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News provided by News Director Linda Boyer
News for Tuesday, September 27
C.C. Quorum Court Report
The C.C. Quorum Court met Monday evening in Berryville for their September meeting. All J.P.'s, Judge Sam Barr, and County Clerk Jamie Correia were in attendance.
It was a short agenda, with the entire meeting lasting just over 15 minutes. Three items were listed under New Business.
An Appropriation ordinance taking $4,000 out of County General Fund and put into the Quorum Court budget to pay for the lawyers preparing the Eastern District Ambulance Service ballot. It was approved by all J.P.'s.
An Appropriation Ordiance putting $4,525 into the CC Sheriff's Office budget. It was approved. The payment is a grant from the NWAEDD for the shooting range at the Detention Center.
A Resolution authorizing the CC Judge to execute the necessary documents to renew a line of credit with Community First Bank. The original loan was taken out in 2013 for the CC Airport to construct airplane hangars. A $25,000 balance remains. J.P.'s approved the extension of the line of credit. J.P. Lamont Richie has more details here, along with some other discussion..........
The Budget and Finance Committee will be meeting October 6th at 3pm at Cornerstone Bank in Berryville to begin 2017 Budget talks.
Preparation Under Way in County Clerks Office for November General Elections
The Carroll County Clerk’s Office and the Carroll County Board of Election Commissioners would like to give the residents of Carroll County some important dates concerning the upcoming General Election to be held November 8, 2016. The County Clerk’s Office and the Board of Election Commissioners are working together to make this election day run as smoothly as possible. We believe that everyone is aware that this election is going to bring out a higher percentage of voters than we normally have here in Carroll County, not only for the presidential and local candidate races, which will be interesting enough, but also for the many ballot issues which will affect our local communities and our state as well.
First of all, the voters who previously had The Berryville Community Center assigned as their polling site will now be assigned to the Berryville United Methodist Church which is located at 400 Eureka Ave, which is adjacent to Williams Shopping Center (Price Cutter, etc.). The Carrol County Clerk’s Office has sent out new voter registration cards to all of the registered voters who were affected by this move. The precincts that have been moved are: Berryville Wards 1 and 2, NE/NW Prairies, SE/SW Prairies, Kings River and Polo. If you have not yet received your new registration card, which is mailed as a postcard sized notification, please contact the county clerk’s office as soon as possible. If you have not yet received your card it is a good indication that you may need to update your voter registration information in our office.
We are asking all of the registered voters to please update their voter registration with the county clerk’s office as soon as possible if they have moved or have changed their names since the last time they voted. This is one of the most important ways to help insure fewer delays at the polling sites. If you need to update your information you may come by our office or you may go online to the Secretary of State’s Office and fill out a voter registration application. If you are not registered to vote in Carroll County, the deadline to register and be eligible to vote in the General Election is October 10, 2016.
Early voting will begin at both the Eastern and Western District courthouses beginning October 24, 2016 and will continue through November 7, 2016. The hours for early voting will be Monday – Friday 8:00 am to 6:00 pm and Saturdays 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. The last day of early voting, Nov. 7, will be 8:00 am until 5:00 pm. The Carroll County Clerk’s Office welcomes all who would like to take advantage of the 2 weeks and extended hours to come in to our office and early vote.
There are many different ways to prepare and educate ourselves for this General Election. First of all, we have a Facebook page called Carroll County Arkansas Electionswhich is updated with current and important information.
Voter View is a wonderful way for voters to check the status of their voter registration. This site allows you to check your information online. You may access this site at https://www.voterview.ar-nova.org. Carroll County Ballots will be available for review at this site as well within the next week.
There is also a publication that has been put out by the UA Division of Agriculture Public Policy Center. This is a wonderful way to educate ourselves on all sevenof the ballot issues from the State. This information packet also includes a work sheet so that you may mark the issues the way that you want to vote and you may take that worksheet with you when you go to vote. This will save a lot of time when you get to the polling site, whether you vote early or at your polling site. These are important issues and we encourage our voters to educate themselves on these issues and to be prepared ahead of time. This publication is available online at www.uaex.edu/ballot. If you need a hard copy, they will become available at our county Cooperative Extension Service office by the end of the month.
If you have any questions, you may call us at 870-423-2022.
Load Up Your Pickup Days Coming in October
There will be three opportunities in October, beginning this Saturday, for you to load up your pickup with bulky waste. The event, sponsored by the Carroll County Solid Waste Authority, allows residents to get rid of unwanted junk they no longer need or us.
Gary Gray with CCSWA has more information............
Gray can be reached for more information at 423-7156 or 253-2727.
U.S. Attorney General Speaks to Arkansas Federal and State Employees
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch spoke to 300 federal and state representatives convened in Little Rock on Monday morning about violent crime in American cities and announced millions of dollars in grant money for law enforcement agencies across the country.
Lynch's speech kicked off a conference sponsored by the Department of Justice to discuss the Violence Reduction Network, a federal program started in 2014 that now operates in 15 cities with high rates of violent crime.
The program does not give money or additional personnel to these cities but works to improve existing local policing practices, largely through additional training and data collection. Little Rock and West Memphis began the two-year program in 2015.
Lynch opened her speech by saying that constant violence affects all members of a community, not just those whose lives are personally touched by it.
The Department of Justice will help fund two new federal grants: $20 million for 100 law enforcement agencies to increase their use of body cameras and $33 million for 28 jurisdictions to test and track backlogged sexual assault kits.
Assistant Attorney General Karol Mason also announced three additional grants, totaling $13.6 million, to help police departments share information with one another, revitalize run-down neighborhoods and find criminals who obtain and use firearms illegally.
Lynch also stressed the importance of continual collaboration between federal and local officers. The Violence Reduction Network has had successes, including eliminating a backlog of more than 1,000 firearms cases in Little Rock, because of that collaboration, Lynch said.
New Enhanced Driver's Licenses and ID Cards Available October 3
Arkansas is set to begin offering new enhanced drivers licenses and ID cards, a move that will help protect individual identities and bring the state in line with federal standards.
The new enhanced licenses and ID cards are being issued in response to federal REAL ID Act, which imposes stricter guidelines for some state-issued drivers’ licenses and identification cards.
As Governor Asa Hutchinson points out, state-issued drivers’ licenses and ID cards play a major role in protecting individual identities and preventing fraud.
Enhanced licenses will be more difficult to tamper with and will require increased background checks for applicants, said Walter Anger, assistant revenue commissioner for the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration.
“The intent here is to increase the security of the license and the person carrying it,” Anger said. “This is a major step in protecting the identity of the individual and ensuring that licenses and ID cards are issued properly and to the right person.”
Under federal rules, individuals wishing to board aircraft for commercial passenger flights will need to present an enhanced ID by October 2020. Similar rules will restrict access to federal buildings and installations. Enhanced drivers licenses will be available at 25 revenue offices (click here for list of locations) statewide, beginning Oct. 3.
Standard drivers’ licenses and identification cards, such as those currently issued, will still be available after October.
Missouri's General Assembly's Override of Voter ID Lawn Won't Change Voting Practices
Ramifications from the Missouri General Assembly's override of voter identification law will not create any immediate change in voting practices locally, according to Barry and Lawrence County clerks.
Lawrence County Clerk Gary Emerson said the voter ID override represented the nuts and bolts of what still goes before voters on Nov. 6 in the form of Amendment 6 to the Missouri Constitution. There will be no impact on the general election this year.
"If the amendment doesn't pass, I think the override is a moot point," Emerson said. "If it does pass, I'm sure some group is likely to challenge it it court. I think it will be a year or two before the matter is resolved. I'm not getting worked up about it."
Local clerks use their own system to check the identity of voters that they feel is superior to changes proposed by the legislature and do not plan to change. Both clerks issue voter ID cards that have a bar code on them that voting judges scan with their tablet sign-in equipment. Driver's licenses work the same way. Clerks said the bar codes will key identification, making the photo unnecessary. Driver's licenses may take longer for the computer to process, because of variations in names, such as "Bob" and "Robert."
Barry County Clerk Gary Youngblood said the voting cards will still work for women who have gotten married and changed their names. Other checks are closer to leaning on comparing handwriting, which is seldom beyond dispute.
Country Music Legend Jean Shepard Passes Away
This Sunday, classic country singer Jean Shepard passed away in Nashville at the age of 82. Some six decades ago, she was a rising star on the Ozark Jubiliee, the 1950s TV program beamed to millions of homes.
While in Springfield, Jean met and married another Jubilee star by the name of Hawkshaw Hawkins. Hawkins was tragically killed in 1963 in the plane crash that also ended the life of Patsy Cline, another former Jubilee favorite. Also killed were Cowboy Copas, who had also been a Jubilee guest, and Randy Hughes, Cline's manager.
Jean Shepard went on to sing other hits through the 1960s and 1970s, cutting 70 records in all. At the time of her death, she had been a member of the Grand Ole Opry for t least 60 years, the longest active member of the show.
Passing away at age 82.her name and songs are now a part of the past. But, her legacy still resonates through country music of today.
News for Monday, September 26
Berryville Middle School Has New Principal and Counselor
When Owen Powell was named Superintendent of the Berryville School District last year, it began some shifting of administrative positions, including at the Middle School and High School.
Powell had been High School Principal, and after becoming Superintendent, David Gilmore was named Principal. His Vice-Principal is Donnell Armstrong. We aired an interview with Gilmore and Armstrong on last weeks news.
Today we talk with John McClellan, who went from Asst. High School Prinicipal last year to Principal at the Middle School. We also hear from Eryn Killingsworth, school counselor....
SW Mo Man Drowns in Table Rock Lake
A man has died a day after falling off a small boat into Table Rock Lake over the weekend.
The Missouri Highway Patrol says Charles Canillas, 72, or Galena, Missouri, fell off the boat about 5:30 Saturday afternoon. A bystander dove into the lake and pulled Canillas up from the bottom then other bystanders gave him CPR.
Canillas was taken to a Springfield hospital. He died about 1:00 p.m. Sunday, troopers said.
Madison County Traffic Fatality
According to Arkansas State Police, an Elkins, Arkansas man was killed in a single vehicle crash Friday afternoon, near Boston in Madison County.
The Arkansas State Police reports 62-year-old Johnny Tittle was traveling westbound on State Highway 16, when he failed to negotiate a left hand curve and drifted off of the right side of the roadway at Madison County Road 3175. The vehicle then traveled into a ditch and overturned.
According to the online crash report Tittle and a minor male passenger were thrown from the vehicle. The minor was transported to Washington Regional Hospital to be treated for unspecified injuries.
Star Springdale Football Player Killed
A football player for Springdale High School died over the weekend in a car accident, according to Rick Schaeffer with the Springdale School District.
Kyler Williams was in a one-car accident Saturday around 9:35 p.m. on Highway 21, five miles south of Highway 412, according to Arkansas State Police. His vehicle left the road and Williams was ejected when it rolled several times, the ASP report states.
The district said he was not only a terrific football player but also popular among his classmates. Williams was a senior wide-receiver for the team.
Allied Bank of Mulberry Closes Five Branches - Todays Bank Huntsville Purchases Branches
Allied Bank of Mulberry was closed late Friday afternoon by state and federal regulators, and its five branches will reopen for "normal business hours" as branches of Today's Bank of Huntsville.
The action comes almost six weeks after the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis gave Allied 30 days to either inject equity capital into the "critically undercapitalized" bank or find a buyer. The receiver was announced jointly by the Arkansas State Bank Department and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
Today's Bank entered into a purchase agreement to assume all of Allied's deposits and to purchase essentially all its assets, the regulators said. As of June 30, Allied Bank had approximately $66.3 million in total assets and $64.7 million in total deposits.
Bad loans have battered Allied for more than five years and eroded its tier one capital to $1.3 million as of June 30. Its capital ratio of 1.8 percent during the second quarter was the lowest of all financial institutions in Arkansas.
The bank lost nearly $4.5 million through the first six months of 2016. Allied has lost more than $17.7 million since 2011. The bank's inability to generate dividends prompted the AQpril 2014 bankruptcy of its parent company, Acme Holding Co.
The bank had been under the control of bankruptcy trustee Ray Fulmer of Fort Smith. The family of former Allied CEO Lex Golden controls Allied Bank and Acme Holding.
Expanded Medicaid Program Sees Enrollment Numbers Grow
More than 9,400 Arkansans completed enrollment in the state's expanded Medicaid program last month, raising the total to more than 317,000, according to numbers released Thursday by the state Department of Human Services.
The enrollment total as of Aug. 31 included 294,246 Arkansans who were enrolled in the state's so-called private option and 23,043 who were assigned to the traditional, fee-for-service Medicaid program because their health needs were considered to be exceptional.
The total number of Arkansans covered by the expanded Medicaid program as of Aug. 31 was likely even higher because the figures released Thursday didn't include people who had been approved for coverage and were being covered under the fee-for-service Medicaid program because they had not completed enrollment.
For example, figures released by the Human Services Department in June showed that as of April 30, more than 292,000 Arkansans had been approved for coverage under expanded Medicaid, but only about 283,000 had completed enrollment.
Drury University Sees Increase in Enrollment
Drury University posted another increase in enrollment, thanks to the university’s largest freshman class in five years.
Drury reports total enrollment has increased 4.1 percent.
The official enrollment for Drury’s traditional undergraduate population for the 2016-17 academic year is 1,372, an increase of 54 students over last year. Official totals are taken at the end of the third week of classes in order to account for late enrollees and transfer students.
Drury’s incoming freshman class is 38 percent larger than last year, with 500 new students on campus this year compared to 363 in fall 2015. The Day School year-over-year retention rate was 83 percent. Drury reports its students come from 31 states and 53 countries around the world.
Drury leaders credit the boost in freshman enrollment was a result of a multi-faceted market expansion and faculty outreach plan, combined with new academic degree programs and new athletic programs. In addition, 88 percent of first-time students are living on campus, which has helped push occupancy in Drury’s three residence halls to near maximum capacity. Two-thirds of all Day School students are living on campus this semester, which breaks a previous record of 62 percent.
Teen Tobacco Use Goes Down
Since 2012 smoking has become less cool in the minds of teens.
That's according to a new report from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.
The number of kids in middle and high school who tried cigars and cigarettes has gone down.
The number of teens who have never smoked and never wanted to smoke have gone up!
What hasn't changed, according to the study, is the curiosity of smokeless tobacco and how exposure, can have adverse effects on brain development.
News for Friday, September 23
Arkansas Delegation Requests Major Disaster Declaration
U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton, along with Congressmen Rick Crawford (AR-1), French Hill (AR-2), Steve Womack (AR-3), and Bruce Westerman (AR-4), today urged U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to support Governor Asa Hutchinson’s request for a major disaster declaration for Arkansas.
Following a storm that caused substantial flooding in several Arkansas counties, inflicting particular damage upon farms that have already experienced flooding earlier this year, Governor Hutchinson requested disaster assistance for Carroll, Clay, Craighead, Independence, Jackson, Lawrence, Lincoln, Madison, Prairie, Randolph, White, and Woodruff counties.
“This flooding has been devastating to many communities. The region’s agriculture industry has been acutely impacted and faces significant hardship as a result of these crop losses. When total damages to Arkansas crops is estimated to be between $45 and $50 million, it is important for the Department of Agriculture to recognize this emergency.”
In light of the situation that these counties face, Arkansas’s congressional delegation supports Governor Hutchinson’s request and urges swift approval by Secretary Vilsack.
Meet BVHS's New Principal and Vice Principal
The Berryville School District has several faculty assuming new administration positions.
At the High School, a change was made when Owen Powell, former Principal, was named Superintendent for the new school year. David Gilmore was named Principal and the High School Vice-Principal is another veteran educator, Donnell Armstrong.
KTHS sat down with both Mr. Gilmore and Ms. Armstrong Thursday to see how they were settling in at their new positions........
On upcoming news, we'll have interviews with John McClellan, Middle School Principal and Counselor Erin Killingsworth.
BVHS CTE Student of the Month - Tyler Scrivner
Career and technical education programs – which policymakers and business groups have been touting as solutions to help fill the skills gap, but which students and parents have been slow to embrace – are paying off in a big way in Arkansas, a new report shows.
Those in the Natural State with greater exposure to career and technical education classes are more likely to graduate, enroll in a two-year college, be employed and have higher wages, according to a report from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative education think tank in the nation's capital.
Richard and Mary Lou Harp, Shelter Insurance, sponsor the CTE Student of the Month. Here's Tyler Scrivner this months CTE Student of the Month........
Photo: Left to right: David Gilmore, Principal; Tyler Scrivner and Richard Harp
Butterball LLC Expanding Turkey Farms
Butterball LLC is expanding its turkey production in Arkansas with plans to add at least 30 new farms around the River Valley.
Company officials confirmed their expansion plans Wednesday, saying new farms are needed to help Butterball keep pace with growing consumer demand. Most of the farms will be located within a 50-mile radius of Ozark and Altus, but the company also will consider pushing expansion north to the Huntsville area.
The farm expansion is in addition to the company's decision to recently hire 150 hourly and 14 salary workers for its processing plant in Ozark.
Butterball, which is based in Garner, N.C., is the largest producer of turkey products in the United States. According to data from the National Turkey Federation, the company produced an estimated 1.36 billion pounds of turkey in 2015.
About 60 farms in the Ozark and Altus area and 115 around Huntsville currently produce turkeys for Butterball, according to Felts. Additional farms in the area -- most of which will be owned and operated by contract poultry growers -- will add to Butterball's production capabilities.
New farms would cost around $900,000 to build with contract farmers primarily responsible for financing the construction.
Farmers will own the land and the buildings. Butterball will own the turkeys. The company said it provides the feed, veterinary services and guidance through the production of the turkeys, paying contract farmers to manage the birds.
Yahoo Data Breach Affects Half-A-Billion Users
A severe data breach at one of the World's biggest email service providers. Half-a-billion Yahoo users had their accounts hacked.
If you were one of the 500-million Yahoo users whose emails were hacked; IT Professional Wayne Dipper says more of your personal information may have been exposed than you think. "Passwords were pulled, first and last names, physical addresses so these hackers, they could find you if they wanted to."
And with that kind of information hackers could cause major headaches.
Once hackers have access to your email, they can also compromise your friends and family.
Yahoo released a statement today that they are working closely with law enforcement.
Arkansas Court Rejects Challenge to Medical Marijuana Plan
The Arkansas Supreme Court has rejected one of two efforts to block a medical marijuana proposal from the November ballot.
Justices on Thursday denied a challenge from a group opposed to the proposed initiated act that would allow patients with certain medical conditions to buy marijuana from dispensaries. The court said Arkansans Against Legalized Marijuana had not proven the ballot measure's language was insufficient.
Another lawsuit challenging the measure's language and its signatures is pending before the court. Justices are also considering another lawsuit from Arkansans Against Legalized Marijuana trying to disqualify a competing medical pot proposal.
Arkansas voters narrowly rejected legalizing medical marijuana four years ago.
Suspect Arrested in Double Homicide
A Russellville man is being held on two counts of capital murder in the deaths of two men found inside a vehicle at a salvage yard in Pope County, according to the sheriff's office.
In a statement Thursday evening, the agency said Tyler Barefield, 35, of Russellville was arrested earlier in the day in the slayings of Aaron Brock, 22, and Beau DeWitt, 22, both of Dardanelle. Their deaths are being investigated as homicides.
Brock and DeWitt were found when Pope County sheriff’s deputies responded around 2:45 p.m. Tuesday to U-Pull-It Auto Parts at 3001 S. Mobile Ave. in southeast Russellville. Both went missing Friday.
The owner of the salvage yard is listed as Randy Barefield on the Arkansas Secretary of State's website. It was not immediately clear what relation, if any, the owner had to Tyler Barefield.
Arkansas Wins Millions for Child Health Study
Nearly $42 million has been awarded to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Another $1.9 million from NIH is going to the Arkansas Children’s Research Institute (ACRI).
News releases issued Wednesday by UAMS and ACRI explained that the $41.8 million award will allow UAMS to oversee a 17-site pediatric clinical trial network that will provide medically underserved and rural children access to clinical studies studying environmental influences on early development. ACRI will operate one of the 17 sites.
The awards are part of a national seven-year, $157 million initiative announced by the NIH called Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO). The ECHO initiative will investigate how exposure to a range of environmental factors in early development — conception through early childhood — affects the health of children and adolescents.
The collaboration with NIH supports the formation of Arkansas Center for Advancing Pediatric Therapeutics (ArCAPT), allowing a diverse group of children to participate in clinical trials that will be administered by some of the nation’s top pediatric drug experts, located at ACRI and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS.)
This will give children in Arkansas the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of early phase clinical trials for infants, children and adolescents as new drugs and therapies are created.
Wal-Mart Gives Out Quarterly Bonuses to Hourly Employees
Wal-Mart Stores Inc said it paid more than $201 million in second-quarter bonuses to hourly store staff as 99 percent of its stores met targets for cleanliness, faster checkout and better service.
The world's largest retailer said 932,000 store employees received a quarterly cash bonus this year. This was a jump from 880,000 employees in the second quarter of fiscal 2016 and 687,000 workers in fiscal 2015.
On a per-employee basis, the average bonus comes to about $220. Quarterly bonuses can account for up to 5 percent of a Wal-Mart store employee's total annual income, the retailer said.
Wal-Mart is the largest private employer in the United States. Its 1.5 million workers include store staff, store management and truck drivers. Hourly employees at the company's nearly 4,600 U.S. locations are eligible for quarterly bonuses based on the performance of their store.
News for Thursday, September 22
Limited Number of Tickets Available for 2016 Berryville Annual Awards Banquet
Only 200 tickets will be sold for the 2016 Berryville Annual Awards Banquet to be held starting at 6 p.m. Thursday, October 27 at the Auditorium, Berryville Community Center. Arkansas Economic Development Executive Director Mike Preston will be the featured speaker.
“Mike Preston is a much sought after speaker, and for him to come to Berryville a few days after returning from a business trip to China with the Governor is an impressive accomplishment for our community,” 2016 Chamber of Commerce president James Myatt emphasized. “This year’s Banquet will highlight businesses and individuals who have made an impact on the community during the past year as we honor those that help make Berryville a great place to live, work, and play.”
Only 200 tickets to the Banquet will be sold, and tables of eight can be reserved (purchased) for your company, organization or group by calling the Chamber office, Myatt explained. Tickets are $35 per person or $240 for a table of eight, he said.
The Chamber Awards Banquet will kick off at 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 27 at the Berryville Community Center. “We will have you home by 8 p.m.,” Chamber Executive Chris Claybaker promised.
The Chamber Board will be accepting nominations for the five categories of awards. The awards to be announced at the October 27 Banquet are for the following categories: TOM EARLS DISTINGUISHED AMBASSADOR, YOUTH AMBASSADOR, BUSINESS EXCELLENCE, BUSINESS BEAUTIFICATION, and NOTEWORTHY NEW BUSINESS.
Bikes, Blues & BBQ Weekend in NWA
As thousands of motorcyclists make their way to Northwest Arkansas for one of the nation’s largest rallies, the Fayetteville Police Department is partnering with six other law enforcement agencies from across the area to make sure the 17th annual Bikes, Blues & BBQ goes off without a hitch.
Sgt. Craig Stout said, "There is a lot of preparation work that goes into this, a lot of logistics.” "We have been working on this for several months now."
Stout said they will have some of the strongest security measures of any event in the area so far this year.
"In light of recent events that have happened in New York City, there have been concerns about [possible security issues]," Stout said. "We are just expecting things to run pretty much how they have every other year."
Stout said most of the arrests that are made each year are on suspicion of public intoxication and most of the people who are arrested are residents of Benton and Washington Counties.
CCCF Giving Tree Grant Awards Coming October 6th
Carroll County Community Foundation, your local affiliate office of the Arkansas Community Foundation, is pleased to announce over $26,000 in Giving Tree Grants awards for nonprofit programs in Carroll County. Sixteen area organizations will receive grant awards from the Foundation at the annual Grant Awards Ceremony to be held on Thursday, October 6, 2016 from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm at the Carroll Electric Cooperative meeting room in Berryville. Nonprofits, Foundation Founders, Fund Holders, Donors, past and present board members and friends of the Foundation will be honored guests. Everyone is cordially invited to join us at this event as we celebrate the good work being done in Carroll County.
“Giving Tree grants are funded by contributions from local individuals and families. We invest their donations in endowments that provide a permanent source of funding for charitable causes in our communities,” said Heather Larkin, president and CEO of the Arkansas Community Foundation.
“Every year, at our Grant Award Ceremony, attendees hear all about the inspiring work these recipients are doing in and for Carroll County,” added local Executive Director, Janell Robertson. “This year we had over $67,000 in requests, though only $26,000 to grant out. Our grant committee had to make some very difficult decisions. The more we grow this endowment, the more nonprofits we can support.”
“This is an opportunities that does not come around often,” noted Robertson. “Can you imagine how quickly we could grow our local Giving Tree Endowment and support more nonprofits with this dollar for dollar match? It would be such a blessing for so many.
The Carroll County Community Foundation makes grants through the Giving Tree program twice a year. The upcoming spring grant cycle, which begins on January 10, is known as our YAC cycle and focuses on programs that support youth and children in Carroll County.
Arkansas State Crime Lab: Two Bodies Found in Salvage Yard Identified
Police have identified the remains of two men found Tuesday afternoon inside a vehicle at a salvage yard in Russellville.
The state Crime Laboratory on Wednesday identified the bodies as Aaron Brock, 22, and Beau DeWitt, 22, both of Dardanelle. Both men went missing Friday, according to the Arkansas State Police.
The deaths are being investigated as homicides, state police said.
Pope County sheriff's deputies responded around 2:45 p.m. Tuesday to U-Pull-It Auto Parts in southeast Russellville where they found a vehicle containing the remains of Brock and DeWitt. The vehicle was removed from the salvage yard and shipped to the state Crime Laboratory for removal and examination of the remains.
State police spokesman Bill Sadler said the law enforcement agencies are in the early stages of their investigation. He said authorities plan to interview the witnesses who found the remains as well as people who knew Brock and DeWitt.
Dardanelle Police Chief Montie Sims said Brock's mother contacted his department Saturday after her son went missing Friday night from their home in Dardanelle.
State Looking at Overhauling State Employees Pay Plan
Gov. Asa Hutchinson's administration Wednesday proposed an overhaul of the state's pay plan for about 26,000 full-time employees, which is projected to cost an additional $56.3 million in the next fiscal year.
The added cost includes $22 million in state general revenue. The plan, pending legislative approval, would be implemented in fiscal 2018, which starts July 1.
About 54 percent of these full-time employees would get pay raises of more than 1 percent each, enabling them to reach the new minimum salaries for their positions. The rest would get 1 percent pay raises, said Kay Barnhill, administrator of the office of personnel management.
A 1 percent cost-of-living raise for these employees would cost the state about $6 million a year in general revenue, she said.
State employees aren't getting cost-of-living raises in the current fiscal year, which is fiscal 2017.
Members of the Arkansas Delegation Announce $5.8 Million FAA Grant for Rogers Airport Improvement
U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton, along with Congressman Steve Womack, today announced that Rogers Executive Airport will receive $5.8 million from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to strengthen the airport’s runway at Carter Field.
The project includes a full-depth runway keel reconstruction, mill and overlay of the existing asphalt pavement, installation of pavement underdrains, crack repair, pavement grooving and rehabilitation of the runway lighting.
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Announces Don Tyson Prize Award
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art on Wednesday announced that it was giving the first Don Tyson Prize, a $200,000 award, to the Smithsonian Institution's Archives of American Art.
The museum, in Bentonville, said the prize recognizes "significant achievements in the field of American art."
A national jury of museum and academic art historians chose the Archives of American Art, founded in 1954, for its work to advance knowledge of American art.
The prize was established as part of the Tyson Scholars of American Art program at the museum and was created by the Tyson family and Tyson Foods Inc. with a $5 million endowment given the museum in 2012. It's named in honor of Don Tyson, former chairman and CEO of Tyson Foods of Springdale, who died in 2011.
The Tyson family and Tyson Foods recently pledged an additional $5 million for the prize, which will be awarded every two years.
Nashville Looks to De-Stigmatize Marijuana
It’s all going to pot in Music City, and nobody seems to be complaining.
The Nashville Metropolitan Council has just passed an ordinance that will change the way marijuana laws are enforced in Nashville, and according to the New York Times, country music may have played a role in helping de-stigmatize the once-taboo subject for residents.
The ordinance grants police officers the discretion to issue a civil citation and a $50 fine to someone caught with a small amount of marijuana, instead of arresting them and charging them with a misdemeanor for possession. A judge will also have the discretion to suspend the civil penalty if the defendant agrees to perform up to 10 hours of community service.
While it’s not the sort of sweeping across-the-board legalization currently on the table in other states, it’s a surprisingly progressive step for the capitol city of a state as deeply conservative as Tennessee, and the Times reports that country music’s seeming embrace of marijuana might have something to do with changing attitudes.
The ordinance is aimed at preventing the legal system from being clogged with minor drug offenders, and it garnered the support of a wide range of key figures in Nashville, including the local sheriff and police chief in Davidson County. The bill passed in an overwhelming majority vote on Tuesday night (Sept. 20), 35-3.
Nashville Mayor Megan Barry has indicated that she will sign the bill into law. She released the following statement after Tuesday night’s vote:
This legislation is a positive step forward in addressing the overly punitive treatment of marijuana possession in our state that disproportionately impacts low-income and minority residents. It is important to stress that this ordinance is not a license to sell, possess, or use marijuana in Nashville. When this ordinance becomes law, police officers will still have the ability to make arrests or issue state criminal citations for marijuana possession as circumstances warrant, which is a Class A misdemeanor under state law.
News for Wednesday, September 21
Berryville City Council Report
The Berryville City Council met for their final meeting of the month Tuesday. All aldermen were present except for Max Nichols. Mayor McKinney asked City Attorney Clint Scheel to give an update on negotiations with Entergy regarding moving their electric poles off the right-of-way on College Street so the city can finish widening the street. Entergy doesn't want to pay the expense of moving them, and the City says they aren't either. McKinney said Entergy had an opportunity a while back to move the lines, but didn't. Clint Scheel, City Attorney..........
Again, the new water bill format will be noticed on the next water bill you receive.
The 2016 Leaf Pick-up schedule will be included in the new water bill format. The dates will be November 7th through December 9th.
In other business, a request to use Pioneer Park for the Berryville Christian Fellowship church service, Friday, September 23rd from 6:30-8:30pm, was approved.
The monthly report from the Berryville Police Department showed 157 tickets were written in August and 75 offenses reported. The most serious being aggravated assault/battery, burglaries, and thefts. BVPD has an impressive clearance rate of 80% of offenses. Traffic accidents were 18 in August, and most were for failure to yield, improper backing and following too close.
Finally, the financial report for August showed the 1% sales tax collected at $119,964 and the 1/2% dedicated sales tax for Police, Fire and Streets was $59,982.
National Farm Safety and Health Week with Casey Stewart
The week of September 17th-24th is designated as National Farm Safety and Health Week. The recognition has been an annual promotion initiated by the National Safety Council and has been proclaimed as such by each sitting President since Franklin Roosevelt. The purpose is to promote safe and healthy practices on our farms and ranches across the U.S. and in our neighboring countries as producers enter the harvest season.
Our interview today is with Casey Stewart with Williams Tractors, one of our Farm Safety Week sponsors along with Jackson Insurance Agency.....
The theme of Farm Safety and Health Week is "Farm Safety...A Legacy to be Proud of."
Berryville School Board Report
The Board approved the following requests:
The Board received the written and verbal Buildings/Grounds/Facilities report. The Board accepted the bid of $1,650 for Surplus Bus # 69. No bids were submitted for two other buses. They will be put out to bid in the spring. The Board approved replacing security cameras at the Transportation Building for $9,755.
The Board approved: Parental Involvement Plan for the 2016-17 school year; Fuel Purchase in August from Carter Energy for $10,458.95; approved the 2016-17 Operating Budget; 2016-17 Federal Programs Budget; 2016-17 Perkins Budget; 2016-17 Special Education Budget.
Mr. Powell reported to the Board that the attendance as of September 12th was 1952.
The Board appointed David Waller as Legislative Liaison for the 2016-17 school year.
The Board agreed to move the October 17th School Board Meeting to Monday, October 24th due to scheduling conflicts.
Summary of School Board Elections
Since there were no contested school board races, polls were not opened. Early and absentee votes were cast electronically. Of the 14,322 registered voters, only 41 votes were cast. 26 early and 15 absentee.
BV School District:
Zone 3, Lee Ann Ashford -7 votes; Zone 4, Travis Gregory - 2 votes; and Zone 5, Chad Wilson - 4 votes
Green Forest School District:
Zone 5, Kenny Bonham - 4
Eureka Springs School District:
Position 5, Joe Hill - 10 votes; Position 6, Tina Johnson - 9 votes
No School District requested a millage increase.
Boone County Woman Found Driving Stolen Berryville Truck
The 1991 Ford F-150 pickup stolen from the Berryville Bus Barn Sept. 10th was recovered last week and the woman driving it is being held in the Boone County jail waiting to be transported to Carroll County.
49 year old Gayla Howell of Harrison was pulled over in Bergman for a traffic violation. At the time, police found drugs in her possession and she was arrested.
At the time the truck was stolen, the school district said several thousand dollars in tools was in the back of the truck. Police did not recover any tools at the time Howell was arrested. After formal arraignment in Boone County next week, Howell will be brought to the Carroll County Detention Center to be arraigned on vehicle theft.
17 Year Old Runaway Kept Locked in Shed by Abductor
A Sharp County man who police say repeatedly assaulted a runaway teenager and kept her locked in a shed for six days has been charged with three counts of rape, kidnapping and trafficking, authorities said.
Jacob M. Gibson, 22, of Cave City, is being held in the Sharp County jail in Ash Flat in lieu of a $100,000 bond set by Sharp County District Judge Kevin King, Sheriff Mark Counts said.
Sharp County deputies arrested Gibson at his Brickle Springs Road home Sept. 4 after his mother, Rossann Gibson, told police she received a "frantic" phone call from the 17-year-old girl, who was living with Jacob Gibson and his mother. She said she rushed home and found her son and the girl both locked in a shed behind the home.
Rossann Gibson said she persuaded her son to open the shed door, and the girl ran outside toward her car, Sharp County Deputy Cody Bailey wrote in an arrest affidavit filed in Sharp County Circuit Court.
The girl said Jacob Gibson, whom the girl referred to as her "boyfriend," had accused her of seeing another man Aug. 30.
Bailey said in the affidavit that the 17-year-old was a runaway from Washington state who met Gibson several months ago when Gibson traveled west to visit his father. She was living "on the street," Bailey said, and she went to Arkansas with Gibson.
According to the affidavit, Gibson sexually assaulted the girl several times while she was kept in the shed. Rossann Gibson told Bailey that her son had been diagnosed with psychological problems and often used methamphetamine. He tested positive for the drug when arrested, Bailey said.
Arkansas Joins Coalition Opposing New Labor Rule Regarding Overtime
The state of Arkansas joined a coalition of 21 states suing the U.S. Department of Labor over a new rule that would make more higher-earning workers eligible for overtime pay.
Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt filed the lawsuit in Texas on Tuesday, urging the court to block implementation before the regulation takes effect on Dec. 1.
The measure would shrink the so-called "white collar exemption" and more than double the salary threshold under which employers must pay overtime to their workers.
Laxalt said the rule would burden private and public sectors and represents inappropriate federal overreach.
Officials from the labor department didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.
Other plaintiffs include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.
Texas Man Sentenced for Transporting Teen Across State Lines
A Texas man has been sentenced to more than 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to transporting a 14-year-old girl from Mount Judea across state lines for sex, U.S. Attorney Kenneth Elser said.
In addition to being sentenced to 188 months Thursday, Thomas Hammond, 47, of Cleburne, Texas, was also sentenced to 10 years of supervised release before Chief Judge P.K. Holmes III in U.S. District Court in Fort Smith.
Hammond began an online relationship with the teenager in the spring of 2015, and in April of that year traveled from his home to Harrison, where he rented a hotel room for several days and had sex with the girl, according to a statement.
Elser said that a month later, Hammond again traveled from his residence to the teenager’s home about 30 miles south of Harrison in Mount Judea, picked her up and took her back to Texas.
Hammond was stopped May 17, 2015, by a Newton County sheriff's deputy, who found the girl traveling with him. That girl then told authorities she that had been transported between Arkansas and Texas on several occasions for the purpose of sex.
According to the statement, Hammond was indicted Dec. 9, 2015, by a federal grand jury and pleaded guilty May 11 to a charge of transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.
Harvest of Feral Hogs Illegal on Many Public Areas
In an effort to eradicate hogs, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has passed regulations against hunting them on wildlife management areas it controls. The regulation was enacted on some WMAs during the 2014-15 hunting season, and has gradually spread to include nearly all AGFC WMAs in the state.
At first glance, it does seem a bit backward that the AGFC is working to eliminate hogs on property it controls, but will not allow hunters to harvest them, but the situation is much more complex than killing a couple of pigs.
For decades, the AGFC allowed harvest of feral hogs during any open season with weapons legal for that season on wildlife management areas. Coyote season enabled hunters to be afield nine months of the year with high-powered rifles to pursue feral hogs. But feral hog populations continued to rise.
Some WMAs owned by other agencies, but cooperatively managed by the AGFC for hunting still allow hunters to take a hog if it crosses their path during a firearms deer, bear or elk season, as manpower for trapping in those areas can be limited.