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April 29, 2016

ACCIDENT ON HIGHWAY 79
CAMDEN-Earlier this week, Deputy Jacob McClane, along with EMS and Arkansas State Troopers, responded to a roll-over accident on Highway 79 N, near John Deere. The reporting party advised there was one occupant and he was out of the vehicle. Upon arrival, contact was made with the driver, who was from Missouri. He was observed by medical personnel, but refused medical treatment. His vehicle, a silver Buick, was observed upside down in the ditch. Deputy McClane assisted with traffic control, while ASP conducted the accident investigation. The driver was escorted to a relatives residence on Jackson Street in Camden. McKelvin's wrecker service took possession of the vehicle.

NO CONTEST PLEA FOR FORMER ARKANSAS SHERIFF
BENTON COUNTY - In a recent hearing, former Benton County Sheriff Kelley Cradduck pleaded no contest to misdemeanor tampering charges. The ex-sheriff was charged with a felony and misdemeanor charge of tampering of physical evidence in an Arkansas State Police (ASP) investigation. He was arrested on January 19 and originally pleaded not guilty. His hearing was set to go to a three-day jury trial beginning September 21. The ASP was investigating allegations that Cradduck asked employees to backdate the hiring date of a new jailer, paying him for two weeks of time he did not work. A special prosecutor and judge were appointed to handle his case.

SAU TO EDICATE BLUE AND YOU SIMULATION CENTER
MAGNOLIA – The Blue and You Health Sciences Simulation Center at Southern Arkansas University will be dedicated Tuesday, May 3, 2016, in honor of the $149,128 grant from the Blue & You Foundation. At 1 p.m., a simulation demonstration will begin in the Wharton Nursing parking lot. Following at 1:30 p.m. will be the dedication ceremony at the Sturgis Lecture Hall. The public is welcome to attend. Light refreshments will be provided. The grant from Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Blue & You Foundation supported the purchase of equipment for the Health Sciences Simulation Center (HSSC). Some of the items purchased from the grant funds include hospital beds, crash carts, AED trainer, CPR trainers, mobile medication center, and audio-visual equipment with recording capabilities. With the help of the Blue and You Foundation, SAU now has a facility to provide high-quality educational opportunities for students and professionals. Simulation bridges the gap between theoretical learning and clinical practice. It allows nursing students to learn the art and science of patient interaction, decision making, and clinical care skills using scenarios that occur in the real-world. This facility and the state-of-the-art equipment also benefits regional healthcare by offering individual or group simulation experiences, hands-on workshops, professional development courses, and competency training and employee certifications and re-certifications. Many of these opportunities have not been previously available in the southern half of the state and in the Ark-La-Tex region.The HSSC is comprised of four studios. Each studio has control rooms attached for viewing and recording sessions, along with providing a private area for facilitated and reflective debriefing. The available simulation environments will include Medical-Surgical, ICU, ER, and Labor and Delivery. High-fidelity simulators (HFS) are used in each room to enhance the realistic environment needed for successful simulation experiences.

April 27, 2016

TRISOLLINI HOPING TO RID CAMDEN OF "NOTHING HERE" MONIKER
CAMDEN-A few months into his job as Camden Parks and Recreation Director, Geoff Trisollini is already looking to leave his mark. Geoff, a long time resident of Camden, had to grow up hearing the moniker " there's nothing to do here", but is now looking to change that. After collaboration with co-workers and city officials, Trisollini has decided to kick off the summer with "A May to Remember". This campaign wil...l see something exciting going on every Saturday throughout the month of May. With his new brainchild underway, Geoff is excited to see what this could do for his city. Trisollini said " We wanted to draw people while the weather is nice, out to the parks...all the money we raise will go back into our park programs". With his new initiative, Geoff is hoping to bring back more community sports programs, as well as music/art programs. Looking to get things started in the right direction, Geoff has scheduled a Coed Softball Tournament to kick off the month, on Saturday May 7th. Trisollini said "We're looking forward to that, we are hoping to bring in teams from all over the state, as well as Texas and Louisiana". Geoff is also hoping for local softball teams participate also. The tournament will be used as a catalyst for a hopeful community softball league. The following weekend (May 14th) will have a "Race for the Trace 5K" with benefits going towards the Trace project. Another event will be a basketball and tennis tournament, as well as a "Dash and Splash 5K" on the same weekend that the city pool opens. Trisollini added "We want to make sure that not having something to do, is something people can complain about". So with all these events coming up, it's looking like this May could be one to remember.

GUN FOUND AT HOT SPRINGS HIGH SCHOOL; STUDENT ARRESTED
HOT SPRINGS - According to reports, a local high school student has been arrested after officials say a loaded gun was found in his backpack on Wednesday. Reports suggest the incident happened on the campus of Hot Springs High School. School officials say the gun was found as the male student was being searched after a "behavioral incident." The .38-caliber weapon was confiscated and the student was taken into custody. He will face a charge of possession of a deadly loaded weapon on school grounds, according to information released by the school district on Wednesday afternoon. School officials are reported to be reviewing campus surveillance video as the investigation continues. The students name has not yet been released.

SAU STUDENTS DESIGN BANNERS TO PROMORE MAGNOLIA
MAGNOLIA-Southern Arkansas University art students Lera Black and Holly Roomsburg won the right to have their designs displayed throughout the city of Magnolia courtesy of the 2016 Leadership Magnolia Banner Art Competition. They were recognized Saturday, April 23, 2016, at an Earth Day celebration in downtown Magnolia. Among the 43 entrants in the design competition, three pieces stood out among the judges and the public. Black, of Magnolia, is a junior Communications Design major. Her design, “Welcome to Magnolia,” features a stylistic Magnolia blossom and a vintage font. Roomsburg, of El Dorado, is a senior Communications Design major. Her “Historical Magnolia” design features a photo of the Columbia County courthouse and the slogan, “growing more beautiful since 1853.” Earning the People’s Choice Award was Alberto Silveira, a sophomore Game, Amination, and Simulation Design major, from Venezuela. His blue and gold design incorporates SAU’s landmark bell tower and branches and blooms of a Magnolia tree. Each of the banner design winners will receive a cash award, a gift card to Melissa’s Frame Shop, space at the Magnolia Arts Blossom Festival Art Show, and a craft vendor table at the Blossom Festival. The banners are set to be hung by the City of Magnolia in May before the Blossom Festival.

April 26, 2016

ARKADELPHIA GETS  $1 BILLION CHINENSE MILL
LITTLE ROCK- Gov. Asa Hutchinson says the Chinese company Sun Paper will build a $1 billion bio-products mill in southern Arkansas, creating 250 jobs. The Arkansas Governor, was joined by Sun Paper chairman and founder Hongxin Li in making the announcement Tuesday. The mill will be Sun Paper's first facility in North America. Hutchinson says the plant is one of the largest private investments in the state's history. It will be built in Arkadelphia, which is about 65 miles southwest of Little Rock. According to an Arkansas economic development official said earlier this month that Sun Paper was also considering Mississippi for the mill. Sun Paper employs more than 10,000 employees worldwide.

AR MOM ACCUSED OF TRYING TO OVERDOSE CHILD
SALINE COUNTY – According to police, a woman tried to kill her child during a suicide attempt. Court documents show that a 33-year-old Saline County woman has been charged with attempted capital murder, introduction into body of another, and endangering the welfare of a minor. Investigators allege that the mother took a large number of Alprazolam and Sertraline HCL and also gave the pills to her son. They were reportedly found by the woman’s brother, lying on her bed together in a lethargic state. Medical professionals and a social worker said the woman told them she was trying to end both of their lives. The mothers name has not yet been released.

MAN DIES IN HOT SPRINGS CAR CRASH
HOT SPRINGS- A driver has died in a late night accident after his car went off a city street, hitting a gas main and a tree. The Hot Springs Police Department (HSPD) said it happened around 10:30 p.m. Monday in the 2000 block of Park Avenue.The vehicle involved in the accident was a 2003 Honda Accord headed south on Park. Police say witnesses told them the car was speeding and had passed two vehicles while in a curve on a double yellow line before it went out of control and started spinning. The crash ruptured the gas main, shutting down Park Avenue from Gorge Road to Fox Pass Cutoff until 3:30 a.m. Tuesday while crews shut it off. Police identified the victim as Michael C. Tisdale, 41. He died about an hour after being taken to St. Vincent hospital.

SAU SPRING COMMENCEMENT CEREMONIES SCHEDULE
MAGNOLIA – Southern Arkansas University’s Spring Commencement ceremonies are scheduled for Friday, May 6, 2016. A total of 418 candidates for graduation will be recognized in four ceremonies at the W.T. Watson Athletic Center. The Department of Nursing will honor 70 nursing candidates at 10 a.m. Following will be the ceremony for the School of Graduate Studies at 2 p.m., during which 115 candidates will be recognized. The first undergraduate ceremony will begin at 4 p.m., and will consist of candidates from the College of Education and the College of Liberal and Performing Arts. The second ceremony will begin at 6 p.m., and will be for candidates from the Rankin College of Business and the College of Science and Engineering. The commencement speaker for the two evening undergraduate ceremonies will be Ray Dillon, president and chief executive officer for Deltic Timber Corporation. 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 Reynolds Center Grand Hall
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
3:15 p.m.         Undergraduate candidates (CoE/ CoLPA) report to W.T. Watson auxiliary gym
3:30 p.m.         Faculty for CoE/ CoLPA ceremony report to 106 in W.T. Watson
4 p.m.              CoE/CoLPA Undergraduate Commencement in W.T. Watson
5:15 p.m.         Undergraduate candidates (RCB/CoSE) report to W.T. Watson auxiliary gym
5:30 p.m.         Faculty for RCB/CoSE ceremony report to 106 in W.T. Watson
6 p.m.              RCB/CoSE Undergraduate Commencement in W.T. Watson

OBU YEARBOOK RECIEVES PRAISE; WINS AWARD
ARKADELPHIA-Ouachita Baptist University’s Ouachitonian yearbook was recognized by the Arkansas College Media Association (ACMA) as the top yearbook in the state with the first place award in General Excellence for yearbooks. The publication was recognized at ACMA’s recent annual convention, hosted this year by the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. The Ouachitonian and Ouachita’s student newspaper, The Signal, earned a total of 40 group and individual awards. ACMA is an organization of collegiate newspaper, yearbook, online, magazine and television staffs from across the state. All Arkansas university publications compete in the awards regardless of the university’s size. In addition to first place in General Excellence, the 2015 Ouachitonian staff also won 32 awards for individual entries. “I knew the staff and I had produced a book that I loved and was proud of, but to be awarded first place for General Excellence at the ACMAs was just the icing on the cake,” said Aly Smith, a 2015 Ouachita graduate from Sherwood, Ark., and editor of the 2015 Ouachitonian. Smith also earned 14 individual awards for her work. “I truly believe that Ouachita has some of the best communications students around, and the yearbook is evidence of that,” Smith said. “Though, none of it would have been possible without the love, support and eagle eyes of Dr. Deborah Root.” Root serves as chair of OBU’s Rogers Department of Communications and faculty adviser of the Ouachitonian. “I am proud of last year’s staff and the excellent publication the students produced,” Root said. “It’s great to see the creative and critical thinking skills taught through our courses executed through the production of our yearbook and newspaper. We have very talented students who take pride in what they do, and I’m proud for them to be honored for the work they have done.” The Signal also was recognized by the ACMA, receiving honorable mention in General Excellence and winning six awards for individual entries. The following staff members were recognized for individual work in the 2015 Ouachitonian:

  • Taryn Bailey, a sophomore mass communications major from Kyle, Texas, won second place for Academic Writing and third place for Organizations Writing.
  • Kelsey Bond, a senior mass communications and studio art double major from Alexander, Ark., won first and second place for Academic Photo.
  • Amber Easterly, a senior mass communications and business administration double major from Alexander, Ark., won second place for Student Life Writing.
  • Molly Freel, a 2015 Ouachita graduate from Nashville, Ark., won first place for Academic Writing.
  • Barrett Gay, a junior mass communications major from Little Rock, Ark., won honorable mention for Student Life Writing.
  • Coleson Lechner, a 2015 Ouachita graduate from Minden, La., won second place for Special Feature.
  • Zach Parker, a 2015 Ouachita graduate from Shreveport, La., won second place, third place and honorable mention for Sports Writing.
  • Tyler Rosenthal, a 2015 Ouachita graduate from Little Rock, Ark., won first and third place for Student Life Photo, first place for Feature Photo and honorable mention for Academic Photo.
  • Aly Smith won first place for Closing, Opening and Organization Layout; first and second place for Portrait Layout; first and second place for Divider; first and third place for Student Life Layout; second place for Art/Illustration, Cover, Title Page and Typographic; and third place for Sports Layout.
  • Brandon Smith, a mass communications and kinesiology double major from Arkadelphia, Ark., won first place for Special Feature.
  • Blaine Surber, a 2015 Ouachita graduate from Sulphur Springs, Texas, won first place for Student Life Writing.The following staff members were recognized for individual work in The Signal during the 2014-2015 school year:

-Barrett Gay, a junior mass communications major from Little Rock, Ark., won second place for Personality Profile and third place for Feature Writing.
-Dixon Land, a senior mass communications major from Little Rock, Ark., won second place for Sports Page Layout and Sports Column.
-Evan Wheatley, a senior mass communications and music major from Camden, Ark., won honorable mention for Feature Writing and Review Writing.
For more information on Ouachita’s student publications, contact Dr. Deborah Root at rootd@obu.edu or (870) 245-5510.

April 22, 2016

NEWS UPDATE
A log truck overheated its brakes near Fairview and highway 7. The Camden Fire Department responded to the scene. Camden Fire Chief Rob Medford believes theirs not much to it and everything is under control at this time.

CFHS STUDENTS TAKE PART DRUNK/DISTRACTED DRIVING SEMINAR
CAMDEN-Today Camden's finest held a drunk and distracted seminar for our highschool students. With prom approaching, students were able to put on alcohol impairment simulation goggles, and drive through a course set up by officers. Students were also told to try and text and drive on the course, to see the consequences of it as well. Sgt. Ben Opelt said " I think we made a big impact on the kids..they might think they can handle it, but they really can't". Highschool principal Garry Steelman also took part in the seminar, and hopes his students walked away knowing not to drink or text and drive. Steelman said "I think they understand now what the consequences are". Members of F.A.D.D. also spoke to the kids. With the end of the school year looming and prom getting closer, the Camden Police Department will continue to do their part to make sure our youngsters stay safe and make the right decisions.

IT'S THE JAKE MONDEN ERA
CAMDEN-People person. Those were the words that Athletic Director, Ricky Tucker, used to describe the Camden Fairview's new football coach. After the unfortunate retiring of Mike Cox, Mr. Tucker new the transition process had to be quick. After a few weeks of searching and interviewing, Tucker and Superintendent Mark Keith, believe they have found their guy in Jake Monden. Tucker said " He set himself apart....he loves kids and he's going to work to be the best that he can be everyday". Monden, who has served as defensive coordinator for the Wildcats of El Dorado for the last three years, has a passion for teaching and improving. Monden said "This is what I picked to do with my life, and I love sharing it with kids and being able to put a product on the field Friday night, that shows what all the hard work that we've done". Monden was chosen for the job, in unanimous fashion, as all attending school board members approved. Monden was accompanied tonight by his wife Stefanie, and three children - Haylee, Maddix, and Reese. No doubt it's an exciting time in Cardinal Country...and the beginning of the Monden era.

THE HUB ANNOUNCES SEMINAR TO ADDRESS POVERTY
CAMDEN-Together with community leaders, the HUB will host a seminar later this year that will address poverty. Bridges Out of Poverty is an initiative that has a proven track record across the country for more than twenty years. This includes at least six communities in Arkansas. Camden is the first south Arkansas community to adopt this plan.According to their website, the Bridges’ initiative helps communities, “move individuals from poverty to self-sufficiency; reduce social costs related to crime, poor health, and welfare; strengthen educational attainment and job skills; enhance economic development; improve on-the-job productivity; revitalize neighborhoods; and build sustainable communities where everyone can live well.” According to HUB chairman Johnny Hobbie, “People from Ouachita County are coming together, with a common goal of relieving the suffering among our neighbors. When we formed the HUB, we promised to address poverty in a new way. This is a desire shared by leaders and citizens throughout our community. We do not want to put a band-aid on this problem. We want to address this issue in a way that will offer hope to those who need it most. We wanted to offer a hand up, not a hand out.” Operating under the guidance of the Christian Health Center, the HUB has welcomed community leaders to join the discussion addressing poverty-related issues. “We have learned so much about what we already have available in our community to address poverty issues. Our effort is already a success because we have put a lot of information in one place. When people come for help, we are able to outline a number of opportunities rather than sending them on a non-stop route of various churches and organizations,” according to Hobbie.
Dr. Larry Braden, medical director of the Christian Health Center said, “I am so excited. Poverty in our community is a significant issue, affecting all of us, on many levels. This initiative gives us all a chance to move beyond complaint toward positive change, using evidenced based strategies that have proven effective for others before us. I pray that all of us will come together to make a difference.” The one-day seminar, scheduled November 3 at the First Presbyterian Church in Camden, is geared to employers, city and county officials, community organizations, law enforcement, first responders, educators, counselors, healthcare and social service providers, religious leaders and anyone interested in building a sustainable community. Organizers hope the plan will spread throughout Ouachita County, encouraging others to become involved as mentors and volunteers.Dr. Regina Lewis, the guest speaker for the seminar, will outline the Bridges’ philosophy. Early bird registration will be $25. Registration covers breakfast, lunch, a book and workbook. For more information on the seminar, contact the Christian Health Center at 231-1111. For more information on Bridges Out of Poverty, visit their website at www.ahaprocess.com.

COLLISION TAKES LIFE OF EL DORADO WOMAN
MAGNOLIA-One driver was killed and two other people were hurt Wednesday in a two-vehicle accident on U.S. 82B west of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in El Dorado. According to a preliminary Arkansas State Police report, Wanda Sullivant, 62, of El Dorado was driving a 2015 Nissan east on the highway when the vehicle crossed the center line and hit a 2015 Toyota head-on. Sullivant was taken to the Medical Center of South Arkansas in El Dorado, where she died. Injured were the occupants of the Toyota, driver Bruce Gilmore, 55, and his passenger, Karen Gilmore, 53. They were taken to the hospital for treatment. The accident happened at 9:07 a.m. The weather was cloudy and the road was wet. Patrolman Anthony Ross of the El Dorado Police Department investigated the accident. Mrs. Sullivant is survived by her husband, Mark Sullivant; and two sons. She worked as an administrative assistant at Chemtura Corporation. Cremation arrangements are with Young’s Funeral Directors.

WOMAN IN HALLOWEEN DWI WILL SERVE OVER 20 YEARS IN PRISON
HOT SPRINGS – A woman accused of drinking and driving in a neighborhood on Halloween 2014 has been convicted of several charges. Twila Watson, a twenty nine-year-old, pleaded guilty Tuesday to battery, aggravated assault, and DWI.
According to authorities Watson was pregnant when she dragged a man under her car, hit several other cars, and ran over a woman's foot. Watson will serve a term of 22 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction for two battery charges and four aggravated assault charges. She will spend an additional year in the Garland Co. Jail. Watson will also have to pay a fine of $1,000 and will have a suspended driver's license for 120 days for the DWI charge.

LAKE HAMILTON EMPLOYEE CHARGED WITH DRUG RELATED FELONIES
ARKANSAS-A Lake Hamilton Intermediate School reading aide was arrested Tuesday at her home on multiple drug-related felonies. Belinda Ann Stengel, 63, of Royal, and Caden Anthony Beard, 29, who lists a Higdon Ferry Road address, were arrested at 4:40 p.m. Tuesday and each charged with simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms, punishable by up to life in prison, possession of a schedule VI controlled substance with purpose to deliver, punishable by up to 10 years, and possession of drug paraphernalia, punishable by up to six years. Stengel received an additional charge of maintaining a drug premises, punishable by up to 10 years. Stengel and Beard remained in custody Wednesday in lieu of zero bond on the simultaneous possession charge and bonds totaling $15,500 on the other charges and are set to appear May 2 in Garland County District Court. Lake Hamilton Superintendent Steve Anderson released the following statement Wednesday when asked for a comment: "The Lake Hamilton School District is aware of the situation involving one of our district paraprofessional employees being arrested off campus at their private residence. To our knowledge at this time, the charges are in no way connected to the school or our students. The employee in question is not on campus at this time and as with all personnel matters, this will be handled according to policy and legal guidelines. The school will of course cooperate fully with legal authorities if asked for any information. Since this is an ongoing legal investigation, it would be inappropriate to make further comment at this time." According to the affidavit, detectives with the Little Rock Police Department Narcotics Squad conducted a random package interdiction with a K-9 at UPS, 5501 Fourche Dam Pike, Little Rock. The K-9 indicated the presence of a narcotics odor emitting from four cardboard packages addressed to "Austin, Thomas, Billy and Michael" at 309 Boulder Road, Royal. After obtaining a search warrant, detectives located approximately 5 pounds of commercial marijuana shipped from a subject in Denver. With a search warrant, officers from the 18th Judicial District East Drug Task Force conducted a controlled delivery to Stengel, who signed for the packages. At 4:36 p.m. the drug task force, Arkansas State Police and the Garland County Tactical Response Team executed a search warrant at the Boulder Road residence. Investigators located four boxes containing 5 pounds of marijuana, two jars with 10 grams of suspected marijuana, a small bag with 0.5 gram suspected marijuana, a loaded Smith & Wesson .38 special, a loaded .22-caliber rifle, three smoking devices, a package containing 2.42 ounces suspected marijuana edibles "THC," vacuum sealers and bags, grow lights and bulbs, two iPhones, marijuana growing instructions, miscellaneous growing materials and paperwork listing the residence as Stengel's. Stengel is listed on the school district's website as a paraprofessional in special education at the intermediate school. The DTF is composed of officers from the Hot Springs Police Department, Garland County Sheriff's Department, Arkansas State Police, the 18th Judicial District East prosecuting attorney's office and U.S. Homeland Security Investigations. 

WALDO MAN DIES IN WRECK
MAGNOLIA-Earlier this week, a Waldo man died, in a one-vehicle accident that was not discovered until Thursday afternoon.
According to a preliminary Arkansas State Police report, Curtis Smith Jr., 62, was driving a 2002 model Chevrolet west on the highway between Waldo and the U.S. 82 junction when his car went off the roadway on the south side and struck a guardrail, causing it to overturn into a creek. Smith died at the scene. The wreck scene was located about 1 p.m. Thursday. The weather was foggy at the time of the crash. Smith’s body was released to Reed Funeral Home of Magnolia. Trooper Brent A. Walker investigated the accident for the Arkansas State Police. Smith’s death was the first traffic fatality in Columbia County this year. There were two fatalities in 2015, four in 2014 and five each in 2013 and 2012.

TAYLOR HEARS MURDER AND RELATED CHARGES IN HARRELL CASE DURING COURT SESSION
MAGNOLIA-Keaton Taylor, 16, of Taylor made his first court appearance on Thursday for the murder on April 13 of Douglas Harwell, 53. There was a large crowd in the courtroom at the Columbia County Justice and Detention Facility for the court session. Taylor appeared somber, wearing an orange jumpsuit. His wrists were not cuffed, but his ankles were shackled as he faced Circuit Court Judge David Talley. An insulin pump could be seen hanging out the front of his jumpsuit. Taylor said he had completed the ninth grade. The judge read the charges that Taylor would be facing if he is tried as an adult. The judge said count one was capital murder; count two was aggravated residential burglary; count three was aggravated robbery; and count four was theft of property valued over $25,000. The judge informed Taylor that capital murder carries a sentence of 10-40 years or life in the Arkansas Department of Correction. When asked if Taylor understood these charges, he replied, “Yes, sir.” He said he understood his rights. He said he would also hire an attorney and seemed a little confused. He then corrected himself by saying that he could not afford to hire an attorney on his own, and would take the court appointed attorney. Taylor was sworn under oath. He affirmed the financial affidavit that Judge Talley held before him as his true financial standing. The judge appointed public defender, Robert Jeffery, to represent Taylor with the option that he could hire an attorney at any time. Jeffrey told Talley that he had no paperwork on Taylor and would like to talk to Taylor before discussing bail. Greg Parrish from the Public Defender Commission in Little Rock wanted to remind the judge and jail staff that Taylor has an extreme case of diabetes. He requested the sheriff to monitor it closely. Taylor was scheduled to appear again on May 19 for a bond hearing, although it is possible that this could take place on May 5 if the attorneys involved can coordinate their schedules with the judge. He continues to be held without bond. Directly after Taylor, his co-defendant, Dekota Despain, appeared before the judge with Parrish at his side. Like Taylor, Despain had no handcuffs but did have shackles around his ankles. On Monday, Talley told Despain that Jeffrey would likely be appointed as his attorney. On Thursday, Parrish told the court that since Jeffrey had not spoken with Despain about his case he probably shouldn't do so, as he as been appointed to represent Taylor for now. Parrish said that he was appointing attorneys Jeff Rosenzweig and Katherine Streett, both of Little Rock, to Despain’s case. Streett is frequently assigned to cases in Columbia County. Rosenzweig is a recognized expert in capital cases involving juvenile defendants. The judge said the original arrest warrant called for no bond. The Despain case will be revisited May 5 when his attorneys can be present. Despain appeared to mouth the words “I love you” to family members as he was led from the courtroom. Despain was arrested on Friday after he was interviewed by Arkansas State Police and local investigators. Taylor was taken into custody by lawmen in Springhill, LA, on Friday and was held in Louisiana until his extradition to Arkansas was accomplished. The “probable cause” affidavit in Despain’s case says that he told lawmen that he shot Harwell once in the back and again in the face on the evening of Wednesday, April 13. He later told investigators that he and Taylor both fired at Harwell. The affidavit also said that the boys dragged Harwell’s body into his home, which is next door to where Despain lives with his parents. Later in the evening, Despain is alleged to have stolen many guns from Harwell’s home, putting them in Harwell’s truck, and driving them to Magnolia – apparently in an attempt to sell the stolen guns. Because of their ages, possible capital murder sentences of the death penalty or life in prison without parole cannot be considered. However, the capital murder charge does carry a range of punishment up to life with the possibility of parole after 28 years. Aggravated robbery and aggravated residential burglary carry penalties up to life in prison. The theft of property charge carries a penalty up to 20 years.

April 21,2016

ELDERLY COUPLE ROBBED AT GUNPOINT
HOT SPRINGS - An elderly couple in Garland County is recovering after being held at gunpoint, robbed and shoved to the ground. The break-ins began on Friday night. The couple’s daughter who lived down the street had her house broken into while she was with her family camping. Then around three in the afternoon on Monday, her mom and dad were home when robbers showed up at their door. Gene and Mary Parker have been married for 64 years, and this is the first time something like this has happened to them. “I just cracked it a little bit to see who it was,” Gene said. On Monday when Gene opened the door, two men shoved him down to the ground “He stood over me and his first words were give me all your money and give me all your jewelry.” He says this is the first time in 85 years he has had a gun pointed at his face and he was scared.“I was afraid he might accidentally pull the trigger.” Mary says the men kept shouting demands.“He said where is your purse I know you know where it is.” Their daughter Kathy Reynolds also had her home broken into last Friday but luckily no one was home. “They broke our security gate down and had the audacity to come on up the driveway.” Kathy says she wish she could've taken her parents place. “I don't think there has ever been anything in my life that had terrified me as much as my mother’s phone call and she said ‘Kathy, they've been in our house and we're both in the floor’.” The couple told reporters that from now on they will be extra cautious but they still have to live their life. The Garland County Sheriff's office is investigating the incident. If you know anything about these break-ins you are asked to call police. 

3-YEAR-OLD CANCER SURVIVOR GETS WISHES GRANTED
MAGNOLIA – At the age of three, Kaylynn Grace Sands has fought through cancer treatments with the tenacity and splendor of a warrior princess. She was surprised Monday evening to find that her wish had been granted to travel and meet her princess idols at Disney World. Sands, of Magnolia, entered the Southern Arkansas University armory clutching her mother’s hand and a Disney sticker book. Her pink hat twinkled as she tucked her chin to her chest as the crowd cheered. As her mother explained “this party is for you,” the warrior princess soon held her chin high and shared her heart-warming smile with the crowd and posed for photos in front of the glittery Cinderella castle replica. SAU Cheerleaders paraded out for a dance dressed as famous Disney characters for the big reveal. Anne Sands, Kaylynn’s mother and assistant director of financial aid at SAU, has been amazed at the outpouring of support by her SAU family and the area community. She said their trip is scheduled for May 22, 2016. Anne and her husband, John, are also both alums of SAU. Kaylynn’s older sister, Kendall, 13, was also right by Kaylynn’s side in support at the reveal. This Make-A-Wish was made possible by the support of the Southwest District 4 of Arkansas Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). The 40 schools and around 1,000 students in the district increased their registration dues for the organization’s spring and fall conferences, as well as collected donations, to fund Sands’ wish, according to Will Harris, who was present for the reveal with several of his district FBLA students. He said this is the first time the Southwest District has helped grant a wish, and that the students are inspired to possibly coordinate again with Make-A-Wish. Last summer Sands was given the news that her daughter was diagnosed with ganglioneuroblastoma, a cancer which develops in the nerve tissue. Several fundraising efforts have been held by various groups and individuals on campus. Sands and her family have been blown away by the support from the community, and especially the students. Kaylynn recently had surgery at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, which removed about 90% of the tumor. Sands said her daughter is now declared a “cancer survivor.” She will have blood work done once a month and scans every three months for the next year, at which point the doctors will reevaluate Kaylynn’s situation. The list of groups who have raised money or shown support to the Sands family continues to grow, and includes Sigma Pi, Phi Mu, Alpha Sigma Alpha, Harrod Hall, SAU cheerleaders, Tutoring Center, Rankin College of Business, football defensive backs, volleyball, softball, Sigma Gamma Rho, men’s basketball, and The Bray

16-YEAR-OLD HELD WITHOUT BOND IN MURDER CASE
MAGNOLIA-Dekota Despain, 16, of Taylor, emerged Monday from his jail cell for his first appearance on a capital murder charge before Circuit Court Judge David Talley Jr. He wore an orange jump suit, handcuffs and shackles, and a smile. He went back to his cell in tears. Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Ryan Phillips told Talley that the state wants to try Despain as an adult on a charge of capital murder in the death of Douglas Harwell, 53. Harwell was found dead Thursday inside his home at 9525 Arkansas 160. Despain lived next door. Recent legal decisions mean that because of his age, Despain won’t face the death penalty and cannot be sentenced to life in prison without parole. But Talley did explain to Despain that he’s facing 10-40 years to life in prison, which is an Arkansas Class Y felony. He is also being charged with residential burglary and theft of property valued over $25,000. The Columbia County Justice and Detention Center Courtroom contained a few family members and about a dozen law enforcement for Despain’s first appearance. Also expected to be charged with capital murder is Keaton Taylor, 16, of 261 Columbia 224. Taylor was apprehended on Saturday in Springhill, LA, and was being held at the Ware Youth Center in Coushatta. Taylor is expected to have his first court appearance shortly after he is returned to Arkansas. Phillips said the state was presenting a probable cause affidavit from Arkansas State Police Agent Louis Imler, detailing the case against Despain and the state’s basis for charging him as an adult. Talley informed Despain that he was only appearing on Monday to have his rights explained to him, and to discuss bond. Asked if he understood the charges and penalties, he replied, “Yes, sir.” Despain said that he needs an attorney appointed to him. He presented a signed financial affidavit and was sworn in. He stated the information provided in the affidavit provided was accurate. The judge said Despain qualified for a public defender and that he would appoint Robert Jeffrey to the case. He was asked if he would like to continue to the probable cause hearing, or if he would like to wait until he spoke with his attorney. Despain requested to wait until he talked to his attorney before proceeding. The judge started to state there would be no bond at this time and was interrupted by Despain asking if he could change his mind. “I just want to find a way to get home until my court date,” Despain said. The judge informed him the safest thing to do was to wait to talk to his attorney if he has any questions or concerns. Despain took a moment and began sobbing into his hands. “Can my parents come up here?” he asked the judge. Phillips stated that Depsain was being charged as an adult and should therefore take that position. The judge stated that his court allows adults the chance to consult with family and would permit Despain to get advice from his parents on what to do. After speaking with his father, Despain said on record that he would wait to talk to his attorney before proceeding. Despain left the court room flushed and eyes full of tears. The judge said that the case would probably be revisited on Thursday, and that bond can be discussed at that time. For now, no bond has been set and Despain remains incarcerated. Thursday is the regular court date for Columbia County’s probation revocation hearings, but other criminal court matters are also heard.

POLICE ARREST THREE ON CHARGES
MAGNOLIA-Ray Charles Curry, 53, of McNeil, was arrested Friday and charged with aggravated assault on a family member, endangering the welfare of a minor - second degree, and public intoxication. According to Magnolia police, Curry and the victim were involved in an altercation, during which Curry pulled a gun. There were also young children in the immediate area during the altercation. Curry remains at the Columbia County Justice and Detention Facility. Corey Halcomb, 26, of El Dorado, was arrested Friday and charged with terroristic threatening - first degree, a felony. Halcomb sent messages threatening the victim’s life. He is held under $25,000 bond. Anthony Pugh, 31, of Magnolia, was arrested Friday and charged with sexual assault of a juvenile. On April 12, an investigation into sexual assault allegations was begun. The case is still under investigation. Pugh has attended a first appearance hearing. Bond was set at $500,000.

April 15, 2016

HOPE MAN SENTENCED TO 63 MONTHS IN FEDERAL PRISON
FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING

TEXARKANA- Kenneth Elser, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Jeffrey N. Bain, age 52 of Hope, Arkansas, was sentenced today to 63 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on two counts of Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and 12 months in federal prison followed by two years of supervised release on one count of Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana; the sentences will run concurrently with each. The Honorable Susan O. Hickey presided over the sentencing hearing in the United States District Court in Texarkana. This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Hempstead County Sheriff’s Office, and the South Central Drug Task Force. Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan D. Ross prosecuted the case for the United States.

YOUTH EXPERIENCE ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES AT SAU
MAGNOLIA- Around 100 students from eight schools in seven counties representing 4-12 grades all added up for a successful economics learning experience at the SAKE event hosted April 8, 2016, at the Southern Arkansas University Rankin College of Business. SAKE (Students Acquiring Knowledge through Economics) offered youth a fun opportunity to visit with SAU students and participate in economics-themed learning activities. “The junior and senior student presentations for the Business Dilemmas were very impressive to observe – they had obviously put a great deal of thought behind their presentations,” said Sheryl Edwards, SAU instructor of finance and Enactus advisor. “In addition, students were given grade appropriate standards-based exams and their resulting scores were super.” To conclude the day, students, teams and teachers were awarded prizes and gift cards totaling $9,250. SAKE at SAU was sponsored by the Murphy Foundation, SAU Enactus, SAU PBL, the Center for Economic Education and Research and the Rankin College of Business. The counties represented at SAKE included Columbia, Union, Ouachita, White, Dallas, Monroe and Grant.

ADULT ABUSE CHARGE FOR ARKADELPHIA WORKER
ARKADELPHIA-A local man who works at the Arkadelphia Human Development Center has been arrested in an alleged case of adult abuse. Rodney Brothers Jr., 42, is accused of hitting a resident of the center in an October 2015 incident. According to an investigative review by the Arkansas Attorney General's office, the resident was reported to have been hit in the jaw three times and lost two teeth. Another staffer reported seeing the resident kick Brothers when he tried to get him to leave a living room area and go to bed. The staffer stated that Brothers hit the resident a short later after they were moved to another room of the facility.

HSPD STILL SEARCHING FOR MISSING 92-YEAR-OLD
HOT SPRINGS- Hot Springs police continue to search for a 92-year-old man who has been missing since Wednesday.
According to police, Harlan Swartzendruber, 92, of Wichita, Kansas was last known to have been at the Best Western Hotel on Central Ave. across from Oaklawn. Police confirmed that he check out Monday morning and was supposedly headed to Oklahoma but never arrived. His cell phone is turned off and his credit cards have not been used since Monday. Swartzendruber has severe health issues and police are concerned for his whereabouts. Swartzendruber is driving a white 2012 4-door Lincoln MKZ with Kansas purple heart plate #11481. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Hot Springs Police Department at (501) 231-6789.

AR BULLFROG SEASON OPENING SOON
LITTLE ROCK-April 15 marks one of the most stressful deadlines in America – tax day. It also marks the kickoff to one of the most exciting summer pursuits in Arkansas bayous, the opening of bullfrog season. Bullfrogs can be found across Arkansas, but the heaviest concentrations usually are found along the many ponds, slow-moving streams and fish farms in the east half of the state. It may take some door-knocking and asking for permission, but many small, private ponds can prove worth the effort once you break out the gigging gear. Some froggers don waders or rubber boots to ease along the banks as quietly as possible, but many slide silently along in an aluminum johnboat or kayak, using only an electric trolling motor or a sculling paddle to get close to the easily spooked amphibians. It’s possible to sneak up on a frog or two during the day, but the real action takes place at night, when spotlights and headlamps come into play. The reflective eyes of bullfrogs will shine brightly at the water’s edge, and the beam will daze the frog enough that a careful sneak can get you within arm’s reach. Then a fast stab with a gig or a quick grab of the hands will nab the fat frog before it can hop or swim away. It’s usually a good idea to scan the bushes along the banks before making an approach on a frog as well. Plenty of spiders set up shop along the shore’s edge to catch their prey, and the webs can be a bit of a nuisance. More than one snake also has fallen into an unsuspecting frog gigger’s johnboat, causing him to nearly walk on water trying to get to the shore. Most water snakes are harmless and should be left alone, but that doesn’t make you feel any safer when they slide off a branch and thump down in the bottom of your boat. Gigging frogs is more akin to hunting than angling, but participants need an Arkansas fishing license to participate. The limit is 18 bullfrogs per day, which runs from noon to noon. Along with grabbing them by hand and gigging, frogs may be taken by hand net, hook-and-line, spear or bow and arrow. Firearms and air guns may not be used. Most folks who fry up a mess of frog’s legs may use the old “tastes like chicken” phrase to get a newcomer to try the delicacy. It usually doesn’t take any further prodding to get someone to eat more once they’ve tried them. Col. Sanders can’t compete with the tenderness and flavor of fresh frog’s legs done right.

MAN CAUGHT IN AR, WITH MACHINE GUN AND "DEAD MAN'S GRERNADE
TEXARKANA- The Texarkana Arkansas Police Department has released the details of one man's arrest after concern grew for public safety.  Skip Lomax was arrested on March 24 after police discovered a fully automatic weapon and a hand grenade in his vehicle. The items were sent off to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) for further testing. Results released on April 13 confirmed that the machine gun was fully functional and automatic. The hand grenade was also active. BATFE referred to it as a "dead-man's grenade," meaning once the pin is pulled the grenade fuse would detonate immediately without the usual delay. 

 
 
 

April 11, 2016

POWER OUTAGE REPORT
According to Mark Cayce of Ouachita Electric, their are no major power outages to report in the Ouachita County area. Cayce did say that their was an outage in Hampton earlier today, but that was a result of crew working on a particular line, and not the weather. RadioWorks will be keeping you posted on any power outages and weather conditions.

DRUG BUST: OPERATION ROADRUNNER
CAMDEN-The 13th Judicial Drug Task Force conducted a six-month investigation into the distribution of methamphetamine in the Stephens, Arkansas area that concluded with execution of 6 search warrants on Friday April 8, 2016. The operation dubbed Operation RoadRunner, resulted in the arrest of two defendants for various drug charges. Three search warrants were executed in Stephens and three search warrants in Columbia County. Located during the searches were Methamphetamine, two handguns, Marijuana, Scales, Baggies, and a sum of U.S. Currency. Assisting agencies include the Ouachita County Sheriff's Office, Stephens PD, Magnolia PD, Columbia County Sheriff's Office, Union County Sheriff's Office, El Dorado PD, Camden PD, FBI, U.S. Marshall, Arkansas Community Corrections SRT, Arkansas Game and Fish, Arkansas Army National Guard Counter-drug Unit, and Arkansas State Police. Carlos Brown, 38, of Magnolia has been charged with five counts of delivery of controlled substances, maintaining a drug premise, use of a communication device, possession of a controlled substance with purpose to deliver, simultaneous of drugs and firearms, possession of a firearm by certain persons. Brown is being held on a $250,000 bond. Quincy Jones of Magnolia is charged with possession of a controlled substance with purpose to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia. Jones is being held on a $50,000. The investigation is continuing and further charges are pending.

RICH ROBERTSON GIVES BACK TO COMMUNITY
CAMDEN-Former FHS athlete, Richard Robertson donated $5,000 to jump-start additional Phase 2 remodeling efforts for The Event Center at Fairview Park, a remodeling of the iconic 1937 Gymnasium in to a Creative Arts and Performing Center. Work is currently in progress, as reparing and installing a commercial roof on the building, should finish in the next week or two. The much needed roof component was essential in protecting all future inside the remodeling. The roof has been in the planning and fundraising stages, for the last 20-months. Grants, donations, and fundraisers by volunteers, have enabled this to be accomplished. Phase 2 plans include a performance stage, interior, modifications, remodeling the restroom and the lobby, and getting the building functional again. Over 4000 hours have already been donated by committed volunteers and are evident in before and after photos. According to the Board, Rich Robertson stepping up at this time, allows continued work on the undertaking, while the roof, is finishing up. The board appreciates this timely donation to the Events Center Repurposing team. Robertson reflected with this challenge: "Be a voice in our vision, not an echo...if your a past player and haven't stepped up yet, please consider doing so, and help us through this next phase". You can keep up with all of The Event Center at Fairview Park's updates on Facebook.

13-YEAR-OLD GIRL SHOT IN HOT SPRINGS
HOT SPRINGS-A girl, 13, was hospitalized in critical condition at last report after being shot in a Sunday evening incident. In a news release issued Monday morning, the Hot Springs Police Department (HSPD) said it happened around 6:45 p.m. Sunday at a home in the 100 block of Hillsdale Terrace.  Police say the victim was wounded in the left leg. Jesse Alan Flemister, 20, was arrested at the scene and charged with battery. His bond was set at $20,000. According to the release, witnesses at the scene told officers that Flemister was playing with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and accidentally fired it once.  The injured girl was first taken to St. Vincent Hospital in Hot Springs and then flown to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock.

OUACHITA COUNTY RESIDENT VICTIM OF EBAY SCAM
Deputy Anthony Nicholson of the Ouachita County Sheriff's Office, was dispatched to the office to make contact with Misty Green over the phone. She stated that she attempted to by a 2002 Toyota Four-Runner on Ebay for $ 2,500.00. Green stated that Amber Carrigeer was the person selling the vehicle and that it was in Omaha Nebraska. Green stated that Carrigeer advised her to put $2,500.00 on Ebay gift cards abd then give her the pin on the cards. Green also stated that she has not yet recieved the vehicle and that she had been contacted by a man named Michael, claiming to be from Ebay. Green stated that Ebay advised her that she had been the victim of a scam. She was also advised that a report would be put on file.

TURNOVER AND ALGAE BLOOM ADD ODOR TO MAGNOLIA WATER
MAGNOLIA-Magnolia Water Utilities customers may be experiencing a slight musty and earthy smell in their water. Robert Baxley, water system manager, said the problem is due to lake turnover and algae bloom at Lake Columbia. “Steps have been taken to overcome this problem. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause,” Baxley said.

SOUTH AR CHURCH CATCHES FIRE AFTER BEING STRUCK BY LIGHTNING
EL DORADO,-Lightning appears to have sparked fires across an Arkansas town Monday as storms moved through the state. According to El Dorado Police Department Captain Kevin Holt, crews worked to contain three fires: One at a home, one at a single-pump oil well, and one at a church. According to Holt  the home did not have much damage, and the oil well was extinguished quickly.  Murmil Heights Baptist Church, however, is reported to be a total loss.  No injuries were reported to have happened. As of late Monday afternoon, crews were in what Holt described as the "mopping up phase" as they were containing any remaining hot spots.   A tornado warning was active during the fires; Holt said the town saw pea to marble sized hail.

April 8, 2016

ARGIVES SURPASSES $4 MILLION GOAL
CAMDEN-Another year of Arkansas-Gives has come and gone, and this year did not disappoint. After passing the $2 million goal last year, many were hoping to see that number double this time around. Sure $4 million seems like a lot to raise in a 12-hour time span, but as we all know, nothing is impossible. This year, Ouachita Valley Community Foundation Executive Director, Stephanie Shearman Wyatt and others wanted to "grow the love", and at $4,071,660 it's safe to say that they succeeded. Now this number is just a preliminary number, which doesn't even include the $400,000 in bonus dollars that was available for non-profits, based on Monday they raised. Wyatt said " We really wanted to reach the sky...and we did". As for our area, the non-profits that participated, raised near $30,000, which will probably be surpassed with bonus dollars. So it's safe to say the 2016 edition of Arkansas-Gives was a success, now the only question is....How will they top it next year? For more on Arkansas-Gives visit www.arkansasgives.org

DOUBLE MURDERER SHOT AND KILLED TRYING TO ESCAPE FROM VARNER UNIT
MAGNOLIA-A Faulkner County inmate serving two life without parole sentences was shot and killed Thursday afternoon while attempting to escape from the Arkansas Department of Correction Varner Unit at Grady. The ADC said is a statement that Christopher Wilson, 41, tried to flee at approximately 12:57 p.m. Arkansas State Police and ADC staff are responding to the scene. Notifications have been made to the inmate's family. The body will be turned over to the coroner. The department has referred the matter to Arkansas State for investigation. The officers involved will be placed on paid administrative leave until the investigation is complete. Wilson pled guilty on September 2, 2003, to the beating and stabbing death of Pamela Kay Reed, 26, and the beating death of her son, Lucas Aaron Colton Reed, 8 months, of the Saltillo community.

OBU GETS NEW PRESIDENT
ARKADELPHIA - Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia got a new president on Thursday. The university's trustees unanimously elected Dr. Ben R. Sells as the college's 16th president during their meeting.  He will officially start on June 1. “The presidential search committee’s desire to do a national search was different than all of our presidential searches in recent history,” said Jay Heflin, chairman of the OBU Board of Trustees. “However, I believe that this has resulted in our eyes being opened to several opportunities that we have not been able to see in the past. And, ultimately, I believe that this national search has brought Ouachita a new president who is wonderfully gifted in many ways. Sells will succeed Dr. Rex Horne, who resigned as president in 2015.

SAU FREE CHORAL CONCERT FOR PUBLIC ON APRIL 4
MAGNOLIA-The Heritage Singers and Chamber Singers of Southern Arkansas University will present their spring concert, “What’s In a Name?” on Thursday, April 14, at 7:30 p.m. in the sanctuary of Central Baptist Church, Magnolia. Admission is free, and the public is encouraged to attend. The concert gets its title from the selection of works to be performed by the choirs. Every setting identifies a specific person, whether a Biblical character like Moses or Daniel, someone described in a song setting like Stephen Foster’s “I dream of Jeanie with the light brown hair,” or an arrangement of the Irish folk song, “Annie Laurie.” The evening’s music will range from a Renaissance motet by Palestrina to a 20th century composition by Egil Hovland that depicts the New Testament story of the conversion of Saul. Sharon Ard of El Dorado is the accompanist, and the groups are under the direction of David De Seguirant, SAU director of choral activities.

April 7, 2016

NEW CAMDEN FIRE CHIEF CHOSEN
CAMDEN-After weeks of speculation, Camden Mayor, Marie Trisollini has chosen a new Fire Cheif. Rob Medford has been selected as new head of the Camden Fire Chief. Medford has served as a member of the Camden Fire Department for many years, and was selected by Mayor, this past Friday. Throughout this process the Mayor narrowed down the 5 applicants with the help of her interview committee, which included Police Chief Bo Woody, Assistant Chief's Rick Van Asche and Ron Nash, and Civil Service Commissioner, Cecil McDonald. Mayor Trisollini commented on the recent hiring, saying "I believe Rob will be a great leader, and good example to his co-workers... I look forward to his contributions". A promotional meeting with me held for Medford once his new badge comes in.

HARMONY GROVE FLUSH NOTICE
The Harmony Grove Water Association will begin flushing their water lines on April 11, 2016. This process will take about 5 working days to complete. When washing white clothes, please take precaution until the process is complete, as it could stir up sediment in the pipes. The Harmony Grove Water Association 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 - HGWA Water Operator at 870-807-6737.

CAR BURNS NEAR MCNEIL
MAGNOLIA-The McNeil Rural Fire Department responded to a car fire at 9:21 p.m. Tuesday on County Road 120. Eveney Hildreth owned the car. The cause of the fire may have been an electrical problem under the dashboard. One engine, a foam truck and a rescue truck were dispatched. There were no injuries. CR 120 is the Old Waldo Road that runs west from McNeil north of Arkansas 98.

HOUSE, SENATE APPROVE GOVERNOR'S MEDICAID PLAN
LITTLE ROCK-Eatrlier today, the state House and Senate gave approval to a plan to continue and revamp the state’s Medicaid expansion program, but with majorities that fell short of the vote thresholds the program will need during the upcoming fiscal session. The Senate voted 25-10 and the House voted 70-30 to approve matching bills containing Arkansas Works, Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s proposal for a Medicaid expansion program to replace the current program known as the private option. The chambers will vote on each other’s bills Friday, which is expected to be the final day of the special session. Appropriating funding for Arkansas Works during the fiscal session that begins Wednesday will require support from at least 27 senators and at least 75 House members, meaning the proposal cannot survive the fiscal session unless some members who voted against the policy vote for the appropriation. Senate President Pro Tem Jonathan Dismang, R-Beebe, told reporters he would be talking to the senators who voted against the measure. He made a distinction between voting on the policy and voting on the appropriation. “We’ll have to have a conversation with those members and see if their intent was to only vote against the policy or if they’re going to attempt to set new policy during the appropriation process,” he said.
Under Arkansas Works, Arkansas would continue to accept federal Medicaid money to pay for private health insurance for low-income Arkansans but would add features, including referral to voluntary work training for unemployed recipients, premiums of up to 2 percent of their income for recipients earning over 100 percent of the federal poverty level, and a requirement that recipients obtain employer-sponsored insurance if an eligible plan is available. More than 267,000 Arkansans with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level have obtained subsidized health insurance through the private option since it launched in 2013.

April 5, 2016

HELLO GENERATIONS BANK
CAMDEN-Well its official! Generations Bank cuts the ribbon and opens its doors, looking to be the bank that's always first. This new rebranding had been in the works for quite a while, and one that CEO/President Phil Foster knows honors the South Arkansas culture. Foster said "the name has to do with the relationships that we have built with our customers... that's what banking is all about". He also said " Over the last four or five generations we have had the opportunity to build and keep this relationships, and will offer the same type of services to future generations ". Michael Shelton, a fellow Generations employee, wanted to remind all current customers to not worry about anything. Shelton said " there were no ownership changes, nothing on anyone's account will change, this is strictly a name change only...one that the Harrell family felt fit our bank and our culture ". The bank that turns 109-years-old this year, continues to prove that age is just a number. With this new relaunching, Generations Bank is ready to celebrate the past, and create the future.

GOV. HUTCHINSON REMOVES MANAGED CARE PROPOSAL FROM SPECIAL SESSION
LITTLE ROCK-Asa Hutchinson has agreed to remove his managed care proposal from the special legislative session scheduled to start on Wednesday. This comes after both the Arkansas Speaker of the House and Senate President Pro Tempore requested that he remove his managed care proposal on Monday evening. Now, the special session will focus only on Hutchinson's continuation of the Medicaid expansion, known as Arkansas Works. In order to pay for the continued Medicaid expansion, Hutchinson proposed contracting with a managed care company to oversee some Medicaid programs. Speaker of the House Jeremy Gillam and Senate President Pro Tempore Jonathan Dismang each sent an identical letter to the governor saying that the managed care proposal doesn't have a consensus with legislators in either the House of Representatives or Senate. It was then that Hutchinson made his decision to remove it from the special session. 

21 ARRESTED, 12 AT LARGE IN HOPE
HOPE-
A joint task force charged 32 people Monday morning after a 3 month undercover investigation by Hempstead County Sheriff's Office and the South Central Drug Task Force. At 5:30 a.m., more than 50 law enforcement officers began serving warrants at a house in the 1400 block of Greening Street for Narcotics violations for delivery of controlled substances in Hempstead County. In what they are calling "Operation Burnout," officers found about 70 grams of Methamphetamine, several ecstasy pills, marijuana, 750.00 in cash and a handgun. The 21 people arrested were:

  • Aaron Shepard, 56, Hope, Arkansas Delivery of a Controlled Substance
  • Ambe Benson, 35, Hope, Arkansas Delivery of a Controlled Substance
  • Bertha Muldrew, 61, Hope, Arkansas Delivery of a Controlled Substance (4 counts)
  • Christian Reynolds, 24, Hope, Arkansas Delivery of a Controlled Substance
  • Chuvez Harris, 22, Hope, Arkansas Delivery of A Controlled Substance
  • Cleo Adams, 34, Hope, Arkansas Currently in Bowie County Jail on Unrelated Charge
  • Devonte Barker, 25, Hope, Arkansas Delivery of Controlled Substance
  • Gary Gillard, 23 Stamps, Arkansas Parole Violation
  • Harmon Williams, 42, McNab, Arkansas Parole Violation
  • Jelani McCowan, 38, Hope, Arkansas Delivery of Controlled Substance
  • Kenneth Scott, 55, Hope, Arkansas Delivery of Controlled Substance
  • Luval Cole, 30, Washington, Arkansas Delivery of Controlled Substance
  • Marcus Alexander Pierce, 27, Hope, Arkansas Delivery of Controlled Substance
  • Melvin Todd Reliford, 35, Hope, Arkansas Delivery of Controlled Substance
  • Michael Joseph Muldrow, 56, Hope, Arkansas Delivery of Controlled Substance
  • Ronald Muldrew, 58, Hope, Arkansas Delivery of Controlled Substance
  • Sequoiah Adams/Holston, 53, Hope, Arkansas Possession with Purpose to Deliver
  • Sheyann Marie Helmick, 27, Hope, Arkansas Delivery of Controlled Substance
  • Steven Ray Mc Clure, 54, Hope, Arkansas FTA, Body Attachment
  • Tina Jameson, 46, Hope, Arkansas Delivery of Controlled Substance 
  • Tony Cooper, 25, Currently in ADC, Delivery of Controlled Substance

The Sheriff’s office still has 12 warrants on people that have not been pick up. Officers are working to find those twelve suspects at this time. “This will continue to be an ongoing investigation as we try to provide a safe and drug free county for our children,” said Sheriff James Singleton. The law enforcement agencies involved included Hempstead County Deputies, Agents of the South Central Drug Task Force, Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police, Hope Police Officers, Arkansas Game and Fish Wildlife Officers, Howard County Deputies, Arkansas Department of Parole and Probation and undercover narcotics officers.

March 30, 2016

LOCKHEED MARTIN RESTARTS PRODUCTION OF TACMS AT AR FACILITY
DALLAS Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) has restarted its Tactical Missile System (TACMS) production line at the company’s facility in Camden, Arkansas. For more than 20 years, TACMS (formerly ATACMS) was assembled on-budget and on- or ahead of schedule at the company’s facility in Horizon City near El Paso, Texas. In order to consolidate all of Lockheed Martin’s Precision Fires missile and rocket production at its Camden Operations, TACMS production was temporarily suspended in 2014 and relocated to Camden. “Restarting the TACMS production is excellent news for our customers seeking deep precision fire support,” said Ken Musculus, vice president – Tactical Missiles at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “This production re-start will yield greater flexibility and significant cost-savings on a program with a rich history of reliability, affordability and mission success.” TACMS is a combat-proven precision deep-strike system with readiness rates exceeding 98 percent since the program’s initial fielding in 1990. Providing quick-reaction firepower with ranges up to 300 kilometers, the TACMS missiles can be fired from the entire family of MLRS launchers, including the lightweight High-Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS). Each TACMS missile is packaged in an MLRS launch pod and is fired from the MLRS family of launchers. TACMS is the only long-range tactical surface-to-surface missile ever fired in combat by the U.S. Army. Almost 600 TACMS have been employed to date, with the system demonstrating extremely high rates of combat accuracy and reliability.

SAU HIRES DR. DAVID J. LANOUE AS PROVOST AND VPAA
MAGNOLIA-Southern Arkansas University has hired Dr. David J. Lanoue to be provost and vice president of academic affairs, effective July 1, 2016. Lanoue is coming to SAU from Hawai‘i Pacific University, where he has served as dean of the College of Liberal Arts since 2013. “I am attracted to SAU because I believe in its mission to provide a high-quality, transformative education to all students, regardless of their circumstances,” said Lanoue. “I also appreciate SAU’s role as a full partner in the local and regional community, supporting economic development, providing cultural enrichment, and helping to provide the next generation of leaders for the region and state.” Lanoue is an experienced higher education administrator having held a number of leadership roles at various universities since 1990. Prior to his current deanship, he served as the dean of the College of Letters and Sciences at Columbus State University in Georgia. He has held the position of chair at Political Science departments at the University of Alabama, at Texas Tech University, and at the University of California, Riverside. He credits the ability to listen as the key determinant to a leader’s effectiveness. “I believe the most successful leaders are, first and foremost, good listeners. They work to build a sense of trust and create a culture of collaboration, actively encouraging input from every stakeholder.” While serving as an administrative leader, he has also risen up the ranks in teaching political science to the level of professor. He wrote From Camelot to the Teflon President: Economics and Presidential Popularity. Since 1960, published in 1988, and co-authored The Joint Press Conference: The History, Impact, and Prospects of Televised Presidential Debates in 1991. He has also written two book chapters, more than 30 refereed articles, and been a part of more than 30 conference papers and panel discussions. His knowledge and insight of the field of political science has been sought after by media outlets, and he has been quoted in many publications including The New York Times, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, U.S. News and World Report, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald, and Washington Times. Lanoue has served as president, as well as vice president and program chair, of the Southwestern Political Science Association. In 2009, he was inducted into the Anderson Society, a leadership honorary that recognizes students and faculty who have made significant contributions to the University of Alabama. He was named Graduate Student Association Political Science Professor of the Year at Texas Tech University in 1999-2000. Lanoue has a Ph.D. in Political Science from State University of New York at Stony Brook, where he also earned a Master of Arts. He acquired a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from University of California, San Diego. He enjoys long hikes and short walks, depending on the time available. He said he is looking forward to being outdoors and enjoying the beauty of Arkansas, as much as the job allows. His wife of 33 years, Suzanne Lanoue, will be joining him in the move to Magnolia, and she wants to become an active member of the local and University communities. Lanoue visited SAU on February 29, 2016, as a candidate for the provost position and visited with college deans, student leaders, vice president, faculty and staff. Dr. Ben Johnson, the Ragsdale Professor of Arkansas Studies, has served as interim provost and vice president of academic affairs since Dr. Trey Berry transitioned from that role to be president of the University on July 1, 2015.

GOLF CLUB IN SHERIDAN CATCHES FIRE; GOLF CARTS DESTROYED
SHERIDAN-After a fire at the Sheridan Golf Club, that swept through many sheds, between 20 and 30 privately owned golf carts were destroyed Wednesday morning. According to Sheridan Fire Chief Tim Stuckey, the club was closed when the department was called around 6:30 a.m., and no one was injured. It took firefighters about an hour to get the flames under control, and crews stayed on scene for about three and a half hours, Stuckey said. Because of the early hour, not all of the Sheridan department's members were available, and Stuckey said about seven other departments in Grant County responded to a call for a assistance. The fire affected a group of sheds used to store golf carts owned individually by the club's members, Stuckey said. The country club building was not affected. The cause of the fire is under investigation, he said. The club posted a message on Facebook asking members to stay away while the investigator is on the scene. A phone message left with the club was not immediately returned Wednesday morning.

FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FOR SOUTH ARKANSAS AREA
MAGNOLIA-A flash flood watch is in effect from 7 a.m. Wednesday until 7 p.m. Thursday for all of Southwest and Southern Arkansas, portions of extreme Northeast Texas and much of Northwest and North Central Louisiana.
The National Weather Service in Shreveport said multiple rounds of strong to severe thunderstorms and abundant moisture will lead to periods of locally heavy rainfall. Total rainfall amounts are expected to be between two and four inches with locally higher amounts of up to six inches being possible. This will lead to a flash flood threat particularly across Northwest and North Central Louisiana where soils are still saturated and recovery is still ongoing from historic rainfall earlier in March. Widely scattered showers and thunderstorms will be possible into the day Wednesday as a disturbance moves closer to the Four State region from the west. During this time frame there is a slight chance of severe thunderstorms across the Four State area. Large hail, damaging thunderstorm wind gusts and isolated tornadoes will be possible with any severe thunderstorms through Wednesday night.

March 29, 2016

FATAL ACCIDENT ON OUACHITA 7
CAMDEN-On Monday, March 28th, Lt. Cedric Gregory, with the Ouachita County Sheriff's Office, was dispatched to County Road 7 for a van parked in the ditch, with two unresponsive people inside. Just east of Ouachita 3 intersection, Gregory located an overturned vehicle on the roadside. According to reports, the vehicle was a 2000 Isuzu Rodeo, red in color. Reports also say that the vehicle left the roadway, struck two trees and overturned, coming to rest on the drivers side of the vehicle. Inside the vehicle were two individuals, later identified as Evelyn Hayes (driver) and J.T. Jackson (passenger). Unfortunately both were found deceased. Both were wearing seatbelts and the airbags of the vehicle had been deployed. Evidence observed at the scene indicate that Hayes drove off onto the north side of the roadway, over corrected, and traveled back across the roadway, where the vehicle left the roadway, and struck trees, before finally overturning. Fire and Rescue were contacted to extract the two from the vehicle. The coroner reported to the scene and tool custody of the remains. The vehicle was rendered inoperable and was towed from the scene. Thoughts and prayers are with the two victims family and friends.

OUACHITA ELECTRIC & AEROJET ROCKETDYNE TO CELEBRATE
COMMISSIONING OF SOLAR FIELD

Sacramento, Calif. and Little Rock, Ark. — Mar. 29, 2016 — Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc.(NYSE: AJRD), Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC) and Ouachita Electric Cooperative Corporation (OECC) will celebrate the full commissioning of the 100-acre East Camden, Arkansas, solar field on March 31. The 12-megawatt (AC) array is located in the Highland Industrial Park and is owned and operated by Silicon Ranch Corp which constructed the solar field. Aerojet Rocketdyne will purchase the solar power for its 1,200-acre East Camden facility. The solar plant was completed in late 2015 and is capable of generating enough electricity to power the equivalent of 2,400 single-family homes. Excess solar energy will be released to AECC and dispatched to the wholesale power market. “We are proud to report the testing period that began at the end of November has produced zero power anomalies, and with the unusually sunny Arkansas winter we have been witness to the exciting potential solar has in Arkansas,” said Gary Vaughan, Aerojet Rocketdyne director of Production Operations, Camden. “Silicon Ranch and their construction partner, McCarthy Building Companies, produced a world-class solar facility that will benefit the company and the region today, and in the future.” “This innovative partnership benefits electric cooperative members by providing predictable energy cost and contributing to the strong economic growth in the Camden area,” said Duane Highley, president and CEO for AECC, a generation and transmission electric cooperative. “AECC is constantly evaluating energy sources to ensure that our 17 retail distribution cooperatives and their more than 1.2 million members have reliable electricity that is affordable.” Ouachita Electric Cooperative, which serves Highland Industrial Park, assisted in the project by providing technical support, guidance and expertise in power production and delivery. “Ouachita Electric Cooperative works to increase the quality of life for our members and their communities,” said Mark Cayce, general manager of Ouachita Electric Cooperative. “Our board of directors and employees are diligent in our efforts to be advocates for rural Arkansas by keeping electricity rates affordable and assisting with economic growth." According to Matt Kisber, President and CEO of Silicon Ranch, construction of the Highland Park project was a seamless process, due in large part to the participation and support of OECC and AECC. “We could not ask for a better partnership to bring the first large-scale solar energy facility to Arkansas,” Kisber said. “Silicon Ranch echoes the importance of bringing renewable generation to rural America. This project should assist in additional positive economic impact for the Camden area while providing a reliable, low-cost energy source for Aerojet Rocketdyne and AECC.”

COUNTY SHERIFF GETS MORE PRISON TIME
SALINE COUNTY-Former Saline Co. Sheriff Bruce Pennington was given an additional eight months in prison on Tuesday morning, court records state After he plead guilty to a charge of wire fraud in a federal case in 2015, he was already sentenced to one year in prison. On Tuesday, he pleaded guilty to a charge of abusing public trust and two counts of theft of property. He'll serve the eight months of prison time concurrently with his previous sentence in the wire fraud case, according to court records. Pennington was credited for 64 days already spent in jail. The former sheriff was also ordered to pay more than $2,500 in restitution, court documents state. 

March 28, 2016

COURTHOUSE ROOF REPAIR STARTS
CAMDEN-A day that seemed like would never get here...is finally here. Today workers with Ketcher and Company Inc. of Little Rock, began construction on the Ouachita County Courthouse roof, something that has been long over due. Ouachita County Judge Robbie McAdoo is pleased to see something that was brought up during Quorum Court months ago, finally come to fruition. McAdoo said " its been a long drawn out process, but the workers are here, the equipment is here...we've identified the worst spots, so that's where we are going to start". The Judge also wanted to remind the residence their might a bit of a mess in front of the Courthouse for a few weeks. "Contractors will restore the grounds to the way they found it...they've laid out ply wood to limit damage to the ground... I'm just excited about it..its like we've been on set, and now we are on go" said McAdoo. The roofing project is expected to wrap up in about six weeks.

CAMDEN CORVETTE SHOW EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS
CAMDEN-The 2nd Annual Kids Running the Show: Corvette Car Show, has some how outdone itself. The event put on by the E.B Williams Youth Center, has exceeded expectations, as people from all over the country are in Camden. Youth Center founder, Eric Gunter said "the corvette community knows where Camden is now....I'm speechless". All funds from the event will go to the youth center, which is currently looking for a building to house all the kids. The event is going on all day and there will also be a parade this evening. Follow the E.B. Williams Youth Center on Facebook to keep up with what they are doing here in the Camden area.

EASTER SUNDAY FIRE IN HOT SPRINGS
HOT SPRINGS- On Easter Sunday, firefighters responded to a large fire at the Forrest Hills Apartments of Rogers Road in Hot Springs. Deputy John Schroeder with the Garland County Sheriff's Office told THV11 that the fire began around 11:40 a.m. at apartment building "J."The Highway 70 West Fire Department and the Bonnerdale Fire Department responded to the fire. No injuries have yet to be reported. 

APRIL IS DISTRACTED DRIVING PREVENTION MONTH
LITTLE ROCK Arkansas is putting a renewed emphasis on education and enforcement of the state’s distracted driving laws.  Highway Safety authorities are joining national operations intended to stop distracted driving. Law enforcement agencies across the state have joined the national “U Drive U Text U Pay” campaign to stop distracted driving.  A statewide awareness campaign will utilize paid advertising with television, radio, online ads and social media to reach out to the motoring public. “We all know that using our cell phones while driving is distracting, but that doesn’t stop most people from continuing to do it,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.  “We want to educate Arkansas drivers about the dangers of texting and cell phone use while operating a motor vehicle.” Colonel Bryant continued, “We hope that once people see and hear the messages, they will be more aware and change their driving habits to help protect themselves, their families and others on the road.” Arkansas law prohibits the use of a hand held 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 state trooper, police officer or sheriff’s deputy can initiate a traffic stop without observing any other violation. Drivers should be aware of all state laws related to distracted driving, particularly related to the prohibition of using a hand-held cell phone while traveling through school or highway work zone.   All drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle.  Drivers 18 to 20 years using a cell phone are required to use a hands-free device.The national distracted driving effort focuses on ways to change the behavior of drivers through legislation, enforcement, public awareness and education which are the same tools that have been used to curb drunk driving and increased seat belt use. 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.

MAN ARRESTED AFTER FLEEING IN TEXARKANA
TEXARKANA- According to reports, a Texarkana, Texas, man was arrested early Monday after fleeing from officers on Jamison Street near Waggoner Creek, a police department spokesman said. A K-9 was involved in the apprehension of the suspect. Dewayne Fetner, 25, was arrested for a felony probation violation warrant and also evading detention with a previous conviction and resisting arrest, said Shawn Vaughn, police spokesman. Fetner was also treated for a dog bite to his lower leg at Wadley Regional Medical Center before being transported to the Bi-State Jail, Vaughn said.Officer Colton Johnson observed a man walking in the roadway on Jamison Street at midnight last night. Aware of recent burglaries in the area, Johnson made contact with the subject, who identified himself as Fetner, Vaughn said. A felony warrant for probation violation on breaking and entering out of Miller County, Ark., was confirmed. After Officer Bo Carter and his K-9 partner Boston arrived on the scene, Officer Johnson attempted to place Fetner under arrest. However, Fetner managed to pull from Johnson's grasp and began to run east on Jamison Street before entering wood line along the roadway. Officer Carter activated the remote door opener on his belt to release Boston from the patrol unit. After Fetner continued to ignore commands to stop, Carter gave K-9 Boston the apprehend command. Boston pursued Fetner into the wooded area and caught him approximately 15 yards into the woods. As officers tried to handcuff Fetner, he continued to actively resist and try to get away. He hit Boston on the head several times with his fist and pushed against his face. After they were able to secure both of Fetner's hands, the K-9 was ordered to disengage.

March 25, 2016

JUDGE MCADOO TALKS PHASE 4 IN TRASH DUMPING CLEANUP
CAMDEN-A few weeks ago, Ouachita County Judge, Robbie McAdoo, told reporters that he was planning to put a stop to all the dumping on county roads and highways. The Judge talked about putting an end to the ever growing problem, mentioning establishments like the Recycling Center. He also talked about the County Road Department and Solid Waste Department, and how they would soon start a county-wide initiative to pick up numerous bags of trash around the area. Earlier this week, that process began as our great county workers collected 263 bags of trash. Now this was not exactly the 300+ amount the Judge was hoping for, but he knows that this is just a dent, as his crew has only tackled about a third of the entire County. When asked if he has seen a decrease in the issue, Judge McAdoo said " its to early to tell, but I am starting to get notifications from residents who see people littering, and I'm starting to follow up on that with the court system ". Having citizens contact him was Judge McAdoo's third phase in this process. In a recent phone interview, he also talked about a fourth phase, which was something that had never been done before in Ouachita County. County Departments have begun spraying 81 miles of County roadways to kill out weeds. The Judge believes that once this kicks in and the Bermuda grass starts to grow that it's going to help out our curbside appeal. McAdoo said " sometimes we go away from that idea that it's going to take everybody to make us live up to the name Natural State ".

CAMDEN PD SCHOLARSHIPS
CAMDEN-The Camden Police Department will offer the first ever Camden Police Department Scholarship this year. The Scholarship will be awarded to a City of Camden, AR student who will pursue a degree in a Criminal Justice. The amount is $1000.00. For more information look in the news section of the Police Department's website, www.camden-police.com. You can print the application from the website. Police Chief Woody will also deliver copies of the application to the Camden Fairview High School, Victory Christian and Camden Christian Schools Monday, March 28, 2016.

JEVAC AWARDED BY LOCKHEED MARTIN
MAGNOLIA_JEVAC Machine in McNeil was recently awarded the 2015 Most Outstanding Small Business by Lockheed Martin's Missile and Fire Control Division. JEVAC thanks its employees and community for their hard work and support over the last 32 years. JEVAC Machine employees include Craig Cheatham, Amy Rogers, Dianne Fields, Barbara Wafer, Anne Foreman, Vicky Furlow, Bobbie Sue Olinger, Roxana Castro, Joe Lonigro, Roy Henderson, Chester Witcher, Jimmy Cheatham, Maurice Smith, Michael Lambert, Cranston Gentry, Nathell Clayton, Clay Cheatham, Mark Hardimon, Brandon Sanders, Otis Heard, Gerard Smith, Brian Cooper and Monique Lowdermill.

SUSPECT IN PINE BLUFF CASE A 16-YEAR-OLD
PINE BLUFF - The suspect wounded by an officer of the Pine Bluff Police Department (PBPD) earlier this week has been identified as a 16-year-old boy. The Arkansas State Police (ASP) shared that information in a news release issued on Friday, but did not release the teenager's name. He is alleged to have pointed a gun at the Pine Bluff officer in a Wednesday afternoon incident at a home on Womack Street. Officers with the PBPD at first told state police that the wounded suspect was Deontae Garrett, 19, who was the subject of an arrest warrant the officer was serving.
The officer shot the individual after the person refused to comply with orders to drop the gun and pointed the weapon toward the officer, the ASP said. By the time state police investigators arrived at the shooting scene, the wounded teen had been taken by ambulance to a local hospital. His condition was reported to be critical and required emergency surgery. Later the same day, a man identifying himself as Garrett surrendered to Pine Bluff Police, leading state police to begin efforts to identify the person who had been wounded and hospitalized.

ARKANSAS UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DROPS
LITTLE ROCK-Arkansas has seen another drop in its unemployment rate. New figures released on Friday by the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, show Arkansas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined two-tenths of a percentage point, from 4.4 percent in January to 4.2 percent in February. The labor force data, produced by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) also shows that Arkansas’ civilian labor force gained 8,360, a result of 10,702 more employed and 2,342 fewer unemployed Arkansans. The United States’ jobless rate remained stable at 4.9 percent in February. “Arkansas’ unemployment rate has been in a steady decline, down one and four-tenths of a percentage point over the year. The state is now seven-tenths of a percentage point lower than the national rate,” said BLS Program Operations Manager Susan Price.

March 24, 2016

THROWER FOUND GUILTY IN MURDER CASE
Suspect in the Erika Batton 2014 murder case, Eric Thrower has been found guilty. For being found guilty, Thrower recieved a life sentence plus 10 years.

PINE BLUFF POLICE OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING INVESTIGATION CONTINUES *CORRECTION:  WOUNDED SUSPECT MISIDENTIFIED
At approximately 9 PM last night (Wednesday, March 23, 2016) Deontae Garrett, 19, surrendered to Pine Bluff Police Officers.  Garrett was wanted on multiple felony warrants originating in Cleveland County. Earlier yesterday Pine Bluff Police had identified Deontae Garrett as the individual who was shot by a local officer outside 5701 Womack Street. Following the shooting, Kyle Hunter, Eleventh Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney, requested special agents of the Arkansas State Police to conduct an investigation of the officer involved shooting. When state police agents arrived at the Womack Street address the wounded individual had already been transported to Jefferson Regional Medical Center and was about to undergo surgery. Pine Bluff Police Department personnel stated one of their officers arrived at the residence about 2:30 PM (Wednesday) to serve an arrest warrant.  The warrant was to be served on Deontae Garrett, wanted for kidnapping, residential burglary and theft. As the Pine Bluff Police Officer approached the house a young man armed with a pistol exited the residence.  The officer reportedly ordered the individual to drop the gun and according to initial statements the individual subsequently pointed the gun at the officer who then shot the person. State police special agents now suspect the wounded individual is likely a juvenile who has not been positively identified.  The wounded juvenile was initially reported to be in critical condition and this morning is reported to be in stable condition. The state police investigation will be used by Prosecutor Hunter in determining whether use of deadly force by a police officer was consistent with Arkansas law and whether any criminal charges may be warranted against the person who met police with a gun outside the home.
HINDER JOINING MAGIC SPRINGS CONCERT SERIES
HOT SPRINGS - Magic Springs Water and Theme Park has added Hinder to its 2016 concert series lineup, which officially begins June 4. Hinder will perform Saturday, June 11, at 8 p.m. Sing-along anthems, such as “Better Than Me” and “Lips Of An Angel,” shot them to megastardom, establishing Hinder as the next wave in anthemic rock. Now with over a decade-plus career under their belts, and having honed their live chops touring with the likes of Mötley Crüe, Nickelback, Aerosmith and Papa Roach, Hinder’s upcoming album with their official new lead vocalist Marshal Dutton has breathed new sound, and new air, into the ever-evolving band. “We’re excited to be able to add multiplatinum rockers, Hinder, to this year’s concert series,” said park general manager, Steve Honeycutt. “We know this will be a concert our guests won’t want to miss because of the high energy and big sound Hinder will bring to the Timberwood Amphitheater.” The concert series will run most Saturdays through August 13. All concerts are included with a season pass or general admission ticket with free lawn seating on a first come, first-served basis at Timberwood Amphitheater. A Magic Springs season pass, priced at $64.99 from now until April 18 and $74.99 after that, allows for unlimited visits to the park plus up to 12 free shows at Arkansas’s largest concert series. The season pass also includes in-park discounts and opportunities to gain other perks, such as a souvenir bottle with discounted refills and a free friend ticket when the pass is processed at the park by specific dates. 
Magic Springs Theme Park opens for the 2016 season on April 9 with Crystal Falls Water Park opening on May 7. For more information on park pricing or to purchase a Season Pass, visit MagicSprings.com or call 501-624-0100.

MORE AR DEER, ELK TEST POSITIVE FOR DISEASE
LITTLE ROCK – Bad news continues to roll in from north Arkansas amid the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s efforts to find the prevalence rate of chronic wasting disease in the area where the disease initially was detected. Results from last week’s tests revealed an additional 18 deer and a single elk with the disease. Last week, tissue samples from 49 deer and elk taken in and around the 125,000-acre focal area were sent to the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Madison for testing. Out of the 18 positive deer samples, four were found just outside of the AGFC’s focal area. Those deer were either found dead or were killed by vehicles. The single cow elk was taken from the Boxley Valley area of Newton County. Arkansas now has 22 CWD positive samples from the state’s deer and elk. Before today’s lab results, two deer and an elk had tested positive for the fatal disease. All three of those initially tested cervids came from within Newton County. Today’s test results included 17 positive samples from Newton County and two deer from Boone County. The first animal in Arkansas confirmed to have CWD was a 2½-year-old female elk. The elk was killed by a hunter Oct. 6 on the Buffalo National River near Pruitt during elk season. The disease was confirmed on Feb. 23. As of today, more than 260 deer and 18 elk have been taken for sampling. Another large batch of samples is currently at the Wisconsin lab with results expected late next week. The AGFC will continue its efforts to sample elk that appear to be sick from throughout the known elk range. Due to the large number of positive samples, including samples outside the established focal area, emphasis will be placed on collecting samples from road-killed deer and sick or dead deer throughout northwest Arkansas in order to determine the extent of the disease’s distribution. The latest test results were a blow to AGFC Chief of Wildlife Management Brad Carner. “This is not good news. We were hopeful that all positive samples would be contained within our focal area. That’s obviously not the case,” he said. “We also hoped to find a low prevalence rate in the test samples. We’re disappointed, but still focused on the job at hand,” Carner noted.

SAU TO HONOR ALUMNI
The Southern Arkansas University Alumni Association will honor six alumni members at the Dinner of Distinction awards ceremony at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 9 in the SAU Reynolds Center Grand Hall.
Alumni members being recognized include Dr. Jerome D. Yates, John O. Armour, LeAnne Johnson, Don R. McDonald, Jonathan D. Baird and Larry C. Dunn. 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. “You will not want to miss hearing from all of our alumni award recipients with their interesting personal histories of SAU and how much SAU has impacted their lives,” said SAU Alumni Director Ceil Bridges.

March 23, 2016

HELP CONGRATULATE DARLEEN
CAMDEN-Darleen Wheelington owner of Waggin’ Tails in Camden, AR, has been named a winner in the 2016 Pet Age Women of Influence awards program. The awards program is produced by Pet Age, a national publication covering all things in the pet industry, providing the latest industry news and more. The Women of Influence awards program honors women leaders who are influential in the pet manufacturing or servicing industry. Successful candidates will have a solid reputation based on experience, integrity and leadership and have a proven track record of accomplishments. To qualify, a nominee had to meet selection criteria that included working in the pet industry and possessing significant authority for decision making within a company or organization. Winners were chosen by an independent panel of judges including: Ashlee Gonigam, Matrix Partners, Ltd.; Kerry Sutherland, K. Sutherland PR; and Stephanie Volo, Planet Dog The Women of Influence award winners will be profiled in an awards article inserted in the May issue of Pet Age.

ARKANSAS SENATOR TALKS PRIVATE OPTION, HIGHWAYS AND JOBS
CAMDEN-Arkansas Senator, Bruce Maloch was the guest speaker at today's Camden Lion's Club meeting. Maloch was brought in as Ouachita County Assessor Debbie Lambert's guest speaker. "He was delighted when I asked him about coming...and I'm so grateful" said Lambert. Maloch said " I split Ouachita County with Bobby Pierce, but I'm always glad to get up here and speak to my constituents and get their feedback". During the meeting, the senator spoke to the Camden civic group about the upcoming session. When it comes to the Medicaid expansion (private option) issue, Senator Maloch told the attendees that without local hospitals, communities like Camden, Arkadelphia, Magnolia and Fordyce would not make it. The Senator also knows that highway funding has been an issue for years but is hoping that Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson's proposed plan can help generate revenue. "Particularly since gas prices have gone down, I would entertain generating some more revenue for highway construction...The Governor had a plan that is revenue neutral..it won't do as much for our highways, but whatever we do I'm going to be out there lobbying for South Arkansas getting our share". He also said " We sometimes don't have as many people, but we have just as many roads and it is critical to maintain and for our economic development". Now when it comes to economic development, Maloch, like so many, was disappointed that Lockheed Martin's Camden facility did not receive the JLTV Production Contract, but is hopeful. Maloch said "We are still working on some other projects, I think what we have to do is keep plugging...many times we see those jobs go to North and Central Arkansas...I met individually with the Governor last week about these issues and the need for something down here in our area, and we are going to keep plugging away until we land something". Maloch did complement Governor Hutchinson, who has been around the Country and the World, promoting the Natural State.

CAMDEN POLICE: BEWARE OF SCAMS
In a recent Facebook post, the Camden Police Department wanted everyone to watch out for different types of scams. The post read:
Be aware of the scams!!! They are out in full force! Mega Millions, Cruises, Publishers Clearing House, Banks in reference to your account or Debit Cards, Credit Cards, etc. Also there are scams where they say you have a warrant and if you pay within a certain amount of time you will not be arrested. There are scams that lead you to believe your family member needs bail money. Some scams come to your email address. Be sure you do not open any email that you do not know who or where it is coming from. Money exchange scams will lead you to believe you will receive an enormous amount of money if you will cash a check for the scammer. There are scams where they call representing a hospital or medical clinic about a bill. They ask to verify your social security number or other personal information. If this is a place you have received services from, they will have this information already. As the weather warms up, there will be scammers trying to sell gravel for driveways, work on your yard or house. It is a good idea to hire only people you or a close friend knows to be reputable. If you have any doubt, call the police, Don't let strangers into your home to use the phone, bathroom or get a drink of water. Remember, if you didn't enter a sweepstakes, you probably did not win anything. Even if you did enter, be cautious and do not give personal information out.

UPDATE ON U.S. 82 WIDENING PROJECT
MAGNOLIA-The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department, which has twice rejected bids for the proposed widening of 4.2 miles of U.S. 82 in Magnolia because they were too high, received only one bid for the job on Wednesday morning.
The bid was $240,903.57 higher than the lowest of two received during February’s bid opening, and came from the same company. James Construction Group of Baton Rouge, LA, bid $22,175,162.47 for the project, which was higher than the $21,934,258.90 bid it offered the state in February. Also in February, the Johnsonville Company of Hermitage bid $24,152,533.25. Five other companies expressed an interest in the project during the March round, but they did not submit bids. The highway department is expected to announce whether it will accept the bid next week, or invite a fourth round of bidding for the job. The state’s next highway bid opening will be May 11. The plan is to widen U.S. 82 from County Road 525 to the 79-82 bypass to five lanes. The sides of the roadway will have curbs and gutters. The project includes rebuilding the Nations Creek Bridge, and widening 79-82 from East Main Street to the Shell Superstop, also to five lanes. The state is also well into the planning for the second phase of the U.S. 82 widening project. It has already held a public involvement meeting for the widening of six miles of U.S. 82 from the Shell Super Stop on the bypass to Columbia County Road 27. CR 27 is the extension of South Hope Street through Waldo, east of the Deltic Timber Company mill. In other bid openings of interest to South Arkansas on Wednesday morning: Hempstead County Redstone Construction Group of Little Rock was the low bidder at $1,685,143.45 for the overlay of U.S. 67 between the Red River and Peavine Creek. Dallas County Jet Asphalt & Rock Co. of El Dorado was the only bidder at $1,467,919.17 for the overlay of Arkansas 8 from Arkansas 9 west. Union County Jet Asphalt was the only bidder at $1,201,235.75 for the overlay of Arkansas 7 north and south of El Dorado. More bids were to be opened on Wednesday afternoon

OUACHITA COUNTY RANKED AS ONE OF AR MOST INSURED PLACES
According to SmartAsset’s second annual insurance study, Ouachita County ranks as one of the most insured places in Arkansas. Ouachita County made the list at number 7, up from their rank of 6 in last year's study. The study compares coverages rates across all counties for life, health, and auto insurance, to see where citizens are leading in coverage. For a look at how Ouachita County compares to the Arkansas leaders, check out the table below: Rank County Auto Insurance Coverage Health Insurance Coverage Life Insurance Coverage Overall Coverage Index
1 Perry, AR 86.34% 88.81% 61.19% 69.49
2 Grant, AR 85.50% 87.92% 65.37% 65.66
3 Saline, AR 84.13% 88.57% 66.80% 65.32
4 Lonoke, AR 83.50% 87.82% 74.04% 63.35
5 Cleveland, AR 85.88% 85.88% 64.74% 60.74
6 Jefferson, AR 83.24% 87.41% 65.46% 60.37
7 Ouachita, AR 84.34% 86.83% 65.60% 60.37
8 Arkansas, AR 84.13% 86.87% 65.18% 59.94
9 Franklin, AR 84.78% 86.41% 65.24% 59.68
10 Benton, AR 83.20% 86.58% 77.19% 59.65

 

March 22, 2016

"BROWN WATER" AT YOUR HOME? RICHARDSON EXPLAINS THE PROBLEM
CAMDEN-Has yours faucet or shower at home been filtering out "brown water"? Camden Water Utilities Manager, David Richardson said that this was due in large part to a malfunctioning pump. The error happened over the weekend, which resulted in the water issue. Richardson wanted to ensure Camden residents that workers are out fixing the problem, and water should be back to normal sometime this afternoon. He also mentioned the annual system flush that will be taking place in a few weeks. The flush is set to take place on Friday April 1st.

SAU TO HOST ENGINEERING SUMMER CAMP
MAGNOLIA-Southern Arkansas University Engineering is hosting three-day, two-night Engineering Summer Camp from July 11-13, 2016. The engineering and physics camp is open to students entering grades eight through 12. The registration fee is $250, which includes room and board. Applications are due online at www.SAUmag.edu/Engineering-Camp by July 2. Checks can be made out to “SAU Engineering Camp” and mailed to Southern Arkansas University, ATTN: Sarajane Telford, 100 E. University, MSC 9397, Magnolia, AR 71753. For more information, contact Telford at sjtelford@saumag.edu or (870) 235-4290. 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 fall 2014, and enrollment has reached more than 160 students in its second year. The University will soon begin construction to renovate the former armory on the SAU campus to house the growing Engineering program.

TWO MEN TURN THEMSELVES IN FOR AR SHOOTINGS
HOPE- Two young men have turned themselves in, after police said they were wanted in connection with several shootings.  Police in Hope said the shootings happened Wednesday, March 16. Warrants for aggravated assault were issued for Devonte Barker and Patrick Powell in connection to shots fired in the area of Oak and Walker streets in Hope. According reports, at least four homeowners reported gunfire entering their residences that night. One person is said to have been shot in the legs and transferred to the hospital by private vehicle. Kim Tomlin with Hope police said Monday that Powell and Barker turned themselves in and are awaiting their first court appearance.

ARKANSAS STATE POLICE COVERING EMERGENCY VEHICLE TIPS
CAMDEN-According to the Ouachita County Sheriff's Office, the Arkansas State Police is covering what you should do when you see an emergency vehicle behind you with their lights and siren on! Seems simple to some, but many people block the roadway OR stop us from getting to injured citizens quickly by not abiding by this law. Here are a few of the common questions:
1) What if you are in the left lane and can not move over to the right? KEEP DRIVING in your lane of traffic until you can safety move to the right. Many people will pull to the left, and that is more dangerous for the emergency vehicle and for yourself.
2) Can I just stop immediately where I am, and the emergency vehicle can just go around me? Please try to slowly pull to the right then come to a stop. If you brake suddenly, you might cause a chain reaction, creating another traffic hazard.
27-51-901. Operation of vehicles and streetcars on approach of authorized emergency vehicles.
(a) (1) Upon the immediate approach of an authorized emergency vehicle, when the driver is giving audible signal by siren, exhaust whistle, or bell, the driver of every other vehicle shall yield the right-of-way and shall immediately drive to a position parallel to, and as close as possible to, the right-hand edge or curb of the highway clear of any intersection and shall stop and remain in such position until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed, except when otherwise directed by a police officer.
(b) Upon the approach of an authorized emergency vehicle, as stated in subsection (a) of this section, the motorman of every streetcar shall immediately stop the car clear of any intersection and keep it in that position until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed, except when otherwise directed by a police officer.

COUNTY OFFICES CLOSE FOR GOOD FRIDAY
The Ouachita County Courthouse and the Ouachita County Extension Office will be closed on Friday, March 25th for the Good Friday Holiday. Trash pickup will run on its regular schedule.This coming from Ouachita County Judge, Robbie McAdoo.

WOMAN LEADS OFFICERS ON FROM TEXARKANA TO LOUISIANA STATE LINE
TEXARKANA-Area law enforcement was involved in a pursuit that started in Texarkana and ended at the Louisiana state line early Monday morning. The pursuit lasted for around 90 minutes. Around 12:30 a.m. a Texarkana, Ark. Police Officer attempted to stop a car on Dudley St. near Ferguson St. The car led the officer onto the loop and then back into Texarkana before once again heading to the loop and then south on I-49. Texarkana, Texas Police, Bowie County Sheriff’s Office Deputies, and Miller County Sheriff’s Office Deputies all assisted in the pursuit. About 30 minutes into the pursuit the suspect called 911 and told dispatchers that she had no reason to live. She stated that she had a baby in the car and threatened to kill somebody if officers did not stop chasing her. The woman also told Miller County dispatchers that she was going to slam on her brakes and cause officers to rear end her. According to radio traffic the suspect has multiple warrants out of Bowie County for failure to appear, theft of property, failure to identify as a fugitive, and possession of a dangerous drug. All units stopped the pursuit on Highway 71 at the Louisiana Line. No Louisiana units were in the area to assist once it crossed the state line. According to reports, the woman and one other person were apprehended by Harrison County Deputies near Marshall, Texas. The woman has been identified as Jessica Hayes.

March 10, 2016

COUNTY JUDGE LOOKING TO PUT STOP TO TRASH DUMPING
CAMDEN-"I'm tired of it" was Ouachita County Judge Robbie McAdoo's response to the issue of trash dumping on City Streets and County Roads. Judge McAdoo hopes to put an end to this ever growing problem, in which furniture and trash in being dumped and left throughout the County. The Ouachita County Judge doesn't want his citizens to forget about the Recycling Center, which is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 9 am to 5 pm. There is no charge to recycle at the center. In a public service announcement, McAdoo said "please don't dump trash on the County Roads or City Streets...take it to the Recycling Center and let's dispose of it properly". He would go on to say "It's important for this reason, as we are in an economy that's needing to grow, and as we bring people in here to possibly brings jobs to Ouachita County, then they have to see clean streets and roads". While speaking with Taylor May, the Judge also mentioned a county-wide initiative that is being put on by the Solid Waste Department and County Road Department. The Departments have set a goal of 300 bags of trash in one day (depending on the weather), so that we can have County to be proud of. Also, Judge McAdoo is asking all citizens to get information from the dump site, or license plate number, if they see someone dumping. The Judge will follow that up will local law enforcement if needed. Judge McAdoo said he doesn't like to "police" his citizens, but he wants the County to look and be the best that it can be. We could possibly see a Code Red message in the future as well.

OUACHITA COUNTY CLOSINGS (UPDATED)
So far this is what we have on road conditions in Ouachita County. We will keep you updated if more info becomes available. Ouachita Road 232 - Closed Ouachita Road 233 - Closed Ouachita Road 234 - Closed
County Road 275 - Closed County Road 83 - Closed County Road 66 - Closed County Road 3 - Closed
County Road 9 - Closed County Road 11 - Closed County Road 76 - Closed County Road 441 - Closed
Ouachita Road 6 - Closed Ouachita Road 43 - Partial Highway 7 North - Impassable from City limits to County line
Ouachita Road 45 - Closed Ouachita Road 67 - Closed Hwy 9 - Use extreme caution Ouachita Road 66 - Closed Ouachita Road 68 - Closed Ouachita Road 86 - Closed County Road 44 - Closed County Road 77 - Closed County Road 205 - Closed.....Sheriff David Norwood advised this morning that if a creek is near a county roadway, it is likely underwater.

UNITED EXPRESS FLIGHT OUT OF HOUSTON, MAKES STOP IN EL DORADO
MAGNOLIA-According to reports, a United Express flight enroute from Houston to Indianapolis made an emergency landing at South Arkansas Regional Airport on Monday night.
The aircraft landed in El Dorado after people reported smelling smoke in the cabin of the aircraft. There were 66 passengers and four crew members aboard. No injuries were reported. Buses were taking the passengers to Little Rock so that they could catch flights on Tuesday morning. The El Dorado Fire Department and other emergency services were dispatched to the airport. There was no emergency evacuation of the aircraft using slides. Instead, a mechanical lift was used to take passengers from the jet's main door to the ground. There is no jetway at the general aviation airport. Bob Birge, director of Corporate Communications for Republic Airways Holdings, issued the following statement on Monday night: “Shuttle America flight 3579, operating as United Express from George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) to Indianapolis International Airport (IND) made a safe landing after diverting to El Dorado, Arkansas. We are working to accommodate our customers to their final destinations. Our maintenance team is investigating the issue,” the statement said. According to the airline tracking site Flight Aware, Flight 3579 -- an Embraer 175 twin-engine jet – had just reached its cruising altitude of 37,000 feet and a speed of about 550 knots at about 8:12 p.m. when it began a rapid descent and a right-hand turn to line up for the emergency landing on Runway 22, touching down at 8:24 p.m. The runway is 6,601 feet long by 150 feet wide – well within the 4,130 feet required for an Embraer 175 to land. An Embraer 175 flown by United Express is normally configured with 76 seats.

SANDBAGS, SIRENS, ON STANDBY IN HOT SPRINGS
HOT SPRINGS – The storms began in Hot Springs on Tuesday afternoon starting off a week of keeping close watch on streams that have a history of flooding downtown. City officials have an array of both high and low tech tools to try and keep the city from flooding. Some of the city's high tech tools are placed at Whittington Creek. It feeds into Hot Springs Creek and is the likely spot a flood will first form. Flood gauges and surveillance cameras help public works officials stay on top of the storm. “We have a unique system partnering with the USGS. We have five stations that actually monitor all of our creeks and stream to see if flooding is about to occur,” said Max Sestili, storm water manager of Hot Springs. In addition to alerts for residents, tourists to the state basketball tournament or to the track will be able to hear if flooding gets dangerous. "We've tested our newly installed siren systems that will alert people if we trigger it that a flood is about to occur." Hot Springs has a history with flooding. The creek tunnel that runs under downtown was severely damaged in 1990. Now, crews keep the creek clear with claw trucks, clearing debris from bridges and other choke points. In addition to the high tech, the city's bags are packed. With sandbags that is. “We've got some predetermined spots downtown that we will actually mobilize them, drop them off and make a public announcement where they can go and that they're there to be picked up," said Denny McPhate, public works director. McPhate says his divisions are ready for whatever these storms may bring this week. He's also crossing his fingers. He says storms in the area usually cycle downtown every 7 to 10 years, and the last major one happened 25 years ago.The sandbags aren't public ally available as they have been in the past. They will be deployed if flooding downtown becomes imminent.

SALINE COUNTY TARGETING DEADBEAT PARENTS
SALINE COUNTY - You may think that falling behind on child support is a victimless crime, but authorities in Saline County disagree. And now, they'll be shaming those deadbeat dads and moms by posting their faces all over social media. "This is not a victimless crime, when we talk about deadbeat moms dead beat dads. It's not a victimless crime at all. The children are the victims,” said Lt. Jeffrey Silk, with the Saline County Sheriff’s Office. For the more than 300 so-called deadbeat dads and moms and the more than 3,000 people with active warrants in Saline County, consider this your fair warning. "We are going to post their pictures, and their bonds, and what they're charged with on our website,” said Silk. And that's not all. The sheriff’s office will also be sharing those mugshots with their 3,000 Facebook followers. "It's really been a game changer, because we can reach thousands of people." Lt. Silk says the issue of deadbeat dads and moms is not a new one in Saline County, but it's consistent. That's what his department is hoping to change. "We always try to fight a little bit harder. Even though we are very objective, we always fight a little bit harder when there's kids involved." Local attorney, Luther Sutter, handles child support disputes. He says the sheriff's office is walking a fine line when it comes to the law. "What the Saline County Sheriff's Office is doing is posting pictures of people who may or may not be guilty of a crime. Simply because you don't pay, doesn't make it a crime. What makes it a crime is when you willfully don't pay it.” All of the information on the website is public record, meaning anyone can request it.  Even still, SCSO says they spent a lot of time ensuring all the information is accurate. "Marcus Earl West, if you're tuning in right now, we urge you to come in and turn yourself in because it won't be long before somebody picks up the phone and lets us know and we will be knocking at your door. So if you'd like to make it easy on yourself just come in and turn yourself in now."

MAN DIES AFTER CRASHING INTO A TREE
SALINE COUNTY, Ark. - A man was killed on Sunday afternoon in a truck crash in Saline County, deputies say. Kevin Carr was driving a 2009 Chevrolet pickup truck when he left the road and struck a tree, according to the Saline County Sheriff's Office. He was pronounced dead at the crash site. The incident took place in the 1500 block of 12th Street in Paron. "Excessive" speed was found to be a factor in the crash, deputies said. 

March 7, 2016

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF"S OFFICE REPORTS
CAMDEN-Deputies with the Ouachita County Sheriff's Office, were dispatched to 107 Sunset Street in reference to a disturbance. Upon arrival, officers made contact with Eliza Rucker, who stated that her boyfriend, Stevie Glosson, came to the residence intoxicated and wanting to talk to her. Rucker stated that she didn't want to talk to him and did not want to be with him anymore, sho she did not have to answer the door. Rucker then stated that Glosson became irate because she wouldn't speak to him. According to reports, Glosson screamed out that he was going to hit the woman, and then broke out one of the bedroom windows, and then left the residence. Rucker was advised that a report would be on file at the Ouachita County Sheriff's Office and of Affidavit and Warrant Procedures.

Recently, Deputies with the Ouachita County Sheriff's Office, were dispatched to 2787 Ouachita 3 for a report of a disturbance between a grandfather and a grandson, who had a baseball bat. According to reports, upon arrival, officers made contact with the reporting person, who stated that he and his grandson, had gotten into an argument. He then stated that his grandson grabbed a baseball bat and acted like he was going to hit him with the bat. The grandfather then stated, that he ran at his grandson to prevent him from swinging the bat. Officers entered the residence and noticed the grandson, with a metal baseball bat in his hands. After officers got him to put the bat down, the grandson was put in hand restraints and transported to the station. Reports suggest that he had an odor of intoxicants coming from him, and threatening to kill people.

SMOKE TEST OF SEWER SYSTEM STARTS TODAY IN NORTHWEST MAGNOLIA
MAGNOLIA-The Magnolia Wastewater System will begin testing on Monday to find breaks and defects in the sewer system. Smoke testing will start in the Western Hills area, including Summit Drive, Amhurst Street, Melrose, the Magnolia Travel Center, North Vine and the Magnolia Apartments on West University.During the test the public may see smoke coming from vent stacks on buildings, or from holes in the ground. The smoke will not be a cause for alarm. The smoke has no odor, is non-toxic, non-staining, does not create a fire hazard, and will dissipate in a few minutes.The public is asked that before smoke tests are conducted in any particular neighborhood, that they pour water into all unused plumbing fixtures. This will seal the drain traps so smoke will not enter a building through the drain. If smoke should enter a building during the test, it probably means that there are defects in the plumbing that could allow dangerous sewer gas to enter. Note the location of the smoke and call Magnolia City Hall at 234-1375 to arrange a meeting with an inspector. Open doors and windows to ventilate any smoke that enters a building. Notify the city before tests are conducted if any of the following conditions exist on your property:
-- Dogs, birds or other pets that will be confined alone in the building during the test.
-- A person who will be alone and is physically handicapped.
-- Any individuals with respiratory problems who will be in the building.
-- Elderly persons who will be alone and might be alarmed or confused if they see smoke.
-- A person that will be sleeping during the test.

CAR ROLLS THROUGH YARDS, COLLIDES WITH HOUSE CORNER ON AMHURST STREET
MAGNOLIA-A driver who may have been experiencing a medical problem rolled through a block-and-a-half of front yards before his vehicle struck the corner of a home on Amhurst Street in Magnolia about 2:45 p.m. Sunday. The driver, whose name is being withheld pending notification of kin, was taken to Magnolia Regional Medical Center by the Columbia County Ambulance Service. The drama began when the male driver of a Nissan Pathfinder, westbound on Summit Drive off North Vine, travelled off the left side of the street and collided with a mailbox in front of the Jimmy Phillips residence. “Just a bunch of noise – banging. I was in the backyard. I finally walked around out there. He evidently got off track right there,” said Phillips, pointing to a nearby real estate sign. The vehicle continued off road for another half block before passing over Shamrock Street. It jumped the curb, flattened a stop sign and rolled through another block of yards – demolishing another set of mailboxes along the way. At the end of the block where Summit Drive forms a “T” intersection with Amhurst, the Pathfinder veered slightly right -- just missing a fire hydrant – and striking a tree and the southeast corner of a house where James Gaines and Lisa Blakemore live with their daughter, Kayla Gaines. “I was in the tub when it happened. It was a big boom through the house,” Kayla Gaines said. “We just heard a big, loud noise,” said Lisa Blakemore. She wasn’t worried about the damage to her house so much as what had happened to the driver – a man Blakemore knows who also lives a few doors down on Amhurst. “I hope he’ll be alright. I’m worried about him. I’m not worried about the house.”

TWO DEATHS IN 2 SOUTH WEST AR COUNTIES COULD BE RELATED
TEXARKANA AR-
The deaths of 2 people within 3 hours in 2 separate Southwest Arkansas counties could be related, area law officers say.Virginia Paulette Seeger, 63, called 911 from her home on County Road 314 shortly before 5 a.m. Saturday, the Lafayette County sheriff's office reports. Deputies found Seeger dead when they arrived at her home. Investigators are not saying the cause of her death, only that someone apparently broke into her home through a side window. Police also say that Seeger's car had been stolen.A few hours later. the Miller County sheriff's office received a call just before 8 a.m. in reference to an alleged attempted home invasion. Police say Trent Ames was asleep in his mother's home on County Road 9, just south of Fouke, Ark., when he reportedly was awakened by someone beating on the glass door of the home. Ames said he went outside to get his gun from his car. Then he spotted the alleged intruder.  According to reports, "I grabbed the gun and turned around," Ames said, "He was running right at me. He was within 10 feet." Ames said that's when he shot the alleged intruder.  Police say the suspect was dead at the scene. The Miller County sheriff's office says Seeger's stolen car was found near Ames' home. Both bodies are being sent to Little Rock for autopsies. Police still are trying to identify the home invasion suspect. 

FORMER TEACHER SENTENCED IN CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CASE
HOTS SPRINGS - A former teacher convicted of possession of child pornography has now been sentenced. Zachary Thomas Nehus, 42, of Hot Springs is to spend three years in prison for each of eight of the counts and 10 years for each count of two of the counts along with recommendations for probation. All counts will run consecutively. A formal imposition of sentencing is set of October 21. Nehus was originally arrested in September 2014 on 30 counts of distributing, possessing or viewing matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child. He was employed by St. John's middle school at the time of his arrest, according to the Attorney General's office.

TWO ARRESTED IN JEFFERSON COUNTY, AFTER DEPUTIES FIND DRUGS IN THE MAIL
JEFFERSON COUNTY AR – The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office arrested two Pine Bluff men after deputies intercepted package deliveries that contained illegal drugs. Anthony Dennis, 27, and James Jones, Jr., 54, were both arrested this year for trafficking drugs. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office arrested Dennis in February after finding a large amount of methamphetamine in a package that was being shipped to a residence in the 2600 block of W. 24th Avenue in Pine Bluff. Deputies stated there was around 1 pound of meth inside the package.  Dennis reportedly ran from deputies in a black Mercedes but was quickly captured. Officials also later found a .40 caliber Glock semi-automatic pistol in the floorboard of his vehicle. Inside Dennis’ residence, deputies confiscated an additional pound of meth, a clear jar containing a dried green leafy vegetable matter, black digital scales, KBI 9mm pistol, stolen Smith & Wesson .40 caliber pistol and a baggie containing a dried green leafy vegetable matter believed to be marijuana. Jones was arrested on March 3 after deputies found him in possession of several pounds marijuana. A package that was accepted by Jones in the 600 block of East 2nd Avenue in Pine Bluff contained around 15.6 pounds of weed, according to JCSO. The package was flagged as suspicious by investigators prior to it being delivered to the East 2nd Avenue home. As deputies were watching it, they witnessed Jones pick it up and put it in the trunk of his vehicle. Investigators arrested him shortly after during a traffic stop. Dennis is charged with Possession with Purpose Methamphetamine, Possession of Firearm by Certain Person and Simultaneous Possession of Drugs & Firearms. He is being held at the W.C. “Dub” Brassell Adult Detention Center on a $10,000 secure bond. Jones was also taken to the DBDC and is charged with Possession of Controlled Substance with Purpose to Schedule VI.

AR MAN ARRESTED FOR TATTOOING TWO TEENAGE GIRLS
HOT SPRINGS – Hot Springs police arrested a man on Wednesday for illegal tattooing practices. According to the Hot Springs Police Department, Hubert “Aaron” Samuel Evans, 34, of Hot Springs, was arrested after allegedly tattooing two teenage girls out of his home on Rector Street. While responding to a disturbance at the home on May 12, 2015, police discovered body art tools and two girls, 14 and 15, who reported being tattooed by Evans. Police confirmed with the Arkansas Department of Health that Evans is neither licensed by the state of Arkansas to perform body art nor is his home a licensed facility.  He faces one count of performing body art in an unlicensed facility and two counts of unlawful performance of body art on a person under 18 years of age. Police reports state that Evans was released on a $4,500 bond and is set to appear in the Garland County District Court on March 18.

March 4, 2016

HOPE WOMAN ARRESTED FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT
HOPE, Ark.– The Hope Police Department has arrested a woman for reportedly having inappropriate contact with a student. On Wednesday, investigators took 37-year-old Kristie Brown of Hope for three counts of first degree sexual assault. Police stated that they believe she was acting as a substitute teacher at the school at the time of the offense. The arrest was the result of an ongoing investigation into allegations that Brown had inappropriate contact with a high school student. Brown was booked in at the Hempstead County Detention Facility and is awaiting her first court appearance. The Hope Police Department has requested the assistance of the Arkansas State Police in the investigation.

TWO INJURED AFTER HSU PLANE CRASH
ARKADELPHIA, Ark. - A Henderson State University airplane rolled over at the Dexter B. Florence Memorial Field airport on Thursday, injuring two, officials say. The Arkadelphia Police Department responded to the incident and said that the investigation was turned over to the Federal Aviation Administration. An aviation student onboard was treated for minor injuries at the airport, and the flight instructor was taken to a local hospital for observation and later released, officials said. Henderson State University said the aircraft (Maule MXT-7-180A) was forced to land upside down on the runway. "A sudden, strong crosswind blew the aircraft off the centerline as it was touching down. The rain-softened ground caused the plane to land on its back," the university said. The Dexter B. Florence Memorial Field is south of Arkadelphia.

 NEARY 200 DOGS RESCUED FROM SUSPECTED PUPPY MILL
MADISON COUNTY, Ark. – Nearly 200 puppies and dogs were rescued from a suspected puppy mill in Arkansas. 5NEWS reports the Humane Society of the United States and the Madison County Sheriff's Office rescued the dogs and puppies Thursday from a property near Elkins. The owner, Joyce Johnson, surrendered the animals to the sheriff's office and is facing two misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty.  She is said to have been booked on the charges and released on her own recognizance. Officials said the dogs were transported to the Saline County Humane Society, where they are being examined and will receive immediate medical treatment. Other groups that assisted in the rescue include the Madison County pet shelter, Animal League of Washington County and Jones Mobile Veterinary Service. 5NEWS reported that five dogs were found dead during the raid. The HSUS has established a reward program to offer up to $5,000 to anyone who provides any information leading to the arrest and conviction of a puppy mill operator for animal cruelty. Persons wishing to report a valid tip are encouraged to call 1-877-MILL-TIP and will remain anonymous.

BOIL ORDER IN BEARDEN
CAMDEN-According to Ouachita County Judge, Robbie McAdoo, the City Limits of Bearden is under a boil order until further notice due a major 6 inch line busted close to the high school. Boil order in place until further notice. The Bearden water department will have the Department of Health to test the water for approval to remove the order.

TEXARKANA WOMAN KILLED IN HIT-AND-RUN
TEXARKANA-Arkansas State Police are investigating a hit-and-run accident that left a Texarkana, Ark. woman dead early Thursday morning, Casey McCarley, 35, of Texarkana, Ark.Casey McCarley, 35, of Texarkana, Ark., was struck and killed by a 2000 GMC pickup traveling north on County Road 22, according to a fatal crash report. Lucas McCarley has been arrested on charges of negligent homicide, felony possession of a controlled substance, felony drug paraphernalia and DWI, according to information from Miller County Sheriff’s Office. According to the report the accident happened at 12:57 a.m. at the intersection of Miller County Road 22 and 249. According to jail records Lucas McCarley was checked into Miller County Jail at 9:57 a.m. Thursday. The report indicates that an active investigation is pending.

March 2, 2016

TWO TEENS PLEAD NOT GUILTY TO RAPE AT HOT SPRINGS SCHOOL
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) - Two 14-year-old boys have pleaded not guilty to rape charges in the alleged sexual assault of a girl in the field house at Lakeside High School. The Sentinel-Record reports (http://bit.ly/1To06ze ) the two entered the pleas Tuesday in juvenile court and that both remain in custody at the Garland County Juvenile Detention Center. The boys were arrested Friday after the girl told police that she was in the field house on Feb. 24 when the boys forced her into a girls' locker room, turned off the lights, held her down and sexually assaulted her. Lakeside Superintendent Shawn Cook said Tuesday that stronger security measures are planned for the campus, including two full-time police officers and more security cameras.

SAU TECH: WELDING ACADEMY COMPETITION
Southern Arkansas University Tech is pleased to announce the dates for its annual Welding Academy Competition. The SAUT Welding Academy, located in Magnolia, Arkansas inside the Harvey Couch Business Park, will be hosting a welding skills competition on Saturday, April 2, 2016. The annual event will begin at 10:00 a.m. and finish around 3:00 p.m. First prize is a full tuition scholarship to the SAUT Welding Academy, second prize is a Victor Journeyman Torch kit and third prize is a Miller Pro Hobby Auto Darkening Welding Hood. The entry fee is $25 and includes lunch. The event is open to all ages. For more information call 870.390.0353.

CLINTON FAVORED IN ARKANSAS; TOPS SANDERS
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton topped Bernie Sanders in the Arkansas Primary General Election on Tuesday. The former secretary of state and first lady had been ahead in multiple polls prior to the election. She was in Arkansas campaigning on Sunday at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.  Sanders did not make any campaign stops in Arkansas. 

March 1, 2016

CAMDEN DRIVER DIES IN WRECK ON ARKANSAS 9
MAGNOLIA-A Camden woman was killed Sunday morning in a one-vehicle wreck on Arkansas 9, north of U.S. 79 in Ouachita County. According to a preliminary Arkansas State Police report, Marnie Rowe, 44, was driving a 2007 model Dodge Nitro north on Arkansas 9 about 8:42 a.m. Rowe lost control and crossed the center line, traveled off the roadway and into a ditch. The car collided with a driveway embankment, went airborne and hit two trees, before finally coming to rest overturned in the ditch. Rowe was pronounced dead at the scene. No one else was in the vehicle. The weather was clear and the road was dry. Senior Cpl. Billy Walker investigated the accident for the Arkansas State Police.

AR MAN WHO TOOK 2-YEAR-OLD TURNS HIMSELF IN
PINE BLUFF - According to Lt. Price with the Pine Bluff Police Department, an Arkansas man who was being sought for taking the two-year-old child of his estranged girlfriend turned himself in on Monday evening. Police believe David Lee Bailey took the toddler Saturday, February 27. Officials have not confirmed whether Bailey is the biological father of the two-year-old. He faces charges of interfering with child custody. Reports state that the child was returned safe and unharmed to his mother.

NLR POLICE ARREST TWO MEN AFTER HUMAN TRAFFICKING INVESTIGATION
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark.-- Two men were arrested Saturday after a human trafficking investigation involving two juvenile women. Jerry Nutt, 41, was arrested for Rape and Trafficking of Persons by the Little Rock Police on warrants out of North Little Rock. The investigation also led to the arrest of Tavaris Candy, 28, of North Little Rock by North Little Rock Police. He was charged with Trafficking of Persons. Reports suggest that both men are now in the Pulaski County Jail.

TWO14-YEAR-OLDS ARRESTED AFTER RAPE IN HOT SPRINGS LOCKER ROOM
HOT SPRINGS- Hot Springs police are investigating an alleged rape on the Lakeside High School campus. According to Cpl. Kirk Zaner, a 16-year-old female at the school reported that two males approached her while she was inside the field house Wednesday after school hours, and forced her into the girls' locker room. He said that once they were in the girls' locker room, the males are said to have turned the lights off and forcefully sexually assaulted her. Parents were notified on Monday and for them, it's a shock to hear that this happened in their district. “As a parent, that scares me, ya know? That’s really crazy," said Shawn Gallagher, a former Lakeside parent. The Lakeside School District is ranked among the top five schools in the state according to U.S. News. Parents never imagined that a sexual assault incident would happen in this particular school. “I was shocked. You never know that it's going to happen in your district...What were they thinking? Why? Why? I don't understand, it's heartbreaking," said Diana DeFroe who has two girls that attend Lakeside. Though parents are concerned, they have faith in the district. “It's a really good school, I mean they care about the kids," said DeFroe.The two 14-year-old boys were arrested Friday and booked into the Garland County Juvenile Detention Center without bond.  

A statement from Lakeside School District read as follows: A high school female student reported to Lakeside Administration Thursday morning that she had been sexually assaulted by two male high school students on campus, Wednesday after school. Administration notified police immediately. The two male high school students presently are not on campus. At this time matters are being handled by the Hot Springs Police Department. For privacy issues, Lakeside School District will not release any student information. 

TIME TO GET HEALTHY
CAMDEN-Get your team together for Walk Across Ouachita County, the eight week program that gets you up and moving. Gather a team of 4-6 members and record the minutes you exercise each day. The team with the most minutes wins! Kick off starts March 14th at the Ouachita County Extension Office at 1 PM. Register your team by March 9th. For team packets, call 870-231-1160 or email awilson@uaex.edu.

February 29, 2016

FIGHT IN DETENTION CENTER LEADS TO INVESTIGATION; OFFICER RESIGNATION
CAMDEN-On February 24th, an incident occurred between an Arkansas Department of Corrections inmate and Ouachita County Detention Officer. The inmate is at Ouachita County on the ACT 309 program, which allows state inmates to work at local Detention Centers, for a period of time. The inmate and Detention Officer got into a physical altercation in the jail area. The inmate was immediately locked down and an investigation in to the incident was started. During that process, it was found that the inmate and Detention Officer had an inappropriate relationship. Immediately upon Ouachita County CID finding this out, Arkansas State Police and Arkansas Department of Corrections were contacted to assist the investigation. During the course of the investigation, it was found that the Detention Officer had taken the inmate from the jail facility on at least four separate occasions without authorization. During the course of the investigation, the Detention Officer resigned from the Ouachita County Detention Center, charges are pending. On February 26th, Ouachita County Detention Center voluntarily suspended the ACT 309 program temporarily until the incident is reviewed by the ACT 309 oversight committee.

GOV. ASA HUTCHINSON: HEALTH OFFICIALS ON GUARD FOR ZIKA VIRUS
MAGNOLIA-Weekly column written for Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson: There have been a lot of questions surrounding the recent outbreak of Zika virus. As governor, I value the health and safety of all Arkansans and want to do my part to provide people with information about how to help prevent the virus from spreading. The Arkansas Department of Health is working to promote greater awareness of Zika, evaluating people who may have been exposed to Zika and working with national experts, including the Center for Disease Control, to stay up-to-date on the latest information. The Department of Health is also studying mosquitos in various parts of the state to see where to best direct mosquito control efforts. In Arkansas we have had only one case, and that was from someone who traveled to an area where Zika infections are occurring. We have not had any evidence of Zika spreading in Arkansas. Here’s what we know about Zika virus: In May 2015, Zika first appeared in Brazil. Since then, it has spread to Central and South America, as well as to the Caribbean. Zika virus is spread mainly through mosquito bites. The primary symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain and red, itchy eyes. These symptoms are usually mild and last up to a week. However, many people who become infected with Zika virus experience no symptoms at all. Zika poses the greatest risk to unborn babies of mothers who become infected with the virus. There is evidence suggesting Zika is linked to birth defects, so women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should take precautions and avoid traveling to areas where Zika is present. Here’s what you can do to prevent the spread of Zika virus in your hometown: As the weather gets warmer and mosquitos become more rampant, use insect repellants containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus. When outside, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants. When indoors, make sure your window and door screens are keeping mosquitos out. Also, empty standing water near your home from containers like flowerpots or buckets to prevent mosquitos from breeding. For more information about Zika virus and what you can do to help prevent it from spreading, please visit cdc.gov/zika or call the Arkansas Department of Health at (501) 661-2000.

MAGNOLIA PANTHERS WIN THIRD STRAIGHT 5A-1A AR SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIP
MAGNOLIA-The Magnolia Panthers boys’ swim team won its third consecutive Arkansas Activities Association Championship on Saturday in Bentonville.
Magnolia competes against the nine other schools in Classes 5A through 1A that have swimming teams. The Lady Panthers finished fifth statewide – their best state championship finish ever. The four Lady Panthers seniors -- Taylor Eddy, Suzannah Neal, Macey Westfall -- along with sophomore Rylee Barnett, placed 3rd in their 200 free relay with a best time of 1:54.50. Their 400 free relay placed 4th overall with a time of 4:19.20. The Panthers won the 5A-1A State Championship thanks to strong performances in relays. For Magnolia, the meet started off with the relay of freshman Carter Pyle, senior Grady Jennings, senior Charlie Taylor and junior Aaron Hartsfield swimming the 200 medley relay and placing first overall with a best time of 1:45.46. In the 50 free, senior Charlie Taylor swam a personal best time of 22.29 placing 2nd in the state, and junior Aaron Hartsfield swam a personal best time of 22.61 placing 3rd in the state. Charlie Taylor swam his signature stroke in the 100 butterfly with a second personal best with a time of 53.68 placing 2nd in the state. Aaron Hartsfield swam his personal best time of 51.07 in the 100 free, placing 2nd in the state. In the same event, senior Grady Jennings swam his personal best with a time of 52.40, placing 3rd in the state. The 200 free relay was the next event, led by Grady Jennings with a split time of 23.64. He was followed by junior Patrick Daniel with a split time of 25.79, Aaron Hartsfield with a split time of 22.63, and anchored by senior Charlie Taylor with his final swim of his high school career, with a personal best relay split of 21.63. Their relay placed 1st in the state with an overall time of 1:33.99, dropping 2.34 seconds off their best time. Senior Grady Jennings swam his final event of his high school season in the 100 breaststroke, where he finished his best stroke with a best time of 1:03.42, finishing 3rd in the state. The final event of the meet was the 400 free relay where senior Curt Jennings led the team on his final swim of his high school season, followed by sophomore Epi Torres, Patrick Daniel and anchored by sophomore David Cheng. Their 3rd place finish in this event finalized the 2016 championship of the Magnolia Panthers. Scoring 211 total points, the Panthers are the 5A-1A state champions for the 3rd year in a row, but within the entire 7A-1A boys state swimming the boys finished 3rd, placing behind Bentonville and Central High School. Coach Kathleen Dingman said, "The seniors of 2016, Josh Hight, Curt Jennings, Grady Jennings, Charlie Taylor, Casey Wilson and Wesley Wilson leave behind a tradition that future Panther swimmers will work to achieve for many years to come.”

February 26, 2016

CAMDEN PURSUIT LEADS TO ARREST
CAMDEN- In 2015, felony warrants were obtained for Zacoby Miller (22) for Domestic Battery, and Theft of Firearm and his parole status list him as an absconder. On February 22nd 2016 investigators were made aware of Miller staying at 1630 Laurie Street. A search warrant was obtained for the house, and on this date investigators, including Camden PD and Drug Task Force, were in the process of serving the vehicle , when Miller was noticed in a vehicle. Officers tried to conduct a traffic stop on Miller, driving a 2008 Ford Taurus, but he refused to stop, and led officers on a vehicle pursuit for approximately four miles before he was stopped. Miller resisted when officers were trying to place him in handcuffs. As a result of Miller failing to yield to emergency vehicles, he is being additionally charged with felony fleeing, resisting arrest, and possession of marijuana with purpose to deliver. James Hopson, passenger in the vehicle, was also taken into custody on a parole warrant.

STATE POLICE COMMISSON TO CONVENE IN CALLED MEETING
The Arkansas State Police Commission will convene in a special called meeting at 2 PM today (Friday, February 26, 2016). A telephone conference call connecting Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the commissioners will originate from the Director’s Office at One State Police Plaza Drive, Little Rock. The purpose of the meeting is to consider affirmative job action involving a probationary State Trooper.

LITTLE RIVER COUNTY COUPLE FOUND DEAD
MAGNOLIA-A Little River County couple, James and Barbara Judd, was found dead Tuesday in their home in an apparent murder-suicide, according to Sheriff Gary Gregory. At approximately 12:10 p.m. Tuesday, the Little River County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from a person who informed the dispatcher that if deputies responded to 1001 Highway 32 East, they would encounter two dead bodies. According to Little River County Sheriff’s Office, investigators Dave Hall and Tyler Schlomer along with Sheriff Gary Gregory, and Chief Deputy Alex Mathis, alongside the Arkansas State Police, and the county prosecutors responded to the location. On arrival deputies discovered two bodies, both having sustained gunshot wounds to the head. Taped to the front door was a note presumably written by the male inside which led the deputies to believe that this incident was a possible murder-suicide. The 911 call that was received is believed to have been made by Mr. Judd. James and Barbara Judd were found deceased in their bedroom inside the mobile home, both from apparent gunshot wounds to the head.Read more of this article at TXKtoday.com .

FORMER GOV. MIKE HUCKABEE'S DAUGHTER JOINS TRUMP CAMPAIGN
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Former Gov. Mike Huckabee's daughter has joined Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's campaign team, Trump announced on Thursday.  Sarah Huckabee Sanders will serve as a senior advisor to Trump.  She released the following statement: "I volunteered to join Mr. Trump’s campaign because he is a champion of working families; not Washington-Wall Street elites. Like the other Republican candidates, Mr. Trump is pro-life, pro-marriage and will appoint conservatives to the courts. What makes Mr. Trump my choice for president is he will break the grip of the donor class on our government and make it accountable to working families again. I’m honored to help Mr. Trump Make America Great Again.” Trump said, “I have great respect for Gov. Mike Huckabee, and we have a mutual admiration for our wonderful families. It is great to have his daughter, Sarah, join the campaign." 

COLUMBIA COUNTY SCAM
MAGNOLIA-The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office has warned the public about a billing scam.
A Taylor resident informed the Sheriff’s Office about a call from the telephone number (870) 533-5200. The caller said that the citizen's water bill had not been paid and would be shut off if the bill wasn't paid, and the citizen needed to call (202) 787-1134 with credit card information immediately to pay the late bill. “This is a scam. Your local water company does not contact you via telephone requesting your credit card information. Please also keep in mind that the scammer could have 'spoofed' the number that showed up on the caller ID. Please do not fall victim to these types of scams,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement

February 25, 2016

FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMIN. ANNOUNCES $1 MILLION IN EMERGENCY RELIEF FOR FLOOD-DAMAGED ROADS AND BRIDGES IN ARKANSAS
WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced the immediate availability of $1 million in emergency relief funds from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to the Arkansas Department of Highway and Transportation Department (AHDT) to help repair roads and bridges damaged by heavy rains and flooding last month. “Emergency relief funding will help Arkansas begin to recover from the widespread damage caused by last month’s storms,” said Secretary Foxx. “We understand how important it is to get these roads repaired and reopened so life there can return to normal as soon as possible.” Storms producing heavy rain in late December and most of January caused severe flooding throughout the western half of the state. “Arkansans should know that the funds provided today are just a down payment on what we know will be many other repairs to the highways that they rely heavily upon,” said Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau. “As the extent of damage becomes clearer, we won’t hesitate to make additional resources available.” The state will receive $1 million in initial, or “quick release,” funds to begin important repair work, make further damage assessments, and to restore road access to normal. Preliminary damages are estimated at more than $4.5 million, though that figure could grow as new information becomes available The FHWA’s Emergency Relief program provides funding for highways and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events.

TRUMP, CRUZ, RUBIO HEADED FOR SHOWDOWN IN AR
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Raucous crowds have greeted Donald Trump during rallies in The Natural State.  Now, he's trying to turn that enthusiasm into victory. "From day one, people have underestimated him," said Skip Rutherford, Dean of the Clinton School of Public Service.   But Trump is up against stiff competition for Arkansas voters. During a Wednesday press conference at the capitol, 18 state lawmakers threw their support behind the campaign of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. "We've got a movement," said State Rep. Bob Ballinger, R-Hindsville, Cruz's Arkansas state co-chair.  "We've got a candidate that's come together, that's produced a lot of individuals that are really excited about getting involved." Among the three top presidential contenders, Cruz is thought to have the biggest and most active network of grassroots supporters in Arkansas. Meanwhile, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, has racked up the endorsements of 31 state legislators and Gov. Asa Hutchinson. An email from Rubio's regional spokesman on Wednesday said the campaign is  counting on that long list of influential supporters to "talk with their constituents, neighbors and friends to help get out the vote." Negative ads targeting Trump are also hitting local airwaves this week. "It hadn't worked in the other states," Rutherford said. Trump is said to have set a record with a crowd at Barton Coliseum for a rally earlier this month and campaign officials say he's primed for a good day March 1. "There's so many volunteers in each area that have signed up to either block walk or make phone calls," said Trump National Spokesperson Katrina Pierson.  She said volunteers will be "talking with voters to find out what's important to them and talk about Mr. Trump's policies." Rutherford says Trump is relying on an influx of new voters showing up to the polls who so far are drawn to his style and are not deterred by the attacks against him. 

MAINTENANCE WORKER DIES ELEVATOR CAB CRUSHES HIM AT UAMS
LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- On Wednesday, A man died, after an elevator cab crushed him at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn said Brent Hutchins, 32, was performing routine maintenance on an elevator in the hospital's Central Building when the cab came down and struck him. The accident is being investigated by his employer, Shindler Elevators & Escalators, as well as the Department of Labor.  Rahn notes that all elevators at UAMS are "safe, licensed, and routinely inspected." He said, "This is a tragedy and I ask that you please keep Brent’s family and his co-workers in your thoughts and prayers."

SAU TECH ARKANSAS COUNCIL FOR WOMEN IN HIGHER ED
SAU Tech’s Arkansas Council for Women in Higher Education (ACWHE) and the Ouachita and Calhoun County Single Parent Scholarship Board are hosting guest speakers from UAMS during a fundraiser luncheon on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 from 11:45 am to 1 pm in the Student Center. Lunch is included in the $10 attendance fee and can be paid at the door or in advance. The program is focused on stroke awareness for women. For more information call 870.574.4507 or email dbeasley@sautech.edu.

RETIRED AR JUDGE ASSIGNED TO HOT CAR DEATH CASE
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) - The chief justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court has assigned a judge to preside over the case of a suspended judge who is charged in his son's death. The Sentinel-Record (http://bit.ly/1STSxzQ ) reports that retired Circuit Judge John Langston will preside over Division 2 Circuit Judge Wade Naramore's trial. Naramore was arrested Feb. 11 in connection with the July 2015 death of his 18-month-old son, Thomas. He is charged with negligent homicide. Arrest records say Naramore forgot to drop off his son at day care and left him in the back seat of a hot car for about five hours. The boy was pronounced dead at the scene. Naramore faces up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine if convicted. Arkansas' judicial discipline and disability commission suspended him with pay last week.

WORK WILL SOON START ON U.S. 79; RESURFACING SOUTH OF EMERSON
The Arkansas State Highway Commission has approved a bid for improvements to a roadway in Columbia County, according to Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) officials.
The purpose of this project is to resurface 6 miles of U.S. 79 between the Louisiana State Line and Arkansas 98 in Emerson. Jet Asphalt & Rock Company, Inc. of El Dorado was awarded the contract at $1,298,943.23. Construction is scheduled to begin in two to four weeks, weather permitting. Completion is expected in mid-2016.

February 23, 2016

CADC TO DO MASS INTAKE AT CARNES PARK IN CAMDEN
CAMDEN-According to Camden Mayor, Marie Trisollini, this Thursday – February 25th From 8 AM until 12 Noon at Carnes Park CADC will be doing mass intake for people with a SHUT OFF NOTICE on their utilities. The Shut Off needs to be happening with in 7 days of that date. The person needing help will need to bring: Both Electric & Gas Bill (for verification purposes) Photo ID Proof of Income for the Month of January.

WOMAN 'INCOMPETENT' TO BE TRIED AS EX-SON IN LAWS MURDERER
MAGNOLIA-A 53-year-old Texarkana woman accused of shooting her former son-in-law to death last July has been found incompetent to stand trial. Anne Fisher is charged with first degree murder in the July 22 shooting death of Russell Scott Cain, 28, in Bowie County. Fisher appeared with Mount Pleasant, Texas, lawyer Mark Lesher for a pretrial hearing Monday morning before 5th District Judge Bill Miller. Miller, Lesher and Assistant District Attorney Lauren Richards discussed what to do next in the case now that a psychologist has determined Fisher isn’t currently fit to proceed in her criminal case. Richards said she is preparing an order for Miller to sign which will commit Fisher to a maximum security mental facility. The closest state hospital with maximum security is in Rusk, Texas. Miller said he wants the order to contain a ruling from the court that Fisher has to take any medication prescribed for her by doctors. Once she is returned to competency, the case will move forward, Miller said.

TWO INJURED IN PINE BLUFF SHOOTING
PINE BLUFF, Ark. - Two people were injured in a shooting Monday at a Pine Bluff apartment complex in broad daylight. The Pine Bluff Police Department said the first victim, a 19-year-old man, was returning to his home at Aikman Apartments around 11:50 a.m. when two suspects followed him into the complex and shot at him. The suspects were described by police as black men in a white car. The gunfire struck the victim in his upper body. According to police, he was taken to a local hospital and underwent surgery His condition is unknown at this time.  Pine Bluff police said a second victim, identified as a 51-year-old woman who also lives at the apartments, was struck in the hand by the suspects' gunfire. She was not involved with the incident, according to authorities. She was also taken to a local hospital for treatment. According to neighbors, the woman was in her car during the shooting. The car has three bullet holes. While police investigate a motive for the shooting, several neighbors said they will look for a new place to live. Anyone with information on the shooting in encouraged to contact the Pine Bluff Police Department at (870) 730-2090. 

SALINE COUNTY LOTTERY PLAYER WINS $2,000,000
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (News Release) - Steve DePriest from Benton is $2,000,000 richer after winning the prize in the latest Arkansas Scholarship Lottery’s Play it Again drawing. Steve purchased ticket at Murphy USA on i-30 in Benton. Steve entered the non-winning $20 - $2,000,000 Gold Rush game ticket into his free ASL PIA Rewards Club account.  On February 22nd his ticket was drawn to win the prize. Steve told his co-worker first (he wanted to surprise his wife with the news).  Steve’s initial reaction when he was notified of his win was he didn’t believe it, saying that his friends often play pranks on him and he believed that this was just one of those pranks. Steve said he intends to soak the whole thing in for a little while before deciding what to do with this (his) fantastic prize.  Steve’s birthday is tomorrow, so Happy Birthday Steve! (photo attached) The ASL PIA Free Rewards Club Promotional Program information can be found at myarkansaslottery.com, just click on The Club to join.

RUBIO GETS ENDORSEMENT FROM ARKANSAS GOVERNOR
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson is throwing his support behind fellow Republican Marco Rubio in the presidential race. Hutchinson announced his endorsement of the U.S. senator from Florida on Monday afternoon. Rubio made a campaign stop in Arkansas on Sunday. “The more I’ve watched this election unfold, the more I’ve come to see that Marco Rubio is the only candidate who can unite our nation the way Ronald Reagan once did," said Hutchinson. "Not only is Marco uniquely capable of rallying Americans behind a conservative vision for the future, but he also fully understands what it takes to keep us safe in this dangerous world. I am endorsing Marco Rubio for president today because we need his optimism and strength in the White House."

ROOF REPLACEMENT UNDERWAY AT EAST-SIDE POOL IN MAGNOLIA
MAGNOLIA-Workers began removing the roof from the East Side Part swimming pool last week.
The roof will be replaced thanks to $29,900 authorized by the Magnolia Advertising and Promotion Commission last year. The City of Magnolia is spending an additional $20,000 for pumps, chlorinators and restroom improvements. The pool building was constructed in 1959 with laminated wooden beams made by what was then Magnolia-based Unit Structures. The unusual, jagged-shaped roof deteriorated, and the city decided that the building could not be used until the roof was replaced.

February 22, 2016

SCAMMERS SEND TEXTS TO BANK CUSTOMERS
GARLAND COUNTY, Ark. - Scammers targeted several bank customers in Garland County through texts this week. According to the sheriff's office, hundreds of texts were sent out Tuesday night with a link to what appears to be Southern Bank Corp. The text asks for your username and password. The sheriff's office says this is a scam.

POWERBALL JACKPOT INCREASES
Powerball’s jackpot rolled over to $236 million ($156.3 million cash value) on Saturday night as no one picked the winning lottery numbers, which were: 11-12-15-16-54, Powerball 25. Power Play 5x. Oklahoma had one Match 5 winner with the Power Play option, worth $2 million. There were Match 5 winners of $1 million each in the states of California, Connecticut, Georgia, New York, Virginia and Wisconsin. The next Powerball drawing is Wednesday night. Tuesday’s Mega Millions drawing is worth $114 million ($75 million cash value). Numbers drawn Friday night: 2-27-41-50-75, Mega Ball 4. Megaplier 4x.

CRUZ CAMPAIGN COMING BACK TO ARKANSAS
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Ted Cruz is coming back to Arkansas. The Cruz campaign will be in Arkansas next Sunday, February 28th, two days before the primary. This will be the Cruz campaign's third stop in Arkansas. Cruz finished third in the South Carolina primary behind Donald Trump and Marco Rubio. The exact time and location are still to be determined.

HOT SPRINGS MAN DIES IN SINGLE VEHICLE ACCIDENT
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (KTHV) - A single-car accident on Park Avenue in Hot Springs left one man dead on Saturday. According to Corporal Kirk Zaner with the Hot Springs Police Department, the accident happened at around 4 p.m. on Saturday, February 20. The driver, 77 year-old Alton Blocker, was reportedly traveling eastbound on Park Avenue when he drove into a ditch. His vehicle then nose dived, causing it to spin out on to the road. It eventually ended up back in the ditch, landing on the driver's side. Blocker was not wearing his seatbelt at the time of the accident and was partially ejected. He was pronounced dead at the scene. No other details have been released at this time.

JOPLIN MISSOURI ACCIDENT CLAIMS ARKANSAS WOMAN'S LIFE
JOPLIN, Mo. - A car accident in Missouri claimed the life of a Hot Springs woman on Saturday.  In Joplin, Mo., 21-year-old Ali Arguello of Hot Springs died when the car she was riding in left the road at the intersection of Interstate 44 and Missouri Highway 249. According to police, her car rolled down an embankment. The others in the car included driver Sophia Waller of Fayetteville and Lauren Rowell of Texas, who both went to a hospital with minor injuries.

ERIN ANDREWS CIVIL TRIAL UPDATE
NASHVILLE — FOX Sports reporter and television personality Erin Andrews is returning to Nashville, but this time, she is coming to a courtroom. Andrews' negligence lawsuit against a Marriott hotel, in which she's seeking $75 million, is set for a civil trial beginning Monday. In 2008 Andrews visited Nashville to cover a Vanderbilt University football game. In her lawsuit, filed two years later, Andrews accuses the hotel and others of allowing David Barrett, then 50, to book rooms next to hers, rig peepholes and film videos of her changing clothes. Court documents say Barrett then posted those videos on the Internet. Andrews is suing Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt University, Windsor Capital Group and Barrett. Her lawsuit accuses the Marriott of negligence, infliction of emotional distress and invasion of privacy. Andrews also sued Marriott International, but Circuit Court Judge Hamilton Gayden dismissed claims against the hotel giant in late January, saying that among other reasons, the franchiser was not responsible for security at a local hotel. The hotel chain released a statement via its attorney, Elizabeth Tipping, expressing sympathy for Andrews' ordeal and noting it was a third party who was responsible. The statement continues: "As we have maintained since this matter first came to our attention, however, Marriott International was not responsible for what happened to Ms. Andrews, and we are pleased that the Court has dismissed Marriott International from the case. Marriott International continues to be sensitive to the serious nature of this matter and remains committed to the safety and comfort of our guests." Barrett was arrested in 2009, pleaded guilty to stalking and shooting the nude videos and was sentenced in 2010 to 30 months in prison. He now lives in Oregon. The jury trial is expected to last 10 days. Much of the pretrial work, including motions that could reveal more details about the case, have been filed under seal. It will be heard before Gayden. Jury selection begins at 9 a.m. Monday.

February 19, 2016

AGFC GETS NEW DIRECTOR
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission unanimously approved a new director on Thursday afternoon, officials say. Jeff Crow, former deputy director, was named as the new director, the commission said. He will take the new promotion on July 1 as the current director, Mike Knoedl, retires.  “I’m very humbled by the commission’s decision, but I also am very confident moving forward,” Crow said. “The direction and support this commission has given Director Knoedl and myself gives me that confidence. The staff of the AGFC are like none other in their passion and dedication, and I think we are really poised to continue this agency’s momentum in managing the natural resources of the state for the people of Arkansas.”

AR POLICE LOOK INTO SEVIER COUNTY JAIL INMATE DEATH
DE QUEEN, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas State Police are investigating the death of a Sevier County inmate. The Texarkana Gazette (http://bit.ly/24ep2MU ) reports that 37-year-old Randi Wolfe died Feb. 13, two days after becoming unresponsive while at the Sevier County Jail. Little River County Sheriff Gary Gregory says Wolfe had been arrested Feb. 9 near Foreman on a charge of residential burglary. She allegedly stole medication pills from a home. Wolf was housed in the Sevier County jail because the Little River County jail doesn't incarcerate females. Sevier County Investigator Robert Gentry says Wolfe was transported to a local hospital. Her condition became worse after she was airlifted to a medical center in Little Rock. State police sent the body to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

LOCKHEED SAYS WITHDRAWS PROTEST OF OSHKOSH CONTRACT
Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) on Wednesday said it had withdrawn its protest in federal court of a $6.75 billion contract awarded by the U.S. Army to Oshkosh Corp (OSK.N) for 17,000 new armored vehicles to replace the Humvee.
Lockheed spokesman John Kent said the company decided to withdraw its lawsuit from the U.S. Court of Federal Claims after "careful deliberation," but gave no further details. Lockheed's decision followed the court's decision last week to deny a Lockheed motion seeking to halt any work by Oshkosh on the new trucks while the protest was being reviewed. Oshkosh on Friday said it would resume work on the new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) trucks after the court's decision. Wilson Jones, the company's chief executive officer, said the court's decision was "another indication that the U.S. Army conducted a thorough, methodical procurement process." Lockheed had argued that the U.S. Army's evaluation of the competing bids was flawed because it assessed the reliability of the rival vehicles using different standards. It was not immediately clear why the company withdrew its lawsuit, its second attempt to reverse the U.S. contract award. The Government Accountability Office, the congressional agency that rules on contract protests, dismissed Lockheed's protest in December after the company announced its plan to take the matter to federal court. One source familiar with the case the GAO had been poised to reject Lockheed's protest before it decided to file a lawsuit in federal court, and the federal claims court only very rarely reversed a decision made by the GAO.

February 18, 2016

EARNEST GREEN SPEAKS AT BLACK HISTORY CELEBRATION
Tonight, Southern Arkansas University Tech, honored Black History month with another great Black History Celebration Banquet. This year, Camden's College hosted the event at its new Student Center Grand Hall. The banquet brought out many citizens from Camden, including business owners, senators, and both city and county officials. Many from other parts of the Natural State, also attended the event. Attendees were not only provided a good meal by Woods Place, but also heard from guest speaker, Earnest Green. Green, on of the Little Rock Nine, spoke his experiences at Little Rock Central High School, and the impact that it made on the world, over 50 years later. When asked what he hoped the audience took away from his speech, Green said "I hope they understood what went into being a member of the Little Rock Nine, the amount of energy and support we had from our families, friends, and people like Daisey Bates...tonight was a huge turnout". During the evening, Farmers Bank & Trust and Highland Industrial Park were awarded for sponsoring the event.

TEMPORARY SUSPENSION GRANTED AGAINST GARLAND COUNTY JUDGE
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - A temporary suspension with pay has been granted against a Garland County Circuit Judge accused of negligent homicide in the hot car death of his son, court records state.  The Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission voted on Tuesday to recommend the suspension. Circuit Judge Wade Naramore, 36, was booked into the Garland County Detention Center on February 11 and released shortly after on a $5,000 bond. The body of 18-month-old Thomas Naramore was found late in the afternoon on July 24, 2015. His cause of death was ruled to have been from "excessive heat." Naramore said he will not contest the commission's vote. For more information on the case, click here

MURDER CHARGE FOR AMITY WOMAN
ARKADELPHIA, Ark. - One month after what police say was a failed suicide attempt, an Amity woman has been charged with murder in the death of her grandchild. Hilda Daves, 49, is also charged with attempted murder and battery in the January 17 incident. She was arrested on Tuesday. The Clark County Sheriff's Office (CCSO) says it received a 911 call that Daves had poisoned her two grandchildren and was suicidal. The caller also told them that Daves' grandson was on the way to CHI St. Vincent in Hot Springs and her granddaughter was possibly dead. Officers arrived and forced entry into Daves' home and found her with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound and the girl, who was unconscious. Both Daves and the girl were also taken to CHI St. Vincent in Hot Springs where the child was pronounced dead on arrival. Daves' grandson was later moved to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock where he was treated and released. Daves also received treatment until her arrest. In a news release issued Wednesday, the CCSO said toxicology reports on the children revealed the presence of prescription controlled substances. Arkansas State Police and Clark County investigators further found related controlled substance prescriptions in Daves’ home, the release said.

RACHEL PLATTEN TO PERFORM AT MAGIC SPRINGS
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (Feb. 16, 2016) - Magic Springs Water and Theme Park has added Rachel Platten to its 2016 concert series lineup, which begins June 4. Rachel Platten will perform Saturday, June 11, at 8 p.m. The latest single from Rachel Platten, “Stand By You,” has reached #1 on the Hot AC radio charts on its 21st week at radio. The single has currently sold over a half million copies, to pair with her first single “Fight Song,” which has sold more than 2.6 million copies. Her album “WildFire” was released on January 1, 2016, and is still on the Billboard Top 50 Albums Charts. The fire that “Fight Song” ignited has connected not only with music fans but also Columbia Records. “Fight Song” is without a doubt the life-changing inspirational song of 2015, topping iTunes and radio charts. “We’re thrilled to be able to add Rachel Platten, a young, emerging star who has taken the country by storm with ‘Fight Song,’ to this year’s concert series,” said park general manager, Steve Honeycutt. “With sold out concerts across the country, we know this will be a concert our guests won’t want to miss.” The concert series will run most Saturdays through August 13. All concerts are included with a season pass or general admission ticket with free lawn seating on a first-come, first-served basis at Timberwood Amphitheater. A Magic Springs season pass, priced at $64.99, allows for unlimited visits to the park plus up to 12 free shows at Arkansas’s largest concert series. The season pass also includes in-park discounts and opportunities to gain other perks, such as a souvenir bottle with discounted refills and a free friend ticket when the pass is processed at the park by specific dates. Magic Springs Theme Park opens for the 2016 season on April 9 with Crystal Falls Water Park opening on May 7. For more information on park pricing or to purchase a Season Pass, visit MagicSprings.com or call 501-624-0100.

JEFFERSON COUNTY DRUG SWEEP DUBBED OPERATION ICE STORM
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ark. - A drug sweep dubbed "Operation Ice Storm" is bringing in suspects after an 18-month undercover investigation. The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office (JCSO) says a total of 20 defendants face charges for violations of delivery of methamphetamine and cocaine, distribution/proximity to certain facilities, and possession of controlled substance methamphetamine/cocaine. The JCSO says several pounds of methamphetamine (ice) and cocaine worth $100,000 or more has been purchased and/or seized in the investigation that sought to disrupt and dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize its assets. "Protecting our citizens and county from plague of illegal drugs and drug trafficking is a core obligation of this office and our federal law enforcement partners. Every day we witness the negative impact that the distribution and use of illegal drugs has on our community. Our goal is to make every effort to reduce illicit drug use, manufacturing and trafficking through out collaborative efforts," said Sheriff Gerald Robinson.

AG APPROVES 'LAURA's LAW'
LITTLE ROCK — Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said Wednesday her office will help Arkansas law enforcement agencies comply with a state law aimed at protecting victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Act 873 of 2015, also known as Laura’s Law, sponsored by state Rep. Charlotte Douglas, R-Alma, requires law enforcement officers to provide to crime victims and their families a card informing them of their rights and available resources. Douglas filed the bill after having conversations with Laura Webb of Cabot, a survivor of domestic violence who said she did not know where to turn when she was victimized. The law took effect last summer, and since then law enforcement agencies have been able to obtain the card, called Laura’s Card, by printing it from the website of the University of Arkansas’ Criminal Justice Institute. Rutledge on Wednesday unveiled a new version of Laura’s Card that she said her office has printed and will distribute to sheriffs’ offices, police departments, advocacy groups and shelters in all 75 Arkansas counties.“If we can save one life by sharing these resources, it is worth it,” Rutledge said in a statement. The attorney general’s office is spending $4,500 from court settlements to produce and distribute about 30,000 cards, according to Rutledge spokesman Judd Deere. The new version of the card includes 24-hour crisis lines, a place for the law enforcement agency, advocacy group or shelter to include its contact information, a list of victim’s rights, information about the Crime Victims Reparations Board and the address of laurascard.ar.gov, which contains links to resources available across the state.

“Domestic violence is most often about control of the victim: physical, emotional, financial and educational,” Douglas said. “It is my hope that through Laura’s Card we bring power to victims through access to their victim’s rights and services that are offered to free them from a life of abuse. We must all work to turn victims into victors.”

- See more at: http://arkansasnews.com/news/arkansas/ag-s-office-distribute-laura-s-cards#sthash.OPWRX0vE.dpuf

February 17, 2016

STATE POLICE COMMISSION SETS FEBRUARY MEETING DATE
The Arkansas State Police Commission will meet in regular monthly session on Tuesday, February 23, 2016. The commissioners will convene their meeting at 10 AM in commission chambers located at Arkansas State Police Administrative Headquarters, One State Police Plaza Drive, Little Rock, Arkansas.

LOCAL SCAM GOING AROUND CAMDEN
There is a scam text message going around claiming to be from First Bank. Please do not click this link! First Bank does not request customer information via text.

SAU THEATRE PRESENTS 'OUT OF ORDER' THIS WEEK
MAGNOLIA – Southern Arkansas University Theatre is set to perform "Out of Order" at Harton Theatre starting at 7 p.m. nightly from February 18-20, and at 2 p.m. on February 21. Tickets can be purchased at www.showtix4u.com or by calling SAU Theatre at (870) 235-4291. Prices are $10 for an adult/general admission ticket and $5 for children 12 and under. The performance on Saturday, Febraury 20, will be followed by an actor talk-back. The show is an all-comedy British farce, and is rated PG-13. It is directed by Richard Vollmer. As with many other Ray Cooney plays, it features a lead actor (a junior UK minister) who has to lie his way out of an embarrassing situation (a planned adultery with a secretary). He gets the help of an innocent side-kick (the minister's personal private secretary), who gets more and more embroiled in the increasingly tangled tale improvised by the lead character as events unfold. The action takes place in a suite in a posh London hotel and revolves around accidents caused by a defective sash window. The show will have a 15-minute intermission. For more information, visit http://www.saumag.edu/theatre.

HOT SPRINGS BOAT AND RV SHOW UPDATE
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - The 30th Annual Hot Springs Boat & RV Show is coming up later this month. It's being held February 26-28 at the Hot Springs Convention Center and Bank of the Ozarks Arena.This year's show will feature nearly 200 Boats and RV’s in over 100,000 square feet of exhibits. There will also be information available on resorts, campgrounds, boating and RV accessories, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Mobile Aquarium, dock exhibitors and other exhibits related to the Boat and RV industries. The Hot Springs Boat & RV Show will feature the industry's latest in motor homes, travel trailers, fifth wheels, pontoon boats, bass boats, deck boats, ski boats, wakeboard boats, personal water craft and much more. The Show will also feature a large selection of discount fishing tackle and fishing experts will be on hand conducting fishing seminars and teaching the latest fishing techniques and sharing tips on the latest in tackle. “The outdoor industry in Arkansas is thriving. Arkansans recognize the outdoor opportunities available in the Natural State and there is no better way to reconnect with family and friends than in a boat or RV. With 52 State Parks right here in Arkansas alone family camping experiences are endless,” said Show Producer Ken Griffey with Denton & Griffey Attractions in a news release. Show attendees can also register to win an $8,000 Polaris utility vehicle. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Feb 26 & 27 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Feb. 28. Admission price is $5.00 for adults, children 12 and under free.

STATE POLICE INVESTIGATING OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING OUTSIDE MENA CONVENIENCE STORE
The Arkansas State Police is investigating an officer involved shooting that occurred in Mena today. Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division were requested by Polk County authorities to investigate the use of deadly force by a local law enforcement officer. At approximately 12:00 (noon) a Mena Police officer approached an individual outside a local convenience store located at 1513 Reeves Avenue. During the encounter a physical altercation evolved, leading to the suspect fleeing on-foot and dropping a handgun. Initial statements from police indicate the fleeing suspect turned to pick-up the gun and simultaneous commands were reportedly given by police for the man to stop and move away from the gun. The commands were reportedly ignored leading to the police officer firing his gun. The suspect was transported to a local hospital where he died. The body will be transported to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory for examination to determine the manner and cause of death. Questions relating to the identity of the local police officer at the shooting scene, the status of the officer, or information relating to the initial call that brought police to the store should be directed to the Mena Police Department. The Arkansas State Police will prepare an investigative file relating to the officer involved shooting. The case file will be submitted to the prosecuting attorney to determine if the use of deadly force by a law enforcement officer was consistent with Arkansas laws.

LT. GOVERNOR TO VISIT OUACHITA COUNTY
Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin will visit Ouachita County on Wednesday. Lieutenant Governor Griffin will tour the Raytheon Energetics Integration Center factory and attend an award ceremony and lunch following the tour on Wednesday, February 17th. The factory tour 8:30 am-10:30 am. The Award Ceremony and Lunch: 11:00 am– 12:30 pm. The factory tour will be at Highland Industrial Park.

LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Tuesday he disagrees with critics on both the left and the right who say it is inconsistent to support continuing Medicaid expansion in Arkansas while opposing the federal law that funds the program.

In a news conference at the state Capitol, the Republican governor said he wanted to “debunk” the argument made by some liberal writers and conservative groups that supporting his vision for Medicaid expansion, which he has proposed re-naming Arkansas Works, amounts to an embrace of the federal Affordable Care Act.

“It is perfectly consistent, it is perfectly conservative and logical to oppose Obamacare as a federal policy and yet to accept federal dollars under the Medicaid program in Arkansas,” he said.

With a group of state legislators, most of them Republicans, standing behind him, Hutchinson said he has opposed the Affordable Care Act since 2010, the year President Barack Obama signed it into law.

“I was opposed to it because I believed the individual mandate (to obtain health insurance) was wrong in terms of freedom. I believed the employer mandate was wrong in terms of freedom of our workplace in making decisions over health care,” he said.

But the law was approved in Washington, not Arkansas, and it has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, said Hutchinson, who took office last year. He said Arkansas’ leaders at the time the law went into effect “had to pick up the pieces and make the right decisions for the state.”

In 2013, the Republican-controlled Legislature and then-Gov. Mike Beebe, a Democrat, approved an alternative to expanding the state’s Medicaid rolls as envisioned in the federal health care law. That alternative, commonly known as the private option, has used federal Medicaid money to subsidize private health insurance for more than 200,000 low-income Arkansans and has reduced the state’s uninsured population by more than half.

Hutchinson said Tuesday he continues to support repealing the Affordable Care Act — and replacing it with a new federal policy that would make “an accommodation” for states that have accepted federal dollars for Medicaid expansion.

The governor said ending Medicaid expansion would mean turning down federal money that more than 30 other states are accepting; denying insurance assistance for the poorest Arkansans while receiving it for people higher on the income scale; reversing progress on improving the health of Arkansans; and creating a $100 million hole in the state budget.

“I understand that we in Arkansas and across this nation are all frustrated by what we see happening in Washington — federal intrusion on state prerogatives in terms of health care. But we should not punish Arkansans simply because we are frustrated with Washington,” he said.

David Ray, Arkansas director of the conservative group Americans For Prosperity, said in a statement Tuesday, “The governor’s outline for ‘Arkansas Works,’ just like the ‘Private Option,’ relies on Obamacare money to provide a taxpayer-funded entitlement to the exact same population as outlined in Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. This is a distinction without a difference, and Arkansas legislators should reject any attempts to cement Arkansas’ status as an Obamacare Medicaid expansion state.”

Appropriating a new round of federal funding for Medicaid expansion would require a three-fourths majority vote in each chamber of the state Legislature. Senate President Pro Tem Jonathan Dismang, R-Beebe, one of the legislators who joined Hutchinson in the news conference, said later it is “very premature to even try to counts votes” at this point.

But Sen. Bart Hester, R-Cave Springs, an opponent of Medicaid expansion, said the votes needed for a three-fourths majority are not there, at least in the 35-member Senate.

“There are nine in the Senate who say, ‘No way. If expansion is part of it, no way,’” he said.

Hutchinson has said he plans to call a special session on Medicaid sometime after the March 1 primary election but has not announced a date.

- See more at: http://m.arkansasnews.com/news/arkansas/hutchinson-logical-support-medicaid-expansion-oppose-obamacare#sthash.gk2bTYk5.dpuf

LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Tuesday he disagrees with critics on both the left and the right who say it is inconsistent to support continuing Medicaid expansion in Arkansas while opposing the federal law that funds the program.

In a news conference at the state Capitol, the Republican governor said he wanted to “debunk” the argument made by some liberal writers and conservative groups that supporting his vision for Medicaid expansion, which he has proposed re-naming Arkansas Works, amounts to an embrace of the federal Affordable Care Act.

“It is perfectly consistent, it is perfectly conservative and logical to oppose Obamacare as a federal policy and yet to accept federal dollars under the Medicaid program in Arkansas,” he said.

With a group of state legislators, most of them Republicans, standing behind him, Hutchinson said he has opposed the Affordable Care Act since 2010, the year President Barack Obama signed it into law.

“I was opposed to it because I believed the individual mandate (to obtain health insurance) was wrong in terms of freedom. I believed the employer mandate was wrong in terms of freedom of our workplace in making decisions over health care,” he said.

But the law was approved in Washington, not Arkansas, and it has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, said Hutchinson, who took office last year. He said Arkansas’ leaders at the time the law went into effect “had to pick up the pieces and make the right decisions for the state.”

In 2013, the Republican-controlled Legislature and then-Gov. Mike Beebe, a Democrat, approved an alternative to expanding the state’s Medicaid rolls as envisioned in the federal health care law. That alternative, commonly known as the private option, has used federal Medicaid money to subsidize private health insurance for more than 200,000 low-income Arkansans and has reduced the state’s uninsured population by more than half.

Hutchinson said Tuesday he continues to support repealing the Affordable Care Act — and replacing it with a new federal policy that would make “an accommodation” for states that have accepted federal dollars for Medicaid expansion.

The governor said ending Medicaid expansion would mean turning down federal money that more than 30 other states are accepting; denying insurance assistance for the poorest Arkansans while receiving it for people higher on the income scale; reversing progress on improving the health of Arkansans; and creating a $100 million hole in the state budget.

“I understand that we in Arkansas and across this nation are all frustrated by what we see happening in Washington — federal intrusion on state prerogatives in terms of health care. But we should not punish Arkansans simply because we are frustrated with Washington,” he said.

David Ray, Arkansas director of the conservative group Americans For Prosperity, said in a statement Tuesday, “The governor’s outline for ‘Arkansas Works,’ just like the ‘Private Option,’ relies on Obamacare money to provide a taxpayer-funded entitlement to the exact same population as outlined in Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. This is a distinction without a difference, and Arkansas legislators should reject any attempts to cement Arkansas’ status as an Obamacare Medicaid expansion state.”

Appropriating a new round of federal funding for Medicaid expansion would require a three-fourths majority vote in each chamber of the state Legislature. Senate President Pro Tem Jonathan Dismang, R-Beebe, one of the legislators who joined Hutchinson in the news conference, said later it is “very premature to even try to counts votes” at this point.

But Sen. Bart Hester, R-Cave Springs, an opponent of Medicaid expansion, said the votes needed for a three-fourths majority are not there, at least in the 35-member Senate.

“There are nine in the Senate who say, ‘No way. If expansion is part of it, no way,’” he said.

Hutchinson has said he plans to call a special session on Medicaid sometime after the March 1 primary election but has not announced a date.

- See more at: http://m.arkansasnews.com/news/arkansas/hutchinson-logical-support-medicaid-expansion-oppose-obamacare#sthash.gk2bTYk5.dpuf

LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Tuesday he disagrees with critics on both the left and the right who say it is inconsistent to support continuing Medicaid expansion in Arkansas while opposing the federal law that funds the program.

In a news conference at the state Capitol, the Republican governor said he wanted to “debunk” the argument made by some liberal writers and conservative groups that supporting his vision for Medicaid expansion, which he has proposed re-naming Arkansas Works, amounts to an embrace of the federal Affordable Care Act.

“It is perfectly consistent, it is perfectly conservative and logical to oppose Obamacare as a federal policy and yet to accept federal dollars under the Medicaid program in Arkansas,” he said.

With a group of state legislators, most of them Republicans, standing behind him, Hutchinson said he has opposed the Affordable Care Act since 2010, the year President Barack Obama signed it into law.

“I was opposed to it because I believed the individual mandate (to obtain health insurance) was wrong in terms of freedom. I believed the employer mandate was wrong in terms of freedom of our workplace in making decisions over health care,” he said.

But the law was approved in Washington, not Arkansas, and it has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, said Hutchinson, who took office last year. He said Arkansas’ leaders at the time the law went into effect “had to pick up the pieces and make the right decisions for the state.”

In 2013, the Republican-controlled Legislature and then-Gov. Mike Beebe, a Democrat, approved an alternative to expanding the state’s Medicaid rolls as envisioned in the federal health care law. That alternative, commonly known as the private option, has used federal Medicaid money to subsidize private health insurance for more than 200,000 low-income Arkansans and has reduced the state’s uninsured population by more than half.

Hutchinson said Tuesday he continues to support repealing the Affordable Care Act — and replacing it with a new federal policy that would make “an accommodation” for states that have accepted federal dollars for Medicaid expansion.

The governor said ending Medicaid expansion would mean turning down federal money that more than 30 other states are accepting; denying insurance assistance for the poorest Arkansans while receiving it for people higher on the income scale; reversing progress on improving the health of Arkansans; and creating a $100 million hole in the state budget.

“I understand that we in Arkansas and across this nation are all frustrated by what we see happening in Washington — federal intrusion on state prerogatives in terms of health care. But we should not punish Arkansans simply because we are frustrated with Washington,” he said.

David Ray, Arkansas director of the conservative group Americans For Prosperity, said in a statement Tuesday, “The governor’s outline for ‘Arkansas Works,’ just like the ‘Private Option,’ relies on Obamacare money to provide a taxpayer-funded entitlement to the exact same population as outlined in Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. This is a distinction without a difference, and Arkansas legislators should reject any attempts to cement Arkansas’ status as an Obamacare Medicaid expansion state.”

Appropriating a new round of federal funding for Medicaid expansion would require a three-fourths majority vote in each chamber of the state Legislature. Senate President Pro Tem Jonathan Dismang, R-Beebe, one of the legislators who joined Hutchinson in the news conference, said later it is “very premature to even try to counts votes” at this point.

But Sen. Bart Hester, R-Cave Springs, an opponent of Medicaid expansion, said the votes needed for a three-fourths majority are not there, at least in the 35-member Senate.

“There are nine in the Senate who say, ‘No way. If expansion is part of it, no way,’” he said.

Hutchinson has said he plans to call a special session on Medicaid sometime after the March 1 primary election but has not announced a date.

- See more at: http://m.arkansasnews.com/news/arkansas/hutchinson-logical-support-medicaid-expansion-oppose-obamacare#sthash.gk2bTYk5.dpuf

February 15, 2016

HOT SPRINGS MAN DIES AFTER CRASHING SCOOTER
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) - Authorities say a 29-year-old man has died after crashing his scooter in Hot Springs. Hot Springs police Cpl. Kirk Zaner says Rex Davis crashed his Honda Ruckus scooter at about 4:30 a.m. Sunday on East Grand Avenue just west of Malvern Avenue. Zaner tells The Sentinel-Record (http://bit.ly/1ogqMUY )  that Davis died later Sunday at a hospital. Zaner says the crash is still under investigation but that Davis apparently lost control of his scooter and crashed. He says Davis was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

GOV. OFFICES, SCHOOLS WILL CLOSE FOR GEORGE WASHINGTON"S BIRTHDAY
Monday is a legal holiday for the observance of George Washington’s Birthday. In Arkansas, the day is also observed as Daisy Gaston Bates Day. All city, county, state and federal offices will be closed on Monday. The Columbia County Landfill will reopen Tuesday. WCA will run its regular waste collection routes on Monday. Magnolia Public Schools will be closed Monday for their Winter Break. The Emerson-Taylor-Bradley School District will close on Monday. Columbia Christian School will be closed February 15-19 for its Winter Break. All federal government agencies will be closed on Monday and there will be no regular postal service. The U.S. Post Office in Magnolia will be closed. In recent years, some people have begun incorrectly referring to the holiday as Presidents’ Day. There is no federal holiday – and in Arkansas no state holiday – honoring all presidents. The day is set aside as a singular honor for George Washington, the nation’s first president. The federal Office of Personnel Management notes in its official schedule of federal holidays that “this holiday is designated as ‘Washington’s Birthday’ in section 6103(a) of title 5 of the United States Code, which is the law that specifies holidays for federal employees. Though other institutions such as state and local governments and private businesses may use other names, it is our policy to always refer to holidays by the names designated in the law.”

SHOTS FIRED LEADS TO SIX-HOUR STANDOFF IN MABELVALE
MABELVALE, Ark. - According to reports, the Saline County Sheriff's Office responded to shots fired in the 14000 block of Black Oaks Court Friday night. Saline County deputies responded to a residence off Black Oaks Court around 9 p.m. Friday, February 12. While on scene, a gunshot was heard, and then a muzzle flash was seen coming from inside a residence. As deputies were setting up a perimeter around that home, the acting sergeant on the scene stated that he was being fired at by a person or multiple people inside the home. SWAT, Benton police and Bryant police arrived as backup. Hostage negotiators and firefighters with the Shannon Hills Fire Department and Northeast Fire Department were also dispatched to the scene.  Attempts were made to contact the occupant(s) inside of the home, but there were negative results. During the barricade situation, a 17-year-old living next door had to be rescued. He was first advised to hide inside a closet but was eventually evacuated from his home by SWAT team members. At this point, officials were able to make contact with family members who could give insight as to who was in the home. Those attempts were helpful, according to Lt. Jeffrey Silk with the Saline County Sheriff's Office, however contact could still not be made with anyone inside. Shortly after 3 a.m., a female, Jackie A. Founds, and a small dog exited the front door of the home. They were detained by Benton/Bryant PD. At 3:30 a.m., SWAT entered the home to find no one inside. There were no reported injuries to citizens, suspects, deputies or officers, and Founds was arrested and charged with four counts of aggravated assault because she allegedly shot at four Saline County Sheriff's Office deputies. More charges could be filed at a later time. Founds' dog was given to a neighbor.

MUDDY BOTTOMS ATV ACCIDENT KILLS SAREPTA WOMAN
MAGNOLIA-Jill Thomas, 40, of Sarepta, LA, was killed in an all-terrain vehicle accident about 2:30 a.m. Sunday at Muddy Bottoms ATV and Recreation Park. Reports said the ATV that Thomas was riding struck a tree and that the woman died at the scene. A female passenger was injured and taken to University Health in Shreveport for treatment. Two people died in separate ATV accidents at the park near Sarepta on the same day – September 7, 2015 – as part of Labor Day weekend festivities.

ASU CAMPUS LOCKDOWN UPLIFTED
JONESBORO, Ark. -- Jonesboro police say a lockdown for Arkansas State University has been lifted after no reported gunmen were found. Investigators determined that actors in a student video project were mistaken for armed intruders.Officers responded to the campus Sunday afternoon, after multiple reports of several men seen on campus with guns.
They were reported to be near the student union. According to dispatch, a caller said two or three men wearing all black were carrying pistols. The University sent out an alert that the campus was on lockdown.

CLARK COUNTY DRUG SWEEP ARRESTS 17
NEAR GURDON, Ark. - Seventeen people are behind bars after an early morning drug sweep. "Operation nodruG" was carried out in Clark County on Friday (2/13). Most of the suspects involved face felony charges of delivery of a controlled substance. "This morning was the result of several months of undercover operations that were conducted by  the Gurdon Police Department," says Clark County Sheriff Jason Watson. Operation "nodruG" is Gurdon spelled backward. The investigation included undercover buys which included marijuana, methamphetamine, prescription pills and crack cocaine. The Gurdon Marshal's office, Clark County Sheriff's Office, Arkadelphia Police Department and state agencies worked together on the sweep that was coordinated before dawn. Nineteen targets were on the list. Six teams consisting of the Gurdon City Marshall's Office, Clark County Sheriffs Department, Group 6 Drug Task Force, Arkadelphia Police Department, Arkansas State Police and Arkansas Game and Fish coordinated the execution of arrest warrants beginning at 6:00 a.m. "Very successful," Sheriff Watson described after the event. "We were looking for 19 targets and we have 17 in custody at this time." The suspected drug distributors range in age from 19-to-60. 12 men and 5 women were arrested.When asked, Watson insisted the drug problem there needed to be addressed and the investment in the resources used was a must. "We've seen [drug crime] in the past lead to other crimes, and sometimes those crimes have been serious. So, we think it's a serious problem," the sheriff continued.

February 12, 2016

AUSTIN HILL SENTENCED TO LIFE 
Austin Hill has pleaded guilty to capital murder and aggravated robbery. Due to being found guilty, Hill will serve life in prison, without the possibility of parole. The death penalty has been waived.

LOCKHEED MARTIN MISSILE CONTRACT BOOST TO EXTEND PRODUCTION IN AR
Lockheed Martin Corp.’s was recently awarded a $198.7 million boost to a previous multimillion dollar contract that will enhance production on an anti-ballistic system that President Obama recently touted as a deterrent to North Korea’s nuclear threat. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, Lockheed Martin’s Missile and Fire Control (MFC) division based in Grand Prairie, Texas, received the multimillion dollar adjustment to a previously awarded fixed-price contract for production of 20 additional Lot 8 Interceptors and associated production support efforts for the Pentagon’s so-called Missile Defense Agency’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) project office in Huntsville, Ala. With those changes, the total cumulative face value of the contract was revised upward by 29% to $882 million from the previous aware of $683.3 million, DOD officials said.  The work on the THAAD system will be performed at Lockheed Martin’s MFC manufacturing locations in East Camden; Grand Prairie, Texas; and Huntsville, Anniston and Troy, Alabama. “This contract modification extends THAAD canister production in Camden by about two months, and will be serviced by the existing employee base,” said Lockheed Martin spokesman William Sudlow. The work on the contract is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2019, but procurement funds in the amount of nearly $200 million were obligated at time of award in late January. The upgrade to the THAAD contract is key given President Obama’s signaled this week that he wants to send the anti-missile defense system to South Korea “as quickly as possible” in response to North Korea’s recent nuclear provocations. However, China and Russia have voice strong objections to having the U.S. anti-missile system so close to their borders. According to video and marketing materials on Lockheed Martin’s website, THAAD is capable of defining countries and entire regions against short and medium range ballistic missiles by basically knocking them out of the sky and rendering them useless. THAAD interceptors employ Lockheed Martin’s proven “hit-to-kill” technology to destroy missile threats inside and outside the atmosphere, the company said."When enemies attack, governments must be ready to defend their soldiers, citizens and infrastructure. That’s where THAAD comes in – one of the most advanced missile defense systems in the world,” Lockheed Martin boasts on its website. Earlier this week, the White House said President Obama spoke by phone with President Park Geun-hye of the Republic of Korea to discuss North Korea’s recent launch using ballistic missile technology. The two leaders condemned the launch, and they agreed that it represents yet another destabilizing and provocative action by North Korea in flagrant violation of numerous United Nations Security Council resolutions.And because the United States is committed to its regional allies’ security, “We will take all necessary steps to defend ourselves and our allies and respond to North Korean provocations,” Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said in a news release. Based on North Korea’s evolving threats, the U.S.-South Korea alliance will examine its missile defense posture and the feasibility of U.S. Forces Korea operating a THAAD system as soon as possible, Cook said. In Lockheed Martin’s recent fourth quarter earnings report, the company’s MFC division saw net sales increase by $106 million to nearly $2 billion, up 6% from $1.86 billion in the same period in 2014. MFC’s Camden Operations facility manufactures THAAD ground vehicles and missile canisters, the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile system, and the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS). According to Lockheed Martin, officials, the U.S. Army recently activated the fifth of seven programmed THAAD batteries at the end of 2015. Lockheed Martin delivered the 100th THAAD interceptor earlier in 2015. If the anti-ballistic system is purchased by South Korea, the country would be the second U.S. ally to deploy the system. The United Arab Emirates was the first international partner to procure the THAAD system with a contract awarded in 2011.

TWO ARRESTED FOR FINANCIAL CRIMES IN MAGNOLIA
Financial crimes have resulted in the arrests of two suspects. Kelly Davis, 42, of Magnolia, has been jailed relating to credit card theft and the illegal use of a credit card. Magnolia police received a complaint from a victim on December 14 that a debit/credit card had been stolen and used at several ATM machines. An investigation led to the arrest of Davis on Tuesday. She is charged with theft of property of a debit/credit card. Davis has attended a first appearance hearing, and her bond was set at $1,000. In a separate case involving Davis, police received a report last December 12 that an unauthorized person was making withdrawals from a checking account. Davis was arrested for this crime as well on Tuesday. She is charged with fraudulent use of a credit/debit card. In an unrelated incident, Jasneda Hunter, 27, of Magnolia, was charged Monday with forgery second degree. A Magnolia business made a report on December 17 about an individual cashing checks on a fraudulent account. The business provided video and photo images of the suspect. Investigation led to Hunter’s arrest. Bond was set at $5,000.

TWO TEEN GIRLS DEAD IN ARIZONA HIGH SCHOOL SHOOTING
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Two 15-year-old female students are dead after a double shooting at an Arizona high school Friday morning, police said. Police were not looking for anyone else. Glendale Police officer Tracey Breeden said the two sophomores each sustained a single gunshot wound, were found next to each other and were declared dead at Independence High School in the Phoenix suburb. They were found in an isolated area of campus near the administration building. "This is not an active-shooter situation and we realized that once we got on scene," she said. Police did not provide the names of the victims. Breeden said the circumstances suggested the possibility of a murder-suicide or double-suicide, but no determination had been made. She had no information about the relationship between the girls.

February 11, 2016

BURN BAN LIFTED; STILL ACTIVE IN CAMDEN
According to Ouachita County Judge Robbie McAdoo, the county-wide burn ban has been lifted. The ban was issued out earlier in the week due to dry and windy weather conditions. The Camden city-wide burn ban is still in effect.

 

SAU TECH OFFERING ACT PREP
SAU Tech is offering ACT prep for high school students on the following dates to all area high schools.

Saturday Feb. 27
Saturday, March 5
Saturday, March 12
Saturday, March 19
Saturday, April 2

8:00 am – 2:00 pm
SAU Tech Campus – Technology Building in Room 100

Priority is given to students in 9-11 grades with 12 graders eligible to fill any slots not filled by 9-11 grade students.
Students must have an ACT score below 19 (or a low score on a comparable exam) or have never taken the ACT.
The prep classes are free through a grant from the Arkansas Department of Education. For more information call 870.574.4495

TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR SAU BANQUET
MAGNOLIA – Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward will be the guest speaker at Southern Arkansas University’s Collegiate FFA 2016 Banquet at 6:30 p.m. on February 25 at the SAU Reynolds Center Grand Hall.
Tickets for the banquet are $20, and the deadline to purchase is February 19. Contact the SAU Department of Agriculture at (870) 235-4350. Proceeds from the dinner will help SAU Collegiate FFA members attend the National FFA Convention in support of National FFA President Taylor McNeel. The SAU junior Agriculture Business major was elected National FFA president on October 31, and has taken a year off from her studies to travel representing the organization and its more than 610,000 members. Also, $1 from every ticket sold will be donated to the Arkansas FFA Foundation.
Wes Ward serves as the 3rd Secretary of Agriculture for the State of Arkansas. He was appointed to the position in March 2015 by Governor Asa Hutchinson. Ward is from the small town of Lake City in Northeast Arkansas and is a graduate of Riverside High School. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Business with an emphasis in Agricultural Finance from Arkansas State University. He earned a law degree and has also completed the joint LL.M./M.S. degree program at the University of Arkansas for a Master of Laws degree in Agricultural and Food Law and a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics. He has been serving in the United States Marine Corps for more than 15 years and has completed deployments to Afghanistan and Jordan with the 1st Marine Division and 1st Battalion, 1st Marines. He is currently serving in the Marine Corps Reserves as a Civil Affairs Officer and Team Leader with the 3rd Civil Affairs Group in Great Lakes, Illinois. He has also worked as a Field Coordinator for U.S. Congressman Rick Crawford doing agricultural outreach and as an Adjunct Law Professor at the University of Arkansas School of Law. The Arkansas Agriculture Department includes the State Plant Board, the Livestock and Poultry Commission, and the Arkansas Forestry Commission. The Arkansas Agriculture Department is dedicated to the development and implementation of policies and programs for Arkansas agriculture and forestry to keep its Farmers and Ranchers competitive in national and international markets while ensuring safe food, fiber, and forest products for the citizens of the state and nation.

HOT SPRINGS JUDGE CHARGED IN HOT CAR DEATH
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - A local judge has been charged in the July 2015 death of his son, who was left inside a hot car.
That's according to special prosecutor Scott Ellington, who announced his decision Thursday morning after a months-long investigation. In a news release, Ellington stated that Wade Naramore, 36, surrendered himself today at the Garland County Detention Center in Hot Springs where he was booked and released on $5,000 bond on a charge of misdemeanor negligent homicide. The Garland County Sheriff's Office says Naramore booked in at 11:33 a.m. and released at 11:41 a.m. Thursday. The body of 18-month-old Thomas Naramore was found late in the afternoon on July 24. His cause of death was ruled to have been from "excessive heat." Details about the incident released by Ellington today:
  • 911 call came in from Wade Naramore at 3:10 p.m. on July 24 from the corner of James Street and Fair Oaks Place
  • Naramore stated "My son was left in the car and I think he's dead."
  • When police arrived, Naramore had taken his son inside their home and was holding him, yelling "No my baby! No my baby!
  • Naramore told police the child had been in the car for about five hours
  • The child's core temperature was 107 degrees. Outside temperatures were 97 to 98.1 degrees with a heat index of 104.8 to 106.5
  • Naramore said he and his son said their morning prayers while he drove to work at about 8:15 a.m., stopping at McDonald's on the way
  • Naramore said he had a court case he was worried about and went to work as he did each day. He got off work early, ran some errands and went home. As he was leaving his home to pick up his son from daycare, he heard a noise in the back seat and saw the child still in his car seat and had not been dropped off to daycare
  • Naramore said he immediately stopped the car, got Thomas out and called for help
On Jan. 29, Ellington announced a delay of his self-imposed deadline for a decision on charges in the case by the end of the month. Back in November, officials released 911 calls from Naramore and his father-in-law in the moments after the child was found dead. In October, Naramore and his wife released the only public statement they've made in the case.

SALINE COUNTY JAIL ESCAPEE ARRESTED IN TEXAS
SALINE COUNTY,Ark.--The Saline County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) intensified its search Wednesday for Jeffrey Mays, who escaped from custody on February 3, 2016. Wednesday around 1:45 p.m., information was received by the SCSO of a location where Jeffrey Mays was suspected of frequenting since his escape. Deputies and detectives went to a location on Jeanne Drive, Mabelvale, and met with Kristy Mays. Based on the investigation conducted by CID detectives, Kristy Mays was arrested for hindering in the apprehension of Jeffrey Mays, which is a class D felony. Wednesday afternoon at 4:00 pm, the SCSO was informed, and verified, that Jeffrey Mays was arrested in Montgomery County, Texas. Jeffrey Mays is currently being held by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office at the Conroe Detention Center. The SCSO will be working closely with Texas authorities in securing the extradition of Jeffrey Mays from Texas to Arkansas. Additional arrests may be carried out by the SCSO and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office at a later time.

CAMDEN POLICE CHIEF GIVES ANNUAL REPORT
During this months Camden City Council meeting, Police Chief, Bo Woody, gave his annual report. As far as crimes, the Camden Police Department does categorize by "crimes against persons", which could be a homicide, rape, or robbery.....and "crimes against property", which could be burglary or theft. Woody did mention that both crime categories are on the decline. Currently the Camden PD is showing a 25% in thefts, which the Chief hopes to contribute to program that are set in their crime units. Now Woody did mention to the council members, that the department did see and increase in domestic violence cases, with a 120% increase. When asked about the significant increases, Woody said " I don't think we have an increase in domestic violence cases..I think what we have is more awareness and more programs and place, where more victims are wanting to come forward, therefore we are getting more reports on it". Speaking of programs, all of the Camden Police Department programs have been a success. The CPD had two Citizens Police Academies last year, which they look to continue this year. Woody also expressed to the council that he is hoping to put together a Youth Police Academy in the future. Woody closed by saying " we live in an ever changing world and the police department is going to grow with it. I never want to be stagnant. I think we're constantly looking for ways to improve what we are doing and what we need to do to make it better". The City Councilmen and Mayor Marie Trisollini, where very pleased with the report, and what the Camden Police Department is doing to make the city the safest it can be.

PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT MEETING IN FORDYCE
The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department will conduct a Public Involvement Meeting in Fordyce to present and discuss the proposed widening of Hwy 167 between Highways 274 and 79 in Calhoun County. The meeting will be held on Thursday, February 25th from 4-7 PM at the Fordyce Civic Center, located at 300 Hwy 79/167 Bypass in Fordyce. This will be an "open house" meeting with no formal presentations. The public is invited to visit anytime during the scheduled hours to view exhibits, ask questions and offer comments.

February 8, 2016

FARMERS BANK SCAM
Important information for our customers and non-customers: Farmers Bank & Trust wants to let you know that there are current messaging scams being sent to our customers and non customers. Farmers want to remind you that they will never send you a text message beyond text alerts that you have set up within online banking. Do not click on suspicious links within messages from Farmers Bank & Trust or any other financial institutions. Most importantly, never disclose account or personal information in a non-secure or text message setting. If you received a text, clicked the link, and entered your account information, please change your internet banking password and login immediately. To verify your account or for additional assistance, please call customer support at 855-855-3268. We are very sorry that our lines are overloaded at this time. If you received a suspicious message, please delete the message and do NOT click the link. WE HAVE NOT BEEN HACKED, the message is coming from a fraudulent source. We are working diligently to solve the issue as soon as possible.

SHERWOOD FD WARNING PUBLIC OF MEMORIAL FUN SCAM
SHERWOOD, Ark. (KTHV) - It has been a little over two weeks since the death of a local volunteer firefighter, and people claiming to be with the Sherwood Fire Department are already trying to scam people for money. The Sherwood Fire Department posted on their Facebook page Sunday that people in the community have been receiving calls from individuals claiming they are with the department and are asking for donations towards the Lt. Jason Adams Memorial Fund. Lt. Adams was a volunteer firefighter with both the Sherwood Fire Department and the East Pulaski Volunteer Fire Department. He died on January 22 responding to a medical emergency in the Dortch Loop area. The Sherwood Fire Department stated the following: "The Sherwood Fire Department will NEVER call soliciting donations for the Memorial fund. If you receive a phone call concerning this please notify your local authorities."

MANHUNT UNDERWAY FOR AR ESCAPEE CONVICTED OF MURDER AND OTHER CHARGES
FORDYCE, Ark. - A manhunt is underway for a prisoner who escaped from the Dallas County Jail just after midnight on Sunday. According to the Dallas County Sheriff's Office, Paul Grice, 38, escaped from the Dallas County Jail around 12:30 a.m. Authorities from Dallas County, Bradley County and Drew County, along with local police and the ADC, are currently searching the Monticello area. Grice is described as standing 5' 6" tall and weighing around 155 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black shirt, blue jeans and a light colored jacket. He was being held for the Arkansas Department of Correction, awaiting bed space in prison. Grice was convicted of Second Degree Murder, Theft of Property, Residential Burglary and numerous other charges. He is considered to be very dangerous and residents should be very cautious of hitchhikers and suspicious persons in the area.

LAWN MOWER THEFT IN SALINE COUNTY
SALINE COUNTY,Ark.--Thieves in Saline County were caught on camera in the act,and now deputies need help identifying them. Investigators say two men were seen stealing a riding lawn mower from a Bauxite home. They put the mower in their trailer and took off in an older grey GMC Yukon. Anyone with information should call police.

MISS ARKANSAS VISITS CAMDEN
Over the weekend, Women's Crisis Center of South Arkansas, held their first ever "Princess Tea Party" at the First Baptist Church of Camden. During the event girls were able to walk on the runway, wave their magic wands, and interact with their role models. The event was attended by Miss South Central Arkansas Britney Humphreys, Miss Grand Prarie Haley Bird, Miss Queen City Katy Medford and Miss Arkansas Loren McDaniel. The pageant girls were able to not only able to sign autographs and take pictures with the Camden youth, but also hug them, dance with them and tell them how special they are. As the "tea party" went on, Miss Arkansas made it a point to talk to the young girls out being yourself and how important that can be. Loren said "its just so important since this is raising money for the Women's Crisis Center, just knowing at a young age that you hold the key to your confidence...its great to love what's on the outside, but in order to do that, you've got to love what's on the inside". Once she leaves Camden, Miss Arkansas looks to continue her quest to visit all of the Women's Crisis Center's in the state, and help put a stop to domestic violence.

UNION PACIFIC APPROVES $3.75 BILLION CAPITAL PROJECTS PLAN
The Board of Directors of Union Pacific Corporation has approved the company's 2016 capital plan of approximately $3.75 billion, down about $550 million versus 2015. The plan includes $375 million to further implement Positive Train Control. “Given the decline in volume, we have taken a hard look at our capital plan and continue to invest for safety, productivity and where returns meet our threshold of reinvestability," said Rob Knight, Union Pacific chief financial officer. "These investments will create value for our customers and strong returns for our shareholders in the years ahead." The board also declared a quarterly dividend of 55 cents per share on the company's common stock, payable March 31, to shareholders of record February 29.

HOPE HEALTH COMMISSION MEETS
Recently, the HOPE Health Commission met tonight at the OCMC Green Room, to discuss ways to help make Ouachita County, the healthiest it can be. Members of the commission have first decided to tackle teen pregnancy, which they see as a major problem in the area. Commission Chairman, Thomas Bell said "We want to do whatever we can to support the Health Department and their efforts to educate our young people and their parents". Dr. Larry Braden spoke on the ambition of the group, saying " We are in our infancy, we've got a long way to go..I hope people are patient with us, but I think we're going to make it". The February meeting was also attended by Addie Wilson with the Ouachita County Extension Office, and Ouachita County Judge Robbie McAdoo.

February 2, 2016

LITTLE ROCK SUBSTITUTE ARRESTED
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - A substitute teacher at Catholic High School has been taken into custody after surrendering to police on sexual assault charges. Police say Erica Suskie turned herself in this morning to face charges in the case. On October 26 of last year, the North Little Rock Police Department received a report from the Arkansas State Police Crimes Against Children unit about the alleged abuse. Officials with Catholic High School say they addressed the issue three months ago when the allegations were made, and took measures to protect their students.Suskie's arrest affidavit says that an alleged male victim said he had sexual contact and intercourse with Suskie, who's a family friend and was his Algebra tutor. The alleged incidents are reported to have taken place between April and October 2015 at Suskie's home in North Little Rock and the home of Suskie's parents in Sherwood.

STATE POLICE SEEKING HELP IN PEDESTRIAN HIT & RUN
MAGNOLIA-Arkansas State Troopers are asking for the assistance of anyone who may have information relating to a pedestrian hit-and-run that left a Nevada County man dead.
The body of James Matthew Langston, 23, of Rosston was discovered about 4:30 a.m. Sunday. An investigation leads State Troopers to believe a vehicle traveling eastbound along Arkansas 32, three miles west of Bodcaw, about 500 feet west of the Little Bodcaw Creek Bridge, struck Langston and fled the scene. Langston’s body is being examined at the Arkansas Crime Laboratory to collect evidence that may assist Highway Patrol State Troopers and special agents of the department’s Criminal Investigation Division identify a suspect vehicle. Anyone who may have been traveling Arkansas 32 between 4-4:30 a.m. Sunday and witnessed anything unusual or persons who may know anything about a suspect vehicle with fresh damage seen on Sunday is asked to contact Arkansas State Police, Highway Patrol Troop G in Hope by calling (870) 777-4641.

TESTIMONY TO BEGIN IN SLAIN SQUARE DANCER TRIAL
TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) - Opening arguments and testimony are set to begin in the trial of a Texarkana woman accused of killing a fellow square dancer in 2013. According to reports, a testimony is scheduled to begin Tuesday morning in the trial of 67-year-old Virginia Hyatt. Hyatt is charged with capital murder for the death of 59-year-old Patricia Wheelington. Hyatt has pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors say Hyatt shot Wheelington multiple times Dec. 3, 2013, on the front porch of her Texarkana home because she believed Wheelington was responsible for the end of her 40-year marriage. Hyatt and Wheelington were both members of the Guys and Dolls Square Dancing Club. Hyatt was found to be competent after a court-ordered psychological evaluation. She faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.