Yes Radio Works

SEPTEMBER 18, 2018

SEPTEMBER IS SUICIDE PREVENTION AWARENESS MONTH
Suicidal thoughts, much like mental health conditions, can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. In fact, suicide is often the result of an untreated mental health condition. Suicidal thoughts, although common, should not be considered normal and often indicate more serious issues.

Each year, more than 41,000 individuals die by suicide, leaving behind their friends and family members to navigate the tragedy of loss. In many cases, friends and families affected by a suicide loss (often called “suicide loss survivors”) are left in the dark. Too often the feelings of shame and stigma prevent them from talking openly.

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month—a time to share resources and stories in an effort to shed light on this highly taboo and stigmatized topic. This month is used to reach out to those affected by suicide, raise awareness and connect individuals with suicidal ideation to treatment services. It is also important to ensure that individuals, friends and families have access to the resources they need to If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call 911 immediately.

  • If you are in crisis or are experiencing difficult or suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273 TALK (8255)
  • If you’re uncomfortable talking on the phone, you can also text National Alliance on Mental Illness to 741-741 to be connected to a free, trained crisis counselor on the Crisis Text Line.

While suicide prevention is important to address year-round, Suicide Prevention Awareness Month provides a dedicated time to come together with collective passion and strength around a difficult topic. The truth is, we can all benefit from honest conversations about mental health conditions and suicide, because just one conversation can change a life.

AMERICAN PICKERS TO FILM IN ARKANSAS
Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, and their team are excited to return to Arkansas! They plan to film episodes of the hit series American Pickers throughout your area in November.

AMERICAN PICKERS is a documentary series that explores the fascinating world of antique “picking” on History. The hit show follows Mike and Frank, two of the most skilled pickers in the business, as they hunt for America’s most valuable antiques. They are always excited to find sizeable, unique collections and learn the interesting stories behind them.

As they hit the back roads from coast to coast, Mike and Frank are on a mission to recycle and rescue forgotten relics. Along the way, the Pickers want to meet characters with remarkable and exceptional items. The pair hopes to give historically significant objects a new lease on life, while learning a thing or two about America’s past along the way. ­

Mike and Frank have seen a lot of rusty gold over the years and are always looking to discover something they’ve never seen before. They are ready to find extraordinary items and hear fascinating tales about them. AMERICAN PICKERS is looking for leads and would love to explore your hidden treasure. If you or someone you know has a large, private collection or accumulation of antiques that the Pickers can spend the better part of the day looking through, send us your name, phone number, location and description of the collection with photos to: americanpickers@cineflix.com or call 855-OLD-RUST, or find them on facebook: @GotAPick

AIRPORT COMMISSION TO MEET
The City of Camden Airport Commission will have their regularly scheduled meeting on Friday, September 21, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at the Airport Terminal located at 255 Airport Road in Camden, Arkansas.

LATEST SBA EVENTS IN SOUTH ARKANSAS
Meet the SBA in Hope
Tuesday, September 18, 2:00 - 3:30 PM
Hope Chamber of Commerce, W 2nd Street, Hope, AR

Meet the SBA in Camden
Wednesday, September 19, 10:00 - 11:30 AM
OPED Building, 625 S Adams, Camden, AR

Discuss valuable SBA programs & services to start & grow a small business in Arkansas. Topics include: Access to Capital, Community, Federal Contracting & Disaster Assistance.

Register by September 17.

Meet the SBA in El Dorado
Thursday, September 20, 10:00 - 11:30 AM
El Dorado Chamber of Commerce, 111 West Main Street, El Dorado, AR
Discuss valuable SBA programs & services to start & grow a small business in Arkansas. Topics include: Access to Capital, Community, Federal Contracting & Disaster Assistance.

Register by September 17.

SAB Series #2: How to Write a Business Plan
Tuesday, October 2, 12:00 - 2:00 PM
OPED Building, 625 S Adams, Camden, AR

All businesses, especially new ventures, need a business plan. Crafting a plan helps you define your concept, evaluate your competition, determine risks, and estimate costs. Using our "To the Point" outline, learn how to put together a plan that will guide the growth of your business and that you can share with lenders and investors. Free thanks to a sponsorship from Team Camden!

Register by October 1.

BOOZMAN SUPPORTS COMPREHENSIVE OPIOID PACKAGE
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) voted for a comprehensive package to respond to the opioid epidemic that is devastating communities across America.

This latest step taken by Congress to address the nation’s opioid crisis provides law enforcement with additional tools to combat the spread of opioids, helps Americans struggling with addiction and expands research into non-addictive pain treatments.

In a speech on the Senate floor, Boozman said “the comprehensive response to this crisis shows how committed we are as a nation to combatting opioid addiction.”

Boozman specifically praised the bill’s expansion of a grant program to train first responders administering naloxone—the drug that can be used to block the effects of opioids and prevent deaths from an overdose—by highlighting the lives it has saved in Arkansas.

“Since 2017, the Arkansas Naloxone Project has trained more than 3,300 first responders to administer the drug. This effort has saved at least 142 lives. The program continues to grow. It is working. Other states can replicate the success we’ve seen in Arkansas by using grant funds to train first responders,” Boozman said.

Among the highlights of this package are provisions that:

  • Combat illegal drugs at the border, including additional measure to crack down on the shipment of synthetic opioids;
  • Encourage recovery by supporting states’ efforts to address substance use disorders by increasing access to medication-assisted treatment, health professionals, long-distance care and recovery housing services;
  • Support caregivers and families by improving plans of safe care and support for substance-exposed babies and their mothers and increasing family-focused treatment and recovery; and
  • Drive innovation and long-term solutions aimed at spurring development of new non-addictive painkillers and ensuring parity in mental health and substance use disorder benefits.

SEPTEMBER 17, 2018

 

QUAPAW HOUSE TO ACQUIRE ARKANSAS

ASSETS OF PREFERRED FAMILY HEALTHCARE

(Hot Springs, Ark., Sept. 14, 2018) Quapaw House, Inc. (QHI), a Hot Springs-based substance-abuse rehabilitation and behavioral health facility, and Preferred Family Healthcare (PFH) are currently finalizing an agreement to acquire the assets of PFH in the state of Arkansas.

QHI Chief Executive Officer Casey Bright said, “We desire to retain as many PFH staff members as possible and will immediately begin to extend offers.” 

The PFH staff who choose to accept offers will transfer into the QHI organizational structure once a final agreement is reached, Bright said.

“The goal is for QHI to begin operating these assets on or around Oct. 12.  QHI will continue operations in the same manner as PFH is now doing and as it has been doing in the past until an integration plan is developed,” Bright said. “We are working to reach a final agreement that will allow QHI to purchase PFH assets. By doing so, we hope to continue providing quality services to the current PFH clientele, and for the dedicated PFH staff to join the QHI team.”

“When PFH notified the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) of our intent to cease operations in Arkansas, we committed to them as well as our employees and clients that we would continue to work toward a smooth transition for all involved. We were pleased when QHI reached out this week and while we are continuing with our plan, look forward to finalizing ongoing discussions toward an agreement to acquire our assets,” PFH said.

Quapaw House, Inc., is an accredited substance-abuse rehabilitation and behavioral health facility.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COTTON, BOOZMAN, HILL ANNOUNCE

VETERANS CEMETERY FUNDING

 

U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and John Boozman (R-AR) and Congressman French Hill (AR-02) announced that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is awarding a grant of $5,709,990 for costs associated with expansion and improvement of the Arkansas Veterans Cemetery in North Little Rock.

 

The grant will fund the construction of 2,000 columbarium niches, 106 pre-placed crypts, roadways, storage room, Honor Guard room, irrigation, landscaping, and supporting infrastructure.

Upon the announcement, the lawmakers released the following statement:

 

“Creating additional inurnment sites is needed to fulfill the promise we made to veterans. These funds will allow the Arkansas Veterans Cemetery in North Little Rock to continue providing an honorable place of rest for the men and women who served in uniform.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge

 

RUTLEDGE ANNOUNCES OPIOID ABUSE

AWARENESS EXHIBIT COMING TO UNIVERSITY

OF ARKANSAS IN OCTOBER

 

Exhibit on display Oct. 3-9 at Arkansas Union in Fayetteville

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced she is partnering with the Association of Arkansas Counties (AAC) and the Arkansas Municipal League (AML) to bring the National Safety Council’s opioid memorial to be on display at the Arkansas Union on campus at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville from October 3-9. The Prescribed to Death: A Memorial to the Victims of the Opioid Crisis is free to all members of the public, not just students at the university. Parents, grandparents and teenagers are all encouraged to walk through this moving exhibit.

The centerpiece of the multifaceted exhibit is a wall of 22,000 engraved white pills – each representing the face of someone lost to a prescription opioid overdose in the United States in 2015. Arkansas alone lost 401 residents to opioid overdose in 2016, and it has the second highest rate of opioid prescribing in the country – trailing only Alabama.

“I am proud to bring the ‘Prescribed to Death’ exhibit to the University of Arkansas campus because we are losing too many of our bright, promising young people to opioid addiction,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This powerful display is a resounding reminder of the lives lost in just one year at the hands of this deadly epidemic. I will not stand idly by as Arkansans are devastated by the scourge of addiction. I am thankful for the willingness of our city and county leaders and local businesses to work collaboratively with me to educate Arkansans so that together we will save lives in our communities.”

“Education about the dangers of opioids has been at the heart of the AAC’s efforts to combat the opioid epidemic in Arkansas. The AAC is honored to collaborate with Attorney General Rutledge, the Arkansas Municipal League, and other sponsors to bring the ‘Prescribed to Death’ memorial to Arkansas. We can share statistics, but many people are visual learners. I believe people will be profoundly affected when they see this representation of the number of lives that are lost to opioid overdoses each year in our country,” said AAC Executive Director Chris Villines.

“The AML’s desire and assistance in bringing the ‘Prescribed Death’ memorial to our state, along with the Attorney General's Office and the AAC, is representative of our organization's solid commitment to correct and fully recover from Arkansas's opioid epidemic,” said AML Executive Director Mark Hayes. “We all have personal and very painful stories concerning opioids. The wall, and the lives lost to opioids that are represented, will serve as an incredible motivating factor in furthering our efforts to prevent, educate and effectively treat this epidemic that has plagued our state.”

“The most important thing about this crisis is not the statistics, but the faces,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “The data speak to our head but the individual stories speak to our hearts. The Prescribed to Death memorial not only brings visitors face to face with this everyday killer, but also encourages actions that will help us eliminate these preventable deaths.”

The National Safety Council launched Prescribed to Death as a part of the National Safety Council’s Stop Everyday Killers public education campaign.

In addition to Rutledge’s office, the Association of Arkansas Counties and the Arkansas Municipal League, the exhibit is underwritten by contributions from Stericycle, Nationwide Insurance, Walmart and EverFi. Visit StopEverydayKillers.org for more information. Other supporting partners include the Associated Student Government of the University of Arkansas, the Office of the Arkansas Drug Director and the Criminal Justice Institute, University of Arkansas System.

In August, Rutledge announced a new initiative, called #Rx4LifeStories, to allow Arkansans to talk about how the nation’s opioid epidemic has impacted their lives and the lives of their families. Last fall, Rutledge launched Prescription for Life, a first-in-the-nation educational tool offered at no cost to all high school students in the State to help them understand the dangers of prescription drug misuse and how to prevent abuse. To date, it has been launched in 73 schools, across 55 counties and reached over 7,700 students with an additional 17 schools committed to launch the program this fall.

Rutledge is also suing the opioid manufacturers who created the crisis in Arkansas for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Arkansas Medicaid Fraud False Claims Act.

Each year, Rutledge partners with a number of agencies in hosting the Arkansas Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit. The summit is a free training and educational opportunity for law enforcement officers, medical professionals, pharmacists and educators. The seventh annual Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit is scheduled for Nov. 1 in Hot Springs, with more than 800 taking advantage of early bird registration.

Rutledge also partners with federal and state agencies for the biannual National Take Back Day. Since 2016, more than 600 pounds of prescription drugs were collected at Attorney General Mobile Offices across Arkansas.

SEPTEMBER 17, 2018

DAUGHTERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION PROMOTE CONSTITUTION WEEK
Constitution Week, September 17-23, was initiated by the Daughters of the American Revolution. The signing of this beloved document was September 17, 1787.  This living document, which upholds and protects the freedoms central to our American way of life, sets forth the framework for the federal government that is still in use today. Constitution week was officially declared by President Eisenhower on August 2, 1956.   

September 14, 2018

FORMER ARKANSAS STATE REPRESENTATIVE SENTENCED TO 3 YEARS PROBATION FOR WIRE FRAUD 
Fayetteville, Arkansas - Duane Kees, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas announced today that Micah Neal, age 43, of Springdale, Arkansas, was sentenced today to three years probation including the first year to be served as home confinement and the second and third years to include 300 hours of community service, he was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $200,000.00. The Honorable Timothy L. Brooks presided over the sentencing hearing in the United States District Court in Fayetteville.

"Public corruption cases are among the most serious crimes that are investigated and prosecuted in our District," said U.S. Attorney Kees. "These cases represent the very worst in deception and fraud because they involve a betrayal of the public trust.  Jon Woods and Micah Neal were elected to offices in the State of Arkansas and swore an oath to protect and uphold the Arkansas Constitution.  They failed that oath by betraying those who voted for them and scheming to steal money that rightfully belonged to the tax-payers and voters in the State of Arkansas.  The sentences last week and this week in the public corruption scheme involving G.I.F. funds and bribery are the result of years of hard work by the assigned Assistant United States Attorneys working in partnership with the FBI and the IRS Criminal Investigation.  It is my sincere hope that these sentences will serve as a deterrence for any individuals who would attempt to corrupt the legislative process in our State in the future.  My office will continue to aggressively pursue public corruption cases and work with our partners in bringing those individuals to justice."

According to the evidence presented at trial, Jonathan Woods served as an Arkansas State Senator from 2013 to 2017.  Between approximately 2013 and approximately 2015, Woods used his official position as a senator to appropriate and direct government money, known as General Improvement Funds (GIF), to two non-profit entities by, among other things, directly authorizing GIF disbursements and advising other Arkansas legislators - including former State Representative Neal, to contribute GIF to the non-profits.  Specifically, Woods and Neal authorized and directed the Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District, which was responsible for disbursing the GIF, to award a total of approximately $600,000 in GIF money to the two non-profit entities.  The evidence further showed that Woods and Neal received bribes from officials at both non-profits, including Paris, who was the president of a college.  Woods initially facilitated $200,000 of GIF money to the college and later, together with Neal, directed another $200,000 to the college, all in exchange for kickbacks.  To pay and conceal the kickbacks to Woods and Neal, Paris paid a portion of the GIF to Shelton's consulting company.  Shelton then kept a portion of the money and paid the other portion to Woods and Neal.  Paris also bribed Woods by hiring Woods's friend to an administrative position at the college.   

For his part in the scheme, Neal pleaded guilty on Jan. 4, 2017, before U.S. District Judge Timothy L. Brooks of the Western District of Arkansas to one count of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud.  Paris pleaded guilty on April 5, 2018, before Judge Brooks to one count of honest services wire fraud. Woods was sentenced September 5, 2018 to 220 months in federal prison, Shelton was sentenced September 6, 2018 to 72 months in federal prison and Paris was sentenced September 12, 2018 to 36 months in federal prison.

The FBI and IRS investigated the case.  First Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth Elser, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kyra Jenner and Aaron Jennen of the Western District of Arkansas and Trial Attorney Sean F. Mulryne of the Criminal Division's Public Integrity Section of the U.S. Department of Justice prosecuted the case.

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S REPORT
Early this past Wednesday morning Lieutenant Cedric Gregory of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the Fellowship Baptist Church in Bearden in response to a report of a break-in and arson. Lt. Gregory made contact with the reporting party who is the Pastor at the church. The man said that he had come by the church early to check on the church before going to work. When he arrived he smelled smoke. He entered the building and found a fire in the Pastor’s office. He extinguished the blaze and then called law enforcement. A check of the premises revealed that entry to the building had been gained through a rear door. The door had been pried open. It appeared that once inside the subject had gone into the Youth Pastor’s office and had taken what was believed to be about $20.00. The subject had also force entry into the Pastor’s office where they had taken about $40.00. Two black briefcases were also taken. A stack of paper had been removed from a file cabinet and piled on the floor before being set on Fire. The pastor believes that he must have arrived pretty quickly after the blaze was set. It was flaming three to four feet high when it was discovered. The fire cause damage to the carpeting and the floor as well as destroying a guitar. An investigation is underway.

ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES OF ARKANSAS DISPATCH LINEMEN TO AID IN HURRICANE FLORENCE RESTORATION
Little Rock, Ark.
— Sept. 13, 2018 — The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas have sent 118 linemen to the east coast to assist with power restoration efforts that may be required after Hurricane Florence makes landfall.

Crews from Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc., Arkansas Valley Electric, C&L Electric, Carroll Electric, Clay County Electric, Craighead Electric, First Electric, North Arkansas Electric, South Central Arkansas Electric, Southwest Arkansas Electric and Woodruff Electric are staged to assist electric cooperatives impacted areas.

The Arkansas cooperatives have also sent approximately 100 pieces of equipment that include service bucket trucks, bucket trucks, digger derricks, pickups and pole trailers. The number of crews may increase as damage assessments are finalized by cooperatives in impacted areas.

Arkansas’ 17 local electric cooperative distribution systems, statewide association and generation and transmission cooperative serve approximately 500,000 members in 74 of the state’s 75 counties. The cooperatives are member-owned utilities established to provide reliable, affordable electric service to farms, homes, schools, churches, businesses and other establishments across the state in a responsible manner.

The distribution cooperatives own and govern Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI), a service association for the electric cooperatives, as well as Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation, a generation and transmission cooperative, which provides wholesale power to the distribution cooperatives.

FUNDRAISER FOR ROBERT PARHAM
There will be a BBQ Lunch Fund Raiser for Robert Parham on Sunday, September 30th from 11 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. The Flaming Pig BBQ will be in the parking lot across Washington Street from the First Baptist Church of Camden. Choose from a BBQ Sandwich or Chicken Leg Quarter with baked beans and coleslaw and tea or water for only $10.00 per plate. Dessert will be available for a $1.00 donation. All proceeds to to Robert Parham for expenses for cancer treatment.

September 13, 2018

CAMDEN CITY POLICE REPORTS
Tuesday, the Camden City Police Department Dispatched Officer Nathan Lane to Fox Creek Apartment 76 in reference to terroristic threatening. The Officer made contact with the reporting party, Ammira Al-Amri. The Officer ran the woman’s name through dispatch for warrants. Dispatch advised the woman had a Criminal Summons that need to be served. Al-Amri was taken into custody for an unrelated crime. She was transported to the Police Station and served with a Criminal Summons and she was also charged with Criminal Trespass.

This past Monday night Officer Brotherton was advised of an Order of Arrest and a warrant service on Eddie Hampton III. Hampton had been taken into custody on other charges. He was advised of his Order For Arrest and Failure to Appear with the City of Camden. He was also advised of his warrant with Ouachita County for Failure to Pay Fines. He was given Court Dates for all the warrants.

Monday evening Officer Nathan Lane was dispatched to 209 Carver courts regarding a group of people sitting outside gambling. As the Officer approached the apartment he noticed one of the men, later identified as James Kirtz, grab his son who was just running around. The Officer advised the group as to why he was there. Kirtz got up with his son and walked inside the apartment. Officer Van Assche, the back up Officer, went into the apartment to get Kirtz. He walked outside holding his son’s hand. Kirtz said he was on the ban list and if the Officers wanted to talk to him they would have to walk with him. Kirtz was advised multiple time to stop and stay with the group so they could arrange to have his son picked up. He repeatedly refused to stop. Officer Lane grabbed the man’s arm and told him to stop but he kept trying to pull away. Officer Van Assche came to help get the man into custody. Kirtz had the strong odor of intoxicants on his breath. Kirtz was transported to the Police Station and later transported to the Ouachita County Detention Cent to be held until he sobered up. Kirtz was charged with Criminal Trespass, Refusal to Submit, Disorderly conduct, Endangering the Welfare of a Minor and Public Intoxication.

 

SEPTEMBER 13, 2018

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COTTON URGES THE DEPARTMENT OF

JUSTICE AND THE DRUG ENFORCEMENT

AGENCY TO ACT ON UNWASHED

POPPY SEEDS

Washington, D.C. — Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) on Wednesday sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration Uttam Dhillon urging them to do more to stop the sale of morphine-laced unwashed poppy seeds, an apparent violation of the Controlled Substances Act that is causing an increasing number of deaths.

 

He asks the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration to answer three questions about current policy on unwashed poppy seeds:

 

  1. Although poppy seeds are exempt from the definition of narcotic drugs under 21 U.S.C. § 802, does the Department of Justice consider the sale of morphine-laced poppy straw along with poppy seeds a violation of the Controlled Substances Act?
  2. If it does constitute a violation, what kind of criminal liability can a manufacturer or distributer face for manufacturing, distributing, and dispensing morphine-laced unwashed seeds?
  3. What are the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Agency doing to address this problem?

 

In April 2016, a 24-year-old Arkansan, Stephen Hacala, was found dead from a morphine overdose caused by drinking tea made with unwashed poppy seeds. At Senator Cotton’s urging, Walmart agreed to stop selling unwashed poppy seeds earlier this year.

 

Click here to read the full text of the letter.

SEPTEMBER 12, 2018

CAMDEN CITY BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEET IN REGULAR SESSION
The Camden City Council met in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Building in regular session Tuesday night, September 11, 2018. Mayor Marie Trisollini called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. The Invocation given by Reverend Knight, Pastor of Cullendale Assembly of God Church was followed by the Pledgge of Allegiance, the roll call the approval of minutes and the acceptance of Financial reports.

The meeting moved on audience participation.

David Chilcote addressed the Council regarding the uneven sidewalks causing a dangerous situation. He stated that he and his wife had gone out and his wife fell and wound up in the Emergency Room because of the sidewalk. She is ok but Chilcote is extremely concerned with the situation. The Mayor stated that she was aware of the situation and that they are looking for a way to ensure the safety of residents while the work on the sidewalk is completed.

Julian Lott spoke to the Council regarding the “I am Camden” celebration to be held this weekend. He went on to explain why he is the best candidate for Mayor in the upcoming election. He used the time on the floor as a campaign speech.

Mayor Trisollini then gave her report. She attended press conference at the Governor’s Office regarding the Aerojet announcement that more jobs are coming to Camden. She also reported that she had attended the Municipal League Planning Commission Meeting. She told the council that the Municipal League Winter Conference is January 16th through the 18th and that they should maker reservations early if they wanted a room near the conference. The Mayor talked about Bass Tournament held on the river this past weekend. She arrived early. She said that the National Anthem that time of the morning on the river was absolutely beautiful. The tournament was beneficial to the Community in that it brought in outside visitors who stayed, ate and shopped in Camden. They are planning to make the tournament a yearly event in Camden.  The Mayor reported that the First Friday event was a huge success despite having to be moved indoors. She talked about the October First Friday event that will include a Scarecrow Contest and musical entertainment. She talked about the jobs available in the area currently She cited a number of businesses and the number of job openings they currently have.

There was no old business.

Under new business ordinance 26-18 was introduced assessing a lien on property located at 436 Locust Street SW. There was a motion to suspend the rules and put the ordinance up for a third reading. The Council voted and approved to suspend the rules and went on to vote on the ordinance. The ordinance was passed unanimously.

Ordinance number 27-18 was introduced assessing a lien on property located at 450 Locust Street SW. There was a motion to suspend the rules and put the ordinance up for a third reading. The Council voted and approved to suspend the rules and went on to vote on the ordinance. The ordinance was passed unanimously.

Ordinance number 28-18 was introduced assessing a lien on property located at Avon Street SW. There was a motion to suspend the rules and put the ordinance up for a third reading. The Council voted and approved to suspend the rules and went on to vote on the ordinance. The ordinance was passed unanimously.

Resolution number 29-18, a resolution appointing Kim Sponer to the planning Commission. Motion was made to approve, and the resolution passes unanimously.

Resolution number 30-18 a resolution authorizing the sale of City-owned property located on Short Street. Motion was made to approve, and the resolution passes unanimously.

Resolution 31-18 a resolution confirming the appointment of Jackie R Ross to the Civil Service Commission. A motion was made and seconded to approve, and the resolution passes unanimously.

Resolution Number 32-18, a resolution awarding the bid for the purchase of a Scale house for the public Works Department. After some discussion, a motion was made and seconded to approve, and the resolution passes unanimously.

Under other business there was a discussion regarding the Disposal of Property. These are items that are waiting to be auctioned off or some that is waiting to be auctioned off. Property Council had already approved for the items to be disposed of, but they need to approve having the items from the assets list. A motion was made and seconded and it was approved.

There was then an open discussion about a number of issues the aldermen wished to discuss. They will have a work shop before the next council meeting to try and resolve some of the items in question.

The next regular council meeting will be October 9th.

FIRST FRIDAY SCARECROW COMPETITION
Your business, group or family is invited to enter the First Friday scarecrow design competition!   Scarecrows will be displayed on light posts on Washington St and Adams St. from Friday, September 28th through Thursday, November 1st.  The contest is FREE to enter and there will be 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place ribbons.   There are only 18 spots available so get your entry in fast!!  All entries must be received by Friday September 21st.

The Scarecrow contest is open to all individuals, groups, churches, organizations and businesses.  Adults and children of all ages are encouraged to participate. Children under the age of 18 must have an adult sponsor. Scarecrows and décor must be as weather resistant as possible, withstanding wind, rain, humidity, and heat for multiple weeks.  The use of non-organic materials like fake greenery, pumpkins, etc. is encouraged.

It is suggested the scarecrow overall height be no less than 5' and no more than 7'. Each entry must be in place by 8pm on Friday, September 28.  You will receive a light post location from the First Friday team after acceptance and should attach your scarecrow to the light post using zip ties.  Please only use zip ties to attach the scarecrow to the light post.  Any other method used to secure the scarecrow to the post could be automatically disqualified.  It is recommended that construction of the scarecrow is completed before you bring it downtown to attach to your light post.  No painting downtown.

The scarecrows will remain on display until no later than Thursday, November 1.  Please monitor your scarecrow through the time of display and keep it looking fresh, remove any decaying organic matter, etc. and repair anything as needed.

All voting will be done by the public on Facebook and at the October 5th First Friday Market.  Voting will open online Sunday, September 30 and end Friday, October 5th.  Winner will be announced after the Friday, October 5th First Friday Market.

Show your creativity, but please keep scarecrows family friendly.  No inappropriate or over frightening designs.  Creepy and spooky are ok, gory and bloody are not. No political, religious, or offensive statements/designs.

CAMDEN FAIRVIEW SCHOOL BASED HEALTH CENTER OPEN HOUSE
The Camden Fairview School District will host Open House at their brand new School Based Health Center. The open House will be Wednesday, September 26th from 10: a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The Health Center is located at 647B Dooley Womack Drive in Camden.

SR. CITIZENS DAY AT THE FAIR
Senior Citizens Day at the Fair will be Thursday, September 13th from 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m at the Ouachita County Fair Grounds. Everyone 60 years of age and older are invited to play bingo and have hot dogs and a drink. There will be prizes awarded. This event is sponsored by the Ouachita County Fairboard and Kindred at Home


AUDITIONS SET FOR SAAC'S "PETER AND THE STARCATCHER" SEPT. 17-18
Directors Mike Means and Bill Meyer invite the community to auditions for the fall theater season opener, “Peter and the Starcatcher”.  Auditions will be held on September 17 and 18, 2018. Auditioners may attend one or both nights.

Registration begins at 6:00 pm on audition nights, with actual auditions beginning at 6:30 pm.  There is no advance preparation necessary for these auditions, but the directors would “like to see you do a cold reading from the script, sing a song of your choice in a swashbuckling tone— it can even be  ‘Happy Birthday’ or ‘Twinkle , Twinkle’—and also hear your attempt at a British accent, no matter how bad it is”, said Means.  The show includes a bit of music, but mostly of the pirate variety, and the part of Molly is the only one that needs to be filled by a true singer.  Meyer said about auditions, “Auditions are meant to be fun, not nerve-racking.  So come on out, have fun and relax.  We’ll have a big time.”

There are parts for 11 men, 3 women, and 3 boys (13-19). Among those parts are the Orphans: Peter, Prentiss and Ted.  The British subjects include Lord Aster, his daughter Molly,  Mrs. Bumbrake (Molly’s nanny), Captain Scott (the commander of The Wasp), and Gempkin (the schoolmaster). 

Aboard the ship, The Neverland, you will find Bill Slank, Alf and Mack, a group of no count sailors. In charge of the rival ship, The Wasp, is the ruthless pirate known as The Black Stache and his bumbling cohorts, Smee and Sanchez.  

Rounding out the cast are the Natives, consisting of Fighting Prawn, his son Hawking Clam, and a teacher.  There is also an ensemble of sailors, seamen, seafarers, orphans, pirates, mermaids, mollusks and narrators to be filled.

“Peter and the Starcatcher” is a swash-buckling, rambunctious story of how a miserable orphan boy becomes the legendary Peter Pan.  In this grown-up prequel to "Peter Pan", a cast of brilliant actors playing pirates, mermaids and our favorite Lost Boys set out for an adventure filled with ingenious stagecraft and the limitless possibilities of theatrical storytelling.  The story is an adventure on the high seas and on the faraway Mollusk Island, where Peter and his mysterious new friend, Molly, overcome bands of pirates and thieves in their quest to keep a magical secret safe and save the world from evil.

Come join in on the fun on the high seas and be a part of this hilarious show, sponsored by Murphy-Pitard Jewelers.  For more information on auditions, please call the SAAC office at 870-862-5474 or visit the website at www.saac-arts.org  SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas.

September 11, 2018

BOOZMAN BILL TO FUND MILITARY CONSTRUCTION & VETERAN PROGRAMS ONE STEP CLOSER TO BECOMING LAW
Package Includes Measure to Protect Veterans from Clinical Errors at VA Facilities and Funding for Improvements at Little Rock Air Force Base

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) joined fellow Senate and House conferees in introducing a final conference agreement on the Fiscal Year 2019 appropriations bills for Energy and Water Development, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Legislative Branch.

“This bill is the result of a bipartisan commitment to return to regular order. The critical investments included in this package fund construction of national defense facilities and family housing for our Armed Forces in addition to upholding our promises to our veterans by supporting their health care and benefits. I appreciate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby’s leadership which has provided all members a voice in determining how taxpayer dollars are spent,” said Boozman, Chairman of the Senate Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies (MilCon-VA) Appropriations Subcommittee and author of this portion of the funding package.

The bill includes a provision that requires the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) to submit a departmental response plan to Congress that can be applied at the Fayetteville VA Medical Center and all future cases of clinical disclosures and provide recommendations about changes necessary to prevent such incidents.

It also contains $14 million for improvements to the hydrant fuel system at Little Rock Air Force Base in addition to a measure to move forward with improvements to the base’s runway.

Military Construction – Resources to fund 190 military construction projects including construction and renovation projects on military bases within the United States and around the globe.

Veterans Affairs– The record level of funding for the VA will provide the health care, benefits and memorial services earned by U.S. service members and veterans.

  • VA Medical Care – Funding to support medical treatment and health care for approximately 9.3 million enrolled patients in FY2019. 
  • Veterans Homelessness – $1.8 billion for VA Homelessness programs including $380 million for the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program. 
  • Claims Processing – Funding to ensure that proper staffing and resources are utilized to reduce the wait time and backlog of disability decisions on appeal, and to meet the demand for other benefit programs. 
  • Construction – Funding for major and minor construction associated with VA hospital replacement, correction of seismic deficiencies, scores of projects to improve access to VA health care, and the VA’s National Cemeteries. 
  • VA Mandatory Funding – The bill fulfills mandatory funding requirements, including veteran disability compensation programs for 4.9 million veterans and 432,000 survivors; education benefits for nearly one million veterans; guaranteed home loans for 519,000 veterans; and vocational rehabilitation and employment training for more than 149,000 veterans.
  • Advance Appropriations – $75.6 billion in FY2020 advance discretionary funding for veterans’ health care, and $123.2 billion in FY2020 advance mandatory funding for veterans’ benefits.
  • Electronic Health Records - The bill provides $1.1 billion for the Veterans Electronic Health Record system and management to improve the efficiency and quality of veterans’ health care. 

Related Agencies – The legislation also includes funding for:

  • American Battle Monuments Commission 
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims 
  • Arlington National Cemetery 
  • Armed Forces Retirement Home 

The bil provides additional resources for the Veterans History Project, an initiative that builds an archive at the Library of Congress of oral histories and personal documents of the men and women who served our country in uniform. Boozman and his staff have conducted nearly 50 interviews of Arkansas veterans for inclusion in the archive and have trained more than 400 people across the state to participate in the project.

 

COTTON STATEMENT ON SEPTEMBER 11TH

Washington, D.C. - Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today released the following statement on the 17th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001:

"September 11 is a solemn anniversary, because 17 years later, we still remember the pain of that day. But just as we mourn all the innocent lives lost, we also remember the heroism of our first responders, who rushed to the aid of their fellow Americans. Out of the ashes of a terrible tragedy arose a strength and unity that the whole world came to admire. We must never forget the resolve we showed that day, nor the people who have fought in uniform since then to keep us safe. It is this heartfelt gratitude for freedom and its guardians, after all, that represents the true spirit of 9/11."

CITY OF CAMDEN POLICE REPORTS
Late last Wednesday night, Officer Brotherton and Officer Jones were dispatched to Murphy’s USA in reference to a theft of motor fuel report. The Officers made contact with the reporting who was an employee of the station. She stated that a two-door brown SUV with chrome rims drove up to a pump and started to fuel the vehicle. She stated the driver of the vehicle used a pay later feature accessed at the pump. She saw the driver getting ready to leave without paying. She called out on the intercom but the driver ignored her and drove away. Very early last Thursday morning Officer Kayla Reynolds was dispatched to Maple and locust Street for a suspicious person. Dispatch gave a description and Officer Reynolds and Lieutenant Parker made contact with Eric Gulley. Dispatch confirmed that Gulley had an active warrant with the City of Camden for failure to appear three time and failure to pay fine. He was taken into custody and issued a criminal citation. After booking, Gulley was transported to the Ouachita county Detention center to be held until the next available District Court date.

Later Thursday morning, Officer VanAssche was at 109 Goodgame for warrant service. The Officer made contact with Monika Goyson and informed her that she had a warrant for her arrest. She was transported to the Police Stations where she was served with a warrant for Failure to Appear and Failure to pay Fines. Goyson paid a bond fee and was released with a Criminal Citation and a court date.

Early last Friday morning Officer Manning was dispatched to 100 Goodgame in reference to a report of a vehicle in a ditch. The Officer arrived and found the vehicle in question. The car had the front passenger’s side tire protruding over the concrete barrier in front of the store. The vehicle was empty. There didn’t appear to be any damage to the vehicle. While investigating the vehicle, the Officer saw subject Kerry McAnulty walking toward the vehicle. The officer asked the woman if she was the reporting party and she stated that she was not. He asked why her vehicle was sitting on the concrete barrier to which she replied, “because I parked it that way.” Her speech was slurred and as the Officer got closer he could smell a strong odor of alcohol. She said she had consumed alcohol earlier but was unable to convey how many drinks she had consumed. While talking with McAnulty she began to show signs of injury. She repeatedly clutched her right shoulder and yelled in pain. EMS was called to the scene. McAnulty stated that she had recently broke her collarbone but was unable to give a clear date of when the injury occurred. While waiting for EMS to arrive the Officer observed that McAnulty’s shoulder area was continuing to swell and turn purple. EMS arrived and advised the McAnulty should be transported to the hospital. McAnulty declined a report for her vehicle being stuck on the barrier. A wrecker was requested to remove the vehicle from the property. McAnulty was given a citation for public intoxication.

Saturday morning, Officer Watts saw a Chevy S10 parked in the middle of Stinson Street. It appeared to have been in an accident. The windshield was busted, the driver door was partially open, and he rear bumper was barely intact. Officer Watts radioed dispatch to check the registration when he noticed a white male sitting on the curb across Fairview Road. The man noticed the Police Unit and got up to walk across Fairview Road toward the Officer. The Officer identified himself and asked the man his name and date of birth. He stated his name was Tommy Pennington and his date of birth was November 11, 1998. The Officer asked if he was sure he was born in 1998 the ma corrected himself, saying he was born in 1969. When asked about the condition of the truck, Pennington said he had loaned the truck to his son a few days prior and that is how he got it back. Dispatch advised that Pennington had an active warrant in Union County. He was placed under arrest and transported to the County line where he was remanded to the custody of Union County Deputy Braswell. The truck was towed.

While on patrol Saturday afternoon, Officer Perry made contact with Timothy White at 627 Lincoln Center. Officer Perry had previous knowledge of White having an active warrant with the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office. The warrant was confirmed, and White was taken into custody. He was transported to the Camden Police Department, booked and had the warrant served and was then transported to the Ouachita County Detention Center.


VETERANS AND PATRIOTS RECOGNITION
Ouachita County Judge Robbie McAdoo had announced Veterans and Patriots Recognition at Cullendale First Baptist Church today from 5 – 7 p.m. All Veterans and their families are invited to celebrate “Veteran’s and Patriot’s Awareness and Appreciation Month” with an appreciation celebration and meal. There will also be door prizes drawn for veterans. County Veterans Service Officer Jim Bob Davis, and others will also be available to educate veterans on services available to them. All veterans and their families are invited and encouraged to attend the event.

STATE POLICE ASSISTING WARREN AUTHORITIES IN HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION
Officials of the Warren Police Department have requested the assistance of the Arkansas State Police in the investigation of a homicide reported to local police last Friday night. At 11:36 PM, Warren Police Officers responded to the report of a shooting incident outside a residence located at 1105 Kelley Street.  Caleb White, 29, reportedly died from a gunshot while inside a truck parked along Kelley Street. White’s body has been transported to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory to confirm a manner and cause of death.  Meanwhile Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division are continuing to question individuals who were at the shooting scene when police arrived.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB TO MEET
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet Wednesday at Catherine’s Bistro. The speaker this week will be Camden Police Chief Bo Woody.  He will be giving an update on what is going on with the Police Department and upcoming events.

SEPTEMBER 10, 2018

LAURA BARROW TO TEACH SAAC’S CORKS AND CANVAS CLASS 
The South Arkansas Arts Center will host Corks and Canvas night with El Dorado artist Laura Barrow on September 20, from 6:00-9:00 pm. Barrow will lead the group in painting a decorative white fall pumpkin in acrylics on a 12”x12” canvas.

 Barrow, a local artist and stage veteran at SAAC, is a self-taught artist.  “It really is just a fun hobby for me, a good stress relief!” she said.  “I like to paint and draw.  My paintings have a lot of texture and are usually mixed media.  I paint with acrylics, but I like to get creative and use fun things like turmeric from the spice cabinet or spray rubbing alcohol onto the paint to create interesting movement.” 

Corks and Canvas is an art class for non-artists who have always wanted to paint. Each class is conducted by a different art instructor, who takes the class through the step - by - step process to complete a work of art in three hours. The $40 fee covers all supplies and snacks.  This class is limited to 12. Those taking the class should bring their favorite libation and get ready to have a good time.

 For more information or to register for this class, please call the SAAC office at 870-862-5474 or visit the website at www.saac-arts.org.  SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas.

OUACHITA COUNTY FAIR NEWS
Those who wish enter items in the Exhibit Hall at the Ouachita County Fair can do so today between the hours of 2 and 8PM. There have also been some changes since the Fair Book was printed. Instead of live entertainment on Friday night you can enjoy karoke. The Steak Cook-Off has been moved to Friday. You can get a Steak Dinner for $25.00 if you want to eat at the Fair. This includes gate admission. If you want to pick up your Steak Dinner at the Gate and not enter into the Fair Grounds, tickets are $20.00 Dinner plates will be served from 6:30 to 7:30PM on Friday night. Mirriam’s Midway will be back with lots of fun for the entire family on the Midway. Arm bands can be purchased in advanced until Tuesday for $20.00. Advance tickets can be bought at Ken’s Discount and the Main Branch of Farmer’s Bank in Downtown Camden. If bought at the Fair, armbands will be $20.00. The Carnival will open at 6PM each night. Come out for a load of fun at the Ouachita County Fair.

ADEQ TO HOST GREAT ARKANSAS CLEANUP SITE IN NORTH LITTLE ROCK 
The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is joining the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission to pick up a stretch of the Arkansas River as part of the annual Great Arkansas Cleanup on Saturday, September 8th, 2018. ADEQ is hosting a site near the Department’s headquarters in North Little Rock and is seeking volunteers to help clean up areas near the Big Dam Bridge and the Arkansas River Trail.

Check-in for the ADEQ cleanup begins at 8:00 a.m. with cleanup scheduled from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Volunteers should meet at the Cook’s Landing Pavilion by the Big Dam Bridge in North Little Rock. Volunteers can register ahead of time by contacting ADEQ Education Coordinator Erika Droke at droke@adeq.state.ar.us or 501.682.0022. Supplies such as gloves, trash bags, and drinking water will be provided, and volunteers will receive a t-shirt (while supplies last).

This will be the sixth consecutive year that ADEQ has hosted a Great Arkansas Cleanup site. Last year, ADEQ employees and community members fanned out to pick up litter from the banks and trail areas of the Arkansas River. Statewide, last year’s cleanup featured 215 community events across the state involving more than 6700 Arkansans, who picked up waste from roughly 1117 miles of roadway and more than 727 miles of waterway. 

As a certified state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, Inc., Keep Arkansas Beautiful works to inspire and educate individuals to reduce litter, recycle, and help keep Arkansas beautiful. It operates as a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism and is overseen by a nine-member commission appointed by the governor. For more information about Keep Arkansas Beautiful, or to volunteer for cleanups scheduled across the state as part of the Great Arkansas Cleanup, visit www.keeparkansasbeautiful.com.

CAMDEN FAIRVIEW BOARD OF EDUCATION TO MEET
The Camden Fairview Board of Education will meet on Tuesday, September 11th at 6:30 p.m. at Garrison Auditorium. The agenda includes student hearings, the presentation and recommendation regarding a resolution required for a salary increase for CFSD employees, Selection of Camden Fairview  School District official delegate to the Arkansas School Boards Association 2018 Delegate Assembly, a presentation and recommendation regarding Statement of Assurances for programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act, a presentation and recommendation regarding minority Teacher and Administrator Recruitment Plan, a presentation and recommendation regarding medication Administration Policy and facility rental requests. The Superintendent will give a report to the Board and there will be a financial report and personnel session.

DONALD BENTON NAMED ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER FOR RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY
LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key is pleased to appoint Donald Benton as the new assistant commissioner for Research and Technology. Benton will assume his new role on September 17. 

“Mr. Benton’s information technology credentials and reputation precede him,” Key said. “From his previous work in numerous IT roles at the Hot Springs School District to his current efforts as director of the Hot Springs Technology Institute and assistant professor of educational leadership at Henderson State University, Mr. Benton brings valuable expertise and perspective to the ADE team.”

As assistant commissioner, Benton will oversee technology initiatives and resources such as ADE’s Ambassador Academy, Arkansas Digital Sandbox and Student GPS dashboards. He also will oversee the Arkansas Public School Computer Network, which includes eSchoolPlus.

Prior to joining the ADE team, Benton served as an assistant professor in educational leadership at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, a position he held since 2009. He also has been the director of the Hot Springs Technology Institute since 1998 and founded Schools Without Walls, which provides professional development for technology leaders and educators, in 2010. He previously served as the director of technology and information, information technology security officer/disaster recovery, technology plan developer and E-Rate coordinator at the Hot Springs School District.

Benton has a Bachelor of Science in Education (Vocational Business Education), a Master of Science in Education (P-12 Building Level Leadership) and an Education Specialist in District Level Leadership from Henderson State University. He currently is pursuing a Doctor of Education in Educational Technology from Boise State University in Idaho. He is a member of the Arkansas Society for Technology in Education, Association for Educational Communications and Technology, International Society for Technology in Education and serves on several committees at Henderson State University.

SAAC ANNOUNCES MEANS AND MEYER TO DIRECT "PETER AND STARCATCHER"A
The theater committee at SAAC is thrilled to announce the selection of Mike Means and Bill Meyer as directors for the upcoming play "Peter and the Starcatcher," which is sponsored by Murphy-Pitard Jewelers. Auditions for the swashbuckling production are scheduled for September 17 and 18.

The comedic team of Means and Meyer have a long history at SAAC. Means first stepped on the SAAC stage in 1998 in "The Musical Comedy Mystery Murders of 1940", with Meyer's first production the holiday show "Fruitcakes" in 2006. It was just a few years later in 2010 when they appeared together in the Agatha Christie classic murder mystery "The Mousetrap" with many more shows to follow - including "The 39 Steps" and "Twelfth Night". For the last six year the two have been making people laugh as part of El Dorado's improv group Give Me A Second.

In this swashbuckling grown-up prequel to "Peter Pan", a dozen brilliant actors playing pirates, mermaids-and of course, our favorite Lost Boys-set out for an adventure filled with ingenious stagecraft and the limitless possibilities of theatrical storytelling. Means invites the community to "channel your inner pirate and join us for auditions. We want the project to be fun for the cast and the audience." Meyer added, "If you leave feeling inspired or at least a little seasick, we'll consider it a success.

It's the directors' comic timing and joy of laughter that make them a perfect fit for this production. SAAC Executive Director Laura Allen said, "Mike and Bill have an enthusiasm for this project that is truly infectious. It's going to be as much fun to participate in this show as it will be to watch it!"

In 2004, "Peter and the Starcatcher", the first in a series of five novels written by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, took on the story of the central character before he becomes Peter Pan. Peter and the Starcatcher was adapted for the stage by Broadway veteran Rick Elice, known for the Tony Award-winning hit Jersey Boys, a jukebox musical about the ‘50s rock band "The Four Seasons."

For more information about "Peter and the Starcatcher", please call the SAAC office at 870-862-5474 or visit the website at www.saac-arts.org. SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas.

RUTLEDGE ANNOUNCES ARREST OF TWO ARKANSAS WOMEN FOR MEDICAID FRAUD
LITTLE ROCK
– Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the arrest of Crittenden County and Desha County women.

“Those who take advantage of the Medicaid program will be prosecuted,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “As Arkansas’s chief law enforcement officer, I will not tolerate people who abuse this vital safety net.”

Tylisha Pope, 28, of Marion, is accused of forging a physician’s signature on the paperwork for two Medicaid patients in order to authorize services. Pope is also accused of billing for services not rendered from October 2016 to January 2017, totaling more than $3,900. She is charged with two counts of Medicaid fraud, Class C felonies. Following an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office, Pope turned herself in to the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department and was released on $2,500 bond.

Shirley Owens, 62, of Dumas, is accused of being married to the Medicaid recipient to whom she was providing services while submitting billing documents for her services, totaling more than $10,000 for services she was not eligible to provide due to the marriage. She is charged with one count of Medicaid fraud, a Class B felony. Following an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office, Owens turned herself in to the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department and was released on her own recognizance.

Both cases were referred to the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit by the Office of Medicaid Inspector General.

Medicaid fraud occurs when providers use the Medicaid program to obtain money to which they are not entitled. To report Medicaid fraud or abuse or neglect in residential care facilities, contact the Attorney General’s Medicaid fraud hotline at (866) 810-0016 or oag@arkansasag.gov.

 

 

GOVERNOR ASA HUTCHINSON'S PUBLIC SCHEDULE: SEPTEMBER 9-15

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Sunday, September 9, 2018, through Saturday, September 15, 2018: 

Monday, September 10, 2018

PEA RIDGE
Governor’s Fall 2018 Computer Science Tour
Pea Ridge Middle School
9:30 a.m.
1391 Weston Street
Pea Ridge, Arkansas

LOWELL
Grand Opening of Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper Bottling Company 
NWA Distribution Center
Speaking
2:00 p.m.
Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper Bottling Company
1201 Federal Way
Lowell, Arkansas

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

MONTICELLO
Governor’s Fall 2018 Computer Science Tour
Drew Central High School
12:45 p.m.
250 University Drive
Monticello, Arkansas

MONTICELLO
Grand Opening of UAM Student Success Center and University Police Building
Speaking
2:00 p.m.
Student Success Center
350 University Drive
Monticello, Arkansas

Thursday, September 13, 2018

NORTH LITTLE ROCK
County Judges Association Conference
Speaking
Noon
Wyndham Hotel
2 Riverfront Place
North Little Rock, Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK
First Ladies of Arkansas: Women of their Time
Speaking
6:00 p.m.
Old State House Museum
300 West Markham Street
Little Rock Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK
Governor’s Quality Award Celebration
Speaking
6:00 p.m.
Marriott Hotel Ballroom
3 Statehouse Plaza
Little Rock, Arkansas

Friday, September 14, 2018

FORT SMITH
Dan Burton FCA Outdoor Expo
Speaking
6:30 p.m.
Kay Rodgers Park
4400 Midland Boulevard
Fort Smith, Arkansas

Schedule is subject to change. For further updates from Governor Hutchinson, follow on Facebook or Twitter (@AsaHutchinson).

 
 

SEPTEMBER 7, 2018

ICYMI: Cotton Supports Classmate Dominic Lanza for U.S. District Judge for Arizona
Washington, D.C.
— Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) spoke on the Senate floor yesterday in support of the nomination of his friend and fellow law-school classmate Dominic Lanza to be the U.S. district judge for Arizona. In addition, a full transcript of the speech can be found below.


I speak today in support of the nomination of Dominic Lanza to be a district judge for the District of Arizona. Dominic is my old friend and law-school classmate, and maybe most importantly, intramural basketball teammate, when he was known as “Dom,” or perhaps, “the Dominator.”

Now, I can’t claim the credit for Dominic’s nomination. He has the highest qualifications, and his whole life has prepared him for this moment to be a United States district judge. Dom graduated with highest honors from Dartmouth in 1998, where he was also an All-Ivy League and Academic All-American offensive lineman on the Dartmouth football team. He received the Barrett award for being the outstanding graduate of his class in achievement, character, and leadership.

In law school together, he excelled, graduating with honors, serving as a member of the Law Review.

He went on to clerk for Judge Pam Rymer on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. For five years, he worked in private practice with Gibson, Dunn, & Crutcher in their constitutional and appellate-law practice, and won awards for his pro-bono work.

For the last 10 years, Dom has served the people of Arizona and the people of this country in the U.S. attorney’s office for the District of Arizona. As an assistant U.S. attorney from 2008 to 2012, he prosecuted over 300 defendants for a wide variety of crimes, including immigration offenses, drug trafficking, and public corruption.

He authored more than 20 appellate briefs and argued more than 11 cases in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. From 2012 to 2015, he then served as chief of the district’s financial-crimes-and-public-integrity section, and he now is the chief and executive assistant U.S. attorney—the number-two position in the district—where he oversees the Phoenix office.

Dom has said the most important thing he’s learned from his time in the U.S. attorney’s office is the need to represent the facts and the law fairly and accurately to the Court and opposing council. He’s also learned the necessity of treating everybody involved in the legal process—from judges to jurors, court staff, opposing council, and parties—with courtesy, dignity, patience and respect.

Dom has volunteered in the Court Works Program, in which students from at-risk schools can perform simulated trials, and he has participated in the Veterans Court program, which provides increased support and guidance to federal criminal defendants who are veterans.

Dom participated in, completed, and received the highest marks from Senator McCain and Senator Flake’s judicial-nomination panel. He now has the support, as well, of Senator John Kyl. I commend all three men for an outstanding selection.

As I said, I can’t take credit for Dom’s nomination, but I can perhaps add a little bit of perspective to the kind of judge he will be, from the man I knew on the basketball courts.

Dom was tough. If you were driving to the basket or fighting for a rebound, you did not want him in your way.

Dom was fair-minded. If he fouled an opposing player or knocked the ball out of bounds, you’d get no argument from him. He would admit that he had knocked it out of bounds or that he had committed the foul, and play would go on.

Dom, I have to say, was even-tempered, something of a gentle giant. When tempers flared on the basketball courts in Hemenway, as they, in retrospect, did too often, and over silly matters, Dom was a peace maker, separating those who might otherwise be in an altercation.

Dom was a team player. When it was time for him to take the shot because that’s what the team needed, that’s what he would do. But he was just as happy to pass the ball off, to set a screen, to box out for a rebound.

And Dom was good-natured. Competitive to be sure, but he understood that in the grand scheme of things, we’re just a bunch of washed-up high-school and college athletes enjoying a few hours off from our studies.

These are all traits that are going to put him in the best position possible to deliver justice, not only for the people of Arizona, but for the people of the United States. Everyone who comes before him is fortunate that Dominic Lanza will soon be a district judge.

For 42 years Dominic has been known as “Dom” or “the Dominator,” but in just a few hours, he will be known as “Your Honor.” Few men, by their character and by their lives, better deserve that title than the Dominator, Dominic Lanza.

RUTLEDGE ANNOUNCES ARREST OF WARREN DENTIST FOR MEDICAID FRAUD
Accused of falsifying dental records totaling more than $185,000

LITTLE ROCK – On Wednesday, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced the arrest of a Bradley County dentist.

Dr. John Durmon, 59, of Warren, is accused of purposefully falsifying the dental records of more than 100 Medicaid participants to fraudulently bill the Arkansas Medicaid program, totaling more than $185,000. He is charged with two counts of Medicaid fraud, both Class B felonies. Following an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office, Durmon turned himself in to the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department.

“As Arkansas’s chief law enforcement officer, I will not tolerate people taking advantage of the Arkansas Medicaid Program,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I will continue to prosecute those who abuse the system.”

In one charge, Durmon submitted 2,557 claims for X-rays for 85 Medicaid recipients from October 2016 through December 2017. Records indicate Durmon had not properly taken, developed, used or maintained X-rays as required by Medicaid program regulations. Durmon was paid a total of $153,077.95 for the claims.

In the second charge, Durmon submitted 637 claims for various dental services, including extractions, amalgam and resin composite fillings for 33 Medicaid recipients from September 2015 through December 2017. Records indicate Durmon charged the Medicaid program for those services, but the services were not provided. Durmon was paid a total of $33,383.05 for the claims.

Medicaid fraud occurs when providers use the Medicaid program to obtain money to which they are not entitled. To report Medicaid fraud or abuse or neglect in residential care facilities, contact the Attorney General’s Medicaid fraud hotline at (866) 810-0016 or oag@arkansasag.gov.

 

GOVERNOR ASA HUTCHINSON ANNOUNCES INTENT TO GRANT EXECUTIVE CLEMENCY

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson on Wednesday announced his intent to grant 17 pardons. An additional 28 clemency requests were denied and 6 had no action taken upon it. These include requests from both inmates and non-inmates.

The applicants intended for pardons have completed all jail time, fulfilled all parole and probationary requirements and paid all fines related to their sentences. There is a 30-day waiting period to receive public feedback on the notices before final action is taken.

Governor Hutchinson intends to grant pardons to the following people:

Anthony Christopher (College Station): Theft of Property (C Felony) (CR 91-36); Possession of a Controlled Substance (B Felony) (CR 91-79).

This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (1991 and 1991 – Little River County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application. 

Stephen Harris (Winslow): Theft by Receiving (B Felony) (CR 83-83); 1st Degree Assault on a Family or Household Member (A Misdemeanor) (CR 99-1159).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1984 and 1999 – Washington County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further felony convictions. There are no law enforcement objections to the application. 

Lance Horton (Hot Springs): Possession of a Controlled Substance, Marijuana, with Intent to Deliver (C Felony) (CR 98-294); Criminal Attempt to Manufacture Methamphetamine (A Felony) (2000-543).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1998 and 2000 – Craighead County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application. 

Tony E. Mullenax (Conway): Uniform Controlled Substance Act (B Felony) (CR 95-876), Omnibus DWI Act (U Misdemeanor) (CR 95-876), Reckless Driving (U Misdemeanor), and Carrying a Weapon (A Misdemeanor) (CR 95-877).

This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (1996 – Faulkner County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. The Prosecuting Attorney has raised objections to applicant's request.

Jeffery Pearman (Jefferson, TX): Burglary (B Felony) and Theft of Property (C Felony) (CR 83-22); Delivery of a Controlled Substance (C Felony) (CR 86-107), Delivery of a Controlled Substance (C Felony) (CR 86-108), Delivery of a Controlled Substance (C Felony) (CR 86-109), Delivery of a Controlled Substance (C Felony) (CR 86-110), and Delivery of a Controlled Substance (C Felony) (CR 86-127); Possession of a Controlled Substance (C Felony) (CR 96-133).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1983, 1987, and 1997 – Arkansas County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further Arkansas criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Christopher Skeya (Hot Springs): Theft By Receiving over $2,500 (B Felony) and Commercial Burglary (C Felony) (CR 2005-614-IV); Residential Burglary (B Felony) (CR 2005-672-I); Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card (C Felony) (CR 2005-634-I); Residential Burglary (B Felony) (CR 2007-9-I); Residential Burglary (Revocation) (B Felony) (CR 2005-672-I).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (2006, 2006, 2007, 2007, and 2007 – Garland County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Amanda Rogers Zeth (Clinton): Theft of Property ($500 or less or with Subjective Value) (A Misdemeanor) (CR 2007-075). 

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2008 – Van Buren County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. The Prosecuting Attorney has raised objections to applicant's request. 

Jerald Crews (Glenwood): Violation of the Arkansas Hot Check Law (C Felony) (CR-97-473).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1998 – White County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further Arkansas criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Darin Harden (Ozark): Possession of a Controlled Substance, Methamphetamine (C Felony) (CR-2003-106).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2003 – Franklin County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Kenneth E. Harman (Chester): Battery 2nd Degree (D Felony) (CR-95-647).
 
This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1995 – Sebastian County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Andre L. Jordan (Conway): Forgery 2nd Degree (C Felony)(CR 2001-1874).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2001 – Pulaski County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Craig B. Poindexter, convicted using the name Craig Allen Burleson, (Broken Bow, OK): Theft Of Property (C Felony) (CR-95-80) and Commercial Burglary (C Felony), Theft Of Property (C Felony) (CR-95-81).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1996 – Howard County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further Arkansas criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

John Rogers (Lonoke): Possession of a Controlled Substance-Methamphetamine (C Felony) (CR 99-531).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2000 – Lonoke County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Angela Smith (West Memphis): Theft of Property (C Felony) (CR 97-1253).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1998 – Crittenden County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Thomas Turner (Batesville): Burglary and Grand Larceny (Felonies) (CR-67-1058).

This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (1967 – Independence County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Michael Warren (Harrison): Theft by Receiving (C Felony) (CR-95-811).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1996 – Faulkner County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. The Sheriff of Faulkner County has raised objection to applicant's request.

Gary Butler (Colt): Possession of a Controlled Substance (C Felony) (CR 2001-456); Criminal Conspiracy to Manufacture a Controlled Substance (A Felony) (CR 2002-4); Possession of a Controlled Substance (C Felony) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (C Felony) (CR 2005-247).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (2002, 2002, and 2005 – St. Francis County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

September 07, 2018

THE OUACHITA COUNTY FAIR IS GEARING UP FOR 2018 CELEBRATION SEPTEMBER 12TH THROUGH THE 15TH
The 2018 Ouachita County Fair will kick off 4 days of fun on Sept. 12-15 at the Ouachita County Fairgrounds (151 Wiggins Marden Road Camden, Arkansas 71701) with the chance to explore both familiar and new sights, sounds, flavors and excitement.

This year’s Ouachita County Fair features an exciting line-up of music and competitions to compliment the list of longstanding fan favorites. Enticing food competitions, a lumberjack college competition, on-stage talent show and a close out concert will make the 2018 Ouachita County Fair one you won’t want to miss.

Several exciting features will dot the fairgrounds in 2018. Enjoy trips through the livestock barns to observe great entries from local youth. Cheer for your favorites in the Fair Idol Competition or enjoy a perfectly grilled steak from Friday Evening’s Steak Cook Off. You’ll certainly want to catch this year’s Lumberjack Competition on Saturday afternoon between 5 colleges from 4 states – an action-packed competition from the country’s best in men and women’s bow saw, men and women’s cross cut, jack and jill crosscut, single buck sawing, knife and ax throw, and log chop.

For those who crave music and entertainment, the musical lineup will offer 3 days of must-see events. From competitions for Fair Idol in both youth and adult, to karaoke and ending on Saturday with deFrance playing their brand of southern boogie. deFrance is coming to us fresh off their European Tour and recently opening for Bon Jovi. There will be something available for all ages to enjoy.

The Ouachita County Fair has always been a venue to showcase the county’s top livestock and agriculture. Kids will love seeing their favorite barnyard animals up close, and adults can soak up the fun of competitions, whether it’s Fair Idol, Steak Cook off or Lumberjack. There is a competition everyday to cheer your favorite on to victory.

And if you’re in for the food and fun, the Ouachita County Fair has no shortage of that! With a midway packed with rides and games, unique exhibits, and a variety of free musical competitions and concerts, fairgoers will find fun in every corner of the fairgrounds and a myriad of favorite fair foods and shopping.

Advanced armbands can be purchased beginning August 15th through September 11th for $15.00 at Ken’s Discount and Farmers Bank and Trust (downtown location only). Armbands will be available to purchase at the fair once it opens for $20.00

Whatever your interests, the Ouachita County Fair has something that’s sure to excite your imagination, tickle your taste buds, or spark your imagination.

COST:

Admission – $5.00
Advance Armbands – $15.00
Armbands – $20.00
Parking – Free!

TIMES:

Carnival opens at 6:00pm on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and at 11:00am on Saturday.
Free Admission on Saturday 11:00 till 5:00 with free hands on learning activities.
*The armband is not a gate pass.

EVENTS & ACTIVITIES SCHEDULE:

Youth Rally
MERGE Youth Rally begins at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday. All churches are invited.
Music & Speaker Cliff Preston
Hot Dog & Drink $1.00
$3.00 gate admission

Fair Idol
Youth competes on Thursday at 6:30
Adults compete on Friday at 6:30
No entry fee
Judging will be by people’s choice
Saturday night finals will be judged by judges

Sr. Citizens Day
Sponsored by Kindred at Home
Thursday 10:30 - 12:30.
Free Hot Dog and Drink

Karaoke
Saturday 12:00 till 2:00
Sign up at the sound booth.

Steak Cook-off
Friday Night 6:30 - 7:30
Register on the SCA website.
Tickets are $25 and include gate admission.

Lumberjack Competition
Five colleges will compete for prize money.
Competition will begin at 12:00p.m. on Saturday.
Winners announced at 6:00p.m.

Concert: No Excuses and DeFrance
No Excuses will be in concert at 8:00pm. on Friday.
DeFrance will be out at 8:00pm on Saturday. Bring your lawn chair, and enjoy the music!

CITY OF CAMDEN BOARD OF ALDERMEN TO MEET
The City of Camden Board of Aldermen will meet in regular session on Tuesday, September 11th at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Building.


The agenda includes an ordinance assessing a lien on property located at 436 Locust Street SW,  an ordinance assessing a lien on property located at 450 Locust Street SW, an ordinance assessing a lien on property located at 2132 Avon Street SW, a resolution appointing Kim Sponer to the Planning Commission, a resolution authorizing the sale of City-owned property located on Short Street, a resolution confirming the appointment of Jackie R. Ross to the Civil Service Commission and a resolution awarding the bid for the purchase of a Scale House for the Public Works Department.

GLANCE AT WEEKEND EVENTS
Don’t forget First Friday Market in Downtown Camden is tonight. First Friday is an open air evening market which takes place from 6PM till 9PM in downtown Camden. In addition you can stroll the streets downtown and enjoy live music, shop a great variety of vendors and artists, while enjoying a relaxed fun evening. The planners do have a contingency plan in case of rain. If they decide to move the event, alternate location will be posted on the First Friday Market Facebook page.

Also, the Bass Tournament will be held on the Riverfront area of the Ouachita River on Saturday. If you haven’t registered Final registration will be held today, September 7th from 5-7pm at The River Walk Park in Downtown Camden. The fishing begins at 6AM and the weigh-in will be at 3PM. A free lunch will be provided to all participants. during the weigh-in.

Beauty and the Beast will be showing at Movies on the River on Saturday night. Final registration will be held Friday, September 7th from 5-7pm at The River Walk Park in Downtown Camden, AR.

SEPTEMBER 6, 2018

ICYMI: COTTON WARNS FACEBOOK AND TWITTER EXECUTIVES AGAINST WORKING WITH U.S. ADVERSARIES
In Case You Missed

Senator Cotton: I want to commend both of you for your appearance here today for what was no doubt going to be some uncomfortable questions. And I want to commend your companies for making you available. I wish I could say the same about Google. Both of you, and your companies, should wear it as a badge of honor that the Chinese Communist Party has blocked you from operating in their country. Perhaps Google didn’t send a senior executive today because they’ve recently taken actions such as terminating cooperation they had with the American military on programs like artificial intelligence that are designed not just to protect our troops and help them fight and win our country’s wars, but to protect civilians as well. This is at the very same time that they continue to cooperate with the Chinese Communist Party on matters like artificial intelligence or partner with Huawei and other Chinese telecom companies that are effectively arms of the Chinese Communist Party. And credible reports suggest that they are working to develop a new search engine that would satisfy the Chinese Communist Party’s censorship standards, after having disclaimed any intent to do so eight years ago. Perhaps they didn’t send a witness to answer these questions because there is no answer to those questions. And the silence we hear from that Google chair right now is reminiscent of the silence that witness would provide.

BOOZMAN ADVOCATES FOR ARKANSAS AGRICULTURAL PRODUCERS IN FARM BILL CONFERENCE MEETING
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) —a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry— delivered remarks during the first meeting of the 2018 Farm Bill Conference Committee.

Boozman stressed the importance of providing certainty and predictability for farmers, ranchers and all rural Americans.

“A few weeks ago, I traveled across Arkansas and heard firsthand from farmers. For Arkansans, the message was clear – pass a meaningful Farm Bill. We must do right by our farmers, ranchers, foresters, rural Americans, taxpayers, tribes, retailers, and consumers, and hammer out the remaining differences to send a workable Farm Bill to the President’s desk,” Boozman said.

The following are Boozman’s remarks as prepared for delivery:

Chairmen, Ranking Members, and fellow Conferees, I am pleased to be here at the first meeting of the 2018 Farm Bill Conference Committee. Several months ago, many folks doubted that we would actually be here finalizing the 2018 Farm Bill. But here we are, working in regular order, in a bipartisan fashion to provide certainty and predictability for our farmers, ranchers, and rural Americans.

With net farm income half of what it was five years ago, farmers and ranchers are experiencing the most fragile farm economy since the 1980s. In both chambers, we have crafted policies, not to make the good times better, but to make the tough times bearable.

But, we are not without our differences.

I am deeply concerned that the ‘actively engaged’ eligibility provisions included in the Senate bill will only exacerbate the pain being felt throughout rural America by arbitrarily excluding some farmers from Title I programs.

This is often characterized as a regional difference, but let me be clear – this provision does not discriminate against regions, it discriminates against farmers and those who feed and clothe this nation. It will hurt family farms across the country and in each one of your states and districts.

‘Actively engaged’ requirements have been around since 1987, and in the 2014 Farm Bill, Congress included provisions that further tightened program eligibility. We have not yet seen the full effects from that.

I have concerns that this is a policy that no farmer has asked for, that has not been publicly debated, nor thoroughly vetted. I think that the House did a much better job in this regard.

Throughout this bill, there are several areas where we have the opportunity to truly make a difference.

  • We have the opportunity to pass commonsense, bipartisan provisions to provide meaningful regulatory relief to folks like agriculture aviators.
  • We must pass a robust forestry title that gives our rural communities the tools to actively manage our timberlands.
  • We must ensure that our nutrition programs are serving the most vulnerable while also maintaining program integrity and support of the general public.
  • Both bills work to advance voluntary, incentive-based conservation. As we resolve differences between the bills, we must ensure that both our livestock and row crop producers maintain access to robust and flexible working lands programs like EQIP, as well as retain increased funding and positive policy changes for programs like WRE, which is important to waterfowl in Arkansas.

A few weeks ago, I traveled across Arkansas and heard firsthand from farmers.

For Arkansans, the message was clear – pass a meaningful Farm Bill. We must do right by our farmers, ranchers, foresters, rural Americans, taxpayers, tribes, retailers, and consumers, and hammer out the remaining differences to send a workable Farm Bill to the President’s desk.

I look forward to working with you to achieve this goal.

SEPTEMBER 5, 2018

CITY OF CAMDEN POLICE REPORTS
This past Saturday evening Officer Brotherton and Officer jOnes of the Camden City Police, were on patrol in the area of Carver Courts. The Officer were flagged down by a woman who stated that a man in a red shirt and blue jeans had harassed her on her property located on Grinstead Street. The Officers were able to make contact with the man, identified as Shane Suttle. He was questioned regarding the incident with the woman. Suttle stated that he was just walking by the house and that he had just gotten back from The Cellar and stated that he had been drinking. Suttle had the odor of intoxicants emitting from his person. He was arrested for public Intoxication and was transported to the police station where booking procedures were completed. He was transported to the Ouachita County Detention Center and later released with a criminal citation for public intoxication.

Saturday evening Sergeant Kyle McDaniel was dispatched to 620 Lear Street in reference to Christopher Jackson causing a disturbance. On the way to the residence, Officer McDaniel observed a person fitting Jackson’s description. Jackson was swaying and had the odor of intoxicants on him. The Officer attempted to take Jackson into custody, but he resisted. Officer Reynolds arrived and with her help, Jackson was taken into custody. He was charged with public intoxication and refusal to submit to arrest. Jackson was transported to the Ouachita county Jail.

Saturday night Officer Brotherton and Officer Jones were dispatched to McDonald’s in reference to a disturbance. Contact was made with Jerry McKenzie who stated he was trying to get his money back from the lady at the counter but that she wouldn’t give his money back. The man smelled of intoxicants. When asked, McKenzie stated that he had a drink earlier in the evening. Due to his demeanor and the smell of intoxicants, he was taken into custody for public intoxication. He was transported to the Ouachita County Detention Facility and given a court date.

Very early Sunday morning, Officer Kayla Reynolds was on routine patrol on California Avenue. She observed a vehicle driving sporadically. At the light at Hospital Drive the light was green and the vehicle sat through and entire light cycle. At this point, the Officer exited her car and approached the vehicle in question. She smelled a sweet smoky odor emitting from the vehicle. The Officers believed the odor is linked to K2. She saw a man, later identified as DeAnthony Westbrook, slumped over on his gear shift face down. The Officer tried to make contact but he was non-responsive. She notified dispatch to call EMS. She then opened the car door and after many attempts to wake Westbrook. He eventually picked up his head. He was unable to form full sentences. Officer Reynolds told him to exit the vehicle and he refused. Officer Brotherton and Jones had arrived to assist. Officer Reynolds had to get in the passenger side of the car to undo the man’s seat belt so the Officers could get him out of the vehicle and take him into custody. A small bag of leafy green substance consistent with marijuana was found on the man. For Westbrook’s medical safety he was sent to OCMC until cleared by the ER Doctor for incarceration. The car was towed from the scene. Westbrook was later transport to the Camden Police Department and was booked. He ws charged with public intoxication, obstructing Government operations and possession of a controlled substance. He was taken to the Ouachita County Detention Center and held for a 12 hour detoxification.

ENTERGY ARKANSAS TO BRING ADVANCED METERS TO HOMES AND BUSINESSES
Company uses technology to modernize electric grid, build smarter energy future
LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas – Outages identified more accurately. Faster outage restoration response times. Billing and service questions answered more efficiently. Potential energy saving tools for customers. These are all benefits of Entergy Arkansas’ vision for a smarter energy future, through the company’s deployment of advanced metering. This multi-year project is already underway with the design and build of the communications network and IT systems taking place over the past two years. This network equipment will start to be installed on electric poles and structures in September. Advanced meters will begin to be installed in 2019 with projected completion in 2021.

“The PSC’s forward-thinking commissioners have approved our plan to install advanced meters at the homes and businesses we serve throughout Arkansas,” said Laura Landreaux, Entergy Arkansas president and CEO. “These meters represent not only the foundation for building grid modernization technologies, but also our ongoing commitment to providing the best possible service, safely and securely to our communities.”            

Upgrading to advanced meters has numerous benefits, including:

· New online tools will be available to customers that help them better understand and manage energy usage more effectively, which can lead to energy usage reduction and potentially lower bills.
· No more waiting until the end of the month to review energy usage. Via the online tools, customers can log into their account and view how much electricity has been used the day prior, shown in 15-minute increments.
· With better information, Entergy Arkansas can answer customers’ billing and service questions more quickly and effectively, improving customer service.
· The company will have a clearer real-time picture of the power grid and how it is operating. Outages can be identified more accurately, so crews can arrive on the scene more quickly to make repairs.

Advanced metering is digital technology that enables secure two-way communication between the customer and Entergy Arkansas. Each meter is equipped with a network radio. The radio transmits meter readings to the electric network access point, housed on an electric pole near the meter. This data is then transmitted to the utility through a secure cellular network. Once a customer’s meter is installed, they may access their online account to view daily energy use, displayed in 15-minute increments. Advanced metering also brings opportunities for potential new programs that can help further reduce customers’ energy usage and better support environmentally sustainable communities.

Learn more about the company’s vision for a smarter energy future in Arkansas by visiting energyfuturearkansas.com – view the installation schedule, watch a video that explains more about advanced metering, and more.

Entergy Arkansas provides electricity to approximately 700,000 customers in 63 counties. Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including nearly 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.9 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of approximately $10.8 billion and more than 13,000 employees.

More information is available on Entergy’s website at entergy-arkansas.com.

CAMDEN NOON LION’S CLUB
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet on Wednesday at Catherine’s Bistro. The speaker this week will be Katrina Hegler  LPH/DEQ  with Pine Hills Nursing Home.  She will speak on what services Pine Hills offers.

MASTER’S VOICE TO PERFORM IN HAMPTON
Since 1995, Master’s Voice has been committed to bringing an evangelistic approach to singing and preaching the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ till all know...or He returns. This team is also devoted to musical excellence, understanding that this “music with a message” requires the utmost professionalism, preparation, commitment, clarity, doctrinal soundness and passionate vocals.Master's Voice will perform in Hampton at the Hampton High School Gym on October 14th at 5:00 pm. Free Admission and everyone is invited!

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: THE CASE FOR CONFIRMING KAVANAUGH
Rutledge says, ‘He has a proven record of adhering to the Constitution and the rule of law, ensuring that the liberties of all Americans are protected.’

LITTLE ROCK – Sunday, an op-ed written by Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge encouraging the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Nominee Brett Kavanaugh, appeared in the Arkansas Democrat- Gazette.

Very few decisions afforded to the president of the United States have as significant an impact as the nomination of a justice to the Supreme Court. Lifetime appointments mean that justices will likely serve on the Court long after a president leaves the White House, thus ensuring that their judicial philosophy lives on long after their administration.

Following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, Americans knew that the next president would have at least one Supreme Court appointment, raising the stakes of the election. I am proud to have been an early supporter during President Donald J. Trump’s campaign, having served as a surrogate throughout 2016 and being the only elected official from Arkansas to be a Trump delegate at the Republican National Convention. For me, President Trump was the obvious choice to nominate the next Supreme Court Justice, and he proved himself worthy of that trust when he nominated Justice Neil Gorsuch.

President Trump believes, as I do, that judges must ensure our government does not take actions that violate individual constitutional rights. He promised that if elected he would nominate judges who faithfully interpret and follow the Constitution as written by our founders and not invent constitutional rights by legislating from the bench. And President Trump has fulfilled that promise.

Since he took office, President Trump has nominated outstanding individuals to the courts at every level and at a record pace. President Trump is doing his part to ensure our judiciary is filled with judges who will interpret the law, not invent it.

The president has nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy. I have no doubt that if confirmed to serve on the Supreme Court, Judge Kavanaugh will continue to use his extensive legal education and experience to protect the Constitution.

Judge Kavanaugh has a proven record from his days on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the country’s most influential federal court of appeals. One example of his commitment to the rule of law is his dissent in Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, where he argued that shielding PCAOB board members from political accountability violated the president’s Article II powers, and the Supreme Court ultimately adopted Judge Kavanaugh’s approach.

Another example is Judge Kavanaugh’s dissent in Garza v. Hargan—a case in which I joined a multi-state brief seeking to protect the life of the unborn—where Judge Kavanaugh argued that the federal government cannot be required to facilitate an abortion on demand for an unaccompanied minor.

I am proud to support the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh. He has a proven record of adhering to the Constitution and the rule of law, ensuring that the liberties of all Americans are protected. In the 2016 election, President Trump promised to nominate well-qualified Americans who will faithfully interpret our Constitution as the founders wrote it, and with this nomination, the president has done just that.

The president has made and kept his promises to the American people, now it is time for the U.S. Senate to do the same: confirm Judge Kavanaugh.

SEPTEMBER 4, 2018

HUNTER’S EDUCATION COURSE TO BE HELD AT LOGOLY
 There will be a Hunter's Education Course at Logoly State Park on September 8th, from 9:00am to 5:00pm and September 9th, 2018  from 1:00pm to 5:00pm

It is state law for any person born after December 31, 1968 to have successfully completed an approved hunter education course before hunting in the state of Arkansas.

The course includes classes in firearm safety, wildlife management, sportsmanship, bow hunting, muzzle loading, first aid, and more. You must attend all scheduled classes and pass the final exam to complete the course.

The course is recommended for individuals 11 years of age and up and is offered free of charge, but class size is limited so pre-registration is required.  All registration is now done on-line at www.agfc.com. Click on the hunting tab.  Call the park at (870) 695-3561 if you have any questions or need help registering.

DRAMA CLUB TO BEGIN AT SAAC
The South Arkansas Arts Center kicks off its fall Arts Academy classes on the heels of Labor Day, and one of the offerings this semester is Drama Club for grades 7-12, which will produce Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Director Lynn Gunter has headed up this group many times, and this year she will be joined by Haley Phillips, a veteran of the SAAC stage and a self-described Shakespeare fan.

Haley Phillips is a homeschool mom of four teenagers, with a background in theatre and a love of all things Shakespeare. She has performed in many productions at SAAC and directed a few, as well. In 2015, she directed SAAC's production of "Twelfth Night." Haley has been sharing Shakespeare with young people for many years, first as an Arkansas Artist in Education, and more recently through classes that she offers at HEART homeschool co-op. She is very excited to be a part of an all-teen cast production of a Shakespeare play, and even more excited that it's one of the funny ones. "Too many people think of Shakespeare's work as 'over their heads' or 'too difficult to understand.' I love helping people, especially young people, see that it's actually great fun! These teens will know exactly what they're saying and hearing by the time we have an audience, and they'll have the joy of having accomplished something that many people wouldn't even attempt."

Lynn Gunter has spent the last 15 years being a homeschool mom to her three children: Will, Nathan, and Bekah. Gunter became involved with SAAC in 2012, when her children began taking classes, which she thinks have greatly enhanced the lives of her children. Since 2013, Gunter has become a familiar face at SAAC through her direction of local homeschool group, HEART, and their children's productions of "House at Pooh Corner," "Peter Pan," and Disney's "Alice in Wonderland, Jr.," as well as leading the Drama Club productions. "What I enjoy most about directing kids is witnessing their self-confidence increase as well as teamwork, humility, work ethic, and satisfaction in accomplishment, breeding the attitude that "I can do anything."

Both Phillips and Gunter are enthusiastic about staging "A Midsummer Night's Dream". "It is a perfect Shakespeare show for teens, because the story revolves around teenaged characters," said Phillips. "Chasing love, running from love, best friends, enemies, 'frenemies,' authority figures and parents who just don't understand. There's also the drama of a marriage on the rocks, misleading appearances, and some general silliness. And it all takes place in a magical wood at night."

Drama Club for grades 7-12 will meet on Wednesday and Thursday from 3:45-5:45 pm. The class will meet for the first time on Thursday, September 6, from 5-7 pm, to cast roles and to pick up scripts. Regular weekly rehearsal starts on September 19. Expect the rehearsal schedule to include a Saturday workday, a tech rehearsal and a few dress rehearsals in addition to the regular Wednesday and Thursday classes. Performances will be December 7 and 8. Drama Club for grades 7-12 will meet on Wednesday and Thursday from 3:45-5:45 pm. The class will meet for the first time on Thursday, September 6, from 5-7 pm, to cast roles and to pick up scripts. Regular weekly rehearsal starts on September 19. Expect the rehearsal schedule to include a Saturday workday, a tech rehearsal and a few dress rehearsals in addition to the regular Wednesday and Thursday classes. Performances will be December 7 and 8. 

NEW BIG BUCK CONTEST PAYS BIG CASH PRIZES
Beginning with the opening of deer season September 22 and running through January 31, Arkansas hunters will have an opportunity to win thousands of dollars in a brand new deer hunting contest titled ‘Racks For Stacks.’  A group of local hunters developed the contest to promote the sport of deer hunting and to reward hunters who bag the biggest buck of the season.

Racks For Stacks (www.racks4stacks.com) requires each hunter to pay a $20.00 entry fee, with half of the entry fee going to charity.  Successful hunters will be competing with other hunters in the county where each county will pay a $1,500 cash prize for each of the 75 counties in Arkansas.  Each of the 26 deer zones will pay $2,000 for the largest buck taken. Other cash prizes will be awarded to the largest buck taken in each of the four regions of the state and the overall largest buck taken during the 2018-’19 deer season will pay a $20,000 cash prize.

Other winning categories will be paid in other divisions:  ladies, youth, bow, muzzleloader, as well as a ‘Freak of the Week’ weekly prize given to the largest deer entered each week of the contest.

Racks For Stacks will donate $10 of each entry fee made to Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Hope Outdoors Ministries, and the AG&FC Wildlife Restoration Program. Contest prizes must be funded prior to any charitable donation, but with strong hunter participation, the organizers of Racks For Stacks are pushing to make the charities the recipient of significant cash donations.

Hunters can enter this new and exciting contest at www.racks4stacks.com and you must be registered seven days prior to entering your buck.  A complete list of prizes and rules can also be found on the website.

This contest is supported by the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission as well as many major outdoor sponsors.

RUTLEDGE MARKS INTERNATIONAL OVERDOSE AWARENESS DAY 2018
Launches webpage and social media campaign #Rx4LifeStories

LITTLE ROCK – Last Friday, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge launched Prescription for Life Stories (#Rx4LifeStories) to mark International Overdose Awareness Day. #Rx4LifeStories is an ongoing initiative that will allow Arkansans to talk about how the nation’s opioid epidemic has impacted their lives and the lives of their families.

Rutledge will post videos of Arkansans telling their stories on her Twitter and Facebook accounts. The links on the website will show Arkansans telling their stories of the opioid crisis. Their words will drive home the sad reality that addiction and overdose are stealing an alarming number of young Arkansans who are leaving behind supportive and loving families.

“Who better to tell the story of addiction than the families, friends and individuals who have traveled this rocky path,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “These individuals and families understand how hard it is to endure the merciless struggles of addiction, and in some cases, they have suffered the shattering grief of losing a loved one to these debilitating drugs. Today’s expansion of the Prescription for Life initiative is an opportunity for Arkansans to learn from our neighbors about the devastation of prescription drug use and abuse – in our homes, our towns and across our State. You too can make a difference by sharing your story to save a life.”

International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on August 31st each year that aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of addiction. The day also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of a drug overdose.

Drug overdose deaths are on the rise in Arkansas, increasing from 287 in 2015 to 401 in 2017, according to data from the Arkansas Department of Health. More than 40 percent of teenagers in Arkansas have tried prescription drugs and more than half of all teens report that it is easy to obtain prescription drugs from their parents’ or grandparents’ medicine cabinets.

North America continues to experience the highest drug-related mortality rate in the world, accounting for one in four drug-related deaths globally, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that between 59,000 and 65,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2016, up from 52,404 in 2015 and double the death rate a decade ago. That is more than the number of deaths from car accidents in 2016. And according to the Centers for Disease Control, the majority of drug overdose deaths – six out of 10 – involve an opioid.

Prescription for Life Stories is the latest in General Rutledge’s multi-faceted approach to combatting the opioid crisis.

Rutledge is also suing the opioid manufacturers who created the crisis in Arkansas for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Arkansas Medicaid Fraud False Claims Act.

Last fall, Rutledge launched Prescription for Life, a first-in-the-nation educational tool offered at no cost to all high school students in the State to help them understand the dangers of prescription drug misuse and how to prevent abuse. To date, it has been launched in 73 schools across 55 counties and reached over 7,700 students with an additional 17 schools committed to launch the program this fall.

Each year, Rutledge partners with a number of agencies in hosting the Arkansas Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit. The summit is a free training and educational opportunity for law enforcement officers, medical professionals, pharmacists and educators. The seventh annual Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit is scheduled for Nov. 1 in Hot Springs, with more than 800 taking advantage of early bird registration.

Rutledge also partners with federal and state agencies for the biannual National Take Back Day. Since 2016, more than 600 pounds of prescription drugs were collected at Attorney General Mobile Offices across Arkansas.

AUGUST 31, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

Governor Hutchinson Announces Fall 2018 Computer

Science Tour of Arkansas Schools

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced his Fall 2018 Computer Science Tour, his seventh tour of Arkansas schools since he took office in 2015. Governor Hutchinson has visited more than 60 schools to promote computer science education and to encourage students to enroll in computer science and coding courses. Schools, dates and times are listed below.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement: 

I look forward to my Computer Science Tour of Arkansas schools every spring and fall. After visiting more than 60 schools to share about the value of computer science education, I continue to be encouraged by the enthusiasm of our students and teachers for computer science—it’s their hard work that has made Arkansas a national leader in these efforts. I look forward to hitting the road once again to talk about the value of coding in these students’ lives and in Arkansas’ economy. 


Tuesday, September 4

Genoa Central High School
1:15 p.m.
12472 AR Highway 196
Texarkana, Arkansas

Monday, September 10

Pea Ridge Middle School
9:30 a.m.
1391 Weston Street
Pea Ridge, Arkansas

Tuesday, September 11

Drew Central High School
12:45 p.m.
250 University Drive
Monticello, Arkansas

AUGUST 30, 2018

CAMDEN CITY POLICE REPORTS
 Very early this past Tuesday morning Officer Kayla Reynolds was dispatched as back up to Fort Lookout for a report of a man with a gun. Dispatch stated that the reporting party said a male was chasing another man around with a gun and had heard 5 shots fired. Officer Reynolds observed several individuals standing in front of the 300 block of Fort Lookout. The Officer asked one young female if she had heard any gun shots. She said that she did and it sounded as if they cam from behind her building. Officer Reynolds circled behind the building in her vehicle but did not see anything. The Officer decided to conduct a security check on foot in the area. While on foot she could smell fresh gun powder in the air indicating a firearm had been discharged in the area. Officer Reynolds spoke with another woman. She attempted to redirect the Officer to the 1000 block of Fort Lookout stating she heard the shots from a different area. As the Officer walk toward the back of 300 Fort Lookout she heard rustling leave and twigs breaking in the woods. She approached the fence near the back of the playground and saw a young male laying on his stomach in the tree line. There was another person hiding behind a tree next to the man on the ground. The man behind the tree took off running into the dark wood lines., The Officer made contact with the man on the ground who was later identified as Demondtac Sledge. Sledge related a story regarding a fight and stated that another man had fired shots. The man kept looking behind him many times during the conversation. Deputy Tollefson advised that he saw a gun on the ground in the direction Sledge was looking. A 9mm hand gun was found about 3 feet from Sledge originally laid. The gun had 9 bullets in the magazine. When Lt. Adams asked Sledge about the firearm, Sledge denied that the gun was his. Due to the area which the gun was found in and Sledge’s mannerisms he was taken into custody for the stolen firearm. He was transported to the Camden Police Department where booking procedures were completed. He was charged with theft by receiving and taken to the Ouachita County Detention Center.

Monday night Officer Brotherton and Officer Jones were on patrol near Adams and Grinstead Street. They noticed a Black Nissan Maxima pull into the parking lot of Stop 1 Gourmet Deli. The Officers ran the plates and the returned to a Toyota Corolla. A traffic stop was initiated. Contact was made with the driver identified as Donovan Briggs. The Officer noticed the strong smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle. Officer Jones had a passenger, identified as  Catorey Robinson,  to stop out of the vehicle and he was detained. A black scale was located under the vehicle in the proximity of where Robinson was sitting in the vehicle. Briggs and another passenger identified as Howard Robinson Jr. were instructed to step out of the vehicle. Officer Jones located marijuana in a black bag in the front passenger floor board. Briggs was issued a citation for fictitious tags and failure to pay registration fee. Robinson was transported to the Camden Police Department  and was charged with possession with intent to deliver. He was transported to the Ouachita County Detention Center to await first appearance.

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S REPORTS
Last Sunday afternoon, Deputy Justin Creech and Deputy Dustin Vaughan along with Elliott, Louann and Frenchport Fire Departments responded to 3376 Highway 376 South in reference to a house fire. The Officers and Fire Departments arrived to find the residence fully engulfed in flames. A resident reported the she had gotten her son and grandson out of the home. One of the residents had lit a piece of paper on fire and dropped it causing the fire to spread to a mattress. He attempted to extinguish the fire with water but was unsuccessful. It is believed the fire was an accident. The home was a total loss.

Last Sunday evening Deputy Justin Creech and Deputy Dustin Vaughan responded to 686 Ruby Street in Stephens in reference to a disturbance involving a stolen vehicle. Deputies spoke with the home owner who stated that his stepson, David Ramos, had walked to his home. Ramos hung out for a while. The man’s juvenile son came in after a time and told the man that Ramos had taken the man’s work truck. The two went to Stephens and found Ramos in the work truck. A verbal altercation occurred. Ramos took the truck back to the residence but then began yelling and cursing. Ramos approached the man in an aggressive manor continuing to scream at him. The juvenile son Hit Ramos to keep him from hurting his father. The victim and two juveniles held Ramos on the ground until he calmed down. After Ramos calmed down, he was allowed back in the house while they waited on Deputies to arrive. Ramos bolted out the back door when he saw the Officers. The Deputies searched but could not locate Ramos. Later on received a call that Ramos had returned to the residence. Ramos bolted again but Deputies eventually spotted him and placed him into custody and charged with theft of property.

OUACHITA COUNTY LABOR DAY SCHEDULE
The Ouachita County Courthouse and the Ouachita County Extension Office will be closed on Monday, September 3rd in observance of the Labor Day Holiday. The Ouachita County Sanitation Department will run on regular schedule.

19th ANNUAL “CRUISING FOR A CURE”
Charlie’s Angels Relay for Life Team is once again putting on the “Cruisin’ for a Cure” Car Show in conjunction with the Barn Sale. The Car Show will be September 29th at the Camden Fairview High School. Hours are 9AM until Noon with Judging at Noon. Awards will be presented at 2PM. There will be goody bags, class judging, trophies, entertainment, door prizes and food and drings for sale. Pre-registration for all cars, trucks and bikes is $20.00 for the first vehicle and $5.00 for each additional vehicle. Day of event registration is $25.00. All proceeds to to Relay for Life. For more information email evajorgensen@yahoo.com.

WOMEN’S CRISES CENTER 3RD ANNUAL COLOR FUN RUN/WALK
The Women’s Crises Center will host the 3rd Annual Color Fun Run/Walk on Saturday, October 13th beginning at 8AM. Registration must be completed by October 1st to be guaranteed a T-Shirt. Entry fee is $10.00 for ages 0 to 12 and @20.00 for ages 13 and up. Registration forms may be picked up at the Women’s Crises Center located at 1112 West Washington Street in Camden. For more information call the Women’s Crisis Center Business Office at 836-0375.

OUTSTANDING WOMEN OF DISTINCTION ANNUAL BANQUET
The Outstanding Women of Distinction in Southern Arkansas will hold the 13th Annual Banquet and Gala on Saturday, October 27th beginning at 6PM. The Banquet and Gala will be held at the SAU Tech Ross Center in Camden. For ticket information see and OWOD member or call Mrs. Essie Arnold at 818-2200.

KIWANIS MAKE-A WISH MID-SOUTH 5K RUN WALK
The Kiwanis Club has scheduled the Make A Wish Mid-South 5K Run/ Walk. The 5K will be held Saturday, September 29th beginning at 7:30AM. The Entry Fee through September 22nd is $20.00 and includes one t-shirt in your size choice. After September 22nd fee is $25.00 and includes you choice of one t-shirt from those available. Day of Race, registration is $25.00 from 6:15 to 6:45AM. For more information contact Krissi Bassetti at 836-5840 or email kbassetti@hotmail.com. Net proceeds benefit Make-A-Wish.

MCCURDY PROMOTED TO DIRECTOR OF ALUMNI RELATIONS AT SOUTHERN
ARKANSAS UNIVERSITY

This week, Megan (Maye) McCurdy named Southern Arkansas University’s Director of Alumni Relations in an announcement by SAU President Dr. Trey Berry and SAU Alumni Association Board of Directors Chair Bobby Thompson.

McCurdy brings the perfect combination of leadership, vision, and passion to the director’s position. She has served as the Assistant Director of Development since 2015, giving her a firm foundation for her new role in Alumni Relations.  Through her previous work in the Division of Advancement, she has been hands-on in coordinating external communications to alumni and friends, planning special events and strategic planning. McCurdy, SAU alumna, earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in finance in 2014 and Master of Business Administration degree in 2017. She also served as the University mascot, The Mulerider, for three years and was involved in numerous marketing and recruiting initiatives for SAU, including “Mulerider on the Road.”

Her professional activities include Leadership Magnolia, Magnolia Advertising and Promotion Commission, Emerging Leaders Council in the Rankin College of Business, Business Advisory Board for the SAU Enactus Team and Columbia County Fair Association Board of Directors.

McCurdy shared, “It is such an exciting time to be a Mulerider. I look forward to being more involved with our current students, visiting with Mulerider alumni both near and far, enhancing alumni experiences on campus, taking SAU on the road through upcoming alumni events and working with the Alumni Association Board to roll out our brand new all-inclusive alumni membership structure.”

Alumni and friends are welcome to contact McCurdy at (870) 235-4079 or meganmccurdy@saumag.edu, and are encouraged to stop by the newly renovated Alumni Center to meet her during a visit to campus.

RUTLEDGE ANNOUNCES SPEAKERS FOR 2018 LAW ENFORCEMENT SUMMIT
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the full slate of speakers for the 16th Arkansas Law Enforcement Summit, which will be held on Oct. 2 at the Benton Event Center in Benton. The annual event is a free training and educational opportunity for Arkansas’s law enforcement community, including officers, prosecutors and criminal justice personnel.

“As Arkansas’s Chief Law Enforcement Officer, it is important for me to offer trainings to our law enforcement on topics such as human trafficking and emergency situations involving individuals on the autism spectrum,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The annual Law Enforcement Summit provides a unique opportunity for our men and women in blue to network and learn valuable knowledge as they protect us in our communities. I encourage all officers to register to attend so they can hear and learn from these remarkable speakers.”

This year’s summit will begin with Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes discussing human trafficking prevention. Attorney General Reyes has been a leader and an international voice in the fight against human trafficking and continues to lead Utah to aggressively fight through education campaigns, support of anti-human trafficking legislation, victim recovery and advocacy. This is accomplished through grassroots and non-governmental organizations’ efforts, partnerships with local law enforcement officers and agencies, as well as work initiated by his office through the Utah Trafficking in Persons Task Force and prosecutors of the Utah SECURE Strike Force. Reyes’ remarks and presentation will begin at 8:30 a.m.

Rutledge will also welcome Dennis Debbaudt, who will speak at 9:45 a.m. Debbaudt will speak on autism risk and safety management because just as each emergency differs from the next, so do individuals involved, especially in regard to individuals on the autism spectrum. Officers are trained to respond to crisis situations with certain protocols, but these protocols may not always be the best way to interact with individuals on the autism spectrum. It is critical that first responders have working knowledge of autism and the wide variety of behaviors individuals on the autism spectrum may exhibit in emergency situations.

During a noon luncheon, Rutledge will again recognize one outstanding law enforcement officer from each county in addition to the statewide and regional award winners who will be announced.

The afternoon will include a presentation from Jeffrey McGill, formerly with the Okalossa County, Florida, Violent Fugitive Task Force. McGill will discuss surviving traumatic stress. This training will address the far reaches of a critical incident and what officers, supervisors, trainers and families need to know about traumatic stress.

Sworn officers who attend the Summit will receive a Bayco MT-120 Mini-TAC light.

Registration is open and available at ArkansasAG.gov.

August 29, 2018

“NOT FADE AWAY” TO PERFORM IN CAMDEN ON SEPTEMBER 18TH
Live On Stage, Inc. and the Ouachita County Community Concert Association announce Buddy Holly tribute band as part of their 2018 - 2019 Concert Season

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – (August 28, 2018) – Celebrate over 50 years of Rock n’ Roll hits with the high-energy Buddy Holly tribute band, Not Fade Away in a special concert at Camden Fairview High School, 1750 Cash Road, Camden, Arkansas on Tuesday, September 18, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.  Children and students are admitted to all OCCCA performances at no charge if accompanied by an OCCCA ticket holder.  For more information please call 870-807-6915 or 870-818-2131, or visit www.camdenaliveonstage.com.

Not Fade Away was created out of the survival of this incredible, legendary and important music created well over 50 years ago. Having also been a part of many standard tribute shows, Not Fade Away wants to create a new show that will keep this music relevant, give it edge, bring it into today’s music scene, while not forgetting the importance of the music’s place in history and the impact it had on the world. They’re not just looking to dwell on “The Day the Music Died”. These greats were more than their last night on Earth; they were the pioneers of Rock n’ Roll. They gifted an energetic new kind of music, changing the landscape for an entire generation of music listeners and music makers alike. Not Fade Away hopes to revamp and re-gift those songs to a new generation so that they may last another 50 years. Click Here To View A Video Of Not Fade Away.

The Ouachita County Community Concert Association has been presenting world-class entertainment to the Camden community since 1947! An enthusiastic group of volunteers work tirelessly to provide family entertainment and educational outreach performances to educate and entertain adults and students alike.

Live On Stage, Inc. provides excellent, affordable, entertainment attractions and support services to an American community of concert presenters.  View a video about Live On Stage.  

SOUTHARK OUTDOOR EXPO IN EL DORADO 
The SouthArk Outdoor Expo is coming to the El Dorado Conference Center Saturday, September 8 between 9:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. 5K, Photo Contest, Rib Cook Off, Live Music, Exhibits, Car Showvendors, Kids Activities, Dog Show and much more. Register now online at southarkexpo.com.  The admission: 1 can or packaged food. Celebrate everything outdoors! Find SouthArk Expo on Facebook for all the information.

LABOR DAY CLOSURES
The Public Works Dept. and the City of Camden will be closed Monday, September 3 in observance of Labor Day. The sanitation route will run as scheduled but the transfer station will be closed. If you have questions, phone 870/837-5570

50th ANNUAL CAMDEN BARN SALE
Don’t Miss South Arkansas’ Largest Arts & Crafts Show. The 50th annual Camden Barn Sale will be Saturday, Sept. 29th in Camden. Experience the appeal of Southern Living at South Arkansas’ Largest Arts & Crafts Show, the 50th Annual Camden Barn Sale, Saturday, September 29th, from 9am-4:30pm in Camden. The site of the Barn sale is Oakland St. & Monticello St. in Camden.

The Camden Barn Sale has grown into one of Arkansas’ major tourist attractions. Join thousands from all around the region to shop handcrafted southern favorites as you browse over 130 booths of vendors and artists from all over the US featuring traditional crafts and contemporary styles. The massive old oak trees provide a breathtaking fall landscape as you stroll beside the historic barn site while browsing the crafts and original handmade works of art. Expect to find handcrafted wooden pieces, ceramics, paintings, floral arrangements, handmade clothing, jewelry, stained glass, one-of-a-kind toys, and much more. Enjoy the historic southern plantation setting and shop till your heart's content.

Enjoy a myriad of authentic foods as vendors from all over the South descend on the Barn Sale with their own unique southern favorites and festival treats. Musical entertainment takes place throughout the day with individual performances by the artists themselves at their vendor booths. It’s fun for the entire family with the Antique & Classic Car Show, Kids Zone with inflatables, and festival traditions including the Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast, 5k Run, St. Louis Catholic Church Spaghetti Supper and much, much more.

For more information contact: The Camden Barn Sale, 870-836-6426 or visit, www.CamdenBarnSale.com.

PRESCHOOLERS WELCOME AT SAAC
SAAC offers classes tailored to four-year-olds.  This semester’s PreK teachers include from left Maria Villegas (PreK4-2nd Grade Art in Spanish), Hannah Davis (PreK4-1st Grade Drama), and Gay Bechtelheimer (PreK4 Art).  Now is the time to sign your children up for lots of fun and learning.   In SAAC’s ongoing quest to use arts to educate, these classes are dedicated to the fact that learning can be fun, and by nurturing the creative spirit, creative thinkers are created.  

Art in Spanish class begins September 5 with both Pre-K Art and Drama classes beginning September 10.  Register at the South Arkansas Arts Center located at 110 East 5th Street in El Dorado or call 870-862-5474 for more information.

August 28, 2018

BOOZMAN WELCOMES ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEW TRADE DEAL WITH MEXICO
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) released the following statement regarding the announcement of a preliminary agreement between the United States and Mexico that stands to strengthen the two nations’ trading relationship:

“Solidifying our partnership with Mexico while improving the terms of our trade agreement is a positive, welcome development. It moves us one step closer to ensuring Arkansas’s businesses and agriculture industry maintain access to this crucial market. I congratulate the president and his team and look forward to a comprehensive deal being reached quickly. America can compete with any nation in the world when the playing field is level, so continued pursuit of fair trade agreements with our partners across the globe must remain a priority.”

 

SENATOR’S COTTON AND BOOZMAN STATEMENTS ON THE PASSING OF SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN
Senator John McCain passed away at the age of 81. He was known as a War hero,
father and preside
ntial candidate. He had been fighting aggressive brain cancer since last summer - and leaves behind a proud legacy of public service.

Senator Tom Cotton released the following statement on the passing of Senator John McCain: “John McCain was an American original. Tough, independent, and outspoken, he was captured, but he never surrendered. The inner strength he showed in the Hanoi Hilton shone through during his 36 years in the Congress. Wherever one stands on the political spectrum—and most people had occasion to stand both with and against this maverick—John McCain was a passionate fighter for his ideas, for our troops, and for a better America. While we mourn his passing today, and extend condolences to Cindy and his children, let us also celebrate his life, now and in the days to come. John McCain kept the faith of his fathers in the country we all love.”  U.S. Senator John Boozman issued the following statement regarding the passing of his friend and colleague Senator John McCain. “Senator McCain was a true American hero who led an extraordinary life dedicated to his country. He was a passionate public servant whose courage was demonstrated in Vietnam and continued on the Senate floor as a fierce advocate for the military and veterans. We remember John’s tenacious spirit and unyielding determination to make our country better. His leadership will be missed but his legacy will live on. My thoughts and prayers are with John’s beloved wife Cindy and his entire family at this time.”

FREE SMALL BUSINESS TRAINING SCHEDULED AT CABS
Starting a Business in Arkansas will be offered on Tuesday, September 4th from noon to 2:00PM. This basic seminar discusses essential startup steps, legal business structures, regulations and licensing, key issues that affect your business success, and common pitfalls entrepreneurs face. A must for first-time small traditional/home-based business owners! This seminar will be held at Camden Accelerated Business Services (CABS) Center located at 625 Adams SW in Camden. (OPED Building). Call 870-836-2210 or email oped@att.net to Pre-Register.

SAAC WELCOMES NEW BALLET INSTRUCTORS
The fall semester at South Arkansas Arts Center Arts Academy is set to begin soon, and one of the most popular studies, ballet, has two new instructors. Cami Lowrey and Bekah Gunter are joining Stephanie Lowrey, who has taught ballet at SAAC for many years. Lowrey and Gunter are both seniors in high school this year.

For Cami Lowrey, teaching this semester brings her full circle. She entered SAAC's ballet program in 2007 under high school senior Victoria Lehew, who had studied under Marilyn Russell. She is excited to give back to the program she has been a part of for the past 11 years. Cami was recently seen as Alice in the summer ballet camp production of "Alice in Wonderland".

Bekah Gunter began taking ballet at SAAC under former instructor Melissa Spears in 2010. She has been an integral part of the ballet program ever since and has been seen in several SAAC theatre productions through the years. Most recently Bekah choreographed "Honk, Jr" for the summer theatre camp and the current Penguin Project at SAAC.

The instructors are very excited for the ballet program to kick off this semester. The three have been preparing for this semester with new music, new barre work, and new center combinations. The instructors are thrilled to see returning students and to meet new ones. Currently they are creating a ballet based on the children's book "The Great Reindeer Rebellion" by Lisa Trumbauer. This comedic ballet is sure to be a great way to kick off the Christmas season.

SAAC offers ballet classes level 1-5, for students from kindergarten through 12th grade. Classes begin the week of September 4-10.

For more information on SAAC's ballet class schedule, please call the office at 870-862-5474 or visit the website at www. saac-arts.org. SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado.

BOX OFFICE OPEN FOR PENGUIN PROJECT'S "HONK, JR"
The South Arkansas Arts Center announces the box office is open for tickets to the Penguin Project’s production of “Honk!, JR”, sponsored by LANZESS. Performances are scheduled to run September 14 at 7:00pm and at 2:00pm on September 15.  Tickets are $5 for everyone and there will be open seating.

The Penguin Project is a unique opportunity for children with special needs to perform in a live stage production in front of an audience. Through targeted outreach, special needs children are recruited as artists and cast in the production, from starring roles to ensemble. Each special-needs artist is paired with a mentor of similar age, who guides them through the production from start to finish, helping them learn lines, dances, songs, and blocking. The children operate as a pair throughout the entire process and appear on stage together, resulting in a full theatrical performance, with costumes, sets, and music.

Cassie Hickman, musical director for the production said, “The musical score of ‘Honk Jr’ beautifully unveils Ugly Duckling's first year of life. As the curtain opens, one is immediately drawn in to life down on the farm, as our ducks, turkeys, geese and even a felonious feline invite you to come along on the adventure.  Next Ugly's mom, Ida, heartwarmingly teaches him to ‘Hold His Head Up High’ as he's navigating the waters of life. When his siblings reject him, one can't help but feel Ugly's pain as he sings about being ‘Different’. That encounter leads to a life changing journey where he learns everyone is loved, ‘Warts and All’, and climaxes in the haunting melody of the ‘Blizzard’.  The music and precious voices of our artists and mentors, will take you along on this melodic journey and leave you cheering for joy as Ugly finally makes his way home in celebration, where his true identity is revealed! You don't want to miss this journey!”

Bring your children to see this heartwarming musical, and join this fun celebration of what makes everyone special.  For more information, please call the SAAC office at 870-862-5474 or visit the website at www.saac-arts.org. SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB
This week the Camden Noon Lions Club will be meeting at SAU Tech on Wednesday at noon for the Student Appreciation Day and celebrating Tech’s 50th anniversary.

 

AUGUST 27, 2018

 

 

MAGIC SPRINGS WELCOMES JACOB SARTORIUS ON SEPTEMBER 1!
YouTube sensation to take the stage at 8 p.m.
HOT SPRINGS, Ark.
(August 27, 2018) Magic Springs Theme & Water Park welcomes YouTube sensation, Jacob Sartorius, to the Timberwood Amphitheater as part of the Magic Springs 2018 Summer Concert Series, Saturday, September 1, 2018.

Access to Timberwood Amphitheater starts at 6 p.m. and the opening act begins at 7 p.m. Open seating in the lawn area is available. Guests are advised to bring an outdoor chair or blanket.

Jacob Sartorius started his following on his popular YouTube channel, where he showcased his charm, displayed his abilities in acting and singing, and connected with his fans. Now, after releasing multiple top hits and growing into a full-fledged artist, Sartorius continues to grow in fame and talent.

Don’t miss your chance to see Jacob Sartorius and other thrilling performances that are part of the Magic Springs 2018 Summer Concert Series and celebrate 40 years of magic with us!

It’s not too late to get a 2018 Magic Springs Season Pass, guaranteeing you FREE entry to all of the summer concerts.

A Magic Springs Season Pass offers an entire season of fun and includes:

  • Unlimited admission to Arkansas's biggest theme and water park
  • FREE live concerts
  • FREE Magic Screams with new extended hours
  • Season Pass Holder appreciation events

AUGUST 24, 2018

FARMER’S BANK DONATES NEW SIGN TO SAU TECH
(Camden, Arkansas) Southern Arkansas University Tech is pleased to announce the completion of a new digital sign at the 

entrance to the College’s campus in Highland Park. The sign was made possible by a donation from Farmers Bank & Trust in the amount of $53,790. Farmers gift of the new sign is already making a difference on the campus as people are able learn about community and college events as they enter and leave the industrial park, Dr. Jason Morrison, SAU Tech’s Chancellor stated of the new sign. Farmer’s Bank & Trust has always been a supporter of SAU Tech’s Black History Celebration and ACT workshops as 

they are always eager to invest in the community they serve. The SAU Tech Foundation is providing the funds needed to landscape the new digital sign as well as the original entrance sign to the College.

Founded in 1906, Farmers Bank & Trust is a community bank owned by the privately held holding company, Magnolia Banking Corporation, headquartered in Magnolia, Arkansas. Farmers Bank & Trust now has over 20 locations in Arkansas and Texas, and approximately $1.4 billion in assets.  Farmers

 offers a full range of deposit services, trust and investment management services, as well as business, commercial real estate, construction, mortgage, residential and consumer loans.  To learn more, visit their website at MyFarmers.Bank.  

Southern Arkansas University Tech (SAU Tech) is celebrating 50 years of providing education in our community. The College started in 1968 and today is welcoming the addition of NJCAA Basketball for men and women and new programs and housing for students. For more information go to www.sautech.edu or www.sautrockets.com.

4th ANNUAL ARMY RESERVE REUNION
The 4th Annual Army Reserve Reunion will be held on September 22nd. The event will be held at the Camden Armed Forces Center located at 1020 Gibson Road in Camden. The cost is $30.00 per person and is due by September 1st. This is a semi formal event with a catered meal. For more information call 870-665-1774, 870-574-1459 or 352-1723.

CAMDEN A&P COMMISSION TO MEET
The Camden Advertising and Promotions Commission will meet on Tuesday, August 28th in the Council Chambers at the Municipal Building. The agenda includes the welcome of new commissioner, Teresa Lampkin. They will here the second reading of the following groups requesting funds. Missy Chambers will represent the Ouachita County FairCharlies Angel Car Show – 2nd reading will represent the O uachita County Fairis requesting funds for the upcoming Car Show, Kathy Boyette will represent the Cemetery Walk and Terry Thornhill is requesting for an upcoming Chili Cook-Off. The Commission will hear the first reading from the Camden News for Christmas Advertising and Charlie’s Angels Relay for Life team will be requesting funds for the upcoming Pink Pumpkin Run.

SAU TECH CELEBRATES 50 YEARS
SAU Tech is celebrating 50 years! Everyone is invited to SAU Tech’s Student Appreciation and Birthday Party. Celebrate with cake and punch and meet the students. The event will be on August 29th at noon in the student center! This event is made possible in part through the generous support of community organizations, local businesses and the local Chamber of Commerce.

 

SERVICES OFFERED BY OUACHITA PARTNERSHIP FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Many residents don’t know the many services offered through The Ouachita Partnership for Economic Development. I thought that educating the public would be a great idea.
OPED offers resources for existing, expanding, and new businesses.


 


Camden Accelerated Business Solutions or CABS provides services to small and minority businesses in Camden and Ouachita County. The Center provides space for training, coaching, and consultation for both existing and startup businesses. The CABS Center also is a self-paced learning center and offers:

  • Business Library
  • How-To Business Guides
  • Business Software & Videos
  • Online Training & Tutorials
  • Video Connection To Technical Assistance
  • Telephone, Fax, Scanner, Printer, & Copier
  • Computer & Internet Access
  • Office & Conference Space

There is no one way to tackle a problem, and it’s the same in starting or retooling a business. We all have our own stories and our own approaches. At the CABS Center, we treat you as your unique self and help you to put together a plan for following your dream. We say “Dream Big” because we want you to be all that you can. It’s about you, your vision and your investment. Our job at CABS is to listen to you. Drop in or call 870-836-2210 to schedule an appointment with a Small Business Coach.

Business planning is hard work. No one can do it for you. It has to be your plan, your labor, your investment. Our job is to guide you – to support and work with you. We’re going to ask a lot of questions; some will be easy to answer, others will be challenging. In the end, your hard work will greatly improve your chances for success.

Here are five things that you can do to be more productive:

  1. Write a short description of your existing or proposed business and its products.
  2. Describe your customers and how you will get them to buy your product.
  3. Make a complete list of all of your actual or expected business costs.
  4. What investments will you make in your business?
  5. What are your weaknesses – what kind of help do you need?

Executing your plan can mean many things, including getting financing, securing permits and licenses, preparing your business space, marketing your business, hiring employees, and setting up your financial books. We are here to help.

BOOZMAN HEADS TO SOUTHWEST BORDER
WASHINGTON
– U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), a member of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, will leave Thursday, August 23 to tour locations along the Mexican border in California and Texas known to be highly traveled by illegal immigrants, human traffickers and drug smugglers.

These sites include:

  • Underground tunnels
  • Physical barriers
  • River crossings
  • Ports of entry which are often used to smuggle narcotics
  • Processing centers for illegal immigrants

“One of the top priorities of the federal government must be to secure our border. Having the opportunity to see first-hand the challenges that we face in controlling illegal immigration and narcotics trafficking will help us create and promote policies and provide resources to fight these crimes. Our Border Patrol and air interdiction agents, field operations officers and Coast Guard men and women are on the frontline of this battle. I look forward to showing my appreciation for their sacrifice and hearing how we can help them accomplish their mission and keep them safe,” Boozman said.

Boozman will also receive briefings aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf whose crew is responsible for interdicting millions of dollars in narcotics annually.

AUGUST 23, 2018

SAAC ARTS ACADEMY REGISTERING FOR FALL SEMESTER
School is underway in El Dorado, which means it's time to register for fall classes at South Arkansas Arts Center's Arts Academy too. Along with learning academics every day, it is fun and empowering for children to have a creative outlet, boosting their skills in teamwork and problem solving. Classes are offered for all ages, from preschool through high school, and registration is open now in the SAAC office. The first week of the fall class schedule will begin the week of September 4-10, and most classes meet for 12 weeks.

Drama classes for younger children will be taught by instructor Hannah Davis. The PreK 4 - 1st grade drama class will meet on Monday from 4:45-5:45. Drama 2-3 will be offered on Tuesdays from 3:30-4:30, and Drama 4-6 will follow from 4:30-5:30. The price for the drama classes is $125 for members and $145 for non-members.

Lynn Gunter and Haley Philips will teach Drama Club for students in grades 7-12. Drama Club will be producing Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" for fall. A team meeting will be held Thursday, September 6, 5-7pm to cast roles, with rehearsals beginning on September 19 and performances on December 7-8. Drama Club will meet 3:45-5:45 on Wednesday and Thursday. The cost is $140/$160.

For children in preschool, Gay Bechtelheimer will teach a PreK4 Art class, which will meet on Mondays from 3:45-4:30. The cost is $120/$140.

Visual Arts instructor Maria Villegas offers classes in art for students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. K-1 will meet on Tuesdays from 3:30-4:30. Villegas offers classes for students in second and third grade on Tuesdays from 4:30-5:30. The cost of these classes is $125/$145. Visual Art for students in grades four through six will be offered on Mondays from 3:30-4:45. For students in grades seven through twelve, Villegas offers Visual Arts on Wednesdays from 4:30-5:45. The cost of these classes is $140/$160.

Villegas will also teach Art in Spanish, which will meet on Wednesday from 3:30-4:30 for PreK4 - 2nd grade at a cost of $125/$145.

Special Gifts/Special Needs Art with instructors Jorge and Maria Villegas is offered on Tuesdays from 5:30-6:30.

Piano and voice instructor Charlsie Falcon offers private lessons in both areas of study. The cost of private instruction is $300/$320 for 12 weeks of 30 minute lessons.

Amy Allen will again head up Glee, which will meet on Mondays from 3:45-4:45 for grades 1-12. Cost will be $125/$145.

Graphic artist Mike Means offers Graphic Arts for students in second and twelfth grades in the computer lab. Graphics 7-12 meets on Mondays from 3:45-4:45, followed by Graphics 4-6 at 4:45-5:45. Graphics 2-3 class will meet each Thursday from 3:45-4:45. The cost will be $125/$140.

Ballet instructor Stephanie Lowrey offers Ballet Level 1 for students in kindergarten and 1st grade. The class will meet on Wednesdays from 3:45-4:30. Level 1 places emphasis on ballet fundamentals and music connection. The cost of the class is $120/$140.

Ballet Level 2, for students in second through fourth grade, will meet on Mondays from 4:00-5:00 with Stephanie Lowery, or with Cami Lowrey and Bekah Gunter on Mondays from 5:00-6:00. Ballet 2 students will focus on developing techniques learned in Level 1. The cost of the class is $125/$145.

For students in grades 5-8, Cami Lowrey and Bekah Gunter will teach Ballet Level 3 on Tuesdays from 4:00-5:00. Cost is $125/$145. Ballet 3 students will focus on developing techniques learned in Level 2.

Ballet Level 4 will be held twice a week. Stephanie Lowrey teaches this class on Monday 6:00-7:15 and Thursday 6:00-7:15 at a cost of $165/$185.

Ballet Level 5 students meet 3 times a week. Students will attend the Level 4 classes plus an "intensive skills" class held on Tuesday from 5:00-6:00. The class costs $190/$210. Level 5 will only be offered in the fall, and instructor's approval is required.

Private lessons are also available in Fine Arts with Jorge Villegas and Maria Villegas and Computer Arts with Mike Means. Contact the instructor to schedule through the SAAC office.

Registration is currently ongoing and some classes are limited in size, so sign up early to secure your spot. Scholarships are available. Fees are due at registration and nonrefundable. For more information about all of SAAC's Arts Academy offerings, visit saac-arts.org or contact the SAAC office at 862-5474. SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas.

OUACHITA PARTNERSHIP FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING
The Ouachita Partnership for Economic Development Board of Directors met on Wednesday, August 22 at the Ouachita Valley Business and Technology Development Center. Alan Dean called the meeting to order at 10AM. Guests were recognized. A Quorum was not present so the approval of minutes and financial reports were skipped. James Lee Silliman gave the Executive Director’s report which included a video from the Governor’s Office from last week when 141 new jobs were announced by Aerojet Rocketdyne. Over the past month Silliman has been busy with  a workforce executive meeting at OPED, the  Camden City Council meeting, Airport Commission meeting, Chamber Board meeting, OPED Future Funding Committee meeting and many other meetings and calls.

Dotty Harris reported on all the meetings that were held at the building in July. She also reported that the 3D Printer had been fixed. Harris does all of the report, announcements, monthly and quarterly tax deposit forms, maintains all insurance policies just to name a few of the duties she is responsible for.

The workforce is of a big concern. Silliman stated it’s not just here, it’s a problem everywhere. The is a workforce project underway to help grow the current workforce in Camden.

There was a discussion regarding the perception that local residents have of Camden and the fact that some move to nearby communities to work here as they hear bad things about Camden. The pluses the city has were discussed and ideas were discussed to counter the negative comments regarding the city. Housing was also discussed. It was the consensus that the Board needs to investigate what needs those possibly moving to the area want and see what can be done to encourage new workers to move to Camden.

During the month of September there will be a seminar discussing essential startup steps to start a business in Arkansas. The Seminar will be held September 4th from Noon until 2. We’ll bring you more details on the seminar as the date approaches.

SUPERMAJORITY OF ANKANSANS WANT STRICTER TERM LIMITS: NEW POLL CHAMBER OPPOSITION SEEEN AS PROTECTING ITS "FRIENDS IN THE LEGISLATURE" 

In the aftermath of corruption scandals that sent several Arkansas politicians to prison, a new poll shows overwhelming bipartisan support for tightening term limits on state lawmakers. Even more remarkably, the poll — conducted by Remington Research and commissioned by U.S. Term Limits — shows that when voters hear the opposition’s arguments against term limits, they actually become more supportive of tightening term limits.

The poll found that voters, by a 69-18 margin, support changing Arkansas’ term limits law from the 16-year overall limit established in 2014 to a six-year House limit and eight-year Senate limit with a 10-year overall cap.

The stronger limits are supported by 73% of Republicans, 63% of Democrats and 71% of independent voters. When voters are told that the new limits would be the strictest in America, which is the main argument politicians have made against Issue 3 — 55% become more supportive of the amendment than they already were. Only 26% become less supportive after hearing of the historic strictness.

“These poll numbers are consistent with how voters have felt for decades,” said Arkansas Term Limits spokesman Tim Jacob. “It shows how little regard our legislature had for the voters opinions in their 2014 deception to increase their own time in office.”

When voters are told that Arkansas term limits would be changing from the weakest in the nation at 16 years overall to the strongest at 10 years overall, 71% say they are more likely to support the amendment Arkansas Term Limits has petitioned onto the November ballot. Just 16% are less likely to support it after considering this factor.

Respondents were also confronted with a common objection found within a three-block radius of the State Capitol: that term limits “create legislatures filled with inexperienced and ineffective lawmakers who are easily dominated by savvy lobbyists and bureaucrats at state agencies.” When weighing this claim against the fact that the U.S. president has an eight-year term limit, voters found the lobbyist-bureaucrat argument unpersuasive. 62% said they were more likely to back Issue 3 after hearing it, versus just 23% who became less persuaded.

Finally, voters were asked about the attempt by the state Chamber of Commerce to get Issue 3 thrown off the ballot. By a 60-26 margin, Arkansans believe the Chamber is fighting the initiative to “protect their friends in the legislature” rather than “out of real concern for the voters.”

After considering the arguments for and against Issue 3, support climbed from 69% to 76% among registered voters.

The poll was conducted August 18th through August 19th by Remington Research. The respondents were 1,503 likely general election voters. The poll had a margin of error of +/- 2.5%

AUGUST 22, 2018

OUACHITA COUNTY FAIR 2018
County fairs are more than just a yearly carnival, they’re a chance for community building and leadership development opportunities.

The county fair tradition is woven into the fabric of nearly every American community. It presents opportunities for young people to foster life skills such as communication, leadership, goal setting, work ethic, responsibility and sportsmanship. Community service and volunteer leadership are at the root of the success of the county fair. Generations of community leaders have been born out of the ideologies instilled in our youth and their families through their involvement in 4-H and FFA clubs, an institution that furnishes a legacy of volunteer service and youth development; renewing leadership to the local community and beyond. Many hands make light work is a living philosophy that accomplishes tasks beyond imagination.

The electric atmosphere of the county fair stimulates cultivation of a vibrant community. People from throughout the area are drawn together for a common cause: showcasing the achievements of their citizens and promoting their youth. Individual talents are employed toward the success of the whole community. Families take time to learn together, sharing in life lessons and building new skills. Cross county relationships are developed, broadening perspectives and intermingling experience. Long-time friendships are rekindled over new memories.

Next time the county fair sets up shop in your town, don’t just dismiss the event as another entertainment option. Certainly the affair will have an economic impact, but more importantly the influence on catalyzing community development will have a longer lasting stimulus. Immerse yourself in the community building and leadership development opportunities at your local county fair to discover the real impacts it has on American communities.

The Ouachita County Fair is September 12th through September 15th. Start registering your fair items, livestock and poultry today! Online entries are ready at www.ouachitacountyfair.com. You have until Tuesday, September 4th. A friendly reminder for all you 4H and DAD students. Registration for poultry and livestock has been extended to Sept. 4th.

Showcase your business or organization at the 2018 Ouachita County Fair to over 5,000 residents of South Arkansas. Booths are available, both outdoor and indoor spaces. For more information contact Nathan Greeley @ ngreeley@ouachitacountysheriff.org.

The fair books are ready. You can go by Shopper's Guide to pick one up. The book is online too. Hopefully the people of Ouachita County are working on quilts, taking pictures, making crafts, canning and other items for the HT educational building.

The Ouachita County Fair Pageant will be Saturday, Sept 8th at 6:00p.m at the Camden Fairview Middle School. You can pick up applications at Camden Drug.

Be listening for more details as the fair dates approach.

GRIFFIN PRAISES SUCCEED SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM FOLLOWING TOUR OF HANNAH SCHOOL 
Says, education is not 'one-size-fits-all,’ and HANNAH School is ‘proof positive’ school choice should be expanded
LITTLE ROCK – Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin toured the HANNAH School on Wednesday, a private school in Little Rock that provides specially-tailored education to students with dyslexia. Approximately half of students enrolled in the HANNAH School utilize the Succeed Scholarship Program. Following a school tour and meetings with officials from the school, Lieutenant Governor Griffin released the following statement praising the Succeed Scholarship Program:

“Education does not require a one-size-fits-all approach. Children should not be forced into cookie cutters: Each child is unique and has different learning needs. The HANNAH School is proof positive that the Succeed Scholarship Program (SSP) has been a success for the families who have used it, and we must remain steadfastly committed to expanding school choice and empowering parents in Arkansas for the sake of our children. I remain concerned about the numerous complaints I receive regarding those who are resisting the SSP and denying students with special needs the benefits of the program. Specifically, some kids are having difficulties obtaining an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) because of those who are more concerned about maintaining funding.  We must shine a light on this problem and work to get children the education they need.”

 

AUGUST 21, 2018

OUACHITA BAPTIST UNIVERSITY AND

BAPTIST HEALTH PARTNER TO PROVIDE

INNOVATIVE NURSING EDUCATION

Little Rock, AR (August 21, 2018) - Ouachita Baptist University and Baptist Health today announced a partnership to address the shortage of nurses in the state and region.



Ouachita recently received approval from its accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission, to offer a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. The inaugural class convenes in the 2018 fall semester with 23 students.



The partnership with Baptist Health College Little Rock (BHCLR), the teaching component of the Baptist Health System and one of the largest nursing programs in Arkansas, creates a distinctive dual enrollment RN-to-BSN completion program. Capitalizing on the strengths of both institutions, the program will allow nursing students to work as RNs a full semester earlier than most traditional BSN programs.



“This is an innovative partnership with Baptist Health College Little Rock that expands nursing education and makes it more affordable,” said Dr. Ben Sells, president of Ouachita. “This program allows students to earn two degrees in four years and expedites their entry into the healthcare workforce.”



Students will attend Ouachita during the first four semesters of the program, giving them the opportunity to experience campus and college life. Subsequently, students will continue their degree through Ouachita Online while dually enrolled at Baptist Health College Little Rock to earn an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree.



Midway through their senior year, students will sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses. Once that exam is passed, they will be licensed to work as RNs during the final semester of their senior year while completing Ouachita’s BSN requirements for graduation.



“This partnership with Ouachita makes sense for Baptist Health,” said Troy Wells, president and CEO of Baptist Health. “Our respective missions and cultures are very much aligned, and we share a commitment to faith-based education. We strongly complement one another.”



Baptist Health is Arkansas’ largest healthcare system, with hospitals in Little Rock, North Little Rock, Arkadelphia, Conway, Heber Springs, Malvern and Stuttgart. Additionally, it recently purchased Sparks Health System, with locations in Fort Smith and Van Buren.



“As we grow, so too does our need for nurses, preferably those with BSN degrees,” Wells added. “Healthcare demand is growing at a rapid pace, and we must be diligent and innovative in our efforts to respond to the demand for services.”



“BHCLR has a reputation of producing quality graduates,” said Dr. Judy Pile, chancellor of Baptist Health College Little Rock. “Our students receive extensive clinical experience early in the educational process, giving them the opportunity to distinguish themselves from other professionals in the field.” 



Ouachita also has a longstanding record of successfully preparing students for health-related professions. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree will complement Ouachita’s existing degree programs in natural sciences while answering nationwide calls for innovation in nursing education.



“This partnership is ideal for Ouachita and Baptist Health, and for the benefit of healthcare in the state and beyond,” said Dr. Sells. “Baptist Health can tap into Ouachita’s significant pool of potential students in Arkansas and surrounding states. Our university, on the other hand, can play a leading role in helping find solutions in a time of significant disruption and change in higher education and healthcare.”



While research and conversations into a potential partnership had been underway for several years, Ouachita and Baptist Health began the formal planning process three years ago.

 

AUGUST 20, 2018

CHILD FOUND ON ROADWAY - TRAGIC ENDING TO THE STORY
At approximately 7:48 this morning a motorist reported to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office that they had found a child in the ditch on Highway 24. The caller stayed with the child until Deputies arrived. The child was taken to the Sheriff’s Office and DHS was notified. The child was described as a black male, 2 to 3 years of age, standing about 3 feet 3 inches tall, weighing 70 to 80 pounds with long brown braided hair. He was wearing a red t-shirt and black sweat pants. He didn’t have shoes or socks on. It is believed he had been out most of the night as he was dirty and scratched up but otherwise he seemed to be ok. The boy wouldn’t talk but understood when offered food and water. DHS took the child.

Later on in the day Sheriff Norwood reported that the child’s grandmother had been located.

The search continued for the child’s mother. It was learned that she had not been to her home in Camden in a couple of day. The Sheriff’s Office were searching the area where the child was found and noticed tire marks going off the road. The found a car with the mother and another child crashed. The car was not visible from the roadway.

The mother was deceased and the other child was still buckled in a car seat but was not injured. The child that was found had somehow escaped the vehicle and had wandered away.

The Arkansas State Police are investigating the accident. The name of the mother has not been released at this time.

CAMDEN CITY POLICE REPORTS
This past Friday afternoon the Camden Police Department dispatched Officer Faulkner to Wal Mart in reference to two shoplifters. The Officer made contact with store management and met with Jessica and marquise Nelson. The Store Official stated that Jessica had brought a cart full of merchandise to the self-check isle and began to check out her cart. Jessica allegedly had a twenty-four pack of Kool Aid which she used the bar codes off of to pass them off as merchandise she was scanning. The Store Official observed Jessica cover the barcodes on the merchandise while simultaneously scanning the barcode for the Kool Aid package. After she was done scanning her husband, Marquise, payed using his card. Marquise had bagged all the merchandise that his wife had scanned the Kool Aid codes for. The Itemized receipt of items that were not paid for totaled $172.44. The Nelson’s had paid for about $96.00 worth of merchandise. The woman said that she had done the scanning and that her husband didn’t have a clue what was going on. They were placed in custody for shoplifting and taken to the station. They were cited for shoplifting and given a court date.

Later on Friday afternoon Officer Jones and Officer Brotherton were dispatched to Mac’s Fresh Market in reference to shoplifting in progress. The Store Official directed the Officer’s to the Office where the suspect was. Contact was made with Justin Jenkins. The man stated that he was only doing what he had to do to feed his family and if he had money he would have paid for the food. The Officers were advised that the store wanted to pursue charges on Jenkins as he had shoplifted from them earlier. He was taken into custody and placed in the patrol unit. A review of the camera showed Jenkins attempting to conceal a package of Velveeta Cheese down his shorts. He was transport to the Camden Police Department where he was booked and given a court date.

Friday night while completing a security check at Walmart, Sergeant Bush observed Kayla Grantham shopping in the store. He requested a warrant check through dispatch and was advised the Grantham had a valid warrant for her arrest with the County. Officer Lane and Officer VanAssche assist to assist. Grantham was taken into custody outside the Wal mart exit. She was transported to the station where booking procedures were completed. She was served with a warrant for Failure to Appear. Grantham was transported to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office.

Early Saturday morning Officer Lane was patrolling on Lyons Lane when he observed the driver’s doo on a black Chevy Trailblazer standing open. The vehicle was parked in front of 971 Lyon’s Lane. The Office went to investigate and observed a black male, later identified as Terry Jones, sitting in the driver’s seat sleeping. He had a 24-ounce Natural Light Ice open in his hand. The keys to the vehicle were in his other hand. Officer Lane began to shake Jones in an attempt to wake him. The man smelled strongly of intoxicants. The Officer took the beer and the keys out of Jones’ hands. He patted the man down looking for some Identification which he did locate. After about 5 minutes of efforts Jones woke up. When asked where he was, Jones answered in slurred speech that he was either on Crestwood or Chestnut Street. He then looked around and said he was in front of his girlfriend’s house on Lyons Lane. He told the officer his girlfriend’s name. The Officer mad contact with the woman who stated the Jones was not to be at her house due to an unrelated altercation. She said didn’t know he was at her house. Jones was told to exit the vehicle and his eyes were very bloodshot. Due to slurred speech and his confusion as to where he was, Jones was taken into custody for public intoxication. He was transport to the Police Station and booked and given a court date. He was transported to the Ouachita County Detention center. He was to be released depending on his sobriety.

Saturday morning Officer Brotherton and Officer Jones were on patrol in the area of Lincoln Drive.  A black male was seen standing by a 2001 Black Pontiac Firebird bearing license plat 297 PSP. When the license plate was run returned to a 1998 Red Ford Explorer. The car left the area and a traffic stop was initiated. Contact was made with the driver, identified as Eric Davis. Dispatch advised the Davis had a suspended license and a valid warrant with the city for failure to appear and failure to pay fine. Davis was advised of the warrant and taken into custody. When searched, suspected marijuana was found on Jones’ person He was issued a citation for suspended license, no proof of insurance, fictitious tags and possession of marijuana.

ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES OF ARKANSAS, CLINTON SCHOOL CHRONICLE HISTORY OF ELECTRIFICATION IN STATE 
Little Rock, Ark.
Aug. 20, 2018 — The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas recently completed an oral history video project to chronicle the state’s electric cooperatives’ efforts to provide electricity to those who otherwise would not have been served.

The project was undertaken by graduate students from the Clinton School of Public Service, who partnered with the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, to collect the stories of people who remembered and were positively affected by rural electrification.

“Electricity is an essential public service often taken for granted,” said Duane Highley, president and CEO of the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas. “For rural Arkansans in the early-to-mid 20th century, electrification changed their lives and transformed their communities.”

The Clinton School team (Amie Alexander, Paxton Richardson, Fiona O’Leary Sloan, Emily Smith, and Josh Snyder) and electric cooperative employees conducted nearly 50 interviews during several months across rural Arkansas to document this important piece of Arkansas’ history.

“The results of this project will educate generations to come about the importance of cooperatives and electrification,” said Lori L. Burrows, vice president and general counsel for the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, who led the project. “Capturing this oral history in a video format ensures that this important part of our state’s history is preserved in a meaningful and accessible manner.” 

Highley added that as the state’s electric cooperatives continue to evolve and provide electricity and other services, it is important to remember the efforts of past generations.

“We work diligently to improve the quality of life for the present and future generations of electric cooperative consumers, just like the electric cooperative pioneers,’ he said. “Our heritage of service is a testament to our pledge to continue our mission.”

Arkansas’ 17 local electric cooperative distribution systems, statewide association and generation and transmission cooperative serve approximately 500,000 members in 74 of the state’s 75 counties. The cooperatives are member-owned utilities established to provide reliable, affordable electric service to farms, homes, schools, churches, businesses and other establishments across the state in a responsible manner.

The distribution cooperatives own and govern Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI), a service association for the electric cooperatives, as well as Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation, a generation and transmission cooperative, which provides wholesale power to the distribution cooperatives.

SAAC TO HOST CORKS AND CANVAS WITH GARY HALL
Why go to a museum, when you can be one? Local artist and stage veteran Gary Hall will be bringing a special treat to the South Arkansas Arts Center classroom this month and will feature wearable art, a very popular choice, for his Corks and Canvas class. SAAC's Corks and Canvas class will be held at SAAC on August 27 from 6-9pm.

Hall's class will offer a painted design on a white tuxedo shirt. The design he will teach is primarily built around a peacock, but can easily be modified to be a phoenix or a dragon. Colors will depend on the creature of your choice. SAAC has a limited selection of free tuxedo shirts available that you can pick from ahead of time if you are interested in getting a certain size (10am-4pm Monday-Friday), or you can pick from the SAAC shirt stash at class time or bring your own white shirt.

"Corks & Canvas" is an art class for non-artists who have always wanted to paint. Each class is conducted by a different art instructor, who takes the class through the step by step process to complete a work of art in three hours. The $40.00 fee covers all supplies and snacks. Those taking the class should bring their favorite libation and get ready to have a good time.

Gary Hall is primarily known for his work with the SAAC theatre, and had his first art exhibition in October of last year. Gary trained under Dinah Van Hook and Gay Bechtelheimer in public school and continued his studies in two and three dimensional design at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He holds an MA in Theatre from Louisiana Tech University with a specialty in directing, costume and set design. Several of Hall's artistic endeavors have graced the SAAC stage. He looks forward to sharing this creation with other artists.

Call 862-5474 for more information or to register and pay by phone, or come by the SAAC office at 110 East 5th St.

August 16th LRPD Helicopter Crash

The Little Rock Police Department is currently on the scene of a helicopter crash belonging to the Little Rock Police Department. The crash occurred shortly after take off just before 11:00 o’clock this morning as it was performing a routine maintenance check flight, There were 2 officers on-board, One a Retired/Senior Officer is seriously injured, the other Officer Is reportedly uninjured. The location of incident is just west of Interstate 530 and a couple miles east of the Police Department's training facility. Reports claim straight line winds were to blame for the incident.

(Photo Courtesy of The LRPD)

AUGUST 16, 2018

 

 

Boozman, Cardin Introduce Resolution to Elevate U.S. Efforts

 

to End Violence Against Children

 

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) introduced a resolution that recognizes the harmful impact that violence has on child development, calls for a comprehensive and coordinated strategy to end violence against children globally and reaffirms the Senate’s commitment to ending their suffering. The introduction of the resolution follows International Youth Day, which was August 12.

 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than one billion children worldwide are exposed to physical, sexual and mental violence in their communities, which includes being subjected to abuse, maltreatment, exploitation and more. Research shows exposure to violence negatively impacts a young person’s cognitive and emotional development. Additionally, the global economic impact of physical, psychological and sexual violence against children can be as high as $7 trillion, or eight percent of the world’s gross domestic product.    

 

“Congress and the State Department have been working on multiple fronts to promote global economic development, but failure to address violence against children—horrific acts like trafficking, child labor and proximity to violent conflicts—threatens to undermine those efforts every step of the way. Senate passage of this bipartisan resolution would send a strong message that having a plan to end violence against children must be a priority in our global development strategy,” Boozman said.

 

“One measure of our common humanity is how we care for and support our children. In too many ways we have come up short, particularly when it comes to protecting them from violence and keeping them safe. Senate passage of this resolution would encourage the U.S. government to create and begin implementing a strategy to prevent, address, and end violence against children and youth globally, in line with the international standards and sustainable development goals the international community aspires towards,” Cardin said.

 

The resolution introduced by Boozman and Cardin seeks to ensure ending violence against children remains a global policy priority for the United States. It calls for government-wide coordination, enhanced methods of monitoring and an increase of public-private partnerships to prevent and respond to violence against children.

Camden City Council Meeting 08-14-18

AUGUST 15, 2018

550 POUNDS OF MARIJUANA CONFISCATED BY CAMDEN CITY POLICE
On Sunday August 12, 2018, it was reported to the Camden Police Department that (3) males were on top of a rail road tanker car in the city limits of Camden. Officers responded to the area and located a tool bag with tools inside and some rope. It appeared these items had been used to enter the tanker car. Late Monday afternoon it was reported to the police department a male was in the area of the tanker car driving around. Tuesday, investigators collected enough evidence to obtain a search warrant for the tanker car. Upon execution of the search warrant (22) bundles of marijuana were located inside the tanker car. Each bundle weighed approximately (25) pounds with a total weight of 550 pounds. The street value of the marijuana is approximately $500,000. The marijuana has been moved to an undisclosed location because of the volume and having gas residue on the packing. The Mayor voiced her pride on the Police Department and their ability to take 550 pounds of marijuana off of the streets of Camden.

 

CAMDEN CITY COUNCIL MEETS IN REGULAR SESSION
The Camden City Council met in regular session Tuesday night, August 14, 2018, in the Council chambers at City Hall. The meeting was called to order by Mayor Marie Trisollini at 7PM. The invocation was given by   Dr. Earl H. Anderson, Pastor of Shiloh missionary Baptist Church followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and roll call. The minutes from the regular meeting of July 10, 2018 as well as the acceptance of financial reports. It was then time for audience participation. One resident spoke to street crossings The Trace and the fact that drivers are not yielding to right of way. The Mayor stated that lights will be placed at the intersections in due time. The trace is funded by grants and one such grant is in the works. She did say that those walking, jogging or bicycling on the Trace should practice caution. A member of St. Louis Catholic Church addressed the current street construction. He said that it is causing issue for parishoners trying to get in the church. He asked when the project would be completed. The Mayor stated that a report would be given during the meeting that would answer his concerns. Dr. Larry Braden presented for the County Extension Service in plea for funds to help the extension service. He asked for half to come to from the county and half to come from the cities in the area.  It was stated the all the other entities had agreed to help with the exception of the City of Camden. Travis Daniel spoke and listed the many things the Extension had helped with projects around the city. Nathan Greeley addressed the Council regarding the Ouachita County Fair. He stated that several years ago the Fair Board was asked to look to the future for a new site. The organization has acquired land and has begun to develop it. The current lease expires September 30, 2018 but are under the impression that the current agreement may not be extended. He asked for a date as they want to move some of the current buildings to the new site after this year’s fair. He only asked for time to move the things that they feel belong to the fair. He asked for the Council’s help with any influence they have with the Air Port Commission. Susan Green, coordinator of CASA then spoke to the Council regarding the need for funds. 17 cases of child abuse in Ouachita County. CASA goes in and helps with the process as an advocate for the child. She requested that CASA be included in the new budget. There were several other residents who spoke regarding issues that they had around their property.

 The Mayor’s report included a report on a class she had taken a couple of weeks ago. David Richardson gave the Bi-Annual Water and Sewer Report. Streets were scheduled to be done by April but due to rain days extensions etc. Work should be completed on this part of the project by September 15, 2018.

The Council then passed an ordinance assessing a lien on certain property located at 461 Maple street SW, a resolutions confirming the appointment of Teresa Lampkin to the Advertising and Promotion commission and a resolution authorizing the mayor to enter into a lease with the Planting a Seed Foundation.

After some discussion amongst the Aldermen regarding various concern the meeting was adjourned. The next regular meeting of the Camden City Council will be Tuesday, September 11th at 7PM in the Council Chambers at City Hall. The recording of the entire meeting is posted above.

ARKANSAS BASS TEAM TRAIL AND THE CITY OF CAMDEN AR PRESENTS "THE RUMBLE ON THE RIVER BASS TEAM TOURNAMENT"
Saturday, Sept. 8th with over $10,000 in prize money!

Camden, AR – The Rumble on the River Bass Team Tournament is a 1 day only event held on Saturday, September 8th at the Camden River Walk on the Ouachita River in Downtown Camden, AR. Take off is at 6am and weigh-in is at 3pm at River Walk park and boat launch (405 Washington St. SE. Camden, AR 71701) in Downtown Camden. Free lunch provided for all participants at weigh-in.

  • 1st place $3,500
  • 2nd place $1,500
  • 3rd place $1,000
  • 4th through 10 place guaranteed Cash!

Entry fee is only $200 per boat with a 2 person per boat limit.

Special Discount of $150 per boat with Adult/Junior team (junior under 18 years of age) in boat.

Registration will begin online August 1st, early registration August 1st - Sept. 3rd will be entered in a drawing for a $50 Academy Sports Gift Card.

Register online at www.arkansasbassteamtrail.net, in Person at Walthalls Sporting Center (1250 California Ave SW), Monroe’s Outdoors (441 E Washington St), and The Camden Area Chamber of Commerce (314 S Adams Ave) in Camden, AR.

Final registration will be held Friday, September 7th from 5-7pm at The River Walk Park in Downtown Camden, AR.

In addition to the tournament, come early on Friday evening for family fun in Camden, AR with the First Friday Market and a wide variety of restaurants and shops open late Friday evening the day before the event. First Friday is an open air evening market which takes place from 6PM till 9PM in downtown Camden. In addition you can stroll the streets downtown and enjoy live music, shop a great variety of vendors and artists, while enjoying a relaxed fun evening. Stay Saturday evening after the tournament for Camden’s award winning Movies on the River to watch Hollywood blockbuster for FREE in the Camden Riverwalk Amphitheater against the backdrop of the Ouachita River. There are LOTS of things to see and do while you visit Camden for the tournament.

For Rules and Registration, visit www.arkansasbassteamtrail.net.

Direct Contact:
Keith Green, Arkansas Bass Team Trails
keith@arkansasbassteamtrail.net
501-844-5543

For more Information on Camden, lodging and travel, visit www.explorecamden.com

 

SAAC TO HOST CORKS AND CANVAS WITH GARY HALL
Why go to a museum, when you can be one? Local artist and stage veteran Gary Hall will be bringing a special treat to the South Arkansas Arts Center classroom this month and will feature wearable art, a very popular choice, for his Corks and Canvas class. SAAC's Corks and Canvas class will be held at SAAC on August 27 from 6-9pm.

Hall's class will offer a painted design on a white tuxedo shirt. The design he will teach is primarily built around a peacock, but can easily be modified to be a phoenix or a dragon. Colors will depend on the creature of your choice. SAAC has a limited selection of free tuxedo shirts available that you can pick from ahead of time if you are interested in getting a certain size (10am-4pm Monday-Friday), or you can pick from the SAAC shirt stash at class time or bring your own white shirt.

"Corks & Canvas" is an art class for non-artists who have always wanted to paint. Each class is conducted by a different art instructor, who takes the class through the step by step process to complete a work of art in three hours. The $40.00 fee covers all supplies and snacks. Those taking the class should bring their favorite libation and get ready to have a good time.

Gary Hall is primarily known for his work with the SAAC theatre, and had his first art exhibition in October of last year. Gary trained under Dinah Van Hook and Gay Bechtelheimer in public school and continued his studies in two and three dimensional design at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He holds an MA in Theatre from Louisiana Tech University with a specialty in directing, costume and set design. Several of Hall's artistic endeavors have graced the SAAC stage. He looks forward to sharing this creation with other artists.

Call 862-5474 for more information or to register and pay by phone, or come by the SAAC office at 110 East 5th St.

August 14, 2018

 BOOZMAN RECOGNIZES ARKANSAS VETERAN OF KOREAN AND VIETNAM WARS WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) recognized the service and sacrifice of Edwin ‘Pete’ Ross, a veteran who served during the Korean and Vietnam Wars, in ‘Salute to Veterans,’ a series recognizing the military service of Arkansans.

Ross graduated from Perryville High School in 1949. He enlisted in the military shortly after graduation.

"We went to Russellville, Arkansas to see the Navy recruiter who said he couldn’t take us this week because he was going to be gone,” Ross said. Instead of waiting for the following week, Ross and his friend walked across the hall to the Army recruiter. The next day Ross was headed to Camp Chaffee in Fort Smith for basic training. 

Ross was assigned to battalion supply after volunteering information about his typing ability. “It was my job to coordinate and take care of the paperwork for the battalion,” Ross said. He did this until spring when he received orders to deploy to Okinawa.

He worked his way up to chief clerk in the unit. After nearly two years of his deployment he was expecting to be discharged, but at the last minute, things changed. “I had my bags packed. The very day that I was supposed to go and get on the ship to be discharged,” Ross’ first sergeant told him that his orders were extended another year.

Ross enjoyed military service and wanted to rejoin after he was discharged from the Army. In early 1953, he went to inquire about the Air Force. He was able to retain his rank as an E-5 and was assigned to Barksdale Air Force Base.

During his 20 years of service in the Air Force, Ross was stationed around the country including at Little Rock Air Force Base and played a critical role in maintaining personnel records, counseling on survivor benefits and assisting retirees with their benefits. In addition, he served as the base career advisor with the responsibility of reenlisting the airmen or helping them transition to civilian life.

He served as the senior non-commissioned personnel officer during his time at Binh Thuy Air Base, Vietnam in 1969 and 1970. While the comprehensive records were kept at another base, Ross maintained basic records such as changes to rank and salary.

ross retired from the Air Force in 1973 as a Senior Master Sergeant. He lived in Shreveport, LA before moving back to Arkansas in 1991 where he bought a farm and raised horses. Today he calls Conway home.

“Pete Ross humbly served our nation in uniform, and in doing so, earned our appreciation and respect for his selfless sacrifice. His memories of his military career are an important part of our history and I am pleased to preserve and share his stories for future generations,” Boozman said.

Boozman submitted Ross’ entire interview to the Veterans History Project, an initiative of the Library of Congress’s American Folklife Center to collect and retain the oral histories of our nation’s veterans. 

ARKANSAS STATE TROOPERS LOOKING FOR RECRUITS TO FILL 2019 ACADEMY CLASS
AUGUST 14, 2018

The Arkansas State Police is looking for eligible recruits to fill the 2019 academy class. Qualified individuals will be selected to enter the Arkansas State Police Recruit Academy, with a start date of February 24, 2019.

 “If you have what it takes to become an Arkansas State Trooper, we want to meet you,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police.  “If you are selected, you will find yourself on the path of one of the most rewarding careers imaginable.” 

The expectations placed on Arkansas State Troopers are extraordinary, and that is why the Arkansas State Police has the highest required standards for applicants. Minimum qualifications to be considered are:  

    - Must be a United States citizen and at least 21 years of age.
   - Must possess a medical release to participate in a physical fitness test.
   - Must possess a current and valid driver license.
   - Must be a certified high school graduate or possess a GED equivalency.
   - Must meet visual acuity requirements. 
   - Never convicted of a felony criminal charge.
   - Never convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence charge.
   - Pass a comprehensive background check.
   - No tattoos shall be visible on an applicant’s body that could be seen if wearing the uniform      of  an Arkansas State Trooper.  

 The Arkansas State Police Recruit Academy is a 21 week intense training environment, designed to teach our recruits the job skills necessary to perform the duties of a trooper. Those selected to attend our academy will receive more than 1,000 hours of training covering all aspects of law enforcement. 

 Recruits begin earning a salary after being offered a position by the Director of the Arkansas State Police and reporting to the academy.  The entry salary for an Arkansas State Trooper Recruit is $40,340.  Following four and ½ years of service, a trooper becomes eligible for promotion to the rank of Trooper First Class, receiving a salary increase of 10% or an increase to the entry pay level of $45,010, whichever is greater.  Upon seven and ½ years of service a trooper is promoted to the rank of corporal, awarded a 10% raise or an increase to the entry pay level of $50,222, or whichever is greater.  

 Benefits include:  
    - Healthcare insurance is paid by the state for a trooper (recruit) and family
   - Certificate pay up to $1,200 annually (*state police director discretion)
   - Retirement contributions are paid by the state.
   - Uniforms and equipment are furnished.
   - Eligible for career service pay following ten years of state service.

  Interested applicants are encouraged to visit the Arkansas State Police web site at www.asp.arkansas.gov, where they can find all the forms necessary to start the hiring process. The recruiting page also provides applicants a means to directly contact a recruiter.
 

 

SCHOOL SAFETY TIPS FROM THE CAMDEN POLICE DEPARTMENT
Dana Wetherbee with the Camden Police Department has released a number of safety tips for back to school. Local residents should note that it is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus while it is loading or unloading children. When the school bus is stopped with the yellow or red flashing lights and stop sign up, drivers must stop and wait. Stop your vehicle far enough to allow the space around the bus to be exited safely. Give as much space as you can and wait until the bus has moved before continuing driving.

When you are riding behind a school bus, it is easy to want to zoom on by or get past. They move slow and wer a usually trying to move quickly because we are running behind. That said, the kids on those school buses are far more important and we should only pass when there is a very clear opening to do so safely. Make sure you watch out for the bus stops and the lights coming on every so often. Running these lights or stop signs can cost you a small fortune, but more importantly, can cause a horrible disaster. Never be in too much of a hurry to get past a school bus

Give extra following distance when driving behind a bus, more than you would for a regular vehicle. This added distance will give you more room and more time to stop.

Many children are car riders. There are tips to make this an easier task each day. Schools may have their own drop-off rules so be sure you are aware of them. Don’t double park or block a crosswalk. Always stop for a crossing guard and pedestrians crossing the intersection. Never pass a vehicle that is stopped for pedestrians. Do not talk on cell phones in a school zone. Be extra alert as children are not.

School Zone speed limits are in play. During the back to school season, school zone speed limits are enforced very strictly, and they should be. Be very careful of these areas around schools and keep your eyes and ears open to unexpected movements. Kids tend to run out first and accidents can still happen even at slow speeds/ The Camden Police Department and the Radio Works family of radio stations hope that every one has a great and successful school year.

AEROJET ROCKETDYNE, GOVERNOR, AEDC TO HOST ANNOUNCEMENT WEDNESDAY
Gov. Asa Hutchinson, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) and Aeroject Rocketdyne officials will host an announcement related to operations at the company’s Camden facility. The announcement will come at 11 a.m., Wednesday, August 15 at the Arkansas State Capitol in the Governor’s Office in Little Rock. Keep listening for details as they unfold.

CAMDEN NOON LION’S CLUB TO MEET
The Camden Noon Lion’s Club will meet Wednesday at Noon at Catherine’s Bistro. This week’s speaker will be Toni Greenlee with The Christian Health Center & The Hub.  She will be talking about their upcoming Fundraiser – A Pop Up Shop.  She will also discuss the services they offer to our community.

CAMDEN KIDS CRAFT FAIR
The Camden Kids Craft Fair is August 25 between 9:00 A.M. and 3:00 P.M. at the Events Center at Fairview Park. T-Shirts, insulated mugs, original artwork, pulled pork, spinners, jewelry, home décor, furniture, slime, baked goods, key chains, painted signs, sewn items, antiques and collectibles and many more food and crafts, made and sold by kids.  Customers can be entered in a drawing to win a resort stay Thanksgiving Week in Branson plus many more door prizes. For more information visit the Events Center at Fairview Park on Facebook or call 870-210-4513.

August 13, 2018

SAAC ANNOUNCES UPCOMING THEATRE SEASON 
The South Arkansas Arts Center’s Theatre Steering Committee announces its upcoming 2018-2019 theatre season, beginning in the fall, as a celebration of imagination and storytelling.

Opening the season is the Tony Award winning "Peter and the Starcatcher", sponsored by Murphy-Pitard Jewelers.  The play follows the century-old story of how a miserable orphan comes to be “The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up” (a.k.a. Peter Pan).  From marauding pirates and jungle tyrants to unwilling comrades and unlikely heroes, “Peter and the Starcatcher” playfully explores the depths of greed and despair and the bonds of friendship, duty and love. From the books by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, adapted for the stage by directors Roger Rees and Alex Timbers and written for the stage by Rick Elise with music by Wayne Barker, the show will run November 1-6.

"You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" is the second production in the line-up, sponsored by Southern Bancorp & Teague Auto Group.  Currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” is a fresh approach to the all-time 1967 classic, based on the beloved comic strip by Charles Schultz. Sally Brown joins Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Schroeder, and Snoopy in this charming revue of vignette.  The show depicts an average day in the life of Charlie Brown, with experiences ranging from Valentine's Day to the baseball season, from wild optimism to utter despair, all mixed in with the lives of his friends (both human and non-human). Based on the Comic Strip “Peanuts” by Charles M. Schultz; book, music and lyrics by Clark Gesner, the show will run March 1-3, 7-10.

"The Hunchback of Notre Dame", sponsored by Murphy USA, will round out the season as the summer musical. Based on the Victor Hugo novel and songs from the Disney animated feature, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” showcases the film's Academy Award-nominated score.  An equally powerful story and score make “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” an instant classic.  Audiences will be swept away by the magic of this truly unforgettable musical.  Book by Peter Parnell, musical score by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz, the show will run July 18-21, 24-28.

Laura Allen, SAAC executive director, said about the upcoming season, “We’re thrilled to announce the SAAC Theater Steering Committee’s selections for our 2018-2019 theatre season. This year’s productions are all infused with that particular element of imagination that can truly create magic onstage. While these three shows have very different subject matter, they are all rooted in a strong tradition of storytelling that is both engaging and entertaining for all ages.”

For more information, please contact the SAAC office at 870-862-5474 or visit the website at www.saac-arts.org.  SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas.

November 1-6/ Auditions Sept 17-18
"Peter and the Starcatcher" - sponsored by Murphy-Pitard Jewelers A Play By RICK ELICE Based on the Novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson Music By WAYNE BARKER Originally produced on Broadway by Nancy Nagel Gibbs, Greg Schaffert, Eva Price, Tom Smedes, and Disney Theatrical Productions.
https://www.mtishows.com/peter-and-the-starcatcher

March 1-3, 7-10 / Auditions January 14-15 "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" - sponsored by Southern Bancorp & Teague Auto Group Based on The Comic Strip "Peanuts" by Charles M. Schulz Book, Music and Lyrics by Clark Gesner Additional Dialogue by Michael Mayer Additional Music and Lyrics by Andrew Lippa Original Direction for this version of "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown" by Michael Mayer Originally Produced in New York byArthur Whitelaw and Gene Persson http://www.tamswitmark.com/shows/youre-a-good-man-charlie-brown-revised

July 18-21, 24-28 / Auditions May
"The Hunchback of Notre Dame" - sponsored by Murphy USA Based on the Victor Hugo novel and song from the Disney film Music by Alan Menken Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz Book by Peter Parnell
https://www.mtishows.com/the-hunchback-of-notre-dame 
 

OUACHITA BAPTIST SETS FUNDRAISING RECORD
Arkadelphia, AR (August 13, 2018) – Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia has received a record $17.2 million in private support in academic year 2017-2018. The fundraising total surpasses the previous record set in 2005-2006 by almost $1 million.

“We are fortunate to work with alumni, friends and churches who believe in, and give so generously in support of, the mission and vision of Ouachita,” said Dr. Ben Sells, president. “Our donors appreciate our success in developing leaders in so many walks of life and extend our impact around the world.”

Of the $17.2 million given, 58% is in the form of cash and pledges. The remaining 42% is in realized estate bequests. The bulk of the funds, approximately $12 million, will be applied to annual and endowed student scholarships. The remainder is earmarked for programs, facilities and strategic initiatives.


In the previous academic year, 2016-2017, total fundraising was $12.3 million.

“We are proud of the fact that most of our giving comes from individuals and Arkansas Baptist churches,” said Terry Griffin Peeples, Ouachita Vice President for Development. “But alumni support is vital. We want our alumni to be engaged and participate no matter what amount they are able to give.”

Ouachita’s success runs counter to national trends in higher education, which has experienced a 25-year decline in the percentage of annual alumni giving. At Ouachita, alumni giving slightly increased last year to 19.75%. The University has approximately 12,700 alumni.

The median alumni giving percentage for private universities in 2017 was 17%. For public universities, that number was 4.8%.

“We believe that our donors are responding favorably to the momentum we are enjoying here,” Dr. Sells said. “Last fall, we experienced a significant increase in freshmen, were recognized for the highest graduation rate in the state and achieved a high placement rate for graduates. Our alumni, students and friends are excited to see Ouachita on the rise, and we are poised for continued growth.”

Last December, Ouachita’s Board of Trustees adopted a five-year plan that includes six strategic directions:

*       Sustain Christ-Centered Identity
*       Advance Faculty/Staff Support
*       Ensure Transformative Learning
*       Grow Residential Learning
*       Diversify Educational Offerings
*       Strengthen Key Partnerships

CAMDEN CITY POLICE REPORTS

This past Saturday evening at about 8:42 Officer Elliott of the Camden Police Department was dispatched to Stage located in Garden Oaks for a walk through of the store. Contact was made with the store manager. She stated that the individuals inside the store, who were later identified as Ambra McCarter, Rachel Rowlett and Mark Carver, had been in the store earlier using another person’s Stage Credit Card. Officer Elliott observed McCarter walking around the store. She appeared to be avoiding the Officer. He encountered the woman as he noticed that the woman’s purse changed shape each time he saw her. He asked if she had anything inside her purse that did not belong to her and she replied that she did not. McCarter gave consent to search. There did not appear to be any merchandise belonging to the store. A warrant check was conducted through dispatch and it was confirmed that she had a valid warrant with the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Department. Officer Elliott advised McCarter of the warrant. She was taken into custody and transported to the Police Station without incident. After booking procedures were completed she was served with a warrant for Failure to Appear. A search of McCarter’s belongings were conducted and a Debit card belonging to another individual was found. She stated that it belonged to her child’s father who allowed her to use it. The card was collected as evidence. She was advised to contact the owner of the card and have him contact the investigator over the case. McCarter was then turned over to Ouachita County. She was transported to the Sheriff’s Department.

Late this past Saturday night Sergeant Opelt along with Officer Elliot and Officer Manning responded to Fox Creek Apartments in reference to a fight in progress. They arrive to find a large group of people standing in the area. Officer Elliot and Officer Manning began speaking with one party involved. Sergeant Opelt observed a subject known as Max Wright. Wright walked towards the other Officers stopping about 20 feet from them and slammed a full trash bag on the ground. He then began staring at the officers with and extremely angry look on his face. Officer Opelt confronted Wright and asked if he could help him. Wright immediately went on the defensive. He told the Officer that he didn’t need to worry about him and the problem was elsewhere, however, he was the only person in the parking lot raising his voice and making a scene. Several time Wright cursed and Officer Opelt advised him not to yell profanity in public.  Moments later, Wright walked down the road toward the back of the apartment complex steadily yelling louder as he walked. Officer Opelt walked back to the other officers as they were completing the call. Wright could still be heard screaming profanity towards Officer Opelt. Wright was about 60 yards away and every profane word could be heard by not only the Officer but every other citizen who was outside. Officer Opelt went to Wright’s location and took him into custody for Disorderly Conduct. Wright was transported to the station where he was booked and later transported to the Ouachita County Detention Center until he could post bond. He was later released with a citation and a Court date of September 9, 2018.

AEROJET ROCKETDYNE, GOVERNOR, AEDC TO HOST ANNOUNCEMENT WEDNESDAY
Gov. Asa Hutchinson, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) and Aeroject Rocketdyne officials will host an announcement related to operations at the company’s Camden facility. The announcement will come at 11 a.m., Wednesday, August 15 at the Arkansas State Capitol in the Governor’s Office in Little Rock. Keep listening for details as they unfold.

CAMDEN NOON LION’S CLUB TO MEET
The Camden Noon Lion’s Club will meet Wednesday at Noon at Catherine’s Bistro. This week’s speaker will be Toni Greenlee with The Christian Health Center & The Hub.  She will be talking about their upcoming Fundraiser – A Pop Up Shop.  She will also discuss the services they offer to our community.

 
 

AUGUST 9, 2018

 

STATE TREASURY'S INVESTMENT RECEIPTS

TOTAL $77.2 MILLION IN FISCAL 2018

Treasurer credits proactive monitoring of markets

 

Little Rock, AR – Arkansas’ investment receipts for fiscal year 2018 totaled $77.2 million – topping the totals for fiscal years 2006 and 2009, Treasurer of State Dennis Milligan reported to the State Board of Finance today. In fact, 2018 ended the highest fiscal year the State Treasury has recorded in a decade.

 

Milligan credited the high investment receipts to his team’s active management of the Treasury portfolio.

 

“If you look at years 2004-2007, you’ll notice that our treasury receipts lagged behind the increasing interest rates. If you look at years 2016-2018, you see the opposite: Treasury receipts are rising in advance of the interest rate hikes,” Milligan said. “We’re proactively managing the treasury portfolio – making calculated decisions based on market analysis – instead of simply reacting to market conditions.”

 

Fourth quarter receipts for fiscal 2018, which ended June 30, were the highest they’ve ever been in one quarter under Milligan’s tenure as Treasurer, totaling $21.29 million. The fourth quarter total is higher than the yearly totals for fiscal years 2003, 2004, 2013 and 2014.

 

“I realize interest rates are a driving force of any investment activity, but I fully believe that our active management style is helping us make the most advantage of market conditions, while also helping us meet our primary objective which is liquidity,” Milligan said.

 

As of fiscal year end, the State Treasury had an investment portfolio of roughly $3.7 billion, including about $2.95 billion in bonds and commercial paper, $474.5 million in demand and money market accounts and about $283.4 million in the State Treasury Money Management Trust.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ARKANSAS FOODBANK LAUNCHES CAPITAL

 

CAMPAIGN  FOR NEW VOLUNTEER CENTER

 

 

LITTLE ROCK, AR – August 8, 2018 – Arkansas Foodbank announced today the public launch of its “Bridging Hope Capital Campaign” to fund the construction of a 22,000 sq ft packaging and processing center for volunteers onto its current Donald W. Reynolds Distribution Center in Little Rock.  The $4.1 million campaign serves to leverage more food donations and dramatically increase the volunteers’ production hours.

“Last year, more than 11,000 volunteers donated their time through the Foodbank,” says CEO Rhonda Sanders.  “With the new volunteer center we can quadruple our capacity to engage volunteers – up to 44,000 volunteers annually.  The service provided by these volunteers will save us more than $800,000 a year.”

The packaging and processing center will not only engage more volunteers but also allow the Foodbank to accept more fresh, nutritious, and perishable food.  Such food donations are time sensitive – perishable – and require the Foodbank to have greater physical capacity.  The new volunteer center will also allow two million more pounds of donated food to be accepted and processed annually.

Thanks to the Mabee Foundations recent award of a $500,000 challenge grant to the Bridging Hope Campaign, the Foodbank must raise a final $1.6 million from the public for the project by June 2019.  

“We have less than ten months to raise the balance,” says Chief Development Officer Sarah Riffle.  “Thankfully the Mabee Foundation accepts pledges which can be gifted over five years. We must have gifts and pledges totaling $3.6 million by June of next year to recevie the $500,000 from the Mabee Foundation.”

Each year, 450 local partners across 33 Arkansas counties depend on the work of the Foodbank.  The reward of being able to feed more Arkansans is worth it.

“More than 280,000 people a year benefit from the work of the Foodbank.  30 percent are children. 11 percent are seniors. The working poor need a bridge from time to time to overcome employment and health challenges,” says Sanders.

One in six people in Arkansas may not know where their next meal is coming from. For children the number is even higher.  Last year, the organization distributed 26.5 million pounds of food to its local partners.

“Nothing can measure what it means to help everyday people take control of their lives. For these individuals, hope is a hot meal, a bag of groceries, a well-nourished child,” says Sanders. “The new Volunteer center will dramatically impact the Foodbank’s ability to reach families, children and seniors, while also better serving its partner agencies.

AUGUST 8, 2018

 

 

DEFENSE SPENDING BOOST FROM LOCKHEED

 

MARTIN'S $40 BILLION F-35 STEALTH FIGHTER

 

PROJECT SPILLS INTO ARKANSAS

 

 

 

Lockheed Martin ramps up next generation production of its $406 billion F-35 fighter jet program, Arkansas is benefiting from offshoot contract work that is filtering into the state from the mammoth industrial project that is supporting jobs in 46 states, company officials told Talk Business & Politics Tuesday (Aug. 7).

Just two weeks ago, after the Trump administration highlighted stronger defense spending by showcasing a full-scale F-35 model on the White House lawn, Lockheed Martin officials announced that the company had hired more than 1,800 new employees in support of stealth fighter jet program, meeting a commitment made in January 2017.

“The F-35 is an iconic product that represents the best of U.S. innovation, technology leadership, and advanced manufacturing,” said Marillyn Hewson, the company’s chairman, president and CEO. “The program supports 194,000 direct and indirect jobs nationwide, and as we ramp up production we are creating even more opportunities for American workers. The men and women who participate in the F-35 program take pride in delivering unmatched, fifth-generation capabilities to the U.S. military and our allies around the world.”

Lockheed Martin spokeswoman Brecke Boyd told Talk Business & Politics that the multi-state project now has five supplier locations in Arkansas that support nearly 400 direct and indirect jobs with a $33.9 million annual boost to the state’s fast-growing aerospace sector. Altogether, the 5th generation Lightning II version of the stealth fighter program supports 1,600 suppliers across the globe, including more than 1,500 companies based in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

One of those companies, Triumph Fabrications of Hot Springs, announced on Thursday (Aug. 2) that it received a contract extension from Lockheed Martin to continue supplying titanium hot form machine exhaust screens for use on the F-35 blocker doors.

“We are honored to continue supporting Lockheed Martin and the F-35 program,” said Pete Wick, executive vice president for Berwyn, Penn.-based Triumph Aerospace Structures. “The F-35 is the most lethal, survivable and connected fighter aircraft ever built and we are very proud of the role it will play in enabling the men and women in uniform to execute their mission and return home safe.”

Triumph Fabrications officials did not immediately respond to questions from Talk Business & Politics concerning the terms of its supplier deal with Lockheed Martin, including the length of the contract extension and financial arrangements. The Hot Springs manufacturer is a subsidiary of Triumph Group Inc., which reported $3.2 billion in annual sales in fiscal 2017 and has nearly 14,000 employees worldwide, according to the company’s annual report.

The Hot Springs company was recognized in March for exceptional supplier performance in support of their Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky helicopter business. The Arkansas factory produces complex sheet metal components for Sikorsky’s UH-60 Black Hawk platform, according to SEC filings.

Nationwide, the Pentagon’s F-35 Joint Program Office and Lockheed Martin delivered the 300th production F-35 aircraft in June. The first 300 F-35s delivered this year included 197 F-35A conventional takeoff and landing variants, 75 F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing aircraft, and 28F-35C carrier models that have been delivered to U.S. and international customers. More than 620 pilots and 5,600 maintainers have been trained, and the F-35 fleet has surpassed more than 140,000 cumulative flight hours, company officials said.

Despite the broad economic impact, the fifth-generation of the joint strike fighter is $163 billion overbudget and seven years behind schedule. In response to those cost overruns, Lockheed Martin officials said as production volume increases and additional efficiencies are implemented, the project is on track to reduce the cost to $80 million per aircraft by 2020, which is equal to or less than legacy 4th generation fighters.

“We are focused on reducing costs, increasing efficiencies, and ensuring the highest level of quality as we ramp to full rate production and sustainment of the operational fleet,” said Greg Ulmer, Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager of the F-35 program.

Besides the F-35 program, the nation’s largest defense contractor also produces guided missile systems and warheads at the company’s industrial manufacturing facility in Camden, Ark. Earlier this summer, the South Arkansas munitions factory received a $364 million contract to produce the U.S. Army’s Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) missile.

The ATACMS is the U.S. Army’s only tactical long-range, deep precision-strike surface-to-surface weapon system. The long-range missiles can be fired from the entire family of Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) launchers, enabling battlefield commanders the capability to operate in contested environments.

According to the Arkansas Aerospace and Defense Alliance, the aerospace industry is the state’s number one export, generating more than $1.8 billion in annual revenues for the nearly 180 aviation and aerospace-related companies in the state.

AUGUST 6, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

ICYMI: Cotton, Hatch Op-Ed in the Washington Examiner ‘Close the Loophole That's Letting Violent Criminals Go Free’

 

cid:10C916F5-6BD3-43EC-B6A8-4F06582B7B96

 

Close the Loophole That's Letting Violent Criminals Go Free

Washington Examiner

By: Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)

 

In April, a gang member convicted of nine felonies, Cornelius Spencer, was charged with raping two homeless Arkansans, a 62-year-old woman and a 21-year-old autistic man.

 

What’s worse, these crimes would never have happened if Spencer had not been released a full five years before his sentence was up.

 

Because of a Supreme Court ruling that negated an important act of Congress, Spencer managed to slip through the cracks of our justice system. Until Congress acts to fix the law that was struck down, more hardened criminals will be able to roam the streets.

 

The law in question is the Armed Career Criminal Act, or ACCA. In 1984, Congress passed this law to protect the public from violent, repeat offenders like Cornelius Spencer. The law imposed a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years for illegal possession of a firearm for offenders convicted of at least three different violent felonies or serious drug offenses on at least three separate occasions. While in force, about 600 offenders were charged under ACCA each year.

 

But in 2015, the Supreme Court declared that an important part of the law was unconstitutional. In Johnson v. United States, the Court ruled that how the law defined some “violent felonies” was unconstitutionally vague, specifically referring to a catch-all phrase that described “conduct that presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to another.”

 

Because the law failed to specify which kinds of conduct presented such a risk, the court ruled that it didn’t give the public fair notice of what conduct could be punished. The law was, therefore, in violation of the Fifth Amendment’s due-process clause.

 

Importantly, the Court took no issue with the law’s mandatory minimum penalty for certain violent, repeat offenders. It simply said that Congress needed to be more clear about what types of conduct could lead to an enhanced penalty.

 

Whatever the merits of the Court’s decision, the results were tragic. The federal government was forced to prematurely release hundreds of felons back into the public. One example is Jerrod Baum, a neo-Nazi in Utah who had been charged with a long list of crimes: attempted murder, aggravated assault, and two counts of illegally possessing a firearm. He was released in 2016, four years before his sentence was up. Earlier this year, Baum was arrested and charged for kidnapping, stabbing, and throwing the bodies of two teenagers down a mineshaft. If the ACCA had still been in force, those two Utahans—just like those two Arkansans—would not have been harmed.

 

The only way to protect the public from hardened criminals like Spencer and Baum is to keep them off the streets, which is why we introduced the Restoring the Armed Career Criminal Act. Our bill would restore the mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years, but clarify which violent offenses qualify. Specifically, it would do away with the concepts of “violent felonies” and “serious drug offenses,” and replace them with a single category: “serious felonies,” defined as all crimes punishable by 10 years or more.

 

This much-needed clarification would solve a host of problems. First, it would comply with the Supreme Court’s ruling. Second, it would respond to the Federal Sentencing Commission’s recommendation that Congress clarify the statutory definition of violent felony. And third, because our bill would still require three felony convictions on three separate occasions, it would help federal prosecutors target the most dangerous criminals. In other words, this would not apply to low-level or first- or even second-time offenders.

 

It’s been three years since the Supreme Court’s ruling on the ACCA, during which time we’ve seen far too many innocent, law-abiding citizens suffer at the hands of hardened criminals. These violent offenders are the worst of the worst, and there’s no excuse for letting them roam free because of a legislative technicality. We encourage our colleagues to join us in supporting this bill before more good people get hurt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAGIC SPRINGS WELCOMES

EN VOGUE ON AUGUST 11!

R&B legends take the stage at 8 p.m.

 

 

 

 

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (August 6, 2018) Magic Springs Theme & Water Park welcomes R&B icon, En Vogue, to the Timberwood Amphitheater as part of the Magic Springs 2018 Summer Concert Series, Saturday, August 11, 2018.

 

Access to Timberwood Amphitheater starts at 6 p.m. and the opening act begins at 7 p.m. Open seating in the lawn area is available. Guests are advised to bring an outdoor chair or blanket.

 

En Vogue has never been afraid to break the mold and step ‘outside’ the norm. From “Free Your Mind” to “Whatta Man,” they have been trendsetters in music and style! Two of the group's singles rank in Billboard's most successful girl group songs of all time list, "Don't Let Go (Love)" and "Hold On.” They are sure to bring a great show to visitors at Magic Springs.

 

Don’t miss your chance to see En Vogue and other thrilling performances that are part of the Magic Springs 2018 Summer Concert Series and celebrate 40 years of magic with us!

 

It’s not too late to get a 2018 Magic Springs Season Pass, guaranteeing you FREE entry to all of the summer concerts.

 

A Magic Springs Season Pass offers an entire season of fun and includes:

§   

§   

  • Unlimited admission to Arkansas's biggest theme and water park
  • FREE live concerts
  • FREE Magic Screams with new extended hours
  • Season Pass Holder appreciation events

 

Learn more about these performances and find additional resources here.

AUGUST 3, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 BOOZMAN TO SPEND WEEK WITH ARKANSAS AG

 

 

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, will visit farmers, ranchers and educators during his annual agriculture tour on August 6 – 9. The tour covers a wide variety of agriculture operations throughout the state and will highlight the diversity and future of Arkansas’ largest industry.

 

“The agriculture industry is an economic driver for our state. As Congress finalizes the 2018 farm bill, it’s important for me to hear the ideas of our farmers, ranchers and producers about the impact the legislation has on their operations. Talking directly with these stakeholders and experts is vital to ensuring we eliminate provisions harmful to the industry,” Boozman said.

 

On Wednesday Boozman was named a Senate conferee to the Farm Bill conference committee between the House and Senate. Arkansans can follow the tour via social media on the hashtag: #ARisAg.

 

The media is invited to attend the following:

 

Monday, August 6

 

Don Tyson Center for Agriculture Science

Boozman will learn about current research underway at the University of Arkansas and take a brief tour of this new facility.

 

Time:               9:45 – 11 a.m.

 

Location:         1371 West Alzheimer Drive

                        Fayetteville

 

 

Tour of Belle Point Ranch

Boozman will visit this ranch in the river valley that produces Angus cattle.

 

Time:               1:30 – 2:45 p.m.

 

Location:         21002 Highway 22

                        Lavaca

                       

 

 

Tuesday, August 7

 

Tour Peach Pickin’ Paradise

Boozman will visit this heavily diversified farm with peach orchards, turkey houses and cattle.

 

Time:               8 – 9:30 a.m.

 

Location:         1901 McGuire Road

Lamar

 

 

Big D Ranch

Boozman will meet with ranchers Phillip and Elizabeth DeSalvo regarding their cattle operation and join members of the Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association for lunch.

 

Time:               11:00 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

 

Location:         173 Miller Lane

                        Center Ridge

 

 

Farmer Roundtable at Dow Brantley Farms

Local farmers will visit with Boozman to discuss the Farm Bill, agriculture, trade and other issues of concern to industry producers.

 

Time:               3 – 4:30 p.m.

 

Location:         4091 Central High Road

                        England

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, August 8

 

University of Arkansas Rice Research and Extension Center

Boozman will tour the facility and meet with new director, Bob Scott.

 

Time:               10:45 – 11:45 a.m.

 

Location:         2890 Highway 130 East

                        Stuttgart

 

 

 

Davis Farms

The Senator will visit with the Davis family and take a field tour of their multi-generation rice farm.

 

Time:               1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

 

Location:         57 Ora Lane

                        Stuttgart

 

 

Ag Aviators

Boozman will discuss regulations concerning this industry at Tommy Anderson Flying Service. The Senator will fly with one of the aviators if weather permits.

 

Time:               3:30 – 5 p.m.

 

Location:         411 Jim Ford Road

                        Sherrill

 

 

 

Thursday, August 9

 

UAM Forestry, Agriculture and Natural Resource Department

Boozman will visit with the Dean, Dr. Philip Tappe, and tour the department.

 

Time:               8 – 9 a.m.

 

Location:         University of Arkansas – Monticello

                        110 University Court

                        Monticello

 

 

Meet with local farmers

Senator Boozman will have lunch at Pickens Store with area farmers to hear their concerns.

 

Time:               11 a.m – 12:15 p.m.

 

Location:         Pickens Store

                        122 Pickens Road

                        Pickens

 

 

 

Wetland Reserve Easement site visit

Discuss conservation programs in the Farm Bill.

 

Time:               1 – 2 p.m.

 

Location:         422 Collins-Line Road

                        Collins

 

 

 

AUGUST 2, 2018

 

 

 

 

Boozman Advocates for Expanded Benefits for Blue Water Navy Veterans and Improved Hiring Practices for VA Physicians

 
 
 

 

 

Watch Boozman’s questions

 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, advocated for much-needed improvements to veterans’ healthcare during a hearing on Wednesday.

 

Boozman applauded the progress of House-passed legislation to expand the benefit eligibility for veterans who were exposed to the chemical Agent Orange during their military service in Vietnam. The legislation also includes a provision from a Boozman-authored bill that authorizes the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide any child of a veteran of covered service in Thailand who is affected by spina bifida the same health care, monetary allowance and vocational training and rehabilitation required for the children of Vietnam veterans similarly impacted by spina bifida.

 

“While I would like to see the remaining provisions of my Thailand Toxic Exposure bill taken up and passed, I am encouraged by this forward progress we are seeing on the Blue Water Navy legislation,” Boozman said.

 

The committee also examined the VA Hiring Enhancement Act, Boozman-authored legislation that aims to align the VA’s hiring processes with private sector organizations to allow the department to compete for the best and brightest doctors coming out of medical school. The bill is intended to help the VA fill some of the critical unfilled jobs for healthcare providers.

 

VA leaders said the department is in support of efforts to allow it to release physicians from non-compete agreements, one of the components of the bill. The VA also indicated that it would benefit from a new authority proposed in the bill to extend job offers to providers earlier than it currently does.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arkansas works to keep Kimberly Clark plant open


Recently our state received disturbing news that Kimberly Clark is considering closing its facility in Conway, putting the jobs of 350 people in jeopardy. It is important to know that the Arkansas Economic Development Commission is working with Gov. Asa Hutchinson to do everything in our power to keep those jobs in Arkansas.

We understand that these decisions are tough for businesses and that Kimberly Clark may ultimately choose to close the Conway plant. However, we are unrelenting, and we will work with Kimberly Clark to keep this facility open and keep these jobs in Conway.

That is our mission and our responsibility.

Let’s face it, this is more than just 350 jobs. Each job represents real people with real families to raise and real bills to pay.

Should Kimberly Clark close the Conway plant, we will work with its Maumelle facility to extend new lines, or partner with the Governor’s Displaced Workers Taskforce to help find new opportunities.

But why put our friends and neighbors in such a stressful situation if we don’t have to? To that end, we are putting together an aggressive package to assist Kimberly Clark in keeping the Conway plant open, as well as working to grow their neighboring facility in Maumelle.  Governor Hutchinson has had, and will continue to have, discussions with Kimberly Clark executives to encourage them to keep the Conway plant open.

Contrary to recent criticism on the use of incentives, neither the Arkansas Economic Development Commission nor Governor Hutchinson will ever make a business decision without doing a great deal of research. The result must positively impact Arkansas taxpayers and the state.

If an incentive package is offered to a business, it is carefully evaluated to ensure a positive cost-benefit to taxpayers. Arkansas’ incentives are performance-based, which means companies are required to employ a specific number of people at a certain wage for a designated amount of time. If the company does not meet and maintain these numbers, it doesn’t receive incentives. It is a win-win for businesses and taxpayers.

Some people believe that the state should not offer incentives for companies to stay. We disagree. Our incentives program is an important tool in competing with other states and global economies for business. Trying to compete in economic development minus incentives would be akin to the old idiom of “bringing pennies to a high-stake poker match.” We have to operate on a level playing field.

Be assured, we do not offer incentive packages that are not economically viable to the state. It makes no business sense for us to give money if we don’t see a return on our investment.

The aim of the state is to retain, protect and grow our existing businesses first and foremost. An overwhelming amount of growth and jobs in the state is attributed to those businesses who are already here. Kimberly Clark has been in Arkansas for more than half a century. During that time, it has invested heavily in the community and the state. Its largest customer is Walmart, and staying in Arkansas near such a valued customer benefits everyone involved.

We refuse to sit idly by and watch 350 Arkansans lose good jobs if there is something we can do to keep our fellow citizens employed and contributing to our economy. It’s not fair to our workers, and it’s not fair to our taxpayers.

In business it’s said, “It’s much easier to keep a customer than it is to find a new one.” For economic development that mantra holds true – we must protect and grow our existing companies and then look for ways to attract new ones. An overwhelming amount of growth and jobs in the state is attributed to those businesses who are already here. In fact, the largest division at the Arkansas Economic Development Commission is our Existing Business Resource Division.

Keeping existing jobs in Arkansas simply makes good economic sense for all Arkansans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

Seven Cabot Schools Receive Purple Star School Award 

LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Department of Education is pleased to announce that seven schools in the Cabot School District have been awarded the Arkansas Purple Star School Award for their commitment to serving military students and their families.

The seven schools are Southside Elementary School, Eastside Elementary School, Stagecoach Elementary School, Mountain Springs Elementary School, Cabot Middle School North, Cabot Junior High School North and Cabot Freshman Academy.

“This significant program affirms to our military families that we value their contribution to our community, and it teaches our students at a young age the importance of the military to our nation,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “I congratulate and commend the educators and students at these seven Purple Star schools for making life in Arkansas more pleasant for the military families who live in the Cabot School District.”

“Arkansas has a strong tradition of supporting our military,” said John Kaminar, the Arkansas commissioner for the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children. “We’re thrilled to be able to recognize schools that are going the extra mile to support the children of military families, especially as those families transfer into and out of Arkansas for the parents’ military service.”

“The Cabot School District is proud to have seven schools recognized as Arkansas’ first Purple Star Schools,” said Dr. Tony Thurman, superintendent at the Cabot School District. “Our district is dedicated to supporting our military students and families. Cabot is home to a large number of military families due to its close proximity to Little Rock Air Force Base. With more than 1,000 military children enrolled in Cabot Schools, we are committed to supporting our families emotionally, academically and providing the resources they need to be successful. We appreciate the sacrifices our families make each and every day and are honored to receive the Purple Star School Award."

Each school will receive a certificate from ADE Commissioner Johnny Key, the commissioner of the Arkansas State Council for the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children, and the executive director of the Arkansas Activities Association. The Arkansas Activities Association also will provide a sign for display at the school.

To be named a Purple Star School, schools had to meet the following criteria:

  • designate a point of contact and liaison for military students and families;
  • complete professional development regarding federal considerations for military students and families;
  • identify military students and inform teachers about the services military students should receive;
  • pass a school board resolution showing support for military students and families; and
  • feature resources for military families on its website. 

In addition to completing these required criteria, schools had to complete one of the following optional criteria: coordinate professional development for military students and families regarding school records, enrollment, school placement, attendance, eligibility and graduation; coordinate awareness training for military students and families; or host a military recognition event to demonstrate a military-friendly culture at the school. 

Applications for the award were reviewed by representatives from the Arkansas State Council for the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children, the Little Rock Air Force Base Airman and Family Readiness Center, and the Arkansas National Guard Child and Youth Programs Office.

The Purple Star School designation is for two years. The Arkansas State Council for the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children will check for compliance at the end of the first year. At the end of the second year, the school may reapply by submitting a statement of continued compliance. 

To learn more about the award, please visit http://www.arkansased.gov/divisions/legal/military-families.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BOOZMAN STATEMENT ON BEING NAMED

FARM BILL SENATE CONFEREE

 

WASHINGTON–U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) released the following statement after being named a Senate conferee to the Farm Bill conference committee between the House and Senate:

 

“I’m honored to be named as a Senate conferee to the Farm Bill conference committee and I look forward to sitting down with our counterparts in the House to ensure we finalize a bill that works for Arkansas. The farm economy and rural America have been struggling for the past few years, so timely passage of a Farm Bill would be welcome news to those who feed and clothe our country and the world.

 

“Now, Congress must get to work to find consensus and produce a final bill that both chambers can approve and the president will sign. Our farmers and ranchers deserve certainty and predictability and I look forward to contributing to that effort.”

 

 

AUGUST 1, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

FLASHING RED. KIDS AHEAD. CAMPAIGN PROMOTES

SCHOOL BUS SAFETY

 

LITTLE ROCK — With school starting in a few short weeks, school bus safety once again becomes a priority for students, teachers and motorists. To help build awareness, the Arkansas Department of Education, Arkansas Association of Pupil Transportation and Arkansas School Bus Mechanics Association are teaming up to launch the sixth annual Flashing Red. Kids Ahead. school bus safety campaign.

What has been a three-week campaign in the past has been expanded this year to the entire month of August.

“As the 2018-2019 school year begins, about 350,000 youngsters around Arkansas will be boarding one of about 7,000 school buses every day,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “Once again, the Department of Education is rolling out its bus-safety campaign. Flashing Red. Kids Ahead. rolls easily off the tongue and is an easy-to-remember slogan. When you see the flashing red lights on a stopped school bus, that means children are crossing the street, and state law requires drivers to stop. We owe our children a future, and one of the most basic contributions to their future is to ensure that they get to school and back home safely. Flashing Red. Kids Ahead. Easy to say. Vital to remember."

“School bus safety is important throughout the entire year,” said Jerry Owens, the senior transportation manager at the Arkansas Division of Public School Academic Facilities and Transportation. “It is important for all motorists to know that it is illegal to pass a stopped school bus when its red lights are flashing. Remember: Flashing Red. Kids Ahead."

In April, more than 3,200 Arkansas school bus drivers reported more than 850 instances of motorists illegally passing a stopped school bus in one day.

“Through the Flashing Red. Kids Ahead. campaign, our goal is to educate all motorists about the importance of obeying all traffic laws, including those involving school buses,” Owens said. “The safety of our students depends on it.”

This year’s Flashing Red. Kids Ahead. campaign will feature information such as sample press releases districts can use to tailor the program for their area, handouts and brochures that feature safety tips for parents, videos and a link to the law regarding bus safety.

Everyone is encouraged to be a part of the 2018 campaign by posting videos and pictures that promote school bus safety on social media using #2018FlashingRed. To learn more about the campaign, visit http://bit.ly/FlashingRedKidsAhead

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BOOZMAN, TESTER & HELLER

 

INTRODUCE BILL

 

TO ADDRESS PHYSICIAN STAFFING

 

SHORTAGES AT VA

 

Aim to attract best & brightest doctors to VA system

 

 

WASHINGTON—The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has long struggled to recruit and retain highly qualified physicians, but legislation introduced by a bipartisan group of senators would change that trend and level the competitive playing field for the VA.

 

Currently, the department is at a disadvantage when it comes to recruiting medical students as the hiring process begins much earlier for private sector providers than it does for the VA. This results in the VA missing out on opportunities to compete for available residents

 

The VA Hiring Enhancement Act—introduced by Sens. John Boozman (R-AR), Jon Tester (D-MT) and Dean Heller (R-NV)—aims to align the department’s hiring processes with private sector organizations to allow the department to compete for the best and brightest doctors coming out of medical school by allowing it to extend contingency offers to residents earlier than currently authorized.     

“There are some incredible people working to deliver the best care to our veterans, but the VA simply does not have enough of them. For years, the VA has struggled to compete with the private sector to attract the best and brightest doctors. An answer to this problem has long eluded Congress, but we believe this bill can help make great strides to address the problem,” said Boozman.   

 

“The VA must have qualified medical professionals on staff to serve veterans,” said Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “The VA Hiring Enhancement Act addresses workforce shortages by making the VA more competitive with the private sector when it recruits talented doctors, clinicians, and medical students.”

 

“As a senior member of the U.S. Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I’m working to see that every veteran has access to the quality care that they deserve. That’s why addressing the doctor shortage is a top priority of mine because it continues to particularly affect Nevada’s rural areas such as Elko, Gardnerville, and Pahrump, where the clinic that opened its doors two years ago still doesn’t have a full-time doctor,” said Heller. “I’m proud to join Senators Boozman and Tester to co-author this bipartisan legislation that aims to close the physician gap by making it easier for the VA to hire and retain skilled doctors to serve our nation’s heroes, and I look forward to continue working with them to send it to the President’s desk.”

 

The VA Hiring Enhancement Act is among the bills which will be discussed during the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing Wednesday. The bill has the support of key Veterans Service Organizations including the American Legion, Paralyzed Veterans of America and the Veterans & Military Families for Progress.

 

Specifically, the VA Hiring Enhancement Act seeks to:

  • Allow the VA to release physicians from non-compete agreements, provided they commit to VA services for at least one year, which makes it easier to hire local doctors since non-compete contracts are often designed to prevent doctors from competing with their previous employer in the same local area;
  • Grant the VA authority to make binding job offers up to two years prior to completion of residency which would help the VA become more proactive in its healthcare provider hiring practices and is particularly important to attracting specialists; and
  • Set the minimum education requirement for VA doctors as completion of residency.

 

The VA believes that portions of the bill “solves a problem known to medical facility Chiefs of Staff across the country,” and that the “legislation should make it easier to hire physicians.”

JULY 31, 2018

 

ADE, STATE BOARD LAUNCH 2018-2019

MY CHILD/MY STUDENT CAMPAIGN

 

 

LITTLE ROCK — Ongoing, positive and productive communication between parents and teachers helps build a network of support that leads to student success. To support this interaction, the Arkansas Department of Education and State Board of Education are launching the 2018-2019 My Child/My Student public awareness campaign.
In its fifth year, the campaign highlights specific college and career readiness and student safety topics each month from August through May, when the campaign ends for the school year. In addition to sample questions for each topic that both parents and teachers should consider when communicating, the campaign also provides links to additional resources and information parents and teachers can use at home or in the classroom.
In its fifth year, the campaign highlights specific college and career readiness and student safety topics each month from August through May, when the campaign ends for the school year. In addition to sample questions for each topic that both parents and teachers should consider when communicating, the campaign also provides links to additional resources and information parents and teachers can use at home or in the classroom.
“The most important education-related conversations are the ones between parents and their children, but regular communication with teachers is also crucial to a student’s success,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “The Arkansas Department of Education offers parents a wide array of resources to enhance communication at home and at school as you guide your children toward a choice of a career and a college. It’s your child and your student, and with the information the department makes available, you can stay up to date on your student’s education."
Topics for 2018-2019 are listed below.
Month 
College and Career Readiness Topic
Student Safety Topic 
August 
Setting Goals 
School Bus Safety 
September 
R.I.S.E. Arkansas 
Mental Health Awareness 
October 
Family and Community Engagement 
National Substance Abuse Prevention Month 
November 
Internship / Job Shadowing 
Anti-Bullying 
December 
Computer Science 
Texting and Driving Hazards 
January 
Building Character 
Child Abduction / Human Trafficking 
February 
Testing 
American Heart Month 
March 
Fine Arts 
National Nutrition Month 
April 
National Volunteer Month 
National Child Abuse Prevention Month 
May 
Keep Learning 
Summer Safety 
To learn more about the 2018-2019 My Child/My Student campaign, visit http://bit.ly/MyChild_MyStudent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SAU SAXOPHONE STUDENT BROADENS HIS HORIZONS,

 

REPRESENTS ARKANSAS WITH PERFORMANCE IN CROATIA

 

 

MAGNOLIA - Benjamin Facundo, a senior at Southern Arkansas University, recently participated in the World Saxophone Congress in Zagreb, Croatia. Facundo performed with the Arkansas Saxophones Choir, an ensemble comprised of professionals, teachers and students of the saxophone.

The La Feria, Texas native is attending SAU on a full band scholarship, majoring in music education. His trip to the Croatian capital broadened his outlook as well as his exposure to different musical styles. The Congress was held at the Zagreb Academy of Music, July 10-14.

The opportunity to travel to Croatia presented itself in January, when Facundo, a member of the SAU Saxophone Quartet, was returning from the Saxophone Symposium sponsored by the U.S. Navy Band in Washington, D.C. Facundo was invited by the ensemble’s director, Dr. Jackie Lamar, to come to Croatia to fill out the choir.

“I said yes immediately,” Facundo said. “It was my first time to travel overseas.”

The World Saxophone Congress, organized in Chicago in 1969, has been held in England, Scotland, France, Japan, and Italy, among other countries. It offers participants a unique opportunity to meet professional musicians, attend workshops and lectures and experience a wide range of musical expressions. Facundo attended with 10 other players from Arkansas.

“I was blown away that this opportunity landed in my lap,” he said. “I had never heard of the Congress until I was asked. I was ecstatic to be invited, and being there made me realize I want to be a performer and saxophone teacher at the university level.”

Facundo was able to meet two of his musical heroes, Dr. Kenneth Tse, professor of music at the University of Iowa, and Claude Delangle, a saxophonist from France. “It was a great chance to network,” Facundo said. He also met graduate professors from the University of Georgia, Oklahoma State University, University of Texas and Central Michigan.

The Arkansas choir performed on Thursday, July 12, in the Croatian National Theatre. “It was an amazing experience,” Facundo said. The ensemble premiered two works on the world stage at the Croatian National Theatre: Phantasms, by Philip Wharton, and Groovin’ Goliath, by Craig Wadley.

That same week, Croatia was participating in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. “We were able to watch the game there,” Facundo said. “Croatia lost, but everyone was so happy just to have gotten that far.”

Overall, Zagreb’s beauty exceeded Facundo’s expectations. “It was even more beautiful than Google told me,” he said, with a laugh.

While en route to Croatia, the group experienced a 12-hour layover in Paris, giving them the chance to explore such famous Parisian sites as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and Notre Dame. “My heart was very happy,” he said. "I never thought I'd get to see Paris."

Facundo returned to Magnolia feeling inspired. “I was reminded that music is a universal langauge. I want to expose students to a variety of music from around the world.”

“My parents are so proud,” he said. “They have seen me grow as a person and as a musician. Because they live so far away, they’ve only been able to come to one performance, my junior recital, and they were very proud.”

He thanked Dr. Andy Peeks, instructor of music at SAU, and J.P. Wilson, director of bands, for encouraging students to do their best. “They are great mentors,” he said. “The entire faculty strives to make sure you have everything you need to be successful.”

“Ben is a wonderful young man and gifted musician,” Wilson said. “He continues to exceed the goals and accomplishments of a student his age. Ben has been, and will continue to be, a huge asset to our band program and SAU.”

Facundo looks forward to performing in Senior Recital this November and will begin his pre-screenings for graduate school applications.

JULY 30, 2018

 

 

BOYD M. WOODY
Chief of Police
Camden Police Department
 #1 Police Drive                       870-836-5755
bwoody@camdenpolice.com                                         Camden, AR 71701                                                       fax  870-836-8523


PRESS RELEASE


July 27, 2018

On 07/24/2018 at approximately 6:00 am, Officers with the Camden Police Department responded to Williams Street for a report of gun shots.  When they arrived, they did locate and arrest William Milner and charge him with Possession of Firearm by Certain Person and Discharging a Firearm inside the City Limits.  At the same time this incident was occurring, Detective John Voss began investigating a suspicious house fire located at 120 Van Buren, the home of Richard Milner.
During the fire investigation, William Milner (DOB 1/15/73) did become a suspect and after obtaining a search warrant and collecting evidence, Det. Voss did charge Milner with Arson and Residential Burglary.  On July 26, 2018 at approximately 4:30 pm, Milner was taken before Judge Hamilton Singleton for a probable cause hearing where Milner’s bond was set at $100,000.


Chief Boyd Woody

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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United States Attorney Duane (DAK) Kees

Western District of Arkansas

_____________________________________________________

 

 

 

TWO NORTH LITTLE ROCK MEN SENTENCED TO A TOTAL OF OVER 25 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR ARMED BANK ROBBERY

 

       Hot Springs, Arkansas – Duane (DAK) Kees, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced today that Jarvis Molden, age 22, of North Little Rock, Arkansas was sentenced Thursday to 180 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release and Maceo Harris, age 19, of North Little Rock, Arkansas was sentenced yesterday to 126 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count each of Bank Robbery and Use of a Firearm During a Federal Crime of Violence. The Honorable Susan O. Hickey presided over the sentencing hearing in the United States District Court in Hot Springs.

 

       According to court records, On February 13, 2017, at approximately 11:46 a.m., Molden and Harris robbed the Farmers Bank and Trust branch located at 1929 Oliver Lawrence Boulevard in Rockport, Arkansas, which is within the Western District of Arkansas, Hot Springs Division. At the time of the robbery, the bank was insured by the FDIC.

 

       As Harris entered the bank, he climbed over the teller counter while Molden, remained on the lobby side of the counter. Both made oral demands for money to the effect of "give me all your money," and both brandished firearms during the robbery.

 

       Harris and Molden were observed driving away from the bank approximately 30 minutes after the robbery. An Arkansas State Police Trooper located the vehicle and attempted to stop it. As the vehicle exited the Broadway exit in North Little Rock, it struck a white pickup truck broadside, causing the truck to turn over on its side. The passenger, Molden, exited the vehicle and fled from officers. Harris was quickly apprehended and taken into custody.

 

      Witnesses at the scene observed Molden place a backpack in a green trashcan. Molden was subsequently arrested nearby and positively identified. The backpack contained stolen currency from the bank and a pair of grey sweatpants.

 

      A  check  of  the  Honda  Pilot's  VIN  conducted  on  scene  revealed  the vehicle was reported stolen from Roanoke, Texas on January 28, 2017. During an inventory of the vehicle, two dark hoodies, a Mossberg .22 rifle that resembles an AR-15 and a Glock 43, 9mm caliber pistol were located.

 

      Molden and Harris were indicted in April 2017 on federal charges. Molden plead guilty in November 2017 and Harris plead guilty in December 2017

 

      This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Rockport Police Department, North Little Rock Police Department and the Arkansas State Police.  Assistant United States Attorney David Harris prosecuted the case for the United States.

 

      This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BOOZMAN ENCOURAGED BY RETURN OF AMERICAN

SERVICEMEN REMAINS IN NORTH KOREA

 

 

 

 

 

WASHINGTON–U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) released the following statement after the White House announced that North Korea has transferred to the care of the United States the remains believed to be those of 55 American servicemen:

 

“The families of the brave service members who fell during the Korean War and whose remains languished in North Korea have suffered for decades, hoping and waiting for the day when their loved ones might return home and be laid to rest where they belong. This revelation means that day may be closer for some and I join with them in welcoming the conclusion of this tragic and heart-wrenching episode and hope it brings them some degree of comfort and closure.

 

“The United States has and continues to make every effort to bring home those who fall in combat and the tireless efforts of public sector agencies and private organizations have helped make this day a reality. I am confident the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency will work diligently to identify these heroes and notify their families. It is my hope that North Korea will expeditiously return any additional remains in its possession.”

 

Background

The remains, aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster, landed at Osan Air Base south of Seoul, South Korea. They were met by American service members and a military honor guard. They will eventually be transferred to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency in Hawaii for identification.

 

Approximately 5,300 of the 7,700 American troops whose remains are unaccounted for as a result of the Korean War are thought to be in North Korea. President Trump had asked North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to return to the U.S. the remains of Americans who had perished in the conflict. Friday, July 27 marks the anniversary of the armistice that halted the Korean War in 1953.

JULY 27, 2018

 

 

 

Griffin Named Distinguished Graduate, Awarded Master's Degree in Strategic Studies
 

from U.S. Army War College

Says, attending War College 'has been a great honor' that has prepared me for 'the strategic challenges we as a nation face'

 

LITTLE ROCK – Lieutenant Governor Griffin today released the following statement upon being named a Distinguished Graduate and receiving his master's degree in strategic studies from the United States Army War College (USAWC), Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania:

 

"It has been a great honor to attend the U.S. Army War College, and after two years, I am excited to be graduating. I have learned so very much about the strategic challenges we as a nation face and how best to approach them. More importantly, I have developed a number of new friendships and have had the opportunity to learn from my colleagues. All that I have learned in the last two years of study is already serving me well not only in my military role, but also in my civilian career. I especially want to thank my wife and kids for their patience and support throughout this twenty-seven month journey."

 

Below is a photo of the U.S. Army War College Graduating Class

 

 

 

About the United States Army War College 

 

The United States Army War College (USAWC) educates leaders to serve at the strategic level and develops their knowledge in the global application of Landpower.

  • The USAWC was established in 1901 by Secretary of War Elihu Root under President Theodore Roosevelt.
  • The Carlisle Barracks, located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, is one of the oldest military installations in the nation.
  • Notable alumni of the USAWC include former Secretary of State Alexander Haig and Generals Dwight D. Eisenhower, Omar Bradley, George S. Patton Jr, and Norman Schwarzkopf.
  • President Dwight D. Eisenhower is quoted as saying of the USAWC: 

“The War College marks a great change in the thinking, or let us say, the formal education of officers of our armed services. That formal education up until the time of the War College concerns the techniques, the tactics, the logistics of battle, of campaigns with their preparation and the operation of troops. Now you are thinking about war, about victory in war or better, keeping us out of war… I wish sometimes I could go back to my own year in the War College. It was the one year that was set aside completely for the study of our profession, the profession we entered as Lieutenants many, many years earlier.” 

  • The USAWC recognizes students as Distinguished Graduates based on their performance during the academic year. The selections are based on students exceeding standards.

Additional information about the USAWC can be found here: www.armywarcollege.edu/overview.cfm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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United States Attorney Duane (DAK) Kees

Western District of Arkansas

_____________________________________________________

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

July 26, 2018

 

HOT SPRINGS MAN SENTENCED TO OVER 33 YEARS

 

     IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR KIDNAPPING

 

AND AGGRAVATED SEXUAL ABUSE BY FORCE

 

        Hot Springs, Arkansas – Duane (DAK) Kees, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced today that Lynn Terrance Breckenridge II, age 28, of Hot Springs, Arkansas was sentenced today to 405 months in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release for the remainder of his life on one count each of Kidnapping and Aggravated Sexual Abuse by Force. The Honorable Susan O. Hickey presided over the sentencing hearing in the United States District Court in Hot Springs.

 

       According to court records, Breckenridge spoke to a Hot Springs woman who was walking her dog in the early morning hours of October 5, 2014, and offered her a ride under the guise that he and the woman had a mutual acquaintance and that Breckenridge would drive the woman and her dog back to the place where she was living. The woman accepted the ride and she and her dog got inside Breckenridge’s car.

 

        Instead of taking the woman where Breckenridge had promised, he confined the woman inside his car and drove her and her dog throughout Hot Springs, preventing her and her dog from getting out of the car.  Eventually, Breckenridge drove the woman and her dog to West Mountain, which is part of Hot Springs National Park and under exclusive federal jurisdiction.  There, Breckenridge threw the woman’s dog out of the car, sexually assaulted the woman, threatened to kill her and continued to hold her against her will.

 

        Sometime after the woman had been restrained inside the car and sexually assaulted, she was able to escape from Breckenridge’s vehicle.  She ran and hid from Breckenridge until she saw a passing taxi.  The woman flagged down the taxi and was later taken to the Hot Springs National Park Medical Center for treatment and evidence collection. Subsequent forensic examination of evidence obtained from the woman at the Hot Springs National Park Medical Center revealed bodily fluids that matched Breckenridge’s DNA.

 

       Breckenridge was indicted in July 2015 on federal charges and plead guilty in February 2017.

 

       This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Hot Springs Police Department and the National Park Service.  Assistant United States Attorneys Kyra Jenner and Candace Taylor prosecuted the case for the United States.

JULY 26, 2018

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Cotton Seeking Fall Interns for Washington, D.C. Office

 

Washington, D.C. — Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) announced today he is seeking fall interns in his Washington, D.C. office. Interns will have the opportunity to experience the daily operations of Senator Cotton’s office and witness the legislative process firsthand. Depending on their university’s requirements, students may be able to receive academic credit for their service. Internships are open to both undergraduate and graduate students. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Part-time and full-time internships are available. Internship duration will vary based on availability of applicant and internship program space.

 

To apply, please submit a resume and cover letter explaining why you want to intern for Senator Cotton to internships_cotton@cotton.senate.gov. In your cover letter, please state your availability. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you love old books, special printings and books as works of art?  Have a passion for historical documents, old maps and postcards?  Love Arkansas history and all things Arkansas? The Arkansas Book and Paper Show is the place for you!

The Arkansas Antiquarian Booksellers Association will host the 33rd Annual Arkansas Book and Paper Show August 11th & 12th at the Jacksonville Community Center at 5 Municipal Drive in Jacksonville, Arkansas.  The show features dealers from around the region selling rare antique books, special printings, first editions, author signed editions, and out of print books.  Dealers will be on hand featuring historical documents, old photos, postcards, maps, advertising media and ephemera from Arkansas and the U.S. Local authors will be on hand for book signings and sales.

Hours are Saturday August 11th from 10 – 5 and Sunday August 12th from 11 – 4.  Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for students and school employees with current school ID.  Parking is free at the Community Center.  For additional information call 501-985-1663, contact mcintrcoll@aol.com, or visit www.arkansasbookandpapershow.com.  Sponsored by the Arkansas Antiquarian Booksellers Association.  Supported in part by the Antiquarian Bookdealers’ Association of America.

 

JULY 25, 2018

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COTTON STATEMENT ON U.S. AIRLINES' REMOVAL

OF REFERENCES TO TAIWAN

Washington, D.C. — Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today released a statement on the decision of three major U.S. airlines—American, Delta, and United—to remove references to Taiwan on their websites in order to comply with an ultimatum issued by the Chinese government: 

 

“It’s disappointing that American Airlines, Delta, and United complied with this ultimatum, but the Chinese Communist Party’s obsession with Taiwan—the only democracy on Chinese soil—is pathetic. These demands are the mark of insecure, impotent leaders who know the future will not belong to them.”

 

JULY 24, 2018

CAMDEN FAIRVIEW SCHOOL DISTRICT

OPEN HOUSE & REGISTRATION

FAIRVIEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

August 2: 5:30-7:00 P.M.

IVORY PRIMARY SCHOOL

August 7: 5:30-7:00 P.M.

CAMDEN FAIRVIEW INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL

August 9: 5:30-7:00 P.M.

Registration information is online at www.cfsd.k12.ar.us under Intermediate School Campus.

CAMDEN FAIRVIEW MIDDLE SCHOOL

August 9, 10, and 13: 8:30-:3:30 P.M. - Registration for 7th and 8th grades

August 13: 6:00 P.M. - Orientation for 6th grade

August 23: 6:00 P.M. - Open House

CAMDEN FAIRVIEW HIGH SCHOOL

August 9, 10, and 13: 8:30-:3:30 P.M. - Registration

August 9: 7:00 P.M. - Freshman Orientation

August 21: 6:00 P.M. - Open House

SBearden High 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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       COTTON SEEKING FALL INTERNS

FOR STATE OFFICES

Washington, D.C. — Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today announced he is seeking fall interns in his state offices in Little Rock and Springdale. Internships will be offered in two sessions: August 20October 12 and October 22December 7.

 

Interns will have the opportunity to help with the daily operations of Senator Cotton’s office. Depending on their college requirements, students may be able to receive academic credit for their service. Interested applicants should send a resume and cover letter to vanessa_moody@cotton.senate.gov and specify their desired office location and session.

 

 

JULY 23, 2018

 

BOOZMAN RECOGNIZED 100-YEAR-OLD WWII ARMY VETERAN PAUL LUX

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) recognized the service and sacrifice of WWII Army veteran Paul Lux in ‘Salute to Veterans,’ a series recognizing the military service of Arkansans.

Lux was born on December 21, 1917 and raised on his family’s farm in Subiaco where they grew cotton, corn, wheat and grain. Wanting to experience more than what farm life had to offer, he joined the military and embarked on an adventure he still reflects on with humor and gratitude.

In 1939, Lux enlisted in the Army. “I just thought I’d like the Army. And I did. I loved the Army,” Lux said.

He wasn’t fond of the drilling so he sought a cooking position and was assigned to be first cook. “I never cooked a day in my life. I couldn’t boil water,” he laughed. His on-the-job training taught him well as he worked his way up to mess sergeant.

Lux has great memories of the friends that he made while serving in uniform. He fondly recalls the fun he had with his pal Joseph McNamara, a supply sergeant. “He and I had a party every night,” he laughed.

Letting loose was necessary to cope with the reality of the situation Lux and his fellow troops were in. “I could hear the guns shooting and going off. I was writing a letter home. I figured that’s probably my last letter. The next day we went into combat. That was rough.”

Lux recalled the generosity of a Belgium woman and her daughters who gladly accepted coffee from the mess truck. In exchange for this rare luxury, the family gave Lux and his friends a private bed to sleep in.

The enthusiasm Lux had for his time in uniform continues to show more than seven decades after he was discharged. He laughed a lot as he recalled his memories with McNamara and his fellow service members, including a friend from Jonesboro who made the mistake of taking off his shoes before falling asleep on a train. “While he was asleep I sold his shoes,” Lux laughed.

Affer his discharge, Lux returned to Subiaco where he met his wife Ann. The couple raised six children in Fort Smith where Lux worked for Railway Express.

“I appreciate Paul Lux’s service to our nation. Military service has a different effect on every servicemember, but Paul’s attitude about his time in uniform and the experiences he had still resonate with him strongly over a half-century later. His memories of his military service are an important part of his own legacy as well as our country’s history and I am pleased to be able to collect, preserve and share his stories,” Boozman said.

Lux’s entire interview was submitted by Arkansas Attorney General Lesley Rutledge’s office to the Veterans History Project, an initiative of the Library of Congress’s American Folklife Center to collect and retain the oral histories of our nation’s veterans. 

https://meltwater-apps-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/images/555603611a46ac78c6af6139/blobid3_1530804145799.pngMAGIC SPRINGS WELCOMES SKILLET THIS WEEKEND
Venue Gates Open at 6 for an evening of Rock under the Stars
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – (July 23, 2018) Magic Springs Theme & Water Park welcomes Skillet to the Timberwood Amphitheater as part of the Magic Springs 2018 Summer Concert Series, Saturday, July 28, 2018.

Access to Timberwood Amphitheater starts at 6 p.m. and Skillet takes the stage at 8 p.m. To celebrate the park’s 40th anniversary, this concert series is bigger and better than ever! Open seating in the lawn / festival area is still available so be sure to bring your outdoor chair or blanket.

The band's style has been described as Christian rock, Christian metal, alternative rock, hard rock, nu metal and symphonic metal which allows them to draw so many different listeners to their music. The band's eponymous debut album was characterized by its grunge influences, while their follow-up album, “Hey You, I Love Your Soul,” was noted for "its electronic elements and industrial feel." Their music can also be described as an aspiration; according to band founder, John Cooper's idea for a perfect music is to 'unite' individuals spiritually and socially.

Don’t miss your chance to see this and other thrilling performances that are part of the Magic Springs 2018 Summer Concert Series and celebrate 40 years of magic with us!

It’s not too late to get a 2018 Magic Springs Season Pass, guaranteeing you FREE entry to all of the summer concerts.

A Magic Springs Season Pass offers an entire season of fun and includes:

  • Unlimited admission to Arkansas's biggest theme and water park
  • FREE live concerts
  • FREE Dive-In Movie Nights in July
  • FREE Magic Screams with new extended hours
  • Season Pass Holder appreciation events

About Magic Springs Theme and Water Park:
Located on the FUN side of Hot Springs, about 50 miles west of Little Rock, AR. Magic Springs is Arkansas's ONLY theme and water park. A single price admission includes entrance to both the theme and water park, including use of the rides, slides, attractions, concerts and special events. The park is open weekends during April and May, and daily Memorial Day weekend through mid-August. Magic Springs is operated by Premier Parks, LLC.

Visit MagicSprings.com for more information, or to purchase season passes or discount tickets.

July 20, 2018

News Release - Arkansas State Police Public Affairs Office | Contact Information: (501) 618 - 8232| asp.pio@asp.arkansas.gov

NEW STATE TROOPERS HEADED FOR HIGHWAY PATROL IN 27 COUNTIES
Thirty-eight Arkansas State Police Trooper Recruits graduated tonight and will begin their careers patrolling state highways within the department’s Highway Patrol Division.  The graduation ceremony was held at Pleasant Valley Country Club, Little Rock.

The recruits reported to the Arkansas State Police Training Academy in Little Rock on February 25, 2018 and during the past twenty-one weeks each recruit has accumulated more than one-thousand hours of classroom and practical training.

Major General Mark H. Berry, Adjutant General of the Arkansas National Guard, was the keynote speaker addressing the graduates and assisted Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police, in presenting the new troopers their certification and commission credentials.

Arkansas Supreme Court Chief Justice John Dan Kemp administered the Oath of State Trooper Commission.

Other dignitaries present for the ceremony included representatives of the Arkansas State Police Commission, department deputy directors, and division, troop and company commanders assigned across the department.

Graduates of the Arkansas State Police 2018 Troop School are:

Jackson Dorman, 24, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop G, Nevada County.  He is a graduate of Harrison High School and Arkansas Tech University.  Trooper Dorman served as recruit class leader. 

Ross Allen, 32, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop F, Ashley County.  He is a graduate of Hamburg High School.

Diego Araujo, 29, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop H, Scott County.  He is a graduate of North Side High School and the University of Arkansas Fort Smith.

Tyler Ashcraft, 25, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop C, Mississippi County.  He is a graduate of White Hall High School.

Brandon Bird, 30, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Prairie County.  He is a graduate of Russellville High School.

Kendrick Davis, 22, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop A, Pulaski County.  He is a graduate of Gurdon High School.

Brandon Dotson, 25, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop A, Pulaski County.  He is a graduate of North Little Rock High School.

Tyler Gentry, 22, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop F, Drew County.  He is a graduate of Blevins High School and Southern Arkansas University.

Rafael Guerra, 32, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop E, Arkansas County.  He is a graduate of North Side High School.

Zachery Guest, 22, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Crittenden County.  He is a graduate of Collinsville High School (Oklahoma).

Cameron Hankins, 22, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop A, Pulaski County.  He is a graduate of De Queen High School and Arkansas Tech University.

Quincy E. Harris, 22, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop A, Pulaski County.  He is a graduate of Covenant Keepers Charter School (Little Rock).

Brian Heinley, 46, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop K, Pike County.  He is a graduate of Malvern Senior High School.

Montae E. Hernandez, 22, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Phillips County.  He is a graduate of Malvern High School.

Tanner Hess, 21, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Cross County.  He is a graduate of Calvary Christian High School (Little Rock) and East Arkansas Community College.

Brad Hitchcock, 45, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop C, Mississippi County.  He is a graduate of Manila High School.

Kevin Hrabal, 28, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop F, Dallas County.  He is a graduate of Fordyce High School and Henderson State University.

Jarueben Lee, 26, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop E, Jefferson County.  He is a graduate of Little Rock Central High School and University of Arkansas Pine Bluff.

Remington Lively, 23, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop I, Izard County.  He is a graduate of Calico Rock High School and Arkansas State University.

William Taylor Lockwood, 23, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop E, Arkansas County.  He is a graduate of Sterlington High School (Louisiana).

Jeffery Lovelis, 29, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop E, Lincoln County.  He is a graduate of Nashville High School.

Antonio May, 30, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop G, Hempstead County.  He is a graduate of Ashdown High School and Utah State University.

Tanner Middlecoff, 30, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop C, Mississippi County.  He is a graduate of Hoxie High School and Southern Arkansas University Tech.

Steve Miller, 31, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop A, Pulaski County.  He is a graduate of Three Rivers High School (Missouri) and Missouri Evangel University.

Don Moreland, 31, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop A, Pulaski County.  He is a graduate of Glen Rose High School.

Spencer Morris, 30, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Crittenden County.  He is a graduate of Marion High School and Arkansas State University.

Robert Neese, 27, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, St. Francis County.  He is a graduate of Faith Christian Academy (Texas).

Tyler Pendarvis, 24, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop I, Searcy County.  He is a graduate of Highland High School and Ozarka College.

Jimmy Plyler Jr., 34, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop F, Dallas County.  He is a graduate of Gurdon High School and South Arkansas Community College.

Quinton T. Porter, 26, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop H, Logan County.  He is a graduate of Booneville High School.

Jake Price, 22, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop D, Lee County.  He is a graduate of Magnolia High School.

Robert Puckett, 29, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop B, White County.  He is a graduate of Beebe High School and Arkansas Tech University.

James Ray, 21, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop H, Franklin County.  He is a graduate of Booneville High School.

James R. Reed, 22, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop F, Bradley County.  He is a graduate of Rison High School and Southern Arkansas University.

Jeff Richardson, 33, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop L, Madison County.  He is a graduate of South Side High School.

Justin Starnes, 36, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop F, Calhoun County.  He is a graduate of Camden-Fairview High School.

Trevor M. Stevenson, 28, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop A, Pulaski County.  He is a graduate of Tuckerman High School and University of Arkansasa Community College.

Lucas Talley, 28, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop G, Lafayette County.  He is a graduate of Lafayette County High School and Southern Arkansas University.

Special recognition and awards were presented to the recruits who attained the highest scores within the respective training categories listed as follows:

 Academics
1st place - Kevin Hrabal
2nd place - Kendrick Davis
3rd place - James Reed

Physical Fitness
1st place - Trevor Stevenson
2nd place - Remington Lively
3rd place - Jackson Dorman

Firearms
1st place - Spencer Morris
2nd place - Quincy Harris
3rd place - Jimmy Plyler Jr. and Trevor Stevenson (tie)

Upon reporting for duty at their respective troop headquarters, the new troopers will be placed with a certified departmental Field Training Officer (FTO).  Each graduate will work in tandem with their respective FTO for a transitional period prior to being released to their assignment.

JULY 19, 2018

FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF NON-PROFIT PLEADS GUILTY TO
CONSPIRACY WITH UNNAMED STATE SENATOR AND CONVICTED LOBBYIST

El Dorado, Arkansas - Duane Kees, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Jerry Kennedy Walsh, age 72, of Magnolia, Arkansas pleaded guilty today to conspiring to misapply over $380,000 from South Arkansas Youth Services without the authority of the non-profit's Board of Directors.  According to plea documents, the scheme involved steering the non-profit's funds to an Arkansas state senator, to the lobbying firm of convicted lobbyist Milton "Rusty" Cranford, and to a relative of Cranford.

Kees and Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department's Criminal Division made the announcement. 

Walsh of Magnolia, Arkansas, who served as the Executive Director of South Arkansas Youth Services (SAYS) pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan O. Hickey to an information charging him with conspiracy to misapply the non-profit's funds without authority from the Board of Directors. 

As part of his plea, Walsh admitted that beginning in 2013, while serving as Executive Director for SAYS, he agreed to divert SAYS funds to Rusty Cranford and an unnamed Arkansas state senator in exchange for the state senator's influence in protecting the non-profit's state contracts with DHS and DYS.  As part of that agreement, Walsh was to provide a monthly "legal retainer" to the Arkansas state senator without the expectation that the senator ever provide any legal work.  Instead, the purpose of the payment was to obtain the senator's assistance in preserving the contracts in his official capacity.  According to the plea, the amount paid to the senator was negotiated by convicted lobbyist Rusty Cranford and amounted to over $120,000.   

Additionally, as part of the agreement, Walsh was to lock SAYS into a more expensive contract with Cranford's lobbying firms and employ a relative of Cranford who would have a "no-show" job with SAYS.  Between the new contract with the Cranford lobbying firm and the payment for the no-show job, the non-profit paid out an additional $262,000.    As part of his plea, Walsh admitted that these payments and those to the state senator were not authorized by the SAYS Board of Directors.   

"This plea exposes the depths to which 'pay to play' politics has corrupted a non-profit organization which was formed with the best of intentions, to help children," said Kees.  "Unfortunately, there are many victims in a scheme like this.  The people of this state were deprived of the uncorrupted functioning of their government agencies, the non-profit was stripped of funds, and now that the non-profit has been shuttered, the community is deprived of a non-profit dedicated to providing services to their most vulnerable children, those who are incarcerated and in state custody.  I look forward to a day when all politicians exercising influence do so based upon the best interests of the children in their communities and not on who is paying them for no-show jobs."       

"Jerry Walsh diverted hundreds of thousands of dollars intended to help vulnerable children in southern Arkansas as a part of a corrupt scheme to influence the award of state contracts," said Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski. "Walsh's actions ultimately risked destroying the non-profit he helped lead and undermining the public's confidence in its elected officials.  The Criminal Division and our law enforcement partners are committed to protecting the integrity of charitable programs, rooting out corruption, and ensuring that individuals like Walsh are held accountable for their actions."

The FBI investigated this case along with the assistance of the Columbia County Sheriff's Office (Sheriff Mike Loe),  the 13th Judicial District of Arkansas Prosecuting Attorney's Office (Prosecuting Attorney John Shepherd) and the Magnolia Police Department (Chief Glenn Maxwell).  Assistant United States Attorney Ben Wulff of the Western District of Arkansas and Trial Attorney Marco A. Palmieri of the Criminal Division's Public Integrity Section are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Deputy Prosecutor Ryan Phillips with the 13th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney's Office.  This is a combined investigation with the Public Integrity Section of the Department of Justice, the Eastern District of Arkansas, Western District of Arkansas, and the Western District of Missouri.

 

COTTON INTRODUCES IRAN HOSTAGE ACT
Washington, D.C. 
— Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today introduced the Iran Hostage Act, legislation that would sanction Iranian officials responsible for holding American hostages. It would also bar these officials’ family members from coming to the United States for any reason. 

“Anyone who takes an American hostage has no right to come to the United States and enjoy its freedoms. Until the Iranian regime respects Americans’ basic human rights, they and their relatives will not be welcome in this country,” said Cotton

Companion legislation passed the House of Representatives 410-2 earlier this year.

Specifically, the bill: 

  • Expresses a sense of Congress that the U.S. government should use all necessary and appropriate measures to prevent Iran from taking U.S. persons hostages.
  • Declares that the U.S. government does not pay ransom for U.S. hostages.
  • Imposes visa, property, and financial sanctions on Iranian officials responsible for the “politically-motivated harassment, abuse, extortion, arrest, trial, conviction, sentencing, or imprisonment of citizens of the United States or lawful permanent residents with significant ties to the United States.”
  • Gives the President the authority to declare family members of these Iranian officials inadmissible to the United States and revoke these individuals’ existing U.S. visas.
  • Sanctions terminate 30 days after the President declares that Iran no longer holds U.S. citizens or LPRs hostage.

JULY 17, 2018

BOOZMAN, WARNER ENCOURAGE CERTAIN COMBAT-INJURED VETERANS TO FILE WITH IRS TO RECOVER MONEY

WASHINGTON—The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is advising veterans who have been separated from service for combat-related injuries and received a severance payment that was improperly taxed to take advantage of the relief offered to them by the Combat-Injured Veterans Tax Fairness Act (P.L. 114-292), a law based off a bill authored by U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Mark Warner (D-VA).

Under federal law, veterans who suffer combat-related injuries and who are separated from the military are not supposed to be taxed on the one-time lump sum disability severance payment they receive from the Department of Defense (DoD). However, for years DoD improperly withheld taxes on these payments from thousands of qualifying veterans, who were typically unaware that their benefits were being improperly reduced.

The Combat-Injured Veterans Tax Fairness Act rights that wrong, but affected veterans only have a short window in which to seek restoration. The IRS is advising qualifying veterans to file Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to claim a credit or refund of the overpayment attributable to the disability severance payment.

“When we introduced this bill, it was apparent that some combat-injured veterans had been unjustly deprived of their full severance upon separation by DoD despite federal law and clear Congressional intent that this not happen. When we started the process of fixing this legislatively, we believed that we would be helping several thousand veterans. We have now learned that number is much higher and there still may be more than 130,000 veterans who have yet to claim refunds. I encourage qualifying veterans to make sure they receive the benefits they are rightfully due by filing the proper paperwork with the IRS,” Boozman said.

“When we introduced this bill, it was estimated that there were only about 13,800 veterans who had been affected by a longstanding problem with DoD’s payroll system that resulted in taxes being improperly withheld from their separation payments. We’ve now learned that in fact more than 130,000 combat-injured vets may be eligible for refunds. DoD, the IRS, and Congress should do everything possible to make sure these vets know they are eligible, and I encourage any Virginia veteran with questions about the process or their eligibility to contact my office for assistance in getting their money back from the government,” Warner said.

The National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP), which identified the problem in 2014 and notified Congress of the error so legislation could be passed, is continuing to help potentially affected veterans.

“Congress did the right thing in passing this legislation so thousands of combat-injured veterans could recover the money that was wrongly taken from them by the government. However, we are not at the goal line yet. NVLSP will issue advice to help veterans and their families in the coming weeks through its website at www.nvlsp.org and social media accounts,” NVLSP’s executive director Bart Stichman said.

Most veterans who received a one-time lump-sum disability severance payment when they separated from their military service will receive a letter from the DoD with information explaining how to claim tax refunds they are entitled to, including an explanation of a simplified method for making the claim. The IRS has worked closely with the DoD to produce these letters, explaining how veterans should claim the related tax refunds.

The IRS has posted an announcement with the steps to be taken to recover improperly taxed income and links to Form 1040X.

ARKANSAS 529 COLLEGE INVESTING PLAN LAUNCHES INDUSTRY-FIRST MOBILE 
Application Arkansas emerging as innovative leader among state-run 529 plans
Little Rock, Ark. - (July 17, 2018) The Arkansas 529 College Investing Plan,administered by the Treasurer of State's office, unveiled a new mobile application today for smartphone users - becoming the first state-run 529
plan in the country to do so.

"This is a monumental day for our state," said Treasurer Dennis Milligan. "To be the first state plan in the country to launch an app for their 529 plan just further shows that we are innovative and thinkingoutside-the-box."

The mobile app will be released in several versions. Today's version is 1.0, which will allow Arkansas 529 account owners to view their account balances and transaction history, get deposit and security alerts, and stay up-to-date on news concerning their plans.

"One of the things we want to do by creating this app is to be able to share pertinent information with account owners using a tool that almost everyone has - a cell phone," Milligan said.

Statistics show that 95 percent of Americans own a cell phone. About 77 percent of adults in the United States own a smartphone, according to the Pew Research Center.

Being able to identify and reach Arkansas 529 account owners has been a challenge and a problem that most state-run 529 plans encounter, said EmmaWillis, director of the Arkansas 529 College Investing Plan.

"So our thought was to reach out to people where they're at. Most people have their phones within an arm's reach of them 24/7," Willis said.

According to a study by King University Online, Americans spend an average of five hours a day on their mobile devices.

Arkansas 529 teamed up with Central25 App Works of Springdale to create the mobile application.

To download the app, visit the App Store on your device or use this link:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gift-ar529/id1405894918?mt=8. The app is currently available to Apple users now and will be available to Android users very soon.

About the Arkansas 529 College Investing Plan The Arkansas 529 College Investing Plan allows Arkansas taxpayers to deduct up to $10,000 in contributions to an Arkansas 529 account from their Arkansas adjusted gross
income taxes. The Arkansas 529 program is administered by the Treasurer of State's office. 529 plans were established to help parents and grandparents save money for college that can be used at schools across the country and some institutions abroad. More information is available at www.arkansas529.org.

 

COTTON, COLLEAGUES INTRODUCE BIPARTISAN PACKAGE OF BILLS TO HELP AMERICANS SAVE FOR RETIREMENT, BOOST ECONOMIC SECURITY
Washington, D.C. — Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota), Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), and Todd Young (R-Indiana) today introduced a bipartisan package of commonsense bills that would help boost retirement security for individuals and families during a time when nearly half of all American families do not have any retirement account savings.

More than one-third of full-time employees do not have access to a workplace retirement plan. On top of that, projections show that 44 percent of Baby Boomers and Gen Xers risk running short of funds for retirement. Additionally, 40 percent of American adults would be unable to come up with $400 for an emergency expense account without borrowing money or selling a possession.

The senators’ bills would make needed reforms to improve retirement security for individuals and families, especially as the costs of health care, education, homeownership, and other expenses have continued to rise, squeezing families financially. The bills would:

 

  • Help workers set up short-term savings accounts to help with financial emergencies;
  • Expand access to workplace retirement plans by giving small employers more flexibility when setting up 401Ks for their employees;
  • Enable individuals to build emergency savings during tax time by allowing filers to save a portion of their tax refund for “rainy day” or long-term savings; and
  • Make it easier for savers to auto enroll into long-term savings plans and more quickly escalate their savings.

Last year, Heitkamp and Cotton held their first hearing as ranking member and chairman, respectively, on the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs’ Subcommittee on Economic Policy, on the vulnerabilities and struggle too many rural and working American families face in saving and preparing for retirement. 

“This legislation will help lighten the burden Arkansas small businesses face in offering retirement plans to their employees,” said Cotton. “Making these few simple changes could make a big difference for Arkansas workers and help them retire with financial security and peace of mind.”

“Every day, millions of Americans go to their jobs, work hard, and play by the rules to support their families and put food on the table each night,” said Heitkamp. “But far too often, they still struggle to get by each day, as they aren’t able to think about their futures and plan for retirement so that they are taken care of down the road. Our goal is to invest in workers throughout their lives by making sure they are able to save for retirement now so they will be set up for success in later years. That just makes sense. Our work on these bills shows a bipartisan commitment to improving economic security for workers and families, and I hope we can move them forward as they will make a difference for so many Americans who deserve to live with dignity both as workers and retirees.” 

“Too many Americans working full time jobs lack adequate savings to meet even small emergency expenses, and find that the retirement they had worked so long and hard for is simply out of reach,” said Booker. “As everyday expenses—from drug prices to childcare to college tuition—continue to rise, these targeted, bipartisan bills are, together, an important step to providing more financial security for working families.”

“Americans work hard day after day with often little promise of economic security in the future,” said Young. “That is why I joined a group of bipartisan colleagues to tackle the growing problem of families not being prepared for retirement. Our bipartisan legislation would strengthen retirement security for hardworking Americans by reforming and improving access to retirement plans. By allowing Hoosiers easier opportunities to save for the days ahead, retirees can enjoy the fruits of their labor and the peace of mind of financial security.”

“We applaud the bipartisan work of these four senators in leading on the critical issue of retirement security,” said former U.S. Senator Kent Conrad and the Honorable James B. Lockhart III, co-chairs of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Commission on Retirement Security and Personal Savings. "These four bills take common sense steps to help more Americans gain access to workplace retirement accounts, save millions more for retirement, and build personal savings for emergencies.”

 

July 16, 2018

GENE MORTON ANNOUNCES RUN FOR CAMDEN CITY COUNCIL
Gene Morton has announced his intention to run for City Council and will be on the November ballot for Alderman, Ward 1, Position 1 for the city of Camden.

Morton has been married to his high school sweetheart, Barbara, for 48 years.  They have two grown children, Mark Morton and wife Cheryl who live in Shreveport, and Carrie Sloan and her husband Charlie who live in Camden.  They have one grandson, Griffin who is in college in South Dakota.

Morton has been retired from General Dynamics (GD) for almost two years.  During his fifteen years of service there he served as a Quality Engineer, Facilities Manager, and the last ten yeas was the Production Manager overseeing the production of a rocket system. 

Morton had oversight over 100-120 production personnel that covered nine production buildings, was responsible for the safety, quality and production of a multi-million-dollar rocket program. He was responsible for the design, writing statements of work, and installation of multiple capital equipment projects that provided safe, efficient and reliable additions to the production lines.  He was also responsible for reviewing various budgets in order to track and maintain required labor requirements. Morton tracked spending expenditures on multiple projects so that there were not any overruns to the approved budget.

Morton is a member of Grace Baptist Church, where he serves as a Deacon, adult Sunday School teacher, choir member and serves on the Finance Committee.  Morton also volunteers at the Ruby Snider Ministry Center located on Mt. Holly Road.  He has been an active member of the Leadership Camden Area Board for the past eight years and currently serves as Vice Chair.

Morton graduated from Louisiana Tech in 1971 with a degree in Business Administration with a minor in Industrial Management.

Morton saidI am running for Alderman, Ward 1, Position 1 for the city of Camden. I believe that with my background in management of people, facilities, and budgets, as well as my people skills, I can facilitate a more efficiently run city government.  This will provide better city services without an increase in city taxes.  He went on to say I would like to see the relationship of the Camden city council and the mayor be one that shows better unity and to have more common goals for the city of Camden.  The council and the mayor have a responsibility to work together to focus on public safety, infrastructure and the delivery of necessary services, and promoting an environment that attracts and retains businesses. I believe that the issue facing voters in the city of Camden is getting the right combination of mayor and eight Alderman/Alderwomen that will work together, finding common goals for our great city and move forward to make Camden a better place to live.”

JULY 13, 2018

 

 
 

TWO ARKANSAS TEACHERS RECEIVE NATIONAL HONOR 

LITTLE ROCK — The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Science Foundation recently selected two Arkansas teachers as 2016 state recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

Justin Leflar, a science teacher who formerly taught at Holt Middle School in the Fayetteville School District, and Amy Sandy, a math teacher at Sonora Elementary School in the Springdale School District, were selected for their commitment to professional development and innovative teaching techniques and technology use in their classrooms. They are among more than 140 teachers from around the country who were selected to receive this honor.

“Thank you, Justin and Amy, for investing in our students,” Governor Asa Hutchinson said. “This recognition enhances Arkansas’ reputation as a state that is serious about educating her students and building a strong workforce. Congratulations.”

Leflar and Sandy will each receive a $10,000 award, a presidential citation and a trip to Washington, DC, to attend recognition events, professional development activities and an awards ceremony.

The Arkansas State Board of Education and Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key will honor Arkansas’ winners at the State Board of Education meeting August 9, 2018, in Little Rock. 

To learn more about the awards program, go to https://www.paemst.org/. To see a complete list of 2016 winners, which were just announced, visit https://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=295842&org=NSF&from=news

 

SPRING RIVER SINKHOLE REPAIRED, COSL ANNOUNCES

(July 11, 2018) HARDY, AR — A sinkhole that opened in the Spring River last month has been closed, Commissioner of State Lands John Thurston announced today.

The Commissioner of State Lands office, alongside the Attorney General’s office, Game and Fish Commission, Geological Survey, the Department of Transportation, Department of Parks and Tourism, Fulton County Sheriff Albert Roork and Fulton County Judge Darrell Zimmer, as well as local landowners and volunteers, completed work Thursday repairing the sinkhole, located south of Mammoth Springs, Arkansas.

The team of officials used a track hoe to collapse the travertine roof of the sinkhole. The structure fell into itself, resolving the water hazard that had been created by erosion and claimed the life of one person in early June.

State, federal and local officials had met in June to discuss the hazard and to determine how to correct the problem and ensure public safety. They enlisted the help of hydrogeologist Tom Aley, PG with Ozark Underground Laboratory in Potem, Missouri. After visiting the site, where Aley conducted a survey of the area with a dye tracing technique to determine the characteristics of the hazard, the agencies began examining potential fixes.

Thurston extended thanks to all of the agencies and individuals involved in the project. He acknowledged additional assistance from Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Sen. Missy Irvin, as well as the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for expediting permits for the work.

“Without the tireless work of many people, we would not have completed this project in a timely manner,” he said. “Each agency, official and volunteer has given a great amount of time to put together the plan and act upon it before anyone else was injured.

 

COTTON, COLLEAGUES URGE NDAA CONFEREES TO INCLUDE MEASURES TO REINSTATE ZTE  PENALTIES AND REFORM CFIUS
Washington, D.C. 
— U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland), Mark Warner (D-Virginia), Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) and Bill Nelson (D-Florida) today urged the chairmen of the Senate and House Armed Services committees to include the Senate-passed Cotton-Van Hollen-Schumer-Rubio amendment that would reinstate penalties against ZTE in their upcoming NDAA FY2019 Conference Report. Additionally, they urged the conferees to include reforms to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which were part of the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA).

The text of the letter is below:

Dear Chairmen McCain and Thornberry, and Ranking Members Reed and Smith:

We write to express our strong support for measures in the Senate-passed Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (FY 2019 NDAA) that would reinstate U.S. government penalties against ZTE, a Chinese state-directed telecommunications company, and modernize the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). As you begin deliberations over the final version of the FY 2019 NDAA, we request that you include these two measures.

Section 6702:  Prohibition on Modification of Civil Penalties under Export Control and Sanctions Laws and Prohibition on Certain Telecommunications Equipment.

We strongly oppose the June 2018 deal with ZTE negotiated by the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) to lift the seven-year ban against the export of U.S. parts and components to ZTE. BIS imposed this seven-year ban and other penalties against ZTE in April 2018 in response to its numerous violations of U.S. export controls and sanctions laws.

We also note that our nation’s six top intelligence leaders testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee in February 2018 about their concern that ZTE, Huawei, and other Chinese state-directed telecommunications companies are beholden to the Chinese government and Communist Party, which provides the capacity for espionage and intellectual property theft, and therefore poses clear threats to the national security, people, and economy of the United States. 

As you prepare the Conference Report, we therefore urge you to retain—and further strengthen—Section 6702 of the Senate-passed FY 2019 NDAA, which would not only reinstate the April 2018 penalties against ZTE and prohibit the modification of any penalties against a Chinese telecommunications firm unless certain conditions are met, but also prohibit the U.S. government from using or procuring equipment from, or entering into a contract with ZTE or Huawei.

Title XVII:  Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018

We also thank you for your work protecting our national security and intellectual property by ensuring that foreign countries are not engaged in illicit behavior when investing in the United States.

As you are aware, the Senate version of the FY 2019 NDAA includes important reforms to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States that were part of the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA). Those reforms are vital to protecting our national security and preventing intellectual property theft by foreign countries—including the People’s Republic of China.

As you negotiate a conference report for the 2019 NDAA, we urge you to include the Senate-passed CFIUS reforms and ensure that the final language fully addresses our national security and competitiveness concerns. We believe that efforts to weaken the robust protections in the FIRRMA will embolden our adversaries and present threats to our national security.

We thank you for your leadership, and we appreciate your consideration.

Sincerely,

COTTON, BOOZMAN, CORNYN, CRUZ, INHOFE, LANKFORD PEN LETTER TO GENERAL PERNA IN SUPPORT OF RED RIVER ARMY DEPOT ASSIGNMENT
Washington, D.C. 
— U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), John Boozman (R-Arkansas), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), John Cornyn (R-Texas), James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), and James Lankford (R-Oklahoma) sent a letter to General Gustave F. Perna to support the Army’s assignment of Red River Army Depot in Texas as the depot source of repair (DSOR) for the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) program, which provides enhanced force protection, survivability, mobility, and power generation for the next generation warfighter.

“Red River’s technical experts maintained Army ground combat and tactical systems for multiple generations, representing an invaluable resource that would be extremely costly and time consuming to reproduce at an alternate location,” the senators wrote. “Their extensive experience rotating Bradleys into combat and training environments have endowed them with a firm understanding of the vehicle and the environments where it is employed. Fortunately for the Army, the AMPV is already benefitting from these highly skilled experts’ institutional knowledge. In a time when readiness is the Army’s top priority, bringing the AMPV to Red River would capitalize on existing capabilities and expertise while ensuring a minimal impact on readiness.”

Read the full letter below:

July 12, 2018
General Gustave F. Perna
Commanding General
Army Materiel Command
4400 Martin Road
Redstone Arsenal, AL 35898

Dear General Perna:

We write to support the assignment of Red River Army Depot (Red River) in Texarkana, Texas as the depot source of repair (DSOR) for the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) program. The production and deployment of this new Army system provides enhanced force protection, survivability, mobility, and power generation for the next generation warfighter. The assignment of depot maintenance responsibilities and planning for the sustainment of the AMPV program is a critical decision in maximizing the system’s service life while, simultaneously, generating great efficiencies for the Army. Red River offers a turnkey solution that possesses all the components necessary to seamlessly transition to AMPV depot maintenance support.

These components include trained personnel, tooling, production lines, and technical expertise from decades of experience working with BAE Systems, the original equipment manufacturer for the AMPV program. As the Army’s primary depot for ground combat and tactical systems sustainment maintenance operations, Red River has already integrated into the AMPV production process by disassembling, processing, and shipping Bradley Fighting Vehicles (Bradleys) to BAE’s production site for AMPV vehicle production. Due to these factors, Red River would be the most natural and cost efficient location for AMPV maintenance and sustainment.

Red River’s technical experts maintained Army ground combat and tactical systems for multiple generations, representing an invaluable resource that would be extremely costly and time consuming to reproduce at an alternate location. Their extensive experience rotating Bradleys into combat and training environments have endowed them with a firm understanding of the vehicle and the environments where it is employed. Fortunately for the Army, the AMPV is already benefitting from these highly skilled experts’ institutional knowledge. In a time when readiness is the Army’s top priority, bringing the AMPV to Red River would capitalize on existing capabilities and expertise while ensuring a minimal impact on readiness.

In addition to the workforce, Red River has been the Bradley’s DSOR since the 1980’s and the Center of Industrial and Technical Excellence since 2002. These designations, coupled with the 75 percent commonality that AMPV shares with the Bradley, make Red River the most effective and efficient choice for the maintenance and sustainment of this new vehicle. The cost to relocate these capabilities to another depot facility would result in a great loss of government funding, manpower, and intellectual resource.

Red River plays a critical role in maintaining warfighter readiness and is in the best position to fulfill the role as the AMPV DSOR. We appreciate your careful attention to this matter and request that you keep our offices informed of any decisions concerning the AMPV DSOR designation at Red River.

Sincerely,

JULY 12, 2018

BOOZMAN NAMED CONFEREE FOR MINIBUS APPROPRIATIONS BILL

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) will be among a select group of lawmakers tasked with reconciling the differences between a trio of appropriations bills to fund the Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the legislative branch, as well as military construction and water projects, for the coming fiscal year.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) announced the names of the nine senators, including Boozman, who will work with appointees from the House of Representatives to finalize the minibus appropriations bill, which packages together the Fiscal Year 2019 Energy and Water Development, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Legislative Branch appropriations bills.

“I am honored to be among those chosen to finalize this appropriations package as we continue toward restoring regular order to the federal funding process. This important legislative package includes funding for critical investments in our nation’s priorities for infrastructure, facilities for U.S. military forces and their families and upholds our promise to our veterans by funding VA health care and benefit programs,” Boozman said.

Boozman serves as Chairman of the Senate Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies (MilCon-VA) Appropriations Subcommittee. In addition to authoring the portion of the Senate-passed funding package that pertains to military construction and veterans programs, Boozman led the Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma delegations in introducing an amendment adopted by the Senate that requires the VA to submit a departmental response plan to Congress that can be applied in Fayetteville—and all future cases of disclosures—and provide recommendations about changes necessary to prevent such incidents.

“I will continue to work to ensure that the final version includes language I authored to ensure VA has procedures in place to prevent tragedies that result because of physician misconduct, like that at the Fayetteville VA Medical Center, from happening in the future – both in Arkansas and around the country,” Boozman said.

The amendment requires that any plan must detail:

  • Identification process for individuals impacted by disclosures
  • Procedures for expediting follow-up care as required
  • Detailed outline of proposed changes to clinical quality checks and oversight
  • Communication plan for the entire Department
  • Implementation timeline
  • Identification of a senior executive responsible for ensuring compliance
  • Identification of potential impacts of the plan on timely diagnoses
  • Identification of the processes and procedures for employees to express concerns

JULY 11, 2018

 

 

SAU's UPWARD BOUND PRESENTS "IF THE SHOE FITS, BUY IT" ON JULY 12TH 
MAGNOLIA –
Southern Arkansas University’s Upward Bound program will present the play, “If the Shoe Fits, Buy It,” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 12, at Harton Theatre.

The play is written by Michelle Raskey and directed by Larry Dunn, director of choral activities for the Magnolia School District.

In this comedic spin on the classic tale, we meet Cinderella, the fast-talking sales dynamo of the Castle Shopping Network (CSN).  As the winner of the Fairytale Land Advertising Award Necklace (FLAAN) for several years running, she is the apple of her stepmother’s eye. After all, CSN is a family business, and Cinderella’s stepmother is the CEO and her biggest fan.  Now, those pesky stepsisters have invented a product so popular they just might take the top sales spot at this year’s FLAAN Ball! Merry Mike, who wears tacky Christmas sweaters year-round, also dreams of winning the coveted award.  Who will emerge as victor at the FLAAN Ball this year, living happily ever after?

The cast includes Kenadi Savannah, a junior at El Dorado High School, as Cinderella; Traci Stafford, also a junior at El Dorado High School, as Jacky Beans; Jason Cooper, a senior at Camden Fairview High School, as Gilman; Sharissa Olivarez, also a junior at Camden Fairview High School, as Daphnina; Diamond Muldrow, a junior at Magnolia High School, as Agatha; Jacqueline Culley, a junior at Hope High School, as Beulah, and Matthew Hall, a junior at Taylor High School, as Mike.

Crew members include Denzel Jackson, a junior at Magnolia High School; Raedeshia Tucker, a junior at Magnolia High School; Rashad Hartsfield, a senior at Magnolia High School, and Tomothias Smith, a junior at Magnolia High School.

Admission is free and the public is invited to attend.

Upward Bound is a federally funded program for low income and/or first generation college-bound high school students. SAU’s program is designed to generate the academic skills and motivation that will enable each participant to complete a secondary educational program, subsequently gain admission to and successfully complete a post-secondary training program.

It provides academic tutoring, counseling, career orientation, and cultural and social enrichment activities to 180 south Arkansas high school students who reside within a 50-mile radius of the University.

JULY 10, 2018

SENATOR BOOZMAN ON PROVIDING THE BEST CONSTITUENT SERVICE IN CONGRESS

Last week the Congressional Management Foundation recognized Senator Boozman as providing the best constituent service in Congress. The nonpartisan nonprofit whose mission is to build trust and effectiveness in Congress announced that Senator Boozman won its Democracy Award in the Constituent Service category. In this audio message, Senator Boozman talks about the award and how he and his staff help Arkansans.

The transcription:

This is Senator John Boozman with an update from Washington.

I recently heard from Patty Bateman whose husband served in the Vietnam War. When they ran into hurdles getting care and benefits he earned, Patty called my office for assistance.

The Batemans are one of the thousands of Arkansas families who have reached out to my office for help navigating the federal bureaucracy and resolving issues with government agencies.

We do our best to get answers, find solutions or just cut through the red tape that Arkansans face.

One of the mottos I live by as an elected official is “to use the power of the office for good.”

I’ve used this phrase to help foster a culture among my staff about the importance of serving Arkansans and being a resource for constituents who need assistance.

As a public servant I aim to achieve the standard set by longtime Arkansas Congressman John Paul Hammerschmidt who consistently managed to help an enormous number of people when they encountered problems involving the federal government.

It’s an honor and privilege to carry on this legacy of service and I’m proud of the work my staff and I do to help Arkansans who have run into roadblocks with government agencies.

For these efforts, the Congressional Management Foundation recently recognized the work my office does providing the best constituent service in Congress.

The Congressional Management Foundation awarded my team with its Democracy Award in the Constituent Service category based on our consistent record of helping Natural State residents.

My staff and I are proud of this recognition and pleased to offer unmatched assistance to Arkansans who reach out for help.

The Congressional Management Foundation President and CEO called our office a “model” for my fellow members of Congress and applauded our work to “restore trust and faith that our democratic institutions can work.”

Helping Natural State residents is one of my most important responsibilities. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or what candidate or party you vote for – we’re here to help you however we can.

There are a lot of ways to reach my office so I can help. You can visit our website at www.boozman.senate.gov that was designed to make it easier to submit requests for assistance via mobile devices and keep Arkansans updated about the work we’re doing for you.

Constituent service often gets little attention, but it makes a real difference in the lives of people across the state, just like the Batemans. Please don’t hesitate to reach out so we can help you. 

COUPLE ARRESTED FOR SEVERE CHILD ABUSE AND ATTEMPTED MURDER
On July 09, 2018, Antwon Davidson and Janecia Moore, of Camden, AR turned themselves in to the Camden Police Department for an active warrant for their arrest, for Criminal Attempt Murder 1st Degree, Domestic Battery 1st Degree and Permitting the Abuse of a Minor.

On July 06, 2018, it was reported to the Camden Police Department that a 5 year old female, Antwon Davidson’s daughter, was at the O.C.M.C. ER with Davidson’s live in girlfriend, Janecia Moore, for the child falling down the stairs and complaining of her neck hurting. Medical Staff were concerned with the young child’s weight. When officers entered the exam room they noticed the child was very “bony” and undersize for her age.

As a result of the young child’s condition she was transferred to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock for further evaluation. Detective LaRohonda Moore received a preliminary report which was taken from several workers at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

The child was described as being severely malnourished, emaciated and frail with sunken facial features, and was crying out for food and drink upon her arrival at the Children’s Hospital. The young child reported to the staff she was not allowed to drink after 6:00 pm because she “potty’s on herself”. The staff noted her upper thighs had circular burn marks and bruising on her back side.

When first placed in a room at the hospital she was allowed to have a sandwich, but she ate it to slow so Janecia Moore took it from her and gave it to her brother. The young child told the staff about her Pop Tarts being cold and her brother gets his warned up, when she doesn’t eat it fast enough, her “Daddy” throws it in the trash

The young child was moved to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for severe malnutrition, dehydration and hypernatremia. Her electrolytes were remarkably high for Sodium. The doctor reports the Sodium was so high, it was likely to have caused permanent injury or death if the conditions persisted without medical intervention. The young child reported to the staff “They put salt in my rice, they put a big spoon full of salt in my rice and make me eat it.” The young child’s disclosure about her salt intake, explains the extraordinarily high Sodium and Chloride levels and is consistent with salt poisoning, which is a dangerous and potentially fatal mechanism of poisoning.

The doctor said high levels would result in an intense thirst drive, which explains why the girl had gotten in trouble at home for drinking from the toilet.

The summarized report form the Children’s Hospital is consistent with physical abuse and neglect and the child would be at grave risk of serious injury or death in her home environment.

BOOZMAN STATEMENT ON SUPREME COURT NOMINEE JUDGE BRETT KAVANAUGH

WASHINGTON–U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) released the following statement after President Donald Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the District of Columbia Federal Circuit Court to serve on the United States Supreme Court:

“Judge Kavanaugh is a distinguished jurist whose extensive experience and respet within the legal community make him uniquely qualified to serve on the Supreme Court. He has had an impressive legal career that the Senate recognized by confirming him with bipartisan support to the federal bench.

I encourage my colleagues to thoroughly consider this nomination. I look forward to a fair confirmation process and hearing more from Judge Kavanaugh about his judicial philosophy.”

v

JULY 9, 2018

News Release - Arkansas State Police Public Affairs Office | Contact Information: (501) 618 - 8232| asp.pio@asp.arkansas.gov

 “OBEY THE SIGN OR PAY THE FINE"
CONCERTED STATEWIDE SPEED ENFORCEMENT PATROLS SCHEDULED
Additional Information Contact: ASP Highway Safety Office - Ann Whitehead
(501) 618-8133
July 9, 2018
(LITTLE ROCK) – Arkansas law enforcement officers will launch a concentrated week-long speed enforcement plan next week.  The operation will be promoted across the state using the message headline, “Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine”.

  The intensified enforcement effort will begin Monday, July 16th and continue through the following Sunday, July 22nd.  The enforcement plan involves law enforcement departments across the state.

  “Speeding leads to death on our roadways,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.  “Higher speeds reduce a driver’s ability to steer safely around other vehicles, roadway hazards and unexpected highway exits or directions."

   Drivers who ignore the speed limit put themselves, their passengers and other drivers at tremendous risk.  During calendar year 2015, speeding was a contributing factor in 27 percent of all fatal crashes in the U.S. and more than 9,500 lives were lost in such crashes, according to the latest data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

  “Driving above the posted speed limit or speeding in bad weather conditions dramatically increases the probability that a motorist will be involved in a crash,” Colonel Bryant said.  “State troopers and other law enforcement officers will be on the lookout for speeding drivers.”

  The goal of the operation is to save lives and make drivers aware that no excuses are acceptable.  When it comes to speeding; Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine.

  For more information on the “Obey the Sign, or Pay the Fine” mobilization, please 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.

MAGIC SPRINGS WELCOMES FOGHAT & BLUE OYSTER CULT THIS WEEKEND!
Venue Gates Open at 6 for an evening of Rock under the Stars
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – (July 9, 2018) Magic Springs Theme & Water Park welcomes rock legends, Foghat and Blue Oyster Cult together for an evening of radio favorites you will not soon forget, as the Magic Springs 2018 Summer Concert Series continues.
Saturday, July 14, 2018.
Access to Timberwood Amphitheater starts at 6 p.m. and the opening act begins at 7p.m. To celebrate the park’s 40th anniversary, this concert series is bigger and better than ever! Reserved seating is available and can be secured at MagicSprings.com.

Foghats live performances show why the band is still around today and why they will be able to keep on rocking’ as long as they want. Hit songs include “Slow Ride,” “Honey Hush” and “Take Me to The River.”

For over four decades, Blue Oyster Cult has been thrilling fans of intelligent hard rock worldwide with powerful albums loaded with classic songs. You may recognize “I love The Night,” “Godzilla” and “Burning for You.”

Don’t miss your chance to see this and other thrilling performances that are part of the Magic Springs 2018 Summer Concert Series and celebrate 40 years of magic with us! It’s not too late to get a 2018 Magic Springs Season Pass, guaranteeing you FREE entry to all of the summer concerts. A Magic Springs Season Pass offers an entire season of fun and includes:
 Unlimited admission to Arkansas's biggest theme and water park
FREE live concerts
FREE Dive-In Movie Nights in July
FREE Magic Screams with new extended hours
 Season Pass Holder appreciation events
Learn more about these performances and find additional resources here.

About Magic Springs Theme and Water Park:
Located on the FUN side of Hot Springs, about 50 miles west of Little Rock, AR. MagiC Springs is Arkansas's ONLY theme and water park. A single price admission includes entrance to both the theme and water park, including use of the rides, slides, attractions, concerts and special events. The park is open weekends during April and May, and daily Memorial Day weekend through mid-August. Magic Springs is operated by Premier Parks, LLC.

Visit MagicSprings.com for more information, or to purchase season passes or discount tickets.

 

GOV. HUTCHINSON WELCOMES 15 WILDLIFE OFFICERS TO AGFC
CONWAY – Fifteen new faces will be joining the ranks of Arkansas Game and Fish Commission wildlife officers this summer. The latest class of wildlife officer cadets celebrated graduation from the AGFC’s training program today at Antioch Baptist Church.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson spoke as the keynote speaker of the commencement ceremony for the new officers.

“Most people don’t appreciate the amount of training and knowledge we require for our wildlife officers,” Hutchinson said. “In addition to the core requirements it takes to be considered a cadet and go into the training, it requires 16 weeks of training in the classroom and the field, experts you have to become in 90 different subjects, and you’re not simply checking licenses and deer tags and running down poachers.”

Hutchinson reminded the new officers of their role as representatives of the state of Arkansas.

“We want [visitors to the outdoors] to respect what we have in the state, but we also want them to feel welcome here,” Hutchinson said. “In today’s world, enforcing the law is not easy. You have to be trained in a lot of areas, you have to use good judgement and discretion in how you go about that.”

The process to become a wildlife officer began in March when 17 individuals were selected from several hundred applicants to participate in the AGFC’s wildlife officer training program. All applicants chosen were required to have a minimum of a four-year college degree, four years of full-time law enforcement, four years of military service, or a combination of those criteria.
During their 16-week training, cadets spent most of their waking hours at the H.C. “Red” Morris Training Center east of Mayflower on Lake Conway. They received 740 hours of training in self-defense, firearms, first-aid and rescue, drug enforcement, physical conditioning, criminal law and wildlife code enforcement.

AGFC Director Pat Fitts welcomed the cadets, “We are proud of these cadets for the work they’ve accomplished so far and we are thankful for the support they have received at home to make their sacrifice possible.”

In Arkansas, wildlife officers are certified law enforcement. They enforce state law as well as wildlife law. Much of their job includes keeping the woods and waters safe, and that requires the authority to make arrests for criminal cases as well as wildlife code violations.

Capt. Sydney Carman directs the cadet-training program with Lt. Tracey Blake. Many AGFC enforcement officers serve as instructors, and many AGFC biologists and experts from other agencies are brought in to teach specialized topics.

Assignment of the new officers will fill several vacancies in the AGFC enforcement ranks.

The 2018 graduates and their county assignments are:

  • Tyler A. Barber, Calhoun County
  • Christopher B. Crawford, Bradley County
  • Aaron P. Dillard, Ashley County
  • Blake S. Forga, Sevier County
  • Chad H. Herndon, Yell County
  • Tyler L. Hill, Lafayette County
  • Dustin C. Houart, St. Francis County
  • Matthew A. Malone, Mississippi County
  • Douglas F. Martisek, Union County
  • Brandon R. Motley, Crawford County
  • Barry C. Robinson, Nevada County
  • Joseph K. Turner, Johnson County
  • Kurt A. VanMatre, Crawford County
  • Andrew L. Watson, Lafayette County
  • Keenan W. Wilson, Lee County

 

JULY 5, 2018

 

 

July 5, 2018
CONTACT: Kimberly Friedman
PHONE: (501) 683-4788
kimberly.friedman@arkansas.gov

ARKANSAS' ACT ASPIRE RESULTS SHOW GROWTH: ACT RESULTS FOR GRADE 11 HOLD STEADY
LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas students demonstrated growth in multiple areas on the 2018 ACT Aspire. The 2018 preliminary results reflect the third statewide administration of the assessment in grades 3 through 10. 
Overall, the percent of students at or above ready in English remained steady or trended upward in all grades except for grades 6, 9 and 10. Reading results at or above ready trended upward in all grades except for grades 6, 9 and 10. For 2018, overall writing scores were not reported; however, writing scores were incorporated in the overall English Language Arts scores.
Arkansas’ percent of students at or above ready in math trended upward in grades 3 and 8 through 10 and downward in grades 4 through 7. Science scores at or above ready remained steady or trended upward in grades 3, 8 and 9 and downward in grades 4 through 7 and grade 10.
“The increase in overall growth reflects the hard work and dedication of Arkansas’ students and teachers,” Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key said. “The results reflect educators’ commitment to teaching strong, rigorous education standards and the positive effects of the R.I.S.E. Arkansas and Computer Science initiatives. The results show we still have work to do to improve education in Arkansas, but I am confident that as we move toward implementation of Arkansas’ Every Student Succeeds Act plan this fall, we will lead the nation in student-focused education.”
ACT Aspire Benchmark Changes
While there were no changes in the benchmarks, or cut scores, for individual subject areas (English, Reading, Science and Mathematics), ACT set new ACT Aspire readiness benchmarks for the English Language Arts score (reflective of the English, Reading and Writing combined scores) and STEM score (which represents a combined Science and Math score). Because ACT Aspire scores are predictive of performance on the ACT, ACT updated the ELA and STEM cut scores to more accurately reflect the increased performance expectations of the ACT and college readiness.
It is important to note that 2018 ACT Aspire ELA and STEM scores cannot accurately be compared to those for previous years because of the change in this year’s cut scores. A better comparison of 2018 ELA and STEM scores to previous years is to compare the average scale scores.
Average ELA scale scores for grades 3 through 10 exhibited an increasing trend with the exception of grade 5, which declined slightly from 2017. Average STEM scale scores for grades 3 through 7 vary, with some grades demonstrating little change and some grades demonstrating decreases.
At the national level, the percentage of students meeting the updated benchmarks is far less than in previous years.
ACT Grade 11 Results
In addition to the release of the 2018 ACT Aspire results for grades 3 through 10, 2018 ACT grade 11 results were released as well. These results, which held steady, also reflect the third statewide administration of the ACT for grade 11. 
A total of 31,227 students were tested, which is consistent over the last three years. The 2017-2018 average composite score is 18.7, compared to 18.8 in 2016-2017. A total of 14 percent of students met all four readiness benchmarks (Reading, English, Math and Science), which is unchanged from 2016-2017.
More Information
To learn more about the 2018 ACT Aspire (Pre-Appeals) data sets release, visit ADE’s My School Info website at https://myschoolinfo.arkansas.gov. My School Info is the department’s online reporting portal that reports school and district data such as enrollment, testing and financial information. A tutorial video regarding how to access ACT Aspire data is available athttps://youtu.be/csRfwjw1Cc8.
The correction window for districts to suggest possible corrections to the preliminary data opens July 31 and closes August 13. Final ACT Aspire data will be released on the My School Info website in September. 

SAAC BOX OFFICE OPEN FOR "SINGIN' IN THE RAIN" 
The South Arkansas Arts Center box office is open for tickets to the 2018 summer musical, "Singin' in the Rain", which will run July 12-15 & 18-22, with the curtain going up at 7:30pm. Sunday matinees begin at 2:30pm.

Tickets are $30 for general public, $20 for SAAC members and $10 for students. SAAC will also host an
Opening Night Champagne Reception with tickets costing $30 for all adults and $10 for children.

Tap your toes and sing along in this splashy adaptation of the celebrated and beloved film! Each unforgettable scene, song and dance from the film is accounted for, including the show-stopping title number, complete with an onstage rainstorm! Hilarious situations, snappy dialogue and a hit-parade score of Hollywood standards make "Singin' in the Rain" the perfect entertainment for any fan of the golden age of movie musicals.

"Singin' in the Rain" has all the makings of a Tinseltown tabloid headline - the starlet, the leading man and a love affair that could change lives and make or break careers! In the silent movies, Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont are a hot item but, behind the scenes, things aren't always as they appear on the big screen! Meanwhile, Lina's squeaky voice might be the end of her career in "talking pictures" without the help of a talented young actress to do the talking and singing for her.

Special events for this show include an Opening Night Champagne Reception at 7:00pm on Thursday, July 12 as well as Talk Back sessions with Dr. Yates on Sunday, July 15 and Thursday, July 18.

For tickets call the box-office at 870-862-5474. SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas.


SAAC TO HOST "THE PORTRAIT EXPERIENCE" RECEPTION FRIDAY
The South Arkansas Arts Center will host “The Portrait Experience” in the Price and Merkle Galleries.  A collaboration between three talented area artists and their high school art students, the show consists of 81 photograph portraits and 81 painted self-portraits. They will hang July 2- 15 with an artists’ reception to be held on July 6 from 5:30-7pm.

Lisa Burton Tarver, local photographer and Arkansas Artist in Education teacher, Maria Botti Villegas, also an Artist in Education teacher and visual arts instructor at SAAC, teamed up with Sarah Beth Howard, who teaches art at El Dorado High School to bring this self-portrait experience to the high school art classes. 
 
Tarver explained, “I took photographs of the students, and they allowed me to ‘capture them’ in their photographs. The greatest reward for me was seeing them smile when they saw their portraits for the first time. The painted portraits became what the students wanted them to become, depending on their skills. They all are different, but they all are fabulous.  Some painted their portraits realistically and others felt a ‘freedom’ in painting their piece.”
 
Villegas, who helped the students transform their photograph portraits into paintings on canvas said about the experience, “Sara prepared the students with exercises to be able to draw and paint these portraits. Lisa’s formidable photo portraits made a difference in the mind of the students since they chose the photos they wanted to represent. After many hours sorting photos, charcoal drawing and transferring, and discovering pallets and colors, we painted the self-portraits shown in this exhibit. These portraits are unique, the result of the students’ choice of color, shape, form and content. They are different and special. The fact that most of these high schoolers have not had any contact with a task like this before made it difficult at times, but very rewarding.” 
 
Howard was instrumental is teaching the students on a daily basis and helping them to create their portraits. “This exhibit is unique,” she said.  ‘To create this many varied, expressive and successful self-portraits is a feat of the imagination. It is inconceivable that so many novice art students would dig so deeply within themselves and accomplish what eludes many professional artists. To teach art is to teach others to see. As human beings we are endowed with an ego and preconceived notions of ‘self’. ‘Who am I?’ is a spiritual and existential question. It is a question that an astounding number of artists have attempted to answer. During a three month period EHS students had a chance to examine and respond visually to that question.
 
“Working collectively is something artists do routinely. However, an art classroom is a bit like a kitchen...if you get too many cooks working at the same time it can get dicey. Working together, working through difficulties for the benefit of the students was key. Watching these young people be so engaged, soaking up all the personalities and abilities of their instructional team was incredible. It is truly what AIE was created for.”
 
For more information on “The Portrait Experience”, please call the SAAC office at 870-862-5474 or visit the website at www.saac-arts.org. SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas.

JULY 2, 2018

EXPLORE THE ARKANSAS FOOD HALL OF FAME
If you are in Arkansas for any length of time, you are sure to discover the delicious food and unique food culture of our state. Whether it’s Delta tamales from Rhoda’s in Lake Village, the world’s sweetest watermelon in Hope, or that signature burger and fries from Feltner’s Whattaburger in Russellville, Arkansas is packed with flavors, places, events and chefs that tell a unique story of our people and communities.

As the State Historic Preservation Officer and director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage (DAH), I find the study of food heritage in Arkansas very interesting and illuminating. Every aspect of food - from the ingredients chosen, to cooking techniques and even portion sizes – conveys a message about our culture. Food is the cornerstone of many important life events, so, not surprisingly, everyone has a story to tell about food. Although opinions may differ, food brings us together and contributes mightily to our shared heritage as Arkansans.

But how do you know where to find these great tastes of our state’s food heritage? DAH just launched the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame app to help you do just that. With the app, you can explore the state’s heritage foods, legendary restaurants, remarkable cooks and influential chefs, as well as culturally significant food-themed festivals and events. Each entity listed on the app is a finalist or a winner in DAH’s Arkansas Food Hall of Fame program, so you’ll know they are the best of authentic Arkansas.

If you’re traveling the state this summer and searching for a great local spot to eat, the app will help guide you. Whether you’re in Marianna, Camden, Tontitown or Blytheville, the perfect lunch stop is in the palm of your hand. Simply download the app on your mobile device, whether you use an Apple or Android product, and discover restaurants by cuisine or location. You are sure to find the perfect place to satisfy your taste buds, and learn about our state’s food history in the process.

The Arkansas Food Hall of Fame was created to recognize our iconic restaurants and events, our leading proprietors, and our unique Arkansas foods. If you don’t see your favorite on the list, you’ll be able to nominate online and through the app when nominations for 2019 open in the fall.  I hope you’ll tell us about your own hometown gems that contribute to the story of Arkansas.

Soak up the flavor of our state as you explore our unique food culture with help from the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame app. It’s available now on your Google Play or Apple App store; simply search for “Arkansas Food Hall of Fame.” For more information, you can visit www.arkansasheritage.com or call (501) 324-9150.

JUNE 29, 2018



BOOZMAN, COTTON ANNOUNCE AMERICORPS FUNDING FOR ARKANSAS
WASHINGTON –U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton announced that Arkansas will benefit from $2.8 million in AmeriCorps funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency responsible for AmeriCorps and other national service programs. These investments will support 124 AmeriCorps members on the ground who will work on some of the most pressing issues in Arkansas including education improvement and civic works.

“AmeriCorps brings out the best in participants as they strive to make our country better. I am pleased to see the investments in Arkansas that will allow volunteers to continue responding to the needs of our communities while enriching their own lives and developing skills for future success,” Boozman said.

“I appreciate the contribution that AmeriCorps is making to education and volunteer efforts across our state. This funding, like the private donations that support it, will allow more AmeriCorps members to work in low-income areas,” Cotton said.

“Building on Arkansas’s strong tradition of neighbor helping neighbor, AmeriCorps members will change lives, improve communities, and build a safer, stronger, and more united Arkansas,” said Chester Spellman, director of AmeriCorps. “While they serve others, AmeriCorps members will also create opportunities for themselves – gaining skills and experience to jumpstart their careers. I salute all the AmeriCorps members for their dedication and thank all those who help to make their service possible.”

The following organizations are Arkansas recipients of 2018 AmeriCorps competitive grants:
Kiwanis Activities, Inc. – The organization was awarded a $191,199 grant for its Alternative Classroom Experience and Summer Incentive Program that will support 20 AmeriCorps members to serve with the Pfeifer Kiwanis Camp and help implement programs for at-risk youth.
City of Little Rock – The city was awarded $252,932 which will support 28 AmeriCorps members to conduct safety assessments and home improvements, energy efficiency evaluations and upgrades and neighborhood and housing revitalization in seven low-income Little Rock areas.
Southeast Arkansas Education Service Cooperative’s (SEARK) Smart Start AmeriCorps Tutoring – This program received $281,220 to support 46 AmeriCorps members as literacy and math tutors to 500 at-risk elementary school students in eight counties in the Arkansas Delta region.
Southeast Arkansas Education Service Cooperative’s (SEARK) AmeriCorps Future Teacher Initiative- Grant funding of $12,000 was awarded to allow 30 AmeriCorps members to participate in the Future Teacher Initiative (FTI) to provide one-on-one and small group tutoring to at risk preschool students in Ashley, Bradley, Calhoun, Clark, Cleveland, Desha, Drew and Faulkner Counties.

The federal investment also includes $1.6 million for the Arkansas Service Commission, the Governor-appointed state service commission. In the coming months, it will award additional grants to Arkansas organizations to support AmeriCorps members in the state.

AmeriCorps’ unique model means that these grants will leverage an additional $1.5 million from the private sector, foundations and other sources – further increasing the return on the federal investment.

CNCS will provide an additional $408,000 in education scholarships for the AmeriCorps members funded by these grants. After completing a full term of service, AmeriCorps members receive an award of approximately $6,000 that they can use to pay for college or to pay off student loans.

Every year, 75,000 AmeriCorps members serve through 21,600 schools, nonprofits and community and faith-based organizations across the country.

 

 

ARKANSAS TEACHERS, LIBRARIANS TO RECEIVE RECOGNITION FOR PARTICIPATION IN ARKANSAS DECLARATION OF LEARNING PROGRAM
LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Asa Hutchinson and the Arkansas Department of Education are pleased to recognize 26 Arkansas teachers and seven mentors this afternoon for their participation in the third year of the Arkansas Declaration of Learning program.
Arkansas is the first state to participate in this national program. Through national and state partnerships, 6th through 12th grade librarians and art, English language arts and social studies teachers use historic art and objects from partner museums and libraries to develop lesson plans that focus on the importance of stewardship and civic engagement. Since the program began in 2013, 110 educators have participated and more than 6,000 students have benefited from the program.
“Through the direct observation of historic objects and our nation’s great works of art, our students are learning the history of our nation and the importance of diplomacy and civic engagement,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “I am honored that the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Reception Rooms chose Arkansas for the pilot Declaration of Learning project. This has given our teachers the resources to increase opportunities to enhance our students’ grasp of history."
“I am proud of the Arkansas educators who have dedicated their time and expertise to making the Arkansas Declaration of Learning initiative a success,” Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key said. “Arkansas is the first state in the country to implement this national program, and through our partnerships with other organizations, we have enhanced student learning by providing access to historical objects that are rich in history. Together we are transforming Arkansas to lead the nation in student-focused education."
The Declaration of Learning program was formed in 2013 as part of an inter-agency educational initiative. Representatives from 13 national organizations signed the Declaration of Learning, which pledged that the organizations would work with state and local partners to create learning tools for educators and students in middle and secondary education. In addition to ADE, other partners are the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Reception Rooms, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Central Arkansas Library System’s Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, and the Clinton Foundation.
Today’s recognition will be held at 3:30 p.m. in the Choctaw Building on the Clinton Presidential Center campus. The event is free and will highlight the work of year-three participants and feature presentations by three educators who are receiving the Best of the Best award. The event also marks the launch of the program’s fourth year by celebrating the 31 teachers and school librarians and nine mentors who spent the week in an immersive summit and will spend the next year implementing the ADOL into their classrooms and school libraries.

To learn more about the program and to see a list of past and current program participants, visit the ADE website at https://bit.ly/2Ig48WQ. The webpage also features a video about the program.

 

BOOZMAN STATEMENT ON FARM BILL PASSAGE
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) released the following statement after he joined a bipartisan majority of the Senate to pass the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, commonly referred to as the Farm Bill.

“I want to congratulate Chairman Roberts and Ranking Member Stabenow on passing a bipartisan Farm Bill through the Senate. We are one step closer to providing certainty and predictability to Arkansas’s farmers and ranchers who are experiencing the most fragile farm economy since the 1980’s farm crisis. I was pleased to see the process move forward. However, I have serious concerns about provisions that were included at the last minute that have the potential to negatively impact farmers in Arkansas and across the country. I am committed working with my colleagues to address these concerns, so that the final bill ensures all farmers and ranchers are able to compete on a level playing field in the global marketplace.”

During the debate, Boozman spoke in support of the legislation on Senate floor while voicing his concerns about some of the provisions. 

JUNE 28, 2018

FREE TRAVELING EXHIBIT VISITS SOUTH ARKANSAS
The Great War: Arkansas in World War I
Smackover, AR -   The Great War: Arkansas in World War I, a free traveling exhibit that tells the story of Arkansas’s role during World War at home and on the battlefields, will be displayed at the Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources, 4087 Smackover Hwy., Smackover, AR 71762 on June 7-July 27, 2018 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

The traveling exhibit consists of 9 panels that showcase images from the Arkansas State Archives’ holdings, including original documents, photographs, posters, maps and historical objects, giving a first-hand look at the lives of Arkansans during the war.  The exhibit covers the chronology of the war as well as various facets of the conflict, such as training troops in Arkansas, actions overseas, the Home Front, providing for the war, healthcare and Arkansas heroes.

I am very pleased that the Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources is sharing The Great War: Arkansas in World War I with their visitors and community,” stated Julienne Crawford, the Arkansas State Archives’ Curator.  She continued, “This exhibit, created to commemorate the centennial anniversary of America’s entry into World War I, powerfully memorializes the impact this first modern, global war had on the 65 million who were mobilized, including the 70,000 soldiers from Arkansas.”

The Arkansas State Archives is located in Little Rock. It maintains the largest collection of historical materials on Arkansas in the world and is dedicated to collecting and preserving the documentary history of Arkansas. The State Archives also has two branch locations: the Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives is located in Powhatan and the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives is located in Washington.

For more information about the exhibit at the Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources, call 870-725-2877. To schedule this exhibit at your institution, call the Arkansas State Archives at 501-682-6900 or email state.archives@arkansas.gov. To learn more about the Arkansas State Archives and its collections visit http://archives.arkansas.gov. The agency changed its name from the Arkansas History Commission to the Arkansas State Archives when it became a part of the Department of Arkansas Heritage on July 1, 2016.

This exhibit is funded in part by a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council, the Department of Arkansas Heritage and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Arkansas State Archives is a division of the Department of Arkansas Heritage and shares the goal of all eight Department of Arkansas Heritage divisions, that of preserving and enhancing the heritage of the state of Arkansas. Other agencies of the Department of Arkansas Heritage include the Arkansas Arts Council, the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, the Delta Cultural Center in Helena, the Old State House Museum, the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, and the Historic Arkansas Museum.

SAU SETS GAME DEVELOPMENT CAMP FOR JULY 16-19
MAGNOLIA – Southern Arkansas University is hosting a Game Development Summer Camp July 16-19, which will allow participants to learn about game development and design with hands-on activities in programming, design, and art in an overnight camp setting.

All applications must be submitted online by July 2. It is open to students in grades 10-12,
and there is a fee of $325 per participant.

Applicants can pay online using the registration form or by check. Register online at https://web.saumag.edu/game-camp/registration/ .

Curriculum will include an introduction to basic coding, game tools and mechanics; awards in design and programming, and after-hours activities including video game tournaments, virtual reality and board games.

Participants are asked to bring a pillow, sheets and blankets, towels, soap and other
toiletries, an alarm clock, money for sodas and video games, and a notebook and pen.

Checks may be payable to SAU with a memo line Game Development Camp to SAU, ATTN: Rhaelene Lowther, 100 E. University, MSC 9378, Magnolia, AR 71923.

 

BOOZMAN PRESSES VA SECRETARY NOMINEE TO ENACT IMPROVEMENTS TO PREVENT INCIDENTS SIMILAR TO FAYETTEVILLE VA MEDICAL CENTER

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, urged Robert Wilkie, President Donald Trump’s nominee to serve as Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, to commit to closely monitor the clinical review process underway at the Fayetteville VA Medical Center and implement policies to prevent such tragedies from happening at VA facilities in the future.

During Wilkie’s Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Boozman applauded the VA for its response to notifying patients about potential misdiagnoses by a VA physician at the Fayetteville VA Medical Center, but pressed Wilkie to ensure continued attention from senior VA officials.

“Do I have your personal commitment that you will keep a close eye on this situation as it continues to unfold to ensure timely notifications continue to remain a priority, veterans receive timely follow-up care should they need or request it and the independent reviews are handled expeditiously while maintaining the integrity of the review process?” Boozman asked.

Wilkie affirmed his commitment and vowed to support efforts, including those by the department’s independent inspector general, to identify misconduct at the VA.

On Monday, the Senate approved a package of appropriations bills that included language authored by Boozman that requires the VA to submit a departmental response plan on changes that should be implemented to protect our veterans from clinical errors at VA facilities.

JUNE 27, 2018

 

SAU WILL PURCHASE 24-APARTMENT COMPLEX TO MEET ENROLLMENT GROWTH

MAGNOLIA – The Board of Trustees of Southern Arkansas University voted Monday to purchase an 80-bed apartment complex near its campus.

As SAU continues to see significant growth, it has constructed three new residence halls, with ground recently
broken for a fourth, and converted a nearby property to residential space. It will now purchase the property at 1300 Bluebird, known as the Bluebird Hill Apartments, located about one-half block from the campus. This addition will help meet the long-term strategic goals for SAU.

The purchase price is not to exceed $1.3 million. Trustees, in a teleconference meeting, approved an additional $100,000 for parking and other improvements. Trustees voted unanimously on Monday to authorize financing $1.4 million for the purchase, at a rate of about 4.25 percent, for up to 10 years.

The property will be used for student housing and operate under the SAU Student Housing Office. Approximately half of the units are currently occupied by SAU students. Payment will be derived from the revenue received from the rent of student housing units.

The five-building, two-story complex contains 24 one or two-bedroom units, with a total capacity of 80 students. It includes a swimming pool and laundry room.

Dr. Trey Berry, president of SAU, said the enrollment growth “has been a blessing,” and that additional growth is anticipated for the fall.

INVESTIGATION FOLLOWS TRAFFIC STOP & CRASH
An Arkansas State Police investigation is continued yesterday as the result of a traffic stop that occurred on Monday at 3:42 in Hempstead County along the eastbound lanes of Interstate 30. 
Larry Jones, 22, believed to be from Tennessee, is the subject of a search that began after he fled from a state trooper during the traffic stop.

ear the 46 mile marker exit in Nevada County local sheriff’s deputies deployed spike strips in an attempt to stop the fleeing vehicle.  A short distance later, Jones lost control of the eastbound vehicle and was ejected from the car.

Jones fled from the crash scene and was last seen in a wooded area along the north side of the highway.

A search for search Jones continued through the evening hours.

Both Arkansas State Police Highway Patrol Division and Criminal Investigation Division are actively working together to prepare affidavits seeking formal charges associated with the ongoing investigation.

AHPP AWARDS NEARLY $3 MILLION IN GRANTS FOR ARKANSAS HISTORIC PRESERVATION PROJECTS
TB&P - The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program (AHPP), a division of the Department of Arkansas Heritage (DAH), has awarded $2.96 million in grants for projects in 58 Arkansas counties through its County Courthouse Restoration Grant, Historic Preservation restoration Grant and main street Downtown Revitalization grant programs. 

“These grants help protect our state’s historic resources, encouraging community revitalization, civic pride and quality of life,” DAH Director Stacy Hurst said in a news release. “We are proud to partner with these entities and protect the best of authentic Arkansas.”

Twenty-four counties shared $1.76 million in County Courthouse Restoration Grants, which are financed through Real Estate Transfer Tax funds distributed by the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council for rehabilitation of historic county courthouses across Arkansas. Funding requests totaled $6.91 million.

Counties receiving courthouse grants were:
Arkansas, $5,280; Boone, $56,510; Bradley, $36,000; Cleburne, $40,000; Cleveland, $29,500; Crittenden, $20,000; Dallas, $47,500; Desha, $235,430; Hot Spring, $100,000; Independence, $54,600; Johnson, $37,510; Lafayette, $40,000; Lawrence, $215,730; Lee, $100,000; Lincoln, $66,498; Little River, $127,000; Madison, $57,153; Monroe, $16,577; Montgomery, $24,000; Pike, $82,500; Prairie, $74,269; Stone, $111,929; Van Buren, $102,000, and Washington, $76,000.

Twenty-nine projects shared $874,795 in Historic Preservation Restoration Grants (HPRG), which distribute funds raised through the Real Estate Transfer Tax to rehabilitate buildings listed on the Arkansas or National Registers of Historic Places and owned by local governments or not-for-profit organizations. Grant requests totaled $2.28 million.

HPRG recipients, the amount of their grants, and the properties to be restored, were:

  • Bradley County Historical Museum, $10,540 for roof and siding restoration at the John Martin House in Warren;
  • City of Arkadelphia, $19,333 for roof restoration at the Missouri-Pacific Depot;
  • City of Eureka Springs, $9,999 for documentation and restoration work at the Eureka Springs Cemetery;
  • City of Highfill, $20,000 for roof restoration at the Highfill Community Center;
  • City of Little Rock, $63,333 for roof and masonry restoration at the Oakland and Fraternal Cemetery Mausoleum;
  • City of Nashville, $10,000 for restoration work at the American Legion Building;
  • City of Osceola, $39,757 structural frame restoration at the Coston Building;
  • City of Paris, $10,000 for HVAC and electrical upgrades at the American Legion Hut;
  • City of Paragould, $20,000 for roof restoration at the Linwood Mausoleum;
  • City of Rogers, $16,667 for window restoration at the Victory Theater;
  • City of Stephens, $67,000 for wood-deck restoration on the Arkansas Highway 57 Bridge;
  • City of Warren, $50,000 for HVAC and to make the former Warren and Ouachita Railway Station accessible to all;
  • Drew County Historical Society and Museum, $94,265 for roof restoration at the Garvin Cavaness House in Monticello;
  • Fort Smith Museum of History, $18,000 for masonry restoration at the Atkinson-Williams Warehouse that houses the museum;
  • Garland County, $79,333 for roof restoration at the former National Guard Armory;
  • Huntsville School District, $19,667 for moisture control and restoration work at the St. Paul School in St. Paul;
  • Little River County Training School Alumni Association, $20,000 for an accessible bathroom at the Home Economics Building near Ashdown;
  • Mount Salem School/Church, $10,000 for roof and front entrance restoration at the school near Paris;
  • Nevada County Industrial Development and Charitable Foundation, $8,985 for monument conservation and vegetation control at the Moscow Cemetery near Prescott;
  • People Helping Others Excel by Example (P.H.O.E.B.E), $30,964 for structural repair at the John L. Webb House in Hot Springs;
  • Perry County Historical Museum, $12,000 for window and door restoration at the former American Legion Hut;
  • Prairie County, $36,371 for window restoration at the former First Presbyterian Church in Des Arc;
  • Shiloh Museum of Ozark History, $19,435 for a condition assessment of the Fitzgerald Station and Homestead in Springdale;
  • Singleton Cemetery Association, $4,000 for restoration work at the Singleton Cemetery in Charleston;
  • John’s Episcopal Church, $50,221 for restoration work at the church in Fort Smith;
  • Paul’s Episcopal Church, $51,678 for basement, window and roof restoration at the church in Batesville;
  • Trumann Community House, $10,000 for an accessible bathroom at the Poinsett Community Club in Trumann;
  • Valley Springs School District, $41,712 for window restoration and other work at the Ole Main Building;
  • Women’s Literary Club of Van Buren, $31,553 for restoration work at the former First Presbyterian Church.

Twenty-one Main Street Arkansas programs shared $315,000 in Downtown Revitalization Grants, which are funded through the state Real Estate Transfer Tax and are available to accredited Main Street programs for building rehabilitations, parks, streetscape improvements and other design-related projects that will have major long-term impacts in the local Main Street area.

Main Street programs in Batesville, Blytheville, Dumas, El Dorado, Eureka Springs, Helena-West Helena, Osceola, Ozark, Paragould, Rogers, Russellville, Searcy, Siloam Springs, Texarkana, West Memphis, the Conway Downtown Partnership, Downtown Little Rock Partnership, Downtown Jonesboro Association, Southside Main Street Project, Pine Bluff Downtown Development and the Argenta Downtown Council in North Little Rock each received $15,000 grants through the program.

An additional $18,000 in Downtown Revitalization Grants was awarded to cities involved in Main Street’s Arkansas Downtown Network. Grants of $1,000 each were awarded to the programs in Arkadelphia, Clarksville, Forrest City, Fort Smith, Hardy, Heber Springs, Hope, Malvern, Mena, Monticello, Morrilton, Newport, Paris, Pocahontas, Prairie Grove, Rector, Warren and Wynne.

JUNE 26, 2018

CHRISTIAN HEALTH CENTER FUNDRAISER
The Christian Health Center will be having a Fundraiser on Friday, August 24th and Saturday, August 25th from 7am until 5pm each day. Visit the Pop-Up Shop for all kinds of treasures. Find household items, purses, kitchen items, books, furniture, sports equipment, luggage, clothes and more. There will be a Ladies’ Preview Party on Thursday, August 23rd from 6 to 9PM. Enjoy Door prizes, food and music with your lady friends and family. Tickets for the Preview Party are $10.00. Be on the look-out for location information. The Christian Health Center is currently taking donations for the Pop-Up Shop. If you have large items like furniture, call and arrangements can be made for the items to be picked up. All other donations may be taken by the Christian Health Center. All proceeds will benefit the Christian Health center and The Hub. For more information call 231-1111.

JULY 4th REMINDER: DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER
Arkansas Police & Deputies On The Lookout For Drunk Drivers

 (LITTLE ROCK) – During the upcoming July 4th holiday period, nationwide projections indicate the number of Americans who plan to travel fifty miles or more away from home could top 47-million travelers, according to the American Automobile Association.

Law enforcement records show a pattern of increased consumption of alcohol by many drivers during the summer holiday period.

Statistics from the 2016 Fourth of July reporting period reveal a fateful fact that 188 people were killed nationwide in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.  Compared to 2015, this is a 28 percent increase.

The Arkansas State Police and local law enforcement agencies will assign additional personnel to saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints beginning June 28 through July 9.  This effort is part of the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign designed to educate, identify and apprehend drunk drivers. 

“No matter your age, if you’ve been drinking or may be impaired in any manner, you should find a safe and sober ride to your destination or face the likelihood of being arrested,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.  “We will show no tolerance and accept no excuses in our dedication to protect travelers, not only during the holiday, but all year long.”

 The Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office recommends these alternatives to drinking and driving:

  • It’s never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation to get to your destination safely. Plan a safe way home before you leave.
  • If you’ve been drinking, call a taxi or someone who is sober to get you home.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road call 911.
  • If you know someone who is about to drive or operate a motorcycle or any other vehicle while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to their destination safely.
  • Buckle up, always.  Your seat belt is your best defense against the drunk driver.

For more information on the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136. Information about Arkansas' ongoing "Toward Zero Deaths" campaign to eliminate preventable traffic deaths can be found at www.TZDarkansas.org

SAU OFFERING ENGINEERING SUMMER CAMP JULY 9-11; APPLICATION DEADLINE JULY 2

MAGNOLIA – Southern Arkansas University is hosting a three days, two nights Engineering Summer Camp, July 9-July 11, 2018. High school students from grades 8-12 are welcome to attend.

To help ensure all interested participants have the opportunity to attend Engineering Summer Camp, the SAU Engineering program is offering four scholarships for top-performing campers this year. Scholarship winners will be selected over the course of the camp, and their registration fees will be refunded by the University after the camp is finished.

The primary goal of this summer camp is to grow interest in studying engineering and physics among high school students.

Participants will do hands on projects related to engineering and physics. Engineering projects include building and programming of Lego Mindstorms robots, playing with Arduino based electronics and hardware, designing the path of a robotic arm, building of model bridges and structures, design and modeling with Solid Works, and material testing using a force tester. Activities will include demonstrations in physics, as well as an astronomy night observation. Lodging and food will be included in the price. All participants will receive an engineering T-shirt.

There will be an awards ceremony at the end of the 3-day camp on Wednesday.

All applications must be submitted online by July 2, 2018.

BOOZMAN'S BILL TO FUND MILITARY CONSTRUCTION AND VETERANS PROGRAMS APPROVED IN SENATE APPROPRIATIONS PACKAGE

Includes Requirement for VA Plan for Clinical Disclosures in Response to Fayetteville Incident
WASHINGTON- The Senate approved a trio of appropriations bills in a package that included legislation crafted by U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) that supports military construction and veterans’ benefit programs and requires the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to implement changes necessary to protect our veterans from clinical errors at VA facilities.

“I’m happy to see the Senate returning to regular order and passing appropriations bills. This package includes funding for critical investments in our nation’s priorities for infrastructure and facilities for U.S. military forces and their families and veterans’ health care and benefits. It’s especially timely that we make improvements to VA policies to ensure we have procedures in place to prevent tragedies that result because of physician misconduct, like that at the Fayetteville VA Medical Center, from happening in the future – both in Arkansas and around the country,” said Boozman, Chairman of the Senate Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies (MilCon-VA) Appropriations Subcommittee and author of this portion of the funding package.

In response to the Fayetteville VA Medical Center issue, Boozman led the Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma delegations in introducing an amendment adopted by the Senate that requires the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to submit a departmental response plan to Congress that can be applied in Fayetteville and all future cases of clinical disclosures and provide recommendations about changes necessary to prevent such incidents.

The amendment requires that any plan must detail:

  • Identification process for individuals impacted by disclosures
  • Procedures for expediting follow-up care as required
  • Detailed outline of proposed changes to clinical quality checks and oversight
  • Communication plan for the entire Department
  • Implementation timeline
  • Identification of a senior executive responsible for ensuring compliance
  • Identification of potential impacts of the plan on timely diagnoses
  • Identification of the processes and procedures for employees to express concerns

Boozman also included a measure to move forward with improvements at the Little Rock Air Force Base runway.

The bill also includes a Boozman-supported provision that provides additional resources for the Veterans History Project, an initiative that builds an archive at the Library of Congress of oral histories and personal documents of the men and women who served our country in uniform. Boozman and his staff have conducted nearly 50 interviews of Arkansas veterans for inclusion in the archive and have trained more than 400 people across the state to participate in the project.

Additionally, the legislation includes a record level of funding for the VA. These resources will provide the healthcare, benefits and memorial services earned by U.S. service members and veterans. The bill also provides funding for 169 military construction projects within the United States and around the globe.

JUNE 25, 2018

FREE SMALL BUSINESS TRAINING OFFERED AT OPED 
Camden Accelerated Business Services (CABS) Center
625 Adams SW, Camden, AR 71701 (OPED Building)
Call 870-836-2210 or oped@att.net to Pre-Register
Tuesday, July 10, 2018 | 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

JULY
Google - Get Found on Google Search and Maps
Explore Google My Business, a free tool for local businesses, who want to connect with customers on Google Search and Maps. Get hands-on help creating or updating your listing, and take advantage of a free website.
Tuesday, July 10, 2018 | 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.


GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL ON DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES MEETS FEDERAL COMPLIANCE BAR, IS BETTER POSITIONED TO SUPPORT THE aRKANSAS DD COMMUNITY INTO THE FUTURE

 

LITTLE ROCK (June 25, 2018)The Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities’ three and one-half years early completion of a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) has paved the way for the Council to move forward in overseeing the implementation of the federal Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 (DD Act).

 

“It is exciting to know the dedication and hard work by our Council have allowed us to accelerate the completion of our CAP and to do so far ahead of schedule,” said Eric Munson, the Council’s executive director. “We hope other states seeking to make turnarounds will view Arkansas as a model and use some of our best practices to help them achieve success.”

 

The completion of the CAP brought Arkansas’s Council into compliance with the DD Act. This allowed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) and the Administration for Community Living (ACL) to remove the “high-risk” status that was placed on the Council in 2015.

 

“The Council’s turnaround is phenomenal,” Governor Asa Hutchinson said. “Just three years ago, the federal Department of Health and Human Services classified the Council as ‘high risk,’ cut funding and limited its activities. Through its strong leadership and hard work, a completely revamped Council responded to the challenge and resolved critical issues. Congratulations and thank you to the Council for overcoming the obstacles and leading the way. This is the way Arkansas does things.”

 

The DD Act provides federal funds so that people with developmental disabilities has access to and participates in all aspects of community life. The Council – alongside partners in the statewide DD Network – oversees the implementation of the DD Act in Arkansas by connecting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to the resources and programs they need to be independent, productive, integrated and included into all parts of community life.

 

The current Council was created by Governor Hutchinson via an Executive Order on July 30, 2015. The governor’s action came after AIDD and ACL suspended the Council’s authority to administer federal program funds to support implementation of the DD Act in Arkansas. He appointed an all-new, 23-member governing board; a new executive director, Eric Munson of Little Rock, and three new staff members were hired.

 

“The Council’s diligent work and great accomplishment have allowed us to look to the future for Arkansans with developmental disabilities by creating opportunities for integration, inclusion and independence,” Council Chairman Chris Johnson said. 

 

“The support from key leaders, including the governor, of the developmental disabilities community through the Council’s work creates opportunities for advocacy, capacity-building and systems change to flourish. …” Sheryl Matney, director of the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities’ Information & Technical Assistance Center for Councils on Developmental Disabilities. “The Council is addressing complex issues and developing and fostering key relationships with stakeholders working on issues important to people with developmental disabilities and their families.”

 

For more information about the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities and its mission, visit GCDD.ar.gov and follow on Facebook and Twitter.
 

VOLUNTEERS IN 67 COUNTIES PICK UP MORE THAN 133,000 POUNDS OF LITTER

LITTLE ROCK (June 22, 2018) – Arkansans from 67 counties collected more than 133,600 pounds of litter and 5.6 million pounds of bulky waste during this year’s Great American Cleanup™ in Arkansas, a nationwide program of Keep America Beautiful and promoted statewide by the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission (KAB).

Additionally, 4,624 acres of parks and public areas were cleaned up and 1,287 trees, shrubs and flowers were planted during the three-month campaign that began in March. Arkansans volunteered nearly 47,000 hours to clean up Arkansas’s parks, public areas, roadsides and other places.

KAB promoted the Great American Cleanup statewide via the #MakeArkansasGreen challenge as a call-to-action to encourage volunteers to register at least one cleanup event in each of the state’s 75 counties during March, April and May. Each week, KAB posted a challenge map on its social media pages with the hashtag to keep followers abreast of the progress being made across the state. In all, 166 cleanup events were registered with KAB in 67 counties, the highest number of counties to have ever registered with KAB during a Great American Cleanup.

“The results from this year’s Great American Cleanup can only be attributed to our dedicated coordinators and volunteers,” said Liz Philpott, CVM, volunteer program manager at KAB and statewide coordinator of the Great American Cleanup in Arkansas. “Nearly 90 percent of the counties in Arkansas registered with KAB, and we are so grateful for the amazing turnout. Thank you for making Arkansas green before the busy summer tourism season!

BOOZMAN RECOGNIZES WWII NAVY VETERAN 
WASHINGTON-
U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) recognized the service and sacrifice of WWII Navy veteran Robert Stroud Jr. in ‘Salute to Veterans,’ a series recognizing the military service of Arkansans.

Stroud was born in a log cabin in west Little Rock on March 5, 1919. When he was young, his family moved to North Little Rock. As an adolescent he says he was a “marble shark.” His marble shooting skills allowed him to earn enough money to buy a bicycle.

Stroud married his wife Mildred in 1942. The couple started a family and had two young daughters when he started his military service in the Navy. “It was tough. You get homesick real bad in the service,” Stroud said.

His wife came to visit him in Rhode Island where he was receiving specialized training to become a Seabee, serving in the Navy’s Construction Battalion.

While on leave, he went to New York and had the opportunity to dance with a siren of the silver screen, Bette Davis, at a USO location.

“I saw a girl giving out cookies so I walked over there and I looked at her and thought oh my gosh,” before asking Davis to dance. He recalled her saying that she didn’t think anyone would ask. They danced to the song “Sentimental Journey” and talked about his Arkansas accent.

Before deploying to the Pacific Theater, Stroud trained in California. “They told us we were going to have six weeks of hard training and you’re going to wish you were dead every day,” Stroud said. “You know what? They were right.”

Stroud says he didn’t stay six weeks. He remembers the 3 a.m. wake-up that alerted him to his deployment overseas. He sailed aboard the USS Florence Nightingale, which came in the crosshairs of a Japanese torpedo. “I was standing on the back and saw it coming. There was nothing I could do,” Stroud recalled, describing the evasion of the torpedo thanks to the zig zagging of the ship.

The ship resupplied on the Philippines before bringing the troops to the Battle of Okinawa.

On his return trip stateside, Stroud sailed on the USS J. Franklin Bell and saved the ship and members aboard from a potential disaster when he identified a mine in the water and alerted the crew so they could turn the ship away from the explosive device. For his efforts to protect the ship, Stroud was invited to dine with the ship’s commander and he remembers the menu.

“We had porkchops,” Stroud fondly remembered “and English peas. I’ll never forget that. And I love English peas today.”

Stroud returned to Arkansas and reunited with his family including his four-month-old son. In the years that followed he and his wife had three more children and Stroud bought and ran a successful business.

“I am grateful for Robert Stroud’s dedication and service to our nation. His memories of his military service are an important part of our history and I am pleased to be able to collect and preserve his stories,” Boozman said.

Boozman submitted Stroud’s entire interview to the Veterans History Project, an initiative of the Library of Congress’s American Folklife Center to collect and retain the oral histories of our nation’s veterans. 

 

News Release - Arkansas State Police Public Affairs Office | Contact Information: (501) 618 - 8232| asp.pio@asp.arkansas.gov

FATAL CRASH UNDER INVESTIGATION FOLLOWING EARLIER TRAFFIC STOP

 Arkansas State Troopers assigned to the department’s Highway Patrol Division and Criminal Investigation Division has been investigating a fatal motor vehicle crash sixteen miles west of Forrest City (St. Francis County).  The 44 year-old man killed in the crash was a suspect who had earlier fled from state troopers during a Lonoke County traffic stop.

  At 10:37 AM June 22, a state trooper stopped a late model Chrysler sedan and during the course of the traffic stop the driver fled eastbound along Interstate 40 at the 183 mile marker.

  A pursuit of the suspect by state police continued until the trooper lost visual contact with the vehicle.

  Nearly an hour later the suspect vehicle was observed traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes of Interstate 40 and moments later at 11:31 AM state troopers responded to the report of a head-on crash involving four vehicles at the 257 mile marker.  The suspect wanted from the traffic stop was pronounced dead at the scene.  Four vehicles were involved in the crash and at least four individuals not related to the suspect vehicle were injured, one believed to be in serious condition, but stable when he was airlifted from the crash scene.

  Additional information will be released once next of kin have been notified and will be provided at the Arkansas State Police Preliminary Fatal Crash Summary web site.

 

JUNE 21, 2018

DR. KAREN LANDRY NAMED NEW CHAIR OF DEPT.OF  NURSING AT SOUTHERN ARKANSAS UNIVERSITY

MAGNOLIA – Dr. Karen Landry of Texarkana, Texas, has been named chair of the Department of Nursing at Southern Arkansas University.

In making the announcement Wednesday, Dr. David Lanoue, provost and vice president for academic affairs, said, “We are delighted that Dr. Landry has chosen to come to SAU. She has a wealth of experience as a successful nursing educator, and a clear passion for training the next generation of nurses in southern Arkansas. She is energetic, positive and very student-centered. She will be a great leader for our nursing department.”

Landry is a native of Louisiana. She received both her BS and MS in Nursing from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana, and her PhD in Nursing from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas. She presently serves as department chair and director of nursing at Texas A&M University-Texarkana, Texas, where she is accountable for the planning, implementation and evaluation of the professional education program. She also assists the college dean in designated college initiatives.

She has also served as an assistant professor in graduate and undergraduate studies in the College of Nursing at the Texas A&M Health Science Center, and as a Registered Nurse at the Louisiana State University Health Science Center in Shreveport, Louisiana.  In addition, Dr. Landry served as associate professor (tenured) at Northwestern State University prior to her retirement in 2009.

“I am honored and excited to be selected to lead Southern Arkansas University’s Department of Nursing,” Landry said.  “The Department has such a rich history of educating exceptional, professional nurses, and I am grateful to continue this nursing legacy.”

She said her primary focus will be “to strengthen the educational framework for preparing professional nurses. This continues the legacy of commitment demonstrated by SAU and the community.”

She expects that the program will flourish and expand in the near future. “My vision is for the department to be an active partner with organizations within this community, region, state, and globally to improve healthcare outcomes. “

Landry said she is excited to bring to SAU more than 35 years’ nursing experience and more than 23 years’ academic experience. “I am so excited to be a part of this wonderful community known as Magnolia, Arkansas.” She is the daughter of Mrs. Ann Ainsworth and the late Bobby L. Ainsworth, longtime members of the Magnolia community.

JUNE 19, 2018

SAAC ANNOUNCES THEATRE CAMP/PENGUIN PROJECT CROSSOVER OPORTUNITY
The South Arkansas Arts Center will offer students a unique opportunity to participate in two musical theatre experiences as the summer comes to a close and registration is now open at the SAAC office. The MTI Broadway Junior production of "Honk, JR." will grace the stage for both a week-long Theatre Camp as well as the 2018 Penguin Project.

Students in grades 2-9 can sign up now for "Honk, JR." Theatre Camp, scheduled for July 23-27. Grades 2-5 will attend from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., and grades 6-9 will attend from 1 to 5 p.m., with both groups invited for a camp orientation July 14 from 10 a.m. to 12 pm., and a performance for families on Friday evening at 6 p.m.

After the curtain closes on the camp production, SAAC will launch our first-ever crossover production, by again staging "Honk, JR.", this time as the 2018 Penguin Project, with Theatre Camp actors and other interested kids ages 12 and up invited to participate as mentors. Penguin will kick off with a week-long Penguin Mini Camp on August 6-10, from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. Rehearsals will begin the following week, culminating in ticketed performances on September 14 and 15.

"We hope that as many theatre campers as possible will consider staying with us as mentors for the Penguin Project production as well," said SAAC Executive Director Laura Allen. "This gives them the opportunity to get to know the project as actors first, which means they will be even better equipped to work with the special needs artists during the Penguin Project, building stronger relationships along the way."

The Penguin Project allows children with special needs to perform in a live stage production, in front of an audience, from its starring roles to its ensemble. Each special-needs artist is paired with a mentor of similar age, who guides them through the production from start to finish, helping them learn lines, dances, songs, and stage blocking. The children operate as a symbiotic pair throughout the entire process and appear on stage together.

Started by Dr. Andy Morgan, a pediatrician who specializes in the care of children with special needs who has also been actively involved in community theatre, The Penguin Project began 11 years ago in Peoria, Illinois. Today, the program has been spread to 7 locations across the country, including the South Arkansas Arts Center.

"We are so excited to be welcoming The Penguin Project back to the SAAC stage in 2018," said Allen. "While we know not every camper will be able to participate as a mentor, and not all our mentors will be available for Penguin camp, we love offering the opportunity."

For more information about Theatre Camp, sponsored by First Financial Bank, or the Penguin Project, sponsored by LANXESS, please call the SAAC office at 870-862-5474 or visit the SAAC website at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas. SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas.

FORDYCE M*A*S*H 2018
Six junior and senior high-school students from Calhoun, Dallas and Ouachita counties are attending a Medical Applications of Science for Health (M*A*S*H) camp June 11-22 at the Dallas County Medical Center in Fordyce. The students and their instructor are Dana Smith, Director of Pharmacy at DCMC and M*A*S*H coordinator, Kayli Heigelmann of Bearden, Carrington Word of Bearden, Kaylee Humphries of Fordyce, Tymber Hodnett of Hampton, Maurion Waller of Fordyce, and Jasmine Luna of Fordyce.

The two-week summer medical enrichment experience allows these high school students to shadow health professionals and attend workshops that enhance their experiences in the health-care field. They learn about pharmacy, therapy, CPR, anatomy, surgery, emergency medical response and other medical careers. The program hopes to encourage rural youth interested in medical fields to continue their education and then return to rural areas to work.

M*A*S*H students are sponsored by county Farm Bureaus and the M*A*S*H Partnership, which includes the University of Arkansas for Medical Science’s Regional Centers, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Arkansas Farm Bureau and Baptist Health. Arkansas Farm Bureau is a nonprofit, private farm and rural advocacy organization of more than 190,000 families throughout the state working to improve farm and rural life

 

SAAC ANNOUNCES CAST FOR SINGIN' IN THE RAIN

The South Arkansas Arts Center announces the cast for its summer musical production, the iconic and ever popular "Singin' in the Rain", sponsored by Murphy USA. The musical will run July 12-15 and 18-22.

Congratulations to the talented cast which includes many SAAC stage veterans and familiar faces. Alexander Jeffery can be seen as the suave Hollywood leading man Don Lockwood, originally portrayed by Gene Kelly. Brandon Wallace will play Cosmo Brown, Don's wacky and playful best friend and former dance partner. Laura Purvis portrays the upcoming, strong-willed actress Kathy Seldon, who emerges as Don's saving grace in his talkies. Hali Pinson will be featured as Lina Lamont, a tone-deaf singer who fails to transfer from silent films and causes Don great distress. Successful, magnanimous, film producer R. F. Simson will be played by Corey Sublett, high strung, frustrated director Roscoe Dexter by Mike Means, and young starlet and Lina's best friend Zelda Zanders by Lainey Walthall.

The show also features Don Lockwood and Cosmo Brown throughout their lives. Meredith Stone and Rusty Orrell will portray Don and Cosmo in their Vaudeville years, respectively. Maggie Meyer and Jace Waters will play young Don and Cosmo in their childhood years. Rounding out the cast will be Hannah Davis, Abby Cate, Brandy Walthall, Savannah Reynolds and Addie Bosanko.

The ensemble is filled by Brooklyn Alexander, Armani Amos, Lyric Amos, Thomas Brewster, Carmelo Brown, Alex Brummett, Kenny Burns, Emma Daniel, Josie Denson, Tiffanie Duke, Blake Goff, Bill Meyer, Madelyn Poss, Holland Ruff, Steve Shofner, Bob Stephenson and Justin Yates.

Director Lisa Newton is thrilled about her cast and said, "I'm having such a great time directing this production. We have a diverse cast, full of fresh faces to the stage and returning SAAC actors."

"Singin' in the Rain", called the "Greatest Movie Musical of All Time" is faithfully and lovingly adapted by Broadway legends, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, from their original award-winning screenplay.
Each unforgettable scene, song and dance is accounted for, including the show-stopping title number, complete with an onstage rainstorm! Hilarious situations, snappy dialogue and a hit-parade score of Hollywood standards make "Singin' in the Rain" the perfect entertainment for any fan of the golden age of movie musicals.

For more information about "Singin' in the Rain", please call the SAAC office at 870-862-5474 or visit the website at www.saac-arts.org. SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas.


CHANCE ENCOUNTER LEADS TO SUCCESSFUL BANKING CAREER FOR NEW PEOPLE'S BANK PRESIDENT
MAGNOLIA – One could say that Jamie Waller’s career in banking began with a crime.

Not a crime on his part, of course. Instead, it was one Jamie was trying to stop.

As a senior in his last semester in college at Southern Arkansas University, Jamie was working at Stage one evening when someone ran out of the store with some merchandise.

Jamie made a split decision – he ran after the shoplifter with the intention of retrieving the merchandise.

As he ran across the parking lot, he bumped into a shopper exiting what was then Kroger’s. That customer just happened to be Todd Smith, then president of People’s Bank.

“He told me if I ever needed a job, to give him a call,” Jamie tells the story now with a laugh.

Jamie took him up on that offer, and the rest, as they say, is history as Jamie Waller was recently named president of Peoples Bank of Magnolia.

The beginning of his career is certainly unique, the type of story the people talk about for years. Yet it was that same admiration for long-time legendary bankers in Magnolia that attracted Jamie to the business from an early age.

“I’ve always had an interest in banking,” explained Jamie. “I’ve always respected bankers as leaders in the community.”

A Magnolia native, Jamie graduated from Magnolia High School in 1999. Growing up, he developed a love for the city and the people who lived in it. Jamie decided to stay close to home and attended SAU. “I felt like I had a better chance to succeed if I remained in the community.”

He began as a marketing major, but then his interests led him to accounting and finance. He graduated from the Rankin College of Business with a degree in general business with an emphasis in finance. Jamie enjoyed his accounting and finance classes, and especially enjoyed the classes taught by Dr. David Ashby, now of Mustard Seed Wealth Management of Magnolia. “I thought Dr. Ashby’s classes helped me understand how the concepts worked.”

He is also a graduate of the Graduate Banking School at Louisiana State University.

Jamie has learned banking through almost every vantage point a bank has to offer. At Peoples Bank, he has worked as a general office assistant, teller, loan clerk, loan assistant and branch manager.

Once an admirer of the bankers in the community, Jamie has been following their examples through his involvement in a number of community groups and activities: he’s the former president of the Arkansas Bankers’ Association Emerging Leaders Board, treasurer of the Magnolia Rotary Club, United Way Board member, Magnolia City Council member, SAU Alumni Association Board member and former president, Magnolia Regional Medical Center treasurer and Board member, and is an official starter for the Magnolia High School track meets.

Jamie and his wife, Caroline, have one daughter, Sloane. Jamie is just as dedicated to being a great husband and father as he is to his career.

“I want to maintain that personal work/life balance so that I can be the dad and husband I want to be and also be the community leader I want to be.”

He learned those values, dedication to family and hard work, from his parents, Sammie and Kay Waller of Magnolia.

“I credit everything I’ve been able to accomplish to them. Without their guidance, I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today,” said Jamie.

It’s those same values that Jamie encourages students to embrace on their quest for career success.

“I didn’t just do what they asked me to do at my jobs – I did more. That will separate you from other employees,” said Jamie, when asked what advice he would give to current students. “You have to work hard and be dedicated, and don’t always just for every greener pasture early in your career. Sometimes loyalty will pay off in the long run.”

Story by Mark Trout, instructor of Marketing at SAU's Rankin College of Business

 

 
 

JUNE 18, 2018

ARKANSAS RECYCLING COALITION TO CONVENE 28TY ANNUAL CONFERENCE AND TRADE SHOW OCTOBER 8-10, 2018
ARC to host annual meeting at The Best Western inn of The Ozarks and Convention Center in Eureka Springs

The Arkansas Recycling Coalition (ARC) will hold its 28th Annual Conference and Trade Show, Monday, October 8, through Wednesday, October 10, at the Best Western Inn of The Ozarks and Convention Center in Eureka Springs.  The theme of this year’s meeting is “Pathways to Sustainability,” and John Bradburn, recently retired from General Motors, will serve as the keynote speaker.  Mr. Bradburn spent 39 years with General Motors before retiring in March of this year.  His last 22 years with GM was as global manager of waste-reduction efforts.   Several other national speakers will be presenting.

Workshops and sessions will present “Addressing Safety Concerns at your Recycling Centers”;  ”A Focus on Sustainability Programs”;  “Working (across) the Generations”; “Advancing Recycling”; “Waste Recovery Innovations”;  “Keeping your Facility Relevant: New vs. Retrofitting”; ” “Sustainable Living”;  “Tools for Sustainable Materials Management”;  “Solid Waste Planning: What can you do in your Community”;  “Knowledge from the Generations Roundtable” and “The National Sword”.  Attendees will also have opportunities to participate in the annual golf tournament, a bus tour and evening receptions.  The conference also showcases a trade show of exhibitors.

An Awards Luncheon will be held on Tuesday, October 9, to honor the outstanding recyclers in Arkansas.

Continuing Education Units (CEU) are available to participants.  To learn more about this conference or to register go to:  www.recycleark.org or contact the Arkansas Recycling Coalition office at 866-290-1429.

ARKANSAS DELEGATION RESPONDS TO MISCONDUCT AT FAYETTEVILLE VA MEDICAL CENTER

WASHINGTON –U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton along with U.S. Representatives Rick Crawford, French Hill, Steve Womack and Bruce Westerman released the following statement after the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced misconduct by a former VA pathologist at the Fayetteville Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

“This alleged gross negligence by a physician charged with caring for our veterans is a disturbing revelation and a clear failure to uphold the Department of Veterans Affairs mission to the men and women who served our nation in uniform. The errors and reckless actions of this former VA pathologist put the health of our veterans at risk and will not be tolerated.

“Unfortunately, at this time, we don’t know the extent of this doctor’s misconduct. We call on the VA to notify patients whose cases were evaluated by this pathologist to thoroughly and expeditiously review their results so veterans can get the appropriate care they earned. Those impacted deserve nothing less.

“Congress has provided the VA with the tools to remove bad actors. Failing to dismiss physicians and any other employees whose work is unsatisfactory does a disservice to our veterans. We are committed to rigorous oversight to protect the men and women who sacrificed and served our country and will hold those who break the law and undermine the mission of the VA accountable.”

Veterans who have questions or concerns can call 479-582-7995 or 866-388-5428. This call center is staffed by VA nurses specifically to answer questions and address patient concerns about this review process.

JUNE 15, 2018

SAAC SELECTS DIRECTORS FOR PENGUIN PROJECT'S 'HONK, JR.'
After a two year hiatus, the South Arkansas Arts Center announces it will produce a new Penguin Project play, “Honk, Jr.”.  Lynn Gunter, who has directed many times on the SAAC stage, will serve as director for this special project, along with Cassie Hickman, who has worked with SAAC as well, as music director. Sponsored by LANXESS, the production will run September 14 and 15, 2018.

"I love working with children,” Gunter said.  “They are capable of great quality theatre when they are encouraged, instructed, pushed, stretched, and held accountable. Through that process, seeing a child rise up to the potential they know they have and seeing the pride they hold in their eyes from such hard work motivates me to work hard for them.  It is my strong desire to give young people opportunities to perform in safe surroundings, both in content and influence.  Penguin Project fits right in with that goal." 
 
Gunter is a resident of Huttig, where her husband is pastor of Huttig First Baptist Church.  She is also the K4-12th Grade music teacher for WSCS.  Her favorite productions that she has directed have been "Alice in Wonderland, JR" (2015) with the local homeschool group, "Fiddler on the Roof" (2017) and "The Crucible" (2016) with the SAAC Teen Drama Club, and "Bible Truths with Dr. Seuss" (2018) at WSCS. Gunter has a BA in Speech Communications, traveled the Tri-State and national collegiate circuit in forensics and debate, and has directed 8 productions on the SAAC stage, 4 productions at Westside Christian School, and countless VBS productions in various churches. 
 
Hickman has been involved at SAAC for years, also, having been the music director for many of the area home school productions, including “Alice In Wonderland”, “Into The Woods”,  “Godspell”, “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Music Man”.  Hickman had two years’ experience in theatre in high school and some in college, as well, and also led the musical part of worship services for Cross Life Church for 5 years.  She has a 14 year old daughter who is interested in drama, and that is what brought Hickman back to the theatre.  “I love to see the kids ‘get’ the music and be able to give it back to the audience so they ‘get it’, too.”
 
The Penguin Project is a unique opportunity for children with special needs to perform in a live stage production in front of an audience. Through targeted outreach, special needs children are recruited as artists and cast in the production, from starring roles to ensemble. Each special-needs artist is paired with a mentor of similar age, who guides them through the production from start to finish, helping them learn lines, dances, songs, and blocking. The children operate as a pair throughout the entire process and appear on stage together, resulting in a full theatrical performance, with costumes, sets, and music.
 
 
For more information about Penguin Project or this production, please call the SAAC office at 870-862-5474 or visit the website at www.saac-arts.org.  SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas.
 
Penguin Project Director Lynn Gunter (left) and Music Director Cassie Hickman (right)
 

JUNE 14, 2018

 

GRIFFIN SELECTS ARKANSAS CHEF TO COMPETEIN LOUISIANA'S GREAT AMERICAN SEAFOOD COOK-OFF

Says, event 'helps promote Arkansas tourism and showcase Arkansas's culinary excellence to the rest of the nation'

 

 LITTLE ROCK – Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin today announced that he has selected chef Maudie Schmitt to represent Arkansas in the 2018 Great American Seafood Cook-off in New Orleans, Louisiana, on August 4, 2018. Schmitt, who was born in New Orleans, is the chef and co-owner of Cafe Rue Orleans in Fayetteville, which opened in January 2001. 

 

"I am excited for chef Maudie Schmitt to represent Arkansas at the Great American Seafood Cook-off. Arkansans already know we have great food, but this event helps promote Arkansas tourism and showcase Arkansas's culinary excellence to the rest of the nation. In 2016 we had a number of enthusiastic Arkansans travel to New Orleans to show their support for Arkansas's culinary excellence, and I hope even more will join me this year."

 

In 2016, Lieutenant Governor Griffin nominated head chef John Munday and sous chef Marshall Smith from Samantha's Tap Room and Wood Grill of Little Rock. The competitors from Samantha's took home 2nd place at the competition. 

 

No Arkansas taxpayer dollars will be spent toward Arkansas's participation in the cook-off. Arkansas's chef will be responsible for all of her own expenses, including travel, accommodations, and the cost of ingredients. 

 

 

About Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin

 

Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin was elected on November 4, 2014. From 2011-2015, Griffin served as the 24th representative of Arkansas’s Second Congressional District. For the 113th Congress, he was a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means while also serving as a Deputy Whip for the Majority. In the 112th Congress, he served as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the House Committee on the Judiciary.

 

Griffin is a graduate of Magnolia High School, Hendrix College in Conway and Tulane Law School in New Orleans, and attended graduate school at Oxford University. He has served in the U.S. Army Reserve for 20 years, was deployed to Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Lieutenant Colonel Griffin is currently pursuing a master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. He also served as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas and Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Political Affairs for President George W. Bush. Griffin lives in Little Rock with his wife Elizabeth, a Camden native, and their three children.

 

News Release - Arkansas State Police Public Affairs Office | Contact Information: (501) 618 - 8232| asp.pio@asp.arkansas.gov

ANNUAL STATE POLICE AWARDS CEREMONY: TROOPER LEVI FLEMING RECEIVES TOP HONORS, OTHERS RECOGNIZED
JUNE 13, 2018

 

 

 

(LITTLE ROCK) – Trooper Levi Fleming,Governor Asa Hutchinson (from left), Trooper Levi Fleming, Trooper of the Year, Arkansas State Police Director, Colonel Bill Bryant 26, of Brinkley, was presented the prestigious Arkansas State Trooper of the Year Award today during the annual state police awards ceremony.

  Trooper Fleming was among a group of more than 30 Arkansas State Police personnel recognized today for cumulative work or assignments involving particular incidents during the 2017 calendar year.

 

The recipient of the Trooper of the Year Award personifies the highest standards of public service and has demonstrates a record of esteemed law enforcement action.

Trooper Fleming, a four-year veteran of the department, was specifically recognized for his January 21, 2017 action in response to a disturbance call at a DeValls Bluff residence.  An intoxicated individual had forced his way into the residence, armed himself with a shotgun, and doused a portion of the garage and himself with gasoline.  While Trooper Fleming was present, the individual then ignited a fire which consumed the individual and a portion of the garage.

 Trooper Fleming armed himself with a fire extinguisher, activated the device and entered the garage, successfully extricating the victim who had sustained serious burns across more than forty percent of his body.

Trooper Fleming was also among eight state troopers today to receive the department’s life saving award.

Kim McJunkins, 55, of Hempstead County, was presented the Arkansas State Police Civilian Employee of the Year Award.  McJunkins joined the department twenty-eight years ago and serves today as an administrative specialist for the Criminal Investigation Division, Company C, headquartered at Hope.

McJunkins was recognized for her cumulative record of service, in particular for her work in case research, management of the administrative duties within Company C, and her most recent training assignments related to the implementation of the division’s new records/case management system. 

Other award recipients recognized today are:

 Distinguished Meritorious Service – (The highest award presented by the department for meritorious service or clearly outstanding achievement.)
Special Agent (Sergeant) Larry J. Carter, 44, of Atkins, was presented the Distinguished Meritorious Service Award for his efforts on May 11, 2017 in Yell County when he negotiated with a man suspected of killing three individuals, including a sheriff’s deputy.  S/A Carter was able to arrange the release of a hostage during the encounter and the eventual surrender of the suspect to state troopers and local authorities.

Special Agent (Corporal) Becky Vacco, 43, of Flippin, was presented the Distinguished Meritorious Service Award for her cumulative work across three north Arkansas counties between September 21, 2017 – February 1, 2018 involving the murder of a 23-month old child and the battery of two other infant children.  S/A Vacco successfully closed the cases with the conviction of the individuals responsible for the crimes.

Trooper’s Cross – (*Presented to a trooper or civilian employee who demonstrates extraordinary courage.
Trooper Justin Williams, 37, of Pine Bluff, was presented the Trooper’s Cross for his valiant effort to save a woman whose vehicle had been engulfed by fire following a collision.  Without regard for his own life as flames ignited part of his uniform, Trooper Williams persisted in finding a means to eventually pull the woman from the burning car.

Lifesaving – (*Presented to a trooper or civilian employee who through direct personal intervention, sustains another person’s life.)
Sergeant David Williams, 44, of DeValls Bluff, received a lifesaving award for his aid to a fellow trooper who had entered a burning garage to save an armed intruder.

Sergeant Jeff Plouch, 37, of Benton, received a lifesaving award for his rapid response after noticing the passenger in a vehicle he had stopped was unresponsive and appeared to be in cardiac arrest, possibly from a heroin overdose.  Sergeant Plouch administered a lifesaving drug (Naloxone) and began chest compressions to assist the victim until emergency personnel arrived.

Corporal Benjamin Harrison, 51, of Pencil Bluff, received a lifesaving award for his response to assist another law enforcement agency and their officers who had encountered an individual who appeared to be unconscious from a drug overdose.  Trooper Harrison administered Naloxone to the individual and was able to revive the victim while awaiting the arrival of emergency medical personnel.

Corporal Brandon Cook, 53, of Malvern, received a lifesaving award for his response to an attempted suicide in Garland County.  Upon his arrival he entered a lake, swimming nearly sixty yard to rescue the woman who had jumped into the lake.

Corporal David Outlaw, 41, of Monticello and Trooper Lukas Tankersley, 24, of Lake Village both received life saving awards for saving the life of a Monticello gunshot victim.  Both troopers used their training to stop the loss of blood from the victim and provide medical care until the arrival of emergency medical personnel.

 Trooper First Class Chris Aaron, 35, of Almyra, received a lifesaving award for his assessment of an Arkansas county man who had sustained an accidental gunshot.  Realizing that waiting for emergency medical assistance may further endanger the life of the victim, Trooper Aaron exercised his training to control the loss of blood and stabilize the victim, then transported to individual to a local hospital.

Official Commendations (*Presented for acts of exemplary service and awarded before the Arkansas State Police Commission during the course of 2017 prior to the today’s ceremony.  Supporting information available upon request.)
Major Forrest Marks 
Highway Patrol Division, Western Region Commander
 

Special Agent (Corporal) Mark Brice
Criminal Investigation Division, Company E
Corporal Todd Harris


Highway Patrol Division, Troop C (Greene County)
Special Agent (Corporal) Jackie Stinnett


Criminal Investigation Division, Company E
Special Agent (Corporal) David Small


Criminal Investigation Division, Company E
Special Agent (Corporal) Tony Haley


Criminal Investigation Division, Company E
Corporal Michael Bowman


Highway Patrol Division, Troop H (Crawford County)
Trooper First Class Kurt Ziegenhorn


Highway Patrol Division, Troop D (Woodruff County)
Trooper First Class Corey Skarda


Highway Patrol Division, Troop D (Prairie County)
Trooper First Class Andy Metcalf


Highway Patrol Division, Troop C (Greene County)
Trooper First Class Derek Nietert


Highway Patrol Division, Troop H (Franklin County)
Trooper First Class Matt Price


Highway Patrol Division, Troop H (Crawford County)
Special Agent (TFC) Buster Rinks


Criminal Investigation Division, Company E
Trooper First Class Mark Blackerby


Highway Patrol Division, Troop A (Lonoke County)
Trooper Ben Ibarra


Highway Patrol Division, Troop H (Franklin County)
Trooper James Taylor


Highway Patrol Division, Troop D (Prairie County)
Trooper Gabe Monroe

Highway Patrol Division, Troop A (Pulaski County)
Trooper Jason Fagan

Highway Patrol Division, Troop C (Poinsett County)
Trooper Matthew Schanzlin

Highway Patrol Division, Troop F (Ouachita County)
Trooper Steven Payton

Highway Patrol Division, Troop D (Crittenden County)
Trooper Matthew West

Highway Patrol Division, Troop D (Saint Francis County)
Trooper Josh Elmore

Highway Patrol Division, Troop H (Crawford County)
Trooper Andrew Pannell

Highway Patrol Division, Troop B (White County)
Daniel Baker (administrative headquarters, auto shop mechanic)

Distinguished Service Award – (*Presented to local citizens at large or law enforcement officers of another agency who have rendered aid to Arkansas State Troopers during the course of their duties.

Clifton Cabaness, Sr. and Clifton Cabaness Jr., both of Fort Smith received Distinguished Service Awards for stopping to assist an Arkansas State Trooper and their effort to seize one suspect and render aid to the trooper who had been met with resistance by a second suspect.

Joe Johnson, of Lonsdale, received the Distinguished Service Award for his roadside stop and assistance to a state trooper being met with resistance by a suspect being taken into custody.

Terry Davis, of Pine Bluff, received the Distinguished Service Award for coming to the aid of an Arkansas State Trooper who battled fire that had engulfed a damaged car and its driver trapped inside the vehicle.

 Ranotta Moser, of Batesville, received the Distinguished Service Award for her heroic life saving measures following a shooting incident that left a Batesville police officer critically wounded.

BOOZMAN PRAISES COMMITTEE PASSAGE OF FARM BILL
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) released the following statement after joining his colleagues on the Senate Agriculture Committee to approve the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, which is commonly referred to as the Farm Bill:

“The farm economy is in a much different place than the last time the committee gathered around the table to debate a Farm Bill.

Net farm income is approximately half of what it was then; farm bankruptcies are up by 39 percent since 2014; financing is becoming more expensive; input costs are rising; and the trade outlook is volatile and uncertain.

Farmers, across the country—regardless of which state they reside in and what crops they grow—are hurting. As members of this committee, we must produce a Farm Bill in a timely manner to provide certainty to the folks who feed and clothe our nation and the world.

I commend the leadership of Chairman Roberts and Ranking Member Stabenow. They had a heavy lift to find common ground amongst the committee. The overwhelming bipartisan support at the mark-up shows they were successful in drafting a Farm Bill that meets the diverse needs of producers across all regions of the country.”

JUNE 13, 2018

NEW FIELD EXPERIENCES COURSE AT SAU GIVES STUDENTS CHANCE TO TRAVEL, FORGE FRIENDSHIPS
MAGNOLIA – A new Field Experiences course at Southern Arkansas University this spring sent 10 students embarking on a six-day adventure through national parks in West Texas and New Mexico.

The students prepared for their expeditions to Guadalupe National Park, Carlsbad Caverns and Big Bend National Park for four months during the lecture portion of the class, which was held for the first time ever this past spring.

“The course was set up to be very democratic,” said Dr. Kate Sheehan, assistant professor of biology. Students made recommendations, voiced their concerns, and voted on the locations and activities for the 2018 trip.

Field Experiences is designed to give students a collegiate experience in which they get to know one another and make new friends while planning for an outdoor trip. “They decided which parks they would like to visit and which hikes we’d do,” Sheehan said. “I gave recommendations, but if they had a preference for something else, then we made modifications.”

The students, along with two chaperones, hiked Guadalupe Peak, a trek of more than 8 miles round-trip, and camped in the national park. They then drove to Carlsbad Caverns – which was physically cooler than being in the desert – and from there journeyed to Big Bend, where they camped. The trip included horseback riding, canoeing and swimming in the Rio Grande. Students drew on the many components they researched during the in-class section of the course.

They were able to plan in advance things they wanted to experience and observe, Sheehan said. “Some wanted to find fossils in the desert, others wanted to find certain organisms or wildlife, others wanted to view certain constellations,” she said. “The possibilities were limitless.”

The expedition rented cars and drove hours to Guadalupe, the site of the first hike.

“The desert was so much bigger than the students had imagined,” Sheehan said. “It was my first time traveling to these parks, too, so we all had a bit of a learning curve,” she laughed. “It was an eye-opening experience.”

Two documentary-style videos were made of the trip, as well as a mixed-media collage, all of which were presented to the public at SAU. “They had a week to put everything together for their presentations when we got back.”

“The course is not open to just science or biology students,” she said. “I want the next course to have students from the different colleges involved. I would love to take students from the College of Liberal and Performing Arts. I want them to be exposed to different approaches, different modes of thought.”

She said the students on this year’s trip forged new friendships. “It was an amazing thing to see.”

The SAU Foundation, the College of Science and Engineering and the SAU Office of the President helped fund the trip, and some fund-raising was also done by the students. “One-hundred percent of the cost was covered,” she said. “Students only paid out of pocket for food.”

She thanked SAU for sponsoring the trip and looks forward to next year’s outing.

Participating students were: Ashley Albrecht, a junior majoring in Marine Biology, of Hot Springs, Arkansas; Kira Gibbs, a senior majoring in Wildlife Biology & Conservation, of Lonoke, Arkansas; Alexandria Hunter, a sophomore majoring in Biological Science, of Arkadelphia, Arkansas; Allysia Hurt, a senior majoring in Marine Biology, of Hope, Arkansas; Luke Lockeby, a junior majoring in Engineering, of Mineral Springs, Arkansas; Megan McClellan, a junior majoring in Wildlife Biology & Conservation, of Cabot, Arkansas; Sarah (Brooke) Morris, a senior majoring in Agricultural Science: Plant Science, of Annona, Texas; Emily Phillips, a senior majoring in Wildlife Biology & Conservation, of Elkins, Arkansas; Catherine Sanchez, a senior majoring in Marine Biology, of Little Rock, Arkansas; and Sara Seay, a senior majoring in Agricultural Science: Animal Science, of Atascadero, California.

Anyone interested in contributing to the 2019 trip would be able to do so via next year’s SAU Giving Day, when Muleriders unite and support SAU. Students interested in applying for the 2019 trip are asked to visit http://sites.saumag.edu/fieldexperiences/?page_id=30.

JUNE 12, 2018

 

ADE TO HOST MY SCHOOL INFO TRAINING SESSIONS 
LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Department of Education invites educators, students, parents and the public to participate in one of two upcoming in-depth training sessions for the My School Info website. 

Launched in November 2016, My School Info is an online website that reports school and district data, such as enrollment, testing and financial information. The site allows users to compare schools and districts, analyze trends over multiple years, and view the School Performance Reports and Every Student Succeeds Act School Index report.

Since ADE posted the interactive ESSA School Index reports and school ratings data in April, the number of total website page views has dramatically increased to more than 674,000.

“My School Info continues to evolve to include more data and features that can be used to make informed decisions about education,” Dr. Eric Saunders, ADE’s assistance commissioner for Research and Technology, said. “These upcoming sessions give attendees the opportunity to dig deeper into the system and better understand how to access important data that can guide conversations about education around the state."

To register to attend one of the free sessions, please click the link below.



PARK SERVICE AGREES BUTTERFIELD OVERLAND TRAIL WORTHY OF NATIONAL RECOGNITION, PRESERVATION
WASHINGTON—
U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) announced that the National Park Service (NPS) has determined the trail that carried the longest stagecoach operation in history, which traveled through a significant portion of Arkansas, meets the requirements to become a national historic trail.

NPS concluded the Butterfield Overland Trail meets the requirements after conducting a study to evaluate the significance, feasibility, suitability and desirability of designating the routes associated with it as a national historic trail. The study was required by a provision of Public Law 111-11 that was authored by Boozman during his tenure as Congressman for the Third District of Arkansas in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“The first overland transcontinental mail by stagecoach was carried on the Butterfield Trail. The trail played an important role in our nation’s westward expansion and certainly made major contributions to the development and settlement of Arkansas during its short time in existence. I am pleased to see the National Park Service agrees those contributions merit preservation for future generations,” Boozman said.

From 1858-1861, the Butterfield Overland Mail Company held a U.S. Mail contract to transport mail and passengers between the eastern termini of St. Louis and Memphis and the western terminus of San Francisco. 

It became known as the “ox-bow route” due to its curved path comprised of approximately 3,553 miles of trail routes in eight states: Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

The routes from St. Louis and Memphis merged in Fort Smith and the Butterfield Overland Express stagecoaches traveled through much of the state. Stagecoaches made stops between Memphis and Fort Smith in St. Francis, Prairie, Lonoke, Faulkner, Conway, Pope, Yell, Logan and Franklin counties. The northwestern route that came out of Missouri included stops in Benton, Washington and Crawford counties.

Four segments of the roads that the Butterfield Overland Express traveled over in Arkansas have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Potts home, a well-preserved Arkansas way station for the Butterfield Express, is still standing in Pope County and is maintained as the Potts Inn Museum on Highway 247 by the Pope County Historical Foundation.

Congress must approve the designation before it can become a national historic trail.

RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE CHARITIES OF ARKANSAS ANNOUNCED AS JUNE'S YEAR OF THE GIVING RECIPIENT
Taziki’s Mediterranean Café continues nonprofit campaign
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. –Taziki’s Mediterranean Café continues their Year of Giving by announcing the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas (RMHCA) as  June’s recipient. 

During this yearlong initiative, Taziki’s hopes to inspire the communities they serve to give back. For the month of June, one nonprofit has been selected to receive a percentage of the proceeds from a monthly event.

RMHCA is a locally funded and operated nonprofit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of children and their families by creating and supporting programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children.

“For nearly 40 years, RMHCA has been a pillar in communities from every corner of the state, and Taziki’s is honored to aid in their commitment to children and families in the state of Arkansas,” says Tommy Keet, President of JTJ Restaurants. “At Taziki’s, we strive to promote a healthy lifestyle, and the work that RMHCA does to ensure children are living healthy lives goes hand-in-hand with our core values.”

This year, Taziki’s Year of Giving has also benefitted Women and Children First, ACCESS Schools, Easterseals Arkansas, the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas, The CALL and the Humane Society of Faulkner County.

The event benefitting the RMHCA will be held Tuesday, June 19, from 5-9 p.m. at the Taziki’s location at 8200 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, AR 72227. To learn more about this event, visit the Taziki’s-Cantrell events page on Facebook.


SAAC NAMES COUNSELORS FOR THEATRE CAMP
The South Arkansas Arts Center announces the camp counselors for its summer Theatre Camp. Counselors are Gary Hall, Makenzie Lee and Hannah Davis, all of whom have had many hours in theatre work, especially at SAAC. The summer Theatre Camp is set for July 23-27, for grades 2-9, with a registration deadline of July 11. The Theatre Camp attendees will be producing a fun and lively production of "Honk, JR." from the MTI Broadway Junior series, during the week of camp.

Hall, a veteran of the SAAC stage, has been recently seen as Uncle Fester in "The Addams Family, A New Musical" and Cogsworth in "Beauty and the Beast". He also directed "Sunset Boulevard". Hall has worked on The Penguin Project's theatre productions, a performing experience for children with disabilities.

A recent graduate of Louisiana Tech University's theater program, Hannah Davis has worked on many productions through the years, including a few on SAAC's own stage. Most recently, she was onstage in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" , as well as having directed "Disney's Aristocats JR". At Louisiana Tech, she was smitten with hair, makeup and costume design, and worked in that capacity on many LA Tech productions.

Mackenzie Lee, who hails from Malvern, has recently finished his first year of teaching music at Washington Middle School. He also worked with the kids in WMS's production of "Alice in Wonderland JR.", which he said "was everything a director could hope for." When asked about his involvement in "Honk Jr", Lee said, "It has been a joy working with this town's students. I look forward to being the music director for this show and seeing what kind of talent these kids hold."

Hall said about the production, "If you think you know the story of the Ugly Duckling, you'll find with this show, it's not all it was ‘quacked up' to be. We are working hard and getting all our ducks in a row to be ready to bring this exciting piece to SAAC. The musical was actually written for all ages and plays much like a Disney story through the basic story everyone is familiar with as well as some additions that make it more entertaining and endearing. "

For more information about Theatre Camp, sponsored by First Financial Bank, please call the SAAC office at 870-862-5474 or visit the SAAC website at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas. SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas.


ARKANSAS WOMEN'S HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCES MARY STEENBURGEN AS 2018 CLASS INDUCTEE

NORTH LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame (AWHOF) has announced that Mary Steenburgen will be inducted into the 2018 class. This year’s inductees include eight women and one organization who have made significant contributions to the state and their respective fields, and stand as positive examples for women everywhere.

The inductees will be honored at a special ceremony on Thursday, Aug. 30, at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock.

Academy Award winner Mary Steenburgen has appeared in over 60 films. She is known for her work in the films MELVIN AND HOWARD, WHAT’S EATING GILBERT GRAPE, STEP BROTHERS, and television shows “Justified”, in which she played the diabolical character Katherine Hale. She has also recently appeared in “Orange is the New Black” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm”.

Mary currently stars alongside Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda and Candice Bergen in Paramount Pictures’ BOOK CLUB, which was released in theaters on May 18, 2018. For 4 years, Mary starred alongside Will Forte in FOX’s critically-acclaimed comedy series, “The Last Man On Earth”.

Additional television credits include “30 Rock”, “Bored to Death”, and “Blunt Talk”. Additional film credits include GOIN' SOUTH, TIME AFTER TIME, RAGTIME, PHILADELPHIA, BACK TO THE FUTURE 3, CROSS CREEK, MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S SEX COMEDY, MISS FIRECRACKER, THE PROPOSAL, ELF, DIRTY GIRL (for which she co-wrote the song, RAINBIRD, with Melissa Manchester), FOUR CHRISTMASES, THE HELP, and LAST VEGAS.

Partial theater credits include Holiday (London’s Old Vic, directed by Lindsay Anderson), Candida, Marvin’s Room, The Beginning of August, The Exonerated.  Mary is proud to be a company member of New York’s Atlantic Theater.

Mary is a songwriter for Universal Music Publishing Group. She has collaborated with many acclaimed songwriters including Matraca Berg, Troy Verges, Jeremy Spillman, Luke Laird, Lori McKenna, Caitlyn Smith, Lucie Silvas, John Osborne and many others. She is currently writing the music for the animated film version of the book The Underneath and wrote the end credit song for the upcoming feature film WILD ROSE.

Other inductees previously announced in the 2018 class include:

Dr. Carolyn F. Blakely - a lifelong educator and chancellor emeritus at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. She developed the Honors College at the university and served as Dean. At the request of students, it was renamed in her honor. Her contributions to the community, education, and civic organizations have impacted countless individuals in Arkansas and beyond.

Karen Flake - president and CEO of Mount St. Mary Academy; founder of Karen Flake & Associates providing market research and consulting; supported the state’s economic development on the Arkansas Development and Finance Authority board; and honored for years of volunteerism and community service.

Dr. Sue Griffin - a professor and editor-in-chief whose tireless research on Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions has led to significant breakthroughs in the early detection and treatment of Alzheimer’s.

Raye Jean Jordan Montague - an engineer and graphics design trailblazer in the U.S. Navy credited with the first computer-generated rough draft of a U.S. naval ship. She was recognized by NBC’s Good Morning America as a “hidden figure” in science and computing for the U.S. Navy. After her 30-year naval career, Montague is now a mentor, volunteer and motivational speaker in Little Rock.

Annabelle Davis Clinton Imber Tuck - the first woman elected to the Arkansas Supreme Court. As a chancery and probate judge, she made the first ruling in the Lake View school district case, which would eventually reshape the financing of public education in Arkansas. In her retirement, she advocates for fair access to the legal system through the Arkansas Access to Justice Commission.

Historic Inductees
Bessie Grace Boehm Moore - (1902 - 1995) an educator, civic leader, and force of nature, Moore advocated for a robust library system in Arkansas and beyond, piloted a program for economic education in public schools, and created the Ozark Folk Center State Park.

Florence Beatrice Smith Price - (1887 - 1953) the first African-American female composer to have a work played by a major American symphony orchestra. Her composition, Symphony in E Minor, was performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1933. It was also performed at the Chicago World’s Fair as part of the Century of Progress Exhibition.

JUNE 11, 2018

TYSON RECALL
Tyson Foods Inc. - one of the nation's top chicken and beef processors - is recalling more than 3,000 pounds of frozen breaded chicken products that may be contaminated, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced on Friday.

The frozen, uncooked and breaded chicken tenderloins being recalled, which may be contaminated with blue and clear soft plastics, were produced on May 17, 2018. The affected products include 12-pound boxes of 3-pound plastic bags of tenderloins, with the lot code 1378NLR02.

There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions from eating the chicken, the USDA said. Those concerned about an injury or illness are encouraged to contact a healthcare provider. The affected products should be thrown away.


ARKADELPHIA M*A*S*H 2018
Twelve junior and senior high-school students from Clark, Hot Spring, Pike, and Ouachita counties are attending a Medical Applications of Science for Health (M*A*S*H) camp June 4-15 at Baptist Health Medical Center in Arkadelphia. The students and their instructor are (left of sign) Maty Burton of Bismarck, Kylie Shackelford of Arkadelphia, Hannah Fenocchi of Arkadelphia, Allison Adkison of Arkadelphia, Jaydon Waters of Camden, Nikki Hutcherson of Delight; (right of sign) Austin Nance of Camden, Rance Turner of Kirby, Grace Burnett of Pearcy, Veronika Sagastume of Camden, Katlyn Kadrmas of Amity, Cassidy Terrell of Murfreesboro, and Stacey Davis, camp coordinator, Baptist Health Medical Center.

The two-week summer medical enrichment experience allows high school students to shadow health professionals and attend workshops that enhance their experiences in the health-care field. They learn about pharmacy, therapy, CPR, anatomy, surgery, emergency medical response and much more. The program hopes to encourage rural youth interested in medical fields to continue their education and then return to rural areas to work.

M*A*S*H students are sponsored by county Farm Bureaus and the M*A*S*H Partnership, which includes the University of Arkansas for Medical Science’s Regional Centers, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Arkansas Farm Bureau and Baptist Health. Arkansas Farm Bureau is a nonprofit, private farm and rural advocacy organization of more than 190,000 families throughout the state working to improve farm and rural life.

FROM FIRST FINANCIAL BANK WILL HELP SAU REALIZE PLANS TO RESTORE POULTRY STUDIES 
MAGNOLIA Plans for bringing poultry studies back to Southern Arkansas University are taking shape with the commitment of $100,000 toward the project by First Financial Bank of El Dorado, Arkansas.

Dr. Trey Berry, president of SAU, thanked First Financial for its commitment, praising the partnership as unique in the state. First Financial has been a longtime supporter of the poultry industry, a passion that now coincides with SAU’s desire to restore the program to its curriculum.

SAU had its beginning as one of four state agricultural high schools and will revive poultry studies “in a larger way than it was before,” Berry said. The University is developing a new poultry complex to improve instruction and to create more candidates for jobs in Arkansas.

“We are excited about this possibility for our agriculture students,” Berry said. “There will be nothing like this in our region.”

Dr. Jeffry Miller, Ralph Boulware Professor of Agriculture and chair of the Department of Agriculture, said the University is interested in creating a complex that will allow students to observe and interact with different aspects of poultry production.

“This will be a first-class facility that will better educate our students and enhance our agriculture program,” Miller said. “It will improve the training we offer our students and better prepare them for the job market.”

“This facility will allow instruction in every step of the process, from breeder to hatchery, from broiler to processing, and will reach a wide range of students,” Miller said. The building will also contain a feed storage room and a classroom/laboratory.

“As one of the nation’s largest poultry lenders, First Financial Bank is proud to partner with SAU in its poultry studies program,” said Chris Hegi, CEO. “For more than 30 years, it has been our privilege to support those who grow and harvest the food that ends up on our dining tables. This new program will be a great asset to SAU and to the agricultural industry nationwide, providing hands-on training and education that is unique in this part of Arkansas.”

Miller said the unit would cost about $1 million. “We are reaching out to poultry companies,” he said. “Our program will benefit employers by expanding the available workforce. Part of our mission as educators is to graduate students who will stay in our state. We need to not only keep the industry stable but also grow it.”

Opportunities are still available for those interested in partnering with SAU on the project. Contact the SAU Division of Advancement at 870-235-4078.

ARKANSAS IMPROVES IN MANUFACTURING, HUMAN CAPITAL
MUNCIE, Indiana -- Arkansas improved from "C" to "C+" in manufacturing and "D-" to "D" in human capital, says the  2018  Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card released today by the Ball State Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) and Conexus Indiana.

Arkansas maintained the grade of "A" in its benefits costs; "C" in logistics, diversification, and liability gap; "D+" in global position; "D-" in tax climate; and "F" in productivity and innovation.

Arkansas experienced an improvement in high school graduation rate between 2015 and 2016, the report said.

“U.S. manufacturing and logistics are in a remarkable period of expansion,” said CBER Director Michael Hicks, George and Frances Ball Distinguished Professor of Economics and Business Research.

The report, released at the Conexus Indiana breakfast event co-hosted with the Indianapolis Business Journal titled, “Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics: Indiana’s Innovation Economy – Exploring Transportation Megatrends”, features an annual scorecard comparison of advanced manufacturing and logistics health among U.S. states.

The 2018 Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card was written by Hicks and Srikant Devaraj, CBER’s research assistant professor. The reports can be downloaded from the CBER website at http://conexus.cberdata.org/.

JUNE 8, 2018

ARKANSAS ENERGY PERFORMANCE CONTRACTING (AEPC) SUMMIT 2018
NORTH LITTLE ROCK—Energy service providers will join representatives of Arkansas state agencies, colleges, universities, cities, counties, and municipal utilities on Tuesday, June 19, for the Arkansas Energy Performance Contracting (AEPC) Summit 2018. The event is hosted by the Arkansas Advanced Energy Association in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality Energy Office at Heifer International in the Heifer Village Conference Room from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Program highlights include the following:

  • Welcome remarks by ADEQ Director Becky Keogh
  • Energy service provider and contractor exhibits
  • Step-by-step guidance from program managers
  • Panel discussion with program participants
  • Panel discussion with solar energy experts

The AEPC program is a key cost-saving tool for Arkansas’s public entities. AEPC has seen an explosion in interest since its start in late 2014, with thirteen executed projects guaranteeing over $120 million in savings. Energy performance contracting is a turnkey service with an annual savings guarantee. This method of finance provides taxpayer-funded public entities with the opportunity to complete a comprehensive set of energy efficiency, capital infrastructure, and renewable energy measures at no upfront cost.

AEPC is a significant economic development initiative for the state. A jobs study commissioned by the Arkansas Advanced Energy Foundation found that nearly 700 companies that employ more than 16,000 Arkansans are in the advanced energy economy. About 60 percent of those jobs are tied to energy-saving equipment and services, and are directly affected by a vibrant AEPC program.

Sponsors of AEPC Summit 2018 include Entegrity, presenting sponsor; Johnson Controls and Performance Services, signature sponsors; and Bernhard Energy and Clear Energy, partner sponsors.

Additional exhibitors include: All Electric Supply, Harrison Energy Partners, LightWave Solar, and Powers of Arkansas.

MEdia registration is required. Please contact AAEA executive director Katie Niebaum at katie@arkansasadvancedenergy.com, or 501.537.0190, to register.

JUNE 7, 2018

 

COTTON, VAN HOLLEN, SCHUMER INTRODUCE

NDAA AMENDMENT ON HAUWEI AND ZTE

Washington, D.C. — Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland), and Chuck Schumer (D-New York) today introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to respond to the national-security threat posed by Chinese telecom companies like Huawei and ZTE.

“Huawei and ZTE have extensive ties with the Chinese Community Party, as well as a track record of doing business with rogue regimes like North Korea and Iran. So it’s only prudent that no one in the federal government use their equipment or services and that they receive no taxpayer dollars. Given their repeated violations of U.S. law, we cannot trust them to respect U.S. national security, and so it’s vital we hold them accountable and pass this amendment,” said Senator Cotton.

“ZTE has flagrantly and repeatedly violated U.S. laws, and any deal to let them off the hook should not move forward. This amendment will ensure that, regardless of action the Administration takes right now, Congress will protect American interests and national security,” said Senator Van Hollen.

“In a country full of bad actors when it comes to hurting American jobs and threatening our national security, Huawei and ZTE are two of the absolute worst offenders,” said Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer. “Both parties in Congress must come together to bring the hammer down on these companies rather than offer them a second chance, and this new bipartisan amendment will do just that.”

The amendment is co-sponsored by Senators Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Bill Nelson (D-Florida).

Background: 

  • The amendment would prohibit all U.S. government agencies from purchasing or leasing telecommunications equipment and/or services from Huawei, ZTE, or any subsidiaries or affiliates.
  • It would also ban the U.S. government from using grants and loans to subsidize Huawei, ZTE, or any subsidiaries or affiliates.
  • Finally, it would restore penalties on ZTE for violating export controls. 

SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE APPROVES BOOZMAN BILL TO FUND MILITARY CONSTRUCTION & VETERANS PROGRAMS
WASHINGTON-
The Senate Appropriations Committee approved legislation produced by U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) that supports critical housing, infrastructure and facilities for U.S. military forces and their families and provides increased funding for veterans’ health care and benefits.

Boozman, chairman of the Senate Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies (MilCon-VA) Appropriations Subcommittee, crafted legislation that provides critical funding for construction of national defense facilities, family housing, and military hospitals and schools. The bill also provides funding for veterans’ health care, veterans’ benefits, medical and prosthetic research, the National Cemetery Administration, information technology and the VA Inspector General.

“Keeping the promise we made to our veterans is an important responsibility of the federal government.  Just as essential is that we ensure our military has the infrastructure it needs to defend our nation and its allies. This bill reflects these priorities by increasing resources to prevent veteran suicide, increasing rural access to healthcare, supporting critical mental health programs, preventing veterans homelessness and providing robust funding for innovative medical research. Our bill will also give the Department of Defense the resources it needs to project power globally, enhance our warfighting capabilities and train our servicemembers,” Boozman said.

Bill Highlights:
Military Construction
 – Resources to fund 169 military construction projects. This includes funds for construction and renovation projects on military bases within the United States and around the globe.

  • European Reassurance Initiative – Funding for construction projects in support of U.S. allies through the European Reassurance Initiative.
  • Overseas Contingency Operations – Funding for construction projects in direct support of military operations in the Middle East.
  • Military Family Housing – Funding for construction, operation and maintenance of military family housing. The bill includes construction funding for nine family housing projects.
  • Military Medical Facilities – $366 million for construction or alteration of military medical facilities. This funding will allow for continued support and care for 9.8 million eligible beneficiaries, including wounded U.S. troops abroad.
  • Department of Defense Education Facilities – $388 million for essential safety improvements and infrastructure work at four overseas military schools.
  • Guard and Reserve – $487 million to support the construction needs of National Guard and Reserve forces.
  • NATO Security Investment Program – Funding to provide infrastructure for training, deterrence, and the NATO Alliance’s response to challenges posed by Russia and threats from the Middle East and North Africa.
     

Veterans Affairs (VA) – The legislation includes a record level of $86.4 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs, an increase of $5 billion above the FY2018 level. These resources will provide the healthcare, benefits, and memorial services earned by U.S. service members and veterans.

  • VA Medical Care – $78.3 billion to support medical treatment and healthcare for approximately 9.3 million enrolled patients in FY2019. The bill includes: $8.6 billion for mental health; $860.8 million for the Caregivers Program; $400 million for opioid misuse prevention and treatment; $779 million for medical and prosthetic research; $525 million for health care specifically for women veterans; and $270 million for rural health initiatives.
  • Veterans Homelessness – Funding for VA Homelessness programs including $450 million for the Supportive Services for Veterans Families program. 
  • Claims Processing – Funding to ensure that proper staffing and resources are utilized to reduce the wait time and backlog of disability decisions on appeal, and to meet the demand for other benefit programs. 
  • Construction – $1.8 billion for major and minor construction associated with VA hospital replacement, correction of seismic deficiencies, scores of projects to improve access to VA health care, and the VA’s National Cemeteries. The bill also includes $150 million in construction grants for State Extended Care Facilities.
  • VA Mandatory Funding – The bill fulfills mandatory funding requirements, including veteran disability compensation programs for 4.9 million veterans and 432,000 survivors; education benefits for nearly one million veterans; guaranteed home loans for 519,000 veterans; and vocational rehabilitation and employment training for more than 149,000 veterans.
  • Advance Appropriations – $75.6 billion in FY2020 advance discretionary funding for veterans health care, and $121.3 billion in FY2020 advance mandatory funding for veterans benefits.
     
  • Related Agencies – The legislation also includes funding for:
  • American Battle Monuments Commission 
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims 
  • Arlington National Cemetery 
  • Armed Forces Retirement Home 

GRIFFIN RE-APPOINTS THOMAS G. WILLIAMS TO CONTINUE SERVICE ON JUDICIAL DISCIPLINE AND DISABILITY COMMISSION
LITTLE ROCK – Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin today announced that he has re-appointed Thomas G. Williams to continue serving on the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission. Griffin issued the following statement:

“I am honored to re-appoint Thomas G. Williams, a Managing Member of Quattlebaum, Grooms, & Tull PLLC, to the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission. Mr. Williams has been an excellent member of the Commission, and has received praise for his service and performance. I appreciate his willingness to serve another term, and I congratulate him on his re-appointment.”

Williams has been practicing law since 1988 and was among the original lawyers who established Quattlebaum, Grooms, & Tull PLLC, where he continues to work and is a Managing Member. Williams is listed in The Best Lawyers in America® in the area of Product Liability Litigation (Defendants) and Personal Injury Litigation (Defendants), and recognized by Super Lawyers in the area of Personal Injury Defense. He is rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell. Williams graduated with high honors from the University of Arkansas School Of Law in 1988 and previously served in the House of Delegates to the Arkansas Bar Association.

 

JUNE 6, 2018

SAU GRADUATE ACCEPTED INTO VETERINARY SCHOOL

MAGNOLIA – A 2017 graduate of Southern Arkansas University saw her dream of helping animals take one step closer to becoming reality as she was accepted into veterinary school at Louisiana State University.

Riley Loftin, who received her undergraduate degree in Agricultural Science: Pre-Veterinary from SAU in December 2017, was recently notified of her acceptance into the school.

“Animals are so important to me, and I want to be able to advocate for them because they cannot speak for themselves,” Loftin said. “They can’t tell someone where they are hurting, how they’re hurting, or how you can help them. I want to be able to make a difference in this world, and I won’t be satisfied with anything else.”

Loftin, a native of Blossom, Texas, received an academic scholarship to attend SAU. She began her academic career intending to teach, but after her first year as an education major, decided she wanted “to do something for animals.”

“I’d had a couple of dogs that had developed tumors, and when they died, I got so upset,” she said. “I wanted to help them but I didn’t know how.”

In summer 2016, she got the opportunity to work for a veterinary clinic in Reno, Texas. It was there she found her calling. “It was so exciting. I love small animals. I did a lot of kennel work, and got to assist with surgeries.”

Since this past March, Loftin has been working for the Ward Veterinary Clinic in El Dorado, Arkansas.

Switching to Agricultural Science was an amazing experience for Loftin. “I had no background in farming or agriculture per se, and my exposure to animals was limited, but it was the best experience,” she said. “I got to work with large animals and study the internal biology. It was a little overwhelming at first; I had to figure out how to study for it. But my professors were so very supportive.”

She praised Dr. David Sanson, associate professor of agriculture, for making himself available to students “at all times of the day. He was always willing to help me before or after school. He’s always there.” She also credited Dr. Pierre Boumtje, professor of agriculture economics, with aiding her in her studies.

The toughest part of transitioning from the education field to agriculture was “the knowledge that, eventually, you are going to have to deal with death, especially if you continue in the animal science arena,” she said. “But I look at quality of life over quantity, and that helped me make the transition.”

Sanson reflected on her academic experience. “Riley transferred to the department, so she had to take some classes out of sequence,” he said. “She is a dedicated student who put her education as her No. 1 priority. However, she was also active in the department, serving as an Ag Ambassador.”

As a member of the Honors College, Loftin completed two Honors classes with Sanson in which she conducted a small research study. She also served two semesters as a Supplemental Instructor for Introduction to Animal Science.

“Riley was an excellent student and has an excellent work ethic,” Sanson said. “I am excited that she has been accepted into veterinary school.”

Loftin called working with larger animals an exhilarating experience. “It was intimidating, too,” she laughed. “It was a great learning experience. I really enjoyed studying animal reproductive physiology and animal nutrition lab. I got to touch the insides of living animals! It was fun working with them and seeing how they interacted with me.”

Loftin researched a variety of veterinary schools and sent out her applications upon graduating. “I waited for a long, long time,” she said, with a laugh, of the application process. “I found out I’d gotten accepted into LSU’s program on my dad’s and husband’s birthday. I called Dad and said ‘happy birthday,’ and then called him back an hour later and said LSU had sent a letter saying, ‘congratulations.’ It was indescribable; I cried, and my puppy thought I was crazy.”

Loftin called her time at SAU a wonderful experience. “There are so many friendly people here, always willing to help, no matter what you need help with,” she said. “I wouldn’t have chosen anywhere else for my undergrad.”

She and her husband, Seth Loftin, an SAU Engineering graduate who presently works for Aerojet Rocketdyne in Camden, Arkansas, expect to move to Baton Rouge, Louisiana by August.

“My husband is stoked about it,” she said, of her acceptance into veterinary school. “I’ll have a tough class load. I anticipate I will have to change the way I studied before, and I’m kind of nervous, but excited, too.”

She is using her present experience at the Ward clinic to learn the business side of veterinary work. “I’d like to own my own business one day,” she said. “My goal is to be my own boss.”

She is the daughter of Chad and Jeri Brakebill. Her brother, Cobyn, transferred to SAU from Paris Junior College and is a mass communication major.

ARKANSAS ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE CORPORATION TO ADD 100 MEGAWATTS OF WIND CAPACITY
29-turbine wind farm to produce capacity by 2020

Little Rock, Ark.June 6, 2018 — Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC) of Little Rock has entered into a 20-year power purchase agreement with Wildhorse Wind Energy, LLC, which is owned by Southern Power, a leading U.S. wholesale energy provider and subsidiary of Southern Company, to purchase up to 100 megawatts of energy that will be produced by the Wildhorse Mountain Wind Facility in Pushmataha County, Okla.

“Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC) works on behalf of more than 500,000 electric cooperative members to add resources, like the 100 megawatts of capacity from Wildhorse Mountain Wind Facility, to its generation portfolio,” said Duane Highley, president/CEO of AECC. “This wind facility along with AECC’s diverse, reliable generation portfolio provides energy at the lowest possible cost to our members.”

Located in Pushmataha County, the 100-MW project is expected to consist of 29 wind turbines manufactured by Vestas. Wildhorse Mountain is expected to reach commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2019.

 holesale power to Arkansas’ 17 electric distribution cooperatives that provide electricity to approximately 500,000 homes, farms and businesses in Arkansas and surrounding states

JUNE 5, 2018

BOOZMAN VISITS U.S. MILITARY INSTITUTIONS IN EUROPE, AFRICA, AND MIDDLE EAST
Meets with Troops, Receives Mission & Security Briefings
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) and several colleagues visited American military posts in Europe, Africa and the Middle East to receive updates on the vital missions of these command units and visit with American troops, including several Arkansans, serving abroad.

Boozman, along with Sens. James Inhofe (R-OK), Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), took part in a congressional delegation trip during the week of May 28 that made stops at military installations in Poland, Italy, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Rwanda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Spain.

“Meeting with our military leaders at these bases and talking with the service members under their command gives me great confidence in the ability of our Armed Forces to deter, prevent and respond to threats and provocations against the United States and our allies,” Boozman said. “Our national security interests must be protected and supported amid growing concerns about the activities of countries including Russia and Iran, as well as non-state actors like ISIS, Boko Haram and other radical groups. The work being done by our military personnel at these posts is ensuring that our nation is prepared to meet any crisis or challenge to ourselves or our allies head on.”

 

Boozman also had the opportunity to meet with Arkansans serving at several of the installations as well as Air Force C-130 crews deployed to Djibouti from Little Rock Air Force Base’s 19th Airlift Wing. The C-130 flight crews provided transportation to the delegation during parts of the trip.

“It was my honor to spend some time with Arkansans and other service members who have a connection to the state and get their perspectives and insights on the missions they are being asked to carry out. We want to be certain they feel that they have all the tools and resources needed to see their missions through to completion. I invited them to offer feedback and will take their candid responses and questions back to Washington so that we can address them,” Boozman said. “I also expressed to these brave men and women how proud of and grateful we are for their service and that we look forward to their safe return home.”

LT. GOVERNOR TIM GRIFFIN "GOVERNMENT MUST TRANSFORM"
June 4, 2018

Talk Business & Politics

By Aric Mitchell

  Arkansas Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin isn’t a fan of government as usual, and he’s telling Arkansans they shouldn’t be either….

 

In a 30-minute address, Griffin touched on “killing ‘the TOW Tax,'” operating government more like a business, and embracing new technologies through both operational efficiencies and educational focus so Arkansas is governing “like it’s 2018, not 1918.”

 

On the mysterious TOW Tax, a term Griffin coined, he said he wanted to “get bumper stickers made that say, ‘Kill the TOW Tax'” — The Old Way Tax — because taxpayers are paying “more taxes than you should so your government can do things the old way. That means services are done inefficiently or not well at all, and as a result, you have fewer services at a higher cost.”…

 

Griffin said legislators need to be working as the private sector does “to remain competitive,” adding that “24 hours a day you are bettering yourself in the private sector, but government is not that way because there are no market forces.”…

 

To illustrate, Griffin used the example of a tree removal team using crosscut axes, “sawing back and forth” until a tree comes down instead of using chainsaws. With government, he said, “We’ll get the trees cut, but it could take all week instead of all day, and you will pay more.”

 

Borrowing from a former politician, Griffin shared a quote he picked up from former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels: “If it’s in the Yellow Pages, why is the government doing it? It’s not legitimate for the government to be blocking out the private sector.”…

 

“We have a moral obligation in government because we take your money by force. So if you’re an official in government, you have an obligation to be a good steward of that money,” Griffin said. Besides, “We will get better services — as in more services” through finding efficiencies. That means DHS and the Department of Revenue, other departments, will be able to do “more for less.”

 

Griffin…used his own office as an example, stating he had cut his office staff in half since 2015. “And we’re doing more things with less people.” Doing this government-wide means “we will save money” — a necessity for competing against states like Texas and Tennessee where there is “no income tax.”

 

“And I’m telling you, legislators, you will never get anywhere until you find the savings. You’ve got to find the savings first, and then reform the tax code. We’ve already got the money. It’s just not being spent right. Don’t ask me for one more penny in taxes until you can look me in the eye and say every single dollar is being spent wisely. It ain’t.”

 

JUNE 4, 2018

AGHERITAGE FARM CREDIT SERVICES DIRECTOR ELECTION RESULTS ANNOUNCED
AgHeritage Farm Credit Services (FCS) has announced the results of its 2018 Board of Director and Nominating Committee elections.

Central Region Director Russell Bonner, Northern Region Director Dwain Morris, Northern Region Director Jeff Rutledge and Southern Region Director Jesse Briggs were all re-elected.

AgHeritage FCS shareholders elected to the Nominating Committee were: Ronald Aaron (Batesville office); Matt Hibbard (Pocahontas office); John Hamilton (Searcy office); Doug Medford (Brinkley office); Brandon Parker (Lonoke office); Clay Poole (McGehee office); Frank Prislovsky (Stuttgart office); Harrell Wilson (Star City office); and Tommy Young (Newport office).

For more information about AgHeritage Farm Credit Services’ Board of Directors, please visit www.agheritagefcs.com.

AgHeritage Farm Credit Services is a financial cooperative with owned and managed assets of approximately $1.25 billion as of December 31, 2017, that provides credit and related services to more than 2,900 farmers, ranchers and producers or harvesters of aquatic products in 24 Arkansas counties.  Branch offices are located in Batesville, Brinkley, Lonoke, McGehee, Newport, Pocahontas, Searcy, Star City and Stuttgart
.

LOCAL TEACHERS SHARE IN $1 MILLION NATIONAL DONATION FROM SONIC
America’s Drive-In says #ThanksTeach during Teacher Appreciation Month
OKLAHOMA CITY) – Sonic® Drive-In (NASDAQ: SONC), a longtime supporter of public school teachers through its Limeades for Learning® initiatives, celebrated Teacher Appreciation Month throughout the month of May with the third-annual #ThanksTeach social media campaign to recognize, celebrate and reward teachers. In addition to sharing inspiring stories of real teachers – and encouraging others to do the same with the hashtag #ThanksTeach – SONIC’s $1 million donation was shared among more than 5 thousand public school teachers across the country, with $17400 going to 87 teachers in the Little Rock community, including two teachers specifically in Camden, Ark.

SONIC said #ThanksTeach to each of the two teachers in Camden with a $200 gift card to DonorsChoose.org, SONIC’s non-profit partner for Limeades for Learning that inspires teachers to create innovative learning projects and request the materials or experiences they need most for their classrooms. Teachers can either apply the $200 SONIC donation to their own projects on DonorsChoose.org, or gift the donation to another deserving teacher.

For a full list of public schools where teachers received a $200 #ThanksTeach donation, including those in the Camden community, visit bit.ly/2sf5c8k.

“At a time when teachers spend an average of $500 of their own money to supply their classrooms, we celebrate Teacher Appreciation Month by supporting more than 5,000 teachers in cities near SONIC Drive-ins. These teachers are our customers, they teach our crew members and they are an integral part of the communities in which we operate,” said Christi Woodworth, vice president of public relations for SONIC. “We’ve asked everyone to share #ThanksTeach on social media, and in turn SONIC is showing our gratitude with a $1 million donation to our partner DonorsChoose.org to impact 5,000 classrooms coast to coast.”

Everyone can get involved in #ThanksTeach by sharing stories on social media using photos, videos or a written message. Facebook fans can Smile to Say #ThanksTeach via a Facebook augmented reality (AR) camera effect that springs to life when the user smiles into the camera on their mobile phone, creating a video or photo that can be easily shared on the platform. Search the hashtag #ThanksTeach to see real teacher stories shared by SONIC and others during Teacher Appreciation Month.

To learn more about Limeades for Learning and #ThanksTeach, visit Limeades for Learning® and explore public school teacher projects in the Camden community in need of support.

About SONIC, America's Drive-In
SONIC, America's Drive-In is the nation's largest drive-in restaurant chain serving approximately 3 million customers every day. Nearly 94 percent of SONIC's 3,500 drive-in locations are owned and operated by local business men and women. For 65 years, SONIC has delighted guests with signature menu items, 1.3 million drink combinations and friendly service by iconic Carhops. Since the 2009 launch of SONIC's Limeades for Learning philanthropic campaign in partnership with DonorsChoose.org, SONIC has donated $10.7 million to public school teachers nationwide to fund essential learning materials and innovative teaching resources to inspire creativity and learning in their students. To learn more about Sonic Corp.(NASDAQ/NM: SONC), please visit sonicdrivein.com and please visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. To learn more about SONIC's Limeades for Learning initiative, please visit Limeades for Learning®.

About DonorsChoose.org
Founded in 2000 by a Bronx history teacher, DonorsChoose.org has raised $683,614,142 for America's classrooms. Teachers come to DonorsChoose.org to request the materials and experiences they need most for their classrooms, and donors give to the projects that inspire them. To date, 3,110,293 people and partners have funded 1,153,551 projects on the site, reaching 27,834,415 students and making DonorsChoose.org the leading platform for supporting U.S. public schools. DonorsChoose.org is the only crowdfunding platform that vets each request, delivers materials directly to schools, and captures the impact of every funded project with photos, thank yous, and a cost report showing how each dollar was spent. In 2014, DonorsChoose.org made the top 10 of Fast Company’s list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies, the first time a charity has received such recognition.

 

STATE CAPITOL WEEK IN REVIEW FROM SENATOR TRENT GARNER
June 4, 2018

LITTLE ROCK –Each year there are more babies born in Arkansas with illegal drugs in their systems.

The state Division of Children and Family Services has been keeping records since the legislature enacted Garrett’s Law in 2005. It is named after a child who was born in 2004 with crystal methamphetamine in his body, and who lived only a few months.

The law expanded the legal definition of child neglect to include causing a newborn child to be born with illegal substances in his or her body, as a result of the mother knowingly using illegal drugs.

Although the presence of drugs is sufficient to substantiate an allegation of neglect, under Garrett’s Law the mother’s name is not automatically placed on the state’s Child Maltreatment Registry, because of concerns that a listing would prevent the mother from getting a job.

In 2006 there were 416 reported instances in Arkansas of babies being born with drugs in their bodies. The number has steadily gone up each year, by an average of seven percent until 2011. From 2012 through 2017 it went up more sharply, at an average growth rate of 14 percent a year. Last year there were 1,241 babies born in Arkansas with illegal drugs in their bodies.

For the past four years, marijuana has been the most commonly reported illegal drug found in newborns. Each year about two thirds of the filings made under Garrett’s Law indicate marijuana use by the mother, either by itself or in combination with other drugs.

The second most widely abused drug among pregnant mothers, at a rate of 25 percent, was methamphetamine or amphetamine. Opiates were abused by 18 percent of the mothers, based on the drugs found in their babies. Opiates include heroin, morphine, codeine and oxycodone. Ten percent had tranquilizers and five percent had cocaine.

The median age of the mother is 26, and over 90 percent of the mothers are under the age of 30. Those percentages have has been consistent over the past several years.

Last year 70 percent of the newborns did not have any reported health problems. That is an improvement over the previous two years, when 60 percent to 65 percent had health problems.

About 14 percent of the newborns needed treatment in a neonatal intensive care unit, and about 13 percent had respiratory distress or other breathing problems. About five percent suffered from withdrawal symptoms related to the presence of addictive drugs in their bodies.

The mortality rate last year was about a third of a percent, or 0.3 percent. That is the same as in 2016 and an improvement over 2015, when one percent of the newborns died.

The babies born with cocaine in their bodies had the highest rate of health problems (47 percent), followed by those born with tranquilizers (41 percent), with opiates (38 percent) and with methamphetamines (37 percent).

The least likely to be born with health problems were those born with marijuana in their bodies (27 percent).

Newborns whose mothers used cocaine were more likely to require treatment in intensive care (31 percent), followed by those born with methamphetamines (15 percent).

After the Division looked into the 1,241 cases reported under Garrett’s Law in 2017, about 18 percent of the babies were removed from their mothers’ homes. If the trend from the previous year holds steady, we can expect that 37 percent of those babies will be returned to their mothers within a year.

More than 38,000 babies were born in Arkansas during 2017, according to the U.S. Census.

AGENDA FOR THE CAMDEN FAIRVIEW BOARD OF EDUCATION SPECIAL MEETING TO BE HELD ON MONDAY, JUNE 4, 2018 AT 6:30 P.M. AT GARRISON AUDITORIUM

1. Call to order.

2. Presentation by Tim Cowan of Athletic Surfaces Plus.

3. Personnel session.

 

JUNE 1, 2018

COTTON ANNOUNCES 2018 U.S. SERVICE ACADEMY APPOINTEES 
Washington, D.C.—
Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today announced that 20 students from across Arkansas received and accepted appointments through his office to the United States Service Academies.

“Each one of these young men and women has made our state proud--not only by what they’ve accomplished, but by what they’ve chosen. They’ve decided to serve our country and put the safety and well-being of their fellow Americans before their own. For that, they deserve our gratitude, and as they begin this new chapter of their lives, we wish them good luck and Godspeed.”

United States Air Force Academy
Andrew Goldtrap (Fort Smith, AR)
Daniel Huntman (Bella Vista, AR)
Hannah Cheatham (Little Rock, AR)
Joseph Wittig (Fort Smith, AR)
Javan Jowers (Farmington, AR)
Parker Davis (Arkadelphia, AR)
Reese Wendfeldt (Mountain Home, AR)


United States Merchant Marine Academy
Andrew Pequignot (Hot Springs, AR)
Cole Eddins (Fort Smith, AR)

United States Military Academy
Christopher Burlison (Conway, AR)
Gavin Shapiro (White Hall, AR)
John Johnson IV (Maumelle, AR)
Robert Bolin (Vilonia, AR)


United States Naval Academy
Adeline Geoghagan (North Little Rock, AR)
Adrianna Munoz (Center Ridge, AR)
Jackie Sherrell (Alexander, AR)
Karrington Evans (Scranton, AR)
Megan LaMendola (Springdale, AR)
Martina Thomas (Fayetteville, AR)
William Brown (Marion, AR)

https://meltwater-apps-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/images/56c76e94e4c9b743ccdc061b/SAU%20logo_1487176900291.jpg

 

REGISTRATION DEADLINE SOON FOR ONE OF TWO

SAU SUMMER SCIENCE CAMPS

MAGNOLIA – Southern Arkansas University's College of Science and Engineering will host two fantastic summer camps in 2018, geared toward exciting student interest in science.

Coding and Cyber Security Camp will be held June 8-10, and the deadline for registration has been extended to June 5.

Engineering Summer Camp will be held July 9-11, with a registration deadline of July 2.

Both are open to students in grades 8-12 and have options for overnight and day-only campers.
To register online, please visit https://web.saumag.edu/cs-camp/registration/ for the Coding and Cybersecurity Camp, or  https://web.saumag.edu/engineering-camp/registration/ for the Engineering camp.

Cost is $275 per participant, and both camps will 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Campers have the option to stay overnight in SAU residence halls.

Coding and Cyber Security will appeal to students interested in computing. They will learn how to code simple applications in processing, develop Android apps, create simulations, and build their own computers. They will also be introduced to cybersecurity, virtual reality and humanoid robot maneuvering, as well as fun math activities. All participants will receive a camp T-shirt, and an award ceremony will be held on the final day. Food and lodging are included in the price.

Engineering camp participants will do hands-on projects related to engineering and physics, including building and programming Lego Mindstorms robots, designing the path of a robotic arm, and material testing using a force tester. There will be demonstrations in physics, as well as astronomy night observations.

For more information, contact Marisa Grippo at marisagrippo@saumag.edu or call 870-235-4290.