​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​News for Wednesday, February 22

Berryville Announces 2017 Spring Clean Up

Berryville Mayor Tim McKinney at this weeks Council meeting announced the Spring Clean up dates.

Bulky Items (4 only) will be picked up April 17 and 18th, for those who live East of Springfield (trash day is on Thursday)

Bulky Items (4 Only) will be picked up April 20th and 21st for those who live West of Springfield (trash day is on Tuesday)

Bundled limbs and bagged leaves will be picked up on April 24 and 25.  Limbs must be tied in manageable bundles and leaves must be bagged and placed curbside. 

Also, bulky items must be non-hazardous.  All refrigeration units must have the freon removed and be legally tagged as "Removed/Recovered". If it fits in a 35 gallon trash bag, it WILL NOT be picked up.

This service is for private residences only.  No commercial pick-up.

Berryville Police Chief Robert Bartos gave the January monthly report of police activity.  138 tickets were written and 66 offenses were reported.  Thefts showed 16 for the month, 4 burglaries, 4 aggravated assault/battery and numerous other offenses. 

Berryville Police responded to 12 traffic accidents with most for failure to yield, improper backing and following too close.

Representatives of CH2MHILL, that manage the wastewater treatment plant, showed slides of improvements made at the treatment plant and graphs of compliances compared to EPA standards.  It appears the plant is running very smoothly and are staying well below the limits set by the ADEQ for disposal and treatment of wastewater.  The reps were very complimentary of the cooperation from Tyson's regarding the treatment of their wastewater.

Mayor McKinney announced the city will change Insurance providers to the Arkansas Municipal League since they can save over $30,000 per year in cost to insure all their buildings and property.


Anniversary Luncheon and Rememberances for the Roenigks

On February 28, 1997, a couple arrived in Eureka Springs from East Hampton, Connecticut, looking for a place to retire. Their choice was the top floor of the 1905 Basin Park Hotel. So they purchased that property and in less than three months later, they purchased the 1886 Crescent Hotel. Not because they loved hotels, but because they were preservationists and did not want to see these structures deteriorate beyond repair. This was the start of a great marriage between Elise and Marty Roenigk and the village of Eureka Springs.

On Tuesday, February 28, 2017, past employees of the two hotels and friends of Elise will gather at 11:00 a.m. downtown in the Barefoot Ballroom of the Basin Park Hotel for an anniversary luncheon and a program of remembrances. Complimentary tickets are available by going online to ReserveEureka.com/attractions/RoenigkAnniversary . Tickets must be obtained by Monday, February 27 at 12 noon. Those attending are invited to bring a remembrance that they might like to share.


Bodies Found are Missing Siloam Springs Woman and Toddler

The Benton County Sheriff's Office says a body found near Siloam Springs is that of a woman missing since September and a second is believed to be the woman's missing infant daughter.

The agency announced Tuesday that the Arkansas Crime Laboratory has identified one body as that of 35-year-old Carol Elaine Davidson and the second body is believed to be Davidson's 22-month old daughter, RoseMarry.

The mother and daughter were last seen Nov. 11 in Siloam Springs and Davidson's van was found several days later on Lookout Tower Road in the Lake Wedington section of the Ozark National Forest.

A deer hunter found one body on Saturday about 1½ miles from where the van was found and searchers returned to the area and found the second body on Sunday.


NWAOnline- Opponents of President Donald Trump packed a 2,200-seat high school theater Wednesday night, firing questions at U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton and drowning out the state's junior senator whenever they were dissatisfied with his answers.

Hundreds more stood outside the Pat Walker Theater in Springdale, unable to gain admission after the fire marshal determined that the building was already full.

A new anti-Trump group called Ozark Indivisible helped organize Wednesday's meeting.

The activists emphasized their unhappiness with the direction the country is heading, and they repeatedly drowned out the Republican lawmaker from Dardanelle, often making it impossible to hear his answers over the roar of the crowd.

Cotton stood patiently while opponents chanted "Do Your Job" and "Tax Returns, Tax Returns," a reference to the forms Trump has declined to release.

They cheered for immigrants and for protecting the environment.

They booed when Cotton tried to explain his position on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare. They booed some more when he expressed support for the use of "clean coal" technology and natural gas as part of a well-rounded national energy policy.

And they heckled him when he spoke about securing the borders and cutting the federal deficit.

Cotton was scheduled to be at the meeting for 90 minutes but announced that he would stay an extra half-hour to listen to constituents and respond to their comments.

Earlier this week, a group of Arkansas senior citizens told U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton that they like their Medicare Advantage plans, but a few expressed concerns about higher spending caps and rising medication costs.

Cotton told the group that he supports the federally-funded program and will defend it on Capitol Hill. Nonetheless, the overall health care system needs changes, he said, promising to work to improve it.

More than a dozen people participated in the North Little Rock round-table discussion, which was organized by the Coalition for Medicare Choices, a group that was founded by the insurance industry's leading trade association: America's Health Insurance Plans.

According to medicare.gov, a person can get traditional Medicare coverage through the government or can get Medicare Advantage coverage through plans offered by private companies. The companies are paid by Medicare to cover benefits.

In 2014, Medicare paid $160 billion to Medicare Advantage organizations, according to the Government Accountability Office, the agency that performs audits and investigations for Congress.

Nationwide, more than 17 million Americans have signed up for Medicare Advantage, including more than 132,000 Arkansans.


State Senate Committee Advances Bill for Online Purchase Tax Collection

A state Senate committee endorsed legislation that would require online retailers that don't collect Arkansas sales taxes to provide a list of purchases made by state residents.

The Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee on Wednesday advanced the House-passed proposal aimed at collecting millions of dollars in sales taxes from online purchases that lawmakers say the state misses. The bill would require out-of-state companies without a physical presence in Arkansas to inform customers that they owe state sales taxes on their purchases.

A more expansive Senate bill that would require online retailers to collect state sales taxes stalled before a House committee this month. The sponsor of that bill said he'll try again to pass it on Thursday.

Amazon announced earlier this month that will begin collecting Arkansas state sales taxes in March.


Medical Marijuana Commission Approves Final Set of Rules

Arkansas' Medical Marijuana Commission has approved a final set of rules on how businesses can cultivate and sell the drug.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports the rules approved Tuesday will now go up for public comment. Lawmakers must adopt them no later than May 8. Commissioners are expected to hold a hearing March 31.

Lawmakers and Gov. Asa Hutchinson approved a bill removing a requirement in the voter-approved Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment that physicians certify "the potential benefits of the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the health risks for the qualifying patient."

In December, the commission determined to allow for 32 dispensaries and five cultivation facilities. The commission will choose growers based on their applications' merits. Dispensaries would be able to grow up to 50 "mature" plants.


News from Associated Press

Amazon says Arkansas prosecutors looking to obtain potential recordings from a slaying suspect's Amazon Echo smart speaker haven't established that their investigation is more important than a customer's privacy rights. The issue comes in the investigation into the death of Victor Collins, who was found floating in a hot tub in a friend's Bentonville home in November 2015.

Arkansas State University has suspended all fraternity and sorority social events until April 1 after a student was accused of raping a woman at a fraternity party. The letter was sent out Tuesday by the university's Greek Life officials. The suspension includes "all registered social events, drop-ins, formals, semi-formals, date nights" or any other social events.

An Arkansas Senate committee has advanced legislation that would allow people 25 and older to carry a concealed handgun on a college campus if they undergo certain training. The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday endorsed and sent to the full Senate the revised bill that requires colleges and universities to allow concealed handguns on campus. The bill allows anyone 25 or older with a state concealed handgun license to carry on campus if they undergo up to 16 hours of active shooter training.

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an attempt by Arkansas inmates to stop their executions over claims that their deaths would be "intolerably painful." The nine inmates asked the justices to review an Arkansas Supreme Court decision upholding a law that keeps the source of the lethal injection drugs secret. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge says she will ask Gov. Asa Hutchinson to set execution dates for the inmates whose appeals have been exhausted.


Spills Common From Fracking

Fracking is both a popular and controversial way of getting natural gas and oil out of the ground. But a new study shows spills are more common than we thought.

Fracking is a process of pressurizing water and chemicals to crack open bedrock and release trapped oil and natural gas.

That dirty water worries environmental activists. They say it has the potential to spill or leak and contaminate local water supplies and harm the environment.

The journal Environmental Science & Technology published a report that analyzed data from four states with major hydraulic fracking operations.

It found more than 6,600 spills between 2005 and 2014.

That's way up from a study by the Environmental Protection Agency, which only found 457 spills between 2006 and 2012.

That discrepancy, in part, is because of different requirements for reporting a spill.

North Dakota accounted for two-thirds of the 6,600 spills. The state reports spills of 42 gallons or more to the EPA.

Pennsylvania, Colorado and New Mexico were the other states in the report. Colorado and New Mexico report spills of 210 gallons or more.

About half of the spills were during movement or storage, rather than actual drilling.

And a pro-extraction group makes the point that 70 percent of the North Dakota spills in 2013 happened on the well pad and never touched land or water.

But the scientists who published the report say the discrepancy in reporting figures illustrates a need for more uniform reporting requirements. 

News provided by News Director Linda Boyer