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July 23, 2014

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE REPORTS
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.  

RECEPTION SET FOR KATHY LEE
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.

SOUTH ARKANSAS TREES BEING DESTROYED BY INSECT
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.

STUDENTS TO BE TESTED FOR DYSLEXIA IN ARKANSAS SCHOOLS
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.

DOGS SMARTER THAN YOU THINK?
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

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORTS
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.

GATE INSTALLED ON WEST SIDE OF COLUMBIA COUNTY LIBRARY
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 SELL HEALTH INSURANCE PLANS ON AR MARKETPLACE
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.

MCDANIEL ANNOUNCES CYBER CRIMES CONVICTION
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.

AMERICAN RED CROSS ISSUES URGENT CALL FOR DONORS
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

SAU TO SWEAR-IN NEW POLICE CHIEF
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.

SAAC OFFERS TEEN & ADULT CLASS ON BASIC PHOTOSHOP
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 www.saac-arts.org.

VOLUNTARY NATIONWIDE RECALL OF TATOO INK, NEEDLES, KITS DUE
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 www.fda.gov/safety/recalls. 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 www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programsServices/environmentalHealth/Pages/default.aspx.

NATIONAL PARK TOURISM AR CREATES $144.3 MILLION IN BENEFIT
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

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORTS
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.

MAGNOLIA SCHOOLS USING SOCIAL MEDIA
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.

SAAC ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF JURIED ART COMPETITION
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 www.saac-arts.com.

SCHOOL CALENDAR LAW HELPS PROTECT SMALL BUSINESSES
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 www.GotYourBackArkansas.org.

CONSUMER PROTECTION CONFERENCE SCHEDULED
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 www.GotYourBackArkansas.org.

July 15, 2014

AEROJET MODIFICATION APPROVED; EXTENSION FOR OBU CLOSURE
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. 

NATIONAL NIGHT OUT
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.

EXPERIENCE THE “OUT OF THIS WORLD” SYFY MOVIE CAMP
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.

SETTLEMENT REACHED IN SUIT AGAINST CHARITY
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.

BLOOD DONATION OPPORTUNITIES
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 redcrossblood.org 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 redcrossblood.org 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 redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

July 14, 2014

FARMERS BANK & TRUST TO ACQUIRE FIRST BANK
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.

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE REPORTS
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.

INMATE FROM EL DORADO CAPTURED AFTER ESCAPING
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.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB REPORT
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet this week at Catherine's Bistro in Camden. The speaker this week is 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. 

EL DORADO BUSINESS AFTER HOURS
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.

TEXARKANA 4TH GRADERS EXPERIENCE STEM AND COLLEGE
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 rcguevara@saumag.edu.

July 11, 2014

OPERATION “HEAT STROKE”
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 IN EL DORADO
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.

BEEBE HOPING TO BRING JOBS TO ARKANSAS
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

ASPHALT AND PEA GRAVEL WORK TO BEGIN ON HIGHWAY 172
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.  

SAU LAUNCHING ONLINE ED. LEADERSHIP DEGREES
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. OnlineU.org 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 www.SAUmag.edu/Education. To find out more about SAU’s Master’s degrees, visit www.SAUmag.edu/Graduate.

AR ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE AMENDMENT HAS MET SIGNATURE REQUIREMENT
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.     

MILITARY CONSUMER PROTECTION DAY SET FOR JULY 16
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, www.GotYourBackArkansas.org, offers tips, tools and resources for all consumers. Of particular importance to military families, the Federal Trade Commission hosts military.ncpw.gov, which provides tips sheets, information and blog posts from national consumer protection experts. McDaniel encouraged both active-duty service members and veterans to visit military.ncpw.gov. 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 military.ncpw.gov. For information about this or other consumer matters, call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 482-8982 or visit www.GotYourBackArkansas.org

July 9, 2014

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S REPORTS

ROGERS LUMBER COMPANY TRUCK RUN OFF ROAD.
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 IN EL DORADO PROTECTED BY BULLETPROOF VESTS
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.

SAU PBL STUDENTS WIN NATIONAL AWARDS
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 www.SAUmag.edu/Business or call the SAU PBL chapter at (870) 235-4300.

GOVERNOR BEEBE APPOINTS GAME AND FISH COMMISSIONER
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.

CAMPAIGN RETURNS WITH POWERFUL STORIES TO HELP AR QUIT SMOKING
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 www.cdc.gov/tips 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 www.cdc.gov/tips. For more information on how you can quit, visit www.stampoutsmoking.com or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW. 

July 8, 2014

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB REPORT
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.  

CAMDEN FAIRVIEW SCHOOL REGISTRATION DATES 
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 

RELAY FOR LIFE BACK 2 SCHOOL & MORE YARD SALES
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 @ pinkie758@yahoo.com or via cell at 870-796-1762.

ALZHEIMER'S SUPPORT GROUP TO MEET 
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 TO APPLY FOR GRANT FOR CAT SHELTER
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.

SIGNATURES FALL SHORT FOR AR CANNABIS ACT
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."

DEATH ROW INMATE DIES AT THE OUACHITA RIVER UNIT
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.  

BASEBALL FAN FALLS ASLEEP; SUES ESPN ANNOUNCERS 
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

CAMDEN POLICE REPORTS
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 ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS
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.

MISS CONGENIALITY STOPS BY THE RADIOWORKS NEWSROOM
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. 

COLUMBIA COUNTY JOBLESS RATE RISES
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

MAN FOUND DEAD AFTER BEATEN TO DEATH 
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.

UPWARD BOUND PROGRAM AT SAU
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.

REAL ESTATE WORKSHOP OFFERED AT SAU
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 www.SAUmag.edu/CE. 

UNIQUE MARINE BIOLOGY DEGREE TO NET SAU STUDENTS
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 www.SAUmag.edu/Apply. “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 www.SAUmag.edu to find out more about SAU’s academic programs, the complete college experience and how to become a Mulerider. 

ALLIGATOR HUNTERS SELECTED BY GAME AND FISH
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.

ORGANICS SUPERFOOD PROTEIN MEDLEY BEING RECALLED
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 info@oriyaorganics.com.

KNOW MORE ABOUT VEHICLE RECALLS
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, www.safercar.gov, 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 www.GotYourBackArkansas.org or call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division hotline, (800) 482-8982.

RECREATIONAL WATER SAFETY: STEPS FOR HEALTHY SWIMMING
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

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE REPORTS
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.

WARD GETS WARM WELCOME
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.

ACADEMIC ALL-STAR RESEARCHING DNA IN NEW ZEALAND
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

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE REPORTS
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.

ROBERT GORUM RUNNING FOR MAGNOLIA MAYOR
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.

COMPUTER EMPLOYMENT SKILLS SEMINAR
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 tanglin@southark.edu. The seminar will be 20 dollars per person.

HELP THE AMERICAN RED CROSS PREVENT A SUMMER SHORTAGE
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 redcrossblood.org 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 redcrossblood.org 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 redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

FORMER NURSE ARRESTED FOR THEFT OF MEDICATION
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

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE REPORTS
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.

CAMDEN POLICE REPORT
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.

OLDEST LIVING WOMAN LIVING IN CAMDEN; EVENT SET TO HONOR HER
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 HELPING OUT THE WOMEN’S CRISIS CENTER; SO CAN YOU
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.

BIG LINEUP COMING TO EL DORADO MUSIC FEST THIS YEAR
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 musicfesteldorado.com. 

STEPHENS CONSOLIDATION MOVES FORWARD
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.

ADH ALERTING RESTAURANT OWNERS ABOUT INSPECTORS 
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

DEAD BODY FOUND IN CAMDEN 
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. 

WALKABLE CAMDEN
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.

SENIOR CITIZENS AND MINORITY YOUTH
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.

SAAC HOSTS “TIDES AND CURRENTS” RECEPTION
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 www.saac-arts.com.

CELEBRATE INDEPENDENCE DAY SAFELY
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 www.GotYourBackArkansas.org.

June 25, 2014

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE REPORTS
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.

STUDENT’S COMMITMENT TO SERVICE EARNS SCHOLARSHIP
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.

CONVICTED MURDERER REPORTEDLY ESCAPED
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.

BEEBE CALLS SESSION TO ADDRESS PUBLIC SCHOOL INSURANCE; MORE
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

CAMDEN POLICE REPORT
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.

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE REPORTS
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.  

PUBLIC NOTICE: SPSC FLUSHING LINES
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.

NEW FIRE TRUCKS COMING TO MAGNOLIA
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.”

AR BIG BASS CLASSIC COMING THIS WEEK
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.

SPECIAL DWI & SPEEDING ENFORCEMENT CRACKDOWN SET
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 www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136. For more on Arkansas’ ongoing Toward Zero Deaths campaign to eliminate preventable traffic fatalities, visit www.TZDarkansas.org.

MCDANIEL FILES SUIT AGAINST CHIROPRACTIC “RUNNERS”
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

CAMDEN POLICE REPORTS
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. 

FESTIVALS IN MAGNOLIA THIS WEEKEND
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.

7 BOAT RELATED DEATHS SO FAR THIS YEAR
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

PRYOR BLASTED FOR REFUSING TO BACK 20-WEEK ABORTION LIMIT
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.

KIDNEY SMART CLASS IN CAMDEN
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.

AVOID QUICK-FIX DIET SCHEMES
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, www.GotYourBackArkansas.org, or call the Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 482-8982.

PEOPLE IN CARIBBEAN URGED TO PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM ILLNESS
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:

-Anguilla
-Antigua
-British Virgin Islands
-Dominica
-Dominican Republic
-French Guiana
-Guadeloupe
-Guyana
-Haiti
-Martinique
-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

CAMDEN POLICE REPORTS
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.

MAGNOLIA WOMAN TRYING TO RAISE MONEY FOR TRIP TO MAYO CLINIC
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.

VOLUNTEERS STILL NEEDED TO CONTINUE WITH TORNADO CLEANUP
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.

OIL TOWN FESTIVAL THIS WEEKEND
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.

$550 MILLION JOINT SETTLEMENT REACHED WITH SUNTRUST INC.
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.

EXPLORER DAY CAMP
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 keith.w.bell@arkansas.gov

June 17, 2014

OUACHITA COUNTY POLICE REPORT
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.

OUACHITA COUNTY LAND AUCTION NETS $52,800.56
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 land@cosl.org to subscribe to the Catalog of Tax Delinquent Lands, a free quarterly publication listing all parcels offered for sale at auction.

WEBSITE SCAM IN EL DORADO?
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 El-DoArk.com  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.

SAVE THE FAIRVIEW GYM MEETING
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.

FREE ASTHMA CLINIC
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

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB REPORT
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet this week at Catherine’s Bistro. This week will be the installation of new officers 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.

YOU CAN APPLY FOR ASSISTANCE DUE TO DROUGHT CONDITIONS
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.

SAAC ANNOUNCES ARTIST SELECTED FOR JAC
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 www.saac-arts.com.

BEEBE CALLS FOR LAW CHANGE IN SCHOOL DISTRICT
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

HESTERLY PLEADS GUILTY
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.

FUGITIVE CAUGHT IN TEXARKANA
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.

CAMP SPONSORED BY COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE
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.

MCDANIEL HIGHLIGHTS EFFORTS TO STOP METAL THEFT
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.”

DON'T SWEAT SUMMER UTILITY BILLS
 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 www.EnergyEfficiencyArkansas.org.
 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 www.acaaa.org  for more information.
 To contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division, visit www.GotYourBackArkansas.org or call (800) 482-8982.

June 10, 2014

CAMDEN POLICE REPORTS
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 CLOSING DOWN BASE IN CAMDEN
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.

 

OUACHITA RIVER COMMISSION MEETING SET
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.

MCDANIEL SUES ONLINE PAYDAY LENDERS
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.

EXPORT AND RESEARCH TECHNOLOGY MEETING
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 chamber@goeldorado.com or (870) 863-6113.

June 9, 2014

CAMDEN POLICE REPORT 
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. 

WOMEN’S CRISIS CENTER MEETING
“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.”

CONSTRUCTION PROJECT FOR NEW SIDEWALK IN MAGNOLIA
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.

SAU ANNOUNCES HIRING COMMITTEE
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.

PRYOR MEETS WITH AR VETS TO DISCUSS DEAL ON VETERAN HEALTH CARE
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

CAMDEN POLICE REPORTS
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.

ROAD WORK IN SMACKOVER
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

ALBEMARLE GIVES $200,000 FOR SAU EGINEERING
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

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S REPORT
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.

MAN SENTENCED TO 14 YEARS IMPRISONMENT IN COLUMBIA COUNTY
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.

ALZHEIMER’S SUPPORT GROUP REPORT
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.

MEMBERS FROM TOM COTTON OFFICE COMING TO SOUTH AR
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

PLANE CRASH IN MONROE
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.

RIBBON CUTTING IN EL DORADO
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

CAMDEN POLICE REPORT
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.

TAX DELINQUENT LAND SALE SCHEDULED FOR OUACHITA COUNTY
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 www.cosl.org 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.

“TIDES AND CURRENTS” OPENS AT SAAC
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 www.saac-arts.com.

SOAR AT SAU TECH
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.

SCAM IN COLUMBIA COUNTY
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.” 

AR ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE CORP. RESPONDS TO EPA REGULATIONS
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 rroedel@aeci.com www.ecark.org 

May 30, 2014

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE REPORT
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.

MEET IN GREET FOR THREE VO-AG TEACHERS
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. 

FORMER CFO OF DILLARD’S APPOINTED NEW BOARD MEMBER OF SAU
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,".

RECEPTION HELD FOR RETIRING EL DORADO SUPERINTENDENT
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.

SAAC SUMMER CAMP
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.                                                                      

SCIENCE LEAGUE: THE HEROES OF PUBLIC HEALTH
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 www.heroes-of-public-health.eventbrite.com. 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.

WHEN SCAMMERS GO PHISHING, AVOID THE BAIT
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, www.GotYourBackArkansas.org, or call the Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 482-8982.

SOS ENCOURAGING AR TO QUIT AND SUPPORT WORLD NO TABACCO DAY
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

CAMDEN POLICE REPORT
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.

TAX DELINQUENT LAND SALE SCHEDULED FOR OUACHITA COUNTY
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 www.cosl.org 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

ADVENTURE DAY CAMP
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 lakecatherine@arkansas.gov, or visit them on their website.

SAU AQUATIC CENTER CLASSES STARTING THIS WEEK
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 mcwoodard@SAUmag.edu. 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 sdalston@SAUmag.edu. For more information about the SAU Aquatic Center and membership options, visit www.SAUmag.edu/AquaticCenter.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB REPORT
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.

STILL TIME TO REGISTER FOR OIL TOWN PAGEANT
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. 

‘SILENT KILLER’ INFECTS AN ESTIMATED 38,000 ADULT ARKANSANS
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 www.cdc.gov/hepatitis. 

May 23, 2014

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE REPORTS
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.

RUSSELL RETURNS TO SAAC FOR BALLET WORKSHOPS
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.

RECEPTION SET FOR JOHN MANION OF MAGNOLIA
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.

"ARKANSANS FIGHTING FRAUD" SCHEDULED FOR JUNE 31
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 aarp.cvent.com/fraud.

May 22, 2014

PROMOTION AT THE CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT
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.

MCDANIEL CONCERNED OVER EBAY SECURITY BREACH
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.

PUBLIC OPEN HOUSE AND WORKSHOP
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.


RESOLUTION COMMEMORATING D-DAY INVASION
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

ELECTIONS OVER; RUN-OFF AHEAD
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.

TIME FOR RABIES TO BE VACCINATED 
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) 

SAAC JURIED COMPETITION DEADLINE APPROACHES
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 www.saac-arts.com.

ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS TO BE HELD AT SAU
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

CHARLIE DANIELS TICKETS STILL UP FOR GRABS
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 www.kdqn.net 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 www.southwestarkansasconcerts.com, www.collinfest.com or call (870) 642-2446

May 20, 2014

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORTS
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.

TEXARKANA BOARD REJECTS "CELEBRATION WALK"
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 BOOKED IN COLUMBIA COUNTY ON HOMICIDE CHARGES.
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.

PUBLIC WORK OFFICES CLOSED
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.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB REPORT
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.

PIANO PRODIGY PELTIER TO PLAY SAAC
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

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORTS
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, who was in the changing room, who had been caught shoplifting before and the store manager wanted her escorted out of the store. The officer made contact with the subject, identified as Kristy Hamilton, who stated she was not shoplifting. She also gave the officer consent to search her purse. Once there was no merchandise found in her purse, Ms Hamilton was advised that she was not allowed in the store. Once it was confirmed she had outstanding warrants, Hamilton was taken into custody.

TWO ITEMS FOR MAGNOLIA PLANNING COMMISSION
Two items of business are on the agenda for the May meeting of the Magnolia Planning Commission. The meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the Council Chambers at the Police-Fire Building. Bonnie Riggins is requesting a seven-foot setback on the northwest corner of her property at 4 Ridgewood Circle for a new addition. The Magnolia Economic Development Corporation will ask to split Lot 3 at the Harvey Couch Business Park. The split is proposed to have less than 12-foot setback requirements.

MISSING PERSONS INITIATIVE SCHEDULED FOR MAY 29
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel and representatives from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies will host the state’s third annual event to help reunite loved ones with their missing family members. The third “Never Forgotten – Arkansas Takes Action” missing persons initiative is scheduled for Thursday, May 29, at the Clear Channel Metroplex, 10800 Col. Glenn Road, in Little Rock. “It has been our goal since we launched this initiative to assist law enforcement agencies in every way possible to resolve the more than 400 active missing person’s cases here in Arkansas,” McDaniel said. “We also want to give families and friends of missing persons the support and respect they deserve for their tireless commitment to finding their loved ones.” McDaniel will host a luncheon to recognize families of missing children and adults at noon on May 29. The luncheon is free for families of the missing, but registration is required. Visit www.ArkansasAG.gov to register. Following the luncheon, from 2:30 to 7 p.m., families of the missing will have an opportunity to speak directly with local, state and federal law enforcement agents involved in handling missing persons’ cases. Representatives from the Arkansas State Crime Lab, Arkansas Crime Information Center, Arkansas State Police, NamUs (National Missing and Unidentified Persons System) and other agencies will be available to collect DNA samples and other vital information such as photos, x-rays and dental records in an effort to update their databases. In addition, law enforcement officers will be eligible for three hours of Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training (CLEST) credit for attending a three-hour training course that begins at 8:30 a.m. that day. Law enforcement officers will hear from Jennifer Schuett, who at age 8 in 1990 was kidnapped and brutally assaulted. She will be joined by Dickinson, Texas, Police Det. Tim Cromie and FBI Special Agent Richard Rennison, who were instrumental in solving her case. Law enforcement officials must register for the free training by May 27th at www.ArkansasAG.gov. Schuett will also be the keynote speaker at the event’s luncheon.

May 15, 2014

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT
Officer Jimmy Plyler was dispatched to 305 Ft. Lookout for a disturbance. I arrived on scene and observed a black male, identified as Sylvester Holliman, staggering around the apartment complex. The officer made contact with Holliman and immediately noticed he smelled strongly of intoxicants and was having trouble standing under his own power. Bystanders stated that the man was trying to start a fight with residents of 305. I asked Holliman what was going on but was unable to understand him due to slurring of his words. Holliman was then taken into custody for public intoxication. After booking procedures were completed Holliman was transported to the Ouachita County Detention Center and held until intoxicants wore off. Holliman was then issued a criminal citation and a later court date.

SAAC UPDATE
The South Arkansas Arts Center announces the return of piano virtuoso and Julliard student Colton Peltier as part of their 50th Anniversary celebration. Peltier will perform in the Callaway Theatre on SAAC Steinway on Friday, May 23 at 7:30pm. The concert is sponsored by Martha Yocum. Tickets are now available at the SAAC box office. Ticket prices are $25 for the concert alone or $50 for the concert and an after concert soiree with the artist. Peltier will perform four selections that highlight over 100 years of musical diversity and the ever changing language of the piano. To reserve tickets call 862-5474. For more information about the concert, visit www.saac-arts.com.

BIG BOOTS TO FILL AT SAU
SAU Student, Megan Maye took the Mulerider mascot to new heights and helped Southern Arkansas University reach record enrollment numbers before she graduated on May 9th.
Maye’s graduation left some big boots to fill for the new Mulerider, Payton Baird. Baird, a freshman pre-nursing major from Fouke, will have the reins officially passed to her from Maye during a ceremony at SAU's first home football game this fall on September 6. SAU is proud to have one of the most unique mascots in collegiate athletics, but being the Mulerider requires more than just appearing at football games. Baird, a freshman pre-nursing major, was pitted against more than a dozen other Mulerider hopefuls to succeed Maye in representing SAU in marketing initiatives and appearances across the region. Maye said "I am so happy for Payton, and don't think the committee could have hand-picked a better replacement” and "Payton is really excited about this title for all of the right reasons. She love mules and she is motivated to get Molly Ann out there for the public to see." Baird grew up raising and riding gated mules with her grandfather. She said she has traversed many miles of mountainous terrain in Northwest Arkansas and Oklahoma on the back of a mule, as well as ridden in several local parades. Baird said she has seen Maye and Molly Ann in commercial spots at the Cinemark Texarkana 14 in Texarkana and on Pandora online radio. So it seemed like divine intervention when she heard of the upcoming Mulerider vacancy on her first tour of SAU. "Being able to represent SAU as the Mulerider is a great honor to me, especially since it's doing something I love," said Baird. "Megan is recognized all over for her outstanding job of being the Mulerider. I can only hope that my peers will look at me the same." Rusty Hayes, SAU rodeo coach and Mulerider mascot mentor and advisor, is ordering Baird's custom outfit, which  includes handmade chaps and a custom belt buckle. She, like Maye and Sunny Wilcox before her, will get to keep her outfit after graduation in recognition of her service to SAU.

“CLICK IT OR TICKET” MOBILIZATION SET FOR MAY 19 – JUNE 1
As the summer travel season begins, so does a two-week long enforcement effort by Arkansas State Police and other law enforcement officers who will be on the lookout for violators of the Arkansas primary seat belt and child passenger safety laws. Beginning May 19th and continuing through June 1st state and local law enforcement agencies in Arkansas will participate in a nationwide Click It or Ticket mobilization. As people take to the roads to celebrate the long Memorial Day weekend, law enforcement officials across the nation will be working to ensure that everyone buckles up. “Memorial Day weekend is the traditional kick-off of summer vacation season,” said Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police.  “While patrolling the highways enforcing state traffic laws, State Troopers will be watching carefully for anyone violating safety belt laws.” According to new data released from the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic fatalities were up nationwide in 2012 for the first time in five years with more than 10,000 people killed not wearing their seat belts.  The same data also indicates that more than sixty percent of the passenger vehicle occupants died in crashes occurring at night between the hours of 6 PM – 5:59 AM and the victims were not wearing seat belts. In Arkansas, 226 unbelted vehicle occupants died in 2012.  Many of those deaths could have been prevented if occupant restraints had been used. “There are too many people dying on our roadways, and many of those deaths could have been prevented if people had taken the simple step of wearing their seat belts,” said Colonel Witt.”  “We are determined to help bring these numbers down and that’s why we will be handing out tickets, not only during these mobilizations, but anytime a violation is seen, year round.” For more information on Click It or Ticket, contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136.

COMPANY ORDERED TO PAY STATE NEARLY $30 MILLION
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced that a Canadian tobacco company has been ordered to pay nearly $30 million to the State for failing to set money aside in escrow in lieu of its participation in the tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. The Attorney General’s Office accused Grand River Enterprises of violating the law by not depositing money in escrow for its sales of Seneca cigarettes in 2005 and 2006. At a hearing in Pulaski County Circuit Court today, Judge Wendell Griffen granted McDaniel’s motion for summary judgment against the company. Griffen said he will order Grand River Enterprises to pay a civil penalty of $29,489,259.51, which represents 300 percent of the amount that the company did not deposit into escrow. The company must also place in escrow $9,829,753.17. “We are all aware of the health risks associated with tobacco use, and tobacco companies who do business in Arkansas have a responsibility to set aside money in the event the companies are required to pay for the health consequences caused by the products they sell,” McDaniel said. “I am grateful to the Court for making sure that this company understands the importance of complying with Arkansas law.” Grand River Enterprises was not a party to the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement with big tobacco companies, which directs tens of millions of dollars annually to fund public health initiatives in Arkansas. Because Grand River Enterprises did not participate in the settlement agreement, the company is required by state law to deposit into escrow a portion of the proceeds from its sales in Arkansas. The funds remain in escrow for 25 years. The state would receive the escrow money if it were to obtain a judgment against the company for health-related claims associated with the smoking of the company's cigarettes. Otherwise, after 25 years, the funds in escrow revert to the company. Attorney General’s Office initially filed suit against Grand River Enterprises in 2006. Griffen ruled from the bench and said he would order the company to make all payments and deposits into escrow within 30 days or, otherwise, post a bond. He also said pre-judgment interest on the payments would be assessed. McDaniel has made enforcement of the MSA and Arkansas tobacco laws one of his top priorities during his tenure as Attorney General. As co-chairman of the National Association of Attorneys General Tobacco Committee from 2010-12, McDaniel successfully negotiated a settlement with the companies who were parties to the MSA, thus restoring certainty to annual payments and ending a long-running dispute with the companies. Nineteen states joined McDaniel in the landmark agreement made last year. Arkansas’s share of MSA proceeds in 2014 was $49.96 million.

KNOW THE LAW ON DOOR-TO-DOOR SALES
Door-to-door solicitations typically increase in the spring, as do complaints to the Attorney General’s Office about unscrupulous salespeople. While there are no problems with the majority of items or services provided by door-to-door solicitors, some use high-pressure sales tactics and misrepresentations to cajole consumers into purchasing things they may not necessarily want or need. The Arkansas Home Solicitation Sales Act protects Arkansans who have second thoughts about buying from door-to-door salespeople, and Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued this consumer alert to inform consumers about the law. “Arkansas consumers have the right to cancel a contract made with a person who shows up at their front door, whether the seller is marketing home improvements, home security systems or even magazines,” McDaniel said. “When a consumer regrets falling for a high-pressure sale, or decides that an offer was probably too good to be true, then this law is an effective recourse.” McDaniel provided Arkansas consumers with this information about the law:

FOUR THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE STATE’S DOOR-TO-DOOR SALES LAW:
1. Consumers can cancel any home-solicitation sale within three days of purchasing an item or service.

2. Sellers must verbally inform buyers of their cancellation rights, and sellers must provide to buyers two copies of a cancellation form and a copy of the contract or receipt.

3. Consumers have three days to cancel. They can cancel for any reason.

4. Consumers can cancel a contract during the three-day period regardless of whether the seller has already installed equipment. The law applies to purchases of $25 or more, and some exceptions apply. Among the exceptions are repairs to personal property, such as heating and air systems or appliances.
Additionally, McDaniel provided these tips for those considering a purchase from a door-to-door salesperson.
STAY ALERT FOR THESE PHRASES: Salespeople who are “just taking a survey,” “trying to get rid of extra inventory,” “for today only” or selling in “specially selected” neighborhoods are most likely the types of sellers that consumers should avoid.
NOTHING IS FREE: When something like equipment or installation is initially offered free of charge in order to make the deal sound more attractive, there’s usually a cost in the form of long-term contracts or expensive monthly rates.
SHOP AROUND: The first deal might not be the best deal. It’s always better to get estimates and compare prices from other vendors.
ASK AROUND: Friends and family may have recommendations about products and services. Doing research about a company or asking people who have previously done business with the company is always a good way to determine whether an offer is a good one. For more information about the state’s Home Solicitation Sales Act, or for answers to questions about other consumer issues, visit the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division website, www.GotYourBackArkansas.org. The Consumer Protection Division hotline is (800) 482-8982.

May 13, 2014

SAU TECH PRESS RELEASE 
Southern Arkansas University Tech’s Adult Education Program graduation will be held on May 15, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. at the Charles O. Ross Center on California Avenue in Camden, Arkansas.  The guest speaker for the evening will be Sergeant Wanda James with the Arkansas State Police. Please join us in honoring our GED graduates.

STANDOFF NEAR FORDYCE
Two murder suspects are in custody following a manhunt across state lines that ended in a standoff in Arkansas this morning. Authorities arrested 33-year-old Sammy Crabtree and 39-year-old Robert Ballance for the murder of a Missouri man Saturday evening. Police say they expected the pair may try to run and hide in Ballance's hometown in Dallas County, near Fordyce. Cell phone video shows authorities which included Game and Fish, State Police, and Department of Corrections K9 teams, tracking both suspects to Ballance's home. Ballance had a gun, but was convinced to give up. Both were taken into custody.

MAY IS SKIN CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. It is estimated that more than 2 million people will be diagnosed with some form of skin cancer and over 10,000 will die due to skin cancer in the United States in 2014. Melanoma of the skin is the deadliest form of skin cancer. In Arkansas, it is estimated that 490 new cases of melanoma of the skin will be diagnosed in 2014. Some of the risk factors for melanoma and other forms of skin cancer include:

•Having fair skin that burns easily
•Unprotected and/or excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation (sunlight or tanning booths and lamps)
•A history of sunburns
•Having many moles
•Family history of melanoma or other forms of skin cancer. If you have any of these risk factors, it is recommended that you examine your skin periodically to look for any new moles or changes in existing moles, or a sore that doesn’t heal. If you find any of these on your skin, you should talk with your doctor. As we approach summer, many people are likely to be in the sun while doing outdoor activities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following sun safety measures to lower the risk of skin cancer:
•Staying in the shade, especially during midday hours
•Wearing clothing that covers the arms and legs
•Wearing a hat with a wide brim when in the sun
•Wearing sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays
•Use of sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher that provides both UVA and UVB protection
•Avoiding indoor tanning
•Seeing a doctor if any changes in appearance, size, shape, or color of a mole or other skin lesion
*Media Note: Please contact the Arkansas Cancer Coalition, 501-603-5214, for information about interviews with skin cancer survivors.

SAVVY SENIOR’S SAFETY DAY
The South Arkansas Center on Aging wants to recognize older adults for their contributions and sacrifices by helping them stay safe and active as they age. Come socialize, engage, and learn how to stay safe. There will be a fun safety bingo game with a prize for the winner! The event will be on today at 11:30 am and last until 12:30 pm. For any additional information you can call Education Coordinator, Lori DeWese at 870-881-8969.

BLACK BEAR WEEKEND AT THE PARK
Memorial Day Weekend is coming soon. Are you looking for great things to do that the whole family will enjoy? Join us on the top of Arkansas’ 2nd highest mountain for a wonderful Camping or Day Trip adventure at Queen Wilhelmina State Park. The theme for the weekend is Black Bears.  Join us for Black Bear programs on Friday and Saturday. Tasty breakfast and lunch items will be available for purchase at the Meal Trolley located in the campground. Starting May 23rd, it will be open seven days a week 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.  As always, the hiking trails offer some wonderful views and a great chance to see wildlife.
Friday 23rd 

BEAR CRAFT:                              
Meeting Place: Picnic tables by the Amphitheater
1:30 p.m. Black Bears are a common and native animal to Rich Mountain. Do you know how big a bear’s paw print is? Do you know how you compare to a bear? Join the Park Interpreter to make a bear print that you can compare to your own foot and take home.

Friday 23rd  Bear Fact Book 
Meeting Place: Picnic tables by the Amphitheater
3:00 p.m.  Interested in Bears? Would you like to learn more about black bears and how they live? Join the Park Interpreter for a fun interactive way of learning about bears.

Saturday 24th  Bear Tracks & Signs 
Meeting Place: Day Use Parking Lot
8:30 a.m.  Join the Park Interpreter for a hike to what was used as part of the old water system for the 1898 hotel. While hiking, we will look for signs of bears, and look for their tracks at the old reservoir.                                                                         

Saturday 24th  Make & Take a Bear  Meeting Place: Picnic tables by the Amphitheater
3:00 p.m. Would you like to create a bear, stuffed with your tender loving care? Join the Park Interpreter to make your own black bear with a customized Queen Wilhelmina State Park T-Shirt. You will need to purchase a bear kit from the Park’s Gift Shop. Cost for each bear kit is $19.95 plus tax.

Saturday 24th    History of the Black Bear Video  Meeting Place: The Amphitheater
8:00 p.m.  Join the Park Interpreter for a documentary video on Black Bears from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC). The video will give an in-depth view on how bears live and how AGFC manages them throughout the state. 

May 9, 2014

EL DORADO MAN FOUND DEAD
The Union County Sheriff’s Office says a man reported missing earlier this week has been found dead. The body of 83-year-old, Juan Sandoval, was found this morning at 9:30.  No foul play is suspected. A Silver Alert was issued late Thursday night for Sandoval, who had been missing since noon on Monday.

SAU BAND GETS $2,000 FROM PLUM CREEK FOUNDATION GRANT
The Plum Creek Foundation recently gave the Southern Arkansas University Band reason to toot their horns with a $2,000 donation to help the program update its collection of instruments. SAU has invested over $2.1 million in its Department of Music through the construction of a state-of-the-art teaching facility which houses the Mulerider Marching Band, jazz band, concert band and other ensembles. As part of the update, the school is now working to purchase new musical equipment. “The new facilities and updated equipment not only help current students, it also helps Southern Arkansas University attract and recruit incredibly talented students from across the country,” said Josh Kee, director of major gifts at SAU. “Over the past five years, the SAU Band has grown 35 percent. This has led to an increase in faculty numbers, as well as a need for new facilities and instruments. The Plum Creek Foundation grant will help us tremendously.” Currently, the plan is to use the grant money to purchase equipment for the percussion section, including snare, tenor and bass drums. “We are more than excited to assist the Mulerider Band,” said Richard Stich, wildlife biologist for Plum Creek.  “Education and the arts are two of the Plum Creek Foundation’s focus areas. This grant will help the university now and into the future attract the best instrumentalists to SAU.” The Plum Creek Foundation supports non-profit organizations that improve the overall quality of life in the communities where Plum Creek operates.  The Foundation board meets quarterly to review submitted grant applications.  Visit www.plumcreek.com/communityinvolvement to download an application and learn more about the foundation grant program in addition to other ways that Plum Creek is serving its communities. The SAU Foundation continues to seek funds for their campaign for the SAU Band. The overall goal of the Band campaign is to fund a $200,000 endowment to provide annual income for the continual updating of instrumentation, travel opportunities for various ensembles and other needs of the Band. The campaign has currently raised more than $140,000. If you would like to give toward the SAU Band Campaign, click the “make a gift” link on the SAU Foundation website or contact the SAU Foundation at P.O. Box 9174, Magnolia, AR 71754.

CLEANUP IN EL DORADO
Volunteers are needed to participate in Keep El Dorado Beautiful annual spring community improvement from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 10. The cleanup is being held in conjunction with the Keep America Beautiful Great American Cleanup in Arkansas (GAmC), the annual spring statewide litter pickup campaign promoted by Keep Arkansas Beautiful (KAB). "Litter continues to be a problem in El Dorado," said Janis Van Hook, chair of the local committee. "It can leave a negative impact on our community for years to come. By participating in this year's Great American Cleanup in Arkansas, local residents can help make El Dorado a vibrant community.” Everyone in El Dorado is encouraged to participate in this year's community improvement effort. Civic and service organizations, church and youth groups, school groups and clubs, scouts, individuals, families, neighborhoods, and businesses can organize cleanup teams and pitch in. KEB will focus on the areas surrounding City Hall, the main Fire Department and the Police Department. Volunteer will meet to sign in at the back parking lot at City Hall. Supplies such as trash bags will be provided. Volunteers are encouraged to bring their own work gloves. Any other organizations wishing to have a cleanup in their own neighborhood or a specific area of town should contact Keep El Dorado Beautiful at (870) 866-8982.  "Community pride is everyone's responsibility," Van Hook said. "We all live in this community together and must work together to keep it clean and green. We do this to maintain our quality of life, to create a place we can all be proud of and to improve our local economy."

May 8, 2014

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT
Beginning this past Monday, May 5, the Camden Police Department began a Window Tint campaign for the month of May. One of the Primary reasons their legislators enacted law with regards to window tint is for the safety of drivers. Improper or illegal window tint; eyebrows, and logos on windows which are not in compliance with state law may obscure the driver’s ability to see outside of the vehicle. This is especially true at night as drivers vision is more obscured by the dark tint and lack of light outside. Another reason for laws governing window would be that of the officer safety. Officers need to be able to see what occupants of a vehicle are doing as they approach. This could be either in an actual officer, driver contact, looking for a certain person, or for the officer in his/her normal patrol. Arkansas state statue 27-37-306 limit’s logo’s on vehicular windows to ¼ inch and eyebrow in the front windshield to 5 inches. Window tint on the front windows, drivers’ side right and left windows and those immediately behind the driver may window tinting resulting in net light transmission of 25%. Please remember if you purchased a vehicle already with some amount of window tint and then added to that amount of light transmission has changed. This is simply one state law by officers enforcing which may prevent an accident you could have been involved in.  

OUACHITA COUNTY HEALTH UNIT REMINDER
The Ouachita County Health Unit wants to remind everyone that they are still providing all the services we have been. Electronic Health Records has only changed how they process their appointments and records. A few of the programs they have, to name just a few are: Family Planning, WIC, Maternity, Immunizations. The Health Unit has increased the number of patients that they schedule each day. Since they now have Electronic Health Records, you do have to make an appointment. With the changes in the immunizations required for students, they have set the following dates for them to receive their shots.

-May 15th                    -June 27th              -August 22nd
-May 23rd                    -July 15th              -August 29th
-June 12th                    -July 17th              -September 12th
-June 13th                    -July 25th              -September 26th
This will help students to have plenty of time to receive the required immunizations before school starts. The appointment hours are from 8:00 am until 3:20 pm. Please call 870-836-5033 if you have any questions or need to make an appointment.

PRESIDENT OBAMA VISITS ARKANSAS
Yesterday, President Barack Obama arrived in Arkansas to tour communities that were hit hard recently by severe tornadoes. Obama met with victims, local officials and emergency personnel. Fifteen people were killed April 27 when tornadoes ripped through the Little Rock suburbs. When the president arrived at Little Rock Air Force Base by Air Force One, he was initially greeted by Col. Patrick Rhatigan, Commander, 19th Airlift Wing & Little Rock AFB, then the president shook hands with Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe, U.S. Senator Mark Pryor, U.S. Congressman Tim Griffin, and Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola. Wednesday's visit was Obama's first to the state as president. Beebe, Pryor, Griffin and Stodola rode with the president in his helicopter to Vilonia. Around 1:10 p.m. President Obama landed in Vilonia after an aerial tour of storm damage. He met privately with storm victims' families, emergency personnel and first responders in Vilonia City Hall. Around 2:20 p.m., the motorcade took a short drive past decimated homes and piles of rubble lining the street. President Obama then turned into the subdivision where nearly all the homes are leveled and began his walking tour. After the president's tour of damage and meeting with families, he made remarks to the public in Vilonia. He thanked officials and first responders and promised all the help of the federal government as the town rebuilds. He also spoke with Daniel Smith, a surviving resident, and his two sons. The arrival and departure of Air Force One was closed to the public. The president made the stop while on his way to California, where he will raise money for the Democratic Party.

ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE AFTER STORMS
Arkansas homeowners also may be eligible for safe room rebates As the state continues to recover from the devastating storms of April 27, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued this consumer alert today to make sure that affected Arkansans know that assistance is available to them to help them rebuild. In addition, McDaniel said all Arkansas consumers should be aware of a rebate program administered by the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) that helps defray the cost of a storm shelter/safe room. “We have seen a remarkable outpouring of support and assistance for tornado victims from everyday Arkansans and from disaster-relief agencies that make it their job to help those affected,” McDaniel said. “I encourage anyone who needs assistance to take advantage of the programs that are available, and I hope that other consumers will consider taking steps to protect themselves in case of severe weather in the future.” Those impacted by the April 27 storms and who live in Faulkner, Pulaski, White and Randolph counties may register for government disaster assistance at www.disasterassistance.gov, or by calling (800) 621-3362. In addition, Mobile Registration Intake Centers are open in Vilonia, Mayflower, Little Rock and Searcy to help people register for assistance and check the status of their applications. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that Thursday, May 8, a Disaster Recovery Center will open in Mayflower at 600 Highway 365. That center will be open Monday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Specialists from the state, FEMA, U.S. Small Business Administration, the IRS, the American Red Cross and other agencies will be at the Disaster Recovery Center to answer questions. FEMA also has teams canvassing affected neighborhoods and providing information to storm victims. FEMA stressed that their representatives wear FEMA shirts and have FEMA badges. For other Arkansans who are considering installation of a storm shelter/safe room, ADEM will administer a $1.25 million rebate program to assist homeowners who install a tornado shelter at their primary residence. According to ADEM, eligible consumers may receive a rebate of up to 50 percent of the cost of the shelter, or $1,000, whichever is less. The shelter must be installed before a consumer applies for funding, and a local emergency management coordinator must verify installation of the safe room. In order to be eligible for a safe room rebate, consumers must complete an application form, provide proof of cost and proof of payment, supply photos that show the inside connections on the doors and hinges (doors must have three hinges and three slide bolts or dead bolts.) For above-ground shelters, the safe room must be built to specifications of FEMA Publication 320. (Visit www.fema.gov for more information about FEMA Publication 320). For more information about the Arkansas Shelter Rebate Program, visit www.adem.arkansas.gov. McDaniel said his Consumer Protection Division continues to provide assistance to those affected by the storm and will answer questions about possible scams related to charitable giving or home improvements and repairs. Contact the Consumer Protection Division at (800) 482-8982 or visit www.GotYourBackArkansas.org.

May 7, 2014

CAMDEN POLICE REPORT
Officer Nathan Clayton of the Camden Police Department was traveling north on Highway 7. While on Highway 7, the officer observed a white female wearing a green shirt, no shoes and one sock walking down the middle of the roadway. The officer made contact with the female, identified as Lorlie Hughey. Hughey began to get emotional and stated that she had been drinking. After Hughey was determined be a danger to herself and those around her, she was arrested for public intoxication. After booking procedures were completed she was transported to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office to be held until release.

HORSEBACK RIDING CLASS TO BE OFFERED AT SAU ARENA IN JULY
Learn all the basics of English horseback riding this July in a course offered at Southern Arkansas University’s Story Arena through SAU’s Division of Continuing Education. Alan Shaw is the instructor for the course, and the class size is limited to three students per session. The class will meet each Tuesday from July 8-22, with sessions at 9-10 a.m. and at 10:15-11:15 a.m. The fee for the course is $125. To register for the following classes, simply email Caroline Waller at carolinewaller@saumag.edu, call (870) 235-4006, visit SAU Business 111, or register online. Class reservations are not final until the fee has been paid. English-style riding is a style that originated in Europe, but is popular throughout the world.  This class will focus on learning the basics of English riding: safety, grooming, dressage, proper mounting and dismounting, and so much more. Riding skills and equine knowledge will be built up from week to week, assuring a well-rounded foundation in riding. Each student is responsible for his or her own equipment.

$50,000 ENERGY EFFICIENCY MAKEOVER CONTEST FOR HOME OWNERS
The 2014 Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas Energy Efficiency Makeover Contest will provide an energy efficiency makeover valued at up to $50,000 for an Arkansas electric cooperative member that owns an all-electric manufactured home. “For the past six years, the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas have offered the Energy Efficiency Makeover Contest as a way to teach our members how to use energy more efficiently, thereby reducing their electricity bills and increasing the comfort of their homes,” said Sandra Byrd, vice president of public affairs and member services for the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas. “Since approximately 15 percent of Arkansans reside in manufactured housing, we decided to focus on this segment of our membership for 2014. Technological advancements in energy efficiency retrofit components and measures are now applicable to manufactured dwellings. Our team of experts will transform the winner’s home into an energy efficiency marvel.” Over the next few weeks, Energy Efficiency Makeover 2014, Manufactured Home Edition, will be promoted via social media channels and Arkansas Living magazine. Applications can be obtained from Arkansas Living magazine, at www.smartenergytips.org or by visiting a local electric cooperative office. To enter, contestants must complete and sign an entry form, answer questions about their residence, submit an image of their manufactured home (which must be their primary residence), and be a cooperative member in good standing. The deadline for entries is July 15. Entrants must reside in Arkansas, be a member of a participating Arkansas electric cooperative, and own and occupy an all-electric manufactured home. For the purposes of the contest a “manufactured home” is a structure in one or more sections, with each section originally transportable on axles attached to a permanent chassis, and when all sections are combined constitute a dwelling with not less than 320 sq. ft. The manufactured home must be on piers, footing or other permanent support and anchored to the ground. Travel trailers are not eligible. In addition to the grand prizewinner, 16 runners-up will receive an energy efficient Marathon water heater. “The Energy Efficiency Makeover Contest has helped numerous electric cooperative members increase the comfort of their homes while lowering their utility bills,” said Bret Curry manager of residential energy marketing for the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas. “Currently six previous makeover winners are enjoying lower utility bills in the comfort of their transformed homes. Even though only one can win the overall makeover, hundreds are also winners because they are following each makeover and learning how to implement energy efficiency components and measures one at a time.” The project’s major sponsors include: WeatherBarr Windows of Fort Smith; General Electric Appliance Division; Rood Heating and Air of Russellville; Water Furnace International Geothermal; Roof King, Sealant Tech, Marathon Water Heaters; and Summit Builders Group Air Barriers. The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas comprise 17 electric distribution cooperatives; Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI), a Little Rock-based cooperative that provides services to the distribution cooperatives; and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. (AECC), a generation and transmission cooperative. The distribution cooperatives provide electricity to approximately 500,000 homes, farms and businesses in Arkansas and surrounding states. For additional information, contact: Rob Roedel, Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, 501.570.2296 or rroedel@aeci.com

May 6, 2014

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE REPORT
Lt. James Bolton, along with Deputy Harcrow of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the Ouachita County Medical Center to a reported stabbing victim being transported there. The officers spoke with the ER staff, who were awaiting the arrival of patient. After a few minutes a vehicle arrived with the patient, Mr. Glen Dale Porchia, who stated that he was at a party in Stephens when someone came up and threw a drink in his face. Porchia responded by throwing a drink back. He then stated that the other man went to his car grabbed a knife and then stabbed him. Mr. Porchia was treated in the ER and then taken to surgery to repair the open wounds. Photos and evidence were collected.

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORTS
Officer George Ferguson was dispatched to Walmart for a white male shoplifter wearing lime green clothes. Upon Ferguson’s arrival, a white male came out of the store wearing all lime green clothes and ball cap. A store floor manager came out of the store and told officers that the subject came into the store, took some Walmart plastic bags from one of the checkouts and began to put them into the bag as he walked out of the store. When he noticed management was watching him, he ran out of the store. The man was identified as Gary Wentworth Jr, and he was placed into cuffs until a short investigation was done by Walmart staff. The staff stated that Wentworth could be released. However he began to use very foul language at the officer and Walmart staff and was arrested for disorderly conduct.

Officer Jimmy Plyler, also of the Camden PD, was traveling on Maul Road from Adams toward Cash Road. The officer observed a red Buick traveling faster than the posted speed limit coming towards him on Maul Road. He then initiated a traffic stop and made contact with the driver, identified, as Carlos Morgan. Morgan’s eyes were bloodshot and watery and he seemed very sluggish and uncoordinated. Morgan was asked to take a series of field sobriety test, which he ultimately failed. It was also confirmed by dispatch that his license had been suspended. Morgan’s vehicle was towed and he was transported to the station. He was issued citations for DWI, driving with a suspended license, and speeding.

Officer Plyler was also dispatched to a loud noise complaint in the back of Lincoln Center. Officer Easttam and Plyler arrived on the scene to find three male subjects standing around a fire next to a black Sedan with the music turned up. All three had their ID’s checked. One of the subjects was arrested after he tried to give the officers wrong information. While at the station he was issued a criminal citation and later court date.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB REPORT
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet tomorrow at Catherine’s Bistro in Camden.

This week’s speakers will be James & Eloise Oliver with the Ouachita County Community Concert Association. They will be talking to the members about next year’s concert series and their upcoming membership drive. For any additional information on the Lions Club or how you can join, you can call Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440 ext-7.

SAU GRADUTION CEREMONIES SET FOR THIS FRIDAY
Southern Arkansas University’s Spring Commencement ceremonies are scheduled for Friday, May 9, 2014. A total of 420 candidates for graduation will be recognized in three ceremonies.
The Department of Nursing will honor 94 nursing candidates at 10 a.m. Following will be the ceremony for the School of Graduate Studies at 2 p.m., during which 69 candidates will be recognized. Both of these ceremonies will take place in the W.T. Watson Center, which was recently outfitted with air conditioning.The undergraduate ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. in the scenic University Mall, weather permitting. A total of 257 graduation candidates will be recognized from SAU’s four academic colleges.Dr. Ben Johnson, who was recently named 2013-14 SAU Honor Professor, will lead the faculty in the processional to music provided by the SAU Brass Quintet. The commencement speaker will be Leann Rogers, regional executive for Arkansas BlueCross BlueShield.
Below is the schedule of events for Friday, May 9, 2014:
9:15 a.m.         Nursing graduation candidates report to W.T. Watson auxiliary gym
9:30 a.m.         Nursing faculty report to room 106 in W.T. Watson
10 a.m.            Nursing Commencement, followed by a reception in Wharton Nursing Building
1:15 p.m.         School of Graduate Studies candidates report to W.T. Watson auxiliary gym
1:30 p.m.         Graduate faculty report to room 106 in W.T. Watson
4:30-7 p.m.      Graduate and Undergraduate Reception in the Mulerider Cafeteria
6 p.m.              Undergraduate candidates report to the Reynolds Center Grand Hall
6:30 p.m.         Faculty report to Harton Theatre
7 p.m.              Undergraduate Processional, featuring music by the SAU Brass Quintet
In the case of inclement weather, there will be two undergraduate ceremonies at the W.T. Watson Center. Students in the College of Business and the College of Liberal and Performing Arts will participate in a 7 p.m. ceremony, followed by an 8:30 p.m. ceremony for the students in the College of Education and the College of Science and Technology.

SPRING COMMENCEMENT EXCERCISES AT SOUTH AR COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Circuit Judge Robin J. Carroll will be the keynote speaker for Spring Commencement exercises at South Arkansas Community College at 7:00 p.m. on May 9 at the El Dorado Conference Center. More than 350 students will graduate. Carroll is the Fourth Division circuit judge for the 13th Judicial District, covering Calhoun, Cleveland, Columbia, Dallas, Ouachita and Union Counties. He was elected without opposition in 2012. Carroll first was elected prosecuting attorney in 2006, and was re-elected without opposition in 2010. He is a 1995 graduate of the University of Arkansas-Little Rock School of Law. Carroll graduated from Henderson State University with honors in 1993. He was captain of the golf team his senior season and was named an NAIA All-America Scholar Athlete and GTE Academic All-American. In 2011 Carroll was inducted into the Henderson State Sports Hall of Honor.  He was named as one of the 10 Outstanding Young Arkansans by the Arkansas Junior Chamber of Commerce in 1997, one of the Arkansas Business “40 Under 40” business leaders in 2001, received the Henderson State University "Young Alumni Achievement Award" in 2007 and was admitted into the Henderson Academy of Scholars in 2008. Carroll also is the secretary of the SouthArk Foundation Board of Directors.

May 5, 2014

NEED DISASTER ASSISTANCE?
Affected by the severe storms from April 3-4? You may be eligible for Arkansas Disaster Assistance. Information that will be required while you are applying will include: Homeowner's or Renter's Name, Address of Damaged Home, Phone Number, Email Address, Insurance Information, Social Security Number and a description of all the damage done. Categories of assistance may include: Home Repairs, Cleaning and sanitizing, Debris removal, Transportation repair, and Personal property repair. You can apply now online at www.adem.arkansas.com , or by phone at 1-888-683-adem. Application must be turned in by May 16th. 

EARLY VOTING FOR OUACHITA COUNTY
The Ouachita County Clerks office will be open from May 5th to May 19th. Hours will be Monday - Friday from 8:00 - 6:00. Saturday, May 10th and 17th from 10:00 - 4:00. Monday the 19th, close at 5:00. Election Day May 20th, the polling locations will open at 7:30 am - 7:30 pm. Please take this opportunity to get out and cast your ballot and spread the word!

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT
Recently Officer Parker of the Camden Police Department was conducting a security check in the parking lot of Walmart. The officer observed a black 2000 Toyota Tacoma parked by the front door. Parker conducted a registration check on the license plate, which returned to a 1976 Ford truck. When the officer began to leave to Olive Street, so did the vehicle. A traffic stop was conducted on the vehicle and the officer made contact with the driver, identified as Johnny Dearman. Dearman advised the officer that he had no insurance on the vehicle nor did he have a bill of sale. A warrant check revealed that his license was suspended and he had an active warrant with the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office. Dearman was taken in to custody and transported to the station without incident.

SAAC HOLDS AUDITIONS FOR “9 TO 5”
The theatre committee of the South Arkansas Arts Center announces auditions for the upcoming summer production of Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5: the Musical” on May 19 and 21. The Tony nominated new musical based on the classic film makes its Arkansas premiere in SAAC’s Callaway Theatre July 10-20. Paul B. Crook and wife Mary Fran return to El Dorado to direct and choreograph the hilarious story of friendship, revenge, and taking care of business in the Rolodex era.  The couple previously staged SAAC’s wildly successful production of Mel Brooks’ “The Producers.” The cast size for the show is from 11 to 20 actors with the majority of roles for women (age 16 and up) and a strong large chorus of men and women.  Dance requirement for the show is standard musical staging. Female character roles available are: DORALEE A young, sexy spitfire who works at Mr. Hart's office. She is proof that there is more to a woman than just her looks. Open to females, 20-30 years old, with strong Country/Western/Gospel vocal range.  JUDY The "new" girl at the firm. She has been burned by her husband's affair and is searching for personal empowerment. She is insecure, determined, and hopeful. Open to female, 30-35 years old, strong vocals. VIOLET The company's Head Secretary and Mr. Hart's Administrative Assistant.  She is a single mother and typically stands up for what she believes in. She is attractive, strong, and ambitious. Open to female, 40-50 years old, strong vocals. ROZ KEITH The attentive office gossip queen and snitch. She has an unrequited love for Mr. Hart and will do anything she can to win his approval. Open to female, 35-45 years old, strong vocals. Roles for men are: DICK,  Judy’s soon-to-be ex-husband. An average guy, he is sporting a little less hair and a little more paunch than he did ten years ago. Open to male, 35-45 years old, with strong vocals.  DWAYNE, Doralee’s attractive husband. He is very supportive of her professional pursuits. Open to male, 25-30 years old, with strong vocals.  FRANKLIN HART, One of the firm's executives and a notorious chauvinist. He is capable of faking charm but usually shows his true colors as an arrogant, self-absorbed boss. Open to male 45-50 years old, strong “Tom Jones” like vocals. JOSH, Violet’s awkward teenage son.    Open to male, 16-18 years old, strong vocals and must know how to skateboard. A large chorus of men and women is required for the ensemble of office workers. The show requires strong singers in the vocal ranges of soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, and bass for the rock, county, gospel infused score. To audition for “9 to 5: The Musical” prepare 16 bars or a verse and chorus of an upbeat song that best displays vocal talent. Please provide sheet music or an accompaniment CD when auditioning.  Wear comfortable clothing and appropriate footwear to learn a dance combination. Individuals interested in lead roles will read cold from the script. Registration begins at 5:30pm in the SAAC lobby with auditions beginning at 6pm in the Callaway Theatre. Beat the summer doldrums by grabbing a cup of ambition and audition for SAAC’s 2014 summer musical “9 to 5: The Musical.”

BEEBE PROCLAIMS MAY AS AR HERITAGE MONTH
Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe recently proclaimed May as Arkansas Heritage Month. Beebe was unable to attend a kickoff event at the Historic Arkansas Museum, but sent his proclamation, which read in part: “It is the mission of the Department of Arkansas Heritage to raise awareness of, and appreciation for, Arkansas’s innumerable traditions, its resources, and the history and beauty of our State. “I urge my fellow citizens to promote awareness of, and to participate in, a month of local and statewide activities celebrating the many facets of Arkansas’s distinctive and diverse heritage.” The focus of this year’s Heritage Month – “Come to the Table: Celebrating the Flavors of Arkansas” – celebrates Arkansas’s food traditions. “In early Arkansas, all food came from the land. Native Americans and early settlers hunted for meat, grew vegetables and fruits, and knew what plants and berries were edible,” said Martha Miller, director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage. “Over the years, Arkansans became less dependent on the land, but many of our food traditions have remained (or are being reinvigorated). Today, the move towards locally sourced foods continues to grow.” Each year, during Heritage Month, DAH selects one of its agencies as the “feature agency,” based on the agency’s relationship with the theme. For example, Historic Arkansas Museum features a heritage garden with heirloom vegetables and frequently features frontier cooking demonstrations in the Brownlee Kitchen. “Historic Arkansas Museum is the perfect agency to feature when discussing our state’s food culture,” Miller said. “If you haven’t been there to see them dressed in clothes of the period and churning butter or baking over an open fire in a Dutch oven, you have to go see it. It’s fascinating to see what our ancestors went through just to prepare meals.” Terms such as “farm-to-table,” “locally sourced,” and “slow food” are phrases that describe the belief that the best food is that which is grown and harvested nearby and is the freshest when it gets to your table, Miller said. “Farmers Markets are seeing a resurgence; specialty restaurants and food shops are popping up in Arkansas communities large and small; community gardens are renewing abandoned properties, educating students and providing fresh food,” she said. “National and regional chain restaurants are embracing Southern regional food fare – think chicken and waffles and shrimp and grits. Food trucks, food bloggers, small farms, and artisanal/craft beers, cheeses and liquors have entered the mainstream of our food consciousness.” From cooking classes and cook-offs to festivals and writing workshops, Arkansas communities are hosting programs and activities to celebrate Arkansas Heritage Month. Some of these activities are being funded with grants from the Department of Arkansas Heritage. For a list of Heritage Month events, visit GreatArkansasMoments.com. People looking to observe Heritage Month may also order a commemorative poster at ArkansasHeritage.org. Also this year, DAH is encouraging Arkansans to celebrate Heritage Month by sharing their food traditions and experiences via social media with the #SeeForYourself hashtag. “At the Department of Arkansas Heritage, we love sharing our state’s colorful history and unique culture,” said Miller “Arkansas’s rich natural, historic, and cultural resources are remarkable; it’s our pleasure to uncover, preserve and present them all. “Whether you’re a resident or a visitor to our wonderful state, we encourage you to discover the ‘Great Arkansas Moments’ around us,” she said. “Go – see for yourself the treasures of Arkansas – and share your experiences with others.”

CHARLIE DANIELS TO PERFORM AT CRB 2014
Collin Raye Benefit Concert Committee will host the Charlie Daniels and the CDB for their 16th annual benefit concert on Saturday, June 7th , 6:30 pm, at De Queen’s CCCUA Amphitheater.
An outspoken patriot, beloved mentor to young artists and still a road warrior at age 78, Charlie Daniels has parlayed his passion for music into a multi-platinum career and a platform to support the military, underprivileged children and others in need. Daniels is “playing” the legend forward with his first new album project since 2007.  Charlie Daniels and the CBD is set to release a tribute CD, Off the Grid--Doin’ it Dylan on April 1st.  Little could Charlie Daniels have imagined in the late 60’s as a young studio musician when he was asked to add his creativity on guitar to three of Dylan’s Nashville produced projects that he was on the first steps of the journey to his own destination as a musical icon. From his Dove Award winning gospel albums to his genre-defining Southern rock anthems and his CMA Award-winning country hits, few artists have left a more indelible mark on America’s musical landscape than Charlie Daniels. Charlie also has a history of lending his time and talent to worthwhile projects.  “I have a very unique opportunity because of being in the music community,” Charlie says of using his celebrity status to aid worthy causes.  “You try to give back to some extent.  I do feel like people should.  We should all do as much as we can.” The Collin Raye Benefit Concert Committee feels that Charlie Daniels will be a good fit with our group since approximately $300,000 from the previous concerts proceeds have gone toward scholarships for graduating seniors at area high schools as well as funding various other local projects each year. Tickets are on sale now at www.southwestarkansasconcerts.com.  Reserved tickets are $26 in advance and General Admission are $16.00.  If any tickets remain the day of show, they’ll be $5 higher. For more information call 870-642-2446.

FUTURE OF COUNTY ANNEX TO BE DISCUSSED AT QUORUM COURT
During Monday’s Columbia County Quorum Court meeting, the future of the County Annex building will be discussed. Adam Harris of Springhill, LA, has asked to be on the agenda. He is expected to respond to speculation that he may be interested in acquiring the building for use as a motion picture theater. Justices of the peace meet at 5 p.m. in the second floor courtroom. The meeting is open to the public. Magnolia has been without a theater since the Cameo Theater closed in 2012. The county recently purchased a building south of the annex for use as possible office or storage space. The physical condition of the County Annex has plagued the county government for years. County officials are thinking about construction of a new office building along Calhoun Street to replace it. The prospect of several county offices leaving the square has raised concern from many business leaders, who fear that their business traffic will decrease. Harris’ interest is notable because of his work to save the Spring Theatre in downtown Springhill. The Spring closed in 1982 after the death of its owner. In 2001, James Branch and Lamar Smith bought the building and donated it to the City of Springhill. A partnership between the Harrises and the former owner’s son, Mike Adkison and his wife Nita led to the building’s restoration. The Harrises bought out the Adkisons to become the sole owners.

MEETING IN STEPHENS
The Stephens Elementary students (grades K-2) will tour East Side Elementary Monday, May 5th. The Magnolia School District host a parent meeting for Stephens Elementary students (grades K-2) at 5:30 pm on Thursday May 8th at East Side Elementary. The Magnolia School District will host a parent meeting for Stephens Jr. High School students (grades 6-8) at 5:30 pm on Tuesday, May 6th at Magnolia Jr. High. The Stephens Elementary students (grades 6-8) will tour Magnolia Jr. High on Thursday May 8th. The Stephens Elementary students (grades 3-5) will tour Central Elementary on Monday May 19th. The Magnolia School District will host a parent meeting for Stephens Elementary students (grade 3) at 5:30 pm, Monday, May 19th at Central Elementary. The Magnolia School District will host a parent meeting for Stephens Elementary Students (grade 4-5) at 5:30 pm on Tuesday, May 20th, also at Central Elementary. The Magnolia School District will host a parent meeting for Stephens High School students (grades 9-11) at 6:30 pm on Monday May 19th.
   

May, 2, 2014

AR LAW AGENCIES JOIN PUSH TO IDENTIFY/ARREST CHILD PREDATORS 
The Arkansas Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force has joined a national initiative casting an electronic dragnet aimed at online child predators. “Operation Broken Heart” is a coordinated strike force of specially trained police officers from 3,000 law enforcement agencies working nationwide over the next thirty days to arrest as many child predators as possible. “Every department or agency represented on the Arkansas task force has already demonstrated a remarkable record dedicated to guarding Arkansas children,” said Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police.  “I’m hopeful that by joining forces with law enforcement agencies nationwide over the next thirty days some of the most dangerous predators will be apprehended.” Law enforcement officers across Arkansas representing thirty-five state, county and city agencies and departments, along with eight federal partner agencies, comprise the Arkansas Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The operation will concentrate on offenders who (1) possess, manufacture, and distribute child pornography; (2) engage in online enticement of children for sexual purposes; (3) engage in the commercial sexual exploitation of children (child prostitution), and (4) engage in child sex tourism (traveling abroad for the purpose of sexually abusing foreign children).

MAGNOLIA RELAY FOR LIFE TONIGHT AT SAU PRACTICE FIELD
Months of bake sales, yard sales, hamburger suppers and other fundraisers will come to an end tonight with the annual American Cancer Society Columbia County Relay for Life. Two dozen teams have worked to collect money and pledges for walkers that will end with the Relay, which will be held 6 p.m. to midnight at the Southern Arkansas University football practice field and track, which has changed from previous years. Starting at 5:00 pm, the Relay for Life will be preceded by cancer survivors’ registration and reception at the track. The opening ceremony will be at 6 p.m. with remarks by chairman Stephanie Mobbs, Rosalinda Howell and Brenda Knight. The survivor lap will be followed by the caregiver lap, with a survivor balloon release following. A silent auction will start at 7 p.m. Tent judging will also start at that time. A new element is the “destination” theme for each team. Participants are invited to get passports and have them stamped at each destination to win a prize, which will be awarded at 10:45 p.m. The luminaria ceremony will start at 9 p.m., when the victims and survivors of cancer will be remembered as their names are read aloud. The “Mr. Relay” Pageant will be held at 11 p.m.

2ND ANNUAL FAMILY FUN DAY
White Oak Lake State Park’s staff would like you to join them for a fun filled day of kayaking, paddle boating, fishing, hiking, arts and crafts, and even a chance to “eat a bug”. The event will be tomorrow May 3rd, from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm. Kayaking demonstrations will be at 11:00 am, 12:00 pm, and 1:00 pm and interpretative guided hike at 2:00 pm on the Beech Ridge Trail. Local fire departments, law enforcement officers, and EMT’s will be on hand to speak to people about their respected agency and demonstrate their emergency vehicles. AirEvac Lifeteam will be on hand to discuss memberships and will have their helicopter available for demonstrations. JR Auxiliary of Camden will also be offering free Child ID Kits and free child safety seat inspections. Boating Safety video will be shown every hour on the hour Resource Raccoon will make an appearance at 11:30 am. Bring your camera and get a picture of the hardest working animal in state the state parks. Prescott Lions Club will be selling food and drinks (cash only). White Oak Lake Friends will be offering a bouncy house for kids. Price is $3 per 10 minutes. All proceeds benefit the White Oak Lake Friends group. For any questions contact the park at 870-685-2748.

GAZEBO PORK SPARE RIB COOK-OFF
The 2nd Annual Gazebo Pork Spare Rib Cook-Off will be taking place on June 14th.
The day of the cook-off you will receive a list of rules and regulations and will be asked to sign a statement of liability before you begin setting up the morning of. Contestants may begin setting up anytime the morning of Saturday June 14th, 2014 after 7 a.m. and we will have a brief cook meeting at 8:30 a.m. Saturday morning. We are looking forward to seeing you in Bearden Arkansas for the Bearden Gazebo Festival where BBQ, Music, Baggo, Vendors, and Car/Truck Show will bring good family fun.
1st Place -----Trophy & $500
2nd Place ----Trophy & $200
3rd Place -----Trophy & $100
4th and 5th Place ----Trophy
Showmanship-------Trophy
For more info contact:  Lindsey Yeager 870-833-0442

May 1, 2014

Photo: Chief Bo Woody spoke at this weeks Lions Club Meeting about changes taking place at the Police Department. 
For the full story you can visit www.yesradioworks.com and click on the news tab.WOODY TALKS CHANGE AND STORMS AT LIONS CLUB MEETING
Camden Police Chief Bo Woody was the guest speaker at this week’s Lions Club meeting at Catherine’s Bistro. Woody talked to the club about some of the changes that are going to and have already been made since February when he was promoted. Since Woody was promoted, that left holes within the department that needed to be filled. Tomorrow, Friday May 2nd, there will be many promotions taking place at the Police Department. These promotions will be placing three officers on the streets at all times, which Woody believes will provide the citizens of Camden better service. The Chief also mentioned that several officer will be heading up to Vilonia. Woody said “because of the support we received a few weeks back, we are now going to return the favor” and “this is voluntary for our guys but they wanted to do it”. After the meeting I (Taylor May) spoke to Woody about the event and he told me that he definitely looks forward to coming back and speaking again.

SAU PRESIDENT SET TO RETIRE
Dr. David Rankin has announced that the 2014-15 academic year will be his final year as President of Southern Arkansas University.Rankin will retire effective June 30, 2015. He made the announcement at SAU on Thursday.Rankin was appointed President in 2002, and quickly set forth with his ambitious “Blue and Gold Vision,” SAU’s first-ever capital campaign.  In his 13 years, he has almost completed that vision with numerous campus capital projects completed, totaling more than $100 million.  The most recent project, the $4.4 million SAU Story Arena and Farmers Bank Reception Center, opened this spring.  In addition, a $7.2 million Student Center at SAU Tech is nearing completion.The first challenge was securing funds for and completing the $15.5 million Donald W. Reynolds Campus and Community Center in 2004.  The Reynolds Center was the largest construction project SAU’s campus had ever seen, but following it is a list of impressive projects that include the $17.5 million Science Center, a 30,557 square-foot Agriculture Center, $2 million Natural Resource Research Center, a new $2.3 million band hall, a $2.3 million addition to the Wharton Nursing Building, a multipurpose student activity facility, University Village Apartments, three new residence halls, as well as improvements to all athletic facilities.With each completed construction project, Rankin facilitated growth for SAU’s quality academic programs.  Many cutting-edge programs have been added to SAU’s comprehensive list of degrees, including the recent engineering program, the computer game and animation design program, wildlife and marine biology, and digital cinema production.Rankin has also paid tribute to SAU’s strong heritage by maintaining the campus’ Georgian architecture with each new additional construction project.   He also built upon the tradition of the Mulerider, not only telling the history of SAU’s unique athletic mascot at his speaking engagements, but using the Mulerider as a way to nationally brand the University.Resulting have been years of steady enrollment growth.  Despite difficult times in higher education, the fall of 2013 witnessed a record system-wide  enrollment of 5,451 students (including SAU Tech).  Graduate enrollment at the University is up 200% since 2002.In addition to his duties as SAU President, Rankin has served as the Economic Advisor to Arkansas Governors Mike Beebe and Mike Huckabee and is Chairman of the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors.  The economic advisor to the governor is responsible for chairing the Governor’s Council and reviewing the Arkansas state revenue forecast.Rankin received his Bachelor’s Degree in Management from the University of Arkansas in 1964 and an M.B.A. in Finance from Louisiana Tech University in 1966.  He earned his Ph.D. in Finance from the University of Mississippi in 1970 and earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 1979.In 1968, Rankin joined the faculty of SAU as an Assistant Professor of Business.  From 1977-80, he served as Dean of the School of Business Administration and Professor of Economics and Finance at SAU.  Rankin also served as a Puterbaugh Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics and Finance at SAU, and again as Dean of the School of Business Administration from 1994-2001.  On a one-year leave from SAU in 1992-93, he was consultant for the creation of the Higgenbotham School of Business at Ouachita Baptist University.Fellow faculty colleagues selected Rankin as the University Honor Professor in 1986.  In addition, the Americanism Educational League Award for excellence in teaching Free Enterprise Economics was awarded to Rankin multiple times.  He was also a George Washington Honor Medal recipient from the Freedoms Foundation for Excellence in Economic Education.  Subsequent to Rankin being chosen the Outstanding Phi Beta Lambda Advisor from Arkansas in 1989, he served on the FBLA-PBL, Inc. National Board of Directors.Rankin is a past President of the Magnolia-Columbia County Chamber of Commerce.  He was Chair of then Governor Mike Huckabee’s Summit on Economic Development in 1998.  He currently serves as Chair of the Golden Triangle Economic Development Council, as a member of the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Council of Economic Education, and a member of the Board of the Arkansas Association of Public Universities.  Rankin has also served on the NCAA Division II National Presidents’ Council and the NCAA Long-Range Planning Task Force.  He is currently a member of the Arkansas Public School Resource Center Policy Board. Rankin has been actively involved in the Boy Scouts of America as a troop leader for many years and is the proud father of two Eagle Scout sons.  He has received the District Award of Merit and the Silver Beaver Award.  He is a member of Central Baptist Church serving as a Sunday school teacher in the Men’s Department, where he enjoys song leading with his guitar.Rankin and his wife, the former Toni Cameron, reside on their farm in Magnolia and have two sons, Curtice and John, and a daughter Beth Anne.

RECYCLING IN CAMDEN
The South Central Service CO-OP will be having a recycling opportunity for the Camden community. Citizens of Camden can bring any old electronics to 400 Maul Road on May 7th, starting at 8:00 am and Karen McMahen and her staff will haul any of those items away for you. Now even though South Central Service CO-OP is asking for old electronics, they are also asking that no TV’s be brought to recycle. For any additional information on this event, you can call 870-836-1609.

GOVERNOR BEEBE ANNOUNCES THREE SPECIAL JUSTICE APPOINTMENTS
Governor Mike Beebe today announced the appointment of three Special Associate Justices to the Arkansas Supreme Court.  These appointees will sit for four cases: Leslie Steen, Clerk v. Angela Byrd; Leslie Steen, Clerk v. Harry G. Foster II; John K. Kelly v.Mark A. Martin et al; and Valerie Bailey v. Mark Martin, Secretary of State, et al. The Special Justices are: Raymond Abramson, Holly Grove.  Replaces Justice Paul Danielson, who has recused himself from these cases. Woody Bassett, Fayetteville.  Replaces Justice Karen Baker, who has recused herself from these cases. Todd Turner, Arkadelphia.  Replaces Justice Courtney Goodson, who has recused herself from these cases.

SAU UPWARD BOUND TO RECOGNIZE 36 GRADUATES SATURDAY
The Upward Bound Program at Southern Arkansas University will hold its annual Senior Recognition and Awards Ceremony at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 3, 2014, in SAU’s Harton Theatre. A total of 36 graduates will be recognized. They represent 10 different high schools from across southwest Arkansas. Graduates include:Blevins High: Miracle Anderson, Victor Torres, and Iraiddeth Venegas; Emerson High:  Ta’Tayana Baker, Tiona Ferguson, and Satajah Fields; Hope High: Na’Iyma Box, Ranika Conway, Amber Hackler, and Anna Miller; Lafayette High: Brieaunna Berry and Jaylon Darden; Magnoliqa High: Stephen Clayton, T’Keyah Crockett; Gabrielle Davis; Jasmine George, Alexia Hardiman, Taliah Johnson, Kiera McCoy, Jlisa Miller, Joshua Okuazu, Marlana Robinson, Ahramis Williams, and Summer Ybarra; Nevada High: DeAnthony Collier, Khai Hughey, Dahja Johnson, Chauncy Williams, and Mercedes Witcher; Prescott High: Pahoua Chang, Aspen Easter, and Rebeka Gonzales; Stephens High: Deidra Berry, Jaylon Hunter, and Desiderrian Jenkins; and Taylor High: Chelsey Powell.John P. Jones will be the keynote speaker.  He is the former Director of the Center for Multicultural and Diversity Education at the University of Arkansas, where he and his staff worked diligently to enhance the university’s efforts to recruit, retain and graduate students from underrepresented groups. Prior to his role in diversity affairs, Jones worked in student affairs at the University of Arkansas as a graduate assistant for the Center for Community Engagement, and then as the Coordinator of Traditional Commuter Student Programs for Off-Campus Connections.Jones is a native of Bradley, and an alumnus of the SAU Upward Bound program. He is a two-time alumnus of the University of Arkansas, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2010, and a Master of Education degree in Higher Education in 2012.
This year marks Upward Bound’s 50th Anniversary as a federal TRIO program. The SAU Upward Bound program has been in existence for more than 48 years and was one of the first U.B. programs in the nation. It is currently funded to serve 180 southwest Arkansas high school students. The program is designed to motivate these students to improve their grades in high school so each can go on to earn a college degree within six years after being admitted into college. This is accomplished by providing cultural and academic activities as well as personal attention.Students are eligible to participate if they meet the following criteria: they are entering the 9th grade, but have not completed the 10th grade; are at least 14 years old, but not older than 17; neither parent has earned a four-year college degree; family income represents economic need; and they have potential for success in post-secondary education.For more information on SAU’s Upward Bound program or on Saturday’s graduation ceremony, please call 870-235-4160 or visit web.SAUmag.edu/UB.

April 30, 2014

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S REPORT
Today, the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office received an anonymous tip that runner, Theodore Hurley was staying in room 153 at the AirPort Inn in Camden. Deputy Chris Lindsey, Lt. Bolton, CID Investigator McClane along with officers of the Camden Police Department responded to the scene. Upon the officers arrival they made contact with the motel owner, who stated that room 153 was not being rented out and granted access to the room. When the officers entered the room they found the man identified as Theodore Hurley laying on the floor between the wall and bed. Hurley was charged with two counts of commercial burglary and transported to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office.

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT
Officer John Parker was responding to Americas Best Value Inn for a report of a subject who just kicked in a door. Captain Zeek advised the officer that he was on the scene and that Officer Clayton arrived shortly after. Officer Clayton had met with the man later identified as James Wright, and he was soon placed in handcuffs. Wright eventually fled from the Captain and the officers towards Wal-Mart. Wright was caught and taken to the station for fleeing. After he was issued a later court date, he was later released.

SAU HOSTING HIGHER EDUCATION VISION 2025 MEETING
Southern Arkansas University is hosting a meeting of the Vision 2025 Commission on the Future of Higher Education from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Reynolds Center Grand Hall. The public is encouraged not to miss this opportunity to participate and contribute in planning the future of Arkansas higher education. It will be a “town hall” format, and drop-ins are welcome. Attending meetings of the Vision 2025 Commission on behalf of SAU has been Marla Strecker, director of educational leadership and director of transitional studies at SAU. She will be facilitating a panel discussion Friday regarding innovative ways SAU is meeting the needs and challenges of Arkansas college students. Stecker said “On Friday, SAU will have the opportunity to discuss the challenges our students face and to offer our community an opportunity for direct participation in an important higher education improvement initiative for the state of Arkansas,” and “This is an unprecedented opportunity for our region." Sen. Joyce Elliott, SAU alum and former Little Rock school teacher, was appointed to co-chair the Vision 2025 Commission along with Sen. Johnny Key, of Mountain Home. Formerly Act 1082, Vision 2025 was established with the goal of improving higher education in the state of Arkansas for the purpose of increasing student access and success. Committee members include the leaders of the Arkansas Department of Education, the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, and other leaders across the state who have a vested interest in supporting higher education. The primary purpose of the commission is to establish a plan and priorities to facilitate an increase of college graduates in Arkansas from 25% to 50% by the year 2025. The Vision 2025 Commission is visiting various parts of the state to hear from stakeholders.

SAU CONTINUING EDUCATION COURSES AVAILABLE THIS SUMMER
The Division of Continuing Education at Southern Arkansas University has an interesting array of more than 10 affordable non-credit class options, including six classes for children, available for the public this summer. To register for classes, simply email Caroline Waller at carolinewaller@saumag.edu, call (870) 235-4006, visit SAU Business 111, or register online. Class reservations are not final until the fee has been paid. Classes that are available include: Scuba Diving, Digital Photography, Swan Lake Ballet, Zumba, Children’s Art and more. You will need to hurry and register as class sizes are limited.

FISH FRY FUNDRAISER IN EL DORADO
El Dorado Crime Stoppers will hold its annual Fish Fry Fundraiser from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Friday, May 2. Plates are $10 each and will include fish, fries, slaw, hot water cornbread and a pickle. Advance orders will be accepted through Wednesday, April 30. Call (870) 866-8982 for more information.

WAGGIN’ TAILS COLLECTING PET ITEMS
 Waggin’ Tails is collecting pet items to help the Tornado victims.  They need crates, litter pans, leashes, collars, toys, bowls, feed buckets, lead ropes, halters, snaps.  If you can help please drop your donation off at Waggin’ Tails, 1825 Fairview Rd, Camden by noon Friday May 2nd at the latest.  We are working with groups that are trying to reunite pets back with their owners.  We do not want food donated at this point.  Just items that will help care for a pet (dog, cat, horse).  Most of the lost pets are being fostered by the people who found them and a special Facebook page has been put up to help people find their missing pets.  For more information you can call Darleen Wheelington at 870-836-7297.

EAST CAMDEN GOLF SCRAMBLE INFO
East Camden Fire Department is hosting a 2-man scramble golf tournament on Saturday, May 17th at Highland Golf Course in East Camden.  Registration at 7:30 a.m. and Scramble starts at 8:00 a.m.

$80.00/Team (if signed up by May 3)
$100/Team (if signed up after May 3)
1st Place  $500
2nd Place  $250
3rd Place  $100
Entry Forms are available at the following businesses in Camden: Camden News, 133 Madison Street Harrell, Lindsey & Carr law firm, 201 Jackson Street. For more information you can contact LaDonna Foster at 870-833-2080 or at Angie McAdoo 870-833-2196

April 29, 2014

CAMDEN POLICE REPORTS
Recently, Officer Jimmy Plyler of the Camden Police Department was diapatched to a disturbance at Jake’s Club. When the officer arrived on the scene he observed several people arguing in the parking lot, including one man identified as Kennedy Tolon. Many people said that Tolon had a gun and tossed it under a vehicle in the parking lot where he was standing. The officer did find a revolver under the front tire of Tolons vehicle. The man admitted that the gunb was his, but he tossed it because he did not want to get into trouble for having it. Unfortunately for Tolon he was taken into custody anyways for carrying a weapon. After all booking procedures were completed the man was released to his family. The gun was placed into evidence.

Officer Plyler was also recently dispatched to a two-vehicle accident on Highway 79 at Bradley Ferry Road. When the officer arrived on the scene he spoke with Donnie Clark, whose eyes were bloodshot and watery and a strong smell of intoxicants was coming from him. When asked if he had consumed any alcohol, Clark said he had one 24-ounce beer. Clark then agreed to take a standard field sobriety test, which he ultimately failed. He was then taken into custody for DWI. Clark was booked and eventually released to his family.

CONGRESSMEN ISSUE STATEMENT REGUARDING STORM VICTIMS
Congressmen Rick Crawford (AR-1), Tim Griffin (AR-2), Steve Womack (AR-3), and Tom Cotton (AR-4) issued the following statement following this week’s storm: “Sorrow and grief for the devastation and tragic loss of life caused by last night’s storm is shared by Arkansans all over the state.  Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected and hurt by this horrific storm, and we thank the first responders who continue to help those in need.  We will keep working to help our state and communities rebuild and ensure that federal resources are directed to the Arkansans who need them now.”

AG McDANIEL: ARKANSANS WILL RALLY TO SUPPORT STORM VICTIMS
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued a statement of support to Arkansans struggling in the aftermath of Sunday night’s storms. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Mayflower, Vilonia and surrounding areas today,” McDaniel said. “I know the people of Arkansas will rally to support them in every way possible as they begin the long, painful recovery process.” Those needing immediate disaster relief assistance may call the Arkansas American Red Cross at 1 (800) REDCROSS. Residents needing information and assistance may also call the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office toll-free hotline at (800) 482-8982. Our phone counselors are ready to help connect residents with government and private organizations who are providing information and assistance. Governor Mike Beebe issued state of disaster declarations for Faulkner, Pulaski and White counties Monday morning. The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management was on the ground assessing damage and establishing a protocol for assisting residents. “The destruction in these cities is devastating, especially since they have so recently rebuilt after the disasters of the 2012 oil spill in Mayflower and the 2011 tornado in Vilonia.” McDaniel said. “The Attorney General’s Office will continue to stand ready to assist them in any way possible.”

Also, McDaniel urged residents of the affected areas and those wanting to help in recovery efforts to be on the lookout for individuals who may try to financially benefit from the disaster. “Even as our first responders continue search and recovery efforts in the areas hardest hit by the storms, residents in outlying areas need to be prepared for scam artists trying to take advantage of them,” McDaniel said. “And as Arkansans, who have always had enormous hearts, look for ways to donate funds to the cause, they should make sure their money is going to reputable organizations.” General McDaniel warned residents of the affected areas to beware of unscrupulous individuals known as “storm chasers.”  These scam artists attempt to take advantage of storm victims by going door-to-door to offer repair or debris-removals services, typically offering inexpensive prices or other terms designed to entice homeowners to agree right away. But often the scammers demand money up front, sometimes taking a homeowner's insurance claim payment, and then do not complete the promised work. Arkansans who are eager to lend their financial support to storm recovery efforts should make sure their charitable dollars are being used as promised. To protect consumers and to ensure that donations are used for the intended purpose, state law requires that most charitable organizations register with the Attorney General’s Office prior to soliciting donations. Before giving money to an unfamiliar charity, contact the Attorney General’s Charities Division of the Consumer Protection Division by emailing charities@ArkansasAG.gov. Safe ways to give: You can donate $10 to American Red Cross disaster relief by using your mobile phone. Simply text the word “redcross” to 90999. Donations may also be made online at www.redcross.org. You may also mail checks to the Salvation Army Disaster Relief Fund, P.O. Box 738, North Little Rock, AR 72115-0738. Write Arkansas Tornado Relief on the check memo line. To donate $10 to the general disaster relief fund, text “STORM” to 80888. You can also call 1-800-725-2760. For more information about avoiding storm chasers or how to safely give to relief efforts, visit www.GotYourBackArkansas.org, or contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at (800) 482-8982.

COUNCIL MEMBERS TRYING TO QUIET DOGS IN MAGNOLIA
Quieting barking dogs seems to be on the mind of two Magnolia City Council members.
Gary Farrar and Jamie Waller, who both represent Ward 3, told the council on Monday that they have in Farrar’s words a “major situation.” ”We’ve got both neighbors on each side of the person, complaining,” Farrar said. “We have one neighbor who can’t go into her back yard because of two little dogs yelping at her. We have an elderly neighbor on the other side that can’t sleep at night,” he said. Farrar wanted to gauge the council’s interest in an ordinance about barking dogs. The council is currently considering whether to make changes in Magnolia’s laws regarding vicious dogs. Farrar said that rules against barking dogs could be part of a new ordinance. An issue to be resolved would be the number of warnings a dog owner might receive before a fine is imposed. Another issue is the resolution of situations when a neighbor makes a baseless complaint about a dog. The neighbors asked the dog owner to quiet the canines. This worked for a while, but now the situation is worse, Farrar said. “I’m open for suggestions, coming up with something and making it work,” he said. “How do you shut the dog up?” asked Councilman Larry Talley. Waller is hoping for a meeting with those that may be able to come up with solutions to keep dogs from barking in the first place. “It’s worth discussion. We don’t want to over-regulate. But it can be discussed in a committee and let the experts tell us what they think,” Waller said. Farrar said that he, Waller and Mayor Parnell Vann plan to meet with the dogs’ owner to see if that does any good.

April 28, 2014

MAN WANTED IN OUACHITA COUNTY
A runner is on the loose in Ouachita County, 43-year-old Theodore Hurley has a bench warrant out for burglary, criminal mischief, theft of property and failure to pay fine. Hurley has been arrested at-least 4 times and is still at large today. According to reports, Hurley has been booked 11 times and last arrested in 2012. Hurley is 6’9 and weighs 150 pounds with green eyes and blonde hair. If you have idea of his whereabouts you can call the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office at 870-231-5300.

MUD VOLLEYBALL BRINGS THE COMMUNITY TOGETHER
This past Saturday, SAU Tech students, staff and the Camden community came out to enjoy a great day of mud volleyball. During this annual muddy splatacular, people were treated to great food, a live DJ, games, and of course a little muddy competition. Chief Bo Woody, who was out to support his Camden PD team, said that it’s always great when the police officers can come and have fun with people in the community and be seen in a different light. Although the police team did not take home the muddy trophy, it was great to see them out having fun and not arresting anyone. Dr. Corbet Lammkin, Chancellor of SAU Tech also came out to the event. Lamkin said “Mud Volleyball is a great sport that brings people together on a nice warm day” and “these teams are spectacular at competing and SAU Tech is thrilled to sponsor the event each year”.  This year’s event was a great event that definitely brought out the best in every way and makes you wonder how they can top it next year.  

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB REPORT
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet this week at Catherine’s Bistro in Camden. The speaker for Lions Club this week will be Camden Police Chief Bo Woody.  Chief Woody will be give the members his plans for the Camden PD with him as Chief. Also this Thursday, May 1st is National Day of Prayer and Ouachita County will have 2 ceremonies at noon at Ouachita County Courthouse Lawn and SAU Tech at the Flagpole. Everyone is invited & encouraged to attend.

MURDER CASE DELAYED IN ARKADELPHIA
A two-week jury trial that was scheduled for May has been delayed. Prosecutors and defense attorneys now have until September to hash out their pretrial arguments in the case of Riakos Ausmer Lizana II, a 21-year-old Arkadelphia man who has been in custody since the slayings of a South 11th Street man and his two stepdaughters. Lizana is charged with three counts of capital murder in connection with the deaths of Bobby “Chino” Galbraith, 40, and Adiele and Marley Crutchfield, whose ages were 6 and 4. Lizana, whose bloody palm print was reportedly found on the girls’ bedroom door, faces the death penalty if convicted. He faces an additional charge of aggravated residential burglary. This week, Clark County Circuit Judge Robert McCallum ruled on a continuance motion filed recently by Lizana’s attorneys from the Arkansas Public Defenders Commission. The motion came after Deborah Czuba, who lead Lizana’s three-person defense counsel, left her position with the commission to take an out-of-state job, co-counsel Jacqueline Wright confirmed in a telephone interview. Wright said she will take the leading role in defending Lizana, along with co-counsel Joe Tobler. The revised scheduling order starts the trial on Sept. 11 and wraps it up on Sept. 26, with pretrial hearings slated for May 22 and Aug. 8. Clark County Prosecutor Blake Batson, along with deputy prosecutors Dan Turner and Todd Turner, are representing the state in the case.

SAFETY EXPO IN CAMDEN THIS WEEKEND
Lake Catherine State Park has teamed up with sponsors and representatives in both Hot Spring and Garland Counties to host a Safety Exposition on Saturday, May 3rd, 2014 from 10 am until 2 pm. The event is open to the public and will feature information booths, free lunch, and live scenarios on the banks of Lake Catherine. You can expect personnel from the Hot Springs County HazMat Decon Team, a live auto extrication, a single engine air tanker water drop over the lake and a fire boat demonstration. Families can expect a host of giveaways and information provided in a relaxing setting. Each exhibit will feature representatives to answer questions and provide entertaining site stops all over the campground. A free hot dog lunch will be provided to all visitors. Visitors are welcome to attend anytime between 10 and 2. Meet at the state park trailhead. For more details or questions please call the park at 501-844-4176.

SAU PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE CONCERT OFFERS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
The Southern Arkansas University Percussion Ensemble is offering a free concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 29, 2014, in SAU’s Harton Theatre. “This concert will include a wonderful variety of styles and sounds. Featuring music and instruments from all across the world, there is truly something for every taste,” said Director of Percussion Michael Britt, who will be directing the eleven-member student percussion group. Josh Withem, senior from Haltom City, Texas, will be playing his last concert with the ensemble. He will be featured on the vibraphone during the piece “Until Morning Sings” by David Reeves. It is an up-tempo, festive work in the style of a Latin Samba. Withem is also featured on the timbales on “Scojo Madness” by Davila and Johnson, arranged by Britt. He is joined as a soloist on this tune by Joshua King, freshman from Lorena, Texas, on the snare drum.  “Scojo Madness” is a high energy “jam” piece in a Latin Songo style.

MEETING TONIGHT IN MAGNOLIA TO DISCUSS HIGHWAY PROJECTS
Magnolia City Council members will hear several reports during their meeting at 5 p.m. Monday in the City Council Chambers. Agenda items:

- Reappointment of Mary Iverson to the Magnolia Planning Commission.
-A representative from A.L. Franks Engineering is expected to discuss plans for the construction of a sidewalk from East Side Elementary School to East Main Street along Fredrick Street. The city has received a grant for the project.

-Mayor Parnell Vann is expected to make a progress report on plans to widen U.S. 82 from County Road 525 to the U.S. 79-82 bypass, and the bypass from Nations Creek to the Shell Superstop.
-Councilman Rodney Peterson will make a report from the Fire Committee.
-Councilman James Moore will make a report from the Animal Control Committee.
-Vann will also talk about the Keep Magnolia Beautiful cleanup, which is set for 8 a.m. to noon Saturday.

April 25, 2014

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORTS
Officer Anthony Grummer was recently dispatched to Walmart for a report of shoplifting. Dispatch advised that the shoplifter was detained in the front office by management. When Officer Grummer arrived, Sgt. Gilbert had the shoplifter in custody. The shoplifter was identified as Taylor Glover, who had been observed stealing merchandise and attempt to leave the store with a phone case, yoga pants, a bandanna and more. Grummer was provided with a shoplifting affidavit and Glover was transported to the station, where she was issued a criminal citation and later court date.

Officer Nathan Clayton was also dispatched to Walmart for a shoplifter that had been detained. Witnesses stated that they saw Angela Cessor make a purchase and then continue to shop around. Cessor was apparently putting various items into the Walmart bag she already had. The items she was attempting to steal totaled $86.04. She was eventually confronted and taken to Walmart’s surveillance room. Cessor was arrested and taken to the police station and then transported to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Department to be released on a $400.00 bond or 48 hour incarceration.

BOOZMAN RECOVERY CONTINUES TO PROGRESS
U.S. Senator John Boozman’s (R-AR) recovery following successful heart surgery continues to progress positively. He remains hospitalized but doctors have moved him from the intensive care unit to a private recovery room. Boozman has been in stable condition since the successful operation to remedy an acute aortic dissection. His family, who continues to be with him at the hospital, has indicated that doctors are amazed at how quickly Boozman is recovering from the surgery. As he continues to regain strength, Boozman has been conversational with family for long stretches of the day and walking frequently with the aid of medical staff. Boozman, 63, was taken to the hospital early Tuesday morning, by his wife Cathy, after suffering pain in his chest and shoulder. He was, at the time of transport, alert, responsive and in good spirits despite the discomfort and pain. After running several tests, doctors diagnosed Boozman with an acute aortic dissection and he was admitted for immediate surgery. The surgeons who performed the operation, which lasted several hours, said that Boozman responded well to the procedure. Recently, the Boozman family released the following statement: “We appreciate the prayers, kind words and well-wishes that have come from Arkansans and people all across the country. Our number one priority is making sure John makes a full recovery. We are grateful for the excellent care the doctors, nurses and medical staff are providing. They are amazed at how well he has responded and we are anxious for him to begin the next phase of recovery. We know that if John had it his way he would be right back on the road in Arkansas, so the difficult part will be making sure he gets the rest he needs to get better.” Please direct any questions to Senator Boozman’s official office and respect the family’s privacy at this time. At the family’s request, Mercy Hospital cannot give out his room information or allow visitors.

AR ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES CORPORATIONS NEW RATING
Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC), the wholesale power provider for the state’s 17 electric distribution cooperatives, recently had its “AA” long-term credit rating affirmed by Standard & Poor’s financial rating service. According to Michael Henderson, executive vice president and chief financial officer for AECC, the rating is based, in part, on strong financial performance and low risk profile, a strong equity position, solid debt coverage, wholesale rate stability and cost recovery performance. Henderson said, “The rating results in more favorable loan rates for AECC and ultimately affordable rates for Arkansas electric cooperative members,” . “AECC’s 17 local member systems currently enjoy the lowest electric wholesale rates among AECC’s peers in the United States. The cooperative’s favorable wholesale rates provide the distribution cooperatives with more room to absorb unexpected cost adjustments, while also providing great opportunities for economic development and growth.” AECC’s wholesale industrial rates are lower than its peers in neighboring states making Arkansas’ electric cooperative service areas attractive for industrial growth and expansion, he said. “The cooperative business model is alive and well in Arkansas,” he said. “AECC is the most financially sound G&T among its national peers thanks to sound planning and firm cost controls. Guidance and direction from our democratically elected board of directors, strong employee workforce and cooperative relationships with state and federal regulatory agencies also contribute to AECC’s successful position.” AECC, one of 65 generation and transmission (G&T) cooperatives in the United States, is one of two G&Ts to receive a “AA” credit rating from Standard & Poor’s.  The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas comprise 17 electric distribution cooperatives; Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI), a Little Rock-based cooperative that provides services to the distribution cooperatives; and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. (AECC), a generation and transmission cooperative. The distribution cooperatives provide electricity to approximately 500,000 homes, farms and businesses in Arkansas and surrounding states.  

POSITIVE EFFECTS OF EL DORADO PROMISE NOTED IN STUDY
Students in the El Dorado School District have made gains in reading and math since the enactment of the El Dorado Promise, as compared to matched peers in similar districts, according to a study released Thursday by the Office for Education Policy at the University of Arkansas. The El Dorado Promise is a $50 million scholarship program that is established and funded by the Murphy Oil Corp. in January 2007 and modeled after the Kalamazoo, Mich. Promise. The El Dorado Promise provides every high school graduate of El Dorado High School who has been enrolled in the El Dorado Public School district since at least ninth grade with a college scholarship to any accredited two-year or four-year, public or private educational institution in the U.S.  The maximum amount payable is up to the highest annual resident tuition and mandatory fees at an Arkansas public university, currently $7,818 per year. When combined with the Arkansas Challenge Lottery Scholarship or others, it may be used for other college expenses, such as room and board.  Promise scholarships are intended as both an educational and economic development intervention. As an educational intervention, Promise scholarships’ primary purpose is to reduce students’ financial barriers to attending college, resulting in increased college enrollment and attainment. Consequently, the Promise is hypothesized to foster a “college-going” culture throughout the district that will improve intermediary educational outcomes, such as high school graduation and academic achievement. As an economic development intervention, the Promise is hypothesized to enhance the local economy by increasing the supply of educated workers in the area, both by attracting individuals and employees to relocate to the area and by increasing the proportion of local students who receive a college degree and may return.  A new study released by the University of Arkansas’ Office for Education Policy found positive impacts of the Promise on district enrollment and academic achievement. After the Promise was announced in 2007, El Dorado Public Schools’ enrollment increased after a decades-long decline in numbers, while enrollment in other Union County school districts and comparable districts throughout the southern region of Arkansas continued to decline. The study also found positive results in both math and reading. More than 2,300 students who were in grades four through eight when the program was announced outperformed similar peers in similar districts on the Arkansas Benchmark Exam by 7 percentile points in literacy and 6 percentile points in math. This report is part of a multi-year comprehensive evaluation of the impacts of the El Dorado Promise conducted by Jennifer Ash, doctoral candidate in education policy and managing director of the OEP, and Gary Ritter, endowed chair in education policy and director of the OEP. This Monday, April 28, the El Dorado School District will hold its eighth annual Academic Signing Day, in which almost 300 graduating seniors receiving El Dorado Promise scholarships will sign letters of intent to attend 34 different colleges and universities in Arkansas and across the nation.  

April 24, 2014

LIONS CLUB RECEIVES GRANT
Lions Club International Foundation has awarded Camden Noon Lions Club a Disaster Relief Grant in the amount of $15,000.00 to help residents of the Camden area that were involved in the recent straight line wind storm. The Disaster Relief Grant is a pilot Program that was set up in February of this year for Lions Club in the United States, Latin America and Asia. Camden Noon Lions Club is the first club that is being awarded a grant under the new Pilot Program. LCIF chooses to work through local clubs because they are uniquely positioned to provide meaningful assistance after a natural disaster because they live in and are connected to the community, its people, businesses, government and social service. Applications for assistance can be picked up at City Hall, Ouachita County Courthouse-County Judge’s Office, Shopper’s Guide, Catherine’s Bistro or Victory Church. After completion of the application you can return to Shopper’s Guide, Catherine’s Bistro or Victory Church. The local Lions Club Board will meet to approve applications for assistance. Assistance will be awarded in amounts ranging from $200.00 to $500.00 per application to those who qualify under the guidelines. Money cannot be given to an individual, but will be paid either to licensed contractors or will be used to purchase building supplies if owners choose to do the work themselves. Also anyone that received damage during this storm and lost eyeglasses, or hearing aids may submit an application to have them repaired or replaced. The Camden Noon Lions Club is honored to be able to receive this grant to help those in our community that are in great need at this time.

KEEP MAGNOLIA CLEAN
The 3rd Annual Keep Magnolia Beautiful event will be held starting 8 a.m. Saturday, May 3 at the Magnolia Fire Department. There will also be a drop off point for all old household paint. The public is invited to bring all old paint to the fire department for safe disposal. Gloves and trash bags will be provided to clean-up participants, who are invited to return to the fire station at noon for a free lunch. All organizations, clubs, churches and individuals are invited.

INTERNET AD SCAM PUTS RENTERS AT RISK
Consumers who are relocating or who are looking for a short-term getaway may turn to Internet rental listings to find just the right home to meet their needs. Both renters and landlords see Internet advertising as a convenient and inexpensive way to conduct business, but, unfortunately, so do con artists. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel’s Consumer Protection Division has received several complaints in recent months about scammers posting fake rental classifieds on Internet advertising sites. McDaniel issued this consumer alert today to let Arkansas consumers know about the scam. Most recently, in Northwest Arkansas, scammers have stolen photographs from legitimate real estate ads and created false advertisements to make it appear that the homes are for rent. The con artists usually ask interested renters to send money upfront as a deposit for a rental. Consumers who are victims of the scheme rarely get their money back and never get into the home they wanted. “Most renters wouldn’t suspect that real-estate ads are being hijacked for illegal purposes, but this is an increasingly common practice across the country,” McDaniel said. “I would advise all consumers never to provide money sight unseen for a rental home. Check it out personally or ask a friend or family member nearby to set up an appointment to see the home. It’s always better to proceed cautiously, especially if someone is pressuring you to send money to pay for a home you’ve never seen.” According to the Federal Trade Commission, scammers may change the email address or contact information for a real rental or real estate listing, then place the modified ad on another website. In some cases, con artists have stolen the email accounts of property owners on reputable vacation websites. Some scammers may make up a false listing for places that aren’t for rent or don’t exist, and may promise a great rental rate, top-notch amenities or special deal in order to con a consumer into sending money. To help consumers, there are some tell-tale signs of this scam. McDaniel offered these tips on what to watch out for:

Never wire money. The FTC says a request to wire money is the surest sign of an Internet rental scam. It is never necessary to wire money, or send money through a prepaid debit card, for an application fee, deposit, first month’s rent, or vacation rental fee. Wiring money or loading funds on a prepaid debit card is the same as sending cash.
-Beware of below-market rate rental offers. Understandably, consumers will be tempted to act quickly to take advantage of a “too good to be true” deal. Con artists depend on that.
-Do not provide a security deposit or first month’s rent before meeting the landlord or signing a lease. Consumers should always visit the apartment or house they are about to rent and meet the property owner before signing a lease. Consumers who are unable to do so should ask someone they trust to visit the property and confirm it’s for rent. Use caution if a property owner claims to be outside of the United States. Some out-of-state con artists have told consumers that a lawyer or “agent” will be working on their behalf, but consumers shouldn’t send money overseas without first looking at the rental unit or signing a legitimate lease before paying. If the rental unit is overseas, then paying with credit card or through a reputable vacation rental website is appropriate. For more information about this or other consumer-related issues, visit the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division website, www.GotYourBackArkansas.org, or call (800) 482-8982.

RIVER VALLEY COMMUNITY FEDERAL CREDIT UNION ANSWERING THE CALL
The River Valley Community Federal Credit Union has answered The Call, and is asking everyone in the community to join the mission to answer a need within the community. The Credit Union is seeking donations of new back packs, or duffel bags, for displaced children, and are asking for your help during this time of crisis. All donations are accepted at River Valley Community FCU at 340 Cash Road SW in Camden. If you have any questions or would like more information, you can call 870-836-4400. 

April 23, 2014

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S REPORT
Recently, Officer Chris Gill of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office Ouachita 389 in reference to people stealing copper from an old house. The officer observed an old dodge Dakota full of scrap metal parked in one lane of traffic and two white males, later identified as Billy Pesnell and Jason Denton, walking from the old house. Denton stated that they were getting old cans and stuff, and both had gotten permission to be on the property, however were on the property before the owner showed up to give them permission. James Utsey, a resident who lives approximately 50 yards from the scene stated that he spoke to both subjects about the property, but also stated that the land isn’t his and that the owner lives in California. Pesnell and Denton did admit to taking from the property, and were taken into custody for theft. Denton also had warrants with the Camden PD and Sheriff’s Office.

MAN SENTENCED IN CONNECTION WITH COLUMBIA COUNTY CASE
A Texas man has been sentenced to federal prison in connection with Operation Crystal Clear – last year’s investigation that led to more than two dozen arrests in Columbia County. 42-year-old, Claudie J. Miller Jr., of DeSsoto, was sentenced Tuesday on one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Miller was sentenced to 140 months imprisonment with three years of supervised release. The sentencing took place before Federal Judge Susan O. Hickey. U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge said, “With this sentence, a major supplier that brought large quantities of drugs into the Texarkana area has now been put out of business. We appreciate the many man hours and dedicated investigative work by the agencies involved to assure that this defendant was today brought to justice. Our office will continue to aggressively prosecute drug-trafficking crimes so that the residents of Southwestern Arkansas and the Western District of Arkansas can live without the fear of violence that comes with this type of criminal activity.”

FOIA FORUM SCHEDULED FOR APRIL 30 IN LITTLE ROCK
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel and three statewide media organizations will host the 2014 Freedom of Information Act Forum on Wednesday, April 30, at the Central Arkansas Library System Ron Robinson Theater in Little Rock. The 2014 Forum follows successful FOIA events throughout Arkansas over the past several years. This year’s forum in Little Rock is the only such event scheduled this year. It is free and open to anyone with an interest in the state’s open meetings and open records law. The Forum begins at 1:30 p.m. The theater is located at 100 River Market Ave. The Arkansas Press Association, Arkansas Broadcasters Association and the Arkansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists are co-hosts of the Forum. “The people of Arkansas expect transparency in their government, and that’s why our Freedom of Information Act is among the strongest in the nation,” McDaniel said. “My office and the other sponsors of the forum are committed to making sure that public officials, journalists and anyone else with an interest in FOIA have a better understanding of the Act and its applications.” The forum will feature a presentation about the law and its exemptions by FOIA experts from the Attorney General’s Office. In addition, presenters and panelists will discuss the history of FOIA, its practical uses and how the law applies to emerging technology. Free copies of the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act Handbook, now in its 16th edition, will also be available at the forum. Though the forum is free, registration is strongly recommended in order to ensure appropriate seating. To register, call (501) 374-1500 or email info@arkansaspress.org.

ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES OF AR RALLY PLANNED FOR APRIL 25TH
The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas will host the 11th annual Electric Vehicle Rally on Friday, April 25 at the Arkansas State Fairgrounds in Little Rock. More than 184 participants representing an event-record 14 schools from across the state will compete in the day-long competition. The students are involved in the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas Electric Vehicle program that includes a curriculum that incorporates a variety of disciplines, including math, auto mechanics, physics, engineering, electronics and journalism. Students participate in competitions that test the students’ abilities and their vehicles’ performance capacities. The public is invited to attend the rally events that begin at 9 a.m. There is no charge to attend. “The annual rally has continued to grow each year as interest in electric vehicle technology has grown,” said Rob Roedel, manager of corporate communications for the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas. “The students involved with the electric vehicle program are taking advantage of opportunities to prepare themselves for the future through a well-planned program that is powered by dedicated teachers and the 17 local electric cooperatives in Arkansas.” The event kicks off with technical inspections and rigorous safety inspections of the student vehicles. Then, oral presentations by the students and troubleshooting competitions test teams’ abilities. Next, academics are left behind as the participants move to the track and strap on helmets for an acceleration event. An autocross competition follows with many twists and turns. Teams then participate in a quiz bowl to test their knowledge of science and electric vehicles. The teams then return to the track to test how far the vehicles can go on a single charge. The on-track and pit lane strategies make this event one of the most exciting in the rally.

BOOZMAN IN RECOVERY AFTER HEART SURGERY
U.S. Sen. John Boozman is in recovery following heart surgery Tuesday in Rogers. His office said that the 63-year-old Boozman, was taken to the hospital overnight after suffering from pain in his chest and arm. After running several tests doctors admitted Boozman and performed heart surgery on Tuesday. Doctors say he responded well to the surgery and are monitoring his recovery. Boozman’s family has visited with him and are hopeful for a full recovery. The family is appreciative of the thoughts and prayers from well-wishers. Boozman had been scheduled to attend the dedication Tuesday morning of the Bella Vista Bypass in Gravette. U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) issued a brief statement: "I’m fortunate to call Senator Boozman a good friend and trusted colleague. Today, I lift up his wife, Cathy, his three daughters, and their family and friends in prayer. On behalf of all Arkansans, I’d like to wish Senator Boozman a speedy recovery."  Boozman is serving his first Senate term. He took office in January 2011.

UNION COUNTY RELAY FOR LIFE THIS WEEKEND
Relay for Life raises money for the American Cancer Society year round. This event is the largest event of the year. You can come help Union County Celebrate, Remember and Fight back! Teams set up "campsites" and have games, food and fun! Cancer Survivors eat FREE. Free event open to the public and a great family friendly event. The event will start this Friday at 6:30 pm and last until 3:00 am. For any additional information you can call Event Chair, Beth Chadwick at 870-918-6443.

April 22, 2014

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORTS
Officer Justin Easttam was on a routine patrol in the area of Truman Street near Crestwood Street, when he heard extremely loud in the area. Easttam followed the music to a house sitting on the corner of Sears and Maul Road. The officer heard the music coming from a blue truck. Inside the truck was a black male, later identified as Robert Fogle. Fogle told the officer to do whatever he wanted to do, and said that he had been drinking. Fogle also stated that he was not going to sign a ticket that was issued and told the officer to take him to jail. He was in fact taken into custody, where he was given a later court date and released after paying a 150 dollar bond. 

Officer Robert Henninger was dispatched to Walmart in reference to subjects shoplifting.
Upon arrival in the parking lot, the officer was directed to a silver Chevrolet Cavalier parked in the lot that was occupied by two white females and a white male. Management stated that the subject that had shoplifted came from that vehicle. Heather Ponder was found sitting in the back seat of the car. Ponder was currently on the Walmart ban-list. Ponder was taken into custody at that time and charged with criminal trespass. Officers who were already in the store, had taken a third female that had been in the vehicle for shoplifting.

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE REPORTS
Lt. James Bolton of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office was recently dispatched to take a Criminal Mischief report. Bolton met with a Mr. Juan Broadnax, who stated that he had been out of town for a few days and when he returned, he found damage to his 2001 Chevy Monte Carlo, parked in front of his apartment. Bolton stated that he had recently purchased the vehicle and found leaks around the driver door and to prevent damage to the interior, he taped over the seam. Soon after Broadnax found the tape removed and on the ground and scratches in the paint of the left rear fender. He said he has no idea who is doing this. Reports were forwarded to the East Camden PD.

Deputy LaDuke responded to Ouachita 389 for a report of a vehicle sitting in the road that had been caught on fire. The officer found what appeared to be a Chevrolet Trail Blazer sitting in the east-bound lane of traffic. According to reports, there was nothing left of the vehicle but the frame and the body. At this time the officers are unable to identify who the vehicle belonged to. Once the vehicle was lifted onto the wrecker, officers spotted a small patch of red painton the bottom passenger side.

NO ACTION TAKEN ON PROPOSED SPLIT OF LOT IN MAGNOLIA
Magnolia Planning Commission members took no action Monday night on a proposal to split one lot of land near the U.S. 82-North Vine intersection into six. Steve Carrington, a Magnolia real estate agent, made the request on behalf of landowner 

Todd Emmert, who Emmert owns about 8.5 acres at the southwest corner of the intersection, which includes a defunct car wash and a private access drive that connected the car wash with North Vine and to the parking lot at the Magnolia Travel Center. However, only four of the six lots were drawn to have access to the private drive, making two of them “land locked.” Commission Vice Chairman Joe Pieratt presided in the absence of Wayne Trull. “For the life of me, I can’t make this fit the lot split guidelines that are in this book,” said Pieratt, citing the city’s planning and zoning regulations. All lots must have access to a public street, Pieratt said. The private drive is not a dedicated public street. Carrington said that Emmert hopes to negotiate with the Travel Center for access to its parking lot for the two lots that aren’t located on the private drive. “It’s hard for me to bring this forward as a lot split when it doesn’t qualify,” Pieratt said. There was no motion on the proposal, and therefore, no vote.

April 21, 2014

EL DORADO WOMAN KILLED IN ATV ACCIDENT
An El Dorado woman who was a passenger on an ATV was killed late Sunday evening. According Arkansas State Police reports, 19-year-old, Antquese D. Frazier, was driving a 2003 Yamaha ATV south on Lakeland Street when he lost control, overcorrected and struck a tree. Frazier survived and was taken to the Medical Center of South Arkansas. However, 18-year-old Shakena L. Ford, was killed. We can say that weather was clear and the road was dry and that El Dorado police investigated the accident.

ADMINISTRATIVE PROFESSIONALS APPRECIATION LUNCHEON
The Administrative Professionals Appreciation Luncheon, sponsored by El Dorado Chemical and supported by El Dorado Printing, South Arkansas Arts Center and Young's Funeral Directors, is Wednesday, April 23, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at El Dorado Conference Center, 311 S. West Ave. The Chamber invites you and your administrative professionals to join us for a buffet lunch as they recognize administrative professionals on this special day. The Chamber will also award the Administrative Professional of the Year. Each administrative professional will receive a gift, and door prizes will be given away. Reservations are required. RSVP no later than Friday, April 18, to the Chamber at 863-6113 or Chamber@goeldorado.com. For any additional information, you can call Kay Smith at 870-863-6113.

ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES LINEMAN ELECTRIFY 2 GUATEMALAN VILLAGES
Fifteen Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas linemen recently completed a mission to electrify two remote Guatemalan villages near Huehuetenango resulting in approximately 320 villagers receiving electricity for their homes. After a year of planning, the men arrived in Guatemala on March 26 and then traveled approximately nine hours northwest to the remote villages of Las Flores and La Hacienta to “light up” the land, said Mel Coleman, CEO of North Arkansas Electric Cooperative of Salem and vice president of the NRECA board of directors. “This project was labeled as impossible in 2005,” said Mauricio Cobon Mazariegos, a village leader. “We were told that we should stop, but we continued working for our children and the future of our villages. Thank you for helping us.” Linemen and their respective cooperatives that participated in the project are: Kenneth Byrd  and Christopher Tedford with Arkansas Valley Electric of Ozark; James Ray Hassebrock and Mark Wayne Tomiello, Carroll Electric Cooperative of Berryville; Michael Counts and Craig Weisenbach, Clay County Electric of Corning; Randy Evans, First Electric Cooperative of Jacksonville; Shawn Dorflinger and Richard Freeland, Ouachita Electric Cooperative of Camden; Don Pinkley and Joe Cooksey, Ozarks Electric of Fayetteville; Steve Rooney, Petit Jean Electric Cooperative of Clinton; and Jimmy Dean Sharp and Todd Spakes, Southwest Arkansas Electric Cooperative of Texarkana. Doug Evans, safety manager for the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, served as the project coordinator. “Today your dreams come true,” said Coleman, as he addressed hundreds of villagers at a celebration event on April 6 in Las Flores. “Many years ago, men and women in our state and nation worked to receive electricity just like you did. Thanks to the work of these dedicated linemen and the support of many others back home you have reached your goal.” In addition to constructing power lines, the men assisted in distributing more than 1,000 pairs of shoes, hundreds of pairs of eye glasses, Bibles and other items to the villagers prior to departing the villages. The items were donated by Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas employees from across the state. Additionally, about $1,000 was donated by employees. “Electric cooperative employees are dedicated to serving others and improving the quality of life for their friends and neighbors,” said Duane Highley, president/CEO of the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas. “The linemen on this mission volunteered their time and skills to provide the gift of light to these remote villages and, while the remainder of the state’s electric cooperative employees showed their support by their generous donations.” Combined with a 2013 project, Arkansas electric cooperative linemen have assisted in providing electric service to more than 770 rural Guatemala residents that otherwise would not have service. The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas comprise 17 electric distribution cooperatives; Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI), a Little Rock-based cooperative that provides services to the distribution cooperatives; and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. (AECC), a generation and transmission cooperative. The distribution cooperatives provide electricity to approximately 500,000 homes, farms and businesses in Arkansas and surrounding states. For additional information, contact: Rob Roedel, Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, 501.570.2296 or rob.roedel@aecc.com

April 18, 2014

CAMDEN MAN ARRESTED FOR SELLING DRUGS
Recently a search warrant was executed at 700 Carver Courts. The search warrant was obtained by the Camden Police Department for the illegal sell of narcotics, and one arrest warrant for James Kirtz for three counts of delivery of a controlled substance. I (Taylor May) was personally alongside Chief Bo Woody and his team while this was taking place. I can say that suspect James Kirtz, was arrested on location and the search warrant yielded evidence that Kirtz was selling from inside the apartment.

TEXARKANA BUSINESSES RECEIVE BOMB THREATS
Police on both the Arkansas and Texas sides of Texarkana are joining with other area law enforcement agencies in the investigation of multiple calls of bomb threats. The threat happened around 7:00 am this morning, when employees of different local businesses called 911 after receiving a call from an unknown man telling them a bomb was inside the business and would detonate at a specific time.  Police say all calls occurred within minutes of each other to businesses in the 4000 block of New Boston Rd. and 100 block of Arkansas Boulevard. Both businesses were evacuated and closed while a search was conducted by the store employees. The investigation continues as detectives search to identify the suspect. If anyone has information about these crimes, they are encouraged to call 911 or Texarkana Crime Stoppers at (903) 793-STOP.

SESQUINCENTENNIAL EVENTS UPDATE
In addition to the ongoing events with the Civil War commemoration ( exhibit at the Leake Ingham building 9-4 p.m., living history Friday & Saturday  on Washington street, and the closing ceremony at 6p.m. Saturday night @ Coleman Stadium) the Ouachita County Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee recommends that for the reenactment of the Battle of Poison Spring , the public is encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs for seating and if possible, to carpool with family and friends due to limited parking at the State Park. The 150th anniversary of the Battle of Poison Spring will be reenacted on Saturday April 19, at 2p.m. at Poison Spring Battleground State Park located on highway 76 in Chidester. For more information you may contact White Oak Lake State Park at 870-685-2748.

EL DORADO EGG HUNT
The El Dorado Jaycees 17th Annual Easter Egg Hunt is at the South Arkansas Arboretum on Saturday, April 19, at 10:00 a.m. The hunt is free for ages 0-12. More than 5,000 eggs will be hidden with a golden egg for each age group. 0-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12. Please be early as the eggs do go fast, and we will start at 10:00 a.m. sharp.

DEER SEASON DATE SET
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission set the state’s deer hunting seasons, with modern gun deer season opening Nov. 8, archery season opening Sept. 27, and muzzleloader season opening Oct. 17. The deer season dates are part of the 2014-15 general hunting regulations that were approved during the commission’s monthly meeting. Season dates for the 2014-15 deer hunting season  (most of South Arkansas is in Zone 12 – Lafayette County west of Arkansas 29 is in Zone 15):
Archery – All zones: Sept. 27-Feb. 28, 2015.

Modern Gun - Zones 1, 1A, 2, 3, 6, 6A, 7, 8, 8A, 10 and 11: Nov. 8-30.
Zone 4: Nov. 8-9.
Zone 5: Nov. 8-9 and Nov. 15-16.
Zones 4A, 5A, 14 and 15: Nov. 8-Dec. 7.
Zones 4B and 5B: Nov. 8-16.
Zones 9, 12 and 13: Nov. 8-Dec. 14.
Zone 16, 16A and 17: Nov. 8-Dec. 25.
Muzzleloader – Zones 1, 1A, 2, 3, 4A, 5A, 6, 6A, 7, 8, 8A, 10, 11, 14 and 15: Oct. 18-26 and Dec. 13-15. Zones 9, 12, 13, 16, 16A and 17: Oct. 18-26 and Dec. 29-31. Zones 4, 4B, 5 and 5B: Closed. The statewide Christmas holiday modern gun deer hunt is Dec. 26-28. Youth modern gun deer hunts will be held Nov. 1-2 and Jan. 3-4, 2015. A private land antlerless-only modern gun deer hunt in zones 1, 1A, 2, 3, 6, 6A, 8, 8A, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 16A and 17 will be held Oct. 11-15. The commission also approved the harvest of feral hogs only during bear, deer and elk firearms seasons on certain WMAs. The regulation permits some taking of nuisance feral hogs, without promoting the recreational hunting of feral hogs, on commission-controlled property. AGFC Deer Program Coordinator Cory Gray told commissioners that hunters checked 213,199 deer last season. The harvest is the second highest on record behind the 2012-13 record of 213,487 deer.

April 17, 2014

CAMDEN-FAIRVIEW HIGH SCHOOL UPDATE
Despite the recent damage done to the high school during the past few weks. We can confrim that the school is still on schedule to have prom next week and senior graduation on May 9th. 

NEW PRINCIPAL AT MAGNOLIA
Jill Rader has been appointed as principal of Magnolia’s East Side Elementary School in Magnolia for the 2014-15 school year. The announcement was made by Dr. John Moore, district superintendent. Rader, currently the principal for the Kindergarten Center at East Side Elementary, will serve in the lead administration role for kindergarten through third grade.  Mrs. Rader has13 years of experience as an educator and has been employed by Magnolia Public Schools for six years. She has taught sixth grade and served as assistant principal at Lafayette County Elementary School; been assistant principal at Central Elementary School; and became the principal at West Side Kindergarten four years ago. The Kindergarten Center was built on the East Side Elementary campus, opening in the fall of 2012, and Rader continued as principal at the new location. Rader said "I have enjoyed my time as the principal of our kindergarten, and I'm excited to continue working with them, as well as the staff at East Side. I feel that this will bridge the gap between the two buildings and provide more cohesiveness between the curriculum and the grade levels,". Rader will replace LaNita Talley, current principal at East Side Elementary. Mrs. Talley will retire after serving Magnolia Public Schools for 37 years. Rader's new position will become effective July 1.

ENVIRONMENTALLY SPEAKING: STUDYING GARBAGE POSITVE RESULTS?
Dumpster diving may not sound like a very respectable occupation, but employees in the recycling branch of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality aren’t above picking through trash to find ways to reduce the amount of solid waste being sent to landfills. Robert Hunter, recycling branch manager, calls these trashy sessions “waste sorts,” and they can reveal a lot. “Often a community can learn that more education is needed for residents,” Hunter said. “We have found lots of recyclables in waste, indicating that there were quite a few people who either weren’t aware of what items could be recycled or didn’t think recycling was important.” Communities, schools, businesses and nonprofits contact ADEQ for help in reducing the amount of solid waste they send to landfills and finding alternate ways to dispose of some of their waste, which can mean lower total disposal costs. Volunteer participation is an important part of any waste sort. Each facility that schedules a waste sort with ADEQ must also provide a team of volunteers to actually pick through the garbage. This gives them firsthand knowledge about what items could be recycled or diverted from the landfill and inspires them to support education efforts necessary to get the word out to the rest of the community. “The cost of landfill disposal is rising,” Hunter said. “There is also usually a cost associated with having recyclables picked up, but it can be substantially lower than the cost of having trash hauled to a landfill.” Waste sorting is just one part of a waste audit. Hunter explained that sorts are rarely done during waste audits for businesses and offices that already know what types of items are going into their waste streams. “Typically, we first do a walk-through to evaluate if we need to do a sort for the facility,” Hunter said. During a walk-through of a hospital, Hunter’s staff found a large storage area full of broken equipment, such as gurneys with broken or missing wheels. They suggested that the usable parts be used to assemble whole workable pieces of equipment and the rest be scrapped out or sold to recyclers. A waste audit of a manufacturing plant found that raw materials were delivered in boxes. “We suggested that they request for their supplies to be delivered in plastic-wrapped stacks on pallets; the pallets could go back to the provider, and the large quantities of plastic could be recycled,” Hunter said. Saving money may be the first reason facilities contact ADEQ’s recycling branch for help, but helping to protect the environment is the most important reason for waste audits and sorts, Hunter says. Suggestions for reducing waste disposal costs include, in addition to recycling, the other two royal Rs: reducing and reusing. With better planning, facilities can reduce what they use in the first place and find ways they or others can use things that would otherwise be put in landfills. All three Rs decrease the amount of land used for burying garbage while saving energy and resources. To find out more about waste audits, facilities can contact Hunter at 501-682-0609 or hunter@adeq.state.ar.us.

SAU STREAM TEAM MEETING
Anyone interested in watershed and stream conservation on the Dorcheat Bayou is invited to attend the first meeting of the Stream Team at Southern Arkansas University. The meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. today in Room 105 of the SAU Science Center. Funding for the SAU Stream Team is courtesy of a grant recently awarded to Pablo Bacon, SAU assistant professor of biology. The mini-grant was given by Ben Thesing, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Stream Team Region III coordinator. The SAU Stream Team will be involved in restoration and conservation of Dorcheat Bayou, according to Bacon. Included in the mission will be trash clean-ups, water quality monitoring, biological monitoring or local species and studies on imperiled and endangered species. The Stream Team program is an outreach and volunteer initiative by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. It enables concerned citizens and community groups to become involved in stream and watershed conservation. Efforts revolve around three primary aspects of stream conservation: Education, advocacy and stewardship.

CLARK COUNTY FUNDRAISER EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS
Clark County’s recent Relay for Life Fundraiser was a huge success as an estimated 800 people in attendance and 25 teams participating in the event. Event chair Nicole McGough said “So far we have raised $40,481, but we continue fundraising for this year until Aug. 31." There were 153 registered team members participating in Friday's event, held at Badger Stadium on the campus of Arkadelphia High School. McGough said "many others get involved without registering." The top fundraising teams, in order, were the Courthouse Jesters, Southern Bancorp, Peake Elementary School and Danfoss. "I would estimate over 800 people were there Friday night," McGough said. Competitions between the teams promised fun for all those who got involved. Winners from those competitions are as follows: best campsite: Peake Elementary; best spirit stick: Peake; best team shirt: AHS Beta Club; Road to Recovery boxcar race winner: Bright Beginnings; Road to Recovery best car design: AHS Beta Club.

MCDANIEL ANNOUNCES MEDICAID FRAUD ARRESTS
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced that two Pulaski County women have been arrested for allegedly bilking the Arkansas Medicaid program out of more than $41,000. 57-year-old Darann Bright Harrison, and her daughter, 34-year-old Tamecia Dion Bright, both of Little Rock, were arrested last week following an investigation by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Both are charged with Medicaid Fraud, a Class B felony. Both were released from the Pulaski County Detention Center after each posted a $2,500 bond. The two operate a Little Rock-based day treatment center. Both had already been barred from participating in the state Medicaid program because of previous actions. According to investigators, between Dec.  14, 2011, and at least until Sept. 14, 2012, they sought reimbursement from the program to bank accounts that were not listed under their names, but that were under their control. Harrison, also known as Diane Bright Harrison, and Bright are accused of forging prescriptions in the name of a Little Rock physician and billing Medicaid for reimbursement. In addition, they are accused of both overbilling for services that were provided by employees or ex-employees and billing for services that were never rendered by employees or ex-employees. The total amount alleged to have been fraudulently obtained from Medicaid is $41,400. 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.

STUDENT LOAN DEBT SCAMS INCREASING
Student loan debt can be overwhelming to some consumers already riddled with debt from mortgages and credit card bills. The federal government says student loan debt is the single largest form of consumer debt, aside from mortgages. According to a recent report the average student will have amassed $29,000 in student loans before leaving college. That makes the industry ripe for scams and fraud. Some Arkansas consumers have received mailers from a for-profit entity claiming that the entity can help consolidate or defer student loan debt. Those mailed solicitations fail to mention that the services offered at a cost of hundreds of dollars are often available for free. Further, the for-profit entities most likely could not do everything they promise, anyway. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued this consumer alert to encourage consumers with outstanding student loan debt to do research and be aware of scams. “Scammers will seek any opportunity to take advantage of someone, and we are increasingly seeing more examples of how that applies to student loans,” McDaniel said. “It is best to remember that a borrower should never have to pay for the assistance they may need. Programs are available for those who need relief, and those programs can be accessed for free.” The mailer that some Arkansans have received state that consumers may receive “total forgiveness” of student loans, or may have the opportunity to have lower monthly payments or lower interest rates. The solicitation advertises a “student loan consolidation and payment forgiveness program.” McDaniel said both the Arkansas Department of Higher Education and the Arkansas Student Loan Authority have received complaints about the solicitation in recent weeks. The company seeks between $400 and $800 to provide their services. However, the company and other similar businesses fail to disclose that consumers can get similar help from government programs free of charge. McDaniel encouraged consumers to contact the U.S. Department of Education (studentaid.ed.gov) or the Arkansas Student Loan Authority (www.asla.info) for more information. Last year, the National Consumer Law Center reported on an array of problems related to student loan debt relief services. In the report, the center said many companies mischaracterized federal government programs as their own. The center said that, at a minimum, companies did not prominently disclose their programs are actually federal government programs that can be accessed at no cost. Many companies also violated multiple state and federal consumer protection laws, the report found. In addition, the center found that companies charge an initial rate of up to $1,600 in some cases, with ongoing service fees of up to $50 a month. Further, they offered a “one-size-fits-all” approach of loan consolidation, although that might not necessarily be best for some borrowers. They focused more on sales than on actually counseling consumers, and they discouraged borrowers from handling their own cases. For more information about this or other consumer-related issues, contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at (800) 482-8982, or visit the division’s website, www.GotYourBackArkansas.org.

TWIN RIVERS FESTIVAL  
Come ride the McNab Train to the Twin Rivers Festival April 26th and 27th in downtown McNab, Arkansas.  Events start at 9:30am with plenty of kids activities, a trackless train for the kids, music from the Hope High Jazz Cats, Interstate 30 Bluegrass from Benton, the Silvey Family from Rosson, “Dipping for Dollars” , a Corvette Car Show and more.  Don’t miss the parade at noon Saturday and the auction at 2pm.  Enjoy the Hope Boys Gospel Singers, the Cass County Mass Choir from Atlanta, Texas, the Tollette Mass Choir and more.  It’s the 13th annual Twin Rivers Festival in McNab, just north of Fulton on highway 355.  This ad paid with state and regional funds.

April 16, 2014

CAMDEN POLICE REPORTS
Officer Bush of the Camden Police Department was recently dispatched to the area of 647 Lincoln Center for a fight that was in progress. The officer made contact with a Monkiko Dumas who was standing in the parking lot. As other officers arrived, other subjects were pointing at Dumas, saying he was involved. One witness told an Officer that she saw Dumas come from behind and hit them in the head. Dumas admitted to his actions, and others, including one of his friends, had gotten into a fight earlier, however would not give names of other involved. Dumas than admitted that he was on the ban list and was soon transported to the station, where he was later released on a citation.

Officer Ferguson was dispatched to Yale Street at Goza for a subject in a blue mini-van apparently stealing copper. Once the officer caught up to the vehicle, he initiated a traffic stop. The driver of the vehicle was Timothy Ryan Harrington, who stated that he took pipes from the house but was told that it was free. Harrington also stated that he was getting the copper because the owners needed someone to do the job. All that said, Harrington was arrested and his vehicle was towed by Kelly wrecker service. As for the pipe, it was taken to the station as evidence.

ATTORNEYS GENERAL CONVENE FOR ENERGY SUMMIT
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is joining six of his counterparts from other states, in Denver for a summit to discuss energy development and hydraulic fracturing, known as “fracking.” The Conference of Western Attorneys General (CWAG) is sponsoring a first-of-its-kind Energy Summit today to open a dialogue among attorneys general about developing public policy related to fracking and oil recovery techniques. McDaniel and a bipartisan group of AGs will hear from panelists from the oil and natural gas industry, environmental organizations and the U.S. Department of Interior. McDaniel is the co-chairman of the National Association of Attorneys General Energy and Environment Committee. “Natural gas production in Arkansas over the last several years has helped our state weather difficult economic times and has helped ease our reliance on foreign energy sources,” McDaniel said. “I believe in the importance of domestic energy production, and I also recognize that we must safeguard and protect the environment. That requires the industry and the states to communicate.” While new technologies such as fracking have contributed to a drastic uptick in U.S. energy production, the industry is outpacing rules and regulations. CWAG is hosting today’s summit because some states are experiencing “growing pains” related to this emerging industry, despite the benefits it provides to local economies. During the summit, attorneys general will rely on each other and outside experts to ensure they are aware of all viewpoints pertaining to balancing, interpreting and defending state interests while also understanding industry and local community needs. Other AGs attending the daylong summit are host John Suthers of Colorado, Peter Michael of Wyoming, Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma, Marty Jackley of South Dakota, Gary King of New Mexico, and Peter Kilmartin of Rhode Island.

EASTER EGG HUNT AT LAKE CATHERINE
The will be an Easter Egg Hunt at Lake Catherine State Park. Children ages 12 and under, bring your Easter basket and fill it up with candy-filled eggs. This event is a great way for families to create special state park memories. Don't forget your camera! Beginning promptly at 2:00 p.m., Lake Catherine will have three age groups at the Picnic Hill Pavilion. The age groups are 0-4, 5-8, 9-12. There will be special prize eggs in each age group. The event is free and all are invited to attend.  For more information contact the park at (501) 844-4176, e-mail lakecatherine@arkansas.gov, or visit us on the web at http://www.arkansasstateparks.com/lakecatherine/

OPED BULDING CLOSED
The OPED Building will be closed on Friday, April 18th for the Good Friday Holiday. 

There will be NO WRITTEN OR ROAD Testing on this date. If you have any additional question you can call office manager Dotty Harris at 870-836-2210.

BLOOD DONATION IN OUACHITA COUNTY
World Red Cross Day is a time to recognize worldwide efforts to advocate for the relief of human suffering, whether from disease, disaster, war or famine. The American Red Cross encourages eligible individuals to support these humanitarian efforts by making an appointment to donate lifesaving blood this May. The need is constant, and all blood types are needed, especially O positive, O negative, B negative and A negative. Each year, World Red Cross Day is celebrated on May 8, the birthday of Henry Dunant, who officially founded the International Red Cross & Red Crescent Movement nearly 100 years ago. For more than 130 years, the Red Cross has been dedicated to helping people in communities large and small across the U.S. It is the only humanitarian services organization that provides blood services, serves as the emergency communication link between military personnel and their families, offers health and safety training and responds to disasters of all types and sizes. Join the Red Cross family this month and make an appointment to give blood in honor of World Red Cross Day by calling 1-800-RED CROSS or visiting redcrossblood.org. Upcoming blood donations for Ouachita County will be on May 14th, from 11:00 am until 5:30 pm at the Green Center in East Camden.

To donate blood, simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org 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 Arkansas), 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.

COOKIE CRUNCHERS RELAY FOR LIFE
To help the Girl Scout Cookie Crunchers Relay for Life Team, you can make a donation and have a chance to win either a Razorback Tote or a Relay for Life Tote The Razorback Tote includes: Red Water bottle, Red throw, and some Razorback decals. The Relay for Life Tote includes: Relay Water bottle, Purple throw, and purple sunglass. Donations are a $1 for one ticket or $10 for twelve tickets. For tickets you can contact Vickie Walker at 833-9223 or Faith Schalchlin at 818- 4753 or any other Girl Scout Cookie Cruncher Team member.

April 15, 2014

MOSAIC TEMPLAR MUSEUM VISITS CAMDEN FAIRVIEW SCHOOLS
The Mosaic Templar Museum will visit Camden Fairview High School and the Camden Fairview Intermediate School on Thursday, April 17th, 2014.  There will be two presentations. The first presentation is 10 am at the Camden Fairview High School and the second presentation will be at 1:30 pm at the Camden Fairview Intermediate School. 

Elvon Reed, Educational Director for the Museum is the presenter.  Reed has been Educational Director for 2 years.  She will have a presentation on Arkansas’ African American Soldier during the CivilWar. The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center (MTCC) was founded as the Mosaic Templars of America Center for African American Culture and Business Enterprise under Act 1176 of 2001. MTCC was created as a museum of the Department of Arkansas Heritage and it honors the story of the Mosaic Templars of America and all of Arkansas's African American history. The museum is dedicated to telling the story of the African American experience in Arkansas. The Center’s name is taken from the Mosaic Templars of America, a black fraternal organization founded in Little Rock in 1883 whose headquarters sat on the prominent West Ninth and Broadway location. Like many businesses throughout the United States, the Mosaic Templars of America organization was forced out of business during the Great Depression. Originally, the Center planned to restore the 1913 Mosaic Templars of America National Grand Temple, but the original building was destroyed by fire in March 2005. The new 35,000 square feet interior is a state-of-the-art museum complex with exhibits, classroom, staff offices, and an Auditorium that seats 400 people. The façade of the new structure is a facsimile of the 1913 building complete with the Annex building façade, which burned in 1984. The mission of the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center is to collect, preserve, interpret and celebrate Arkansas's African American history, culture, and community from 1870 to the present, and to inform and educate the public about African American's achievements - especially in business, politics, and the arts. The center’s exhibits highlight fraternal organizations, African American entrepreneurs as well as integration. Beyond just exhibits, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center provides lesson plans and outreach programs for students and teachers. These materials, especially the lesson plans, are in great demand by classroom teachers and have closed a gap in the teaching of Arkansas history. All educational materials developed by the Education staff are tied to the Arkansas Department of Education Curriculum Frameworks. The Center strives to educate students as well as the general public through a wide range of events and programs that help support its mission as well as expose the community to some of the more prominent topics in African American culture and history.  Bring the museum to your classroom or your local group! The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center offers presentations to school and youth groups throughout the state. Programs on Arkansas's African American communities, art, music, politics and entrepreneurship are available. Education Department staff members will travel anywhere in Arkansas free of charge to provide these programs. For more information call Kathy Bowles @ 870-837-1300 or Terry Calahan @870-836-6876

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB REPORT
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet this week at Catherine’s Bistro in Camden. The speaker this week for Lions Club will be Rebecca Wright with the Ouachita County Health Department.  Rebecca will be talking about the Healthy Ouachita County and what they are doing. For more information on the Lions Club you can call Charlotte Young at 870-863-4440.

COUNTY COURTHOUSE AND EXTENSION OFFICE CLOSED
The Ouachita County Courthouse will be closed and the Ouachita County Extensions Office will be closed on Friday, April 18th for Good Friday. The Ouachita County Sanitation will run on regular schedule.

HAL LINDEN COMING TO CAMDEN
Jazz musician and legendary star of Broadway and television, Hal Linden will present a program of classic tunes, stories and nostalgia at the Camden Fairview Middle School Auditorium, 746 Dooley Womack Drive, Camden, Arkansas on Friday, May 2, at 7:00 p.m.  Children and students are admitted to all OCCCA performances at no charge if accompanied by an OCCCA ticket holder.  Season tickets to the Ouachita County Community Concert Association’s 2014-2015 series are now available; subscriptions to the five-concert lineup are $50.  For more information please call (870) 231-6244.  Hal Linden, a 65-year entertainment veteran, is best known for his portrayal of the police precinct captain in the hit television series “Barney Miller,” for which he earned multiple Golden Globe and Emmy nominations.  In 1957 he made his Broadway debut in the musical “Bells Are Ringing” opposite Judy Holliday, and has continued to perform in more than 20 Broadway and off-Broadway productions, including “Pajama Game,” “A Christmas Carol,” “Chicago” and “Cabaret.”  In 1971 he won the Tony Award for “Best Actor in a Musical” for his role in “The Rothschilds.”  An accomplished jazz clarinetist and vocalist, Linden released his first album, “It’s Never Too Late,” in 2011.   He is backed by a seven-piece band performing America’s classic songs, along with a lifetime of showmanship and charm.                 

MCDANIEL JOINS FORCES WITH OTHER AGS TO COMBAT COPPER THEFT
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, Tennessee Attorney General Robert Cooper, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, and representatives from the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office met today for a roundtable discussion on the growing concern of copper theft. Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Butch Calhoun and other representatives of the region's agriculture and law enforcement communities also attended the Memphis meeting. “Thieves who strip copper from irrigation systems are causing devastating property damage that can be crippling to our farmers,” McDaniel said. “It is critical that the states in our region strategize collaboratively to prevent this crime.” Intergovernmental cooperation is important, McDaniel explained, because thieves often cross county and state lines to sell stolen metal. “I’m fortunate to already have strong working relationships with the attorneys general in Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana,” McDaniel said. “I think today’s meeting was very constructive and will surely lead to progress in apprehending copper thieves.” Arkansas has had enormous success tracking scrap metal thieves using a statewide electronic reporting system created by LeadsOnline called the Metal Theft Investigations System. The system allows law enforcement and metal recyclers to share information and track suspicious scrap metal sales “LeadsOnline allows investigators to access information about thousands of transactions in a matter of minutes,” McDaniel said. “The Metal Theft Investigations System is an incredible tool for law enforcement.” Arkansas investigators ran 9,728 scrap metal searches using the system during the first quarter of 2014 alone. The state has over 350 law enforcement agencies using the system and 127 scrap metal recyclers reporting their transactions. Mississippi also uses the LeadsOnline system. "Copper thieves are stripping irrigation systems and buildings costing farmers and building owners tens of thousands,” Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood said. “Due to high metal prices, metal of any kind, from cars on the side of the road to implements in the field, is being stolen at an alarming rate.  I appreciate my colleagues in Arkansas, Louisiana and Tennessee joining me to discuss the issue and formulate workable law enforcement initiatives and create contacts among law enforcement agencies and farmers in our four states.” Tennessee is also grappling with copper theft. "In Tennessee, scrap metal dealers register with and are regulated by the Department of Commerce and Insurance," said Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper. "We continue to be concerned about the theft and sale of scrap metal and are happy to share information and ideas with authorities in neighboring states to curb this nationwide problem." Louisiana Attorney General James D. “Buddy” Caldwell echoed the other AGs’ concerns. “The theft of copper from refrigeration units, air conditioners, and irrigation systems has become an epidemic,” Caldwell said. “And it could get worse as metal prices go higher.  We four AGs in Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana are joining forces to crack down on the ease with which copper thieves operate.  I’ve never seen cooperation across state lines this good, which means citizens in our region will see better protection.”                                                              

April 14, 2014

CLASS 1 PERMIT MODIFICATION WITH DIRECTOR’S APPROVAL AT AEROJET 
Aerojet Rocketdyne Inc. wishes to notify you that the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality approved a Class 1 modification of their Hazardous White Permit, and associated Corrective Measures 100% Final Design Report, on February 3rd. The combined biological treatment and infiltration trench for remediating perchlorate-impacted groundwater at Building M125 was modified. The proposed unit was relocated from approval site, within a “non-source” area on the west side of the building, to a site within the “source area” on the north side of the building. Relocation of the treatment trench offers several advantages including improved environmental monitoring and control. The design changes will not affect the approved remedial technology, in situ anaerobic biological treatment of perchlorate in groundwater, the overall schedule for completion of the Corrective Measures Implementation, or the ultimate goal of the project, risk-based remediation of perchlorate impacted soils and groundwater at the East Camden manufacturing facility. For any additional questions or more information please call 870-574-3265. 

STEPHENS SCHOOL BOARD SHUTTING DOWN?
Members of the Arkansas Board of Education voted 5-2 on this past week to order the involuntary consolidation of the Stephens School District with three neighboring districts based on county lines. About 140 students in Ouachita County will attend Camden Fairview schools this fall. About 160 students in Columbia County – most from in and around the town of McNeil – will go to Magnolia schools. A handful of students in southeastern Nevada County will be bussed to the Nevada School District at Rosston. There was no doubt that Stephens – whose athletic teams are represented by the Roadrunner, would be consolidated with another district after its enrollment fell below the state-required minimum of 350 students for three years running. The only real issue before the state board was whether it would grant a request from the Stephens board that Stephens and Nevada be merged, or if the state would approve the “tri-district” proposal to carve Stephens between its three neighbors. The Stephens board reasoned that a merger with Nevada would be the best option to keep its schools intact.

SAU INTERNATIONAL STUDENT ASSOCIATION BANQUET
On April 19th, Southern Arkansas University will be having an International Student association Banquet. During this event, the international students prepare and serve dishes from their home countries.  There will also be performances showcasing cultural traditions or pop trends from student’s home countries. Tickets will only be 10 dollars a person. So do yourself a favor and get a ticket or two and come enjoy fantastic food and wonderful performances. For any additional information you can call 870-235-5149.

SAU FUNDRAISING TO HELP BENEFIT MAKE-A-WISH
Student residents of Fincher Hall at Southern Arkansas University have started a fundraising effort that will benefit the Make-A-Wish Mid-South Chapter. The fundraising campaign involves several events to engage the Golden Triangle community. A "Wings for Wishes" event at the Magnolia Pizza Hut is scheduled for 4-8 p.m. Tuesday, April 29. Students will be handing out promotional vouchers, which Pizza Hut will honor with 20 percent of the bill going toward the Make-A-Wish Chapter. A large part of the fundraising effort will culminate with a Fincher Cookout scheduled for 4-8 p.m. Thursday, April 30 on the scenic lawn of the residence hall adjacent to the Greek Theatre. Burgers and hotdogs will be on the grill, and a plethora of fundraising events and games are scheduled. The public is invited to attend and participate in the effort.

REVITALIZING EL DORADO
A three-year-old “Festival City” idea will be put into action after the El Dorado city approved the proposal. The plan requires closing and revitalizing Jefferson Street between Cedar and Locust. It will also revamp the Rialto Theater and improve the area. El Dorado Mayor Frank Hash says the downtown project will be a win for the city. "There's been extensive research done about this concept of making El Dorado a regional entertainment destination. We think it holds great promise," Hash says. No date has been set for the ground breaking, but Hash says they hope it will happen sometime in the fall.

STATEMENT FROM THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel released the following statement after deciding to pursue an appeal of U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright’s ruling in the federal lawsuit over Act 301 of 2013, which was sponsored by Sen. Jason Rapert:  “I have spoken candidly with Sen. Rapert about the risks and costs associated with an appeal. "Sen. Rapert has specifically asked me to appeal. I agreed to do so as long as there would be no impact on the budget of the Arkansas State Medical Board, the defendant in this matter, should the state be required to pay attorneys’ fees to the plaintiffs. I have been personally assured by Senate President Pro Tempore-designate Dismang and House Speaker-designate Gillam that the Medical Board budget will not be affected, and that any costs borne from this litigation will be paid through a separate appropriation. “Therefore, the notice of appeal was filed and this office will diligently litigate this matter to its conclusion. “I have also committed to Sen. Rapert, Jerry Cox and the Liberty Counsel our continued cooperation and transparency in the course of this litigation."

April 11, 2014

CAMDEN POLICE REPORTS
Officer Sharlotte Elliot was dispatched to Express Liquor in reference to a black male, wearing a jacket and jeans, possibly intoxicated, refusing to leave. The officer observed the man, later identified as Freeman Rabion, matching the description, standing in the parking lot of the liquor store. According to reports you could smell a strong odor of intoxicants coming from the man’s breath, his speech was also slurred. Rabion also had a beer on him while he was being interviewed. Based on the officer’s observations, Rabion was taken into custody, and eventually transported to the Ouachita County Detention Complex until intoxications wore off.

Recently, Officer Jimmy Plyler was dispatched to a two vehicle accident at 1600 Cash Road.
There was a green Chevy Caprice sitting in the ditch on the East Side of Cash road with heavy damage to the front end. The officer also observed the driver, identified as Ulysses Carroll, on the ground next to the vehicle with obvious facial injuries. There was also a National Guard Humvee sitting in the South bound lane of Cash Road with minor damage to the front bumper.
According to reports, Carroll showed signs of intoxications, in-fact he told the officer “yeah man’ I’m drunk, now take me to the hospital”. At the Ouachita County Medical Center Carroll was advised that he was being charged with DWI, refusal to submit a BAC, no driver’s license, and reckless driving.

STATE POLICE REQUEST HELP IN DISAPPEARANCE OF MISSISSIPPI MAN
Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division are requesting the assistance of anyone who may have information relating to the disappearance of a Mississippi man last month. Robert Ross, 29, of Jackson, Mississippi was last seen on Friday March 28th when he picked-up a payroll check at a Jackson business and set-out for Arkansas, reportedly with intentions to visit a friend. On Tuesday, April 1st local law enforcement authorities found Ross’s 2005 Buick LaCrosse abandoned alongside State Highway 160, ten miles east of Portland, Arkansas near the Ashley–Chicot County line. Evidence inside the vehicle has caused sheriff’s deputies and State Police to have some suspicion of foul play associated with Ross’s disappearance. Anyone who may have seen Ross in Arkansas before the car was found or who may have information about his disappearance should contact the Special Agent Rick McKelvey at (870) 850-8630.

SAU FINCHER HALL STUDENTS RAISING MONEY FOR MAKE-A-WISH 
Student residents of Fincher Hall at Southern Arkansas University will kicked off on April 7 a fundraising effort that will benefit the Make-A-Wish Mid-South Chapter. The fundraising campaign involves several events to engage the Golden Triangle community. A “Wings for Wishes” event at the Magnolia Pizza Hut is scheduled for 4-8 p.m. on April 29. Students will be handing out promotional vouchers, which Pizza Hut will honor with 20% of the bill going toward the Make-A-Wish Chapter. A large part of the fundraising effort will culminate with a Fincher Cookout scheduled for 4-8 p.m. on April 30 on the scenic lawn of the residence hall adjacent to the Greek Theatre. Burgers and hotdogs will be on the grill, and a plethora of fundraising events and games are scheduled. The public is invited to attend and participate in the effort. Guests can look forward to good food and fun activities. Entry fees for events like a watermelon eating contest, egg roulette, Greek stroll off, volleyball tournament, dance tournament and others will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Hot dogs will be $2 and burgers $3 for community members. Those with an SAU ID will eat free. Terence Lee, Fincher Hall resident assistant and star of the 2012 SAU “Mulerider Style” viral video, is helping organize the event with his Fincher friends. Lee said that the students began collecting funds on April 7 at the Reynolds Center. They will also be at campus events, such as the Spring Concert on April 10. The Make-A-Wish Mid-South Chapter has supplied the group with banners and artwork for promotional purposes. Contestants can also sign up for the Miss Wish Upon a Star pageant, which is scheduled for November 26, 2014, at Camden Fairview Middle School. Entry fee is $20, photogenic competition is $10, and admission for three and older is $5. Contestants will be divided into eight age categories, ranging from newborn to 20 years. For more information, contact Haley Bird at Bird.Haley@yahoo.com or (870) 390-0119. SAU and Fincher Hall have a history of community involvement and successful fundraising efforts to benefit regional charities. In 2011, Fincher Hall students led an effort to raise an astonishing $32,127 for the Arkansas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. The money made it possible to greatly expand the school’s library collection of books not currently available in Braille format.

ANNUAL PLANT SWAP
The Ouachita County Master Gardeners will host an Annual Plant Swap this Saturday, April 12th, starting at 9:00 am. The event will take place the Farmers Market located at the corner of California and Cash Rd. Everyone is invited to bring a plant to swap or come and pick up a plant.

STEPHENS BOARD OF EDUCATION MONTHLY MEETING
The Stephens Board of Education will hold their regular monthly meeting Monday, April 14th at 6:00 pm. The meeting will take place inside the high school library. The agenda for the meeting will include a financial report, superintendent’s report, and executive session for personnel.

ADEQ SETS 2014 EARTH WEEK ACTIVITIES
The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) expects to welcome more than 400 elementary school students over four days this month to celebrate Earth Day.  The field trips, which give students a peek inside ADEQ’s state-of-the-art laboratory and include a number of interactive lessons, are among a number of events ADEQ has planned around Earth Day. The Department will also host a Putting Green to Work lunch featuring Virco Manufacturing, which has a location in Conway, and award the Arkansas Environmental Stewardship Award (ENVY Award), recognizing the efforts of an individual or organization to protect and enhance the state’s natural resources. More than 400 students -- mostly third and fourth graders will visit ADEQ Headquarters Building at 5301 Northshore Drive in North Little Rock April 14 and 15, 21 and 22. The students will come from Academics Plus Elementary in Maumelle, Terry Elementary School in Little Rock, Joe T. Robinson Elementary in Little Rock, West Magnet Elementary School of Visual and Performing Arts in Batesville, Crystal Hill Elementary Magnet School in North Little Rock and various schools in the Cabot School District. Roughly 50 to 125 students are expected to participate each day. ADEQ employees will conduct a variety of interactive presentations for the students, beginning between 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. each day. Student groups will rotate among several presentations, as well as receiving a tour of the ADEQ’s building, which has received certifications from two different green building organizations for its environmentally-friendly design, construction and operations. Students will learn how difficult it is to restore the environment once it has been damaged, how to use organic waste to create compost piles, how land-use activities can adversely affect aquatic organisms, and steps to prevent air pollution. In addition to the programs for school children, ADEQ will offer another in its ongoing series of “Putting Green to Work” lunch meetings at 11:30 a.m. April 24, featuring Virco Manufacturing. The lunches feature businesses and organizations that have excelled at energy conservation and other sustainable practices. ADEQ, in partnership with Arkansas Manufacturing Solutions, created the Putting Green to Work lunches in 2012. The series aims to help industry leaders learn from each other how to save energy, prevent pollution and conserve resources, all while helping their bottom lines. The lunch meeting is open to the public, but seating is limited, and reservations should be made by April 23 by contacting Audree Miller at the ADEQ; 501-682-0015; miller@adeq.state.ar.us. ADEQ’s Earth Week observance ends with the 2014 ENVY Award presentation at the April 25 meeting of the Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission, which begins at 9 a.m. The ADEQ began an expanded Earth Week observance after moving to its new building in 2007. The first year’s event involved hosting students from just one school on one day. Since then, both the number of schools participating and the number of days involved in the observance have grown.  April 22 is officially designated as Earth Day. The first Earth Day observance was held April 22, 1970, to mark an increased recognition by the federal government for dealing with pollution problems. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was formally established later that year to begin addressing environmental concerns at the national level.

April 10, 2014

MAGNOLIA MAN ARRESTED FOR BEATING GRANDMOTHER
Recently, Magnolia police were called in when a resident reported a fight happening in the front yard. Patrol officers found two men had been involved in an altercation, and were separated by officers. The incident stemmed from accusations of elder abuse. Resident Vivian Hampton told officers her grandson, Mark Hampton, had hit her in the head. Bruising on the 88-year-old woman’s head was evident. Detectives were called to the scene. Interviewing Mrs. Hampton, Detective Bret McMahen found the allegations were credible and the 30-year-old Hampton, was arrested. Hampton is being held in the Columbia County Detention Facility on charges of domestic battery second degree. He is awaiting first appearance before a circuit judge.

1 MILLION DOLLAR BAIL SET FOR TEXARKANA WOMAN
A $1 million bail was set by a judge for a 65-year-old Texarkana woman accused in the shooting death of a fellow member of a local square dancing club. Virginia Ann Hyatt pleaded not guilty to capital murder in the fatal shooting of 59-year-old Patricia Wheelington in December. According to an affidavit, Wheelington was shot to death while sitting on her front porch.

Reports say that Miller County Circuit Judge Joe Griffin set the amount at a pretrial hearing Tuesday telling the court that the case is "the most serious crime in the state of Arkansas." Both women were members of the Guys and Dolls Square Dancing Club. Court records allege that Hyatt was "harassing" Wheelington over Wheelington's relationship with Hyatt's estranged husband.

SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL TO BE BIGGEST SAU PERFORMANCE IN YEARS
“Seussical the Musical” is slated to be the biggest Southern Arkansas University theatre performance in years with 42 students and regional actors ready to hit the stage opening night on April 24, 2014. SAU Director of Theatre Clayton Guiltner promises this vibrant, exciting, and zany play will be fun for the whole family and one you certainly will not want to miss. The show will begin nightly at 7 p.m. on April 24, 25 and 26. There will be a final matinee performance at 2:00 p.m. matinee on Sunday, April 27.
Tickets are on sale. Prices are as follows:
Adult - General Admission - $15.00
Child / Student Admission – (half price) $7.50
SAU Student / Faculty / Staff - (half price) $7.50 
Many in Magnolia have seen this as a revival of community musical productions at SAU, but Guiltner likes to look at it as something new altogether. "We are excited to build upon a legacy of the great shows that have been produced at SAU in years past, but we are even more excited to build new traditions and give opportunities to our students and the community to find their artistic voices."  According to Guiltner, the goal of the theatre department at SAU is to train students to find and hold careers in the theatre and television/film industry in all areas of disciplines, including performance, design, management and technology. This year, SAU set out to expand the theatre program to include members from the community and our region to participate in our spring musical. And the regional community responded with more than 100 people auditioning to be a part of the show. “Seussical” highlights the stories of Dr. Seuss, one of America's most beloved writers of children's stories. "The musical will not only be enjoyed by children of all ages, but is one that adults will love as well,” said Guiltner. “Like all Seuss stories, this musical contains universal themes that hit home with everyone, no matter our age, background, or social standing." Tony winners Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (“Lucky Stiff,” “My Favorite Year,” “Once On This Island,” and “Ragtime”) have lovingly brought to life all of our favorite Dr. Seuss characters, including Horton the Elephant, The Cat in the Hat, Gertrude McFuzz, lazy Mayzie, and a little boy with a big imagination – Jojo. The colorful characters transport us from the Jungle of Nool to the Circus McGurkus to the invisible world of the Whos.

SAU MEMORIAL GARDEN TO HONOR ADCOX AND BIDDLE
A dedication ceremony for a garden in memory of the late Jay Adcox and Leonard Biddle at the Southern Arkansas University Aquatic Center is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Thursday, April 17, 2014. The SAU Aquatic Center will also host an open house from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. that day. Biddle and Adcox developed the garden at the rear entrance of the W.T. Watson Athletic Center. It went downhill after their deaths, according to Sheri Baggett-McMinn, associate professor of health, kinesiology, and recreation. She was proud that HKR majors asked to help and get the ball rolling on the garden renovation. Thanks to several donations and the work and expertise of SAU Senior Gardner Marty Davis, she is grateful to get to see the garden dedicated before she retires at the end of June. Southern Aluminum donated a blue bench, and Story’s Trophies and Awards gave an engraved plaque for the memorial garden. The HKR Club at SAU also donated an outdoor table and the Athletic Department provided a decorative piece for the garden. According to Aquatic Center Interim Director Elizabeth Ray, Davis planted an array of colorful foliage, including varieties of spring blooming daffodil bulbs, grape hyacinth and tulips. Dwarf daylilies, dianthus and Asiatic lilies, a hosta lily and phlox will be hardy for years to come. A Japanese Red Maple was added, and a windmill palm, hardy hibiscus and other evergreens will add a tropical feel to the pool entrance. Adcox was athletic director at SAU when he passed away on July 26, 2011. For 36 years, Jay taught, coached, mentored and shared his passion for football and education to hundreds of students and student athletes. Biddle was the SAU golf coach and headed up the University intramural program and the Wellness Center until he passed away on July 13, 2012. Prior to working at SAU, he was a retired master sergeant of the U.S. Air Force where he served as a professional fire fighter for 20 years. Visitors to the garden dedication will also have the chance to see the Aquatic Center renovations, which include SAU blue and gold fresh paint and new tile work. Lifeguards will be on duty, as well, in case anyone would like to give the pool a try. To further invite community participation at the Aquatic Center, free aquatic wellness classes are being offered from 6-7 p.m. each Wednesday in April courtesy of Ray and Sandi Alston. Membership at the SAU Aquatic Center is divided into three annual terms – fall semester, spring semester and summer. 

Community membership pricing is as follows:
Adult - $60/semester or $175/year
Adult couple - $85/semester or $250/year
Children (with adult) - $20 a child/semester or $55 a child/year

Single day pass - $5
SAU Alumni and Albemarle employee pricing:
Adult - $25/semester or $70/year
Adult couple - $40/semester or $115/year
Children (with adult) - $10 a child/semester or $25 a child/year
SAU students and employees have free membership to the Aquatic Center. SAU spouses pricing is $25/$70, and children pricing is $10/$25. The hours of operation are 6-8 a.m., 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., and 7-9 p.m. on Monday through Thursday; 6-8 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. on Friday.

 

BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR CALLER ID 'SPOOFING'
Many Arkansas consumers use their cell phone Caller ID to avoid unwanted calls from telemarketers. But the popular wireless feature is susceptible to fraud. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued a consumer alert to make Arkansans aware of a practice commonly known as Caller ID "spoofing," which involves the display of a number on a person’s Caller ID that is not the number of the originating caller. Caller ID spoofing can make a call appear to have come from any phone number the caller wishes, and sometimes results in extra fees on wireless bills. Arkansas law prohibits telemarketers from interfering in any way with the accurate display of Caller ID information. “Our cell phones are such a big part of our lives, and Caller ID helps us make sure we catch the most important calls and avoid frustrating and time-consuming calls from telemarketers," McDaniel said. "Unfortunately, we can't always trust what appears on our cell phone screens." The Federal Communications Commission prohibits the practice of disguising an actual telephone number to mislead consumers regarding the true identity of a caller and the nature of the product or service being sold.  Telemarketers are required by state and federal law to use accurate caller ID numbers when calling consumers. The FCC requires each telemarketing company to transmit or display its telephone number, and if possible, its name or the name and telephone number of the company for which it is selling products or services. Telemarketers must also display a telephone number that a consumer may call during regular business hours to request that such calls stop. Complaints about telemarketer spoofing can be made directly to the FCC at  esupport.fcc.gov/complaints.htm or (888) CALL-FCC. “I want Arkansas consumers to be armed with the best information so that they can report any telemarketers who don't identify themselves by providing accurate Caller ID information," McDaniel said. “Any companies that resort to these dishonest and illegal tactics are more likely to be selling questionable products and services." In addition to providing cover for fraudulent telemarketing, Caller ID spoofing can be used to perpetrate ID theft by convincing a consumer that he is dealing with a trusted source with which the consumer regularly does business.

 Consumers can avoid Caller ID spoofing by: 
-Being cautious. Do not give out personal information over the telephone. Anyone a consumer normally does business with already has the information they need. Most companies will not call to ask to verify account numbers or ask for a Social Security number or to verify an account number. Calling the number back. Consumers who receive a call from a bank or credit card company, for instance, may wish to write down the number on the caller ID, hang up and redial the number, or call back to that company’s published telephone number.
 -Blocking the number.  Consumers who continue to receive calls from the same number may contact their telephone service provider and request that the number be blocked. Filing a complaint with the Attorney General or the FCC. To file a complaint with the Attorney General, call the Office’s Consumer Hotline toll-free at (800) 482-8982 or by visiting www.GotYourBackArkansas.org. For more information on spoofing or other consumer-related issues, visit the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division website, www.GotYourBackArkansas.org, or call the Consumer Protection Division hotline at (800) 482-8982.

April 9, 2014

CAMDEN RECIEVES HONOR AT LAST NIGHTS COUNCIL MEETING
During last night’s City Council Meeting, the City of Council received an award from the Arkansas Business City of Distinction for the “Movies on the River” project, to help revamp the riverfront with a new park and amphitheater. Camden was recognized in the Quality of Life category. Now the idea of using a river amphitheater isn’t new, but with the nearest movie theater in El Dorado, 32 miles away, this particular concept seemed to be the best way to bring the Camden Community together at the riverwalk. One thing that really helped this project work was the movies that were being shown were first-run, summer blockbusters, not available on cable, and one thing about this project, the admission was free. Each movie shown brought an average of around 200 people. Majority of the funding for the project is credited to the city’s advertising and promotion tax, Camden News and Radio Works.

MOSAIC TEMPLAR MUSEUM TO VISIT CAMDEN FAIRVIEW SCHOOLS
The Mosaic Templar Museum will visit Camden Fairview High School and the Camden Fairview Intermediate School on Thursday, April 17th.  There will be two presentations. The first presentation is 10 am at the Camden Fairview High School and the second presentation will be at 1:30 pm at the Camden Fairview Intermediate School.  Elvon Reed, Educational Director for the Museum is the presenter.  Reed has been Educational Director for 2 years.  She will have a presentation on Arkansas’ African American Soldier during the Civil War. The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center (MTCC) was founded as the Mosaic Templars of America Center for African American Culture and Business Enterprise under Act 1176 of 2001. MTCC was created as a museum of the Department of Arkansas Heritage and it honors the story of the Mosaic Templars of America and all of Arkansas's African American history. The museum is dedicated to telling the story of the African American experience in Arkansas. The Center’s name is taken from the Mosaic Templars of America, a black fraternal organization founded in Little Rock in 1883 whose headquarters sat on the prominent West Ninth and Broadway location. Like many businesses throughout the United States, the Mosaic Templars of America organization was forced out of business during the Great Depression. Originally, the Center planned to restore the 1913 Mosaic Templars of America National Grand Temple, but the original building was destroyed by fire in March 2005. The new 35,000 square feet interior is a state-of-the-art museum complex with exhibits, classroom, staff offices, and an Auditorium that seats 400 people. The façade of the new structure is a facsimile of the 1913 building complete with the Annex building façade, which burned in 1984. The mission of the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center is to collect, preserve, interpret and celebrate Arkansas's African American history, culture, and community from 1870 to the present, and to inform and educate the public about African American's achievements; especially in business, politics, and the arts. The center’s exhibits highlight fraternal organizations, African American entrepreneurs as well as integration. Beyond just exhibits, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center provides lesson plans and outreach programs for students and teachers. These materials, especially the lesson plans, are in great demand by classroom teachers and have closed a gap in the teaching of Arkansas history. All educational materials developed by the Education staff are tied to the Arkansas Department of Education Curriculum Frameworks.  The Center strives to educate students as well as the general public through a wide range of events and programs that help support its mission as well as expose the community to some of the more prominent topics in African American culture and history. Bring the museum to your classroom or your local group! The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center offers presentations to school and youth groups throughout the state. Programs on Arkansas's African American communities, art, music, politics and entrepreneurship are available. Education Department staff members will travel anywhere in Arkansas free of charge to provide these programs. For more information call Kathy Bowles at 870-837-1300 or Terry Calahan at 870-836-6876

SAU NURSING DEMOS SIMULATION LAB FOR HIGH SCHOOL SDTUDENTS
Magnolia High School senior pre-health students recently got to watch a “childbirth” courtesy of Southern Arkansas University’s Wharton Nursing Simulation Lab. A total of 39 MHS students visited the SAU Department of Nursing during a nursing pre-health mentoring day on March 11, 2014. Students visited the simulation lab where they were shown how SAU’s lab is used to develop nursing students’ critical thinking skills and improve overall patient care. Since last year, SAU’s Department of Nursing has been working with Magnolia High School to provide potential nursing students with information about nursing careers and give them a view of college life at SAU. Students also got some hands-on experience with the SAU simulators. Each was given an opportunity to listen to the breath, heart, and bowel sounds, and use other realistic features of the simulators. SAU nursing staff also demonstrated how NOELLE Birthing Simulator births a baby and discussed how such technology is used to give students labor and delivery experiences that they may not get in the real clinical setting. “The real life hospital ‘feel’ gives students an element of realism that promotes learning,” said Becky Parnell, interim chair of the SAU Department of Nursing. “While in the lab, students experienced how new High Fidelity Simulator (HFS) ‘SUSIE’ and ‘New Born HAL’ function.” Also, students were given information about careers in nursing and the nursing degree opportunities at SAU, including the RN and BSN programs.  Finally, they were given information regarding the University application and financial aid processes. At the end of the visit, SAU President’s Ambassadors gave the college-bound students a tour of the campus, followed by lunch at the Mulerider cafeteria. According to Parnell, the Wharton Simulation Lab utilizes functioning headwalls for oxygen and suction, like are found in hospitals. It also has three fully operational hospital beds, one birthing bed, an infant warmer, bassinet, stretcher, medication cart, crash cart, two laptops for electronic charting at the bedside, a variety of functional IV pumps, and feeding pump. The lab is also equipped with monitors at the bedside to observe the simulated patients like the students would see in a real clinical setting. To schedule a visit or to find out more information about participating in a nursing-mentoring day at SAU, contact Rhonda Ray at 870-235-4331 or rbray@saumag.edu.

NATURE NIGHTS: WATER, WATER, EVERYWHERE!
On April 10th from 6:00 pm until 7:00 pmthere will be in event in El Dorado entitled

Nature Nights: Water, Water, Everywhere! Since you are preparing for all the fun summer activities around water, join El Dorado for a few tips on how to be safe. This event will have games, prizes, and WATER! RSVP by calling (870) 864-7192 or e-mailing ce@southark.edu.

April 8, 2014

CITY ASKING CITIZENS TO BE ALERT DURING STORM RECOVERY
The City of Camden’s Code Enforcement Officer Tom Vaughan would like to encourage the public to be cautious during this time of storm recovery. Vaughan says “Scam Artist watch for news of disasters and then move in to take advantage of the already distressed homeowners”. Homeowners need to follow some simple rules to ensure that they do not fall prey to scam artist. 

The list of rules include:
-Before you hire any contractor, electrician, plumber, HVAC, or tree removal service ask to see their 2014 City of Camden’s Business License.
-Never pay money up front, if the contractor needs money to get started, call someone else. 
-Door to door solicitation for your business is illegal in the City of Camden, unless the contractors have a valid photo ID and license with them.
-Any job over $2,000 requires the contractor to be licensed by the State of Arkansas, so ask to see license.

-The city would recommend that the Homeowners use only the State of Arkansas Licensed Contractors. 
-Only master electricians are allowed to work on helping the homeowner restore power to their homes. 
-Homeowners may call the Code Enforcement Office to verify any contractors or other trade license.
You can call the office at 870-837-5508 if you have any additional questions. 

CAMDEN POLICE REPORT
Recently, Officer James Bolton of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a vehicle in the ditch on Ouachita 78. Upon his arrival, the officer found a red Ford Pickup in the ditch on the north bound side. The vehicles rear tires were in the ditch and the front wheels were on the roadway. The man, identified as Billy Heigelmann sitting in the driver’s seat, and his speech was slurred and he was obviously intoxicated. The man was told to stay in the truck while the officer checked his driver’s license. While his license was being checked, Heigelmann got out of his vehicle, crawled over the bed of the truck and rolled to the tailgate. He then stood up in the tailgate, fell over the tailgate and began to run in to the nearby woods. After a short chase, the man was taken into custody and charged with DWI and suspended license. He was also charged with fleeing on foot and careless driving.

A NUMBER OF NEW ACADEMIC PROGRAMS APPROVED BY SAU BOARD
A host of new degree program additions were approved Thursday at the Southern Arkansas University Board of Trustees meeting at the Donald W. Reynolds Center. Among the academic proposals passed was a change in name of the “College of Science and Technology” to the “College of Science and Engineering.” “The change to the ‘College of Science and Engineering’ reflects the recent developments in this College,” said SAU Provost Dr. Trey Berry to the Board. Berry was referring to the exciting new engineering program at SAU that is starting in Fall 2014. With students already enrolling in this new program, the College of Science and Engineering is expected to continue to grow on its record Fall 2013 enrollment. Berry also applauded the work of the SAU faculty, chairs and deans for closely examining the market and making degree program changes to attract students and provide for the region. The College of Business has several new programs being established for the fall, including an entrepreneurship major and minor, supply chain management added to the MBA program, and information systems. The B.B.A. in finance will also now have three tracks – entrepreneurial finance, finance planning and financial analysis. Other SAU program additions include the following: a writing minor, a certificate of completion for teaching with technology, a minor for digital photo and film, an agriculture industries minor, a computer science computer technology option, and a Master of Science in Computer Information Science option for cyber security and information assurance. In other business, the Board approved a continuation of the ban of firearms on the SAU System, SAU-Magnolia and SAU Tech in Camden, in accordance with Act 226 of the 89th General Assembly. SAU President Dr. David Rankin was also given the option by the Board to consider committee recommendations on amending the SAU out-of-state waiver policy in light of SAU’s continued efforts to broaden its reach. Also approved by the Board were the upcoming years’ appointment changes for this governing body. William “Bill” Stringfellow will be moving from Secretary to Chairman of the Board, O.A. “Buddy” Franks, Jr. will be moving to Vice Chairman, and William Steve Keith will be moving to Secretary.

AR LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS TO CRACKDOWN ON TEXTING & DRIVING
Arkansas law enforcement officers will join in a collective effort this month to crack down on violators who text while driving. The statewide effort to curb texting while driving violations is part of a six day national initiative that begins April 10th. The U Drive. U Text. U Pay campaign is a twofold initiative that combines additional law enforcement patrols devoted to watching for drivers who are texting along with a national advertising and media outreach plan designed to inform the public about the stepped-up patrols and the driver’s responsibility to obey the law. “Arkansas motorists need to know that we are serious about stopping the deadly behavior of texting while driving,” said Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.  “The practice has become far too common and strict enforcement of texting laws is one way to break what has turned into a bad habit.” Arkansas law prohibits texting while driving, regardless of the driver’s age.  It is also a “primary offense law” which means a police officer or sheriff’s deputy can initiate a traffic stop without observing any other violation.  Fines can range as high as $100. It is also illegal for drivers to use hand-held cell phones while traveling through school or highway work zones and it’s a violation for any driver under the age of 18 to use a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle.  Drivers 18 to 20 years using a cell phone are required to use a hands-free device.  A violator fine can be $50 or doubled if the violation occurs in a highway work zone when workers are present. According to statistics based on motor vehicle crashes that occurred during 2012, there were 3,328 people killed and 421,000 injured nationwide as the result of distracted driving.  The University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute reports that 25 percent of teenage drivers respond to a text message once or more every time they drive, and 20 percent of teens and 10 percent of parents admit that they have been part of extended multi-message text conversations while driving. “When you text while driving you take your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, and mind off your primary task which is driving safely,” Colonel Witt said.  “You put everyone’s life around you on the highway in danger, and no one has the right to do that.” Arkansas law enforcement agencies are committed to the national initiative of “Toward Zero Deaths”.  The participation by the Arkansas State Police and other Arkansas law enforcement agencies in U Drive. U Text. U Pay as well as Click It or Ticket and Driver Sober or Get Pulled Over represents a collective effort to significantly reduce the number of deaths each year on state highways, local roads and streets. The U Drive.U Text. U Pay. campaign is a national initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation to address incidents of distracted driving.

GREAT LAKE SOLUTIONS 5K RUN/WALK AND HEALTH FAIR
There will be a Great Lakes Solutions 5K Run/Walk and Health Fair. The event will take place April 12, from 8:00 am until 1:00 pm. The Health Fair starts at 9:00 p.m.

PUBLIC HEALTH WEEK ENCOURAGES AR TO “START HERE”
A partnership made up of several city governments, nonprofit groups, state agencies and community organizations from around the state joined together for a press conference to launch National Public Health Week in Arkansas. Speakers included: Arkansas Department of Health Director Dr. Nate Smith; Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola; North Little Rock Mayor Joe A. Smith; Pulaski County Judge Buddy Villines; and Executive Director of the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance Kathy Webb. Public Health Week is observed during the first full week of April each year. Public Health Week is an opportunity for health professionals to highlight the many ways public health protects and improves the health of individuals and communities. This year’s theme, “Public Health: Start Here,” focuses on the simple, first steps that individuals and communities can take to lead healthier lives. “Though each person has to decide where to start to become healthier, it is clear from our partners here today that there will be lots of help and support available,” said Dr. Nate Smith, Director and State Health Officer at the Arkansas Department of Health. “We have Hometown Health Improvement Coalitions and Local Health Units in every county in the state that are ready to help individuals and communities with the health issues most important to them—whether that’s quitting tobacco, eating healthier foods, getting more physical activity, breastfeeding support or getting life-saving immunizations,” Smith added. “We in public health, along with our government and community partners, are committed to providing all Arkansans with opportunities and resources to help them start improving their health.” Public Health Week is a chance to recognize the work that is being done at the state and community level to address public health issues. There are many programs across the state that, through community partnerships, are available to Arkansans who are ready to make a positive change for their health. “Our North Little Rock Fit 2 Live initiative has made healthy eating and active living more accessible. Along with the Laman Library, the Hunger Alliance, and other partners, we are making healthy living attainable and fun,” said North Little Rock Mayor Joe A. Smith.

MCNEIL READY FOR COOK-OFF AND FESTIVAL
McNeil salutes its transportation heritage with the annual Festival on the Rails and Pork Chop Cook-off on Saturday. The festival starts Saturday morning and ends with a fireworks display a dusk. The seventh annual Festival on the Rails will enjoy the use of a new stage created for the event. Festival events include a food court, arts and crafts booths, barrel train ride, dunking booth, antique tractor and car shows, horseshoe throwing contest and a children’s corner. Entertainment will be on stage all day. The Southern Harmony band will perform at 6 p.m. Festival T-shirts are available at the McNeil Water Department. Tickets for the pork chop dinner are $15, and include a chance to win a professional mobile grill. They are also available at the water office. The pork chop serving line opens at 5 p.m. The fourth annual JEVAC Machine Pork Chop Cookoff has a $50 entry fee. Prizes are $1,000 for first, $500 for second, $250 for third and $150 for fourth. All the winners will be announced Saturday, at 7:00 pm. For registration and contest rules, contact cookoff chairman Rick Muncrief at 1-870-949-1540.

April 7, 2014

CAMDEN FAIRVIEW SCHOOLS OPEN
The Camden Fairview High School students will be going back to school Monday after being closed on Friday. The superintendent waited to make that call after the power came back on. Straight line winds left some parts of Camden Fairview High School, with the gym and football press box receiving much of the damage. Superintendent Robert Davis said, "Well actually it was much more severe than I thought it would have been. Now since the gym is 20 to 30 feet higher than the rest of the school, the maintenance director believes it protected the building. Director of Maintenance Johnny Embry said, "We were very, very lucky because there were two classrooms damaged but the damage was contained to the gymnasium and stadium area." With prom and senior graduation taking place in the coming weeks, one thing is for sure, the school and community are ready to move forward.

VICTORY SCHOOLS NOT OPEN TODAY/TOMORROW
Victory School cannot open today due to extensive damage and additional flooding from yesterday. They were also broken into over the weekend with the power outage as well as JC Productions office next door. Both the school teachers and Jeremy's office will be at the church today as well as Red Cross.

MCNEIL READY FOR COOK-OFF AND FESTIVAL
McNeil salutes its transportation heritage with the annual Festival on the Rails and Pork Chop Cook-off on Saturday. The festival starts Saturday morning and ends with a fireworks display a dusk. The seventh annual Festival on the Rails will enjoy the use of a new stage created for the event. Festival events include a food court, arts and crafts booths, barrel train ride, dunking booth, antique tractor and car shows, horseshoe throwing contest and a children’s corner. Entertainment will be on stage all day. The Southern Harmony band will perform at 6 p.m. Festival T-shirts are available at the McNeil Water Department. Tickets for the pork chop dinner are $15, and include a chance to win a professional mobile grill. They are also available at the water office. The pork chop serving line opens at 5 p.m. The fourth annual JEVAC Machine Pork Chop Cookoff has a $50 entry fee. Prizes are $1,000 for first, $500 for second, $250 for third and $150 for fourth. All the winners will be announced Saturday, at 7:00 pm. For registration and contest rules, contact cookoff chairman Rick Muncrief at 1-870-949-1540.

CAMDEN POLICE REPORT
Officer John Parker of the Camden Police Department was traveling south on Frazier Street from Grinstead Avenue in a marked patrol unit. Parker stated that he saw a male subject, later identified as Kevin Porchia staggering in and out of the roadway. When the officer met with the subject he detected a strong odor of intoxications and noticed that his eyes were bloodshot and watery. Porchia could not even completely stand up straight when the officer was tring to talk to him. At the risk of being a danger to himself and others, Porchia was taken into custody, charged with public intoxication and transported to the station. Once booking procedures were completed, he was transported to the Ouachita County Detention Center to stay until intoxicants wore off. 

CAMDEN NOON LIONS REPORT
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet this week at Catherine's Bistro in Camden. The Lions Club speaker will be Dr. Corbet Lampkin, Chancellor of SAU Tech.  He will be updating the club on their new construction as well as other things at Tech. For any additional information on the Lions Club and how you can join, you can call Charlotte Young at 870-863-4440 ext 7. 

TEXARKANA MEN ARRESTED FOR BURGLARY
Two Texarkana men were arrested for residential burglary. On Wednesday Texarkana Police were called to a burglary that happened on East 33 St. Police stated, while searching the area two suspects in a gold Cadillac were found at a nearby convenience store parking lot. Police say that when searching the vehicle three flat screen televisions, remotes and power cords were discovered in the suspect's possession. Police then arrested both suspects for residential burglary and they were taken to jail. One suspect is a juvenile that police and prosecutors anticipate being certified as an adult. The other suspect arrested is 21-year-old Elmarcus Jerome Bailey. The two suspects are suspected of committing other burglaries in the area and additional charges are anticipated. Anyone with information regarding these crimes is asked to call Texarkana Police at (903) 798-3154.

EMERSON MAN KILLED NEAR MAGNOLIA
Recently an Emerson man was killed and four other young people were injured in a single-vehicle wreck on Columbia County Road 53 about 6.5 miles from Magnolia. An Arkansas State Police report states, 19-year-old Austin Blake Glass, died at Magnolia Regional Medical Center. Glass was a passenger of a 1999 model Ford pick-up truck driven by 22-year-old Blane Austin Acklin, of Magnolia. According to the reports  Acklin was driving the truck west on the county road, which is the road that skirts the south side of Lake Columbia, about 11 p.m. Acklin failed to negotiate a curve. The truck exited the roadway and struck a tree.

 EAST CAMDEN 2-MAN GOLF SCRAMBLE
The East Camden Fire Department will be having a “2 Man Golf Scramble” on May 17th at the Highland Golf Course. Registration will take place at 7:30 am with the scramble starting at 8:00 am. If you sign up before the scheduled date cost is only 80 dollars, after that cost will be 100 dollars. The 1st place team will receive 500 dollars, 2nd place 250 dollars, and 3rd place will receive 100 dollars. For any additional information or to sign up, you can call Ladonna Foster at 870-833-2080 or Angie McAdoo at 870-833-2196.

IMPORTANT FEDERAL PROGRAMS TO BE DISCUSSED IN EL DORADO
J. Wesley Crum will discuss important federal programs, including the New Market Tax Credits and US Department of Agriculture REDLG Programs, on Monday, April 28, from 9 to 11 a.m. in the Charles H. Murphy Jr. Boardroom at the Chamber. Reservations are required for this event and you will need to email chamber@goeldorado.com or 870-863-6113, which you may also call for any additional information. The El Dorado Chamber of Commerce provides leadership in economic and community development for El Dorado and Union County in order to improve the quality of life for all its citizens.

ESL GOLF TOURNAMENT
The El Dorado Service League presents the 17th Annual ESL Golf Tournament on April 12 and 13. This two-day, two-person scramble is open to both men and women. The tournament will begin at 8:00 am.

April 3, 2013

SAAC TO HOST MEMBERSHIP SHOWCASE
Members of the South Arkansas Arts Center reveal their hidden and not so hidden talents during the 2014 Membership Showcase on display in all three galleries through April 28.  An artist reception will be hosted by the visual arts committee on April 5 from 6-8pm. The showcase is sponsored by William P. Cook and Associates, PLLC. This year the competitive edge has been removed from the exhibition. This allowed members to either create new work or select favorite pieces from their body of work created over the years.   The new rules for this year have freed artists to select works they feel best represent their talent and encouraged them to look back over their creations during SAAC’s 50th anniversary celebration. The showcase also allows members’ work to be eligible for submission to the upcoming 2014 Juried Art Competition. For more information about SAAC’s art competitions, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474 or visit www.saac-arts.com.

UPCOMING BOATERS EDUCATION CLASS
The Arkansas Boaters Education Class will be held on Saturday, April 12th, at Calvary Baptist Church in East Camden. Anyone born after January 1st, 1986 must take and pass an approved Arkansas Game and Fish Boaters Education Course in order to operate a motorboat in Arkansas. The course is free, and classed will begin at 8:00 am, and will end around 3:00 pm. Lunch will be provided, you can register by calling the Church Office at 574-0591.

WHAT’S COOKIN FUNDRAISER
You are invited to come out for the Annual Christian Health Center “What’s Cookin” Fundraiser on April 6th. The fundraiser will last from 11:00 am until 2:00 pm. You will be able to have your choice of a 6 piece chicken quesadillas or 2 catfish fillets with tea or water. Desserts will also be sold for two-dollars.

SEED SWAP THIS SATURDAY
Come to the annual CAAH (Conserve Arkansas's Agricultural Heritage) seed swap. The swap will take place this Saturday, April 5th, from 10:00 am until 12:00 pm.  Gardeners bring heritage fruit and vegetable seeds to trade with others from what they grew from last year's seed. CAAH representatives bring additional seeds with them to offer to the public. Also, other garden items can be shared: pass-along-plants, tools, bulbs, etc. The effort is for preserving endangered heirloom plant seeds. In Arkansas, the seed bank is headquartered at UCA.

LUNCHES TO SUPPORT BEARDEN NAACP YOUTH SCHOLARSHIP FUND
Delicious Chicken spaghetti lunches will be available from 11:00 am until 3:00 pm Friday, April 4 at the Greater Bradley District Center cafeteria. Meal includes chicken spaghetti, green beans, corn, roll, dessert and drink for $7 donation. Dine in or carry out. Advance order by calling 870-687-3332 or just drop by. Proceeds benefit the Bearden Branch NAACP Youth Scholarship fund.

POLITICAL RALLY IN BEARDEN
There will be a Political Rally sponsored by Bearden Little League and Gazebo Fest at the Gazebo on April 19th, starting at 2:00 pm. This event will have hamburgers, hot dogs, a cake auction, beverages, and music. All the proceeds will go to the Gazebo Fest fireworks. Bring your lawn chairs, hear from candidates, and Support the Little League.

April 2, 2014

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S REPORT
Earlier this week, Lt. David Pennington, along with Sheriff David Norwood and Chief Deputy Jason Dickinson was dispatched to a structure fire at Freeo Package Liquor Store on Highway 203. Upon arrival the officials observed heavy smoke coming from the top of the structure. Bearden Fire Department along with Fire District 1 arrived on scene and extinguished the fire. The structure did sustain some heavy damage on the inside. It was stated that someone saw the smoke as they were driving by the house and soon after warned the owners.

WANT TO BE THE NEXT OUACHITA COUNTY JUDGE?
The Ouachita County Quorum Court will be accepting resumes from people interested to fill the unexpired term of the Ouachita County Judge. Minimum qualifications will include:

Must possess the qualifications of an elector
Must be a U.S. citizen
Must be an Arkansas resident for the past two years and reside in Ouachita County.
Must be a minimum of 25 years of age
Must be lawfully registered to vote
Must be upright in character and a person of good business education.
Must never be convicted of a crime
Resumes will need to be either mailed to the County Clerk at P.O. Box 1041 or in person at the Courthouse located at 145 Jefferson Street SW. The resumes will need to be in by April 10th.

FIRST ANNUAL SEARCY HARRELL MEMORIAL GOLF CLASSIC 
The first ever Annual Searcy Harrell Memorial Golf Classic will be taking place Easter Weekend, on April 19th. The event will start at 9:00 am at The Camden Country Club. The deadline to register is 5:00 pm on April 18th. The entry fee is $240 per team, which includes 18-holes, cart fee and a hamburger lunch. The format will be a 4-man scramble with a prize going to the first place team. Other prices will awarded to participating teams. Tee time at 9:00 am with an afternoon flight to be added if there are enough entries.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB REPORT
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet today at Catherine’s Bistro in Camden. The speaker this week will be Jonathan Richardson with the AR Environmental Academy, at SAU Tech.  He will be discussing what the Environmental Academy does. For more on the Lions Club and how you can join you can call Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440 ext7.

UPCOMING BLOOD DRIVES
There will be an upcoming American Red Cross blood drive taking place in Ouachita County. The blood drive will take place on April 23rd from 2:00 pm until 6:00 pm at City of Bearden, located at 200 E. Anthony Drive in Bearden. To donate blood remember you can call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org.

HARMONY GROVE EARLY SCHOOL REGISTRATION
Harmony Grove Elementary School kindergarten registration is scheduled for April 21-25, from 8:00 am until 3:00 pm. If your child will be 5 years of age on or before August 1st, your child will be eligible for kindergarten. Parents will need to bring the following items: social security card, state-issued birth certificate, immunization record, two proofs of residence in the Harmony Grove School District, and Medicaid and/or ArKids1. Please call 574-0338 or 574-0960 to schedule an appointment to register your child. It is very important for parents to register their children at this time. The number of students registered at this time will determine class sizes for next fall. 

COURT ASKED TO ORDER COMPANY TO PROVIDE DOCUMENTS
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel filed a petition in Pulaski County Circuit Court today seeking to compel an out-of-state “credit repair” company to respond to McDaniel’s requests for information about that company’s business practices. McDaniel asked the court to prohibit CMCS Services LLC from doing any business in Arkansas until it responds to a Civil Investigative Demand issued by the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division in December. CMCS, based in Fort Worth, Texas, is responsible for signs located throughout central Arkansas advertising a “100 percent guarantee” to repair bad credit. However, most companies that make such promises do little to help a consumer in need of assistance. “Most so-called credit repair companies are great at accepting a consumer’s money, but not much else,” McDaniel said. “My office would like to be able to determine whether this company is like many of the rest, but thus far, the company has been unwilling to cooperate with our investigation. I am hopeful that a court order will assist us as we continue our work on behalf of Arkansas consumers.” CMCS pledges on its website that it will “remove negative information” from credit scores, although McDaniel noted that there is really no easy or quick way to repair accurate negative credit history. The best approach to restoring good credit is through timely payments of credit balances. McDaniel reminded Arkansas consumers that consumers themselves can do almost anything that a credit repair organization can do, usually at little or no cost.

April 1, 2014

CAMDEN POLICE REPORTS
Officer Sharlotte Elliot was dispatched to Walmart for a detained shoplifter. The suspect, David Myers, was caught in the store, first in electronics and then the automotive department. Myers had reportedly took the items from the electronic department and then went to the automotive department where he concealed a home charger, USB cord, and two phone cases. He then proceeded to leave the store, however was caught and booked, then transported to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office. An affidavit was completed with a receipt totaling $125.29 attached to it.

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE REPORT
Recently Deputy David Harcrow was dispatched to a reported residential burglary. Uppon arrival Harcrow met with a Mr. Chamblis Hodges and a Ms. Courtney Glover. Mr. Hodges stated someone entered their residents, stating that a 32-inch Emerson TV and 40-inch Verizon TV were taken, along with other items. The Stephens Police Office was also contacted. An investigation is still currently underway.

CARNIVAL UNDER THE STARS BENEFITTING AR CHILDRENS HOSPITAL
Vintage decorations, food, sweets, a magician, silent auction, and DJ Fabian are some of the fun activities going on at the fourth annual Carnival Under the Stars, Saturday evening, April 5, at 7pm. The event will take place at the beautiful country setting of Ramage Farms in Hooks, TX. Proceeds for the event will go to Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH). Although located in Little Rock, AR, ACH plays a major role in our region in the care of children. There were over 3,000 patients served by ACH from Bowie and Miller Counties last year. In these two counties, numerous children were transported via Angel One, helicopters and a fixed-wing plane service.  Circle of Friends for ACH is the event organizer. Circle of Friends (COF) wishes to thank its many supporters and donors. Those wonderful people will be recognized at the event. Circle of Friends continue to support ACH through its 13 chapters and 450 plus members with the mission of supporting ACH financially through fundraisers and educationally via community outreach. Tickets for “Carnival Under the Stars” are $50 per person. For more information contact Melissa Massey, 903-293-7734 or Facebook Burlap and Lace.

CAMDEN HEAD START OPEN HOUSE AND REGISTRATION 
Camden Head Start will host an open house and pre-school registration for the 2014-2015 school year today, Tuesday, April 1st from 12:00 pm until 5:30 pm. The registration will take place at the Head Start Center located at 1199 Maul Road in Camden. Head Start serves children ages 3-4 and welcome children with special needs. Feel free to come and take a tour and apply now as enrollment slots are limited. Parents will need to bring certified copes of their child's birth certificate, or hospital record, immunization record, insurance card, and verification of household income for the past 12 months. For any additional information you can call 870-836-5227. 

SOUTH ARKANSAS NETWORKING LUNCHEON
Save the date for the South Arkansas Networking Luncheon sponsored by the Mayhaw Festival and the South Arkansas Historical Foundation! Each attendee will have the opportunity to introduce themselves to others as well as tell a little about what they do and who they work for in a fun, friendly environment. Reservations required by the end of the day on, Monday, April 21, by 5:00 p.m. to chamber@goeldorado.com or (870) 863-6113.

SMACKOVER HIGH’S “THE S FACTOR”
The Smackover High School Drama Club Presents:
The ‘S’ Factor Talent Show to be held on April 11th at 6:00 p.m. in the Hobgood Auditorium, on the High School campus. Admission is $3.00 per person. We have an all- star studded show slated with several great acts. There will be lots of singing, dancing and comedic fun. We also have performances by South Arkansas’ very own American Idol contestant, Mr. Le Bryant Crew, along with many other local talents. So come on out and join us for a great night of fun and entertainment. For more information contact me at: Veronica Jenkins, Virtual Facilitator Drama Director Smackover High School 870-725-3101 ext. 26

March 31, 2014

SHOPLIFTING A PROBLEM IN CAMDEN?
With various reports of shoplifting in Camden, News Director Taylor May recently went to the Camden Police Department to talk to Chief Woody and Captain Rosson about the issue.

Chief Bo Woody explained that he and Rosson had been talking about shoplifting and they believe stores like Walmart, may have great security and therefor shoplifters are being caught more and more. Captain Scott Rosson activated a bond a few years back for shoplifters, which stated that if the criminal could not make bail, the police department would keep you in jail until your court date. Chief Woody said that “We don’t typically have repeat offenders when it comes to shoplifting and a lot of it has to do with that bond”. The number of shoplifting crimes in the Camden area has gone down some in the past few years. With that being said; is shoplifting a serious problem in Camden?

BOOZMAN TO HOST TELEPHONE TOWN HALL MONDAY
U.S. Senator John Boozman is inviting Arkansans to participate in a telephone town hall today, March 31 at 7 p.m. This statewide event allows Arkansans the ability to ask Boozman questions over the phone or listen to the conversation about the issues impacting our state. “An open line of communication with my constituents is the best way to fulfill my commitment to the people of Arkansas. I think one of the best tools we can use to help keep our constituents informed is the ability to interact live in a tele-town hall format. We’ve had great participation in the past and we’re looking to have more Arkansans join our call,” Boozman said. Arkansans interested in participating in the call can get their phone number added to the call list by submitting their information on Boozman’s website www.boozman.senate.gov. The Senator will begin calling participants at 7 p.m. today.

SIGNS BEING MOVED IN MAGNOLIA
The moving of right-of-ways within the city will soon be taking place in the city of Magnolia.
Street Department Superintendent, Ricky Wilson is alerting the public that it is unlawful to place any sign on a highway right-of-way. According to Arkansas Code Annotated Sec. 27-67-304, only official directional, informational and/or regulatory highway signs, placed by the Highway and Transportation Department, are permitted on state owned highway property. All other signs will be removed. This statute applies to all unauthorized signs, not just campaign signs.

RIBBON CUTTING IN EL DORADO
The El Dorado Chamber of Commerce invites the public to a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the opening of Howell's BBQ on Wednesday, April 2, at 10:30 a.m. at 2011 Junction City Road in El Dorado. Howell’s BBQ is a new restaurant open Mondays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. For any additional information you can call the Chamber of Commerce at 870 863-6113.

March 28, 2014

RESOLUTION DECLARING THE APPOINTMENT OF A SUCCESSOR TO FILL VACANCY OF OUACHITA COUNTY JUDGE 
With the resignation of Mike Hesterly made official, there is a resolution to appoint a successor to fill the vacancy of Ouachita County Judge. The resolution reads as follows:

Whereas, on April 15th, the Quorum Court of Ouachita County, Arkansas adopted a resolution declaring that a vacancy existed in the office of County Judge of Ouachita County, Arkansas, due to resignation of Mike Hesterly. Whereas, the Quorum Court is authorized by Amendment 55 of the Constitution of the State of Arkansas and Arkansas Code Annotated 14-14-1310, to fill the vacancy by appointment. Now, therefore, be it resolved by the Quorum Court of Ouachita County, Arkansas:
Section 1: That (name of newly appointed official) is hereby appointed to fill position of County Judge and that said person is hereby authorized to serve in said capacity until the expiration of the term on December 31, 2014. 
Section 2: That this Resolution shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.

FLAMINGOS IN EL DORADO?
April is Child Abuse Awareness Month and to promote awareness of our program CASA is "flocking" El Dorado. For a small fee you can have your friend or neighbor's yard or business flocked with pink flamingos. Anti-flocking insurance can also be purchased to ensure you aren't the next lucky one in town. This event will start on April 1st and last until the end of the month For more information contact 870-862-2272.

DR. TIM WISE’S TWO-PART SERIES: “YOU AS A MANAGER”
Do you often assume that others think like you do or, if they don’t? This is true for many people, but there is more than one way to lead and different temperaments have their own set of leadership strengths. These sessions will help you recognize and develop your leadership skills, motivational tools, and develop strategies for coaching employees.  Dr. Tim Wise is the SAU Chair of Marketing and Management. In addition to teaching, research, and service. Dr. Wise also owns a small publishing company and design firm.

THIRD ANNUAL MILITARY APPRECIATION DAY AT SAU
The Southern Arkansas University baseball team will be paying tribute to the armed forces at their third-annual Military Appreciation Day set for Saturday, April 12, 2014. Veterans and military service members will enjoy free admission with a military I.D. to watch the SAU Muleriders take on Delta State University at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. at the Walker Stadium and Goodheart Field. Prior to the first pitch, a reception will be held from 1-2:30 p.m. at the Mulerider Activities Center, located adjacent to the baseball stadium. A light lunch will be served at the reception, including wraps, chips, drinks and dessert. 2013 SAU Military Appreciation Day reception. Martha and Louis Blanchard sign in at the 2013 Military Appreciation Day Reception at the SAU Mulerider Activities Center. The public is invited to come fill the stadium, which will be adorned with American flags, cheer on the nationally-ranked Muleriders, and pay tribute to those who have or are currently serving to protect our country’s freedoms. Chandler Walley will sing the “National Anthem” when the players hit the field at the beginning of the first game and “God Bless America” during the seventh-inning stretch. Military Appreciation Day is a coordinated effort with SAU Athletics and the SAU Veterans Resource Center. SAU has earned recognition for three straight years as a Military Friendly School, ranking SAU among the top 20% of schools nationwide that deliver the best experience for military students. To find out more about Military Appreciation Day, contact the SAU Veterans Resource Center at 870-235-4026.

March 27 2014

MIKE HESTERLY HAS RESIGNED AS OUACHITA COUNTY JUDGE 
Ouachita County Judge Mike Hesterly has resigned effective April 3rd. A federal grand jury indicted Hesterly in January 2013 for allegedly awarding a FEMA disaster relief contract to the owner of a Bearden construction company in exchange for a contribution to his 2010 election campaign. After contesting allegations that he threatened his ex-wife, federal authorities and witnesses in a bribery and conspiracy case against him, Hesterly was released January 28, 2013 to home detention until his trial later this year. He has remained under house arrest on an electronic ankle monitor. His trial has been continued several times throughout the last 14 months. His trial was to be next month however earlier this month Hesterly’s attorneys filed a request to push back the trial, saying that Hesterly is still recovering from back surgery he underwent in November. Prosecutors opposed the request for the delay arguing that the trial has been pending for more than a year and that Hesterly remains in office as Ouachita County. Harry Clemons Jr., who was arrested with Hesterly, changed his plea to guilty earlier this month to one count of conspiracy to commit fraud in connection with major disaster benefits. County Clerk Britt Williford said that a letter of resignation was received Wednesday, March 26th. Several things have to happen in order to fill the vacancy. A resolution has been prepared for the Quorum Court declaring a vacancy in the County Judges Office. Said resolution has to be published two weeks prior to the Quorum Court acting on it. The Court will
meet on Monday, April 15th to act on the resolution. Once that resolution is passed, there will be another resolution read regarding an appointment to the vacant office. At this time it is not known if the Court will act on the Appointment on April 15th. Hesterly was unavailable for comment.

BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB TRYING TO SET NEW RECORD
The Boys & Girls Club of El Dorado is participating with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to break a world record for the most kids exercising (using the same fitness video) within a 24 hour period.  We will be attempting this on Friday, March 28th, at 1:00 p.m. 

SAAC TO HOST FILM PREMIER
The South Arkansas Arts Center invites you to join in the fun and excitement of their 50th anniversary with the premier of the short film “50 Years of SAAC” on Friday, March 28. A reception will be hosted at 5:30pm and the film is set to begin at 6:30 p.m.  The film is sponsored by El Dorado Chemical and the event is free and open to the public. Filmmaker Gerry Bruno of Let’s Think Productions in Little Rock created a film short that focuses on the people who have helped create SAAC’s legacy. Bruno and his team interviewed artists and patrons about their connection to SAAC. Through their personal experiences, the candid interviews give credence to the power of the arts and the impact SAAC has had in changing lives. For more information about the premier, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474 or visit saac-arts.com for more information about this or upcoming events.

MEDC SEEKS FUNDING FOR WORKFORCE SERVICES & ECUCATION CENTER
Construction funding remains elusive for Magnolia’s new Workforce Services and Adult Education Center in the Harvey Couch Business Park. The state remains committed to paying for the base construction bid of $1,847,000, Magnolia Economic Development Corporation board members recently heard. The money would fully fund the relocation of the Department of Workforce Services office. But it would provide for only about half the floor space that the Adult Education Center wants in the facility. Adult Education would have to double up on the time it uses the building, or conduct certain classes and programs elsewhere, if funding can‘t be found.

There’s a $709,000 difference between what the state is willing to provide and the additional adult education facilities that MEDC and Southern Arkansas University-Tech wants to construct. SAU-Tech runs the adult education program in Columbia County. Executive Director of the MEDC Cammie Hambrice, said that one of its board members is making a second attempt to get a large donation from the charitable foundation of a local industry. Word should come soon, she said.

STEPHENS BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING
The Stephens Board of Education will hold their regular monthly meeting Monday, March 31st at 6:00 pm in the high school library. The agenda for the meeting will include a Superintendents report and an executive session for personnel.

SCAM IN COLUMBIA COUNTY?
Columbia County Sheriff Mike Loe wants citizens to be aware of a telephone scam.

These callers are using the telephone number 876-796-3385 claiming the recipient has won cash prizes and/or cars or computers. It requests "winners" to send money via the various money transfer companies, such as Western Union or Green Dot. Loe said "Please be aware this is a scam. It is your responsibility to notify the lottery and show proof with your winning ticket, and other agencies you can win money with would not request that you send money first. Be careful about sharing personal information with these callers because they could be trying to get your personal information also. Please contact your local authorities if you feel you have been a victim of a scam,".

CONSUMERS RECEIVE RESTITUTION IN E-BOOKS SETTLEMENT
Some Arkansas consumers who have purchased electronic books will begin receiving account credits or checks this week as the result of a settlement with five of the nation’s largest e-book publishers. Approximately $1 million will be distributed through credits or direct payments to Arkansas consumers, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said. McDaniel issued this consumer alert today to let eligible Arkansans know about the expected restitution from e-book publishers. About $1,097,155 in restitution payments will be directed to Arkansas consumers. The account credit or check will be based on the number of eligible e-books purchased by a consumer during the period from April 1, 2010, to May 21, 2012. Whether a consumer receives a credit or check depends on the retailer through which the book was purchased, and, in certain circumstances, whether a claim was properly filed or whether a consumer specifically requested a check.

Eligible consumers should check their email for information or notices from their e-book retailer or from a settlement administrator. For more information on the settlement, consumers may also visit www.ebookagsettlements.com. “Consumers should rightfully expect prices to be determined through a fair, open and competitive marketplace,” McDaniel said. “Antitrust laws ensure that companies that collude to fix prices must be held accountable for their actions. In this case, consumers across the country who paid millions more than they should have had to pay for e-books will receive the restitution that is due to them.” McDaniel and other state attorneys general from across the country sued five of the six largest e-book publishers in the country and Apple Inc., accusing the companies of conspiring to fix the prices of e-books. The publishers – Hachette Book Group Inc., HarperCollins Publishers LLC, Simon & Schuster Inc., Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC d/b/a Macmillan and Penguin Group (USA), Inc., settled the claims against them for a total nationwide payment of $166 million. The settlements were the result of a two-year investigation by McDaniel and the attorneys general of 30 other states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Apple did not settle the claims against it, and in federal court in New York last year, Apple was found to have played a central role in facilitating and executing a conspiracy to raise e-book prices in violation of federal antitrust laws. A hearing to determine the amount of damages Apple must pay to consumers is scheduled for this year, and additional account credits or checks may be distributed to Arkansas consumers in the future. For more information about the settlement or about other consumer issues, visit the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division website, www.GotYourBackArkansas.org, or call the Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 482-8982.

March 26, 2014

CAMDEN POLICE REPORTS
Officer Jimmy Plyler was dispatched to Walmart for a disturbance. Officer Plyler arrived on the scene and met with the manager, who told him that a male subject was causing a disturbance inside the store and was refusing to leave. The manager stated that the subject was harassing customers, asking for money, while shouting crazy things. The man was identified as Edward Hunter, who the officer remembered arresting the previous night for the same offence at Walmart. Hunter was not making any sense and was walking away when Officer Plyler tried to speak to him. Based on the officer’s observation he was taken into custody for disorderly conduct. All the charges were approved. It should be noted that Hunter has a history of mental disorder and has not been taking his medication on a regular basis.

Yesterday, Officer Jimmy Plyler was on patrol on Adams Avenue, when he noticed a gray Chevy Monte Carlo in front of him, with the driver not wearing a seatbelt. Plyler conducted a registration check on the plate and was advised that it belonged on a red Oldsmobile. A traffic stop was then conducted on the vehicle at Van Buren Street. When the officer approached the vehicle he identified the driver as Carlos Chambers. When asked for identification, Chambers was sluggish and uncoordinated, his eyes were also bloodshot and watery. When asked if he had been drinking Chambers said no, then stated he had one beer. He was then asked to take a standard sobriety test, which he failed. Chambers was then taken into custody for a DWI. After booking procedures were completed, Chambers was issued a criminal citation for driving on a suspended license, fictions license plate, no proof of insurance, no seatbelt and failure to pay registration. He was then taken to the Ouachita County Detention Center to stay until effects wore off.

GREAT CAMDEN CLEAN-UP
Anyone that is wanting to form a team for the Great Camden Clean-Up will need to have registration forms turned in by noon tomorrow. Forms may be picked up at City Hall in the clerk’s office.  Any questions you may call 870.836.6436

UPCOMING CASA EVENT
On April 2, at noon, CASA will be having an awareness and remembrance event at the Ouachita County Courthouse in Camden.  This event will be the community’s chance to honor these children and to show that we are determined to give the “light of hope” to them.  CASA is asking for your support in helping us make this event possible.  So if you ca, please make a donation to your local CASA organization today, and make plans to attend this event. For any additional information you can Call Tammy Caldwell at 870-836-4700.

COMFORT WARRIORS MOTOR-CYCLE RALLY
Roy v. Kinard post 10 of the American Legion El Dorado in association with the Gringos Motor Cycle club presents the Operation Comfort Warriors Motor Cycle Rally. Saturday, March 29th at 105 Christian Drive. Events will include a poker run at 9:00 am, bike games, food and live music provided by The White Mustang Band, 32 Strikes, and The Billy Brown Band. All proceeds will go to the American Legions Operation Comfort Warrior Fund to support wounded veterans.

MCDANIEL DECLINES TO JOIN EGG LAWSUIT
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said he would not seek to join a lawsuit against California over that state’s restrictions on egg imports, though he pledged his full support to neighboring Missouri in its efforts. Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster filed a federal lawsuit against California last month challenging the constitutionality of a California law that would ban the sale of eggs produced from hens in cages that fail to meet certain size and space requirements. The law takes effect next year. Missouri’s suit contends that California’s restrictions would harm out-of-state egg producers and that the law would violate the Constitution’s Commerce Clause. McDaniel considered joining the suit, but determined that no Arkansas egg producers would be directly impacted by the California law. Of the approximately one billion table eggs produced in the State each year, only a small percentage are exported from Arkansas to California.  Almost all of those exported eggs are produced on farms that are already in compliance with the pending law. “I am concerned about the California statute because I believe no state should have the ability to substantially impact agriculture policy in another state,” McDaniel said. “However, it does not appear that the California act would directly harm any Arkansas farmers, so it would be premature to join the lawsuit at this time.” McDaniel said his office will continue to monitor Missouri’s litigation and may offer its support in an amicus curiae brief at a later date. 

March 25, 2014

WHITE MUSTANG BAND TO PERFORM AT ROSS CENTER
The music group known as the White Mustang Band will be performing in Camden at the Charlie O Ross Center. The performance will be this Saturday, March 29th, from 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm. All are invited to attend this event that promises great music and good fun all for a good cause. Donations will be taken at the door and there will also be a silent auction and concessions. Donations will be going towards cystic fibrosis.

TEAM INDIA NEEDS YOUR HELP
Please Consider Team India as one of your non-profit groups for donations. Team India is a group of family and friends joined together to raise money and awareness for Cystic Fibrosis. Their goal is to raise money throughout the year to turn in at the Great Strides Walk in May at the Little Rock Zoo where a number of CF teams join together to celebrate life and their hard work. Team India was formed in honor of India Garcia, a 12 year-old 7th grader at Harmony Grove. India was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at the age of 4 and works hard to keep healthy. She loves life and always keeps a smile on her face and doesn’t let the CF get her down. The team would greatly appreciate your support. For additional information or to make a donation you can call 870-574-2348, 870-833-1791, or email janalgarcia@yahoo.com.

UPCOMING SEMINAR ABOUT NAVIGATING THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
There will be an upcoming free seminar entitled “Informed Businesses: Navigating the Affordable Care Act” and will take place this Thursday, March 27th. The seminar will last from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm at the OPED Building in Camden. This free training presentation will cover key small business provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to help you make informed decisions about coverage for yourself and your employees. Learn about the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace and the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP); new tax, IRS reporting, and employee notification requirements for businesses; available tax credits, potential rebates, and premium reduction programs; and penalties for non-compliance. You can't afford not to know about this complex topic. You can register today at oped@att.net or call 870-836-2210.

MONEY SMART IN EL DORADO
Arkansas Women's Business Center is hosting Money Smart for Young Adults event in El Dorado tomorrow, March 26th and Thursday, March 27th from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm. This event will take place at Simmons First Bank on the 2nd floor in the community room. These courses target high school and young adults in Union and surrounding counties. Money Smart classes are designed to assist individuals in making sound financial decisions. Instruction includes setting realistic financial goals, careful use of credit, saving, and paying for big ticket items like college, automobiles, and a home. To register you can go to moneysmartforyoungadults.eventbrite.com. One lucky participant will even win an iPad mini.

MCDANIEL ANNOUNCES CYBER CRIMES CONVICTION
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel recently announced that a Sebastian County man arrested last year by agents from the Attorney General’s Office has been convicted of felony child pornography charges. Joshua David Peters, 30, of Lavaca pleaded guilty last week in Sebastian County Circuit Court to four counts of distributing, possessing or viewing matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child. Sebastian County Circuit Judge Michael Fitzhugh sentenced Peters to 15 years in prison, with an additional suspended sentence of 15 years. Peters will be required to register as a sex offender. “Law enforcement agencies in this State are working together to protect children, and this conviction is evidence of that coordinated effort,” McDaniel said. “The Cyber Crimes Unit in my office investigates Internet crime statewide and receives assistance from local police and prosecutors as we pursue these offenders. I am glad for the unit’s work and I am glad that this man will be held accountable for his crimes.” Peters was arrested last April after agents with the Attorney General’s Cyber Crimes Unit executed a search warrant at his residence on Tiffany Drive in Lavaca. Investigators confiscated four laptop computers, a phone and other electronic evidence. Peters admitted to investigators at the time of his arrest that he was in possession of child pornography. The Sebastian County Sheriff’s Office, Lavaca Police Department and the Office of Sebastian County Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Shue assisted in the arrest, investigation and conviction. Peters is being held in the Sebastian County Detention Center awaiting transfer to the Arkansas Department of Correction.

March 24, 2014

GROUP FROM SOUTH ARKANSAS SEEK FUNDING FOR RIVER
Ouachita River Valley Association members are going to be in Washington D.C., this week as they seek additional funding for dredging of the river. Just less than $9.8 million has been received for the current fiscal year to the Ouachita-Black Rivers Navigation Project. The ORVA says $11 million is needed. ORVA President, Mike Dumas told press that parts of the river haven’t been dredged in four years, leading to narrowing of the navigational channel.

The group is to meet with congressional delegations from Arkansas, Louisiana, and with the U.S. Army Corps and Engineers.  

CAMDEN NOON LIONS REPORT
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet this week at Catherine’s Bistro in Camden. The speaker this week will be James Lee Silliman, Chairman of the Ouachita County Sesquicentennial Committee. He will be speaking to the club about the upcoming events in April on the occupation of Camden and Battle of Poison Springs re-enactments. For any additional information and how you can join the Lions Club, you can call Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440.

OPED BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING
There will be an OPED Board of Director’s Meeting this Wednesday, March 26th. The meeting will start at 10:00 am in the conference room in the Ouachita Valley Business and Technology Development Center, located at 625 Adams Avenue SE in Camden. The public is invited to attend. To RSVP to 836-2210 or email oped@att.net.

SOUTH ARKANSAS NETWORKING LUNCHEON
The March South Arkansas Networking Luncheon is sponsored by Computer Troubleshooters on Tuesday, March 25, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the El Dorado Golf & Country Club. This is an opportunity to meet other area professionals. Each attendee has the opportunity to introduce themselves to others as well as tell a little about what they do and who they work for in a fun, friendly environment. Reservations required by Monday, March 24, by 5:00 p.m. to chamber@goeldorado.com or call Kay Smith at 870-863-6113 for any additional information.

SOUTH ARKANSAS OFFERS THREE ARTIST WORKSHOPS
The South Arkansas Arts Center offers three artist workshops beginning March 31. Steven Ochs, chair of the Department of Art and Design at Southern Arkansas University, returns to SAAC to teach a digital photography class. “Photography Workshop for Beginners”, begins Monday, March 31 6-8pm and meets on Monday nights through April 28. In his photography class, Ochs teaches the basics of digital photography using more than the “auto” setting on the camera, including how to diffuse, bounce, and soften light and the uses of fill flash to enhance color and clarity. Cost for the class is $135 for current members and $160 for new members (includes a one year Friend Level membership at SAAC). Class limit is twelve. For non-artists and artists alike, Kelly Campbell will teach SAAC’s popular “Corks & Canvas”, which has moved from Studio 207 to the South Arkansas Arts Center, on Thursday, April 10, from 6-9pm. If you have never painted before, you can leave at 9pm with a completed acrylic beach landscape. $40 class fee includes all supplies and snacks. Class limit is twelve.  On Saturday, April 26, 10am-3pm, Kelly Campbell teaches the basics of using soft pastels on sanded paper to create art. The class includes toning sanded paper for an underpainting, color and composition basics, transferring drawings to the pastel paper and applying soft pastels. Cost for the one day class is $45; sanded pastel paper for the class is available for an additional $6.50. Class limit is eight. Call SAAC at 862-5474 to register or for additional information on any of these workshops.

March 21, 2014

GAS METER HIT IN CAMDEN 
Two men in a pickup truck hit a gas meter on Evergreen Street in Camden, earlier this afternoon. Camden Police and Fire Department were on the scene working on the problem. Thankfully no one was injured and there was not much harm done.

FLAGS TO BE FLOWN AT HALF STAFF FOR LAFAYETTE COUNTY OFFICER
Governor Beebe has ordered Arkansas flags to be flown at half-staff on Saturday, March 22, 2014. The flags will be lowered to honor Lafayette County Chief Deputy Pete Richardson of Taylor, who died in the line of duty on March 17.

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT 
Earlier this week, Officer Masalakov was dispatched to Old Wire Road in reference to a white male, wearing a denim jacket and jeans, possibly intoxicated, walking in the middle of the roadway, blocking traffic. Upon arrival the officer observed a subject, matching description, walking on the south side of Old Wire Road, swaying from side to side, having trouble walking and keeping balance. The officer then made contact with the subject, identified as Robert Tyson Peace. Once Peace started talking to Maslakov, strong odors of intoxicants were emitting from his breath. Based on observations, Peace was a danger to himself and others on the roadway, he was taken into custody. Peace was booked on approval of shift supervisor, Sgt. Robertson and Peace was later transported to the Ouachita County Detention Complex to be held until effects wore off.

Officer Grummer was dispatched to Brookshires for a report of a shoplifter. Dispatch advised the shoplifter was wearing camouflage pants and a white t-shirt. Dispatch also said that the shoplifter left from Brookshires heading south on Country Club Road. The officer was then informed that the criminal stole one quart of transmission fluid. Once the officer caught up to the shoplifter, they both pulled over. The man, identified as Vernon Bailey admitted that he stole the fluid and was then arrested. An affidavit was provided by an employee that saw everything happen inside the store. Bailey was then transported to Ouachita County Jail to serve 48 hours or post bond. 

QUORUM COURT SCHEDULED FOR TODAY AT NOON
There will be a Ouachita County Quorum Court special meeting today, March 21st. The meeting will take place at noon, at the courthouse in Camden. At the meeting there will be a review of appropriation ordinance 2012-054, special retirement account.  

EAST CAMDEN CITY-WIDE GARAGE SALE
The City of East Camden will hold its 6th annual City-Wide Garage Sale on Saturday, May 3rd, beginning at 8:00 a.m.  Last year over 35 East Camden residents held garage sales at their homes which generated a large traffic flow of shoppers. This would be a great opportunity for your organization’s fundraiser.  Any residents living outside East Camden are also welcome to rent an outdoor space and hold your sale there too. Call East Camden City Hall at 574-2900 to reserve an outdoor space for $5.00. The East Camden Fire Department will be selling breakfast and lunch inside the fire station that day for the shoppers’ convenience.  For more information please contact:  Angie McAdoo at 833-2196 or LaDonna Foster at 833-2080.

GOLF CAMP IN EL DORADO
SouthArk will be having a Spring Break Golf Camp from March 24th-28th. The camp will start every day from 9:00 am until 12:00 pm and is for kid’s ages from 8-18. An introduction to the game, skills, equipment, course, values, strategies, and traditions of golf. Throughout the week, campers will receive classroom instruction as well as hands-on training on chipping, hitting, and putting. Space is limited to 15 campers and spots will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Campers should bring gloves. All other supplies will, including clubs, will be provided. For more information, call Tara Anglin with South Arkansas Community College at (870) 864-7192 or e-mail ce@southark.edu.  Campers will meet at the SouthArk Center for Workforce Development (3698 E. Main Rd.) on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday before meeting at the El Dorado Lions Club on Thursday and Friday.

COOPERATIVES OF AR LINEMAN TO ELECTRIFY ADDITIONAL VILAGES
Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas linemen to electrify additional Guatemalan villages A group of Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas linemen will depart Arkansas on March 26 to continue a mission that the cooperatives began last year to provide electricity to remote Guatemalan villages. In 2013, a different group of Arkansas electric cooperative linemen assisted in providing electric service to more than 450 rural Guatemala residents. “The Arkansas electric cooperative linemen that worked in Guatemala last October made a tremendous difference in the lives of the residents of three remote villages,” said Duane Highley, president and chief executive officer of the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas. “This new group of dedicated men will improve the quality of lives for present and future generations in the next villages that we will help electrify. I join Arkansas electric cooperative members from across the state in expressing my pride in the men for their selfless dedication to serving others.”  Highley said that Arkansas electric cooperatives and ERMCO, a manufacturer of transformers, are donating materials, labor and funds to assist with the project. Cooperative crews will assist in construction of electric distribution lines, related infrastructure and provide some training to local line workers. The villages scheduled to receive service include Las Flores and La Haciendita. Linemen and their respective cooperatives that are participating in the project are: Kenneth Byrd  and Christopher Tedford with Arkansas Valley Electric of Ozark; James Ray Hassebrock and Mark Wayne Tomiello, Carroll Electric Cooperative of Berryville; Michael Counts and Craig Weisenbach, Clay County Electric of Corning; Randy Evans, First Electric Cooperative of Jacksonville; Shawn Dorflinger  and Richard Freeland, Ouachita Electric Cooperative of Camden; Don Pinkley and Joe Cooksey, Ozarks Electric of Fayetteville; Steve Rooney, Petit Jean Electric Cooperative of Clinton; and Jimmy Dean Sharp and Todd Spakes, Southwest Arkansas Electric Cooperative of Texarkana. Doug Evans, safety manager for Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc., will also assist the crew during the trip. “The mission of the electric cooperatives back in the 1930s and 1940s was to provide electric service to those that otherwise would not be able to have electricity, and we are following the same playbook for our friends in Guatemala,” said Mel Coleman, CEO of North Arkansas Electric Cooperative of Salem and vice president of the NRECA board of directors. “The men participating in this operation are paving the way for educational and economic opportunities that would be impossible without electricity. They will be heroes in the Guatemalan communities for many generations.” The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas comprise 17 electric distribution cooperatives; Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI), a Little Rock-based cooperative that provides services to the distribution cooperatives; and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. (AECC), a generation and transmission cooperative. The distribution cooperatives provide electricity to approximately 500,000 homes, farms and businesses in Arkansas and surrounding states. For additional information, contact: Rob Roedel, Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, 501.570.2296 or rob.roedel@aecc.com

ADE, ADH LAUNCH NEW PROJECT TO REDUCE HEAT-RELATED ILLNESS
The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) and the Arkansas Department of Health’s (ADH) Emergency Medical Services for Children Program are launching a new project this spring to prevent heat-related illness among student athletes and youth. The goal of the Exertional Heat Illness Project is to educate and train school administrators, coaches, parents, caregivers, emergency medical personnel and communities on ways to avoid or treat heat-related illness in youth.  Three thousand packets containing heat safety training materials for school administration and staff will be distributed to public, private and charter schools in the state beginning this month and ending in May. The materials will include a DVD about exertional heat illness, educational posters, a brochure for younger students, a letter from the Arkansas Activities Association and a quick reference card for parents and caregivers. “We know that it will take cooperation from school administrators, parents, students, activity directors, coaches and Emergency Medical Services in order to prevent heat illness in our youth,” said Tom Kimbrell, Ed. D., and Commissioner of Education. “We want to be able to provide engaging but safe physical activities for our students and this project is a step in the right direction.”  People suffer heat-related illness when their bodies are unable to compensate and properly cool themselves. While the elderly, the very young and people with chronic health conditions are most at risk for heat-related illness, even young and healthy individuals can be severely affected by heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather. On average, more than 400 people in the U.S. die each year due to heat-related illness. In Arkansas, between Jan. 1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2013, more than 300 individuals, with an average age of 13, were transported to a hospital because of heat-related illness. According to the Korey Stringer Institute, over 80 percent of all exertional heat illnesses that occur during sports activity occur within the first week back to activity. In addition, July and August are the most deadly months for catastrophic sport deaths.  “Heat-related illness is 100 percent preventable if people know the right things to do at the right time,” said Greg Brown, Emergency Medical Services Section Chief at ADH. “This project will help schools and communities save lives.”  Funding for the project is provided by ADE, ADH and Lifetouch. Other partners include the Korey Stringer Institute, the Kendrick Fincher Hydration for Life Foundation, the Arkansas Activities Association, the Arkansas Athletic Trainers Association and Cabot Public Schools.

March, 20 2104

RELAY FOR LIFE AT THIS WEEKS LIONS CLUB
During this week’s Noon Lions Club, Betty Robertson of Relay for life talked about the event and how it has made an impact over the years. The annual event that started in 1997 has raised money for fighting cancer. During the first two months, the team raised over 35,000 dollars, and last year they raised over 119,000 dollars, all going to help prevent cancer, and help those who already have it. Robertson also talked about how Ouachita County is number four in the state, with 42 sponsors, who paid over 16,000 dollars to the team. In the 17 year existence of the Ouachita County Relay for Life, the team has raised more than a million dollars. If you would like to take part in this year’s Relay for Life, the event will be taking place on Friday, May 30th. The event will last from 6:00 pm until 2:00 am. Taking place at Coleman Stadium, this year’s Relay looks to be one of the best that the county has ever had.  

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE REPORT
Earlier this week Lt. James Bolton was dispatched to 157 Ouachita 266 to a reported stolen vehicle. Upon the officer’s arrival he made contact with Mr. Scott Demorrow, who stated that his 18-year-old daughter Kayla had been wanting to leave home for several days. She was told that she could leave at any time but could not take the car. The daughter apparently left a note and drove off in the 2003 Ford Focus. Mr. and Mrs. Demorrow do not know where she is, but say she might be with her boyfriend, Will Curry, who lives with his grandfather. A BOLO was issued for the vehicle statewide. 

SWACDC PRESENTS “KICK BUTTS DAY”
On March 22nd, there will be a “Kick Butts Day” sponsored by the Southwest Arkansas Community Development Corporation or SWACDC, who have made great strides in the fight against tobacco. Kick Butts Day is a day of activism that empowers youth to stand out, speak up and seize control against Big Tobacco. Every day more than 3000 kids under 18 try smoking for the first time and 700 kids become new regular, daily smokers. Tobacco use is still the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., killing more than 400,000 people every year. By getting involved in Kick Butts Day and other activities, America’s youth can raise awareness about the tobacco problem, encourage peers to be tobacco-free and support effective solutions to reduce tobacco use. The event will take place in the Southview Family Life Center in Magnolia from 10:00 am until 1:00 pm. For any additional information you can call 870-234-3700 ext. 12.

MAN ARRESTED FOR DRUGS AND FIREARMS IN COLUMBIA COUNTY
Investigators with the Magnolia Police Department, Columbia County Sheriff's Office, 13th Judicial District Drug Task Force, and Arkansas Parole and Probation went to 805 Nixon St. on Monday to arrest Cedric Paschal on a warrant for absconding. When investigators entered the residence they located several firearms and drug paraphernalia. 30-year-old Paschal, is charged with absconding from his parole, possession of a firearm by certain person, and possession of drug paraphernalia. He is held under $50,000 bond.

LEARN MORE ABOUT FOIA DURING SUNSHINE WEEK
Arkansas consumers interact with their state and local governments in one way or another every day. And, as taxpayers who support those governmental entities, Arkansans have the right to review an array of records at every level of government and to attend meetings of policy-making, tax-supported governing bodies. That right is provided to Arkansans through the Freedom of Information Act, a law enacted by the General Assembly in 1967 that allows for access to most public records and meetings. Arkansas’s Freedom of Information law is one of the strongest and most comprehensive in the country. The state’s FOIA gains greater attention during National Sunshine Week each year in mid-March. National Sunshine Week is observed across the United States to highlight the importance of open government and freedom of information. In recognition of National Sunshine Week, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel today issued this consumer alert focusing on the state’s Freedom of Information Act. McDaniel said “Our state’s robust FOIA gives Arkansans an opportunity to be actively engaged with government agencies and well-informed about the issues that affect us all,” and “Better-informed citizens make for a better government. I have always believed a strong open-records and open-meetings law to be one of the hallmarks of a democratic society.”

March 19, 2014

HOMELESS MAN CHARGED WITH MURDER OF LAFAYETTE DEPUTY SHERIFF
A homeless man has been charged with second-degree murder for causing the death of Lafayette County Chief Deputy Sheriff Allen Ray “Pete” Richardson on Monday afternoon in a three-vehicle accident on U.S. 82 west of Lewisville. According to a statement from the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office, the 50-year-old Richardson, was transporting 28-year-old Michael Lee Ackart, of Tulsa, OK, to a shelter in Texarkana in a Sheriff’s Office Dodge Nitro when it collided with a small passenger vehicle and a tractor-trailer about four miles west of Lewisville. Richardson, who was also the county’s criminal investigator, died at the scene. Lawmen think that Ackart reached the vehicle’s steering wheel, causing it to swerve into the other car and strike the tractor-trailer. Ackart was transported to Wadley Regional Medical Center in Texarkana and later moved to the Miller County Jail.

SPRING COMMUNITY SALE
There will be a Spring Community Sale on Saturday, March 22nd from 8:00 am until 2:00 pm at the Carnes Park Community Center in Camden. The cost is $15 per 10’ x 10’ booth and one table will be provided. Space is limited and will be filled as applications and payment are received. Proceeds will benefit the Christopher Davis “Cancer Warrior” Memorial Scholarship. Individuals and groups that want to reserve a space can contact Ophelia Lindsey at (870) 898-0325 or e-mail olindsey30@gmail.com. There will be a teen Spring Break Party on Saturday, March 22nd at Carnes Park. Doors will open at 8 p.m. Admission is $3 before 9pm and $5 after. Security will be strictly enforced.

ANNUAL SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS REGIONAL SCIENCE FAIR 
The 33rd Annual Southwest Arkansas Regional Science Fair will be held at Southern Arkansas University on Friday, March 21.More than 460 third- through twelfth-grade students will be on hand at SAU representing more than 400 science projects. Public viewing of the projects will be available from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.Elementary (third- through sixth-grade) projects will be displayed in the W.T. Watson Gymnasium with awards being announced in Reynolds Center Grand Hall at 1 p.m.Junior high and High school projects will be displayed in the Auxiliary Gymnasium of the Brown H.K.R. complex with awards to be in the Reynolds Center Foundation Hall at 1 p.m.Judging is from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. Public viewing is not allowed during judging. A total of 19 schools will be represented from the following districts in southwest Arkansas: Bradley, Camden Fairview, Columbia Christian, Camden Christian, Emerson, Genoa, Harmony Grove, Heart Homeschool, Junction City, Magnolia, Norphlet, Texarkana, El Dorado, Smackover and Taylor.The Southwest Arkansas Regional Science Fair is hosted by Southern Arkansas University, the SAU STEM Center for K-12 Education and the South Central Service Cooperative.

REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOL MATH WIZZES SHINE AT SAU TOURNAMENT
More than 130 regional high school students competed in the Arkansas Council of Teachers of Mathematics (ACTM) Regional Mathematics Contest on Saturday, March 1, 2014, at Southern Arkansas University. “SAU hosts annually this annual regional tournament to recognize high school students with exceptional mathematics skills”, said Dr. Khalil Dajani, chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at SAU. “This event serves as a great opportunity to highlight the academic achievements for our region’s young mathematicians.” Dajani welcomed the students at the awards ceremony and told them about SAU’s new Engineering and Computer Game and Animation Design and degree programs. These Computer Game and Animation Design program started in 2013, while the exciting new Engineering program is set to kick off in Fall 2014. These programs serve the state and south Arkansas counties with unique opportunities for students. Faculty from the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science proctored and graded the competitors’ exams. Faculty participation included Dr. Deborah Kincaid (ACTM Regional Director), Dajani, Dr. Hasan Shehada, Dr. John Hutchens, Dr. Hong Cheng, Beth McDowell and Katie Moe. Kincaid announced the award winners for first, second and third from the various mathematics disciplines, including Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Trigonometry/Pre-calculus, Calculus and Probability and Statistics. Dajani presented the region’s winners with trophies. Students placing first, second or third, along with others from a statewide pool of high scores, will be invited to participate in the state contest. It is scheduled for Saturday, April 26, 2014, on the campus of the University of Central Arkansas in Conway.

SAU WRITING FESTIVAL
The top 36 young writers from 537 entries were recently honored at the Southern Arkansas University annual Creative Writing Festival. Students from across south Arkansas submitted poems, short stories and creative non-fiction essays to be judged. Cash prizes were awarded for first, second and third place honors in the twelve categories, and first-place winners took home a trophy. The festival is hosted by the SAU Department of English and Foreign Languages, and was held on March 8, 2014.

FALLEN FIREFIGHTERS’ MEMORIAL
After 25 years of fundraising and creation, the Arkansas Fallen Firefighters’ Memorial will be dedicated at 1 p.m. Saturday. The memorial is located on the west side of the Arkansas State Capitol Grounds in Little Rock. This site is a place of remembrance, honor, and education for this and future generations. Additional names will be added, as needed, each year at an annual ceremony. Three Magnolia Fire Department firefighters are on the list. Carl Wallace, Gaston Walthall and Ollie Ware were killed in a fire at an oil storage tank in the Macedonia community on September 21, 1944.

WASHINGTON COUNTY MAN ENTERS ANOTHER GUILTY PLEA
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel recently announced that a Washington County man sentenced to prison last month on child pornography charges has been convicted of first-degree sexual abuse. 61-year-old Johnny Carte, of Evansville, pleaded guilty to the sexual abuse count, a Class C felony, in Izard County Circuit Court on Monday. Izard County Circuit Judge Tim Weaver sentenced Carte to the maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and ordered him to pay a $500 fine. Carte’s sentence will be served concurrently with the 80-year sentence handed down in Washington County Circuit Court in February after Carte pleaded guilty to eight counts of distributing, possessing or viewing matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child and two counts of sexual indeceny with a child. “I commend the agents in my office’s Cyber Crimes Unit for working to hold this man accountable for crimes he has committed in different parts of the state over the past two decades,” McDaniel said. “Our state has no tolerance for illegal actions that harm our children.” Carte was arrested three times last year as part of an investigation by the Attorney General’s Cyber Crimes Unit. In June 2013, Carte was arrested for computer child pornography charges after agents from the Cyber Crimes Unit executed a search warrant at his home on Hale Mountain Road in Evansville. A month later, he was charged with sexual indecency with a child. Then, in August 2013, Carte was arrested on the Izard County charge related to a crime that occurred in that county more than 20 years ago.

TELEMARKETER ORDERED TO PAY PENALTIES, RESTITUTION
One of five Florida-based telemarketing companies accused by Attorney General Dustin McDaniel of violating state and federal law has been ordered to stop its illegal practices and pay more than $168,000 in penalties and restitution, according to McDaniel. U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright on Monday ordered Financial Management Partners Inc. and its owner, Eric Pugh, to pay $78,000 in penalties and $90,277.50 in restitution to consumers for violations of the federal Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act, the Telemarketing Sales Rule, the Arkansas Consumer Telephone Privacy Act, the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Arkansas Advance Fee Loan Brokerage Act. McDaniel filed suit against Financial Management Partners and others in 2012, accusing the companies of engaging in illegal, automated and prerecorded calls, known as “robocalls,” to hundreds of Arkansas consumers. The companies touted their ability to help consumers reduce their credit-card interest rates in those calls. Despite being paid for the services, the companies did little or nothing to help Arkansas consumers. “Financial Management Partners and at least four other companies inundated Arkansans with annoying, illegal telemarketing calls, and they even disguised their phone numbers to avoid detection,” McDaniel said. “Worse, when consumers did agree to pay for the services that were advertised, the companies took their money and failed to deliver on promises to lower credit-card interest rates. Fortunately, these companies will not be engaging in those types of illegal practices in Arkansas again.” Financial Management Partners was accused of transferring existing consumer credit-card debt to new cards. Interest rates on the new cards were only temporarily lower. After a short time period, the interest rates returned to the same level or even higher levels than the rates on the old card. With the judge's order, four of the lawsuits have been successfully resolved on behalf of Arkansas consumers. Last year, Consumer Global Services LLC, Financial Ladder Inc., and Associated Accounting Specialists Inc. were all found in violation of state and federal laws and ordered to pay penalties and restitution. A lawsuit against one other company is still pending.

POSITION OPEN AT OUACHITA COUNTY FARM SERVICE AGENCY
Ouachita County Farm Service Agency has a vacancy for a full-time temporary position. The open application period is from March 19th to March 25th. Salary potential will be based on education, work experience, agricultural knowledge, and background. Applications can be picked up at 351 Washington Street, room 220 in Camden. Please contact David Goodson at 870-836-2089 ext 2 or 870-246-9816 ex 2 for more information.  

PECAN TREE WORSKSHOPS
A propagation and maintenance of pecan tree workshop will be presented by Miller County Extension Agent, John Turner. The workshop will cover selecting varieties and location, fertilizing, pruning, insect control and other basic care of pecan trees. Workshops are scheduled for 1:30 pm and 5:00 pm on Thursday, March 27th at the Ouachita County Cooperative Extension Office located at 2760 Mt. Holly Road in the Boys and Girls Club Complex. To register for either workshop, contact Keri Welch at kwelch@uaex.edu or by calling 870-231-1160. The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, and disability, martial or veteran status.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB REPORT
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet this week at Catherine’s Bistro in Camden. This week’s speaker will be Betty Robertson with Relay For Life.  She will be telling us what they are doing and what is coming up in the next few months. For any additional information and how you can join the Lions Club, you can call Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440.

GOVERNOR BEEBE ISSUES LINE-ITEM VETO
Governor Mike Beebe has invoked the line-item veto for Section 16 of House Bill 1048, the appropriation bill for the Revenue Services Division of the Department of Finance and Administration. Section 16 adds a new category of items exempted from the State's gross receipts tax without following the constitutional steps of doing so during a fiscal session. Beebe's veto letter concludes with the following: Substantive changes to Arkansas law that have no relation to appropriations, such as Section 16 of HB 1048, should rarely be considered during fiscal sessions. If they are to be considered at all, it should be done through the process the people established in our Constitution, and not through "special language" amendments to unrelated appropriation bills. This is only the third line-item veto during Beebe's tenure as governor.

SAAC TO HOST ARTIST RECEPTION
The Visual Arts Committee of the South Arkansas Arts Center hosts an artist reception for “ARTboretum: A View of the South Arkansas Arboretum” by students of Washington Middle School 6th grade Studio Art Class on March, 20 from 5:30-7:00pm.   The reception is free and open to the public. The original work of Washington Middle School students inspired by a visit to the South Arkansas Arboretum are on display this month in the Lobby Gallery. Some of the students have described the experience in their own words. “I’ve seen leaves that I haven’t seen before.  I also saw branches in a beautiful tree. I saw birds and bird houses. I saw caterpillars that were different colors. I loved the cool breeze of the fresh air and I also loved it when Mrs. Maria helped me draw nature,” said Cordell Johnson. Grace Morgan said, “I learned a lot of things in art but the most important thing I learned in art is to pay attention to your art.  I used to compare my art to other people’s art.  You shouldn’t do that because you are one of a kind.  You love what you draw even if it isn’t the best thing in the world it’s still beautiful.  Mrs. Maria taught that it doesn’t matter what other people say about your art. Mrs. Maria is a wonderful painter and drawer so I admire her a lot.” “I learned about how to mix colors.  I learned how to make my birds, flowers, and branches in my drawings to look realistic.  I learned to turn the foreground and the background smaller and bigger.  I learned a lot while Mrs. Maria was here but my favorite would have to be working with watercolors in the arboretum photos.  Pen and ink was a nice experience that was taught to us.  I liked the small things like drawing random things,” said Madison Hogbin. ARTboretum is really a preview of a bigger Arts In Education project still yet to come.  AIE artist Maria Botti Villegas is working with Katie Harwell and her 6th grade Studio Art Class students to create a banner installation at the South Arkansas Arboretum. Part of the collection created for the project is on exhibit along with a series of studies of birds, plants, and flowers rendered in a variety of techniques like pen and ink, pastel, acrylics, and watercolors.  The banners will be on display during the fundraising event “A Night at the Arboretum,” which will be hosted next month. For more information about the reception, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474.

ASTEROIDS AND COMETS: ANCIENT RELICS OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM
There will be a Noon Symposium entitled Asteroids and Comets: Ancient Relics of the Solar System. The event will take place on March 19th starting at 12:15 and lasting until 1:00 pm.

Asteroids and comets are the residual building blocks that went into the making of the solar system and as such can tell us much about how the Sun’s neighborhood came to be.  Some of these fragments of rock and ice also pose a hazard for life on our planet.  This talk given by Darrell Heath, president of Central Arkansas Astronomical Society, will focus on the nature of these objects: what they are and where they come from and how we might be able to avert disaster should one be headed our way. RSVP by calling (870) 864-7192 or e-mailing ce@southark.edu.

March 17, 2014

OUACHITA COUNTY MOST WANTED
According to a list from the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, two females are wanted in the county. Jennifer Conn is a white female in her early 30’s with brown hair and green eyes. She is 5’4 and weighs 180 pounds. Conn has a warrant out for theft of property. The other female is Shalakskia Daniels. Daniels is a black female in her mid-20’s. She has black hair and brown eyes. She is 5’4 and weighs 145 pounds. Daniels has a warrant out for failure to appear on narcotics charges.

CAMDEN FAIRVIEW BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING
This Thursday night, March 20th, the Camden Fairview Board of Education will have a special meeting to be held at 6:30 pm. The meeting will take place at the Garrison Auditorium. One of the things being discussed will be regarding the provider of Broadband. 

PUBLIC MEETING TONIGHT IN STEPHENS
Tonight the fate of the Stephens School District should become clear during a special public meeting in Stephens. Dr. Tom Kimbrell, commission of the Arkansas Department of Education, will speak at the meeting. This meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in the Stephens High School Auditorium. The Stephens School Board recently requested to be annexed by the Nevada School District in Rosston, but the Nevada district prefers a plan to divide Stephens’ students among the Nevada, Fairview and Magnolia districts.

SPARKMAN TRUCK DRIVER CONVICTED FOR 2013 DEATH
A Sparkman truck driver convicted in Clark County District Court for the August 2013 death of a motorist has withdrawn his appeal to a higher court. Michael Mann, 45, of 1556 Highway 128, Sparkman, will spend 30 days in the Clark County Detention Center as part of a sentence handed down in August from District Judge Randy Hill. A Clark County jury was scheduled to sentence Mann on Monday. Because Mann was driving twice the legal posted speed limit on Aug. 29, 2012, his log truck fell on its side on Highway 7 in an "S" curve near Manchester Road and the L'Eau Frais Creek Bridge, the logs crushing James Hunter's sedan as the truck fell, killing Hunter. Three other cars were involved in the accident. The Clark County Prosecutor's Office charged Mann with negligent homicide, a Class A misdemeanor, and careless and prohibited driving. In a bench trial on the anniversary of the four-car accident, Mann pleaded no contest and was sentenced to one month in jail; the charge could have carried a jail sentence of up to a year. The remainder of Mann's original sentence will also be imposed. For the negligent homicide charge, he will serve a year of probation, 100 hours of community service, a year suspension of his CDL and a $1,000 fine. For the careless driving charge he will pay a $165 fine. "Now that this chapter has closed we are hopeful the healing process can continue for the family of James Hunter," said Prosecuting Attorney Blake Batson. At press time Friday, Mann had yet to be booked into the county jail to begin his month-long sentence. Mann, along with the logging company he was working for, Givens Logging, Inc., is also the target of two pending civil lawsuits resulting from the crash.

SAAC STUDENT ART AT STUDIO 207
The award winning works from the South Arkansas Arts Center’s 2014 Student Art Show and Competition are on display downtown at Studio 207 through the end of March.  Two of the winning pieces will be represented by a print of the work as the originals are currently in Little Rock in the Young Arkansas Artists competition. One of the winning works is also represented by a print as the original is currently hanging in the Lobby Gallery at SAAC. The biannual exhibit was hosted in the SAAC main gallery in February with award winning artist Sandy Bennett serving as judge for the competition. The students’ works will be the final exhibition on display at Studio 207 before closing their doors at the end of the month.If interested in opening an art supply store in the available space, contact Corrine Management on the square. For more information about the exhibition, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474 or visit www.saac-arts.org.

ENVIRONMENTALLY SPEAKING: ADEQ Program Ensures Accurate Lab Result
Comic book and other fiction writers have used the old standby “mishap in the lab” plot generator to produce heroes and horrors in works like Spider-Man and The Fly.In real life, laboratory mistakes and accidents can lead to serious problems. That’s why the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality is working to make sure the labs analyzing environmental data required for environmental permits are operating by acceptable scientific standards. In 1985 the Legislature authorized ADEQ to establish and administer the State Environmental Laboratory Certification Program and made certification mandatory for any lab that submits data to ADEQ to meet the requirements for a regulated facility, such as a wastewater treatment plant or any business or agency that involves hazardous waste or releases water into the state’s waterways. Of the 90 laboratories currently listed as certified on ADEQ’s website, 28 are in Arkansas; 13 are in Texas, and the rest are scattered across the country in 19 different states. Jane Hurley, chemist supervisor for ADEQ’s Technical Services (Lab) Division, oversees the certification program, keeping track of all the labs’ required documentation. Out-of state labs submit documentation from their state certifying agencies. Hurley visits the certified labs in Arkansas to inspect their quality control and quality assurance procedures, records keeping, reporting procedures, methodology, facilities, equipment, personnel, and analytical techniques for measuring parameters. Hurley said the most important requirement is performance testing. Twice a year, labs are tested on their ability to arrive at accurate results on tests they perform, such as self-monitoring reports required for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits. To retain certification, labs must submit their performance testing studies twice a year for evaluation to a provider lab approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Evaluation results are sent to Hurley.  Certified labs currently on the list have been approved to run anywhere from two to 87 different tests. Hurley said  “The lab certification program keeps labs accountable for following the approved methods and putting quality control requirements in place,” Hurley said. “The semi-annual testing of unknown samples is a great check on these procedures. The laboratories do a good job at meeting these requirements and quickly take corrective action when things go wrong.” Certification is available to all labs in the state, not just those that provide environmental data to ADEQ for permitted facilities. The University of Arkansas has three certified labs, including a lab in Mariana that tests soil samples brought to the university’s Cooperative Extension Service offices.  Southern Arkansas University, Ouachita Baptist University, Beaver Water District and Fort Smith Utility Department each have a lab certified by the program. Certification provides credibility to educational and public utility labs and can contribute to successful grant applications.

NEW JOBS COMING TO COLUMBIA COUNTY?
A welcome announcement about new jobs coming at a local company was among the highlights of last Thursday’s Magnolia-Columbia County Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet. Todd Beams, representing Hixson Lumber Sales, made the announcement while receiving on his company’s behalf the award for Business/Industry of the Year. Hixson, which operates a large sawmill along South Washington Street in Magnolia that employs 120 people, will build another sawmill at the site. Beams said ground was recently broken for the new mill, which will employ an additional 40 people. Hixson Lumber Sales hopes the mill will be ready to saw logs in July. Hixson recently purchased the former Hampton warehouse across South Washington and also along the Louisiana & North West Railroad. Two other local industries, Southern Aluminum in Magnolia and Weyerhaeuser in Emerson, also either plan or have expansion projects under way that are expected with the Hixson announcement to create about 120 new jobs in Columbia County.

March 14, 2014

CAMDEN MAN MISSING 
Camden Police Department is looking for a missing person. According to police 26-year-old Devon Lacy, was last seen on the afternoon of March 6th. Lacy’s Mother stated that Lacy had not been seen in several days and had not called family members, which is a strange behavior for him. Lacy's wife, Maria, said Devon went for a walk on the day of his disappearance and never came back. Officers also said that Devon's phone had been shut off. No identifying information, aside from the picture provided, was given. If anyone has information regarding the whereabouts of Devon Lacy, they are encouraged to contact the Camden Police Department at (870) 836-5755.

CAMDEN POLICE REPORTS 
Earlier this week Officer Jamario Bush of the Camden Police Department was dispatched to 604 Ft Lookout for a subject refusing to leave. Dispatched had advised the suspect was James Robinson. The officer conducted a ban list check on Robinson who was on the ban list. Upon Officer Bush’s arrival he made contact with the reporting person, Tamara Green and her boyfriend, James Robinson, inside her apartment. Green stated she and Robinson were arguing and she wanted him to leave. Robinson was placed under arrest and transported to the station without incident. He was booked with the approval of Sgt. Opelt. Robinson was given a criminal citation and a later court date.

Officer Clayton was on a routine patrol at Jefferson/ California. While he was in the area he noticed a maroon Honda Civic with a break-light out. The vehicle made a left turn onto California, where the officer initiated his emergency lights and the stop was conducted. The driver was identified as Jimmy Hill, who stated that he did not have a license and provided the officer with an expired insurance card. Both were found to be suspended for DWI. Hill was placed under arrest and transported to the station. Hill was charged with no break-light, driving on a suspended license, driving while license suspended for DWI, and no proof of insurance. He was later transported to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, where he placed bond. An inventory was complete on the vehicle and McKelvin’s was dispatched as the next wreck on the list.

TWO ARRESTED FOR MARIJUANA SCHEME IN MAGNOLIA
Two Magnolia residents have been charged in connection with the sale of synthetic marijuana, also known by its brand name of K2. Earlier in the week, search warrants were executed at 712 N. Dudney and 1340 U.S. 82 East Lot B10. Magnolia police said in a statement that the warrants stemmed from a three-month investigation into the local distribution of synthetic marijuana. 22-year-old, Victoria Lynn Orsak, was charged with the delivery of a Schedule VI controlled substance, possession of a Schedule VI controlled substance, and maintaining a drug premises. She is held at the Columbia County Justice and Detention Facility under $75,000 bond.

Michael Harper, also 22, was charged with possession of a Schedule VI controlled substance with intent to deliver, maintaining a drug premises, delivery of a Schedule VI controlled substance, and simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms. He is held at the Columbia County Justice and Detention Facility under $500,000 bond.

MAGNOLIA/COLUMBIA COUNTY LITERACY COUNCIL SUPPER
Magnolia and Columbia County Literacy Council will be sponsoring their Annual Spaghetti Supper on Tuesday, April 1st from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm. The event will be at the Magnolia High School Panther Café in Magnolia. There will be a live auction of items donated from local businesses and individuals beginning at 6:30 pm. The meal tickets are 10 dollars per person. The meal will include your choice of Chicken or Italian Spaghetti, Green Beans, Salad, Roll, Dessert and a Drink. You will also have the chance to win an Ivan Smith Recliner at the event. For tickets you can call 901-6028, or 234-6064, or visit the website mccliteracy.com.

BARTON LIBRARY BOOK SALE
Barton Library will be having an Annual book sale on Wednesday March 19th. The sale will take place at TAC House in El Dorado. The sale will last from 1:00 am until 6:00 pm, and will last until March 26th. For any additional information you can call Nancy Arn will Barton Library at 870-863-5447. There will be free admission to the book sale every day. 

March 13, 2014

BIANNUAL WATER AND SEWER REPORT
Water sales and meter accounts for 2013 are slightly down from the previous year, and show no real signs of improving in 2014.The financial status of Camden Water Utilities is sufficient to meet financial obligations, but with very little improvements being done to the infrastructure due to a loss of nearly 145,000 dollars in sewer revenues. Water funds have to cover this loss, which hurts both departments ability to schedule, and make much needed improvements in the infrastructure. A sanitary survey was conducted on the water system by the Arkansas Department of Health with the results being good.

DR. JOHNSON TO DELIVER LECTURE AT SAU
Southern Arkansas University professor of history Dr. Ben Johnson will deliver the inaugural installment of The Last Lecture Series at SAU at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 18, 2014.

The event will be held in the Reynolds Center Foundation Hall, and is free and open to the public. The “Last Lecture” tradition is one in which professors are invited to share what they would say if it were their last opportunity to address colleagues and students. The tradition gained popularity in 2007 when Dr. Randy Pausch delivered a talk titled "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" at Carnegie Melon University. Pausch's lecture became famous because it really was his last lecture as he'd been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and had only months to live. “When Dr. Johnson was invited to deliver the lecture at SAU, he agreed to do it but asked if someone knew something that he did not,” said Dr. Linda Tucker, associate professor of English. “Be assured that Dr. Johnson is not going anywhere as far as anyone knows.”
Johnson was selected to receive the first endowed professorship in Arkansas studies in 2013.
The John G. Ragsdale, Jr. and Dora J. Ragsdale Endowed Professorship at SAU was established by a couple who is known for their generosity and support of Arkansas history and will benefit Johnson, who has spent decades himself researching and writing about the Natural State.
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 is currently the vice-chair of the State Review Board of the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program and has served as vice president of the Arkansas Historical Association. He is also on the board of editors of the Arkansas Historic Quarterly. He and his wife, Sherrel Johnson, reside in El Dorado, Ark.

KEEPING YOUR BOOKS WITH QUICK BOOKS
On Tuesday March 18th, there will be a “Keeping Your Books with Quickbooks” session that introduces the popular accounting software program to small business owners with little or no experience using the software. Topics will include: setting up a new company, chart of accounts overview, working with list, and how to view transaction records and find information in your company file. The session will last from 9:00 am until 12:00 pm at the OPED Building in Camden. The speaker at the session will be Paul Bax, who is a Quickbooks Pro Advisor. The cost is free and for any additional information you can call Julia Nipper at 870-235-5033 or email her at jaulianipper@saumag.edu.

AVOID COMMON SCAMS
Arkansas consumers who are targeted by con artists risk more than just annoyance and inconvenience. Scammers can take hundreds or even thousands of dollars from consumers who fall victim to their illegal actions. However, with some vigilance and a little advance knowledge of a scammer’s tactics, most consumers can effectively defend themselves against scam attempts. To help consumers avoid scams, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued this consumer alert  listing details about the five most common scams reported to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division in 2013. The top five scams that affected Arkansans last year are still widespread, and several of the scams or variations on them have been prevalent for decades. “Con artists tend to use similar tactics such as a promise to send money or cars, but only if consumers provide some money first, no matter what type of scam it may be,” McDaniel said. “Having to pay money in order to get money is usually a good indicator of a scam. Also, consumers should always remember that something that seems too good to be true almost always is.” McDaniel recommended that consumers do research online if they believe an offer to be suspicious, as well as ask questions and get as many details as possible about the scammer that has approached them, such as phone numbers and other contact information. Scams should be reported to local law enforcement and to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division. The Consumer Protection Division’s website, www.GotYourBackArkansas.org, contains information specific to scams and how consumers can protect themselves. In 2013, the Consumer Protection Division fielded almost 7,500 complaints from consumers and recovered more than $1.8 million, mostly for consumers involved in legitimate business disputes. Based on those complaints related to scams, here are the top five most common scams from 2013:

INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY: The “International Lottery” scam and variations of it target thousands of consumers every year. In it, consumers are told they have won a brand-name sweepstakes or a lottery promotion and are promised cash or prizes, only if they pay a processing fee or “taxes” upfront. The promised prizes, of course, never arrive. An increasingly popular version of this scheme involves consumers receiving a phone call, typically originating from Jamaica, with the pitch that the new cars or cash are nearby and waiting to be delivered.

CREDIT CARD CALLS: Scammers use automated, prerecorded calls, also known as "robocalls," in which the scammers offer to help consumers lower interest rates on their credit card bills, but at a price. These scammers take a consumer’s money but provide no interest-rate relief. Those that do provide some help merely transfer the debt to another credit card with a promotional rate. Once that rate runs out, the subsequent interest rate is most often the same or higher than the previous rate. Additionally, scammers are using robocalls to tout scam medical alert and home alarm services.

GRANDCHILD SCAM: There are countless variations of the “favorite grandchild” scam, in which con artists make an emotional ploy to consumers, usually senior citizens, in an attempt to get them to wire money. The scammers purport to be a grandchild or a friend of the grandchild and say that the grandchild is in immediate danger or needs urgent help with medical costs or other expenses. The victim is asked to transfer money, usually to a foreign location. Of course, once money is wired out of the country, it is nearly impossible to get back. Those who believe they may be victims of such a scam should contact other relatives to determine whether there is an actual emergency.

PAYDAY LOAN COLLECTOR: Con artists in this scam try to extort money from a consumer by stating that he or she owes payments on a payday loan. The persistent callers contact the consumer’s workplace and even threaten jail time for those who don’t pay. Victims should disregard the threats and ask the scammer to provide written verification of the debt.

UTILITY SHUTOFF: Businesses and consumers in Arkansas and across the nation have been victim to a scam in which someone impersonating as a utility provider demands payment on supposedly delinquent bills. The scammer claims utility services will be shut off unless the consumer pays by a prepaid debit card or wire transfer, instead of a traditionally accepted form of payment. Consumers who receive this type of call or email should hang up and call the utility company directly. For more information about these or other scams, or for general information about consumer issues, visit the Consumer Protection Division’s website, www.GotYourBackArkansas.org, or call the division’s hotline, (800) 482-8982.

March 12, 2014

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE MOST WANTED
Recently the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office released a list of the most wanted fugitives in the county. Those on the list included 26-year-old Shalaska Daniels, who is a black female with a bench warrant out and was last seen in Stephens. Angelo Hempstead, who is a 48-year-old black male also has a bench warrant out. The list also had two arrest warrants out for Chris Elroy Dafney, who is a 30-year-old black male and 32-year-old white male, Billy Jo Walthall III. Both were last seen in Chidester.

CAMDEN FIRE DEPOT’S NEW FIRE HOUSE SOFTWARE
The Camden Fire Department has had a total of 1,045 National Fire Incident Reporting System or NFIRs recorded runs listed on our new Fire House Software compared to 574 runs that were listed on the old NFIRs recording system last year. This gives an example of how the new software program the department is now using is allowing us to record, keep and follow up on more incidents. The Fire depot have more than doubled the number of runs recorded. This will allow them to report incidents and store more information which gives us a more accurate and detailed record of their services. Along with the 1,045 runs recorded in the firehouse software, the department also had 1,213 other service calls which include most non-emergency runs that were not listed in the software, which gives a total number of 2,258 runs for last year. That number is down 290 runs from last year’s total. 

SOAP FOR A CAUSE
CASA is having a fundraising campaign entitled “SOAP FOR A CAUSE”. During this campaign CASA will be selling handmade soaps, with all natural ingredients. The varieties are available through April 30th. Prices are $5.00 per bar or $20.00 for 5 and you will need to place your orders by March 21st. For orders you can contact Stacy Bouzigard at 870-818-7379 or Cecilia Davoren at 870-807-2050. For information on how you can help make a difference in the life of a child in your community, please call 870-836-4700 or email casaouachita@sbcglobal.net.

GREAT CAMDEN CLEANUP 
The Great Camden Cleanup will be held April 5, 2014 beginning at 7:00 a.m. at the Riverwalk.  Participants will be provided T-shirts, lunch and trophies go to the teams with the most litter collected.  For more information and to register, please call 870.836.6436 or come by City Hall at 206 Van Buren.

USDA COMMODITIES DISTRIBUTION
There will be a USDA Commodities Distribution on Tuesday March 18th, and Wednesday March 19th. The distribution will began at 9:00 am at Carnes Park, located at 955 Adams Avenue SE in Camden. Food items may include frozen pork patties, carrots, apricots, dehydrated potatoes, frozen chicken and more. For any additional information you can call 870-836-3200.

ANNUAL TRIVIA CHALLENGE AT SAAC
Economics Arkansas will host its 16th Annual Trivia Challenge at the South Arkansas Arts Center on Thursday, March 13, from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. This year's theme is patriotic, so please encourage your employer to participate by hosting a team or serving as a sponsor! Co-Chairs Magen Olive of Murphy USA and Bob Watson, Superintendent of the El Dorado School District, hope you will support this event that provides funding for K-12 economic education in this region of the state. Beer, wine, soft drinks and great appetizers are served during the evening, and the best part is cheering for your associates as they vie for intellectual bragging rights. 

FIRST ANNUAL GARAGE SALE FROM UCSO
The Union County Sheriff's Office is sponsoring its First Annual “GARAGE SALE” to be held on Saturday, March 29, 2014 beginning at 6:30 am to benefit the Union County Relay for Life 2014. Donations can be made Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm at the Union County Sheriff's Office. To arrange to drop off your donations contact Erin Johnson, Nicole Conley, or Christine Jones at 864-1970 or by e-mail at chris_teen03@yahoo.com. All proceeds from this Garage Sale will go to benefit the Union County 'Relay for Life' 2014"Lights, Camera, CURE".

FARMERS BANK GIVES $250,000 TO SAU RODEO RECEPTION AREA 
Farmers Bank and Trust, a supporter of SAU since the University’s beginning in 1909, recently committed $250,000 to the reception facility at Southern Arkansas University’s Story Arena. This generous donation provides the bank with naming rights for the facility – Farmers Bank Reception Center at Story Arena, which is located on SAU’s campus on the north side of U.S. 82. “At Farmers Bank and Trust, we are happy to support activities that give back to the community,” said Farmers Bank Chairman and CEO Bob Burns. “We are delighted to help Southern Arkansas University, which is an invaluable part of this region and an important industry for our community.” The Farmers Bank Reception Center and Story Arena will welcome around 15 universities and guests to its first official rodeo event at 7 p.m. nightly this Thursday through Saturday, March 13-15, 2014. Admission prices are as follows: $10 for adults, children 5-12 are $5, and free admission for children 0-4 and SAU students, faculty and staff.

The annual fall SAU Intercollegiate Rodeo was postponed in 2013 to concentrate on completing the new arena. But now that the arena and reception area are nearly complete, the men’s and women’s rodeo teams are happy to host a home event. The SAU women’s team is currently ranked second in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Ozark Region, and the men’s team is ranked fourth. According to SAU rodeo coach Rusty Hayes, around seven of his team members are on track to qualify for the College National Finals Rodeo on June 15-21, 2014, in Casper, Wyo. The nearly 6,800 square-foot Farmers Bank Arena Reception Center will house functions that are necessary when hosting public events and will be the “front door” for the rodeo arena. Among its features, it will house the ticket booth, concession stand, men’s and women’s restrooms, a grilling porch, a covered concourse and large plaza, covered walkways to the arena, an outdoor fireplace, an office area, a conference room and a tribute to Farmers Bank’s century of support for SAU. An area inside the center will be dedicated to two past presidents of Farmers Bank and Trust, Mr. Robert Samuel Warnock and Mr. Thomas Samuel Grayson. Warnock, the first president of the bank, was the Columbia County representative to the Arkansas legislative assembly that authorized the creation of the Third District Agricultural School (eventually Southern Arkansas University). A strong supporter of the Farmers Union, Warnock contributed to the fund that helped secure the school for Magnolia and Columbia County. He later served on the TDAS board. As a state senator in 1929, Warnock helped assure the survival of Magnolia A&M and the other 1909 agricultural schools that had become junior colleges. Grayson, a sawmill owner and entrepreneur, was one of the founders of the bank and its second president.  
Along with providing an opportunity for SAU to host rodeo events on campus for the first time, the arena and reception center will also serve as an economic engine for the region.
The main structure will consist of a nearly 80,000 square foot covered rodeo-style arena with a dirt floor and seating for approximately 1,100.  It will provide a place for local and regional groups to hold equine and livestock events, concerts, trade shows, and other community events. Participants at these events will bring money into the local economy by eating in restaurants, shopping in local stores, and staying in local hotels. The SAU rodeo team will also be able to host a variety of events including high school rodeos, which will bring prospective college students to the SAU campus. 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. Along with Farmers’ donation for the Reception Center, the Walker Foundation invested $50,000, Bancorp South gave $10,000, and Entergy $2,500. The total cost of the SAU Story Arena and Farmers Bank Reception Center is around $4.4 million.

March 11, 2014

LOUISIANA MAN FINDS DIAMOND AT ARKANSAS SITE 
A 2.89 carat white diamond was found at Arkansas' diamond site by a Louisiana man.
Brandon Kalenda was visiting the Crater of Diamonds State Park while traveling from Louisiana to Minnesota. While he and his family searched the 37 ½-acre park, Kalenda located the diamond. Park Interpreter Margi Jenks released the following statement: No two diamonds in the rough are alike. This is a triangular-shaped diamond with a metallic appearance, and it's about the size of an English pea… Brandon found his diamond after searching for about 20 minutes in the Fugitt's Bank area of the park's search area. We encourage park visitors to look for pockets or layers on the surface of gravel, and search there. That's exactly what Brandon was doing. The stone was named the Jax Diamond after his infant son, Jackson. Kalenda told park staff he plans to keep the diamond.

CAMDEN CITY COUNCIL MEETING TONIGHT
The City of Camden will have a city council meeting tonight March 11th, starting at 7:00 pm in the council chambers of the Municipal Building. During the meeting the Alderman and Woman will discuss highway funds and budgets, sheriff’s budget and more.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS REPORT
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet this week at Catherine’s Bistro in Camden. The Speaker this week will be Jerry Burley with the OCMC auxiliary.  He will be letting us know what the volunteers do for our hospital. For any additional information on the Lions Club and how you can join you can call Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440.

BREAKFAST FOR DADS
Dad’s, grandpa and any significant others are invited to join CFIS students for breakfast. The breakfast will take place on March 14th, from 7:15 am until 8:00 am. Camden Fairview Intermediate School is Hooping It Up for Benchmark. Kids should wear their favorite basketball attire and be ready to score a basket for the Benchmark Test scheduled from April 7th-11th. The events will be hosted by parent involvement.

FLEA MARKET/ SWAP MEET AT OUACHITA FAIR GROUNDS
There will be a Flea Market/Swap Meet at the Ouachita County Fair Grounds in Camden. Opening March 15th, at 8:00 am. So fill free to come buy, sell, or trade. Vendors need to be there any time after 6:00 am to pick spots and or booths. Payment will be taken at this time. Feel free to join in on all the fun. For more information please call or text 870-678-3038.

BSA 5K RUN/WALK 
On Saturday, March 22nd, there will be a Union County Fairgrounds Track in El Dorado, there will be a Boy Scouts of America 5K Run/Walk. The cost is 20 dollars per entrant and 10 dollars for registered scout ages 6-18. Medals will be awarded to the following categories: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners for both cub and boy scouts. Also there will be awards for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd fastest overall males and females in the run and walk. Packet pickups will start at 7:00 am the day of the race.

ECONOMIC OUTLOOK LUNCHEON
On March 12, 2014, the Chamber is holding its first 2014 quarterly Economic Outlook Luncheon, sponsored by Clean Harbors, during which representatives from each community in Union County will have the opportunity to report what's going on in their backyard. This is a great opportunity to learn about so many of the good things taking place around Union County and to meet the leaders who are making them happen. Reservations required to (870) 863-6113 or chamber@goeldorado.com. The cost is $15 at the door.

SAU GIRL TO REPRESTENT ARKANSAS IN FFA COMPETITION
Arkansas FFA President Taylor McNeel recently won the state title at the Arkansas Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Discussion Meet, adding another accomplishment to her busy freshman year of college. With this win, McNeel earned a chance to represent Arkansas at the national discussion meet in Nashville in February 2015. She is a freshman agriculture business major and Honors College student at Southern Arkansas University. McNeel said "It was nerve-racking because it was my first time to compete at State, but I was glad to be able to win and have the opportunity to go to Nationals,".

SAU SELECTED TO HELP IN DEVELOPMENT IN IPAD PIOLET PROJECT
The Honors College at Southern Arkansas University has been selected to help develop a new learning management system (LMS) by participating in an iPad pilot project. Dr. Ed Kardas, director of the SAU Honors College and professor of psychology, said he was approached by EmpoweredU, asking if his students would participate in the pilot program. EmpoweredU is creating a new educational mobile platform application (app). The SAU Honors College is among 11 institutions nationwide participating. Other institutions include Clemson University, University of California at San Diego and the University of San Francisco. “We are anxious to see what unexpected benefits or pitfalls may result from our use of the app,” said Dr. Ed Kardas. “I provided content for the app, so it serves as another vehicle for instruction in addition to the textbook, my lectures in class and the student presentations.” EmpoweredU read online about how Kardas had incorporated use of iPads with his students in the SAU Honors College. The company corresponded with Kardas online, and they entered into a mutually beneficial agreement. “The benefit to us was the use of a free pilot app. The benefit to them was feedback from our students as to improve the app,” said Kardas.

FOURTH ANNUAL RIP POWELL GOLF TOURNEY
The fourth-annual Southern Arkansas University Foundation Rip Powell Invitational Golf Tournament is scheduled for Friday, April 25, 2014. The four-man scramble will be held at the Magnolia Country Club from with proceeds going towards the naming rights of the Mulerider football field in honor of legendary coach Rip Powell. The goal is to raise $100,000 to benefit the football program through facility enhancements. SAU Foundation currently has $60,000 towards this campaign. When the campaign goal is met, Coach Rip Powell will be honored through the naming of the football playing surface. Entry fees for this golf tournament are $100 a player or $400 per team. Entry fees include breakfast, lunch, and goodie bag for each golfer. A morning flight will begin at 8 a.m. and an afternoon flight starts at 1:30 p.m. Also, flights will be separated into a Gold Flight (“Real Golfers”), Blue Flight (“Pretenders”), Red-Shirts Flight (“Freshman Golfers”), and Promising Recruits Flight (“Non-golfers”). Sponsorships are also available to individuals and businesses ranging from a tee box sponsorship ($100) to a presenting sponsorship ($2,500) as follows:

·Presenting Sponsor – $2,500 Corporate name or logo on tournament hats, team of four with golf cart, Corporate name or logo on all printed materials, and tournament advertising, four reservations for company representatives at tournament breakfast and lunch, and supply promotional items for player bags.

·Gold Sponsor – $1,000 Corporate name or logo on tournament golf towels, Corporate name or logo on all printed materials and tournament advertising, four reservations for company representatives at tournament breakfast and lunch, and supply promotional items for player bags.

·Blue Sponsor – $500 Corporate name or logo on all printed materials and tournament advertising, two reservations for company representatives at tournament breakfast and lunch, and supply promotional items for player bags.

·Hole Sponsor – $200 Corporate logo or name displayed at hole.
·Tee Box Sponsor – $100 Corporate logo or name displayed at tee box.

Powell was one of the most beloved coaching figures in Southern Arkansas athletic history and his influence was felt by many. He served as head football coach at SAU from 1969-1978 and head track and field coach from 1964-1969.  He was inducted into the Arkansas Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2002 and was included as part of the inaugural class of the SAU Sports Hall of Fame in 2003. For more information on the Rip Powell Invitational Golf Tournament, please contact Josh Kee at (870)235-4321 or at joshkee@saumag.edu.

“CLICK IT OR TICKET” FOCUS ON THOSE LEAST LIKELY TO BUCKLE UP
State, county and city law enforcement agencies have kick off a two-week campaign warning young people that they risk getting a ticket if they don’t fasten their safety belts. Law enforcement officers across the state will be stepping up their enforcement of safety belt laws as part of the Click It or Ticket campaign.  The goal is not to write tickets, but to get everyone buckled up, especially teen drivers and their passengers. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens.  During the calendar year 2012 records indicate that 73 percent of young people ages 16-20 who died in traffic crashes in Arkansas were not buckled-up. “Teens and young adults are killed at far higher rates than older adults in crashes because they are caught in a lethal combination of inexperience, risk taking and low safety belt use,” said Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. Research shows that teens are not as concerned about injury or death as much as they fear getting a ticket.  “We want to reach those least likely to wear seat belts and most at risk to die in traffic crashes with this message:  If you don’t buckle up to save your life, then buckle up to save yourself a ticket,” said Colonel Witt. While national seat belt use stands at 84 percent, Arkansas’ seat belt use rate is only 77 percent.  Further statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate that safety belt use for teens and young adults continues to lag behind the rest of the population.

 Arkansas law requires:
· Seat belt use for drivers and front seat passengers.
· Everyone to be buckled up if a driver has a learners or intermediate license.
· All children under fifteen years of age to be properly restrained.
· Children younger than six years of age and weighing less than sixty pounds to be properly restrained in approved child safety seats. For more information on teen driving safety visit SaferTeenDrivingAR.org or for Click It or Ticket, contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136 

March, 10, 2014

CAMDEN POLICE REPORT
This past weekend Officer Jimmy Plyler was driving south on North Cleveland. When the officer arrived at the intersection of Washington Street and observed a black male on the same side of the road walking towards him. The subject was identified as Wesley Bell, who was staggering and appeared to be intoxicated, as his words were slurred when he tried to talk. The man stated that he had two beers, as he was staggering he did curse at the officer and was then taken into the station shortly after. After being placed in cuffs Bell became uncooperative and was then transported to the Ouachita County Detention Center and placed on 12 hour hold until intoxications wore off. Bell was issued a criminal citation and a later court date of May 7th. 

SAU ALUM FIGHTING FOR UKRAINE DEMOCRACY
With 15 years invested in Ukrainian’s fight for democracy, former Arkansas grassroots politician and SAU alumni, Brian Mefford urges the U.S. to take a tough policy with Russia to prevent annexation of Crimea and to give strong support for the new Ukrainian government. Mefford said “If 25,000 Russian troops arrived in Alaska because they claimed it was their historical land, Americans wouldn’t tolerate it and would be ready to take decisive action to remove them. The same thing is happening in Crimea under much the same pretext,”. Over the last three months, Mefford has witnessed large daily protests, physical violence and intimidation of protestors by police, as well as stress on the financial situation. He is certain that Ukraine will become a full European Union country, but he expects a roller coaster in the interim. According to Mefford, When it looked like martial law was about to be declared, there were lines of up to 20 cars at gas stations. A dozen or more people would wait in line at ATMs to withdraw cash. Grocery stores experienced runs as people stocked up on food in the event of war or martial law. Now the pressure is less but hard currency – U.S. dollars – is difficult to come by and the local currency has devalued by almost 25% since the crisis began in late November. With all of the political rhetoric on this situation dominating the news, Mefford offers a rare positive affirmation on the U.S.’s stance direct from the political trenches of Ukraine.

OUACHITA COUNTY EXTENSION HOMEMAKERS REPORT
The Ouachita County Extension Homemakers Council will once again present the Gladys Lindsey and Alphonso T. Denham Extension Homemakers Scholarships this spring. Scholarship guidelines and applications may be picked up at the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service located at 2760 Mt. Holly Road. For more information you can call 870-231-1160. Application deadline is April 15th.

ARTIST CALL FOR SAAC’S 2014 MEMBERSHIP SHOWCASE
The visual arts committee of the South Arkansas Arts Center is now accepting entries for the 2014 Membership Showcase, which will be on display in the Merkle and Price Galleries April 1-28.  Deadline for entries is March 28. The exhibition is sponsored by William P. Cook and Associates, PLLC. “In keeping with SAAC’s 50th Anniversary yearlong celebration of the best of SAAC, member artists have the opportunity to exhibit what they consider to be their all-time best work. These works could have been previously exhibited at SAAC, or be new, never before seen works,” said 50th Anniversary committee member Richard Wharton. This year, anything goes! With the exhibit being a showcase and not a competition don’t miss this opportunity to select two favorite works, created at any time in the artist’s lifetime. This year’s exhibition is not a competition and cash awards will not be awarded but artists are encouraged to sell their work, if they wish. Entry is limited to two pieces per member with the first entry free and the second entry only $10. The exhibit is open to any SAAC member.  All 2-D and 3-D fine arts media accepted, including photography and computer generated work.  Artwork completed under classroom supervision and/or reproduced from published material or work by other artists is not accepted. A full prospectus, which details the eligibility and rules of the showcase, is available at the SAAC office.

ARKANSAS DEER HUNTING COMES CLOSE TO SETTING NEW RECORD
Even though the weather has not been the most favorable this year, the 2013-14 deer hunt in Arkansas came close to equaling the record set the previous year. According to Arkansas Game and Fish Commission statistics, hunters checked 213,199 deer during the season, just under the record of 213,487. Union County repeated as the top deer hunting county in the state with 8,482 checked by hunters. Second was Drew County with 6,325. Cleveland County was third at 6,249, Bradley County fourth at 6,117, and Ashley County fifth with 5,918. Others in the top 10 were Grant County, sixth, 5,786; Columbia County, seventh, 5,742; Washington County, eighth, 5,588; Clark County, ninth, 5,559; and Arkansas County, 10th, 5,511. The season just ended had one other distinction. It was the first time more female than male were taken by hunters. The difference was small 107,247 does to 105,952 bucks.

RIBBON CUTTING CEREMONY IN EL DORADO
Join New Hope Prosthetics & Orthotics at a Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to mark the grand opening of this new El Dorado business at 416-B W. Main St. on Tuesday, March 11, at 4:00 p.m. An open house with light refreshments will follow until 5:30 p.m. For more information you can call Kay Smith, El Dorado Chamber of Commerce at 870-863-6113

March 7, 2014

SCHOOL BUS ACCIDENT IN CAMDEN
In the early morning hours of Friday, March 7th, there was a vehicle accident involving a school bus of kids. There are conflicting reports as to which vehicle caused the accident. Witnesses say that a vehicle, that appeared to be a van, was clipped by the bus at the intersection of Cash and Fairview Road. There was not much damage done to the bus but the front end of the van took some damage. Thankfully all the kids in the were safe. 

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORTS
Yesterday, Officer John Parker was dispatched to 500 Buchanan Street for a report of a fight in progress involving two brothers. Upon the officer’s arrival he met with one of the brothers and his mother outside. The man stated that he was Willie Randall born 10/03/1982, however his mother advised that his name was Cornelius Randall. The man told the officer that he had gave out his brothers’ information because he had in fact had a warrant out for his arrest with the City of Camden. Cornelius was taken into custody, charged with obstructing governmental operations and transported to the station. After booking procedures were completed he was transported to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office to be held until the next available court date, which is March 19th.

Officer Masalakov of the Camden Police, was recently dispatched to the Chat and Chew parking lot in reference to a possibly intoxicated subject. Upon arrival, the officer made contact with a male, later identified as Willie Johnson, who was sitting on the ground in front of Chat and Chew. Johnson’s eyes were bloodshot, and his speech was slurred. The officer could also smell intoxicants coming from Johnsons’ breath. Johnson had admitted to drinking. After Johnson was determined to be a danger to himself and others around him, he was taken to the station for booking procedures and then transported to the Ouachita County Detention Facility to be held until all effects wore off.

Officer Parker and Officer Finney received a report of criminal trespassing at Save-A-Lot on California Avenue. Dispatch advised that Zantonio Mitchell was banned from the property and was in the parking lot. The officers’ met with the reporting person, Brooke Strickland, who had called the report. She stated that Mitchell had been banned from entering the premises and was currently on the property. Once the officers’ found Mitchell sitting in a silver SUV in the parking lot, the arrested him and he was transported to the station. All booking procedures were completed by Sergeant Gilbert. 

STEPHENS SCHOOL MEETING CANCELLED
Stephens Board of Education meeting that was scheduled to take place on Monday, March 10th at 5:00 pm in the High School Library has been cancelled. Topics to be discussed were a financial report, executive sessions and more. Again the meeting scheduled for Monday, March 10th has been cancelled.

AFFORDABLE CARE ACT FORUM TO DISCUSS NEW HEALTH MARKETPALCE
Residents of Calhoun County and the surrounding area are invited to a free community meeting where they can learn more about the Affordable Care Act and how to shop for health insurance plans through the Health Insurance Marketplace (Marketplace). The event will be held Thursday, March 13th at First Baptist Church located at 330 S. 8th Street in Hampton from 5:30p to 7:30p. Free dinner will be served from 5:30p – 6:00p. Representatives from state health agencies will give a brief presentation on the Affordable Care Act and the Marketplace. Trained, licensed in-person assister guides also will be available prior to and throughout the event to help attendees enroll in the Marketplace. To be eligible to enroll, a person must be between the ages of 18 and 64, live in the U.S., and must be a U.S. citizen or lawfully present. This meeting is sponsored by the Arkansas Minority Health Commission, Arkansas Minority Health Consortium, AARP Arkansas and the Arkansas Insurance Department. The Arkansas Minority Health Commission.

For more information, call Tammi Williamson Bradley, 501-683-4970 or 877.264.2826.

CRAIGHEAD COUNTY WOMAN ENTERS GUILTY PLEA
Dustin McDaniel recently announced that a Craighead County woman arrested as part of an investigation by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit has been convicted of felony Medicaid Fraud. Amanda Fielder, 28, of Bono pleaded guilty in Pulaski County Circuit Court on Wednesday to one count of Medicaid Fraud, a Class C felony. She was sentenced by Circuit Judge Leon Johnson to five years of probation. She was ordered to pay a $6,648 fine and $2,216.16 in restitution. Fielder was arrested in January after investigators determined that she submitted false time sheets and received payment from Medicaid for services that she did not perform. Fielder lied about providing attendant-care services to a Medicaid beneficiary during the time period from Aug. 29, 2013, to Oct. 5, 2013. During that time, she lived 52 miles away from the beneficiary she purported to have assisted, and she had no transportation at that time. The Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigates instances of Medicaid fraud and abuse or neglect in nursing homes in Arkansas. To report possible fraud, call the Unit’s hotline at (866) 810-0016.

March 6, 2014

Photo: Miss South Central Stoni Butler with Camden-Fairview Key Club students at the Camden Noon Lions Club.MISS SOUTH CENTRAL TALKS EDUCATION WITH THE LIONS CLUB
Reigning Miss South Central and OBU phycology major, Stoni Butler recently spoke at the Camden Noon Lions Club at Catherine’s Bistro. The Camden native talked about what are role is in the Miss America Organization. The Miss America Organization is actually the number one provider of scholarships for women in the world. In the organization you compete in 5 different courses including one-on one will judges, fitness, evening gown, on-stage question and talent. Butler credits the organization for allowing her to gain skills she never thought she would. “The Miss America Organization has really given me the confidence and empowerment to stand up and do these kinds of things” said Butler. Now each contestant in the pageant must have her own personal platform and for Miss South Central that was “Raise Your Hand: Reaching Higher with Higher Education”, which is all about encouraging all students to pursue their education, whether that’s finishing high school or going on to any type of higher education. Butler said “it’s not about passing test, but personal empowerment and giving yourself the skills that you need to make the difference that you need to make”.

SAAC HOSTS ART RECEPTION FOR “TREES” EXHIBIT
The visual arts committee of the South Arkansas Arts Center hosts an artist reception in the Merkle and Price Galleries for the current exhibition “Arkansas Champion Trees: An Artist’s Journey” on Saturday, March 8 from 6-8pm.  The traveling exhibition is sponsored locally by Deltic Timber and is free and open to the public. Hot Springs artist Linda Williams Palmer will be in attendance to discuss her inspiration and the creative process behind her exhibition which has been on tour since September of 2012.  Palmer’s subtle yet complex depictions of Arkansas Champion trees invite us to take a closer look at the natural beauty that surrounds our daily lives. For more information about “Arkansas Champion Trees: An Artist’s Journey,” contact the SAAC office at 862-5474 or visit www.saac-arts.org.

SAU COLLEGE OF BUSINESS NEEDS ATTIRE DONATIONS FOR STUDENTS
The College of Business at Southern Arkansas University is seeking donations of contemporary, interview-appropriate clothing and accessories for their Career Closet for their students. The College of Business is seeking help from the community to help build the inventory of the Career Closet. Specific needs include professional suits and separates for men and women of all sizes; accessories like scarves, ties and belts for men and women; and shoes in all sizes for men and women. The Career Closet also needs clothing and shoe racks, display mannequins, signage and other basic clothing store fixtures. Once the Career Closet is up and running, currently enrolled students at the College of Business will be able to pick out up to four individual apparel items per semester or one suit during an academic year. The clothes they take are theirs to keep free of charge, said Traci Hughes, SAU business instructor. “The purpose of the new SAU College of Business Career Closet is to advance the professional appearance and confidence of our students by providing interview and work appropriate clothing,” said Hughes. “It will help students with their professional dress needs for interviews, career fairs, and professional conferences and competitions. Many students do not have the money to purchase appropriate attire for these activities the Career Closet will help with this and provide an educational opportunity as well.” Clothing to be donated should be in good condition, on hangers and ready to wear. It is preferred that clothing be less than five years old and/or contemporary in style. “Please donate items you would feel comfortable wearing on an interview yourself,” said Hughes. If you would like to help the Career Closet project, but do not have clothing to donate, any financial donations would also be appreciated, said Hughes. All financial donations to the Career Closet should be sent to the SAU Foundation at P.O. Box 9174, Magnolia, AR 71754. Please mark C.O.B. Career Closet on the memo line of check so that your donation can be designated appropriately. For more information about the SAU College of Business Career Closet, contact Hughes at (870) 235-4298 or TraciHughes@saumag.edu.

MEETING IN MAGNOLIA ABOUT PROPOSED AR MEDICAL CANNABIS ACT
There will be a public meeting in Magnolia on Thursday will hear about the proposed Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act. Speakers will be Gary and Melissa Fults, who lead Arkansans for Compassionate Care. They have been holding a series of local meetings across the state. They will introduce the current petition campaign to get the Medical Cannabis Act on the Arkansas ballot, address the science behind medical cannabis, and answer questions. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in the community room at the Columbia County Library. 

HUNGRYTOWN COMING TO EL DORADO
The New Hampshire based duo Hungrytown will be singing original and traditional style folk tunes in El Dorado, this Saturday March 8th. This is their 4th performance in El Dorado. Hungrytown has performed world-wide, most recently in New Zealand. The event will take place at the Barton Library, located at 200 E. 5th Street, the event is free and open to the public. For any additional information you can call Nancy L. Arn at 870-863-5447.

SECOND CHANCE AT LIFE FUNDRAISER BANQUET
There will be a 2nd Chance at Life Annual Fundraiser Banquet on Saturday March, 15th at the Village Outreach Center located at 1304 Hillsboro in El Dorado. Doors will open at 5:30 pm with the event starting at 6:00 pm. Tickets will be 20 dollars per person and are also available by calling 870-639-3935.

TOP TEN CONSUMER COMPLAINTS ANNOUNCED
Thousands of consumers contacted the Consumer Protection Division of the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office in 2013 with complaints regarding disputes with businesses or to report suspected scams or fraud. Based on reports from Arkansans last year, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has announced the top 10 most common types of consumer complaints received by his office. McDaniel issued this consumer alert in conjunction with National Consumer Protection Week.  Consumer protection agencies across the country observe National Consumer Protection Week in March each year in order to encourage consumers to make better-informed decisions and take advantage of their consumer rights. “We work every day to help consumers reach a positive resolution to any issues they may have,” McDaniel said. “By knowing the most common types of complaints that we receive, consumers can be equipped with information beforehand so that they can possibly avoid any problems. Our Consumer Protection Division website, www.GotYourBackArkansas.org, offers resources and advice to consumers about those important topics.” The Consumer Protection Division received almost 7,500 complaints from Arkansas consumers last year. Through informal mediation efforts, the division recovered $1,857,522.63 on behalf of consumers.

The top 10 most common complaints from last year, by category, were:
Automobile sales, service, financing, and repair
Credit services, credit repair and other financial services
Debt collection
Payday lending
Health care
Landline and wireless telephone services
Mortgages, foreclosures and home financing
Cable TV and satellite services
Utilities
Home improvement, repair and construction

Complaints about automobile-related transactions perennially top the list as the most common complaint categories for consumers who contact the Consumer Protection Division. Automobile transactions are among the most significant purchases a consumer makes, so those transactions gain significant attention if something goes awry. When dealing with automobile issues, consumers have reported being subject to “yo-yo” sales. These are sales in which a car dealer encourages the buyer to drive the vehicle off a lot before finance terms are finalized. When the buyer returns to complete the sale, the terms of the agreement have changed, usually leading to higher costs for the buyer. Under these circumstances, Arkansas law allows the buyer to cancel the transaction and recover his or her trade-in and down payment. Other types of auto-related complaints involve consumers who have faced pressure to buy add-on services such as gap insurance, credit life insurance and extended warranties. Complaints about misrepresentation of the condition of an automobile, such as salvage history, are also common. The credit and financial services category pertains to common complaints regarding credit repair, credit reporting, credit cards and banking and financing services generally. For instance, credit repair companies may promise to “erase” bad credit or provide a fix to credit reports, but most of the time the companies take a consumer’s money and do little or nothing to help improve a consumer’s credit. The third-most common complaint category, debt collection, also regularly ranks among the top complaints. Consumers report about harassing tactics, attempts by collectors to collect old debt, or issues with being misidentified as the party from which collectors are seeking money. The Consumer Protection Division’s website, www.GotYourBackArkansas.org, contains information about every common complaint category, as well as general tips for consumers who are navigating the marketplace. Visit the website for more details, or call the Consumer Protection Division hotline at (800) 482-8982.

March 5, 2014

CHIEF WOODY: “IT’S ABOUT THE PEOPLE”
Coming to the Camden Police Department in late 2004, Boyd Woody had no idea that he would one day be chosen to lead the squad as chief. Woody had come over from the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office and worked his way back up the ranks after joining on with the Camden Police. In a recent interview I had with the new chief, he said that law enforcement is in him and it’s something he will always do. Woody recalls when former Chief Bill O’Keefe arrived at the station in 2007. Woody said “At first I was real reluctant to it, I don’t know if I even liked it” but overtime he and O’Keefe built a great working relationship. “He really took me under his wing and taught me to think outside the box and I learned a lot from him” said Woody. After O’Keefe decided that he was going to retire, he turned in his retirement letter to Mayor Chris Claybaker and actually suggested Woody as the next chief of police. “The things that he has done over his 52 year career in law enforcement, for him to say you’re going to be a good chief really feels good to me” said Woody. When I asked the new chief what responsibilities fall under that title, he stated that the number one priority is the safety and security of the community. “I am dedicated to Camden” and “For me being a police officer, it never was about writing a ticket, it has always been about the people” said Woody.

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S REPORT
Earlier this week Deputy Michael Davidson received a call from dispatch concerning a subject wanting to file a report at 177 Car don Street due to his dogs being shot by his neighbor.  Upon the Officers arrival, he made contact with Wilton Dickson. Dickson stated that his two mix breed puppies got gotten into his neighbor’s chicken coop and that his neighbor shot his dogs. Dickson stated that he knows that he is responsible for the action of his animals, but he was upset because the dogs were only 2 to 3 months old. Davidson then spoke with the neighbor, David Reynolds who stated that he went outside to check on his chickens when he saw the dogs attacking them. Davidson then stated that he shot the dogs and had told Dickson to keep the dogs off the property many times before. At that time, the officer advised both parties that a report would be on file at the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office and Affidavit and Warrants would come into play if they felt they needed to take the matter further.

Also this week, Deputy Laduke spoke with Jo Paul Tidwell at the Pine Grove Camp on Ouachita 13. Mr. Tidwell stated that he went up to check on the camp, and when he arrived both doors to both the buildings were open. He immediately noticed that a refrigerator that was in the building, was missing. A microwave was also missing from the building. Inside the next building a refrigerator was also missing. One screwdriver was found which is believed to be what was used to break in.

ALZHEIMER’S SUPPORT GROUP “MANAGING STRESS”
The Ouachita County Alzheimer’s Support Group will meet from 1:00 until 2:00 pm on Wednesday March 19, in the library of the First United Methodist Church in Camden. The topic for discussion will be “Managing Stress”. Family Members caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s or a related disease are encouraged to attend. For further information call Anita Holt at 836-6833 or Nancy Bailey at the Area Agency on Aging of Southwest Arkansas toll free at 800-272-2127.

SAU TECH PRACTICAL NURSING PROGRAM DEADLINE 
If anyone is interested in SAU Tech’s Practical Nursing Program the deadline for applications is April 1st. The applicant must take and pass the TEAS entry exam. Only 2 dates remain and registration must be done ahead of time. You will also need to go to the Allied Health Website: http://www.sautech.edu/academics/alliedHealth.aspx. For further information you can contact Ms. Vontisha Murphy at 870-574-4585 or email her at vmurphy@sautech.edu.

SAAP TO MEET AT MURPHY OIL
The South Arkansas Administrative Professionals will meet at Murphy Oil Corp, 200 East Peach St., from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 6. SAAP members will be celebrating their second anniversary since forming the local organization. New board members will be inducted. Thank you to Murphy USA for sponsoring our March meeting. SAAP meets the first Thursday of each month. The group is open to all administrative professionals. For more information, send an e-mail to SAAPNetwork@gmail.com.

SUPERHERO SHOWDOWN WILL FIGHT CHILDHOOD OBESITY
Area youth are encouraged to attend the Superhero Showdown and become a health and fitness hero at the Southern Arkansas University Story Arena from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, March 8, 2014. Registration will begin at 12:30 p.m. at the Arena. A pre-registration form can also be found on Facebook atwww.Facebook.com/SAUSuperheroShowdown.

The event is being organized by the Enactus business student organization at SAU. It is free and open to the public. Children grades 1-5 are encouraged to participate and each will receive a free T-shirt, superhero mask, and a goody bag with items like a bracelet, fitness coloring books and dark chocolate.  There will also be several prize drawings during the event, including a grand prize of a Kendle Fire for one lucky participant. The mission of the event is to help conquer childhood obesity, according to senior finance Major Grant Dooley of DeQueen, Ark. “Fitness has always been a part of my life. I helped coach a little league softball team last year and it was sad to see how many obese children there were,” said Dooley. “I want the kids and parents to have the knowledge of what is healthy and what is not. And I want them to realize that you can have fun while exercising.” Children will get to run through a fitness obstacle course set up to not only get their bodies moving, but also to get their minds thinking about healthy choices. They will traverse a total of eight obstacles, including a marshmallow mountain and Twinkie tunnel. Captain Walgreens will be on hand to battle an unhealthy villain who stole all of the healthy food in Magnolia and replaced it with bad food options. Dooley said he and fellow Enactus member Jill Bridges presented the project to Walgreens officials and earned a $2,000 grant. The group also secured a highly competitive $1,500 grant from Sams Club. Through various contacts, they are also getting support from Cambell’s and Dr. Pepper Co. UAMS South is also providing support and will be at the event with a booth to provide information and demonstrations. Student organizations in the College of Business like Enactus (formerly Sife) and PBL have a well-documented history of success. Trophy cases in the Business Building at SAU are overflowing with accolades from state and national honors. The experiences students have outside the classroom in these types of endeavors are important in building leadership and teamwork skills for SAU Business students. To find out more you can visit www.yesradioworks.com. To find out more about the SAU College of Business, visit www.SAUmag.edu/Business.

March 4, 2014

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT
Earlier today, Officer Jimmy Plyer was requested to assist Officer Elliot on a traffic stop. When Plyer arrived on the scene, he met with Elliot who had advised him that she had stopped a black Sante Fe for an improper left turn and believed the individual was intoxicated. The driver was identified as Patrick Howard, who stated he had drank 2 beers. Howard’s eyes were bloodshot, his speech was slurred and thick. After the man failed a field sobriety test, he was taken into custody for driving while intoxicated. When at the station, Howard provided a breath sample, in-which he tested a number of 620 with a final test time of 0235 and a final result of 0.102. He was then issued a criminal citation for driving while intoxicated and issued a later court date of May 7th.

MAN AND WIFE ARRESTED AFTER KEEPING FAMILY MEMBER HOSTAGE
One man and his wife have been arrested in a bizarre kidnapping case, in which Magnolia police allege that the man kept his 77-year-old mother captive in a bedroom for a year-and-a-half.

40-year-old Charles Ronk, was charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment, two counts of aggravated assault on a family member, and battery on an individual over the age of 60. He is held under a $100,000 bond at the Columbia County Justice and Detention Facility. Police said that Ronk is unemployed. Charged with false imprisonment is his wife, 45-year-old Jessica Ronk, who is currently held under a $50,000 bond. She is a social work instructor at Southern Arkansas University.

SC LUNCH AND LEARN SMART DRIVERS COURSE
Smart Driver Course presented by MCSA Trauma and Chest Pain Center has AARP Smart Driver Instructor Cheryl Splawn MCSA educating the community about safe driving in an effort to decrease these traumas. Cars have changed. So have traffic rules, driving conditions and the roads you travel every day. AARP Smart Driver Instructor Cheryl Splawn will present a refresher that can save lives and may even get you a discount on your annual auto insurance premium. AARP membership is not required to take the course and there are no tests to pass.

The event will be on March 5th, from 8:30 am until 12:30 pm. Conference Room 3, First Floor Medical Center of South Arkansas 700 W. Grove Street. Reservations required to (870) 864-3282

LIST OF PERFORMERS AT THE DAFFODIL FESTIVAL
The Annual Daffodil Festival will take place this Friday, and Saturday in Camden. The list of performers and their times are as followed:

FRIDAY
Delaney Fogle 10:50-11:15am                         Alli Wofford 11:15-11:35am
CF Preschool Children 11:55am-12:15pm      CF Middle School Choir 12:15-12:30pm
CF Ivory School Choir 12:30-12:55pm           Harmony Grove High Choir 1:00-1:25pm
HG Harmony Hornets Choir 1:30-1:55pm      CF Intermediate School Choir 2:00-2:25pm
CF High School 2:30-2:55pm                          Josh Jeffers 3:00-3:25pm

SATURDAY
Telematic 9:30am-11:00am                              Sydney Pigot 11:05-11:25 am
Delaney Fogle 11:30-11:55am                          Delaney Fogle & Claire Mosley 12:00-12:10 pm
Chandler Walley 12:10-12:40pm                      Lane Smith 12:45-1:05pm
Kayla Blair 1:05-1:30pm                                   Josh Jeffers 1:35-2:00pm
Tammy Fogle 2:05-2:30pm                               Brandon Farris 2:35-2:55pm
Emily Notle 3:00-3:25pm                                  Evan Wheatley 3:30-3:55pm
Emily Davis 3:55-4:10pm                                  Lane Smith 4:10-4:30pm

UPCOMING BLOOD DONATION AT SAU TECH
During Red Cross Month, the American Red Cross invites everyone to make a difference in their communities by giving blood, volunteering, taking a class or making a financial donation. Those supporters enable the Red Cross to continue to help people in need like the Roux family.

Jenny Roux’s son, Blake, was born with a rare and serious chromosome disorder that causes multiple abnormalities. Jenny and Blake both received two pints of blood the day he was born. For Blake, that marked the first of many transfusions. Jenny said she knew her time with him would be short, but she credits multiple blood transfusions with helping extend his life.

“Without the blood transfusions, I don’t know that he would have even had the 10 months we had with him,” she said. At that point Jenny again turned to the Red Cross, and the organization’s Service to the Armed Forces program provided emergency communications about Blake’s death to her husband, who was deployed to Iraq. Thanks to everyday heroes, the Red Cross was there for the Roux family in their time of need. The Red Cross invites the public to discover their inner hero this month. To make an appointment to donate blood or for more information about other ways to get involved with the Red Cross, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Upcoming blood donation opportunities for Ouachita County

March 17 from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Southern Arkansas University Tech College, 100 Carr Road in Camden, Ark.
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org 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 redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

March 3, 2014

RIBBON CUT FOR COMMUNITY GARDEN
March 3rd 2014, will be a day to remember for the city of Camden. It was the day that the first ever Camden Community Garden was established. Many different figures from the Camden community such as Mayor Chris Claybaker, Assistant Mayor Kathy Lee, and Chief Bo Woody, Beth Osteen, City Clerk Donna Stewart and others were there on Adams Street to witness the cutting of the ribbon for this new feature for Camden. Mayor Claybaker said that this is going to be great for the community and he wishes we could have more of these. If you are interested in the Community Garden you, family and friends can take part of the event happening on March 15, from 9:30 am until 2:00 pm and help plant the first crop of vegetables and herbs. A light Lunch will also be served. 

CITY WIDE SYSTEM FLUSH RE-SCHEDULED 
Due to freezing weather, Camden Water Utilities scheduled annual city wide system flush has been postponed one week. Flushing will start Monday March 10 and last until March 14th. Caution should be used when washing clothes as sediment will be present from time to time during this period. Camden Water Utilities would like to apologize for any inconvenience this may cause its customers and ask for your patience and understanding during this time frame. 

WOODY IN AS NEWS CHIEF
This past Friday night, Bo Woody was officially sworn in as the new Chief of the Camden Police Department. Woody is taking place of former chief Bill O’Keefe who came out of retirement to the Camden PD in 2007. During his inauguration Woody promised the citizens of Camden that he will protect the city of Camden to the best of his abilities and help make it the safest it can be. For pictures of Bo Woody’s Inauguration you can go to the Y95 Facebook page. 

POLICE K9 PASSES AWAY
The Camden Police Department was saddened to announce the loss of on of their K9 Bak. Bak passed away this past weekend suffering from heart complications. Bak was a 10 year old German Shepard and had been a member of the department since 2008. Throughout his career Bak was credited for multiple criminal apprehensions and the seizure of tens of thousands of dollars in narcotics and contraband. A memorial service will be held in his honor on a later date. 

BASEBALL AND SOFTBALL SIGN-UPS
Baseball and Softball sign-ups at he Boys and Girls Club of Ouachita County have been extended until Friday, March 7th. 

TIME FOR SAU TECH’S ANNUAL MUD VOLLEYBALL
Well South Arkansas I hope you’re ready to get muddy, because it’s time for the Annual SAU Tech Foundation Mud Volleyball and Baggo Tournament Splat-tacular. The deadline to be a sponsor is April 11th, and the deadline to register a team is April 18th. The event will be open to all students, businesses, churches and all who want to participate. So be sure and join SAU Tech of volleyball, baggo, bbq, crawfish, a live DJ and more. You can call Patricia Rhinehart at 870-574-4716 for more information.

CITY COUNCIL MEETING IN CHIDESTER
The town of Chidester will be having a City Council Meeting tonight, starting at 6:30 pm. The meeting will take place at 5265 Highway 24 in the water office. For any additional information on the meeting you can call 870-685-2906.

BEAVER COMING TO SAU TECH
Jerry Mathers, known by many as Beaver Cleaver, from the hit T.V. show “Leave it to Beaver” will be the guest speaker at the Charlie O Ross Center on March 17th. Mathers will be speaking about the Golden Age of Television. For tickets you can call 870-574-4521.

THE GLASS HOUSE AT SAU TONIGHT
Southern Arkansas University is having The Glass House tonight in the Reynolds Room 210. The cost for the event is free and will start at 6:30 pm. So join SAU for open, honest, and respectful conversations about race-related issues and questions that are seldom addressed in mixed company. All are welcome to come and listen and/or participate in the discussion.

SAAC OPENS TRAVELING EXHIBITION FOR MARCH
“Arkansas Champion Trees: an Artist’s Journey,” a traveling exhibition by Hot Springs artist Linda W. Palmer, is an opportunity to view an art exhibit that ably references history and science as well as an appreciation for natural resources.  The exhibition fills the South Arkansas Arts Center’s Merkle and Price Galleries from March 4-28.  An artist reception will be hosted for Palmer on March 8 from 6-8pm. The exhibition is sponsored locally by Deltic Timber.  The exhibit includes eighteen large colored-pencil drawings of champion trees accompanied by detail drawings of foliage, documentary photographs of depicted trees, and informative text panels that share the artist’s perspective and help connect viewers to the information related to the champion tree topic. The colored pencil drawings demonstrate the best of the medium, one that is in wide-spread use in Arkansas schools. These large-scale interpretations give evidence of the nuance and sophistication that can be appreciated, aspired to, and achieved. At first glance, Palmer’s subtle yet complex depictions of Arkansas’ champion trees resemble oversized botanical drawings. While the artist is attentive to genus and species, the drawings exceed the demands of scientific illustration. Palmers’ ultimate goal was to interpret each champion according to the season of observation, location, historic context and human connection. She interprets each tree as a distinctive botanical example and as a witness to the events that have surrounded it. From this rich duality, Linda has drawn inspiration to imbue each drawing with singular specificity that implies much more than a identifiable tree, albeit a champion. Palmer developed this new series of work over a period of 5 years, driving approximately 7,000 miles to document and artistically interpret selected Arkansas Champion Trees. An experienced Arkansas artist, Palmer opened her first art studio and gallery in Ft. Smith in 1985 and currently maintains her studio and gallery in Hot Springs: the Linda Palmer Gallery, 800 Central Avenue, Hot Springs National Park. Awarded “Signature Status” in 2006 by the Colored Pencil Society of America, Palmer’s work has been selected for numerous juried exhibitions and collections across the country and in Europe.  The exhibit is organized for travel by the Arkansas Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts and is supported in part by the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, and by the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information about the exhibit, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474 or visit www.saac-arts.org.

TWO AR STATE TROOPERS RECOMMENDED BY COLONEL WITT
Two Arkansas State Troopers were recently recommended for consideration of promotion by Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police. The recommendations were submitted and approved during a regular monthly meeting of the State Police Commission. Sergeant Mark Hollingsworth, 53, of Mountain Home, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and will assume command duties of Company E within the department’s Criminal Investigation Division.  Lieutenant Hollingsworth is a twenty-eight year veteran of the department and most recently has served as a Special Agent supervisor within Company E.

Corporal Don Johnson, 46, of Lewisville, was promoted to the rank of sergeant and will assume post supervisor duties in Troop D of the department’s Highway Patrol Division. Sergeant Johnson is an eighteen year veteran of the department and most recently was assigned to highway patrol duties in the Lafayette County area of southwest Arkansas.

46TH ANNUAL JONQUIL FESTIVAL
Jonquils will be in bloom at Historic Washington State Park and a tremendous line-up of Entertainment and fun await those who will be visiting the park on March 14th through 16th for the 46th Annual Jonquil Festival. Friday March 14th the Arkansas Symphony String Quartet will be on the front porch of Williams Tavern Restaurant from 11:00 AM until 1:00 PM entertaining those who are in line to get a great home cooked meal at the Tavern. Under the big tent on Friday from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM, sit down and enjoy the sounds of “The Hartley Family”, followed by the “McWilliams Family” from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM.  Saturday March 15th is highlighted with “Midnight Hurricanes” performing from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM, followed by the wonderful family fun of the McWilliams Family again. And for those who want to combine a Sunday afternoon with the best in Christian/Gospel Music join the Hartley Family again under the big tent from 11:30 to 1:30 PM.  Since the festival host hundreds of crafters during this weekend, we wouldn’t want folks to miss visiting any of the great booths and vendors so we will also have the Hempstead County Melody Boys strolling the craft grounds to provide their great Bluegrass, for the avid craft shopper! Oh, and please feel free to join in or request your favorite song! Back this year for all three days, is the 3000 gallon Arkansas Game and Fish Aquarium providing a fun and educational experience for all ages.   Along with the great home cooking of Williams Tavern Restaurant, folks can enjoy the “Best” in festival foods on our food court, with plenty of places to take a break, eat and enjoy music and the atmosphere that is so unique to the Historic Washington State Park Jonquil Festival! Festival hours are Friday March 14th and Saturday March 15th from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Sunday March 16th from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.  General Admission is free, with a $5 fee for parking. Park tours and programs are available at regular price with tour stops such as the BW Edwards Weapons Museum, Print Shop and the Blacksmith Shop, along with many more on the schedule. Mark your calendars and don’t forget to plan on a wonderful visit to celebrate Spring with Historic Washington State Park.  For more information call 870-983-2684.

February 28, 2014

WOODY TO BE SWORN IN AS NEW POLICE CHIEF
Tonight at 5:00 pm, Bo Woody will be sworn in as the new Chief of the Camden Police Department. Woody was chosen by Mayor Chris Claybaker earlier this year. Woody has been with the Camden Police Department since December 2004, coming over from the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office. Woody will be taken the place of Bill O’Keefe who came out of retirement in 2007 to take the position as police chief.  

SAU MARKETING TEAM EARNS SIX AWARDS
The staff at Southern Arkansas University Communications recently earned six national marketing awards. SAU Communications earned three national honors from both the Collegiate Advertising Awards and the Educational Advertising Awards. Included in the honors were projects relating to their “Taking the Mulerider on the Road” public relations initiative in 2013. Josh Jenkins, SAU Manager of Web Communications and Online Marketing, won two Gold awards, one from each competition, for his custom website, www.SAUmag.edu/OntheRoad. Jenkins joined SAU Communications in August 2013, and this was his first contest entry as a Mulerider staff member. The website Jenkins created is a mobile responsive, one-page modern website with advanced design features. The site also integrated dynamically with social media outlets. Communications also took home a Silver and a Bronze for the TV commercial that featured Mulerider Megan Maye and Molly Ann riding through Texarkana to promote new classes being offered in that area. Another Bronze was earned for the “Complete College Experience Stories” video.

The tragic loss of Barnard to cancer just prior to her graduation from SAU is not what people remember, it was her inspiring positive spirit that has kept her memory strong. “It amazes me that my precious little daughter used her life in such a big way to shine light in a dark world,” said Barnard’s mother, Nanette Hoyle. “You would not believe the many people, including SAU students, who have sent messages and letters about Whitley’s impact on their lives.” Hoyle and Barnard’s sister, Mallory Reeves, are featured in the video tribute. They knew Whitley wanted her story told. “She asked us to do that before she left us,” said Nanette. “And I know that above all she wanted her faith and how God worked in her life to be what everyone saw. It is what gave her peace throughout the storm.” The Whitley Reeves Barnard Finish Strong Scholarship reached the minimum award level during the 2013-14 fiscal year, and will earn sufficient income to begin providing part tuition for the 2015-16 school year. As additional donations are received, the amount provided to the recipient will increase toward the ultimate goal of providing a full tuition scholarship for a student in the College of Business. The endowment is approximately a third of the way to that goal. Those wishing to invest in the scholarship may do so by visiting www.SAUFoundation.org and clicking on the “Make a Gift” button or by calling the SAU Foundation at 870-235-4078. The Twenty-Ninth Annual Educational Advertising Awards were sponsored by Higher Education Marketing Report. The Educational Advertising Awards is the largest educational advertising awards competition in the country. This year, nearly 2,000 entries were received from over one-thousand colleges, universities and secondary schools from all fifty states and several foreign countries. According to the Collegiate Advertising Awards’ website, they provide an elite program designed to recognize today’s most talented educational marketing professionals for outstanding excellence in all forms of advertising, marketing and promotion.

BLOOD DRIVE AT HARMONY GROVE HIGH SCHOOL
The National Honor Society is sponsoring a blood drive at Harmony Grove High School's Auditorium on March 6, Thursday, from 8:30 am -2:30 pm. Contact 574-0656 to set up an appointment or just drop by to donate.  A scholarship for a 2014 senior will be given if we reach our goal of 54 donations.  The senior with the most community persons donating in his/her name will receive a $250 scholarship from the American Red Cross. 

GOVERNOR BEEBE ORDERS FLAGS TO BE LOWERED TO HALF STAFF
Governor Beebe has ordered Arkansas flags to be flown at half-staff on Friday, February 28, 2014. The flags will be lowered to honor Fire Chief Randall Pogue of Oak Grove, who died in the line of duty on February 19.p

HAMBRICE: “GREAT YEAR FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT”
At the recent Magnolia Economic Development Corporation, executive director Cammie Hambrice, was happy about prospects for an improved local business outlook.  Hambrice said “I’m real excited about what we have going on locally, in our local industries,” and “I just think this is going to be probably the best year we’ve had in a long, long time as far as our economic development.” Hambrice stated she is actively working with existing local industries that are looking to expand operations, of which there may be as many as four. Should they all materialize, she said it would mean approximately 170 new jobs, a number more than are usually created when a new industry comes to the area.

GARDEN SERVICE DAY
There will be a Community Garden Service Day taking place on March 15th from 9:30 am until 2:00 pm. This event will take place at 625 SE Adams next to the OPED Building. Please feel free to bring your family, friends, and garden gloves to help plant the first crop of vegitables and herbs. A lunch will also be served at the event. For additional information you can contact Kathy Lee at 870-836-6436.  

WEBSITE IN A DAY SEMINAR
Does your business need a website? Have you been held back by a lack of funds or a lack of technical skills? Then, Website in a Day is the hands-on workshop for you! Come sit down with the ASBTDC's laptop lab and design a free website using Weebly. You'll be taken step-by-step through creating a free account and creating an attractive, functional, five page website. All participants receive a free 20-page workbook with detailed instructions. The ASBTDC is able to present this seminar at no cost to Arkansas small business owners due to a joint partnership with Connect Arkansas, a private, nonprofit corporation dedicated to increasing high-speed internet and adoption throughout Arkansas There will be a Website in a Day seminar on Tuesday, March 4th, from 9:00 am-4:00 pm with a 1-hour break for lunch on your own. The seminar will be held at the UACCH Technical and Industrial Building in room 102. Cost for the event is free thanks to a special offer from Connect Arkansas.

FUR BALL BENEFIT IN EL DORADO
On March 1st there will be a UPCAPS Fur Ball Benefit from 8:00 pm until 11:00 pm. The benefit will take place at the Eldorado American Legion just off of Highway 7 towards Camden. The UPCAPS Fur Ball Benefit is being given to raise much needed funds for the little furry friends at UPCAPS. The Sonic Grove Band will be playing in the Starlight Room. For additional information you can call Commander Jerry Earnest at 870-918-9450.

February 27, 2014

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT
Earlier this week Sgt. TJ Robertson responded to Fort Lookout for a report of a disturbance. Officers had been dispatched to the same location for reports of fights, one was reported to have a gun, two other times within the previous hour. While investigating the first incident we were informed by one of the victims that her brother was one of the suspects involved in the disturbance. The man was identified as Jacoby Jordan. Officers observed Jordan walking north on Monroe Street. He was walking very fast and showed signs of intoxication. When asked; the man said he had been drinking. Jordan was taken into custody and charged with public intoxication, and later transported to the Ouachita County Jail to be held until he could be safely released.  

LIST OF CANDIDATES FOR OUACHITA COUNTY PRIMARY
Since the Ouachita County Primary is fast approaching here is a certified list of candidates:

Debbie M. Lambert for County Assessor
Britt Williford for County Clerk
Sylvester Lee Smith Jr. for County Coroner Surveyor
David Norwood and Charles White for County Sheriff and Collector
Garry L. Smith, Robert E. Garner and Robert A. McAdoo for County Judge

The list for Justice of the peace are as follows:
Ware Russell for District 1
Eddie Pickett for District 3
Harry Brown for District 4
Raymond Furlow for District 5
Addie Moore-Edwards for District 6
Dennis Truelove, Henry Carroll, Dale Lindsey for District 7
James Manley for District 8
Fred Lilly for District 9
Charlotte Young for District 10
Jerry West for District 11

MAGNOLIA MAYOR PRESENTED AS A “CERTIFIED MUNICIPAL OFFICIAL”
Recently, Magnolia Mayor Parnell Vann was presented with a certificate as a “Certified Municipal Official” in the State of Arkansas through the Arkansas Municipal League. He completed 21 credit hours of training which included three of five core classes in human resources, finance and budgeting.

NEW CHANGES COMING TO SAU TECH
With many changes soon coming to Southern Arkansas University Tech in the near future,

I thought it would be appropriate to talk to school Chancellor Corbet Lamkin about exactly what students and staff can expect. Lamkin talked about the new SAU Tech Student Center that is currently being constructed and is expected to be finished by May. This new building will seat twenty-one hundred and forty two people and one thousand people in a banquet style engagement. The cafeteria of the new building will accommodate approximately 200 people at a time, and there will also be a special private dining room for 30. There will also be a new campus bookstore and student services office inside the building. Lamkin said “We are very excited because in addition to the new building we will also have access to our gym that was taken out in the October 29th tornado in 2009” and “We believe the Student Life Center will allow us to host events that our community has not been able to host in the past, as well as serve our industries in the industrial park”. One of the great things about the new Student Center is that SAU Tech will get to host its own graduation starting in the Spring of 2015. SAU Tech will also have new on-campus student housing going up and to be ready by the Fall 2014 semester.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS DAFFODIL BREAKFAST
The Camden Noon Lions Club will be hosting a Daffodil Festival Breakfast fundraiser on Friday, March 7th from 6:30 am until 9:30 am at the St. John Episcopal Church in downtown Camden. The items for sale will include your choice of:

A plain biscuit or Cinnamon roll for $1.00
Sausage biscuit for $2.00
Sausage egg and cheese biscuit, bacon egg and cheese biscuit or biscuits and gravy for $3.00
Sausage, bacon, egg and cheese casserole for $3.50 or a 9x13 pan for $25.00
You can also order a pan of cinnamon rolls for $12.00. The Lions Club will deliver with a $20.00 minimum order. Orders must be faxed to 870-837-2331 no later than Thursday, March 6th. For any additional information you can call Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440.

MAGNOLIA HOSPITAL RAISES RATES FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 2006
For the first time since 2006, Magnolia Regional Medical Center will raise its rates.
A 10 percent increase will take effect in the near future with another 10 percent increase six months later. According to Chief Executive Officer Margaret West prices on everything have gone up considerably in recent years. She also said the increases are recommended by the hospital’s auditor.

FLU DEATH’S INCREASE TO 52; SEASON WORST ITS BEEN IN DECADES
According to the Arkansas Department of Health or ADH, the number of flu deaths this season has increased to 52.  The ADH said this year’s flu season is causing severe illness and death in adults between the ages of 25 and 50. The ADH says multiple hospitalizations in the 25-50 group have also been reported. You can also help reduce your risk of flu by washing hands frequently and avoiding those who are sick. Flu vaccine is available at pharmacies, doctors’ offices, and local health units statewide. If you visit a local health unit to get a flu vaccine, please bring your insurance cards with you. If you do not have insurance, the vaccine will be free. The 2012-2013 flu season was one of the worst in the past three decades, according to the ADH, so be sure and get your flu vaccine if you haven’t already.

CONSUMER PROTECTION DIVISION CAN HELP ARKANSANS
Arkansans engage in countless consumer transactions every day, and most of them take place without a hitch. Sometimes, though, Arkansas consumers may encounter problems in their day-to-day dealings. When consumers face problems such as errors on bills, defects in products or outright scams, the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division may be able to assist them. In fact, last year, the Consumer Protection Division recovered more than $1.85 million for consumers who needed help resolving their disputes. Since Attorney General Dustin McDaniel took office in 2007, consumers have received nearly $11.4 million as a result of informal mediation efforts by the division. Because National Consumer Protection Week is observed the first week of March each year, McDaniel recently issued this consumer alert to remind Arkansans about the resource available to them in his Consumer Protection Division.  “It is our goal to do everything within our power to help a consumer reach a positive resolution when they call our office with a complaint, whether it’s related to a misunderstanding about a routine business transaction or a clear instance of fraud,” McDaniel said. “We have helped consumers save a dime or two each month because of an error on a cell phone bill, and we have also helped recover thousands of dollars for consumers who have fallen victim to scam artists.” In 2013, the Consumer Protection Division recovered $1,857,522.63 through mediation on behalf of consumers. Also, many consumer complaints are positively resolved without any related financial recoveries. The division handled nearly 7,500 consumer complaints last year. By filing a consumer complaint and taking advantage of the resources available to them, consumers can often achieve positive results through the division’s informal mediation process instead of legal action, McDaniel said. Consumer complaints are handled by investigators who are specially assigned to deal with complaints in particular fields, such as mortgages, credit cards, or automobiles. This specialization allows consumer complaints to be mediated quickly and efficiently. The investigators work with attorneys in the Consumer Protection Division to identify companies that engage in unfair or illegal business practices. In instances of fraud or violations of the law, the division may go to court to have the illegal activity stopped and to obtain relief for affected victims. During National Consumer Protection Week, consumers across the country are encouraged to make better-informed decisions and take full advantage of their consumer rights.  The Consumer Protection Division’s website, www.GotYourBackArkansas.org, contains tips and resources to equip consumers with the information they need to navigate the consumer marketplace and avoid scams and fraud. The user-friendly website offers information about common consumer issues and contains up-to-date alerts about scams. The site’s content is divided into nine specific categories that allow consumers to easily find the tools they need to address a particular concern. To file a consumer complaint, or for more information about consumer issues, contact the Consumer Protection Division at (800) 482-8982 or visit www.GotYourBackArkansas.org.

February 26, 2014

SAU TECH TALENT SHOW WINNERS
SAU Tech is pleased to announce the annual SAU Tech Talent Show winners; Delaney Fogle took first place with her rendition of Alicia Key’s “If I Ain’t Got You’, Alex Ellis won second place with an acapella version of John Legend’s “Ordinary People” and third place went to Lane Smith for playing an acoustic     guitar instrumental.  First place prize was $150, second $100 and third $50. 

BRITT NAMED NEW DIRECTOR AT COLUMBIA CHRISTIAN SCHOOL
Columbia Christian School's Board of Directors has announced leadership changes at the Magnolia campus. Dr. Marla Strecker held the title of “executive director” at Columbia Christian. The school recently issued a statement thanking her for her service. “The accreditation process was a tremendous success. The school named Dr. Richard Britt, former Waldo School District superintendent, as the new school superintendent; and Bro. David Watkins, former pastor of First Baptist Church of Magnolia, as the school’s new chaplain. The statement read “Dr. Britt has an impressive career as a pastor, teacher, coach, principal and superintendent. Bro. Watkins has been in ministry for over 50 years serving in many areas including pastor and Baptist Missionary Association of America president,”. Strecker was named Columbia Christian School’s executive director in May 2012. At the time, she was an assistant professor of English and director of the Development Division at Southern Arkansas University.

DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY AWARENESS DAY
Southern Arkansas University will be having a Depression and Anxiety Day on March 11th, from 12:00 pm until 3:00 pm in the Reynolds Center Grand Hall. The event will help you learn more about depression and anxiety, prevention strategies, and resources that are available on Campus and the Community. This event will include information tables, stress-free zones, healthy food demonstrations, yoga demonstrations, refreshments, door prizes and more.

A list of times for events:
Food demonstration – 12:15 p.m. and 12:30 p.m.
Exercise/Yoga – 12:45 p.m. and 1 p.m.
Relaxation techniques – 1:15 p.m.
This event is sponsored by the Depression Research Center and Student Life. For any additional information you can call Stephanie Thompson at 870-235-5008

SAU GRADUATE LANDS DREAM JOB
Recent Southern Arkansas University Communication Design graduate Tyler Orsak has already landed a gig that ticks his requirements for a dream job. Orsak, of Magnolia, graduated from SAU in May of 2012 and now works at Administrator and Creative Director for Preston Palmer Studios (PPS) in Conway. In this role, he oversees the front end operations of the growing music school and guitar repair shop. He is also in charge of all design, marketing and creative work including the company website, film, ad graphics and collateral. “My dream job consists of 4 things: working in a creative environment, working with talented and interesting people, having the chance to grow and change, and breaking out into random musical numbers,” said Orsak. “Sometimes this job fires on all cylinders.” Orsak said he expects PPS to grow exponentially over the next few years. He would love for this growth to see him overseeing a small creative group of designers, in charge of a lifestyle brand that includes apparel and merchandise, custom builds, and film projects all circling around music. “I have a great passion for creating, so being able to design for an interesting, dynamic place that actually uses my concepts as their reality is such a reward,” said Orsak. Orsak recalls many aspects of his college life at SAU that were rewarding as well. “SAU is full of very kind people who will bend over backwards to help you get to where you need to be, but it also takes boat loads of initiative and hard work to be successful and stand out,” said Orsak. “As long as you embody the very best qualities of SAU – kindness and hard work – you will love your time there.” Along with his work with the SAU Department of Art and Design, he said he also adored being active with SAU Theatre. He remembers there never being a lack of passionate, hardworking people in the theatre department, or a lack of fun times. Orsak also served as a Resident Assistant for SAU Housing for three years. He helped run the Greene Light Art Studios, which is a unique program at SAU for art majors to have their own studio and creative space. “Obviously, my work and experiences in the Art Department at SAU stand above the rest, and I would have to credit that to the outstanding professors that showed me the ropes. Their mixture of experience, talent, skill, wit and guidance was what made my education so valuable. They were the tops,” said Orsak. He added that along with the professors, he credits the practical knowledge, opportunities to study abroad and chances to work in a “real world” environment as making the SAU art program top notch.

BUTTER KNIFE LEADS TO ARREST IN ARKADELPHIA
Arkadelphia police arrested a Texas woman for aggravated assault after she allegedly chased another female with a butter knife. 22-year-old Reshawn Antranel Handy, of Jefferson, Texas, was recently arrested on police charges of felony assault.  Formal charges are pending and will be determined by Prosecutor Blake Batson. According to a police report, officers were dispatched to 2551 Country Club Road in reference to a weapons-involved fight in progress. Witnesses told police that two females one of them armed with a knife, had been arguing in the road at Eagle Point Apartments. One of the witnesses apparently yelled that the police were being called, and Handy allegedly cursed at her before fleeing into a residence with the knife in hand. According to the report, Handy told police she picked up a butter knife during an argument with her girlfriend that turned physical. The woman was arrested and transported to the Clark County Detention Center. Officers were unable to locate the knife inside or outside the apartment.

ENVIRONMENTAL AWARD ENTRY DEADLINE APPROACHING
The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is still seeking nominations for the 2014 Environmental Stewardship Award, the annual recognition of citizens or organizations for their efforts to protect and enhance the state’s environment. Nomination packets must be postmarked by March 14, 2014, in order to be considered for the award, which will be presented at the April 25, 2014, meeting of the Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology commission. The “ENVY Award” was established in 2005 to honor a major contribution by an individual or organization involving environmental stewardship activities in Arkansas.  The award recipient will be selected from among the entries in five different categories of environmental-related activities or concepts: Innovation, Green Government, Environmental Education and Outreach, Environmental Improvement or Enhancement, and Sustainability ADEQ Director Teresa Marks will appoint a panel of judges to narrow the entries to a group of finalists from which the ENVY Award winner will be chosen. Each finalist will also receive recognition by ADEQ at the April Commission meeting.  More information on the criteria for the award and a nomination packet can be obtained by contacting Andrea Hopkins in the ADEQ’s Public Outreach and Assistance (POA) Division, telephone, 501-682-0820; e-mail, hopkins@adeq.state.ar.us, or by accessing the link in the “Hot Topics” box on the agency’s website at www.adeq.state.ar.us. An electronic copy of the nomination packet for the award is available on the website. Nomination packets should be addressed to: ENVY Award Packet, Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, 5301 Northshore Drive, North Little Rock, AR 72118.

SETTLEMENT REACHED WITH PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY
Yesterday, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced  that Arkansas, other states and the federal government have reached an agreement with Endo Pharmaceuticals to resolve allegations that the drug manufacturer engaged in unlawful marketing practices related to the pain reliever Lidoderm. The Arkansas Medicaid Program will receive a total of $147,448.39 from the settlement with Endo Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Endo Health Solutions. “When a company circumvents the law in order to increase its profits, the victims are the people of Arkansas and its Medicaid program,” McDaniel said. “I am glad that the states and federal government were able to reach this settlement for the benefit of the Medicaid program.” Endo is accused of illegally promoting Lidoderm for treatment of lower back pain or chronic pain, thereby causing false claims to be submitted to Medicaid between March 1999 and December 2007. The FDA had approved the drug only for treatment of pain associated with post-herpetic neuralgia, commonly known as shingles. Under the agreement, Endo will pay $172.9 million to the states and federal government, as well as a $20 million criminal fine.

February 25, 2014

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE REPORT
Earlier this week, Johnathan King came to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office to report fraud. According to the man, someone had obtained a Sprint account through his name and information and he had been receiving bills which he disputes at this time. He had also received documentation of the action he needed to be taken disputing this matter. The steps included receiving a police report. King did not provide any evidence other than stating that Sprint has possibly confused some social security numbers that were close to his own. King did provide a Sprint account number that had his old address on it.

This past Sunday, at approximately 12:10 pm, Deputy Laduke of the Sheriff’s Office spoke to a woman at Jays Country Store. The woman was wanting to make a report of theft of gas. The woman stated that a man pulled up in a faded black four door car and pumped $25.12 worth of gas into his car. When he was done he pulled out and headed south towards Stephens. The woman said she believes a red truck was traveling with him.

GENWEALTH FINANCIAL RIBBON CUTTING
You can join the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce for the GenWealth ribbon cutting ceremony this Thursday February 27th. The ribbon-cutting will take place at GenWealth Financial, located at 311 East Main Street in El Dorado at 11:45 am. For more information you can contact Kay Smith at 870-863-6113.

SAAC ANNOUNCES ART COMPETITION WINNERS
The visual arts committee of the South Arkansas Arts Center announces the winners of the 2014 Student Art Competition and Exhibition, which continues in all three galleries until April 29.  The awards were announced by judge Sandy Bennett during a recent art reception for the students.  The competition and exhibition is sponsored by Ann Pruet Calhoon and Paula Preut James with awards sponsored by Rainer Office Machines and Equipment. The competition was broken down into three divisions for judging: K-4 Elementary, 5-8 Middle School, and 9-12 High School.  Cash prizes were presented for First, Second, Third Place in each division with one work chosen for the new Betty Norman Best of Show award.

The winners are: First Place K-4 - "Girl with Guitar" (collage) by Mary Bone; First Grade, Hugh Goodwin.  Second Place K-4 - "Cool Glasses" (dyed glue print) by Baylor Blackburn; Fourth Grade, Northwest, and Third Place K-4 - "The Nutcracker" (crayon) by Spencer Langston; Third Grade, Northwest. First Place 5-8 - "Say Cheese" (charcoal) by Mikayla Greer; Seventh Grade, Barton, Second Place 5-8 - "Southern Belle" (mixed media) by Emily Wisinger; Sixth Grade, Washington, and Third Place 5-8 - "Sea Animals & Their Habitat" (oil) by Isabella Long; Fifth Grade, Washington . First Place 9-12 - "Untitled" (pen & ink) by Jessica Honyecutt; Twelfth Grade, El Dorado High, Second Place 9-12 - "Untitled" (linoleum block print) by Rebekah Ball; Twelfth Grade, El Dorado High, and Third Place 9-12 - "Gabi" (oil pastel) by Kacy Mays; Eleventh Grade, El Dorado High. The Betty Norman Award for Best of Show went to Barton Junior High Eighth Grader Hannah Wright for her mixed media work entitled "Dragon Dance."  The winning works will be on exhibition at Studio 207, on the square, during the month of March. For more information about SAAC’s art competitions, contact the office at 862-5474 or visit www.saac-arts.org.

THE ONLY NAME TOUR COMING TO MAGNOLIA
The Only Name Tour is rolling in to Magnolia on March 6th in the Columbia Christian School Gymnasium. The concert will begin at 7:00 pm, with the doors opening at 6:00 pm. Those performing include Big Daddy Weave, Group 1 Crew, and Tim Timmons. For tickets you can call First Baptist Church at 870-234-3595 or go to www.tickets.com.

MEXICAN AMERICAN SCHOLAR TO BE AT SAU THURSDAY
Mexican American scholar Dr. Manuel Medrano will discuss the legacy and increasing influence of Mexican Americans in Texas and the United States at Southern Arkansas University on February 27, 2014.The event is free and open to the public. It is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the SAU Reynolds Center Foundation Hall.Medrano’s speech is titled “Mexican Americans of South Texas: Heritage and Evolving Legacy.”Medrano is a professor of history at the University of Texas at Brownsville, specializing in Mexican American history and culture. He is a member of the Humanities Texas Distinguished Speaker’s Bureau, the recipient of the University of Texas Board of Regents Outstanding Teaching Award, and the holder of the Houston Endowment for Civic Engagement.He has authored or co-authored several books, including Medieval Culture and the Mexican American Borderlands, Charro Days in Brownsville, En Cuerpo y Mente, Imagenes, and En la Sombra de Mi Alma. Medrano’s most recent book is Américo Paredes, In His Own Words, An Authorized Biography. In addition, he has produced and directed twenty-three oral history profiles of people and events from south Texas and the Rio Grande Valley, including legendary folklorist Américo Paredes, acclaimed Tejano writer Rolando Hinojosa, and Chicano civil rights activist José Angel Gutierrez.Medrano received his Ed.D. from the University of Houston. He has taught at the University of Texas at Brownsville since 1972.

SAU ALUMNI ASSOCIATION RECIEVES RECORD GIFT FOR PAVILION
Thanks to a record gift to the Southern Arkansas University Alumni Association, plans for their pavilion are ahead of schedule to raise the roof on “Mulegating” and other campus and community events. SAU alum Laura Lusby Winning and her husband Kyle, of Little Rock, recently donated funds to name the pavilion “The Lusby Gathering Pavilion.” This gift is in dedication to Winning’s parents, Geraldine Tipton Lusby, former instructor of nursing at SAU, and Edsel Partee Lusby, former SAU sociology professor. “I cannot tell you how much SAU and Magnolia meant to me. This pavilion will bring together all of Magnolia, and really help SAU to reach out to its past and present students,” said Laura Lusby Winning. SAU President Dr. David Rankin and other SAU representatives met with the Winning and Lusby families recently to celebrate the naming of the pavilion. Winning revealed stories about her collegiate years at SAU, and shed light on some of the reasons she and her husband were inspired by this project. “Mom always let us gather friends together at the house and was always putting on gatherings. That’s one of the reasons this pavilion seemed like the right thing to do,” said Winning. “I want this pavilion to be a testament to Mom and all that Dr. Rankin has done for SAU and the community.” The Lusby family has a longstanding connection to SAU and Magnolia. Along with the parents teaching and Winning attending, other family members who have studied at the University include Kerri Lusby Peden, Allen Partee Lusby, Meghan Russell, Vona Jean Lusby Black, Billy Jo Black and Carl and Julie Plyer. The covered, open-air pavilion is expected to be 2,720 square-feet and able to hold around 250 people. It will have bathroom facilities, a fireplace and serving kitchen, as well as outdoor television screens. The pavilion will be located on the SAU Welcome Center lawn, which is a sea of activity throughout the year and especially before home Mulerider football games during Mulegating. “We are extremely excited about this new project and even more excited to offer our Mulegating alumni more comfortable accommodations to enjoy during their Mulegating experience,” said Ceil Bridges, SAU alumni director. Because of the anticipation leading up to construction of the pavilion, there is no doubt the pavilion will quickly be put to good use. Bridges said she is already booking events and gatherings.

LEE WITT ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY FOR FOURTH CONGRSSIONAL DISTRICT
Saying he is running to be an independent voice who will work on behalf of Arkansans, former Yell County judge and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Director James Lee Witt filed his candidacy for Arkansas’ 4thCongressional District. “I am running to make a difference for the people of Arkansas, not to make a career for myself,” said James Lee Witt. “I have travelled throughout the district and look forward to working with people on the issues they consider most important including jobs, jobs training and education.” “I want to take my Arkansas values of faith, family, hard work and common sense to Washington. We’re not going to solve the problems of the people from the 4th district with more partisan noise and name-calling,” said James Lee. “Washington needs consensus building more than ever before, and I have spent my adult life bringing differing opinions and individuals together for a common purpose,” said James Lee.  "Throughout my public service, I have strived for what was right and fair no matter who was in the room.” A lifelong resident of Yell County, James Lee began his career in construction.  In 1988, after five terms as Yell County judge, he was appointed to head Arkansas Emergency Services. In 1993, President Clinton appointed James Lee to become the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. After eight years at FEMA, James Lee returned to the private sector, founding a firm specializing in helping cities, towns, counties and states recover from disasters.  He lives and works on his farm in Dardanelle.

MCDANIEL CALLS FOR PATENT REFORM LEGISLATION
Yesterday, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced that he and 41 attorneys general from across the country have called on Congress to enact bipartisan patent reform legislation to protect small businesses and consumers from so-called “patent trolls.” 

Patent trolls acquire patents in order to attempt to extract licensing fees or settlements from those accused of patent infringement. Consumers, small businesses and nonprofit agencies are often targeted by patent trolls because the entities have used products with a wide range of patented technology, such as printers or scanners. In a letter sent today to ranking members of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce, Science and Transportation committees, McDaniel and his colleagues said that patent trolls “stifle innovation and harm our economy by making dubious claims of patent infringement and using the threat of expensive litigation to extort money from small businesses and nonprofits.” The threats from patent trolls are levied on many types of businesses, including banks, hospitals, restaurants and hotels. “Patent trolls are aggressively targeting small businesses across the country,” McDaniel said. “Federal patent reform will help to rein in the practice of sending deceptive demand letters to consumers. I strongly encourage any Arkansas consumers or businesses who have been victims of patent trolling to contact our Consumer Protection Division.” McDaniel said the Consumer Protection Division would investigate complaints about patent trolls to determine whether the actions violate state law. Attorneys general in their letter today asked Congress to preserve states’ existing authority to protect their residents from patent trolls. Senate bill 1720 and H.R. 3309, which has passed the House, would require greater clarity in patent demand letters, and both bills include patent litigation reforms that will help limit the power of patent trolls. To file a complaint about instances of patent trolling in Arkansas, call (800) 482-8982 or visitwww.GotYourBackArkansas.org.

February 24, 2014

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT
Yesterday, Officer Sharlotte Elliot of the Camden Police Department was with Officer Plyer in the area of the 600 block of Carver Courts Conducting a security check of the area. While in the area, Officer Elliot observed a man, identified as Marcus Golden, standing in the parking lot next to a vehicle. The officer made contact with Golden and conducted a housing authority ban list check with dispatch, who confirmed Golden was on the list. Golden was taken into custody at that time, where he was given a criminal citation and later court date.

ANNUAL CITY WIDE SYSTEM FLUSH COMING IN MARCH
Camden Water Utilities will be conducting its annual city wide system flush, starting March 3rd and lasting until March 7th. Caution should be used when washing clothes as sediment will be present from time to time during the period. Camden Water Utilities would like to apologize for any inconvenience this may cause its customers and ask for your patience and understanding during this time frame.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB REPORT
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet this week at Catherine’s Bistro in Camden. 

The speaker at Lions Club this week will be District Governor for Lions Club, James Griffin.  He will be talking about his recent trip to the Lions Club International Convention. For any information on the Lions Club and how you can join call Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440.

TIME FOR THE TALENT SHOW
With the Annual Black History Talent Show taking place at Southern Arkansas University Tech tomorrow night, I thought I would pay a visit to the woman in charge of the show, Santresa Wilkins. Wilkins has been a part of the Department of Secondary Education sponsored show since the beginning. Wilkins said that this year the audience should expect great talent as always, including an acoustic guitarist, a variety of singers, a comedian, and more. Wilkins also mentioned that SAU Tech alumni and Radio Works own Brandon Farris will also be performing at the event for the 2nd year in a row. She went on to say that this year’s show is not just for SAU Tech students, but the community as a whole. There will be prizes for the First, Second and Third place winners, with the first place winner receiving 100 dollars or more. Wilkins believes as the show gets bigger and bigger that people will begin to see the amazing talent not just at SAU Tech, but the Camden community.

OUACHITA COUNTY HABITAT FOR HUMANITY PRESS RELEASE
With help of their two homeowner partner families and generous financial support and physical labor from local business owners and supporters, the Ouachita County Habitat for Humanity has almost completed their third home. The Habitat for Humanity is asking all businesses, churches, civic organizations, friends, neighbors and philanthropist to partner with them as they push to complete this project. You can contact Michele McDonald by email at camdenhabitatforhumanity@hotmail.com for additional info.

MAGNOLIA MEETING SET FOR MONDAY AT NOON
Today, the Magnolia Regional Medical Center Board of Commissioners will meet at noon in the hospital board room. Topics such as Strategic planning reports, care connection grant, and progress on surgical clinic and surgeon search will all be discussed at the meeting. 

NEW OFFICERS IN MAGNOLIA
The Magnolia Police Department recently hired three new police officers. Officers Trentice Weatherspoon, Shumeecio Lark and Emily Palermo will be joining the force in Columbia County. The new officers were sworn in by Mayor Parnell Vann and Police Chief Glenn Maxwell.

DJ PAULY D TO PERFORM AT SAU
DJ Pauly D will be the featured performer at Southern Arkansas University’s annual spring concert. The free concert will be during the evening of Thursday April 10. The spring concert is normally held outdoors at the SAU football practice field, although the venue for the 2014 concert has not been announced. DJ Pauly D’s claim to fame is as a cast member on MTV’s “reality” show, “Jersey Shore.”.

MIDDLE EAST SCHOLAR AT SAU TODAY
Middle East scholar Dr. David W. Lesch will discuss the Syrian conflict, which rages into its third year of death and destruction, at the 2014 Southern Arkansas University Emerson-Thomas-Crone Lecture. The event is free and open to the public. It is scheduled for today, February 24th at 7:30 p.m., in the SAU Reynolds Center Grand Hall. Lesch’s speech is titled “Bashar al-Asad and the Disintegration of Syria.” According to Lesch, if this conflict continues to rage on indefinitely, it could have disastrous regional and international repercussions. According to the speech abstract, Lesch will answer many questions related to this conflict, such as:
 “How did it get to this point?”
  “How did Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, once thought to be a modernizing reformer, the so-called ‘hope’ of the Syrian people when he took power in 2000, become a leader whose name is now lumped together with Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi?”
“Did Assad use chemical weapons and what is happening to them?”
  “What are the possible outcomes of the conflict for Syria, the Middle East, and the world?”

Lesch is Professor of Middle East History in the Department of History at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. He received his Ph.D. in Middle East History from Harvard University. He was recently named the Ewing Halsell Distinguished Professor of History at Trinity University.

He is the author or editor of 14 books and more than 110 publications. He has consistently met with and advised high level officials in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and the United Nations on diplomatic issues. He has frequently testified in front of Senate and House committees. He also developed, organized and is the project director for the Harvard University-NUPI-Trinity University Syria Research Project: Obstacles to a Resolution of the Syrian Conflict. Dr. Lesch has led a team of researchers over the past year to meet with almost all of the players to the Syrian conflict domestically, regionally and internationally. It is hoped that this information will provide the necessary insights to and knowledge of the dynamics of the conflict in order to formulate possible pathways toward conflict resolution. He just completed an 850-page Final Report for the project and has been presenting and discussing his findings in Europe, at the UN, and elsewhere. He met regularly with Syrian President Bashar al-Asad between 2004 and 2009.

He lives in San Antonio with his wife, Judy Dunlap. The Emerson-Thomas-Crone Lectureship in the Humanities was established by an initial gift from Sarai T. Crone. Her son, John T. Crone, III, of San Antonio, Texas, completed the funding of her commitment as executor of her estate. The lectureship in the College of Liberal and Performing Arts at Southern Arkansas University provides for an annual presentation by an outstanding figure in history, literature, psychology, sociology, or political science. For more information on the Emerson-Thomas-Crone Lecture or on how to begin an endowment to fund a lectureship series, contact the SAU Foundation Office at (870) 235-4078.

February 21, 2014

FOURTH PERSON ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH STEROID CASE
A fourth person has been arrested in connection with the investigation into the sale of illegal anabolic steroids in Magnolia and El Dorado. 33-year-old Courtney Blair Austin, was recently arrested. Austin is charged with delivery of a Schedule III controlled substance and conspiracy to deliver a Schedule III controlled substance. She is currently at the Columbia County Justice and Detention Facility awaiting her first court appearance. Austin’s arrest is part of an ongoing investigation by the Magnolia Police Department, Columbia County Sheriff's Office, Arkansas State Police and the 13th Judicial Drug Task Force. 

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT
On February 20th, Sgt. Ben Opelt of the Camden Police Department responded to Officer Justin Easttam’s request for backup in front of apartment 1201 Ivory Heights. Easttam was on traffic stop in front of the residence and needed extra help dealing with multiple suspects. Upon Opelts arrival he was speaking with Easttam when he observed a man, later identified as Lamarcus Radford standing in front of the vehicle that was pulled over. Due to the fact that Lamarcus was in the immediate area of the traffic stop, the officers instructed him to walk away for safety reasons. The man took two more steps, asking why his brothers were stopped. The officers then raised their voices asking him to stop or he would be taken into custody. Radford obeyed and walked towards his apartment, however he was taunting the officers and calling them disrespectful. This led to Radford’s wife coming outside and threatening to sue the officers. The woman only became more loud and obnoxious, which led to the officers taking her into custody for disorderly conduct. Lashonda Radford was taken into custody, saying she didn’t care if she got arrested, she wasn’t going to change. Lashonda was released on a criminal citation with a later court date.  

GRAMMY AWARD WINNER DWIGHT YOAKAM COMING TO EL DORADO
Main Street El Dorado & El Dorado Metals will present Grammy Award-winner Dwight Yoakam live on Friday, March 14th at the El Dorado Municipal Auditorium.  The concert begins at 7:30 PM with doors opening at 6:30 PM.

A Grammy Award-winning artist, worldwide music icon and the 2013 Americana Artist of the Year, Dwight Yoakam has recorded 12 Gold albums in addition to nine platinum or multi-platinum albums, including the triple-platinum “This Time”. Five of those albums have topped the Billboard Country Albums chart with another 14 hitting the Top-10. More than 30 singles have made the charts with over 22 landing in the Top-20.  These incomparable hits include “Honky Tonk Man”,  “Please Please Baby”, “Little Ways”, I Sang Dixie”, “It Only Hurts When I Cry”, “Fast as You”, and  “Thousand Miles from Nowhere”. Dwight Yoakam has won 2 Grammys and earned a staggering 21 nominations while selling over 25 million records worldwide. Aside from his many accolades in the performing arts, Yoakam is also the most frequent musical guest in the history of the Tonight Show. Over the past 15 years, Yoakam has also carved a niche as one of the top character actors on film having appeared in Academy Award-winner Sling Blade as well as Panic Room, Wedding Crashers, The Newton Boys and more.

Mark Givens, Executive Director said “I can’t tell you how excited we are to have Dwight Yoakam coming to El Dorado for this incredible performance. He is a true international star!”  Tickets are reserved-seating and on sale now online at www.mainstreeteldorado.org or by calling the office of Main Street El Dorado at (870) 862-4747. Ticket prices are $100 (Golden Circle), $60 (Orchestra), $50 (Parquet), $40 (Loge) and $30 (Balcony). For more information you can contact Mr. Givens at 870-862-4747 or 870-866-7879.

STEVENS ALUMNI BALL GAME
Stevens High School will be having an Alumni Ball Game inside the High School Gym on March 21st. The game will start at 6:00 pm, admission will be 5 dollars per person. There will be free admission for any Senior Citizens, School employees, NHS members, and players. For more information and to sign up call 870-786-5442 or 870-786-5443 or jsimpson@stephens.k12.ar.us.

ADVERTISING AND PROMOTION COMMITTEE
The Camden Advertising and Promotion Committee will meet on Tuesday, February 25th at 3:00 pm. The meeting will be in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Building.

MCDANIEL FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST ONLINE ADVERTISING COMPANY
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel recently filed a lawsuit against a New Jersey-based online advertiser for attempting to coerce Arkansas businesses into paying for services the businesses did not authorize. Electronic Media Marketing Group, Inc., which does business as General Yellow Pages, is accused of violating the federal Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act, the federal Telemarketing Sales Rule and the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. McDaniel’s lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Little Rock. McDaniel accused General Yellow Pages of attempting to convince business owners that the businesses had agreed to a “free trial” of advertising, and because the service was not affirmatively canceled, they were obligated to pay hundreds of dollars for an additional year of advertising services. The defendant would then send $599.95 invoices to the businesses. The businesses had never agreed to an advertising “free trial” and the businesses had never sought paid advertising from General Yellow Pages, according to the suit. “In this audacious scheme, the defendant sought to deceive Arkansas business owners into paying for a service they had never heard of,” McDaniel said. “When businesses didn’t fall for the scam, the defendant continued to send bills, make repeated phone calls and threaten collection actions. I am confident that the Court will make sure these illegal actions are ended.” The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division has received multiple complaints from Arkansas businesses about General Yellow Pages’ practices.

Several businesses have asked General Yellow Pages to provide proof that free-trial advertising had been authorized, but the company has been unable to provide such proof. However, General Yellow Pages has continued to send invoices to businesses, some of which reflect “late fees” because the businesses did not pay previous invoices. One invoice was approximately $900. McDaniel asked the Court to issue an injunction requiring General Yellow Pages to cease its practices and to order the defendant to pay civil penalties, restitution and attorneys’ fees and costs.

February 20, 2014

BOLTON CHARGED AFTER BEING IN CUSTODY SINCE MARCH 2013
Nearly one year after authorities in North Carolina discovered the body of a Gurdon woman in the trunk of her own car, an indictment has been returned for the man who allegedly kidnapped her. Kevin Bolton has remained in custody since his March 21 arrest in Cherokee Reservation, N.C. It was on a highway there that authorities conducted a traffic stop on the car Bolton was driving and found the body of 20-year-old Cassandra "Cassie" Carter. Her family reported her missing on March 13, and the Clark County Sheriff's Office had issued a BOLO in reference to Carter. Initially, local authorities charged the 37-year-old Bolton, with the January 2013 armed robbery of the Gurdon Dollar General. Details surrounding that investigation came to light after Bolton's arrest in North Carolina; one of his former lovers provided detectives with information relating to his alleged involvement in the robbery. The Siftings is working to obtain more details about the new charges. Conner Eldridge, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced the new charges just before noon Wednesday. "We remain dedicated to prosecuting violent crime that occurs anywhere in the Western District of Arkansas," Eldridge said in a press release. "These crimes threaten our communities, and our job is to work together to hold those who commit these crimes accountable. I appreciate all of the hard work by Clark County Sheriff Jason Watson and Clark County Prosecuting Attorney Blake Batson in cooperating to see that justice is done in this case." Bolton is expected to remain in custody until trial.

LEADERSHIP UNION COUNTY CLASS THREE ANNOUNCED
A group of emerging future leaders of Union County have been selected for Class 3 of Leadership Union County, which is sponsored by Great Lakes Solutions and Nexans AmerCable. The 10-month program of the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce begins February 26, and is designed to develop leadership through community interaction, teamwork, networking and hands-on experiences. Leadership Union County Class 3 is getting ready to embark on a series of class sessions aimed at developing their leadership skills and introducing them to the unique challenges and opportunities that face Union County,” said Sam Allen, Leadership Union County chairman. "I look forward to the great things to come from these leaders.”  The community is invited to meet Class 3 at a welcome reception sponsored by Martin Operating Partnership on Tuesday, February 25, at the South Arkansas Arts Center starting at 5:00 p.m.  For more information on Leadership Union County or the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce, contact the Chamber at (870) 863-6113 or chamber@goeldorado.com. 

The 25 members of Leadership Union County Class 3 include: E.J. Billedeaux, Lion Oil; Carlos Buie, Murphy USA; NaKisha Carr, Salvation Army; Lori Coke, El Dorado Chamber of Commerce; Marsha Cowling, Life Touch Hospice; Brad Cousins, Nexans AmerCable; Traci Dutchover, Murphy USA; Amy Fries, Trotter Nissan Dodge Jeep Chrysler RAM; Scott Griffin, South Arkansas Telephone Company; Christy Gunter, Clean Harbors; John Lowery, First Presbyterian Church; Clay Mills, United Insurance Agency; Daniel Mullen, Chemtura; Jessica Nash, El Dorado Festivals & Events; Amber Pauley, Medical Center of South Arkansas; Brian Price, Murphy Oil Corp.; Denise Robledo, South Arkansas Community College; Haley Rowan, Evers, Cox & Gover; Robert Rushing, Baim, Gunti, Mouser & Worsham, PLC; Clemente Saenz, Physiques Fitness Center; Cheryl Splawn, El Dorado Connections; Alex Talley, Martin Operating Partnership; John Tolin, El Dorado Chemical; Brent Waters, Clean Harbors; and Cristen Woods, BancorpSouth.  

SAU TECH BLACK HISTORY MONTH CELEBRATION
Southern Arkansas University Tech will be having its Annual Black History Month Celebration at the Charlie O Ross Center in Camden tomorrow night, February 19, starting at 6:00 pm.

The special guest speaker for the event will be former U.S. Secretary of Transportation,
Mr. Rodney Slater. Tickets to attend the event are $18.75 per person and includes dinner and tables for eight are $150. The last day to purchase tickets will be tomorrow at 5:00 pm. For any additional info you can call Rhonda Givens at 870-574-4495 or email her at rgivens@sautech.edu.

BUSINESS AFTER HOURS
The Boys & Girls Club of Ouachita County will host Business After Hours on Thursday, February 20, at the Boys & Girls Club from 5:00 - 6:30pm. They will be showcasing programs & initiative of Boys & Girls Club of Ouachita County, Ouachita County Coop. Extension, & the Ouachita Area United Fund. Hors d’ oeuvres will also be available by Allen’s Restaurant.  

FUNERAL RULE PROVIDES CONSUMER PROTECTIONS
Upon the death of a loved one, grieving family members must quickly make decisions about funeral arrangements. Those decisions may be difficult for the bereaved at a time of such emotional duress. The array of options – including what type of funeral to have and what funeral provider to use – may be overwhelming. However, the federal Funeral Rule helps to simplify choices for those in grief and ensures that consumers’ rights are protected following the loss of a loved one. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued this consumer alert yesterday afternoon to inform Arkansas consumers about the Funeral Rule. The law enforced by the Federal Trade Commission ensures that funeral providers give consumers clear, itemized price lists for the products and services that they offer so that consumers can make informed choices based upon their budget and their needs. This also allows consumers to compare prices among funeral providers. “In their time of need, consumers can take solace in the fact that laws are in place to help them avoid purchasing unnecessary products or services by making sure that funeral homes clearly disclose their prices,” McDaniel said. “Consumers who choose to do so may request price lists from multiple funeral providers to find one that fits their needs.” Many funeral homes offer package prices for funeral arrangements, though the Funeral Rule gives consumers the right to buy separate goods or services. Consumers are not required to accept packages that include items they do not want. For instance, consumers may choose to buy a casket elsewhere or forego a ceremony or memorial service. The FTC urges consumers to resist pressure to buy goods or services they do not want or need. Funeral homes must provide a General Price List when consumers visit a funeral home. The General Price List must list the products and services offered by the funeral home and the cost of each item. Funeral homes are also required to provide price information over the telephone when requested. The Funeral Rule also requires funeral homes to give consumers a written statement detailing exactly what was purchased, the cost of each item and the total cost immediately after arrangements are made. Another provision of the rule states that caskets are not required to be purchased when a body is to be cremated. Instead, funeral homes that offer cremations must inform consumers that alternative containers, such as those made of unfinished wood or fiberboard, may be used. While outer burial containers such as burial vaults or grave liners are not required under state law, many cemeteries require them. Under the Funeral Rule, funeral homes must also disclose those prices, and it is not required for an outer burial container to be purchased from the funeral home directing arrangements. McDaniel joined the FTC in encouraging consumers to consider funeral planning in advance, since that gives time to research funeral homes for the best prices and relieves some of the burden from family members and friends. Contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at (800) 482-8982 or visit the division’s website, www.GotYourBackArkansas.org.

February 19, 2014

TEXARKANA MAN ARRESTED FOR BRINGING PROHIBITED ITEMS TO INMATES
A local Texarkana man who worked as a corrections officer for the Bi-State Jail has been arrested. Texarkana Police Department, or TPD, says 22-year-old Kyle Johnson, was bringing in prohibited items for inmates. The TPD says it was tipped off about Johnson's alleged actions by a confidential informant for its Criminal Investigation Division. The information developed led undercover investigators to believe the planned contraband introduction into the facility consisted of marijuana and tobacco. Johnson has been charged with furnishing, possessing, or using prohibited articles in a correctional facility, which is a felony crime.  

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE REPORT
On February 18, Lieutenant James Bolton was dispatched to Highway 376 South where the RP was following a vehicle that had left the scene after driving into a mobile home. Deputy Lewis made contact with the vehicle on Hwy. 376 just north of Elliot. Lewis made contact with the driver, Haley Dopson, Bolton went to the address of 4950 Hwy. 376 South where the incident occurred. Mr. John Estridge stated that he and Dopson jad been in a relationship off and on for about three months and yesterday they had decided to break it off. When Dopson came to retrieve her belongings an argument broke out and when she left, Estridge stated that she tried to run him over. She then backed up the vehicle and ran into the side of his mobile home. She then tried to run him over again, then left the residence. Dopson was issued a citation for Domestic Assault with a court date of March 20th and advised not to return to Mr. Estridges residence.   

SAU GETTING VISIT FROM RUSSIAN PROFESSOR
Visiting Russian professor Dr. Elena Kovaleva will be giving the first of her six public lectures for the semester at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 19, 2014, at Southern Arkansas University. Kovaleva’s presentation, “Sochi: the Story of Russian Olympics from Moscow 1980 to Sochi 2014,” will be held in Wilson Hall, room 303. Members of the public and University community are invited to attend. The remaining public lectures will similarly be held in Wilson 303, at 6:30 p.m., as per the following:

·         Wednesday, March 5 – “Some Symbols of the Great Russian Empire”

·         Wednesday, March 19 – “Romanov Royal Dynasty through the History of Russia”

·         Wednesday, April 2 – “Best Attractions of the Russian Capital: the Moscow Kremlin”

·         Wednesday, April 16 – “Best Attractions of the Russian Capital: the Tretyakov Picture Gallery”

·         Wednesday, April 30 – “Russian Traditions in Cinema”

Kovaleva is head of the Department of Translation and Translation Studies and a professor of foreign languages at Moscow State Pedagogical University. The exchange program between SAU and Moscow Pedagogical State University began in 1993. It was pioneered by retired professor of history David Sixbey, who was an enthusiast of Russian culture. The program provides opportunities for student exchanges as well as mutual professor visits, according to Dr. Svetlana Paulson, SAU associate professor of history. Russian professors like Kovaleva teach Russian classes at SAU as well as offer public lectures. SAU professors also travel to Moscow. The most recent trip was in 2013 when Dr. Paul Babbitt offered political science classes there. 

LOCAL RED CROSS VOLUNTEER MEETING
The Ouachita County Office of the American Red Cross will be holding its next volunteer meeting on Tuesday, February 25, starting at 6:00 pm. The meeting will be held at the W.K. Green Education and Conference Center, at Ouachita County Medical Center in Camden. Volunteers of all types, sizes, abilities and interest are needed and encouraged to attend. The program needs people to join and take training at their own pace before a major disaster strikes the community. For more information you can call John Lewis at 870-685-2318.

COMING SOON: EMERSON-THOMAS-CRONE LECTURE AT SAU
Middle East scholar Dr. David W. Lesch will discuss the Syrian conflict, which rages into its third year of death and destruction, at the 2014 Southern Arkansas University Emerson-Thomas-Crone Lecture. The event is free and open to the public. It is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on February 24, in the SAU Reynolds Center Grand Hall.

EVENING WITH THE STARS
Be sure and save the date May 2nd on your calendar as the SouthArk Foundations presents An Evening with the Stars, at 6:30pm in the El Dorado Conference and Student Center. This biennial gala will honor Friend of the College William R. Howard and Outstanding Alumni Melissa Jerry of First Financial Bank and Gregory Taylor of Martin Resource Management Group. In addition to acknowledging our honorees, SouthArk invite you to join us for a delicious meal, to bid on some outstanding auction items, and to have a great time dancing. For more information or ticket reservations, contact the Foundation office at 870.864.7106.

SAAC PRESENTS “LES MISERABLES”
Will you join in the crusade? The South Arkansas Arts Center and El Dorado High School Drama Department announce auditions for the upcoming spring production of Boublil and Schonberg’s “Les Miserables.” Auditions will be held in the El Dorado High Performing Arts Auditorium on February 25 and 26 at 6pm.  Registration begins at 5:30pm. Parts are available for a large cast of up to 30 with starring roles, featured ensemble roles, older roles and children’s roles. The show is an excellent showcase for trained singers and there is minimal dance required. Individuals interested in auditioning should prepare at least 16 bars or one verse of a song that best showcases their singing ability.  If auditioning for a featured character, please prepare a song performed by that character in the show. Either an accompaniment CD or sheet music is required.  Call backs for major roles will be held with Craig Schulman, the show’s director and star, on Friday, February 28. For more information about auditions for “Les Miserables,” contact the SAAC office at 862-5474 or visitwww.saac-arts.org.  

ADEQ HOSTING GREEN-BAG LUNCH
The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is hosting a “green-bag” lunch for those with green thumbs who want to learn more about composting and rain gardens.

The lunch, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on March 11 at ADEQ, 5301 Northshore Drive in North Little Rock. Composting and rain gardens give a boost not just to yards but to the environment. Rain gardens can help reduce stormwater runoff and prevent pollutants from entering our waterways, while composting prevents food scraps and yard waste from going into landfills. Nationally in 2011 alone, municipal landfills received 36 million pounds of food waste, making it the largest single component of municipal solid waste. Landfills account for more than 20 percent of all methane emissions in the country, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The composting portion of the lunch session will include information about how and where to build your compost pile, how to maintain it, how to use it and the dos and don’ts of composting. The session will also address troubleshooting and how to know when your compost is ready to use. The rain gardens portion of the lunch will include information on the importance of rain gardens and include tips on how to construct your own. Rain gardens are planted depressions that allow rainwater runoff from impervious areas like roofs and driveways to be absorbed.... Rain gardens reduce runoff by allowing stormwater to soak into the ground instead of flowing into storm drains and surface waters and can remove up to 80 percent of pollutants carried by runoff. Rain gardens also require less irrigation after establishment than higher maintenance landscapes. Residential rain gardens can retain as much as 30 percent more rainwater than conventional lawns. While the event is free, RSVPs are required as seating is limited. To reserve a seat, call Raven Lawson at (501) 682-0022 or email her at lawson@adeq.state.ar.us by 4 p.m. March 10. Attendees should bring their own lunches.

February 18, 2014

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORTS
February 17, Officer Jimmy Plyer was investigating a possible theft at Camden Iron and Metals on Mt. Holly Road. Plyer observed a green Honda Accord, displaying a stolen license plate, being occupied by two male subjects, one was later identified as Brad Reaves. The vehicle they were driving soon pulled to the back of the scrap yard and passed officer Plyer as he attempted to initiate a traffic stop. After a chase that a chase that went through Barret Road, Elgin, Avon and Peirce Street, and running three stop signs, the vehicle eventually got on to Highway 7 heading north going around 85 miles per hour. The vehicle left the right side of the road and intestinally drove beside the guardrail on the railroad overpass at the second northbound bridge. After the vehicle drove down the 40 foot embankment, the officer lost sight of it. Believing the vehicle made it unto tracks officer Plyer, now with backup, continued looking. Eventually Lieutenant Bo Woody found the vehicle stuck in a creek with no one in it. A perimeter was set and K9 units were dispatched, however after an hour of searching, all units returned. The vehicle was towed back to the station and placed on hold for CID. After a cell phone and keys were found in the vehicle, they were put into evidence. It should be noted that the car has been seen numerous time at Brad Reaves house, and an investigation is still underway.

On February 17, Officer Malakov of the Camden Police Department was dispatched to Fort Lookout apartments in reference to a male subject requesting a ride to El Dorado. Upon the officer’s arrival, he made contact with reporting person Johnny Lowery, whose eyes were watery and bloodshot. Lowery’s speech was also slurred and slow, the officer could also smell intoxicants coming from his breath. He stated that a good friend of his and he came to Camden from El Dorado. Lowery stated that he had indeed been drinking. He also said that he must have fallen asleep and that he didn’t really know where he was, but he was needing a ride to El Dorado. Based on the officer’s observations he determined that Lowery was a danger to himself and others around him. Lowery was taken into custody and transported to the station without incident. After booking procedures were completed, Lowery was transported to the Ouachita County Detention Complex to be held until effects of intoxications wore off. 

MAGNOLIA SEARCH FOR 9-YEAR-OLD SUSPENDED
The search for 9-year-old Hank Bollen, of Magnolia, was suspended this week with the possible discovery of a body by authorities combing the woods near the Union-Columbia County line. There was no official statement from the Union County Sheriff’s Office, which is in charge of the search. People close to the family said the young hunter’s body had been found, however, no further search activities were being conducted. Arkansas State Police investigators were also on the scene south of Shuler Road, about a quarter-mile east of the Columbia County line. Bollen, the son of Kelli Clark Bollen and Brad Bollen, went squirrel hunting in the heavily wooded area south of U.S. 82 in the Braswell Corner Road-Shuler Road area near Marysville. He was not seen after 11 a.m. Monday. As you know Monday was a school holiday and the child is a fourth-grade student at Central Elementary School in Magnolia. Searchers began looking for the child late Monday afternoon. Later, an Arkansas State Police helicopter overflew the area during the early morning hours, hoping to pick up a heat signature as the nighttime temperatures dipped into the lower 40s. The Union and Columbia County sheriff’s offices, Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, volunteer firefighters, family members and the State Police all took part in the search. The search was concentrated around a hunting camp on Shuler Road, located right on the line of the two counties. After daybreak, the camp was filled with dozens of private and official vehicles, all-terrain vehicles and many family members, law enforcement personnel and private citizens.

FIRE IN ARKADELPHIA STILL UNDER INVESTIGATION
A North Austin Street couple looked outside their back door early Monday morning to see, just on the other side of their fenced-in yard, the house next door fully engulfed in flames.

The woman said she heard her dog barking and looked outside to investigate, discovering the fire. Panicked, she called 911 to report her finding, and by the time the Arkadelphia Fire Department had arrived, the flames had reached the second story of the vacant home at 411 N. Austin St., smoke billowing out of the windows and rising to fill the skies above several blocks of the residential area. Firefighters had been working for about 20 minutes to contain the flames when the home collapsed. In the meantime, the fire crept over the reporting neighbors' fence and totaled a shed outside. AFD Lt. Marty Adair said the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

NEW PROJECT IN THE WORKS AT SAU?
Southern Arkansas University is on its way toward paying for what may be its next big construction project – an open-air pavilion between the Welcome Center and Wilkins Stadium. Ceil Bridges, director of Alumni Relations, said that a major donor plans to step forward for naming rights to the planned 40-by-68 foot pavilion. The pavilion will be the centerpiece of an estimated $140,850 worth of improvements. The pavilion and associated concrete slab, electrical, water and sewage lines, and restrooms make up $117,096 of the total cost. The pavilion will become a gathering place during Mulegating – the university’s event held before home football games. Restrooms at the pavilion will replace portable toilets brought in for events on the Welcome Center grounds and will also be available for the nearby Lady Muleriders softball complex. Bridges anticipates that the pavilion will also be available for rent by non-university groups. The pavilion will seat 250 people. It will include a fireplace, serving kitchen and television monitors. The fundraising drive will also create a short driveway and parking lot to improve access to the Alumni Center and the new pavilion by the handicapped. This will entail construction of additional sidewalks.

AIRPORT COMMISSION MEETING MOVED
The Airport Commission meeting has been moved from this Thursday to next Thursday, February 27, 2014.  Also, the meeting will be held in the terminal at the Airport so that everyone will have an opportunity to see and discuss repairs to the terminal. Assistant Mayor Kathy Lee will also be picking up lunch at Allen’s, so please be sure and give her your order as soon as possible. You can contact her by calling 870-836-6436.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB REPORT
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet this week at Catherine’s Bistro in Camden. The speaker this week will be Tammy Caldwell from CASA. Tammy will be talking to members about what they do and they need for volunteers as well as foster parents. If you would like to learn more about the lions club you can contact Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440.

SATURDAY’S BEARDEN RIDING CLUB PLAYDAY
This Saturday, February 22, there will be a Bearden Riding Club PlayDay. The event will take place at the Bearden Riding Arena and will benefit Lane Tupa’s Student Ambassador Trip with People to People. Lane is a 14-year-old Sparkman High School Student raising from money to pay his way on this European trip in June. This PlayDay will have fun for all ages and will include barrels, flags, speed, team sorting and more. Ribbons will be awarded in each division. There will also be a cake walk and item raffles with concessions open the whole time.

For additional information you can 870-858-0515, 870-866-6789 or 870-866-7890.

BRANTLEY GILBERT COMING TO ARKANSAS
One of country music’s biggest stars is coming to Arkansas. Brantley Gilbert's "Let It Ride" tour will be rolling into Arkansas in April. The country music singer-songwriter and latest Country Music New Male Artist award winner plays at Verizon Arena on April 19 at 7:30 p.m. The performance will include special guests Thomas Rhett and Eric Paslay. Ticket prices are $48.50, $41.00 and $36.00 and go on sale Friday at 10 a.m.

February 17, 2014

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT
On February 14, Officer Justin Easttam was on routine patrol in the area of Lincoln Drive when he saw who he knew to be Melvinnia Penny pulling into the parking lot of the Murphy USA Gas Station. Easttam conducted a warrant check on Penny and was advised that she indeed had a valid warrant with the City of Camden. The officer made contact with Penny as she exited her vehicle and advised her of the active warrant. Penny was taken into custody and was transported to the station without incident. At the station normal booking procedures were completed and Penny was served with a warrant number for failure to appear and order for arrest, Penny was later transported to the Ouachita County Jail to await a first appearance or until she could post bond.

CALIFORNIA MAN SENTECED 22 YEARS FOR ROBBERY IN EL DORADO
A California man has been sentenced to more than 22 years in prison for an Arkansas bank robbery. U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge in the Western District of Arkansas says that this past Friday, 33-year-old Aaron Blaylock was sentenced after pleading guilty in April in connection with the armed robbery of First Financial Bank in El Dorado.  According to Eldridge Blaylock and three co-defendants including a former bank employee, who earlier pleaded guilty in the case were each ordered to pay more than $53,000 in restitution for the December 30th, 2011 robbery. Court records say the four defendants robbed bank tellers at gunpoint while refilling ATM machines. Luckily no injuries were reported.

BIG BOOM IN MAGNOLIA SATURDAY NIGHT
An Irving, Texas attorney has been charged in connection with Saturday night’s big boom explosion that left thousands in Columbia County affected. According to Columbia County Sheriff Mike Loe. 46-year-old, Len Conner was charged with disorderly conduct, disobeying a police officer and obstructing governmental operations. Loe also said that Conner was released Sunday on bond. Conner’s corporate Facebook page says that his first specializes in family law matters, chiefly having to do with divorce cases. Conner was taken into custody shortly after an 8 p.m. explosion caused by the suspect using Tannerite to blow up a tree outside a residence on Columbia County Road 78, west of Buddy’s Haven subdivision south of U.S. 371. People reported seeing a flash and hearing an explosion about 8 p.m. Authorities later determined the location to be on property southwest of Magnolia. Loe believes there appeared to be no legitimate need to blow up the tree. There was no damage to a nearby home, and there were no injuries reported.

DOG SHOW BRINGS OUT BEST OF ALL BREEDS
Poodles, Pugs, Collies, Terries and all breeds in between were in East Camden this past Saturday for the Annual South Arkansas Kennel Club AKC All Breeds Dog Show. With over 870 dogs, this event brought out the best of all breeds, as people from different counties, states and the local area came out with their dogs. While at the event I spoke with Darleen Wheelington, who has been with the South Arkansas Kennel Club since the beginning. Wheelington said that the AKC Dog Show is unique because it brings many dogs and new faces to the community and to have them here is a dream come true. Even though not every dog won, all the dogs, people and especially the city of Camden were winners this weekend.

CREATIVE WRITING FESTIVAL AT SAU
The Department of English and Foreign Languages of Southern Arkansas University, Magnolia, will host the annual Creative Writing Festival on Saturday, March 8, 2014. The festival, which is held every spring, has grown from 345 entries in 1995 to 1,153 entries last year. Students from schools across south Arkansas submit poems, short stories, and creative non-fiction essays, which are then judged good, excellent or superior. Out of the entries judged superior, three are chosen in each category and grade level to receive special recognition consisting of a cash prize for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners, and a trophy for the 1st place winners. The annual festival developed from a summer writing class for public school teachers taught by Dr. Kathleen Mallory, associate professor of English at SAU. The event is co-sponsored by the Gerald F. and Betty Fincher Scott Academic Endowment, made available through the generosity of Harold and D.J. Fincher and the Peoples Bank of Magnolia, Waldo and Southwest Arkansas. On the day of the festival a welcoming address will be given, then students will separate into grade levels and model writing workshops will be held, followed by peer reading sessions. The day is capped off with the awards ceremony. Entry forms may be requested by calling David Wingfield in the Department of English and Foreign Languages, (870) 235-4202, or by emailing dlwingfield@saumag.edu. 

16th ANNUAL JUNIOR AUXILIARY CHARITY BALL
You’re invited to attend the 16th Annual Junior Auxiliary Charity Ball on Saturday, February 22nd. The Charity Ball will last from 6:00 pm until 12:00 am at the National Guard Armory. There will be a live and silent auction, live music by Tragikly White, Custom Jewelry by Banks Jewelers and food will be provided by Woods Place. You must be 21 years old or older to take part in this event. For more information or to purchase tickets you can contact 870-818-5825 or 870-833-2745.

GOODWILL HIRING EVENT
Goodwill Industries of Arkansas will be having a Hiring Event in Camden. The event will take place on February 19th, at 10:00 through 1:00 pm at 237 Jackson Street and you will need to bring a resume, social security card and driver’s license. For more information you can call Shawntel Brown at 501-372-5100 or email her at sbrown@goodwillar.com.


FLU DEATH TOLL RISES TO 44
The number of flu deaths this season has increased to 44 as of Feb. 14, according to the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH). The confirmed cases have been recorded since Sept. 29. In a recent news conference, the ADH said this year’s flu season is causing severe illness and death in adults between the ages of 25 and 50. The ADH says multiple hospitalizations in the 25-50 group have also been reported.  It is highly recommended that all individuals in this age group receive a seasonal flu vaccine and promptly visit a doctor should they experience severe flu-like symptoms. The ADH says the flu is widespread across the state and that this season's numbers so far are similar to last year in terms of flu activity and number of cases.  The most frequently seen flu strain this year is H1N1, which disproportionately affects young to middle-aged adults and pregnant women. There are multiple factors that may explain why younger, healthier people are affected this year. One observation is that only 30 percent of individuals in this age group have been vaccinated against seasonal flu this year. That leaves over 650,000 unvaccinated Arkansans in this age group unprotected from the flu. Individuals who are pregnant or in this age category may experience a rapid onset of symptoms that quickly progress to severe illness.  Flu symptoms include: fever over 100 degrees, headache, extreme fatigue, sore throat, muscle aches, dry cough, and runny or stuffy nose. If you have flu symptoms and experience shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, sudden dizziness, or pain or pressure in the chest, seek medical care as quickly as possible. The flu virus is spread through coughing or sneezing and by touching a hard surface with the virus on it, then touching the nose or mouth. The best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated every year. You can also help reduce your risk of flu by washing hands frequently and avoiding those who are sick. Flu vaccine is available at pharmacies, doctors’ offices, and local health units statewide.  If you visit a local health unit to get a flu vaccine, please bring your insurance cards with you. If you do not have insurance, the vaccine will be free.

ENVIRONMENTALLY SPEAKING: ADEQ Measures Its Own Environmental Footprint
 EMS is a widely used acronym that is probably most commonly known to stand for emergency medical services. The sense of urgency conveyed by this usage carries over to another phrase: environmental management system. This less commonly known EMS is a management tool for evaluating, reporting and improving environmental performance, which becomes more and more crucial as we see the effects of greenhouse gas emissions from energy use and the depletion of the earth’s resources. In 2005, the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality adopted an EMS for use within the department. Audree Miller, ADEQ’s Pollution Prevention Program coordinator and the leader of the agency’s EMS team, said, “Since ADEQ’s mission is to protect and enhance the state’s environment, it’s important for us to set an example by reducing our environmental footprint. Our environmental management system gives us a structured method to focus on energy and paper use and waste reduction. Miller added that a number of Arkansas companies have adopted environmental management systems because they do business with European Union companies that require it. ADEQ’s EMS is based on a system developed by the International Organization for Standardization. It sets forth a continual improvement program with changing goals, and it requires employee participation to be successful. The EMS team at ADEQ analyzed the department’s daily business activities, ranked them according to their environmental impact, and selected four areas of activities to be reduced: driving (both personal and agency vehicles), paper use, solid waste disposal and energy use. Some of the practices they’ve initiated include:

-     End-of-life vehicles in the agency fleet are replaced with more fuel-efficient models; employees combine trips, share rides and limit engine-idling to three minutes.

-     Double-sided printing and copying and paperless records and communication are used whenever possible.

-     High-efficiency hand driers have replaced paper towels in the North Little Rock building’s restrooms.

-     Employees turn off computers and monitors at the end of each business day.

-     Area printers replace desk-top printers.

-     The performance of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system is monitored, and two phases of improvements have been implemented.

-     Central heating and cooling fans no longer run between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.

-     Employees collect coffee grounds and tea bags in office kitchens for composting.

           As a result of these and other steps prompted by the EMS, ADEQ employees have achieved these environmental goals:

-     59 percent reduction in paper use since 2005.

-     57 percent reduction in solid waste generation since 2007.

-     41 percent decrease in overall energy usage between 2009 and 2013.

-     29 percent reduction in agency vehicle fuel consumption between 2009 and 2013.

The EMS team also wrote ADEQ’s green cleaning policy and integrated pest management policy for the headquarters building that opened in 2007, earning points toward its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold level certification. In 2009 Governor Mike Beebe issued an executive order for all executive branch agencies to develop strategic energy plans for reducing energy expense and the agencies’ negative impacts on the environment. ADEQ’s EMS, already in place for four years, was available to serve as a model for the new state requirement. Miller, ADEQ’s Pollution Prevention Coordinator, can offer guidance to companies that are interested in starting their own EMS programs. For more information, contact Miller at 501-682-0015

February 14, 2014

TIM GRIFFIN COMING TO CAMDEN
Lieutenant Governor Candidate Tim Griffin Recently announced that he would be running for the position and that he would be traveling throughout all parts of Arkansas. Today Griffin will be traveling through El Dorado, Magnolia, Texarkana and Camden. In a phone conversation I had with Griffin earlier today, he talked to me about some of his plans if he is elected. Griffin said “Jobs is the number one issue in Arkansas right now” and “we need to do things such as updating the tax policy to compete not just with competing states, but the world”. Griffin continued saying “faith needs to be in office and we have got to reduce spending”. Tim Griffin will be in Camden today around 4:00 pm as a stop of his state-wide campaign to restore trust, help Arkansans compete and grow good paying jobs.   

MAGNOLIA DEALING WITH VENDORS DURING VALENTINES SEASON
With the arrival of the Valentine’s Day season, the City of Magnolia has dealt with vendors and transient merchants who want to set up on the side of streets, or parking lots. The City of Magnolia passed an ordinance on October 8, 2012 that set many new rules and requirements for vendors/transient merchants. A statement from Magnolia City Hall reminds people who want to sell in this manner, who do not currently own a local business in the city, they they will have to purchase a license. To be able to do so, they have to have a current sales tax permit in their name solely, as they can be the only one selling at their location. They also have to have written permission from the owner/business owner of property where they wish to set up, stating their name, location, and time frame. The city is also required to run a background check on such merchants. If approved, the temporary vendors may purchase either a 30-day license for $200 (per person selling), or a 60-day license for $400 (per person selling). Each person acting as a sales person must meet eligibility requirements. The licenses are for 30 and 60 consecutive days only, and can be purchased only once a year. 

SAU TEACHER FAIR
There will be a Teacher’s Fair on February 25, at the Reynolds Grand Hall at Southern Arkansas University. This is an opportunity for SAU education students and alumni to meet schools and organizations from the area. The dressing for the event will be casual to professional. The Teacher’s Fair will take place from 1:00 until 2:00 pm.

CYBER CRIMES UNIT ARRESTS SALINE COUNTY MAN
A Saline County man has been arrested for possession of child pornography by agents from the Attorney General’s Office, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced today. Agents arrested Don Michael Cox, 31, of Bauxite on Wednesday in Little Rock. He was arrested on 10 counts of distributing, possessing or viewing matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child, a Class C felony. Pulaski County District Court Judge Wayne Gruber set bond at $25,000. Cox was being held in the Pulaski County Detention Center. Agents with the Attorney General’s Cyber Crimes Unit executed a search warrant at Cox’s residence on Gail Drive in Bauxite and a second search warrant at Cox’s Little Rock workplace on Wednesday. Investigators seized a desktop computer, laptop computer and other electronic evidence. The electronic evidence will be analyzed at the Cyber Crimes Unit Forensic Lab in Little Rock. Special Agent Mike Lett began investigating Cox in November after suspecting that child pornography was being possessed at his residence. The Saline County Sheriff’s Office 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.

February 13, 2014

DRUG BUST IN CAMDEN 
At 7:00 am the morning of February 13, detectives with the Special Investigation Unit and members of the Camden Police Department, working jointly with investigators from other local, state, and federal agencies, began executing arrest and search warrants in and around the Camden and Ouachita County area. The operation was dubbed Frostbite, began in late 2011 and has been ongoing. The operation primarily concentrated on mid and low level dealers of drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana; the operation also focused on individuals engaged in the sale of controlled prescription drugs such as Xanax, Methadone, and Hydrocodone. 

As a result of the operation, 40 suspects were identified, investigated and are currently sought on arrest warrants, most involving the delivery of a controlled substance with several for possession with purpose to deliver, fraudulent practices to obtain a controlled substance, and possession with purpose to deliver. Many of the suspects will be charged with related offenses such as maintaining of a drug premises, use of another person’s property to facilitate a drug crime, and use a communications device to operate a drug crime. A majority of these suspects had criminal backgrounds and currently are on active parole or probation.  Federal agencies assisting with the investigation are the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, and U.S Marshal’s Service. The Arkansas National Guard, Arkansas State Police, Arkansas Game and Fish, Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy, 13th Judicial District Drug Task Force, El Dorado Police, Union and Columbia County Sheriff Departments, Ouachita County Sheriff’s Department, Magnolia Police Department, Bearden Police Department, SAU Police, Camden Police Department and others also assisted in the bust. Now it should be noted that an arrest is an accusation until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt in a court of law. We will have more on this story as it unfolds. 

WILL THE SHOLIFTING EVER END?
The shoplifting crimes continue in the Camden community. The most recent pair of shopliftings happened in Wal-Mart and Brookshires. According to reports a man inside was inside Brookshires earlier this week and had supposedly taken some beers along with other items from the store. The man was stopped by police and there were in fact two Lime-A-Ritas in his bag, which he stated he paid for, however he could not produce a receipt for them. Police later found out that the man took around 50 dollars’ worth of items from the store. The next day a man was reported to be shoplifting in the Walmart Super-Center. This man was in fact attempting to steal 97 dollars’ worth of “Magic: The Game” cards. The man was putting the cards in a bag that had items he had already purchased. Like the shoplifter the day before, the man was taken into jail. These string of shopliftings does beg the question; will it ever end?

PARNELL VANN FOR RE-ELECTION
According to Magnolia Mayor Parnell Vann, the city of Magnolia is not finished being revived just yet. Vann considers his first term as mayor a success with a current total savings of $2.6 million for the city, a lower ISO rating from the Magnolia Fire Department, a decrease in crime, newly paved streets and $1.854 million received in grant money. Mayor Vann has officially announced his candidacy for re-election as mayor of Magnolia. During his first term, Vann worked hard to clean vacant lots and houses in an effort to beautify the city. Vann believes it is important to incorporate the next generation in the plans for the future of the city. He currently works alongside the Magnolia High School internship program and employs two high school seniors with the city. Mayor Vann said “Our parks have become a source of revenue for the city. Many improvements have been made in order to make them more inviting to the public. I also believe that our airport is the first impression for economic development. The improvements that have been made to our airport will only enhance our chances of growth.”

SAU BOARD APPROVES BONDS FOR OWNERSHIP OF UNIVESRITY VILLAGE.
Earlier this week, during a telephone conference call, the Southern Arkansas University Board of Trustees voted unanimously to facilitate the refinancing of bonds to take complete ownership of the University Village Apartments, a student housing complex at SAU.
A bond pledging auxiliary revenues not to exceed $10,000,000 with an interest rate of approximately five-percent is needed to pay off the 2003 bonds issued for construction by Collegiate Housing Foundation or CHF. CHF owns the buildings at the University Village (UV) and leases them to SAU. Upon payment of the bonds, the UV will become SAU property free and clear of all obligations. CHF was selected in 2003 to build the University Village, using what is referred to as off-balance sheet financing. This is a common practice in higher education to complete and fund projects. The bonds have passed the 10-year mark, and the penalty clause for early payment has expired. The bond was issued for 30 years back in 2003 and had 20 years remaining. This 2014 bond issue will be for the same 20-year term that remained for the 2003 issue. There will be an average savings to the University of $125,000 annually from interest, fees, insurance and audit costs.

 

LIONS CLUB TALKS ORGAN DONATION
Audrey Brown, Director of Public Education for the Arkansas Regional Organ Recovery Agency (ARORA) recently spoke to the Noon Lions Club at Catherine’s Bistro in Camden. Brown spoke about organ donation and its importance that could lead to saving a life. Brown talked about ARORA’s mission which is to make every effort to provide organs and tissues for life-saving and life-enhancing transplantation. This goal will be accomplished through continuous hospital involvement, which includes hospital training. ARORA also encourages community involvement by providing public education. ARORA has three different organ transplant centers which are at Arkansas Children's Hospital, Baptist Medical Center and UAMS, and are all located in Little Rock.  Brown also talked about how the transplant list works saying that the sickest person in always in front of the line. If you’d like to learn more about ARORA or organ donation you can visit www.donatelifearkansas.org.

OVER 90,000 VALENTINES SENT TO AR CHILDRENS HOSPITAL
People from throughout the world sent 92, 472 valentine wishes to patients at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital last week. The Valentine's Day project, which officially began February 4, greatly exceeded the hospital's expectations. Director of Child Life and Education at ACH, Renee Hunte said "We are absolutely thrilled with how people participated in and shared this special Valentine's Day project," and "I have heard from many parents and caregivers who are touched by so many people across the world sending thoughts and well wishes to their child." The 92,472 valentine wishes came from every county in Arkansas, all 50 states and countries as far away as England, Italy, Japan, Holland and South Korea.

BOOZMAN VOTES TO RESTORE MILITARY RETIREE CUTS
U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) voted to restore misguided military retirement cuts that were included in the Bipartisan Budget Act. Boozman said “Our retired servicemembers were unjustly targeted to bear the burden of irresponsible spending. The budget agreement passed at the end of last year unfairly puts this weight on their shoulders, which is why I voted against that agreement. I have fought to bring this correction for a vote on the Senate floor. We needed to right this wrong so our military retirees and their families have one less thing to worry about. This vote restored the full COLA for retirees who joined prior to January 1, 2014, but upholding our promise for all those who enrolled prior to the initial cut is an important step in the right direction. However, this entire provision of the Bipartisan Budget Act should still be repealed, and if there are ever any changes to military retirement they should be part of a more responsible, thoughtful and comprehensive proposal,”.

PROTECT YOUR PET DURING WINTER WEATHER
With the Annual Dog Show taking place in East Camden this Saturday, I thought it would be appropriate to name some tips about protecting your pet during winter weather. In many areas, winter is a season of bitter cold and numbing wetness. Extra precautions during winter months will make sure your four-footed family members stay safe and warm. Help your pets remain happy and healthy during the colder months by following these simple guidelines:

Keep pets indoors and warm:
Don't leave dogs or cats outdoors when the temperature drops. Most dogs, and all cats, are safer indoors, except when taken out for exercise. No matter what the temperature, wind chill can threaten a pet's life. Regardless of the season, shorthaired, very young, or old dogs and all cats should never be left outside without supervision. Short-coated dogs may feel more comfortable wearing a sweater during walks.

Take precautions if your dog spends a lot of time outside:
A dog or cat is happiest and healthiest when kept indoors. If for some reason your dog is outdoors much of the day, he or she must be protected by a dry, draft-free shelter that is large enough to allow the dog to sit and lie down comfortably, but small enough to hold in his/her body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The house should be turned to face away from the wind, and the doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.

Help feral and stray cats get warm:
If there are ferals or strays in your neighborhood, remember that they need protection from the elements. It's easy togive them shelter.

Give your pets plenty of water:
Pets who spend a lot of time outdoors need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes energy. Routinely check your pet's water dish to make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen. Use plastic food and water bowls rather than metal; when the temperature is low, your pet's tongue can stick and freeze to metal.

Be careful with cats, wildlife, and cars:
Warm engines in parked cars attract cats and small wildlife, who may crawl up under the hood. To avoid injuring any hidden animals, bang on your car's hood to scare them away before starting your engine.

Protect paws from salt:
The salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet's feet. Wipe all paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates his/her mouth.

Avoid antifreeze poisoning:
Antifreeze is a deadly poison, but it has a sweet taste that may attract animals and children. Wipe up spills and store antifreeze (and all household chemicals) out of reach. Better yet, use antifreeze-coolant made with propylene glycol; if swallowed in small amounts, it will not hurt pets, wildlife, or your family. 

The best tip of all: keep your pets with you:
Probably the best prescription for winter's woes is to keep your dog or cat inside with you and your family. The happiest dogs are those who are taken out frequently for walks and exercise, but kept inside the rest of the time. Dogs and cats are social animals who crave human companionship. Your animal companions deserve to live indoors with you and your family.

February 12, 2014

FOR ALL CLOSING AND CANCELLATIONS GO TO THE SEVERE WEATHER TAB

TALENT SHOW RESCHEDULED
The SAU Tech talent show auditions have been changed to Feb. 18 at  6:00 pm and the show is now on Feb. 25 at 6:00 pm. 

ANNUAL SOUTH ARKANSAS AKC DOG SHOW THIS WEEKEND 
The annual South Arkansas Kennel Club AKC All Breeds Dog Shows, with obedience and rally trials, will be February 15th and 16th at the Highland Industrial Park’s airport facilities in East Camden. There will also be a  $1,000 cash prize will be awarded to “Best in Show” on both dates. Toy breeds will be featured in a show on February 14 hosted by the Toy Dog Club of Central Arkansas.

MAGNOLIA ANIMAL CONTROL COMMITTEE MEETING RESCHEDULED 
The Magnolia City Council's Animal Control Committee, which was originally  scheduled to meet Wednesday morning, has postponed its meeting until 10 a.m. Tuesday, February 18, at City Hall. The meeting had been called to discuss the regulation of ownership of pit bulldogs by certain individuals.

42 DEAD IN ARKANSAS FROM FLU
Its official! 42 people have now died of influenza in Arkansas, according to Kerry Krell with the Dept. of Health. At least 18 of those people have been between the ages of 25 and 64, and two thirds of the deaths have occurred in previously healthy people. The CDC now classifies the flu as widespread here in the Natural State, saying that this high number of deaths may be in connection with the fact that they are seeing young people getting flu shots at a historically low number. The health department said healthy, young people are being affected by the flu this year and that  getting a flu shot is your best defense, and it's not too late to get one.

DAFFODIL FESTIVAL 5K RUN/WALK REPORT
The Camden Area Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the upcoming Daffodil Festival 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, March 8, 2014.  They are asking for your support as a sponsor.  We will have different sponsor levels this year on the attached form.  For contributions of $100.00 or more, they will have your company name lettered on the back of the T-shirt that is available to the runners.  All sponsor contributions under $100.00 will be a “general sponsor”.   This is the Chamber’s 12th year to host the 5K and last year they had over 100 runners and walkers participate.  Join us for this festive event as we have added music and fine-tuned our program to tabulate the winners. If you have any questions concerning the sponsorship please contact Calandra Green at (870)836-2186 or Beth Osteen at (870) 836-6426.  The Chamber office will also have entry forms for the 5k Run/Walk. The Chamber of Commerce does appreciate your support.

MDA: FIGHTING MUSCLE DISEASE BENEFIT
Team Doug MDA will be sponsoring a Fighting Muscle Disease Benefit on Saturday, February 15th, from 7:00 pm until 11:00 pm. There will also be a performance by the White Mustang Band at this event. The event will be held at the Razorback Shack in Bearden. The cost is 5 dollars for the event and door proceeds will be donated to Muscular Dystrophy Association. You must be 21 year-old or older to be a part of this event. If you have any questions you can call Robin at 870-885-0208.

LIFESHARE TEAMING UP WITH SAU
Sigma Sigma Sigma is teaming up with LifeShare Blood Centers to help the Magnolia High School earn the LifeScholarship. LifeShare the supplier of all blood components to the Magnolia Hospital ask that all who can do. There will be a blood drive on February 17, from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm. The blood drive will take place at the Reynolds Center Grand Hall and there is no cost for the event. For additional information you can call 903-794-3173 and there will be T-Shirts for all donors.

SENIOR CIRLCE LUNCH AND LEARN PRESENTS RICHARD REEVES
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of Americans Fact: Cardiac rehabilitation can stabilize, slow or even reverse the progression of heart disease. It also helps the recovery process and promotes wellness through lifestyle changes. This Senior Circle Lunch and Learn presents Richard Reeves, MS, RCEP and Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation at MCSA to help you live with a stronger heart and a better quality of life so you can have fun longer. Cardiac Rehab has been shown to be as beneficial as taking cholesterol and heart medications. Richard will show us how cardiac rehab will help you regain your strength and independence, and overcome your anxieties and fears. You'll learn how to make heart-healthy living a part of your life now and for the rest of your life. Along the way, you'll meet a support group of professionals and people just like you dealing with the same challenges you face each day. The event begins at 12:00 p.m. Lunch will be served. Reservations requested to (870) 864-3282. No charge for Senior Circle Members. SC membership is $15/year. You can sign up at the Lunch & Learn.

CALHOON HAS INTENTIONS OF BEING RE-ELECTED IN ARKADELPHIA
Tom Calhoon announces his intention to seek re-election as Justice of the Peace representing Clark County District 6. Formally serving as a member of the Quorum Court of Clark County, Calhoon hopes to be allowed to continue working in this same position. Calhoon said "I have seen the members of the Quorum Court improve in their ability to work together over the recent past," "and I hope to be able to contribute to the improvement of the court into the future. The members of the court have begun to realize how important it is to understand more about the operation of the counties business, the budget, and how the county officials handle each specific office and the duties of that office." "We currently have a group of county officials dedicated to working together to save money where we can, and to spend it wisely when necessary. I like the direction we appear to be headed, and hope to continue to be a part of the progress."

COTTON ISSUES STATEMENT HOUSE VOTES
Congressman Tom Cotton released the following statement after the House voted to restore cuts to military pensions made in the December budget legislation: “The House has rightly reversed the recent, unjust cuts to veterans' pensions in a fiscally responsible manner. Our troops have sacrificed repeatedly to defend our country and, of all groups, they should have never been singled out for retroactive pension cuts. Senate Democrats should stop using veterans as a political pawn and pass this legislation immediately.”

February 11, 2014

THE STEPHENS SCHOOL DISTRICT HAS CANCELLED ITS AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM DUE TO THE WEATHER !! 

COURTHOUSE AND EXTENSIONS OFFICE TO BE CLOSED MONDAY
The Ouachita County Courthouse and Ouachita County Extension Office will be closed on Monday February 17, for Presidents Day. The Ouachita County Sanitation Department will run on regular schedule as they will not take the holiday off.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB REPORT
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet this week at Catherine’s Bistro in Camden. The Speaker this week will be Audrey Brown and she is the Director of Public Education for the Arkansas Regional Organ Recovery Agency in Little Rock, Arkansas. She has been with ARORA since 2003 where she manages a staff of public education professionals including two Public Education Specialists, a Minority Education Specialist and a Volunteer Coordinator.  She will speak about the agency and the importance of Organ donation.

YOUTH OF THE YEAR BANQUET: WALK, WORK, DANCE
Last night the Boys and Girls Club of El Dorado had their Annual Youth of the Year Banquet, in which one youth in nominated and receives scholarships and the recognition of the community. Last night’s winner, Kayla Morgan was honored as the Youth of the Year and was the youngest recipient of the award at only 14 years-old. In her speech Morgan thanked the Boys and Girls Club for being a home for her and being a place that has helped her grow in life. Morgan was not the only speaker at the event as head coach of the championship El Dorado Wildcats, Scott Reed was the guest speaker of the evening. Reed touched up on how he and his staff try hard to be more than coaches to their team, they try to be mentors. Reed talked about one thing he tells always his players is to “walk, work, and dance” and if you do that you can succeed in life. Inspired by the song by Lou Anne Womack, Reed preaches to his team to just work hard and dance in life. Mr. Joe Hickman also served as Master of Ceremonies for the evening. This Youth of the Year Banquet was a true success for all ages and everyone left remembering three things…walk..work…dance.

WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER COMING TO SAU
Take a free trip this week through the eyes of a professional wildlife photographer to see such destinations as Turkey, Greece, Rome, and Glacier National Park. Photographer Tom Ulrich is scheduled present his latest collection of images at Southern Arkansas University from 7:00 pm until 8:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, February 12-13, at the SAU Reynolds Center Foundation Hall. This is Ulrich’s twenty-second wildlife photography presentation at SAU. This event is free and open to the public. Along with images from his global travels from 2013, Ulrich will also share photographs from the bird migrations of South Texas. A freelance photographer since 1975, Ulrich is highly acclaimed around the world for his nature photography skills. Many of his more than 100,000 transparencies have been used by numerous magazines and other publications, including National WildlifeAudubonOutdoor OklahomaSierraAmerican HunterRanger RickAlaskaNational GeographicMontana OutdoorsLife and many others. He is also responsible for publishing seven nature books: Mammals of the Canadian RockiesBirds of the Canadian RockiesMammals of the Northern RockiesBirds of the Northern RockiesOnce Upon a FramePhoto Pantanal, and Mt. Reynolds: The Story. Ulrich’s visits to Magnolia are not only a precursor to the coming of spring, but they also give us all a peaceful escape into the world of photography, understanding wildlife behavior and traveling to exotic lands. The event is sponsored by the SAU Student Activities Board, the Department of Art and Design and SAU’s community of friends.

SAU STUDENT HONORED AS ONE OF THE NATIONS YOUNG AG ADVOCATES
Jade Halliburton of Crossett, Ark., was recently recognized as one of five in the nation for the 2013 Young Agriculture Advocates of the Year list. Halliburton is a junior Agriculture Education major at Southern Arkansas University. She earned Honorable Mention honors on this inaugural honor by I Love Farmers…They Feed My Soul (ILF), a non-profit agriculture advocacy group. Halliburton said she heard of ILF before attending SAU, and she knew that she wanted to host a “WTF Day,” which stands for “Where’s The Food Without The Farmer?” “Upon her arrival, Jade began to introduce me to the I Love Farmers organization, and she suggested that SAU become affiliated. With Jade taking the lead, SAU jumped in and participated in “Where’s the Food Without the Farmer?” It was a big hit on campus. This past year, with Jade’s leadership, we participated again. Jade has been a big influence in the Agriculture Department and has instilled the idea that all of our students need to be agriculture advocates,” said Dr. Jeffry Miller, chair of the SAU Department of Agriculture.

Halliburton’s Ag advocacy work is extensive. She became in 2013 a National Collegiate Agriculture Ambassador through the National FFA Organization. She is only one of 20 such ambassadors in the U.S. She underwent two weeks of training with the National FFA in Greensboro, N.C., and in Jacksonville, Fla. National Collegiate Agriculture Ambassadors are charged with increasing public understanding of the food, fiber and natural resource industry; promote awareness of resources needed to produce safe and reliable food sources; and increase awareness of Ag career opportunities. “I have written workshops that have been delivered in Florida, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Iowa and I personally will complete at least 30 presentation hours with students and civic organizations by the end of my term this semester,” said Halliburton. She is also a member of the SAU Agriculture Ambassador team, Sigma Alpha, Collegiate FFA and Collegiate Farm Bureau. Halliburton said she did not grow up on a farm, but since her mother is a zoologist, she was surrounded by animal husbandry. Her early childhood was spent living at the Global Wildlife Center in Folsom, La. They moved to Arkansas before she started school, and she spent afternoons and summers at Kone Crossland Zoo in Crossett. “I thought it was a normal part of a kid’s life to wake up every two hours and bottle feed orphan animals, sleep with live teddy bears, or go out in the middle of the night on animal rescue calls,” said Halliburton. She began showing lambs through 4-H at age seven. She took off in FFA in eighth grade, competing in numerous Career Development Events and Leadership Development Events. Among these was Prepared Public Speaking, in which she became the Arkansas State Winner. She went on to take the silver medal at the 2010 National FFA Convention for her speech, “American Tradition,” which discussed the effects of animal rights activism on the Agri industry. She was also chosen to speak with the U.S. Secretary of Education, Arnie Duncan, about the importance of vocational/agriculture education in high schools. In 2011, she served as Ashley County Cattlemen’s Princess speaking at local shows and field days. She also presented before the Senate Ag Committee concerning anti agriculture activism. She went on to serve as Miss Arkansas Beef in 2012, where she was a spokesperson for the industry on the state level. She also helped establish Ashley County’s Agriculture Field Day, which has become an annual event that local schools and local producers have latched onto as a method of exposure, advertisement and education about the Ag industry. Halliburton hopes to continue in a program development role after she earns her degree from SAU. She said she loves getting to work closely with young adults and the Ag industry. In fact, she said that among all that she has done, the most impactful moment was during a presentation she was giving to a class of fourth-grade students. “I asked, ‘Can anyone tell me where our food comes from?’ A child answered, ‘The grocery store!’ with the pride a student only wears on his or her face when he or she knows they are, without a doubt, correct. It’s a scary thought that, even in rural communities, people do not understand where there food comes from. This plants seeds for misconceptions about the agriculture industry. That moment was when I knew that I had chosen the correct field, and I felt it my job to educate others about the industry I hold so dear,” she said. She recommends SAU to any prospective students because she said at SAU “you’re more than your student number.” She said the professors care about her, as well as her success. “I feel at home here. I have no doubt that you will too,” Halliburton said to anyone considering SAU. 

MAGNOLIA COLORED HIGH SCHOOL GETTING NOTICED
Five Arkansas properties have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the country’s official list of historically significant properties, Arkansas Historic Preservation Program Director Frances McSwain has announced. Among them is the Magnolia Colored High School Historic District, with buildings dating to the 1940s from a segregated campus. “The Magnolia Colored School Historic District was the center of transformation in education for the black students of Magnolia in the 1940s through desegregation in 1969,” according to the National Register nomination. “The buildings best exemplify the educational environment during this period and how the educational environment was changing by the late 1940s.

HEART SMART SEMINAR WITH DR. VOELKER
On Thursday, February 20, at 5:00 p.m., come to the Medical Center of South Arkansas's Heart Smart with Cardiologist Dr. Donald Voelker MD, FACC, FSCAI, FSCCT, FASA, interventional cardiologist. Dr. Voelker will lead a presentation on how to live a “HEART SMART” life. Learn tips on how diet affects the heart and the latest results from research studies. Questions are encouraged. No reservation required and the event is free. MCSA Conference Room 3, El Dorado Men and women of all ages are encouraged to attend. For additional information you can call 870-864-3282.

February 10, 2014

OUACHITA COUNTY UNDER WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY
Ouachita County, and yes that does include Camden is under a Winter Weather Advisory in effect from 6:00 pm tonight until noon tomorrow, February 11th. Ouachita County is expecting a mix of freezing rain, snow and sleet across the area. It should also be advised that icing amounts of a tenth or two of an inch could be possible. So if you must be on the roads tonight and tomorrow please be cautious. 

GAME DESIGN HERE TO STAY
During my recent interview with SAU Tech Game Design and Simulation Instructor Brian Dixon, he talked about how the gaming industry is definitely here to stay. The program came about when Dixon decided that the web development market was changing and it is becoming difficult to run a business in that area, so he decided to change the course to game design and simulation, an industry that seems to be always growing. According to Dixon the only three colleges that teach this kind of course are Fort Smith, SAU Magnolia and of course SAU Tech. The SAU Tech version is different than the others because it is only a two year program that allows students to get in learn the material do the work and quickly get out in that particular working environment. Dixon said money and the always growing 12 billion dollar industry of game design are good benefits for anyone wanting to work in this field. With games as popular as they are it seems like game design would be a smart choice for any young high school or college kid to go into. For more information on the program you can contact Dixon at bdixon@sautech.edu or call him at 850-974-2180.  

EDGAR LEE REAPPOINTED TO SAU BOARD
Edgar Lee, Chair of the Board of Trustees at Southern Arkansas University, has been reappointed Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe to serve another five-year term on the SAU Board.Lee, of Chidester, Ark., was appointed for his first term in 2009. He is an alum of SAU and a team leader at Raytheon Missile Corporation. “Mr. Lee has been an excellent Board member. His reappointment to the Board provides a continuity of leadership that is very valuable to the University,” said SAU President Dr. David Rankin. Lee was born in in Magnolia and graduated from Waldo High School in 1980. He earned a B.B.A. in Business at SAU in 1984. He was an all-state basketball player for three years at Waldo and played for Coach Monroe Ingram at SAU.He served three years in the United States Army before being employed by Brown and Williamson, where he was awarded territory sales manager of the year. He had responsibility for southwest Arkansas for 10 years prior to starting at Raytheon.He is married to Gloretta Lee and they are the proud parents of two sons, Ethan and Evyn Lee. He is an alderman for the city of Chidester and he and his family attend the Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church.

HEARTWALK RESCHEDULED 
Due to the weather, Sesquicentennial Heartwalk that was postponed Saturday is rescheduled for Saturday, February 22nd at 10:00 am at Coleman Stadium.

INTERNET-BASED SCAMS IN MAGNOLIA 
The Magnolia Police Department issued warnings about Internet-based scams. One scam involves text messages from a bogus business. With names like “AchieveCard.”  The numbers appear to be Arkansas telephone numbers, but are fake user numbers with “vtext.com” attached. The message asks the recipient to call a certain telephone number for an “urgent notification.” Magnolia police advise the public not to call the number. The scammer’s telephone number is a pay site. People who call will be charged $20 per minute for the time they are connected to the number and a series of automated transfers keep people on the line. Before people realize that nothing is happening, they may have been billed for two or three minutes of time. Police advise the public to return telephone calls only to numbers that they recognize. The second scam is an email claiming that the recipient has mail at the post office. The message asks that you give personal information so that you can claim the package. There is no package. Magnolia police urge the public to protect their personal information, and to keep it personal.

NEW MISS MAGNOLIA CROWNED SATURDAY NIGHT
23-year-old, Ashley Walthall, was named Miss Magnolia 2014 during Saturday night’s annual pageant at the Harton Theatre. Walthall also won the Serenity Day Spa People’s Choice award, Jim Hughes Talent award, and Swimsuit award. She also performed a tap dance to “Orange Blossom Special.” Walthall is a student at Southern Arkansas University and a hairstylist at Square Roots Salon. The first runner-up was 20-year-old Sarah Clayton. Clayton, won the Ashley Watson Interview award and is also a student at SAU.


MAGNOLIA GETS HANDRAILS
Recently the Downtown Magnolia area received handrails in efforts to promote public safety.

The rails were built by Magnolia High School intern, Lane Morrison, who is currently working for the city. Mayor Parnell Vann said “I believe it was important to involve Lane in building these handrails. The more experiences he is involved with through the street and parks department will only contribute to his career after high school. I would also like to thank Production Services for their contribution to the project,” . 

BUSINESS AFTER HOURS
On February 18, there will be a Business After Hours event hosted by the SAMA Clinic, located at 600 Timberlane Dr. in El Dorado. The event will last from 5:00 pm until 6:30 pm. Business After Hours in an opportunity to network with other area professionals and learn more about SAMA. Be sure and bring your business card for the door prize drawing. Business After Hours will be held every month on the third Tuesday of the Month. The cost is $5.00 at the door and no RSVP is needed. For additional information you can call Kay Smith at (870) 863-6113

SAFE SLEEP INFORMATIONAL OUTREACH
There will be a free Safe Sleep Informational Outreach on Saturday, February 15. The Outreach will last from 1:00 pm until 3:00 pm at the Old Boys and Girls Club in Carnes Park in Camden. Lunch will be provided at this event. Partners in this outreach will include The Salvation Army, the Ouachita County Unit of the ADH, UAMS Translational Research Institute and more.

This outreach will allow you to get information on Parent Care Assistance, Low-Cost Health Care, Early Childhood Education and more. For additional information you can call Charles Moore at 870-390-9018. 

February 7, 2014

NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN: WOODY NEXT CHIEF FOR CAMDEN PD
In light of Police Chief Bill O’Keefe’s recent announcement of retirement, the Camden community will soon be getting a new head of the police department. Camden Mayor Chris Claybaker believes he has found the next police chief in Bo Woody. Woody has been a resident of the Camden community for many years and has worked for the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office from 1994 until joining the Camden Police Department in 2005, where Woody has been working his way through the ranks to his current position of Commander of the Patrol Division.

Since working in Law Enforcement Woody has won many awards and certificates. All of these achievements make Bo Woody the perfect choice for the next Chief of the Camden Police Department. 

BODY INDENTIFIED IN MAGNOLIA FIRE CASE
The body that was found Sunday in the firery remains of a house on Columbia County Road 36 has been officially identified as 66 year-old Ronnie Carl Dees. The body was identified late Thursday night by Columbia County Sheriff Mike Loe. Firefighters discovered the body inside Dees’ house, but formal identification was pending the verification of dental and DNA records at the Arkansas State Crime Lab. Loe said that the autopsy results are not yet available. Lawmen want the results to learn the cause of death. Dees’ body was released to Lewis Funeral Home of Magnolia.

WE CHALLENGE U BLOOD DRIVE AT SAU TECH
To help ensure a sufficient blood supply this winter season, Southern Arkansas University Tech is hosting an American Red Cross We Challenge U Blood Drive on Feb. 17. All presenting donors will receive a commemorative We Challenge U T-shirt, while supplies last.

Scott Caswell, CEO of the Greater Ozarks-Arkansas Blood Services Region said “We thank SAU Tech for accepting the challenge from the Red Cross,” and “Donating blood is an easy way to volunteer, and it helps patients in need.” To make an appointment to donate or for more information, SAU students, faculty, staff and supporters may call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org and type in SAUTCC in the sponsor code field. College and high school blood drives account for as much as 20 percent of donations given through the Red Cross. The We Challenge U program encourages college students to get involved in the community by organizing blood drives and recruiting friends and faculty to give blood during winter months. The SAU Tech We Challenge U Blood Drive will take place on February 17, from 11:00 am until 3:00 pm at the college, located at 100 Carr Road in Camden.

OUACHITA COUNTY FAIRBOARD MEETING
The Ouachita County Fairboard will meet on Monday, February 10, at 7:00 pm at the Ouachita County Extension Office on Mt. Holly Road. The fairboard will host a Beef Jackpot show on March 1st. Other items on the agenda will include a new carnival, dates of the fair, and insurance on the buildings. The board is trying to form a Jr Fairboard and would like to encourage all exhibitors to attend an organizational meeting on Monday at 6:00 pm, in the same location. The exhibitor must live in Ouachita County or attend a school in the county and must be in the 9th through 12th grade. A parent is also welcome to attend. 

AARP FOUNDATION TAX-AIDE
AARP help is free, individualized, there are no strings attached and they’re right here in your area. AARP offers free tax help to low-and-moderate-income taxpayers, especially to those ages 60 and older. If you would like to locate a site near you, visit the website aarp.org/taxaide or call the toll free number 1-888-AARP-NOW. This will last until mid-April. You can get your taxes done for free at the OPED Center located at 625 Adams. You can set up an appointment by calling 870-836-2210. The Tax-Aide service will held on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 11:00 am until 2:00 pm. For any additional information you may also call Billy Stanley at 870-833-2212. 

ADH MAKING IPA GUIDES MORE AVALIABLE
To better serve the public, the Health Department IPA Guides will now be available after hours for those needing to get more information or who need help enrolling in affordable health care. IPA Guides with the ADH can assist citizens with Medicaid or Health Insurance Marketplace questions and applications. In Ouachita County the local IPA Guides (Melissa Bryan and Debbie Brown) will be available at the Ouachita County Medical Center front entrance on Mondays from 4:30 pm until 6:30 pm. There will also be outreach and informational events in the coming weeks to every county in Arkansas. For more information concerning these events, or to request an event in your community, please contact your local Health Unit or contact the Regional Coordinator Heather Hill at 870-331-0040. The Public is encouraged to attend these events.  

FIREWORKS IN MAGNOLIA
This July, fireworks celebration will return to Magnolia. The Magnolia Advertising and Promotion Commission voted to approve $7,500 for “Sparks in the Park.” Kelli Souter is organizing the fireworks show for East Side Park on the evening of Thursday, July 3. It will feature $3,500 worth of fireworks, with the rest of the money going toward a sound system, entertainment, food and drinks, amusements, insurance and other items. A fireworks show was previously held at the park under the auspices of the Magnolia Jaycees and Farmers Bank & Trust. A ban on outdoor burning cancelled the 2011 show. Farmers Bank hosted the show in 2012, but it was not held last year. The commission also approved an $8,000 grant for the Magnolia Arts Council. Magnolia Arts will use $7,000 to advertise its activities and $1,000 to sponsor a weekly series of free films for children on Wednesdays during the month of June.

MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP SET TO HONOR PASSING OF YOUNG WOMAN
A memorial scholarship has been set up to honor a promising young woman who was killed in a car crash last year. Maggie Minter would have been 20-years old on Tuesday, February 4th and her friends and family are hoping her light will continue to shine by helping others get an education.  Maggie Minter was just 19-years old when she was killed in a tragic car crash in Texarkana.  Now her family, friends and community have come together on her birthday to keep her memory alive. Maggie's mother, Diane Niemeyer, says her beautiful daughter always brought her great joy. "I think most about her sense of humor, she was very funny and had witty come backs to things," said Niemeyer.  A Maggie Minter Scholarship Fund has been set up for students who attend alternative schools in Liberty Eylau and Texarkana, Texas Independent School Districts. Niemeyer says so far they've raised about $2,500. "Alot of times those kids are overlooked," explained Niemeyer. "They give other scholarships, but these kids will sometimes just go to a trade school or vocational school."  A website with t-shirts for sale has been set up to help raise funds for the scholarship. Niemeyer says it's a fitting tribute to her daughter who loved helping others. She says community support and prayers have given them strength. In memory of Maggie's youthful spirit and her favorite color purple, those who loved her are paying tribute to her with purple ballons. "I think my biggest fear after she passed away is that she would be forgotten. This just proves to me she will be remembered," said Niemeyer.

CYBER CRIMES UNIT ARRESTS GRANT COUNTY MAN
Yesterday, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced that agents from the Attorney General’s Office have arrested a Grant County man for possession of child pornography. Bryan Mitchell Baker, 27, of Sheridan was arrested today on 30 counts of distributing, possessing or viewing matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child, a Class C felony. Baker was being held in the Sheridan Detention Center on $100,000 bond. Agents with the Attorney General’s Cyber Crimes Unit executed a search warrant this morning at Baker’s residence. Investigators seized a laptop computer and other electronic evidence. The evidence will be analyzed at the Cyber Crimes Unit Forensic Lab in Little Rock. Special Agent Chris Cone began investigating Baker in December after suspecting that child pornography was being possessed at his residence. The Grant County Sheriff’s Department assisted in the investigation and arrest. The Attorney General’s Office will turn over its completed case file to Seventh Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Stephen Shirron. Charges are merely accusations and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

February 6, 2014

UPWARD DRAWING CROWDS TEACHING MORE THAN BASKETBALL
For those who may not know, there is a sport sweeping through South Arkansas and that sport is “Upward Basketball”. Upward is an event in which different age groups of kids from kindergarten all the way to 6th grade gather to practice basketball and have actual games. Upward basketball games takes place inside the gym of Calvary Baptist Church in East Camden every Saturday from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm. I recently went down to Calvary Baptist to speak with Children’s Minister Cindy James and learn what makes upward such an attraction.

James said that obviously sports is going to be appealing to not just the kids, but the parents as well. James also said the main thing is that every child gets to hear the gospel, how to be saved and how Jesus can be their savior. Each child receives a devotional from their coach that they get to practice one night a week. Upward has around 24 different teams and 2 cheerleading squads and that includes kids from Bearden, Hampton, Harmony Grove, and of course Camden. Each season last 8 weeks with games and practice. Mrs. James also said that prayer goes a long way in making upward such a success each season. Upward is currently in its 12th season. For any additional information on upward basketball you can email Cindy James at cindyofcalvaryofcamden.org. 

CAMDEN JAYCEES MEETING
The Camden Jaycees will have their monthly meeting Thursday, February 6th at 6:30 pm.

The meeting will take place in the upstairs meeting room of the White House Café. The Jaycees are looking for any new members and encourage you to invite anyone who is interested to attend. For any additional information you can call 870-807-0517.

ANNUAL MISS HARMONY GROVE PAGEANT
The Annual Miss Harmony Grove Pageant will be held Saturday, February 7th. The event will held in the Harmony Grove Auditorium beginning at 5:00 pm. There will be eight divisions in the high school ranging from babies all the way to seniors. Cost of admission will be 4 dollars at the door.

NARFE CHAPTER 1813
The National Active Retired Federal Employees Association will have Chapter 1813 meeting on Tuesday February 18th. The meeting will start at 10:30 am at the OPED building, located at 625 Adams Avenue SE in Camden.

CAMDEN FAIRVIEW BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING
The Camden Fairview Board of Education will have its regular meeting. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 11th, at 6:30 pm at the Garrison Auditorium. Things to be discussed at the meeting include a presentation and recommendation regarding provider for computers and facility rentals. There will also be a financial and superintendent repor, as well as a personnel session. Dinner will also be provided at 6:00 pm for board members who are present.

FIRE VICTIM STILL UN-IDENTIFIED
Law enforcement officers continue to investigate a fatal fire in Columbia County on Sunday that left one man dead. Sheriff Mike Loe said that the body found in the ruins of 1760 Columbia County Road 36 east of Magnolia is officially unidentified. There has been no positive identity made yet using dental or DNA records, Loe said. At this point, the cause of death is undetermined. According to Loe, the case remains under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office and the Arkansas State Police. However, the house was the residence of Ronnie Dees, and he is widely believed to be the victim.

COLUMBIA COUNTY SHERIFF SEEKS THIRD TERM
Columbia County Sheriff Mike Loe has announced he will seek a third two-year term.

Loe said “It has been an honor to serve you, the citizens of Columbia County. As with my promise to run a purpose driven and goal oriented department, I am proud to say that we are running on that record and will continue to obtain and implement new goals to be more efficient and save the tax payers money. “I would like to thank the citizens of Columbia County for giving me the opportunity to serve as their sheriff, and ask that you continue by re-electing me,”. Loe and his wife Donna (Dailey), have two children, Sara and Sam.

AVOID SHADY TREE TRIMMERS
Some contractors may attempt to take advantage of consumers after storms
Winter weather often takes a toll on trees, and with recent bouts of ice and snow across the State, this year is no exception. Arkansas residents may seek out professional contractors to repair damage, trim trees or remove debris following the latest winter storms. Unfortunately, some tree-trimming services or other contractors may try to take advantage of Arkansans who have damage to their property or homes in inclement weather. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued this consumer alert today to warn Arkansas consumers about the potential for scams related to debris removal and to offer advice on how to select a reputable contractor. “My office receives complaints year-round about tree trimmers that appear to charge outrageous prices or that provide inferior work,” McDaniel said. “After storms, we see more and more examples of contractors who take advantage of consumers. However, Arkansans who take their time to get estimates and to get recommendations from friends and family can almost always avoid falling victim to con artists.” After ice storms, scammers typically target affected neighborhoods using high-pressure sales tactics to deal with consumers who may be in urgent need of help. They may charge high “emergency” prices  and demand upfront payment for services. Many times, those scammers leave jobs incomplete or fail to do the work at all.

The Attorney General offered this advice to consumers who need debris removal or home repair services:
Select a reputable contractor. Obtain recommendations from friends and family and ask for references from the contractor itself. Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if the contractor has a good track record.
Always get estimates. Call at least three contractors for estimates. Even if it is necessary to act quickly to repair damage or have a tree removed, consumers are still better off financially by taking some time to compare prices.
Put it in writing. A contract should contain details about the price of the project and any necessary financing. It should indicate the exact work that is to be done, the type and quality of materials to be used and the expected completion date. 
Never pay in advance. At no time should a consumer make full payment in advance for any type of repair or debris-removal service. One option that should be satisfactory for both the contractor and consumer is an arrangement where one-third of the expected cost is paid in advance, a third is paid during the work and the final installment paid once the work is complete. Consumers should inspect the completed project before making final payment.
Handle insurance payments directly. If homeowners’ insurance is involved, consumers should deal with insurance carriers directly rather than authorizing a contractor to negotiate with the company. In some recent instances, home-repair contractors have taken insurance proceeds in advance, then failed to complete work that was promised. 

For more information about this or other consumer issues, visit the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division website at www.GotYourBackArkansas.org or call (800) 482-8982.

February 5, 2014

CAMDEN FAIRVIEW PARENT-TEACHER CONFERENCES
The Camden Fairview School District will be hosting parent/teacher conferences on Monday, February 10, from 11:oo am until 6:00 pm. Parents may visit teachers during that time. Students will not attend classes that day. Classes will resume on Tuesday February 11th. 

SAU SETS ENROLLMENT RECORDS
Southern Arkansas University set three enrollment records in the fall, and the trend continued as SAU has reported a record number of students a spring semester. SAU reported its record spring enrollment of 3,112 students to the state on the eleventh class day on January 30, 2014. This number is exactly 100 more than the 2013 spring enrollment of 3,012. “This spring’s enrollment following on the heels of a record fall enrollment indicates that SAU is not only attracting more students, but retaining them as well,” said SAU President Dr. David Rankin. “There is no question that an increasing number of students is discovering that Southern Arkansas University is a great place to pursue their degrees.” SAU is known in part for its comprehensive list of degree options. SAU has been a trend-setter in higher education in the state and region by offering cutting-edge degrees such as Computer Game and Animation Design. This program started at SAU in the fall of 2013, and is the only degree program of its kind in Arkansas and the region. The Digital Cinema Production degree, which began just over five years in recognition of movie productions taking place in the region, continues to draw students to SAU. More recently, SAU was approved to establish a Bachelor of Science in Engineering program. This will be the only engineering program offered south of Little Rock. Industry representatives from across the region rallied behind SAU in the push for this program, which clearly demonstrated the need for well-qualified engineers. In the fall, SAU set three enrollment records, including overall enrollment, residence hall enrollment, and new student enrollment. University officials credited these records to competitive academic programs, a dedicated faculty and staff, the “complete college experience” campaign, and an extending reach into Arkansas, Texas and beyond. Among SAU’s student body are 102 international students from 34 countries around the globe.  In celebration of this broadening reach, SAU loaded up its unique mascot for the “Taking the Mulerider on the Road” initiative. Mulerider Megan Maye, senior finance major, and Molly Ann the mule turned a number of heads as they rode through Texarkana, Hot Springs and Little Rock. Additional trips are in the works to continue spreading the word about SAU and the University’s rising enrollment trend.

COLUMBIA COUNTY GROUP WANTS ALCOHOL LEGALIZED
A new group of Magnolia residents are working to get a proposal on the fall ballot asking voters to legalize alcohol sales in Columbia County. However, opponents are arguing saying it’s not a good plan for the community. While the natural state has long been jumble of wet and dry counties, some are hoping that trend will soon begin to shift. It was 1943 when Columbia County outlawed alcohol sales and the issue hasn't come up for a vote in decades, but supporters believe that should change. Group leader for Columbia County David Nelson said "We are losing lots of money to neighboring counties, parishes in Louisiana," and "It's time to keep that money in our town and county." Nelson says people are moving away from South Arkansas and his group wants that to stop.  According to the last US Census, the population has decreased by more than 1,000 people. Meanwhile, Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia hit a record enrollment this fall.

LARRY ATKINSON ANNOUNCES RE-ELECTION
Larry Atkinson has announced his candidacy for re-election as Columbia County judge.

Atkinson has served in the position since 2006. He is married with two children and is a lifelong resident of Columbia County. He is a graduate of Magnolia High School and Southern Arkansas University with a Bachelor of Science degree. Atkinson serves as an elected member of the Executive Committee of the Association of Arkansas County Judges, on the Board of Directors of Southwest Planning and Development, Chairman of the Solid Waste Board, on the Board of Directors of Farm Bureau and a member of the Columbia County Cattleman’s Association.
Atkinson served as the coordinator for Lake Columbia for 23 years prior to becoming county judge. Atkinson said “It has been an honor to serve all the people of Columbia County for the past eight years. I will continue to work hard to make Columbia County a better place to live. I think it is very important to work with all the elected officials locally and statewide for the good of Columbia County,” and “In the past eight years, Columbia County has been awarded more than $1 million in grants that has helped to balance our budgets, so we do not have to spend county funds. Even though it is becoming harder to get these funds, we will work diligently to pursue this revenue stream.

MAGNOLIA ARTS ANNUAL MURDER MYSTERY DINNER
Magnolia Arts will present its 8th Annual Murder Mystery Dinner in four performances February 12-15. The event will be held at the Donald W. Reynolds Campus and Community Center at 7 p.m. Wednesday, February 12 and Thursday, February 13. The cost is $30 for Magnolia Arts members and $35 for the general public. Performances will be held at the Magnolia Arts Center, located at 116 S. Washington. The event will start at 7 p.m. Friday, February 14 and Saturday, February 15. Tickets will be $50 for Magnolia Arts members and $55 for the general public. Admission on Friday and Saturday is for people age 21 and older. Advance tickets may be purchased at the Cosmopolitan Ladies Club & Gallery, the Studio 2204 Salon, or by calling Magnolia Arts executive director Janet Rider-Babbitt at 870-725-4780.

ECONOMIC OUTLOOK LUNCHEON
On February 12, 2014, the Chamber is holding its first 2014 quarterly Economic Outlook Luncheon, sponsored by Clean Harbors, during which representatives from each community in Union County will have the opportunity to report what's going on in their backyard. The event will be taking place inside the El Dorado Conference Center. This is a great opportunity to learn about so many of the good things taking place around Union County and to meet the leaders who are making them happen. Reservations required to (870) 863-6113 or chamber@goeldorado.com. The cost is $15 at the door.

BESTSELLING AUTHOR SEMINAR ON HOW TO MANAGE EMPLOYEES
On Wednesday, February 19, the Chamber will present "How to Manage Problem Employees" by Glenn Shepard, bestselling author of books like How to Manage Problem Employees and How to Be the Employee Your Company Can't Live Without. Glenn's thought-provoking seminars are filled with stories and humor, and will provide you with simple tools you can use to become more effective. The seminar will be at the El Dorado Conference Center from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The cost is $129 for Chamber members and $149 for non-members. The fourth registrant is free with three paid registrants. If you need to register more than four people, please contact the Chamber at (870) 863-6113.

BOOZMAN APPLAUDES PASSAGE OF FARM BILL
U.S. Senator John Boozman applauded the Senate passage of the Farm Bill by a vote of 68 to 32. Boozman, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee was appointed to serve on the conference committee tasked with resolving the differences between the Senate and House versions of the Farm Bill joined Committee members in discussing the importance of this legislation. “This represents years of hard work that provides predictability to the agriculture community. Our farmers, ranchers and agriculture producers deserve a Farm Bill that provides them with the safety net and certainty they need to continue supplying our country with the safest, most abundant food supply in the world. While not perfect, this bill provides an equitable safety net for our nation’s agriculture producers, makes significant policy reforms and achieves major savings toward deficit reduction,” Boozman said.

February 4, 2014

BURN BAN LIFTED IN COLUMBIA AND OUACHITA COUNTY
The ban on outdoor burning in Columbia County, which was enforced last week, has been lifted. The Ouachita County burn ban was lifted by Judge Mike Hesterly on Tuesday until further notice. 

COLUMBIA COUNTY WELLNESS SEMINAR PART 2
The second part of the depression wellness seminar in Columbia County will be held from noon until 1:00 pm on Thursday. The seminar will be held at the Columbia County Library. The topic of the seminar will be “Wellness Tips: Taking Care of Yourself”. The topic will be brought by M.Ed., founder and director of the Depression Research Center, Stephanie Thompson. The seminar will explore wellness strategies that in addition to professional treatment will help to reduce symptoms and/or prevent future depressive episodes. The meeting is open to the public, and people may bring a lunch if they like.

EDUCATION AND ENROLLMENT FAIR TO ASSIST WITH HEALTH INSURANCE
Magnolia Regional Medical Center will host an Education and Enrollment Fair on Monday, February 10, 2014 to assist Columbia County residents with enrollment in health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace. The event will be held from 5-8 p.m. at the LifeSmart Rehabilitation Center, located at 1005 N. Jackson in Magnolia. "We are pleased to host an education and enrollment fair for affordable health insurance," MRMC CEO Margaret West said. "This is an opportunity for residents to learn about the new health insurance law and get enrollment assistance." The public is invited to attend to learn more about the health insurance options available through the new Health Insurance Marketplace, get information about the financial assistance now available to help pay insurance premiums and meet with trained, licensed guides for enrollment assistance.

SAU STUDENT INTERN AT CHANNEL 7
Michael Kornegay of Hot Springs has been hired as Content Editor/Assistant Producer at KATV Channel 7 in Little Rock. He is scheduled to start February 12, 2014. Kornegay is a 2013 Digital Cinema Production graduate from Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia. He made a name for himself as a student intern at KATV during the summer of 2012. “While attending SAU, Professor Marek Dojs always said, ‘Anything is possible.’ I really bought into that concept. So when I wanted to intern at the top news station in Arkansas, he said, ‘Why not?’” said Kornegay. “After the summer, I left Channel 7 knowing I wanted to return one day to work there.” Immediately after graduating from SAU, the University transitioned Kornegay from a part-time student worker to a full-time videographer/photographer in SAU Communications. He worked with Aaron Street, Assistant Dean for Integrated Marketing and Media Relations, to film and edit videos and commercials promoting SAU’s “complete college experience.” Their work can be seen on SAU’s YouTube channel at www.YouTube.com/SAUmag, including the Fall 2012 hit “Mulerider Style.” Kornegay and Street earned “Best of Show” honors from the Service Industry Advertising Awards for this spoof of Psy’s “Gangnam Style.” “While working at SAU I have achieved and learned a lot of things. I will never forget when Aaron and I found out we won Best in Show for his crazy idea of Mulerider Style,” said Kornegay. “There will always be a place in my heart for this University and the friends I have made.”  Kornegay is uncertain where this move to the news industry will take him, but he hopes to work his way up the ladder at Channel 7. To find out more about SAU and the Digital Cinema program, visit www.SAUmag.edu.

TINKER TIME SHADOW PUPPETS
On February 8, there will be a Tinker Time Shadow Puppets Event, held at the Tinkering Studio
Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources in Smackover. At this event you will discover how to create a shadow puppet performance with only pieces of cardboard, dowels, glue, and a light source. You will not only design their own shadow puppet characters, but you will also develop a story based on your puppet character to perform in front of the program audience. This activity takes place in our Tinkering Studio, a space where you can slow down, become engaged in hands-on investigation, and explore how you might make an invention that helps promote the conservation of Arkansas's natural resources. For more information you can call the Park Superintendent at (870) 725-2877

BUY A BRICK; LEAVE A LEGACY
The South Arkansas Community College Foundation proudly introduces the "Buy a Brick, Leave a Legacy" Campaign. Engraved bricks will be used to make a lasting impression in the William R. and Cacilia Howard Heritage Plaza. You may inscribe your name on a brick for a contribution of $100, or you can honor or memorialize a loved one, colleague, or organization. Your tax-deductible gift will be earmarked for this wonderful green space, and the enhancement of our campus and entire community. Contributors will be notified of their brick placement as Heritage Plaza is constructed. You can order a brick online. 

BLOOD DONATION OPPORTUNITIES
Like a hospital emergency room, the American Red Cross must be prepared to provide blood for patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. It’s the blood already on the shelves and readily available that can be lifesaving for people like Chris Salinas. Chris was a horse trainer who was seriously injured in an accident when a horse pinned him to the pavement. He and his family said they credit the multiple blood transfusions he received with helping him recover. Type O negative blood is especially needed right now. O negative is the universal blood type and can potentially be transfused to patients with any type. To make an appointment to donate blood and help ensure the shelves are stocked for patients in need, please visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS. Upcoming blood donation opportunities in near you:
Ouachita County
Feb. 17 from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Southern Arkansas University Tech College, 100 Carr Road in Camden, Ark.
Feb. 19 from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Green Center, 638 Calfornia Ave. SW in East Camden, Ark.
Feb. 28 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Bearden High School, 635 Plum in Bearden, Ark.

How to donate blood:
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org 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.

February 3, 2014

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF DEPARTMENT REPORT
On February 1, Deputy Michael Davidson of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office received a call concerning a breaking and entering report at Ouachita Hunting Club on Ouachita Road 25. 
Upon the officer’s arrival, he made contact with Harold Telton. Telton advised the officer the he arrived at the deer camp and observed that several doors were open to the camp houses. Telton stated that after closer observation, he observed that the doors were pried open or the locks were cut off, which in-fact was true. Davidson observed the camp houses, which had been gone through, however Telton was unaware of any items missing. After processing evidence Telton was advised that a report would be on file at the Sheriff’s Department and that CID would be in contact with him. 

ONE PERSON DEAD IN MAGNOLIA; STILL UNDER INVESTOGATION
On Sunday afternoon, it was announced that one person died in a house fire on Columbia County Road 36. At around 3:30 pm the Calhoun Volunteer Fire Department responded to the fire. The name of the victim has not been released.  The Arkansas State Police was called upon to investigate the cause of the fire. The Calhoun Volunteer Fire Department responded to the fire about 3:30 p.m. The house was totally engulfed when firemen arrived. Firefighters returned to the scene early Monday morning after the fire rekindled. The fire destroyed the front of the house and the roof partially collapsed. The rear of the wood frame house was left standing but suffered heavy fire damage. A Toyota Corolla parked near the front of the house was also destroyed. A storeroom and another outbuilding were unaffected. County Road 36 is also known as the old El Dorado Highway. The fire’s location was about one mile east of Lake Sue Nursery.

QUORUM COURT MEETING 
There will be a Ouachita County Quorum Court Regular Meeting on Tuesday, February 4th. The meeting will start at 7:00 pm. Among the items on the agenda are appropriating funds in the jail operating fund, jail budget.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB REPORT
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet this week at Catherine’s Bistro in Camden. The speaker this week will be Dr. Larry Braden.  Dr. Braden will be sharing what he feels healthcare in the next couple of years will look like from the perspective of the Doctor, patient and your prescription needs. 

PLANS AND DEVELOPMENT FOR RELAY FOR LIFE
Plans and team development for the 2014 Ouachita County Relay for Life to be held on May 30th are underway and we encourage you to come and find out how you can be a part.  The 2014 theme is 100 years of Fighting Cancer / Relaying through the Decades. All are welcome to the upcoming team meeting on Thursday Feb. 6 at 6:00 p.m. at the Green Room for more information contact Lisa Taylor 574-4283 or email us at relaytime@hotmail.com

SAU BOARD TO HAVE CALLED MEETING ON TUESDAY
A special meeting of the Southern Arkansas University Board of Trustees has been called for 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. The single item on the agenda reads as follows: “Resolution to facilitate the acceptance of property described as Lot 3, Harvey Couch Business Park, Magnolia, Arkansas, and acceptance of agreements among Southern Arkansas University, Magnolia Economic Development Commission, and the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services for the purpose of constructing a facility for the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services and Adult Education, Magnolia, Arkansas.” The meeting will be held in Room 102-D at the Donald W. Reynolds Campus and Community Center. The resolution is the next step in a cooperative effort among the participants to construct a new Workforce Services office and Adult Education Center in the business park.

SAU GRANTED NEW ENGINEERING PROGRAM 
Southern Arkansas University was approved to establish a Bachelor of Science in Engineering program by the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board quarterly meeting in Little Rock Friday, January 31, 2013. Sarah Argue, chair of the Academic Committee of the Higher Education Coordinating Board  said “This is how higher education is going to grow. Being reflective of industry, and being reflective on the things that are available,". “I commend SAU and I commend your work. It is going to be a task, but thank you for committing to it and for committing to south Arkansas.” The Bachelor of Science in Engineering at SAU will be effective fall 2014. Projected starting enrollment for the fall semester is more than 20 students. Dr. David Rankin, SAU president said “This is a tremendous academic breakthrough not only for Southern Arkansas University, but for all of south Arkansas,” and “This program will boost economic development in the region and offer our engineering students an opportunity to stay in the area after graduation.”

FISH FRY AND QUESADILLA FEST FUNDRAISER SET FOR MARCH
There will be a Fish Fry and Quesadilla Fest Fundraiser on March 2nd at What’s Cookin in Camden. The fundraiser is sponsored by the Professional Association of Women Educators and will last from 11:00 am until 2:00 pm. Tickets are 10 dollars in advanced and 12 dollars at the door. The dishes will be either chicken quesadilla or a fish plate, and there will also be a dessert available for an extra fee. For more information you can call Paula Bergstrom at 870-574-4488.

AR FORESTRY & COMMISSION MISSING PILOT SEARCH CONTINUES
Ground crews searched all night along routes below the supposed flight path of missing Arkansas Forestry Commission pilot Jake Harrell. Saturday night through Sunday morning, more than 200 miles were traveled along back roads and rugged trails, searching for some sign of the pilot or his airplane. With air operations grounded by a winter storm that moved into western Arkansas overnight, ground squads are focusing Sunday on the north side of the supposed flight route with steep slopes, near Oden. Four wheelers will be used to access challenging sections of terrain. This concentrated effort is based on information from Harrell's cell provider about what is thought to be his last transmission before he went missing on Friday. The Incident Command Post in Mena is carefully monitoring the weather situation as ice and rain may move through the area.  Billy Black, AFC investigator said "We are doing our best to speculate about which direction Jake may have taken the plane on Friday, if his visibility was becoming difficult. We are hopeful that by narrowing search efforts to this area, that we may have a good chance of locating him,".

January 31, 2014

EL DOARDO RV FIRE TAKES LIFE OF 8 YEAR-OLD BOY
An RV fire has claimed the life of an 8-year-old boy. Officials with the El Dorado Fire Department say it happened just before 3 a.m. Wednesday earlier this week in the 800 block of East 4th Street. When crews arrived on the scene, the RV was engulfed in flames. When the fire was put out, firefighters found the body of Jack Tyler Gilmore. The Investigators believe the fire was sparked by a faulty heat source. The victim's mother, who suffered smoke inhalation, was taken to the Medical Center of South Arkansas for treatment. 

FES REGISTRATION
Beginning on February 24, in the Elementary School Between the hours of 9 am and 2 pm. Preschools students must be 4 on or before August 1st. Documents that will be needed include: Proof of Residency, Birth Certificate, Social Security Card, Current Shot Record, and a current Physical or Well-Child Checkup. Kindergarten Students must be 5 on or before August 1st and all of the same documents will be needed. 

SAU MAKES STATEMENT REGUARDING MULERIDER THEFT CASE
Southern Arkansas University has released a brief statement in response to the sentencing in of former student Jaci Jackson in the Mulerider Stables horse theft case.
The two-sentence statement said: "The theft of five horses from SAU has been a traumatic event for everyone at the university and our community and we are extremely glad to get it behind us so we can move forward. We want to thank everyone for all the tremendous support we have received." Jackson, who instigated the theft of five horses from Mulerider Stables in November 2011, was sentenced to 3 ½ years in an Oklahoma prison. She also received seven years on probation on related charges. Jackson, her mother Wendi Cox and others were accused of stealing the horses, tack and a horse trailer from the Magnolia campus, and taking them to a remote location near Idabel, Oklahoma. One of the horses was killed and the four others left to starve before they were found. Jackson also faces charges in Columbia County and is due to be sentenced on Thursday, February 6.

SAU COMING TO TEXARKANA
Starting in Spring 2014, SAU will be offering classes in a comfortable classroom located at the new Hampton Inn near the Arkansas Convention Center in Texarkana. Courses this spring are geared toward offering an affordable and convenient way for nurses to advance their careers through SAU’s successful LPN-RN or RN-BSN programs, or for those interested in starting their nursing education with SAU’s accredited Department of Nursing. As a bonus for residents of Bowie County, Texas, the out-of-state tuition fee is being waived. For more information you can call Whitney Black, Director of University Outreach for Texarkana at 870-904-7669.

FROG WATCH WORKSHOP 2014
There will be a FrogWatch workshop on February 11, from 6:30 pm through 8:30 pm.

This classroom workshop will teach you to identify all the frogs and toads in our area by their calls in the first session.  Students will follow a PowerPoint presentation and learn to mimic the frog calls.  Handouts with visual memory aids will be provided.  In addition, you will learn why they are important, why they are in trouble, and what can be done to help them.  The second meeting includes an introduction to wetlands and frog monitoring training for the FrogWatch national network administered by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.  Citizen scientists around the country listen to frogs and toads from February through August and submit their findings to a national database.  Session one is a prerequisite for session two, and students may just attend the first session if they are not interested in becoming a citizen scientist.  For more about FrogWatch USA™ see www.arkansasfrogsandtoads.org.  There is no charge for this workshop. To RSVP, call (870) 864-7192 or e-mail ce@southark.edu.

January 30, 2014

CAR ACCIDENT IN CAMDEN 
On Thursday afternoon there was a horrible car accident over by Valero gas station on Cash road and  hwy 79. The accident is still under investigation. We will have more on this story as it unfolds. 

OUACHITA COUNTY SEHRIFF’S OFFICE REPORT
Yesterday, January 29, Lt. James Bolton was dispatched to 194 Ouachita 31 to take a theft report. Upon Bolton’s arrival he met with Ms. Loddie Shaw who was leaving at the residence. She stated that she had ordered a new iPhone 5 through her cell phone carrier AT&T. The phone was delivered to her home by UPS around noon on January 29th. Sometime between noon and 4:00 pm, someone opened the box, removed the phone, and placed the box upside down on top of an ice chest on the back porch. When Ms. Shaw arrived home, she found the empty box and called AT&T and filed a report with them. Ms. Shaw stated she doesn’t know who could have done this. She has received boxes before that have not been tampered with. 

EL DOARDO RV FIRE TAKES LIFE OF 8 YEAR-OLD BOY
An RV fire has claimed the life of an 8-year-old boy. Officials with the El Dorado Fire Department say it happened just before 3 a.m. Wednesday in the 800 block of East 4th Street. When crews arrived on the scene, the RV was engulfed in flames. When the fire was put out, firefighters found the body of Jack Tyler Gilmore. The Investigators believe the fire was sparked by a faulty heat source. The victim's mother, who suffered smoke inhalation, was taken to the Medical Center of South Arkansas for treatment.

TWO SUSPECTS IN MAGNOLIA CASE BEING HELD UNDER $150,000 BOND EACH
Two South Arkansas Youth Services clients were ordered held under $150,000 bond each in connection with Tuesday’s kidnapping of Magnolia High School mathematics teacher Pamela White from her home on Chestnut Street. 16 year-olds Torie Lawrence of Little Rock and Bobby Hudson of Benton, went before Circuit Court Judge Larry Chandler on Wednesday afternoon to hear charges against them including aggravated residential burglary, aggravated robbery, kidnapping, terroristic threatening and theft of property of more than $25,000.

The first three charges are Class Y felonies, which carry the potential of 10 to 40 years, or life, in prison. Terroristic threatening is punishable by up to six years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The theft count carries a 5-to-20 year sentence and a $15,000 fine. White was released unharmed by Hudson and Lawrence in Nevada County less than an hour after she was abducted, apparently at random, from her home about 1 p.m. Investigation led to a phalanx of police cars surrounding her Chevrolet Equinox as it headed north on Interstate 30 near Malvern, when a command from OnStar shut down the vehicle. Lawrence and Hudson were taken into custody.

MAGNOLIA MAN ARRESTED FOR POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE
A Magnolia man was arrested this past week. 31 year-old Carvandez L. Hardiman, was arrested and was charged with maintaining a drug premises, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a firearm by certain persons, endangering the welfare of a minor first degree, simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms, and theft by receiving a firearm. After receiving several reports of Hardiman selling drugs out of his residence, a Magnolia Police Department investigation lead to the issuance of a search warrant for the home. Officers searched the residence and found drugs, drug paraphernalia and stolen firearms.

SELENA BLAIR ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY FOR COLUMBIA COUNTY TREASUER
Selena Blair has now announced her candidacy for the office of Columbia County treasurer. As a life-long resident of Columbia County, Blair graduated from Magnolia High School with honors in 1988. She graduated in 1993 from Southern Arkansas University summa cum laude with a bachelor’s in business administration, with emphasis in accounting and computer information systems. With more than 20 years of hands-on experience with for-profit, not-for-profit, and governmental accounting, which includes accounts payable; accounts receivables; payroll; internal control; inventory reconciliation; month-end closing; allocations; general ledger analysis; budgeting; and financial reporting, Blair is a viable candidate for treasurer. 

Blair’s expertise also includes file reviews, regulation compliance, and liaison for local, state, and federal monitors. Since 2002, she has been employed by Southwest Arkansas Planning and Development District, Inc, which serves 12 counties in southwest Arkansas, as an accountant and compliance specialist. Blair has also been a part of the Magnolia Blossom Festival, World Championship Steak Cook-off, Abilities Unlimited, Boy Scouts of America, and Circle of Friends. Delivering weekly meals to senior shut-ins; participating in the nursing home ministry; preparing meals for the homeless shelter; and, serving the youth through church activities are examples of how Blair continues to give back to Columbia County.

SAU ASSESSMENT OF READINESS FOR COLLEGE AND CAREERS SUMMIT 
In collaboration with state representatives and Henderson State University, the SAU Department of Mathematics & Computer Science, STEM Center and ERZ will be hosting the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers Summit 2014. Mr. Tommy Coy from the Arkansas Department of Education and Dr. Linda Griffith of the University of Central Arkansas will provide the latest updates from the State. This is the only event of its kind in the State of Arkansas to discuss and train educators utilizing technology tools for assessment. Educators are invited to participate or attend this event that will be held on Tuesday, February 4th, starting at 9:00 am. For Registration: Contact Dr. Khalil Dajani, Chairman of the Department of Math & Computer Science at SAU by email at khalildajani@saumag.edu, phone at (870)-235-5191 or fax (870) 235-5346 .

6TH ANNUAL BASEBALL CHILI DINNER
On Friday, January 31, the 6th Annual Baseball Chili Dinner will take place at Camden Fairview High School Cafeteria. Tickets will be sold for 5 dollars. The CFHS Basketball will be playing Lakeside in the gym and the Lady Cardinals Gymnastics will also be competing on campus. Come out and support the 2014 baseball team and enjoy a bowl of chili.

SAU TECH ANNUAL TALENT SHOW
Southern Arkansas University Tech will be having its Annual Talen Show on February 11th. The show will start at 6:00 pm in room TE100 in the Technical building. There will be prizes for the first, second, and third place winners. Admission for the show is just 2 dollars a ticket. For any additional information you can call Santresa Wilkins at 870-574-4486 or email her at swilkins@sautech.edu to sign up. Don’t miss this opportunity to be a part of this event that is sure to showcase all the wonderful young talent of south Arkansas.

 2014 BOYS & GIRLS CLUB YOUTH OF THE YEAR BANQUET
On February 10th, the Boys and Girls Club in El Dorado will have its 3rd Annual Youth of the Year Banquet. The banquet will start at 6:30 pm and last until 8:30 pm. The banquet is named in honor of Joe Hickman, who will serve as master of ceremonies at the event. At this banquet an award will be given to a particular teen, typically a junior or senior who was voted to be called “Youth of the Year”. Along with winning that title, the winner will receive a $500 scholarship from the Boys and Girls Club Foundation, $500 from the Boys and Girls Club Alumni Association, the Bubba $500 scholarship and more. Along with the award ceremony, there will also be two dishes served, and head coach of the championship El Dorado Wildcats, Scott Read will be speaking. Tickets are $15 for general and $25 for VIP, which will include meet and greets with special guest. The Boys and Girls Club is expecting a crowd of around 300 for the event. The Boys and Girls Club is located at North West Avenue in El Dorado. For more information you can call Kathey Perry at 870-863-8753 ext. 102 or email her at katheyperry@hotmail.com

January 29, 2014

HOME INVASION, KIDNAPPING AND ROBBERY IN MAGNOLIA
Magnolia police are investigating an apparent home invasion, kidnapping and robbery that happened Tuesday afternoon. The victim was reportedly released unharmed near Prescott by her two abductors after they entered her home on Chestnut Street, forced her to drive them to ATM machines so that money could be withdrawn, and then drive toward Prescott along back roads. Lawmen earlier in the afternoon asked officers to be on the lookout for a stolen black Chevrolet Equinox involved in an apparent kidnapping in Magnolia, but the notice was later cancelled.

Reports say that two juvenile suspects are to be in custody after the stolen vehicle was stopped on Interstate 30 in Hot Spring County near Malvern. According to the Magnolia Police Department more details would be available Wednesday morning. The victim was released unharmed in a rural area near Prescott by her abductors within an hour of the kidnapping. She found her way to a church, from which she was able to call authorities.

The suspects were found traveling north on Interstate 30 near Malvern. Arkansas State Police stopped the vehicle with the assistance of OnStar and secured the occupants and the vehicle. The suspects were held in Malvern until detectives from the Magnolia Police Department arrived to bring them and the vehicle back to Magnolia. The suspects are being held at the Columbia County Justice and Detention Facility pending a first court appearance, which is expected Wednesday afternoon. It is anticipated that they will be charged as adults with kidnapping, aggravated robbery and residential burglary. The Magnolia Police Department, Arkansas State Police, Nevada County Sheriff’s Office and Waldo Police Department were involved in the investigation.

FORMER SAU STUDENT SENTECED TO 42 MONTHS IN PRISON
A former Southern Arkansas University rodeo team member has been sentenced to 42 months in prison in Oklahoma for stealing horses from the school stables.

Jaci Jackson was also sentenced Monday to seven years of probation for her role in the theft of horses and equipment in 2011. The horses were discovered in Oklahoma and that is including one that had been killed, and Jackson faced charges in both states. February 6, is when she is set to be sentenced for the theft. Special District Judge Gary Brock agreed that the theft was instigated by Jackson's mother, Wendi Cox, who is serving a prison sentence for her role in the crimes. According to reports, Jackson cried during Monday's sentencing. However her attorney, Rick Stout, declined to comment.

MEN’S EVENT DRAWS A CROWD AT CULLENDALE FIRST BAPTIST
This past Saturday, January 26, Cullendale First Baptist Church had its first ever “Men’s Winter Event”. This event featured Pastor Dr. Wade Totty’s brother, head football coach for the Rison Wildcats, Clay Totty as the guest speaker. Totty encouraged all the men and young boys to basically become men, what that took and what it meant. Totty spoke about how being a man meant more than just being a role model at home or to friends, but also at school and in the church. Totty would even relate to his own childhood as he would talk about how he and Bro. Wade’s father, grandfather and others invested so much in his life and always saw the potential that was there. Totty is now trying to do the same with youth and adults alike. The turnout at Cullendale Saturday night was great as around 112 men and boys alike attended the event. Bro. Wade said that the success of this event could lead more events like this with different speakers coming to encourage older and younger generations. With a huge turnout and great feedback it’s clear that this was more than just a one-time thing.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB REPORT
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet today January 29, at Catherine’s Bistro in Camden.

The Lions Club speaker this week is Donald Reed with Air-Evac Team. He will explain their services and what they do for the citizens of Ouachita County. For more on the Lions Club and how you can become a member you can contact Charlotte Young at 870-807-1468.

FLU DEATH WIDESPREAD RISES TO 28
The number of flu deaths continue to increase in Arkansas. On Tuesday, 28 people were reported to have died of influenza in Arkansas, according to specialist with the Department of Health. Eighteen of those people have been between the ages of 25 and 64. The CDC now classifies the flu as widespread here in the Natural State. They said this high number of deaths may be in connection with the fact that they are seeing young people getting flu shots at a historically low number. The health department said healthy, young people are being affected by the flu this year.

BURN BANS CONTINUE TO POP UP
Burns bans are now in effect in 50 counties and outdoor burning is strongly discouraged across the state, the Arkansas Forestry Commission said Monday. The commission said 48 wildfires burned over the weekend and that 21 homes were threatened by the flames but were saved by suppression efforts. Most of the fires burned between 5 and 10 acres. A total of 127 acres burned over the weekend, not including a fire in the Ouachita National Forest near Lake Ouachita State Park that began Friday and had burned about 2,000 acres by Monday afternoon. Another 13 fires burned across 68 acres on Monday, according to the Forestry Commission. The commission said its crews have worked 237 fires so far this month, or 30 percent of the total number of wildfires fought in all of 2013. State Forester, Joe Fox said “We are beginning what appears to be a much more dangerous year for wildfire activity than we experienced last year. We ask all homeowners and citizens in Arkansas to continue to be very careful,” The commission said it currently has a fleet of 16 planes to assist with fire detection and suppression, and that an additional four single-engine air tankers are expected to arrive Feb. 1 to help ground crews via aerial fire suppression tactics.

January 28, 2014

OUACHITA COUNTY CLERK PRESS RELEASE 
Voters are encouraged to make themselves aware and plan accordingly to ease confusion concerning Arkansas’ new voter identification law before going to the polls or sending in an absentee ballot. Beginning in 2014, Act 595 of 2013 requires voters to present a valid photo identification at the polls. A valid photo ID must be issued by the federal government, State of Arkansas, or an accredited Arkansas college or university. Your name and photograph must be on the valid photo ID, and it must not be expired over four years, before Election Day. If you do not have a valid photo ID, a free voter identification card can be processed at the Ouachita County Clerk’s Office. For more information call Ouachita County Clerk Britt Williford at 870-837-2220 or email him at ouachitaclerk@arkansasclerks.com

BURN BAN IN EFFECT IN 49 COUNTIES IN THE STATE
Burns bans are now in effect in 49 counties and outdoor burning is strongly discouraged across the state, according to the Arkansas Forestry Commission. The commission said 48 wildfires burned over the weekend and that 21 homes were threatened by the flames but were saved by suppression efforts. Most of the fires burned between 5 and 10 acres. A total of 127 acres burned over the weekend, not including a fire in the Ouachita National Forest northwest of Lake Ouachita State Park. The commission said its crews have worked 237 fires so far this month, or 30 percent of the total number of wildfires fought in all of 2013. “We are beginning … what appears to be a much more dangerous year for wildfire activity than we experienced last year. We ask all homeowners and citizens in Arkansas to continue to be very careful,” State Forester Joe Fox said in a news release. The commission said it currently has a fleet of 16 planes to assist with fire detection and suppression, and that an additional four single-engine air tankers are expected to arrive Feb. 1 to help ground crews via aerial fire suppression tactics. Counties with burn bans in effect were Ashley, Baxter, Boone, Benton, Carroll, Clark, Clay, Cleburne, Cleveland, Conway, Crawford, Dallas, Drew, Faulkner, Franklin, Fulton, Garland, Grant, Greene, Howard, Independence, Izard, Jefferson, Johnson, Lawrence, Lincoln, Logan, Lonoke, Madison, Marion, Newton, Ouachita, Perry, Pike, Prairie, Polk, Pope, Pulaski, Randolph, Saline, Searcy, Sebastian, Sharp, Stone, Van Buren, Washington, White, Woodruff, and Yell.

COMMITTEE TO DISCUSS NEED FOR CONSTRUCTION OF POLICE DEPO.
Councilman Rodney Peterson will chair a new Magnolia City Council committee created Monday afternoon. As its first task, the Building and Grounds Committee will study improvements that need to be made to the Police-Fire Building, which may lead toward the construction of a new police station or annex. Mayor Parnell Vann has raised the possibility that a new building could be financed by striking an agreement with cell phone companies. It would call for the city to accept lump sum payments for future cell tower rental. He told the council last month that the city would give up 20 years of income from cell phone towers, and receive 11 years of that income almost immediately. Vann said Monday that negotiations are on-going with cell phone providers for tower placement and potential revenue.

MAGNOLIA RESTRICTIONS ON YARD SALES CONTINUES
Restrictions on yard sales in Magnolia moved forward on Monday before the Magnolia City Council. Council members heard the second of three required readings on an ordinance dealing with the positioning and duration of yard sales. The ordinance requires that, “Items for sale during a sale shall only be displayed in or on a patio, porch, or driveway connected to a residence or in a garage or carport connected to a residence. No yard, lawn, or non-concreted or non-asphalted area immediately in front, behind, or on either side of a residence, shall be used to conduct sales from a person’s residence.” The ordinance will also restrict “yard” sales to three days in duration, and limits them to two times in any one-year period at the same location. Councilman James Moore wondered what specific problem the ordinance is attempting to address. Mayor Parnell Vann said “We’re trying to get this ordinance back to where it’s a garage sale, and not a block yard sale. I have two neighborhoods where I have multiple calls from people who live in those areas. The current ordinance doesn’t stop it. So I bring it to this council. If the council likes it the way it is, I’m fine with it. I’m just bringing the issue I have from the public because I need your help,”. The council is expected to decide the issue at its February 24 meeting.

UPCOMING CAMDEN FAIRVIEW EVENTS
CFIS SCIENCE FAIR
Future Scientist of America will have projects on display for families to view. Projects will be judged and ribbons will be awarded to students who challenged themselves to be the best scientist. The Science will take place in the CFIS gymnasium.

2013-14 NATIONAL ELEMENTARY HONOR SOCIETY INDUCTION CEROMONY
The annual National Elementary Honor Society Induction Services will be held on February 7th, at 9:00 am in the CFIS café, for new inductees. There will be a candlelight ceremony conducted by the current 5th grade National Elementary Honor Society Officers. Parents and community are invited to attend. A reception will be held in the library for new inductees after the ceremony.

CFIS FAMILY NIGHT
CFIS Parental Involvement is hosting a “Heart for Learning Family Night” which will have family and parental involvement, featuring music by the choir, fun games, and crafts from the heart, all just in time for Valentine’s Day.  This event will be held from 6:00-7:30 pm on February 13th.


CFIS PARENT-TEACHER CONFERENCE
On February 10th, There will be a parent-teacher conference. The conference will start at 11:00 am until 6:00 pm.


SAU TECH COLLEGE DAY
Southern Arkansas University Tech will be having its annual College Day on March 20th. The event will start at Noon in the SAU Tech courtyard. To register you can go to www.sautech.edu, email Paula Doss at pdoss@sautech.edu or call 870-574-4712. A free lunch will be provided and you can bring a visitor with you. College Day gives you the opportunity to learn about SAU Tech’s variety of programs and why choosing SAU Tech could be the best decision you ever make.

SOUTH ARKANSAS NETWORKING LUNCHEON
On January 28, starting at 11:30 am until 1:00 pm, the January South Arkansas Networking Luncheon will be taking place in El Dorado. The luncheon, sponsored by Entergy is an opportunity to meet other area professionals. Each attendee has the opportunity to introduce themselves to others as well as tell a little about what they do and who they work for.

WEBSITE IN A DAY
The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center presents "Website in a Day." Does your business need a website? Have you been held back by a lack of funds or a lack of technical skills? Then, Website in a Day is the hands-on workshop for you. The workshop will take place on February 4, from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm. Come sit down with the ASBTDC's laptop lab and design a free website using Weebly. You'll be taken step-by-step through creating a free account and creating an attractive, functional, five page website. All participants receive a free 20-page workbook with detailed instructions. The ASBTDC is able to present this seminar at no cost to Arkansas small business owners due to a joint partnership with Connect Arkansas, a private, nonprofit corporation dedicated to increasing high-speed internet and adoption throughout Arkansas. Register before this seminar fills up.

ARKANSAS UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DROPS AGAIN
Arkansas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined one-tenth of a percentage point, from 7.5 in November to 7.4 percent in December, according to a report produced by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. The data was released by the Department of Workforce Services. Arkansas' civilian labor force rose 2,600, a result of 3,200 more employed and 600 fewer unemployed Arkansans. The United States' jobless rate dropped three-tenths of a percentage point, from 7.0 percent in November to 6.7 percent in December. DWS Communications Director Becky Heflin said, "Arkansas' unemployment rate declined in December, largely the result of a gain in employment and a corresponding increase in the size of the civilian labor force. This is the second month in a row that Arkansas' employment has increased."

January 27, 2014

OUACHITA COUNTY UNDER BURN BAN
42 counties in Arkansas are under a burn ban, including Ouachita, Dallas, and Pike County. To report a wildfire you can call the AFC Dispatch Center at 1-800-468-8834. To report an emergency, dial 911. All the active burn bans have been declared in the following counties: Baxter, Boone, Benton, Carroll, Clark, Clay, Cleburne, Conway, Crawford, Dallas, Faulkner, Franklin, Fulton, Garland, Greene, Howard, Independence, Izard, Jefferson, Johnson, Lawrence, Lincoln, Logan, Lonoke, Marion, Newton, Ouachita, Perry, Pike, Prairie, Pope, Pulaski, Randolph, Saline, Searcy, Sebastian, Sharp, Stone, Van Buren, Washington, White, and Yell.

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF OFFICE REPORTS
On January 26, Lt. James Bolton of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to Highway 79 North to take a theft report. Upon his arrival Bolton met with a Mr. Daniel Shellman who resided at that residence. Shellman stated that he went out of town on Thursday January 23, and returned on the 26th. Shellman also stated that when he drove up to his home, a camper trailer, he noticed one of the propane tanks was missing from the front of the camper. The second tank was sitting on the ground next to the tongue of the trailer. He said both tanks were in the storage rack and secured when he left the home. On the 26th, both were disconnected and one was missing. Mr. Shellman had no idea who could have done this, but he did say that he had been living there for about a year and has not ever had anything go missing.

Also on January 26, the Sheriff’s Office received a call from Arlene Ellis at 207 Ouachita 199 in reference to a disturbance between her and her boyfriend, Tyrone Davis. Upon arrival officer William Carman could here both Ellis and Davis arguing inside the home. Carman made entry into the residence and saw Davis standing over Ellis as she in a chair and both were still screaming at each other. Ellis stated that she wanted Davis out of her house and not to come back. Davis, who has a house next door stated he would leave and go back to his house. The officer explained to both subjects that the office has been dealing with the two of them on numerous of occasions and for Davis to leave and not to return. After Carman left, Ellis called the Sheriff’s Office again saying that Davis returned and stole her car, and that he didn’t have a driver’s license and the tags were fake. Davis was stopped by Carman at 79 North and Bradley Ferry Road. When the officer approached Davis, he admitted that his license was suspended. Davis said he was trying to get away from the situation and get across town, and he hadn’t had time to get the vehicle registered or insured. Davis was taken into custody and the vehicle was towed from the scene.

On January 25, at 911 call was received reporting a disturbance at Harpos Club in Stephens. Deputy Lindsey and Lt. Bolton responded. While they were on route, another call was received reporting an injury and they would meet EMS and Deputies at Pit Stop. When the officers arrived at Pit Stop, no one was found. Deputy Lindsey and Bolton proceeded to Ouachita 585 where the club was located. Upon their arrival, the found that the Church parking lot across from Harpos was full of vehicles. None of the people in the parking lot knew anything about a disturbance, so the officers met with the owner, Harvey Harper. Harper stated that there was no disturbance. EMS was notified to cancel the response and officers cleared the area.  

On Saturday, January 25, the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Department and Bethesda Volunteer Fire Department responded to a report of a grass fire behind 2892 Ouachita 3. Upon their arrival officers met with resident Tom Smart attempting to extinguish the fire with a garden hose. Smart’s wife Barbara stated that Tom had cleaned out their fireplace the previous night and had put the bucket of ashes and coals in a brushy area outside the back of their residence. Not knowing the coals were still hot a fire eventually started, burning off several acres just behind the residence. The fire was extinguished by the Fire Department and no other property was damaged.

On Saturday, January 25, at approximately 1:00 pm, the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office received a call reporting a fire under the Woodard Lake Bridge. Both Fire District and East Camden Fire Departments responded. The fire was quickly put out and units returned back to their stations. At this time it is unknown what started the fire.

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORTS
On January 26, Officer John Parker made contact with Eugene Tremaine Carroll, who was the passenger, on a traffic stop on Pierce Street near Avon Street. Parker asked Carroll if he had any identification, which Carroll responded no, and that his birthday was March 16, 1981. Parker conducted a check through dispatch and was advised that there was no record of him. Parker verified his name and date of birth with Carroll again and he stated the same name. He then stated that his full name was Tremaine Eugene Carroll and verified it with Parker, but there was still no return for that name. Parker asked Carroll for his Social Security Number, and later found out that the man’s name was actually Eugene Tremaine Carroll. When Parker advised Carroll of his actual name, Carroll responded “oh ok” and that he gave the officer the wrong name because of child support. Carroll was taken into custody, charged with obstructing governmental operations and transported to the station without incident. Carroll was given a criminal citation and a later court date of March 5, and was later released. 

On January 25, Officer Kirill Maslakov was dispatched to Wal-Mart in reference to shoplifting. Upon arrival, officer Maslakov made contact with reporting person, the store manager, Chris, who had advised that the shoplifter was detained. The shoplifter was identified as Jerome Thompson. The manager provided the officer with shoplifting affidavit and a receipt totaling $106.22. Upon search of Thompson, the officer recovered a knife that Thompson used to open plastic fragrance packaging. Thompson was taken into custody without incident, and later transferred to the Ouachita County Detention Complex.  

January 24, 2014

FRESHMAN FROM CROSSETT CROWNED MISS SAU  
Freshman business administration major at SAU, 18 year-old, Randee Jo Langley, was crowned Thursday night as Miss Southern Arkansas University. Tap dancing was her talent exhibition, and her platform is called, “Bullying has no age limit.” A 5,000 dollar scholarship from SAU was awarded to Langley as the top prize. Other contestants were Chelsa King, 23, a senior physical education major from Stamps; Sarah Clayton, 19, a sophomore business administration major from Camden; and Sierra Lites, 19, a freshman nursing major from Grapevine.

Randee Jo Langley hopes to use her title as Miss Southern Arkansas University to be a voice against bullying. “I was bullied from the time I was in middle school through high school. If [children] are bullied by an adult like I was, I can be their voice. I want to help them not have to go through the pain that I had to go through, so they won’t take it to the extent of hurting themselves,” said Langley, who is a freshman business administration major at SAU. With this title, she has earned a spot in the Miss Arkansas pageant, which is scheduled for June 15-21 in Hot Springs. “I have worked super hard for this – training in the gym, doing interview lessons, working on modeling and my walk,” said Langley. “I am going to get fitted for my swimsuit for Miss Arkansas tomorrow and get a new dress soon, and get back into working out.” Langley admitted that her she put her diet on hold for a celebration dinner after the pageant last night. “I had Burger King and a Hershey cream pie afterwards that was to die for,” said Langley. Along with winning the top SAU scholarship prize of $5,000, Langley tapped her way to top the scores in the Talent competition. She also won the Evening Gown portion of the pageant. These two wins earned her an additional $500 in scholarship money. Langley said that along with this opportunity to represent SAU at Miss Arkansas, she was excited that she was crowned for her first “Miss prelim” by Ashley Walthall, Miss SAU 2013. Langley said that Walthall also crowned her at her first “Teen prelim” win.  First runner-up was Sierra Lites, 19, from Grapevine, Ark. She also won the Lifestyle and Fitness and the Interview portions of the pageant. Lites earned a $2,500 scholarship. She is a freshman nursing major. Sarah Clayton, 19, from Camden, earned a $50 scholarship for the Spirit of SAU Award and a $100 Vocal Award for her Talent performance. She is a sophomore business administration major. A total of $8,150 in scholarship money was awarded. “This year we were able to add $250 in additional scholarships for our contestants, thanks to generous sponsorships like Serenity Day Spa,” said Anne Sands, executive director of the Miss SAU pageant. “Scholarship is our number one priority, so we are always happy when we get to add more.” To find out more about SAU, visit www.SAUmag.edu.

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT
This past Tuesday, the Camden Police Department presented a plaque to the General Manager of Camden Wal-Mart Tina Bundaitis in recognition of hers and Wal-Mart’s continued support of their efforts to protect the citizens of Camden. In recent months the police department have received several grants from Wal-Mart that have allowed the Camden Police Department to purchase a new computer and computer software. The police have also been able to purchase 16 digital cameras and memory cards. The addition of those cameras means that they will be able to provide every officer from the Department to better document crimes and victims of crimes. Wal-Mart has also donated a flat screen TV to the Police that is used in their briefing room for training purposes. The plaque reads “In recognition and appreciation of your unwavering support of the Camden Police Department and its goal of protecting the citizens of Camden.

SCAMS HIT OUACHITA COUNTY
Beware! A couple of scams have been identified in the county over the past few weeks. A number of residents have reported to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office that they have received a phone call stating that they have won money and a car from Publishers Clearinghouse. The caller says that the “winner” must put money on a card to cover 1% of the taxes on the prize. The victim is given a number to call back. When they call the scammer back, he asks for the number on the back of the card. The victim then believes they will receive the prize. The fact is, once the scammer has the number on the back of the card, all he has to do is log on to the card site, type in the number and take the money. Another scam, also involves a phone call. The caller tells the victim that they have a summons for a past due debt or something to that effect. The victim is told to put money on a cash card and call back. The caller is told once they pay the summons will not be served and it will disappear.  Same deal as the Publisher’s Clearinghouse Scam. Once the scammer has the number, he gets the money. According to the Sheriff’s Office, these calls originate from places like Jamaica or Haiti where there is no legal repercussions. The Attorney General’s Office as well as the FBI have been apprised of the scams and say there is no way to prosecute these low lives. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t fall victim to a scam.

OUACHITA COUNTY OFFICE HOLDING VOLUNTEER MEETING
The Ouachita County Office of the American Red Cross will be holding its next volunteer meeting on Tuesday, January 28, starting at 6:00 pm. The meeting will be held at the W.K. Green Education and Conference Center, at the Ouachita County Medical Center in Camden. Volunteers of all types, sizes, abilities and interest are needed and encouraged to attend and find out about local disaster plans and programs. The Ouachita County Office need people to join and take training at their own pace before a major disaster strikes the community. For more information you can call John Lewis at 870-685-2318.

OUACHITA COUNTY SESQUICENTENNIAL COMMITTEE NEEDING VENDORS
The Ouachita County Sesquicentennial Committee is looking for food vendors for their closing ceremony which will be held on Saturday, April 19th @ 6PM. Preference is given to nonprofits groups from Ouachita County, if your group is interested please contact Charlotte Young at 870-836-4440 Ext 7#.

MAYOR BELIEVES CLOSING SMACKOVER ROAD IS SAFEST FOR EVERYONE
Thursday night, Camden Mayor Chris Claybaker, Gross and Janes, City Council, and members of the Camden community all gathered last night at New Hebron Baptist Church to discuss the situation involving Old Smackover Road. The plan is to have the road closed down from the hours of 7:00 am until 5:00 pm Monday through Thursday, forcing citizens leaving in that area to take an alternate route. Both Mayor Claybaker and Gross and Janes believe this is the safest option for everyone involved. Claybaker said that he would rather people have to take an alternate route than risk the lives of citizens in Camden, especially the young kids. Claybaker also said that “ a mayors job is making sure that people in the community are well protected by not only police and fire departments, but also public works” but also 40 percent of my job time is spent on development and for a small town such as Camden, that can be a difficult job. During the hours that the road will be closed there will be a gate with a sign letting people know that the road is closed. This new development would bring more jobs to a Camden Community that has lost way too many over the past 20 years. We may not all agree with the method being taken, however you can’t deny that more jobs in Camden is better for everyone.

JUNE MALOCH WILL BE RUNNING FOR COLUMBIA COUNTY TREASURER

June Maloch has announced her candidacy for the Democratic Party nomination for Columbia County treasurer. Maloch began working in the Columbia County Collector’s Office in 1986. After many requests from family members, Maloch decided to leave the Collector’s Office in 1998 and work in the family business, the Spudnut Shop. While at the Spudnut Shop, Maloch was responsible for all accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, taxes and other duties. In 2008, Maloch was asked to return to Columbia County and for the last 5 1/2 years has been working in the Assessor’s Office. Maloch has worked in all areas dealing with personal property, real estate, and producing minerals. Maloch is an Arkansas Assessment Coordination Division certified Level 4 appraiser. For this designation she successfully completed 120 hours of classes required by the department. Maloch is a lifelong resident of Columbia County. She graduated from Magnolia High School and attended Southern Arkansas University. She is a member of Greers Chapel United Methodist Church of which her family was founding members. Maloch is a member of the 2013 - 2014 class of Leadership Magnolia.

WATERS NEW MAGNOLIA MARKET PRESIDENT FOR BANCORPSOUTH
Mike Waters has been announced as the new BancorpSouth Market President in Magnolia.
West/South Arkansas Division President, Jim Patridge said, “We are extremely pleased to have someone with Mike Waters’ experience and commitment leading our BancorpSouth team in Magnolia,” Waters is succeeding  Steve Nipper, who recently retired. “BancorpSouth has a rich history in Magnolia and Taylor dating back to 1904. Under Mike Waters’ leadership BancorpSouth will continue to deliver to its clients the very best in personalized service and a complete range of financial products and services.”

HARMONY GROVE WATER ASSOCIATION REPORT
The boll order that was issued on January 18, for the Harmony Grove Water Association was lifted by the Arkansas Department of Health this past Thursday. The Water Association would like to thank its valued customers for their patience and that they are sorry for any inconvenience that the boll order caused.

STEPHENS BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING
The Stephens Board of Education will have a special called meeting tonight, January 24th. The meeting will start at 5:00 pm in the high school library. The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss personnel, however the public is invited to attend.

BOOK SIGNING IN COLUMBIA COUNTY
Award winning, national bestselling author, Patricia Haley will be at the Columbia County Public Library in Magnolia on Saturday February 8th. The library is located at 2057 N. Jackson and Haley will be there from 10:00 through 11:30 am. Haley is the writer of eight faith-based novels and a contributor in two anthologies. For more information you can call Evelyn Wainwright at 870-562-4237 or Cheryl Stuart at 870-831-8541.

FLU STILL CASUING PROBLEMS: NUMBER OF DEATHS CONTINUE TO RISE
The number of flu deaths this season has increased now to 25, according to the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH). The confirmed cases have been recorded since Sept. 29. In a news conference last week, the ADH said this year’s flu season is causing severe illness and death in adults between the ages of 25 and 50. The ADH says multiple hospitalizations in the 25-50 group have also been reported. It is highly recommended that all individuals in this age group receive a seasonal flu vaccine and promptly visit a doctor should they experience severe flu-like symptoms. The ADH says the flu is widespread across the state and that this season's numbers so far are similar to last year in terms of flu activity and number of cases. The most frequently seen flu strain this year is H1N1, which disproportionately affects young to middle-aged adults and pregnant women. There are multiple factors that may explain why younger, healthier people are affected this year. One observation is that only 30 percent of individuals in this age group have been vaccinated against seasonal flu this year. That leaves over 650,000 unvaccinated Arkansans in this age group unprotected from the flu. Flu symptoms include: fever over 100 degrees, headache, extreme fatigue, sore throat, muscle aches, dry cough, and runny or stuffy nose.  If you have flu symptoms and experience shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, sudden dizziness, or pain or pressure in the chest,  and wit the number of deaths continuing to increase, seek medical care as quickly as possible.

January 23, 2014

CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT
On January 22, Officer Justin Easttam was on a routine patrol in the area of Frazier Street when he observed a black 2003 Pontiac. Easttam conducted a registration check on the vehicle and was advised by dispatch that the tags were expired as we turned onto Willie B. Cole Avenue. The car then turned onto Carver Street and activated his emergency lights and attempted to initiate a traffic stop. The car did not stop and failed to yield to the lights. As the car turned onto Grinstead Street, and Easttam activated his siren and the driver continued to ignore them and turned onto Short Street. The driver then began to speed up; eventually Easttam would exit his patrol unit and gave chase; ordering the man, Identified as Steven Randall to stop. Randall refused and was finally caught in a yard near 231 Johnson Street. Detective Hicks arrived on scene and placed Randall into handcuffs. He was then transported to the station without incident. A vehicle impound sheet was completed and Randall’s vehicle was towed from the scene. Randall was issued a criminal citation for driving on a suspended license, no proof of insurance, failure to pay registration, reckless driving, and running a stop sign. He was also issued a criminal citation for failure to yield to an emergency vehicle. He was then given a court date of March 19, on all charges and later transported to the Ouachita County Jail. 

STATE REP. DAVID FIELDING ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY FOR RE-ELECTION.
State Representative David Fielding of Magnolia has announced his candidacy for re-election to Arkansas House of Representatives District 5 including parts of Columbia, Ouachita, Nevada and Lafayette counties. Fielding would go on to say “Our work is not finished and I want to continue what we have begun. We still need intensive emphasis on economic development and jobs in south Arkansas. Our public schools and higher education need continued funding so that our teachers have the best resources to educate our children. Our rural fire departments are critical to our community and need additional support. I want to continue to work closely with each city in the District and our district courts to help them with whatever they need.” “I am honored to serve all people of District 5. My service as chair of the House City, County and Local Affairs Committee, as well as a member of the Public Transportation and Rail Subcommittee and Joint Senate and House Committee on Energy, has afforded me the opportunity to represent you in crucial decisions affecting our part of the state,”. Fielding admires the work for economic development and pomises to continue to work with city, county and state officials to retain and recruit industry and business to this area. “Good paying jobs are essential to maintaining our quality of life and I will continue to do everything to support these efforts,” said Fielding. Fielding said public schools as well as Southern Arkansas University-Magnolia and SAU Tech in Camden are outstanding examples of preparing our young people for the world of work. Fielding stated “I understand reforming our educational system will allow us to improve learning opportunities for all students and hopefully will also increase our literacy rate. Our children are the future of our wonderful state. We must ensure the education they receive from pre-school through college gives them effective tools to become productive citizens. I will support legislation ensuring every child access to a quality educational program,”. Fielding ended with “It has been an honor to represent the people of District 5 as your State Representative. I appreciate your support and ask for your vote as I promise to continue to represent you to the best of my ability. I invite you to contact me at david.fielding@arkansashouse.org or call 870-904-1716 and offer your ideas,”.

ARKANSAS JOB AND CAREER READINESS WORKSHOP 
The Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund is offering a Job and Career Readiness Workshop entitled, “What Employers Wish you Knew.”  The workshop will be presented by Dr. Jan McCormick, Job Readiness Evangelist. Dr. Jan is one of America’s top career communication and personal presentation coaches. The workshop is free and available all single mothers in the listening area.  All attendees will receive a $50.00 Wal-Mart Gift Card, portfolio and lunch on Fat Boys Restaurant and Catering. The workshop will be held on Friday, January 31, 2014. It will start at 9am and last until 4pm, in Arkadelphia at the Clark County Fair Grounds Youth Building. For transportation, contact Valerie Wilson at 870-833-0083. The deadline to pre-register is Monday, January 27th.  To preregister, call Erin Poee at 501-438-9442 or email her at singlemothersworkshop@gmail.com.

2014 OIL TOWN SWEETHEART PAGEANT
On Saturday, February 8th, there will be a 2014 Oil Town Sweetheart Pageant. The pageant will be held at Smackover High School, in the auditorium, and will start at 11:00 am. The pageant is open to girls up to 21 years of age. Registrations will be accepted by phone and the deadline to register is by February 7th. For information or to register you can call Cheryl Corley at 870-725-3628, Tammy Ward at 870-725-4186, or Smackover High at 870-725-3361.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS BIKE PROJECT
The Camden Noon Lions Club will soon be starting a “Bike Project” which would allow kids to receive bikes for Christmas, who would not otherwise receive one. The bikes would be distributed through 4 agencies, which include, Angel Tree, Toys for Tots, and CASA. The program would create a competition between big companies & small businesses both in the area as well as those in town. The idea would be for employees from various areas to donate good used bikes that their children had outgrown or no longer use. Bikes should be in good condition, needing no more than minor or no repairs. The bikes would be passed throughout the 3 agencies according to the sizes and inventory received. The police department has also agreed to work with the Lions Club and give them a safety program to all the children that receive one of the bikes.

MISS SAU 2014 PAGEANT THURSDAY NIGHT
Four Southern Arkansas University students will be vying for the Miss Southern Arkansas University 2014 title starting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, January 23, at Harton Theatre.

The contestants include Chelsa King, Sarah Clayton, Randee Jo Langley and Sierra Lites.
King, 23, from Stamps, Ark., is a senior physical education wellness and leisure major. Her platform is “Let’s move,” and her talent will be a vocal performance. Clatyton, 19, from Camden, Ark., is a sophomore business administration major. Her platform is “Texting and driving: it can wait,” and her talent will also be a vocal performance. Langley, 18, from Crossett, Ark., is a freshman business administration major. Her platform is “Bullying has no age limit,” and her talent will be tap dance. Lites, 19, from Grapevine, Ark., is a freshman nursing major. Her platform is “Be a leader – be involved,” and her talent will be a piano performance. SAU scholarships will be awarded as follows: $5,000 for the winner, $2,500 for first runner-up, $400 for talent, $100 for evening gown (provided by Serenity Day Spa), and a $100 vocal award (provided by Zach Seaton). Additional entertainment for the evening will be provided by Kathy’s Dance Arts Studio, Miss Arkansas 2013 Amy Crain, Miss SAU 2013 Ashley Walthall, SAU’s “Encore,” and SAU students Chandler Walley and Taylor Brown. General admission for the event is $3. SAU students with I.D. get admission for $1.

STATE OF TOBACCO CONTROL: NO PROGRESS MADE IN ARKANSAS
According to the American Lung Association’s “State of Tobacco Control 2014” report, there has been no progress made by Arkansas this past year in reducing tobacco-caused death and disease. Fifty years since the first Surgeon General's report on smoking and health was issued on January 11, 1964, and less than a week after the new Surgeon General's report providing the latest research was released, the Lung Association's new report issues an urgent call to action to policymakers in Arkansas and across the country. Policymakers must reverse their present course and commit to eliminating tobacco-caused death and disease. Jennifer Cofer, Interim Chief Executive Officer of the American Lung Association, Plains-Gulf Region said "Despite strides in reducing smoking rates in America by half in the last 50 years, tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and illness in the U.S., including lung cancer, the number one cancer killer of both men and women in America,". "The Surgeon General's 2014 report is the clarion call that our nation needs to renew its commitment and not let another 50 years of inaction occur," Cofer urged. The Lung Association's "State of Tobacco Control 2014," its 12th annual report, tracks yearly progress on key tobacco control policies at the federal and state level, assigning grades based on whether laws are adequately protecting citizens from the enormous toll tobacco use takes on lives and the economy. The 2014 report highlights the 50th anniversary of the historic 1964 Surgeon General's report that linked smoking to lung cancer and other diseases for the first time.

ANIMAL AG IMPORTANT TO ARKANSAS ECONOMY; FOOD SUPPLY
Whether you're a lawyer, a pilot or even a farmer, jobs in every industry support economic growth, and animal agriculture in Arkansas supported 68,000 jobs this past year, according to the recent United Soybean Board-funded Animal Agriculture Economic Analysis. A successful animal ag industry also benefits the soybean farmers who depend on animal ag as the biggest market for soybean meal. The report also outlines the economic benefits the poultry and livestock sectors provide at the state and national levels. In 2012, animal ag provided the following benefits to Arkansas' economy:

$12.6 billion in total economic output
A $2.1 billion impact on household incomes
$655 million in income and property taxes paid
Nationally, the animal ag industry supported 1.8 million jobs and provided $346 billion in total economic output, according to the study. The sector also added $60 billion to American household incomes and paid $21 billion in income and property taxes.
The partnership between soybean farmers and the animal ag sector helps sustain local farms and produces safe and reliable food for the rest of the world. "It's important that poultry and livestock farmers and soybean farmers across the state continue to work together," says Robert Stobaugh, a checkoff farmer-leader from Atkins, Ark. "A healthy animal ag sector supports our local and state economies, our soybean demand and our food supply." According to the study, poultry are the biggest soybean meal eaters in Arkansas, consuming 79 percent, followed by turkeys at 8 percent and egg-laying hens at 4 percent. Poultry, swine and other livestock consume about 97 percent of the supply of U.S. soybean meal every year in their feed. Last year in Arkansas, animal ag used an estimated 1.7 million tons of soybean meal, or the meal from more than 70.5 million bushels of soybeans. Overall, U.S. poultry, livestock and fish farmers used more than 30 million tons (the meal from 1.26 billion bushels) in the 2011/12 marketing year, which is an increase of 1 million tons (meal from 42 million bushels) from the previous year. The 70 farmer-directors of USB oversee the investments of the soy checkoff to maximize profit opportunities for all U.S. soybean farmers. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds to increase the value of U.S. soy meal and oil, to ensure U.S. soybean farmers and their customers have the freedom and infrastructure to operate, and to meet the needs of U.S. soy's customers. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff. For more information on the United Soybean Board, visit us atwww.UnitedSoybean.org

ARKANSAS FARM BUREAU NEW INTERN
Arkansas Farm Bureau has a new intern, Bricen Pace, giving this college student an opportunity at real-world experience. Pace, son of Grant and Elizabeth Pace of Monticello (Drew County), is the intern for Farm Bureau’s Public Relations Department. He is an undergraduate at the University of Arkansas Little Rock with a major focus in mass communications and a minor in philosophy. Pace is the next generation of his family involving himself with Arkansas Farm Bureau. His grandfather Homer Pace, 94, has served on the Drew County Farm Bureau board since 1960. From 1957- 2011, Homer only missed four state conventions. Following his father’s footsteps, Bricen’s father Grant Pace has served on two Farm Bureau county boards, Drew and Ashley