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April 19, 2019

ARKANSAS PARKS AND TOURISM EMPLOYEES TO VISIT CAMDEN
Twenty-three members of the Arkansas Parks and Tourism employees will be visiting Camden on Tuesday. The visitors work at all the Welcome Centers across the state. The group will arrive in Camden late Tuesday afternoon. They will visit two local businesses in Downtown Camden. The group will then tour “The Trace”. John Wheeler and Becky Davis will give a 30-minute narrated Tour of the Historic District. They will also have a booklet that has been prepared of all the historical markers in the area for each of the visitor. Catherine’s Bistro will serve dinner before the Historic Society puts on a shortened version of the All Hallow’s Eve Walk. The visitor’s will all spend the night in Camden. If you see visitor’s, please put Camden’s best face forward. Make them feel welcome and let them know what a wonderful town Camden is.

NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER
National Day of Prayer Ceremony will be Thursday, May 2nd at Noon on the Ouachita County Courthouse Lawn. Everyone is invited to come.  Hamburgers, chips & bottled water will be served to those attending. Sponsored by the Camden Ministerial Alliance and Ouachita County Ministerial Alliance.

VICTORY CHRISTIAN SCHOOL SPONSORS 2ND ANNUAL GOLF TOURNAMENT
Victory Christian School has announced details for their 2nd Annual Golf Tournament. The tournament will be held on Saturday May 4th at the Highland Golf Course in East Camden. Tee Time is at 8:00 a.m. and at 12 Noon if more than 20 teams register. Entry fee is $55.00 per person and includes Green Fees, Gold Cart and Door Prizes. This tournament will be a 2-person Scramble. Trophies will be awarded for the top 3 teams. There will be $130.00 cash prize for 1st place, $80.00 cash prize for 2nd place and a $50.00 cash prize for 3rd place.  Special prizes include closest to the pin on hole #15 and longest drive on hole #17. There is an additional $10 entry fee for each of the special prizes. Mulligans can be purchased for $5.00 each. Limit is 4 mulligans per golfer. Drinks and concessions will be for sale on the course. Tee times will only be held with payment of the entry fees. No acholic beverages. There is a 40-team limit. Registration must be made by Thursday, May 2nd. For registration or additional information contact Charlotte Young at 870-807-1468 or Larry Young at 870-818-7501.


SAAC ANNOUNCES KRISTEN BLOSSOM AS VISITING DIRECTOR FOR “HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME”
The South Arkansas Arts Center is pleased to announce Kristen Blossom as the visiting director and choreographer for this summer’s production of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” Blossom, who is currently the Assistant Professor of Acting and Directing at Louisiana Tech University, will be making her directing debut at SAAC’s Callaway Theatre. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to bring to the stage this classic tale of the power of light and love to defeat darkness and anger in the lives of Quasimodo and Esmeralda, set in the famed cathedral in fifteenth-century Paris. This year’s summer musical is sponsored by Murphy USA and scheduled for July 18-28.

“It is so easy to let our beliefs about ourselves be shaped and warped by the people around us. It requires a tremendous amount of courage to redirect those thought patterns, step outside of the abuse and refuse to let other people's opinions of us determine who we are,” Blossom says. “There is so much darkness in Quasimodo's world and a lot of it exists in his own mind. Re-defining how you see yourself is no small feat. It takes all the inner-strength Quasimodo can muster to step into his personal power and allow himself to be immersed in light and experience love.”

A show with wonderful creative opportunities for actors, singers, dancers, and choir members of varying skill levels, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” is based on the Victor Hugo novel and songs from the Disney animated feature. It includes the film’s Academy Award-nominated score, as well as new songs, with a storyline that embraces theatrical storytelling while including verbatim passages from Hugo’s gothic novel.

Blossom has extensive experience directing both children and adults at the community theatre and collegiate levels. She holds an MFA in Acting, from the FSU/Asolo Conservatory, which has been rated one of the top 25 Drama Schools in the world. She. As member of the Actors Equity Association, she has extensive experience performing and directing on stages all over the country. She is a trained dancer and registered yoga teacher, allowing her to incorporate her teaching techniques into all elements of the production.  

“Working with me means that together we will constantly be peeling back layers and finding a deeper meaning in every word, movement and moment. I lead with my heart and try to encourage other artists to do the same,” Blossom says. 

“The Hunchback of Notre” Dame is sponsored by Murphy USA and will run July 18-28, with auditions beginning June 1 with a call for choir members and June 2-3 for actors, singers and dancers. Stop by SAAC on Saturday, May 18 to meet Blossom and the other members of the creative team beginning at 4 pm. Audition materials will be available, and you will have a chance to hear more about Blossom’s vision for this classic tale. For more information, please call the SAAC at 870-862-5474 or visit the website at www.saac-arts.org.  SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas.

MAGIC SPRINGS OFFERS A SPECIAL “THANK YOU” TO OUR HEROS
Park honors service people during Heroes Appreciation Month
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (April 16, 2019) – Magic Springs Theme and Water Park will offer FREE admission for members of the military, both active duty and retired, as well as police, firefighters and EMTs during its Heroes Appreciation Month, April 27 – May 27, 2019. 

Spouses and dependents of military, police, firefighters and EMTs will receive admission at $35.99 plus tax when accompanied by a member of the qualified group May 11-17.

“This is just another way to express our gratitude to the brave men and women who

serve our communities and our country every day,” said Jack Bateman, general

manager at the park. “We salute them and their families during Heroes Appreciation Month every year at Magic Springs.”

First responders and members of the military need to show their military ID or proof of employment at the park ticket booths to receive free admission. Invited members of the military include active duty, retirees, veterans, reservists and Department of Defense.

Magic Springs Theme and Water Park is now open for weekend operations and will begin daily operation on May 27. The water park area will open for operations on May 11, 2019. For more information about this program and Magic Springs, visit MagicSprings.com.

A Season Pass gate price is $74.99 plus tax. General admission Saturday ticket price is

$59.99 plus tax. Junior (under 48” tall) and senior (ages 55+) Saturday ticket price is $39.99 plus tax. Call 501-318-5370 or visit MagicSprings.com/buy-tickets.php for more information and discounted tickets.

About Magic Springs Theme & 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 April, May, October and daily Memorial Day 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.

 

APRIL 18, 2019

CAMDEN FAIRVIEW ONE OF FOUR SOUTH ARKANSAS SCHOOLS EXEMPT FROM SCHOOL CHOICE ACT
The state Department of Education told four south Arkansas school systems on  Wednesday that they are exempted from participating in the school choice act for the 2019-20 school year because of an ongoing federal appeals court case.

The Department of Education sent letters to Camden Fairview, along with Hope, Junction City and Lafayette County schools granting the requested exemptions. Earlier, the Department of Education had handed down the decision that the schools were obligated to take part in the School Choice Act.

Attorney’s Allen Roberts and Whitney Moore represent all four of the exempted School Districts. The Attorneys have argued that the School’s in question participation in the state's School Choice Act of 2015 would result in racial segregation resulting the districts to be in conflict with their federal court-ordered school desegregation plans.

The Arkansas attorney general's office, representing the Education Department and state Board of Education, has appealed to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at St. Louis. The appeals court has denied the state's request that student transfers from the four districts be allowed to for the 2019-20 school year while the court appeal is in process. The state's written arguments in the appeal are due to the 8th Circuit on May 3rd. The school district will then submit arguments. A court date should then be set to determine the outcome of the matter.

AIRPORT COMMISSION TO MEET
The City of Camden Airport Commission will have their regularly scheduled meeting on Friday, April 26, 2019 at 11:30 a.m. at the Airport Terminal located at 255 Airport Road in Camden.

Arkansas AG logoATTORNEY GENERAL ALERT: PRESCRIPTION DRUG TAKE BACK SCHEDULED FOR APRIL 27TH
LITTLE ROCK
– The bi-annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is scheduled for April 27. It is an important opportunity for Arkansans to clean out old and unused prescription medications because more than half of Arkansas teens report it is easy to obtain prescription drugs from their parents’ or grandparents’ medicine cabinets. Prescription Drug Take Back is one way to ensure these lethal drugs stay out of the hands of addicted Arkansans.
 
“The prescription drug epidemic continues to wreak havoc on our state and country,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “Misuse and abuse of prescription drugs impacts a staggering number of families across Arkansas. It will take all of us working together to make a difference, including properly disposing of medications.”
 
Rutledge released the following list of medications that will be accepted at these events across the State:

  • Opioids, such as OxyContin, Hydrocodone, Vicodin, etc.
  • Stimulants, such as Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, Dexedrine, etc.
  • Depressants, such as Ativan, Xanax, Valium, etc.
  • Other prescription medications
  • Over-the-counter medicines
  • Vitamins
  • Pet medicines
  • Medicated ointments and lotions
  • Inhalers
  • Liquid medicines in glass or leak-proof containers (up to 12 ounces)
  • Medicine samples

Medications may be returned in the original bottle or in any other container for increased privacy.
 
Prescription drug Take Back locations will be available 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 27. The National Prescription Drug Take Back Days are held twice a year, but to find event sites and year-round drop-off locations near you, visit ARTakeBack.org.
 
Properly destroying these medications also protects the environment. Medicines that are flushed or poured down the drain can end up polluting waters, which could contaminate food and water supplies. Wastewater treatment plants or septic systems may not remove many medicine compounds. Turning over these medications at Take Back Day events also reduces the risk of accidental poisonings by children, seniors or pets, as well as reduces the risk of drug abuse.
 
Attorney General Rutledge has been a leader in the State and nation combating the opioid epidemic by using a multifaceted approach through education, prevention and litigation. Her first-in-the-nation Prescription for Life program is free for high schools and over the last year has reached almost 14,000 students. In November, the Attorney General hosted the annual Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit with record attendance, which provided training and educational opportunities for law enforcement, medical professionals, pharmacists and educators. Rutledge has taken an aggressive approach to protect Arkansans and combat the epidemic by suing Johnson & Johnson, Purdue Pharma and Endo, 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.
 
For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or consumer@arkansasag.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.
Rutledge joined attorneys general from Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah in signing the letter, which was led by the attorney general from West Virginia.

Arkansas AG logoRUTLEDGE ANNOUNCES DUMAS WOMAN SENTENCED FOR MEDICAID FRAUD
Says, ‘Shirley Owens took advantage of a vital resource’
LITTLE ROCK – Just yesterday, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced a Desha County woman pleaded guilty to theft of property by deception for caring for her husband, the patient, which is conduct that would make her ineligible to be paid by the Medicaid program.

“Shirley Owens took advantage of a vital resource by being illegally paid to care for her husband,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Medicaid is an important safety net for many, and what Owens did was take money and services away from another deserving Arkansan.”

Owens, 63, of Dumas, pleaded guilty to a form of Medicaid fraud involving theft of property by deception, a Class C felony, between December 2016 and July 2017. A Medicaid fraud investigation revealed that Owens and her husband, the Medicaid recipient had married in January 2006. She was ordered to pay $5,364 in restitution to the Arkansas Medicaid Program Trust Fund.

This case was referred to the Arkansas Attorney General’s office by the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General and prosecuted in coordination with Sixth Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley.

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.

COTTON, CRUZ, COLLEAGUES URGE ADDITIONAL ACTION FOLLOWING GOLAN HEIGHTS DECISION
Washington, D.C.
 — U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota), Mike Braun (R-Indiana), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Josh Hawley (R-Missouri), Rick Scott (R-Florida), Mike Rounds (R-South Dakota), and Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi) sent a letter to President Trump urging his administration to take several steps to implement his decision recognizing the Golan Heights as part of the State of Israel.

“The United States now recognizes the Golan Heights as sovereign Israeli soil. Our official documents, maps, regulations, and international agreements ought to reflect that historic fact. We stand ready to help the president implement his decision, which strengthens Israel’s capacity for self-defense against enemies like Iran and the terrorist forces who want to destroy it,” said Senator Cotton.

“Deepening Israel’s sovereignty and control over the Golan Heights is in America’s national security interest. The president should be applauded for his decision to recognize the reality of that sovereignty, which he did over the objections of some in his administration who incorrectly predicted that it would cause unrest in the Middle East. Now it is imperative that all federal agencies implement the president’s decision, including by aligning the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Manual to reflect that it is United States policy that the Golan Heights is Israeli territory,” said Senator Cruz.

 An excerpt from the letter is below:

“We now urge you to take the following steps to implement your historic decision:

  1. Direct all federal government agencies to update their official documents, publications, and maps to recognize the Golan Heights as the State of Israel’s sovereign territory.
  1. Direct the State Department to treat the Golan Heights as the State of Israel’s sovereign territory for the purpose of: (a) issuing passports to Americans born in the Golan Heights and (b) all treaties and agreements.
  1. Direct the State Department to pursue talks with the Israeli government about updating the 1972 U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation agreement and the related 1977 agreements covering industrial and agricultural research. These agreements bar funding of projects in or relating to “geographic areas which came under the administration of the Government of Israel after June 5, 1967,” which is in conflict with your proclamation.
  1. Direct all federal government agencies responsible for foreign commerce and customs enforcement to allow products from the Golan Heights to be labeled ‘Made in Israel.’”
 

April 17, 2019

CITY OF CAMDEN POLICE REPORTS
Leaving Scene of Accident with Injury- Felony
Damaged Property- Misdemeanor

On April 14, 2019 at 10:38 p.m., Officer Jake Perry and Officer Brandon Brangaccio were advised by dispatch of a hit and run accident at Soapy Suds (645 California Ave). Dispatch advised that the caller stated a white vehicle was the car that left the scene. While receiving this call the Officers were pulling to the stop light on California by Soapy Suds when they noticed a subject flagging us down.

Upon arrival Office Brangaccio observed significant damage to the vehicle that remained at the scene. The vehicle's entire front bumper was completely tom off the front of the vehicle and sitting on the ground in the parking lot of Soapy Suds. Officer Brangaccio made contact with victim who was in the front driver seat of the vehicle.

The Officer asked the woman "do you need to go to the hospital? At first she responded no when asked what happened the woman stated that she was sitting in her car in front of Soapy Suds waiting for her clothes to dry when a white car pulled up beside her letting a man dressed in all black out. She said the man and the woman began to argue when all of a sudden, the woman in the white car drove into her car attempting to hit the man who was on foot. The white car also ended up colliding with the front of the building as well. The car then backed out hitting the victim’s car again before driving away. The woman said she was not able to get a good look at either the woman driving off or the man who she stated just walked away up Lincoln Drive like nothing had happened, but she was able to get the License Plate Number of the white car. The plates were run and returned to a Sharia Holliman.

Other units began to search the surrounding area for the vehicle. Upon observing the front of the building Officer Brangaccio noticed damage to the bricks on the building. He was also able to see from the inside of Soapy Suds the front wall had been pushed inward and had a slight bend from where the impact happened. Pictures of both the inside and outside damage to the building were taken and the owner of the building was notified. There were also two witnesses who saw the accident and were able to give the same details as the victim’s account of the incident.

Officer Perry advised dispatch to call out Kelly's Wrecker Service to the scene per driver's request. At that time the victim said she was starting to have neck pains and called her husband to come pick her up. He arrived and told Officers that he would take his wife to the hospital for a precaution check out. Lt. Opelt advised he was not able to locate the white car who fled from the scene, but he was able to get in touch with the owner, Sharia Holliman who advised Lt. Opelt her daughter, Sherika Holliman had been driving the car. Sherika Holliman agreed to come to the station and explain her side of the situation.

 Once Sherika arrived to the station she began to tell us that she had dropped off Hayward Lucas at Soapy Suds. Sherika stated that Hayward owed her 30 dollars for doing one of his family member's hair, but once he got out the car he walked off and didn't pay her. Sherika said she started yelling out her window to Hayward asking for the money he owed her. Hayward came up to her car window and threw something inside according to Sherika. Sherika then stated she went to back up and leave when she drove forward almost hitting Hayward and ramming into the front of the building. Sherika said she panicked because she thought her car was in reverse and her intention were not to hit Hayward or even attempt too so she drove off and left the scene. Officer’s advised Sherika not only did she hit the building, but she also rammed into a car parked next to her causing significant damage also causing the driver of the other vehicle to go to the hospital due to neck pain. Sherika said she was not aware she hit another car and if she was she would not have left like she did.

Sherika was taken into custody. Standard booking procedures were completed and Sherika was charged with leaving the scene of an accident with an injury and Criminal Mischief 1st Degree. Sherika was transported to Ouachita County Detention Center with no incident.

DWI 1ST OFFENSE
On April 11, 2019 at 10:46 P.M. Officer Ashley Watts, was driving North bound on Cash Road when I observed a Chevy Silverado driving South on Cash in the turning lane. The Officer turned around to get behind the Silverado. The Officer observed the vehicle proceed straight on Cash through the intersection of Cash and Highway 278 from the turning lane. The Officer conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle in the parking lot of the Camden Market Place.

Officer Watts made contact with Elbert Miller III. She advised him why she had stopped him. Miller supplied me with all the information the Officer requested.  While speaking with Miller Officer Watts could smell the odor of intoxicants on his breath. When asked if he had been drinking that evening and he replied yes, that he made himself a drink approximately two hours prior. He estimated he drank about four shots of Apple Crown mixed with Sprite. Miller was asked to exit the vehicle so that the Officer could ensure he would be safe to drive from that location. Miller was very polite and compliant with all my requests as I conducted the Field Sobriety Test which indicated he was in fact intoxicated. During the entire process Miller remained very respectful and compliant, stating that he knew he messed up and would do whatever he was asked to do. Officer Watts administered the BAC to measure Miller's blood alcohol content. The BAC results showed Miller's blood alcohol content to be 0.130.

Miller's driver's license was confiscated to send to Driver Control and he was issued a temporary driver's license. He was issued a citation number  and court date before being released into the custody of his wife.

POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE-MISDEMEANOR
POSSESSION INSTRUMENT OF CRIME-X2

On April 11, 2019 at 10:31 p.m. hours, Officer Jacob VanAssche was patrolling the area of Red Bud near Cardinal, when he observed a black 2001 Ford F-150 driving west bound on Cardinal nearing the intersection. The Officer then observed the the vehicle fail to yield at the stop sign and make a right turn onto Red Bud also failing to use a tum signal. Officer VanAssche then attempted to conduct a traffic stop. The vehicle continued to travel north bound on Red Bud disregarding the blue lights. This continued till the vehicle pulled into the driveway of 2751 Red Bud. Once in the driveway the driver exited the vehicle and attempted to go inside the residence. The Officer stopped him and advised him he was detained.

The driver identified himself as Xavier Franklin, and the two passengers identified themselves as Eric Bigby and Ja'Curtis Madison. While gathering all the parties' information Officer VanAssche noticed a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle. He then requested another unit to be dispatched to the location for a vehicle search. The Officer also requested a warrant check be completed through dispatch on all three subjects. Dispatch advised all three where negative for warrants.

Sergeant Elliott arrived on scene, and all three subjects were taken out of the vehicle. While taking them out of the vehicle Officer VanAssche observed a new aroma in the vehicle. It appeared the subjects attempted to mask the odor of marijuana with a spray.

While searching the vehicle Officers found a clear bag of marijuana in the center console of the truck, a Bob Marley grinder with residue inside it in the cup holder, and a glass weed pipe with burnt residue in it in the side of the driver's door. The glass pipe was still very hot, which shows it was recently used.

All three passengers stated the contraband didn't belong to them but refused to say who it belonged to. All three were then taken into custody without incident.

A vehicle impound sheet was completed, and Rothwell Wrecker later arrived and took custody of the vehicle.

All three suspects were transported to the station without incident. At the station Franklin was booked for Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession Instrument of a Crime X2. Bigby and Madison were booked for Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession Instrument of a Crime. All three were later released with a Criminal Citations and a District Court. Franklin also received six Traffic Citations: No Driver's License, No Proof of Insurance, Failure to Yield to Stop Sign, Fail to Signal, Failure to Pay Registration Over 60 days, and Failure to Yield to Emergency Vehicle. Franklin was issued a District Court date.

CARRYING A WEAPON
On April 11, 2019 at 12:30 a.m. Officer Jacob VanAssche conducted a traffic stop on a 2005 black Mercury SUV for Failure to Signal and No License Plate Lamp.

The Officer made contact with the driver Demetri McCoy, who stated he was giving a friend a ride home and forgot to use his blinker. While speaking with McCoy a strong smell of burnt marijuana was coming from the vehicle. The Officer then requested another unit to be dispatched for a vehicle search. The Officer also requested a warrant check to be completed through dispatch on McCoy and his passenger, Jakeal Sheapard. McCoy seemed to be confused and had a lot of trouble answering questions and keeping his focus.

Officer Lane arrived on scene, and at which point dispatch advised Sheapard had a valid warrant with the county. He was taken into custody and placed into the patrol unit. Sheapard was later transported to the OCSO on his valid warrant. McCoy seemed to be under the influence of some form of substance, so he was then removed from the vehicle.

Once he was removed from the vehicle Officer VanAssche asked McCoy if he would complete the Standard Field Sobriety Test. The test resulted in no cues to support McCoy being under the influence of some substance. McCoy was then advised that the Officer was going to search his vehicle, due to the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. McCoy admitted he does smoke marijuana in his vehicle, and that's probably why I was smelling it. McCoy got visibly upset once the Officer began getting close to the vehicle. He started grabbing his head and saying, “They’re going to find it, oh man I'm in so much trouble, I'm going to go to jail." The Officer then went back to McCoy and asked him what he was talking about, and he refused to say. He continued to be upset, and he began to show a strong trepidation of the vehicle being searched. McCoy was then detained for officer safety, due to the fact that his behavior was continuing to deteriorate. The vehicle was then searched and Officer VanAssche found a loaded 380 Lorcin handgun in McCoy's glove box. The handgun had five rounds in the clip, and one round in the chamber. After unloading the handgun and making it safe, the Officer requested a wanted or stolen check be completed on the handgun. Dispatch later advised the handgun was negative for being wanted or reported stolen.

McCoy stated he was upset about this being in his vehicle, because it wasn't his. When asked whose handgun it was, he said it belonged to some trucker he gave a ride to a few weeks prior. McCoy stated he didn't know the guy, but said the trucker placed the gun in his glove box as soon as he got into McCoy's vehicle.

McCoy was taken into custody and transported to the station without incident. At the station a Criminal History was completed on McCoy, and it showed McCoy was never convicted on a felony charge. McCoy was then booked for Carrying a Weapon. Booking procedures were completed. McCoy was issued a Criminal Citation for Carrying a Weapon  and a Traffic Citation for No Driver's License and Failure to Signal and given a District Court date. McCoy was released.

CAMDEN KIWANIS CLUB TO MEET
The Camden Kiwanis Club will meet this Thursday, April 18th at 12:00 Noon at Catherine’s Bistro. The program will be presented by Terri Smith who serves in the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division.

DRIVE HIGH – GET A DWI”: ARKANSAS JOINS REGIONAL ENFORCEMENT PLAN STRIKING AGAINST DRUG IMPAIRED DRIVING
Law enforcement agencies across six states will increase patrol officer presence on roads and highways beginning later this week as part of a regional plan aimed to reduce incidents of drug impaired driving.

Beginning Friday (April 19th) and continuing through Saturday, local police, sheriff’s deputies and highway patrol troopers in Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma will concentrate patrols directed toward an effort to stop drivers who are impaired by drugs.  Impaired driving is illegal in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.

Regardless of how a driver may come to be in possession of drugs, whether the substance is prescribed or illegal to possess; driving while impaired by drugs creates a safety threat to the driver, vehicle passengers and others traveling on public roadways.

“Drug impaired driving is a serious issue for drivers and law enforcement officers on Arkansas roadways,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.  “By intensifying enforcement of drug impaired driving laws we hope people will think twice before driving while impaired by any drug whether it is prescribed or not.”

 Almost all illegal drugs and many prescription drugs can slow the reaction time of a driver who must be alert and in control of the vehicle.  Just like alcohol, drugs make it more difficult for drivers to keep a steady position in their traffic lane.  It doesn’t matter what term is used to describe the impairment; if a driver is high, stoned, wasted or drunk, the individual is impaired.  Driving while impaired by any substance is illegal and can be deadly.

“Our goal is to save lives and we’re putting all drivers on notice that drug impaired driving is against the law,” said Colonel Bryant.

Remember, “Drive High – Get a DWI.”

Learn more about the dangers of drug impaired driving at Traffic Safety Marketing, https://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov

altADE'S MY SHCOOL INFO WEBSITE SURPASSES 100,000 PAGE VIEWS IN 1 DAY

LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Department of Education celebrates more than 100,000 page views in one day on its My School Info website, marking another milestone since the site’s launch in November 2016. 

On April 15, 2019, the portal received 131,343 page views with the release of the 2018 Arkansas Report Cards. This breaks the previous record of more than 67,000 page views on a single day that occurred on April 12, 2018, when the 2017 Arkansas School Performance Reports and ESSA School Index scores were released. In September 2018, My School Info accomplished another milestone when the site reached more than 1 million page views since its launch.

“Our primary purpose when developing and launching My School Info was to provide stakeholders easy access to reliable, accurate education information,” Arijit Sarkar, ADE director of information systems and chief information officer, said. “The site’s recent milestones show that our stakeholders not only value the site but are using the information on the site to make informed education decisions. We are thrilled with the website’s success and are committed to working with our partners to make further improvements that benefit all stakeholders.”

My School Info is ADE’s free online resource for school and district data. The user-friendly site is interactive and allows visitors to do the following: 

  • access school and district contact information; 
  • search assessment and financial information; 
  • compare schools and districts; 
  • analyze trends over multiple years; and 
  • view school rating and report card information.

ADE continues to seek stakeholder feedback and make improvements to My School Info. Recent updates include the addition of the 2018 Report Cards and long-term goals reports. Stakeholders can access these reports and use the site to compare schools in districts, counties, education service cooperatives, and the state. By hovering a computer mouse over specific data elements, users can access additional explanations and definitions. Users also can export information into an Excel or PDF format, as well as share information with others via email.

To access My School Info, go to https://myschoolinfo.arkansas.gov. To provide feedback about the site, please email ADE.ITServices@Arkansas.Gov, or click on the feedback button located at the bottom of the My School Info home page. 

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Arkansas AG logoRUTLEDGE JOINS COALITION SUPPORTING NEW WOTUS RULE
Says, ‘Obama-era rule was never about protecting our water in a responsible way’
LITTLE ROCK – On Tuesday, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge joined 16 other states in submitting a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers in support of the proposed revisions to define the “waters of the United States” (WOTUS).

“The overreaching Obama-era rule was never about protecting our water in a responsible way, and their action had disastrous implications for Arkansas farmers,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The proposed revisions return the EPA to its core mission of environmental enforcement, pollution mitigation and disaster cleanup.”

The comment letter from Rutledge and her colleagues is part of the efforts to repeal the Obama-administration rule which allowed the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to assert federal authority over a vast number of small bodies of water, including roadside ditches, short-lived streams and any other area where water may flow once every 100 years.

In 2017, President Donald J. Trump directed a review of the WOTUS definition. And in February, a new rule was proposed which would not only rescind the unlawful Obama-era rule, but would also promulgate a new definition of WOTUS which would restore an understanding that is faithful to the text of the Clean Water Act.

Rutledge is part of a coalition that helped secure a nationwide injunction blocking enforcement of the rule in August 2015, allowing the new administration to review the rule. She also testified in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry in March 2015 urging the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw the Obama-era rule because of the negative impact it would have on Arkansas farmers.

Rutledge joined attorneys general from Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah in signing the letter, which was led by the attorney general from West Virginia.

 

April 16, 2019

alt2018 SCHOOL, DISTRICT AND STATE REPORT CARDS RELEASED
LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Department of Education released today the 2018 Report Cards for schools, districts, and the state. The reports, which are available at the Report Card tab on the My School Info website (https://myschoolinfo.arkansas.gov), reflect school performance for the 2017-2018 school year. 

In addition to information about student achievement and growth, graduation rates, college readiness, teacher quality, school expenditures, and long-term goals, the 2018 reports feature several new components. Data about homeless students, students in foster care, gifted and talented students, and students of military families are available, as well as several new modules.

  • The Growth module provides a growth score for each grade level by content and subgroup of students.
  • The English Language Proficiency module provides information about the number and percentage of English learners earning a proficient score on the English Language Proficiency Assessment.
  • The School Quality and Student Success module provides information about school characteristics, such as the number and percentage of students reading on grade level.

  • The Cross Tab modules provide information regarding the achievement and growth of students by subgroups. 

  • The Long-Term Goals module provides information about the progress of schools in relation to the long-term goals set by the state. 


"I encourage students, parents, educators, and community members to spend time reviewing the reports for their school and district," ADE Commissioner Johnny Key said. "The reports, combined with other available data and information, should be used to guide conversations regarding continuous school improvement. Together, we will provide a student-focused education to all students in Arkansas."

To assist with understanding and using the report cards, several communication tools have been developed. Available at https://bit.ly/1NdmlWt, resources include a video and several one-page documents that highlight how to access the report card and ways the report card can be used. A letter template also is available to assist schools when communicating with families and communities.

ADE welcomes feedback on the report cards. A survey is available at https://bit.ly/2Z7iPVF, and several feedback events and opportunities will be held around the state in the next couple of months.

To learn more about the report cards, visit https://bit.ly/1NdmlWt

COTTON STATEMENT ON SUPREME COURT’S REFUSAL OF RESTASIS PATENT APPEAL
Washington, D.C.
 — Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) released the following statement on the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear an appeal by Allergan regarding the company’s attempted purchase of sovereign immunity from an Indian tribe for the drug Restasis:

“The Supreme Court’s decision is a victory for Arkansas seniors and all Americans who are hurting from the high price of prescription drugs. The drug company’s attempt to buy sovereign immunity from an Indian tribe was a sham, and I am glad that the scheme has failed.”

Background: In 2017, Allergan sold the patents to its dry-eye medication Restasis to the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe in an attempt to use the tribe’s sovereign immunity to avoid a review of the validity of the patents.

Senator Cotton introduced the Preserving Access to Cost-Effective Drugs Act (PACED) Act in response to Allergan’s attempt to purchase sovereign immunity to protect its patents and keep drug prices high. The PACED Act would prohibit patent-holders from using tribal sovereign immunity as a defense in proceedings before the U.S. Patent Office, the courts, and the International Trade Commission.

 
 

April 15, 2019

OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF’S REPORTS
AGGRAVATED ASSAULT
DOMESTIC BATTERY 3RD DEGREE
FALSE IMPRISONMENT 2ND DEGREE
INTRODUCTION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE INTO BODY OF ANOTHER PERSON
TERRORISTIC THREATENING
UNAUTHORIZED USE OF A VEHICLE

On April 9, 2019 at 8:20 P.M. Deputy Andrew Tollefson was dispatched to 2175 U.S Highway 24 (Y-Mart) for a domestic in progress. Upon arrival the deputy made contact with the reporting party and saw that she was covered in bruises and abrasions. Her nose was also swollen, and left eye was turning black. The woman stated that her ex-boyfriend, Christopher Peebles, had been beating her and would not let her leave. The victim explained that she and Peebles were at one time in a relationship that ended in March. She went on to say that her relationship with Peebles ended when he took her vehicle and returned to the Camden area. She stated she was finally able to get Peebles to bring her vehicle back to her in Little Rock on April 6th. She said once Peebles arrived in Little Rock, the plan was for Peebles to drive her back to Camden where she would take possession of the vehicle and return to Little Rock.

According to the woman, once they arrived in Camden, Peebles took her to a camper off or Ouachita road 154 and told her that he was renting the place. He then began to show her around Camden and told her he was taking her to meet his family. She said Peebles began to argue and she told him that their relationship would never work. She stated that once they returned to the camper she tried to get in her vehicle and leave when Peebles grabbed her by her arm and kicked her legs out from under her causing her to fall to the ground. Peebles then told her that she could not leave and if he could not have her no one can. Peebles forced her to stay the night with him and was waiting on her to receive some money from her brother. The next day was filled with the same incidents of Peebles becoming irate and not allowing her to leave. Later on that night, according to the report, Peebles began talking about their relationship and stated she made him fall in love with her and again stated the if he could not have her, no one could.

The woman told the Deputy that Peebles then started to make sexual advances toward her. She declined the advances as she did not not want to be in a relationship with him. She stated Peebles became irate and went outside and grabbed what she described as a "short piece of a metal shower curtain rod" and struck her twice once on her left thigh and once on the left side of her buttock area.

Peebles continued to try and get her to get money off a card that she was wired from her brother. According to the woman, Peebles was going to take her to an ATM to get the money, but she did not want to go with him. She refused to get in to the vehicle with him and Peebles began threatening her and telling her to get into the car. He then forced her into the car against her will. She said that after going to several ATM's to retrieve the money with failed attempts because Peebles had taken her cell phone so she did not have access to the account. She said that Peebles thought that she was hiding the money from her. After the last failed attempt at the ATM Peebles forced her to put her hand on the center console of the vehicle and began punching it and questioning her about the money stating she had him on a while goose chase. She went on to say at that time Peebles pulled out a large sharp knife and told her he was going to start chopping off her fingers if she did not tell the truth and answer his questions about the money.

 Peebles then began to drive down old logging roads and was asking her if she ever though that today would turn out like this. Peebles told her that he was taking her out in the woods to kill her and she it was not going to end well for her. She said Peebles eventually stopped the vehicle on one of the logging roads where he told her to stay in the car while he got out of the vehicle and went the back and began pleasuring himself. She thought this was a good time to try and run so she took her chance. but Peebles was able to run her down and catch her.

Peebles drug her back to the vehicle slamming her face into the side causing her to hit her nose and forced her back into vehicle. They rode around for a short period of time until they finally arrived at Y-Mart. The woman stated that Peebles told her to go inside and pay for some gas, but she didn’t have any money and knew Peebles would be mad. She went on to say once inside the store she ran into the manager’s office and told her she needed help. Peebles tried to get her out of the store, but eventually left in her vehicle.

Deputy Tollefson also stated the woman also said that over the past three days, Peebles had forcefully injected her with Methamphetamine through the veins in both arms.

The Deputy observed several bruises on the woman’s body. He also observed two very large whelps and bruising on her left thigh and buttocks. She also showed me the Deputy where Peebles allegedly injected her with Methamphetamine.

On-Call CID was contacted and Sgt. J. McClane arrived on-scene.

The victim was transported to the Ouachita County Medical Center for treatment and was later discharged with minor injuries. While at the Hospital the woman completed a voluntary statement form, and photographs were taken. She was later transported to the Women's Crisis Center for a safe place to stay. Her vehicle was entered into ACIC as an Unauthorized Use.

The victim was advised that a report would be on file and forwarded to the Criminal. Investigation Division for investigation. Radio Works will follow this story and report on any other actions taken on this crime.

The Sheriff’s Office responded to a number of other calls last week including  theft of a butane tank, a one vehicle accident with no injuries, shoplifting from Family Dollar in Bearden, a report of theft of a package from a home in Bearden, a U-Haul that was not returned, and other minor incidents.

CAMDEN FAIRVIEW BOARD OF EDUCATION TO MEET
The Camden Fairview Board of Education will meet in regular session Tuesday night, April 16th at 6:30 p.m. at Garrison Auditorium. The agenda includes a presentation by the Camden Fairview High School Choir, student hearings, the Superintendent’s Report, a presentation and recommendation regarding the 2019-2020 Classified and Licensed Salary Schedules and a presentation regarding the legislative joint Auditing Committee report for fiscal year end June 20, 2018.

LION’S CLUB TO MEET
The Camden Noon Lion’s Club will meet Wednesday at Catherine’s Bistro. The speaker this week will be Demetria Rone from Bright Beginnings Child Care.

OUACHITA COUNTY GOOD FRIDAY SCHEDULE
The Ouachita County Courthouse and the Ouachita County Extension Office will be closed Friday, April 19th in observance of Good Friday.

DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICE SCHEDULE EGG HUNT
April is Child Abuse Awareness Month. The Department of Children and Family Services will be hosting an Egg Hunt this Friday, April 19th, at Carnes Park in Camden from 12:00 Noon to 3 p.m.

COTTON STATEMENT ON REJECTION OF INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT INVESTIGATION
Washington, D.C. — Following news reports that the International Criminal Court (ICC) unanimously rejected its prosecutor’s request to proceed with an investigation of American personnel who served in Afghanistan because such an investigation “would not serve the interests of justice,” U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) released the following statement:

“The United States holds its servicemembers to the highest standard, and the ICC’s decision not to pursue this investigation reflects that fact. Yesterday’s announcement was a victory for the men and women who fought to protect our nation abroad. When and if American personnel deviate from that standard of conduct, they’ll answer to their own democratically elected government.”

SAAC REGISTERING FOR BEGINNERS PASTEL CLASS HOSTED ON APRIL 27
Artist Kelly Campbell will host her popular Beginners Pastel Class on April 27. The one day workshop, designed for artists who are new to pastels, runs from 9am to 2pm on Saturday morning.  In five hours, learn the basics of using soft pastels on sanded paper, as well as how to tone paper for underpainting using a variety of methods, and the basics of using different kinds of soft pastels to create an original painting.  

Campbell said, “This one day class is for real beginners – I go into the different kinds of soft pastels, the different kinds of paper, color choices, composition, and how to work from a photograph once you get the hang of the medium. This is probably my favorite class to teach – I love working in pastels, and sharing that passion is a great way to spend a day.” 

A retired art teacher, Campbell is employed by the South Arkansas Arts Center. She has exhibited her own pastel work with Julia Slaughter in 2015 and in SAAC’s “Legacy and Inspiration” exhibit in 2014. She has had solo exhibits in 2009, 2010, 2012, and most recently with “Roughnecks and Roustabouts” in 2017. Her pastels and photographs were accepted into the SAAC National Juried Art Competition in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2017. 

Cost for the class is $50 (includes supplies). Class limit 10. Call 870-862-5474 for more information or to register for the class.  SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas.

 
 

April 12, 2019

altGOVERNOR HUTCHINSON PROMOTES EDUCATOR COMMITMENT SIGNING WEEK
LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Asa Hutchinson continued the early celebration of Educator Commitment Signing Week at a press conference and signing event at the Capitol on Friday.

Similar to athletic signing events, Educator Commitment Signing Week, which is from April 14 to 20, 2019, celebrates those who are committed to the teaching profession and education in Arkansas.

"In my life, I have found few things more rewarding or important than education,” Hutchinson said. “Our students are our future, and our educators are a critical part of shaping that future. I am proud to celebrate a new generation that is committed to a career in the education profession."

In addition to the State Board of Education resolution signed at yesterday’s meeting and Hutchinson’s press conference today, the Arkansas Department of Education, colleges and universities, education service cooperatives, and high schools are coordinating and hosting more than 20 events around the state during this special week. New, veteran, and future teachers, as well as students, parents, and community members, are showing their support of education by signing a commitment to education certificate.

“It's an exciting time for education in Arkansas as educators, pre-service teachers, parents, students, policymakers, and community members come together to sign their commitment to education,” said 2018 Arkansas Teacher of the Year Randi House. “This declaration of having the same vision of student-focused education to support the students of Arkansas is quite powerful."

Educator Commitment Signing Week events represent one of many efforts by ADE’s Teach Arkansas campaign to promote the teaching profession. The campaign’s goals are to increase teacher recruitment and retention and encourage those who have left the profession to return.

To further promote the profession and signing week activities, ADE will host the fourth Teach Arkansas Lecture Series event April 15 in Pine Bluff. Marie Ferdinand-Harris, an Olympic gold medalist and former WNBA basketball player, will provide a motivational speech about the importance of teachers in shaping the futures of their students.

To learn more about Educator Commitment Signing Week and to see a list of scheduled activities, visit https://bit.ly/2D5jq1r. Participants are encouraged to post photos or videos on social media during the week using #TeachArkansas and #ARSigningWeek2019

Signing Week and Lecture Series

Educator Commitment Signing Week events represent one of many efforts by ADE’s Teach Arkansas campaign to promote the teaching profession. The campaign’s goals are to increase teacher recruitment and retention and encourage those who have left the profession to return.

To further promote the profession and signing week activities, ADE will host the fourth Teach Arkansas Lecture Series event April 15 in Pine Bluff. Marie Ferdinand-Harris, an Olympic gold medalist and former WNBA basketball player, will provide a motivational speech about the importance of teachers in shaping the futures of their students.

Prior to Ferdinand-Harris’ presentation, an Educator Commitment Signing Event will be held at 5 p.m. at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff's Hathaway-Howard Fine Arts Center, 1200 N. University Drive, Pine Bluff, AR 71601. The first 200 educators will receive a free gift. Ferdinand-Harris’ presentation will begin at 6:15 p.m. at the same location, followed by a question and answer session at 7:30 p.m. Educators who attend the evening lecture will be eligible to receive 1.5 hours of professional development credit. To sign up to attend, go to http://bit.ly/TALectureFour.

Ferdinand-Harris also will be available from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. April 15 at the fine arts center to talk with the media.

To learn more about Educator Commitment Signing Week and to see a list of scheduled activities, visit https://bit.ly/2D5jq1r. Participants are encouraged to post photos or videos on social media during the week using #TeachArkansas and #ARSigningWeek2019

GRIFFIN APPLAUDS PASSAGE OF GOVERNOR HUTCHINSON’S TRANSFORMATION PLAN
Says, HB1763 will help ‘create a leaner, smarter state government’ to provide ‘better value for taxpayers and improve government services’
 LITTLE ROCK – Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin today issued the following statement after the signing of HB1763, the Transformation and Efficiencies Act of 2019, to reorganize and reduce state agencies:

“I applaud the Arkansas General Assembly for passing HB1763 to reorganize and reduce the number of state agencies. As Lieutenant Governor and Vice Chair of the Transformation Advisory Board, it has been an honor to support this commonsense plan to create a leaner, smarter state government. Arkansans expect a government that does more with less, and this plan will lead to better value for taxpayers and improve government services. Embracing transformation and reforming state government are critical to reducing spending, lowering Arkansas’s tax burden, and competing with other states for jobs and economic opportunity. I commend the work of Governor Asa Hutchinson, the Transformation Advisory Board, and the legislature for their hard work on this important bill."

COTTON STATEMENT ON OMB GUIDANCE TO ENHANCE REGULATORY OVERSIGHT
Washington, D.C. – Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) released the following statement on guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget to strengthen oversight of new federal regulations:

“The Constitution states that only Congress can make laws, but that doesn’t always stop overzealous bureaucrats from making up regulations that effectively have the force of law, but without oversight from the legislative branch. Congress created the Congressional Review Act in order to rein in regulations created by federal agencies. I commend the administration for drafting new guidelines that will ensure greater compliance with the CRA and enhance Congress’s oversight of federal regulations.”

Background: Today, OMB issued guidance to the heads of federal departments and agencies to ensure consistent compliance with the Congressional Review Act. You can read the full memorandum here. Senator Cotton has fought for years to strengthen congressional oversight of federal regulations and the rule-making process. 

  • Last session, Congress used the Congressional Review Act to repeal more than a dozen heavy-handed regulations imposed during the eleventh hour of the Obama presidency. Repealing these regulations saved Americans billions in compliance costs.
  • Earlier this year, Senator Cotton questioned Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell about bank regulators’ potential abuse of regulatory “guidance” to impose burdensome tests on medium-sized and community banks.

BOOZMAN REVIEWS IMPLEMENTATION OF VETERANS HEALTH
WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) pushed the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to share details on its implementation of landmark reforms to veterans’ community care programs.

Boozman, a member of the Senate VA Committee, has spoken with veterans, Veterans Service Organization officials and private sector health care providers around Arkansas who are looking forward to the expanded benefits within the VA MISSION Act, but are concerned about the lack of information provided by the VA on the program that is scheduled to come online June 6, 2019.

The senator pressed the VA on its readiness for launching this program during a hearing Wednesday. “Do veterans know what to expect on June 6? Are we being proactive to the veteran community?” Boozman asked.

Dr. Jennifer MacDonald, the Veterans Health Administration official in charge of the implementation, said a plan has been developed to educate veterans and providers about the new benefits.

For these and other stories visit www.yesradioworks.com/news

 
 
 

APRIL 11, 2019

CITY OF CAMDEN POLICE REPORTS
DWI- Misdemeanor

On April 10, 2019 at 12:49 a.m. hours, Officer Jake Perry and Officer Brandon Brangaccio were dispatched to the area of 2615 South Adams Street in reference to a car stopped in the middle of the road with its lights on and still running. Upon arrival the Officers saw a silver Ford Fusion stopped in the on-coming lane of South Adams, facing the wrong way. Officer Brangacccio approached the car on the driver side where he noticed a male asleep in the driver's seat. Upon looking through the vehicle it was noted that the vehicle was still in drive and the driver had his foot on both the gas and the brake. The Officer attempted to open the driver side door, but it was locked. Both Officers attempted to wake the driver up by knocking on the driver window multiple times. After multiple attempts of  knocking on the driver window the male finally woke up, but still didn't notice us banging on his window for around another minute. The man was advised to open his front door. Once he unlocked and opened the door he was advised that the Officer was going to reach across him to put the car in park and turn off the engine; removing the keys from the ignition in the process.

Once the car was in park and the keys were removed, Officer Brangaccio advised the male to step out and lean on the side of his vehicle. When the suspect was asked if he had any identification on him, he replied yes. After minutes of the subject struggling to find his ID card Officer Perry advised the subject he would look for it. Once the ID was found in his wallet, the man was identified as Juan Rodriguez-Herrera. When speaking to Juan the Officer detected the smell of intoxicants emitting from his person and from his breathe. When standing there Juan was swaying back and forth and he had slurred speech. Juan's eyes were very bloodshot as well.

While Officer Perry was checking the status of Juan's driver's license, Officer Brangaccio and Juan talked for a moment regarding what he was doing stopped in the middle of the street. Juan was unable to provide a logical explanation for why he was stopped in the on-coming lane of the street. When asked if he had consumed any alcohol recently, Juan initially denied drinking anything but then admitted to drinking alcohol earlier. At one point, Lieutenant Opelt, who had arrived on-scene, asked him again why he was at this specific location and Juan stated he was driving drunk but then quickly corrected himself. Officer Perry advised Juan to walk to our patrol unit and then asked him if he was willing to complete a standard field sobriety test which Juan replied that he would. Officer Brangaccio observed Officer Perry conduct the standardized field sobriety tests on Juan, and based on his performance, took him into custody for DWI.

The vehicle was impounded. Juan was transported to the Police Department with no incident and remained cooperative throughout booking procedures. Juan was issued one citation for driving while intoxicated and given a court date.

OBSTRUCTING GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS
On April 9, 2019 at 10:20 p.m., Officer Nathan Lane was on a traffic stop in the area of Morrison's Pharmacy on US Highway 278. The vehicle had a female passenger, later identified as Kawana Hardy. When the Officer asked Hardy for her ID, she stated she did not have it on her. Hardy stated her name was "Kay Hunt". The Officer ran "Kay Hunt" through dispatch for warrants and was advised there is no return for "Kay Hunt". He then asked "Kay Hunt" what is the name on her driver license and she stated "Kawana Hunt". The Officer ran "Kawana Hunt" through dispatch and again was advised there is no return for that name. Officer Perry arrived on scene and helped identify "Kawana Hunt" as Hardy. Hardy was taken into custody and transported to the station without incident. Booking was completed. Hardy was released with a Criminal Citation and given a District of Camden court date. Hardy was later transported to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office to be held for unrelated charges.

POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE
DRIVING ON SUSPENDED
LICENSE
On April 9, 2019 at 10:20 p.m. hours, Officer Nathan Lane was on routine patrol in the area of Country Club Road and US Highway 278, when he observed a grey Hyundai Elantra bearing AR LPN 125UAV. The Officer ran the plates and it returned to a black Mazda. Officer Lane then initiated the lights to signal a traffic stop at the intersection of US Highway 278 in front of Morrison's Pharmacy. Officer Lane made contact with the driver who identified himself as Calvin McBride. McBride’s name was run through dispatch for warrants, and dispatch advised his driver license was suspended. The Officer called for the next wrecker on the list due to his license being suspended. While inventorying McBride's vehicle, two small plastic jars containing marijuana and a cigar holder that is used to slice them, in a Crown Royal bag were found in the back seat of the vehicle. McBride took ownership of the marijuana and cigar holder. Kelly's Wrecking Service was contacted and arrived shortly afterwards. The two small plastic jars containing marijuana, and the holder was bagged and tagged as evidence. McBride was advised of the Officer’s findings. McBride was taken into custody and transported to the police Station without incident. McBride was released with a criminal citation and court date.

DWI ACCIDENT WITH PROPERTY DAMAGE
On April 8, 2019 at 1:02 a.m. hours, Officer Jacob VanAssche was dispatched to State Highway 7 at Camden Pawn (2712 South Adams) in reference to a vehicle accident. Dispatch advised the reporting party stated there was a hole in the building, and a truck was upside down. The reporting party was unaware of any injuries.

Upon my arrival the Officer observed a white Chevrolet Silverado bearing laying on its driver side partially in the Camden Pawn building. Based on the damages to the truck it was determined it had rolled over. While making my way to the truck Officer VanAssche observed the driver, who later was identified as Luis Muniz, to be partially ejected from the front windshield and passenger side of the truck. Muniz was conscious and responsive at the time the Officer made contact. The Officer observed Muniz to have several lacerations all over his body; one of which was on the top of his head close to the crown. Muniz yelled his leg was stuck under the vehicle. Officer VanAssche then observed Muniz's right leg to be pinned underneath the passenger side A-Post. Muniz was struggling to remove his leg from under the vehicle, so the Officer went to stabilize him and get him to stop moving until Fire Rescue and EMS arrived on scene. While stabilizing Muniz, the Officer smelled a strong odor of intoxicants coming from his person. When asked if he had drank any alcohol this evening, and he said yes. The Officer then asked him how much did he have to drink, and he said "A lot. A little too much".

Fire Rescue and EMS later arrived on scene and were able to extract Muniz from the vehicle and transport him to the hospital. The Officer requested dispatch for the next available wrecker to be dispatched to the location.

While waiting for the wrecker, Officer VanAsschewas able to follow the path the vehicle took. It appeared the vehicle was driving Northbound on Highway 7  and was negotiating the curve before the intersection of Highway 7 at Fairview when he left the roadway. Then proceeded to drive up the hill striking the fence surrounding Camden Pawn; rolling over, then striking the building itself. The vehicle damaged a portion of the back wall down and destroyed a support beam along with the merchandise inside the room.

Contact was made with the owner of Camden Pawn who stated he was unable to provide an estimate of the damages due to the amount of damage and the merchandise inside the store being pawned property. The Owner stated he would contact the station once he was able to get an estimate of the damages.

After the vehicle was removed from the scene, Officer VanAssche went to the hospital to follow-up on Muniz. Upon my arrival he made contact with hospital staff, who informed him when they asked Muniz why he had the accident he stated he had been drinking a lot of alcohol before he began driving, and lost control of the vehicle. Muniz was stabilized.

Muniz later was issued Criminal Citation for DWI, and a Traffic Citation for Failure to Maintain Control, and No Seat Belt.

DWI 3rd OFFENSE
DAMAGED PROPERTY

On April 6, 2019 at 7:53 p.m. Officer Ashley Watts, was dispatched to 225 John F Kennedy Road in reference to a damaged property report. The Officer arrived and made contact with the home owner, Cynthia Thomas, and also Ricky Johnson. Thomas stated she got a call while she was at work that someone had driven into her yard and struck her house. She said Johnson came to pick her up from work to bring her home. Johnson stated when he arrived at the residence at approximately 7:00 p. m. hours he observed a black car in the yard at 225 JFK. He said it appeared as though his neighbor had lost control of the vehicle and struck the residence. Johnson said when he got there the rear bumper of the vehicle was against the house and the front of the vehicle was facing the road. Upon Thomas' arrival to the residence the vehicle had been removed from her yard and was parked across the street in the neighbor's driveway. Thomas pointed across the street to 200 JFK and stated the owner of the vehicle was outside in the yard.

Officer Watts then made contact with the owner of the vehicle involved, Samantha 'Duggins. Duggins stated she was not in the car at the time of the incident. She said that her fiance, Ibn Fort, was driving the vehicle when it struck the residence and that she wasn't really sure what happened to cause him to lose control of the vehicle. The Officer asked her to go get him from inside the residence so she could speak to him. Duggins went into the residence and returned shortly after, however it took Fort a while to exit the residence. Once Fort exited the residence, IOfficer Watts asked him what happened and he seemed hesitant to respond. While Detective Faulkner ran Fort's ID, Officre Watts continued to get Fort's statement. While speaking to Fort, the Officer could smell the odor of intoxicants on his breath. Fort stated he was backing out of the driveway as it was raining. He had his children in the car with him, he stated they were both in their car seats, one located in the rear driver side and one on the rear passenger side. He stated while backing out of the drive way he observed a vehicle moving at a high rate of speed heading west on JFK. In an attempt to avoid being struck by the vehicle he "goosed on it". He said he lost control of the vehicle because it was rainingand the roads were wet. He stated he avoided being struck by the vehicle, however his vehicle spun around backing into the neighbor's yard and striking the house with the rear bumper of the vehicle. Dispatch advised Fort's driver's license had been suspended for multiple DWI’s  and that he had multiple warrants for his arrest. At that point Fort was placed into custody. Officer Watts asked Fort if he had been drinking. Detective Faulkner then advised he observed a bottle of liquor in the floor board of the vehicle that was involved. Fort claimed the bottle of liquor belonged to a friend whom he gave a ride to earlier in the day. Duggins stated the children seemed to be fine and she did not wish for EMS to be called.

There was functional damage sustained to the black 2018 Chevrolet Malibu. The rear end of the vehicle was smashed, and the trunk could not be closed. The rear bumper of the vehicle was no longer intact. There was damage sustained to the front passenger side door, making it difficult to open the door. Officer Watts observed a bottle of whiskey in the floor board of the vehicle which was half empty. She also observed a booster seat located in the rear passenger seat.

Officer Watts then observed damage sustained to the residence of 225 JFK. The steps leading to the front door of the residence were busted on the bottom left comer, consistent with the damage sustained to the passenger side door of the vehicle. The exterior wall of the residence where the steps connected to the house was pushed in approximately an inch. There were cracks in the mortar of the residence where the rear of the vehicle made contact with it. She also observed what appeared to be particles of the tail lights embedded into the brick. The yard of the residence had ruts in it where Fort drove into the yard.

After transporting Fort to the police station he admitted that he had his daughter in his lap and was allowing her to drive the vehicle at the time of the incident. He said he would let her back the vehicle to the end of the drive way and then pull the car back to where it belonged. He said they did that about twenty times, then as she was backing the car toward the end of the driveway, her foot slipped off of the brake causing them to enter the road way. He said he observed the vehicle traveling west on JFK and in an attempt to avoid being struck by the vehicle he pressed the accelerator while the vehicle was in reverse. Fort stated he lost control of the vehicle while his daughter was in his lap and drove into the yard of 225 JFK, striking the residence. He said after getting the vehicle back to the house he went inside and drank a half pint of Crown. Standard Field Sobriety Test were administered to Fort at the police station. Fort's Blood Alcohol Content was 0.166. Fort was issued citations for Careless and Prohibited Driving, Driver’s License Suspended for DWI, DWI, No Seatbelt, and No Child Safety Restraint. He was given a District Court date. Fort was transported to the Ouachita County Detention Center to await first appearance.

WOMEN'S CRISIS CENTER SHELTER WISH LIST

  • Bleach
  • Powder/laundry detergent
  • Bathroom & kitchen cleaner
  • Paper towels
  • Toilet paper
  • Coffee
  • Creamer
  • Sugar
  • Batteries (double A & triple A)
  • Pine-Sol/Fabuloso
  • Diapers (all sizes)
  • Lysol
  • Furniture polish
  • Solid air fresheners
  • Trash bags (13 gallon)
  • Zip-loc bags
  • Mops
  • Brooms

OVERNIGHT HELENA OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING UNDER ASP INVESTIGATION
APRIL 11, 2019
Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division were contacted at 1:38 AM today by authorities within the Helena-West Helena Police Department.  A request was made for the agents to investigate an officer involved shooting that had occurred earlier today.

Approximately one hour prior to state police being called, a resident at 112 Caney Creek Road contacted a local ambulance company reporting an individual inside the home appeared to be in medical distress.  The caller indicated the individual was armed with a gun.

As police and ambulance personnel arrived they encountered Markel Barrow, 35, who was brandishing a pistol and pointed the gun at police officers. A Helena-West Helena police officer reportedly ordered Barrow to drop the gun.  Barrow allegedly refused to comply with the order and was shot by police.

Barrow was transported to a Memphis hospital where he is reported to be in stable condition.

The Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division will compile an investigative report limited to the use of deadly force by a law enforcement officer and submit the case file to the prosecuting attorney to determine whether the use of force was consistent with Arkansas law.

Questions relating to the administrative status and identity of the officers at the shooting scene should be directed to the Helena-West Helena Police Department.

altARKANSAS LEADERSHIP ACADEMY NAMES NEW MASTER PRINCIPAL
LITTLE ROCK — Karrie Arbuckle, a principal at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School in Bentonville, achieved the status of Master School Principal and was recognized April 11 at the State Board of Education meeting. To achieve this designation from the Arkansas Leadership Academy’s Master Principal Program, Arbuckle completed three years of rigorous professional development plus an additional year of performance evaluations.

Arbuckle holds both a bachelor's degree and a master’s degree from Harding University at Searcy, where she currently serves as an adjunct professor. At the district level, she serves on the ALE placement committee and is an elementary representative for Bentonville’s personnel policy committee. As principal, she partners with Amazeum to implement Maker Space Education in Bentonville schools.

“The Department of Education and State Board of Education are pleased to recognize outstanding principals each year,” said Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key. “The Master Principal Program provides principals who are seeking to learn and grow professionally the opportunity to strengthen their leadership skills. In order to lead the nation in student-focused education, excellent leaders, such as Ms. Arbuckle, are essential. I congratulate her on this high achievement and look forward to her continued success in education.”

“Developing principals with the talent to lead complex organizations requires giving them a broad range of leadership experiences along the way,” said ALA Director Dr. Clint Jones. “This rigorous, four-year program enables school leaders to enhance and accelerate student and adult learning. I commend Mrs. Arbuckle for being dedicated to her students, teachers, and learning community. I also want to thank the Arkansas Legislature, the Arkansas Department of Education, and the academy’s partners for their support and vision in building the leadership capacity of principals across our great state.”

Successful completion of the program qualifies an individual for Master School Principal status. Master Principals receive a $9,000 bonus each year for five years upon earning the designation and are eligible for an additional $25,000 per year for five years if they are selected to serve at a low-performing school. 

To learn more about the program, visit https://bit.ly/2Ggmk4G or contact Brenda Tash at bgtash@uark.edu or 479-575-3030. 

SENATORS INTRODUCE THE PROTECT ACT TO ENSURE PROTECTIONS AND AFFORDABLE COVERAGE FOR AMERICANS WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS
Washington, D.C. – Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and others introduced the Protect Act, legislation that protects Americans with pre-existing conditions. The Protect Act amends the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to:

  • Guarantee the availability of health insurance coverage in the individual or group market, regardless of pre-existing conditions;
  • Prohibit discrimination against patients based on health statusincluding prohibiting higher premiums for patients due to pre-existing conditions; and
  • Prohibit insurance companies from excluding coverage of treatments for a beneficiary’s pre-existing condition.

Joining Senator Cotton and Senator Tillis as co-sponsors of the Protect Act are Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-Louisiana), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), David Perdue (R-Georgia), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota), Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia), Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia).

“Arkansans with pre-existing conditions should know that we’re committed to protecting their coverage, despite all the flaws of Obamacare,” said Cotton. “Our bill would guarantee that insurance companies can’t discriminate against Arkansas citizens living with pre-existing conditions.”

“I strongly believe that no hardworking American should ever have to go to bed worried about being denied coverage or treatment if they or their children have a pre-existing condition, which is why I’m introducing the Protect Act,” said Tillis. “The American people have two distinct choices when it comes to the future of their health care. The one-size-fits-all approach being pushed by Democrats is a government takeover of our health care system and would eliminate choices for families. The American people deserve better. The Protect Act is an important first step towards protecting Americans with pre-existing conditions and pursuing patient-centered reform that will provide all Americans with the affordable and quality choices that work best for their needs and their budget.” 

“This legislation reaffirms that Americans with pre-existing conditions are protected against being denied a health plan, denied treatment for a pre-existing condition, or charged more for their condition,” said Alexander. “It will make sure that regardless of what happens to Obamacare, protections for Americans with pre-existing health conditions will not change.”

“Protecting patients with pre-existing conditions is something we can all agree on. I’ve long worked to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions, even before the passage of Obamacare on a party line vote,” said Grassley. “The Protect Act would provide peace of mind to millions of Americans who have been frightened by scare tactics being pushed in the media by self-interested politicians trying to convince Americans that this is a partisan issue. It’s not. Passing this bill is a chance for Democrats to prove they care about the issue beyond its use as a partisan talking point. Health care decisions made in Washington impact every single American. It’s the responsibility of Congress to put politics aside and work in the best interest of the people. That’s exactly what this legislation would do.” 

“The greatest barrier to coverage for preexisting conditions under Obamacare is unaffordable health insurance and too high deductibles,” said Dr. Cassidy. “As Republicans work to lower the cost of health insurance and expand coverage, this legislation preserves protections for preexisting conditions for those who have this insurance.”

“No American family should ever have to worry that they will be denied health care coverage because of a pre-existing condition,” said Portman. “This is a promise to the American people and I will continue to support this principle and fight to ensure it remains the law of the land.”

“Obamacare is running off the rails, and we have to do something to make sure people with pre-existing conditions are protected no matter what,” said Perdue. “Right now, the insurance packages being offered to most Americans are so expensive that they can't afford them. Premiums and deductibles have skyrocketed and priced people out of the market. In Georgia, 96 counties of 159 have just one carrier. Democrats claim they are covering pre-existing conditions with the so-called ‘Affordable Care Act,’ but if you can't actually afford insurance, you're not protected from anything. President Trump is ready to work with Congress and get this done for the American people, and this bill is a good first step in that process.”

“Texans shouldn’t have to fear being denied access to affordable health insurance because of a pre-existing condition,” said Cornyn. “This legislation will give them peace of mind they can choose an insurance plan for their families that offers quality, patient-centered coverage.”

“No American should lose their health care because they have a pre-existing condition,” said Cramer. “This bill ensures coverage is available and affordable no matter one’s current health status, and it prevents insurance companies from denying coverage or increasing premiums due to pre-existing conditions. I urge my Senate colleagues to reject radical Democratic proposals that strip millions of Americans of their insurance plans and to support legislation that preserves and expands access to health care.”

“We are working to improve health care for all Americans, and as part of that effort, I’m proud to again cosponsor this legislation to protect Americans’ access to health care, regardless of whether or not they have a pre-existing condition,” said Isakson. “While there are many differences of opinion over the Affordable Care Act, we can all agree that we cannot allow insurance companies to deny coverage for someone who has a pre-existing condition or cancel coverage to someone who develops a condition. This legislation ensures that Americans will have the guarantee that, no matter what happens to Obamacare, these important protections for pre-existing medical conditions will be the law of the land.”

“I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing the Protect Act,” said Capito. “Protecting individuals with pre-existing conditions is simply the right thing to do.”

“As a doctor and the husband of a breast cancer survivor, I know firsthand how important it is to make sure that patients with pre-existing conditions have the ability to get the care they need,” said Barrasso. “The Protect Act clearly specifies in law protections for those with pre-existing conditions. The bottom line is protecting people – like my wife –with pre-existing conditions is not up for discussion.”

“It is absolutely necessary that we protect people with pre-existing conditions,” said Scott. “This is personal for me. I remember my mom, who didn’t have insurance, struggling to find care for my brother who had a serious disease. She eventually found a charity hospital four hours away where he could get treatment. I’m proud to co-sponsor Senator Tillis’s bill that guarantees protections for pre-existing conditions. No matter what happens in the courts, it’s imperative that we guarantee these protections and continue working to recuse health care costs for American families.”

“I don’t know a single person, Republican or Democrat, who thinks we shouldn’t cover pre-existing conditions,” said Kennedy. “It would behoove all of us to have a replacement health care plan ready, and we need to get started now. In the meantime, we can assure American families that they won't be denied health care coverage if they have a pre-existing condition.”

“When it comes to healthcare, Hoosiers want freedom, choice, and flexibility. We also want to protect people with pre-existing conditions,” said Young. “I’m joining Senator Tillis to introduce legislation that will help ensure patients with pre-existing conditions aren’t denied coverage.” 

“Americans should not be denied access to the health care coverage they need because of a pre-existing condition,” said Burr. “While the Affordable Care Act is systemically flawed and our health care system is facing 21st century challenges, standing up for those with pre-existing conditions is something we can all agree on. The Protect Act will help provide security and peace of mind for millions of Americans.”

BOOZMAN, HOEVEN INTRODUCE LEGISLATION TO IMPROVE EDUCATION BENEFITS FOR NATIONAL GUARD AND RESERVE
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) joined Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) to introduce the Montgomery GI Bill Parity Act to enable members of the Guard and Reserve to concurrently use GI Bill benefits and Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA) programs to fund their education.

“I am pleased to join with my colleague Senator Hoeven to offer this simple fix to a problem that should not exist. Our men and women in uniform deserve the benefits they have earned without strings attached. The Montgomery GI Bill Parity Act will remove this unnecessary barrier to education benefits for Guard and Reserve members,” Boozman said

“Our legislation is all about supporting our Guard and Reserve members and ensuring they receive the benefits that they have earned,” Hoeven said. “The Montgomery GI Bill Parity Act improves access to education benefits for Guard members and ensures that they are able to utilize their benefits in the same way as active duty servicemembers.”

Currently, individuals who qualify for Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty (MGIB-AD) or the “Post 9/11 GI Bill” are, by statute, able to simultaneously use Tuition Assistance (TA) and GI Bill benefits. In late 2014, the Department of Defense (DoD) issued a policy that prohibits similar concurrent usage of TA with the Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR). The legislation directs DoD to update its policy and allow Guard and Reserve members to utilize both their GI Bill benefits and the Tuition Assistance concurrently, providing parity with active duty servicemembers.

The legislation is cosponsored by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND).

“For so many Vermonters and other Americans, the National Guard is a way to serve the nation and their communities, and to open up opportunities in their lives,” Leahy said. “With this bill we ensure women and men who sign up for the National Guard get all the educational benefits the nation intended they receive. It will allow access to all the opportunities their service provides, and allow a grateful nation the benefit of their full service.”

“Both Federal Tuition Assistance and the Montgomery GI Bill not only benefit service members, but also make our military and our economy stronger,” Cramer said. “Current restrictions prevent service members from using GI Bill benefits if they are already using tuition assistance, making it more difficult to cover education-related costs. This legislation closes this loophole and allows service members to use the educational benefits they have earned through years of dedicated service.”         
 

SAAC TO HOSE FOURTH ANNUAL 5X5 ART DASH ON MAY 5 The South Arkansas Arts Center will host its fourth annual 5x5 Art Dash on Sunday, May 5, in the Merkle Gallery. This is your chance to attend a fundraiser and leave with a "door prize" that is worth more than the ticket price! Tickets are $55 per person and are available at the SAAC office. The Art Dash is sponsored once again by East Camden and Highland Railroad.

The doors will open at 2pm for cocktails, light hors d'oeuvres, and advance viewing of the 55 paintings. The dash will begin at approximately 2:30, and each ticket holder will "dash" to grab a prized 5x5 piece of art donated by a local or regional artist who has exhibited at SAAC. While only the fastest will go home with first choice, you're guaranteed to have the chance to choose one of the original pieces on display.

Artwork has been donated for this fast and furious event by: Tracy Alderson, Amy Allen, Susan Barnes, Sandy Bennett, Angela Blann, Scott Brown, Stephanie Brown, Liz Butler, Kelly Campbell, Michele Clark, Margaret Combs, Melinda Dodson, Christy Edmonds, Treasa Evans, Gary Hall, Annaleigh Harper, Rhonda Hicks, Danny Hobbs, April Hoover, Beth Hubbert, Missy Inman, Brenda Keech, John Keech, Nancy Rae Kinard, Helene Lambert, Emmaline Landes, Shelley Landes, Pat Lowery, Becki Lusk, Mike Means, Selene Mondragon, Chrystal Osborn, Melania Osborn, Ann Palculict, Spencer Purinton, Lee Scroggins, Renee Skinner, Liz Slater, Julia Slaughter, Jerri Beth Smith, Cindy Snelson, Douglas Stanton, Christy Stone, Marla Tomlinson, Ann Trimble, Susan Turbeville, Pam Vernon, Jorge Villegas, Maria Villegas, Paul Washcka, Hayden White, Betty Wilson, and Emily Wood.

With only 55 tickets available, this is the most exclusive event hosted by SAAC each year, and tickets go quickly, but everyone is invited to view the work while it is on exhibit in the Lobby Gallery for a 3 day pre-view April 29 - May 2. For more information on the 5x5 Art Dash, 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.

 
 
 
 
 

APRIL 10, 2019

CAMDEN CITY COUNCIL MONTHLY MEETING
The City of Camden City Council met in regular session Tuesday night, April 9, 2019. The invocation was given by Reverend Gwen Edwards of the Set Free Christian Ministries. After the invocation was the Pledge of Allegiance and the Roll Call. Joe Askew was absent with all other Aldermen in attendance. The Minutes and Financial Reports were approved.

The Mayor’s Report thanked the Fire Department for aiding in the blast on Highway 278 earlier in the month. He stated that there was some damage to some of the Fire Trucks.

He spoke to the clean-up of Downtown Camden. New flowers are in the planters. He said if someone has a business out of the Downtown area that is adjacent to city property that needs attention to call and let the City know and it will be addressed.

The Mayor has met with all Department Heads in order to learn more about the individual department’s as well as to build relationships between City Hall and the Departments.

The Mayor reported that security cameras have been put in City Hall. More.

Grants have been written to continue work on the Trace. The Mayor has attended Training and continuing Education Sessions. He is looking for ways to improve the Quality of life In the City. He has Focus Groups to come up with ideas for improvement and learn what the City can do to better server the Community.

The Court Offices reported on the March Amnesty addressed. Total collected almost $98,000. Monthly average over the past two years is $62000.00. 250 warrants were served as part of this program. This is 6 times the number warrants normally served in any given month over the past two years. As a result of this over 2000 cases either are scheduled for court or paid in full. Many had Driver’s License reinstated because they were able to pay their fines off. Due to the over whelming response and success of the program the powers that be are contemplating doing this again in the fall of this year.

There was no old business.

New business included Resolution 17-19, a resolution expressing the willingness of the City Council to utilize the Federal Transportation Alternative Program Funds for Adams Avenue sidewalks. The question was posed as to how much money should the city invest in an area where there is an unsightly pile of bricks. The resolution passed with a 5 to 2 vote. Aldermen Lindsey and Aregood voted against the measure.

The meeting then went into other business. The Jaycee’s had reached out to Chris Aregood to see if the City was going to asked about helping the Jaycees in obtaining property for the Jaycee’s Haunted House. It was learned that the City offered a building last year but the Jaycee’ rejected the offer.

There is now an issue with the Municipal Building. It is now raining in the building near a light. There is also a smell of mold and mildew. Something has to be done to fix the building. The Mayor is very concerned about water coming in on electrical. There had been three quotes last year, but most quotes are only good for 90 days. The Mayor would have liked to have acted on the issue at the meeting, but the Council refused to give him a “blank check”. After much discussion it was decided that the Mayor would get three or four good bids on the job that needs to be done. When he has gotten the bids for the job, the Council will be called back for a Special Session to decide how best to make the repairs.

The next scheduled Regular Council Meeting is slated for May 14, 2019.

EL DORADO MAN PERISHES IN HOUSE FIRE
Sunday morning an El Dorado man perished at his home after as a result of a fire that originated in his kitchen. The fire was in the 100 Block fo Broadway Boulvard. The man has been identified as Josh Koon, 35, of El Dorado. It is reported that he died from smoke and soot inhalation from the fire

The fire was reported at 9:42 a.m. Sunday and El Dorado fire crews arrived by 9:45 a.m. according from a report from the El Dorado Fire Department. It was reported that the fire was visible from the street. Flames were coming out of the roof. The fire could be seen from the street, Evans said, with flames exiting through the roof. Neighbors told the Firemen that Koon was inside. As soon as the Firefighters gained access to the house, they found Koon and provided immediate medical attention but despite their best efforts, Koon was later pronounced dead.

The fire appeared to originate at Koon’s stove. According to the fire report, the fire was above the gas cook stove and range when firefighters entered the home to continue extinguishing it. Evans said the fire was isolated to the kitchen. “It started near the stove, in the kitchen,” Evans said. “We’re still trying to put all the pieces together, but we don’t believe it was weather-related.”

Koon was the only person found in the home. The fire department left at 11:35 a.m., after all remaining hot spots had been extinguished.

Despite the bad weather this weekend, the El Dorado Fire Department only responded to two structure fires, Evans said. He said he was not aware of any water rescues or other calls related to the storms.

LET’S CLEANUP THE NEIGHBORHOOD - CAMDEN IS CELEBRATING EARTH DAY THE WHOLE WEEK
Earth Day is April 22nd and the Keep Camden Beautiful Committee 2019, the City of Camden Public Works Department and the City of Camden are celebrating Earth Day is celebrating the whole week. April 22nd through April 17th Camden wants everyone to clean-up!

Clean-up your yards and ditches and dump you trash and debris absolutely free ant the Camden-City Landfill located at 2463 Country Club Road. Let’s get Camden FREE of Trash

The week of April 22nd thru April 27th you can clean your yard or even clean your neighbors’ yard. There will be no charge to bring your yard waste materials such as limbs, leaves, grass clippings and pine straw. Dump as much of this type stuff as you want absolutely free.

Help the City Celebrate Earth Day 2019!!!!

“YOU BLOOM” LADIES SUPPORT GROUP
A new group is being formed in the Ouachita County area. The “You Bloom” Ladies Support Group is a group of ladies supporting each other from the trauma of emotional, physical and sexual abuse. The group will meet every other Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the OPED Building located at 625 Adams Avenue in Camden. There will be be speakers to help motivate women who have been victims of abuse to find themselves again. There will be information on resources for women to help them break the cycle of abuse in their lives. The group is open to any woman who believes she can benefit from the meetings and resources. This includes anyone who has been in an abusive relationship as well as those who might currently be in a bad situation. The first meeting will be held Thursday, April 25th beginning at 11:00 a.m. Call Terica at 870-360-8476 for more information.

Arkansas AG logoRUTLEDGE RECOGNIZES CRIME VICTIMS' RIGHT WEEK
LITTLE ROCK – April 7-13 is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week to raise awareness for victims and the effect that the victimization has on victims. Victims of crime may receive financial assistance to cover the medical and funeral expenses incurred by the victim or the victim’s family. Communities across the country, including here in Arkansas, are hosting events this week to honor crime victims and recognize those who advocate on their behalf. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has also declared this week as Crime Victims’ Rights Week in Arkansas.

“As a former prosecutor, I have worked with victims of violence,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “And as Attorney General it is important for me to promote safer communities and honor the advocates who empower victims and survivors of violence. I offer my sincere prayers for protection and healing. I will continue to support and thank the countless members of law enforcement and victim advocates in communities across Arkansas.”

This year’s theme for National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is “Honoring Our Past. Creating Hope for the Future.”

The Arkansas Crime Victims Reparations Program, administered by the Office of Attorney General Leslie Rutledge on behalf of the Crime Victims Reparations Board, provides financial compensation to victims and family members who have suffered personal injury or death as the result of violent crime.

Additionally, the Sexual Assault Reimbursement Program allows evidence to be collected after a sexual assault has been committed without the victim bearing the burden of the expense, and it pays for ambulance services and medical or legal examinations.

Victims may apply for compensation by submitting an application to the Attorney General’s office. Applications are available at ArkansasAG.gov or from Arkansas’s 28 elected prosecuting attorneys.

In 2016, Rutledge unveiled Laura’s Card and has since distributed over 75,000 cards across Arkansas. Laura’s Card is a resource to assist and empower victims of domestic violence and sexual assault to provide resources to people in abusive situations. The card can also be downloaded in English and Spanish at LaurasCard.ar.gov.

Arkansas AG logoATTORNEY GENERAL ALERT: SCAMMERS SELLING FAKE “FIDO” PETS FOR FAMILIES
LITTLE ROCK – Scam artists are hiding online pretending to sell domestic pets, but instead are taking the consumer’s money without turning over a new fluffy friend. Often, these ads are found on free buy-and-sell websites and use especially endearing photos of the animal they have no intention of sending, or may not even own.
 
“Con artists are scouring the internet looking for new ways to get into our wallets,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “Families considering adding a new pet have a lot to think about, especially whether having this new pet is the right decision for them. They should not have to also worry if the seller is trying to scam them.”
 
Attorney General Rutledge and the Federal Trade Commission released the following tips to avoid falling victim to a scammer selling a pet that does not exist.

  • Visit in person the breeder or rescue group offering the pet. Responsible individuals and organizations will allow potential customers to tour their facility.
  • Search the user’s profile for warning signs that it may be a scam. Fake breeder websites can often look real because they steal content from legitimate rescue sites. Look for duplicate sites by copying a line from the website into a search engine and looking for identical wording elsewhere on the Internet.
  • Arrange to pick up the animal from a kennel instead of meeting the breeder at a potentially unsafe location. Do not rely on the breeder to ship the animal, and never pay for shipping.
  • Check the organization’s references. Talk to others who have purchased pets from this breeder and the breeder’s veterinarian.
  • Pay for the puppy with a check or credit card. If a breeder pressures for a wire transfer or prepaid debit card payment, it is probably a scam.

Attorney General Rutledge encourages Arkansans to do their research regarding adopting and purchasing pets. If you have questions about a potential pet shipper, the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association provides a list of trusted shippers across the world.

For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or consumer@arkansasag.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.

 

SENATORS COTTON, PERDUE AND HAWLEY RE-INTRODUCE THE REFORMING AMERICAN IMMIGRATION FOR A STRONG ECONOMY ACT (RAISE Act)
Washington, D.C.
— Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), David Perdue (R-Georgia), and Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) re-introduced the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act, a bill that would spur continued economic growth and raise working Americans' wages by giving priority to the best-skilled immigrants from around the world and reducing overall immigration levels. Representative Francis Rooney (R-Florida) will introduce companion legislation in the House of Representatives. 

The RAISE Act is supported by President Trump and has been described by the White House as a bill that “will create a merit-based immigration system that protects our workers, our taxpayers, and our economy.” 

“I’m proud to reintroduce the RAISE Act supported by the White House. For decades, our immigration system has been completely divorced from the needs of our country and has harmed the livelihoods of working-class Americans. The RAISE Act would build an immigration system that increases working-class wages, creates jobs, and gives every citizen a fair shot at achieving the American Dream, no matter whether their family came over on the Mayflower or just took the Oath of Allegiance,” said Cotton.

“Our current immigration system is broken and is not meeting the needs of our growing economy. If we want to continue to be the global economic leader, we have to welcome the best and brightest from around the world who wish to come to the United States legally to work and make a better life for themselves. This will require a skills-based immigration system that is pro-growth and pro-worker. The RAISE Act is proven to work and is still the only plan that responds to the needs of our economy, while preserving quality jobs and wages for American workers,” said Purdue.

"We need an immigration system that puts American workers first. Our broken immigration policies hurt hardworking Americans and the talented individuals who are stuck in line, waiting to contribute to our country. With the RAISE Act, the United States can finally end chain migration and move to a merit-based system. All Americans deserve rising wages, a growing economy, and an equal shot at the American Dream,” said Hawley.

“The United States immigration system is broken. Only one in every 15 immigrants to our country are granted visas because of their skills, and we do not prioritize the ultra high-skilled immigrants who spur innovation, create jobs, and make America more competitive. The system we have now supports programs like the Diversity Visa Lottery, which does not add skills or competitive workers to our workplace, and “chain migration,” whereby once a person enters, their family relations can automatically come to the U.S. regardless of their employability. Together with Senator Tom Cotton, I introduced the RAISE Act to end these failed programs and replace them with a merit-based system that considers education, English-language ability, high-paying job offers, age, record of extraordinary achievement, and entrepreneurial initiative. Passing this legislation, along with legislation that I have cosponsored to fix the asylum-seeking process and mandate e-verify, will provide significantly better immigration policy and greater control of our borders,” said Congressman Rooney.

Specifically, the RAISE Act would:

  • Establish a Skills-Based Points System. The RAISE Act would replace the current permanent employment-visa system with a skills-based points system, akin to the systems used by Canada and Australia. The system would prioritize those immigrants who are best positioned to succeed in the United States and expand the economy. Applicants earn points based on education, English-language ability, high-paying job offers, age, record of extraordinary achievement, and entrepreneurial initiative.
  • Prioritize Immediate Family Households. The RAISE Act would retain immigration preferences for the spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents while eliminating preferences for certain categories of extended and adult family members.
  • Eliminate the Outdated Diversity Visa Lottery. The Diversity Lottery is plagued with fraud, advances no economic or humanitarian interest, and does not even promote diversity. The RAISE Act would eliminate the 50,000 visas arbitrarily allocated to this lottery.
  • Place a Responsible Limit on Permanent Residency for Refugees. The RAISE Act would limit refugees offered permanent residency to 50,000 per year.
 

APRIL 9, 2019

ABRAM CONSTRUCTION & ASSOCIATES NOW BUILDING DREAM HOMES IN CAMDEN, AR
Camden, AR - Abram Construction & Associates, LLC is honored to build dream homes for families in Camden, Arkansas.  Abram Construction is a family-owned company founded on the principals of quality, craftsmanship, and integrity.  It has helped families and individuals in Tennessee and Mississippi realize the dream of owning a home for more than a decade.  Abram Construction is excited to do the same for citizens in Arkansas.

Abram Construction is pleased to announce it will build 19 single-family homes in Westridge Estates.  The superior crafted homes will enhance the beautiful well-established subdivision which features mature trees, generous-sized lots, and family-friendly neighbors.

 “When I build homes, they are more than just lots and plan numbers. Employees at Abram Construction not only know your name, but also understand your dreams, and what it will take to make your new house, your new home,” says Antonio Abram, President, Abram Construction & Associates.

As an experienced custom home builder, Abram Construction has the ability to ensure the workmanship to the highest standards. Abram Construction was created to meet a very real need in today's home building market.  It builds quality homes, at affordable prices, with honesty and integrity.   “There is a great need for affordable homes in Camden,” said Mayor Julian Lott.  “I reached to Abram Construction because of their dedication to not only building homes, but to also building up communities.”

Abram Construction has extensive experience in helping home buyers secure federal, state, and local grants and financing.  “It’s important to me to make sure families can not only move into their dream home, but can also afford to live in it for many years after,” says Abram. 

Abram Construction believes homes are more than just four walls and a roof.  “They say home is where the heart is for a reason. It’s where love, affection, and memories are made,” says Abram. “And we are honored that families choose an Abram Construction home to create those life-long bonds.”

For more information about Abram Construction & Associates go to www.AbramConstruction.us.

GROW CAMDEN GARDENING WORKSHOPS OFFERED
Grow Camden in conjunction with the U of A Division of Agriculture, the Master Gardeners, the USDA and First Friday are pleased to present Gardening Workshops throughout the spring. All Workshops will be held at the Events Center at Fairview Park.

The first Workshop entitled Gardening 101 will be this Thursday, April 11th at 6 p.m. and Saturday, April 13th at 10 a.m. This is the same workshop at two different times, for anyone busy at one time, just catch the other one. Learn about “Backyard Basics” presented by the Ouachita County Extension Office.

The Ouachita County Extension Service will present “Container Gardening” on April 15th at 6 p.m.

The Calhoun County Extension Office will present “Healthy Eating” on April 29th at 6 p.m.

Learn about “High Tunnels” as the USDA Soil and Conservation District present the program on May 6th at 6 p.m.

The final Workshop will be held on May 13th at 6 p.m. The Ouachita County Extension Office will present “Maintaining your Garden”.

These are FREE workshops to help you learn new techniques, ask questions, find a way to garden. Don't have a space you can garden....there's a solution for that too! Join with Keri Weatherford with Ouachita County Extension Service for these great workshops. You do NOT have to register to attend, just show up.

TEXTING DRIVERS BEWARE: U DRIVE – U TEXT – YOU PAY
APRIL 8, 2019
(LITTLE ROCK) – Distracted driving continues to be one of the leading causes of motor vehicle crashes across the nation’s roadways.  The Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office is working with state and local law enforcement agencies to encourage drivers to put down their phones while driving.

Beginning April 11th and continuing through April 15th, law enforcement agencies in Arkansas will participate in the “U Drive, You Text, You Pay” campaign, which includes both educational as well as enforcement operations designed to make streets and roads safe.  The goal is to reduce traffic crashes caused by distracted driving associated with cell phone use while driving.

A report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that examined motor vehicle crashes that occurred during 2012 - 2017 indicates nearly 20,000 people died in crashes involving distracted drivers. During calendar year 2017 there were 3,166 people killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.

In recent years a younger generation of millennial drivers has become the biggest texting-while-driving offenders, using their cell phones to talk, text, and scroll through social media while behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.  Since 2007, according to NHTSA, young drivers 16 to 24 years old have been observed using handheld electronic devices while driving at higher rates than older drivers.  During 2017, 8 percent of people killed in teen (15-19) driving crashes died when teenage drivers were distracted at the time of each crash.  The statistical analysis indicates female drivers are the most at risk for being involved in a fatal crash when distracted.

“While on the road anyone can look out of their vehicle window and see drivers using their cell phones,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor's Highway Safety Representative. “People know texting and driving is dangerous and illegal, but they do it anyway, and it puts others at risk.”

Colonel Bryant has committed to increasing state police patrols in the coming days.  Troopers will be stopping violators and ticketing them if caught texting and driving.

Violating Arkansas’ distracted driving laws can be costly.  Arkansas law prohibits the use of a hand-held cell phone for texting, typing, email or accessing the internet while driving, regardless of the driver's age.  It is also a "primary offense" law, which means a state trooper, police officer or sheriff's deputy can initiate a traffic stop without observing any other violation.  Fines can range from up to $250 for a first offense and up to $500 for any subsequent offense.

Arkansas law enforcement officers urge you to put your phone down when you get behind the wheel. If you need to text, then pull over and stop the vehicle.

If you’re driving, follow these steps for a safe driving experience:

  •If you are expecting a text message or need to send one, pull over and park your car in a safe location before you attempt to text.
 
  •Designate your passenger as your “designated texter.” Allow them access to your phone to respond to calls or messages.
 
  •Do not engage in social media scrolling or messaging while driving.  Cell phone use can be habit-forming. Struggling to not text and drive? Put the cell phone in the trunk, glove box, or back seat of the vehicle until you arrive at your destination.

Texting while driving is dangerous and illegal. Break the cycle. Remember: U Drive. U Text. U Pay.  For more information on distracted driving issues, visit www.Distraction.gov, www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136. For more on Arkansas’ ongoing Toward Zero Deaths campaign to eliminate preventable traffic fatalities, visit www.TZDarkansas.org.

OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING BEING INVESTIGATED BY ASP-CID
APRIL 8, 2019
The Arkansas State Police is investigating an overnight officer involved shooting incident that resulted in the death of Marzues Scott, 35, of Blytheville.

Authorities within the Blytheville Police Department requested the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division to investigate the use of deadly force by one of its officers.

A Blytheville police officer was dispatched at approximately 11:30 PM Sunday (April 7th) to a disturbance call at the Dodge’s convenience store located at 3605 South Division Street.

Once at the scene of the disturbance the officer encountered the suspect, identified as Scott, across the street at the Deerfield Inn located at 1100 Kari Lane.  Scott allegedly attacked the officer and during a scuffle, the officer shot Scott who died later at a local hospital.  The officer sustained minor injuries during the attack.

Questions relating to the identity of the officer and administrative status should be directed to the Blytheville Police Department.

Scott’s body has been transported to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory to determine the manner and cause of death as well as collecting forensic evidence.

Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division are preparing an investigative report to be submitted to the prosecuting attorney to determine whether use of deadly force by a law enforcement officer in this incident was consistent with Arkansas law.

ARKANSAS FOODBANK ANNOUNCES A DAY OF GIVING
Arkansas Foodbank has announced a Day of Giving taking place on Thursday, April 11. This event is a 24-hour opportunity for our community to come together and help change the lives of hungry Arkansans.

On Day of Giving, each donor gets to decide how they would like their funds to help. Donors will have 40 different giving opportunities to choose from on April 11th. They can direct their gift towards programs specifically in one of the 33 counties the Foodbank serves OR make a gift to help fund one of the Foodbank’s programs across our service area such as our Food For Kids, Food For Seniors or Food For Families programs. Donors can also help fund specific initiatives that the Foodbank is currently working towards such as our produce initiative to increase access to fresh produce for those we serve, mobile distributions to communities in need, or towards the “Bridging Hope” Capital Campaign to help fund a new volunteer center set to open next year. There will also be matching opportunities throughout the day to stretch donations even further.

“We’re so excited to launch this Day of Giving and share this opportunity for donors to support us in the area they are most passionate about,” said Rhonda Sanders, CEO of the Arkansas Foodbank. “The need is so great this time of year as we prepare for the warmer months when children are out of school and not receiving breakfast and lunch daily. Every gift can make such a large impact.”

Every $1 donated to the Foodbank provides food for 5 meals for those in need. For more information on how you can donate to Day of Giving, visit www.arkansasfoodbank.org <http://www.arkansasfoodbank.org.

GOVERNOR HUTCHINSON APPOINTS JUDGE MEREDITH SWITZER TO COURT OF APPEALS, DISTRICT 4
LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced the appointment of Judge Meredith Switzer, Hot Springs, to the Court of Appeals, District 4. Judge Switzer will replace the late Judge David M. “Mac” Glover. Her term expires on December 31, 2020. 

Governor Hutchinson released the following statement:
“I am pleased to appoint Judge Switzer, a native of Hot Springs, to the Court of Appeals for District 4. Her experience in the courtroom as both a practicing attorney and a former District Judge in Garland County have provided her with the knowledge and wisdom necessary to serve the people of Arkansas on the Court of Appeals.”

Meredith Blaise Switzer is a Hot Springs native who graduated from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in 2001. In 2004, she graduated with honors from UALR Law School, where she served as Executive Editor of the UALR Law Review.  

Judge Switzer practiced as an Associate Attorney at Rose Law Firm but left private practice to pursue a career in public service in 2009.  She went to work for the Arkansas Attorney General and was promoted through the years to Deputy Attorney General of the State Agencies Department. In December 2016, Judge Switzer was appointed by Governor Hutchinson as District Judge in Garland County after the passing of her father and predecessor, Judge David Switzer. She served for two years on the District Court bench but, due to her appointment, was unable to run to succeed herself. 

In January 2019, she joined Quapaw House, Inc. as Chief Legal Counsel. Judge Switzer is a member of the Board of Trustees of Mid-America Science Museum and the First United Methodist Church Child Development Center. She was a member of Leadership Greater Little Rock, Class XXI and a former member of the William H. Overton Inn of Court. She is a current member of the American, Arkansas, and Garland County Bar Associations, as well as the newest member of the Hot Springs National Park Rotary.

CAMDEN KIWANIS CLUB TO MEET
The Camden Kiwanis Club will meet this Thursday,  April 11th  at 12:00 at  Catherine’s Bistro. The program will be presented by Rajveer Kaur Kang, Executive Director at the Ouachita Valley Community Foundation.

April 08, 2019


Arkansas AG logo

RUTLEDGE AND COTTON HOLD ROUNDTABLE TO TACKLE CRIMINAL JUSTICE ISSUES 
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and U.S. Senator Tom Cotton held a roundtable discussion on Friday with state law enforcement and criminal justice leaders, followed by a question and answer session with the media, to address issues at the state and federal level. Topics included the continued effort to combat the opioid epidemic and stopping the sale of lethal unwashed poppy seeds. Also discussed were Senator Cotton’s legislation to allow cell phone jamming in prisons and Attorney General Rutledge’s efforts to curb illegal robocalls and spoofing, which was signed into law Wednesday.

“It is always a pleasure to join my friend Senator Cotton, and work with him on issues that require leadership at both the state and federal level,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Today’s discussion gave us the opportunity to hear from state leaders on ideas to protect and serve all Arkansans. I look forward to continuing the partnership between our offices to make Arkansas a safer and better place to live.”

“There’s important work being done at the state and federal levels to curb serious problems like the opioid epidemic and prison contraband,” said Senator Cotton. “Arkansas is blessed to have dedicated law enforcement officials and public servants working hard to fix these problems and keep us safe.”

Today’s roundtable was attended by Arkansas Crime Lab Director Kermit Channell, Arkansas Criminal Justice Institute Director Dr. Cheryl May, Arkansas Department of Correction Director Wendy Kelley, Arkansas Department of Health Director Dr. Nate Smith, Arkansas Prosecutor Coordinator Bob McMahan, Arkansas State Police Col. Bill Bryant, Arkansas Surgeon General Dr. Greg Bledsoe, Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Bryan Rorex, FBI Special Agent in Charge Diane Upchurch, Lonoke County Prosecuting Attorney Chuck Graham, Perry County Sheriff Scott Montgomery, Sebastian County Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Shue, and State Drug Director Kirk Lane.

Arkansas AG logoATTORNEY GENERAL ALERT: SCAMMERS POSING AS TRUSTED COMPANIES TO STEAL FINANCIAL INFORMATION
LITTLE ROCK – Scammers are posing as employees of legitimate and trusted businesses such as pest control, lawn care or alarm companies in an attempt to steal personal information from Arkansans. The caller tries to set up an in-home appointment or confirm personal information in hopes of gaining access to credit card numbers, social security numbers or bank account information. This is a scam, and Arkansans should hang up immediately.

“Arkansans should be cautious of unsolicited callers trying to confirm personal information and set up appointments,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “If you have any doubt, hang up and find the company’s phone number from an independent source and call them to confirm the information you have been told. Do not use the number on your caller ID from the original call.”

Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips for recognizing and responding to these types of scam calls:

  • These callers may request to be contacted only at the number provided instead of the company’s general number.
  • These scammers know your name but try to gather other personal information.
  • Be mindful that scammers can spoof the caller ID to suggest they are calling from the trusted company when they are not.
  • Do not trust the caller simply because they have personal information.
  • Do not verify information or give out personal banking or similar information because it could lead to identity theft.

If you have been a victim of identity theft, close accounts that have been tampered with or fraudulently opened, and file a complaintwith the FTC. The Attorney General’s office also offers an ID Theft Passport to help victims reestablish their good name, which requires that consumers first file a police report for financial identity theft.

For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or consumer@arkansasag.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.

altARKANSAS’ FOUR-YEAR GRADUATION RATES INCREASE FOR THIRD YEAR
LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas’ four-year graduation rates for all students and multiple student subgroups increased in 2018, continuing a three-year trend of positive improvement.

Graduation rate data for 2018, which will be released April 15 on the school, district, and state Report Cards, show that rates for all students, as well as African-American, Caucasian, and economically-disadvantaged students, increased for the third year in a row. The four-year graduation rate for Hispanic students held steady or increased every year since 2015, with 2018 increases noted for students with disabilities (84.6 percent) and English learners (82.7 percent). (See table below.)

Graduation rates reflect the 13-year journey students take from kindergarten through the twelfth grade. From learning to read in elementary school and exploring career options in middle school to honing skills and pursuing advanced, rigorous academic courses in high school, the effort and dedication from students and teachers each year are reflected in the rates.

“This is one of the most satisfying educational statistics that we’ve received in recent years,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “The fact that our graduation rate continues to improve in Arkansas shows that we are on the right path in terms of education in all categories, from minority students to economically-disadvantaged students. I applaud our educators in Arkansas for their dedication as we continue on this path to even greater achievement.” 

“The continued increase in Arkansas’ graduation rate is encouraging and worthy of celebration,” Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key said. “As we seek to lead the nation in student-focused education, it is essential that we provide the tools, resources, and opportunities for every student to graduate high school prepared for college, career, and community engagement. ADE is committed to providing the supports every school needs to ensure we accomplish this mission."

School, District, and State Efforts
Over the last several years, schools have focused on improving educational experiences for students. From increased course options to more flexibility to attend college classes, internships, and work activities during the school day, students now have more learning opportunities that exist beyond high school buildings. 

The expansion of family and community engagement also is having a positive impact on educational goals. Schools are encouraged to seek and utilize parent and community input when making decisions that impact student learning. The utilization of Student Success Plans, which are personalized education plans, this school year for all eighth-grade students is one example of this engagement. Combined with increased time school counselors will have with students this next school year, these efforts will lead to future success.

Several ADE supports include earlier access to information and data, multiple trainings regarding how to use ADE data tools and resources, and ongoing improvements to the My School Info data information website. As a result, data accuracy and data literacy have increased statewide, with schools and districts using student and school data to make informed educational decisions.

For the first time ever, graduation rates for additional student subgroups will be reported on the 2018 Report Card. The Report Card, which will be available on the My School Info website (https://myschoolinfo.arkansas.gov) on April 15, will include graduation rates for homeless students, children in foster care, children with parents on active military duty, gifted and talented students, females, males, and migrant students. 

Get Involved
It is important for parents and community members to review their districts’ graduation rates and school performance data and engage with their districts in addressing how students can be better supported during their learning journey. While each high school is focused on graduating every student on time, learning at each grade level builds the foundation for meeting the expectations for college, career, and community readiness.

Schools and districts also are currently developing their school improvement plans for the 2019-2020 school year. Parents are encouraged to contact their child’s school to learn more about how they can contribute to the plans and the future of education for all students. 

Four-Year Graduation Rates

Graduation Rates 

2015

2016 

2017 

2018 

All Students 

84.9% 

87.0% 

88.0% 

89.2% 

African American 

77.5% 

81.5% 

83.4% 

85.6% 

Hispanic 

84.5% 

85.7% 

85.7% 

85.8% 

Caucasian 

87.4% 

89.2% 

90.0% 

91.2% 

Economically-Disadvantaged 

81.7% 

83.8% 

84.9% 

86.8% 

Students with Disabilities 

81.9% 

84.3% 

83.8% 

84.6% 

English Learners 

85.9% 

85.7% 

82.1% 

82.7% 


SAAC TO HOST CHRYSTAL OSBORN FOR CORKS AND CANVAS NIGHT
Ready to try a dirty pour? Want to learn to use a flip cup? Then Corks & Canvas at SAAC on April 18 is where you need to be! Join Chrystal Osborn from 6-9pm to learn the fun and fabulous techniques of acrylic paint pouring/fluid art.

"We had 2 very popular paint pouring classes at SAAC last year! This go around, I will be demonstrating different techniques; puddle pour, dirty pour, hairdryer manipulation. Each attendee will choose which one they want to use for their pour," said Osborn. "I am planning to use smaller canvases and focus on using 3-4 colors in addition to the base color of white or black; this seems to work best for those with little to no experience.

"My art experience is just from what I consider to be fun. I have no formal training other than past art teachers, a friend's grandmother, my grandmother, and friends that are artists. We will have a fun, light-hearted time painting with ‘fluid art' during the workshop and of course great snacks."

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 prepaid non-refundable fee covers all supplies and snacks. This class is limited to 12. Those taking the class should bring their favorite beverage 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. SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas.

SENATOR COTTON, COLLEAGUES INTRODUCT SUITE OF BIPARTISAN BILLS TO HELP AMERICANS SAVE FOR RETIREMENT
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Todd Young (R-Indiana), Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), and Doug Jones (D-Alabama) announced they have introduced several bills to help boost retirement security for individuals and families during a time when many Americans are unprepared for retirement.

According to the Department of Labor, more than 40 million people do not have access to any workplace retirement plan. Additionally, nearly half of households nearing retirement do not have a retirement savings plan.

Senator Cotton introduced S. 1011, which would eliminate the regulatory barriers that prevent small business owners from joining professionally managed pooled employer plans, lowering the administrative cost of offering a plan.

"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."

Senator Young introduced S. 1020, which would expand access to workplace retirement plans by giving small employers more flexibility when setting up 401Ks for their employees. The bill would also make it easier for savers to auto enroll into long-term savings plans and more quickly escalate their savings.

“In order to improve retirement security, we must start by reforming and improving access to retirement plans,” said Young. “This legislation will help ensure families have the necessary tools to save for the days ahead.”

Senator Booker introduced S. 1018, which would 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. 

“Every American deserves to retire with dignity and financial security. However, this is not the reality for millions of Americans,” said Booker. “The rising cost of living makes it nearly impossible for hard-working Americans to withstand even small emergency expenses—let alone save for their retirement. These bipartisan bills address pressing economic challenges and provide tangible solutions for working families.”

Senator Jones introduced S. 1019, which would help workers set up short-term savings accounts to help with financial emergencies.

“Today, for far too many American families, a lifetime of hard work does not translate into a comfortable retirement. It’s past time that Congress address the retirement system to make it easier for workers to plan for their futures, while understanding that families today face rising costs for things like health care and education. These bipartisan bills show a commitment to making the system work better for hard-working families, ensuring they are able to adjust to today’s challenges without sacrificing economy security in their later years,” said Jones.  

Last Congress, Senators Young, Booker and Cotton introduced similar legislation.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB TO MEET
The Camden noon Lion’s Club will meet on Wednesday, April 10th at Catherine’s Bistro. This week’s speaker will be Dr. Carl Drexler who is an Archeologist at SAU.  He will speak about Archeological work done around Prescott relating to the Civil War.

 
 

April 05, 2019

CITY OF CAMDEN ALDERMEN MEETING
The City of Camden Board of Aldermen will have their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Building.

The agenda includes the Mayor’s Report and Resolution No. 17-19, a resolution expressing the willingness of the City Council to utilize Federal-Aid Transportation Alternative Program Funds for Adams Avenue sidewalks.

CAMDEN WATER UTILITIES SCHEDULE CLEANING AND INSPECTION
Camden Water Utilities is scheduling divers to clean and inspect a 1,500,000 gallon clear well at the water treatment plant on Monday, April 8, 2019. Per guidelines and policies of the Arkansas Department of Health on Underwater Storage Tank Inspection, the public must be notified before entry. If anyone has any questions concerning this cleaning and inspection, please call Camden Water Utilities at 870-836-7331 and ask to speak with the manager.

U.S. MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY BOOSTS ORDER FOR CAMDEN-MADE THAAD BY $2.4 BILLION
The Department of Defense has more than doubled an order for Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptors and associated one-shot devices to almost $3.9 billion.

Lockheed Martin Corp. Missiles and Fire Control of Dallas, which builds THAAD launchers and fire control systems at its Camden Launcher Complex, is being awarded a $2,457,390,566 modification to a previously-awarded contract from the Missile Defense Agency.

The additional production will support U.S. government and authorized foreign military sales to Saudi Arabia.

The DOD said the THAAD interceptors and associated one-shot devices will be procured under fixed-price incentive (firm target) contract line items. The value of the contract was increased from $1,431,251,585 to $3,888,642,151. One offer was solicited with one offer received.

SAAC TO HOST ARTIST’S RECEPTION FOR HOLLY TILLEY AND MELINDA ANTOON
The South Arkansas Arts Center will host an artist's reception to honor Holly Tilley and Melinda Antoon, on Saturday, April 6, from 6:00-7:30pm followed by a viewing of the "State of the Art" documentary from AETN and the curatorial team at Crystal Bridges in the theater at 7:30pm. Tilley's exhibit, entitiled "Rooted", will hang in the Price and Merkle Galleries while Antoon's show, "Shores and Gardens-Works by M. Antoon" will hang in the Lobby Gallery through April 29.

Little Rock artist Tilley's watercolor "Rooted" is the painting that started the idea for the show. According to Tilley, "To be rooted means you know where you came from." The works in pastel, watercolor, and oil feature her love of being outside, her travels abroad and her love of subjects from her childhood.

Former El Dorado resident Antoon enjoys working in many media in a wide variety of styles which keeps her fresh and interested. "The act of looking, the process of understanding, and the satisfaction of making--these are the elements that always draw me into expressing life by art," she explained, "Among the first images I can remember are those of light and shadow, and glorious color." She currently lives in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Join us in the Callaway Theater at 7:30pm for a free screening of "State of the Art" before the documentary premieres on AETN. From award-winning filmmakers Craig and Brent Renaud and Arkansas Educational Television Network, "State of the Art" tells a story of diverse artists driven to create -- with work that is intensely personal, firmly rooted in community, and inseparable from the lives they live. The film explores a few of the artists featured in the "State of the Art" exhibit at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, which was created when the museum's curatorial team crisscrossed the nation to find extraordinary contemporary art happening in unexpected places.

For more information about these two shows, 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. 

ARORA CELEBRATES NATIONAL DONATE LIFE MONTH IN APRIL TO FOCUS ATTENEION ON THE 115,000 AMERICANS WAITING FOR A TRANSPLANT
[April 4, 2019-Little Rock, AR]— April is National Donate Life Month. Every year, Arkansas Regional Organ Recovery Association, (ARORA) partners with Arkansas hospitals, transplant centers and other donation partners in the state in celebration of National Donate Life Month(NDLM). The observance focuses attention on organ, eye and tissue donation. The month-long celebration also shares the importance of registering your decision to become a donor and honors donors and their families by celebrating the lifesaving and healing gift of donation.

“This April, we want to remind everyone that they have the potential to save up to 8 lives and improve the health of up to 200 people. Registering your decision to become an organ, eye and tissue donor takes less than a minute and gives hope to those waiting. The decision to register as a donor is the beginning of a story that may bring life and healing to individuals, their families and their communities,” says ARORA Director of Communications, Audrey Coleman.

During April, ARORA celebrates that 64 percent of Arkansans have registered their decision to help restore lives as organ, eye and tissue donors at the time of their death. Currently, there are more than 300 Arkansans awaiting a life-saving organ transplant. Nationally, thousands more people are waiting for lifesaving and healing eye and tissue transplants.

Arkansans can register to become an organ, eye and tissue donor at donatelifearkansas.org, at their local Department of Motor Vehicles, or by “swiping” their driver’s license or state ID card through special software used by ARORA. Registering to become a donor through swipe technology will become more widely available in the state throughout this year. For more information about registering to become a donor, contact ARORA at 501.907.9150, or send a message to ARORA on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

ABOUT ARORA
The Arkansas Regional Organ Recovery Agency (ARORA) was established in 1987 as a non-profit, independent organ procurement agency. Serving 64 counties across the state, ARORA is headquartered in Little Rock and has a satellite office in northwest Arkansas. ARORA’s mission is to restore lives through the recovery of organs and tissues for transplant.

HOUSE VOTES TO “BAN THE BOX: GOVERNMENT AGENCIES CAN NO LONGER INQUIRE ABOUT CRIMINAL HISTORY ON JOB APPLICATIONS Human resources expert explains the impact of the Fair Chance Act on employers outside the gov. realm 
Last week the House Oversight and Reform Committee passed a bill which would effectively “ban the box” that would keep federal agencies and contractors from asking potential employees’ about their past criminal history until after these applicants had been offered a conditional employment offer.

Known as the “Fair Chance Act,” the measure is meant to help previously incarcerated individuals increase their ability to rebuild their life post-conviction. But what does this mean for employers?

“Currently, this legislation only prohibits federal agencies from including a criminal history box on their application and from asking these questions in interviews before a conditional job offer is made,” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and human recourses expert. “However, ten states (and the District of Columbia) have ban-the-box laws that apply to private employers—including California, Illinois, Hawaii, and New Jersey, and other companies such as Target have banned the box across state lines at all their locations.”

Wilson says this number will likely continue to grow, but he explains that banning the box doesn’t mean that employers have no rights when it comes to establishing a person’s character and mental health.

“In most states, you can do a criminal background check on your applicant after a tentative offer has been made,” says Wilson. “But instead of banning people outright, you will have time to interview them and find out who they really are, rather than be dissuaded by a checked box that won't tell you the whole story."

However, Wilson believes banning the box could potentially give rise to a host of issues. 

"Possible safety concerns are only the beginning. Not only do criminal background laws vary from state to state, but they even vary from city to city. Employers will have much more legwork when it comes to staying on top of changing legislation, and they will also have to grapple with potential litigation and penalties. This is why many employers will likely opt to outsource their hiring to employment firms, as it will be more cost-effective and it will remove the legal headaches."

SENATORS COTTON, SCHUMER, COLLEAGUES INTRODUCE TARGETED FENTANYL SANCTIONS BILL
Washington, D.C. – Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Chuck Schumer (D-New York), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey), Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire) today introduced the Fentanyl Sanctions Act—the first-ever fentanyl sanctions bill that would apply pressure on the Chinese government to honor its commitment to make all forms of synthetic opioids illegal and provide U.S. law enforcement with more tools and resources to go after illicit traffickers in China, Mexico, and other countries. 

“China is the world’s largest drug dealer. For years, the Chinese government has allowed fentanyl and other synthetic opioids to pour into the United States, killing tens of thousands of Americans. Although China has fulfilled a promise to the president by formally banning all forms of fentanyl, we have to make sure they keep their word. Our bipartisan bill will give law enforcement and intelligence agencies the tools they need to apply maximum pressure to fentanyl producers, traffickers, cartels, and other criminals who are funneling this poison across our borders and into our communities,” said Cotton.

“Combating the flow of illicit fentanyl into our country is imperative in the fight to save American lives from the opioid crisis.  We must hold China accountable for their role in the fentanyl trade. China’s new regulation to make all fentanyl categories illegal is an important step and the administration deserves praise for their efforts to secure this change. However, we have to demonstrate that we will demand China enforce these laws and take strong action against opioid traffickers,” said Schumer. “Our legislation would apply pressure on China to actually follow through and would equip the administration with tools to systematically go after the major manufacturers and traffickers of fentanyl before the killer drug gets to the U.S.” 

“On average, 11 Ohioans will die every day in my state due to an opioid overdose,” said Brown. “The addiction epidemic has taken too many lives and caused too much devastation in Ohio. This new bill will add effective new sanctions tools to help combat the flood of illicit fentanyl coming in primarily from China and from Mexico and help provide intelligence and funding to keep these dangerous drugs out of Ohio communities.”

“The flow of illicit fentanyl largely from China into the U.S. poses serious threats to our families, public health, economic vitality, and national security,” said Rubio. “With Florida suffering thousands of opioid-related deaths per year, we must do all we can to stop the opioid crisis sweeping across America and devastating our communities. This bipartisan effort to impose targeted sanctions on foreign illicit fentanyl manufacturers and traffickers makes clear that the U.S. will hold the Communist Chinese Government and other nations fully accountable when they turn a blind eye to international fentanyl trafficking.”

Specifically, the legislation would:

  • Require sanctions on drug manufacturers in China who knowingly provide synthetic opioids to traffickers, transnational criminal organizations in Mexico that mix fentanyl with other drugs and traffic them into the United States, and financial institutions that assist such entities. 
  • Authorize new funding to law enforcement and intelligence agencies, including the Department of Treasury, Department of Defense, and Department of State, to combat foreign trafficking of opioids.
  • Urges the president to commence diplomatic efforts with U.S. partners to impose multilateral sanctions against foreign opioid traffickers.
  • Establish a Commission on Synthetic Opioid Trafficking to monitor U.S. efforts and report on how to more effectively combat the flow of synthetic opioids from China, Mexico, and elsewhere. 

Following a commitment to the United States at the G-20 in December 2018, Chinese regulators announced on April 1, 2019 that a wider range of fentanyl derivatives would be declared controlled substances in China on May 1, 2019. China already has problems enforcing its current drug laws and continues to deny that its illicit fentanyl producers are major contributors to the U.S. opioid crisis. To increase accountability, the Fentanyl Sanctions Act would pressure the Chinese government to aggressively enforce its new laws and provide the U.S. government with flexible sanctions tools to go after drug traffickers in China and other countries. 

APRIL 4, 2019

CAREER CLOSET
If you are planning to attend the Job Fair on April 16th but need proper attire to look your best for a job interview, The Hub and Greater St. Paul have you covered. If you are job ready and need an outfit for a job interview, visit the Career Closet for free attire. The Career Closet is located at the Greater St. Paul Baptist Church. It is open on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m.

NEW SECURITY AT FAIRVIEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
As of Tuesday, April 2nd, all door of the Fairview Elementary School will be locked from 8:00 a.m. until 2:50 p.m.. Camden Fairview Elementary is the tirst school in the district to get this upgraded security system.

Administrators are asking for your help in making sure this system works to the best of its ability You will be required to be buzzed into the building after 8:00 a.m. It is suggested that you take your driver’s licenses to be scanned in order to go into the Halls of FES. Once your ID is scanned you will receive a name badge to wear. If you are just hneeding to come to the front office, no name badge is necessary, but you will still have to be buzzed in.

If you have any questions, contact the Fairview Elementary School at 870-231-5434.

HARMONY GROVE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION
Harmony Grove Elementary School Kindergarten Registration is scheduled for April 22 through 26t,h Monday through Friday, from 8:00 - 3:00. If your child is 5 years old ON or BEFORE Aug. 1, 2019 your child is eligible for kindergarten. Parents must bring the following items to registration: social security card, state-issued birth certificate, immunization record, TWO proofs of physical residence in the Harmony Grove School District (e.g. utility receipts) and Medicaid number of ARKids number if applicable.

Please call 574-0960 or 574-0338 to schedule an appointment to register your child for kindergarten. It is very important for parents to register their children at this time. The number of students registered at this time will determine class sizes for next fall.

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FIVE TEACHES NAMED 2019 ARKANSAS COMPUTER SCIENCE EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR FINALISTS
LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Department of Education is pleased to announce the five educators selected as finalists for the first annual Arkansas Computer Science Educator of the Year Award.

"We had many well-deserving applicants; however, when the #CSforAR team carefully considered every application, the team unanimously agreed that these five educators demonstrate both a long-term and ongoing commitment to, passion for, and impact on computer science education in Arkansas and the nation," said Anthony Owen, state director of Computer Science Education and chief state STEM officer. "These educators have earned and deserve this recognition."

The five finalists are listed below. 

Carl Frank
Computer Science Teacher
Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts
Hot Springs, AR

Josefina Perez
Business/Computer Science Teacher
Springdale High School
Springdale, AR

Brenda Qualls
Computer Science Teacher
Bryant High School
Bryant, AR

Kimberly Raup
Computer Science Teacher
Conway High School 
Conway, AR

Karma Turner
Computer Science Teacher
Lake Hamilton High School
Pearcy, AR

Each of the finalists will receive a $2,500 award from the Arkansas Department of Education Office of Computer Science. A panel comprised of representatives from the ADE Computer Science Initiative Unit and external computer science and education leaders will review the five finalists' applications and select the 2019 Computer Science Educator of the Year based on a rubric scoring system. The winner, who will be announced at a later date, will receive an additional $12,500 award, paid registration and travel expenses to the ADE 2019 Summit, and a $1,000 sponsorship to attend the Computer Science Teachers Association's Annual Conference.

SENATORS COTTON, BOOZMAN, REPRESENTATIVE WOMACK INTRODUCE THE STEPHEN HACALA POPPY SEED SAFETY ACT
Washington, D.C.— Today Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and John Boozman (R-Arkansas), along with Congressman Steve Womack (R-Arkansas), introduced companion bills to stop the sale of deadly morphine-laced poppy seeds. The bill would classify poppy seeds that contain a harmful level of opiates as an adulterated food and prohibit their sale directly to consumers.  

While most poppy seeds are harmless, some manufacturers sell seeds laced with morphine at a cost far higher than normal seeds. These seeds can contain more than 20 times the therapeutic dosage of morphine. To date, there have been more than a dozen confirmed deaths from morphine-laced seeds. 

“Stephen Hacala Jr. died from an opioid overdose because of a dangerous gap in our nation’s drug laws. Despite government warnings, unwashed poppy seeds, which can contain lethal doses of morphine, are still available for sale online.  As our country continues to fight the opioid crisis, it’s time to end sales of unwashed seeds so that no other families experience the pain the Hacala family has endured,” said Cotton. 

“The sale of unwashed poppy seeds is a threat to the safety of Arkansans and all Americans. Approving this bill would honor Stephen Hacala Jr.’s memory by preventing other consumers from falling victim to dangerous, toxin-laced poppy seeds sold online,” said Boozman.

“Our drug laws haven’t kept pace with the many challenges we face as a nation. While unwashed poppy seeds don’t immediately sound dangerous, they can be laced with lethal substances like morphine. Stephen Hacala Jr.’s life was cut tragically short because of it—and his family used their grief to advocate for change. By prohibiting the sale of this harmful product, we will help ensure the safety of American consumers and prevent another family from losing a loved one,” said Womack. 

Background:

On April 3, 2016, Stephen Hacala of Fayetteville, Arkansas, died from morphine intoxication caused by morphine-laced poppy seeds purchased from Amazon. As many as 20 other Americans reportedly have died from overdoses caused by morphine-laced poppy seeds sold directly to consumers.

A research team led by Dr. Madeleine Swortwood, assistant professor of forensic science at Sam Houston State University, studied the morphine content in different bags of poppy seeds. The researchers found that some bags of poppy seeds contained morphine levels many times higher than a fatal dose. 

RUTLEDGE JOINS HUTCHINSON IN BILL SIGNING CEREMONY FOR LAWS ON ROBOCALLS AND FARM EQUIPMENT
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge joined Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson for his bill-signing ceremony for two important pieces of legislation yesterday. The robocall legislation creates a process for state oversight of telecommunication providers and increases the penalty for robo-callers and spoofing. Meanwhile, the Farm Machinery Quality Assurance Act, a bill which Rutledge helped to guide and support, establishes a “lemon law” type protection for consumers purchasing new self-popelled farm machinery and equipment.

“Arkansans are eager to stop the incessant robocalls and scams,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The unopposed, bi-partisan support of this new law creates a path for enforcement to hold the bad actors accountable.

“The new legislation protecting farmers is important to ensure they are no longer vulnerable to potentially devastating financial losses due to faulty equipment. Arkansas’s economy relies heavily on our farmers and this bill will help them grow and expand their livelihood.”

Both pieces of legislation were passed by the General Assembly last week.

 

 
 

APRIL 3, 2019

 

CAMDEN KIWANIS CLUB TO MEET
The Camden Kiwanis Meeting will be this Thursday, April 4th at Noon at Catherine's Bistro. The program will be presented by George Betts. He will be talking about a trip to Egypt.

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 https=Arkansas AG logoUTLEDGE SUES BOURBON & BOOTS
Says, ‘consumers unwittingly wasted their hard-earned money on these products’
LITTLE ROCK – Yesterday, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge filed a consumer-protection lawsuit against Little Rock-based Bourbon & Boots Acquisition Company LLC, and its owner Rodney Ford, for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

“Bourbon & Boots advertised itself as a southern lifestyle brand which offered artisan inspired and quality craftsmanship,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Instead, consumers unwittingly wasted their hard-earned money on these products, only to never receive them or receive the wrong item. I will not tolerate deceptive business practices and will do everything in my power to ensure that the company and its owner are held responsible for their damaging actions.”

To date, 55 complaints have been identified where Bourbon & Boots failed to deliver items ordered by consumers, failed to fulfill orders of advertised products and failed to refund monies for unfulfilled orders or substandard products. The Attorney General’s office has reviewed an additional 293 complaints made to the Better Business Bureau.

Rutledge is asking the Pulaski County Circuit Court to impose civil penalties, restitution for affected consumers totaling $19,991.03, attorneys’ fees, costs and other relief against Bourbon & Boots.

If you are a consumer who has been impacted by the actions of Bourbon & Boots, Rutledge encourages you to contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 482-8982.

GOVERNOR HUTCHINSON, ADE ANNOUNCE RESULTS OF THIRD ANNUAL ALL-REGION CODING COMPETITION
17 Teams Invited to Participate in All-State Competition in May 
LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Asa Hutchinson and the Arkansas Department of Education today announce the 17 winning teams from the All-Region Coding Competition that took place on March 14, 2019, at 15 regional contests around the state. 

The 17 selected teams will receive an invitation to participate in the Third Annual All-State Coding Competition, which will take place at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville on May 18, 2019. Each member of the first-place team will receive a $2,000 award that will be deposited into a 529 College Savings Plan. Each member of the second-place team will receive a $1,000 award deposited into a 529 College Savings Plan, with each member of the third-place team receiving a $500 award deposited into a 529 College Savings Plan. In addition, the schools that register/sponsor the first-place, second-place and third-place teams will receive $10,000, $6,000, and $4,000, respectively, to support their computer science programs. The prizes and competition expenses are provided by a Verizon grant to ARCodeKids. 

“Congratulations to the 17 teams heading to Fayetteville in May to compete in the Third Annual Governor’s All-State Coding Competition!” Hutchinson said. “Each year since I partnered with the Arkansas Department of Education to announce the first All-Region and All-State Coding Competitions, Arkansas students have risen to meet the challenge. I am proud of the creativity and innovation that our students showcase year after year in this competition, and I am confident that the teams this year will be no exception.

The following teams have been selected to advance to the All-State Coding Competition.

  • Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts - William Shaver, Karsen Beck, and Noah Raby
  • Cabot High School - Cody Billingsley, Ethan Peck, and Stanley Van
  • Conway High School - Archer Murray, Hunter Fleming, and Jonathon Hopkins
  • Don Tyson School of Innovation - James Cassady, Benjamin Easterling, and Abigail Herrera
  • Fayetteville High School - Jan Bobda Tagne, Andrew Ritter, and Lucas Faupel
  • Gentry High School Conversion Charter - Matthew Anderson, Jonathan Brinkley, and Carson Stell
  • Greenwood High School - Ryan Stracener, William Hutchinson, and Shea Brown
  • Haas Hall Academy - Rogers - Lucas Jaggernauth, Bradley Baltz, and Austin Parker
  • Haas Hall Academy - Fayetteville - Daniel Whitmire, Julian Sanker, and Owen Bell
  • Horatio High School - Hannah Norman, Duncan Connor, and Jacob Brecheisn
  • Little Rock Central High School - Zhaoying Li, Hetvi Shah, and Anne Li
  • Rogers Heritage High School - Allyson Hayes, Luis Guerra, and Adam Siwiec
  • Rogers High School - Garrett Chrisman, Brady Self, and Jack Norris
  • Rogers New Technology High School - David Daniel and Westley Taylor
  • Russellville High School - Michael O'Connor, Michael Draughon, and Xin Zhang
  • Spring Hill High School - Muhammad Athallah, Nick Yates, and Shay Stout
  • Valley View High School - Luke Wilson, Isaac La Ferney, and Alex Hoffman

"ADE extends congratulations to the advancing team members, sponsors, and schools," said Anthony Owen, state director of Computer Science Education. "In addition, all 15 hosting locations are to be commended for the work of their staff in making the regional events successful and fun for students." 

ARKANSAS LAWMAKERS INTRODUCE LEGISLATION TO EXPAND STATE VETERANS CEMETERY
WASHINGTON-
U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton along with Congressmen Rick Crawford, French Hill, Steve Womack and Bruce Westerman introduced legislation to transfer nearly 140 acres of land at Camp Robinson to the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs (ADVA). The land conveyance will facilitate expansion of the Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery in North Little Rock.

“This is a commonsense solution that helps the Army Guard and the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs. The land is costly to maintain and not useful to the guard for training. It will provide a valuable expansion of burial space for veterans – an important step to securing a place of honor for future generations of veterans. This land conveyance will help the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs provide the men and women who served in uniform an appropriate final resting place that acknowledges of their service and sacrifice,” Boozman said.

“Our veterans deserve burials that reflect their service to our nation and the state of Arkansas. This expansion will ensure that we keep our promises to Arkansas veterans who choose to be buried alongside their brothers and sisters in arms,” Cotton said.

“Our men and women in uniform make substantial sacrifices so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we hold dear. We must continue to honor their commitment to our country. This land transfer to will ensure that our veterans are not turned away from having an appropriate burial ground that acknowledges their service,” Crawford said.

“Expanding the Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery ensures that we can continue to honor veterans and their families with fitting tributes that memorialize their service to our country,” said Hill. “Transferring this land from the Arkansas National Guard to ADVA is an efficient and effective solution that benefits all Arkansans.”

“The grounds where America’s heroes lie are some of the most sacred among us. By allowing for the expansion of Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery, this bill ensures that our brave veterans can be laid to rest among their comrades in uniform for generations to come. It’s an honor they earned through service, and I call on Congress to swiftly approve this proposal,” Womack said. 

“Without this land transfer, the Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery will run out of room and be forced to turn families of veterans away. The land conveyance is a practical solution to an imminent need, and I’m honored to sponsor legislation giving space for veterans to be laid to rest alongside their fellow patriots,” Westerman said.

The land that will be transferred from Camp Robinson to the ADVA has not been used for Army Guard training in over 25 years. The land lies in the flight path of the North Little Rock airport runway, which limits the use of training devices such as artillery simulators, flares and smoke. It is also separated from the main areas of Camp Robinson and has limited access.

The land transfer to the Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery at North Little Rock will enable continuation of first burials beyond 2045, when the current cemetery is predicted to reach capacity. Rather than developing an additional cemetery in central Arkansas, the land conveyance provides an expansion opportunity which will be a more cost-efficient alternative for the ADVA.

SENATOR COTTON URGES IRS INVESTIGATION OF THE SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER
Washington, D.C. — Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) sent a letter today to Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service Charles Rettig urging an investigation into whether the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) should retain its classification as a 501(c)(3). A copy of the letter may be found here.

An excerpt from the letter is below:

“Recent news reports have confirmed the long-established fact that the SPLC regularly engages in defamation of its political opponents. In fact, the SPLC’s defining characteristic is to fundraise off of defamation. 

This business model has paid well. The SPLC has accrued more than $500 million in assets. According to the group’s most recent financial statement, it holds $121 million offshore in non-U.S. equity funds. The SPLC uses these assets to pay its executives lavish salaries far higher than the comparable household average.

Further, CNN reported that the organization ‘suffers from a pervasive racist culture,’ and the SPLC’s leader has ‘been disciplined after a prior investigation into inappropriate conduct.’ The New York Times has charitably described the organization as ‘in turmoil’ and cited employees’ claims that SPLC leadership is ‘complicit in decades of racial discrimination, gender discrimination, and sexual harassment and/or assault.’

Based on these reports, and in the interest of protecting taxpayer dollars from a racist and sexist slush fund devoted to defamation, I believe that the SPLC’s conduct warrants a serious and thorough investigation.”

BOOZMAN, COONS SEEK TO COMMEMORATE 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF D-DAY
WASHINGTON –U.S. Senate French Caucus co-chairs Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Chris Coons (D-DE) introduced a resolution to mark the upcoming 75th Anniversary of the D-Day invasion and honor the members of the U.S. Armed Forces who helped bring an end to World War II.

“Seventy-five years ago, the brave men and women of the Allied Forces embarked on the opening phase of Operation Overlord in an effort to break the Nazi stranglehold on Western Europe. The courageous effort to storm the beaches of Normandy changed the trajectory of history,” said Boozman. “As co-chairs of the Senate French Caucus, Senator Coons and I have introduced this resolution to recognize the upcoming 75th Anniversary of the D-Day landings and to express our gratitude and appreciation to the members of the U.S. Armed Forces—including those from Arkansas—who participated in these operations. The courage and sacrifice of the Allied troops who came to the aid of those oppressed by the Nazi and Fascist regimes will always serve to inspire future generations.”

“As co-chair of the Senate French Caucus, I am proud to introduce this resolution with Senator Boozman to recognize the brave members of the U.S. and Allied Forces who fought and died on the beaches of Normandy 75 years ago in the name of freedom,” said Coons. “Operation Overlord, commonly known as D-Day, lifted millions from the grasp of tyranny and helped forge lasting partnerships among nations that value freedom around the world. We owe a debt of gratitude to these heroes whose service and sacrifice changed the course of history.”

In the early morning hours of June 6, 1944, 57,000 members of the United States Armed Forces, and 153,000 of their counterparts in the Allied Expeditionary Force, launched Operation Overlord by storming ashore five landing areas on the beaches of Normandy, France. The first day of the operation, which became known as D-Day, approximately 10,000 Allied soldiers were wounded or killed, including 6,000 Americans. Operation Overlord led to Allied liberation of Western Europe from the control of Nazi Germany and an end to World War II.

April 02, 2019


CAMDEN’S FIRST FRIDAY MONTHLY MARKET RETURNS FRIDAY APRIL 5TH
Camden’s Evening Market
CAMDEN, ARKANSAS – The First Friday Monthly Market will kick off it’s much anticipated 2019 season on April 5th from 6PM till 9PM on Washington St. in Downtown Camden. The public is invited to come enjoy a relaxed evening with a large array of street vendors, live music, food, special children’s activities and more! Downtown shops stay open late for your shopping convenience while you enjoy the market.

The 2019 Season dates and themes will include:

  • April 5th • “Grow Camden”
    A look at special lawn & garden displays, competitions, etc.
  • May 3rd • “Magnificent May"
    A look at vintage circus
  • June 7th • “Dog Days"
    Enjoy a lazy summer evening with a pet parade
  • July 5th • “Rhythm & Blues”
    Celebrating great music
  • August 2nd • “Last Vacation”
    Getting your last fun in before the start of school
  • Sept. 6th • “A Taste of Camden”
    Come enjoy great food from area restaurant & dessert makers
  • Oct. 4th • “Celebrate Fall”
    Everything special about fall from hayrides to pumpkin carving
  • Nov. 1st • “Holiday Market”
    Getting everyone geared up for your holiday shopping

Less than a year from its inception in May 2018, First Friday: Monthly Market has grown immensely into one of the area’s most anticipated events. As a nonprofit organization aimed at encouraging and revitalizing the vibrancy of downtown Camden, event-goers always enjoy an intimate, hometown, family-friendly variety of local talent and entertainment. Whether it’s to try new cuisine or desserts, relax and listen to live music, peruse the local shops, discover new art, learn a new craft, gather information from other area businesses and organizations, let the kids play, or to just enjoy the fresh open air on a pleasant southern evening with friends and family, First Friday: Monthly Market truly has something for everyone.

Recently, in January 2019, the First Friday team proudly brought home the Bronze ALFIE Award for The Year’s Best New Event or Festival, provided by the Arkansas Festivals and Events Association.  First Friday was also named as a Finalist for the Bootstrap Award presented by Arkansas Parks and Tourism at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism in February 2019.

PLUG IN AND POWER UP FOR CAMDEN JOB SUCCESS AT THE CAMDEN JOB FAIR
Camden Arkansas serves as host to one of South Arkansas' largest Job Fairs, The Camden Job Fair, one day only! April 16th, 9am-3pm, at the SAU Tech Student Center Grand Hall, E. Camden Arkansas.
The 2019 Camden Job Fair offers an amazing opportunity for Camden and South Arkansas attendees to meet face to face with some of today’s largest companies about current and future openings in the area! Participating companies that will be at the Camden Job Fair and many ready to perform ON-SITE interviews, include: Aerojet-Rocketdyne, Arkansas Department of Human Services, Arkansas State Police, Community Compassion Center of Magnolia, First Step, Floor Pro of Arkansas LLC, General Dynamics, HNO Blending Solutions, Guardian Security &Merritt Phone, NTS, Ken’s Discount Camden/El Dorado, Hugg & Hall Equipment Company, Kindred at Home, Kindred at Home -Home Health, Lockheed Martin, Manpower, Cam-Tel, Ouachita Enrichment Centers, SAU Tech, Silver Oaks Health & Rehabilitation, SubTeach USA, Tim JordanCompany, Inc., Twin City Transportation, Woodland Hills Home Care, B & M Painting, ESA, Potlatch   Deltic – Magnolia, and many more

Prior to the event you can take advantage of free special training workshops to get you ready to go the next level in your career, with workshops on:
Job Search / Preparation – April 8th
Dress for Success – April 15th
These workshops will be held from 6PM – 8PM on the dates listed. Workshops will be held at Greater St. Paul Baptist Church, 896 S. Adams Ave, Camden. Transportation may be provided, if needed. All workshops are free and open to the public. Each workshop is taught by highly qualified trainers who specialize in the different areas surrounding career pursuit and career coaching for better job placement.

In addition: The Arkansas Department of Workforce Bus Unit will be in Camden to help job seekers to prepare for the upcoming CAMDEN JOB FAIR. The bus unit will help with resume writing, mock interviews, creating online profiles and other services. EVENTS ARE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

EAST CAMDEN CITY WIDE GARAGE SALE TO BE HELD ON MAY 4TH
The City of East Camden will hold its annual City-Wide Garage Sale on Saturday, May 4th beginning at 8:00 a.m. A listing of all sales can be picked up at the East Camden Fire Station next door to city hall at 7:45 a.m. that morning. Fried Fish plates, bake sale and cold drinks will be sold at the fire station with all proceeds benefiting the East Camden Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary.

All East Camden residents having a sale are urged to contact City Hall at 574-2900 to register their sale. Outdoor spaces are available for nonresidents and organizations who wish to have a sale by calling City Hall and reserving a space for $10. Last year’s event included more than 70 garage sales and attracted a large number of shoppers. For more information please contact:

Mayor Angie McAdoo at (870) 833-2196.

BOOZMAN APPLAUDS CONGRESSIONAL YOUTH CABINET PARTICIPANTS
LITTLE ROCK – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) wrapped up the second year of his Congressional Youth Cabinet on Friday listening to presentations from 30 high school juniors at the Arkansas State Capitol. The students met with Boozman to share their ideas for legislation regarding workforce development, the opioid epidemic and trade tariffs.

“I am proud of these young leaders for their hard work and dedication to the Congressional Youth Cabinet,” Boozman said. “I have enjoyed visiting with them throughout the school year and was impressed with their policy presentations. I am confident these students will continue to be leaders and doers who give back to their communities. I hope their participation in the Congressional Youth Cabinet is something they can point to as having made a distinct and significant contribution to their development as students and informed, engaged citizens.”

Sean Cunningham attends DeWitt High School. He said, “Being on Senator Boozman's Youth Cabinet has given me the experience and courage that I will need to make major presentations in my future. I am so thankful for this opportunity, as well as the wonderful people that I got to meet.”

Lily Ryall is a junior at Central High School in Little Rock. She commented on her group’s final assignment saying, “This project has been unlike any other project I’ve ever had to do. But, it’s been challenging in all the best ways! I’ve learned a lot about how to work best in a group, managing my time, and thinking in a bipartisan way.” 

Rachel St. Onge attends Northside High School in Fort Smith. “Given the opportunity to participate in Senator Boozman's Congressional Youth Cabinet has been an honor,” St. Onge said. “Within the cabinet you learn how to step up and become a leader as well as getting to know students across Arkansas. It is a wonderful opportunity to learn how the government works and understanding the issues that the states face.”

Camden Jones attends El Dorado High School. He said, “My experience on this council has taught me the importance of being politically informed, and gotten me more involved in my community.”

The Congressional Youth Cabinet is designed to give students first-hand experience in the democratic process and a chance to understand how public policy impacts them, their families and their communities. The students selected issues to address at their first meeting and worked in teams divided by congressional district throughout the year. In addition to policy suggestions, the students had to describe how their proposal would be funded and implemented.

 

APRIL 1, 2019

CAMDEN CITY POLICE REPORTS
POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCCE
On March 28, 2019 at 10:51 A.M., Sergeant Jamario Bush and Officer Brandon Brangaccio were dispatched to 509 Fort Lookout in reference to an abandoned 911 call. Upon arrival the Officers made contact with Tevuance Harris. Harris and his girlfriend were having a verbal confrontation. Harris explained that he just wanted to go inside to grab his head wrap. While Harris was leaving the apartment a bag of marijuana fell out of his pocket. Harris was immediately searched and placed into custody.

Harris was transported to the Police Department without any incident. Booking procedures were completed. Harris was given a citation for possession of a controlled substance and a court date.

PUBLIC INTOXICATION
POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA- FELONY
On March 27, 2019 at 10:51 P.M. hours, Officer Jacob VanAssche, Officer Watts and Officer Dakota Davis were in the 500 block of Carver Courts on an unrelated call.

While in the area we began conducting a security check in the area. The Officers made contact with a man sitting with his head slumped over his lap on the sidewalk. The subject later identified himself as Frankie Joe Todd.

Upon making contact with Todd his speech was very slurred. It was observed Todd droppped an open bottle of Gin, which was close to being empty underneath his feet. Todd’s eyes were bloodshot red. While standing near Todd, Officer Davis was able to smell a strong odor of intoxicants coming from his person. Officer VanAssche asked Todd if he had been drinking, Todd stated "you know I have". When asked to stand up, Todd could barely stand and almost fell over multiple times. He had to be held up by the Officers.

While placing Todd into custody, Todd's hands were balled up in a fist-like position to prevent us from seeing what was in his hands. Officer Watts asked Todd to open his hands, which he refused at first, so Officer Watts pried open his hands. Upon opening Todd's hand, Officer Watts found a homemade crack pipe made out of a spool of string, a glass pipe, and some balled up brillo pad. After finding the pipe Todd complied to commands given.

Todd was then taken into custody. While walking Todd to the patrol unit, he could barely walk on his own; he stumbled a few times and had to have assistance to stand up. After getting Todd to the back of the unit, he refused to get in the patrol vehicle. Officer VanAssche advised Todd to get in the vehicle multiple times, to which Todd just kept refusing to comply and began yelling his refusal louder and louder. Officer VanAssche then placed Todd in the patrol unit, and Todd was transported to the station without incident.

At the station Todd was booked for Public Intoxication and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Booking procedures were completed. Todd was issued a Criminal Citation for Public Intoxication and was given a District Court date. Todd was later transported to the Ouachita County Detention center C to await his pretrial hearing.

CRIMINAL TRESPASS
On March 26, 2019 at 6:19 p.m., Officer Jake Perry and Officer Jacob VanAssche responded to a call for a security check to be completed at an unoccupied residence at the comer of Carver and Grinstead. Dispatch advised the reporting party calling said there was a lot of traffic around the house, and there shouldn't be anyone there.

Upon arrival it was discovered the address for the residence was 498 Carver. Officer Perry observed the front door to be secured and stated there was a side door which lead to the enclosed porch. Both Officers relocated to the side of the residence where Officer VanAssche observed the side screen to be open. He proceeded up the stairs, and heard a noise coming from inside the residence. Officer VanAssche observed a window to be open with a curtain up, and the curtain was moving. He went to pull the curtain back and observed two suspects inside the residence. One of the suspects grabbed the curtain out of the Officers hand and ran to the back door and shut it. The Officers set a perimeter around the residence and commanded the suspects out of the residence. They both complied and came out of the residence willingly. When asked if they knew the owner of the residence, both stated no they did not. Both suspects were then identified as David Stevens and Nadine Tinnin.

Both Stevens and Tinnin were then taken into custody and transported to the Police Station without incident. At the station both Stevens and Tinnin stated the reason they were inside the residence was to have sexual relations. When asked why they couldn’t go to their own residences and have coitus there both stated it was because they both are married, and were trying to avoid being caught by their spouses. Both Stevens and Tinnin were booked for Criminal Trespass. Booking procedures were completed. Both Stevens and Tinnin were issued Criminal Citations for Criminal Trespass and given a court date. Tinnin was later released, and Stevens was later transported to the OCSO on unrelated charges.

OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING IN OSCEOLA: ASP/CID INVESTIGATING INCIDENT
APRIL 1, 2019

Pete Denzel Edwards, 24, of Osceola, was critically wounded this morning stemming from a law enforcement officer involved shooting.  The incident occurred about 12:40 AM near the 400 block of Sims Street in Osceola (Mississippi County).

An Osceola police officer had stopped a vehicle driven by Edwards for a traffic violation.  According to the officer, during the course of the traffic stop, Edwards was “non-compliant”.

At some point during the encounter between the Osceola police officer and Edwards, shooting began.  Edwards was wounded and taken to a Memphis hospital.  At least one round from gunfire at the traffic stop entered a nearby home and reportedly wounded a resident who was transported from the scene and later released by a physician.

Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division will conduct an investigation and submit their findings to the prosecuting attorney of jurisdiction to determine whether the use of deadly force by a law enforcement officer was consistent with Arkansas laws.

Questions relating to the identification of the local police officer or the administrative status of the officer should be directed to the Osceola Police Department.

CAMDEN NOON LION’S CLUB TO MEET
The Camden Noon Lion’s Club will meet on Wednesday at Catherine’s Bistro. This week’s speaker will be Rajveer Kang.  She will be speaking about First Friday Monthly Market which happens this Friday. She will also be informing the Club about the Ouachita Valley Community Foundation.

Arkansas AG logoRUTLEDGE PRAISES UNOPPOSED APPROVAL ROBOCAL AND SPOOFING LEGISLATION
Rutledge Praises Unopposed Approval of Robocall and Spoofing Legislation
LITTLE ROCK – On Thursday, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a statement praising the passage of Senate Bill 514 to combat robocalls and “spoofing” calls. “Spoofing” allows scammers to disguise their identities, which makes it difficult for law enforcement to bring them to justice.

“Arkansans are fed up with incessant robocalls and scams,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This legislation, passed unopposed in both houses, reinforces how determined Arkansans are to stop these illegal calls and creates a path for enforcement to hold the bad actors accountable.”

The Attorney General, working with Senator Jonathan Dismang and Representative Clint Penzo, proposed stiffer criminal penalties for robocalls and spoofing and a process for state oversight of telecommunication providers.

 
 

March 29, 2019

ANNOUNCEMENT OF TOWN HALL MEETING
Duane “Dak” Kees, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, will be holding a town hall meeting on April 22, 2019 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at the Camden Fairview High School Auditorium located at 1750 Case Road SW, Camden Arkansas 71701.

The topics for discussion will be cellular apps that are directed towards children, cyber bulling, and recent internet and phone scams directed toward senior adults. This town hall is part of a series of town hall meetings the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District will be conducting throughout the state. The purpose of which is to educate the public on the various types of dangers facing our children and senior adults.

There will be a question and answer session to follow.

As the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, Mr. Kees is the chief federal law enforcement officer for the district. He oversees an office of 51 attorneys and support staff and has offices in Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Texarkana and Hot Springs. Mr. Kees was appointed by President Trump in September of 2017 and took office in January of 2018.

SENATORS COTTON, GRAHAM, REPRESENTATIVE KUSTOFF INTRODUCE BILL TO STOP CONTRABAND CELLPHONE USE IN PRISONS
Washington, D.C.—Today, Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), along with Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), introduced legislation to prevent contraband cellphone use in federal and state prison facilities by allowing state and federal prisons to use cell phone jamming systems. Representative David Kustoff (R-Tennessee) introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House Of Representatives.

The Cell Phone Jamming Reform Act gives state and federal prisons the authority to implement a jamming system to protect inmates, guards, and the public at large. 

“Prisoners have used contraband cell phones to direct illegal activities outside prison walls, including hits on rivals, sex trafficking, drug operations, and business deals. Cellphone jamming devices can stop this but the Federal Communications Act doesn’t allow facilities to use this technology. My bill would fix this problem so that criminals serve their time without posing a threat to the general public,” said Senator Cotton.

“Contraband cell phones have been a problem in our nation’s prison system for years. It is time for Congress to take action and protect the public from criminals who continue their illegal activities from behind bars. I am happy to join my colleagues in the Senate in introducing this bipartisan, bicameral legislation on behalf of the people of West Tennessee,” said Representative Kustoff.

“For more than a decade, contraband cellphones have infiltrated correctional facilities across our nation and around the globe. Kidnapping, extortion, bribery, witness intimidation, robbery, identity theft, malware attacks, security breaches and other serious crimes are being orchestrated on these smuggled devices. From carrier pigeons to drones, to body cavity to compromised vendors and staff, cellphones are making their way behind prison walls in large numbers. The phones themselves have allowed inmates to coordinate the introduction of more illegal phones and other contraband,” said John Wetzel, President of the Association of State Correctional Administrators.

“Despite the concerted efforts being made by correctional staff and leaders, cell phones continue to find their way inside of facilities. Every year thousands and thousands of phones are confiscated from inmates by state departments of corrections and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. It is thus more and more critical for us to deploy as many strategies and tools as are available to us and for us to find new tools and technologies to help us in the fight to maintain safe and secure facilities,” wrote Gary Mohr, President of the American Correctional Association, in a letter of support.

"This commonsense legislation will allow law enforcement personnel to not only keep their jails safer, but would thwart illegal activity from prisoners as well as criminals on the outside. Jail administrators should be able to use any tactic needed to control device activity especially from something that is contraband," said Jonathan Thompson, Executive Director of the National Sheriff’s Association.

"I appreciate the understanding shown by Senator Cotton of the dangers posed by cell phones inside of Arkansas’s prisons. I urge swift action by our Congress to pass this bill, which provides the option to implement jamming or other technology in the housing areas of our correctional facility to stop the use of contraband cell phones. These phones are illegal under Arkansas state law, but the number of them inside our facilities continues to increase each year. This bill will increase the safety of correctional facilities for staff and inmates,” said Wendy Kelly, Director of Arkansas Department of Corrections.  

Background:
The use of contraband cellphones is widespread in both federal and state prison facilities. Inmates have used contraband cellphones to conduct illegal activities, including ordering hits on individuals outside of the prison walls, running illegal drug operations, conducting illegal business deals, facilitating sex trafficking, and organizing escapes which endanger correctional employees, other inmates, and members of the public.

By the numbers. The number of contraband cellphones confiscated from various locations:

  • Federal Bureau of Prisons: 5,116 in 2016
  • Arkansas prisons: 1,550 in 2017
  • South Carolina prisons: ~ 4,500 in 2017
  • Georgia prisons: ~13,000 in 2014
  • California prisons: ~14,000 in 2017

Cell Phones and Contraband Sparked South Carolina Prison Incident that Killed 7, a gang fight over territory using cellphones to trade contraband sparked a brawl inside the Lee Correctional Institution near Bishopville, South Carolina, that left seven inmates dead and 20 injured.

Bureau of Prisons Correctional officer Lt. Osvaldo Albarati was murdered in 2013 for interrupting an illicit contraband cellphone business. His actual assassination was initiated by an inmate using a contraband cellphone to contact the gunman as outlined in the indictment

A 2018 report showed an FCI Fort Dix inmate arranged murder and assault from a smuggled phone in a Jersey prison. Another inmate of same Jersey prison was reportedly charged with possessing and distributing child pornography on a contraband phone within the prison. Six other inmates also pled guilty.

Contraband cell phones aren’t only allowing violent criminals to continue their nefarious activities. Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported that Martin Shkreli, the disgraced pharmaceutical executive sentenced to seven years for securities fraud, has still been making decisions at Phoenixus AG through the use of a contraband cellphone.

Endorsements:
American Correctional Association (letter of support)
Association of State Correctional (letter of support)
National Sheriffs Association
Council of Prison Locals
Major County Sheriffs of America


BOOZMAN, TESTER INTRODUCE BILL TO ADDRESS PHYSICIAN STAFFING SHORTAGES AT VA
Aim to attract best & brightest doctors to VA system
WASHINGTONRecruiting and retaining highly-qualified physicians has long been a challenge for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), but a bipartisan bill introduced in the U.S. Senate seeks to turn the tide by allowing the department to compete for the best and brightest doctors coming out of medical school.

The VA Hiring Enhancement Act—introduced by Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Jon Tester (D-MT)—aims to overcome the competitive disadvantage the VA faces in recruiting medical students by aligning the department’s hiring processes with private sector providers. The hiring process begins much earlier for the private sector than it does for the VA.

“Under its current hiring processes, the VA loses too many great medical school graduates to private sector employers. The VA Hiring Enhancement Act will fix that by leveling the playing field for the VA and allowing the department to attract the best and brightest doctors. In terms of closing the VA’s recruiting gap with the private sector, this bill is a gamechanger,” said Boozman.   

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

The VA Hiring Enhancement Act 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. This 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.
 
 

MARCH 28, 2019

BOIL ORDER ISSUED FOR HIGHWAY 278 AREA
The Highway 4 and 24 Water Association has issued a boil order for customers on Highway 278 and adjoining roads. An accident on Highway 278 caused a small crack in a main line on Wednesday. Repair has been completed.

Water used for drinking or cooking should be boiled at a rapid boil for at least one minute before use. All ice cubes should be discarded.

The order will be lifted as soon as the Arkansas Department of Health gives the OK.

Any questions can be directed to the Water Association Office at 870-685-2902 or call Operator Roger Brewer at 870-310-0849. The Water Association apologizes for any inconvenience and will lift the order as soon as possible.

ARKANSAS ENERGY WORKFORCE CONSORTIUM BREAKS GROUND ON LINE WORKER TRAINING POLE YARD
Arkansas Energy Workforce Consortium Breaks Ground on Line Worker Training Pole Yard
Training Program to Prepare Line Workers for Careers in Energy
LITTLE ROCK, Ark - An empty field next to UA – Pulaski Tech Business and Industry Center will soon be home to rows of utility poles for training line workers. Leaders from utility companies in the state, workforce development groups and community colleges were on hand Monday while workers set the first pole for the new certified line worker training program.

The first cohort of students in the program is scheduled to begin in late summer and will last approximately six months. Students who complete the program will be certified in several areas, including Certified Line Worker, National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) Core, Power Line and Power Line Worker Level 1 with modules from 2 and 3; Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 10; cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPA) First Aid Basic Plus; and 600 hours of curriculum and exercises. Some students will receive Commercial Drivers’ License (CDL) Training as well.

 “Entergy Arkansas is like every other electric utility in the state and across the country,” said Michael Considine, vice president of customer service for Entergy Arkansas. “We don’t have to look very far into the future to see that we will need more line workers, and we will need a more diverse skill set and experience level from those workers. We are excited to partner with all the other electric utilities in the state as well as our contractors, state workforce groups and the community colleges to help identify and train the line workers for the future. Sometimes people forget that line workers are first responders in storms and natural disasters. These men and women are critical to keeping all of our lives and businesses running smoothly.”

To qualify for the program, students must be 18 years old, have a high school diploma or GED, have a valid driver’s license, be able to pass a drug and background check and be comfortable working at heights of up to 40 feet.

“One of our goals is to work with industry in the state to train a workforce that will be in demand and prepared for the jobs of the future,” said Chancellor Margaret Ellibee. “We are pleased about the enthusiasm we’ve seen from both potential employers and students about this program and what it can mean for the future of energy workers in Arkansas.”

A similar program is underway at Arkansas State University – Newport. Plans are underway for another certificate program to begin later in 2019 at Northwest Arkansas Community College.

Students interested in being part of the first cohort for UA – Pulaski Tech should call 501.907.6670.

The Arkansas Energy Workforce Consortium is a coalition of electric utilities and contractors, community colleges and workforce development groups which projects energy worker needs and finds creative solutions to locate, educate and train workers for careers in energy in Arkansas.

METHODIST BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SYSTEM, INC. PUBLISHES COMMUNITY HEALTH NEEDS ASSESSMENT
LITTLE ROCK, AR (Mar. 27, 2019) – The state’s only nonprofit behavioral hospital exclusively for children released its Community

Health Needs Assessment this week.
This report is Methodist Behavioral Health System, Inc.’s initial Community Health Needs Assessment. We anticipate the programs and processes set forth in this assessment will continue to change as we identify and prioritize needs for improving the psychiatric, behavioral and emotional health of the Arkansas children and their families we serve.

The report can be accessed at https://www.methodistfamily.org/behavioral-hospital.html, on our blog at https://www.methodistfamily.org/our-blog/, and at https://www.methodistfamily.org/our-blog/community-health-needs-assessment.html.

Methodist Behavioral Hospital in Maumelle, a program of Methodist Family Health, provides acute (short-term) care to boys and girls ages 3-17 and sub-acute (longer-term) care to boys ages 5-11. If a child is assessed to be a danger to him/herself, someone else or both, Methodist Behavioral Health System, Inc. can provide care to stabilize his/her behavior, so he/she can return to a less restrictive environment. This can mean he or she can return to the family home, a psychiatric residential treatment center or group home. 

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the ACA), enacted March 23, 2010, added new requirements codified under Section 501(r) for organizations that operate one or more hospital facilities (hospital organizations) to be described in Section 501(c)(3), as well as new reporting requirements and a new excise tax.

A hospital facility is a facility that is required by a state (including only the 50 states and the District of Columbia) to be licensed, registered, or similarly recognized as a hospital. Multiple buildings operated under a single state license are considered to be a single hospital facility. In addition to the general requirements for tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) and Revenue Ruling 69-545, hospital organizations must meet the requirements imposed by Section 501(r) on a facility-by-facility basis in order to be treated as an organization described in Section 501(c)(3). These additional requirements are:

1. Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) - Section 501(r)(3),
2. Financial Assistance Policy and Emergency Medical Care Policy - Section 501(r)(4),
3. Limitation on Charges - Section 501(r)(5), and
4. Billing and Collections - Section 501(r)(6).

These provisions apply to taxable years beginning after the date of enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), except for the CHNA requirement, which applied to tax years beginning after March 23, 2012.

ABOUT METHODIST FAMILY HEALTH
Founded in 1899 as the Arkansas Methodist Orphanage, Methodist Family Health is celebrating 120 years of rebuilding the lives of Arkansas children and families. Our mission is to give the best possible care to those who may need our help. Our continuum of care serves thousands of Arkansas children with psychiatric, behavioral, emotional and spiritual issues and their families each year. Methodist Family Health has locations throughout the state, including the Methodist Behavioral Hospital, two residential treatment centers, seven therapeutic group homes, an emergency shelter, a day treatment program, eight counseling clinics, nine school-based counseling clinics, a grief center for children and their families, and the Arkansas Center for Addictions Research, Education and Services (Arkansas CARES).

COTTON SPEAKS ABOUT THE GREEN NEW DEAL ON THE SENATE FLOOR
On Wednesday, Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) addressed the rejection of the Green New Deal resolution on the Senate Floor. Click here to watch his remarks in full. In addition, a full transcript of his remarks can be found below.

So, the Senate has unanimously rejected the so-called Green New Deal, and in a display of political courage for the ages, 43 Democrats voted present including many of the bills own sponsors. Now many of those are running for president and in fact it seems like all the democratic senators are running for president and perhaps they realize what a disaster the Green New Deal is for them.

The Green New Deal would force a transition in just 10 years, one decade, to 100% green energy. Whatever that is. But it is an impossible goal that would require trillions of dollars of taxes and the effective nationalization of private industry in America.

But that's not all, no, not all. The Green New Deal would also overhaul or rebuild, "all existing buildings in the United States . . . to achieve maximum energy efficiency." All. Every single home and building in America. I guess you can call it the Extreme Home Makeover mandate.

The Green New Deal also calls for taxpayer-funded college and jobs for every person in the country, even for illegal aliens, and even if you're unable or "unwilling to work". That's according to a press release the Democrats sent out and then tried to send down the memory hole when it was justly mocked and understandably so. Jobs for everyone who is unable to work and unwilling to work. There's a big difference between those two groups of people.

The radical nature of the Green New Deal cannot be overstated. The amount of control it would give to politicians and planners in Washington would be the envy of Soviet Russia. Actually, it would make Stalin blush and it would take Stalin's tactics to achieve a Green New Deal. To borrow from Churchill, "socialism may begin with the best of intentions but it always ends with a Gestapo". Who else is going to come into your home and make sure that it's energy compliant. Who else will confiscate your gas using pick-up truck? Who else is going to ensure that you don't commit the terrible crime of eating a hamburger?

So perhaps we can come up with a better name for the Green New Deal, one that reflects its true lineage. Might I suggest the "Red New Deal," the color of communist regimes the world over. Or perhaps the "Green Leap Forward," in honor of Mao. I gather some House freshman might actually feel pretty comfortable with those labels.

They claim these radical ideas are necessary to stop the threat of climate change. A threat so dire, the Democrats insist, so dire, that we will all be dead in 12 years, 12 years if we don't surrender totalitarian levels of power over our lives to central planners in Washington. Yet we gave them a chance to vote on this existential, apocalyptic threat and they all said, "eh, maybe later".

So, this isn't really about climate change or not even the environment I mean come on: what do free college for rich kids and guaranteed jobs for lazy bums have to do with climate change? The answer is nothing. And that tells you all you need to know about what the Democrats are up to.

The Green New Deal isn't a real policy proposal it's just the Democrats' most fanciful and frightful dreams wrapped into one shiny package. I'd call it a policy platform, but that would probably give it too much credit for substance. The president put it very well, he said the Green New Deal is more like an undergraduate term paper and one written late at night after too many bong hits, judging from its botched rollout.

Because if you really feared a climate catastrophe, you'd do a simple couple things.

First, you'd build as many new beautiful carbon-free nuclear power plants as you could. But the Green New Deal omits nuclear energy entirely, no doubt to please the Democrats crony renewable-energy lobbyists and the anti-nuclear no-nothings in the Democrats' base.

And second, you'd get tough on the world's biggest polluters, especially on China. Foreign nations after all have driven almost all the growth in global carbon emissions since the turn of the century. But the Green New Dealers seem to believe America is the root of all the world's problems even though our admissions have been declining. It's just another case of the Democrats guiding principle: blame America first.

Now of course if we did something as stupid as pass the Green New Deal, those foreign nations would just laugh at us and keep building their economies and keep polluting. While we tanked our own economy and immiserated our citizens and lost millions of jobs in pursuit of a fantasy. The Green New Deal would amount to America's "unilateral disarmament" on the world stage. Which for some Democrats is probably a feature and not a bug.

But sometimes even terrible ideas deserve a vote. So, we gave them a vote on the Green New Deal and the bill's own sponsors complained. In any event, the Senate flunked the Democrat's term paper unanimously. And the only reason the Green New Deal got an F, is that there is not a lower grade.

So common sense prevailed this time, although I have a feeling this is not the last time we've heard of the New Green Deal. Remember, this is not the hobby horse of some eccentric socialist fringe of the Democratic Party. Oh no, not at all. The Green New Deal has 90 Democratic co-sponsors in the House. That's nearly 2 out of every 5 House Democrats. And the Democrats' presidential candidates have rushed to endorse the Green New Deal. So, remember that when you step into the voting booth in 2020.

But let me wrap up on a more serious note, I made a lot of jokes about the Green New Deal and believe me, the Green New Deal is laughable. But for many Americans the Green New Deal is no laughing matter.

Imagine if you will, a mom and dad with a couple young kids outside Little Rock, let's say. Every day they drive the kids to school. They commute into the city where they work and back out to the suburbs just so they can afford a home. When they are home on the weekends, maybe try to fire up the grill on the patio and have a little cookout for the kids.

This working-class family is doing its best to live the American Dream and pass it on to their kids.

The Green New Deal is not for that family. It would outlaw their entire way of life-from the minivan in their garage, to the hamburgers on their grill, to the house they call home.

The Green New Deal would be a death sentence for America's families, yet the Democrats have the nerve to sell it as a rescue mission.

I reject that fraud on America and now so does the United States Senate

 

March 27, 2019

 

EXPLOSION CLAIMS LIFE OF TRUCK DRIVER
MARCH 27, 2019
Remains of an individual suspected to be those of Randall McDougal, 63, of El Dorado, have been recovered from the site of an explosion that occurred earlier today along U.S. Highway 278 west of Camden east of the Nevada – Ouachita county line near Arkansas Highway 57.  The Arkansas State Police has requested the human remains to be examined for positive identification by the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory.

State troopers have learned that McDougal was employed by Blann Trucking Company of Hampton, the owner of the vehicle that was carrying ammonium nitrate from El Dorado to Texarkana.

Area fire department personnel were notified about 6:40 AM today that the truck brakes of the commercial carrier truck believed to be driven by McDougal were on fire and the driver was attempting to extinguish the blaze.

The first fire department personnel on the scene had begun to evacuate residents who live in the area and reportedly witnessed McDougal return to the truck when it exploded.

The roadway remains closed as the result of a large hole caused by the explosion that stretches across the highway.

TANKER TRUCK LOADED WITH AMMONIA NITRATE EXPLODES
About 6:40 this morning a tanker truck filled with ammonia nitrate exploded in the area of Highway 278 and County Road 57. According to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, the driver of the truck had called to report that he had an accident and the truck was on fire. The fire caused the load to explode. At this time, the Sheriff’s Office said they had no known injuries to report. The explosion caused damage to County Patrol Cars knocking out the glass and setting off air bags. The vehicles are having to be towed from the scene and other units are being sent out for Officers. Residents within one mile of the crash site have been evacuated so if you can’t reach your loved ones at this time this is the reason. The Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office have notified the Office of Emergency Management, the Arkansas State Police, Arkansas Forestry and local Fire Stations. The Sheriff asks that you avoid the area of Highway 278 and Highway 57 at this time. Radio Works will keep you updated as official statement become available.


ARKANSAS ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES JOIN ARKANSAS ENERGY WORKFORCE CONSORTIUM
Training Program to Prepare Line Workers for Careers in Energy
Little Rock, Ark. — March 26, 2019 — Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. has partnered with other utility companies, construction contractors, state agencies and community colleges to form the Arkansas Energy Workforce Consortium. The consortium has launched a new certified line worker training program.

The program, which has a six-month curriculum, will commence prior to September. The curriculum will provide training for students and allow them to gain certifications in many areas including: Certified Line Worker; National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) Core, Power Line and Power Line Worker Level 1 with modules from 2 and 3; Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 10; cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) First Aid Basic Plus; and 600 hours of curriculum and exercises. Students may also obtain a Commercial Drivers’ License (CDL).

“We look forward to this program increasing the number of certificated line workers across Arkansas,” said Jonathan Oliver, vice president of utility sales and services for AECI. “Arkansas’ electric cooperatives have had great success with a similar program at Arkansas State University – Newport for many years. Line workers play a crucial role in the delivery of safe and reliable electric service.”

To qualify for the program, students must be 18 years old, have a high school diploma or GED, hold a valid driver’s license, pass a drug and background check and be comfortable working at heights of up to 40 ft.

Students interested in the program should contact the University of Arkansas – Pulaski Tech at 501.907.6670 or visit www.facebook.com/arkenergyworkforce

The Arkansas Energy Workforce Consortium is a coalition of electric utilities and contractors, community colleges and workforce development groups which projects energy worker needs and finds creative solutions to locate, educate and train workers for careers in energy in Arkansas.

Arkansas’ electric cooperatives comprise 17 electric distribution cooperatives; Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI), a Little Rock-based cooperative that provides services to the distribution cooperatives; and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. (AECC), a generation and transmission cooperative. The distribution cooperatives provide electricity to approximately 500,000 homes, farms and businesses in Arkansas and surrounding states.

RUTLEDGE ISSUES STATEMENT ON PASSAGE OF FARM EQUIPMENT LEMON LAW 
Says, ‘farmers are no longer vulnerable to potentially devastating financial losses due to faulty equipment’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released the below statement following the Arkansas Legislature’s passage of the Farm Machinery Quality Assurance Act that will provide “lemon law” type protection to consumers in the purchase of new self-propelled farm machinery and equipment which do not conform to the manufacturer’s warranty and attempts to repair the problem fail.

“Farm equipment is a major and necessary expense for farmers, often costing thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “But when that equipment doesn’t work and can’t be repaired, it can be disastrous. With the passage of the Farm Machinery Quality Assurance Act, farmers are no longer vulnerable to potentially devastating financial losses due to faulty equipment.”

The Farm Machinery Quality Assurance Act applies to new self-propelled equipment over 25 horsepower that is typically used for agricultural purposes. It requires the consumer to notify the manufacturer of nonconforming issues within 1 year of purchase or 600 hours of operation of the equipment. Similar to the motor vehicle lemon law, the manufacturer then has three opportunities to repair the problem. If the repair attempts are unsuccessful, the consumer has the right to a refund or replacement of the equipment.

The bill has passed both chambers of the legislature and will now go to the governor for his signature to become law.

COTTON, MENENDEZ, AND COLLEAGUES INTRODUCE TAIWAN ASSURANCE ACT
Washington, D.C. –
 Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), along with Senators Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nevada), and Chris Coons (D-Delaware), introduced the Taiwan Assurance Act, legislation that would enhance the U.S.-Taiwan relationship and bolster Taiwan's participation in the international community.

"Taiwan is a vital democratic partner of the United States. 40 years after the Taiwan Relations Act was signed into law, our bilateral ties should reflect this reality. This legislation would deepen bilateral security, economic, and cultural relations, while also sending a message that China’s aggressive cross-Strait behavior will not be tolerated," said Cotton.

“Bearing witness to Taiwan’s flourishing democracy has been one of my proudest moments as a Member of Congress,” said Menendez. “As we mark the fortieth anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act, it is critical that Congress speak with one voice about the importance of maintaining Taiwan’s diplomatic space, deepening our ties with Taipei, and assuring the people of Taiwan have a voice in determining their own future.”

“The United States must continue to enhance our strategic relationship with Taiwan against an increasingly aggressive China,” said Rubio. “Taiwan is an important democratic partner whose security is critical to advancing America’s national security interests in the Indo-Pacific.” 

“Taiwan’s vibrant democracy and thriving economy are an example for the entire Indo-Pacific,” said Coons. “As we near the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act, this bill is an important signal of the enduring friendship between the United States and the people of Taiwan.”

Congressman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) plans to introduce companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

The Taiwan Assurance Act will enhance the U.S.-Taiwan relationship in the following ways:

  • Mandates that the president conduct a review of the State Department’s guidelines on U.S. relations with Taiwan.
  • Directs the Secretary of Defense to make efforts to include Taiwan in bilateral and multilateral military training exercises.
  • Requires that a flag or general officer serve as the U.S. defense attaché in Taipei.
  • States that the United States will continue to advocate for Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international organizations.
  • Expresses Congressional support for Taiwan's asymmetric defense strategy, regular U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, and the resumption of bilateral trade talks between the United States and Taiwan.

BOOZMAN, ENZI INTRODUCE RESOLUTION RECOGNIZING 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE EGYPT-ISRAEL PEACE TREATY
WASHINGTON—
U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Mike Enzi (R-WY) introduced a resolution commemorating the 40th anniversary of signing of the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty.

The Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty was signed on March 26, 1979, ending 31 years of war between the two nations. It was the culmination of months of negotiations that began when Muhammad Anwar al-Sadat, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, and Menachem Begin, Prime Minister of Israel, met with President Jimmy Carter at Camp David, Maryland from September 5 to September 17, 1978. The “Camp David Accords”—which were signed at the conclusion of that twelve-day meeting—served as the framework for the treaty. Forty years later, Egypt and Israel continue to enjoy a strong and peaceful bilateral relationship.

“The Camp David Accords and resulting peace treaty are an enduring achievement that serve as a reminder that lasting peace in the region can be achieved. It should also remind us the positive impact the U.S. can have when it remains fully engaged in settling conflicts. Our relationship with both nations is stronger now than ever, as a result of the extensive efforts on the part of American diplomats to bring the parties to the table. They set an example for the world in seeking peaceful and long-lasting resolutions to conflicts,” Boozman said.

“Forty years ago, Israel and Egypt showed that lasting peace between adversaries should never be seen as an impossibility,” Enzi said. “The Camp David Accords and peace treaty stand not only as a reminder of the power of diplomacy, but also the benefit that the United States can provide when it leads the way forward on the world stage. Their legacy should be a beacon of hope for all those who understand that focusing on the common good can provide prosperity for all those involved.”

Specifically, the resolution:

  • Congratulates the governments and people of Egypt and Israel for 40 years of peace based on the Camp David Accords;
  • Encourages the governments of Egypt and Israel to serve as examples of honest statesmanship and peace building;
  • Commends the example set for the world in seeking peaceful and long-lasting resolutions to conflict; and
  • Requests the President to issue a proclamation to observe the anniversary with appropriate ceremonies and programs.

BOOZMAN: THE GREEN NEW DEAL IS NOT A SERIOUS SOLUTION
WASHINGTON—
U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) released the following statement after the Senate rejected the Green New Deal in an overwhelming manner:

“We have an obligation to cut emissions and move our energy consumption toward renewable sources. The U.S. can be proud of the efforts we have made to move in this direction, but more work remains to fully achieve these goals. The Green New Deal is not going to get us there.

Instead, the Green New Deal is an all-encompassing, far-left wish list masquerading as a clean energy plan. The authors of this massive—and extremely expensive—plan suggest the Green New Deal can cure all of society’s ills within a 10-year time frame. What they won’t tell the American people is how exactly it will work or where they intend to find the trillions of dollars it will cost. They don’t have answers for either question.

Real solutions to our energy and environmental challenges should be driven by positive incentives, research and development—not heavy-handed regulation. Furthermore, our strategy should focus on addressing those specific issues and not be used as a pretense for the government to involve itself inalmost every aspect of its citizens’ lives.

We need to embrace an all-of-the-above approach to energy security that includes wind, renewable biomass, hydroelectric and solar power. The solution absolutely needs to also include an expansion of nuclear power, which the Green New Deal mysteriously leaves out.

Policies that incentivize production and usage of renewable forms of energy are the way forward to responsibly balance our energy needs with our concerns for the environment. The Green New Deal, and its laundry list of undeliverable promises, is not a serious solution to any of the supposed injustices it proposes to fix.”

GRIFFIN DISCUSSES BENEFITS OF PRESIDENT TRUMPS TRADE POLICIES AT WHITE HOUSE, NEED TO PASS USMCA
Says, the USMCA will keep us 'globally competitive' and will 'allow for robust economic growth'

LITTLE ROCK – Lt. Governor Tim Griffin today issued the following statement after joining fellow Lt. Governors at The White House with Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and Director of the National Economic Council Larry Kudlow to discuss the proposed United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA):

"I commend President Trump for his continued commitment to improving trade, growing jobs, and keeping our nation globally competitive. The proposed USMCA agreement will modernize our trade relationships, expand

market access for our agricultural products, and incentivize American manufacturing. This agreement will promote free and fair trade, protect hardworking Arkansans, and allow for robust economic growth. Passing this agreement with Mexico and Canada is also critical to reaching historic trade agreements with countries like Japan and the United Kingdom. Congress should pass the USMCA now.”

 

March 26, 2019

CITY OF CAMDEN POLICE REPORTS
POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE-:MISDEMEANOR
OBSTRUCTION OF GOVERNMENT AL OPERATIONS

On March 24th at 102 hours, Sergeant Bush, Officer Watts, Officer VanAssche, and Officer Davis were dispatched to 457 Adams to conduct a security check at The Corner Pocket. Upon our arrival the Officers observed a large gathering. Sergeant Bush advised, one of the subjects, Tavia Robinson, that she had a valid warrant for her arrest. Robinson was taken into custody and was later transported to the station without incident. While transporting Robinson, Officer VanAssche and Officer Davis asked her multiple times to identify herself, and she refused.

At the station dispatch confirmed the warrant was with Ouachita County. Officer VanAssche then asked if Robinson's name was Tavia Robinson, and she stated no that could be her sister not her. Officer VanAssche advised Robinson she was being charged with Obstruction of Governmental Operations, to which Robinson later admitted that she was Tavia Robinson.

A search of Robinson property was conducted, and during the search Officers VanAssche and Davis found half of a pill identified as being a Xanax pill. The Officers used the pill identifier, and proved the pill was in fact Xanax.

Robinson was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance (Misdemeanor) and, Obstruction of a Governmental Operation. Booking procedures where completed. Robinson was later transported to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office to be served her valid Bench Warrant.

PUBLIC INTOXICATION
POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE

On March 24th at 12:50 p.m., Officer Kayla Reynolds was dispatched to Pine Meadows Apartments for a welfare concern. Dispatch advised the reporting party said a male on location was near the office screaming for help and exposing himself.

Officer Reynolds arrived and observed an unlicensed 2004 white Lincoln Town Car parked in the roadway of Pine Meadow apartments. She also noticed that Lieutenant LaRhonda Moore had already arrived.  Lieutenant Moore was speaking with a male in the breezeway of Apartment 36. The man, later identified as Albert Weaver, stated he was at his friend's apartment to see

"Brandy". Officer Reynolds observed Weaver to be very paranoid not wanting anyone to get close to him. Weaver at times spoke with his eyes shut and randomly laughing. Weaver swayed on his feet as he spoke.

Lieutenant Moore requested Weaver let EMS check on his well-being. Weaver eventually complied to do so. Lieutenant Moore advised she located his vehicle in the roadway in Pine Meadows with the door open and keys still in the ignition. Lt. Moore advised a half smoked marijuana cigarette was in the ash tray of the vehicle.

Residents near 36 Pine Meadows stated Weaver had been on the ground screaming for someone to call 911 and not acting in his right mind. A witness stated he observed Weaver "flopping" near his vehicle screaming for help and not acting in his right mind. I made contact with the resident of Apartment 36 who stated Weaver was beating on her door but did not know him. She stated she knows of Weaver through Facebook but that she does not associate with him and does not know why he would be knocking at her door.

Weaver seemed spaced out while speaking and kept saying “I’m good I just need some water" many times. Weaver had to lean against a vehicle to keep his balance while speaking with the Officers. Weavers paranoia became worse as the Officers spoke with him. Officer Reynolds told Weaver he appeared to be under the influence of a narcotic and he was not driving from the location. When told he needed to call someone he refused to do so. Weaver kept walking around a vehicle as if he was planning to run. At this point it was deemed unsafe to allow Weaver to be left alone. Weaver was taken into custody for public intoxication.

Officer Manning transported Weaver to the Camden Police Department. Weaver's vehicle was later towed to Kelly's Wrecker Yard. While booking Weaver, he spontaneously uttered he believed the marijuana he smoked was laced because it "has never affected me like that before". Weaver admitted to smoking the marijuana and stated he was not in his right mind while he was in Pine Meadows. Weaver stated he felt like he was dying after smoking the marijuana.

Dispatch advised Officer Reynolds that Pine Meadows Management requested Weaver be banned from the property. Weavers was told not to go on the property anymore or he would be arrested. Booking procedures were completed. Weaver was later transported to the Ouachita County Detention Center. Weaver was held for a sobriety period and was later released on citation for public intoxication and possession of a controlled substance (misdemeanor).

PUBLIC INTOXICATION
On March 21st at 7:38 p.m., Officer Jake Perry was dispatched to Hospital Drive in reference to Michael Hall causing a disturbance and walking off the premises of the hospital intoxicated. Upon my arrival the Officer witnessed Hall stagger across California Avenue. Hall then flagged down a vehicle and turned in a circle with his shirt raised above his shoulders. Hall then proceeded into Soapy Suds where he asked a customer for money to buy more beer. Hall was taken into custody without incident and was adamant he not been drinking. Hall's speech was very slurred and the odor of intoxicants was emitting form his breath as he spoke. Hall agreed to take a (PBT) and blew a 0.114 in the Portable Breath test. Hall was transported to the Ouachita County Detention Center where he was held for 12 hours. Hall was given a Criminal Citation for Public Intoxication.

SOUTH ARKANSAS MINOR KILLED IN AUTOMOBILE CRASH
One South Arkansas minor was killed and three other minors were injured Saturday evening in a single car crash according to an Arkansas State Police Preliminary report.

26-year-old Salvado Romero of Warren was driving the vehicle on Bradley County Road 25. The four minors were passengers in the 1998 Honda that was traveling north near Warren.

According to the Arkansas State Police report the vehicle crossed the centerline shortly before 6 p.m., Romero overcorrected, and the Honda flipped. All four passengers and the drivers were ejected from the vehicle.

One of the minors was killed and the three other minors, as well as Romero, were taken to Bradley County Medical Center for treatment. The report didn't list the extent of their injuries.

U.S CENSUS IS LOOKING FOR WORKERS
Census Hiring!!

Application Drive Tuesday, April 2, 2019
Ouachita Partnership for Economic Development
625 Adams from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The event will consent of filling out online applications for upcoming early phase census work.  “Address canvassing” starting pay is $14.00 per hour and .58 cents per mile for incurred travel.  Early applicants will have the opportunity to work all phases of the census with job lasting until September 2020.

SAAC TO HOST LITTLE ROCK ARTIST HOLLY TILLEY
The South Arkansas Arts Center will host Little Rock artist Holly Tilley and her exhibit entitled "Rooted". The show will hang in the Price and Merkle Galleries April 1-29, 2019, with an artist's reception planned on Saturday, April 6, from 6:00-7:30pm. Gallery viewing hours are Monday- Friday 9:00-5:00pm.

Tilley's work explores where an artist comes from. She said that her watercolor "Rooted" is the painting that started the idea for the show. "Where an artist comes from, who influences them, why the do what they do, etc. This piece contains the names of my family, friends, instructors, students, work groups, collectors, places, music, and other people who have influenced my life. To be rooted means you know where you came from and for me, I am so grateful for it all," she explained. Tilley's work features her love of being outside, her travels abroad and her love of subjects from her childhood. The exhibit will include pastel, watercolor and oil.

"Passion and energy mixed with strong color are at the heart of my work. I have always loved drawing and doodling, and most of all as a child - I loved to color. My artistic creativity was unleashed with a box of 64 crayons! Now working in oils, the rich creamy colors far surpass my childhood crayons, but my love of color remains the same. Currently I am also exploring works in mixed media and watercolor.

"If you ask why I paint, my response is simple; it takes me back to places that I love, to my roots. Through these memories preserved on canvas or paper, I have the opportunity to take you with me - show you what I have seen, share with you what I have loved, and spark your own color- filled memories."

Tilley was born and grew up in Fort Worth, Texas, but she has lived and worked in Arkansas most of her life. After graduating from the University of Arkansas and establishing a successful career in marketing and advertising, Tilley made the decision to change her career path to one that would more fully embody her artistic passion. Tilley is a full time visual artist and manages the Art Group Gallery in Little Rock, Arkansas. She is also a member of the Arkansas Art Center, the Arkansas League of Artists and the Arkansas Arts Council. She has taught children's lessons for Arkansas Baptist School and is now instructing adults at her gallery/studio. In recent years, Holly has studied abroad at Civita Castellana, Italy (2017), and has led an American group of artists to Provence, France, to paint plein-air (2018).

For more information about this show, please call the SAAC office at 870-962-5474 or visit the website at www.saac-arts.org. SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street

CAMDEN KIWANIS CLUB TO MEET
The Camden Kiwanis Club will meet this Thursday  March 28th 12:00 p.m. at Catherine’s Bistro.   The program will be by  SAU Tech Men’s Basketball coach  Marty Levinson and Women’s Basketball Coach Andre William.

RUTLEDGE HOSTS RETIREE RESOURCES EVENT IN FAYETTEVILLE
Says, ‘In-person educational events will save Arkansans money’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today hosted the first regional Rutledge Retiree Resources event in Fayetteville. The agenda included programs designed to educate senior citizens from northwest Arkansas about how they can protect themselves from pervasive and vicious scam artists.

“Engaging Arkansas’s senior citizens in their hometowns is important to effectively communicate the multitude of ongoing scams,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “In-person educational events will save Arkansans money and help us put a stop to the scammers who are looking for a quick buck.”

Attendees heard from Attorney General’s office staff about protecting themselves from scams and identity theft, proper prescription drug disposal, resources regarding nursing homes and home care, and protecting finances.

Registration is available for additional Rutledge Retiree Resources events that are scheduled for April 29 in Jonesboro and June 25 in DeWitt.

 

March 25, 2019

RUTLEDGE STATEMENT ON PASSING OF JUDGE MAC GLOVER 
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has issued a statement on the death of Judge David “Mac” Glover, a judge on the Arkansas Court of Appeals.

“I was saddened to learn of Judge Glover’s passing this weekend,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Arkansas lost a talented jurist, incredible father and man beloved by everyone who knew him. I am sending prayers of healing and peace to his family during this difficult time.”

OPED BOARD OF DIRECTORS MONTHLY MEETING
The Ouachita Partnership for Economic Development Board of Directors will meet at the OPED Building located on Adams Avenue, Wednesday, March 27th at 10:00 a.m. The agenda includes the Call to Order , Audience Participation, Approval of Minutes – February 2019, Financial Reports – February 2019, Overview of Contacts and Ext. Directors, Overview of OPED Building, the Managers Report          

Old Business to be address will up an Update on the Workforce Project, a discussion of Future Funding and Public Relations of the OPED-Committee, information on the AEDC's Competitive Communities Program, and and open discussion. OPED Baord Meetings are open to the Public. The next scheduled Board Meeting will be on April 24, 2019.                              

SHARP COUNTY OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING TO BE INVESTIGATED BY ARKANSAS STATE POLICE
MARCH 22, 2019
The Sharp County Sheriff’s Department has requested the Arkansas State Police to investigate an officer involved shooting that occurred earlier today.

Jesse Hope, 19, of Ash Flat, was wounded by a Hardy Police Officer after the vehicle Hope was driving collided with police cars from Hardy and Highland.  The crash and shooting incident occurred about 3:50 AM at the intersection of Hospital Drive and Allegheny Drive in Cherokee Village.

Hope had been pursued into Cherokee Village after the vehicle Hope was driving struck a nearby convenience store.

Hope was transported to an area hospital.  His medical condition is unknown.

Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division are investigating the use of deadly force by a law enforcement officer and will submit their findings to the Sharp Count prosecuting attorney who will determine if the use of force was consistent with Arkansas laws.

Consistent with Arkansas State Police protocol, questions relating to the identity of any officers involved in the incidents (pursuit and/or officer involved shooting), or the administrative status of any officers, should be directed to the law enforcement agency employing the officers.  

CAMDEN NOON LION’S CLUB TO MEET
The Camden Noon Lion’s Club will meet on Wednesday at Catherine’s Bistro. This week the speaker will be Gary Hall from South Arkansas Community College & South Arkansas Art Center in El Dorado. He will be talking about two upcoming events in El Dorado - Arts in April and Renaissance Faire.

BOOZMAN RECOGNIZES NORTH LITTLE ROCK VETERAN OF KOREAN AND VIETNAM WARS
WASHINGTON-
U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) recognized Col. (retired) Thomas Williams, a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam Wars who dedicated his life to serving his country in uniform, in ‘Salute to Veterans,’ a series commemorating the military service of Arkansans.

Thomas calls North Little Rock home today, a community he grew to love while stationed at Little Rock Air Force Base for the final assignment of his more than 30-year Air Force career.

“I did things here that I never had the opportunity to do before,” Williams said. He supervised the transportation, supply, comptroller, contracting and logistics plans and learned “more from the people with whom I worked than they learned from me.”

Williams’ assignments took him all over the world, but his job at Little Rock Air Force Base is a highlight because of his different role. “All I had to do until that time was fly and manage things,” he said.

Williams’ decorated career began in 1951 when he enlisted in the Air Force. He was following in the footsteps of his older brother, Ray, who was a fighter pilot. While the younger Williams had aspirations to fly fighter planes, the Air Force had other plans for him.

Williams was assigned to Perrin Air Force Base where he learned to fly the B-26. This was followed by time at Langley Air Force Base for combat crew training to get him ready to deploy in support of the Korean War.

“I completed 19 missions over North Korea doing the same thing that I did at Langley Air Force Base,” Williams said.  As a Second Lieutenant, Williams said he would typically take off at 2 a.m. and return about dawn after completing his bombing missions. His year-long tour also included an assignment in Japan as a B-26 test pilot for aircraft that had undergone maintenance.

Following his deployment, Williams was assigned stateside as an instructor pilot and served as an aide to the Commander of Bolling Air Force Base, Brigadier General Stoyte Ross. Williams recalled the role that had given him his first opportunity to fly to Europe fondly.

He continued learning to fly different aircraft and was selected as the Air Force advisor to the Turkish Air Force where he helped train their pilots to fly the C-130 E. “I had a crash course in Turkish. I got there and lo and behold they didn’t want to speak Turkish. They wanted to speak English,” Williams said.

His next assignment was Vietnam where he flew C-130s, picking up cargo in Japan and the Philippines to take to Cam Ranh Bay Air Base. “We would stay there and fly around the clock for about two and half weeks,” Williams said. Then he would return to Taiwan typically in an airplane in need of repairs.

Williams served several other assignments before being stationed at Little Rock Air Force Base where he retired from a life of military service on October 30, 1982. Since retirement from the military, Williams continues to serve his community and in veteran service organizations.

“Col. Thomas Williams honorably served our country in uniform for more than 30 years. He was a skilled aviator whose dedication to his country is something we can all be proud of. Preserving his memories for the Veterans History Project is a great way to show our appreciation for his outstanding service to our country,” Boozman said.

Boozman will submit Williams’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. 

 
 

MARCH 22, 2019

STATE POLICE ASKED TO INVESTIGATE AUGUSTA USE OF FORCE DEATH
Local authorities in Augusta have requested the Arkansas State Police to investigate the death of Quinton Laird, 38, who died this morning at a Searcy hospital.

Augusta police officers were called to 601 Hough Street sometime after 3 AM when a resident inside the house reported a prowler outside the location and accused Laird later of kicking a door open and going to bed.

As Laird was removed from the house by police he reportedly began to resist as he was being handcuffed, leading to an officer to apply a chemical agent (pepper spray) to Laird who eventually became unresponsive.

Officers began life saving measures and called for an ambulance to transport Laird to Searcy where a physician pronounced Laird dead at 4:47 AM.

The Arkansas State Crime Laboratory has been requested to determine manner and cause of death.Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division have been assigned to the case and will present their findings to the Woodruff County Prosecuting Attorney.

CAMP HEALING HEARTS EXPANDS TO TWO-NIGHT EVENT TO HELP GRIEVING ARKANSAS CHILDREN, FAMILIES REFLECT, RECONNECT AND REDISCOVER
FREE Grief Camp Set for May 17, 18 and 19, 2019
LITTLE ROCK, AR (Mar. 20, 2019) – Because of overwhelming feedback from campers, Camp Healing Hearts is expanding from an overnight camp to a weekend event for Arkansas children and families struggling with grief. Coordinated by Kaleidoscope Grief Center, which is a program of Methodist Family Health, Camp Healing Hearts is FREE to families attending and will begin at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 17 and end at 10 a.m. on Sunday, May 19 at Camp Aldersgate in Little Rock. This camp is open to any family in Arkansas who is grieving a loss.

Losing a loved one is difficult for everyone, and grieving that loss is essential to accepting painful feelings and creating an opportunity for growth and a new sense of normal. Camp Healing Hearts is for Arkansas children ages 5 to 18 and their families who have lost a loved one and are coping with grief and bereavement. Utilizing both therapy and recreation, Camp Healing Hearts offers children and families an opportunity to discover their own inner strength.

The camp includes heart-to-heart time, swimming, fishing, crafts, games, campfires and s'mores, a challenge course and much more. An adult caregiver is required to accompany the grieving child or children attending camp. Only 100 spaces are available to those interested in attending are encouraged to complete and return an application prior to the deadline, which is Monday, May 6, 2019.

Camp Healing Hearts is made possible by community partners in the Alliance for Grief and Loss, including Arkansas Children's Hospital, Little Rock School District, Pulaski County Special School District, Griffin-Leggett Funeral Homes, Delta Society and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

For an application, visit MethodistFamily.org. For more information about Camp Healing Hearts or Kaleidoscope Grief Center, contact Dao Ward at dward@methodistfamily.org or call 501-537-3991 or 800-756-3709 toll-free.

ABOUT KALEIDOSCOPE GRIEF CENTER
Kaleidoscope Grief Center serves grieving children, teens and their families throughout Arkansas. Grief can be an isolating experience for children. We help those dealing with loss and bereavement through education, therapeutic and recreational services, grief support programs, counseling and Camp Healing Hearts.

ABOUT METHODIST FAMILY HEALTH
Founded in 1899 as the Arkansas Methodist Orphanage, Methodist Family Health is celebrating 120 years of rebuilding the lives of Arkansas children and families. Our mission is to give the best possible care to those who may need our help. Our continuum of care serves thousands of Arkansas children with psychiatric, behavioral, emotional and spiritual issues and their families each year. Methodist Family Health has locations throughout the state, including the Methodist Behavioral Hospital, two residential treatment centers, seven therapeutic group homes, an emergency shelter, a day treatment program, eight counseling clinics, nine school-based counseling clinics, a grief center for children and their families, and the Arkansas Center for Addictions Research, Education and Services (Arkansas CARES).

SAAC’s YOUTH COMMUNITY THEATER ANNOUNCES THE CAST OF “ANNIE, KIDS”
The South Arkansas Arts Center’s Youth Community Theatre is pleased to announce the cast for their spring 2019 production of “Annie KIDS”. The cast is made up of students in grades 2 through 8, who auditioned in January and tackled twice weekly rehearsals. “Rehearsal days for ‘Annie’ are my favorite days of the week!” said director Hannah Davis.

Cast members for “Annie KIDS” include Maryana Woolen, Annie; Tiffanie Duke, Miss Hannigan; Cayson Martin, Warbucks; Hannah Hickman, Grace Farrell; Clay Evers, Rooster; Emily Henderson, Lily St. Regis; and David Valero, Sandy.

Also included in the cast are Gideon Moncrief, Drake; Maddy Couture, Bert Healy; and Elllis Lyles, FDR; Gabriel Moncrief, Louis Howe; Ari Urbina, Lt. Ward; Ellery Palculict, Apple Seller; Analee Sanchez, Bundles; Abbey Williams and Mason Halstead, Stars to Be; and Mary Claire Parker, Usherette. 

Annie’s friends in the orphanage include Braelyn Allen, Molly; Georgia Blackmon, Duffy; Gemini Parker, Kate; Maggie Phillips, Pepper; Henlea Stevens, Tessie; Zoe Zahn, July and in the orphan ensemble Maya Blanton, Aubrey Daniels, Audrey Henderson, Lily Langston, Hadley Margis, Abbie McGee, Emma Nolan, Annalise Seabolt, and Annie Walker.

The New Yorkers are played Rebekah Cooley, Kalla Fudge, Luke Lain, Natalie Martin, Emma McGee, and Emily Tran. The Servants working the Warbucks household include Jaylynn Crawford, Gracie James, Bryce Martin, Sebastian Marquez, and Riya Nelson.

Producer Lynn Gunter said, “This is the most committed group of young actors. The combination of returning veterans from the program and a few new to the SAAC stage has made for a dynamic combination. It has been a delight to see what they bring new to the stage week.” 

Just the name “Annie” sparks excitement in children and adults alike, thanks to a story and music that weave a promise of hope that “the sun will come out tomorrow.” Based on the popular comic strip and adapted from the Tony Award-winning Best Musical, with a beloved book and score by Tony Award-winners, Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin, “Annie KIDS” features everyone’s favorite little redhead in her very first adventure.

Set in New York City in the 1930’s, Annie is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of an orphanage run by the cruel Miss Hannigan. Annie eventually foils Miss Hannigan’s evil plans, finding a new home and family in billionaire, Oliver Warbucks, his personal secretary, Grace Farrell, and a lovable mutt named Sandy.

Sponsored by the El Dorado chapter of Kiwanis International, the show will run April 12 and 13, with the curtain going up at 7pm on Friday and 11am and 2pm on Saturday.  Ticket prices are $5 for general admission seating. For more information about “Annie KIDS”, 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.

COTTON, CRUZ, GALLAGHER STATEMENT ON RECOGNIZING ISRAEL’S SOVEREIGNTY OVER GOLAN HEIGHTS
Washington, D.C.
 — Following a presidential announcement that the United States should fully recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas), along with Representative Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin), released the following statement:

“We applaud the president for formally recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, an acknowledgement that enhances the national security of both Israel and the United States. At a time when Israel's northern border is threatened by Iranian forces and their proxies in Lebanon and Syria, including by Hezbollah's rockets, armed drones, and newly discovered terror tunnels, this recognition will be great news for our ally and its right to self-defense. More work remains to be done to align American policy with today’s recognition. We look forward to advancing our bicameral legislation on the Golan Heights which acknowledges Israel’s sovereignty over its territory, streamlines Congressional language, and expands the basis for joint projects on the issue.”

Background
In February, U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Representative Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin) introduced companion bills establishing that it shall be the policy of the United States to recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

MARCH 21, 2019

 

BOOZMAN WORKS TO STOP VETERANS FROM BEING PUNISHED FOR VA'S MISCALCULATIONS
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR), Jon Tester (D-MT) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced legislation to prevent the VA from charging veterans for its own accounting mistakes. The VA annually sends as many as 200,000 overpayment notices totaling thousands of dollars to veterans and their families, sending them into crippling debt and withholding future benefits payments until the debt is paid. These overpayments are often a result of the VA’s own accounting errors, but the VA puts veterans and their families on the hook for repaying the debt.
 

Boozman, Tester and Brown introduced the Veterans Debt Fairness Act to reduce these overpayment errors and require the VA to hold itself, and not veterans, accountable for its mistakes. Their bill requires the VA to shoulder the debt burden of overpayments if the VA was responsible for the debt.  

“Veterans rely on their VA benefits to make ends meet and shouldn’t be penalized for the department’s accounting mistakes,” Boozman, a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee said. “Supporting veterans and their families by eliminating the potential for hardships caused by the VA’s errors is important to honoring our commitment to their service and sacrifice.” 

“It’s wrong to put the debt from the VA’s accounting mistakes on the shoulders of men and women who have served their country,” said Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “For some veterans, these benefits make the difference between paying monthly rent or missing payments, and we’ve got to stop the VA from pulling the rug out from under veterans and their families.”   

“Our veterans sacrifice so much already to serve our country. They shouldn’t be paying for the mistakes of the agency that’s supposed to serve them,” said Brown. 

VA benefit overpayment notices have been steadily increasing, sometimes for a payment period dating back as far as five years. Many of these debt overpayments are at no fault of the veteran or their dependents, but rather VA accounting errors and record mismanagement. Currently, the VA can send out debt repayment notices to veterans requesting the full amount due within 30 days while freezing all benefit payments until the debt is repaid. 

The Veterans Debt Fairness Act requires the VA to update its computer systems so veterans can update their own information regarding their beneficiaries, eliminating a key cause of overpayments. Under their bill, the VA would be required to offer electronic notification of debt notices, including information on how to file appeals and hardship waivers. Debt collection would have to adhere to a 5-year backlog time limit and no more than 25 percent withholding of benefit payments. 

Boozman cosponsored similar legislation last year. Provisions of that bill were signed into law as part of the Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018forcing the VA to allow veterans to make changes to their personal information themselves. The backlog of these information requests were a main contributor to VA overpayments. 

Cosponsors of the Veterans Debt Fairness Act include Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).

March 20, 2019

PLUG IN AND POWER UP FOR CAMDEN JOB SUCCESS AT THE CAMDEN JOB FAIR
Tuesday, April 16th, 2019 from 9am-3pm,
At the SAU Tech Student Center Grand Hall
(6523 Hussey Road, E. Camden Arkansas)
Camden Arkansas - Camden Arkansas serves as host to one of South Arkansas' largest Job Fairs, The Camden Job Fair, one day only! April 16th, 9am-3pm, at the SAU Tech Student Center Grand Hall, E. Camden Arkansas.

The 2019 Camden Job Fair offers an amazing opportunity for Camden and South Arkansas attendees to meet face to face with some of today’s largest companies about current and future openings in the area! Participating companies that will be at the Camden Job Fair and many ready to perform ON-SITE interviews, include:

  • Aerojet-Rocketdyne
  • Arkansas Department of Human Services
  • Arkansas State Police
  • Community Compassion Center of Magnolia
  • First Step
  • Floor Pro of Arkansas LLC
  • General Dynamics
  • HNO Blending Solutions
  • Guardian Security & Merritt Phone
  • NTS
  • Ken’s Discount Camden/El Dorado
  • Hugg & Hall Equipment Company
  • Kindred at Home
  • Kindred at Home - Home Health
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Manpower
  • Cam-Tel
  • Ouachita Enrichment Centers
  • SAU Tech
  • Silver Oaks Health & Rehabilitation
  • SubTeach USA
  • Tim Jordan Company, Inc.
  • Twin City Transportation
  • Woodland Hills Home Care
  • B & M Painting
  • ESA
  • Potlatch Deltic – Magnolia
  • and many more!

Job Prep Workshops

Prior to the event you can take advantage of free special training workshops to get you ready to go the next level in your career, with workshops on:

  • Resume Writing - March 26th
  • Interview Preparation – April 2nd
  • Job Search / Preparation – April 8th
  • Dress for Success – April 15th

These workshops will be held from 6PM – 8PM on the dates listed. Workshops will be held at Greater St. Paul Baptist Church, 896 S. Adams Ave, Camden. Transportation may be provided, if needed. All workshops are free and open to the public. Each workshop is taught by highly qualified trainers who specialize in the different areas surrounding career pursuit and career coaching for better job placement.

In addition: The Arkansas Department of Workforce Bus Unit will be in Camden to help job seekers to prepare for the upcoming CAMDEN JOB FAIR. The bus unit will help with resume writing, mock interviews, creating online profiles and other services. EVENTS ARE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

Department of Workforce Bus Unit Schedule

Tuesday, April 9th, 8:30 am – 4 pm, DWS bus unit at Arkansas Workforce Center 237 Jackson Street in Camden

AND On-Site at the Job Fair in the parking lot of the SAU Tech Grand Hall Monday, April 15th 9 am – 6 pm at SAU Tech’s campus Grand Hall parking lot 6523 Hussey Road, East Camden. DWS bus unit will be offering resume writing assistance, assistance to those creating online profiles for companies that are scheduled to actually be present and/or interviewing on site, and mock interviews as time permits at the actual site of the Job Fair.

Tuesday, April 16th at the Job Fair event 8 am – 2 pm at SAU Tech’s campus Grand Hall parking lot 6523 Hussey Road, East Camden. DWS bus unit actual site of the Job Fair for on-line applications and other services as needed.

Come to the Camden Job Fair dressed for success. Employers will have the option of conducting private interviews on site. Resume preparation and internet access to fill out on-line applications will be available on site.

Don’t miss this event to Plug In and Power Up for Camden Job Success! The Camden Job Fair on Tuesday, April 16th. Doors open at 9am and event closes at 3pm. At SAU Tech Student Center Grand Hall in Camden Arkansas!

Camden Job Fair Sponsored By: Ouachita Partnership for Economic Development, SAU Tech, The Department of Workforce Services and Camden Area Chamber of Commerce.

ARREST IN HIT & RUN CASE
Katley Amanda Johnson, 24, of Star City, has been arrested by Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division.  She is charged in connection with a motor vehicle hit and run incident at Monticello Saturday night (March 16, 2019) that left a Southeast Oklahoma University baseball player critically injured.

Johnson has been formally charged with leaving the scene of an accident with injury or death (Class D felony), tampering with physical evidence (Class D felony) and obstructing governmental operations (Class C misdemeanor).  Johnson was booked into the Drew County Detention Center about 4:30 PM today and bond has been set at $20,000.

Joseph D. Cerda, Jr., 21 (initially reported to ASP as age 20), was seriously injured at approximately 8:10 PM last Saturday when he was allegedly struck by a vehicle driven by Johnson that was traveling north along U.S. Highway 425.  Cerda was among a group of baseball teammates from Southeast Oklahoma University who were crossing the highway on foot to get to a local restaurant.  The Oklahoma baseball team had been participating in a game at the University of Arkansas – Monticello.

Teammates told Arkansas State Troopers they saw Cerda attempt to jump away from the path of the car, but was struck.  The driver of the car did not stop.

Cerda was transported to a Monticello hospital and later airlifted to be treated at a Little Rock hospital.

The Arkansas State Police investigation is continuing.

COTTON STATEMENT ON DEATH OF AIRMAN SHAWN MCKEOUGH
Washington, D.C.
 – Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today released the following statement on the death of Senior Airman Shawn McKeough Jr., who was assigned to Little Rock Air Force Base.

“Called by duty, Shawn McKeough Jr. lost his life doing exactly what he volunteered and trained to do: protecting his fellow citizens from danger. We mourn his death and grieve with his family, yet we also celebrate his life, his courage, and his service. May God welcome Shawn into His loving embrace and comfort his family.”

KIWANIS CLUB TO MEET
The Camden Kiwanis Club will meet this Thursday, March 21 at 12:00 at Catherine’s Bistro. The program will be presented by Eva Jorgensen, Event Chairperson for Relay for Life.

 
 

March 19, 2019

CITY OF CAMDEN POLICE REPORTS
POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE (MARIJUANA)
On March 17th at about midnight 00:01 hours Officer Jake Perry was patrolling the south zone and ran an Arkansas License Plate Number on a blue Cadillac. The The license plate returned to a tan Cadillac. A traffic stop was initiated. Contact was made with Van Edmondson who was in the passenger seat of the vehicle. Upon walking up to the vehicle Officer Perry could smell the strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. When asked about the strong smell of Marijuana Van stated, “I'm not going to lie I have two joints in my front right jacket pocket.” Officer Perry retrieved the marijuana cigarettes from Vans pocket. Van was taken into custody and transported to the Camden Police Station for booking. Booking procedures were completed. Edmondson was issued a Criminal Citation and given a District Court date.

CRIMlNAL TRESPASS
On March 17th at 10:54 P.M. Officer Nathan Lane was dispatched to 699 Lincoln Drive in reference to a church van parked there. Dispatch advised the driver of the van was selling drugs out of the vehicle and was asked to leave.

Upon arrival the Officer observed a white Dodge van that had “church van” on the hood parked beside the house. Contact was made with the driver of the vehicle who was identified as Delvecchio Bradford. When asked what he was doing at the house Bradford he just shrugged his shoulders. Bradford was advised as to why the Officer was there. Officer Lane then asked for permission to search the vehicle and Bradford gave consent.

While searching his vehicle, Wilson Rogers showed up on scene and told Bradford he was not allowed to be there. Before Police arrival Rogers had told Bradford he had to leave. Rogers stated that it is private property and that no one is allowed at the residence.

While searching the van, digital scales were located on the front passenger seat, along with a bottle of gin. In the back seat of the van was-water bottles belonging to a football team and some other football equipment.

Bradford was taken into police custody for Criminal Trespass due to the fact that Rogers explained he had told Bradford multiple times prior that he did not have permission to be there. When Officer Lane got into his vehicle Officer Lane notice a strong smell of smoked marijuana coming from Bradford’s person. Bradford was transported to the Police Station without incident. While getting Bradford’s information he stated he had smoked some marijuana at the property before the Police arrived. He also admitted to drinking some gin. He stated the vehicle belonged to Greater Grace church and that the Lion’s football team uses the vehicle. Bradford went on to say he drives for the team. Bradford was released with a Criminal Citation for Criminal Trespass. He was picked up at the station by his father.

FREE FAMILY CAREGIVER WORKSHOP TO BE MARCH 30TH IN EL DORADO
LITTLE ROCK – The Schmieding Home Caregiver Training Program of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) will hold a free family caregiver workshop March 30 for those who would like to learn about caring for an adult with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

The workshop, which is open to the public, will be held 10 a.m. - noon at St. John Missionary Baptist Church, 1018 Wilson Street in El Dorado. For more information or to register, please call. Refreshments provided. Space is limited.

The program is sponsored by UAMS’ Arkansas Geriatric Education Collaborative and AARP Arkansas.

The workshop will be taught by Bethany Moore, R.N., program director at the UAMS South Arkansas Center on Aging Education Center. She will present an overview of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and provide caregiving tips that maintain respect, dignity and quality of life for the person living with dementia. Information will also be presented on nutrition, behavior, communication techniques and activities.

About 452,000 family caregivers in Arkansas provide an estimated $4.7 billion in unpaid care each year, helping their loved ones with bathing and dressing, cooking meals, transportation, finances and complex medical tasks like wound care and injections.

AARP Arkansas State Director Herb Sanderson said support for family caregivers, including making available free training opportunities, is a top priority for AARP, which has more than 310,000 members in Arkansas age 50 or older.

“Family caregivers are the backbone of our care system, serving a crucial role in helping older Arkansans and other loved ones remain in their own homes and communities,” Sanderson said. “Because of their tireless efforts, older parents, spouses and other loved ones are able to live independently at home and in the community — where they want to be. It’s a labor of love, and often more than a full-time job.”

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world’s largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin.  To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @ARAARP on social media.

The Arkansas Geriatric Education Collaborative is funded by a federal Health Resources and Services Administration grant of $2.4 million for a Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program. The program improves the quality of care for older adults through education by offering programs for health professionals, first responders, family caregivers and direct care workers.

UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. It is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 2,727 students, 870 medical residents and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit www.uams.edu or www.uamshealth.com. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.

SENATOR COTTON SEEKING SUMMER INTERNS FOR ARKANSAS STATE OFFICES
Washington, D.C. — Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today announced he is seeking summer interns in his state offices in Little Rock and Springdale. Internships will be offered in two sessions: May 13th through June 28th and July 8th through August 23. 

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 Nicole_Millar@cotton.senate.gov and specify their desired office location and session.

MARCH 18, 2019

CAMDEN WATER UTILITIES RELEASES STATEMENT REGARDING SYSTEM FLUSH
This statement was released by David Richardson, General Manager, Camden Water Utilities
Dear Camden Water Utilities Customers:

Camden Water Utilities has completed our 2019 Annual System Flush and water service should be back to normal. I just want to take the time to apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused our customers and to explain why we have to do System Flushes. We hate having to do these System Flushes just about as bad as our customers do. But if we didn’t do system flushes, we wouldn’t be doing our jobs correctly.  After all, our employees are customers of Camden Water Utilities, so we know what you’re going through when we do these flushes in the spring of the year.  We are friends and neighbors of yours and our goal is to provide the best drinking water possible for you and our own personal use.     

This year’s flush was extremely dirty, and we are currently researching why this year was worse than previous years. We feel the main reason is that we have replaced this past year several hundred feet of 80-year-old water mains in the down town area. As the results of these mains being replaced the volume of water is much greater, causing sediments to break lose more easily in areas that have not been replaced. Which is the whole purpose of a System Flush.

We are required by the Arkansas Department of Health to conduct these flushes and the reason being is to assure our customers that the water remains safe to drink and to prevent the mains from being restricted with buildup which affects the volume and flow in the mains.     

Please call our office if and when you experience any dirty water or loss of pressure so that we can correct the problem as quick as possible.  Thanks again for your patience and understanding as we continue to improve your water utility.

Sincerely,

David Richardson                                                                                                                                               Camden Water Utilities, General Manager

STATE POLICE INVESTIGATING HIT & RUN INCIDENT INVOLVING OKLAHOMA BASEBALL PLAYER
MARCH 17,2019

Joseph D. Cerda, Jr., 20, of San Antonio, Texas was seriously injured in Monticello last night (Saturday, March 16, 2019) when he was struck by what has been described as a “dark color car” traveling north along U.S. Highway 425.  Cerda was among a group of baseball teammates from Southeast Oklahoma University who at approximately 8:10 PM were crossing the highway on foot to get to a local restaurant.

Teammates told Arkansas State Troopers they saw Cerda attempt to jump away from the path of the car but was struck.  The driver of the car did not stop.

The Oklahoma baseball team had been participating in a game at the University of Arkansas – Monticello.

Cerda was transported to a Monticello hospital and later airlifted to be treated at a Little Rock hospital.

Anyone with information about a better description of the car or any information that may help law enforcement identify the driver is asked to call the Arkansas State Police at (870) 226-3713, or the Monticello Police Department at (870) 367-3411.

CAMDEN NOON LION’S CLUB TO MEET
The Camden noon Lion’s Club will meet Wednesday at Catherine’s Bistro. The speaker this week will be Dana Wetherbee  with the  Camden Police Department.  She will update us on what is upcoming for the PD.

REGIONAL RUTLEDGE RETIREE RESOURCE EVENTS SCHEDULED
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced a new initiative to educate Arkansas’s seniors about how they can protect themselves from vicious scam artists. The first Rutledge Retiree Resources event will be held March 26 at the Fayetteville Senior Activity and Wellness Center for seniors from across the region.

“Senior Arkansans are a consistent target of scammers from across the world,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “These educational events are aimed to teach Arkansans how to spot a scam and protect their personal information. I am pleased to offer these types of programs across the state to reach Arkansans where they are.”

Rutledge Retiree Resources events will be held regionally and are currently scheduled for April 29 for Jonesboro and June 25 for DeWitt. Registration is now open. Attendees will learn about protecting themselves from scams and identity theft, proper prescription drug disposal, resources regarding nursing homes and home care and protecting finances.

 
 

MARCH 15, 2019

BEARDEN MAN INVOLVED IN FATAL MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT
Early this morning a 20-year-old man from Bearden was killed in a traffic accident. The Arkansas State Police preliminary report stated they responded to the wreck around 3:20 a.m. on U.S. 79 near Buena Vista. The deceased with identified as Keyshawn Ware of Bearden who was the driving a Chevrolet Silverado. The report stated that Ware was northbound on Highway 79 when he crossed the center line, into the Southbound Lane before leaving the road and striking two trees. He suffered fatal injuries. The weather was clear, and the road was dry at the time of the accident.  According to preliminary records 74 people have died on Arkansas roads so far this year. 14 of those fatalities occurred in March.


CITY OF CAMDEN POLICE REPORTS
DRIVING ON A SUSPENDED DRIVER'S LICENSE  - 
On March 13th at 7:23 a.m., Officer Erin Manning conducted a traffic stop on a white GMC pickup truck at 2826 Mt Holly due to the vehicle having a head light and brake light out on the passenger's side. Upon approaching the vehicle, the Officer made contact with the driver, Tevin Williams. During the traffic stop, it was confirmed that Williams had a suspended driver's license for drug related charges. Williams was then taken into custody for driving on a suspended driver's license and transported to the station. After booking procedures were completed, Williams was released with citations and a court date. Williams received one citation for driving on a suspended driver's license as well as a warning for having a head light and brake light out. Williams' vehicle was released into the custody of his mother.

CRIMINAL TRESPASS  - On March 13th at 12:22 p.m., I Officer Manning was dispatched to 313 Jefferson in reference to a subject refusing to leave the property. The Officer arrived and made contact with subject, Crystal Johnston. Officer Manning observed Johnston to be standing in the middle of the room and arguing with one of the desk workers. Johnston also had several items of luggage sprawled in a disorderly fashion across the floor of the building. When the Officer made contact with Johnston, she advised me that she had a warrant for her arrest. Due to Johnston creating a scene in a public space and her refusing to leave when previously asked to do so by management, Johnston was taken into custody for criminal trespass and removed from the property. Johnston was found to have several valid warrants for her arrest, however, the counties would not extradite. Prior to being transported to the County Jail, Johnston was evaluated at Ouachita County Medical Center and received paperwork advising she was fit for incarceration. Johnston was then transported to the County Jail without incident.

PUBLIC INTOXICATION  - On March 12 at 7:10 p.m. Officer. Nathan Lane was dispatched to Express Liquor in reference to a subject being drunk inside the store. While in route dispatch advised the subject left and was heading west on Grinstead Avenue. Dispatch advised the subject was a black male with a purple colored hoodie on. When Officer Lane got to the Union Street and Grinstead Avenue intersection he located the male subject, later identified as Michael Hall, walking to the house located at 139 Grinstead Avenue. The Office then got out  of the patrol unit and met with Hall who made it to the porch of the house. The Officer could smell the odor of intoxicants on his person before he started talking. When speaking to Hall asking him about his visit to Express Liquor Officer Lane could smell the odor of intoxicants even more. Hall's speech was thick and very slurred, so much so that he was unable to recite his ABC's. Contact was made with Hall's sister, the owner of the house who stated he was actually homeless but uses 139 Grinstead for his mail purposes. She also stated he is not welcome on the property at all when he is intoxicated. Hall was advised he was under arrest for Public Intoxication. Hall was transported to the station without incident. Booking approval was completed. Hall was later transported to the Ouachita County Detention Center to be released pending sobriety. Hall will be released on Criminal Citation and a District court date.

DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED -
On March 11th at 3:29 p.m. Officer Brandon Brangaccio  and Sergeant Brian Finney were dispatched to Washington at Dooley Womack for a two vehicle collision. Officer Brangaccio was notified on the way to the scene that the vehicles were moved off to Jackson St SW. Officer observed the two vehicles on the side of Jackson St. The first vehicle (V1), driven by Kevin White, was a blue 2000 Grand Marquis Mercury had minor damage to the front grill and bumper. The damage consisted of a small dent in the front bumper and a cracked grill. The second vehicle (V2) driven by Anna Thompson was a black 2014 Ford Escape. V2 had minor functioning damage to the rear of the vehicle. The damage consisted of a small dent in the rear bumper and minor damage to the exhaust. The Officer spoke with the driver of V2, Anna Thompson, who stated that she was stopped on Highway 278 business waiting for a vehicle in front of her to tum left onto Dooley Womack, when the driver of VI (Kevin White) rear ended her. White was given a field sobriety test which he failed. He was transported to the Police Station. At the station White was read his Arkansas Statement of Rights which he signed and agreed to take the breathalyzer which came back with a result of .13 BAC. White was issued traffic citation for DWI and a traffic citation number for Driving without a license and following too closely.

PUBLIC INTOXICATION – LITTERING  - On March 12th at 1:32 a.m. Officer Jake Perry was patrolling on Monroe Street at the entrance to Fort Look Out Manor. He observed a black male later identified as Cecil Singleton take a drink of something then throw it in ditch. The Officer stopped the patrol unit and spoke with Singleton. As Singleton spoke the Officer could smell the odor of intoxicants coming from his breath and person. Officer Perry then asked Singleton what he threw in the ditch. He replied "My Beer". Officer Perry then walked to the ditch and located a 24 oz frao beer that was still cold and liquid was coming from the mouth of the can. Singleton was the arrested and transported to the station where booking procedures were completed. Singleton was given a Criminal Citation and a District Court. Singleton was held for 5-hour detox and later transported home.

U OF A AT MONTICELLO POLICE OFFICER KILLED IN TRAFFIC ACCIDENT
A University of Arkansas at Monticello police officer involved in a traffic accident early Wednesday on State Highway 530 on Bayou Bartholomew Bridge near Pine Bluff. Another vehicle crossed the center line.

According to the Arkansas State Police, Iciephine Green, 45, of Pine Bluff was driving a 2002 Hyundai north on Arkansas 530 shortly after midnight. A southbound 2012 Buick Lacrosse crossed into the northbound lanes and struck her vehicle on a bridge.

Green suffered fatal injuries from the wreck. The other driver, who wasn’t identified, wasn't listed in the report as being injured. According to the preliminary State Police report the weather was clear and the road was dry at the time of the crash.


SAAC’S BOX OFFICE OPEN FOR HEART HOMESCHOOL’S “MARY POPPINS JR”
The South Arkansas Arts Center’s box office is now open for tickets to the HEART HomeSchool’s production of “Mary Poppins JR”, which will run March 29-30, with the curtain going up at 7pm on Friday and 11am and 2pm on Saturday.  Open seating tickets for the play are $5 for all.

Everyone's favorite “practically perfect” nanny takes the stage in this “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” musical adventure.  “Mary Poppins JR” is an enchanting mixture of irresistible story and unforgettable song and dance numbers.  A fun show for the whole family and a great way to introduce your children to stage shows, the iconic Mary Poppins comes to life on the SAAC stage, portrayed by homeschoolers all under the age of eighteen.

The jack-of-all trades, Bert, introduces us to England in 1910 and the troubled Banks family. Young Jane and Michael have sent many a nanny packing before Mary Poppins arrives on their doorstep. Using a combination of magic and common sense, she must teach the family members how to value each other again. Mary Poppins takes the children on many magical and memorable adventures, but Jane and Michael aren't the only ones upon whom she has a profound effect. Even grown-ups can learn a lesson or two from the nanny who advises that ‘Anything can happen if you let it.’”

Thanks to the generosity of HEART HomeSchool, all proceeds from ticket sales will go to benefit SAAC programs. Lynn Gunter, director, said, “Our HEART HomeSchool group has been very blessed since 2013 of how giving SAAC has been, in training us up in theater- the time, the sets and costumes we’ve used, as well as the electricity!  I’ve tried to find ways to say thank you.  One of our homeschool moms came to me and suggested we sell tickets to this production, which we’ve never done before, and give the proceeds back to SAAC.  I was thrilled with that idea.  My kids have grown up at SAAC, and being there has impacted their lives in such a positive way.  A big part of their growing up and development has happened within those walls.  My heart just wants to give back to SAAC to say thanks.  And I’m so happy my group feels this same way.”

 For more information about “Mary Poppins JR”, please call the SAAC office or visit the website at www.saac-arts.org.  SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas.

BENEFIT PLANNED FOR BEARDEN FIRE CHIEF A. W. EVANS
Ouachita Fire District 1 & East Camden Fire Departments will be hosting a Benefit Fish Fry for Bearden Fire Chief A.W. Evans that was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. The dinner will be on April 6 from 2 til 5 at the Ouachita Fire District 1 Harmony Grove Station. The dinners are dine in or carry out and they are $10.00. For more information call 870-833-2080 or 870-818-6022. All proceeds will go to A.W. Evans to help with medical expenses.

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 bipartisan resolution that calls for a comprehensive and coordinated strategy to end violence against children globally.

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.    

“The outcomes the United States hopes to achieve with our global economic development initiatives will struggle to fully take hold in countries where violence against children goes unaddressed. Horrific acts like human trafficking and child labor have tragic lifelong consequences for individual children and devastate entire communities. This bipartisan resolution sends a strong message that a plan to end violence against children must be a priority in our global development strategy. We can maximize the results from initiatives like the Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment (WEEE) Act—which Senator Cardin and I worked hard to pass into law—if we promote the need for an effective strategy to create a safe environment for children in violence-prone areas of the world,” Boozman said.

“Millions of children around the world have lost their childhoods to physical, sexual and mental violence and abuse. As adults, it is our responsibility to keep them safe and prevent the types of inhumane treatment and developmental roadblocks found in far too many corners of the world,” Cardin said. “This is a local issue and a global one. I am proud to stand with Senator Boozman to lead the call for the U.S. government to develop and implement a strategy to address the widespread dangers being faced by children and youth that is in line with international standards and sustainable development goals.”

Specifically, the resolution would resolve that the Senate:

  • Condemns all forms of violence against children and youth globally, including physical, mental and sexual violence as well as neglect, abuse, maltreatment and exploitation;
  • Recognizes the harmful impact violence against children and youth has on the healthy development of children;
  • Should develop and implement a comprehensive and coordinated strategy built upon evidence-based practices, including the INSPIRE package of interventions, and adopt common metrics and indicators to monitor progress across U.S. government agencies to prevent, address and end violence against children and youth globally.   
     

The resolution is cosponsored by Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Chris Coons (D-DE), Susan Collins (R-ME), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dan Sullivan (R-AK) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).

BOOZMAN VOTES TO SECURE THE BORDER
WASHINGTON—
U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) released the following statement after voting against the resolution to reject President Donald Trump’s border security emergency declaration.

“A humanitarian and security crisis exists along our southern border that requires immediate action. It is in our national interest to secure the border. I support President Trump’s decision to provide resources necessary to overcome the challenges our Customs and Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers on the frontlines face in protecting our border. The president’s use of an authority in existing law will fund the construction of a strong border security system that will be a deterrent to those who seek to illegally enter our country.”

COTTON, WYDEN URGE SENATE: TAKE CYBER THREATS SERIOUSLY
Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) urged the Senate to take the cyber threats to congressional computers and cell phones seriously by providing an annual report on the number of successful hacks of Senate devices.

In a letter addressed to the Senate Sargent of Arms (SAA), Michael Stenger, the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee members wrote:

"During the last decade, hackers have successfully infiltrated U.S. government agencies including the Office of Personnel Management, health care firms such as Anthem, and technology giants like Google. Hackers continue to target all manner of government entities, and there is little doubt that Congress is squarely in their sights. Indeed, as your predecessor testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations in June 2017, ‘the Senate is considered a prime target for cybersecurity breaches.' The Sergeant at Arms must be transparent in providing members of the Senate all information about the possible existence and scale of successful hacks against the Senate."

In the letter, Cotton and Wyden requested that SAA provide annual reports to each senator revealing aggregate data on when Senate computers and smartphones have been compromised and when hackers have otherwise gained access to sensitive Senate data. The senators also pressed SAA to notify Senate leadership and all members of the Senate Committees on Rules and Intelligence of any breaches on Senate computers within 5 days of discovery.

RUTLEDGE ANNOUNCES OVER $300,000 RESTITUTION FOR SOCIAL SECURITY FRAUD
LITTLE ROCK – Yesterday, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced a Conway County man has been sentenced to probation and to pay more than $300,000 in restitution for social security fraud.

Joseph Sensabaugh, 47, from Hattieville, pleaded guilty in October to one count of theft of government funds. He has been sentenced to 18 months probation and ordered to pay $311,813 in restitution to the Social Security Administration, as well as a $100 special assessment fee.

“Social Security fraud on the backs of hardworking taxpayers is unacceptable,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This case was the result of outstanding coordination between multiple state and federal agencies.”

In addition to the Attorney General’s office, law enforcement officers from the SSA-OIG, Conway County Sheriff's Department and Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism contributed to the investigation initiated by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and led by the Social Security Administration’s – Office of the Inspector General (SSA-OIG) through Arkansas Cooperative Disability Investigation (CDI) Unit.

Two special agents and an analyst from the Attorney General’s Office are assigned to Arkansas’s CDI Unit which began operation in October 2015 as a state and local cooperative effort funded by SSA-OIG. The mission of the CDI Unit is to combat fraud by investigating questionable statements and activities of claimants, medical providers, interpreters or other service providers who facilitate or promote disability fraud. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Allison Bragg from the Office of United States Attorney Cody Hiland.

 

March 14, 2019

HAMPTON PEDESTRIAN HIT AND KILLED
Tuesday night at about 7:50 p.m. a pedestrian was struck and killed after walking into the path of a vehicle in Calhoun County. A truck traveling south on highway 167 in the Hampton City Limits. Willie May Momon, 53, was walking west across U.S. 167 when the 2001 GMC in the south lane struck him. According to authorities, Momon, who lived in Hampton, died at the scene. There were no other injuries reported. The weather was clear, and the road was dry at the time of the accident according to preliminary State Police reports.

BEARDEN SCHOOL DISTRICT SCHOOL CHOICE ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE 2019-2020 YEAR
The Bearden School District participates in the Arkansas Public School Choice Act 560 of 2015. This School Choice Act allows students, under certain conditions, to transfer to another school district other than the district in which they live. The Bearden District is accepting applications from outside its boundaries. Bearden Schools provide a quality education that helps prepare its students for future employment / continuing education in the workforce, vocational careers, college, or military occupations.  For a student to transfer to Bearden School District from another district, parents must submit a School Choice Act of 2015 form by May 1st. For applications or further information, please call 833-423-2733 ext 5200 or come by the central administration office at 100 Oak Avenue in Bearden.

ANNOUNCEMENT OF TOWN HALL MEETING
Duane “Dak” Kees, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, will be holding a town hall meeting on March 25, 2019 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at the Reynolds Center Grand Hall at Southern Arkansas University (SAU) located at 100 E University Magnolia Arkansas 71753. 

The topics for discussion will be cellular apps that are directed towards children, cyber bulling, and recent internet and phone scams directed toward senior adults.  This town hall is part of a series of town hall meetings the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District will be conducting throughout the state.  The purpose of which is to educate the public on the various types of dangers facing our children and senior adults.  The next meeting will be on April 22, 2019 in Camden Arkansas at Camden Fairview Auditorium from 6pm to 8pm. 

There will be a question and answer session to follow. 

As the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, Mr. Kees is the chief federal law enforcement officer for the district.  He oversees an office of 51 attorneys and support staff and has offices in Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Texarkana and Hot Springs.  Mr. Kees was appointed by President Trump in September of 2017 and took office in January of 2018. 

COTTON, JOHNSON, ERNST INTRODUCE LEGISLATION TO COMBAT CHILD MARRIAGE IMMIGRATION LOOPHOLE Washington, D.C.— Following the release earlier this year of a Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee majority staff report on how current U.S. immigration laws encourage child marriages, U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) introduced legislation to close a loophole in our immigration laws that can be exploited to enable child marriages. The bill prohibits spousal and fiancé immigration benefits if one of the applying parties is under the age of 18.

“Child marriage, almost always between a male adult and a female minor, can rob young girls of their education, personal development, and physical and mental health,” said Senator Cotton. “Unfortunately, U.S. law currently grants immigration benefits to individuals seeking adult-minor unions. Our immigration laws shouldn’t be used to encourage child marriage, and or bill would put an end to this exploitative practice.”

"A visa to enter the United States is a privilege, and this straightforward reform will help close a loophole that can lead to the abuse and exploitation of children,” said Senator Johnson. “I hope my colleagues will join me to advance this commonsense legislation.”

“Child marriage is a serious problem which puts young girls, in particular, at risk,” said Senator Ernst. “With more than 8,600 such marriages granted over a ten-year period, we must address this massive loophole in our immigration system with common sense solutions, and that’s exactly what our legislation does: require both parties be 18 years-old in order to obtain spousal immigration benefits.”

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin) is the author of the companion version of the bill in the House of Representatives:

“The committee’s eye-opening report shows the gruesome reality that people manipulate our immigration system to enter into child marriages,” said Representative Sensenbrenner. “I’m proud to lead the effort in the House to stop the exploitation of children through our immigration laws and am grateful to Senator Johnson for his work uncovering this disturbing information.”

Key findings from the staff report that spurred this legislation include:

  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approved immigration petitions for 8,686 spouses and fiancés in marriages involving minors from FY2007 to FY2017. In 95 percent of the cases, the younger person was a girl.
  • USCIS awarded petitions to people with significant age differences, including a 71-year-old U.S. citizen’s petition for a 17-year-old spouse from Guatemala and a 14-year-old’s petition for a 48-year-old spouse from Jamaica. 
  • USCIS approved 149 petitions involving a minor with an adult spouse or fiancé who was more than 40 years old.
  • USCIS awarded green cards to 4,749 minors in the United States on spousal or fiancé visas, allowing them to adjust status to become lawful permanent residents from FY2007 to FY2017.

Presently, under the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”), a U.S. child may petition for a visa for a spouse or fiancé living in another country, and a U.S. adult may petition for a visa for a minor spouse or fiancé living abroad. The committee’s recent report found that from 2007 to 2017 there were more than 5,500 cases of adults petitioning for a spouse or fiancé visa for a minor, and nearly 3,000 cases of a minor petitioning for a spouse or fiancé visa for an adult.

COTTON, CRUZ, GALLAGHER URGE BILL PASSAGE AFTER REPORTS OF HABOLLAH IN GOLAN
Washington, D.C.
 — Following news reports that Hezbollah has established military positions in the Golan Heights, U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas), along with Representative Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin), released the following statement:

 “Iran and Hezbollah have deployed fighters and terrorists, including those with American blood on their hands, to deepen their hold over the region. This aggression highlights the need for the United States to affirm Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Hezbollah’s missile arsenal and terror tunnels pose severe threats to the State of Israel. To support Israel's right to self-defense, both houses of Congress should take up our legislation establishing that it shall be the policy of the United States to recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan.”

 Background
In February, U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Representative Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin) introduced companion bills establishing that it shall be the policy of the United States to recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

PORT AUTHORITY TO MEET
The Camden Port Authority will meet on Monday, March 18, 2019 at 1:30pm in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Building.

RUTLEDGE ANNOUNCES HELENA-WEST HELENA BUSINESS OWNER GUILTY OF MEDICAID FRAUD AND FAILURE TO PAY TAXES
Says, ‘Charline Brandon has swindled money from Arkansas for long enough’
LITTLE ROCK – On Tuesday, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced that the owner of Bridge of Faith Hospice & Palliative Care in Helena-West Helena has pleaded guilty two counts of Medicaid fraud and one count of willful failure to pay or file taxes.

“Charline Brandon has swindled money from Arkansas for long enough and she is finally being held accountable,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Her actions hurt law-abiding Arkansans who work hard and follow our laws.”

Brandon, 63, of Cleveland, Mississippi, pleaded guilty to two counts of Medicaid fraud and one count of willful failure to pay or file taxes. The Medicaid fraud investigation revealed that from September 2013 through December 2016, Bridge of Faith Hospice & Palliative Care was paid gross income of $1,567,432.82 by Medicaid and Medicare and never filed an income tax return in Arkansas. The Medicaid fraud charges resulted from Brandon billing the Arkansas Medicaid Program $289,986.46 for hospice care services provided to two Medicaid recipients who were never terminally ill. She will be sentenced on April 9.

Brandon has pleaded guilty in federal court in Mississippi to similar allegations involving Medicaid and Medicare in Mississippi.

This case was referred to the Arkansas Attorney General’s office by the Mississippi Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of 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.

 
 
 

MARCH 13, 2019

CAMDEN CITY COUNCIL MEETS
The Camden City Council MET Tuesday night, March 12, in regular session in the Council Chambers at the Municipal Building. The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Mayor Julian Lott. The invocation was given by Pastor Wade Toddy of Cullendale First Baptist Church.

The Minutes and Financial Reports for the month of February were approved.

During the audience participation Mr. Willicur invited Counsel members to the Parents Advisory Board for Camden Fairview Schools. The Advisory Board will hear concerns of residents regarding the School.

Danny Glaze addressed the Counsel regarding the Daffodil Festival. There was an accident during the Festival. Mr. Glaze stated that he had brought the fact that at some point there would be an accident while he was on the Council. There is a big pole sticking out of ground and a Festival attendee got pushed up against it. Thankfully there was no serious injuries. Mr. Glaze thinks we all as citizens should walk the city and see what needs to be fixed. He stated we all should do our part and have more pride in our city.

The mayor’s report included reports from the following. David Richardson presented the Camden Water Utilities Biannual Water & Sewer Report. A letter of intent has been signed with the Scenic Solar Company. The City will continue negotiations and work on a contract. The department will continue the meter replacement project. When the project is complete all water customers will have Radio Meter Readers. Currently it takes 5 guys about 6 days to read all the meters. Once all customers have the new meters, it will take 2 guys 1 day to read the meters. The Water Department will also have access to a three-month history of usage if a customer wants to see what their usage has been. This can help identify possible leaks and aid the customer in identifying the issue. Other older equipment will be updated. The byways in the sewer system will continue to be flushed. The Water Department has been issued a new permit from the ADEQ. The Water Department remains compliant. The new permit is good for 5 years.

James Lee Silliman presented the Annual Report for the Ouachita Partnership for Economic Development. The following is a complete transcript of the OPED Report. Thank you for your continued support of a professional economic development office that serves Camden, Ouachita County, and Highland Industrial Park. Ouachita Partnership for Economic Development (OPED) works to promote, assist, and enhance economic development for our area. We are the lead economic development point of contact with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, (AEDC) for industry expansions and new job prospects for our area. We are a partnership and our partners include representation from: The City of Camden, Ouachita County, Camden Area Chamber of Commerce, Camden Area Industrial Development Corporation, Camden Fairview Public Schools, Harmony Grove Public Schools, area industry, and SAU Tech. The OPED Board establishes policy and the staff implements the policy. The Executive Director of OPED reports to the President of the board and ultimately the full board of directors.

Highland Industrial Park has been a partner with OPED since its inception. The park has had strong ties to Camden since it's construction as Shumaker Naval Ammunition Depot in the mid 1940's. Highland Industrial Park is, recognized as the defense industry HUB of Arkansas and has a major impact on our state and local economy. Camden has no business or industrial park in the city limits and thus Highland Park is Camden's Industrial Park. The current employment in the park include many of Camden's residents who live here and pay both property taxes and sales taxes into the City's coffers. These taxes are made possible by the paychecks provided by the business and industries in Highland Park. I shudder to think what Camden would be today without Highland Industrial Park. I assure you that many communities across the nation are envious of what we have in Highland Park. Current estimated employment numbers of Camden residents employed in Highland Park are estimated to be 40% of the workforce in the park. According to the Arkansas Department of Transportation (AR DOT) there are 5,900 vehicles per day traveling into Highland Industrial Park.

We must continue to support our existing business and industry as they retain and add to their employment base because statistics prove that most of your job creation comes from existing business's expanding their workforce rather than a new company locating in your community. This is what we are currently seeing in Highland Industrial Park. Aerojet Rocketdyne, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Raytheon and others continue to gain new contracts that will be increasing the size of their workforce.

Here is a compilation of our activities and recent successes for this past year:
• Artesana Soaps opened a storefront in downtown Camden. This business received business counseling from the Camden Accelerated)Business Services, (CABS) office located in the OPED building.

• The CABS office is staffed by a business consultant from the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center in partnership with OPED. The CABS office hosted nineteen events with seventy-two attendees in the OPED building in 2018. They served forty-one small business clients and provided 212 hours of counseling to these clients. This is a free service provided by OPED.

• The OPED training room hosted 64 training events for business and industry in 2018. We had 24 nonprofit meetings, 34 committee meetings, 2 hiring events, 5 prospect presentations, 8 tours, and 9 3D printing related events.

• The OPED building currently houses three tenants that have created approximately 21 jobs. These businesses include Woodland Hills Home Care, Ouachita Supply/Floor Pro, and Merritt's Phone Service.

• OPED provides 3 D printing services for industry, education and the general public. We are currently producing parts under a contract for an industrial client.

• OPED successfully "teamed up" with Ouachita County Medical Center (OCMC)1 and others to recruit and successfully locate the South Arkansas Cardiovascular and Vein Center in OCMC.  The center is currently performing Cath and heart procedures in a mobile Cath Lab in front of OCMC. Plans are for OCMC to build out a permanent Cath lab in the surgical operating suites area of the hospital. The doctors in this group plan to eventually locate and "build out' their clinic operations in the empty Family Dollar store located in front of the hospital on California Avenue. This could be the beginning of a "hub” of specialized medical services for our area and allow OCMC to become more financially stable and viable in the years to come. By providing more specialized medical services locally this will keep our patients here at home rather than transferring them to Little Rock for these needed medical procedures.

• Aerojet Rocketdyne announced a major expansion on August 15, 2018 at the Governor’s office at the State Capital. OPED worked with the Governor, AEDC and Aerojet on this expansion for over one year before it was announced. This expansion will create 141 jobs over three years at an average wage of $55,000.00 per year, and the company will invest over $50 million dollars in buildings and equipment. We continue to see investment in the Airport building leased by Aerojet Rocketdyne. Aerojet Rocketdyne is investing significant capital into the building for its expanded operations. This lease resulted in an increase of rent revenues to the Camden Airport Commission and put an underutilized building back into productive use.

• The former Molex building is now leased to General Dynamics. This put an unused building back into use.

• The South Arkansas lntermodal Park (former IP mill property) is beingmarketed on a   level in trade publications. To date we have seen investment of $1.3 million dollars in private investment and the creation of approximately 20 new jobs in the park. We anticipate further job growth in the upcoming year. The Camden & Southern Railroad, Strobel Energy Logistics and POL Systems have contributed to these employment numbers. The park is a work in progress and is continuing to evolve into a regional transportation hub for South Arkansas.

• Located a new light manufacturing facility, POL Systems in the park.

• Hosted our annual Industry Appreciation Golf Tournament with the Camden Area Chamber of Commerce at the Camden Country Club on October 5.

• OPED successfully requested from AEDC and the Governor's office designation of two census tracts in the City of Camden as Opportunity Zones. The Camden area now has two of the eighty-five designated zones in the state of Arkansas. This designation will hopefully attract new investment into our community through tax credits. We are marketing our opportunity zones in national trade publications to stimulate interest and investment in our designated zones.

• OPED continues to address workforce development through our workforce committee and working with the regional workforce development board.

• We prepared several packages and presentations with new prospects as well as maintained ongoing dialog with AEDC project managers working on different projects. OPED also prepared incentives offers in conjunction with AEDC on different projects.

• OPED hosted prospect visits in coordination with AEDC project managers.

• Participated in monthly conference calls with AEDC Director Mike Preston.

• On February 20, 2019 OPED hosted the AEDC Business Development Team on a tour of available buildings and sites.

Here is a list of various events and training I have participated in this past year:

• Attended the Arkansas Aerospace and Defense Alliance annual conference in Hot Springs on March 27 & 28, 2018.

• Hosted the AEDC commissioners for their monthly meeting on June 13 & 14 here in Camden.

• Attended a public relations and reputation management workshop at the Arkansas State Chamber office in Little Rock on June 20.

Listed below are the various boards and commissions that I currently serve on representing OPED:

• Chairman of the Southwest Arkansas Workforce Development Board of Directors.

• Southwest Arkansas Planning and Development District Board of Directors serving as the Ouachita County at-large representative.

• Golden Triangle Economic Development Council board member.

• Interstate 69 coalition board, Ouachita County representative.

• Camden Area Chamber of Commerce Board, ex-officio member.

• City of Camden Airport Commission, ex-officio member.

• Calhoun Ouachita Business and Industry Training Consortium, (COBITC).

LOOKING FORWARD IN 2019
• OPED and our partner/sponsors, SAU Tech, Camden Area Chamber of Commerce, and Arkansas Department of Workforce Services will be hosting a Job Fair at the SAU Tech Grand Hall on April 16 from 9a.m. until 3p.m. This is an effort to link up employers needing a workforce with potential employees.

• OPED is a member of the Arkansas Aerospace and Defense Alliance and I will be attending their annual meeting next month in Fort Smith.

• OPED plans to participate in the Competitive Communities Initiative (CCI) coordinated by AEDC. This will be an intense study of our overall preparedness for economic development as a community and is designed to assist Arkansas communities in identifying their strengths and weaknesses. It will address issues such as our economic development organization, board training, workforce and financial stability as an organization.

• The need for new housing for the anticipated influx of potential new residents moving to our area with new job opportunities with our defense industry should be addressed. The focus should be on patio type housing for workers beginning a new career path and seniors or "empty nesters" that don't have a need any longer for a larger family style home. This is a critical need for Camden, and we need to capitalize on these potential new residents.

• Workforce development and analysis of the working age unemployed to improve their skill sets for the modern workforce. We need to evaluate the skill sets with the jobs available. Ouachita County has a current unemployment rate of 4.6%, a workforce of 9,753, and a total of 446 unemployed, but we may have a higher rate due to a low labor participation rate-those who are not looking for a job.

Let me explain: Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell stated in an interview on Sunday that the United States has the lowest labor participation rate of any modern economy. This is not a good thing and not what our country was founded upon. Estimates say that maybe as many as 500,000 people nationwide are no longer looking for a job. He cited a variety of reasons including a lack of workforce skill sets due to inadequate training and technology advancing rapidly beyond the education level of these potential workers. He also mentioned the drug problem (opioids), and felony convictions. We have too many capable working aged citizens not contributing to the economy during their most productive years. This is a problem that needs to be addressed to get these people back into the workforce and contributing as taxpayers to our economy.

In summation, I believe we are doing more with less resources than we have had at our disposal in the past. The time is now that we must decide how we will continue to fund a professional economic development office for our area. We enjoy a good working relationship with AEDC and the Governor's office. I am optimistic that we are on the cusp of some new project announcements soon that involve both expansion of our defense manufacturing base and new investment in the timber industry. I believe the future is bright for Camden and Ouachita County and there is nothing we can't accomplish if we continue to work together as a TEAM. Our OPED meetings are open to the public and we welcome the publics input. Thank you again for your continued support.

After the OPED report Mayor Lott recognized Robby McAdoo and Quorum Court members in attendance. He talked about the March Amnesty Program. He encouraged those not working to attend the job fair. Mayor Lott mentioned the 5th Annual Kidz Runnin’ the Show Corvette Show and the Pub Crawl slated for March 16th. He reminded everyone that Business Licenses due by April 1st. First Friday Market will resume on April 6th. He encouraged everyone to get out and support the local events.

The Council heard the second reading of an ordinance amending the City of Camden Zoning Ordinance to allow residential uses in certain zones. A motion was made and passed to amend the rules and vote on the issue. Alderman Lindsey was for the ordinance but is concerned about parking. This ordinance would allow for apartments to be built in the downstairs of buildings in Downtown Camden. Currently apartments are allowed in the upstairs of existing buildings that are zoned C3. The Ordinance passed unanimously.

They also heard the second reading of an ordinance separating and establishing the elected office of City Clerk and appointed office of City Treasurer, and for other purposes. Motion was made and passed to suspend the rules and discuss and vote on the ordinance. There was a discussion and some concerns were voiced. The vote was a tie with 4 against and 4 for. The Mayor voted yes to break the tie and the ordinance passed.

The Resolution to fund OPED was not on the agenda but was supposed to be addressed again. Aldermen Aregood and Lindsey insisted that the resolution be put back on the agenda. Alderman Aregood contended that he insisted when it was tabled in February that it be re-addressed in the March Meeting. The resolution was brought back to the table. Alderman Askew asked if the City and the OPED Board had found any common ground. He addressed the issue of the Mayor not being at the “Secret Meetings”. This had been addressed in an earlier meeting. The Mayor has an automatic seat on the Executive Committee. Alderman James Bell made this point. When it comes to showing prospects site, the Counsel and OPED should stay out of the way until negotiations get to a certain point. Then is the time for the Executive Board to meet. Non-disclosure agreements prevent those that know who prospects are from revealing any information regarding the prospect. When a company is ready to commit the Executive Board meets and contracts are drawn up. When the prospect is ready to announce that they are locating to an area is the time everyone is informed. L.E. Lindsey spoke up for OPED and suggested that the Council approve funding OPED. He gave a bit of a history of economic development in Ouachita County. The Mayor spoke. He had developed a plan for the city for 2019. The need for housing and a workforce was addressed. Judge McAdoo spoke. He said that the Mayor came in and felt like he wasn’t getting the cooperation he needs. What the Mayor wants, the Judge will address. Judge McAdoo stated that he is with the Mayor and OPED. The discussion went on to address the fact that the city does need retail and restaurants. L.E. Lindsey stated that there should be an  evaluation of the City’s workforce to know what those unemployed that can’t work in the area can do. Then the city could target businesses that match the local unemployed with places they can work. Jim Golden wants to show support for the Mayor. Mayor and Jim Golden have been in contact and talking over the past couple of weeks. He asked that we all just work together.  After a very long discussion the resolution passed unanimously.

New business included an ordinance declaring concrete slabs to be a nuisance to include the removal of concrete slabs; and for other purposes. Alderman Bell stated that this had come before the council a couple of years ago and it failed. He cited a couple of articles. He feels that concrete slabs hurt the appearance of Down Town. Again, there was a discussion about the pros and cons of such an ordinance. In the end it passed with a 5 to 3 vote.

The Council also discussed an ordinance awarding the bid for the purchase of 45 Refuse Containers. These are the commercial containers. Ordinance passed.

There was a resolution authorizing a Budget amendment for salary increases to the departments excluded under Resolution No. 04-19. Motion was amended and passed. Motion was made to approve amended amendment. Motion passed.

There was also a resolution awarding the bid for the purchase of a 2019 4-Wheel Drive, Cab, Tractor with Front Loader Standard Bucket and Finish Mower for the Public Works’ Parks and Recreation Department. No real discussion. Motion passed.

In Other Business Aldermen Moore and Askew mentioned a couple of concerns they had. One addressed the need to improve the community buildings at the City Parks. There are plans underway to move forward updating the buildings. The other had to do with a problem with dogs running free in West Camden Heights. Police Chief Bo Woody assured the Counsel that the problem was being addressed.

At 9:47 p.m. Alderman Irene Galbert made the motion to adjourn and the Council was done with the March meeting.

GOVERNOR HUTCHINSON SIGNS BILL, APPLAUDS LEGISLATORS FOR BIGGEST HIGHWAY-FUNDING PLAN IN STATE HISTORY LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson signed the largest and most comprehensive highway-funding plan in Arkansas’s history today, which fulfills his goal of implementing a long-range strategy to bring the state’s roads and bridges up to date and to pay for their upkeep into the future.

This bill will provide $95 million annually through user fees and dedicated funds from casino revenue.

Governor Hutchinson also praised legislators for passing his plan to allow voters to vote on an amendment that will extend a 1/2-cent sales tax indefinitely. That amendment, which will be on the ballot in 2020, will produce $205 million a year to pay for the state’s highway infrastructure.

The bill and the 1/2-sales tax would bring in a combined $300 million a year.

“This is a great day for Arkansas,” Governor Hutchinson said. “A lot of people worked hard to make this happen, from the experts who crunched the numbers and crafted the bills to the legislators who took the bills to a successful vote with solid bipartisan support.

“Our roads are vital to so many areas of everyday life. We need good streets to get to work, school, stores, and doctor appointments. Our farmers need good roads to deliver their crops to the market. We need great highways if we are going to compete for the industry and business that are crucial to continuing to improve our quality of life. We have done this for ourselves and for our future.”

KIWANIS CLUB TO MEET
The Camden Kiwanis Club will meet this Thursday, March 14 at 12:00 at Catherine’s Bistro.   The program will be by Eric Gunter - “Kids Running the Show – Corvette Car Show”

AIRPORT COMMISSION TO MEET
The City of Camden Airport Commission will have their regularly scheduled meeting on Friday, March 15, 2019 at 11:30 a.m. at the Airport Terminal located at 255 Airport Road, Camden, Arkansas.

MARCH 12, 2019

E.B. WILLIAMS CORVETTE CAR SHOW
 The E. B. Williams Youth Center presents the 5th Annual “KIDZ RUNNIN’ the SHOW”Corvette Car Show March 22 & 23, in Camden Arkansas

The E. B. Williams Corvette Car Show will be bringing in Corvette enthusiasts from all over the United States.

Friday night we will host a light show contest in the Comfort Inn parking lot (#1 Ridgecrest Dr. , Camden, AR 71701) and Saturday the car show will be held from 8am to 5pm at the large multi venue parking lot on Hwy 278 (previous Walmart at 1450 US-278, Camden, AR 71701). Local DJs will offer music to keep the crowd pleased, as well as refreshments, raffles, trophies, door prizes, dash plaques and goodie bags for all participants.

Participation is open to all Corvette owners near and far, clubs and groups. The show will include all classes of Corvettes, from C-1 to C-7, stock and custom with, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place trophies offered for each class along with a host of specialty awards as well.

To register for this event, go to our www.facebook.com/EBWYC to pre-register, or call Eric Gunter at 870-818-2628. 

Registration will continue till day of the show. Cost to Pre-Register is $45.00, To register day of the show is $50.00. Cost to Register for the Friday Night Light Show is $10.00

The E. B. Williams Youth Center is a 501c(3) organization and was founding 2012. The center’s focus is to mentor and tutor area youth, empowering them with the tools to become an active and productive citizen of the community. The center also provides annual book scholarships to four (4) local high school seniors, annual distribution of back pack and school supplies, summer field trips, visiting local nursing homes, participating in the city’s Keep Camden Beautiful event, Adopt-A-Street Program and participating in and hosting various other community programs.

FIRST FRIDAY MARKET RETURNS TO DOWNTOWN CAMDEN APRIL 5TH
First Friday Market will be back on April 5th in downtown Camden! Don't wait, 3 categories are full already! Applications to participate in the April market must be submitted by March 19th. Also the app has tons of important information for any interested food vendors! Slots for direct sales, desserts, and info booths are already full for April. Forms are available at https://form.jotform.com/81584010187151

Less than a year from it’s inception in May 2018, First Friday: Monthly Market has grown immensely into one of the area’s most anticipated events. As a nonprofit organization aimed at encouraging and revitalizing the vibrancy of downtown Camden, event-goers always enjoy an intimate, hometown, family-friendly variety of local talent and entertainment. Whether it’s to try new cuisine or desserts, relax and listen to live music, peruse the local shops, discover new art, learn a new craft, gather information from other area businesses and organizations, let the kids play, or to just enjoy the fresh open air on a pleasant southern evening with friends and family, First Friday: Monthly Market truly has something for everyone.

Recently, in January 2019, the First Friday team proudly brought home the Bronze ALFIE Award for The Year’s Best New Event or Festival, provided by the Arkansas Festivals and Events Association. The Market will begin again on the first Friday in April 2019 and continue each month through November. Funds from the events are used to further develop downtown Camden, supporting it in a positive, lively, and growing image, and promoting it as an exciting place to live, shop, play, and invest."

CAREER CLOSET
Are you job ready? Need an outfit for a job interview? Visit the Career Closet for free attire. Greater St. Paul Baptist Church on Monday, Tuesday  or Thursday from 10:00 am till 12:00 pm. Call 836-5272 for more information. Please be respectful. This is for those seeking employment.

COLOR ME HAPPY FUN RUN/ WALK
The Color Me Happy Fun Run Walk will be held on Saturday, March 23rd, 2019 beginning at 8:00 a.m. in East Camden. Early Registration will be held on Thursday March 21st from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the East Camden Shopping Center. Day of Race Registration will be 7:00 a.m. Fee to register $20 T-Shirt packets guaranteed to all participants registered by March 14th)

Extra shirts were ordered and will handed out until they are gone for those who register laterInformation: Jana Garcia (870) 833-1791 or janalgarcia@yahoo.com.

RUTLEDGE BEGINS FIFTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR HOSTING MEETINGS IN EACH COUNTY 
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced that, for the fifth consecutive year she will hold Rutledge Roundtables in all 75 counties to hear directly from Arkansans about their concerns and the issues impacting their community. This week, Rutledge met with community leaders in Van Buren and Searcy counties.

“Meeting Arkansans face-to-face allows me to listen to their concerns and ideas so that we can work together on solutions,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “After all, Arkansas is just one big small town.”

Rutledge has hosted 306 round tables since taking office with more than 3,200 attendees since taking office in 2015.

 

March 11, 2019

WORKFORCE BUS TO BE IN CAMDEN AGAIN TUESDAY, MARCH 12TH
Job Seekers need help in preparing for the upcoming Camden Job Fair? We have you covered!

The Arkansas Department of Workforce Bus Unit will be in Camden Tuesday, March 12th, 9 am – 7 pm.@ OPED 625 Adams Ave. to help job seekers to prepare for the upcoming CAMDEN JOB FAIR Tuesday, April 16th 9am to 3pm at SAU Tech Grand Hall, 6523 Hussey Road, East Camden. The bus unit will help with resume writing, mock interviews, creating online profiles and other services. EVENTS ARE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

Department of Workforce Bus Unit Schedule

Tuesday, March 12th, 9 am – 7 pm, DWS bus unit at OPED 625 Adams Ave. Camden.

Tuesday, April 9th, 8:30 am – 4 pm, DWS bus unit at Arkansas Workforce Center 237 Jackson Street in Camden

Job Fair at SAU Tech in parking lot of Grand Hall

Monday, April 15th 9 am – 6 pm at SAU Tech’s campus Grand Hall parking lot 6523 Hussey Road, East Camden. DWS bus unit will be offering resume writing assistance, assistance to those creating online profiles for companies that are scheduled to actually be present and/or interviewing on site, and mock interviews as time permits at the actual site of the Job Fair.

Tuesday, April 16th at the Job Fair event 8 am – 2 pm at SAU Tech’s campus Grand Hall parking lot 6523 Hussey Road, East Camden. DWS bus unit actual site of the Job Fair for on-line applications and other services as needed.

For more information contact your local Arkansas Department of Workforce Services in Camden at 870-836-5024 or 237 Jackson Street, Camden, AR.
Sponsored by The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services.

CITY OF CAMDEN POLICE REPORTS
OBSTRUCTION OF GOVERNMENTAL OBSERVATIONS

On March 6, 2019 at 2:14 a.m., Officer Jacob VanAssche was patrolling the area of Tate Street when he observed two subjects walking Eastbound down Tate toward Baker Street. While pulling behind the two subjects, the Officer observed one look back and the quickly look back again. After doing this, the subject began to walk toward a house on the comer of Tate and Baker. Officer VanAssche was able to initiate his blue lights, and quickly exit my patrol unit before he lost visual of the subject. The subject was advised to approach the Officer and he complied. He identified himself as Michael Smith. The Officer requested a NCIC check be completed through dispatch and was later advised by dispatch there was no return on a Michael Smith. Smith was asked if he had an ID in any other states to which he replied either Michigan or Minnesota. Another NCIC check through dispatch with these parameters in place and was again advised there was no return on Michael Smith. While awaiting the return Officer VanAssche could overhear Smith whispering to the other subject to not give his name if we asked her for it. Smith was taken into custody and transported him to the station without incident. At the station Smith was identified as Thomas Kelly, and dispatch advised Kelly had a valid Bench Warrant with the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office. Kelly was booked for Obstruction of Governmental Operations.

PUBLIC INTOXICATION
On March 8, 2019 at 1:48 a.m., Officer Jacob VanAssche was dispatched to 948 Brooks for a subject refusing to leave the residence. Dispatch advised the reporting party stated Alicia Douglas was refusing to leave his residence. The Officer arrived and observed Douglas standing on Brooks Street in front of the reporting party’s residence. The Officer observed Douglas swaying back and forth, and it appeared she was having trouble standing. Upon making contact with Douglas he could immediately smell an odder of intoxicants coming from her person. While talking to Douglas it was very difficult to understand her, due to her speech being so slurred. Officer VanAssche also observed Douglas' eyes to be glassed over and bloodshot. While talking to Douglas she stumbled several times and was unable to maintain her balance. He asked Douglas how much she had to drink this evening, and she stated she had a few drinks. He then asked Douglas if she could contact someone to pick her up, to which she yelled "he (indicating the reporting party) can call somebody to come get me since he's being an ass." Douglas was then taken into custody for Public Intoxication and was transported to the station without incident. At the station booking procedures where completed. Douglas later was released into the custody of her sister.

PUBLIC INTOXICATION
On March 9, 2019 8:14 p.m. Officer Ashley Watts was dispatched to the Ouachita County Medical Center in reference to an intoxicated subject trying to leave the hospital. Upon arrival the Officer made contact with Stephen Holmes in room 3 of the emergency room. A nurse informed Officer Watts that Holmes' blood work showed he had an alcohol blood concentration of 0.14. Holmes stated he had not been drinking; however, his eyes were blood shot and watery. The Officer could smell an odor of intoxicants on his breath as he spoke. Holmes stated that he wanted to leave the hospital, and the Officer explained to him that in order to leave he would have to call himself a ride. Holmes refused to call for a ride. He said he would just get up and walk out, it explained that if he did that then he would be arrested for Public Intoxication. Holmes refused any further attention from the medical staff at the OCMC and refused to call himself a ride, so he was taken into custody and transported to the Camden Police Department. Dr. Ross Brown cleared Holmes for incarceration. Holmes was transported to the Camden Police Department without incident where booking procedures were completed. Just as Officer Watts was going to transport him to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, Holmes began to complain that he was not feeling well all of a sudden. He was holding his head and saying he felt very dizzy. He said he felt like he needed to go back to the hospital. Holmes was issued a citation for Public Intoxication and given a court date. Officer Watts  then transported Holmes back to the OCMC to be admitted, at Holmes request.


OUACHITA COUNTY SHERIFF REPORTS
POSSESSION CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE
POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA
POSSESSION CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE MISDEMEANOR

On March 03, 2019 Deputy Ryan Coleman was patrolling in Bearden when he observed a Chevy Impala making a right hand turn twice without using a turn signal. The Deputy stopped the on East Jordan. Street. While at the window the Deputy noticed pills in the driver’s side floor board as well as two blunts (marijuana wrapped in cigar paper). The driver of the vehicle was Meloni Bozararth. She was asked to step out of her vehicle and was asked if there was anything inside of her vehicle. Bozarath stated no. After talking to Bozarath the Officer asked Bozarath to retrieve her ID from the vehicle. Once arriving back to the driver’s side seat of her vehicle she was ask once again if she had anything at all inside of her vehicle. Bozarath answered no. It was then she was detained for the further investigation of drugs inside of her car. The two blunt's containing marijuana where removed from the side of her door. The pills in her floor where non-narcotic. In a search of Bozaraths purse a glass pipe was found with residue of meth, a dollar bill with meth residue, a straw with meth residue, a white torn plastic bag containing marijuana as well as one plastic bag containing meth with another plastic containing device containing meth inside of it and a plastic container was found containing meth. When she was asked about the items in side of her purse she stated she found them at the carwash and was taking them to destroy the items. Bozarath was transported to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office for processing. She was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug paraphernalia and Possession of Controlled Substance Misdemeanor.

THEFT REPORT
On March 05, 2019 at approximately 5:23 p.m. Deputy Justin Creech responded to 4270 Ouachita 2 in reference to a theft. The Deputy arrived and spoke with Thomas Riddell who stated he had a red 3.5 gallon boat fuel tank valued at $100.00 stolen out of his boat. Riddell showed the Officer that the tank was located under a plastic lid in the boat that was stored behind the residence. Riddell stated he last remembered seeing the tank there either February 22 or 23, 2019. Riddell went on to say he noticed the item missing on Sunday March 03, 2019. Riddell named two suspects that may have taken the  item. Riddell was advised a report would be on file.

CAMDEN NOON LION’S CLUB TO MEET
The Camden Noon Lion’s Club will meet Wednesday at Catherine’s Bistro. This week the Speaker will be Mark Cayce from Ouachita Electric Cooperative. He will give updates regarding their solar expansions and will be bringing their Tesla vehicle.

MARCH 8, 2019

CAMDEN CITY COUNSEL TO MEET
The Camden City Council will meet Tuesday night, March 12, in regular session in the Council Chambers at the Municipal Building. David Richardson, will present the Camden Water Utilities Biannual Water & Sewer Report. James Lee Silliman will present the Annual Report for the Ouachita Partnership for Economic Development.

The Council will hear the second reading of an ordinance amending the City of Camden Zoning Ordinance to allow residential uses in certain zones. They will also hear the second reading of an ordinance separating and establishing the elected office of City Clerk and appointed office of City Treasurer, and for other purposes.        

 New business will include an ordinance declaring concrete slabs to be a nuisance to include the removal of concrete slabs; and for other purposes, an ordinance awarding the bid for the purchase of 45 Refuse Containers, a resolution authorizing a Budget amendment for salary increases to the departments excluded under Resolution No. 04-19, a resolution awarding the bid for the purchase of a 2019 4-Wheel Drive, Cab, Tractor with Front Loader Standard Bucket and Finish Mower for the Public Works’ Parks and Recreation Department.

ARKANSAS BROADCASTERS ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES 70TH ANNIVERSARY
Little Rock - The Arkansas Broadcasters Association (ABA) is set to celebrate its 70th anniversary as the leading trade association for Arkansas Broadcasters. 

ABA began in 1949 as the trade association for broadcasters in Arkansas focused on providing broadcasters with a lobbying voice, while also providing them with technical and regulatory support and continuous professional enrichment opportunities. 

Over the years, ABA has been successful at helping Natural State broadcasters stay ahead of the ever evolving and changing landscape of broadcast media. 

“ABA has experienced exceptional growth and successes over the years. Moving forward, our focus will remain on offering the broadcasters of Arkansas the resources and education they need to stay at the forefront of the industry. We are excited to celebrate 70 years of Broadcasting Naturally at our convention, ARKCON this July” says Luke Story, Executive Director of the ABA. 

The association’s celebration will culminate July 18-19 at its annual ARKCON convention to be held at the DoubleTree Hotel and historic Robinson Center in downtown Little Rock. Governor Asa Hutchinson will be in attendance to recognize the broadcasters for their years of service and commitment to the communities of Arkansas.

For more information on the ABA and its 70th Anniversary celebration at ARKCON this summer please call the office at: 501-227-7564 or email at:  mail@arkbroadcasters.org

BENEFIT POKER RUN FOR OAKLEY NIMMO
There will be a benefit Poker Run for Oakley Nimmo on April 20th beginning at 10:00 a.m. Riders will meet at the Ross Center. There will be activities for everyone. BBQ Plates, Silent Auction, Bike Show, Car Show, 50/50 Raffle and a Baggo Tournament. All donations are appreciated. For more information call Chris Walker at 870-675-0118 or Bryan Jones at 870-675-6816. All proceeds to benefit the Oakley Nimmo Family.

RUTLEDGE URGES U.S. SENATE PASSAGE OF TRACED ACT
Says, ‘The TRACED Act will further protect Arkansans’
LITTLE ROCK – Just yesterday, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge urged the United States Senate to enact the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act, which will curb illegal robocalls and spoofing. Arkansas has joined the 49 other states and four U.S. territories in sending a letter to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation expressing support of the TRACED Act.

“Arkansans are fed up with being annoyed and ripped off by robocalls,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The TRACED Act will further protect Arkansans from falling victim to the high-pressure, relentless and often-convincing robocalls. This is just one step in my multifaceted approach to putting a stop to these unwanted calls.”

In the letter, the attorneys general state that the TRACED Act enables states, federal regulators and telecommunication providers to take steps to combat these illegal calls. The legislation will require voice service providers to participate in a call authentication framework to help block unwanted calls and creates an interagency working group to take additional actions to reduce robocalls and hold telemarketers and robocallers accountable.

More than 48 billion robocalls were made in 2018, resulting in millions of dollars in consumer losses. The state attorneys general work to protect consumers in their states from being harassed and scammed by robocalls.

The letter was led by Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, and North Carolina attorneys general, and was signed by all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

CAMDEN FAIRVIEW BOARD OF EDUCATION TO MEET
The Camden Fairview Board of Education will meet in regular session Tuesday night, March 12th at 6:30 p.m. at Garrison Auditorium. The agenda includes Student Hearings, . The Board will also hear presentation a recommendations regarding a resolution for a polling place fo School Board Elections, standard precaution policy and changes to the Spirit Team Handbook. There will also be a personnel session,

ARKANSAS VFW MEMBERS URGE PASSAGE OF BOOZMAN-LED BILL TO IMPROVE SERVICES FOR WOMEN VETERANS
WASHINGTON—
Arkansas members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) advocated for improvements to women veterans’ health programs and called for passage of the Deborah Sampson Act, legislation introduced by U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) that would ensure the VA better supports women veterans’ needs.

VFW members were in the nation’s capital this week to promote the organization’s 2019 priorities which include improving women veterans’ health care and combatting the epidemic of veteran suicides.

In addition to Boozman’s support of the Deborah Sampson Act, last week he helped introduce the Reach Every Veteran in Crisis Act, legislation to improve the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) suicide prevention programs. Boozman previously included language in the FY19 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill that requires the VA to develop metrics to evaluate the efficacy of all of its mental health and suicide prevention programs.

“The VFW is instrumental in helping Congress identify improvements that need to be made at the VA to ensure we live up to the promise we made to veterans. There is no substitute for coming to Washington to share these priorities. I look forward to advancing these policies so we can deliver results for veterans,” Boozman said.

During the VFW’s advocacy days, the organization’s leaders also testify before a joint hearing of the Senate and House Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

Boozman asked VFW Commander-in-Chief Vincent “B.J.” Lawrence about what Congress should focus on to improve the VA’s health care for women veterans during that hearing.

SENATORS COTTON, WARREN, THUNE AND SENEMA REINTRODUCE NATIONAL POW/MIA FLAG ACT
Washington, D.C.— United States Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), John Thune (R-South Dakota), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) today reintroduced the National POW/MIA Flag Act, which would require the POW/MIA Flag to be displayed whenever the American flag is displayed on prominent federal properties, including the U.S. Capitol, the White House, the World War II Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, every national cemetery, the buildings containing the official offices of the Secretaries of State, Defense, and Veterans Affairs, the office of the Director of the Selective Service System, each major military installation (as designated by the Secretary of Defense), each Department of Veterans Affairs medical center, and each United States Postal Service post office. The senators introduced this bill to honor the more than 82,000 Americans who are listed as Prisoners of War (POW), Missing in Action (MIA), or otherwise unaccounted for from our nation's past wars and conflicts.

Under current law, the POW/MIA Flag is required to be displayed by the federal government on certain prominent federal properties only six days per year: Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, National POW/MIA Recognition Day, and Veterans Day. The National POW/MIA Flag Act will ensure that the POW/MIA Flag is displayed whenever the U.S. flag is displayed, effectively ensuring that both flags are displayed concurrently and every day at federal locations already designated under existing law.

"Over 82,000 Americans, including hundreds of Arkansans, remain missing from past wars," said Cotton. "They are not forgotten. It is my hope that this small gesture reminds Americans to honor those who left our shores, and never returned."

"Honoring our service members who have fought courageously and honorably for our country's freedom is so important," said Warren. "I am proud to introduce this bipartisan bill alongside Senators Cotton, Thune, and Sinema to honor all service members, including those who have not made it home."

"May we never forget the cost of freedom or the sacrifice of those who are yet to return home," said Thune. "I display this flag outside of my office each day, and I hope the government will soon expand its recognition of these veterans and their families, a symbol of our commitment to bring them home."

"I come from a military family- honoring our veterans is personal for me," said Sinema. "We cannot forget those who sacrificed for our country and never returned home."

The House version will be introduced by Representatives Chris Pappas (D-NH-01) and Jack Bergman (R-MI-01). The bill is also endorsed by Rolling Thunder, Inc. National; Rolling Thunder Inc. Massachusetts Chapters 1 and 2; the National League of POW/MIA Families; Veterans of Foreign Wars; The American Legion; and the National Alliance of Families for the Return of America's Missing Servicemen.

This bill was first introduced in the Senate during the 115th Congress by Senators Cotton and Warren.

BOOZMAN HONORED WITH DISABLED AMERIAN VETERAN’S 2019 OUTSTANDING LEGISLATOR OF THE YEAR AWARD
WASHINGTON—
Disabled American Veterans (DAV) honored U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) by presenting him with the organization’s 2019 Outstanding Senate Legislator of the Year award in recognition of his legislative efforts to help veterans and his commitment to ensure the programs, benefits and services they have earned, and rely upon, remain a priority for Congress.

“My father was a veteran so this is personal for me. Thank you to the more than one million DAV members and Auxiliary members doing great work to ensure we keep the promise our nation made to the men and women who have served. I remain committed to helping our service members, veterans and their families. I am honored to receive this recognition and thank DAV for its efforts to serve the veteran population,” Boozman said.

“With DAV’s Outstanding Senate Legislator of the Year award, we want to recognize Sen. Boozman for his stellar leadership and commitment to provide sufficient funding for veterans programs, benefits and services. Sen. Boozman has worked diligently in a bipartisan manner to ensure adequate funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs remains a national priority. As the sponsor of the Deborah Sampson Act, he has also been a leader in improving benefits and services for women veterans. We look forward to our continued partnership on future legislative efforts that will enable veterans to lead high quality lives with respect and dignity,” DAV Washington Headquarters Executive Director Randy Reese said.

As a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee and Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies, Boozman is uniquely positioned to secure funding to improve veterans’ benefits and services.

The Fiscal Year 2019 veterans program funding bill authored by Boozman included a record level of discretionary funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs increasing its budget by of $5 billion above the FY2018 level. These additional resources will help provide the healthcare, benefits and memorial services earned by U.S. service members and veterans.

Boozman, along with Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), reintroduced the Deborah Sampson Act last month. The legislation would eliminate barriers to care and services that many women veterans face and would help ensure the VA can address the needs of women who are more likely to face homelessness, unemployment and go without needed health care.

 

March 07, 2019

SAAC TO HOST ARTIST’S RECEPTION HONORING LISA BURTON TARVER AND HELENE LAMBERT
The South Arkansas Arts Center will host an artist’s reception on Saturday, March 9, 2019 from 6:00- 7:30pm, to honor two South Arkansas artists with works currently on exhibit. Photographer Lisa Burton Tarver’s show will hang in the Merkle and Price Galleries, and Helene Lambert, well-known artist and art instructor, will show her works in the Lobby Gallery. Both shows will hang through the 27th.  Gallery viewing hours are Monday- Friday, 9:00-5:00pm.

Tarver has been taking photographs for years and loves seeing things through the camera’s lens. She has shown her work in five previous shows at SAAC, but this will be her first show shot solely with her iPhone. The exhibit, titled “Southern Elegance,” features the artist’s collection of vintage sterling-silver pieces photographed in black and white. “I am very proud and excited to bring ‘Southern Elegance’ to the South Arkansas Arts Center galleries,” she said.

Lambert, who recently retired from her career as a public-school art educator, has been immersed in art her whole life. Her works for this show, entitled “Cleverness Juggling,” include mixed-media abstracts with lots of texture in varied sizes.

“Currently, I have a studio in Hampton where I experiment. I am on a mission to find myself and paint what I feel. I love what I do, whatever it is, because all of my works are sketches in pursuit of happiness.”

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.


LISA BURTON TARVER'S "SOUTHERN ELEGANCE"
IN THE MERKLE AND PRICE GALLERIES MARCH 1-28

The South Arkansas Arts Center is proud to announce it will host El Dorado photographer Lisa Burton Tarver’s show, ”Southern Elegance,” which will hang in the Merkle and Price Galleries during the month of March. Tarver’s show will open on March 1, 2019 and hang through the 27th. An artist’s reception will be held to honor Tarver on Saturday, March 9, from 6:00-7:30pm. Gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm.

Lisa Burton Tarver has been taking photographs for years and loves seeing things through the camera’s lens. She has shown her work in five previous shows at SAAC, but this will be her first show shot solely with her iPhone. The exhibit, titled “Southern Elegance,” features the artist’s collection of vintage sterling-silver pieces photographed in black and white. “I am very proud and excited to bring ‘Southern Elegance’ to the South Arkansas Arts Center galleries.

“The subjects of my latest photography show are just that for me. They are old friends who have been present for every important event of not just my family, but three generations of our family. As early as the 1920’s, they have been there for Easter and Christmas festivals, baptisms, wedding and baby showers and, yes, for daily celebrations of lives well lived. While worn in places, their beauty serves to remind us of who we are and where we have been. They are like old friends whose mere presence warms us with the possibilities for the future and the people who will gather around a family table then.

“These items in my show played a part in all the important occasions of our family life. They became like the familiar faces of aging relatives, lined, then softened by the events of a life well lived. They were silent actors in the dramas and comedies of our lives, old friends sharing common experiences.

“I have long wanted to share that story and, finally, with an old shutter, my iPhone and the light of my sunporch, I have captured a treasured heirloom and the sweet memories of family and friends…with a tad of “Southern Elegance’.”

Tarver is an Arkansas Artist in Education artist and teaches her specialty, photography, in Arkansas schools. She and her husband, Jon, have a daughter, Claire, married to Wesley Beard, and a granddaughter, Layla.

GOVERNOR ASA HUTCHINSON ANNOUNCES INTENT TO GRANT EXECUTIVE CLEMENCY 
LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced his intent to grant 12 pardons and 1 restoration of firearm rights only. An additional 53 clemency requests were denied and 8 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:

Andrew J. Appler (Conway): Possession of Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver (C Felony), Failure to Keep Records/Maintaining Drug Premises (D Felony) (CR 2004-489).
This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (2004 – 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 the applicant’s request. 

Deborah Ford Brandon (Mount Pleasant): Delivery of a Controlled Substance To Wit: Marijuana, 9 Counts (C Felony) (CR 98-73); Possession with Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance To Wit: Marijuana (C Felony) (CR 98-74).
This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1999 and 1999 – Sharp 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. 

Andrew C. Breshears (Hot Springs): Commercial Burglary, 3 counts (C Felony) (CR 2006-1-IV); Underage Driving under Influence 1st offense (Misdemeanor) (HTS-06-1731).
This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (2006 and 2006 – Garland 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 the applicant’s request.

Morgana Morrison Carter (Searcy): Residential Burglary (B Felony) and Theft of Property (C Felony) (CR 2011-357).
This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (2012 – White 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 the applicant’s request. 

Joseph J. Comer (Kensett): Burglary (B Felony) and Theft of Property (C Felony) (CR 82-130). 
This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1983 – White 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. 

Shawn Cruz (Pensacola, FL): Threatening to Cause a Catastrophe (D Felony) (CR 2000-029).
This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2000 – Baxter 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 the applicant’s request. 

Paul Edds (Bonnerdale): Criminal Trespass (docket 1985-2506); Theft by Receiving over $200 (C Felony) (CR-87-175).
This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1985 and 1987 – 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. 

Richard B. Gossett (McCrory): Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (C Felony) (CR 2002-07). 
This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2003 – Woodruff 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. 

Roy L. Hughes (Downsville, LA): Delivery of a Controlled Substance, 3 counts (D Felony) (CR-85-224).
This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (1985 – Union 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. 

Raymond Lovett (Magnolia, DE): Terroristic Threatening (Felony) and DWI 1st (U Misdemeanor) (CR 96-362). 
This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (1996 – 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. 

Donny Pointer (Little Rock): Possession of Controlled Substance (B Felony) (CR 96-002649); Domestic Battery 3rd Degree (C Misdemeanor) (C-99-2969).
This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1997 – Pulaski County; 1999 – Saline 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.

Danny L. Reaves (Dermott): Theft of Property (B Felony) (CR 2001-60-1D).
This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2001 – Ashley 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.

Governor Hutchinson intends to grant the restoration of firearms right only to the following person:

Jackie Y. Robinson (Little Rock): Maintaining a Drug Premises (D Felony) (CR 93-2224A).This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1994 – Pulaski 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 Pulaski County has signed the Recommendation of the Chief Law Enforcement Officer as required by law. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

LOCKHEED MARTIN’S CAMDEN MANUFACTURING SITE PART OF $1 BILLION SAUDI MISSILE DEAL
Talk Business & Politics

Lockheed Martin Corp.’s industrial site in Camden is likely to be apportioned a significant amount of work from the Pentagon’s nearly $1 billion contract to provide so-called THAAD missiles to Saudi Arabia, part of the Trump administration’s controversial multi-billion dollar arms deal with the Middle Eastern ally.

According to details of the U.S. Department of Defense’s bid specifications released on Monday (March 4), Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control (MFC) division in Dallas was awarded a non-competitive hybrid contract under the Pentagon’s Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The total estimated value of this undefined contract is $945.9 million, under which the nation’s largest defense contractor will provide Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) for Saudi Arabia’s fledgling Phase I missile defense program.

Besides manufacturing THAAD systems, Lockheed will also provide “tooling and test equipment, key personnel, line re-qualification activities, initial training development, system Integration Lab and testbeds, three-level maintenance concept, exportability, and early engineering development,” the DOD bid specifications states.

According to video and marketing materials on Lockheed Martin’s website, THAAD can defend countries and entire regions against short- and medium-range ballistic missiles by basically knocking them out of the sky and rendering them useless. THAAD interceptors employ Lockheed Martin’s proven “hit-to-kill” technology to destroy missile threats inside and outside the atmosphere, the company said.

“When enemies attack, governments must be ready to defend their soldiers, citizens and infrastructure. That’s where THAAD comes in – one of the most advanced missile defense systems in the world,” Lockheed Martin boasts on its website. In the Trump administration’s recent talks with North Korea, the U.S. military’s THAAD anti-missile defense system in South Korea has been highlighted as their main defense against a possible nuclear strike from the northern part of the Korean Peninsula.

Final details of the contract award also show that work for the project will be performed at Lockheed MFC locations in Camden, Dallas and Lufkin, Texas; Huntsville, Troy and Anniston, Ala.; and Sunnyvale, Calif., over a seven and a half-year period from Feb. 28 to Oct. 31, 2026.

Lockheed officials declined to comment for this story.

The THAAD missile sales to Saudi Arabia are the first phase of a larger $15 billion THAAD deal that is part of the $110 billion joint arms deal signed by President Donald Trump and King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud on May 20, 2017 during a state visit to Saudi Arabia.

BOOZMAN PURSUES IMPROVEMENTS TO REDUCE VETERAN SUICIDES
WASHINGTON—
U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) is helping lead efforts to improve the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) operation, oversight and evaluation of its suicide prevention media outreach campaigns.

Boozman is the lead Republican cosponsor of the Reach Every Veteran in Crisis Act. The bill, authored by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), seeks to correct failures in VA’s suicide prevention outreach activities identified by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

“The VA has indicated that suicide prevention is its highest clinical priority and, with the alarming number of suicides in the veteran community, it absolutely must be. Congress is appropriating resources and the VA is turning that into action, but the numbers continue to trend in the wrong direction. This is why it is vital that we have metrics to measure the effectiveness of the VA’s mental health and suicide prevention programs. This bill will help Congress and the VA isolate meaningful suicide prevention programs so we can ensure resources are focused on efforts that save lives,” said Boozman.

“The Department of Veterans Affairs has a moral obligation to fight the scourge of veteran suicide with all the resources Congress has authorized, an obligation it is failing to meet with fatal consequences,” said Blumenthal. “VA must replace rhetoric with meaningful action and address the significant shortfalls in their suicide prevention media outreach campaigns. This bill provides an action plan to hold VA accountable for ensuring all veterans and their families are aware of the support services available during their time of need.”

In a 2018 report entitled Improvements Needed in Suicide Prevention Media Outreach Campaign Oversight and Evaluation, the GAO found that the VA had failed to establish targets to evaluate the efficacy of its campaigns, that leadership turnover led to a dramatic decline in media outreach activities and that the VA spent a fraction of its budget for suicide prevention media outreach during the last fiscal year.

The Reach Every Veteran in Crisis Act requires that the VA:

  • Establish targets—based on industry-standard metrics such as impressions and engagement rate—to evaluate the efficacy of its mental health and suicide prevention outreach campaigns;
  • Create a process to oversee VA’s suicide prevention media outreach campaigns;
  • Report to Congress on the expenditures and obligations of funds of the Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention; and
  • Ensure all future contracts regarding mental health and suicide prevention outreach include a clause that the contractor must track metrics established by the secretary and report these metrics to the Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.

Boozman previously included language in the FY19 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill that requires VA to develop metrics to evaluate the efficacy of all of its mental health and suicide prevention programs.

GRIFFEN PRAISES TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S BOLD NEW SCHOOL CHOICE PLAN
Says, plan is a ‘game changer’ that 'gives parents the freedom to choose’ how to ‘meet the individual learning needs of their children without impacting federal education funding’
LITTLE ROCK – Lt. Governor Tim Griffin today issued the following statement in support of the Trump Administration’s proposed Education Freedom Scholarships:

"I applaud President Donald Trump and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos for their bold, transformational plan to improve education through choice. The proposed Education Freedom Scholarships will give parents the freedom to choose the best educational options to meet the individual learning needs of their children without impacting existing federal education funding.  Every child, regardless of their ZIP code, deserves a world-class education, and this plan moves us one step closer to that goal. This plan is a game changer for our kids, and Arkansas should take full advantage of this opportunity and implement a similar program now."

About Educational Freedom Scholarships
The Educational Freedom Scholarships would allow for up to $5 billion in locally controlled scholarship programs at the state level to empower students and parents to choose the educational options that best fit their individual learning needs. The scholarships will be funded through voluntary taxpayer contributions to state-identified Scholarship Granting Organizations, and taxpayers who contribute to the scholarships will receive a non-refundable, dollar-for-dollar federal tax credit. Participation in the program will be optional for states, and each state will determine how to select eligible students, education providers, and allowable education expenses. For more information, visit www.ed.gov/freedom.​

About Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin
He was elected lieutenant governor of Arkansas on November 4, 2014, and was re-elected for his second four-year term on November 6, 2018. 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. Griffin has served as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve, Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps, for over 22 years and currently holds the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was recently selected for promotion to colonel. In 2005, Griffin was mobilized to active duty as an Army prosecutor at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and served with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) in Mosul, Iraq. He is currently serving as a senior legislative advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness at the Pentagon. Lieutenant Colonel Griffin holds 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.

 

MARCH 6, 2019

BOOZMAN WELCOMES ADEQ DIRECTOR TO SENATE EPW SUBCOMMITEE HEARING
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) welcomed Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Director Becky Keogh to a hearing before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety. Keogh was testifying before senators on cooperative federalism and Arkansas’s past experience with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

Keogh testified before the subcommittee that the Trump Administration’s EPA has taken a cooperative federalism approach to better partner with Arkansas and other states to solve challenges they face and highlighted the positive impact that approach has on environmental protection efforts.

Boozman introduced Keogh to the committee prior to her delivering opening remarks.

“I would like to give a special thanks to Becky Keogh of Little Rock, Arkansas for coming up here today to testify. Mrs. Keogh has an impressive job history which has made her uniquely qualified to testify,” Boozman said.

“Becky Keogh has served as the Director of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality or ADEQ since 2015. Prior to her role as director, Mrs. Keogh served as Deputy Director of ADEQ from 1996–2006. She was subsequently appointed to serve on the Arkansas Geological Commission from 2006–2009.  

“Director Keogh is currently the President of the Environmental Council of the United States. 

“An Arkansas native, Director Keogh has a degree in chemical engineering from my alma mater, the University of Arkansas. 

“Director Keogh, we appreciate you coming up here for this important hearing, and look forward to your testimony,” Boozman said.

 
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RUTLEDGE APPLAUDS LEGISLATION APPROVINGBALLOT TITLE AMENDMENT
Says, ‘The law will give Arkansans a clear, concise and fair process’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released the below statement following the Arkansas Legislature’s approval of the ballot title process proposal that will head to Governor Asa Hutchison’s desk for his signature.

“Today’s final vote is a victory for all Arkansans,” said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “The law will give Arkansans a clear, concise and fair process to amend the State Constitution. This streamlined process will increase transparency by ensuring a public and bipartisan debate for all ballot measures proposed by Arkansans.”

 

March 05, 2019

 

RUTLEDGE CELEBRATES NATIONAL CONSUMER PROTECTION WEEK
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released the following statement to kick off National Consumer Protection Week.

“My office is dedicated to protecting Arkansans from con artists and criminals. I am sick of bad actors constantly adapting to find new ways to scam hard-working consumers. National Consumer Protection Week is an opportunity to educate Arkansans about common scams.”

Rutledge will be highlighting common scams and complaints received by the Attorney General’s office this week on social media.

Consumers who believe they have been scammed or would like to file a complaint can reach the Attorney General’s office at (501) 682-2007 or online at ArkansasAG.gov.

In her written testimony, Keogh discussed how “Arkansas is a model for how states efficiently and effectively take the lead in improving and maintaining air quality across the country. That is why a ‘state’s first’ approach to regulation makes sense.” 

Keogh previously testified before the subcommittee in 2015 on this same issue.

 

SAU TECH FOUNDATION TO HOST FIRST ROCKET ROCKET NIGHT FUNDRAISER
Southern Arkansas University Tech Foundation is holding its first fundraiser and benefactor dinner on April 13, 2019. The speaker is 30-year NFL Referee, Walter Coleman, III. Coleman is an executive for Hiland Dairy and spends much of his free time speaking and serving on various non-profit and service organization boards.

The SAU Tech Foundation Rocket Night is the first event of its kind for the College in recent history. Foundation Executive Director, Kimberly Coker, stated that " I have been an employee of SAU Tech almost 17 years and I have no memory of an event where donors, potential donors, supporters of SAU Tech, athletes and students were all invited to an event to celebrate the success of the past academic year. Coker recently stated during a KCAC interview with Rocket Launcher Live's, Joel Gray, that the event is an opportunity for local businesses to act as underwriters to support the celebration. The SAU Tech Foundation Board Members are local volunteers who oversee the financial responsibilities of the Foundation.

Tickets are on sale now and can be ordered online or requested from the Communications & Development Office at SAU Tech. The event is open to the public and dinner will be provided. Additional event and ticket information can be found at https://www.sautech.edu/rocket/

JOIN Y95 AT THE DAFFODIL FESTIVAL
Daffodils are in full bloom and Radio Works is on the move. Join the Road Crew in beautiful Downtown Camden for the Daffodil Festival as we broadcast live. We’ll look forward to seeing you Friday afternoon from 2 until 4 and Saturday from 11 until 2. There is going to be constant activity. Don’t miss a single minute. More vendors than ever before. Kids activities. Festival food. We will be set up in the little park right by Stinson’s. Thanks to our sponsors Ouachita Abstract, Dripper's Vape Shop, Bank of Bearden, Dickson Chevrolet, bounds Tire, Southwest Saw, Hodnett Realty, Ken's Discount, Blackmon's Furniture, The Vapor Shop, Smackover State Bank, St. John's Place, Holt Builders, Southern pipe and Supply, Wells Fargo Investment/Raquel Sparkman, Mitch Lowe's Body Shop, Cardinal Care Clinic, Country Village Sporting Goods, Car Mart of Camden and Hogskin Festival and Rodeo Committees. We look forward to seeing YOU at the Daffodil Festival.


COTTON APPLAUDS PROPOSED RESTRICTIONS ON PREDATORY GREEN ENERGY LOANS
Washington, D.C.—
Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) on residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing. Following that announcement, Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) released the statement below:

“Predatory lenders have tricked seniors and other vulnerable citizens into taking out high-interest loans for green-energy appliances using their homes as collateral. In some cases, these loans have squeezed Americans to the point of foreclosure, robbing them of the very homes they sought to improve. Soon this predatory lending scam will come to an end thanks to my Protecting Americans from Credit Exploitation provision, which passed last year. Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took steps to implement this provision to protect consumers from predatory green-energy loans. I look forward to working with the administration to ensure all homeowners are protected from these predatory lending practices.”

Background:
PACE loans are a financing program that provides homeowners with solar panels or other housing improvements in exchange for a lien on the home and increased property tax payments for up to 20 years. There are no federal underwriting or disclosure requirements, the loans have high fees, and they are far more expensive than mortgages or home equity loans.

COTTON, COLLEAGUES INTRODUCE LEGISLATION HONORING CENTENNIAL OF THE TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER AT ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
Washington, D.C. — Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), along with fellow Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut), Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia), Doug Jones (D-Alabama), Steve Daines (R-Montana), Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Mississippi) introduced the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Commemorative Coin Act, which would direct the Secretary of the Treasury to mint commemorative coins in recognition of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier's upcoming centennial in 2021.

After the bill’s introduction, Senator Cotton released the following statement:

"A few months after the World War I Unknown was laid to rest, the commander of the Military District of Washington declined a request to post a sentry at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, saying that visitors to Washington ‘can reach the distantly located tomb only with great difficulty' and predicting that the Tomb ‘is not and never will be visited by the thousands of visitors as is done in England, France, and Italy.' Yet one hundred years later, more than four million people pass through the gates of Arlington National Cemetery each year, and most visit the Tomb to observe the Changing of the Guard. Americans venerate the Tomb and its Sentinels as a shrine to all the brave men and women who have served in our Armed Forces, and especially those who laid down their lives so we could live in freedom. This commemorative coin will be a fitting tribute to those heroes and to the Sentinels who have guarded our Tomb for so many years.”

Endorsements: 
The National Rural Letter Carriers' Association, the VFW, the Society of the Honor Guard Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Gold Star Peak Inc, the World War I Museum, and the Independence Seaport Museum.

Background:
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a memorial site at Arlington National Cemetery approved by Congress on March 4, 1921 to honor the unknown soldiers who died in World War I. Inscribed on the back of the Tomb are the words "Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God." Today, the site also honors unknown soldiers from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is guarded 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and in any weather by Tomb Guard Sentinels. The Sentinels, all volunteers, are considered to be the best of the elite 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), headquartered at Fort Meyer, Virginia.

Proceeds from the sale of the commemorative coins would benefit the National World War I Museum and Memorial for the purposes of assisting in commemorating the centennial. The minting of such coins will not result in any net cost to the United States government.

 

March 04, 2019

CITY OF CAMDEN POLICE REPORTS
DRINKING ON THE HIGHWAY

On March 02, 2019 at  2:52 a.m. Officer Nathan Lane was on patrol in the area of Grinstead Street and Adams Street, when he observed a vehicle making a left tum from the non-turning lane. Officer Lane followed the vehicle down Grinstead Street where it crossed left of center three times. The Officer initiated his lights when they got to Warner Street to pull the vehicle over. When contact was made with the driver, Tiondra Lewis, the Officer observed an open wine bottle in the center console. When asked whose bottle it was, Lewis stated it was hers. Lewis was advised she was under arrest for Public Intoxication. Lewis was then transported to the station without incident. Lewis was later released with a Criminal Citation  and given a District of Camden court date.

CRIMINAL TRESPASS
On March 01, 2019 at 5:03 p.m. Officer Frank Remick was dispatched to a subject on the ban list at Walmart. Upon my arrival the Officer spoke with Morgan Pope of Asset Protection. She advised that Bryshelle Henderson was inside the store. Pope provided a confirmed copy of Walmart ban list confirming Henderson was banned. Officers observed Henderson leaving the store and made contact with her. Henderson was taken into custody and transported to the Camden Police Department. Booking procedures were performed. Henderson paid the bond of $250 and was released and given a criminal citation and a District Court date.

PUBLIC INTOXICATION
On March 1, 2019 at 10:02 p.m. Officer Nathan Lane was dispatched to 201 Fort Lookout in reference to a theft report. Upon arrival contact was made with the reporting party Marvin Maxey. While talking to Maxey the Officer could smell an odor of intoxicants coming from his person whenever he spoke. Maxey was swaying back and forth and had to take steps in order to avoid falling over. Maxey did not want a report and I advised him to stay inside. Later on at 10:25 hours Officer Lane was on patrol in the area of Fort Lookout, when he saw a male subject on the sidewalk. The male subject kept walking in a zig zag motion down the sidewalk. The Officer then got out with the male and realized it was Maxey from earlier. Maxey was advised that he was under arrest for Public Intoxication. When walking Maxey to the patrol vehicle he had to lean on on the Officer to keep from falling. Also, while walking Maxey to the vehicle, Officer Lane could smell the odor of intoxicants coming from his person. Maxey was transported to the station without incident. Booking procedures were completed and Maxey was transported to the Ouachita County Detention Center and later released pending sobriety. He was given a citation and court date.

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB TO MEET
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet on Wednesday at Catherine’s Bistro. This week the speakers will be Dr. Steve Keller speaking about chiropractic practices and Barbara Russell speaking about recovering from leukemia through major diet changes.

BOOZMAN PURSUES IMPROVEMENTS TO REDUCE VETERAN SUICIDES
WASHINGTON—
U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) is helping lead efforts to improve the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) operation, oversight and evaluation of its suicide prevention media outreach campaigns.

Boozman is the lead Republican cosponsor of the Reach Every Veteran in Crisis Act. The bill, authored by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), seeks to correct failures in VA’s suicide prevention outreach activities identified by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

“The VA has indicated that suicide prevention is its highest clinical priority and, with the alarming number of suicides in the veteran community, it absolutely must be. Congress is appropriating resources and the VA is turning that into action, but the numbers continue to trend in the wrong direction. This is why it is vital that we have metrics to measure the effectiveness of the VA’s mental health and suicide prevention programs. This bill will help Congress and the VA isolate meaningful suicide prevention programs so we can ensure resources are focused on efforts that save lives,” said Boozman.

“The Department of Veterans Affairs has a moral obligation to fight the scourge of veteran suicide with all the resources Congress has authorized, an obligation it is failing to meet with fatal consequences,” said Blumenthal. “VA must replace rhetoric with meaningful action and address the significant shortfalls in their suicide prevention media outreach campaigns. This bill provides an action plan to hold VA accountable for ensuring all veterans and their families are aware of the support services available during their time of need.”

In a 2018 report entitled Improvements Needed in Suicide Prevention Media Outreach Campaign Oversight and Evaluation, the GAO found that the VA had failed to establish targets to evaluate the efficacy of its campaigns, that leadership turnover led to a dramatic decline in media outreach activities and that the VA spent a fraction of its budget for suicide prevention media outreach during the last fiscal year.

The Reach Every Veteran in Crisis Act requires that the VA:

  • Establish targets—based on industry-standard metrics such as impressions and engagement rate—to evaluate the efficacy of its mental health and suicide prevention outreach campaigns;
  • Create a process to oversee VA’s suicide prevention media outreach campaigns;
  • Report to Congress on the expenditures and obligations of funds of the Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention; and
  • Ensure all future contracts regarding mental health and suicide prevention outreach include a clause that the contractor must track metrics established by the secretary and report these metrics to the Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.

Boozman previously included language in the FY19 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill that requires VA to develop metrics to evaluate the efficacy of all of its mental health and suicide prevention programs.

MARCH 1, 2019

CITY OF CAMDEN POLICE REPORTS
FLEEING

This past Monday, February 25th at 2:25 p.m Officer Frank Remick arrived at 1485 Country Club Road Apartment 23 for Warrant Service. Officer Remick and Officer Jake Perry placed themselves at the backdoor of apartment 23 in order to apprehend possible fleeing subjects. An individual wearing white shoes stumbled to the backdoor, opened the door, then turned around once the Officers were noticed. Officer Perry entered the backdoor and made the statement, "He's fleeing out the window". Officer Remick ran around to the front of the building through a walking trail and noticed two individuals climb out of the window. One suspect ran towards the Officer in the trail, halting once he noticed Police presence, then fled the opposite direction. Officer Remick pursued the subject, later identified and Brandon Jenkins. Jenkins attempted to hurdle debris and was tripped up. The Office was in close proximity when Jenkins fell to the ground.  The then pulled taser and continued tasing Jenkins. He then tackled Jenkins to gain a defensive position on him. After a brief struggle Jenkins was taken into custody by Officer Perry and Officer Remick. Jenkins was then escorted to a patrol unit where it was found he had a. small laceration to his upper right eye, possibly from the struggle on the ground. EMS was called to the scene. Jenkins was transported to the Ouachita County Medical Center where he was provided First aid by ER staff. Once cleared for incarceration, Jenkins was transported to the Camden Police Department. Booking procedures were completed After being given criminal citation and a court date, Jenkins was taken to the Ouachita County Detention Center for holding.

CRIMINAL TRESPASS
TERRORISTIC THREATENING 2ND
PUBLIC INTOXICATION
DISORDERLY CONDUCT

On Wednesday,February 27, 2019 at 7:56 a.m. Officer Ashley Watts, responded to Soapy Suds in reference to a subject refusing to leave. She arrived and made contact with Fredrick Gilmore. Office VanAssche arrive to back Officer Watts up. Sergeant Elliott was also at the scene.  Gilmore was sitting in a chair with his arms in his shirt. The manager, Vivian Ridley, advised that she asked Gilmore to leave the premises and he refused so she called the Police Department to have him removed. She also advised that Gilmore has recently been asked not to return onto the property of Soapy Suds. Officer VanAssche asked Gilmore why he was there to which he responded he was asleep.  Gilmore continued talking and it was difficult to understand due to Gilmore's speech being slurred. Gilmore was then asked how much alcohol he had to drink, and he stated last night he had a few drinks while he was at home before he left to go for a walk. The Officer then asked Gilmore why he was at Soapy Suds if he wasn't there to wash clothes, and he stated he stopped there to rest after his walk. Officer Watts advised Officer VanAssche that Gilmore was banned from the establishment, due to him damaging the washing machines. Officer VanAssche then took Gilmore into custody and began to escort him to his patrol unit. While taking Gilmore into custody the Office could smell a strong odor of intoxicants coming from his person. Once the two had exited the establishment Gilmore began yelling profanities. He was advised to stop yelling profanities, at which point Gilmore yelled at threats at the Officer.  He continued to yell threats and began pushing against Sergeant Elliott and Officer VanAssche. Gilmore then had to be assisted into the patrol unit, where he continued to yell threats. Gilmore was later transported to the station without incident, while enroute to the station Gilmore continued to threaten the Officer. This continued at the station while taking Gilmore into the booking Gilmore is being charged with Criminal Trespass, Terroristic Threatening 2nd, Public Intoxication, and Disorderly Conduct. Gilmore was transported to the Ouachita County Sheriffs Office where he was held awaiting first appearance.

LAW ENFORCEMENT AND IMMIGRATION GROUPS SUPPORT SINGH’S LAW
Washington, D.C.
– Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today announced support for Singh’s Law from the National Sheriff’s Association, FAIR, and Numbers USA.

“The nation’s sheriffs strongly support Senator Cotton for this legislation that will equip local law enforcement with the additional resources they need to keep their communities safe from criminal gangs. We also applaud his honoring of the fallen officer. Families of law enforcement know too well the sacrifice officers and deputies make every day and we must never forget that sacrifice they and their families make,” said Jonathan Thompson, Executive Director of the National Sheriffs Association.

“Corporal Ronil Singh, a police officer with the City of Newman (Calif.) Police Department, was a shining example of the American dream. A lawful immigrant from Fiji, Singh dreamed of becoming a police officer. He worked tirelessly to obtain his badge, even taking English lessons to overcome his accent in an effort to be better understood on the job. Cpl. Singh’s dream ended one tragic night last December, when he was brutally murdered in the line of duty by an illegal alien with multiple DUI arrests and an active gang affiliation. In recent years, criminal gangs from Latin America have developed a strong foothold in the United States, perpetuating criminal activities such as drug dealing, human trafficking, and murder. FAIR applauds Senator Cotton for recognizing the growing gang issue and honoring a true American hero with the introduction of Singh’s Law. This FAIR-supported bill would provide law enforcement with additional tools to combat criminal alien gangs operating in American communities, while ensuring that illegal aliens with gang affiliations are promptly removed from the country. Congress must act quickly to protect other families from suffering the same unimaginable loss as Cpl. Singh’s family,” said Dan Stein, President of FAIR.

“Officer Singh's brutal murder by a criminal illegal alien last December was entirely preventable. Perez Arriaga was in the country illegally, had known gang affiliations and two previous DUI convictions. And yet California's sanctuary policies protected him from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, enabling him to commit this heinous crime. Singh's Law would block aliens with criminal convictions and known gang affiliations from entering the country and allow for the removal those already here. NumbersUSA and its 9 million grassroots activists applaud Sen. Tom Cotton for introducing this legislation and for prioritizing the safety and security of U.S. citizens,” said Chris Chmielenski, Deputy Director of NumbersUSA.

BOOZMAN, ARKANSAS DAV MEMBERS PRESS FOR IMPROVEMENTS FOR WOMEN VETERANS
Urge Passage of Deborah Sampson Act
WASHINGTON— Arkansas members of Disabled American Veterans (DAV) applauded U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) for his introduction of the Deborah Sampson Act, legislation to help ensure the VA supports the unique needs of women veterans.

DAV members were in the nation’s capital earlier this week pressing for congressional support of the organization’s 2019 legislative priorities which include improvements to women veterans’ health programs. DAV has endorsed the Deborah Sampson Act. The legislation would eliminate barriers to care and services that many women veterans face and would help ensure the VA can address the needs of women who are more likely to face homelessness, unemployment and go without needed health care. 

“DAV has been influential in identifying ways the Department of Veterans Affairs can strengthen its services. I look forward to continue working with DAV members as Congress crafts policies to ensure women veterans have equitable access to VA healthcare,” Boozman said.

Arkansas members met with Boozman in advance of the joint Senate and House Veterans’ Affairs hearing to highlight DAV priorities for 2019 on February 26.


BOOZMAN QUESTIONS AG SECRETARY ON RURAL BROADBAND IMPLEMENTATION
WASHINGTON—
Members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry received an update from U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on the implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill. U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), a strong supporter of the bill, urged its expeditious implementation and questioned the secretary about the progress of USDA programs to improve rural broadband.

“One of the biggest challenges facing Arkansas – and much of rural America – is access to reliable broadband,” Boozman said.

The 2018 Farm Bill allows USDA to leverage grants and loans with loan guarantees to fund projects that deploy high-speed broadband in rural America. Coupled with the December 2018 launch of USDA’s ReConnect Program to facilitate broadband deployment, the farm bill made positive policy changes to increase opportunities for rural areas to get resources to bridge the digital divide.

Boozman recognized the enthusiasm toward the ReConnect Program and has supported the department’s efforts to improve connectivity in rural communities.

“There has been immense interest in [the ReConnect Program]. My goal in doing that was to administer that and deploy those resources in a way that you all trusted us to do more because we need a moonshot about broadband connectivity across this country in order to do the things that we think will bring our nation back together from a rural-urban perspective,” Perdue said.
According to FCC’s 2018 Broadband Deployment Report, about a quarter of Arkansas’s population doesn’t have access to broadband.

Boozman is a co-chair of the Senate Broadband Caucus. He is actively leading efforts to strengthen broadband deployment in Arkansas and across the country.

RUTLEDGE ANNOUNCES START OF WELLS FARGO CONSUMER REDRESS REVIEW PROGRAM
Says, ‘This program is a significant step for Wells Fargo toward fixing the harm it caused to Arkansans’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that Wells Fargo has begun a consumer redress review program to allow consumers, who have not yet been made whole through other remediation programs already in place, to have their inquiry or complaint reviewed by a Wells Fargo escalation team for possible relief.

“The redress review program was a key component of my settlement with Wells Fargo due to betrayal of consumer trust,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This program is a significant step for Wells Fargo toward fixing the harm it caused to Arkansans by ensuring that eligible consumers receive the restitution due to them under the settlement. Requiring Wells Fargo to implement this program is another example of how I will hold any business accountable that unlawfully takes advantage of Arkansans.”

The December settlement between Wells Fargo and attorneys general of all 50 states and the District of Columbia resolves claims the bank violated state consumer protection laws by opening millions of unauthorized accounts and enrolling customers into online banking services without their knowledge or consent, improperly referring customers for enrollment in third-party renters and life insurance policies, improperly charging auto loan customers for force-placed and unnecessary collateral protection insurance, failing to ensure that customers received refunds of unearned premiums on certain optional auto finance products, and incorrectly charging customers for mortgage rate lock extension fees.

As part of the program, Wells Fargo will maintain a website for at least one year that contains information regarding consumers' eligibility for redress and to help answer consumer questions. Wells Fargo's website describes the issues covered by the settlement agreement and provides phone numbers consumers may use to request review. In addition, Wells Fargo will provide periodic reports to the states about ongoing remediation efforts.

Wells Fargo's consumer redress review website may be accessed at Wellsfargo.com/commitment/Redress

Consumers with questions or concerns may call the following Wells Fargo phone numbers for assistance:

  • Unauthorized Accounts/Improper Retail Sales Practices: 1-844-931-2273
  • Improper Renters and Life Insurance Referrals: 1-855-853-9638
  • Force-Placed Collateral Protection Auto Insurance: 1-888-228-9735
  • Guaranteed Asset/Auto Protection Refunds: 1-844-860-6962
  • Mortgage Interest Rate Lock Extension Fees: 1-866-385-5008

Participating in the program with Arkansas include Attorneys General from: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

 

February 28, 2019

RUTLEDGE ANNOUNCES FAULKNER COUNTY MAN SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS FOR VIDEOS SHOWING RAPE OF CHILDREN
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has announced that a Faulkner County man has been sentenced to 15 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction on child pornography charges.

Jason Coppock, 28, of Mayflower, pleaded guilty to five counts of distributing, possessing, viewing of matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child. He was found in possession of videos and images of sexual intercourse and penetration with girls as young as 5 years old to 12 years old.

“I am committed to removing disturbing criminals like Coppock from our neighborhoods,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “His actions prolong the vicious victimization of innocent children.”

Coppock was arrested in April 2017 by the Attorney General’s Office Cyber Crimes Unit when special agents seized laptops and external storage devices from his residence. An attorney from the Attorney General’s Office was appointed Special Deputy Prosecutor in the case by the 20th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Carol Crews.

SMALL BUSINESS SEMINAR “FACEBOOK BUSINESS PAGES “BEYOND THE LIKES”
Have you created a Facebook page for your business and want to turn it into a strategic advantage? The SAU Small Business and Technology Development Center is here to help! Along with an overview of Facebook basics, get tips for managing your page, setting goals, measuring content reach, and analyzing post effectiveness. Please bring your computer, tablet, or mobile phone for hands-on training! iPads available if requested by Monday, March 4, 2019.

If you would like assistance setting up a Facebook business page, please contact us to make a one-on-one appointment. You will need a personal Facebook page setup in order to create a business page.

When - Tuesday, March 5, 2019 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM 
Where - OPED Building  - 625 S Adams  - Camden, AR 71701
Co- Sponsors -Team Camden, Partnership Ouachita for Economic Development
Cost - FREE!

COTTON, COLLEAGUES REINTRODUCE BIPARTISAN DRIVE-SAFE ACT
Washington D.C.
– U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Todd Young (R-Indiana) and Jon Tester (D-Montana) today reintroduced the Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy (DRIVE-Safe) Act to address the driver shortage in the trucking and logistics industry, and enhance safety training and job opportunities for young truckers. U.S. Senators Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), Angus King (I-Maine), Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), and Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) joined as cosponsors of the bill.

Though many states allow individuals to obtain a commercial driver’s license at the age 18, federal law currently prohibits those operators from moving goods from state to state until they are 21. The DRIVE-Safe Act establishes an apprenticeship program that would allow for the legal operation of a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce by CDL holders under the age of 21. The apprenticeship training program would help ensure these drivers are trained beyond current standards while instituting rigorous safety standards and performance benchmarks.

“Tens of thousands of commercial trucking jobs go unfilled each year across the United States. To make that problem worse, current regulations prevent younger drivers from participating in interstate trucking at all, denying them the opportunity for good-paying jobs. The DRIVE-Safe Act tackles both problems by allowing drivers under the age of 21 to pursue this career, as long as their employer adopts an apprenticeship program that includes rigorous training and safety standards,” said Senator Cotton.

SENATORS COTTON, CRUZ, REPRESENTATIVE GALLAGHER INTRODUCE RESOLUTIONS RECOGNIZING ISRAEL’S SOVEREIGNTY OVER GOLAN HEIGHTS
WASHINGTON, D.C.
– U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Representative Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin) yesterday introduced companion bills establishing that it shall be the policy of the United States to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. The United States has been committed for over 40 years to ensuring Israel’s security from attacks emanating from across the Golan Heights. The threat Iran poses to America and Israel requires acknowledging the reality of Israel’s control over the territory as a matter of national security. 

The bill is also sponsored by Senators Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota), and Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), and Representatives Brian Mast (R-Florida), Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado), Jim Banks (R-Indiana), Elise Stefanik (R-New York), Tom Cole (R-Oklahoma), Mark Meadows (R-North Carolina), Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), Scott Perry (R-Pennsylvania), Roger Marshall (R-Kansas), Mark Green (R-Tennessee), Lee Zeldin (R-New York), Ted Budd (R-North Carolina), and Jody Hice (R-Georgia.).

The bill states in part that “it is in the United States national security interest to ensure that Israel retains control of the Golan Heights [and that] the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad faces diplomatic and geopolitical consequences for its killing of civilians, the ethnic cleansing of Arab Sunnis, and the use of weapons of mass destruction.”

ADEQ SEEKS ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERS FOR 2019 ENVIRONMENTAL AWARDS
NORTH LITTLE ROCK
—The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is seeking the State’s top environmental leaders to apply for this year’s ADEQ Environmental Awards. Businesses, nonprofits, and government entities who are working to help achieve a vision of a healthy environment and prosperous economy across the state are encouraged to apply.

For the past 15 years, ADEQ has recognized environmental leaders from around the Natural State. The ADEQ Environmental Awards is one of Arkansas’s most prestigious environmental recognition programs. The awards highlight what Arkansas companies are doing in areas of sustainability, innovative technology, and environmental stewardship. This year’s award program will include three prestigious awards—the Arkansas Environmental Stewardship (ENVY) Award, the Arkansas Environmental Technology (TECHe) Award, and the E² Energy Award.

ADEQ honors exceptional environmental projects and programs in Arkansas with the ENVY award. The award showcases the work of citizens, businesses, industries, farms, and government agencies that are protecting and enhancing the environment in extraordinary ways, demonstrating that they deserve to be the ENVY of Arkansas. The TECHe Award recognizes the use of new developments in technology or the use of technology to protect our resources or improve the environment. The E² Award honors organizations that demonstrate outstanding leadership by implementing forward-thinking initiatives in areas of energy efficiency, advance energy, and renewable energy. Additionally, the ADEQuest Science Award is given to a student who has made strides in science and protection of the environment.

If you would like to apply for an award or nominate an environmental leader in your community, then please contact Ometra Okuwoash, ADEQ Program and Outreach Manger, at 501.682.0977 or okuwoash@adeq.state.ar.us. Additional information about the awards and application forms can be found online at www.adeq.state.ar.us/poa/enterprise-services/awards/.

COTTON, WHITEHOUSE, MOULTON, KING REINTRODUCE ALS DISABILITY INSURANCE ACCESS ACT
Washington D.C.
- Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) and Congressmen Seth Moulton (D-Massachusetts) and Peter King (R-New York) have reintroduced the ALS Disability Insurance Access Act, bipartisan legislation to eliminate the five-month waiting period before ALS patients can receive the Social Security Disability Insurance benefits they earned by contributing into Social Security.  This legislation would build on previous steps by Congress and the Social Security Administration to accommodate the difficult prognosis for those diagnosed with ALS. 

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a neurodegenerative disease affecting the ability of the brain to control muscle movements.  Individuals with ALS progressively lose the ability to speak, walk, and breathe.  The intended purpose of a five-month waiting period is to allow temporary conditions to reverse.  However, there is currently no cure or treatment to halt or undo the effects of ALS, and some ALS patients lose their fight with the disease before ever receiving benefits.  The ALS Disability Insurance Access Act would help alleviate some of the financial hardship that accompanies an ALS diagnosis, and support those living with ALS and their families.

“ALS is a progressive and disabling disease for which there is no cure.  Those who suffer from this terrible disease endure enough pain, and they shouldn’t be subject to the usual waiting period for disability benefits—especially given their tragically short life expectancy,” said Cotton.

“I am proud to co-sponsor this bill to eliminate the waiting period for those battling ALS,” said Whitehouse.  “It takes tremendous courage from patients, family members, and friends to cope with an ALS diagnosis.  I hope that as a simple act of humanity we can set aside bureaucratic considerations and allow Americans who face the extraordinary blow of this diagnosis to immediately receive the benefits they have earned.”

“Nobody bravely fighting Lou Gehrig’s Disease should have to wait months for benefits that will help them confront the disease because of government red tape,” said Moulton. “Every American pays into Social Security with the idea that we have each other’s backs and that those benefits will become available to us when we need them—whether it is because of an ALS diagnosis, a disability or simply to help make ends meet in retirement.  This bill will help our country keep that promise.”

“When battling an unforgiving and aggressive disease such as ALS, time is of the essence.  That is why Congress must ensure that those diagnosed with this disease can immediately receive the SSDI benefits they have earned and try to mitigate the certain and devastating financial costs of their fight,” said King.

“Over the course of a five-month waiting period, people living with ALS will have only experienced progressive loss of function and will have incurred significant expenses for care and treatment,” said Calaneet Balas, President and CEO of The ALS Association.  “We urge Congress to pass this legislation and remove the arbitrary five-month waiting period that creates an unfair financial burden on people whose life expectancy is so tragically abbreviated.  People with ALS have earned and should receive both Medicare and Social Security Disability Insurance benefits immediately.  They simply don’t have months to wait.”

 
 
 
 

February 27, 2019

RUTLEDGE ANNOUNCES MARCH MOBILE OFFICE SCHEDULE
LITTLE ROCK
 – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced mobile office locations for March.

Attorney General Rutledge created this initiative during her first year in office to increase office accessibility for all Arkansans, particularly to those who live outside the capital city. Office hours were held in all 75 counties each year during her first term, assisting 3,300 Arkansans.

Rutledge believes face-to-face conversations are the best way to truly hear from Arkansans. The Attorney General Mobile Offices assist constituents with consumer related issues by filing consumer complaints against scam artists as well as answering questions about the office and the other services it offers to constituents.

Rutledge continues her partnerships with the Cooperative Extension Service and local law enforcement across Arkansas. Law enforcement officials will be on hand to collect unused and expired prescription medications to ensure they are secured and properly disposed. Arkansans are encouraged to bring their old, unused or expired prescription medications to an upcoming mobile office. During Rutledge’s first term, over 618 pounds of medications were collected at mobile offices.

For more information about services provided by the Attorney General’s office, visit ArkansasAG.gov or call (501) 682-2007. Rutledge can also be found on Facebook at facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge and on Twitter at twitter.com/AGRutledge.

The upcoming mobile office schedule is below:

Calhoun County
Tuesday, March 5
9:30 to 11:00 a.m.
Calhoun County Nutrition Center
1120 Prestress Drive Hampton, AR 71744

 

Howard County
Thursday, March 7
 9:30 to 11:00 a.m.
Howard County Senior Citizens Center
206 E. Howard St. Nashville, AR 71852


Pulaski County
Friday, March 8
10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
West Central Community Center
4521 John Barrow Road
Little Rock, AR 72204

10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Donaghey Student Center (200A)
3259 S. University Ave. Little Rock, AR 72204


Cross County
Tuesday, March 12
10:30 a.m. to noon
Cross County Courthouse
705 E. Union St. Wynne, AR 72396


Pope County
Wednesday, March 13
11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Arkansas Tech University Chamber Cafeteria
204 W. O St. Russellville, AR 72801


Jefferson County
Thursday, March 14
10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Service
500 Idaho St. Pine Bluff, AR 71601

Dallas County
Tuesday, March 19
10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
Dallas County Cooperative Extension Service
203 N. Clifton St. Fordyce, AR 71742


Cleveland County
Thursday, March 21
10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
Rison Senior Citizens Center
#50 I.E. Moore Drive Rison, AR 71665


Madison County
Tuesday, March 26
10:30 a.m. to noon
Madison County Senior Activity and Wellness Center
903 N. College St. Huntsville, AR 72740


Van Buren County
Thursday, March 28
10:30 a.m. to noon
Van Buren County Aging Program
311 Yellowjacket Lane Clinton, AR 72031

 

 

 

THE CALL IN OUACHITA COUNTY
The CALL in Ouachita County is a faith-based nonprofit that is working to unite the local church with orphans right here in our county.  The CALL is working to recruit foster/adoptive families from the Christian community, train those families along beside DHS, and provide a support system when they begin caring for their children. In Ouachita county, The CALL is serving families with support groups, The CALL mall, and mentoring.

The CALL works to mobilize local churches to provide a future and a hope to children in foster care. The group is seeing that happen but has a long way to go.  They are looking for leadership and volunteers in Ouachita County. They are also looking for congregations that will partner with us as we work to complete this mission.

The CALL will hold an informational meeting on March 7th at Grace Baptist Church at 6 PM.  If you are interested in volunteering with The CALL in some way or want to learn more about how to become a foster parent, then this meeting is for you! For more information, contact Wesley Stewart at 675-0138. The CALL has offices at 107 Garden Oaks Court in Camden, AR. Visit ouachitacounty@thecallinarkansas.org.

COUNTY FAIR COVER ARTWORK CONTEST
The Ouachita County Fair would like to announce their first Cover Artwork Contest. We are inviting young people between the ages of four (4) and eighteen (18) who enjoy drawing to submit an original picture that they think goes with our 2019 Fair Theme of: Yesterday’s Memories, Tomorrow’s Dreams

Eligibility: The contest is open to legal residents of Ouachita county who are four (4) to eighteen (18) years of age at the time of entry. The Ouachita County Fair Board reserves the right to verify the eligibility of any winner. Only one (1) entry per individual allowed.  All entries must be the student’s original and previously unpublished work.

Contest Period: Admissions will be accepted beginning February 8, 2019 through March 4, 2019.  Winners will be announced March 15, 2019.

How to Enter: Begin by drawing your original artwork using an 8 1/2” x 11” piece of white paper and using no more than 2 colors. Be sure the image reflects the 2019 Fair Theme of Yesterday’s Memories, Tomorrow’s Dreams. Place the artwork unfolded into a large 8 ½” x 11” manila envelope, include a 3” x 5” card with the Student’s Name, Age, Address, and Phone Number. Do not put your name on your artwork. Mail to: Megan Yerkes, 141 Gatling St., Camden AR 71701  Put ATTN: Cover Artwork Contest in the lower left-hand corner.

Judging: Pieces will be judged on originality, artistry, and adherence to the theme.  A panel of independent judges will be selected.  The decision of the judges is final. A Grand Prize will be awarded to one student and five honorable mentions.

Prizes: the Grand Prize winner will have their artwork featured as the cover of the annual Ouachita County Fair Book, a modified version will be used for the annual Clothesline coloring contest, as well as in advertising. The Grand Prize winner will also receive a $50 Hobby Lobby gift card and a County Fair Family Pack [$100 value includes 4 Free Gate admissions ($20.00 value) and 4 Free Ride Armbands ($80.00)]. Each Honorable Mention will be featured in the Fair book and will receive a $10 Sonic Card.
Other Information:  By submitting your artwork you are giving permission to the Ouachita County Fair to reproduce or modify your image. Full credit will be given to the artist. Artwork becomes the property of Ouachita County Fair.

BOOZMAN SAYS ALLIES CONTINUE TO EXPRESS NEED FOR “STRONG RELATIONSHIP” AS RUSSIAN, CHINESE AND IRANIAN INFLUENCE GROWS
WASHINGTON–U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) said allies voiced concerns about the increasing influence of Russia, China and Iran at high-level meetings in nine countries last week.  

Boozman traveled with a delegation led by the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK). After representing the U.S. Senate at the Munich Security Conference—where the delegation conducted discussions with officials regarding political, economic and security issues—the delegation traveled to Kosovo, Israel, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Algeria and Spain to discuss bilateral relations between these countries and the U.S. and participated in classified briefings about U.S. military cooperation and regional security efforts.

“The message we received at each stop was that a strong relationship with our allies is important as Russian, Chinese and Iranian regional influence continue to grow at alarming rates. As we face evolving security challenges, it is critical that we reinforce our commitment to strong, capable partnerships. I remain dedicated to protecting and advancing our goals while working with our allies around the globe,” Boozman said.

While at the Munich Security Conference, the delegation met with Ashraf Ghani, President of Afghanistan; Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General; Mariusz Blaszcak, Polish Defense Minister; and Ursula von der Leyen, German Defense Minister with a delegation from the German Bundestag.

The post-Munich leg of the trip included a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu where discussions focused on the possible U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and Syria as well as the influence of Iran and Russia in the region. The delegation also visited the Iron Dome Missile Defense Site while in Israel. In Djibouti, the delegation got a firsthand look at China’s growing influence in Africa when it flew over the first Chinese military base outside of its territory. The members of Congress also met with political and security leadership in each nation as well as U.S. military leadership and service members, including Arkansans, stationed at U.S. military installations.  

“With tensions on the rise around the globe, it is important to ensure that our troops serving abroad have everything they need to complete their mission and return home safely. It is always extra special to see Arkansans who are deployed far from the Natural State, working hard to ensure that the U.S. and our allies are safe,” Boozman said.


COTTON, BOOZMAN INTRODUCE NATIONAL, MANDATORY E-VERIFY LEGISLATION
Washington D.C.
- Arkansas Senators Tom Cotton and John Boozman have reintroduced legislation that prevents illegal aliens from taking jobs meant for American workers and legal immigrants while ensuring employers have the tools they need to certify a legal workforce. The Accountability Through Electronic Verification Act would permanently authorize the E-Verify program, an internet–based system that assists employers in determining whether current or prospective employees are authorized to work in the United States. The bill requires employers to use E-Verify to determine eligibility of every employee.

The bill is co-sponsored by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia), Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Mississippi), Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), James Lankford (R-Oklahoma.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), David Perdue (R-Georgia) and Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi). Representative Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) is introducing companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

“Most illegal immigrants come here in search of jobs, where they ultimately compete against working Americans in the job market, bidding down wages. Because illegal aliens are willing to work under the table for little pay and few benefits, crooked employers have a strong incentive to hire them, regardless of the law. Permanent, nationwide E-Verify will help us build an economy that works for American citizens, while eliminating a serious incentive for illegal aliens to come here in violation of our laws.” Cotton said.

“E-Verify is a commonsense, cost-effective tool that provides employers with confidence during the hiring process while holding bad actors accountable when they try to cheat the system. It has a proven track record of success and should be permanently reauthorized and made mandatory for employers,” Boozman said.

 

Currently, employers voluntarily submit information from an employee’s Form I-9 to the Department of Homeland Security through the E-Verify system, which works in partnership with the Social Security Administration to determine worker eligibility.  There is no cost for employers to use E-Verify.  More than 750,000 businesses use the program today.

E-Verify was established in 1996 as a pilot program with employers in five states allowed to participate.  The pilot program was reauthorized in 2001, expanded to employers in every state in 2003 under Grassley-authored legislation and reauthorized several times since 2008. 

The Accountability Through Electronic Verification Act does the following:

  • Permanently reauthorizes the E-Verify program that was created in 1996. 
  • Makes the program mandatory for all employers within one year of enactment, requires federal contractors and agencies to use the program immediately, and directs “critical employers,” as identified by the Secretary of Homeland Security, to use the system within 30 days of designation. 
  • Increases penalties for employers who break the law by hiring illegal aliens.
  • Reduces the liability that employers face if they participate in E-Verify when it involves the wrongful termination of an individual. 
  • Allows employers to use E-Verify before a person is hired if consent is provided by the employee.
  • Requires employers to check the status of all current employees within 1 year. 
  • Requires employers to terminate the employment of those found unauthorized to work due to a check through E-Verify. 
  • Helps ensure that the Social Security Administration catches multiple uses of Social Security numbers by requiring them to develop algorithms to detect anomalies.
  • Establishes a demonstration project in a rural area or area without internet capabilities to assist small businesses in complying with the participation requirement. 
  • Amends the criminal code to make clear that defendants who possess or otherwise use identity information not their own without lawful authority and in the commission of another felony is still punishable for aggravated identity fraud, regardless of the defendant’s “knowledge” of the victim. 
  • Requires employers to re-verify an employee’s immigration status if the employment authorization is due to expire. 
  • Establishes an Employer Compliance Inspection Center (ECIC) within ICE to streamline program audits and review compliance with worker eligibility laws.

COTTON, BOOZMAN, WOMACK ASK EPA FOR FEDERAL ASSISTANCE FOR TRAFALGAR ROAD FIRE
WASHINGTON- U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton, along with Congressman Steve Womack (AR-03), are inquiring with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about the potential for federal assistance for extinguishing the Trafalgar Road fire in Bella Vista.

Boozman, Cotton and Womack sent a letter to EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler to obtain additional information on how the federal government can be of assistance as the state continues to address the issue.

“As we continue to learn more about the situation, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the state of Arkansas will require federal assistance to address the issue. We understand the law provides for a particular threshold of scientific data to trigger the EPA’s assistance on these types of environmental projects. It is the delegation’s intention to learn specifically what can be done at the federal level when the threshold is met so we can readily partner with the EPA to ensure funds and resources are swiftly dispatched to the state,” the letter reads.

Specifically, the letter asks the EPA to provide a precise threshold of scientific data that would trigger the EPA’s emergency response, provide any and all options from which the state may receive financial assistance and an air monitoring system that receives continuous information over an extended period of time for reliable and up-to-date data.

Boozman, Cotton and Womack thanked the EPA for the assistance provided so far and said they look forward to continuing a positive dialog with the agency on the issue.

“Arkansas’s congressional delegation along with the local and state officials acknowledge and appreciate this assistance as well as the technical assistance provided by the EPA Region 6 Office in Dallas, Texas. We look forward to continuing to work with EPA to help the state of Arkansas best address the Trafalgar Road fire,” they wrote. 

February 26, 2019

CAMDEN CITY COUNCIL HOLD WORKSHOP
The Camden City Council met for a workshop on Tuesday night at 6:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers at the Municipal Building,

The first item that was presented to the Council was a Presentation by Bryan Wyndam of Computer Troubleshooter’s regarding changes to Windows 7 next year. In January of 2020 Windows 7 will no longer have any support services leaving the city open to viruses and attacks.. There were some other issues regarding the City’s practices regarding the network and email servers. Wyndam gave the Council estimates on approximately how much it would cost the city to upgrade computers, put in a secure router, put a firewall in place and e-mail options. The Mayor wants to consider budgeting for upgrades. This issue will be discussed further in future meetings.

Next on the agenda was a discussion regarding giving the City Treasurer retirement. When the Office of City Clerk/ Treasurer was divided several years ago, retirement for the City Treasurer was not addressed. The City Clerk is an elected position which receives retirement after 10 years. The City Clerk is now an appointed position and there isn’t verbiage addressing retirement for that position. Job descriptions need to be updated for the separated offices. At the last City Council meeting there was an ordinance presented to the Council regarding the Treasurer dilemma. Past Clerk/Treasurers have received retirement benefits.  The Council seemed to be in agreement to change the Ordinance to go back to 2010 and Jim Green would be entitled to draw retirement benefits. Retirement pay would equal half of the Treasurer’s current salary. The Ordinance will be on the March agenda.

The last item on the Agenda addressed future funding of Ouachita Partnership for Economic Development (OPED) The discussion regarding OPED became quite heated in the February Council Meeting. Mayor Lott questioned James Lee Silliman about sending incentive money to Corporations in the Highland Industrial which is located in Calhoun County. The Mayor feels that incentive money from OPED should be spent in Ouachita County and should include retail incentives. At one time. There were incentive monies spent on retail ventures but there were many problems with that practice. OPED does give incentives monies to Corporations in Calhoun County to help create jobs in the area. OPED is asking the City for $50,000 for operations to come from the City Budget and $100,000.00 from the Economic Development tax money for incentives. The Mayor asked for a breakdown of what the $150,000 would be used for. Note that the Council had approved the Operations money in this year’s budget. Ouachita County has put a line item in their budget in the amount of $150,000 to help fund OPED. The Mayor contends that Camden needs to benefit from the work OPED does. He says there are many residents that can not work in the Industrial Park and there need to be jobs those people can work. Silliman stated that he and the OPED Board are currently working with a prospect to bring jobs to Camden proper.  During the heated debate the Mayor stated that he had asked OPED to bring him a plan and stated that they didn’t do that. Later in the meeting James Nixon said  “We were not informed to bring a plan, but we will present a plan now that we know” The Mayor questioned the purpose and the very existence of OPED. He reiterated that he wants Camden proper to benefit from the work at OPED. Mayor Lott does not feel that he is being taken seriously. He asked How OPED works and why is the City spending the money. Mayor Lott has been on the OPED Board for 4 years himself. As Mayor, Lott has a seat on the Executive Board however, there hasn’t been any activity to warrant an Executive Board meeting since the Mayor took office.  Alderman Aregood then spoke up. He stated that he is sympathetic to those who can’t work in the area but he asked the Mayor what he plans to do to make the city a more attractive place to live in order to aid OPED in being able to more successfully market Camden. The mayor turned it back to OPED and that they need to bring jobs that are non-defense jobs that those that are unemployable in East Camden. The mayor contends that if the jobs are here, the people will work. Aregood cited the high poverty rate and the number of units of public housing in Camden. It is believed the housing authority advertises all over the country to keep those units filled so many low-income people are being moved into the City. Aregood said that there is 20 to 23% government housing in the City of Camden. The national average is 5 to 7 percent. Aregood went on to say that people are leaving, and our tax base is dropping as a result. He stated that there are a whole lot of residents of Camden that pay no taxes. There was a short discussion but at this time the Mayor does not have a plan to address public housing. He did say he would visit with the Housing Authority people.

Mayor Lott was in the studio this morning sharng his thoughts on the matters at hand. Morning Mayhem with Doc Bryce is on KBEU-FM, 92.7 on your dial. We hope to have James Lee Silliman, Alderman Chris Aregood and possibility others in later this week to give their take on the meeting.

KIWANIS CLUB TO MEET
The Kiwanis Club will meet this Thursday  February 28 at 12:00 at  Catherine’s Bistro.   The program will be by Judy Brooks who will talk about  “An invitation to the White House.” Mrs. Brook’s went to Washington, D.C this past November to decorate the White House for Christmas.

COTTON STATEMENT ON THE BORN-ALIVE ABORTION SURVIVORS PROTECTION ACT VOTE
Washington, D.C.—
Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today released the following statement on the Senate vote on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act:

“In rare but horrific cases, babies survive attempts on their life by abortion providers. When this occurs, morality and humanity demand the baby be treated like any other patient fighting for his or her life. Tonight’s defeat of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act is a setback for a just cause, but the pro-life movement will keep fighting until every human being is recognized and protected under the law.”


RUTLEDGE DEMANDS FCC REQUIRE TELECOMMUNICATION COMPANIES STOP ROBOCALLS
Says, ‘I am determined to end these incessant robocalls’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today sent a letter to the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) demanding that the FCC take more aggressive measures to require all telecommunication companies (telecoms) to use existing technology to identify and stop illegal robocalls.

“The telecoms have the technology to identify phone numbers and block calls that are likely scams, and it is time they take responsibility for continuing to connect scam calls,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “These calls are frustrating and extremely costly for Arkansans. I am determined to end these incessant robocalls and protect Arkansans from these con artists.”

Telecom carriers have long claimed that FCC rules restricted them from blocking calls. But in November 2017, the FCC released the 2017 Call Blocking Order granting telecoms the authority to block certain numbers known to be illegitimate. Rutledge is urging the FCC to take further measures to grant telecoms more authority to block illegal robocalls. Rutledge is also pressing the FCC to reconsider its decision to not hold third-party caller ID services, e.g., spoofing services, legally responsible for verifying that users have ownership of the number being spoofed such as the number displayed from a pharmacy or doctor’s office call.

In October 2018, Rutledge joined a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general that called on the FCC to urge telephone services providers to protect consumers from illegal robocalls. Rutledge also sits on the executive committee of the Robocall Technology Working Group which consists of 37 state attorneys general who have taken on the task to find ways to stop the epidemic of illegal robocalls. The executive committee has also met with senior executives from leading telecoms to discuss efforts and obstacles to combatting illegal robocalls, and how the telecoms and the attorneys general can work together in this effort. The group is currently working with experts in the field to develop best practices for the telecom industry, which, if adopted, will enable telecoms to better identify and prevent illegal robocalls and aid law enforcement agencies in identifying and prosecuting the originator of these calls. The group is also supporting congressional actions to address these issues and are urging telecoms to make call-blocking available to consumers for free.

CITY OF CAMDEN POLICE REPORTS
OBSTRUCTING GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS

On February 22, 2019 at 8:10 a.m. hours Officer Ashley Watts made contact with Michael McKenzie at 2240 South Adams Ave. McKenzie stated his name was Michael Jackson. After getting no return on Michael Jackson the Officer asked him if he had a driver's license and he said no. After she verified the spelling of the name he advised his name was actually Michael McKenzie.

McKenzie had a valid warrant for his arrest and was taken in to custody and transported to the Camden Police Department without incident. A search of his person revealed McKenzie to have a valid driver's license in his wallet.

Booking procedures were completed and McKenzie was served two warrants for. He was issued a city court date for Failure to Appear and Obstructing Government Operations. and county court date for failure to appear.

McKenzie was transported to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office and later released.

PUBLIC INTOXICATION
DISORDERLY CONDUCT
OBSTRUCTION OF GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS

On February 22, 2019 at 12:52 a.m. Officer Nathan Lane stopped at the stop sign at the intersection of Ratcliff Street and Visor Avenue. While stopped he could hear two people yelling coming from the direction of Ratcliff Street and Scales A venue. The Officer proceeded through the intersection and could see two figures walking toward him on the roadway. A female on the left side of the road, and a male on the right side of the road walking in a swaying motion, zig-zagging down the road toward him.

The Officer exited his patrol unit. When getting out the male subject kept getting really close to Officer Lane and he was able to smell the odor of intoxicants on the subjects breath. The female subject kept talking in a loud voice and using profanity. When the male was asked what his name was, he said it was "Jimmy Davis." The Officer then asked "Jimmy" how much he had to drink to which he replied “a lot”. The Officer then asked the female for her name to which she stated was "Tamshea Renee."

Officer Manning then arrived on scene as back up. Both subjects names were ran through dispatch for warrants. Dispatch could not locate a "'Tamshea Renee" in ACIC and advised the Officer of this multiple times. "Renee" then started to yell at Ofc. Manning and continued to use profanity. Officer Lane then advised Officer Manning to place "Renee" in custody while he took "Jimmy" into custody.

“Jimmy” was advised that he was under arrest for Public Intoxication and "Renee" was advised that she was under arrest for Obstruction and Disorderly Conduct.

Office Lane transported "Jimmy" to the station, while Officer Manning transported "Renee" to the station. Both parties were transported without incident.

Upon arrival at the station Lt. Parker was asked to help identify the female subject. She was identified as Jessica Hampton. Booking approval was completed. Both subjects were then transported to the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office. Hampton is being held for unrelated charges and "Jimmy" was to be released pending sobriety.

While at the Sheriff’s Office, Officer Lane was looking through "Jimmy's" belongings and noticed his wallet had an identification card and Social Security Card belonging to Timmy Davis. When asked about this and “Jimmy” stated it was his twin brother's wallet. The jailers began to bring up pictures of Jimmy Davis and "Jimmy" did not look like the pictures. They then brought up pictures of Timmy Davis and the pictures did match. Timmy was then advised that he would also be charged with Obstruction as well.

BASEBALL, SOFTBALL SIGN-UPS UNDERWAY
Baseball Softball and T-Ball sign-ups are in progress through March 4th!!! Sign up at the Ouachita County Recreational Center, formerly the Boys and Girls Club. Boys 4 to 15 and girls 4 to 14 are eligible. March 4th is the deadline. $65-dollar fee per child. No registrations after March 4th. Ouachita County Recreational Center - 2708 Fairview Road - Sponsors, Umpires and Coaches are needed. Call 231-2611 or email camdenareansasyouth@gmail.com for information.

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES IN STEPHENS
The Stephens Chamber of Commerce Banquet will be held on March 2nd  at 6:00 p.m. at the Stephens Community Center located on Highway 79 across from the old Stephens Elementary School. Tickets are on sale now for $25.00. Dine in and carry-out is available.

Stephens 1st Annual Spring Festival is slated for April 27th. There will be a Miss Stephens pageant on April 20th.  The pageant will be held in Stephens Auditorium at 3:00 p.m. For more information on the Pageant call Amy at 870-299-1308 or Tameka at 870-904-4977

The Festival will see live entertainment, a 5K race, a pie eating contest as well as chicken and rib cookoffs. A 10 x 10 booth with electricity will cost $30.00 with electricity or $20.00 without electricity. A 10 x 20 with electricity will be $60.00 and without electricity will be $50.00.  

If you wish to have a booth or to sign up to perform or more information on the festival call Amy at 870-299-1308 or La at 870-947-2577.


DEPARTMENT OF ARKANSAS HERITAGE ANNOUNCES 2019 ARKANSAS FOOD HALL OF FAME WINNERS
LITTLE ROCK – Winners have been announced for the 2019 class of the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame, including food-themed events, restaurants, and proprietors from across the state.

The Arkansas Food Hall of Fame was launched by the Department of Arkansas Heritage in 2016 to recognize Arkansas’s iconic restaurants, proprietors and food-themed events. Nominations were accepted from the public in five categories: Food Hall of Fame, Proprietor of the Year, Food-Themed Event, Gone But Not Forgotten and People’s Choice.

The Arkansas Food Hall of Fame Committee chose the finalists in each category and the winners were announced at a reception and induction ceremony at Ron Robinson Theater in Little Rock on February 25.

Winners are as follows:

Arkansas Food Hall of Fame
The Craig Brothers Cafe of DeValls Bluff (Prairie County)
Burge’s Hickory Smoked Turkeys and Hams of Little Rock and Lewisville (Pulaski County and Lafayette County)
Keeney’s Food Market of Malvern (Hot Spring County)

Proprietor of the Year
Loretta Tacker of Marion (Crittenden County)


Food-Themed Events
Hope Watermelon Festival (Hempstead County)

Gone But Not Forgotten
Klappenbach Bakery of Fordyce (Dallas County)

People’s Choice
Honey Pies Gourmet Bakery and Cafe of Little Rock (Pulaski County)

Nearly 650 nominations were received for the third class of the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame.

“People are passionate about their food! We are so pleased to see the increasing response from the public in this conversation on Arkansas food and food culture,” said Stacy Hurst, director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage. “From classics to new flavors, Arkansas’s food landscape continues to develop and we are pleased to be telling that story.”

The 13-member selection committee includes Paul S. Austin, Swannee Bennett, Evette Brady, C.C. (Chip) Culpepper, Cindy Grisham, Stacy Hurst, Montine McNulty, Tim Morton, Rex Nelson, Tim Nutt, Dr. Wendy Richter, Kat Robinson and Christina Shutt.

About the Department of Arkansas Heritage
The mission of the Department of Arkansas Heritage is to identify Arkansas’s heritage and enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors by the discovery, preservation and presentation of the state’s natural, cultural and historic resources. This is accomplished through the work of its eight divisions: Arkansas Arts Council, Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, Arkansas State Archives, Delta Cultural Center, Historic Arkansas Museum, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center and Old State House Museum.

February 25, 2019

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB TO MEET
The Camden Noon Lion’s Club will meet on Wednesday at Catherine’s Bistro. The speaker this week will be Melissa Warren.  Melissa is a county extension agent for Calhoun County.  She will be speaking on the services the office offers.


BLANE HOWARD TO PERFORM IN CAMDEN THURSDAY NIGHT
Beginning with the third concert of the 2018-2019 Concert Season, the Ouachita County Community Concert Association is offering an annual
“Arkansas Roots Concert” featuring a performing artist born in or growing up in the Natural State. Arkansas has lots of native talent who call Arkansas their home. Performers such as Kris Allen of American Idol fame, Gretha Boston, Elton Britt, Jim Ed Brown, Ed Bruce, Sonny Burgess, Camden’s own Michael Burks, Glenn Campbell, Johnny Cash, Floyd Cramer and so many more.

The first Arkansas Roots performer will be the Blane Howard Band. Blane’s wife is a Camden native and he has found his way back many times to South Arkansas to delight audiences with his high energy. He describes his unique style of country as “modern-traditional,” mixing the authenticity of the 90’s with the contemporary edge of today! A country music artist and songwriter, he now makes his home in Nashville.

Blane will perform this Thursday night, February 28th, at the Camden Fairview Little Theatre. The show will begin at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are still available for $15.00 and can be purchased at the door. Call 807-1915 for advance tickets. Remember, One adult admission entitles ticket holder to bring as many students as they would like for free.

CHANGES ARE COMING TO THE OUACHITA COUNTY RELAY FOR LIFE
2019 Ouachita County Relay for Life Banquet
"Cruizing for a Cure"
May 31, 2019 5:00pm-9:00pm
Held in the Student Center of SAU Tech - East Camden, AR.
Registration at 5:00pm * Serving L,ine at 6:00pm


The Ouachita County Relay for Life is making changes in the venue for the 2019 relay. Arkansas summers are so hot that many survivors are not able to attend the relay, so the Relay is leaving the hot, dusty, humid, many times rainy weather of Coleman Stadium for the inside, air-conditioned Student Center of SAU Tech to make the event more comfortable for the survivors as well as everyone else who attends.

The inside of the building walls will be lined with luminaria bags selling for $5 each with the name of the person provided. The luminarias may be purchased in advance from any team member or at the door from 5 :00 to 7 :00 p.m. These bags may be purchased for family or friends who have cancer as well as any animal. At approximately 8:00 p.m., lights in the luminarias will be turned on; the overhead lights turned off, and every name for whom a luminaria was purchased will be read aloud. This is to honor the survivors, remember those that lost the battle and promise ourselves to fight back until there is a cure for the horrible disease.

Teams will be doing fundraisers, so please help them to reach their individual goals. Each team is responsible for decorating the table for their team, and clean when the banquet is over. The theme for 2019 is "Cruizing for a Cure". Be prepared to see cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats, ships and any mode of transportation.

There will be food served by Woods Place. Each survivor and 1 caretaker will receive the meal free, all others will purchase a ticket for $20 to help cover the cost of food.

The night will include food, music, awards, silent auction items and a great fun filled night for all who attend. And also help Ouachita County reach this year’s goal of $100,000.

If you would like to help Relay for Life or just need information, please call 870- 807-0020.


BOOZMAN RECOGNIZES FORT SMITH RETIRED AIR FORCE COMMANDER
WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) recognized Lt. Col. (retired) Robert M. Horn, a Vietnam War veteran who dedicated a career to serving his country, in ‘Salute to Veterans,’ a series commemorating the military service of Arkansans.

Horn was destined to serve in the military.
He grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the home of the
U.S. Air Force Academy. He learned firsthand about military service from his father who served in the Army Air Corps in WWII. His uncle was a member of the Air Force and was in his first year as an ROTC instructor at the University of Colorado (CU) when he encouraged Horn to participate in his program. “He got ahold of me and said ‘why don’t you give ROTC a try. If you don’t like it you’re no worse for wear.’ I did. I never came up with a good reason for getting out of ROTC,” Horn said. “The desirability of getting a commission grew stronger as I was aware that the draft was getting closer to me all the time.”

In 1970 the military was ridiculed by some of the CU student body; wearing a uniform on campus was at times dangerous for Horn who was then Vice Commander of the ROTC wing. “I had my office blown up,” he said. 

Horn was stationed at Cam Ranh Air Base as an auditor. His primary mission was to monitor the transition of supplies and equipment to the Army of Vietnam and the Vietnamese Air Force during the closure of American bases. His position required extensive travel which likely exposed him to Agent Orange and resulted in health challenges he lives with today.

He made an unwished-for trip back home in the fall of 1970 to accompany the body of his brother-in-law, Captain Halton Ramsey Vincent, a fighter pilot shot down over Laos. “I questioned a lot of things at that point, but nevertheless a few days later I had to get on an airplane to go back to Vietnam,” Horn said.

Later, Horn was assigned to four years in Panama ahead of the U.S. invasion. “What was an idyllic assignment for three years, for the last year I had to have my family ready for evacuation,” Horn said. He saw an increase in the harassment of Americans and on occasion his children were in dangerous situations. Despite the challenges, Horn said his time there was meaningful because of his involvement with operations and groundwork for the invasion of Panama. “I kind of have a vicarious feeling like I did something with that successful outcome. They took out Noriega and Panama is back to having democratic processes today.”

Horn’s final assignment was in Hawaii, but he soon realized he needed to focus on finding a career outside of the military. His time in uniform helped him land his second career in Fort Smith as the Vice President of Finance and Administration for Westark Community College, which today is the University of Arkansas Fort Smith.

“The president was a retired Army officer who was sympathetic to that military experience being transferrable to higher ed,” Horn said. “I’ve had a wonderful second career, in large part because the military trained me up in ways and means that were extremely beneficial in the role that I found in higher education.”

“Lt. Col. Robert Horn honorably served our country in uniform for more than two decades. He is a great example of leveraging skills learned and honed in the military for life after public service. I am grateful for his leadership in the military and in Fort Smith. Preserving his memories for the Veterans History Project is a great way to show our appreciation for his outstanding service to our country,” Boozman said.

Boozman will submit Horn’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. 

February 22, 2019

COTTON STATEMENT ON THERMO FISHER'S DECISION TO STOP SELLING GENETIC SEQUENCERS IN CHINA'S XINJIANG PROVINCE
Washington, D.C.- Yesterday, Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) released the following statement on Thermo Fisher Scientific's announcement that it will no longer sell or service genetic-sequencing devices in China's Xinjiang Province:

"Thermo Fisher Scientific has finally done the right thing by halting sales of genetic-sequencing technology in China's Xinjiang Province. China is committing human-rights abuses on an industrial scale in Xinjiang. American companies must not be complicit in these crimes."

"We must stop our own companies from helping China build this new Evil Empire. Companies like Thermo Fisher Scientific, which sells the DNA sequencers China uses to build genetic dossiers on its ethnic minorities. This is the twenty-first century rope that capitalists will sell to hang themselves. And it ought to be a lesson to companies like Google, which is performing cutting-edge AI research in China and contemplating even greater investment in that country."

BOOZMAN DETAILS ARKANSAS PRIORITIES IN RECENT FUNDING BILL
WASHINGTON-
Provisions in a new law passed with the support of U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) stand to deliver numerous benefits for Arkansas for the remainder of the government’s Fiscal Year 2019. The bill funds federal agencies, including the Departments of Homeland Security, Transportation, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, State, Treasury and Justice and contains measures advancing many of the Natural State’s priorities and interests.

“This bill provides crucial funding for federal agencies –– many of which directly impact Arkansas’s economy and help meet vital needs in our state –– while avoiding a government shutdown. I fought to advance these priorities in addition to securing additional funding for border security and, while it doesn’t fund the president’s request in its entirety, it does increase resources for improved safeguards at our southern border. I’m proud to have helped deliver a funding package that contains a variety of measures critical for our state and will continue to advocate for increased funding for our border security in addition to supporting programs Arkansans rely on,” Boozman said.

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Boozman again demonstrated his commitment to Arkansas by supporting legislation that funds programs, initiatives and grants that are crucial to the state.

The following departments and agencies with direct, Arkansas-specific relevance were funded as a result of passage of this measure:

Department of Agriculture, including Rural Development programs, the Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies:

  • National Center for Toxicological Research: The bill includes $66.7 million for this facility located in Jefferson, Arkansas near Pine Bluff. This funding will support the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) research to promote and protect public health.
  • Agriculture Research: The bill includes $3 billion to support research conducted by land grant and non-land grant universities through the Agricultural Research Service. This funding will support agricultural research at the University of Arkansas and Arkansas State University that ranges in scope from innovative crop production practices to the protection of clean source water.
  • Rural Development: Included in the bill is significant funding for programs that help rural areas by supporting business development and job training opportunities. The Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Access (ATTRA) is a program that connects Arkansas agricultural producers to information that helps them improve their operations. This bill funds the program at $2.8 million. ATTRA administers the Armed to Farm program that assists veterans in transition to civilian life by training them for a career in farming. ATTRA has a regional headquarters located in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Departments of Commerce and Justice, as well as science-related programs and agencies:

  • Drug Courts and Veterans Treatment Courts: The bill supports the critical components of our judicial system that offer an alternative treatment to jail for individuals suffering from drug and alcohol addiction. Drug courts received $77 million and veterans treatment courts received $22 million to help break the cycle of addiction. Arkansas launched its first drug court in 1994 and participation in these rehabilitation practices continues to increase.
  • Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS): At Boozman’s request, the bill includes language related to the equitable use of grant funding for rural areas and asks the Department of Justice to consider the unique needs of rural communities when making grant awards. Arkansas law enforcement agencies have used this grant to hire additional personnel. 

Department of the Treasury, including Financial Services and General Government funding:

  • High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program (HIDTA): The bill includes $280 million to support effective and innovative drug control efforts by federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies operating in HIDTA areas. In Arkansas this includes Benton, Jefferson, Pulaski and Washington counties.
  • Drug Free Communities Program: The bill provides $100 million for community-based coalitions organized to prevent youth substance use.

Department of Homeland Security:

  • Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) and Staffing for Adequate Fire/Emergency Response (SAFER) Grants: The bill provides $350 million for Assistance to Firefighter Grants and $350 million for SAFER Grants which provide funding to local fire departments to hire firefighters, support the training needs of personnel and purchase essential equipment. Arkansas fire departments have received hundreds of thousands in funds to procure critical tools and equipment.
  • Emergency Management Performance Grants: The bill provides $350 million in funding that can be allocated to local emergency management services to support emergency preparedness.

Department of the Interior, EPA and Related Agencies:

  • Flatside Wilderness Study: The bill includes report language related to studying land adjacent to the Flatside Wilderness Area for inclusion within the Flatside Wilderness Area.
  • Land and Water Conservation Fund: The bill includes funds to support conservation projects in Arkansas including the Buffalo National River and the Cache River.
  • Water Infrastructure: The bill provides $2.9 billion to finance infrastructure improvements to public wastewater and drinking water systems.
  • Protecting and Restoring Quality Wetlands – The bill funds the North American Wetlands Conservation Act at $42 million. These grants are important to conserving our nation’s fish and wildlife resources and have led to the conservation of more than 77,000 acres of wildlife habitat in Arkansas. 
  • US Forest Service: The bill provides increased funding for fire assistance to protect the more than 19 million acres of forests in Arkansas. It provides $77 million for the Forest Inventory and Analysis which is used to assess forest health and the spread of non-native insects and diseases, make economic planning decisions, monitor wildlife habitat, gauge wildfire risk and assess rates of land use change. Forest Inventory Analysis data allows foresters, landowners and policy makers to effectively monitor forest trends and make informed management decisions. The bill also funds the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program which supports two ongoing projects in Arkansas: The Ozarks-Highlands Ecosystem Restoration Project in the Ozark National Forest and the Shortleaf-Bluestem Community project in the Ouachita National Forest.

Departments of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development:

  • Contract Tower Program: The bill funds this program, which provides enhanced safety, improved air traffic control services and significant FAA cost savings, at $168 million. There are five contract towers in Arkansas: Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville and Texarkana.
  • Community Planning and Development– The bill provides $3.3 billion for the Community Development Block Grant program, the federal government's largest and most widely available source of financial assistance supporting state and local government-directed neighborhood revitalization, housing rehabilitation and economic development activities. Grants are used to implement plans intended to address housing, community development and economic development needs, as determined by local officials.

 

February 21, 2019

CAMDEN FAIRVIEW BOARD OF EDUCATION SPECIAL MEETING
The Camden Fairview Board of Education will meet in Special Session on Tuesday 26th at 6:30 p.m. at Garrison Auditorium. The agenda includes student hearings and a personnel session.

THE SYMETRA TOUR’S MURPHY USA EL DORADO SHOOTOUT PRESENTED BY PEPSICO ANNOUNCES APRIL TOURNAMENT DATES
Murphy USA and the Symetra Tour announce 2019 El Dorado Shootout dates to be at the end of April
EL DORADO, AR, February 4, 2019 – Murphy USA is excited to announce the 2019 Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout dates. For the first time, the El Dorado Shootout will be held in the Spring.  El Dorado has hosted the Symetra Tour in the Fall for four years. This will be the first time the Symetra Tour will be able to experience all South Arkansas has to offer in the Springtime.  Since hosting the first El Dorado Shootout Tournament in 2015, this event has become a favorite among both the female athletes on the Tour and those living in the South Arkansas community.

The 2019 Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout presented by PepsiCo will be held April 26th through 28th at Mystic Creek Golf Club in El Dorado. Numerous activities will occur throughout the week leading into the Tournament, including a Junior Clinic for children ages six to eighteen and Pro-Am scrambles that pair Symetra Tour professionals with various local and national sponsors.

This April will mark the fifth year that Murphy USA and the El Dorado community will host the 54-hole stroke-play format event, which has been recognized for two consecutive years as the Sporting Event of the Year by the Arkansas Festivals & Events Association. Each year, the El Dorado Shootout welcomes a player field comprised of the top aspiring female professional golfers from around the world. Competitors will vie for a $150,000 total purse, in which the winner will earn $22,500 and take a significant step toward obtaining her LPGA Tour Card for the 2020 season. The top 10 players on the year-end Volvik Race for the Card money list receive their full-time LPGA Tour Cards for the following season. Symetra Tour players have gone on to win 428 LPGA Tour events, including 46 major championships.

Not only does hosting this high-profile professional Tournament provide El Dorado with a valuable platform to showcase its incredible downtown, restaurants, hotels and entertainment venues; it is also an important way for these young women to pursue their dreams of professional golf success. This event also provides the opportunity to give back to the community, as each year one El Dorado charity is chosen to benefit from the Tournament.

The reason for the change in Tournament timing is exciting as it is to accommodate construction of a new clubhouse at Mystic Creek. By moving the El Dorado Shootout to April of 2019 and back to the Fall in 2020, Mystic Creek will have the 18 months needed to complete construction of a new clubhouse prior to the 2020 tournament. The world-class golf course looks forward to the benefits that the beautiful new club house will bring.

Mystic Creek Golf Club was designed by acclaimed golf architect Ken Dye. The par-72 course with its Champion Bermuda greens and Celebration Bermuda fairways is considered challenging. Many of the Symetra Tour athletes describe Mystic as the best course they play all year and respect its level of difficulty.

For more information about the Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout visit the Tournament’s website at www.eldoradoshootout.com.

About the Symetra Tour
The Symetra Tour is the official qualifying tour of the LPGA Tour and enters its 39th competitive season in 2019. With the support of its umbrella partner Symetra, the Tour’s mission is to prepare the world’s best young women professional golfers for a successful career on the LPGA Tour. Since Symetra’s inaugural sponsorship year in 2012, the Symetra Tour has grown from 16 tournaments and $1.7M in prize money to $3M in prize money awarded over the course of 21 tournaments. With more than 600 alumnae moving on to the LPGA, former Symetra Tour players have won a total of 433 LPGA titles. Follow the Symetra Tour on the web at www.SymetraTour.com, Facebook.com/RoadtotheLPGA, Twitter.com/Road2LPGA, and YouTube.com/Road2LPGA.

About Murphy USA
Murphy USA (NYSE:MUSA) is a leading retailer of gasoline and convenience merchandise with more than 1,470 stations located primarily in the Southwest, Southeast and Midwest United States. The company and its team of nearly 10,000 employees serve an estimated 1.6 million customers each day through its network of retail gasoline stations in 26 states. The majority of Murphy USA's sites are located in close proximity to Walmart stores. The company also markets gasoline and other products at standalone stores under the Murphy Express brand.  Murphy USA ranks 279 among Fortune 500 companies.

 

February 20, 2019

SOUTH ARKANSAS KENNEL CLUB DOG SHOW
Camden is going to the dogs one last time. The South Arkansas Kennel Club Dog Shows and Obedience Trials will host their final show on Saturday and Sunday February 23rd and 24th at the old General Dynamics Building. If you have always intended to go and never have, be sure to come out this weekend.

The S.A.K.C. (South Arkansas Kennel Club) of Camden, Arkansas, co-founded by Darlene Wheelington, Darla Stivers, Betty Rigby, D.V.M., and Robin Vaughan in 1989 has brought many purebred dog shows to South Arkansas. Because dog shows are the second oldest sport in America next to horse racing, there was an obvious need for a club in South Arkansas.

The SAKC began hosting annual dog shows in Camden every February. Since the first SAKC dog show in 2000, thousands of visitors have come to Camden and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars here. Wheelington repeatedly has proven to the people of Camden that we have a great deal to offer. As a result of her efforts, dog show people all over the world write “Go to Camden, Arkansas” on their calendars every February.

Wheelington uses her love for dogs to promote her home–Camden. This will be the 20th and final show in Camden.  These events bring an estimated 5,000 people to Camden each year, thus strengthening the economy of this small town.

The Radio Works family would like to thank Darlene Wheelington and the South Arkansas Kennel Club for the years they have spent their time, money and energy to bring a class Dog Show to Camden. We will miss having this event each year. It is a loss for the entire community.

Remember, No un-entered dogs are allowed.  Admission is $5.00 for adults - $1 dollar for Seniors and kids 6 to 12, Children under 6 get in free. Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy this weekend as Camden goes to the dogs. 


SAAC BOX OFFICE OPEN FOR “YOURE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN”
The South Arkansas Arts Center’s box office is now open for tickets for the spring musical, “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown“.  Dates for the show are March 1-3 and 7-10, with the curtain going up at 7:00 pm on Thursday evenings and 2:00pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Ticket prices are $25 for general admission, $15 for SAAC members, and $5 for students.

SAAC invites the audience onstage to meet your favorite character after the Saturday show. Have your camera ready to take photos and talk with the cast to get some fun behind the scenes info about why they loved being in this show. “Whether you’re musical like Schroeder, adorable like Snoopy, lovely like Lucy, or just a BLOCKHEAD, we wanna meet you on stage - sort of!” says Lucy, aka Felice Scott.

For fans of the Charles Schulz’s classic Peanuts cartoons and comics, SAAC’s production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” is sure to bring a wave of childlike glee. The show is energetic, colorful, and full of laughs for the whole family.

The beloved comic strip comes to life in Clark Gesner’s classic musical.  The whole gang is here: bossy Lucy is hopelessly in love with piano prodigy Schroeder, who doesn’t give her the time of day. Perfectionist Sally is still mocking blanket-toting Linus, Snoopy is in the doghouse, and “blockhead,” himself, Charlie Brown, is in rare form.

Charlsie Falcon, music director for the show said, “This is going to be so much fun for the whole family!  The music ranges from gospel tunes with backup choirs for some characters to classical Beethoven from Schroeder… and everything else in between.”

For more information about "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown", sponsored by Southern Bancorp and Teague Auto Group, 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

 PORT AUTHORITY TO MEET
The City of Camden Port Authority Commission Will meet Tuesday, February 26, 2019 at 1:30 p.m. at City Hall, located at 206 Van Buren NE

OLD WASHINGTON STATE PARK PRESENTS SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK
“The Winter’s Tale” and “The Comedy of Errors”
March 1-2, 2019
1940 WPA Gym: 7:30 pm –10 pm

Enjoy two evening performances by the American Shakespeare Center 2018/19 Hand of Time Tour of Williams Shakespeare’s “The Winter’s Tale” and “The Comedy of Errors” at Historic Washington State Park. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. with a pre-show performance at 7 p.m. in the 1940 WPA Gym. Doors open at 7 p.m. On Friday, March 1, The Winter’s Tale will be performed. On Saturday, March 2, The Comedy of Errors will be performed. 

Four afternoon workshops on Saturday, March 2, led by the American Shakespeare Troupe, will be provided covering topics of how to perform Shakespeare on the modern stage. They are: Staging Shakespeare @ 11 a.m.; Staging the “Bear” Scene in Shakespeare @ 1 p.m.; Music and Shakespeare @ 2:30 p.m.; and How to Stage “Twins” in Shakespeare @ 4 p.m. Workshop admission is $5 per person for ages 14 and older. 

The American Shakespeare Center brings a unique performance style, blending Shakespeare’s stage craft with modern sensibility. The company uses Shakespeare’s staging conditions including universal lighting, minimal sets, doubling, cross-gender casting, and music. In Shakespeare’s day, the company couldn’t turn the lights out on the audience; actors and audience shared the same light. Leaving the lights on allows for a type of audience contact rarely seen in modern day theatre. Audience members share directly in the action onstage as they become part of the play in The Winter’s Tale, and The Comedy of Errors.

Since 1988, the American Shakespeare Center has toured the country with shows incorporating Shakespeare’s staging conditions. Based out of Staunton, VA, the company.

GOVERNOR HUTCHINSON SIGNS 5.9 TAX BILL, LOWERS TOP MARGINAL RATE TO COMPETITIVE LEVEL
LITTLE ROCK
 – The 5.9 Tax-Cut Plan that Governor Asa Hutchinson signed into law today is good for the state’s economic development and an assist to individual taxpayers, the Governor said after the bill-signing ceremony in the Governor’s Conference Room.

“The lowered tax rate puts us in the same bracket with most of our neighboring states, which strengthens our sales pitch to CEOs who are considering expanding into other states,” Governor Hutchinson said. “As we attract more business, we will create more jobs, and higher-paying jobs, which will lead to higher salaries and an improved quality of life for all Arkansans.

“Combined with my administration’s first two income-tax cuts, the largest in state history, this reduction enhances Arkansas’s reputation as one of the most business-friendly states in the region.

“I am grateful for the support and diligence of Senator Jonathan Dismang, Senate President Jim Hendren, House Speaker Matthew Shepherd, and Representative Joe Jett, who won strong bipartisan support for this bill.”

SB 211 was the third phase of Governor Hutchinson’s three-part plan to reform Arkansas’s tax code. In 2015 and in 2017, he signed into law the two biggest tax cuts in the state’s history. With the passage of Senate Bill 211 today, 100 percent of Arkansas income-taxpayers will benefit from nearly $250 million in reduced income taxes.

BRING IN THE SPRING AT THE 26TH ANNUAL CAMDEN DAFFODIL FESTIVAL
March 8th and 9th, Friday and Saturday, 2019
Camden Arkansas- Join Camden as we Celebrate Spring at one of South Arkansas' largest and most beautiful events, the 26th Annual Camden Daffodil Festival, March 8th & 9th in Beautiful Downtown Camden.

Join thousands from all around the region at this unforgettable weekend for the entire family at the 2019 Daffodil Festival! Tour the amazing Daffodil Gardens, with millions of blossoms! Enjoy the rich History of South Arkansas with guided tours through Camden's famous museums, antebellum homes, and historical sites complete with costumed re-enactments, or shop ‘till your heart's content along the sidewalks of downtown Camden where you will find a myriad of food, collectables, and crafts.

Stay for the entire weekend complete with the annual 5k run, Arts and Crafts show & sale, and Live Music acts and stage events. Bring the entire family for the downtown booths, children’s activities and Antique Car Show. Shop for one-of-a kind gifts along the sidewalk vendors with food, crafts, and other festival favorites and enjoy some of the best food in South Arkansas at our famous Steak Cook-off!

Start by visiting the beautiful Garden Tours open where you will find amazing Daffodil Gardens. Be taken back in time with guided, costumed tours through the historic Oakland Cemetery. Also tour the Historic Homes. After touring the sites, visit downtown for a variety of events the whole family is sure to love where you will find a day full of activities Friday and Saturday.  Don’t miss the region’s favorite Championship Steak Cook-off on Saturday with the World’s Finest char-grilled Black Angus Rib Eyes complete with music and iive entertainment throughout the festival. If you enjoy food, fun, beauty and history then this is the place for you. It’s all at the 26th Annual Camden Daffodil Festival, March 8th & 9th, 9am to 6pm Friday & 9am to 5pm on Saturday in Beautiful Downtown Camden. (205 W. Washington, Camden AR. 71701)

For more information or questions please contact the Daffodil Festival at: Chairman@camdendaffodilfestival.com or call 870-836-9243.

For more information, tour and steak cook-off ticket locations, prices, and PRESS, visit at www.camdendaffodilfestival.com

The festival is free and open to the public with tickets available for purchase to specific events and tours.

Visit the Downtown booth to purchase tour tickets and Steak Cook-Off tickets at the festival.

KIWANIS CLUB TO MEET
The Kiwanis Club will meet Thursday, February 21st at Noon at Catherine’s Bistro.  The program will be presented by Anna Warriner. She will tell the Kiwanians about the South Central Service Co-Op

GRIFFIN APPLAUDS GOVERNOR ASAS HUTCHINSON’S INNOVATION COUNCIL
Says, Council includes 'top innovation leaders' who will 'develop pro-growth policies' for Arkansas to 'grow jobs and compete globally'
LITTLE ROCK – Lt. Governor Tim Griffin today issued the following statement praising the Arkansas Innovation Council:

“I applaud Governor Asa Hutchinson for his efforts to make Arkansas a leader in technology and innovation by creating the Arkansas Innovation Council. Arkansas already leads the way in computer coding education and is prioritizing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education. The council includes some of Arkansas’s top innovation leaders who will work to develop pro-growth policies so we can grow jobs and compete globally.”

About Arkansas Innovation Council
Governor Asa Hutchinson appointed key leaders from Arkansas businesses, research universities, philanthropic organizations, and state agencies to form the Arkansas Innovation Council. The founding members of the Arkansas Innovation Council are:

Dr. Donald R. Bobbitt, President, University of Arkansas System

Albert Braunfisch, Chairman, MSpark

Amy Callahan, Cofounder, Collective Bias

Ross DeVol, Walton Fellow, Walton Family Foundation

William T. Dillard, III, Executive Vice President, Dillard’s Inc.

George Dunklin, Jr., Dunklin Farms

Richard Howe, CEO, Inuvo

Doug McMillon, President and Chief Executive Officer, Walmart Inc.

Judy McReynolds, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, ArcBest Corporation

Jeffery W. Nolan, President and Chief Executive Officer, Loutre Land and Timber Company

Dr. Cam Patterson, Chancellor, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Mike Preston, Executive Director, Arkansas Economic Development Commission

John Rutledge, President, First Security Bank, Little Rock

Cheryl Schluterman, Interim President, Arkansas Development Finance Authority

Josh Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Metova, Inc.

Warren Stephens, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Stephens, Inc.

Dr. Chuck Welch, President, Arkansas State University System

Troy Wells, President and CEO, Baptist Health

Noel White, President and CEO, Tyson Foods Inc.

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.

CONINE NAMED INTERIM PRESIDENT/CEO OF ARKANSAS ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES
Little Rock, Ark.
— Feb. 19, 2019 — Bill Conine has been named as the interim president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation and Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. He replaces Duane Highley, who recently accepted the position of CEO of Tri-State Generation and Transmission Cooperative in Westminster, Colo.

Conine currently serves as the CEO of Petit Jean Electric Cooperative of Clinton.

The boards of directors of Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC) and Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI) have launched a nationwide search for the next president and chief executive officer.

The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas comprise 17 electric distribution cooperatives; Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI), a Little Rock-based cooperative that provides services to the distribution cooperatives; and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. (AECC), a generation and transmission cooperative. The distribution cooperatives provide electricity to approximately 500,000 homes, farms and businesses in Arkansas and surrounding states.

FEBRUARY 19, 2019

CITY OF CAMDEN POLICE REPORTS
DWI 1ST OFFENSE

DRINKING ON THE HIGHWAY
FAILURE TO YIELD AT A STOP SIGN
LEFT TO CENTER
On February 14, 2019 at about 9:30 p.m. hours, Officer Kayla Reynolds was on routine patrol traveling west on Washington Street approaching Harrison Street when she observed a red 1994 Mercury Cougar approaching the intersection on Harrison Street. The Officer noticed I the Mercury to not make a complete stop at the stop sign on Harrison at Washington Street. She saw the Mercury roll through the intersection making a very wide right tum on to Washington Street.

Officer Reynolds then observed the Mercury drift to the middle of the road going left to center then back into its lane traveling westbound on Washington Street. She followed the vehicle to further observe its driving manner. She observed the Mercury make a left tum on to California. As the Mercury made the turn the Officer observed the vehicle to go left to center once more then back on to its side of the road. Traveling southbound on California she watched as the vehicle cross the line at the area of California Avenue at Center Street.

At this point Officer Reynolds believed the driver of the vehicle to be distracted or impaired.

She waited until she could find a safe location initiate a traffic stop. The traffic stop was initiated at Soapy Suds on Lincoln Drive, but the driver did not stop until they reached Lincoln Drive in the Murphy's Parking lot.

Officer Reynolds met with driver Larry Harris and passenger Synicia Madison. Harris had slurred speech and blood shot watery eyes. The Officer identified herself, her department and the reason for the stop. She stated there were two containers of 25 ounce Natural Ice beer in the center console. Harris was asked how much alcohol he had consumed. Harris stated he had a few beers and stated both beers in the console were his. The Officer could smell the odor of intoxicants on Harris's breath.

Harris was asked for his ID and proof of insurance. He struggled to find his ID even though the Officer could clearly see the ID to be in the front fold of his wallet. Harris looked at the ID then fumbled through his wallet. Harris would try to speak to Officer Reynolds incoherently stating “we did not have to do this.” Harris was again advised that the Officer needed his ID. Harris once again stared at his wallet with the ID clearly visible and fumbled through it again. The Officer had to request Harris's ID multiple times until he finally gave it to her. She once again had to request his proof of insurance. Once provided with both it was clear Harris's mannerisms were impaired.

Harris was instructed to exit the vehicle. Harris complied but struggled to get out of the vehicle and appeared unsteady on his feet when he exited. Office Reynolds requested Harris perform field sobriety tests. Harris mumbled as he spoke saying he could not take the test because he had pins in his legs.  Harris was asked again if he was sure he was unable to take the test. Harris began mumbling and stuttering incoherently saying something which couldn’t be understood. The Officer asked Harris once more if he was sure and he stated there was no reason to give him the tests, the the Officer could just charge him with drinking on the highway.

Due to the open containers in the vehicle, Harris's mannerisms, and ,Harris admitting he had a "few beers" Officer  Reynolds believed Harris was too impaired to be driving. Harris was taken into custody for DWI.

While conducting an inventory search of the vehicle the Officer noticed that both beer cans were cold to the touch. One beer can was approximately 1/3 full of alcohol and the other was approximately half full of alcohol.

Harris's vehicle was towed by Kelly's Wrecker to their storage facility.

Harris was transported to the Camden Police Department by Sgt. Finney. At the Camden Police Department, Officer Reynolds asked Harris once more if he would be willing to take field sobriety. Harris stated he could not because of the pins in his legs. I asked if he could take the horizontal gaze nystagmus test while sitting down. Harris stated he could but he failed the test.

Harris was read his Arkansas Statement of Rights. Harris was then asked if he would comply to take the BAC test. Harris muttered incoherently about how he did not think it would make a difference. The Officer had to ask him multiple times. Harris kept asking what taking the BAC test would change. He told Harris it was his choice to do so. Harris eventually decided to take the BAC. Harris was able to give a sufficient sample on BAC which resulted with a reading of .180.

Booking procedures were completed for Harris. Harris was issued citations for DWI, driving left to center and drinking on the highway Harris was given a warning for failure to yield at a stop sign.

Harris was transported to the Ouachita County Detention Center for a sobriety hold. Harris was released to a family member at a later time.

POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE (MISDEMEANOR)
On February 18, 2019 at just before 10 p.m., Officer Erin Manning made contact with subject Brandon Byrd in reference to a traffic stop she had been conducting on Country Club Rd near Brookshire's. She had been conducting a traffic stop on subject Bryshelle Henderson, and Byrd arrived to the scene after being asked by Henderson to give her a ride home.

When Byrd arrived at the scene, Officer Manning asked for his identification in order to confirm that he had a valid driver's license. While speaking with Byrd, the Officer detected a strong odor of marijuana coming from him. Byrd was asked if he knew why there would be an odor of marijuana coming from his person. Byrd then stated he'd been around people at his job who were smoking marijuana, but he himself did not have any on his person. Byrd was asked if the Officer had permission to search him in order to verify that no marijuana was on his person. Byrd then gave consent.

During the search, the Officer discovered that Byrd had a small, firm object in the lower front pocket of his right pants leg. After retrieving the object, she discovered it to be two firm clumps of a green leafy substance consistent with marijuana packaged in a piece of plastic which had been balled up inside of torn off piece of brown paper. Officer Manning observed the substance to have a strong odor of what appeared to be marijuana. After seeing the Officer remove the package from his pocket, Byrd stated "I'm sorry Officer, I forgot I had that on me."

Byrd was then transported to the station and booked for possession of a controlled substance. While at the station, I observed the substance to weigh around l gram. After being booked in, Byrd was released with a citation and court date.

 STRONG WOMAN KILLED IN CAR CRASH
Arkansas State Police have released a preliminary report regarding a two-vehicle accident that occurred yesterday at 7:10 p.m. The accident occurred on Highway 82 West in Lake Village. Lanor Lowery Poole, aged 81, of Strong was killed in the crash. Rickey Dee Rhodes, 59, of Greenville, Mississippi and Cora Parks, 75 of Strong were injured. Rhodes was driving a 1992 Peterbilt and Parks was driving a 2014 Hyundai. Both vehicles were westbound on Highway 82. Parks attempted to pass Rhodes and struck the left rear trailer tires causing an impact to the front end of the Hyundai. Poole was pronounced deceased at the scene by Chicot County Coroner Skyler King. The weather was clear and the road was dry at the time of the accident.

 GOVERNOR HUTCHINSON SIGNS HB1145 TO RAISE MINIMUM TEACHER SALARY TO HIGHEST AMONG SURROUNDING STATES
LITTLE ROCK – With educators, teachers in training, and the commissioner of education looking on, Governor Asa Hutchinson signed into law HB1145, the bill that raises minimum teacher pay by $4,000 over the next four years.

“This is an important day for Arkansas teachers, who will start their career at a salary that better reflects the importance of the job and our respect for their role in the lives of our children,” Governor Hutchinson said. “It’s also an important day for our state as we signal yet again that Arkansas is a great place to live, to work, and to teach school. This will allow us to retain our homegrown teachers and attract talented teachers from other states.”

Five of the eight the teachers who joined the governor for the bill signing were Arkansas Teachers of the Year. Two were members of the Teacher Leader Advisory Group who met with Governor Hutchinson last year as he formulated the details of the bill. Two of those teachers are from a district that will benefit immediately.

You can watch the bill signing in its entirety HERE and view photos HERE. Media outlets are welcome to use photos and video. Please attribute credit to the Governor's Office.

DEFINING AND PRACTICING THE PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN BEGINS MARCH 13
Building on her previous elements of art class, Kelly Campbell will teach a six week class defining and practicing the principles of design starting March 13, 6-7:30pm and meeting weekly through April 17. Cost of the class is $150, and class size is limited to 10.

Kelly said, “If you didn’t take the elements of art class, you can still take principles of design. Once a week for six weeks will give us ample time to talk about each of the principles in depth and to practice using them effectively to create unity in a piece of art.”

A retired art teacher with 26 years experience, she believes that learning about the principles of design is important for beginning artists as a base for their art. She also believes that occasionally revisiting those basics can help practicing artists take their art in new directions.

 

 

February 18, 2019

FATAL ACCIDENT REPORTED IN EL DORADO
Arkansas State Police have released a preliminary report regarding an accident that occurred Early Sunday morning. The accident occurred on Highway 7 Spur north of El Dorado Chemical Company. Jerome Wade Curtis, 41 of El Dorado suffered from fatal injuries as a result of the crash. Curtis was driving a 2002 Chevrolet Suburban when he failed to negotiate a left-hand curve. He traveled across the center line going through the southbound traffic lane. The vehicle then left the road the east side of the highway into the ditch flipping several times in the ditch before it struck a tree. It was raining and the road was wet at the time of the incident.

RUTLEDGE ISSUES STATEMENT ON PRESIDENT TRUMP'S DECLARATION TO SECURE AMERICA'S SOUTHERN BORDER
LITTLE ROCK – On Friday, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued the following statement in support of President Donald J. Trump’s declaration of a national emergency on the southern border.

“From day one, President Trump has been committed to securing America’s southern border and today he honored that promise,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Following decades of failed policies, I support these efforts to restore security and integrity to our immigration system.”

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB TO MEET
The Camden Noon Lion’s Club will meet on Wednesday at Catherine’s Bistro. The speaker will be Mayor Julian Lott.  He will give an update on the city.

METHAMPHETAMINE SENT TO JAIL LANDS WOMEN IN FEDERAL PRISON
According to federal court records, postcards sent to Union County inmates sent from “Mamaw” landed three women in federal prison. They had put methamphetamine under stamps and return address labels.

According to the records, Carla Dawn Smith sent Kasey Doss and Meredith Atwell, who were incarcerated in the Union County Jail, postcards to in September 2017. The return address on the postcards were in the name of Atwell’s grandmother, who she calls “Mamaw”.

Doss and Atwell were in federal custody and Union County was holding them under contract with the federal government is why they were charged with Federal Crimes.

Jailers were suspicious that the postcards concealed drugs when they arrived in the mail, so they were put into evidence and sent to the state Crime Laboratory in Little Rock where they were tested and found to contain methamphetamine.

Atwell had told deputy marshals that Smith was good at smuggling drugs into the jail. Smith admitted to the marshals she had sent eight postcards to Atwell. Smith also filled a coffee stirrer with methamphetamine and inserted it in the seam of a bra. The bra was then  passed on through a jailer to Atwell.

Deputy Marshals recorded phone call between the three women, according to the records. The conversations confirmed communication and said that Doss told Smith that she was “in need of mail.” In one conversation, Atwell told Smith “I could not feel that stuff, but I think Kasey did. I need you to mail me a label tomorrow."

Smith pleaded guilty and was sentenced Thursday to 46 months in prison with credit given for time served, according to the court records.

Atwell and Doss pleaded guilty to possession or attempting to possess methamphetamine while they were inmates in a federal facility. Atwell was sentenced to 18 months in prison, with the sentence to be served consecutively with a 12-month sentence she was given in a separate case after pleading guilty to fraud. She also was ordered to pay $141,505.52 in restitution for stealing money in 2016 from the Southern Arkansas Substance Abuse treatment center where she was the bookkeeper, records said.

Doss was sentenced to 12 months and a day in prison to run consecutively with an 84-month sentence she received after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

BOOZMAN RECEIVES DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD FOR EFFORTS TO PROMOTE VOLUNTEERISM
WASHINGTON—
U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) was presented the Distinguished Service Award from Voices for National Service in appreciation of his exemplary efforts to expand high-quality opportunities for citizens to serve their community and our country.

Boozman was honored along with a bipartisan group of distinguished leaders in government, business and journalism from across the nation at the 16th Annual Friends of National Service Awards in Washington, DC. The event was hosted by Voices for National Service, a diverse coalition of national service programs, state service commissions and individual champions who work to ensure Americans of all ages and backgrounds have the opportunity to serve and volunteer in their community.

AnnMaura Connolly, President of Voices for National Service, called Boozman “a vocal champion for the benefits of national service.”

“As a member of the Appropriations Committee, he is passionate about working with his colleagues on both sides of the political aisle to ensure Americans of all ages and backgrounds have the opportunity to serve the nation and their communities. In recognition of his leadership and dedication to AmeriCorps and Senior Corps, Voices for National Service presents Senator Boozman with our Distinguished Service Award,” Connolly said.

Boozman was nominated for the award by Denise Grace, director of RSVP of Central Arkansas, who was on-hand for the presentation. Throughout his tenure in Congress, Boozman has strongly supported efforts to highlight and increase volunteerism. He is a member of the bipartisan National Service Congressional Caucus, annually cosponsors the AmeriCorps week resolution and works to promote National Days of Service.

“I’ve personally found giving my time in service of others to be a deeply rewarding experience which is why I have continuously sought to promote and support volunteer organizations like AmeriCorps and Senior Corps. The positive impact Arkansans have on their communities when they are provided an opportunity to make a difference is powerful. Volunteering brings out the best in participants as they put their talents to use on behalf of others and we are all better off as a result of their willingness to serve their neighbors in need,” Boozman said.

Boozman’s Senate colleagues Roger Wicker (R-MS), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Jack Reed (D-RI) were also honored at the event. U.S. Representatives Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Joe Courtney (D-CT), New Hampshire Governor and First Lady Chris and Valerie Sununu and Mark Donovan, President of the Kansas City Chiefs received awards as well.

Founded in 2003, Voices for National Service has built strong bipartisan support among our nation's leaders and helped to elevate national service as a powerful strategy for tackling unmet needs, preparing young people for work, uniting our country and developing civic character.

In communities across the country, national service members of all ages and backgrounds provide critical services to fulfill unmet needs through their work with AmeriCorps and Senior Corps. National service members tutor and mentor struggling students, help fight the opioid epidemic, provide job training and other services to returning veterans, preserve the nation’s parks and public lands, offer disaster relief and recovery assistance after natural disasters and support independent living for seniors and Americans with disabilities.

 

FEBRUARY 15, 2019

CITY OF CAMDEN POLICE REPORTS
DISORDERLY CONDUCT

On 2/12/2019 at 1118 hours, Camden Officer Lt. Ben Opelt was in the lobby of the station while Captain Sanders was speaking with Carolyn Freeman whom Lt. Opelt had just arrested and released on misdemeanor charges. Freeman seemed to be determined to cause a scene at the station for no apparent reason other than the fact that she was upset she had been arrested. Both Officers ordered her to leave the property. Freeman then walked into the parking lot where Officers observed her stop, turn around, and walk back towards the front door. Lt. Opelt then watched as Freeman walked into the flowerbed at the station, stomping in it, and then she attempted to take the flag down from the flag pole. Lt. Opelt walked outside and confronted Freeman, again ordering her repeatedly to leave the property. Freeman refused and she was advised that  I would she had one last chance to leave or she would be arrested. The Officer walked back inside the station and watched as Freeman continued to stand in the middle of the parking lot, making it impossible for anyone to park a vehicle, or leave in a vehicle. When confronted Freeman again, she became combative and began screaming and yelling at Officers while passively resisting. She was advised she was under arrest and she still did not comply. Officers were eventually able to take her into custody. She was transported her directly to the Ouachita County Detention Center. Freeman was jailed at booked for Disorderly Conduct. Freeman was held for bond and would later be released on criminal citation.

SHOPLIFTING
On February 13, 2019 at 0944 hours, Camden Officer Sergeant Sharlotte Elliott was dispatched to Macs in Garden Oaks, located at 1137 West Washington Suite 116, for a shoplifter. Dispatch advised the female has left the scene and management knew who she was. The Officer arrived at the business and made contact with manager, Jack Bigby. Bigby escorted Officer Elliott to view the video surveillance. Around 0811 hours, the Officer observed a black female, whom she knew as Terri Richardson Johnson, walking up the isle while placing a large bag of candy inside her purse. Johnson continued to walk up the isle as the video stopped. Bigby stated he wanted Johnson banned from the store. He provided the Officer with the Macs Fresh Market banned form in the event Officer Elliott made contact with Johnson. Bigby was advised that a report would be on file at the station. Officer Elliott then relocated to 244 Grinstead, where she knew Johnson lived. Contact was made with Johnson and asked her if she was at Macs this morning and she stated she was. JoShe admitted to being at Mac’s that morning. Johnson was taken into custody for shoplifting and transported to the station without incident and booking procedures were completed. She was given the banned form, and advised she was no longer allowed on Macs' premises. She signed the banned form and was given a copy for her records. Johnson was issued criminal citation. Johnson was able to post a $400 bond.

POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE.
On 02/13/19 at 2300 hours Sgt. Jamairo Bush made contact with Lindsay Mullins inside Wal-Mart while conducting a security check. The Officer had previous knowledge that Mullins had active warrants. He verified with dispatch and was advised she had three failure to appears and one fail to pay fine with the City of Camden. Mullins also had a failure to appear with the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Department. The Officer advised Mullins she had warrants and she was under arrest. Mullins was transported to the station without incident. At the station during a search of Mullins purse Officer Bush located a Newport cigarette box in her purse that contained 16 yellow pills with the encryption "R039". When asked what kind of pills they were and Mullines  stated she was unsure. Mullins stated the pills belonged to an unknown black male who she gave a ride too. She went on to say the male wasted the pills in her back seat and she had picked them up and put them in the cigarette box. Officer Bush used the pill identifier to identify the pills as being "Alprazolam" a schedule 4 controlled substance. He then advised Mullins she was being charged with possession of a controlled substance. Mullins was later transported to the Ouachita County Detention Center and is being held for a court appearance on 03/20/19.

CRIMINAL TRESPASS
REFUSAL TO SUBMIT TO ARREST

On 2/12/19 at 07:37 Lt. Ben Opelt was dispatched to Meeks Pest Control in reference to a subject refusing to leave. Lt. Opelt met with the Owner who stated an unknown black female was on his property trying to get into his storage building. He stated when he confronted her, she walked towards the wood line of his property and then stopped. He then pointed to the wood line and the Officer saw and individual who he knew to be Carolyn Feeeman. He made contact with her and she could give no logical explanation as to why she was on Meeks Pest Control property. She was asked multiple times to leave the property, but she continued to argues with the Officer. Officer Opelt took Freeman by the wrist to take her into custody and she began to resist. A brief struggle ensued before the Officer was able to gain control of her and secure the second handcuff on her wrist. Freeman was transported to the station where she was booked for Criminal Trespass and Refusal to Submit to Arrest. She was late released with a criminal citation and a court date.

JOB SEEKERS NEED HELP IN PREPARING FOR THE UPCOMING CAMDEN JOB FAIR? WE HAVE YOU COVERED
The Arkansas Department of Workforce Bus Unit will be in Camden to help job seekers to prepare for the upcoming CAMDEN JOB FAIR Tuesday, April 16th  9am to 3pm at SAU Tech Grand Hall, 6523 Hussey Road, East Camden. The bus unit will help with resume writing, mock interviews, creating online profiles and other services. EVENTS ARE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

Department of Workforce Bus Unit Schedule
Thursday, February 21st, 9 am – 6 pm, DWS bus unit at OPED 625 Adams Ave. Camden.
Tuesday, March 12th, 9 am – 7 pm, DWS bus unit at OPED 625 Adams Ave. Camden. Tuesday, April 9th, 8:30 am – 4 pm, DWS bus unit at Arkansas Workforce Center 237 Jackson Street in Camden

Job Fair at SAU Tech in parking lot of Grand Hall
Monday, April 15th 9 am – 6 pm at SAU Tech’s campus Grand Hall parking lot 6523 Hussey Road, East Camden. DWS bus unit will be offering resume writing assistance, assistance to those creating online profiles for companies that are scheduled to actually be present and/or interviewing on site, and mock interviews as time permits at the actual site of the Job Fair.

Tuesday, April 16th at the Job Fair event 8 am – 2 pm at SAU Tech’s campus Grand Hall parking lot 6523 Hussey Road, East Camden.  DWS bus unit actual site of the Job Fair  for on-line applications and other services as needed.

For more information contact your local Arkansas Department of Workforce Services in Camden at 870-836-5024 or 237 Jackson Street, Camden, AR. This Job Fair is sponsored by The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services.

CAMDEN FAIRVIEW SCHOOL BOARD TO MEET
The Camden Fairview School Board will meet in regular session on Tuesday, February 19th at 6:30 p.m. at Garrison Auditorium. The agenda includes a presentation by the Junior FFA Team, Student hearings the Superintendent’s report, the Financial report and a personnel session. The Board will also hear presentations and recommendations regarding the 2019-2020 school calendar, new student transportation by parent coordinators and a revised student check-out policy, along with a presentation and recommendation regarding the Summer Food Service Program.

BOOZMAN, TESTER RENEW EFFORT TO PASS LANDMARK LEGISLATION TO SUPPORT WOMEN VETERANS
Senators Reintroduce Deborah Sampson Act to Improve VA Care, Services for Women
WASHINGTON— This week U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Jon Tester (D-MT) reintroduced their bipartisan Deborah Sampson Act to support women veterans.

Women are the fastest growing demographic of veterans, but many VA facilities don’t have the ability to provide equitable care or services to women veterans. The Deborah Sampson Act would eliminate barriers to care and services that many women veterans face and would help ensure the VA can address the needs of women veterans who are more likely to face homelessness, unemployment and go without needed health care.

“There are more than 20,000 women veterans in Arkansas. This population continues to increase as more women answer the call to serve in uniform. We must update VA services to support the unique needs of today’s entire veteran community,” Boozman, a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, said. “This legislation will improve healthcare, services and benefits that women veterans have earned.”

“Women veterans must feel comfortable and empowered to turn to the VA for the health care and benefits they earned,” said Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “It’s important we ensure the VA is holding up its end of the bargain to our sisters, mothers and daughters. Our bill will help change the culture at the VA to better support women veterans’ service and sacrifice.”

The Deborah Sampson Act includes the following provisions:

Empowers women veterans by expanding group counseling for veterans and their family members and call centers for women veterans,
Improves the quality of care for infant children of women veterans by increasing the number of days of maternity care VA facilities can provide,

·Eliminates barriers to care by increasing the number of gender-specific providers in VA facilities, training clinicians and retrofitting VA facilities to enhance privacy and improve the environment of care for women veterans,

·Authorizes additional grants for organizations supporting low-income women veterans and increases resources for homeless women and their families,

·Improves the collection and analysis of data regarding women veterans, expands outreach by centralizing all information for women veterans in one easily accessible place on the VA website and requires the VA to report on the availability of prosthetics made for women veterans.

The Deborah Sampson Act is endorsed by veterans across the country, including the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) and the Disabled American Veterans (DAV).

“Women have bravely served their country for more than a century, from serving in disguise during the Civil War to the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Bob Wallace, VFW Executive Director. “The VFW applauds Senators Tester and Boozman for introducing the Deborah Sampson Act, which would improve the quality of gender-specific care women veterans receive, enhance benefits such as homeless assistance, and require VA to develop a better understanding of where it may be falling short. This bill must pass immediately to show that Congress is serious about caring for all veterans, regardless of gender, and ensure women veterans receive the benefits they rightfully deserve.”

"IAVA is profoundly appreciative for the reintroduction of the bipartisan Deborah Sampson Act by Sens. Tester and Boozman," said Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America Chief Policy Officer Melissa Bryant. "The face of our military has changed and the VA must adjust as well to ensure our increasing numbers of women veterans like me get the care we need. This bill is the centerpiece of our She Who Borne The Battle campaign and we call on Congress to finally pass this bill this year."

“The number of women veterans seeking VA health care services has more than doubled over the past decade, yet in many cases this population still feels marginalized by a VA health care and benefits system that was designed primarily for men and does not address their unique needs," said Dennis Nixon, DAV National Commander. “This bill would establish many critical provisions DAV has advocated for to improve access and the quality of care for women patients. We applaud Senators Tester and Boozman continued commitment to the nation's women veterans and urge swift passage of this important measure."

The Deborah Sampson Act is sponsored by Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Jack Reed (D-RI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Patty Murray (D-WA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Bob Casey (D-PA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Gary Peters (D-MI) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).


COTTON STATEMENT ON SPENDING BILL VOTE
Washington D.C. – Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) released the following statement on the Senate vote on the spending bill:

“While I’m pleased this bill makes a down payment on border security, I can’t support its limits on the construction of physical barriers as well as law enforcement’s authority to detain and deport criminal illegal aliens. Congress must act to fully secure our border and stop the flow of illegal aliens and deadly drugs into our country.”


BOOZMAN STATEMENT ON PASSSAGE OF LEGISLATION TO FUND THE GOVERNMENT AND INCREASE BORDER SECURITY
WASHINGTON—
U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) released the following statement after voting for legislation to avoid another government shutdown and provide additional resources to secure our borders: 

“While far from a perfect bill, passage of this legislation ends the uncertainty by fully funding the government while supporting additional resources to secure our nation’s borders.

The bill includes nearly $23 billion for overall border security. It provides an unprecedented level of funding for immigration enforcement agencies to ensure that our law enforcement officials have the resources they need to keep the American people safe, protects our ability to detain criminal illegal aliens and includes nearly $1.4 billion in funding for 55 new miles of physical barriers in the most needed areas along the southern border. This is an important step, considering the initial resistance on the part of Democrats to additional border security funding and their insistence that no money for a physical barrier would be provided.

More work remains to be done in order to achieve the level of border security that the American people are calling on Congress to deliver. My colleagues and I are committed to building on this down payment moving forward to resolve the crisis at our southwest border.”

RUTLEDGE CONGRATULATES U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL WILLIAM BARR
Says ‘I look forward to working closely with him’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge congratulates President Donald J. Trump’s nominee William Barr on his confirmation for U.S Attorney General.

“Attorney General Bill Barr is an excellent addition to President Trump’s administration with his longstanding dedication to public service and the rule of law. I look forward to working closely with him and the Department of Justice to defend and protect Americans and our Constitution.”

February 14, 2019

WHO WAS MAUD CRAWFORD
By Beth Brickell
Growing up in Pine Bluff, Maud Robinson's mother died when Maud was nine years old. Two weeks later her two-year-old sister died. Her father then sent Maud to be raised by her maternal grandmother who ran a boarding house in Warren while he took her two brothers and moved to St. Louis.      

Losing her mother and brothers, abandoned by her father, and unable to save her baby sister, perhaps Maud felt she had to prove something. She would make a total commitment and excel at everything she would do in life.      

She graduated Valedictorian of her Warren High School class in 1911. After one year at the University of Arkansas, she went to work as a secretary in Camden at the law firm of Judge T. J. Gaughan and Judge John T. Sifford. It was said that Judge Sifford was so impressed with her that he took her under his wing and mentored her.      

In 1927, 10 years after women were permitted to become lawyers for the first time, she "read for the law," took the Arkansas bar exam with the University of Arkansas law school class and passed with the highest grade — becoming the first woman lawyer in south Arkansas.     

Oil was discovered in Ouachita and Union counties in 1921, and Maud Crawford, who by then had married a desirable Camden bachelor Clyde Crawford, quickly became the most respected title lawyer in south Arkansas. It was said that Standard Oil of New Jersey wouldn't drill a well in south Arkansas unless Maud Crawford's name was on the title.     

Judge Oren Harris, federal district judge in 1985 and former U.S. Congressman from El Dorado, described her as, "quiet, modest, not outgoing, studious, very well thought of as efficient. She was probably known as well or better than some lawyers in that law firm or in Camden. Everybody liked her. I liked her very much."       

She developed a reputation for honesty. Ouachita Sheriff Grover Linebarier said, "If a Negro owned interest in land, she'd find out and tell him so. She never took a payoff."  

She looked for ways to help others. Betty Poindexter (Mrs. Fred) Greenlee was a secretary in the Gaughan law firm. "One day she said to me, 'Have you ever thought about buying your own car? I'd be glad to sign your note.'" Stewart Dabbs, a cousin, remembers, "She wanted to send me to college. She paid my tuition to Hendrix and whatever I needed I got." Mattie Garner, who owned a corner grocery store in the Crawford neighborhood, added, "I know of so many things she did for people under cover, so to speak. We had a poor family in the neighborhood. Instead of doing anything direct, she'd bring things to the store, boxes of shoes and clothing for the children, and have me give it to them."    

As a Methodist, Maud became very involved with church activities. Annie Lee (Mrs. D. W.) Harrell, remembered, "When she came here to work for Gaughan & Sifford, she was a big worker in the Methodist church, the Epworth League, which was the young people's society. We looked up to Maud. She was always planning programs and picnics. She was president of the Epworth League.       

Mary Emma Sullenberger Hess, daughter of one of Maud's best friends, said in 1988, "She had strong beliefs in the church. She did her part all the time and tried to live by the principles that were taught there." Stewart Dabbs referred to those principles, "Maud was the kind of person that if she knew you were doing something wrong, she would stand you up against the wall and give you a lecture."      

As time went on, she served as president of every woman's club — the Pilot Club, which was the sister club of the Rotary Club, the Business and Professional Women's Club, and the American Legion Auxiliary, an organization for wives of veterans.        

Clyde Crawford had served on the front lines during World War I, winning a medal and suffering afterwards from what we now call PTSD, post traumatic stress syndrome. Nine years into his marriage, he had a nervous breakdown and it was said that after that Maud took care of him "like a baby."  Jimmy Crawford, Clyde's nephew, explained, "He was at the Argonne Forest. He was a machine gun sergeant. He come apart about a year after he got back. Sometime later on he had some mental problems, had a nervous breakdown. He was on the front line right in the thick of the Argonne Forest and other battles." A friend, Johnnie (Mrs. Archie B.) Gilchrist, added, "Clyde had a breakdown earlier in their life. Maud took her files and typewriter home and did her work from home until he recuperated. And she bought him fine woodworking machinery to learn his trade." Clyde sanded floors and refinished furniture in Camden.

She also helped raise several cousins when an uncle died following his wife's death.      

While looking out for Clyde, raising cousins, and taking on the responsibility of primary breadwinner for all of them, she continued to increase her standing in the community. In 1940 she ran for and was elected the first woman to serve on the Camden City Council. Re-elected to three more two-year terms, she served a total of eight years on the council. She gained a reputation for high principles and taking a stand for what she believed was right. Camden Chief of Police G. B. Cole said, "When she served on the city council, all her dealings were fair and above board. If you asked her something, she would answer you straight."     

In 1942, two years after Arkansas Boys' State was established in Arkansas, Maud believed it was important for girls also to learn how state government worked. She founded Arkansas Girls' State with then president of the American Legion Auxiliary in Camden, Jeanette Simpson (Rose Berg's niece). Jeanette was the first chairman of the state-wide program, and Maud would serve as one of its eight counselors every summer from 1942 until her last summer in 1956.     

The Camden News reported that she "helped every worthy cause such as Red Cross, Community Chest, band or any community drive such as heart, cancer, and Easter Seal drives."      

In 1954, she was selected "Woman of the Year" by the Pilot Club.       

Adding to her responsibilities, when Rose Berg was declared incompetent in 1955, Ouachita County Judge Bob Launius appointed her to be the personal guardian of Mrs. Berg — her across-the-street neighbor, friend, and lawyer. Chief Cole said, "She was Mrs. Berg's personal guardian and would attach receipts to every check she wrote. I don't know of a more honest person in the world."  

Camden was chosen in 1955 for an Achievement Award for Outstanding Community Improvement by the state Chamber of Commerce and the Arkansas Economic Council. Maud was asked to go to Little Rock to receive the award since she had more to do with the city getting it than anyone else. In a speech upon accepting the award, she said partially, "The achievements in Camden were brought about by many groups working together. In our charity drives and cultural matters, we just about had the full cooperation of every living soul."

In 1957, Camden lost community leader Maud Crawford. Twelve years later, the Probate Court of Ouachita County legally established her death: "During the evening of March 2, 1957, the decedent, Maud R. Crawford, mysteriously and unexplainably disappeared from her home in Camden, Arkansas. Her disappearance has received widespread publication and notoriety and has been the subject of many police investigations throughout the United States. Inasmuch as no information has been disclosed which would in any way indicate that Maud R. Crawford was alive at any time subsequent to her disappearance, it is the finding of the Court that Maud R. Crawford is deceased and has been dead since March 2, 1957 as a result of foul play perpetrated by person or persons unknown."

Beth Brickell's books, "The Disappearance of Maud Crawford," and "In Their Own Voice: Interviews from the Maud Crawford Investigation" are available at luminousfilms.net.

altCOTTON, JONES INTRODUCE BILL TO ALLOW HOMESCHOOL PARTICIPATION IN JROTC
Washington, D.C.—
 Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Senator Doug Jones (D-Alabama) today introduced legislation clarifying that all Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) programs are required to accept homeschool students who reside in their jurisdiction. JROTC is a voluntary program for high school students run by the military and designed to teach citizenship and leadership. Its mission is “to instill in students in United States secondary educational institutions the values of citizenship, service to the United States, personal responsibility, and a sense of accomplishment.” Current law does not specify whether JROTC is open to homeschool students, resulting in a patchwork of polices between programs that denies some students the opportunity to participate in JROTC.

“JROTC is a valuable program that provides high school age students with discipline, confidence, and skills they will carry with them throughout their lives. We should be looking for ways to make these programs more inclusive, not keeping kids out. This bill will make clear that the benefits of JROTC are available to all students who want them, including those pursuing their education at home,” said Cotton.

“For more than a century, JROTC programs have provided excellent opportunities for young folks to develop leadership skills, responsibility, and character and to learn the value of service to our country. Unfortunately, it’s not clear whether students who are educated at home are allowed to participate. With an estimated 1.5 million American children in home-schooling today, including more than 20,000 in Alabama, we should be taking steps to make certain these young men and women can participate in this important program. I encourage my colleagues to support this bill that will ensure that any eligible student could take part in JROTC,” said Jones.

Congressman Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) plans to introduce companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) Background:

  • JROTC programs exist in all 50 states and American schools overseas (including Germany, Japan, Korea, Italy, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands). 
  • JROTC has an estimated enrollment of over 500,000 students.
  • JROTC is not a military recruiting program, and students in the program have no obligation to serve in the military.
  • JROTC programs include leadership training and classroom instruction emphasizing service history and traditions. 

altGOVERNOR HUTCHINSON AND LEGISLATIVE LEADERSHIP ANNOUNCE $300 MILLION HIGHWAY PLAN, LARGEST IN STATE'S HISTORY
Plan protects education, prisons, and public safety from funding interruption

LITTLE ROCK – On Monday, Governor Asa Hutchinson joined legislative leadership to announce details of a proposed $300 million, long-term highway plan. At $300 million in increased annual revenue to State Highways, this plan would be the largest in Arkansas’s history.

The plan is broken down into two parts, the first of which is an extension of the half-cent sales tax of 2012 through a Referred Amendment for 2020. This would generate $205,590,000 a year for highways.

A large portion (roughly 28 percent) of the current half-cent sales tax will go toward paying off bonds for road projects. By extending the half-cent sales tax, the state would be able to shift to a “pay as we go” system.

The second part of the plan would produce $95,071,995 in additional, ongoing funding. That legislation will include:

  • New index on gas (+$0.03) and diesel (+$0.06) prices = $58,097,076 (net to State)
  • Additional registration fees for hybrid and electric vehicles = $1,974,919
  • Dedicated casino tax revenues and Restricted Reserve Funds or other General Revenue = $35 million minimum, guaranteed

In addition to the extension of the half-cent sales tax, other components of this plan, such as the registration fees on hybrid and electric vehicles and the casino tax revenues, have future growth potential. This upward trajectory in funding will provide certainty for our highway program where none previously existed.

In addition to the $300 million to the Highway Department, cities and counties will receive $110 million annually to help maintain local streets and roads.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement:

“I’m delighted to detail this plan that is both a prudent and a responsible approach to establishing a historic, long-term highway plan for our state. I appreciate the spirit of cooperation from legislative leadership in working with my office to come up with a plan that can capture a majority of support from both chambers.

“While the state is providing additional funding from General Revenue for this plan, it is important to note that the long-term funding will come from the new revenue stream provided by the passage of the Casino Amendment. By dedicating casino tax revenues, we are able to protect other essential services, like education, public safety, and prisons from any funding interruption.”

The new index on gas and diesel prices is commonly referred to as a “user fee.” That means that those who use state highways most often will pay more than those who use the highways less. Unlike the income tax, which is taken directly from a person’s income, a “user fee” focuses on those who use our road system.

Over the past four years, Governor Hutchinson has cut more than $150 million in income taxes for low- and middle-income categories, including a $100 million cut for middle income in 2015 and a $50 million cut for lower income in 2017.

Even with the increase in user fees from this highway plan, all taxpayers will have an overall tax reduction this year and next with the decline in the grocery tax and the $50 million low-income tax relief that goes into effect this year.

alt65-YEAR SENTENCE FOR POSSESSION OF 1,000 CHILD PORN VIDEOS
Rutledge Says, 'committed to removing evil people from our neighborhoods'
LITTLE ROCK – Yesterday, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced that a Pulaski County man has been sentenced to 65 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction on child pornography charges. 

Thomas Mullikin, 57, of Little Rock, pleaded guilty to seven counts of distributing, possessing, and viewing of matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child. He was found in possession of more than 1,000 videos and images of adult men engaging in sexual intercourse and penetration with girls as young as 3 years old.

“I am committed to removing evil people from our neighborhoods,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Mullikin possessed more than 1,000 horrific videos involving the rape of small, innocent children. I will ensure that he and others who engage in this repulsive conduct are held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

Mullikin was arrested in May by the Attorney General’s Office Cyber Crimes Unit when special agents seized laptops and external storage devices from his residence. An attorney from the Attorney General’s Office was appointed Special Deputy Prosecutor in the case by the 6th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley.

TERRY “TACO” HOWARD MEMORIAL TRAIL AND ATV RIDE
It’s time again for the Terry Taco Memorial Trail and ATV Ride sponsored by Holly Springs Baptist and Methodist Churches. The event will be held on Saturday, April 6th from 9:00 a.m. to 2:oo p.m. beginning at the holly Springs Baptist Church in Holly Springs Arkansas.

Negative Coggins are required. No alcohol or drugs are allowed. All kicking stock must have something red on their tail. Participants will be asked to stay in tight groups for easy flagging.

The line up order will be wagons, buggies, carts and horses. There will be no horse allowed between wagons, buggies or carts. Horses will depart at 9:00 a.m. followed by ATV’s departing at 10:00 a.m.

There will be a Show and Shine Car Display for 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. “Measure of Grace” will be in concert form 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

There will also be a Dine in or Carry Out BBQ meal with all the trimmings beginning at
11:00 a.m. in the Holly Springs Baptist Church Fellowship Hall. Adult plates will be $10.00 and children 12 and under will be $5.00.  

There will be a live auction after all riders have eaten.

Friday night, April 5th there will be a soup or Chili meal from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. in the Family Life Center. Cost will be a donation.

The Holly Springs Baptist Church is located at 168 Highway 9, Sparkman, Arkansas. Visit Terry “Taco” Howard Memorial Trail and ATV ride on Facebook or call Hank Mahan at 870-687-1962 or text or call Peggy Mahan at 870-687-1138 for more information.

ARKANSAS LAWMAKERS INTRODUCE RESOLUTION TO RECOGNIZE THE MARSHALLESE
WASHINGTON-
U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton along with Congressman Steve Womack introduced a resolution recognizing the strategic importance of the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Marshallese who live in the United States—of whom the largest concentration in the continental U.S. reside in Springdale, Arkansas.

“This resolution acknowledges the unique partnership our country has with the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the need for this support to continue. In Arkansas, the Marshallese have integrated and assimilated into our communities while also preserving and sharing their unique customs and traditions. To better meet their needs it is necessary to better understand and account for this population calling the U.S. home, making the 2020 census crucial to this goal,” Boozman said.

“The large Marshallese community in Northwest Arkansas is a constant reminder of the close relationship our nation shares with the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Just as the people of Arkansas and our Marshallese neighbors continue to strengthen their friendships, so the United States ought to continue bolstering its own relations with their home republic. This resolution celebrates the bond our countries share and the need for our two nations to keep working together,” Cotton said.

“The Marshallese in Springdale and across Arkansas enrich our state. This resolution highlights the contributions of the Marshallese and the important relationship we have built and shared as a community. With the 2020 Census approaching, as well as the Compact of Free Association up for renewal in 2023, it is also critical that we accurately account for the Marshallese residing in the U.S. to better serve them and the cities they live in,” Womack said.

The U.S. has a unique relationship with the Marshall Islands. In the aftermath of World War II, the Marshall Islands was a U.S.-administered United Nations Trust Territory. In 1986, the Marshall Islands entered into a Compact of Free Association (COFA) with the U.S. and became a sovereign, “freely associated” state. Under the COFA, the U.S. is obligated to defend the Republic of the Marshall Islands against attack or threat of attack. The U.S. also maintains unique military basing rights in the Marshall Islands that extend through at least 2066. The security and sovereignty of the Marshall Islands is important to our country and to the thousands of Marshallese who have planted roots in Arkansas. The COFA agreement is up for renewal in 2023.

Since the 1980s, thousands of Marshallese have legally migrated to the United States. The 2010 census estimated 4,324 out of the 22,400 Marshallese individuals living in the U.S. resided in Arkansas. However, that population is actually estimated to be between 8,000 to 14,000. In addition to its embassy in Washington, D.C., the Republic of the Marshall Islands also has a consulate in Springdale.

The resolution has the support of the entire Arkansas Congressional delegation. The largest populations of Marshallese residing in the U.S. today live in Arkansas and Hawaii.

altCOTTON, ERNST, TOOMEY INTRODUCE THE PRESERVING ACCESS TO COST EFFECTIVE DRUGS ACT
Washington, D.C.
- Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) along with Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania) today reintroduced the Preserving Access to Cost Effective Drugs (PACED) Act, which restores the power of the Patent and Trade Office, federal courts, and the International Trade Commission to review patents regardless of sovereign immunity claims made as part of sham transactions.

Under current law patent holders can pay Indian tribes to take "ownership" of their patents, which allows the tribes to claim sovereign immunity and avoid review in the case of a dispute. This could lead to widespread patent abuse and increased costs for consumers. After Allergan transferred its Restasis patents to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe in 2017, the District Court, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, the Federal Circuit, and the 5th Circuit all ruled that this was an invalid transfer aimed at raising the costs of prescription drugs. The case is now pending further review by the Supreme Court.

"It's past time to end the patent abuse that is raising drug costs for our seniors. This bill will make sure unscrupulous patent holders can't game the system and block their competitors from entering the market. That'll go a long way to help Arkansans get the drugs they need more affordably," said Cotton.

"High prescription drug and health care costs impact all Iowans, but especially our seniors and those on a fixed income. It's past time we remove loopholes that allow manipulators to unfairly stifle competition and inflate prescription drug prices for Iowans who need them most," said Ernst.

"Sham transactions involving the transfer of patent ownership from a pharmaceutical company to a tribe for the sole purpose of shielding the patent from challenges are a clear abuse of our patent system and set a dangerous precedent for other consumer products," said Toomey. "The PACED Act will improve our patent system and protect patients and consumers from higher drug prices by eliminating this egregious loophole."

Background:

• By avoiding review, pharmaceutical firms can prevent generics from coming to market and raise the cost of drugs.
• Similarly, if entities can skirt a review or use a tribe as a straw plaintiff, it becomes harder for businesses to defend themselves against dubious patent claims.
• This legislation would do nothing to prevent pharmaceutical firms from partnering with Indian tribes for research, development, and licensing of drugs.

The PACED Act is supported by the following organizations: Association for Accessible Medicines, The R Street Institute, and Patients for Affordable Drugs Now.

February 13, 2019

CAMDEN WOMAN HIT BY TRAIN
A Westbound Union Pacific Train had a collision Wednesday just after 1 PM with two pedestrians.  According to witnesses, Jennifer Eltabbakh, 30 of Camden along with an unidentified male were walking the tracks Eastbound.  Jenifer appeared distraught about something, stripping from her clothes as she walked the center part of the tracks.  The train had just cleared the Fairview State Highway 376 crossing coming in to the bend of the track just back behind Waggin Trails. The Train Engineer quickly applied the horn to wave Jennifer off the tracks, and when she refused to yield to the train, the brakes were applied as fast as they could, and she was struck by the train and thrown off the side.  According to Sheriff Deputies, she was still alive at the scene while waiting for paramedics to arrive.  She was sent via ambulance to Ouachita County Medical Center to be airlifted to UAMS Little Rock. The Transportation Manager, Alan Lockhart with Union Pacific came to investigate the scene, switch out crews, and had the train back “on track” by 3 PM enroute to Stevens.

CAMDEN CITY COUNCIL MEETING
Camden City Council met last night at the Municipal building for the February meeting.  Alderman Lawrence Askew took his Alderman hat off, and symbolically gestured putting on his tax payer hat and voiced to the council his outrage of the recent Mac’s Cash Savers flyer, that had a religious as well as political message that said, “Heaven has a wall, gate, and a strict immigration policy.  Hell has open borders.  Let that sink in. Askew said he’s offended by the message that it is racist, mixing scripture in with “Trumps” message.  Askew encouraged those in the audience, to exercise their options and shop elsewhere.  You have a choice Camden.  Mac’s is not the only game in town.  Keep the money local, here in Camden.  Askew followed up with everyone is entitled to their opinion, but there is no place for garbage like this.  Askew says, “Our merchant, where we’re taking our hard earned dollars, they wanna take us back and we’re trying to move forward.”

Bill Halter from the Science Hill Solar Company gave his presentation.  They’ve been in previous talks with Judge MacAdoo with Ouachita County about constructing a solar farm to reduce energy bills with the County, and made their presentation to the city council.  If approved, the solar farm could reduce energy costs to all city owned facilities as well as the water treatment plant.  Over the course of 30 years, the city could see savings up to eight million dollars  using alternative power. The City Council approve Resolution Number 15-19 to execute a letter of intent with Science Hill Solar Company.

Fire Chief Robert Medford gave his annual report on the Camden Fire Department and it’s budget for 2019.  Services have decreased over the year, but medical responses are on the rise considering the increasing age of some of the citizens. Resolution number 13-19 passed to amend the budget to increase the salaries for the following fire department classifications: Assistant Fire Chief, Fire Captain, and Fire Lieutenant

GOVERNOR HUTCHINSON NAMES THE ARKANSAS INNOVATION COUNCIL TO EXPAND ARKANSAS' KNOWLEDGE-BASED ECONOMY
Governor Asa Hutchinson has invited a group of key leaders from Arkansas businesses, research universities, philanthropic organizations, and state agencies to form the Arkansas Innovation Council. The Arkansas Innovation Council will meet twice a year with the Governor serving as chair of the council. 

"The long-term success of our state will hinge on the development and expansion of Arkansas’s knowledge-based, technology-driven economy," Governor Hutchinson said. "We can accelerate our development if we draw on the experience of a diverse group of key leaders. The members of this council are to partner with me to identify resources and skills that will transform the ability of businesses to grow in Arkansas."

The council will work with the Governor to identify gaps and seek new ideas, initiatives, and recommendations to form a strategic plan complete with specific action steps. This plan will guide the efforts of Arkansas business and industry, higher education, not-for-profits, and state and local governments to create a measurable expansion of Arkansas’s knowledge-based economy.

"Promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship for technology and technology-enabled companies is a vital economic development strategy," said Mike Preston, executive director of Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC). "It is essential to the generation of cutting-edge research, to help our existing industries grow, and to create high-paying jobs. Arkansas is building an environment of opportunity with incentives and programs to help entrepreneurs and innovators start up and scale new business enterprises, but there is more work to do."

The council will focus on innovation in industry sectors in which Arkansas leads nationally and globally, as well as those that are crucial to the lives of its citizens: retail and retail technology; transportation, distribution, and logistics; agriculture, food processing, forestry, and natural resources; healthcare and biosciences; financial services; data sciences, advanced analytics, and software development; energy and power electronics.

“The task of growing our knowledge-based economy will require a focused and sustained effort from leaders of our principal industries, research universities, philanthropic organizations, state agencies and other stakeholders who want to move Arkansas forward,” said David Sanders, director of Innovate Arkansas at Winrock International.

The Arkansas Innovation Council will meet twice a year with the first meeting scheduled for February 19th in Little Rock at the Robinson Center. Innovate Arkansas, a program administered by Winrock International, will coordinate the council’s activities.

The founding members of the Arkansas Innovation Council are:

Dr. Donald R. Bobbitt, President, University of Arkansas System
Albert Braunfisch, Chairman, MSpark
Amy Callahan, Cofounder, Collective Bias
Ross DeVol, Walton Fellow, Walton Family Foundation
William T. Dillard, III, Executive Vice President, Dillard’s Inc.
George Dunklin, Jr., Dunklin Farms
Richard Howe, CEO, Inuvo
Doug McMillon, President and Chief Executive Officer, Walmart Inc. 
Judy McReynolds, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, ArcBest Corporation
Jeffery W. Nolan, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer, Loutre Land and Timber Company
Dr. Cam Patterson, Chancellor, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Mike Preston, Executive Director, Arkansas Economic Development Commission
John Rutledge, President, First Security Bank, Little Rock 
Cheryl Schluterman, Interim President, Arkansas Development Finance Authority
Josh Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Metova, Inc.
Warren Stephens, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Stephens, Inc.
Dr. Chuck Welch, President, Arkansas State University System
Troy Wells, President and CEO, Baptist Health
Noel White, President and CEO, Tyson Foods Inc.

HELP SMOKEY BEAR CELEBRATE HIS 75TH BIRTHDAY WITH A SHOUT OUT
The Arkansas Agriculture Department’s Forestry Commission (AFC) is sponsoring a Smokey Bear “Shout-Out” contest February 11th through April 19th to celebrate Smokey’s 75th birthday. Smokey is the fictional bear that was designated the symbol for forest fire prevention in 1944 by the U.S. Forest Service and the Ad Council. Elementary classes across Arkansas are invited to record a short video wishing Smokey a happy birthday and to share it with AFC and the Arkansas Agriculture Department’s (AAD) social media sites for a chance to win a birthday party with Smokey.

 

To enter the contest:
Make sure the school name and class can be clearly heard in the video
Keep it short (15-30seconds)
Like AFC and AAD Facebook pages: www.facebook.com/ArkansasForestryCommission and www.facebookcom/ArkAgricultureDepartment
Post your video to your school’s Facebook page, making sure to add #SmokeyBear75
Share the video, via messenger, with both pages

You may also post it on your school’s twitter page and tag us @ARDeptofAgriculand @ARForestryComm, again making sure to add #SmokeyBear75

·Send an email to marketing@agriculture.arkansas.govwith the name of the school, city, county, what class is in the video, how many students are in the class and the teacher’s name, email and phone number.

Eight winners will be randomly selected for the birthday party to be held in the first two weeks of May, prior to the end of the school year.

For more information on the contest or the rules, contact Brett Dawson at brett.dawson@agriculture.arkansas.gov or call 501-219-6324.

The Arkansas Agriculture Department’s Forestry Commission, along with the U.S. Forest Service, Ad Council, and National Association of State Foresters, will be celebrating Smokey’s 75th birthday throughout 2019 and promoting his slogan, “Only YOU Can Prevent Wildfires.” Additional information about Smokey and learning resources for children and educators can be found at smokeybear.com.

The AAD is dedicated to the development and implementation of policies and programs for Arkansas agriculture and forestry to keep its farmers and ranchers competitive in national and international markets while ensuring safe food, fiber, and forest products for the citizens of the state and nation.

The Arkansas Agriculture Department offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability and is an Equal Opportunity Employer

altCOTTON, ERNST, TOOMEY INTRODUCE THE PRESERVING ACCESS TO COST EFFECTIVE DRUGS (PACED) ACT
Washington, D.C.
 - Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) along with Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania) today reintroduced the Preserving Access to Cost Effective Drugs (PACED) Act, which restores the power of the Patent and Trade Office, federal courts, and the International Trade Commission to review patents regardless of sovereign immunity claims made as part of sham transactions.

Under current law patent holders can pay Indian tribes to take "ownership" of their patents, which allows the tribes to claim sovereign immunity and avoid review in the case of a dispute. This could lead to widespread patent abuse and increased costs for consumers. After Allergan transferred its Restasis patents to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe in 2017, the District Court, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, the Federal Circuit, and the 5th Circuit all ruled that this was an invalid transfer aimed at raising the costs of prescription drugs. The case is now pending further review by the Supreme Court.

"It’s past time to end the patent abuse that is raising drug costs for our seniors. This bill will make sure unscrupulous patent holders can't game the system and block their competitors from entering the market. That'll go a long way to help Arkansans get the drugs they need more affordably," said Cotton.

“High prescription drug and health care costs impact all Iowans, but especially our seniors and those on a fixed income. It’s past time we remove loopholes that allow manipulators to unfairly stifle competition and inflate prescription drug prices for Iowans who need them most,” said Ernst.

"Sham transactions involving the transfer of patent ownership from a pharmaceutical company to a tribe for the sole purpose of shielding the patent from challenges are a clear abuse of our patent system and set a dangerous precedent for other consumer products,” said Toomey. “The PACED Act will improve our patent system and protect patients and consumers from higher drug prices by eliminating this egregious loophole.”

Background:

  • By avoiding review, pharmaceutical firms can prevent generics from coming to market and raise the cost of drugs.
  • Similarly, if entities can skirt a review or use a tribe as a straw plaintiff, it becomes harder for businesses to defend themselves against dubious patent claims.
  • This legislation would do nothing to prevent pharmaceutical firms from partnering with Indian tribes for research, development, and licensing of drugs.

The PACED Act is supported by the following organizations: Association for Accessible Medicines, The R Street Institute, and Patients for Affordable Drugs Now.

altSAAC TO HOSE CORKS AND CANVAS WITH KELLY CAMPBELL
The South Arkansas Arts Center offers a little inspiration for spring during the next Corks & Canvas adult art class on Thursday, February 21, from 6-9pm. Award winning artist Kelly Campbell will guide attendees into the wonderful world of acrylics on canvas as they create their own 11x14 painting of lilacs in a jar.

 A retired art teacher with 26 years’ experience, Kelly has been teaching various art classes at SAAC for 10 years. She said, “I love teaching Corks & Canvas – we have the best time, and everybody leaves happy! Bring your favorite beverage, and we’ll paint!”

Corks & Canvas is an art class for non-artists who have always wanted to paint. Each class is conducted by a different award winning 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.  Class size limited to 15.

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 Main Street, El Dorado, Arkansas.

February 12, 2019

altCOTTON, MANCHIN, MCSALLY AND JONES INTRODUCE RESOLUTION SUPPORTING GOLD STAR FAMILIES REMEMBRANCE DAY
Washington, D.C.—
Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) along with Senators Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), Martha McSally (R-Arizona), and Doug Jones (D-Alabama) last week introduced a resolution expressing support for the designation of March 2, 2019 as “Gold Star Families Remembrance Day.” Gold Star Families are those who have lost a family member in combat. Currently the United States observes Gold Star Mother’s Day and Gold Star Spouses Day. Congressman Bob Latta (R-Ohio) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives last month.

“America will always honor service members who fall defending our flag. That means honoring families who carry on their memory, and the sorrowful burden of life after the death of a loved one. It has been 90 years since President Coolidge approved a pilgrimage so Gold Star families could visit the resting places of their loved ones. We can continue that legacy today by designating March 2, 2019 as Gold Star Families Remembrance Day, to be observed by all Americans in recognition of those who sacrificed greatly for our sake,” said Cotton.

“America remains the greatest country on earth because of the patriotism of our fallen service members and their families. These individuals have paid the ultimate price so that we can enjoy the freedoms of this great country. I cannot imagine the pain that losing a loved one in the line of duty causes, my heart truly goes out to them.  To honor these gold star families, I am a proud to help introduce this resolution so that on March 2nd, every American can take time to pray and reflect on the sacrifice of Gold star families,” said Manchin.

"Gold Star Families' sacrificed deeply for our country and freedoms. Their pain and loss is real every single day with the absence of their loved ones who paid the ultimate price in service. The sacrifice of our Gold Star Families should be honored and remembered by us all,” said McSally.

“It is important to remember that it’s not just the men and women in our armed forces who make sacrifices in the defense of our nation – it’s also their families. They support them while on deployments and during difficult training cycles, and sometimes must bear the unimaginable heartbreak of losing them in the line of duty. It is appropriate that we should set aside a day to honor them and to express our gratitude, and I am proud to join Senators Cotton, Manchin, and McSally in sponsoring this bill,” said Jones.

The resolution is supported by the following Veterans Service Organizations:

  • Gold Star Wives of America Inc.
  • American Gold Star Mothers Inc.
  • Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS)
  • MOAA
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America 
  • Wounded Warrior Project
  • Jewish War Veterans of the USA
  • American GI Forum of the United States
  • Blinded Veterans Association
  • American Red Cross
  • The Retired Enlisted Association

altSAAC ANNOUNCES CAST FOR “YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN
The theater committee of the South Arkansas Arts Center is thrilled to announce the cast for its upcoming production of "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown". Sponsored by Southern Bancorp and Teague Auto Group, the production will run March 1-3, 7-10, 2019 in the Callaway Theatre.

Charles Schulz's beloved "Peanuts" characters come to life in Clark Gesner's beloved musical "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown". The whole gang is here, taking on adventures and experiences inspired by the classic comic strip.

The cast includes Jacarllus Hill as Charlie Brown, the main Peanuts protagonist, who is gentle and insecure, yet so very lovable. Lainey Walthall will appear as Sally Brown, Charlie's little sister, who is too rambunctious and unreliable and usually needs protection and guidance. Lucy Van Pelt, Charlie's mean and sarcastic sidekick with an undying affection for Schroeder, will be played by Felice Scott.

Linus Van Pelt, played by Clay Evers, is Charlie's best human friend, who always means well and tries to smooth over every storm that arises among the gang. Distinguished by his precocious skill at the piano and his love of Beethoven, Schroeder will be played by Jimmy Martinez. Most beloved of them all, Snoopy, played by Abigail Callaway, is Charlie's constant canine companion.

The small ensemble of singer and support characters rounding out the cast are Addie Bosanko, Tyler Cunningham, Sarah Faith, and Holland Ruff

About the cast, director Justin Howard said, "I could not be more proud of this cast! During auditions, we had people who we had never seen before come in and thoroughly impress us. There is a good mix of familiar faces with the new ones. I couldn't have asked for a better cast for my SAAC main stage directorial debut."

For more information about "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown", sponsored by Southern Bancorp and Teague Auto Group, 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

KIWANIS CLUB MEETING
Just a reminder, the Kiwanis Club will meet this Thursday, February 14 at 12:00 at Catherine’s Bistro.   The program will be presented by Darleen Wheelington . She will discuss the South Arkansas Kennel Club Dog Show Event

AIRPORT COMMISSION TO MEET
The City of Camden Airport Commission will have their regularly scheduled meeting on Friday, February 15, 2019 at 11:30 a.m. at the Airport Terminal located at 255 Airport Road, Camden, Arkansas.

OUACHITA COUNTY PRESIDENT’S DAY SCHEDULE
The Ouachita County Courthouse and the Ouachita County Extension office will be closed on Monday, February 18th in observance of President’s Day. The Ouachita County Sanitation Department will run on regular schedule. The Sanitation Department will not observe the holiday.

FEBRUARY 12, 2019

alt

COTTON, MANCHIN, MCSALLY, AND JONES

INTRODUCE RESOLUTION SUPPORTING

GOLD STAR FAMILIES REMEMBRANCE DAY

Washington, D.C.-Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) along with Senators Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), Martha McSally (R-Arizona), and Doug Jones (D-Alabama) last week introduced a resolution expressing support for the designation of March 2, 2019 as "Gold Star Families Remembrance Day." Gold Star Families are those who have lost a family member in combat. Currently the United States observes Gold Star Mother's Day and Gold Star Spouses Day. Congressman Bob Latta (R-Ohio) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives last month.

"America will always honor servicemembers who fall defending our flag. That means honoring families who carry on their memory, and the sorrowful burden of life after the death of a loved one. It has been 90 years since President Coolidge approved a pilgrimage so Gold Star families could visit the resting places of their loved ones. We can continue that legacy today by designating March 2, 2019 as Gold Star Families Remembrance Day, to be observed by all Americans in recognition of those who sacrificed greatly for our sake," said Cotton.

"America remains the greatest country on earth because of the patriotism of our fallen service members and their families. These individuals have paid the ultimate price so that we can enjoy the freedoms of this great country. I cannot imagine the pain that losing a loved one in the line of duty causes, my heart truly goes out to them. To honor these gold star families, I am a proud to help introduce this resolution so that on March 2nd, every American can take time to pray and reflect on the sacrifice of Gold star families," said Manchin.

"Gold Star Families' sacrificed deeply for our country and freedoms. Their pain and loss is real every single day with the absence of their loved ones who paid the ultimate price in service. The sacrifice of our Gold Star Families should be honored and remembered by us all," said McSally.

"It is important to remember that it's not just the men and women in our armed forces who make sacrifices in the defense of our nation - it's also their families. They support them while on deployments and during difficult training cycles, and sometimes must bear the unimaginable heartbreak of losing them in the line of duty. It is appropriate that we should set aside a day to honor them and to express our gratitude, and I am proud to join Senators Cotton, Manchin, and McSally in sponsoring this bill," said Jones.


The resolution is supported by the following Veterans Service Organizations:

  • Gold Star Wives of America Inc.
  • American Gold Star Mothers Inc.
  • Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS)
  • MOAA
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America 
  • Wounded Warrior Project
  • Jewish War Veterans of the USA
  • American GI Forum of the United States
  • Blinded Veterans Association
  • American Red Cross
  • The Retired Enlisted Association

 

 


Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge

 

ICYMI: STOP THE UNWANTED ROBOCALLS

Rutledge says, ‘I will take all measures necessary to advocate on behalf of Arkansans to stop these calls and prosecute those responsible.’

LITTLE ROCK – Sunday, an op-ed written by Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge appeared in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, calling for the federal government to do more to stop illegal caller ID spoofing and robocalls.

The phone rings and rings and rings. The number on my caller ID looks familiar, but I know better. It is another robocall. I could scream ... and I just might! Just like every other Arkansan, I just want these calls to end immediately.

For each of the past four years, I have visited every county in Arkansas, and the most common complaint I hear is that people want these calls to stop. They are tired of the incessant and pestering robocalls and spoofing.

Spoofing is when a fake but familiar-looking number is displayed on your caller ID that tricks you into answering the call. And while these calls are frustrating for most, they are costly and dangerous for far too many of our families, friends and neighbors.

Hard-working Arkansans who spent years saving for retirement so they could travel, spoil grandkids or buy a couple of momma cows to add to their herd become prime targets for these low-life con artists. People with no values or integrity prey on those who were raised right and want to always do the right thing.

These cons make outrageous claims: "I'm calling from the IRS because you owe back taxes and law enforcement will be there to arrest you if you don't make a payment this second"; or "You haven't paid your electric bill and I'm shutting the lights off unless you pay over the phone right now." Or they take advantage of the love of family: "Grandma, this is your favorite grandchild, and I am in jail out of state and you have to pay right now to get me out of here."

As your attorney general, let me be clear: These are all scams!

Spoofing is illegal in Arkansas, but it still happens, and Arkansans feel they have no way to protect themselves. Law enforcement investigates and prosecutes these crooks routinely. Unfortunately, the sheer volume of spoofed robocalls originating out of country turns efforts to identify the source into a perpetual game of whack-a-mole as different phone numbers are continuously used. My job as attorney general is to protect Arkansans, which is why I am taking this problem directly to the providers: the telecommunication companies.

According to First Orion, a call-blocking company based in Little Rock, nearly half of all cellphone calls in the next year will come from scammers. This is unacceptable. Every telephone call passes through a telecommunication service--a "telecom.

Regulatory roadblocks had previously prevented telecoms from having the legal authority to block many illegal calls. In 2017, I successfully urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to authorize telecoms to block illegal calls from invalid numbers, unassigned numbers and numbers whose owners have requested blocking. Telecom service providers have the authority to stop these never-ending robocalls, but they are not taking the necessary steps to verify whether a number is valid or a spoof. Consumers are so fed up with these calls that they would flock to a phone company that blocked all suspected robocalls involving a spoofed caller ID.

Telecom service providers can no longer have a free pass. It's time to put pressure on these companies and demand action. Telecoms must be required to block spoofed calls automatically.

Blocking spoofed calls is one part of a multi-faceted strategic solution. During this legislative session, I am working to strengthen our state laws to silence these calls. And I am on the 37-state Robocall Technology Working Group to develop best practices for the telecom industry to prevent robocalls and prosecute the originator of these calls.

I do not dismiss the technological challenges involved in this effort. Neither do I diminish the ability of the telecoms to identify and prevent these calls. I will take all measures necessary to advocate on behalf of Arkansans to stop these calls and prosecute those responsible.

This problem is not limited to our state. There is also legislation in Congress to increase the enforcement powers of the FCC to deal with unlawful robocalls. I will remain on the front lines of this effort, pushing these measures through Congress and to President Trump's desk. I will urge the FCC to implement rules to remove obstacles that would allow telecom service providers to use new and existing technology to detect and block illegal spoofed calls.

I am taking the fight to the criminals, the telecoms, the FCC, the Department of Justice and to the White House.

Arkansans are fed up, and so am I. It is time to stop the calls.

FEBRUARY 11, 2019

CAMDEN NOON LIONS CLUB TO MEET
The Camden Noon Lions Club will meet Wednesday at Catherine’s Bistro. This week’s speaker will be Kenny Meeks with the Steak Trail of Champions.  This is a new organization which will hold competitions throughout South Arkansas beginning with the Steak Cook-off at the Daffodil Festival.

altSAAC OFFER KITE WORKSHOP
February 16th and 23rd
Let your child's imagination fly free and make memories that will last a lifetime at the family Kite Workshops on Saturday, February 16th and 23rd at 12:00 a.m. Each event will be an opportunity for children and parents to work together to build, decorate, and fly a kite, with a healthy, homemade snack to round out the morning

Cost for the workshop is $20 per kite, and space is limited. The activity is designed for kids 4-10, but all ages are welcome, with a parent.

Participants will receive a kite kit to assemble and design with guidance from one of SAAC’s talented art instructors.

At the February 16 workshop, artist Mike Means will conduct the instruction, while February 23 will be led by Maria and Jorge Villegas. To keep your strength from flagging during the workshop, local chef Lilli Ellen will create a special sweet-and-savory snack inspired by the whimsical kite-flying theme.

The Kite Workshop is held in conjunction with SAAC’s production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” which opens March 1. During the show, the character of Charlie Brown endures a lengthy struggle with his own kite, ending with its eventual stranding in the infamous “Kite-Eating Tree.” If weather permits, the workshop will end with an outdoor kite-flying session, hopefully with a much more positive outcome!

Box office for “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” will be open during the workshop, so participants can nab great seats to the show. The production runs March 1-3 and 7-10, with performances at 7 p.m. on week nights and 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets will be available for $15 for members, $5 for students, and $25 for general public.

To register for this event, please call the SAAC office at 870-862-5474.

altRUTLEDGE WELCOMES SPRING LAW CLERKS
Says ‘Law clerks play a valuable role for the state’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge welcomed a new class of law clerks during the spring session to the Attorney General’s office. These law students work in various departments assisting with legal research, drafting memos and legal documents and accompanying lawyers at trials, client meetings and hearings.

“The law clerk program exposes students to the fulfilling experience of public service,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Law clerks play a valuable role for the state performing research and writing for Arkansas’s top attorneys in a great service-learning environment.”

Sarah Fendley, a second-year student at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UA Little Rock) William H. Bowen School of Law, is clerking in the Civil Department. She graduated from Lyon College with a Bachelor of Arts in English and art in 2009, and from Henderson State University with a Master of Liberal Arts degree in 2013. Fendley is from Hot Springs and graduated from Lake Hamilton High School in 2005.

Hannah Johnston, a second-year student at the UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law, is clerking in the State Agencies Department. She graduated from Auburn University in 2017 with a degree in public relations. Johnston is from Auburn, Alabama and graduated from Auburn High School in 2013.

Edward Mader, a second-year student at the UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law, is clerking in the Criminal Department. He graduated from the University of Dallas in 2006 with a degree in philosophy. Mader is from Bentonville and graduated from Bentonville High School in 2002.

Robert Murphy, a third-year student at the UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law, is clerking in the Public Protection Department. He graduated from Hendrix College in 2015 with a degree in creative writing. Murphy is from Little Rock and graduated from Episcopal Collegiate School in 2011.

Amanda Partridge, a second-year student at the UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law, is clerking in the Public Protection Department. She graduated from Harding University with a degree in English in 2011. Partridge is from Little Rock and graduated from Central Arkansas Christian High School in 2008.

Sydney Sadler, a second-year student at the UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law, is clerking in the Public Protection Department. She graduated from the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Arts in political science in 2017. Sadler is from Springfield, Missouri and graduated from Kickapoo High School in Springfield in 2013.

Christian Scott, a second-year student at the UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law, is clerking in the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. She graduated from the University of Central Arkansas with a major in history in 2016. Scott is from Mountain View and graduated from Mountain View High School in 2012.

Chandra Smith, a second-year student at the UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law, is clerking in the Civil Department. She graduated from Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa with degrees in business administration and criminal justice in 2017. Smith is from Bloomfield, Iowa and graduated from Davis County High School in Bloomfield in 2013.

Katelyn Spellman, a second-year student at the UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law, is clerking in the Criminal Department. She graduated from the Penn State University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Spellman is from Montrose, Pennsylvania and graduated from Montrose Area High School in 2011.

February 08, 2019

CAMDEN CITY BOARD OF ALDERMEN TO MEET
The City of Camden Board of Aldermen will have their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Building. The agenda includes the annual Fire Department Report which will be given by Fire Chief Robert Medford, the  annual Police Department Report given by Police Chief Bo Woody, an ordinance amending the City of Camden Zoning Ordinance to allow residential uses in certain zones. an ordinance assessing a lien on certain property located at 239 Monroe Street NE, an ordinance permitting an elected official to be interested in contracts with the City of Camden, Arkansas, an ordinance amending Ordinance No. 12-10 separating and establishing the elected office of City Clerk and appointed office of City Treasurer, and for other purposes, a resolution confirming the appointment of Garrome P. Franklin to the Airport Commission, a resolution confirming the appointment of Gregory Nettles to the Civil Service Commission, a resolution awarding the bid for the purchase of two (2) New 2018 Police Package Sedan Vehicles for the Camden Police Department, and a resolution authorizing a budget amendment for salary increase to the following Fire Department Classifications: Assistant Fire Chief, Fire Captain and Fire Lieutenant.

altaltSAU TECH PARTNERS WITH TODAY’S POWER, OECC IN SOLAR PROJECT
by Kyle Massey, Arkansas Business on Friday, Feb. 8, 2019 11:45 am  
South Arkansas’ march toward solar power got another nudge Friday when Southern Arkansas University Tech in Camden broke ground with Today’s Power Inc. of Little Rock on a 1-megawatt array to generate more than two-thirds of the campus’ electricity.

The 10-acre project, featuring single-axis tracking, is in line with projects that TPI has completed for many of the state’s nonprofit electric cooperatives and several other businesses, including Ouachita Electric Cooperative in Camden and South Arkansas Telephone Co. in Hampton (Calhoun County). East Camden is home to the one of the state’s largest solar power generators, the 77-megawatt complex built by Silicon Ranch for Aerojet Rocketdyne’s manufacturing facility in Highland Industrial Park.

SAU Tech’s system will provide a fixed price for electricity for 20-25 years, with savings to be applied to growing the college and educating students.

“We believe that it is our responsibility and goal as a state-funded college to use all the means available to us to be fiscally responsible,” SAU Tech Chancellor Jason Morrison said in a statement. “Creating an avenue for sustainable, renewable energy for our campus is a great example of an action toward that goal. We are grateful for all the hard work that Ouachita Electric Cooperative and Today’s Power have invested toward the success of this project.”

SAU Tech saw the potential in solar power when Today’s Power installed solar power at OECC’s Camden headquarters. A partnership model between SAU Tech and OECC required coordination with the the Arkansas Department of Finance & Administration, local legislators and the Arkansas Public Service Commission.

“SAU Tech has been a key partner developing solar as an energy resource in South Arkansas since planning for the first utility-scale solar project in the state began in 2014,” said Mark Cayce, the OECC general manager who has gained a reputation as an innovator in renewable power. “It was only natural the school would have a solar facility for its own use. The ability to demonstrate the economic benefits of clean renewable energy while educating young people as they begin to enter the workforce is an invaluable tool.”

SAU Tech, a two-year college with 150 staff and faculty members, expects to save about $105,000 a year, and the college will get about 30 percent of its power from OECC while 70 percent comes from the new array. The project is the 23rd for TPI, a wholly owned subsidiary of Arkansas Electric Cooperatives Inc. of Little Rock.

“We are so proud to have been selected to partner with SAU Tech and Ouachita Electric in developing this project,” TPI President Michael W. Henderson said in a news release. “The unique ownership partnership with SAU Tech makes us partners for the next 20 years, and I couldn’t think of any other institution that fits our culture so well.”

altGOVERNOR HUTCHINSON DIRECTS TRANSITION OF ARKANSAS NATIONAL GUARD PERSONNEL FROM NEW MEXICO BORDER TO TEXAS
LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has directed Adjutant General Mark Berry to move Arkansas National Guard personnel from New Mexico to Texas to assist with border security there.

“Our National Guard assets were deployed at my direction to assist in a multistate effort to secure our southwest border,” Governor Hutchinson said. “At this time, I have directed General Berry to shift those assets to Texas, where they have additional security needs and are requesting our assistance.”

Since May 2018, as many as eight Arkansas Guard personnel and two helicopters have been on mission at the southwest border in New Mexico at President Donald Trump’s request for state assistance. 

Earlier this week, New Mexico Governor Lujan Grisham ordered the withdrawal of the New Mexico National Guard from border deployment and also directed that troops from other states return home immediately. “New Mexico will not take part in the president’s charade of border fear-mongering by misusing our diligent National Guard troops,” Governor Grisham stated in a press release.

According to a report from Army Times, one week ago members of the state Guard’s contingent in one of the state’s LUH-72 Lakota helicopters “helped federal agents seize large sacks of marijuana and arrest four camouflage-clad men hiding in brush at night” along the border of New Mexico. The sacks contained nearly 136 pounds of marijuana.

P. ALLEN SMITH TO HEADLINE FIRST AGRITOURISM CONFERENCE
The Arkansas Agritourism Association will host its inaugural conference from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wed., Feb. 20, 2019, at the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service in Little Rock. The keynote speaker is P. Allen Smith, an author, television host, conservationist, lifestyle expert and garden designer. Smith is the owner of Moss Mountain Farm, located in Roland, Ark. The farm is available for tours, private gatherings, weddings and other social or business events.
 
The conference will commemorate the Arkansas Agritourism Association’s one-year anniversary. The event will feature workshop sessions on food safety, marketing techniques, hospitality, an insurance roundtable and various networking opportunities.
 
Due to limited seating, early registration is encouraged and can be reserved online at: https://www.arkansas.com/arkansas-agritourism-association-conference. Completed registration forms can be mailed or processed at the conference.  
 
The Arkansas Agritourism Association was organized by a group of Arkansas agritourism operators in 2017 to explore the possibility of forming a statewide association. Technical assistance was provided by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service, Arkansas Tourism and the Arkansas Agriculture Department.
 
The organization provides support, education, technical assistance and networking opportunities for current and potential agritourism operators throughout the state. The group held its first official meeting February 26, 2018, to establish bylaws and elect officers and board members.
 
For more information: Contact: Ruth Pepler, President, Arkansas Agritourism Association, Phone:  870-504-1306, Email: info@agritourism.com  

altBOOZMAN HELPS INTRODUCE BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION TO COMBAT DOCTOR SHORTAGE
WASHINGTON—
U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) helped introduce a bipartisan bill that will address the shortage of more than 120,000 primary care and specialty physicians the nation is expected to face by 2030.

Boozman joined as the lead Republican sponsor of the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act, authored by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ). The bill would ease the arbitrary cap on the number of Medicare-funded graduate medical education (GME) positions imposed by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.

“Lifting this antiquated cap on training slots for medical school graduates is a perfect example of a small reform that can make a big difference. The number of available physicians per population in the Natural State is among the lowest in the nation and providers of all specialties are facing a serious shortfall, especially in Arkansas’s rural communities. This commonsense bill is a small step toward a system that ensures access to affordable, quality care for every American,” Boozman said.

The Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act seeks to gradually lift the caps on Medicare-supported doctor training slots by 3,000 per year over five years creating 15,000 new residency training slots across the country.

“It is no secret that significant reform needs to be brought to our health care system. However, there are some reasonable, simple steps we can take to increase access to quality medical services in Arkansas while we work toward the larger goal. This bill I helped introduce with Senator Menendez is a perfect place to start,” Boozman said.

The bill prioritizes states with new medical schools, hospitals that partner with VA medical centers and hospitals that focus on community-based training for the increases.

altARTIST RECEPTION SATURDAY AT SAAC FOCUSES ON STUDENT ARTISTS
The South Arkansas Arts Center will host an artist reception Saturday, February 9, from 2:00 to 3:30pm, for "Love and Reflections" by Emmaline Landes and for the 2019 SAAC Student Art Competition. The reception is free and open to the public.

The SAAC Student Art Competition consists of 70 works by local student artists. Helene Lambert will present awards for four places in each of four divisions, as well as overall Best of Show, at 2:30. Gallery manager Kelly Campbell said, "I truly enjoy the student competition - I am truly amazed at the quality of artwork that the students in grades K-12 produce. We have this competition in alternating years, and I always look forward to it!"  The 2019 Student Art Competition, sponsored by William P. Cook and Associates, PLLC, will be on display in the Merkle and Price Galleries throught February 26.

Sixteen year old Emmaline Landes' work will be in the Lobby Gallery. She enjoys all art media, but mainly works with acrylics on canvas. Studying under Maria Villegas, Katie Harwell, Sara Howard, and Patrick Johnson, she's continually evolving. In 2013, Emmaline created her own nonprofit project called "Heartworks", a series of small paintings that she sells and then donates the proceeds to fund charities close to her heart. As a result of "Heartworks" and her charitable giving, she was awarded The Presidential Volunteer Service Gold Medal and The Prudential Spirit of Community Bronze Medal in 2017.

The gallery is open Monday-Friday from 9:00-5:00 and this exhibit is free and open to the public. SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas. For more information, please call the SAAC office at 870-862-5474 or visit the website at www.saac-arts.org.

February 07,2019

alt

CITY OF CAMDEN POLICE REPORT
DRINKING ON THE HIGHWAY
DISORDERLY CONDUCT

OBSTRUCTION OF GOVERNMENTAL OPERATIONS

On February 4, 2019 at 1308 hours, Officer Jacob VanAssche was patrolling the area of McCollough at Agee when he observed a white Buick, bearing Arkansas LP# 761XRX, fail to yield the stop sign at the four way intersection. The Officer initiated his blue lights and conducted a traffic stop.

While conducting a traffic stop Officer VanAssche could hear the backseat passenger's speech to be slurred and could smell the oder of intoxicants coming from his person. The subject identified himself as David Dobbie (it was later discovered his correct last name was Boddie). The Officer asked Boddie if he had been drinking, and he advised he had a couple beers before heading out.

Sergeant Elliott arrived on scene to assist and began walking up to the vehicle while Officer VanAssche was finishing the traffic stop. Once she reached the rear passenger side of the vehicle she observed Boddie attempting to hide an open container of alcohol in the floor board between his feet. Boddie admitted to drinking the beer while in the vehicle.

Boddie was then taken into custody, and while doing so he began to yell profanities. He was advised to stop yelling profanities due to there being children and other residents in the neighborhood outside. Officer VanAssche observed one resident take her children inside her apartment, due to Boddie's behavior. Boddie continued to yell profanities until he was placed min the patrol unit. Boddie was then transported to the station.

At the station Boddie refused to cooperate with booking procedures, and was eventually booked for Drinking on the Highway, Disorderly Conduct, and Obstruction of Governmental Operations. Booking procedures where completed, and later approved by Sergeant Elliott. Boddie was later transported to the Ouachita County Detention Center, set to be released after 12 hours due to his intoxicated state. Once released Boddie will receive Criminal Citation 11728, and will be given a District Court date of March 20, 2019 at 0900 hours.

altRUTLEDGE ANNOUNCES TAX EVASION ARREST OF MISSISSIPPI WOMAN ALREADY FACING MEDICAID FRAUD CHARGES
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the owner of Bridge of Faith Hospice & Palliative Care in Helena-West Helena has been arrested on charges separate, but in addition to the previous charges of engaging in a criminal enterprise and Medicaid fraud she is currently facing.

Charline Brandon, 62, of Cleveland, Mississippi, is charged with attempting to evade or defeat taxes, a Class C felony, from 2010 to March 2017. Brandon was arrested for fraudulently billing the Medicaid program in Arkansas in October 2017. It was subsequently learned that from September 2013 through December 2016, Bridge of Faith Hospice & Palliative Care was paid gross income of $1,567,432.82 by Medicaid and Medicare and never filed an income tax return in Arkansas. Brandon turned herself in to the Pulaski County District Court. She currently faces similar charges in Mississippi.

“Brandon’s laundry list of charges include finding ways to steal from the Arkansas Medicaid Program and avoid paying taxes,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Brandon’s failure to pay taxes on behalf of the company or from her personal income to the State of Arkansas hurt law-abiding Arkansas families and businesses who work hard to follow the laws and serve Arkansans.”

This case was referred to the Arkansas Attorney General’s office by the Mississippi Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of 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.

altELECTRIC COOPERATIVES OF ARKANSAS OFFER 2019 LEGISLATIVE DIRECTORY
Little Rock, Ark.
— Feb. 7, 2019 — The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas recently launched a 2019 digital version of its popular Arkansas Legislative Directory. The digital directory is free and offered to iPhone and Android users.

“The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas Legislative Directory provides an easy to use tool to allow Arkansans to contact their state and federal elected officials,” said Duane Highley, president/CEO of the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas.

The digital application provides names and detailed profiles of state and federal officials, interactive contact links with telephone numbers and e-mail addresses, detailed district maps and other pertinent information.

“We work on behalf of the interests of Arkansas’ electric cooperative members,” said Kirkley Thomas, vice president of governmental affairs with the cooperatives. “The legislative directory app is a great resource to ensure that our members’ voices are heard.”

To download the app, please go to: http://aecc.com/legislative-app and follow the instructions. The directory may also be downloaded at: https://aecc.com/government-affairs/legislative-directory/

The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas comprise 17 electric distribution cooperatives; Arkansas Electric Cooperatives Inc. (AECI), a Little Rock-based cooperative that provides various services to the distribution cooperatives; and AECC, a generation and transmission cooperative. The distribution cooperatives provide electricity to more than 500,000 members, or customers, in Arkansas and surrounding states.

For additional information, contact: Rob Roedel, Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, 501.570.2296 or rroedel@aeci.com.

altADE NAMES SCHOOL SAFETY COORDINATOR
LITTLE ROCK —
In an effort to promote a safe school environment and provide continued leadership, support, and service to Arkansas public schools, the Arkansas Department of Education has named a school safety coordinator to assist districts with implementing school safety measures. ADE’s Doug Bradberry has assumed this new role.

As the school safety coordinator, Bradberry will assist schools and districts with developing school safety policies and procedures. He also will assist districts with comprehensive school safety assessments, will work with the Division of Public School Academic Facilities and Transportation regarding revisions to the "Arkansas Public School Academic Facility Manual," and will collaborate with the Governor’s Office to implement recommendations provided by the Arkansas School Safety Commission.

“When I created the Arkansas School Safety Commission in March 2018, I tasked the commission with providing recommendations that would improve school safety for all students,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “The commission provided a very comprehensive list of recommendations for consideration. I commend the Department of Education for making school safety a priority and reallocating an existing position to assist districts with their efforts to improve school safety for all students."

Bradberry has worked at the ADE for almost 14 years. During his time at the department, he has worked in the Commissioner’s Office, Curriculum Unit, and Research and Technology and has provided assistance for the State Board of Education and the Commission on Closing the Achievement Gap. Through his various roles at the department, Bradberry also assisted with drug education and safe school efforts, including providing support for the Arkansas School Safety Commission.

For more information about school safety and to read the commission’s report to the governor, visit http://www.arkansased.gov/divisions/communications/safety.

 CAMDEN FAIRVIEW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR ABC PRE-SCHOOL
Camden Fairview ABC Pre-School is accepting applications for children ages 3, 4 and 5. Children must be 3 years old by August 1st. Required documents are birth certificate, proof of income, Social Security card, proof of residency, wellness check-up, updated shot record and proof of insurance. Applications can be completed or picked up at Fairview Elementary School located a 735 Robin Road in Camden, between 8:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Registration will through May 3rd. Call Cecelia Willis at 231-5434 for more information.

HOPE TABERNACLE OF FAITH HOSTS BLACK HISTORY PROGRAM
The new Hope Tabernacle of Faith Church of God in Christ in Camden is hosting the Annual Black History Program Service. The service will be held on February 24th at 3 p.m. The Pastor is Roy L. Wesley Sr. Special Guest Elder will be Connell muse and the Prince Chapeol Church of Gin Christ of Taylor Arkansas. Everyone in invited.

NEW HAVEN BAPTIST PASTOR ANNIVERSARY
The New Haven Baptist Church, Reverend Jeffery Cl Fields, Pastor,  will have the 7th Pastor and Wife Anniversary on February 10. The Celebration will begin at 3:00 p.m. The Word Family Church where Bishop Jacovis Davies is Pastor, will be the guest church. Everyone is invited to attend.

NEW HAVEN YOUTH HOST VALENTINE’S SWEETHEART DINNER
The Youth at the New Haven Baptist Church, located at 336 Stewart Street in Camden are host a Valentine’s Sweetheart Dinner. This event is a fundraiser for the Youth. Come out and dine with your sweetheart or treat yourself to an elegant night out. Dress to impress. There will be a photosphere in the building to capture the special and memorable night of you and your love. All proceeds will go towards the summer trip for the Youth Department. Tickets are $25.00 for a couple or $15.00 for a single. RSVP to 501-804-7510. For more information call 836-6158.

ST. PAUL CHRISTIAN CHURCH HOST WOMEN’S CONFERENCE
The St. Paul Christian Church, Elder Stephone Avery, Pastor, is hosting a Women’s Conference on Saturday February 23rd at 10:00 a.m. The Theme is “The Power of God,s Love”. You’re invited to help celebrate the Colors of Love. St, Paul Christian Women’s Ministry is on the move, praying, sharing, teaching and leading ladies of all ages to walk in the will and purpose of God. St. Paul Christian Church is located at 134 Ouachita 404 in the Harmony Grove area.

 

FEBRUARY 6, 2019

SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE FOR OUACHITA COUNTY STUDENTS
Applications accepted February 1st through April 1st, 2019
Camden, Ark. (February 6th 2019) – Beginning February 1, Arkansas students can apply for more than 200 private scholarships through Arkansas Community Foundation. April 1, 2019 is the deadline to apply for most opportunities. Students can begin their application by visiting www.arcf.org/scholarships.

“Post-secondary education is a key to financial stability and opportunity,” said Heather Larkin, president and CEO of the Community Foundation. “When Arkansans earn college degrees or professional certificates, they benefit as individuals and we all benefit as a state. The Community Foundation is honored to help connect students with the resources they need to keep learning.”

Each scholarship has its own eligibility criteria; in general, the Community Foundation’s scholarships are for Arkansas students pursuing higher education at two- or four-year colleges or universities, vocational schools or technical training programs. Some scholarships are designated for graduates of a particular high school or those who plan to attend a particular college. Others are based on extracurricular activities or intended college majors.

Locally, students from Ouachita valley are eligible to apply for these scholarships, established for students in the area:

  • Dian Hendrick Memorial Teachers Scholarship
  • Dr. Judy Abbott Memorial Scholarship
  • Harmony Grove Alumni ScholarshiP
  • Judy Abbott P.D., M.D. Scholarship
  • Leadership Camden Area Junior Leadership Scholarship
  • McGill Family Fund of 1999

“Funding for these scholarships comes from families, businesses and individuals who want to support higher education and invest in Arkansas students,” said Rajveer Kang executive director of Ouachita Valley Community Foundation, Arkansas Community Foundation’s affiliate in the area. “These donors determine the size and eligibility criteria for the scholarships they create, and we manage the scholarship process on their behalf.”

More information is available online at www.arcf.org/scholarships.

Arkansas Community Foundation is a nonprofit organization that fosters smart giving to improve communities. The Community Foundation offers tools to help Arkansans protect, grow and direct their charitable dollars as they learn more about community needs. By making grants and sharing knowledge, the Community Foundation supports charitable programs that work for Arkansas and partners to create new initiatives that address the gaps.  Since 1976, the Community Foundation has provided more than $156 million in grants and partnered with thousands of Arkansans to help them improve our neighborhoods, our towns and our entire state. Contributions to the Community Foundation, its funds and any of its 28 affiliates are fully tax deductible.

SOUTH ARKANSAS KENNEL CLUB DOG SHOWS & OBEDIENCE TRIALS, RALLY & LURE COURSING CELEBRATES 20 YEARS
South Arkansas Largest Dog show returns to East Camden AR at the Highland Airport Facilities in East Camden AR. February 23-24, 2019
LOCATION:

HIGHLAND AIRPORT FACILITIES (FORMER GENERAL DYNAMICS BUILDING)
204 OUACHITA 212 (VETERANS ROAD) CAMDEN, AR *Turn left beside Dollar General in East Camden and go to the end of the road.

DATE:
Saturday & Sunday
February 23-24, 2019

SCHEDULE:
SHOW HOURS:  Saturday 9:00 A.M. TILL 5:00 P.M. EACH DAY INDIVIDUAL BREEDS BEGIN SHOWING AT 9:00 A.M. ON SATURDAY AND 8 A.M. ON SUNDAY. GROUPS BEGIN AT APPROXIMATELY 12:30 - 1:00 P.M. 

INFO:

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