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and let us announce your Birthday or a Birthday of Someone you know. 

Birthdays will be announced on the day of, throughout the day.

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Arkansas Woman Escapes Injury After Hitting Deer


  A woman from Arkansas escaped with minor injuries after her car hit a deer and overturned after crossing into Missouri Thursday.

The Missouri Highway Patrol reports the accident happened around 4:25am. 49-year-old Kimberly Smith of Omaha, struck the deer while driving on Highway 65 just south of Ridgedale, Mo. causing her vehicle to overturn.

Smith sustained minor injuries that were treated at Cox Medical Center in Branson.

Legislative Committee Backing Proposal to Increase Teacher Salaries

 Arkansas legislative committee is backing a short-term proposal to increase salaries for new teachers.

The state Department of Education has recommended guidelines for the allocation of $60 million to public schools over the next four years.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that the Administrative Rules Committee of the Legislative Council reviewed the department’s suggestions Wednesday.

The council plans to meet Friday to decide on the proposal.

The state money would offset the costs of implementing mandatory wage increases in more than 160 of 238 Arkansas public school districts.

The proposal would also meet the requirements of a bill that Gov. Asa Hutchinson approved earlier this year to raise minimum teacher salaries from $31,800 to $36,000 by 2023.

Some education groups say Arkansas needs to figure out a permanent solution.

Congressman Steve Womack Addresses VA Problems


  Congressman Steve Womack (AR-3) submitted public testimony to the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs as they held an oversight hearing to address medical credentialing, privileging, and reporting issues at VA Medical Centers. The hearing was scheduled following Womack’s statement in front of the committee last month, which highlighted the egregious misconduct of a former pathologist at the Fayetteville VA and called for a review of the actions taken by the VA to address the situation.

As the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee examines the VA’s systems for protecting veterans from clinical harm, Womack requested that they closely analyze the procedures for reinstating physicians following substance abuse issues. This issue is directly related to the situation that occurred at the Fayetteville VA. While former VA pathologist Robert Morris Levy was previously found to be intoxicated on the job, he was later returned to his supervisory position without proper oversight. This decision allowed him to falsify reviews of his work and ultimately conceal his misconduct, which harmed the health and well-being of Third District veterans. 

The committee will use the feedback to explore solutions to prevent future incidents and help ensure that veterans across the country continue to receive high quality and safe care.

Teacher Under Investigation Resigns

  According to the Springdale School District, the teacher under investigation for sending inappropriate messages to an underage student sent in his resignation on Thursday, October 17.

According to Kendra Clay, Student and Legal Services Director for the Springdale School District, Scott Peckham has resigned from Springdale High School after Springdale police announced he was being investigated.

Peckham was with the district for 17 years. 

Peckham submitted his letter of resignation early Thursday morning to deputy superintendent Jared Cleveland.

AG Rutledge Announces Johnson & Johnson Settlement


  Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced a multistate settlement requiring Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Ethicon, Inc. to pay nearly $117 million for their deceptive marketing of the transvaginal surgical mesh device. An investigation of the company found violations of state consumer protection laws by misrepresenting the safety and effectiveness of the device and failing to sufficiently disclose risks associated with its use. Arkansas will receive $1,855,302.53 under the settlement.

“Arkansas moms, sisters and daughters have been deceived by false claims of Johnson & Johnson, and now they must endure irrevocable damage to their bodies,” Arkansas Attorney General Rutledge said. “This settlement confirms these victims have been heard, and I will remain diligent to protect Arkansans from companies not following the law.”

The multistate investigation found the companies misrepresented or failed to adequately disclose the product’s possible side effects.

Under the settlement, Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay $116.86 million to the 41 participating states and District of Columbia. The settlement also provides injunctive relief, requiring full disclosure of the device’s risks and accurate information on promotional material, in addition to the product’s “information for use” package inserts.

Missouri Man Missing for a Week Found in Crashed Car


  A 37-year-old Missouri man who had been missing for a week is hospitalized after being found in a wrecked car at the bottom of a ravine.

Lee’s Summit police say a dirt bike rider found Ryan Linneman, of Lee’s Summit, Wednesday evening in the wreckage along Interstate 470 in Kansas City.

Linneman was taken to a hospital with critical injuries. Lee’s Summit police spokesman Sgt. Chris Depue says he did not have an updated condition report Thursday.

Police asked the public for help finding Linneman after he was last seen driving his car on Oct. 9.

The Kansas City Star reports crash investigators determined Linneman’s car ran off of Interstate 470 and went down a 50-foot incline. The vehicle landed in a gully that was obscured from the view of passing motorists.

Investigation Finds Toxic Heavy Metals in 95% of Baby Food


  Toxic heavy metals damaging to your baby’s brain development are likely in the baby food you are feeding your infant, according to a new investigation published Thursday.

Tests of 168 baby foods from major manufacturers in the US found 95% contained lead, 73% contained arsenic, 75% contained cadmium and 32% contained mercury. One fourth of the foods contained all four heavy metals.

One in five baby foods tested had over 10 times the 1-ppb limit of lead endorsed by public health advocates, although experts agree that no level of lead is safe.

The results mimicked a previous study by the Food and Drug Administration that found one or more of the same metals in 33 of 39 types of baby food tested.

Foods with the highest risk for neurotoxic harm were rice-based products, sweet potatoes and fruit juices, the analysis found.

The tests were commissioned by Healthy Babies Bright Futures, which calls itself an alliance of scientists, nonprofit organizations and donors trying to reduce exposures to neurotoxic chemicals during the first months of life.

Infant rice cereal, rice dishes and rice-based snacks topped the list of most toxic foods for babies.

“These popular baby foods are not only high in inorganic arsenic, the most toxic form of arsenic, but also are nearly always contaminated with all four toxic metals,” the report said.

Author Deepak Chopra Holding Symposium at Crystal Bridges


  A bestselling author and wellness expert is holding a symposium at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Northwest Arkansas.

Author Deepak Chopra and Crystal Bridges founder Alice Walton announced Thursday that the Sages and Scientists 2019 Symposium will be held Nov. 14-17 at the museum in Bentonville. Chopra and his foundation first launched Sages and Scientists in 2010 and has held four symposiums, all in California. This year’s will be the first held in Arkansas.

Walton is the daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton. She founded Crystal Bridges, which opened in 2011, and chairs the museum’s board of directors.

The symposium will feature several experts who will talk about the future of well-being, and include XPRIZE Foundation CEO Anousheh Ansari and Harvard University professor Arthur Brooks.

Abby Adams Named Youth Advocate by American Heart Association



 University of Arkansas freshman from Little Rock has been named the Youth Advocate of the Year by the American Heart Association.

Abigail “Abby” Adams was announced as the award winner Wednesday night (Oct. 16) during the Heart Association’s 2019 You’re the Cure Heroes awards dinner in Washington. The event took place in conjunction with the association’s “You’re the Cure on the Hill” lobby day.

“Abby has proven age makes no difference when it comes to advocating for something you are passionate about. Over the past three years, we have watched Abby’s confidence grow as she has gone from speaking to a classroom of first graders to a crowded Capitol rotunda with both grace and confidence,” said American Heart Association Grassroots Manager Allison Hogue.

Davis lost her grandfather to heart disease in 2017 and said his loss spurred her desire to volunteer.

Davis is taking part in lobbying activities in Washington this week with patients, survivors and other volunteers to encourage representatives to “pave the path forward” for policies that lead to healthier lives.

Davis testified in a legislative committee at the Arkansas State Capitol and encouraged lawmakers to take action by increasing the minimum age for tobacco sales to 21. The legislation passed and went into effect last month.

The American Heart Association is the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health.


Berryville City Council Report



The Berryville City Council met Tuesday night with two councilpersons absent, Jason Williams and Linda Riddelsperger. Mayor McKinney served as the quorum person.

An Ordinance rezoning a parcel of real property located at 706 Park Street to R-O Residential/Office zone for its third and final reading.

Police Chief Robert Bartos' September Activity Report showed Police wrote 80 tickets and 78 Offenses were reported to Police. Some offenses included rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary/B&E and theft, just to name a few. 62 of those offenses were cleared by investigators. 15 traffic accidents were worked by Police in September. Most were for failure to yield and improper backing.

Cassie Ellott of Visionary Milestones, Inc., gave an update on the Rural Water Extension Project. 

The Financial report of Operating Funds shows the 1% sales tax received in September was $145,005 and the 1/2% sales tax received $72,502.

Council approved a low bid for the Rural Water Project LMI hookups to Kirk's Excavation with a base bid of $54,938.

The Annual Millage rate Ordinance was approved on it's first reading. Mayor Tim McKinney told Council the city is considering restarting a franchise tax. The Police and Fire Retirement Fund now costs the city $80,000 per year. He explains.........

The Millage Ordinance will be revisited at next months meeting, November 5th.

Madison County Couple Plead Guilty to Theft


  A Madison County couple negotiated guilty pleas to theft-related charges and received probation last week in Madison County Circuit Court.

Jessica Dawn Jones, 30, and Jesse Carl Jones, 30, were accused of stealing in excess of $25,000 while working at Huntsville Lumber Co.

They were arrested in December 2018 and pleaded not guilty in February 2019.

Jessica Jones was sentenced to 120 months’ probation for 37 criminal counts. She must pay restitution of $25,145.24 and she was fined $2,500.

Jesse Jones entered a guilty plea to 11 charges and was given 72 months probation. He was ordered to pay restitution of $9,526.50 and he was fined $1,000.

According to an affidavit for a warrant for Jessica Jones, police were contacted by Huntsville Lumber Co. in July 2018 with a report that Jessica and Jesse Jones had stolen $27,233.87 through fraud, forgery, theft and payroll fraud.

Flu Activity Still Called "Sporadic"


  For the second week in a row, flu activity in the state of Arkansas remains “sporadic.”

The Department of Health said in a Wednesday news release that since Sept. 29 more than 180 positive influenza tests have been reported to its online database.

Eighty positive tests were reported during the week ending October 12th. 

No flu-related deaths have been reported so far this season. According to the ADH, 120 people died during the last flu season.

Weekend Craft Fairs Abound


 Thousands of people will be in Northwest Arkansas for the weekend's craft fairs.

This means more traffic, especially on Hwy. 412 near the sunset exit of I-49. You'll also see more traffic than usual on Highways 12 and 112.

The Spanker Creek Arts and Crafts Fair began Wednesday, and continues through Sunday. It's located at West McNelly Road in Bentonville.

The Benton County Fairgrounds on Regional Airport Blvd. will host the It's Fall Y'all Craft Fair It starts today.

The War Eagle Mill Fall Arts & Crafts Fair begins today in Rogers.

The Washington County Fairgrounds will host the Ozark Regional Arts & Crafts Show starting today. It will also be at the convention center in Springdale.

Nearly a Million Children Vulnerable to Losing School Lunches


 Nearly a million children could lose their automatic eligibility for free school lunches under a Trump administration proposal that would reduce the number of people who get food stamps.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released an analysis that says as many as 982,000 children could be affected by the change. About half would have to pay a reduced price of 40 cents for school lunch and 30 cents for breakfast. Around 40,000 would need to pay the full price, which varies depending on the district.

The rest — 445,000 — would remain eligible for free meals, but their families would have to apply to qualify.

Children automatically qualify for free lunches if their families receive food stamps, but the Trump administration has proposed tightening eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, which was once known as food stamps. The USDA is not proposing changes to the income rules for the program. It says it is addressing a loophole that gives eligibility to people who would not have otherwise qualified.

The agency said the vast majority of affected children would still be eligible for either free or reduced-price meals.

The USDA released the details of its analysis after it was criticized for failing to report the impact its SNAP rule change could have on children's access to free school meals. The agency has said the change is intended to make eligibility rules more consistent across the country, since states can grant people eligibility if they were enrolled in other assistance programs.

The USDA said it would reopen the public comment period on the rule for two weeks to allow feedback on the estimated impact to school meals.

Suicide Attempts of Young People Increase at Alarming Rate


  Suicide attempts among teens and black children are increasing at alarming rates. And while suicide is the second leading cause of death for teens across the United States, suicide attempts over the past two decades decreased for teens in all ethnic groups except for African Americans. These disturbing findings come from the study, “Trends of Suicidal Behaviors Among High School Students in the United States: 1991-2017,” published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

Self-reported suicide attempts for black adolescents rose by 73% between 1991 to 2017. In comparison, self-reported suicide attempts for white adolescents fell by 7.5% over the same period. The findings are based on data from nearly 200,000 high school students from the nationally representative Youth Risk Behavior Survey.

Not only are black youth increasingly likely to attempt suicide, those attempts are more likely to be fatal. Previous studies have found increases in black youth dying by suicide, even among children as young as ages 5 to 11.

Salem School District Install Vaping Detectors


  As concerns about youth vaping continue to plague the country and the state, one small school district in north Arkansas is doing something about it.

The Salem School District recently installed vaping detectors at the high school. This rural school is among the first in the state to do so.

The devices, which cost about $1,000 each, detect particles that are released during vaping.

The Salem School District paid for two of them out of its own budget and placed them in the two main high school restrooms.

At first glance, the devices look like a smoke detector, but they’re detecting much more than that.

When the detector goes off, it sends an e-mail to the high school principal.

Guiltner says the detectors have been in place since last month. He says the school district was averaging one vaping-related suspension every couple weeks.

The district notified parents and students that the devices were being installed.

Since the installation, no one has been caught..

Guiltner says the district plans to purchase more vaping detectors for locker rooms, and he expects other school district around the state to follow suit.

Guilter believes the only other schools to have vaping detectors installed include some areas in northwest Arkansas and near Batesville.


Berryville Woman In Two-Vehicle Accident


  A Berryville woman, 30 year old Mandy Zimmer, was involved in a two-vehicle accident Tuesday, just before 1am, in Stone County, Mo. The accident was 1.1 miles east of Carr Lane, according to the Missouri Highway Patrol.

The accident report indicates Zimmer, driving a 2011 Kia, fell asleep and crossed the center line and struck a 2020 Chevrolet Express Van. The Chevy was driven by 42 year old Mary N. Pethybridge of Noel, Mo. 

Pethybridge was transported to Mercy Hospital Berryville with moderate injuries.

ShakeOut Earthquake Drill


  This week thousands of Arkansans will participate in the Great Central United States ShakeOut Earthquake Drill. This year’s annual drill is set for Thursday, October 17 at 10:17 a.m. The theme for this year’s drill is to “ShakeOut, Don’t Freak Out”. 

To date, more than 192,000 of Arkansans are registered for the 2019 ShakeOut Drill. Last year more than 208,000 Arkansans participated.

Held annually on the third Thursday of October, the ShakeOut Drill is a “day of action” providing an opportunity for people to take extra steps to become more prepared for earthquakes and other disasters. The self-led drill encourages participants to practice how to “Drop, Cover and Hold On”. Citizens in Arkansas are not immune to earthquakes—the state is home to several active seismic zones capable of producing damaging earthquakes, including the New Madrid seismic zone.

The ShakeOut is free and open-to-the-public, and participants include individuals, schools, businesses, local and state government agencies. To take part in the ShakeOut, individuals and organizations are asked to join the drill by registering to participate at Once registered, participants receive regular information on how to plan their drill and become better prepared for earthquakes and other disasters.

It’s important to remember that even though the official drill is being held this Thursday, there is no wrong time, nor is it too late to become more prepared. If you can’t participate this Thursday, go ahead and register and schedule a drill for yourself, your workplace or any other type of organization any day of the year!

More Options for Students Taking ACT


  The ACT is about to change for the first time in its 60 year history. 

Students will soon have the option to re-take individual sections of the ACT. Previously, students wanting to re-take the test for a better score in a particular section would have to take the entire test over again.

Students will be able to compile their best sections from different tests to make a “super score”. Students can retake one section of the test they did poorly on without having to repeat the entire exam. 

The ACT has five sections: Reading, English, Math, Science, and Writing.

Testing experts say the exam can be mentally exhausting for students. 

For the first time, students will also have the opportunity to take the ACT online at an official testing center rather than on paper. Both options will remain available for students.

SWEPCO Asking for Arkansas Rate Increase


  A request for new rates has been filed by Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) on Tuesday, October 15. The settlement agreement was filed at the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC), according to a SWEPCO statement.

The agreement would mean a more than $24 million yearly increase in non-fuel base rates. If approved, the new rates would happen in January 2020’s first billing cycle. 

Residential customers would see a bill increase of about $8.54 a month for every 1,000 kilowatt-hours used — an 8.8% increase.

Originally, SWEPCO requested a yearly increase of $45.6 million, plus $12 million for “additional vegetation management,” according to the statement.

Medical Marijuana Sales Approaching 2,000 Pounds


  Medical marijuana sales in Arkansas are fast approaching the one ton mark with a total value of nearly $14 million.

The Department of Finance & Administration released the following totals on Tuesday that represent sales totals through Oct. 13 at noon.

Combined, more than 1,949 pounds of medical marijuana sold and $13.93 million in total sales.

Medicare Minute - Open Enrollment


  Medicare's Open Enrollment Period runs October 15th through December 7th, and is the time of year when you can make changes to your Medicare coverage. Changes you can make include reviewing, switching, dropping or joining Medicare Advantage Plans or Part D prescription drug plans. 

Rebecca Davis with Area Agency on Aging has more information.........

For more information call 870-423-6114.

Johnny Cash Heritage Festival This Week


  Fans of legendary singer/songwriter Johnny Cash will begin to migrate to Dyess this week to attend the three-day 2019 Johnny Cash Heritage Festival, Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 17-19.

The event, which starts with symposium speakers and concludes with the cotton field concert, is the third festival to be held at the Dyess Colony and the Cash boyhood home.

To accommodate visitors, here is some pertinent information regarding the festival:

· Festival tickets may still be purchased at the Arkansas State University Box Office, First National Bank Arena (lower red entrance), 217 Olympic Drive. To purchase online tickets or learn more about the festival, visit the festival website, Click on “Main Concert” for tickets for the Saturday cotton field concert. Ticket prices are $35 plus applicable fees for general admission; $100 plus applicable fees for reserved chair seating. They can also be purchased at the concert entrance on Saturday.

Not Much Color Change Yet


 Fall may have begun on Sept. 23, but across most of Arkansas the wait goes on for the leaves to change their colors.

The latest fall colors update (Oct. 10) from Arkansas Tourism shows there is some development in the tapestry of the autumnal display. 

Fall is one of the most popular times of the year to visit Arkansas because of its excellent fall foliage. Every autumn, nature paints the mountains and valleys of The Natural State with gorgeous hues of gold, red and orange. Many of Arkansas’s visitors travel here for special fall vacations to catch a glimpse (and take some incredible photos) of the season. Scenic drives showcase autumn’s finest while allowing you to explore the state’s varied topography on a fun-filled road trip.

Fall colors begin to appear in the Ozarks and other northern sections of the state by the second week in October and continue slowly southward. Mid to late October generally provides peak fall color in the northern portions of Arkansas. October and November are two of the most popular months for visitors due to the beautiful fall colors and favorable weather.

The Natural State’s autumn attractions aren’t limited to scenery; fall weather is ideal for enjoying the variety of outdoor activities that the state has to offer. Outdoor enthusiasts flock to Arkansas for camping, hiking, biking, and rock climbing. While many of our northern neighbors are covered in snow by the fall, Arkansas ranges from the 40’s to the 70’s in the fall months, making it a perfect getaway before winter takes over. 

Click here to sign up for fall color updates.

Latest Fall Color Reports 2019

October 10: Arkansas has been experiencing crisp fall mornings, but where are the bright colors promised by a brisk breeze? The yellow is creeping in, and here and there you’ll see a pop of red in a maple tree, but green foliage continues to prevail. The wait is almost over, though – look to the Ozark Mountain region in the next few weeks for the first widespread color change. By the end of the month, the entire state should see noticeable development. Until then, grab your favorite sweater and hot beverage of choice and enjoy the cooler weather.


Premiere Showing of Tater "Chip" Patches Movie


  Mike Nichols, one of the areas most popular entertainers, and owner of the Ozark Mountain Hoedown in Eureka Springs, has had a movie made about his famous character, Tater Chip Patches. Mike is celebrating the event with a FREE showing of the Nashville produced movie, Sunday night at 7pm, at the Ozark Mountain Hoedown, and you're invited.........

Randy Wolfinbarger Named Hospitality Industry Star


 Randy Wolfinbarger, owner and operator of Best Western Inn of the Ozarks in Eureka Springs was named industry winner at the recent Arkansas Hospitality Association 2019 AHA Vendor Showcase and Convention. 

The award was given at the Stars of the Industry Awards Dinner at the Robinson Center in Little Rock. The Association comes together to pay tribute to some of the industry's leaders that have done remarkable work to help build the hospitality industry and to honor the up-and-coming leaders of the hospitality industry.

CCCF Awards $20,000 to Local Non-Profits


The Carroll County Community Foundation awarded $20,000 to local nonprofits in a special ceremony at the annual Giving Tree Grant Awards last week. Three food banks were among the grantees, along with other non-profits People Helping People, Carroll County Historical and Geneological Society and the Mission Clinic, NWA Head Start and Clear Springs School, among others.

The Carroll County Community Foundation is part of the Arkansas Community Foundation.

Emergency Landing at XNA


  A small plane made an emergency landing at Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA), shortly before 4 p.m. Monday, temporarily closing the airport and causing passenger delays.

According to Kelly Johnson, Airport Director, the H35 Bonanza lost electrical power and the gear collapsed on landing.

The pilot was not hurt, and there is minimal damage to the plane.

The plane was flying from Texas to Wisconsin, Johnson said.

At last report, crews were working to get the plane off the runway.

Hundreds Submit Comments to ADEQ

  Hundreds of comments have poured in supporting a proposed permanent ban on federally classified medium or large hog farms in the Buffalo National River's watershed.

But a handful of comments expressed concerns that, during the process of state regulators editing existing rules to incorporate the ban, significant changes were made to aspects of state rules that had nothing to do with hog farms.

People had several weeks to submit comments on the proposed ban, with the comment period ending Sept. 23. By law, the Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment, which proposed the ban, must read and respond to each comment before altering and/or passing along the proposal for legislative review.

Just more than 400 people submitted comments, with nearly all in favor of a ban. 

Most comments came from Arkansas, largely from the Northwest.

Scholarship Lottery Marks 10th Anniversary


  The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery, which is marking its 10th anniversary, saw its revenue in September creep up over what was collected in the same month a year ago.

However, net proceeds -- the amount raised for college scholarships -- slipped from September's year-ago total.

The lottery has helped finance more than 30,000 Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarships during each of the past nine fiscal years. The total of scholarships awarded has dropped largely as a result of the Legislature cutting the amount of the initial scholarship three times since the lottery started.

Total revenue in September increased from $35.1 million a year ago to $36.2 million, the lottery reported Thursday in its monthly report to Gov. Asa Hutchinson and the Legislative Council's lottery oversight subcommittee.

Recall of Taco Bell Meat


  An Ohio company is recalling an undetermined amount of seasoned beef used for taco and burrito filling at Taco Bell locations nationwide that may contain metal shavings.

Kenosha Beef International is recalling cases containing eight 5 lb. bags of Taco Bell Seasoned Beef Taco and Burrito Filling with use by dates of “L2 11/4/19” to “L2 11/18/19.”

The beef was shipped to five separate distribution centers and from there shipped to Taco Bell restaurants around the United States.

The problem was discovered on Saturday when the firm notified the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service that it had received three complaints from consumers.

So far, there have been no reports of injury, but anyone with concerns should contact a health care provider.

The FSIS is concerned that there may still be recalled beef in restaurant refrigerators. Restaurant management who have purchased this beef are urged not to serve them. They should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

California Has Record Setting Pumpkin


  A Northern California pumpkin hobbyist has won first place at the 46th annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh Off, setting a record for the largest in California.

Leonardo Urena of Napa won $15,000 Monday when his pumpkin logged 2,175 pounds (986 kilograms).

Weigh-off spokesman Timothy Beeman says Urena's pumpkin is the second largest in the contest's history. A pumpkin from Washington state weighed nearly 2,400 pounds (1,088 kilograms) and won in Half Moon Bay in 2017.

The 51-year-old says he took up the hobby in 2000 and says he enjoys the pumpkin growing community. He also won the Half Moon Bay contest in 2011.

Urena says he always tells his pumpkins he’s proud of them and he encourages them to keep growing.

Hobbs State Park Announces November and December Eagle Watch Cruises Dates


  It’s like “clockwork”. Come the first of November, migrating bald eagles begin to visit Beaver Lake. They are beautiful when they soar overhead, swoop down to the water to catch a fish with their talons or just sit in a leafless tree. It’s indeed exciting to see them. Hobbs State Park has chosen dates for November and December cruises.





According to interpreter Steve Chyrchel, “Nature’s wonders are unpredictable. We may see four or five eagles on a cruise or maybe just one, and on very rare occasion we may not see any."

Although Hobbs calls these times on the lake “Eagle Cruises”, remember that there is other wildlife to see as well. Great blue herons, belted kingfishers, red tailed hawks, and maybe a deer, beaver, or several species of ducks become part of the viewing fun. 

No matter what wildlife you see, it’s always great to be out on the water. Hobbs State Park provides a safe three-pontoon vessel, driver, and an interpreter to answer questions and share information about our national symbol, the bald eagle.

Tickets must be purchased in advance. Adults $10.00 + tax. Children 6-12 $5.00 + tax. Tours depart Rocky Branch Marina promptly at 3:00 p.m. For more information call: 479-789-5000

Ozark Mountain Daredevil Founder Dies


  Steve Cash, a founding member of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils has died.

Steve Cash grew up in Springfield. After collaborating with John Dillon, Cash helped formed the band in 1971. He spent the next 48 years as part of the southern rock band. The Ozark Mountain Daredevils released hits "Jackie Blue" and "If You Wanna Go to Heaven" with A&M Records. 

Cash was 73-years-old.

Personal Property Taxes Due Today


  Time is running out for Arkansans to pay their personal property taxes.

The deadline is Tuesday (October 15).

The taxes are due by the end of the day OR payments made by mail should be postmarked by October 15.

If payments aren’t made on time, the county will add a late penalty 


Berryville K-2 Visit Berryville Fire Department


  The National Fire Protection Association has concluded Fire Prevention Week that was observed through Saturday. This year’s campaign recognized the everyday people who motivate their households to develop and practice a home fire escape plan; these seemingly basic behaviors can have life-saving impact.

Lorraine Carli, vice president of Outreach and Advocacy at NFPA said, “From young students who learn about the campaign at school to parents who attend a community event like a fire station open house - all of them truly are heroes because they’re taking steps to make their households much, much safer from fire.” 

The Berryville Fire Station opened their doors to K-2 kids Friday to come learn about fire protection and see up-close all the fire equipment. KTHS talked to Fire Chief Shannon Chester Friday.........<iframe width="100%" height="300" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" allow="autoplay" src=""></iframe>

Kids got to see the fire hoses in action during the tour.

Two Arkansas Colleges Scammed

  Two Arkansas colleges lost thousands of dollars last year after fraudsters targeted their direct-deposit payroll systems, according to audits released on Thursday.

An email impersonating East Arkansas Community College's president in October 2018 fooled a payroll staffer into changing where her paycheck was deposited, Arkansas Legislative Audit found. The error -- which ultimately cost the school $17,766 -- was repeated a second time after the employee forgot to fix the mistake once it was discovered.

At Southern Arkansas University, hackers cracked the school's email system to send direct deposit change requests from the email accounts of three school employees, resulting in $16,084 in erroneous payments, state auditors reported.

Richard Stipe, East Arkansas Community College's vice president for finance and administration, told a legislative subcommittee on Thursday that unusual circumstances caused the college's president, Cathie Cline, to miss two paychecks.

The two reports were among about a dozen school audits presented to the Legislative Joint Auditing Committee's Subcommittee on Educational Institutions on Thursday.

Both incidents have also been reported to federal investigators, school officials said. Auditors noted that the fraudulent email was reported to the FBI.

E-Cigarette Cases Continue to Rise


  Nearly 1,300 cases of lung injury associated with e-cigarettes and vaping products have now been confirmed in nearly all states. 

So far 26 people have died. 

The CDC released new guidance for doctors evaluating and caring for patients.

“More than 90% of people have respiratory symptoms like cough, chest pain, shortness of breath,” CDC Deputy Director Dr. Anne Schuchat said. “But more than three in four describe gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain.”

Most patients with lung injuries from vaping have a history of using products containing THC.

The CDC recommends you do not use products containing THC at this time. 

But federal health officials say they can’t rule out the possibility that products containing nicotine may also play a role in the outbreak. 

The CDC also warned that e-cigarettes should not be used by youth, young adults or pregnant women 

With 15% of the cases involving people under age 18, parents are encouraged to talk to their kids about the dangers of vaping. 

Popular Game Fortnite Accused of Being Addictive


 We all know video games can be fun to play, but are they addictive?

That’s what parents in Canada are claiming about the popular game Fortnite, and they want the company behind it to pay up.

Montreal-based law firm Calex Légal is representing parents who claim their two children are addicted to the game.

The law firm claims Fortnite is so addictive that it wants to launch a class-action lawsuit against Fortnite developer Epic Games, based on similar arguments leveled against the tobacco industry.

"They consulted with psychologists. They spent years perfecting their game, studying human behavior, human brain, to make it as addictive as possible."

The legal notice filed by the firm compares Fortnite to cocaine, because it releases dopamine in the brains of young players, making them dependent on the game.

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Bob Ballinger


  October 11, 2019

LITTLE ROCK – The annual report cards for Arkansas public schools has been released by the state Education Department, and they show improvement over last year.

More schools earned an A grade and fewer schools were labeled with an F. The number of schools getting an A went up by 11 percent, and the number of schools getting an F went down by 14 percent.

The grades are based on test scores, changes in test scores from one year to the next, graduation rates and other factors that indicate students’ academic success.

The report cards can be found on the Department’s web site. An Internet search for Arkansas and “myschoolinfo” will bring up the main page. Then you can search for individual schools and school districts.

A report card provides a letter grade and a demographic analysis of the students. For example, once you find a school and click on the button that says “Statistics,” you will get information such as the percentage of students who are in special education classes and who live in low income families.

The page lists the average years of experience of the teaching staff, and the average pupil to teacher ratio in all the classrooms.

This year, the report cards were released earlier than in past years in order to give educators time to identify problem areas and adjust their teaching strategies accordingly.

The school report cards are part of the 2019 federal and state accountability reports. They indicate that 557 schools improved test scores, and 505 schools improved weighted achievement scores. For the third consecutive year, students’ graduation rates improved. 

In 2017 the legislature enacted wholesale reforms in the accountability system for Arkansas schools. Although still very reliant on standardized test scores, Act 930 of 2017 ushers in “next generation accountability” to give local districts more flexibility and to factor in more varied measures of student achievement.

Some educators express caution that giving letter grades to individual schools can create misconceptions, if parents and civic leaders focus only on the letter grade. 

Numerous factors must be taken into account to accurately measure how well a school educates children. One of the most important is the socio-economic level of the students. In general, children from prosperous homes have better scores on standardized tests than children from low-income homes.

Holding schools accountable is part of the legislature’s constitutional duty to provide all children with an equitable and adequate education, as mandated by the state Constitution and affirmed by the state Supreme Court in the historic Lake View case.

Arkansas Still Leads in Mallard Hunt

According to a recent report from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Arkansas is still the national leader in the hunt for mallards.

Last year hunters in Arkansas shot 477,817 mallards, which not only was more than in any other state but more than the entire Atlantic flyway.

Although anecdotal evidence from some hunters indicated that it was a less productive season than usual, it is no surprise that Arkansas led the nation in mallard hunting because of the abundance of wetland habitat that mallards prefer. Also, Arkansas is geographically situated along the migration route that mallards follow when they fly south for the winter.

Homeland Security Looking for Counterfeit Halloween Products


  Homeland Security Investigations officials are cracking down on counterfeit products that could make you sick this Halloween.

Agents are putting a special focus on items like makeup and contact lenses.

“Our message to the community is simple. One always buys from a reputable dealer if you're going to be buying these types of items. Larger brand stores usually have protocols in place that will prevent any type of counterfeit merchandise from ever reaching their shelves," Nick Nelson, Assistant Special Agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations, said.

Halloween makeup and contact lenses are popular items for people hoping to enhance their costumes.

Federal agents say counterfeits could contain bacteria, lead, and other toxins.

The FDA regulates contacts, and it’s illegal to get them from anyone other than a licensed eye doctor.

Investigators say many of these products come from places like China. Evidence found will be presented to the U.S. Attorneys office for prosecution.

Fines and jail time for intellectual property right violations can vary. Agents also warn people to be careful while purchasing these items online.


Berryville Chamber of Commerce Banquet


 The Annual Greater Berryville Chamber Banquet was held last night at the Berryville Community Center. The theme was "Celebrating Success".

The presentation of awards included the following:

Business Beautification: Hometown Scoop

Business Excellence: Carroll Electric Coop. Corp

Noteworthy New Business: Harter House

Youth Ambassador - Jacey Howerton

Tom Earls Distinguished Ambassador - JoAnn Clark

Guest Speaker was Sandy Martin, owner/operator of ProComm Communications

Featured Speaker: Tommy Tice, Asst. Ex. Dir. of Brandon Burlsworth Foundation

Dinner was provided by Horseshoe Grill

The Incoming Chamber President is Tyler Squires  

AG Suing Three E-Cigarette Retailers


  Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has announced that the state is suing three e-cigarette retailers on charges of violating state laws.

Rutledge accuses the retailers of selling and shipping nicotine products and devices, including e-cigarettes, to Arkansas children without age verification, which she said was a violation of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

“These out-of-state retailers are illegally selling vaping products online that are dangerous to Arkansas children, and it’s time to take a strong stance to stop this practice in our state,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “It is unacceptable for retailers to exploit our youth by selling vaping products to them illegally.”

The companies being sued are Utah-based, The Vape Co. out of Arizona, and Minnesota-based Mystic Juice, LLC. Rutlege alleges that Mystic Juice also sold products on eBay to avoid the legal minimum age to purchase such products on its own website. Rutledge also sent a letter to eBay insisting they remove all electronic nicotine devices and products from its website.

Every violation of the deceptive trade law is subject to a fine of up to $10,000 each. More information is available on the state AG website.

Lincoln Businessman Sentenced of Tax Evasion


 A Lincoln businessman was sentenced to federal prison and ordered to pay more than $400,000 restitution for tax evasion.

Derek E. Sands, 37, was sentenced Wednesday to nine months in federal prison to be followed by another nine months of home detention while under electronic monitoring and a term of supervised release for two years and three months.

Sands was further ordered to pay $409,958 restitution for his conviction on one felony count of tax evasion.

Sands owned and operated a fencing business using the names Sands Fencing, Sands Fencing & Outdoor Living Areas, and Sands Enterprises, according to court records.

The Internal Revenue Service began looking into Sands after receiving information he was, among other things, cashing thousands of dollars of his customer's checks instead of depositing the checks into a bank account.

Attorney Indicted in Adopton Scheme


  An attorney in Utah and Arizona with ties to Northwest Arkansas has been indicted in an adoption scheme. 

If he is found guilty on all of these charges he will face up to 315 years in prison. 

Investigators say that Paul Petersen recruited, transported, and offered payment to pregnant Marshallese women to give their babies up for adoption in the United States. 

In a press conference, U.S. Attorney of the Western District of Arkansas Dak Kees said that Petersen enticed and misled several women from the Marshal Islands to illegally travel to the US in order to give birth and give their babies up for adoption before returning home. 

“On multiple occasions Mr. Petersen knowingly submitted fraudulent documents to the Arkansas courts in order to disguise the illegality of these adoptions and to inflate the costs of these adoptions.”

The United States and the Marshall Islands have an agreement that prohibits this type of international adoption. 

On top of jail time he could face about 5 million dollars in fines. 

Walmart U.S.Has New CEO


  Walmart has named John Furner the President and Chief Executive Officer of Walmart U.S., the company announced on Thursday.

Furner, previously the CEO of Sam’s Club, will report directly to Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon, and the move will take effect on November 1, 2019, according to a company press release.

Furner, 45, started at Walmart as an hourly associate in 1993, working his way up the ladder in a variety of leadership roles. Furner was the chief merchandising officer at Sam’s Club before being named the company’s CEO in 2017. 

Furner’s predecessor, Greg Foran, is leaving the company to take a role as CEO at Air New Zealand Limited. Foran will stay on at Walmart through January 31 “to ensure a smooth transition,” the company says. 

Full Hunter's Moon Sunday


  If you love astronomy, you’ll want to make sure to enjoy this weekend’s full Hunter’s Moon, which will be visible starting on Sunday.

That’s the name given to the first full moon after the Harvest Moon, which is the last full moon before the autumnal equinox, according to South Carolina State Museum Observatory Manager Matthew Whitehouse.

The moon will appear orange when it is near the horizon, a phenomenon that occurs because we are seeing the moon through the haze of the atmosphere, Whitehouse said. As the moon rises above the horizon, that orange coloring will fade and it will become its more familiar white.

The moon may initially appear larger on the horizon as well, he said, because of an optical illusion known as the “moon illusion.”

“It’s a trick of the eye,” he said, adding that as the moon rises, it will appear normal in size.

Whitehouse says you should be able to see the moon if you look east, but you’ll want to make sure your view isn’t obstructed by trees or buildings.

The Hunter’s Moon was culturally significant to Native Americans, who used it as a signal for hunting season at a time of year when fields had been harvested and deer were fattened up. Because the Hunter’s Moon appeared in the sky before sunset and ended up extending the amount of light, it was also used as a signal to Native American hunters to begin heading home, he said.

Algonquin and Iroquois Indians also called the Hunter’s Moon the Travel Moon or the Dying Grass Moon, Whitehouse said.