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May 21, 2015

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

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

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

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

May 20, 2015

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

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

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


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

May 18, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

May 15, 2015

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

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

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

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

May 13, 2015

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

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

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

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


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

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

May 11th, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

May 7th, 2015

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

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


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

May 6th, 2015

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

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

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

May 5th, 2015

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

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

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

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

May 4th, 2015

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

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

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


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

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

May 1, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

April 28, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

April 27, 2015

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

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

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

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

April 23, 2015

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

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

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

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

April 21, 2015

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

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

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

April 20, 2015

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

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

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

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

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


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

April 16, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

April 14, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

April 13, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

April 9, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

April 8, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

April 6, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

April 2, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

GRIFFIN ENCOURAGES ‘ARKANSAS TO PROMOTE GREATER AWARENESS
OF AUTISM’

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

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

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

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

April 1, 2015

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

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

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

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

March 31, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

March 27, 2015

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

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

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

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

March 25, 2015

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

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

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

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

March 24, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

March 19, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

March 18, 2015

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

March 17, 2015

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

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

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

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

MAKE-A-WISH GRANTS DISNEY TRIP TO HARPER STEPHENSON

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

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

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

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

March 13, 2015

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

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


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

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

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

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

March 12, 2015

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

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

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

 

March 11, 2015

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

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

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

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

March 10, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

March 5, 2015

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

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

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


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

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

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

March 4, 2015

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

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

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

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


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

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

BOOZMAN STATEMENT ON PRIME MININSTER NETANYAHU’S
ADDRESS TO CONGRESS

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

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

March 3, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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