Berryville  Elementary Pledge of Allegiance


02-27-2020

National FFA Week Interview with Rodeo Announcer Dillon Gross

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  KTHS News has been featuring interviews and information this week in connection with National FFA Week. We've heard from the FFA Chapters at Berryville, Green Forest and Eureka Springs.

All three Chapters, and including the Alpena FFA, share the duties of getting the 6th Annual Carroll County Roughstock Challenge Battle of the Banks Annual Rodeo off the ground, which includes alot of hard work for the kids. Today we hear from Dillon Gross, the Announcer for the Rodeo coming up March 14th at the Carroll County Fairgrounds....https://soundcloud.com/user-984958735/dillon-gross-ffa-rodeo-announcer-2020 

Thousands of dollars in added money. Our interview today has been brought to you by MFA Agri Services, Kings River Realty, Tyson Foods, Berryville Public School, Green Forest Public School, Randy's Towing, Harts Family Center and Keels Creek Haulin'.

Quorum Court Passes Resolution Concerning Assessment of Real Estate Taxes on Poultry Buildings and

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  The Carroll County Quorum Court met this week with all J.P.'s present. There were four Resolutions, three Supplemental Appropriation Ordinances and a clean-up Ordinance. One of those Resolutions concerned the Assessment of Real Estate Taxes on Poultry Buildings and Equipment. 

Back in 2018, the Arkansas Assessment Coordination Division arbitrarily decided to increase appraisals of standard chicken houses for large-scale growing operations.

As a result, Legislators held three public hearings on the matter, questioning the valuations. The A.C.D. wanted to double the appraisal value of broiler houses fron 4.50psf to 9.00psf. The Legislature passed a Resolution late last year condemning the state Assessment Coordination Division's decision and urged further study.

It was determined the final authority to determine market value in a specific county lies with that elected assessor, in Carroll County's case, Jeannie Davidson. Davidson told J.P.'s she will abide by what the Legislators decided.

Covid 19 Spreading

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  Communities across the world are on high alert as health officials announce the coronavirus is spreading rapidly worldwide.

In Arkansas, health officials are working with the Governor’s office and the CDC to monitor the virus. 

Even though the virus is not wide spread in the U.S, the government is warning people to prepare before it does. 

The Arkansas Department of Health is keeping a close eye on the coronavirus. 

Dr. Jennifer Dillaha is the medical director for immunizations and outbreak response. As of now, no one has or is under investigation for the virus in Arkansas.

However, with more unknowns about the illness, she is warning Arkansans to be aware. 

The state does have an influenza pandemic plan. It is being adjusted in case of a cornoavirus outbreak. 

ADH says Arkansas cities big and small should have this on their radar. 

The Department of Health has a toll free number you can call if you have questions about the coronavirus, 1-800-803-7847.

Arkansas Department of Health Report Nine More Cases This Past Week

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  Nine more Arkansans have died from the flu, according to the new weekly report released by the Arkansas Department of Health.

The flu has killed a total of 65 people in the state since September 29, 2019. One of the people killed was a child.

America’s flu season is still going strong but has eased a bit, says the CDC. 

The CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 29 million flu illnesses, 280,000 hospitalizations and 16,000 deaths from flu.

This flu season has been especially bad so far for children and young adults. Their rates remain higher than in recent years.

A total of 105 influenza-associated deaths in children have been reported so far this season. That’s an increase of 13 since last week’s report.

CDC’s interim flu vaccine effectiveness estimates show that 2019-20 flu vaccines have cut in half the number of doctor’s visits for flu among vaccinated children.
 

Flu was widespread in Puerto Rico and 47 states. In Hawaii, Oregon, Idaho, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the outbreaks are less active.

Flu shots are recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older.

A new CDC report shows getting the vaccine reduces a child’s risk of going to the doctor with flu by 55%.

Trout Season Kicks Off March 1st

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  Sunday March 1 is always a red-letter day for fishing fans in the Ozarks. It marks the opening of trout season in Missouri, a long-standing tradition. And at Roaring River State Park near Cassville the delayed renovation of the hatchery has not affected the much-anticipated event.

There will still be plenty of fish ready to catch at the opening of trout season at Roaring River State Park near Cassville. The hatchery has been closed for $2 million worth of renovations for over a year-and-a-half, much to the disappointment of many of the half-million visitors who come to the park each year.

Some of those coming to the event have already arrived. Mark Rockwell of Rogers, Arkansas has been coming to the opening of trout season for 17 years. He arrived on Tuesday, five days early for the chance to stand side-by-side with other enthusiasts who share his love for this tradition.

There are three state parks for trout fishing in the Ozarks. They include Roaring River, Bennett Spring State Park near Lebanon and Montauk near Salem (Mo.).

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture Hosts Local Conversations Event

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  The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is hosting its first 2020 Local Conversations event on Thursday, March 5, to help connect Arkansas farmers and producers with the buying community. The free event will be held from 8:30 a.m.to 1:00 p.m. at the new Share Grounds certified kitchen at the Three County Fair Grounds in McCrory in collaboration with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Research and Extension.

Local Conversations will feature a buyer’s panel including representatives from farmers markets, retail businesses, and school nutrition experts to provide insight and answer questions regarding local procurement. Training on the Farm to School program will follow the panel discussion, and an overview of the Share Grounds program will be provided

The Share Grounds project offers an innovative approach to bring solutions to rural communities by utilizing existing facilities and infrastructure at county fair grounds.

Lunch will be provided by Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas. Seating is limited, so registration is required. For more information and to register, go to 

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

46th Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism begins March 1 in Fort Smith

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  Tourism partners from across the state will gather at the 46th Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism March 1-3 at the Fort Smith Convention Center. This year’s conference theme is “Tourism Takes Grit.”

The annual meeting of Arkansas’s tourism industry offers sessions on a variety of topics such as building tourism in local communities, marketing the 2024 eclipse in Arkansas, and targeting travelers interested in heritage and sports tourism. Other topics include website accessibility, highway infrastructure and outdoor recreation.

The featured keynote speaker will be Jamie Clarke, a renowned adventurer who has summitted the world’s highest peaks. Using lessons learned from his travels, Clarke will draw parallels to the dynamic environments found in the office and in nature during his session titled “The Adventure of Business” at 3:45 p.m. on Monday, March 2.

The opening keynote speaker will be Lynette Xanders, CEO and chief strategist of Wild Alchemy, who will inspire attendees to harness the key elements that drive success during her session titled “From Grit to Glory” on Monday, March 2, at 9 a.m.

The conference will culminate with the presentation of the 2020 Henry Awards at 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday, March 3.

02-26-2020

National FFA Week Underway

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  National FFA Week is being celebrated by FFA members all around the country this week, the week of George Washington's birthday.

KTHS is airing interviews this week from Carroll County FFA members from the chapters of Berryville, Green Forest and Eureka Springs. Our interview today is with members of the Berryville FFA Shane Wilson, Grace Wigge and EMily Brosious.....https://soundcloud.com/user-984958735/bv-ffa-kids 

FFA sponsors at Berryville School are Alex Dye and Christy Skelton. Our interview today is brought to us by Kavan Maybee Insurance, Carroll County Cattlemens Association, Bailey Ready Mix and Reliable Poultry. 

The FFA chapters are working together to bring you the 6th Annual Carroll County FFA Roughstock Challenge Battle of the Banks, March 14 at the Carroll County Fairgrounds.

Foreclosure Sale of Dogpatch Postponed

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  Dogpatch won’t be sold on the Newton County Courthouse steps on March 3, as previously advertised.

The abandoned theme park is under contract to be sold to a “solid buyer,” said Stewart Nance of Eureka Springs, one of the mortgage holders.

Nance said he couldn’t reveal the buyer’s name on Tuesday.

He said the foreclosure auction has been postponed for two months pending contract negotiations with the buyer.

A "Motion to Cancel Foreclosure Sale" was filed in Newton County Circuit Court on Tuesday.

Stewart Nance, his son John Pruett Nance of Rogers and their attorney Gregory Brent Baber of Little Rock hold the mortgage on the 400-acre property.

A legal notice about the foreclosure auction was published in the Newton County Times on Feb. 12.

The mortgage holders filed suit in September against Great American Spillproof Products after it fell behind on lease payments and missed a balloon payment for the total amount due in August.

Great American Spillproof Products bought the Dogpatch property for $2 million in 2014. Besides a $1 million promissory note, the company had paid $1 million.

Constructed in 1967 for $1.33 million, Dogpatch originally featured a trout farm, buggy and horseback rides, an apiary, Ozark arts and crafts, gift shops and entertainment by characters from Al Capp’s “Li’l Abner” comic strip, according to the Central Arkansas Library System’s Encyclopedia of Arkansas. Amusement rides were added later.

Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas and Arkansas 4-H to host Seaperch Challenge

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  The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas and Arkansas 4-H will host the 2020 Arkansas SeaPerch Challenge, an underwater robotics competition on Friday, March 6 at The Center at Bishop Park in Bryant. More than 162 students will represent 42 teams from 16 counties at the event.

The SeaPerch is a remotely-operated submersible built from more than three dozen parts, including PVC pipe, pool noodles, three 12-volt motors and batteries. During the contest, teams must navigate their SeaPerch through obstacle courses and complete other tasks, such as moving plastic rings from one part of the course and successfully placing them to another part. The goal is to ignite students’ interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

During this year’s competition, competitors will use their SeaPerch robots to simulate a waterway cleanup. The winner of the Arkansas SeaPerch Challenge will advance to the International SeaPerch Challenge that will be held May 29 – 31 at the University of Maryland.

Participating teams are from Arkansas, Carroll, Craighead, Crittenden, Garland, Grant, Howard, Lawrence, Madison, Miller, Montgomery, Newton, Perry, Pulaski, Randolph and Saline counties.

From Carroll County the Senior Berryville Robotics Team are participating. Four Junior Teams from Madison County are also participating.

Corps to Host Cyber security Training Exercise

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is hosting a joint cybersecurity training exercise near Branson, Missouri from Feb. 24 to March 6.
 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity Team, the Army Engineer Research and Development Center's Cyber Readiness Team, and the Army's Cyber Protection Brigade will all participate in the training exercise.
 

The training will simulate a cyber-attack on the nation's critical infrastructure control systems.
 

The Corps' Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity team is responsible for protecting the agency's operational technology and is mission partners with the Army Cyber Protection Brigade.
 

The training exercise is designed to allow all teams to hone their specialized skillsets.

Six Arkansans Join Lawsuit Against Boy Scouts of America

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  At least six Arkansans have joined a national lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America, claiming sexual abuse by a scout leader.

One of those victims includes a Fayetteville man, suing the Boys Scouts of America and Quapaw Area Council Incorporated of the Boy Scouts of America.

The lawsuit claims sexual abuse by Scout Leader Samuel C. Otts.

Otts led Troop 16 and met at the Salvation Army in Hot Springs in approximately 1980, the lawsuit says.

It claims he engaged in various sexual acts with the victim who was 9 or 10 years old at the time.

Attorney Joshua Gillispie of Green & Gillispie is representing six victims from the same troop, all claiming sexual abuse by Otts. The six lawsuits were filed separately. 

All of the alleged abuse occurred in Hot Springs.

Otts is now deceased, according to Gillispie.

The organization is hoping to compensate the thousands of victims claiming they were harmed by scout leaders decades ago. 

Approximately 90% of pending and asserted abuse claims against the BSA relate to abuse that occurred more than 30 years ago. 

Missouri Hunters Donate 348,00 Pounds of Venison to Share the Harvest

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  The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and the Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM) thanked Missouri deer hunters for donating 348,535 pounds of venison to the state’s Share the Harvest program. That total includes nearly 6,800 whole deer. 

Meat-processing fees are covered entirely or in part by numerous local sponsors, along with statewide sponsors that include: Shelter Insurance, Bass Pro Shops, Gateway Area Chapter Safari Club International, Missouri Chapter National Wild Turkey Federation, Midway USA Inc., Missouri Food Banks Association, and MDC. The donated deer meat goes to local food banks and food pantries to help feed hungry Missourians all around the state. 

Share the Harvest is coordinated by MDC and CFM. Since the program was started in 1992, it has provided more than 4.3 million pounds of lean, healthy venison to help feed hungry Missourians, including this past season’s donations.

“Hunters started Share the Harvest because they saw a need in their communities and hunters remain the driving force behind this popular program that helps feed our fellow Missourians who are in need,” said MDC Director Sara Parker Pauley. “We sincerely thank the thousands of deer hunters who support Share the Harvest, along with the many participating meat processors and sponsors who help make it possible.”

The National Institutes of Health state children need protein in their diets for proper growth and development, and adults need it to maintain good health. Yet many Missourians can't afford or can't get to good sources of protein. Through Share the Harvest, Missouri hunters can help provide those in need with high-quality protein in the form of naturally lean, locally harvested deer meat.

Porter Wagoner to Be Inducted into Hall of Famous Missourians

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  A new face will be showcased next week in the Hall of Famous Missourians. Country music legend and West Plains native Porter Wagoner will be inducted Monday as the 47th member. His bust will join the many others sitting in the third floor of the Missouri Capitol Rotunda in Jefferson City, including television journalist Walter Cronkite, conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, and the 33rd U.S. President – Harry Truman. 

Wagoner and singer Dolly Parton became a well-known duo on The Porter Wagoner Show throughout the late 1960s and early 70s. His first band, the Blue Ridge Boys, performed on Missourinet affiliate KWPM in West Plains from a butcher shop in town, where Wagoner cut meat. He also performed on Springfield radio station KWTO in southwest Missouri.

Wagoner, nicknamed “Mr. Grand Ole Opry”, died in 2007 at the age of 80. He’s in the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville and Porter Wagoner Boulevard is located in his southern Missouri hometown of West Plains. 

Monday’s 1 p.m. ceremony is open to the public in the 4th floor upper House gallery. A reception in the 3rd floor Capitol Rotunda will follow.

02-25-2020

Permission Needed to Place Confederate Flags or Plaques in Eureka Springs Cemetery

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 The Eureka Springs cemetery will continue allowing individuals or groups to place Confederate flags on grave markers unless a family member of the deceased objects, despite complaints that the flag is a racist symbol. 

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that Eureka Springs' cemetery commission approved an amendment earlier this month also requiring anyone wanting to place flags or plaques to get permission from the cemetery superintendent. 

Lincoln High School Getting New Animal Science Facility

  Lincoln is giving students hands-on experience with a new animal science facility.

It broke ground on the new space this afternoon at Lincoln High School. When it is finished, half of the facility will be indoors, the other half will be outdoors.

It hopes to house hogs, sheep, cattle and other animals to help students studying animal science.

Agriculture teacher Sarah Hale said a resource like this is very important for their students.

“In Arkansas, one out of every four people work in the agriculture industry. And I’d say it’s even higher than that in Washington County. We are the hub of the agriculture industry so it’s really important for our students,” Hale says.

The building will be ready for students by June 1.

State Leaders Making Stops Discussing Veteran Suicides

  State leaders making a stop in Van Buren Monday to discuss how they can come together to tackle veterans suicides.​​

​In the state of Arkansas, veteran suicides are 3 times the national average. This is why some state leaders said preventing it is now at the top of their list.​​

Representatives from the House committee on Aging, Children and Youth, Senate state agencies and Legislative and Military Affairs are holding hearings across the state. They will be hearing from local people on how to better support our troops when they come home.​

At the meeting, we heard from a military chaplain who delt with PTSD, widow of a recent suicide who spoke about warning signs and behaviors to watch for and several local veterans.​​

State Senator and Veteran Trent Garner said he passed a bill last year to put this study together.​​”We are facing this issue head on to make sure our veterans who come home are taken care of because that is a family member, that is a member of a church and that’s a community member. Those are people we need in Arkansas.

​Garner said he hopes these meetings will help create a clear path of how to help veterans.​​ The study is expected to be completed in November which will be used to put together proposed bills in 20-21.​

U of A Signee Arrested

  Catrell Wallace, a Bryant High School student who in December signed to play football at the University of Arkansas, was arrested Monday in Benton. 

Wallace, 18, was arrested in connection with second-degree sexual assault, a Class B felony, and tampering, a Class D felony, according to his detention profile on the Saline County Sheriff’s Office website. 

He was booked into the county jail Monday morning and released that afternoon. Jail records did not list a bond amount.

Krista Petty with the Benton Police Department said in an email Monday that Wallace’s arrest report was unavailable because the investigation was ongoing, "and we do not release incident reports in those instances." 

According to a press release from the Benton Police Department, Wallace turned himself in Monday after an arrest warrant had been issued. 

Police said the incident under investigation occurred on Jan. 1 when Wallace was 18 and the victim was 12. 

Police said additional charges could be forthcoming. 

In a statement released through the UA athletics media relations department, Razorbacks football coach Sam Pittman said he was "aware of the serious allegations” involving Wallace. 

Missouri House Approves Formation of Task Force on Alzheimers

  The Missouri House of Representatives has given initial approval to the formation of a task force about Alzheimer’s disease. State Representative David Wood, R-Versailles, is proposing to launch a 25-member panel to assess the current and future impact of Alzheimer’s disease on Missourians. The group would review the existing services and resources available to such patients and their caregivers. Members would also recommend how to respond to what Wood refers to as an escalating public health crisis.

The task force would be made up of state officials, representatives from the medical community, individuals with the disease and the caregiver, law enforcement, among others.

During floor debate Monday, Wood revealed that he has had 14 family members with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Rep. Barbara Washington, D-Kansas City, said she and family members travel weekly to Saline County to visit a loved one with the disease.

Representative Don Rone, R- Portageville, fought back tears as he proposed a requirement to have an Alzheimer’s support group in every Missouri county. Rone was successful in his amendment to the bill.

Gas Prices Heading Back Up

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  After weeks of steady declines, gas prices in Arkansas have reversed course and are heading back up.

In the past week, gas prices rose 4.5 cents per gallon, according to GasBuddy.com.

The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded now stands at $2.18. That’s 4.1 cents a gallon lower than a month ago, but 6.1 cents higher than last year’s average.

The national average price of gasoline rose 2.4 cents/gallon in the last week to $2.47.

Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, points to two reasons for the uptick in prices: the spread of coronavirus and seasonal adjustments.

“With oil prices having pushed higher in recent weeks, we saw the national average price of gasoline increase for the second straight week," DeHaan said. "Yet with much unknown after a rocky weekend with the COVID-19 coronavirus spreading into new countries, we still could see the current uptick slow with more countries potentially locking down travel.”

In the past decade, he said the national average typically begins its seasonal rise on Feb. 9 and lasts until early May.

DeHaan says the average rise is 54-cents per gallon.

“It's nearly guaranteed that prices will be higher by April and May,” he said. “But beyond that, the timing remains completely unknown, as does how the coronavirus will threaten overall gasoline demand."

Report Says Alcohol Ads Lead Teens to Drink

  Alcohol ads are leading teens to drink, according to a new report from the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

Researchers looked at hundreds of studies from around the world.

They said there is persuasive evidence that exposure to alcohol marketing is one cause of teens drinking and one cause of binge drinking.

To combat the problem, the authors suggest more government regulation and more reports on alcohol and health from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, like the ones that have been published on tobacco.

02-24-2020

Berryville Bobcats #2 Seed in Regional Tournament This Week

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  The Berryville Bobcat basketball team lost to Pea Ridge 68-56 in the District Tournament Championship Saturday night. The Bobcats will be the number two seed in the 4A North Regional Tournament this week in Bobcat arena. Berryville will play Morrilton Thursday February 27th at 5:30pm. Good luck to the Bobcat Basketball Team.

Wrestling Team Claims State Runner-up Trophy

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  The Berryville Bobcat wrestling team claimed the 4A State Runner-up trophy this past Saturday in Little Rock The Bobcats had 9 wrestlers medal and included three state champions. This is the second year in a row the Bobcats have  rought home a state runner up banner. Congratulations to the Bobcat Wrestling Team.

National FFA Week Being Celebrated by Local Schools This Week

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FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands will participate in National FFA Week that began Saturday and runs through February 29. The FFA members will celebrate what FFA means to them. This is a great opportunity for FFA chapters to highlight the fun the members have, while also emphasizing agriculture education with its future leaders.

Every year, the National FFA Organization celebrates FFA Week during the week of George Washington’s birthday, February 22, in recognition of his legacy as an agriculturalist. FFA members organize activities that raise awareness not only about the National FFA Organization, but also the role agriculture plays in students’ lives.

KTHS will be airing Public Service Announcements and interviews with local FFA members and their advisors from Berryville, Green Forest, Eureka Springs and Alpena FFA Chapters his week.

Today we start our interviews with Green Forest FFA Advisor Keith Kilbourn. He's been the FFA Advisor for over 20 years and a teacher for 31 years.  Mr. Kilbourn brought in his FFA officers to record Public Service Announcements that will air beginning today. 

Many fine area businesses are showing their support for FFA this week by sponsoring these interviews. We begin with Green Forest FFA Advisor Keith Kilbourn.......https://soundcloud.com/user-984958735/keith-kilbourn-2020-ff-week 

Our FFA Week interview today is brought to you by Shumaker Tire, Thompson Ready Mix, Industrial Welding & Sales, and Equity Bank. 

Springdale Man Killed on Hwy. 412

  An accident on Hwy 412 East has impacted all westbound lanes West of Huntsville. 

A video shows crews holding up a cover as passerby's go past the accident. 

According to Arkansas State Police, one Springdale man died in the wreck. 

Chad E. Smith, 51, was heading eastbound on Hwy 412 in a 2003 Chevy.

mith crossed over the right fog line entering the south ditch.

According to the Arkansas State Police report, Smith traveled down the ditch over-correcting his vehicle then began to rotate counter-clockwise reentering the eastbound lanes of Hwy 412 entering the center median.

After entering the median, Smith's vehicle began to overturn entering the westbound lane of Hwy 412. After overturning, Smith's vehicle came to a final rest facing south on its top.

The weather condition was clear and road conditions dry.

Smith was taken to Northwest Medical Center in Springdale Arkansas where he later died. 

Divers Locate Missing Springdale Mans Body in Lake Fayetteville

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  Search and rescue divers found the body of Robert Elmer on Friday morning in about 10 feet of water near the dam at the northwest corner of Lake Fayetteville.

Elmer, 61, of Springdale, was reported missing February 10. His car was found parked in Veterans Park near the lake Feb. 12. Law enforcement and emergency services agencies had been searching the area, both on land and in the lake, since then.

Sgt. Anthony Murphy, police spokesman, said Friday's search began about 9 a.m. and quickly produced results.

"About 9:48 a.m. sonar images that looked like a body in the water were reported," Murphy said. "By 10:30 a.m. it was confirmed that it was a body. At about 12:08 p.m. they got the body out."

Murphy said Elmer was wearing the clothing he was wearing when he was last seen and his wallet was in his clothes, enabling the searchers to confirm his identity.

The body was found in a cove south of the dam, resting on the lake bottom, McConnell said. That area of the lake had not been searched before Friday.

Early Voting Underway - Ends March 2nd

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  Arkansas' primary election day is in less than two weeks, and early voting is already underway. 

Political Science Professor Andrew Dowdle at the University of Arkansas thinks Arkansas voters can have a substantial influence in the 2020 presidential primaries.

"Super Tuesday states on March third, the group of states in which Arkansas is going to be having a primary on that date, should be really important if not decisive in terms of deciding who the nominee is going to be," said Dowdle.

Dowdle cites the close race, and the time of the vote as reasons why.

"The state of Arkansas is going relatively early in the process. There have been some years that Arkansas hasn’t really ended up having their primaries until the later part of spring, and at that point, the nomination is already chosen," he said.

Typically, fewer people vote in primary elections than in the general election. Activists in each of the two major parties stress the importance of getting out to vote for both federal and local candidates.

There are still several days to vote early in the primaries. 

Early voting in Carroll County is available at the Eastern District Courthouse in Berryville or St. Elizabeths Parish Center on Passion Play Road in Eureka Springs.

Lottery Directory Opposes "Amusement Machines"

  The head of Arkansas’ lottery says he opposes a measure that would allow thousands of coin-operated “amusement machines” around the state to raise money for the lottery program.

Lottery Director Bishop Woosley announced his opposition Friday to the measure a group is trying to put on the November ballot.

Supporters of the proposal have until July 3 to gather nearly 90,000 signatures from registered voters to qualify for the ballot.

The amendment would require the lottery to issue licenses to own and lease the machines, which would award non-cash prizes such as lottery tickets or merchandise valued less than $5.

Arkansas and EPA Protect Children from Contaminated Drinking Water

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently awarded $420,000 to the Arkansas Department of Education to assist with identifying sources of lead in drinking water in schools or child care facilities. The funding will help protect children in disadvantaged communities and makes progress on implementing the federal action plan to reduce childhood lead exposures

“We are taking additional steps to identify and reduce lead contamination in schools across the county,” said EPA Regional Administrator Ken McQueen. “Preventing children from exposure to lead is an important public health priority for this administration.”

Under EPA’s new Voluntary Lead Testing in Schools and Child Care grant program, EPA has awarded $43.7 million in grants towards funding the implementation of testing for lead in drinking water. This funding is a resource which creates or expands programs to test for lead in drinking water at schools and child care programs in states and the District of Columbia.

Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in Schools will be used by the New Mexico to assist schools in implementing lead in drinking water testing including identifying sources of lead such as fountains.

ARDOT Names First Female Director

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  The Arkansas Highway Commission has named Lorie Harris Tudor as Director of the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT). The Commission made the announcement following a special meeting held Thursday, February 20, 2020. Tudor will succeed Scott Bennett, who announced his retirement effective March 20, 2020. 

Tudor began her 36-year career with what was then the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (Department) in 1981 as a Clerk Typist. She resigned in 1995 to return to school and obtained her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering Degree from the University of Memphis. She returned to the Department in 1998 as a Civil Engineer I in the Planning Branch. She held various titles in Planning, Research, and Program Management, becoming Assistant Chief Engineer for Planning in 2011. In December 2014, she was named Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer. She is a Registered Professional Engineer.

Tudor will become the Department’s first female Director, and the fifth person to serve in that role in the Department’s last 47 years; she follows Henry Gray (15 years), Maurice Smith (6 years), Dan Flowers (17 years), and Scott Bennett (9 years).

Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) Director Scott Bennett announced he would retire effective March 20, 2020. Bennett informed the Highway Commission of his decision in a letter dated February 19.

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Bob Ballinger February 21, 2020

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  LITTLE ROCK – Last year the legislature voted to conduct an extensive review of the operations of the Arkansas Department of Transportation, to identify areas where improvements could be made.

Act 298 of 2019 mandates that the Legislative Council hire an independent consultant to perform the review. The consultant is Guidehouse, of McLean, Virginia. It will focus on the bidding procedures, purchasing methods and overall finances of one of the largest agencies in state government. It will recommend legislation for the General Assembly to consider during the 2021 regular session.

One purpose is to ensure responsiveness to the needs of citizens. In other words, if members of a community are concerned about the number of accidents on a particular stretch of highway, such as a sharp curve with a low shoulder, their concerns should not be ignored.

In September, Guidehouse submitted to the Department a lengthy and detailed list of requests for data. Since then, Guidehouse has also been talking to key staff at the Transportation Department. 

Staff spent 3,220 hours working with Guidehouse to provide the requested data. As of December, the consultant had uploaded more than 1,150 files. The consultants made a progress report to legislators.

The Transportation Department has 3,724 full time employees working across the state, with an annual budget of $425.4 million, according to the Guidehouse report.

Legislators also received a detailed report from the Transportation Department itself, on the progress of 34 projects that were under construction at the beginning of the year. Each project will cost more than $10 million to complete.

The largest project, in terms of cost, is a $187 million widening of Interstate 30 in western Saline County, where Highway 70 turns off toward Hot Springs. The interstate is being widened from four to six lanes for 5.9 miles. It is scheduled for completion in late 2022. 

The second largest project is in Prairie County, along Interstate 40. It is a $100 million project to replace the bridge over the White River. 

The estimated completion date is the middle of 2020, but delays may result because of disputes between the Department and building contractors. High water and heavy rains interfered with construction schedules. Contractors and the Department do not agree on who should foot the cost of those delays.

The director of the Department, Scott Bennett, announced that he intended to step down on March 20. He worked at the Department for 32 years and has been its director since 2011. 

At a recent meeting of the Highway Commission, he outlined the projects that the Department has worked on during the past ten years. They amount to 1,100 projects covering 5,600 miles of highway and costing $7.2 billion. 

Last year the legislature approved two highway-funding measures. One measure, Act 416, will generate an estimated $95 million annually. 

The other measure is a resolution that refers to voters a proposed constitutional amendment. If it passes in the November general election, it will provide an additional $205 million a year to the Department by permanently extending the current half-cent sales tax dedicated to highways and bridges.

02-21-2020

Hoiday Island Man Sentenced to Life for Child Exploitation

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  A U.S. District Court in Fort Smith sentenced a Holiday Island man to life in federal prison in a child exploitation case. 

Lucas Montagne, 33, was convicted and sentenced on one count of sexual exploitation of a minor via the production of child pornography.

According to court records, Homeland Security Investigations received a CyberTip regarding media files that contained what was believed to be images of child pornography being uploaded to Google. The metadata from one of the image files indicated it may have been taken in February 2019 near Holiday Island, AR. 

Further probing quickly lead investigators to Montagne’s Holiday Island residence. After obtaining a search warrant investigators located Montagne and two minors inside the home.

A forensic analysis of electronics seized from the residence revealed multiple images of child pornography depicting two separate minors under the age of ten. 

Montagne was a known sex offender having been convicted in 2013 in Montgomery County, TX for sexual assault of a child and again in 2014 in Harris County, TX for sexual assault of a child.

Montagne was sentenced yesterday to a full life sentence followed by 5 years of supervised probation. His sentence was also enhanced for having prior sex convictions in which the victim was a minor. 

Madison County Man To Be Charged as Adult for Negligent Homicide in 2017

  A Madison County man charged with negligent homicide when he was 17 in connection with a fatal car wreck can be tried as an adult in Washington County Circuit Court, the Arkansas Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.

Jeffrey Allen Lewis, 20, had methamphetamine and marijuana in his system when he crossed the center line and hit a vehicle head-on, according to police. The crash occurred about 6 a.m. March 17, 2017, between Goshen and Fayetteville, police said.

The driver of the other vehicle, Billy Kees, died at the scene.

Arkansas State Police Trooper Eric Lee, who responded to the wreck, said he saw indications Lewis might be under the influence of methamphetamine. Lewis was taken to Washington Regional Medical Center for treatment of injuries, where he agreed to having his blood drawn.

William Pope, a forensic toxicologist at the Arkansas Crime Lab, said Lewis' blood tested positive for methamphetamine and cannabinoids. He could not quantify the amount.

Under Arkansas law, a prosecutor has discretion to charge a juvenile 16 or older in the criminal division of circuit court if the juvenile has engaged in conduct that, if committed by an adult, would be a felony. Lewis was charged as an adult with negligent homicide involving a vehicle.

Lewis moved to transfer his case to the juvenile division of circuit court or, alternatively, to designate his case as an extended juvenile-jurisdiction proceeding. Circuit Judge Joanna Taylor denied the transfer, and Lewis appealed.

Appeals Court justices said there were factors that weighed in favor of Lewis' motion to transfer to juvenile court, but there were also factors that weighed against his request.

The justices also noted Lewis will be 21 in October, which means he would only have access to juvenile services for less than a year.

Newton County Man Charged for Dog Attack and Assault

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  A Hasty man faces several charges after he let his pit bull bite a Newton County deputy, according to circuit court filings and Sheriff Glenn Wheeler.

Deputy Levi Lowery "had to shoot the dog while it was attached to his leg," Wheeler said.

Roger Campbell, 58, was charged Wednesday with second-degree battery, aggravated assault, first-degree terroristic threatening, possession of methamphetamine, possession of paraphernalia, unlawful dog attack, resisting arrest, reckless driving and driving on a suspended license.

On Jan. 17, Lowery observed Campbell driving a white, single-cab Chevrolet pickup, according to the charging document from Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Brad Brown.

Lowery knew Campbell had a suspended license, so he followed the truck, traveling at speeds over 90 mph to catch up with Campbell, who finally stopped in a driveway, the filing said.

Campbell stepped out of the truck but left the door open with the dog inside, according to the court filing.

"The dog is known to law enforcement to be aggressive," Brown wrote. "The dog has attempted to bite law enforcement previously, and the defendant has been warned to maintain control of his dog."

Previously, when stopped by police, Campbell would close the pickup's doors so the dog couldn't get out, Brown wrote.

But Campbell left the door open on Jan. 17, the filing said. Roger Campbell is being held in the Newton County jail in Jasper in lieu of $25,000 bond.

Wheeler said the dog died at the scene.

Recreational Marijuana Groups Seeking Legalization

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  Medical marijuana is already legal in Arkansas but groups like the Arkansas chapter of True Grass are seeking the legalization of recreational marijuana as well.

The proposed Arkansas Recreational Marijuana Amendment would allow anyone over 21 years of age to use, grow, process, and distribute marijuana.

The amendment would also release marijuana offenders from jail and expunge their criminal records.

However, groups like the Family Council believe that the release of prisoners could send the wrong message to children about the sanctity of our laws.

Another concern of the council is the abundance of marijuana products causing more of it to end up in the hands of children.

True Grass contests this by arguing that the legalization and widespread distribution of marijuana would eliminate the Black Market and make it less accessible to minors.

The proposal must receive 90,000 signatures by July 3 to be placed on the Nov. 3 general election ballot.

Feds Targeting Meth Transportation Hubs Around Country

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  Federal authorities are targeting methamphetamine "transportation hubs" around the country in an effort to block the distribution of the highly addictive drug, officials announced Thursday.

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon visited Atlanta to announce the launch of Operation Crystal Shield. Atlanta is one of eight cities the agency has identified as a hub where methamphetamine from Mexico arrives in bulk for distribution around the country.

The other cities are Dallas, El Paso, Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Phoenix and St. Louis. By focusing on those hubs, Dhillon said, they hope to attack the entire supply chain and intercept the drug before it is trafficked to neighborhoods and communities throughout the country.

While much of the focus in recent years has been on synthetic opioids like fentanyl, methamphetamine continues to be a leading cause of death and addiction, Dhillon said.

A 2005 federal law that regulated the retail sale of over-the-counter drugs like pseudoephedrine — which can be used to make methamphetamine — largely eliminated the production of the drug in the U.S., Dhillon said. Now, however, almost all the methamphetamine consumed in the U.S. comes from Mexico, where it's produced on an industrial scale and smuggled across the border, he said.

DEA seizures of methamphetamine in the U.S. increased by 127%, between fiscal years 2017 and 2019, and DEA arrests related to the drug rose nearly 20%, the agency said.

Authorities have seen a dramatic spike in the amount of methamphetamine smuggled across the U.S.-Mexico border in recent months.

Three of the cities in the initiative are in Texas, partly because drugs shipped over its border can be difficult to intercept in the state's vast size. 

Special Agent Eduardo Chávez, who leads the DEA's Dallas office, said the additional funding will help cover investigative expenses, including travel costs, and the focus on transit centers will catch traffickers in places they might think are lower risk.

At the crossroads of several major highways, Dallas is a natural hub for legitimate and illicit commerce. 

Corps of Engineers Reschedule Second Meeting of Table Rock Lake Oversight Comm.

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  The Army Corps of Engineers announces the rescheduled second meeting of the Table Rock Lake Oversight Committee.
 

The public meeting will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, March 5 at the Dewey Short Visitor Center on Table Rock Lake. Public attendance is encouraged.
 

Members of the public will be permitted to make verbal comments during specified times at this meeting. A three hour period will be provided near the beginning of this meeting for the verbal comments.
 

In the interest of time and for allowing everyone to be heard, individuals will be given a maximum of two minutes to address their comments to the TRLOC. Individuals will not be allowed to transfer time to other individuals.
 

Seating during the committee meetings is limited and will be available on a first come, first served basis.
 

The public or interested organizations may also submit written comments or statements to the committee, in response to the stated agenda of the open meeting or in regard to the committee's mission in general.
 

Written comments can be mailed to: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Table Rock Lake Oversight Committee, P.O. Box 867, Little Rock, AR 72203; or email your comments to CESWL-Table Rock SMP_FAC@usace.army.mil. An online fillable comment card is available at https://go.usa.gov/xpZkQ.
 

Each page of the comment or statement must include the author's name, title or affiliation, address, and daytime phone number. Written comments or statements being submitted in response to the agenda must be received by the Designated Federal Officer by Apr. 28, 2020 to be considered by the Committee.

 

Millions Expected To Miss One Credit Card Payment This Year

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  About 46 million Americans, or 1 in 5 adults, expect to miss at least one credit card payment this year, according to a new WalletHub survey.

Missing a credit payment can lead to late fees, a high penalty APR on new purchases and could cause damage to your credit score.

Director of Education at Credit Counseling of Arkansas, Mark Foster said there are ways to pay off your debts.

“Tax refund time is coming up and the average refund is approximately $3,000, so people can get that tax refund and use it to build up their emergency savings and use it to pay off a credit card bill or knock down some credit card debt,” Foster said.

Foster said that you can also use services like Credit Counseling of Arkansas to learn how to track your spending.

02-20-2020

Mayor McKinney Delivers State of the City Address

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  The Berryville City Council met Tuesday for their final meeting of the month.

All Alderman were present along with Mayor Tim McKinney, City Clerk Leonda Davis and City Attorney Clint Scheel. 

Police Chief Robert Bartos gave the January Police activity report. Berryville Police issued 123 citations, nearly 40 for speeding. 80 offenses were reported to Police in January, with 65 cleared. Many offenses were for thefts in January, a total of 12. Six assaults were reported to Police that month. Berryville Police responded to 17 traffic accidents. Improper backing and following too close were the main causes, along with failure to yield.

Residents will be happy to hear Spring Clean-up dates are as follows: Bulky items (4 only) will be picked up April 13th and 14th for those who live East of Springfield Street. 

Bulky items (4 only) will be picked up April 16th and 17th for those who live West of Springfield Street. All itmes mus be at the curb by 7am on your pickup day.

Bundled limbs and bagged leases will be picked up April 20th and 21st. Limbs must be tied in manageable bundles and leaves must be bagged and placed curbside. Again, have them at the curb by 7am. 

Spring Clean-up is for private residences only. No commercial pick-up.

Council passed Ordinance 1065 on its first reading rezoning a parcel of real property located on Arkansas Highway 21 South to R-O residential/office zone. The Board of Zoning adjustment approved the zoning change at their February 11th meeting. It affects 9 acres of highway frontage for that property owned by Dennis and Darla Lucas.

Council also passed Ordinance 1066 on its first reading, accepting dedication of streets by Henry Adams, developer of the Paradise Heights Subdivision, including installation of curb, gutter, sidewalk and street pavement for Phase VII of the Subdivision and Adams has dedicated the streets, or parts of, identified as Matty Lane in its entirety, to the public for access to the subdivision.

Council also passed an Ordinance refinancing bonds at lower interest rates for a total savings of around $250,000 over the life of the bonds.

Finally, Mayor Tim McKinney delivered the 2020 State of the City Address...........

https://soundcloud.com/user-984958735/bvcc-2-18-20-state-of-the-city-1 

Madison County Juvenile System Getting More Services

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  More services are being added to the Madison County juvenile system to help kids stay out of court.

Judge Stacey Zimmerman hears roughly 30 to 40 juvenile cases in Madison County each day. 

A $15,000 grant from the Arkansas Administrative Office of the Courts could cut down on those numbers.

That money will go towards services like a class called Creating Lasting Family Connections, which will run one night a week for nine weeks.

“We’ll be teaching families how to more appropriately communicate, and to help levels of stress in families so it doesn’t escalate,” Zimmerman said.

In addition, after-hours reporting for juveniles on probation will be possible thanks to a future part-time juvenile court probation officer.

Judge Zimmerman says it’s also about the parents.

“Often we see parents who are at their wits end and they just need a little more help with their kids to get their kids on the right track. This grant will help us help parents and kids, so they wont come see us in juvenile court,” Zimmerman said.

The grant now heads to the quorum court for the approval of these services.

Flu Deaths Still On the Rise in Arkansas - 13M Americans Have Had The Flu This Year

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  10 more Arkansans have died due to flu-related illnesses in the last week, bringing the total to 56 for this flu season. 

The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) does not release the victim’s name, description, or where they were from. 

Since September 29, 2019, 24,200 positive influenza tests have been reported to the ADH online database by health care providers, with over 2,470 positive tests reported this week. 

The ADH reports “widespread” flu activity across the state with “high” intensity. 

The CDC estimates a total of 14,000 flu deaths have occurred nationwide, including 92 pediatric deaths reported this season. One pediatric death has been reported in Arkansas. 

Nationally, the proportion of deaths reported to the National Center for Health Statistics attributed to pneumonia and influenza (P&I) remains below the epidemic threshold, according to the ADH. 

The average school absenteeism rate in Arkansas last week was 7.5 percent among public schools. As of February 18, 2020, the ADH is aware of 38 schools/districts that closed briefly due to the flu this season.

Since September 29, 2019, seven facilities, including five nursing homes, have reported influenza outbreaks.

China Opens Ports to All U.S. Poultry Products

  China has opened its ports to all U.S. poultry products, including live birds, removing a trade ban that has been in place since 2015.

The move takes place as China continues to struggle with the spread of a coronavirus that has killed thousands of people and slowed China's economy.

China banned the import of U.S. poultry products in 2015 after avian influenza was found in the Pacific Northwest, resulting in the eradication of millions of chickens and turkeys grown for meat or eggs. The United States has been free of the virus since August 2017.

Talks to lift the yearslong poultry ban began soon after African swine fever, a disease that affects hogs but not humans, took hold in China and other Asian countries last year, wiping out commercial pig herds. In November, China approved poultry meat imports as a concession just before a limited trade deal was reached with the U.S. A final deal was signed last week.

On Monday, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said on its website that China would lift all restrictions on imported poultry and related products from the United States, including live poultry. This would primarily affect genetics companies that breed poultry for eggs and meat purposes such as Aviagen and Cobb-Vantress, owned by Tyson Foods.

Exports of live poultry from the U.S. to China were worth $38.7 million in 2013, dwarfed by other poultry products such as chicken feet, Reuters reported. But the U.S. ban had a large effect on China's poultry producers, who rely on breeder chickens to replenish their stock.

Asked about how the new Chinese policy would affect Cobb-Vantress, a spokesman for Tyson said "we are well positioned to meet the growing global demand for quality protein."

The Chinese market is also opening up for pork products. Meatpackers Tyson and JBS USA said last year they would stop using ractopamine, an additive that is illegal in China, in the feed for their hog herds. Hormel said Tuesday that it would do the same to spur export sales, Reuters reported.

America's Car-Mart Third Quarter Earnings Up

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  Bentonville-based America's Car-Mart reported earnings for its third quarter Wednesday, beating analysts' profit estimates for the eighth quarter in a row.

The buy-here, pay-here used-car dealer reported earnings of $12.7 million, or $1.83 per share, for the quarter ending Jan. 31, compared with $10.9 million, or $1.55, for the same period a year ago. According to Yahoo Finance, an average earnings estimate of four analysts stood at $1.77 for the quarter.

Revenue for the third quarter was $187 million, up 16% from $161 million in the same period a year ago. The average of estimates by four analysts forecast revenue at $171.47 million.

"The revenue increases we are experiencing are the direct result of improving operational execution in the field, starting with inventory management," Jeff Williams, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. "To pick up market share in this very competitive environment, we will continue to focus on quality vehicles and a broad selection, as customers have many choices. Competition is intense but we are up to the challenge."

Car-Mart released its results after the market closed on Wednesday, and the company will hold a conference call with analysts this morning. Car-Mart's customers often do not have access to traditional vehicle financing because they have poor credit or no credit history.

Shares closed at $126.52 on Wednesday, up a little more than 4% in trading on the Nasdaq. Shares have traded as low as $80.40 and as high as $126.90 over the past year. Shares have risen since the company released second-quarter earnings in mid-November.

Earlier this month, Car-Mart was added to the S&P Small Cap 600 Index. The index tracks a broad variety of small companies that must have a market cap of $450 million to $2.1 billion. It is the benchmark index for small-cap stocks published by Standard and Poor's.

In December, Car-Mart said it was buying an Illinois car dealer, giving the Bentonville-based used-car dealer its first lots in that state. Taylor Motor Co. and Auto Credit of Southern Illinois has dealerships in Marion, Benton and Mount Vernon in Illinois.

Car-Mart operates 145 dealerships in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.w.

02-19-2020

Cornerstone Bank Donates to the Affordable Housing Project

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  Jason Tennant, President and CLO, Cornerstone Bank, presented a check for $5,000 to the Affordable Housing Project. The donation was part of a $10,000 commitment to the Carroll County Collaborative the bank made this year to help facilitate the completion of various phases of the project. The funds will be used to help meet the pressing demand for affordable housing in the Carroll County area.

Jason stated, “We are thrilled to assist in the continued development of our local communities. Cornerstone Bank, being the largest mortgage lender in Carroll County, has many loan programs that fit our community’s needs. Teaming with the Carroll County Collaborative’s leadership will allow us to help more people become homeowners in Carroll County. We are appreciative of the Carroll County Collaborative’s efforts as it relates to the project and the impact it will have on our local communities.”

The Affordable Housing Project will help provide individuals with more affordable, safe housing resources in Berryville, Green Forest, and Eureka Springs areas. While affordable housing is a critical issue everywhere, it is particularly a problem in Arkansas and Carroll County. 

Berryville Police Accident Reports

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  Berryville Police worked three accidents in town recently.

On February 7th at 7:45am, two vehicles collided at College and Main. Loragrace Hill of Green Forest was driving a 2018 Toyota and Misty Briley of Berryville was driving a 2006 Ford. Briley was westbound on College and stopped at the stop sign at the intersection of N. Main and College. The Toyota was westbound on College behind the Ford and hit an icy spot on the road while attempting to stop and rear-ended the Ford driven by Briley. No injuries were noted.

On February 10th at 2:04pm, a two vehicle accident at the junction of Hwy. 62 and N Main caused extensive damage to both vehicles. Charles Medford of Berryville was driving a 2010 Toyota and Celest Mattix of Berryville was driving a 2019 Chevy. The Medford vehicle was turning south onto Hwy. 62 from the junction of N. Main and the Chevy was westbound on 62 in the outside lane. The Toyota pulled into the path of the Chevy and they collided causing damage to both vehicles.

On February 13th at 3:21pm, Ozzy Duarte of Berryville, driving a 2017 Nissan, collided with a 1998 Chevy being driven by Randy Hillhouse of Berryville. The Nissan was making a wide right turn from W. Trimble and struck the Chevy in the driver's side quarter panel as it was stopped waiting to turn onto W. Trimble.

Missouri Governor Parson Speaks Broadband to Missouri Farm Bureau

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  Governor Mike Parson (R) emphasized the importance of broadband in rural Missouri during a Jefferson City appearance on Tuesday, and is praisingUSDA's announcement that the state will receive $61 million to expand it. 

The governor discussed the issue, while addressing a few hundred Missouri Farm Bureau members at Jefferson City’s Capitol Plaza Hotel. While the Farm Bureau event was closed to the news media, Parson spoke with Missourinet after his presentation.

“If we can get electricity in every home, and we did that back years ago, we can get internet to everybody’s home to where they can be out there and be competitive,” Parson says.

One of the grants announced in late January by USDA is a $2.5 million grant to help the Green Hills Telephone Corporation expand its fiber network in northwest Missouri’s Caldwell and Livingston counties. That’s expected to help a fire district and two educational facilities.

Governor Parson has noted that there are about ten Missouri school districts that still don’t have broadband. The governor says broadband ties-in with education and his workforce development initiatives.

“We’ve got to make sure we got broadband available to our schools, to give those kids a fighting chance out there in today’s world in technology and everything,” says Parson.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (R) also praises USDA’s announcement, calling it an important step toward ending what he calls the digital divide. Sen. Blunt says one-third of rural Missourians lack access to broadband. 

As for Governor Parson, he’s also emphasizing the importance of infrastructure, rural health care and the rural way of life.

“I always say the agriculture is so important to our state and what it means for the way of life for a lot of these people (Farm Bureau members), but really for what it means for everyday Missourians no matter where you’re from,” Parson says.

Agriculture is an $88 billion industry in Missouri. The state has about 100,000 farms.

Many Factors Affect Agriculture

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  After a bruising farming season in 2019, Americans got a better understanding of what farmers have always known – how much of agriculture is out of their hands.

It’s a truism that farmers are at the mercy of the weather. When they don’t get enough rain, crops can wither without sufficient irrigation. With too much rain, as demonstrated in 2019, fields can be flooded and crops destroyed. But the elements of what farmers can and cannot control extend far beyond the weather.

Contemporary agriculture is impacted by a web of global connections from commodity prices, to local legislation, to the vicissitudes of political discourse both at home and abroad. Since 2018, American farmers have been affected by the ongoing U.S.-China trade war – a conflict that has seen agricultural products severely limited to China, which had been the United States’ largest or second-largest agriculture market since 2008. 

This vast web of factors has changed the face of agriculture in the U.S. and in Arkansas. Small- and medium-sized farms are increasingly decreasing in number, while large farms are becoming more common. 

In the 2017 Census of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported there were 1,464 farms that were 2,000 acres or more – a sharp rise from 30 years prior when there were only 871 farms of a similar size. In the same time period, the number of farms in the 50-179 acre, 180-499 acre, 500-999 acre and 1,000-1,999 acre categories all decreased significantly. The only categories to increase in size, other than the 2,000 acres or more categories, were the 1-9 acre and 10-49 acre categories.

U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, the Republican who represents Arkansas’ First District, attributes the increasing numbers of big farms to “economies of scale,” which allow larger farms, with the assistance of more sophisticated technology, to produce crops at higher profit margins than small farms. This historical development, he says, is the result of lawmaking that was designed to help small farmers but has backfired.

Taking the example of crop insurance, Crawford says that excluding large farms from programs has put more pressure on small farms, increasing their costs. Crawford argues that lawmakers have created a situation that forces farmers to either grow or stagnate and die.

Walmart Reports Rare Fourth Quarter Loss

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  Walmart Inc. of Bentonville on Tuesday reported disappointing fourth-quarter profits and sales after a sluggish and shortened holiday shopping season. 

Violent social protests in Chile cut into international sales.

Walmart also delivered a weak profit forecast for the year, sending shares down about 1% before the opening bell Tuesday. 

It's a rare miss for Walmart, which has distanced itself from rivals through strong online grocery sales while holding its own against Amazon.com. 

Walmart is the first major retailer to report fiscal fourth-quarter results, and the numbers underscore a multitude of challenges that retailers faced this holiday season. It was the shortest holiday shopping season since 2013, leaving retailers the figure out how to get people thinking about the holidays sooner.

Walmart and Target have stood out among retailers, having ramped up deliveries and other conveniences for customers, but Target also struggled during the holiday due to weak sales of toys and electronics. 

Walmart continued to produce strong results from its grocery aisles, helped by expanded online delivery. It now has thousands of locations for grocery pickup and more than 1,400 locations that offer grocery delivery.

UAMS Gets Funds from DHS for Opioid Treatment

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  UAMS recently received $2.3 million from the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) to help facilities across the state to provide opioid treatment.

According to a news release, this will “allow medical providers to offer treatment for opioid use to patients without insurance or the ability to pay for services.”

The funds also cover expenses including the cost of medication, hiring peer support specialists, providing treatment services and even travel costs for patients using medication-assisted treatment.

Several Region 8 facilities will receive grants to provide office-based medication-assisted treatment.

Those agencies are:

· Recovery Centers of Arkansas 

· Ozark Guidance of Mountain Home 

· Northeast Arkansas Community Health of Jonesboro 

· Compassionate Care Clinic of Searcy

The treatment will use medications to relieve cravings and withdrawal symptoms, along with counseling and support to overcome the use of opioids.

Justin Moore to Headline Black Oak Mountain Amp

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  The newly renovated Black Oak Mountain Amp in Lampe, Mo. announced Justin Moore will play the venue in late spring.

The concert is scheduled for 7 p.m. on May 30. 

Moore released his latest album "Late Nights and Longnecks" in 2019. His hits include "Small Town USA" and 'Till My Last Day." 

Tyler Farr will open for Moore. The Garden City, Mo. native graduated from Missouri State University. 

02-18-2020

Evan's Memorial Donation Drive Underway

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  A fundraiser has been underway this month, you've likely heard about it. 

The Annual Evan's Memorial Donation Drive, in honor of young Evan Owen's giving spirit, is underway through the end of the month. 

All donations this year will be delivered to The Call in Arkansas who service local foster and adoptive homes in Benton, Carroll, Boone, Newton, Madison and Washington counties. JoBeth Evans is an advisor for The Call and has more information for us on how you can help........https://soundcloud.com/user-984958735/the-call-jobeth-evans  

Local drop off locations are Powell Feed, Powell Feed & Fuel and Powell's Ace Hardware. If you listen to us from out of Carroll County you can log in to kthsradio.com and click on Community Announcements, you'll see a list of the other drop off locations.

Early Voting for Super Tuesday, March 3 Begins Today

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  Every county will have different hours and locations for early voting. 

Early voting will be conducted at the Carroll County Courthouse, 210 W. Church in Berryville and St. Elizabeth's Parish Center, 232 Passion Play Road in Eureka Springs. The last day to early vote will be Monday, March 2nd. Hours are weekdays, 8am to 6pm, Saturdays, 10am to 4pm and Monday March 2nd, 8am to 5pm.

U of A Has New Humanities Center

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  The University of Arkansas has established a new research center — the Arkansas Humanities Center — and named new leadership and steering committee members for the center.

The center will support faculty research in the humanities disciplines of the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences — communication, English, history, journalism, philosophy, and world languages, literatures and cultures.

Professor Tricia Starks will serve as the center’s director, taking over from professor Kathryn Sloan, who supervised the center’s creation and was appointed the U of A's vice provost for faculty affairs in October.

The new center can trace its beginnings back to a 1980s National Endowment for the Humanities Grant, which encouraged interdisciplinary teaching and research at the U of A.

Starks said her work with the new medical humanities minor has shown her that ethical issues informed by history and culture surround our interactions with medicine and science.

“Humanities are the basis of a better functioning, more equitable, and more just society,” Starks said.

Sniper Competition Underway at Ft. Chaffee

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  Snipers from Canada, Poland, Denmark and the Netherlands joined the U.S. National Guard in a five day sniper competition held in Fort Chaffee.

There were soldiers from 20 states in the U.S. from California to New York, all competing to win this year's Winston P. Wilson Sniper Championship in the River Valley

Soldiers prepared for this all year long as they try to prove their unit is the best.

“A lot of these guys don’t get the chance to do a lot of lot of extra training outside of the military, they train for this and look forward to it all year long,” said Deputy Commander David Stapp.

Some of the challenges included long-distance target shooting, some of the targets are around the size of a piece of paper, and the soldiers can hit them from a half-mile away.

These snipers are so good at what they do, one of the challenges imitates an injury. The competitors had to tape up one arm and tie their own tourniquet- shooting targets 800 meters away, with one hand.

Monday (Feb. 17) was the third day of the competition but the soldiers do not find out the rankings until the end of the challenge on Wednesday (Feb. 19).

This will determine who gets to move on to the International Sniper Championship in Georgia later this year.

The 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team is representing Arkansas in this competition 

Court of Appeals Rules Lower Court Ruling Affirmed on Medicaid Work Requirement

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  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia today affirmed a lower court ruling that struck down Arkansas’s controversial Medicaid work requirement. The three-judge panel called the decision by Alex Azar, secretary of the federal Health and Human Services Department, to approve the plan “arbitrary and capricious”.

Walmart Implementing Better Control of Opioids

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  Walmart has started to take a more active approach to the opioid epidemic by trying to better control the medicine distributed by its nearly 17,000 pharmacists.

One of the key restrictions Walmart implemented is a limit on initial acute opioid prescriptions to no more than a seven day supply. They hope this helps avoid giving patients too strong of a dose.

Walmart is also supplying the patients with a better method of disposing their leftover prescriptions.

Most importantly, Walmart is making it a priority to hand out doses of Narcan, an antitoxin for opioid overdose.

In the future, Walmart also plans to require e-prescriptions in an effort to reduce the risk of forgery.s.

Gas Prices Expected to Head Upwards

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  After weeks of significant drops, the price of gasoline continues to trickle down. But analysts warn, that could change in coming days.

GasBuddy.com reports the cost of a gallon of regular unleaded fell 0.4 cents in the past week to an average price of $2.13.

Gas is selling for $1.89 at the cheapest station in the state, and $2.99 at the most expensive. That’s a $1.10/g difference.

Meanwhile, the national average rose 0.7 cents a gallon in the last week to $2.43/g.

Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, said oil prices rebounded on word that OPEC members were considering cutting global production to offset the decline in demand brought on by the coronavirus.

“Unless there’s renewed or new concerns with the spread of the coronavirus, we may have seen the deepest discounted prices behind us,” he said. “It wouldn’t be a bad time to fill up to hedge the chances of prices rising in the coming days.”

Let's Raise our Glasses and Toast to Lower Wine Prices announce coming events

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  The price of wine is expected to drop to its lowest levels in five years thanks, in part, to a surplus of California grapes.

Combined with a decreased demand for wine, drinkers can expect to get better value for every drop they drink this year. The cheaper prices may even last up to three years.

Rob McMillan, founder of Silicon Valley Bank's Wine Division and author of the annual State of the Wine Industry report, predicts U.S. wine consumers will enjoy the "best wine retail values in 20 years."

Vineyards in Northern California began planting thousands of acres of new vines in 2016, and with more efficient harvesting methods, it has led to more bountiful harvests of grapes.

Having more grapes to make wine sounds good, but if there's not enough demand to support increased production, the surplus grapes go to waste.

To bring the market back into balance, California growers will need to cut down on producing acres of vines.

02-17-2020

Grand Reopening of Mercy Auxiliary Thrift Store in Green Forest

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A ribbon cutting ceremony took place in Green Forest Saturday morning at the newly reopened Mercy Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store on the Square. Mercy Hospital Administrator Vonda Moore had opening remarks.................https://soundcloud.com/user-984958735/mercy-thrift-store-gf

The Thrift Store is located at 403 W. Main in Green Forest.

Four Teenage Boys Rescued on Elk River

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  Four Southwest Missouri teenage boys were stranded on the Elk River at around 1 a.m. Sunday (Feb. 16) and were rescued by emergency crews.

The Mcdonald County E911 Center received a call about a boat capsized while gigging in Elk River with 4 teenagers who were stranded along the river.

They determined the boys were downstream from the conservation access at cowskin towards the Oklahoma and Missouri line.

The Tiff City Fire Fire Department, Sheriff's Office, the Sheriff's Office rescue boat, the Missouri State Highway Patrol Water Troopers, and their boat were all dispatched.

The Tiff City Fire Department was able to access the river through a private property landowner. They found the four boys on the opposite side of the river where they had ended up.

Tiff City Fire Department, and the Sheriff's Office deputies at the Cowskin Conservation Park put the boat in the water and went downstream to rescue the boys.

The four boys were brought back up to the Cowskin Conservation area where they were examined by Freeman ambulance personnel

Although the boys were cold and shaken, they believe they will be okay.

Fayetteville Man Still Missing

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  Emergency crews spent three days searching Lake Fayetteville for a man who has been missing for a week.

According to the Morgan Nick Foundation, 61-year-old Robert Elmer, who goes by Jeff, was reported missing on Feb. 10. He is a white male, 5'11", weighs 184 pounds, has blue eyes and brown hair.

Saturday (Feb 15.), boats searched Lake Fayetteville using sonar technology, trying to locate anything suspicious in the water. According to Fayetteville Fire Department Assistant Chief, Thomas Good, divers were put into the water but did not find anything that could help moving forward.

A massive manhunt with nearly 100 volunteers searched the wooded areas surrounding the lake. Crews on the water were manned with a GPS tracking system. They searched for five hours in the water, coastlines, woods, and trails with no sign of Jeff Elmer.

On Friday (Feb.13), Springdale Police used drones around the lake to search for Elmer. The next day they put boats on the water to search the shoreline.

According to Elmer's friends, he was last heard from on Saturday (Feb. 8) and also posted on social media that day.

Elmer's vehicle, a 2013 Scion XB, was found at Veteran's Memorial Park and Lake Fayetteville on Sunday (Feb. 9), but he was not in it.

Police said they did not find anything suspicious in or around the vehicle.

His friends say that it's incredibly unusual for his vehicle to be at the lake because he is not "outdoorsy" and doesn't bike or run.

Jeff Taylor, with Springdale police, said investigators searched Elmer's apartment in Fayetteville, but he was last seen in Springdale where his family lives.

Dogpatch To Be Auctioned Off March 3rd

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  The 400-acre property in Newton County, Arkansas that was once home to the Dogpatch USA theme park will be auctioned off on the courthouse steps next month, according to a legal notice published this week in the Newton County Times.

According to a notice filed in January in the Newton County Circuit Court, Great American Spillproof Products had 10 days to pay a little more than $1 million owed on the property. It that wasn't paid, the property was to be advertised for sale at auction in a Newton County newspaper.

Dogpatch opened in 1968 with rides and other attractions. At its peak, it drew 9,000 visitors a day.

The theme was the characters of the Li'l Abner comic strip, which began in 1934. The hill-folk filled strip — featuring the likes of Li'l Abner, Daisy Mae, Mammy and Pappy Yokum — found an enthusiastic audience in the Ozarks. The park closed in 1993.

The auction will be at 9:30 a.m. on March 3 outside the courthouse in Jasper, Arkansas.

States Reject Offer from Opioid Distributors

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  Twenty-one states are rejecting an $18 billion offer by McKesson Corp. and other opioid distributors to resolve nationwide litigation over their handling of the highly addictive painkillers, according to people familiar with the talks.

In a letter sent to lawyers for McKesson, Cardinal Health Inc. and AmerisourceBergen Corp. this week, the states' attorneys general said the distributors' settlement offer is unacceptable "as currently structured."

The companies would pay the combined $18 billion over 18 years, according to the deal's current iteration. The one-paragraph letter's first three signatures were from the attorneys general of Florida, Ohio and Connecticut.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said in a statement. "I am confident we will secure the best outcome for Arkansans and our communities that have suffered at the hands of those responsible for this crisis."

Settlement negotiations involving attorneys general, the distributors and opioid-makers have been going on for years.

The distributors' offer is part of a roughly $50 billion proposal to resolve more than 2,000 lawsuits filed by state and local governments seeking to recoup billions in tax dollars they have spent addressing the costs of the U.S. opioid epidemic.

Drugmakers are accused of pushing opioid prescriptions on doctors across the U.S. and downplaying the risks of addiction, while distributors and pharmacies are accused of turning a blind eye to suspicious orders and failing to meet government-compliance requirements covering the painkillers.

More than 400,000 Americans have died of opioid overdoses over two decades as U.S. addiction rates surged, and local communities have sued to recover their expenses for medical treatment and police services..

Arkansas Tourism Lands State Tourism Office of the Year Award

  Arkansas Tourism has been named the State Tourism Office of the Year by the Southeast Tourism Society. The 2020 Shining Example Award winners were announced during the Southeast Tourism Society’s annual Connections conference in Little Rock, which was attended by representatives of several southeastern states.

The State Tourism Office of the Year award was given in light of team accomplishments throughout the Arkansas Tourism office, including effective tourism marketing, creativity in design and development, and implementation of new projects.

A recent economic impact report indicates that Arkansas hosted more than 32 million visitors in 2018 who spent $7.37 billion in total travel expenditures, $408 million in state taxes and $161 million in local taxes. This data indicates a healthy, thriving tourism industry across Arkansas.

The job of Arkansas Tourism is not just about numbers though. It’s also about finding creative and innovative ways to help tourism partners promote their attractions and destinations, while also enhancing the traveler’s experience.

Radio Signal Bursts Coming from Space

  For the first time, researchers have discovered a pattern of radio signal bursts coming from a single location in space.

The Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment/Fast Radio Burst Project collaboration detected the fast radio bursts. They occurred every 16.35 days from a source 500 million light-years from Earth, in the outskirts of a “massive spiral galaxy.”

The 28 occurrences happened between Sep. 16, 2018 and Oct. 30, 2019, CNN reported. The CHIME/FRB researchers are publishing the details in a paper on the arXiv database.

FRBs send out milliseconds-long radio waves multiple times, although they have been sporadic or in clusters in other known cases.

The researchers discussed a number of theories for the cause of the radio waves, including neutron stars or other post-supernova activity, as well as the combination of orbital motion and a lower-mass black hole.

There was no mention of extraterrestrial life as a possibility for the radio bursts.

CNN said astronomers can use FRBs to better map how matter is distributed across the universe.

Shoji Tabuchi To Be Inducted Into National Fiddler Hall of Fame

  The Tabuchi Family and Shoji Entertainments, Inc. proudly announce world-renowned entertainer, Shoji Tabuchi, will be inducted into the National Fiddler Hall of Fame in 2020. Shoji Tabuchi will be honored at a special gala, headlined by Grammy Award recipient Kris Kristofferson and The Strangers, on Saturday, April 18, at the Mabee Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The National Fiddler Hall of Fame, based in Tulsa, is dedicated to honoring individuals for their contributions to fiddling preservation, education, promoting the art of fiddling, and its historical and social significance. 2020 inductee Shoji Tabuchi will join the ranks of past National Fiddler Hall of Fame inductees Roy Acuff, Charlie Daniels, Howdy Forrester, Johnny Gimble, and Bob Wills, among many other entertainment greats

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Bob Ballinger

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  February 14, 2020

LITTLE ROCK – Every month in Arkansas, an average of 20 to 30 young people get in trouble with the law and are placed in the custody of the Division of Youth Services.

Two years ago, those teenagers were much more likely to spend time in a juvenile jail. They were more likely to wait months for an initial assessment to determine where they should be placed and how they should be treated. 

They were more likely to have their lengths of stay extended, sometimes for relatively minor violations. If they acted out and were punished, it often meant they were sent to a secure lockup. That meant their treatment and school work would be put on hold for an indefinite period of time.

Last year there were 30 youths who had been in the system for two years or more, even though they were not violent, they were not sex offenders and no judge had ordered an extended stay for them.

It is much different today, members of the Senate Committee on Children and Youth were told last week. The director of the Division of Youth Services (DYS) reported on the many changes in youth treatment that have been put into effect over the past two years.

The governor, judges and legislators have all participated in the changes, with the goal of reducing the number of young people who are locked up in a secure location. 

Instead, more are being supervised in group homes, under what is called community-based treatment.

Before May of last year, 352 youths were in a residential facility. Now there are 235. 

For example, before May of last year, 73 young people were being held in a juvenile detention center operated by a county. Now there are only six. 

That is an improvement, because generally there is no treatment in detention centers, rather they are simply places where youths are held.

DYS hopes to keep the number of youths in county-run detention centers in the single digits. 

Previously, when a youth was admitted into the system, his or her treatment plan was a “cookie cutter,” meaning that all youths went through the same plan. Now, each youth has an individualized plan written by a team of specialists. Parents are allowed input. Substance abuse treatment is more common. 

When a youth gets in trouble now, DYS takes about 20 days to complete an assessment. Before, they often waited months in a county-run detention center before they were placed in a setting where they could get treatment.

Typically, youth now stay in DYS custody for three to six months. Each youth has a set date on which he or she will be released, and that date can only be changed by the treatment team with approval from the director of DYS.

Now, the treatment team monitors a youth’s progress. That did not happen previously.

Act 189 of 2019 has made a difference in the number of young people sent to lockups. It requires all juvenile judges to use a “validated risk assessment system,” when placing offenders.

The intention is to make sentences uniform across the state, and eliminate discrepancies that have existed. In some parts of Arkansas, juveniles were sent to a lock-up for minor offenses. In other parts of the state, juveniles who committed the same minor offenses were ordered to complete community service and alternative programs.

02-14-2020

2nd Annual Carroll County Job Fair Coming Tuesday

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  If you're a business looking to hire new employees or an employee looking for a new career challenge, the 2nd Annual Carroll County Job Fair may be of help in your search. Steve Johnson with the Greater Berryville Area Chamber of Commerce has details on what you can expect..............

For more information call 870-423-3704.

Governor Hutchinson Addresses Tourism Society

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  Gov. Asa Hutchinson says he created three goals at the beginning of 2019 regarding the C&H Farms hog operation along the Buffalo River watershed, and all three were accomplished.

Speaking to the Southeast Tourism Society’s Connection Conference in Little Rock, Hutchinson said he wanted to buy out the owners of the farm in a fair transaction. Second, he wanted to make permanent the moratorium against concentrated animal feeding operations in the watershed. And third, he wanted to create a grant program with public and private dollars for farmers and municipalities to have better water management practices within the watershed. All three have been achieved.

“It was a good year for the Buffalo River,” Hutchinson said. “It was a good year for the next generation of those that will enjoy our outdoors here in this state from all over the United States, that will come and see nature, that will see the God of creation, that will see and enjoy something that has been there throughout time.”

The governor after his speech was presented a framed photo of a river otter from the Buffalo River Watershed Alliance, National Parks Conservation Association, Ozark Society and the Arkansas Canoe Club. He received a prolonged standing ovation as he left the meeting.

Washington County Quorum Court Takes Steps to Ease Overcrowded Jail

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  The Washington County Quorum Court passed two resolutions Thursday night on overcrowding at the county jail.

One resolution calls for the sheriff to terminate an agreement to house federal inmates.

The other calls for the sheriff to send state prisoners awaiting a bed to other Arkansas county jails willing to accept more prisoners.

The resolutions do not exert any authority, so it will still be up to the sheriff's office on how to handle the current overcrowding issue.

In July of 2019, the sheriff's office began looking into options on how to deal with the overcrowding issues.

The Carroll County Detention Center has been housing some of those Washington County inmates.

DHS Makes Improvements to Youth Services

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  The state says it’s seeing a more efficient approach to treatment pay off for troubled teens.

The Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) says improvements made in January within its Division of Youth Services (DYS) are reaping rewards.

DYS adopted a more hands-on approach to getting children in their system the help and resources they needed. Director of DYS Michael Crump said, “We would see bottle necking at the beginning, bottlenecks in the middle and bottlenecks at the end so really having a treatment team in place and an increased number of monitoring visits that go in it allows things to run more efficiently from beginning to the end.”

DYS is using a lot more robust assessment of teens in order to individualize their treatments. As a result, significantly fewer kids are entering juvenile detention centers and residential programs, DHS says. Since before May 2019 there were as many as 73 youth in county-run juvenile detention centers and as of February 3 that number is down to six. The number of youth in a DYS residential program is also down 33% from 352 before May 2019 to 235 as of February 3.

DYS says the next phase to emphasize following up on juveniles after they leave a residential program. “We want increased supervision from DYS, a little more response back and involvement from community-based providers to let us know what’s going on and then we can reconvene with clinicians we have on staff to be able to address kids once they’ve left our custody,” says Crump. 

USS Razorback Ready for Tours

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  The USS Razorback sits in the Arkansas River, right beside the Junction Bridge at the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum.

An imposing structure from the top, the USS Razorback is longer than a football field underwater.

She was a very busy vessel back in the day.

The USS Razorback was deployed during World War II, the Vietnam War and in the Cold War.

During World War II, she made five war patrols and was there during the surrender in Tokyo Bay.

In 1970, she was decommissioned and transferred to the Turkish Navy. Her Turkish service ended in 2004 when she was brought back to the United States, after being purchased by the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum.

She’s fully restored and ready for tour duty, but visitors may have to mentally prepare. The only way in and out is by ladder, through a narrow tunnel.

Tour guides tell her story, each in their own way. The tour is a great opportunity for kids to learn American history.

She was home to more than 80 men on board. Sometimes, over 100 men were deployed on the vessel. There aren’t that many bunks to sleep in, though, so they had to adapt.

The USS Hoga is docked next to the Razorback.

The USS Hoga survived the Pearl Harbor Attack in Hawaii and played a key role in rescues.

Her crews saved sailors in the water and spent 72 hours straight fighting fires.

Most notably, the Hoga pushed the sinking USS Nevada to safety during the attack, preventing it from blocking the narrow channel and preventing further disaster.

You can come out and tour the USS Razorback and the Hoga three days a week. Right now, it’s Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It’s $10 for a tour.

You can rent the space out too if you’re looking for a fun or different weekend trip.

It’s $40 per person with a $400 minimum and a 35 person maximum.

People have rented it for bachelor parties, dinner parties, even scout troops.

February is Earthquake Awareness Month for the Central United States: Now is the Time to Prepare!

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  February is the time we routinely recognize Earthquake Preparedness Month in the Central U.S., as a reminder of the powerful earthquakes that occurred on the New Madrid fault zone from 1811-1812.

Recent events, including the magnitude 4.5 earthquake that struck in neighboring Hutchinson, Kansas last month, are a reminder that all 50 states and U.S. territories are at risk for an earthquake. While higher risk areas in the United States include California, Oregon, Alaska, and the Mississippi Valley; we should all be prepared. For Missourians that live in the Bootheel and throughout eastern Missouri, especially along the New Madrid fault, this message is of special importance for you.

While we may not know where, when, or how large an earthquake will be, there are things you can do now to reduce the physical and financial risk of earthquake damage for yourself, your family, and your property. I encourage everyone to visit Ready.gov for earthquake preparedness tips on preparing before, keeping safe during, and recovering after an earthquake. 

We encourage everyone to take steps now to prepare and practice for an earthquake. Knowing what to do can make a real difference in your ability to take immediate and informed actions. Visit Ready.gov for more information on earthquake preparedness, and check out the valuable resources available to prepare for other disaster situations. Awareness of the hazards and planning for an event are the best ways to prepare your actions before, during, and after a disaster. #Preparedness will help minimize the effects on your family and property.