News provided by News Director Linda Boyer

Arrest Report:


Ruben Benjamin - Green Forest - 31 - hold for other agency

Rachel M. Emmons - Berryville - 25 - unsafe vehicle, driving on suspended/revoked license, ficititious vehicle license, no proof of insurance, obstructing government operations

Tiffany G. Goodsell - Berryville - 31 - failure to appear

Tommy L. Jerrell - KIngston - 40 - hold for other agencies

Jerry D. Neal - Berryville - 58 - speeding, obstructing Gov operations, driving on suspended/revoked license

Frank E. Wheeler - Harrison - 48 - speeding


Sharon K. Cash - Berryville - 38 - failure to appear x 2

Thomas D. Creason - Wesley - 43 - hold for other agencies x 2


Andrew B. Cross - Holiday Island - 30 - disorderly conduct, public intox

Randon J. Hillhouse - Berryville - 19 - minor in possession

Elvin A. Merida - Green Forest - 18 - failure to appear

Spencer D. Smith - Yellville - 22 - public intox, failure to appear


Fredrick W. Deertz - Green Forest - 19 - failure to pay

Regina L. Fanning - Green Forest - 47 - failure to pay

Ruben P. Landeros - Berryville - 42 - two day court commit for Drug Court

Christina R. Martin - Berryville - 31 - failure to appear

​Jeremiah D. Tidyman - Green Forest - 35 - failure to appear


Leopoldo Arciga - Green Forest - 40 - driving on suspended license, careless driving

Joseph B. Johnson - Green Forest - 31 - domestic battery, aggravated assault on family/household member\

Maynor S. Mendoza - Berryville - 19 - DWI, no driver's license, no seat belt, no proof of insurance, obstruction of government operations, reckless driving, minor in possession, ficticious tags

Bryan J. Moss - Berryville - 37 - assault on fam/household member

Catherine E. Poe - Oak Grove - 42 - domestic battery

William G. Rogers - Eureka Springs - 46 - DWI, open container, possession drug paraphernalia, expired driver's license, no insurance

Angel Torralba-Mendez - Eureka Springs - 29 - public intox, drinking on highway

Linsey C. Williams - Berryviklle - 25 - possession of controlled substance, possession drug paraphernaliz

Jeremy W. Worsham - Berryville - 37 - DWI

Brandon Yoel-Vasquez - Berryville - 20 - public intox, drinking on highway, minor in possession


Henrica V. Adams - Berryville - 37 - aggravated assault on family or household member x 2, terroristic threatening x 2, domestic batterying, endangering welfare of minor x 2

Leopoldo Arciga - Green Forst - 40 - driving on suspended license, careless driving

Rachel M. Emmons - Berryville - 25 - failure to pay x 2, driver's license suspended, fictitious vehicle license]

Herasmo R. Hernandez - Berryville - 38 - DWI

Michael L. Miller - Springville, Mo - 56 - failure to pay

Shawn M. Nardi - Green Forest - 39 - driving on suspended license, DWI, driving on restricted license, endangering welfare of minor

Jerry D. Neal - Berryville - 58 - driving on suspended license, fictitious vehicle license, no proof of liability insurance

Wildredo Rangel-Reyes - Green Forest - 33 -

Chealsie M. Warren - Green Forest - 19 - purchase or possession by minor, DWI, public intox, careless/prohibited driving

Aubrey R. Webb - Berryville - 44 - DWI, open container, no proof of insurance


Sharon K. Cash - Berryville - 38 - failure to appear

Robert R. Goldsmith - Harrison - 25 - revocation

Dwayne L. Richards - Eureka Springs - 47 - revocation, hold for other agency

​Clayton C.H. Waldrop - Berryville - 20 - criminal trespass

To view the Arrest Report please scroll down below the News

News For Thursday, January 22, 2015

Berryville School District Community Relations Committee Look to the Future

The Community Relations Committee and others met in the Berryville High School Library last week.  Supt. Dr. Phil Clark opened the meeting by greeting the crowd and informing that this meeting was more of a conversational meeting rather than a meeting with an agenda.  Linda Boyer has highlights................

Dr. Clark's email address for comments is dclark@bobcat.K12.ar.us

Fireman's Landing at Silver Dollar City a Tribute to Firefighters

A media event was held Wednesday at Silver Dollar City to update the public on the construction of the new SDC attraction, Fireman's Landing.  Set for a March opening, the construction landmark of the setting of a historic bell marks progress on the $8 million all-new themed area.  The "Setting of the Bell Tower" atop the Fire Station #3 includes a 640 lb. iron bell forged in 1895.  Brad Thomas, General Manager of SDC describes the new area with 10 family adventures, including 6 rides and 4 attractions..................

Some of the new rides include an 8-story FireFall, a tower free-fall drop ride for the more daring recruits.  Before he became a founding father of the United States, Benjamin Franklin established one of America's first volunteer fire departments.

Berryville Board of Education Highlights

The Berryville School Board of Education took the following action at their recent School Board meeting:

The Board received written and verbal Buildings/Grounds/Facilities updates from Doug Harris. The Board accepted the bid submitted by Floyd Sales to build a 30x60 Storage Building for $39,103 contingent on State Facilities approval.  The Board accepted the bid submitted by Mid West Bus Sales of $94,548 for a 2015 school bus.  The Board approved increasing the amount previously approved to pay from Bond Refinance for Cheryl Howard’s classroom computers from $7,111.46 to $9,585.01.  

The Board approved: Student Transfer Requests as submitted; the Vision Statement, Mission Statement, & Belief Statement;  participation in the Arkansas Public School Unemployment Compensation Account

The Board received the Community Information, Testing Data, and Parental Involvement Information submitted by Mindy Hicks. 

The Board tabled the Driveway Improvements at the Intermediate Building

Dr. Clark reported that as of January 12th there were 2,059 students attending Berryville School

The Board was reminded of the AdvancEd Visit scheduled for January 25-28, 2015

Tyson Foundation Donates to eVersity

The Tyson Foods Foundation Inc. and the Tyson family announced Wednesday a $500,000 donation to eVersity, the University of Arkansas System's online university.  The program's initial degree offerings are health care management, information technology, criminal justice, business and general studies, according to the news release.  “We must have a way to reach the more than 300,000 Arkansans who have a year or two of college and had to drop out for one reason or another, but want to pursue a degree so they can improve their quality of life," John Tyson, chairman of the Tyson Foods board, said in the news release. Tyson many such people work for Tyson, and a college degree would allow them to move from hourly production jobs into more lucrative supervisory and management positions. “EVersity will be a blessing to these individuals and to the economy of Arkansas," Tyson said

Malware Infects State Computers

The Arkansas Department of Information Systems blocked all .zip files from the state's email system after a malware attack was identified.  The department sent out notice over email and social media about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. Department spokesman Janet Wilson said only a fraction of the more than 15,000 computers on the state's computer network were affected.  Wilson said the computers were in different agencies across state government. She also said that there was no data breach or information lost due to the attack.  Malware is short for malicious software, which is transmitted often via email in hidden or misleading attachments. The software is designed to disrupt computer operations or gain access to private computer networks and personal information.  The department blocked all computer files with the extension .zip, which are larger files that have been compressed so that they can be sent over email. The note that was sent to employees didn't contain a timeline for when the blocked files would be allowed again.  "This is the only remedy that is currently available to halt the spread of the infected files across the state network. We apologize for any inconvenience and we will restore the delivery of these files as soon as it is safe to do so," department officials in the Arkansas Cyber Security Office wrote.

Arkansas Senate Committee Advances Governor's Tax Cut Plan

 A state Senate committee has advanced Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson's plan to reduce income taxes for the middle class after amending the proposal to repeal a $21 million capital gains tax cut lawmakers approved two years ago.  The Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee on Wednesday endorsed Hutchinson's proposal to cut income taxes 1 percent for those making between $21,000 and $75,000 a year. Hutchinson was sworn in last week and campaigned on the tax cut promise. Legislative leaders say repealing the capital gains tax cut approved two years ago would reduce the overall cost of Hutchinson's tax cut plan. Officials now estimate the package will cost the state $12.8 million in the coming fiscal year and $80.6 million the following year. The bill now goes to the full Senate.

Bill to Remove Robert E. Lee Birthday from Martin Luther King's Official Birthday 

Robert E. Lee's birthday would no longer be celebrated on the same day as Martin Luther King Day under a bill introduced by an Arkansas lawmaker.  Republican Rep. Nate Bell's bill would remove Lee's birthday from the designations of state and school holidays. It would keep Martin Luther King's birthday as a state holiday on the third Monday of January.  Bell introduced the bill Wednesday.  Arkansas is one of three states, along with Alabama and Mississippi, that jointly celebrate King and Lee.  The practice has been criticized by civil-rights advocates who say it doesn't make sense to recognize a black civil-rights leader on the same day as a white Confederate general.

News For Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Berryville City Council Now Waits to Hear Grant Request for Rural Water Development

Cassie Elliott, USDA, photo at left.  The city started the process for applying for $8.7 million in grants to develop water line extensions to rural areas of Berryville over a year ago.  It was then that Cassie Elliott first appeared to explain the City's responsibilities, should they be accepted.  Here's discussion with Elliott and Mayor Tim McKinney...............

Elliott said the USDA rarely approves the full amount and that it could be summer before the city will know for sure.

Tyson Foods Settles Lawsuit 

Tyson Foods agreed to pay $539,000 to settle a lawsuit by the Attorney General's Office over the illegal dumping of ammonia into the Monett city sewer system last year.  The dumping resulted in 100,000 fish dying in Clear Creek.  The waste was trucked from Tyson's plant in Aurora to Monett but the truck driver didn't inform Monett officials what was in the load.  That resulted in the sewer system passing through the ammonia to the creek.  In a prepared statement after the news conference, Tyson Foods said:  "We deeply regret the incident in Clear Creek, near Monett, Missouri, this past May. We’ve worked diligently and  cooperatively with state and other authorities to make things right, including entering into a settlement agreement with the state.  "Tyson Foods’ core values include serving as stewards of the  environment -- in Missouri and every community where we operate -- and we take that obligation seriously. "As part of the settlement, Tyson will fund a project that replaces a bridge, which will allow fish and mussels living in Clear Creek to move about more freely.  We’re also making a donation to the James River Basin Partnership."

Boozman Named Chairman of Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran (R-MS) named U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee for the 114th Congress.  The subcommittee has jurisdiction over annual funding for a range of federal agencies in the Executive Branch, Federal Courts and the District of Columbia. It oversees funding for financial-related agencies including the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The subcommittee is also responsible for recommending funding for independent agencies that have a direct impact on Arkansas including the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the U.S. Postal Service.  “I’m honored to be named chairman of this subcommittee and I look forward to leading efforts to cut wasteful government spending and holding federal agencies accountable for how they use taxpayer dollars. It’s my goal to pave the way for a fiscally responsible government while protecting our financial security for future generations of Americans,” Boozman said. 

Woman Rescued After Thrown by Mule 

A woman was rescued by park rangers and search teams after being thrown from a mule while riding on a trail in the Upper Buffalo region of Newton County, Arkansas.  According to park officials, the woman was located about 3 miles downstream from Steel Creek on the Old River Trail. She was transported to North Arkansas Regional Medical Center in Harrison for treatment of unspecified injuries.  Several agencies assisted in the rescue, including Mennonite Disaster Services, Newton County Search and Rescue, and Carroll County Search and Rescue.

Three Fires Contained near Buffalo River

Fire officials are now in their third day containing five separate wildfires in various areas near the Buffalo National River.  The largest fire located near the Jackson Ridge in the Lower Buffalo Wilderness is 100% contained as of Tuesday afternoon, with 800 acres burned so far.  A fire in the Toney Bend area in Marion County is also contained. Officials say the fire burned around 175 acres.  The “Blue Ribbon” fire in Searcy County has consumed nearly 700 acres so far and it is not fully contained at this time. Another fire in Searcy County called the “Baker’s Dozen” fire near Tomahawk Creek is fully contained and burned about 80 acres.  Public Information Officer Caven Clark says causes of each fire are still being investigated.  Clark says the river remains open to the public, but the “duckhead” portion of the Lower Buffalo Wilderness is closed. He says visibility on the river is fairly clear and visitors should use the north side of the river bank for camping or other activities.

Civil War Artifact Lands in Pea Ridge

The Pea Ridge National Military Park receiving a rare donation, that is also a first for the park.   They received a 153 year-old Confederate Diary of an actual battle participant.  The diary was donated by the Great-Great-Great Grandchildren of William Vaughn; a man who fought in the battle of Pea Ridge in 1862.  "His name was William Vaughn and he grew up somewhere around Springfield, Missouri.  He was a young guy at the time of the Civil War, was very religious.... We do know he of course survived the war and apparently went on to be a Baptist Minister," said Troy Banzhaf, the Chief of Interpretation at the park.

An excerpt reads: "February 20th. We went through the once peaceful and quiet village of Fayetteville, but it  is now filled with distress and want."  The diary is well-preserved, passed-down from generation to generation in the Vaughn family.  "The Great great great grandson and granddaughter came in about a month and a half ago and it's something they've had in their family ever since 1865," said Banzhaf.  The relic is a first of its kind for the military park: We've got two union diaries that were donated in the past . This is special for us because it's the first Confederate diary we actually have of a battle participant," added Banzhaf.

Facebook Claims It Created 4.5 Million Jobs 

A Facebook-sponsored study found that the social network has created 4.5 million jobs around the world and added $227 billion to the global economy in 2014.  The study, conducted by Deloitte, suggests that the jobs Facebook added are widespread, reaching countries such as India, Brazil and Australia.  But these people are not working for Facebook, which has 8,000 employees. The argument is they feed off of the business of Facebook: social media marketers, developers, and even indirect jobs like people who make Internet equipment.  Deloitte says Facebook has created "significant global economic activity by helping to unlock new opportunities through connecting people and businesses, lowering barriers to marketing and stimulating innovation."  The report claims most of those jobs were added in the United States -- 1.1 million, adding $100 billion to the U.S. economy.  Since 1.4 billion people use Facebook -- and spend an insane number of hours engaging with the website and mobile app -- Facebook is increasingly used as a marketing platform for businesses to connect with consumers. 

Showboat ‘Celebrates’ 20 years 

The Showboat Branson Belle is celebrating 20 years sailing the waters of Table Rock Lake by hosting a limited engagement show called “Celebrate,” complete with new acts and returning favorites. The show is set to open March 7, according to a press release.  The stage of the authentic 1880s-style paddlewheeler will come to life through live music and more than a dozen performers presenting everything from rhythmic dance to America’s long-time favorite vocal performances including both contemporary and classic music.  Early last year the Showboat announced 2014 would be the final year for “Made in the USA” show. Shortly after, Showboat Branson Belle General Manager Jim Moeskau said just because the show was over, “that doesn’t mean the performers won’t be back in a new show next year.”

Huge Asteroid to Pass Close to Earth Next Week

A huge asteroid is headed toward Earth, and NASA says that all it will take is a pair of binoculars to catch a glimpse of it as it makes its closest approach later this month.  The asteroid 2004 BL86 is about a third of a mile in size and will come within approximately 745,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers) of Earth on Jan. 26. NASA said it will be the closest any space rock comes to Earth until asteroid 1999 AN10 flies past in 2027.  The 2004 BL86 asteroid is expected to pass safely by.  "While it poses no threat to Earth for the foreseeable future, it's a relatively close approach by a relatively large asteroid, so it provides us a unique opportunity to observe and learn more," Don Yeomans, manager of NASA's Near Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said.  NASA's Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California, and the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico will attempt to acquire science data and radar-generated images of the asteroid during the days surrounding its closest approach to Earth.

News for Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Carroll County Judge Issues Burn Ban

Wildfires occurred in at least 22 Arkansas counties over the weekend, including Carroll, scorching more than 500 acres, said Adriane Barnes, a spokesman for the Arkansas Forestry Commission. That included a 160-acre fire in north Pulaski County and a 100-acre fire in Faulkner County, both on Sunday.  Barnes said her numbers don't include state parks or federal lands.A 2,687-acre section of the Lower Buffalo Wilderness remains closed until that fire is under control. The river is open, but visitors should use the north side for any camping or other activities in the area, Clark said.

The Green Forest Fire Department responded to a fire out of control Monday afternoon east of town that had them on the scene for several hours.  The reporting party that called it in said it was fast spreading and structures were close by.  When firemen arrived, firefighter Ed Phillips said a chicken house was already on fire.  At that time, mutual aid was called for from Alpena and Oak Grove fire departments.  That fire was quickly brought under control.  As firemen arrived from other departments they tackled the fast spreading grass wildfires and it was near dark before all units returned to their stations.  Late Monday afternoon Carroll County Judge Sam Barr issued an outdoor burn ban until further notice.  No outside burning is allowed of any kind.

Boone County Man Killed in Rollover Accident

A man from Omaha is killed in a rollover crash on State Highway 14 north of Omaha in Boone County.  Arkansas State Police say 64-year-old Charles Gabbard was eastbound at 12:25 p.m. Monday, when his pickup spun around and overturned while attempting to negotiate a left-hand curve.  The report indicates clear weather and dry road conditions at the time of the accident.  Gabbard was declared dead at the scene.

Barry County Crash Injures Four

Two teens and two adults are injured in a head-on crash on Elsie Corn Lane about two miles east of Seligman last  night.  State troopers say 16-year-old Benjamin Vinson of Seligman was driving westbound around 5 p.m. when his pickup crossed the centerline and struck an eastbound SUV. That vehicle was driven by 41-year-old Michael Seabolt, also of Seligman.  Vinson and his passenger, 15-year-old Summer Way of Seligman were taken to Mercy Hospital in Rogers for minor and moderate injuries respectively. Seabolt and his passenger, 24-year-old Jennifer Taft of Cassville were transported by a private vehicle to Mercy Hospital in Cassville for minor injuries.  According to the accident report, none of the subjects involved in the crash were wearing seat belts.

Tax-Aide Program Available in Carroll County

Once again, under the auspices of AARP Foundation and IRS, the Tax-Aide program will be available in Carroll County.   This is a nationwide free tax preparation service that provides free income tax preparation, free electronic filing, and answers to tax questions.  Businesses and rental property owners are not eligible for this program.  This program is intended to assist low and middle income taxpayers of ALL ages, with special attention to  taxpayers over age 60.  IRS provided software is used for all tax returns.  All counselors are certified, having passed IRS testing.  All information is strictly confidential.  Last year Tax-Aide prepared 475 federal and 490 state tax returns.  There will be 18 Counselors and 6 Client Facilitators available to help people this year.  Tax-Aide is scheduled at the Holiday Island Community Church at 188 Stateline Drive on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. from February 4 through April 9.    Help is also available in Berryville at the Freeman Heights Baptist Church at 522 W. Freeman Avenue on Mondays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. from February 2 through April 6.   This is a change in location.No appointments are necessary, and AARP membership is not required. Taxpayers are required to bring their prior tax return and any current documents needed to prepare the 2014 tax return. For more information, contact Local Coordinator Anne Dray at (479) 253-7611.

Tyson Foods Marks 80 Years As A Company, Set for Shareholder Meeting

When Springdale-based Tyson Foods holds its annual shareholders meeting Jan. 30, the company will also mark 80 years of continued business in one form or another. This milestone is thanks to a Tyson family decision in 1957 to grow their business instead of accept a buyout offer from Swanson. (Swanson, by the way, would sell to Campbell foods in April 1995.)  The Tyson family opted to build a processing plant in 1958, and from that decision the company became one of the world’s largest food companies with $37.58 billion in annual sales last year. The shareholders meeting will convene the same day at 10 a.m. at the Northwest Arkansas Convention Center in Springdale. While shareholders are expected to benefit from continued company growth in 2015, not all of them are happy with the company operations. Three separate shareholder proposals have been filed and are noted in the company’s Proxy filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Shareholder Proposal No. 1 asked for a policy to address water impacts of business operators and suppliers. The shareholder asked the company to implement a water stewardship policy that will improve water quality for all the company-owned facilities and those under contract to Tyson Foods.  Tyson Foods’ board does not believe this proposal is in the best interest of the company or its shareholders citing numerous initiatives already in place that address water conservation.

Proposal No. 2 strikes at the heart of the dual stock system at Tyson Foods that allows restricted Class B shareholders, the Tyson Family, to get a 10-to-1 voting advantage over the Class A shares. Proposal No. 2 asks the board to give each shareholder an equal vote.  The Tyson family trust owns 99.98% of the class B shares and through the limited partnership control 72% of the Tyson Foods total votes, according to the Proxy proposal. The shareholders point out that the family — a select few — controls the company regardless of what might be best for the shareholders at large.  Tyson’s board, which is comprised of two Don Tyson heirs, is against this proposal.

Proposal No. 3 involves asking asking the company to prepare a report on its use of Palm Oil and its efforts to source that commodity in a sustainable manner. This shareholder group wants to see the report by May. 1.  The group notes that Tyson competitors such as Hormel, ConAgra and General Mills have already announced commitments to eliminate deforestation and human rights violations from their palm oil supply chain and to regularly report on their progress.

Flu Season Nationwide Heading Toward Peak

This year's flu season continues to take a deadly toll. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday it's confirmed that 19 more children died of influenza in recent weeks, bringing the total to 45 since flu season began in the fall.  That comes a day after the CDC reported disappointing results of this year's flu vaccine, which has proven to be only 23 percent effective at preventing the need for doctor's visits for influenza. CBS News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook reports that's the second-worst track record for flu vaccine in a decade.  In a typical year, the CDC says the flu vaccine is about 50 to 60 percent effective, but this year's vaccine is not well matched to the dominant strain of the virus.  On Friday, the CDC released its latest update on the nationwide flu epidemic and it shows that as of last week, cases were widespread across 46 states.

Missouri Lawmaker Leads Investigation Into Water Patrol Merger

A local lawmaker who co-lead the investigation into the 2011 merger of the Missouri Water Patrol and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.   The merger has been under the spotlight since 20-year-old Brandon Ellingson of Iowa drowned while in the custody of Trooper Anthony Piercy in May 2014 at the Lake of the Ozarks.   Rep. Don Phillips, R-Kimberling City, is a retired highway patrolman and the vice-chair of the House Review Committee on the 2011 Water Patrol Division Merger. The committee released its findings Thursday.   Phillips said the merger was supposed to save money and increase efficiency, but it appears the move is not having the intended effect.   When lawmakers voted to merge the water patrol with the highway patrol, they were told it would save the state $3 million a year.   Phillips said the move did the opposite, costing an extra $900,000 per year.  Phillips and his colleagues held five public hearings and at each one, he says Missourians expressed concerns with the amount of training troopers receive for the water and the amount of time they have spent on the water since the merger. 

MoDOT: More Money or Less Maintenance

The Missouri Department of Transportation says its construction budget has been drastically reduced, and everyone will be affected.  Under the next 5-year plan, MoDOT would focus on about 8-thousand miles of Missouri’s 34-thousand mile state highway system. The 8-thousand miles make up the state’s primary roads, including highways that connect cities across the state.  MoDOT says it needs at least 485-million dollars to maintain roads and bridges in the condition they are today.  The commission is considering the plan and is expected to act on the proposal at its February 4th meeting. 

AGFC Approves Non-Resident License Increase

At the most recent meeting of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Commissioners approved an increase in several non-resident hunting and fishing licenses. The Non-Resident Annual Fishing License will be $50, up from $40. The Non-Resident 3-Day Trip Fishing License will increase from $11 to $16 and the Non-Resident 7-Day Trip Fishing License will increase from $17 to $25.  The Non-Resident Annual All Game license will be increased from $300 to $350. The Non-Resident 1-Day All Game License will now cost $55, the 3-day license will be $125 and the 5-day license will be increased to $180. The Non-Resident Annual Small Game License will be increased from $80 to $110 and the Non-Resident 5-Day Small Game License is $70, up from $55. The new non-resident license fee will go into effect March 1.  The commission also moved forward with the creation of three annual resident licenses for resident outdoorsmen who are 65 and older. The AGFC will petition and work with members of the Arkansas General Assembly and the Bureau of Legislative Research towards the creation of the licenses.

News For Monday, January 19, 2015

Area Firefighters Busy with Wild Fires

Firefighters from around the area battled wildfires through the weekend as dry conditions were exacerbated by high winds.  On Sunday, the Green Forest, Alpena, and South Carroll County Fire Departments worked several large grass and field fires in the Alpena and Green Forest  area.  A Red Flag Warning was issued Sunday for the area, however, winds have subsided some today.  

Green Forest School Board Agenda

The Green Forest School Board of Directors meet tonight at 5pm in the GF Alumni Center.  On the agenda:  

Administrative Reports/Recognition

Financial Report

Construction Update

Consideration of and Board Action on:  Fundraisers, student transfers, bus purchase and closed meeting for personnel issues.

Boone County Teacher Fired for Accepting Funds from Student

The Valley Springs School Board in Boone County voted unanimously to fire a teacher for mishandling funds.  Angel Melton reportedly admitted to receiving about 4-thousand dollars in cash from a high school student to be spent on charitable causes, but did not provide documentation of the money being donated.  Superintendent Judy Green says Melton behaved inappropriately by accepting the money without giving the student a receipt, by not going through the central office to safeguard pending inquiries, and by not contacting the student’s parents to determine if the money actually belonged to the student.

ForwARd Arkansas Asks for Survey Help

ForwARd Arkansas, a partnership of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, Walton Family Foundation and Arkansas Board of Education, is asking educators, parents, students and other stakeholders to complete a survey on how to prepare Arkansas students for success in college and the workplace. The survey, available at ForwardArkansas.org, is available until the middle of next month.   ForwARd says it will release a report later this month called "The State of Public Education in Arkansas." The report will contain "baseline data on the state’s educational outcomes." The group's steering committee plans to release a comprehensive strategic plan by late spring.  ForwARd Arkansas' goal is "to help enhance student outcomes and educational opportunities." It aims to develop "a comprehensive plan to guide state policy for P-16 education, with a focus on schools in academic distress."

Area Appreciation Offered at Ralph Foster Museum

The Ralph Foster Museum at the College of the Ozarks will re-open for the season and offer free admission on select days for area residents.  Those residents include those living in Stone, Taney, Ozark, Christian, Douglas, Webster, Greene, Lawrence, and Barry counties in Missouri and Boone, Marion, Baxter, and Carroll counties in Arkansas.  The museum will offer area appreciation on January 26- 31, February 2-7 and 9- 14.  The museum is open from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday.  For more information on the museum, call (417) 690-3407.

Northwest Arkansas Man Dies After Motorcycle Crash in Springdale

A Rogers man is dead after a motorcycle crash on Saturday afternoon in Springdale.  According to Arkansas State Police, Thaddeus A. Pando, 36, was operating a 2008 Augusta motorcycle when he failed to negotiate a left-hand curve on U.S. 412 east of Blue Springs Rd. around 12:05 pm. Police say the vehicle traveled down an embankment into a tree line.   Pando was transported to a Washington County hospital where he later died from his injuries.  No one else was injured, police say. 

Motorcycle Hits Deer and Overturns

A man from Branson was hurt in a motorcycle crash involving a deer on Highway 160 ten miles east of Reeds Spring in Taney County.  Missouri State troopers say 58-year-old Roy Woolstrum was eastbound at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, when his motorcycle struck a deer in the roadway and overturned.  Woolstrum was transported by ambulance to Mercy Hospital in Springfield for treatment of moderate injuries.

AT&T: More than 120 Jobs Available in Arkansas

AT&T has announced that the company will hire workers for more than 120 jobs in Arkansas. The positions are primarily technician and retail sales positions.  In 2014, AT&T hired more than 350 Arkansans.  AT&T invested nearly $800 million in its best-in-class wireless and wired networks in Arkansas from 2010 through 2013, driving a wide range of upgrades to enhance speed, reliability, coverage and performance for residents and business customers. 

Flu Vaccine Barely Working This Year, CDC Says

The flu vaccine is barely protecting people this year – reducing the risk of serious disease by just 23 percent, federal health officials said Thursday.  It’s not the worst year ever for the flu vaccine – there have been years when the flu vaccine was only 10 percent effective. But it’s not good news for people trying to avoid the flu. Nonetheless, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says people should still get a flu vaccine, because it does work well against strains of flu that may not be circulating just now, but that may show up at any time.  The CDC had been warning the vaccine might not work well this year. Just after drug makers started cooking up batches of flu vaccine for the 2014-2015 season, a sneaky strain of H3N2 started circulating that’s different from the strain the vaccine protects against. Flu vaccines take months to make and it was too late to change the formula for this year.  So the CDC’s been reminding people that there are three antiviral drugs on the market that can help you recover more quickly from flu. Tamiflu is the pill most widely prescribed, and there are injectable and inhalable drugs, too.  Unlike with antibiotics, there is not a big downside to taking a flu drug without being sure you have influenza.  And it’s even OK to just call your symptoms in to your doctor so you can fill the prescription right away – because time is of the essence in treating flu.

Reports of Mountain Lions in NW Arkansas Can't Be Confirmed

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission says three recent reports of mountain lions in northwest Arkansas cannot be substantiated.  Commission spokesman Keith Stephens told the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that commission officers have found nothing to confirm the sightings reported in Bella Vista.  Stephens said bobcats - which are found statewide - are often mistaken for mountain lions.  The commission has said there have been five confirmed mountain lion sightings in the last five years, but a breeding population hasn't been verified.  In November, a Louisiana man killed a mountain lion while deer hunting in Bradley County in southern Arkansas.