News for July 28, 2015​​​​​​

Double Fatality Crash in Pursuit at State Line

Two people are dead following a crash on U-S 65 near the Arkansas/Missouri state line in Boone County. Police have not released names pending notification of family, but first responders on scene confirm the deceased to be the drivers of two vehicles — a southbound pickup and a northbound car — both without passengers. According to crews on scene, the driver of the pickup was being pursued by law enforcement out of Missouri around 7:30 p.m. last night, when the vehicle crossed the median at a high rate of speed and veered into the northbound lanes, striking the car. The bodies were extricated by Harrison Police and Western Taney County Fire District and turned over to the Boone County Coroner’s Office. Also on scene were Omaha Fire Department, Taney County Ambulance, sheriff’s deputies from Taney and Boone Counties, and state troopers from Missouri and Arkansas.  Crews remained on scene until midnight or later. The crash occurred approximately one-half mile south of the state line.

Vehicle Stolen from Berryville Ford

On July 23rd, Berryville Police were called to Berryville Ford for a report of a stolen car.   The Manager of Berryville Ford said the key to the Black 2009 Dodge Challenger SRT8 was missing and a suspicious man had been seen looking at the Challenger Wednesday.  Anyone who might have seen anything suspicious Wednesday or Thursday, or may have seen the 2009 Dodge Challenger, are asked to call Berryville Police Department at 870-423-3343.

Berryville Police Work Two Accidents 

On July 23rd, Berryville Police worked two accidents, one at 21/221N intersection and one at Hwy. 62 and Springfield.  The accident at 21/221 intersection involved a 2003 Hyundai, being driven by McKenna Gerster of Berryville, and a 2002 Honda, being driven by Roberto Martinez of Berryville.  The accident report stated the Martinez vehicle was stopped in traffic, preparing to make a left turn into a private drive, when it was hit from being by the Gerster Hyundai.  Only vehicle damage was noted, and no citations issued.

The two-vehicle accident at 62 and S. Springfield involved a 1985 Ford, being driven by Matthew Purdome of Flippin, and a 2001 Ford being driven by Christopher Conner of Green Forest.  The accident report showed Purdome was waiting for a light to change at the junction, and when the light changed, Conner attempted to  move forward and collided with the Ford.  Berryville Police cited Conner with following too close.

Benefit for Pastor Steven Thrasher

Coming up Saturday, August 1st, the church members at Faith Apostolic Church in Berryville will be holding a benefit for their Pastor, Steven Thrasher.  Thrasher had a serious accident last Spring and has spent months recuperating from the injuries.  Cindy Brewer is one of the organizers of Saturday's event..........................

For more information, call 870-654-0742 or 870-749-2632.

Lane of Hwy. 187 Across Beaver Dam to Temporarily Close for Bridge Inspection

One lane of Highway 187 across Beaver Dam will be closed from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 3 to conduct a bridge inspection.  Officials at the Army Corps of Engineers Beaver Project Office said they regret any inconvenience this may cause and ask for the public's cooperation during the closure. If you are traveling in this area expect delays, obey flagmen, and drive cautiously around equipment and work crews.  The closure is being coordinated with emergency services and law enforcement agencies.

Harrison Woman Gets Check in Mail 17 Years Later 

A Harrison woman says she finally has received a check in the mail that she had been waiting on for about 17 years. Barbara Frazier of Harrison said she received a letter last week with a postal money order for $200.  She told the Harrison Daily Times that she thought something was wrong because the man from whom the check was mailed no longer lived at the address in Des Moines, Iowa.  But then she realized the postmark on the letter read May 26, 1998. She said she didn't believe the man years ago when she was told that it had been mailed. Frazier said she called him when she got the money order and that he replied, "I told you so."

BWI Arrests Reported by Patrol Water Division

Three people are arrested for boating while intoxicated on Table Rock Lake in Stone County in three separate incidents last weekend. The Missouri Highway Patrol – Water Division reports the arrest of 48-year-old William Whited of Kimberling City for BWI and bow riding; 51-year-old Doug Hopkins of Springfield for BWI; and 25-year-old Nicholas Stueve of Topeka, Kansas for BWI. Each were transported to the Stone County Jail and later released. Missouri’s blood alcohol concentration for BWI was lowered from point-1 percent to point-08 percent in August of 2008. BWI is a class B misdemeanor on first conviction, but is upgraded to a class D felony on third and subsequent convictions.

Human Trafficking in Arkansas By the Numbers

With the release of the 2015 National Trafficking in Persons Report today, here is a look at human trafficking in Arkansas by the numbers.   According to a report by the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, there were 102 calls reporting human trafficking in Arkansas in 2014. The report, which covers human trafficking data from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014 says that out of all the cases the NHTRC has investigated, about 78% of them involved adults and only 22% involving minors. It says that 89% of the cases involved female victims.   A map on the report shows several locations across Arkansas where cases of human trafficking have been reported. Three prominent locations highlighted on the map include areas along I-40 in the River Valley, Central Arkansas, and East Arkansas near Memphis.  It says that out of the cases from 2014 only 30% of them took place at a truck-stop or motel/hotel. 

Gas Prices Down Slightly

Gas prices in Arkansas have fallen 1.9 cents this past week, according to  The average price in Arkansas sits at $2.42 per gallon, which is 31 cents less than the national average.  "All but seven states in the U.S. saw a drop in gasoline prices over the last week, with five states seeing a double digit decline per gallon," Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst said. Prices in Arkansas are almost 90 cents lower than they were this time last year. Gas is 8.2 cents lower per gallon than this time last month. 

Arkansas Attorney General's Office Rejects 5 Pot Proposals

The Arkansas attorney general's office has rejected five proposed ballot titles that would have asked voters to legalize marijuana for various purposes.  But Robert Reed says he isn't giving up and is planning to appeal the most recent denials, on July 20, by Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, who cited ambiguities in two of the proposals Reed submitted.  Reed tells the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that he suffers from a painful bone disease and fears the potential side effects of painkillers now available to him. Four of Reed's proposals would have let voters decide whether to approve a constitutional amendment allowing for either industrial or agricultural uses and medical uses of marijuana. The other proposal would have let voters decide whether to pass an amendment legalizing all uses of marijuana.

Fuel Tax to Drop on the Water for Missouri Boaters

Missouri boaters are about to see a drop in the price they have to pay for fuel on the water, thanks to a new state law set to take effect in about a month.  When boaters pull up to the pump at marinas like State Park Marina at Table Rock Lake, they pay a 17 cent per gallon state motor fuel tax.  Because boaters are using water, not the roads, the Missouri Department of Revenue has allowed boaters to get this tax refunded to them in the past.  However, Marina Manager Mitch Schupp said boaters have had to take several steps to claim that refund. "Everbody that does their taxes here, they all know that if they save the receipts, they can send that in with their taxes and they’re eligible to get those 17 cents back per gallon," Schupp said. Schupp said he has tried to make this process easy for customers in the past.  "We have something here called the fuel club and we keep track of everyone's receipt for them,” Schupp said. “At the end of the year, we send them a packet and all of the work is done for them."  The new state law eliminates the motor fuel tax on the water for consumers and those who distribute fuel to marinas will now have to fill out the refund paperwork.  For a boat with a 50-gallon fuel tank, a consumer would save about $9 on a fill-up.

News for July 27, 2015​​​​​​

Ramsey Announces for District Judge of Carroll and Madison Counties

Madison County District Judge Dale Ramsey announced he is running to serve in a new district judge position that covers all of Carroll and Madison Counties.  Currently, three part-time judges, including Ramsey, preside over the three District Courts in Berryville, Eureka Springs, and Huntsville, as well as the City Court in Green Forest.  The Courts and their staffs are not changing.  However, beginning in 2017 a single full-time judge will travel between all four Courts.  In Arkansas, District Courts handle traffic offenses, misdemeanors such as DWIs and shoplifting, and small claims cases where the amount in dispute is less than $5,000.  However, the small claims amount will increase to $25,000 in 2017.  District Court judges also often handle first appearances for criminal defendants and issue search warrants.

If elected, Ramsey said he would not have an office in any particular Court, but would travel between the four Courts on a regular basis.  “If elected, I plan to be in each of the four Courts at least two or three times a week,” Ramsey said in a press release.Ramsey, who serves on the Arkansas District Judges Domestic Violence Advisory Committee, also pledges to be a part of the solution to domestic violence in our communities by continuing to work to implement “Laura’s Law.”  That law requires law enforcement officers to complete a checklist in domestic violence cases to help victims assess their level of danger, and to provide victims with information about seeking help.  Ramsey, 58, is a graduate of the University of Arkansas and has been a lawyer for 25 years.  He and his wife, Therese, live in Witter, have two grown children, and one grandchild.  The nonpartisan election is on March 1, 2016. 

Berryville School Board Report

The Berryville Board of Education met for its regular monthly meeting July 20th.  All members were present except for Chad Hipps and Jeff Miles.  The Board approved the following (edited):

Athletics for a Punt, Pass & Kick Competition and Halftime Challenge; and, Bobcat Back 40
Bid submitted by Miracle Recreaton for $49,488 to refurbish the K-2 playground and put new ground cover on both the elementary and intermediate playgrounds.  
Jeff Teagues bid of $6,400 to pour concrete for the new basketball area at the K-2 playground.  
Bid from RGS to install required electrical in the storage facility to be built.
The I-Ready bid for greads K-5 for the 2015-16 school year
Renewing the APEX agreement 
The Telecomp Wireless bid for $75,365
The Board took care of numerous personnel changes and additions

Dr. Clark reported currently there are 1,992 students enrolled to attend Berryville School.
The Board approved moving the next school board meeting to Monday, August 24, due to the 17th being the first day of school.

Huntsville Superintendent: Five of 35 resignations went to other schools

Officials with the Huntsville School District said the district isn’t having trouble drawing in new talent, despite being a smaller school among multiple larger districts in northwest Arkansas. Between July 2014-June 2015, the Huntsville School Board approved a total of 59 resignations, which includes retirees, employees who resigned but were later rehired, such as bus drivers and custodial staf, and a small number of employees who resigned from the district before starting their employment. his month, the board approved four resignations, two of which were hired previously but had not yet started teaching. Huntsville Superintendent Clint Jones said of the 35 faculty and administration members who resigned the last year, only five went to other local school districts, while another five left the profession altogether. Twenty of those who resigned the last year retired, compared to seven last year. The remaining
number of resignations among faculty were due to the employee moving out of the area, he said. Total, the board approved 29 resignations between July 2013-June 2014. Jones said that while the number this year seems high, the district continues to be adraw for new teachers.

Storm Causes Widespread Power Outages in Boone Co. 

Thunderstorms and resulting high winds Friday night cause widespread power outages across northern Arkansas, particularly Boone County.  According to Entergy Arkansas’ online power outage map, more than 15-hundred customers lost power in the Bear Creek Springs area, with another 200 or more customers losing power in Harrison and surrounding communities.  Immediately following the storm that hit during the nine o’clock hour Friday night, Entergy reported upwards of 3-thousand-400 outages in Boone County, with that number reduced to approximately 18-hundred by midnight. Most of the lines were repaired during the early morning hours, with less than 10 residential customers without power at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

Identities Released of Victims in Rogers Murder-Suicide 

Rogers Police Department releasing the identities of the victims in a murder-suicide over the weekend.  Officers say 30-year old Aaron Jones and 21 year old Glenda Crowson were found inside a mobile home with gunshot wounds late Friday night.  Both were taken to nearby area hospitals, where they later died.  Officers say the two were in the home alone. 

White County Officials Search for Alleged Rapist

Central Arkansas authorities searching for a parolee after they say he raped a young girl. White County Sheriff's Deputies say 26-year-old Cameron Fulkerson raped a 9-year-old girl more than once and now officials issued a warrant for his arrest. Fulkerson was paroled back in January of 2014.  He served two years at the Arkansas Correctional Facility for commercial burglary and theft of property. After White County Detectives received a report back in December, saying a young girl was sexually assaulted on three occasions by the parolee, new charges are being issued including a class Y felony rape charge.  Neighbors say they are keeping their eyes peeled and are surprised by the news.

New Role in National Security for Arkansas Governor

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has been named vice chair of the National Governors Association Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee. Hutchinson's office announced the selection on Saturday.  The Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee handles issues dealing with homeland security; the National Guard and homeland defense; criminal justice and public safety and veterans affairs. Committee members are responsible for ensuring that governors' views are represented in shaping federal policy.  Hutchinson says the recent shootings in South Carolina, Tennessee and Louisiana "serve as a sober reminder" that securing the homeland and ensuring citizens' public safety is the most important thing elected officials do.

Marijuana Vendors Push Congress for Easier Banking Rules

A Senate panel has voted to make it easier for businesses that legally produce and sell marijuana to do business with banks and other financial services providers.  The Senate Appropriations Committee approved an amendment that would effectively ease laws making it officially illegal for banks to handle money from marijuana vendors. The laws have resulted in a situation in which marijuana vendors have typically had to use cash to conduct their business.  The Treasury and Justice departments have issued guidance intended to address the situation even as the law remains unchanged, but many banks remain skittish about doing business with marijuana-related companies.  Four states allow sales of marijuana for recreational use, and 24 permit medicinal marijuana.  The legislation was added to a Treasury funding measure by Oregon Democrat Jeff Merkley.

News for July 24, 2015​​​​​​

Human Remains Discovered in Newton County

Human remains discovered in Newton County last weekend may belong to a person missing since last December.  The Newton County Sheriff’s Office reports a hunter found the skeletal remains in the Lurton area on July 18.  Newton County Sheriff Keith Slape says before the investigation can continue they need to hear back from the crime lab.  Sheriff Deputies, Arkansas State Police, the Flippin Police Department and a canine search team from Kansas City assisted with the collection of the remains. Slape says at this time no foul play is suspected in the case, but they’ll know more once the results return from the crime lab.

Mary Gott appointed Branch Manager of Berryville Cornerstone Bank Branch

James Myatt, Cornerstone Bank Berryville Market President, is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Mary Gott to Deposit Services/Branch Manager for Cornerstone Bank’s Berryville location.  Ms. Gott will be responsible for the oversight of the deposit services staff and daily operations of the Berryville facility.  As the bank continues to grow its client base Ms. Gott will oversee the continued enhancement of the local bank’s deposit based products and services. Mary joined Cornerstone Bank in 2009, where she served has a Teller, New Accounts Representative, Loan Assistant and Consumer Lender.    Myatt commented, “Mary brings integrity and respect of the staff and community along with her banking knowledge.  I have total confidence in her success and ability to lead our team. This promotion is well deserved and is an exciting time for our bank family as we continue to grow and expand.”  Mary and her husband Chase reside in Berryville with their son, Christian.  They are members of the Berryville Christian Fellowship Church and active in the community.

New Arkansas Law Could Allow Firearms Inside Court Houses

A new law that went into effect Wednesday (July 22) could allow guns into county buildings across the state, including inside court houses. Before the new amendment, only law enforcement officers and federal officials could bring firearms into county facilities. Now, if a county quorum court approves their own legislation, the right to conceal carry can be extended to county employees and county-wide elected officials.

Walton Foundation Funds New School

The Walton Family Foundation, which has strongly supported public charter schools and improvements to public education in general, announced Thursday it plans to open a private school for middle and high school students.  Clayton Marsh, deputy dean of Princeton University, has been chosen as the first head of the school. Marsh was selected after an extensive national search and will assume his new position in January, according to a news release from the foundation.  Marsh will lead all aspects of the Bentonville private school's development, including curriculum and infrastructure, according to the announcement. Key details about the school -- including its name, opening date, location and specific grades it will offer -- haven't been decided, said Luis Gonzalez, a senior communications officer for the foundation. More information will come next spring after Marsh begins the job, Gonzalez said.

USDA: Bird Flu Vaccine Works on Chickens; Testing on Turkeys

Scientists have developed a vaccine strain that has tested 100 percent effective in protecting chickens from bird flu and testing is underway to see if it also protects turkeys, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told the House Agriculture Committee at a hearing on Wednesday. If it does, the agency plans to quickly license it for widespread production and is seeking funding from the Office of Management and Budget to stockpile it nationally. "Hopefully we'll be able to get a lot of folks working collaboratively together and we stockpile enough so that if this does hit and hits us hard we're in a position to respond quickly," Vilsack said. Developing a vaccine targeted to the H5N2 virus that has killed 48 million birds since early March in 15 states, including hardest-hit Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska, is one aspect of planning for a potential recurrence of the bird flu, Vilsack said.  Scientists believe the virus was spread through the droppings of wild birds migrating north to nesting grounds. They're concerned it could return this fall when birds fly south for the winter or again next spring.

Exeter Man Charged with Manslaughter in Fatal Crash

A man from Exeter is charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with a fatal crash last weekend on Barry County Route CC three miles north of Exeter.  According to online court records, a warrant was issued Thursday for the arrest of 29-year-old Christopher Stogdill, who was allegedly intoxicated at the time of the crash early Saturday morning.  State troopers say Stogdill was northbound at 2:35 a.m., when his car ran off the roadway and overturned, ejecting a passenger, 32-year-old Leanna Terry of Butterfield, who was pronounced dead at the scene.  Stogdill was hospitalized for treatment of moderate injuries. A judge has set his cash-only bond at ten thousand dollars.

Van Buren Teacher Awarded Presidential Award for Environmental Work

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded Jolie Hobbs of King Elementary School in Van Buren, Ark. with the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators (PIAEE). She was honored recently at a ceremony at the White House for teachers and students from across the nation for their work to promote environmental education and stewardship.  “Jolie Hobbs’ dedication to environmental education inspires students to promote sustainability in their school and their community,” said EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry. “She is making a difference in generations across Arkansas.”  Hobbs expanded her school’s sustainability efforts and increased community awareness on important environmental issues, such as recycling, sustainable food farming and watering practices. She also started the Green News Program, which integrates environmental education into the school’s weekly assembly. Her efforts provide a positive learning environment where children discover the world around them, connect with their community and have fun at the same time.  The annual PIAEE competitions recognize exceptional K-12 teachers employing innovative approaches to environmental education in their schools. These teachers creatively utilize their local ecosystems, environment, community and culture as a context for learning.

Family: Study Shows Children Not Getting Enough Water 

Children running through sprinklers, playing tag in the park or gearing up for summer football practice may need more fluids than they’re getting, a recent study suggests.  According to a study by Harvard researchers published in June in the American Journal of Public Health, more than 50 percent of all children are not getting enough fluids.  Researchers analyzed data from a National Health and Nutrition Examination survey from 2009 to 2012 that sampled the urine of more than 4,000 children between the ages of 6 and 19 and found that 54 percent of the children were not adequately hydrated.

​News for July 23, 2015​​​​​​

Berryville City Council Report

The Berryville City Council met Tuesday in City Hall.  Berryville Mayor Tim McKinney said the Sauders Museum is having a good summer with tours.  In June, 213 adults, 17 children and several groups toured the Museum.  The monthly Police Activity Report showed tickets written in June totaled 126.  Offenses reported were 71.  19 thefts, 8 burglaries, and 4 aggravated assaults were among some of the offenses reported.  Accidents reported for June in Berryville were 20.  Improper backing, following too close and careless/prohibited driving accounted for most of those.  Mayor McKinney thanked the community for their show of support at the benefit for Chief Muniz last week.  Over $52,000 was raised for the Chief's cancer treatments.  In other business, the council continued the discussion from the last meeting regarding a citizen's request for another street light on Pritchard Street.  The Mayor showed the council  a diagram of the street light layout in that neighborhood which the council thought was adequate.  Mayor McKinney said he would talk to the residents and explain what the council decided.

Carroll Countians Compete in Cowboy Mounted Shooting 

Pictured from left to right:  John Wilson, Kala Wilson-Howard, Heithe Williams, Haydon Williams, Sharelle Williams & Sandy Bruce Williams

These Cowboys & Cowgirls from Carroll County represented our county and state well at the Seven Down Arenas in Spearfish, South Dakota while competing in Cowboy Mounted Shooting last week.  They rode away with several South Dakota State Championships as well as Western North Central Regional Championships and several side jackpots in pistol & rifle competition as well totaling several thousand dollars in cash & prizes.  The youngest of the group, 13 year old Haydon Williams will be going onto compete at the CMSA Lakota Western US Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada,  even getting to celebrate his 14th birthday while there..... Good Luck to Haydon & Congratulations to these!

Young Violet Goldsmith Granted A Wish

Volunteers with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Mid-South recently held a Wish Reveal party for a Carroll County child. Six year old Violet Goldsmith was granted her wish to go on a Disney Cruise. Violet, her parents Megan and James Goldsmith, along with her little brother will set sail on board a Disney Cruise ship in August. Local sponsors for the Wish Reveal party were Wal-Mart, Berryville Community Center, Community First Bank in Berryville and Casey’s General Store. 

Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. For more information about becoming a volunteer, contact Sheila Robinett at 870-423-4675.

Carroll Electric Coop Corporation Donates to ESFD

Carroll Electric Cooperative Corporation put their money toward promoting safety this week.  The Co-op donated $200 to Eureka Springs Fire & EMS for the purchase of two Hot Sticks.  The wand-like devices are used to detect “hot” power lines.  This keeps firefighters and the public safe when confronted by emergencies involving fallen electric wires.  The Hot Sticks can be used when trees pull down wires during a storm or when a car breaks a telephone pole, bringing down a snarl of cables & lines.  The Hot Sticks can also be used to determine if electricity is running from generators, solar panels or unmarked mystery wires.  This comes in handy during house fires when firefighters are exposed to naked, partially melted wiring.    Eureka Springs Fire & EMS expresses their appreciation to Nancy Plagge, Director of Corp. Communications at Carroll Electric, for handling the donation paperwork, and to Co-op Safety & Training Manager Randy Hooten and  Safety & Training Coordinator Greg Motzko for helping to organize the donation.  

Pictured:  Carroll Electric Cooperative Corporation Safety Coordinator Greg Motzko presents a $200.00 donation check to Firefighter James Cowan.  James is holding one of the two Hot Stick electrical detection wands purchsed with Carroll Electric’s assistance.  

UA Gets $1M Grant for Nursing Education

The University of Arkansas in Fayetteville received a $1 million federal grant for a program to increase the number of advanced practice nurses. The three-year grant is from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through its Health Resources and Services Administration. Arkansas assistant nursing professor Anna Jarrett will oversee the project for the university’s Eleanor Mann School of Nursing. The grant will allow the university to develop a program to partner students with preceptors at clinical sites. The university expects to have partnerships at seven sites to produce 30 graduates for employment in underserved areas.

9 Arkansas Colleges to Share $2 Million for Student Support

The Arkansas congressional delegation has announced that 9 colleges in the state will share $2 million for student support services programs. U.S. Sens. John Boozman and Tom Cotton and Reps. Rick Crawford, French Hill, Steve Womack and Bruce Westerman announced Wednesday that the grants are being provided by the U.S. Department of Education Student Support Services Program. The funding ranges from $220,000 to nearly $353,000 and will be provided to Henderson State University; the University of Arkansas Community College in Batesville; University of Arkansas-Fort Smith; Phillips Community College; National Park Community College; Ozarka College; Pulaski Technical College; Arkansas Tech University; and John Brown University.  The grants are intended to support academic development, help students with basic college requirements and to motivate students to graduate.

Study Highlights Rising Poverty Rate for Children

A new study ranks Arkansas 44th in the country for children's well-being. The 2015 Kids Count Data Book says more than 200,000 children are living in poverty in Arkansas. The study measures 4 aspects of a child's well-being including: education, economics, health, and community.Just last year,  Arkansas ranked 41st in the study.  With Arkansas poverty numbers on the rise child advocates are calling for change. 29% percent of Arkansas children, nearly one third, live in poverty.   But a new study shows the number of Arkansas children living in poverty on the rise.Lynn Carver with Arkansas Advocates for Children & Families says many don't see our region as a high poverty area.  "29% average number of children in Arkansas who live in poverty, that's a huge number, that's 200,000 kids and a lot of them live right here in Northwest Arkansas." Carver said.  Carver says the solution lies in better education,  specifically in Pre-k. She says funding has not seen a significant increase in nearly a decade.  

News for July 22, 2015​​​​​​

New Domestic Violence Laws Go into Effect Today

 In 2014, 10 people were killed in incidents involving domestic violence in Arkansas.  New laws that go into effect today are aimed at lowering that statistic.  The legislation, passed in April will change the way law enforcement officers handle domestic violence reports. Act 876 requires that a law enforcement agency investigating a domestic violence case do so in a manner that would permit the prosecuting attorney to prosecute the case even if the victim is unavailable to testify.  Act 952 requires that a course on dating violence be taught in grades 7-12 as part of the health curriculum. The course will focus on healthy relationships and teach students the warning signs of dating violence and abusive behavior.

Laura's Card and Laura's Law are two additional pieces of legislation named after victims of domestic violence.Laura's Card requires that law enforcement agencies shall give a victim or victim's family a printed document that explains victim's rights, information for assistance, and the officer's contact information.  Laura's Law provides that when law enforcement responds to report of domestic violence, the first officer to interview the victim shall assess the potential danger to the victim by completing a lethality assessment form. That law was named for Laura Aceves of Berryville, whose family lobbied for change in the way domestic violence calls were dealt with, after she was murdered by her boyfriend Victor Acuna.   Major George Frye with the Carroll County Sheriff's Office, told KTHS Tuesday, "Lethal Assessment"  is something Sheriff Randy Mayfield brought with him when he took office last January............

Domestic violence victims say this legislation is a step in the right direction for the state of Arkansas.

E.S. CAPC & Arkansas Parks & Tourism Tax Indicates Business is Up 

Contrary to what some are thinking, economic indicators show that Eureka Springs is doing well, at least in year-to-date collections for the City Advertising and Promotion Commission.  At the most recent meeting of the CAPC, Finance Director Rick Bright reported year-to-date collections through May were up 9% over the same period last year.  Those collections totalled $480,632, compared to $441,012 for the first five months of 2014.  Restaurants showed a 14% increase, hotels 9%, motels down 5%, Bed and Breakfasts up 10%, cabins and cottages up 15%, and total lodging up 2%.  In addition, recent State tourism tax numbers for January through April, of the 2% tourism tax collected  by the Arkansas Parks & Tourism, shows January through April of 2015, $144,061 was collected, compared to $124,692 for the same period in 2014.  That would indicate an increase of 15.53%.  

C.C. Equalization Board to Meet in August

The Carroll County Equalization Board will begin its sessions the month of August.  This Board is made up of five members, charged with the duty of equalizing the assessed value of all properties located in the County subjected to taxation.  Anyone wishing to make an appointment with the Equalization Board should call the Carroll County Clerks Office at 870-423-2022 between the hours of 8:30am and 4:40pm.  The deadline to file an application for a hearing is August 17th, 2015.

Flags Ordered to Fly Half-Staff Through Saturday

By order of proclamation from the President of the United States, all public buildings should lower the United States and Arkansas flags to half-staff immediately and keep them at half-staff until sundown on July 25, 2015 in honor of victims of the tragedy in Chattanooga, TN.   According to Arkansas State Flag Protocol Code 5.01 "Use During Period of Mourning: The Arkansas Flag should be flown at half-staff whenever the U.S. Flag is so flown."

AHPP Grant Solves Water Problems at Museum

Thanks to a 2014 grant from the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, serious water problems at the Eureka Springs Historical Museum have been solved. The grant provided funds to alleviate water run-off in the rear of the building, and also for the erection of a stone block wall in the front.  Previously, during heavy rains, with the museum's location at the bottom of Main Street, or Planer Hill as it is known locally, the run-off could not be handled by the storm drains and water not only ran inches deep down the sidewalk, but up onto the wooded porch and even under the front door.  Passing traffic only added to the problem and persons leaving or entering the museum building were frequently drenched from 'waves' created by cars and trucks.

The new wall was the brain child of the three men pictured at left:  Contractor (and volunteer), Terry Miller, Architect (now mayor) Butch Berry, and concept designer/volunteer, Rick Armellini.  The recent heavy rains experienced here have proved the project a great success.  The museum board will next turn their attention to funding for restoration of the porches themselves, which have been substantially harmed by the problem which existed, as well as time itself.  It has been many years since the front facade has been painted and it is time for a new coat.   Hopefully some grant funding can be found to finish this project, estimated at about $15,000.  Matching funds will be needed, so any contributions for this project will be gratefully accepted. The museum provided matching funds for the 2014 grant from proceeds from their "Voices From Eureka's Silent City" fundraiser.   This year's event will be in October, see the website for dates and details. 

Tyson Among Poultry Giants Curtailing Antibiotic Use

Christine Daugherty is almost irrepressibly energetic. It’s a trait that serves her well in her role as vice president of sustainable food production at Tyson Foods of Springdale. Tyson announced in April its goal of eliminating the use of human-use antibiotics in its broiler chicken flocks by 2017.  Broiler chickens are those raised for human consumption. Many in the medical community fear that the use of human antibiotics in food animals can lead to the proliferation of bacteria that are resistant to those antibiotics, making them ineffective for people. Daugherty said Tyson has formed working groups for beef, pork and turkey to discuss antibiotic use in those segments. The pork committee met in June, beef is scheduled to meet this month, and turkey is tentatively scheduled for the fall. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention said it conservatively estimates that antibiotic-resistant bacteria cause 2 million illnesses and 23,000 direct deaths annually in the United States. Donnie Smith, CEO of Tyson, attended the White House Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship in early June and said governmental support of research would be “helpful.”

Boy, 5, Drowns in Buffalo River 

A 5-year-old boy drowned Monday in the Buffalo National River, park officials said Tuesday.   The boy’s family, from Mayflower, was getting settled in the Tyler Bend area of the park when the he began wading in shallow water, Buffalo National River Chief Ranger Karen Bradford said in a statement.   When he got into deeper water, the inflatable float ring around him did not keep him afloat, she said.   After the boy was pulled from the water, nearby canoeists began CPR until medical and park personnel arrived. After continuing CPR for “some time,” the boy was pronounced dead at the scene, Bradford said. 

State Police Appeals Ruling Over Traffic Crash Reports

The Arkansas State Police has appealed a judge's decision last month in a lawsuit over traffic crash reports.  The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that Circuit Court Judge Morgan "Chip" Welch had determined that state police were improperly withholding information on the reports.  In May, Little Rock attorney Daniel Wren had sued the agency for access to crash reports after his Freedom of Information Act request for them was denied.  State police, citing a federal law, started in June withholding nearly all personal information on crash reports available to the public unless the person requesting them qualified for certain exceptions.  Wren's attorney says he and his client weren't surprised by the appeal, which was filed Friday in Pulaski County Circuit Court.

Arkansas Attorney General Rejects 3 Proposed Amendments

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has rejected three proposals to amend the state constitution, including two to legalize marijuana. Both marijuana proposals were offered by Robert Reed. One would allow the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, sale, possession and use of cannabis, and all products derived from the cannabis plant. The second would end the prohibition against the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, sale, possession and use of cannabis, and products from the plant. Rutledge wrote Monday that both have ambiguities that led to their rejection. Rutledge also rejected a proposal by Tom Steele to repeal a constitutional amendment approved in November that includes an increase in legislative term limits to 16 years. Rutledge wrote that the proposal's ballot title and text are ambiguous and that it fails to summarize its provisions and effects.

News provided by News Director Linda Boyer