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December 19, 2014


BOLO out of Camden, Arkansas. Suspect on the run after robbing and shooting Mac's Fresh Market manager in Camden this evening.

Suspect is a black male about 6' tall wearing a black shirt and black hoodie. The incident took place about 5:20pm today.

BOLO was issued by Clark County SO and statewide, as well.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.-Camden grocery store manager R. Ander's  was shot and killed on Friday around 5:30 p.m. The manager of Mac's grocery store was walking from the store to his car with the night deposit when he was shot in the chest. He was pronounced dead at the Ouachita County Medical Center.  According to Camden Police Chief, Bo Woody, the night deposit was also stolen from the manager. The suspect was a black male wearing dark pants and armed with a semi-automatic pistol. If you have any information about the shooting, please call the Camden Police Department. Right now our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Ander's family, employees, and friends. 

How would you like to be credited for naming Camden’ new walking and bicycling trail. It could happen. Camden is building a new walking and bicycling trail on the old railroad between the Chamber of Commerce and Maul Road. For anyone interested, submit your idea for a name to City Hall by noon on January or fax to 836-3369. Include your name, address, phone number, age, and of course, the trail name!

Fulfills pledge to reduce office staff by half
LITTLE ROCK – Congressman and Lieutenant Governor-Elect Tim Griffin today named two staff for the Office of Lieutenant Governor, fulfilling his pledge to reduce the number of staff from four to two. 
Annamarie Atwood will serve as Chief of Staff and Kelsi Bodine as Communications Director and Executive Assistant. Atwood served as the Campaign Manager for Griffin’s campaign for lieutenant governor and previously served in the Office of Congressman Griffin. “Over the past four years Annamarie has excelled in every role, including in my congressional office where she demonstrated the ability to solve problems and get things done. She will provide leadership to my office as we work with the Governor and General Assembly during the upcoming session,” said Griffin. Bodine served as Field Director for the Griffin campaign. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Ouachita Baptist University. “Kelsi’s attention to detail, and organizational and communication skills will be assets to my office,” said Griffin. Congressman and Lieutenant Governor-Elect Tim Griffin was elected on November 4, 2014, and is currently finishing his second term as the 24th representative of Arkansas’s Second Congressional District. For the 113th Congress, he is a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means while also serving as a Deputy Whip for the majority. In the 112th Congress, he served as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the House Committee on the Judiciary. Griffin is a graduate of Magnolia High School, Hendrix College in Conway and Tulane Law School in New Orleans, and attended graduate school at Oxford University. He has served in the U.S. Army Reserve for 18 years, was deployed to Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He also served as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas and Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Political Affairs for President George W. Bush. Griffin lives in Little Rock with his wife Elizabeth, a Camden native, and their two children.

LITTLE ROCK – A Pulaski County woman accused of improperly billing the state’s Medicaid program pleaded no contest today to felony Medicaid fraud and failure to maintain records, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced. 
Frenchelle Chapple, 62, of Little Rock entered a no contest plea this morning in Pulaski County Circuit Court before Judge Barry Sims. The conviction for Medicaid fraud, a Class B felony, came after an investigation by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Chapple was sentenced to 10 years in prison, ordered to pay $92,606 in restitution and fined $277,820. Chapple was arrested in December 2013 after investigators found she filed 1,063 fraudulent claims for speech pathology services allegedly provided to Medicaid beneficiaries under age 21. “This is an egregious example of an individual violating the trust of beneficiaries and the Medicaid Program,” McDaniel said. “I am pleased with this sentence and that the Medicaid program will be reimbursed by this individual. I am proud of our Medicaid Fraud Control Unit for securing this conviction, and I know our investigators will continue to protect tax dollars that fund Medicaid.” Chapple, also known as Frenchelle Conley, operated Great Expectations Developmental Center in Little Rock.  Investigators found that Great Expectations submitted claims to Medicaid for payment for speech-therapy services allegedly provided by three speech pathologists over several months in 2012 and 2013. All three individuals, who had previously worked for Great Expectations, told investigators that they did not provide speech therapy to any Medicaid beneficiaries during that time period nor did they authorize the company to bill Medicaid on their behalf. Money received from the false claims was deposited into a bank account controlled by Chapple and used for purchases of gas, groceries, fast food and clothing, according to investigators. To report Medicaid fraud or abuse or neglect in nursing homes, call the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud hotline, (866) 810-0016.

(SPM Wire) It’s the season for charitable giving, but do you know where your hard-earned money is really going when you donate to a particular charity? With scams and misspent funds an all too common scenario, it’s important to get savvy. 
While many Americans know it’s crucial to do some background research before writing a check, many donors don’t know all the indicators to watch out for, according to new data. Americans consider finances to be the most important indicator of trust in a charity, according to a study by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). However, the BBB recommends taking a more holistic approach toward reviewing a charity. A good place to start your research is by checking whether a charity is accredited by the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, which evaluates charitable organizations on 20 holistic standards covering governance, effectiveness reporting, finances, appeal accuracy and other issues, to assist donors in making informed giving decisions. To investigate a charity, check out This holiday season, don’t just be generous, be wise.

MAGNOLIA – Kathy Sharp of Magnolia was the random winner drawn Thursday, December 18th, for the freezer and 100-pounds of meat from Leadership Magnolia Class of 2015’s fundraiser to benefit new brick monument signs for the city. 
The fundraiser raised a total of $3,332.85, bringing the class closer its $25,000 goal for the year for the two new “Welcome to Magnolia” signs.  
On January 31, 2015, the class plans to host a “Magnolia Hold’Em” Texas Hold’Em poker tournament at the Magnolia Country Club. Entry fees will be $75, with a $75 re-buy. Local businesses are donating prizes and items for a silent auction. Registration will open on January 1. Along with the fundraising events, the class is also reaching out to community leaders and organizations. There are various levels of giving opportunities ranging from $100 to $15,000. The four top levels, which start at $1,000, will be recognized with a plaque on the main brick sign. 
Call Amy Lewis of the Leadership Magnolia class at 870-235-7073 for more information or to donate.

(StatePoint) With the release of the iPhone 6, you may be thinking about how to protect your pricey new mobile device. 
Over a quarter of American iPhone users have cracked their screens at some point, and a whopping fifteen percent are currently using a phone with a cracked screen, according to a new study from SquareTrade, a top-rated protection plan. Cracked screens aren’t just an aesthetic problem; they can actually prevent you from being able to use certain apps and features. Furthermore, the stakes are higher than ever before. “When we see bigger screens combined with features like mobile payments with ApplePay, we see the potential for even more accidents: we won’t be surprised to see claims coming in that mention the drive-through window at McDonald’s,” said Ty Shay, CMO at SquareTrade. You can better protect your investment with a hard, fitted case as well as a protection plan that offers substantive coverage. For example, SquareTrade offers affordable protection plans that cover drops, spills and malfunctions, as well as 24/7 customer service. More information can be found at Don’t be sorry, be smart. Protect your phone before it’s too late.

Arkansas is ranked #7 in the U.S. for the most dedicated holiday meal preparation, according to the Del Monte Holiday Meal Census.  So how long do you usually take to cook a special holiday meal for your family?  Are you a Rushing Reindeer or a Sluggish Snowman? To put this question to the test, food researchers at Del Monte -- the country's preeminent fruit and vegetable brand -- asked 2,500 Americans to describe how long it takes them to prepare the typical holiday meal. Shown below are the Top 25 U.S. states that invest the most time in holiday meal preparation (with the average prep time shown in parenthesis):
#1:  Mississippi (7.1 hours spent on holiday meal preparation)
#2:  Kentucky (6.9 hours) #3:  Alabama (6.7 hours)
#4:  Georgia (6.5 hours) #5:  Texas (6.5 hours) #6:  Virginia (6.5 hours)  #7:  Arkansas (6.4 hours)
#8:  Maryland (6.4 hours) #9:  Maine (6 hours) #10: Wisconsin (6 hours)
#11:  New York (5.7 hours #12:  Pennsylvania (5.7 hours)
#13:  Colorado (5.6 hours #14:  Oklahoma (5.5 hours)
#15:  Florida (5.5 hours) #16:  West Virginia (5.5 hours) #17:  Indiana (5.4 hours)
#18:  Rhode Island (5.4 hours) #19:  Arizona (5.3 hours) #20: Oregon (5.3 hours)
#21:  South Carolina (5.3 hours) #22:  Michigan (5.2 hours) #23:  New Jersey (5.2 hours)
#24:  North Carolina (5.2 hours) #25:  Missouri (5.1 hours)
So which states have the shortest holiday meal prep times?  Del Monte ranked those, too:

#1:  Kansas (3.6 hours) #2:  Iowa (3.7 hours) #3:  Delaware (3.8 hours)
#4:  North Dakota (3.9 hours) #5:  New Mexico (4 hours)

No matter what state you live in -- and how much time you have to prepare -- you can make your holiday meals more memorable with these four mouth-watering tips from recipe experts in the Del Monte holiday food kitchen:

Use special garnishes to make each dish look more spectacular. For instance, try lining your meat platter with lemon leaves, clusters of rosemary sprigs, and citrus wedges.   

Even adding just one special ingredient can totally reinvent your favorite dish. Try adding apple cider to your gravy for that sweet change up or adding cranberries to your horseradish sauce for that tangy twist.

Go the extra mile by introducing different and surprising colors into your traditional holiday menu.  If your holiday dinner table looks a little drab, add a dish in radiant yellow like Del Monte's Cheddar Corn Casserole.

Cheddar Corn Casserole recipe:

Experiment with simple ways to enhance your holiday staples.  You could add crispy bacon to your green bean casserole, stir some caramelized onions into your mashed potatoes, or make a double-nut pie by combining both pecans and walnuts.

There will be no Written or Road Testing on Thursday, December 25th and Friday, December 25th. The OPED office will be closed Wednesday, December 24th and Thursday, December 24th for the Christmas Holidays. The OPED office will also be closed Thursday, January 1, 2015 for the holiday. There will be no Written or Road Testing Thursday, January 1 and Friday January 2, 2015.

December 18, 2014

Former Ouachita County Judge Mike Hesterly was sentenced Tuesday to 33 months in prison and one year of supervised released for one count of  bribery related to a federal disaster relief contract. He has until February 4, 2015 to turn himself in and will serve his sentence at a medical facility.

Hesterly, 50, was sentenced in federal court in El Dorado after pleading guilty in June to bribery involving a Federal Emergency Management Agency contract to clean up debris following October 2009 storms in the county. He entered the plea as part of an agreement in which other charges were dropped.
"With today’s sentence a strong message has been sent regarding our office’s continuing commitment to aggressively pursue individuals who violate the public’s trust through their own greed and complete abdication of the duties they were sworn to uphold," U.S. Attorney Eldridge said in a news release. "This type of conduct by a public official offends taxpayers and citizens as well as all of the other public officials who are truly dedicated to their service."
Federal prosecutors say Hesterly awarded a nearly $70,000 FEMA contract to Harry Clemons Jr. of Bearden in exchange for a $4,000 campaign contribution from Clemons. Clemons pleaded guilty in March to conspiracy as part of a plea agreement. He received two years of probation, a period of home confinement, a $2,500 fine and was ordered to pay restitution. 
Hesterly resigned as county judge in April.
LITTLE ROCK - Attorney
General Dustin McDaniel has announced that health-care workers from Pulaski and Phillips counties have been arrested following two separate investigations by the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud control Unit.
Patricia Sylvester, 53, of Marvell was arrested by the Marvell Police Department last week and is accused of defrauding the Arkansas Medicaid program of $340, which is a Class C felony.  Investigators found that Sylvester submitted fraudulent claims to Medicaid for payment for attendant care services.
According to investigators, Sylvester submitted Medicaid claims in January, February and March while the woman she was contracted to care for in her home was actually hospitalized in Jonesboro.  
In another case, Stephanie Simpson, 36, of North Little Rock was arrested by the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday and is accused of defrauding the Arkansas Medicaid program of $234, a Class C felony. Investigators found that Simpson submitted fraudulent Medicaid claims for reimbursement for at-home personal care services she did not provide while a patient was hospitalized in January.
Sylvester and Simpson were released on their own recognizance.
Charges are merely accusations and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.   To report Medicaid fraud or abuse or neglect in nursing homes, call the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud hotline, (866) 810-0016.

On January 1st 2015, celebrate the new year with a “First Day Hike!” Bring your family and friends to Daisy State Park to get started on your resolutions for a healthy lifestyle. You can explore nature and engage in physical activity while taking a family friendly excursion. Please dress for the weather and bring water with you. Our trek is just short of a mile in length. Join us at 1:00 P.M., outside at the visitor information center to begin the hike. Admission is free. (Hike will last approx.1 hour)  Call 870-398-4487 for more information.

Join the staff of Daisy State Park on January 17th or 31st, from 10AM to 1PM, for a hands-on class about cooking with Cast Iron. This unique cookware has been used throughout history for outdoor cooking and is still a great way to bring family and friends together around a campfire. Learn everything you need to know about seasoning, cleaning, and cooking with cast iron cookware. All cookware, ingredients, and utensils are supplied. Admission is $15 per person. Location will be at the DSP Interpretive Center.  Class size is limited so please register by noon the day before the actual workshop by calling (870) 398-4487. Cast iron cookware (including Lodge Dutch Ovens) and accessories will be available for purchase on site in case you get hooked on this fun hobby! From the town of Daisy on U.S. 70, the park is ¼ mile south; from Hot Springs, travel 50 miles southwest on U.S. 70 to Daisy; from Murfreesboro, go 20 miles on Arkansas 27 to Kirby, then 6 miles west on U.S. 70 to Daisy; from DeQueen, on U.S. 71, travel 41 miles northeast on U.S. 70 to Daisy; from l-30 at Texarkana, take U.S. 71 north 43 miles to U.S.70 and then drive 33 miles northeast to Daisy.

Boozman, Cotton, Griffin Urge Army to Award Purple Heart to Soldiers in 2009 Little Rock Shooting
WASHINGTON –U.S. Senator John Boozman, Senator-elect Tom Cotton and Rep. Tim Griffin sent a letter yesterday to the Secretary of the Army urging him to award the Purple Heart to victims of the June 2009 shooting at the Little Rock recruiting center - Privates William Long and Quinton Ezeagwula - based on criteria approved by Congress in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

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.

The members detail 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, that meet the criteria established in NDAA.

“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," members wrote in the letter. 

The members urged the Secretary to correct this wrong and award the Purple Heart to Private Quiton Ezeagwula and to the family of Private William Long.

Three Ways to Give the Holiday Season  More Meaning
(StatePoint) These days, the focus of the holidays is often on consumerism -- from gift cards to glitzy décor to formal place settings. Whatever your religious beliefs, you may be looking for ways to incorporate more spirituality into the season and beyond.

Here are three ways to bring more meaning to the season:

• Skip the gift exchange. Instead of purchasing pricey presents for family and friends, do a letter exchange instead. Take the opportunity to tell loved ones what they mean to you. These notes of appreciation will be a lot more memorable and a lot more meaningful than a store bought item. The money you would have spent on gifts can be donated to your favorite charity instead.

• Volunteer. The winter can be an especially difficult time for the elderly, the hungry or the sick. While it may be a particularly busy time of year for you, try to dedicate some time in your schedule to a volunteer project that helps you connect with others in your community.

• Be introspective. There is plenty of great literature available that can help you explore your own spirituality. One new title, “Coming Home, A Spiritual and Religious Dialogue,” by Star Chang, who has studied religious scriptures, history and spiritual books for years, delves into the teachings of the likes of Buddha, Jesus, Plato and Muhammad. The book seeks to help readers navigate their own path by discovering which teachings apply to them and how to incorporate them into a modern lifestyle. This reading can be especially beneficial to those looking for more meaning around the holiday season.

More information about the book can be found at

While there is certainly great joy to be had by getting swept up in the spirit of the holiday season, taking time to reflect and be of service to others can give this time of year even more meaning and importance.

Study Reveals the Season's Least Breakable Tablets
(StatePoint) Tablets are again one of this year’s hottest gifts as people of all ages and lifestyles use them for just about everything. Unfortunately, the way we use these fragile devices often puts them at risk for breaking, and certain models are more susceptible to going kaput.

To help shoppers make smart decisions this year, SquareTrade, a protection plan provider for tablets, smartphones and other electronics, decided to find out how durable the most popular tablets are. Evaluating key elements such as front and back panel design, edge construction and materials, size, weight, “slide-ability,” water resistance and “grip-ability,” SquareTrade’s Breakability Score tests devices in everyday danger situations brought on by our lifestyles and habits.

Overall, larger tablets proved to be far more breakable than smaller ones, as well as the least water resistant.

No matter how durable your device is, accidents do happen and an affordable protection plan can help you protect your pricey tablet investment. More information can be found at

If you’re giving the gift of tech this holiday season, make sure you research your options first, and consider adding a protection plan to your special gift.


December 16, 2014

Officer Plyler, was traveling on Washington Street. As the officer turned onto North Agee Street and observed a green GMC pickup driving on the wrong-side of the roadway. As the officer attempted to catch up and make a stop on the vehicle, he observed the vehicle hit another car head-on, when the officer approached the vehicle, he made contact with the driver. While speaking to the driver, the officer observed a strong odor of intoxicants coming from the driver, it only grew stronger as he spoke. According to reports, the driver’s eyes were bloodshot and watery and his movements seemed slow and somewhat coordinated. When asked if he had anything illegal, the man stated no. After the officer stated that he was smelling alcohol and marijuana coming from the vehicle, the driver said he didn’t drink or do drugs. The officer instructed the man to hand him a beer, which was under the seat. After the man failed field sobriety tests, he was taken into custody. During a search, marijuana cigarette in his front pocket shirt.

Officer Elliot was dispatched to 425 Carver Street for a disturbance. Upon arrival the officer observed a man, who he knew, and a woman also outside the residence yelling. The woman stated that she and the man had a verbal altercation due to him driving other females around. The woman was upset and began packing his things, and wanted to leave the residence. She began yelling at the man and had a warrant with probation and parole. After a driver’s license check, dispatch advised that the man had a valid probation and warrant. The man was then taken into custody.

Officer Plyler was traveling on California Avenue towards Police Drive. According to reports, the officer observed a maroon passenger car with only one working headlight. The officer approached the vehicle and made contact with the driver, and while speaking he smelled a strong intoxicant coming from him. The man stated that he did have a drink, but he wasn’t drunk. After failing field sobriety tests, the man was taken into custody.

Officer Bush, of the Camden Police Department, was dispatched to Macs Fresh Market in Garden Oakes for a shoplifter. The officer made contact with employee. After watching video footage, the officer observed a female wearing blue jeans, a black jacket, and a pink scarf around her head. The officer observed the woman put six packages of steaks in her purse. The officer then noticed the woman get two packages of hamburger meat and place them inside her cart and place the purse on top of the hamburger meat. According to reports, the woman also put a bag of dog food inside her cart, and exit the store without paying for the food. Employees provided the officer with receipts totaling $236.00. The woman was eventually found and taken into custody.

Carthage, Texas – Bradley Wayne Guthrey, 25, of North Little Rock, Ark. was arrested in Carthage, Texas on Tuesday, Dec. 9 and charged with multiple felonies after it was revealed that he was involved in the theft of a total of approximately 70 head of cattle across Texas and Arkansas. Guthrey was also wanted on outstanding warrants out of Oklahoma and Arkansas.
Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Special Rangers Larry Hand and Toney Hurley initiated this investigation and were joined by TSCRA Special Rangers Hal Dumas, Marvin Wills, Jimmy Dickson, Brent Mast and the Panola County Sheriff’s Office. Hand received a call from employees at the Panola Livestock Auction after a suspicious man from North Little Rock, Ark. brought eight head of unbranded cattle to Carthage, Texas. These eight head were later determined to be stolen and traced back to the victim in Hearne, Texas. Guthrey, the suspect, unloaded the cattle and left his livestock trailer at the auction barn to go to Carthage to find a motel. When Hand arrived at the auction, he inspected the cattle and noticed the trailer’s VIN plate had been removed. Additionally, the license plate didn’t match the trailer it was displayed on. Panola County Constable Bryan Murff arrived at the Panola Livestock Auction at the same time Guthrey returned. Guthrey was driving a brown Dodge pickup, and upon seeing Hand and Murff he fled the scene. Hand and Murff immediately pursued Guthrey at a high rate of speed toward Carthage and went around the loop. Guthrey continued on highway 149, where he ran his truck through a gate onto the Luminant Beckville Mine property. He then abandoned the vehicle and began to run on foot to avoid authorities.  Local and State law enforcement officers, K9 Police, Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Troopers and a DPS helicopter were used to search for Guthrey until after dark. During the manhunt, Hand and Hurley inventoried the suspicious cattle, stock trailer and pickup. They worked with the Panola County Sheriff’s Office to collect evidence. After an approximately seven hour manhunt, Hurley talked to Guthrey by phone and used negotiation skills to talk Guthrey into giving himself up to authorities. Hand and Hurley took the suspect into custody on outstanding felony warrants of parole violation, failing to appear on the charge of knowingly concealing stolen property, burglary of a commercial building and fleeing police by the use of a vehicle. “The suspect specifically told special rangers that he targeted unbranded cattle to steal and sell at cattle auctions, because they are not as easy for authorities to identify when stolen,” said Hurley. “Some of the 70 stolen livestock were branded. These branded cattle were found turned out in a pasture in Camden, Ark. Due to the visible brands, these cattle were identified by Dumas and me as stolen and were subsequently turned over to the rightful owners in Texas.” Guthrey confessed he was involved in cattle thefts stretching from East Texas to Central Texas and back to Arkansas. Cattle thefts were identified in the following counties: Panola, Robertson, Falls, Limestone, Navarro and Leon Counties. Additionally, three gooseneck trailers and other ranch equipment were recovered. "The suspect in this case identified unbranded cattle off rural roads roaming in pastures with no nearby homes and he targeted them.” said Hand, “Guthrey was able to capture the cattle with a bag of cubes he kept in his pickup. It is crucial that ranchers properly secure their property, report suspicious activity and keep an accurate count of livestock.  This is a very complex and ongoing investigation. TSCRA special rangers expect more charges and arrests to be made. TSCRA will release more information when appropriate. TSCRA would like to thank the following officers and agencies for their assistance in this investigation:

-Panola County Sheriff Kevin Lake and all divisions of his department
-Panola County Constables Brian Murff and Mitch Norton and their deputies
-Panola County District Attorney’s Office
-Hallsville K9 Officers
-Limestone County Sheriff Dennis Wilson, CID Sgt. Jason Ash, Captain Murray Agnew, Investigator Chad Walker
-Falls County District Attorney’s Office
-Ouachita County Captain Mike Hall, Investigator Justin Starns, and Sheriff David Norwood
-Arkansas State Police Special Agent Corwin Battle
-Navarro County Sheriff’s Department

The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet this week at Catherine’s Bistro in Camden. The Madrigals from Camden Fairview High School will be our guest this week to entertainment us with Christmas music. This will be the club’s last time to meet this year. They will not have meetings for the next 2 weeks due to the holidays. If you would like to learn any additional information or join the Lion’s Club, you can call Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440 ext. 7.

NO Written or Road Testing on Thursday, December 18th and Friday December 19th
NO Written or Road Testing on Thursday, December 25th and Friday, December 26th
OPED office will be closed Wednesday, December 24th  and Thursday, December 25th for the Christmas Holidays
OPED office will be closed Thursday, January 1st,  2015 for the holiday
NO Written or Road Testing Thursday, January 1st and Friday January 2nd 2015

MAGNOLIA – The Leadership Magnolia class of 2015 has set a goal to raise $25,000 to build two large brick monument “Welcome to Magnolia” signs for the city. The first sign will be located at the intersection of U.S. 82 (Main Street) and U.S. 79. This sign is set to be 30’x20’. The second sign will be located on U.S. 79 just north of Magnolia near Reliance Well Service. “The Leadership Magnolia class of 2015 saw the momentum building for a revitalization of our city and decided to complete a project that would be an enduring contribution to the beautification of Magnolia,” said Jennifer Rowsam, chair of the Leadership Magnolia class of 2015. “The money used to complete the project depends on donations and fundraisers we conduct throughout the year.” The group has gotten a start toward their fundraising goal. The current promotion offers the chance to win, with a $10 donation or three chances for $25, a 5 cubic-foot freezer and 100 pounds of a mix of pork and ground chuck from C&C Packing. The drawing will be on December 18. Call Amy Lewis at 870-235-7073 for more information or to donate. On January 31, 2015, the class plans to host a “Magnolia Hold’Em” Texas Hold’Em poker tournament at the Magnolia Country Club. Entry fees will be $75, with a $75 re-buy. Local businesses are donating prizes and items for a silent auction. Registration will open on January 1. Along with the fundraising events, the class is also reaching out to community leaders and organizations. There are various levels of giving opportunities ranging from $100 to $15,000. The four top levels, which start at $1,000, will be recognized with a plaque on the main brick sign. Southern Arkansas University has secured a $10,000 Diamond sponsorship, which will cover the purchase of the aluminum lettering for both signs. The signs will read, “Welcome to Magnolia/Home of Southern Arkansas University.”

Finding the perfect Christmas gift for many people this year will mean buying new electronics, which includes televisions and other video equipment, computers, assorted computer accessories, audio equipment and mobile phones. Those who receive these gifts will be responsible for properly disposing of their outdated electronics. Because of the rapid growth and change in electronic products, their end-of-life management is becoming more important. According to a 2013 report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Office of the Inspector General, e-waste is the fastest-growing domestic waste stream. The website for Causes International, a company that coordinates the donation of used electronics to support charities, includes these estimates:

·In 2010, the U.S. produced 3 million tons of e-waste.
·E-waste comprises 2 percent of U.S. trash in landfills and 70 percent of overall toxic waste.
Toxic cadmium is in rechargeable computer batteries. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is in the plastics used for circuit boards, connectors, plastic covers and cables. Other harmful substances in e-waste include lead, mercury, beryllium, brominated flame retardants and polychlorinated biphenyls. Valuable resources also go into landfills when old electronics are simply thrown away. Some of the more than 40 elements that make up a mobile phone are copper, tin, cobalt, indium, antimony, silver, gold and palladium. One metric ton of circuit boards can contain 40 to 800 times the amount of gold and 30 to 40 times the amount of copper mined from one metric ton of ore in the U.S. For every million smartphones recycled, 35,272 pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold and 33 pounds of palladium can be recovered. To keep these elements out of landfills, the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality encourages Arkansans to recycle electronics they no longer use. Check with your regional solid waste management district for information about e-waste drop-off locations or special collection events. Contact information for Arkansas’s 18 districts can be found on ADEQ’s website at Robert Hunter, ADEQ’s Recycling Branch manager, said that Goodwill Arkansas stores also accept electronics for free recycling. “Goodwill stores across the state will take any brand of a wide variety of electronic equipment in any condition,” he said. “If they can’t refurbish your old electronics for resale, they will recycle them responsibly.” Hunter also suggested checking with local electronics stores to see what they accept. Some even offer store credit for products that can be reused. Another alternative is to search for e-waste collection centers on  “Before you donate or recycle used electronics, you should delete all personal information and remove any batteries, which may need to be recycled separately,” Hunter said. ADEQ has more information about reducing e-waste on its website at

The South Arkansas Arts Center will close for the Christmas holiday on Friday, December 19 at 5pm.  SAAC will re-open on Monday, January 5, 2015.  SAAC’s normal hours of operation are 9am-5pm Monday through Friday. This week is the last opportunity to view “Carroll Cloar’s Arkansas,” which is currently on display in the Merkle and Price Galleries. Viewing hours for the exhibition are 9am-5pm. Artwork created by students of art instructors Gay Bechtelheimer, Mike Means, and Maria Villegas is available for pickup before close of business at 5pm on Friday, December 19.  Spring class schedules are currently available at reception and in the office.  Parents and guardians may enroll students this week until Friday at 5pm.  Class registration will continue upon SAAC re-opening on January 5. For more information, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474.

December 15, 2014

Officer Plyler, of the Camden Police Department, was traveling on Maple Street. The officer observed a grey Oldsmobile SUV turn onto Cleveland and then make a right onto Chestnut without using a blinker. The officer initiated a stop on vehicle on Chestnut near Sycamore. When the officer approached the vehicle and made contact with the occupants. The driver stated he was driving the passenger home because he was intoxicated. After talking with the two, the passenger stated the vehicle was his. During a search of the vehicle, the officer found a broken glass crack pipe between the console and the driver seat and a glass crack pipe in the passenger door concealed inside an empty cigarette package. Both items were seized. The passenger stated that a female must have left them in the vehicle. He said that he then met with the driver, so he could be driven home. The passenger was taken into custody, and the driver was released without charge.

Best Overall Entry: Ouachita County Courthouse

Best Marching Band: Harmony Grove
Best Utilization of Children: Lions Pee Wee
Best Vehicle Decoration: Delta
Best Religious Theme: Believer’s Church
Best Small Business Float: H/R Block
Best Choir: Harmony Grove Wee Choir
Best Utilization of Lights: B/M Painting
Best Decorated Car: Osage Popsicles
Best Parade Theme: Lockeed Martin
Best Decorated Live Animal: Ed Wretz
Best Riding Club: Street Respect Motorcycle Group
Best Industry: Lockeed Martin
Best Non-Profit: Aerojet
Best Out of Town: El Dorado Southern Belles

 (LITTLE ROCK) – Beginning tomorrow the Arkansas State Police will join other state and local law enforcement agencies to make Arkansas highways and roads safer during the holiday season. “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” is a public safety campaign initiative involving state, county and city law enforcement officers across the United States.  It will be implemented during a three-week period encompassing the Christmas and New Year holidays (Friday, December 12th through January 1st.) "The holiday season should be a time of joy, not a time of tragedy and loss. That’s why Arkansas motorists can expect to see an increase in saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints, anytime, anywhere,” said Colonel Stan Witt, Arkansas State Police Director and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “We understand that celebrations are a part of the season, but we ask that the public celebrate responsibly,” said Colonel Witt.  “Drunk driving is a crime that will not be tolerated and law enforcement officers will not accept excuses. If you’re caught driving impaired by alcohol or drugs, you will be arrested and taken to jail.” More than 10,000 people are killed each year as a result of drunk drivers behind the wheel of vehicles. This time of year is especially dangerous due to frequent holiday festivities. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in the month of December 2012 there were 830 people killed in crashes involving at least one drunk driver or motorcycle operator. On average, a third (31 percent) of all crash fatalities in the United States involve a driver who is impaired by alcohol. Drivers are considered to be alcohol impaired when their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 grams per deciliter or higher.  During 2012 there were 143 (26 percent) traffic related fatalities in Arkansas involving alcohol impaired drivers.  Fifteen of the fatalities occurred during the month of December. Using good judgment and following some simple rules will be your best defense against an impaired driver.  The Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office recommends:

-Always plan ahead whenever you expect to consume alcohol.
-Designate a sober driver before going out and give that person your keys.
-If you have been drinking, call a taxi, take the bus or call a sober friend or family member to get you to your destination safely.
-Promptly report to law enforcement drunk drivers you see on the roadways.
-Always wear your safety belt.
-And if you’re on a motorcycle use protective equipment.
For more information on the campaign, visit 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


December 11, 2014

Lt. James Bolton, of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, responded to 644 Ouachita 84 to a reported theft. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with a man, who stated that he went to the back side of his property to get some hog feed, when he noticed parts missing off a log truck he had parked there. Reported items missing are 2 exhaust stacks, valued at $600.00, 1 break drum valued at $150.00, and 4 truck batteries valued at $120.00 each. The man stated that the last time he saw the missing items was a few days before.

Deputy J. McClane responded to 2589 Highway 79 North for a report of criminal mischief.
Upon arrival to the residence, the officer made contact with a man and woman. The woman stated that she had three prescriptions missing. The woman stated that the three prescriptions were Lexapro, Resprodol, and Hydrocodone. The woman went on to explain that she believes she had 20-30 pills left in each prescription. The woman stated that she and her husband have looked about the residence thinking that maybe the medicines were misplaced. The woman believes that someone possibly gained entry into the residence earlier in the week when no one was home and took possession of the prescriptions. She stated that the backdoor of the residence was unlocked and made easy access to the pills. The couple also noticed damage to the driver’s and passenger’s side of the vehicle.

Lt. James Bolton, of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Department was dispatched to 115 Ouachita 502, to a report of damage to a vehicle. Upon arrival, the officer met with a woman, who stated that she was at her brother’s residence visiting. When she went to leave, she noticed the right rear tail light was broken out. Upon inspection, the officer found the broken light lens on the ground near the vehicle. According to reports, there were scuff marks on the rear bumper below the tail light. Also noted, tire prints leading to the right-rear corner of the vehicle. It was also apparent that someone was traveling south on Ouachita 501. At the intersection of Ouachita 502, the subject failed to stop and traveled across 502 into the driveway, striking the right-rear of the women’s vehicle. The vehicle left the scene, no witnesses could be located.

The box office of the South Arkansas Arts Center still has tickets available for “Encore: 50 years on Stage at the SAAC.”  Ticket pricing for performances on December 11 and 12 are $10 for SAAC members and $25 for the general public.  Tickets for the December 13 performance are $25 and include both the show and the Ovation Celebration party afterwards. A standalone ticket is available for the Ovation Celebration, a farewell party for the final event of the Golden Anniversary year, for only $10.  The house opens each evening at 7pm with the curtain at 7:30pm.  Encore is sponsored by longtime supporter Simmons Bank. “Encore: 50 Years on Stage at the SAAC” takes you on a whirlwind journey of memories, melodies, and merriment with a retrospective of 50 years of theatrical magic. With a cast of 30 of the community’s favorite performers returning to the SAAC stage to entertain you with everything from coconut bras to student revolutionaries, you are sure to hear some of your favorite songs and scenes from years gone by. For tickets, contact the box office at 862-5474.

December 9, 2014

Sgt. Chris Gill responded to 481 Ouachita 51 and spoke to Johnnie Sharp. Sharp, who appeared to be intoxicated, explained that sometime the night before, her neighbor, a man knocked out the window of her apartment. She also stated that he tried kicking the door in. According to reports, the frame of appeared to be loose from the inside.

Lt. Cedric Gregory was dispatched to 392 Ouachita 17 in response to a report of identity theft. Upon arrival, the officer made contact with a woman, who explained that an unknown party had created a Fraudulent “Facebook Page” and pretending to be her. Apparently they had acquired her photo from her actual Facebook Page and was now contacting her family and friends via Facebook, requesting money. She also stated that she had notified Facebook, but requested that a report be filed should any problems occur.

MAGNOLIA – College tuition across the U.S. continues to rise, yet Southern Arkansas University has earned another cost-efficient accolade with its recent high ranking by’s “50 Most Affordable Public Schools for Out-of-State Students.” ranked SAU number six for affordability in the U.S. for out-of-state students. The annual out-of-state tuition cost quoted by the site is the $9,270 from 2013-14, with an institutional financial aid rate of 74%. “In the five years between the 2008-09 and 2013-14 academic years, the national average out-of-state tuition rose 19%, severely limiting a student's ability to study in a different state,” said Jordan Reese, outreach manager for “In order to give students a realistic cost of their higher education away from home, we looked at average in-state tuition and institutional financial aid rate for public schools across the country, narrowing down the list to 50 schools that are most financially accessible.” This ranking follows several other recent merits for SAU’s affordability and quality. The Affordable Colleges Foundation recently highlighted the MBA program at SAU for affordability and quality on the Affordable Colleges Foundation’s “Best Online MBA Programs for 2014-15.” The SAU MBA was the only program in Arkansas listed among the U.S.’s top 68 programs. In 2013, SAU was honored for its return on investment by SAU was ranked toward the top of the national ROI list, and was the second highest public university in Arkansas. also ranks two of SAU’s online Master’s degrees in the top three nationally in their respective categories. The SAU Master of Science in Computer and Information Science is ranked third in the U.S., as is the SAU MBA program. Along with affordability, SAU maintains a low 16-1 student-teacher ratio and offers cutting edge and unique degree offerings, such as Arkansas’ only degree programs in Computer Game and Animation Design and Marine Biology. For more information, visit or find SAU on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube.

MAGNOLIA – Southern Arkansas University is scheduled to recognize 36 graduate students and 136 undergraduates during two Fall Commencement ceremonies at 5 and 7 p.m. on Friday, December 12, 2014. Both ceremonies will take place in the gymnasium at the W.T. Watson Center. The 5 p.m. graduation will include students from the School of Graduate Studies, the College of Business and the College of Science and Engineering. The 7 p.m. ceremony will feature students from the College of Education and the College of Liberal and Performing Arts. SAU Professor of History and 2014 Honor Professor Dr. Ben Johnson will provide both commencement addresses. Johnson became Arkansas’ first endowed professor for Arkansas studies in 2013 thanks to the John G. Ragsdale, Jr. and Dora J. Ragsdale Endowed Professorship. Johnson earned a Ph.D. in history from the University of Arkansas, and has taught in higher education for more than 33 years. He served as Dean of the College of Liberal and Performing Arts at SAU from 2007 to 2011 and was promoted to professor of history in 2010. In addition to the book he authored in 2000, he has written two additional books on Arkansas history. He and his wife, Sherrel Johnson, reside in El Dorado, Ark.

MAGNOLIA – The Columbia County Angel Tree still has 86 of the 375 children with no sponsors, so the deadline for the community to adopt angels and return gifts has been extended to 5 p.m. on December 17, 2014. Sandra Smith, SAU dean of students and director of housing, is heading up the Angel Tree at Southern Arkansas University this year. Smith had set the initial deadline for gifts for December 10, but extended it to try and help as many kids as possible. “We hope to be able to make Christmas great for more than 375 children and 152 families in Columbia County,” said Smith. “We still have 86 children with no sponsors. Please consider sponsoring a child or family.” There are several ways the community can support the Angel Tree, such as sponsoring angels, donating money, or volunteering time. For more information, call 870-235-4047. Sponsors have the opportunity to select angels from the tree, which is located at University Housing at room 218 in SAU’s Reynolds Center. There is no minimum money requirement, but around $50-$70 per child is the recommendation. If a family is sponsored, it is encouraged that the same number of presents be purchased for each child. Volunteers will even wrap the gifts, but sponsors are welcome to donate wrapping paper. If you want to help but do not have time to shop, monetary donations are welcome. Volunteers will complete the shopping and wrapping. From 2008 until this year, the Angel Tree at SAU has been co-coordinated by two student organizations – Lambda Alpha Beta (the Chemistry Club) and Sigma Tau Delta (the English Honor Society). For several years prior to 2008, the Magnolia Housing Authority coordinated the county’s Angel Tree efforts.

LITTLE ROCK – Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced today that health-care workers in Benton County, Craighead County and Mississippi County have been arrested following three separate investigations by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Jennifer Reid Casey, 33, of Rogers was arrested last week and is accused of defrauding the Arkansas Medicaid program of more than $27,473, which is a B felony.  Investigators found that Casey submitted claims to Medicaid for payment for adult day care services that were not provided between January 2014 and April 2, 2014. In another case, Jonathan Chandler, 26, of Blytheville was arrested Monday for Medicaid Fraud, a Class C felony, for fraudulently billing Medicaid for reimbursement for attendant care services he didn’t provide. In the third case, Martha Renshaw, 50, of Lake City was arrested Monday for Medicaid Fraud, a Class B felony. Renshaw is accused of billing the Arkansas Medicaid Program $4,210 for in-home services that she did not provide. Chandler and Renshaw were released on their own recognizance, and Casey was released on $3,500 bond. “Health care providers who falsify Medicaid bills are stealing money from Arkansas taxpayers and weakening the integrity of our Medicaid program,” McDaniel said.  “My Medicaid Fraud Control Unit will continue to work diligently to investigate all instances of Medicaid fraud across the state.” Casey operated Christian Day Care, an adult day care facility on Museum Road in Conway. According to investigators, Casey made fraudulent Medicaid claims and accepted payments after the facility closed on Jan. 1, 2014. Money received from the false claims was deposited into a bank account controlled by Casey and used for purchases at various retailers and restaurants, according to investigators. Renshaw was employed as a personal care aide by Allcare Homecare in Jonesboro. Investigators found that separate time sheets indicate Renshaw billed Medicaid for providing at-home care to patients based in Trumann while she was clocked in as a full-time employee of NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital. According to investigators, she also fraudulently billed Medicaid for services she said she provided during times when bank records indicate she was getting personal vehicles serviced and visiting the dentist. Chandler was contracted as an attendant care provider by the Arkansas Department of Human Services to provide home health care to his mother. Records reviewed by investigators indicate that Chandler submitted claims for payment totaling $272 for at-home care while his mother was hospitalized in Blytheville. Charges are merely accusations and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. To report Medicaid fraud or abuse or neglect in nursing homes, call the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud hotline, (866) 810-0016.

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) and the Arkansas Pharmacists Association (APA) urge people who haven’t had one to get their flu shots during National Influenza Vaccination Week, December 8-12.  According to ADH, Arkansas had a high number of influenza deaths during last year’s flu season. ADH’s Jennifer Dillaha, M.D., Medical Director for Immunizations, said, “Arkansas’s 2013-2014 influenza season was the worst flu season in over 30 years. Last year, we had an unusually high number of deaths among young adults, and we had a higher rate of flu-related deaths in children than any state in the nation.” She added, “Right now the flu is not widespread in Arkansas, but it’s widespread just south of us in Louisiana. So now is the time to get vaccinated, as the vaccine takes about two weeks to provide full protection. This year we want everyone to be as protected as possible before the flu gets here.” Certain people are at high risk for serious complications if they get the flu. This includes older adults, young children, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease). Health care workers, daycare workers, and family members, who take care of these high-risk people, can help protect them by getting a flu shot for themselves. “It’s not too late to get a flu shot,” added Dr. Eric Crumbaugh, Director of Clinical Programs for the Arkansas Pharmacists Association. “Patients who still need a flu shot should see their doctor, visit an ADH local health unit or other health care provider such as their pharmacist. Most pharmacies have plenty of vaccine available and there is no appointment needed.”  Seasonal influenza is a highly contagious virus that is spread when people are in close contact with one another. The virus can cause a mild to severe illness and can even lead to death.  Flu symptoms include fever over 100 degrees, headache, extreme fatigue, sore throat, muscle aches, dry cough, runny or stuffy nose, and occasionally stomach symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. People who experience these symptoms, severe cough or difficulty breathing should seek medical help immediately. The flu virus is spread through coughing or sneezing and by touching a hard surface with the virus on it and then touching the nose or mouth. Those infected by the influenza virus are contagious to others even before they develop symptoms. The best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated each year. Flu vaccines have an excellent safety record. The flu vaccine cannot give you the flu. Some people may have a mild reaction to the flu vaccine. Reactions to the flu shot might include mild soreness and redness near the site of the shot and perhaps a little fever or slight headache. Side effects to the nasal spray vaccine may include runny nose, headache, and wheezing. There are very few medical reasons to avoid the flu vaccine. They include a life-threatening allergic reaction to a previous dose of the flu vaccine, or a history of Guillain-Barre syndrome. People with a non-life threatening egg allergy may be vaccinated with a new egg-free vaccine.


LITTLE ROCK, AR - In a move that will help meet the energy needs of Arkansans while keeping costs down, Entergy Arkansas, Inc. announced today that it has signed an agreement to acquire a portion of the Union Power Station near El Dorado. “Entergy Arkansas is focused on keeping customer rates among the lowest in the country and helping Arkansas’ economy to grow,” said Hugh McDonald, Entergy Arkansas president and chief executive officer. “The Union Power Station purchase is a significant step in the ongoing modernization of our generation fleet. It’s clean, it’s efficient, and we’re buying it at a good price. Those factors combine to help us keep rates down, keep reliability up, and maintain an environmental profile that’s among the cleanest in the industry.” The Union Power Station, a 1,980-megawatt (summer rated) generating facility, entered commercial service in 2003 and consists of four highly efficient combined-cycle natural-gas-fired generating units, or CCGTs, each rated at 495 MW. Under the Asset Purchase Agreement, Entergy Arkansas and Entergy Texas, Inc. have each agreed to acquire one unit, and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana, L.L.C. has agreed to acquire two units. The plant purchase price is $948.0 million ($479/kW), or $237.0 million per unit, subject to adjustments. The purchase price is approximately half the cost to build a comparable new CCGT facility. The station is owned by Union Power Partners, L.P., an independent power producer and wholly owned by Entegra TC LLC. Entergy Arkansas will operate the plant, which sits on 330 acres in Union County. “We are also fortunate that we have the opportunity to invest in an Arkansas facility that provides high-quality jobs to our state,” said McDonald. “This acquisition complements the transmission enhancements we are planning to make across the service territory that will improve reliability for our customers.” The purchase is contingent upon, among other things, obtaining necessary approvals, including acceptable cost recovery, from the various federal and state regulatory authorities and the expiration of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust law. The targeted closing date is late 2015. Entergy Arkansas provides electricity to approximately 700,000 customers in 63 counties. Entergy Arkansas is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation, an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including more than 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power, making it one of the nation’s leading nuclear generators. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $11 billion and approximately 14,000

December 8, 2014

Officer Finney, of the Camden Police Department, was dispatched to 520 Short Street for a report of a man being intoxicated and refusing to leave the residence. Upon arrival the officer observed a black male, in a black jacket, stumbling in the roadway on Visor Street. The man was apparently walking towards the officer’s patrol unit, attempting to open the front passenger-side door. The policeman exited his vehicle and spoke with the man. According to reports the man had a strong smell of an unknown intoxicant coming from him. His speech was also slurred and he had a difficulty maintaining his balance. The man was taken into custody for public intoxication and transported to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office without incident.

Deputy David Harcrow, of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, was dispatched to Stephens for a verbal altercation. Upon arrival, the officer met with a man, who stated that he and another man had gotten into an argument. He also stated that the other man had pulled a weapon, and he had as well. While talking with the man, the officer could smell a strong odor of intoxicants coming from him. The officer advised him to return home, and not be out in public intoxicated.

Lt. Cedric Gregory was dispatched to 436 Ouachita 54 in response to a report of a criminal mischief. Upon arrival the officer met with the reporting party, who directed the officer to his mailbox, which had a small hole in the side of it. The man explained that he had been in the yard putting up Christmas lights when he heard something hit his mailbox. He looked up in time to see a red pick-up truck driving away. According to reports, the vehicle headed west on Highway 54. A large rock was found lying by the mailbox. The man said that this is not the first time he has had this problem. Attempts to locate the suspect and the vehicle were unsuccessful.

Deputies of the Sheriff’s Office were dispatched for a reported overturned vehicle partially in the lake. Upon the deputy’s arrival, State Police was requested as well as OEM due to fuel in the lake. Fuel was leaking from a tank that was located in the bed of the truck. Kelly Brothers took possession of the vehicle.

LITTLE ROCK –A Crittenden County woman accused of improperly billing the state’s Medicaid program pleaded guilty today to felony Medicaid fraud, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced. Elaina Brewer, 34, of Marion entered a guilty plea this morning in Pulaski County Circuit Court before Judge Barry Sims. The conviction for Medicaid fraud, a Class C felony, came after an investigation by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Brewer was sentenced to two years of probation, fined $5,530 and ordered to pay $1,843 in restitution. She must undergo random drug tests. Brewer was arrested in October 2013 after investigators found she billed the Arkansas Medicaid Program for attendant-care services that she did not provide. “Arkansas taxpayers rightly expect Medicaid service providers to perform the work they are paid to do on behalf of beneficiaries,” McDaniel said. “When they fail to do so, they break the law and violate the trust of beneficiaries and the Medicaid Program in general. This Office’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit will continue to work to prevent this type of fraud.” Brewer was contracted by Crittenden Adult Care Services to provide personal assistance to Medicaid beneficiaries who need help with their daily needs. Brewer submitted billing claims to Medicaid stating she had performed personal care services for a specific Medicaid beneficiary from Dec. 31, 2012, to March 8, 2013. However, that beneficiary told investigators that Brewer did not provide services on many of the days for which Medicaid was bill To report Medicaid fraud or abuse and neglect in nursing homes, call the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit’s tip line, (866) 810-0016.

LITTLE ROCK –Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced today that he and 45 other attorneys general reached a settlement with Sirius XM Radio Inc. of New York over allegations that the satellite radio company engaged in misleading advertising and billing practices. Arkansas consumers who have not previously filed a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office for the practices covered by this settlement have 150 days to file a complaint to be considered for restitution. “This settlement holds the company accountable and ensures that Sirius XM will make significant changes to its business practices,” McDaniel said. “I’m pleased that Arkansans will receive some relief as a result of this agreement.” In addition to consumer restitution, Sirius will pay $3.8 million to be divided among the 45 states and the District of Columbia. Arkansas’s share is $60,178. The attorneys general allege that Sirius XM engaged in misleading, unfair, and deceptive acts or practices in violation of state consumer protection laws. The investigation focused on consumer complaints involving difficulty canceling contracts, cancellation requests that were not honored and misrepresentations that Sirius XM service would be canceled and not renewed. Other practices considered include contracts that were automatically renewed without notice or consent and unauthorized fees. Under the terms of the settlement, Sirius XM agrees to improve disclosure of terms and conditions, provide advance notice about upcoming automatic renewals and revise procedures to make it easier for consumers to cancel. Consumers who believe they may qualify for restitution are urged to contact Sirius XM within the next 150 days by visiting or by mailing complaints to P.O. Box 33059, Detroit MI  48232-5059. Arkansas consumers may also call the Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 482-8982.

(Little Rock, AR, December 5, 2014)  The Division of Behavioral Health Services, Prevention Services announced that it has partnered with community based organizations across the state   to reduce underage drinking and prescription drug abuse throughout the state of Arkansas. In the state of Arkansas, underage drinking and prescription drug abuse is considered an epidemic.  According to, 5,000 people under age 21 die each year from alcohol-related car crashes, homicides, suicides, alcohol poisoning, and other injuries such as falls, burns, and drowning. According to the U.S. Drug Administration, every day, 2,000 teenagers use a prescription drug to get high for the first time. “It is vitally important that we educate our youth about the consequences of underage drinking and prescription drug abuse. It is truly “uncool” and as some seem to forget, it’s still illegal”, says Dennis Emerson, Principal of Poyen High School.  “I am very excited about this new initiative. It speaks directly to our youth and empowers them to make wise, informed decisions.  Prevention is key and collaboration will help guide us to victory.” “This new initiative was developed to reduce underage drinking and prescription drug abuse across our state, particularly in areas that are disproportionately impacted. What makes this new initiative really special is that it is geared directly towards our youth. They are able to participate and make a difference by encouraging each other to make the right choice”, says Willie McGhee, Executive Director of Generations of Faith. ”I am looking forward to working with the youth and watching them grow as they become advocates for this great cause.” This initiative is entitled “Drinks, Drugs, Nah.” It is a prevention-focused, youth-centric, outreach initiative that will be spearheaded by local youth, non-profit organizations, faith based groups and community leaders. For more information, visit the website at For more information, contact Sharron Mims at (501) 686-9030 or

The Ouachita Area United Fund are needing volunteers for the 28th Annual Christmas Dinner Delivery which served over 750 families in 2013. There is a need for Traditional cooked dishes & delivery drivers. This event will be held on Saturday, December 20th at the Camden Fairview Intermediate School from 9 am to 11:30 am.  For more information or to become a volunteer please contact Tavia @ 870.818.4502 or Nancy Kendall @ 870.833.2761

December 3, 2014

Officer Plyler, of the Camden Police Department, was assisting Sgt. Easttam with a vehicle stop on Karn Street near Frazier. The vehicle was stopped for running the stop sign at Frazier Street. While speaking with the driver, consent was gained to search the vehicle. The police K9 that was on the scene indicated a strong odor of narcotics. The two men in the vehicle were removed without incident. According to reports the passenger in the rear seat, was found to have marijuana on her. The woman denied using drugs, or smoking crack cocaine in particular.

The woman was taken into custody, and the two males were giving a warning for running the stop sign and then released the males.

Officer Jamario Bush, was conducting a security check in Wal-Mart. The officer observed a female who knew, walking down the center aisle on the grocery side with a cart. The officer observed the cart to have several packages of meat. The officer also observed the woman to have very large purse that was completely empty. The officer had recently arrested the woman at Wal-Mart for shoplifting and knew she had been placed on the ban list. The female denied knowing she was on the ban-list initially, then stated she was inside Wal-Mart trying to get items for a family member. The woman later admitted, she knew she was on the ban-list, but stated this is the only place she can stop. The woman was arrested and taken to the station.

Officer Clayton was dispatched to Wal-Mart in reference to a suspicious male walking around the store with 2 backpacks. Upon arrival, other Officer’s notified Clayton, saying that the man was in the Sporting Goods area. According to reports, the man had two backpacks inside a buggy along with other store items. The man explained to the officers that he was traveling that is reason he had backpacks. The officer was explained that the man was on the ban-list. He was transported to the station.

The lobby gallery of the South Arkansas Arts Center is filled with works created by students from four El Dorado elementary schools. The artworks on display were inspired by the paintings of Arkansas artist Carroll Cloar.  The pieces were created by students of art instructors Susy Allen of Retta Brown Academy of Communication and Technology, Gay Bechtelheimer of Northwest Environmental Studies Academy, Karen Cooper of Hugh Goodwin Academy for the Arts, and Janice Roscoe of Yocum Math and Science Academy.  The exhibit is free and open to the public. Viewing times are Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm.  Special weekend gallery hours are 11am-4pm on Saturdays and 1pm-4pm on Sundays. The student exhibition will be on display until Dec 19. The young artists took inspiration from Cloar’s paintings much in the same way that the artist drew inspiration from his childhood friend Charlie Mae Brown, who was gifted with a rich imagination which transformed the Delta farmlands, swamps, and forests into magical places. Throughout his life, he drew inspiration from her tales, and she would appear in numerous paintings.  Cloar focused on local scenes, drawing his subject matter from the Arkansas Delta of his childhood and from the Mid-South, basing his works on photographs and drawings. Carroll Cloar’s Arkansas illustrates the rich history and stories of the towns, people, and life of Arkansas from the 1930s to the 1960s. In the words of the artist; “I wanted to come back to the South and paint the places I knew as a child; places I knew were not too long for this world.” For more information about the exhibition, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474 or visit

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) called Senate passage of legislation to preserve wetlands and support future generations of duck hunters “good news for Arkansas.” The Federal Duck Stamp Act of 2014 (H.R. 5069) will update the price of the duck stamp for the first time since 1991.  Many duck hunter’s support the adjustment, as 98 cents out of every dollar generated by the sale of duck stamps goes directly to the voluntary purchase or lease of wetland habitat. “This is good news for conservationists, hunters, and most importantly, Arkansas,” Boozman said. “Arkansas is a destination for duck hunters from around the world. The additional resources generated from this program will go a long way toward preserving the habitat so future generations can participate in this exciting activity.” The legislation also requires any additional revenue to be used for voluntary conservation easements, which protect duck habitat without increasing federal land ownership. H.R. 5069 was previously approved by the House of Representatives and will now go to the White House for the President to sign into law. Boozman was an original cosponsor of the Senate companion bill to H.R. 5069.

December 2, 2014

Deputy Ronnie Lewis, of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office took a call on Highway 79 south at the bean field bridge for a vehicle mishap. The deputy arrived and spoke to a woman, who told him that she was going north on Highway 79 when the hood of her car came up and she pulled over to the shoulder. According to reports, damage was done to the hood of the vehicle. Apparently, the woman did not want to drive the car and called her husband to come get the car. Reports say the woman left with her grandmother.

Deputy Chris Lindsey responded to 2805 Hwy 79 North in Camden in regards to a firearm stolen from a vehicle. Upon arrival the Deputy made contact with a man in Bearden, who stated that he had been staying at the address on Hwy 79 North with his grandmother the past few days. The man said that he had arrived at the residence one night around 7:00pm and had gone to bed around 11:00pm He then stated that he walked out to his vehicle one morning when he noticed the trunk of his vehicle was open, he also noticed that his $250 among other things, were missing from inside. When the deputy arrived he observed several items of clothing and pair of work boots in the back seat. The man said that that he placed the shotgun under the items to conceal it. The deputy also observed several tools and a brand new welding helmet in the trunk. Other than a missing CD player, reports say the vehicle appeared “neat” and “undisturbed”.

MAGNOLIA – James E. Reppert, associate professor of mass communication at Southern Arkansas University, recently received the President’s Award for Outstanding Instruction in Mass Media from the Kentucky Communication Association. The honor was given at the Kentucky Communication Association’s annual convention, held September 26-27 at Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park, Buckhorn, KY. Reppert was recognized for interactive teaching techniques that foster media literacy.  Twitter, Facebook and RebelMouse are used to disseminate course readings and research activities.  Transparency and accountability of student work are stressed, with completed projects curated on Reppert’s Google website. His Kentucky Communication Association honors include the President’s Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Mass Media Studies (2013), Communication Excellence Award (2009), Undergraduate Mentor of the Year (2007), Teacher of the Year (2000 and 2006), and James L. Applegate Excellence in Research Award (1997). Earlier this year, Reppert was one of 40 educators from across the country (the only one from Arkansas) competitively selected for participation in the International Radio and Television Society Foundation Faculty/Industry Seminar, held concurrently with the International Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas, Nevada.  It was his second consecutive selection for the event. Reppert has made more than 150 presentations at regional and national conventions of professional associations.  He has been selected to participate in 22 faculty media seminars since 1989. A member of the SAU faculty since 1987, Reppert holds a bachelor’s degree in university studies from North Dakota State University and a master’s degree in communication studies from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  He is a graduate of Brown Institute (now Sanford-Brown College) in Minneapolis in radio-television broadcasting and acquired a First Class License from the Federal Communications Commission.

The South Arkansas Arts Center’s Creative Arts Academy will host their fall showcases this week.  Students began the semester in August and have attended 14 weeks of classes with their instructors preparing for the showcases.  The student showcases are free and open to the public. Artworks created by students of art instructors Gay Bechtelheimer, Mike Means, and Jorge and Maria Villegas will be on display in the Callaway Theater and the Lobby Gallery all week. Students of ballet instructors Melissa Spears and Stephanie Lowrey illustrate the beauty and grace of dance with a performance of “The Snow Maiden” on Tuesday, December 2 at 6pm in the Callaway Theater. On December 4, students of drama instructor Darrin Riley take to the stage of the Callaway Theater.  Beginning at 6pm, Drama 1-5 students will perform the prologue of Stephen Sondheim’s fairy tale musical “Into the Woods.”  Immediately following, private acting student Sophia Meyer will perform "Seeräuberjenny" (Pirate Jenny) from Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s “The Threepenny Opera.” The showcase concludes with Drama 6-12’s presentation of the opening number “I’m Alive” from their upcoming spring 2015 production of “Xanadu, Jr.” Voice and piano students of music instructor Karen Watkins present a music recital in the Callaway Theater on December 5 at 6pm. Information and class schedules for the spring 2015 semester will be available beginning this week. For more information about SAAC’s Creative Arts Academy, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474.

Little Rock (Dec. 1, 2014) – The Arkansas Nonprofit Alliance has partnered with 55 nonprofits statewide to launch #GivingTuesdayAR on Dec. 2, a day that focuses on holiday giving. While Black Friday promotes holiday shopping and Cyber Monday encourages online sales, Giving-Tuesday puts the spotlight on opportunities for charitable giving during the holiday season. “We are celebrating the holidays by promoting a season of giving. We encourage all Arkansans to donate money, time or talent to a nonprofit of their choice. We want this year’s Giving-Tuesday to be a great success,” said Stephanie Meincke, president and CEO of the Arkansas Nonprofit Alliance. “This movement was created to impact lives during a time of year when people can clearly see the needs of people within their community. Giving to an organization you care about is a powerful way to kick off the holiday season.” Arkansans are encouraged to make donations to organizations of their choice on this day of giving and to join the conversation by using the hashtag #GivingTuesdayAR on Facebook and Twitter. The Arkansas Nonprofit Alliance is committed to partnering with community and civic organizations to create a lasting impact in Arkansas.

November 26, 2014

Officer Plyler was dispatched to Olive Street to assist Sgt. Easttam with a traffic stop.

Plyler arrived on scene and met with Easttam. The officer stated he was traveling on Olive Street with vehicle he stopped crossed the center line forcing him off the roadway. Easttam stated that he turned and conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle. Officer’s approached the vehicle and made contact with the driver, and could smell a strong odor of intoxicants coming from him, and it only grew stronger as he spoke. When asked how much alcohol he consumed, the man stated none, then said he had just one beer around 2:00pm. After failing standard tests, the man was taken into custody.

Officer Plyler was dispatched to a one vehicle accident on Buchanan Street. The officer arrived on the scene and observed a male standing near a vehicle. The vehicle had left the roadway and struck a utility pole. Minor damage was noted with airbag deployment. While talking to the man about the accident, the officer noticed his balance was wobbly and his speech was slurred. According to the man, he didn’t remember hitting a pole, he also stated that he had not consumed any alcohol. When asked if had taken any drugs, he also stated no. The man did state that he began to feel funny, after smoking a cigarette with a friend for about 45 minutes. According to reports, the man was unable to sit still, and his speech became worse and worse. Dispatch also advised that the man had a suspended license, he was then taken into custody. He was charged with refusal to submit, driving on a suspended license, false tags, no proof of insurance and failure to maintain control of a vehicle.

LITTLE ROCK – A Mississippi County man has been arrested by agents from the Attorney General’s Office for possession of child pornography, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced today. Kenneth Ethan Tyler Lafkin, 23, of Keiser was arrested Tuesday afternoon on 30 counts of distributing, possessing or viewing matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child, a Class C felony. Lafkin is being held at the Mississippi County jail, awaiting a bond hearing. Agents with the Attorney General’s Cyber Crimes Unit executed a search warrant at Lafkin’s residence in the 300 block of Poplar Street in Keiser on Tuesday. Investigators seized a desktop computer, two laptop computers and other electronic devices. That evidence will be analyzed at the Cyber Crimes Unit’s Forensic Lab in Little Rock. Special Agent Chad Meli began investigating Lafkin earlier this month after suspecting that child pornography was being possessed at Lafkin’s residence. The Mississippi County Sheriff’s Office and Keiser Police Department assisted in the investigation and arrest. The Attorney General’s Office will turn over its completed case file to Second Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington. Charges are merely accusations and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

LITTLE ROCK – As Arkansans reflect on their gratitude over the holiday season, many will look for ways to give back. Consumers should give wisely to make sure that their donations will help those in need, not scammers. Arkansas ranks ninth in the United States for charitable donations according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Arkansans on average donate 6.3 percent of their discretionary income to charity, with an estimated annual median contribution of $3,554 per person per year.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued this consumer alert today to remind consumers to donate carefully this holiday season. “The people of Arkansas are always generous, especially during the holidays,” McDaniel said. “However, it’s important for Arkansans to remember that scammers will find every opportunity to take advantage of our benevolence. Consumers should be cautious of donating to organizations that give a small percentage of their donation to the causes they claim to support and especially those that are absolute scams.” State law requires most charitable and professional fundraisers to register with the Attorney General’s Office before soliciting money from Arkansas consumers. Registered groups must provide information about how dollars raised through fundraising are used. Visit to verify whether a charity is registered with the State. For more information about a specific charity, contact the Charities Division of McDaniel’s office at (800) 482-8982. Charities that are registered with the State are required to report the percentage of money collected that is used to pay for programming, total administrative costs, and disclose whether the charity utilized professional fundraisers. McDaniel offered the following tips to consumers planning on making charitable donations:
-Do your research. Learn about an organization before donating to make sure your donation is being used as promised. Find additional information about charitable organizations at
-Give thoughtfully. Legitimate charities will provide you with information you need about their organization, and will not resort to high-pressure tactics to obtain your donation.
-Do not donate in cash. Be sure to donate by credit card or check for security and tax purposes.
-Check with the charitable organization before giving based on appeals made via email, telephone or from door-to-door solicitors.
-Be aware of look-alike charities. Scam artists may try to create false charities with titles resembling those of legitimate organizations.
For more information about responsible charitable giving, visit the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division website at or call the Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 482-8982 or (501) 682-2341.

November 25, 2014

Deputy Chris Lindsey responded to a two vehicle mishap on Highway 79N at the Highway 274 turn-off. According to reports, a Camden man was traveling north on 79 in the right hand lane, when the vehicle he was driving was struck by a log truck in the left-hand lane, also traveling north. The driver of the log truck was also from Camden. According to witnesses, the log truck seemed to be traveling at a high-rate of speed, when it struck the driver’s-side mirror and door panel of the other vehicle. Luckily no injuries were reported.

Deputy Jarrod Purifoy responded to 4211 Highway 376 for a report of an unauthorized use of a vehicle. Upon arrival officers made contact with a man, who stated his ex-wife recently took his truck, and had failed to return it, after he had asked her before to bring it back. The man stated that he called and left messages as well as several text messages. The truck is identified as a 1998 Chevy Silverado 1500 extended cab, tan in color. The truck may have a busted tail-light and damage to the right-side. There could also be writing on the windshield.

Deputy LaDuke, also with the Sheriff’s Office, spoke with a man, wanting to make a report regarding someone getting a cell phone in his name. The 72-year-old man said he has never owned a cell phone, and never planned on getting one. According to reports, Verizon called the man stating that he owed almost $2,000 for an overdue phone bill. When the man refused to pay, they turned him over to a collection agency. The man has no idea who could have gotten his information, but there is no way he is going to pay for a phone he doesn’t have.

Deput Harcrow was dispatched to the Liquor Store on Highway 278 West. Upon arrival, the deputy met with a woman, who stated that stated while she was in the store, someone had backed into her right passenger door. According to reports, her vehicle is a 2003 Cadillac Deville, 4-door, white in color. The deputy noticed a dent in the location described by the woman, estimated damage is $2,000.00.

Sgt. Chris Gill spoke to a woman in reference to her dog being shot. The woman stated that one afternoon, she left town, and was gone for an hour. When the woman returned she said her two dogs were in the road he residence is on. She stated that the dogs are kept in a fence in her back yard and unsure how they got out. She noticed her black Sheppard mix limping and saw where he had been shot in the side. When going to the vet, it was determined that the dog had been shot with a .22. The woman suspects one of her neighbors is responsible.

According to County Clerk Britt Williford, Ouachita County has new electronic poll books. Poll workers will look up voters on the electronic devices rather than the old poll books. The poll workers can manually look up voters by typing in the name or birth-date of the voter, however if you have your Driver's License with you, the worker can simply scan the license, which will streamline the entire process. You do not have to show your license, however if you would like the process to be faster, poll workers will have that option. 

Opening day will have a whole new meaning for youth baseball next year. In the summer of 2015, families from across the country will descend on Branson, Missouri for the baseball experience of a lifetime. Construction will soon begin on Ballparks of America, Branson, which will feature two-thirds replicas of some of the most prominent Major League Baseball stadiums of past and present.  Youth teams will have the chance to field one off the Green Monster or play in Tiger Stadium, Wrigley Field and others. The facility will initially host 24 to 48 youth baseball teams for tournaments throughout the year, but those behind Ballparks of America, Branson expect those numbers to increase dramatically. You can see some vision of the facility by visiting their website:

WASHINGTON –U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) encouraged Arkansans to shop locally this weekend in support of Small Business Saturday. “We can help our communities grow by supporting our locally owned small businesses this Christmas season. These are owned and operated by our neighbors, church family and budding entrepreneurs who want a piece of the American dream. Let’s help their dreams because reality and continue the success of Small Business Saturday. I hope you will join me in putting our small businesses on your shopping list this holiday season,” Boozman said. Boozman is a cosponsor of the Senate-passed resolution that designates the Saturday after Thanksgiving as Small Business Saturday. Last year, shoppers spent $5.7 billion at locally owned shops and restaurants on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. That’s an increase of more than three percent from 2012 according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express. Now in its fifth year, Small Business Saturday is projecting even bigger successes.

MAGNOLIA – Making Magnolia Blossom has two exciting events scheduled for December 6, including a unique 5K for the organization’s first fundraising event. Racers are encouraged to dig out a horrible holiday sweater and attire for the Ugly Sweater 5K. Registration for this fun event is available online at Entry fees are $20 for 18 and older, and $15 for students. Participants may also register from 1-1:45 p.m. on December 6 at the SAU Track. All proceeds from the inaugural Ugly Sweater 5K will benefit improvements planned for the community through Making Magnolia Blossom. The race will begin at the track, proceed around the community walking trail, and conclude back at the track. The awards ceremony will be at 3:45 p.m. Prizes have been donated from Magnolia businesses. Awards will be given to the top three males and females in the following categories: 18 and under, 19 to 40, and 40 plus. The best (or worst) dressed racer will receive a special trophy. In coordination with the fundraiser on December 6 will be a follow-up event on Main Street from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. This smaller-scale event is geared toward specific touch up areas from the transformation that took place at the Big Splash on October 25. Volunteers can register at A check-in tent will be at the former Pizza Inn parking lot, and targeted tasks will include existing landscaping, painting, and debris removal. Making Magnolia Blossom is a community organization that was founded in the summer of 2014 at Southern Arkansas University. The mission of the organization is to provide opportunities for economic growth for Magnolia while fostering civic engagement among students and community members. To find out more and to get involved, visit

MAGNOLIA – Southern Arkansas University Department of Theatre and Mass Communication will be opening “A Christmas Carol” at 8 p.m. in Harton Theatre in conjunction with the Celebration of Lights. The play is by Charles Dickens and has been adapted for the stage by Clayton Guiltner, assistant professor of theatre. Tickets can be purchased at the door, online at, or by calling (870) 235-4256. Adult tickets are $8; student admission is $6. The play continues at 7 p.m. nightly from December 5-7, with an additional 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, Dec. 7. “The show is going to be a highlight of our semester,” said Guiltner. “Complete with all the sights and sounds of Christmas, this production will include beautiful, traditional Christmas hymns and carols sung by our cast as well as many surprises in our scenic and lighting elements that will make for a very attractive spectacle for our audiences.” The show will be one hour and 15 minutes, so Guiltner thinks it will be a nice compact story that will fit everyone's busy schedules. Coming in the spring are “The Dutchman,” which runs February 5-7, and the highly anticipated “Beauty and the Beast” musical, which will be from April 23-26. For more information about SAU theatre, visit

November 21, 2014

Officer Bush, of the Camden Police Department, was dispatched to Apartment 20 in Riverside for a breaking and entering report. Upon arrival the officer made contact with the homeowner. He stated that the air-conditioner was taken out of the window. The man also stated that he received a phone call from his neighbor and was told someone had broken into his apartment. According to reports, the man had been staying at his grandparents, but had recently returned to get some clothes. He said on that day nothing was out of place, and the air-conditioner was still inside the window. The man isn’t sure if anyone had got into the residence or not.

Officer Bush was also dispatched to Wal-Mart, for a subject who was on the ban-list.
Dispatched advised the suspect was a white female wearing a dark shirt and blue jeans. Upon arrival, the officer made contact with the manager, who recognized the suspect. Other officers of the Camden PD also arrived on the scene. The woman stated that she knew she was on the ban-list, however she thought she was only banned for a year. She was taken into custody and transported to the station.

Officer Plyler was dispatched to Wal-Mart for a theft. The officer arrived on scene and met with the Assistant Manager, who stated he had an internal investigation underway involving several employees. The manager also stated that one was accused of stealing merchandise over a period of time. Upon completing a statement for Wal-Mart, the man was taken into custody, and charged with theft of property under $500.

FAYETTEVILLE, AR– Before Saturday's game against Ole Miss, The University of Arkansas and the athletic department is hoping fans will not make a repeat of last week's field rush. According to reports, NCAA, SEC and U of A rules require fans to stay off the playing field, even after the game is over - a rule the school says is for the safety of fans, players and everyone else. To help with the effort, the Division of Student Affairs has launched a social media campaign, #KeepItClassyArkansas, to spread the message. This is the final home Razorback game of the season and a crucial win for bowl eligibility for the Hogs.

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) recently launched a mobile app that will allow users anywhere in the state to report environmental hazards directly from some smart phones. “Our inspectors do a great job, but they can’t be everywhere,” said Interim Director Ryan Benefield. “Enabling Arkansans to report environmental hazards in real time will allow our inspectors to respond to potential environmental hazards that much faster. We always say that Arkansans are our eyes and ears and this app will provide citizens another tool to reach out to us.” The mobile app is available in the Google Play Store. Simply search for ADEQ and hit install when the app, which features ADEQ’s seal, comes up. The app is currently only available for users of Android smart phones. The department is developing the app for iPhone users. The ADEQ Android app allows Arkansans to report environmental hazards in real time. To file a complaint, you must provide a Complaint Type (Air, Hazardous Waste, Water, unknown, etc.), and a description of the potential violation. Users also need to provide the county, and the location or driving directions. Users will also be able to add photos of the potential hazard. Photos taken within the ADEQ android app will be geotagged with GPS coordinates if GPS location services are enabled on the Android device. Contact information may be provided, but it is not required. Users will be able to review all complaint information prior to submission. Those in areas without cell service can save a complaint and submit it when they regain cell service. “The photos and GPS coordinates will really help our inspectors,” Benefield said. “It can sometimes be hard for an inspector to pinpoint the exact location of a complaint if information is vague or incomplete. We know that Arkansans who submit complaints to us do their best to provide accurate information and this app will make it that much easier for them to do so.” An ADEQ inspector will follow up with anyone who submits a complaint and provides contact information. Complaints can also be submitted anonymously. ADEQ inspectors follow up on all complaints, which can also be submitted online, in person, or by calling ADEQ at (501) 682-0744. Each year ADEQ receives around 400 complaints online. Complaints and inspections can be viewed online by selecting the databases menu on ADEQ’s homepage at and scrolling down to “ADEQ Complaints and Inspections.” Those wishing to file a complaint online can do so at: or by selecting complaints along the same blue bar near the top of ADEQ’s homepage.

November 20, 2014

Officer Plyler of the Camden Police Department, was dispatched to Wal-Mart for trespassing. When the officer arrived on the scene and met with Sgt. Easttam, who had already detained a black female, inside the store, at the service desk. Easttam said that the woman was on the ban-list and was approached by a Walmart employee concerning her being inside the store. Now the woman was taken into custody, where a strong smell of marijuana was coming from her purse. Officers searched the purse and did indeed find a plastic baggie containing a substance consistent with marijuana. Inside the purse wallet, an oval-shaped pill was found. Both items were seized and used as evidence.

Officer Plyler was again dispatched to Wal-Mart for a shoplifter. While proceeding to Wal-Mart, dispatch advised that a white Toyota pick-up left the area heading towards East Camden being driven by one of the suspects. According to reports, a State Trooper located the vehicle and stopped it on the Hwy 278 in front of Airport Liquor. The driver stated that he had intended on stealing the deer stands from Wal-Mart but didn’t leave the store with them. After talking to
Sgt. Easttam, who was at the store, talking to the manager, it was found that the man did try to leave the store. The man was taken into custody, and the vehicle was released to his family. The items that were attempted to be stolen, totaled a value of $88.20.

Sgt. Chris Gill responded to 3671 Charley’s Loop and spoke the homeowner, who stated that someone had broken a back window of his home. According to reports, the officer observed a type of material stuck to the screen that appeared to be from a tennis ball (orange and green in color). The homeowner also stated that he has grandkids and check to see if they may be responsible.

Sgt. Gill, along with Lt. Gregory, and Arkansas State Police, were dispatched to Highway 278/376 intersection for a reported vehicle accident. The 911 caller advised that a subject that was involved told him not to call anyone because he didn’t want the cops coming since he had been drinking. Upon arrival, officers observed a silver Chevy pickup, north of Highway 376 in a wooded area. According to reports, no one was around the vehicle however, the officer’s thought they heard someone or something running in the woods. At that point, contact was made with Deputy McClane for his K-9. Items collected include a Mr. Buddy heater, a 2250 Rifle, and a cell-phone. The accident investigation was completed by Trooper Billy Walker and the vehicle turned over to Buddy’s Wrecker.

Deputy Chris Lindsey spoke with a man via telephone, at the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office. The man advised that he currently resides in Alexander Arkansas, but was with a friend in Camden, when he had his wallet and credit cards stolen. The man advised that he found out the man he was staying with; his grandson had taken the wallet. According to reports, the wallet was used to purchase items at Wal-Mart in El Dorado. The man had documents to prove the purchases. The purchases and ATM transactions totaled to roughly $1,600 dollars. Apparently, when the man approached the grandson about the incident, the grandson told him to take him to court, because he could not prove anything. Charges were filed, and handed over to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Criminal Investigation Division.

Deputy Lindsey along with Stephens Police Department, responded to a report in progress at 1061 Ouachita 2 in Stephens. Upon arrival, officers made contact with a man and his wife, standing outside the residence. Family members had stopped the altercation, before the officers arrived. Officers separated the two, while EMS attended them both. The man and several cuts and wounds on his head and neck, with blood on his hands and forearms. The woman had a small wound on the back of her head, which was slightly bleeding, but officers did not observe any other signs of injury. According to the man, he confronted his wife about a letter written to her from another man, at which point verbal altercations ensued. He also said at one point his wife attacked him with a baseball bat, he tried to get away, but couldn’t do so. The wife claims that the two began to fight, when he hit her with a frying pan, so she fought back. She also states that he was seeing another woman. The two were placed into custody and transported to the Sheriff’s Department.

MAGNOLIA – The 31st Annual Celebration of Lights at Southern Arkansas University on December 4, 2014, promises to spread holiday cheer with illuminating displays, festive song and food, free photos with Santa, and a special presentation of “A Christmas Carol.” The Celebration of Lights will follow the Magnolia Christmas Parade, “Christmas Night of Lights,” which runs from 5-6 p.m. and finishes in front of SAU’s Overstreet Hall. Following the conclusion of the parade will be the RHA Overstreet Lighting. SAU President Dr. David Rankin will share a few words, and the SAU Heritage and Chamber Singers will carol. The carolers will then lead the procession to the mall area for the Reynolds Center activities. The announcement of the parade winners will take place around 6:20 p.m., followed by a performance by the Central Baptist Hand Bells and the lighting of the 187-foot SAU bell tower. Free photos with Santa, always a favorite event for families, will be from 6-8 p.m. in the Reynolds Center rotunda. The annual holiday buffet dinner will be from 6:30-8 p.m. in the Reynolds Center Grand Hall. Tickets are $4 for children five-12; $8.50 for adults; and children under five eat free. Tickets will be available at the door the night of the event. The dinner menu includes carved ham and turkey served with honey mustard sauce and giblet gravy, homemade cornbread dressing and cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and gravy, whole kernel corn and green bean casserole. There will also be a tossed garden salad and fresh dinner rolls. For dessert, there will be pumpkin pie, pecan pie and chocolate cream pie. SAU theatre is also opening “A Christmas Carol” at in conjunction with the Celebration of Lights. A special 8 p.m. show will give guests the opportunity to enjoy the other activities before heading to Harton Theater. The play is by Charles Dickens and has been adapted for the stage by Clayton Guiltner, assistant professor of theatre. Tickets can be purchased at the door, online at, or by calling (870) 235-4256. Adult tickets are $8; student admission is $6. The play continues at 7 p.m. nightly from December 5-7, with an additional 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, Dec. 7. Also in the Reynolds Center at the Celebration of Lights will be three showings of the movie “Elf” in Foundation Hall at 3, 5 and 7 p.m. Free picture snow globe keepsakes will also be offered in the Reynolds Center from 4-8 p.m. For more information, call (870) 235-4028.

LITTLE ROCK – For many Arkansans, the last slice of Thanksgiving pie fuels the search for the best holiday gifts. An increasing number of consumers have begun the holiday gift hunt online the Monday following Thanksgiving, or “Cyber Monday”—this year, that is Dec.1. The National Retail Federation reported that 131 million Americans shopped online on Cyber Monday in 2013. This year, online sales during the months of November and December are predicted to reach $616.9 billion. In order to avoid the hassle of navigating crowds, long lines and parking lot traffic, more consumers are turning to shopping on their computers, tablets and phones. Last year, 25 million Americans used their mobile devices to shop on Cyber Monday. While online shopping is convenient, consumers should know that with convenience comes some risk. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued a consumer alert to encourage consumers to use caution shopping online this holiday season. “It is important that consumers use every precaution to protect their sensitive financial and personal information while shopping online, as some websites may not be secure and can increase consumers’ vulnerability to identity theft,” McDaniel said. “There are, thankfully, some easy steps consumers can take to enhance their safety when purchasing gifts online.” Consumers should make sure to shop on websites of reputable retailers that they know and trust. McDaniel advised consumers to avoid giving sensitive financial information like a credit card number unless it is appropriate, such as on an order form. Do not disclose personal information unless it is clear who is collecting it and how the collector will use it. McDaniel reminded consumers never to divulge website, social media or email account passwords to anyone, including those who claim to be internet service or e-commerce providers. Exercise caution before clicking on links or downloading files that are posted on social media sites or emailed from unfamiliar organizations. Scammers often use emails and online ads touting prizes or gift cards to entice consumers to click on links. The Attorney General warned against such actions, as they may expose consumers’ computers to damaging malicious hardware or may be a part of a scheme to steal personal information. The Attorney General provided the following tips to help keep consumers safe while shopping online this holiday season: Do your research. Read reviews of companies and products by typing in words like “review,” “complaint,” or “scam” into a search engine prior to purchasing a product. Be sure to read several reviews—not just one source.

-Know the terms. Carefully read the refund and exchange policies for any mention of charges (like shipping costs or restocking fees) upon returning a product. Check the web address for security. 
-Make sure that the website address starts with “https” before you enter any financial information. The “s” stands for secure. If there is no “s,” don’t enter your information.
-Pay with a credit card. Credit cards provide protections that other payment methods may not. If there is a problem, consumers have the right to dispute charges and withhold payment temporarily while the dispute is investigated. Document all purchases by printing or saving receipts. 
-Monitor financial accounts for unusual activity and take action. If you suspect identity theft, contact your credit card company, your bank, all three credit reporting agencies and the police immediately. For more information on protecting your sensitive personal and financial information or other consumer issues, call the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 482-8982 or (501) 682-2341, or visit the Consumer Protection Division's website at

November 18, 2014

Sgt. Chris Gill, of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, responded to 378 Ouachita 154, and spoke with a woman. The woman stated that she earlier reported unauthorized use of her vehicle, and was now reporting that the same man took the vehicle and hasn’t been seen since, and wanted a welfare check on him. Sgt. Gill advised her that a BOLO would be put out on the man. According to reports, the vehicle the man left in, was a 1998 blue Ford Turas, and was impounded by Arkansas State Police. A number was collected where the vehicle was located and the information was given to the woman.

Officers of the Sheriff’s Department, responded in reference to a disturbance involving family members. Officers spoke with a man who stated that he and his wife had been staying with his mother, who was in poor physical health. The man said that his mother had been in a nursing home, and that his sister had taken her out and brought her home, against the rest of the families wishes, and left to take care of the mother herself. According to the man, there is order of protection against the sister, to keep her away from the residence due to past problems. With that being said, no form of an Order of Protection could be found by any name involved at the time. The man also went on to say that earlier he reported theft of property, when he and his wife returned home and found that various items, including a revolver, were missing. According to reports, there was no forced entry; it is believed that someone used a key to the back door. The sister is believed to be responsible.

The Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call reporting a wrecked a SUV in the ditch on HWY 278W about a mile past HWY 376. Deputy Carman and LaDuke arrived and found the driver sitting in a cab of a truck that had stopped to help. According to reports, the driver had a strong odor of intoxicants on his breath. He also had blood on his face and face, with injuries sustained during the wreck. The man said he lives in Magnolia and was trying to get to his grandmother’s house in Camden, when he realized he made a wrong turn and was trying to around. The man said he noticed a silver dodge pickup coming up very fast from behind him. Before he knew it, the truck hit him in the rear, causing the SUV to flip several times in the ditch. After a brief altercation, the driver of the truck drove off. According to reports, although there was damage to pretty much the entire vehicle, the back of the SUV had almost no damage. Ouachita County EMS advised the officers that they were transporting the driver to the Magnolia Hospital. He was issued two citations and to EMS for treatment.

Officer Bush along with Officer Elliot, of the Camden Police Department, were on a normal patrol inside Wal-Mart. According to reports, while walking inside the store, the officers observed a male, who they knew to have a felony warrant approaching the two. The officers made contact with the man, asking for his name. Once the officers knew that the man had a warrant, he was arrested. During a search, items were found in the man’s pockets. The items included packages of hand warmers, hair gel, black gloves and a type of spray. Officer took the items back inside the store. Wal-Mart provided a receipt totaling $37.26. The man was transported to the Sheriff’s Department.

Detective Moore, of the Camden Police, was dispatched to 449 Church Street for a damage property report. Dispatch had advised that a man had broken a window out of a vehicle. Upon arrival the officer noticed a 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer, parked in the driveway. Reports say that the entire window was shattered on the left-side. There were shards of glass lying on the ground as well as on the seat inside. The officer also noticed a large piece of concrete in the seat. The reporting person stated that a man had broken his window. Now they state that they didn’t see the man break the window, but suspect it, due to an earlier confrontation. Detective Moore caught up with the man who was being accused, who seemed to be intoxicated. The man was arrested and taken to the Sheriff’s Department. 

Twenty-four Arkansas State Police Trooper Recruits will graduate during ceremonies at the State Capitol, Thursday, November 20th at 6 PM. The recruits were assembled from a group of applicants already commissioned as local law enforcement officers employed at police and sheriff’s departments across the state.  The class syllabus was designed to accommodate an accelerated curriculum based on the recruits’ previous accredited training. Governor Mike Beebe will address the graduating recruits and assist Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police, in the presentation of State Police Commissions and class certificates. The Honorable Robert W. McCorkindale, II, 14th Judicial District Circuit Judge (retired) (Boone County) will administer the Oath of Commission. Arkansas State Police Commanders, Arkansas State Police Commissioners and other state dignitaries will be among those present for the ceremony. 

November 17, 2014

Officer Nathan Clayton, of the Camden Police Department was dispatched to 572 Jack Parr in reference to a male that had been shot. Upon arrival the officer observed two males attempting to load another man into a vehicle. The man shot was the father and grandfather of the two loading him into the car. The mother was standing on the porch observing this unfold. She stated that she was headed inside the house, when she heard a gunshot and a car speed off. The grandson stated that he was inside the house, but didn’t hear anything, and the son states he was walking down the street when he heard a gunshot. Now EMS arrived on the scene and transported the victim the OCMC. According to reports, after the mother was interviewed by the Criminal Investigation Unit, she told the truth about the incident. The son said that he and his father had been arguing when the father walked to his truck; the son walked inside and came out with a long gun, and before he knew it, the weapon went off. After the interview the son was taken into custody, charged with attempted murder. The father is still alive at this time.  

The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet this week at Catherine’s Bistro in Camden. The speaker this week will be Pastor Greg Sanders from 1st Assembly Church.He will be talking about learning to love your city. Also, we have pecans in.  The Mammoth pecan halves and the chocolate covered pecans are each $10.00 per bag and can be picked up at Catherine’s, Shoppers Guide or see any Lions Club member. For any additional information on Lion’s Club or how you can join, remember you can call Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440 ext 7

(LITTLE ROCK) – Arkansas State Troopers are joining forces with other state and local law enforcement officers over the 2014 Thanksgiving holiday.  The unified effort is directed toward seat belt law violators. The “Click It or Ticket” enforcement campaign during the holiday period begins November 24th and continues through November 30th. “The Thanksgiving holiday is among the busiest of travel periods both in Arkansas and across the nation,” said Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.  “State Troopers and other law enforcement officers will be working overtime to ensure the highways and streets are safe by strictly enforcing the laws, including the Arkansas mandatory seat belt law.” There were 301 traffic deaths nationally during the 2012 Thanksgiving reporting period.  Sixty percent of the passenger vehicle occupants who died were not wearing seat belts.  In Arkansas, during the same holiday reporting period, ten people lost their lives and 201 people were injured. According to estimates from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), during calendar year 2012 seat belts saved more than 12,000 lives nationwide. Research indicates that with proper seat belt use, the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers is reduced by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate to serious injury is reduced by 50 percent. “The numbers tell the story, buckling up saves lives,” said Colonel Witt. “Whether you’re driving across the state or across town, wearing your seat belt is one of the best ways to ensure you arrive at your destination safely.” An intensified enforcement emphasis will be noticed along Interstate 40 during the most heavily traveled hours of the Thanksgiving holiday.  “The Arkansas State Police will partner with several other states including California, Arizona, New Mexico, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Texas and North Carolina during the ‘I-40 Challenge’ which is an additional enforcement effort designed to protect motorists along the I-40 corridor,” Colonel Witt remarked. Troopers in the participating states will be assigned to every 20 mile segment of Interstate 40 during peak travel hours. For more information on the Click It or Ticket campaign, visit 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

November 15, 2014

Sgt. Justin Easttam, of the Camden Police Department, was dispatched to a loud noise complaint on Willow Street. The officer was advised that the noise was coming from a group of individuals near a silver vehicle. While traveling, the officer approached the intersection of Chestnut Street and observed a silver SUV traveling South at a high rate of speed. According to reports, the SUV went through the intersection and failed to stop at the stop sign. The officer attempted to catch up with the vehicle and conduct a traffic stop. Easttam activated his emergency lights as the SUV ran through stop signs, driving at extremely unsafe conditions for any other vehicles on the road. The driver of the vehicle was finally caught up to and told by officers to get on the ground, which he refused. The man stated that he had gotten shot at and was just trying to get home. As he spoke, the officers could smell a strong odor of intoxicants coming from his breathe, his eyes were also bloodshot and watery. After the officers got a hold of the man, he was taken into custody, others who were in the vehicle were detained for further investigation.

Officer Plyler, also of the Camden Police Department, was investigating a theft at Walmart. Dispatch had advised that two people had fled the store carrying duffle bags full of merchandise and headed towards Olive Street. Officers made contact with the two suspects, observing that their eyes were bloodshot, watery, and could smell an odor of intoxicants coming from them. During a search of the vehicle, the officers found numerous open alcohol bottles inside, the driver denied drinking anything. However after reusing any test, the driver was taken in for DWI. The other occupants admitted to drinking, stating they were just hanging out. Officer then retrieved a small metal pipe from one of the suspects, who also taken into custody.

LITTLE ROCK – A deer hunter shot and killed a 148-pound male mountain lion Saturday morning east of Hermitage in Bradley County. It’s the first time a mountain lion has been killed in Arkansas since 1975 in Logan County. The hunter, Douglas W. Ramer, 62, of Bastrop, Louisiana, told wildlife officers the mountain lion was moving toward his deer stand and he felt threatened. According to Arkansas Game and Fish Commission regulations, non-game wildlife (except migratory birds and endangered species) that present a reasonable threat to people or property may be shot during daylight hours or trapped without a depredation permit.Ramer, who was on private property, reported the incident to wildlife officers Wednesday. He has not been charged with violating regulations, although officers are continuing to investigate the incident. The carcass was given to AGFC biologists. Hair from the mountain lion will be sent to Wildlife Genetics Laboratory in Missoula, Montana, for DNA testing, which often can reveal an animal’s area of birth. Mountain lions – also known as pumas and cougars – lived throughout Arkansas until about 1920. The AGFC offered bounties and hired trappers to control predators during 1927-29. At least 255 wolves and 523 bobcats were killed, but no mountain lions were taken. Five sightings of mountain lions in Arkansas have been confirmed in the last five years, although a breeding population has not been verified. A few mountain lion sightings in Missouri, Oklahoma and Louisiana also have been confirmed in recent years. A mountain lion was killed in Montgomery County in 1949 and another in Ashley County in 1969. In late 1998, a team from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock observed tracks, feces and a deer kill from a free-ranging mountain lion across Hot Spring, Garland and Pulaski counties.

MAGNOLIA –Southern Arkansas University’s farming operation is growing again, this time with the gift of approximately 400 acres of crop land in southern Lafayette County. Ted Jackson Monroe, Sr., of Bradley recently transferred ownership of the farm land to a private trust which will be managed by the University, and SAU students and farm employees are already planning for the first crops. “The students are more excited about this than anything we’ve done since I’ve been here,” said Director of Farm Operations Rusty Hayes, who noted that the experience is a first for most students. Hayes said the property is equipped with large grain handling systems and irrigation equipment that will greatly enhance the University’s ability to teach row crop farming to a new generation of students. Founded as an agricultural school in 1909, SAU students once row cropped on the Magnolia campus, but Hayes said it had been decades since the practice had taken place on a large scale. About 15 SAU students along with Assistant Director of Farm Operations Bart Emerson will work the new farm land. Plans call for some 300 acres of soybeans with wheat being a secondary crop. Proceeds from the harvests will help fund farming operations at SAU. “We are very grateful for the tremendous generosity of Mr. Monroe,” said SAU President Dr. David Rankin. “This gift allows Southern Arkansas University agriculture students, for the first time ever, to be involved in Red River delta row-crop farming. Mr. Monroe’s support for the University will affect the lives of students for decades to come.” Rankin said he was also grateful for the assistance of Dr. David Ashby, People’s Bank professor of finance at SAU, in working with Monroe on the arrangement of the gift. “We are excited about the opportunities this acquisition will provide for our agriculture students, said Dr. Trey Berry, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “It is our hope that the new farm will also serve as a laboratory and experimental learning center for SAU and provide our students with hands-on experiences in row crop science and management.” This is the second time in recent history that the SAU farm has gained a large amount of acreage. In 2005, the University acquired the 652 acre Gov. Ben T. Laney farm, located a half-mile north of the main campus. The Laney farm addition brought the University’s main campus to 1,418 acres, most of which is used for farming. The University’s farming operations have varied over time. In recent years, beef cattle have been the primary focus on the main campus farm where there are registered Hereford and Brangus herds.

MAGNOLIA – Two South Arkansas schools got help with library makeovers this summer thanks to student volunteer projects as a part of Southern Arkansas University’s Library Media and Information Specialist graduate program. Del Duke, SAU LMIS instructor, worked with the librarians at Oscar Hamilton Elementary School in Foreman and Arkansas High School in Texarkana to bring SAU’s LMIS students to assist in their library makeovers. “These two school library makeover projects were excellent opportunities for our LMIS students to have real-world experiences in many leadership, management and evaluation roles of elementary and high school librarians. Not only did the schools benefit by having free help for their libraries, our LMIS students were thrilled with the knowledge they were gaining and eager to get back to their own libraries to implement what they were learning,” said Duke. Kristie Smith is the Oscar Hamilton Elementary School librarian and a current SAU LMIS graduate student. When she became librarian, she recognized the need for an update because the layout was not user-friendly and the wall color and well-worn carpet make the space feel small and unappealing to her students. “I was fortunate to have a very supportive principal, Pat Tankersley, who arranged to have the library repainted and new flooring installed, and to purchase an automated system. However, it could have taken years for me to manually catalog, label and arrange the books on the shelves without the help of SAU’s students,” said Smith. “Mr. Duke arrived with a 15 passenger van full of LMIS students who immediately went to work evaluating, cataloging, labeling, and arranging thousands of books on our library’s shelves.” For Teresa Bennett, the Texarkana Arkansas High School librarian and a SAU LMIS graduate, the process of renovating her library started with fundraising. With the help of the Arkansas Women for Education, the Texarkana Arkansas Education Foundation, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and her principal, Eva Nadeau, nearly $24,000 was raised in starter funds to update technology, shelving and furnishings. She said her school board was so inspired by the donations from around the community, they added nearly $30,000 in funding to complete the project. The funding for the redesign was critical since the previous configuration and furnishings left students feeling that spaces were dark and uninviting. The second phase required developing a new look for the library that would entice students to visit and use the library. “We even rebranded the library as ‘The Pig Spot,’ an homage to our mascot, the razorback,” said Bennett. The third phase occurred after the physical renovations took place. “The LMIS students were instrumental in helping with the evaluation and sorting of thousands of books. They helped me organize, genrefy and arrange the books on the shelves so that our high school students could easily locate items. All the renovations have led to a phenomenal increase in books being checked out and read by our students.” Dr. Kim Bloss, Dean of SAU’s School of Graduate Studies, describes the importance of experiential learning like the library makeover projects. “The library makeover project is one of the things that makes SAU’s LMIS program one of the best in the state,” said Bloss. “The makeovers are a win-win for everyone. The LMIS students learn first-hand practical knowledge about managing a school library and the schools gain the help needed to update the libraries.” According to Duke, the SAU LMIS program looks for underserved schools in Arkansas. SAU LMIS has taken students to have hands-on learning activities in many areas across Arkansas, including libraries at Crossett Public School and Camden-Fairview Schools. Work they did at the Arkansas School for the Blind and Visually impaired led to the LMIS program winning the Distinguished Advocate Award from Arkansas Chapter Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired. “Our students work hard during these projects and are happy to have the learning experiences as well as to give back to the community,” said Duke.

Frigid air is predicted for south Arkansas and the American Red Cross has steps people can take to stay safe during this hazardous weather. “There are a number of things you can do to prepare for the cold weather and minimize the danger to you and your family,” said John Lewis, local Red Cross Leader.  “We want everyone to know how to stay safe and what they should do during winter weather emergencies.” COLD WEATHER SAFETY TIPS Here are ten ways to stay safe during this latest round of cold temperatures:

1.Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm. Gloves and a hat will help prevent losing body heat.
2.Know the signs of hypothermia - confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering. If someone has these symptoms, they should get immediate medical attention.
3.Watch for symptoms of frostbite including numbness, flushed gray, white, blue or yellow skin discoloration, numbness or waxy feeling skin.
4.Bring the pets indoors. If that’s not possible, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.
5.Avoid frozen pipes - run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent them from freezing. Keep the thermostat at the same temperature day and night to help avoid freezing pipes.
6.Do not use a stove or oven to heat the home.
7.Space heaters should sit on a level, hard surface and anything flammable should be kept at least three feet away.
8.If using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
9.Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.
Learn how to treat cold weather related emergencies by downloading the free Red Cross First Aid App at More information about winter safety is available on About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

Jonesboro Police Corporal Selected as 2014 Officer of the Year
LITTLE ROCK – A Jonesboro Police Department corporal whose quick action helped protect lives at a Jonesboro mobile-home park in January has been named the Attorney General’s 2014 Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced today. Cpl. John Eidson was presented with the award today at a ceremony honoring outstanding law enforcement officers during the Attorney General’s annual Law Enforcement Summit. Several other officers also received awards in recognition of their exemplary work. Eidson was identified as a “hero” by Second Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington, who nominated the 20-year veteran of the Jonesboro police force for the honor. On Jan. 9, while responding to reports of a shooting, Eidson approached a visibly agitated suspect at the partially open door of a mobile home. Eidson asked the suspect if he was armed, and the suspect fired at the officer, narrowly missing his face. Eidson exchanged gunfire with the suspect outside the residence. The suspect, who was wounded in the gunfire, returned to the residence and was later found dead. Seven people, including four children and an individual who had been shot by the suspect, escaped from the mobile home. “Cpl. Eidson demonstrated the instinct and the skill that law enforcement officers must have in order to protect lives,” McDaniel said. “His quick thinking and courage under fire kept an already dangerous situation from becoming even worse. His bravery and dedication to the job are an example to all of us.” Nominations for Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer of the Year were solicited from law enforcement agencies across the state. In addition to Eidson, outstanding officers were chosen from each of the state’s four congressional districts. Those named outstanding officer from their respective congressional districts were: District: Trooper Steven Roberts, Arkansas State Police. Roberts was checking truck stop parking lots in St. Francis County in July when he identified a vehicle alleged to have been used by a suspect in a bank robbery just a few minutes earlier. Roberts stopped the suspect’s vehicle and took him into custody. Approximately $12,000 and a fake gun were found in the suspect’s possession, and the suspect admitted to Roberts that he had robbed between 30 and 60 banks in several states. Second District: Lt. Michael Treasitti and Det. Kyle Ellison, Benton Police Dept. Treasitti and Ellison were pursuing a vehicle driven by known drug dealer when the suspect’s vehicle ran over spike strips and struck a barrier on an Interstate 30 service road in July 2013. In the midst of heavy interstate traffic, the suspect fired shots at the officers. Treasitti positioned his vehicle to lessen the risk to other motorists, then the officers exited their vehicle and returned fire. The suspect was killed in the exchange. Third District:  Sgt. Daniel Klatt, Carroll County Sheriff’s Department. In June, Klatt located a 16-year-old girl who was lured away from her home by a 39-year-old convicted sex offender by quickly recognizing the girl to be a likely victim of Internet crime and using phone and Internet records to identify the suspect. Klatt spent hours scouring phone records and geolocation data to track the suspect’s movements. He worked with other law enforcement agencies to apprehend the suspect and recover the victim safely. Fourth District:  Sgt. Roy Williams, Garland County Sheriff’s Office. Williams helped wake residents and assisted in evacuation of an apartment building that caught fire in the early-morning hours of July 16. While helping others, a portion of a burning ceiling fell on the officer, resulting in first- and second-degree burns. He refused medical treatment until he knew everyone in the complex was safe. Williams, who lived in the complex, lost his belongings in the blaze.

In addition to the Officer of the Year recognitions, special tribute was paid to law enforcement officers who were killed in the line of duty. The fallen officers were posthumously recognized with special commendations for valor. Those valor tribute recipients were: Lafayette County Chief Deputy Pete Richardson, Turrell Police Chief Keith Bradford Sr. and Phillips County Deputy Sheriff Bobby Nearns.

November 12, 2014

MAGNOLIA – Magale Library Friends and staff are pleased to welcome author, professor, broadcaster and journalist Bill Mercer as guest and speaker at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 20, 2014 in Foundation Hall of Southern Arkansas University’s Reynolds Center. Mercer’s presentation is entitled, “We Reported the Kennedy Assassination” in which he will share his experiences during this tragic event. This event is free and open to the public. It was while Mercer was working at Dallas CBS affiliate KRLD, Channel 4, that he became a witness to and reporter of history at the time of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, November 22, 1963.  This event was the first time such breaking news was covered spontaneously, something we now take for granted. Mercer and fellow reporters Bob Huffaker, George Phenix and Wes Wise were responsible for covering the assassination and the aftermath for KRLD. They provided news and footage to Walter Cronkite and other CBS affiliates around the country. “When the News Went Live: Dallas 1963,” published in 2013, provides photos, insights, and reflections on the events these four reporters covered. For more information about the exhibit at SAU’s Magale Library, call (870) 235-4170, e-mail:, or read more online

MAGNOLIA – The MBA program at Southern Arkansas University was recently recognized by the Affordable Colleges Foundation’s “Best Online MBA Programs for 2014-15.” SAU’s MBA was ranked 19 of the 68 schools making the list, and was the only program in Arkansas honored. “We in the SAU College of Business are proud to be recognized for this ranking. We believe it is a verification of the high quality and significant value provided by the MBA program at SAU,” said Dr. Lisa Toms, dean of the College of Business. “Along with the affordability and quality, we have preserved our culture of faculty/student engagement. Even our online program provides a world class education in a personal environment.” The total cost to obtain an MBA from SAU is $9,310 for in-state tuition and fees, and $13,150 for out-of-state tuition and fees. The program can be completed completely online, in the classroom, or a combination of the two. There are three tracts in the SAU MBA program – Supply Chain Management, Agri-Business and a general MBA. The program can be completed in two years, and qualified students may apply for a graduate assistantship. The MBA program is the largest graduate program at SAU with 76 students enrolled Fall 2014. The popularity of this program helped the SAU School of Graduate Studies reach a milestone enrollment with a total of 510 students.The spring application deadline for the SAU School of Graduate Studies is December 1. Call (866) 921-5179 or visit for more information. Affordable Colleges Foundation analyzed more than 500 colleges for their rankings. According to, the 68 they highlighted “have developed online MBAs that truly stand out; they have full accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), low student-teacher ratios, and faculty with demonstrated excellence in business and management.” Visit to find out more about the Affordable Colleges Foundation’s rankings.                                         

The South Arkansas Arts Center continues its 50th anniversary celebration with a touchstone exhibition of Arkansas’ native son, Carroll Cloar.  On Thursday, November 13, Greg Thompson of Greg Thompson Fine Art in North Little Rock will speak in the Callaway Theatre at 6pm about the life of Carroll Cloar, followed by a viewing of the film “Friendly Panthers, Hostile Butterflies.”  The opening of the galleries and a reception will follow the lecture at 7pm.  The exhibition, curated by Gay Bechtelheimer and Greg Thompson, is currently on display in the Merkle and Price Galleries through December 19.  Exhibition hours are Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm with special weekend hours on Saturdays from 11am-4pm and Sundays from 1-4pm.  The exhibition is sponsored by Ms. Martha Murphy in honor of her mother, Johnie Walker Murphy. The lecture, reception, and exhibition are free and open to the public. “I have dealt and immersed myself most of my professional carrier in the art and life of Carroll Cloar. Our gallery is one of his largest dealers of his work in the country. This twenty year relationship to the man and his art has given me an in depth insight into the artist which I am honored and delighted to share,” said Thompson.  “So many collectors have been so generous and gracious to loan these important works of art from their home which they hold dear. Some did and some didn't and there is little you can do about it. I am very grateful for those who did and the level of quality of work we have in this exhibition. It will do El Dorado proud.”

LITTLE ROCK – Recent weather reports indicate that Arkansas consumers are in for a chill in the upcoming weeks, and with the colder weather comes rising heating costs. According to a survey of residential energy consumption in Arkansas, home heating accounts for one-fourth of annual costs. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued this consumer alert today to remind Arkansans of a law that protects consumers relying on liquefied petroleum, or LP, gas to heat their homes in the case of a major winter storm, and to provide advice on keeping heating expenses down during cold weather. “Winter weather can be unpredictable in Arkansas, so it is important for Arkansans who use LP gas to heat their homes to know that there are laws that protect them in the case of a severe storm,” McDaniel said. “And for all consumers, thankfully, there are also several effective and inexpensive ways to keep homes warm within a budget.” Arkansas consumers who rely on LP gas commonly rent tanks from the gas provider. Typically, the provider who owns the tank is the only entity allowed to fill the tank. Following the ice storm in 2009, however, the General Assembly amended the LP gas law to allow other providers to fill the tank if the tank owner and primary provider cannot make a timely delivery. McDaniel also encouraged consumers who use LP gas to heat their homes to own their fuel tanks. This allows homeowners to shop for the best prices from LP gas dealers. Independent buyers are likely to receive more competitive pricing from LP gas providers. And consumers who own their own tanks can go to any provider for a fill in inclement weather. To help consumers conserve fuel and keep costs low throughout the winter season, McDaniel offered the following tips: 

-Keep curtains open during the day to naturally heat your home and close them at night to retain the heat.
-Use a programmable thermostat to automatically lower the temperature while you are away or asleep.
-Sealing your home and adding insulation to your walls and attic can prevent your home from losing up to 25% of its heat through small cracks and holes.
-Stop warm air from escaping by weather-stripping doors and windows.
-Set ceiling fans to spin clockwise to recirculate rising hot air.
-Conserve energy by lowering the thermostat, reducing hot water usage and restricting cooking times.
-Use alternative heating sources like fireplaces and electric space heaters to keep heating costs down.
-If using LP gas, consider signing a long-term contract with a provider in order to lock in a specific price over a set period. 
The Attorney General also offered a few reminders to maximize heat efficiency and maintain your heating system throughout the extreme cold of the winter:
-Clean filters every month and replace them regularly.
-Monitor air ducts and heating pipes to make sure that they are safely sealed.
-Clear dirt, soot or corrosion from the system, and clean the heat exchanger to maintain heat levels.
-Make sure baseboard heaters, air vents and radiators are not obstructed. 
For more information on home heating or other consumer issues, call the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 482-8982 or (501) 682-2341, or visit the Consumer Protection Division's website at

November 10, 2014

Officer Sharlotte Elliot, of the Camden Police Department, was on routine in the area of Adams Avenue near the old Berg building, behind Banks Pawn. The officer observed a white male, going through scrap metal at the building. Several cuts could be seen on the man, as he was going through the metal. The officer also observed scrap metal in the back of the man’s white Ford F150, which was parked in a no parking zone. The officer exited her unit and made contact with the man, who stated that he was given permission to go through the metal, earlier in the day. According to reports, the man had a strong smell of an unknown intoxicant coming from him. When the man was asked if he had been drinking, he stated that he was earlier. After providing a breathe sample, he was determined to be a danger to himself and those around him. The man was taken into custody and issued criminal citations for public intoxication, fail to pay registration, no proof of insurance, and being parked in a prohibited area. 

The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet this week at Catherine’s Bistro in Camden. The speaker this week will be Dennis Cooper.  He serves as the Pre-Health Recruiter/Educational Coordinator for UAMS South in Magnolia. He will talk about the MASH unit they did here at OCMC this summer and will bring a couple of students who participated in the program. For more information on the Lions Club and how you can join you can call Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440 ext. 7

The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center presents LinkedIn Fundamentals. The seminar will take place on Tuesday November 11th from 11:00am until 1:00pm. This seminar will teach the attendee about the history and growth of LinkedIn, how to manage your professional information and information about your business on the internet, how to find and be introduced to potential clients, customers and subject experts, how to be found for business opportunities, how to post and distribute job listings for employees, and how to gain insights from discussions with like-minded professionals in private group settings.

On Saturday, November 15, Keep El Dorado Beautiful will host a Rally for Recycling, joining thousands of local organizers holding recycling events across the country to celebrate America Recycles Day, the only nationally recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States. The KEB Rally for Recycling will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the City of El Dorado Recycling Center, located behind Arby’s on N. West Ave. Door prizes will be awarded and refreshments will be served. All city residents are encouraged to participate and bring recyclables to the center for the rally. Prizes will be awarded in youth and adult divisions for the most recyclables (by volume) turned in that day. No hazardous materials, household or otherwise, will be accepted. Generally accepted recyclables include: paper (newspaper, magazines, catalogs), cardboard and plastic. For any additional information, you can email 

ARVets, a statewide non-profit organization providing innovative programs that improve the lives of Veterans and their families, is joining forces with Arvest Bank to honor the service and sacrifice of former servicemen and women on Veterans Day. On Tuesday, November 11, 2014, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Arvest Bank will host Veterans Day cookouts at five of its banking locations. Donations will be accepted at each site and given to ARVets to support various services that benefit Arkansas Veterans. “Even though our organizations have different missions, we have similar names, a shared commitment to bettering people’s lives, and we are both dedicated to supporting the Veterans community in Arkansas,” said ARVets CEO Nicole Hart.

Veterans Day cookout locations include:
- 10206 Mabelvale Plaza Drive, Little Rock
- 500 S Broadway St, Little Rock
- 1810 N 1st St, Jacksonville
- 2590 Donaghey Ave, Conway
- 111 Cordoba Center, Hot Springs Village
For over 50 years, Arvest Bank has been an active and involved member of the community while fulfilling its mission of helping people find financial solutions for life. Now, Arvest has 260 locations that are part of 16 locally managed banks in more than 100 communities in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Kansas. As the premier service organization for Arkansas Veterans, ARVets has provided assistance to over 3,000 Veterans and brought in over $3.5 million in state revenue to support the Veteran community in the last three years. ARVets needs your support to continue to bring these needed services to the Veteran community. ARVets welcomes tax-deductible donations online and volunteer support for its programs that assist Veterans with job training, career development, education, entrepreneurship, housing, health, and family support services. For more information call (501) 246-5341 or visit .  

An unforgettable letter from Santa Claus leaves no doubt and will revitalize your children’s belief in Santa like never before! Why a letter from Santa Claus?  Unlike adults, children look for reasons to believe.  This is what makes these letters from Santa Claus so magical.  These letters truly remove doubt in so many children who might be wondering if there really is a Santa Claus. Each Santa letter is a personal letter from Santa Claus cleverly written to include your child’s name, gender, this year’s accomplishments and wish list! In addition, each letter is written on Santa’s colorful, personal stationery and then is mailed with a postmark from North Pole, Alaska! (Some people like to frame the letter and envelope as unique keepsakes) There are also letters for older children who are beginning to doubt Santa Claus’ existence as well as adults.. Letters from Santa Claus are not just for children.  Santa can also write a letter to a husband or wife, father or mother, grandfather or grandmother.  Provide the details, and Santa will mention them in a custom letter just for that person. To order a Letter From Santa, fill out the form below and mail it to Santa with your payment (proceeds benefit the Women’s Crisis Center of South Arkansas).

For each letter, send cash or a check for $6.00 to:  Letters From Santa, P.O. Box 1149, Camden, AR 71711.  Checks should be made payable to Women’s Crisis Center.  Duplicate this form as needed.  You can also just write the needed information on a plain piece of paper. If you have special instructions, Santa will do his best to accommodate you. The deadline for Letters From Santa is December 8 to receive the North Pole postmark.  Letters ordered after December 8 will still be sent, but with a local postmark.  Questions?  Call 870-836-0375. Please keep in mind that letters are timed to arrive just before Christmas.

MAGNOLIA – Hear, ye! Hear, ye! Lords and ladies, one and all are invited to join the Heritage and Chamber Singers of Southern Arkansas University for a Madrigal Feast at 6:30 p.m. Friday, November 14, 2014, in the Grand Hall of the Reynolds Center. Reservations must be made by noon on Tuesday, November 11. Tickets and/or reservations are available from David DeSeguirant at (870) 235-4246 or Individual tickets are $25; couples may purchase a single ticket for two at $40. Children are welcome. All of the proceeds from the evening will go toward ensemble-related travel. Guests will be treated to a Royal Court, minstrels, troubadours, and a mythical beast may also make an appearance. The menu is splendid, and will include wassail, salad, French onion soup, roasted beef and “grilleth poultree,” potatoes, beans with almonds, bread, and a royal dessert. A Renaissance/Monty Python/Kitchen Sink Masque, titled “Fools Fall in Love,” will be included as part of the evening’s entertainment. The merry servers will be members of the Heritage and Chamber Singers. Guests should feel at liberty to attire thyselves in a festive Renaissance manner; or, if thou wouldest dress in 21st century attire, that is perfectly acceptable. In conjunction with the Madrigal Feast will be a SAU Choir Reunion on Saturday, November 15. The reunion will feature the years of 1967-71, but any SAU choir alumni are welcome. Plans include lunch at a local restaurant, followed by singing at a designated venue. Choir alumni are also encouraged to attend the Madrigal Feast. For more information, contact Joan Gardner Blann (’71) at (501) 765-5626 or

WASHINGTON– U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, will honor the service and sacrifice of Arkansas veterans at events in Little Rock on Veterans Day. “On Veterans Day we reflect on the sacrifices of the men and the women who put their lives on the line for liberty. These men and women and their families are selfless Americans who deserve our thanks and appreciation for their tireless efforts to protect our country,” Boozman said. Including the annual state Veterans Day Ceremony, Boozman will meet with disabled veterans who use service dogs for therapy. 9 a.m. - Boozman will meet with the founder of Hot Springs Village based DAV K9 Assistance Dog Association and disabled veterans and their service dogs. Veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI), and other seen and unseen injuries, benefit from the companionship of dogs. Boozman is a champion of establishing a pilot program to allow VA to examine the feasibility of service dog training activities as therapies in mental health rehabilitation programs. Boozman is the recipient of the Legislative Leader award from the Humane Society of the United States and its affiliate the Humane Society Legislative Fund for his support of veteran’s dog training therapy.

-Senator Boozman’s Little Rock Office
1401 W. Capitol Ave., Plaza F
Little Rock 11 a.m. – Boozman will recognize the service and sacrifice of veterans at the Arkansas Department of Veterans' Affairs State Veterans Day Ceremony.
Arkansas Department of Veterans' Affairs State Veterans Day Ceremony
River Market Pavilion 400 President Clinton Ave Little Rock

November 6, 2014

Officer Ferguson, of the Camden Police Department was dispatched to 499 Church Street for a male that seem to be causing a disturbance. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with a woman who told him that a male had been kicking her door. She also stated that the man was outside of the house because he was drunk and had hit her. However she did state that she was not pressing charges. The woman had called the policed three times on the man, and the fourth came from One Stop Deli. The owner and clerk of the deli said that the man came into the store and tried to take a beer. He then became angry and through the beer on the floor. He was put out of the store by the clerk, when he threw down a second beer. According to reports, the man had a strong odor of intoxicants coming from him. He also became angry and started to yell at the officers, waking up the next-door neighbor. He was arrested for public intoxication.

MAGNOLIA – Hear, ye! Hear, ye! Lords and ladies, one and all are invited to join the Heritage and Chamber Singers of Southern Arkansas University for a Madrigal Feast at 6:30 p.m. Friday, November 14, 2014, in the Grand Hall of the Reynolds Center. Reservations must be made by noon on Tuesday, November 11. Tickets and/or reservations are available from David DeSeguirant at (870) 235-4246 or Individual tickets are $25; couples may purchase a single ticket for two at $40. Children are welcome. All of the proceeds from the evening will go toward ensemble-related travel. Guests will be treated to a Royal Court, minstrels, troubadours, and a mythical beast may also make an appearance. The menu is splendid, and will include wassail, salad, French onion soup, roasted beef and “grilleth poultree,” potatoes, beans with almonds, bread, and a royal dessert. A Renaissance/Monty Python/Kitchen Sink Masque, titled “Fools Fall in Love,” will be included as part of the evening’s entertainment. The merry servers will be members of the Heritage and Chamber Singers. Guests should feel at liberty to attire thyselves in a festive Renaissance manner; or, if thou wouldest dress in 21st century attire, that is perfectly acceptable. In conjunction with the Madrigal Feast will be a SAU Choir Reunion on Saturday, November 15. The reunion will feature the years of 1967-71, but any SAU choir alumni are welcome. Plans include lunch at a local restaurant, followed by singing at a designated venue. Choir alumni are also encouraged to attend the Madrigal Feast. For more information, contact Joan Gardner Blann (’71) at (501) 765-5626 or

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The Arkansas State Police (ASP) has released the accident report in Wednesday's fiery 7 vehicle I-40 crash that killed two. The victims have been identified as 68-year-old, Robert H. Billings, of Nesbit, MS (passenger in a 2003 Ford van), and 45-year-old Iketha D. Winchester, 45, of Houston, TX (driver of a 2010 International semi). Drivers of four other vehicles were also injured in the accident. They ranged in age from 64 to 39. A 13-year old Mississippi girl in the same car as Billings was also listed as injured. Other vehicles involved in the accident included: 2014 Dodge Ram (pickup truck), 2011 Chevy Tahoe (SUV), 2010 International (semi), 2003 Ford (van), 2006 Volvo (semi), and 2011 Peterbilt (semi). A description was not available of a seventh vehicle. The ASP says all the vehicles were headed east. The report states that the 2010 International was in the right lane at the 276 mile marker when it rear-ended the 2014 Dodge Ram, pushing it to the right off the roadway and into the rear of the 2011 Chevy Tahoe. The 2010 International remained on the road but ran into the back of the 2006 Volvo, pushing it into the 2003 Ford. The Ford was then pushed in between the 2011 Peterbilt and a seventh vehicle. The Peterbilt was then stopped in the right lane beside the seventh vehicle, which was stopped in the left lane. The drivers of the Ford van and the seventh vehicle were not injured.

Receives “C” On 2014 March Of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Nov. 6, 2014) – Arkansas’ preterm birth rate dropped again, earning it a better grade on the March of Dimes 2014 Premature Birth report card. Arkansas’ preterm birth rate was 12.7 percent in 2013, down from 13.3 in 2012, earning it a “C” on the report card. The national preterm birth rate fell to 11.4 percent in 2013 – the lowest in 17 years -- meeting the federal Health People 2020 goal seven years early.  Despite this progress, the nation still received a “C” on the annual report card and still has the highest rates of preterm birth of any high resource country. “We’re proud of Arkansas’ better grade on the report card. Their success is a testament to the hard work of Arkansas’ state and local health departments, our hospital partners and health care providers. It shows that when a health problem, as complex as preterm birth, is challenged with strong policies and bold leadership, babies benefit,” said R Whit Hall, MD. Professor, Neonatology at UAMS Medical Center.  “Through the March of Dimes’ unique, team-based research projects, we will continue the important work of discovering the unknown causes of preterm birth so more babies will get a healthy start in life.” Here, in Arkansas the March of Dimes is supporting group prenatal programs, education, and hospital efforts to end early elective deliveries that will help women have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies. In Arkansas, the rate of late preterm births is 9.0 percent the rate of women smoking is 29.2 percent, and the rate of uninsured women is 25 percent. These factors contribute to improved infant health in Arkansas. It earned a star on the report card for: Reducing the percent of uninsured women of child-bearing age Lowering the late preterm birth rate these improvements mean not just healthier babies, but also a potential savings in health care and economic costs to society. The March of Dimes attributed the improved rates to an expansion of successful programs and interventions, including actions by state health officials here and every other state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. “We will continue to work together to improve access to health care, help women quit smoking and, through our Healthy Babies Are Worth the Wait consumer education campaign, encourage women and health care providers to avoid scheduling a delivery before 39 weeks of pregnancy unless medically necessary,” said R Whit Hall, MD. Grades are based on comparing each state’s and the nation’s 2012 preliminary preterm birth rates with the March of Dimes 2020 goal of 9.6 percent of all live births. The U.S. preterm birth rate is 11.5 percent, a decline of 10 percent from the peak of 12.8 percent in 2006. The Report Card information for the U.S. and states will be available online at: Premature birth, birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy, is a serious health problem that costs the United States more than $26 billion annually, according to the Institute of Medicine. It is the leading cause of newborn death, and babies who survive an early birth often face the risk of lifetime health challenges, such as breathing problems, cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities and others. Even babies born just a few weeks early have higher rates of hospitalization and illness than full-term infants. At least 39 weeks of pregnancy are important to a baby’s health because many important organs, including the brain and lungs, are not completely developed until then. On November 17th, the March of Dimes and organizations from around the world will mark the fourth World Prematurity Day. The World Prematurity Network, (WPN), a global coalition of consumer and parent groups working together to raise awareness and prevent premature birth in their countries, is calling for action to prevent preterm birth and improve care for babies born too soon.  An estimated 15 million babies are born premature and of those more than a million die as a result of their early birth.  Locally, The Fountain at UAMS Hospital will be lit “Purple” during the month of November for Premature Awareness Month. Learn more about Prematurity Awareness Month and World Prematurity Day by visiting and share stories and videos about babies born too soon. The page features an interactive world map showing the home place for each story told. The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. For more than 75 years, moms and babies have benefited from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines, and breakthroughs. Find out how you can help raise funds to prevent premature birth and birth defects by walking in March for Babies at  For the latest resources and information, visit or Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

November 5, 2013

Southern Arkansas University Tech (SAU Tech) is proud to announce the recent election of its registrar, Wayne Banks, to the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO).  Banks has held leadership positions in the state and regional chapters of this organization in the past. He has been employed for almost 20 years at SAU Tech. AACRAO is a professional association of personnel working in the fields of college and university admissions, academic records, and enrollment services. The association is based in Washington, DC. Banks was selected from the list of nominees for the position during the association’s N&E meeting which took place in Washington, DC September 21st – 23rd and was voted in by the AACRAO membership on October 31st. The position is a two year term, the first year as Chair-elect for 2015-16, and the second year as Chair for 2016-17.

MAGNOLIA – Wear your patriotic colors and join Southern Arkansas University’s annual Veterans Day Salute to Troops from 12:15-1 p.m. on November 11, 2014. Due to the possibility of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held in Reynolds Center Grand Hall. Please invite a service member or bring a photo or memorabilia in their honor to be displayed. All service members and veterans in attendance will be recognized. A light lunch reception will follow the tribute. The event is free and open to the public. Dr. David Rankin, SAU president, is scheduled to speak at the tribute, as will USMC SSGT Louis Roy, veteran and new assistant professor of criminal justice at SAU. Josh Kee will sing “God Bless the USA,” and Jaymee King of the SAU Choir will perform “God Bless America.” Kameron Willis of the SAU Band will perform “Taps.” Parking is available in the Reynolds Center parking lot, and the SAU President’s Ambassadors will provide shuttle services to the building as needed. SAU’s campus is home to the 1st Battalion of the 151st Cavalry, 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the Arkansas Army National Guard. SAU also is home to returning veterans looking to get a college education, and the University has been awarded for the past four years the designation of “Military Friendly School” by G.I. Jobs, the premier magazine for military personnel transitioning into civilian life. The tribute and reception are sponsored by the SAU Veterans Resource Center. For more information, contact Vicki Butler, Veterans Resource Center director, at 870-235-4026 or

White Oak Lake State Park manages 725 acres of land in Nevada and Ouachita Counties.  As part of management activities at the site, a prescribed burn is planned in the Fern Hollow Trail area for some time during the days of November 10-November 21.   Park neighbors near the controlled burn areas are being notified. The burns are being conducted by specially trained crews skilled in fire management operations.  Safety is emphasized in all phases of the fire management with local fire protection representatives being involved in the planning process. The burn will occur within prescribed parameters, including temperature, wind speed, and fuel moistures. The location of the burn is planned for the Fern Hollow Trail and surrounding trails and lake edge. The hiking and mountain bike trail will be closed and camping will be prohibited in the primitive area during and after the burn for a few days.  The Spring Branch Trail will remain open to the public during the burn. White Oak plans to burn the area sometime between November 10 and November 21, but the date could change due to weather parameters. If you have any questions or would like additional information contact White Oak Lake State Park at 870-685-2748.

The South Arkansas Arts Center is proud to announce a new corporate sponsor.  Murphy USA has made a five year commitment to back SAAC’s summer musical productions.  The sponsorship begins next year as SAAC returns to the basics with their 2015 summer offering of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s version of “The Wizard of Oz.” Since 1996, Murphy USA, whose headquarters are located in El Dorado, has been the place people go to save on the gas that fuels their lives. From the lowest prices on gas to exclusive deals on your family’s favorite snacks and drinks, Murphy USA is always going the extra mile to help you buy smarter and drive farther. “The South Arkansas Arts Center is one of the jewels in the crown of our community,” said Andrew Clyde, President and CEO of Murphy USA. “We are excited to help bring the showcase summer performance to southern Arkansas audiences.” Through this new partnership, SAAC will be able to continue offering quality theatrical productions to the community.  SAAC’s summer musical’s alternate each year between family fair like “Oliver” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” to more adult fair like “Chicago” and “9 to 5.” Thank you to Murphy USA for their dedication to fulfilling the arts within the community.  For more information about sponsorship opportunities, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474.

LITTLE ROCK – Winter is just around the corner, and as the colder weather approaches, many consumers will begin stocking up on firewood. Arkansas consumers should avoid purchasing firewood that is not sold by the cord, a fraction of a cord, or in cubic feet. Rough measurements like “ricks,” “truckloads,” “piles,” and “face cords” do not comply with Arkansas Bureau of Standards regulations that protect consumers from overpaying for firewood. The proper measurement for a unit of cut wood sold in Arkansas is defined as 128 cubic feet of firewood. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued a consumer alert today to make sure Arkansas consumers get the most for their money when buying firewood. “Arkansas law protects consumers from overpaying or being scammed when buying firewood by defining precise measurements,” McDaniel said. “Consumers can protect themselves and their money by buying high-quality wood in standard units and making sure to keep a receipt after any purchase.” To accurately measure a cord, the Bureau of Standards recommends placing the wood in a line or row, with each piece touching and parallel to each other. Make sure there are as few gaps as possible, because some disreputable vendors may line logs up loosely in order to shortchange customers. Consumers should also be aware of what variety of wood they are purchasing. Dense woods, such as oak and hickory, produce more heat and burn longer than soft woods like pine or spruce. Newly cut green wood is not as safe and efficient as dry, seasoned wood. Higher moisture levels in new wood can create more tar and creosote buildup in chimneys, increasing the risk of a fire. When buying wood, be sure to obtain a receipt that shows the amount and type of wood purchased, the price, and the seller’s name, address and phone number. Before burning any questionable wood, consumers with concerns or complaints should contact the Bureau of Standards at (501) 570-1159. Stored wood should be shielded with a protective covering like a tarp to keep the wood dry and usable. Store stacked wood away from the house to prevent damage from termites and other pests. For more information on this or other consumer issues, call the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 482-8982 or (501) 682-2341, or visit the Consumer Protection Division's website at

November 4, 2014

Lt. Cedric Gregory, of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, was dispatched in response to a report of an assault. Upon arrival, the officer made contact with a woman who explained that her son and grandson had been assaulted by people, a while earlier. According to reports, the grandson had been at the residence, with his girlfriend, who had come home with him after school. The grandson stated that he received a phone call from the girlfriend’s father, demanding that his daughter come home. According to reports, the grandson explained that his grandmother was at a football game and that they had to wait on her; however the father insisted his daughter be brought home by 9:00 pm. The grandson explained to the father that they had to wait on the grandmother, or he could come pick her up himself. The father showed up later, with two other males. The grandson and the girl’s father began to argue, when the grandson was punched in the face. The grandson’s Uncle tried to intervene and break up the altercation, however he was attacked as well. Once the three males ceased attack on the two, they grabbed the daughter and forced her into the vehicle they were driving. Reports were filed and officers went to the residence of the girl and her father, however no one answered. 

Deputy Chris Lindsey, also with the Sheriff’s Department, responded to a call in Camden.
The officer made contact with a woman, who advised that she believed that her ex-boyfriend had been inside her residence while she was gone. She also advised that about three weeks prior, he began to text her on a daily basis, wanting to get back together. She stated that she told him that she did not want to get back together and for him to leave her and her children alone. She said that he responded by yelling at her son, telling him to stay away. She then stated that she was walking out of her back door when she found one of her dogs deceased in the ditch. Her son had also returned home and found that the kitchen had been ransacked, however nothing was missing. Even though she couldn’t prove it at the time, the woman strongly believes it to be her ex-boyfriend. The situation is still under investigation.

Deputy Lindsey, also responded to a residence in regards to animal cruelty. When the officer arrived at the residence, he noticed a small black and brown dog in the front yard, which appeared very malnourished. The dog’s ribs, spine and hips were all showing through its skin. There was also a tall black and tan hound chained to a large pine tree in the back yard. The dog tried numerous times to bark but couldn’t do so. The officer was unable to locate any food or water bowls within the dogs reach. Deputies, who arrived on the scene provided the two animals with water and food. The owner arrived and stated that both dogs belonged to him. He stated that one was chained to the tree to prevent it from running off. He also stated that he worked full-time. He was arrested for cruelty to animals and transported to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office.

MAGNOLIA – The official Grand Opening for the $4.4 Story Arena at Southern Arkansas University will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6, at the opening night of the 2014 SAU Intercollegiate Rodeo. Festivities will kick off with a grand entry of distinguished guests and members of the Mulerider family. Ticket prices are as follows: children five and under get in free; children five to 12-years are $5; and 13 and older are $10. College rodeo action will start at 7 p.m. nightly, Thursday through Saturday. “This SAU Rodeo is the heart of what this facility is all about. Story Arena will bring together the community as well as make a lasting impact in the life of youth and SAU students,” said Megan Maye McCurdy, arena director, SAU graduate, and former Mulerider mascot. Construction of the Story Arena and Farmers Bank Reception Center would not have been possible without the generosity of a host of friends of SAU. Therrel and Jan Story of Magnolia gave $2.45 million, which is the largest gift in the history of SAU. “I believe that is number one reason the Story’s gave such a generous gift. They believed in the potential this facility, and it is my hope to help the Story Arena meet its full potential,” said McCurdy. Farmers Bank and Trust, a supporter of SAU since the University’s beginning in 1909, also committed $250,000 to the reception facility at the arena. The Story Arena is a multipurpose, covered arena located on U.S. 82, west of the Mulerider Stables. The facility consists of a 78,000 square foot covered rodeo-style arena with a dirt floor and seating for approximately 1,400. There is also the adjacent 7,500 square foot Farmers Bank & Trust Reception Center that sits in front of the arena. The reception area includes a ticket booth, concession stand, an office, meeting and conference room, men’s and women’s restrooms, and a grilling porch. According to McCurdy, the arena has been doing very well thus far and the fall schedule has almost been completely full on the weekends between various rodeo events and private parties. Cost for booking the reception area and the arena are very reasonable. The conference center starts at $35/hour, and the price decreases the longer it is rented. Starting cost for renting the arena is $400, and additional fees may apply depending on needed amenities. Besides the SAU Rodeo, Story Arena is excited that a professional rodeo event through PRCA has been booked at the arena for March. “We believe this PRCA event will be something that will put Story Arena on the map,” said McCurdy. Contact McCurdy for more information on the Grand Opening or to book an event at Story Arena at (870) 235-5197 or at

Arkansas’s new recycling slogan and logo – selected after a statewide contest -- will be revealed during a celebration of America Recycles Day.  The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality will announce the winner of the slogan contest and unveil the coordinating logo during the 1 p.m. event Friday, Nov. 14, at the agency’s headquarters, 5301 Northshore Drive in North Little Rock. In conjunction with these announcements, ADEQ will also release the 2014 State of Recycling in Arkansas report. “While recycling has an established hold in the state, we can still go almost anywhere and find people who are not aware of the recycling opportunities in their area,” said ADEQ’s Recycling Branch Manager Robert Hunter. “Most Arkansas recycling facilities, especially those in more rural areas, don’t have the funding or the expertise to develop an awareness campaign. Sometimes all it takes to enhance recycling in an area is to increase public awareness.” ADEQ held the contest over the summer to find a slogan that could be used anywhere in the state to encourage people to recycle. The winning slogan was used to develop the new recycling logo which will be available for download from ADEQ’s website. Judges, with links to recycling in the state, narrowed more than 200 submissions down to 21 finalists. Officials from the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism, the Arkansas Recyclers Association, the Arkansas Recycling Coalition and Keep Arkansas Beautiful joined the ADEQ Recycling Committee Chairperson to choose the winning entry.  The event will include a presentation to the Arkansan who submitted the winning slogan. ADEQ’s Interim Director Ryan Benefield will also discuss the 2014 State of Recycling in Arkansas report, which covers July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014. During that time the state saw a recycling rate of 39 percent, up from 35 percent in the previous reporting period. The amount of material sent to landfills decreased while the amount of material recycled increased. “The numbers are moving in the right direction,” Benefield said. “We want to see more and more material being diverted from landfills, either through recycling, reuse or other means from upcycling to composting to smarter purchasing.” The rise in recycling combined with the fall in material being landfilled marked a milestone since the current recycling rate formula was implemented in 2001. In most years since then, the amount of waste being landfilled and the amount being recycled either both went up or both went down. In all 3,265,463 tons of material was sent to landfills and 2,086,820 tons of material was recycled. Fifteen of the categories included in the report saw increases in tonnages while 11 saw decreased tonnages. Glass saw the greatest percentage increase from 2013 to 2014 from 3,513 tons to 9,532 tons. Seventy-five percent of the facilities accepting glass in both 2013 and 2014 reported increased tonnages. Among the reasons for the increase is a new facility working in the northern part of the state and a large recycling company collecting in central Arkansas. The only major category to see a decrease was plastic. That decrease was largely due to a 24 percent decrease in the amount of poly pipe that was recycled. During wetter years farmers irrigate less. Overall the amount of plastic recycled dropped 15.6 percent from 99,694 tons to 84,149 tons. As that decrease demonstrates, the numbers fluctuate from year to year for various reasons. Only certain recycling facilities are required to submit recycling amounts. Businesses and many nonprofits that may report large amounts do so voluntarily. The full report is posted in the Hot Topics section on ADEQ’s website at Events are held around the country to mark America Recycles Day, which falls on Nov. 15. To learn more about America Recycles Day events visit

The Camden Noon Lion’s Club will meet this week at Catherine’s Bistro in Camden.

The speaker this week will be Rebecca Wright.  She will be talking about UCRC (Unified Community Resource Council) which does the Christmas Food Boxes. This will be the “kick-off” for us to collect canned goods at Catherine’s Bistro.  Anyone is welcome to drop canned or non-perishable items off there from this Wednesday until December 8th to help with these boxes.
If you would like any additional information on the Lion’s Club or how you can join, you can call Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440 ext 7.

The 50th Anniversary Committee and Theatre Steering Committee of the South Arkansas Arts Center are proud to announce the newly formed Encore Committee that is coordinating the Arts Center's fall show “Encore: 50 Years on Stage at the SAAC.”  This committee has been compiling portions of songs and plays to create a fun, fast paced experience for all.  The committee members include:  the SAAC's Theatre Steering Committee, Beth Callaway, Mary Egerer, Gary Hall, Sandy Maguire, Darrin Riley, Liz Slater, Karen Watkins, and the event’s host and new Chairman of the Board, Dean Inman.  The theatrical revue is sponsored by Simmons First Bank of El Dorado. This is an organized celebration of 50 years of theatrical history at the South Arkansas Arts Center.  Cast members of years past will meet onstage to reminisce and entertain with songs and scenes from five decades of past productions. Some plays already selected are: South Pacific, Kiss Me Kate and Grease.  There will be a special closing night cast party, “Ovation Celebration,” that is open to the public!  This is an event you won't want to miss! The Encore Committee is in search of photos or videos of our SAAC alumni that are no longer with us.  Please include name of the deceased and, if possible, a year the photo or video was taken.  These photos/videos and names will be used for our memorial video that will be aired during “Encore: 50 Years on Stage at the SAAC”, December 11-13.  The submission deadline is November 14, 2014 at 5 p.m. For more information about “Encore,” contact the SAAC office at 862-5474.

HOPE, Ark. (November 3, 2014) - Recently, a Hope man was arrested in connection with a homicide of another man found in a burning home. Officers with the Hope Police Department arrested 25-year-old Corey R. Turner, for murder and arson. The charges were the result of an investigation into a house fire that occurred on October 28 at a residence on North Prichard Street, in Hope. Upon extinguishing the fire, the body of 20-year-old, Thomas Youngblood, was located inside the residence. It was determined that Youngblood was the victim of an apparent homicide. On Saturday, officers received information regarding a possible sighting of Murder Fugitive Corey Turner on East 3rd Street, known as Southern Bakeries Inc., in Hope. Officers arrived on scene and located Turner in front parking area of the building. Officers took Turner into custody without incident. Corey Turner was transported to the Hempstead County Detention Facility where he is being held for a first appearance.

While Black Friday sales are commonly associated with big-box retailers, such as Target and Best-Buy; there are many opportunities for small businesses to capitalize on the momentum and steam of Black Friday Week. Newtek - The Small Business Authority, Contributor to Forbes Magazine has 5 tips for attracting customers and their dollars to your small business.
1. Feature different products/services each day. Keeping Black Friday active and vital for your small business for a whole week means a lot more than just running your usual Black Friday deals for longer periods of time. It means making each day of the week a distinct special event. Come up with a schedule that features certain goods and services being discounted on certain days to give people a reason to engage with your business all week.
2. Keep certain deals running all week. That said, come up with a set of discounts and specials that will be consistent throughout the week. The idea is to offer week-long deals as a short-term incentive for shopping right now, with the day/hour-specific deals as an extra incentive to shop really right now.
3. Offer shipping discounts. Largely, people who embark on Black Friday shopping sprees are looking to score goods to give as gifts for the holidays. With that in mind, it will go a long way with your customers to assure them that you will do everything you can to facilitate that, be it timely and cheap/free shipping, or custom gift wrapping. One of the primary reasons why people choose to patronize local and small businesses is get the personalized customer service that is lacking from big companies. Black Friday is an excellent time to establish your small business as one being run by real people who are truly invested in working closely with their customers to not just provide a product or service, but to make sure all the needs surrounding the purchase are lovingly tended to.

October 31, 2014

CID Investigators with the Sheriff’s Office along with other officers, responded to an accidental shooting on Ouachita 3 in Camden. Upon arrival, the deputies made contact with a white male who had a small entry wound on his right side. EMS arrived on the scene quickly and began treatment of the wound. The man advised the officers that he had been in the woods tending his corn feeders and bait stations and was carrying a .22 caliber revolver on his side for protection. He claimed he was getting into his vehicle when his firearm fell causing it to discharge and hitting the man in the right rib cage. Luckily, he was able to dial 911. He was transported to the Ouachita County Medical Center.

Sgt. Easttam of the Camden Police Department, was assisting as back up for an attempted burglary call that had just occurred. The officer was advised by dispatch that the reporting person was following the vehicle that was traveling towards town on Maul road. Easttam was traveling North on Adams Avenue, when he noticed a white Ford pick-up truck fitting the vehicle description traveling at a high rate of speed. The officer pulled to the side of the roadway as the truck sped by, observing a male sitting in the front driver seat fitting description. Easttam then activated his lights and attempted to initiate a traffic stop, however the tuck kept going. While in pursuit, the officer lost sight of the vehicle. However, the man driving the truck was later arrested as he was found outside city limits by The Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office.

Sgt. Henninger, also with the Camden Police Department, were clearing an alarm at Clifton Street. Officers saw two white males behind the church at the intersection of Clifton and Adams Avenue. When the officers tried to make contact with the two, reports say they can from the parking lot into the woods towards Harrison Street. The officers exited their vehicles and began to chase after them, while advising dispatch. One of the men was captured, however one was able to escape.

Officer Clayton was clearing from a traffic stop on Highway 278 near Holiday Inn Express.
The officer observed a vehicle pass him with no tags. When the officer attempted to get closer, the driver quickly made a turn. I traffic stop was then conducted, and dispatch advised that the driver had a suspended license. Reports say that the man was given ample opportunity to call someone to retrieve the vehicle, but as he took his time and attempted to belittle the officers, his vehicle was towed from the scene. The man’s license was taken as evidence.

The Camden Fairview Schools in cooperation with the emergency responders will be conducting a series of emergency drills over the next several weeks. These drills are being conducted to enhance response in the event of a real emergency. Do not be alarmed if you observe emergency vehicles around any of the schools. 

October 29, 2014

Recently, Deputy McClane along with Sgt. Gill, and Deputy Bailey responded to Martha Street in Stephens to meet with Union Pacific personnel. Upon arrival Union Pacific advised that someone had tampered with the box cars and removed the “pins” from adjoining cars. Union Pacific advised that due to a train being tampered with they were currently on an “emergency stop” until the cars could be fixed. Sgt. Gill, Deputy Bailey and Deputy McClane walked the tracks from Martha Street to the Pit Stop in Stephens. Negative contact with anyone other than Union Pacific personnel. Union Pacific advised that they would remain stationary until all box cars could be checked and repaired if necessary.

Deputy LaDuke spoke to a man at his home. The man wanted to make a report regarding someone stealing gas out of his boat. He said his boat was parked on the back side of his shed out of sight. Whoever took the gas also cut his fuel line. The last time he checked the boat was about a month ago.

Lt. James Bolton, was dispatched to Hwy 24 past Harvey’s to an abandoned vehicle partially in the roadway. Upon arrival the officer found a 2002 Buick Regal white in color sitting on the fog line causing a traffic hazard. After running the LPN and unable to make contact with the owner, Kelly’s Wrecker Service was called. The vehicle was returned to El Dorado.

Deputy McClane responded to Washington Street near the Country Club for an abandoned vehicle. Upon arrival the officer observed a black mercury passenger vehicle partially blocking the roadway. The majority of the driver’s side front and rear of the vehicle was partially blocking the west-bound lane. A registration check of the vehicle and the vehicle was returned to its owner.

The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) will conduct three (3) Public Involvement Meetings to present and discuss the proposed findings of Highway 82 planning study between Texarkana and Lake Village. The meetings will be held on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Texarkana East (Meeting Room), 5210 Crossroads Parkway in Texarkana, on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at the City Council Chambers, 204 Northwest Avenue in El Dorado and on Thursday, November 20, 2014 at the Economic Development Building, 125 Main Street in Crossett. The meetings will be held from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. and will be identical in content. Please attend a meeting location/date that is most convenient for you. The meetings will be “open house” with no formal presentations. The public is invited to visit anytime during the scheduled hours to view exhibits, ask questions, and offer comments.

Southern Arkansas University Tech is proud to announce that it will be hosting a grant workshop for Arkansas Humanities Council grants on November 18, 2014 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm in the college’s Tech Engineering Building in room 116. The workshop will be presented by Jama Best program officer with the Arkansas Humanities Council and is free to the public. You can read more about the grants offered by the Council at To register call 870.574.4544 or by email at

(Little Rock, Ark.) The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) recently received an Association of State and Territorial Health Officers (ASTHO) Million Hearts Learning Collaborative grant for high blood pressure (hypertension) control. Arkansas is one of six states that received this grant. The grant, totaling nearly $127,000, was awarded for innovative approaches in high blood pressure control and management. ADH will implement “Community Team-based Care for Uncontrolled Hypertension” by partnering with Dr. Charles Vermont, a community physician in Prescott. The partnership will also include ADH, the Nevada County Local Health Unit, All Care Pharmacy, Nevada County Hospital and insurance providers. Prescott was chosen to receive this grant for several reasons, including: the high percentage of Nevada County residents with high blood pressure, a high proportion of African Americans who have a high burden of stroke and heart attack, and willingness of community partners to help implement the team-based care project. “We are hoping this will pave the way to population–based initiatives for hypertension control in the state,” states Dr. Appathurai Balamurugan, the project lead and Medical Director for the Chronic Disease Prevention and Control Branch at ADH. The ASTHO grant kicked off Tuesday, October 28, 2014 with a site visit by ASTHO officials to Prescott, the Nevada County Health Unit, Dr. Vermont’s clinic, All Care Pharmacy and Nevada County Hospital. An ASTHO Million Hearts Learning Collaborative Stakeholder meeting will be held Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at the ADH office in Little Rock. This meeting coincides with the observance of World Stroke Day, which raises awareness about stroke risk and prevalence. High blood pressure is one of the most common causes of stroke. For more information on the high blood pressure grant and project, please contact Debbie Henderson, RN, Nevada County Local Health Unit Administrator at (870) 887-2004.

LITTLE ROCK – Scammers will use any opportunity to take advantage of consumers’ fears. Since the first case of the Ebola virus was reported in the United States, an increasing number of organizations have popped up offering “cures” and opportunities to donate to victims of the virus. Whether Arkansans are seeking ways to protect themselves from the virus or being solicited by scammers, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel and his Consumer Protection Division want to provide consumers with information and helpful tips that will protect them against ill-intentioned organizations. McDaniel issued a consumer alert today to inform Arkansas consumers of the tactics being used by Ebola related scammers. “It is disheartening to know that whenever there is any sort of tragedy, there are people out there who will exploit good-hearted, law-abiding citizens,” McDaniel said. “In times like these, it is important that consumers are aware of the facts and the methods that scammers will use to take advantage of them.” McDaniel provided the following information to help consumers avoid Ebola related scams:

-Be aware of the facts. There is no FDA-approved vaccine for Ebola. Solicitors offering preventative medication or Ebola preparedness kits are likely scammers.
-Give to reputable charities. Make sure that charities claiming to aid families of Ebola patients or Ebola research are legitimate before donating. Arkansas law requires most charitable organizations to register with the Attorney General's Office before the organizations solicit money from Arkansas residents. The organizations must provide the Office with information about how they uses money collected through their fundraising. Consumers may determine whether a charity is registered with the State at
The Better Business Bureau also provides a list of nationally accredited charities on their website,
-Avoid unsolicited links online and in emails. Scammers will often use a technique called “phishing” to lure victims into entering personal information or clicking on harmful links. Learn about an organization before clicking on potentially damaging links.
-Ask charities tough questions. What percentage of your donation will go to the organization? ----How much will go to professional fundraisers and administrative costs? How exactly will your donation be used?
-Read the fine print. Some scammers will use names closely resembling those of legitimate charities to hook consumers into donating or clicking on their links. Pay attention to the details to avoid being tricked.
-Report potential scams. One of the best ways to fight against fraudsters is by reporting them. If you’ve been solicited or victimized by a scam, contact the Consumer Protection Division for help.
For more information, visit the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division website,, or call (800) 482-8982.

LITTLE ROCK – Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced today that agents from his office have arrested a Yell County man for possession of child pornography. Ronnie Ponder, 28, of Dardanelle was arrested Tuesday on 30 counts of distributing, possessing or viewing matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child, a Class C felony. Ponder is being held at the Yell County Detention Center on a $100,000 bond. Agents with the Attorney General’s Cyber Crimes Unit executed a search warrant at Ponder’s residence in the 100 block of Maple Street in Dardanelle on Tuesday. Investigators confiscated a desktop computer, a laptop, an external hard drive, a flash drive, a cell phone and other electronic evidence. That evidence will be analyzed at the Cyber Crimes Unit Forensic Lab in Little Rock. Special Agent Chad Meli began investigating Ponder after suspecting that child pornography was being possessed at his residence. The Dardanelle Police Department assisted in the investigation and arrest. The Attorney General’s Office will turn over its completed case file to 15th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Tom Tatum. Charges are merely accusations and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

October 27, 2014

The SAU Tech Chapter of Arkansas Council for Women in Higher Education and local Red Cross Volunteers are asking you to stop by their booth this Saturday, and sign a Holiday Card for the Troops. On Saturday November 1st, they will be at Emergency Services Expo and Kid’s Day from 9:00am until 2:00 pm. The Expo is being held at the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, Highway 7 and Goodgame Street. The Expo will have Law Enforcement, Fire Departments, EMS, National Guard, and other emergency vehicles and equipment on display with demonstrations and activities for the kids. The Red Cross will be there with their Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV), an information booth, and booth for signing holiday cards. For more information about the “Holiday Mail for Heroes” program, you can contact John Lewis at 870-836-1188. 

TUPELO, MS - At its regular quarterly meeting today, the Board of Directors of BancorpSouth, Inc. (NYSE: BXS) declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.075 per common share. The dividend is payable January 2, 2015 to shareholders of record at the close of business on December 15, 2014. BancorpSouth earlier reported net income of $28.8 million or $0.30 per share for the third quarter of 2014. BancorpSouth, Inc. is a financial holding company headquartered in Tupelo, Mississippi, with $13.1 billion in assets.  BancorpSouth Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of BancorpSouth, Inc., operates approximately 300 commercial banking, mortgage, and insurance locations in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas, including an insurance location in Illinois.

A new community organization, “Making Magnolia Blossom”, started at Southern Arkansas University, planned the work along a 1.8-mile stretch of Main Street from the U.S. 79-82 bypass to the Louisiana & North West Railroad. According to reports, volunteers reported for assignments that stared at 8:00am Saturday; while receiving supplies, tools and other equipment. The volunteers also drew upon resources and help at four “grid” headquarters along the route. Major projects including the painting of two historic buildings, currently used by Linkous Glass and Steve's Pro Tint; adding landscaping plots from Dudney Street to the Square; clearing an overgrown vacant lot at 1341 Main; removal of unused poles and sign posts; and painting of many yellow curbs, weed eating and edging, and general cleanup. Asa Hutchinson was also in attendance, visiting for the day.

The Camden Advertising and Promotion Committee will be meeting tomorrow Tuesday, October 28th. The meeting will take place inside the council chambers of the Municipal Building, and will start at 3:00pm. Items on the agenda will include a treasures report as well as presentations by Terry Calahan and Darleen Wheelington.

HUMNOKE, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas State Police say two people have been killed in separate traffic accidents in Lonoke and Hempstead counties. Troopers say 18-year-old Tiffany Paige Koonce of Hot Springs died Friday when she got out of a moving vehicle on State Highway 27 in Hempstead County near the Howard County line north of Nashville. The reason Koonce left the moving vehicle was not immediately released. Troopers say 24-year-old Kewon Jones of North Little Rock was also killed Friday when the vehicle he was driving crashed head-on into a tractor-trailer rig in Lonoke County. A state police report says Jones was northbound on State Highway 165 near Humnoke when he attempted to pass another vehicle and collided with the southbound tractor-trailer.

October 24, 2014

Recently, Officer Plyler of the Camden Police Department came into contact with a woman, while following up a harassment call from the 400 block of Carver Street. According to officer, the woman was sitting on the porch; the officer exited his patrol unit and approached her to serve criminal summons. According to reports, it was at this time when the woman became very loud, cursing and saying “I’m not taking any papers” and “just take me to jail”. The officer tried to explain the summons to the woman, however she did not want to listen, and became louder. After refusing to lower her voice, and continued cursing, the woman was taken into custody and charged with disorderly conduct.

Officer Grummer was in the area of Grinstead Street completing a security check. While conducting the check, the officer observed a male, walking east. The officer could notice that the man was swaying back and forth and could smell an odor of intoxicants. A beer can was also seen in the man’s hand. The man was then placed into custody. Now while doing a search, the officer also found a glass pipe and push rod, believed to be use for smoking crack cocaine.

MAGNOLIA – A flood of 467 volunteers have registered for Magnolia’s Big Splash Saturday, which has been planned for months and now is only a day away. Prep work has already begun on Main Street, which is the target for this kick-off transformation planned and developed by a new community organization started at Southern Arkansas University – Making Magnolia Blossom (MMB). Citizens have already reveled at the changes taking place in the heart of the city, such as the MMB-funded removal of trees and overgrowth at the east entrance to Main Street at the intersection of highways 79 and 82. The track-hoe also started clearing a vacant lot at 803 East Main, which will be one of the many areas teams of volunteers will conquer Saturday. Other major initiatives include painting two adjacent historic buildings, currently used by Linkous Glass and Steve’s Pro Tint; adding landscaping plots from Dudney Street to the Magnolia Square; clearing another overgrown vacant lot at 1341 Main; removal of unused poles and sign posts; and painting of many yellow curbs, much weed eating and edging, and general cleanup of the 1.8 mile stretch of Magnolia’s main artery. Registrations are still welcome at All volunteers will check-in at University Plaza Shopping Center, entering off Main Street beside McDonald’s. Work will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and volunteers can register for two-hour increments or longer. MMB committee members went throughout town yesterday buying supplies and equipment to support the massive registration and project numbers. “Those of us planning the Big Splash at SAU have called ourselves the ‘Dream Team’ because we are really shooting for the stars with this kick-off event,” said Aaron Street, MMB founder. “It’s been a win-win in so many ways as city officials, community leaders and business owners have worked so closely with us. And the more than $14,000 donated to the project for equipment and supplies is being funneled back into our local economy.” MMB was established to rejuvenate Magnolia to better represent the strong sense of community in this South Arkansas town. “We want visitors and prospective students, citizens and business investors to feel our strong sense of community pride when the drive through the heart of our city,” said Street. The SAU MMB “Dream Team” has been planning the Big Splash since June. Following the Big Splash, hopes are that MMB will evolve into more of a community organization with a governing board that can continue to identify opportunities throughout the city and plan future volunteer projects. Major donors for the Big Splash include the Diamond Sponsor, the Magnolia Advertising and Promotion Commission, at $10,000, and the Magnolia Walmart at $2,000. Many other private contributions have been given as well. Many other gifts and work in-kind have also been offered.

October 23, 2014

Lt. Cedric D. Gregory was dispatched to 1219 Ouachita 83 in response to a report of a theft. Upon arrival, the officer made contact with a man in Bearden. The man explained that his daughter lived at a residence, and he lived across the street. The man said he stores many of his tools and belongings in the storage building behind his daughter’s home. He stated that he had recently gone to the storage to retrieve his battery charger and noticed it was gone. According to the man, the charger was used often and was last used 3 days prior. Now according to reports, the man and his family have filed numerous reports of items being stolen, and the same people are responsible.

Lt. David Pennington, also of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, was dispatched to 113 Marshall Street and spoke with a man about a paint sprayer that had been taken from his home. The man stated that he had noticed the sprayer missing the day before and said the sprayer was hid behind several boxes, and that whoever stole it, knew it was there. There were several people in and out of the residence, according to the owner

Recently, Deputy Chris Lindsey responded to a call, in regards to private property damage. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with a man who advised that he and his wife were sitting inside their residence when they both heard a loud bang. The couple compared the loud noise to a gunshot. While the officer was investigating he noticed that two of the wife’s flower pots were busted and there was a large hole in the siding of the residence. Upon further investigation, the man discovered a large black strap buckle. After speaking with the man, the officer relocated on the north-bound lane of Hwy 79N across from Quickies #2, where a log truck was parked with his flashers on. The driver of the truck advised that the strap had fallen off his truck, disabling the logs. Both parties were told that a report would be on file.

Officer Bush was conducting a traffic control in the area of Hwy 278 and Bradley Ferry Road. The officer observed a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed toward his unit. The officer quickly initiated a traffic stop at the intersection of Highway 278 and Bradley Ferry Road.

Before the officer could exit his patrol unit, the driver would exit his vehicle and take off towards East Camden. The officer advised other officers of the man’s description, they then arrived on the scene. Now the passenger of the vehicle stated that he had just gotten in the car, just before they were pulled over. He also said he had no idea who the driver was. Officer Finney was able to locate the driver of the vehicle in the area of Bradley Ferry Road and Ouachita Electric. The man was transported to the police station, and his car was towed by McKelvin’s Wrecker Service. According to reports, the man had a warrant out of Calhoun County.

Discover “Carroll Cloar’s Arkansas” at the South Arkansas Arts Center. It began as a vision of the possible for Gay Bechtelheimer, current chair of the Arkansas Arts Council. Her dream, to bring an exhibition of Arkansas artist Carroll Cloar to the South Arkansas Arts Center, became a journey that would span many years. On November 7, that vision becomes reality as the new exhibition “Carroll Cloar’s Arkansas” opens in SAAC’s Merkle and Price Galleries. The exhibition, curated by Mrs. Bechtelheimer and Mr. Greg Thompson, Executive Director of Greg Thompson Fine Art in North Little Rock, is sponsored by Ms. Martha Murphy, in honor of her mother, Johnie Walker Murphy.
“Carroll Cloar’s Arkansas” will be on display in the SAAC galleries from November 7 through December 19.  Gallery hours for viewing the exhibition are Monday through Friday from 9am-5pm, with special weekend hours on Saturdays from 11am-4pm and Sundays from 1pm-4pm beginning November 15. The exhibition is free to the public. Recently, Bechtelheimer spoke of her journey to make this fitting finale to SAAC’s 50th Anniversary Celebration possible. “I was in the gallery of SAAC, maybe in the late 80’s. I think it was before the new gallery was built, and I don’t know what the show was, but there were Carroll Cloar paintings in the exhibit.  I remember looking at them and thinking ‘That’s kind of quaint. It looks like something from Arkansas.’  I turned around, went back and looked again, because there was something about those paintings.  They had a power that was compelling. It was the psychological narrative of the paintings that was arresting.  I wondered ‘Who is this Carroll Cloar?’ I felt he was from eastern Arkansas but I thought from the Pine Bluff area. It wasn’t until later that I found out he was from Earle,” said Bechtelheimer. “When I became a member of the Arkansas Arts Council, the MidAmerica Arts Alliance had a brochure advertising that they were having a small traveling show of Carroll Cloar’s work, and I thought 'Carroll Cloar? That’s the artist from Arkansas.’  The more I read, the more fascinated I became. I wasn’t as familiar with his works as I should have been. I thought, ‘I need to get this show to El Dorado.’” “I pursued it, and I remember talking to Jack (Wilson) about it, and we determined how to make it happen.  I went back to MidAmerica, but the show had closed, therefore I couldn’t get it to the Arts Center.  I told Joy Pennington, Executive Director of the council, my disappointment, and she referred me to Deborah Ferguson, who has a wonderful collection of Carroll Cloar’s art.”
“The wheels started turning and suddenly all the planets aligned. We had the 50th anniversary coming up.  I spoke with Amelia Barton, the Executive Director of the Delta Fine Arts and Cultural Center in West Memphis before I even had a patron, and she told me we could make this happen. Then, due to everyone’s busy schedules, it seemed to stall for months. I had all but given up. We were not getting anywhere, and we were already in meetings planning for the 50th, when out of the blue I got a text from Deborah asking when I wanted those paintings? That is when things went into high gear, and I knew that we would be able to get Carroll Cloar into our gallery. Last May, Madison Murphy, a friend who had expressed interest in this show, introduced me to Greg Thompson. Greg has a gallery in North Little Rock and handles Carroll Cloar’s work. I called Greg, and he suggested we meet.   I was in Little Rock for an Arts Council meeting, and I stopped by his gallery; he was sitting there with his pen and paper, and he said, ’I want to help you curate this show.’” “Greg shared contacts, has personally procured many of the works in our exhibit, and has brought depth and dimension to the show.  I went to the University of Memphis where Cloar's archives are kept to seek the loan of the drawings, and I also met with Dr. Stanton Thomas (who is an authority on Carroll Cloar) at the Brooks Museum of Art in Memphis to get some insight. Dr. Thomas graciously advised me on transportation, insurance, programming and security for the show.” "The show is sponsored by my dear friend Martha Murphy, in honor of her mother, Johnie Walker Murphy.  Johnie was a founding patron of the South Arkansas Arts Center and a personal inspiration.  Martha wanted to honor her mother's legacy in a way that reflected Johnie's belief in the capacity of the arts to enrich her community of El Dorado." "I think we have the perfect gallery for mounting unique shows that are powerful, that can inspire. This is regional art with an internationally recognized artist. This is Arkansas’ artist. He is becoming increasingly known throughout the world.  This exhibition is a touchstone.  It raises the bar for us.  We have certainly learned a great deal and I believe it challenges us to do something like this again in the future,” said Bechtelheimer. Carroll Cloar was born in Earle, Arkansas, on January 19, 1913. He was the middle child in a large farming family and never really quite fit in. He wrote in his semi-autobiographical book Hostile Butterflies “Even as a small boy I felt that I was, somehow different from the rest of my family. I often wondered if I was their child. Had I been adopted? Had I been stolen from gypsies? Another of my fantasies was that I had been the surviving child of a beautiful young couple who had been eaten by panthers.” Relying upon memories of his childhood in Arkansas, photographs, and literary inspiration, Cloar created drawings and paintings of the rural South which have an ephemeral, mysterious, quality that seems surprisingly familiar.  His style cannot be categorized as it is a blend of Realism, Regionalism, Surrealism, and Magic Realism into his own unique style—sort of “Magic Realism”—that draws the viewer into a haunting world of very real people and places that are nonetheless beautifully lost. Gay Cole Bechtelheimer is currently serving her second term on the Arkansas Arts Council.   She is an artist, art educator and art advocate who teaches fine arts in the El Dorado School District and at SAAC. She is a graduate of Louisiana Tech University, and her work is represented in both private collections and public institutions. Greg Thompson is the Executive Director of Greg Thompson Fine Art a well-established gallery located in the Argenta Arts District of downtown North Little Rock. A graduate of Hendrix College, Thompson has specialized and dealt in Southern art since 1995. He represents some of the important artists in the genre including Carroll Cloar and regularly procures important works of art for museums, corporations and private collections. Clients of note include: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, The Historic Arkansas Museum, the Arkansas Arts Center, and Stephens Inc. The South Arkansas Arts Center is located at 110 E. 5th Street in El Dorado.  For more information about the exhibition, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474 or visit

LITTLE ROCK – As consumers consider their insurance options and health-care needs for the upcoming year, some may be surprised to learn that insurance companies may utilize mail-order pharmacies to fill beneficiaries’ prescriptions. Insurance companies often use Pharmacy Benefit Managers, or PBMs, to process pharmacy benefits under a consumer’s health insurance plans. Some of those PBMs automatically enroll consumers into mail-order prescription drug programs. These mail-order programs purport to save the consumer money on prescriptions and promise the convenience of at-home delivery at in-network prices. While many consumers may find mail-order pharmacies to be beneficial, others may want to retain the option to buy their prescription drugs at a local pharmacy. Therefore, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued this consumer alert today to encourage Arkansans to read all correspondence from their insurance providers and make sure they know their options. “The Health Care Bureau of my Consumer Protection Division has received several calls with questions about mail-order prescription drug programs in which beneficiaries are automatically enrolled in the plans,” McDaniel said. “We ask consumers to read the mailings and understand their choices. It’s almost always possible for consumers to opt out of these programs if they so choose, but they must proactively do so, and they must do so in a timely manner.” McDaniel said any mailings from insurance providers about mail-order pharmacy plans will contain information about how consumers can choose to continue to obtain medications from local pharmacies. Most likely, consumers would be required to call the insurance company or fill out a specific form in order to opt out. In considering their choices regarding opting out, consumers should determine whether there are cost advantages to the mail-order prescription drug plan and whether they would prefer to remain with a local pharmacist because of an already-established relationship.

McDaniel offered the following advice on this issue:
-Consumers should ask insurance companies about the benefits and costs of a mail-order pharmacy, and what the cost-savings may be on specific prescriptions.
-Consumers who opt out of a mail-order program should remember that they may be required every year to renew their “opt out” options.
-Consumers who prefer to use local pharmacies need to confirm with their health insurance companies that prescriptions will be covered at either in-network price levels or at levels that would be acceptable to the consumer. For more information about this or other consumer matters, visit the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division website,, or call the Consumer Protection Division hotline, (800) 482-8982

October 21, 2014

Lt. James Bolton, of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, was dispatched to Ouachita 34 and 31 to a reported 1 vehicle accident. Upon arrival, the officer found a 2011 Honda passenger car in the ditch nosed into a tree. The driver, a man, was out of the vehicle sitting on the front porch of a mobile home near the crash site. The officer made contact with the man, asking if he was injured. The stated no, however the officer could smell a strong odor of intoxicants coming from him. After refusing Standard Field Sobriety Test’s, the man was placed in a holding cell.

The man was charged with careless and prohibited driving, refusing a breath test, DWI and driving on a suspended license.

Lt. Bolton also responded to a disturbance and met with a woman, who stated that her and her father had been in an argument. She also said that her father pushed her out of a truck and drove off, causing her to hit her shoulder on the vehicle. When the officer spoke with the victim’s father, he stated that he parked his vehicle near a dead tree in the yard and told her several times to get out of the vehicle so he could move it away from the tree. He did state that he pushed her, and moved the vehicle. The woman stated that she had no injuries from the incident. The officer advised that affidavit procedures would be filed.  

LITTLE ROCK – Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced today the launch of a new school safety training initiative for school districts and law enforcement agencies to help educators and emergency responders better prepare for active threats on campuses. Agents with the Attorney General’s Special Investigations Division will offer a number of specialized training courses, all at no cost to school employees and law enforcement officials, McDaniel said at a news conference at his office “As a law enforcement official and as a father, it’s important to me that we do everything we can to make sure that our State’s children are safe while they are at school,” McDaniel said. “These training programs improve the safety of our children by instructing teachers, administrators and emergency responders about how to protect and save lives in the event of an active threat on campus.” Special Agents Tony Allen and Jeremiah Terrell will offer several types of training based on a curriculum developed at Texas State University. School employees are taught how to “Avoid, Deny, and Defend” in active-shooter situations, meaning that participants learn to first attempt to avoid danger, then deny entry to a classroom or building, and ultimately, defend themselves if necessary. Law enforcement officers will receive Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Techniques, or ALERRT, training. Those training programs focus on engagement with active shooters and on teaching first responders how to treat victims in the critical time before additional medical help arrives. “Some private companies charge employers $500 per person to attend courses like these,” McDaniel said. “We are glad to be able to provide such critical and valuable training at no cost to educators and emergency responders.” McDaniel thanked Rep. Andrea Lea, R-Russellville, who approached him last year with a proposal to add a school safety component to the role of the Special Investigations Division. Lea sponsored Act 228 of 2014, which enabled the Attorney General to hire two additional officers who will conduct the training courses. Partners in the training initiative who attended today’s news conference included Rep. Lea, R-Russellville; Chris Thyer, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas; Arkansas Education Commissioner Tony Wood; Ken Jones, director of the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy; and Dr. Cheryl May, director of the University of Arkansas Criminal Justice Institute.

October 20, 2014

Officer Will Carman of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office met with a woman, in reference to a domestic battery on a household member. No report had been filed at the time of the incident. The officer spoke to the woman and her brother, who was also present. The woman stated that her brother witnessed a domestic battery occur in a home, where he was presently residing.  The brother said that he witnessed two of the people he was living with get into a fight. He states that a man hit a woman in the face after she called him a drug dealer. The two were advised that affidavit procedures and Adult Protection Services would be involved.

 Lt. James Bolton, responded to a theft report at 1212 Ouachita 83. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with a man, who stated that he went to his boat shed in the rear of his home. He also states that he found his motor and depth finder had been removed from the boat. The owner has no idea who could have taken the items, but believes someone entered his property from the gas line right of way that runs behind his property.

Lt. James Bolton also responded to the Ouachita County Medical Center to a reported ATV accident. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with a man who stated that he was riding a 3-wheeler on his step-father’s property. He also said that he hit a hole and lost control of the 3-wheeler causing it to flip over and throw him off the ATV. The man sustained several lacerations to his face and neck. When the officer arrived, he was being treated for the injuries.

Deputy McLane along with other officer, responded to a motor vehicle accident on Highway 79 South. The reporting party stated that the accident was just south of Stephens Airport and it involved a vehicle, boat and trailer. The unknown caller said that the vehicle was in a ditch and had hit a tree, the male in the vehicle had been injured. Officers observed a Chevrolet in the ditch on the northbound side of the Highway. The driver had a small laceration on the head and was out of the vehicle. The man stated that he did not need medical treatment and stated that he was traveling home from Texarkana, when he fell asleep at the wheel. His residence was in Hampton.

The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet this week. The speaker this week will be Bill Archer with the SAU Tech Aviation Department. He will be speaking about the different aspects of that Department and their importance to the area. If you’d like any additional information or join the club, you can call Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440 ext7.

(Magnolia-)After an arrival Friday Night at Magnolia Regional Medical Center patient prompted an Ebola scare does not have the potentially-fatal virus. Karen Weido, hospital spokeswoman, said Saturday morning that the MRMR staff was in contact with the Centers for Disease Control several times Friday night and early Saturday during the course of assessment and treatment. “Thankfully the patient was determined to not have Ebola,” Weido said. Weido also expressed appreciation to the Columbia County Ambulance Service, and the Magnolia police and fire departments, for their response after the hospital went into “diversion” status late Friday after the hospital received a sick patient who had traveled outside the country. Joycelyn Watkins, director of Nursing at the hospital, defined “diversion” as securing the hospital’s staff and patients. “We don’t accept anyone until we can determine that we are able to safely care for patients,” she said. The “diversion” status was lifted and hospital operations have been back to normal since about 12:30 a.m. Saturday. "We had a person who presented to our emergency department who had traveled outside the country. We followed the (Centers for Disease Control) guidelines using a CDC checklist and we contacted the CDC. We went on diversion for a short period of time to assure the safety of our staff and our patients. We had precautions and we do have precautions in place and we are prepared to protect our patients, our staff and our community,” Watkins said. The hospital is open and the emergency room is accepting patients. A Magnolia Fire Department pumper truck blocked the west entrance to the MRMC parking lot. Magnolia police were also on the scene. Two Columbia County Ambulance Service ambulances were in the hospital’s parking lot at various times during the midnight hour. Many members of the public are on edge because one person died at a Dallas hospital this week from the deadly Ebola fever, and two nurses who cared for the patient contracted the disease. The disease has killed more than 3,000 people in western Africa since earlier this summer.

The first performance of the Ouachita County Concert Association is today, October 20 @ Camden-Fairview Middle School at 7:00 pm in the Auditorium.  This is an ensemble called WindSync, a group nationally recognized for their innovation and unconventional performances.  Playing by memory, their infectious, dramatic style has propelled their award-winning ascent.  This is superb music and performance quality!  The Ouachita County Community Concert Association is doing another membership push for those who have not had a chance to join us yet.  For more information you may call: 870-231-6244 or 870-837-2062.

LITTLE ROCK – Attorney General Dustin McDaniel today congratulated Chief Deputy Attorney General Brad Phelps upon the announcement of his new position at Arkansas State University. Phelps is leaving the Attorney General’s Office after more than four years as chief deputy. Also, McDaniel announced that Chief of Staff Erika Gee will succeed Phelps as Chief Deputy Attorney General. The Attorney General’s Press Secretary, Aaron Sadler, was named Chief Administrative Officer and will assume many of Gee’s previous duties. Phelps has been an attorney with the office for 11 years and has been Chief Deputy Attorney General since April 2010. The Chief Deputy oversees the office’s attorneys and legal staff. During his time as Chief Deputy, Phelps was recognized as a national figure who secured a multistate settlement with the nation’s largest tobacco companies.“Brad deserves significant credit for some historic accomplishments that would not have happened but for his leadership,” McDaniel said. “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve with Brad. Arkansas State is very lucky to have a man with his judgment and intellect on its team as ASU looks to its own very bright future.” While Phelps was Chief Deputy, he oversaw the historic settlement last December between the State and the three Pulaski County public school districts, a long-term compact with Oklahoma over phosphorus levels in the Illinois River and the agreement between 20 states and tobacco companies that preserved the approximately $60 million annual payment to Arkansas under the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement. For his work negotiating the tobacco pact, Phelps earned the National Association of Attorneys General's Laurie Loveland Award last year. He was the first Arkansan to ever receive that honor. McDaniel also noted that Phelps is one of only a few chief deputy attorneys general to serve on the Long-Term Planning Committee of the National Association of Attorneys General. That committee developed goals and strategies for NAAG for the next decade. “I want to thank Attorney General McDaniel and the amazing people at the Attorney General’s Office for their dedication and hard work on behalf of the people of Arkansas,” Phelps said. “It was an honor for me to have an opportunity to serve as Chief Deputy and help the Attorney General lead such talented and wonderful people.” Phelps’s last day as Chief Deputy will be Oct 31. Gee, the incoming Chief Deputy, has been Chief of Staff since May 2013, where she oversaw communications, outreach, public affairs and legislative affairs, among other duties. Before that, she was an attorney in the office’s Civil Department and was an attorney with the firm Wright, Lindsey and Jennings in Little Rock. Gee was a key negotiator in the desegregation settlement, and she has served as McDaniel’s top adviser on legislative and policy issues. She also oversees the Special Investigations Division and Cyber Crimes Unit, which has helped protect Arkansas’s children from Internet predators. In addition, McDaniel praised Gee for her leadership in implementing new technology to improve how the office handles its caseload and records. The new software will have a significant positive impact on the office’s efficiency, he said. “As the head of policy, communications and legislation, Erika’s time here has been extremely successful,” McDaniel said. “There is no one I trust more than Erika to oversee the last months of my term and ensure the best possible transition for my successor.” Sadler has been and Director of Media Relations for the Attorney General since March 2010. Sadler, a former Washington correspondent for Stephens Media, has helped to direct the office’s “Got Your Back, Arkansas” initiative and enhance the office’s social media presence. “No one person can do the job of Chief Deputy and Chief of Staff, so I am pleased to announce the creation of the Chief Administrative Officer position,” McDaniel said. “Aaron has been a senior policy advisor and de facto Deputy Chief of Staff for several years. He is well-deserving of this position and responsibility. This is an excellent team, and the State will be well-served.”

October 17, 2014

Officer Finney was dispatched to America’s Best Value Inn for a report of criminal trespass. Dispatch advised that two women were at the location and had been asked by hotel management to leave the premise, however they were still there. Officer Bush, and Sgt. Easttam responded as backup. Upon arrival the officers spoke with the manager, who took them to the room the women were supposed to be in. When they got to the room, the women were missing, Sgt. Easttam observed the women walking down Lincoln Drive. The officers made contact with the two women, who appeared to be intoxicated. One woman stated she had consumed a couple of alcoholic beverages. It was confirmed through dispatch that the other woman had a warrant in Calhoun County, and they were on her way to get her. The ladies were taken into custody.

El Dorado - Main Street El Dorado, El Dorado Metals and Sewell Drilling will present country music superstar Clint Black live on Saturday, November 1st at the El Dorado Municipal Auditorium (100 W. 8th St.). The concert begins at 7:00 PM with doors opening at 6:00 PM. Sister-trio Michaelis will open the show. Clint BlackProlific singer-songwriter Clint Black has long been heralded as one of Country music’s brightest stars. His many talents have helped shape his long career, as Black has transcended genres to become one of the most successful artists in all the music industry. To date, Black has written, recorded and released more than 100 songs, a benchmark in any artist’s career. An astounding one-third of these songs eligible for major single release also achieved hit song status at Country radio, while more than 20 million of his albums have been sold worldwide. He has received five Academy of Country Music Awards, an American Music Award and two Country Music Association Awards including 1990 Male Vocalist of the Year. “We are once again excited to bring one of the most popular entertainers in modern music to El Dorado.”

~ Mark Givens, Main Street El Dorado Executive Director MichaelisOpening for Clint Black will be the sister trio, Michaelis. Made up of Meagan, Mallory and Madeline, the group has been winning over audiences throughout its native Texas since youngest member Madeline was only 5 years old. With harmonies as tight as their sisterly bond and a sexy, swaying sound all their own, Michaelis is a breath of fresh air in an often stifled and male-heavy musical environment. Tickets are reserved-seating and go on-sale to the public on Tuesday, September 2nd at 10 AM and will be available at or by calling the office of Main Street El Dorado at (870) 862-4747. Ticket prices are $40 (Orchestra), $40 (Parquet) and $30 (Loge-Lower Balcony) For more information, contact:  Mark Givens, Executive Director of Main Street El Dorado (870)862-4747 (office) or (870) 866-7879

On Friday, October 25, pianist Kent Shreeve returns to the Callaway Theatre of the South Arkansas Arts Center to perform his first solo concert “Spellbound in October.”  The evening marks Shreeve’s third time to perform on SAAC’s Steinway Model B grand piano, but exactly who is this civil engineer from Little Rock? At the age of ten, Kent Shreeve was pressed by his mother to take piano lessons.  At the age of 74, Shreeve had never even played for a recital.  His first SAAC concert was a test of his resolve to overcome performance anxiety and to share his God given talent with others.  A test he passed with flying colors to the bewitchment of all lucky enough to be present. Helen Shreeve, like many mothers of the day, felt it was very important for her son, Kent, to learn to play the piano.  Kent was not as enthusiastic about the idea, but to piano lessons he went.  After one year of study under a West Helena piano teacher, he was promoted to study with a concert pianist, Mr. Gustav Nelson.  Shreeve learned a lot with Mr. Nelson, who had the reputation of rapping silly students across the knuckles with his baton.  To be fair, Shreeve said he never received anything but advice and encouragement from Mr. Nelson.  However, Shreeve would manage to avoid the recitals he so dreaded until he left Mr. Nelson’s tutelage at the time he entered high school, even feigning illness to achieve that goal.  At that point in his performing career, Shreeve began to play at his aunt’s dance school for pay.  Shreeve enjoyed the exposure he gained to the beautiful ballet students, the money he earned playing for the tap classes, and the social experience of learning ballroom dance as an additional benefit.  He felt the dancers captivated the attention of the audience, taking the spotlight off himself.  Asked if he suffered any derisive remarks from his male peers about his work, Shreeve replied, “They made fun of me a bit, but I got paid pretty well for my after school job. I saved enough to buy a Jeep when I got my driver’s license.  I also made up for it by being very active in the Boy Scouts, ultimately making Eagle Scout.”  In addition to his paying job, Shreeve was invited to play with The Four Notes, a jazz band made up of teachers and adult musicians.  In the midst of the band, Shreeve felt the scrutiny was removed from himself. When Shreeve entered the U. of A., he became a member of the ROTC and was accepted into the Air Force Air Cadet Program.  And so another love entered his life…aviation.  Asked if he played the piano much during the college years, Shreeve answered he did not, although he became the song leader for his fraternity, Sigma Kai.  Shreeve planned to be a bomber pilot, but he was one half inch too tall when seated to pass the physical.  He served as a First Lieutenant civil engineer at Hanscom Field in Massachusetts from 1960 to 1963.  He later went to work for Esso Refinery in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  He bought a used upright piano there and began to play for his growing family.  Along the way he upgraded to a Kimball baby grand piano which cost $400.  He ultimately moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, and began his own consulting firm, Shreeve Consulting.  To celebrate this leap of faith, he purchased a Model B Steinway Grand Piano, using about half of his cash reserve.  He continued to play only for close friends and family.  A stint as the alternate pianist at the First Christian Church in Little Rock only reinforced his dread of public playing. Then a fateful event took place.  The South Arkansas Arts Center made plans to add a permanent collection room onto the building.  A civil engineer was needed to draw up the blue prints.  Tom Mangum, local contractor and friend to the SAAC, called Shreeve in.  After poking around the Monday Painter’s Room and the stage for a few moments, Shreeve discovered the climate controlled room where the SAAC’s Model B Steinway Grand Piano is housed.  When asked by then director, Beth James, how much Shreeve’s fee might be, Shreeve replied, “If you will let me come in and play your piano when I am in town. That will be my reward.”  A love affair between Shreeve and SAAC was formed. Then in Little Rock, Shreeve heard that Richard Cox was making an appearance in Jonesboro to give a lecture about performance anxiety.  Shreeve had never thought of his aversion to playing in public as having a name.  But performance anxiety seemed to fit.  He attended the lecture, and determined to try and change his attitude.  Shreeve asked permission to play on the SAAC stage for a few friends.  The performance was so very enjoyable that the attendees begged for more.  In 2011, Shreeve put together a small band and two vocalists for the SAAC stage.  The performance was fittingly named “June Romance”.  The group offered a second performance in 2012 called “Romance in Concert”.  Once again, the fans clamored for more.  Among those in attendance was Dr. Ed. Henley.  Henley sent Shreeve an extremely encouraging letter, saying “You had us spellbound.”  Henley also requested that Shreeve perform a solo concert soon.  Sadly, on the day Shreeve was able to come back to El Dorado and seek out Henley, Henley had suffered a cataclysmic health event.  “I found myself getting into my truck in a trance and driving straight to Baptist Hospital in Little Rock.  I found Sylvia Henley in the Emergency Room waiting area.  I asked her to please tell Ed. how much his letter meant to me.  I never knew if he realized it,” Shreeve remembered.  And that brings us to the current day concert, named “Spellbound in October” and given in honor of Henley.  According to Shreeve, three things were learned from this experience. “When someone is nice to me, I need to thank them right away.  If Ed. had not encouraged me to play alone, I never would have wanted to do it.  If Ed. had not called me an ‘artist who loves his work,’ I would never have thought of myself as anything but a nuts and bolts guy, a little on the nerdy side.”  Shreeve has come to the realization that a musician is the voice for the music’s composer, giving that composer’s work life and adding a bit of his own art.  At seventy seven, life still has lessons and goals for Kent Shreeve.

October 16, 2014

Officer Bush, of the Camden Police Department, was dispatched to Beauty Plaza located at 170 Garden Oaks for shoplifter. The store manager stated he was watching the security camera and witnessed a woman putting products in her purse, and attempted to leave the store. The manager stated he locked the door to keep the woman from leaving, and called the police. According to reports, the woman had already taken out the products before the police arrived. The amount of the products was $13.22. The woman was later, taken into custody.

Officer Finney was dispatched to the Wal-Mart parking lot for a report that a man, who had been banned from the store, was on the property. The officer observed a white male, near the west entrance of the store. The officer asked the man if he was on the banned list; which he admitted he was. He was then taken into custody for criminal trespass. After being arrested, he requested to be taken to the Medical Center. The man stated that he was crazy and thought his family was trying to kill him. He stated that he had been to his family’s residence, and when he left, his car smelled of gas, and his coke-a-cola tasted like lemons. After being released with a citation, the man was transported to the OCMC parking lot, where he was released.

Officer Bush was dispatched to the area of VanBuren and Harrison Street for a man driving Back and forth in an alley behind a residence located on VanBuren Street. The officer’s told the man to get out of the vehicle. The man smelled of intoxicants coming from his breath. The man stated he was driving the car back in forth to try and fix it. Two alcoholic beverages were seen in the front of the vehicle. After a warrant check, it was found that the man had warrants in Fordyce in Sherwood. The man was then taken into custody.

Detective Moore and Officer Clayton, were working security for housing and were on foot patrol in Lincoln Center. While driving through the complex, the officer’s noticed a vehicle, they had recently got into a pursuit with, parked in the lot. The officers conducted a warrant check was mad and the owner of the vehicle, had a warrant out of Ouachita County. As the officer neared the man’s apartment, they saw him across the street in another apartment. He then disappeared, believed to have went back inside the apartment. He then attempted to exit out the back door. He was eventually caught by the officers and taken into custody.

LITTLE ROCK – The Attorney General's Office issued the following statement today regarding the Arkansas Supreme Court's ruling on the state's 2013 voter ID law: The Court’s decision yesterday makes it clear that the voter ID law is invalid and does not apply to the upcoming election. All ballots, including absentee ballots, should be handled in the manner they were before the law was enacted. Some clerks have asked about the requirement for first-time voters.  After this decision, there are now no circumstances which absolutely require a photo ID in order to vote.  Some first-time voters will need to provide some type of identification, but there are alternatives to providing a photo ID.

LITTLE ROCK – Utility companies in Arkansas and across the country report an increasing number of instances where scammers attempt to extort electric customers out of cash by posing as representatives of the company and threatening to cut off customers’ power. Con artists target small businesses and homeowners, demanding that the consumer pay his or her “overdue” bill immediately, typically with an untraceable cash card, in order to avoid having electricity shut off. Most recently, an Arkansas-based electric provider learned that one scammer was even using the company’s own prerecorded message in a ruse to make the scheme sound more believable. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued this consumer alert today to let Arkansas consumers know what to watch out for in the event they are targets of this widespread scam. “Whether or not an electric bill is past due, it is always intimidating for a consumer to receive a call from someone threatening to cut off their electricity,” McDaniel said. “The con artists may try to sound legitimate and they may pretend to have a customer’s interests in mind, but fortunately, there are some tell-tale signs that this is a scam.” Commercial and residential utility customers – even those who pay their bills on time – have been contacted by scammers. The scam artists may “spoof” a caller ID number to make it appear legitimate, and then tell utility customers that they must pay up within the hour. McDaniel said there are several ways for consumers to recognize they may be a con artist’s target.

-Utility companies will not ask for payment on a GreenDot MoneyPak card. Scammers, however, will encourage potential victims to pay their “past due” bill with such a card. Consumers are told to share the serial number on the back of the card with the con artist, and the con artist can then access the money loaded onto the card.
-Utility companies never demand immediate payment. While utilities may place courtesy calls to consumers whose service is at risk of being disconnected, the calls are generally by recorded message, and not from customer service representatives. Regardless, those representatives would not require payment by credit card or MoneyPak card immediately.
-Utility companies won’t mind if skeptical consumers call back later. Scam artists want money or personal information, such as credit-card or bank account numbers, immediately. On the other hand, legitimate utility companies will not have a problem with consumers hanging up and calling the company back directly. McDaniel advised consumers to always hang up and call back, if necessary, if an unsolicited caller seems suspicious.
Consumers who are contacted by scam artists in this utility-bill scam should contact their electric provider, local law enforcement or the Attorney General’s Office. For more information about this and other consumer issues, visit the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division website,, or call the Consumer Protection Hotline, (800) 482-8982.

Little Rock) – While Ebola poses a very low risk to Arkansans, the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) continues to work with hospitals, emergency medical service providers, laboratories, waste water management facilities, faith-based organizations, the State Chamber of Commerce and the Departments of Education and Higher Education to provide guidance and training to ensure they can appropriately screen, monitor and care for individuals who may be infected with Ebola. Only those individuals who have traveled to Arkansas from the affected West African countries (Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Democratic Republic of the Congo or Nigeria) or who have cared for an Ebola patient in a health care facility within the last 21 days, are considered at risk for Ebola. Currently, travel to and from Dallas does not pose a risk for contracting Ebola. “As the public is well aware, there has been much concern about Ebola in the last few weeks,” said Dr. Nate Smith, State Health Officer and Director of ADH. “Ebola is a very serious infection, but so far we have had no cases in Arkansas. The ADH has been working closely with many groups to ensure we are ready to rapidly identify, assess, and properly manage any potential threats.” “This is core public health. This is what we do every day,” Smith added. Epidemiologists, physicians, communicable disease nurses, infection control experts and others from ADH have been working with key organizations to plan and prepare for an Ebola patient since early August. Arkansas has no active or suspected cases of Ebola, and the risk is very low for the general public. Ebola only spreads from those who are infected AND are experiencing symptoms, such as fever or bleeding. Ebola is spread from person-to-person through direct contact with bodily fluids such as blood, urine, vomit, diarrhea, sweat, semen and breast milk, or by exposure to objects contaminated with bodily fluids, such as needles. Ebola does not spread through air, food or water. “The first step in preventing the spread of Ebola in the U.S. continues to be identifying those with fever or other symptoms who have traveled from the affected countries within the last 21 days,” said Dr. Dirk Haselow, State Epidemiologist at ADH. “The second step is ensuring that health care providers, hospitals, and labs are trained and equipped with resources to help them safely manage an Ebola patient so the infection doesn’t spread.” ADH has plans in place to respond to reports of infectious diseases, such as Ebola, in Arkansas and prevent their spread. Health care providers are required by law to report any cases of illness that might pose a risk to public health. These include Ebola, MERS-CoV, measles, polio, tuberculosis, pandemic flu and about 100 other diseases or conditions. ADH works in partnership with numerous other states, organizations and programs as part of the planning for response to Ebola and other illnesses. ADH is in constant communication with health care facilities in the state, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, regarding outbreaks of disease nationally and internationally. Information is shared among health care providers both directly as needed and broadly via the Arkansas Health Alert Network. ADH on-call staff is available 24/7 to provide emergency consultation to health care providers on suspected and confirmed cases of communicable disease. ADH will continue to provide additional Ebola training and guidance to health care facilities and other groups as needed. More information can be found at  or  

October 14, 2014

Officer Jimmy Plyler was dispatched to a two vehicle accident on California Avenue at Washington Street. The officer mad contact with the driver of a Ford Pickup that failed to yield at a red light, resulting in an accident. According to reports, the driver smelled of Alcohol and was unable to provide a valid driver’s license. Dispatch advised that the man’s license was suspended for DWI. After the accident investigation was over, the man was taken into custody, where he was issued a criminal citation and later court date.

Detective Moore was dispatched to Walmart for a suspicious person report. In-route, dispatch advised the person was soliciting money and walking through the parking lot, checking the doors of vehicles. Dispatch also advised that the man was wearing a dark blue sweater and jeans. When the officer arrived, he observed a male matching the description walking through the parking lot. Once the officer made contact with the male, he could smell a strong odor of intoxicants. The man’s eyes were also bloodshot, watery, and his speech was slurred. After a warrant check, it was also confirmed that the man was wanted out of Union County.

Officer Finney, also of the Camden Police Department, was on a routine patrol in the vicinity of California and Grinstead Avenue. The officer observed a white male, stumbling in the parking lot of California Food Mart. The officer exited his vehicle, and the male approached the vehicle and stated that he might as well get in, stating that he was drunk. The man was determined to be a danger to himself and those around him, therefor he was taken into custody.

Officer Elliot was on a patrol in the area of Cash Road near the Camden-Fairview High School, when she observed a 2001 maroon Buick, traveling near the high school, traveling 45 mph in a 25 mph speed zone. The officer made contact with the driver, who stated that she did not have her driver’s license, all she had was an Arkansas ID. After trying to give the officer false information, the woman stated that she didn’t have her driver’s license because she couldn’t pass the test. She was then arrested for obstructing governmental operations.

The small town of Magnolia is about to have a “Big Splash” on October 25, during which hundreds of volunteers from across the community are going to join forces with business owners to give their Main Street a makeover. The transformation will include removal of old signs, adding landscaping, painting businesses and curbs, trimming existing landscaping, picking up trash, and a long list of other projects that stretch the entire length of Main Street’s business district. A couple spotlight areas will include painting a historic building, currently Linkous Glass, and adding landscaping and painting the sign at Columbia Shopping Center. Big Splash Saturday is being organized by a group at Southern Arkansas University as the kickoff to a new community organization – Making Magnolia Blossom (MMB). “It is wonderful to see SAU and Magnolia coming together in such a big way to improve our community.  This will be a tremendous beginning to a continuous effort to make Magnolia a more beautiful and inviting place to visit and to call home,” said Dr. David Rankin, SAU president. MMB has raised more than $14,000 for the Big Splash, and hundreds of volunteers and teams have registered at To aide in the planning, prospective volunteers are encouraged to register at The first 500 to register will receive a free t-shirt. Volunteers will check-in on October 25 at University Plaza Shopping Center parking lot. They can register for two-hour increments or longer from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. “Since Making Magnolia Blossom started from the ground up earlier this summer, it’s been amazing to see how the community, SAU, the city, and business owners have all come together toward improving the heart of our city,” said Aaron Street, MMB founder and assistant dean for integrated marketing at SAU. “We hope that the strong sense of community pride will translate into a successful transformation on October 25 of our Main Street, and will continue on across our community for years to come.” Street and a committee of staff, faculty, and students have been working on the Big Splash all summer. Main Street Arkansas Director Greg Phillips and Assistant Director Samantha Evans visited the committee and offered insight and advice. Jimmy Bolt, city manager of Arkadelphia, also shared his years of experiences in city improvements with MMB.

Word spread throughout town following MMB presentations at the Magnolia Planning Commission and the City Council. MMB also recruited volunteers at the Columbia County Fair. “We call our SAU committee the ‘Dream Team’ because there is no idea too lofty,” said Street. “Many of our ‘dreams’ have already come true thanks to all of the support from the SAU administration, the City of Magnolia, and community and business leaders.” Mayor Parnell Vann has led forces to partner with property owners to have a collapsed culvert replaced, to mowed and weed eat the Main Street corridors, and helped build momentum and generate energy for MMB. The Magnolia Advertising and Promotion Board became the leading sponsor for the project when they voted on a $10,000 grant toward the Big Splash. Many businesses quickly offered their assistance and expertise. The employees at Hampton Inn created the first team to volunteer for the Big Splash. Spencer Black of industrial services company Spencer-Harris offered equipment and man-power to remove any unwanted and unused sign posts or metal poles down Main Street. Black, whose business is also on Main, said he and his crew are also working on three improvement projects to their façade. Walmart of Magnolia also gave $2,000 toward the project. SAU has also committed many resources towards the success of the Big Splash. The SAU Physical Plant is sharing much of its equipment and supplies. A graphic design class is working on a sign redesign for a small business owner on Main who barely makes ends-meet, but keeps her business open because she loves the people of Magnolia. Many staff members have worked long hours balancing MMB planning with their other responsibilities. Along with creating sustainable momentum for economic growth improvements, another mission of MMB is to instill a sense of civic responsibility among the youth in Magnolia and the students at the university. SAU’s student body is expected to turn out in full force at the Big Splash. Community involvement is at the heart of SAU’s complete college experience, and SAU has been recognized for several years by the President’s Community Service Honor Roll and the rare Honor Roll with Distinction. Following the Big Splash, MMB organizers hope the organization can officially become a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. A governing board will be established with leaders from across the community and sub-committees to focus on opportunities across Magnolia. To find out more about Making Magnolia Blossom and Big Splash Saturday, visit or like Making Magnolia Blossom on Facebook.

LITTLE ROCK – Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced that Arkansas residents can find out how to better protect themselves and their loved ones from scams and fraud at free lunch-and-learn workshops next week in Fort Smith and Bentonville. The “Arkansans Fighting Fraud” seminars presented by consumer protection experts from the Attorney General’s Office, Arkansas AARP and several state agencies will be Monday, Oct. 20, in Fort Smith and Tuesday, Oct. 21, in Bentonville. Both events start at noon. To register, visit “Con artists and criminals continue to find new and more sophisticated methods of trying to separate Arkansas consumers from their hard-earned money, but there are effective ways for consumers to protect themselves,” McDaniel said. “Participants in our ‘Arkansans Fighting Fraud’ workshops will hear first-hand about how they can prevent fraud and navigate the financial marketplace.” The short seminars will include presentations about identity theft, common scams, Medicare fraud, investment fraud, and insurance fraud. The workshops are ideal for Arkansas residents who are planning ahead for their retirement, as well as for consumers who want to know about how to fight scams targeting senior citizens. After the presentations and a panel discussion, event sponsors will answer questions individually and provide written materials to participants. Event sponsors are the Attorney General’s Office, AARP, state Insurance Department, Securities Department, Department of Human Services, and the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service The Fort Smith workshop will be held at The Blue Lion at UAFS Downtown, 101 N. Second St. The Bentonville workshop is scheduled for the Shewmaker Center Walmart Auditorium at NorthWest Arkansas Community College, 1000 SE Eagle Way. The workshops are free and lunch will be provided, but registration is required. To register by phone, call (877) 926-8300.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – (October 14, 2014) – WindSync, 2012 Concert Artist Guild (“CAG”) winner, will take the stage with their pioneering “savvy, smarts and sass” ( at the Camden Fairview Middle School Auditorium, 746 Dooley Womack Drive, Camden, Arkansas on Monday, October 20, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. The Ouachita County Community Concert Association has also sponsored a student outreach performance of Windsync as part of their ongoing commitment to arts education in the community. For more information please call (870) 231-6244. “[WindSync is] one of the most talented groups of young musicians on the scene today.” – Idyllwild Arts Academy WindSync_PRESS_resizeHouston-based WindSync appears to be in the business of blowing away boundaries for wind ensembles, and classical music in general. The group plays from memory and incorporates theatrical elements in their performances, such as costuming and choreography.  In addition to the CAG honors, WindSync is the 2012 Sylvia Ann Hewlett “Adventurous Artist Prize” winner.  These successes have provided opportunities to perform in prestigious venues such as the Chautauqua Institution and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Arts education and outreach plays a prominent role in WindSync’s approach.  The group is a regular contributor in their hometown where they are praised for their “extraordinary ability to connect with students…”  They have also participated in high profile outreach events with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and at Stanford University; as well as master classes at Drexel University and Idyllwild Arts Academy.  The ensemble has enjoyed two summer residencies at the Grand Teton Music Festival.  Follow this link to view a video featuring WindSync. The Ouachita County Community Concert Association has been presenting world-class entertainment to the Camden community since the late 1950s.  An enthusiastic group of volunteers work tirelessly to provide family entertainment and educational outreach performances to educate and entertain adults and students alike.

October 13, 2014

Deputy Chris Lindsey spoke with a man and a woman, in Chidester, in regards to a theft. The woman advised that she allowed the man to hunt on her five acres of land on Ouachita 176.

The man advised that he had placed a $100 metal deer stand on the property a few days prior, and when he went to hunt he found that his stand was removed from the tree and a sign was nailed to a tree in the immediate area, with words spray painted ever.

Deputy Chris Lindsey, also spoke with a Chidester man, in regards to a vehicle mishap at Jack’s Landing on White Oak Lake. The man stated that he was in the process of loading a Bobcat onto his trailer, when the parking brake disengaged on his 2006 Ford F-250, causing the truck and trailer to roll downhill from approximately 60ft before coming to a stop. Once the truck came to a stop the trailer jack knifed into the side of the man’s truck, causing damage to both the truck and the trailer.

MAGNOLIA, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas State Police have reported that a Magnolia man was killed when the pickup truck he was driving collided with trailer of a tractor-trailer rig on Highway 82 near Magnolia. Reports say, 75-year-old Gailon Williams died in the collision about two miles east of Magnolia shortly before 8:30 p.m, last week. According to reports, Williams was westbound and the driver of the eastbound tractor-trailer had stopped on the highway and was backing into a business on the north side of the roadway when Williams' collided with the trailer of the rig.

The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet this week at Catherine’s Bistro in Camden. The speaker this week will be Lisa Pickett with the Public Library.  She will be updating the club on the status of the new building. For any additional information, you can
call Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440 ext 7.

The Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Southern Arkansas University is bringing attention to a topic that touches many families across our community and nation as it recognizes October as Domestic Violence Awareness month. On Friday, October 17, the department will host two speakers on the topic of domestic violence. Rebecca Ojeman, J.D., will present a two phase talk from 8:30-10:45 a.m. on the topic “Domestic Violence: Understanding the Victim and Effective Documentation in Criminal Cases” and “Strangulation: Recognizing and Reporting.” Strangulation occurs often in domestic violence cases. Ojeman’s talk will discuss recognizing signs, the importance of documentation, and how both impact successful prosecution. Certificates will be available to document two hours of continuing education. Rebecca Bennett, education coordinator from the Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence will speak from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on the topic “The Intersection of Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, and Stalking on the College Campus.” Bennett is law enforcement certified, and law enforcement officers who attend will receive 1.5 hours of training credit through the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy. The Arkansas Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers will provide morning refreshments. The events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Office of Continuing Education at (870) 235-4006. Earlier this month, the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences hosted The Clothesline Project on the campus mall. The Clothesline Project is designed to bring awareness to the issue through t-shirts decorated in memory of those who have been victims of domestic violence.

When you add two hands to eighty-eight keys they equal an evening of unforgettable music as pianist Kent shreeve returns to the Callaway Theatre of the South Arkansas Arts Center for a concert that will leave you “Spellbound” on Friday, October 24 at 7:30pm. The concert marks Shreeve’s first time to take to the stage solo, so there is nothing to distract from the artist, the Steinway, and his interpretation of some of the world’s most beautiful melodies.

Shreeve has dedicated the concert to the honor of Dr. Ed Henley and all proceeds from the evening will benefit music education through SAAC.  Tickets for the concert are $15 for open seating and can be reserved at the SAAC box office by calling 862-5474.

LIFE TOUCH and PJ's Coffee will celebrate the 239th birthday of our nation's Navy on October 13th at 9:00-10:00 a.m. by treating all U. S. military, past or present, to a cup of coffee and a cookie at THE SPOT on the square in El Dorado. Celebrating the branches of our armed forces is a project of Life Touch's Operation Appreciation. Life Touch is a level III partner of We Honor Veterans. For more information visit or

Commissioner of State Lands John Thurston today reminds Arkansas property owners to pay 2013 personal property and real estate taxes by the Oct. 15 deadline. “Real estate taxes that have not been paid by close of business Wednesday, Oct. 15, are considered delinquent,” Thurston said. “If taxes remain unpaid on a property for two years, the county must certify that property to the Land Commissioner’s office, where the owner can redeem it by paying the amount due.” Properties certified to the state accrue significant additional fees, he said. Penalties, county and state costs are added to the tax amount, as well as interest that accrues daily. “For properties that are already certified to our office, the owner can bring the property up-to-date by paying the back taxes now, and then pay the 2013 taxes at the county,” Thurston said. “After Oct. 15, the 2013 taxes will be added to the delinquent amount due to the state.” The county collector’s office cannot accept payment on property certified to the state, Thurston said. “When we receive the delinquent payment and redeem the property, we will notify the county that the taxes are current, and at that time, they can accept payment again.” Property owners seeking to redeem property from the COSL should have their property parcel number on hand before calling the office at 501-324-9422.

October 9, 2014

-Email Marketing: Tues, October 28 – 11AM-1PM   Brown Bag. Email marketing doesn't cost much.  It doesn't take a lot of time. And it’s effective!  A perfect fit for small businesses!  Target the customer you want to reach and get results with email marketing.  Learn how to get your email opened, how to grow your list, and how to use Constant Contact software to create professional-looking email campaigns in a snap.  No technical expertise is needed.
-Marketing with LinkedIn: Tues, Nov. 11 – 11AM-1PM   Brown Bag
The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center presents LinkedIn Fundamentals.  This seminar will teach the attendee about the history and growth of LinkedIn, how to manage your professional information and information about your business on the internet, how to find and be introduced to potential clients, customers and subject experts, how to be found for business opportunities, how to post and distribute job listings for employees, and how to gain insights from discussions with like-minded professionals in private group settings.
These classes are now offered at the Camden Accelerated Business Services (CABS) Center
625 Adams SW, Camden, AR 71701 (OPED Building) Call 870-836-2210 or to Pre-Register.

El Dorado is getting ready to walk in March for Babies. It promises to be a fun day out with people who share our passion for improving the health of babies. There'll be family teams, company teams and people walking with friends - it's a great feeling knowing we're all helping real families. Join the event and walk with us to raise money for baby’s right here in our community. October 11, registration 8:00A.M. Walk begins: 9:00A.M. For any additional information you can email La Keesha Murrill at or 501-663-3100

The City of Magnolia has been awarded a $20,000 grant. The gran is for improvements to be made at City Hall. Mayor Parnell Vann will request that the improvements include a new air conditioning unit for City Hall in order to lower the utility expense. This is a General Improvement Funded Community Enhancement Grant (GIF) from the Arkansas Department of Rural Services and can only be used for the purpose of improvements to City Hall. Vann thanked Sen. Bruce Maloch for his efforts in the grant process.

A former Cleburne County boat dealer who swindled consumers out of the money he owed them for consignment sales has been ordered to pay civil penalties and restitution of more than $170,000, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced today. Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Tim Fox issued a default judgment against Gary Eubanks of Heber Springs and his business, Edgemont Marine, in a suit filed by McDaniel last year. Fox ordered Eubanks to pay $90,000 to the State for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and to provide restitution of $82,630 to affected consumers. Edgemont Marine and Eubanks entered into contracts with consumers who wanted to sell their personal watercraft. He agreed to sell the boats at his business on consignment, typically for a 10 percent commission. However, in at least nine instances, Eubanks kept all the money from the sales for himself. “The defendant created impossible situations for both buyers and sellers with his illegal actions, since boat sellers were left without the proceeds of sales and buyers were unable to obtain a clear title for their purchases,” McDaniel said. “Consumers need to have confidence in the transactions they make at Arkansas businesses, and that’s why my Consumer Protection Division continues to aggressively pursue actions in instances such as these.” Eubanks was accused of contacting consumers who were selling their watercraft on Craigslist and offering to sell the items on consignment. He also used newspaper and radio advertisements to promote his business. Eubanks was ordered to pay $5,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs in addition to the penalties and restitution.

(Little Rock, Ark.) – The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH), along with the Arkansas Human Development Corporation and the Mexican Consulate, will host a Latino HIV/AIDS awareness event on Saturday, Oct. 11, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Southwest Community Health Center, located at 6325 Baseline Rd. in Little Rock.

People who attend the event will be offered HIV/AIDS testing, flu shots and health exams, which will include: blood sugar, blood pressure, vision, glaucoma, depression and anxiety screenings. Information about autism, cancer and tobacco will also be available to those who attend. Those who are unable to attend the event in Little Rock may receive HIV/AIDS testing at their local county health department or call 1-800-462-0599 to find a testing site. Information can also be found at In 2013, there were 5,458 people in Arkansas living with HIV/AIDS and people who identify as Hispanic or Latino account for 5 percent of that number. According to national statistics, at some point in their lives, an estimated 1 in 36 Latino or Hispanic men and 1 in 106 Latino or Hispanic women will be diagnosed with HIV. The estimated new HIV infection rate among Latinos and Hispanics in 2010 in the United States was more than 3 times as high as that of whites. Factors such as poverty and language barriers may contribute to higher infection rates among Latinos and Hispanics. “We now have very good treatment for HIV and AIDS that allows people to live long, fulfilling lives,” said Ralph Wilmoth, MPH, MPA, Section Chief of the HIV/AIDS Program at ADH. “We don’t want people to fear getting tested; knowledge is power and getting tested is the first step to getting the treatment and care that you need to remain healthy.” For more information, please call Yolanda Amaya at 501-563-7135.

(CNN) -- A pair of pigtails has been sold for several thousand dollars. If that seems like a lot of money for hair, just wait till you hear who they belonged to. When it comes to his braids, Willy Nelson would probably agree that it's crazy for someone to feel it's worth it to spend $37,000 for Willy's pigtails. He cut them off in 1983 to give them to fellow country star Waylon Jennings to celebrate Jennings' sobriety. Now Guernsey's Auction house has sold them to an unidentified bidder, though this collector says he would have bid $50,000 if he'd known about the auction. John Reznikoff has been verified by the Guinness Book of World Records as having the largest celebrity hair collection. From the almost invisible few strands from Beethoven to Geronimo's pony tail. Also from the 1800s is what Reznikoff calls his "treasure", a lock of Lincoln's hair. Documented, he says, as having come from the night that Lincoln was assassinated. He said, "This is hair that the surgeon cleared the wound and retained this hair." Reznikoff estimates it's worth a million dollars. He says he's got a few wisps of Einstein's hair and a clump of Michael Jackson's, picked up off the floor by the producer of that Pepsi commercial that was being shot when Jackson's hair caught on fire. As for that lock of Marilyn Monroe's hair, it was taken at her embalming by the embalmer.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Mark Pryor and John Boozman, along with Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-2), today announced that St. Francis House received a grant for $183,750 from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to continue providing services for chronically mentally ill homeless veterans in Little Rock. The funding comes from VA’s Grant and Per Diem Program (GPD) Special Need Grants which allows organizations to continue providing housing and necessary services to homeless veterans who have special needs, including women, frail elderly, terminally ill, chronically mentally ill and individuals who care for minor dependents. “The St. Francis House provides veterans a safe place to live, as well as the other essential services, to improve the livelihood of homeless veterans,” Pryor said. “I’m grateful this grant will help enhance the exceptional care they provide to our nation’s heroes.” “St. Francis House has track record of providing exceptional services for homeless veterans including transitional housing, meals and employment counseling,” Boozman said. “This grant will help ensure the facility can continue to assist homeless veterans struggling with mental illness, a population that needs the type of unique, quality care that St. Francis House provides.” “It is our duty as a nation to take care of the people who sacrificed for our country and our freedom. This funding is critically important to reduce veteran homelessness and provide assistance to homeless veterans with special needs at St. Francis House in Little Rock,” Griffin said. “We must continue working to ensure our nation’s heroes get the support, care and benefits they have earned and deserve for their service.” As a key component of VA’s plan to eliminate homelessness among veterans, GPD Special Needs Grants funds community agencies that provide services to homeless veterans. The program promotes the development and provision of supportive housing and services with the goal of helping homeless veterans achieve residential stability, increase their skill levels and income, and obtain greater self-determination. Recognizing that a “one-size fits all” approach would not serve the needs of homeless veterans who require more intensive interventions, the GPD Special Need Grant was established. GPD Special Need funding allows grantees to provide transitional housing to the most vulnerable homeless veterans while working to transition them to permanent housing.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) will launch a four-day long defense tour beginning on Tuesday, October 14 to highlight Arkansas military installations, businesses and jobs that contribute to our national defense and the protection of our nation’s servicemembers. During the tour, Boozman will meet with Arkansas military installation commanders and troops and visit industry leaders who produce weapons and ammunition for the Department of Defense. “Our troops deserve the best equipment available to help them execute their missions safely and successfully. We need to maintain a strong national defense -with the most advanced technologies and cutting edge tools -and Arkansas facilities and defense manufacturers play an important role. I look forward to seeing first-hand the newest resources available to our troops and discussing opportunities to improve our defense from industry leaders and our men and women who serve in uniform,” Boozman said. When Congress returns, lawmakers will debate the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a critical authorization bill that supports our nation’s troops, their families and our military installations. The Department of Defense employs nearly 24,000 Arkansans. Projected defense spending in Arkansas in 2015 is more than $3.3 billion. Boozman wants to ensure that Arkansas remains an important contributor to our nation’s defense. This tour will provide him with information he can bring back to Washington and showcase the importance of Arkansas defense facilities.
The tour includes stops at:

·         Red River Army Depot in Texarkana
·         Lockheed Martin in Camden
·         General Dynamics in Hampton
·         Ratheon in Camden
·         Aerojet Rocketdyne in Camden
·         Spectra Technologies in Camden
·         Camp Robinson in North Little Rock
·         Power Technology Inc. in Alexander 

October 7, 2014

Officer’s Bush and Finney, of the Camden Police Department, were conducting a routine patrol in the vicinity of the 500 block of Fort Lookout, when they observed two males and one female standing in the parking lot. The officers exited their patrol unit and made contact with the three individuals. One of the males stated that he was on the ban list, but the other two were not. After confirming the man was indeed on the ban list, the man was taken into custody for criminal trespass.

Detective Moore, of the Camden Police Department, was dispatched to the Maul Road area.
Upon arrival the detective observed a male slumped over in the driver’s seat of his vehicle.
The male was in fact asleep, with the key in the ignition and the gear not in the parked position.
A cooler was found in the back seat, along with a 16oz can of Bud-Light that was opened in the middle console. After securing the man’s vehicle and waking him up, he was detained for further investigation. Officer Clayton, arrived on the scene and spoke with witnesses, who stated that the man had been parked in their driveway for about 40 minutes, before they decided to call the police. They also stated that the man, came up and knocked on their front door at one point.  According to reports, the man also urinated on their side of the house, before he got back inside his vehicle and fell asleep. After the officers woke the man, he showed heavy signs of intoxication. He was then taken into custody.

Detective Moore was also conducting a security check in the downtown area, when he observed a vehicle travel south on Madison Street, going towards Washington. He then observed the vehicle travel down Jefferson Street towards Adams Avenue at a high rate of speed.
The Detective then conducted a traffic stop. The vehicle appeared to be occupied by two males. One of the males tried to exit the vehicle, but was instructed to stay inside. Once the officer got close to the vehicle, it took off at a high-rate of speed. The detective followed the vehicle to Jackson Street, where the two males exited and began running. The detective radioed the description of both subjects to other units. Sergeant Gilbert, Officers Clayton, Bush and Finney responded, however did not find the two males. McKelvin’s Wrecker was called and took possession of the vehicle.

The Hope/Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce will hold its fall Bluegrass Show Saturday November 1st from noon to 6pm at the Fair Park Community Center in Hope.  The program is free and will feature three different groups. Returning by popular demand will be Bill Grant from Hugo, Oklahoma.  Grant is a Bluegrass pioneer and staged the first Bluegrass festival west of the Mississippi River in Hugo.  Bill Grant has toured the World and has recorded scores of popular albums.  He has performed at several Hope and Washington events and has been popular at all of them. The ever-popular Hartley Family from Arkadelphia will be returning for the program.  The family group has been appearing at the Hope festivals for several years and has proven to the consistently popular. The Hempstead County Melody Boys from Hope will kick off both the early show and the afternoon show. Admission to the Bluegrass Show is free.  The Chamber will operate a concession stand with char-grilled hamburgers (we get our meat from Barry’s in Hope), R.C. Colas, popcorn, Moon Pies, and other snacks. The program will be held at the Fair Park Community Center.  The Center is located in Fair Park and is accessed off Park Drive and Jones Street off state highway 174 south.  For information phone 870-777-3640 or 870-826-6737 on the day of the show.  More information is also available at

MAGNOLIA – Tickets are on sale for a Murder Mystery Dinner at Southern Arkansas University on October 25, 2014, with funds benefiting academic enrichment for the SAU criminal justice program. The audience-engaged entertainment and dinner will be from 6-8 p.m. at the SAU Reynolds Center. Tickets are $30 for an individual or $50 for a couple. No children under 12. Contact Louis Roy to order tickets or for more information at (870)235-4226 or The night will feature a “Roaring ‘20’s Mobster setting,” and prizes will be given for best-dressed audience members with costumes best matching the evening. Door prizes will also be given in association with a food drive. Guests will receive one ticket for the prize drawings for each can of food brought for donation. All collected food items will be given to a local food bank. This will be the first fundraiser of the year for the Criminal Justice Club, Lambda Epsilon Iota. Money raised will be used to the fund the club to travel to compete in regional and national criminal justice conferences and competitions. Roy said that the club’s focus this year is going to be on community service. Each student involved will complete 25 hours of community service, and the club has an overall goal of 4,500 hours for the academic year. Also, the criminal justice program is excited to announce a one-week summer youth criminal justice academy for 14-18 year-olds, that is coming in June 2015. Criminal Justice Club members will serve as mentors for this academy.

Physicians and providers all over the state can now access immediately and securely exchange current, updated electronic health records (EHRs) for thousands of Arkansas children, thanks to the contributions of Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH), which is now pushing data through SHARE, the Statewide Health Information Exchange.

SHARE enables providers at different medical facilities across Arkansas to exchange medical records for patients they have in common. Using SHARE, a pediatrician can connect to a patient’s most current and comprehensive health information, including that patient’s health data from other facilities connected to SHARE. For example, if six-year-old Josephina from Batesville is admitted to Children’s Hospital, her SHARE-connected pediatrician back home can securely access her health data from her stay in the hospital.  Her pediatrician can then update her progress using SHARE, so that Josephina’s other SHARE-connected physicians can also stay informed about her care. From a hospital’s perspective, if a child arrives in the Emergency Room for the first time after a car wreck, the ER staff is now able to pull up his record in SHARE, see his current medical condition and medications, and make better-informed decisions about his care on the spot. Arkansas Children’s Hospital Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer Darrell Leonhard said the hospital was excited to be able to offer this level of care coordination for its patients. “We want the best experience possible for the kids we treat, and we see SHARE as a way to improve the already excellent care provided by the staff at ACH.” ACH is one of 26 hospitals signed on to participate in SHARE. Arkansas Health Information Technology Coordinator Ray Scott said ACH’s participation marks a turning point for SHARE.
“We are very excited to have Arkansas Children’s Hospital as part of our SHARE network. Every time a new practice or hospital in the state joins SHARE, the network is that much more useful to its participants. Arkansas Children’s Hospital is the one that other providers in SHARE have been clamoring for—being able to access electronic records and communicate more easily with ACH makes SHARE significantly more powerful and relevant to all hospitals, physicians, therapists, and parents,” Scott said. Scott said that research shows that patients whose health records are available via a secure health information exchange with their other physicians receive better care and have fewer duplicate tests and procedures ordered by the different physicians. “SHARE makes health care better for all of us,” Scott said. “National studies show that the average patient in the U.S. sees 18 different providers. Think about that. Haven’t you ever wished your doctors could communicate your health information with each other so that the next provider you see knows what the previous one did for you? That’s what this linkage between ACH and SHARE makes possible.”

The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) has received notice that the state is one of twenty-six states and tribes awarded a Garrett Lee Smith State and Tribal Suicide Prevention Grant. The grant is managed by the Suicide Prevention Branch within the Center for Mental Health Services in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The funding is expected to total $3,680,000 over five years. “Suicide is a heartbreaking public health issue that has affected far too many people in Arkansas,” said Teresa Belew, Injury and Violence Prevention Section Chief at ADH. “We are grateful for this grant and look forward to working with communities across the state to connect people with the help they need so we can reduce this growing problem.” This is the first time Arkansas has been awarded the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Youth Suicide Prevention Grant. These dollars will fund a population-focused Arkansas Youth Suicide Prevention Project. The funding will be used to increase the number of youth-serving suicide prevention organizations, increase clinical service providers, and improve follow-up care of suicidal youth. The funds will also help increase awareness and use of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. According to National Vital Statistics data, the Arkansas suicide rate was almost 30 percent higher than the national rate in 2010. In 2011, 437 Arkansans died by suicide, making suicide the second leading cause of injury death in Arkansas. Self harm or attempted suicides caused 1,702 hospitalizations in 2011, and is the third leading cause of injury hospitalization in Arkansas. Because suicide is the second leading cause of injury death for Arkansans age 10-24, the ADH recognized the need for both the expansion and development of targeted programs that address the needs of youth at risk for suicide. For more information on suicide prevention resources: For help now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or visit

October 6, 2014

Officers of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of theft of property.

Upon arrival officers spoke with a woman and her son, who stated that sometime during the night, someone went through the front window and stole $100 cash out of an envelope that was hidden. The woman stated that she believed it was her grandson, because he has apparently stole from her numerous times in the past. The son stated that when he pulled up, his son (the grandson) took off running towards the wood. He also said that he didn’t want any of his adult sons living with him anymore. He stated that every time he makes them leave, they force their way back in, tear up something, or even beat him up.

Deputy Bryant Carman, of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, responded to Stephens in reference of stolen property. The officer spoke with a woman, who stated that while she was away from her home, visiting friends, a man she knew was supposed to be house-sitting. The 81-year-old woman said she had no one else she could trust. The woman also said that sometime while she was gone, the man trashed her house and taken pictures of the wall, stolen her flat-screen television, and her cook stove. She also believes the man and his mother, gained access to her bank account. Now the man states that he never stole a thing from the residence, however someone was trying to, so he took the TV to Bank’s Pawn in Camden, for them to hold it, and he was given $100 dollars for it. As for the stove, the man states it had gas leak, so he moved it outside, and someone must have stolen it.  

Deputy Bryant Carman, also responded to a report of a vehicle trailer running off the road when the driver lost an ATV out of the back on Highway 24, east of Chidester City Limits. Upon arrival the officer observed a truck and a trailer parked on the side of the road. The driver stated that he was going home from a 4-wheeler ride, and met an oncoming driver traveling West Bound in a truck. The man said he swerved to miss the vehicle, when he went too far into the ditch, and his trailer lost control. Luckily no injuries were reported.

Deputy McLane, of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, responded to EZ Mart in Chidester for a theft of motor fuel. According to reports, someone pulled up to the #4 pump. A white male exited the vehicle and tried to pump gas. The man would stand there for 8 minutes, before he walked into the store. The man apparently, walked into the store, and stopped at the door. Witnesses say that the man appeared to under the influence of narcotics and was real fidgety. The man walked around the store and then asked the attendant if she could turn on the pump so he could fill his car up with gas. The man was unsure of the amount it would take. The attendant turned on the pump, and said as she was stocking the ice cooler, she noticed the man began to drive off and headed North on Highway 57. The man pumped a total of $35.04 worth of gas.

The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet this week at Catherine’s Bistro in Camden.  The speaker this week is Carolyn Key, and she will be talking about diabetes Awareness.  For more information on the Lion’s Club and how you can join, you can call Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440 ext 7. 

TEXARKANA, AR- According to reports, Arkansas State Police are investigating a deadly shooting on the Arkansas State line, early Sunday. According to the Texarkana Police Department, several shots were fired at the Race Way gas station parking lot off N. Stateline Ave, close to 1am. When police arrived to the scene, they determined the shooting stemmed from a physical altercation in the parking lot. Two men were shot and taken to the hospital. One of the victims, Fred Eatherly, 30, died from injuries. Several detectives are working on this case and have not yet released any suspect descriptions. If anyone has any information about this shooting, they are strongly encouraged to call 903-798-3154 and speak with a detective.

MURFREESBORO, Ark. (AP) – A trial has been set for next month for an Arkansas man accused of fatally shooting his estranged wife, mother-in-law and niece has been set for next month. According to reports, Timothy Hill of Delight is charged with capital murder in their deaths. His trial is scheduled for November 20th, of this year. According to an affidavit, Hill told investigators that his wife, Dana, was coming to retrieve his two boys from a home near Murfreesboro. It says the couple was going through a divorce. The affidavit stated that while Dana was inside of the home, Hill went outside to a car his mother-in-law and niece were in and opened fire with his rifle, killing them. Police say Hill was angry with his mother-in-law because he believed she was trying to turn his two boys against him.

The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) has received notice that the state is one of twenty-six states and tribes awarded a Garrett Lee Smith State and Tribal Suicide Prevention Grant. The grant is managed by the Suicide Prevention Branch within the Center for Mental Health Services in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The funding is expected to total $3,680,000 over five years. “Suicide is a heartbreaking public health issue that has affected far too many people in Arkansas,” said Teresa Belew, Injury and Violence Prevention Section Chief at ADH. “We are grateful for this grant and look forward to working with communities across the state to connect people with the help they need so we can reduce this growing problem.” This is the first time Arkansas has been awarded the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Youth Suicide Prevention Grant. These dollars will fund a population-focused Arkansas Youth Suicide Prevention Project. The funding will be used to increase the number of youth-serving suicide prevention organizations, increase clinical service providers, and improve follow-up care of suicidal youth. The funds will also help increase awareness and use of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. According to National Vital Statistics data, the Arkansas suicide rate was almost 30 percent higher than the national rate in 2010. In 2011, 437 Arkansans died by suicide, making suicide the second leading cause of injury death in Arkansas. Self harm or attempted suicides caused 1,702 hospitalizations in 2011, and is the third leading cause of injury hospitalization in Arkansas. Because suicide is the second leading cause of injury death for Arkansans age 10-24, the ADH recognized the need for both the expansion and development of targeted programs that address the needs of youth at risk for suicide. For more information on suicide prevention resources: For help now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or visit

Lake Catherine State Park is hosting a Solar Oven Workshop on October 18th, 2014. Keep the heat out of the kitchen by learning to harness the power of the sun to cook your meals. In this workshop, we will use a solar oven to cook a meal.  Also, you will be able to make a pizza box solar oven that will heat up to 250 degrees.  Admission is $45 and will cover the cost of food and materials needed to make the solar ovens.  Space is limited and reservations are required. Also, Lake Catherine State Park will host their annual Haunted Halloween event on Saturday, October 25, 2014. The weekend will be filled with fun activities for the whole family to enjoy. Starting on Friday night there will be a free concert at the amphitheater with fresh Dutch oven cobbler served by the park rangers. Saturday will be busy with activities starting at 6:00 p.m. Activities include trick-or-treating in the campground, hay rides, marshmallow roasts, and much more! Lake Hamilton Fire Department will have their fire trucks on display at the park and will be conducting hayrides throughout the evening. Diamondhead Community Church will also be in the park hosting a trunk or treat. They will provide hot dogs and drinks free of charge to park visitors. This is sure to be an exciting weekend so make your plans now to visit Lake Catherine State Park for Halloween this year! For more information please contact the park at 501-844-4176 or by email at  

October 3, 2014

Deputy Chris Lindsey responded to a call at 274 Ouachita 204. Upon arrival the officer spoke with a man who advised that he noticed that his weed-eater and his air riffle were missing from his carport. There were no signs of forced entry into any of the other buildings on the property and, the owner didn’t notice any other items missing from the residence. According to reports, the carport area is a roofed two vehicle carport attached to the house with open sides. The owner advised the officer that he had no idea who could have taken the items, but advised that he had heard ATV’s in the woods behind his house several times late at night the past few weeks.

Lt. Cedric Gregory was dispatched in response to a report of a disturbance. Upon arrival the officer made contact with a woman, who stated that there had been an altercation between her husband and her son. The woman explained that her husband and her other son had restrained the son and were currently inside the home holding him down. The officers made entry into the house, where he found the son face down on the ground, being held by the other men. The son was placed into handcuffs. According to reports, the son was coming to see his two-year-old son, who was staying with his grandparents. He arrived and requested his son be brought to the door. The mother refused to do so and invited him inside. Due to being barred from the house for drug-activity and bad behavior, the man refused to come inside. Once he finally came inside, two-year-old was afraid of him. The man blamed the family for the child’s reaction and became angry and would not calm down. The authorities were called shortly after.

MAGNOLIA – GenCorp Foundation, the philanthropic arm of GenCorp and its subsidiary company Aerojet Rocketdyne of Camden, has committed $40,000 over the next two years for the new engineering program at SAU. The College of Science and Engineering plans to purchase equipment for testing the tensile stress and compressive strength of different materials for use in the Structural and Strength of Materials Laboratory. Aerojet Rocketdyne of Camden, through GenCorp Foundation, is also providing $4,000 for Southern Arkansas University scholarships to benefit engineering majors who have financial need, with preference given to awarding female or minority applicants. “The SAU Engineering program is a great opportunity for South Arkansas, not only for SAU, but for our company,” said Rob Shenton, vice president of solid propulsion operations at Aerojet. “Having engineers from this area is key to us.” GenCorp Foundation has previously supported STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) at SAU by funding equipment for the Science Center, as well as a science laboratory preceptor program. Aerojet Rocketdyne is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader providing propulsion and energetics to the space, missile defense, strategic, tactical missile and armaments areas. Southern Arkansas University reached an all-time record enrollment this fall, thanks in part to new and unique academic programs SAU is bringing to the region. SAU’s new engineering program earned a lot of attention in the spring when it was approved by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, making it the only engineering program in South Arkansas. To find out more about SAU Engineering, visit

MAGNOLIA – A national presenter on the DSM-5, Dr. George Haarman, will be offering an affordable workshop from 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. on November 14, 2014, at Southern Arkansas University’s Reynolds Center Grand Hall. Haarman’s presentation is entitled “The DSM-5: Diagnosis and Treatment Planning for Psychological and Emotional Disorders in Children and Adolescents.” It has been approved for 5.5 Continuing Education Units by the National Association of Social Work (NASW), the Arkansas Psychology Board (APB) and the Arkansas Counseling Association (ACA). The fee is $25 for students and $50 for professionals. To register, contact Caroline Waller at (870)235-4006 or You can also register online at, or visit the Division of Continuing Education at office 111 of the SAU Business Building.

Some of the learning objectives for this workshop include the following:
·Which disorders are new to the DSM-5 that relate to children and adolescents?
·Has Asperger’s been removed or reclassified and why?
·How can you distinguish between Bipolar and Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder?
·What is the proper diagnosis for Autism Spectrum Disorder?
·How do the changes affect children and adolescents already diagnosed with ADHD? Oppositional Defiant Disorder? Eating Disorders?
·What is the proper grading scale for assessing if a child or adolescent has mild, moderate, or severe Substance Use Disorder? Haarman, Psy.D., LMFT, is a licensed clinical psychologist and a licensed marriage and family therapist with more than 30 years of experience in private practice. He has worked with youth detention centers, juvenile group homes, child protective services, and juvenile probation. Haarman is currently in private practice, and also serves as a consultant to several school systems regarding the assessment of children. Prior to being in private practice, from 1984-1994, he was the deputy director for Jefferson County Department for Human Services in Louisville, KY.  He received his doctorate in clinical psychology from Spalding University in 1989 and is a member of the American Psychological Association. Haarman has been an instructor at Jefferson Community College, Bellarmine University, and Spalding University. He has presented seminars regionally and nationally on the DSM-5, clinical supervision, psychopathology, depression, and emotional disorders in children and adolescents. He is the author of School Refusal Behavior: Children Who Can’t or Won’t Go To School and Clinical Supervision: Legal, Ethical, and Risk Management Issues.

When considering a vehicle purchase, consumers may choose to invest in a new car in hopes that a new vehicle may be more reliable than a used one. Generally, newer cars cost substantially less to maintain and most repairs are covered by a manufacturer’s warranty. In rare circumstances, though, a new car may be considered a “lemon” and require repeated service and repairs. Arkansas law protects consumers in the event that new vehicle is a “lemon.” Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued this consumer alert to inform Arkansas consumers about the state’s New Motor Vehicle Quality Assurance Act, also known as the Arkansas Lemon Law. “Newer cars are expected to be more reliable than used vehicles, so consumers would be justifiably upset if they experience multiple problems with their new vehicles,” McDaniel said. “Arkansas’s Lemon Law ensures that consumers who buy a ‘lemon’ are able to get a refund or a replacement.” Asserting a claim under Arkansas’s Lemon Law should be considered a last resort for consumers if a new vehicle experiences multiple problems. Only vehicles that are under two years old or have fewer than 24,000 miles are subject to Lemon Law provisions. The two-year or 24,000-mile stipulation still applies even if ownership is transferred during that period. The law does not automatically give car buyers a right to a refund or new vehicle, even in the case of repeated problems. New cars are sold with a manufacturer-provided warranty. Defects are repaired by the manufacturer’s authorized dealer during the term of the warranty. The Lemon Law may be applicable only when the car suffers multiple problems and the buyer loses confidence in the manufacturer’s ability to provide a long-lasting repair. A vehicle may be considered a lemon if there have been multiple, unsuccessful attempts to fix a problem that impairs the use, value or safety of the vehicle. If problems persist to a point where a vehicle has been in the shop for an extended period of time, the Lemon Law may also apply. Exceptions to the Lemon Law are for mopeds, motorcycles, motor-home living quarters, most vehicles weighing more than 13,000 pounds and vehicles that have been significantly altered after being purchased from a dealer. Also, cars that are more than two years old and have more than 24,000 miles are commonly sold “as-is” and the seller is not responsible for any defects, known or unknown. The Attorney General’s Consumer Guide to the Arkansas Lemon Law contains detailed information about the law and offers tips for consumers who believe their vehicles may be a lemon. The guide, available at, helps consumers assert and complete a Lemon Law claim without the assistance of an attorney. Automobile dealers are required to provide a copy of the Attorney General’s Lemon Law guide to every new vehicle owner. For more information about the Lemon Law, or for other consumer information, visit or call (800) 482-8982.

Marshall, Texas – Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) Special Ranger Larry Hand and the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department are seeking information on the theft of 12 head of livestock, three saddles, seven bridles and several tools that were stolen from a Harrison County cattle ranch sometime between Monday, Sept. 29 and Tuesday, Sept. 30. According to Hand, the 12 head of yearling cattle were penned late on Monday at a cattle ranch located off US 59, south of Marshall, Texas. The victim planned to ship the cattle Tuesday. The unknown suspect(s) conducted a forced entry onto the ranch. Hand said there were 11 black yearlings, with the majority being steers, and one charolais heifer stolen. According to the victim the cattle were not branded.  However, most of them had a blue fly tag in their ear. Additionally, a 16 inch Courts tan saddle, a 15 inch two tone tan ranch saddle, a 14 inch Vega kids tan high-back saddle, seven bridles, one Stihl chain saw, two circular saws and two 25 foot welding leads were stolen. Anyone with further information regarding 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

October 1, 2014

Deputy LaDuke, of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, spoke to a man on the phone. The man wanted to make a report of someone stealing his tackle box. The man stated that he had stopped by Jay’s Country Store on his way back from fishing. When he got home he noticed that his tackle box was missing from his boat. After checking his boat over he found where someone tried to take his depth finder also, but couldn’t get it free.

Deputy Chris Lindsey spoke with a woman in regards to a harassment complaint. The woman advised the officer that her brother had recently passed away and she was entitled power of attorney over his estate via his three children being all over the age of eighteen. The woman said that her brother’s ex-wife, had recently moved back into the area and began to send her harassing text messages, and on one occasion arrived at her residence threatening her with legal actions in regards to the estate. The woman filing the report, said she was afraid the other woman would go as far as to do physical harm to her or the estate. She was advised by the officer that proper affidavit and protection order procedures would be filed.

Lt. Gregory was dispatched to 1329 Ouachita 67 in response to a report of theft of property. Upon arrival the officer made contact with a woman, who explained that she had come home to discover that two lawnmowers had been stolen from her property. The woman stated that the mowers had been stored under an adjacent trailer on the property. The mowers were last seen some time during the previous week. The woman was unable to provide any additional information on the mowers, other than the color. One mower was red, and the other was green.
It’s not known exactly what time the mowers were stolen, and the woman has no idea who might have taken them.

Deputies spoke with a woman on the phone in regards to someone destroying her mailbox.
The woman advised that a friend arrived at her residence early one morning and found the mailbox laying in the middle of the road. The woman stated that the mailbox was smashed in several areas and it appeared that it had been pulled out of the ground and placed in the middle of the road in front of her residence. Officers advised the woman that extra patrol has been requested for that area in regards to criminal mischief.

Lt. Gregory was dispatched in response to a report of harassing communications. Upon arrival, the officer made contact with a woman, who explained that she was having problems with her son, who resides in El Dorado. According to the woman, her son had been living with her until recently. The woman said that the son had been making threat against her, making remarks like he would burn down the house. The woman said that she also refused to continue to pay the sons phone bill, and told him in advance that he would have to pay his own. He had not paid his bill, and his service had been terminated. He has since called several times threatening to do harm to her and her residence. The officer told the woman that a report would be filed and extra patrol would be requested.

(Little Rock-)According to reports, Pulaski County sheriff's deputies have located the body of missing real estate agent, 49-year-old, Beverly Carter. As of 6:45 a.m. Tuesday, 33-year-old Arron Lewis is officially charged with capital murder of Carter. Initially booked on a kidnapping charge and a parole hold for the Arkansas Department of Corrections, Lewis was also pegged with robbery and four charges of possession of firearms by certain persons. After over 12 hours of interviewing by investigators, Lewis was transported and booked into the Pulaski County Regional Detention Facility (PCRDF). Shortly after he was booked, investigators obtained information that led them to the 12100 block of Hwy 5 (Cabot city address in Pulaski County), which is the location of Argos Concrete Co., about 20 miles from where she reportedly disappeared. Investigators located Carter's body in a shallow grave on the property. Her family was then notified.

Though fishing in Arkansas is available year-round, fall is a beautiful time to cast a line and enjoy the favorable temperatures and colorful fall foliage of the season. The Ouachita River has long been a lure to anglers due to the stream’s prime fishing waters. The river, which runs around 600 miles, starts as a mountain creek flowing off Rich Mountain in Polk County and over the course of its epic journey to north-central Louisiana, winds through a diverse landscape that includes everything from scenic bluffs in its upper reaches to swamp bottoms filled with cypress trees as one approaches the lower sections. Chris Summerville of Ouachita Outdoor Outfitters in Hot Springs has fished the river off and on for the past 15 years. When asked about his favorite spot, he was hard pressed to pick just one. “The whole river is good,” he said. “It just depends on what people want to fish. You can catch smallmouth bass just about anywhere. You’ve got trout below the dams.” “It is a pretty big river, bigger than most other streams here in the Ouachitas,” he said. “It is pretty wide, has got a lot of grassy shoals, a lot of bedrock, really good habitat for smallmouth and largemouth bass, spotted bass, catfish, and sunfish.” Summerville said two keys to keep in mind are having an understanding of the water levels and the way the dams on the river affect these levels. “The fish are going to do different things based on what the water is doing,” he said. Jason Olive, district fisheries supervisor for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, mostly fishes the segment of the river that goes from Malvern to the Louisiana state line. Within that section, he said there are two different habitats. He refers to the stretch from Remmel Dam all the way down to Camden as the middle Ouachita River. “It’s a larger riffle pool type stream than the upper Ouachita, above Lake Ouachita,” he said. “But when the water is down you still can’t motor very far with a traditional outboard motor. You either have to have a jet-foot outboard or float it in a canoe or kayak.” He said this stretch is good fishing in the fall for bass including a few smallmouth and walleye. Olive said during the fall, this section is more difficult to navigate because of the shallow shoals. Especially when the dams (DeGray and Remmel) are not generating electricity. He said the middle Ouachita resembles more of an upland type stream than a bottomland river. “That water is so clear, it’s really pretty, you can see the gravel and rock bottom shoals, and you feel like you are in more of mountainous area than what you are.” Though beautiful, the clear water can also lead to fish getting spooked easier if you try to cast a line right on top of them. “The water is so clear typically that you just have to stay back and make long casts if you want to be successful with bass fishing there,” he said.  As far as where the bass are, Olive said they hang out in the same type of places year-round: slack water and eddies just outside the current, around some sort of structure, rock or wooded debris. In the dead of summer and winter they may go down to the depths of deep pools too. “But for most of the year they are up hanging around the logs and rocks just outside the current in a little current break feeding,” he said. On the lower section (downstream of Camden to Felsenthal reservoir near Crossett) Olive said a key tip to keep in mind is that as its gets cooler and closer to the end of November, the water temperatures will drop, causing shad to start moving out of the river and into some of the backwaters and up into the creeks. “The bass will follow them and you can catch a lot of them going up into the back of some of the sloughs and creeks,” he said. “Before that happens you can really catch a lot around the mouth of those areas. For the crappie you just look for any substantial treetop with lots of branches that are hanging off all the way into the water.” “One of my favorite places to fish in the fall is around Moro Bay State Park,” he said. “Especially when you get into November and everybody else is hunting. That’s a really good time to fish that part of the river because it is typically at its lowest and clearest of the year. Which is great for bass and crappie fishing.” In terms of scenery, Olive said the Ouachita River bottoms are one of the few places in Southern Arkansas where you can see colorful fall foliage due to the hardwoods found there. “So in my opinion it’s really one of the most scenic places to be in South Arkansas during the fall.” For more details on fishing in Arkansas, visit

Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC), a leading motion picture exhibitor owning and operating the largest theatre circuit in the United States, today announces that the UA Breckenridge Stadium 12 in Little Rock, AR is replacing all of the existing theatre seats with luxurious new recliners including footrests.  During construction, Regal’s King Size Recliners are on display in the lobby where guests can experience the added room and comfort that’s coming soon. Regal Cinemas remains open during the remodel as portions of the facility are converted.  All auditoriums will feature the new amenity in December. “Regal is redefining the level of comfort at this theatre.  Our guests will soon be able to stretch out, relax and recline while watching the movie,” said Rob Del Moro, chief technical and theatre operations officer at Regal Entertainment Group. “Regal constantly listens to our guests and looks for ways to improve. With this new concept, these luxurious recliners have scored extremely well.  Moviegoers are eager to return for another visit and the opportunity to enjoy Regal’s King Size Recliners.”
The experience of going out to the movies continues to evolve as Regal raises the bar. Recent upgrades to UA Breckenridge Stadium 12 include the conversion from celluloid film to digital cinema. Regal Entertainment Group is invested in providing amenities that further enhance the moviegoing experience. Now guests will enjoy more comfortable surroundings with the luxurious King Size Recliners able to adjust to multiple positions and including padded footrests. 
“Once you take the luxurious new recliners for a test drive, you’ll agree that the Regal King Size Recliner is a star attraction,” stated Ken Thewes, chief marketing officer at Regal Entertainment Group.  “The spaciousness and comfort help you lose yourself in the story and become more immersed in the movie. This combination of comfort and a pristine presentation make for a remarkable trip to the movies.”
Regal fans are encouraged to like Regal Cinemas’ Facebook page and download the Regal Movies app. Moviegoers can program their favorite theatre and purchase tickets all from their mobile device. The Regal app also gives patrons the ability to upload their Regal Crown Club card straight to their phone for easy access while on-the-go. Through the industry-leading Regal Crown Club, 11-million patrons each year accumulate credits at the box office and concession stand to earn rewards including free popcorn, soft drinks and movies. Free membership is available at the box office or online at
About Regal Entertainment Group:
Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC) operates the largest and most geographically diverse theatre circuit in the United States, consisting of 7,347 screens in 573 theatres in 42 states along with Guam, Saipan, American Samoa and the District of Columbia as of August 28, 2014. The Company operates theatres in 46 of the top 50 U.S. designated market areas. We believe that the size, reach and quality of the Company’s theatre circuit not only provide its patrons with a convenient and enjoyable movie-going experience, but is also an exceptional platform to realize economies of scale in theatre operations.

LITTLE ROCK -  Governor Mike Beebe today announced the following judicial appointment:

Robert W. McCorkindale, Harrison, as Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas for the case styled 14-427, Nathaniel Smith, M.D. et al v. M. Kindall Wright et al. Replaces Justice Cliff Hoofman, who has disqualified himself from this case. Governor Beebe also announced appointments to the following boards and commissions: Dr. Sondra Bedwell, Texarkana, reappointed to the Arkansas Child Abuse, Rape and Domestic Violence Commission. Appointment expires July 1, 2016. John Cole, Sheridan, reappointed to the College of the Ouachitas Board of Directors. Appointment expires July 1, 2021. Janice Dean, North Little Rock, reappointed to the Prescriptive Authority Advisory Committee. Appointment expires February 1, 2017. Amy Denton, Little Rock, reappointed to the Arkansas Early Childhood Commission. Appointment expires July 1, 2017. Martha Dixon, Arkadelphia, reappointed to the State Board of Career Education. Appointment expires June 30, 2021. Gin Foster, Camden, reappointed to the Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources Advisory Committee. Appointment expires July 31, 2019. David Hendrix, Benton, reappointed to the Arkansas Milk Stabilization Board. Appointment expires September 12, 2019. India Holt, Crossett, reappointed to the University of Arkansas at Monticello Board of Visitors. Appointment expires July 31, 2017. Jerry Hyde, Paragould, reappointed to the State Plant Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2016.
Dr. Suzanne Jessup, Bella Vista, reappointed to the Arkansas Child Abuse, Rape and Domestic Violence Commission. Appointment expires July 1, 2016. Carol Maxwell, Little Rock, reappointed to the Arkansas Child Abuse, Rape and Domestic Violence Commission. Appointment expires July 1, 2016. Marshall Nash, Jacksonville, reappointed to the Arkansas State Board of Massage Therapy. Appointment expires August 20, 2017. Peggy Parks, Prairie Grove, reappointed to the Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park Advisory Commission. Appointment expires June 13, 2019. Dr. John Robinette, Sheridan, reappointed to the Arkansas Board of Podiatric Medicine. Appointment expires September 1, 2017. Joe Don Rogers, Waldron, reappointed to the Arkansas Manufactured Home Commission. Appointment expires September 1, 2019. Jimmy Simpson, Searcy, to the Arkansas State Claims Commission. Appointment expires January 15, 2017. Replaces The Honorable Jim Baker. Mike Stephenson, West Memphis, reappointed to the Technology Equipment Revolving Loan Fund Committee. Appointment expires June 30, 2017. Lance Whiteaker, Calico Rock, to the Criminal Detention Facility Review Committee, Judicial District #16. Appointment expires January 14, 2018. Replaces Euna Sitton. To the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board:
Matt Fair, Maynard.
The Honorable Jimmy Hart, Morrilton.
Alan Hughes, Little Rock.
Brian Itzkowitz, Little Rock. The Honorable Mark Stodola, Little Rock. These reappointments expire August 10, 2018.

September 30, 2014

Officer Clayton, of the Camden Police Department, along with Officer Grummer and Sgt. Easttam was dispatched to a motor vehicle accident that was in the ditch near Sandy Beach. Upon arrival, Officer Clayton observed a white Infiniti G3S that was still running, have severe damage to the front bumper sitting in an upward position as if the driver was attempting to come up the embankment. At that point there was no driver in sight. The officer also observed tire marks from Van Buren, down the embankment to the entrance of Sandy Beach where the vehicle was resting. There was a faint female voice that was heard near the pavilion. The officers went towards the voice where they met a female. The female was barefoot, shaky, looked extremely tired and had marks on her arm. The woman stated that she was ok and did not need any medical attention. When asked what happened, the woman explained that she went to grab her phone to GPS her way back to El Dorado, when she ran into the ditch. The woman stated several times that she was not from around here and had no idea where she was going. The woman was then asked why she was so far away from the vehicle and her answer was that she could not find it once she got out of it. The officers advised the woman that her statement did not make any sense due to her vehicle running and she could clearly hear it. She told officers she didn’t have her glasses, therefor she was having trouble seeing. When asked if she was intoxicated in anyway, she stated that she had taken some prescription medication earlier in the day. She also said that there was nothing illegal in her car, but a methamphetamine pipe was found inside of a sock in the middle console. The woman was taken into custody.

Lt. Robertson was dispatched to the Dollar General on California Ave for a traffic accident.
Upon arrival the officers made contact with a man and a woman. The woman stated she was in the store when she watched the man back into her vehicle. She said the man tried to leave but she able to stop him before he could do so. She also said the vehicle had damage to the front bumper. The man’s vehicle had minor paint transfer to the rear bumper. While gathering information from both parties, the man informed the officers he did not have his driver’s license because it was suspended for DWI. He was also unable to provide proof of insurance. A strong odor of intoxicants could also be smelled, coming from his person. When asked if he had consumed any alcohol, the man said he had half of a 40 ounce beer. He then changed his statement, saying he indeed drank all of the beverage. When also asked about standard sobriety test, the man said he could “probably not” pass them. After the failing the tests, the man was arrested and taken into custody. He was booked and charged with DWI 2nd, Drinking on the Hwy, Driving on Suspended DL/DWI and no proof of insurance.

The Camden Noon Lion’s Clun will meet this week at Catherine’s Bistro in Camden.
This week’s speaker at Lions Club will be Robert Davis with Camden Fairview Schools. 
Mr. Davis will be talking about the start of the school year, and give an update on finishing up the construction from the storm repair. For additional information on the Lion’s Club you can call Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440 ext-7.

Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” will be Southern Arkansas University’s first play of the season, running October 9-12, 2014, and will feature professionally-choreographed sword fighting and beautiful costumes, scenery, and lighting effects. Tickets are on sale now, and can be purchased online at or by calling (870)235-4256. Season tickets are also available, with discounted prices to see all the exciting shows scheduled this season. “Romeo and Juliet” will also include two middle and high school matinee performances on Thursday, October 9, and Friday, October 10. For information about bringing a group to one of these matinees, please contact Lee Fuller, SAU theatre administrative assistant, at (870)235-4256. The play is set in 1560, Verona, Italy. It will be performed in ¾ round on the Harton Theatre stage, offering the audience and intimate setting for the show. According to director Clayton Guiltner, SAU’s director of theatre, a highlight of the production will be the sword fighting scenes, which were choreographed by professional sword fighting choreographer Jake Guinn of Atlanta, GA. Guinn taught the SAU actors stage combat techniques and orchestrated exciting fights within the play. Guiltner said that along with his directing role, he will also have a brief guest appearance in the play. “It is always fun for the student actors to work alongside their professor,” said Guiltner. Following “Romeo and Juliet,” SAU theatre has the following schedule for the 2014-15 season: “A Christmas Carol,” from December 4-7; “The Dutchman,” from February 5-7; and “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast,” from April 23-26.

September 29, 2014

Officer Clayton, of the Camden Police Department, was on routine patrol when he was advised by Sgt. Easttam that he needed to respond to the Ouachita County Medical Center in reference to a victim that had been stabbed. Upon arrival, the officer met with Sgt. Easttam who was in the hospital room with the victim. The officer observed a black female that was lying in a hospital bed while the doctor and nurses were trying to perform their medical duties. The woman was identified as Kiara Ward. According to reports, there was a heavy amount of blood coming from Ward’s body and clothing. The officer did observe one deep cut on Ward’s triceps. Sgt. Easttam stated that she had been stabbed four times. Ward said that Veronica Hampton was the one that stabbed her. She was unable to give any further information, as she could not breathe very well. The officers left the E.R. and made contact with the victim’s boyfriend, who was shirtless with blood from his chest to the knees of his pants. The boyfriend said that he and the victim were at her apartment in Ft. Lookout. He apparently went inside the house to put on some shoes, and when he came back out his girlfriend was being stabbed by Hampton. He went to break up the fight, and Hampton left the scene in a maroon Chevy Malibu. He then said that he grabbed a shirt and attempted to wrap it around Ward’s neck to stop the bleeding. The two then got in a car and headed to the hospital when they saw Sgt. Easttam in the downtown area, where he was advised of the incident. In the hospital, the woman was unfortunately pronounced dead. The suspect has since been arrested and taken into custody. 

Lt. James Bolton, of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, spoke with a woman on the phone.

The woman stated that she and her husband, were in a domestic disturbance at their residence at 759 Waco Street in Camden. She also said the Camden Police arrived the husband left in their vehicle. A few minutes later, he was involved in a one vehicle accident at the intersection of Cash and Mt. Holly Road. According to reports he left the scene of the accident before deputies arrived. He also said he was headed to his mother’s house in El Dorado. A few days after that, the woman called, stating she had not seen her husband since the accident. Deputy McClane and Bolton went to the scene of the accident, however there was no evidence of anyone.

David Pennington along with Lt. Justin Starnes and Deputy Bryant Carman, was dispatched to McKelvin’s Wrecker Service on a report of them seeing someone take a phone out of a vehicle and take off running. Once in route, the officers were directed to Highland Home Center.
Upon arrival the officers spoke with owners of McKelvin’s and the victim. They stated that a man had reached into the victims truck and had taken an iphone 5 and started running North up the road. They then began to chase the man and caught up with him at Highland. He then threw the phone down and begged them not to call the police. The man was taken into custody.

Deputy McClane responded to 2024 Highway 7 N for a report of residential burglary. A man stated that he had been gone the past weekend and recently returned home. He said that he did not noticed anything missing or missing until later in the evening, when he sat down to watch TV and noticed it was gone. He also noticed that someone had unplugged and taken out his sound bar. He also stated that his Xbox and three guitars were also missing from his upstairs bedroom. Right now an investigation is still underway.

The body of a woman found alongside Interstate 40 near Palestine earlier this week has been identified as Amy Darlene Bandy, age 35. A commercial truck driver notified Arkansas State Police shortly after 1 AM Wednesday (September 24th) that he had seen a body near the 236 mile marker lying next to the outside highway traffic lane. An examination of the body at the Arkansas State Crime Lab indicates Bandy may have been struck by a vehicle which caused the death. Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division Special Agents are working to identify where Bandy had been in the days before her death and develop leads to identify a vehicle that may have struck Bandy. Anyone with information about the death of Bandy or who knows of her whereabouts prior to her death is asked to contact the Arkansas State Police Highway Patrol Division, Troop D at Forrest City by calling (870) 633-1454.

The El Dorado Chorale, a committee of the South Arkansas Arts Center, announces their upcoming Christmas concert as part of SAAC’s 50th anniversary celebration. The community choir, which includes singers from south Arkansas and north Louisiana, has been presenting yearly programs since 1990. The chorale exists to provide the opportunity for singers and listeners alike to experience the well-known classics in choral literature.  Traditionally, the chorale performs only one concert each year. For this year’s concert, El Dorado Chorale steering committee members Dr. Allan Pirnique, Laura Doyle, and Dr. Elaine Allen looked over the programs from 1990 to 2013 searching for the best pieces to include.  They selected a range of works from the fun to the traditional including “Ding Dong Merrily on High” and the well know pinnacle of choral literature, Handel's “Hallelujah Chorus” from his Messiah. It will be a wonderful concert to start the Christmas season. This program will be presented at 4pm, November 23, 2014, at the First Methodist Church of El Dorado. As with other community-based organizations, the El Dorado Chorale is dependent on the talents and monetary contributions from our community. For more information about how you can become involved with the El Dorado Chorale, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced today that agents from his office have arrested a Garland County man for possession of child pornography. Zachary Thomas Nehus, 42, of Hot Springs was arrested this afternoon on 30 counts of distributing, possessing or viewing matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child, a Class C felony. Nehus was being held in the Garland County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing. Agents with the Attorney General’s Cyber Crimes Unit executed a search warrant at Nehus’s residence in the 100 block of Bledsoe Circle in Hot Springs this morning. Investigators confiscated a desktop computer, several iPads and cell phones and other electronic evidence. That evidence will be analyzed at the Cyber Crimes Unit Forensic Lab in Little Rock. Special Agent Chris Cone began investigating Nehus earlier this year after suspecting that child pornography was being possessed at his residence. The Garland County Sheriff’s Office and Arkansas State Police assisted in the investigation and arrest. The Attorney General’s Office will turn over its completed case file to 18th-East Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Steve Oliver. Charges are merely accusations and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

September 25, 2014

Officer James Bolton of the Sheriff’s Office, along with Deputy McClane, were dispatched to an accident at Hwy 274 and Womble Street in East Camden. Upon arrival the officers found two vehicles in the ditch on the eastbound side of the Hwy. According to reports a Red Camero hit the right rear of a white Ford pickup. Both drivers reported no injuries and refused medical treatment.

Lt. David Pennington took a report of a stolen ATV, from a man at City Hall. The man states that he recently noticed that his ATV was missing. He also stated that the ATV was not running and needed to be worked on. The belief is that the vehicle was taken from 2135 Maul Road.

Those contests at fairs and festivals that give consumers a slim chance to win a vacation, merchandise or cash often give businesses a sure chance to gain more information about a consumer. Consumers should not assume that contest entry forms that include details such as home addresses, phone numbers and email addresses are thrown away once a winner is selected. Instead, some companies may use that information for mailings or sales calls.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued this consumer alert today to make sure Arkansans are aware of the consequences of signing up for contests or sweepstakes, whether it be in person at the fair or the mall, through the mail, or on the Internet. “Consumers should weigh the benefits of winning a prize against the drawbacks of providing personal information that could be used for marketing purposes,” McDaniel said. “Read the details on entry forms to determine whether personal information might be sold to a third party or used to try to generate sales leads." Most contests have terms and conditions that apply. If the fine print is not on a contest entry form, then consumers should ask questions about the company’s marketing policies to the company holding the contest. Consumers who sign up for sweepstakes or contests could be turning over data that would be sold or shared to other businesses or affiliates of the company operating the contest. That could mean more telemarketing calls, mailed promotional materials and unsolicited emails. The terms and conditions on contest entries may state that companies operating the contests consider an entry as a waiver of rights under federal and state telemarketing laws. The entries could stipulate that, by entering, consumers confirm that they are authorizing sales calls to be made to their phone. Even if the entries include such a waiver, it’s probably invalid. Consumers should contact McDaniel’s Consumer Protection Division if they sign up for contests in which the terms state that do-not-call protections are waived. Also keep in mind that information may be used as a “lead generator” for businesses that offer home improvements or timeshares, for instance. These might subject consumers to high-pressure sales pitches.
McDaniel encouraged consumers to remember this additional advice prior to signing up for a contest or sweepstakes in person, online or through the mail:
-“Free” cruises or vacations may still require consumers to pay undisclosed fees and costs, such as their own transportation.
-Avoid signing up for contests in which a business refuses to provide a phone number or address by which a consumer can request removal from a mailing list.
-Consumers should never have to pay a processing fee or upfront “taxes” to claim a prize.
-Never provide checking account or credit-card numbers over the phone to telemarketers who claim to be calling about a sweepstakes or prize.
-If someone claims a consumer has won a contest that he or she does not remember entering, it is most likely a scam. For more information about this and other consumer issues, visit the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division website,, or call (800) 482-8982.

AARP Arkansas recently released nonpartisan Voter Guides featuring positions from candidates in key federal and state races—in their own words—on critical issues including Social Security, Medicare, Arkansas’ Private Option for affordable health insurance and enabling seniors to live independently. Voter Guides are available at for Arkansas’ U.S. Senate race; U.S. House of Representatives seats in Congressional Districts 1, 2 and 4; Governor; and Attorney General. The nonpartisan AARP does not support, oppose, or contribute to any candidates for elected office. Voters can enter their street address to see a list of responses from the three statewide races and the applicable U.S. House race that will appear on each voter’s Nov. 4 general election ballot. Visitors to can also contact the campaigns with their comments or questions and find out where they can vote in their state. “AARP Arkansas wants to make sure our members and all voters know what the candidates are saying – and not saying – about key issues that matter to them and their families,” said Herb Sanderson, AARP Arkansas Associate State Director for Advocacy. “AARP’s nonpartisan Voter Guides help voters cut through the political clutter and inform voters on where the candidates stand on critical issues like Medicare, Social Security, the Private Option and caregiving before Election Day.” AARP’s federal Voter Guide poses three questions on Social Security, Medicare, and financial security to candidates in all 471 federal races:
•How would you protect Social Security for today’s seniors and strengthen it for future generations?
•How would you put Medicare on stronger financial ground and protect today’s seniors and future retirees from the burden of rising health costs?
•How would you help Americans save so they can secure their future and live independently as they age?
The responses, which appear alongside AARP principles on each issue, consist of publicly available information and excerpts from candidate campaign sources. In Arkansas, candidates for Governor are asked:
•The majority of Arkansas residents want to stay in their homes and communities as they age. How will you help expand Arkansas seniors’ access to quality services provided at home and in the community (HCBS)?
•Will you support continuation of the Health Care Independence Act or Private Option so that hardworking Arkansans who earn up to $15,000 a year can have access to affordable health coverage?
•If tax reforms are implemented, how will you ensure that any such changes avoid hurting low and moderate income populations while also safeguarding the financial security of the 50+ population? 
Candidates for Arkansas Attorney General are asked:
•The last storefront payday lender left Arkansas in 2009 but similar high-cost, predatory lenders attempted to set up shop in 2011 and 2013. What enforcement efforts will you take to stop predatory lending practices similar to payday lending from returning to Arkansas?
•How will you enforce laws to protect seniors from financial exploitation?
An index of all races across the nation in AARP’s Voter Guides is located at  Additionally, AARP earlier this year commissioned election and issue surveys in eight states including Arkansas, Illinois, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Results for Arkansas in both the Governor and U.S. Senate races are available at
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services.  A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin;; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates.  The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at

September 24, 2014

Lt. Gregory was dispatched to 298 Ouachita 376 in response to a report of vicious dogs.

Upon the officer’s arrival, he made contact with a woman who stated that her dog had been attacked by other dogs belonging to her neighbor. The woman said she did not witness the attack, but her dog had bites on his neck and back. The woman’s dog was taken to the Maul Road Animal Clinic for treatment.

Sgt. Gill, along with Lt. Gregory responded to 103 South 3rd in Louann and spoke with a woman, who said that she and her boyfriend had gotten into an altercation. She stated that they have been arguing for the past two days and the arguing had become physical. She states that the boyfriend pulled her through the back door, then upper-cut her nose. Dry blood could be seen on the woman’s nostrils. Her family claims her face was very bloody, but they cleaned her up.  The woman also believes her boyfriend left towards Lockburg Arkansas with their baby, but is not sure.

Deputy Chris Lindsey, also of the Sheriff’s Office, spoke with a man of Erickson communications out of North Little Rock. According to reports, this is a company contracted with Sprint Communications in regards to four gel cell batteries being taken from one of Sprint’s cell sites located 2634 Hwy 79 South in Camden. The man advised that the individual that had taken the items from the site was a former contractor working for Sprint, and that they had taken batteries from several sites in Louisiana and Texas prior to being arrested in Louisiana.  

Shaneice Batton is holding a candlelight vigil on Thursday, September 25th, 2014, in honor of my mother’s sister, Erika Batton, who was brutally murdered on 9/14/14 in Camden. Her killer has not been apprehended. The vigil is intended to bring awareness to her death and urge people to help police solve this case. I want people to know how important she was to us and she did not deserve to die the way she did. I sat by her bedside until she passed away after hours of suffering. Please send someone to cover the vigil. Tips can be given anonymously by calling 870-836-5755 and asking for the CID office at the Camden Police Department. Please contact Batton at 870-818-0461, if you have any questions.

The Arkansas State Police is investigating the death of a woman whose body was discovered earlier today (Wednesday, September 24, 2014) along I-40 near Palestine east of the rest area at the 236 mile marker. The body was spotted on the outside lane of the highway by a truck driver who then contacted State Police, Highway Patrol Division, and Troop D shortly after 1 AM. State Police Criminal Investigation Division Special Agents are working to identify the body described as a white female, 25 – 35 years of age, small in stature, blonde hair and a tattoo on the left arm depicting a rose with the names, Shannon, Samantha and Deanna. The woman was wearing blue jean shorts, a lilac colored top. Justin’s cowboy boots were found near the body. The manner and cause of death will be determined by the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory. Anyone with information about the death of the woman or who may suspect they know the victim, please contact the Arkansas State Police Highway Patrol Division, Troop D at Forrest City by calling (870) 633-1454.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced today that he has agreed to yield to the Secretary of State’s Office the State's argument time during the Oct. 2 Arkansas Supreme Court hearing on voter ID. The state’s high court will hear an appeal from Secretary of State Mark Martin and the State Board of Election Commissioners. The parties are appealing Circuit Judge Timothy Fox’s ruling that the state voter ID law is unconstitutional. McDaniel represents the Board of Election Commissioners. Martin is represented in his capacity as Secretary of State by counsel from the Secretary of State’s Office. “I have made a commitment to uphold my constitutional obligation to defend the law, and I will continue to do so as counsel to the Board,” McDaniel said. “However, Secretary Martin’s attorneys have asked to argue the appeal, and I have no objection to them taking the appellant’s argument time.” The Attorney General’s Office also consulted with Sen. Bryan King, who supported the arrangement. King was lead sponsor of the 2013 voter ID law. “I am confident that attorneys for the Secretary of State’s Office will represent the state appellants at the Supreme Court, and I appreciate the cooperation of the attorneys involved in this matter as we work together to ensure the law’s constitutionality is upheld,” King said.

WASHINGTON – Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has classified prescription drug abuse as an epidemic. To help fight this widespread abuse, U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) is encouraging Arkansans to participate in Arkansas Take Back and get expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs out of the home. “Prescription drug abuse is a growing danger. Providing a safe option to dispose of old or unneeded medication helps reduce the risk of developing addictions to prescription drugs,” Boozman said. More than 130 collection sites across Arkansas will take old and unneeded prescription drugs. This is part of a nationwide initiative, National Drug Take-Back Day, to return and dispose of prescription drugs and curb their abuse. In Arkansas, more than 33 tons of unneeded medications have been collected since 2010. National Drug Take-Back Day’s success encouraged Boozman and other senators to use it as a model to help address the issue of prescription drug abuse among our nation's servicemembers and veterans. The Servicemembers and Veterans Prescription Drug Safety Act would direct the Attorney General to establish drug take-back programs in coordination with the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). “I’m especially concerned about our veterans’ abuse of prescription drugs. That’s why I’m working with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to create a connected network of VA pharmacies to protect against potential abuse and correct the practice of overprescribing pain medication. Drug take-back programs are an important tool to breaking this cycle of addiction for our veterans and all prescription drug abusers,” Boozman said. The legislation has been referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Similar legislation was introduced in the House.

September 23, 2014

Officer Plyler of the Camden Police Department, was traveling on Washington Street, when he noticed a vehicle coming towards him at a high-rate of speed. After it was confirmed that the driver was going over the speed limit, a traffic stop was made. The officer approached the vehicle and made contact with the driver, who stated that his driver’s license was suspended. The man’s eyes were also bloodshot and watery. His moves were also very slow and uncoordinated, according to reports. After the man failed standard Field Sobriety tests, he was charged with DWI.

Officer Clayton, also of the Camden Police Department, was on a routine patrol near Willie B Cole and Frazier Street. The office noticed a vehicle run a top sign at an intersection. The officer made contact with the driver, who was aware of why she was stopped. The woman was issued a criminal citation, along with a later court date.

Officer Elliot was on a routine patrol in the 100 blocks of Carver Courts, when she observed a man she knew to have a valid warrant with the Police Department. When the officer made contact with the man, he took off running. Other officers then arrived on the scene.  According to reports several people were outside witnessing the incident. The man was found in one of the residences. He was then taken into custody.

Monday afternoon, a Waldo woman was pronounced dead, after the vehicle she was driving struck the rear of a log truck. According to a preliminary Arkansas State Police report, Linda Joyce Morgan, 71, 520 Columbia 132, was driving a 2014 model Buick east on U.S. 82 west of Magnolia, near the intersection of Columbia 150 just west of Big Creek. Her vehicle collided with the left rear of a westbound 2007 model Mack truck, driven by Kenneth W. Dixon, 43, 1101 Cedar, Farmerville, LA. Morgan died at the scene. The accident happened about 2:35 p.m. The weather was clear and the road was dry. Trooper Seth Pinner investigated the accident for the Arkansas State Police. The death was Columbia County’s second fatal motor vehicle accident of 2014. Accidents killed five people in both 2013 and 2012.

The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) will hold a series of public meetings on Tuesday and Thursday between the hours of 4-7 p.m. The purpose is to seek input about a new statewide rail plan and the possibility of extending high-speed passenger rail service. Tuesday’s meeting will be at the Arkansas Transit Association, 620 W. Broadway, North Little Rock. The Thursday meeting will be at the River Parks Events Building, 121 Riverfront Drive, Fort Smith. Future meetings will be held in South Arkansas, including 4-7 p.m. October 15 at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, Gibson Center; and 4-7 p.m. October 16, Holiday Inn Express, 5210 Crossroads Parkway, Texarkana. Members of the public are encouraged to attend and to submit comments. A short video presentation will be repeated through the duration of the meeting. The study teams for the statewide rail plan and the high-speed passenger rail study will be available to provide information and answer questions. The AHTD is responsible for coordinating the development of the State Rail Plan. It is a step toward charting the direction for freight and passenger rail in the state and is required for Arkansas to be eligible for existing and prospective federal rail funding.

September 22, 2014

Lt. James Bolton, responded to a reported burglary at 5384 Hwy. 376 South.

Upon arrival the officer spoke with resident, who stated that when she arrived home from work, she noticed the bedroom window was open. She then noticed paint scrapings on the bed beneath the window and a brown blanket was missing. Upon inspecting the house from outside, a footprint and a handprint was visible beneath the window and the screen was pried away from the window. She said that the window lock was not working. She could find nothing else missing.

Bolton was also dispatched to 626 Anthony Drive to a reported terroristic threatening.
The officer met with a woman and her son, who stated that a man had threatened to kill her son. Witness statements were taken from both the woman and her son. The officer went to an address and spoke with a man, who stated that he was at an address cutting some trees when the son came up to him and began to accuse him. He said he told the boy to leave when the mother drove up and began yelling. Affidavit procedures were explained to all parties.

Deputy McLane responded to 308 Ouachita Road 273 for a report of battery. A woman said that 4 males came up to the residence and began talking to her. She states that they all began having a conversation like friends, then the males started to attack another man. The man had a small laceration under his left eye. He refused medical treatment. He believes the 4 males reside in Sparkman.

Officers were dispatched for a disturbance. The officers noticed a silver Nissan Altima parked behind the residence with all the windows broken out. After several attempts to make contact with someone in the residence, a woman drove up to the residence. She said that her son, had called her two days ago and told her that the alternator had gone out on the car.

The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet this week at Catherine’s Bistro in Camden.

District Governor Bob DeVinney will be the guest speaker, he will be talking about the October Membership Challenge, Centennial Challenge over areas of youth, the environment and hunger, and the upcoming District Conference. For more on the lions club you can call Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440 ext. 7.

The Ouachita County Cooperative Extension Service, which supervises the county 4-H program and the Extension Homemakers Clubs, is seeking new members. The purpose of the 4-H clubs is to give youth ages 5-19 an opportunity to participate in Youth Development Educational Program of the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service. Youth in 4-H clubs will learn life skills, enhance leadership skills, and increase self-esteem while serving in a number of community service projects. Youth in 4-H clubs have an opportunity to compete in a number of competitive activities, attend camps, and earn scholarships for education. The following is a list of the Ouachita County 4-H clubs where and when they meet:

-Camden Clovers 4-H Clubs meets the third Sunday of each month at 2:00pm in the Camden area.
-Ft. Lookout Warriors 4-H club meets at the Ft. Lookout Community Center located in Camden.
-Carver Courts Crusaders 4-H club meets at the Carver Courts Community Center located in Camden.
-Ivory Heights Masters 4-H club meets at the Ivory Heights Community Center located in Camden.
-Lincoln Center Cards 4-H meets at the Lincoln Center Community Center located in Camden.
-Hearts 4-H Club meets second Thursday of each month at 1:30pm, in the conference room at the County Extension Office located at 2760 Mt. Holly Road in Camden.
-Ouachita County 4-H Show Club meets in the conference room at the County Extension officer located 2760 Mt. Holly Road.
For information about meetings, 4-H club membership or program benefits, contact the Ouachita County Cooperative Extension Office, located at 2760 Mt. Holly Road in Camden at 870-231-1160.

The South Arkansas Arts Center continues its 50th anniversary celebration of bringing the arts to the heart of South Arkansas with a “Conversations about Clementine Hunter in 2014” by Tom Whitehead, author and professor emeritus of journalism at Northwestern State university of Natchitoches, Louisiana.  The informative talk about the art and the artist will be held in the Merkle and Price Galleries on Tuesday, September 23 at 7pm. When Whitehead met Clementine Hunter in 1966, he was an undergraduate at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches. Invited by the supervisor of his student job to accompany her to Melrose Plantation along Cane River, Whitehead rode along. “We first stopped at Clementine’s small cabin located across the road from Melrose,” he writes. “I met the artist and bought my first painting for three dollars, a bowl of zinnias. Then we drove around to Melrose and visited François [Mignon] on the porch of Yucca House. Little could I have imagined how the events of that simple afternoon trip would shape the next forty years of my life.” Whitehead and Art Shiver co-authored the book Clementine Hunter Her Life and Art, published in 2012 and co-edited the book Clementine Hunter: The African House Murals in 2005. Whitehead, a native of Baton Rouge, graduated from NSU in 1967. At Boston University, he earned a master’s degree in public relations and communications. In 1969, he returned to NSU to teach. He retired in 1999 but remains a consultant on special projects to the university president. “For me Clementine’s story is more than pictures on boards,” he writes in the book. “It is the story of the most remarkable person I ever met. . . She was not educated, she never traveled, she never had an art lesson, but Clementine Hunter taught me much. I learned from her that intelligence, wit, and talent arise sometimes from the least likely among us.” For more information about the talk, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474 or visit

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and the Arkansas Public Service Commission will be meeting next month over the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed Clean Power Plan. The public meeting will assess the state's pollution reduction target under EPA's alternate proposals, and also offer an economic analysis and a grid reliability study.  According to reports, the federal agency issued its Clean Power Plan proposal back in June, which for the first time regulates carbon pollution from existing power plants. The EPA plans to finalize the rule by June 1, 2015. States must submit their plans - which can include an array of options, including efficiency improvements at existing power plants, energy efficiency on the part of customers, renewable energy, among others to EPA by June 30, 2016. In some cases, extensions may be allowed.

(Little Rock)-Something to remember for this 2014-15 deer hunting season: Bag it. Tag it. Then use your smart phone app or the Internet to check your deer. In the past, more than 50 percent of the deer checked in Arkansas have been by phone call. It costs the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission $2.35 per call when a deer is checked by a phone call. In comparison, it only costs the agency 50 cents per deer checked through a smartphone app or over the Internet. According to the AGFC deer program coordinator Cory Grays, hunters can still call in to check their deer, but using the smartphone apps or the Internet can save the agency money that could go back into habitat management and targeted land acquisitions among other things. “More and more people are using the apps or the Internet. That savings can go a long way towards helping improve the state’s deer herd,” Gray said. When you get a deer, that’s bagging it. Before anything else, before you move the deer or holler at buddies to come see it, tag it as required by regulations. Then you can haul it to camp or home or anywhere else. Once that is done, checking it is required in the reporting process. If you so choose, you can make the report from right where the deer is. You may check the deer online at or through the agency’s smartphone apps available in Apple’s App Store or the Google Play Store.  The number to call is 866-305-0808. You have 24 hours to do this after bagging the deer.

September 18, 2014

Officer Plyler and Officer Nicholson were dispatched to Save-A-Lot for a report of a shoplifter. Upon arrival the officers made contact with the store manager, and the suspected shoplifter, as they left the store. The manager stated that he observed a woman conceal items in her purse that she had not purchased, and leave the store. The woman was asked to go back into the store where you had shoplifted. After the woman admitted to shoplifting, she removed the items from her purse. Which consisted of boneless turkey, ham, grape, jelly, guacamole, corned beef, turkey sausage, and 2 packs of Baby Ruth bars. A shoplifting affidavit was completed and the woman was taken into custody.

Officers of the Camden Police Department, were on a routine patrol in the vicinity of the 700 block of Fort Lookout, when he observed three black males sitting near the curb. As the officers drove by two of the males waived, however one kept his head ducked down. The officers came through a second time, as the man continued to duck his head, and not show his face. After the man was identified, he was determined to be on the ban-list. He was then taken into custody for criminal trespass.

Officer McDaniel was dispatched to Allen’s Restaurant in reference to a disturbance. Upon arrival the officer’s met with a worker, who was crying in the kitchen. The woman pointed to her daughter, who was outside. The daughter was outraged and could not be calmed down. Sgt. Gary L. Hicks, tried to calm her down, but with no success. The daughter was then taken into custody.
The mother said that her daughter comes into the restaurant often, and she knows she is not welcome. When asked to leave the daughter would begin to throw things and scream. The daughter was transported to the station for disorderly conduct.

Southern Arkansas University Techs Adult Education Centers will be hosting GED Week the week of September 22-26. On Tuesday, September 23 a student appreciation event will be held at the Camden location at 237 Jackson Street followed by a balloon liftoff at 11:30 am. In addition to the celebration, the centers in Magnolia, Camden and Fordyce will be offering a free GED pre-test for anyone wanting to start studying for the GED.  The free pre-test will be offered on the 22, 23, 24, 26, 29, 30, 1, 2, and 3 of September. This GED test is now $16 and is provided at all of the SAU Tech Adult Education Centers. For more information call, 870-837-4001.

Robert Cochran will deliver the annual Robert B. Walz Lecture in Arkansas and Regional Studies at 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 25, in Foundation Hall of the Southern Arkansas University Reynolds Center. The lecture is free and open to the public. Cochran’s presentation is “True Hearts Under Coarse Frocks: Arkansas on the Big Screen.” The audience is also welcomed to attend a reception for Robert Cochran in the Reynolds Center following the lecture. Cochran is professor of English and director of the Center for Arkansas and Regional Studies at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. He is the curator of Lights! Camera! Arkansas!, a current exhibit at the Old State House Museum in Little Rock. The exhibit includes hundreds of artefacts associated with those from Arkansas who made their mark in Hollywood, films shot in the state, and works by Arkansans that were turned into movies. A volume of the same title that he co-authored with his spouse, Suzanne McCray, will be published next year by the University of Arkansas Press. Cochran has written nine books. His works devoted to Arkansas topics include Singing in Zion: Music and Song in the Life of an Arkansas Family; A Photographer of Note: Arkansas Artist Geleve Grice; and Our Own Sweet Sounds: A Celebration of Popular Music in Arkansas. A three-time Fulbright lecturer and Guggenheim Fellow, Cochran has also directed three documentaries and produced two CDs of traditional Arkansas music. Walz Lectureship was established in 1995 with a bequest from the estate of Mrs. Curtistine A. Walz, in honor of her husband’s long service to the university. Dr. Robert Walz taught history at SAU from 1958 to 1987. He promoted the study of Arkansas history through his scholarship, preservation of historic photographs, and leadership in state organizations. The lecture is sponsored by the College of Liberal and Performing Arts at Southern Arkansas University.

The mortgage crisis dealt a significant blow to the U.S. economy and affected many American consumers, including some Arkansans. Fortunately, the economy is recovering, and the banks and mortgage services that contributed to the crisis have been held accountable for their actions. Two years ago, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel joined with other state attorneys general and the federal government to announce a multi-billion-dollar settlement with the country’s five largest mortgage services. Of Arkansas’s share of that settlement, $2 million was directed to the state Access to Justice Commission to provide support and assistance to Arkansas consumers who have been adversely impacted by the crisis. The Access to Justice Commission used the money to create the Housing Rights and Consumer Protection Program, which is operated by the Center for Arkansas Legal Services and Legal Aid of Arkansas. McDaniel issued this consumer alert today to increase awareness about this important program.“The landmark mortgage settlement gave us a distinct opportunity to support a program that protects consumers from the types of misconduct and abuse that initially led to our investigation of mortgage services,” McDaniel said. “The program is only about a year old, but there has already been remarkable success on behalf of Arkansas homeowners.” Legal-aid attorneys in the program can provide Arkansas consumers with advice on issues such as foreclosure defense and prevention, housing-related predatory lending practices and other issues related to safe and affordable housing. Consumers can visit for more information. Consumers may also call the statewide HelpLine at (800) 952-9243 to apply for services or see if they qualify under income eligibility guidelines. The entirety of the $2 million distribution is being used for the Housing Rights and Consumer Protection Program. So far, the program has helped more than 2,000 consumers. Here are some examples of how everyday Arkansans are being assisted:

-One consumer – a widowed grandmother --  saw her mortgage payment increase by nearly $300 a month because of an insurance requirement placed upon her by a mortgage company. She sought a loan modification but had difficulty obtaining the modification, even though she was eligible for a federal loan-modification program. Once she sought assistance through the Housing Rights and Consumer Protection Program, she received a loan modification that significantly decreased her monthly payment.
-Another consumer was about to be foreclosed upon because of reverse mortgage that was allegedly signed by her mother. However, the signature on the reverse mortgage does not match her mother’s signature. Because of that, representatives of the program went to court to stop the foreclosure and the sale was halted.
Because of serious medical problems that resulted in decreased working hours, a consumer who had always paid her mortgage on time contacted her mortgage provider seeking to have her loan modified and her mortgage payment reduced. She hit dead end after dead end until she contacted the program, which intervened on her behalf. Her bank eventually agreed to a modification, thus preventing foreclosure on her home.
The Access to Justice Commission and the nonprofit Access to Justice Foundation work to provide equal access to justice to Arkansans in civil cases. Visit the Commission’s website at
Legal Aid of Arkansas and the Center for Arkansas Legal Services are nonprofit organizations that provide free legal services to low-income Arkansans with civil legal problems. Learn more at

September 16, 2014

On Friday, at approximately 9:30 am, Deputy LaDuke spoke to Shaun McKelvin at McKelvin’s Garage located at 114 Ouachita 203. McKelvin wanted to make a report regarding a missing stereo. He stated that when the staff got to work, they noticed the door to a white Honda civic was open. When the officer took a look inside, a CD player was found missing. There was also entry made into a Dodge truck. Once inside the perpetrators tried to steal another stereo, but were unsuccessful. Deputy LaDuke also responded to Ymart to take a report of a small accident in the parking lot. The officer spoke with a man, who stated that he was backing out and accidentally hit a vehicle parked at one of the gas pumps. The only damage caused was a small dent on the passenger side of the parked truck.  

JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) – After prison guards say they found nearly $2,000 worth of methamphetamine in her pants, an Arkansas inmate is facing additional jail time. Earlier this week, Craighead County judge said there is sufficient evidence to charge the 30-year-old woman with meth possession. She faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. Craighead County Detention Center jailers say they discovered 19 grams of meth in baggies during a "shakedown." According to reports, the woman told them she couldn't remember the name of the inmate who gave her the drugs. The woman is serving a 120 day sentence for second-degree forgery.

If your club or organization would like to participate in the Homecoming parade on September 26, you must pre-register your entry with Pam Strickland, Darla Strivers, or Tavitha Wooten by September 25th. Registration forms can be picked up in the Principals office. The theme for this year's parade will be "Let the Games Begin". The start time for the parade is 3:00 pm, and there will be no numbers issued for parade lineup. For any additional information call Camden Fairview High school at 870-837-1300 during school hours.  

The Waldo Police Department and other officers were involved in a high-speed chase early this week, that resulted in a traffic accident in Nevada County. Waldo Police Chief Robert Philson said in a press release that a Waldo officer initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle in Waldo. When the officer approached the vehicle, the suspects fled and the officer gave chase on U.S. 371 North. During the chase, Columbia County Central Dispatch reported that the vehicle had been stolen in the State of Illinois, and that the suspects could be armed and dangerous. Nevada County deputies set up a roadblock but the suspects ran through it. North of Willisville, the suspects passed an 18-wheeler and their vehicle collided head on with a southbound vehicle. The suspects were apprehended at the scene. However, two people in the other car were seriously injured and had to be airlifted to a Little Rock hospital for treatment. In custody are two women. They are Angelina Mark, 30, of New Lenox, IL, and Tanderly Autumn Ham, 32, of Rosston. They were booked early Tuesday morning by Waldo police. The names of the victims have not been released. The Arkansas State Police is investigating the wreck.

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel was released from a Little Rock hospital after he admitted a day earlier for an adverse reaction to a new medication. McDaniel was released from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences on earlier in the week. A day earlier, the attorney general was admitted as a precaution because the new medication had caused his blood pressure to spike. Attorney General's Office spokesman Aaron Sadler stated that McDaniel is doing well and appreciates the prayers and support he's heard from around the state. Sadler says McDaniel is eager to return to work.

Planning on attending the South Arkansas Arts Center’s first annual El Dorado Film Festival but just can’t fit in all three days? By popular demand, the festival committee is now offering a $20 “Day” pass. Select the day of your choice to attend and get access to the films and admission to the workshop of the day. The El Dorado Film Festival runs the weekend of September 18-20 at the South Arkansas Arts Center, located at 110 East Fifth Street. Feature filmmaker Howie Klausner will be at the Festival on Thursday, September 18 only. Klausner will give his “The NEW Film Business” workshop at 10:30am on the 18th. At 8:00pm on that evening, Klausner will speak about the film industry, screen writing, and give Festival attendees a first look at an extended trailer of his new film The Secret Handshake. Klausner’s trailer will be followed immediately by Horton Foote’s One Armed Man. Directed by Tim Guinee and produced by the late Philip Seymour Hoffman; the narrative short has already been short listed for the 87th annual Academy Awards. For a complete listing of all films and workshops scheduled during the El Dorado Film Festival, visit and plan your attack. Whether attending the entire three-day festival with a $30 all access pass or taking advantage of the $20 day pass, SAAC bring world class cinema to El Dorado, September 18-20. To reserve your pass, contact the SAAC box office at 862-5474 or reserve them online at  

September 15, 2014

Officers of the Camden Police Department, were dispatched to 618 Lincoln Center for a house fire. Dispatch advised EMS and the fire department were in route to 618 Lincoln Center.  When the officers arrived on scene and heard several people yelling for me to hurry up because someone was hurt. A woman was noticed holding the screen up to the window that was also observed to have smoke coming from it. A black female lying on the floor unresponsive.

Blood could be noticed coming from her head and face area. The fire department arrived on the scene and gained entry into the residence. The woman was pulled from the apartment by firefighters and turned over to emergency medical services. Bleeding could be seen coming heavily. Sgt. Easttam contacted dispatch and advised them to call out CID. The woman’s daughter stated she had walked home from Foxcreek Apartments and noticed light illuminating from the window. Initially she thought it was a candle, but when she got closer she smelled smoke coming from the apartment. EMS transported the woman to the hospital for treatment. At the hospital believe the woman was stabbed or hit with a blunt object. The woman was transported to St. Vincent’s hospital via helicopter for further treatment, but was later announced dead.

There will a Law Enforcement Standards and Training will hold a regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, October 9th. The meeting will be held at the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy in East Camden. The meeting will be held at 10:00 am.   

The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet this week at Catherine’s Bistro in Camden.

This week Judge Ham Singleton will be the speaker, and he will be discussing civics. For more on the Lions Club and how you can join, you can call Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440 ext.7.

Best-selling author James Bradley will be the presenter for the 10th annual Farmers Bank and Trust Distinguished Speaker Series on September 23 at Southern Arkansas University. Tickets for the event are now on sale. To purchase tickets by phone, call the SAU Office of Development at 870-235-4321. Tickets can be purchased by clicking the “Make a Gift” button. Bradley burst onto the national scene in 2000 with his New York Times #1 best-selling book Flags of Our Fathers, a book about the six soldiers who raised the American flag on Iwo Jima. One of the soldiers was Bradley’s father. The Times called the book “the surprise runaway nonfiction best seller of the season.” It was later released as a motion picture directed by Clint Eastwood. Bradley’s message at SAU will be titled “Doing the Impossible.” Proceeds from the event provide scholarships to students who possess the talent, energy, and intellectual curiosity to access higher education but lack the financial resources. A private reception with Bradley will be held at 5:15 p.m. at the Farmers Bank and Trust main branch in Magnolia. A book signing will take place in the Donald W. Reynolds Campus and Community Center at SAU at 6 p.m., and the dinner and lecture will be held in the Reynolds Center Grand Hall at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $100 for the dinner and lecture. Tickets are $200 to attend the dinner, lecture, private reception, and obtain an autographed photo with Bradley. Sponsorship opportunities are also offered through the SAU Foundation. A Blue Sponsorship, $800, includes eight tickets for the dinner and lecture, two tickets for the private reception with photo, a table in the Blue Section with the sponsor’s name displayed on the table and in the program. The Gold Sponsorship, $2,000, includes eight tickets to the dinner, lecture and private reception with photo. Gold Sponsor tables also enjoy premium seating and name displayed in the program and on the table. Bradley is the author of three other books. Flyboys is the secret story of eight naval aviators who were beheaded on the island next to Iwo Jima. A ninth Flyboy got away. His name was George H.W. Bush. His third book, The Imperial Cruise, is an in-depth exploration of Theodore Roosevelt’s foreign policy. His latest book, The China Mirage, is slated for release this fall. It is a spellbinding history of the turbulent U.S.-China relations. Raised in Wisconsin, Bradley studied at the University of Notre Dame, Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan, and the University of Wisconsin. He has vast experience writing and producing corporate films and corporate meetings. He has traveled the world, living in more than 40 countries. He has run companies in the U.S., Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy. He is the president of the James Bradley Peace Foundation, which is dedicated to fostering understanding between America and Asia.

For the first time in its 105 year history, Southern Arkansas University has more than 3,500 students enrolled on its Magnolia campus, and numerous enrollment records were broken as the fall 2014 numbers became official. “It is exciting to see enrollment in Magnolia top 3,500 for the first time in our history,” said SAU President Dr. David Rankin. “It is particularly rewarding to see increases in both undergraduate and graduate numbers, a record freshman class, and a significant increase in the number of students living on campus.” Total enrollment for the semester was up 141 over fall 2013 with 3,545 students registering for classes. This represents an increase of 4.14 percent. Of those, 3,037 are undergraduates, and 508 are pursuing graduate degrees, setting a new record for the School of Graduate Studies. In a message to University employees earlier this week, Rankin attributed the enrollment records to the hard work of the SAU faculty and staff. “In the challenging environment higher education finds itself in today, an
increase in student numbers does not just happen. It takes a dedicated and concentrated effort and many hours of hard work to see this accomplished,” he said. Dr. Donna Allen, vice president for student affairs, echoed Rankin’s comments. “I am extremely grateful for everyone’s hard work in helping this record number of students have the opportunity to have the complete college experience by enrolling at SAU,” she said. Other broken records include the number of students living on campus. This year, 1,538 students have chosen to reside in on-campus residence halls and  apartments, pushing University housing to its max. Compared to last year, on-campus living is up 91 students. The international student population has hit an all-time high with 154  students enrolled from 39 countries. This number is up from 99 international students in 2013. The SAU Honors College has enrolled a record 61 new students, bringing its total enrollment to 170 – the highest total enrollment in program history. Administrators are attributing the University’s recent growth to several new and innovative programs that are unique to SAU. The computer game and animation design program began in fall 2013 and boasts 65 students. The new Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree  the only degree of its kind in  south Arkansas – began this semester and already has 50 students enrolled. 
In athletics, 51 new students have arrived to participate in the Muleriders’ reinstated track and field program. “New programs and events have gotten the attention of potential students, and we are very excited about their decision to attend SAU,” said Dean of  Enrollment Services Sarah Jennings. “The faculty and staff have done a great  job working together to attract students, and I am especially proud of the recruiting efforts by our admissions and enrollment services team. We are looking forward to a great year at SAU!”

September 12, 2014

Officer Plyler of the Camden Police Department was traveling along California Avenue towards Lincoln Drive. While the officer was sitting in the turn lane, he observed a white 2 door infinity in the lane in front. The light apparently turned green and the vehicle continued to sit there. The officer then activated the air horn, forcing the other vehicle to move. The vehicle continued on Lincoln Drive at a very slow speed, and crossed over the center line several times, before returning to its lane. A traffic was made at the Murphy Gas Station. The officer approached the vehicle and made contact with the driver, who stated that she was sitting at the light for so long because she was attempting to put an address into her phone’s map service. Her movements were very uncoordinated and sluggish. When asked if she had consumed any narcotics or alcohol, the woman stated no, however after taking standard field sobriety tests, she was determined to be intoxicated.

Registration is now open for Southern Arkansas University’s “Super Smash Bros. Brawl” tournament to be held from 1-7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 20, at Borderland Games, 2846 Richmond Road, Texarkana, Texas. Sponsored by the University’s gaming and animation design programs, the tournament is open to high school students in grades nine through 12. There is no entry fee, but the tournament is limited to 32 players and six standby players. Prizes will be awarded, and refreshments will be served. Spectators are welcome to attend. To reserve a seat, interested students should pre-register at SAU recently became the first and only university in Arkansas to offer a complete program dedicated to providing instruction from the technical as well as the artistic sides of computer gaming and animation design. The new B.F.A. in Art and Design for Game Animation and Simulation Design as well as the new B.S. in Computer Science option in Computer Gaming and Animation Design offer students a competitive and more affordable avenue to a future in developing mobile apps, 3-D designs, and lifelike animations.

U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) called on EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to provide a 60-day extension for the public comment period on EPA’s radical plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. The EPA plan will drive up the price of electricity, send jobs overseas, and lead to the construction of foreign factories in places like China, which will emit far more carbon dioxide and pollution into the global atmosphere. The EPA plan contains complicated mandates, which target Arkansas with some of the most painful and severe cuts in the nation. Boozman joined 52 of his senate colleagues expressing that because the proposal is incredibly complex and broad in scope and would impact electric generation, use, and costs throughout the country, an additional 60 days is needed to provide more time for all stakeholders to fully review it and offer comments. In May, Boozman signed a letter to EPA requesting that the agency grant at least 120 days for public comment on its new proposal for existing power plants. The agency approved this request, but analyzing and assessing the information has proven very difficult for stakeholders in Arkansas and across the country. In this letter, the senators state that the level of complexity of the proposal, volume of technical documents released, amount of coordination required, and magnitude of energy impacts of the rule warrant a 60-day extension of the public comment period. The senators write, “This extension is critical to ensure that state regulatory agencies and other stakeholders have adequate time to fully analyze and comment on the proposal. It is also important to note that the challenge is not only one of commenting on the complexity and sweeping scope of the rule, but also providing an opportunity to digest more than 600 supporting documents released by EPA in support of this proposal.”               

September 11, 2014

Officer Jimmy Plyler of the Camden Police Department was dispatched to Walmart for a report a man consuming alcohol inside the store. When the officer arrived on the scene he located the man in the automotive section of the store. An employee stated that the man was consuming alcohol in the store that he had not paid for. The officer observed the Man pushing a cart containing merchandise and also consuming peanuts from a container. When asked what he was doing the man said he was just shopping and he was not aware that you couldn’t drink in the store. The man was taken into custody for public intoxication.

Officers of the Camden Police Department were dispatched to Pierce Street at the railroad tracks for a parked vehicle on the railroad property next to the tracks. Upon the officers arrival he observed a black Chevrolet pickup parked next to the tracks. The officer then made contact with the driver, who said he was homeless and living in the trunk.

Sgt. Easttam was dispatched to Fred’s for a shoplifter that had just left the store on a bicycle. Easttam was advised by Chief Bo Woody that the man was riding through the parking lot of Car Mart. The man was taken into custody and transported to the station. The items that were stolen were found as the officers were doing a search.

Officers were dispatched to 677 Crestwood for a report of terrostic threatening. Dispatch advised that a vehicle was driving around the residence and shouting threats at the residents. The officer was unable to locate the vehicle, however he did speak with the residents. One of the residents said that his ex-wife was driving and shouting threats at his fiancée, and had also been stalking them. The officer knew that the ex-wife had a current warrant for violation of order of protection, and she was taken into custody.

Southern Arkansas University is hosting a 9/11 Day of Remembrance and Service ceremony today, from 12:15-12:45 p.m. in Harton Theatre. Members of the community are invited to come remember those who lost their lives, to honor first responders and military personnel, and to encourage acts of service. First responders and military personnel in attendance will be honored during the program. “That day represents one of the most deadly terrorist attacks on American soil, but it also exemplifies a time when Americans worked together in rescue and recovery and in responding to the needs of others,” said Deana Taylor, SAU’s community involvement coordinator. “When we gather to remember the events of that day and honor those who died, when we pay tribute to those who rush in as everyone rushes out, and when we seek to honor those who continue to serve our country, we are helping to make something good rise from the ashes of Ground Zero.” SAU President Dr. David Rankin will be the keynote speaker. “I had an opportunity to visit the twin towers memorial in New York City this summer. It is a stark and powerful reminder of the terrible events of September 11, 2001,” said Rankin. “We all remember where we were as we watched these terrible events unfold. It is fitting that we have continued to remember the suffering and sacrifice of this day and to reaffirm our determination to defend the freedoms we hold so dear.” SAU sophomore Jacob Maness, a pre-vet student from Taylor, will also share his personal story from 9/11. He was connected to two men who died that day. The program will also feature music education major Jaymee King from Magnolia, who will sing God Bless America. Taylor said that they will be encouraging people to look around in their own sphere of influence and find ways to help others, ways to make the world a better place, one act at a time. The “Do Something Good” campaign was inspired by the remarkable goodness, compassion and unity that people expressed immediately after the attacks.

Prescription drug abuse and misuse is growing at such a rapid rate that drug overdoses have eclipsed motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of all drug overdose deaths are caused by pharmaceuticals, such as prescription pain relievers. The problem of prescription drug abuse is particularly critical in Arkansas, which has led the nation in the abuse of prescription drugs by teenagers. That’s why Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has partnered with other agencies to host this week’s Arkansas Prescription Drug Abuse Summit.  More than 650 participants, including medical professionals, law enforcement officials and educators attended the summit to hear from national experts on the best ways to prevent prescription drug abuse and provide treatment to those who need it. The third annual summit came just days before the Ninth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, which is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 27. McDaniel issued this consumer alert today to promote awareness of this issue and encourage Arkansas consumers to participate in the Sept. 27 take-back effort. “The prescription-drug abuse epidemic touches all our lives, as it’s likely that every one of us knows a friend or family member who has been addicted to prescription medication,” McDaniel said. “Because it affects all of us, it takes all of us to solve the problem, whether it be a physician who heard at our annual summit of an innovative and more appropriate way to treat a patient, or a consumer who merely takes the time to safely discard unwanted pills.” Since the national take-back initiative began in 2010, Arkansans have safely and securely disposed of 52 tons of pills, and Arkansas is one of the leading states for participation in the program. Secure take-back locations will be available to consumers statewide from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 27. To find a nearby collection site, or for more information on the take-back initiative, visit For consumers unable to dispose of their unused and unwanted pills on the 27th, Arkansas has more than 100 permanent disposal sites. In addition, pharmacies and other medical facilities will be allowed to register as collection sites under new Drug Enforcement Administration guidelines that take effect Oct. 9.

Disposing of drugs at take-back sites helps keep medications out of the hands of potential abusers, and it also benefits the environment. Throwing pills away or flushing them down the toilet poses significant health and safety risks.
McDaniel urged consumers to help prevent prescription drug abuse by keeping these tips in mind:
-Monitor every prescription. Take note of how many pills are in each bottle or packet, and keep track of refills.
-Secure all medications, even over-the-counter drugs, in locations that are inaccessible to children, teenagers or potential abusers. The leading source of prescription drugs taken for nonmedical use is the medicine cabinet of a friend or family member.
-Dispose of expired, unused or unwanted prescription drugs promptly at collection sites sponsored by law enforcement agencies.
-Prevent unauthorized refills by removing personal, identifying information from pill bottles or packaging before disposal.
For more information about prescription drug abuse or misuse, contact the Health Care Bureau of McDaniel’s Consumer Protection Division at (800) 482-8982 or visit

September 10, 2014

Deputy Bryant Carman responded to a hunting club on Hwy. 9. When the deputy arrived on location he met with one of the hunting club members, who stated that the previous night, his father arrived at the camp and found that one of the camp doors had been pried open. He also stated that all the other camper RV’s had been invaded, but there was no property damage. According to reports the suspect(s) went through all the drawers in each camper, but mostly took items that were laying outside the camper. The items missing were described as 2 Moultree Brand Cameras, extension cords, 1 industrial water hose, a level, drill, tin snips, water pump, tools, and a sleeping bag.

Lt. James Bolton responded to Ouachita County Medical Center to a report of a female that had been stabbed. The officer spoke with the woman, who stated she was at the Wheel Club on Bradley Ferry Road, when she had got into an argument with another female outside in the parking lot. During the argument, the other female had something in her hand and stabbed her with it. The suspect then jumped into a gray four door car and drove away. The victim was unable to identify any other information about the identity of the suspect.

Lisa Burton-Tarver,staff photographer for the South Arkansas Arts Center will teach a giclee print workshop on Thursday, September 11, from 6-9pm. Bring your favorite photo images on a memory card or a memory stick and learn to make one-of-a-kind inkjet giclee prints! $50 fee includes all supplies. Coined in 1991 by printmaker Jack Duganne, giclee (pronounced zhee-klay) is the term for fine art digital prints made on inkjet printers. The name originally applied to fine art prints created on IRIS printers in a process invented in the late 1980s, but has since come to mean any inkjet print. It is often used by artists, galleries, and print shops to denote high quality printing. Artists generally use inkjet printing to make reproductions of their original two-dimensional artwork, photographs, or computer-generated art. Professionally produced inkjet prints are much more expensive on a per-print basis than the four-color offset lithography process traditionally used for such reproductions. A wide variety of substrates is available, including various textures and finishes such as matte photo paper, watercolor paper, cotton canvas, or artist textured vinyl. Tarver is an award-winning photographer whose work has been included in the Arkansas Arts Council’s “Small Works on Paper” and numerous juried competitions. To register for the workshop, contact SAAC at 862-5474.

Landowners and Livestock Producers interested in cost-share programs and best management practices are encouraged to attend the 2014 Conserving our Pastures Workshop. The workshop will be held on September 23rd at the University of Arkansas Research and Extension Center in Hope, starting at 10AM and running until 12:30.  Lunch will be provided following the informative session. Natural resource professionals with the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, Natural Resource Conservation Service, and Arkansas Natural Resource Commission will discuss management of grazing lands including rotational grazing, alternative water sources, and stream side fencing. Presenters will also tie these practices into available cost-share programs and provide information on how to obtain cost-share if desired.  Jeff Taverner with the Arkansas Game& Fish Commission says; “we have a great program set up that will cover nearly all financial incentive programs available.  If you are a cattle producer, we'd love for you to come hear more about these programs and see how you can improve your bottom line while also improving water quality. These programs can help prevent severe erosion from your stream banks as well as provide a source of fresh clean water for your livestock. We think it is a win-win for everyone, but we need feedback from livestock producers to be effective”. To RSVP, please contact Sherri Pote at 870-777-9702 x 100. The RSVP is encouraged to estimate the number of meals to provide. For more information on the workshop, please contact Mike Budd at 870-473-2869.

Global warming threatens the survival of nearly half the birds species in the continental United States and Canada, including many of Arkansas’s birds. One iconic Arkansas bird – the mallard – is among those at risk, according to the report. Another duck, the bufflehead also stands to lose much of its habitable territory in Arkansas. “Based on Audubon’s peer-reviewed scientific study, more than 300 birds across North America face serious threat or extinction. Half of those species spend all or part of their lives in Arkansas,” said Dr. Dan Scheiman, director of bird conservation at Audubon Arkansas. “Our state plays a pivotal role in preventing a catastrophic decline in bird species across much of the country.” Of 588 bird species examined in the seven-year study, 314 species are at risk. Of those, 126 species face severe declines by 2050 if global warming continues unabated. Another 188 species face the same fate by 2080, according to the study. The Audubon report says that hundreds of species not previously considered at risk will be challenged to survive in a climate-changed future. “Ducks plays a critical role in our culture, our history, and our economy,” said Brett Kincaid, executive director for Audubon Arkansas. “We face the distinct possibility of children growing up to live in an Arkansas where the mallard is a rare bird, no longer a valued member of our community.” National Audubon Society chief scientist, Dr. Gary Langham, led a team of ornithologists analyzing more than 40 years of historical North American climate data and millions of historical bird records from the U.S. Geological Survey’s North American Breeding Bird Survey and the Audubon Christmas Bird Count. This analysis helped Dr. Langham’s team understand the links between where birds live and the climatic conditions that support them. Understanding those links then allowed scientists to project where birds are likely to be able to survive – and not survive – in the future. Audubon’s study shows how climate conditions including rainfall, temperature, and changing seasons – the building blocks for ecosystems and species survival – may have catastrophic consequences when tipping those balances. While some species will be able to adapt to shifting climates, many of North America’s most familiar and iconic species will not. “We can build a bridge to the future for Arkansas’s birds, but we must get to work right away” says Dr. Scheiman. “This new report can be a roadmap to help birds weather the storm of global warming. They’re relying on us to do it.” Audubon also launched a new web portal – – dedicated to understanding the links between birds and global warming, including animated maps and photographs of the 314 species at risk, a technical report, and in-depth stories from the September-October issue of Audubon magazine, which is devoted to the topic. “This report serves as a wakeup call,” said Kincaid. “We can act to mitigate the damage we’ve already done. But we must act together – and act now.” Audubon Arkansas is an affiliate of the National Audubon Society, an organization working to save birds and bird habitats throughout America. Using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation Audubon has worked for more than 100 years on behalf of birds. Audubon’s state programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. Since 1905 Audubon’s vision has been a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Audubon is a nonprofit conservation organization.

September 9, 2014

A guy in a vehicle was traveling east-bound on Ouachita 44. While traveling the vehicle lost control while trying to negotiate a curve. The driver stated that when he started to lose control he turned the steering wheel to the right to avoid going into a creek in, in turn causing the vehicle to exit the roadway to a final resting point off road near the creek. Luckily no injuries were reported.

Deputy Bryant Carman responded to Hwy. 376 North in reference to a vehicle being ran off the road. Upon the officer’s arrival, he spoke with the driver, who stated that while traveling north when she met an oncoming 18-wheeler pulling a white tractor trailer on her side of the road.
The driver stated that she had to go in the ditch to avoid being hit, which caused her to hit a mail box. She stated that the 18-wheeler did not stop and continued on toward Hwy. 79 south.

Deputy LaDuke spoke to a man on the phone, who said he was calling to report a pistol missing from his truck. He said he had no idea who might have taken the gun, but he feels like it was either taken from his house, or the Bearden fire station. According to reports the gun is a Taurus PT 45 cal. The gun has a polished upper, dark gray lower, and diamond cut wood grips.  Deputy LaDuke also spoke to a man at 430 Ouachita 154, who wanted to make a report about that his family used for storage getting broken into. The man stated that the break-in was made through the back door and once they were inside they pulled out everything and threw several items on the floor. At this time the items missing a yellow McCullough Weedeater, a red Snapper gas leaf blower, a Black & Decker drill, 2 jack stands, a box of miscellaneous tools, and several fishing reels. At this time there is no idea to who stole the items.

The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center presents "Marketing Techniques for Small Businesses." A small marketing budget doesn’t have to mean restricted resources for your small business.  Get an overview of general marketing techniques, accompanied by suggestions for small businesses with small budgets. Topics include how to create a marketing plan and calendar, determining your target markets, low cost marketing tools, image development and branding, and e-marketing. The seminar will be on Tuesday September 23rd from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm at the OPED Building in Camden. The guest speaker will be Training Coordinator, Julia Nipper and the cost is free. For any additional information or to pre-register you can contact Julia Nipper at 870-235-5033 or email

The visual arts committee of the South Arkansas Arts Center announces there is still space available in celebrated artist Richard Stephens’ three- day painting workshop “Watercolor with Passion and Humor.” The workshop is September 12-14 from 9am-4pm each day.  Cost of the workshop is $135 for current SAAC members and $160 for the general public (which includes a one year SAAC membership at Friend Level). Richard Stephens’ watercolor workshop is informative, challenging and fun.  It exposes the student to Richard’s personal watercolor process, and allows the student to find their own personal style within that process. Stephens was named as one of ten "Artists to Watch" by Watercolor Magic magazine (December 2005 edition). Four of his paintings were featured in “200 Great Painting Ideas for Artists”, by Carol Katchen, published by North Light Books. Stephens' work is owned by individuals and corporations around the country. He is a member of the Arkansas League of Artists, the Mississippi Art Colony, and is a signature member of Mid-Southern Watercolorists, Southern Watercolor Society and Missouri Watercolor Society. To register for the three-day workshop, contact SAAC at 862-5474. For more information about the workshop, including a supplies list, visit

The American Red Cross is launching a first-of-its kind Blood Donor App today that puts the power to save lives in the palm of your hand. The new app makes it easier and faster for users to find a nearby blood drive, schedule blood donations, track their total donations, get rewards and invite friends and family to join them on a lifesaving team. It’s free and available for download through the App StoreSM and Google PlayTM. As the nation’s single largest supplier of blood and blood products, the Red Cross is uniquely positioned to bring this technology to blood and platelet donors. The attached news release details the new app and highlights its key features. By providing this information to your community, you can introduce them to a new way to help meet the constant need for blood. Please let me know if you would like to see a demo of the app or would like to schedule an interview, and I am also happy to answer any questions you may have.

In 2013, 263,000 youth who had never smoked a cigarette used an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  The data, from the National Youth Tobacco survey of middle and high school students, also showed that youth who had never smoked conventional cigarettes but who used e-cigarettes were twice as likely to smoke conventional cigarettes as those who had never used e-cigarettes.
In Arkansas, 24.9 percent of youth in grades nine through 12 currently use tobacco. This ranks Arkansas at 40th in the youth smoking rate, when compared to other states. “We are very concerned about nicotine addiction among youth in Arkansas.  Additionally, we do not think youth understand that the risks associated with using an e-cigarette are similar to those of a conventional cigarette” said Gary Wheeler, M.D., Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program. There is evidence that nicotine’s adverse effects on adolescent brain development could result in lasting deficits in cognitive function.  Nicotine is highly addictive.  Three out of every four teen smokers become an adult smoker.  E-cigarettes also produce carcinogens and small particles that irritate lungs. This report comes just days after the American Heart Association released a policy statement on e-cigarettes.  The statement calls for areas of tobacco control, including clean indoor air laws, taxation, regulation, preventing youth access, marketing and advertising, counseling for cessation, surveillance, and incorporating e-cigarettes language in current tobacco laws. “We’re worried that these devices are going to diminish the work done by so many in our state to curb tobacco use.  Even worse, these devices are normalizing smoking because it is not currently being regulated and there are no laws in Arkansas to prohibit use of these devices in public places,” Wheeler added. Arkansas was one of the first states to create a law prohibiting the sale of e-cigarette products to minors. However, the law does not have any penalties for those who choose to sell to minors. There are currently 466 brands of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) and in 2013, $3 billion was spent on ENDS globally.  Many of these products are specifically marketed towards youth because of the sweet, candy-like flavors these devices offer. Currently in Arkansas, there are 68 known independent vapor shops where ENDS products can be purchased. This number will only increase as the popularity of these devices grows.  “Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death in the United States. We must do everything we can in order to prevent youth from accessing these products,” said Wheeler. The Arkansas Tobacco Quitline is here to help. Available seven days a week, 24 hours a day, the Quitline greatly increases a tobacco user’s success in quitting by offering a combination of free counseling sessions with a QuitCoach and free nicotine-replacement therapy medications while supplies last. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW today.

September 8, 2014

Lt. Cedric D. Gregory was dispatched to 2904 highway 79 north in response to a report of a structure fire. According to reports, a passing motorist had been driving past the home and noticed flames coming from the north end of the residence. Fire Departments from fire district 1, East Camden and Bearden responded to the scene of the fire. The fire was extinguished without a problem. Luckily no injuries were reported. It is believed that the fire was the result of an electrical short.

Sgt. Chris Gill along with Deputy Doug LaDuke responded to the Frenchport Landing at the end of Ouachita 381 for a reported vehicle in the river. Upon arrival the officer spoke to Billy Adkins’s of Buddy’s Wrecker service and the owner of the vehicle, who stated that he was turning around and the back end of the truck got far off in the river. He also stated that he was able to get a few items out of the vehicle before it submerged.

The Division of Continuing Education at Southern Arkansas University has an interesting variety of affordable non-credit class options available for the public this fall. To register for the following classes, simply email Caroline Waller at, call (870) 235-4006, visit SAU Business 111, or register online at Class reservations are not final until the fee has been paid.

In Deco Mesh Wreath Design, Tina Marlar will teach you how to design a beautiful wreath that will add a punch of color to your entry door just in time for the fall holidays. Learn how to choose the appropriate materials and the latest techniques involved in making a deco mesh wreath, whether for fun or profit. The class will meet two times, from 6-8 p.m., on October 7 and 14, in the Business Building Student Lounge at SAU. Fee is $60.
Chalk Painting 101 will show you how to use chalk paint to create beautiful, distressed finishes on anything including wood, plastic, metal, or glass. This class will include hands-on demonstrations, supplies, and hand-outs. Bring your own small piece to transform from boring to beauty. The class will be led by Staci Caldwell, and participants can choose to attend from 6-8 p.m. on September 23 or on October 14. The class will meet at Nifty Vintage & Consignment at 111 N. Jackson. Fee is $75, and includes supplies.

Introduction to Spanish will be taught 6-7 p.m. on Tuesdays from September 9 – December 2 at Wilson 327. Mitchell Bradford is leading the course. He will provide a solid foundation of the Spanish language. Special emphasis will be placed on vocabulary and oral expression within a cultural context. Principles of grammar will be introduced as you become more familiar with the language. Activities will include role-playing and interactive situations. Audio, magazine articles and literary texts will be used in this class. Fee is $40.
Aquacize is meeting from 6-7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays from September 2 – December 4 at the SAU Pool. Sandi Alston is offering a wide variety of water exercises that provide for cardiovascular strength, conditioning, and toning of muscles. Flotation devices will be provided for deep water exercises. Fee is $60.
Ballet Basics is meeting in the HKR Studio from 5-5:45 p.m. on Mondays from September 8 – December 1. Lauren Murphy will introduce the world of ballet to your child, who is sure to enjoy this introduction course designed especially for young dancers. Children will learn how to leap, twirl, arabesque, and more in this supportive class. In addition to ballet movements, the class teaches ease and skill of movement, creativity, grace, poise, discipline, and confidence. Watch your little one come home with a positive self-image and a great sense of accomplishment. Students must have a pair of tights, leotard, and ballet shoes. Fee is $100.
Sugarplum Fairy Ballet Camp is being offered by Murphy on December 8-9, from 5-6:30 p.m. in the HKR Studio. Camp dancers will learn the story and dances from the classic Christmas ballet, The Nutcracker. Come on; come all to Clara’s Land of Sweets. In this magical land, anything can happen. Children will learn the dance and movements of The Nutcracker and become a true Sugarplum fairy in training! Between all the dancing, Nutcracker music, and story-telling, your dancer is bound to have a magical experience! Campers should wear appropriate dance attire. Fee is $60. 

Love horror films? Ever wonder how they do all those gnarly effects? During the South Arkansas Arts Center’s first annual El Dorado Film Festival, September 18-20, the secrets will be revealed during a “Blood and Guts Special FX Workshop” with Chuck Meré. Yes, this is the real Emmy Award winning Chuck Meré from the world's bloodiest Youtube show and highest imdb rated zombie show, Zombie Go Boom!  Meré is an executive producer, writer, director, visual effects artist, and independent filmmaker who currently resides in Fayetteville. He offers a “not for the squeamish” Special FX workshop that is sure to entertain, educate, and prepare you for the Zombie Apocalypse! “Our show uses Hollywood special effects and props to create a zombie survival show unlike anything on TV or the web. We set out to prove or disprove zombie survival theories with scientific tests and experiments. Some of our episodes include testing weapons seen in The Walking Dead, Resident Evil, and Bite Me. In a little more than a year, our videos have been viewed more than 5 million times and they are featured on Machinima, the #1 entertainment network on YouTube,” said Meré. Meré is known for Zombie Go Boom (2011), Quitting (2010) Love Struck Dead (2012) and Stripped, Bear (2009), which received its premiere at SAAC. Meré’s workshop is just one of several to be presented by industry professionals during the three-day festival.  Meré’s zombie opus Love Struck Dead will be screened during the festival. A $30 All Access Pass gains entry to all screenings of selected films, workshops,  and parties.  Passes can be reserved through under El Dorado Film Festival or at the SAAC box office at 862-5474.

September 5, 2014

The City of Camden is looking for an option to purchase a relatively flat, roughly square, buildable land parcel in Ouachita County. Minimum of 400 acres with potential to acquire additional, comparably-sized adjacent land. The land must border a paved public way and be free of a negative environmental concerns, prefers little or no floodplain. The parcel should be accessible to natural gas, three-phase electrical power, broadband, municipal water and sewer. A tax write-off donation is being considered. If you are a landowner, and are interested, respond ASAP to In the email, please provide your name, telephone number, and a brief description of land and location.  

A proposal to increase the minimum wage in the State of Arkansas will be on the November general election ballot. Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin said Wednesday that “An Act to Increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage” met the signature requirements of Article 5, Section 1 of the Arkansas Constitution. An initiated act needs 62,507 valid signatures to make the ballot. The sponsors turned in a total of 129,989 signatures for verification. At this time, the initiated act has at least 70,074 valid signatures. Martin said there are signatures still being verified; therefore, the total number of valid signatures may increase. The Secretary of State has certified the proposed initiated act to the County Boards of Election Commissioners. It will be Issue No. 5 on the Nov. 4, 2014 ballot. If approved by voters, the measure will increase the state’s minimum wage from $6.25 to $7.50 per hour on January 1, 2015, $8.00 per hour January 1, 2016, and $8.50 per hour on January 1, 2017. The deadline to register to vote for the General Election is October 6, 2014. For information on voter registration, go to the Elections tab on this site.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced today that agents from the Attorney General’s Office have arrested a Miller County man for possession of child pornography. Ronald Anthony Antoniello, 71, of Fouke was arrested Wednesday on 30 counts of distributing, possessing or viewing matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child, a Class C felony. Antoniello was being held in the Miller County Detention Center on $250,000 bond. Agents with the Attorney General’s Cyber Crimes Unit executed a search warrant at Antoniello’s residence in the 6400 block of Miller County Road 10 on Wednesday. Investigators confiscated two computers, other electronic devices and several hundred compact discs and DVDs. The seized evidence will be analyzed at the Cyber Crimes Unit Forensic Lab in Little Rock. Special Agent Mike Lett began investigating Antoniello in July after suspecting that child pornography was being possessed at his residence. The Miller County Sheriff’s Department and Arkansas State Police assisted in the investigation and arrest. The Attorney General’s Office will turn over its completed case file to Eighth Judicial District-South Prosecutor Carlton Jones. Charges are merely accusations and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel filed a lawsuit today against the former executive director of the Arkansas Fire Protection Licensing Board, alleging that she improperly used a state charge card to make unauthorized purchases and wrongly obtained reimbursements for personal expenses. Catherine Gray, of England, is accused of violating the state’s Fiscal Management Responsibility Act and other state purchasing laws, illegally converting public funds and committing fraud. The lawsuit filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court seeks restitution to the state, civil penalties and punitive damages. “Public officials are entrusted with spending taxpayer money for the benefit of the State, but in this instance this individual spent thousands of dollars for her own benefit,” McDaniel said. “We hope the Court holds her accountable for her illegal actions and that she is required to reimburse the State for this blatant misuse of taxpayer funds.” According to the lawsuit, as executive director and chief fiscal officer of the Fire Protection Licensing Board, Gray received a purchasing card, or “P-card” in order to charge purchases related to official state business. Gray accrued a total of $40,431 on her P-card from the time she received the card on March 15, 2012, until March 5, 2014, when it was suspended by the Office of State Procurement, which had suspected it had been used for unauthorized purchases. The suit stated that Gray made $15,426 in unauthorized purchases on the card, including payments for gift cards, personal utility bills, personal car repairs, prescription medication, alcohol, cigarettes, dog food, pet supplies, clothing, movies, groceries and toiletries. In addition, Gray submitted to the Board direct requests for reimbursements totaling $6,680 from September 2010 to March 2014. An investigation found that $4,599 worth of reimbursement requests were accompanied by incomplete documentation or no documentation at all. A criminal investigation by the Arkansas State Police is ongoing.

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Reps. Rick Crawford (AR-1), Tim Griffin (AR-2), Steve Womack (AR-3), and Tom Cotton (AR-4) today sent a joint letter to U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Secretary Chuck Hagel demanding that DoD complete the report required by law to review DoD eligibility for the Purple Heart to victims of the 2009 attack at Fort Hood, Texas, that killed 13 and wounded 32 individuals, and the 2009 attack outside of a Little Rock, Arkansas military recruiting station that claimed the life of Private William Andrew Long and wounded Private Quinton Ezeagwula. This report is required by law under Section 565 of the FY 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The report was due to Congress no later than 180 days after President Barack Obama signed the bill into law on December 26, 2013. DoD has violated the law by not completing the report in the allotted number of days and has informed Congress that it plans to continue the delay of this report until July 2015. The letter says in part: “Given that it has been more than 5 years since these attacks, we find it unacceptable that DoD has delayed this review for yet another year. Further, as you know, the current regulations for awarding a Purple Heart state that members of the Armed Forces who have been killed or wounded ‘after March 28, 1973, as a result of an international terrorist attack against the United States’ shall be eligible for a Purple Heart. All of the men and women killed or wounded in these attacks were victims of terrorism, targeted because they were soldiers. They deserve this recognition for their service and their sacrifice. “The delay in this report and DoD’s insistence that these brave men and women do not deserve the honor of being awarded the Purple Heart has denied these service members and their families essential benefits that are provided to Purple Heart recipients.  As members of the Armed Forces, we find this continued inaction by the DoD disgraceful, as well as unlawful, and we urge you to exercise your authority to complete this report and honor these men and women with the award they have earned.”

September 4, 2014

Officer Anthony Grummer of the Camden Police Department was dispatched to Brookshire’s for a theft report of a female in a wheelchair swearing at customers. Dispatch advised the female was also refusing to leave the store. Upon arrival the officer observed the woman driving a wheelchair shopping cart and drinking chocolate milk, which she did not pay for. The shopping cart was also full of merchandise. The woman began swearing loudly in-front of customers inside the store. While she was being placed into custody, the woman attempted to bite Grummer several times in the arm. After placing her into custody the officer searched for any cash, check or credit card for her to pay for her chocolate milk, but none was found. She was taken to the Ouachita County Jail on a charge of disorderly conduct and shoplifting.

Deputy Harcrow was dispatched to the Longmeadow Nursing home, after one of the nurses stated that a resident was threatening to do bodily harm. The nurse said he was working to fill in as the staff was short-handed. The resident had reportedly demanded certain procedures be done, and once he found out they could not be done, he became angry. The resident stated that if he had a firearm, he would have shot the nurse. Soon after the Director of Nursing advised the nurse to contact the police.

The South Arkansas Symphony Orchestra will kick off their 2014-2015 season with a concert that blends the best of their symphonic sound with the music of three iconic bands.  Canadian band Jeans ‘n Classics -- who has performed music of the Eagles, Pink Floyd, Queen, and Michael Jackson to large audiences -- will return to El Dorado with lead vocalists Gavin Hope and Jean Meilleur to team up with the South Arkansas Symphony for a defining performance of Chicago, Earth Wind & Fire, and Blood Sweat Tears on Saturday, September 13th at 7:30 pm in the El Dorado Municipal Auditorium. Enjoy the fantastic horn sounds of Chicago with hits like “Does Anyone Really Know What Time It Is?,” “If You Leave Me Now,” and “25 or 6 to 4.”  Soak in the rich vocal sounds of Blood Sweat and Tears in “You’re The One,” “And When I Die,” and “Spinning Wheel.”  Be enveloped by the classic hits of Earth Wind & Fire like “Boogie Wonderland,” “Let’s Groove” and “Shining Star.” The ever popular London, Ontario based Jeans ‘n Classics, founded 19 years ago, currently has 45 different show offerings- more than any competing outfit.  They interpret the music of legendary rock & pop albums and artists with their signature flair of blending with world class orchestras.  Jeans ‘n Classics has 30 singers, backup soloists, and musicians.  It puts on 80 nights a season, works with orchestras around the world, and has orchestrated over 1,200 songs. A listing of all their shows can be seen online at .  This evening of rock, jazz, pop and R&B is sponsored by the Medical Center of South Arkansas, Southern Bancorp, and Teague Auto.  The 2014-2015 Season is brought to you by First Financial Bank, Presqu’ile Winery, the Murphy Foundation, Arkansas Arts Council, and the City of El Dorado. Tickets are $25, $20, $15, $10 depending on seating location. Purchase tickets online at, by calling 800-792-0521, or at our new office location: 217 South Jefferson, Suite 100, El Dorado, AR. 71730. For more information you can call Scott Watkins at 870-665-1353, or email You can also visit                        
With news this week about yet another security breach at a major retailer and a cyber attack that led to some celebrities’ private photographs being posted publicly online, consumers are justly concerned about the safety of their personal and financial information. Companies and consumers alike can take steps to prevent fraud, identity theft and public dissemination of personal information. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued this consumer alert today to inform consumers about how to keep sensitive data out of the wrong hands. “More often than ever we are hearing about how financial and personal information is being stolen by criminals, and this is an alarming trend that law enforcement officials and attorneys general across the country are working to stop,” McDaniel said. “I encourage consumers to join with us to help make our information safer by being cautious about the data they store and share.” Unfortunately, consumers who have had their sensitive information stolen are at greater risk of identity theft, fraud and other scams like email “phishing.” McDaniel said consumers impacted by security breaches should be more diligent in review of bank statements and credit-card bills and should be wary of unsolicited emails and phone calls in which the emailer or caller seeks additional personal information. McDaniel provided these proactive ways that consumers can make their sensitive information more secure:

-Personal information can be as valuable as cash, so think twice before providing Social Security, bank account or credit card numbers to someone. Make sure the individual can be trusted with the data before sharing it. Ask why the information is needed and how it will be safeguarded.
-Use long and strong account passwords. Mix letters, numbers and special characters to create passwords that are at least 10 characters long. Avoid using the same passwords for multiple sites and don’t use passwords that contain names, birthdays or common words.
-Recognize that photos, videos, text messages and other data stored on a phone may be backed up elsewhere, on what's commonly known as a "cloud." Consumers should read their service provider's privacy policies to determine whether or not they want to back up their data to the "cloud."
-If using the "cloud," implement two-step verification, which does not allow account or password changes to be made unless a consumer is notified through another means, such as a verification code sent via text message.
-When shopping online, use a secure browser. These feature a “lock” icon in the status bar and a URL that begins with “https.”
-Always assume that anyone can see anything being sent over a public wireless “hotspot,” and make sure that home wireless networks are encrypted to prevent unauthorized access.
-Use the latest security software, and make sure computers, smartphones and tablets are always running the newest software versions. Updated software versions often contain security patches that help protect against malware.
-Don’t overshare on social network sites. Remember that friends or followers may not always have a consumer’s best interest in mind. Never post Social Security numbers, account numbers, addresses or phone numbers publicly.
For more information about how to avoid identity theft and keep personal information safe, visit the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division website,, or call the Consumer Protection Division hotline, (800) 482-8982.

September 3, 2014

Deputy McClane along with Deputy Harcrow responded to 145 Ouachita Road 22 in Chidester for a report of a man with a gun making threats to kill himself and possibly others. Dispayched advised that the offender was last seen on the Nevada County side of Highway 368 and had pulled a shotgun on a woman, who he had been dating until the day before. She stated that he was abusive and had admitted to using drugs. According to reports the offender went to a residence in Nevada County with a shotgun and started chatting with the homeowners and drinking alcoholic beverages. The man apparently stated that two people, and possible others, were going to die. The woman was told to travel with the Sheriff’s Department for safety.

Deputy Chris Lindsey was dispatched to 1461 Hwy 7N in regards to a theft report.
Upon arrival the officer made contact with a man who advised that he had returned home around 8:00 pm the previous night and noticed that his Puma air compressor, and a Duralast Floor car jack were missing from his carport. He also stated that he had not allowed anyone to use them and is unaware who might have taken them.

While at the Topper Hill Convenience Store, Deputy David Harcrow was approached by a man, who stated that he was assaulted by another man on Ouachita 77. Now the man states that he left Ouachita and went to his mother’s house, but he had to stop and buy some cigarettes. Deputy Harcrow stated that the man tried to bum a cigarette from the clerk, while the two were walking. The officer asked the man several times if he needed medical attention; each time he declined.

Sgt. Chris Gill responded to 189 Ouachita 388 and spoke to Sarah Bryant in reference to a neighbor trespassing. A woman stated that she noticed her neighbor sitting on the porch of her other neighbor’s residence. The woman also stated that she drove down the driveway to call the Sheriff’s Office and when returning she saw the neighbor running across the yard back to her own residence.

A fire ignited at the Scareview Haunted House in Camden. This was a project the Camden Jaycees built and made extremely successful. Since its inception, the haunted house has become the #1 haunted house attraction in the state. The Jaycees started this many years ago, gave away many of scholarships with the funds raised each year, and had a lot of many hours of great fun and work here. It will be missed. Those within the Jaycees would like to thank all those who have donated over the years.

This past November the FIREBALL RUN online television series selected Camden, Arkansas as a host city. With just weeks until the September 28th live production of the action adventure competition series, producers announced former WWE Superstar “Raven” will host the shows 8th season. Unlike the typical reality TV series, the FIREBALL RUN is filmed in real time. The competition is somewhat similar to the 1980’s Cannonball Run movie starring Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise as a team of drivers in a wacky coast-to-coast race from New York to California. Unlike the movie however FIREBALL RUN teams are not road racing, instead teams from all over the world participate in a life-size, brain-challenging, trivial pursuit game called an adventurally (adventure-rally). Their vehicles serving as pawns on a massive game board the size of America. To advance from city to city and score they solve trivia based on a geographical position. After which they must complete a series of tasks ranging from zany to life-changing. And if you’re wondering what the prize is- don’t set your hopes too high. Teams compete for bragging rights and a plastic road sign, all while raising awareness for missing children. One of the 40 competing teams is Camden residents Don Banks and Thomas Bell. Both men will leverage their participation to promote Camden and to raise awareness for Brianna Reed, a 12 year old girl from Little Rock, AR last seen on Sept 4, 2001. Every team is assigned a child missing from their home town region and tasked with distributing posters featuring the child; the effort annually distributes over 50,000 posters across America and has aided in 43 child recoveries since 2007. The public is encouraged to come out for a city-wide celebration of pride on the Camden Riverwalk featuring collector cars and celebrities on Sunday September 28th. Recruiting the production was a joint effort between the Camden Chamber of Commerce & the City of Camden Arkansas. The FIREBALL RUN series can be seen on Roku, GoogleTV, Amazon FireTV, and Smart TV on the AdeysTV Channel. All seasons and episodes are also available on YouTube and iTunes. Camden was selected as city to be featured in (2014) season 8 titled FIREBALL RUN America's Frontier. Other destinations are; Frisco, TX., Ardmore, OK., Enid, OK., Bentonville, AR., Pulaski County, MO., Sedalia, MO., and finishing finish in Independence, MO.

The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet this week at Catherine’s Bistro in Camden.

The speakers this week will be Beth Osteen and Krissy Bassetti. They will be talking about the Fireball Run which will be in Camden Sept. 28 & 29th. If you’d like to learn more about the Lions Club or how you can join you can call Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440 ext. 7.

After 27 years, Clementine Hunter returns to the galleries of the South Arkansas Arts Center for an extremely comprehensive collection of her works curated by Tom Whitehead, a personal friend and co-author of two books on Hunter's life and artwork.  “Clementine Hunter:  The Nolan Collections” is one of the largest exhibitions ever amassed of Hunter’s work and features rarely seen works from the private collections of the Nolan family from Cherokee, Mrs. Theodosia Nolan's beloved plantation home outside of Natchitoches, Louisiana, and their El Dorado homes. Tom Whitehead will open SAAC’s exhibition with a reception on Friday, September 5, from 6-8pm.  The reception and two month exhibition are sponsored by the family of Theodosia Nolan. Clementine Hunter (pronounced Clementeen) was a self-taught African-American folk artist from the Cane River region in Louisiana. She was born on Hidden Hill plantation, said to be the inspiration for Uncle Tom's Cabin.  She worked as a farm hand and only attended school for 10 days, never learning to read or write. At the age of 15, Hunter moved to Melrose Plantation south of Natchitoches. Hunter's given name was originally Clemence, but she changed it after moving to Melrose Plantation. Hunter has become one of the most well-known self-taught artists, often referred to as the black Grandma Moses. Painting from memory, she is credited as an important social and cultural historian for her documentation of plantation life in the early 20th century, including picking cotton, picking pecans, washing clothes, baptisms, and funerals. Many of her paintings were similar, but each one is unique. Hunter was noted for painting on anything, particularly discarded items such as window shades, jugs, bottles, and gourds and cardboard boxes.  She also produced a few quilts with themes depicted in her paintings. Though she became a hugely respected artist and is today considered a folk art legend, Hunter spent her entire life in (or near) poverty. She rarely titled her works, but would describe what a painting was about, when asked for a title. By the end of her life, her work was being exhibited in museums and sold by dealers for thousands of dollars. Hunter was granted an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree by Northwestern State University of Louisiana in 1986. Hunter lived her entire life in rural, northwest Louisiana, never going more than 100 miles from home, and her last painting was created one month before her death at age 104. On the outside of the unpainted cabin where she lived was a sign that read, "Clementine Hunter, Artist. 25 cents to Look." She produced between four and five thousand paintings in her lifetime. The Museum of American Folk Art in Washington, D.C. called Hunter "the most celebrated of all Southern contemporary painters." The exhibition will be on display from September 5 through October 31. For more information about the exhibition or artist reception, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474 or visit  

August 29, 2014

Officer Elliot of the Camden Police Department was on a routine patrol in the area of Mt. Holly Road and Kent Street, when she observed a Hispanic male walking in the roadway on Mt. Holly Road. According to reports the man knew little English and didn’t understand what the officer was asking him. His speech was slurred and his eyes were bloodshot and watery. He was then arrested and charged with public intoxication. Officer Grummer and Officer Clayton of the Camden Police, came in contact with a man in the 100 block of Fort Lookout. After a check was conducted, the officers were advised that the man was on the ban list. He was then taken into custody for criminal trespass and transported to the station.

Officer Plyler was dispatched to Shell at Topper Hill for a report of someone going through vehicles in the parking lot. The subject was described as a white male wearing a white t-shirt, ball cap and had tattoos on both arms. The officers approached the man who was sitting on the curb next to the store. Now the store clerk stated that the man attempted to enter the driver-side of an SUV that did not belong to him. The man states that he didn’t try to enter any vehicles. The officers were advised by dispatch that the man had an active warrant with the county. After placed into custody the man became enraged and began shouting profanities and slamming his head against the cage inside the patrol unit, and refused to stop. To ensure that he stopped the officers took the man out of the car and place him on the ground. The man continued to resist and fight with the officers. As he struggled and attempted to fight, he was placed back in the patrol unit and taken to the Ouachita County Jail. 

Lt. James Bolton and Deputy Harcrow of the Sheriff’s Office, along with local fire departments rersponded to a house fire. Upon arrival they found the house fully engulfed in fire and a small out building was also beginning to burn. The owner of the house stated that no one was living in the house but the electricity was on. The Cause of the fire is under investigation.

Officers were dispatched to 208A Elm Lane to a reported Hit and Run. A woman stated that she came out of her house and found damage to the drivers-side rear door of her 2013 Mazda. She stated that she spoke with her neighbors, however none of them saw what had happened.
The damage was the drivers-side rear door and a slight scratch on the front door.
Also, Lt. David Pennington was dispatched to 495 Hwy 278 East to a report of a viscous dog attacking the home owner’s dog. The home owner states that his neighbors Pit Bull had come to his residence and attacked his dog. The man said that he shot and killed the Pit Bull.

Officer Williams spoke with a man in Chidester in reference to a stolen motorcycle license plate.
The man said that the motorcycle was stored in barn at his residence, however he couldn’t recall when the incident might have happened. The license plate was on a 1999 Kawasaki Vulcan, which belonged to his mother-in-law, who resides in Hot Springs.

Deputy Bryant Carman responded to Standard Gravel Company on Ouachita 95 in Bearden, in reference to stolen property. The officer spoke with an employee, who stated that someone had broken into the maintenance building and stole an orange wheel barrel, a three ton chain hoist, a weed-eater, a black-and-decker chop saw, and some wrenches. Investigators discovered that the suspect(s) had unscrewed the latch at the pad lock at a side-door and put it back in place before they left. Wheel Barrel tracks and foot-prints could be seen led from the building towards County Road 95.

Officers were at 1091 Ouachita 83 in Bearden serving Warrants on several subjects. While conducting a body search one of the suspects, officers found a New Port 100 menthol cigarettes. Inside the package a small bag containing a substance, believed to be methamphetamine was found. The man was attested for possession of a controlled substance.    

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded $501,837 to the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) to administer the state’s pollution prevention and control program. The program includes ambient monitoring, planning, permitting and compliance activities. ADEQ will also monitor for major pollutants, identifying major and minor sources of air pollution that may be impacting Arkansas. This will help Arkansas residents live healthier and breathe more easily. For more than forty years, the Clean Air Act has cut pollution as the U.S. economy has grown. It has also lowered levels of six common pollutants -- particles, ozone, lead, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide -- as well as numerous toxic pollutants. The progress of the Act reflects efforts by state, local and tribal governments; EPA; private sector companies; environmental groups and others.

August 28, 2014

Officer Elliot of the Camden Police Department was dispatched to Wal-Mart Shopping Center in reference to a shoplifter running out of the store. Dispatch advised that a female, wearing a black shirt and pink shorts had attempted to leave in a silver Pontiac. The woman was asked to exit the vehicle and she was detained. The Asset Protection Manager, states that he observed the woman walking around the store as if she were shopping, however she was putting several baby and household items in the cart and moving them around. She then put a baby-crib mattress inside her cart, hiding the other items underneath it. She then went to the store to check out only paying for the mattress and baby wipes. The cashier was unable to see the items, however the Asset Protection Manager was able to stop her and grab her cart. The woman then grabbed the baby wipes and mattress and ran towards her car. Based on officer observations and the affidavit that was completed, the woman was arrested and transported to the station.

The annual SouthArk Outdoor Expo, presented by the South Arkansas Community College Foundation, is set for Sept. 13 at the El Dorado  Conference Center on the college’s campus. The full-day event has activities for all ages, entertainment and competitions for cash and prizes. “The SouthArk Outdoor Expo is a great community and college event,” event chair Greg Withrow said. “We are proud and honored that new title sponsor Apex Redi-Mixed Concrete is on board. They are dedicated to education and  providing support to our community.” The day starts with the Nexans Amercable Hero 5K Run-Walk. Teams in the Herring Furniture-Holland Grill Rib Cook-Off also will begin early in the  morning. An outdoor photography contest and the Arkansas Game and Fish 
Commission Duck-Calling Contest also are part of the day’s activities. The El Dorado Conference Center will house vendors. The grounds will have  he Arkansas Army National Guard’s climbing wall, demonstrations by chainsaw  wood carver Scott Winford, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission aquarium, 
inflatables for young children, archery exhibitions with the Oak Ridge 
Bowhunters, demonstrations by the Model Aviators of South Arkansas and more.
Live musicians featured throughout the day will be Emily Cole, the Cummins 
Prison Band and the Mighty Electric St. Jude Band. “We know this will be the biggest Expo so far, and want to make sure that our whole community knows to come and bring family members of all ages, especially children, for there will be plenty of activities indoors and 
outdoors,” Withrow said. Proceeds from the Outdoor Expo benefit educational scholarships for students and general operations of the SouthArk Foundation. Last year the Outdoor Expo had more than 65 vendors and exhibitors, 40 cooking teams and more than 350 volunteers from the college and community.  Space still is available for vendors, exhibitors and contestants, according to foundation executive director Cynthia Reyna. The top prize for the rib cook-off, a staple of the Outdoor Expo since its inception, is being raised to $2,000 this year. “We are expecting teams from across the state to vie for this winning prize,” Cook-Off Committee Chair Jay Helm said. “Last year, we had teams from Texas and Louisiana join us, so we fully expect the competition to grow and be fun for everyone.” Admission for the Outdoor Expo is one canned good or packaged food item, which will be donated to a local food pantry. More information, including contest and vendor forms, is available at 

August 27, 2014

Officers of the Camden Police Department were dispatched to Sonic Drive-In to a report of an intoxicated person urinating in public. The officers made contact with the suspect and could smell intoxicants emitting from his breath. The man’s eyes were also bloodshot and his speech was slurred. When asked about the urinating, the man states he did but went around back. Sonic personnel said that he in-fact urinated behind his car where everyone could see. The man was arrested and transported to the Ouachita County Detention Complex shortly after.

Officers were dispatched to Walmart for a shoplifter. When they arrived on the scene, the officers made contact with Walmart Staff, who stated that he observed a woman taking merchandise off the shelves and putting them into purses, and setting the purses in various places in the store. She also attempted to leave the store with a pair of shoes, self-tan lotion, Neutrogena, face powder, and bobby pins. The woman was arrested and taken into custody after a shoplifting affidavit was completed. That was not the only shoplifting incident at Walmart as a man attempted to steal a wrench set by putting it into a tool box that he brought into the store.
The man was caught on camera and taking to the station. The wrench set is valued at fourteen dollars.

Officers were also dispatched for a report of a prowler at the back of someone’s window.
When the officers arrived to the destination, they found a man sitting under the carport.
The officers asked the man to leave, however he refused. Smell of intoxicants could also be smelled at this point. The man then swung at the officers and ran throughout the neighborhood, but was eventually caught and taken into custody. According to reports he was very uncooperative and would not give the police any information. He was charged with obstructing governmental operations.

Asa Hutchinson will be at at the Postmasters Grill on Thursday, August 28th, from 4:30 to 6:30 pm. He will speak briefly about his vision for economic development in the State. This is not a fundraiser. Mr. Hutchison wants to meet and visit the people in South Arkansas.

A recent open house was held by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), as part of its continuing effort to address questions from the public on operations at Georgia-Pacific LLC's local plant. Now there were other public operation representatives, such as the Crossett Water Company, along with Georgia-Pacific. One of the groups, the Concerned Citizens for Crossett, spoke with at the open house, stating that community members are having issues with their health. According to the group, health issues are coming from pollutants that Georgia-Pacific is releasing, and the pollutants have caused residents in the town to get sick. Some members said. "More smoke is coming out of the stack than there's supposed to be, especially when it's raining. The moisture in the air causes the vapors to come down and hover in the community, which is harsh to the nose and respiratory system,". Georgia-Pacific responded and said they are not to blame for these health issues. "Obviously for those people that have health issues and have major health concerns, we do express our sympathy and our thoughts and prayers are with those people, but again, there is no evidence that those issues are linked to Georgia Pacific," says Teresa Walsh, public affairs manager for Georgia-Pacific Crossett Operations. The ADEQ says it hopes locals can take something from this event to help them better understand industry in their town.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel filed a consumer-protection lawsuit against the makers of identification cards that are advertised as being “legally issued” or “required by law” even though there is nothing official about the cards. McDaniel said Connecticut-based AmeraCard Enterprises Inc. and its owner, Joseph Cassara of Stamford, Conn., produce and sell ID cards that are designed to resemble state-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards, except that the IDs produced by the defendants have no official function or legal significance. Some Arkansas consumers paid $70 apiece for the bogus ID cards that offer no real value to consumers. The cards are not acceptable as government identification, and many private companies will not accept the cards as proof of identity. “These cards are advertised as being acceptable as secondary identification and in some instances, even as a primary ID. Those claims and the other claims used by the company to urge Arkansas vendors to sell these IDs are patently false,” McDaniel said. “These bogus ID cards are a waste of money for consumers.” Vendors in Arkansas who sell the cards on behalf of AmeraCard have sold approximately 1,200 in the state since 2009. AmeraCard touts its product as an “Arkansas Identification Card.” It is the same size as a driver’s license and it includes an expiration date, signature line and demographic data similar to what appears on an official driver’s license. The lawsuit claims that a fine-print disclaimer on the back of the card is not enough to keep a consumer from believing it to be an actual ID based on the defendants' representation that the card may be used as a “secondary form of identification, and in many occasions, as a primary form of identification.” The lawsuit filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court alleges that the defendants violated the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. McDaniel seeks an injunction prohibiting defendants from engaging in deceptive marketing practices, restitution to affected consumers, civil penalties, and attorneys’ fees and costs.

The Arkansas Insurance Department is projecting that insurance policies sold through the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace will see a net decrease of two percent in premium costs for 2015. This calculation includes the policies offered through the Arkansas Private Option, which will notice a small decrease in premiums, but will essentially remain flat in comparison to 2014. This is an aggregate projection, meaning that some individual consumers will see a small increase in premiums, and others will see their costs drop more than two percent. Nationwide, insurance costs historically rise by six-to-ten percent annually. This information is being released in light of incomplete information that was inadvertently posted on an Insurance Department Web site. While not drastically different from actual projections, the posting was still not an accurate representation of the actuarial data. Final rates will be released once the plans are certified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This will happen before open enrollment for 2015 begins on November 15.

August 26, 2014

The City of Camden offices will be closed on Monday, September 1, for the Labor Day holiday. Residential trash pick-up will run on its regular schedule. The transfer station will be open. If you have any questions you can call Ron at the Public Works Department at 870-837-5570.

Lt. James Bolton along with Deputy Baily of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office; also with Chidester, Camden Fire Department, ASP and EMS were dispatched to Hwy 24 West near Chidester to a two vehicle accident with entrapment. Upon arrival, the officer’s found both vehicles in the east bound ditch. Both vehicles had extensive damages to the front. A gray Chevy Malibu driven by Michael Jenkins of Camden and a Green Ford Taurus driven by Stacy Watts were involved in the accident. Chidester and Camden Fire Department Rescue Units extricated Ms. Watts from her vehicle and she was pronounced dead at the scene by EMS personnel.

Mr. Jenkins was transported by EMS to OCMC for treatment of his injuries.

Deputy J. McClane responded to 167 Ouachita Road 164 for a report of a stolen lawnmower. The woman reporting stated that her stepson was the offender. She states that her son and another man were loading scrap metal from behind her residence and while doing so they also loaded up her lawnmower. According to reports, the two had permission to load scrap metal, but not permission to load her mower.

Officer’s responded to 152 Ouachita 341 to a report that someone had taken a vehicle without permission. A woman stated that she was in Camden when she saw her mother’s car at a convenience store. She stated that Bobby Joe Mitchell was driving. She stated that the vehicle belonged to her deceased mother and has not been registered or insured for several years. When she arrived home, she went to check on her father, who is paralyzed and bed ridden.
At this time no one knows who took the vehicle.

Officers of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office were in the area of Highway 79 B and Sandy Beach when the observed a passenger car at the park. Deputies continued into the park to conduct a security check of the area. While deputies approached a vehicle, a male was found asleep in the back seat of the vehicle. The man stated that he must have found asleep while waiting on a friend. He also said that “Paper” had taken the battery off of his vehicle to take it home and let it charge. Dispatch indicated that the man had a suspended license for Child Support. Officer also noticed that the man’s eyes were bloodshot and glassy. When asked if he had any contraband in the vehicle such as weapons or any type of drugs and/or narcotics, in-which he stated “no”. The officer’s then searched the vehicle and observed a small bag of a substance suspected to be marijuana. Three small partially smoked joints in cup holder on the passenger side. He was then transported to the station.

The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet this week at Catherine’s Bistro in Camden.  The club will also be having a joint meeting, and will be going out to SAU Tech for their Student Appreciation Day. For any additional information on the Lion’s Club and how you can join, you can call Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440 ext 7.

The Arkansas Department of Health, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has concluded that unaccompanied children who have arrived in the state from Central America pose little risk of spreading infectious diseases to the public. There are no U.S. Health and Human Services’ shelters housing unaccompanied children in Arkansas, but children have been placed with family members or sponsors in the state. Children from Central America often participate in childhood vaccination programs, similar to those in the U.S., while still in their native country. However, there are a few vaccinations that are offered in the U.S. that are not offered in Central American countries. These include the flu, chickenpox and pneumococcal vaccines. Children arriving to the U.S. from Central America receive multiple vaccines before they are released from the U.S. Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement’s-funded program into a community. These vaccines protect against: tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough, meningococcal disease, measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, flu, pneumonia, polio, and hepatitis A and B. Furthermore, any child who enrolls in an Arkansas school also must meet state vaccination requirements. In addition, the Office of Refugee Resettlement screens all children for tuberculosis. Children found to have TB disease are sent to shelters that have the capacity to care for them. Only those children who are no longer infectious are placed with a sponsor.

August 25, 2014

Southern Arkansas University is saddened by the loss of a student and former student from a tragic event in Columbia County early Sunday morning. Deceased are Brandon T. Hobdy, 23, of Garland, Texas, and Wayne A. Payton, 24, of McNeil. Hobdy was a student at SAU and a senior wide receiver on the Mulerider football team. Payton was a former SAU student. Counseling was immediately made available by SAU staff, and will continue to be provided. The SAU Office of Counseling and Testing can be reached at 870-235-4145. SAU Police Chief Anthony Williams expressed heartfelt condolences to the families of both deceased men. He spoke with the mother of Hobdy. Williams also met with Hobdy’s teammates and coaching staff to announce the grief-stricken news. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Hobdy and Payton families. A tragedy for one of our families is a tragedy for all of us,” said SAU President Dr. David Rankin. “All of the resources in the region are directed toward bringing the perpetrators of this event to justice.” According to Williams, the SAU Police Department was informed of the off-campus incident just prior to 2 a.m. Sunday. Local law enforcement officials confirmed that a disturbance ensued at the local VFW, which led to a shooting in which the two innocent bystanders were critically wounded by random gunfire. The Columbia County Sheriff’s Department investigator reported that several suspects were removed from the venue after causing a disturbance. The suspects entered a red vehicle and retrieved a weapon and began to shoot indiscriminately at the crowd. Both victims were standing outside the venue when they were wounded. They were transported to Magnolia Regional Hospital, where they were pronounced deceased after valiant efforts to save their lives by hospital staff. The event was private and not affiliated with the University. The ensuing investigation will be a multi-jurisdictional effort with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department serving as the lead investigating agency. Mulerider Football held a candlelight vigil at Wilkins Stadium at 9 p.m. Sunday night to honor Hobdy. 

Centenary College of Louisiana has achieved full membership  status in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)’s Division  III. The milestone takes effect September 1st for sixteen sports at the  college. “We are proud of our continued focus on an integrated and comprehensive  student experience as the newest NCAA Division III member,” said Centenary  President David Rowe. “Division III membership represents the achievement of  a strategic objective of our Board of Trustees from 2009 to align  competitive athletics with other intentional developmental, co-curricular  opportunities for our students.”  Full Division III membership opens new opportunities for richly-deserved national recognition for Centenary student-athletes. Centenary teams and  individual athletes begin their 2014-2015 seasons in competition for Division III national titles and awards, and the College is eligible to host regional and national tournaments in its athletic facilities.  “I am delighted to welcome Centenary to active membership in Division III,”  said Dan Dutcher, Vice President for NCAA Division III. “The Division III  model provides student-athletes with a unique opportunity to grow and  succeed in the classroom, on the playing field, and on campus and in the  surrounding community. Centenary’s decision to join Division III reflects a 
remarkable understanding of and commitment to that vision.”
Centenary completed the four-year reclassification process to join 439 other 
institutions in NCAA Division III.  The college begins its third season as 
members of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) this fall, 
facing conference competition with other elite liberal arts colleges such as 
Trinity University and Colorado College “Achieving Division III membership happens at a great time as we invest in  the overall student experience at Centenary,” said Ronda Seagraves, Director  of Athletics and Wellness at Centenary. “This summer, we were able to 
resurface the floor in the Gold Dome and upgrade surfaces at the tennis 
courts and softball facility. These improvements help Centenary help our 
student-athletes succeed in competition even as they benefit from the 
rigorous education Centenary offers.” The Maroon and White take to the field for the first time as full NCAA  Division III members on August 29 - when the men’s and women’s soccer 
programs take to the pitch at LeTourneau University and the volleyball team 
participates in the Austin College Invitational. Centenary’s first home 
contest of the 2014-15 season is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 2 - as women’s 
soccer faces Wiley College. Kickoff is slated for 5 p.m. at Mayo Field.

The South Arkansas Arts Center’s Creative Arts Academy begins classes the week of August 25-29. Registration is currently underway for the 2014-2015 semester.  Parents and guardians can secure a student’s spot during the first week of classes.Classes offered on Mondays are: Art 4 Year Olds and an Adult Open Studio with instructor Gay Bechtelheimer, Computer Art for grades 4-6 and Computer Art for grades 7-9 with instructor Mike Means. Means also offers a Monday Night Open Studio Computer Lab.  Instructor Maria Villegas offers Art for grades 2-3, and Advanced Studio Art. Instructors Melissa Spears and Stephanie Lowery offer Ballet Pre-Pointe for Level 3.  Spears offers Ballet Pre-Pointe for Level 4, as well as an Adult Ballet class.Tuesday’s class schedule is Level 1 Ballet for grades K-1 and Level 2 Ballet for grades 2-4 with instructor Stephanie Lowery. Villegas offers Art for grades 4-6 and Art for grades 7-12.  She also offers an Open Studio Adult Artists class.Classes offered on Wednesday’s are: Art for grades K-1 with Villegas, Special Needs Art for grade K-12 with instructors Jorge and Maria Villegas, and Ballet 3 Pre-Pointe with instructors Melissa Spears and Stephanie Lowery.Thursday’s classes offered are Art for grades K-1 with Villegas, Beginning Dance for 3-5 year olds and Ballet 4 Pointe with instructor Melissa Spears. Instructor Darrin Riley offers Drama for grades 1-5 and Drama for Grades 6-12. Class sizes are limited and will be filled on a first come, first served basis.  For more information about all classes offered, contact the SAAC office at 86205474 or visit for a full class roster, descriptions, and downloadable registration forms. 

August 22, 2014

Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division are investigating the murder of a Monroe County man outside his home yesterday (Thursday, August 21st).  The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department contacted State Police about 3:45 PM Thursday as they began a search for Dustin Heath Burrow, 29, of Brinkley. Burrow has since been charged with capital murder and aggravated robbery in the shooting death of his father, Carl Lynn Burrow, 62, of 772 Burrow Lane west of Brinkley and the robbery at gunpoint of his grandmother, Vaudean Burrow. Burrow’s body was discovered in a barn located on the Burrow property.  Arkansas State Police and other law enforcement agencies are searching for Burrow who may be driving a 2007 year-model Chevrolet SK1 brown pick-up truck, displaying Arkansas license plate, 534 KTB.  Burrow is described as a white male, 5' 7" tall, weighing 160 pounds, with brown hair, and blue eyes. Anyone who may see Burrow or know his whereabouts should contact the nearest Arkansas State Police office or their local law enforcement agency.

The South Arkansas Arts Center’s Creative Arts Academy begins classes the week of August 25-29. Registration is currently underway for the 2014-2015 semester.  Parents and guardians can secure a student’s spot during the first week of classes. Classes offered on Mondays are: Art 4 Year Olds and an Adult Open Studio with instructor Gay Bechtelheimer, Computer Art for grades 4-6 and Computer Art for grades 7-9 with instructor Mike Means. Means also offers a Monday Night Open Studio Computer Lab.  Instructor Maria Villegas offers Art for grades 2-3, and Advanced Studio Art. Instructors Melissa Spears and Stephanie Lowery offer Ballet Pre-Pointe for Level 3.  Spears offers Ballet Pre-Pointe for Level 4, as well as an Adult Ballet class. Tuesday’s class schedule is Level 1 Ballet for grades K-1 and Level 2 Ballet for grades 2-4 with instructor Stephanie Lowery. Villegas offers Art for grades 4-6 and Art for grades 7-12.  She also offers an Open Studio Adult Artists class. Classes offered on Wednesday’s are: Art for grades K-1 with Villegas, Special Needs Art for grade K-12 with instructors Jorge and Maria Villegas, and Ballet 3 Pre-Pointe with instructors Melissa Spears and Stephanie Lowery. Thursday’s classes offered are Art for grades K-1 with Villegas, Beginning Dance for 3-5 year olds and Ballet 4 Pointe with instructor Melissa Spears. Instructor Darrin Riley offers Drama for grades 1-5 and Drama for Grades 6-12. Class sizes are limited and will be filled on a first come, first served basis.  For more information about all classes offered, contact the SAAC office at 86205474 or visit for a full class roster, descriptions, and downloadable registration forms.  

 Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced today that agents from the Attorney General’s Office have arrested a Pulaski County man for possession of child pornography. Roberto M. Almaraz, 49, of Little Rock was arrested Thursday evening at his residence on 30 counts of distributing, possessing or viewing matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child, a Class C felony. District Court Judge Alice Lightle set bond at $250,000. Almaraz was being held in the Pulaski County Detention Center. Agents with the Attorney General’s Cyber Crimes Unit executed a search warrant at Almaraz’s residence in the 5100 block of West 10th Street in Little Rock on Thursday. Investigators seized several desktop and laptop computers, cell phones and tablet devices. The electronic evidence will be analyzed at the Cyber Crimes Unit Forensic Lab in Little Rock. Special Agent Chris Cone began investigating Almaraz last year after suspecting that child pornography was being possessed at his residence. The Little Rock Police Department and the Benton Police Department assisted in the investigation and arrest. The Attorney General’s Office will turn over its completed case file to Sixth Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley. Charges are merely accusations and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

August 20, 2014

Lt. Justin Starnes, of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office spoke with a woman who stated that her car started overheating so she took it to a mechanic. She also stated that the headlight had been tampered with and there were marks showing something was used to push the clamp up the hose. The woman believes it was her ex-husband and said there is an active Order of Protection that was filed with the circuit court on August 5th.

Deputy J. McLane responded to Ouachita Road in Stephens for a report of a derailed box car. Union Pacific contacted the Sheriff’s Office to report the situation. Union Pacific advised that the box car was empty and there were no injuries and no crossings were blocked. Deputy McLane proceeded to the location to verify that the railroad was crossing was not blocked.

Deputy McLane and Deputy Creech responded to 207 Ouachita Road 199 for a disturbance. The man reporting the incident, stated that a woman shot him. She states that he was intoxicated and upset because she wanted him to leave. She said that she locked him out of the house, he then responded by throwing a brick through her storm door, threatening to do bodily harm. She denied shooting him stating that she just wanted him to leave, and she doesn’t own a firearm. There were no signs of shells or bullet holes in the residence. The man was taken into custody still accusing the woman of shooting him numerous times; however he was able to dodge all of them. He was then transported to the Ouachita County Detention Complex to await a court appearance.

A BOLA has been issued for a 14 year old Hispanic male who escaped from SAYS in Magnolia at about 10:27 last night. He is about 5 foot 4 inches tall weighing about 120 pounds. He had commented in the past he would like to get to Little Rock. There was an accident on highway 79 South this morning south of Stephens. A person matching the description of the subject was seen leaving the car with a black back pack he is known to carry. He attempted to steal another vehicle in Stephens but was unsuccessful. Agents in Ouachita County are looking for him. Be on the lookout for any young man matching this description. He is on foot. If you see someone matching the description of this subject, contact the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office at 231-5300.

Camden's Animal Control, which operates out of the Camden Police Department in on a campaign to save the lives of as many dogs from the City Pound as possible. The Department has partnered with the Ladies Auxiliary and Volunteer's. There are no pound fees or adoption fees to adopt from the pound. You will be required to follow the laws concerning dogs in your area. If you would like to adopt you can call the Camden Police Department at 870-836-5755, Monday through Friday between the hours of 7:00 am and 3:00 pm, just ask for animal control. Leave your number if the Animal Control is not in. You can see photos of the dogs on Facebook or on the website 

Southern Arkansas University Tech has a new page on the website to help students find jobs.  There is a form on there for local businesses to post their open positions that they might want to fill with college students.
The url is .  Then there is a link to the student employment page. 

The Ouachita County Election Commission will meet Friday August 22nd, at 10:00 am. The meeting will take place in the employees break room for the purpose of drawing for ballot positions on the November 4 2014 General Election. This is a public meeting. If you would like any additional information you can call 870-837-2220. 

Young Arkansas consumers settling into their first apartments and the landlords who rented to them both have responsibilities and protections under Arkansas law. The same goes for the nearly one-third of Arkansans who choose to rent rather than own a home and their landlords.
The topic of landlord and tenant rights is one of most common when consumers call Attorney General Dustin McDaniel’s Consumer Protection Division. The landlord/tenant rights page is one of the most viewed on the Attorney General’s consumer protection website,
McDaniel issued this consumer alert today to help both landlords and tenants to better understand their obligations under Arkansas law.
“Landlord-tenant issues have always been one of the most frequent topics addressed by the Consumer Protection Division,” McDaniel said. “We consistently recommend to consumers that the best way that landlords and tenants can avoid problems is to make sure to have a written lease agreement that is binding to both parties. That agreement should cover the terms of the lease and clarify who would be responsible for maintaining the property.”
The Attorney General noted that, under Arkansas law, landlords are not required to provide additional maintenance to the rental unit if the dwelling is rented “as-is.” An “as-is” rental is common.
If a tenant would like a landlord to be responsible for maintenance, then the tenant should ask the landlord in writing to provide it. In the event that a tenant believes that maintenance or improvements are necessary for health and safety, tenants should contact local code enforcement authorities.
Other things to know:
-State law prohibits landlords who own six or more rental units from assessing security deposits that are higher than the total of two months’ rent. So, if a tenant pays $700 monthly, a security deposit may be no more than $1,400. Landlords must return the deposit within 60 days of the tenant moving, but landlords may deduct the cost of any damages or past-due rent.
-Landlords can terminate a lease at any time if a tenant violates any provision of a lease.
-Tenants who intend to move are required to provide notice in accordance with the provisions in their leases.
-Tenants are generally required to obtain prior approval before subleasing a home or apartment.
-Landlords must give notice if terminating a lease for reasons not based on a tenant’s violation. Landlords must give notice of at least one rental period in an oral lease, or, in a written lease, landlords must abide by the contract terms.
Arkansas law covering residential tenants and landlords apply only to private rental units and not government-subsidized housing, where other laws or regulations may apply.
The federal Fair Housing Act protects tenants from discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, disability, familial status or national origin. To learn more about fair housing laws, contact the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development ( or the Arkansas Fair Housing Commission (
For more information about this or other consumer issues, call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline, (800) 482-8982, or visit

August 19, 2014

Officer Elliot was dispatched to Shell at Topper Hill for a reckless driver traveling from El Dorado into the city limits. Officer Parker and Sgt. Hicks arrived as backup to my location.

Upon arrival Officer Parker and Elliot observed a tan Nissan. The vehicle was occupied by a white female and two white males. As the officers began to walk toward the front of the store, someone advised us the guy the officers were looking for was walking around the other side of the store, heading back towards the vehicle. A white male was walking around. When asked if he had been drinking, the man stated he had three beers. Criminal Investigator, Justin Starnes, with the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, was also on scene. He stated he observed the man to be the driver of the vehicle. He stated the man was driving recklessly. The man was then transported to the station and then the Ouachita County Jail to be held for twelve hours.

Officer Elliot along with Officer Parker, Plyler, and Sgt. Hicks responded to a call at 450 Jenkins Street for a fight in progress. Upon arrival the officer’s made contact with the victim. The officer’s observed a verbal altercation between a man and his wife. The man stated he and his wife had a verbal altercation prior to the Officer’s arrival. The man stated that the police were called the night for the same reason. He also said that his wife is bipolar and is not on medication. According to reports, the wife began yelling at him for no reason and he was tired of it. He said he would leave and allow her to stay at the residence to diffuse the situation. She stated she was upset and he was yelling at her. When the husband said he was leaving for the night, she said she was screaming and not wanting him to leave, she then put her arms around her neck, not allowing him to leave. The officer’s tried to get her off, but she was refusing to let go of his neck. She also refused to submit to arrest striking the officers. She was eventually placed under arrest and transported to the station.

Officer Grummer was dispatched to Dollar General in the Cardinal Shopping Center for a report of a white male who was shoplifting. According to reports the man was wearing khaki shorts, dark colored shirt and black hat; he had also been stealing toothpaste and deodorant. While conducting a search of the man, the officer found a new tube of toothpaste and a stick of deodorant. He was then transported to the station.

Officers of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office made contact with a man who said that he and his family were having problems with a man who had shown up next door at the home of his granddaughter; entered into the home and refused to leave. The granddaughter ran to her grandfather’s house asking for help. The man reporting said he went over to the house and told the man to leave. He also stated that the man appeared to be under the influence of drugs and very uncooperative. The man then stated that the two wrestled over some furniture he then picked something up and struck the other man in the head. The man then left voicing threats as he left. Since the incident there have been apparent voice threats towards the family and the granddaughter.

Deputy Harcrow and Lt. Adam LaDuke were dispatched to the intersection of Hwy 278 and County Road 77 for a reported MVA. Upon arrival it was determined a medical emergency, EMS was already in Route. East Camden Fire were already on the scene and administering CPR. Lt. LaDuke was assisting. EMS arrived and took over the care for the subjects. 

Best-selling author James Bradley will be the presenter for the 10th annual Farmers Bank and Trust Distinguished Speaker Series on September 23 at Southern Arkansas University. Tickets for the event are now on sale. To purchase tickets by phone, call the SAU Office of Development at 870-235-4321. Tickets can be purchased online at by clicking the “Make a Gift” button. Bradley burst onto the national scene in 2000 with his New York Times #1 best-selling book Flags of Our Fathers, a book about the six soldiers who raised the American flag on Iwo Jima. One of the soldiers was Bradley’s father. The Times called the book “the surprise runaway nonfiction best seller of the season.” It was later released as a motion picture directed by Clint Eastwood. Bradley’s message at SAU will be titled “Doing the Impossible.” Proceeds from the event provide scholarships to students who possess the talent, energy, and intellectual curiosity to access higher education but lack the financial resources. A private reception with Bradley will be held at 5:15 p.m. at the Farmers Bank and Trust main branch in Magnolia. A book signing will take place in the Donald W. Reynolds Campus and Community Center at SAU at 6 p.m., and the dinner and lecture will be held in the Reynolds Center Grand Hall at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $100 for the dinner and lecture. Tickets are $200 to attend the dinner, lecture, private reception, and obtain an autographed photo with Bradley. Sponsorship opportunities are also offered through the SAU Foundation. A Blue Sponsorship, $800, includes eight tickets for the dinner and lecture, two tickets for the private reception with photo, a table in the Blue Section with the sponsor’s name displayed on the table and in the program. The Gold Sponsorship, $2,000, includes eight tickets to the dinner, lecture and private reception with photo. Gold Sponsor tables also enjoy premium seating and name displayed in the program and on the table. Bradley is the author of three other books. Flyboys is the secret story of eight naval aviators who were beheaded on the island next to Iwo Jima. A ninth Flyboy got away. His name was George H.W. Bush. His third book, The Imperial Cruise, is an in-depth exploration of Theodore Roosevelt’s foreign policy. His latest book, The China Mirage, is slated for release this fall. It is a spellbinding history of the turbulent U.S.-China relations. Raised in Wisconsin, Bradley studied at the University of Notre Dame, Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan, and the University of Wisconsin. He has vast experience writing and producing corporate films and corporate meetings. He has traveled the world, living in more than 40 countries. He has run companies in the U.S., Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy. He is the president of the James Bradley Peace Foundation, which is dedicated to fostering understanding between America and Asia.

This year’s fall litter-pickup campaign will run from Sept. 6 through October 31. Thousands of Arkansans will volunteer to pick up litter along the state’s roadways and waterways during Keep Arkansas Beautiful’s Great Arkansas Cleanup (GAC). All Arkansas communities are encouraged to get involved in this annual cleanup effort. Those who would like to learn more about organizing a litter-pickup event in their community or to volunteer with a local event can visit, email or call toll-free 888-742-8701.

Last year, more than 24,000 Arkansans picked up 415,320 pounds of litter from roughly 1,300 miles of roadway and shoreline. The volunteer effort provided the state and participating communities a cost-saving value estimated at more than $850,000. The Great Arkansas Cleanup grew out of an effort that began more than 40 years ago as the Greers Ferry Lake and Little Red River Cleanup led by environmentalist Carl Garner. Until his death in July 2014, the “Father of Greers Ferry Lake” devoted his life to the mission of Keep Arkansas Beautiful (KAB). This year’s Great Arkansas Cleanup is being held in his honor. “We expect this year to be the most successful Great Arkansas Cleanup ever,” said Robert Phelps, director of KAB. “Carl’s vision for a litter-free state will live on through the impact we make during the Great Arkansas Cleanup. By working together, we can build and sustain vibrant communities across Arkansas.” Once a community registers a Great Arkansas Cleanup event, Keep Arkansas Beautiful will help organize and publicize the effort. KAB can furnish local volunteers with cleanup materials and supplies, such as trash bags, gloves and safety vests. Other available promotional items and incentives include T-shirts and an opportunity to win a Troy-Bilt® trimmer/blower. In addition to its own GAC publicity efforts, KAB also provides local coordinators with customizable promotion materials, including posters, public service announcements and news releases, which can be found on the KAB website. The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department, Keep Arkansas Beautiful Foundation and Keep America Beautiful Inc. sponsor the Great Arkansas Cleanup by providing needed cleanup supplies and support for GAC participants.

The Arkansas Department of Health’s Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program is sad to announce that Bill Busse, a Tips From Former Smokers ad participant, has passed away at the age of 40.  Mr. Busse was a strong advocate for the campaign and its messages.  The cause of death was heart disease. By the age of 40, Mr. Busse had suffered kidney failure, blindness in one eye and a leg amputation due to poor circulation.  These were all complications from his diabetes, which was made worse by his smoking cigarettes. Despite Mr. Busse’s health problems, he continued moving forward to help warn other smokers of potential dangers they faced if they did not quit smoking. “In Arkansas, approximately 5,100 adults die from smoking-related illnesses each year.” states Dr. Gary Wheeler, Medical Director for the Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program. “But statistics are cold and hard to wrap your head around. Mr. Busse put a face on those statistics. Because he told a story that many of us can identify with, many people have quit tobacco. The TIPS campaign is giving voice to many courageous individuals who want to help others quit to avoid the many consequences of tobacco and nicotine use. If you haven’t seen the TIPS stories and you use tobacco or know a family member who does, I hope you will go to the TIPS website and hear these stories. And then I hope you will call the Arkansas Tobacco Quitline and set a date to free yourself from tobacco and nicotine.” As our thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Busse’s family, including his wife, two children and two step-children, we would like to carry on Bill’s mission, which was to help everyone quit! The Arkansas Tobacco Quitline is here to help. Available seven days a week, 24 hours a day, the Quitline greatly increases a tobacco user’s success in quitting by offering a combination of free counseling sessions with a QuitCoach and free nicotine-replacement therapy medications while supplies last. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW today. Unlimited access is also given to Web Coach™, an interactive, online community that offers tools to quit, social support, and more information about quitting. About the Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program (TPCP) TPCP is part of the Arkansas Department of Health. It funds the state tobacco Quitline, as well as the Stamp Out Smoking health communications campaign and tobacco control efforts across the state. For more information, visit

Constellation Brands Beer Division recently announced that a voluntary recall of select packages in the U.S. containing 12-ounce clear glass bottles of its Corona Extra beer that may contain small particles of glass. The voluntary recall covers 12-ounce clear bottles in select six-pack, 12-pack and 18-pack packages containing bottles with certain production codes. This recall comes after routine inspections in the company's quality control laboratory detected defects in certain bottles that could cause small particles of glass to break off and fall into the bottle. According to reports, the affected bottles came from one of four glass plants run by a third party manufacturer, which supplies the company the bottles.

August 14, 2014

Officer Elliot and Officer Bush were working housing in the area of Fort Lookout, when they observed a man who they knew to be on the ban list. The man was walking around apartment 407, which he eventually entered. One of the officer’s made contact with the resident, who stated that the man was in the house. The man indeed was on the ban list but stated he was given permission to be there because his mother lives in the area, and he lives with her. He was told he neded to contact the Camden Housing Authority and then was arrested. Officer Bush and Officer Elliot were also working housing in the area of Lincoln Center when they observed a man who they knew to be on the banned list. The officer’s made contact with the man, who stated that he knew he was on the list. He was then arrested and taken to the station.

Officer Parker was dispatched to the Dollar General Store on California Avenue for a report of a shoplifter that just left the store. The suspect was identified as a white male with a black tank top and jeans. The officer made contact with the man, who was walking on Grinstead near Ouachita Street. The man had several sticks of deodorant and body spray in his hands and pockets. The store manager confirmed that the man was the one stealing items and an affidavit was completed. The shoplifter was arrested and transported to the station where he was given a criminal citation. He was then transported to the Ouachita County Jail Sheriff’s Office for a 48 hour hold.

Ouachita County Fairboard is accepting bids for an individual that can provide a quality sound system for the activities at the 2014 county fair. If you are interested you can contact Missy at 870-818-4871. All poultry exhibits at the county fair must be blood tested. The dates for free blood testing is Saturday, August 23, 7:30 am until 3:30 pm and Sunday, August 24, 1:00pm until 3:30pm. Contact 501-580-1961. If you would like to showcase your business or organization at the county fair contact Nathan 870-818-5252 for a booth application.

Native Hot Springs artist Richard Stephens returns to the South Arkansas Arts Center for a three day painting workshop entitled “Watercolor with Passion and Humor.” The workshop is scheduled for September 12-14 from 9am-4pm each day.  Registration for the workshop is currently underway and the cost is $135 for current SAAC members and $160 for the general public (which includes a one year SAAC membership at Friend Level). When you take a Richard Stephens workshop you will be exposed to three main things: informative technical information sprinkled with humor and antidotes, entertaining and educational painting demonstrations and lots of one on one time with Richard as he helps you through your individual painting process. Richard has a true passion for watercolor and enjoys the opportunity to share his knowledge and experience with students of all levels. Richard Stephens’ watercolor workshop is informative, challenging and fun. It is not about competition or turning out a great painting during the workshop. It is about being exposed to a process of watercolor painting that has been successful for him and perhaps some of that process finding a voice with the students and their work. Stephens, a commercial artist for the last 43 years, rediscovered watercolors about 22 years ago and has built a reputation nationwide for his loose, spontaneous paintings.  Much in demand as an instructor, Stephens said, “I am really enjoying teaching.  It allows me to share my passion for watercolor while traveling to new places and getting to meet wonderful and interesting people.” After serving in the Army as an illustrator, Stephens began his commercial art career in 1971 with a design studio in Little Rock. There, he began forming a network of other artists, vendors and suppliers that allowed him to open his own studio in 1974 and has been freelancing out of Hot Springs since that time. After discovering the medium in college he always knew watercolor was his real "calling". Occasionally it would emerge, but he didn't start painting consistently again until 1992. "I have always felt the years of designing and doing layouts with transparent markers was basically watercolor painting. The process and technique are very much the same. The best layouts have that loose, spontaneous watercolor feel to them. Now I do all my commercial design work on the computer. I enjoy it but I'm glad I did it the old way for all those years," said Stephens. During the past few years Stephens has enjoyed success by winning awards in numerous watercolor shows and competitions around the country. He has had several one-man exhibitions, participated in many group shows, and has studied under such well known watercolorists as Gary Myers, Tony Couch, Ken Hosmer, Mel Stabin and Alvaro Castagnet. Stephens was recently named as one of ten "Artists to Watch" by Watercolor Magic magazine (December 2005 edition). Four of his paintings were featured in 200 Great Painting Ideas for Artists, by Carol Katchen, published by North Light Books. Stephens' work is owned by individuals and corporations around the country. He is a member of the Arkansas League of Artists, the Mississippi Art Colony, and is a signature member of Mid-Southern Watercolorists, Southern Watercolor Society and Missouri Watercolor Society. To register for the three day workshop, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474. For more information about the workshop, including a supplies list, visit

While Ebola poses a very low risk to Arkansans, the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) is keeping a close watch on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to ensure the safety of Arkansas citizens. ADH is working with hospitals, emergency medical service providers, faith-based organizations, the State Chamber of Commerce and the Departments of Education and Higher Education to ensure they have appropriate protocols in place to screen and monitor individuals who may have traveled to Arkansas from the affected West African countries (Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria). Arkansas has no active or suspected cases of Ebola, and the risk is very low for the general public. Ebola only spreads from those who are infected AND are experiencing symptoms, such as fever or bleeding. Ebola is spread from person-to-person through direct contact with bodily fluids such as blood, urine, vomit, diarrhea, sweat, semen and breast milk or by exposure to objects contaminated with bodily fluids, such as needles. Ebola does not spread through air, food or water. The most critical step to preventing the spread of Ebola is identifying those with fever or other symptoms who have travelled from Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria within the last 21 days. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided guidelines for the management of any individual who has been in the four West African countries currently involved in the Ebola outbreak. ADH will continue to closely monitor the Ebola outbreak and provide additional information and guidance as needed. Current information can be found at  or

Nowadays consumers use their phones for just about everything, from ordering a pizza to finding their way around town. Software applications known as “apps” give users the ability to shop, play games or check the weather forecast with ease. More than two-thirds of Americans now own a smart phone, and new mobile apps are being created and downloaded every day. Most apps offer convenience and utility, though Attorney General Dustin McDaniel urged consumers today to download apps only from trusted sources. Some apps may contain malicious software or allow for improper access to sensitive personal information. McDaniel issued this consumer alert to encourage Arkansans to be selective about the types of mobile apps they download on their smart phones. “Arkansas consumers should make sure they are downloading apps created by developers that provide information about their companies and that have positive reviews,” McDaniel said. “Especially as students go off to school and to college, parents should know what type of apps are on a child’s phone or tablet. Most apps are designed to make our lives easier, not make them difficult by installing malware or stealing data.” The Federal Trade Commission recently found that certain mobile shopping apps have some shortcomings as it relates to providing information to consumers. An FTC report released earlier this month said that mobile commerce apps need to do a better job describing how they collect, use and share consumer data. Frequently, shopping apps offered unclear information about consumer liability in the event of an unauthorized purchase or a purchase made in error. McDaniel said the FTC report on shopping apps illustrates the importance of consumers finding out as much as they can about a particular app before downloading it.

The Attorney General offered these tips to smart phone users:
-Read the fine print. Some apps may access phone and email contact lists, call logs, text messages, calendar entries and Internet histories. If an app doesn’t have a privacy policy or contact information or a website for the developer, it may be best not to download the app.
-Be aware that some “free” apps contain advertising within the app. Others may offer “in-app” purchases or may make available a more advanced version of the app for a cost.
-Consumers concerned about sharing their location data with advertisers can turn off location services in phone settings.
-If a device has been infected with malware, consumers should contact customer support for the company that made the device, notify the mobile-phone service carrier and install a trusted security app.
-Keep apps up to date by installing new versions or upgrades when they become available. These may contain security fixes.
-Parents should talk to children about rules for using apps and try the app out for themselves before allowing an app to be installed on a child’s phone or device. 
For more information about mobile app safety or other consumer issues, visit the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division website,, or call (800) 482-8982.

August 13, 2014

The visual arts committee of the South Arkansas Arts Center will host an artist reception for a new exhibition of works from SAAC’s permanent collection on Friday, August 15 from 6-8pm. The exhibition is currently on display in all three galleries until August 29 and is sponsored by Chris and Tela Webb. Jorge Villegas and Richard Wharton have selected the cream of the crop from the permanent collection for an exhibition of local, national, and international artists whose work has become part of SAAC’s legacy.  The exhibition includes works by influential and renowned artists Millard Owen Sheets, Henri Linton, Frank Webb, Arnaldo Pomodoro, as well as past Juried Art Competitions and gracious donations. Also included in the show are select Ukiyo-o (Pictures from the Floating World) wood block prints displaying scenes from life in Japan, including two newly framed, previously unseen, triptychs.  These prints, some dating from the 16th century, were donated to SAAC’s permanent collect by Japan Airlines. For more information about the exhibition, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474 or visit  

A Lonoke County Woman was arrested for allegedly stealing from her workplace. According to reports, the local Sheriff’s Office said they got a report concerning an employee at a Furlow store taking money and property. The woman was apparently taking lottery tickets, money, and cigarettes without paying for them. She was arrested for theft of property.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel will take part in a United Nations hearing in Geneva this week to review the United States’ efforts to implement an international treaty to eliminate racial discrimination. McDaniel will join a U.S. delegation to deliver comments before the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on Wednesday. The delegation will take questions from the Committee on Wednesday and Thursday. The Committee is responsible for monitoring the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), which the United States ratified in 1994. “It is a privilege to be able to provide to international leaders an account of the significant progress we’ve made in Arkansas to eliminate racial discrimination, specifically in our efforts to offer quality education to all public school students,” McDaniel said. “As an emissary for attorneys general from across the country, I also look forward to highlighting the work that AGs have done to protect minority borrowers and provide equal access to housing and education.” McDaniel was invited by the State Department to participate at the meeting, and this marks the first time that a state attorney general has been asked by the federal government to be a part of the U.S. delegation to this Committee. The delegation includes high-level staff from the State Department, Justice Department, Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and mayor of Birmingham, Ala. Heading the delegation is Ambassador Keith Harper, the U.S. representative to the U.N. Human Rights Council. The 18-member Committee is expected to ask questions about a variety of issues, including criminal justice, housing, health care, immigration, education and affirmative action. The Committee is expected to release its “Concluding Observations and Recommendations” several weeks after the hearing. The comments and recommendations are nonbinding.  Members of the U.S. delegation heard from representatives of various nongovernmental human rights organizations ahead of the delegation’s appearance before the committee on Wednesday. The last time a U.S. delegation appeared before the Committee was in 2008. McDaniel's opening remarks to the Committee will be available at Wednesday following the delegation's appearance.

The final report of the Attorney General’s State Task Force for the Prevention of Human Trafficking was presented today to members of the General Assembly, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced. The Task Force’s report identifies 19 recommendations for the State to consider as it addresses the wide-ranging and growing problem of human trafficking. Chief Deputy Attorney General Brad Phelps presented the final report at a joint meeting of the House and Senate judiciary committees, the Senate Children and Youth Committee and the House Aging, Children and Youth, Legislative and Military Affairs Committee. “A group of 40 men and women who are dedicated to ending human trafficking in our State worked tirelessly over the course of eight months to develop this plan,” McDaniel said. “Their findings and recommendations represent a clear strategy for addressing this problem and make clear that we want Arkansas to be a safe haven for anyone seeking to escape captivity and reclaim his or her freedom.” The Human Trafficking Act of 2013 called for McDaniel to establish the task force, which was to address every aspect of human trafficking in the state, including the forced labor and sex trafficking of U.S. citizens and foreign nationals. McDaniel was a leading support of the Act, which had broad bipartisan support and earned the state national recognition for its efforts. The Task Force was established in November 2013. Its final report represents a comprehensive state plan to prevent the crime, improve information sharing among governmental and nongovernmental organizations that deal with the problem, improve resources available to trafficking victims and increase public awareness of human trafficking.Assistant Attorney General Will Jones and Reagan Stanford of Catholic Charities of Arkansas served as co-chairs of the task force.

August 12, 2014

Deputy LaDuke of Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, responded to the home of Thomas Word located at 510 W. Jordan Street in Bearden. He wanted to make a report regarding someone breaking into his home and stealing a gun. The man said that his son and he had went out of town for the night. They discovered that someone broke his son’s bedroom window, entered the home, a stole a shotgun out of his closet. Nothing else in the home was bothered. They believe that one man is the responsible for the theft, because he had commented on the gun a few days before and how nice it was. He also knew that the family was out of town. The gun is described as a Stevens 12g pump with black synthetic pistol grip stock and 6 round mag.

Deputy Bryant Carman responded to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Department to make a report from a subject. Upon the officer’s arrival he met with a man who stated that his deer camp (Malvern-Camden Hunting Club) on Ouachita County Road 25 had been broken into over the past week. The man stated that no members had been at the camp since in the last week. The officer followed the man to the location; in-which the man showed several locations where the suspect(s) had driven around the gates on an A.T.V. The suspects had broken into a mobile home trailer which was used, which had been used as a camp house. The front door window had been broken in also the front door had been pried open. Now the man stated that no known items were missing at the time.

There will be a Brown Bag Lunch and Learn Titled: Exceptional Customer Service The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center presents "Exceptional Customer Service.” Exceptional customer service is a cost-free marketing technique, as well as a way to set your business apart from your competitors. Join us in learning how to stop barriers to exceptional customer service, meet customer expectations, handle the unhappy customer, and create a positive culture of customer service! The event will be on Tuesday, August 26 11:00AM – 1:00 PM at the OPED Building. The speaker will be, Training Coordinator, Julia Nipper, SAU Training Coordinator. For more information or to pre-register, contact Julia Nipper. Phone: (870) 235-5033 Email:

The Camden Noon Lion’s Club will meet this week. This week’s speaker will be Sally DeFrance from Maul Rd Animal Clinic she will be talking about pet care. If you would like to join the Lion’s Club or would like additional information you can call Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440 ext. 7

Beth Brickell, author, filmmaker and former actress from Los Angeles, will give four talks and do book signings for her book, "The Disappearance of Maud Crawford," September 26-30 in Camden, Hot Springs, Little Rock and Blytheville.

Maud Crawford's disappearance in Camden on March 2, 1957, is the most widely-publicized mystery in Arkansas history.  Crawford was an attorney and prominent civic leader in Camden who had been an associate of U.S. Senator John McClellen before he was elected to the senate.  She disappeared from her home on a cold, rainy, foggy Saturday night for no apparent reason.  No body, clue, trace or motive was found by the original police investigation. At the time of Crawford's disappearance, Senator McClellan was the number one news story in newspapers and television screens throughout the world as chairman of a senate committee investigating alleged mob ties to organized labor.  He and his general counsel, Robert Kennedy, were grilling labor leaders daily, such as Jimmy Hoffa and Dave Beck, when the senator's former associate disappeared.   The initial theory was that the Mafia had kidnapped her in order to intimidate Senator McClellan into backing off his investigation.  When no ransom note appeared in the following days, however, and Senator McClellan assured law enforcement that the Mafia wouldn't dare do anything to try and intimidate him, the theory was dropped.  Multiple theories about her disappearance were then developed, but none were ever proved, and the police investigation was declared at a "dead end" after two weeks. In 1985, Beth Brickell returned to her former hometown of Camden with the intention of writing a screenplay for a movie about the mystery.  She learned within a week that the case had not been properly investigated in 1957, and townspeople encouraged her to use her former journalism skills as a reporter from an earlier time and investigate the case.  She discovered that people were still frightened to talk about the case 29 years later.  All of the original police investigators were still alive and willing to give information to Brickell, including information they had been unwilling to divulge publically in 1957. Following a 16-month investigation, Brickell wrote 19 articles that the Arkansas Gazette ran on the front page of the newspaper in 1986 over a five-month period with the title, "Mystery at Camden."  "The Disappearance of Maud Crawford" is Brickell's book, which consists of an introduction and re-print of her Gazette investigative series. 

Her speaking schedule about the Maud Crawford mystery and book is as follows: 
Friday, Sept. 26, 6 p.m., Allen's Restaurant, 107 E. Washington St., Camden.
Saturday, Sept. 27, Tate Barn Sale, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Camden

Many will remember that Brickell, a former actress, starred in the popular CBS family series, "Gentle Ben," in the late 1960s.  As a filmmaker she has filmed two television movies in Arkansas, "Summer's End" in Clarendon and Camden, and "Mr. Christmas" in Eureka Springs.  Both films were broadcast on PBS, and "Summer's End" was also broadcast on Showtime, A&E and Nickelodeon.  The two films won a total of 18 film festival and television awards.

The Arkansas Department of Health is issuing a fish consumption advisory for Lake Ouachita. This advisory comes after fish from Lake Ouachita, collected by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and tested by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, were found to contain levels of mercury that have the potential to put human health at risk. There are currently 20 bodies of water that are under a mercury in fish advisory in Arkansas. Nationally, all 50 states have fish consumption advisories due to mercury. This advisory is a notice about the mercury levels present in fish and the possible health effects on those who regularly eat fish from the lake. This advisory only applies to those eating fish from Lake Ouachita and does not affect swimmers, skiers, boaters, catch and release activities, or other recreational uses of Lake Ouachita. This advisory does not limit the use of Lake Ouachita as a drinking water source. Occasional fish consumers, such as vacationers and sport anglers, are at little risk for adverse health effects associated with mercury because their overall fish consumption is generally low and may come from many different locations. Those most at risk include sensitive populations, such as pregnant woman and small children, and people who frequently eat larger fish, such as bass, from Lake Ouachita.

The fish consumption advisory is as follows:
-High Risk Groups (women of childbearing age, pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and children under the age of seven years):
-Should not eat largemouth bass (13 inches or longer), white bass (13 inches or longer), or striped bass (25 inches or longer) from this lake.
General Public (men, women, and children seven years and older):
-Eat no more than 2 meals per month of largemouth bass (13 inches or longer), white bass (13 inches or longer), or striped bass (25 inches or longer) from this lake.
-Eating fish with mercury will not make people sick right away, but as you eat more and more, it can build up in the body and, over time, potentially cause adverse health effects.
-Fish is an important, low-fat source of protein. Knowing and following the fish consumption advisories allows you to safely keep fish as an important part of your diet. 
For more information about fish consumption advisories in Arkansas, visit  and type ‘mercury’ in the Smart Search box located on the left hand side of the page. You may also visit

According to SAU College of Business Dean Dr. Lisa Toms, Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software created by SAP has been added to the curriculum of the Southern Arkansas University College of Business. ERP is software that allows organizations to share real-time information with supply chain partners. To help facilitate this curriculum, the addition of a 46-student SAP computer lab is being constructed this summer in the Business Building. LeMay Professor of Management Dr. Ken Green said “SAU students will now be exposed to the very best ERP system in use. People with SAP experience are in very high demand in the job market now, and we will be one of only two universities in Arkansas offering instruction and exposure to SAP,”. Green is a world class researcher on the effects of environmentally sustainable supply chain practices on business performance. He will be heading up the new Supply Chain Management program at SAU, with courses being added at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The SAU MBA has added a 33-hour supply chain management emphasis option. ‘ For students hoping to build their own business, the Entrepreneurship program will begin this fall. If online is the business plan sought after by a student, he or she will graduate with an online business up and running, according to Toms. These students will take a mix of entrepreneurship business courses along with web design classes from the SAU Department of Art and Design. If it is more of a brick-and-mortar business, the student will graduate with a thorough business plan and be ready to seek funding for his or her business. The College of Business is also coordinating with the SAU Small Business and Technical Development Center to establish an Entrepreneurship Center. This facility will allow students to have hands-on experiential learning. Toms also will continue the trend of bringing SAU business alumni to speak to current students. Toms said “It’s one thing to sit in a classroom and learn about entrepreneurship, but it’s another to hear from those who have walked the walk, had pitfalls, and experienced risk,”. Additional changes to the undergraduate studies include an overhaul of Management Information Systems, now just Information Systems, and providing three tracts to the Finance program – Financial Planning qualifies students to sit for the CFP exam; Entrepreneurial Finance for banking or credit managers; and Financial Analyses for emphasis on the stock market and investments.

Governor Mike Beebe announced that the Arkansas Department of Education has partnered with EducationSuperHighway, a national nonprofit dedicated to improving Internet access in schools. Together, they have conducted the first phase of a comprehensive study of digital-learning readiness and K-12 broadband spending in Arkansas. The initial study results, which focus on Internet access to schools, highlight a significant opportunity to deliver high-speed connectivity to all Arkansas students by better leveraging existing funds, working closely with the vendor community and replicating successful district models throughout the state. "Providing our schools with high-speed broadband connections is critical to preparing our students for the modern economy," Governor Beebe said. "With the leadership of the Arkansas Department of Education, the General Assembly, our school districts and service providers, we can give our children the resources they need to compete and succeed." By transitioning $15 million currently being spent annually on outdated copper networks and leveraging it with federal funds to build a high-speed fiber network, according to EducationSuperHighway, Arkansas can become the first state in the country to meet the national ConnectED goal of linking every student to high-speed broadband. "Arkansas is in a great position to usher in a new era of 21st-century learning for its students," said Evan Marwell, CEO of EducationSuperHighway. "We are thrilled to partner with Governor Beebe to ensure that all classrooms across the state are equipped with high-speed Internet connections that can support digital learning." Working closely with the Governor's Office, the Arkansas Department of Education, the service provider community and school-district leaders, EducationSuperHighway will use the study's results as a starting point to develop a plan to connect every Arkansas public school to fiber and the bandwidth they need at affordable prices. EducationSuperHighway selected Arkansas as one of two pilot partner states to collaborate on an in-depth project to improve broadband access and lower costs for public schools.

For many Arkansans the Labor Day holiday is an extended weekend that includes backyard cookouts and celebrations enjoyed with friends and family.  Unfortunately the holiday is often marred with tragedy and death caused by drunk drivers traveling across state roads and highways. Starting August 15th and continuing through September 1st, state and local law enforcement officers will be aggressively targeting their patrols in search of drunk drivers.  The enforcement plan is part of a nationwide effort designed to stop drunk driving and save lives.  The Driver Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign will pair increased public awareness with high visibility law enforcement, resulting in fewer drunk drivers getting behind the wheel of a vehicle endangering themselves and others. Across the nation during calendar year 2012 there were 10,322 people killed in drunk-driving crashes.  Over the Labor Day weekend that same year, almost 40 percent of all traffic fatalities involved drunk driving. “These grim facts should speak for themselves, but the message hasn’t gotten everyone’s attention yet,” said Colonel Stan Witt, Arkansas State Police Director and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.  “That’s why the Arkansas State Police and local law enforcement will be joining the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign and will arrest anyone caught driving drunk.  There will be no tolerance, no excuses.” During the calendar year 2012 there were 552 traffic fatalities on Arkansas roadways.  Twenty-six percent, or 143 of those fatalities, involved a driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. “Drunk driving is totally preventable and inexcusable,” said Colonel Witt.  “We’re hopeful that Arkansas drivers will get the message and take some simple steps to prevent this kind of tragedy.” The Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office reminds drivers to plan ahead and designate a sober driver if they plan to consume alcohol.  Calling a friend or using a taxi or some form of public transportation can save lives. For more information on the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, visit or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136. For more on Arkansas’ ongoing Toward Zero Deaths, One is Too Many campaign to eliminate preventable traffic fatalities, visit

August 8, 2014

Lt. James Bolton, of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, was dispatched to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office for a dog bite report. Upon arrival the officer spoke with a woman who stated that her, her daughter, and grandson were visiting someone when a pit-bull attacked her. The dog opened up 3 large lacerations on the back of her calf. The woman was unable to provide an address of County road number. She could say that it was in the Pace City area off of Ouachita 47. She also stated that the person she was visiting was a friend who watched her grandson while they were at the E.R.

Sgt. Chris Gill proceeded to Union Street with the Camden Police Department and placed a man into custody for a warrant. Before Gill arrived, Camden Police contacted EMS due to a toe nail bleeding and partially off of the man, yet he was refusing any kind of medical attention. While he was being transported to the station, the man was asked again if he wanted to be taken to the hospital, which he stated no. Union County had a warrant for the man and he was turned over to the facility with a hold placed on him.

Today Ouachita County Assessor, Debbie Lambert warns residents not to be taken in by Recorded Deed Notices arriving in the mail. Apparently, many such notices have gone out nation-wide, but Lambert assures Ouachita County that they are in no way associated with Ouachita County. The notice is designed to look like a bill for the sum of $83 and promises to provide the homeowner with a copy of their property assessment and deed. While it is not technically illegal to offer copies of these documents to homeowners, Lambert explains that the expense is exorbitant and unnecessary.  "You can obtain a copy of your assessment from the Ouachita County Assessor’s office for free and a copy of your property deeds from the Ouachita County Circuit Clerk’s Office for .50 a page. So therefore, the same service is just a few dollars." While many homeowners are wary of offers like these and have contacted the Assessor's office, Lambert is concerned that some people may not realize that they do not have to send money, “I am just afraid elderly people might actually send the $83 since the notice does look like a bill. I would just like for all Ouachita County Citizens to be aware of this scam."

The 31st Annual National Night Out crime and drug prevention event will be celebrated at Southern Arkansas University’s roller-skating rink at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 12. The event is free and open to the public.  Included for visitors will include the following, all free of charge: skating, hot dogs, popcorn and cold beverages. Guests will also have the opportunity to visit with representatives from the SAU Police Department, the Magnolia Police Department, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, and the Arkansas State Police. The event is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch. The purposed of the event is to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness. It also generates support and participation for local anti-crime programs; strengthens neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and send a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back. Usually held on the first Tuesday in August, the event has been an effective, inexpensive and enjoyable program that, when neighbors get to know each other, helps promote Neighborhood Watch programs and assists in our fight for a safer nation. When National Night Out started in 1984, people were encouraged to turn on their front porch lights between 6:30 and 9 p.m. and get out to meet their neighbors in informal block gatherings. Now, along with the outdoor lights, cities, towns and neighborhoods across the United States hold various activities including barbecues, block parties, contests, cookouts, flashlight walks, ice cream socials, parades and exhibits, visits from local police and sheriff departments, and youth programs.

August 7, 2014

Deputy Lindsey responded to a two vehicle accident involving an 18-wheeler at the intersection of AR Highway 79N and AR Highway 278E. According to both drivers and witness statements one vehicle was in the right lane on the north-bound lane when it came to complete stop at an intersection. It then made a turn into the left lane striking the 18-wheeler. Another vehicle was traveling north on Highway 79 when the driver observed the other vehicle stopped in the right lane. The vehicle began to slow down and turned into the left lane to avoid hitting the other vehicle. As the vehicle switched lanes; the other (that had already hit the 18-wheeler) struck the vehicle and then came to a stop in the middle of the road. EMS was on the scene and transported to the driver of the first vehicle to the Ouachita County Medical Center. Luckily no major injuries were suffered.

Deputies Justin Creech, Jake McClane and Rusty Bailey were dispatched to 995 Highway 278 East in reference to a possible theft. Upon their arrival, the officers spoke with a man who stated that some items were missing from his shop behind his home. The man stated that he had oxygen and acetylene bottles, both of which were on a portable rack, along with gauges. I striker was also reported missing. He also advised the deputies that he had been renting the bottles from Norman Smith welding supplies and he believes they came up missing on a Sunday while he and his wife were at church.

Deputy Ronnie Lewis went to a house fire at 175 Ouachita 437. Also Fire District #1, East Camden, and Camden Fire Departments were on the fire. EMS were called out to assist a firefighter who had gotten too hot. After the firefighter cooled down, EMS stayed for support because of the heat. Firefighters on the scene were Bearden-1, Fire Dist. #1-6, East Camden-8, and Camden F.D. 3. The house was described as a total loss. The homeowner was at home when the fire started and saw smoke in the hallway, but fortunately was able to get out unharmed.

Lt. James Bolton along with Deputy Rusty Bailey, responded to 510 Cypress in Bearden to a report of a man threatening to commit suicide. Upon arrival the officers made contact with the man and his father, who were standing in the street in front of their home. The man was obviously under the influence of drugs and alcohol; he was also asking for some help. The officers noticed something in the man’s hand, and then asked to see what it was. The man revealed a small folding box cutter knife. The officers forcefully removed the weapon and then turned the man over to EMS to help with his addiction. EMS then transported him to the Dallas County Hospital.

A silver alert was issued by the Texarkana, Arkansas Police Department for James Metcalf Rucker, who has been missing since last Friday, August 1. The 77-year-old Rucker, is a white male, five feet, 10 inches tall and weighs 186 pounds. His hair is balding. He has hazel eyes and a light skin complexion. Rucker suffers from depression, is diabetic, deaf, walks with a limp and has red splotches covering both hands and arms. He left his medication at home. Rucker was last known to be at 405 E. 51st Street near Greyhound Bus Station in Texarkana. There is no clothing description. Rucker could be trying to reach an unknown location in Hot Springs, and may be traveling by Greyhound Bus. Anyone with information of Rucker’s location may contact Texarkana police at 903-798-3135.

As the summer draws to a close, Arkansas college students prepare to manage expenses including tuition, textbooks and housing. For many students, signing up for a credit card may seem like a simple solution for making ends meet. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued a consumer alert encouraging young consumers to practice caution when entering the credit market, and to remind Arkansans of laws in place to protect college campuses from predatory credit card solicitations. “Although a credit card may seem like an easy financial fix today for many young, college age consumers, the long-term repercussions of exceeding your credit limit or accumulating debt with extremely high interest rates can be devastating,” McDaniel said. The Arkansas General Assembly enacted legislation in 1999 that restricts the practice of marketing credit cards on college campuses in an effort to combat high-pressure solicitations targeting college students and reduce the growing number of students burdened by credit card debt. Congress also passed the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (or CARD) Act in 2009, expanding regulations on solicitors marketing credit services to young consumers. The CARD Act prohibits solicitors from marketing credit cards within 1,000 feet of a college campus or off-campus student gatherings, such as athletic events. Under the law, solicitors are prohibited from issuing credit cards to consumers under the age of 21 unless the consumer has submitted a written application that includes the signature of a parent, legal guardian or spouse that has the means to repay debts incurred by the account, or has submitted financial information that demonstrates the applicant’s ability to independently repay the debt. Credit card marketers are also prohibited from offering tangible items, such as T-shirts or key chains to encourage students to apply for credit cards. For young consumers considering signing up for a credit card, McDaniel offered the following tips:
-Avoid accepting multiple credit card offers. A large amount of credit can lead to an enormous amount of debt.
-Choose a card based on the cost of credit which includes the interest rate charged on credit balances and other fees.
-Submit payments on time. Consistently making timely payments is the only way to improve your credit rating and qualify for less expensive credit.
-Pay the balance owed each month. Although it may seem easier to pay the minimum balance, doing so costs more in the long-run and it takes much longer to pay off the debt.
-Be cautious of running up a balance on a credit card with a temporarily low interest rate. --Once the temporary rate expires, the permanent rate may turn out to be more than you can afford.
-Steer clear of “over-the-limit” protection. It can be very expensive in the long-run, especially on small transactions.
-Protect your credit score by refraining from “maxing out” a credit card.
For more information, visit the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division website,, or call (800) 482-8982.

August 5, 2014

Officer Jimmy Plyler was dispatched to Walmart by Lt. Robertson for possible shoplifters inside the store. Lt. Robertson said the manager approached him and said she believed a group a two girls and two guys were stealing items by putting them inside old Walmart bags and carrying them to a vehicle in the parking lots. The officer then made contact with a group of three girls, identified by store employees as possibly being involved. The officer let the girls know why he was there; all three denied taking anything. Each girl had a purse around their neck, so the officer asked to look inside them. The first girl had nothing missing inside. The next girl had nothing at all in her purse. The third girl had earbuds still in the box and no receipt; she also had containers of fingernail polish in the front zipper pocket. The Walmart manager confirmed that the items were stolen. Two of the girls were taken into custody for shoplifting and curfew violation, the other girl was taken in for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Lt. Robertson also located two males involved with a separate incident involving shoplifting. The males were caught taking items out to a vehicle in the parking lot without paying for them. There was also a third guy was the driver and owned the vehicle the items were being put in. All three were taking into custody for shoplifting and curfew violations.

Officer Grummer and Officer McDaniel were dispatched to 410 North Street for a report of someone at the wrong residence. The officers were on foot when they noticed the man they were searching for behind a house on Mt. Holly Rd. After the officers identified themselves, the man ran to a nearby shed. When the officers went in pursuit, the men left the shed and headed toward the direction of Mt. Holly Rd. He was eventually caught, and taken into custody. The man was charged fleeing, and served three warrants. He was transported to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office until he could make bail.

The owner of a liquor store at the Columbia-Ouachita county line said his employees fended off a robbery attempt with gunfire. Troy Lamkin, who operates Lamkin’s Liquor on U.S. 79
The last of the store’s customers left for the night at about 11:05 p.m. and employees locked the entry door. After the final customer’s car left the parking lot, a black male wearing a hoodie, khaki pants and a handkerchief over his face, rushed the locked door and tried to burst through it. “He bounces off the door. He’s got a gun and a sack, and our employees see it,” Lamkin said. Video showed the man and a second suspect running from the parking lot, apparently toward a car parked nearby. Lamkin said his employees walked out of the store and looked for the bandit they had seen, then called the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office and Lamkin. After about 7-8 minutes, his employees walked back inside the store. “They’re standing right inside the door, when from the Stephens side of my store, a dude jumps over a little railing at the door. My employee goes to shooting,” Lamkin said. Lamkin said the man who jumped over the railing was dressed in the same manner as the first suspect. The man turned and ran toward the highway. Lamkin’s employee fired four shots through a window at the man, breaking the window. It’s not known if the fleeing suspect was wounded. “They never got in our store. They had guns. I’m sure they are customers of ours,” Lamkin said. Lamkin wants potential thieves to know that his employees are armed and will defend themselves. He thinks there may actually have been three or more people involved in the robbery attempt. Lamkin hopes people who may have been at his store or traveling on U.S. 79 on Saturday night can provide authorities with a description of a suspicious vehicle seen in the area.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel met this morning with Avi Garbow, General Counsel of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, to discuss the possible ramifications of a proposed Clean Air Act rule related to carbon emissions. “I’m very appreciative that General Counsel Garbow made time to meet with me to discuss how the proposed rule may affect Arkansas,” McDaniel said. “The meeting was productive and a step in the right direction.”

The proposed rule concerns carbon emissions from electric generating units and may affect Arkansas’s utility rates. The attached letter from McDaniel to Mr. Garbow details concerns related to the rule proposal and several suggested changes that the EPA could consider that would lessen the impact of the proposal on Arkansans.

August 4, 2014

Deputy Chris Lindsey, of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, along with Lt. Adam LaDuke responded to a one vehicle accident on Highway 79 South, just south of the Camden City Limits. The driver of the vehicle was seated behind the steering wheel and slumped over into the front passenger seat. EMS arrived on scene and advised that the driver was deceased and stood by the arrival of the County Coroner. According to reports it appears that the vehicle was traveling north when it left the roadway and traveled into a ditch east of the highway. Now while still traveling north the vehicle struck a culvert then shifted its direction crossing back onto the highway and once again hitting a ditch. The vehicle was towed from the scene by Ray’s Wrecker Service.

The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet this week at Catherine’s Bistro in Camden. This week our speakers are Cathy Cash & Nick Tuberville from Ouachita Industries. They will be taking about the different programs that Ouachita Industries offers. For any additional information on the Lions Club or how you can join please call Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440 extension 7. 

Albemarle Corporation recently said that a bromine leak at its Magnolia South plant was contained as of 9 p.m. Sunday. A chemical leak was reported about 5:30 p.m. at Albemarle’s plant off U.S. 79 south of Magnolia. Resident’s nearby, said she heard the plant's alert sirens go off. Albemarle Corporation issued the following statement: According to Site Manager, Peggy Matherne, “The release has been contained on site. All employees have been accounted for and there have been no injuries as a result of the incident. “’Our emergency response team has successfully secured the leak and is working to complete our mitigation procedures for the released material. She also said, ‘We are also investigating the cause of the incident and amount of bromine that has been released.’ “Offsite monitoring is being conducted by both Albemarle and an independent monitoring contractor. There have been no detectable levels of bromine recorded offsite. “We are coordinating our efforts with the Office of Emergency Management, the Columbia County Sheriff's Office and the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management and will provide updates as more information becomes available. Thank you for your patience,” the statement said. People who were traveling on U.S. 79 south of Magnolia told Magnolia Reporter on Facebook that they saw a cloud over the plant. One reader described it as an orange-colored cloud. Another called it a “huge cloud of reddish color.” There was concern that the wind direction might spread a chemical cloud toward the west. Columbia County Sheriff Mike Loe said deputies were on County Roads 7 and 79 (not to be confused with U.S. 79) monitoring the situation. People were asked to avoid the area, but there were no evacuations as a result of the release. Roadblocks were lifted at about 10:15 p.m. In an earlier statement issued by Albemarle Corporation, Mathern said the company’s primary concern was for employee safety. “Our employees are world-class experts at handling bromine, and they are working to mitigate the incident. We are coordinating our efforts with the Office of Emergency Management. We are also conducting off-site monitoring as appropriate,’” the statement said. The Albemarle facility makes a variety of industrial compounds from bromine, a chemical element that is extracted from South Arkansas’ rich underground brine water deposits. In its liquid state, it is red-brown in color and is both corrosive and toxic. It emits a strong odor that smells like chlorine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a warning about a life-threatening illness caused by "kissing bugs" or triatomines. According to the CDC, 300,000 people may be infected in the U.S. The "kissing bug" is typically spotted in Texas and Virginia but there have been sightings in Arkansas. These bugs can live indoors, in cracks and holes in the housing. They are typically found in the southern U.S., Mexico, Central American and South America.  Recently, a kissing bug was found inside Terry Summer's home in Jonesboro. "I noticed around the nightlight there was this big bug crawling, I had no idea what it was," Summers said.  She posted a picture of the bug on her Facebook page, then submitted a picture of the bug to Texas A&M University.  The university informed Summers the bug was in fact, a "kissing bug." She was told to put the bug in a plastic bag and put it in the freezer. Veterinarian Archie Ryan at Southwest Drive Animal Clinic said kissing bugs carry a parasite that can cause diseases in humans and animals. "There are common bugs in the Arkansas delta, it has been diagnosed in surrounding states although it is not prevalent," Ryan said. Kissing bugs can be found around woodpiles, debris in the yard and nests. There are 11 different species on kissing bugs but the CDC has only identified one in Arkansas. The bug can cause a moderate to severe allergic reaction. "We do have the bugs here, we have immigrants coming to America that could be infected with this disease," Ryan said.

More than 100 cases of rabies have been confirmed in Arkansas this year by state health and animal science officials, and this all comes in a year with a second "peak" season for the disease on the horizon. The Arkansas Department of Health's most recent report shows 105 confirmed rabies cases with 26 of those in Pulaski County and 13 in neighboring Lonoke County. The record number of rabies cases in 152 - set last year. State Public Health Veterinarian Susan Weinstein says March and April are the peak seasons for the disease to appear - but that a second season comes in late summer and early fall. Rabies is a fatal disease that can be prevented with a series of injections, but cannot be treated once symptoms appear.

August 1, 2014

On July 31 2014 at 9:56:39, Marie Trisollini officially filed as a candidate for Mayor of Camden AR. Mrs. Trisollini has owned the ATA Black Belt Academy in Camden for 20 years. This year, the name changed to South Arkansas Martial Arts when she changed martial arts affiliations and joined the Han Martial Arts Association. Mrs. Trisollini has been a community service volunteer over the years with Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of America, Community Clean Up Projects, and Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS). She was a Sunday School teacher and Assistant Youth Director at St. Mark United Methodist Church for several years. Mrs. Trisollini has been married to Leo Trisollini (Aerojet) for 40 years, and they have two adult children, Geoffrey Trisollini and Danilia Trisollini Carson, and a granddaughter, Gianna.

The Ouachita County Equalization Board will begin its regular annual session August 1st.

Any property owner or an agent of a property owner may apply in person, by petition or by letter to the secretary of the county equalization board on or before the third Monday in August of every year for the adjustment of the county assessor’s assessment on the property owner’s property or the property of another person. A property owner or an agent of the property owner may personally appear before the county equalization board or pursue the appeal by supplying written documentation as to the adjustment desired. The property owner or an agent of the property shall notify the secretary of the county equalization board, who shall schedule a hearing and, if practicable, the hearing shall be held at the convenience of the property owner. Please call the Ouachita County Clerk’s Office at 870-837-2220, nor later than Monday August 18, to schedule a hearing.  

A day after Magnolia-area leaders met to discuss prospects for bringing a state prison to South Arkansas, the Arkansas Board of Corrections formally requested interested communities to submit an “Expression of Interest” in the proposal by October 24. In a legal notice sent to certain Arkansas publications on Wednesday, the board and the Department of Correction asked for a donation of property “for location of an estimated $100 million correctional facility to initially house 1,000 maximum security inmates. The unit will be constructed and operated by the ADC and will be expandable to approximately 2,000 beds.” The notice said the prison will have approximately 250 jobs for the 1,000-bed unit and an annual operating budget of approximately $19 million. “The average salary for employees of an ADC institution is approximately $12.75 per hour. After expansion, the unit will employ approximately 500 individuals and will have an annual operating budget of approximately $38 million,” the notice said. “The Board of Corrections will select the site for location of the new facility. The location chosen should include at least 400 acres, be roughly square, and generally flat. The allowable net bearing capacity of the soils should be no less than 2,500 pounds per square foot. The site should preferably be in a Zone-One seismic area and be clear of any environmental or archaeological concerns or sacred grounds. A paved public roadway bordering one side of the site is desired. The site should be in close proximity to community and major medical resources and to adequate utilities (gas, electricity, water, and sewer) as well as to population centers for staff recruitment consideration and a university/college/community college for staff retention and development,” the notice said. The notice requested interested communities to submit a form indicating their interest to Mike Carraway at the Department of Correction in Pine Bluff. The form asks communities to provide general information, a profile of the local labor market, information about the prospective site and any environmental concerns, local support infrastructure, and other incentives that a community may offer.

 Josh Kee was recently promoted to Assistant Vice-President for Development at Southern Arkansas University. Effective July 1, 2014, Kee transitioned from his former position as Director of Major Gifts at SAU. He will now be responsible for the overall development activities of the University, and will continue to work closely with the SAU Foundation. “It is a great honor to have the opportunity to work with the alumni and friends of SAU to impact the lives of our students,” said Kee. “Through the generosity of our constituents, SAU will accomplish many goals and reach a great deal of success.” Kee said he is most excited to work with SAU’s loyal benefactors to accomplish the private fundraising goals of the University. He plans to continue a donor-centered approach to fundraising, which seeks to connect a donor’s interest with an institutional opportunity. “Increasing our private support is essential as we seek to improve programs and enhance our offerings. Gifts allow SAU to go beyond the basics and offer our students a first-rate education that we have become known for,” said Kee. The capital fundraising focus for this fiscal year will center on investment opportunities through SAU’s new engineering program. In doing so, Kee hopes to partner with those interested in ensuring SAU faculty and students have the most advanced technology and state-of-the-art equipment available. Kee added that another opportunity this year will be to enhance existing athletic facilities. SAU reinstating its track and field program, so an initial effort will be to resurface the SAU track. Also in athletics, Kee hopes to raise funds to enhance the new softball complex with the addition of a locker room and coaches' office facility, along with press-boxes for each softball field. Kee also hopes to increase the number of annual supporters to the University. “We emphasize education of alumni and current students on the importance and impacts of private philanthropy at SAU,” said Kee. Kee has worked with alumni and friends of the SAU, raising funds for the University since 2004. He is also a Mulerider alum, earning his bachelor’s degree in 2002. He is a 2014 Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District IV Board Member as Sponsorship Chair, and was a faculty member at the 2013 CASE Fall Fundraising Fundamentals/Introduction to Personal Solicitation Conference. He is a member of the SAU Staff Senate, on the Columbia County United Way Board, serving line coordinator for the Magnolia Blossom Festival, a past member of the Magnolia Chamber of Commerce Board, a past President of the Lions Club, on the Camp Canfield Board of Directors, and a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. He is also lead singer for Crosspoint, a Christian group that travels much of Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma. He is married to Bekah (Burton) Kee, a 2005 SAU graduate, and they have two children: Shelby, 5, and infant Rhett. Kee will be relocating in September from the SAU Welcome Center to Overstreet Hall. He can be reached at (870) 235-4321 or at

U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) reaffirmed his commitment to ensure veterans receive the high quality services they earned by supporting legislation to address the wait time crisis within the Department of Veterans (VA) health care system. “We must provide the timely, quality health care our veterans have earned and restore faith in the VA health system and that begins with accountability and following through with our promises,” Boozman said. “The long wait times for medical care, and the data manipulation some VA employees have engaged in to hide the problem, is absolutely unacceptable. This bill is a good step toward ensuring our veterans have access to VA’s high quality health care services and toward ending the culture of complacency within the department that has led to this crisis.”Highlights of H.R. 3230 include:
Allows veterans to see non-VA providers if VA’s wait time goals cannot be met or if the veteran lives 40 miles or more from facility;
Authorizes additional funds for VA to hire more doctors and nurses;
Gives the VA secretary authority to fire senior employees accused of mismanagement.

July 30, 2014

Deputy Jacob McClane was dispatched to 476 Ouachita Road 99 for a report of criminal mischief and criminal trespass. A man stated that someone had cut the cable to gain access into the property. He also said that the house on the property had been vacant for 6 months or longer, and there is a lot of scrap metal around the property. According to the man, nothing was missing at this time.

Lt. James Bolton along with Two Bayou and Chidester Fire Departments were dispatched to a fire in the woods at Ouachita 80 about 1 mile off of highway 278 W. Upon their arrival, a small woods fire was found along the roadway. Chidester Fire Department arrived shortly after and put out the fire.

Lt. James Bolton responded to a reported theft. Upon arrival he met with a man that stated during a recent storm, he had several trees blown over in his yard. He also said he had hired a contractor to cut up the trees and clean up the debris, and that he paid the man $750.00 in advance for his work. Now while the work was in process the home owner became very ill and was hospitalized; and his wife said she noticed some of his equipment was missing. The next morning she saw the contactor take the chain saw from under the carport and place it in his truck and then asked to borrow a battery charger. She said she didn’t stop him because she was afraid. Her husband stated that the contactor tried to pawn some of the property.

Deputy McClane responded to a residence for a property dispute. A man reported that he had been having problems with a neighbor. The man went on to explain that he owns some land across the road from the neighbor. He also stated he would hear the neighbor yell at him and even record him while he was doing maintainers on the property. According to the man, this dispute has been going on for many years.

Police are investigating an attempted kidnapping in Benton. The Benton Police Department (BNPD) says the incident happened earlier in the week, around 9:40 in the area of South St. at the intersection of Main Street. Police say a 16-year-old girl reported that a man she described as Hispanic got out of a truck and approached her as she walked on the sidewalk. She told police the man opened the passenger door of his vehicle and tried to get her to get in with him but she told him no. According to reports, the girl told officers the suspect tried to get her inside a second time before driving off alone. The girl told officers the suspect was speaking Spanish while motioning for her to get in, but she didn’t know what he said to her. Witnesses also reported seeing the incident in the area. He told police he stopped and started yelling at the suspect before the man drove off. The suspect vehicle is described as a single cab Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck with the upper portion painted purple or dark blue, and the lower portion painted red. Anyone with information related to this case is urged to call the Benton Police Department at (501) 778-1171 or (501) 315-TIPS.

The Columbia County Clerk’s Office recently announced that it has verified a sufficient number of signatures to place the question of legalizing alcohol sales in the county on the general election ballot, to take place November 4th. County Clerk Sherry Bell said that her office had verified and accepted the required number of 4,954 signatures. This number represents 38 percent of Columbia County’s registered voters whose signatures were required to place a question on the ballot. Vote for Growth in Columbia County, chaired by David Nelson, mounted a campaign in January to collect signatures to place the following question on the ballot: “Are you for or against the manufacture or sale of intoxicating liquors?” Vote for Growth turned over to Bell last Monday hundreds of pages of its petition, each with the names, addresses and signatures of up to five people. The group said it had more than 8,000 signatures supporting the measure. Bell’s office will continue to check names and dates of birth of people listed on 330 remaining petition pages to make sure they are registered to vote.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will be stopping through the south as part of another month of travel boosting Republican candidates. Christie is planning visits to more than half a dozen states in August, including Mississippi and Alabama. He has been traveling the country in his role as chair of the Republican Governors Association. On August 12, Christie will return to Maine to campaign for incumbent Gov. Paul LePage. The next day he'll head to Birmingham, Alabama to boost Gov. Robert Bentley, then to Biloxi, Mississippi for Gov. Phil Bryant. He will be in Kansas and Oklahoma next week for events with the governors there. He then goes to Arkansas on Aug. 27 for events in Fayetteville and Little Rock for the RGA and Republican gubernatorial nominee Asa Hutchinson.

July 29, 2014

Deputy LaDuke of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office spoke to a man at his residence regarding a missing lawn mower. The man stated that he had a push mower with a 6.5 hp Briggs and Stratton engine taken from behind his shed. He said he has no idea who would have stolen the mower but said it was taken in the past few days.

Deputy McClane was dispatched to the Ouachita County Emergency Room for an incident that occurred at the Wheel Club. McClane made contact with the victim who stated that and a man had gotten into a verbal altercation. She said that the man had been told to leave by the bouncer due to him being too intoxicated. She also stated that the man threw a beer bottle at her car. Now while the officer was interviewing the woman, she was also showing signs of intoxication and had scrapes on her lower right side.

Deputy McClane also responded to a report dealing with theft of firearm. The reporting party stated the last time he saw the firearm was two days ago. He also stated that the missing firearm was a 19-inch single shot HNR and it was equipped with a tactical stock that holds two rounds. The man did mention that he recently had the firearm dipped at Liquid Plate with white and black camo designs and that he owned it since he was 12-years-old. He couldn’t locate any serial numbers for the firearm.

Lt. James Bolton, was dispatched to a battery report. Upon arrival he made contact with a man who stated that around 4:00 pm he was at Quickies II on Highway 79. It was there that a man approached him, hit him in the mouth, then ran to a small pickup and sped away. The only injury was the busted lip.

Deputy LaDuke spoke to a woman at her home, as she wanted to make a report regarding her mailbox getting damaged. She said that the night before an unknown person was riding a four-wheeler down the road in front of her house and hit her mailbox. After a few minutes, they got the bike back running and drove off. The woman said it was too dark out to identify anyone.

Two men are being held by Louisiana authorities in connection with the theft of oilfield equipment in Columbia County. Ryan S. Savage of Minden, LA, and Salil Y. Tharyani, address not listed, are both awaiting extradition to Arkansas. The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office said that on Saturday, July 5, pumpers working for Quantum Resources chased a vehicle out of a well site on Columbia County Road 227. The vehicle was loaded with oilfield equipment. The pumpers described the vehicle to lawmen, including a license plate number. Metal valves were missing from the well site and a transmitter and radio antenna had been damaged. The license tag was traced to an individual in Minden, LA. Lawmen learned that two people – Savage and Tharyani -- had been arrested in Homer, LA, on July 6 in the same vehicle. Savage had already been released from jail but Columbia County investigators were able to interview Tharyani at the Claiborne Parish Detention Center. Investigators were able to tie more evidence to the case before interviewing Tharyani. The investigation also led to a warrant for Tharyani’s arrest. A hold was placed on him, and Tharyani is awaiting extradition to Arkansas. On Thursday, July 17, Columbia County investigators went to Webster Parish, LA, where Webster Parish investigators, along with Louisiana Probation and Parole, affected an arrest based on Columbia County warrants. During that arrest, Webster Parish deputies discovered Savage to be in possession of K2 and methamphetamines.

Southern Arkansas University’s Educational Talent Search Program is proud to announce Gregory Malik Williams of Waldo as the recipient of the 2014 TRIO Hall of Fame award. The TRIO Hall of Fame is a nationally recognized award. Each TRIO program selects one student annually who has excelled academically, volunteered time, and demonstrated outstanding leadership skills. The 16-year-old Williams, has been a very active member of SAU’s Educational Talent Search for two years. He recently completed his 11th grade year at Magnolia High School. Looking ahead at his academic future, Williams credits Talent Search for helping him identify his career and educational goals. “Talent Search has played a major role in helping me determine what I want to do in life and on informing me about scholarships for college,” said Williams. “I believe Talent Search is a great program that will benefit anyone working on building their future.” Williams believes a productive member of society should be well-rounded physically, mentally, and spiritually. Along with church, Talent Search, his educational experiences and sports, he feels he can achieve all of his goals and become that well-rounded individual. “I feel as though I am on the right path to having a bright future and being a successful person. I have no doubt that I will have all the necessary tools to build a successful career and have a great life,” said Williams. He is the son of Gregory and Shaunta Williams. Educational Talent Search program identifies, assists, and provides services to qualifying students with the goal of providing them the necessary support to graduate from college. All services provided by the Educational Talent Search program are free of charge. The SAU Educational Talent Search program services 600 students from surrounding targeted schools.

Summer Commencement ceremonies at Southern Arkansas University are scheduled for August 8, 2014, at the Reynolds Center Grand Hall. A total of 58 School of Graduate Studies candidates are slated to be honored at an 11 a.m. ceremony. Then at 1 p.m., 35 undergraduate candidates will be recognized from SAU’s four academic colleges. A graduation reception hosted by the Office of Alumni Relations for graduates, family, and faculty will take place from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Reynolds Center Blue and Gold Cafeteria. William “Bill” Stringfellow, chair of the SAU Board of Trustees, will provide the commencement address for both ceremonies. He graduated from SAU in 1959 with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a double major in accounting and economics. He was recognized as a Distinguished SAU Alumni in 2007. He retired as Executive Vice President and General Counsel in 2005 from Rebsamen Insurance, Inc., in Little Rock. During his 30 years of service, he established two major profit centers. From 1977-79, he took a leave of absence from Rebsamen after being appointed by Governor David Pryor to serve an umbrella department for 13 state regulatory and natural resource agencies. From 1975-77, he was appointed by Pryor and served as Chairman of the Arkansas Commemorative Commission and adviser to the Arkansas Department of Natural and Cultural Heritage. Prior to Rebsamen, he worked for 13 years at The Travelers Insurance Company, during which he obtained a law degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law. He is also an Education for Ministry graduate from the University of the South Theological Seminary, a four-year program for laity. He served the United States Air Force from 1953-1961, with the first four years being active duty. He was a crew chief and flight engineer on cargo and troop carrier aircraft, where he attained the rank of Staff Sergeant. He and his wife, Betty, have been married more than 60 years. They have been members of Christ Episcopal Church in downtown Little Rock for more than 50 years. They are also members of the SAU Foundation Honors and Legacy Societies in recognition of their financial and personal support of SAU. He has also served several years on the SAU Foundation Board of Governors, where he has held the positions of secretary and president. He was appointed in January 2011 by Governor Mike Beebe to a five-year term on the SAU Board of Trustees.

July 28, 2014

It appears that the Columbia County Clerk’s Office will verify a sufficient number of signatures to place the wet-dry issue on the November 4 general election ballot. County Clerk Sherry Bell recently said that her staff has processed 3,975 signatures on petitions asking for an election to allow the sale of intoxicating beverages in the county. Of those signatures, a total of 781 signatures, which is 19.64 percent, have been rejected as being the names of people who are not registered to vote in Columbia County, who don’t live in Columbia County, or whose printed name and signature could not be read. With 3,194 valid signatures in hand, the petition drive needs 1,760 more valid signatures to reach 4,954. That’s the number representing 38 percent of the county’s registered voters, and the number needed to place the issue on the ballot. Vote for Growth in Columbia County, the organization that is promoting the liquor election, said it turned in more than 8,000 signatures to Bell’s office last week. Presuming that about half of the signatures yet to be verified are valid, Vote for Growth should meet the signature requirement. The county clerk said her office doesn't plan to verify additional signatures once the 4,954 requirement is reached.

After a recent shooting in Pine Bluff, a 21-year-old man is dead, his father, uncle and another man are hurt. Cedric Ginger of Sheridan died at a Pine Bluff Hospital. 46-year-old Leroy Ginger, 36-year-old Kevin Ginger, and 40-year-old Kevin Briggs were also shot during this. Officers of the Pine Bluff Police Department responded to the area of 3rd Avenue and Redbud Street shortly before 11:30 p.m. Saturday. Pine Bluff police arrested 24-year-old Darius Bryant after gathering witness statements and a short search. Police say all of the victims were at a neighborhood reunion. There was a large group of people there when the shooting took place.  The shooting began on the northwest corner of the intersection in a grassy lot. According to police, this has been the ninth murder in Pine Bluff this year.

Harmony Grove High School (Grades 7-12) will have Registration for the 2014-2015 school year for CURRENT students who have been attending Harmony Grove on Wednesday, August 6th from 10:00 am - 6:00 pm at the auditorium. After completing all registration forms (some of which require parent signatures,) students will be given his/her schedule and locker assignment. Student fines may be paid at this time. New 7-12 Grade students to the Harmony Grove School District should call Rachell Sorrells, Counselor, to schedule an appointment on the dates of August 4 (Monday) & August 5 (Tuesday). Contact her for an appointment at 574-0656 or at 687-3524.

July 25, 2014

Officer Jimmy Plyler conducted a traffic stop on California Avenue at Willie B. Cole on a white Hyundai with one working headlight. The officer then made contact with the driver, who immediately became hostile stating that the police were harassing him and that he wasn’t doing anything wrong. A driver’s license warrant was checked and it revealed that the man had a suspended license. The passenger was arrested for an outstanding warrant and the vehicle was towed from the scene. He was then transported to the station were booking procedures were completed.

Officer Plyler was sitting on Highway 278 near Bradley Ferry Road. The officer observed a dark blue expedition approaching from behind at a high rate of speed. The vehicles speed was clocked and a traffic stop was conducted. When the officer made contact with the man he could tell that his eyes were bloodshot and watery. When asked if he had consumed any alcohol, then man stated that he had. The man then completed a series of Field Sobriety Tests, which he ultimately failed. He was then taken into custody for DWI. Kelly’s Wrecker was called to take possession of the expedition.

Sgt. Justin Eastam and Officer May took a call at Walmart for dogs in the car without any air condition. Upon arrival the officer’s made contacts with the pups, which were by an older Ford Explorer red in color. The pups were out of the vehicle being fed water by other citizens. A few minutes after the officer’s arrived, the owner of the vehicle and two passengers exited Walmart and approached the vehicle. One of the passengers was known to be on the store ban-list and was taken into custody. The dogs were taken care of.

A $4,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the recapture escaped killer 47-year-old, Timothy Buffington. Buffington walked off during his trustee duties at the Randall L. Williams Unit of the Arkansas Department of Correction (ADC) in Pine Bluff back on June 21. Officials with the ADC say investigators are still working to develop new information and generate tips from the public. The last time Buffington was seen was on surveillance video when he made his escape.

Leaders of the Magnolia-area have begun thinking about the incentives the community could offer toward construction of a new state prison. Earlier this week, members of the Magnolia Economic Development Corporation on learned that a meeting was held Tuesday in which an initial conversation was held about a possible bid. The Arkansas Department of Correction has told legislators that it wants authority to build a $100 million, 1,000-bed, 500-employee prison. It will soon begin soliciting proposals from communities that want to serve as the host. Magnolia Mayor Parnell Vann said that Camden and El Dorado are among cities that have organized to make bids. Vann said that according to a DOC official, any bid will have to provide the following to make the “short list.”
-- 400 or more acres of land that’s not likely to flood.
-- Municipal water service. The prison will process its own sewage.
“The more you give, the sweeter the pie, the more they will look at you,” said Vann. And there’s no doubt that ultimately, the decision will boil down to politics. South Central Arkansas does not have a state prison although there are many state prisoners from the region. The region loses money every time a family travels out of the area to visit an inmate, and there needs to be regard for the concept that an area prison helps local families who have a family member in a penitentiary, Vann said.

July 24, 2014

A Magnolia man has been charged with arson in connection with three fires that have destroyed unoccupied houses in eastern Columbia County. Sheriff Mike Loe said that Ryan Keith Evans, 25, was arrested on Wednesday. He is being held at the Columbia County Justice and Detention Facility under $100,000 bond, awaiting his first court appearance. Two of the fires took place late last week. The first fire was at a house at 300 County Road 440, north of County Road 38 in the Ebenezer community. The house is owned by Jan Crawford of Valparaiso, FL. The second fire was at a house at 311 County Road 49, about a mile east of Arkansas 98. The frame and brick veneer house is owned by Tommy and Debby Jacks.

The life of African American trailblazer and Southern Arkansas University icon Dr. Kathleen (Jordan) Mallory is being celebrated upon news of her parting from this world. “Dr. Mallory was a compassionate fighter for equality all around her. It did not matter who the person was, she took on the fight as if it was her own,” said Cledis Stuart, SAU’s associate dean for multiculturalism and diversity. “She was a true drum major for the rights of others. She will be sorely missed, but her legacy will live forever.” According to SAU Historian Dr. James Willis, Mallory was one of the first two black students to attend classes at the then Southern State College (SSC) while she was teaching at Stephens and acquiring her M.Ed. from the University of Arkansas. In 1971, Mallory was Hope-Hempstead County Teacher of the Year. She taught in various public schools in Crossett, Camden, and Hope as well as at Mississippi Valley College, being a proponent for education and student success. She even taught former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. On August 29, 1974, she became the first black faculty member in the general education program at SSC. “[Mallory’s] English class that day was a long time coming—twenty years after Brown v. Board of Education (1954) and ten years since the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” wrote Willis in Southern Arkansas University: The Mulerider School’s Centennial History, 1909-2009. “It was as much a landmark in SSC’s history as those major turning points were in that of the nation.” Willis pointed out elements of irony in her appointment to the faculty of SSC, such as her being the daughter of sharecroppers just like many of SSC’s first black students. She picked cotton as a child growing up near Carlisle, Ark., and attended high school at Fargo Agriculture School. While teaching, serving on committees, attending conferences, giving papers, publishing, and raising two daughters, Mallory found the time and commitment to continue her own learning. That quest culminated in 1983 when she received a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Dr. Mallory’s extraordinary contributions to SAU and to issues of English Curriculum improvement in Arkansas and the United States are far too numerous to list. Highlights include the following: her directorship of the National Writing Project program that led to her founding of, and securing endowed funding for, the annual Youth Writing Festival hosted by SAU and her years of service to the curriculum activities of the National Council of Teachers of English which included a two-year term on the Commission on the English Curriculum of the NCTE; her presidency of the Higher Education Section of the Arkansas Education Association; and her role on the Advisory Committee for the Voices & Visions TV series on American poets. The Kathleen Mallory Distinguished Lecture Series honors Mallory’s many contributions to Southern Arkansas University, to the community, and to the state of Arkansas by bringing scholars working in the fields of African Diasporic and African American Studies to SAU to share their scholarship with students, faculty, staff, and members of the community. To contribute to the Kathleen Mallory Distinguished Lecture Series endowment fund, please contact the SAU Foundation at 870-235-4078 or visit

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel’s Consumer Protection website,, has been recognized by a national organization of attorneys general as the best in the nation for consumer outreach. The Conference of Western Attorneys General (CWAG) presented McDaniel with a 2014 “Waggy” Website Award in the Consumer Outreach category at the organization’s annual conference in Park City, Utah, on Tuesday. was selected as the best website for consumer outreach among those from all 50 states and territories for its comprehensive consumer content and ease of use. McDaniel launched the “Got Your Back, Arkansas” initiative in 2012. A component of that initiative is, which contains tips, tools and resources for consumers in a format in which consumers can quickly locate information that addresses their concerns. The “Waggy” selection committee, made up of web and information technology experts from across the country, praised the site for its memorable slogan and its look and feel. The committee said that “has the information you need and makes it easy to find it.” The Consumer Outreach award was one of several "Waggy" awards presented to AG's offices. “This award is further evidence that is a model for the nation in our efforts to educate consumers and fight fraud,” McDaniel said. “We are proud to provide this tool to Arkansas consumers, and we are glad to be able to share it with other attorneys general and consumer protection agencies across the country that want to improve their consumer outreach.” The “Got Your Back, Arkansas” initiative spawned a similar program in neighboring Kansas. Last month, McDaniel gave a presentation about “Got Your Back, Arkansas” to his colleagues at the National Association of Attorneys General summer meeting, and at least five other states are now planning to emulate the initiative’s success. McDaniel has made consumer protection a priority of his tenure as Attorney General. Since 2007, the Consumer Protection Division has helped consumers recover more than $12.7 million. The 2014 “Waggy” is the third won by McDaniel’s office. Last year, Arkansas won the “Waggy” for Best Website Redesign for The state won the Consumer Outreach “Waggy” in 2011.

Today, Walmart (NYSE: WMT) announced that 53-year-old Greg Foran, has been promoted to President and CEO of Walmart U.S. Foran succeeds Bill Simon who has been in the role since June 2010 and will be transitioning out of the company. 
Foran will assume his responsibilities on August 9 and will report directly to Walmart President and CEO, Doug McMillon. Simon will be available on a consulting basis for the next six months to ensure a seamless transition. “Greg is one of the most talented retailers I’ve ever met. His depth of knowledge and global experience will bring a fresh perspective to our business,” said McMillon. “His passion for fresh food, experience in general merchandise and commitment to e-commerce will help us serve our customers even more effectively for years to come.” “During Bill’s eight years of service to Walmart, his passion for our mission, dedication to our associates and our customers, and innovative thinking pushed us forward,” said McMillon. “From the very beginning, his vision led us to lower the cost of health care through our $4 prescription offering. And, most recently, he put us on a path to future growth with small formats and efforts that integrate digital and physical retail.” A 35-year retail veteran, Foran joined the company in October 2011 and became President and CEO of Walmart China in March 2012. While leading the business in China, the team made significant progress with its assortment, pricing, store operations and compliance as Foran led strategic investments in the supply chain and improved the store portfolio. He was promoted to President and CEO of Walmart Asia earlier this year. Prior to Walmart, Foran held a number of roles with Woolworths, the leading retailer in Australia and New Zealand. He served as the managing director of supermarkets, liquor and petrol with responsibility for more than $40 billion in sales at that time. Under Foran’s leadership, the business grew sales and market share in a strong competitive market. Earlier in his career, Foran served as general manager of Big W, Woolworth’s industry leading discount store business and as general manager of Dick Smith Electronics. “I’ve worked closely with Greg for the past few years and I’ve seen firsthand his passion for retail. I’m confident that Greg’s strong leadership skills and alignment with our culture will serve our customers and associates well,” McMillon said. “I’m excited about what he will bring to this important part of our business.”  “Being asked to lead the Walmart U.S. business is a privilege that I don’t take lightly,” said Foran. “I am excited to get started. The needs of our customers are changing dramatically and we have an enormous opportunity to serve them in new and different ways. We must be fierce advocates for our customers, work meticulously to exceed their expectations and earn their trust every day.” During his tenure as President and CEO of Walmart U.S., Simon led a turnaround that reinvigorated the company’s focus on everyday low costs, everyday low prices and an increased product assortment. He also created more career opportunities for associates, launched a U.S. manufacturing revitalization and committed the company to hire more U.S. veterans. “Whether we’re helping associates earn more for their families or providing customers affordable prices so they can put food on the dinner table, Walmart is a company that is, truly, changing people’s lives,” said Simon. “It’s been an honor to work for Walmart over the past eight years, and this felt like the right time to move on and focus on my next opportunity. I look forward to helping the company as much as I can over the next six months.” The company will announce Foran’s successor as President and CEO of Walmart Asia at a later date.

July 23, 2014

Deputy McClane of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, along with Deputy Bailey, and Arkansas State Trooper Billy Walker and EMS responded to an accident in the north bound just north of the Louann exit. The reporting party stated a vehicle traveling northbound struck two cyclist. Upon arrival medical personnel immediately began attending to the cyclist, which was a married couple. The driver of the vehicle was driving a 2008Gray Nissan Altima. The woman cyclist was transported to the Union County Medical Center to seek treatment for the injuries, which are unknown at this time. Trooper Walker investigated the scene. Investigation is still underway.  

Deputy Bryant Carman responded to Jay’s Country Store on Hwy. 79 South in reference to motor fuel theft. The officer spoke with the cashier who stated that the suspect was a black male driving a Toyota Passenger Car, green in color, and no license plate. She stated the vehicle also had a faded hood and some rust. The suspect stole $36.00 in motor fuel and left traveling toward the Fairview area on Hwy. 376. A search was made, but the suspect was unable to be identified at this time.

Lt. James Bolton was dispatched for a theft report. The officer made contact with a man, who stated when he arrived home that evening, he found a laptop computer and digital camera were missing from his home. The man believes the items were taken by his son, because he was seen leaving towards Bearden early in the day with backpack with a rectangular shape

Deputy Rust Bailey responded to a car accident on 79B. Upon arrival he spoke with a man who stated that a car met him on the bridge in his lane of traffic, he swerved causing him to hit the guard rail. Luckily the damage was minor and there were no injuries reported. Buddy’s Wrecker took possession of the vehicle.  

For those of you who haven’t heard yet, Kathy Lee is leaving the City of Camden, and taking a job in New York. The City of Camden is having a small reception for her on Friday afternoon here at City Hall in the Conference Room.  It will be from 2:00pm until 4:00pm. The Camden Community would like to wish Kathy Lee the best on her new job and let her know she will surely be missed.

A tiny Asian insect, known as the emerald ash borer, is responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of trees since its accidental introduction to the United States in 2002, has been confirmed in Hot Spring, Clark and Nevada counties, according to the state Plant Board and the Arkansas Agriculture Department. What happens next will be of concern to homeowners, policy makers and baseball fans. The discovery may mean adding Arkansas to a federal quarantine that bars movement of firewood and nursery stock out of the quarantined area to slow the insect’s spread. Tamara Walkingstick, Associate Director of the Arkansas Forest Resources Center said, “I think the emerald ash borer’s impact will be huge,”. In states already afflicted by the borer, ash trees are being cut down and removed to prevent the insect’s spread. “Shade tree loss and cost of removal in urban forests could tally in the millions of dollars,” she said. “There goes the one ash tree in my front pasture,” said Jim Robbins, an extension horticulture specialist-ornamentals, for the University Of Arkansas System Division Of Agriculture. There’s another cost too. “You like baseball? Wood bats are made from ash. They do have commercial value,” said Jon Barry, extension forester with the University Of Arkansas System Division Of Agriculture. Since 2009, the Arkansas State Plant Board and the USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine, have been conducting surveys to detect the borer, using traps and inspecting ash trees for signs of infestation. The insect, a mere half-inch long, has expanded its range by hundreds of miles during its 12 years in the U.S. It was first discovered in southeastern Michigan. In 2008, it was found in southeastern Missouri. While its appearance in Arkansas was not unexpected, “the only surprise was finding it first in south Arkansas,” Barry said. “The emerald ash borer should be able to spread only a few miles a year by flight, but it has been spreading by leaps and bounds instead. How has this occurred?” Barry said. “The most likely culprit in the spread of the borer is us -- people. People move firewood, sometimes firewood that is infested with the emerald ash borer, and in the process move the pest.” Firewood should be sourced locally and burned locally, state officials said.

Signs of infestation include:
-- Multiple jagged holes excavated by woodpeckers feeding on ash borer larvae.
-- D-shaped exit holes left by emerging adult beetles.
 Multiple dying branches with wilted leaves, especially when accompanied by new limbs sprouting near the base of the tree.
--Canopy dieback from top of the tree.
 Sprouts emerging from roots.
-- Larval tunnels or galleries immediately under the bark of dying ash trees.
Barry said if any of these signs of infestation appear, contact a county extension agent or call the Arkansas State Plant Board at 501-225-1598. State and USDA APHIS PPQ personnel will now survey trees in the areas surrounding the initial finds to determine the extent of the emerald ash borer infestation. It is expected that a federal quarantine will be expanded to include parts of Arkansas and potentially the entire state.

Arkansas Schools are now following through with new requirements for all students with dyslexia.
These requirements come after Arkansas lawmakers approved a measure ensuring that all children with the disability would have proper resources in public schools. During the fall, every Kindergarten through second grade will get tested for dyslexia. The tests will determine if a child may be at risk for literary problems. Nettleton Special Education Director, Lynn Cooper said "I've had a lot of parents tell me their kids are seeing success in reading. Some of them were already at a point where they hated school and hated reading and once they started in the program, working with one of the intervention programs we use, than they start liking to read,". Shortly after the school year starts, so will screenings, however, there is a concern is that testing may vary between school districts, and accommodations could be different as well.

Many of us with dogs often wonder, do they really understand what we say and feel? Researchers in Atlanta are looking to prove dogs may actually be more like us, and smarter than we think. Dr. Greg Berns at Emory University says the more dogs he studies in his one-of-a-kind "dog project," the more similarities he sees between a dog brain and a human brain. "They are intelligent, they are emotional, and they've been ignored in terms of research and understanding how they think. So, we are all interested in trying to develop ways to understand how their minds work," said Berns. They do their research by using an MRI, and through those tests, they've already found dogs respond to reward and smell, noting where in the brain they have positive or negative signals. Berns says understanding how a dog's brain works can only help make dogs happier and more productive.

July 22, 2014

Officer George Ferguson, was dispatched to Wal-Mart for a shoplifter. Upon his arrival the officer spoke with manager Joanna Loe. She stated that a man cane into the store and tried to steal two floor box fans and some more items. She stated that he was stopped at the front door, but the alarms still went off. The man walked across the parking lot toward Olive and Highland. He was arrested for shoplifting, and later released on a criminal citation.

Lt. Robertson, of the Camden Police Department, was patrolling the North Adams Street area. Robertson observed a female walking on Adams Street near the Parole Office. As the officer stopped at the intersection of Adams and Van Buren he observed the woman stumbling from side to side into the street. As she walked her balance was so unsteady, she would stumble from the curb to the middle of the traffic lane and back. The officer then stopped and made contact with the woman, and could smell a strong odor of intoxicants coming from her. She stated that she had two drinks earlier in the night. She also stated she was walking to Ft. Lookout. Based on the Officer’s observations, he felt she was a danger to herself if allowed to continue walking. She was taken into custody for public intoxication.

Officer Jimmy Plyler was sitting at the intersection of Rogers and Monroe Street. He observed a silver Toyota coming towards him on Rogers Street. The vehicle then made a turn, but did not activate the turn signal. A traffic stop was then conducted. When the officer made contact with the suspects, the driver’s eyes were bloodshot and watery. When asked how much alcohol he had consumed, the man stated that he had one beer. Two Styrofoam cups were located in the console containing an alcoholic mixture. The man refused to take any tests, saying “just take me to jail”. He then refused the tests again and was taken in for DWI. He was also transported to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office  until the intoxicants wore off.

A gate has been installed on the west side of the Columbia County Library to prevent the driveway that serves the library and White Dove Church from being used as a through street connecting North Jackson and North Washington. Library Director, Rhonda Rolen, has issued a statement to let the public know that the gate will be closed effective Monday, August 4. “Even with bumps under the covered area that are supposed to be a deterrent, the speed of vehicles coming through the parking lot is alarming to me, especially when I know that children and the elderly are entering and exiting the building quite often,” Rolen said in a statement. “An example of this occurred recently when as part of our summer reading program the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission brought its mobile aquarium to the library and parked it underneath the covered area. With many, many children outside looking at the fish from both sides, a large delivery truck decided to use the parking lot as a shortcut directly beside where the children stood. I watched the vehicle and there was no delivery made near the library so there was no actual need for the vehicle to even be in the parking lot. It would have been very easy for a small child to dart in front of the truck because they were excited about seeing the fish and were not really noticing the traffic at all,” Rolen said. “It takes only a minute to connect from Washington Street to Jackson Street at its intersection near the Wharton Nursing Building on SAU’s campus. This should not be inconvenient for anyone especially when considering it is well worth the safety of a child to use designated roads,” Rolen said. As of August 4, the gate will be closed and there will be no through traffic allowed. “We are fortunate to have plenty of parking for the library in the front of the building but in case there is ever a need for overflow parking, our neighbor White Dove Church will allow us to park in its lot and we will reciprocate when they have the same need. The gate has an area for pedestrians to use,” she said. Rolen thanked County Judge Larry Atkinson and his work crew for their help with the gate, and also thanked Library Board President John White.

Five companies have filed to sell individual health insurance plans on Arkansas’s Federally-facilitated Health Insurance Marketplace for the 2015 plan year. The issuers filing for qualified health plan certification are Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield, Celtic Insurance Company, National Blue Cross Blue Shield Multi-State, QCH Health Plan Inc., and QualChoice Life and Health Insurance Company, Inc. The companies submitted plans and service areas for 2015, which will be carefully reviewed for adequacy. The Arkansas Healthcare Independence Act of 2013 requires that consumers in each of Arkansas’s 75 counties have a choice among at least two health insurance issuers. Commissioner Jay Bradford said, “It has always been my desire, and in the best interest of the Arkansas consumer, to have quality competition and choice on the Health Insurance Marketplace.” Bradford said he was pleased with the level of participation the industry continues to show. “While the plans have not yet been approved and certified by The Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO), I am confident Arkansas consumers in all 75 counties will now have more choice among health plans and issuers,” said Bradford.
The Arkansas Insurance Department will review health plans for compliance with state and federal requirements through August. Plans approved by the state will be submitted to CCIIO for certification to be sold on the Federally-facilitated Health Insurance Marketplace in Arkansas.

A Lonoke County man arrested last year by agents with the Attorney General’s Cyber Crimes Unit has been sentenced to 60 years in prison. 30-year-old, Ryan David Oyen, of Cabot pleaded guilty Monday to 20 counts of distributing, possessing or viewing matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child. Lonoke County Circuit Court Judge Sandy Huckabee handed down the 60-year sentence, with an additional 20-year suspended sentence. Oyen was being held in the Lonoke County Detention Center awaiting transfer to the Arkansas Department of Correction. Oyen will be required to register as a sex offender. “Arkansas children and families are safer when individuals who exploit our children are held accountable for their crimes,” McDaniel said. “This man had more than 16,000 images of child pornography on his computer. I am glad he will be unable to continue preying upon our most vulnerable citizens.” Oyen was arrested in July 2013 after agents with the Cyber Crimes Unit executed a search warrant at his residence in Cabot. Special Agent Mike Lett had begun investigating Oyen a month earlier after suspecting that child pornography was being possessed at his residence. The Cabot Police Department and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations assisted in the investigation and arrest of Oyen. Assistant Attorney General Will Jones was appointed as special prosecutor in the case by 23rd Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Chuck Graham.

The American Red Cross is facing a looming blood shortage, leading to an urgent need for donors of all blood types to roll up a sleeve and give. Donations through the Red Cross are down approximately 8 percent over the last 11 weeks, resulting in about 80,000 fewer donations than expected. The number of donors continues to decline, and the shortfall is significant enough that the Red Cross could experience an emergency situation in the coming weeks. In addition, the Independence Day holiday falling on Friday reduced the number of blood drives scheduled in early July. Many sponsors did not host drives because people took vacations either over the long weekend or for the entire week. In an average summer week, about 4,400 Red Cross blood drives are scheduled, compared to Independence Day week when only 3,450 drives occurred. “Hospital patients continue to need lifesaving blood this summer, and they’re relying on the generosity of volunteer donors to give them hope in the days and weeks ahead,” said Scott Caswell, CEO for the Red Cross Greater Ozarks-Arkansas Blood Services Region. “Please, consider giving the gift of life. Each day donations come up short, less blood is available for patients in need  and you never know when it could be your loved one needing blood.” Eligible donors with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood are especially needed at this time. Type O negative is the universal blood type and can be transfused to anyone who needs blood. Types A negative and B negative can be transfused to Rh positive or negative patients. There is also an urgent need for platelet donations. Platelets – a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients, burn victims and bone marrow recipients must be transfused within five days of donation, so it’s important to have a steady supply of platelets on hand. The summer can be among the most challenging times of the year for blood and platelet donations as regular donors delay giving while they take vacations and participate in summer activities. When school is out of session for summer break, donations from those who normally give on campus tend to drop by more than 80 percent. Every day this summer is a chance to give hope to patients in need and their network of family and friends. July 13 marked the half-way point for the Red Cross campaign “100 Days of Summer. 100 Days of Hope.” Blood and platelet donations are needed now and for the rest of the summer. Individuals who donated blood earlier this summer may now be eligible to donate again and help patients such as accident victims, heart surgery patients and children with blood disorders.

July 21, 2014

A swearing-in ceremony for the new Southern Arkansas University Police Chief Anthony Williams will be at 1 p.m. on Monday, July 21, 2014, at the SAU Reynolds Center Foundation Hall. The community is invited to attend in welcoming Williams. Chief Williams comes to SAU with 30 years of law enforcement experience from the city of Dallas. From 1999 until just two days before starting at SAU, he worked as a lieutenant with the Dallas Police Department. A part of his responsibilities included being commander of the evening shift for the Southwest Patrol Operation Divisions where he supervised a staff of 143 officers and civilian personnel. “I have been asked, ‘How do you transition from a big city department to a small city police force?’ said Williams. “I just answer, ‘With a UHaul.’” He is also looking forward to the university environment as he has an advanced degree in education and is a former college professor. He earned a Master of Science in Educational Administration from Prairie View A&M University with a 4.0 GPA in 2004. His Master’s thesis was entitled “Police and School Community Relations.” During his first three months at SAU, Williams looks forward to getting his Arkansas police license through an accelerated academy program in East Camden, as well as going through Arkansas’ specialized chief training program. He also wants to learn as much as he can about SAU. “This is an exciting learning experience for me. My first day I got to sit in on an SAU BAM student orientation program, and I was just as attentive as the incoming students,” said Williams. Along with Williams’ extensive police, educational and training background, he is also active in many professional organizations. He is a past vice president of the Texas Police Officer’s Association. He is a program advisory committee member for the Criminal Justice Program at ITT Technical Institute and an advisory board member and trainer for the Victim Chaplain and Counseling Association of America. He is also a Past President Emeritus of the Alumni Association at the Institute for Law Enforcement Administration. His list of awards is also extensive with more than 200 accolades. It includes a 25-year Safe Driving Award and a 25-year Perfect Attendance Award. He has earned two Life-Saving Awards, a Police Commendation, a Civic Achievement Award, Kids and Cops Award, and an Excellence in Service Award for the City of Dallas. He has several published professional writings that include “Christian Management in Organizations” and “School and Community Relations.” He is the father of Anthony Williams, II, and is an active member of the Inspiring Body of Christ Church. He is also a volunteer and trainer with Victim Relief Ministries since 1999. Williams succeeds Eric Plummer who left the University for a similar position in North Dakota in October 2012. Since that time, Lieutenant Boyd Good has served as interim police chief.

Award-winning graphic and visual artist Mike Means offers a two day class on basic Photoshop for beginners for teens and adults.  The class will meet on August 4 and 5, from 6pm to 8pm.  Means will cover navigating through the Tools and Palettes and basic color correction in the Photoshop program as well as a fun tour of some neat aspects and filters available to create art of just improve simple pics.  For the cost of the 2 day workshop, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474. Means also offers a “Design in Photoshop” 13 week course for students in grades 4-9 entitled.  “Drawing with Digital Tools” introduces students to the fun of Adobe Photoshop by creating artwork using the design tools and filtering techniques of the program.  Students will learn to create art as easily as using a pencil or brush with the lab’s Wacom Tablets.  For students entering grades 4-6, the class meets on Mondays from 3:45 until 4:45 beginning the week of August 25.  For students entering the grades 7-9, the class meets on Mondays from 4:45 until 5:45 beginning the week of August 25.  Cost of the class is $125 for SAAC members and $145 for the general public.  Each class is limited to a maximum of seven students. Means is also on hand to assist anyone with their Photoshop project during “Open Studio Monday Nights.”  The open studio meets in the computer lab every Monday night from 6-8pm. Cost of the open studio is $10 per session. No registration is required for the “Open Studio Monday Nights.” Means is also available for private tutoring in Photoshop.  Contact the instructor to schedule. For more information about computer Art classes offered, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474 or visit

White & Blue Lion, Inc., of City of Industry, Calif., is recalling all lots of tattoo inks and tattoo needles due to harmful bacterial contamination. Use of these products may cause a potentially life-threatening bloodstream infection. This recall includes all tattoo ink, tattoo needles, tubes, ink cups and kits distributed by White & Blue Lion. The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) is not aware of any licensed body art establishments in the state that use this product; however, some unlicensed tattoo artists in the state may have purchased and used this product. ADH reminds the public that unlicensed facilities or artists have not been inspected, tested, or demonstrated knowledge of universal precautions for the prevention of blood borne diseases. For more information about the recall, please visit Consumers with questions may call 1-626-586-3485, Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. CST. Properly licensed establishments and artists are regulated by ADH. For information about Arkansas law concerning body art, facilities, or artists, please contact ADH at 501-661-2171 or visit

A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that the 2.78 million visitors to Arkansas’s national parks in 2013 spent $144.3 million and supported 2,000 jobs in the state. “The national parks of Arkansas attract millions of visitors a year from across the country and around the world,” said Patricia Trapp, acting director of NPS’s Midwest Region, which includes Arkansas and 12 more states. “Whether it’s a day trip of a long family vacation, they come for a great experience -- and they end up spending a little money along the way, too. This new report confirms that national park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service. This reality makes parks tourism an important factor in the Arkansas economy as well. It’s a result we all can support.” Arkansas’s national parks are Pea Ridge National Military Park, Fort Smith National Historic Site, Hot Springs National Park, Buffalo National River, Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, Arkansas Post National Memorial, and President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site. The peer-reviewed NPS visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas, Christopher Huber and Lynne Koontz of the National Park Service. The national report shows $14.6 billion of direct spending by 273.6 million park visitors in “gateway” communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported more about 237,000 jobs nationally -- 197,000 them in park gateway communities -- and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.5 billion. The 2013 national economic benefit figures differ from the 2012 results, which were reported earlier this year. In 2012, Arkansas’s national parks attracted 2.72 million visitors who spent $138.9 million supporting more than 2,000 jobs in the state. While Arkansas park visits and economic impact increased in 2013, nationally, park visitation and economic impact declined. The authors of the report said the 16-day government shutdown in October 2013 accounted for most of the national decline in park visitation. The economists also cited inflation adjustments for differences between visitation and visitor spending, jobs supported and overall effect on the U.S. economy. According to the national report, most park visitor spending was for lodging (30.3 percent), food and beverages (27.3 percent), gas and oil (12.1 percent), and admissions and fees (10.3 percent). Souvenirs and other expenses accounted for the remaining 10 percent. Nationally, the largest jobs categories supported by visitor spending were restaurants and bars (50,000 jobs) and lodging (38,000 jobs).

July 17, 2014

Officer Jimmy Plyler was investigating a fight call at Tebo’s Bar. The officer stopped a white Pontiac on Polk Street containing the subjects involved in the altercation as it left the Tebo’s parking lot. The officer did make contact with the driver and advised her for the reason for the stop. After speaking with witnesses at the bar about the incident it was determined the woman had backed into a car in the parking lot and left the scene. When asked how alcohol she had consumed; she stated she had a mixed drink 4 hours prior. The woman’s eyes were bloodshot and watery. I strong smell of intoxicants was coming from her person, and only grew stronger as she spoke. Based on tests that were given, the woman was arrested for DWI. The next wrecker on the rotation was notified and McKelvin’s arrived a short time after and took possession of the vehicle. A vehicle impound sheet was completed and turned into dispatch. The woman was transported to the station and booking procedures were completed.

Officer Nathan Clayton was on a routine patrol traveling on Elm Street near Willow. The Officer observed a gold colored Kia Optima that appeared to be above the speed limit. The speed radar gun confirmed that the car was traveling 42 miles per hour in a 30 miles per hour speed zone.
A traffic stop was conducted at California & Grinstead at California Food Mart. When the officer asked for identification and proof of insurance, the man stated that his name was Donovan Jay Shaw. Dispatched confirmed that there was no such return on that subject. The man again stated that was his name, however dispatched confirmed again that it indeed was not. Once the officer found an Arkansas ID with a different, the man then said that was his name, but people call him Donovan. He was then advised that he was under arrest for obstruction of governmental properties.  He was then given criminal citations for speeding, obstruction of governmental operations, no driver’s license or proof of insurance. McKelvin’s Wrecker were dispatched shortly after.

Officer Jimmy Plyler was called to assist Officer John Parker with a possible DWI stop.
When Plyler arrived on the scene, he was advised by Parker that he had stopped the vehicle for violating the loud noise ordinance and believed the driver was intoxicated. When the officer’s made contact with the man, his speech was slurred; his eyes were also bloodshot and watery.
The man’s moves were much uncoordinated. He was then asked to take a series of Field Sobriety Test’s; which he ultimately failed. He was then taken into custody for DWI. He was transported to the station and booking procedures were completed.

Parents and students in the Magnolia School District have access to two new resources for receiving school information during the 2014-15 school year. The district has launched a Facebook page (Magnolia School District) and a Twitter account (Magnolia AR Schools, with a Twitter handle of @Magnolia_SD ) to provide more immediate notification of school and   district events. The Facebook page will be a fan page which will serve only as an announcement board for the district. Because of this, individual or personal replies will not be allowed on the page. The Twitter account will follow the same format.

Guest juror Dayton Castleman, who is the museum manager for 21c Museum in Bentonville, recently selected the winning entries during an artist reception hosted for the South Arkansas Arts Center’s 2014 Juried Art Competition.  The annual art competition is sponsored by Smackover State Bank and the exhibition continues in the galleries until July 31. After reviewing entries from California to New York, Florida to Wisconsin, and all points in between, Castleman chose 39 works by 31 artists to hang in the Galleries. The artwork media runs the gamut from traditional watercolor, oil, and acrylic to non-traditional media including video, pine needle sculpture, and modified working microwaves. Houston Fryer of Hot Springs, Arkansas, was awarded Best of Show for his oil on canvas entitled “Sleep.” First Place was awarded to Minny Lee of New Jersey for her video entitled “Strand.”  Second Place was awarded to Richard Ensor of Tennessee for his steel, plastic, and rubber sculpture entitled “Shopping Plow.”  Ensor was also presented the Wilma Riley Purchase Award for his handmade paper installation entitled “Shoe Tossing.” Third Place was awarded to Ahrong Kim of Pennsylvania for his glazed ceramic “Rediscovering Myself.” Honorable Mentions were presented to Ronald Kinkaid of Benton, Arkansas, for his watercolor entitled “Honeymoon Over” and Rachel Trusty of Little Rock for her acrylic and graphite panel entitled “Portrait and Pattern Study #2.” When asked what he looks for in a work of art, Castleman, said, “I’m not so much concerned with whether art is easily digestible to the viewer, but with whether it demonstrates an illusiveness and maturity that creates intrigue and requires deep reading and engagement.” SAAC’s annual competition is open to all 2D and 3D artists, nationwide, who are 18 years of age and up. The competition is reviewed and judged by nationally and internationally recognized art professionals selected by the visual arts committee. For more information about SAAC annual Juried Art Competition, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474 or visit

We spend our Friday nights in the fall cheering for teams like the Wildcats or the Bulldogs, not the Con Artists or the Profiteers. Yet, out-of-state scammers may seek out money intended to support our hometown athletic teams in order to line their own pockets instead. The Attorney General’s Office commonly hears reports around this time of year about calls or visits from solicitors asking business owners to purchase ads on sports schedules or calendars. The problem is that some solicitors may not be affiliated at all with the school or organization they purport to represent. Therefore, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued this consumer alert to make sure business owners know about the state law pertaining to school calendar or schedule advertisements and to encourage advertisers to ask questions before buying ad space. “We value our hometown sports teams, and local businesses often want to do all they can to support them. So, sometimes they can become easy targets for solicitors who may claim to be working on behalf of a school,” McDaniel said. “Before buying an ad, it’s always a good idea to call the school or organization to confirm it is associated with the salesperson.” Business owners tend to assume that someone who is promoting advertising for a school athletic schedule is actually working for the school, but that’s not always the case. In some instances, con artists may make sales pitches for products that do not exist. Other times, legitimate for-profit companies actually produce a schedule or other product. However, those companies may produce items not endorsed by the school, and the school would not receive any portion of the proceeds of the ad buy. The state’s school calendar disclosure law protects businesses against those kinds of solicitations. The law applies to anyone who solicits advertisements for posters or other printed material depicting a school name, mascot or emblem in conjunction with an athletic program. Solicitors must disclose to potential ad buyers whether a school will receive money as a result of the solicitation and, if so, how much money the school will receive. Any solicitor who does not give money to the school must state both orally and in writing that the school will not receive funding from the sale. Those who violate the calendar disclosure law are subject to penalties under the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. McDaniel encouraged business owners always to read the fine print of any contract, and to contact the school directly if necessary. They should ask school officials whether the officials are aware of the solicitations or are working with the advertising company. If solicitors make false claims about working with a school, business owners should contact the Attorney General’s Office. The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline number is (800) 482-8982. For more information about this or other consumer issues, visit

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel will host the 37th annual training and business conference of the North American Consumer Protection Investigators’ association next week in Little Rock. North American Consumer Protection Investigators (NACPI) is made up of representatives of local, state and federal consumer protection agencies in the United States and Canada. NACPI’s annual meeting will be Sunday through Wednesday at the Little Rock Marriott. “Our investigators are the principal advocates for Arkansas consumers who need our assistance, and our Consumer Protection Division could not function without them,” McDaniel said. “I join my colleagues across North America in recognizing the importance of the work of our front-line investigators, and I’m glad to welcome this conference to Arkansas.” Participants in the event will receive training on a variety of topics, including cybercrimes, motor vehicle fraud, payday lending and security for reloadable debit cards. McDaniel has focused on enhancing his office’s consumer protection efforts since taking office in 2007. His Consumer Protection Division has 10 investigators who are assigned to specialized investigative areas, giving them expertise in handling specific complaints. Investigators develop contacts with various industry representatives so that consumer complaints may be mediated quickly and efficiently. The investigators also work with the division’s attorneys to identify and pursue companies that engage in deceptive or unfair business practices. During McDaniel's tenure, consumer protection investigators have helped consumers recover more than $12.7 million through informal mediation. Read more about the work of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at

July 15, 2014

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality approved a Class 1 Modification of Aerojet Rocketdyne Inc. Hazardous Waste Permit on May 12th of this year. The schedule for the final closure of the Open Burn Unit (OBU) Area was extended by 2.5 years. The increase in time was necessary to continue treatment of the perchlorate-impacted soils at the site. Closure of the OBU Area will now be completed on or before January 11th of 2017. Extension of the closure schedule will not affect the approved remedial technology, ex situ anaerobic biological treatment of the impacted soils in the six treatment cells (bio-cells) or the ultimate goal of the project, risk-based remediation of the soils at the OBU Area. For any additional information you can call 870-574-3265. 

Camden’s Unity In the Community will host their first annual “National Night Out, Camden” event from 5:30p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, August 5th, at Carnes Park in Camden, AR. This is a free event.The purpose of the National Night Out event is to invite residents of Camden and surrounding areas to come out for an evening of family fun and fellowship. National Night Out events will take place in many cities across the country on August 5th. The objective of National Night Out events is to build strong partnerships between the police and communities and to promote crime awareness programs such as Neighborhood Community Watch groups. When the event at Carnes Park ends at 8:00pm, event attendees will be encouraged to go home and turn on their porch light and enjoy the remainder of the evening with their neighbors. The evening of fun will feature family friendly activities and games for children, health screenings, a voter registration table, fingerprinting, food, and live music.  Several community partners have pitched in to help organize the event, including: The City of Camden Mayor’s Office, Camden Police Department, Camden Fire Department, Walmart,  Services, and the UALR Institute on Race and Ethnicity.  This event has received tremendous community support. We expect over 200 people to attend. The mission of Camden Unity in the Community is to promote diversity and understanding among people of different ethnic, social, and economic backgrounds. For any additional information you can call Janice White at 870-390-1893 or Matt Stone at 870-818-0750.

The South Arkansas Arts Center is currently registering students for the final Creative Arts Academy Summer offering, “Out of This World” Syfy movie camp, the week of July 28 through August 1.  SAAC Summer Camps are sponsored by First Financial Bank of El Dorado. The movie camp is broken into two sessions for campers entering grades 5-8.  The morning session is from 9am until noon and the afternoon session is from 1pm until 4pm.  Both sessions have the same curriculum. Instructor Mike Means gets the cameras rolling by teaching the basics of filmmaking in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.  Campers will learn the building blocks of creating their own blockbuster as they direct, produce, act, and crew their own simple Syfy film.  No camera is required…just plenty of imagination. The”Out of This World” camp will be the first to use the new 27” I-Mac computers and I-Movie software delivered earlier this month. Cost of the camp is $80 for SAAC members or $100 for new students. Registration will continue until the first day of camp.  To register for the camp, or for more information about classes offered, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced that he has reached a settlement with New Jersey-based National Police Defense Foundation to resolve allegations that the organization misled Arkansas donors into believing their contributions benefited Arkansas emergency responders. In a consent agreement filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court today, the foundation agreed to pay $120,000 in restitution to consumers and to permanently stop all professional fund-raising activities in Arkansas. “NPDF has been identified as one of the nation’s 50 worst charities, and the organization demonstrated its failings in Arkansas through its deceptive efforts to make consumers believe their money was going to police officers, firefighters and other emergency responders,” McDaniel said. “Of the thousands of dollars raised here by NPDF and its fundraising partner, only a few hundred dollars were actually used for charitable purposes.” McDaniel sued NPDF and USA Publishing Group Inc. of Conway in July 2013. NPDF retained USA Publishing to solicit donations from Arkansas consumers. The suit is still pending against USA Publishing and its owners, William Parker and Kathleen Parker. NPDF paid $171,193 of  the $231,004 raised in the state to USA Publishing for its professional fundraising services. Only $500 went to charity, according to McDaniel’s lawsuit. Telemarketers often misrepresented themselves as first responders, and the operation used bogus names like “Arkansas Police Defense Foundation” to deceive consumers into believing the charity was based in Arkansas. NPDF denied the allegations.

The American Red Cross encourages all eligible blood donors to make an appointment to donate blood soon to help prevent a shortage. During the summer months, on average, about two fewer donors give blood at each Red Cross blood drive than what is needed to meet the needs of patients. Vacations and summer activities are among the reasons regular donors may not find the time to give. But, patients don’t get a vacation from needing blood – the need is constant. As a national network, the Red Cross has a unique responsibility to help ensure blood is available for patients whenever and wherever it is needed. By donating blood or platelets through the Red Cross, donors may be helping patients in their community or patients across the nation. Red blood cells have a shelf life of only 42 days and platelets just five days, so they must constantly be replenished. To learn more and make an appointment to donate blood, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS. Upcoming Blood Opportunities:

Ouachita County
August 2 from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Brookshire's Super Market & Pharmacy, 1345 U.S. 278 in Camden
August 13 from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Green Center, 638 Calfornia Ave. S.W. in East Camden

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements. The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

July 14, 2014

Farmers Bank & Trust of Magnolia, Arkansas, and 1st Bank of Texarkana, Texas, announced today, they have entered into an agreement for Farmers Bank & Trust to purchase 1st Bank. "Farmers Bank & Trust is excited about the opportunity to serve the customers and staff of 1st Bank", stated Bob L. Burns, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Farmers Bank & Trust.  "When completed, this transaction will present a great opportunity for Farmers Bank to expand our financial services in Arkansas and Texas along the I-30 Interstate corridor. This expansion fits well with our plans for growth in these market areas." Mike Cross, President and Chief Executive Officer of 1st Bank commented, "This transaction allows us to partner with a strong community bank that is focused on providing great customer service with a deep commitment to the communities where it operates, and a great place for employees to perform and advance.  We look forward to working with the management team of Farmers Bank & Trust to make this a smooth transition for our customers and employees."  Farmers Bank & Trust is owned by a privately held holding company, Magnolia Banking Corporation, headquartered in Magnolia, Arkansas. 1st Bank, N.A., is owned by First National Bancshares of Hempstead County, Inc., headquartered in Hope, Arkansas. The holding company boards of Magnolia Banking Corporation and First National Bancshares of Hempstead County unanimously approved the agreement which is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.  The transaction is anticipated to close at the end of the third quarter of 2014 and 1st Bank will be merged into Farmers Bank & Trust.  With the close of the transaction, Farmers Bank & Trust will have approximately $1.2 billion in assets. Customers of 1st Bank can expect to receive notifications regarding the progress of the transaction well in advance of any changes.  Until the transaction is complete, customers of both banks should continue to conduct business as usual at their convenient bank locations.  1st Bank customers should continue to use their same checks, debit cards, and online banking services.  If customers have questions, they should contact their local office.

Deputy Michael Davidson arrived at 3021 Ouachita reference to a possible Theft of Property. The deputy made contact with a man who said that a 4-wheeler that may possibly be stolen, because he didn’t see it in the yard. The man also advised the deputy that he and his wife were in the process of a divorce and that he didn’t live at the residence at this time, but he noticed the 4-wheeler missing from the residence, as he had drove by earlier in the day. The wife stated that she had just woken up from sleeping and that she noticed the 4-wheeler was missing. She also stated that the 4-wheeler was in the front yard under a tree when she went to bed the night before. She also said that the 4-wheeler was a 2002 Yamaha 660 Raptor, and that it was missing the gas tank, seat, engine, and reversal other parts at the time it was stolen.

Lt. James Bolton, also of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to Louann area to meet with Ms. Susan West about a stolen License plate she had located. The officer spoke with the woman who explained that her son’s license had been stolen from his 1996 Jeep Laredo in Union County. She stated that a report was on file with Union County. She then explained to me where she saw the plate being displayed on a gray pickup at a residence on Highway 376 in the Kirkland area. Deputy Harcrow and Bolton proceeded to the Kirkland area where they found a vehicle matching the description and displaying the stolen license plate. The officer’s then made contact with the home owner who stated that the truck belongs to her son. She also stated that he was not there and didn’t know when he would return, because he mostly lives on the streets. She was then advised of the situation and that the officers were going to seize the stolen license plate.

An inmate listed as being from El Dorado, and assigned to the Texarkana Regional Correctional Center, has been recaptured after escaping early Sunday. Daniel Malin, was reported missing from his job site at Cleve Batte Construction in Texarkana late Saturday. An escape alert was issued at 12:31 a.m., the Arkansas Department of Correction said. He returned to his work site this morning and was taken into custody, the DOC said in a statement issued at 6:26 a.m. The 41-year-old Malin was incarcerated for the manufacture, delivery and possession of a controlled substance. His last known address was 1116 Pine Street in El Dorado, but he has spent the last several years in and out of the state penal system. Malin’s most recent conviction is from Jackson County, but he has also served prison time for offenses committed in Lawrence, Randolph and Pulaski counties. They include false imprisonment, theft, fleeing, forgery, breaking and entering, fraud, probation violation and being a habitual offender.

The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet this week at Catherine's Bistro in Camden. The speaker this week is Donna Adams with the Save the Fairview Gym committee. She will be talking about their efforts to save the gym and what progress they have made. For any additional information on the Lion's Club and how you you can join, you can contact Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440 Ext.7. 

Business After Hours in July will be hosted by Timberlane Health and Rehab at 2002 S Timberwood Drive on Tuesday, July 15, from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. This is an opportunity to network with other area professionals learn more about a Chamber member. More details to come! Be sure to bring your business card for the door prize drawings. Reservations are not required. For any additional information you can contact Kay Smith, at 870-863-6113.

Some of Texarkana’s brightest and boldest fourth-grade students from TASD recently spent three days at the eSTEM Summer Enrichment Academy at Southern Arkansas University. A total of 19 students from College Hill Elementary and Union Elementary in Texarkana, Ark., arrived at SAU on July 8, 2014, for the three-day project-based learning experience. Students were chosen by faculty and administration at their school based on who they thought would benefit the most from the attending the eSTEM academy. From the response received by Dr. Roger Guevara, director of the SAU Educational Renewal Zone, it seems many of the students have benefited greatly. “Thank you so much for making this happen,” one student said to Guevara, and another said, “This is the best day of my life!” Funding for the eSTEM Summer Enrichment Academy was made possible through a $14,000 grant written by Guevara. “It’s not the size of the grant, but it’s the impact it has. And this project has left a lasting impression on these kids,” said Guevara. A partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation, the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority and local churches in the Texarkana area allowed students to enjoy this learning opportunity without any financial obligations. At the academy, the students learned and developed 21st century skills in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics as well as language arts and writing skills. They also stayed in SAU’s residence halls, enjoyed campus activities, and worked with SAU teacher candidates and peer counselors. Having the elementary students on campus worked toward another goal of the eSTEM academy. It allowed the young students to experience what it’s like to attend college, in turn encouraging them to begin to think about furthering their education after high school.

“They need these unique opportunities to help increase their learning and social experiences,” said Beverly Webb, a guidance counselor at Union Elementary. The majority of the students involved in the eSTEM program will be first generation college student, according to Webb. Two of the instructors at the academy are Science Specialist Susan Johnson of the SAU STEM Center for K-12 Education, and Denise Merritt, STEM Center math specialist. “This type of program is the highlight of my summer because we get to work with the students.  It’s all about the children,” said Johnson. Throughout the year, Johnson and Merritt travel across Southwest Arkansas to help teachers with new common core lessons and activities involving science and math. Dr. Sara Day of SAU’s English Department and Denelle Metcalf, a 4th grade teacher at Magnolia School District, rounded out the instructional staff. The Educational Renewal Zone (ERZ) at SAU is a PreK-16 initiative founded by the State of Arkansas to help improve public school performance and student academic achievement. This is a collaborative effort between renewal zone partners, including the Arkansas Department of Education’s Division of ERZ, institutions of higher education (IHEs), regional education service cooperatives (ESCs), other technical assistance provider entities, schools, and participating communities. For more information on how you can enrich the lives of Arkansas children or help sponsor life-changing initiatives, please contact Dr. Guevara at

July 11, 2014

Operation “Heat Stroke” was a multi-agency operation consisting of the Camden Police Department, Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, Arkansas State Police, and 13th Drug Task Force. The operation began on July 1st, and continued until July 10th. The operation consisted of six search warrants, and narcotics were being sold. Several arrest were made on individuals involved with sales of narcotics inside the city limits of Camden. The narcotics included crack cocaine, prescription medication, methamphetamine, ecstasy pills and marijuana. During the course of the operation several items of illegal narcotics were located and seized. Handguns, and cash were also located.

Diversity training is being proposed for El Dorado city workers. Alderman Willie McGhee came before the City Council to make the request. McGhee believes with the training, employees will be able to interact better in the workplace, as well as understand each other's culture. McGhee says he and the other council members are not exempt from the training. The Alderman said "We need it, everybody. Everybody that works for the people needs to be in this training, because we need to know how to represent people in our ward. I have a diverse ward, Black, White, Hispanic, Asian,”. The diversity training workshop dates have not yet been set.

On July 12, Gov. Mike Beebe will catch the connections necessary to get from Arkansas to Europe as he leads a trade delegation to the Farnborough International Airshow, one of the world’s largest aviation trade shows. Beebe Hoping to establish the relationships necessary, Beebe hopes to draw more aerospace manufacturers, suppliers and allied industries to the state. Beebe, who went to France in 2009 before Dassault Falcon Jet announced its Little Rock expansion, hopes this trip will look after both the short- and long-term goals of developing the state’s aerospace sector. “Part of my purpose is to let potential manufacturers or distributors know we have a strong aerospace contingent in Arkansas, a workforce and the ability to train a workforce, in an area that already has a proven track record,” said Beebe, who is term limited and will leave office in January. “But it’s also to reinforce the existing businesses here.” In a recent article on Dassault Falcon Jet, Arkansas Money & Politics reports that aerospace is Arkansas’ biggest export to the world.

July 10, 2014

The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department will begin sealing State Highway 172 in Calhoun County from Highway 167 to Highway 160, a distance of 7 miles, starting July 14, according to Mr. Jeff Venable, District Engineer. The use of Bituminous Surface Treatment (Liquid Asphalt and Crushed Stone) is a tried and proven method of sealing cracks and providing a durable wearing surface utilizing local materials at an economical cost. It usually takes from four to eight days from the time the material is placed until the loose material is swept off the roadway. The time varies with the length of the section being surfaced and the weather conditions. Motorist are urged to use caution when traveling on a highway that is undergoing this treatment because the crushed stone can cause glass breakage when it is kicked up by a vehicle that is traveling too fast for conditions. Numerous signs are placed approaching the work area and throughout the job to warn motorist of the conditions, and restricting speed through the area. Speed is the primary factor in reducing glass damage. Local Law Enforcement Agencies are often asked to assist in controlling traffic.  

More aspiring Arkansas principals and superintendents will be able to earn their credentials thanks to Southern Arkansas University’s new online Educational Leadership Programs. The Arkansas Department of Education and the Arkansas Department of Higher Education both recently approved online delivery for SAU’s M.Ed. in Educational Administration and Supervision for licensure in Building Level (Principal) and District Level (Superintendent) Administration. Transitioning these programs to an innovative online delivery platform required intensive planning to prepare for the rigorous review by ADE and ADHE, according to Dr. Marla Strecker director of SAU’s Educational Leadership Programs. "Teachers aspiring to become school leaders and impact our nation's educational system from the principal and superintendent levels are often very busy individuals with active careers, young families, and hosts of community leadership responsibilities,” said Strecker. “This new format will allow SAU to meet the enrollment needs of those dynamic individuals." Another important component of this transition to online learning is the enrichment SAU will be able to offer the students. “Without the limits of traditional scheduling, SAU can now engage online guest speakers who are leading the state and nation in transforming K-12 education,” said Strecker. In addition, the SAU Education Leadership Programs will also begin recognizing leaders in Arkansas education reform and improvement. A “Transformational Leadership Award” will be presented each year starting Spring 2015 to a principal or superintendent who has proven results in school improvement and student learning. Each of the award recipients will have the opportunity to enrich the experience of SAU students with practical tips in leading change and true knowledge of how to transform Arkansas K-12 learning. These two new online Master’s degree programs are added to the Curriculum/Program Administrator licensure area that was previously approved for online delivery. A total of seven other graduate degrees are offered through the cost-effective College of Education at SAU. recently listed SAU’s Education Master’s degrees as the most affordable in Arkansas and ninth most affordable in the nation. The SAU College of Education is also accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and its successor, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). “Adherence to national standards and specialized accreditation ensures the rigor of the courses, while the intern experiences offered through SAU provide the evidence of application,” said Dr. Alec Testa, chair of the Department of Counseling and Professional Studies. Testa added that Strecker brings significant online teaching and leadership experience to the College of Education, and that they are continuing to explore making additional online offerings available. For more information about the SAU College of Education, visit To find out more about SAU’s Master’s degrees, visit

Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment has met the initial signature count requirement.
The amendment needed 78,133 signatures to make the ballot in November; the initial count was well over 84,000. Now the Secretary of State’s Office is moving to the signature verification stage. Meeting the initial count qualifies the petition sponsor for an additional 30 days to collect signatures, to compensate for any that may not qualify during the signature verification process. Once signatures are verified, the proposed amendment will be place on the ballot for the General Election.  An Act to Increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage is still being counted to see if they have enough signatures to make their initial count.     

Members of the military face unique challenges such as frequent relocation or deployment overseas, and those challenges can make them more of a target for scams and fraud. Because of that, consumer protection agencies from across the country have joined to promote Military Consumer Protection Day, an annual observance that focuses specifically on consumer education and information for U.S. active duty, reserve and National Guard personnel. Military Consumer Protection Day this year is Wednesday, July 16. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued this consumer alert today to call attention to Military Consumer Protection Day and to inform members of the military, their families and veterans about the consumer resources available to them. “The special circumstances associated with military service sometimes make our service men and women more vulnerable to con artists,” McDaniel said. “That is why we are joining with organizations from across the country that recognize that information is the first line of defense in the consumer marketplace. It’s important that military households know about how to protect themselves from fraud, identity theft and scams.” The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division website,, offers tips, tools and resources for all consumers. Of particular importance to military families, the Federal Trade Commission hosts, which provides tips sheets, information and blog posts from national consumer protection experts. McDaniel encouraged both active-duty service members and veterans to visit Service members may be targeted by scam artists who promise “military discounts” on housing or purchases, but never provide such discounts. Members of the military are also subject to predatory lending schemes. McDaniel said members of the military should be aware of the federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, which provides several protections to those on active duty. Those protections include:

-Debt protections: Interest rates for debts acquired before active duty cannot exceed 6 percent while on active duty.
-Judgment protections: Service members on active duty may not have a civil judgment entered against them without the court first appointing counsel to represent the service member. Service members may request a delay of proceedings.
-Mortgage protections: Interest on a mortgage may not exceed 6 percent during military service and up to one year after service ends, and service members are entitled to a stay of any sale, foreclosure or seizure of property during service.
-Contract/lease protections: Service members may terminate residential or vehicle leases without penalty because of active duty service; generally, landlords may not evict a service member or his or her dependents during active duty; and some cell phone contracts can be terminated without penalty, depending on the distance and duration of the service member’s relocation. For more information about military consumer issues, visit For information about this or other consumer matters, call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 482-8982 or visit

July 9, 2014


Deputy Jarrod Purifoy of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office spoke to a man about a vehicle mishap that occurred on Ouachita 13. The man stated that he was traveling on Ouachita 13 in his Rogers Lumber Company work vehicle when a log truck made contact with his vehicle running him off the road and breaking his driver’s side mirror.  According to reports the truck did stop and the driver got out of the vehicle but would not make contact and got back in the truck and drove off. Rogers Lumber Company is the victim in this incident and was no way at fault. 

An officer of the Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to Quickies 2 on Highway 79 North to report a broken window in the rear of the store. The officer met with the store manager, who stated that when she opened the front door, she heard glass break in the rear of the store. When she turned the lights on, she could see the window to the rear right side of the store was broken. When they looked at the video camera footage; a white truck could be seen spinning gravel in the rear parking lot when the window broke. The vehicle and the driver were unable to be identified.

K-9 units with the El Dorado Police Department will be better protected while doing their jobs. The department has received three bulletproof vests specifically for their canine officers. Captain Kevin Holt said "We were fortunate that we were able to get some grant money to purchase this equipment,". The dogs took part in a mock simulation to practice their skills in their new vests.  "We don't use them on every call that the officers with the K-9 go on. But they are used for burglary type calls, to where it is safer to send a K-9 in, because of their sense of smell, their keen awareness of their surroundings. They can actually find a suspect, where as if they are hiding very well, an officer may not be able to find them," explains Holt. Police say these K-9 vests are just as important as the ones the officers use on the streets on a daily basis. K-9's are at risk of getting stabbed, beaten, and even shot; without these vests. Officers say these dogs are treated just like fellow officers and have a special bond with their handler. "These K-9's to an officer and his family are just like a member of the family. They take them home every night, the family plays with them," says Holt. With these vests, police feel confident that their K-9 companions will be safer when dispatched on calls. "With the addition of these police vests, our K-9's now have a higher degree of protection whenever they are doing their job," says Holt.

Three Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) chapter members from Southern Arkansas University recently won national awards at the 2014 National Leadership Conference (NLC) in Nashville, Tenn. 

The winners from SAU included Andrew Sawyer, a junior accounting major, who won tenth place in the Macroeconomics event; Jason Rakes, a May 2014 graduate in Management who won ninth place in the Entrepreneurship Concepts event; and Deana Hughes, a May 2014 graduate in Wildlife Biology and Conservation, who won second place in the Local Chapter Annual Business Report and received national recognition for Who’s Who in PBL. In total, five SAU PBL chapter members attended the conference, including the following: Hughes, of Arkadelphia; Sawyer, of Paris, Texas; Rakes, of Rogers; Austin Taylor, of Little Rock; and Austin Evans, of Foreman. They participated in numerous leadership workshops, national competitive events and national officer elections. SAU PBL chapter advisers Dr. Gerald Plumlee and Traci Hughes also attended the four-day conference. The conference offers PBL members the opportunity to compete in 50 different events representing the focus of FBLA-PBL on business and leadership development. The winners of these highly competitive and prestigious awards are selected from among FBLA-PBL’s membership of more than 250,000 students and advisers and represent some of the best and brightest students from across the nation. Traci Hughes was recognized for serving her second year of a three-year term on the FBLA-PBL National Awards Program (NAP) Committee. The NAP committee oversees all competitive events for FBLA and PBL. Future Business Leaders of America – Phi Beta Lambda, Inc. (FBLA-PBL) is the national business education association that prepares students for their future careers. Its members, belonging to more than 6,000 chartered chapters, include students from the United States, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Europe. Phi Beta Lambda is the post-secondary division of Future Business Leaders of America. PBL members rely on corporate sponsorship, donations, and fundraisers to cover the expense of attending the National Leadership Conference. Membership is open to all interested students. For more information about the SAU College of Business or PBL, visit or call the SAU PBL chapter at (870) 235-4300.

Governor Mike Beebe has named Andrew Parker of Little Rock as the newest commissioner of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. "Andrew is one of our bright, up-and-coming Arkansans who has a lifelong love for the outdoors, is an avid hunter, and a conservationist, as well. He will continue the tradition of insuring the preservation of our natural bounty," the Governor said. Parker, 37, grew up in Little Rock and is the Director of Governmental Affairs for the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce. He earned his undergraduate degree from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro and his law degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Beginning in 2007, Parker spent more than three years as Governor Beebe's liaison to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission as well as to 13 other state agencies, boards and commissions. Later, he served as an attorney for the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission.  Parker, an Eagle Scout, is a hunting and fishing enthusiast, who is especially interested in conservation education and wildlife awareness exposure. He serves on the board of directors for the First Tee of Central Arkansas and is a member of the Little Rock Downtown Rotary Club.  Parker's term will expire July 1, 2021. He replaces Ty Patterson of Texarkana.

Continuing with the success of last year’s landmark national tobacco education campaign, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is airing a another series of ads in 2014 featuring real people who are living with the effects of smoking-related diseases. The newest ads in the “Tips from Former Smokers” campaign tell the story of how real people’s lives were changed forever due to their smoking. In Arkansas, 5,100 people die every year from smoking-related diseases. The new ads will air between July 7 and September 7. “These ads tell the stories of brave people struggling with the health consequences of smoking-related diseases – the kinds of smoking-related diseases doctors see every day,” said Tim McAfee, M.D., M.P.H, director of the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “The former smokers in these ads give voice to the more than 16 million Americans who are suffering from smoking-related chronic diseases each and every day.” The ads feature smoking-related health conditions that people do not commonly associate with cigarette use – including gum disease, pre-term birth, and complications associated with HIV—and continue to emphasize more common conditions, like cancer. They encourage smokers to call the Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT NOW, a toll-free number to access free quitting support across the country, or visit to view the personal stories from the campaign. The Tobacco Quitline offers a variety of individual-specific resources to help current users quit tobacco, including nicotine replacement therapy, web coaching and phone calls with a trained Quit Coach. “These ads are effective in bringing to life the devastating effects of smoking, helping people quit and more importantly, never start,” says Dr. Gary Wheeler, Medical Director for the Arkansas Department of Health Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program.  “As a doctor, I know all too well the terrible toll of smoking on one’s health. The Arkansas Department of Health Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program is committed to helping Arkansans know the reality of smoking-related disease and death – and to prevent these realities from happening to them.” The Tips campaign serves as an important counter to the more than $8.3 billion spent annually by the tobacco industry to make cigarettes more attractive, more flavorings to mask the taste and more affordable—particularly to youth and young adults. Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States. It kills about 480,000 Americans each year. For every person who dies from a smoking-related disease, about 30 more people suffer at least one serious illness from smoking. Nearly 70 percent of smokers say they want to quit. This campaign will provide them with information and resources to do so. For more information on the campaign, including profiles of the former smokers, links to the ads, visit For more information on how you can quit, visit or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW. 

July 8, 2014

The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet at Catherine’s Bistro this week. This week’s speaker at Lions Club will be Kathy Lee, Assistant Mayor of Camden.  She will be talking about the city of Camden and how they have helped the Women’s Crisis Center. For any additional information on the lions club, you can call Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440 ext. 7.  

Its hard to believe that Summer is almost over, and school is almost here again. The current registration dates for the Camden Fairview Public Schools are as followed: 
Fairview Elementary School  August 7th at 6:00 pm. 
Ivory Primary                      August 14th at 6:00 pm
CF Intermediate                   August 11th at 6:00 pm
CF Middle                           August 12th at 5:00 pm
CF High                              Grades 10-12 August 7th & 8th from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
CF High                              Grade 9         August 12th at 6:30 pm 

The Relay for Life Team is planning a fundraiser for Saturday August 9, 2014 at the Ouachita County Fairgrounds from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  We need to know from you if you would be willing to take part of this Back 2 School and more yard sale? Here is how it would work: Booth space is free to all Relay Teams from 2014 All money raised by Relay teams would go towards your 2014 total Outside vendors would be charged a one-time fee of $25.00. All teams are responsible for set up and cleanup of each space, we are trying to work it out with Ouachita Industries to see if they can come pick up left over items. Plans are for a small concession stand mainly drinks and snack foods such as chips and popcorn. Space inside the building is limited, so please let us know ASAP if you are interested.  This would be a great opportunity to help raise money for Relay and also help the community with their back to school needs. Please feel free to replay via email to Lisa Taylor or call 870-833-1760 or contact Melody Johnson @ or via cell at 870-796-1762.

The Ouachita County Alzheimer's Support Group will meet from 1:00 pm-2:00 pm., Wednesday July 16th, in the library of the First United Methodist Church in Camden. Family members caring for loved ones with Alzheimer's or a related disease are encouraged to attend. For further information you can call Anita Holt at 836-6833 or Nancy Bailey toll free at 800-272-2127. 

Columbia County will apply for a $150,000 state grant to fund construction of a cat shelter by the Columbia County Animal Protection Society. This was a late addition proposal to the agenda of Monday’s county Quorum Court meeting. Justices adopted on a voice vote a resolution seeking state General Improvement Funds for the project. CCAPS hopes to build the cat shelter next to its dog shelter on the west end of Columbia Street. The society’s cattery is currently housed in a trailer at the location. According to the resolution it authorizes County Judge Larry Atkinson to apply for the grant from the Arkansas Rural Development Authority on behalf of CCAPS. Doris Warren, speaking for CCAPS, assured the Quorum Court that it will build a cat shelter within the budgeted amount. CCAPS will be responsible for the continuing operation of the cat shelter if it is built. Justices of the peace ripped through several appropriations on 9-0 votes – justices Steve Lee and James Drake were absent.

Arkansans for Compassionate Care will not submit the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act to the Secretary of State. Volunteers from across the state worked diligently the last few months, collecting nearly 80% of the required signatures, but unfortunately time constraints prevented them from reaching the ballot. Plans to resubmit for 2016 are already in motion. "Our volunteers have done an amazing job, but we just didn't have enough time or funding and we faced some unique challenges starting with crafting a stronger initiative that protects patients and the State better," said Melissa Fults, Campaign Director for the AMCA. "The approval process took time, but it was worth it." Many of ACC's volunteers are patients themselves. During the campaign, several were hospitalized or had surgery, but they still kept coming to meetings and collecting signatures. One volunteer who spent five days in the hospital began canvassing the day after she was released. Another canvassed with his foot propped on a chair after surgery. ACC did accomplish a lot, despite not making it onto the ballot. Volunteers registered new voters and educated Arkansans across the state, giving them access to medical cannabis research. "The tide is turning," Fults said. "The hardest thing I had to do was to call some of the parents of children with seizure disorders and some of our cancer patients and tell them that cannabis just would not be an option for them in 2014. Many won't have any choice but to leave the state in order to save their own or a loved one's life."

A death row inmate at the Ouachita River Unit has died. According to reports, Joe Dansby died late Monday night at a hospital in Malvern. Apparently, Dansby had been ill for most of the past year. Dansby was sent by ambulance to the Malvern Hospital and pronounced dead shortly after his arrival at 10:35 p.m. Dansby was convicted and sentenced to death for two counts of Capital Murder.  

A Yankees fan has filed a $10 million lawsuit against two ESPN announcers contending they mocked him when he was caught on national television sleeping in his seat during a game at Yankee Stadium. Andrew Robert Rector admits in court documents he "napped" during a game against the Boston Red Sox on April 13, but says commentators Dan Shulman and John Kruk unleashed an "avalanche of disparaging words" against him. The suit says they used words like "fatty" and "stupid." Rector says he suffered "substantial injury" to his "character and reputation" and "mental anguish, loss of future income and loss of earning capacity." The lawsuit filed recently in Bronx Supreme Court also names ESPN, Major League Baseball and the Yankees as defendants. They didn't immediately respond to requests for comment

July 7, 2014

Officer Nathan Clayton of the Camden Police Department was dispatched to the Garden Oaks Shopping Center in reference to a suspicious vehicle at the Bancorp South ATM. Sgt. Easttam had already made contact with the driver and occupants of the vehicle; who were waiting to retrieve money from their account. Now as the officers were leaving the bank they noticed a white female sitting on-top of the soda machine next to Mac’s Fresh Grocery. A warrant check was conducted and the woman had valid warrants in Hampton. She was then taken into custody and later turned over to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office.

Officer Maslakov, also of the Camden PD, was on a routine patrol on Arkansas Highway 7 near Grinstead Avenue. The officer observed a 1999 model Kia, with the driver’s side break-lamp broken. The officer then conducted a traffic stop and made contact with the driver. It was soon discovered that the driver had a warrant with Calhoun County. He was then transported to the station.

Lt. Robertson responded to Car-Mart to assist with a report of a man refusing to get out of his vehicle. The man was apparently honking his horn repeatedly and had reportedly been in his car for 30 minutes. Chief Woody was also on the scene telling the man to put his hands behind his back. After the man kept fighting and refusing to give in, he was hit with a taser, not once but twice. He was eventually placed into cuffs and secured in a patrol car.  

CADC will accept applications for Regular LI Heap Utility Assistance in Ouachita County on July 8th, at Carnes Park from 8:00 am-1:00 pm, for electric bills only. Eligible households must meet incoming guidelines and furnish proof of all households must meet income for the month of June. For a household of 1, monthly countable income is $1,482.00. Income includes Check Stubs, child support, and unemployment, housing utility assistance, SSI, SSA, TEA, VAS and retirement benefits. Applications will be accepted on a first come-first serve basis. Failure to provide verification requested may result in delay or denial of assistance. Allow the agency 35 days to make a payment. For any additional information you can call your local CADC office.

Camden’s own Sarah Clayton, who participated in this year’s Miss Arkansas Pageant, recently stopped by the newsroom and talked about her recent experience. According to Clayton the experience was both new and fun. Clayton also mentioned how the experiencing can be tiring because of all the hard work that you put in to it. One thing that is for sure, is that Clayton definitely had the support she needed. Clayton said “All my family was at the pageant every day; and they sent me text messages, flowers and gifts”. While at the pageant, Clayton had the honor of being named Miss Congeniality. “Its really a great feeling and awesome to get your name called on a stage like that” said Clayton. With this experience now behind her, Clayton says that future contestants need to be themselves, and just really have fun with it. Now looking towards the future, Clayton has one memory she will never forget. 

The number of employed persons in Columbia County grew during May, but not enough to absorb more people coming into the workplace. The result was a higher jobless rate in the county than the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services reported in the previous month. April’s jobless rate was the lowest in Columbia County in six years. The preliminary May rate was higher. Preliminary May statistics said that number of people in the county’s workforce grew by 100 people to 9,525 between April and May. The number employed rose by 25 to 8,800. But the number of people without jobs rose by 75 to 725. The result was a preliminary May jobless rate of 7.7 percent, compared with 6.8 percent in April. Among nearby counties, Nevada County had a jobless rate of 5.4 percent, and Ashley County had a rate of 9.4 percent. Labor force data, produced by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics and released by the Department of Workforce Services, show Arkansas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased two-tenths of a percentage point, from 6.6 percent in April to 6.4 percent in May. Arkansas’ civilian labor force declined 7,300, a result of 4,600 fewer employed and 2,700 fewer unemployed Arkansans. The United States’ jobless rate remained stable at 6.3 percent in May. Communications Director Becky Heflin said, “Arkansas’ unemployment rate declined two-tenths of a percentage point in May. The rate has decreased for eight consecutive months and is down more than one full percentage point, compared to May 2013.”

July 3, 2014

A murder investigation is under way after a man is found beaten to death. Police say the body of 57-year-old Gary Tuberville, was discovered around 9 a.m. earlier this week inside a home in the 300 block of S. Ferguson Street.  Lt. Jimmy Courtney, an investigator with the Hope Police Department said "Hope Police Department is committed to this investigation. We have four detectives and numerous patrol officers are working the streets to try to solve this senseless crime,". The victim's body has been taken to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for an autopsy.  Anyone with information about the crime is urged to contact Det. Andrew Watson of the Hope Police Department Criminal Investigative Division at (870) 722-2563.

The Upward Bound program at Southern Arkansas University will present a musical production, “The Ever After – A Musical,” at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 10, in the SAU Harton Theatre.  This family-friendly comedy will keep you in stitches throughout the play. Admission is free, and the public is cordially invited to attend. In the production, a cheesy talk show host invites traditional fairy tale characters who have been estranged for 20 years to reconcile on live television. From Snow White and the Evil Queen to Cinderella and her middle-aged stepsisters, this TV show parody asks the question, “Can’t we all just get along?” The talk show is punctuated by questions from obnoxious studio audience members and hilarious infomercials for fairy tale related products. Even Jiminy Cricket – now an occupational therapist and author of “My Life as Your Conscience” – makes a guest appearance to lend his professional opinion. Complete with a trash-talking clairvoyant mirror, an unfortunate prince who is turning slowly back into a frog and many other wacky fractured fairy tale bits, this talk show spoof will be the talk of the town. The musical is based off of a book by Nathan Hartswick. Music and lyrics are by Bill Francoeur. The production is directed by Larry Dunn with assistance from Christian Williams.

A real estate workshop is being offered from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday, August 16, at Southern Arkansas University. The workshop has been approved by the State Real Estate Commission for six hours of continuing education credits. Fee for the course is $60. For more information or to register, call 870-235-4005. Bill Ladd will lead the instruction and several topics will be covered. The class will meet at SAU’s Business Building, room 205. This course is being co-sponsored by the Arkansas Real Estate Training Academy and the SAU Division of Continuing Education. To find out more about SAU’s Continuing Education course offerings and to add your e-mail to their mailing list, visit 

Southern Arkansas University’s new Marine Biology degree program is expected to reel in students from across the state and region as it is the only such program in Arkansas.
The Marine Biology degree was approved for SAU by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education this spring. SAU will offer its first courses for the program when the fall semester begins on August 27, 2014. The program is expected to set sail with approximately 20 students.
It is not too late to enter the SAU Marine Biology program this fall, just apply online at “We are excited that SAU has been approved to offer the only Marine Biology major in Arkansas,” said SAU Provost and Vice President for Academics Dr. Trey Berry. “Several of our faculty members in the College of Science and Engineering have strong backgrounds in this field and our new partnerships on the Gulf Coast will provide SAU students with experiential learning and research opportunities to prepare them for the job market or for graduate school.” SAU has added a faculty member from the Gulf Coast to spearhead this new program. Dr. Jesse Filbrum is currently heading up an oil spill research project at the University of Southern Mississippi’s (USM) Gulf Coast Research Laboratory. His team is investigating the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to determine its effects on vulnerable fish larvae for current and future fisheries production. “Dr. Filbrun has a unique set of research skills working with stable isotopes in both fresh and saltwater environments, and he will excel in the areas of teaching, research and service,” said Dr. Claude Baker, biology professor and former biology department chair. “His association with the Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Marine Laboratory and Dauphin Island Marine Station will also pay huge dividends for our students, who will get hands-on learning experiences there.” Filbrun earned his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University and his bachelor’s from Bowling Green State University. His research has led to more than 20 presentations and many journal articles.  Marine Biology is just the latest of a long list of unique programs SAU has among its more than 65 degree offerings. Engineering is also kicking-off this fall at SAU, and is the only such program in south Arkansas. Computer Game and Animation Design started in the fall of 2013, and has been attracting students from well across the region and beyond. “This is another example of how SAU is making a concerted effort to provide new, innovative, and attractive academic programs for our students,” said Berry. Visit to find out more about SAU’s academic programs, the complete college experience and how to become a Mulerider. 

Hunters have been selected by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission to participate in the 2014 alligator hunting season. Each permit authorizes the harvest of one alligator, which must be at least 4 feet long. Alligator hunting is allowed from 30 minutes after sunset until 30 minutes before sunrise during the approved alligator seasons (night hunting only):
-- 30 minutes after sunset, Friday, Sept. 19, through 30 minutes before sunrise, Monday, Sept. 22.
-- 30 minutes after sunset, Friday, Sept. 26 through 30 minutes before sunrise, Monday, Sept. 29.

Successful applicants must attend a mandatory hunter orientation class. Successful applicants of a Private Land at Large alligator tag must provide written landowner permission as well as a map identifying permitted hunting area at the mandatory hunter orientation class.

Up to three assistants are allowed in the same boat as the permit holder. Only the permit holder is allowed to snare, harpoon and dispatch an alligator. Alligator hunters and assistants must have a valid Arkansas hunting license. Alligators must be snared or harpooned and subdued using a hand-held snare or harpoon and hand-held restraining line before dispatching. The use of any other equipment is prohibited. Once subdued, an alligator may be dispatched using only a shotgun or shotgun shell-loaded bang-stick using shot no larger than no. 4 common shot.

Alligators must be tagged with a Temporary Alligator Possession Tag immediately and transported to an official check station within 12 hours of harvest.

Oriya Organics, LLC is voluntarily recalling Oriya Organics Superfood Protein Medley which contains Organic Sprouted Chia Seed Powder due to possible health risks related to Salmonella contamination. Salmonella is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e. infected aneurysms). Products were sold directly to customers through the internet in Arkansas, Texas, Illinois, Florida, New York, Louisiana, and Virginia. Products were sold by retailers in Texas and Louisiana. The products in this voluntary recall include: Oriya Organics Superfood Protein Medley, 21.2 oz. UPC Code: 85370100401, with Lot #: A14314 and an expiration date of 05/23/2015.  Lot codes and expiration dates are located on the bottom of the container. No other Oriya Organics products are affected by this recall and no illnesses have been reported to date.  This recall has been initiated as a precautionary measure due to a contaminated ingredient from one of Oriya Organic’s suppliers. Consumers who have purchased any of these products with the above stated lot number and expiration dates are asked not to consume the product and discard it or return the product to the original point of purchase. Consumers with questions may contact Oriya Organics at 512-992-5100, Monday – Friday from 9am – 5pm CST.  Email correspondence can be sent to

Motorists depend on reliable and safe vehicles to get them where they are going, so a recent wave of vehicle recalls may lead to questions about the recall process or the safety of certain automobiles. The National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA) may order recalls of vehicles that have safety-related defects or that fail to meet federal safety standards. In addition, automobile manufacturers may voluntarily initiate recalls when safety defects are discovered. For instance, General Motors has issued recalls for more than 25 million vehicles this year alone, many related to potentially faulty ignition switches. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued this consumer alert today to provide information to Arkansans about vehicle recalls and how to determine whether vehicles are subject to a recall. “The vehicle recall process administered by the federal government is designed to protect our safety on the road and ensure that defects are identified and corrected in a timely fashion,” McDaniel said. “A recall shouldn’t be a reason for immediate alarm, but it should put consumers on notice that a problem needs to be corrected. Taking the time to have problems fixed can prevent injuries and save lives.” Recalls are issued when a vehicle or item within a vehicle fails to meet minimum federal motor vehicle safety standards. Such standards apply to items like brakes, tires, lighting, air bags, safety belts and child restraints. When vehicles are recalled, manufacturers must notify by mail all owners of affected vehicles with information about the recall that identifies the problem and evaluates its safety risk. Consumers must be told how the problem can be corrected, how long it will take to correct the issue and where the repairs can be made. In most instances, repairs must be provided free of charge. Lists of registered owners are provided by state motor vehicle offices. If the recall is related to certain equipment, such as tires or child-safety seats, notification is provided to owners who have registered the products with the manufacturer. NHTSA may also require manufacturers to notify the public of recalls through advertisements or other notices to the public. To determine whether a vehicle is subject to a recall:

-Visit NHTSA’s website,, where consumers can search NHTSA’s database by year, make and model for information about recalls, investigations and complaints. The searchable data base also includes information about recalls of child restraints, tires and other equipment. Contact the vehicle manufacturer or the car dealer directly. The manufacturer or dealer can search for recall information by using a car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). The VIN is listed on a car title and other documents, and is visible from outside the car through the windshield on the driver’s side.

-Call the federal Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236 or (800) 424-9393.
-Verify with a previous owner or the car dealer whether a used car that may have been recalled has been repaired in accordance with the recall notice.
For more information about this or other consumer issues, visit or call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division hotline, (800) 482-8982.

As Arkansans take to the water this Fourth of July weekend, the Arkansas Department of Health is recommending that swimmers take steps to stay healthy and safe.  Be aware of Recreational Water Illness (RWIs). RWIs are caused by germs that are spread by swallowing, having contact with or breathing in the mists or droplets from contaminated water in swimming pools, water parks, hot tubs, interactive fountains, water play areas, lakes, rivers, or oceans. The chlorine used in swimming pools, hot tubs, and other water venues kills germs that cause RWIs, but chlorine levels can be reduced. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains that, “All sorts of things can reduce chlorine levels in pool water. Some examples are sunlight, dirt, debris, and material from swimmers' bodies. That’s why chlorine levels must be routinely measured.” Because these factors can impact the effectiveness of chlorine, it is important to practice healthy swimming habits.
For more information on Pool Safety see: CDC: Chlorine Safety
Steps to Avoid Germs:
-Don’t swim when you have diarrhea. You can spread germs in the water and make other people sick.
-Don’t swallow the pool or lake water. Avoid getting water in your mouth.
-Practice good hygiene. Germs on your body end up in the water. Shower with soap before swimming and wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers.
-Don’t swim with open cuts, abrasions, or wounds. Breaks in the skin can let harmful germs into your body.
-Don’t swim in cloudy water.

For more information on RWIs see: ADH: Healthy Swimming and Recreational Water
Steps to Prevent Injury or Drowning
-Learn about the local water conditions, currents, and rules before entering the water.
-Make sure everyone knows how to swim.
-Use life jackets appropriately.
-Provide continuous, attentive supervision close to swimmers.
-Know CPR (for older children and adults).
-DO NOT drink alcohol before or during swimming, diving, or boating. Alcohol affects balance, coordination, and judgment.
For additional information on safe swimming visit: CDC: Safe Swimming
For a list of the Current Swim Beach Closures see: ADH: Current Swim Beach Closures
Remember this holiday weekend: Think Healthy. Swim Healthy. Be Healthy!

July 1, 2014

Recently Deputy Chris Lindsey of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office responded to a shots fired call in the area of 2727 Hwy 24. The officer spoke with a woman who stated that she heard a gunshot coming from the house behind them. The officer then spoke with another woman who said that they raise pigeons and other birds and that her boyfriend shot a raccoon trying to enter the coops in the backyard. The officer advised dispatch that he was clear of the call and back in service.

Lt. James Bolton also of the Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to 1205 Ouachita 67 to a report that someone had attempted to steal a 4-wheeler. Upon arrival the officer met will a man who stated that when he and his family had arrived home, he noticed a four-wheeler was in the middle of his landlord’s backyard. The closer he looked, the closer he realized it was his ATV. He stated that it was parked between a tree and a storage shed in his backyard; foot and tire prints were also visible. He also stated that the motor was bad in the ATV and would not run, but was valued at $3000.00. There was no visible damage done; and nothing else was missing. The officer advised that they would increase patrol in the area.

Bolton was also dispatched for a reported dog attack that killed the RP’s dog. A man said that he and his daughter had placed their small house dog outside tied to the front porch with a leash. The daughter later left with a friend; forgetting to put the dog back inside the house. When her mother arrived home, she noticed that the dog was missing. She found the leash and collar attached to the front porch, and when she looked across the yard, she saw the dog lying on the ground. As she approached she noticed that the dog’s throat was missing and was dead.
The only dogs that are in the area were the pit bull mix dogs that continue to run loose next door. The officer then attempted to make contact with the neighbor’s, but no one answered.

Officers responded to a report of someone passing counterfeit bills at Blann Grocery in Bearden. The owner stated that a female had entered the store, made a purchase and paid with a $20.00 bill. She then left the store before the clerk could mark the bill. The clerked checked the bill and the got the woman’s vehicle license plate.

The new Magnolia School District Superintendent John Ward was welcomed to the community at an ice cream social at Southern Arkansas University Monday before his official first day on July 1. Ward earned his superintendent certification from SAU in 2008, and told the crowd of around 65 that he has appreciated the overwhelming welcome from the community and he looks forward to working closely with the University. “I want SAU and the Magnolia School District to be extensions of each other and reflections of each other so that we can keep our kids here in Magnolia,” said Ward. The “kids” Ward referred to, in part, where the distinguished speakers who preceded him in the program that included a variety of well-spoken third to tenth grade Magnolia students. Also welcoming Ward during the program were SAU President Dr. David Rankin, Magnolia Mayor Parnell Vann and SAU Dean of the College of Education Zaidy MohdZain. Rankin expressed his outlook with a metaphor fit for the occasion. “I think SAU and the Magnolia School District go together like vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup,” said Rankin. “This is a time of celebration for new leadership and new opportunities, and we are proud to be a part of it.” The event was hosted by SAU’s Department of Educational Leadership, the SAU College of Education and the SAU Educational Renewal Zone. Ward comes to Magnolia with 17 years of experience in education as a teacher, elementary principal and superintendent. He began his career as a sixth grade science teacher in 1997 at Horatio Elementary. In 2000, he transferred to Winthrop Elementary where he taught fifth and sixth grade science and math. He later became principal there in 2003. In 2007, Horatio School District hired Ward to lead their district as the superintendent. Under his leadership, the district successfully completed major construction projects, increased the fund balance and increased student achievement. His wife, Misty, will also be working for Magnolia School District. She will be a literacy coach at East Side Elementary. The couple has four kids: Will, Caleb, Eli and Rachel.

Academically-acclaimed Southern Arkansas University athlete Michelle Beavers competes in cross country, but she is across the globe this summer doing molecular biology research in New Zealand. Beavers is a Chemistry Pre-Health and Biology Pre-Health double major with a 4.00 G.P.A. She was recently inducted into the 2014 Capital One Academic All-America® Second-Team. But she had no time to slow down to celebrate the news as she is working with researchers at Kenepuru Science Center in New Zealand as a part of GlobaLinks Study Abroad. She is helping study methylation of DNA from adipose tissue in diabetic patients before and after gastric bypass surgery. The research group hopes to find a link between weight loss and the methylation of DNA.  Beavers, who was previously named to the Capital One Academic All-District® Seven First-Team, is one of three women All-America selections from the Great American Conference this year. She is the 10th overall student-athlete and first women’s cross-country runner from SAU to receive the prestigious national academic award. As a cross country runner this past fall, Beavers finished 17th overall with a season-best time of 19:30 at the Great American Conference Championships, making her an All-GAC Second-Team runner. Beavers admitted it is not easy being an athlete and a science double major. “During meets, I am doing homework the whole ride up and back down. My trick is doing as much work as possible during the weekends to make the week a little easier. Dedication and commitment is key,” said Beavers. “Sometimes I skip out on get-togethers, but it's ok because I know that I'm at school for academics first.” Even though academics is most important to her, it was cross-country that initially enticed Beavers to look into SAU from her hometown of Metairie, La. She did her homework before officially accepting her academic and athletic scholarships. “I made phone calls to the SAU Science Center to ask about 100 questions to make sure I was going to be well prepared for the MCAT. Cross-country got me to visit and helped me pay for school, but honestly, the Science Center was the reason I decided to attend SAU,” said Beavers. SAU pre-health and pre-professional majors like Beavers enjoy customized advising to ensure each is prepared for his or her professional or medical school of choice. They also enjoy working hands-on with state-of-the-art equipment in the $17.2 million Science Center, which opened in 2010. Beavers completed molecular biology research in the Science Center as well as psychology research as a part of the SAU Honors College to help earn her spot to study abroad this summer. She has also completed more than 200 volunteer hours in the hospital settings to prepare her for her future career as an oncologist. She chose to dedicate her career to helping cancer patients because of the inspiration they provide. “I think people complain a lot over little things, like coffee not being made right or something like that. However, people in the oncology department have every right to complain, going through treatment and all, but they don’t complain. Even though some of them cannot even leave their rooms, they are just happy. They really treasure life, and I think I can learn so much from my patients while I’m with them every step of their treatment,” said Beavers.

June 30, 2014

Deputy Chris Lindsey of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office received a call regarding a possible identity theft. A woman advised police that she had received a phone call from a Doctor’s Office earlier that day asking her questions in regards to a wreck she had and a trip to the emergency room the previous night. The woman stated that she did not have a wreck nor did she make a trip to the E.R. The Doctor’s Office showed that they did in fact have records of her checking herself into the Hospital. The woman told officers that she believed it to be her sister, who has a history of related history and stealing property theft from family members.

Officers responded to a suspicious activity call in Bearden. Officers made contact with a woman who stated that her relatives that lived next door and that her family was in Texas. She said that she observed two males in a green pickup truck drive down her Uncle’s driveway and stop outside their residence. Officers went over to the house and searched the area, however nothing seemed to be tampered with. Extra patrol was sent to the area until the family returned.

Officers also responded to an attempted suicide attempt. When they got to the residence they made contact with a man, who appeared to be very intoxicated, a noose rope was also laying on the back porch. A female was also at the residence, and she appeared to be sitting on the couch also drinking an alcoholic beverage. The woman seemed very upset and intoxicated, she even began crying stating that the two of them had been drinking, taking pain pills, and fighting for the last three days. She said that her husband was mad because her son had parked in their garage. She also admitted that she did attempt to hang herself. When her husband saw this he quickly cut the noose and called 911. He stated that after that she ran inside threating to cut herself if he tried to stop her. The two were eventually separated; it was also confirmed by dispatch that the husband did have outstanding warrants; so he was arrested. The wife was transported to the Medical Center.

Former Magnolia police chief, Robert Gorum, has announced that he will be a candidate for mayor of Magnolia in the November 4th election. Gorum served as police chief for 17 years, retiring in 2011. He also served Columbia County as chief deputy sheriff for several years. He is married to the former Marion Hudgens, daughter of Virgie Hudgens and the late Eddie Hudgens. Gorum has worked a total of 30 years in government positions, 22 of them for Magnolia and Columbia County. If elected, Gorum said that he will work for the City of Magnolia with honesty and financial responsibility, and work together with the City Council, Quorum Court, and business owners for the betterment of all citizens.

Prepare yourself for office employment by gaining the computer skills employers want. This class will cover computer navigation, Microsoft Office, basic web usage, basic keyboarding and online job-hunting skills. Students will also be acquainted with the online job application process. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. For more information you can call Tara Anglin at (870) 864-8456 or email her at The seminar will be 20 dollars per person.

The American Red Cross urges eligible blood donors to roll up a sleeve and give to help prevent a summer blood shortage. Blood donors with type’s O negative, B negative and A negative are especially needed. The Red Cross is seeing fewer appointments at its blood donation centers and blood drives this summer than what is needed to ensure blood and platelets continue to be available for patients. During the summer months of June, July and August, on average, about two fewer donors make an appointment to give blood at each Red Cross blood drive than what patients need. This can add up to more than 100,000 fewer donations during the summer. Blood and platelet donations are needed every day for patients with many serious medical conditions. Accident and burn victims, heart surgery patients, organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease may all need blood. To learn more and make an appointment to donate blood, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS. 
Upcoming blood donation opportunities: Ouachita County

July 25 from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Atwoods, 1260 U.S. 278 in Camden
July 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Walmart, 950 California Ave. in Camden

How to donate blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

A Saline County woman accused of stealing prescription narcotics intended for residents at the healthcare facility where she worked was arrested following an investigation by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced. Tasha Lenard, 24, of Bryant, was arrested on two counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud or theft, a Class D felony. She was released from the Saline County Detention Center on $10,000 bond. Lenard formerly worked as a licensed practical nurse at the Department of Human Services’ Arkansas Health Center in Benton. She is accused of taking for her own personal use at least two dosages of morphine and 10 methadone tablets that had been prescribed for two residents of the facility. Lenard has voluntarily surrendered her nursing license. Charges are merely accusations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. To report suspected instances of Medicaid fraud or abuse and neglect in nursing homes, call the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit hotline at (866) 810-0016.

July 27, 2014

Deputy Jarod Purifoy or the Sheriff’s Office spoke with a man about a theft of speakers and amplifier from his vehicle parked at McKelvin’s garage. The man stated that the vehicle was in the McKelvin’s lot for about 2 ½ weeks and the speakers were taken sometime during this time. He stated when he went to pick the vehicle up he noticed that the speakers were missing. The speakers were mounted in a wooden box and bolted down in the back of the SUV. All that remains in the vehicle now is the box. A report was filed and the investigation is still underway.

Deputy Bryant Carman and Lt. David Pennington responded to 1803 Ouachita 67 to a report of a vehicle that had been broken into. Upon arrival the officers spoke with a woman who stated that she had left her car unlocked and sometime during the night someone had went inside her vehicle and had went through her belongings. She said that the only thing she can find missing is her General Dynamics work badge. It should be noted that someone has been arrested for these crimes.

Officer Jimmy Plyler of the Camden Police Department was dispatched to 140 Grinstead for a disturbance. When he arrived on the scene he met with the residents, including a female that showed signs of heavy intoxication. The woman’s eyes were bloodshot and watery, her speech was slurred and she couldn’t even stand up straight. She continued yelling, and interrupting people and was asked several times to keep it down. Everyone involved was told to go inside and separate until tensions calmed and alcohol wore off. Unfortunately when the woman went back inside she began yelling and causing a disturbance; she was then taken into custody.

Silver Oaks is planning an event in honor of Mrs. Gertrude Weaver’s 116th birthday on July 4, from 10:00 until noon.  IF one document arrives from the Social Security Administration in time, Robert Young from Guinness Book of World Records will be in Camden on July 3-4 to recognize her as the oldest person in the U.S. and the second oldest in the World. Worldwide press can be expected at this event. 

KFC locations in Camden and Magnolia will be donating $1.00 per bucket of chicken sold in the month of July. We as the Women Crisis Center board are asking everyone to start buying buckets of chicken from KFC on July 1st. This will help us help others in need of in our community. We would like to challenge other restaurant owners in the area to match KFC's donation or donate anything that you can.

Just when you thought El Dorado’s Annual MusicFest couldn’t get any bigger or better; they prove otherwise with another amazing lineup this year. Executive Director, Mark Givens and his team definitely have something to be proud of as they have put together an array of talents that include Salt N Pepa, Jerrod Niemann, Coolio, Digital Underground, David Fanning and more. The show will also be featuring the Branson’s #1 comedy act Buckets N Boards this year.

The people of El Dorado seemed pleased about the artist coming to the Annual Fall show in October, a sign that Givens definitely knows the city he lives in and what the people want. Givens said “We are excited; this was definitely one of the hardest in my 9 years to do this, but to have artist like Salt N Pepa, which was hard to do; it could probably be compared to when we had MC Hammer a few years back”. Givens also said “All in all I’m very proud of this line-up; it’s very diverse, which I’m proud of, and because of all the different genres that will be performing this year, I’m very excited. This is definitely shaping up to be one of the best shows that MusicFest has ever put together. For any additional information you can visit 

The Stephens School District lost this week its final bid to win consolidation concessions on its terms. U.S. District Court Judge Susan O. Hickey granted the Arkansas Board of Education’s motion to grant the administrative consolidation of the Stephens district with the neighboring Magnolia, Nevada and Camden-Fairview districts. Stephens’ motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against the consolidation was also turned down by Hickey.  The judge retained jurisdiction over the matter in order to decide Stephens’s pending motion to consolidate and hear further argument from the parties regarding the future application of the 1970 consent decree that desegregated one of the Stephens’ districts components, the former McNeil School District.

The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) is alerting restaurant owners statewide about possible fraudulent inspectors. The Department is warning restaurant managers that there have been some people posing as health inspectors who are not with ADH.  In the past, some restaurants received phone calls from entities claiming to be from the State Health Department and calling to schedule restaurant inspections. In addition, some fraudulent callers were giving restaurant owners a telephone number with a code number and asking the restaurant owners to call that phone number and give the code.  The Arkansas Department of Health is not calling restaurants to schedule inspections or giving them a code to call for inspections. Inspections are made unannounced by ADH environmental health specialists (EHS). Before a restaurant owner/manager allows anyone into their kitchen for an inspection of the food preparation area, they should ask for proper identification. ADH EHS personnel wear badges. If they are unable to verify that the person is an EHS, the restaurant owner/manager should contact the local county health unit.

June 26, 2014

Yesterday afternoon at approximately 5:40 pm, someone came by the police department stating that there were bones located on Henry-Wesley Road; just off Maul Road. Officer of the Camden PD were dispatched to the scene and did located human skeletal remains. The remains were found behind and old vacant house in a wooded area. The police did collect the bones and are sending them to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for DNA testing, to find out how long the bones have been there and if there is any foul play. A particular person cannot be identified at this time, however there were articles of clothing found by the remains. We will have more on this investigation as it unfolds. 

The City of Camden has been working with ArCOPS and the Arkansas Department of Health to reduce the obesity rate in Camden and Ouachita County.  Mechelle Winslow and David Roberts will be here at 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, July 1, to go over the plans to improve the walkability of Camden.  You will not be obligated for anything in the future, the city would just like your ideas and any concerns.  However, there is room on the Walkability committee if you would like to participate.  The next major project will be the old railroad line that goes from the Depot to Maul Road.  If you know someone who might like to be involved, please invite them to attend too. If you have any questions, please call me at 836-6436.

The City will confer with our Senior Citizens and Minority Youth at 11:15 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on July 2 and will bring those comments to the community public meeting here in the Council Chambers at 3:00 p.m.  All citizens are encouraged to attend to voice their needs in the area of outdoor recreation.

The visual arts committee of the South Arkansas Arts Center will host an artist reception for 15 Gulf Coast artists in the Merkle and Price Galleries on Saturday, June 28 from 6-8pm. The reception marks the conclusion of the current exhibition entitled “Tides and Currents: Contemporary Art Along the Gulf Coast.”  The reception is free and open to the public. The exhibition is sponsored by Bancorp South and Teague Auto Group. The collaborative exhibition, curated by award winning artist Bill Myers, welcomes back old and new friends to SAAC’s galleries with new creations that explore various mediums and the versatility of art.  The exhibition includes works in acrylic, assemblage, encaustic, graphite and ink on wood, handmade paper, pottery, sculpture, textile, and watercolor. The award winning artists included in the exhibition are Annette Blocker, Susan Carranza, Kat Fitzpatrick, Kerr Grabowski, Mary Hardy, Carol Hutcherson, Adele Lawton, Ellen Ellis Lee, Trailer McQuilkin, Bill Myers, Vicki Niolet, MaryAnderson, Joey Rice, Peggy Tilley, and Jessie Florence Zenor. For more information about the exhibition or reception, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474 or visit

Fireworks have been a part of Independence Day celebrations since the dawn of the republic, and backyard fireworks displays are a common custom for many Arkansas families around the Fourth of July. Fireworks such as bottle rockets and sparklers are most often the entertainment of choice. The fun can go without incident if consumers take some basic safety precautions. However, injuries from bottle rockets and sparklers alone account for about one-quarter of all fireworks-related injuries each year. And, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 60 percent of all fireworks injuries and deaths occur within the 30 days around Independence Day. Therefore, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued this consumer alert today to remind Arkansans to keep safety in mind when using fireworks this year, as well as to inform consumers about state law related to the sale and purchase of fireworks. “The best and safest way to enjoy the tradition of Independence Day fireworks is to watch one of the many large public displays scheduled across the state,” McDaniel said. “We do understand, though, that some consumers may want to use fireworks themselves, and in those instances, they should take all the necessary steps to make sure they spend their holiday weekend with family and friends, and not in the emergency room.” Close to 9,000 people every year are treated in hospitals for fireworks-related injuries. More than half of those ER visits are for burns to the hands, head or face. Most injuries are because of malfunctioning fireworks or improper use. Here are six ways to stay safe:

-Supervise children at all times and make sure adults light every firework, including sparklers – remember sparklers can burn at a temperature of 2,000 degrees.
-Stay away from others while lighting fireworks and never aim fireworks at another person.
-Never shoot fireworks from metal or glass containers.
-Keep a garden hose or bucket of water within reach in case of fire.
-Never re-light a malfunctioning, or “dud,” firework. Soak the “duds” in water and throw them away. 
-Only light one firework at a time and move away quickly after lighting it.
McDaniel reminded consumers that the state’s “Fireworks Act” restricts the types of fireworks that can be sold in the state and the amount of explosive material that each firework may contain.
Firework vendors are required to have a state license. They may not sell fireworks to anyone under the age of 12 or to anyone who appears to be intoxicated. Municipal ordinances may also restrict or regulate fireworks sales. Under state law, certain fireworks may only be sold each year from June 20 to July 10 and from Dec. 10 to Jan. 5. Each of those products sold must be labeled “I.C.C. Class C Common Fireworks.” The class includes Roman candles, skyrockets, helicopter-type rockets, cylindrical fountains, cone fountains, wheels, illuminating torches, mines and shells, firecrackers and salutes. Other devices may be sold at any time. Those include items like sparklers, smoke sticks without report and serpentine pop-off novelties. For more information about fireworks safety and Arkansas’s fireworks laws, contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at (800) 482-8982 or visit

June 25, 2014

Lt. Cedric Gregory of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched 111 Ouachita 602 in reference to a report of a dog complaint. Upon arrival the officer met with the reporting party who said that he had been having problems with his neighbor’s dogs. The dogs had apparently been coming into his yard and making aggressive moves. The man stated once the dogs started to come towards him and wouldn’t stop, he went inside and grabbed his firearm and fired a shot into the ground to frighten the K9’s. The man said that he fears for the safety of his family.

He has spoken to the owner, but the owner will not keep the dogs in a pen. When the officer went over to the neighbor’s house no one appeared to be home, but there were 6 full-sized dogs running around loose in the yard.

Officers of the Sheriff’s Office were dispatched for a report of domestic disturbance. The woman reporting the incident stated that her boyfriend had been causing a disturbance and would not quiet down. He had been inside and out throwing things and screaming. A warrant check revealed that the man had a 10,000 dollar bench warrant. He was then found and taken into custody; booked in on the warrant.

Gabrielle Davis has a big heart and big plans for her future, and she never thought about taking her ambitions anywhere other than Southern Arkansas University. Davis, 18 of Magnolia, was recently selected among a statewide pool of applicants as the 2014 recipient of the Pringle Scholarship through the Arkansas Community Foundation. She earned this award because of her dedication to community and her work with the Columbia County Youth Advisory Council (YAC). She joined YAC after completing the Today’s Youth, Tomorrow’s Leaders (TYTL) program for high school sophomores and juniors interested in improving themselves and the community. In YAC, Davis participated in numerous service projects and helped write grants for the organization. Wise beyond her years, Davis has a clear vision for how she plans to dedicate her life to community. Her academic journey has already started this summer at SAU, a place she said feels like home. She is majoring in political science to put her on track to become a social attorney with an emphasis in child advocacy. Outside of class, she hopes to become a part of SAU’s community involvement efforts. She has earned a spot in the SAU Honors College and a scholarship position with the SAU Choral Ensemble. But her scholarship funds do not end there. Being a first-generation college student, Davis has sought out all the college funding sources she could find. She has been also awarded an SAU Blue and Gold Scholarship, a scholarship from the Boys & Girls Club, and the Arkansas Challenge. “I am still awaiting the results from several other scholarships I applied for,” said Davis, who also works a part-time job. She has been a standout at everything she has touched in her short life. Academically, she completed Magnolia High School with a 4.18 GPA. In addition to her involvement with the YAC program, she participated in choir, drama, softball, drill team, Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), and Pride. She was elected Student Council President and was a member of Mu Alpha Theta and the National Honor Society.

She is an alumnus of SAU’s Upward Bound program, and is a student in SAU Upward Bound Bridge this summer. “Upward Bound has opened many doors of opportunity to help me reach my educational goals,” said Davis. “The program has inspired me to spread the greatness of not only Upward Bound, but the importance of earning a degree.” On top of all of that, she has logged more than 100 hours volunteering for the Boys & Girls Club of Magnolia. She is currently working with the South Arkansas Women's Network and has volunteered for Relay for Life.  Not surprisingly, Davis was recognized “Young Person of the Year” by the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce in the spring of 2014. She is the daughter of Kenneth Davis and Rebekah McDowell. Her sister, Gabrianna McDowell, is a junior pre-nursing major at SAU Arkansas Community Foundation is a nonprofit organization that fosters smart giving to improve communities. The Community Foundation offers tools to help Arkansans protect, grow and direct their charitable dollars as they learn more about community needs. By making grants and sharing knowledge, the Community Foundation supports charitable programs that work for Arkansas and partners to create new initiatives that address the gaps.  Since 1976, the Community Foundation has provided more than $108 million in grants and partnered with thousands of Arkansans to help them improve our neighborhoods, our towns and our entire state. Contributions to the Community Foundation, its funds and any of its 27 affiliates are fully tax deductible.

A convicted murderer serving a 240-month sentence at the Arkansas Department of Corrections' (ADC) Pine Bluff Unit reportedly walked away from his work assignment Saturday evening. Shea Wilson with ADC said 47-year-old, Timothy Buffington, is said to be 5'6" and about 182 pounds, with a scar on his upper left arm and his right wrist. Preliminary investigation released by ADC on Tuesday shows that Buffington broken into a safe room that Saturday at a house located on prison grounds and obtained a shotgun. According to Wilson, the door was dead-bolted, but he managed to kick the doorframe out. She said Buffington was doing yard and janitorial work at the house. Jefferson County Sheriff's Officials reported Sunday night that they believed he was armed with a backpack of ammo in addition to the shotgun. According to Wilson, he confronted a woman who lives at the home, and attempted to have her drive him off the prison grounds, but she was able to get away. She reportedly ran to Randall Williams Correctional Facility for help. Wilson has also said that the search is still concentrated in the area surrounding the prison, though they have alerted law enforcement in areas where Buffington may have ties. She said ADC continues to focus on public safety, and officials plan to conduct a full investigation surrounding his escape when he is back in custody.

Governor Mike Beebe issued a call to bring the Arkansas General Assembly into a special session to provide funding that will open more inmate beds and improve the viability of the Public School Employee Life and Health Insurance Program. The special session will begin on Monday, June 30 at 4:00 p.m. The call includes bills that, if approved, will do the following:

- Provide ongoing revenue to open about 600 additional beds in Department of Correction facilities and the Pulaski County Jail;
- Eliminate part-time employees from eligibility to participate in the Public School Employee Life and Health Insurance Program; and
 - Adjust the composition of the State and Public School Life and Health Insurance Board and its subcommittees, modify the definition of and require verification of "dependents," require that some participants establish health savings accounts, require the Board to identify FICA savings within districts for potential employee premium assistance, and limit coverage for the treatment of morbid obesity and bariatric surgeries. The above changes to the Public School Employee Life and Health Insurance Program resulted from study and analysis undertaken by a legislative task force created for this specific purpose last October during another special session.

June 24, 2014

Officer Parker of the Camden Police Department arrived at 850 Field Street Building 2 apartment 1 in attempt to serve a warrant. When the officer got to the apartment I woman answered the door claiming not to be the one the officer was looking for. The officer then found that the woman was lying and was in-fact the one he was looking for. She was taken into custody on the active warrant and charged with obstructing governmental operations. She was later transported to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office.

A man recently made a call to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office regarding a suspicious vehicle around his residence. He stated that an older model dark colored Chevy van was in the neighborhood driving around. The man also said that as he was going to close the door to his shop the vehicle pulled up to his drive way, with two men inside, but when they saw the man they drove off.

Officer Gregory was dispatched to 401 Busbee Street for a report of a domestic assault. One woman stated that her boyfriend had assaulted her. According to the woman the man showed up to the residence, requested that she get dressed and accompany him to another location. When she refused he walked over to the couch and slapped her in the face. The woman said that this was the first time that the man had assaulted her; there were displays of bruising and redness on the left side of her face.

Deputy LaDuke of the Sheriff’s Office recently spoke with a man who wanted to make a report for someone stealing the electrical wire from the house. The man stated that he had recently had the house moved to the property and was in the process of getting it ready to be moved into. He stated that an electrician had recently installed new wires and a breaker box. When he woke up one morning he noticed that somebody had cut all the wires that had just been installed. He also found the same thing around the back, under the house. At this time there is no idea who was responsible.  

Shumaker Public Service Corporation will begin flushing water lines on June 30, beginning at SAU Tech. The corporation will then enter the city of East Camden on July 1st. This process will take approximately 4 weeks to complete. The corporation is asking that you take precautions while doing laundry due to sediments stirred up in the lines. They also apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Only two items on the Magnolia City Council’s agenda, and the council made quick work with them in a meeting that lasted just over 20 minutes. The council approved an ordinance authorizing the purchase of a new fire truck. Stating the “immediate need” for the truck and the “exceptional circumstances,” the council’s ordinance waived the requirements for obtaining bids, and declared the existence of an emergency. After the third and final reading of the ordinance, it passed with all council members voting yes; except one. Although the new fire truck has a total cost of $381,000, Mayor Parnell Vann stated that only $43,275.96 will be paid from city funds, with the rest obtained from Arkansas Act 833 money. “(Act) 833 money is based on your homeowner’s insurance that you pay,” said Vann. “A portion of that comes back to the local fire departments which is what we’ll pay for this truck.”

The Arkansas Big Bass Classic is coming up June 27th - 29th on the Arkansas River. Our friends at the Arkansas Hospitality Association sponsor this annual event that attracts anglers from all over the State. Would the News Department in each of our markets please call Montine McNulty at 501-376-2323 to conduct an interview with Montine or one of her staffers? Many of you will recall visiting with Montine about this time a year ago! We need to attract several anglers from each of our service areas to help get the number of entries up for this wonderful event! You can google Arkansas Big Bass Classic to get more information. Please drop me a quick email to confirm when you've conducted your interview and when you plan to air it as I plan to keep track of our coverage.

The summer travel season is already underway and many Arkansans are preparing to be on the road during the Fourth of July holiday.  Unfortunately these celebrations can take a tragic turn when a person decides to drive a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or ignore the posted speed limit.  In order to promote safer travel, the Arkansas State Police and other state and local law enforcement agencies will join forces in a special crackdown targeting drunk driving and speeding violations beginning June 28th and continuing through July 14th. “The Fourth of July has proven to be one of the deadliest holidays on Arkansas highways and in many instances, drunk driving has been the cause of these deaths,” said Colonel Stan Witt, Arkansas State Police Director and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “We want everyone to drive sober and obey the posted speed limit.  That’s why we’re focusing on the ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ and ‘Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine’ campaigns during this holiday period.” Law enforcement agencies across the state will increase sobriety checkpoints and speeding patrols as part of the two week enforcement operation.  Officers are prepared to arrest drunk drivers and ticket speeders to ensure roadways are safer. “Safety is our primary concern, not just for drivers and passengers, but for others on the road such as pedestrians and workers in construction zones,” said Colonel Witt. “We hope all Arkansans have a great summer and holiday, but we are asking everyone to drive responsibly.” There were 552 traffic fatalities on Arkansas roadways during 2012.  Twenty-six percent, or 143 of those fatalities involved a driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.  Speeding was a contributing factor in 76 of the total fatalities or almost 14 percent. The Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office recommends that everyone buckle up and drivers should always obey the posted speed limit.  Anyone who plans to consume alcohol should designate a sober driver before traveling.   Calling a friend or taxi for transportation after consuming alcohol is another safe way to avoid an arrest or worse, being involved in a deadly crash. The law enforcement crackdown is funded by federal traffic safety funds through the Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office and runs concurrently with a media campaign that will remind motorists, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine.” For more information on the campaigns, visit 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

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel filed a consumer-protection lawsuit against a Pulaski County man, the businesses he owns and his employees for deceptively marketing chiropractic services to consumers involved in automobile accidents. McDaniel announced at a news conference this morning that he had filed the lawsuit against Roger D. Pleasant, his employees Rogerick Pleasant, James “Jimmy” Hinton and Brian Hinton, and the entities Information and Discovery Inc., PSG and Investigation LLC, Accident Claim Service LLC, Physician First Marketing Group LLC and Network Collision Group LLC. The defendants are accused of using deception and harassing tactics in their attempts to convince accident victims to visit a chiropractor. Roger Pleasant and his employees are known as chiropractic “runners.” They collect consumer information from accident reports, and then solicit business on behalf of the chiropractors who pay them if the consumer seeks treatment from the chiropractor. Pleasant and his employees are accused of lying to consumers, repeatedly calling the consumers on the phone and showing up at consumers’ home or workplace in efforts to coerce consumers into visiting the chiropractor for whom they were working. “These chiropractic runners use many deceptive tactics in their attempts to force a consumer to seek chiropractic treatment. They may pose insurance agents or claims adjusters and may call at all hours of the day or night,” McDaniel said. “But it is clear in this instance that the health or well-being of a consumer does not matter to them. All that matters is the kickback they will receive from a chiropractor who is involved in the scheme.” lawsuit accuses the defendants of telling accident victims that they will not receive any insurance proceeds from the accident unless they visit a specific chiropractor for treatment, among other actions in violation of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. The defendants have also implied that chiropractors would not charge for services, only for consumers to later discover that chiropractic clinics have filed medical liens. The lawsuit was filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court. McDaniel asked the Court to issue an injunction ordering Roger Pleasant, the businesses he controls and his employees to stop their deceptive actions. The lawsuit also seeks civil penalties and attorneys’ fees and costs.

June 20, 2014

Officers of the Camden Police Department were contacted by Chief Bo Woody to come to his location on Forrest View. When the officer arrived he noticed a large black and white mixed breed dog in the back of a truck along with a black male. The dog didn’t have a collar, city license or city tag. Chief Woody told the officer that he witnessed the male, identified as Isiah Powell, throw the dog out of the back of the truck. Powell said the dog didn’t belong to him, but to Willie Sams. Mr. Sams said that the dog showed up at his residence two months ago and that he did not want it anymore. The two men were advised that they had committed animal cruelty and were transported to the station. The dog was transported to the city pound.

Sgt. Robert Henninger of the Camden Police Department was dispatched to the area of West Washington Street in reference to a vehicle with a refrigerator on top of it that had been stolen. Witnesses say that someone came to an old abandoned house and stole the refrigerator in the house. They stated that one of the suspects had a red shirt and was on foot. When officers caught up with the suspect, he stated that he had got the refrigerator from a friend who had two of them. When he was asked who the friend was, the man stated that he did not know. The man was then placed into handcuffs and detained for investigation. Dispatch then advised that the man had a warrant out of San Diego California and was considered armed and dangerous. He was booked, charged with residential burglary, and transported to the Ouachita County Jail to be held until a court appearance. 

Although the Emerson PurpleHull Pea Festival will be Saturday, June 28, two events will be this Saturday; the Kids Fishing Derby and PurpleHull Pea Pageant. Registration for the festival‘s Kids Fishing Derby will begin at 7 a.m. Saturday at Mullins Pond, just off U.S 79, on the north side of Emerson. Fishing will begin at 8 a.m. and last until 10 a.m. The derby is for children aged 2 to 15, and is open to the first 50 entrants. The PurpleHull Pea Festival Pageant begins at 2 p.m. in the Emerson School Cafetorium.

With almost here, boaters are already hitting the wakes across the Natural State, but this is also a time to put safety first. Arkansas Game and Fish leaders are doing what they can to help prevent you from becoming another statistic by providing education to the community in a series of classes. According to reports, at least 7 people were killed in boat related accidents so far this year. This number is higher than what we saw the same time last year. Some of the common problems Game and Fish see are boat collisions, no life jackets, and people who are not aware of their surroundings. Bob Cushing of Arkansas Game and Fish said, "boating accidents happen, people get thrown out of the boat, people just fall out of the boat and a lot of times if they don't have on their life jacket, they don't come up,". While it's something we hear all the time, officials remind you it makes a huge difference to wear a life jacket because it can go a long way to reducing the fatality rates.

June 19, 2014

On the one-year anniversary of the passage of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in the U.S. House of Representatives, Women Speak Out PAC, a partner of the national pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, is blasting Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) for his refusal to support the bill. The group pledged to educate voters about his extreme record on abortion and failure to support the bill to protect babies at 5 months, more than halfway through pregnancy.

“Scientific research shows that at 5 months, the unborn child can feel the excruciating pain of death by abortion,” said Women Speak Out PAC President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “A year ago today, the U.S. House of Representatives, including Rep. Tom Cotton, took action to protect these children. Arkansas voters, like the majority of Americans, oppose this barbaric practice, but Senator Pryor refuses to protect these babies from painful late abortions.”
“Women Speak Out PAC is already setting up field offices across Arkansas and plans to mobilize thousands of pro-life volunteers between now and Election Day,” said Arkansas State Director Laurie Lee. “We will expose Pryor’s extreme abortion position and urge voters not to support a candidate who refuses to stand up for their pro-life values.”
Recently, Senator Pryor once again refused to support the current legislative proposal to protect pain-capable children. Pryor told Politico that he is “skeptical” of the legislation introduced by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), which boasts 40 cosponsors. Last year national polling by Quinnipiac, National Journal, Huffington Post, NBC/Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post/ABC News all found that a plurality or majority of Americans support limiting abortion after 20 weeks gestation and that women support the measure in higher proportions than men.

A kidney disease diagnosis may feel overwhelming, but getting educated can help you overcome those fears and feel better. Take control of your kidney disease by attending a no-cost Kidney Smart Class led by Kidney Smart Educator Latashia Lockart. Classes are held throughoutd the Camden area. Lockart will be talking about diet and nutrition, what flexible treatment options are available, and much more. Join Camden for the next class on June 24th, at 2:00 pm. The class will be held at the Ouachita County Medical Center in the Ouachita Room. You can contact Lockart at 807-4059.

Consumers looking for ways to lose a few pounds may turn to dietary supplements, so-called weight-loss creams or other unconventional means. Though advertisements may tout the benefits of these weight-loss products, chances are that most consumers will lose a little weight from their wallets, but nowhere else. Americans spend close to $2.5 billion per year on diet products, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Also, according to a 2011 FTC survey, more Americans are victims of weight-loss product fraud than any other specific type of fraud, the U.S. Senate held a hearing about the pervasiveness of deceptive weight-loss advertisements. Because of the recent attention given to the topic, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued this consumer alert today to remind Arkansas consumers about the dangers of quick-fix weight loss schemes. “Medical experts tell us the only surefire way to lose weight is through a combination of proper diet and exercise over time,” McDaniel said. “Products that promise rapid weight loss with little effort are almost always ineffective, and some could end up causing long-term damage to a person’s health.” According to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, the most effective way to lose weight and keep it off is by losing one-half to two pounds per week by eating better and exercising more. UAMS recommends that consumers speak to their physicians or registered dietician before starting any diet program. Physicians also warn that dietary supplements that can be found in stores or online and are not approved by the FDA could contain dangerous ingredients or ingredients that could be toxic when taken with other drugs or food. Further, there are no FDA-approved injectable drugs to eliminate fat and no credible scientific evidence that substances used in lipodissolve procedures are effective in eliminating fat. McDaniel joined the FTC in letting consumers know what to watch out for when they hear ads or product endorsements:

-Avoid pitches about losing weight without diet or exercise. There are no products that provide miraculous results with no effort.
-Beware of claims of permanent weight loss. Most products do not provide real results without ongoing maintenance. Permanent weight loss requires permanent lifestyle changes.
-There’s no magic pill. There’s not a weight-loss pill – even among those approved by the FDA – that works without a corresponding low-calorie, low-fat diet and regular exercise.
-Products that promise lightning-fast results never deliver, and they could cause health damage.
-Patches or creams don’t melt away pounds.
-Be wary of businesses that promote “one and only” products or use words like “guarantee” or breakthrough.
In addition to those tips, McDaniel said consumers should be aware that businesses often hire actors to appear to be doctors in their advertisements, and deceptive advertisers may alter “before” and “after” photos in ads or fabricate testimonials that promote false results. For more information about weight-loss scams and other consumer issues, visit the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division website,, or call the Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 482-8982.

The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) warns individuals and groups traveling to the Caribbean to take steps to protect themselves from mosquito bites.  In December 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported local transmission of chikungunya in Saint Martin. Local transmission means that mosquitoes in the area have been infected with chikungunya and are spreading it to people. This is the first time that local transmission of chikungunya has been reported in the Americas. Illness Local transmission of chikungunya is now being reported in other countries in the Caribbean. As of June 4, 2014, the following Caribbean countries have reported cases of chikungunya:

-British Virgin Islands
-Dominican Republic
-French Guiana
-Puerto Rico
-Saint Barthelemy
-Saint Kitts
-Saint Lucia
-Saint Martin (French)
-Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
-Sint Maarten (Dutch)
Travelers who go to these islands in the Caribbean are at risk of getting chikungunya. In addition, travelers to Africa, Asia, and islands in the Indian Ocean and Western Pacific are also at risk, as the virus is present in many of these areas. The mosquito that carries chikungunya virus can bite during the day and night, both indoors and outdoors, and often lives around buildings in urban areas. “Chikungunya is an illness caused by a virus that spreads through mosquito bites. The most common symptoms of chikungunya are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash,” according to Dr. Haselow, State Epidemiologist. The best way to protect yourself and your family continued Haselow “is to take steps to prevent mosquito bites.” These measures will also protect you from other mosquito borne infections like yellow fever, malaria, west nile, and others.
•Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
•Use insect repellent with the active ingredient DEET when you go outdoors.
•Always follow product directions and reapply as directed:
.If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first and insect repellent second. Also follow package directions when applying repellant on children. Repellents used on children should be less than 30 % DEET. No DEET-containing repellent should be used on children less than two months of age. Avoid applying repellent to their hands, eyes, and mouth.
•Use permethrin-treated  clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents). You can buy pre-treated clothing and gear or treat them yourself:
•Stay and sleep in screened or air conditioned rooms.
•Use a bed net if the area where you are sleeping is exposed to the outdoors.
If you have traveled to any of these areas and feel seriously ill talk to your doctor, especially if you have a fever, recommended Haselow. For more information about medical care abroad, see Getting Health Care Abroad

Currently, there is no vaccine or specific antiviral treatment available for chikungunya fever. It is rarely fatal.  Treatment is symptomatic and includes rest, fluids, and medicines to relieve symptoms of fever and pain such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs including: ibuprofen, naproxen, acetaminophen or paracetamol.  Aspirin should be avoided. Infected persons should be protected from further mosquito exposure (staying indoors in areas with screens and/or under a mosquito net) during the first few days of the illness so they can not contribute to ongoing transmission.

June 18, 2014

Officer Jimmy Plyler, of the Camden Police Department, noticed a black male wearing blue jeans and a white shirt stumbling through the parking lot of Staten’s Garage on Lincoln Drive. The officer made contact with the man, identified as Kevin Porchia, who smelled strongly of alcohol. Porchia had a hard time keeping his balance and was swaying back and forth. His speech was very slurred; his eyes were also bloodshot, and watery. When asked if he had been drinking, he responded by telling the cop “man don’t do this now, I’m on my way home”. He was then taken into custody for public intoxication and transported to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office.

Officer Nathan Clayton, of the Camden Police Department, was dispatched to 219 Buchanan in reference to a damage property report. The officer made contact with Taihesha Porchia, who stated that she came outside her residence and noticed that her vehicle was gone; and by the time she returned home, the car was back under the carport. She believes that her husband took the vehicle and may have wrecked it and didn’t tell her. Her husband, Larry Porchia, stated that they had been arguing and she struck him with a hammer in the leg, but he did not want to press any charges. Mr Porchia’s eyes were bloodshot and his speech was slurred. When asked if he had been drinking he stated “yes, I’m home aint I?”. Mr. Porchia then asked if he could be taken to the emergency room. Moments later he began to stumble down the street; the officer then warned him that if he continued, he would be arrested for public intoxication. He was then determined to be a danger to himself and the ones around him and was taken into custody.

A Magnolia woman is trying to raise $5,000 to pay for a trip to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, in hopes that its physicians can determine which auto-immune disease is driving her toward blindness. Brandi Creed, has set a goal of raising $5,000 for travel, food, hotel expenses, and any deductibles or co-pay for the clinic. Creed said “I don't know if I'll be there (at the clinic) two days or two weeks. She also said “I have no idea how this whole process works; my regular doctor has sent in the referral, and we have an appointment date of June 26th.” A fundraiser for Creed is also being held from 6-8 p.m. June 23 at Chicken Express. The restaurant will donate 20 percent of its profits from sales during that period if customers mention Creed when they order. So far, Creed has raised almost $2,800 toward her goal.

Relief groups in Faulkner County say more volunteers are needed to continue with the cleanup efforts from the April 27th tornado. Arkansas Dream Center Executive Director Drew Davis says 5 to 6 homes still need to be demolished, and about two dozen sites need extensive cleanup work. The EF4 tornado that hit Vilonia and Mayflower killed 15 people and caused extensive damage. According to reports, Davis said that 700 people in the area were affected by the storm, and that less than one-third of them have secured permanent housing. He says the most-needed donations now are furniture and small appliances. Faulkner County Judge Allen Dodson said the county will begin its final sweep for tornado debris on June 30.

Don’t forget the 43rd Annual Smackover Oil Town Festival will take place this Thursday and last until Saturday. Come join the fun as Smackover will be celebrating their oil heritage with events including 5k run, rod wrenching contest, arm wrestling contest, horseshoes, duck race, live entertainment, arts and crafts, food and drink, and more. For any additional information you can call (870) 725-352.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced today that Arkansas, other states and the federal government have reached an agreement with SunTrust Mortgage Inc. to settle allegations of misconduct by the mortgage lender and servicer. SunTrust will provide direct payments to borrowers directly affected by the lender’s foreclosure practices and will offer loan modifications and other relief to borrowers. The lender will be required to implement tougher new mortgage servicing standards. The $550 million settlement includes 49 states and the District of Columbia, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The settlement is expected to result in an estimated $450,000 in refinancing opportunities, loan modifications, and other relief to Arkansas consumers. “Attorneys general from across the country have been working together for several years now to hold accountable those who are responsible for deceiving consumers and contributing to our nation’s recent housing crisis,” McDaniel said. “This settlement is another example of that effort, which will continue. We are committed to pursuing legal action against mortgage lenders and servicers that engage in abusive practices.” The agreement requires SunTrust to substantially change how it services loans. The company will also be prohibited from engaging in practices such as “robosigning” of documents. Many of the consumer protections to be implemented by SunTrust as a result of the settlement are already in place in Arkansas. The General Assembly in 2011 enacted legislation requiring mortgage servicers to provide homeowners at risk of foreclosure with important documents prior to foreclosure. That bill was a part of McDaniel’s legislative package that year. The terms of the agreement with SunTrust largely mirror those of the National Mortgage Settlement reached in 2012 between the nation’s attorneys general and the five largest national mortgage servicers. The 2012 settlement resulted in more than $50 billion in direct relief to borrowers, new servicing standards and independent oversight of the lenders. SunTrust will be required to provide relief including principal reductions and refinancing for underwater mortgages. Consumers with loans serviced by SunTrust may contact the company directly with questions about the loan modification process. borrowers whose loans were serviced by SunTrust and who lost their homes to foreclosure between Jan. 1, 2008, and Dec. 31, 2013, may be eligible for a direct payment. Eligible borrowers will be contacted directly about how to qualify for payments.

Lake Catherine State Park is hosting an adventure day camp for ages 10-12.
If you would like to get your child outside this summer, let us introduce your child to a new level of outdoor fun and adventure. During our three day camp we will explore Lake Catherine State Park with hikes, adventures, close up nature studies, hands-on activities, and crafts. Campers will be dropped off at 9:00 am and picked up at 12:30 pm daily. The children are supervised by park interpreters and will enjoy daily themed programs.  Space is limited and reservations are required. The camp is aimed at children 10-12 years of age but let us know if you think our camp would be right for your child. Last day to register is July 1. The Fee for the camp is $50 per child. Fee includes snacks and supplies for the camp. For more information, please contact Lake Catherine State Park at (501)844-4176 or by email at

June 17, 2014

Lt. James Bolton of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the Gazebo park area of downtown Bearden to a report of glass breakage in the area. When the officer arrived he made contact with the security guard of the Gazebo Festival. He stated that the rear door to the Diner had been broken. The Officer then went to the rear of the store and saw that the left-side door of the double glass doors was broken. He then told the security guard to stay outside as he entered the building. There was no one inside, the store owner was then contacted who found that 100 dollars was missing from the cash register. Investigators reviewed video recordings from several camera angles in and outside of the building and a suspect was captured on the recordings. The investigation was then turned over to CID.

The recent auction of tax-delinquent properties in Ouachita County collected more than $52,000 for county and state government, the Commissioner of State Lands announced. The Land Commissioner’s office conducted the auction of delinquent properties recently at the Ouachita County Courthouse. The auction drew 34 bidders and sold 35 parcels, for a total of $52,800.56 in revenue for Ouachita County and state government. The Land Commissioner’s office conducts one tax-delinquent land sale per county each year to dispose of land on which the taxes have been past due over two years.  “A small percentage of certified parcels make it to public auction because a majority of the properties certified to our office are redeemed, which means that the back taxes are paid by the original owner,” according to Commissioner John Thurston. While redemption of property is the preferred method of disposing of tax-delinquent lands, Thurston notes the important role of land sales in returning inactive parcels to the tax rolls. Registered bidders may purchase land at the auctions. Registration to bid at land sales is free.  Upon sale of tax-delinquent property, the Commissioner issues a limited warranty deed to the highest bidder. Thurston’s office returns delinquent tax and interest collected, whether through redemption or sale, to the county taxing unit just as if the money had been originally collected there.  “In 2013, we returned over $21 million to school districts and county governments,” Thurston said.  “Of that, Ouachita County received $144,053.19. This process ensures stable revenues for local public schools,” Thurston added. Interested Arkansas residents may contact the State Land Office by phone at 501-324-9422, or by email at to subscribe to the Catalog of Tax Delinquent Lands, a free quarterly publication listing all parcels offered for sale at auction.

An El Dorado woman, T’revah Cobb, looking for work, got worked over on a job seeker website,
lost about $1,000 answering an ad on the job seekers section of  She answered an ad on the site and they told her that she would be making around $3,000 monthly if she cashed checks for the company. She received her first check from the company and took it to Regions Bank.  Cobb said "I did have a bit of a hesitation, I have to admit. I took it to the bank and I said if the bank clears it, then it has to be legit, because a bank wouldn't clear an illegitimate check, and so they held it for a day and gave me the funds the next day,". The check ended up being a fake and Cobb has to repay the money to the bank. The Union County Sheriff's Office says they are investigating at least 5 cyber scams like this a month and advised people to use caution when responding to ads.

Anyone interested in helping the Save Fairview Gym Group can join the group this Saturday. Save Fairview Gym volunteers’ will meet at 8AM this Saturday, June 21st for a cleanup day. The cleanup includes the grounds only. Participants should bring rakes, brooms, weed eaters, safety glasses, gloves, etc. Free ice cold water will be available. Cleaning the interior of the gym will be at a later date. Both cleanups will need to be done before a contractor walk through. Please pass the word and bring a friend. More Volunteers means less burden on individuals.

The Plant A Seed Foundation of Camden, in association with the University Of Arkansas Medical System of f Little Rock, Arkansas has scheduled a free health clinic. Representatives from UAMS will focus on asthma in children and adults. This clinic is an effort by the PTS Foundation and UAMS to make citizens in Camden aware of various health issues. The clinic is scheduled for Saturday, July 21st at the Plant A Seed Foundation offices located in Carnes Park, in the old Boys and Girls building. The hours for the clinic are from 8 am to 4 pm. Refreshments will be served to all participants. For more information on the clinic and other Plant a Seed Foundation activities, call 870-807-3086 or Charles Moore, 870-390-9018

The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet this week at Catherine’s Bistro. This week will be the installation of new officers and presentation of awards. If you would like to learn more about the Lions Club and how you can become a member you can call Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440 ext 7.

Farmers and livestock producers in Ouachita and Union Counties may apply for assistance due to drought conditions for the years 2011, 2012, and 2013, and may contact the local Farm Service Agency office by calling 870-836-2089, ext. 2.  The local FSA office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  The application deadline to apply for this assistance is January 30, 2015. Would you please publish this announcement as often as possible through January 30, 2015?  This news release replaces the release sent to you on May 27, 2014. If you have any questions, please give me a call at 870-836-2089, ext. 2.

The visual arts committee of the South Arkansas Arts Center announces the accepted entries for the 2014 Juried Art Competition.  After reviewing entries from California to New York, Florida to Wisconsin, and all points in between, juror Dayton Castleman chose 39 works by 31 artists to hang in the Merkle and Price Galleries July 2-31. The artwork media runs the gamut from traditional watercolor, oil, and acrylic to non-traditional media including video, pine needle sculpture, and a modified working microwave. The 2014 Juried Art Competition is sponsored by Smackover State Bank.  Castleman, who is the museum manager for 21c Museum in Bentonville, said, “I’m not so much concerned with whether art is easily digestible to the viewer, but with whether it demonstrates an illusiveness and maturity that creates intrigue and requires deep reading and engagement.” Artists whose work will be hanging in the competition are: Helen Allen, Virginia; Lisa Blatt, California; Kori Bowers, Arkansas; Kelly Campbell, Arkansas; Sheila Cotton, Arkansas; Norwood Creech, Arkansas; Deanna Douglas; Mississippi; Richard Ensor, Tennessee; Houston Fryer, Arkansas; Louise Halsey, Arkansas; Cindy Holmes, Texas; Jean M. Judd, Wisconsin; James Jumper, Arkansas; Ahrong Kim, Pennsylvania; Ronald Kinkaid, Arkansas; Kaitlin Knapp, New York; Minny Lee, New Jersey; Sandra Marson, Arkansas; Galen Olmsed, Georgia; Spencer Purinton, Arkansas; David Rackley, Arkansas; Kristin Richards, Kentucky; Mary Ann Stafford, Arkansas; Bethany Taylor, Florida; Justin Thornton, New York; Rachel Trusty, Arkansas; Rick Weis, Michigan; Kenna Westerman, Arkansas; Jessica Westhafer, Arkansas; Ralph Wilson, Arkansas; and Peggy Wyman, Missouri. The Juried Art Competition is SAAC’s annual competition juried by nationally and internationally recognized art professionals and is open to all artists across the nation whom are age 18 and up.  The exhibition is free and open to the public Monday through Friday from 9am-5pm. For more information about the Juried Art Competition, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474 or visit

Governor Mike Beebe recently called for a change in Arkansas law to restore the opportunity for school districts to access an existing statewide broadband network.  His comments came as the Arkansas Board of Education adopted the Arkansas Digital Learning Study at their Friday meeting.  Beebe has endorsed the report as well. In 2011, the passage of Act 1050 created an exemption that prevented K-12 schools from accessing the Arkansas Research Education Optical Network, known as ARE-ON.  Without that access, the recent report from the Quality Digital Learning Study Committee found the current network infrastructure for K-12 schools to be inadequate, inefficient and a poor return on taxpayer investment. "Whatever the reasons were behind the exemption passed in 2011, it has become clear that Act 1050 has impeded our progress in developing a reliable and efficient broadband infrastructure for Arkansas students," Beebe said. "Giving K-12 schools the opportunity to access ARE-ON will provide better online availability for our students and save our taxpayers money." The FASTER Arkansas Committee, which has also been studying broadband access, agrees that changing Act 1050 in the near future is the single most productive step we can take toward a stronger broadband infrastructure in Arkansas education.

June 11, 2014

Ouachita County Judge James Michael Hesterly has pleaded guilty to one count of bribery concerning a program receiving federal funds, according to Conner Eldridge, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas. Hesterly, 50, of Camdan and Harry Clemons Jr., 39, of Bearden, were indicted for a scheme to award a FEMA disaster-relief contract to Clemons by rigging the bidding process. According to Eldridge's office, Hesterly would rig the process in return for a contribution to his 2010 reelection campaign from Clemons. Documents say the scam began taking shape in 2010. Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas announced today that James Michael Hesterly, age 50, of Camden, Arkansas, pleaded guilty to one count of Bribery Concerning a Program Receiving Federal Funds. Hesterly and Harry Clemons Jr., age 39 of Bearden, Arkansas were indicted for a scheme to award a Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) disaster-relief contract to Clemons by rigging the bidding process in return for a contribution to Hesterly’s 2010 reelection campaign for Ouachita County Judge. Hesterly had been the county judge of Ouachita County Arkansas for the past 10 years. Harry Clemons is the owner and operator of Clemons Construction. A federal grand jury handed down the indictments in Fort Smith on January 17, 2013. The Honorable Susan O. Hickey accepted the change of plea in The United States District Court in El Dorado. U. S. Attorney Eldridge commented, “This type of conduct by a public official offends taxpayers and citizens as well as all of the other public officials who are truly dedicated to their service. To abuse your position of public trust to engage in illegal activities in order to enrich oneself is an affront to our justice system. We remain dedicated to holding those accountable who use similar positions to perpetrate crime.” “Public corruption undermines the trust necessary in our democracy. This case is evidence of the FBI’s commitment to investigate public corruption at all levels,” stated FBI Special Agent in Charge, David Resch. According to documents filed in court, beginning in March 2010, Hesterly proposed awarding Clemons a FEMA funded contract clean up storm debris in Ouachita County without competitive bidding in exchange for a payment to Hesterly for his reelection campaign. The debris was the product of two tornados that struck the county in October of 2009. In furtherance of this conspiracy, Clemons arranged for two other bidders to submit intentionally inflated bids to Hesterly through fax. Clemons then met with Hesterly at his office and submitted a bid on behalf of himself and another company for the contract in the amount of $120,730, a total amount below the inflated bids. Hesterly accepted Clemons’s bid, and, on April 8, 2010, applied for federal funds from FEMA to help Ouachita County pay for the contract. Hesterly represented to FEMA that Clemons was the lowest bidder among the three bids that he had received. After FEMA approved and obligated the request, Hesterly requested that the contract price be increased by $4,000 representing that the increase was necessary to cover increased costs to Clemons for disposing of the debris. FEMA also approved that request, but the $4,000 was ultimately paid to Hesterly by Clemons as bribe money solicited by Hesterly for awarding the contract to Clemons. In order to promote open competition, federal regulations require that the contract be awarded through a sealed bidding process and in compliance with all applicable state law. While state law requires the bid to be advertised for 10 days, the bid in this case was advertised for one day. No sealed bidding process took place. Instead false and fraudulent bids were submitted. In August 2010, Clemons submitted documentation to Hesterly stating that all work on the contract had been complete and requested a payment of $69,865 for Clemons Construction. That same month, Hesterly certified to the state of Arkansas and FEMA that the work set forth in the contract had been completed. On October 13, 2010, Hesterly signed an order allowing Clemons’s claim for payment to go through. Later that month, Clemons received a check from Ouachita County for $69,865. Clemons then paid the $4,000 to Hesterly. The defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record (if any), the defendant’s role in the offense, and the characteristics of the violations. The sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases will be less than the maximum. The maximum term of imprisonment for bribery is 10 years per count. This case was investigated by the FBI. Assistant United States Attorney Kenny Elser represented the United States.

Police departments from both sides of the state line have helped capture a Texas fugitive that had been hiding in a local hotel on the Texas side of the city. On Tuesday, officers with the Texarkana Arkansas and Texas Police departments, along with an investigator from the Bowie County (Texas) District Attorney’s Office, learned that 36-year-old Eric Phillips, of Bedford, Texas, was staying at a hotel on N. Stateline Avenue. Phillips had outstanding felony warrants from Hurst, Texas for; Aggravated Kidnapping-Deadly Weapon, Aggravated Assault of a Public Servant, Evading Arrest/Detention-Vehicle, Unlawful Use of A Motor Vehicle. On Tuesday afternoon, Phillips was seen driving into a local business in the 4200 block of N. Stateline Avenue. When officers tried to conduct a traffic stop on Phillips, he drove off, hitting several vehicles in the process. Officers with the Texarkana Texas Police Department fired shots into Phillips' vehicle to stop him from driving and causing further danger to the officers and the public. After that, the suspect got out of the vehicle and ran from the scene. Phillips was captured and arrested by Texarkana Arkansas Police Department officers in a Walmart parking lot.

The Cooperative Extension Service is sponsoring Camp SEW Good, its annual three day sewing camp for youth ages 9 and up-beginners, intermediate, and advanced. Beginners will learn to use a sewing machine, make a pillow, and start developing a personal sewing kit. Camp date will be on July 8-10, from 9:00 until noon. Intermediate class is for those that have been to Camp SEW Good before or having sewing skills and will be held July 22-24 from 9:00 until noon. Campers will learn to read a pattern, make a clothing item and maybe even a surprise or two. Advance class will be for those who have been to both the beginning and intermediate classes and will be held on July 14-17 from 9:00 until noon. There is no cost, but expect a short supply list. Camp size is small so registration is on a first come, first serve basis. Please call the Extension Office at 231-1160 by July 1st to reserve your space, or for more information.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel presented an award to the North Little Rock Police Department for its outstanding work to investigate metal theft at a news conference today to highlight the importance of law enforcement efforts to combat the crime. McDaniel joined LeadsOnline to present North Little Rock Police Chief Mike Davis and Det. John Desizlets with the Arkansas “Golden Cat” award. The “Golden Cat” is a gold-painted catalytic converter. Those automobile parts are commonly stolen by metal thieves. Also at Tuesday’s news conference, AT&T recognized the Saline County Sheriff’s Department and presented a $1,000 check to Saline County resident David Steele and 1,000 dog biscuits to Steele’s dog, Honey Bear. Steele alerted law enforcement officers to a theft in progress of copper communications cable owned by AT&T. The Saline County Sheriff’s Department arrested the individuals responsible for the theft. “Law enforcement agencies across the state and the North Little Rock Police Department in particular have worked effectively to reduce metal theft with the help of LeadsOnline’s Metal Theft Investigations System,” McDaniel said. “I am proud to join with LeadsOnline to recognize this department. As the price for metal has increased, so have thefts from cars, from utility companies and from farms. This type of crime is a significant economic burden, but we are making progress in the fight to prevent it.” LeadsOnline’s statewide system allows law enforcement and metal recyclers to share information and track suspicious scrap metal sales. Last year, the North Little Rock Police Department solved 51 cases using the system and charged 767 counts against suspected scrap metal thieves. The department’s work resulted in the recovery of more than $119,000 worth of property. Law enforcement agencies are just one line of defense against metal theft, though. Steele was awoken in the middle of the night by his dog as thieves were in the process of stealing AT&T communications cable. Because of Steele’s quick action to alert authorities regarding a copper theft in progress, the Saline County Sheriff’s Department was able to make three arrests. Ronald Dedman, AT&T Arkansas Director of External Affairs, praised Saline County law enforcement officers for their leadership in arresting those responsible for the crime. Saline County Sheriff Cleve Barfield, Lt. Ron Parsons and Det. Ronnie Schwin attended today’s news conference. “AT&T takes copper theft seriously. These are not just attacks against our network, they're attacks on the businesses operating and people living in the community who are left isolated and may be unable transact business, or in the extreme, seek help or assistance in case of an emergency,” Dedman said. “We view these as crimes against the entire community, and we continue to work with law enforcement across the state to make sure those responsible for copper theft are prosecuted.”

 As temperatures rise, so do utility bills for many Arkansans who rely on air conditioning to keep them cool during the hot summer months. The cost of cooling a home is one of the single largest utility expenses. In Arkansas, a survey of residential electricity consumption determined that cooling a home accounted for about one-fourth of annual costs. Fortunately, there are a number of ways that Arkansas consumers can stay cool and save money on their utility bills. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued this consumer alert today with advice on how Arkansans can lower utility bills during the hot summer months. “It’s almost as difficult to handle the triple-digit utility bills as it is the triple-digit temperatures we experience during a typical Arkansas summer,” McDaniel said. “Obviously, utility costs will be higher than normal during periods of extreme heat, but there are some effective and inexpensive ways to save money and keep the house at a comfortable temperature, too.”
McDaniel shared this advice from Energy Efficiency Arkansas, a partnership between the Arkansas Energy Office and Arkansas-based utility companies.
-Think about buying reflective window coatings to help keep sunlight from adding heat to the home, since more than 40 percent of the heat that builds up in a home enters through the windows.
-Set the thermostat no lower than 78 degrees while at home. When away from home, set it at least five degrees warmer. (Consumers reduce cooling costs an average of 3 to 5 percent for every degree higher on the thermostat).
-Keep heat-producing interior lights turned off during the day.
-Keep drapes closed to keep out the sun’s heat. Plant shade trees to further reduce solar impact.
-Use weather stripping on doors and caulking to seal windows. (Approximately 25 to 40 percent of all energy used for cooling and heating is lost from leakage).
-Install a programmable thermostat. These can save between $70 and $115 annually on utility expenses.
-Change filters monthly on heating and air-conditioning units. Dirty or clogged filters slow down the cooling process and cause the system to operate inefficiently.
-Keep in mind that ceiling fans cool people, not rooms. Turn ceiling fans off when a room is not occupied.
The Energy Efficiency Arkansas website has many more suggestions for consumers who want to save on utility bills and improve energy efficiency in their homes. Visit
 In addition, some Arkansans may be eligible for the federally-funded Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which provides assistance in paying utility bills. Most of that money is allocated to low-income elderly consumers and individuals with disabilities, as well as to other eligible consumers as funding becomes available. Local community action agencies have more details on the program. Visit  for more information.
 To contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division, visit or call (800) 482-8982.

June 10, 2014

Officers from the Camden Police Department were dispatched to 546 Alabama Street for a subject that had been shot. Shamaurra Green told officers that she was home alone when she received a call from her neighbor that Mike Juniel was walking from an abandoned house up the street towards Green’s residence. Green stated that she had placed a couch against the door. After Green called officers she went and grabbed her pistol. After Juniel Kicked in the door, Green shot a round striking Juniel in the chest area. He was transported to the hospital for treatment, and no charges have been made at this time.

Officer Jimmy Plyler of the Camden Police Department was requested to assist Sergeant Easttam with a possible DWI. The vehicle was stopped in the parking lot of Fred’s in reference to customers complaining the driver was intoxicated and harassing people at the store.
Easttam made contact with the driver, identified as James Torrence, who was believed to be intoxicated. Torrence stated that he had a few beers during the day. He was then asked to perform a series of field sobriety test, which he ultimately failed and he was taken into custody for DWI. During a search, officers found ammunition in his front pocket. Torrence admitted to having a gun in his car. Criminal history showed that Torrence had once been a convicted felon. The gun was confiscated as evidence, Torrence was transported to the station for booking procedures and the car was released to family members. 

Air Evac Lifeteam has made the decision to close its air ambulance base in Camden.
Air Evac Lifeteam members who live in Columbia County and other counties near the base will receive a letter in coming weeks providing them with details and options regarding their membership, including an option for a prorated refund. Air Evac Lifeteam President Seth Myers said “The Camden base began operations in December 2008, and although we believe we’ve provided a valuable resource to this region in the past, the community need and demand for patient transfers could not sustain operations for this base,”. He also said “After studying the area, we’ve determined that our company can best utilize its resources in areas that do not have as much access to emergency air medical services. “The residents of this area are very fortunate to have access to quality emergency medical services through local hospitals and EMS services,” Myers added. “We’ve enjoyed being a part of the Camden community and the surrounding area, and our crews have established positive relationships with the community, hospitals, and emergency service agencies in the area. All have been extremely supportive of our mission.” Myers said crewmembers that have been working at the base have been offered the opportunity to work in other positions in the company or accept a severance package. Air Evac Lifeteam also operates bases in Arkansas at Harrison, Blytheville, De Queen, Forrest City, Mountain Home, Springdale, Vilonia, Paragould and Paris. A spokeswoman for the company, which is headquartered in O’Fallon, MO, said the Camden base is the only one in Arkansas that is being closed.


A meeting of the Ouachita River Commission will be held at 10:00 a.m. on June 10, 2014 at the Board Room of the College of the Ouachitas, 1 College Drive, Malvern, Arkansas. The agenda items include items of interest to the Lower Ouachita River region composed of Ashley, Bradley, Calhoun, Clark, Dallas, Hot Spring, Ouachita and Union Counties. Representatives from media organizations are invited to attend this public meeting.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel filed a consumer-protection lawsuit against three online payday lending companies and their owners accused of illegally providing loans with interest as high as 782 percent to Arkansas consumers. Defendants in the lawsuit are brothers Chris Kamberis of Leawood, Kan., and John Kamberis of Olathe, Kan., and companies King Marketing, LLC, Prestige Group Marketing, LLC and SLR Ridge LLC. According to the lawsuit, the Kamberis brothers market illegal payday loans from entities purported to be based in the Caribbean island nation of Nevis in a deliberate attempt to avoid U.S. enforcement action. However, the Nevis-based entities serve no substantive role in marketing, processing or collecting loans issued to Arkansas consumers. Almost all of the companies’ business is conducted by employees or agents located in the Kansas City area.

McDaniel said “My office is committed to rooting out illegal payday lending in Arkansas, whether a company is operating in the state or claims to be based in some foreign country,”
He also said “Consumers gain absolutely no benefit from short-term loans with exorbitant interest rates. These types of loans typically only push consumers further into debt.” McDaniel's suit says that the defendants issued short-term loans to Arkansas consumers with varying interest rates, but all loans had interest rates that were extraordinarily higher than the 17 percent limit set by state law. One loan had an annual rate of 782.14 percent. Others were 640 percent and higher. The defendants have taken at least $264,585 in illegal fees and interest from Arkansas consumers’ bank accounts, according to the lawsuit. McDaniel asked the Court to issue an injunction to prohibit the defendants from issuing payday loans to Arkansas consumers and order the defendants to cancel all outstanding loan contracts and obligations. In addition, the Court was asked to order the defendants to pay restitution, civil penalties, attorneys’ fees and costs. The lawsuit was filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court.

The El Dorado Chamber of Commerce is pleased to offer a meeting for our manufacturers to learn more about the services of the Arkansas World Trade Center and (separately) export and research technology capabilities within the state.  Boon Tan and Herbert Morales of the Arkansas World Trade Center are coming to El Dorado on June 11 and have requested us to set-up a meeting with local manufacturers.  Presently, they are working with Lycus Ltd. They will be traveling with Cynthia Sides of the IGNITE Program at the University of Arkansas.  She utilizes graduate students to conduct valuable research projects (including nanotechnology) for Arkansas companies to help with research knowledge and to get the younger generation interested in manufacturing and working with our companies. Read below for biographical information.
The meeting will take place on June 11, 2014, at 8:30 a.m. at the Chamber Board Room.  Reservations required to the Chamber at or (870) 863-6113.

June 9, 2014

Recently Segeant Easttam of the Camden Police Department was dispatched to 308 Ft. Lookout for a subject that had been stabbed. Upon arrival Sergeant Easttam made contact with the tenant of the apartment, Stephanie Pace, who told him the victim Sheila Scott was inside her apartment on the floor bleeding from a stab wound to the upper chest area. Scott was transported to the Ouachita County Medical Center, where she later dies from her injury. The suspect Andria Williams Fled on from the scene, but later turned herself in. Williams is being held at the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office awaiting her first appearance hearing on the charge of 1st degree murder and 4 counts of endangering the welfare of a minor. Scott’s body was sent to Arkansas State Crime Lab for an Autopsy. 

“An organization meeting will be held for the Women’s Crisis Center on Thursday, June 12, 2014, at 5:30 P.M. in the Council Chambers at City Hall located at 206 Van Buren NE, Camden.  Anyone interested in serving on the board or volunteering, fundraising, or contributing to the success of the Women’s Crisis Center, please attend this critical meeting.”

Last week, construction began on a state-financed project to build a sidewalk along North Fredrick Street. The sidewalk will link East Side Elementary School with East Main Street along the east side of Fredrick. The Magnolia City Council accepted the low bid of $115,753 from Perritt & Vickers for the project earlier this year. Mayor Parnell Vann hopes that a second phase of funding will extend the sidewalk from East Main to Calhoun Road. Work on the current project is expected to take two more weeks, weather permitting.

The Southern Arkansas University Board of Trustees recently announced selection of a hiring committee to find a successor to SAU President Dr. David Rankin. Rankin announced on May 1, 2014, that he would be retiring effective June 30, 2015. According to Chairman of the SAU Board Bill Stringfellow, the committee will make a recommendation to SAU Board, which will make the final hiring decision.

Recommended and approved by the Board for the hiring committee are Stringfellow and 11 representatives from the SAU System, which include:
-SAU Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Donna Allen,
-SAU Dean of the School of Graduate Studies Dr. Kim Bloss,
-SAU Tech Vice Chancellor for Student Services Dr. Reginald Cooper,
-Associate Director of the SAU Foundation Josh Kee,
-President of the SAU Alumni Association David Nelson,
-SAU Assistant Director of Counseling Allen Lachut,
-SAU Associate Dean for Multiculturalism and Diversity Cledis Stuart,
-SAU Interim Chair of the Department of Biology and Faculty Senate President Tim Daniels,
-SAU Professor of History Dr. Ben Johnson,
-SAU Professor of Accounting Dr. Terrye Stinson, and
-SAU Assistant Professor of Education and University Assessment Coordinator Dr. Denise Mosely.
The Board also approved SAU 2014-15 budget, which includes a 3.65-percent increase of tuition and fees.

“The revenue increases will allow the University to meet the challenge of increasing costs and opens the door for the possibility of a cost of living increase for faculty and staff this fall,” said SAU President Dr. David Rankin. “We are trying hard to keep tuition and fee changes to a minimum, but must be sure that we continue to provide a quality higher education for our students.” A full-time in-state student will pay $210 per credit hour for tuition this fall semester, which is up $6 from 2013-14. In presenting the budget to the Board, SAU Vice President for Finance Paul McLendon pointed out the declining state funding percentage as a part of SAU’s revenues. In 2006-07, state funding was 40.7 percent of SAU’s revenue while tuition and fees were 39.5 percent. Projected for 2014-15, state funding will only be 32.2 percent while tuition and fees are making up the difference at 46.6 percent.

Following disturbing reports about patient wait times and scheduling practices at the VA in Phoenix, AZ, Senator Mark Pryor sat down with Arkansas veterans today at the American Legion to assess a fast-moving, bipartisan deal to improve veterans’ access to health care.“No veteran should ever die waiting for care. The compromise struck in the Senate will immediately shorten wait times and give our veterans flexibility to choose the healthcare they deserve.” Pryor said. “The input from members of the American Legion today was invaluable. I really appreciate their time and counsel on this fast-moving bill.”  During the meeting, Pryor discussed the Senate compromise, forged by Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and John McCain (R-AZ), to immediately improve access to healthcare for all veterans. Highlights include:

-Shortening Wait Times for Veterans: The legislation authorizes a two-year trial program that would allow veterans to seek private health care if veterans have been waiting more than 30 days for treatment or reside more than 40 miles from a VA hospital or clinic. Veterans could choose private facilities that accept Medicare, federally qualified health centers or medical facilities run by the Department of Defense. It also expedites hiring of more doctors and other health care providers. Holding the VA Accountable: The bill allows the VA Secretary to immediately fire or demote senior officials who are tied to mismanaged or delayed medical care for veterans.
-Addressing the VA’s Long-Term Needs: It authorizes the lease of 26 medical facilities; establishes a task force to review the VA’s current scheduling needs and provides authority to implement recommendations; improves access to health care for military sexual assault survivors; provides post-9/11 G.I. Bill tuition eligibility for surviving spouses of those who die in the line of duty; and allows for in-state tuition for all veterans at public colleges or universities.

June 6, 2014

Recently Officer Clayton of the Camden Police Department was dispatched to 910 Ft. Lookout in reference to a welfare concern of a male named “Fluffy”. When the officer arrived on the scene he asked people if they knew Fluffy and they stated that he lived in apartment 912.

When the officer arrived at the apartment a woman identified as Linda Black answered the door and stated that Fluffy was in the hospital, she also stated that she lived there. Black’s speech was slurred. She later admitted that her real name was Jeanette Watkins. It was later found out that Watkins had an active warrant with the Arkansas Board of Parole. She was then taken into custody. Booking procedures were completed and Watkins was transported to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office.

Officer Greeley, also of the Camden Police Department, was dispatched to Murphy’s gas station for someone who was possibly intoxicated. When the Officer arrived on scene he observed a Brenda Fae Williams stumbling in the parking lot, and she was carrying an Old English beer in her hand. Before the officer could even get out of his vehicle, Williams spilled the beer down her chest and threw it on the ground. She smelled strongly of intoxicants and her speech was so slurred that the officer could not even understand the words she was saying, and as people drove by Williams would raise her middle finger and scream at them. She was transported to the Ouachita County Detention Center, and given a criminal citation and later court date.

Officer Grummer was dispatched to Walmart for a report of a shoplifter. Dispatch advised the shoplifter was detained in the front office of Walmart. People on the Walmart staff stated that saw a woman, later identified as Angel Waters, attempt to leave out of the store with several items. They also stated that the items included soft drinks, toilet paper, and diapers. A shoplifting affidavit was provided and Waters was taken into custody.

The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department will be resurfacing Pershing Highway in Smackover from 10th street to South Ark Sports. This is a total of 1.1 miles. The work will be done on Monday June 9th and Tuesday June 10th. The City of Smackover and the Highway Department are asking citizens to be patient as these improvements are being completed

In a dramatic kickoff for an engineering fundraising campaign by Southern Arkansas University, Albemarle and the Albemarle Foundation have donated a total of $200,000 to create the SAU Albemarle Endowed Professor of Engineering. Representatives from SAU were given a check for $60,000 from Albemarle Foundation representatives at their Magnolia chemical plant. This money will be added to a previously established Albemarle endowment of $140,000 to complete the engineering endowment. Albemarle is a leading specialty chemical company providing innovative chemistry solutions to customers in more than 100 countries around the world. The SAU Foundation is excited about this start to their engineering fundraising efforts. They are hoping to partner with anyone who is interested in helping SAU build this program to produce engineers to meet the high demands of regional industry. To find out more about participating in this campaign call (870) 235-4078. Albemarle was one of several industry supporters in the region to support the approval of SAU’s engineering program earlier this spring by the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Beginning this fall, SAU will have the only engineering program in the south Arkansas region. The starting enrollment for the program should be more than 20 students. With growth anticipated, plans are already in the works for an 11,015 square-foot construction project estimated at $2,753,580, as well as the addition of faculty. According to SAU President Dr. David Rankin, the University is seeking out both public and private funds for the engineering campaign. “I am amazed by the number of people around the state who know about our new engineering program. It is very encouraging,” said Rankin.   

June 4, 2014

Billy Staggs contacted the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office and wished to meet a deputy at the Day and Night Store in Stephens in reference to stolen property in some oil fields. Upon the deputy’s arrival he followed Mr. Staggs to a location of an oil pumping rig on Ouachita County Road 8 where he showed where the power had been cut and the underground wire had been pulled from the main pole to the oil pumper. The amount of wire taken and the dollar amount is unclear at this time. Mr. Staggs stated that he is an “over-seer” to the wells, and that the wells belong to a Wiser/Brown company in Magnolia. He also stated that the wells are checked daily, so the incident must have happened at night, and that a Michael Sellers from Stephens had been seen in the area stealing stuff.

Recently 46-year-old Curtis Cole, of Waldo was sentenced for distributing methamphetamine as part of “Operation Crystal Clear,” an investigation into large-scale drug-trafficking of methamphetamine throughout Columbia County, Arkansas and surrounding areas. Cole was sentenced 14 years imprisonment with four years of supervised release. The sentencing took place in El Dorado before U.S. District Court Judge Susan O. Hickey. U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge said, “With today’s sentence, one more defendant in this large-scale drug-trafficking operation has now been brought to justice. The criminal activity involved in this case victimized the people of Waldo, Magnolia, and surrounding communities. Our office remains committed to prosecuting these organizations and the crimes that come with them so that the residents of South Arkansas and the Western District of Arkansas are safe from this activity.” Cole was originally charged in a 15-count indictment filed on March 6, 2013. Beginning in December 2011, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies began an investigation into a drug-trafficking organization involved in distributing pound quantities of methamphetamine in Waldo and Magnolia, Arkansas, and surrounding areas.

The Ouachita County Alzheimer’s Support Group will meet from 1:00-2:00 pm on Wednesday, June 18th, in the library of the First United Methodist Church, located at 121 Harrison in Camden. The Guest speaker will be Michael Scot with ARORA. Family Members caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s or a related disease are encouraged to attend. For any additional information you can call Anita Holt, 836-6833 or Nancy Baily at the Area Agency on Aging of Southwest Arkansas toll free at 800-272-2127.

Staff members from the office of Congressman Tom Cotton will hold 2 Veterans Assistance Sessions next Tuesday, June 10, 2014 in Magnolia and Camden. Staff members will be available to provide information and answer questions about VA related issues. Specific information can be found below.

Magnolia Staff-Led Veterans Assistance Session
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
9:00 A.M. – 10:30 A.M.
Magnolia-Columbia County Chamber of Commerce
211 West Main Street
Magnolia, AR 71754

Camden Staff-Led Veterans Assistance Session
Tuesday, June, 10, 2014
12:30 P.M. – 2:00 P.M.
Camden City Hall
206 Van Buren Street, NE
Camden, AR 7170

At about 11 a.m. Tuesday, a single-engine aircraft crashed during a landing attempt near the intersection of U.S. 80 and Louisiana 139 in Monroe, LA. The only injured person was the pilot, who was taken to the LSU Medical Center in Shreveport. Louisiana State Police said the pilot suffered moderate injuries. The pilot was later identified as Ray Martin of Calhoun, LA. The Beechcraft Bonanza came to rest upside down in the parking lot of a McDonald’s restaurant. A small car at the scene received heavy damage. Luckily no injuries were reported on the ground.
U.S. 80 in Monroe was closed in both directions while crews worked to clear the debris. The crash site is just north of Monroe Regional Airport. The aircraft is registered to WFO Flying Service in Carmi, IL.

Join The Commons Shopping Center in celebrating the re-grand opening of their business at 2600 North West Avenue on Thursday, June 5. We will also announce the arrival of the newest Tenant that will soon join The Commons. The event will kick off at 10:00 a.m. with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony hosted by the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce. There will also be hot dogs and beverages available from 11:00 a.m. to Noon, provided by Four Brothers Seafood and Southern Eatery. Each tenant will participate in this exciting event by providing a Sidewalk Sale event from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

June 3, 2014

Officer Jimmy Plyler of the Camden Police Department was dispatched to 695 Crestwood for a subject refusing to leave. When the officer arrived on the scene he met with an individual identified as Decorey Scott. Scott was unsteady on his feet and was having trouble standing up straight. Scott’s eyes were bloodshot and watery and his speech was slurred. He also smelled strongly of alcohol even stronger as he spoke. The residence at 695 stated she observed Scott urinating on the side of her house. She also stated that she told him to leave the yard, which he refused and starting yelling at her. Scott was taken to the Ouachita County Detention Center and placed on a 12 hour hold to allow the effects to wear off. He was also issued a criminal citation and later court date.

A public auction for the sale of tax delinquent land in Ouachita County will be held at the Ouachita County Courthouse on Tuesday, June 10, at 1 p.m., according to John Thurston, Arkansas Commissioner of State Lands. Registration will begin at 12:30 p.m. Recent legislation has affected the procedures for the sale of tax delinquent properties, and purchasers should take the time to review the changes prior to the auction dates. The Commissioner of State Lands provides a Catalog of Tax Delinquent Lands, which contains the current statutes governing the sales, auction dates, times, location and other pertinent information regarding parcels being offered. The catalog can be found on the Commissioner’s website at or is available in print form by mail. “Properties at auction no longer have a minimum bid of the assessed value of the property.”  Thurston said. “Bidding begins at the amount of taxes and fees that are due.”  The redemption period has also changed. Owners of properties sold at auction now have 10 days to redeem the property following the sale. Delinquent property owners may call the office at 501-324-9422 to request a Petition to Redeem, or they may look up the delinquent parcel on the COSL website and print it from there.

New discoveries abound as 15 artists from across the south coast return to the Merkle and Price Galleries of the South Arkansas Arts Center for a new exhibition entitled “Tides and Currents: Contemporary Art Along the Gulf Coast.”  The collection will be on display through June 28. An artist reception will be hosted by the visual arts committee on Saturday, June 28 from 6-8pm. The exhibition marks the return of many of the artists to SAAC’s galleries with new creations that explore various mediums and the versatility of art.  The exhibition includes works in acrylics, assemblages, encaustics, graphite and ink on wood, handmade papers, pottery, sculpture, textiles, and watercolor. The award winning artists included in the exhibition are Annette Blocker, Susan Carranza, Kat Fitzpatrick, Kerr Grabowski, Mary Hardy, Carol Hutcherson, Adele Lawton, Ellen Ellis Lee, Trailer McQuilkin, Bill Myers, Vicki Niolet, Mary Pickard, Joey Rice, Peggy Tilley, and Jessie Florence Zenor. The exhibition is free and open to the public Monday through Friday from 9am until 5pm. For more information about “Tides and Currents: Contemporary Art Along the Gulf Coast,” contact the SAAC office at 862-5474 or visit

SAU Tech is getting ready for their annual SOAR events where students can come to the college and do many things such as:
-Meet with representatives from the college.
-Find your classes and your way around campus.
-Learn about paying for college and financial aid.
-Learn about the wide variety of campus resources available to you.
-Ask questions of current students, faculty members, and other SAU Tech staff.
-Meet other new and returning students!
-Learn about student organizations and learn how you can get involved on campus.
-Take care of necessary business (placement testing, register for classes, etc.).
-To purchase textbooks.
-To get your student ID.
The times for SOAR are as followed:
-8:00 am and 1:00 pm on June 17, 18, and 19
|-8:00 am and 1:00 pm on July 15, 16, and 17
-6:00 pm on July 14.

Columbia County Sheriff Mike Loe has received information about a new scam via telephone. The scammers are calling from (213) 603-9091 stating they are representatives from the U.S. Department of Human Affairs and that there is a problem with the call recipient’s taxes. The scammers threaten to put liens on houses, vehicles and bank accounts unless a payment is made immediately through a credit card number or bank account information. “Please do not give the scammers your credit card or bank account information. Be cautious of who you give your personal information to over the phone or via e-mail. We want our citizens’ identities to be safe,” Loe said. There is no such organization in the United States government as the “U.S. Department of Human Affairs.” 

Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC), the wholesale electricity supplier to Arkansas’ 17 electric distribution cooperatives, is concerned about future rate and reliability impacts on the state’s more than 500,000 electric cooperative members as the result of today’s proposed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations.  

The proposed rule, which mandates a 30 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from electric generating plants by 2030, was issued today by the EPA in response to a 2013 Presidential Executive Order.  “We are disappointed that this EPA rule will reduce our use of coal, which is our most economical and reliable fuel to generate electricity,” said Duane Highley, president and CEO of AECC. “Although the proposed rule leaves the precise implementation details to the states to develop, the inevitable result will be the use of more expensive fuels, such as natural gas.”    According to Highley, the reduction in the use of coal to generate electricity could also reduce the reliability of electric service. “This past winter's experience highlighted many reasons why power generation should not put all of our reliability eggs in the natural gas basket,” he said. “There were gas plant failures, pipeline freezes and wholesale natural gas supply disruptions. Our nation needs and deserves a diverse energy supply portfolio to keep the lights on. By reducing the amount of coal in our generation mix, prices will go up and reliability could go down.”  Highley said that the EPA rule requires each state to develop a state implementation plan. The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) and the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC) have already begun stakeholder discussions intended to create an Arkansas plan pursuant to the new regulation.   

“The Electric Cooperatives look forward to working with the ADEQ and APSC to help craft a state plan that maximizes our ability to preserve reliable electric service to our members, while also mitigating the cost impacts of reduced generation from our coal plants,” he said.    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 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 

May 30, 2014

Recently Sgt. Chris Gill and Deputy Lewis of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office responded to 111 North Popular Street in Bearden and spoke to Sharon Mitchell for a harassment and terroristic threatening report. Upon arrival she stated that her and her husband, Robert Mitchell, had been split up since last January and since she has moved to a residence she owned before they got married in Bearden, and he moved to a residence in Camden. Since their separation Robert has been harassing her at her residence and her place of employment, Bearden Public School. He has also learned that she has a new boyfriend and told her he was going to hurt him when he gets the chance. She recently saw her tire was flat and believes Robert is the one who let the air out. The officer then advised her that the procedure to obtain an order of protection.

The Ouachita County Fair-board is inviting the public to a meet and greet for three vo-ag teachers that will be new to our schools this year. Mr. Dennis Guldry at Camden Fairview, Mr. Weston Haynes at Harmony Grove and Mr. James Stone at Sparkman. The teachers will join the Fair-Board as ex-officio’s. The Fair-Board works with teachers and the extension agents to teach the youth of our county about agriculture. The meet and greet will be this Monday, June 2nd, from 5:30 until 6:30 at the Ouachita County Courthouse in the basement. For any additional information you can call Missy at 818-4871 or 837-2250. 

Southern Arkansas University alum and Dillard's CFO James I. Freeman of Texarkana has been appointed to the SAU Board of Trustees. Freeman will replace Ken Sibley on the SAU Board, with an appointment to expire January 14, 2015. This was one of 18 appointments made by Governor Mike Beebe on Tuesday. "I am very pleased that the Governor has appointed James Freeman to the Southern Arkansas University Board of Trustees," said SAU President Dr. David Rankin. "Mr. Freeman has achieved outstanding success in both accounting and finance and has been very supportive of the university." Freeman is executive vice president and CFO Dillard's Inc. He received the bachelor of business administration degree from SAU (then Southern State College) in 1971. Freeman Said "I am excited about the opportunity to serve the university,". He received a Certificate of Distinction for earning the highest grade in the state on the CPA exam in 1971. He credits SAU in preparing him for the CPA exam and his successful career. Freeman said "The accounting curriculum was very strong. Dr. Rankin taught us corporate finance and Louis Blanchard was head of accounting and had quite a track record as several of us scored top scores on the exam,".

A reception was held for retiring El Dorado School District Superintendent Bob Watson.
Watson announced his retirement back in January, after 40 years with the district.
Twenty-nine of those years were spent serving as superintendent. Watson says he has enjoyed his journey with the El Dorado school system and is happy to have accomplished so much. "The biggest accomplishment would probably be the building of the facility that we're in. It was significant in terms of the stakes that we needed to look at our high school," he said. Watson's last day as Superintendent will be June 30.

This summer the Creative Arts Academy of the South Arkansas Arts Center is offering four fun and creative camps for young people in art, ballet, drama, and film-making, plus voice and piano. Camps begin the week of June 9 and continue through August 1. The camps are sponsored by First Financial Bank. Get your rock on this summer with “Go, Go, Joe!” drama camp the week of June 9-13. Instructors Darrin Riley and Karen Watkins bring Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” to the stage. Based on the "coat of many colors" story from the Bible's Book of Genesis, “Joseph” is the first rock opera written especially for kids from the creators of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Evita,” “Cats,” and “The Phantom of the Opera.”  Camp times are 10am until noon for students entering grades 1-3 and 1pm-4pm for students entering grades 4-8. Students will perform the musical on Friday, June 13 at 6pm in the Callaway Theatre. For the dancers, ballet instructors Melissa Spears and Stephanie Lowery offer “The Rainbow Fish: An Under the Sea Adventure” the week of June 16-20. Slip into your pink or black tights and leotards, your ballet slippers, and discover the beauty of the ballet. Practice your plies and releves while working on choreography, costumes, and set design. Ballet camp meets from 10am – 4pm for students entering grades 6-12 and from 1pm-4pm for students entering grades 1-5. The ballet will be performed on June 20 at 5:30pm in the Callaway Theatre. Let your imagination take you on vacation as art instructors Maria and Jorge Villegas and Mike Means guide you on a creative tour of other cultures and imaginative places during “Here, There, and Everywhere,” the week of June 23-27. Learn the art of collage, drawing, and painting with Ms. Maria as Mr. Jorge guides travelers through 3D and drawing. Mr. Mike rounds out the week with his sight-seeing expedition into cyber space in the MAC lab. Art camp meets from 9am until noon and from 1pm-4pm for students entering grades 1-8. Choose either morning or afternoon. Programming is the same for both camps.  Blast off to a galaxy far, far away during “Out Of This World” SYFY Movie Camp the week of July 28 through August 1.  Instructor Mike Means guides you through the process as you direct, produce, act, crew, and craft your own SyFy movie. Learn the building blocks for creating your own blockbuster. No camera is required but phazers and oxygen masks are optional. Camp meets from 9am until noon for students entering grades 5-8. Voice and piano lessons with instructor Karen Watkins are available for eight weeks over the summer. Contact Watkins through the SAAC office to confirm class availability and scheduling. For more information on camps, costs, and availability, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474.                                                                      

Arkansas Department of Health’s Public Health Laboratory, UAMS Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health, and the Association of Public Health Laboratories Free, hands-on science activities and opportunities to learn about careers in public health will be offered to students in grades 6-10. Tours of the Arkansas Public Health Laboratory and live demonstrations of lab functions will be offered to parents and media. Refreshments will be served. Registration for students and parents is available at It will be on Saturday, May 31 from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.  All Science activities will take place at the UAMS Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health, located at 4301 W. Markham St in Little Rock. Tours of the Arkansas Public Health Laboratory will take place at 201 S. Monroe St. in Little Rock. The Arkansas Public Health Laboratory provides approximately 80,000 square feet and features a 5,000-square-foot level 3 bio-safety lab designed to handle dangerous, highly infectious disease agents. Each year the lab performs more than 800,000 tests on about 500,000 specimens.

Last week, online retailer and merchant eBay announced that personal information including email addresses of more than 145 million users had been stolen from the company’s databases in a cyberattack. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel and the company encouraged Arkansas consumers to change their eBay passwords as soon as possible. And, experts have predicted that hackers may sell the stolen data to con artists who would attempt to elicit sensitive financial information from consumers. Therefore, McDaniel issued this consumer alert to remind Arkansans how to protect themselves against criminal schemes to gather information through email, an action commonly referred to as “phishing.” “While, thankfully, there is no evidence that there was any personal financial information stolen in this attack, there may be efforts afoot to trick consumers into providing sensitive data,” McDaniel said. “Arkansas consumers need to be cautious in the coming days and weeks to avoid unsolicited requests by anyone seeking account numbers or personal information.” Typical phishing schemes involve unsolicited emails purporting to be from such organizations as banks, credit card companies, government entities or Internet service providers. The emails may have a legitimate-sounding address and a legitimate-looking template, but consumers should look out for warning signs that the email is fraudulent, such as emails claiming to be from a government agency but not having a .gov domain name. The phishing email will ask for sensitive information, usually by stating that there’s some sort of account or password problem. Whatever the approach, phishing emails seek data from consumers such as their bank account numbers, debit-card PIN numbers and Social Security numbers, in addition to their names, addresses, birthdates, email usernames and passwords. Do not respond to phishing attempts. Here are ways to avoid phishing’s bait:

Remember that legitimate companies will not send unsolicited emails seeking personal information. Never give sensitive personal or financial information in response to an unsolicited request for it. Consumers with questions about the validity of any email can always ask the company directly. Find customer-service contact information on an account statement or on the company’s website. Immediately delete any suspicious email, and never open attachments or click on links sent from unknown sources. Always use anti-virus software, anti-spyware software and a firewall. Update that software regularly. For more information about phishing or about other consumer issues, visit the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division website,, or call the Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 482-8982.

In celebration of World No Tobacco Day on May 31, Stamp Out Smoking is encouraging Arkansas tobacco users to quit by calling the Arkansas Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW. The World Health Organization (WHO) holds World No Tobacco Day every year to raise awareness of the harms of tobacco, the marketing tactics of the tobacco industry and resources available to help people quit. For World No Tobacco Day 2014, the WHO and partners call on countries to raise taxes on tobacco. The WHO notes that research shows that higher taxes are especially effective in reducing tobacco use among lower-income groups and in preventing young people from starting to smoke. “Arkansans benefit from increased excise taxes because they directly increase cigarette prices, which reduce cigarette use and smoking-related death and disease," Dr. Gary Wheeler, medical director for the Arkansas Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program, said. "What remains troubling is the availability of low-priced and less regulated alternative tobacco products, such as cigars and flavored cigarillos, which have led some cigarette smokers to switch to these products. This switch to less regulated tobacco products diminishes the public health impact of excise tax increases and regulation, ultimately hampering efforts that not only prevent youth from starting to smoke, but also reduce overall tobacco use,” he added. The World Health Organization states that unless we act now, the tobacco epidemic will kill more than 8 million people every year by 2030. According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, approximately 5,100 deaths occur in Arkansas every year due to smoking. In addition, an estimated 200,000 kids now alive in Arkansas will become smokers if the tobacco usage rates don’t decrease. Stamp Out Smoking encourages individuals to participate in World No Tobacco Day in an effort to improve the health and life expectancy of Arkansans. The Quitline offers free one-on-one phone counseling sessions with a trained Quit CoachÒ to help tobacco users break their dangerous habit. Quit Coaches work with the tobacco user to develop a customized plan to quit, select a quit date and determine whether nicotine replacement therapy medications are needed. Medications such as patches or lozenges can be provided free of charge for qualified callers.

May 28, 2014

Recently Officer Clayton of the Camden Police Department was on routine patrol near Lincoln Drive and Johnson. The officer observed a black male wearing a yellow shirt, blue jean pants, and a hat, bracing himself against a fence near 690 Lincoln Drive. The subject repeatedly stated he was just walking up the road and he was ok. He was asked for identification and could barely give it to the officer due to him not being able to keep his balance. He was later identified as Kevin Porchia. While talking to Porchia, the officer noticed that his eyes were bloodshot and watery. He speech was also slurred and he could not keep his balance, as stated earlier. Porchia stated that he had only had a few drinks, but after the officer determined him to be a danger to himself and others around him, he was transported to the station. Porchia was eventually transported to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office without incident.

A public auction for the sale of tax delinquent land in Ouachita County will be held at the Ouachita County Courthouse on Tuesday, June 10, at 1 p.m., according to John Thurston, Arkansas Commissioner of State Lands. Registration will begin at 12:30 p.m. Recent legislation has affected the procedures for the sale of tax delinquent properties, and purchasers should take the time to review the changes prior to the auction dates. The Commissioner of State Lands provides a Catalog of Tax Delinquent Lands, which contains the current statutes governing the sales, auction dates, times, location and other pertinent information regarding parcels being offered. The catalog can be found on the Commissioner’s website at or is available in print form by mail.  “Properties at auction no longer have a minimum bid of the assessed value of the property.”  Thurston said. “Bidding begins at the amount of taxes and fees that are due.” The redemption period has also changed. Owners of properties sold at auction now have 10 days to redeem the property following the sale. Delinquent property owners may call the office at 501-324-9422 to request a Petition to Redeem, or they may look up the delinquent parcel on the COSL website and print it from there

Lake Catherine State Park is hosting an adventure day camp for ages 6-9. If you would like to get your child outside this summer, let us introduce your child to a new level of outdoor fun and adventure. During our three day camp we will explore Lake Catherine State Park with hikes, adventures, close up nature studies, hands-on activities, and crafts. Campers will be dropped off at 9:00 am and picked up at 12:30 pm daily. The children are supervised by park interpreters and will enjoy daily themed programs.  Space is limited and reservations are required. The camp is aimed at children 6-9 years of age but let us know if you think our camp would be right for your child. Last day to register is June 6. The Fee for the camp is $50 per child. Fee includes meals and supplies. For more information contact the park at (501) 844-4176, e-mail, or visit them on their website.

A summer aquatic wellness class starts this week at Southern Arkansas University’s Aquatic Center, and there is still time to register. For registration information or forms, contact Marianne Woodard at (870) 235-4140 or Sandi Alston will be teaching the water exercise course, which is available for class credit or as non-credit. Alston has 12 years of experience at SAU in teaching adult water classes and is trained in areas associated with aquatic exercise. The cost for the ten-week course is $40. Classes are scheduled for 9 a.m. on Wednesday through Friday, May 28-30, for the first week. Classes will then meet at 9 a.m. each Monday, Wednesday and Thursday each week after until August 7. There will be no classes the week of June 30-July 3. The class will meet at the SAU Aquatic Center. The Aquatic Center entrance is located at the rear of the Brown/Watson HKR Complex. A 2013-14 SAU vehicle decal, $15, is required for parking. For more information about the class content, goals and objectives, contact Sandi Alston at For more information about the SAU Aquatic Center and membership options, visit

The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet today at Catherine’s Bistro in Camden. The club will have the group from Ouachita Electric that participated in the National Rural Electric Cooperatives project building power to communities without power in Guatemala for Lions Club this week. For any additional information or how you can join you can call Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440 ext 7.

Oil Town Pageant registration is now being accepted by phone. Please call Cheryl Corley at 870-725-3628 or Tammy Ward at 870-725-4186. The pageant is scheduled for Saturday, June 7th, at 11:00 am at the Hobgood Auditorium at Smackover and is sponsored by the Future Business Leaders of America of Smackover High School. Remember girls through age 21 are eligible to enter. 

An estimated 38,000 adult Arkansans may be living with Hepatitis C (Hep C), a blood borne virus that harms the liver. It contributed to at least 1,538 deaths in Arkansas between 1999 and 2012. To put this number into perspective, Hep C has contributed to more deaths than HIV in Arkansas each year since 2006. To reduce the number of Arkansans who may be faced with irreversible liver damage or early death, the Arkansas Department of Health recommends all adults discuss Hep C testing with their doctor.  It is recommended that all people born between 1945 and 1965 get tested for Hep C. Injection drug users, people who received a blood transfusion before 1992, and several other at-risk groups should also be tested. Those who fall into these groups should talk with their doctor about getting tested for Hep C, even if they do not feel ill. The majority of people with Hep C often do not know they are infected. Testing can help identify infected people before irreversible liver damage occurs. Hep C is known as the “silent killer” because many people have the infection for decades and experience no symptoms. However, Hep C typically develops into a chronic infection and eventually destroys the cells of the liver. It is a major cause of cancer and cirrhosis and is the leading cause of liver transplants in the United States.  “Hep C is a very serious illness and early detection and treatment are the only way to avoid permanent liver damage and possible death,” said Dr. Gary Wheeler, Medical Director for Infectious Disease at the Arkansas Department of Health. Before 2013, Hep C was treated with drugs that caused side effects such as flu-like symptoms and depression, and required injections of interferon for nearly one year or longer. Now, treatments for Hep C are more effective, easier to tolerate and shorter in duration. If you are currently living with Hep C, ask your doctor about new treatment options. Your doctor will be able to decide when treatment should begin. “Some of the new medication combinations have been shown to cure more than 90 percent of patients who undergo treatment, which may be life-changing for Arkansans who have been living with untreated Hep C. Now is the time to get tested, get treated and avoid years of suffering due to chronic Hep C infection,” Wheeler added. To learn more about Hep C, visit 

May 23, 2014

Earlier this week, Deputy Jarrod Purifoy of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office spoke with a woman over the telephone about a mishap that she had in her vehicle. She stated that earlier her vehicle was struck by a RR crossing arm as she drove through the crossing. The woman also said that the lights and arm activated just as she was crossing the track causing the arm to strike her vehicle. Damage to her antenna and scratches to the top of her vehicle were a result of this occurrence. Her vehicle is a silver 2010 Chevy HHR. She was advised that the report would be on file.

Kaitlyn Mahaffey called 911 in reference to a burglary in progress at her residence located at Southwood in Camden. She stated that she was home alone and described the suspects as two white males, with shaved heads, to white tank tops, and tattoos all over their arms. She said she was sitting at her computer when she saw the suspects pull up in her driveway in a white SUV and one suspect came to the front and began banging on the door. Fearing that the suspects were trying to break in, she ran to the back room. It wasn’t long after that the two suspects drove off with her dad’s trailer. She stated that the trailer was and older model, 5x8, blue in color, expanded metal bottom, with 14 inch side rails. If have any idea on the whereabouts of the trailer you should call the Sheriff’s Office 870-231-5300.

Everything is beautiful at the ballet as the South Arkansas Arts Center welcomes back instructor Marilyn Russell for three ballet summer workshops the week of June 2-6.  The workshops are sponsored by Southern Bancorp and Teague Auto Group.“I’m looking forward to being at SAAC again, seeing old and new friends,” said Russell.  In 1994, Russell’s first ballet class shared the “studio” with theatre props, Rob Bosanko’s children’s theatre classes, and Stage 2 productions.  By the time she retired 11 years later, her classes had grown from five students to nearly 50. The rehearsal hall was named the Russell Studio in her honor on April 19, 2005. Russell is a veteran of the Washington, D. C. Civic Ballet and former SAAC ballet instructor who was instrumental in bringing the artistry of ballet back to El Dorado.

Since leaving El Dorado, she has been active at the Rogers Adult Wellness Center with yoga lessons and teaching ballet.  Her students are called the RAWC “Corps de Ballet” and perform at the RAWC, Bentonville Art on the Creeks, and the American Legion USO Show. Three workshops are available throughout the week which will focus on classical ballet technique for ages seven to adult.  Offered are a one hour class for ages seven through eleven, a two hour class for ages eleven and up and two night classes for adults. To register for the workshops, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474 for space availability and costs.

A retirement reception will be held 3-5 p.m. today, Friday, May 30 for John Manion, parks director for the City of Magnolia. The reception will be held at Magnolia City Hall and the public is invited to attend the come-and-go event.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced today that the Attorney General’s Office and other agencies will host a free lunch-and-learn workshop on June 3 for Arkansas residents who want to know how to better protect themselves against scams and fraud. “Arkansans Fighting Fraud” wilbe presented by the Attorney General’s Office, state Insurance Department, Securities Department, Department of Human Services, the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service and AARP. The short seminar is scheduled for Tuesday, June 3 at noon at Immanuel Baptist Church’s Horne Hall, 501 N. Shackleford Road, in Little Rock. “Consumers will be able to talk one-on-one to experts that can help them protect themselves against scams,” McDaniel said. “Working Arkansans who are planning ahead for retirement or senior citizens who want to know how to avoid fraud aimed at mature consumers will benefit from these presentations.” Participants will hear from 7 On Your Side’s Jason Pederson of KATV, and Pederson will moderate a panel discussion with experts from sponsor agencies. Following the lunch, sponsors will host a resource fair and will answer questions and provide materials to participants. Agency representatives will discuss such topics as Medicare and Medicaid, identity theft, investment fraud, reverse-mortgage fraud and insurance fraud. The free event is open to the public, but advance registration is required. To register, call (877) 926-8300 or visit

May 22, 2014

Earlier today Officer Justin Easttam of the Camden Police Department was promoted by Chief Bo Woody to become the new Police Sergeant. Woody said “Easttam has been at the Police Department for 6 years and is dedicated to the city of Camden”. After the promotion I (Taylor May) had the chance to get the new Sergeants thoughts on this next step in his career.

Easttam said “I’m humble to be hear and honored to be able to show that I can lead guys and help out the community. Officer’s dedicated to helping the community, and making Camden the best it can be, you can’t ask for more than that. One thing is for sure, and that is as far as serving and protecting the community goes; Camden is in good hands.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel expressed concern that password information and other consumer data of Internet auction site eBay had been breached in what the company called a “cyberattack.” EBay announced that nonfinancial information was compromised. That includes such data as encrypted passwords, names, physical addresses, email addresses, phone numbers and dates of birth. McDaniel said the eBay security breach, which comes a few months after a widespread data breach at Target, demonstrates the need for retailers to strengthen security measures to protect consumers. “Although these appear to have been sophisticated attacks, I encourage companies to look for better ways to protect consumer information and ensure that their patrons can shop safely and securely,” McDaniel said. “My office has been actively investigating the Target breach, and we are already talking to representatives of eBay to find out how this breach occurred and whether there is any long-term impact on Arkansas consumers.” McDaniel said eBay users should heed the company’s request that users change their passwords for accessing the site. Representatives of eBay said there is no evidence of unauthorized access to financial and credit card information stored by the company. “Though it appears that no sensitive financial information was stolen, it is still important for eBay users to take precautions to prevent unauthorized access to their accounts,” McDaniel said. McDaniel said Internet users should consider changing passwords on every account periodically in order to help prevent identity theft or financial crime. And, if eBay users had the same password on that site as on other websites, then users should change the passwords on other sites as well. Consumers are encouraged to:

- Create a unique password for each online account to protect against security breaches on multiple sites.
- Make passwords complex, with uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers and punctuation marks or special characters.

- Avoid using easy-to-guess information such as names or hometowns in passwords.
- Avoid password security questions about relatives, pets, mother’s maiden name or favorite places to visit, since hackers may be able to find that information on social networking sites.

There will be an Arkansas Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan Workshop for Southwest Arkansas. The workshop will take place tonight from 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm, with the presentation starting at 6:15 pm. The workshop will take place at the Arkadelphia Recreation Center located at 2555 Twin Rivers Drive.

A resolution sponsored by U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) commemorating the upcoming 70th Anniversary of the D-Day invasion and honoring the U.S. Armed Forces who helped bring an end to World War II passed the Senate by unanimous consent. Boozman, a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee and co-chair of the Senate French Caucus, is recovering from heart surgery and was not in Washington when the resolution was called up. Boozman offered the following statement on the passage of S. Res. 421: “I am grateful that the Senate was able to expedite passage of this important resolution commemorating the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion before the Memorial Day recess so that we can rightly honor the brave men and women of the Allied Forces who helped break the Nazi stranglehold on Western Europe. As time passes, it remains our duty to remember the sacrifices made by the members of the Greatest Generation, including those brave Arkansans, who answered the call of those being oppressed by the Nazi and Fascist regimes.” In the early morning hours of June 6, 1944, 31,000 members of the United States Armed Forces, and 153,000 of their counterparts in the Allied Expeditionary Force, launched Operation Overlord by storming ashore five landing areas on the beaches of Normandy, France. The first day of the operation, which became known as D-Day, approximately 10,000 Allied soldiers were wounded or killed, including 6,000 Americans. Operation Overlord led to Allied liberation of Western Europe from the control of Nazi Germany and an end to World War II. Earlier this month, the Parliament of the French Republic passed a similar resolution. French Parliament members asked Congress to pass a resolution in both bodies, honoring these sacrifices made in the name of liberty. Boozman answered this request in the Senate by introducing and getting this resolution passed. While the House of Representatives has not considered resolutions in the 113th Congress, similar language was added to H.R. 4435, the “National Defense Authorization Act for FY15” as an amendment.

May 21, 2014

What can be taken away from last night’s election results? Well we say that clearly the citizens of Ouachita County like the progress Sheriff David Norwood has made during his tenure, and would like to see his direction continue. Norwood overwhelmingly won the County Sheriff Campaign with over 66% of the votes. After the election was over Norwood said “ I sincerely thank the citizens of Ouachita County and we are going to continue to do the things that we do to generate money, put it back into the County, that way sheriff’s to come can prosper off what we do”. Norwood definitely has a lot to be proud of. The race for Ouachita County Judge however, was not so one sided. It was a tight race that would end in a run-off between Garry L Smith and Robbie McAdoo. McAdoo would gain 44% of the votes, while Smith would gain 28%. Before they left, I (Taylor May) was able to catch up with the candidates and get there thoughts on a run-off. Smith said “I’m thankful of the support, we have three more weeks to work and a lot to be done”. Indeed the candidates will be working hard the next few weeks to prove that they the ultimate choice for County Judge. McAdoo said “I’m really proud of the results tonight, and thankful for everyone that has helped and supported me”. He also said “I would have like to won without a run-off, but now we have a couple more weeks of work to do, and now we have to get the voters back to the polls”. It will be interesting to see the steps the two candidates take in the next few weeks. One thing we know for sure and that is…every vote counts.

It is required by law in Arkansas that all dogs and cats be vaccinated against rabies once a year. Arrangements have been made with Dr. Jim Rocconi to immunize all dogs and cats in Ouachita County. The price of the vaccination is $10.00. Rabies tags will be issued at the time of the vaccinations. Dr. Rocconi will follow the schedule listed below:
Thursday May 29th:                                                       Friday May 30th:
8:00 am Cardinal Shopping Center                                10:15 am Timothy Methodist Church
8:30 am Bethesda Church (Mt. Holly Rd.)                     10:45 am Jay’s Country Store
9:00 am Elliot (Grissom’s Grocery)                               11:30-Noon Stephens (next to fire station)
9:30 am Frenchport (Grocery at Y)                                6:00 pm Harmony Grove
10:15 am Chidester (in front of Bancorp South)            7:00 pm East Camden (Municipal Office)
11:00 am Corbet Lamkin’s Home
11:30 am Forestry Commission (Maul Road) 

The visual arts committee of the South Arkansas Arts Center is currently accepting submissions for the 2014 Juried Art Competition.  Entry deadline for all 2-D and 3-D Fine Art Media is May 28 with acceptance notifications on June 4. Dayton Castleman, Museum Manager for 21c Museum inside the 21c Museum Hotel Bentonville in northwest Arkansas, is the Juror for the 2014 competition. The competition is sponsored by Smackover State Bank. Castleman is a multi-media artist, an educator, and manages the 21c Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas. A New Orleans native, Dayton received his BA in Art from Belhaven University and his MFA in sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has taught as Assistant Professor of Art in sculpture at Trinity Christian College, and as a Museum Educator at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. He has lectured and exhibited his artwork in museums and galleries throughout the United States and in Europe. When asked what he looks for while judging a competition, he said,” I enjoy well-crafted artwork, but I see craft as a means to an end. I favor work that has pretty robust conceptual underpinnings, and work that suggests a knowledge of art history. Art is a way of engaging in an ongoing international conversation, and I enjoy work that embodies an awareness of that ‘larger’ cultural dialogue. I’m not so much concerned with whether art is easily digestible to the viewer, but with whether it demonstrates an allusiveness and maturity that creates intrigue and requires deep reading and engagement.” Over $2000 in prize money will be awarded with one piece from the competition to be purchased for SAAC's permanent art collection. The Annual Purchase Award is made possible through an endowment from the family of Wilma Riley in memory of her commitment to the arts, her community, and SAAC. All entries are $10 per submission. Artists may submit any number of entries by digital image, but a maximum of 3 entries can be accepted in the exhibit. For more information about the competition, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474. A full prospectus is available online at

South Arkansas Women’s Network presents the 2014 Achievement Awards Thursday, May 29, 2014.  The event will be held in the Reynolds Center on the SAU campus, from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm. This year’s nominees are as follows:
Horizon Award Recipient: Gabrielle Davis
Career Achievement Award Recipient: Jerri Lephiew
Lifetime Recipient: Bobbie Jennings

It’s not too late to get premium seats for the Charlie Daniels concert on Saturday, June 7th at the UA Cossatot Amphitheater in De Queen. We’re auctioning off two seats in the center section on the first, second, third and fourth rows. Just click on the Ticket Auction link at and follow the instructions on how to place your bid. All proceeds go to the Collin Raye Scholarship fund to help local graduating seniors attend UA Cossatot. If you have any questions, you can call Bonita Smith 870-642-2446 Purchase tickets with credit card at, or call (870) 642-2446

May 20, 2014

Officer George Ferguson was dispatched to Walmart at 950 California Avenue for a shoplifter that left the store with two 30 packs of Bud Light. While en-route, dispatch stated that the subject got into a white Pontiac Grand Prix. Ferguson was on Lincoln Drive when the call came in. A white Pontiac went through the light at California and Lincoln Drive. A traffic stop was made on the vehicle on California and Magnolia Road. The subject driving the vehicle was identified as Ronald Charles Bradford. The vehicle had two Bud Light 3o packs in the rear seat. Bradford was arrested on a shoplifting affidavit, which was signed by Walmart. He was then given a citation and a later court date. The 30 packs were returned to Walmart.  

Officer Jimmy Plyler was dispatched to a possible intoxicated person near Post Master’s Grill on Washington Street. The subject was described as a black female wearing green scrub like clothing. When the officer arrived on the scene he located the female, identified as Brenda Williams, standing at the entrance of the Post Master’s Patio. When she was asked what she was doing, Williams stated she was bumming a cigarette from someone. While talking to Williams, the officer noticed multiple signs of intoxication such as bloodshot and watery eyes, strong odor of intoxicants and she was having trouble walking. She was then arrested and then taken to the station for booking procedures. She was then taken to the Ouachita County Detention Complex to be held for 12 hours, or until intoxicants wore off.

The Board of Directors in Texarkana has rejected a request to allow a "Celebration Walk" in which participants openly wearing weapons would march on a sidewalk on the Arkansas side of the city. According to reports the board voted against the proposal Monday night after state and city prosecutors and the city attorney opposed the event. Supporters of the proposal say the walk would provide a venue to educate the public about the ability to legally carry guns in public in Arkansas. The supporters say they're happy to at least have an answer from the city on their request.

Two men were formally booked in Columbia County last week on charges of negligent homicide in separate vehicle accidents. Jeffery Teague, 24, 225 Meadow View, El Dorado, and Blane Austin Acklin, 22, 220 Troy, were both released on bond following their bookings. They were drivers in wrecks that caused the death of passengers in their vehicles. Paperwork was available at the Columbia County Circuit Clerk’s Office on the Teague case. Teague is charged with one count of negligent homicide and one count of driving while intoxicated, first offense, in connection with the Dec. 11, 2013 death of Jacob A. Shireman, 20. A criminal information filed by Prosecuting Attorney Ian Vickery of El Dorado said that Teague “did unlawfully and feloniously commit the offense of negligent homicide by negligently causing the death of Jacob Shireman as a result of operating a vehicle while intoxicated with an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more, in and against the peace and dignity of the state of Arkansas.” The Toyota truck Teague was driving struck a house on a flatbed trailer next to the Southern Arkansas University track about 11:15 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11. Shireman lived on the SAU campus and was a freshman pre-nursing student from Mayflower. According to preliminary Arkansas State Police and other reports, Teague, a junior accounting major at SAU, was driving north on Jackson when he failed to negotiate the left-hand curve in front of Wilkins Stadium. The truck jumped the curb, traveled through a parking lot and hit the right rear of the house that sat on the trailer. Earlier Wednesday, the house -- which had been located on university property across East University from the Arkansas Department of Human Services office -- was moved. SAU police escorted the house on a trailer operated by Keith Smith House Movers along North Jackson to the parking lot at the SAU track. The trailer and house were parked at the track because the house could not be moved at night. Negligent homicide is a Class B felony punishable by imprisonment in the Arkansas Department of Correction for a term not less than five years nor more than 20 years, and/or a fine not to exceed $15,000. Driving while intoxicated is a Class U misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in the Columbia County Justice and Detention Facility for a term of no less than 24 hours and no more than one year, and or a fine of not less than $150 nor more than $1,000. Blane Austin Acklin is charged with negligent homicide for the Wednesday, April 2 death of Austin Blake Glass, 19, 2487 Columbia Road 3. The wreck on County Road 53 near Lake Columbia also injured Acklin and three other passengers. According to an Arkansas State Police report, Glass was a passenger of a 1999 model Ford pick-up truck driven by Acklin. The state police report said that Acklin failed to negotiate a curve. The truck exited the roadway and struck a tree.

The City of Camden’s Public Work Offices will be closed on Monday May 26, for the Memorial Day Holiday. The Transfer Station will also be closed. However the trash pick-up will run on its regular schedule.

Lions Club will not meet on Wednesday this week, they will be joining with the other clubs on Thursday, noon at the Country Club for the distribution Of the Ouachita Valley Foundation Grants. For any additional information on the lions club you can call Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440 ext.7.

World class music returns to the South Arkansas Arts Center for one night only when piano prodigy Colton Peltier appears in concert in the Callaway Theatre on Friday, May 23 at 7:30pm.
“When I heard him play, I knew he was special,” said Mrs. Martha Yocum as she described her first time hearing Peltier while observing a piano Master Class at the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado. “I love to attend the classes and hear the artists, but when I heard this 10 year old play. I was amazed…the woman sitting behind me whispered to me what I was already thinking: ‘A young Van Cliburn’.” It was at that moment that a young artist found his patron. Peltier, now 19, just completed his finals for his third year at The Juilliard School in New York.  Peltier has studied piano with Dr. Paul Wirth of the Central Minnesota Music School and Dr. Yoheved Kaplinsky at Juilliard. He has also received coaching from Stephen Kovacevich and Andrè Watts. He attends the Aspen Music Festival in the summers where he studies with Prof. Kaplinsky. Juilliard is a world-renowned school for music and the arts, especially for performers. Performance is exactly what Peltier wants to do – traveling the world and playing with major orchestras. “I would love to play Carnegie Hall and with the London Philharmonic one day,” He said. Speaking with Peltier on his cellphone from Juilliard he said, “Martha is like my other Grandmother. She is a blessing in my life and without her I wouldn’t be here. I am ready for a break after taking 20 credit hours this semester and fitting in at least six hours of piano practice a day. It will be great to be in El Dorado again. Seeing Martha, playing the concert, eating some good food, and maybe get a little fishing in.” At the age of nine, Peltier burst upon the music world when he performed Beethoven’s Concerto #1 with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in Minnesota. Since then he has performed with numerous orchestras, symphonies, as well as solo concerts across the nation.  Peltier previously performed in El Dorado during the South Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s “Imagine the Future” concert. Peltier said of the pieces he selected to play, “Each piece of music is so different. From the technical, to the romantic, to the modern, they are all challenging and I love playing them.” Selections for the SAAC concert include Schubert’s Piano Sonata in C minor, Ravel’s La Valse, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Sonata n. 2, Op. 36, and Liberman’s Gargoyles, Op. 29 all performed on the Steinway grand. The event is graciously sponsored by Martha Yocum. Concert tickets are $25 for reserved seating and there are limited $50 tickets which include reserved seating and a post-concert soiree at the home of Gay and Russ Bechtelheimer. For tickets, contact the SAAC box office at 862-5474.

May 16, 2014

Officer Nathan Clayton of the Camden Police Department was dispatched to Walmart in reference to a shoplifter. When he arrived he made contact with the assistant store manager. She stated that there was a white male in the hardware department, wearing a blue hat and black jacket looking and acting very suspicious. She also stated that the man had been seen with possible stolen items in his jacket and he had shoplifted the night before but was not caught.
The man was identified as Blake Henderson and he was asked to unzip his jacket, which he did and no items were found. Henderson stated he was just trying to get some items for a small project. However when other officers arrived they noticed that the shirt that Henderson was wearing belonged to the store and wasn’t his. Henderson was then placed into custody and transported to the station. He was charged with shoplifting and then transported to the station without incident. The total price of the shirt, was less than 20 dollars.

That was not the only shoplifting incident, as Officer Maslakov was dispatched to Atwoods’d in reference to a shoplifter. The officer made contact with several employees at Atwood’s, who advised him that a female subject, wh