News Director

Linda Boyer

Weekday News


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Pledge of the Week Mrs. Wingate's Class


KTHS has been advised by Carroll Electric Coop that some less than credible individuals are approaching residents about unpaid bills and trying to collect.

 Nancy Plagge with Carroll Electric explains...........

Again, call Carroll Electric Coop if you are approached.

Friday, May 18, 2018

BVHS Soccer Teams Playing in 4A State Soccer Championships Saturday-GO BOBCATS

Word is spreading and the excitement is building as the Berryville girls and boys soccer teams are playing for 4A State Soccer Championships this Saturday on Razorback Field in Fayetteville. Every team in every sport aim for the ultimate goal and Berryville has two opportunities on the same day thanks to some outstanding tournament play last week in Batesville.

The Lady Bobcat soccer team defeated Robinson, Stuttgart, and Brookland to advance to the final against Central Arkansas Christian at 2PM. The Bobcat soccer team defeated Robinson, Crowley’s Ridge Academy, and Hamburg to advance to the final against Warren at 4PM. Players, Coaches, Parents, and Fans will be treated to a banner to hang at Berryville High School to mark the major accomplishment; it’s just a matter of whether the title is State Champion or State Runner-Up. Either way it has been a memorable year.

Berryville is relying on experience and team chemistry as both girls and boys have players that have been playing together since grade school. Berryville has had a youth soccer program in place for many years and some would say that the boys who played on the Berryville Storm and the girls who played on the Berryville Pysclones have helped make the high school program very successful.

Community support is showing as the excitement of the championship games approach, Berryville schools has announced a state bound soccer student pep bus will be going to the big games. Students will be leaving the high school parking lot at 11:15am on Saturday May 19th. And a big crowd is expected to show up in support of the Bobcats and Lady Bobcats as the chance to see a Berryville state championship is only a short drive away in Fayetteville.

Fans are encouraged to make the short trip to Fayetteville Saturday for Berryville high school soccer history but if you can’t, KTHS 107.1FM will bring you the live broadcast from Razorback Field as special guest announcer Carlos Chicas Zepeda will call the game live beginning with a pregame show before the 2PM girls game with interviews, insight, and analysis. Listen on line at or download the free kths app today. Good luck to our Berryville Bobcat and Lady Bobcat soccer teams in the 4A state soccer championships! 

National Law Enforcement Appreciation Week Feature - BVPD Chief Robert Bartos


National Law Enforcement Appreciation Week Feature - BVPD Chief Robert Bartos

We continue today with our special interviews in conjunction with National Law Enforcement Appreciation Week which runs through May 19th. The men and women of our police force often receive little or no recognition for their daily efforts, yeat each day they put themselves in harm's way to protect our communities. On News this week we've featured Sheriff Randy Mayfield, Police Chief of Alpena Mark Bailey and today 's interview is with Berryville Chief Robert Bartos..........

You too can show your appreciation for your Police Department by sending a letter of gratitude, bake cookies or brownies, or create and frame a certificate showing your appreciation.

Green Forest 23rd Annual Agri Days Appreciation June 1st-2nd


Stanley Norris, Event Coordinator says, "This year's Agri Days still reembles the same one we started with in the beginning. We figure, if it ain't broke, don't fix it." 

Norris has an update for KTHS on this years' activities, including an antique tractor parade with three cash prizes to the top three voted most popular......

Rain or Shine, we'll see you at Agri Days.

Mother of Huntsville Student Expelled for Social Media Post Files Federal Lawsuit

A federal lawsuit says a northwest Arkansas school district violated a student’s right to free speech when expelling him for posting a photo of himself on social media holding a firearm.

The attorneys filed the lawsuit late last month on behalf of Jessica McKinney, the student’s mother. The lawsuit identifies the student only as “K.P.”

The lawsuit alleges the Huntsville High School junior posted an Instagram photo of himself wearing a trench coat and holding an assault rifle. The photo came 10 days after the Florida school shooting that left 17 people dead.

Huntsville School District’s board expelled the student in March, saying students couldn’t use threat, intimidation or fear to disrupt any school mission.

The lawsuit alleges the principal falsely accused K.P. of “criminal and terroristic conduct toward a school community.”

According to the lawsuit, the Huntsville Police Department conducted a full investigation and told the principal it found no criminal wrong-doing and the student should not be considered a threat.

New DHS Child Care Block Grant Funds Will Cover Thousands More Children

With $26 million in new federal child care block-grant funds coming to Arkansas, the Department of Human Services (DHS) can provide child care assistance for up to 3,800 additional children from low-income families – enough to eliminate a waiting list for assistance and still have available funding. 

This increases the number of children served through the DHS Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education by 70 percent. Currently, 2,056 eligible children are waiting for assistance because of past funding constraints. 

About 10 percent of the $26 million must be used for professional development, infant/toddler initiatives, and for the improvement of the quality of child care in the state. 

The other 90 percent will go into the block-grant program, which is commonly called the “child care voucher” program, and directly serves families across the state. More than 5,300 children statewide are currently served through infant/toddler, pre-K, after-school and summer programs.

Cybersecurity Experts Worry About Paperless Voting Machines

As the midterm congressional primaries heat up amid fears of Russian hacking, 1 in 5 Americans will be casting their ballots on machines that do not produce a paper record of their votes.

That worries cybersecurity experts, who say the lack of a hard copy makes it difficult to double-check the results for signs of manipulation.

Many election officials say they are confident in their paperless voting machines.

In many jurisdictions, the multimillion-dollar cost of switching to equipment that produces a paper record is a hurdle.

U.S. Birthrates Show Steady Decline

U.S. birth rates declined last year for women in their teens, 20s and - surprisingly - their 30s, leading to the fewest babies in 30 years, according to a government report released Thursday.

Experts said several factors may be combining to drive the declines, including shifting attitudes about motherhood and changing immigration patterns.

The provisional report, based on a review of more than 99 percent of the birth certificates filed nationwide, counted 3.853 million births last year. That's the lowest tally since 1987.

Births have been declining since 2014, but 2017 saw the greatest year-to-year drop - about 92,000 less than the previous year.

That was surprising, because baby booms often parallel economic booms, and last year was a period of low unemployment and a growing economy.

But other factors are likely at play, experts said.

One may be shifting attitudes about motherhood among millennials, who are in their prime child-bearing years right now. They may be more inclined to put off child-bearing or have fewer children, researchers said.

Another may be changes in the immigrant population, who generate nearly a quarter of the babies born in the U.S. each year. For example, Asians are making up a larger proportion of immigrants, and they have typically had fewer children than other immigrant groups.

Also, use of IUDs and other long-acting forms of contraception has been increasing.

Missouri's Sex Offender Laws Sending Offenders to Neighboring States

Missouri's tough treatment of sex offenders living outside of prison is sending hundreds of the offenders to neighboring states, where laws are not as stringent.

Missouri requires sex offenders to register for a lifetime, with no exceptions. Other states require registrations for a specific number of years, with a lifetime registration only for high risk sex offenders. Kansas is one of at least 20 states with no sex offender residency restrictions.

The Columbia Missourian analyzed Missouri State Highway Patrol records of more than 2,500 offenders who moved out of the state in the past two years. Kansas, Illinois and Arkansas are the top destinations for sex offenders.

Almost three dozen sex offenders moved to Mexico, which has no national sex offender registry.

"Sex offenders do shop around," said Paula Stitz, who runs the State Sex Offender Registry for the Arkansas Crime Information Center. "It's been my experience and the experience of other state-level managers. I had actual telephone calls and them telling me that they are shopping around."

Last year, as part of an overhaul of Missouri's criminal statutes, Rep. Kurt Bahr, R-St. Charles, sponsored a bill that included a minimum registration requirement of 15 years, followed by 25 years, with lifetime registration only for high-risk offenders — the same registration tiers as Kansas. Kansas is one of at least 20 states with no sex offender residency restrictions unless on probation or parole. Kansas is now home to 512 former Missouri registrants who moved there in the past two The bill died but a similar bill passed the House this session and is headed to the Senate.

Cybersecurity Experts Worry About Paperless Voting Machines

As the midterm congressional primaries heat up amid fears of Russian hacking, 1 in 5 Americans will be casting their ballots on machines that do not produce a paper record of their votes.

That worries cybersecurity experts, who say the lack of a hard copy makes it difficult to double-check the results for signs of manipulation.

Many election officials say they are confident in their paperless voting machines.

In many jurisdictions, the multimillion-dollar cost of switching to equipment that produces a paper record is a hurdle.

U.S. Birthrates Show Steady Decline

U.S. birth rates declined last year for women in their teens, 20s and - surprisingly - their 30s, leading to the fewest babies in 30 years, according to a government report released Thursday.

Experts said several factors may be combining to drive the declines, including shifting attitudes about motherhood and changing immigration patterns.

The provisional report, based on a review of more than 99 percent of the birth certificates filed nationwide, counted 3.853 million births last year. That's the lowest tally since 1987.

Births have been declining since 2014, but 2017 saw the greatest year-to-year drop - about 92,000 less than the previous year.

That was surprising, because baby booms often parallel economic booms, and last year was a period of low unemployment and a growing economy.

But other factors are likely at play, experts said.

One may be shifting attitudes about motherhood among millennials, who are in their prime child-bearing years right now. They may be more inclined to put off child-bearing or have fewer children, researchers said.

Another may be changes in the immigrant population, who generate nearly a quarter of the babies born in the U.S. each year. For example, Asians are making up a larger proportion of immigrants, and they have typically had fewer children than other immigrant groups.

Also, use of IUDs and other long-acting forms of contraception has been increasing.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Berryville City Council Report - Bid Accepted for Freeman St. Extension Phase 1

The Berryville City Council Tuesday accepted the low bid for Phase 1 of the Freeman Street extension project around the elementary school. Out of six bids let, Rockin W Excavation was awarded the low bidd of $1.14M. Construction will begin soon.

Ordinance 1030 was tabled again for further review. It rezones a parcel of real property located at the intersection of North Avenue and Maple Street, (204-208 N. Avenue) to R-O, Residential/Office zone. 

The April Police Activity report from Chief Robert Bartos showed 74 tickets written and 61 offenses reported. Offenses included 1 rape, 4 batteries, 3 burglaries, 9 thefts, 3 forgeries, 5 sex offenses and a host of others. 48 of those offenses were cleared. Berryville Police responded to 6 traffic accidents. Most accidents in town are for following too close and improper backing.

The monthly financial report showed the 1% sales tax collected for the month was $111,601 and the 1/2% sales tax collected $55,800. 

Saunders Museum opened for the season.

The next meeting of the council is Tuesday, June 5th at 6pm.

Search for Missing Child Continues

The search continued Wednesday for a missing girl who was last seen at a sandbar on the White River in Des Arc Sunday afternoon. The victim is allegedly a 9-year-old girl from Des Arc.

Several agencies have assisted the Prairie County Sheriff’s Office such as Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Arkansas State Police, Conway Fire and Rescue, Arkansas National Guard, Johnson County Rescue Team, and local volunteers.

The search will continue each day at 7:00 a.m., however volunteers are asked to get off the river before nightfall.

Pay Raises for State Government Elected Officials Approved

Seven-member Arkansas commission has approved pay raises for state government elected officials despite the objections of one official who personally doesn't want the increase.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that the Independent Citizens Commission formally approved the 3 percent raises on Tuesday for the state's constitutional officers, judges, prosecutors and legislators. The Arkansas auditor's office says the pay bumps will cost the state $1.2 million annually. 

Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin has asked the commission to exclude him from the resolution. He also requested for Auditor Andrea Lea to withhold his raise.

Griffin says saving taxpayer money "shouldn't be this hard."

A spokesman for Lea says the auditor will still pay Griffin, citing a 2009 opinion that Arkansas must pay elected officials the increased amount set by the commission.

Crawford County Weapons Supplier Raided Over Inquires About Napalm

A report published Tuesday by Buzzfeed found Thor Global Defense, an international weapons supplier headquartered in Crawford County, went to great lengths in 2017 to acquire significant amounts of napalm. 

The chemical agent synonymous with civilian casualties during the Vietnam War is not illegal itself, but its use in a military context is restricted under international treaty. 

Aram Roston is the journalist who broke the story. Documents he obtained from sources show a Thor sales consultant sought quotes for a "maximum monthly production" of napalm, to be delivered every two months. Thor would be serving as a purchaser and/or importer. 

Roston says Davis later clarified that the potential napalm was not for military purposes, but told him "If a military needs napalm, I can place an order.” 

Roston says in his research he found there are few non-military purposes for napalm. Some hobbyists use it for recreational flame-throwers, but he says the quantity demand for that niche is nowhere near what the Arkansas arms dealer tried to get its hands on. 

There are no indications of whether Thor was successful in finding napalm, meaning there's no way of knowing right now if the substance ever made its way to Arkansas. 

Federal authorities raided Thor Global Defense on May 2nd. A spokesperson for the US Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas refused to comment on the nature of the investigation 

LRAFB Looked at to House Immigrant Children

Little Rock Air Force Base could soon house immigrant children brought to the country via the southern border, according to sources.

A report from the Washington Post, said LRAFB is one of four military bases that may temporarily house the children.

The government says those children are in the custody of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the department is looking for suitable housing for those children.

Tyson Foods Gets Incentive Package to Build Tennessee Complex

Tyson Foods Inc. will receive a state economic incentives package worth $20 million to build a new chicken production complex in Tennessee, a project that's expected to include $322 million in private investment and 1,600 new jobs within five years.

The State Funding Board approved the money Wednesday for the new plant in Humboldt, about 85 miles (140 kilometers) northeast of Memphis. It will produce pre-packaged trays of fresh chicken for retail grocery stores nationwide.

State economic development chief Bob Rolfe says the total includes $14 million for water, sewer and electrical improvements and $6 million for new construction.

The facility is expected to begin operations in late 2019.

Rolfe says Springdale, Arkansas-based Tyson currently operates four facilities in Tennessee, employing about 5,000.

The company announced the new project in November.

Indian Tribes Casinos Welcome Sports Betting Opportunity

American Indian tribes are welcoming an opportunity to offer sports betting in potentially hundreds of casinos across the country after the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for states to legalize it.

Tribal casinos generate more than $31 billion a year in gross revenue. While adding sports books isn't expected to boost that number significantly, tribes say it's another source to deliver services to tribal members.

Many tribes give a share of casino profits to states in exchange for exclusive rights to conduct gambling operations. In Arizona, the state's share was about $100 million last year.

Some tribes believe agreements with states already give them the right to control sports betting, while others will work out the details through negotiations in compacts that vary in wording state by state.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act on a challenge from New Jersey. The law limited sports betting to four states that met a 1991 deadline to legalize it: Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon.

States now can adopt laws regulating sports betting, though some already have the legal framework in place.

Arkansas Company Using Technology to Build Better Rubber Band

While it may seem a stretch, an Arkansas company and a university in southeastern England want to use Nobel Prize-winning technology to build a better rubber band.

Graphene was discovered 14 years ago, and Alliance Rubber in Hot Springs and the University of Sussex in England hope to tap its adapt its electrical and thermal properties. Researchers worldwide are working on ways to use graphene. The rubber researchers envision products helping in health care and agriculture.

Sussex professor Alan Dalton said graphene-infused rubber bands could provide an inexpensive means to monitor blood pressure and heart rates. Alliance's director of business strategy, Jason Risner, said grocery stores could use fancy rubber bands to ensure perishable items are kept at the right temperature and alert someone if produce spoils.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Anstaff Bank Spring Trip Giveaway 2018 Winners Announced

Photo: Keresa Phillipe

Second place winner Keresa Phillipe heard her name Wednesday morning on KTHS when she was getting off work at Mercy in Berryville and called to find out what she had won. Keresa came to the station on her way home from work to pick up her prize as she was surprised and said she never wins anything. She is looking forward to a stay in Eureka Springs, dinner, and tickets to a local attraction thanks to her efforts of signing up at Worley’s Tire. Congratulations to Keresa Phillipe! And Thanks to the KTHS spring trip giveaway sponsors including; Anstaff Bank, Worley’s Tire and Worley’s Rental, Rancho Latino Mexican Store, Thinking of You gift shop, and KFC in Berryville.

Our Grand Prize Winner is Karen Albarran of Green Forest. Albarran wins a 2-night Stay and Play for up to 4 people to Kansas City Adams Mark Hotel and Spa, 4 passes for 2 days at Coco Key Water Park, and $500 Visa Card Courtesy of Anstaff Bank. Albarran called us this morning after seeing our phone number trying to call her..........

Karen registered at Anstaff Bank in Green Forest and will be presented her prizes Thursday morning in a presentation at Anstaff Bank with KTHS. 

National Police Week 2018

May 13-19th is designated as National Police Week in the United States. KTHS is taking a moment to publicly salute the service of law enforcement officers in our community and in communities across the nation.

The men and women of law enforcement often receive little or no recognition for their daily efforts, yet each day they put themselves in harm's way to protect our communities.

On Tuesday news we featured Sheriff Randy Mayfield. Today our interview is with Chief Mark Bailey at the Alpena Police Department............

Lt. Dana Bailey with Carroll County Central Dispatch is putting together the bags referenced by the Chief with hundreds of donated items, gift certificates, goods and services from numerous Carroll County businesses. 

National Police Week runs through May 19th.

Man Considered Person of Interest in Roommates Death Captured

A man sought in connection with a death in Springdale has been captured in Barry County, Missouri, a jail log confirmed Tuesday.

Zachary Nicholas Harlan, 33, is considered a person of interest in the death of his roommate, who was found dead "from apparent foul play" on Monday (May 14) at 1:30 p.m. on Moulton Lane.

Harlan was arrested in Barry County and was booked into the jail in Cassville, Missouri, at 10:55 p.m., according to the jail log.

Police found Harlan's roommate during a welfare check this afternoon, after the man failed to show up to work this morning. An investigation is ongoing.

Woman Arrested in Connection to Deadly Burglary

Springdale police arrested a woman Tuesday in connection with a deadly burglary the day before.

Kaili Cogdill, age 21, was arrested on charges including residential burglary.

Cogdill and the burglary victim, Clinton Pruitt, had met through an online dating app, according to police.

Pruitt called 9-1-1 shortly before 7 a.m., reporting a burglary in progress. When police arrived at the home on Green Drive, they found a man lying on the sidewalk with an apparent gunshot wound, according to police. He was brought to the hospital, where he died from his injuries.

Police later identified the man as Jalen Tims, age 21.

Pruitt told police he had heard someone beating on the door of his apartment. When he asked who was there, no one answered. Pruitt got a handgun and called 911.

Pruitt said a man and a woman (Tims and Cogdill) kicked in his door and entered his apartment. He told police he feared for his life, and so he shot the man.

Tims and Cogdill ran from the apartment. Tims collapsed on the sidewalk and Cogdill drove away in a silver passenger car, according to police.

A.G. Rutledge Ordered to Submit to Questioning in Ballot-Initiative Review Process

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge must submit to questioning under oath about her ballot-initiative review process, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen ruled Tuesday.

But will Rutledge have to answer any of those questions?

Griffen stated he can't answer that question until he hears for himself what the lawyers suing Rutledge will ask her at a hearing at 10 a.m. Friday.

The lawyers filed suit earlier this month, accusing her of deliberately thwarting their efforts to get proposed constitutional amendments on casino gambling and sovereign immunity before the voters. Rutledge this year has refused to certify two casino proposals and five involving sovereign immunity. 

Rutledge has not certified a ballot initiative in the past 18 months even though 62 have been put before her, according to the suit. None of the proposals met the standards set by the state Supreme Court for being clear and concise, Rutledge says.

Her attorneys tried to resist the effort to compel her to testify, arguing that there's no real need for the state's chief lawyer to submit to questioning since her rationale for refusing to certify the casino and immunity proposals is laid out in the seven opinions she's released over the past five months.

Rutledge has no unique information about the process that could not come from a member of her staff, they asserted.

The Rutledge lawyers also argued that the attorney general is protected from questioning by the "deliberative process privilege," a federal doctrine also known as executive privilege.

NWACC Gets National Recognition for Child Advocacy Studies Program

Child abuse cases continue to rise and an Arkansas Community College is doing something no school has done before in an effort to bring those numbers down. 

Northwest Arkansas Community College is the first community school to get national recognition for its children's advocacy studies program. 

The school is working around the clock to prepare its students for careers involving protecting kids. 

Over 400 students have taken the course. 

With approval from the National Child Protection Training Center, school leader know what's being taught in Northwest Arkansas is making a difference. 

"It's an amazing thing to see people be proactive in order to provide our students the tools and resources to eliminate child abuse," says Melanie Halbrook, Education Specialist, Children's Advocacy Center. "The giving and the influence this program is going to have will benefit us, but truly will create a safe environment for children to succeed."

Halbrook says the students are getting three to five years worth of experience before they're even handed their first case. 

New Pig Virus Could Be Threat to Humans

Researchers say they have identified a new pig virus that could be a threat to humans. The virus was able to find its way into laboratory-cultured cells of people and other species, a discovery that raises concerns about how a potential outbreak could affect humans.

Researchers at The Ohio State University and Utrecht University in the Netherlands collaborated to better understand the new virus, identified as porcine deltacoronavirus. Their study appears online in the journal PNAS.

Scientists say the virus was first discovered in pigs in China in 2012 but it was not associated with disease. It was first detected in the United States in 2014 during a diarrhea outbreak in Ohio pigs and has since been detected in other countries, as well.

Pigs infected with the virus can experience acute diarrhea and vomiting that may be fatal.

There have been no human cases of illness documented from the virus. But scientists are concerned because of the virus' similarity to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) -- two other viral diseases that originated in animals and went on to kill people.

Saif says for now, porcine deltacoronavirus has only affected human cell cultures in a laboratory setting -- no actual people got sick. The virus was also able to bind to receptors in cells from cats and chickens.

Scientists say the next step is working to understand the virus and its potential for human infection, and looking for antibodies in the blood that would serve as evidence that the pig virus has previously infected people.

Walmart Doing Away with Scan & Go in U.S. Stores

Walmart Inc. no longer offers its Scan & Go service in U.S. stores, ending a test designed to make shopping easier for customers by giving them the chance to bypass the checkout line.

The mobile express technology -- which enabled shoppers to use a hand-held device or mobile phone app to scan items as they shopped -- is no longer available a few months after Walmart expanded the test to include about 120 locations.

he company tested Scan & Go at three locations in Arkansas: a Walmart Supercenter and a Neighborhood Market in Rogers, and a supercenter in Malvern.

Signs inside the supercenter in Rogers on Monday thanked shoppers for their Scan & Go participation and indicated the company would learn from the test.

It's the second time Walmart tried a Scan & Go system with U.S. customers. The company first began testing an early version of the service in 2013, but wrapped up without a larger adoption across the chain.

The latest version was introduced to a few stores in 2017.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

National Police Week Being Observed

In 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15 falls, as National Police Week. Established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962, National Police Week pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others.

National Police Week is a collaborative effort of many organizations dedicated to honoring America's law enforcement community. 

KTHS spoke to Sheriff Randy Mayfield .........

We hope to speak to some of our local Police Chiefs this week for National Police Week. You can show your appreciation this week to local police and deputies by doing one of the following: write a letter of appreciation; put together a plate of cookies or donuts with a thank you card; if you see a police officer eating lunch, pick up the tab; purchase a planter of spring flowers; and ask you local police if they need any supplies or needs; or, coordinate a potluck lunch for your police department.

Berryville Accident Report

Berryville Police responded to a three-vehicle accident involving a semi-truck and trailer on Wednesday, May 9th at Hwy. 62 W and 62 Spur in front of Walmart.

The accident involved a 2016 semi tractor and trailer driven by James Overton of Harrison, a 2005 Dodge driven by Justin Cossey of Berryville and a 16 year old female from Berryville driving a 2003 Pontiac. The semi was westbound on 62 and the Pontiac attempted to pass the truck then turned left in front of the truck bumping the front it, and attempting to turn into McDonalds. The force of the bump spun the Pontiac around 360 degrees and then was hit in the side by the Dodge, driven by Cossey. 

Several were injured and transported to area hospitals. Police cited the 16 year old with reckless driving and no driver's license.

Drowning Victim Identified

A teenager drowned at Prairie Creek Marina on Sunday, according to a spokesman at the Benton County Sheriff's Office.

Shannon Jenkins with the sheriff's office said Raymond Vaughns, 16, drowned in the swimming area at Prairie Creek Marina on Sunday afternoon. Several agencies responded to the scene about 3 p.m. Jenkins said they recovered the body about 3:30 p.m.

Leslee Wright with Bentonville Schools said Monday that Vaughns had been a student at the district since January. Wright said counselors are available for students and staff members.

Springdale Police Investigate Death - Roommate Sought

The Springdale Police Department is searching for a person of interest in a death investigation.

Monday afternoon, police went to a home on Moulton Lane for a welfare check. They had been told a person who lived there hadn't showed up for work that day. 

"He didn’t show up to work this morning, and a coworker called us because he didn’t show up. They were worried. They say he typically calls if he doesn't come in," Lt Jeff Taylor said. 

No one answered the door, but police were able to get inside. Inside, officers found a man, dead from what a press release called "apparent foul play."

Officers identified the dead man's roommate, Zachary Nicholas Harlan, as a person of interest.

Lt Jeff Taylor said that Harlan is wanted for questioning in connection to an assault investigation. Taylor said the victim in that case is a female.

Harlan is 33 years old. He may be driving a white 2005 Chevy Malibu. If you see Harlan or know where he might be, police warn you not to approach him. Instead, call 9-1-1.

Police have not identified the man who was killed on Monday. 

National Publication Ranks Some Arkansas High Schools

A national publication has published a ranking of the nation's high schools, including 94 in Arkansas.

U.S. News & World Report analyzed schools based on factors related to graduation rates, percentages of Advanced Placement test-takers and student performance on state reading and math tests, including how the black, Hispanic and low-income students at a school did compared with statewide results for those subgroups.

Ninety-four of Arkansas' more than 250 high schools achieved the prerequisite data benchmarks to be ranked.

Haas Hall Academy in Fayetteville is ranked at the top in the state and 50th in the nation.

The eSTEM Public Charter High School in Little Rock was second in the state, followed by Lisa Academy North High charter school in Sherwood, Prairie Grove High School, and Bentonville High.

The next five highest-ranked Arkansas high schools, according to the analysis, are Rogers High; Lisa Academy High charter school in Little Rock; Arkansas Arts Academy High charter school in Rogers; Fayetteville High School East; and Scranton High School.

Prosecutors Drop Charge Against Gov. Eric Greitens

Prosecutors on Monday dropped an invasion-of-privacy charge against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, but say they still plan to pursue the case.

Assistant St. Louis Circuit Attorney Ronald Sullivan made the surprise announcement in court after the third day of jury selection in Greitens' trial. Sullivan cited the fact that Greitens' defense attorneys planned to call the St. Louis circuit attorney, Kim Gardner, whose handling of the case has been under constant criticism by Greitens attorneys.

Greitens' defense team has particularly focused on the prosecutor's hiring of a private investigator, William Tisaby, whom Greitens' lawyers have accused of perjury.

The first-term Republican governor was charged with felony invasion of privacy for allegedly taking and transmitting a photo of an at least partially nude woman without her permission in 2015. If convicted, Greitens could have faced up to four years in prison. He's denied criminal wrongdoing.

A Gardner spokeswoman says a decision will be made later on how to proceed.

Greitens has rejected calls to resign from both Republicans and Democrats since he first admitted in January that he had an affair before he was elected governor in 2016.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Boone County Double Fatality

A Boone County teenager was one of two killed in a head-on collision Sunday morning.

According to a report from the Arkansas State Police, Tyler Smith, 18, of Wesley was driving a 2004 Dodge west on U.S. 62 just west of Harmon in Boone County. Russell Campbell, 19, of Damascus was a passenger.

State Police said Smith’s vehicle crossed the center line and collided with a 2008 Chevrolet driven by Anthony Thornton, 26, of Mountain Home. The crash happened at 8:24 a.m.

Both Smith and Campbell were killed in the accident.

Teen Drowns at Prairie Creek

Sergeant Shannon Jenkins with the Benton County Sheriff's Office has confirmed a 16-year-old boy drowned at the Prairie Creek Marina swim area Sunday afternoon.

The youth was with family including his mother for a Mother's Day trip to the lake.

His body was recovered about an hour after he went under water.

The incident is under investigation. 

Child Missing in White River

Police in Prairie County are searching for the body of a 9-year-old girl they believe drowned in the White River Sunday afternoon.

Crews had to call the search off Sunday night but said dive teams will be back out Monday morning.

Family identified the girl as Promise Archer. Her father says Promise was at the river in Des Arc with her mother and some friends.

Police say Promise may have drown near a popular sandbar. Officers say strong currents in the river may have been a factor.

Van Buren Man Sentenced in Child Rap

A 60-year-old Van Buren man has been sentenced to 60 years in prison after a Crawford County Circuit Court jury convicted him of raping an 11-year-old girl who became pregnant and to whom a daughter was born.

The prosecuting attorney's office said the jury deliberated for less than 10 minutes Tuesday before convicting Lenin Alejandro-Alvarez of rape and of second-degree sexual assault for having other sexual contact with the girl.  

He was sentenced to 40 years in prison on the rape conviction and to 20 years on the sexual-assault charge.

The sentences were ordered to be served consecutively, or one after the other.

Prosecuting Attorney Marc McCune said in a Facebook post Tuesday that Alejandro-Alvarez will have to serve 31 years before he is eligible for parole.

Court records show the rape and assault occurred between Jan. 1, 2016, and Sept. 9, 2016, when Alejandro-Alvarez was arrested.

McCune said on Facebook that the child's mother was in Texas at the time of the rape. She had been delayed in returning to Arkansas while trying to get money to repair her vehicle.

Former IRS Agent Sentenced

A former IRS revenue agent from Barling was sentenced Friday (May 11) to more than four years in federal prison for stealing his client’s identity.

Ryan Payne, 36, pleaded guilty in January in U.S. District Court to one count of misusing a social security number and aggravated identity theft. Prosecutors dropped an additional count of misusing a social security number and uttering counterfeit securities as part of his plea deal.

Judge Tim Brooks also ordered Payne to pay $9,953.13 in restitution and sentenced him to three years of supervised release.

The Treasurer Inspector General for Tax Administration launched a criminal investigation into Payne in 2015.

Agents found Payne had taken a flash driver from a client and used the client’s personal information to set up a credit account under their name, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Nucor Building New Steel Galvanizing Plant

A steel corporation announced a multi-million dollar plan to build a galvanizing line in Arkansas.

Nucor issued a news release about the new line at the company's sheet mill on Friday.

The move is to "support Nucor's growth into a wider and more diverse set of strategic end-market applications," according to the release.

The new galvanizing line is a $240 million investment for the company with an annual capacity of about 500,000 tons.

Nucor states this project complements the $230 million investment currently underway to construct a specialty cold mill complex at their plant in Mississippi County.

USPS Reporting Quarterly Loss

The U.S. Postal Service reported another quarterly loss on Friday after an unrelenting drop in mail volume and costs of its health care and pension obligations outweighed strong gains in package deliveries.

Amid sharp criticism from President Donald Trump that it is being scammed out of billions by online retailers such as, the Postal Service called for greater freedom to raise stamp prices to help cover costs. It warned of a serious financial situation that prevented it from making much-needed investments in letter and package delivery, saying it could not wait for a task force created by Trump to study the reasons behind its losses at a time of increased competition in the e-commerce age.

That task force, which was established by an executive order signed by Trump last month, will have 120 days to submit a report with recommendations.

The Postal Service has requested that the Postal Regulatory Commission grant it power to raise stamp prices beyond the rate of inflation, a change to its pricing system that would be the biggest in nearly a half century.

Electric Coop Corporation Installs Bat Habitats

Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC) recently installed 12 artificial bat habitats in four different sites in north Arkansas.

According to Stephen Cain, manager of environmental compliance for AECC, the artificial habitats consists of 12, 20-ft. wooden poles fitted with Branden Bark and bat guano catchers. 

The areas include Kings River Preserve near Berryville, Slippery Hollow Natural Area near Dodd City, Dave Donaldson Black River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) near Pocahontas and private property near Blackwell. AECC worked with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, The Nature Conservancy, and the United States Wildlife and Fish Service on the projects.

AECC funded the Branden Bark sets for nine structures, pole delivery to the four sites and pole installation at the four sites. The poles were donated by McFarland Cascade and the remaining three Branden Bark sets were supplied by the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission. The project was managed by Copperhead Environmental Consulting.

Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI) delivered the poles to the four project sites and installed poles at the Kings River Preserve. The other three site installations were handled by a general contractor.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Happy Mother's Day to KTHS Mother of the Year - Sharon McCollum

The modern holiday of Mother's Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother at St Andrew's Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. St Andrew's Methodist Church now holds the International Mother's Day Shrine. 

Her campaign to make Mother's Day a recognized holiday in the United States began in 1905, the year her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died. Ann Jarvis had been a peace activist who cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War, and created Mother's Day Work Clubs to address public health issues.

Anna Jarvis wanted to honor her mother by continuing the work she started and to set aside a day to honor all mothers because she believed a mother is "the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world".

Our 2018 KTHS Mother of the Year has been selected and congratulations to Sharon McCollum. McCollum wins a $50 bouquet from Green Forset Flowers, $25 certificate from Thinking of You and $50 certificate from Bavarian Inn restaurant. She was nominated by Kim Bolerjack.

Second and Third Place winners are June Ham and Maxine Robinette. Ham wins a $50 certificate from Bavarian Inn Restaurant and a $25 certificate from Thinking of You. June Ham was nominated by her four children.

Robinette wins 2-$25 certificates from SunFest Market in Holiday Island. She was nominated by Jenny Horn.

E:Coli Cases Still Increasing


Four more states are reporting illnesses in a food poisoning outbreak linked to romaine lettuce.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its numbers on the outbreak Wednesday, revealing that 149 people in 29 states had gotten sick.

It's unclear if new illness are still occurring. There's a lag in reporting, and the most recent illness began two weeks ago.

Florida, Minnesota, North Dakota and Texas have joined the list of states reporting at least one E. coli illness linked to the outbreak.

At least 64 people have been hospitalized, including 17 with kidney failure. One death, previously reported, occurred in California.

Health officials have tied the outbreak to romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Arizona, which provides most of the romaine sold in the U.S. during the winter.

Missouri is included in the outbreak states, but so far no cases in Arkansas.

Boyfriend of Murder Victim Faces Capital Murder Charge


A man is facing a capital murder charge in connection to a homicide investigation in Rogers, according to Keith Foster with Rogers police.

Foster said Kevin Wayne Clayborn, 49, was arrested in Oklahoma City on Thursday at about 11:15 a.m. on capital murder and theft of property charges.

Misha Rivera, 48, was found dead in the living room of her home on W. Centennial Drive Saturday (May 5).

Rivera and Clayborn were in a relationship and had been living together, according to Foster. He said information from the investigation led to Clayborn being the initial suspect.

A car registered to Rivera was missing from her house and was later recovered in Van Buren. Police said information led investigators to believe Clayborn was in Oklahoma.

Police found him Thursday morning and he was taken into custody by the Oklahoma City Fugitive Task Force.

Witnesses Praise Boozman’s Water Infrastructure Bill During EPW Hearing

Experts shared their support for legislation introduced by U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) that will modernize investment in water infrastructure during a Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) hearing on the issue. 

The Securing Required Funding for Water Infrastructure Now (SRF WIN) Act—introduced by Sens. Boozman (R-AR), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)—rejects the fix-as-fail approach currently used to upgrade the nation’s infrastructure and instead empowers states to invest in multiple water infrastructure projects. 

The bill combines the best aspects of state revolving funds (SRFs) with the leveraging power of the Water Infrastructure and Innovation Act (WIFIA) to make the process easier and more affordable for states to meet their underserved or unmet water infrastructure needs. 

In their testimony, both Executive Director of the Arkansas Rural Water Association Dennis Sternberg and President of the American Society of Civil Engineers Kristina Swallow praised Boozman’s bill.

Sternberg noted that “small and rural communities support Senators Boozman and Booker’s SRF WIN Act” while Swallow called the bill’s approach “innovative,” saying it “would offer a new and efficient tool to leverage limited federal resources and stimulate additional investment in our nation’s infrastructure.”

High Water Conditions at Bull Shoals and Norfork Lakes

The Corps of Engineers’ Mountain Home Project Office is advising the public that recent spring rains have created high water conditions on Bull Shoals and Norfork lakes causing the closure of some campsites as well as all the swim beaches.

All of the boat launch ramps on Norfork and Bull Shoals lakes have been affected by the high water as well. High water launch ramps are available at Lead Hill Park on Bull Shoals Lake and Henderson Park on Norfork Lake.

Boaters should use caution when launching their boat because some ramps may have steep drop-offs. While boating near the shore be aware that objects such as fence posts and railings that are normally above the water could now be just below the surface and not visible. Proceed slowly near the shore and use a spotter or depth finder to avoid possible damage to your boat.

The high water has also impacted parking, please do not block the roadways for others, or park on grassy areas. Rangers will be patrolling and issuing tickets, if necessary. Day use fees are temporarily suspended at this time.

Elderly Man Perishes in Harrison Fire - Cause Under Investigation

Authorities are investigating a house fire on North Robinson in Harrison that claimed the life of 93-year-old Robert Routzong.

Jacqueline Petty said she lived at the residence with her son, 15-year-old Jared Alexander, her boyfriend Phillip Jones, his son, 16-year-old Bradley Jones and Routzong, a World War II bomber pilot veteran.

They were leasing to own the house and had four payments left, Petty said.

Alexander said he normally sleeps in his room at the back of the house, but he decided Tuesday night to sleep on the couch where it was cooler.

He had been asleep for only a few minutes when he heard Routzong screaming for help.

He immediately went to wake his mother and Phillip and told them to get out, then went to Routzong’s room. But when he opened the door, flames were already rolling out of the room, which is where the fire apparently started, Alexander said.

Phillip tried to get Routzong out of the room, but there was too much smoke and fire. Petty said Phillip had been airlifted to Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Missouri, for treatment due to smoke inhalation.

The cause of the fire was still under investigation Wednesday, but officials said Routzong was disabled and on oxygen. The fire started in his room where oxygen tanks were stored.

About eight years ago, Routzong was among several World War II vets who made a trip to the Boone County Regional Airport to look at a B-17 “Texas Raiders” bomber that made a refueling stop en route to an air show in Illinois.

A.S.L. Has Record Month

A bump up in the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery's scratch-off ticket revenue in April boosted lottery collections for the month to a record total of $42 million, exceeding the previous record of $39.4 million in 2012.

The lottery raised $7.1 million for college scholarships last month, but that lagged the totals of net proceeds for scholarships from six of its previous eight Aprils.

The amount raised for college scholarships dropped last month compared with the net proceeds of $7.8 million in April 2017 largely because of "prize expense and how large prizes can impact our bottom line," lottery Director Bishop Woosley said Thursday.

Along with $20 million a year in state general revenue, the lottery's net proceeds help fund the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarships for college students. More than 30,000 students have received the scholarships during each of the past eight fiscal years.

Arkansas Highway Police Looking for More Officers

The Arkansas Highway Police look to add more officers to their numbers.

A recent drug bust found 200 lbs. of marijuana at a weigh station in Alma, AR.

Highway patrol officer Corporal Jeremy Watkins has been with the department for more than a decade. He says Interstate 40 has more problems than just drugs.

The Arkansas Highway Patrol inspects more than just commercial vehicles. "From human trafficking to drug trafficking, to stolen vehicles." Corporal Jeremy Watkins said.

Currently, there are 119 officers but they want 200.

FCC Sets June 11 As Net Neutrality Repeal Date

The Federal Communications Commission has set June 11 as the repeal date for "net neutrality" rules meant to prevent broadband companies from exercising more control over what people watch and see on the internet.

Among other things, the rules prohibited companies such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon from favoring some services and apps over others.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai says the repeal aims to replace "heavy-handed" rules with a "light-touch" approach to internet regulation.

The FCC voted in December to gut the rules.

Currently, more than half of states have introduced legislation to preserve net neutrality in their states. A Senate vote on a federal bill is expected next week. If that passes, the House has until the end of the year to vote on it.

Oldest Woman in Country Passes Away

A 114-year-old Pennsylvania woman, Delphine Gibson, who was the oldest person in the United States died Wednesday, according to a funeral home.

Lessie Brown, of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, 113, is now believed to be the oldest American, according to the Gerontology Research Group in Sandy Springs, Georgia.

Gibson, who had been living at a Huntingdon nursing home since 2004, when she was 100, attributed her long life to good food, her faith in God and her church.

Although she was blind and deaf near the end of her life, she still enjoyed singing and humming songs like "Amazing Grace." 

She took no medication except for a single vitamin a day.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Tobacco 21 Program

Helena-West Helena became the first city in Arkansas to pass a Tobacco 21 ordinance. That was in June of 2016.

Tobacco 21 is a national campaign aimed at raising the minimum legal age (MLA) for tobacco and nicotine sales in the United States to 21. The Tobacco 21 campaign is produced and funded by the Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation, a public health nonprofit organization established in 1996.

Arkansas has one of the highest rates of high school smoking and adult smoking in the country. This will result in the eventual deaths of an estimated 69,000 children now under the age of 18 due to smoking, with 1,800 children becoming daily smokers every year. In 2017, the state spent only 27.5% of the CDC recommended amount on tobacco prevention, this is almost a 50% decrease in funding from 2016. The state’s annual health care costs due to smoking is $1.21 billion, and the state loses $1.7 billion in productivity every year due to smoking.

Brenda Patterson is a local advocate and made a plea to the Green Forest City Council this week to come on-board...........

The council was receptive to Patterson's presentation, but took no action at this time to pass an ordinance in support.

U.S. Congress Approves Agent Orange Benefits

In Washington, a House committee approved legislation that could help Vietnam War veterans and their families who say they're ineligible for VA benefits.

The House Committee on Veterans Affairs voted unanimously to send a bill to the full House to expand benefits for veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange while serving in Southeast Asia. U.S. forces used the herbicide to destroy crops during the war. It was later found to cause health problems in those exposed, including various cancers and heart disease. 

Bill Rhoads of Arkansas is among the many Vietnam War veterans who suffers health problems that he says are a result of exposure to Agent Orange. But because that exposure happened while Rhoads was stationed in Thailand, he says he isn't eligible for VA coverage for his treatment. 

Arkansas Congressman Bruce Westerman (R-4th District) is among those who've been pushing for changes to existing policy.

Sebastian County Shooting Victim Identified - Deputies Shot Also Released

The Sebastian County sheriff's office Wednesday identified the man killed early Tuesday during a standoff with deputies.

Peter Boden, 48, was shot and killed by deputies during the nearly three-hour standoff near Hackett, according to a release from the sheriff's office.

The identities of three deputies injured by Boden during the standoff also were released. They are Cpl. Sean Wallace, a process server, search and rescue deputy and supervisor of sex offender registration; patrol deputy Cpl. Ron Decker, a K-9 handler in support of drug interdiction; and Deputy Rusty Wilson, a paramedic with Sebastian County Emergency Medical Services and the EMS member for the sheriff's Special Weapons and Tactics team.

All three deputies are members of the SWAT team that responded to a call for help about 10:15 p.m. Monday after Boden fired at a neighbor who was investigating shots being fired. Sheriff Bill Hollenbeck said Tuesday that the three deputies were injured by shotgun pellets fired by Boden as they were setting up a perimeter around Boden's home.

Boden continued to fire on officers throughout the standoff, according to reports. About 1 a.m., officials said, Boden tried to drive off in a pickup, but a SWAT team member disabled it. Boden emerged from the truck with the shotgun and pointed it at officers. Fearing he would shoot, a SWAT team member shot and killed him, police said.

The three injured officers and the deputy who shot Boden were placed on paid leave .

Labrador Being Trained to Smell Firearms

Dogs are being trained in central Arkansas to use the sense of smell to detect firearms.

The Little Rock K-9 Academy has been training a Labrador named "Leo" to find the weapons.

Over the last six weeks, "Leo" has been trained to find narcotics that include heroin, marijuana, and cocaine. But with the new addition of firearm detection training, "Leo" will be able to add more to the list of tricks he can perform.

As soon as next week, "Leo" will be paired up with a school resource officer in the White Hall School District. This pairing comes just a week after a student at the school was found with a loaded gun on a school bus. 

Smith says the trained dog will set the district back anywhere from $7,000 to $9,000.

This is not the first time the Little Rock K-9 Academy has trained a dog to be used in school. They also trained a dog to sniff out narcotics and guns for the school district in Conway.

June 1st Work Requirement for Medicaid Recipients Kicks In

State-imposed work requirements for Medicaid recipients will make obtaining health coverage harder for the homeless, especially those who live outdoors, Arkansas advocates for the homeless say.

On June 1, Arkansas will be the first state to implement a requirement that people between the ages of 30 and 49 work at least 80 hours per month, or engage in other approved activities, in order to receive government-funded health care. Work requirements will be phased in for recipients ages 19 to 29 after this year.

Indiana and Kentucky are preparing to initiate similar requirements. Both states have included exemptions for the homeless; Arkansas has not.

Those in the homeless population are more likely to experience violence, infectious disease and chronic illness than people who have homes. Homeless people have a mortality rate between four and nine times higher than people who have homes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Advocates for the homeless spoke out at a meeting Wednesday about the difficulties they foresee in getting that population qualified under the work requirement.

At the meeting, Arkansas Department of Human Services officials explained to coalition members how to apply for exemptions and log work hours, and they fielded questions about Internet access and transportation for the homeless. 

Medicaid recipients must certify online that they meet the work requirement or are exempt.

Henderson State University Has $3.2M Deficit

Henderson State University is making cuts to balance its budget next fiscal year amid a $3.2 million deficit and declining enrollment.

The university's enrollment dropped from more than 3,600 in 2014 to more than 3,300 in 2017

President Glen Jones announced last week to employees that the university had eliminated seven staff positions effective June 30. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette learned Tuesday that those positions include the director of international student programs.

Jones says the board of trustees will consider next week reducing the school's matching contribution to a teacher retirement fund from 10 percent to 5 percent and would "reinstate the full benefit in future fiscal years as resources are available."

Spokesman Tina Hall says the university also plans to reduce its adjunct faculty and overload budget by 35 percent.

Missouri Health Officials Won't Provide Information on Bourbon Virus

Missouri health officials have refused to comply with a subpoena for information on a tick-borne virus that killed a state worker.

The Kansas City Star reports that the subpoena is the latest of several attempts by state legislators to force the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to disclose information on the Bourbon virus, an illness discovered in Kansas in 2014.

Missouri lawmakers want to know how many people statewide have tested positive for antibodies associated with the deadly virus. But the health agency refused to supply the data again Monday, citing privacy concerns.

Lawmakers are now considering cutting eight employee positions from the agency's budget.

House lawmakers started seeking more information when Tamela Wilson died of the virus last year after being exposed working at a state park.