Berryville  Elementary Pledge of Allegiance


Arkansas Tourism Names Finalists for Henry Awards

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  Awards recognize excellence in tourism across the state

The winners of the Excellence in Arkansas Tourism Henry Awards will be revealed at the 46th Annual Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism to be held in Fort Smith March 1-3, 2020. The Henry Awards ceremony will take place the evening of Tuesday, March 3. The awards honor Henri de Tonti, the man historians consider to be among the first “Arkansas Travelers.”
 

The awards and respective finalists include, among others:
 

The Exceptional Use of Social Media Award, which is presented to a community or organization that has demonstrated effective and innovative use of social media for a specific campaign or special event to promote tourism, community pride, or placemaking.
– Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau
Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge
– Mississippi River State Park and Helena Adventure Company
 

The Distinguished Volunteer Service Award, which is presented to an individual or group that has made a substantial contribution to Arkansas’s tourism industry while demonstrating outstanding volunteer spirit.
– Julie Johnson for the Cave City Watermelon Festival
– Clinton Presidential Center volunteers
Eureka Springs Arts Council
 

The Tourism Region of the Year (2020 People’s Choice Award), which is presented to one of Arkansas’s 12 Regional Tourist Associations for excellence over the course of the previous year. The award is voted on by the Arkansas Tourism industry and all registered conference attendees. The winner is chosen from public nominations by conference registrants through an online vote.
– Northwest Arkansas Tourism Association
– Ozark Mountain Region
– Arkansas Delta Byways
 

During the Henry Awards ceremony, the Tourism Person of the Year Awardwill also be announced. Selected by former honorees, the Tourism Person of the Year Award is presented annually to an individual who has been actively involved in tourism and who has made a substantial contribution, within the past year, to the betterment of the tourism industry as a whole.
 

The Tourism Hall of Fame Award is presented the previous day of the conference, recognizing individuals who have been actively involved for many years in tourism and have made substantial contributions to the betterment of the industry.
 

For more information on the 46th Annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism, contact Arkansas Tourism at 501-682-1926. For specific information on the Henry Awards, contact Leigha Jones at 501-682-1676.

 

Medical Marijuana Commission Preparing to Meet with Dispensary and Growing Companies

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  Frustrated with the slow rollout of Arkansas' medical-marijuana industry, the state's licensing panel is putting cannabis companies on the clock: Open to the public in the next few months or be prepared to face questions.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission is preparing to meet with all 32 dispensary operators and all five growing companies to determine if their licenses should be renewed for another year.

Sixteen dispensaries remain unopened a year after the first licenses were issued, and several have yet to even break ground. Commissioners hinted last week that companies that haven't opened or begun making progress could lose their licenses.

The five-member board rejected requests from two non-functioning dispensaries to sell their licenses to new owners. Commissioner Travis Story, a Fayetteville attorney, told the groups that it wouldn't be fair to allow them to sell their licenses when those licenses were awarded based in part on when the groups said they could open.

The 15th and 16th dispensaries opened over the past two weeks, and two more -- Harvest House of Cannabis in Little Rock and Plant Family Therapeutics in Mountain Home -- have requested final inspections.

As of Friday, the Arkansas Department of Health had approved 34,994 medical-marijuana cards. The ID cards are available to patients suffering from one of 18 qualifying conditions or their caregivers.

Since the first medical-cannabis sale in May, dispensaries have sold more than 5,000 pounds of marijuana, totaling more than $33 million in sales, according to state regulators.

Americans Increasingly Alarmed by Global Warming

  The proportion of Americans who are “alarmed” by global warming tripled over the last five years and is now at an all-time high, a new survey shows.

Almost 6 in 10 Americans are either “alarmed” or “concerned” by global warming, marking what researchers say is a major shift in public perception of the issue.

The survey was conducted by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication, which together have tracked Americans’ views on climate change since 2008.

As recently as 2014, the percentage of Americans categorized as “dismissive” of global warming was roughly the same as those who were “alarmed” — around 11 to 12%.

But in the years since, the ranks of the “dismissive” — those who believe global warming is not happening or caused by humans — has fallen to just 10%.

Over the same time, the “alarmed” group — people who are most worried about global warming and support measures to reduce heat-trapping carbon pollution — grew to 31% of those surveyed, and today outnumber the dismissive crowd by more than 3-to-1.

The findings show that as the global climate changes rapidly, a growing proportion of Americans view the climate crisis as an actual crisis.

Then, there are the increasing number of extreme weather disasters that have directly impacted many Americans.

Climate change has made many of these events more likely and more destructive. Reporters and public figures are helping people to connect the dots, Leiserowitz says.

Roaring River Recieves Governor's Award

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  Roaring River State Park Hatchery employees traveled to the Missouri Capitol on Thursday to receive the Governor’s Award for its First Hole program. 

Paul Spurgeon, Roaring River Hatchery manager, said the Governor’s Award was received for the programs quality and productivity in the innovation category.

“The program allows schools, veterans and disabled groups to come fish the first hole for free,” he said. “Roaring River will provide tackle, poles, permits and education to the groups.”

Roaring River is the only Hatchery in the state that administers this program.

The biggest initiative taken is teaching children how to fish.

Spurgeon said he encourages people to volunteer to help instruct the groups on how to bait the poles, cast and get the fish on a stringer.

Over the last four to five years, it has also become about therapy.

Nursing homes also bring out their more mobile residents, who also tend to use it as therapy.

Spurgeon said Roaring River is always looking for volunteers, and people may call the Hatchery at 417-847-2430 for more information.

A.G. Rutledge Warns of Health Club Memberships

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  One of the top New Year’s Resolutions is to join a gym and get in shape. If that is your goal for 2020, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has a warning.

“Investing in your health is important for your physical and mental well being,” Attorney General Rutledge said in a press release. “But reading the fine print, getting all sales promises in writing and knowing the cancellation and billing policies are crucial in securing your fiscal well being and avoiding any unfortunate surprises.” 

Rutledge shared some concerns received by her office on poor practices at health clubs and what to look out for before signing on the dotted line.

· Visit the spa or gym during the hours you would normally attend. Note the condition and cleanliness of the equipment and if the facilities are overcrowded. 

· Compare several gyms in the area. 

· Ask about trial periods so you can sample the gym without obligation to join. 

· Ask about hours of operation and any limits to certain memberships. 

· Do instructors and trainers have special qualifications or expertise to best serve its members? 

· Ask what the cancellation policy is upfront and the costs of any joining or cancellation fees. 

· Consider the form of payment. Remember which bank card or bank account number are on file to make the cancellation process easier. 

· Ask about automatic renewal policies and any recurring annual fees. 

· If signing a contract for a specific time period, are there extenuating circumstances that would allow breaks in the contract such as injury, illness or moving?

Before joining a fitness center, consider contacting the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office or the Better Business Bureau to find out if complaints have been filed against the gym.

Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas to sponsor State Spelling Bee

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  The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas will sponsor the Arkansas State Spelling Bee on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020 at Cabot High School. The event begins at 9 a.m.

Approximately 78,247 students from 500 schools in 60 counties across Arkansas will participate in local and county contests leading up to the February contest. One winner from each county will participate in the statewide spelling bee. The Arkansas winner will proceed to The Scripps National Spelling Bee, the nation’s largest and longest-running educational program. 

The purpose of the Scripps National Spelling Bee is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts and develop correct English usage that will help them throughout their lives. 

Learn more about the Arkansas State Spelling Bee at: https://sites.google.com/view/arspellingbee/home

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Bob Ballinger

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  January 10, 2020

LITTLE ROCK – Thanks to legislation enacted in 1993, Arkansas continues to experience a competitive market for workers’ compensation insurance.

The state Insurance Department performs an annual study of the market and reports to the Senate Committee on Insurance and Commerce. According to the latest study, “Arkansas’s voluntary workers’ compensation market would have disappeared and many employers would have found themselves unable to afford workers’ compensation coverage, facing the choice of either closing down their business or operating outside the law, had Act 796 not become reality.”

To emphasize its conclusion, the report states that “the impact of the Act on workers’ compensation premiums is clear and significant. Prior to its enactment rates were increasing significantly.”

In the two years immediately before the legislature approved Act 796 of 1993, rates increased 15 % and 18 %.

However, the year in which the act passed was the first time in 10 years that workers’ comp rates did not go up.

The act created a division within the Insurance Department assigned to investigate fraud, and set financial penalties for fraudulently making workers’ comp claims. In 2005 the division’s authority was expanded to investigate all forms of insurance fraud, and it was renamed the Criminal Investigation Division of the Insurance Department.

Workers’ comp fraud makes up four % of the total number of insurance fraud cases investigated by the division.

Since 1993, when the investigation division was created, it has referred 166 cases to local prosecutors. Those referrals resulted in 123 convictions and three acquittals. The remaining cases were not acted on by prosecuting attorneys.

Arkansas companies can get workers’ comp from two categories. The most affordable plans are in the voluntary market. The other plan is an assigned risk pool for companies that do not generally qualify for the more affordable coverage available on the voluntary market.

The Insurance Department annual report concludes that without the changes made by the legislature in Act 796 of 1993, it is doubtful that a voluntary market would still exist in Arkansas. The assigned risk pool, which is typically considered the market of last resort, would likely have become the Arkansas workers’ comp market of “only resort,” the insurance officials reported.

Deficit Spending

The state’s chief fiscal officer recently appeared before a Congressional committee in Washington, D.C. He briefed federal officials on the history of the Arkansas balanced budget amendment, and how state government can operate efficiently under a balanced budget every year.

The U.S. government is expected to run a deficit of $984 billion this fiscal year.

Arkansas voters approved Amendment 20 to the state Constitution in 1934, which prohibits the state from borrowing money without approval by citizens in a statewide vote. Amendment 20 was placed on the ballot by the 1933 legislature.

In 1945 the legislature approved the Revenue Stabilization Act, which prioritizes state spending. If revenue declines due to a slowdown in the economy, state agency spending is reduced accordingly.

01-17-2020

Eureka Springs Man Pleads Innocent to Felony Charge

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  A Eureka Springs man pleaded innocent Wednesday to a felony charge alleging he sent sexually explicit images of himself to a minor.

Robert Dunbar Jr., 36, faces one count of computer child pornography.

A student told a Mountain Home school resource officer in September that an adult sent her explicit photos of himself through social media, according to a probable cause affidavit. 

The officer reported it to the Child Abuse Hotline but was told the incident did not “meet the requirements to open a case,” according to the affidavit. She then reported the information to the Marion County sheriff’s office.

A deputy met with the girl and her parents, who reportedly showed the investigator the messages. According to the affidavt, the messages were sent from an account believed to be operated by Dunbar.

The girl and her parents told authorities the messages at first were not unusual, but they "quickly" became inappropriate, according to the affidavit.

The girl received multiple explicit photos and videos through December, police wrote. Dunbar was booked into the Marion County jail on Friday, and he entered the innocent plea in Marion County Circuit Court.

He remained in jail on Thursday in lieu of $25,000 bond.

Arkansas Highway Commission Approves Bid for Improvements in Carroll County

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  The Arkansas State Highway Commission has approved a bid for improvements to a roadway in Carroll County, according to Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) officials. 

The purpose of this project is to resurface 16.8 miles of State Highway 21 between U.S. Highway 412 and Berryville. 

Hutchens Construction Company, LLC of Cassville, Missouri, was awarded the contract at $3,923,673.37. 

Construction is scheduled to begin in two to four weeks, weather permitting. Completion is expected in mid 2020. 

Travel information can be found at IDriveArkansas.com or ArDOT.gov. You can also follow us on Twitter @myARDOT. 

Rogers McDonald's Employee Named One of Top Managers in the World

  A Rogers, Ar., McDonald's employee has been named one of the company's top managers in the world.

Out of the 36,500 McDonald's general managers across the world, Kristy Doss is being recognized as one of the best.

Doss, who is the manager of the McDonald's on Walnut Street in Rogers, received the Ray Kroc Award for her leadership. It's an accolade that recognizes the top-performing McDonald's managers globally.

She is one of the 365 managers from 60 markets, representing the top one percent of the manager, to receive the honor. The award includes a cash prize and a trophy.

Doss will be awarded at the Ray Kroc Awards Gala in Orlando, Florida on April 22.

"Receiving the Ray Kroc Award is an unexpected surprise and I am honored to be recognized in this manner," Doss said. "I am grateful for the unwavering support of my restaurant employees, all of whom use the skills made available to them by McDonald's to succeed and attain their goals both in and out of the restaurant. Their hard work made achieving this award that much easier."

Ray Kroc built the McDonald's business on the belief that greatness can only be achieved through the dedication and support of a company's people.

Eight Arkansas Communities Receive Water and Wastewater Project Funding

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  The Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Commission approved funding for water and wastewater projects in eight Arkansas communities on January 16, 2020, which included a Huntsville project:

The City of Huntsville in Madison County received a $309,000 loan from the Arkansas Water Development Fund to build a new water storage tank to serve 1,202 customers.

More information about the Natural Resource Division’s water and wastewater programs can be found at https://www.anrc.arkansas.gov/divisions/water-resources-development/or by contacting Kaetlynn Melton at kaetlynn.melton@arkansas.gov or 501-682-0547.

Learn more about the Arkansas Department of Agriculture at https://www.aad.arkansas.gov/

Flu Vaccine Not a Good Match of Common Strain

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Nearly two dozen people have died from flu related illnesses in the state of Arkansas. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that this year’s flu shot is not a very good match to fight a common strain of influenza.​

Dr. Gary Wheeler with the Arkansas Department of Health said having mismatching vaccines is very common.​ Regardless of the match level, getting the vaccine is still the best way to protect yourself from getting sick.​

The most recent flu report from the state found that about 48% of people infected with the virus had Influenza A and 52% had Influenza B.

In a report from the CDC, it found the vaccine is not a good match for Influenza B, this year. ​It said the shot is about 58% effective.​ 

Wheeler said every year, scientists analyze which strains of flu are circulating and use the data to create a vaccine.​ “​There are four different strains of the vaccines and to get them all matched is not something that happens all the time. ​We try to match it up and hope that the immune system will create an immune response that will protect patients and families.”

Wheeler said getting the vaccine still reduces your risk of serious illness.

Alice Walton Announces Whole Health Institute and chopra Medical Library

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  The healthcare system is broken, and more aptly reflects a disease-care system, according to Alice Walton, philanthropist and daughter of Walmart founders Helen and Sam Walton.

She spoke Wednesday (Jan. 15) at the Northwest Arkansas Council’s winter meeting in Bentonville and announced the formation of the Whole Health Institute and Chopra Medical Library. Walton said the center will be in Bentonville and will work to improve the health in the region and around the state with impacts that will also be felt across the nation.

“We have a system that is piecemeal at best and still not affordable for many, despite its annual costs which are 17% of the nation’s GDP,” Walton said. “We need a holistic approach that incorporates mind, body and spirit. Whole health tools do exist around the country and we want to be part of the solution to change healthcare.”

Details on the new center were not fully revealed on Wednesday, and officials declined to provide cost estimates on the initial launch of the institute and estimates on annual operating costs.

High Hopes for Missouri's First Legal Industrial Hemp Harvest

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  Expectations are soaring for Missouri’s first legal industrial hemp harvest in 70 years.

Once Missouri growers attain a license, they can grow hemp and sell it to a buyer in the rapidly growing CBD oil industry.

Some believe there are billions to be made.

That’s why some farmers are at a two day hemp seminar in independence this week.

Anyone interested can buy a $1,000 acre to learn how to harvest hemp.

Steve Uehlin | St. Joseph farmer
‘Fifteen hundred acres two generations corn soybeans wheat’,” said Steve Uehlin, St. Joseph farmer, “can`t make any money doing anything else so we just look at this exploring it

Experts say hemp farming is low risk, but you should start small.

Insulin Prices Show Dramatic Increase

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  The drug that people who live with diabetes rely on to survive is becoming more and more expensive.

This is a nationwide issue, but here in Arkansas, a new study finds a dramatic increase in insulin prices in the last five years.

It’s been reported nationally that several drug types have been rapidly increasing in price, but Dr. Joe Thompson, President and CEO of Arkansas Center for Health Improvement, said they wanted to dig a little deeper on a drug that’s been around for decades.

More than 30 million Americans live with diabetes and are dependent on this one life-saving medication.

Thompson said insulin has been around for a long time treating this common condition.

Thompson said a recent analysis by ACHI, conducted by data from the Arkansas Transparency Initiative, discovered that the average cost of insulin prescription in Arkansas rose by 54% between 2013 and 2018.

According to the study, in 2013, people were paying $401 a year for an insulin prescription and that skyrocketed up to $617 by 2018.

Thompson said this is extremely problematic.

“We have individuals across the state who are not able to afford the drugs that they need and we need to understand exactly why the prices are going up and where that money is going,” he said.

These looming questions are why Thompson, along with state legislature and the Arkansas Commissioner of Insurance, are trying to track the cost of insulin from the pharmaceutical company to the pharmacy benefits managers that bought the drug to the pharmacy that then sells it to the patient.

Thompson said he believes this is a national issue and that Congress needs to take action immediately because he is concerned more people are going to start rationing their insulin.

01-16-2020

Pine Mountain $10M Redevelopment Project Underway

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  The developers of a new hospitality destination in Eureka Springs say it will be a regional draw for mountain bikers, motorcyclists, foodies and sightseers.

Pine Mountain is a redevelopment of the Pine Mountain Village and Pine Mountain Jamboree at 2075 E. Van Buren Ave., and about 40 acres of adjoining forested hills.

According to a news release issued Wednesday (Jan. 15), the $10 million development will incorporate two farm-to-table restaurants, a fast-casual cafe, 15 cabins, boutique shopping, a 200-person event center, outdoor event space and more than three miles of mixed-use walking/hiking/biking trails.

The destination is expected to create more than 100 hospitality jobs. The resort will open in phases, with all properties expected to be open by fall 2020. Shea Design of Minnesota is the lead designer and C.R. Crawford of Fayetteville is the general contractor.

Chef and entrepreneur Marshall Johnson and his father, Paul Johnson, own the property and are the Pine Mountain developers. Marshall is the owner of Eureka Springs restaurant Rockin’ Pig Saloon. Paul and his wife, Susan, own Pig Trail Harley-Davidson dealerships in Rogers and Eureka Springs.

The city and surrounding region is a popular destination for motorcycling as well. As Harley-Davidson dealers, the family has actively promoted that for years.

Prosecutors Will Not Pursue Charges of Huntsville School Employees

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  Fourth Judicial District prosecutors will not pursue charges against Huntsville School District employees, something former football coach and dean of students Randy Barnhill had sought.

Barnhill sought to press charges against current coach Matt Williams for “illegally intercepted text messages.” Barnhill initially filed a complaint with the Fayetteville Police Department, then did the same with the Huntsville Police Department.

Williams succeeded Barnhill as Huntsville’s head football coach in 2019.

Barnhill, who lives in Fayetteville, in September 2019 was escorted from Huntsville High School after text messages were discovered between himself and Elkins Head Football Coach Bryan Hutson, in which Barnhill provided Hutson information about the HHS football team’s playbook, including plays and signals.

The messages offered insights into Huntsville’s football team, play calls, alignments and other inside information. The exchanges happened leading up to when Elkins played at Huntsville on Sept. 20 last season.

Elkins won the game 35-0. The text messages between Barnhill and Hutson were discovered on the Huntsville football team’s iPad, which had been linked to Barnhill’s iTunes account.

Barnhill later resigned his position with the school district while Hutson was given a one-week suspension without pay. Barnhill on his Facebook page said he now works as an account executive with Smart Data Dashboard.

St. Paul Principal Loses Home from Tornado

  Just seconds after shutting the door of his storm shelter, a tornado ripped apart the house of St. Paul Principal Bruce Dunlap in Scranton Friday evening.

“It was a frightening ordeal,” Dunlap said Monday from St. Paul Schools. Dunlap, his wife, Ona, and a friend who lives with them entered the shelter around 8 p.m. Friday. He said it was 10-15 seconds later that the tornado hit his property.

Dunlap, who also coaches boys basketball at St. Paul, said Ona and the family friend entered the shelter first.

The family dog, a Great Pyrenees, was lying unhurt on insulation when the Dunlaps returned to the house on Saturday.

Dunlap said his family has used the shelter 8-10 times in the past as a precaution when threatening weather was around Scranton.

The National Weather Service confirmed that 10 tornadoes touched down in the state Friday night and Saturday morning.

MSU Hires Bobby Petrino

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  Missouri State announced Wednesday morning that Bobby Petrino will be the next Bears’ 21st Head Football Coach. 

Petrino will be officially welcomed Thursday, January 16th at 8:45 AM in the Prime Overtime Club of JQH Arena.

The former Arkansas and Louisville Head Coach has a career record of 119-56 in 14 seasons.

Petrino was fired by the Razorbacks in April, 2012 after he was injured in a motorcycle accident involving his 25-year-old mistress, a former Razorbacks Foundation employee whom Petrino had hired four days before the accident.

He went on to apologize for how his time in Arkansas finished and went on to be the head coach for Western Kentucky and then Louisville.

He was fired by the Cardinals in 2018 amid a 2-8 season after the departure of Heisman winning quarterback Lamar Jackson.

He comes to a Bears team that has not had a winning season since 2009 and has not made the playoffs since 1990.

Dramatic Increase in Insulin Prices

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  The drug that people who live with diabetes rely on to survive is becoming more and more expensive.

This is a nationwide issue, but here in Arkansas, a new study finds a dramatic increase in insulin prices in the last five years.

It’s been reported nationally that several drug types have been rapidly increasing in price, but Dr. Joe Thompson, President and CEO of Arkansas Center for Health Improvement, said they wanted to dig a little deeper on a drug that’s been around for decades.

More than 30 million Americans live with diabetes and are dependent on this one life-saving medication.

Thompson said insulin has been around for a long time treating this common condition.

Thompson said a recent analysis by ACHI, conducted by data from the Arkansas Transparency Initiative, discovered that the average cost of insulin prescription in Arkansas rose by 54% between 2013 and 2018.

According to the study, in 2013, people were paying $401 a year for an insulin prescription and that skyrocketed up to $617 by 2018.

Thompson said this is extremely problematic.

“We have individuals across the state who are not able to afford the drugs that they need and we need to understand exactly why the prices are going up and where that money is going,” he said.

These looming questions are why Thompson, along with state legislature and the Arkansas Commissioner of Insurance, are trying to track the cost of insulin from the pharmaceutical company to the pharmacy benefits managers that bought the drug to the pharmacy that then sells it to the patient.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Announces 2020 Inductees

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  The 35th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, presented by Klipsch Audio, will take place on Saturday, May 2, 2020 at Public Auditorium in Cleveland, Ohio. The Ceremony will be broadcast live for the first time on HBO on May 2nd at 8 p.m. ET. Performances and special guests will be announced later. 

The names of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s 2020 Inductees have been released. They are:

Performer Category:

• Depeche Mode

• The Doobie Brothers

• Whitney Houston

• Nine Inch Nails

• The Notorious B.I.G.

• T.Rex

Four of the Inductees were on the ballot for the first time, including: The Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, Notorious B.I.G., and T.Rex. Tickets Go On Sale February 27th. 

Brooks and Dunn Reuniting for 2020 Tour

Country music duo Brooks & Dunn are planning to share the concert stage for the first time in 10 years with a new tour.

Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn announced an 18-date U.S. tour beginning in May.

“The memories of playing live are what have kept the fire burning for us,” Brooks said. “Performers who have had the kind of nights like we’ve had with our fans can never really let that go. Live is where we’re most at home, and it’s gonna feel good to be back in the saddle; let’s rodeo! We’ll see y’all out there on the trail.”

The musicians are known for their many chart-topping hits like “Boot Scootin’ Boogie,” “My Maria” and “Red Dirt Road.”

The duo released the album “Reboot” in 2019, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard U.S. Top Country Albums in April.

You can view a list of dates and venues here.Ticket information is expected to be released at a later date.

01-15-2020

Eureka Springs Hospital Back on Track

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  Eureka Springs residents are happy to hear their community hospital, will soon have a new management company takeover and transition has already begun.

For months, Allegiance Health Management and the Eureka Springs Hospital commission were at odds over the condition of the hospital. The commission contended the building was in a state of disrepair. Allegiance disagreed. The commission was ready to go to court to seek a declaratory judgment against Allegiance for violating the terms of its lease, but that ended up not being necessary because Allegiance agreed to leave.

A new management company, Alliance Management Group is now on-site and will begin transition of hospital operations. 

Eureka Springs Man Held on Felony Computer Child Pornography Charge

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  A Carroll County man, 36-year-old Robert Hayes Dunbar Jr. of Eureka Springs, is being held in the Marion County jail on one felony count of computer child pornography.

According to the affidavit, a criminal investigator with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by a Mountain Home school resource officer in late September in reference to a complaint she received from a female student under the age of 15.

The student told the SRO she had received pictures of a male’s genitalia through three social medical platforms. The suspect, Dunbar, is reportedly the father of the student’s friend. 

In December, the investigator was advised the student had allegedly received additional sexually explicit messages from Dunbar.

First Child Flu Death Recorded

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  The first child death in the 2019-20 Arkansas flu season has been announced by state health officials.

The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) reported the pediatric death in its weekly flu report (for the week that ended Jan. 11) released on Tuesday.

The report also sees a jump to 23 in overall flu deaths this season. That’s eight more than in last week’s report.

The child victim was aged 5-17, said the ADH.

Report Key Points:
• For Week 2, Arkansas reported “Widespread” activity to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for geographic spread of influenza, and “High” or 9 out of 10 for ILI intensity. 

• Since September 29, 2019, 8,800 positive influenza tests have been reported to the ADH online database by health care providers, with over 1,100 positive tests reported this week. Please note that reported cases reflect only a portion of the actual numbers of flu cases in the state. 

• Among flu antigen tests this season that can distinguish between influenza A and B virus types, 48 percent were influenza A, and 52 percent were influenza B. 

• The average school absenteeism rate last week was 5.4 percent among public schools. 

• To date, 23 influenza-related deaths have been reported in Arkansas this flu season, one of them was a pediatric death. CDC estimates a total of 4,800 flu deaths have occurred nationwide including 32 pediatric deaths reported this season. 

Three Earthquakes Recorded in New Madrid Fault

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  Two small earthquakes were recorded in the Bootheel Monday, Jan. 13 and Tuesday, Jan. 14.

The first quake was registered at 1.7 magnitude at 3:01 p.m. on Monday. According to the USGS, the epicenter was 1.3 miles east-southeast of Marston, Missouri in New Madrid County.

The second quake also registered at 1.7 magnitude. The second quake was recorded at 2:03 a.m. on Tuesday. According to the USGS, the epicenter was 3.9 miles east of Hayward, Mo. in Pemiscot County.

Later on Tuesday at 5:01 a.m., a third quake was recorded at 2.3 magnitude in the southwest portion of Fulton County, Kentucky.

All three quakes are part of the New Madrid Seismic Network.

Two Arkansans Accused of Scheme to Defraud Military Health Insurer

  An Arkansas doctor and a medical sales representative have been accused of taking part in a scheme which defrauded the U.S. military’s health insurer of more than $12 million.

Federal prosecutors announced Friday that Dr. Joe David May and Derek Clifton have been charged in a 43-count indictment. Both men are from Alexander.

According to prosecutors, Tricare, the military insurer, paid over $12 million in 2015 for prescriptions, which were rubber stamped without examining patients.

The indictment says the two men also took part in a widespread effort to obstruct an investigation by authorities.

The charges in the indictment include conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud, anti-kickback violations, aggravated identity theft, money laundering, lying to the FBI, falsifying records and obstruction of justice.

According to the indictment, Tricare beneficiaries allegedly were recruited, sometimes for pay, to receive expensive compounded drugs they didn’t need. Prescriptions went to a Mississippi pharmacy, which shipped drugs nationwide and billed Tricare for reimbursement.

Authorities allege Clifton, a former basketball coach in Baxter County, sent May pre-filled prescriptions and May rubber stamped them for over 100 beneficiaries, for which Tricare paid $4.5 million.

Jimmy Johnson to be Inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame

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  Jimmy Johnson, who coached the Dallas Cowboys to two Super Bowl championships in the 1990s, has been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The hall announced his selection Sunday night as part of a centennial class that was chosen on Wednesday by a special committee. Former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher was revealed Saturday night as the other coach being inducted.

A successful college coach at Oklahoma State and Miami, where he won a national championship in 1987, Johnson was hired in 1989 by new Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. His initial team went 1-15, but Johnson rebuilt the roster — including trading star running back Herschel Walker to Minnesota for a slew of draft picks and players who were converted into draft choices. That deal is considered among the most one-sided in sports history, and it netted, among others, the draft pick that brought Emmitt Smith to Dallas.

Johnson left the Cowboys after the back-to-back championships for the 1992 and ’93 seasons in a dispute with Jones. But the roster he built, under his college rival Barry Switzer, won the 1995 NFL crown, too.

Johnson later coached the Miami Dolphins before becoming a Fox TV analyst.

Heartburn Medications Being Recalled

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  The Food and Drug Administration is recalling some common heartburn medications because of the presence of an impurity that may cause cancer.

Denton pharma inc recalled several batches of antacid medications that may contain a carcinogenic ingredient.

The FDA said the ingredient, NDMA, is found in ranitidine tablets, Zantac, and other heartburn medications.

The recall impacts all unexpired lots of 150-milligram and 300-milligram tablets.

NDMA is becoming an increasing concern in medications.

The most recent FDA recall last fall reported trace amounts of the contaminant had been found in both branded and generic versions of the drug, triggering weeks of recalls.

Branson Musician Killed in Crash

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  A musician from the Missouri tourist town of Branson has been killed in a crash. 

30-year-old Austin Sanders died Saturday night on U.S. 65. His father, Terry Sanders, said his son went off the side of the road after falling asleep at the wheel. 

Terry Sanders, who also is a musician, said his son played guitar in two bands — Snake Fighter and Venus of Willendorf. He expressed thanks for the outpouring of supportive texts, emails, phone calls and social media posts. 

"This," he said of the messages, "speaks volumes of who our son, Austin Cole Sanders, was and how he has touched their lives."

Sanders' friend Kody Schmitt said Sanders was well-known for his enthusiastic stage presence — whether there were 10 people in the audience or 100.

01-14-2019

Berryville Police Make Arrests from McDonald's Robbery

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  Berryville Police have made arrests after an exhaustive investigation into the November 14th robbery of the Berryville McDonalds.

Berryville Police Chief Robert Bartos reported Monday two adults and two juveniles have been arrested. The adults are Quintin Hayes, 19, of Berryville and Blaine Nelson, 18, of Berryville. Hayes was charged with aggravated robbery and Nelson with aggravated robbery and terroristic threatening. Each were being held on $100,000 bond.

Two juveniles from Berryville were also arrested and taken into custody. 

Berryville Police are still investigating a robbery at Subway on December 30th, where an undetermined amount of cash was taken. No gun was displayed at the Subway robbery. 

What's New in Medicare of 2020?

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Rebecca Davis with Area Agency on Aging has some answers for us..............

https://soundcloud.com/user-984958735/sets/medicare-minute 

Part 1

Part 2

Governor Allows Refugees to Relocate to Arkansas

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  Governor Asa Hutchinson announced Monday that the state of Arkansas will continue to allow refugees relocate in the state. He said, “A refugee is not someone who crosses our borders illegally or someone who enters our country and claims asylum. A refugee coming to America is not an illegal entrant.”

City, County, and Local Affairs committee chairman State Senator Gary Stubblefield (R – District 4) pressed about the cost to taxpayers the governor responded by pointing out a Trump Administration report that said the economic impact of refugees in the United States was a net positive of $16.9 billion. Stubblefield also pointed out that refugees are getting benefits that are not afforded to veterans to which Gov. Hutchinson responded that refugees are not given any benefits that are beyond what any citizen can qualify for. 

Gov. Hutchinson also said relocation will only be permitted in the areas that put in writing that they will allow for it. Those areas are Washington County, Springdale, and Fayetteville. 

Hutchinson added that approximately 18,000 refugees will be allowed into the country this year and out of that about 50 will be relocated to Arkansas.

U.S. Attorney Resigns to go to Work for Tyson Foods

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  U.S. Attorney Duane "Dak" Kees, of Bentonville, has resigned from his position.

According to a press release, Kees' resignation will go into effect on Jan. 17.

Kees will be joining Tyson Foods as the Chief Counsel for Global Investigations and Regulatory Compliance.

According to a Tyson memo, in his new role, Kees will be responsible for enterprise-wide assessment and response to regulatory issues, inquiries and investigations for the company.

In addition to his new role at Tyson, Kees will continue to serve in the Arkansas National Guard as a Brigade Judge Advocate with the rank of major, according to the memo.

During his tenure as U.S. Attorney, Kees served on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee and was chair of the Veterans’ Rights Subcommittee.

As U.S. Attorney, Kees oversaw the prosecution of several public corruption cases, including the case against Jonathan Woods, a former Arkansas State Senator, who was convicted in 2018 of conspiracy, honest services mail and wire fraud and money laundering and was sentenced to 18 years in federal prison.

Kees also oversaw the prosecution of many violent armed criminals under the Project Safe Neighborhood (PSN) initiative and child abusers under the Project Safe Childhood (PSC) initiative.

Physician Shortages Being Dealt With

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  Finding a doctor may have just gotten a little easier – all thanks to a new world-class medical education training center that is expected to help with one of the state’s biggest problems – the physician shortage. 

The new 4 story facility located in North Little Rock is part of a partnership between Baptist Health and UAMS Medical Education Program. 

Troy Wells, President and CEO of Baptist Health says the program aims to help train new doctors who are more likely to stay in-state while keeping Arkansans healthy. 

“Physician shortages rural states, in particular, have a really difficult time training and producing enough physicians to support the health care needs of the state,” says Wells. “It’s really hard to recruit physicians from other states into Arkansas. So the best way to solve the problem is you grow more internally in the state and that’s what we are doing here today.” 

Governor Asa Hutchinson and North Little Rock Mayor Joe Smith where just a few of the people who came out in support. 

There are currently 24 new physicians already training at the medical center with another 120 expected to be added. 

C.W.D. Predominantly in NWA

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  Chronic wasting disease in deer remains predominantly in northwestern Arkansas, but it casts a shadow on hunting statewide, according to the chairman of the Arkansas Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus.

While there has never been a case of the disease transmitting to humans, many hunters would rather err on the side of caution with what they eat.

The disease remains predominantly in three rural counties in northwestern Arkansas, according to the state Game and Fish Commission.

As of Dec. 3, the commission has confirmed 770 cases of the disease in Arkansas. Of those, 664, or 86%, are in Newton, Boone and Carroll counties. The state's deer seasons -- modern gun, bow season, muzzle-loader -- run at various times from September to February.

At least one case has been found in 13 of Arkansas' 75 counties, all in northern Arkansas. Independence County has the farthest eastern confirmed case. Scott County is the farthest south, and only one case has been confirmed since 2016.

The commission declared 19 counties in the northwest corner of the state as a chronic wasting disease management zone. Commission regulations make it illegal to transport deer or elk killed in the zone to anywhere else in the state except for low-impact items: antlers and cleaned skulls, meat with all bones removed, cleaned teeth, hides and finished taxidermy products.

Deer and elk killed in Carroll, Madison, Boone and Newton counties can't be taken outside those four counties except for the low-impact items.

Women Now Outnumber Men in Workforce

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  For the first time since 2010, women now outnumber men in the workforce, according to new data from the Labor Department.

A minuscule, yet massively interesting piece of data buried in the Labor Department’s December jobs report found that women now occupy 50.4% of non-farming positions.

Experts expect this number to grow as the number of working women increases while the number of men in the workforce declines.

Experts point that the shift could be due to the economy moving away from traditional male-dominated jobs in sectors like manufacturing and toward a service-based business model.

The report found that more female-dominated industries like education and health services added 36,000 jobs while jobs in the mining and manufacturing sectors saw the loss of about 21,000 jobs.

Another reason for the shift could be that women are earning more degrees than men.

Census figures show this is advantageous for women because having a college degree is linked to higher salaries.

Tusk IV Goes to Hog Heaven

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  Former Razorbacks’ live mascot Tusk IV passed away Sunday (Jan. 12) at his home in Dardanelle at the age of 10.

Tusk IV retired at the end of the 2019 school year.

Tusk IV son, Tusk V, has taken the role as the school’s new official live mascot after his father’s retirement.

The Tusk family comes from the Stokes Family Farm in Dardanelle, Arkansas.

They are Russian boar which closely resembles the type of “wild band of razorback hogs,” first described by then Arkansas head football coach Hugo Bezdek in 1909.

In 1910 University of Arkansas students voted to officially adopt the new nickname changing the mascot from the Cardinals to the Razorbacks.

01-13-2020

Governor Declares State of Emergency

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  Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has declared a state of emergency following severe weather that hit Arkansas Friday (Jan. 10) night into early Saturday (Jan. 11) morning.

The proclamation states:

Severe storms and straight-line winds struck various areas of the state and have since limited commercial vehicles from accomplishing their designated responsibilities of hauling heavy equipment, oversized loads, transformers, necessary hardware, and other distribution equipment to line crews to restore power to the citizens of Arkansas. Great hardship was brought upon businesses, citizens, and their public and private property.

In the proclamation, Hutchinson invokes emergency executive powers and to "suspend the provisions of regulating statues prescribing procedures for conduct of the State Office of Purchasing, the Arkansas Building Authority, the State Office of Personnel Management, and all other State departments and agencies."

This is to render the maximum assistance to the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, relative to any potential help to the disposal site and to the rendering of assistance to political subdivisions.

Seven Confirmed Tornadoes So Far

  Severe storms that ravaged the state of Arkansas on January 10-11, 2020 resulted in numerous reports of storm damage and the first few tornadoes of the year. 

The National Weather Service offices in Tulsa, OK, Little Rock, AR and Jackson, MS have surveyed some of the damage and confirmed a total of seven tornadoes as of Sunday night. 

· EF-2 Tornado: Logan County, near Midway. Estimated wind peak between 111 and 135 mph. Path length was 13.6 miles. 

· EF-1 Tornado: Lonoke County, near the Seaton Community. Estimated wind peak between 86 and 110 mph. Path length was 130 yards. 

· EF-1 Tornado: Franklin County, near Ozark. Estimated wind peak between 95 and 105 mph. Path length was 3.9 miles. 

· EF-1 Tornado: Drew County, just south of Jerome. Path length was 0.8 miles. 

· EF-1 Tornado: Ashley County, near Milo. Estimated wind peak of 105 mph. Path length was 9.38 miles. 

· EF-1 Tornado: Ashley County, near West Crossett. Estimated wind peak of 108 mph. Path length was 4.47 miles. 

· EF-1 Tornado: Ashley County, near North Crossett. Estimated wind peak of 100 mph. Path length was 10.38 miles.

Surveys are still ongoing in southeast Arkansas. The tornado count may increase or damage may be ruled a result of straight line winds. Check back for more updates. 

Madison County Recruiting Firefighters

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  A Madison County fire department says its in crisis mode, and is now ramping up its recruiting efforts.

Huntsville is just one of many rural departments struggling with retaining firefighters.

The Huntsville Fire Department goes on anywhere from 450 to 550 calls a year with no paid staff.

That means its up to volunteers to go on emergency calls, if there’s anyone available at that time.

Chief Kevin Shinn says he’s doing everything he can to recruit more volunteers and ask the city for money so he can can pay staff.

In the meantime, he’s using social media like Facebook ads, and offering rent-free, utility-free living quarter incentives to add firefighters to his roster.

You can live at the station if you volunteer 40 hours a month and meet other requirements.

Shinn says not only will more staff help with fire response, it could lower Huntsville’s rating from the Insurance Services Office (ISO), which is currently a four. The best ISO rating is a one.

Homeowners insurance could drop anywhere from 10-20%, he says, if it’s lowered to a three.

A shortage of firefighters at rural departments is a nationwide problem.

The age to volunteer is now 18-year-old instead of 21.

Tyson's Should Benefit Big Time from China Trade Deal

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  Tyson Foods shares rallied hard in 2019 and the stock has more in the tank thanks to a boost from trade, according to CNBC’s Jim Cramer. 

“Thanks to the African swine fever epidemic in China, I think Tyson Foods is poised to be the biggest winner from the phase one trade deal, or at least in the wake of it,” the "Mad Money" host said of a breakthrough in U.S.-China trade relations.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will visit Washington, D.C., this week to sign the phase one agreement between the two countries, according to the Wall Street Journal. The nations have engaged in a trade war for almost two years. As part of the deal, Beijing would boost its agricultural buys.

China is facing a pork shortage due to African swine fever, which has depleted supply. Pork is a staple in the country, and the American market is the only one that can fulfill the looming demand. Tyson Foods is the largest U.S. meat processor and China is a big opportunity for the company, Cramer said.

Last year, China’s pork supply depleted by more than half and prices ballooned 110% in November. A month later, Tyson Foods received the U.S. government's blessing to sell into China as progress was made in trade talks.

Tyson Foods is projected to bring in almost $45.7 billion of revenue and yield $6.78 in earnings per share this fiscal year ending in September, according to FactSet.

New State Law Will Impact All Drivers

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  A new state law that took effect at the first of the year will have an impact on all drivers in the state, with officials saying they are hopeful the new rules will also have a positive impact on insurance rates.

The new law requires that all drivers in the state have vehicle insurance.

The law covers only motorcycles and motor vehicles. If a driver does not have insurance, state officials will send the driver a letter telling them they have 30 days to get insurance or their registration on the vehicle will be suspended.

After that, it will cost $100 to have the registration reinstated.

The law also creates a system to allow law enforcement to check the insurance status of drivers in real time, plus will let officials know if the insurance was bought or has lapsed.

According to officials with the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, nearly 400,000 of the nearly 2.9 million vehicles in the state are not insured.

Scott Hardin, a spokesman with DFA, said the new law aims to help address the issue.

“The hope of this program is you see that number drop, you see that number of uninsured motorists across the state drop, which ultimately over a time period could result in lower rates for all of us,” Hardin said.

The state department will be sending letters to motorists, starting in early February.

United Methodist Church Could Be Splitting Over Same-Sex Marriage

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  America’s third-largest Christian denomination could be splitting soon over same-sex marriage.

Last February, the United Methodist Church voted against performing same-sex weddings and allowing LGBT clergy members.

Mandatory penalties for those acts went into effect on Jan. 1.

Now, a plan was proposed last Friday to split the church into two denominations.

“It’s called the separation protocol, it’s been in the news,” said Daniel Hilty, senior pastor at United Methodist Church. “And that is a recommendation from one group of how the methodist churches can move forward. It would involve some churches having the option of splitting away.”

The plan would keep the main United Methodist Church, recognizing the rights of the LGBTQ community, while another traditionalist branch would form, banning same-sex marriage and prohibit LGBTQ people from the clergy.

This plan will be discussed in the upcoming Methodist General Conference.

The conference usually only happens every four years, but because of this debate, it is happening this May in Minnesota.

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Arkansas PBM Law

  The United States Supreme Court will hear a case involving the Arkansas pharmacy benefit managers law.

According to a post on the Supereme Court's website, Justices granted a writ of certiorari petition Friday in the case from the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

The contentious issue was discussed at the state legislature and with pharmacists around the state. The pharmacists said in 2018 during a meeting in Little Rock that they believed PBM’s received more money in prescriptions than what pharmacists received.

Officials said PBM’s are the middleman between insurance companies and pharmacies on the prescription issue.

A law passed by the Arkansas legislature allowed the state’s Insurance Department to regulate and license PBM’s throughout the state, as well as permits the state insurance commissioner to look over and approve PBM compensation to pharmacies.

At the time, officials said the law would protect consumers and create debate on the issue.

On Friday, the Arkansas Pharmacists Association said in a Facebook post that the case will be a crucial one.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said in a statement that the issue has had an impact on rural pharmacies. 

“Today is a victory for Arkansas and especially our rural pharmacies,” Rutledge said. “Pharmacy benefit managers need to be held accountable for the alarming number of small town pharmacies they have closed due to unfair business practices.”

The post from the Supreme Court did not list when the justices would take up the case, called Rutledge v. Pharmaceutical Care Management Association. 

However, the court’s term is expected to end in June.

Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame to Induct Six

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  The Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame will induct six people whose leadership and service have brought distinction to the state's largest business sector.

The six inductees, who represent sectors including timber, beef cattle, conservation, banking and outreach to farmers, will join the hall during a ceremony at 11:30 a.m. March 6 at the Embassy Suites ballroom in Little Rock.

"I have said this before and it bears repeating; agriculture is one of the great success stories of our state, and that is sometimes overlooked in today's society," Butch Calhoun of Des Arc, chairman of the Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame committee, said in a news release. "We are pleased to bring recognition to these individuals who have impacted our state’s largest industry in such a positive way."

The new selections will bring to 175 the number of honorees in the Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame, begun in 1987.

The inductees are Jane Ross, Arkadelphia; Gene Sullivan, Lonoke; Leo Sutterfield, Mtn. View; George Tidwell, Lonoke; Thomas Vaughns, Marianna; and William Gene Woodall, Little Rock.

Luncheon tickets are $35 each. Individual tickets and tables of 10 are available by calling (501) 228-1609 or emailing aghalloffame@arfb.co. Tickets can be purchased online at AgHallTickets.

The Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame is sponsored by the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and Arkansas Farm Bureau.

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Bob Ballinger

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  January 10, 2020

LITTLE ROCK – Over the past decade, greater numbers of Arkansas children have been diagnosed with disabilities that require them to receive education.

Consequently, Arkansas public schools are spending greater amounts of money on special education.

Last year there were almost 64,000 students with a diagnosed disability in Arkansas public schools. That is 13.4 percent of the state’s total student enrollment.

Arkansas school districts spent $458 million on special education services, or about $7,382 per pupil with a disability. In the 2012-2013 school year, Arkansas schools spent $412 million on special education for 54,000 students.

Those are the specific costs of services, and don’t include costs that schools incur to educate all students, such as utilities and administrative salaries.

Last year the equivalent of 3,788 full time employees worked as special education teachers in Arkansas.

Schools get revenue from local, state and federal sources. The state provides funding for an average of 29 special education teachers for every 500 students enrolled in the district.

There are 12 categories of disability used to determine a student’s eligibility for special education. They include autism, vision and hearing impairment, speech language impairment, traumatic brain injury, intellectual disability and emotional disturbance. 

There is a category titled specific learning disability that includes dyslexia and developmental aphasia. It represents the largest category of disability, and applies to 31 percent of the students in special education. 

About 25 percent have a speech language impairment, about 12 percent have intellectual disabilities and about 8 percent receive special education services because they are on the autism spectrum.

Except for the category of children with multiple disabilities, all other categories have shown increases, with autism growing the most over the past few years. The number of students diagnosed with autism has gone up 55 percent since 2013. The increase is attributable to an increased awareness among educators and others of the characteristics of autism.

The growth in children diagnosed with dyslexia has followed a similar trend. In 2014, for example, 957 students received therapy for dyslexia. In 2014 only 89 school districts and one charter school reported results from screening for dyslexia.

Last year, 251 school districts and charter schools screened for dyslexia and more than 23,000 children received therapy.

Act 1294 of 2013 required districts to screen every student in kindergarten through second grade for dyslexia.

Just like all other students, children with disabilities must take standardized tests like the ACT Aspire. Last year 12.2 percent of students with disabilities scored at the “ready” or “exceeding” level in math. That compared to 52.5 percent of students without disabilities.

Last year legislators worked on changes to a category of special education known as high-cost or catastrophic occurrences. They happen when services for an individual student are extraordinarily higher than what is regularly provided in state funding categories. 

In the 2019 regular session, the legislature approved Act 877 to appropriate $13.2 million for special education high-cost occurrences.

01-10-2020

Huntsville H.S. Briefly Put on Lockdown

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  Huntsville High School was briefly put on lockdown Thursday (Jan. 9) after a gunshot was heard behind the school.

According to the school’s Facebook page, the lockdown was for the student’s and faculty’s protection.

After a police investigation, the shots were determined to be of no threat to the high school and were found to be miles away.

“We always want to ere on the side of caution any time this occurs,” the school’s Facebook post read.

Parent’s were notified of the issue via phone call.

If you are a parent and did not receive an automated message, the school asks that you email renix@1hsd.org to get on the list.

Vehicle Runs Off Road and Hits Tree

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  An Arkansas woman was injured and subsequently arrested Wednesday following a wreck at 8:39 p.m. on Highway 112, four miles east of Cassville.

According to a Missouri State Highway Patrol report, Lori Greene, 39, of Deer, Ark., was driving a 2017 Nissan Versa eastbound when her vehicle ran off the roadway and struck a tree.

Greene suffered moderate injuries and was transported to Northwest Medical Center in Bentonville.

She was wearing a safety device, and the vehicle was totaled.

At 9:08 p.m., Greene was arrested for driving while intoxicated and no insurance. She was released to medical personnel on the scene.

Fiery Head On Crash Injures Four

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  Photo: Courtesy of Southern Stone County Fire Protection District

Four people were injured in a fiery, head-on crash in Kimberling City Thursday afternoon.

An online post by the Southern Stone County Fire Protection District says it was dispatched to a reported head-on crash James River Road, where both vehicles were on fire, and one was down an embankment.

The post says four people, two in each vehicle, were taken to area hospitals with moderate injuries.

The road was blocked for more than two hours while authorities investigated the crash and cleaned the wreckage off the roadway.

Beware of Chiefs Ticket Scam

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  If you are planning to make the trip up for the Chiefs game this weekend, you should be careful where you get your tickets.

Leading up to the game there has been a rash of online ads from private ticket sellers in the area.

Some of which claim to offer tickets at unheard of prices for a playoff game. 

Police say scammers are targeting last-minute ticket shoppers.

Two people have already fallen victim, one losing out on $500.

Officials say in this age of online ticket purchases, you should only buy from credible sources. Adding that you should not accept printed out tickets or even screen shots of tickets. 

They say buying tickets through an NFL trusted service will end up costing you less in the long run.

Former Office Manager Indicted

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  A former office manager for a Central Arkansas restaurant supply company was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury on 32 counts of fraud accusing her of stealing $500,000 from the business over five years.

Ruth Eleanor Wilson, 40, of Cabot managed the financial records for the company, which wasn't named, and was an authorized signatory on its account at Iberia Bank, according to the four-page indictment.

It said that between February 2014 and February 2019, she issued about 141 unauthorized checks made payable to herself and her husband from the company's account, and then deposited them into an account she shared with her husband at U.S. Bank or an account she shared with an unnamed relative at Arkansas Federal Credit Union.

The checks totaled $514,841.55, and were in addition to her annual salary of about $50,000, according to the indictment. It said she "hid these unauthorized checks in the company's accounting system by making false entries in an amount(s) equal to the issued checks."

Civil Penalty Assessed Against U of A Radio Stations

  $76,000 civil penalty assessed to the board of trustees of the University of Arkansas is part of an agreement ending a Federal Communications Commission investigation into radio announcements at two stations licensed to the UA board.

The announcements -- on KBPU, in De Queen, and KTYC, in Nashville -- violated FCC underwriting laws, according to a consent decree dated Tuesday. The FCC began investigating after receiving a complaint in 2016 that announcements "impermissibly promoted" products or services offered by the stations' for-profit underwriters.

The stations are managed by Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas, which is based in De Queen and has a satellite campus in Nashville. UA System spokesman Nate Hinkel said the penalty will be paid out of the community college's budget.

Retired Accountant Hit With $9M Judgment

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  Three months after being hit with a $9 million civil judgment for embezzling from a Trumann manufacturing company, a retired accountant from Jonesboro pleaded guilty Tuesday to a related federal charge subjecting him to a prison term of up to 30 years.

Chief U.S. District Judge D. Price Marshall Jr. accepted a guilty plea to a single count of bank fraud from Edward M. Cooper Jr., 71, who admitted taking about $9.2 million from Roach Manufacturing Corp. over 21½ years.

Cooper worked for the Jonesboro accounting firm Osborn & Osborn, through which he performed accounting work for Roach Manufacturing, a privately held manufacturer of industrial conveyor belts, from November 1996 through May 2018.

According to a civil lawsuit Roach filed in 2018 in Craighead County Circuit Court, Cooper and his now former wife, LaNita, used the stolen funds to maintain a lavish lifestyle that included regular travel, buying jewelry and furs, and spending more than $2 million to construct a cabin on the Spring River in Fulton County.

In federal court Tuesday in Little Rock, Cooper admitted writing 138 unauthorized checks to himself on Roach's account, at the rate of four or five times a year. He admitted forging signatures of company officials on the checks and then depositing them into his own bank account.

Martin Luther King, Jr Birthday Official State Holiday

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  The State of Arkansas will observe Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday as an official state holiday on Monday, January 20, 2020. 

State Capitol Offices and all State Buildings will be closed. The State Capitol Building, however, will be open to visitors on those days from 10:00 AM until 3:00 PM. 

The Capitol cafe (500 Grill), and the Capitol Gift Shop will be closed.