “they are the kindest and hardest working people you will ever meet.”
 
9-2-22 3:26 PM KAWX.ORG
 

State Senator Larry Teague's Weekly Column

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Larry Teague

September 2, 2022

 

LITTLE ROCK – At first glance, arts and technology would appear to be opposites in how they are taught and how they affect economic development.

 

However, a bipartisan group of legislators has been working since 2018 to build the case that there is a crucial intersection where the arts and technology meet.

 

They contend that people in every corner of Arkansas can improve their quality of life, and better secure economic prosperity, if they recognize and promote this “creative economy.”

 

Act 577 of 2021 created the Legislative Arts and Technology Boot Camp, which recently issued a detailed report based on surveys and meetings across the state.

 

The report has an inventory of artistic assets in all 75 counties, and offers a glimpse of how many occupations and businesses rely on artistic creativity. As the Senate co-chairman of the Boot Camp said, “art is not just singing and dancing and music.”

 

For example, physicians in Jonesboro told legislators how they use painting, drawing, sculpting and other forms of creative expression to improve patient outcomes. Art is especially helpful with elderly patients and with children who have suffered trauma.

 

In Texarkana the legislators heard from educators about the role of the arts in the robotics program at local schools.

 

The advertising industry values graphic design, which is also used in creating job training videos and architectural designs. Graphic design is essential for aerospace companies that build airplanes with custom-made interiors, and for furniture makers and boat manufacturers that make customized products.

 

With new incentives, Arkansas could attract more film companies to produce more movies here.

 

Colleges and universities could offer more credit hours in film production and music recording. Arkansas colleges offer classes in 3D printing technology, which has applications in manufacturing, the aerospace industry, health care, dentistry and product design.

 

The legislators recommended adding two members to the Arkansas Film Commission Office, and adding members to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission who recognize the importance of the arts in the overall economy.

 

Creativity has boosted sectors in the agricultural economy. People pay to spend a weekend on farms learning how to dye and weave cotton and wool. Tourists seek gourmet and specialty food where it is grown, but high speed Internet access is essential.

 

Tourism relies heavily on Internet marketing. The combination of creativity and technology means there is potential for tourism in all areas of Arkansas, not just in the well-known tourist destinations and the cities known for art galleries, museums and theater.

 

For example, GIS tours allow visitors to take self-guided tours that in Arkansas could include an old churches trail, a quilting trail, a BBQ joint trail and a murals trail.

 

The Arts and Technology Boot Camp supports making broadband accessible in every part of Arkansas, and providing grants to support local efforts.

 

A regional approach may be necessary in order to “connect and amplify” art and technology programs in sparsely populated rural areas.

 

Members of the Arts and Technology Boot Camp recommended creation of a permanent subcommittee of the legislative Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development Committee, which would focus on the creative economy.

 

9-2-22 10:48 AM KAWX.ORG