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July 22, 2015

MURDER VICTIM WAYNE PAYTON CAUGHT IN CROSSFIRE BETWEEN SHOOTERS, TRIAL TESTIMONY REVEALS
MAGNOLIA-Witnesses described on Wednesday the chaos that broke out during a fight and shooting at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post in Magnolia last August that left two men dead. A jury of eight women and four men was seated for the first-degree murder trial of Timothy "Timmy" Johnson, 23, of Camden, who is charged with the death of Wayne A. Payton II, 24, of Magnolia. Johnson and Byron "Vail" Dunn, 21, of Magnolia were arrested for the shootings that happened on Sunday, August 24, 2014. Ryan Phillips, deputy prosecuting attorney for Columbia County, opened the case. Phillips said the state would present testimony from witnesses with many stories with details that changed from person to person, but which also have many consistencies. Phillips called the case a gigantic puzzle because he believed there to have been around 200 people at the party that was taking place before the shooting. The party was a “back-to-school” bash on the weekend prior to the start of the fall semester at Southern Arkansas University. Phillips said people attended from Camden, El Dorado, Magnolia and many surrounding communities. Phillips said the facts are that two young men were killed in the early morning hours of August 24. He said a fight broke out inside the VFW Post and continued outside. He said there were two shooters – Johnson and Dunn. The known timeline began with a call for help to Columbia County Central Dispatch at 1:13 a.m., with a report that shots had been fired. Phillips alleged, "Dunn grabs a revolver and fires shots off. One hits Brandon Hobdy. He is able to run about 10 feet and collapses face down until an ambulance arrives. After that, Timothy Johnson is standing at the gate. He has a gun with a clip in it and releases the clip into the crowd. It was a large crowd." He said Johnson said in a statement that "his friend had just been shot," referring to Hobdy. Phillips said that Johnson knew Hobdy, was a friend, and had gone to school with him. Johnson took a gun and fired into the crowd intending to hit Dunn in retaliation for shooting his friend, but instead of hitting Dunn, he hit Payton -- an innocent bystander. Phillips said Payton had been shot through the hip and ran to his girlfriend's car. She rushed him to Magnolia Regional Medical Center. A main artery had been hit, and Payton didn't survive. Phillips said there wasn’t one particular thing that points to guilt because there were several eyewitnesses. The pieces of the puzzle will add up to be the "reasonable" facts, he said. Phillips said that several witnesses saw Johnson with a gun. The prosecutor said Johnson stood out because he was wearing cargo shorts, a gold chain, and a black shirt with leopard, tiger or cheetah stripes on it. He said the shirt is a very distinctive item of clothing. Johnson made a statement that he was in the restroom when gunshots went off, and he didn't see anything, Phillips said. Johnson later contradicted himself by saying he heard shots near a white car and saw people hiding under their cars. And, he contradicted himself when he said he was at the party and didn't know anyone other than the people he came with, but later said Hobdy was his friend, Phillips said.

FORMER SAU POLICE CHIEF AT SAU UNDER SCRUTINY
MAGNOLIA -A former police chief at Southern Arkansas University finds his current department under close scrutiny after one of his officers shot and killed an African-American motorist on Sunday. Jason Goodrich, who was chief of the SAU Police Department from 2000-2004, was hired last October as the new chief of police at the University of Cincinnati. According to press reports, UC Officer Ray Tensing, who is white, stopped a car driven by Samuel Dubose, 43, at the edge of the campus on Sunday. The car lacked a front license plate. Goodrich said that Dubose would not show Tensing his driver’s license and instead showed the officer an alcohol bottle. Dubose refused to get out of his car. There was a struggle, Tensing fired a shot and was knocked down. The car rolled a short distance and stopped. Dubose was dead from a gunshot wound to the head. Press reports said that Dubose had a past criminal record for minor drug and traffic offenses but also served time in prison for marijuana trafficking. The officer’s legs were bruised during the confrontation. He has been placed on paid administrative leave. The shooting investigation has been turned over to the City of Cincinnati Police Department. After leaving SAU, Goodrich held positions with campus police departments at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany, Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, and as chief of police at Lamar University in Beaumont, TX. He worked at Lamar for three years before he was hired at Cincinnati. The University of Cincinnati also has at least one other strong tie with SAU. Tommy Tuberville, a 1976 SAU graduate, is head football coach of the Cincinnati Bearcats.

COTTON, POMPEO, BOHNER, AND McCONNELL REQUEST PRESIDENT OBAMA DISCLOSE SECRET SIDE AGREEMENTS TO IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL
Washington, D.C.—Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Congressman Mike Pompeo (KS-04) today joined House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in sending a letter to President Obama requesting two side agreements between the IAEA and Iran be provided to Congress. The letter reads, in part: The purpose of the Iran Nuclear Agreement review Act is to ensure Congress has a fully informed understanding of the JCPOA.  Failure to produce these two side agreements leaves Congress blind on critical information regarding Iran’s potential path to being a nuclear power and will have detrimental consequences for the ability of members to assess the JCPOA.  We request you transmit these two side agreements to Congress immediately so we may perform our duty to assess the many important questions related to the JCPOA. The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act was passed before the end of negotiations and the Obama Administration was well aware of its responsibility to submit all related agreements and documents to Congress.  It is therefore incumbent on the Administration to secure those side agreements and submit them to Congress for review. The letter comes after a recent meeting between Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Congressman Mike Pompeo (KS-04) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, during which the agency conveyed that two side deals made between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the IAEA as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) will remain secret and will not be shared with other nations, with Congress, or with the public. The first agreement covers the inspection of the Parchin military complex, and the second details how the IAEA and Iran will resolve outstanding issues on possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program.

BANCORP-SOUTH, INC. ANNOUNCES INCREASE IN QUARTERLY DIVIDED TO $0.10 PER COMMON SHARE
TUPELO, MS - July 22, 2015 - At its regular quarterly meeting today, the Board of Directors of BancorpSouth, Inc. (NYSE: BXS) declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.10 per common share, which represents an increase of $0.025 per common share, or 33 percent, compared to its most recent dividend of $0.075 per common share paid on July 1, 2015.  The dividend is payable October 1, 2015 to shareholders of record at the close of business on September 15, 2015. BancorpSouth earlier reported net income of $39.7 million or $0.41 per share for the second quarter of 2015. BancorpSouth, Inc. is a financial holding company headquartered in Tupelo, Mississippi, with $13.6 billion in assets.  BancorpSouth Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of BancorpSouth, Inc., operates 284 commercial banking, mortgage, and insurance locations in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas, including an insurance location in Illinois. “Like” us on Facebook; follow us on Twitter@MyBXS; or connect with us through LinkedIn.

CONSUMER ALERT: BIG PAYOUTS IN THE INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY
LITTLE ROCK – International scammers are once again turning to Arkansas to make some extra money by telling Arkansans they have won money in an international lottery. These con artists contact Arkansas consumers through direct mail, email or a phone call requesting a small fee in order to process these cash prizes.  Usually the con artist claims that the recipient has won a lottery or an expensive prize, such as a car or a trip. All the consumer has to do is submit either a small payment or personal financial information to claim the prize. Payments are often requested as “processing fees” or “customs charges.”  Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued today’s consumer alert to warn Arkansans about the dangers of falling for an international lottery scheme.  “International lottery ploys are another clever attempt to steal money from consumers,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “These scammers use lies and deceitful techniques to pressure Arkansans out of their hard-earned money. My office is committed to educating people to help them avoid becoming victims.”  Attorney General Rutledge offered the following tips for anyone who receives communication about a foreign lottery or prize:
-A consumer should never have to pay something to receive a “free” prize. Be wary of anyone requiring payment in advance to obtain winnings.
-Be cautious if someone asks that a fee be paid through a pre-paid credit card or by wiring money. If such payments are made, the money may never be seen again. Legitimate organizations will accept standard and traceable forms of payment.
-It is a violation of federal law to play international lottery through mail or over the telephone.
-People who accept these offers become targets of other scammers when their information is shared or sold to others.
-Never provide any financial account information to an unknown person or entity.
The U.S.
Postal Inspection Service estimates Americans pay these scammers $120 million per year for this one scam as the Postal Service intercepts and destroys millions of foreign lottery mailings sent or delivered by the truckload into the United States. Earlier this year, a Jamaican man was extradited to the U.S. where he pleaded guilty to 38 counts of conspiracy and wire fraud as part of an international lottery scheme. Damion Bryan Barrett, 29, is the first Jamaican citizen to be extradited to the United States based on charges of defrauding Americans in connection with a lottery scheme. For more information on what to do if you are a victim of a scam and tips on how to avoid a scam, call the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office at (800) 482-8982 or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.

RUTLEDGE CALLS ON PHONE CARRIERS TO OFFER CALL-BLOCKING TECHNOLOGY WITHOUT DELAY  
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today joined 44 other state attorneys general in a letter to AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile and CenturyLink, calling on them to offer call-blocking technology to their customers. In a joint letter to the chief executives of the five major phone carriers, the attorneys general said a new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rule clarification allows telecommunication service providers to offer customers the ability to block unwanted calls and verifies that federal law does not prohibit offering the services. “The Arkansas Attorney General’s Office receives numerous calls from consumers each year seeking a way to stop robocalls, scam text messages and unwanted telemarketing calls,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Thanks to the efforts of attorneys general from across the country, the FCC has clarified a rule that allows phone carries to offer call-blocking technology. Consumers will now be able to stop these unwanted and intrusive calls and texts.” In the letter, the attorneys general stated, “every year, our offices are flooded with consumer complaints pleading for a solution to stop intrusive robocalls. Your companies are now poised to offer your customers the help they need. We urge you to act without delay.” The phone carriers had previously claimed they could not offer such services. At a July 2013 hearing before a U.S. Senate subcommittee, representatives from the U.S. Telecom Association and the Wireless Association, or CTIA, testified that “legal barriers prevent carriers from implementing advanced call-blocking technology to reduce the number of unwanted telemarketing calls.” Call-blocking options already exist for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone service (NoMoRobo.com) and Android cell phones (Call Control), and Rutledge calls on the phone carriers to move quickly to implement and inform their consumers of these options.  Last September, 39 attorneys general, led by Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller and Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, called on the FCC to allow phone companies to utilize call-blocking technologies. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler endorsed the request in late May, and the FCC voted to pass the rule clarification on June 18. In addition to Arkansas, attorneys general from the following states signed today’s letter: Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

July 20, 2015

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORTS
Officers of the Camden Police Department, were on foot patrol in the 1000 Block of Fort Lookout. According to reports, officers observed two black females and 3 juveniles sitting in a brown Chevrolet Impala. After a warrant check, it was confirmed that the two were on the ban list. One of the woman, had a warrant with the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, and was taken into custody.

Officer Grummer, of the Camden Police Department, was dispatched to Arkansas Highway 376. The officer was dispatched near the rail road track for a report of an accident. Upon arrival, the officer observed a white Chevrolet Silverado, off the roadway, in a ditch. According to reports, the officer observed major damage to the vehicles drive side and front, from where it had struck a tree. It was at this time the officer noticed a male trapped inside the driver’s seat, with blood covering his face. The man stated that he was traveling west on Arkansas Highway 376, when he crossed over into the east bound lane, hitting some gravel and losing control of his vehicle. Now the officer could tell that the man had bloodshot/ watery eyes. The man was transported to the Ouachita County Medical Center for treatment. Buddy’s Wrecker was called to remove the vehicle.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB REPORT
The Camden Noon Lion’s Club will meet this week at Catherine’s Bistro. The speaker this week will be Anita Holt.  She is the new director over “Golden Oaks” which is the new Memory Care Unit at Silver Oaks. For more on the Lion’s Club, and how you can join, call Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440 ext 7.

COTTON STATEMENT ON THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL’S VOTE ON THE IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL
Washington, D.C.—Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today released the following statement on the United Nations Security Council’s vote on the Iran Nuclear Deal: “It is disappointing that the President has gone to the United Nations for approval of his dangerous Iran deal before hearing from the people's representatives in Congress. This undermines both our constitutional process and the legislation he signed to submit the Iran deal to congressional review. This deal paves the way to nuclear weapons capability for a radical, anti-American, outlaw regime who has the bloo of hundreds of our soldiers on their hands. I am confident the American people will repudiate this deal and Congress will reject it.”

July 15, 2015

ACCIDENT AT SOUTHERN ARKANSAS UNIVERSITY
A wreck on the Southern Arkansas University campus at about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday caused a brief power outage, and created a mess for Entergy Corporation crews. A vehicle driving north of East Lane Drive struck a utility pole in front of Wilkins Stadium. The driver was not hurt, but the damage to the pole threw too much weight into a second pole in front of the SAU track. The second pole snapped and threw a tangle of electrical lines, lights, a transformer and pole fragments onto the street. SAU police charged Justin Bryan Mayo, 19, of Magnolia with leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage. He was released on $565 bond and given a court date of 9 a.m. September 22. The event knocked out power to the SAU campus and to a total of about 123 Entergy customers along County Road 13. SAU police blocked off the highway from Wilkins Stadium to the track while Entergy crews worked to clear the wreckage and restore power. Power was restored to most customers within an hour but the SAU campus and about two dozen other customers were still without service at 7:30 p.m.


Rutledge Files Comments with the EPA Regarding Federal Regional Haze Proposa
Urges full and fair review of impact on Arkansas
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that she has submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) after it proposed a Regional Haze Federal Implementation Plan following rejection of the State’s plan to improve visibility in the State’s wilderness areas. The comments, filed yesterday, state that the EPA acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner in its decision to require billions of dollars in compliance costs for very limited improvement in visibility 
“I am urging the EPA to carefully consider the comments that have been submitted,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This Federal Implementation Plan is a prime example of an overreaching federal regulation in a State in which recent data shows that visibility is improving. A plan crafted by Arkansas officials considering Arkansas’s best interests would serve the State much better. In the letter, Rutledge writes, “The proposed Federal Implementation Plan has no basis in law or science and is a prime example of overreaching federal regulation in response to ‘sue and settle’ litigation brought by the Sierra Club. As such, the EPA should withdraw the proposed plan and consult with the State in developing an approvable State Implementation Plan.” These comments are being filed after Rutledge requested the EPA withdraw the proposed settlement between the Sierra Club and the EPA which would require the EPA to put in place a Federal Implementation Plan by December 15. In her previous comments, Rutledge cited that the plan is inconsistent with the Clean Air Act. In the previous comments, Rutledge also said that the Sierra Club lacks standing in the suit, Sierra Club v. McCarthy, which gave rise to the settlement. On July 11, Rutledge requested intervention in Sierra Club v. McCarthy.

TWO PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES PREPARING TO SPEAK IN ARKANSAS
LITTLE ROCK — The state Republican and Democratic parties are preparing for scheduled visits from two presidential candidates this week, one of whom is at the center of a storm of controversy over his comments about immigration. Donald Trump is scheduled to headline the Republican Party of Arkansas’ annual Reagan-Rockefeller Dinner at the Hot Springs Convention Center on Friday in Hot Springs. The following day, Hillary Clinton is scheduled to headline the Democratic Party of Arkansas’ annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock. Trump launched his presidential campaign with a June 16 speech in which he said, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” The comments were denounced by Hispanic civil rights groups and prompted NBC, Macy’s, NASCAR and several other companies to sever ties with Trump. Despite the controversy, a USA Today-Suffolk University poll released Tuesday placed Trump at the head of the GOP pack with 17 percent support. Trump’s lead over the second-place candidate, Jeb Bush, who received 14 percent support, was within the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 5.25 percentage points. Gov. Asa Hutchinson, the titular head of the state Republican Party, said Wednesday when asked by a reporter about Trump’s upcoming visit, “I do not agree with many of the comments Donald Trump has made in recent weeks, but he’s entitled to have a venue to court the vote here in Arkansas, and I hope that many other candidates will come here as well.” The governor said the state GOP is welcoming of Hispanics. “I think it is important that we as a party reflect the right tone,” he said. “We in Arkansas certainly want to have a strong outreach to the Hispanic community and make them part of our economic growth in this state, as well as our political climate in the state. We want to make sure that we send the right signals that the party is open to our Hispanic communities and that we want to grow with them.” Asked if inviting Trump to Arkansas could be seen as contradicting those signals, Hutchinson, who has endorsed Mike Huckabee in the race, said he would leave it to others to judge that. “He’s coming in as our guest, and so I don’t want to pre-stage his arrival with negative comments,” he said. Hutchinson also said the decision this year to move Arkansas’ 2016 primary elections from May up to March was made in the hope that many candidates would go after the vote in Arkansas. “It’s in that spirit that the invitation was extended to various candidates, and Donald Trump was the first to accept,” he said. “It was interesting that he accepted before there was any real controversy.” State GOP spokesman Isaac Foley said later the party extended invitations to candidates on April 17 and that Trump accepted on June 18 — two days after his controversial comments about Mexicans coming into the U.S. Trump, a real estate mogul, television personality and author, is a native New Yorker. He considered running for president in the 2012 election but ultimately chose not to. Foley did not say how many people the party expected to attend the Reagan-Rockefeller Dinner but said the party is confident the event will be “one of our best fundraisers ever.” Clinton, by all accounts the front-runner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, will visit Arkansas on Saturday for the first time since announcing her candidacy in April. A native of Illinois, Clinton taught law at the University of Arkansas before marrying Bill Clinton, who went on to become the 40th and 42nd governor of Arkansas and the 42nd president of the United States. Hillary Clinton served as a U.S. Senator from New York from 2001 to 2009. She ran for the Democratic nomination for president in 2008 and lost to Barack Obama, who went on to defeat Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain to win the presidency. Obama appointed her as U.S. secretary of state in 2009, a post she held until 2013. State Democratic Party spokeswoman Candace Martin said about 2,000 people are expected to attend the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, “by far the largest crowd that we will ever have had in the history of this dinner.” Martin also said there is “a stark contrast” between the parties’ choices of speakers for their biggest annual fundraisers. “They chose Donald Trump, the wrecking ball of the Republican Party,” she said, referencing a recent comment about Trump by South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham. Foley responded Wednesday that the state Republican Party is not endorsing Trump. “The Republican Party of Arkansas does not endorse or take a position on any Republican Primary candidate. We are excited about the diverse group of participants that have announced thus far, and look forward to welcoming them all to the state of Arkansas so that voters may have firsthand interactions,” he said.

COTTON, RUBIO INTRODUCE SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION DISAPPROVING OF U.S.-CHINA NUCLEAR COOPERATION AGREEMENT
Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) today introduced a Senate joint resolution disapproving the U.S.-China Nuclear Cooperation Agreement President Obama submitted to Congress in April. “Given China’s belligerence in the South China Sea, relentless cyber-attacks against the U.S. and U.S. companies, and unwillingness to stop known proliferators, it is unconscionable that they’re rewarded with a new Nuclear Cooperation Agreement,” Cotton said. “This agreement erodes the advantage our Navy has over the Chinese Navy and ultimately puts U.S. Sailors and Marines at a greater risk in a confrontation scenario. President Obama should withdraw the agreement until China ceases its cyber-attacks and arrests known proliferations.” “Even as this Administration’s disregard for longstanding U.S. nonproliferation norms has reached a new level with their flawed deal with Iran, I find it unbelievable that the Obama Administration has submitted a new nuclear cooperation agreement with China to Congress given recent Chinese behavior,” said Rubio. “Congress established guidelines for U.S. nuclear cooperation policy to prevent proliferation, not encourage it. In recent decades, while the United States has conducted nuclear cooperation with China, Chinese entities have continued to proliferate sensitive military technology to Iran and North Korea and assisted Pakistan’s nuclear program. Simultaneously, the Chinese government has tested the boundaries of our relationship by conducting devastating cyberattacks against American businesses and U.S. government agencies. “During congressional review of this agreement, serious questions have been raised about China’s compliance with the existing nuclear cooperation agreement and Beijing’s intentions to violate the agreement now before Congress,” Rubio added. “The stakes are too high for us to continue a business-as-usual approach to China by letting this agreement enter into force. The Senate must act to ensure President Obama is not given another opportunity to weaken our national security and put America and our allies at risk.” The current U.S.-China Nuclear Cooperation Agreement is set to expire on December 31, 2015. Without Senate action, the new agreement submitted by President Obama in April will enter into force later this month.

July 14, 2015


EL DORADO POLICE SEARCHING FOR WANTED MAN, REWARD BEING OFFERED

EL DORADO, AR (Press Release) – Investigators of the El Dorado Police Department are searching for a suspect in connection with capital murder and other charge.Laray Darnell Malone is wanted for capital murder, terroristic act, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm by certain persons, enhancement for offenses committed in the presence of a child, enhancement for felony with a firearm, and enhancement-engaging in violent criminal group. Malone should be considered armed and extremely dangerous. Use extreme caution if in contact with this person Malone is believed to be in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Malone is urged to contact Sgt. Scott Harwell or Det. Tammie Goodwin of the El Dorado Police Department at (870) 881-4810 or Crime Stoppers at (870) 863-INFO. If your information leads to the arrest of Malone, you could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.00.

HOPE NATIVE LEARNS TO BALANCE COLLEGE, WORK ON WAY TO DEGREE
MAGNOLIA - For many college graduates, their first job after finishing
school is the position of assistant manager. Diana Abarca, however, a senior finance major at Southern Arkansas  University, didn't wait until she had her degree in hand - she became an assistant manager during her junior year in college. But the promotion was all in a day's work, literally, for Abarca, who has  worked her way through college with a variety of jobs. Abarca, a 2012 graduate of Hope High School, worked several jobs before  taking a position with Chicken Express in Magnolia in February of 2014. Nine  months later she was offered the job of assistant manager with the fast food  restaurant. For the SAU senior, balancing her college courses with her managerial duties  while trying to remain active in several university groups has been  challenging. "It's been a learning experience," said Abarca. "There are some days when I  don't want to go to school, and there are some days I don't want to go to  work." Abarca's road to success in business wasn't always easy. She worked several  summers at Days Inn in Hope, cleaning rooms as a maid. She also worked at  Southern Bakery in Hope and for the Employment Resource Center at SAU. As an assistant manager at Chicken Express, her duties include scheduling  shifts for employees, completing paperwork at the end of the day, and making  sure the store is clean each evening. And while the work isn't easy, Abarca has enjoyed the challenge. "I love the family atmosphere," said Abarca, whose hard work has caught the  eye of the owner. "The owner asked me what I did differently. He thought I  was doing a really good job." Abarca, who is the daughter of Jason and Rosie Wood of Hope, pondered  several career interests before settling on finance. "Growing up, I wanted  to be a doctor. But my love was math. So I wanted to be a math teacher, but  my parents wanted me to look at something else. So my freshman year I was a  finance major with a math minor," explained Abarca. During her time at SAU, Abarca has embraced the college life, involving  herself in several activities including the Enactus team in the College of  Business where she helped with a project for the local homeless shelter, and  as a member of Alpha Sigma Alpha, where she has been treasurer for the past  two years. While Abarca has a number of dreams she hopes to explore after graduating,  one of her first acts will be to help her mom realize a lifelong dream. "My mom has always wanted to open her own restaurant. After I finish  college, I want to help her do that. I want to help her be successful in her  business." Abarca also has a variety of her own interests she hopes to  pursue, including a clothing store and an animal shelter. "I want to be  successful in business and be able to have several different ventures. I  want to be able to explore different possibilities." Abarca said her favorite class at SAU so far has been Personal Finance. She took the course with Dr. David Rankin, a past dean of the College of  Business and president emeritus at SAU. "It gave me everything I should be  exposed to, both as a finance major and just as an adult living in the  world. It helped you as a person." Abarca plans to graduate in December of this year. She feels that she is  prepared for new career challenge that will come her way. "The College of Business has helped prepare me. And I know our professors  will help me in the future if I have to call with a zillion questions. I would recommend the College of Business to anyone because of the open door policy of the professors. The professors there really do care about you."

COTTON STATEMENT ON THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF A NUCLEAR DEAL WITH IRAN
Washington, D.C.— Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today released the following statement on the announcement of an agreement with Iran regarding its nuclear weapons program: “The deal announced by President Obama today is a grievous, dangerous mistake.  It will give Iran tens of billions of dollars to finance its sponsorship of terrorism against the United States and our allies.  It will lift embargoes on conventional weapons and ballistic-missile sales to Iran.  And, ultimately, it will pave the way for Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon.  If this deal is approved, it will represent a historic defeat for the United States. “When I was a platoon leader in Iraq, my soldiers and I faced deadly roadside bombs, made and supplied by Iran. I tried to reassure them, but I could only tell them to hope it wasn’t our day to die by Iran’s roadside bombs.  If Iran obtains a nuclear weapon, I fear the United States will only be able to hope it isn’t our day to die by an Iranian nuclear bomb. "If President Obama wants to liken this deal to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty or the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty then he should have followed our constitutional process and negotiated it as a treaty. Instead, he went at it alone and is now threatening to veto any attempts by Congress to conduct oversight. Over the coming weeks, I will work tirelessly to protect America from this deal and to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear-weapons capability. I am confident that the American people will repudiate this dangerous deal and Congress will kill the deal.” 

RUTLEDGE ANNOUNCES MOBILE OFFICE LOCATIONS FOR REMAINDER OF JULY
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced mobile office locations for the remainder of July. Attorney General Rutledge created the mobile office initiative to make the office accessible to everyone, particularly to those who live outside the capital city. The mobile offices assist constituents with consumer related issues in filing consumer complaints against scam artists. Attorney General Rutledge believes there is no issue too small for her staff to have a face-to-face conversation. For more information about services provided by the Attorney General’s Office, visit ArkansasAG.gov or call (501) 682-2007. Rutledge can also be found on Facebook at facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge and on Twitter at twitter/com/AGRutledge. The upcoming mobile office schedule is below:

Hope
Tuesday, July 21
9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Hope City Hall, Lobby 206 W. Avenue A Hope, AR 71802

Prescott
Tuesday, July 21
1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Nevada County Senior Center, Lobby
419 E. Main St. Prescott, AR 71857

Heber Springs Thursday, July 23
9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Cleburne County Senior Citizens Center, Community Room 
320 Trailwood Drive Heber Springs, AR 72543

Conway
Thursday, July 23 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Faulkner County Senior Citizens Center, Community Room
705 E. Siebenmorgen Road Conway, AR 72032

Star City
Tuesday, July 28
9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Star City-City Hall, Lobby 200 S. Jefferson St. Star City, AR 71667

Pine Bluff Tuesday, July 28
1:30 – 3:30 p.m. 
Pine Bluff City Hall, Conference Room
200 E. 8th Ave. Pine Bluff, AR 71601

Rison Thursday, July 30
9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Rison City Hall, Lobby 405 Main St. Rison, AR 71665

Sheridan Thursday, July 30
1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Sheridan Parks & Recreation Center, Lobby
1511 S. Rose St. Sheridan, AR 72150

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June 13, 2015

18-WHEELER RUNS OFF ROADWAY IN HOT SPRINGS COUNTY
HOT SPRING COUNTY, AR---Arkansas State Police say at least one person is dead after an 18-wheeler ran off the roadway in Hot Spring County. The truck caught fire off of I-30 near mile marker 92; troopers say multiple emergency crews worked Saturday evening to put the fire out. Police say the truck was carrying hazardous materials but nothing spilled on the roadway. The westbound lane of I-30 is closed as a result of the fire.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB REPORT
The Camden Noon Lion’s Club will meet this week at Catherine’s Bistro. The speaker for Lions Club this week will be Michael Martin with Precision One Therapy.  He will discuss what this group, located at OCMC does for our community. For more information on the Lion’s Club or how you can join, you can contact Charlotte Young at 870-837-4440 ext 7.

NEW WORKFORCE SERVICES/ ADULT EDUCATION CENTER TO BE FINISHED BY DECEMBER
MAGNOLIA-Construction work on the new Workforce Services and Adult Education Center in Magnolia appears heading toward a December completion date. The final dollars of construction money were banked last week when the Walmart Foundation presented a $25,000 grant toward the project. Magnolia Walmart manager Charlie Bradford and Michael Lindsey, director of Public Affairs for Walmart, presented an oversized check to the Magnolia Economic Development Corporation. The MEDC donated the land in the Harvey Couch Business Park on which the new center is being constructed. The MEDC, the SAU system and Workforce Services have been coordinating the financing and construction of the building. SAU-Tech operates the AEC in Columbia County. The center assists students with basic literacy, GED and WAGE certification, and parenting skills. The Department of Workforce Services is the state agency that provides job testing and training, and maintains records on unemployment insurance, employment service, workforce investment activities, and labor market information. Joshua Taylor of Workforce Services represented his agency at the check passing. Cammie Hambrice, executive director of the MEDC, led Taylor, Bradford and Lindsey on a brief tour through the building. The building is now “in the dry” with roof work largely complete, and with exterior walls enclosing the building space. Work should be finished in December, she said. Contech Contractors of Texarkana, TX, was the low bidder for the $2.4 million project. The original plans called for the state to receive 4,642 square feet to relocate the local DWS office, which is now located next to a sandwich shop in the University Plaza Shopping Center. The Adult Education Center is located in the former Calhoun Heights Elementary School in Magnolia. The building is owned by the Magnolia School District, but the center has been operated for the past three years by SAU-Tech. The AEC was to receive 7,586 square feet for offices and classrooms Shared spaces for Workforce Services and Adult Education include a lobby, restrooms and mechanical services, raising total square footage to 13,355.

A NEW MISS ARKANSAS CROWNED
Miss Northwest Arkansas Loren McDaniel won the title of Miss Arkansas 2015 Saturday night at the 78th Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant. McDaniel won a $20,000 scholarship provided by Ted and Shannon Boy Skokos, Citgo and the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Foundation and more than $75,000 in awards, wardrobe, transportation, and gifts. McDaniel will represent Arkansas at the 2016 Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City and will make appearances across the Natural State promoting the Children’s Miracle Network, the Arkansas Children’s Hospital, her personal platform of “Confidently You” and speaking in support of the goals of the Miss Arkansas and Miss America system. McDaniel was crowned by the outgoing Miss Arkansas, Ashton Campbell, of Hindsville. More than $86,000 in scholarships were awarded Saturday night to various contestants in decisions made by a panel of five judges. McDaniel is a 2015 graduate of the University of Arkansas. She was theater major. For her talent selection she performed a vocal to “Piece of Sky.” She is the 22-year old daughter of Kevin and Melissa McDaniel of Van Buren. Other awards won by McDaniel included the Overall Interview Award, Service Before Self Award and Children’s Miracle Network Miracle Maker.

June 10, 2015

CAMDEN POLICE LOOKING FOR SUSPECT
The Camden Police Department is looking for a man by the name of Jacovis Wayne. He is wanted on charges of residential burglary (2 counts), robbery (2 counts), and endangering the welfare of a minor in the second degree. If you have any information concerning the location of this suspect, you are encouraged to contact the Camden PD at 870-836-5755.

STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION VOTES TO AUTHORIZE STATE EDUCATION
LITTLE ROCK — The state Board of Education voted Thursday to authorize state education officials to pursue a sole-source contract for ACT and ACT Aspire standardized tests for the 2015-16 school year, as requested by Gov. Asa Hutchinson. The 4-2 vote, with two members abstaining and the chairman not participating, effectively reversed the board’s previous rebuff of the governor’s request. On June 11, the board voted 7-1 to renew the state’s contract with the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, despite Hutchinson’s desire to drop the PARCC exams. But since the June vote, Hutchinson has appointed three new members to the board to replace two whose terms ended and one who resigned to take a position with the Walton Family Foundation. All three of the newly appointed members — Charisse Dean, Brett Williamson and Susan Chambers — voted Thursday to switch to ACT, along with member Joe Black, who previously voted to stick with PARCC but reversed his position Thursday. Hutchinson said in a statement Thursday, “I applaud the Board of Education for its vote in switching from PARCC to ACT/ACT Aspire. The board members were thoughtful and deliberate on this issue and reached a final decision that I think is best for our students and teachers over the long term. It provides stability and aligns Arkansas with a nationally recognized testing system.” Board members who did not support the switch expressed frustration. “This is the first time in my 20-some-odd-year experience in education seeing an assessment be created and developed in this manner, without a procurement process, without the ability for educators across the state to really weigh in and ask questions, without the benefit of us seeing and hearing from the Technical Advisory Committee, without understanding the pros and cons of other tests,” Vickie Saviers, one of the board members who abstained, said during the meeting. Hutchinson requested the switch on the recommendation of a task force that he created earlier this year. Saviers said Thursday the board members had been told that there is no time to go through a normal procurement process, and that if they approved a contract with any entity other than ACT, the contract would not receive legislative approval. “I feel just in a corner,” Saviers said. Board member Jay Barth, who also abstained, said he believes there are positive aspects to the ACT tests but said he has concerns about their reliability and whether they are adequately aligned with the Common Core State Standards. He said the best thing to do would be to use the PARCC exams or something similar for the coming school year and to request proposals from vendors for a contract starting with the 2016-17 school year. “That’s what feels right; that’s not an option. At least that’s what we’ve been told,” he said. “It feels so frustrating to not have an option on the table that feels like the right thing to do.” Board members Diane Zook and Mireya Reith voted against switching to ACT. “To hurry to do something now would not serve the students or the parents or the patrons or the educators well,” Zook said. Dean, who made the motion to switch to ACT, said she believed the board should approve the switch “if we want to help the teachers to be able to move forward in a quick manner and to salvage what we can.” Alice Mahony, who cast the only vote for the switch to ACT last month and whose board term ended June 30, spoke from the audience Thursday in favor of the ACT exams, as did two other audience members. One audience member, Dana Breitweiser, a former state Department of Education employee and a former employee of PARCC, spoke in support of keeping PARCC for at least one more year. State Education Commissioner Johnny Key told reporters after the vote, “There have been pitfalls and difficulties in the last six months regarding assessments. Hopefully, this will give us the opportunity to move beyond all that controversy and get something in place.” Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin, chairman of the Council on Common Core Review, which recommended the switch from PARCC to ACT last month, said in a statement Thursday, “Today’s vote will serve our children well and bring quality, relevancy and certainty to the testing process.” The task force has not yet made a recommendation on whether the state should retain the Common Core State Standards.

HARRISON EDUCATOR WINS AR RURAL TEACHER OF THE YEAR FOR 2015
Little Rock, Ark. — July 10, 2015 — Harrison High School’s Tammye Stahler, a math instructor, is the 2015 Arkansas Rural Teacher of the Year. The award is sponsored by the Arkansas Rural Education Association and the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas. Stahler, who has taught for more than 25 years, said, “Our children are unique individuals and each bring a different perspective to the learning environment. The learning environment should be non-threatening, safe and conducive to learning.” Her goal as a teacher is to ensure that students leave her classroom academically improved and focused on being productive citizens. “I believe as a teacher, I am responsible for giving them a great education and instilling values that will be important to their success in the community,” she said. “If you show students you care, they will strive to meet and exceed the expectations you set for them.” Stahler has taught exclusively at rural schools, including Mena Public Schools, Rich Mountain Community College, Harrison High School and North Arkansas Community College. She holds an Associate of General Studies degree from Rich Mountain Community College, a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Henderson State University, and a Master of Arts in education from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo. “The choice of becoming a mathematics teacher has been a great endeavor to influence my own students to become educators and strive to be life-long learners,” she said. Stahler assisted in the development of geometry and math mastery material for Arkansas schools that is used to help identify specific areas in which students are not proficient and then address the deficiencies. A recipient of the Mathematical Association of America’s Outstanding Teacher in 2015, she believes the nurturing from the rural school environment and its community allows students to have a higher confidence in themselves and the initiative to give back to others and their communities. The Rural Teacher of the Year Award winner is selected based on the quality and depth of answers to questions in the following categories: professional biography, educational history, professional development, community involvement, teaching philosophy, education issues and the teaching profession. The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas comprise 17 electric distribution cooperatives; Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI), a Little Rock-based cooperative that provides services to the distribution cooperatives; and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. (AECC), a generation and transmission cooperative. The distribution cooperatives provide electricity to approximately 500,000 homes, farms and businesses in Arkansas and surrounding states.

July 9, 2015

UNEMPLOYMENT RISING IN COLUMBIA COUNTY
MAGNOLIA - According to reports, unemployment in Columbia County rose during May, according to preliminary statistics from the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services. In May, a total of 8,950 people were employed in Columbia County, down 900 in April. The number of people in the local labor force rose by 25 to 9,650 in April. The number of people unemployed in Columbia County rose by 75 people to 700 in April, creating a jobless rate of 7.4 percent. The April jobless rate was 6.6 percent.

TRUMP COMING TO THE NATURAL STATE
LITTLE ROCK, AR - An upcoming visit to the Natural State by 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump is garnering a lot of interest. In a news release issued Thursday morning, the Republican Party of Arkansas announced that due to the high volume of ticket sales for the July 17 event, it's releasing a limited number of non-dinner tickets. Trump will be the keynote speaker for the 2015 Reagan Rockefeller Dinner in Hot Springs. The Arkansas Gop adds that in order to accommodate the high level of demand, the venue has been moved from Horner Hall to a larger exhibit hall within the Hot Springs Convention Center. For the price of $75.00, guests will be allowed limited access to the keynote speech. This ticket will not include dinner or admittance to the meet-and-greet photoreception with Trump. Those interested in attending the event should contact the Republican Party of Arkansas at (501) 372-7301. The limited number of remaining tickets may be purchased at arkansasgop.org/contribute.

RUTLEDGE LAUNCHES METAL THEFT PREVENTION PROGRAM
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced at a press conference at the State Capitol a new initiative from the Attorney General’s Special Investigations Division to combat the problem of metal theft. Rutledge was joined at the Capitol by Arkansas Farm Bureau President Randy Veach and AT&T Arkansas Director of External Affairs Ronald Dedman. “For far too long, too many scrapyards have not been following the law and thus, allowing criminals to get away with metal theft,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “As Attorney General, I am launching a coordinated statewide effort to train local law enforcement to target metal theft, and instructing agents of the Special Investigations Division at the Attorney General’s Office to begin controlled sales and inspections of scrapyards to ensure non-precious metal is properly registered. These crimes have gone on far too long, and are harming Arkansas businesses, farms, schools, homes and churches. Enough is enough, and today, we begin a process of bringing an end to these crimes.”

July 8, 2015

COTTON INTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO BLOCK SANCTUARY CITIES FROM RECEIVING FEDERAL LAW ENFOREMENT GRANTS
Washington, D.C.—Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today issued the following statement after introducing legislation that would make cities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration policies, also known as sanctuary cities, ineligible for federal immigration and law enforcement grants: "The senseless murder of a young woman in San Francisco last week tragically illustrates that the politicization of the immigration debate has now swamped even common-sense efforts to protect public safety. It is unacceptable that cities would issue ordinances that explicitly aim to frustrate federal immigration laws that are supposed to keep illegal immigrant felons off the streets.  U.S. taxpayers shouldn't be expected to support such misguided local policies that put their safety in jeopardy. No matter their political affiliation, local officials should support the rule of law and protect the safety of all Americans."

CONSUMER ALERT: MILITARY CONSUMER PROTECTION DAY  
LITTLE ROCK – Military service members, veterans and their families are often subject to unfair, deceptive or abusive financial practices. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) began collecting data specific to military personnel and their families in 2011 and reports approximately 29,500 complaints were submitted through 2014. The CFPB reports 39 percent of those complaints were on debt collection, with the majority of those regarding continued attempts to collect debt that is not owed.  Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued today’s consumer alert to help recognize Military Consumer Protection Day on July 15 and to make military service members, veterans and families aware of the top consumer complaints so they will know how to get help with these issues. “Our military men and women are our everyday heroes,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “These service members protect this great country. We owe it to these brave men and women to help educate them on how to protect themselves and their families regarding financial practices.” Attorney General Rutledge shared the following list from the CFPB of the most common complaints filed by service members.
-Debt collection – approximately 11,600 complaints filed
-Mortgage payment and loan – approximately 7,100 complaints filed
-Credit reporting – approximately 2,700 complaints filed
-Credit card – approximately 2,500 complaints filed
-Bank account or service – approximately 2,400 complaints filed
-Consumer loan – approximately 1,400 complaints filed
-Student loan – approximately 700 complaints filed
-Payday loan – approximately 600 complaints filed
Arkansas military service members, veterans and families should file complaints with the Attorney General’s Office on ArkansasAG.gov or by calling (800) 482-8982. Upon submission, the complaint will be entered into the tracking system and assigned a number and an investigator. Within five business days, a postcard should be received in the mail acknowledging receipt of the complaint, and a copy of the complaint will be sent to the business. It is requested that the business respond within 10 business days. Once it does, the Attorney General will provide a copy of the response to the consumer. Military Consumer Protection Day is a partnership between attorneys general from across the country, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Better Business Bureau, Federal Trade Commission, and many more organizations. Military Consumer Protection Day is an initiative to empower active duty and retired service members, veterans and families and help them defend against fraud and make better-informed decisions when managing money.  For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer related issues, call the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office at (800) 482-8982 or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.

June 7, 2015

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORTS
Officers with the Camden Police Department were dispatched to Walmart in reference to a shoplifter. Upon arrival, officers had three suspects in custody. According to the store manager, the three suspects loaded up a shopping cart and pushed it out the front door without paying. The store manager then said that the three came back inside the store looking for their car keys. After police studied the surveillance footage the three suspects were taken into custody and transported to the police station.

Officer Kayla Reynolds, with the Camden Police Department, was dispatched to 708 Carver Courts for an unknown problem. According to reports, the officer saw a man in blood stained gray t-shirt lying on the grass next to Carver Courts. The man had cuts across his right eye and his nose was bleeding. A woman stated that she saw the man walking down the street when he fell out in the grass next to her apartment. According to reports, the man had slurred speech and was unable to answer any simple questions. EMS transported the man to the Ouachita County Medical Center. While at the medical center, the man became very difficult, shouting out cuss words, and pulling on curtains. After refusing medical treatment, the man was arrested  for disorderly conduct.  

OUACHITA COUNTY/CALHOUN RED CROSS DISASTER VOLUNTEER MEETING
The Ouachita/Calhoun Red Cross Disaster Volunteers will be meeting on Thursday, July 16th 6:00 PM, at their Camden Office, 675 California SW.   Everyone interested in finding out about what the local group does and the various volunteer opportunities is encouraged to participate.   There is a role for everyone, from active involvement in on-going project to being “Ready When The Time Comes.”   Please stop by Thursday evening.  For more information call 836-1188.

EL DORADO TEEN KILLED IN CAR ACCIDENT
According to reports, an El Dorado teen was killed Sunday in a one-vehicle accident. Arkansas State Police say 19-year-old Austin Stephen Shipp was traveling South on Arkansas Hwy 9 between Tulip and Princeton, when he apparently lost control of the vehicle while negotiating a curve, left the road and hit a tree. Shipp was pronounced dead at the scene.

RUTLEDGE URGES CONGRESS TO PRESERVE STATE AUTHORITY TO ENFORCE DATA BREACH AND SECURITY LAWS SAYS, ‘ATTORNEY GENERAL AND THE STATES ARE IN A MUCH BETTER POSITION TO PROTECT CONSUMERS.
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today co-sponsored a bipartisan, multistate letter to the U.S. Congress in an effort to ensure that any future federal data breach notification or data security law provides consumers with the best protection. The letter, signed by 47 attorneys general, emphasizes the importance of maintaining States’ authority to enforce data breach and data security laws, as well as their ability to enact laws to address future data security risks. Citing recent efforts in Congress to pass a national law on data breach notification and data security, Rutledge and other attorneys general caution against federal preemption of State data breach and security law and argue that any federal law must not diminish the important role States already have to protect consumers from data breaches and identity theft. “Every day it seems like Americans are faced with another announcement that their data has been hacked,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “These breaches are scary, and Congress must realize that attorneys general and the States are in a much better position to protect consumers from identity theft and data breaches. Along with 46 of my colleagues, I urge Congress to carefully consider the role of the States before it takes action on any data security laws.” The letter urges Congress to preserve existing protections under State law to ensure that States can continue to enforce breach notification requirements under their own State laws, to enact new laws to respond to new data security threats, and to not hinder States that are helping their residents by preempting state data breach and security laws. The letter points out a number of concerns with federal preemption of State data breach and security laws, including: Data breaches and identity theft continue to cause significant harm to consumers. Since 2005, nearly 5,000 data breaches have compromised more than 815 million records containing sensitive information about consumers. Data security vulnerabilities are too common. States frequently encounter circumstances where data breach incidents result from the failure by data collectors to reasonably protect the sensitive information entrusted to them, putting consumers at unnecessary risk. Many of these breaches could have been prevented if the data collector had taken reasonable steps to secure consumers’ data.  States play an important role responding to data breaches and identity theft. The States have been at the frontlines in helping consumers deal with the repercussions of a data breach, providing important assistance to consumers who have been impacted and investigating the causes to determine if reasonable data securities were in place. Forty-seven states now have laws requiring data collectors to notify consumers when their personal information has been compromised, and a number of states have also passed laws requiring companies to adopt reasonable data security practices. Today’s letter, co-sponsored by Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts and Nebraska, was also joined by the following states and territories: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.

July 6, 2015

EL DORADO HOMICIDE UPDATE 
El Dorado Police Department need your help locating Jeremiah Green. He's a suspect in a 
Sunday afternoon homicide that happened at an apartment complex on Short East Hillsboro Street. Green is wanted in connection with first degree murder, possession of a firearm by certain persons, enhanced penalty for offenses committed in presence of a child, and enhanced penalty for a felony with a firearm. Green is believed to be armed and dangerous. If anyone knows where Green is located is asked to call EPD at (870) 863-4141.


CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB REPORT 
This week’s speaker will be Representative John Baine. Bainewill be talking about the recent special session and what it means to the Camden area. For more on the Lion's Club and how you can join, contact Charlotte Young at 870-837-4440 ext 7. 

FOUR SAU STUDENTS TO BE MISS ARKANSAS CONTEST

MAGNOLIA- Four young women who attend Southern Arkansas University are vying for the crown of Miss

 

Arkansas this week at the annual pageant in Hot Springs. A total of 46 contestants arrived on Sunday

for two days of preparation, rehearsals and off-stage work prior to the first of four nights of on-stage

competition that will start at 7 p.m. nightly beginning Wednesday. The local contestants are: Haley Bird, Miss Southern Arkansas University. Sarah Elizabeth Clayton, Miss Magnolia. Randee Jo Langley, Miss Texarkana Twin Rivers. Sierra Lites, Miss Grand Prairie. For competition purposes, the contestants are divided into three groups – A, B and C. Langley is in Group A. Group A will have interviews with judges on Monday, and competitions in artistic expression on Wednesday, lifestyle and fitness on Thursday, and presence and poise and on-stage question on Friday. Bird and Lites are in Group B. Group B will have interviews with judges on Tuesday, and competitions in presence and poise and on-stage question on Wednesday, artistic expression on Thursday and lifestyle and fitness on Friday. Clayton is in Group C. Group C will have interviews with judges on Tuesday evening, and competitions in lifestyle and fitness on Wednesday, presence and poise and on-stage question on Thursday, and artistic expression on Friday. The finals will be Saturday night at the Bank of the Ozarks Arena.

CAMDEN FAIRVIEW SETTING UP IMMUNIZATION APPOINTMENTS
The Camden Fairview School District administration would like to remind parents to schedule immunization appointments now with your child's health care provider, or the Ouachita County Health Unit. The health unit telephone number is 870-836-5033. All kindergarten students must have all required immunizations and complete kindergarten physical. All students who will be 11 years old by September 1, 2015, must have the TDAP shot. All 7th grade students and 16 years old by September 1, must have the meningococal vaccine. The first day of school for Camden Fairview School District is August 17th.

STATE POLICE COMMISSION SETS JULY 9TH MEETING
The Arkansas State Police Commission is scheduled to convene in its regular monthly session on Thursday, July 9th, 10 AM, at Little Rock Administrative Headquarters.

SAAC OFFERS CHANCES TO WIN WITH “OZ”
The South Arkansas Arts Center invites you to join in the fun of the 2015 summer musical presentation of “The Wizard of Oz” with two promotions that can make you a winner.  The Murphy USA sponsored musical opens in the Callaway Theater on July 16 and continues through July 26. “Follow The Yellow Brick Road Tic Tac Oz” is a play and win trivia contest that tests your knowledge about “The Wizard of Oz.” To play, simply look for trivia questions on the “Tic Tac Oz” posters located at participating downtown merchants. Write the answers on the supplied playing card and once you have a completed a card with Tic Tac Toe, bring the filled in card to SAAC and drop it off in the giant ruby slipper located in the lobby.  The winning card will be selected in a random drawing. The winner of the drawing may choose between one of the Murphy USA sponsored prizes of a WiiU, an IPad Mini, a bike of their choice, or a Nikon digital camera. The winner will be given a gift card to make their selection. For another opportunity to win, SAAC is hosting a special “Spirit of Oz” matinee on Sunday, July 19.  Join in the fun of the day by dressing up as your favorite character from the story. A costume contest will be hosted during the intermission of the performance.  A guest judge will select the winner, who will be offered a walk on role during one of the final weekend performances. Audience members who attend the “Spirit of Oz” matinee will get a special opportunity to meet and greet the cast and take photos with their favorite characters following the performance.  Evening performances of “The Wizard of Oz” are July 16, 17, 18, 20, and 22, 23, 24, 25 at 7:30pm. Two matinee performances are offered, the “Spirit of Oz” matinee on July 19, and a final performance matinee on July 26.  Both matinees begin at 2:30pm. The SAAC box office is currently open to purchase tickets.  Tickets are $10 for students/children, $15 for SAAC members, and $20 for the general public. For more information about both promotions or to reserve tickets, contact the SAAC box office at 862-5474.

July 2, 2015

ATTORNEY GENERAL ANNOUNCES SHERIDAN SENTENCED FOR CRIMES INVOLVING CHILDREN
SHERIDAN – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced today that a Grant County man has been sentenced to 30 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction on child sexual exploitation charges. Bryan Mitchell Baker, 28, of Sheridan was charged with 30 counts of distributing, possessing or viewing sexually explicit material involving a child. In addition to the prison sentence, Baker will enter a sex offender treatment program and must register as a sex offender. The case was heard in front of Judge Chris Williams and was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Will Jones and 7th Judicial District Chief Deputy Prosecutor Stephen Shirron. Attorney General Special Investigators Chris Cone and Jeff Shackleford testified in the case, which helped to secure the sentence. “I am proud of our investigators and Cyber Crimes Unit for working with the prosecutor to ensure that this man will be off the streets,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The Attorney General’s Office will continue to go after these predators to keep them away from our children. I also appreciate the diligent work and partnership of Grant County Prosecutor Teresa Howell and Chief Deputy Prosecutor Stephen Shirron.” The investigation into Baker began in January 2014, with a search warrant issued a month later. Baker pleaded not guilty and was convicted by the jury.

HIGH SCHOOL WEIGHTLIFTING EXHIBITION SCHEDULED AT PINE BLUFF CONVENTION CENTER
PINE BLUFF, Arkansas—June 30, 2015—Mid-South Fitness & Personal Trainers Association is sponsoring a High School Weightlifting Exhibition on Saturday, July 11 from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. at the Pine Bluff Convention Center, located at 500 E. 8th Avenue in Pine Bluff. This event is geared toward high school male and female athletes and will teach how to build muscle, increase strength, lose body fat, maximize performance and minimize overtraining. A panel of five fitness trainers will also discuss health and nutrition. Door prizes will be given away throughout the day. A Community Sports Award will also be presented to Pine Bluff High School for winning the 6A Arkansas State Championship in both basketball and football. This event is free for student athletes, however, pre-registration is required. Call 870.592.5440 or 501.568.5441 to register or for more information.

July 1, 2015

COLUMBIA COUNTY MURDER CASE UPDATE
MAGNOLIA-Matthew Ryan Elliott and William Edward Davis, both of whom are serving life-without-parole sentences in a Columbia County murder case, may soon receive resentencing hearings. According to reports, the result could be reductions in sentences for one or both of the men. Elliott was 16 when he bludgeoned his girlfriend, Brittani Pater, 15, multiple times with an aluminum bar at an oil well site in the Village community on February 5, 2000. Elliott then ran over her body with his car. Davis, age 17 at the time, received the same sentence as Elliott for acting as an accomplice.

RUTLEDGE ANNOUNCES ARRST OF CHICOT COUNTY WOMAN FOR MEDICAID FRAUD  
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the arrest of Tabitha Woods of Dermott by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit on one charge of Medicaid Fraud, a Class B felony. Woods, 43, was arrested in Dermott. She is accused of billing Medicaid for providing services for her mother while she was clocked in and working as a contract employee at the Arkansas Department of Correction Delta Regional Unit. Woods also billed Medicaid while her mother was admitted to a long-term care facility. Woods was transported to the Pulaski County Jail where bond was set at $250,000. Medicaid fraud occurs when Medicaid providers use the Medicaid program to obtain money to which they are not entitled. Woods is awaiting trial.

CONSUMER ALERT: PLAN A SAFE JULY 4
LITTLE ROCK - Since 1776, Americans have celebrated Independence Day with festivities ranging from barbecues and parades to concerts and fireworks. These traditions are great opportunities for family and friends to gather and celebrate the holiday. President John Adams once declared that Independence Day should be celebrated with “illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more.”  It is no surprise that fireworks are now a common custom for many people to celebrate the holiday across the United States. “Fireworks can be fun if Arkansans remember to follow safety precautions,” said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “But improper use or malfunctioning fireworks can lead to serious injury and even death.”  The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported 11 fatalities and an estimated 10,500 injuries related to fireworks in the U.S. in 2014. Among those injuries, 67 percent occurred in the 30 days surrounding July 4. Attorney General Rutledge issued today’s consumer alert to remind Arkansans to keep safety and fireworks regulations in mind when celebrating Independence Day. Arkansas State law, which regulates the sale and use of fireworks, requires sellers to obtain a license in order to sell fireworks legally in the State. Vendors must also follow restrictions, including selling fireworks to anyone under 12 or to anyone who appears intoxicated.  State law only allows exploding fireworks to be sold each year from June 20 to July 10 and from Dec. 10 to Jan. 5. Non-exploding items, such as sparklers and snakes, may be sold throughout the year. Even if fireworks are legally purchased, they can still be a safety hazard. In 2014, the CPSC reported 1,400 injuries from sparklers.  Attorney General Rutledge encourages consumers to follow these safety recommendations: 
-Only buy fireworks from a licensed store, tent or stand. Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area.
-Read and follow all warnings and instructions.
-Supervise children at all times and make sure adults light every firework, including sparklers, which can reach 2,000 degrees.
-Make sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
-Never relight a malfunctioning firework. Soak the duds in water and throw them away.
-Do not shoot fireworks from metal or glass containers.
-Keep a bucket of water handy in case of a fire.
It is also important to make sure that fireworks are set off in permissible areas. In some cities, it is illegal to set off or possess fireworks. Fireworks may not be ignited within 600 feet of any church, hospital or public school or within 200 feet of where fireworks are sold or stored.  For more information about fireworks safety, related Arkansas laws and other consumer related issues, call the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office at (800) 482-8982 or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.  

June 30, 2015

CAMDEN KIWANIS CLUB REPORT
The Camden Kiwanis Club will meet this Thursday at the Camden Country Club. This week the civic club will have George and Diane Betts doing a program on their trip to China.  For more on the Kiwanis Club of how you can join, email Allen Crum at rev.crum610@gmail.com.

EGINEERING INTERNS IMPROVE ENERGY EFFICENCY AT ARKANSAS UNIVERSITIES
MAGNOLIA
 – Rather than worrying about burning up on the beach, nine Arkansas engineering students are spending their summers concerned with helping state agencies burn less energy. This summer marks the first year of the energy engineering summer internship program, which is sponsored by the Arkansas Industrial Energy Clearinghouse. After only a couple of weeks recovering from the spring semester, the emerging engineers convened in Fayetteville for a three-day energy efficiency workshop. Dr. Darin Nutter, P.E., director of the Clearinghouse and professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Arkansas, tailored the lessons for each student to prepare them for their summer experience. Among the selected interns for this program is Justin Vanhoose, a third-year engineering student at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia. His mission is to survey all of SAU’s facilities, going into each room of each building, to add up the amount and type of lighting being used. “This experience has been a really good affirmation that this is the career path I want to be on,” said Vanhoose. “My supervisors are always there to direct me when I need it, but I’ve been allowed to solve problems and think on my own.” In extrapolating the cost of the second and third floors of SAU’s Magale Library alone, Vanhoose discovered the cost savings if the more than 1,100 florescent bulbs were changed to LED. SAU’s Vice President for Facilities sees this energy internship program as a “win-win” for all involved, with students being trained on equipment and techniques while promoting energy awareness and good stewardship of public funding. He’s sees Vanhoose’s work contributing to the continuation of SAU’s long and proud tradition of being among the most energy efficient organizations at the national level. “Justin is an outstanding student whose talents are demonstrated on a daily basis. He has already made significant progress towards identifying ways to save energy and reduce cost through advanced equipment and management techniques,” said Lewis. He and the other interns work approximately 35 hours a week and submit a weekly journal to Nutter. At the completion of the 10-week internship, each will complete a final report about what was learned and the energy efficiency measures that were recommended or implemented. This summer’s energy interns represent the following Arkansas universities: Arkansas State University, Arkansas Tech University, Southern Arkansas University, University of Arkansas – Fayetteville, University of Arkansas – Fort Smith and University of Arkansas – Little Rock. According to Nutter, the objectives are the same for each intern. The student benefits from hands-on energy efficiency related experience while they provide much needed help to state agencies in their energy efficiency improvement efforts, including Act 1494 that passed in 2009. Looking further ahead, Nutter hopes this internship program will help infuse Arkansas with engineering graduates that are equipped to improve the state’s economy and sustainability through energy efficiency. In line with cultivating future engineers, SAU’s Engineering program is hosting an inaugural “Big Bang Engineering Summer Camp” on July 20-22, 2015. High school students, grades 9-12, who want to work hands-on with projects relating to engineering and physics are encouraged to register at https://web.saumag.edu/big-bang-camp. Cost is $200, which covers all room and board. Applications must be submitted by July 7. Since 2010, the Arkansas Industrial Energy Clearinghouse has been housed at the University of Arkansas’s Mechanical Engineering Department located in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Its function is to support and promote energy efficiency within Arkansas. Although primary interaction has been with the industrial manufacturing sector, they have recently included the intern program to target state agencies and institutions. “Jasper Lewis and everyone at SAU have been very cooperative, supportive, and wonderful to work with this summer,” said Nutter. “I am privileged, as an engineering professor at UofA, to support the state of Arkansas, support the growth of our engineering workforce, and establish relationships between Arkansas universities.”

RUTLEDGE ANNOUNCES MOBILE OFFICER LOCATIONS FOR EARLY JULY 
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced mobile office locations for the first half of July. Attorney General Rutledge created the mobile office initiative to make the office accessible to everyone, particularly to those who liveoutside the capital city. The Attorney General Mobile Offices assist constituents with consumer related issues in filing consumer complaints against scam artists. Staff will also be available to answer questions about the office and the other services it offers to constituents. Attorney General Rutledge believes there is no issue too small for her staff to have a face-to-face conversation. For more information about services provided by the Attorney General’s Office, visit ArkansasAG.gov or call (501) 682-2007. Rutledge can also be found on Facebook at facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge and on Twitter at twitter/com/AGRutledge. The upcoming mobile office schedule is below:

Hampton
Tuesday, July 7 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. Hampton City Hall, Council Room 121 N. 2nd St. Hampton, AR 71744
Fordyce
Tuesday, July 7 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. Fordyce City Hall, Council Room 101 S. Main St. Fordyce, AR 71742
Helena-West Helena
Thursday, July 9 10 a.m. – noon Helena-West Helena City Hall, Lobby  226 Perry St. Helena, AR 72342
Brinkley
Thursday, July 9 2 – 4 p.m. Mid-Delta Senior Citizen Center, Lobby 705 W. 6th St. Brinkley, AR 72021
Fayetteville 
Wednesday, July 15 10 a.m. – noon Fayetteville Senior Activity and Wellness Center, Lobby 945 S. College Ave. Fayetteville, AR 72701
Van Buren
Wednesday, July 15 2 – 4 p.m. Van Buren Municipal Complex, Council Room 1003 Broadway St. Van Buren, AR 72956

June 29, 2015

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORTS
Officer Justin Harper, of the Camden Police Department, was dispatched to 450 Kelly in reference to a suspicious person being inside a house. Once the officer arrived on the scene he observed a white female in handcuffs. The officer also observed a white male, who stated he went to the bathroom in his house, and as he came out the female was going through his kitchen cabinets. The man then placed the woman on the ground and put her in handcuffs until authorities arrived. According to reports, the woman showed signs of intoxications.

Officer Anthony Grummer was dispatched for a report of a subject lying in the driveway of a residence. The owners did not know who the subject was. When the officer arrived the man was asleep on the driveway and seemed to be heavily intoxicated. After finally waking up, the man stated that he lived in Ivory Heights, and he was in the area of west Camden Heights for a birthday party. Due to public intoxication, the man was taken into custody.

HOLIDAY MESSAGE FROM OUCHITA COUNTY SHERIFF
The Independence Day Holiday weekend is a big holiday for travel, water activities and celebrations. Many of us will have a long week end to enjoy. We spoke with Sheriff David Norwood who said that he expects the river to be a popular spot this weekend. He reminds all boaters that if you are drinking, there should always be a designated captain in the boat. The same penalties apply to drunk drivers on the water as they do to motorists. Always have a life preserver for everyone in the boat. If you are traveling, be sure someone knows your estimated time of arrival at your destination as well as the route you will be taking. Always carry a cell phone whether on the water or the road in case you find yourself in need of assistance. The Sheriff’s Office will be out on patrol all week on the river and on the county roadways. Check points will be set up throughout the county. Always be sure to follow all traffic laws and if alcohol is involved in your celebration – have a designated driver. If you need assistance call 231-5300 or dial 911 for any emergency that might arise. Sheriff Norwood and the entire Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office wish you all a safe and happy Independence day Holiday.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB REPORT
This week the Lions Club is taking a “field trip”!  The civic club will meet at the new Library Facility for a tour.  We will have boxed lunches from Catherine’s Bistro. For more on the Lion’s Club you can contact Charlotte Young at 870-837-4440 ext 7.

RUTLEDGE COMMENTS ON U.S. SUPRME GLOSSIP V. GROSS DECISION
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released a statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Glossip v. Gross. The Supreme Court upheld a procedure used by some States to carry out executions by lethal injection. “The U.S. Supreme Court today has once again ruled that capital punishment by lethal injection is constitutional. Today’s decision is an important step toward ensuring that executions can be carried out and that justice is served. The Attorney General’s Office continues to handle ongoing litigation concerning Arkansas’s lethal injection statute, and I am confident the State will prevail in the end, allowing executions to resume.”

LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS STATEWIDE WATCHING FOR HOLIDAY IMPAIRED DRIVERS FOURTH OF JULY- DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER
 (LITTLE ROCK) – The Fourth of July is a favorite holiday among Americans.  But with summer fun, parades, parties and fireworks, the holiday typically proves to be deadly on streets and highways across the country. Nationwide there were 199 people killed in alcohol related crashes during the 2013 July 4th holiday period. Arkansas State Police Director and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative Colonel Bill Bryant says, “For everyone’s sake, don’t drink and drive.  The ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign means zero tolerance for drunk driving – no excuses.” The crackdown on drunk driving during the coming holiday period will involve state, city and county law enforcement officers devoting additional patrol hours beginning today and continuing through July 5th.  Their target will be the drivers who are impaired and endangering the lives of others traveling on Arkansas roadways. Drivers who have consumed alcohol or drugs should remember they are putting their own life and the lives of others at risk. Driving impaired can lead to other serious consequences.  Even if no one is killed or hurt, a DWI arrest can lead to jail time, driver license suspension, costly legal expenses, court fines and higher driver insurance rates. In every state it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter or higher, yet people continue to break the law and drive drunk.  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports show that in fatal crashes during the July Fourth period in 2013, more than one-fifth (21%) of involved drivers or motorcycle operators had BAC’s of .15 or higher – almost twice the legal limit. The Arkansas Highway Safety Office recommends these simple tips to prevent drunk driving:\
-Plan a safe way home before the fun begins.
-Before drinking, designate a sober driver.
-If you have been drinking, call a taxi or a sober friend or family member to ask for a ride home.
-If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, call 911.
-If you know someone who is about to drive or operate a motorcycle while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to their destination safely. For more information on the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, visit TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136.  For more on the ongoing “Toward Zero Deaths” campaign, visit TZDarkansas.org.

June 26, 2015

AR DELEGATION APPLAUDS DISASTER DECLARATION FOR STATE
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton—along with Congressmen Rick Crawford, French Hill, Steve Womack and Bruce Westerman— announce that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today issued a major disaster declaration for the state, allowing local communities to recover from severe storms and flooding. “We are pleased with this quick response from the administration which will allow residents and local governments financial assistance to speed up recovery efforts,” members said. Under this designation, assistance is available for residents and households of Crawford, Garland, Howard, Jefferson, Little River, Miller, Perry, Sebastian, and Sevier Counties. Clark, Crawford, Dallas, Franklin, Garland, Hempstead, Howard, Independence, Izard, Jefferson, Johnson, Lafayette, Little River, Logan, Madison, Marion, Miller, Montgomery, Nevada, Newton, Ouachita, Perry, Pike, Polk, Scott, Searcy, Sevier, and Yell Counties are eligible to apply for Public Assistance for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities. All Arkansas counties will also be eligible to apply for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, which helps prevent or reduce long-term risks to life and property.

LOCAL AUTHOR TO BE AT FESTIVAL
Author of the new cookbook--"Down South:a Collection of recipes from my Mother"

Stephanie Thompson, will be having a free Meet & Greet booth at the Emerson PurpleHull Pea Festival tomorrow, Saturday, 8:00am-12:00pm. Come by and Say Hello. If you have your copy of her cookbook, bring it and she will sign it for you.

PEARCE NATIONAL CHAMP ON FIFTH TRIP TO RODEO FINALS
MAGNOLIA – As if earning a spot in the College National Finals Rodeo five years in a row for Southern Arkansas University’s Loni Pearce was not enough, she became the goat tying national champion in her final trip to Casper, Wyoming, on June 20, 2015. Pearce entered the short round in first place. Her final run of 6.8-seconds was best by a tenth of a second at the Casper Events Center on June 20, 2015. Media photographers captured her bright smile as she looked up from and saw her name and winning time on the scoreboard.  “I had no idea what I really needed to be, I just knew I had to go out there and make the best run I could make and it worked,” said an out-of-breath Pearce to reporters immediately after her winning run. Pearce earned her way to Casper her freshmen through junior years by finishing the Ozark Region season in third place. She finished first in the region both her senior year as an undergraduate and this year as a graduate student at SAU. According to SAU’s Rodeo Coach Rusty Hayes, Pearce is the only rodeo team member in the history of the University to go to the national finals five times. “What I try to press upon each student that comes to SAU and our rodeo program is that we will give you the opportunity to succeed, in the classroom and arena,” said Hayes. “Loni exemplifies what can happen if a student puts forth the effort. She has an Agriculture Business degree, will graduate with a master’s degree, earned regional rodeo titles and a national rodeo title.”  Pearce explained that she learned from her previous trips and entered this year’s finals more prepared mentally. She also gave a lot of credit to Ray, her horse. “This year I had the same horse all year and at the finals. We made a good team,” said Pearce. Ray was on loan to Pearce from her boyfriend, TyDaniel Haller, who also had an eventful spring as he earned a degree from SAU as well as a spot in the national finals in team roping. “I won the college finals on a calf roping horse,” said Pearce. “For everyone who knows rodeo, horses are not supposed to be good at roping calves and at tying goats. It’s cool that Ray knows the difference because he keeps running for me rather than stopping immediately like he’s trained to do in calf roping.” Even though Ray was a big part of her finals run, she admitted she would definitely have not become a champion without Coach Hayes. “He really has supported me from day one. He has always believed in me, and I want to thank him for supporting me 100%.” Pearce followed her heart to SAU from Venus, Florida, saying that Hayes’ rodeo scholarship offer helped, but that she just fell in love with SAU when she came to visit campus. She had visited other universities, but she said she felt at home at SAU. The rodeo facilities were outstanding, too, she added. Since Pearce has been at SAU, she has witnessed the rodeo facilities dramatically change with the addition of the $4.4 million Story Arena, which had its grand opening on November 6, 2014. She also got to enjoy the first year of SAU’s new 30,557 square-foot Agriculture Center, which opened the spring semester of 2013. She is slated to complete her online graduate degree in agriculture from SAU in December. Haller plans to follow suit and begin the same master’s program in the fall. He is currently hand-making jewelry and saddle conchos for Rockin’ Out Jewelry. For Pearce, she is not sure what the future holds. For now, her job at a veterinary clinic in Decatur, Texas, is a good fit for her and she loves it. In the end, being in Decatur just feels right, and her heart has certainly led her well in the past. “The rodeo world is huge, but it’s a small world at the same time. Since I moved out here, it seems everyone’s connected in some sort of way. I’m getting to know all the right people and getting my foot in the door with some bigger companies.”

June 25, 2015

RUTLEDGE COMMENTS ON U.S. SUPREME COURT KING V. BURWELL DECISION
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released a statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in King v. Burwell. The Supreme Court upheld a provision of the Affordable Care Act, affirming that 6.4 million people can continue to receive subsidies that allow them to purchase health care plans. “Today’s ruling is disappointing because the Supreme Court failed to read the plain text of the law and instead ruled to allow the Obama Administration to further implement a preferred policy and rewrite the law instead of what the law actually states – a practice that has become all too common from this Administration. The Court’s decision threatens the foundation upon which this country was built – that only Congress has the power to write and enact laws. As Attorney General, I will continue to fight to defend the rule of law and to protect Arkansans.”

HOUSTON NATIVE ENJOYS HER JOURNEY THROUGH SAU COLLEGE OF BUSINESS
MAGNOLIA – For Lacey Guy, school and learning has always been a natural part of her life.
Guy, who recently graduated with a degree in Managing Information Systems from the College of Business at Southern Arkansas University, has seen her life and academic career take several unusual turns. Guy is originally from Houston. However, after losing her mom at an early age, she moved to the small town of Delight, Arkansas, in ninth grade. Guy lived with her grandparents, Larry and Janice Taylor, while she went to high school. In her first year in southwest Arkansas, she set a high goal for herself: graduate early. “I’ve always felt I was mature. So I was ready for my life to begin outside of high school,” Guy explained of her decision. She immediately began taking extra classes, both at night and during the summer. Guy reached her goal, graduating Delight High School after what would normally have been her 11th grade year in 2011. Now she faced another decision – where to go to college. She visited several schools, but quickly chose SAU. “I came to SAU a few times for FFA competitions. I felt a connection to the campus,” said Guy. The Houston native originally chose to study accounting as her major, but soon changed when she saw her interests and talents were a better fit in another area. “As I got more into my MIS classes, I felt like that’s what I should be doing,” said Guy, who had always been good at math and enjoyed working with computers. “The programming classes came real easy for me. I enjoyed doing homework in these classes. It didn’t feel like it was school work.” Guy then had another career decision facing her: should she choose to major in computer science or information systems. Again, it proved to be an easy choice. “The reason I chose MIS over computer science is because the MIS person at a company is the person between the computer users and the technology services. The user will tell you what a problem is, and you’ll find a solution, even if it’s creating something new. So in the end, you did something that benefited the whole company,” explained Guy. Guy’s hard work paid off during her senior year in the College of Business at SAU when she earned an opportunity for an internship with Murphy USA in El Dorado. Guy’s title was Intern for Application Support, a position that brought her in contact with a variety of areas at Murphy USA. “I was exposed to the entire company. I got to work with all the departments. And that was really beneficial,” said Guy. With her education and experience through the internship, Guy quickly found a job, taking a position of Associate Program Developer with AIG back in her hometown of Houston. “I’m excited about it. But I’m a little bit scared, too,” admitted Guy. But she also feels like she’s prepared for the next chapter of her life. “When they interviewed me, they told me they had never seen someone with so much experience from one company.” While at SAU, Guy was involved in a variety of activities, including Enactus (formerly the Students In Free Enterprise), the SAU Honors College, Alpha Chi, and the Business Students Advisory Council. Guy said she feels the College of Business and SAU prepared her well. “My favorite part of SAU is the personal journey. I came here as a very quiet person. I was terrible at speaking in public, but I got involved with some student groups that helped. “I feel like SAU was the perfect fit for me. It helped me become who I am now. I don’t feel like I could have developed as well at another college,” said Guy.


BIPARTISAN WATER SUPPLY COST SAVINGS ACT INTRODUCED IN SENATE TO HELP ADDRESS RURAL COMMUNITIES’ WATER INFRASTRUCTURE FUNDING CRISIS
Washington, DC -- On June 22, 2015, Senators John Boozman (R-AR), Jon Tester (D-MT) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) introduced the bipartisan ''Water Supply Cost Savings Act,'' or ''Savings Act,'' legislation to provide small communities across the nation with critical information on the use of water wells and water well systems to deliver high quality, affordable drinking water.  
The bipartisan Savings Act (S. 1642) was greeted with enthusiastic support from the water supply industry, including the Water Systems Council, the Water Quality Association and the National Groundwater Association. "We are extremely grateful to Senator Boozman, Senator Tester and Senator Cardin for advancing legislation that will assist thousands of small communities in delivering high quality, affordable drinking water to millions of Americans," said Margaret Martens, Executive Director of the Water Systems Council. "The bipartisan Water Supply Cost Savings Act will ensure that USDA and EPA provide those charged with delivering drinking water in rural America with critical information on the use of wells and well systems.   "Wells are a reliable, cost-effective way for budget challenged communities to provide safe drinking water for their residents.  The Water Supply Cost Savings Act is a win for rural America and the American taxpayer. The Savings Act is aimed at reducing the costs to federal, state, and local governments in providing quality drinking water to millions of Americans living in rural and isolated communities by promoting cost-effective community well water systems." To assist small communities with their consideration of drinking water technology needs, the Savings Act establishes a Drinking Water Technology Clearinghouse where the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Secretary of Agriculture will disseminate information on cost-effective, innovative, and alternative drinking water delivery systems, including systems that are supported by wells. "Many Arkansans rely on water wells to provide safe, affordable, and reliable drinking water.  For small, isolated communities, these wells can save money and make life better. This bill will encourage agencies to support this low-cost solution by providing technical support. The bill also encourages small communities to consider water wells as one of the supply options when new water systems are built," Boozman said. "Access to clean drinking water is critical for the health of every rural community and in many cases well systems are the most cost-effective way to deliver it to the tap," Tester said.  "This bill will help raise awareness about all the water infrastructure options that are available to local communities so they can provide safe and reliable water to families, small businesses, and family farms and ranches in rural America." "Wherever you live, all Americans deserve access to safe and clean drinking water. Having modern and reliable water infrastructure protects public health, conserves natural resources, saves energy and creates jobs," said Cardin, a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. "This legislation helps remove some of the technical and financial barriers to clean water that rural communities face while improving quality of life." The most recent EPA Water Drinking Needs Survey reflects a shortfall of $64 billion in drinking water infrastructure funding. The Water Supply Cost Savings Act, S. 1642 would update existing EPA and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs to provide cost-saving information about innovative and alternate drinking water delivery systems including those supported by wells. The legislation also requires that alternative drinking water supplies such as individual, shared and community wells be considered in applications for federal funding for drinking water systems serving 500 or fewer people. Buzz Mills, president of Billings, Montana-based 2M and a member of the WSC board, noted that, "As one of the largest wholesale distributors of equipment for the water well industry that was originally founded in Montana, we are very proud of Senator Tester's leadership on the bipartisan Savings Act.  Not only will this legislation help rural America and other small community systems afford to meet critical their water needs, it will also support domestic manufacturing and jobs." The Water Systems Council is the only national, nonprofit organization solely focused on household wells and small water well systems. WSC is committed to ensuring that Americans who get their water from household private wells have safe, reliable drinking water and to protecting our nation's groundwater resources.  For more information, visit watersystemscouncil.org.

June 24, 2015

FLAGS TO BE FLOWN AT HALF-STAFF
Governor Asa Hutchinson has issued a proclamation ordering the state flag of Arkansas to be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Friday, June 26, 2015 as a mark of respect and as an expression of public sorrow for the victims of the shootings at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

RIBBON CUTTING IN CAMDEN NEXT WEEK 
Join the Camden Area Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, July 1st at 10:00 am for a ribbon cutting. Come out and welcome the newest Chamber Member, The Shine Shop, owned by Rick Parker. The shine shop will also be celebrating its 5 year anniversary. 

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORTS
Officer Jimmy Plyler of the Camden Police Department, was traveling north on Highway 7 towards Lincoln Drive. It was then when the officer noticed a silver Nissan sedan traveling faster than the posted speed limit of 35. The officer initiated a traffic stop on Highway 7 at Goodgame. When the officer approached the vehicle, he noticed that the driver was showing signs of intoxication. After failing a standard field sobriety test, the man was arrested for public intoxication. When conducting a search of the vehicle, officers found an open can of beer under the passenger seat, the driver stated the beer belonged to a friend he had just dropped off.

Officer Kyle McDaniel of the Camden Police Depargtment, was on a routine patrol in the area of Progress Street. While traveling, he noticed a woman stumbling in the street. According to reports, the woman slurred her words several times. When asked if she had been drinking, the woman stated “I’ve been drinking all day”. She was taken into custody and transported directly to the Ouachita County Jail.  

PLANTING CEREMONY TO BE HELD FOR SAU’S DR. TREY BERRY
MAGNOLIA – On July 1, 2015, Dr. Trey Berry will take office as the 12th president of Southern Arkansas University. The public is invited to attend a short program at 10 a.m. on July 1 on the east lawn of Overstreet Hall at SAU, to be followed by a ceremonial re-planting of SAU’s historic “Lone Pine Tree.” “The Lone Pine Tree was an iconic tree on our campus from 1909-1956 when it was toppled by a storm. We hope that our re-planting will be a symbolic honoring of our past and a pledge to the future,” said Berry. Parking for the event will be available at the east lawn parking lot across from the Greek Theatre. Refreshments will be served. Berry’s first day in office is slated to be a busy one. He is scheduled to have a breakfast with the SAU Board of Trustees at 8:30 a.m., followed by the ceremony. No official action will take place at the breakfast. At noon, he is hosting a lunch with SAU’s Administrative Council before departing for SAU Tech at 1:15 p.m. At 2 p.m., he is scheduled to meet with their vice chancellors. Berry joined SAU in 2011 as professor of history and dean of the College of Liberal and Performing Arts. He was promoted to provost and vice president for academic affairs a year later. Before coming to SAU, he spent two years as deputy director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, two years as a dean at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, and 18 years as a faculty member and administrator at Ouachita Baptist University. Building on his promise to focus on people, planning, programs, and philanthropy, Berry plans to “hit the ground listening.” He said that as president his personal leadership style will not change from that which the campus community has already grown accustomed. Since first arriving at SAU four years ago, Berry has become active in the Magnolia community. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Magnolia-Columbia County Chamber of Commerce and the advisory board of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences – South since 2013. He has been a member of the Golden Triangle Economic Development Council Board of Directors since 2014, and is a member of the Rotary Club of Magnolia. Noting that “home is where the heart is,” he said Magnolia has become home for him and his family. Berry and his wife, Dr. Katherine Simms Berry, have two children, Tanner, 17, and Berkeley, 7.

BOOZMAN STATEMENT ON FINAL PASSAGE OF TPA
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) released the following statement after the Senate passed legislation to grant the executive branch Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) for six years:  “International trade supports over 340,000 jobs in Arkansas. That’s one in every five jobs. That number will continue to rise as we open new markets for Arkansas’s agricultural producers, small businesses and globally engaged workforce. When we trade our goods and services with other nations, we improve market access for American exports, grow our economy and create jobs at home. That is why we have a responsibility to pursue the strongest free and fair trade agreements that we can negotiate. TPA helps bring our potential trading partners to the table while maintaining Congress’s important role in the process. To say that Congress is giving the current president, or the next, the ability to unilaterally enter into any agreement is not accurate. TPA creates transparency in trade negotiations. The president must consult closely with Congress before, during and after negotiations. The American people would have ample time to comment as the president must wait 60 days before sending a proposed trade agreement to Congress. Any commitments not disclosed to Congress before trade agreements are introduced will have no force of law. Similarly, any provision of a trade agreement that is inconsistent with US federal or state law has no effect. We live in a global economy and 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside of our borders. Closing our eyes to that fact and closing our doors to trade opportunities would have severe consequences for our economy. At this moment, container ships are rolling into our ports, packed to capacity, but leaving empty. Free and fair trade will allow our farmers and manufacturers to fill those cargo ships with products bound for foreign markets and that means jobs here at home.”

RUTLEDGE AND MILLER TO CO-CHAIR NEWLY FORMED COMMITTEE
Rutledge says, ‘It is critically important for attorneys general who share a common goal of advocating for and protecting the agriculture industry and its participants to have a venue to collaborate and share new ideas’ 
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller today announced that they will co-chair the newly formed National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) Agriculture Committee. Following last week’s NAAG Summer Meeting in San Diego, newly elected NAAG President South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley named Rutledge and Miller as co-chairs of the committee. “Agriculture is vitally important to my State, adding more than $20 billion to our economy and making it the largest industry in Arkansas,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “It is critically important for attorneys general who share a common goal of advocating for and protecting the agriculture industry and its participants to have a venue to collaborate and share new ideas. I am honored to join my colleague and friend, Attorney General Miller, in this effort to co-chair the new Agriculture Committee, and I appreciate the confidence of President Jackley in both of us to lead this committee.” “Agriculture is constantly evolving. As State attorneys general we need to ensure that we work together on legal issues that impact farmers and, more broadly, the industry,” Attorney General Miller said. “I look forward to collaborating with Attorney General Rutledge and other colleagues who share an interest in agriculture.” “The State attorneys general have always taken a proactive approach to recognizing issues that directly impact our States. The addition of the Agriculture Committee will allow us to address the 21st century legal challenges facing agriculture and our States common interests. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller have been tasked with the important responsibility of serving as co-chairs for this newly formed committee as strong leaders that are widely respected by their colleagues,” stated NAAG President Attorney General Jackley. The full membership of the Agriculture Committee will be finalized in the coming weeks. In addition to serving as the co-chair of the Agriculture Committee, Rutledge has also received the following committee assignments: Energy and Environment Committee, Federalism/Preemption Committee, Internet Safety/Cyber Privacy and Security Committee, and Veteran Affairs Committee. “Along with co-chairing the Agriculture Committee, my other committee assignments will allow me the opportunity to represent the best interests of all Arkansans with my fellow attorneys general,” Rutledge continued. “I strongly believe in growing our energy production with an all-of-the-above approach and protecting our environment, but both must be done methodically and not through heavy handed regulations and orders that go beyond the scope of the federal government. At the same time, we must find new ways to protect our children from a growing cyber threat and safeguard consumers from what seems like a different security breach of personal data every day. Arkansans already know my commitment to our active duty service members and veterans, and I am excited to share what we are doing in Arkansas with my colleagues.” NAAG was founded in 1907 to help attorneys general fulfill the responsibilities of their office and to assist in the delivery of high quality legal services to the states and territorial jurisdictions. The Association’s members are the 56 state and territorial attorneys general.

AR DELEGATION SUPPORTS GOVERNOR’S REQUEST OF DISASTER DECLARARTION
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton—along with Congressmen Rick Crawford, French Hill, Steve Womack and Bruce Westerman—today sent a letter to President Obama supporting Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson’s request for a federal disaster declaration for 33 Arkansas counties following severe storms and flooding. The following is full text of the delegation’s letter: We are writing in support of Governor Asa Hutchinson’s request for a major disaster declaration for the following counties in the State of Arkansas: Chicot, Clark, Crawford, Conway, Dallas, Faulkner, Franklin, Garland, Hempstead, Howard, Independence, Izard, Jefferson, Johnson, Lafayette, Little River, Logan, Madison, Marion, Miller, Montgomery, Nevada, Newton, Ouachita, Perry, Pike, Polk, Pope, Scott, Searcy, Sebastian, Sevier and Yell counties. Since May 7, 2015, the State of Arkansas has experienced a continuing pattern of destructive storms, severe flooding, and tornadoes, resulting in 3 fatalities and severe damages to hundreds of homes across the state. As we see in many crises, people have come to the aid of their neighbors; however, the extent of the damage has surpassed the state government’s ability to respond. Pursuant to the provision of Section 401 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 5121-5207 (Stafford Act), implemented by 44 CFR § 206.36, we ask that Arkansas receive a major disaster declaration for these counties due to the damages assessed. We urge the approval of Public Assistance (Categories A - G), Individual Assistance (IA), including the Individuals and Households Program (IHP), temporary housing which may include manufactured housing (mobile homes, park models, etc.), Disaster Unemployment Assistance, Disaster Case Management, Disaster Legal Services, Crisis Counseling, Small Business Administration disaster loans, and Hazard Mitigation Statewide. As you know, the State of Arkansas and our communities are working tirelessly to assist citizens and begin the process of cleaning up and ultimately rebuilding. Resources at the state and local level, including the Arkansas National Guard, Arkansas Forestry Commissions, and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, are being fully utilized, but greater federal assistance is needed to help our communities recover. Arkansas is a predominantly rural state and this most recent series of disasters has exceeded the ability of our local governments to respond. The past several years have been particularly difficult for Arkansas residents due to numerous severe weather events impacting many of the same areas you recently visited last May 2014. Volunteer organizations, to include the Salvation Army and the American Red Cross, have provided more than 1,000 meals, and continue to provide necessary support services to displaced residents. The assistance received as a result of several earlier federal disaster and emergency declarations has been vital, and many of the same communities are still in the recovery process from these earlier disasters. We hope that a similar response will follow this disaster. 
Mr. President, we thank you for your attention to this matter and urge your swift consideration and approval of the state’s request. If you have any questions or need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

June 23, 2015

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORTS
Officer Grummer, of the Camden Police Department, along with officer Clayton were on bike patrol downtown on Adams near What’s Cooking. The officers observed a burnt orange Ford Mustang pass by blaring music that (according to reports) could be heard within 100 feet. Officer Grummer initiated a traffic stop, and made contact with the driver and passengers, two had suspended driver’s license. During a search a red metal pipe was found on one of the passengers, which officials believe was used to smoke marijuana. The passenger was transported to the station and issued a criminal citation.

Officer Bush of the Camden Police Department, was dispatched to the area of 280 Cedar Street for a male throwing rocks at people while exposing himself. Before the officer arrived dispatched advised the male was now fully clothed, and had a wooden board in his hand. Upon arrival, the officer located the man with board in hand. According to reports, he was unsteady on his feet and seemed heavily intoxicated. The man stated that he was helping someone tear a house down and that’s where the wooded board came from. Due to his intoxication, he was transported to the station.

AEROJET ROCKETDYNE ADDING NEW JOBS TO SOUTH ARKANSAS 
CALHOUN COUNTY, AR - A south Arkansas company is adding dozens of new jobs.
Aerojet Rocketdyne, a world leader in the development and manufacture of aerospace and defense products, Monday announced plans to expand its facility in Calhoun County. The company makes solid rocket motors and warheads for the defense industry.  The expansion plans were discussed and finalized last week in Paris during a meeting between Governor Asa Hutchinson and several Aerojet Rocketdyne leaders at the Paris Air Show. As part of the expansion, the company will add 85 new full-time employees and invest $18 million in new buildings, upgrades, and new equipment. The addition of 85 new positions will bring total employment at the Aerojet Rocketdyne facility in Calhoun County to more than 630 people. “The number one way we can grow Arkansas’s economy is through supporting our existing companies and giving them the tools they need to thrive in the state,” said Governor Hutchinson. “During our time in Paris, I had the opportunity to meet with the several Aerojet Rocketdyne leaders. The company expressed confidence in the state’s overall business climate and southern Arkansas’s workforce. Thanks to Aerojet Rocketdyne for their ongoing commitment to doing business in Arkansas.” “The City of Camden very much appreciates the significant investment Aerojet Rocketdyne is making in our community” said Camden Mayor Marie Trisollini. “The company’s decision to expand will have a positive impact on many families in Camden, Ouachita County, and Calhoun County for years to come. We have a workforce in place that will be a great fit for the new jobs that will be created. We look forward to the company’s continued growth in southern Arkansas.”

U.S.D.A. CLARIFIES SAU FOOD SITE FOR UPWARD BOUND
MAGNOLIA – The Southern Arkansas University Upward Bound program is having meals provided by the U.S.D.A. Summer Food Service Program. The SAU site has been clarified by the U.S.D.A. as a closed site, meaning only participants in the SAU Upward Bound programs will be provided meals. It was previously released in May that the site was open to the public. SAU’s Upward Bound program serves 71 South Arkansas high school students and 94 recent high school graduates in the Upward Bound Bridge program. Upward Bound is a federally funded program for low income and/or first generation college-bound high school students who could benefit from academic support and may need increased motivation to realize their potential. The Summer Food Program is designed to provide nutritious meals to children during the summer for those who may not get one because school is out.

MAGNOLIA A/P COMMISSION ADDS FUNDING FOR BABE RUTH TOURNAMENT
MAGNOLIA - The Magnolia Boys & Girls Club will receive $2,000 in additional funding for the sponsorship of the Babe Ruth Southwest Regional Softball Tournament June 13-18. 
The decision was made Monday by the Magnolia Advertising and Promotion Commission, and was $4,390 less than the club had requested. Commissioners have already appropriated $22,000 toward staging the tournament. Club officials say the tournament will bring 60 softball teams and more than 2,000 visitors from several states to the city. The additional money was requested to offset housing costs for Babe Ruth tournament officials and umpires. The original $22,000 in funding included $11,000 in fees paid to the Babe Ruth organization to secure the softball tournament, $9,850 to pay for umpires, and the rest for softballs and other expenses.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB REPORT
The Camden Noon Lion’s Club will meet this week at Catherine’s Bistro in Camden.
The speaker this week is Michael James.  He is with THE CALL and will talk about the need for more foster homes in Ouachita County. For more information on the Lion’s Club, or how you can join, call Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440 ext 7.

SAAC BOX OFFICE OPENS FOR “THE WIZARD OF OZ”
The South Arkansas Arts Center’s box office opens on Wednesday, June 24 for ticket reservations for the 2015 summer musical “The Wizard of Oz.”  The Murphy USA sponsored family fantasy opens in the Callaway Theater on July 16. Evening performances are July 16, 17, 18, 20, 22, 23, 24, and 25 with a 7:30pm curtain.  Matinee performances are July 19 and 26 at 2:30pm. Tickets for all performances are $10 for children/students, $15 for SAAC members, and $20 for the general public. The production runs approximately two hours with a fifteen minute intermission. A special “Spirit of Oz” matinee will be hosted on July 19.  The audience is invited to join in the fun with a costume contest by dressing as their favorite character and a meet and greet photo opportunity with the cast on stage.  The winner of the costume contest will be offered a walk on role in the production during one of the second weekend performances. To book tickets, contact the SAAC box office at 862-5474. SAAC accepts cash, checks, American Express, MasterCard, Visa, and Discover cards when reserving or picking up tickets. 

COTTON STATEMENT ON REPORTS THAT UNITED STATES IS SHARING A MILITARY BASE WITH IRANIAN FORCES
Washington, D.C.— Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today released the following statement in response to reports that the United States is sharing a military base with Iranian forces in Iraq: “When I was a solider fighting in Iraq, Iran supplied the most advanced, most lethal roadside bombs used against coalition forces. Many American soldiers lost their lives to Iran’s proxies and Iranian-supplied bombs.  Further, Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism and has been attacking the United States for decades. It’s deeply troubling that the President now finds it acceptable to share a military base with this enemy, even while we are attempting to negotiate a deal to keep Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. "This report is a stark and nearly absurd demonstration of the Obama administration's tacit accommodation of Iran's strategic aim of extending its influence in Iraq.  It echoes the president's tacit accommodation of Iran's wish to maintain Bashar al-Assad in Syria and his explicit accommodation of Iran's nuclear ambitions."

June 22, 2015

AREA AGENCY ON AGING OF SWA OFFERS A MEDICAID MAZE
The Area Agency on Aging of South West Arkansas will be holding a Medicare Maze on June 25th. The Maze will be held from 11:00 to 12:00PM in the administration building located at 31downstairs across from the courthouse. You will learn what Medicare covers and when to sign up. Learn about Medicare prescription drug plans and help paying for you drug plan and copays as well as about Supplemental Insurance. Call 1-800-272-2127 extension 116 or 870-798-2852. The purpose of this event is to provide Medicare information. No insurance sales will be allowed. The Area Agency on Aging provides free, unbiased information and assistance to Medicare recipients and their caregivers.

SUMMER OF CREATIVITY GRANTS AVAILABLE FOR YOUNG CHANGEMAKERS
Disney | ABC Television Group Supports 125 Youth-Led Service Projects with $500 Grants

Washington, D.C. – As school lets out for the summer, Youth Service America (YSA) is calling on kids to make this a Summer of Creativity. YSA, through support from Disney | ABC Television Group will award Summer of Creativity Grants to young change-makers who have ideas and projects that positively impact their community.

Youth ages 5-18 in the U.S. are eligible to apply for Summer of Creativity Grants by submitting service project ideas that will make a difference in their local communities. One hundred and twenty five winners will be awarded individual $500 grants to implement their projects. Select grantees will have a chance to be recognized on Good Morning America or their local ABC affiliate. Applications will be accepted through August 10, 2015, at YSA.org/BeInspired.

2014 grant-awarded projects included:

Warm Winters, a program run by a 14-year-old to collect coats, hats, and gloves left at ski resorts to help keep the homeless warm.

Shred Kids Cancer, a campaign organized by a 14-year-old to fundraise for research to help find cures for pediatric cancer.

Braeden’s Brown Bags, a foundation founded by a 10-year-old to provide healthy meals to kids in need.

“With half the world’s population under the age of 25, our future depends on helping young people to find their voice, take action, and make a positive impact in their communities. We know that young people are uniquely suited to help solve problems - if given the opportunity,” said Steven A. Culbertson, President and CEO of YSA. “We need youth to be leaders and problem solvers today, not just the leaders of a distant tomorrow. Disney ABC Television Group’s Summer of Creativity is about shining a bright light on the incredible power of youth to use their ingenuity to change the world.”

For more information and to apply, visit www.YSA.org/BeInspired.

RUTLEDGE ADDS CERTIFIED OFFICERS TO MEDICAID FRAUD CONTROL UNIT
Officers make first arrests

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that she has added sworn law enforcement officers to the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, a first for the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office.

Rutledge also announced that the new officers have made their first arrests. On Friday, June 5, Donna Roberson, 62, of Pine Bluff, was arrested on two counts of Medicaid Fraud, both Class B felonies, and Lucy Blackmon, 34, of Pine Bluff, was arrested on one count of Medicaid Fraud, a Class C felony. On Thursday, June 18, the officers arrested Quashonna Evans, 27, of Little Rock, on one count of Medicaid Fraud, a Class C felony.

“I am committed to fighting fraud and protecting Arkansas’s most vulnerable and making sure they receive the care they deserve, which is why I made it a priority to strengthen the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit at the Attorney General’s Office by adding certified officers,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “These officers greatly enhance an already successful unit and its enforcement capabilities as it goes after those who violate our laws. They will not only help combat fraud but will also go after those who abuse and neglect Arkansans residing in assisted living facilities and nursing homes.”

 

The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, under the leadership of Deputy Attorney General Lloyd Warford, investigates and prosecutes violations involving Medicaid providers and the abuse or neglect of nursing home residents.

 

Medicaid fraud occurs when Medicaid providers use the Medicaid program to obtain money to which they are not entitled.

AHPP AWARDS GRANTS FOR OUACHITA COUNTY HISTORIC PRESERVATION PROJECTS
LITTLE ROCK—Governor Asa Hutchinson announced today that the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, has awarded $2,402,561 in grants for projects in 44 Arkansas counties – including Ouachita County – through its County Courthouse Restoration Subgrant, Historic Preservation Restoration Grant, Certified Local Government Subgrant, Main Street Slipcover Grant and Main Street Downtown Revitalization Grant programs.

Ouachita County received a $100,000 County Courthouse Restoration Grant for roof restoration at the 1933 courthouse at Camden. The Ouachita County Historical Society received a $26,160 Historic Preservation Restoration Grant for roof restoration at the ca. 1847 McCollum-Chidester House in Camden.

Thirteen counties shared $1,262,340 in County Courthouse Restoration Subgrants, which are financed through Real Estate Transfer Tax funds distributed by the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council for rehabilitation of historic county courthouses across Arkansas. Funding requests totaled $6,172,537.

Other counties receiving courthouse grants were Arkansas, $13,000; Bradley, $249,850; Drew, $91,000; Hempstead, $16,465; Hempstead, $26,465; Johnson, $59,200; Lafayette, $69,756; Lawrence, $130,000; Logan, $68,000; Mississippi, $250,000, Howard, $170,000, Polk, $21,457 and Prairie, $23,512.

 Twenty-five projects shared $756,763 in Historic Preservation Restoration Grants (HPRG), which distribute funds raised through the Real Estate Transfer Tax to rehabilitate buildings listed on the Arkansas or National Registers of Historic Places and owned by local governments or not-for-profit organizations. Grant requests totaled $1,498,725.

Other HPRG recipients, the amount of their grants, and the properties to be restored, were Bradley County Historical Museum, $25,000 to restore chimneys, wood siding and interior finishes at the John Martin House; Carnegie Public Library in Eureka Springs, $33,229 to restore steps; Carroll County, $30,267 to restore the bell tower and chimney and paint the former Shady Grove Delmar Church and School; City of Altus, $25,070 to restore the roof at the German American Bank; and the City of Arkadelphia, $13,250 for paint and restoration at the Missouri Pacific Depot; City of Siloam Springs, $56,666 to restore the roof at the former Siloam Springs Post Office; City of Sulphur Springs, $30,000 to restore the roof at the former Sulphur Springs School; Clover Bend Historic Preservation Association, $61,750 for exterior restoration at the Clover Bend Gym; Cross County Historical Society, $11,904 for restoration work at the South Elementary School; Danny Dozier, $5,034 for restoration work at 187 East Main Street in Batesville; First Lutheran Church in Little Rock, $15,480 for stained-glass window restoration; Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority in Fort Smith, $37,266 for restoration of Barrack #823; Fort Smith Heritage Foundation, $24,737 for wood restoration at the W.H.H. Clayton House; Fort Smith Museum of History, $15,415 for masonry restoration at the Atkinson Williams Warehouse; Hamburg United Methodist Church, $75,000 to install a structural roof beam; Helena Museum of Phillips County, $40,000 for roof and exterior restoration; The City of Hope, $40,000 to stabilize and restore the Girl Scout Little House; Lutheran Camp on Petit Jean, $20,438 for restoration work at Trinity Lutheran Church; Darrell and Missy Orvis, $10,000 to restore the roof of the William Heibach House in Little Rock; Howard County Historical Society, $20,000 for restoration work at the former First Presbyterian Church; St. James Episcopal Church in Eureka Springs, $19,230 to restore the roof, bell tower and columns at  the former Comer School; Texarkana Museum System, $20,329 for restoration work at the Patrick Ahern House; Town of Portia, $19,078 to restore the porch, doors and windows at the Portia School; Trumann Community Foundation, $39,460 for roof and window repair at the Trumann Community House, and Visitor’s Chapel A.M.E. Church in Hot Springs, $42,000 for plaster, window and door repair.

Sixteen recipients shared $116,020 in grants through the AHPP’s Certified Local Government program, which is open to Arkansas cities and counties that contain a historic district commission and a historic district protected by a local ordinance, as well as to cities and counties that are seeking to join the CLG program. These grants provide training opportunities to local historic district commissions and can fund other local preservation projects. At least 10 percent of the AHPP’s annual appropriation from the federal Historic Preservation Fund goes to CLG cities as grants for local projects. Grant requests totaled $210,487.

CLG grant recipients were Batesville, which received $40,000 to restore the marquee and roof at the Melba Theater for training and design guidelines; Benton, which received $6,325 to update its cultural resource inventory, prepare a brochure, training and staff assistance; Conway, which received $1,500 for training and for a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA); El Dorado, which received $9,200 for National Register nominations and administrative support; Fayetteville, which received $13,150 for training, a plaque and fencing at Oaks Cemetery and a historic structures database; Fort Smith, which received $1,500 for training; Hot Springs, which received $1,000 for a celebration of the NHPA; Little Rock, which received $2,600 for training and sign toppers for the Capitol View/Stifft Station neighborhood; Morrilton, which received $9,500 for training, administration and signage and outreach and education; North Little Rock, which received $17,500 for administration and a window workshop; Osceola, which received $800 for training; Pine Bluff, which received $1,508 for training and preservation awards; Texarkana, which received $7,000 for training, a website and outreach, and Van Buren, which received $4,437 for training, tour development and a brochure.

There currently are 19 Arkansas cities in the CLG program: Little Rock, North Little Rock, Fort Smith, Van Buren, Hot Springs, Eureka Springs, Helena-West Helena, Conway, Pine Bluff, Morrilton, Texarkana, Rogers, Russellville, El Dorado, Fayetteville, Batesville, Benton, Osceola and Blytheville. Several others are working to become part of the CLG program.

Main Street Siloam Springs received a $6,439 “Slipcover” Removal Grant to restore the storefront at 207 South Broadway. These grants, funded through the Real Estate Transfer Tax, help finance removal of false façades from historic Main Street Arkansas buildings.

Sixteen Main Street Arkansas programs shared $240,000 in Downtown Revitalization Grants, which are funded through the state Real Estate Transfer Tax and are available to certified Main Street programs for building rehabilitations, parks, streetscape improvements and other design-related projects that will have major long-term impacts in the local Main Street area.

Main Street programs in Batesville, Blytheville, Dumas, El Dorado, Eureka Springs, Helena-West Helena, Jonesboro, Osceola, Ozark, Paragould, Rogers, Russellville, Searcy, Siloam Springs, Texarkana and West Memphis each received $15,000 grants through the program. Main Street Russellville received an additional $9,999 grant through the program for window restoration at 309 West B Street.

An additional $11,000 in Downtown Revitalization Grants was awarded to cities involved in Main Street’s Arkansas Downtown Network. Grants of $1,000 each were awarded to the programs in Arkadelphia, Clarksville, Forrest City, Heber Springs, Malvern, Monticello, Morrilton, Pine Bluff, Rector, Warren and Wynne.

For more information on the AHPP’s grant programs, write the agency at 323 Center St., Suite 1500, Little Rock, AR 72201, call the agency at (501) 324-9880 [TDD 501-324-9811], send e-mail to info@arkansaspreservation.org or visit www.arkansaspreservation.org.

The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program is the agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage responsible for identifying, evaluating, registering and preserving the state’s cultural resources. Other agencies are the Arkansas Arts Council, the Delta Cultural Center in Helena, the Old State House Museum, the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center and the Historic Arkansas Museum.

ARKANSANS TO PROTECT LOCAL RIGHTS AGREES, ACT 137 ALLOWS FOR NDOS
Arkansans to Protect Local Rights (ATPLR) has determined that a repeal of Act 137 is unnecessary. The prevailing legal opinion is that this law does not prohibit cities from enacting non-discrimination ordinances (NDOs). Constitutional scholars and attorneys across the state believe that since several state laws currently protect additional classes other than those identified in the state’s Civil Rights Act, including but not limited to sexual orientation and gender identity, then Act 137 does not accomplish what its sponsors intended.

On the heels of an historic election in Eureka Springs in which the electorate overwhelming supported adoption of their own ordinance, a statewide poll commissioned by ATPLR confirms that Arkansas’s citizens favor local control of this issue. In light of these recent developments, ATPLR has ceased in its circulation of petitions.

Our ultimate goal, the commitment to advance equality and promote local control, is best achieved through partnering with our communities in support of NDOs. We worked successfully with Eureka Springs to adopt Ordinance 2223 and are currently working with Fayetteville to ensure passage of their NDO in September.

People from all walks of life, all regions of the state and all religious and party affiliations have supported this effort. For that, we are extremely appreciative. Moving forward, we will continue to identify, encourage and support communities devoted to maintaining local rights. Together, we hope to continue working to elevate our state to one that is accepting and considerate of all her residents.

CABS OFFERS SMALL BUSINESS TRAINING
The next training session will help you get started with Pinterest & Instagram. The session will be on June 30th from 1:00 to 3:30PM. Join us for a fun and fast paced look at these emerging social networks. In this seminar we will explore how these social networks may fit your business and how to make these effective. We will also discuss time management tips on how to make sure you are spending the appropriate amounts of time on these social net-works in conjunction with your overall marketing plan. Training will be held at the Camden Accelerated Business Services (CABS) Center located at 625 Adams SW in Camden. Call 836-2210 to pre-register. Note this session is tomorrow.

 

June 19, 2015

OUACHITA COUNTY MOST WANTED
The Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office currently have two women on their most wanted list.

                                                      Jennifer Conn is a 24 year old white female. She stands five foot four inches and weighs 180 pounds. She has green eyes and brown hair. She has a warrant issued for her arrest for charges of theft of property.

 

 

 

 

Shalskia Daniels is a 27 year old black female. She stands five foot four inches and weighs 145 pounds. She has brown eyes and black hair. She has a warrant issued for failure to appear on narcotics charges. 

If you know the whereabouts of either of these women, please contact the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office at 870-231-5300.

 

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES CEDRIC THORNTON TO HOST FREE FOOTBALL CAMP IN HIS STAR CITY HOME TOWN
On Saturday, June 20th, Eagles defensive end Cedric Thornton will host the Cedric Thornton Youth Football Camp. The 100% free camp will host over 200 youth participants from ages six to 14.  During the camp, participants will learn individual and skills as well as hear motivation messages from Cedric Thornton. The camp will run from 8AM until 12PM at the Star City High School Stadium located  at 400 East Arkansas Street in Star City. The camp will be held at the Star City High School Stadium located at 400 East Arkansas Street in Star. City

Cedric Thornton is a defensive end for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League. He was signed by the Eagles as an undrafted free agent in 2011 out of Southern Arkansas University.

The camp would like to thank our gracious sponsor: Piggly Wiggly for providing snacks and refreshments after the camp.

SENATOR COTTON’S STATEMENT AFTER SOUTH CAROLINA SHOOTING
Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today released the following statement after the shooting of nine people in Charleston, South Carolina:

“Today, I join all Arkansans in mourning the victims of last night’s shooting in Charleston. Our thoughts and prayers are with our friends in South Carolina and the families of those who lost their lives. Through their grief, may they find peace in the support of their fellow Christians, their state, and their country.”

THREE SUMMERY WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH
(StatePoint) For the health conscious, there’s no such thing as a summer vacation from making good nutritional choices and getting plenty of exercise. But there’s no reason to let a healthy lifestyle become boring.

Here are three ways to let the summer season guide your routine:

• Mix Up Movement: After months of indoor exercise, you may be ready for a change of scenery. And summer is the ideal time to take a break from the treadmill and incorporate different types of movement and exercise into your lifestyle. So ditch the gym this weekend and head for greener pastures. From row boating to hiking, you’ll find yourself activating different muscles than you normally would by mixing things up.

• Eat In-Season Produce: Take advantage of the summer harvest and plan meals around in-season produce. The USDA lists apples, beets, bell peppers, kiwifruit, carrots, garlic, peaches, okra and cherries, amongst many more fruits and vegetables that reach their peak in the summer months. These items are a chock full of vitamins and nutrients and taste their best in summer.

• Summer Sun: Beyond the Vitamin D factor, a study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology shows that sunlight may lower blood pressure, which could reduce one’s risk for heart attack and stroke. Some researchers now say the benefits of sunlight could outweigh cancer risks associated with exposure. Don’t forget to take the usual precautions, however. Wear sunglasses, sunscreen and a wide brimmed hat to protect against harmful UV radiation.

COTTON STATEMENT ON THE PASSAGE OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ARTHORIZATION ACT
Washington, D.C. - Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today released the following statement on the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act:

“For the last several years Congress has been derelict in one of its most important duties: providing for a common defense. But the policy agenda set forth in this bill signals the tides are shifting. The additional funding provided by the Overseas Contingency Operation fund rolls back the constraints on our military put in place by sequestration. This means our national-security strategy can once again begin to drive our military budget, rather than the budget setting our strategy.

“The final bill contains several provisions I proposed that will help make Arkansas and America safer and stronger. First, this legislation provides for the ability to explore additional uses for arsenal land in Jefferson County the Army is no longer using. This will allow for new development opportunities while maintaining important safeguards that ensure the Pine Bluff Arsenal will continue to play a vital role in our nation’s defense. The bill also contains three amendments I offered to strengthen the transfer standards for Guantanamo Bay detainees. The individuals housed at Guantanamo Bay are hardened terrorists and we must ensure any transferred detainee does not return to the fight and once again threaten the United States.

“Military strength and moral confidence in the defense of America’s national security are critical to our prosperity.  This legislation puts our national defense on the right track and lets our aggressors know they will pay an unspeakable price for challenging the United States.” 

GOVERNOR HUTCHINSON'S WEEKLY COLUMN: ARKANSAS'S ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT
In 2009, a 21-year-old interior design major at the University of Arkansas took a risk, trusted her gut, and started her own business on just $100. Today, that business — a clothing boutique called Riffraff — is a million-dollar operation with storefront locations in Fayetteville and Dallas and a strong online presence.
Owner Kirsten Stuckey, now 28, first started Riffraff mainly as a refurbished furniture store that also sold jewelry and clothing. But as customers continued to buy out the store’s small clothing inventory, she quickly geared toward consumer demand — which was for that trademark Riffraff style that combines modern millennial tastes and sweet Southern charm. You can thank Stuckey and Riffraff for popularizing the use of the state geographic outline on T-shirts and other items.
Kirsten launched her store in what is currently the state’s strongest start-up business climate, Northwest Arkansas. With a supportive community and up-and-coming merchandise, Riffraff took off fast.
In its first year, Riffraff had more than $100,000 in sales, mostly to local customers. This year, the company projects some $6 million in sales; it employs 42 people — all under the age of 25. And, recently, Inc. magazine named Kirsten Stuckey one of its “30-under-30” business owners for 2015.
In the coming years, Kirsten hopes to open a third Riffraff store, and to make ShopRiffraff.com and online branch “Charlie Southern” nationwide names. Her $100 investment has turned into a small industry.
Since day one, Kirsten has used social media to promote Riffraff and later help gauge her buying inventory. She also taps into that growing network of other small-business owners in Arkansas who lend advice.
Over the last five years, more than 300 start-up businesses have launched in Northwest Arkansas. It’s no surprise. Arkansas is an ideal location for starting a business. According to a CNBC study, Arkansas boasts the nation’s second-lowest cost of doing business. Our long tradition of innovation and pioneering spirit, along with Arkansas’s increasingly friendlier tax structure, compliments our proximity to 40 percent of the nation’s population and major business centers.
Then there’s that intangible Arkansas spirit. It’s embodied by Kirsten Stuckey — an entrepreneur with talent, vision and the courage to put herself out there. To take a chance. To risk failure to make her own way in the world.
As Governor, I want government to enable the Kirsten Stuckeys, and not get in their way. After all, they’re chasing their own version of the American Dream, and we need to ensure that there is no better place to dream than right here in Arkansas

June 18, 2015

SAAC ANNOUNCES CAST OF “THE WIZARD OF OZ”
The South Arkansas Arts Center announces the cast of the 2015 summer musical “The Wizard of Oz.” The Murphy USA sponsored production opens in the Callaway Theatre on Thursday, July 16 for 10 performances only. The SAAC box office will open for tickets on June 24.

Over 100 talented adults, teens, and children from across southern Arkansas recently traveled to El Dorado to take part in a two day audition process, which included singing, dancing, and reading from the script. The production team of Darrin Riley, Delaine Gates, Karen Watkins, and Stacy Hawking has selected the following to bring the classic fantasy to life.

Sophia Meyer of El Dorado will portray Dorothy Gale. Rounding out the Gale family are Kari Gatewood of Smackover as Aunt Em and Bob Stephenson of El Dorado as Uncle Henry.  Joel Cheshier of El Dorado will portray Hickory/TinMan, with Yancey Kyle of El Dorado as Zeke/Cowardly Lion, and D. Brent Miller of Warren as Hunk/Scarecrow.

Kaitlyn Mahaffey of Camden will portray Glinda and Lauren Johnson of El Dorado will portray her nemesis the Wicked Witch of the West.  Jim Roomsburg of El Dorado will portray Professor Marvel/The Wizard, and special guest star Rob Bosanko as Oz, the Great and Powerful.

The ensemble of talented actors, singers, and dancers who will create all of the other denizens of Baum’s fantastical world are: Alec Aziz-Antal; Rebecca Briggs; Andrell Brown; Carmelo Brown; Jordan Burns; Mikaylee Burns; Monique Cooper; Jaylynn Crawford; Jonathan Cruz; Avery Davidson; McCoy Davidson; Myles Dennis; Josie Denson; James Keith Dixon; Charlsie Falcon; Daniel Frazier; Caty Gallipeaux; Alec Gatewood; Haven Gathright; Abby Rayne Geist; Kennedy Haire; Ianna Hernandez; Elisabeth Hotard; Lydia King; Madeline Kneeland; Hannah May Kyle; Tallis Kyle;  and Katherine Kuhn.

The cast also includes: Addison Lange; Bailey Lange; Ellie Larson; Emilia Meinert; Maggie Meyer; Hali Pinson; Brooklynn Price; Holly Roomsburg; Camden Sanford; Delilah Slater; Christen Talley; Kennedy Wells; Destiny White; and Jacqueline Wood.

For more information about the production, contact the SAAC box office at 862-5474 or visit saac-arts.org.
OZ cast


The cast of “The Wizard of Oz” begin rehearsals for the South Arkansas Arts Center’s production of one of the world’s most beloved musicals.

PANEL REPORT SUGGESTS MENTAL HEALTH FOCUSED PRISON REFORM COULD SAVE ARKANSAS $140m/YEAR
On Thursday, the Arkansas Public Policy Panel is presenting to state legislators a report on the potential benefits of mental health reform in our prison system.

The report suggests diverting people with mental illness into treatment crisis centers rather than jails could provide better medical and mental-health care at a fraction of the cost of incarceration.

One year's worth of trial and jail time for each person costs the state about 20 times as much as crisis treatment and counseling would for the same person with mental problems. 

The report estimates the savings at close to $140 million each year, with the added benefit of reduced recidivism, and reduced criminal behavior in the future. 

The Arkansas Behavioral Health Treatment Access Legislative Task Force will meet on Thursday, June 18, 2015, at 1:30 P.M. in Room B of the MAC Building, Little Rock, Arkansas. 

BOOZMAN HIGHLIGHTS ARKANSANS’ CONCERNS WITH WOTUS RULE ON SENATE FLOOR
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) highlighted the potential impact the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) overreaching “waters of the United States”  (WOTUS) rule would have on Arkansas and shared the concerns of Arkansans during a speech on the Senate floor.

“The Obama Administration wants to give bureaucrats in Washington control of almost all water in Arkansas. For the past year Arkansas farmers and ranchers have shared with me their concerns of this EPA overreach. I want to share some comments that I recently received,” Boozman said before reading emails from residents in Lonsdale and Trumann.

Boozman encouraged support for the Federal Water Quality Protection Act, bipartisan legislation he supported last week in the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee that protects our nation’s water and the rights of landowners.

In March, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge testified before the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry about the negative impact the WOTUS rule would have on Arkansas and questioned the legal basis for the proposed rule.

ADEQ LAUNCHES MOBILE COMPLAINTS APP FOR APPLE USERS
Those carrying iPhones and iPads can now use the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality’s mobile app that allows users anywhere in the state to report environmental hazards directly from some smart phones. A similar app was introduced for Android users in November 2014.

“We are excited to be offer user-friendly technology to improve agency response to potential issues. With this announcement we will be able to expand the number of users who will be able to access our complaints app, and we hope members of the public take advantage of it,” Director Becky Keogh said. “These tools not only help the public, but they help our inspectors enormously by being able to see what citizens are seeing before they even arrive at a site.”

The mobile app is available in the Apple App Store. (Android users can find the app in the Google Play Store.) Simply search for ADEQ and tap “Get” when the app, which features ADEQ’s seal, comes up.

The apps allow Arkansans to report environmental hazards in real time. To file a complaint, you must provide a Complaint Type (Air, Hazardous Waste, Water, unknown, etc.), and a description of the potential violation. Users also need to provide the county, and the location or driving directions. Users will also be able to add photos of the potential hazard. Photos taken within the ADEQ app will be geotagged with GPS coordinates if GPS location services are enabled on the device. Contact information may be provided, but it is not required. Users will be able to review all complaint information prior to submission.

Those in areas without cell service can save a complaint and submit it when they regain cell service.

The photos and GPS coordinates will help inspectors better pinpoint the location of a specific complaint, Keogh said. Recently, the department updated its complaints webpage to allow users to upload photos.

“Our inspectors investigate all complaints, but sometimes conditions can change very rapidly,” Keogh said. “Having photos really shows our inspectors exactly why a given complaint was filed and what the person filing it was seeing. A picture really is worth 1,000 words.”

An ADEQ inspector will follow up with anyone who submits a complaint and provides contact information. Complaints can also be submitted anonymously. ADEQ inspectors follow up on all complaints, which can also be submitted online at http://www.adeq.state.ar.us/home/complaints.htm, in person, or by calling ADEQ at 501-682-0744. Each year ADEQ receives around 400 complaints online. Complaints and inspections can be viewed online by selecting the databases menu on ADEQ’s homepage at www.adeq.state.ar.us and scrolling down to “ADEQ Complaints and Inspections.”

 

4 WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR SMALL BUSINESS FROM CYBER CRIME4 Ways to Protect Your Small Business from Cyber Crime
(StatePoint) Network breaches at corporate giants typically make headlines, but nearly half of small and mid-sized businesses have been victims of cybercrime on America’s Main Street. And “the bigger they are, the harder they fall” doesn’t apply. Big companies often survive to fight another day, but many smaller businesses go out of business within six months of an attack.

“While network breaches at Sony, Target and Anthem grab the spotlight, nearly 44 percent of small businesses have already been affected by cyber attacks,” says Corey Nachreiner, chief technology officer at WatchGuard, a leading cyber security company. “Hackers are zeroing in on your favorite burger joint, the corner hardware store and your dentist. Every small business is a target.”

Small and mid-sized businesses often have limited resources to devote to network security, and typically have smaller safety nets. But four simple steps can help such businesses secure their valuable data and help keep their customers’ information safe:

• Software patches: This is one of the most important steps a small business can take. More than 90 percent of Internet exploits leverage old flaws. Take advantage of free software updates from manufacturers to patch your operating system and other applications, and apply firmware updates to your hardware.

• Upgrade your protection: Despite sophisticated new cyber threats, many small businesses still rely on basic firewall technology. Advanced security devices include next-generation firewalls and unified threat management appliances that are designed to stop today’s broad array of attacks. What’s more, these technologies are now cost-effective and easy for small businesses to manage.

• Strong password policy: Make sure you and your employees use strong passwords, and that the same one isn’t used everywhere. Adopting a password manager for your organization is an easy way to help employees use effective passwords and keep them safe.

• Awareness training: All the defenses in the world may not prevent an employee from making a silly mistake. Train your employees on Internet safety so they’re wary of attachments or links in emails, even if they seem to come from people they trust.

To learn more, you can download a new free ebook “The Cyber Crime Guide for Small and Midsize Businesses,” at http://secure.watchguard.com/CyberCrime-eBook.html.

Don’t become a statistic. With small steps, you can better protect your business against cyber threats.

Visit the church page at yesradoworks.com to find out about all the church activities taking place around South Arkansas. If your church has an upcoming event fax the information to 836-9500 or you can submit your event on the church page.

June 17, 2015

SHERIFF DAVID NORWOOD ADDRESSES OPEN CARRY
Ouachita County Sheriff David Norwood has been asked by many residents to make a statement regarding Ouachita Counties policy regarding open carry of fire arms. The following is a release from the Sheriff. “Due to the recent statement by Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, I have been asked to make a news release on my thoughts about Act 746, Open Carry. The Ouachita County Sheriff’s Department will not arrest people for Open Carry as long as their intentions are lawful. Each call received regarding Open Carry will be handled on a case-by-case basis and left up to the deputy investigating the call. Since we live in a rural and hunting county, we deal with people with people with firearms on many occasions. All I ask is that citizens of Ouachita county use common sense about Act 746 and be respectful of organizations and businesses that do not want firearms in their establishments. Act 746 will be tested throughout the State and we will see new rules and regulations regarding people being able to open carry in the future”

CARNES PARK ANNOUNCES SUMMER HOURS AND PROGRAMS
It has been a major ordeal this year to get Carnes Park Pool ready to open. First there was so much rain nothing could be done. When the pumps were turned on a major pipe blew out. The part had to be ordered from Chicago and took quite awhile to get in. The pipe was repaired and crews had to start all over with water treatment. Finally the pool is ready, has passed inspection and been certified. The Christian Sports Association, the group running the pool this summer, released summer hours and programs.  Aquatic Exercise will begin on June 18th for the morning session and June 23rd for the evening sessions. Morning sessions will be Monday through Friday from 9 to 10AM each morning. Evening sessions will be on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7:15 to 8:!5PM. The cost of the Aquatic Exercise Classes are $3.00 per person per session. Monthly passes are available for both morning and evening sessions. Swimming lessons will be by appointment only Tuesday through Saturday from 10:30AM until 12:30PM. Recreational Swimming will be on Tuesdays and Thursday from 2PM until 7PM, Wednesday from 2PM until 5PM and Friday and Saturday from 2PM until 8PM. Cost is $3.00 per person. This Thursday and Friday, June 18th and 19th swim free. Private Pool Parties are by appointment only. You can schedule a private party on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 8:30 to 10:30PM Swim team practice will be Monday through Friday from 7 to 9AM. 
For appointments contact the Carnes Park Pool at 870-837-5577 or call Raven at 870-489-0953

AMERICAN RED CROSS INTRODUCES RAPIDPASS
The American Red Cross is excited to introduce RapidPass, a new tool that allows blood donors to help save lives in less time. RapidPass offers donors a way to complete their pre-reading and donation questions online from the comfort and privacy of their home or office; reducing the time they spend at the blood drive by up to 15 minutes. That means happier donors! RapidPass will be available in the Camden area on July 27th. Blood donors at your blood drive on or after July 27th can take advantage of this exciting new tool. Your donors will be asked to try RapidPass in their appointment reminders and through other Red Cross contacts, but a personal ask from you is even better. It's simple! Your donors just:

  1. Visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass
  2. Read the information
  3. Answer the questions
  4. Print the pass or email it to yourself

Important things to know!

  • RapidPass cannot be completed prior to the date of the drive.
  • Donors must complete the steps to redeem their pass on the day they donate.
  • Donors who do not bring the printed pass with them to their donation or cannot show it on a mobile device will be asked to complete the questions again.
  • RapidPass does not take the place of scheduling an appointment.
  • Donor are encouraged to schedule their appointments in the same way they have done in the past.
  • RapidPass may result in greater participation at your blood drive, since the donors have committed time to their donation before they come to your blood drive.

The Camden area is one of the first to use this exciting new system. The Red Cross encourages as many donors as possible to give RapidPass a try. It will benefit you and your donors, and also help us gain valuable knowledge as we look to rollout RapidPass nationwide. Your feedback will help improve the processes and is important to the Red Cross. Saving lives is important to you and your donors, and everyone's time is valuable. Make the most of it with RapidPass.

CONSUMER ALERT: BOATING SAFETY
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansans are looking for ways to cool down during the long summer days. Many will head to one of the State’s beautiful lakes or rivers. With more than 200,000 boats registered statewide according to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, many residents spend a lot of time boating to beat the heat. But boaters need to remember to be cautious on the water. A 14-year-old girl was killed in Arkansas Thursday in a jet ski accident, and a Missouri man was killed on Saturday after lightning struck his boat. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued today’s consumer alert to caution Arkansans about the potential dangers of boating. “Nearly all boating accidents are preventable,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “In order for summer to be both fun and safe, it is vital that all boaters remain attentive, wear proper personal flotation devices and take precautions to avoid major accidents.” Last year, 72 boating accidents were reported by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, with operator inattention being the number one cause. Alcohol was the contributing factor in eight of those accidents during 2014. Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips to boat safely:
-Check local weather conditions before departure. If you notice darkening clouds, volatile or rough winds or sudden drops in temperatures, stay off the water.
-Create and follow a pre-departure checklist to ensure no boating safety rules or precautions have been forgotten or overlooked.
-Have a first aid kit, signaling devices, a boat anchor, marine VHF radio and a cellphone on board in case of emergencies.
-Be alert at all times and stay clear of large vessels that may experience difficulty turning or stopping. Always respect buoys and other navigational aids.
-Designate an assistant skipper in case the primary navigator is injured or incapacitated in any way. --
-Inform family or friends of your plans, where you are going and how long you are going to be gone. -
-Make sure everyone is assigned a proper-fitting life jacket. Arkansas law requires children 12 and under to wear a life jacket at all times boating or swimming.
|-Avoid alcohol while boating.

Attorney General Rutledge also reminds Arkansans that lawmakers recently increased the penalties for boating while intoxicated to match those of driving while intoxicated. It is illegal to operate or physically control a boat if the individual is under the influence of alcohol. This means that a first offense could land intoxicated boaters in jail up to one year, a $1,000 fine and driver’s license suspension for six months. Meanwhile, state and federal laws prohibit depositing waste of any kind, including trash, oil and other liquid pollutants into bodies of waters. Violators could be charged with a misdemeanor and fined up to $1,000. More safety tips can be found on websites of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, U.S. Coast Guard or U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. For information on tips to avoid getting scammed, as well as other consumer related issues, call the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office at (800) 482-8982 or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.

June 16, 2015

BODY OF MAN FOUND IN CREEK BED
The body of a local man was discovered in a creek bed yesterday afternoon. The following is the press release given to us by Camden Police Chief Bo Woody this morning.

"On June 15, 2015 at 3:43 pm, individuals walking over a bridge on cash Road near Highway 278 looked over and saw a body lying on the edge of the creek. Officers with the Camden Police Department responded to the scene where they did confirm the body of James Lee Davis, 57 year old, black male of Camden, lying face down next to the creek. There were no visible signs of trauma and it appears that the body had been there for several days or possibly floated there from another location due to the flooding in the recent days. The body has been sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for an autopsy and possible cause of death. This investigation will be treated as a homicide until further information is obtained. Arkansas State Police investigators were also called to the scene to assist.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Davis' family and friends.

OUACHITA ELECTRIC POWER OUTAGE
There has been a transmission outage for Ouachita Electric. All Ouachita Electric customers are out north and east of the River. This includes the communities of Sparkman, Banks, Hampton, Harmony Grove all of the Highland Industrial Park and all areas in between. Ouachita Electric has assessed the problem and are try to get equipment in to fix it. There is no estimated time for restoration. will keep this radio station updated as they know more. 


SILVER OAKS HEALTH AND REHABILITATION RECEIVES BRONZE NATIONAL QUALITY AWARD
AR center recognized by national program for commitment to quality care

Camden, ARSilver Oaks Health and Rehabilitation has been recognized as a 2015 recipient of the Bronze – Commitment to Quality Award for its dedication to improving the lives of residents through quality care. The award is the first of three distinctions possible through the National Quality Award Program, presented by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL). The program honors centers across the nation that have demonstrated their commitment to improving quality care for seniors and individuals with disabilities.

“It is a great honor to be recognized by AHCA/NCAL with a National Quality Award,” said Kathy Langley, Administrator of Silver Oaks Health and Rehabilitation.  “Improving the lives of the residents and families we care for every day is what brings us joy.  This award symbolizes the dedication and commitment we have to the quality journey.”

Implemented by AHCA/NCAL in 1996, the National Quality Award Program is centered on the core values and criteria of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. The program assists providers of long term and post-acute care services in achieving their performance excellence goals.

The program has three levels: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Centers begin the quality improvement process at the Bronze level, where they develop an organizational profile with essential performance elements such as vision and mission statements and an assessment of customers’ expectations. Bronze applicants must also demonstrate their ability to implement a performance improvement system. Trained Examiners review each Bronze application to determine if the center has met the demands of the criteria. As a recipient of the Bronze - Commitment to Quality Award, Silver Oaks may now move forward in developing approaches and achieving performance levels that meet the criteria required for the Silver - Achievement in Quality Award.

“Silver Oaks has demonstrated its commitment to providing quality care and I commend them for that,” said the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Board of Overseers Chair Christine Boldt. “I encourage Silver Oaks to continue their quality journey by striving for the Silver and Gold levels.”

The awards are sponsored by AHCA/NCAL Associate Business Members My InnerView, by National Research Corporation and PointRight. My InnerView represents the true voice of nursing home and assisted living residents, families, and employees with the most insightful quality measurement solutions and satisfaction surveys in the healthcare continuum. PointRight is the recognized leader in data-driven analytics for health care and insurance. Silver Oaks was one of 545 centers to receive the Bronze level award. The award will be presented to Silver Oaks during AHCA/NCAL’s 66th Annual Convention and Exposition, October 4-7, 2015, in San Antonio, Texas.

PHONE SCAM
Be aware, there is a cell phone line hijacking scam going on now. Hundreds of people in the Joplin Missouri area alone have been affected.  An "AT&T" customer service rep will call you asking you to complete a short survey and for your trouble you will receive a one time $20 credit per line.  Sometime after completing this survey one or more of you lines will be hijacked, deactivating your phone and requiring you to call AT&T have that line suspended, then you will have to go to an AT&T wireless store and get new SIM card(s) and have your line(s) reactivated, and talk to the AT&T Fraud department to get all of the bogus services and charges that were added to your account removed. While there have been no reports of this scam in our immediate area it is always good to be informed so if or when the scam hits us, we will know not to fall for it.

CITIES BENEFIT FROM ADEQ REDEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS
The vacant lots at 403 and 405 Holman Street in Brookland aren’t much to look at these days ‑- just cleared patches of dirt that get muddy in the rain -- but Mayor Kenneth Jones has big plans for them.

He hopes the site will soon be home to a building housing a library and a museum celebrating the city’s history, one big enough to display the fire engine used to start the Brookland’s fire department in 1941. Depending on how successful fundraising efforts are, the building could open in 2016, the mayor said. Blueprints for the project drawn by Brookland High School EAST lab students hang on the wall in Council Chambers.

“We haven’t had a library in years,” Jones said showing off the blueprints shortly after a March ceremony marking the city’s completion of the Arkansas Brownfield Program.

The site’s redevelopment was made possible because of assistance provided through the Arkansas Brownfield Program as well as a grant from the Arkansas Asbestos Abatement Grant Program administered by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ).

“It allowed the city to do something we couldn’t do without [ADEQ’s] help,” Jones said.” It was just great assistance all around. Ya’ll made it happen for us.”

The Arkansas Brownfield Program was established in 1995 to redevelop properties with real or perceived contamination from hazardous substance. A brownfield is a property where commercial, industrial or agricultural use may have contaminated the site, thereby complicating prospects for expansion, redevelopment or reuse.

Act 489 of 2013 established the Arkansas Asbestos Abatement Grant Program, which allows eligible cities and counties to seek grants from ADEQ. The department is allowed to award up to $150,000 each fiscal year to fund qualified asbestos abatement projects.  Municipalities must meet a number of criteria to receive the grants. For instance, a city can’t have a population of more than 30,000 in order to qualify.

The Brookland properties were once home to a bank and a mercantile and grocery store. The cleanup involved asbestos abatement and removing an unregistered underground storage tank containing kerosene. Cleanup efforts were already underway when the building at 405 Holman Street collapsed on Oct. 29, 2013.

The city received the $55,200 asbestos grant after the collapse. Building debris blocked the sidewalk in front of the property and partially blocked a lane of traffic. A 2010 Environmental Site Assessment found asbestos in the flooring and walls and in the caulking and putty around the windows and doors in both buildings.

The grant paid for a structural inspection, site supervision, and the removal and disposal of asbestos. The project was completed in June 2014.

Brookland also qualified for a Targeted Brownfields Assessment, a type of technical assistance participants in the nonprofit or public sectors can take advantage of if they meet certain criteria. Such assessments include sampling to determine what contaminants exist and which areas need to be cleaned up. ADEQ employees provide technical assistance and oversee the assessments. Of the 39 brownfield cleanups completed to date, 25 have received Targeted Brownfields Assessment assistance.

The Brookland site was one of three to receive an Arkansas Brownfield Program certificate of completion from ADEQ so far in 2015. 

The City of Stamps was recognized in March for completing a cleanup to address groundwater contamination and waste at the Red River Aluminum and Lowe Street Properties at 1179 Highway 82. The 123-acre site was most recently used by Red River Aluminum, which started operations there in 1987 as a secondary aluminum smelting operation.

Stamps Mayor David Bright hopes the cleaned up property will draw industry. “Lafayette County needs something to generate money and we want to turn this problem around.” 

He’s grateful for the assistance the city received. “ADEQ has been great to work with,” he said at the March ceremony. “We wanted to get this old site cleaned up, but our city couldn’t afford it.  So we are so thankful for the Brownfield Program coming in and addressing this.”

Caraway Mayor Barry Riley, who accepted a certificate of completion on behalf of his city in March for completing a cleanup at the former Basler Electric site at 202 South New York Street, said the city is exploring whether to enroll another property in the Arkansas Brownfield Program. “If we buy a property [the program] could save us money down the road.”

Since the Arkansas Brownfield Program was created, 108 locations around the state have been enrolled in the program. Other completed projects include the Heifer International Headquarters and Our House Inc. children’s center, both in Little Rock; the Martindale Clinic site in Hope; and the Plainview Conoco Site.

More information on the Arkansas Brownfield program can be found online at http://www2.adeq.state.ar.us/hazwaste/bf/default.htm. Information on asbestos abatement can be viewed at www.adeq.state.ar.us/air/asbestos/asbestos.htm.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet at noon on Wednesday June 17th at Catherines Bistro. The Guest Speaker this week will be Beth Ann Rankin. She will be educating the group about the Gift AR 529 College Investing Plan which is a powerful 529 program offered by the State of Arkansas to help you can help make college a reality for your children. Best of all, your GIFT Plan account can be used for any eligible institution in the United States and abroad. Visit the Noon Lions Club this week to learn more about the plan.

NATIONAL MUCIC DAY: MAKE MUSIC A BIGGER PART OF YOUR FAMILY’S LIFE(StatePoint) Researchers say that music can bring many benefits to your life -- and for households that incorporate music into their daily lifestyle, these benefits can extend to everyone in the family.

According to a survey conducted by Casio America, Inc., a leading manufacturer of digital pianos and keyboards, more than 80 percent of U.S. parents said they played a musical instrument as children.  And nearly three in five parents say it is extremely or very important that their children learn a musical instrument. This National Music Day, celebrated on June 21, discover ways you can make and appreciate music in your home and bring the family closer together.

See a Show
Step out of your weekend routine by taking the family to see a musical or concert. There are opportunities in every community to see musical theater or live music, and watching others on stage can be inspiring for kids who may be interested in taking up an instrument or other performing art.

Join the Band
In many school districts, music education starts early. Investigate your school’s music programming as early as possible and sign the kids up for chorus, band or the school play. The earlier kids get started on music education, the better. Motivate them to keep up the good work with private music lessons, new music books and other tools to master their instruments. Let your kids know music is important by prioritizing practice just as much as homework.

Bring it Home
Mastering the piano or keyboard is one of the best ways to learn music fundamentals. There are affordable, space-conscious ways to keep a high-quality instrument in your home. From full-size digital pianos with keys that feel like ebony and ivory and feature four positions of piano lid simulation, to portable keyboards with mini keys, perfect for little fingers. For these features and more, check out Casio’s full line of digital pianos and keyboards, which offers features like built-in microphones, lighted keys, an innovative lesson system that evaluates performance and tracks progress, among others. More information can be found at www.CasioMusicGear.com.

Movie Night
Break out the popcorn and watch an inspiring movie about music appreciation that the whole family will love like “High School Musical” and “Pitch Perfect.” If you have kids signed up for band, consider “Mr. Holland’s Opus,” or “Drumline.”

This National Music Day and beyond, make music a bigger part of your family’s life.

June 15, 2015

COMMUNITY FARMERS MARKET OPENS
The Community Farmers Market saw he opening of the Camden Farmers' Market Saturday from 10AM until 2PM. Local vendors were in attendance with fresh produce, Avon products and more. There was face painting for the kids and hot dogs and tea for all. Remember to support your local farmers. If you take a small portion of the money you spend at the grocery store to support local farmers, the grocery store will never notice but you can make a difference in the lives of your local farmers.


29th Annual Bearden Gazebo Festival
Thursday June 18, 2015
6:00 - Bearden’s Got Talent in the Bearden School auditorium. Ages 5 and up are welcome to enter, you do not have to live in Bearden to participate. Age divisions are 5-12yrs, 13-17yrs, and 18&up. 1st and 2nd place in each division, one overall winner, and one overall people’s choice. $5 entry fee; $2 admission at the door.

Friday June 19, 2015
5:30    Parade; Line up begins at 5:00 at the Bearden High School. Free to enter!
6:00    Trophy Presentation for the Bearden Ball League Teams
6:30-7::30 Telematic
7:45-10:00     No Excuses      (STREET DANCE)
Saturday June 20, 2015
EVENTS
9:00-2:00       Car Show; Registration 9:00-10:00; $15 entry fee. Contact Cleo Beard @ 870-687-1451 for more info.
8:30-2:00       3rd Annual Rib Cook Off    $100 entry fee; Cash Prize for 1st-3rd place. Contact Melissa Faucett @ 870-833-1843 for more info.
3:00                4th Annual Baggo Tournament    $30 per team; double elimination tournament. Contact Melissa Faucett @ 870-833-1843.

Saturday June 20, 2015
ENTERTAINMENT

11:00-1:00     Harmony
1:15-1:45       Expressions of Praise & Unity Dancers
1:50-2:05       Elle Ables-dancer
2:10-2:40       Taylor Hall
3:00-4:30       Shanna Dorey and Company
4:30                New City Flag Presentation by Mayor Russell Davis
4:35-5:05       Macy Brown
5:10-5:25       Johanna Wright
5:30-6:00       Emma Beard
6:05-7:05       Big Intentions-Ken Juniel
7:30-9:30       Zac Dunlap Band   (HEADLINER)
9:35                Raffle winners
9:40                Shanna Dorey-National Anthem
9:45                FIREWORKS

Craft Booths, Food, entertainment, games & bounce houses for kids, Bingo, cakewalk, and much more!! Booth Space is still available for $35. Contact Melissa Faucett at 870-833-1843 for more info.

THE 44th ANNUAL SMACKOVER OIL TOWN FESTIVAL RETURNS!
June 18th - 20th, Thursday-Saturday,`in Downtown Smackover Arkansas
Join Smackover for the 44th Annual SMACKOVER OIL TOWN FESTIVAL for FREE family fun. The Smackover Oil Town Festival, recently named in the “top five festivals of Arkansas” by the national website “Only In Your State.com”, will be held Thursday-Saturday, June 18th-20th in Beautiful Downtown Smackover Arkansas. Join thousands from around the region at this unique event for the entire family! This family festival features free concerts every night. Attendees can enjoy horseshoe pitching, arm wrestling, turtle races, bingo, Bunco, dog shows, rod wrenching, a drill bit toss, pipe tote, rib cook-off, children’s activities, 5K Oil Run, the world famous yellow duck race down No Name Creek, a myriad of vendor booths and festival food favorites and Much Much more. Free Concerts with Live Music Acts include: Southern Gospel favorites, The McMillans, The Cummins Prison Band, The region’s best party band, Windstorm, Festival favorite, Lainey Wilson, Country Stars, RiverBilly And More! 
Schedule of events is:
THURSDAY - JUNE 18TH
BUNKO TOURNAMENT
Free Gospel Concert- TERRY LYNE MOORE
Free Gospel Concert- THE McMILLANS

FRIDAY - JUNE 19TH
WATERMELON EATING CONTEST
CAKE WALK
BINGO @ Lions Club
Free Concert- CUMMINS PRISON BAND
Free Concert- WINDSTORM

SATURDAY - JUNE 20TH
RIB - COOK OFF
5-K OIL RUN
3 ON 3 BASKETBALL - High School Gym
OIL TOWN DOG SHOW
KIDS EVENTS/WATER SLIDES
DRILL BIT THROWING CONTEST
TURTLE RACE
ROD WRENCHING
EGG TOSS
TUG A WAR
PIPE TOTE
ARM WRESTLING
DUCK RACE
Free Concert- GABLE BRADLEY BAND
Free Concert- LAINEY WILSON
Free Concert- RIVERBILLY

RUTLEDGE REQUESTS INTERVENTION IN REGIONAL HAZE CASE AFTER EPA CONTINUALLY REJECT STATE PLANS FROM ADEQ
Says, ‘The EPA should put the interests of Arkansas far ahead of the Sierra Club’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released a statement after submitting a motion to intervene in the case, Sierra Club v. McCarthy. Despite the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) submitting robust plans to combat regional haze, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is attempting to promulgate a Federal Implementation Plan for Regional Haze that fails to consider the best interests for Arkansas. 
“This is a classic example of a ‘sue and settle’ case,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The EPA agreed to the demands of the Sierra Club without any real litigation of the issues and without input from the State. Recent data shows that visibility impairment is improving in Arkansas and this federal rule is unnecessary. It is my duty to protect Arkansans from rate increases that will negatively impact them and offer zero benefit to Arkansas beyond those proposed by the State Plans. I am confident the State will be granted intervention in this case. The EPA should put the interests of Arkansans far ahead of the Sierra Club’s political interests.” The request for intervention follows Rutledge submitting public comments in response to a proposed consent decree in the case. The comments requested that the EPA withdraw the proposed settlement citing that the plan is inconsistent with the Clean Air Act. In the comments, Rutledge also said that the Sierra Club lacks standing to bring the suit, Sierra Club v. McCarthy, which gave rise to the settlement. Rutledge is requesting intervention after the EPA held a public hearing in Arkansas on the proposed Federal Implementation Plan for Regional Haze

PARENTS: tIPS TO SUPPORT HEALTHY HYDRATION
(StatePoint) Parents often wonder how to maintain their kids’ health. One important step that may be overlooked is to ensure that young children are properly hydrated. It can also be a challenge for parents to create a menu kids will enjoy that meets the recommended Daily Value (DV) of vitamins and nutrients. “By including U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-certified organic fruits and vegetables in your children’s diets, you can help ensure your child is staying hydrated from the water in them, while also consuming the necessary vitamins, minerals and protein that they need to grow healthy and strong,” says Dr. Deena Blanchard, Pediatrician at Premier Pediatrics in New York City and a consultant for Ella’s Kitchen brand, which makes organic food for babies, toddlers and kids. “Nutritional shakes provide proteins, vitamins, and minerals, the necessary building blocks of a healthy immune system, to supplement kids’ daily diets for complete nutrition; and electrolyte waters with naturally-occurring electrolytes can also help keep kids hydrated.” Dr. Blanchard recommends the following tips to help parents make good choices for their children.

• Hydrate children, especially when sick: When children are sick, the importance of proper hydration cannot be overestimated. If eating or drinking is difficult, try giving your child smaller amounts, more frequently. Choose water, 100 percent juice or drinks that contain naturally occurring electrolytes and other components that help support kids’ immune systems.
• Choose wisely: Watch out for artificial flavors, colors and preservatives as well as the amount of added sugars in sports drinks and other beverages. It is important to provide kids with beverages that are free of artificial ingredients and contain fruits and vegetables. You can be sure you’re avoiding those additions when you choose USDA organic beverages, such as Ella’s Kitchen Organic Coconut Water Electrolyte Drinks or their new Smoothie Drinks, which provide one full serving of fruit per 8 fluid ounces.
• Don’t forget to hydrate when playing sports: Kids can become dehydrated while playing sports or engaging in other physical activity. At the ballpark or playground, it is important to keep drinks on hand. Good choices include organic fruit and veggie purees, which contribute significant water to the diet and naturally-occurring electrolytes for natural rehydration.
• Supplement: Though vital to proper growth and development, meeting the recommended daily intake of vitamins and nutrients can be tough, especially for little ones who are picky eaters. A tasty, protein-packed nutritional shake can help parents ensure kids get the calories and nutrition they need. Consider trying Ella’s Kitchen Coconut + Milk Nutritional Shakes, which are made with certified USDA organic low-fat milk, fruit + veggie purees and coconut water, providing 44 percent of the recommended DV of protein, 30 percent DV of calcium, as well as vitamin B12, riboflavin, iodine and electrolytes. Made with ingredients parents recognize, these shakes provide a boost of nutrition with a taste that kids will enjoy.
Visit EllasKitchen.com for more options for healthy hydration and nutrition for the little ones. In the warmer months, proper hydration is especially crucial. Parents should seek out choices for kids that support a healthy immune system.

THIS FATHERS’S DAY: TIPS TO BALANCE FAMILY AND WORK LIFE
 (StatePoint) Professional obligations and family commitments can be at odds -- particularly for those who hold leadership positions or possess jobs with long hours. And many people learn that the hard way. 
“At one point, I became quite one-dimensional. It was all work and I had little time for family or other activities,” says Charles D. Morgan, CEO of PrivacyStar, who served as CEO of Acxiom Corporation from 1972 to 2008, overseeing the pioneering database marketing services and technology provider’s growth from 25 employees to 7,000. Morgan, a serial entrepreneur, reveals his work-life balance struggles in his new memoir, “Matters of Life and Data: The Remarkable Journey of a Big Data Visionary Whose Work Impacted Millions (Including You).”
While working at his first job at IBM as a systems engineer, Morgan was called back just a few days into his honeymoon due to an urgent office matter, marking the beginning of an all-consuming career. Despite ups and downs in both the professional and personal arenas, he eventually hammered out a successful career and a peaceful family life. In time for Father’s Day, Morgan is sharing some insights into the eternal challenge of striking the balance between competing interests.
• While you may feel compelled to be involved in every aspect of the business, delegating tasks to the people who can do a better job than you can will benefit both you and the company. So know your strengths and weaknesses for better time management.
• Find systems that simplify operations and make things happen faster, even if it means rocking the boat. For example, when titles were eliminated at Acxiom, the cultural shift didn’t make everyone happy, but in the end, the company became more efficient and flexible, giving everyone more time at the end of the day.
• No matter what you are wrestling with at work, be available for your children during the day. Make sure your kids know that they are important to you. Attend their recitals and ball games and find hobbies that you can share with them. Be reachable as much as possible. More information about the book can be found at www.mattersoflifeanddata.com. Father’s Day is the perfect opportunity for those struggling with the work-life balance to think about how to streamline work to make more time for family.

June 12, 2015

FIRE DESTROYS STEPHENS MUNICIPAL BUILDING
Submitted by Dennis Evans
Pictures courtesy of the Ouachita County Sheriffs Office

Fire destroyed the Stephens Municipal Building on Thursday night and continued to burn into early Friday morning. The fire was reported around 10:30 p.m. The Stephens and Buena Vista volunteer fire departments, and other units, responded but the building was lost. In addition to City Hall, the building also houses the office of Mayor Harry Brown, the city’s police and water departments, city court clerk, Stephens Chamber of Commerce and the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration revenue office. Amy Cornwell, a member of the Stephens City Council, said no one was hurt. Cornwell said that when she arrived, smoke was coming from a vent pipe and flames were pouring out of the second floor on the northwest corner of the building. “This is a very sad time for us here. So many memories were lost tonight, plus financial info,” Cornwell said in an email to magnoliareporter.com . Among the losses were Margie Wagnon’s 50 years of photographs from the Stephens Star weekly newspaper that were being organized for display in the Stephens Community Center, Cornwell said. A major concern with the fire disaster is the loss of computers that monitor the city’s water tanks, she said. A City Council meeting was planned for Monday night. The building is located on First Street in Stephens, which is U.S. 79. It is on the south side of the highway across from Stephens Security Bank. There was no immediate word on the cause of the fire.

                                                                                                   

June 10, 2015

FLUSH NOTICE
The Harmony Grove Water Association will begin flushing their water lines on June 16, 2015. This process will take about 7-10 days. When washing clothes please take precaution because this process could stir up sediment in the pipes until the process is complete. The HGWA is very sorry for the inconvenience this may cause, but it is a process designed to give the customer the best water quality possible. If you have any questions, please contact Mike Kidd at 870-807-6737.
 
SMACKOVER OIL TOWN FESTIVITIES
(Smackover Arkansas) –Join Smackover for the 44th Annual SMACKOVER OIL TOWN FESTIVAL for FREE family fun. The Smackover Oil Town Festival, recently named in the “top five festivals of Arkansas” by the national website “Only In Your State.com”, will be held Thursday-Saturday, June 18th-20th in Beautiful Downtown Smackover Arkansas. Join thousands from around the region at this unique event for the entire family! This family festival features free concerts every night. Attendees can enjoy horseshoe pitching, arm wrestling, turtle races, bingo, Bunco, dog shows, rod wrenching, drill bit toss, pipe tote, rib cook-off, children’s activities, 5K Oil Run, the world famous yellow duck race down No Name Creek, a myriad of vendor booths and festival food favorites and Much Much more.
 
Free Concerts with Live Music Acts include:
Southern Gospel favorites, The McMillans
The Cummins Prison Band
The region’s best party band, Windstorm
Festival favorite, Lainey Wilson
Country Stars, RiverBilly
And More!
 
Schedule of events is:
THURSDAY - JUNE 18TH
BUNKO TOURNAMENT • Free Gospel Concert- TERRY LYNE MOORE • Free Gospel Concert- THE McMILLANS
FRIDAY - JUNE 19TH
WATERMELON EATING CONTEST  • CAKE WALK • BINGO @ Lions Club
Free Concert- CUMMINS PRISON BAND • Free Concert- WINDSTORM
SATURDAY - JUNE 20TH
RIB - COOK OFF • 5-K OIL RUN • 3 ON 3 BASKETBALL - High School Gym • OIL TOWN DOG SHOW
KIDS EVENTS/WATER SLIDES • DRILL BIT THROWING CONTEST • TURTLE RACE • ROD WRENCHING
EGG TOSS • TUG A WAR • PIPE TOTE • ARM WRESTLING • HORSESHOE CONTEST  • DUCK RACE
Free Concert- GABLE BRADLEY BAND
Free Concert- LAINEY WILSON • Free Concert- RIVERBILLY
It’s all at the 44th Annual Smackover Oil Town Festival, June 18th - 20th in Beautiful Downtown Smackover (Broadway and 10th Street).
 
For times or questions please contact the Smackover Chamber of Commerce at: 870.725.3521, email smkovrcofc@sbcglobal.net, online at www.smackoverar.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/SmackoverOilTownFestival.

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT
ROBBERY AT ALLEN'S RESTAURANT
Officer Anthony Grummer, along with other officers of the Camden Police Department, were dispatched to Allen's Restaurant for a report of a robbery. Dispatch advised that the suspect, Jeffery McKinney was being held down by customers that were in the restaurant, in the alley by Bancorp South. According to an employee of Allen's McKinney entered the restaurant and asked to see the menu. She stated that she handed him a menu and walked to the back of the restaurant, when she looked back and saw McKinney's hand in the tip jar. The employee then stated she yelled "hey" and McKinney ran out of the eatery with $17.00 from the tip jar. Once he was caught, McKinney was searched and a small baggie of a suspected marijuana was found, along with a digital scale. McKinney was taken into custody for robbery, carrying a weapon, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of instrument of crime. After he was taken into custody, Sgt. Opelt cleared the pistol that was lying on the ground near McKinney, while he was being held down. Four bullets were located inside the revolver along with one spent shell. McKinney was transported to the Ouachia County Jail to await his first court appearance.

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORTS
Officer Sharlotte Elliot of the Camden Police Department was dispatched to Day & Night, for a suspicious vehicle parked on the side of the building. Upon arrival the officer observed a white 1991 Toyota Camry parked at the gas pump. The vehicle was occupied by two males. When questioned, the driver stated he was parked there for a short time. He said he was cleaning out his vehicle, prior to getting some gas. After a check, it was confirmed that the passenger had a valid warrant in the county. He was arrested and taken into custody.

Officer Sharlotte Elliot of the Camden Police Department, was dispatched to #2 Riverside Courts for a criminal trespass. Upon arrival, the officer observed a male whom she knew, standing outside of the apartment. When the officer exited her patrol unit, she observed the male run back inside the apartment. The officer then made contact with the resident, who stated that the other man was not inside the apartment. After the officer was given consent to search, a search was made inside the residence, and the male was found hiding in the shower. He was then taken into custody, the apartment resident was also arrested for obstructing governmental operations.

I-49 SHOOTING INCIDENT REMAINS ACTIVE STATE POLICE INVESTIGATION
The Arkansas State Police is continuing its investigation of a Monday morning (June 8th) shooting incident along I-49 near Mountainburg. Arkansas State Trooper Josh Elmore remains on administrative leave with pay while Special Agents of the department’s Criminal Investigation Division and Office of Professional Standards continue their independent investigations. Trooper Elmore, assigned to the Arkansas State Police Highway Patrol Division, Troop H in Crawford County, is 27 years old and has been a State Trooper for approximately one year.  State Police policy requires a State Trooper to be placed on administrative leave with pay in the aftermath of using deadly force that results in the wounding or death of a person. Agents are continuing to assemble forensic evidence, witness statements and audio/video recordings which will be turned-over to Marc McCune, 21st Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney.  Prosecutor McCune will review the investigative file to determine whether deadly force used by Trooper Elmore was consistent with state laws. At approximately 6:20 AM Monday, Trooper Elmore, while on patrol along I-49, encountered Gil Antonio Ramirez Lemus walking along the southbound shoulder of the interstate highway. Trooper Elmore exited his patrol car and approached Lemus on foot.  Lemus refused to comply with orders directed to him by Trooper Elmore.  Lemus became combative as Trooper Elmore moved toward him. Lemus fled into the traffic lanes of I-49 forcing traffic to stop and continued to ignore Trooper Elmore’s orders.  As Lemus became combative Trooper Elmore deployed a TASER charge on Lemus who pulled the leads of the TASER from his body and moved to a wooded embankment above the roadway. As Trooper Elmore approached Lemus standing at the top of the embankment, Lemus raised a hand holding a large rock in a threatening manner, leading the trooper to fire his service weapon wounding Lemus.

BALLET CAMP REGISTRATION CONTINUES TO SAAC
The South Arkansas Arts Center’s Creative Arts Academies “Emerald Summer: Adventures Beyond Oz” continues with ballet camp for students entering grades 1-8. Registration forms are currently available in the SAAC lobby.  Camps are sponsored by First Financial Bank and partial and full scholarships are available. “Ballet camp is the highlight of my summer,“ said instructor Stephanie Lowrey. Ballet camp begins the week of June 22-26 with “Fractured Fairy Tales.”  Traditional fairy tales are turned on their head and all is not as it seems as dancers tell the “not so true tale” of the Big Bad Wolf.  Students ages 11 and up will start the “all-day” ballet class focusing on advanced classical ballet techniques with guest artist, Marilyn Russell, and SAAC instructor, Melissa Spears. In the afternoon, students 7-10 years of age will join the older students to create a ballet based on the “Fractured Fairy Tales” with instructors Lowrey and Melissa Spears.  A public performance will be held on Friday, June 26, at 6pm.  Students 11 years and up will meet from 10am until 4pm.  Students 7 years through 10 years old will meet from 1pm until 4pm. For a complete listing of remaining camps offered and prices, including information of full and partial scholarships available, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474 or visit www.saac-arts.org.

RUTLEDGE: WE WILL NEVER FORGET OUR STATE’S MISSING;  SAYS TO FAMILIES STILL SEARCHING,  YOU DO NOT HAVE TO MANAGE THIS ALONE
NORTH LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today hosted the fourth annual Never Forgotten – Arkansas Takes Action event at Camp Robinson. The daylong event helps raise awareness of issues surrounding missing persons and recognizes Arkansas’s missing children and adults. “Today, nearly 30 families who are coping with missing loved ones gathered at Camp Robinson,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This is the largest number of families this event has ever had, and I am so appreciative of each one of them. Although some of these families have been searching for decades and others for just a few months, I hope this event shows them that they do not have to manage this alone. I am committed to standing beside these families and all Arkansas families until each missing person is found. Arkansas will never forget its missing children and adults.” “As heartbreaking as it is that children are abducted and exploited, it is uplifting to see the dedication of the various professionals gathered in North Little Rock this week to fight against those who would harm our kids,” said Kevin Mulcahy, assistant U.S. attorney, Eastern District of Michigan. “I have had the pleasure of attending the Arkansas missing events in the past,” said Todd Matthews, director of case management and communications for the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. “They are always among the most well organized in the nation. Attorney General Rutledge is a great model for other states to observe and hopefully step up to the challenge.” Rutledge opened the event by welcoming Mulcahy to give a training presentation to law enforcement about his personal experience as a survivor of childhood sexual exploitation and how he applies that experience to prosecuting cases. A luncheon was hosted by Rutledge to honor the families of the missing and thank law enforcement for assisting in missing persons cases. The event also provides support and networking opportunities for families still searching and for those who have tragically lost loved ones. In the afternoon session, families were able to meet with investigators about unsolved missing persons cases, provide information about their missing loved ones and, in some cases, provide DNA samples. Assisting the Attorney General’s Office with hosting the event were the Morgan Nick Foundation, the State Crime Lab, Arkansas State Police, the FBI, the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The Attorney General’s Office serves as an information clearinghouse for reports on Arkansas’s missing children and acts as the main point of contact for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. To reach the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children CyberTipline, call (800) THE-LOST (843-5678).

June 9, 2015

STATE POLICE INVESTIGATING OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING
The Arkansas State Police is investigating an officer involved shooting incident that occurred in Crawford County along Interstate 49 near the 32 mile marker, north of Mountainburg. At approximately 6:20 AM today (Monday, June 8th) an Arkansas State Trooper on patrol along I-49 encountered an individual walking along the southbound shoulder of the interstate highway. As the trooper approached the pedestrian, the unidentified man refused to comply with orders from the trooper and became combative with the trooper. The pedestrian fled into the traffic lanes and took-up a position on a wooded embankment above the roadway. Initial reports indicate that as the state trooper moved into a position to arrest the individual, the pedestrian raised his hand holding a large rock in a threatening manner, leading the trooper to fire his service weapon, wounding the man. The pedestrian was transported to a Fort Smith hospital where he is reported in stable condition. An investigation of the incident is underway by the department’s Criminal Investigation Division and the Office of Professional Standards.  An investigative file will be submitted to the prosecuting attorney to determine whether deadly force was used consistent with Arkansas laws. At this time the identity of the pedestrian is uncertain. As prescribed by Arkansas State Police policy, the trooper is on paid administrative leave while the investigation continues.

CONSUMER ALERT: STAY SAFE IN THE WATER
LITTLE ROCK – Pools are opening for the summer, and families are heading to lakes and beaches to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. All of this means more people will be spending hot summer days in and around the water. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued today’s consumer alert to educate Arkansans about the importance of water safety and the risks of drowning. “Each year, drowning accidents cause serious injuries and even kill Arkansans,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “We all need to stay alert while swimming at pools, lakes and beaches to keep ourselves and loved ones safe. These deaths are preventable.” Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips to have a fun, safe summer around water:
-Actively supervise children in and around open bodies of water, giving them undivided attention.
-Consider formal swimming lessons for children.
-Teach children to swim with an adult and to never go near or in water alone.
-Inexperienced swimmers or those swimming in deep water should wear a life jacket.
-Consider fencing in residential and private pools. Some local ordinances require fencing.
-Steps and ladders to pools should be removed in above-ground pools when not in use.
-Ensure drain covers are up to date in pools and spas.
-Take the time to learn CPR and have a mobile phone nearby in case of emergency.
-Avoid alcohol consumption before or during swimming, and do not drink alcohol while supervising children in an open body of water.
-Check the local weather forecast before swimming. Strong winds and thunderstorms with lightning strikes are dangerous.
According to the Arkansas Department of Health, approximately 10 drowning deaths occur per day across the country, and many more drowning victims require hospitalization with their injuries resulting in severe brain damage. The Arkansas Infant and Child Death Review reports drowning as the second leading cause of death in children ages 1 to 17. For more safety tips, visit the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, U.S. Coast Guard, Arkansas Department of Health, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or PoolSafety.gov. For information on tips to avoid getting scammed, as well as other consumer related issues, call the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office at (800) 482-8982 or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.

CIVIL WAR SESQUICENTENNIAL COMMISSION MEETING SCHEDULED
The Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission will sponsor a meeting beginning at 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 25, in the 1914 Auditorium at Historic Washington State Park to discuss heritage tourism possibilities inherent in sites associated with the Camden Expedition of 1864. The meeting will include an overview of the expedition, a discussion of sites in southwest and central Arkansas (Ouachita, Grant, Cleveland, Nevada, Clark, Dallas, Saline, Hot Spring and Pulaski counties) connected to the campaign, and discussion of next steps to promote heritage tourism in the region. We hope that you or a representative will be able to attend this session. Please contact Mark Christ of the ACWSC at (501) 324-9886 or mark@arkansasheritage.org if you have any questions and to let us know that you will plan on attending the meeting.

OUACHITA RIVER COMMISION TO MEET TOMORROW
A meeting of the Ouachita River Commission will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at the Arkadelphia Town Hall Board Room, 700 Clay Street, Arkadelphia, Arkansas 71923. This meeting will involve matters of interest to the Lower Ouachita River region composed of Ashley, Bradley, Calhoun, Clark, Dallas, Hot Spring, Ouachita and Union Counties.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB REPORT
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet this week at Catherine’s Bistro. This week will be the installation of new officers for Lions Club.  Installation will be done by Past District Governor James Griffin. For more information on the Lions Club, or how you can join, contact Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440 ext 7.

SAU TRACK CLOSED FOR CONSTRUCTION

MAGNOLIA – The track at Southern Arkansas University will be closed for three or four months starting Monday, June 8, 2015, for resurfacing and the addition of bleachers and media facilities. Designed by WER architects, this project will result in a complete overhaul of the existing track and field complex. The scope includes all-new infrastructure, track and event surfaces, seating for 500 spectators, and stadium-style lighting. New fencing and landscaping will polish off the improvements which are estimated at $1 million. The renovated track and field facility will once again allow SAU to host sanctioned track meets, something that has been impossible for several years due to the age and condition of the track surface. Opportunities for private investment in this project are still available through the “Setting the Pace for the Future” campaign. For more information, contact Jeremy Langley, assistant director of development, at (870) 235-5375.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED AT BOYS & GIRLS CLUB OF MAGNOLIA SATURDAY
MAGNOLIA – Making Magnolia Blossom is inviting community volunteers to help complete small projects at the Boys and Girls Club this Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon for this month’s “Second Saturday” event. There is no need to pre-register for this volunteer event. Community members of all ages and skill levels are encouraged to come to 1600 Hollensworth Street on Saturday morning ready to join this exciting movement for Magnolia. Gloves, water and supplies will be provided. The goal of this Second Saturday is to help the Boys and Girls Club of Magnolia prepare for their hosting of the Babe Ruth Southwest Regional Softball Tournament next month. Projects will include replacing light bulbs in scoreboards, painting, wiping down fence toppers, replacing outdoor ceiling fans, and landscape work. Hosting this regional tournament creates a major economic impact for Magnolia, with estimates upwards of around $3 million according to Boys and Girls Club Executive Director David Smith. He said they are anticipating around 60 teams and between 2,000-2,500 people to be in Magnolia for the tournament, which runs from July 13-18.  As the name implies, MMB’s Second Saturday volunteer events occur on the second Saturday of every month as an opportunity for the community to join together to complete small, focused projects. The kickoff Second Saturday event was held in May, and although attendance was dampened by the weather, volunteers picked up trash around town in preparation for the Magnolia Blossom Festival. For more information, contact Deana Taylor at 870-235-4922 or DeanaTaylor@saumag.edu. To find out more about MMB or to sign up for email updates, visit www.MakingMagnoliaBlossom.org or find them on Facebook.

AWARD-WINNING SHOWDOWN AT SUNSET TO BEGIN JUNE 27TH IN DOWNTOWN EL DORADO
El Dorado – South Arkansas Youth Services, INC and Real American Country 98.7 are proud to present Main Street El Doradoâs award-winning Showdown at Sunset for three performances this summer. The productions will take place, June 27th, July25th and August 22nd   beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the steps of the Union County Courthouse in the center of historic Union Square (101 N. Washington Street) in Downtown El Dorado AR . This award-winning event was named one of the Top-100 Events in North America by the American Bus Association and received the Community Trademark Award by the Arkansas Festival & Event Association. In 1902 in broad daylight on the courthouse square, city Marshal Guy Tucker confronted his bitter rivals, the Parnell Brothers.   In one swift moment, a flurry of gunfire left three men dead and several others wounded.   Witness the historic re-enactment of the infamous Parnell-Tucker gunfight three Saturdays in downtown El Dorado.    The re-enactment supports a cast of area actors and chronicles the events that led up to this historic event. Characters include: City Marshal Guy Tucker, grandfather to former Arkansas Governor Jim Guy Tucker; store owner Tom Parnell; brother Matt Parnell; photographer Bob Mullens; Sheriff Norris and others.    This historic portrayal of life in El Dorado in the early 1900s includes live music prior to the re-enactment.   Musical entertainment begins at 6 pm with the re-enactment starting at 6:30 pm. Live music and entertainment will begin at 6pm with appearances by Woody & Jessie from Toy Story leading up the Showdown at Sunset performance at 6:30. Covered Wagon rides will be available throughout the day as well. Other sponsors for this yearâs performances include Bancorp South, the South Arkansas Historical Foundation Preservation Society, the Balcony on the Square, Nexans Amercable, the City of El Dorado and the El Dorado Advertising and Promotions Commission. Showdown at Sunset is open to the public and there is no admission fee.   Group seating is available.

June 3, 2015

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT
Officer Elliot of the Camden Police Department, was on routine in the area of Wal-Mart Shopping Center. Upon arrival the officer observed a female, standing at the Red Box in the store. After a check, it was confirmed that the woman was on the Wal-Mart banned list.
After locating the woman inside the store near the electronics, the officer arrested her and placed her in custody. Since the woman was unable to pay a $250.00 cash bond, she was later transported to the Ouachita County Detention Center.

STATE POLICE COMMISSION TO MEET THURSDAY, JUNE 11TH
The Arkansas State Police Commission will convene in a regularly scheduled monthly meeting at 10 AM on Thursday, June 11th 2015. The commission meeting will occur at Arkansas State Police Administrative Headquarters, One State Police Plaza Drive, Little Rock.

STANDOFF IN LITTLE ROCK ENDS; SUSPECT ON THE LOOSE
LITTLE ROCK, AR - A police standoff that lasted for hours Tuesday night ended without officers finding a murder suspect. Little Rock Police were called to the Breckenridge Apartments on the city's west side where they say they received a tip that Cory Brooks, 24, was hiding. Police first knocked on an apartment door where they tell us no one answered. They then sent in a surveillance robot to check the room. According to reports, the apartment was empty and police continue to search for Brooks. He is wanted for the murder after his girlfriend, who died earlier in the week from two gunshot wounds suffered during an argument.

SAAC HOSTS ARTIST RECEPTION FOR “SMALL WORKS IN PAPER” AND “THROUGH OUR YOUNG EYES”
The boxes have arrived and the unpacking has begun as the Arkansas Arts Council’s annual traveling exhibition “Small Works on Paper” prepares to open in the Merkle and Price Galleries of the South Arkansas Arts Center.  An artist reception will be hosted on Friday, June 5 from 6-8pm for “SWOP” and the lobby gallery exhibition “Through Our Young Eyes,” a collection of photographs created by students of the Boys and Girls Club of El Dorado. Both exhibitions will be on display from June 5-26. For more information about the exhibitions, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474.

13TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT DRUG TASK FORCE
The 13th Drug Task Force will hold its quarterly El Dorado at the Fairgrounds Activities Building on June 10th at 10:00 am. DTF, El Dorado Police Department, and Union County Sheriff’s Department are inviting you to attend. Lunch will be provided, compliments of the 13th Drug Task Force. A head count will be needing a head count by June 8th. Email Mary at maryde71701@yahoo.com or text Johnny Hayes at 870-904-1645. 

SAU HOSTING YOUTH CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACADEMY
MAGNOLIA – Registration is still open for the final 20 spots for the inaugural Southern Arkansas University Youth Criminal Justice Residence Academy that is scheduled for June 7-13, 2015. The student fee for the academy is $200, which covers room and board. Applications are available by contacting SAU Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Louis Roy at lcroy@saumag.edu or (870) 235-4226. A total of 40 applicants will partake in weeklong camp. The cadets will be divided into five-member teams for the week’s learning competitions, and each member of the winning team will earn a $500 scholarship to SAU. The application process is competitive, and students who apply need to meet the following requirements: 14-18 years of age; have a “C” average or higher on last report card; no police record; recommendation letter from school, law enforcement officer, or a community leader; willingness to work as a team member; and an interest in the criminal justice field. We are looking for potential criminal justice leaders, students who will one day work in your departments,” said Roy during a meeting on December 16 with area law enforcement officials. The various department representatives offered assistance in judging, demonstrations, and equipment for the academy. Roy said that the cadets are always supervised, and are active each day from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Some of the activities that cadets can look forward to include a SWAT team demo, police K-9 demo, CPR and first-aid training, arrest and cuffing demo, scuba diving training, a marksman competition, and a crime scene investigation (CSI) competition. Roy has hosted four similar academies while he was the Criminal Justice program director at West Virginia University. He said that three other schools have contacted him to use his model for this type of academy. The FBI also requested the model to be used as a junior special agent academy. Roy is estimated the total cost of the academy at more than $20,000, which is not covered by the cadet fees. He is seeking donations, which are tax deductible through the SAU Foundation.

SENATORS INTRODUCE BILL TO DENY RESOURCES TO CASTRO’S MILITARY AND SECURITY SERVICES
Washington, D.C.— Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) today introduced the “Cuban Military Transparency Act,” bipartisan legislation that would ensure any increase in resources to Cuba reach the Cuban people by prohibiting financial transactions with the Castro regime’s military and security services.released the following statement on the USA FREEDOM Act: The bill’s co-sponsors include: Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Cory Gardner (R-CO), David Vitter (R-LA) and Mark Kirk (R-IL). “It is not in the interest of the United States or the people of Cuba for the U.S. to become a financier of the Castro regime’s brutality,” said Rubio. “The Cuban Military Transparency Act would prevent U.S. dollars from getting into the hands of the Cuban military and would demand accountability from the Obama Administration regarding fugitives of American justice in Cuba, the return of stolen and uncompensated property and the role of the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces and the Ministry of the Interior in Cuba.” “The United States must stand squarely on the side of the Cuban people and take every possible action to weaken the brutal rule of the Castro regime,” said Cotton. “This bill is one such step. It denies the Castro security services hard currency and aims to hold the regime accountable for its past crimes and misdeeds.”
*The “Cuban Military Transparency Act” would:
·Identify and prohibit financial transactions with the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, the Ministry of the Interior, their sub-divisions and leadership;
·Amend the Department of State’s Rewards for Justice Program to include the arrest or conviction of the individuals responsible for the February 24th 1996 deadly attack on United States aircraft;
·Direct the Attorney General to coordinate with Interpol regarding the capture of U.S. fugitives in Cuba;
·Direct the President to provide reports on the role of the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces and the Ministry of the Interior in Cuba and the return of property that has been c
Provide exemptions for current “cash-in-advance” sale of agricultural commodities, medicine and medical devices and remittances to family members and transactions related to democracy promotion programs.

June 2, 2015

HOT SPRINGS MAN ARRSTED FOR CHILD PORNOGRAPHY RUNAWAY JUVENILE FOUND AT THE SCENE
HOT SPRINGS – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced today that a Hot Springs man has been arrested for distributing, viewing and possessing sexually explicit conduct involving a child, a Class C felony. As part of the investigation, special agents with the Attorney General’s Cyber Crimes Unit located a runaway juvenile who had been missing for approximately two weeks. On May 28, agents arrested Herman Duncan, 43, of Hot Springs at his residence and seized two hard drives, two laptop computers, two phones, storage media and 3.3 grams of methamphetamine. The seized electronic evidence is undergoing further forensic examination at the Cyber Crimes Unit forensic lab of the Attorney General's Office in Little Rock. The Attorney General's Cyber Crimes Unit began investigating Duncan after agents suspected that child pornography was located at Duncan’s address.

CAMDEN MAN WINS $100,000 PLAYING SCRATCH OFF
MAGNOLIA, AR - James Moore of Camden has won $100,000 playing an Arkansas Scholarship Lottery scratch-off ticket. Moore bought the ticket at The Tobacco Station in Camden. He plans to buy a new car and fix up with home with the prize. Moore purchased a $5 “Win It All” ticket. James Moore, center, with nephew Mark and cousin Jeff, pose with a symbolic $100,000 check from the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery.

GOVERNOR HUTCHINSON ADDS FOUR COUNTIES TO DISASTER AREA LIST
LITTLE ROCK, AR - As flooding worsens across Arkansas, Governor Asa Hutchinson is adding four more counties to a growing list of counties that have been declared disaster areas. On Tuesday, emergency declarations were made for Conway, Jefferson, Perry and Sebastian counties. The other counties include: Chicot, Crawford, Faulkner, Franklin, Garland, Hempstead, Howard, Independence, Izard, Johnson, Lafayette, Little River, Logan, Madison, Marion, Miller, Montgomery, Nevada, Newton, Ouachita, Pike, Polk, Pope, Scott, Searcy, Sevier, and Yell. The disaster list was started in early May after severe weather killed two people in Howard County and torrential rain followed over the next few weeks that sent creeks and rivers over their banks. The disaster declarations make homeowners and businesses eligible to receive relief funds from the state.

CAMDEN KIWANIS CLUB REPORT
The Camden Kiwanis Club will meet this week at the Country Club. This week’s program is brought to you by Tina Davis. The focus is to have an opportunity to get to know your fellow Kiwanians better, especially those who you might not see on a regular basis. For more on the Lion’s Club or how you can join, you can email Allen Crum at rev.crum610@gmail.com.

June 1, 2015

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORTS
Officers of the Camden Police Department were dispatched to 308 Ft. Lookout, in reference to a criminal mischief report. Dispatch confirmed that a male who was on scene, had a bench warrant in the County. The man was arrested without incident, but did ask the officers to lock his residence for him. The man was transported to OCSO without incident.

Officers of the Camden Police Department were dispatched to McDonald’s for a report of a disturbance. Once they arrived on scene, officers observed an employee of McDonald’s pointing at another woman, identifying her as the suspect. Sgt. Easttam tried to enter the building, but while he was doing so, the woman was yelling loudly at him. The woman stated the reason she was harassing the employees was because there was a bug on the floor. When asked to leave the property, she stated “Which vehicle do I take” she then walked to Sgt. Easttam’s patrol unit and opened the rear driver side door. She was taken into custody for disorderly conduct.  

RELAY FOR LIFE LIST OF WINNERS
Attached is the list of winners:
$500 Cash – Phyllis Brown
Fire Pit – Melanie Jackson
Mac’s Gift Certificates – Sondra Ferguson and (2) Emanual Madera
Hardwick – Mr. and Mrs. Robert Jones
Tedder’s – Dwayne Parker
Bank’s Jewelry – Betty Robertson
Designer Shoes – Brenda Knight
Lighted Glass Block- Betty Robertson
Aerojet Travelers’ Package- Phyliss Hunt
Professional’s Gun – Larry Rainer
HeartThrob Quilt- Brenda Knight
Tai   602-579-9887
Janet Figg
Mae Ashley
*Winners of Mac’s, Hardwick and Tedder’s need to contact Letitia Landers at Shopper’s Guide 836-3022 to collect their gifts.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB REPORT
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet this week at Catherine’s Bistro in Camden. The speaker this week is Lindsay Nutt.  She will be talking about the new property assessments.  Everyone should be getting letter regarding. The new cycle of assessments in the very near future according to Ouachita County Accessor Debbie Lambert. For more information on the Lion’s Club contact Charlotte Young at 870-837-4440 ext 7.

YOUNG PHOTOGRAPHERS DOMINATE SAAC’S LOBBY GALLERY FOR JUNE
“Through Our Young Eyes” an exhibition of black and white film photography by the Boys and Girls Club of El Dorado will be on display in the Lobby Gallery of the South Arkansas Arts Center from June 4-26.  An artist reception will be hosted in the Merkle and Price Galleries on Friday, June 5 from 6-8pm.  The project was funded through a grant from Simmons First Bank LLC. The images give the viewer a glimpse of our world through the unique perspective of young boys and girls from throughout the community.  The photographs were created under the instruction of SAAC Artist in Residence Lisa Burton-Tarver.  Tarver is an award-winning photographer who teaches within area schools and community organizations through the Arkansas Arts Council’s Arts in Education program. “Using film cameras and black and white stock, students took images from various locations around town. I was really surprised by many of the students ‘eye’ for content and composition,” said Tarver. Kathey Perry, Resource Development Director of the Boys and Girls Club said, “I have never seen our children so proud of their photos when they were showing off their work during the reception and exhibition at Simmons.  It reminds us of why we work with these children.” For more information about the exhibition or working with AIE artists for your organization, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474.

May 29, 2015

JUVENILES ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH McCROY SCHOOL THREATS
Thursday evening (May 28th) Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division took into custody two juvenile males.  Both have been students at McCroy High School. The Woodruff county teenagers are being held in a juvenile holding facility and will be brought before a juvenile court in connection with alleged threats directed at McCroy High School students.

FORMER BOXER ISSUED SECOND-DEGREE BATTERY WARRANT
LITTLE ROCK — A Pulaski County district judge issued a second-degree battery warrant Thursday for the arrest of boxer Jermain Taylor of Little Rock. Taylor is accused of assaulting another man at a rehabilitation center where he has been receiving treatment for substance abuse. He entered a treatment program at the center after his bond was revoked in January in connection with an Aug. 26 shooting in which Taylor’s cousin, Tyrone Hinton of Jacksonville, was injured. Taylor has been charged with first-degree battery and first-degree terroristic threatening in Hinton’s shooting. A trial is scheduled for June 24. He also has been charged with five counts of aggravated assault and one count each of first-degree terroristic threatening and possession of a controlled substance in connection with a Jan. 19 incident. Thelton Smith of Little Rock told police Taylor fired a gun at him and pointed the gun at him and his family. A trial in that case is scheduled for Sept. 15.

TOO MANY FOSTER KIDS ON THE MOVE
Too many children in Arkansas’s child welfare system experience multiple placements, moving from one place to another, whether it is a family foster home or a residential facility. This is known as placement instability and it takes a toll on children. It creates emotional distress and a sense of not belonging. It can affect a child’s ability to form secure, healthy relationships. 
Arkansas is looking for ways to reduce the number of placements that children experience when they are in the foster care system through a demonstration waiver from the federal government. Children in the Arkansas foster care system experience more placement instability compared to those in other states. “About 36 percent of kids in other states experience three or more placements if they’re in the foster care system for two years or less,” says Jennifer Ferguson, deputy director of Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (AACF). “But in Arkansas, that number is 52 percent. Over half of the children in our foster care system experience three or more placements in that same time frame.” AACF’s brief Increasing Placement Stability in Foster Care, the third in a three-part series, examines data provided by DCFS during a five year period. It looks at how many children experience multiple placements while in the foster care system, and breaks it down by age, gender, race, and location. As children stay longer in the foster care system, the risk of placement instability tends to increase significantly. And it also increases as children get older. Older children are likely to experience more placements than younger children. Arkansas was one of seven states awarded a diligent recruitment grant by the federal government ($400,000 for five years). The project, Arkansas’s Creating Connections for Children, focuses on the recruitment and retention of foster parents and volunteers and allows DCFS to hire additional staff to help with recruitment. Arkansas is also implementing new technology with the assistance of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock to map by zip code where the greatest needs are for foster homes. These efforts will help the state find more foster homes that are appropriate for a child’s particular needs. Ferguson says there are ways to make improvements. “It’s important to find foster families in a child’s community so that they can remain there, especially in their school,” she says. “It adds more stress when children not only have to adjust to a new family, but also to new teachers and friends. It’s also important to find a foster family that is a good match for the child depending on the child’s needs. Arkansas is implementing a new assessment tool (the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths Assessment). This new tool can better identify the needs of a child, which can help DCFS find a good match for them.”

May 27, 2015

ARREST MADE FOR ROBBERY OF LEWISVILLE BRANCH OF FARMERS BANK
MAGNOLIA-An arrest has been made in the Friday robbery of the Lewisville branch of Farmers Bank and Trust of Magnolia. The Lafayette County Sheriff's Office took Lonnie Hamilton Jr., 34, of Lewisville, into custody. The Sheriff’s Office said that Hamilton turned himself in about 5:35 p.m. Tuesday at the insistence of family members. He is charged with armed robbery, pending additional charges. According to reports, early Tuesday, the vehicle believed used in the robbery had been seized and that evidence was awaiting processing from the Arkansas Crime Lab. Hamilton was on parole after serving time for the robbery of the M&M convenience store in 2009. Assisting in the investigation with the Sheriff’s Office were the Arkansas State Police, Lewisville and Stamps police, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, and the FBI.

May 26, 2015

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORTS
Officer Grummer, of the Camden Police Department, was dispatched to Walmart for a report of a shoplifter. The officer spoke with Walmart management, and observed a male sitting on a bench at the entrance of the store. Sgt. Easttam, who was also on scene, stated that he saw the male leave the store with a container of chicken, 1 a/c window unit, and two car batteries without paying. The man was taken into custody.

Officers of the Camden Police Department were dispatched for a subject refusing to leave a residence. A woman stated that a man was drunk and would not leave her residence. She also stated that the man did not touch her but she wanted him out of the house. While approaching the man, officers noticed that he was swaying from side to side, and was slurring his words. The officer also detected an odor of intoxicants coming from him. According to reports, the admitted he had a lot to drink. He was arrested and taken to the Ouachita County Jail.

CHANGE TO RELAY FOR LIFE THIS YEAR
Relay for Life is changing locations this year, because of all the rain we have had and is still to come this week! Relay for life will be held at the Highland Industrial Building aka Old GD Building, aka the place we have the Dog Show. Times (6:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.) and events will remain the same only the location is changing! There is still plenty of room to bring your tents if you want, however you might want to bring a few extra chairs.

SAAC ANNOUNCES RECIPIENT OF DJM SCHOLARSHIP
|The scholarship committee of the South Arkansas Arts Center announces that Araceli Ramirez has been selected as this year’s recipient of the Dennis James Memorial Scholarship for the 2015-2016 school term.  The scholarship is open to anyone with a love for the performing arts.  It may be used for any accredited educational institution and can be used toward a degree or continued education. Ramirez is a graduate of El Dorado High School’s Class of 2015.  She has served as president of EHS Thespian Troupe #42, the oldest active thespian troupe in the world, and as sound technician for the EHS Performing Arts Auditorium. She is currently the student intern for SAAC where she has worked back stage and been sound technician for “Les Misérable,” “9 to 5,”and various children’s productions in ballet and drama. Ramirez will attend the Johnny Carson School of Film and Television at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln this fall. The scholarship recipient must:  exhibit a love for the performing arts of music or theatre, be an active participant in those pursuits and, pledge to make a life-long contribution and commitment to the arts in their community. For more information about the Dennis James Memorial Scholarship, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474 or visit saac-arts.org.

HAWK RESCUED FROM TRUCK
Arkansas Game and Fish biologist Jeff Lawson rescues a red-tailed hawk from the grille of a Ford F-150 truck Tuesday afternoon at the Reynolds Center parking lot at Southern Arkansas University. The driver of the truck said the hawk flew in front of him and collided with his truck near Taylor, Arkansas, at around 9 a.m. The driver, a Pepsi representative, had no idea until he parked at SAU and heard noises from under the hood that it had been riding with him since the incident nearly five hours earlier. Lawson noticed a broken wing and bleeding from an internal injury. He is taking the hawk for treatment to Dr. James Rocconi in Camden.   
               

CAMDEN KIWANIS CLUB REPORT
The Camden Kiwanis Club will meet this week at the Country Club. This week’s Candi Adams will talk about the Camden Fairview Elementary School Green Classroom project. For more on the Kiwanis Club, and how you can join, you can contact Allen Crum by email at rev.crum610@gmail.com

May 21, 2015

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT
Officers of the Camden Police Department, were dispatched to Lincoln Center for a report of a criminal trespasser sitting in front of an apartment. Upon arrival officers observed a male, leaving the apartments, walking towards a wooded area. Reports say the man was trying to hide, when officers made contact with him. While talking with him officers could smell an odor of an unknown intoxicant every time he spoke. According to reports, the man had slurred speech and he was unable to keep his balance. When asked if he had been drinking, the man replied “you smell it don’t you”. He was taken into custody.

“CLICK IT OR TICKET” STRICT STATEWIDE ENFORCEMENT OPERATION UNDERWAY SEAT BELT USE CAN SAVE ARKANSAS LIVES
(LITTLE ROCK) – An observational survey conducted across Arkansas during 2014 indicates that one out of every four motorists in Arkansas is not using a seat belt.  The use of seat belts by Arkansas motorists stands at 74% compared to a national average of 87%. “A seat belt has proven to be the single most effective piece of safety equipment drivers and passengers can use to avoid death or serious injury in a motor vehicle crash,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.  “Sadly, the numbers indicate that people still aren’t getting the message about seat belt use.” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration preliminary statistics for the calendar year 2014 show there were 466 traffic fatalities in Arkansas. Of those traffic fatalities, 333 were motor vehicle occupant fatalities, over half of which were not using seat belts. “While the loss of one life is one too many, we are concerned that some lives could have been saved had the drivers or passengers been buckled-up,” Colonel Bryant stated. The Arkansas State Police and other state and local law enforcement agencies are committed to strictly enforce the seat belt law, not only during the days leading up to and during the Memorial Day holiday, but throughout the year as a means to reduce the incidents of fatalities on Arkansas roads and highways. The annual Click It or Ticket law enforcement mobilization is already underway and will continue through May 31st as law enforcement officer’s statewide join together to enforce the seat belt law.  Arkansans will also notice an intensified media campaign emphasizing the importance of buckling up when traveling in a motor vehicle. “It’s not about issuing tickets, it’s about saving lives,” said Colonel Bryant.  “We keep working toward the day when everyone is buckled up and we can celebrate zero preventable traffic deaths in Arkansas.” The Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office urges everyone to buckle up, every trip, every time, especially during the upcoming holiday when more motorists will be on the road. Arkansas state law requires that all front seat passengers, not just drivers, be buckled up. It requires all children under fifteen years of age to be properly secured in the vehicle.  A child who is less than six years of age and who weighs less than sixty pounds should be restrained in a child passenger safety seat. If the driver has a restricted license, all passengers in the vehicle must be properly buckled up. For more information on Click It or Ticket, visit TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136.  For more on the ongoing Toward Zero Deaths campaign, visit TZDarkansas.org.

SAAC HOSTS AUDITIONS FOR “THE WIZARD OF OZ”
Your chance to become part of the ultimate fantasy adventure is just around the corner as the South Arkansas Arts Center hosts auditions for the 2015 summer musical “The Wizard of Oz.”  The Murphy USA sponsored production makes its way to the Callaway Theatre for ten performances only beginning July 16 and continuing until July 26. The show’s production team of Darrin Riley, Delaine Gates, Stacy Hawking, and Karen Watkins are searching for talented members from our surrounding community to bring to the stage L. Frank Baum’s 115 year old tale of Dorothy Gale and her adventures over the rainbow.  Auditions are open to everyone age 7 to 107 and are scheduled for May 30, June 1 and 2.  Call backs, if needed, will be held on June 3. All casting for the show will be age appropriate and SAAC adheres to non-traditional/color blind casting. Kids only auditions for ensemble chorus (Munchkins, Flying Monkeys, Winkies, Poppies and Snowmen) will be held on Saturday, May 30, beginning at 10am.  The auditions are open to boys and girls 7-16 who are not auditioning for a principal character. Everyone will be taught a dance combination; play theatre improv games; and learn a song from the show, “The Merry Old Land of Oz.” Anyone under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian also sign the audition form. Auditions for principal roles and ensemble chorus and dancers will be held June 1 and 2. These auditions are open to adults and children 13 and up auditioning for all roles except Munchkins. Registration begins in the SAAC Lobby at 5:30pm with auditions beginning at 6pm. Everyone will learn a simple dance combination, read from the script, and sing a song (unless auditioning for the non-singing roles of Miss Almira Gulch/Wicked Witch of the West and Professor Marvel/The Wizard of Oz). Please be prepared to sing one verse and a chorus from a song of your choice. Select something that is comfortable within your vocal range and bring the accompaniment sheet music. A musical theatre piece not from this show is preferred but you may choose to sing something familiar to you, such as a classic music standard. If you are called back for a specific part, you will be asked to sing a song from the show. “It will take a small village to bring Oz to life! We are looking for all physical types and ethnicities to fill these iconic roles that we all have grown up with and love.  The show is a perfect vehicle for the entire family to do something creative and fun for the summer,” said Riley, the shows director. For more information about auditions, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474 or visit saac-arts.org.

HOMELESS SHELTER BENEFITS FROM SAU GROUP’S EFFORTS
MAGNOLIA – Magnolia’s homeless shelter residents have benefitted with additions to improve the quality of life for its youth and adult residents alike thanks to a group of passionate business students at Southern Arkansas University. Through SAU’s Rankin College of Business’ Enactus organization, students raised money to purchase a complete desktop computer, a new playground for the children, and money towards a new ice machine for the Southern Christian Mission homeless shelter at 515 West Monroe Street in Magnolia. “I am just overwhelmed,” said Ruthie Sharp, SCM director. “I told them our greatest needs and they blew my mind by doing all the things they set out to do.” The initial phase of the Enactus project was purchasing and installing a computer, printer, scanner and fax machine. Enactus students even established a weekly training schedule that spanned throughout the spring semester to teach residents how to use the system. Before having this technology on the premises, Sharp said the residents had to find a way to make it to the Columbia County Library approximately two miles away to do job searches, practice typing skills for the WAGE program, or for the youth to research for school projects. “This has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve been a part of since I came to SAU,” said Robby Higginbotham, who completed his marketing degree and graduated at the spring commencement. “Not only was it a great community-based and impactful project, but it offered us real-world experience.” He said the day they were visiting with Sharp about the needs of the shelter, workers were removing the old playground equipment from the back yard. When funds were left over from the computer equipment, they knew how they were going to use them. “The kids were really excited when they found out we were helping with new playground equipment. Ms. Sharp even told us that one of the children raised money to contribute,” said Higginbotham. Another need arose at the shelter during the semester as the facility’s ice machine broke. The students responded and immediately went to work helping to raise funds for a much-needed replacement. Enactus members earned funding through a $1,500 successful grant proposal to Walmart’s Women’s Economic Empowerment Project Partnership through Enactus. They will also provide a final impact report to the Walmart Foundation. Approximately $500 was also raised through a partnership with the Magnolia Dominos, where a collection jar produced higher than expected results. Higginbotham said that although he and other Enactus members are graduating, the group was so moved their work at the shelter that they hope to continue their support with projects in the next academic year. Formerly known as SIFE, Enactus is an international non-profit organization that brings together student, academic and business leaders who are committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need. SAU’s Enactus group has an astounding track record through programs such as Students Acquiring Knowledge through Entrepreneurship (SAKE); Service Learning Initiative for Community Enrichment (SLICE), which raises awareness about the proper disposal of electronic waste; and We Heart Magnolia, in which they have partnered with Living Water Women’s Shelter to complete massive renovations. To find out more about SAU’s Rankin College of Business or the SAU Enactus organization, visit www.SAUmag.edu/Business.

May 20, 2015

OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING INVESTIGATION UNDERWAY IN LONOKE COUNTY
The Arkansas State Police is investigating an officer involved shooting which occurred last night (May 19th) in Cabot.  The incident occurred as authorities of the Lonoke County Sheriff’s Department and Arkansas Department of Community Correction were searching for an individual. While questioning a 35 year old man at 905 East Main Street it was determined the individual was the subject of outstanding warrants.  The man was placed into custody and held in a law enforcement vehicle. Initial statements provided to Special Agents of the State Police Criminal Investigation Division indicate the local law enforcement officers and ADCC officers reported gunshots coming from inside the car and returned fire striking the individual who had moments earlier been taken into custody. The wounded individual was taken to an area hospital where he was later died. The identity of the individual is being withheld pending confirmed notification of next of kin. No law enforcement or ADCC personnel were injured. State Police Special Agents along with State Police Highway Patrol Troopers have worked through the evening into the early hours of today gathering evidence and questioning witnesses. The investigation is continuing and upon completion will be provided to the Lonoke County Prosecuting Attorney for consideration.

CAMDEN KIWANIS CLUB MEETING REPORT
The Camden Kiwanis Club will meet this week at the country club in Camden. This week the guest speaker will be Miss Southeast Arkansas - Miss Stoni Butler. She will be sharing with us her platform for the upcoming Miss Arkansas pageant. For more on the Kiwanis club and how you can join, you can email Allen Crum at rev.crum610@gmail.com.

THURSDAY NEWS CONFERENCE SET TO DISCUSS STATEWIDE SEAT BELT ENFORCEMENT INITIATIVE
A news conference has been scheduled for Thursday morning, May 21st, at 11 AM in the State Police Commission Chambers at Arkansas State Police Administrative Headquarters, One State Police Plaza Drive, Little Rock. Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and commanders of the State Police Highway Patrol Division will be joined by other law enforcement agency representatives during the news conference. Arkansas State Troopers and local law enforcement officers remind Arkansas motorists to use their seat belts rather than risk a violator citation and fines or the possibility of serious injury or death if involved in a motor vehicle crash when not using a seat belt.


RUTLEDGE AND GOOGLE HOST INTERNET SAFETY EVENT FOR LONOKE YOUTH; GOOGLE’S PROGRAM GIVES QUICK TIPS TO TEACH KIDS TO STAY SAFE AND SECURE ON THE WEB
LONOKE – Today, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and Google representatives paid a visit to Lonoke to deliver the Online Safety Roadshow, an online safety assembly developed by Google for middle school students. Two Google employees delivered the 45 minute presentation, which focused on five tips for staying safe and being smart online. They covered topics including: thinking before you share, setting strong passwords, using settings, identifying online scams and being positive online. Attorney General Rutledge participated in today’s presentation at the Gina Cox Center. She opened the assembly by expressing the benefits of technology but also the importance of online safety to the students. “Technological advances bring both exciting opportunities and greater risk to our children as they use computers, smartphones and tablets,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I am committed to making Arkansas a leader in online safety by teaching our students how to safely use the Internet. I am proud to bring Google to Arkansas to advance our mutual goal of keeping our children safe online.” “With students increasingly having access to the Internet through cell phones and other devices, it is important that they learn to use these tools responsibly,” said Sana Rahman, a Google spokesperson. “The Online Safety Roadshow teaches how to be smart and safe online through a fun and interactive assembly.” The Online Safety Roadshow is designed to educate parents and students on how to be more successful and safe online. The presentation teaches students how to be smart about the content they share online.

May 18, 2015

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE REPORT
Lt. Cedric D. Gregory of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, was dispatched to 601 Carver Courts in response to a report of criminal mischief. Upon arrival I met with a woman who explained that her a vehicle had just been vandalized by her ex-boyfriend. She explained that she had been on Bradley Ferry Street in Camden, when she and her boyfriend had gotten into an argument. She also stated that she had got into the vehicle and tried to leave. As she did, the ex-boyfriend stood up on the vehicle and stomped the windshield breaking the glass. According to reports, he then jumped from the car and began to open and pull on the passenger side doors “springing” the doors in the process (the doors will not close). As the woman drove away, the man threw a beer bottle, which went through the rear passenger side glass, and landed in the back seat. The woman stated after she called 911, she headed into town.

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT
Officers of the Camden Police-Department, were dispatched to Dollar General in reference to a shoplifter. Upon arrival, an employee of Dollar General was chasing a female in the parking lot. The employee stated that the female had just stolen from the store and placed the items in her purse. The officer made contact with the suspect, who stated that she had not stolen anything. However when the officer searched the woman’s purse, the officer pulled out four candy bars. The woman stated “this is all I have” and that she didn’t pay for them. The total value of the items stolen was $3.58.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB REPORT
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet this week at Catherine’s Bistro. The speaker will be Nathan Greeley with the Ouachita County Sheriff’s office.  He is the jail Administrator and will give updates regarding the jail. For more on the Lion’s Club and how you can join, call Charlotte Young, at 870-836-4440 ext 7.

SAU STORY ARENA TO HOST BULL JAM ON MAY 30
MAGNOLIA – Southern Arkansas University’s Story Arena is hosting an inaugural SAU Bull Jam at 8 p.m. on May 30, 2015. “This will be bull riding action at its best,” said Rusty Hayes, SAU rodeo coach and director of farm operations. “There is going to be ‘danger zone’ seating, a shark cage for the bull fighters and reduced arena size for better viewing.” The event is a part of Bullriders of America’s “B. Tuff Tour,” and professional PBR bullrider and two-time World Finals qualifier Justin Koon is scheduled to have a meet-and-greet with fans. Crowd favorite rodeo clown “Pork Chop” will provide his humor throughout the evening, as well. Ticket prices are as follows: $15 for adults 13 and older, $7 for youth ages five to 12, and free for children four and younger. There is also an opportunity to win the best seat in the house with three of your guests with the “Magnolia Regional Medical Center Danger Zone.” This box seating will be elevated overlooking the bucking chutes, and it includes a catered meal from Backyard BBQ. To enter, $25 donations for each chance can be made at the main branches of Peoples Bank and Farmers Bank & Trust in Magnolia. Limited box seating will also be available at $180. Each box includes six seats and two VIP parking passes. To reserve a box, contact Story Arena Manager Megan McCurdy at (870)235-5197. McCurdy said that Story Arena will be closed in June so that various construction projects can be completed, but that she is steadily booking private and organization events for later this summer and beyond. To find out about rental pricing or other information, visit www.SAUmag.edu/Story-Arena.

AR ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE CORPORATION ADDS 108 MEGAWATTS OF WIND; ENERGY COOPERATIVE NOW HAS 309 MEGAWATTS OF LONG-TERM ENERGY IN ITS PORTFOLIO
Little Rock, Ark. — May 19, 2015 — Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC) has secured a long-term agreement to purchase 108 megawatts of wind energy from the planned Drift Sand Wind Farm. The farm will be located about 60 miles southeast of Oklahoma City and is scheduled to be in service by Dec. 31, 2016. “AECC will be the sole recipient of energy from this wind farm,” said Duane Highley, president and chief executive officer of AECC, a Little Rock-based wholesale electricity supplier. “Collectively, AECC will have more than 309 megawatts of wind energy once the new wind farm is commercially launched. As a not-for-profit, member-owned cooperative, we are committed to provide our members with the lowest cost electricity available.” This is AECC’s third wind power purchase agreement since 2012. The generation and transmission cooperative also receives wind energy from another wind facility in Oklahoma and one in Kansas. “The wind energy agreements provide our distribution cooperatives and their members with energy resources that are geographically diverse, reasonably-priced and price-controlled over a long-term period,” Highley said. “AECC has long been dedicated to pursuing investments in a diverse generation portfolio to shield members against fuel cost spikes and shifts in federal energy policies.” AECC owns three run-of-the-river hydroelectric generating stations located along the Arkansas River, three natural gas/oil-based plants, four natural gas-based-only plants and co-owns portions of four low-cost coal-based plants. The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas comprise 17 electric distribution cooperatives; Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI), a Little Rock-based cooperative that provides various services to the distribution cooperatives; and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC), a generation and transmission cooperative. The distribution cooperatives provide electricity to more than 500,000 members, or customers, in Arkansas and surrounding states. For additional information, contact: Rob Roedel, Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, 501.570.2296 or rroedel@aeci.com

STATE POLICE CEREMONY TO HONOR TROOPER OF THE YEAR & OTHERS
The Arkansas State Trooper of the Year for 2014 will be honored during the department’s annual awards ceremony and luncheon scheduled for Tuesday, May 19, 2015, 11:30 AM, at the Embassy Suites Hotel, 11301 Financial Centre Parkway, Little Rock. Other awards to be presented to State Troopers will include the medal of valor, distinguished meritorious service, and State Police Civilian Employee of the Year. News reporters and photographers are invited to attend the entire ceremony event, however for news coverage planning purposes, the awards portion of the program is not expected to begin until approximately 12:20 – 12:30 PM.
Advance news releases identifying the award recipients will be provided to representatives of the news media staffing the event.  General distribution of the news release will occur later Tuesday afternoon following the ceremonies. Representatives of the Arkansas State Police Commission will be in attendance.


ENVIRONMENTALLY SPEAKING: COMPOST IS NATURE’S WAY OF RECYCLING
Learn About Composting Day competes with nine other observances on May 29, according to the website eventguide.com. Among the others are Biscuit Day, National Paperclip Day and Put a Pillow on Your Fridge Day. This is no joke. Robert Hunter, manager of the Recycling Branch at the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, hopes that holiday enthusiasts who have to pick just one of these designations for active participation will choose to learn about composting, often called “nature’s way of recycling.” It might be possible to combine two holidays: leftover biscuits could be used in composting, but definitely not paperclips, pillows or refrigerators.Yard waste—leaves, grass clippings and tree limbs—is banned from most Arkansas landfills. Some have permits to convert the gas from decomposing yard waste to energy. Many communities pick up residents’ yard waste to use in composting programs. Hunter encourages home gardeners to start their own backyard compost piles so they can know exactly what’s in their compost. “This is especially important for organic gardeners,” he said. “I use my homemade compost for my flowers and vegetables garden, so I have to buy very little fertilizer. Compost also creates habitat for earthworms, which benefit my lawn because they loosen the soil and add nutrients.” Basically, a compost pile or bin should comprise 75 percent browns (carbon), which are dry materials such as wood chips, dried leaves, straw, hay, pine needles, and shredded newspapers, cardboard, and junk mail; 25 percent greens (nitrogen), which are fresh, moist materials such as fresh grass clippings, freshly pulled plants, fruit and vegetable scraps, crushed egg shells, coffee grounds, and tea bags; enough water to make the pile damp as a wrung-out sponge; and air. Weekly watering and stirring are recommended. Compost is ready for application when it’s dark and crumbly, usually after about six months. Vermicomposting harnesses the power of worms to produce a super-rich soil amendment from food and paper wastes or other organic materials in a covered bin that can be kept indoors. Items needed are an opaque plastic bin and lid, with holes drilled close to the bin’s top; garden soil  (not potting soil because it is sterile and may contain chemicals); moistened newsprint (not slick paper ads); and red wiggler worms. Plants use 97 percent of the nutrients in worm castings, which have a mucus coating that helps keep nutrients from washing away. Vermicompost can be mixed with equal parts peat moss, perlite and sand to make potting mix. It is also effective to sprinkle some into a seed row or hole when planting seeds or to add a handful to the bottom of the hole when transplanting seedlings. Earlier this year, Hunter made a presentation about vermicomposting at Fayetteville’s Shaw Elementary School. Abigail Farrell, who teaches fifth grade there, said, “Mr. Hunter brings his teaching to children with such excitement.” That excitement is contagious. A parent told Farrell that, after Hunter’s presentation, her son talked about worm composting every night and started a worm compost bin at home. Another student told Farrell, “Who knew worms were such hard workers and they could help us so much!” Farrell said that five classrooms have started worm composting since Hunter’s visit. She said five students chose worm composting for a school project and helped Hunter teach a vermicomposting session when he returned for their local Earth Day observance at Ozark Botanical Garden. For more information about composting and vermicomposting or to schedule a presentation for a community or school group, contact Hunter at 501-682-0609, hunter@adeq.state.ar.us.

SAAC ANNOUNCE FINAL CALL TO ARTISTS FOR ANNUAL JURIED COMPETITION
The visual arts committee of the South Arkansas Arts Center announces a final call for artist’s entries for the 2015 Annual Juried Art Competition postmarked no later than May 20 for mail –in entries.  Online entries must be received by May 24. Artists may submit any number of entries by digital image either online or by mail. Notification of acceptance into the competition will begin on June 3 for the Smackover State Bank sponsored juried exhibition.  All accepted works will be on exhibition in the Merkle and Price Galleries from July 1-30. Guest juror, Dr. Stanton Thomas of the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, will make his selection of accepted works from all submission from artists, 18 years and up, who work in two dimensional and three dimensional media.  Dr. Thomas will select the award winning pieces for First, Second, Third Place as well as Honorable Mention.  Over $2000 in prize money will be awarded during an artist reception hosted for the competition, including the People’s Choice Award, selected by patrons and the Wilma Riley Purchase Award selected by the juror. All 2-D and 3-D fine arts media accepted, including photography and computer generated work. Pieces must be original and completed in the last five years. Artwork completed under classroom supervision and/or reproduced from work by other artists or published material is not accepted. 2-D works must be completely ready for gallery display – framed in a clean, neat and professional manner with a secure wire hanger and, if subject to damage, must be framed under plexi or glass. Work not framed and ready to hang may be disqualified. 3-D works and multimedia presentations must be display ready. Work weighing over 50 pounds, presenting complex installation problems or requiring electrical power should be approved by the gallery manager prior to paying the entry fee. Work unsuitable for installation in the gallery may be disqualified. The juror and gallery manager have final authority to define what constitutes an acceptable entry. Works may be rated unacceptable if considered unsafe or appear to be significantly different from the image submitted to the juror.  The South Arkansas Arts Center is located at 110 East 5th Street in El Dorado. For more information about entering the 2015 Annual Juried Art Competition, contact The SAAC office at 862-5474 or visit saac-arts.org.

May 15, 2015

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORTS
Officer Jimmy Plyler of the Camden Police Department, was traveling on California Avenue near Hospital Drive. The officer observed a gray Chevy with an expired vehicle license plate, which dispatch confirmed. The driver of the vehicle handed the officer her license, but stated she did not have any insurance. According to reports, the woman was acting very nervous, which was probably because she had plastic baggie of marijuana on the floorboard of the vehicle. The woman was taken into custody without incident. The baggie was seized as evidence, and McKelvin’s took possession of the gray Chevy.

Officer Brian Finney, of the Camden Police Department, observed a red Ford Mustang traveling north on Frazier Street. After observing that the vehicle registration was expired, the officer conducted a traffic stop. While speaking with the driver, the officer noticed a 25oz Bud Light can in the center console. According to reports, the officer could smell a strong of marijuana coming from the vehicle. The driver complied and was taken into custody. While officers searched the vehicle, three baggies of marijuana were located. At the police station the marijuana was weighed, and was approximately 3.9 grams.

JOHNSON COUNTY DEPUTY KILLED CONFRONTING BURGLARY SUSPECT
An eleven year veteran of the Johnson County Sheriff's Department shot and killed early today as he and other sheriff’s deputies were searching for a burglary suspect  fifteen miles east of Clarksville. At approximately 1 AM this morning (Friday, May 15, 2015) the sheriff’s department received a telephone report of a suspected burglar in the area of County Road 1723. As deputies searched the area at approximately 2:30 AM, Reserve Deputy Sonny Smith 42, of Clarksville confronted an individual identified as Fred Kaufield who allegedly shot Smith. Deputy Smith returned gunfire and Kaufield was taken into custody.  Kaufield sustained minor injuries. Smith was later pronounced dead at a local hospital. Kaufield is being detained at the Pope County Detention Center while an investigation is continuing. The investigation of the shooting incident is being handled by the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division.

RUTLEDGE MARKS PEACE OFFICERS MEMORIAL DAY
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today attended the Arkansas State Police Memorial Service for troopers who died in the line of duty. Rutledge issued a statement in recognition of Peace Officers Memorial Day after the event. “The tragic death of a Johnson County deputy last night is a solemn reminder of the serious dangers police officers put their lives in to serve and protect,” said Attorney General Rutledge. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the fallen officer, his fellow officers and the people of Johnson County. “I was proud to join law enforcement officers this morning to pay tribute to the men and women who have served as Arkansas State Troopers and given everything for the safety of our communities. During National Police Week and on Peace Officers Memorial Day, I encourage all Arkansans to thank the men and women who humbly wear the badge so that we may sleep a little easier at night. As Arkansas’s chief law enforcement officer, I salute our officers and thank them for their bravery, dedication and sacrifice.”

May 13, 2015

MEMORIAL SERVICE SET FOR ARKANSAS TROOPERS
KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY

On Friday, May 15th at 10:00 am, Arkansas State Troopers along with past and present State Police Directors, will gather with survivor families of the nineteen State Troopers who were killed in the line of duty. The memorial ceremony honoring the Arkansas Troopers who’ve lost their lives while in service, will be held outside the State Police Hall of Honor adjoining the main lobby of Arkansas State Police Administrative Headquarters, One State Police Plaza Drive, Little Rock. The service is open to the public and is part of the continuing schedule of events celebrating National Police Week.

GRANT COUNTY STAND-OFF ENDS IN ARREST
Earlier today a request for assistance from the Grant County Sheriff’s Department was received by the Arkansas State Police. The initial information from sheriff’s deputies reported Donald C. Thomas Jr., 47, of the Clearwater Lake area east of Sheridan had contacted local authorities stating he intended to set fire to a home at 762 West Clearwater Lake Drive. As sheriff’s deputies and local firemen arrived at the home they found the structure burning.  A short time later sheriff’s deputies stated at least one gun shot was fired at them, reportedly by Thomas. The Arkansas State Police SWAT and Crisis Response Teams were dispatched to the area.  By mid-afternoon negotiations were established with Thomas inside a nearby out-building on the residential property.  Thomas refused to surrender to state or local authorities. At approximately 5 PM today the State Police SWAT team fired tear gas into the out building causing Thomas to exit the building and to be taken into custody. An investigation of the incident is continuing tonight and Thomas is currently held at the Grant County Jail on a charge of aggravated assault.  The continuing investigation may result in additional charges.

SAU’S UPWARD BOUND PROVIDING FREE SUMMER MEALS FOR AREA YOUTH
MAGNOLIA – The Upward Bound program at Southern Arkansas University will be providing free meals to eligible children this summer through the U.S.D.A. Summer Food Service Program. The meals will be provided three times daily in the Southern Arkansas University cafeteria on Monday through Thursday from June 8 until July 9 as follows: 7-8 a.m., 12-1 p.m., and 5-6 p.m. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Adults (should they choose to eat) must cover the cost of their meals. The Summer Food Program is designed to provide nutritious meals during the summer for those children who may not get one because school is out. There is no application process for this program due to the fact that in Southwest Arkansas a great percentage of the students qualify for free and reduced price lunches. Acceptance and participation requirements for the Program and all activities are the same for all, and meals will be provided to all children without charge regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.


RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE CHARITIES OF AR AWARDED $1.2 MILLION MABEE CHALLENGE GRANT
Little Rock, AR – [May 11, 2015] Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas (RMHCA) has been issued a substantial challenge grant by The J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation. The award would be 1.2 million dollars toward construction of the new Ronald McDonald House located near the entrance of Arkansas Children’s Hospital, when the challenge is met.  The funds will only be received if the organization is able to raise the remainig $900,000 of the $8 million goal. The new Ronald McDonald House®, breaking ground on July 21, 2015, will triple in size, providing families a larger and more comfortable place to stay while their children are receiving treatment at local hospitals. The five stories will include: 32 bedroom suites each with a private bath, queen-size bed and a sitting area. There will be a large kitchen and dining room as well as laundry facilities, lactation rooms, family lounges, and computer stations on each residential floor. Other amenities include indoor and outdoor play areas, a wellness garden, a tree house, and a basketball half court. RMHCA has raised more than $7.1 million surpassing their goal of 80% needed to begin construction. The deadline for the challenge to be met is April 15, 2016. The organization will continue to fundraiser throughout the construction process, which will take approximately 14 months.

RUTLEDGE ANNOUNCES RESTITUTION FOR VICTIMS OF SPRINT AND VERIZON MOBILE CRAMMING COMPANIES TO PAY $120 MILLION TO CONSUMERS
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that she, along with 49 other state attorneys general, the District of Columbia, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have reached settlements with the Sprint Corp. and Cellco Partnership, also known as Verizon Wireless.
Under the terms of the settlements, Sprint will pay $68 million and Verizon will pay $90 million to resolve allegations that both companies placed charges for third-party services on consumers’ mobile telephone bills that were not authorized by the consumers, a practice commonly referred to as “mobile cramming.” Arkansas will receive $153,176 from Sprint and $204,260 from Verizon. Of the settlement amounts, Sprint and Verizon are required to provide $50 million and $70 million, respectively, to consumers who were victims of cramming. Sprint and Verizon will each distribute refunds to harmed consumers through redress programs that will be under the supervision of the CFPB. Sprint will also pay $12 million to the attorneys general and $6 million to the FCC, and Verizon will pay $16 million to the attorneys general and $4 million to the FCC.
“In Arkansas, approximately 108,000 Sprint customers and approximately 211,500 Verizon customers will be eligible to receive restitution under this settlement,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This settlement is an important victory for the current customers of Sprint and Verizon who can now seek restitution, but also a critical step in protecting current and future customers from being taken advantage of by these cramming charges.” Consumers who have been “crammed” often have charges, typically $9.99 per month, for “premium” text message subscription services (also known as “PSMS” subscriptions) such as horoscopes, trivia, and sports scores that the consumers have never heard of or requested. Consumers can submit claims under the redress programs by visiting SprintRefundPSMS.com and/or CFPBSettlementVerizon.com. These websites will provide information about refund eligibility, how to obtain a refund and offer guidance on requesting a free account summary that details PSMS purchases on their accounts. Consumers who have questions about the redress programs can visit the program websites or call the settlement administrators at (877) 389-8787 (Sprint), and/or (888) 726-7063 (Verizon). The settlements, like the settlements entered into by AT&T and T-Mobile in late 2014, require Sprint and Verizon to stay out of the commercial PSMS business — the platform to which law enforcement agencies attribute the lion’s share of the mobile cramming problem. Under each of the four settlements, the carriers, including Sprint and Verizon, must also take a number of steps designed to ensure that they only bill consumers for third-party charges that have been authorized, including:
-The carriers must obtain consumers’ express consent before billing consumers for third-party charges, and must ensure that consumers are only charged for services if the consumers have been informed of all material terms and conditions of their payment.
-The carriers must give consumers an opportunity to obtain a full refund or credit when they are billed for unauthorized third-party charges.
-The carriers must inform their customers when they sign up for services that their mobile phone can be used to pay for third-party charges, and must inform consumers of how those third-party charges can be blocked if consumers do not want to use their phone to pay for third-party products.
-The carriers must present third-party charges in a dedicated section of consumers’ mobile phone bills, must clearly distinguish them from the carrier’s own charges, and must include in that same section information about the consumers’ ability to block third-party charges.

May 11th, 2015

GOVERNOR HUTCHINSON CONFIRMS SPECIAL SESSION FOR SOUTH AR “SUPER PROJECT”
MAGNOLIA- Governor Asa Hutchinson confirmed Monday that he will call a special session of the Arkansas General Assembly to consider adoption of a bond issue for a South Arkansas “super project” industrial opportunity. His announcement said the project would create, over time, almost 600 jobs while securing more than 1,100 jobs for the life of the project. The session is set for Tuesday, May 26, and an official call will be issued later. A statement from Hutchinson’s office didn’t say it, but the governor was referring to Lockheed Martin’s desire to build 5,500 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles at its Camden facility. “Job creation and economic development is the No. 1 priority for my administration, and we have a great opportunity here to create hundreds of new, good-paying jobs in Arkansas — and retain hundreds more,” Hutchinson said in the statement. “If approved by the legislature, this project would not only create hundreds of jobs, but it would also put Arkansas on the map in terms of vehicle assembly and the potential for a major defense contract. Of course, any obligation to the state will be conditioned upon an actual award from the United States Army.” Amendment 82 to the Arkansas Constitution allows the state to issue bonds to finance infrastructure and other needs in order to attract major projects to the state of Arkansas.

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT
Officers of the Camden Police Department, was traveling south on Cash Road. According to reports, the officers observed a Jeep traveling without headlamps. A traffic stop was made near the Camden-Fairview high school, when the officers made contact with the driver, who had no proof of insurance. Reports said that the female passenger was drinking from a wine glass.
The woman did state that she was indeed drinking wine. Upon further investigation, a small clear bag of marijuana and glass pipe were found. The female could barely keep her balance, and an odor of intoxicants were coming from her breathe. Both were arrested.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB REPORT
There is a “Joint Meeting” of all civic clubs at the Camden Country Club on Wednesday for the Ouachita Valley Community Foundation To award their grants. Also, so you can have plenty of “heads up”…..Lions Club will have our bookcase winners at our meeting on May 20th. For more on the Lion’s Club, and how you can join, you can call Charlotte Young, at 870-836-4440 ext 7.

FOURTH SUSPECT ARRESTED IN HARRISON COUNTY CATTLE THEFT CASE; FOUR SUSPECTS INDICTED
Marshall, Texas – A fourth suspect was arrested on Sunday and charged with third degree felony theft of livestock after helping three other suspects steal twelve head of penned yearling cattle from a Harrison County ranch on Sept. 30, 2014. All four suspects are now under indictment as of April 30 and were arrested on various dates. This joint investigation was conducted by Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) Special Ranger Larry Hand and Harrison County Sheriff’s Investigator BJ Fletcher. Hand and many local authorities have been working on this investigation since Sept. 30, 2014 and evidentiary leads spanned across 4 counties. The arrest of the fourth suspect, Alex Christopher Hinton, 34, of Carthage, Texas, occurred after Hinton’s employer and the alleged suspect’s truck were located in March 2015. Witnesses had described a flatbed truck to Hand in October and he was able to locate the suspect’s truck in March with help from DPS Intelligence. Panola Deputies arrested Hinton after indictment. On Sept. 30, 2014 Stacie Laine Soape, 43; Hinton; Michael Duane Nettles, 31; and Elizabeth Ann Newton, all from Carthage, Texas, stole twelve head of penned yearlings around midnight from a Harrison County ranch. Soape, Nettles and Newton then returned to the ranch later that night and stole saddles and tools. Seven of the twelve head of cattle have been retrieved and Hinton allegedly took his share of five head of yearlings from a hidden location in Panola County on the night of the theft. Three saddles, assorted tack and numerous power tools and equipment were recovered on Oct. 2, 2014. “Ear notches were important in locating and identifying the stolen cattle we have recovered.” said Hand, “However, branding provides a much more effective way for authorities to retrieve stolen livestock, especially if they have been taken to an auction or feedlot.” TSCRA would like to thank the following for their roles in this lengthy investigation and indictment: Harrison County Sheriff’s Office Detective BJ Fletcher; Panola County Sheriff Kevin Lake and his Investigators and Patrol Deputies; Panola County Constables Mitch Norton and Bryan Murff; Texas DPS Intelligence and Counterterrorism Division; Louisiana Brand Investigator Carnie Burcham; Harrison County District Attorney Coke Solomon and his staff; and TSCRA Market Inspector Pat McGuigan. Anyone with further information regarding the unaccounted five head of stolen cattle in this case should contact TSCRA’s Operation Cow Thief hotline at 888-830-2333 or call Hand at 903-592-5252. A cash reward may be paid to individuals who can provide useful information leading to the arrest and indictment of suspect(s). Individuals reporting information may choose to remain anonymous.

SAAC ANNOUNCES PRODUCTION TEAM FOR “OZ”
The South Arkansas Arts Center takes you over the rainbow with the 2015 summer musical production of “The Wizard of Oz.”  The following individuals have been selected as the production team for the Murphy USA sponsored family musical which opens in the Callaway Theatre on July 16 and continues through July 26. Darrin Riley has been selected to direct and design the set for the production. Riley has worked in community, regional, and professional theatre in the United States and the United Kingdom for over 30 years. He has also worked within film, fashion, and television in San Diego and Los Angeles, California. Darrin has designed for the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Emmy and Academy Awards.  At SAAC, he has directed “Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap,” “Agnes of God,” “Cabaret,” “Chicago,” “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella,” “Willy Wonka,” “Hairspray,” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dream Coat,” Riley is currently the drama instructor and an Arts in Education artist for SAAC. Delaine Gates has been selected as assistant director for the production. Gates started in 1988 with the El Dorado school district teaching English, but transferred to drama when the position opened up. Since 2004, she has served the district as fine arts coordinator. Gates has participated in numerous different activities, including the SHARE Foundation and EDEF grants, Reading Council programs and projects with the SAAC and the South Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.  Most recently, she helped bring to the stage the community-wide production of "Les Miserables.” Gates’ students have won many theater competitions, performing in such places as New York City and Edinburgh, Scotland, on four occasions. She is an active member in local, state and national organizations and has presented conferences throughout the United States. Stacy Hawking has been selected to choreograph the production. Hawking is a senior BFA Musical Theatre major at Ouachita Baptist University originally from Sherwood, Ark. She has been seen in many productions at OBU including: “Shrek,” “Guys and Dolls,” and “Hello, Dolly!” She has also been in many main stage productions at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre including: “White Christmas” and “Hairspray.” She has been a participant of the Rep's SMTI program for the past nine years and an assistant choreographer to the program for the last five years. She's choreographed for OBU's “Festival of Christmas” for the last two years and the Ouachita Sounds for the last three years. Karen Watkins has been selected as chorale master. Watkins received a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Arizona State University. Currently she is the music instructor for Hugh Goodwin Academy for the Arts and teaches private piano and voice at SAAC. She has taught in musical theatre summer camps in the Phoenix area, north Texas, and at SAAC. Most recently, she was the vocal director for SAAC’s productions of “Swingtime Canteen,” “The Producers,” and “Oliver.” Auditions for “The Wizard of Oz” are scheduled for May 30, June 1 and 2. For more information about the upcoming summer production, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474 or visit saac-arts.org.

May 7th, 2015

STATE POLICE COMMISSION TO CONVENE FOR REGULAR BUSINESS MEETING; APPEAL HEARING TO FOLLOW
The Arkansas State Police Commission will convene on Thursday, May 14th at 9 AM to conduct regular monthly business. At 10 AM, or upon adjournment of the business meeting, the commissioners will reconvene as an appeal body to hear the termination appeal of former State Trooper Josh Berry. Both the monthly meeting and appeal hearing will be conducted in the State Police Commission chambers located at State Police Administrative Headquarters, One State Police Plaza Drive, Little, Rock.

THE UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS AT PINE BLUFF MINORITY RESEARCH CENTER ON TOBACCO AND ADDICTIONS TO HOST INAUGURAL TOBACCO AND ADDICTIONS LECTURE SERIES
(Pine Bluff, AR, May 7, 2015) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Minority Research Center on Tobacco and Addictions will host an Inaugural Tobacco and Addictions Lecture Series on May 14th and May 28th, 2015. The Inaugural Tobacco and Addictions lecture series will serve as a platform for the exchange of best practices, knowledge, and research regarding the prevention of tobacco use and other addictive substances within minority communities. Subject matter experts, Rev. Elaine P. (Walters) Gordon and Dr. Jasjit Ahluwalia, will be the featured speakers for this lecture series. Rev. Gordon is a nationally known preacher, author, speaker and teacher. Gordon is much sought after in social, civic, and religious circles for her keen ability to integrate theological concepts with social responsibility. Rev. Gordon is a member of the NAACP, Tri County Urban League, Center for Prevention of Abuse, Peoria Substance Abuse Coalition, Trainer for National African American Tobacco Education Network (NAATEN), Consultant for the Health Education Council and much more. Dr. Ahluwalia will begin his tenure as Dean of Rutgers School of Public Health on May 7, 2015.  His primary research has focused on nicotine addiction and smoking cessation in African-American smokers by way of conducting clinical trials, secondary analysis, qualitative research, and clinical epidemiology research. Among other honors, Ahluwalia received the Society of Behavioral Medicine’s national award for his excellence in mentoring, the Herbert W. Nickens award from the Society of General Internal Medicine for national leadership and research in improving minority health, and a lifetime leadership award from the American Public Health Association for his work on tobacco. “This event will be exhilarating,” commented Dr. Valandra German, Director of the Minority Research Center on Tobacco and Addictions.  “It is such an honor to have two speakers who have done extraordinary work in the field of tobacco and other addictive substances come to UAPB to share their expertise. Attendees of the lecture series are in for a productive exchange of knowledge and information.” Rev. Elaine Gordon will speak on May 14th at 10 a.m. and Dr. Ahluwalia will speak on May 28th at 11 a.m.  The lecture series will be held on the campus of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and will also be available via webinar.


BOOZMAN JOINS EFFORT TO REIN IN EPA OVERREACH AND IMPLEMENT GUIDELINES TO PROTECT WATER QUALITY
WASHINGTON— U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) has added his support to legislation that would protect our nation’s waters and the rights of landowners against overly burdensome and costly regulatory power-grab by Washington. The Federal Water Quality Protection Act, which Boozman is cosponsoring, directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers to revise the “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule to exclude waters that have never been controlled by the federal government like isolated ponds, ditches and agriculture water that lack enough flow to carry pollutants to navigable waters.  “Arkansas’s agriculture producers are rightfully concerned about the WOTUS rule and how it will limit their ability to use their land and grow their crops. I appreciate the efforts of my colleagues to work to rein in EPA and give the agency direction to write a rule that protects our waters without eroding the rights of landowners,” Boozman said. “By creating specific guidelines for EPA to implement, this legislation returns rule-making authority back to Congress and avoid additional regulatory hurdles.”

May 6th, 2015

RUTLEDGE: “SECOND AMENDMENT MUST BE APPLIED EQUALLY”
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has joined a bipartisan group of attorneys general from 20 other states in an amicus brief led by the State of Alabama to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals urging the court to strike down a San Diego County law restricting the issuance of concealed carry permits. “The Second Amendment must be applied equally,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This law, from a municipality in California, weakens the Second Amendment and infringes upon the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. Self-defense is a fundamental human right that must be protected. This misguided law from San Diego County cannot stand, and I am proud to join 20 of my colleagues from across the nation to ask the Ninth Circuit to put a stop to this serious encroachment.” In the court filing, Rutledge and other attorneys general said the Constitution clearly allows U.S. citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights to bear arms for lawful purposes, including for self-defense, both inside and outside the home. The San Diego County law, stemming from the Peruta v. County of San Diego case, treats bearing arms in self-defense as “not a right, but a privilege,” which must be determined by the county if the local government deems a person in a specific danger or documented threat. The brief, which was filed Thursday, points out that the California law applies the Second Amendment unequally by allowing some to receive concealed carry permits while others are not allowed. For instance, a business or occupation that places an individual in a dangerous location would allow for a permit, but not those who live in an area that would put them at “high risk” of harm. Consequently, the attorneys general argue the San Diego County licensing scheme is unreasonable and unconstitutional. In addition to Alabama and Arkansas, other states that joined the brief were: Alaska, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

SAU TECH PRESS RELEASE
Southern Arkansas University Tech will be offering a new program in cosmetology starting fall 2015. The program will run for three semesters and students can earn the hours needed to take the Arkansas Cosmetology Licensing Exam. The program hours will be Monday through Friday from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. This program came about as a response to community members submitting requests for a cosmetology program to the college via the following link https://www.sautech.edu/academics/programSuggestion.aspx. SAU Tech encourages feedback from the community on program interests and need.

SAAC HOST ARTIST RECEPTION FOR THE VIEWFINDER
The bi-annual judged photography competition “The Viewfinder” is currently on display in the South Arkansas Arts Center’s Merkle and Price Galleries until June 1.  An artist reception will be hosted in the galleries on May 16 from 6-8pm.  Awards will be presented at 6:30pm for the William P. Cook and Associates, PLLC sponsored competition.  The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public. Guest judge, Steven E. Ochs from Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia will select the award winning photographs from all works submitted by artists18 years and older from across the United States. $600 will be presented in prize money for First, Second, Third Place and Honorable Mention. Photographers with works included in the competition are: Joanna Benson; Nancy Boyd; Elena Bruewer; Maryan Caldwell; Kelly Campbell; Heather Canterbury; Erin Cate; Charles Davis; Delaney N. Durheim; Carol Ellen; Clarke Galusha; Pam Hays; Rhonda Hicks; Beverly High; Jeff Knight; and Faith Lightsy. Also included in the competition are: DeLeath Ludwig; Keely Marsh; Mike Means; Sophia Meyer; Nahid Motie; Adria Norton; Adam Owens; Lydia Kurylas Perrin; Jessica Perry; Larry Powell; Michael Preble; Jenn Purinton; Eli Rahaim; Emmaline Rahaim; AJ Rand; Tonya Reames; Kristyn Riley; Mallory Slaughter; Amanda Perrin Smith; Storm Spears; Sierra Spears; Brittany Trabbic; Heath Waldrop; Crystal Wall; Jim Warnock; Paul Washcha; Michelle Webb; Quentin Winstine; Craig Wynn; and Kelly Zeigler. SAAC hosts the open competition every two years in photography for any type of photographic cameras – SLR, digital, Polaroid, or cell phone. The competition offers amateur and professional photographers the opportunity to display their work and have it judged by regional and national art professionals. For more information about The Viewfinder, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474 or  visit www.saac-arts.org.

May 5th, 2015

ADEQ TO HOLD PUBLIC MEETING, HEARING FOR PERMIT MODIFICATION
The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) will hold a public meeting and hearing June 1, 2015, for a proposed permit modification involving Clean Harbors El Dorado, LLC. The event will begin at 6 p.m. at the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission Building, 2215 West Hillsboro, El Dorado. The proposed modification deals with the plant’s brine recovery facility, brine processing unit, and a number of tanks used in the plant operation. Typographical errors in the existing permit are also being corrected. Only comments regarding the proposed permit decision will be considered. Oral and written comments on the proposal will be accepted during the public hearing, but written comments are preferred in the interest of accuracy. In addition, written comments on the proposed modification will be considered if received no later than 4:30 p.m. (Central Time) June 5, 2015. Written comments should be sent to: Tammie J. Hynum, Chief, Hazardous Waste Division, Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, 5301 Northshore Drive, North Little Rock, AR 72118-5317. Hynum also should be contacted for a copy of the draft permit modification at 501-682-0831, or hynum@adeq.state.ar.us.

AR SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA PRESENTS BAROQUE BY CANDLELIGHT AT TRINITY CATHEDRAL, LITTLE ROCK
Little Rock, Arkansas, May 5, 2015 - The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Philip Mann, Music Director and Conductor, presents the finale of the 2014-2015 Intimate Neighborhood Concerts series with Baroque by Candlelight on Thursday, May 14, 2015 at 7:00 PM at the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, 321 310 W 17th St, Little Rock, AR. The candlelit concert features masterpieces of the baroque era by Handel, Bach and Vivaldi with piccolo soloist Gabriel Vega. The Intimate Neighborhood Concerts series is sponsored by the Stella Boyle Smith Foundation. Originally written for “small flute” and probably performed on the high-pitched sopranino recorder, Vivaldi’s concerto is a perfect fit for the modern piccolo. Vivaldi puts the instrument through paces of extreme virtuosity in the outer movements and features a lyrical central largo. Tickets are $25; active duty military and student tickets are $10 are can be purchased online at www.ArkansasSymphony.org; at the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral beginning 60 minutes prior to the concert; or by phone at 501-666-1761, ext. 100.
STELLA BOYLE SMITH INTIMATE NEIGHBORHOOD CONCERTS:
The Stella Boyle Smith Intimate Neighborhood Concerts Series is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy fantastic music in gorgeous, acoustically unique venues around Little Rock. The concerts offer a special, intimate performance where patrons can get up-close and personal with musicians in chamber orchestra ensembles performing pieces in the settings intended by the composers. In addition to hearing these beautiful works, concertgoers are invited to mingle with the musicians after the concerts.

UPCOMING SOUTH ARKANSAS POND MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP
Fisheries Biologists with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will host a free pond management workshop at the Donald W. Reynolds Campus and Community Center at SAU in Magnolia on May 21 at 6:30pm.  The intent of the workshop is to provide private pond and lake owners detailed information on how to properly manage and maintain their pond.  Primary topics to be covered will include: stocking, fish population management, weed control, maintaining good water quality, liming, and fertilization.  Common troubleshooting methods will also be covered.  Attendees are encouraged to bring samples of nuisance vegetation in their ponds for biologists to identify and recommend appropriate control methods.  There will be a brief section on proper pond construction and stocking for those considering creating a new fishing opportunity on their land as well.  The Reynolds Center is located on University Street on the campus of Southern Arkansas University.

SAU ENGINEERING HOSTING SUMMER CAMP
MAGNOLIA
 – Southern Arkansas University Engineering is hosting three-day, two-nigh “Big Bang Engineering Summer Camp” from July 20-22, 2015. The engineering and physics camp is open to high school sophomores, juniors and seniors. The registration fee is $200, and it includes room and board. Applications are due online athttp://www.SAUmag.edu/Big-Bang-Camp by July 7. Participants will enjoy hands-on projects related to engineering and physics. Engineering projects will include building and programming of Lego Mindstorms robots, playing with Arduimo-based electronics and hardware, designing the path of a robotic arm, building of model bridges and structures, design and modeling with Solid Works and material testing using a force tester. Physics projects will include designing and building electrical circuits, learning about space radiation and performing nuclear physics experiments and learning about wave interference, diffraction and beats with a sound laser. There will be an awards ceremony at the end of the camp. SAU launched the only four-year engineering program in the southern half of Arkansas this past fall, and enrollment has reached more than 50 students in the first year. The University currently offers four degree possibilities with the Bachelor of Science in Engineering with options in chemical engineering, industrial technology, mechanical engineering, or science. Construction will begin later this summer on the new 13,000 square foot engineering building, which will house laboratory, classroom and faculty office space. Including equipment and other furnishings, the project will result in a total investment of around $2.75 million.

May 4th, 2015

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT
Officers of the Camden Police Department, were dispatched to Taco Bell in Camden, after the assistant manager stated that two people placed an order at the driver thru, when a fight occurred.
The manager said that the two were cussing towards employees, demanding extra mild sauce. The manager also stated that a quesadilla was left out by mistake, when the woman in the vehicle attempted to fix the problem. According to reports, the woman pulled to the end of the drive thru, jumped out of her vehicle and ran to the dining area. As the assistant manager attempted to keep the woman from behind the counter, she began to get hit. The scuffle moved through the store out of the front door. Eventually the police were contacted. The assistant manager did suffer a bloody nose. After speaking with witnesses, police arrested the woman and the man with her, who was also involved in the fight.

OUACHITA COUNTY OFFICIAL PROCLAIMS HISTORIC PRESERVATION MONTH
LITTLE ROCK–Ouachita County Judge Robert A. McAdoo is among 118 officials in 62 counties who have declared May as Historic Preservation Month and Arkansas Heritage Month, AHPP Director Frances McSwain announced today.
“As we enjoy these month-long celebrations of our Arkansas heritage, we hope all of the people of Arkansas will take time to reflect on the importance of their local historic sites, especially those listed on the National Register of Historic Places,” McSwain said. (A list of Ouachita County’s National Register properties can be found at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/historic-properties/national-register/search.aspx.) 
Judge McAdoo’s proclamation reads as follows:
“WHEREAS, historic preservation is an effective tool for managing growth, revitalizing neighborhoods, fostering local pride and maintaining community character while enhancing livability; and
“WHEREAS, historic preservation is relevant for communities across the nation, both urban and rural, and for Americans of all ages, all walks of life and all ethnic backgrounds; and
“WHEREAS, it is important to celebrate the role of history in our lives and the contributions made by dedicated individuals in helping to preserve the tangible aspects of the heritage that has shaped us as a people; and
 “WHEREAS, we celebrate each May as National Preservation Month and Arkansas Heritage Month, cosponsored by Ouachita County, the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, the Department of Arkansas Heritage and the National Trust for Historic Preservation
“NOW, THEREFORE, I, Robert A. McAdoo, Ouachita County Judge, do proclaim May 2015 as National Preservation Month and Arkansas Heritage Month and call upon the people of Ouachita County to join their fellow citizens across the United States in recognizing and participating in this special observance.”

STATE TROOPERS RESCUE TEENAGE VICTIM IN HUMAN TRAFFICKING OPERATION
Arkansas State Troopers and civilian investigators of the State Police Crimes Against Children Division are being credited with locating and recovering a fifteen year old girl who had been sexually exploited while being held in a human trafficking operation. The arrest of Amber Johnson, 28, of North Little Rock last Wednesday night (April 29th) at a south Little Rock motel has become part of a larger human trafficking investigation.  The investigation has identified a second teenager who was the victim of human trafficking and sexual exploitation at locations in east Arkansas. State Troopers and CACD investigators also recovered two children, ages two and three, who had been kept in the Little Rock motel room with the teenage girl. “The credit goes to the State Troopers who initially had little to work with; only allegations of a runaway child somewhere in Arkansas being held against her will at an unknown location,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police.  “The troopers reached out to others in this department who possess specialized training and together they devoted themselves to rescue a child lost in the vicious world of human traffickers.” “Arkansas should be proud of the outstanding response by the Arkansas State Police on this case,” stated David T. Resch, Special Agent in Charge of the Little Rock FBI Field Office. Presently the State Troopers assigned to the State Police Highway Patrol Division, Criminal Investigation Division and civilian investigators of the Crimes Against Children Division are working closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Attorney relating to the Little Rock arrest.


CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB REPORT
The Camden Noon Lion’s Club will meet this week at Catherine’s Bistro. The speakers for Lions Club this week will be Faye Dismuke and Tan Ellis with the Ouachita Child Enrichment Center.  They will be updating us on what The Center does. For more on the Lion’s Club, and how you can join, you can call Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440 ext 7.

MORE THAN $780,000 RAISED TO HONOR RANKIN
MAGNOLIA – Following more than 45 years of service and countless speeches as a Mulerider, Southern Arkansas University’s retiring President Dr. David Rankin and his wife Toni were rendered speechless Saturday night. At a dinner to honor the Rankins, it was announced that more than $780,000 has already been raised to name the University’s College of Business the David F. Rankin College of Business. More than 250 people gathered for the dinner, which was emceed by Senator Bruce Maloch at SAU’s Grand Hall. A series of heartfelt tributes were given by close friends and respected peers, which included video messages from Governor Mike Huckabee, Governor Asa Hutchinson and Senator John Boozman. SAU icon Louis Blanchard opened the evening with his reflections of Rankin’s arrival at SAU in 1968.  Former Rankin student Jim F. Andrews, vice president, general counsel, and secretary for Deltic Timber, shared with the crowd how Rankin played an instrumental role in Andrews’ decision to choose SAU and they have stayed close for 33 years. SAU Dean of the College of Business Lisa Toms got choked up as she gave Rankin credit for not only countless achievements during his tenure as dean, but also for his inspiration that helped her get her Ph.D. and become dean herself. Current student and SAU President’s Ambassador Caleigh Moyer concluded the tributes with a touching speech. The idea for the David F. Rankin College of Business campaign began with the late Board of Trustees Chair Bill Stringfellow, according to Josh Kee, assistant vice president for Development. After Rankin’s retirement announcement in the summer of 2014, Stringfellow began to ponder how to honor Rankin in a meaningful way. He shared his idea with Kee and incoming President Dr. Trey Berry, then went to Board of Trustees and got their approval. Kee said that Rankin’s philosophy has been that when there is fundraising involved in a naming project, it is much more meaningful to the future of the institution. The fundraising goal for David F. Rankin College of Business is $1 million, and it will be one of the SAU’s largest endowments once it is completed. A permanent donor wall recognizing all the donors to the campaign will be installed later this summer. Proceeds from the endowment will provide scholarships, classroom enhancement funds and travel opportunities for students and student groups. If anyone wants to be a part of this effort to honor Dr. Rankin, please contact Kee at (870)235-4321 or JoshKee@saumag.edu. Rankin will retire at the end of this academic year on June 30. He has served SAU for 45 years, and the past 13 as president. In 2002, he set forth with his ambitious “Blue and Gold Vision,” SAU’s first capital campaign. He has almost completed that vision with numerous campus capital projects completed, totaling more than $100 million. The most recent project, the $4.4 million SAU Story Arena and Farmers Bank Reception Center, opened this spring.

May 1, 2015

COMMON CORE COUNCIL VISITS EL DORADO
LITTLE ROCK- A Common Core Listening Tour brought Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin and the Common Core Council to El Dorado Thursday night. Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced a Common Core Review Council in February. Now the council, led by Griffin, is traveling the state on "listening tours" to hear concerns and comments from parents and educators. "Parents and the educators, and folks in the local communities are a critical part in education of our kids. And they need, we need to hear from them, but they need an opportunity to express themselves, and that's what this is, and it's extremely helpful to the council," says Lt. Gov. Griffin. The majority of the audience agreed that the testing brought in by Common Core is the major issue. William Teer, an El Dorado High School English Teacher said, "The issue with Common Core testing; now I want to be clear on that. It's not the standards that I'm concerned about, the standards are very rigorous, and as an English teacher I believe in them. However, the over amount of testing that our students are having to go through is absolutely ridiculous and while data is important, we do not need to be testing these kids as much as we are." The amount of time that students and teachers have lost in the classroom because of testing has raised concerns. "If a student is losing about a month a year from testing being out of the classroom, loses a month of instruction, over their school career that is over a year. That's over a year that they are going to lose from instruction because of the testing, so that's important," says Lt. Gov. Griffn.

SAU RN HOPES TO HELP IN NEPAL
MAGNOLIA – Robyn Rowe said she feels a strong call to help the wounded in Nepal as a part of a medical mission trip, but she needs to quickly raise $3,400. If able to raise the funds, Rowe, an RN and assistant director for University Health Services at Southern Arkansas University, is going to be a part of a team organized through International Medical Relief. Her group will be providing health services in an outdoor tented area from sun-up to sun-down from May 29-June 7. Contributions can be given online to help her be a part of the Nepal disaster relief. Visit www.SAUmag.edu/RobynNepal to donate. Rowe states on her fundraising page that the number of reported injuries and the death toll are sadly rising every day, and without the help of medical teams providing much-needed care these numbers will continue to increase exponentially. “Anytime something like this [earthquake in Nepal] happens, being a nurse I wish I could be there to help,” said Rowe. She is also a resident director over one of the residence halls on the campus at SAU. She attended the candlelight vigil organized by SAU’s more than 22 Nepalese students and alumni earlier this week, and said she was especially inspired to act after this disaster because there are so many Nepalese and international students at SAU. “Our international students are so far away from home. It makes me really respect what they do coming to the U.S. to go to college,” she said. “Then something like this happens…I cannot imagine being so far away from my family in this kind of situation.”

MMB TO HOST MONTHLY ‘SECOND SATURDAY’ EVENTS
MAGNOLIA – Making Magnolia Blossom is inviting the community to join in on a “Second Saturday” kick-off event from 9 a.m. to noon on May 9, in which litter will be picked up in preparation for the Blossom Festival. On the second Saturday of every month, MMB will meet volunteers at 9 a.m. at the corner of Union and Jackson Streets, and then all will go out to tackle specific projects in the city. Each month different tasks at different locations will be completed, from trash pickup to light landscaping to small paint projects. Making Magnolia Blossom (MMB) has hosted two Big Splash cleanup events that have helped transform our Main Street and downtown. The first, a kick-off event on October 25, garnered more than 500 volunteers from Magnolia and Southern Arkansas University. Projects big and small were completed, with spotlight areas including the painting of two historic buildings near Dudney and Main and the addition of landscaping plots around Columbia Shopping Center. More recently on April 11, around 100 volunteers came out to clean up and paint around downtown. A dramatic transformation took place at the historic service station at Main and Pine. MMB, a community organization established at SAU in 2014, is geared toward spurring community involvement and economic development in Magnolia.  To sign up for email updates from Making Magnolia Blossom to keep up-to-date on volunteer opportunities, enter your email address at www.MagnoliaBlossom.org or call SAU Community Involvement Coordinator Deana Taylor at 870-235-4922.

SAAC’S THE VIEWFINDER OPENS IN GALLERIES
The South Arkansas Arts Center’s open photography competition, The Viewfinder, will be on display in the Merkle and Price Galleries from May 4 through June 1.  The bi-annual judged photography competition is sponsored by William P. Cook and Associates, PLLC. This year’s competition will be judged by Steven E. Ochs, Professor of Art and Interim Chair, Department of Art & Design, Southern Arkansas University  in Magnolia, Arkansas. Ochs has juried more than a dozen exhibitions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma and Alabama and has acted as curator for more than twenty exhibitions. At the SAAC, Ochs has taught SLR Photography class for adults, served as judge for The Viewfinder in 2007 and has exhibited his ceramic work in the galleries. He has conducted community workshops in photography all over the southwest region of Arkansas. The Viewfinder, one of SAAC’s bi-annual competitions, is open to all photographers, amateur and professional, using any type of photographic camera – SLR, digital, polaroid or cell phone and printed on any media. Photographers may use basic corrective editing in the dark room or digitally but no graphic manipulations or touch-ups allowed. Photographs must have been taken in the last three years and not previously shown at SAAC. Ochs will select the award winning photos for Best of Show, First, Second, Third Place, and Honorable Mention. $600 in prize money will be awarded during an artist reception for the exhibition on May 16 from 6-8pm. The South Arkansas Arts Center’s gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 9am until 5pm. For more information about 2015’s The Viewfinder, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474 or visit www.saac-arts.org.

STORM PREPARATIONS IN THE NATURAL STATE STARTS WITH TREES
LITTLE ROCK (April 30, 2015) – Arkansas has already experienced its first tornado of the season. With more severe weather on the horizon, it’s important that we take precautions to ensure the safety of our homes. One place to start is with the trees on our property. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, Arkansas experiences 21 tornados a year on average. Generating winds that can reach more than 200 mph, tornados can destroy structures and snap trees that cause even more destruction as they are hurled about by the storm. However, property owners often don’t think of hiring a certified arborist until after damage is done. These professionals can determine the type of preventative maintenance needed to improve the health, appearance and safety of trees. “Working with a certified arborist before and after a storm strikes is an important part of storm safety that is often overlooked,” said Kyle Cunningham, president of the Arkansas Urban Forestry Council. “Strong and healthy trees that are properly pruned and free of disease are more likely to withstand a storm and less likely to cause extensive damage to property.” After a storm, an arborist can safely perform emergency tree care, and if the recommendation is to remove trees, an arborist can safely do so, usually without causing further property damage. Unlike other services that offer tree removal at discounted prices, a reputable arborist will have been trained in proper pruning standards and have insurance that covers personal and property damage. For more information on finding a certified arborist in your area, go to www.arkansastrees.org.

April 28, 2015

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE REPORTS
Officers of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, were dispatched to a house fire at 3444 Bearden Loop. Upon arrival officers observed the house fire in the garage area of the home. According to reports, one of the residence to suffer burns to his stomach, chest and face. Another residence stated that electrical services to the home had been temporarily interrupted and that he and his brother had been using a gasoline powered generator to supply electricity to the home. The man also stated that at one point, the generator began to pop and make strange sounds and eventually “blew up, setting the whole area on fire and causing injury. Volunteer Fire Departments from Bearden, Fire District one and East Camden responded to the scene. Unfortunately the home was too far gone to save. The residents were taken in for treatment.

Lt. Cedric Gregory, of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, was dispatched to Ouachita 82 for a security check. A woman was requesting the check, after a female had come to her door asking for air to go in her bicycle tire. While traveling on Ouachita 82, the officer noticed a bike in the middle of the road, however no one was in the vicinity. The bike was taken in as found property.

CAMDEN KIWANIS CLUB REPORT
The Camden Kiwanis Club will meet this week at the Country Club. The guest speaker will be Mark Casey, he will be talking to us about the new Solar farm at Highland Industrial Park in East Camden. The Kiwanis club will have a combined meeting on Wednesday, May 13th at the Country Club so there will be no meeting on Thursday that week.

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT
Officers of the Camden Police Department, was dispatched to U.S. Highway 79B at Police Drive for a report of an accident. According to reports, a 2010 red Ford passenger car was resting at the base of a hill, with damage to the entire front of the vehicle. There was also damage to the front of a 1996 blue Cadillac passenger car. The driver of the Ford was still in the driver’s seat of the vehicle, but unresponsive, and showing signs of a seizure. The passenger (wife of the driver) stated that her husband started making noises and began accelerating while swerving of the road. She also said that she could not reach the brake and could not control the vehicle. The vehicle swerved into the old Buzz Buy parking area then back onto the road, before leaving the roadway again in front of Buck’s Garage, jumping a retaining wall, striking a utility pole and then colliding with the 1996 Cadillac, the was parked in the Shine Shop parking lot. The husband and wife were transported to OCMC by EMS for injuries they did sustain. Reports indicate that the two are in stable condition and being treated. Wrecker Services took control of the vehicles. 

GRIFFIN ENCOURAGES STUDENTS TO APPLY FOR INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
LITTLE ROCK –Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin today announced that his office is requesting applications for their internship program and issued the following statement: “Since January, my office has had a robust internship program, and we continue to accept applications for students interested in learning more about public policy and state government. Internships can be an invaluable experience for students to put their classroom knowledge to work, explore their career aspirations and serve our State. I encourage all college students to apply for this tremendous learning opportunity.”

April 27, 2015

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORTS
Officers of the Camden Police Department, were dispatched to the Dollar General, in the Garden Oaks Shopping Center for a report of shoplifting. The store manager stated that a group of 4, were inside the store and one was carrying a bottle of nail polish, and had attempted to leave the store. The manager said that when she confronted the 4, none would admit to it. Once the officer spoke with the group one admitted to taking the nail polish and that it was in a vehicle. Also located in the vehicle, during investigation, was a jar that contained a form of the methamphetamine. The jar and its contents were placed into evidence and sent to the police crime lab for investigation.

Sgt. Easttam, also with the Camden Police Department, stated that two males were in the area of Union Street and Karn Street. The officer observed the two males attempt to hide from him. According to reports, one of the male’s speech was so slurred that the officer could not understand what he was saying. When the tried to tie his shoe, he almost fell over. Now the man did admit to drinking, but stated “yeah I’m straight” when asked. He was then placed into custody.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB REPORT
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet this week at Catherine’s Bistro in Camden. The speaker this week will be Jami Cook –Director of Commission on Law Enforcement Standards & Training. She is the first female director of the commission and will be talking to the organization about her job, being appointed by the governor and what the Commission does.
For any additional information on the Lions Club, you can call Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440 ext 7.

SAU SPRING COMMENCEMENT MAY 8
MAGNOLIA – Southern Arkansas University’s Spring Commencement ceremonies are scheduled for Friday, May 8, 2015. A total of 483 candidates for graduation will be recognized in three ceremonies. The Department of Nursing will honor 90 nursing candidates at 10 a.m. Following will be the ceremony for the School of Graduate Studies at 2 p.m., during which 68 candidates will be recognized. Both of these ceremonies will take place in the W.T. Watson Center. The undergraduate ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. in the scenic University Mall, weather permitting. A total of 325 graduation candidates will be recognized from SAU’s four academic colleges. The commencement speaker will be 1979 SAU alum Mike Dumas, who is vice president and chief financial officer of Intermarine USA, the largest specialty project cargo shipping company in the United States.
Below is the schedule of events for Friday, May 9, 2014:
9:15 a.m.         Nursing graduation candidates report to W.T. Watson auxiliary gym
9:30 a.m.         Nursing faculty report to room 106 in W.T. Watson
10 a.m.            Nursing Commencement, followed by a reception in Wharton Nursing Building
1:15 p.m.         School of Graduate Studies candidates report to W.T. Watson auxiliary gym
1:30 p.m.         Graduate faculty report to room 106 in W.T. Watson
2 p.m.              School of Graduate Studies Commencement in W.T. Watson
5-6:30 p.m.      Graduate and Undergraduate Reception in the Mulerider Cafeteria
6 p.m.              Undergraduate candidates report to the Reynolds Center Grand Hall
6:30 p.m.         Faculty report to Harton Theatre
7 p.m.              Undergraduate Processional, featuring music by the SAU Brass Quintet
In the case of inclement weather, there will be two undergraduate ceremonies at the W.T. Watson Center. Students in the College of Business and the College of Science and Engineering will participate in a 7 p.m. ceremony, followed by an 8:30 p.m. ceremony for the students in the College of Education and the College of Liberal and Performing Arts.

April 23, 2015

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE REPORTS
Deputies of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of disturbance. A witness stated that he was sleeping when he woke to observe a man in his residence. He also said that he confronted the man, and forced him out of his home. The intruder then ran towards 3rd Street. The homeowner stated that the man had come thru the window in the bedroom that a female had been staying in, and said that she must have helped the intruder gain access into the house.

Deputies of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office responded to 196 Ouachita 310 in reference to a stolen firearm. A man stated that recently his nephew came to his residence while he was out of town, and had attempted to break into his residence and vehicles. The man stated that the residence actually belongs to his mother, who was not home at the time. He also noticed that his .22 caliber handgun was missing that he keeps under the seat of his GMC Yukon.

RIP POWELL INVITATIONAL GOLF TOURNAMENT POSTPONED
MAGNOLIA – Southern Arkansas University’s 5th Annual Rip Powell Invitational Golf Tournament has been postponed until Friday, May 1, due to the threat of inclement weather. The National Weather Service has forecasted a strong chance of severe thunderstorms for April 24, the tournament’s original date. Organizers say the tournament will follow its original schedule with one flight beginning at 8:30 a.m. and another starting at 1:30 p.m. at the Magnolia Country Club. The event is presented by Mustard Seed Financial. Pushing the date back is allowing registration to re-open for the few remaining team spots. The entry fee is $400 per team or $100 per player. Golf carts are available to rent for an additional $35. The entry fee includes breakfast, lunch, and a goodie bag. Proceeds from the tournament will be used to name the Mulerider football field in honor of long-time Head Coach Rip Powell. For more information on the tournament, call (870) 235-4321.

SPECIAL CALLED MEETING OF STATE POLICE COMMISSION SCHEDULED
The Arkansas State Police Commission will convene by telephone conference call during a special called meeting at 2 PM, Friday, April 24th.  The telephone call will originate from State Police Administrative Headquarters, One State Police Plaza Drive, Little Rock, inside the conference room of Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police. The purpose of the commission meeting is to consider an eligibility list of applicants to fill the positions of State Trooper Recruits.

April 21, 2015

FOUR MEN ARRESTED IN TEXARKANA AFTER SHOTS FIRED
TEXARKANA, AR - Four young men have been arrested after police investigated a 911 call about shots fired. It happened Monday after officers were called to the 1400 block of Laurel Street. That's where shots were reported to have been fired into the air from a vehicle with several occupants. Police said the weapon was an AR-15 rifle. After the incident, the vehicle drove toward North State Line Avenue. While investigating the call, officers found the suspect vehicle at a convenience store in the 1500 block of North State Line Avenue. The four suspects inside who were placed under arrest are identified as Rakim Thurston, 18; Jacob Willage, 19; Neco Smith, 19 and a 17-year-old boy. Police say an AR-15 rifle and a small handgun were found inside the vehicle.  All four were charged with carrying a weapon.

SAU CRIMINAL JUSTICE CLUB HELPS WOMEN’S SHELTER
MAGNOLIA – Southern Arkansas University students, faculty, and friends of the local chapter of the American Criminal Justice Association recently completed a volunteer work day at the Living Water Domestic Violence Shelter in Magnolia. On Saturday, April 11, 2015, representatives from SAU’s Lambda Epsilon Iota (LEI) helped do repairs, landscaping and overall pick-up around the facility, which aides victims of domestic violence in Columbia County. LEI members also provided their own money to purchase flowers, items needed to make repairs and other supplies, according to Louis Roy, assistant professor of criminal justice and LEI advisor. The organization also donated gift cards from local businesses to help victims of domestic violence get back on their feet. “The director of the shelter said this was the most people they have had working at the facility at one time,” said Roy. LEI has pledged to hold a similar work day twice each semester on behalf of domestic violence victims in Columbia County. The group is also working with City of Magnolia officials to help paint house numbers on curbs in neighborhoods to assist first responders.

SAU UPWARD BOUND HOSTS GRADUATION ON MAY 2
MAGNOLIA – The Upward Bound Program at Southern Arkansas University will hold its annual Senior Recognition and Awards Ceremony at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 2, 2015, at SAU’s Harton Theatre. A total of 28 graduates from eight Southwest Arkansas schools will be recognized. Graduates include: Arkansas High:  Vicki Allen, LaVentry Easte, and ThaQuisha Youngblood; Blevins High:  Kenzie Walker and Selena Whitt; Bradley High:  Mahogany Jones; Camden High:  Justice Frazier and Rubie McBride; Emerson High:  Tierra Ferguson; Hope High:  ShaDaveya McPherson; Magnolia High:  Audrea Curtis, De’Marte Darret, Tytiana Ford, Roshiana Keener, NyQuisha McNeill, Alexandra Pace, Roshanae Story, Brianna Tooks, and Shelby Willis; Nevada High:  FaDarius Miller; Prescott High:  Tray Beasley, Jaylon Christopher, Nykiara Dockery, Levi Edmondson, Jasmine Estrada, Mikatra Todd, and Kiyair Webb; and Taylor High:  Sarah Tyler. Amanda Morris-Roberts will be the keynote speaker. She is an Upward Bound alum, and was raised in Spring Hill, Arkansas, just outside of Hope. She participated in Upward Bound from the summer of 1986 to the summer of 1989. In 1990, she worked as a Peer Counselor for the program. She went on to obtain her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Henderson State University, a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy from Mississippi College and Master of Science in Missions from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. She is a licensed professional counselor, and is currently employed by Birchtree. She works with the severely and chronically mentally ill. She also owns Providence Counseling Center. She is the proud wife of Spence Roberts and mother/step-mother to five children. Upward Bound is a federally-funded program that creates an environment which inspires and supports engaged, life-long learning.  It motivates students to improve their grades in high school and continue education through a college degree. The program offers a comprehensive set of services targeted at a specific group of individuals from grades nine through 12. The SAU Upward Bound program has been in existence for more than 49 years and was one of the first in the nation. The program is currently funded to serve 180 southwest Arkansas high school students.  Students are eligible to participate if neither parent has a 4-year college degree and/or the family income represents economic need; they have the potential for success in post-secondary education; and they can benefit from Upward Bound services. For more information on SAU’s Upward Bound program or on the graduation ceremony, please call 870-235-4160 or visit web.SAUmag.edu/UB.

April 20, 2015

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE REPORTS
Lt. David Pennington, of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, was contacted by a man, who stated someone had taken his Capitol One credit card and made several charges. The man also said that one charge was on a black wig. According to the man, his cousin was staying at the same residence when he had purchased a black wig and was wearing it. The man was advised that a report would be on file.

Deputy Lindsey, of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, spoke with a man, who advised he had been in Little Rock with his brother, who was in ICU. The man also stated that he received a phone call from his niece stating that all 3 of his guns were missing from his safe. According to reports, the guns were a black 12 gauge shotgun, a .223 cal Assault Rifle, and an old 20 gauge shotgun. He was advised to contact the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office when further info was gathered.

GRIFFIN: “PAWS IN PRISON PROGRAM IS IMPROVING THE LIVES OF INMATES AND ANIMALS”
LITTLE ROCK –Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin issued the following statement after participating in a joint press conference regarding the Paws in Prison program: “The Paws in Prison program is improving the lives of inmates and animals: It helps inmates rehabilitate resulting in a safer Arkansas, helps inmates give back to the state and reduces the amount of animal deaths. My colleagues and I are working to increase awareness of Paws in Prison and look forward to watching its progress and success. About Paws in Prison: Paws in Prison is a non-profit organization founded in 2011 through the ADC, which partners with animal shelters and advocacy groups across the state. Inmates are selected to train rescue dogs in obedience and social skills.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB REPORT
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet this week at Catherine’s Bistro. This week the civic organization will have the Harmony Grove Wee Chorus under the direction of Cathy Worley.  They will be entertaining us with singing. For more information on the Lion’s Club and how you can join, you can call Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440 ext.7.

SAAC ANNOUNCES JUROR FOR 2015 ART COMPETITION
SAAC Announces Juror for 2015 Annual Juried Art Competition The South Arkansas Arts Center announces the selection of Dr. Stanton Thomas, Curator of European and Decorative Art at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, to judge the 2015 Annual Juried Art Competition.  The competitive exhibition is open to artists 18 years of age or older living in the United States, who work in two- dimensional and three- dimensional fine arts media, including photography and computer generated work.  The 2015 JAC is sponsored by Smackover State Bank. Dr. Thomas received his Ph. D. in the subject of Fifteenth Century Flemish Art from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio in 1998. He spent two years conducting archival research in Brussels and Leuven, Belgium, under the auspices of the Belgian American Education Foundation and the Vlaamse Gemeenschap. Prior to his enrollment at Case Western, he was an independent student at the Christian Albrechts Universität, in Kiel, Germany. He also holds a Master of Arts in Art History from the University of Missouri, Columbia, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Truman University in Kirksville, Missouri. After graduation from Case Western, Dr. Thomas taught as a visiting professor at that university, then held the position of Assistant Curator of Painting at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Currently Dr. Thomas is the Curator of European and Decorative Art at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. Here he is responsible for European painting and sculpture before 1900, as well as the decorative arts collection and is the museum’s liaison for the Decorative Arts Trust, the institution’s largest and most active support group; he is also an active member of their board. Since arriving in Memphis, he has greatly increased the Brooks’ holdings of Southern regional decorative arts, helping the museum to acquire rare pieces of silver, quilts, and sugar furniture. During his time at the museum Dr. Thomas has curated and organized numerous traveling exhibitions. Among the most popular of these were Venice in the Age of Canaletto, Nonconnah and Pisgah Forest Pottery, and The Crossroads of Memory: Carroll Cloar and the American South. Dr. Thomas’ most recent publication is the catalogue for “The Crossroads of Memory.” Dr. Thomas is a recent graduate of the Center for Curatorial Leadership in New York City and the Attingham Trust Summer School Program. Last November, during SAAC’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, Dr. Thomas gave a lecture on Cloar as part of the exhibition “Carrol Cloar’s Arkansas.” Entry deadline for the competition is May, 20. Notification of acceptance into the competition will begin on June 3.  The exhibition will be in SAAC’s galleries from July 1-30. For more information about SAAC’s 2015 Annual Juried Art Competition, visit www.saac-arts.org.


CONSUMER ALERT: BE RESPONSIBLE
LITTLE ROCK – In an effort to keep our communities safe, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is encouraging those who consume alcohol to do it responsibly. April is Alcohol Responsibility Awareness Month. The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility is asking everyone to learn more about the importance of alcohol responsibility. This month is also a good time to remind Arkansans about the dangers of drinking and driving. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the number of drunk driving fatalities in Arkansas has dropped 27 percent since 2009, but alcohol is still a factor in more than a quarter of all traffic deaths across the State. The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility notes that car crashes are one of the leading causes of death among teens, and in 2013, 29 percent of young adults killed in crashes had a blood alcohol level of .01 or higher. Also in 2013, Arkansas had more than 120 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities, with 16 of those involving impaired drivers under the age of 21. More than 7,800 Arkansans were arrested that same year for driving under the influence. Attorney General Rutledge issued today’s consumer alert to educate the public about the dangers of drinking and driving and the importance of responsible alcohol consumption for those who decide to drink. “For many years we have been hearing about the dangers of drinking and driving, but the problem persists,” said Rutledge. “Long-term alcohol consumption can decrease brain function and alertness. This is why it is imperative to educate Arkansans of all ages about alcohol responsibility.” Responsibility.org advises parents to begin talking with their children about alcohol consumption when they are old enough to ask questions about what their parents are drinking or ask to taste. The conversation should continue through college to make sure teens and young adults know the health and safety risks of over consumption and impaired driving. The Attorney General offered the following tips to consumers who make the choice to consume alcohol away from their home:  Designate a non-drinking driver before the event starts. Don’t let your friends drive impaired. Take their keys away. If you have been drinking, get a ride home or call a taxi. If you’re hosting a party where alcohol will be served, remind your guests to plan ahead and designate their sober driver, offer alcohol-free beverages and make sure all guests leave with a sober driver. The solution to this problem does not just rest in the hands of law enforcement. Individuals must make the conscious decision to not drink and drive. For more information about alcohol responsibility, visit responsibility.org For consumer-related questions, contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division (800) 482-8982.

April 16, 2015

HARMONY GROVE SCHOOL DISTRICT PARTICIPATES IN ARKANSAS PUBLIC SCHOOL CHOICE
Harmony Grove School District with campuses at 401 Ouachita Road 88 in Camden, Arkansas and on Main Street in Sparkman, Arkansas participates in the Public School Choice Act 560 of 2015. Students and parents are allowed options as to where the student attends public school other than in the districts in which they reside. Restrictions to a choice are contained in Arkansas Code Ann. 6-18-1901 et seq. Before a student may attend school in a non-residential district, the student's parents or guardian must submit an application on a form approved by the Arkansas Department of Education to the superintendent in the district where they wish to attend. This application must be submitted by May 1st of the year in which the student wishes to begin the fall semester at the non-resident district. Applications for the school choice attendance may be obtained in any superintendent's office. Parents are notified whether the choice meets the legal requirements and whether it is approved or not approved. The Harmony Grove School District is now accepting school choice applications for the 2015-2016 school year. Parents may call 870-574-0971 for applications and more information. Be reminded that the deadline to submit a school choice application is May 1st!

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORTS
Officers of the Camden Police Department were dispatched to 1060 Banner Street. Upon arrival, the officers found a man, who smelled of alcohol and appeared to be slurring his words.
Sources stated that the intoxicated man had been stirring up trouble and making threats. According to one man, there had been arguments over money and the intoxicated man’s wife.
Reports said that there was a restraining order in process against the wife. Once the intoxicated man found out about this he became very combative, and he was placed on a 12 hour hold to cool down and sober up.

Officers of the Camden Police Department were performing a security check at the Soapy Suds laundry mat. Upon entering Soapy Suds, the officer observed a male, sleeping across three chairs. Once awoke, the man said he was not washing clothes, and was arrested for loitering.
He was issued a criminal citation and a later court-date.

EMERSON WOMAN KILLED IN ACCIDENT
MAGNOLIA -An Emerson woman was killed Wednesday morning in a single-vehicle crash in Webster Parish northeast of Minden. Louisiana State Police said that Laura Woods, 25, was driving a 2004 Chevrolet Impala north on Germantown Road a mile south of Louisiana 534 when the car exited the roadway and crashed into a tree. According to reports, Woods was not restrained and suffered fatal injuries. She was pronounced dead at the scene by the Webster Parish coroner. Impairment is not suspected in this crash. A toxicology sample was obtained from Woods and will be submitted for analysis. This crash remains under investigation.

BOOZMAN, COTTON, HILL ANNOUNCE LITTLE ROCK RECRUITMENT CENTER SHOOTING VICTIMS WILL RECEIVE PURPLE HEART
WASHINGTON –U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton, along with Second District Representative French Hill, today announced that the Army has determined that two servicemembers attacked outside of a Little Rock Army recruiting center in 2009 will be awarded the Purple Heart. Private William Long of Conway was killed and Private Quinton Ezeagwula of Jacksonville was wounded when a terrorist opened fire on the recruiting center on June 1, 2009. “I am pleased that Private Long and Private Ezeagwula will receive the Purple Heart they rightfully deserve. They were targeted for the service, devotion and dedication to our country in a war where the frontlines against terrorism extend within our nation. Awarding Privates Long and Ezeagwula the Purple Heart for their service and sacrifice is simply the right thing to do,” Boozman said. “The Army’s decision to award the Purple Heart to the victims of the Little Rock Recruiting Center attack is long overdue,” said Cotton. “I am pleased these two young men will finally get the recognition they deserve. The war on terror is a global war—our enemies know no boundaries. Private William Long and Private Quinton Ezeagwula and their fellow soldiers who put their lives on the line to protect us from these enemies are all heroes—no matter the front on which they fight.” “The Army’s announcement today to award the Purple Heart to Privates Long and Ezeagwula concludes a nearly six year pursuit of justice and recognition for the families and victims of the 2009 terrorist attack at the Little Rock military recruiting station. This announcement is long overdue and finally gives these brave men the heroic level of recognition they deserve. I am truly appreciative of the efforts of our entire Congressional delegation who worked hard to make this happen; especially my predecessor in Congress and our current Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin whose tireless efforts ensured the sacrifice of these young men was fully recognized and honored,” Hill said. The Army’s determination was the result of a provision—written by Boozman—in the FY2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) [Public Law 113-291] which authorizes the award of Purple Heart to servicemembers killed or wounded in an attack that specifically targets a servicemember because of their status as a member of the nation’s Armed Forces or is carried out by a foreign terrorist organization. That provision, Section 571 of the FY 2015 NDAA, clarifies that an attack carried out by an individual will be considered an attack by a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) if the individual or entity was in communication with a FTO before the attack, and if the attack was inspired or motivated by a FTO. Actions and statements by Abdulhakim Muhammad, the man who pled guilty to charges of capital murder and attempted capital murder for the shooting at a Little Rock military recruiting station, met these criteria. In a December 2014 letter, Boozman, Cotton and former Second District Representative Tim Griffin urged Secretary of the Army John McHugh to award the Purple Heart to Private Ezeagwula and the family of Private Long. Making the case that the criteria had been met, Boozman, Cotton and Griffin wrote: “Throughout his (2011) trial, Muhammad repeatedly admitted that he was a soldier in the cause of war—or jihad—against the United States and that he targeted Privates William Andrew Long and Quinton Ezeagwula because they wore the uniform of the U.S. Army. Additionally, in 2007, Muhammad traveled to Yemen where, as he admitted, he consorted with known members of Al Qaeda including discussing attacks on American military personnel.”

April 14, 2015

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE REPORTS
Deputy McClane of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, responded to EZ Mart in Chidester for a report of a shoplifter. According to a store cashier, the suspect had already left the premise. The cashier also said it was a white female, who had taken a $12.99 pink wire frame pair of sunglasses. According to reports, the female was dropped off by a white male in a white truck, but was picked up by a black male, also in a white truck. The woman was described as short, around 4’9 in height, weighing around 120 pounds, with blonde-brownish hair. She was last seen wearing a light pink hoodie style jacket and blue/white shorts.

Deputy David Harcrow, of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, was dispatched to 288 Ouachita 204 for a theft report. Upon arrival, the officer met with a man, who stated an air-compressor from his carport, was missing. The man discovered it missing a few nights ago, and has also said that a battery charger, with an estimated value of $100.00 is missing.

Officers of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office were responded to a two vehicle accident on Highway 79 N and Ouachita 37. Upon arrival, officers found a 2004 Silver Honda Accord, on the side of the road, driven by a female. The other vehicle, a 2000 silver Toyota Camry, driven by a male, into a guard rail with damage. The man told officers that he fell asleep while traveling south on Highway 79. Buddy’s Wrecker service was called to the scene, and ASP Trooper F28 worked the accident. No injuries were reported.

SAU THEATRE TO PRESENT “BEAUTY AND THE BEAST”
MAGNOLIA – Tickets are on sale for Southern Arkansas University theatre’s big spring musical, “Beauty and the Beast,” which will run at SAU’s Harton Theatre nightly at 7 p.m. on April 23-25, 2015, and with a concluding matinee at 2 p.m. on April 26. Tickets can be purchased at www.showtix4u.com, or by calling (870) 235-5390. Prices are as follows:
- Adult - General Admission – $15
- Child / Student Admission – $10
- SAU Student / Faculty / Staff – $10
This “tale as old as time” is filled with spectacular costumes, lights, scenery, and music with a full orchestra. Michael Susko, professional theatrical director and choreographer, is bringing 25-years of experience to be a guest director for what he calls “one of the most beloved shows performed in practically every theatre in the country.” “This charming tale never fails to deliver what is best about musical theatre today,” said Susko. “A heartwarming story, fun and quirky characters, amazing songs, spirited dancing, and plenty of Disney magic to tie the beautiful package together.” Based on the Academy Award winning film in 1991 and opening to raves on Broadway in 1994, this spectacular story has continued to entertain children of all ages around the world ever since. In a show this large, Susko said it truly takes a village. Headed by Production Manager, Richard Vollmer, the entire SAU theatre department has contributed to the creation of the production of Beauty and the Beast. “In all of my years in the theatre, I have rarely seen a more devoted group of university students committed to a single event,” said Susko. “What you see tonight is their creation – sets, props, lights, costumes – they had their hands in all of it!” SAU theatre was approved on January 31 of this year to offer Arkansas’ most comprehensive Bachelor of Fine Arts in Performing Arts with studies in Musical Theatre and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Performing Arts with studies in Theatre by the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board. SAU’s BFA in Musical Theatre will offer a complete theatre and music curriculum, based on the National Association of Schools of Music, the national accrediting agency for music-related disciplines. To find out more about SAU theatre, visit www.SAUmag.edu/Theatre.

BROADWAY STAR ASHLEY BROWN PERFORMS FOR AR SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA POP SEASON FINALE
Little Rock, Arkansas, April 14, 2015 - The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Philip Mann, Music Director and Conductor, presents the fifth and final concert in the 2014-2015 Acxiom Pops Live! Series: Ashley Brown’s Broadway. Fresh from her run as Mary Poppins on Broadway, Ashley Brown and the ASO take over the stage with thrilling renditions of Broadway favorites. All ages will enjoy this special performance featuring music from "Wicked," "Fiddler on the Roof," "Sound of Music," "Mary Poppins," and more familiar hits from Broadway musicals and beloved Disney films. Concerts are Saturday, May 9, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. & Sunday, May 10, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. and take place at the Pulaski Academy Connor Performing Arts Center, 12701 Hinson Road, Little Rock, AR. Tickets are $19, $35, $49, and $58; active duty military and student tickets are $10 are can be purchased online at www.ArkansasSymphony.org; at the Connor Performing Arts Center box office beginning 90 minutes prior to a concert; or by phone at 501-666-1761, ext. 100. All Arkansas students grades K-12 are admitted to Sunday’s matinee free of charge with the purchase of an adult ticket using the Entergy Kids’ Ticket, downloadable at the ASO website.

SENATOR TOM COTTON HOSTS TELE TOWN HALL MEETING
Washington, D.C.— Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) last night hosted a tele town hall meeting with constituents. More than 26,000 Arkansans listened-in as Senator Cotton fielded questions and spoke about some of his efforts to protect Arkansans from government overreach. One of the most popular topics was President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. “The President is not acting in the best interest of America’s national security,” Senator Cotton answered. "A nuclear Iran is a threat to not just the US but to the world. The President seems determined to reach some grand agreement with Iran. I think we should be confronting Iran and not coddling Iran." Other questions centered around EPA overreach, VA wait times, Obamacare, immigration and tax reform. “Our tax code today is several times longer than the Bible and doesn’t have the good news. We need tax code that is simple and fair and promotes and rewards hard work,” said Senator Cotton. "We don’t need politicians in DC to tell you the best way to use your money. I would love to see the tax code reformed right now. Unfortunately, President Obama is the biggest barrier. We don’t have a taxing problem right now, we have a spending problem."

April 13, 2015

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORTS
Officer McDaniel of the Camden Police Department, was dispatched to the Dollar General in the Cardinal Shopping Center, in reference to a shoplifter. According to an employee from Dollar General, a female with red hair and tattoos had been sticking her hands in her purse. The employee also stated she never saw the woman put anything, but believes she stole something. While the officer searched the female’s purse, two packages of makeup, nail polish, a package of barrettes, a bottle of hair mousse, and a bottle of nail glue. The woman stated she did put the items in her purse, but did not intend to steal them. The value of the items was $30.87.
The woman was placed under arrest and taken to the station.

Officer Ferguson, of the Camden Police Department, were dispatched to 855 Crestwood Street for a subject that refused to leave. A woman stated that a man came home and got a knife from the kitchen. The female also said that the man waved the knife in front of her. When she told the man to leave, but he refused. When police arrived, the man stated that “I am not leaving the house or the closet, but if you take me to jail, I will go”. He was arrested for disorderly conduct.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB REPORT
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet at Catherine’s Bistro this week. The speaker this week will be Mayor Marie Trisollini.  She will be giving an update on what is going on in the city.
For more on the Lion’s Club and how you can join, you can call Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440 ext 7.

MAKING MAGNOLIA BLOSSOM COMPLETES SEVERAL PROJETCS AT BIG SPRING CLEANUP
MAGNOLIA – Around 100 volunteers joined forces to complete several projects and help beautify the city at Making Magnolia Blossom’s Big Splash Spring Edition. Motorists traveling down Main Street will notice several improvements, notably the spotlight project in which the circa 1940 service station near the square was restored to its original royal blue and white colors. Around 20 volunteers, including members of the SAU Volleyball team and SAU president-designate Dr. Trey Berry, were able to finish this project in just over four hours. Volunteer groups also updated the plants and flowers in the planters on the square, while others put a fresh coat of paint on the curbs and parking lines. Just off the square, several volunteers took on the overgrowth at the former drive-through bank at the corner of Washington and Union Street. A massive pile of debris in the parking lot, which is scheduled to be removed by Waste Management, was proof of the efforts at this location. Just across Union Street, MMB assisted Columbia County Master Gardeners for a spring cleaning of the Wilson Memorial Garden. When volunteers from here completed their tasks, they split up between Sherwin Williams and Carpet One to put fresh paint on their railings, steps, and parking lines. The landscaping plots that were added on Main Street in October were also weeded, and fresh mulch was added. MMB also trimmed the grass at and around Columbia Shopping Center’s right of way. Some volunteers were sent to pick up litter, but limiting volunteer numbers made it impossible to hit all the entrances to town. MMB is looking into designating a monthly Saturday to meet, disperse, and pick up trash or complete other improvement projects. To sign up for email updates from Making Magnolia Blossom to keep up-to-date on volunteer opportunities, enter your email address at www.MagnoliaBlossom.org or call SAU Community Involvement Coordinator Deana Taylor at 870-235-4922.

BOOZMAN, COTTON, & WESTERN ANNOUNCE EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION FUNDING FOR SOUTH ARKANSAS
WASHINGTON ––Arkansas Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton, along with FourthDistrict Congressman Bruce Westerman, announced a $3.2 million grant for Families and Children Together, Inc. to provide comprehensive early childhood and preschool services to children and families in Calhoun, Columbia, Dallas, Ouachita and Union Counties. “This investment in education will provide South Arkansas children with the tools they need to succeed in the classroom. Fostering education at an early age is important to promoting an interest in lifelong learning and helping these young minds prepare for the future,” Boozman said. “Early education plays a pivotal role in a child’s overall literacy development and readiness for school. This grant will help ensure success for South Arkansas children,” Cotton said. “A solid education is essential to success in an increasingly competitive job market. Congratulations to the children of Calhoun, Columbia, Dallas, Ouachita, and Union Counties," Westerman said The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES OF AR OFFICIALS OFFER INPUT TO EPA ADMINISTRATOR REGARDING PROPOSED CLEAN POWER PLAN
Little Rock, Ark. — April 13, 2015 —Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas leaders met with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy earlier today to outline concerns and offer alternatives to the EPA’s draft 111(d) rule. Mel Coleman, CEO of North Arkansas Electric Cooperative of Salem and president of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), Duane Highley, president/CEO of Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation, Patrick Ledger, CEO of Arizona Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. of Benson, Ariz., Lisa Johnson, CEO/general manager of Seminole Electric Cooperative of Tampa, Fla., and Stuart Lowery, president/CEO of Sunflower Electric Power Corporation of Hays, Kan. represented the nation’s member-owned electric cooperatives at the meeting. “We are seeking to preserve the remaining useful life of existing power generation facilities,” Coleman said. “Many power plants across the United States have outstanding debt as they have not reached the full term of their production life. Flexible state-by-state goals with deadlines respective to each state’s situation are needed as each state’s situation is vastly different.” The delegation informed McCarthy that many of the wholesale generation facilities have already implemented previous federally dictated emission control upgrades and are financing the equipment. “It would be unfair for consumers to pay twice for their electricity,” Highley said. “In some situations, ratepayers would have to pay for the debt on the plants that are being closed, as well as the costs of new power plants that will have to be built to meet energy demands.” Coleman said the purpose of the meeting was to outline the very serious impacts this rule will have on rural electric cooperatives and the member-owners. “Since the proposed plan was unveiled, we have voiced concerns, while offering alternative avenues to achieve the Administration’s goals. However, the EPA's effort to regulate outside the fence line remains a fundamental concern.” Coleman indicated that the cooperative delegation asked McCarthy to eliminate the 2020 interim goals and adjust a 2030 reduction deadline timeframe to at least 2035. These changes would allow states to plan, prepare and reach the goals, while preserving reliability for consumers, he said. “NRECA, on behalf of the nations’ more than 900 electric cooperatives, has presented the EPA with real-world data to demonstrate what is possible under the “building blocks” listed within the federal plan,” he said. “Power plant owners operate the facilities and know approximately what potential modifications would cost ratepayers. Once again this data is based on actual operational data, not academic models.” The electric cooperative leaders requested that a dynamic reliability safety valve be included in the final Clean Power Plan. “There is no way to accurately predict any number of issues that could arise that could cause power shortages and impact our nations’ economy.” The EPA plans to release the final Clean Power Plan rules in June and include a federal implementation plan for any states that do not craft state or regional implementation plans. Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas“We appreciate Administrator McCarthy listening to our concerns and receiving our input,” Coleman said. “As not-for-profit, member-owned electric cooperatives we are charged with providing reliable, affordable electricity to some of the poorest areas in the nation. We take this responsibility very seriously and always work as advocates for our members.” The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas comprise 17 electric distribution cooperatives; Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI), a Little Rock-based cooperative that provides services to the distribution cooperatives; and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. (AECC), a generation and transmission cooperative. The distribution cooperatives provide electricity to approximately 500,000 homes, farms and businesses in Arkansas and surrounding states. For additional information, contact: Rob Roedel, Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, 501.570.2296 or rroedel@aeci.com www.ecark.org

April 9, 2015

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE REPORTS
Deputy McClane, of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, responded to an unknown disturbance at the end of Ouachita Road 565. Upon arrival, the deputy met with a man who had advised that his estranged ex-brother in law, had just been at his residence, causing a disturbance. The man also stated that his brother was under the influence, and had called earlier wanting a ride to “score” some meth. The man then said he took the brother to Ivory Heights in Camden and dropped him off; also stating that he was carrying a pistol and was agitated that he had been left there. The man also witnessed his Camero being damaged by the ex-in law. The former family member then left the scene in a maroon older-model vehicle.

Lt. James Bolton of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, was dispatched to Ouachita 3 for a theft report. Upon arrival, the officer met with a man, who stated that he witnessed a man get his new Stihl saw 460 chain pinched in a tree. The man claims that a few days later, when he went to remove the saw, it was missing. The chain was left, but the bar and saw were gone. The owner states that his name was carved into the handle of the saw.

Officers of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, along with the Elliot and Louann Fire Department, responded to an unknown fire at 112 Ouachita 515. Upon arrival, it was learned that four vehicles were fully engulfed in flames under a carport. The vehicles involved were a 2004 Nissan Titan, 1996 Mercedes Benz, 2002 and 2004 Honda Goldwing. The owner, was out of state at the time. All vehicles were a total loss.

Officers with the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, responded to 171 Ouachita 593, for someone threatening to commit suicide. Upon arrival, officers met with a woman, who stated that her daughter-in-law, was intoxicated, and threatening to kill herself. The mother also said that its all over here and her husband, who are separated. The daughter was transported to the Ouachita County Medical Center. 

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT
Officer Brian Finney, of the Camden Police Department, was on foot at 303 North Johnson Street to attempt to serve a warrant. The officer observed a male, and asked him for a name and date of birth. The man refused and told the officer to stop harassing him. After the man continued to refuse giving any information, the officer told him he was under arrest for obstructing governmental operations. After minutes of resisting, the man was placed into handcuffs and taken into custody.

WATER QUALITY FORUM RESCHEDULED
MAGNOLIA - A water quality forum for people who live, work, recreate or own property in the Lower Ouachita-Smackover Watershed, originally set for April 14 in Smackover, has been cancelled and will be rescheduled for a later day. The forum, hosted by the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, was set as an opportunity for the public to identify water quality issues or concerns, and their community’s priorities for addressing water pollution.

CAMDEN GROUP COLLECTING ITEMS TO ASSEMBLE RED CROSS COMFORT KITS
Camden group collecting items to assemble Red Cross Comfort Kits Camden, AR April 9, 2015:  Leadership Camden Area – Group 1 is collecting items to assemble comfort kits for the Camden chapter of the American Red Cross during the month of April.  Comfort kits are one of the first items the Red Cross distributes to those affected by disaster.  They contain toiletry items that victims of disaster may need.  To arrange a donation, call 870-639-4482 or email camdencomfortkits@gmail.com. Items needed include: shampoo, soap, washcloth, toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, hand sanitizer, deodorant, lotion, razors, shaving cream, comb, diapers, baby wipes, and feminine hygiene products.

STATE POLICE SPECIAL AGENT PROMOTED TO SERGEANT
(LITTLE ROCK) – Arkansas State Police Special Agent Scott Russell has been promoted to the rank of sergeant assigned to the department’s Criminal Investigation Division, Company A. Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police, presented the recommendation for promotion to the State Police Commission during a regular meeting of the commissioners today. Sergeant Russell, 48, of Phillips County, is a ten year veteran of the State Police and most recently has been assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division as an investigator in east Arkansas. The promotion and new duty assignment is effective immediately.


GOV. HUTCHINSON’S OWN WORDS SHOW HE KNOWS EXECUTIVE ORDER PROTECTING LGBT STATE WORKERS WOULD HAVE A HUGE POSITIVE IMPACT
LITTLE ROCK— Today, HRC Arkansas reacted to Governor Asa Hutchinson’s assertion that there is no “urgent need” to sign an executive order protecting LGBT state workers, and urged him to take immediate action to ensure all employees are treated equally under the law. According to the Associated Press, "Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson says he doesn't see an urgent need for an executive order extending anti-discrimination workplace protections to gay and lesbian state employees after lawmakers approved a reworked religious objections bill." It went on to report that "Hutchinson told reporters Thursday he had considered such an order as an alternative in case lawmakers didn't agree to his request to revise [H.B. 1228]." These statements come despite his earlier public assurances that he was considering an executive order to protect state workers from discrimination.  In a press conference last week, Hutchinson said “Another option that we are looking at is to utilize an executive order, which interestingly has not been utilized from my research, from the executive branch in state government, in terms of protecting against discrimination in the workplace for state government. ” He went on to add, “We are looking at an executive order to aid in that communication and to make it clear that Arkansas wants to be a place of tolerance.  We want to be a place that has the right balance between religious protections and religious freedom and non-discrimination.” In response to today's comments from Governor Hutchinson, HRC Arkansas State Director Kendra R. Johnson released the following statement: “Governor Hutchinson's own words last week show that he understands the huge positive benefits of issuing an executive order protecting LGBT state employees from discrimination. Now is the time to take action,” said Johnson. “If the Governor truly wants to send a message that the H.B. 1228 debacle is behind him--and that Arkansas wants to attract the jobs of tomorrow--issuing this simple executive order would be an essential first step toward that goal." Johnson noted that more than 100 leading executives and CEOs of American technology companies have issued a joint statement calling on statewide elected officials across the country to guarantee LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination protections. The companies have committed to taking the absence of these protections into account when considering future investments. "Governor Hutchinson could begin that progress with the stroke of a pen," Johnson said.  HRC Arkansas is working to advance equality for LGBT Arkansans who have no state or municipal level protections in housing, workplace, or public accommodations; and legal state recognition for their relationships and families. Through HRC Arkansas, we are working toward a future of fairness every day—changing hearts, minds and laws toward achieving full equality.

U DRIVE U TEXT U PAY
(LITTLE ROCK) – State Troopers and local law enforcement officers will be watching more closely in the coming days for drivers who violate the Arkansas texting law.  The statewide crackdown by law enforcement officers is scheduled for April 13th – 19th and is part of a national high visibility campaign known as “U Drive U Text U Pay”.
The campaign combines intense enforcement of laws that prohibit texting while driving along with advertising and media outreach to inform the public about the stepped-up patrols and the driver’s responsibility to obey texting laws. “Texting while driving is illegal and irresponsible,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.  “I believe the strict enforcement of the no texting while driving law is vital if we’re going to keep Arkansas highways and roads safe.” Arkansas law prohibits the use of a cell phone for texting, typing, email or accessing the internet while driving, regardless of the driver’s age.  It is also a “primary offense law,” which means a police officer or sheriff’s deputy can initiate a traffic stop without observing any other violation.  For the first offense, a driver can be issued a warning ticket, but for subsequent violations fines can range as high as $100. Drivers should be aware of additional state laws related to distracted driving. It is illegal for all drivers to use hand-held cell phones while traveling through school or highway work zones.   All drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle.  And, drivers 18 to 20 years using a cell phone are required to use a hands-free device. “Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving,” said Colonel Bryant.  “That’s why State Troopers and other law enforcement officers will be out in force across Arkansas during the crackdown in an effort to reduce the threat of injury or death that may be caused by drivers who violate the texting law.”  For more information on distracted driving issues, visit www.Distraction.gov, www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136. For more on Arkansas’ ongoing Toward Zero Deaths campaign to eliminate preventable traffic fatalities, visit www.TZDarkansas.org.


ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE TO LAUNCH INTERN PROGRAM
LITTLE ROCK, ARK. – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced today that her office is launching an intern program for college students seeking to learn more about a career in government and public service. “Internships can be invaluable for college students to gain real-world experience as they try to decide their career path,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “An internship in the Attorney General’s Office will encourage careers in public service and offer students the opportunity to directly impact people across the State. The Attorney General’s Office already has a well-established law clerk program, but our internship program will benefit students not necessarily interested in law school or not yet in law school.” Departments include: Civil, Communications, Community Engagement, Criminal, Finance, Information Technology, Medicaid Fraud Control, Opinions and Public Protection.
Applicant packet information is available under the employment section at ArkansasAG.gov.
2015 internship deadlines:
-Deadline to apply for the summer session is May 1. Summer session will run from June 1 to Aug. 7.
-Deadline to apply for the fall session is July 1. Fall session will run from Sep. 1 to Dec. 11.  Some interns may be able to arrange for college credit for their internship, depending upon the requirements of their college or university. Those with questions about the Attorney General’s Office intern program should contact the Human Resources Department at (501) 682-2007 or internship@ArkansasAG.gov.

April 8, 2015

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT
Lt. Robertson of the Camden Police Department, responded to Taco Bell to assist Sgt. Easttam with a traffic stop. Upon arrival Robertson, observed Sgt. Easttam on a traffic stop with a green Nissan Maxima. Sgt. Easttam explained that he had stopped the vehicle for Careless Driving and believed the driver to be intoxicated. When the officers first made contact with the driver, he was smoking a cigarette. The officers asked him to put it out, and after doing so they detected a strong odor of intoxicants coming from the man. The odor only grew stronger as he spoke. According to reports, the driver also had bloodshot and glassy eyes. After the driver failed a series of field sobriety tests, he was arrested and taken into custody. He was charged with DWI.

HARMONY GROVE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL REGISTRATION
Harmony Grove Elementary School Kindergarten Registration is scheduled for April 20th-April 24th. The registration will be from 8:00 am until 3:00 pm. If your child will be 5 years old ON or BEFORE August 1, 2015, then your child is eligible for kindergarten. Parents must bring the following items: social security card, state issued birth certificate, immunization record, and TWO proofs of residence in the Harmony Grove School District, and Medicaid #or ARKids 1st #. Please call 574-0960 or 574-0338 to schedule an appointment, or have any questions.

JUDGE DENIES REQUEST TO LIFT HOLD ON PRESIDENT’S EXECUTIVE ACTION ON IMMIGRATION
LITTLE ROCK, ARK. – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released the following statement regarding a ruling by U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen that finds the federal government misled the court regarding early implementation of expanded work permits to illegal immigrants. In the order, Hanen says the government has not “shown any credible reason for why this directive necessitates immediate implementation,” leading him to deny the request to immediately lift the hold and implement the President’s executive action on immigration. “The President continues to move forward with his unilateral action on immigration, which is a clear violation of the law,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Judge Hanen affirmed in his ruling that the federal government misrepresented to the court its implementation and showed no credible reason why the executive actions must have immediate enactment. The President’s executive action, which would force states to invest more in law enforcement, health care and education, should not proceed until all litigation has been resolved.” Arkansas is part of a 26-state coalition led by Texas, which is fighting the President’s unlawful executive actions with regard to immigration. Joining Arkansas and Texas are: Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has already asked the 5th Circuit to lift Judge Hanen’s injunction, and the court is scheduled to hear arguments in the case on April 17.

SAAC’S 2015 JURIED ART COMPETITION CALL FOR ENTRIES
The South Arkansas Arts Center announces a call for entries to the 2015 Annual Juried Art Competition. The competition is open to all artists throughout the United States, who are 18 years of age and older, and work within two dimensional and three dimensional fine art media.  The competition is sponsored by Smackover State Bank. This year, SAAC is pleased to announce Dr. Stanton Thomas from the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art as the guest judge for the competition. Dr. Thomas will cull the accepted works from all submissions made and will select the award winning works.  Over $2000 in prize money will be awarded for Best of Show, First, Second, and Third Places, as well as Honorable Mention, the People’s Choice, and the Wilma Riley Purchase Award. Entry deadline for the competition is Wednesday, May 20. Notification date of selection into the competition will be Wednesday, June 3.  The exhibition will be in the Merkle and Price Galleries of the South Arkansas Arts Center from July 1-30. All 2-D and 3-D fine arts media accepted, including photography and computer generated work. Pieces must be original and completed in the last five years. Artwork completed under classroom supervision and/or reproduced from work by other artists or published material is not accepted. All entries are $10 each. Artists may submit any number of entries by digital image but a maximum of 3 entries can be accepted in the exhibit. Payments online can be made with PayPal and Visa. Payments made directly through the SAAC office can be made with any credit card, check or cash. Make checks payable to SAAC. Entry fee is non-refundable. Submit digital images by online entry form or deliver digital images on CD with a completed entry form and applicable fees to SAAC Juried Competition, 110 East 5th Street, El Dorado, AR 71730.• The juror and gallery manager have final authority to define what constitutes an acceptable entry. Works may be rated unacceptable if considered unsafe or appear to be significantly different from the image submitted to the juror. For full details on eligibility and submission guidelines, visit www.saac-arts.org.  

SAU M.S. IN KINESIOLOGY-COACHING SPANS U.S.
MAGNOLIA – The Masters of Science in Kinesiology-Coaching online program at Southern Arkansas University has attracted students from Philomath, Oregon, to the opposite side of the U.S. at Tarrytown, New York, and everywhere in between. The rise of this program is due its affordability and to a number of other factors, according to Dr. Kim Bloss, dean of the School of Graduate Studies at SAU. “Word of mouth about the quality of this program, coupled with Steve Dingman’s relentless recruiting efforts are making the M.S. in Kinesiology-Coaching program successful. I have heard such positive comments from graduates of this program, many that I meet at graduation on their first physical visit to campus,” said Bloss. Dingman, director of the M.S. in Kinesiology-Coaching program, is excited about the expanded reach of this degree program. “The benefit of this program being online is that it has attracted SAU graduate students from both of the U.S. coastlines, as well as from Indiana, Missouri, Virginia, Illinois, Texas, Minnesota, Louisiana, and Tennessee,” said Dingman,. “The diversity of students in this program should make for some awesome online interaction.” Students in this program are offered an understanding of coaching philosophy and ethics, safety and injury prevention, physical conditioning, growth and development, teaching and communication, sport skills and tactics, organization and administration, and evaluation. Students will be able to demonstrate competencies outlined by the National Standards for Sport Coaches as well as the competencies that have been established for the graduate programs at SAU. The program is delivered online to enable working professional’s greater flexibility in completing their advanced educational studies. The total program cost, from the 2014-15 tuition and fees, is $10,241 and $14,465 (out-of-state). The program is 33 total hours, or 11 courses, and can be completed in 23 months. Tim McKelvy, running backs coach Pulaski High School and the 2013-14 Outstanding Graduate Student from the College of Education, aspires to be an athletic director and particularly found the Sport Administration course beneficial. “One of the biggest things I got out of the program was the extra knowledge to help me be a better coach. Second of all, the coursework is very applicable and I have used many of the things I completed in my classes in my daily work,” said McKelvy. McKelvy added that the faculty in the program is exceptional. He lives and works in Little Rock, and said the online nature of the classes was extremely helpful, especially during football and baseball season. Brian Schaudt, of Philomath, Oregon, said he was drawn to SAU’s program because he found it was a healthy blend of both kinesiology and coaching instruction. He said in his research, he noticed that kinesiology is not prevalent in other graduate programs. He said he has appreciated the responsiveness and genuine interest of faculty, and the flexibility of the program. “Due to the accommodating faculty and program layout, I am able to coach at two programs and study massage therapy at the same time as well...all in Oregon,” said Schaudt. Remus Galvin, a teacher and coach at Frazier Preparatory Academy in Chicago, said that the thing that jumps out to him with SAU’s program is the family-feel, which he felt since his first conversation with Dingman. In fact, he credits the faculty with helping him pull through despite facing three family losses in a six-month timespan. “I was all but mentally checked out of the program,” said Galvin. “Mr. Dingman and Mr. Ron Smith were very patient with me and supportive. I will be eternally grateful for their support and guidance. This program felt like a family. I thank SAU for the experience.” Galvin was introduced to the SAU program when his athletic director handed him a brochure. Hannah Dyer, on the other hand, got her bachelor’s degree from SAU and said she could not imagine continuing her education anywhere else. “I live in West Virginia, and the program being online enables me to continue my education through SAU. My instructors are always willing to work with me, and I always get a timely response to any questions I have,” said Dyer, who hopes to work in athletic administration or sports information at the university level. The M.S. in Kinesiology-Coaching is not the only graduate program at SAU to be on the rise. In fact, the SAU School of Graduate Studies reached a milestone of more than 500 students, a school record, in fall 2014 semester. In Spring 2015, the record was crushed as enrollment spiked to more than 600 students. To find out more about the family-like and affordable degrees at SAU’s School of Graduate Studies, visit www.SAUmag.edu/Graduate.

April 6, 2015

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORTS
Officer Elliot Sharlotte Elliot, of the Camden Police Department, was dispatched to the Family Dollar Store, located at 700 California Avenue, for a shoplifter. Dispatch advised the subject was a black male wearing camouflage pants and a blue hat. Dispatch then advised the subject leaving he officer initiated a traffic stop with the vehicle, bearing Arkansas license plate number 236 WBS. Contact was made with the driver, who did fit the description given by dispatch. A black woman was also seen sitting in the passenger seat. The driver did hand the officer his Arkansas I.D. card, but was unable to provide registration, and proof of insurance. The driver did state they were coming from the Family Dollar Store. When asked for her driver’s license, the woman stated she didn’t have it on her, and she began saying aloud “I didn’t have anything to do with it”. When asked what she was referring to, the woman continued saying “I didn’t have anything to do with it”. The manager of the store said that when alarms went off the man turned over the two air-fresheners he had attempted to take. The man was taken into custody, and Kelly’s Wrecker was contacted and later took possession of the vehicle.

Officer Maslakov of the Camden Police Department, was dispatched to Jake’s Club in reference to someone refusing to leave. Upon arrival the officer made contact with a man whose eyes were bloodshot, and speech was slurred. The man stated that he gave someone at the club $10 to take him back to Harmony Grove, but they would not do it. The man was sitting on the porch of s house, although he couldn’t name who the resident was. No one was located inside the house.
He was arrested and transported to the Ouachita County Detention Complex.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB REPORT
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet this week at Catherine’s Bistro. The speaker for Lions this week will be Scott Watkins with the South Arkansas Symphony.  Scott will be talking about their upcoming Gala as well as informing everyone about some of next year’s concerts. For any additional information on the Lions Club and how you can join, you can call Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440 ext 7.

SAAC ANNOUNCES BI-ANNUAL COMPETITION IN PHOTOGRAPHY
The South Arkansas Arts Center announces their bi-annual open competition in photography, The Viewfinder, for any type of photographic cameras – SLR, digital, Polaroid or cell phone. If a picture paints a thousand words, then The Viewfinder speaks volumes.  Sponsored by William P. Cook & Associates, PLLC, the entry deadline for works submitted for the competition is April 29. The exhibition of selected works is scheduled for May 4 – June 1, 2015. Cash prized will be awarded for Best of Show, First, Second, Third Places, and Honorable Mention. Entries must be original photographs taken with any type of camera that are framed and ready for display in the gallery. Photographers may use basic corrective editing in the dark room or digitally, but no graphic manipulations or touch-ups allowed. Photographs must have been taken in the last three years and not previously shown at SAAC. No work done under supervision or in a classroom environment will be accepted. Each piece must be framed appropriately with a sufficient hanging method. The judge and show chairperson have final authority to define what constitutes an acceptable entry. Steven E. Ochs, Professor of Art and Interim Chair, Dept. of Art & Design, SAU in Magnolia, Arkansas, will judge The Viewfinder. Ochs has juried more than a dozen exhibitions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma and Alabama and has acted as curator for more than twenty exhibitions. To enter submit up to two framed photographs along with a completed entry form and the entry fee of $10 for SAAC members and $15 for the general public for each piece.  For more information about entering, The Viewfinder, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474 or visit www.saac-arts.org for full eligibility and downloadable entry form.

EVENT TO HONOR AR MISSING CHILDREN AND ADULTS WILL BE HELD ON JUNE 10TH; LAW ENFORCEMENT REGISTRATION OPENS
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced June 10th as the date for the 4th annual Never Forgotten – Arkansas Takes Action event. The event was established to raise awareness of issues surrounding missing persons and recognize Arkansas’s missing children and adults. The morning portion of the event will offer a law enforcement training session. Kevin Mulcahy, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of Michigan, will give a presentation to law enforcement about his personal experience as a survivor of childhood sexual exploitation. Mulcahy will speak about how he uses that experience in investigating and prosecuting child predators. The training will give members of the law enforcement community and attorneys an opportunity to earn continuing education credits. “Whether an adult or child has been missing for one day or several years, their family and friends need our support and assistance,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I am looking forward to continuing and strengthening this important initiative so that Arkansas families with missing loved ones understand that they are not alone and certainly not forgotten. It’s also important that we train our law enforcement community so they have the tools they need to investigate these very difficult cases. “Mr. Mulcahy will bring an invaluable perspective to our event this year, and I look forward to welcoming him to Arkansas in June.” Never Forgotten – Arkansas Takes Action, an all-day event, will take place at Camp Robinson in North Little Rock and will also include a luncheon and an afternoon information session that will allow for DNA collection for families of the missing. Rutledge will host the luncheon ceremony to honor families of missing children and adults. The luncheon will be an opportunity for families who are still searching and for families who have lost loved ones to come together to support each other. Rutledge encourages families and loved ones of the missing to attend on June 10 and bring with them as much information as possible about their missing loved ones, such as police reports, photographs and dental records. Forensic analysts will be at the event to take DNA samples. Representatives from the Morgan Nick Foundation, the state Crime Lab, State Police Criminal Investigations Division, the FBI and the National Unidentified and Missing Persons System will be available to assist families as part of the missing person’s initiative. Every service offered at the event is free of charge. The Attorney General serves as an information clearinghouse for reports on Arkansas’s missing children and acts as the main point of contact between the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and nonprofit missing children organizations in the state.

GRIFFIN APPLAUDS PROGRESS OF STATES WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT EFFORTS
LITTLE ROCK –Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin today issued the following statement after Governor Asa Hutchinson signed workforce development legislation into law: “I applaud Governor Asa Hutchinson and the legislature for their efforts to create a comprehensive statewide workforce development system, and I want to specifically recognize Sen. Jane English’s (R-North Little Rock) leadership to address this important issue. The legislation signed today allows us to better equip our students with the skills necessary to get good paying jobs. A highly trained and skilled workforce will help Arkansas grow jobs and compete with surrounding states.”
- SB 368, by Sen. English, creates a comprehensive statewide workforce development system, as well as a 10-member Career Education and Workforce Development Board. The board will be made up of folks from different industries and will develop and monitor a state plan for vocational-technical education.
- SB 791, by Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson (R-Benton), establishes the Arkansans Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, repeals the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Oversight Board and establishes it as a committee of the Arkansas Workforce Development Board.
- SB 891, by Sen. English, establishes the Workforce Initiative Act of 2015. The act will encourage Arkansans to pursue high-demand jobs, provide a program that offers short-term career and technical training and unite institutions and organizations to support an employer demand-driven workforce system.

For information about the Never Forgotten – Arkansas Takes Action event , call (800) 448-3014, or to reach the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Cyber Tipline, call (800) THE-LOST (843-5678).

April 2, 2015

STATE TROOPERS SEIZE RECORD QUANTITY OF METHAMPHETAMINE
Arkansas State Troopers have seized a record amount of methamphetamine during an arrest along Interstate 40 earlier this week.  Troopers discovered 276 pounds of methamphetamine valued at an estimated $10-million dollars (retail/street value) inside the cargo trailer of a commercial carrier truck stopped along Interstate 40. The seizure from the cross-country shipment is believed to be the largest single seizure of methamphetamine in Arkansas law enforcement history. State Police on Monday afternoon (March 30th) patrolling Lonoke County in the area of Kerr Road and Interstate 40 (eastbound) noticed a tractor-trailer parked on the shoulder of the highway.  A trooper approached the truck to check the driver’s wellbeing. During a conversation with the driver the trooper was given permission to inspect the cargo trailer where the methamphetamine was subsequently located.  The methamphetamine was in both liquid and crystal form. The truck driver is identified as Javier Leon-Garcia, 53, of Moreno, California.  Garcia is charged with trafficking a controlled substance and is being held in the Lonoke County Jail (no bond). “This case is indicative of what continues to be the escalating threat from methamphetamine and its ravages on Arkansas families,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police.  “Our State Troopers will continue to be vigilant in their efforts to seize illegal drugs and arrest those who produce and distribute narcotics.” State Troopers have been assisted in the investigation by the Lonoke County Sheriff’s Department, Lonoke County Prosecuting Attorney and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

GRIFFIN” ‘GOOD GOVERNMENT’ AMENDMENT NOW GOES TO VOTERS
SAYS, WILL ‘CONTINUE TO ADVOCATE’ FOR THIS ‘COMMON SENSE REFORM’

LITTLE ROCK –Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin today issued the following statement after the legislature approved Sen. Eddie Williams’ (R-Cabot) proposed constitutional amendment, Senate Joint Resolution 3 (SJR 3), to be given to the voters and placed on the ballot in November 2016: “Currently, the governor is unable to retain his or her powers and duties when absent from the state. Sen. Williams’ proposed constitutional amendment will change this outdated provision of the Arkansas Constitution. In this day and age, with technology and the ability to stay connected, it’s the right thing to do. Just as the president retains his or her powers when absent from the country, the governor should retain his or her powers when absent from the state. This is simply good government, and I will continue to advocate for this common sense reform. “I applaud the persistence and leadership of Sen. Williams and look forward to seeing this amendment on the ballot in November.” SJR 3 will allow the governor to retain his or her powers and duties when absent from the state.

COTTON STATEMENT ON IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL
Washington, D.C.—Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) released the following statement on the announcement of a nuclear deal with Iran: “There is no nuclear deal or framework with Iran; there is only a list of dangerous U.S. concessions that will put Iran on the path to nuclear weapons.  Iran will keep a stockpile of enriched uranium and thousands of centrifuges—including centrifuges at a fortified, underground military bunker at Fordow.  Iran will also modernize its plutonium reactor at Arak.  Iran won’t have to disclose the past military dimensions of its nuclear program, despite longstanding UN demands.  In addition, Iran will get massive sanctions relief up front, making potential “snap-back” sanctions for inevitable Iranian violations virtually impossible. “Contrary to President Obama’s insistence, the former deputy director of the UN’s nuclear watchdog has said terms such as these will allow Iran to achieve nuclear breakout in just a few months, if not weeks.  But in any case, even these dangerous terms will expire in just 10-15 years, even though it only took North Korea 12 years to get the bomb after it signed a similar agreement in 1994. “These concessions also do nothing to stop or challenge Iran’s outlaw behavior.  Iran remains the world’s worst state sponsor of terrorism.  Iranian aggression is destabilizing the Middle East.  And Iran continues to hold multiple Americans hostage. “I will work with my colleagues in the Senate to protect America from this very dangerous proposal and to stop a nuclear arms race in the world’s most volatile region.”

CONSUMER ALERT: HAIL STORM COULD COME TWICE
LITTLE ROCK – Spring is officially here, but with the milder temperatures comes the increased possibility of severe weather. Arkansans know all too well the damage that can occur from tornados, sudden downpours, lightning and hail. Just this week, several storm systems passed through the Natural State, dropping hail as large as baseballs in some areas. These storms may be quick, but can cause lasting and severe damage to vehicles, sometimes even breaking windshields. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued today’s alert to urge consumers to be cautious as they look for vehicle repair services, and to be aware of con artists who offer these services unsolicited following severe weather. Rutledge also wants consumers to be aware of their rights and beware of the risks when buying damaged cars post-storm in ‘hail sales.’ “After severe weather, scammers pose as ethical contractors offering to repair the dings and dents caused by hail,” said Attorney General Rutledge.  “Repairs can already be costly and time consuming without the threat of these con artists victimizing Arkansans. Further, some car dealerships will attempt to sell damaged cars to unsuspecting consumers at full price without disclosing the damage upfront.” Oftentimes, repair con artists will charge higher than normal prices and demand up-front payment for services, but ultimately leave jobs incomplete or fail to begin the work at all. The Attorney General offered the following tips to consumers who experience hail damage and need to repair their vehicles:
- Select a reputable repairer. Seek advice from family and friends about servicemen they trust, and never be afraid to ask the person or body shop for references.
- Get more than one estimate. This allows consumers to compare prices and avoid overpaying.
- Get everything in writing. A contract should contain details about the price of the work and any agreement on financing. It should indicate the exact work to be done, the type, and quality of materials to be used and the expected completion date.
- Never pay in advance. Consumers should always inspect the work before making the final payment to make sure the repairs meet their expectations. Dents and dings caused by hail damage seldom affect the mechanics of a vehicle, but if consumers are planning to participate in a ‘hail sale’ they should be prepared. Buyers should obtain a disclosure of the damage in writing from the seller and also check with their own insurance carriers to see how the hail damage may impact coverage of future repairs. For information on this and other consumer related topics, please call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline is (800) 482-8982, or visit the Attorney General’s website at www.ArkansasAG.gov.

LOCAL ORGANIZATION ENCOURAGES YOUTH TO MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICES Center for Healing Hearts & Spirits Host Annual Teen Conference and Parent Forum (Little Rock, AR- April 2, 2015) The Center for Healing Hearts and Spirits (2416 S. Chester, Little Rock) is hosting their annual conference entitled, “Choices, Consequences, and the Bottom Line” Teen Conference / Parent Forum on Saturday, April 11, 2015 on the campus of the Greater 3-4 Missionary Baptist Church (formerly Rightsell Elementary School) located at 911 W. 19th, Little Rock, AR from 8:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Each year, the Center for Healing Hearts and Spirits invites more than 250 youth to participate in this conference to learn about how their choices will result in serious consequences which will affect their futures. Youths ages 9 – 19 participate in age appropriate sessions on underage drinking, drugs, tobacco and violence prevention, sex education, abstinence, teen suicide prevention and conflict resolution, texting and driving, and positive career choices. The goal of the conference is to improve the outcomes of youth and to reduce risky behaviors. This event is also FREE to the public and will provide food (refreshments and lunch), conference materials, a sporting event, and a limited number of stipends for youth. “I am so excited about this year’s teen conference”, says Joyce Raynor, Executive Director of Center of Healing Hearts and Spirits. “We have some great speakers coming that will really encourage the youth to make the right decisions and to stay away from violent crimes, tobacco and drug usage, teen suicide, sexual assault, and teen pregnancy.” Speakers for the conference include: Willie Davis; Dr. Jeffery C. Franklin; Chris James; Annette Lindsey; Reginald Merritt; Hayse Miller; Kim O’Guinn; Yvette Swift, and more! The “Choices, Consequences, and the Bottom Line” Teen Conference / Parent Forum is FREE to the public. To attend this conference, you must call 501.372.3800 and register by Monday, April 6th .

GRIFFIN ENCOURAGES ‘ARKANSAS TO PROMOTE GREATER AWARENESS
OF AUTISM’

LITTLE ROCK –Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin today issued the following statement in honor of Autism Awareness Day and Light It Up Blue Day: "We must work to increase awareness of and invest in resources to diagnose autism and assist families touched by this developmental disability. Today, we recognize the ongoing effort to research autism and support and treat those living with it. I encourage my fellow Arkansans to promote greater awareness of autism, and the challenges youth with autism face as they transition into adulthood.” While in Congress, Griffin cosponsored the Autism CARES (Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education and Support) Act of 2014 (H.R. 4631) to reauthorize and improve federal programs that provide services to families touched by autism, and strengthen the structure within federal agencies to address future challenges. This bipartisan legislation enhances efforts to help communities, families and individuals understand and support the needs of youth with autism.

 DONORS GIVE $200,000 TO HONOR “FATHER” OF SAU BANDS
MAGNOLIA – Thanks to a successful fundraising campaign that garnered more than $200,000 in donations, Southern Arkansas University will be dedicating the band facility in honor of SAU’s first band director, Richard Owen Oliver, at noon on April 18, 2015.
The dedication will take place at the 14,377 square-foot band rehearsal facility that opened in 2008, which will be named the Richard O. Oliver Band Hall. The public is welcome to attend. Money raised from the campaign will fund an endowment to benefit the growing SAU Band program. The endowment will produce annual income for the continual updating of instrumentation, travel opportunities for various ensembles, and other needs of the band. According to Josh Kee, assistant vice president for development, the campaign’s success is due to the leadership Oliver’s daughter, Ann Oliver Bearden, and her husband, Lawrence, the Foundation Board of Governors, and the generosity of many alumni and friends of SAU. Considered by many as the “father” of the SAU Band program, Oliver established in 1948 the esteemed band program at SAU, then called Magnolia A&M College. He held that position until 1971 and developed one of the most well-respected band programs of the day. After stepping down as band director, he continued to serve as head of the music department for a time, and then taught music classes until 1985. Oliver died on Jan. 26, 1986, at age 71. His wife, Eleanor, died in 1992. Since the early days when Oliver was at the helm of the program, the SAU band has experienced significant growth. Today, the band consists of approximately 120 students per year, up from only 72 students in 2000. The band faculty includes Director of Bands J.P. Wilson, Assistant Director of Bands Sarah Mickey, Director of Percussion Michael Britt, and Professor of Trumpet and Horn Buddy Deese. You can still be a part of this important campaign. For more information, visit the SAU Foundation website at www.SAUFoundation.org or call (870) 235-4321.

SAU ALUMNI ASSOCIATION TO HONOR DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI
MAGNOLIA – The Southern Arkansas University Alumni Association is hosting its annual Dinner of Distinction awards ceremony at 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 11, 2015, at the SAU Reynolds Center Grand Hall. Alumni and friends are invited to attend. RSVP by calling the SAU Alumni Office at (870) 235-4079 or toll-free at (800) 797-1986.
The Alumni Association will highlight the following award recipients:
· Distinguished Young Alumni – Samuel Jones, 2009
· Distinguished Alumni – Michael Ray Dumas, 1979; David Moore, 1986; and Jeff Flaherty, 1985
· Lifetime Achievement – Dr. David Rankin

Samuel Jones grew up in South Arkansas, graduated from SAU in 2009 with a Mass Communications – Print Journalism degree, and now works at Murphy USA in El Dorado. He was highlighted by Arkansas Business in their 2014 “Top 20 in their 20s,” and has earned accolades for his work such as “Top Partnership Insights Award” from Service Management Group and “Support Services Rookie of the Year” in 2009 at Murphy USA. He put his communications degree to good use in 2014 and earned the “Speech of the Year” honor from the Boomtown Toastmasters. He and his wife, MaKysha, have three children – Tristan, Samiyah, and Allyson. Jones stays connected to SAU, and has returned to campus to speak at the College of Business. Michael Ray Dumas earned his marketing degree from SAU in 1979, before completing an MBA at LSU. He then moved to New Orleans to work for Shell Oil Company and later worked as controller for Gunther Energy Services. In 1987, Mike passed the CPA exam and went to work as Vice President of Corporate Finance for Freeport Copper and Gold in New Orleans. In 1993, he moved to Madrid Spain as financial head of Freeport’s Spanish subsidiary, Rio Tinto Minera. While in Spain, the finance group completed the largest project financial project in the Spanish and European bank market. For completing the special finance deal, Mike received the 1994 Freeport President’s Award. In 1997, Mike left Freeport to join his current employer, Intermarine, as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. During his 17-year tenure with Intermarine, the company has grown sales from $150 million to over $450 million in 2014, and is the largest specialty project cargo shipping company in the United States.  Dumas continues to support SAU and the College of Business in many ways, including establishing a scholarship for SAU students wishing to intern in the Houston area and recently visiting campus to speak at the College of Business’ “COB Ten” executive network. He and his wife, Krista Johnson Dumas, have two children – Cameron Elizabeth and Benjamin Forbes. After earning an Accounting and Finance degree from SAU in 1986, David L. Moore started as an internal auditor with Farm Bureau in 1989. He was later promoted to Finance Manager, then to Chief Financial Officer, and to his current role of Senior Vice President – State Manager of Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company of Arkansas, Inc. and Senior Vice President – General Manager of Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company of Arkansas, Inc. He is a graduate of Leadership Arkansas, the economic and political development program sponsored by the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce. A member of the Bryant School Board for the past eight years, he also served 10 years as a coach and administrator with the Bryant Soccer Club. He and his wife, Alisa, have two children – Katie and Logan. His family attends Indian Springs Baptist Church. In 2014, he hosted an SAU alumni event at Farm Bureau in Little Rock, and he has presented to current College of Business students at COB Ten. Jeff Flaherty was a pre-engineering student at SAU. As a member of the SAU Rodeo Team, he was a two-time National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Ozark Region Champion Bareback Rider and qualifier to the College National Finals Rodeo. He completed a Petroleum Engineering degree from Louisiana Tech in 1987. He worked as a completion, production and drilling engineer and as a drilling manager from 1987 until 1995 for two privately held oil and gas service companies. He joined Helmerich & Payne International Drilling Co. in 1996 as a drilling engineer and was promoted to Offshore Drilling Superintendent in 1997. He continued to work his way up in promotions to his current title of Senior Vice President – Operations, where he is responsible for H&P’s worldwide rig operations. He and his wife, Donna, have three children – Jacob, Caleb, and R.V. SAU President Dr. David Rankin will retire at the end of this academic year on June 30. Rankin has served SAU for 45 years, and the past 13 as president. In 2002, he set forth with his ambitious “Blue and Gold Vision,” SAU’s first capital campaign. He has almost completed that vision with numerous campus capital projects completed, totaling more than $100 million. The most recent project, the $4.4 million SAU Story Arena and Farmers Bank Reception Center, opened this spring. He also built upon the tradition of the Mulerider, not only telling the history of SAU’s unique athletic mascot at his speaking engagements, but using the Mulerider as a way to nationally brand the University. Resulting have been years of steady enrollment growth. Despite difficult times in higher education, the fall of 2013 witnessed a record system-wide enrollment of 5,451 students (including SAU Tech) followed by another record enrollment fall 2014 semester. In addition to his duties as SAU President, Rankin has served as the Economic Advisor to Arkansas Governors Mike Beebe, Mike Huckabee, and Asa Hutchison, and is Chairman of the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors. The economic advisor to the governor is responsible for chairing the Governor’s Council and reviewing the Arkansas state revenue forecast. In 1968, Rankin joined the faculty of SAU as an Assistant Professor of Business.  From 1977-80, he served as Dean of the School of Business Administration and Professor of Economics and Finance at SAU.  Rankin also served as a Puterbaugh Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics and Finance at SAU, and again as Dean of the School of Business Administration from 1994-2001. Fellow faculty colleagues selected Rankin as the University Honor Professor in 1986. Rankin and his wife, the former Toni Cameron, reside on their farm in Magnolia and have two sons, Curtice and John, and a daughter Beth Anne. Nominations for 2016 Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Awards are open. To nominate an alumnus, go to www.saumag.edu/alumni.

April 1, 2015

PARTICIPATES IN BOB HITE FLAG LINE TO MEET TOMORROW
Anyone or group who was not able to make the meeting last night but would like to participate in the flag line, please meet at 11:45 am tomorrow (Thursday, April 2nd) in the parking lot at Van Buren and Adams (behind Rainbow Connection).  At that time we will let you know where to be on the procession route.  If you have flag(s) please bring them with you; if not we will supply them with the understanding that they be returned to the Chamber office. Thank you in advance for ensuring that Camden and Ouachita County’s patriotism is shown in memory of Mr. Hite.

CAMDEN KIWANIS CLUB REPORT
The Camden Kiwanis Lions Club will meet this Thursday, at the Camden Country Club. Tomorrow, the speaker will be Mr. Wayne Fogel, from the Good Samaritan Food Pantry here in Camden. For more on the Kiwanis club, and how you can join, you can contact Allen Crum at rev.crum610@gmail.com.

SAU ALUMNI ASSOCIATION TO HONOR DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI
MAGNOLIA – The Southern Arkansas University Alumni Association is hosting its annual Dinner of Distinction awards ceremony at 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 11, 2015, at the SAU Reynolds Center Grand Hall. Alumni and friends are invited to attend. RSVP by calling the SAU Alumni Office at (870) 235-4079 or toll-free at (800) 797-1986.
The Alumni Association will highlight the following award recipients:
· Distinguished Young Alumni – Samuel Jones, 2009
· Distinguished Alumni – Michael Ray Dumas, 1979; David Moore, 1986; and Jeff Flaherty, 1985
· Lifetime Achievement – Dr. David Rankin

Samuel Jones grew up in South Arkansas, graduated from SAU in 2009 with a Mass Communications – Print Journalism degree, and now works at Murphy USA in El Dorado. He was highlighted by Arkansas Business in their 2014 “Top 20 in their 20s,” and has earned accolades for his work such as “Top Partnership Insights Award” from Service Management Group and “Support Services Rookie of the Year” in 2009 at Murphy USA. He put his communications degree to good use in 2014 and earned the “Speech of the Year” honor from the Boomtown Toastmasters. He and his wife, MaKysha, have three children – Tristan, Samiyah, and Allyson. Jones stays connected to SAU, and has returned to campus to speak at the College of Business. Michael Ray Dumas earned his marketing degree from SAU in 1979, before completing an MBA at LSU. He then moved to New Orleans to work for Shell Oil Company and later worked as controller for Gunther Energy Services. In 1987, Mike passed the CPA exam and went to work as Vice President of Corporate Finance for Freeport Copper and Gold in New Orleans. In 1993, he moved to Madrid Spain as financial head of Freeport’s Spanish subsidiary, Rio Tinto Minera. While in Spain, the finance group completed the largest project financial project in the Spanish and European bank market. For completing the special finance deal, Mike received the 1994 Freeport President’s Award. In 1997, Mike left Freeport to join his current employer, Intermarine, as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. During his 17-year tenure with Intermarine, the company has grown sales from $150 million to over $450 million in 2014, and is the largest specialty project cargo shipping company in the United States.  Dumas continues to support SAU and the College of Business in many ways, including establishing a scholarship for SAU students wishing to intern in the Houston area and recently visiting campus to speak at the College of Business’ “COB Ten” executive network. He and his wife, Krista Johnson Dumas, have two children – Cameron Elizabeth and Benjamin Forbes. After earning an Accounting and Finance degree from SAU in 1986, David L. Moore started as an internal auditor with Farm Bureau in 1989. He was later promoted to Finance Manager, then to Chief Financial Officer, and to his current role of Senior Vice President – State Manager of Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company of Arkansas, Inc. and Senior Vice President – General Manager of Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company of Arkansas, Inc. He is a graduate of Leadership Arkansas, the economic and political development program sponsored by the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce. A member of the Bryant School Board for the past eight years, he also served 10 years as a coach and administrator with the Bryant Soccer Club. He and his wife, Alisa, have two children – Katie and Logan. His family attends Indian Springs Baptist Church. In 2014, he hosted an SAU alumni event at Farm Bureau in Little Rock, and he has presented to current College of Business students at COB Ten. Jeff Flaherty was a pre-engineering student at SAU. As a member of the SAU Rodeo Team, he was a two-time National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Ozark Region Champion Bareback Rider and qualifier to the College National Finals Rodeo. He completed a Petroleum Engineering degree from Louisiana Tech in 1987. He worked as a completion, production and drilling engineer and as a drilling manager from 1987 until 1995 for two privately held oil and gas service companies. He joined Helmerich & Payne International Drilling Co. in 1996 as a drilling engineer and was promoted to Offshore Drilling Superintendent in 1997. He continued to work his way up in promotions to his current title of Senior Vice President – Operations, where he is responsible for H&P’s worldwide rig operations. He and his wife, Donna, have three children – Jacob, Caleb, and R.V. SAU President Dr. David Rankin will retire at the end of this academic year on June 30. Rankin has served SAU for 45 years, and the past 13 as president. In 2002, he set forth with his ambitious “Blue and Gold Vision,” SAU’s first capital campaign. He has almost completed that vision with numerous campus capital projects completed, totaling more than $100 million. The most recent project, the $4.4 million SAU Story Arena and Farmers Bank Reception Center, opened this spring. He also built upon the tradition of the Mulerider, not only telling the history of SAU’s unique athletic mascot at his speaking engagements, but using the Mulerider as a way to nationally brand the University. Resulting have been years of steady enrollment growth. Despite difficult times in higher education, the fall of 2013 witnessed a record system-wide enrollment of 5,451 students (including SAU Tech) followed by another record enrollment fall 2014 semester. In addition to his duties as SAU President, Rankin has served as the Economic Advisor to Arkansas Governors Mike Beebe, Mike Huckabee, and Asa Hutchison, and is Chairman of the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors. The economic advisor to the governor is responsible for chairing the Governor’s Council and reviewing the Arkansas state revenue forecast. In 1968, Rankin joined the faculty of SAU as an Assistant Professor of Business.  From 1977-80, he served as Dean of the School of Business Administration and Professor of Economics and Finance at SAU.  Rankin also served as a Puterbaugh Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics and Finance at SAU, and again as Dean of the School of Business Administration from 1994-2001. Fellow faculty colleagues selected Rankin as the University Honor Professor in 1986. Rankin and his wife, the former Toni Cameron, reside on their farm in Magnolia and have two sons, Curtice and John, and a daughter Beth Anne. Nominations for 2016 Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Awards are open. To nominate an alumnus, go to www.saumag.edu/alumni.

March 31, 2015

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORTS
Officer Blake Norwood along with Officer Cory Sanders, conducted a traffic stop on vehicle in the 500 block of Carver Street. While the officer was conducting a field sobriety test on the driver, she showed them a half empty can of beer, along with other alcohol. The driver admitted she had been drinking while she was driving. She was then arrested and transported to the Sheriff’s Department to be held.

Officer Grummer, of the Camden Police Department, was in the area of Karn and Frazier Street conducting a security check, and observed a male walking down the street. The officer observed the man stumbling and unsteady on his feet. He also observed the man fall to the ground. The officer almost fell again, however the officer was able to catch him. The officer could tell that the man’s eyes were bloodshot and his speech was slurred. He was then arrested for public intoxication.

Officers of the Camden Police Department observed a 1992 black Chevy pickup truck in Garden Oaks Shopping Center. The vehicle was parked next to the dumpster close to Ouachita Valley Family Clinic. The vehicle then left the parking lot, turning onto Cash Road. The vehicle then turned right into the Hog Wash parking lot. The officer also observed a blue four-wheeler on the back of the truck along with other tools. The officer initiated a traffic stop with the vehicle, with the driver and passenger. The tow said that they were behind the dumpster, because they were spray painting his four-wheeler. The driver also stated that they came to the carwash to wash his truck. When asked for proof of insurance, driver’s license and registration, the two stated that their driver’s license were suspended.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB REPORT
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet this week at Catherine’s Bistro in Camden. The speaker this week will be Jonathan Traylor.  He is an independent film maker and will be discussing his latest film. For more on the Lion’s Club and how you can join, you can contact Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440 ext 7.

OUACHITA COUNTY HONORING ROBERT HITE
Most of you may know that Lt. Col. (Ret.) Robert (Bob) Hite passed away and in his honor we are scheduling a flag procession along the route to the cemetery.  A brief 30 minute meeting will be held tomorrow, Tuesday, March 31st at 5:45 pm at the Courthouse (Courtroom A, upstairs) to discuss logistics.  We need representatives from all Local manufactures, Civic groups, Churches, and our great Ouachita citizens to attend the meeting and to rally around the War Hero effort.   We are requesting to have commitments from 150 supports by Wednesday.  If you cannot make the meeting, feel free to contact the Camden Area Chamber of Commerce at info@camdenareachamberofcommerce.org or 836-6426 or Dennis Truelove at 870-818-6215 (or dtruelove@yahoo.com) for further information.  The funeral is scheduled for Thursday at 11 am.

SAU STEM HOSTING FREE FEMALE WORKSHOP
MAGNOLIA – The Southern Arkansas University STEM Center for K-12 Education has been awarded a grant from the Arkansas STEM Coalition to provide a one-day, hands-on science and engineering STEM leadership workshop for female students ranging from tenth grade in high school through college sophomores. The “Women Can-Do Attitude” STEM Workshop at SAU will be held from 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the SAU Science Center on Saturday, May 2, 2015. Pre-registration is required, and is available online at https://web.saumag.edu/science/stem/workshop-registration/. Pre-register will close on Saturday, April 25, 2015. Registration is free, but is limited to 50 participants. Parent or teacher chaperones for high school students are requested for every six students from a school. Lunch and snacks will be provided for the students and the chaperones. The students will experience engaging, hands-on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) activities in small groups, in a university setting taught by university faculty and upper-level students. “The exciting activities we have planned for students include robotics, engineering design and testing, electronic measurements, radio-biology, medical anatomy and physiology, environmental toxicology, and ultra-violet spectroscopy,” said Dr. Scott White, director of the SAU STEM Center and chair of the SAU Department of Biochemistry, Chemistry and Physics. “The students will also have the opportunity to network with female role models and mentors in STEM careers, and discover the importance of high-level STEM courses in high school and college in relationship to STEM degrees and earning potential.” The funds for this grant have been provided by from the Carl D. Perkins Technical Education Act of 2006 through the Arkansas STEM Coalition, in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Higher Education and the Arkansas Department of Career Education. For more information, contact Dr. White at srwhite@saumag.edu or 870-235-4278.

March 27, 2015

COTTON STATEMENT ON PASSAGE OF THE SENATE BUDGET RESOLUTION
Washington, D.C.— Senator Tom Cotton today released the following statement on the Senate’s passage of a budget resolution:“Today the Senate passed a balanced budget that rightly reins in federal spending and eliminates waste. I was pleased the final resolution included two amendments I offered that are particularly important to Arkansas. The first amendment will improve prevention and treatment measures to better mitigate the impact of virus outbreaks, such as the avian flu, on Arkansas agriculture industry. The second amendment requires the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to consider the total potential economic impact of any new critical habitat designation. “While I wish this budget included more direct funding for our national defense, its increase in Overseas Contingency Operations funding is a step in the right direction. Arkansans learn from an early age that you can’t spend more than you take in. And as deeply patriotic people, we also learn the importance of supporting our military. Rest assured, I am committed to teaching my fellow lawmakers in Washington these same lessons.”

CONSUMER ALERT: IT’S THE ATTORNEY GENERAL CALLING….OR IS IT?
LITTLE ROCK – Unsolicited telephone calls can be annoying to Arkansas consumers, especially if the calls are from a business or marketing company trying to sell products or services that consumers do not want or need. But what about when the telephone rings and it appears to be someone calling from a state agency, or even the Attorney General’s Office. Often times, consumers will listen and seek to comply with whatever the state agency needs from them. Recently, the Attorney General’s Office has learned that scamming debt collectors are posing as the very state agencies that go after them, including the Attorney General’s Office. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued today’s consumer alert to warn Arkansans about this new scam and to offer tips on how best to avoid falling victim. “As the State’s chief consumer advocate, this scam which claims my office is after consumers is extremely disturbing,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “If an Arkansan receives one of these types of calls and they are suspicious of what they are being asked to do, then hang up and make a call directly to the Attorney General’s Office at (800) 482-8982 or state agency to verify the validity of the request. The Attorney General’s Office would never make such a call.” Consumers should not be fooled into sending money to these threatening con artists or providing them with any personal or financial information such as Social Security numbers, credit card numbers or bank account information. Receiving an uninitiated phone call that demands any of this information should immediately raise red flags.

Consumers should keep the following tips in mind to avoid this scam:
The Attorney General, the congressional delegation, law enforcement or any federal or state agency do not work on behalf of third-party collectors or threaten arrest for unpaid debts.
None of the abovementioned agencies seek or accept a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. If a consumer owes money, legitimate collectors must send a written validation notice. Do not confirm or provide personal or financial information over the phone or Internet. Keep in mind that con artists do not follow the law anyway, so they disregard the do not call registry regularly. Technological advances allow for Caller ID spoofing, so that scammers can disguise the source of the call to evade prosecution. When answering a suspicious, unwanted call, consumers should write down as much information as they can about the caller, including the name of the person calling, where they purport to be calling from and the phone number. Then, consumers should notify the Attorney General’s Office if they believe themselves to be victims of a scam. The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline is (800) 482-8982, or consumers may visit the Attorney General’s website at www.ArkansasAG.gov. To report violations to the Federal Trade Commission visit www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov or call (888) 225-5322.

SAAC HOSTS ART OF THE DUST BOWL LECTURE
America’s only “Psychorealist” painter, Alexander Hogue, will be the topic of a lecture presented by Martha McCarty Wells of Dallas, Texas on Saturday, April 1 in the Callaway Theatre of the South Arkansas Arts Center.  A reception will be hosted at 6pm in the Merkle Gallery with the presentation beginning at 6:30pm.  The lecture is based on the Dallas Museum of Art exhibit “Alexandre Hogue: The Erosion Series” and is made possible by a grant of the Madeline M. and Edward C. McCarty Fund of the Union County Community Foundation.  The reception and lecture are free and open to the public. An appreciation of nature and the concern for its preservation were constants that spanned the long career of Alexandre Hogue (1898-1994), from his earliest landscapes to his celebratory portrayals of the magnificent terrain of Big Bend in West Texas during the 1970s and 1980s; however, it is his “Erosion” series, from the 1930s and early 1940s, that produced his most renowned works, with their haunting images depicting the horrors of the Dust Bowl and the sinister rewards of man's aggressive exploitation of nature's finite resources. Alexandre Hogue was born in Missouri, he spent much of his life in Texas and Oklahoma. Trained at the Minneapolis Art Institute, he also studied in New York City and in Taos, New Mexico. Hogue helped found the Dallas Artists League in 1932. Known as a "regionalist" painter, he was a core member of the Dallas Nine, a group of artists that gained national attention for their portrayal of the Texas landscape and people. “I was raised on a ranch in the Dust Bowl and I was there when the dust storm hit….I saw lush grazing land turned into sand dunes. Thistles blew in and fences would be covered in just a few hours. Railroads had plows fighting it just like they fought snow….To me, as an artist, it was beautiful in a terrifying way. I painted it for that terrifying beauty,“ said Hogue. Hogue witnessed the unfolding of the Dust Bowl near the ranch owned by his sister and brother-in-law outside of Dalhart, in the Texas Panhandle, where "the most luscious grasslands in the world" had been plowed under in the frenzy of wheat cultivation launched during World War I. Successive years of rampant wheat speculation and bad farming practices-the one-way plow and the lack of crop rotation-followed by drought ("drouth") conditions, shattered the land's ability to cope. The artist despised the "suitcase farmers" in particular, who came from out-of-town to plant and then returned only to harvest and pocket their speculative profits. When the wheat market crashed, they left millions of acres of precious topsoil exposed, to be swept up by winds into immense "black blizzards" that blotted out the sun and smothered the landscape in mountainous dunes of dust and dirt. The Dust Bowl was, in Hogue's estimation, a man-made disaster in which Mother Earth, and not mankind, was the ravaged victim. Consequently, the “Erosion” series was the artist's accusation of a culture that had lived out of balance with the land and then abandoned it to utter desolation. Hogue chose to confront the disaster head-on and expose it through a series of works focused on the processes of soil erosion through the forces of wind and water, as aided and abetted by the deleterious actions of man. Hogue exaggerated the actual condition of the land in this painting to gain the viewer's attention and elicit emotion. He captures a prophetic scene of unusable farmland. The over-plowed fields have been sculpted into sand dunes by the dry, hot wind. The farmhouse and windmill seem to be sinking in a sea of sand. A patient vulture awaits the inevitable death of a cow longing for water. The only movement on this plain is the dust. Alexandre Hogue's deep concern for environmental issues was a catalyst for the creation of a body of works that spanned the entirety of his career. The land-management failures that spawned the devastation of the dust-bowl decade of the 1930s became the impetus for some of the artist's most powerful imagery - the "Erosion" series. Works such as the Dallas Museum of Art's own Drouth-Stricken Area served as an alarm to the public and an accusation and rebuke to powers that, through encouraging poor farming practices, had helped to produce the greatest agricultural disaster in American history. For more information about the presentation, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474.

March 25, 2015

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORTS
Officer Maslakov, of the Camden Police Department, was requested by Sgt. Easttam, to assist him with a possible intoxicated male on Willie B. Cole at Carver Street. Upon arrival, the officers made contact with a male whose eyes were bloodshot, and watery. The man also had slurred speech, showing heavy signs of intoxication. The man was arrested and transported to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office to be held.

Officers, of the Camden Police Department were dispatched to Frazier Street near Carver Courts. While in the area, officers observed a man wearing a black shirt and jeans standing in the middle of the roadway. According to reports, once the man saw the police, he began to speed walk towards Carver Courts. A strong odor of intoxicants could be detected coming from the man. When asked how much he had been drinking the man stated “a lot, I had a lot of gin”. He was then arrested and transported to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office.

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE REPORT
Deputy Doug LaDuke of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, was at the intersection of Ouachita 88 and Ouachita. It was then the officer noticed a black dodge pickup fail to stop at the 4-way stop heading east. The officer could also notice that one headlight and taillight was out. The officer then performed a traffic stop on the vehicle at the Valero near the Highway 79/Ouachita 88 intersection. The officer then approached the driver, who was unable to provide proof of insurance, but did have his driver’s license. When asked if there was anything illegal in the vehicle such as drugs, or guns, the driver stated no. He did admit to having a bag of weed stuffed under the console from the back floorboard, however would not admit if it was his or his passengers. During an inventory search, eight knives were located. Both the driver and passenger were charged with possession of a controlled substance. The marijuana was placed as evidence, and the knives were picked up by the suspect’s father.

MAGNOLIA MAYOR SAYS CITY STILL NEEDS NEW POLICE DEPARTMENT BUILDING
MAGNOLIA - Magnolia still needs a new police department building, Mayor Parnell Vann said during his “State of the City” speech on Monday. “Since becoming your mayor four years ago, almost all of the goals that I wrote down have been accomplished. Finding a solution for the Magnolia Police Department building will be no exception. “In 2015, I am going to make it a priority to find funds to pay for the relocation of the Magnolia Police Department,” Vann said. The police department is bursting at the seams and “the time has come for us to find a solution,” Vann said. Vann also promised initiatives regarding sidewalks, abandoned vehicles and park improvements. The State of Arkansas has quit funding its Safe Routes to School program, which has left the planned extension of a sidewalk from East Main to Calhoun Road unfinished after the East Side Elementary-Main Street phase was completed. “We want the project to continue in Magnolia and are looking to secure grants for Phase II of our Safe Routes to School sidewalk project. This sidewalk will continue down South Fredrick Street to the intersection of Calhoun Street,” Vann said. “The city will step up our enforcement of abandoned and inoperable vehicles in 2015. Should you have any old vehicles just sitting around, you may want to get them removed before we find it,” Vann said. Vann said that Billy Tucker has been hired as the new director of the Parks Department. He praised recent Leadership Magnolia classes for taking the lead to improve city parks. “A skateboard park and aquatic center are not out of the question. Mr. Tucker and I will continue to seek money through grants and the school system for an aquatic center,” Vann said. Vann was re-elected mayor in November with 67 percent of the vote against two opponents. “This past year, it was made loud and clear by the citizens of Magnolia that they are in support of the current administration. Your faith in us is encouraging and it is the drive that will keep up working in unison,” Vann said.

March 24, 2015

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE REPORTS
Deputy Laduke of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, spoke with a man at his home. The homeowner wanted to make a report regarding someone coming into his yard and trying to take his four wheeler. The man stated that his ATV stays parked by his carport. One morning when they got up and saw that the four wheeler was sitting in the road. The man is under the belief that the vehicle was in the road, due to someone trying to take it. At this time there are no suspects.

Deputy McClane of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, spoke with a man via telephone. The man wanted to report that his wife, had left. The man went on to say that his wife had gotten off work, and had texting him, saying she was not coming home, because he was cheating on her.
He believes that she headed towards Jonesboro. He also said that the vehicle she was driving, belonged to him and there were checks in the vehicle, also in his name. He also stated that checks were in the amount $404.57 and there were at least four or five. Reports were put on file.

Lt. James Bolton, of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, was dispatched to a vehicle in the ditch on Hwy. 79 South just outside the Camden City Limits. Upon arrival, Bolton found a 2010 Nissan Altima in the north bound ditch facing south. The rear of the vehicle was on top of a large culvert that goes under the drive away. According to reports, the front of the vehicle was on the ground in the bottom of the ditch. Upon inspection, no one was found in the vehicle. Buddy’s Wrecker was called from the list and responded to the scene. Due to the position of the vehicle, a second wrecker from Buddy’s was summoned. 2 Wreckers were needed to prevent additional damage to the vehicle.

OUACHITA COUNTY EXTENSION HOMEMAKERS COUNCIL REPORT
The Ouachita County Extension Homemakers Council will once again present the Glady’s Lindsey and Alphonso T. Denham Extension Homemakers Scholarship this spring.
Scholarship guidelines and applications may be picked up at the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, located at 2760 Mt. Holly Road. For more information call 870-231-1160. Application deadline

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB REPORT
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet this week at Catherine’s Bistro in Camden.
The speakers this week will be Matt Stone and Janice White with the Unity in the Community Committee. They will be explaining what this group does and future events they have planned.
For more on the Camden Noon Lions Club and how you can join, call Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440 ext. 7.

SAU FREE SPRING CONCERT APRIL 16 TO FEATURE CASEY DONAHEW BAND
MAGNOLIA – Southern Arkansas University’s seventh-annual free spring concert will highlight country music artists from Texas and Louisiana, with the Casey Donahew Band headlining and Frank Foster opening, at the SAU Story Arena on Thursday, April 16, 2015. The concert is free and the public is invited to attend. Doors will open at the Story Arena, located on U.S. 82 on the north side of Magnolia, at 7:30 p.m. The opening act will be at 8:30 p.m., and the Casey Donahew Band will take the stage at 10 p.m. Casey Donahew has recently released his third and what will likely be his biggest album to date, “Double Wide Dream.” He is gearing up for his biggest year ever, playing to packed houses throughout Texas and the Midwest. He has painstakingly carved out an impressive niche for himself on the country music scene over the past decade, attracting a solid base of loyal fans that flock to his legendary live shows. Building his career from the ground up one show at a time, he has managed to perform on countless stages night after night in front of thousands, topped the Texas music charts several times, released four albums independently to critical acclaim, and forged a path all his own through the music scene without the aid or muscle of a major record label or power-suit management company. Frank Foster grew up between Haynesville and Summerfield, Louisiana, and has been in love with music since an early age. He started playing the guitar in college, which he says was a life-changing event. He has produced four albums, and is playing shows across the South this spring and summer. The spring concert series at SAU began during the University’s 2009 centennial celebration. Previous performers have included former SAU student and country music star Tracy Lawrence, Eric Hutchison, Sean Kingston, Thompson Square a, pop duo Karmin and DJ Pauly D. For more information on the concert, contact the Office of Student Activities at (870) 235-4925.

 

SAU MARKETING GRAD RETURNS TO CLASSROOM, PLAYING FIELD
MAGNOLIA – DeAndre Jenkins was excited to graduate from college and begin his career so that he could . . . go back to school. Jenkins’ story is not the typical tale of a student returning to change his major or work on a graduate degree. Instead, Jenkins’ desire to return to school is motivated by a long-held love – football. Jenkins graduated from Southern Arkansas University with a degree in marketing in December 2014. He was also the starting running back for the Mulerider football team. However, after graduating and taking his first “real job,” Jenkins had one semester of eligibility remaining as a student-athlete. He plans to use that this fall for the Muleriders. “Whatever opportunity presents itself, I’ll be open to it,” said Jenkins on his desire to display his football talents one more time, with the hope of maybe extending his athletic career past the college level. “I’d definitely have to have a breakout season.” The Mountain Pine native was named as an All-Conference Honorable Mention in the Great American Conference after rushing for 850 yards and five touchdowns during the 2014 season. Because he only has one semester of eligibility remaining, Jenkins could not practice with the team during spring training or take part in the spring game. Even though he can’t participate in team workouts, Jenkins is staying in shape. He hits the gym on his own time with workouts designed by the Mulerider coaching staff. After completing his degree in Marketing, Jenkins interviewed with five companies about a job and received five offers. He chose to take a position as an Engagement Specialist with Accent, which works with Sprint. “I think being in the College of Business helped me find a job the way I did,” he said. “I felt like the College of Business really prepared me – for the interviews and for the job. I feel like the school prepared me with real world experience.” Jenkins began his college career at SAU as a mass media major. It was only by chance that he changed his major to business. During his sophomore year, he registered for a course on personal health, which just happened to be taught in the business building. “I saw a poster in the building that caught my attention. The students were all dressed professionally; the guys were all wearing coats and ties. Deep down, I think I always wanted to be the type of person who wears a coat and tie every day,” said Jenkins. When he returns in the fall, Jenkins hopes to begin work on his Master of Business Administration while simultaneously pursuing his dreams on the football field. “It’s a really cool opportunity,” he said. Dr. Lisa Toms, dean of the College of Business, is just as excited to have Jenkins back on campus. “DeAndre was an outstanding student in the College of Business,” said Toms. “I think his professionalism, dedication, and work ethic can all be seen in the fact that’s he’s able to balance a career job with the training needed to play football on the college level.” Jenkins is a 2010 graduate of Mountain Pine. He is the son of Winfred and Sharon Alexander, who are also excited for his opportunity to return to the football field. “They are really supportive. They want the best for me.” Jenkins said both have been his biggest cheerleaders on the field and in the classroom. “The funny thing is, I don’t even get to keep my cap and gown. My mom kept my cap and gown after I graduated from high school. After my college graduation, I think I only saw my cap and gown for a few minutes,” he said with a laugh. Jenkins won’t be putting on a cap and gown again this fall. However, he is looking forward to putting on a football jersey again – even if it’s only for one more season.

March 19, 2015

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE REPORTS
Lt. James Bolton, with the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, was dispatched to 436 Ouachita 54, to make a report of damage to a mail box. Upon arrival, the officer met with homeowner, who stated that he was in his backyard, when he heard a loud bang coming from the front of his house. When the man went around the house, he saw a red Chevy Pickup, occupied by two people. After the vehicle drove off, the owner went to the front of his yard and could see damage done to his mail box. When officer caught up with the vehicle, matching the description, the driver denied being involved, but would find out who was driving his truck.

Officers with the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, were dispatched to Quickies II, to meet with a man, who had a knife pulled on him. When the officer arrived on scene, he was told by two men, that they were riding around the Harmony Grove area on Ouachita 88. When they went around, they turned onto Ouachita 423. As they backed up to turn around, a man with a knife in his hand, approached them. The two told the man that they did not mean any harm, and then drove off. The man continued to curse them.

SAU TECH AVIATION CLUB AND CAMDEN AIRPORT COMMISSION TO HAVE FLY-IN ON SATURDAY
The SAU Tech Aviation Club and the Camden Airport Commission are hosting a fly-in this Saturday, March 21st, from 9 am to 2 pm at the Camden Municipal Airport.  The event is open and free to the public.  Students will be cooking and selling breakfast and lunch items as a fund raiser.  Local aircraft and aircraft from across the state will be on display.  The commission will offer discounted aviation fuel prices for aircraft attending the event.  Pilots will compete in a Spot Landing Contest and a Flour Sack Bomb Drop Contest.  Awards will be given for these contests as well as awards for Furthest Distance Flown and Outstanding Aircraft.  The MidSouth RVators Bulldog Flight Team, from North Little Rock, led by Flight Lead Gerald Loyd,  will arrive around 10 am and fly over the city of Camden in formation with some smoke trails.  They will come back and land at the airport with a flight demonstration to follow at 12:30.  These are some of the most beautiful kit built aircraft in the country.  Representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration will be on hand to conduct a safety meeting for pilots and operators regarding preventive maintenance on their airplanes.  That meeting will run from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm and will be held inside Classroom A of the SAU Tech Aviation Maintenance School.  The public will be welcome and encouraged to enter the SAU Tech building through the walk-in door on the West side, facing US Hwy 79.  From there they may progress through the building and on to the  ramp where the numerous aircraft will be displayed.  R.L. "Bob" Connor from Little Rock has volunteered to handle "AirBoss" services for the event, directing traffic and helping to coordinate the performance of the RVators.  Jerry Homsley of Little Rock will narrate the performance and entertain the crowd with his commentary.  Bill Archer of SAU Tech Aviation is the Event Coordinator, David Cicero is the Chairman of the Camden Airport Commission, and Katherine Beckham is the President of the SAU Tech Aviation Club.  All have coordinated well in organizing the event. Donations and support have been very gratefully received from the Camden Airport Commission, the Ouachita Partnership for Economic Development, Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Company, Valero Quickie's on Hwy 278, Faith Aviation, SAU Tech Physical Plant, Sonic Drive-In, Dain Steele, Pace RV, Jacob Ellis, Arkansas National Guard, Calvary Baptist Church, Save-A-Lot, and others sure to come. 
Archer said, "There have been numerous calls from folks saying they are flying in for this event.  It looks like the weather is going to cooperate and we are looking forward to a great event that you will not want to miss.  You don't have to spend a dime to come out and have a great time."

SAAC HOSTS GUEST LECTURE ON APRIL 1
Martha McCarty Wells, President of the Martha McCarty Kimmerling Wells Foundation, will present a lecture on American visionary artist Alexandre Hogue (1989-1994) and his “The Erosion Series” on Wednesday, April 1 in the Callaway Theatre of the South Arkansas Arts Center.  A reception will be hosted in the Merkle Gallery beginning at 6pm.  Beginning at 6:30pm, Wells will make a short presentation about Alexandre Hogue and his “Erosion” series from the 1930’s and the early 1940’s.  The lecture is based on the Dallas Museum of Art exhibit and is made possible by Elise Drake of the Union County Community Foundation and the Madeline M. and Edward C. McCarty Fund.  The lecture is free and open to the public. Drake said, “The Union County Community Foundation began our relationship with Martha Kimmerling Wells in 1999 when she visited us with her mother, Madelyne Murphy McCarty; Mrs. McCarty was a descendant of pioneer Union County settlers, and although she’d lived most of her life in Texas, she was born and reared in Union County, and she wanted to establish a philanthropic fund to help the community of her childhood.  Mrs. McCarty, who was in her nineties when she established the Madelyne M. and Edward C. McCarty Fund (Mrs. McCarty met Edward C. McCarty, a native of north Arkansas, when he moved to El Dorado as a young man to work for First National Bank, and they married in 1930) passed away not too long after, and it was Martha who continued her mother’s work to support the local nonprofit community by recommending the McCarty Fund underwrite our annual grant awards from the Union County Public Trust Fund. Martha is important to us as a generous donor, but our friendship is equally important.  Martha is a lot of fun to be with; doing good things with her is always accompanied by a lot of laughter.” “Martha’s philanthropy is far reaching; she supports many educational, medical and fine art institutions throughout the USA through her foundation in Dallas.   Her work as a docent, for 36 years, at the Dallas Museum of Arts is what led to the current lecture series on Alexander Hogue that she is presenting to the community via the SAAC,” said Drake. The Madelyne Murphy McCarty Fund was established by a gift to the Union County Community Foundation from the Madelyne M. and Edward C. McCarty Foundation of Dallas, Texas, and was designed to benefit educational, charitable, or cultural non-profit organizations in Union County, Arkansas.  Her desire to enhance the quality of life for the community where she was born and where many of her relatives reside, led Mrs. McCarty to recommend the Fund’s creation. “It just so happened that AETN was airing the marvelous ‘Dust Bowl series’ at the same time that the Dallas Museum of Art was having a showing of Alexander Hogue’s work, and I made a point of familiarizing myself with both. Simultaneously, climate change was affecting various parts of the world, and I was always reading news articles about terrible droughts in the southwest, especially parts of Texas. It seemed to me that Hogue did a powerful job through his paintings of telling the story of the devastation of the land during the dust bowl period, and I thought our local students could benefit from learning about art and the environment, and the relationship between artists and the land, and how they can encourage us to take care of the land.  My daddy’s people were farmers, and the Great Depression, which coincided with the Dust Bowl, made such a huge impact on his family.   He was a little boy at the time, but he remembered it vividly.  His family was in good enough shape to survive unscathed, and their land was cared for, but they watched hundreds and hundreds suffer through it, and never forgot about it.  So, it seems a timely subject, and Martha is the ideal person to bring the Dallas Museum of Art’s fine presentation on Hogue to the SAAC to share with all of us in Union County.  We encourage everyone to attend and enjoy the event,” said Drake. For more information about the lecture, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474. For more information about Alexandre Hogue, visit www.saac-arts.org.

CONSUMER ALERT: WHAT DOES THE FIOA MEAN TO YOU
LITTLE ROCK – As taxpayers who support governmental entities, Arkansans have a right to review an array of records at every level of government – state and local – and to attend the meetings of policy makers and private organizations that receive public funds and are intertwined with government. That right is provided by the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), a law enacted by the General Assembly in 1967 after a strong push from a coalition of citizens and journalists and with the support of then-Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller. The bill passed the House and Senate without a dissenting vote. Governor Rockefeller later reflected that passage of the FOIA was one of the most significant achievements of his time in office. Months later, in a landmark decision, the Arkansas Supreme Court was faced with interpreting the FOIA after a court challenge. In its opinion, the Court said: “We have no hesitation in asserting our conviction that the Freedom of Information Act was passed wholly in the public interest and is to be liberally interpreted to the end that its praiseworthy purposes may be achieved.” The FOIA allows for access to most public records and meetings. The state’s FOIA, a law that is highly regarded across the United States as one of the strongest and most comprehensive, gains greater attention during National Sunshine Week. The annual week in mid-March works to highlight the importance of open and transparent government. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued today’s consumer alert in recognition of National Sunshine Week and to give consumers a greater understanding of the Arkansas FOIA. “In Arkansas and across the country, the people must be armed with the power of knowledge and encouraged to be active, informed citizens,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Arkansas has a strong FOIA that helps hold the government accountable and inform citizens about the issues that affect them. As the people’s lawyer, the Attorney General’s Office is committed to protecting the democratic ideal of an open and public government through the FOIA. For consumers seeking to gain a greater understanding of the Arkansas FOIA, the Attorney General’s Office joins with a number of other organizations to produce and distribute the Arkansas Freedom of Information Handbook. Print copies of the handbook are available upon request from the Attorney General’s Office and electronic copies of the handbook are available on the Attorney General’s website by visiting http://arkansasag.gov/media-center/foia/. The FOIA gives the public access to public meetings and public records with some exceptions. The Act defines a public record as essentially any writing, sound or video that is kept and reflects the performance or lack of performance of an official function. Some public records are exempt from disclosure, such as personnel records whose disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of person privacy, or those records that are kept as part of an ongoing criminal investigation. Requests for records may be made in person or by phone, but most requests are submitted in writing to the custodian of the records. Since most documents fall into the category of being in “active use” or in “storage,” most entities have up to three business days to produce the information requested. Arkansans also have the right under the FOIA to attend most meetings of governing bodies. Notice of public meetings must be provided to anyone who has asked to be notified, and notice of special meetings must be provided to members of the news media who have requested notice of such meetings. Governing bodies may only enter into closed sessions for a limited number of reasons, one of which is for the purpose of considering employment, appointment, promotion, demotion, disciplining or resignation of an individual officer or employee. Consumers who want to learn more about the FOIA can contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office at (800) 482-8982 or visit http://arkansasag.gov/media-center/foia/.

BOOZMAN, MANCHIN IMPROVES HIGHWAY SAFETY
WASHINGTON D.C. - U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR), Joe Manchin (D-WV) today introduced bipartisan legislation to improve the safety of America’s roads and highways by eliminating a hurdle in the commercial trucking industry’s pre-employment drug screening process. The Drug Free Commercial Driver Act of 2015 would allow the U.S. Department of Transportation to recognize hair testing as an alternative option to give companies greater flexibility when conducting drug and alcohol testing. Under current procedures in the commercial trucking industry, urinalysis is the only accepted method of drug and alcohol testing. While some employers use more advanced hair testing for their own purposes, the federal government requires duplicative urinalysis testing. Unfortunately, urinalysis is often less effective in detecting substance abuse, with only a two to three day window of detection, than hair testing, which provides a 60-90 day window. For example, from May 2006 - December 2014, J.B. Hunt Transport’s drug testing data found that 110 driver applicants failed the urine test, while 3,845 people had drug-positive hair test results. Schneider National’s pre-employment drug testing data from March 2008-June 2012, found 120 prospective drivers failed the urine test, while 1,400 applicants had drug-positive hair test results. These discrepancies are causing many trucking companies to pay additional costs for both methods of testing. “Preventing drug-users from operating commercial trucks will improve safety on our roads and enhance industry standards,” Boozman said. “This legislation eliminates the duplicative drug-testing process and allows trucking companies to use the more effective option, without having to pay for two tests.” “Americans rely every day on the safety of our roads and highways as they commute to their jobs, travel to schools and recreational activities, and transport goods and products across the country,” Manchin said. “That is why this commonsense legislation is so important. By allowing companies to use more accurate alcohol and drug testing techniques to test those operating commercial vehicles, we will not only help combat the fight against substance abuse, but we will also help improve the safety of our roads.” The Senate legislation is also cosponsored by Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND). Similar legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman Rick Crawford (AR-01). “My bill’s only concern is improving the safety of our roads,” Crawford said. “Some drug users, when they know that a drug test is likely, are able to abstain for just a few days before the test and beat the system. This bill would catch a much larger percentage of those drivers and keep them off the roads. As a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I’m always looking for ways to improve roadway safety, and this bill helps tackle that problem.” This bill is supported by the American Trucking Association and the Trucking Alliance.

March 18, 2015

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORTS
Officer Maslakov, of the Camden Police Department, affected a traffic stop with a 2006 Ford Taurus. Once the vehicle stopped, the front passenger door opened. A female exited the vehicle, as she was doing so her balance was unsteady, and her eyes were bloodshot and watery.
When the asked the woman to get back into her vehicle, she stated that she needed to go home on Maple Street. According to reports, the woman had spots on her clothes and her hands were wet. She also smelled of intoxicants. It should be noted that a can of beer was found on the floorboard, where the woman was sitting. Now the woman did admit she was drunk, soon after she was arrested and taken to the Ouachita County Detention Center to be held.

Officers with the Camden Police Department was dispatched to 241 North Adams Avenue, in reference to a man being at a residence with a handgun. Sgt. Easttam made contact with several people at the residence. During that time dispatch advised that the man was on the 911 line and he was going to turn himself in by the Municipal Building. When the officers made contact with the culprit, he did not have any weapon on him. The man was however showing signs of intoxication. When asked how much he had to drink, the man replied “not enough”, and that he was looking for his girlfriend’s residence because she was giving him “smart lip” and a verbal altercation had ensued. He was then arrested and taken into custody.

SAU ENGINEERING CHAIR GETS $265,000 GRANT
MAGNOLIA – Dr. Abdel Bachri, chair of the Department of Engineering and Engineering Physics at Southern Arkansas University, has been awarded a research development grant totaling $265,000 to explore the effect of space radiation in a near-zero gravity environment on human chromosomes. The grant is funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH), and was awarded from the AR IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE). It will be funded over a three-year period, with $100,000 being provided per year on years one and two, and $65,000 on the final year. Bachri, whose training is in particle physics and radiation, will join efforts with three radiobiologists from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences’ Division of Radiation Health – Dr. Rupak Pathak, Dr. Marjan Boerma, and Professor Martin Hauer-Jensen. Bachri spent last summer with the team at the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, where they looked at the effect of gamma rays on the induction of genomic instability in human endothelial cells. Encouraged by the preliminary data, and to accurately mimic a true deep space radiation environment, the team will now employ exposure to protons and high-Z elements in ground-based experiments that will subject human cells to near-zero gravity, a condition referred to as microgravity. Three SAU students will have the opportunity to be involved in the initial phase of the project – Darryl Webb, a senor Engineering/Physics major from Buckner, Arkansas; Ricardo Romo, a senior Engineering/Physics major from Mineral Springs, Arkansas; and Cullen Shaffer, a senior Biology major from Crossett, Arkansas. Bachri and his students will spend the summer running a series of experiments at UAMS Division of Radiation Health. To experiment with protons and heavy elements, the team will use the capability of the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York. This laboratory employs beams of heavy ions extracted from Brookhaven’s booster accelerator, a machine dedicated to radiobiology research. As an alternative to the traditional X-rays or gamma radiotherapy, particle beam radiotherapy using protons, helium, carbon and other ions is becoming an acceptable form of cancer treatment, especially overseas in countries such as China, India, as well as Europe. “Exploring the interaction of high energy particles with normal cells does not only help estimate health risks during space travel, but will significantly contribute to our understanding of the side effect of charged particles radiotherapy,” said Bachri.

ARKANSAS JUDGE ATTACKED BY FAMILY’S PET ZEBRA
LITTLE ROCK - An Arkansas judge remained in a Little Rock hospital recently, after he was attacked by his family's pet zebra, authorities said. Searcy officials stated the man was attacked Sunday night by a zebra owned by his father. Now reports have identified the man as state District Judge Mike Derrick. The court clerk's office confirmed to The Associated Press that Derrick sustained injuries to an eye and an arm. His condition wasn't available Tuesday. Authorities wouldn't discuss details of the attack — including any explanation for why a family happened to own and maintain a zebra on private property. Police said they were pursuing no action because the incident appeared to be an accident involving an animal legally owned by Derrick's family.

RUTLEDGE: EPA’S PROPOZED OZONE RULE IS HARMFUL TO THE STATE OF ARKANSAS
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced today she has submitted comments in a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concerning its proposed revision of the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Ozone. The EPA’s proposed rule states that the agency is considering a standard somewhere between 65 and 70 parts per billion, but that it is also seeking comments regarding a standard as low as 60 parts per billion. Rutledge released the following statement: “I am very concerned that the proposed levels are unnecessary and unachievable, and would bring great harm to Arkansas through significant job losses and a lack of economic development opportunities. At the current standard of 75 parts per billion, only a small part of the state is not likely to meet the standard, but at the proposed 60 parts per billion, the entirety of the state would likely have trouble attaining such a standard.” Rutledge points out in the letter that the Clean Air Act does not require the standard be lowered every time it is reviewed but does require the EPA to review air quality standards every five years. The current level of 75 parts per billion was set in 2008. “So long as the standard is protective of human health and the environment, it can remain unchanged,” Attorney General Rutledge wrote. In addition to these comments, Rutledge and 13 other state attorneys general have sent a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy further explaining the harmful, negative impact the rule would have on states across the country. “The proposed rule will have a dramatic negative effect on the economic growth in the States, saddling increasingly heavy compliance costs on job creators – particularly in the manufacturing and industrial sectors,” the attorneys general wrote. “Thus, if promulgated, the proposed rule will hamper the creation and preservation of good-paying jobs in the States and quicken the movement of such jobs overseas.” The letter was signed by the attorneys general of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wisconsin.


SAAC HOSTS GUEST LECTURE ON APRIL 1
Martha McCarty Wells, President of the Martha McCarty Kimmerling Wells Foundation, will present a lecture on American visionary artist Alexandre Hogue (1989-1994) and his “The Erosion Series” on Wednesday, April 1 in the Callaway Theatre of the South Arkansas Arts Center.  A reception will be hosted in the Merkle Gallery beginning at 6pm.  Beginning at 6:30pm, Wells will make a short presentation about Alexandre Hogue and his “Erosion” series from the 1930’s and the early 1940’s.  The lecture is based on the Dallas Museum of Art exhibit and is made possible by Elise Drake of the Union County Community Foundation and the Madeline M. and Edward C. McCarty Fund.  The lecture is free and open to the public. Drake said, “The Union County Community Foundation began our relationship with Martha Kimmerling Wells in 1999 when she visited us with her mother, Madelyne Murphy McCarty; Mrs. McCarty was a descendant of pioneer Union County settlers, and although she’d lived most of her life in Texas, she was born and reared in Union County, and she wanted to establish a philanthropic fund to help the community of her childhood.  Mrs. McCarty, who was in her nineties when she established the Madelyne M. and Edward C. McCarty Fund (Mrs. McCarty met Edward C. McCarty, a native of north Arkansas, when he moved to El Dorado as a young man to work for First National Bank, and they married in 1930) passed away not too long after, and it was Martha who continued her mother’s work to support the local nonprofit community by recommending the McCarty Fund underwrite our annual grant awards from the Union County Public Trust Fund.   Martha is important to us as a generous donor, but our friendship is equally important.  Martha is a lot of fun to be with; doing good things with her is always accompanied by a lot of laughter.” “Martha’s philanthropy is far reaching; she supports many educational, medical and fine art institutions throughout the USA through her foundation in Dallas.   Her work as a docent, for 36 years, at the Dallas Museum of Arts is what led to the current lecture series on Alexander Hogue that she is presenting to the community via the SAAC,” said Drake. The Madelyne Murphy McCarty Fund was established by a gift to the Union County Community Foundation from the Madelyne M. and Edward C. McCarty Foundation of Dallas, Texas, and was designed to benefit educational, charitable, or cultural non-profit organizations in Union County, Arkansas.  Her desire to enhance the quality of life for the community where she was born and where many of her relatives reside, led Mrs. McCarty to recommend the Fund’s creation. “It just so happened that AETN was airing the marvelous ‘Dust Bowl series’ at the same time that the Dallas Museum of Art was having a showing of Alexander Hogue’s work, and I made a point of familiarizing myself with both. Simultaneously, climate change was affecting various parts of the world, and I was always reading news articles about terrible droughts in the southwest, especially parts of Texas. It seemed to me that Hogue did a powerful job through his paintings of telling the story of the devastation of the land during the dust bowl period, and I thought our local students could benefit from learning about art and the environment, and the relationship between artists and the land, and how they can encourage us to take care of the land.    My daddy’s people were farmers, and the Great Depression, which coincided with the Dust Bowl, made such a huge impact on his family.   He was a little boy at the time, but he remembered it vividly.  His family was in good enough shape to survive unscathed, and their land was cared for, but they watched hundreds and hundreds suffer through it, and never forgot about it.  So, it seems a timely subject, and Martha is the ideal person to bring the Dallas Museum of Art’s fine presentation on Hogue to the SAAC to share with all of us in Union County.  We encourage everyone to attend and enjoy the event,” said Drake. For more information about the lecture, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474. For more information about Alexandre Hogue, visit www.saac-arts.org.

ARKANSAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA SEASON FINALE: MOZART, PROKOFIEV AND STRAUSS
Acclaimed Pianist Yeol Eum Son takes the stage for the final Masterworks concert of the season, performing Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3. Known for her historical achievement as a Korean pianist at the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in 2011, Pianist Yeol Eum Son’s graceful interpretations, crystalline touch, and versatile, thrilling performances have caught the attention of audiences worldwide.
Maumelle, Arkansas, March 17, 2015 - The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Philip Mann, Music Director and Conductor, presents the sixth and final concert in the 2014-2015 Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks Series: Mozart, Prokofiev and Strauss (
www.arkansassymphony.org/concerts/mozart-prokofiev-strauss). Piano virtuoso Yeol Eum Son takes the stage for the final Masterworks concert of the season, performing Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3. The program also features Mozart’s grand “Jupiter” Symphony, and Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier Suite.  The Masterworks Series is sponsored by the Stella Boyle Smith Trust.
The concert takes place Saturday, April 11, 2015 at 7:30 p.m., & Sunday, April 12, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. at the Maumelle Performing Arts Center, 100 Victory Lane, Maumelle AR. Concert Conversations: All concert ticket holders are invited to a pre-concert lecture an hour before each Masterworks concert.  These talks feature insights from the Maestro and guest artists, and feature musical examples to enrich the concert experience. Tickets are $19, $35, $49, and $58; active duty military and student tickets are $10 are can be purchased online at 
www.ArkansasSymphony.org; at the Maumelle Performing Arts Center box office beginning 90 minutes prior to a concert; or by phone at 501-666-1761, ext. 100. All Arkansas students grades K-12 are admitted to Sunday’s matinee free of charge with the purchase of an adult ticket using the Entergy Kids’ Ticket, downloadable at the ASO website.

March 17, 2015

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S REPORTS
Sgt. Chris Gill responded to a vehicle mishap on Ouachita 45. The subjects were already out of the vehicle and was asked if they needed EMS by fire personal that was on scene, but stated no. Upon arrival, Sgt. Gill spoke to both the driver and passenger. Both stated that a white Toyota Tacoma, ran them off the road. Due to the vehicle being in the creek, there was mainly water damage. Buddy’s Wrecker service took possession of the vehicle.

Deputy Wayne Bradshaw, of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, spoke with a man about damage to his vehicle. According to reports, the man came to the Sheriff’s Office to report that after arriving home from work. He also stated that someone keyed his car during the night. The man found the damage after he had awoke Sunday morning. The marks covered both sides of the vehicle and on the hood. Vulgarity was written on the hood and passenger side of the vehicle.

Officer with the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Department, responded to Highway 24 near Ouachita 345 in reference to a possible accident. EMS, Chidester Fire and Rescue, Camden Fire and Rescue, and State Police were all notified. The accident was located just west of Ouachita 345. According to reports, it appeared that the driver had lost control of the vehicle in the curve, causing him to swerve, hit a curve and go into the woods. Small trees were cut by Chidester Fire Department. State Police worked on the accident.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB REPORT
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet this week at Catherine’s Bistro. The speaker at Lions Club this week will be Travis Daniel. Travis will be talking about the Trace and the upcoming plans and fundraisers for this project. For more information on the Lion’s Club, or how you can join, call Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440 ext 7.   

MAKE-A-WISH GRANTS DISNEY TRIP TO HARPER STEPHENSON

MAGNOLIA – Harper Stephenson, 3, walked into the new Southern Arkansas University Association of Baptist Students’ facility Saturday afternoon to hear that her wish had been granted – she is going to Disney World. Doctors at Arkansas Children’s Hospital discovered a large tumor in her right lung last spring.  Thankfully, the tumor is not cancerous and will not spread, but Stephenson recently underwent a grueling 10-month stint of chemotherapy. She and her parents, Chad and Jai, will enjoy a much-needed weeklong vacation at Disney World during spring break. Once they hit the airport in Little Rock, the Make-A-Wish Foundation is taking care of all of their expenses. Representatives were on hand from the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Little Rock for the surprise reveal, along with a host of family and friends. The SAU cheerleaders were dressed as famous Disney characters and lined the front entrance of the ABS building. Several beauty queens from the area wore their crowns for the occasion. Stephenson was overwhelmed with the greeting that was waiting on her, and her eyes sparkled as her parents, Chad and Jai, explained the significance of the surprise. Loved ones showered the guest of honor with bubbles and balloons as she shyly walked through the crowd. After Stephenson sat with her grandparents and family to enjoy a cupcake, her shyness disappeared and the posed with the Disney characters for photos. Then Stephenson lit up the floor and everyone around her as she jumped and smiled and bounced balloons into the air as the cheerleaders all huddled around and played with her and her friends. Chad Stephenson is the director of the Association of Baptist Students at SAU. Find out more about the SAU ABS at www.Facebook.com/ABS.SAU.

OIL WELL TO BE DRILLED OFF IN MAGNOLIA
MAGNOLIA - An oil well will be drilled off South Dudney in Magnolia, about a block south of East Main Street. The Magnolia Planning Commission on Monday granted a variance to Betsy Production Company, allowing the company to drill and operate an oil well in a residential zone. 
Betsy Production, owned by Mike Davis of Magnolia, has previously received permission from the commission to drill six wells in the city. One well, drilling in South Side Park, was a dry hole. In the current case, Davis proposes to drill a 4,600-foot well on a 1-acre site about 100 yards off South Dudney, south of a power line in a wooded area not far from Columbia Shopping Center. Drilling will take 10-12 days. If oil is found, the completion process will take 4-6 days. Surface casings will be set well below the Sparta Aquifer to protect the water supply. A successful well site will also be fenced, gated, lighted and monitored by security cameras. Davis anticipates that any pumping will take place during daylight hours, and for no longer than 12 hours a day. Davis said that Betsy Production has yet to receive a complaint about the operation of any of its wells in Magnolia. He praised the Magnolia Police Department for its assistance with helping Betsy getting drilling equipment in and out of the city. Most recently, this including moving equipment to a site just south of Grayson Street off South Dudney – not far from the new well’s proposed location. Drilling will be in June. 

ARKANSAS TO RECEIVE SETTLEMENT TO RESOLVE KICKBACK ALLEGATIONS AGAINST A NEW JERSEY BASED PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units joined the federal government to reach an agreement in principle with the pharmaceutical manufacturer Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., a global pharmaceutical company with its U.S. headquarters in New Jersey, to settle allegations that the company violated the False Claims Act. Rutledge released the following statement: “Arkansas is set to receive $15,459.81 from a multi-state settlement reached with Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. The Arkansas Medicaid Trust Fund, which incurred losses as a result of this fraud, will be reimbursed. This pharmaceutical company violated the False Claims Act by using meals and speaker program honoraria as incentives to entice physicians to prescribe the drugs Azor, Benicar, Tribenzor and Welchol.” Daiichi Sankyo will pay the states and the federal government a total of $39 million in civil damages and penalties for Medicaid and other federally-funded health care programs. The investigation that led to the settlement grew out of a false claims action filed by a former Daiichi Sankyo sales representative in 2010. The whistleblower’s complaint alleged that the claims were false because they resulted from kickbacks that Daiichi Sankyo provided to physicians who prescribed the drugs. The settlement agreement reimburses the federal government and the participating states for damages that were assessed in accordance with the amounts that Daiichi Sankyo expended on each speaker program for each fiscal year. The total Medicaid portion of the settlement – state and federal – is $10 million; and the states’ share of the Medicaid recovery is $5 million. Additionally, as part of the settlement, Daiichi Sankyo has agreed to enter into a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), which obligates Daiichi Sankyo to undertake substantial internal compliance reforms for the next five years. Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia are participating in the settlement. The federal settlement was announced by the Justice Department in January of this year. Arkansas’s portion of the settlement will be placed in the Arkansas Medicaid Trust Fund.

BOOZMAN AND OTHERS INTRODUCE HONOR AMERICA’S GUARD-RESERVE ACT OF 2015
WASHINGTON –U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and U.S. Representative Tim Walz (D-MN) introduced the Honor America’s Guard-Reserve Act of 2015, a bipartisan, bicameral bill honoring as veterans, Guard and Reserve retirees who served honorably for a minimum of 20 years but do not meet the active duty service requirement to qualify them as veterans under existing law. The law defines a veteran as servicemen and women who have served on active duty. This legislation would amend this definition and allow these Guard and Reserve retirees to be recognized as a veteran. Due to the fact that no additional benefits beyond the title of veteran are extended to these retirees, there is no cost associated with this legislation. “National Guard and Reserve members who selflessly serve in defense of our country should to be honored for their sacrifice. These men and women earned this recognition for their steadfast commitment to our national security and Armed Forces and rightfully deserve to be honored with the title of veteran,” Boozman, a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs said. “Members of our National Guard and Reserve serve our country honorably, here in our home states and overseas. Indiana has the fourth-largest National Guard contingent in the country and a strong history of Hoosiers serving in the Reserves. After twenty years of service to their communities and our nation, these dedicated men and women deserve our recognition and respect as veterans,” Donnelly, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said. “These folks took an oath, and that oath was to defend our nation at any cost; to stand ready for decades, at a moment’s notice, to deploy anywhere in the world in defense of our great nation,” Walz, the highest ranking enlisted soldier to ever serve in Congress, said. “The very least we could do is to give them the honor and recognition they have earned and deserve. I’m proud to re-introduce this bicameral, bipartisan bill and urge my colleagues to support it.” This legislation is supported by the National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) and the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States (EANGUS). The House of Representatives passed similar legislation last Congress.

March 13, 2015

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE REPORTS
Lt. James Bolton along with Deputies of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, were dispatched to a two vehicle accident on Hwy 7 South, at the intersection of Ouachita 64. EMS and Rescue arrived, and were dispatched as well. Upon arrival the driver of a 1984 Buick, was found sitting in the front seat of a vehicle. The other driver, of a 2013 Ford Mustang, was found lying on the ground next to her vehicle. Rescue stabilized the patients until EMS arrived. Both patients were transported to the Medical Center of Arkansas in El Dorado.
 

Deputy Jarrod Purifoy, of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, responded to an overturned commercial truck on Hwy 24, near Gulley’s Liquor. Dispatch advised that it was a tank truck carrying an unknown substance. Chidester Fire Department was also called out to the scene. Upon arrival, the truck was seen upside down in the ditch of the west bound lane of Hwy 24. The driver of the truck stated that he was loaded with 40,000 gallons of wood glue. He also stated that he was uninjured and did not need any medical attention. The investigation was turned over to the Arkansas State Police.


SAU BANDS TO PERFORM FIRST CONCERT OF THE SEASON ON MONDAY
MAGNOLIA – Southern Arkansas University’s Band Department will host its first performance of the season at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, March 16, at their band facility near the SAU tennis courts. The concert is free and open to the public. The community is encouraged to come enjoy standard and contemporary wind band literature, and to support the efforts of SAU’s talented student musicians. The SAU Concert Band will be conducted by Sarah Mickey, and the Symphonic Wind Ensemble will be conducted by J.P. Wilson. The Concert Band is a 75-piece wind and percussion ensemble. The Symphonic Wind Ensemble is a 45-piece wind and percussion ensemble that performs throughout the South during the spring semester.

MAKING MAGNOLIA BLOSSOM’S NEXT ‘BIG’ EVENT ON APRIL 11
MAGNOLIA – Making Magnolia Blossom made a “big splash” in October with more than 500 volunteers transforming the look of Magnolia’s Main Street, and the organization is recruiting volunteers for a 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. April 11 Big Splash Spring Edition. Interested volunteers can register at www.MagnoliaBlossom.org. On the registration form, volunteers can sign up individually, as a family, or as a team leader. Projects for this cleanup are focused around Magnolia’s downtown and courthouse square, in preparation for the Magnolia Blossom Festival in May. As with October’s Big Splash, there are a few spotlight areas which will receive intensive makeovers. One of the major projects will be at the former service station across from the Farmer’s Bank & Trust Operations Center on Main Street. MMB hopes to gather around 50 volunteers to paint the building and curbs, which will be followed by replacement of broken glass panels in the doors and windows. Another major initiative will take place at the former community garden next to the Cameo Theater building on Jackson Street. Another large group of volunteers will join forces to remove the fencing and clear the lot. MMB is working to partner with groups and individuals for an exciting future project at this location. More information will be distributed as plans develop. Around the Courthouse Square, volunteers will plant flowers in the landscaping planters and put fresh paint on the curbs. A big push will be made to cut back and clear overgrowth around the Square, and specifically on the north side across from the Wilson Memorial Garden. MMB is also working with the Columbia County Master Gardeners to possibly offer volunteer help at the Wilson Garden. Tasks are being identified, and if Magnolia citizens show up in force like in the fall, various paint projects may be completed at this location. Volunteer groups will also be dispersed throughout town and at the entrances to Magnolia to pick up litter. If volunteers are available, other projects will be completed in various areas on Main Street and around town. As volunteers register online at MagnoliaBlossom.org, they will find more information about some of the key projects and will even be able to select the project at which they wish to work. Pre-registered volunteers will either check-in at their selected work area, or will arrive at the central check-in to be located at the parking lot next to the former community garden at the corner of Jackson and Union. Big Splash Saturday was held on October 25, 2014, and was the kick-off event for Making Magnolia Blossom, a community organization established at Southern Arkansas University. Organizers received $14,000 in early donations to help fund Big Splash Saturday. The Magnolia Advertising and Promotions Commission awarded Making Magnolia Blossom a $10,000 grant, and Magnolia’s Walmart gave a $2,000 Community Giving Grant. The remainder of the donations came from local businesses and individuals. Since the Big Splash, an additional $10,000 has been given by an anonymous donor who wants to see the improvements continue, and they will not have to wait long. A follow-up event was held on December 6, and volunteers completed the painting of two Main Street businesses. Also on December 6, MMB sponsored its first fundraising event – the Ugly Sweater 5K. This unique event was held at the SAU track and community walking trail.

SAU WILL HOST REGIONAL SCIENCE FAIR
Southern Arkansas University, the SAU STEM Center for K-12 Education and the South Central Service Cooperative will co-sponsor the Southwest Arkansas Regional Science Fair from 7:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., Friday, March 20, on the SAU campus.
Public viewing of projects will be available from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Friday, March 20.
Elementary (3 – 6 grade) projects will be displayed in the W.T. Watson Gymnasium, with awards announced in Reynolds Grand Hall at 1 p.m. Junior high and High school projects will be displayed in the Auxiliary Gymnasium of the Brown H.K.R. complex, with awards Reynolds Foundation Hall at 1 p.m. Judging is from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. Public viewing is not allowed during judging. The 34th annual regional science fair for 3rd-12th graders will host 380 students displaying 329 projects. The students represent the top three winners from their schools for each grade and category. Teachers and chaperones will bring the total attendance to well over 500 guests to the SAU campus. The student projects will represent 16 schools from the following districts in Southwest Arkansas: Bradley, Camden Fairview, Emerson, El Dorado, Genoa, Harmony Grove, Hope, Junction City, Magnolia, Smackover and Taylor. While on campus, students will be treated to a variety of presentations and demonstrations. The SAU Engineering program will launch a rocket high into the sky. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will have in the SAU Mall their aquarium tank and monster truck. Jennifer Gammon of Logoly State Park will present local wildlife. Raptor Rehab of Central Arkansas will show off some of their big birds of prey. SAU Science faculty Dr. Tim Schroeder and Dr. Abdel Bachri will also offer their exciting demonstrations.

DAVIS SELECTED FOR YOUNG ARTIST EXHIBITION
The painting “Coriana” by Coriana Davis, a 6th grade student of Katie Harwell's at Washington Middle School, was selected to be a part of the 54th Young Arkansas Artists Exhibition. The exhibit will be featured at the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock beginning May 1, 2015 and continue to July 26, 2015. Assisted by Artist in Residence, Maria Villegas, Mrs. Harwell wrote a grant to the Arkansas Arts Council to fund a multidisciplinary program entitled "Breaking Barriers". In this program, WMS students learned about health-related careers from professionals in the field, conducted their own research, wrote papers and created artwork to reflect what they had learned. Davis' piece was one of seven in her age group chosen amongst several hundred entries. Artists in Residence are supported by grants from the Arkansas Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.

March 12, 2015

ARKANSAS-GIVES DAY OF GIVING
ArkansasGives is a planned day of giving throughout the state of Arkansas. We are excited for Arkansans to support local nonprofits on April 2nd.  Arkansas Community Foundation and its affiliates are not raising funds because we want the nonprofits in Arkansas to get more community support and awareness. In addition to statewide nonprofits that have signed up to participate with ArkansasGives, the following nonprofits are Ouachita or Calhoun County based:
- Ouachita County Historical Society
- Ouachita/Calhoun Single Parent Scholarship Fund
- Southern Arkansas University Tech Foundation

ATF ANNOUNCES WITHDRAWL OF CONTROVERSIAL AMMA BAN AFTER PRESSURE FROM LAWMAKERS
Washington, D.C.— Senator Tom Cotton released the following statement on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives' (ATF) decision to withdraw a proposed ban on ammunition used in the AR-15 rifle: “I am pleased with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives' decision not to pursue a proposed ban at this time, but rest assured I will remain a vigilant defender of Arkansans' Second Amendment rights. I commend Senator Grassley on his leadership and action and will continue to work with him on this important issue”. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives' decision came just 1 day after 53 Republican Senators, including Senator Cotton, sent a letter condemning the proposal to ban ammunition used in the popular AR-15 rifle. This class of ammunition, primarily used for sporting purposes, is protected under a 1986 Law Enforcement Officer Protection Act exemption. In the letter, the Senators contend the “Framework” does not follow LEOPA and express concern for its impact on Second Amendment rights.

CONSUMER ALERT: AVOID GETTING SWEPT AWAY IN FAKE SWEEPSTAKES
LITTLE ROCK – A consumer answers their phone and a stranger immediately says, “Congratulations, you are a winner.” Over the past several weeks, reports of these types of calls have increased. Arkansans are being targeted by con artists posing as representatives of sweepstakes companies promising cash prizes. Every year, thousands of Arkansans are notified by mail, e-mail, or phone, that they are winners in a sweepstakes or lottery. These million dollar prize packages or new cars can be tempting, but Arkansans should resist. These scammers usually ask for a “processing fee” related to the prize but it is a ruse to pocket the “fee” and steal financial information. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued today’s consumer alert on this common scam to caution Arkansans not to fall victim to these sweepstakes con artists. “Con artists are looking for quick and easy ways to steal consumers’ money,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “What better way to do that than to convince consumers that they have won a big sweepstakes prize and need to pay a small fee to receive it? Arkansans should always remember that if they have not entered a sweepstakes competition or lottery it is highly unlikely that they are indeed a legitimate winner.” Callers to the Attorney General’s Office are reporting receiving unsolicited phone calls from an individual claiming to be with Publishers Clearinghouse, a well-known sweepstakes company to most Americans. These callers are promising that consumers are winners and that if they pay a one-time fee, a representative of Publishers Clearinghouse will be on the way to present the consumer with their “winnings.” Most of the time these “winnings” are described as cash, but sometimes are a car or vacation package. Almost all of these calls request the consumer to wire money to a location outside the United States or provide the scammer with the number of a prepaid debit card. By indicating that the “winnings” are ready to be delivered, these con artists can sound legitimate, but it is highly unlikely that the scammer knows the consumer’s location. Legitimate sweepstakes or lottery winners are hardly ever notified through an unsolicited call, and legitimate businesses, such as Publishers Clearinghouse, would never require winners to wire money to receive a prize. 
Regardless of how the consumer is notified, once the consumer turns over bank account information or wires the funds, there is a good chance the consumer will lose more money when their personal financial information is compromised. When money is wired to a foreign country, it is very difficult, if not almost impossible, to get it returned. Attorney General Rutledge offers the following tips to consumers to avoid falling victim to sweepstakes scams:
-Consumers should not try to collect winnings from a sweepstakes they don’t remember entering.
-Never give out personal financial information.
-Do not pay any money up front in an attempt to claim a prize.
-Always remember, if it looks or seems too good to be true, it most likely is.
-Consumers should ignore the bogus sweepstakes prizes and immediately call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division to report the call and the number from which it originated. Consumers can contact the office via the Consumer Protection hotline at (800) 482-8982 or by visiting www.ArkansasAG.gov.

 

March 11, 2015

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE REPORT
Deputy Chris Lindsey, of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office spoke with a man in Stephens, by telephone. The man advised that he had went to file his taxes at H&R Block in Camden, and he was told by them that someone had already filed taxes with the IRS, using his social security number. The said that he has been in constant contact with the IRS in regards to the matter. Representatives advised him that a report would be on file.

CAMDEN KIWANIS CLUB REPORT
The Camden Kiwanis Club will meet at the Country Club this week. The club will have Dr. Trey Berry the new SAU President joining them at noon this Thursday. For any additional information on the Kiwanis Club, or how you can join, email Allen Crum at rev.crum610@gmail.com

BOOZMAN RECONGNIZES AR GAME AND FISH COMMISSION’S CENTENNIAL ANNIVERSARY
WASHINGTON– Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC). Gov. George Washington Hays signed Act 124 creating the AGFC on March 11, 1915. This agency rejuvenated the state’s natural resources for future generations of Arkansans. U.S. Senator John Boozman honored the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission on its centennial anniversary in the Congressional Record, the official proceedings of Congress. 
Boozman will present a copy of the Congressional Record to AGFC leaders during events on Sunday. The following are remarks printed in the Congressional Record: Mr. President, I rise today to celebrate a century of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC).  Enjoying our wildlife and outdoors is a way of life for residents of the Natural State; and the efforts of AGFC help preserve this time-honored tradition through management of our state's fish and wildlife populations. In the early 1900’s, maintaining healthy wildlife populations was desperately needed in the state. Elk, bison, and swan populations in Arkansas were extinct; and deer, duck, quail, and fish species were near extinction. Following the leadership of President Teddy Roosevelt, Gov. George Washington Hays signed Act 124 creating the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission on March 11, 1915. One of the commission’s first orders of business was improving hunting, fishing, and trapping regulations. Thanks to these efforts we’ve seen extinct animal populations flourish, while creating an excellent environment for fishing and hunting. This has allowed tourism to become a leading sector of Arkansas’s economy. Our state now has a thriving Elk population with a regulated hunting season. We’ve also seen growth in the deer population. More than 200,000 deer are harvested annually in Arkansas, up from just over 200 checked in the 1938 hunting season. Once known as the Bear State, black bear in Arkansas neared extinction with fewer than 50 believed to be in the state in the 1930s. Today there are more than 5,000 bears in the state, making it one of the most successful reintroductions of a large carnivore in history. The AGFC laid the foundation for Arkansas to become the 'Duck Hunting Capitol of the World’ in 1948 with the establishment of Bayou Meto Wildlife Management Area. Today Bayou Meto WMA consists of 33,832 publicly-owned acres, providing world class duck hunting that attracts hunters from all over the world. The AGFC’s five fish hatcheries help stock some of finest lakes, streams, and rivers in Arkansas that attract anglers from around the world. More than 12.5 million fish are harvested from these hatcheries annually. While the mission is the same, the agency has experienced many changes in the last century. The first nine game wardens were paid $80 a month and had to provide their own horse. Today the agency operates an $88 million annual budget and employs thousands of Arkansans. In the past 100 years, the AGFC has created policies that maintain the natural beauty and abundance of wildlife in the Natural State so Arkansans and visitors from across America and around the world can enjoy the great outdoors. From restoring habitat, managing wildlife and protecting the public, the men and women of the AGFC help preserve the Natural State's beauty and natural resources. But this mission comes at a cost: throughout its history AGFC has lost five brave officers in the last line of duty. I thank them and all the men and women of the AGFC for their service and commitment to making sure future generations can experience the natural resources and outdoor activities that we enjoy today.

SAAC HOSTS “GOD OF CARNAGE” WEEKEND
The Lantern Theatre/Conway Community Arts Association presents “God of Carnage” at the South Arkansas Arts Center on Saturday, March 14. The performance will take place in competition form, giving the audience a chance to see a ten minute (or less) stage set up, a one hour (or less) performance, and a ten minute (or less) stage strike. “God of Carnage” will start at 8:30pm. The cast party will begin immediately after the stage strike (approximately 9:30pm). Tickets are $15 (open seating) and include the party. All proceeds will go to CCAA to help fund their trip to AACTFest regional competition in Albuquerque. Jack Wilson, Arkansas Community Theatre Association President, said, ““Come to the South Arkansas Arts Center and support CCAA as they prepare to head to New Mexico to represent Arkansas in the American Association of Community Theatre Region VI festival. This will be a great opportunity to see quality theatre from another community presented right here on the SAAC stage and for the actors from Conway to feel the warmth of the El Dorado audience.” Wilson is also the executive director of the South Arkansas Arts Center. “God of Carnage” takes place in the living room of Veronica and Michael. A playground altercation between their 11-year-old son and another 11-year-old boy brings together two sets of Brooklyn parents for a meeting to resolve the matter in a civilized manner. At first, diplomatic niceties are observed, but as the meeting progresses, and the rum flows, tensions emerge and the gloves come off, leaving the couples with more than just their principles in tatters. The 2009 Broadway production featured Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis, James Gandolfini and Marcia Gay Harden. All four actors received Tony nominations for their portrayals with Ms. Harden winning the Tony for Best Leading Actress. The play, written by Yazmine Reza and translated into English by Christopher Hampton, won the Olivier and Tony Award for Best Play. The play has been translated into 37 languages and performed throughout the world. The performance does contain adult language. Kelly Campbell said, “I got to see ‘Carnage’ when we went to regional competition in Lafayette two years ago, and it was the funniest thing I have ever seen in my life! When I found out that CCAA was doing it for Arkansas AACTFest in Pine Bluff, I couldn’t wait to see it again, and Conway did a great job.” She continued, “The theatre people in Conway have always been supportive of SAAC (with money and good thoughts) – they travel to El Dorado to see our productions, they bought miles to help us get to Lafayette, and they are always are amazed at the community support we have. I hope we will show them the same support.” For more information about the production, contact the SAAC box office at 862-5474 or visit www.saac-arts.org.

March 10, 2015

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORTS
Officer Maslakov of the Camden Police Department, responded as backup to Officer Clayton, who affected a traffic stop with a Chevrolet Silverado, on Monroe at Van Buren Street. According to reports, Officer Clayton could smell a strong odor of suspected marijuana emitting from the interior of the vehicle. While other officers were busy with the two passengers, Clayton asked the driver to step out. The officer noticed that the driver had bloodshot and glassy eyes. The odor of marijuana was coming from the driver’s breath. When asked if he had been drinking, the driver said that he had been drinking Kool-aid, and “must have been a lot of sugar”, he then added “I’m not drunk”. The driver would then change his answer several times. When asked if he had smoked any marijuana, the man replied “See, what had happened was….”, then started talking about something else. After failing a standard field sobriety test, the man admitted he was wrong, given a criminal citation, and a later court date.

Officer Jimmy Plyler, with the Camden Police Department, was dispatched to Walmart for a report of shoplifting. The officer was advised that management had detained the suspects in the parking lot after pushing a buggy of merchandise out of the store without paying. According to the manager said that a white male, and white female, had pushed a buggy outside, without paying for it. The female was taken into custody for shoplifting. A bottle of 5 Hour Entergy was retrieved from her pocket and returned along with all of the other stolen merchandise from inside the vehicle.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB REPORT
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet this week at Catherine’s Bistro. This week the Lions Club will have a musical program presented by Margi Harrell and Dr. Lisa Oden. For any additional information on the Lion’s Club, you can contact Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440 ext. 7.

CADC PROVIDING FREE TAX PREPARATION AT SUPER TAX DAY EVENT
IN OUACHITA COUNTY

Camden, Ark. – Central Arkansas Development Council is joining forces with the IRS to provide a free tax day, Friday, March 13th, 10 am – 2 pm at the CADC Camden Office, 313 Jefferson Street. Taxpayers can call ahead at 870-867-0151 for an appointment. Walk-ins will also be accepted. Workers, including the self-employed, may get a larger tax refund this year because of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). But to get it, you have to first file a tax return and claim it. Last year, more than 27 million workers received more than $65 billion in EITC. If you worked last year and your income is less than $52,425, you might be eligible for EITC, which could mean up to $6,143 in additional funds when you file a return and have qualifying children. Workers with no qualifying children could be eligible for a smaller credit of up to $496. On average, EITC returns $2,400 to taxpayers. The IRS estimates only 4 out of 5 taxpayers claim the EITC they earned, leaving billions of dollars on the table each year. Tax volunteers are IRS-certified and will work one -on-one with taxpayers to help them file their federal and state returns and to receive the tax credit for which they qualify. Customers can split refunds into multiple accounts, or if they don't hold a bank account, can receive their refund on a debit card. Customers generally receive federal refunds within 7-10 days. Persons utilizing the sites should bring their family's Social Security Cards, picture ID, W-2/1099s, a copy of last year's return, bank account information for direct deposit, and Form 1095A or health insurance statements. CADC is a private nonprofit community action agency that was formed in 1965 to fight and win the “War on Poverty.” The mission of CADC is to improve the quality of life and build strong communities in Arkansas. For more information, please contact CADC at 501-778-1133.

INTERVENTION GRANTED FOR AR AGAINST EPA’S PROPOSED 111(D) RULE RUTLEDGE REQUESTED TO JOIN LAWSUIT ON FEB. 13
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced today that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has granted the State’s motion to intervene in a federal lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed 111(d) rule that seeks to reduce carbon emissions from electric generating units. Rutledge released the following statement: “As Attorney General, I will seek to protect Arkansans against an overreaching federal government that is attempting to implement heavy-handed regulations that go beyond the scope of the law. As I pointed out in my testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight Subcommittee on the Interior on February 26, the 111(d) rule from the EPA mandates the standards that Arkansas must achieve, rather than providing guidelines for Arkansas to use in its efforts to reduce carbon pollution. This rule goes beyond the EPA’s authority granted by Congress and seeks to impose a national energy policy that will harm Arkansas’s economy.” Rutledge sought the motion to intervene on Feb. 13 in order to join the lawsuit with attorneys general from West Virginia, Alabama, Alaska, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wyoming and Kentucky. As indicated in the motion, Arkansas is required to meet the sixth most stringent obligation of all the states under the proposed 111(d) rule, yet Arkansas ranks 46th in per capita income. The EPA proposes emissions rate reductions of 41 percent and 44 percent as interim and final requirements. The drastic reductions required under the proposed rule will negatively impact existing industry, future economic development and electric ratepayers in Arkansas. The case is currently pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals.

RUTLEDGE: SOLICITOR GENERAL WOULD BENEFIT ARKANSAS
 LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today testified before the General Assembly Joint Budget Subcommittee on Personnel to discuss the Attorney General’s Office budget and to request approval for the reclassification of a current position to Solicitor General. Rutledge released the following statement: “Today, I requested approval for a Solicitor General at the Attorney General’s Office. In recent years, most of the attorneys general from across the country have added a Solicitor General to their office to assist with the increasing workload, specifically the growing number of large multi-state consumer protection cases and the increasingly complex appellate matters at the state and national levels. I have spoken with many of my colleagues about a Solicitor General, and I believe the position would benefit the State of Arkansas greatly.” The subcommittee unanimously passed the reclassification. The position will not increase the number of authorized employees at the Attorney General’s Office and will not increase the requested appropriation.

March 5, 2015

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORTS
Officer Bush, of the Camden Police Department, was dispatched to 817 Ft. Lookout for a report of criminal trespass. Dispatch advised the housing authority manager, stated that she had received a tip that a man, who was on the ban-list, was in one of the apartments. When officer arrived on the scene, they went to the apartment and knocked on the door. After knocking for several minutes, the Officer Bush was finally let inside. The man, who was on the ban-list, was found hiding in the bathroom, with the lights off.

Officer Clayton of the Camden Police Department, was dispatched to 453 Fairview Road in reference to a female, refusing to leave a residence. Upon arrival, the officer observed a female subject sitting on the front porch with a brown paper sack, wrapped around a 32 oz. can of Miller High Life. The officer tried to gather information, but the woman’s English was said to be very little. According to reports, an odor of intoxicants was coming from the woman, her eyes were also bloodshot and watery. Now the reporting person stated that he knows the woman, and she had recently knocked on his door and said she could not go home, because her husband was asleep. After he told her she could not stay, she refused to leave. As a result she sat on his porch and continued to drink her beer. The woman was arrested for public intoxication.

CAMDEN KIWANIS CLUB REPORT
The Camden Kiwanis Club will not meet today at the Camden Country Club due to the weather. For any additional information on the Lion’s Club, you can email Allen Crum at rev.crum610@gmail.com.


INSTRUCTORS NEEDED FOR “MULERIDER KIDS COLLEGE”
MAGNOLIA – Class proposal submissions are still being accepted for Southern Arkansas University’s inaugural “Mulerider Kids College” to be held this summer. The deadline for proposal submissions is March 8. Instructors will receive $175 per course, and are eligible to teach up to three courses. Class proposals are to be submitted online form at web.saumag.edu/kids-college. Questions may be directed to Jana Walker at jbwalker@saumag.edu or (870) 235-5348. Organizers want to hear from anyone with a creative idea for a class. Those who are interested may submit class proposals for the program which will be held each morning from July 6-9. The program will provide enrichment to children entering first through sixth grades. The goal of the program is to provide opportunities to enhance students’ education without the pressure of grades, homework, or tests. Mulerider Kids College instructors will offer unique classes that will be fun, entertaining, and educational. A small stipend will be paid to all instructors. Information regarding student enrollment for the program will be released at a later date.

BLUE & YOU FOUNDATION GIVES $149,128 FOR SAU HEALTH SIM LAB
MAGNOLIA – Chad Dodson, Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield Market Manager for the South-Central & Southwest Regions, second from right, presents Dr. David Rankin, president of Southern Arkansas University a ceremonial check for the $149,128 grant from the Blue & You Foundation to support the purchase of equipment for the SAU Health Sciences Simulation Center (SAU HSSC). The SAU HSSC represents a model partnership including SAU and healthcare providers across the Ark-La-Tex. The SAU HSSC will benefit regional healthcare facilities by offering a hands-on clinical training setting for employee certifications and re-certifications. Combining state-of-the art equipment and technology in a regional simulation setting will bring offerings to the southern half of Arkansas that is currently not available. SAU representatives pictured from left include Dr. Trey Berry, Robbye Taylor, Ginger Covington, Dr. Heather McKnight, Becky Parnell, Dr. Pam DeGravelles, Dr. Brenda Trigg, Rankin, Dodson of Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Josh Kee.

SAAC HOST ARTIST RECEPTION FOR “BRICOLAGE” AND “FIGURATIVE THOUGHTS”
The Visual Arts Committee of the South Arkansas Arts Center will host an artist reception for two new exhibitions currently on display in the galleries on Saturday, March 7, from 6-7:30pm.  The reception is free and open to the public.  All three artists will be in attendance during the reception. “Bricolage,” a two woman show by Julia Hardy Slaughter and Kelly Campbell, is a collection of acrylic paintings, pastels, screen prints, watercolor paintings, and encaustics hanging in the Merkle Gallery until March 30. “We promised SAAC’s marketing and publicity director Colleen Means a title, and then we started googling synonyms for ‘mixture’ – because that’s what we have. Lots of words came up, and none of them were quite right until we saw ‘bricolage’ – and it was perfect. We just hope that our bricolage is unified at the end of this journey!” Slaughter and Campbell are great friends, and have no fear that their styles, although very different, are complementary. Slaughter said, “Most of the paintings are abstract. The subject usually comes from an idea in my mind, or from a landscape photo (one of many snapped from the passenger side of a speeding vehicle driven by my #amazingboyfriendChuck) filled with intriguing shapes that sparks and idea.” She continued, “I love the challenge and excitement of taking that idea, and through its evolution, bringing the painting to the point where it will engage the viewer. I strive for balance of line, flow, and bright, beautiful color.” Campbell said, “The pieces in Bricolage are really different from anything I’ve done before. Ever. I’ve always done realistic pieces. Even though the first shows I did here were really close up ‘pieces’, they were real things done in a realistic style. The third show (all those bicycles!) was realistic as well.” She said that the work for Bricolage is inspired by her photographs of rusty equipment in a friend’s shop yard. “But realistic? These pieces…well…not so much!” she laughed. A former member of the Visual Arts Committee of the South Arkansas Arts Center, Julia is currently serving on the SAAC Board of Directors. Her work has previously shown in solo exhibits at SAAC in the Price Gallery in 2011 and in the Merkle and Price Galleries in 2013. Making art satisfies a need in Campbell’s soul and helps her keep the little sanity she has. She does some photography, but mostly she works in pastels, using her photos for reference. She said, “The process is therapy. I lose all sense of time and self when I’m working. Aside from satisfying the need to create something, the very best is whenever someone sees a piece of my artwork and feels a connection to it – and talks to me about it!” A retired educator, Campbell is employed at the South Arkansas Arts Center where she is the general greeter, gallery manager, Visual Arts liaison, and Executive Assistant. She also teaches beginners’ pastel classes and Corks & Canvas classes at SAAC. Her work has been accepted into the SAAC Juried Art Competition in 2011, 2012, and 2014. Her work has previously shown in solo exhibits at SAAC in 2010, 2011 and 2013. “Figurative Thoughts” by Texarkana artist Cindy J. Holmes is currently on display in the Price and Lobby Galleries until March 30.  Holmes said, “Each painting starts the story by using figures, found objects, and the incorporation of clichés into the titles.  I lead the viewer to use their own personal experiences to explain, question, or finish the drama.  And each story leads to another……” Born in California, Cindy lived a rather nomadic life with her family until they settled in a small Mississippi town.  Books play an important part in her memories.  They are tied to her dreams and as a talisman in how her childhood is remembered.  Literature gave her a doorway into other lives – fanciful, dramatic, scary, intense, soothing or dreamlike.  “It was all there before me, to be gobbled up like a Thanksgiving feast,” she said. As an adult, instead of becoming a writer, she found herself wanting to express herself visually. “Mushing paint onto a canvas was what made my heart sing and brought the same focus as the most riveting book from childhood,” she said. I learned to make pretty paintings and beautiful landscapes.  I reveled in each achievement, yet one day I awoke with a yearning to tell an unfinished story with paint.  I wanted to start a story that would make a viewer finish it from their own perspective of life.  So that’s what I do these days.  I’m still that kid that reads, that bookworm that unknowingly listens in on other people’s lives (love those public cell phone conversations!).  But I paint the imagined story, the real story, the overheard story, the story I want to tell, the story you need to finish.” Holmes plans her paintings around the figure, found objects, and word play and clichés. “First and foremost is the figure.  That is the first thing my eye goes to and I want to explore how they can make us feel just by using that figure in different situations,” she explained. By exploring thrift stores, she runs across small, forgotten objects that inspire her to plan and paint “what if?” situations; this is how she uses found objects. She is inspired to translate clichés visually so that they are no longer meaningless, but become a different story. For more information about the exhibitions or artist reception, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474 or visit www.saac-arts.org.

March 4, 2015

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT UPDATE IN HOMICIDE CASE
Yesterday, officers of the Camden Police Department arrested Eric Thrower, 26, of Camden.
Thrower is the younger brother of Francine Cobb, both arrested for involvement in the Erica Batton homicide case. Thrower will go before a judge for his first appearance today. According to Police Chief Bo Woody, they for see any other arrest, unless there is a couple that might be obstructing, but none involved in the homicide. Many have asked why the case has taken so long, “we didn’t want to just put someone in jail until we knew for sure”, Woody explained.   

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT
Sgt. Easttam of the Camden Police Department, was advised that there was a male walking on California Avenue near Grinstead Avenue. According to reports the man was in the middle of the roadway, looking “happy”. Officers made contact with the man, who was walking in the middle of the northbound lane on California Avenue. The man stated that he was headed home. The officer could notice that the man’s eyes were bloodshot, watery, and his speech was slurred.
A strong odor of intoxicants could also noticed, coming from the man. When asked how much alcohol he had consumed, the man stated “none”. After being determined to be a danger to himself and other, the man was taken into custody.
 
OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE REPORT
According to reports, an operator with the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office was traveling on highway 9 near “B&M Gravel” when he observed a vehicle run off the roadway and become stuck in the adjacent drainage ditch. Now the operator stopped to offer assistance. As the driver was attempting to free his vehicle, he began to spin his tires and sling dirt. In doing so, the driver caused a rock to strike the windshield of the operator’s vehicle, breaking the glass. The other subject was able to get free of the ditch and depart before he could be stopped.

Sgt. Chris Gill of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, spoke to a woman, as she wanted to make a report regarding harassing situations. She stated that a man lives at her sister, and mother’s residence in Bearden. The woman stated that the man had been sending her pictures of him burning clothes and other personal items of theirs. She stated that she took this as a threat, and that he had also been sending pictures of needles and drugs to her. When the officer went to the residence he did not see anything on fire, and no evidence of anyone burning anything at the residence.

SAU TECH DONATED TWO HOSPITAL BEDS
Southern Arkansas University Tech recently received a donation of two hospital beds from Ouachita County Medical Center for the college’s Nursing program to use in skills and simulation labs.  OCMC also donated some expired supplies for use in the program. Caroline Hammond, SAU Tech’s Allied Health Program Coordinator, stated that the college is very grateful for OCMC’s continued support of the needs of the nursing program.  The deadline to apply to the nursing program is April 1 and the deadline to register for the required TEAS entrance exam is March 20.  SAU Tech’s program is one of few that does not require any prerequisites to be admitted. Find out more at www.sautech.edu or call 870.574.4500.


FAIRVIEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL REGISTERING STUDENTS FOR NEXT YEAR
Fairview Elementary School is registering students for next year’s kindergarten class. The students must be 5 on, or before August 1st, 2015. The following documents are needed for enrollment: a birth certificate issued by the state, copy of social security card, current immunization record, physical or well-child checkup, and proof of residence. Registration is in the elementary school between the hours of 9:00 am and 1:00 pm daily.  

Fairview Elementary School is registering students for next year’s pre-school class. The students must be 5 on, or before August 1st, 2015. The following documents are needed for enrollment: a birth certificate issued by the state, copy of social security card, current immunization record, physical or well-child checkup, and proof of income. Registration is in the elementary school between the hours of 9:00 am and 1:00 pm daily.  

BOOZMAN STATEMENT ON PRIME MININSTER NETANYAHU’S
ADDRESS TO CONGRESS

WASHINGTON –U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) released the following statement after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed Congress: “I’m glad Prime Minister Netanyahu accepted the Speaker’s invitation to address Congress and I was honored to be in the House chamber for it. He delivered a powerful, forceful speech. His message for us to stand together to eliminate Iran's nuclear threat must be the priority for negotiations. There is no viable containment option,” Boozman said. Boozman gave a speech on the Senate floor yesterday welcoming the Prime Minister in advance of his address and expressing concerns over the direction of the current negotiations with Iran over the regime’s nuclear program.  

RUTLEDGE: AMENDMENT 83 STAY WILL REMAIN AS APPEAL MOVES FORWARD LIFTING WOULD HAVE CAUSED UNNECESSARY CONFUSION
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released the following statement after U.S. District Court Judge Kristine Baker issued an order denying the plaintiffs’ request to lift the stay of her ruling in the challenge to Amendment 83: “As the State prepares to defend Amendment 83 to the Arkansas Constitution and Arkansas’s marriage statutes before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in May, I am pleased that Judge Baker has denied the request to lift the stay. As the State argued in its response to the plaintiffs’ motion, unnecessary confusion, uncertainty and additional litigation would have resulted had Judge Baker lifted her stay while this case is pending before the Eighth Circuit. As the appeal moves forward, I will continue to vigorously defend the constitutionality of Arkansas’s marriage laws.”   

March 3, 2015

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT UPDATES
Yesterday morning at 8:00 am, Officers of the Camden Police Department, Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, Drug Task Force (DTF), and an AR Patrol Officer, executed a search warrant at 352 Spring Street. The Camden Police had a search warrant for Ronnie Tatum. During the search, police seized ½ ounce of cocaine and $6,000 dollars in cash. Other than Tatum, 3 others were arrested.

Recently, officers of the Camden Police Department, has a warrant for a Francine Cobb, 29, in Conway Arkansas. She is currently being held for capital murder in the Erica Batton homicide case. According to reports, Cobb did go in front of Judge Ham Singleton for a first appearance. She is currently being held at the Ouachita County Detention Center.

RUTLEDGE TO TESTIFY BEFORE HOUSE OVERSIGHT SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE INTERIOR SAYS, ‘I AM PROUD TO BRING AR PRESPECTIVE TO THE CONVERSATION
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced today that she will appear before the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight Subcommittee on the Interior on Thursday, Feb. 26, to offer testimony on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulations and their impacts on the states. Rutledge released the following statement: 
“It is an honor for me to accept the invitation of Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) to appear before a subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The EPA continues to pile on burdensome regulations that negatively impact states' existing industry and strain their ability to attract future economic development. This is an important hearing, and I am proud to bring Arkansas’s perspective to the conversation. “Arkansas is uniquely positioned on this topic because of our rich natural heritage. In the Natural State, we place a high value on clean air and clean water as we protect our state for future generations, and as Attorney General, I will not sit idly by while this administration pushes policy objectives that will ultimately hurt job growth and Arkansas’s ability to compete across the country and the globe.” On Feb. 13, Rutledge announced that Arkansas would seek to intervene in the suit against the EPA’s proposed 111(d) rule because of the significant and costly impact it would have on the Arkansas economy and its utility ratepayers. Arkansas is required to meet the sixth most stringent obligation of all the states under the proposed rule. Also scheduled to testify is Montana Attorney General Tim Fox, NERA Economic Consulting Vice President Anne Smith and NERA Economic Consulting Vice President David Harrison. The hearing, which is open to the public, is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. ET and will be chaired by Rep. Cynthia Lummis (WY-At Large). A live video stream, provided by the committee, will be broadcast here. According to its website, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has legislative jurisdiction over the District of Columbia, the government procurement process, federal personnel systems, the Postal Service and other matters. The primary responsibility is oversight of virtually everything government does – from national security to homeland security grants, from federal workforce policies to regulatory reform and reorganization authority, from information technology procurements at individual agencies to government-wide data security standards.

BOOZMAN CALLS FCC DECISION TO REGULATE WEB
“OUTDATED, HEAVY-HANDED”

WASHINGTON –U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) today issued the following statement after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced its decision to regulate Internet service as a public utility: “Once again Washington bureaucrats think the solution to a problem is additional regulations and once again they are wrong. The growth that we have witnessed in e-commerce and mobile technology has come about as a result of innovative answers to market demands, not heavy-handed government mandates. This outdated approach will only stifle future technological advances, open the door to costly litigation and ultimately lead to job losses in an industry that should be creating the next generation of career opportunities.”

CONSUMER ALERT: DON’T DOUBLE-DOWN ON TAX DEBT
LITTLE ROCK – In many cases, tax-relief companies know when they contact consumers who owe taxes, that these consumers are desperate to find ways to settle their tax debt with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or the State of Arkansas. Tax-relief companies often claim they can reduce or even eliminate an individual’s tax debts and stop the collection of back taxes by applying for legitimate IRS hardship programs. The tax-relief companies don’t usually settle the tax debt and, in many cases, don’t even send the necessary paperwork to the IRS. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued today’s consumer alert to caution Arkansans to avoid falling victim to promises that they are “eligible” for tax relief, and to inform consumers of tax relief programs offered by the IRS. “Don’t panic. That’s the most important thing consumers should remember if they have tax debt,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The IRS has tax-relief programs to help Arkansans who owe back taxes or are behind on their payments, but consumers have to communicate with the IRS, otherwise, penalties and interest will accrue.” Consumers should view paying taxes just like paying other bills. It is often better to negotiate a payment plan with the creditor than to pay someone else to finalize those details. The same is true when back taxes are owed to the IRS or the State. Consumers who are having trouble meeting their tax obligation should avoid the following:

·Companies that make promises that consumers are “eligible” or “qualified” for a tax-relief program. Only the IRS can make that determination.
·Programs that won’t allow for in-person meetings before discussing payment.
·Any program that asks for upfront fees or advance fees.
·Any program promising results that seem too good to be true. As with paying any debts, programs that offer massive reductions from a total bill, should raise a red flag.
The IRS offers the following tax-relief programs to help consumers who owe taxes:
 ·An Installment Agreement is generally available to people who can’t pay their tax debt in full at one time. The program allows taxpayers to make smaller monthly payments until the entire debt is satisfied.
·An Offer in Compromise (OIC) lets taxpayers permanently settle their tax debt for less than the amount they owe. The OIC is an important tool to help taxpayers in limited circumstances. Taxpayers are eligible only after other payment options have been exhausted and their ability to pay has been reviewed by the IRS.
·In very limited circumstances, the IRS may offer penalty abatement to consumers who haven’t paid their taxes because of an unusual hardship. If the taxpayer meets very narrow criteria, the IRS may agree to forgive the penalties. Interest abatement is even more limited and is rarely provided. According to the IRS, Arkansans can apply for an Installment Agreement, OIC, or penalty interest abatement without the help of a third party. If third-party assistance is preferred in negotiating with the IRS, only certain tax professionals — Enrolled Agents (federally-authorized tax practitioners who can represent taxpayers before all administrative levels of the IRS), Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), and attorneys — have the authority to represent taxpayers. Their services should involve a face-to-face meeting where they explain all options and their fee structure. The Taxpayer Advocate Service is an independent organization within the IRS that provides free help to people who are experiencing financial difficulties or who need help resolving a problem with the IRS. Call (877) 777-4778 or visit www.irs.gov/advocate. For more information about this and other consumer issues, visit the Attorney General’s website at www.ArkansasAG.gov or call the office’s Consumer Hotline at (800) 482-8982.