News provided by News Director Linda Boyer
Gregory K. McConnell - Green Forest - 53 - hold for other agency
Keith A. Witt - Eureka Springs - 33 - domestic battery, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, threatening law enforcement officer
Kevin M. Enix - Harrison - 35 - failure to pay
Jason R. Surface - Green Forest - 34 - driving on suspended/revoked license, speeding, no liability insurance, hold for other agency, violation of protection law
Atanmake Tabuake - Green Forest - 31 - driving on suspended or revoked license
Joshua W. Fritz - Green Forest - 28 - possession of drug paraphernalia, speeding, drivingon suspended or revoked license, careless driving, no proof of insurance
Richardo Garcia - Green Forest - 31 - failure to appear, possession w/ intent to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of firearms by certain person, possession of controlled substance, fleeing an office
Nicole D. Hathaway - Green Forest - 26 - possession of drug paraphernalia, drinking on highway
Jason J. Lee - Eureka Springs - 36 - breaking or entering, possession of controlled substance, public intox, theft of property
Kevin L. Saldana - Green Forest - 20 - court commitment
Elvoid D. Brooksher - Berryville - 59 - endangering welfare minor first degree, aggravated assault vehicle, terroristic threatening
Michell J. Duguay - Berryville - 30 - violation of protection order
Ashton C. Duncan - Fayetteville - 20 - hold for Madison County
Yvonne K. Landeros - Green Forest - 46 - contributing to delinquency of minor, body attachment
Julia E. Milam - Eureka Springs - 32 - violation of hot check law
Joshua L. Carothers - Holiday Island - 28 - disorderly conduct
Delena C. Washington - Holiday Island - 27 - disorderly conduct
Anni L. Lowell - Berryville - 28 - failure to pay
To view the Arrest Report please scroll down below the News
News For Friday, November 21, 2014
Fire Station Receives Facelift
The monument of 1920’s public safety had degenerated into a neighborhood eyesore on White Street in Eureka Springs. The light paint was faded and worn. The old station sign was peeling and the trim had fallen off. Many passers-by discounted the tiny building as a poorly kept household garage. After years of being blasted by wind, rain, snow and sun, the aged fire station on White Street was showing its years.
Eureka Springs Fire Department Station #2 is a single bay cinderblock station located on the historic loop. Its small size has rendered it almost unusable for modern day fire apparatus. But, the fire house still serves as a volunteer station covering the Victorian era homes on the loop. A 1975 model fire engine is tucked away inside, awaiting the rare call to action.
The new station facelift was completed early in November. Volunteer Dick Titus estimates the painting project cost him $400 out of his own pocket and over 40 hours of work. Mr. Titus is philosophical about the expense. “It’s a neighborhood fire station”, he says, “If every citizen did one small thing for the city, we would have more pride and a sense of ownership. This is just my part to give back to Eureka.” And his efforts speak for themselves. The fire hall at #14 White Street gleams with neighborhood pride.
Tyson CEO Donnie Smith: Hillshire Opens Door to More Growth
Donnie Smith, CEO and president of Tyson Foods Inc. of Springdale, said Wednesday that it's an exciting time to be in the food business, especially as the company moves forward after its $8.55 billion acquisition of Hillshire Brands Inc. of Chicago. Smith and CFO Dennis Leatherby spoke at the Morgan Stanley Global Consumer & Retail Conference, sharing highlights from the company's quarterly and annual earnings report released Monday. As the company moves forward, Smith sees growth opportunities because of its Hillshire products. Tyson is now the No. 2 company in frozen food worldwide behind Nestlé, but Smith said Tyson has market dominance in key areas. For example, Smith showed a graphic Tyson, either through its own or Hillshire products, with the No. 1 product in robustly growing categories. In fresh chicken, Tyson has a 12 percent share of a market that is growing at a 6.5 percent clip, and Jimmy Dean is at 19 percent in frozen protein breakfast, an area that is growing at 7.1 percent.
State Review Board to Consider 11 Properties for Nomination to National Register of Historic Places
The State Review Board of the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program will consider 11 Arkansas properties in nine counties for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places when it meets at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, December 3, in Room 170 at 323 Center Street in Little Rock, AHPP Director Frances McSwain announced this week.
Properties to be considered for National Register nomination include:
* Skillern House at Fayetteville in Washington County
* Shady Grove Delmar Church and School near Delmar in Carroll County.
The board also will consider the Oaks Cemetery at Fayetteville in Washington County for listing on the Arkansas Register of Historic Places. The Arkansas Register recognizes historically noteworthy places that are not eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
America's Car-Mart 2Q Earnings Rise Amid Higher Sales
Car-Mart reported revenue of $134 million for the quarter, up from $121 million a year ago. The company saw an increase in sales as it offered more lower-priced vehicles. Car-Mart sold 12,084 vehicles during the quarter, which represented a nearly 14 percent increase. Average monthly sales per store also moved up, from 27.6 to 29.6. Car-Mart CEO Hank Henderson said the company had 136 stores, seven more than in the same quarter a year ago. Car-Mart opened two stores this year and plan to open three more in the third quarter, Henderson said.
Defenders Lose Bid to Add 46 Lawyers
A request from the Arkansas Public Defender Commission for an additional 46 attorneys and 10 legal support staff members was denied Thursday by the Joint Budget Committee.The commission included the appeal for increased staffing in its fiscal 2016 budget request, which sought a $5.5 million increase in funding for fiscal 2016 to ease the caseload of existing public defenders. Supporters of the funding request warned that the caseload required of attorneys is getting close to those in other states that have spawned multimillion-dollar lawsuits. The committee Thursday approved the governor's recommendation for the commission, which included three new staff members in the commission's trial division and a budget increase of about $350,000 from fiscal 2015.Thursday's vote was an early step. The commission's budget will have to be approved by the full Legislature during the 2015 session.
Graco Recalls Nearly 5 Million Strollers After Fingertip Amputations
The Consumer Product Safety Commission says baby quipment maker Graco is recalling nearly 5 million strollers after getting 11 reports of finger injuries including six reports of fingertip amputation. The CPSC says the folding hinge on the sides of the stroller can pinch a child’s finger, posing a laceration or amputation hazard. The Graco models include Aspen, Breeze, Capri, Cirrus, Glider, Kite, LiteRider, Sierra, Solara, Sterling and TravelMate Model Strollers and Travel SystemsHazard. They were sold at Target, Toys R Us, Walmart and other retail stores nationwide and online at Amazon.com, Walmart.com and other online retailers from August 2000 through November 2014. The CPSC says Graco has received 11 reports of finger injuries including six reports of fingertip amputation, four reports of partial-fingertip amputation and one finger laceration.
News For Thursday, November 20,2014
Quorum Court Budget Committee Cuts Airport Budget
Frustrated with the Carroll County Airport Commission chairman Lonnie P. Clark, the Quorum Court Budget Committee, at their meeting Wednesday, cut the Airport's proposed 2015 budget, mainly because of Clark's lack of cooperation with the Quorum Court to provide a financial report. Clark and other Airport Commissioners attended the meeting and heard some of these comments from the Budget committee members, chairman Jack Deaton, Ron Flake, and Gaylon Riggs ..........
Missing on the financial report provided by Clark, and questioned by County Treasurer Cindy Collins, is a $300,000 grant the Airport got for new hangar construction. The Budget Committee is intent on meeting the deadline and having the proposed budget ready for vote at the December Quorum Court meeting. The Committee also reviewed the proposed budgets for the Sheriff's office, detention center and 911 with Sheriff-elect Randy Mayfield. Mayfield said it looks like a budget he can operate under. Committee members had worked with Captain Alan Hoos and Pam Webb with the Sheriff's office at earlier budget meetings to establish a proposed budget.
Berryville School Board of Education Highlights from November 17th meeting
Members Present: LeeAnn Ashford, Chad Hipps, Todd Howard, Kristi Howerton, Sherri Plumlee, & David Waller
Members Absent: Jeff Miles
The minutes and financial reports were approved by the Board.
The Board approved the following requests for the 2014-15 school year:
Athletics – The Board approved the Athletic Department selling ads for the Holiday Hoops Tournament.
The Board received written and verbal Buildings/Grounds/Facilities updates from Doug Harris. The Board authorized permission to issue an RFP to construct a 30 x 50 storage building to be located behind the maintenance building. The Board approved spending the entire $28,375 Perkins Allocation to purchase Chrome Books & Cart for Agri: and Laptops for the Middle School Career Development class. The Board also approved posting bids for a school bus.
The Board tabled purchasing Campus Cameras for $279,883.26 until more information could be reviewed.
Jill Jones provided a short presentation of the Zuni Website that Dr. Clark had purchased at the beginning of the year for the K-5 schools.
The Board approved the $21,161.89 fuel purchase.
The Board approved a one-time only $500 Bonus for all full-time district employees. The bonus will be paid November 25th and each employee will receive one bonus. Dr. Clark reported that as of November 11th there were 2,056 students attending Berryville School.
Cornerstone Bank to Build Branch at Huntsville
Cornerstone Bank, based out of Eureka Springs, is looking to provide access from its future branch in Huntsville to the Huntsville Walmart Supercenter by extending Curtis Hutchins Way west from the bank and into the store’s parking lot. Charlie Cross, president and CEO of Cornerstone Bank, said last week that nothing has been finalized, but the bank has been in talks with Walmart in regards to a partnership that would fund and oversee the extension of the roadway into the back of Walmart’s parking lot. Huntsville Planning Commission Chairman Jennifer Thomas said a third party is also involved in the talks, and upkeep of the roadway would be the responsibility of those three parties, should Dirt work has already started at the location of the future branch, which will be on the east side of the Supercenter, which opened last month. Cornerstone’s branch —which will be the first Cornerstone bank in Huntsville— will measure roughly 4,000 square feet. Construction is expected to be completed by next summer.
Madison County Jail to Close
In advance of what would likely be a state-mandated closure due to personnel and space deficiencies and failed facility inspections for more than a decade, officials have decided to voluntary shut down the Madison County Jail at the end of the year. County Judge Frank Weaver, County Clerk Faron Ledbetter, and Sheriff Phillip Morgan each signed a letter dated Nov. 13 sent to the Fourth District Criminal Detention Facilities Review Committee of the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration that states that county officials are making preparations to close the facility as of Dec. 31.
The formal announcement of the closure was made to the Quorum Court at Monday’s regular meeting, withWeaver, Ledbetter, Morgan, Madison County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) Capt. Robert Boyd, Madison County Probation/Parole Officer Jill McCallie, District Court Judge Dale Ramsey, and Madison County Prosecutor Joel Cape all weighing in on the impact the closure will have. Weaver told the justices of the peace that voluntarily closing the facility is “the only option we have,” and is a proactive move to avoid a lawsuit from the state’s Attorney General.
Elderly SW Mo. Man Injured in Tractor Accident
A man from Washburn, Mo., was injured in a tractor accident near County Road 1000 and Highway NN in Barry County on Tuesday. According to police, 85-year-old Jimmy Benson was driving a Montana Tractor north when he struck a tree causing the vehicle to fall. Benson was flown by Life Flight to Cox South in Springfield for serious injuries.
Ark. Among the Worst in Child Homelessness
A report entitled “America’s Youngest Outcasts” was released by the National Center on Family Homelessness this week and ranks Arkansas 47th overall in child homeless. The report says the Natural State had approximately 22-thousand children that were homeless between 2012 and 2013 – a 13 percent increase from the year prior. California, Mississippi, and Alabama were all ranked below Arkansas in the report.
Eureka Springs Offers Holiday Fun for Everyone
Families looking for an old-fashioned, slow paced holiday experience can find what they're looking for in the historic Victorian Village of Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Residents share the warmth of a small-town Christmas with visitors through the many holiday events and activities. The dozens of shops and galleries in Eureka Springs are a favorite for shoppers looking for that special, one-of-a-kind gift that can’t be purchased just anywhere.
The town begins lighting up on November 1st with both residents and businesses participating in the “Bling in the Springs” holiday lighting competition. Homes and businesses city-wide will be aglow for the holidays.
The grounds of the Great Passion Play will be lit up with thousands of lights as well during “Experience the Light” which runs on Friday and Saturday evenings from 6 p.m. to 8:30pm through December 21st. Besides the lights, they will feature Christmas music in the Great Hall and a live nativity with actors and animals in the Smith Chapel. Admission is by donation.
The largest Snow Village and Train Exhibit in the South will be on display every weekend at the Gaskin’s Switch Village at 2051 E. Van Buren. Presented by the Eureka Springs Historical Museum, the display takes you back to a 1930's to 1950's landscape of small town America.
The 48th Annual Silver Tea is hosted by the women of St. James’ Episcopal Church, Eureka Springs. On Thurs., Dec. 4th from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., the dining room of the historic Crescent Hotel will be transformed by seasonal decorations, hostesses in period costume and elegant tea tables with heirloom silver pieces displayed on stunning lace tablecloths. A mouth-watering variety of tea sandwiches and cookies will be served in addition to coffee and tea. Admission is by donation.
Miss Arkansas 2014 will serve as Grand Marshal of the Annual Christmas Parade scheduled for Friday December 5th at 6 p.m. The theme for the 2014 parade is “Light the World.” The parade is staged in the historic downtown district and is surrounded by great shops and boutiques, galleries, and restaurants.
On Saturday, December 6th, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., the Eureka Springs Preservation Society hosts the 32nd Annual Eureka Springs Christmas Tour of Homes. Ten locations will be participating in this year's tour, giving guests a glimpse of a bygone era. All stops on the self-guided tour will be lavishly decorated for the season with Victorian attired docents at each site to relate the history of each home. Tickets can be purchased at the Eureka Springs Historical Museum or Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce.
Kids of all ages can see Santa in Basin Spring Park during several events. His first visit will be on Friday, November 28th at 5.pm. He will return to the park on Saturday, December 6th and 13th from 1-3 p.m. for photos, a scavenger hunt, games, and goodies for the whole family!
There will be no shortage of Christmas music playing throughout town. On December 6th, at 7 p.m. renowned Native American musician John Two-Hawks will present his 11th Annual Christmas Concert at The Auditorium celebrating the magic of this sacred season featuring the Washington Jr. High Choir. The Ozarks Chorale Holiday Concert and Community Hallelujah Chorus Sing is the following Saturday, December 13th, also at The Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.
News For Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Berryville City Council Report
The Berryville City Council met Tuesday for the final meeting of the month. All aldermen were present as was Mayor Tim McKinney, City Attorney Clint Scheel and City Clerk Leonda Davis.
The monthly Police Activity Report indicated for the month of October 85 tickets were written, most for driving infractions. There were 58 offenses reported, down from a year ago October. Most appear to be for theft, burglary, aggravated assault, criminal mischief and others. Nineteen (19) accidents were worked by Berryville Police, most caused by failure to yield and improper backing.
The monthly financial reported showed the 1% sales tax received $113,707.35, up slightly from October of last year. Talk turned to the College Street Improvement project and how good it looks so far....................
In other business, Mayor McKinney said leaf pickup was going well. Limbs will be picked up next week. The Mayor wants city residents to know that if you receive a letter from a company offering insurance on your water pipes, it has nothing to do with the city. Buyer beware! The next meeting of the BV City Council will be Tuesday, December 2nd at 6pm.
Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce 64th Annual Membership Meeting and Awards Banquet
The Greater Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce annual membership meeting and awards banquet was held Tuesday at the Inn of the Ozarks Convention Center. Attendees and guests filled the banquet hall at the Convention Center. The Black Tie affair served as the stage for the presentation of the annual awards.
Hospitality Person of the Year - Jack Moyer VP 1886 Crescent Hotel and 1905 Basin Park Hotel
Artist of the Year - Sandy Martin President/CEO ProComm
Civil Service Award - Earl Hyatt Police Chief and Rhys Williams Fire Chief (both retiring at the end of the year)
Woman of the Year - Fatima Treuer owner of the The Pied Piper and Cathouse
Man of the Year - LeRoy Gorrell Community First Bank Appraisal Services Director
Business of the Year - Hart's Family Center
Chamber Board of Directors Special Recognition Award: ECHO
Lifetime Spirit Award (posthumously) - Eugene Gustin (accepted by Rex Gustin)
Carroll and Madison Public Libraries Announce Partnership with Driving-Tests.org; Innovation in Driving Education, Driving Tests Availability for Patrons
Carroll and Madison Public Libraries are announcing a partnership with Driving-Tests.org, a company dedicated to driver safety and education, to offer free DMV practice tests to library patrons. The new service includes free tests, written specifically based on the state DMV materials, and is the only site of its kind to include accessibility tools that allow users to hear selections read aloud, make them into MP3s, translate pages into other languages, magnify text, and mask sections of the screen for greater visibility on driving practice tests.
Availability and accessibility is important to the creators of Driving-Tests.org, as the site is designed to help new drivers study state manuals and take driving practice tests based on the real DMV written exams. This partnership allows the libraries in Carroll and Madison Counties to harness the power of Driving-Test.org’s specialized practice exams to turn new drivers into safer drivers.
To access these materials visit your library’s website via camals.org and click the appropriate link at the bottom of the page.
Winter Camping Opportunities at Beaver Lake
The Army Corps of Engineers at Beaver Lake offers limited camping opportunities during the winter months (November - March). The following parks will have some campsites available on a first-come, first-served basis: Dam Site River, Lost Bridge North, Hickory Creek, Prairie Creek and Horseshoe Bend parks.
Reservations are not available or required during the winter season. Once you've picked your camping site, volunteers will provide you with instructions on how to pay fees, and any other information regarding your visit. Fees are reduced during the winter camping season because of the reduced amenities. Boat launch ramps in all parks will remain available during the winter months. The $4 launch fee still applies for use of Corps-managed launch ramps.
For more information regarding winter camping opportunities, call the Beaver Lake Project Office at 479-636-1210, Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/beaverlakeusace.
Arkansas Marriage Ban Case Heads to Two Courts
Arkansas' highest court and a federal judge are preparing to hear arguments this week over the state's ban on same-sex marriage, a decade after the state's voters approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Attorneys for the state and a group of gay couples are scheduled to appear before the Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday morning, as justices weigh whether to uphold a Pulaski County judge's ruling against the ban. Hours later, the same attorneys will be making similar arguments before a federal judge in a separate lawsuit. Same-sex couples can marry in 32 states, parts of Kansas and Missouri, and Washington, D.C.
Record Yields Possible for 3 Arkansas Crops
The Cooperative Extension Service at the University of Arkansas says record yields are possible for the soybean, corn and cotton crops in Arkansas. The extension service said the National Agricultural Statistics Service forecast last week was for soybean yields of 48 bushels per acre; corn at 190 bushels per acre; and cotton at 1,137 pounds per acre. The record for soybeans is 43.5 bushels per acre; the corn record is 187 bushels per acre; and the record for cotton is 1,133 pounds per acre. Each record was set last year. The estimate for rice - Arkansas' top crop - is 7,530 pounds per acre, 30 pounds below last year's record crop.
Health Insurance Marketplace Enrollment Period Opens
The Health Insurance Marketplace opened for business Saturday, Nov. 15, and health advocates are hoping that the state’s 400,000 uninsured residents will begin signing up for health insurance plans through the federally sanctioned Marketplace. Through the Marketplace, residents can purchase insurance plans that can be made more affordable by tax credits allotted based on income level and family size. Some residents may be directed to enroll in the Arkansas Private Option, a plan that uses federal dollars to buy private health insurance for residents with minimal income.
The private option is this state’s answer to Medicaid expansion. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 16 percent of Arkansans are uninsured and stand to benefit from one of the plans. Federal law now requires that all residents have health insurance or face penalties. The law also makes it illegal for any insurer to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions and requires that every plan cover benefits deemed essential. Some examples include preventive services, prescriptions, hospitalization and emergency services. Citing a study released last month by the Kaiser Family Foundation, an estimated 1 in 3 Americans report having difficulty paying their medical bills within the past year.
News For Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Sole Food Partnership Results in Thousands of Meals
Since 2011, Anstaff bank and Berryville Middle School have partnered together in support of the Sole Food project. This year, 920 pounds of shoes were collected and donated to Sole Food; Sole Food works in conjunction with Friends Against Hunger in “shoeing away hunger”. The shoes are sold and sent to countries where the need for shoes is great. The money from the sale of the 920 pounds of shoes will provide 3,036 meals. Sole Food, located in Springfield, MO, spent the weekend packaging over 1 million meals to be sent to local organizations and countries in dire need.
The BMS Family Career and Community Leaders of America, under the guidance of Advisor Cheryl Howard, took the lead in collecting and organizing the donations this year. Gayle Pace, an Anstaff representative, emotionally thanked the students and the representatives of Sole Food during the pick-up, “I sincerely appreciate your efforts and your cause, and feel this is an annual tribute to my mother.” Pace’s mother passed away 2 ½ years ago, and Pace recalled the story of how her mother was instrumental in Sole Food being a part of Carroll County.
Benton County Authorities Investigate Stolen Car on Fire in Beaver Lake
Sunday night, Benton County Sheriff's Department and the Beaver Lake Fire Department responded to reports of a car on fire in Beaver Lake. The car - a Ford Explorer Sport - was found in the water near a dock at E Hwy 12 and Old White River Rd. east of Rogers. Benton County Sheriff's office said they have not confirmed if the car was driven into the lake or rolled off a dock or embankment. The Sheriff's office said the car was reported stolen. They are investigating what happened.
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Carroll, Boone and Marion County residents can tickets at a much reduced price to see the annual Thanksgiving and Christmas show at the Moon River Theater in Branson. The Osmonds, the Lennons, and a cast of others will entertain you and help ramp-up the excitement of the season. Jimmy Osmond talked to Linda Boyer.....
The box office phone number to reserve your ticket is 417-334-4500 or 1-800-Moon-094
Missing Evidence in 20 year old Murder Case
NWAOnline - Fingernail and hair samples from a 1994 homicide victim that a judge ruled can be DNA tested are apparently missing from the Carroll County sheriff's office. If there was blood underneath the fingernails of Stephen Goff, it could reveal the murderer's DNA, according to court filings. But investigators from Arkansas Investigations of Little Rock were unable to find the glass microscope slides containing samples of hair and fingernails from the case in any of the sheriff office's four storage facilities in Berryville.
"It is my opinion that items of evidence relating to Goff have been lost and not accounted for, intentionally or otherwise," according to the Oct. 9 report from private investigator Michael J. West. Belynda Goff was convicted in 1996 in the bludgeoning death of her husband, Stephen Goff, and sentenced to life in prison. Belynda Goff refused a plea bargain and has always maintained her innocence, even after her appeals were denied. Some DNA evidence was cited in Belynda Goff's arrest and trial.
In December 2013, Karen Thompson, a lawyer with a New York-based nonprofit called the Innocence Project, filed a request on Belynda Goff's behalf to conduct DNA tests on previously untested evidence found on and near Stephen Goff's body. If tests find a DNA profile that doesn't match Belynda or Stephen Goff, it would undermine Belynda Goff 's conviction, Thompson said.
Carroll County Circuit Judge Gerald Kent Crow granted permission for DNA testing June 3. Thompson filed the petition under 2001's Act 1780, which grants convicted defendants the right to request forensic DNA testing on evidence not previously tested after the direct appeals process has been exhausted. The slides that are missing were in the possession of the state Crime Laboratory in Little Rock until Carroll County Deputy Greg Lester went there Dec. 12, 2000, to retrieve them, according to the report from Arkansas Investigations. Lester signed a letter at the state Crime Lab indicating he had picked up the slides, but there's no documentation that they were delivered to the sheriff's office, according to the report.
Sheriff Bob Grudek said all evidence from the crime scene was provided to the Innocence Project in June. Grudek, who has been sheriff since 2007, noted that the case preceded his time in office. On Sept. 30, Thompson filed a motion in Carroll County Circuit Court to compel a search for the missing evidence, and Crow granted it the same day. Thompson said that DNA testing on other items from the crime scene will continue.
Arkansas Trots to No. 2 Turkey-Producing State
Arkansas has trotted into second place among turkey-producing states after North Carolina's gobbler population fell sharply as U.S. turkey numbers hit a 28-year low. U.S. farmers produced the lowest number of turkeys in nearly three decades this year and wholesale prices are at an all-time high, but Thanksgiving cooks aren't likely to see a difference in what they pay for their frozen birds. The federal National Agricultural Statistics Service says this year's anticipated turkey stock is 235 million birds, the fewest since farmers raised 207 million birds in 1986. Farmers say high corn prices after the 2012 drought forced them to scale back their turkey numbers to remain afloat, and that the impact of this year's record corn harvest likely won't be seen until next year. The good news for consumers is that grocery stores typically take a loss on turkeys to woo shoppers, who will purchase other items for their holiday feasts there.
Groups Use Social Media to Push for More Pre-K Funding
There has not been an increase in Pre-K funding in the state of Arkansas since 2008. But some groups are using social media in hopes of changing that. You may have seen a lot of tweets or Facebook posts Monday as the Arkansas Campaign for Grade Level Reading and Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families sent out what they're calling a 'thunderclap' or social media blast. The goal? Get the attention of Arkansas legislators who are getting ready to work on the state budget. The groups want more money set aside for early education. "Children show up for kindergarten, they don't even know how to hold a book," said Laura Kellams with Arkansas Advocates for Women and Children. "They may not know the right way to hold it up, they have never seen one before. We have to make sure all kids have access to high quality learning." According to the Department of Human Services, the state's general revenue pays for Pre-K, and with competing priorities, it's hard to find extra cash.
Study: AR Schools Need Improvement Responding to Campus Violence
A 40-page study released Monday highlights strengths and weaknesses of Arkansas schools in preparing to respond to an act of on-campus violence. The report completed by the Arkansas Bureau of Legislative Research is designed as a guide for lawmakers heading into the 2015 session, according to its sponsor. State senator Linda Chesterfield, D-Little Rock, co-sponsored Act 107 of 2013 requiring the completion of the study. Heightened awareness of school preparedness followed the 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut that claimed the lives of twenty first grade students. "There can never be enough time on spent making schools more safe for our children," Chesterfield told the joint House and Senate education committee on Monday