News for Thursday, August 17
On August 17, 2017, the Eureka Springs Police Department was a participating member of a multiple agency drug and money laundering investigation with the assistance of the United States Attorney's Office. Any questions or concerns should be directed to the United States Attorney's Office in Ft. Smith, 479-424-3920, or the Public Information Officer at Homeland Security Investigations, 479-527-7200. More information will be available in the coming days.
Carroll County Pioneers Bluegrass Show Returning October 7
The Carroll County Historical Society is bringing Bluegrass back to the Carroll County Fairgrounds, Saturday, October 7th. Three great Bluegrass groups are lined up and Dan White with the Historical Society tells Linda Boyer who they are.............
All monies will go to the continuing support of the Historical Museum. For updates on the show, go the Carroll County Pioneers Bluegrass Show Facebook page. Again, admission is $15, children 12 and under are free. M.C. is Walter Shook and Sound provided by Buddy Blue.
If you want to participate in the open mic, pre-register by calling Dan White 870-350-5412.
Huntsville School Board Approves Drug Testing Policy
The Huntsville school board voted unanimously Monday (Aug. 14) to approve a new drug testing policy for this school year. Under the policy, any student in grade 7th-12th who plays a sport, drives to school or is involved in a school activity will be placed in a pool for mandatory random drug testing.
Huntsville athletic director Tommy Tice said the new policy is about prevention and rehabilitation.
The program will cost an estimated $3,000 to $7,000 a year. Several parents agreed that it will be money well spent and is something the school district needs.
The school district plans to start testing at least 2 to 15 percent of students depending on the size of the pool by Oct. 1.
Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over
Police across the state of Arkansas are preparing for a crackdown on drunk drivers in the final weeks of summer.
Beginning tomorrow, Aug. 18, and continuing through Sept. 4, state and local law enforcement officers will be aggressively targeting their patrols in search of drunk drivers.
The Labor Day holiday period is among the most deadly travel periods on Arkansas highways, according to the Arkansas State Police division of highway safety. The police are aiming to change that statistic, through a campaign that will be enacted on the national level.
The campaign, 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,' is intended to increase public awareness of the problem through high visibility in law enforcement presence on Arkansas roads. The goal of the campaign is ultimately to limit the number of drunk drivers who get behind the wheel.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 10,265 people nationwide were killed in drunk driving crashes during 2015. In the Labor Day holiday reporting period of that same year, there were 460 fatalities.
Col. Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and a Governor's Highway Safety Representative, said that the consequences of drunk driving are both severe and potentially life-changing, so people ought be aware before getting behind the wheel.
For more information on the 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' campaign, you may visit TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136.
Missouri Division of Tourism Projecting Hundreds of Thousands If Not Millions for Eclipse
Missouri is one of ten states in the direct line of a total solar eclipse that will cut a diagonal path across the country Monday. Special events are planned in all ten where the moon will completely block the sun for a time span ranging from 20 seconds to more than two-and-a-half minutes.
State agencies in Missouri have spent months planning for what amounts to an once-in-a-lifetime event for many people. A 60 mile wide band stretching from St. Joseph to St. Genevieve will bring total darkness along a line known as the “path of totality”.
The Missouri Division of Tourism has projected an influx of anywhere between 320,000 to 1.3 million visitors to the state. Matt Hiebert with the Department of Transportation (MoDOT) says the northwest portion could see more travelers than other areas.
Southeast Missouri could be spared from severe traffic congestion because of a major event planned in Carbondale, Illinois. Hiebert says (MoDOT) is working with a coalition of departments under the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) in preparation for the eclipse.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol is recommending for vehicle travelers to plan in advance, get to their destination early and let traffic thin afterward before trying to get home. The Patrol’s Captain John Hotz says anyone driving during the event should remember to turn on their headlights and watch the road, not the eclipse.
Timeline Set for Licensing of Marijuana Cultivation Facilities and Dispensaries
A timeline has been set for the state to award licenses for Arkansas's five cultivation facilities and 32 dispensaries around the holidays.
Though the decision comes around the holidays, the product itself should hit the market in March.
The lawmaker who crafted the cannabis legislation says the nearly 40 facilities approved will be discrete meaning with little to no advertising on the buildings to reduce their appeal to kids.'
As the process moves forward, State Rep. Doug House expects the state to add additional qualifying conditions to the list for patients, including psychiatric issues, and implement a THC testing program in an effort to keep medical marijuana out of the wrong hands.
Wal-Mart CEO Critical of Trump's Handling of Charlottesville
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon no longer has to weigh the pros and cons of remaining a member of President Donald Trump's Strategic and Policy Forum.
The White House advisory council no longer exists.
The forum, consisting of some of the nation's top CEOs, and a similar manufacturing council were disbanded Wednesday after several members departed and pressure increased over Trump's comments about last weekend's violence in Charlottesville, Va.
The decision came less than 24 hours after Trump doubled down on his initial statement that there was "blame on both sides" of the Charlottesville violence between white supremacists and counterprotesters.
Wal-Mart's McMillon criticized Trump's initial handling of the Charlottesville violence in a memo to employees earlier this week, saying he felt that the president had "missed a critical opportunity to help bring our country together by unequivocally rejecting the appalling actions of white supremacists."
Missouri Utility Regulators Reject Proposed High Voltage Power Line
Missouri utility regulators rejected a proposed high-voltage power line to carry wind power across the Midwest to eastern states.
The decision on Wednesday by the Missouri Public Service Commission creates a significant hurdle for Clean Line Energy Partners, which wants to build one of the nation's longest transmission lines.
All the other states along its route already have granted approval. The line would run from Kansas through Missouri and Illinois to Indiana, where it would connect with a power grid for eastern states.
Missouri regulators initially rejected the project in 2015, while questioning its benefits and burden on landowners.
This time, the regulatory commission cited a recent state appeals court ruling that said utilities must first get consent from affected counties before state approval can be granted. Four of the five commissioners believe the line is needed and would be in the public interest but said the appeals court ruling prohibits them from voting for it. Clean Line lacks local approval from several counties in its path.
Wal-Mart and Amazon in Battle for Consumer's Attention
As the industry buzzes about Amazon's growing advertising power, its arch-rival is trying its best not to be outdone.
Walmart is now quietly bulking up its own online ads business, according to a recent research note from KeyBanc analyst Ed Yruma. Whereas the retailer previously used space on its site mostly for its own promotions, it's now increasingly selling it to other brands and vendors.
Walmart's already tapping into the same sort of cocktail that's made Amazon such a potentially formidable force in the ads world: a valuable trove of data on customer shopping habits. The big-box retailer is now also plugging in information collected on in-store sales to give advertisers a fuller picture of the customers they're targeting.
The move comes as Walmart's e-commerce operation continues to grow at a rapid clip under the guidance of Jet.com founder Marc Lore, who's now the shopping giant's head of online sales. Lore's focused much of his energy on building out the site's tech capabilities and integrating Jet.com's proprietary algorithms.
While advertising has remained a relatively small part of these efforts, Walmart is now offering a full range of options for advertisers, including display placements, programmatic ads (those placed by an automated exchange), native ads (sponsored product listings that a given brand pays to make more prominent), and physical in-store ads.
Some of its ads will even trace the shopping process from searches on the Walmart site to purchases of the same product in a store.
As always, Walmart is trying to use the extra capability afforded by its thousands of stores to balance out some of Amazon's technical superiority.
News for Wednesday, August 16
Berryville City Council Report
The Berryville City Council met Tuesday in City Hall. All council persons were present along with Mayor Tim McKinney and City Attorney Clint Scheel.
One of the few agenda items was a report from the Berryville Police Department.
Chief Robert Bartos reported the July statistics of incidents and offenses. A total of 82 offenses were reported to Police and 124 tickets were written. Most tickets were for various traffic infractions and offenses were varied. Under offenses, 6 aggravated assault/battery; 6 burglaries, and 15 thefts were among the most frequent. BVPD continue their trend of a very high clearance rate of offenses and for July it was 87% cleared. Traffic accidents in town totalled 15 in July, several of those on private property.
The monthly financial report of Operating Funds showed the 1% sales tax collected for July was $127,061 and the 1/2% Dedicated Sales for Police, Fire and Streets collected $63,530.
Mayor McKinney announced a special-called council meeting for Wednesday, August 30th at 11am to process necessary bond issuance documentation.
Flashing Red. Kids Ahead.
As students head back to school, you'll see more buses on the road, and a new statewide campaign is working to keep those kids safe.
"Flashing Red. Kids Ahead." is a statewide campaign lead by the Arkansas Department of Education. The goal is to remind drivers to stop when they see flashing red lights on a school bus.
In Arkansas approximately 7,000 buses carry around 350,000 kids to and from school and school-related activities on a daily basis.
In addition to promoting safety, the campaign is to remind drivers of the penalties they could face if they pass a stopped school bus. In 2005, Isaac's Law passed in Arkansas. It's named after a boy who was killed when a driver didn't stop when he was getting off the school bus to walk home.
A driver who illegally passes a school bus is guilty of a misdemeanor and could face jail time and lose their driver's license. If the driver hits and kills a person, the driver would then be charged with negligent homicide.
This is the fifth year for the "Flashing Red. Kids Ahead." campaign. Officials ask drivers to be patient, slow down and pay attention any time they approach a school zone or bus.
The speed limit in school zones is 20 mph, and it is against the law to talk on the phone in these school zones.
Gov. Hutchinson Announces Fall 2017 Computer Science Tour of Arkansas Schools
Governor Asa Hutchinson Tuesday announced his fifth computer coding tour of Arkansas high schools since taking office in 2015. The tour will kick off August 22 and run through the end of the month. The focus of the tour is to promote computer science and encourage students to enroll in courses this fall. Schools, dates and times are listed below.
Gov. Hutchinson issued the following statement:
“I am kicking off my fifth computer science tour this week, and the difference between what was happening in the state on the first tour two years ago and now is tremendous.
“Thanks to the amazing response from educators, students and the business community, Arkansas continues to lead the nation in computer-science education. National publications are writing stories about us. Companies are considering Arkansas because they see the strong workforce we are creating. Computer coding classes have become so popular that some schools have a waiting list of students. Teachers have access to training and resources that they did not have before we started our Computer Coding Initiative.
“Arkansas is truly becoming a tech hub, and I can’t wait to hit the road and meet even more of our talented students to spread the word about coding and their future in Arkansas’ economy.”
Tuesday, August 22
Harrison High School
925 Goblin Dr.
Alpena High School
300 S. Denver St.
Green Forest High School
800 Tommy Ratzlaff Ave.
Green Forest, AR
Two Cases of West Nile Virus Confirmed
Health officials say two cases of West Nile virus were identified last week in Arkansas, marking the first time this year that the illness has been confirmed in the state.
The Arkansas Department of Health says most people are infected with the virus from June through September, with the number of infections peaking in mid-August. The illness is transmitted to people by infected mosquitoes.
Health officials say the best way to prevent the disease is to avoid mosquito bites by using insect repellants and wearing long sleeves, pants and socks when outdoors.
According to preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 159 cases of the illness have been reported so far this year. Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas have the highest number of confirmed and probable cases.
Approved Medical Marijuana Cards Increases
The Arkansas Department of Health said it has approved 534 medical marijuana applications for patients seeking the drug as of Friday. They also had 539 applications still pending.
A number of physicians across Arkansas are still hesitant to fill out the paperwork that's required for a patient to even apply for a medical marijuana card.
Doctors must fill out a form certifying their patient has one of the approved conditions to be eligible for a medial marijuana card. That form must then be submitted when the patient applies for the medical marijuana program with the Arkansas Department of Health.
The problem patients are running into continues to be a lack of doctors who will fill out the paperwork. Dr. Tammy Post of Better Living RX said doctors taking federal insurance can't sign off on the recommendations. Medical marijuana is still illegal under federal law.
And although 534 may sound like a lot of approved applicants thus far, that's up from 66 approved applicants in July. And the state expects 30,000 applications year round. The Arkansas Department of Health has been accepting applications since June.
A new online tool shows which doctors in Arkansas will fill out medical marijuana paperwork, but as of Tuesday it only contains 13 doctors across the entire state. The Association of American Medical Colleges said Arkansas had a total of 5,877 physicians in 2015.
New Website for Tech Job Seekers
Arkansas is launching a new website to help job seekers find positions in the technology sector in the state.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday announced the start of www.artechjobs.com as part of an effort to increase the number of Arkansans in high-tech fields. The site will help connect employers and tech works in a number of industries, including information technology, health care, software development and web development.
There is not cost for companies or job seekers to participate. Nearly 50 companies are already using the site. Job seekers can create personal profiles and upload their resumes.
The Little Rock-based nonprofit organization ARCodeKids and the Information Network of Arkansas created and developed the website at no expense to the state.
Lightning Claiming Fewer Lives
Lightning - once one of nature's biggest killers -is claiming far fewer lives in the United States, mostly because we've learned to get out of the way.
In the 1940s, when there were fewer people, lightning killed more than 300 people annually. So far this year, 13 people have died after being struck, on pace for a record low of 17 deaths. Taking the growing population into account, the lightning death rate has shrunk more than forty-fold since record-keeping began in 1940.
People seem to be capturing the phenomenon more on camera than before, making it seem like something new and sizzling is going on in the air. Separate videos last month of a Florida lifeguard and an airport worker being hit by lightning went viral. Both survived.
40th Anniversary of Elvis' Passing Celebrated at Graceland
For nearly four decades, fans of the late singer Elvis Presley have made a solemn procession past his grave at his Graceland mansion during the annual candlelight vigil commemorating his death, without paying a penny.
This year, on the 40th anniversary of the rock 'n' roll icon's death, it cost them $28.75.
Many fans were not happy.
Visitors attending the vigil that began Tuesday night and runs into Wednesday had to have an Elvis Week Property Pass wristband to walk up the long driveway and past the graves where Presley and relatives are buried, Graceland told the Associated Press in a written statement. The $28.75 wristband also provided access to a new $45 million entertainment complex at the Memphis tourist attraction.
Graceland, operated by Elvis Presley Enterprises, said it anticipated large crowds and it updated its security measures for Elvis Week, the annual celebration of Presley's life and career in music and movies. Presley died on Aug. 16, 1977, in Memphis.
A crowd estimate was not immediately available. Officials had prepared for about 30,000 to 50,000 people.
Celebration of Life for Frank Broyles
A Celebration of the Life of Coach Frank Broyles will be held this Saturday, August 19 at 2 p.m. at Bud Walton Arena on the University of Arkansas campus. The celebration is open to the public.
Additional details regarding the celebration will be released later this week via ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
Coach Frank Broyles passed away on Monday in Fayetteville at the age of 92. Broyles spent more than a half century serving the University of Arkansas as a football coach, athletics director and goodwill ambassador. For more information on the life and career of Coach Broyles visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
News for Tuesday, August 15
Berryville School Resource Officer Jim Ross Ready for the New School Year
The School Resource Officer supports and facilitates the educational process within the Berryville School System by providing a safe and secure environment through building and establishing meaningful relationships with students and staff and proactively interacting with the school community. SROs are typically employed by a local police of sheriff's agency and work closely with administrators in an effort to create a safer environment for both students and staff.
Jim Ross is a Berryville Police Officer and became the SRO last semester. He talked with Linda Boyer about his duties, which he takes very seriously............
Jim Ross has also been the Berryville Postmaster before becoming a policeman for the Berryville Police Department.
Arkansas Icon Frank Broyles Passes Away
Former University of Arkansas head football coach and athletics director Frank Broyles has passed away at age 92. Broyles, an Arkansas icon for close to 60 years, had been in declining health for several months.
He was born John Franklin on December 26, 1924, in Decatur, Georgia, the youngest of O.T. and Louise Broyles' five children.
Broyles quickly established himself as a multi-sport athlete at Georgia Tech, starring at quarterback for the Yellow Jackets football team. In 1944 Broyles was named the SEC player of the year and set an Orange Bowl passing record that stood for 56 years.
Broyles coached at Baylor from 1947-49 and it was on a 1948 trip to Fayetteville for a game against the Razorbacks that he got his first look at the place he would eventually call home for the last six decades of his life.
Broyles would coach at Arkansas for 19 seasons. In the decade of the 60's, Arkansas won five SWC titles, finished second three times, won a national championship and came within a few points of winning two more. Broyles always said the secret to his success was that Barnhill gave him the money to hire the best assistant coaches available. Barry Switzer, Jimmy Johnson, Joe Gibbs, Johnny Majors and Fry all coached under him. Broyles' assistants went on to win 6 super bowls, 5 college national championships and 40 conferences titles as head coaches.
After stepping down as Arkansas' head football coach in 1977 Broyles settled in for a long tenure as the school's athletics director. He built new facilities in basketball, baseball, track and tennis. He created a successful women's athletic department, renovated Razorback Stadium in football and took Arkansas into the SEC. Coaches he hired won 42 national championships at the school and countless conference titles.
Two Fayetteville Residents Arrested in Possession of Large Amount of Drugs
Two people are facing drug charges after they were arrested on Saturday (Aug. 12) with 4.2 pounds of methamphetamine, Fayetteville police said.
Cornelious Cox, 33, and Dominique McKinney, 20, both of Fayetteville, are facing charges of drug trafficking, and several counts of possession of controlled substance, according to an incident report. Cox is also facing charges of delivery of a controlled substance.
The Fourth Judicial District Drug Task Force had been investigating Cox over the past month after confidential informants purchased methamphetamine from him, the report states. On Saturday, officers arrested Cox after he drove his vehicle behind a business along S. Beechwood Avenue in Fayetteville.
McKinney was a passenger in the vehicle, and her seat was leaned all the way back to cover a green backpack, which contained drugs and cash.
During a search of Cox’s home and vehicle, officers found nearly 4.2 pounds of meth, 2 grams of cocaine, 19.5 grams of marijuana, several scales, oxycodone and hydrocodone pills, a pistol, ammunition, and more than $32,000.
The two were arrested and taken to the Washington County Detention Center.
Arkansas Youth Lockups to Become Privatized
All seven state-operated youth lockups will be privatized next year, Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced during a Monday news conference.
The change is just one of many revisions that would affect Arkansas children entrenched in the juvenile justice system. Some steps have already been taken by the Division of Youth Services.
The agency took over operation of the juvenile treatment centers in January at Hutchinson's direction after the bidding process fell apart.
The Youth Services Division's time in charge of the facilities has been rocked by escapes of teenagers, scathing reports issued by juvenile justice advocates and revelations of unsafe conditions for youths being held at the Arkansas Juvenile Assessment and Treatment Center, a facility near Alexander that is under a separate private contract.
The agency also had to navigate the state's lengthy procurement process to buy basic supplies, as well as address high turnover rates and understaffing at the lockups.
Accused Kitten Killer Facing New Charge
A man from Branson who is accused of abusing a kitten, leading to its death, now faces a new charge while in jail.
Prosecutors charged Kyle Williams, 18, with possession of a weapon inside the Taney County Jail. Jailers found the weapon on July 31. If he's convicted, he faces an additional five- to 15-year prison sentence for the additional charge.
Williams also faces an animal abuse and armed criminal action charge after police said he posted a video of abusing a cat on Facebook. The video shows someone tying a rope around the neck of an apparently healthy cat and tying the rope to the bumper of a Jeep Grand Cherokee. The cat is then seen running behind the moving vehicle until it was too tired, then being tossed and turned as the Jeep continued driving. The video also recorded the participants in the abuse laughing. The cat later died.
Williams is scheduled to be in court for a preliminary hearing on the animal abuse charge on Aug. 24.
Missouri Landowners Finding New Ways to Eliminate Feral Hogs
Wild pigs are causing problems across southern Missouri. Conservation agents are now teaming with landowners to find new ways to eliminate the destructive creatures.
They are just a problem animal that we need to get rid of., said Francis Skalicky, Spokesperson for the Missouri Department of Conservation. "Feral hogs are not wildlife. We have no interest in hunting them. We just want to get rid of them."
Reports of feral hog sightings have come in from areas such as Taney and Barry Counties.
Where did feral pigs come from? Skalicky explained how, several years ago, some farmers let their livestock pigs roam freely. Some of the creatures wandered off, went wild, and multiplied, and those are the ones that led to the problem.
These pigs are hairy; mean; disease-ridden; and destructive. Using their snouts and teeth, they tear up yards; fields; crops; and forest land. They consume large amounts of food eaten by native animals. To cap it off, the animals are so big that no natural predator wants to take them down. As a result, their numbers grow out of control.
Feral hogs are a popular target of hunters and farmers protecting their land. While it is illegal to use your gun to kill the animals on land owned by the conservation department, it is perfectly legal to shoot them on your personal property.
Experts are encouraging something different when it comes to removing the creatures from the Show-Me State. Instead, of shooting them, experts say it is best to trap them and eliminate several at once.
With this tapping method, the conservation department has been able to remove more than 4,000 feral hogs from Missouri so far in 2017. That's double the number capture and killed in all of 2016.
If you're experiencing an issue with feral hogs on your property, you can call the Missouri Department of Conservation at 573-522-4115 ext. 3296. You may also visit www.mdc.mo.gov/feralhog.
Arkansas One of Five States Without Hate Crime Law
The man accused of driving his car into a crowd of counter-protesters during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville could face charges on top of second-degree murder.
James Alex Fields, Jr., 20, allegedly killed 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injured 19 others during Saturday's protests.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the case could turn federal as domestic terrorism, even a hate crime.
The rally's effects quickly traveled nearly 900 miles to the Natural State's capital city, where many are calling the violence a hate crime.
Virginia has hate crime laws, however Arkansas is one of five that does not.
Lawmakers filed the state's first hate crime bill in 2001. It fell in Sen. Joyce Elliott's lap when she served as a freshman state representative in the judiciary committee.
Sen. Elliott said it ultimately failed because some did not think the law should apply to crimes motivated by someone's sexual orientation.
More than a decade later, the now veteran lawmaker co-sponsored a similar piece of legislation with Rep. Greg Leding, D-Fayetteville, this year to create an enhanced sentence for hate crimes, but it died before making it out of committee.
Woman Dies After Jumping Out of Ambulance
Arkansas State Police are investigating the death of a woman who they say jumped from a moving ambulance.
According to Arkansas State Police Public Information Officer Bill Sadler, the woman reportedly jumped from a moving ambulance in Searcy, while traveling southbound on U.S. Highway 67 at the 45-mile marker.
Personnel with Arkansas Emergency Transport Ambulance were transporting the woman from Paragould to a Little Rock mental health facility.
No names are being released at this time.
Arkansas State Police are still investigating the death.
News for Monday, August 14
Two Madison County Firemen Injured
Two Huntsville firefighters were injured early Sunday morning, Aug. 13, while responding to a fully involved structure fire, according to a Facebook post from the Huntsville Fire Department.
The people injured were transported to Washington Regional Medical Center for treatment.
Two additional firefighters received first and second degree burns, but were not transported to the hospital.
Mutual aid departments from Hindsville, Smyrna, Bohannan Mt, Forum-Alabam, Japton and Nob Hill also responded.
U.S. Senator Tom Cotton Issues Statement on Charlottesville, Va. Violence
Senator Tom Cotton released the following statement on the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia:
"I'm currently traveling in the Balkans, where the long, violent history of ethnic supremacism still stalks the land and is a reminder of how unique America is. White supremacists who claim to 'take America back' only betray their own ignorance of what makes America so special: our country's founding recognition of the natural rights of all mankind and commitment to the defense of the rights of all Americans. These contemptible little men do not speak for what is just, noble, and best about America. They ought to face what they would deny their fellow citizens: the full extent of the law."
Currently, in Charlottesville, Virginia, a federal civil rights investigation is underway after Saturday's deadly car crash.
Authorities say 20-year-old James Fields Jr. from Ohio intentionally plowed into a crowd of protesters. It happened as white nationalists protested the city's decision to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
One woman was killed and 19 others were injured.
Counter protesters were there to confront white nationalists who were in Charlottesville for the second straight day.
Fields is facing several charges including murder.
No Applications Yet for Medical Marijuana Cultivation or Dispensary
Arkansas officials say no applications have been submitted for medical marijuana cultivation and dispensary facilities licenses as the state reaches the halfway point for the application submission period.
Department of Finance and Administration spokesman Scott Hardin tells The Associated Press that as of Wednesday no applications for growing and distributing had been received by the agency. Hardin says officials anticipate applications will start arriving closer to the Sept. 18 submission deadline.
The Arkansas Department of Health says there are 404 applications completed and approved from people seeking to use medical marijuana. The ID cards will be issued about 30 days before medical marijuana is available for legal purchase in the state.
Voters made Arkansas the first Bible Belt state to legalize medical marijuana last November, clearing the way for people with certain medical conditions to use the drug.
Razorback Fan Day
Razorback fans from all over the state met for Football Fan Day on Saturday (Aug. 12).
The Willard and Pat Walker Pavilion/Walker Family Training Center was filled with fun events for everyone. Kids could enjoy an indoor obstacle course, a petting cage with Tusk the Hog, and of course autographs from the Razorback football team.
Pom squad member Abby Metz used the event as a way to personally connect with fans.
"Kids notice you more than you think and it makes us feel really good," said Metz. "Hopefully it makes them feel special, as well, because we really getting to know them."
"In 2008 and 2009, I was the Razorback mascot so I did "Big Red" and "Ribby the Razorback," said Steve Sparks.
Fan Day is yearly event and happens before the football season starts -- it is free to the public.
New State Law Requiring Insurance Companies to Cover Breast Procedures
A new state law requiring health insurance companies to cover breast ultrasounds and 3-D mammograms will save lives, medical experts say.
"This test has been proven in many, many studies to be a superior mammogram," Dr. Kelly Pierce at The Breast Center of Northwest Arkansas said of the 3-D mammogram.
Mammography is the most widely used cancer screening tool for women between the ages of 40 and 74, according to the National Cancer Institute, a federal agency for cancer research and training.
Arkansas is taking a step forward by requiring insurance to cover the more advanced screenings as part of regular checkups, state Rep. Greg Leding, D-Fayetteville, said. Leding sponsored the legislation that took effect Aug. 1.
Act 708 says an insurer cannot impose a co-payment or a deductible for breast ultrasounds and screening mammograms. The law does not require coverage for more than one mammogram if a patient has to have additional tests.
The 3-D mammography technique, also called tomosynthesis, uses multiple X-ray images taken in an arc around the breast, while conventional mammograms use a two-dimensional image. Ultrasounds use harmless, high-frequency sound waves to produce an image.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the 3-D mammogram, but it is not considered standard care, according to breastcancer.org, a nonprofit organization that seeks to provide up-to-date information on breast cancer.
Springdale Student Wins 2017 World Brain Bee
Sojas Wagle, a student at Har-Ber High School in Springdale, has won the 2017 World Brain Bee, a neuroscience competition among students ages 13-19 from 25 countries.
The event, hosted by the American Psychological Association, took place earlier this week in Washington, D.C.
Wagle, who will be a high school junior, received a trophy and a $3,000 award.
He was the second Arkansas student in as many years to win the USA Brain Bee, which was held in March this year, but he is the first from Arkansas to win the world contest.
In addition to his participation in the 19th annual neuroscience competition, Wagle has been captain of his school's Quiz Bowl team and the state's Most Valuable Player for the past two years, according to the announcement of his championship.
The Brain Bee is a three-tiered competition. Students initially participate in local chapter competitions in which there are as many as 200 participants. Winners of those contests are eligible to participate in regional or national championships, and those winners are invited to the world championship.
Total Eclipse Can Be Viewed Livestream at NASA
A total eclipse will cross the entire United States for the first time since 1918 on Monday, Aug. 21.
Though some of us won't be able to view the eclipse in its entirety, either because of work, sleep or geographic location, the scientists at NASA have provided an answer--a livestream.
According to NASA, images will be taken by 11 separate spacecraft, at least three NASA aircraft and more than 50 high-altitude balloons--not to mention the astronauts aboard the International Space Station.
NASA will offer a multitude of streaming options, including full coverage of the eclipse with commentary.
You can stream the eclipse, as well as find links to all of the NASA offerings here.
Powerball Jackpot Growing
The Powerball jackpot will continue to grow above $400 million this week because no one matched all the numbers in Saturday's drawing.
Lottery officials estimate that the jackpot for the next Powerball drawing on Wednesday will be $430 million.
The Powerball prize will be the only big lottery jackpot this week because someone who bought a ticket in Palos Heights, Illinois, won Saturday's $393 million Mega Millions jackpot.
But remember that the odds of winning Powerball remain long at one in 292.2 million.
Wal-Mart Trying Scan-and-Go
Say goodbye to checkout lines, registers and cashiers.
Walmart is debuting scan-and-go capabilities. Scan-and-go lets folks scan the barcodes of items they want to buy as they take them off shelves and pay for them digitally.
According to Business Insider, the technology is being tested in Rogers.
The Bentonville-based retailer is now putting the service in more than a dozen stores.
News for Friday, August 11
KTHS Report on House Fire on Eureka Street
A story and picture on Thursday's news of a house fire on Eureka Street has garnered some very negative remarks from the public. Some took issue with the fact that our brief remarks describing that when I arrived at the fire at 4:30am, that the fire was "unattended." It was at that time. When my news was published a few hours later, I had no further information other than what I had gotten from Central Dispatch and heresay from a few other people. Central Dispatch told me the Police Department was doing periodic drive-bys to check it. KTHS is mandated by FCC regulations to provide information in the best interests of public safety.
The Fire Department spokesman told KTHS Friday, "the department was toned out around 9:37 pm Wednesday and that volunteer firefighters were on the scene monitoring the fire from the time they arrived until around 4am."
I never implied in my story caption that there was no supervision at the fire at all, only that nobody was there at 4:30am, and flames were still as tall as the chimney and the air and nearby parking lots and homes were littered with black soot and ashes and very heavy billowing smoke.
The spokesman went on to say the Fire Department did "everything that could be done" after arriving, and that a decision was made that it was "too dangerous for firemen to enter the blazing structure".
The Berryville Volunteer Fire Department led by Chief Shannon Chester is among the best in the state. We are truly blessed in this community to have such a dedicated volunteer fire department.
CC Election Commision Sifts Through New Voter I.D. Laws
The Carroll County Election Commision met Wednesday in the County Clerks office to continue their work on implementing new mandated voter I.D. laws as well as upcoming school elections.
At their own behest, Chairman Dave Hoover said they too are trying to understand the complicated changes coming to voter laws and getting all the changes completed by the next primary and general election. The Election Commisioners are definitely excited at the prospect of the new voting machines coming to the County. Almost all, if not all counties in Arkansas are getting new voting machines. The State has offered to pay for half the cost.
Regarding school elections, a new state law begins next year. In March of this year, the Arkansas Legislature voted to approve a bill to require that school board elections be held at the same time as general or primary elections or on the equivalent dates in non-election years. The bill is touted as a way to increase voter participation. School officials have resisted the move for years, preferring to hold school elections in which people specifically interested in school officials vote.
Chairman Hoover told commissioners he wants to personally get on the agenda to speak to each school board in Berryville, Green Forest and Eureka Springs to find out their opinion.....
Hoover said polls will not open in Eureka Springs or Green Forest for their school elections because there are no contested races or millage increases, but early and absentee voting will be available at the courthouses. Berryville School District is asking for a millage increase to build a new school and Hoover predicts there will be a significant turnout. Berryville voters will cast ballots at the United Methodist Church. There will be three voting machines and nine poll workers total at the Methodist Church.
Head On Collision in Barry County Injures Local Residents
Two people were injured Thursday in a head-on collision in Barry County, Mo. According to the Missouri Highway Patrol, the accident involved a 1996 Lincoln Towncar driven by 30 year old Robert McPhail of Holiday Island and a 2005 Nissan driven by 36 year old Makara Khen of Berryville. The Nissan contained one passenger, 30 year old Panha Keo, also of Berryville.
The accident occurred when the Lincoln hit the Nissan headon. McPhail and Keo were transported to area hospitals with moderate and serious injuries.
Roedigers Take Bible Reading Ministry on the Road
Bible Reading Ministry International, which started the Carroll County Bible Reading 8 years ago, reports the recent Boone County 3rd Annual Bible Reading marathon was a huge success despite rains and flooding of Minnie Harris Park in Harrison.
The 8th annual Carroll County Bible Reading Marathon had a big impact on visitors to the Christ of the Ozarks satue when it was held after the National Day of Prayer at the Church in the Grove on the Passion Play grounds. Bonnie and Jess Roediger of the Bible Reading Ministry have a trip planned to Detroit Lakes MN for their 3rd Annual Bible Reading Marathon.........
Roediger can be reached at 870-350-0685.
4 Counties Receiving Crisis Stabilizaition Units from State
Each of the four counties that applied to open Crisis Stabilization Units (CSU) will receive up to $1.6 million from the state to operate a sixteen-bed CSU facility, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced today. Those counties include Craighead, Pulaski, Sebastian and Washington.
Act 423, which established the CSU pilot program, was a major part of Governor Hutchinson’s 2017 legislative agenda and received strong bipartisan support in both houses of the legislature. Governor Hutchinson signed it into law on March 8, 2017.
With the announcement that all four projects will be funded, the Governor is committing an additional $1.4 million from the state’s Rainy Day Fund to support Crisis Stabilization Units, in addition to the $5 million already committed to this project. The additional $1.4 million in funding will go before the Arkansas Legislative Council for final approval.
CSUs are short term clinical facilities that provide assessment and treatment services for individuals with behavioral health conditions. A primary goal of the state’s investment in CSUs is to reduce the number of people with mental illness and other behavioral health conditions entering jails or other facilities, such as emergency rooms, not designed to effectively address their underlying behavioral health conditions. CSUs have the potential to improve outcomes for people with acute behavioral health conditions and reduce overall system costs to both the state and counties, including the strain on our county jails.
Rutledge Chosen New Chairman of Republican Attorney's General
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has been chosen as the new chairman of the Republican Attorneys General Association.
The association said in a statement Thursday that Rutledge, previously vice chair of the organization, will replace West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who is stepping down to focus on his state duties and his U.S. Senate campaign.
Rutledge has been Arkansas' attorney general since 2015.
The national association's mission is to increase the number of Republicans elected as attorneys general across the country. The group says a new vice chairman will be chosen at a later date.
Governor Granting 21 Pardons
The governor of Arkansas is planning to grant 21 pardons, including one to a former Sevier County judge who was found guilty in 1987 of public servant bribery.
The Texarkana Gazette reports that former Judge William F. Pogue of Horatio requested the pardon.
Pogue and equipment dealer Randall Rogers were found guilty of public servant bribery after being indicted in March 1987. Both were each fined $10,000. They didn't serve any probation, jail or parole time.
A statement from Gov. Asa Hutchinson's office says all terms of Pogue's sentence have been completed and that there have been no further criminal-law violations. County judges in Arkansas are top administrative officials and aren't judicial.
According to Gov. Asa Hutchinson's office, 55 clemency requests were denied and four had no action taken.
Bargains Galore on 64
It's time again for the annual Bargains Galore on 64 event, and that means 160 miles of yard sales.
The line stretches from Fort Smith to Beebe.
Bargains Galore on 64 will run from Thursday to Saturday and will be filled with antiques, collectibles, flea markets and more.
Drivers are urged to be cautious due to the amount of traffic expected on U.S. 64.
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News provided by News Director, Linda Boyer