News provided by News Director Linda Boyer

News for April 23, 2015

Berryville City Council Report

Berryville Mayor Tim McKinney told Aldermen that the 30 days notice to the owner of a residence on Phillips Street has gone unanswered and therefore he will have the house torn down and moved.  The house sustained serious damage in a fire last November.  Letters from the city have been sent to the bank that holds the note and those have gone unanswered.  Demolition work will begin soon.

The Berryville City Council Tuesday approved use of the City Square for May 2nd, to the Berryville Restoration Cruzin'.  The group plan to cruise Hwy. 62 and park, at times, on the square.  The event will benefit the Berryville Community Restoration Project.  Tentative plans are also for grilling and selling burgers.  The Berryville Community Restoration Project are restoring old murals on buildings on the square.

The monthly financial report showed the 1% sales tax received for March was $108,699.  The 1/2% sales tax received $54,349.  

Mayor McKinney was asked by a reporter about letters being sent to Berryville residents regarding water service line responsibility from a company called HomeServe .  He said the company nor the service  are endorsed or recommended by the city. 

Couple Held in Benton County Jail on Felony Theft by Receiving Charges

An Oklahoma couple is being held in the Benton County Jail on numerous charges, some in connection with the theft at Greer Excavation  April 14th.  Steven Thomas HIlburn, 39, of Westville, OK., is charged with felony theft by receiving and other outstanding warrants out of Benton County.  Christina Eakins, 36, of Watts, OK., is charged with felony theft by receiving, hindering apprehension or prosecution and shoplifting.  The couple were found in possession of one of the trucks stolen from Greer Excavation.  Another truck, both duallys, was also stolen.  It is possible others are involved in the theft.   Numerous tools belonging to Greer and used in his trade are still unaccounted for.  It is not known what, if any, connection the Oklahoma couple have to Green Forest.  

CCSO Staff Gets Fine Tuning on 'Citizen Service'

Major George Frye with the CCSO says, "This administration has made excellent service to citizens the highest priority from the first day in office.  Our staff understands and enthusiastically attempts to provide the very best of service every day.  As reinforcement of our commitment, the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office sought out quality training for its staff.  Retired Hollister Police Chief Darren Parker presented a seminar on April 21st to the CCSO staff on techniques to provide exceptional service to the citizens we serve.  This training was well received by the staff.

Chief Parker wrote to the CCSO  following the training, “We all can wrap our mind around “good customer service” but in reality citizens are not customers, they are so much more than that.  This training exposes officers to the tools needed in providing the partnership, help, and supportive services our citizens expect and deserve.  Hats off to the Sheriff and his staff for putting the citizens first and making great citizen service a priority.”

Charcoal Plant Employee Dies On The Job From Head Injury

The U.S. Department of Labor is investigating the death of a worker at a charcoal plant in Huntsville.  According to the Madison County Sheriff's Office, 22-year-old Arland Alexander was hit in the head with a metal door Tuesday. When responders found Alexander at the Royal Oaks Charcoal Plant, they say he was unconscious and bleeding. Paramedics took him to Northwest Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. The Sheriff's Office believes a large metal door attached to a kiln was hit by a front end loader that caused the door to shift. The door then struck Alexander in the head. The Arkansas Medical Examiner's Office is still determining an official cause of death. OSHA confirms it is investigating the incident. 

Boone County Man Charged With Rape

The Boone County Sheriffs Department was alerted about a reported rape of young female under the age of 14 on April 9.  The suspect, 34-year-old Johnathan Lyman Stubbs of Bergman, admitted to two separate occasions of engaging in sexual acts with the juvenile constituting rape.  A joint investigation was conducted by the Boone County Sheriffs Department and the Arkansas State Police Crimes Against Children Division. Stubbs was booked into the Boone County Detention Center for two counts of Rape, a class ‘Y’ Felony and is currently being held on $100,000.00 bond.

Arkansas Lawmakers Formally End 2015 Session

Arkansas lawmakers have formally ended this year's legislative session, but face the possibility of returning later during the year to address the future of the state's compromise Medicaid expansion.  Both the House and Senate met Wednesday to adjourn the session, which recessed earlier this month after a last-minute fight over a religious objections measure. The Legislature isn't scheduled to return until next year's fiscal session, but Gov. Asa Hutchinson has said he'll likely call lawmakers back to look at alternatives for covering the hundreds of thousands on the state's "private option" Medicaid expansion.  A legislative task force is expected to issue recommendation for an alternative to the program, which uses federal funds to purchase private insurance for the poor.

Treasurer of State Joins First Lady and Lieutenant Governor Welcoming Arkansas Paws in Prison to Capitol

First Lady Susan Hutchinson, Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin and Treasurer of State Dennis Milligan welcomed the Arkansas Paws in Prison program to the State Capitol.  The three also met with the program’s ambassador dog, Chloe, who is battling cancer while still participating in the program. Arkansas Paws in Prison is a non-profit organization founded in 2011 through the Arkansas Department of Corrections and partnerships with animal shelters and advocacy groups across the state.  It matches dogs that are in animal shelters with select inmates.  The dogs then go through an 8 to 10 week training program with the inmate which teaches them obedience and social skills that assist the dog in becoming more adoptable.  

The benefits of the Paws in Prison program are that it not only reduces the number of animals who perish by better preparing them to be loving, obedient and adoptable pets, but it gives inmates the skills necessary to support successful rehabilitation and reentry into society.  At the same time, this provides an opportunity for the inmates to do something positive for the communities of Arkansas. In other states this type of a program has had a profound impact on inmates and staff, which improved security and the quality of life inside the institutions. The goal for the organization is by bringing Chloe to the Capitol they can raise awareness for the program, and they are planning to create a promotional book highlighting Chloe’s day at the Capitol.

News for April 22, 2015

Two Suspects in Custody from Greer Excavation Burglary

Green Forest Police Chief John Bailey Tuesday, announced that Siloam Springs Police have taken two people into custody in connection with last weeks Greer Excavation theft in Green Forest.  A woman was found in possession of one of the two Ford F-350's taken in the burglary.  She was identified as 37 year old Christina Eakins.  No city of residence was noted.  Siloam Springs Police were called to a Wal-Mart where Eakins had allegedly tried to shoplift some merchandise.  A man, identified by Siloam Springs Police Mr. Hilburn was also taken into custody.  Both Hilburn and Eakins were booked into the Benton County Jail.  Others could be involved and we hope to get more information in the near future.

Green Forest Police Make Drug Bust - Issue 5 Arrest Warrants

According to Green Forest Police Chief John Bailey, on Tuesday, April 17th, the GFPD in their long committed efforts to fight against methamphetamine and other ilegal drugs executed 5 more arrest warrants with the assistance of the CCSO and the ASP.  Green Forest police officers and Arkansas State Police spent Friday evening rounding up Bobby Joe Briley, James Curtis Davis, James Villines, Vance Parnin and James Richard.

The GFPD is continuing investigations related to the manufacturing and sales of illegal drugs and additional warrants are very likely to be executed sometime this year.  Chief Bailey said they have worked with many Federal, State, County and local agencies over the past several years and our efforts have been very successful.  He said, "we are determined to continue our efforts in fighting the destructive abuse of illegal drugs in our community.  Bailey goes on to say, "we want to thank all the other agencies along with the many members of our community involved in assisting us with our efforts to bring those responsible in the manufacturing and sales of illegal drugs to justice."  "I know that when people call in to give us information it sometimes appears that we are not doing enough, however, in time, much of the information given has been very helpful to us in building the cases against those responsible for the manufacturing and sales of illegal drugs."

Carving in the Ozarks Very Successful 

This year’s Carving in the Ozarks Chainsaw Carving Festival took place on April 17th and 18th behind McDonald’s, and Cornerstone Bank. The festival, produced by the Volunteers of Eureka Springs Fire Department, hosted carvers from as far away as Iowa and Georgia. The Department would like to thank the community for their continued support.  A special thank you is owed to David Blankenship for generously offering the event to the Fire Department to use as a fundraiser.  Treasurer Vance Marvin stated that he enthusiastically agreed that the fundraiser was a success. While no numbers are available, Marvin noted that the excellent attendance and well supported event bodes well for this becoming a regular fundraiser for the fire department.

Provocative Billboard in Arkansas Urges Secession

A hate group is targeting a city in the Ozarks once again.  For years, some in Harrison have fought the stigma of being a home to bigotry, but that's not stopping another group of people from sharing an opposing viewpoint. The Southern Poverty Law Center describes the League of the South as a neo-confederate hate group. It's behind the latest billboard up in the city urging secession. Many in Harrison don't agree with it's message, including students at Harrison High School. They're behind, "We are Harrison", a Facebook page that promotes tolerance, diversity and positivity. The person who owns the billboard said while he doesn't necessarily support the message, he does support free speech. Regulations for billboards in Harrison do not regulate content. The mayor says he feels it is protected speech under the first amendment.

Springdale Mayor Gets Emotional During Meeting

In light of recent violence in the city of Springdale, city leaders held a press conference Tuesday to discuss the current state of the city and what's being done to combat gang activity.  Springdale's mayor, Doug Sprouse, was emotional while leading Tuesday's conference. He, along with the chief of police, and school district superintendent all had something to add in the hopes of reassuring residents that their city is still safe, saying they will do their best to silence the violence starting with four steps. Sprouse said Tuesday, "Springdale is a community where something happens to some of us, it affects all of us."  The Mayor's four main points included hiring seven new school resource officers, by way of a federal grant, working with faith leaders and youth violence experts, identifying and implementing new tactics to combat crime which he would not specify, and seeking funds for ten additional police officers.  The cost of hiring additional officers, he says, is up to $600,000, most likely coming from the capital improvement program or city reserves.

The Springdale community stood united in the the face of three gang-related shootings in the last month, asking for peace in a march Tuesday evening.  "I wasn't expecting a lot of people," said Martin Rodriguez, brother of one of the shooting victims, Jimmy Rodriguez.  A moment of silence was given at two of the shooting locations to honor the families grieving the loss of two young men. "It means a lot not only for my family but for Fabian's family as well. And for the rest of the people, the crowd....Hopefully everything stops," added Martin Rodriguez.  The peace march's impressive turnout is a symbol of a renewed commitment to community, Mayor Sprouse said.  He also participated in the march.

Stellar Field Set for Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge 

The field is now set for next week’s Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf and fans can look forward to watching dozens of golf’s most decorated players compete when the all-team event gets underway April 24-26 at the Big Cedar Lodge in Ridgedale, Missouri.  One of the longest-running events on the Champions Tour schedule, the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge is a unique two-man team competition featuring two divisions: The Champions division, a 54-hole, two-man better-ball and modified alternate shot competition for official money and the Legends Division, a 45-hole, two-man better-ball and modified alternate shot competition for players 65 years of age and older (unofficial money).

Leading the field are 14 current members of the World Golf Hall of Fame including the marquee team of Jack Nicklaus-Gary Player, along with fan favorites Lee Trevino (partner Mike Hill) and Chi Chi Rodriguez (Bob Murphy), who is competing for the first time since 2007.  Missouri natives Tom Watson (Andy North) and Hale Irwin (Wes Short, Jr.), will be joined by fellow members Larry Nelson, Hubert Green, Tony Jacklin, Sandy Lyle, Ben Crenshaw, Tom Kite, Nick Price and Colin Montgomerie.  2015 inductees David Graham and Mark O’Meara are also in the field.

Legends Division champs Jim Colbert and Jim Thorpe will return to defend their title, however the winning duo of Jeff Sluman and Fred Funk will not defend in the Champions division due to a bit of uncertainty that took place as the current season unfolded. Earlier this year it appeared Funk might miss the event due to an elbow injury. With Funk’s status up in the air, Sluman partnered with Tom Lehman, who played in the past with Bernhard Langer. Funk’s health improved and he later committed to the event and will now team with Eduardo Romero.

Wal-Mart Restructures Store Management Hierarchy, Closes Five Stores

Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores recently confirmed their plans to eliminate the role of zone managers in its U.S. stores in the coming weeks. This impacts 14,000 workers who were told recently and given the opportunity to transition into other roles at like pay, the retailer said. Walmart U.S. CEO Greg Foran told analysts April 1 that the retailer was adding back the position of “department manager” to better streamline the chain of command, but he made no mention of eliminating zone managers. The retailer did recently outline plans to spend $1 billion this year in wages and staffing changes in its U.S. segment. This shift from zone to department mangers are part of this overhaul, according to Kory Lundberg, Wal-Mart spokesman.

There are about five zone managers in a typical supercenter and those employees will be reassigned to either department of assistant managers, he said. The role of a zone manager has typically been to oversee a few departments and came about as an effort to reduce store count away from department managers that were originally part of the retailer’s store operational structure, retail experts said.  Lungren told The City Wire that increasing the number of department managers who look after just one area such as produce or electronics will allow managers to focus more on narrowly engaging with workers and ensuring their department is meeting customer needs.

Willie's Reserve Goes Retail

Although news of Willie Nelson‘s signature marijuana line leaked in March, the country icon waited until a more fitting day to make an official announcement this week.  Nelson’s line will be called Willie’s Reserve, and it will be a signature cannabis brand that mirrors his longstanding commitment to regulated and high quality strains of marijuana in legal U.S. markets. Nelson will work alongside some of the country’s top growers to create quality marijuana.  Willie’s Reserve will be grown, distributed and sold by local business owners in Colorado and Washington. As state regulations allow marijuana to be legalized in other states, the brand will expand throughout other parts of America.

The singer has spent much of his life defending marijuana, both for personal use and on the industrial hemp side. According to an official press release, “Willie’s Reserve will seek ways to further support and celebrate aspect of the singer-songwriter’s journey with cannabis. Willie and his family, and a few close friends developed the brand with emphasis on environmental and social issues, to lend support to the gradual end to marijuana prohibition across America.”  

News for April 21, 2015

Berryville Mayor Encourages Judge Barr's Citizens Committee to Explore Ambulance Service District

The Carroll County Quorum Court met Monday in Berryville.  All J.P.'s were present as was Judge Sam Barr and County Clerk Jamie Correia.  Mayor Tim McKinney encouraged J.P.'s to support Judge Barr's formation of a Citizens Advisory Committee made up of various JP's and citizens from the Eastern side of the County.  The issue came up since Mercy Berryville approached the county to give them exclusive ambulance service.  They reportedly lost $500,000 this past fiscal year in their service.  Ozark EMS has moved to Berryville from the Western District to provide another ambulance service.  Berryville Mayor Tim McKinney................

In other business:

 Airport Commission Chairman Morris Pate gave a positive activity report for the Airport.  It seems planes and business is picking up at the airport.  Pate did report that embittered commissioner Lonnie Clark has resigned the Airport Commission.  Clark, former chairman, came under fire from J.P.'s for not providing financial reports to the County that had been asked for many times, in order for the Quorum Court to figure a budget for the coming year.  In turn, J.P.'s on the Budget Committee, slashed their budget to the bare essentials, leaving the Airport without a manager.  Pate has been doing almost all of the upkeep and work.  Pate urged J.P.'s Monday to reconsider funding a manager position and that employee would be a county employee, paid by the county.  No action was taken on his request at this time.  

J.P.'s passed a resolution appropriating $140,000 to the Eureka Springs parking lot repair fund.  Judge Barr reported the huge hole has been repaired and is being filled back up.  

J.P. Jack Deaton reported his estimate last meeting to convert the county to new communications equipment was low, and instead will be well over $1 million dollars.  The FCC change is being mandated for emergency communications to take effect in 5-6 years.  Deaton said the county needs to start saving for that major expense.

The next meeting of the Quorum Court will be May 18th at 5pm.

Beaver Lake Drowning Victim I'D'd

We now know the identity of a man who drowned in Beaver Lake over the weekend.   The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission confirmed Monday that the body of Russell C. Johnston, 38, of Seligman, Mo., was recovered on Sunday morning in about 75-feet of water.  Authorities say Johnston fell out of his flat bottom boat near the dam on the Carroll County side of the lake, west of Eureka Springs.   No life vests were located on the boat, according to officials. The investigation is ongoing. 

Prescription Drug Drop-Off Coming Up Saturday

Another National Prescription Drug Drop-Off is coming up this weekend.  Here in Region 1 of the state, Carroll, Benton, Washington and Madison County, several locations will be open for those unwanted prescription drugs.  Organizers would like you know that old, unused or unwanted medication can be disposed of safely.  It's good to take the prescriptions out of their bottles before you drop them off.  Sometimes kid proof lids are troublesome to get off as we all know.  The following locations will be available Saturday in Carroll County to drop off old prescription medicines:  Carroll County Sheriff's Office, Green Forest Police Department, Eureka Springs Police Department, Grassy Knob Fire Department and Holiday Island Fire Department.  Drop-off times are from 10am-2pm.

Typically held in April, this event is a great opportunity for those who missed the previous events, or who have subsequently accumulated unwanted, unused prescription drugs, to safely dispose of those medications.  In the five previous Take-Back events, DEA in conjunction with our state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners have collected more than 2 million pounds (1,018 tons) of prescription medications were removed from circulation. The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposal, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of these medications.

BVHS Capstone Project - CC Art Scholarship Gala Thursday

Berryville High School students Kylie Sigmon, Alexsi Smith and Katie Johnson came up with a clever theme for their Capstone project, an Art Scholarship Gala.  It's coming up this Thursday evening, 6pm, in the K-2 Cafeteria..........

Carroll County Constables Meet for Training 

The Carroll County Sheriff’s Office invited all of the County constables to the Sheriff’s Office on Saturday, April 18th for a meeting over coffee and homemade cinnamon rolls.  Capt. George Frye said they had a good discussion, covering areas of mutual interest.  The Sheriff’s Office extended an invitation to the constables wishing certification to attend the upcoming reserve academy.  They concluded the day with handgun qualifications on the CCSO firing range.  

People Express Concerns About Mount Judea Hog Farm Changes

A controversial hog farm near the Buffalo National River is hoping to change how it deals with some waste from its operation, but people living nearby say they don't want to chance any changes to the C&H hog farm.  In the past, public  meetings about the C&H hog game in Mount Judea have drawn a lot of concern from people, and Monday's meeting in Jasper was no different. The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality hosted the meeting to discuss a change where the farm could use tanker trucks to spread waste from its second pool. Right now only sprinklers are used for the second pool, which is mainly sewage and overflow from the farms first pool. "The second pond is the overflow pond, it receives a lot less waste and the waste is a lot more liquids, not a lot of solids in it," Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality Deputy Director Ryan Benefield, People at the meeting said they're concerned about the effect the change would have on the nearby Buffalo National River.  "Anytime they want to change the way they've got things set up is a concern for me because it wasn't sustainable to begin with and tinkering it is probably not going to make it more sustainable," Lin Wellford said.  The Department of Environmental Quality expects to make a decision soon.

Program Director for the Beaver LakeSmart Program to Speak at Hobbs State Park

LakeSmart is a watershed education program that focuses on voluntary actions and best management practices that individuals can do where they live, work, and play to protect and improve the water quality of their local lakes, rivers, and streams.   LakeSmart generally focuses on homeowners and residents.   The program addresses issues like landscape management, managing wells and water, septic system management, household hazardous wastes, and runoff to protect the health and safety of individuals and the watershed in which they live.  However; many ideas can be applied to larger audiences such as schools, churches, businesses, and civic organizations.  Each participant will receive a DVD, materials on watershed protection, and a binder that addresses each of the topics presented in the LakeSmart Program.  Angela Danovi, Program Director for the organization, completed her Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Soil Science and a Master of Science in Geography with a focus in water quality, at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.   

 Where:  Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east of the Hwy 12/War Eagle Road intersection.

When:    Sunday April 26, 2015   2:00 p.m. 

Cost:       FREE

This program is a continuation of the Friends of Hobbs Speaker Series.  For more information call the park office at:  479-789-5000

Arkansas Committee Looks at Pay Raises for Prosecutors

An independent committee that was formed to review Arkansas elected officials' salaries is beginning to look at whether the state's prosecutors deserve a pay raise. The Independent Citizens Commission was scheduled to meet Thursday at the state Capitol to begin reviewing salaries for local prosecutors around the state. The panel was formed through a constitutional amendment approved by voters last year to review and adjust salaries for the state's top elected officials. The commission earlier this year voted to more than double legislators' salaries and grant substantial pay raises to constitutional officers and judges. The Legislature voted to give the commission authority to set salaries for prosecutors.

Blue Bell Issues Nationwide Recall on All Products 

Blue Bell has issued a nationwide recall of all its products currently on store shelves due to potential listeria contamination. A Blue Bell spokesman told NBC affiliate NBC 5 the company thought the bacteria was isolated at the Oklahoma plant, but these new tests came back positive at the Brenham plant.The company said Monday's nationwide recall includes products distributed to retail outlets, including food service accounts, convenience stores and supermarkets in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wyoming and international locations.

News for April 20, 2015​​

Man Drowns at Beaver Lake

A man drowned in Beaver Lake near Beaver Dam early Sunday morning, according to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.  The Carroll County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call around 2:30 Sunday morning.   Police responded to an area half a mile east of the Dam, near Highway 62 and Mundell Road.  Game and Fish say four people were in a 12-foot boat on the lake at night. Crews recovered the man's body around 8 a.m. Dive teams from Carroll County and Game and Fish assisted. The man who drowned was not wearing a life jacket. Game and Fish say initial reports indicate that alcohol was likely a contributing factor. This is the 116th drowning at Beaver Lake since it was built, and the second in a month.

Eureka Springs Man Sentenced for Meth Distribution

A Eureka Springs man was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison and five years of supervised release for two counts of distribution of methamphetamine, one count of possession with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine and one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge.  Fernando Canales-Mendoza, a Mexican citizen, was found guilty in a February jury trial, according to the news release. An undercover Drug Enforcement Administration agent bought several ounces of methamphetamine from Canales-Mendoza for $1,400 to $1,500 per ounce, the news release stated."With this sentence, another positive step has been taken to assure that the families, especially children, in Carroll County can live in a community free of illegal drug trafficking and the violence and other crime that comes with it," Eldridge said in the news release. "Our office will continue to aggressively prosecute those responsible for bringing methamphetamine and other drugs into the Western District of Arkansas.”

Greer Excavation B&E Investigation Continues

Green Forest Police continue their investigation into the break-in and burglary of Greer Excavation in Green Forest.  According to GF Police Chief John Bailey, the owner Phillip Greer and an employee arrived to work on the morning of April 14th, at around 5:30am, to find a garage door open and two trucks full of tools gone.  The trucks were described as Ford F-350's, a 2004 and 2008.  The trucks were seen in Berryville moving westbound by a Berryville Police officer, but it was unknown at the time they had just been stolen.  Anyone with information is asked to call the Green Forest Police Department.

Berryville's 2015 Lawn & Garden Show 

The 2015 Berryville Lawn and Garden Show is coming up this Saturday, April 25th, in the west parking lot of the Berryville Community Center, from 9am-4pm.  The Berryville Farmer's Market has taken over this years' show from the Berryville Chamber of Commerce.  Kaylinn Toombs has more information..............

YAC Annual Grant Awards This Week

The Annual  YAC (Youth Advisory Council) Grant Awards Ceremony that will be held Thursday, April 23 from 5:30 to 7:00 pm at the Cornerstone Bank of Berryville's meeting room.   The YAC Group will be presenting over $6,400 in grant awards to nonprofit programs that support youth and children in Carroll County. These local high school age students represent all three Carroll County public schools as well as home and private schools. Each year the Carroll County Community Foundation's YAC program offers grants from their YAC Grant Endowed Fund to nonprofits, schools, hospitals, and government agencies working in and for Carroll County whose programs support youth and children. All of the eligible application are reviewed by, and voted on by our YAC Members with the support of our local, volunteer Board of Directors. This grant process not only helps serve the needs of nonprofit groups in Carroll County but  also teaches YAC students about the programs that provide critical needs as well as those that sustain and enrich.

Shell Knob Man Injured in One Vehicle Crash

A Barry County man is injured Saturday afternoon in a one vehicle crash one mile north of Shell Knob. According to the Missouri Highway Patrol 58-year-old Jerry Day of Shell Knob was traveling south on Missouri 39 when he swerved right to avoid an oncoming car that had crossed the center line. He then lost control of the vehicle, ran off the roadway, and struck an embankment and a tree. Day was wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash and was transported by a private vehicle to Mercy Hospital in Cassville to be treated to for his minor injuries.

USDA Veterinarian: Bird Flu Outbreak Could Be 'Devastating'

The nation's poultry industry may have to live with a deadly bird flu strain for several years, which would be "devastating," the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief veterinary officer said Thursday.  Dr. John Clifford also said that while new cases should drop to close to zero once the weather warms up and kills off the virus, there's "very likely" to be a resurgence this fall when the wild waterfowl that are natural carriers of avian influenza fly south for the winter. Clifford spoke on a visit to Minnesota, the state hit hardest by outbreaks that have led to the death of over 2.5 million turkeys and chickens in the Midwest since early March.   Authorities have confirmed H5N2 outbreaks at nearly 40 commercial poultry farms in the Midwest, including 26 in Minnesota. All were turkey operations except for one chicken farm in Wisconsin. On Thursday, officials said four more Minnesota farms and two more in Wisconsin had been struck. Officials say there's no risk to public health or the food supply. Economists don't expect the outbreaks to affect retail prices much because the birds that have been killed by the virus itself or euthanized to stop its spread represent just over 1 percent of the 235 million turkeys produced in the U.S. last year.

While some USDA officials have told Minnesota officials the virus could be a problem for three to five years, Clifford said it's impossible to be certain. The broiler chicken industry, which produces chickens for meat, is clustered along the East Coast. Clifford said the waterfowl that brought the virus to an infected farm in southern Ontario are likely from flocks that either migrate along the East Coast or intermingle with flocks that do. The USDA has sent about 60 people to Minnesota to reinforce the state's response. State officials have asked U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to ensure that enough funding remains available. Clifford estimated that the USDA has already spent $20 million to $30 million to reimburse farmers for birds that were euthanized and on other costs. He also said the secretary has the authority to provide additional emergency funding, and it's been requested as the agency gears up for a new round this fall.

Springdale Police: NWA Man Photographed Hundreds of Kids in Child Predator Case 

Springdale Police say one man took thousands of images of children around Northwest Arkansas, most without their knowledge. Julian Rivera now faces 12 felony charges including sexual assault and attempted kidnapping, and since his arrest in February, police have identified more than 30 victims. Police say they've obtained thousands of videos and still images from multiple electronic devices. The images date back to 2014, and show hundreds of different kids. Julian Rivera assaulted more than 30 children, often as they walked home from school.

In State, March Adds 1,700 Health-law Sign-ups

More than 1,700 Arkansans were approved for coverage under the state's expanded Medicaid program last month, increasing the number of people approved to 241,103, a spokesman for the state Department of Human Services said Thursday.  Those approved as of March 31 included 205,252 people who were receiving coverage through private, Medicaid-funded plans under the so-called private option. In addition, 24,347 people were assigned to the traditional Medicaid program because they were considered to have exceptional health needs. The remaining 11,504 Arkansans had been approved for coverage but had not yet completed enrollment. The number of people added to the program in March was lower than in most previous months. For instance, from November through February, on average, more than 5,000 people were added each month. Human Services Department spokesman Amy Webb said she didn't know the reason for the lower number of approvals in March.

News for April 17, 2015

One-Vehicle Accident Injures Local Man

A one-vehicle accident Wednesday evening sent one man to the hospital by helicopter from the accident scene.  Just after 5pm, the CCSO was dispatched to the intersection of CR501 and 505 in reference to a one-vehicle traffic accident.  When Deputy Jonathan White arrived he observed a blue Chevy pick up out in the field against a large tree.  Deputy White found a man yelling and screaming, later identified as Jenson Faught, the driver of the pickup.  Deputy White then noticed a passenger unconscious in the pickup, covered in blood.  The deputy tried to render aid to Robert Malotte, as he had severe head wounds and appeared to have a broken arm.  ASP arrived on the scene shortly after as did EMT's.  Faught, 27, of Green Forest, was transported to Mercy Berryville and Malotte was transported by helicopter to Washington Regional Hospital.  The report indicated 60 feet of fence was taken out before the pickup hit the tree at about 65 mph.   Faught was charged with DUI and taken to the CC Detention Center.  Alcohol was a factor in the accident according to the Sheriff's Office.

Interim Director Hired for ES Chamber

The Board of Directors of the Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce the hiring of Damon Henke as the interim executive director.  Mr. Henke will lead the Chamber as the search for a permanent executive director is underway.  "We believe that Damon is a strong asset to this community," said chairperson Cathy Handley.  Mr. Henke is the creator and owner of Ozark Mountain Vacation Rentals located in Eureka Springs, which is a lodging services company.  The Board of Directors would also like to invite the membership to our mid-year meeting on June 1, 2015 at 6:00pm at the Inn of the Ozarks Convention Center.  At this meeting, the Chamber will be presenting the vision and work plan for the rest of the 2015 year and beyond.  We hope to see you there!  Anyone interested in applying for the permanent executive director position can email their resume to servicedesk@eurekaspringschamber.com or mail to:  Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce, Attention: Search Committee,  PO BOX 551, Eureka Springs, Arkansas 72632

Signed:  Board of Directors, Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce

BVHS Capstone Project for Foster Children Awareness

BVHS students are having a Foster Child Awareness event at the BV Community Center soccer field area today from 2-6pm.  Seniors Clarissa Cox and Shelby Spate tells us in this interview, donations of all types are needed for area foster children..............

Carroll Electric to Install Solar Energy Demo Project

Carroll Electric Cooperative Corp. in Berryville has announced plans to install a solar energy demonstration project.  The project will include various technologies of solar panels at the same site and eventually will allow members to see for themselves what each technology/product can do.  Of the Cooperatives 92,100 member-accounts, about 70 utilize on-site solar panels through the Coop's net metering arrangement.  Net metering aggregates energy produced and consumed over the course of a month.  "While some would argue these participation numbers are low, they are actually some of the highest in the state," according to Nancy Plagge.

The initial purpose of the demonstration project is to offer information that allows members to select the product that makes the most sense for their application.  "With roof-top installations, it is sometimes hard to know what the panel is fully capable of producing," says James Sanders, Vice President of Executive Services.  "The angle and direction of the panels are dictated by the roof.  We want each technology to be able to compete on an even playing field and try to factor out some of the unknowns."  

The Coop's website has extensive information available about the types of solar technology available.  What the demonstration project aims to accomplish is to offer real-life, side-by-side production numbers associated with each technology.  The first phase of the project is underway and includes sending out RFP's to a variety of vendors and associated technologies.  One the requests for proposals are evaluated and accepted, construction and data collection will begin.  Then the Cooperative will begin to share production numbers with its membership.  One of the long-term goals is to evaluate how, if, and when the Cooperative will offer an opportunity for members to buy a share of a community solar project.  Carroll Electric shows 22 solar net metering accounts in Carroll County.

Huntsville Gets New Fire Chief

Lee Grady has been appointed the new fire chief of the Huntsville Fire Department after the resignation of Jeremy Shinn on March 31. Grady has been with the department for almost three years, but has worked as a fireighter at other departments since 1989. He was installed as the city’s new fire chief at a fireighters’ meeting last Thursday.   Shinn, who had served as chief since early 2012, had been a Huntsville firefighter since May of 1999. He will remain with the all-volunteer department.  Shinn said he has full conidence in Grady’s ability to lead the department, which is currently seeing a continually-increasing call volume and has a second fire station being built.

Trial Set for Man Charged with Murder

An Alabam man with second degree murder charges, pleaded not guilty in the Madison County Circuit Court last week.  Brandon Boling, 20, entered the plea and remains held in lieu of a $50,000 bond at the Washington County Detention Center.  Boling was arrested Feb. 20 ater the Madison County Sheriff ’s Office was dispatched to a medical call at an Alabam residence, where they found Michael Wayne Fawcett, 46, “severely beaten.”  Fawcett was transported to the Northwest Arkansas Medical Center and was later pronounced dead. Documents filed earlier this month in the Madison County Circuit Court state Boling “repeatedly punched (Fawcett) in the face and head, causing injuries that resulted in the victim’s death.”  Boling is scheduled to appear in court for trail on July 14. If found guilty, he faces between six and 30 years incarceration and/or a $15,000 fine.

1-candidate Election Nets 110 Ballots

Taxpayers spent more than $130 per vote in a special election this week in which only one candidate was on the ballot; lawmakers hope a proposed constitutional amendment will allow Arkansas to avert similar uncontested elections in future years.  The winner -- the only person who could win the legislative race under Arkansas election law -- was Russellville Republican Greg Standridge.  And he only needed to get a single vote to finish in first place. Standridge collected 110 votes in Tuesday's special state Senate election based on unofficial election results, according to the secretary of state's website. Standridge takes the seat vacated Nov. 10 by Michael Lamoureux, who resigned to become Gov. Asa Hutchinson's transition director and then chief of staff. Senate District 16 has nearly 46,000 registered voters.

Five counties in the district spent at least $15,000 to hold Tuesday's special election, officials in the counties said Wednesday.  Voter turnout was less than three-tenths of 1 percent.  In one county, voter turnout was as low as it can get -- zero percent.  Standridge, the 47-year-old co-owner of an insurance company in Russellville, won 68 votes in Pope County, 15 votes in both Newton and Van Buren counties, 12 votes in Carroll County and no votes in Boone County, the secretary of state's office reported.  The Arkansas Legislature this year has referred to voters in the 2016 general election a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow lawmakers to pass legislation eliminating the need for a formal election if this scenario arises again.

Next Year's State Refund Checks Expected To Be Smaller

The tax deadline has come and gone, but, if you're getting a refund enjoy it because next year's might not be as much.  The Arkansas state tax refund checks next year may be smaller. It's because of a tax cut that began on January 1st. It's causing less withholding from your checks. You're getting more each time you get paid, but when you go to file your taxes next year you'll get less from the state. After the tax cut went into effect, payroll companies were using outdated formulas to calculate withholding amounts. These things combined are causing the smaller refunds.  "From a tax payer standpoint, they may not realize what's happening here or what will happen next year in filings," economist John Shelnutt said.  The tax cut causing this was passed in the 2013 legislative session.  f you'd like to get a bigger refund, you can go to your employers and ask for them to withhold more from your check. If you don't do that, you'll see a much smaller refund check next year.