News for Friday, August 26
Memorial Fund Established for Deceased Toddler
A fund has been set up for the family of a two-year-old boy who was found dead in Madison County Wednesday
The boy's grandfather is asking people to donate to the 'Memorial Fund for Aiden Johnson' at the First National Bank of North Arkansas in Huntsville. He says the money will go towards funeral expenses, and whatever is left will be put into a savings account for Aiden's older brother he can access once he turns 21. His older brother is 4-years old right now.
The boy's body was found in Madison County, according to Sgt. Rusty Johnson with Arkansas Game & Fish.
According to 911 dispatch call logs, Aiden's grandmother called in the emergency, when the boy had been missing about 20-30 minutes.
Multiple agencies searched through the night Tuesday. A team of searchers discovered the boy's body at about 9:45 a.m. Wednesday. The body was in a hole, which was later discovered to be an exposed septic tank, according to the Madison County Sheriff's Office.
The child's body was sent to the State Medical Examiner's Office. Agencies are investigating, however there are no signs of foul play, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Miss Carroll County Senior Contestant Janessa Smith
Our sixth Miss Carroll County Queens Contestant interview today is with Janessa Smith of Berryville.........
The Miss Carroll County Pageant is Wednesday, August 31st. A full schedule of Carroll County Fair events and activities can be viewed at kthsradio.com, select Carroll County Fair tab.
KTHS will be broadcasting live from the Carroll County Fair :Parade Saturday morning beginning at 10am.
Superintendents's Report - Berryville Board of Education Highlights
August 22, 2016
The Berryville Board of Education met for its regular monthly meeting at 6:00 p.m. in the 3-5 Cafetorium.
Members Present: LeeAnn Ashford, Tyler Ashworth, Chad Hipps, Kristi Howerton, Jeff Miles, Sherri Plumlee, & David Waller
Members Absent: None
The Board approved the following requests:
Fifth Grade – Movies Nights
The Board received the written and verbal Buildings/Grounds/Facilities report. The Board approved replacing the HVAC units at the Elementary School on a 3-year plan, the purchase and replacement of 4 HVAC units that quit working in July and August, and to put out to bid 3 surplus school buses no longer being used.
Mr. Powell introduced Christy Graham, School Improvement Specialist; Heather Zaloudek, 6-12 Literacy Facilitator; and Erin Hall, 6-12 Math Facilitator to the Board and audience. Mrs. Graham had submitted a written Curriculum Update.
The Board approved the purchase of 10 computers for the district for $9,919.
Mr. Powell reported to the Board that the attendance as of August 22nd is 1962.
The Board approved Chad Allen and Jamie Hussey as Volunteer Golf Coaches for the 2016-17 school year.
The Board approved the School Resource Officer’s Job Description, continuing to pay half of the SRO salary, and denied changing the salary schedule of the SRO for the remainder of the 2016-17 school year.
Emergency Room Doctor Joins Mercy Hospital Berryville
An Arkansas doctor with a passion for aviation has landed a big role at Mercy Hospital Berryville’s emergency department. Dr. John Johnson joined the Mercy team on August 1.
“As a pilot, I’ve traveled to a lot of places,” said the Melbourne, Arkansas native. “I can say I enjoy small towns the most. You really get to know the people and the community well.”
Dr. Johnson spent five years in the U.S. Air Force, performing communications and navigation tasks onboard heavy transport aircrafts. “We traveled from Mississippi to Germany,” he added. “It was an excellent learning opportunity and I loved experiencing other cultures.”
Dr. Johnson received his medical education from Ross University School of Medicine in Portsmouth, Dominica. He completed a family medicine residency at University of Arkansas Medical School in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Dr. Johnson will be treating patients in Mercy’s emergency department for a variety of issues, from broken bones to life-threatening injuries. To find him during his days off, you can usually just look up.
Women's March Toward Equality Slow but Steady in Arkansas
Today is the day people celebrate the passage of the law that guarantees women the right to vote. In Arkansas, women's advocates say many strides have been made since the 19th Amendment of 1920, but that there is still a lot of work to be done......
Birdwatcher Dressed in Jungle Clothes Causes a Stir
Fayetteville Police investigated a call Wednesday morning about a man dressed in jungle clothes and carrying a gun. The man was bird-watching, police said.
A man called police at 10:21 a.m. Wednesday and said he saw a person dressed in a costume carrying a military-style rifle across a street near Zion Road and North Vantage Drive, according to a police dispatch report.
Police spokesman Sgt. Craig Stout confirmed people described the man as wearing jungle-type attire or looking like the character dressed in the yellow suit from children's books. A police dispatch report also showed people described the man as wearing tan clothing.
Police eventually found the man around Veterans Memorial Park, according to the dispatch report. The man was carrying a telescope and tripod, not a firearm, and was wearing a "safari hat," according to the report.
No gun was involved, and no one was hurt during the investigation, Stout said.
ASP Investigating Cave Springs Police Chief
Arkansas State Police has been asked to investigate a case that involves the suspended Cave Springs police chief for possibly tampering with public records.
Benton County Prosecutor Nathan Smith made the request Wednesday in a letter to Col. Bill Bryant, State Police director. The letter asks for an investigation into the unauthorized issuance of deputy sheriff commissions to several Cave Springs Police Department officers.
The possible crime is tampering with a public record, a felony.
Chief Joe Powell is suspended with pay, Cave Springs Mayor Travis Lee announced this past weekend. Lee did not provide any reasons for the suspension.
Governor Talks Down Marijuana and Casino Ballot Measures
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is stepping up his criticism of ballot measures to legalize medical marijuana, saying they would be a drain on state resources rather than a boon.
The Republican governor Thursday also said he opposes a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow casinos in three Arkansas counties.
Speaking to the Association of Arkansas Counties, Hutchinson cited concerns about the regulatory and enforcement issues surrounding the proposals that would allow patients with certain medical conditions and a doctor's recommendation to buy marijuana. The secretary of state's office has approved one medical marijuana proposal for the November ballot and is reviewing petitions for a competing measure.
Arkansas voters in 2012 narrowly rejected legalizing medical marijuana. Hutchinson is a former head of the federal Drug Enforcement Agency.
Hot Springs Judge Still on Suspension
Garland County Circuit Judge Wade Naramore remains on paid suspension after his acquittal last week on a charge of negligent homicide in his toddler son’s hot-car death.
David J. Sachar, executive director of the state Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission, said that commission rules keep the suspension in place until an investigative panel makes a determination on possible discipline. That is despite statutory language that ends such action after a judge is cleared of criminal charges.
The panels’ proceedings are confidential and “certainly take several months at the minimum,” Sachar said, noting the time needed to obtain related case documents.
Sachar told the newspaper that the panel could dismiss the complaint against Naramore, reach an agreement or schedule a formal hearing to resolve the complaint.
Acting on a commission recommendation, the state Supreme Court suspended Naramore with pay in February, the month of his arrest in the July 24, 2015, death of his 17-month-old son, Thomas.
At the conclusion of a five-day trial in Garland County Circuit Court, a 12-member jury — six men and six women — found the judge innocent Friday on a misdemeanor charge of negligent homicide.
News for Thursday, August 25
Body of Missing Madison County Child Found
A 2-year-old boy, whose identity was not released, who wandered away from his rural Madison County home Tuesday evening was found dead in a hole less than 50 yards from the home Wednesday morning,
Madison County Sheriff Phillip Morgan said the boy, wandered off from his home at Crossbow Ranch in northwest Madison County about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. His disappearance prompted an all-night search by 100 law enforcement and emergency personnel.
The boy's body was found between 9:30 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. Wednesday, Morgan said.
Morgan said Wednesday that he didn't know how the boy was found. He couldn't say how deep the hole was, only that it was deep enough that the boy could not climb out. He said he did not believe the fall itself caused the boy's death.
Morgan said he did not suspect foul play in the boy's death. The body was being sent to the state medical examiner's office for autopsy.
He said the boy's grandmother, whom he would not identify, had just given the boy a bath and put a diaper on him, the only clothing he was wearing when he was found. He stepped outside the house and was playing with a cat. The next time the grandmother looked around for him, Morgan said, the boy was gone.
The parents called for help, and members of several agencies responded to the call.
Madison County Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Lori McConnell said the Tri-County Search and Rescue was notified and contacted several other agencies under its umbrella in Carroll, Madison and Newton counties to send people and equipment to join the search.
Tyson Foods Holds Goundbreaking Ceremony for New Green Forest Plant Addition
Tyson Foods Inc., held a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday in Green Forest near their existing plant. Over 100 dignitaries attended from local, state and federal offices. Representatives from Senator Boozman's office, Senator Cotton's and Congressman Steve Womack's office were in attendance. Also State Senator Bryan King and State Representative Bob Ballinger also attended. KTHS was there and captured these comments from Tyson's Stacy Miller and Doug Ramsey.........
The Green Forest plant currently produces a variety of partially cooked chicken products for foodservice and retail customers, including nuggets and portioned fillets. The new project will increase the facility’s partially cooked capacity, increasing efficiency by reducing transportation of products to other locations for further processing. The development of the new plant would not change the number of chickens grown for operations in Carroll County.
The company's annual payroll in Carroll County is $138 million, not including the hundreds of local farmers who supply chickens to the local plants.
Construction will begin soon and the project would be completed in late 2017.
Miss Carroll County Queens Contestant Interview
Today we meet one of the senior Miss Carroll County Queen's contestants Lauren Newberry. Lauren is the fifth of our ten Miss Carroll County interviews...................
The Miss Carroll County pageant is Wednesday, August 31st at the Carroll County fairgrounds. Fair week kicks off this Saturday with the Fair Parade downtown Berryville at 10am.
Man Charged with Negligent Homicide for Killing Passenger While Drunk
A man is in the Boone County jail on charges he was driving drunk when his car crashed and killed a passenger.
The Boone County Sheriff’s Office reports Cody Eastep, 26, Eastep was arrested and charged with Negligent Homicide, DWI, Endangering the Welfare of a Minor 1st Degree two counts, Driving on a Suspended Driver’s License, and Reckless Driving.
Investigators say Eastep was traveling west on Old Bellefonte road when his vehicle lost control, rolled, and came to rest on the south side of the highway. The crash killed Heather Fanning, 25. Eastep and two children, aged 7 and 3, were treated and released from a local hospital.
Eastep is also jailed on a probation violation and warrants from Newton County, Ark
New Group Formed to Oppose Arkansans for Compassionate Care Initiated Act
Arkansans Against Legalized Marijuana filed suit Wednesday to stop the state from counting votes cast in November for a proposed initiated act that would legalize the drug for medical purposes.
The complaint, filed with the Arkansas Supreme Court, alleges problems with the ballot title of the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act.
Melissa Fults, campaign manager for Arkansans for Compassionate Care, the group sponsoring the act, said she's not worried about the lawsuit. She noted that the attorney general's office edited the ballot title to ensure clarity. The ballot title was approved by the office of Attorney General Dustin McDaniel on Aug. 14, 2014.
Arkansans Against Legalized Marijuana is asking the Supreme Court to prevent the secretary of state from "certifying any ballots cast for the Act at the general election to be held on November 8, 2016."
The group also wants the ballot title declared insufficient and wants to be awarded attorneys' fees. Monday is the deadline for candidates to draw ballot positions for the election. Soon after, counties will begin printing the ballots.
State Surgeon General Greg Bledsoe, who is serving as spokesman for the anti-medical marijuana group, said he doesn't believe that the Supreme Court will act before ballots are printed, so the group is asking that election officials not count the votes cast.
University of Arkansas Enrollment Sets New Record
Student enrollment at the University of Arkansas breaks a new record!
Preliminary numbers show more that 27,000 Razorbacks enrolled in classes for the 2016-2017 school year.
The freshman class also set a new record with more than 5,000 students currently registered.
The university says enrollment has increased by nearly 51% every year since 2006. Official enrollment numbers will be released on September 6.
Arkansas Confirms 12 Zika Cases
Twelve travel-related cases of the mosquito-borne Zika virus have now been confirmed in Arkansas patients, according to the state Department of Health.
As of Aug. 9, nine cases had been reported in the state. Since then, department spokesman Meg Mirivel said, three Arkansans have tested positive: one last week and two this week.
The two most recent confirmed cases were found in patients who contracted the Zika virus in Central America, she said. The Arkansas resident who tested positive last week had recently visited the Caribbean.
Apart from general descriptions of where each of the 12 in-state patients had traveled, case specifics have not been released.
Pregnant women who contract the virus, which is spread through mosquito bites and sexual transmission, are most at risk for complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
That federal agency in late July announced a $1.3 million award to help Arkansas in the state's fight against the Zika virus. Mirivel at that time said the Health Department was developing a plan for how to use the money locally.
Motorist Fatalities Up from Last Year
A total of 263 motorists died on Arkansas roads in the first six months of 2016, up 11 percent from the same period a year ago and helping fuel a national trend that, if unchecked, will see traffic fatalities in the United States exceed 40,000 for the first time in nine years, according to preliminary figures from the National Safety Council.
Nationally, the federally chartered nonprofit organization estimated that 19,100 people have been killed on U.S. roads from January to the end of June, 9 percent more than at the six-month mark in 2015.
Another 2.2 million were estimated to be seriously injured, with the cost of all those deaths and injuries estimated at $205 billion, the council said.
The estimates, which continue an upward trend that began in 2014, prompted the council to predict 438 people will die on U.S. roads during the three-day Labor Day weekend, the highest fatality estimate the organization has issued for the holiday since 2008.
News for Wednesday, August 24
CCQC Repeals ECCAD Ordinance Passed 8-15-16 - Replaces with New Language
A special meeting of the CCQC was called for Tuesday evening for the purpose of repealing Ordinance 2016-19, passed at the August 15th meeting, and replacing it with language indicating that a 2.5 mill levy on the assessment of all real and personal property in the district to fund the ECCAD. The millage was not included in the original wording. Legal counsel was hired to review the matter and draft a ballot for said ordinance and after consultation, he recommended altering some of the language in the ordinance to make it clearer and recommended repealing the original ordinance and replaced with with 2016-21. A Resolution confirming the passage was also passed on three readings.
Eastern District Carroll County voters will decide the issue in a special election to be held with the General Election November 8th.
Miss Carroll County Queens Contestant Alex Cisco
Alex Cisco is the fourth senior Queen's candidate that Linda Boyer interviewed of the ten contestants..........
All of our candidates interviews so far can be seen on kthsradio.com, along with their pictures. A list of fair events can also be seen on the Carroll County Fair page.
Tennessee Man Arrested for Possession of Child Pornography
A Tennessee man with a stolen phone containing pornographic images of children was arrested in Berryville last week.
James Lee Hill, 46, of Dayton TN., allegedly stole a phone out of a car in another state. The owner of the phone notified Police. A Florida agency tracking the phone for the owner, got a "ping" as they call it, and traced it to Berryville, Arkansas.
Chief Robert Bartos told KTHS, BVPD began searching for an out-of-state plate but could not find one. Local police got a call-back from the Florida agency saying the cell phone, at that minute, was located in the McDonald's of Berryville.
Police went inside to look for a suspicious person and noticed a man at the counter, later identified as Hill. Police were able to approach Hill without incident, but not before he had tossed the stolen phone with pornographic images into a nearby trash bin.
Hill was taken into custody and processed with a probable cause hearing, where bond was set at $25,000. He has been charged with theft by receiving, possession of child porn and computer child pornography.
Berryville Police Accident Report
Berryville Police were called to several accident scenes this past week. One of those was an injury accident.
On August 15th, a two-vehicle accident at 8:30am on 62W at Freeman Street. Thelma Gustin of Berryville, driving a 2009 Buick southbound on Hwy 62 went to change lanes and did not see a Mack Truck in the other lane and hit it. Hal Smith of Harrison was the driver. No injuries were noted.
On August 16th, at 7:45am, an accident at 62 Spur and Freeman Switch Road involved a 2002 Pontiac driven by Tyler Scrivner of Berryville and Eliza Graves of Eureka Springs, driving a 2014 Nissan. The report stated Scrivner did not see the Nissan and pulled into the intersection into it's path and collided with the Nissan. No injuries were noted.
On Friday, August 19th, a two-vehicle accident occurred at N. Springfield and East Freeman. Valeria Trejo of Berryville, driving a 2007 Honda was eastbound on E. Freeman at the intersection with N. Springfield. Itzel Reta of Berryville, driving a 2011 Toyota was southbound on N. Springfield. The drivers were unable to relay to Police how the accident happened, a witness stated the traffic signal for the eastbound lane was green and that the Toyota disregrded the red light, causing the accident. The accident report state Valeria Trejo was transported by EMS with injuries.
Buffalo National River Designated Important Bird Area
Audubon Arkansas has announced the designation of Important Bird Area (IBA) status for Buffalo National River, a unit of the National Park System administered by the Department of the Interior.
“Important Bird Areas are sites that provide essential habitat for breeding, wintering, or migrating bird species,” said Dr. Dan Scheiman, Bird Conservation Director for Audubon Arkansas. “Protecting these places gives us the greatest bang for our conservation buck.” The IBA program is a global effort to identify the areas most important for long-term bird protection.
“Buffalo National River is home to approximately 200 bird species, providing critical habitat and an important stop for many along their migratory routes,” said Emily Jones, senior southeast program manager for the National Parks Conservation Association. “Clean water is essential to our health, the health of our national parks and the health of native wildlife that call the Buffalo home. It takes all of us working together to protect the health of the national river.”
With the entire river corridor protected as public land, Buffalo National River is a critical link in a key block of public lands (some recognized previously by Audubon as IBAs) in the Arkansas Ozarks. Buffalo National River connects lands owned by The Nature Conservancy, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, and U.S. Forest Service.
Buffalo National River, which runs through Newton, Searcy, Marion, and Baxter counties, became the first National River in the United States on March 1, 1972. It is one of the few remaining free-flowing rivers in the lower forty-eight states.
Arkansans Applying for Expanded Medicaid Program Exceed Expectations
The number of Arkansans who had completed enrollment in the state's expanded Medicaid program reached 307,878 at the end of last month, exceeding by more than 50,000 state officials' initial estimate of those who would be eligible.
The number covered under the program as of July 31 could be even higher because the enrollment total didn't include applicants who had been deemed eligible but who had not yet completed enrollment.
The figures released Tuesday by the state Department of Human Services came after a consultant's report to the Health Reform Legislative Task Force on Monday that the number of Arkansans enrolled in the private option, the state's primary method of providing expanded Medicaid coverage, had grown to more than 258,000 as of June 15.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in a statement Tuesday that the enrollment figures illustrate the need for changes to the private option that he hopes to make starting next year, when the program will be named Arkansas Works.
Those changes include charging enrollees premiums of about $13 a month and providing coverage to some enrollees through subsidized, employer-based plans instead of through the private option.
State officials hope to receive federal approval for the changes next month.
ACT College Entrance Exams Scores Fall Below Previous Classes
Arkansas' high school class of 2016 took the ACT college-entrance exam in record numbers but earned a composite score of 20.2, which fell below the 20.4 score earned by the previous classes of 2014 and 2015.
That 20.2 for Arkansas is below the national composite of 20.8, which also reflects a 0.2 point dip when compared with previous years. The national composite score dropped from 21 in each of the preceding two years.
The ACT test is scored on a scale of 1 to 36 and is made up of English, reading, math and science subtests. In Arkansas, the test results are used to qualify for college enrollment and scholarships. Additionally, ACT subject-area scores are used to determine whether a new Arkansas college student must take a noncredit, remedial course in a subject area. Students must earn a score of 19 or better to avoid the remedial courses.
Leaders of ACT Inc., the maker of the exam, in large part attributed the decline in the national composite to the increase in the number of test-takers. Almost 2.1 million graduating seniors took the college entrance test. That was about 64 percent of the 2016 graduating class, which was up from 59 percent of the graduating class in 2015.
Not only did the composite score for Arkansas decline, so did the scores in each of the four subject areas -- English, reading, mathematics and science -- that make up the composite score.
Attorney General Sets Meeting for Monuments Proposals
An Arkansas panel has set a meeting next month to review proposals to set up monuments to the Ten Commandments and Satan near the state Capitol.
Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin on Tuesday scheduled a Sept. 13 meeting of the Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission to begin reviewing the proposals for the monuments. Arkansas lawmakers last year approved a law requiring the state to allow a privately funded Ten Commandments proposal on the Capitol Grounds.
The Satanic Temple has asked the commission to approve its proposed Baphomet statue, which it has asked the state to place next to or directly in front of the Ten Commandments monument.
Martin's office has also set up a hotline for the public to call in with comments about the proposed monuments.
An Arkansas panel has set a meeting next month to review proposals to set up monuments to the Ten Commandments and Satan near the state Capitol.
Have Another Cup of Coffee
Good news coffee lovers, you can have a second cup for your health. A new study shows that coffee is good for you.
Research shows patients who drink one to two cups a day are 20% less likely to die prematurely from heart damage, than those who never touch coffee.
Coffee the go to drink in the mornings for millions of us being studied not only for it's stimulating properties, but for some more permanent effects too.
Early research of caffeine consumption includes a decrease in Liver Cancer, Parkinson's Disease, and stress. Those benefits, however, could be canceled out depending on what you're putting in your cup.
Studies show people who drink two or more cups are better of than then casual drinker.
The ideal intake for caffeine is 400 milligrams a day, which can be found in about three 6 ounce cups of coffee.
News for Tuesday, August 23
Groundbreaking Held at Loaves and Fishes Food Bank
Loaves and Fishes Food Bank of the Ozarks, broke ground on Aug 22nd for a 23' x 42' (966 sq feet) Morton Building addition to its current 3,100 sq ft building. Additional storage and work space was needed to accommodate larger quantity buys for Food For Hungry Kids program.
Photo: left to right:
Dave Greathouse (in cab), Chris Claybaker, Economic Development, Mayor Tim McKinney, Mike Price, MDPConstruction, Jeanne Thompson, Loaves & Fishes Treasurer, Alan Sanderson, Morton Building, Jason Tennant, L&F Board, Lou Smith, L&F Secretary, James Myatt, President of Berryville Chamber of Commerce
Miss Carroll County Queen's Contestant Interview
Today we feature the third of ten senior contestants for the Miss Carroll County Pageant August 31st, during the Carroll County Fair. All of the contestants were asked the same questions for fairness.....
KTHS' interview does not count toward the Queen's contest, as the young ladies are asked questions by the Pageant judges during the competition. We air interviews to draw attention to the Fair and encourage participation from the public. The Little Mr and Miss, Junior Miss and Miss Carroll County pageants are some of the most attended during Fair Week.
The full Fair schedule can be seen at kthsradio.com or Fair Books can be found around Carroll County.
Decades of Bobcats
The Bobcat Cheer Team are featuring Alumni this football season giving out teeshirts designating the decades through the years.
This is the first 4 BHS alumni from the decade of 1960's and before
Pictured with Cheer Team:
Dora Lee Minick Ferguson class of 1952
Peggy Moore Vowell class of 1968
Lula Minick Gott class of 1958
Richard Gustin class of 1966
New Owners for Ozark Mountain Hoedown - Mike Nichols Returns
It's been awhile since Eureka Springs has had a country music venue....but that is getting ready to change. Country music performer Mike Nichols, well known in NW Arkansas and SW Missouri, has purchased the Ozark Mountain Hoedown and will be starring in a new country music theater presentation beginning this Saturday. Linda Boyer sat down with Mike yesterday to learn more about what he's been doing lately.........
The Greater Eureka Springs Chamber Launches New Website
The Greater Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce has updated and launched a new website for Chamber members, visitors and community. The soft launch was Aug. 1st. It has been more than 10 years since the website has been updated. The updated site gives a clear view of information for visitors and chamber information.
“The new look is refreshing and gives a better representation of our area to our visitors to the website,” said Tammy Thurow, president/COO of the Chamber. It also comes with an event calendar, job postings and news/press release that not only our members can use but our community can also submit. “Chambers are supposed to be the information hub and know everything that goes on in the city, but we are only as good as the information that is given to us. In the past we have not always received that information. I hope that the community will embrace these tools and use them,” said Thurow.
The Chamber trained members for 3 weeks on how to update their information and take advantage of all the features. Training is still available on an as need basis and members can call in to schedule their class time.
For more information about the website contact Tammy Thurow – email@example.com or call– 479.253-8737. You can also visit our website www.eurekaspringschamber.com.
Foster Children Needing Homes at All Time High
A year after Governor Asa Hutchinson said the state's foster care system was in "crisis" some troubling trends continue. The number of kids in foster care in Arkansas is now at an all time high.
The number of kids is 5,065 to be exact. DHS says it's looking internally why the number is at its highest ever, but the deputy director says there are certain families that need to help.
Each night more than 5,000 kids go to sleep without a home to stay in.
"It's the highest number of children in foster care that we've seen in the state of Arkansas, to our knowledge," said DHS deputy director Keesa Smith.
Smith says the Department is looking into the issue and so far they've come up short.
Last year, Governor Hutchinson called the situation inside Arkansas's foster care system a "crisis" and setting new goals to help them find permanent homes.
Smith says national rises in substance abuse or the need for more mental health services could be factors, but one thing she knows for sure is there's a need for more foster parents that are willing to take older kids such as teenagers.
The Department also needs help placing kids with developmental disabilities or large groups of brothers and sisters.
America's Car-Mart Reports Revenue Up
America's Car-Mart Inc. of Bentonville on Thursday reported fiscal first-quarter income of $7.1 million, up from $4.6 million in the same quarter a year ago.
Earnings per share rose to 87 cents from 52 cents. Revenue was $145.8 million, an increase from the $142.7 million it reported a year ago.
Car-Mart closed four dealerships in fiscal 2016, including one in Trumann, and has 143 dealerships in the first quarter, up two from the same quarter a year ago. Car-Mart reported its sold 11,957 vehicles in the quarter, a decrease from the 12,244 it sold in the same quarter a year ago.
The average price of a sale, though, rose from $9,965 to $10,393. The company added 1,900 accounts during the quarter for a total of 66,900.
Top of the Heap Salaries
John Tyson, chairman of Tyson Foods, and three Wal-Mart executives were among the five highest paid executives at Arkansas public companies in 2015, according to the firms' proxy statements.
Tyson earned $21.2 million, including almost $12.5 million from the value of exercised stock options.
Doug McMillon, Wal-Mart's chief executive officer, made $19.6 million; Gregory Foran, a Wal-Mart executive vice president, earned $11.5 million; and Neil Ashe, another executive vice president, made $10.8 million.
Roger Jenkins, chief executive officer at Murphy Oil, had the third highest income last year at $12.3 million.
News for Monday, August 22
Junior Fair Board Busy with Preparations for Start of Fair Saturday
Cody Clark and Emma Mejia are just two of dozens of FFA members helping with finalizing details for the start of the Carroll County Fair. They talked with Linda Boyer recently..........
Miss Carroll County Queens Contestant Interview
Our senior Miss Carroll County Queen's contestant to be interviewed by Linda Boyer today is Laraina Cenobio........
Arkansas Athletes Leave Rio with 6 Medals
In fact, that's more medals earned than roughly 40 countries competing in the 2016 Olympics.
Here's a look at who left Rio with medals and the athletes with Arkansas ties who competed...
Six athletes with ties to Arkansas won medals in their events:
Jeff Henderson, GOLD, USA. Of McAlmont (Pulaski County), long jumper finished first with a leap of 8.38.
Omar McLeod, GOLD, JAMAICA. Former Razorback who still lives in Fayetteville, 110m hurdler finished first with a time of 13.05.
Kyle Clemons, USA. GOLD NATIVE ARKANSAN. With a time of 2:58.38, the team finished second behind Jamaica in Friday night's Round 1. Clemons didn't compete in the final but still earns gold for competing in Round 1.
Taylor Ellis-Watson, GOLD - USA. Former Razorback. With a time of 3:21.42, the team finished first in Friday night's Round 1. Ellis-Watson didn't compete in the final but still earns gold for competing in Round 1.
Sandi Morris, SILVER, USA. Former Razorback, of Greenville, South Carolina captured silver with a successful vault of 4.85m. She barely missed 4.90m and a chance for gold.
Veronica Campbell-Brown, SILVER, JAMAICA. Former Razorback, won a silver as part of the 4x100m relay. It's her eighth Olympic medal.
A.S.P. Violate Freedom of Information Act
For the second time this year, a court has found that Arkansas State Police has violated the state Freedom of Information Act in the way the agency releases crash reports.
A June lawsuit by attorney Brad Hendricks of Little Rock and his law firm accused the agency of illegally slowing its release of the reports.
The Hendricks firm had been acquiring the reports for years through the Freedom of Information law. It generally requires public records to be released as soon as possible but within three days of their request.
Police officials blamed the slowdown, which Hendricks employees noticed in May, on the effort it takes to comply with a new state law that requires information that identifies children to be removed from public reports.
The crash reports now have to be examined to determine whether the child-redaction law applies before the reports can be released to the public, police officials said. The redaction process means that releasing the reports takes longer than it used to, they stated in court.
The attorney general's office, representing the police, argued that the agency is not bound by time constraints established by the open-records law.
State police don't dispute that the reports are public records but argued that the state's Transportation Code, not the Freedom of Information law, governs how much time the police can take to make them public.
New Polling Site at U of A Fayetteville Turned Down
Students at the University of Arkansas return to class Monday with the news they will not be getting a new polling site on campus.
The student body president at the U of A Connor Flocks said they will keep pushing until they finally get the approval to run a polling site on campus. In the meantime they still want students to find a nearby voting center and cast their ballot this November no matter what.
The Washington County election commission’s decision to not put a polling site in the Arkansas student union had many students wanting answers.
Arkansas student government presented the board with lots of data and even collected 2,100 signatures in the last week of those in favor of the new polling site. “If there was a place you could vote on campus at lot more people would do it,” said Freshmen Mariah Snider.
Flocks said he still doesn’t know why the commission said no to their polling site request.
Right now the closest voting location to the University is Central United Methodist church on Dickson Street.
The Washington County Election Commission decided against a new polling place at the University of Arkansas, according to Bill Ackerman with the commission.
The University of Arkansas found that nearly 80% of students would be more likely to vote if a polling place was accessible on campus.
The Washington County Election Coordinator says a new polling site would cost $6,000 to $8,000. The commissions says it still needs at least 60 volunteers to work in the elections.
Private College of Osteopathic Medicine Opening in Ft. Smith
The Arkansas Colleges of Health Education is preparing to open its first medical program at a time when the state faces a shortage of doctors, especially primary care doctors in rural areas.
The private Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Smith, Arkansas, is to open in August 2017 with a class of 150.
The Association of American Medical Colleges reports that Arkansas ranks 46th in the nation in the number of doctors per capita. Kyle Parker, CEO of the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education, says as current doctors grow older, the shortage is likely to get worse.
Arkansas had about 5,800 physicians in 2014, and three out of every 10 were at least 60 years old. Only about half were younger than 40.
State Representative Has Idea to Make Higher Education More Affordable
Amidst a political season where some politicians are advocating for free college education, one local state representative said he has a proposal which would make higher education more affordable for low income Arkansans.
State Representative Greg Leding said a proposal to eliminate student loans for low income families in Arkansas is one of the best ways to encourage students to further their education.
Leding said the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville has seen a drastic drop in low income students applying and enrolling recently.
Leding said he is proposing a no-loan policy, which would provide low income students an opportunity to graduate with little, to no, loan debt.
Leding said, by waiving student loan debts to Arkansans who come from a family making less than $48,000 a year, the number of low income students to graduate would raise.
Leding claimed the policy would have only cost the university around $20 million during the 2015-2016 school year.
Arkansans United for Medical Marijuana Turn in Additional Signatures
Supporters of a plan to legalize medical marijuana in Arkansas have turned in additional signatures in hopes of qualifying for the November ballot.
Arkansans United for Medical Marijuana need 84,859 valid signatures to make it onto the ballot this year. Secretary of State Mark Martin's office has already verified 72,309 signatures, and the group was given extra time to submit the additional signatures.
The proposal's sponsor, David Couch, says he turned in nearly 35,000 additional signatures Friday. Couch says he's confident the measure will qualify for a public vote.
The proposal would allow patients with certain medical conditions and a doctor's recommendation to buy marijuana from dispensaries. A competing medical marijuana proposal has already qualified for the ballot.
Arkansas voters narrowly rejected legalizing medical marijuana in 2012.
Rich Are Getting Richer
The rich are still getting richer in the U.S., with the wealthiest 10% controlling three-quarters of all family wealth in the country.
U.S. family wealth totaled $67 trillion in 2013.
But slices of that pie were far from equal, according to a report released Thursday from the Congressional Budget Office.
The top 10% of families -- those who had at least $942,000 -- held 76% of total wealth. The average amount of wealth in this group was $4 million.
Everyone else in the top 50% of the country accounted for 23% of total wealth, with an average of $316,000 per family.
That leaves just 1% of the total pie for the entire bottom half of the population.
The average held was $36,000 for families that fell in the 26th to 50th percentiles. But if they fell in the bottom quarter, they had zero wealth and in fact, were $13,000 in debt on average, CBO found.
Age and education made a difference in wealth accumulation.
Not surprisingly, wealth was higher for households headed by someone 65 or older. Median wealth for these families was $211,000, or almost three-and-a-half times higher than the median for households run by someone 35 to 49.
Families run by adults with college degrees, meanwhile, had a median wealth of $202,000, or nearly four times that of families headed by someone who only had a high school diploma.
News provided by News Director Linda Boyer
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Photo Courtesy of Plumlee Photography
Photo Courtesy of Plumlee Photography
Photo Courtesy of Plumlee Photography
Photo Courtesy of Plumlee Photography
Photo Courtesy of Plumlee Photography