News for October 2, 2015

​​Check Presented to Firefighter Rod Wasson

The Eureka Springs Fire Department presented firefighter Rod Wasson with a check for $10,000 on Monday night. The money was raised through community donations to a GoFundMe account set up by fellow firefighter Colten Harris to help Wasson with expenses related to an August 29th injury.

According to Eureka Springs Fire Chief Randall Ates, Wasson was critically injured while fighting a structure fire. An attack team of two firefighters had just made entry into a burning mobile home when Wasson’s air pack malfunctioned. He sustained respiratory damage and was flown by medical helicopter to Mercy Medical Center in Springfield, MO. Wasson spent several weeks in ICU before being released on September 17th. Wasson will require outpatient rehabilitation to regain his strength and lung function. The donations collected through the GoFundMe account will help to offset his expenses during his recovery.

When presented with the check, Wasson was overcome with emotion. “I am so thankful for all of the support shown to me by the community and the fire department. You guys have taken care of my family and me, and that is something I can never repay”, said Wasson.

Pictured left to right are ESFD Firefighter/EMT Colten Harris who set up and coordinated the GoFundMe account, Firefighter Rod Wasson and Fire Chief Randall Ates.


Part Two Interview on Youth Bridge's new Anti-Bullying Campaign

Youth Bridge has initiated an anti-bullying program to help build brighter futures for school-aged children.  They call it Bully Busters.  Here's part two with Dr. Nancy Hairston telling us some Carroll County statistics on bullying..........

Part one of our interview with Dr. Hairson can be heard on Thursday's news.


Wal-Mart to Cut Hundreds of Jobs at Headquarters

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is planning to lay off hundreds of people at its headquarters in Arkansas as part of the retail giant's efforts to pare costs, people familiar with the matter said.

Fewer than 500 employees are expected to lose their jobs and an announcement could be made as early as this Friday, according to one of the sources, who declined to be named because the move had not been made public.

The cuts will make up a small portion of the more than 18,000 people employed at the Bentonville office but fit in with a streamlining effort that has been flagged by Chief Executive Doug McMillon in recent months.


Two Barry County Residents Ejected in Cassville Crash

Two Barry County residents receive serious injuries in a one vehicle crash Wednesday night, one mile north of Cassville.  The Missouri Highway Patrol reports 19-year-old Nathaniel Travis of Cassville was traveling westbound on Business 37, when he ran off the right side of the roadway and overturned.

Travis and a passenger, 15-year-old Michael Irving of Cassville, were not wearing their seatbelts at the time of the crash and were ejected from the vehicle, according to the online crash report.  Irving was airlifted and Travis was transported via ambulance to Cox Health South Hospital in Springfield to be treated for their respected serious injuries.


Fifteen Year Sentence in Barry Co. Meth Conspiracy

A man who pleaded guilty to distributing methamphetamine in Barry County is sentenced to 15 years in federal prison without parole.

Thirty-three-year-old Jaime Gonzalez-Alvarado is identified as a citizen of Mexico residing in California. He previously admitted to directing the delivery of meth from California to the residence of a co-defendant in Monett.

Law enforcement officers in Oklahoma seized one of these shipments, which reportedly included 15 bundles of meth weighing over 14 kilograms. Officers in Missouri executed a search warrant at the home in Monett and recovered several handguns, over 60-thousand dollars in cash, paraphernalia, packing material and several grams of meth.  One of the co-defendants, 22-year-old Camilo Acosta, received a sentence of 11 years in federal prison on Wednesday.


DHS Unit Proposes to Oversee Child Jails

The Youth Services Division presented several possible changes to Arkansas' juvenile-justice system Wednesday, including putting the division in charge of monitoring conditions and standardizing education and mental-health services in the state's 14 juvenile detention centers.

Youth Services Director Marcus Devine told members of the Youth Justice Reform Board that audits over the past year had found a great disparity in the care and services offered at the county-operated lockups.  In 2014, more than 8,600 children spent time in a county-operated juvenile detention center, according to division data. By comparison, only about 500 children were committed to state custody.

Devine said Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson, the division's staff and some detention center administrators support the idea, saying the lockups and their staff members would benefit from more training, technical assistance and oversight from the state.


State Needs New Prison, Sheriff Tells Task Force

Despite continuing efforts to reduce overcrowding, Arkansas needs to build a new prison, a sheriff told a legislative task force Wednesday.The Legislative Criminal Justice Oversight Task Force also heard presentations from the Council for State Governments and a Fort Smith company that uses smartphones to monitor people under house arrest. 

Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery told the panel that some repeat offenders are not deterred by prison sentences because they know they will be out in a matter of months. He said repeat offenders should receive longer sentences.

Prison officials said last year they planned to ask for $100 million to build a new 1,000-bed prison, but Gov. Asa Hutchinson and legislative leaders rejected that idea and instead have been seeking to reduce prison overcrowding by, among other things, encouraging increased use of alternative sentencing, loosening parole rules, opening new prison beds in existing facilities and sending some prisoners to a facility in Texas.


Arkansas Sees Progress in Advanced Placement Testing

A slightly larger number of Arkansas high school students took Advanced Placement tests in 2015 compared to 2014, and more of them earned high enough scores to qualify for college credit.

Nearly 25,760 public school students took about 44,950 Advanced Placement exams during the 2014-15 school year. That accounts for almost a 1 percent increase from the roughly 25,550 students who took the tests last year.

Arkansas Department of Education data shows that about one-third of this year's test takers earned a score of 3 or higher on at least one Advanced Placement exams. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that's up from 32 percent in the 2013-14 school year.  Arkansas Education Commissioner Johnny Key says the new Advanced Placement numbers signal educational progress in the state.

Low Gasoline Prices A Relief for Arkansas Consumers, Industry

Analysts say gasoline prices are likely to stay at six-year lows through the end of the year, a boost for Arkansans’ pocketbooks and the bottom line of the state’s trucking and tourism industries.

With average prices hovering just above the $2 mark, the average consumer will save about $700 this year versus 2014, according to Gregg Laskoski, a senior petroleum analyst at, which tracks gasoline prices nationwide.

In the last month, average prices in Arkansas have declined 29 cents per gallon, Laskoski said. The steady slide has been mostly due to the low price of crude oil, which has been falling all year and now sits around $45 per barrel.


Web Worms Season Worse Than Others, But Not Dangerous To Trees

Web worms have been wrapping trees in Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley in webs all summer, but according to local experts they aren't harming them. Homeowners don't have to worry about the worms killing their trees, all the worms eat are the leaves. However, fruit trees may not be so lucky. On those trees a spray is probably advisable because the more the tree is defoliated, the less sugar is moving in and that will affect fruit quality to some extent. Another exception are young or weak trees that could be susceptible to disease.

News for October 1, 2015

​​​Publishers Clearing House Phone Call Scam in Area

Major George Frye with the Carroll County Sheriff's Office advises us that phone calls are being received locally from an outfit in Jamaica, telling folks they've won some money.......


Berryville School Board Special Meeting Notes

The Berryville Board of Education met for a special called meeting at 6:00 p.m. in the Intermediate Cafetorium.  The purpose of the meeting was to:  Approve Fundraiser Requests, 2015-16 Operating Budget; 2015-16 Federal Programs Budget; 2015-16 State Restricted Funds Budget; & Approval of Preliminary Dirt Work For Building Site On West Campus.

Members Present: LeeAnn Ashford, Tyler Ashworth, Kristi Howerton, Jeff Miles, & David Waller                             

Members Absent:   Chad Hipps & Sherri Plumlee

The Board approved the FCCLA fundraiser & community projects request and the Gifted & Talented fundraiser requests.  The Board tabled the approval of several G/T trips during the 2015-16 year at Dr. Clark’s recommendation until clarification of funding could be verified.

The Board approved the following budgets for the 2015-16 school year: 

                        Operating Budget

                        Federal Programs Budget – Title I, II-A, III, & VI

                        State Restricted Funds Budget 

The Board approved Dr. Clark proceeding to obtain bids for a topographical survey of the West Campus for up to $30,000 and Core Drilling for up to $15,000. 


Hungry Bowl Coming Up October 10th

The Hungry Bowl is taking place again this year in Carroll County.  This is the second year the local pottery club has put this event together in hopes the community can ban together and help feed people in need.  Sherri Cunningham says all of the ticket money will go directly back to Loaves and Fishes Food Bank in Berryville and Flint Street Fellowship in Eureka Springs. She adds, the event has much more than just stew, soups, and chili.  The Hungry Bowl will also include live music and an art auction. The main event will be from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Eureka Springs High School on October 10th.


Youth Bridge Initiates Anti-Bullying Program to Help Build Brighe4r Futures for School Children

Youth Bridge recently began its anti-bullying campaign, Bully Busters, to be presented in the local schools throughout northwest and north central Arkansas during the school year.  Bullying is a very complex problem that if left unaddressed can lead to a variety of social and emotional problems that impact our youth and schools.  Dr. Nancy Hairston with Youth Bridge in Part 1 of a two-part interview..........

Founded in 1963, Youth Bridge provides counseling, school based services and residential treatment to more than 4,000 youth and families.


US Education Department Honors 5 Arkansas Schools

The U.S. Department of Education is honoring five Arkansas schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for their overall academic excellence.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced the honorees Tuesday. The Arkansas schools are among 285 public and 50 private schools that will be recognized at a ceremony in Washington in November.

The Arkansas schools are considered exemplary high performing schools, meaning they are among the state's highest achievers in student test scores and high school graduation rates.

The five Blue Ribbon schools are: Mount Pleasant Elementary School in Izard County, Park Magnet School in Hot Springs, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School in Rogers, Valley View Junior High School in Jonesboro and Vandergriff Elementary School in Fayetteville.


Full House for Public Forum Over Hog Farm

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality is taking last night’s comments and over a thousand written statements into consideration over what modifications need to be made to C&H Hog Farm in Newton County.

Last night, there was a public hearing in Jasper for people who wanted to talk about a few changes the Mt. Judea feeding operation plans to make. A representative with ADEQ, Katherine Benenati, says over 60 people were at the meeting.  The C&H Hog Farm Company is wanting to add two waste storage ponds, install a methane flare, and cover one of the ponds completely.

The hog farm reports these changes will help protect the quality of the nearby Buffalo River.  Benenati says everyone who was at the meeting last night, as well as those who submitted written comments, will be given a notice of the final decision.


Shell Knob Man Injured in Two Vehicle Crash Tuesday Night

A Shell Knob man is injured in a two vehicle crash Tuesday night, on Highway 39, at the intersection of Highway YY, in Shell Knob.

The Missouri Highway Patrol reports 54-year-old Mark Garcia of Shell Knob was stopped in traffic and preparing to make a left turn, when he was struck in the rear by vehicle driven by 57-year-old James Stone.

Stone was not wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash and was transported to Cox Hospital in Monett to be treated for his minor injuries, according to the online crash report.


Branson Ranked Best Value City for 2016

Every year analyzes cities across the US to reveal the upcoming year’s 50 Best Value cities and for 2016, Branson took first place – making it the Best Value City in America.

The trivago Best Value Index provides an overview of the best value destinations by using a specifically tailored algorithm that combines the trivago Hotel Price Index with trivago’s Reputation Ranking for hotels. The trivago Hotel Price Index shows the average overnight accommodation prices for a standard double room on trivago. Scaling up to 100, the Best Value Index lists the combined score on consumer rating and average hotel price. Branson scored a 90.5.  Nearby neighbor Springfield, Mo. also ranked within the Top 10 bargain hotspots for 2016.


Test chief: Failure Targeted Early

The president of ACT Aspire, the new testing program mandated for Arkansas schools, said Tuesday that the elementary-into-high school exams are meant to identify gaps in student learning early -- before they derail a student's college and career plans.

Darice Keating, who became president and general manager of ACT Aspire this month, told more than 400 educators and policymakers attending the Arkansas Public School Resource Center's fall conference that fewer than 2 in 10 eighth-graders nationally are on track to be ready for college-level work when they graduate from high school.

Keating said that year-end Aspire test results in grades nine and 10 will predict the student test-taker's eventual ACT college entrance exam score. The test results for grades eight through 10 are also designed to provide information on a student's progress toward workforce readiness.

In Arkansas, the ACT Aspire is replacing the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, exams that were given this past year. The PARCC exams replaced Arkansas' long-used Benchmark and End-of-Course exams that were developed in response to federal law that requires states to test students annually in math and literacy or risk losing millions in federal aid.

The PARCC tests were developed by a coalition of states based on the Common Core State Standards, which were the new math and English/language arts standards adopted by most states -- including Arkansas -- in 2010.

News for September 30, 2015

Overview of Investigation of ES Fire Fighter Rod Wasson's Injury

On Saturday evening, August 29, 2015 Eureka Springs Fire and EMS firefighter Rod Wasson was injured while fighting a structure fire on Grand Avenue. He was flown in critical condition to Mercy Medical Center in Springfield, Missouri. There he was placed in the burn unit for care of his respiratory injuries sustained during the firefighting. This document (not published here) outlines the series of events leading to his injury, the investigation, and recommendations for safety, equipment and operational changes to prevent future detrimental events. 


Based upon statements of firefighter Wasson and witnesses, coupled with the evidence of the failed SCBA test, it is evident that firefighter Rod Wasson encountered a mechanical failure of his airpack. The airpack’s failure caused firefighter Wasson to be deprived of air in a highly toxic and dangerous environment. The lack of positive pressure allowed smoke and atmosphere “immediately dangerous to life or health” to enter the facemask.  Firefighter Wasson removed his mask in a life threatening smoke-filled environment and suffered a critical respiratory injury as a result.  The fire department has identified several issues related to this unfortunate event. It behooves the City of Eureka Springs and Eureka Springs Fire & EMS to implement the recommendations listed herein to limit the possibility of further injury or death to the paid and volunteer staff. 


Former KTHS Programmer Passes

KTHS has received word that one of our more popular personalities through the years, Doug Rhodes, has passed away Monday, September 28th, after a long and courageous struggle with cancer.  Rhodes, 55 years of age, most recently lived in Taylors, South Carolina, with his wife Kathy.  Doug grew up and went to school in Prairie Grove, and made many friends in the area through the years.  He never knew a stranger.

Doug Rhodes had an uncanny ability as a broadcaster to connect with people, especially when performing his most well-known job at KTHS as the host of Tradio.  Rhodes was loved by listeners of all types, and especially well known for his banter with many of his callers on Tradio, but none were as well known as his "Aunt Bonnie".  Bonnie Wood, who lived in Oak Grove, was not Doug's real Aunt, but they developed a relationship that many loved to listen too on Tradio.  "Aunt Bonnie" passed away October 3rd of 2012. 

Doug Rhodes had a wife, three children and two grandchildren that will miss him immensely, as well as a public who remembered his warm, friendly personality.  A memorial service will be held 4:00 p.m. Saturday at Wood Mortuary, Greer, South Carolina.   Visitation will be held immediately following the service at the home of his father-in-law and mother-in-law, James and Janet Campbell. Online condolences may be made at


"Pink Out" at Green Forest

The annual "Pink Out" for Breast Cancer Awareness is coming up at Green Forest School sports events, beginning with this Friday's football game.  Keri Ann Newberry has more........

According to the National Breast Cancer Society, one in eight American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, and that early detection is important to increase the chance of survival.


National Farm to School Month Encourages Healthy Eating

October marks National Farm to School Month and the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute is finding ways to bring local food to Arkansas kids.

National Farm to School Month was designated by Congress in 2010 to demonstrate the growing importance of farm to school programs as a means to improve child nutrition, support local economies and educate children about the origins of food.

On October 5 at 11:00 a.m., Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson will sign a proclamation designating October as Farm to School Month in Arkansas.


Gov. Hutchinson Discusses Arkansas-Cuba Trade

Arkansas Govenor Asa Hutchinson held a media conference Tuesday morning (Sept. 29) to discuss his trip to Cuba to promote trade relations with Arkansas.

Hutchinson said the purpose of the visit is to put Arkansas at the top of the line for trade opportunities when those open up. The focus is on Arkansas' agricultural industries, such as rice and poultry, but tourism and education opportunities are also on the table.  A few Arkansas businesses sent representatives to Cuba as well, including Tyson, Riceland, Hanna's Candles, Simmons and a biotech pharmaceutical company.

Potential Cuban exports include rum, sugarcane and chocolate.  However, opening up Cuban trade will take time and patience. Hutchinson said 55 years of embargoes doesn't change overnight, so he's not sure when the trade could potentially begin.


Bassmaster Tournament Begins Thursday

History could repeat itself at Table Rock Lake during the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Open Thursday-Saturday.

When Bassmaster Elite Series pro Kevin Short won the 2011 Bass Pro Shops Central Open at Table Rock, he spent the early part of the tournament fishing deep with limited success. The Arkansas pro eventually dialed in a shallow-water pattern with a square bill crankbait to catch double-digit limits the final two days and finish with a winning weight of 33 pounds, 8 ounces.

Fellow Elite Series pro Brian Snowden expects the winning weight will be somewhat higher in this Open.  Snowden predicts Short’s winning pattern of 2011 could be repeated this year.  Rain and high water levels kept Table Rock from developing a thermocline, so bass remained shallower than normal throughout the summer.


48.2% Released from State Prison in '11 Went Back

Nearly half of the inmates released from the state's prison system four years ago were re-incarcerated by the end of 2014 -- a 5 percentage-point increase over the previous year, according to a report released Monday by the state Department of Correction.

Corrections officials said they expect that number of ex-convicts returning to get higher by this time next year. The report was created by the state Department of Correction's Research and Planning Division and tracks people released from prison in 2011.

The Arkansas recidivism rate is the highest since 2002, when 49.4 percent -- or 2,969 of 6,015 people were sent back to prison within three years.  The average three-year recidivism rate over the past decade stands at 43.95 percent -- 26,941 of 61,286 people were re-incarcerated within three years of release.


South Dakota Indian Tribe to Open Nation's First 'Marijuana Resort'

The small South Dakota Indian tribe known as the Flandreau Santee Sioux already has a successful casino, a 120-room hotel and a 240-head buffalo ranch.  Now it's undertaking a new venture - opening the nation's first marijuana resort on its reservation. The experiment could offer a new money-making model for tribes nationwide seeking economic opportunities beyond casinos.

Santee Sioux leaders plan to grow their own pot and sell it in a smoking lounge that includes a nightclub, arcade games, bar and food service, and eventually, slot machines and an outdoor music venue.Tribal President Anthony Reider envisions the resort as "an adult playground." The tribe says the project could generate up to $2 million a month in profit. The first joints are expected to go on sale New Year's Eve.


News for September 29, 2015

​​​​Prescription Drug Take Back Campaign Results

Since last spring, the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office collected a total of 175 pounds of unneeded or out of date prescription drugs. The take back campaign culminated with several satellite locations collecting drugs on Saturday, September 26th. We will not have to worry about these drugs ending up in the hands of our children, or polluting our environment.

CCSO deputies will deliver these drugs to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) at Arkansas State Police Troop L in Springdale.

CCSO maintains a permanent prescription drug collection box outside the main entrance. This box is not for commercial disposal, and is not a collection site for sharp items or liquids.


Rita Coolidge Headlining 68th Annual Ozark Folk Festival

Two-time Grammy award winner Rita Coolidge will headline the 68th Annual Original Ozark Folk Festival, which begins October 7th and runs through October 10th in Eureka Springs.  The festival will include a queen's contest, the Barefoot Ball, a singer/songwriter contest, free music, arts and crafts demonstrations and as always, a parade.   For more information, entry forms, and schedule updates, visit or purchase tickets for Rita Coolidge at


Arkansas, Arkansas State Get Grants to Study Terrorism

The University of Arkansas and Arkansas State have each been awarded U.S. Department of Justice grants for studies into homegrown terrorism. The grants were announced Thursday by Sens. John Boozman and Tom Cotton and Reps. Rick Crawford and Steve Womack.

ASU will receive $508,403 to study how violent domestic extremists use the Internet to organize like-minded individuals, disseminate ideas and recruit new members. UA will receive $399,531 to identify behavioral characteristics of homegrown terrorists who were able to evade arrest and/or neutralization for a long period of time to determine how that affects potential recruits and the overall sustainability of larger terror groups


Arkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault Awarded $550,000

A federal office granted more than half-a-million dollars in funding for an Arkansas coalition. The Office of Violence Against Women in the Department of Justice approved to fund the Arkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault for the amount of $550,000. The funding is under the "Rural Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking Assistance Program," according to the media release.

The release also says the Rural Program is to help increase victim safety in cases of:

sexual assault
domestic violence
dating violence
stalking in rural areas/communities

The program helps those cases by encouraging partnership with the following organizations to report on those crimes:

criminal justice agencies
victim service providers
community organizations

The release says, ACASA plans to use the fund towards two statewide programs. The funding will help organize Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs), which will provide training and services to sexual assault victims in rural areas, according to the release. It also says the funding will support the Sexual Assault Response Teams (SARTs) in rural areas.

This fund is for a 3-year period and partners include The Arkansas Commission on Child Abuse, Rape and Domestic Violence and the Ozark Rape Crisis Center, according to the release.


Nature’s Wonders Adopt-a-thon in Harrison

There will be an adopt-a-thon this afternoon (Tuesday) at Nature’s Wonders in Harrison.  Owner of the store and board member of the Ozark Humane Society, Michelle Rost, says there will be several pets at the health food store who are ready to be adopted.  Additionally, Rost says Nature’s Wonders will be donating ten percent of its sales for the day directly back to the shelter. She says animals there can always use help.  Rost says eventually, the shelter would either like a brand new space or at least some serious updates to its current facility. The adopt-a-thon will start at 1 p.m. and will end at 6 p.m.


Monett, Mo. Woman Charged in Murder for Hire Plot

A Monett woman has been charged with first-degree conspiracy to commit murder for allegedly attempting to hire a hit man to kill her ex-husband.  According to the Pierce City Police Department, Pierce City police and the Missouri State Highway Patrol cooperated Thursday in an undercover investigation of Destiney Kerr, 27, of Monett, who is being held in the Lawrence County jail.

According to a probable cause statement filed by J. Wesley Collins, with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, he was contacted by Pierce City police on Thursday regarding the alleged murder for hire plot.  "According to the confidential informant, Kerr tried to contact an individual out of the state of Florida to hire his services."  Collins said the informant told him the price was $50,000, and Kerr could not come up with that kind of money.


Van Buren Police Take Second Look At 32-Year-Old Kidnapping

The Van Buren Police Department is taking another look at a kidnapping case that happened in 1983. Matthew Crocker was only four months old when he was taken from his home.

Sergeant Daniel Perry with the Van Buren Police Department is working with the FBI and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children to try to find Matthew, who would not be 32.

Perry said 32 years ago, a woman, who may have gone by Kathy Johnson, was working at the fair in Fort Smith. She met a man who was friends with the Crocker family and he convinced them to allow Johnson to live with them, according to Perry.

Matthew's parents went to bed, and when they woke up Johnson was gone and so was Matthew, police said. Bob Lowery with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children said he believes it is possible Johnson took Matthew to raise as her son.  Lowery said he is confident that even after all this time Matthew is out there.


Top Prospective Students Tour UA Honors College

The University of Arkansas Honors College rolled out the red carpet for a group of high school students Monday.  More than 240 top prospective juniors and seniors from across Arkansas and nearby states attended the university's annual Honors College Convocation. The students learned about honors courses, study abroad programs, and even had lunch on the Old Main lawn.  During their tour, the group heard from a panel of honors students, as well as the honors college dean.


Use Your Samsung Cell Phone to Make a Purchase

If you have a Samsung, there is no need to pay with a credit card. Now, you can pay with your cell phone!  Samsung Pay is launching Monday, September 28, and is accepted almost anywhere you can swipe or tap your credit card. You swipe to launch the app, secure your fingerprint and hover over the card reader and your purchase is complete. Samsung says it uses several layers of security to keep your information safe, and that this new payment option will be available for folks in smaller cities as well.

News for September 28, 2015

Vultures Flock to Eureka Springs

Eureka Springs is working on a vulture relocation plan.  Mayor Robert "Butch" Berry said he has seen hundreds of vultures in the heavily wooded neighborhood between Ridgeway and Linwood streets.

Residents are banging wooden spoons on cooking pots to try to scare the vultures away. They say umbrellas are useful as a shield from vulture droppings. Berry said residents have complained about the problem, and he'll bring the issue up at the City Council's regular meeting today. Faced with a similar vulture infestation in 2007, the city used sonic cannons to shoo the birds away. So Berry is considering cannons this time.

But the cannon noise bothered neighbors in 2007. City Hall was inundated with complaints, so Eureka Springs stopped using the cannons after just one night. Berry said he wants to make sure the public is informed about what's going on before any noisemakers are used.

Black vultures are migratory and more aggressive than native red-headed turkey vultures. The black vultures arrive in Arkansas by the thousands in September and October, and they stay through the winter before leaving in the spring. Vultures are scavengers, but they have an aversion to the dead of their own species.

The Corps got a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and on June 22, an Arkansas Game and Fish Commission worker shot four of the vultures with a 12-gauge shotgun. The vulture carcasses were strung up around the dam.


Fresh Vegetables Reduce Inmate Meal Costs

CCSO Warden Danny Hickman and four State 309 inmates recently went to Wynne, in Cross County to pick sweet potatoes. Cross County farmers provided the sweet potatoes to CCSO free of charge. The inmates returned to the Carroll County Detention Center with over 3000 pounds. Sheriff Randy Mayfield personally thanks the Cross County Sheriff’s Office, the sweet potato farmers, and Wood Motor Company who provided a truck and trailer for the trip.

State 309 inmates at the Carroll County Detention Center harvested over 10,000 pounds of fresh vegetables from the CCSO garden this season. Locally raised vegetables and the Cross County sweet potatoes have substantially reduced meal costs at the Detention Center, as well as providing nutrition in the inmates’ diet.


Eureka Springs Named Fifth Best Spot To View Fall Foliage Nationwide

TripAdvisor released the top fall fall foliage destinations in the United States, and Eureka Springs made the list.

The city locked down the No. 5 slot for its unique downtown area shops and eateries, as well as the opportunities to view the vibrant foliage while hiking the Ozark Mountains or canoeing the Arkansas River. The other top destinations were Stowe, Vermont; North Conway, New Hampshire; Aspen, Colorado; and Niagara Falls, New York.

TripAdvisor ranked the cities based on the quality and quantity of reviews mentioning fall foliage, and the reviews of hotels, restaurants and attractions in each city.


Fayetteville Police: 18 Arrests, Numerous Motorcycle Accidents During Bikes, Blues and BBQ

18 people were arrested during the final day of Bikes, Blues and BBQ, Fayetteville Police reported Sunday.  Most were arrested on suspicion of public intoxication or disorderly conduct near Dickson Street, police said.

Police responded to eight accidents Friday, and five accidents involving motorcycles Saturday.  Fayetteville Police said three motorcycles were reported stolen.  Bikes, Blues and BBQ wrapped up Saturday evening.


North Arkansas College Takes Top Honor at Award Banquet

North Arkansas College is the first educational institution in history to earn the coveted Arkansas Governor’s Quality Award for Performance Excellence. Governor Asa Hutchinson presented the award to Northark’s President, Dr. Jackie Elliott during the 21st Annual Awards Celebration on Sept. 15 at the Mariott Hotel Ballroom in Little Rock.

The Arkansas Governor’s Quality Award is the highest level of recognition presented to state organizations that have demonstrated the highest level of performance excellence through their practices and achievements.

Approximately 300 business and civic leaders from throughout Arkansas attended the celebration.


Beef Prices Expected to Drop

Good news for you when you go to the grocery store. Those high beef prices we've been seeing lately should be going away.

University of Missouri agricultural economist Ron Plain says pastureland values are not increasing that much which means ranchers can afford to buy more cattle. That, as Plain explains, is the old supply and demand theory in economics that will be taking place over the next several months. The bigger the supply of a certain product, the lower the prices.

Five years ago, the average price for ground beef was around $2.20 per pound. This year, it's been averaging around $3.88 per pound.


Treasurer Milligan Announces Treasury Earnings

Treasurer of State Dennis Milligan announced during the State Board of Finance meeting, his office has earned more than $15.3 million year-to-date for the entire Treasury Investment Portfolio.

In respects to the short term section of the portfolio, which includes commercial paper, demand accounts and insured cash sweep accounts (ICS), the earnings for year-to-date were over $3.8 million. For the month of August, commercial paper earned $635,514.74; demand accounts earned $109,897.01 and ICS account earned $54,680.55. This is a total of $800,103.26 for the month of August.

For the first time since taking office, Milligan gave a snap shot of the earnings for the long term section of the portfolio. During the last meeting of the State Board of Finance, the Board approved the investing into mortgage-backed securities. The earnings on the long term section of the portfolio were over $11.5 million year-to-date. For the month of august, the Treasury earned $1,094,004.00 on the mortgage-backed securities.

News provided by News Director Linda Boyer