News Director

Linda Boyer

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Monday, January 15, 2018

Wind Chill Advisory

Strong northerly winds and overnight temperatures dropping into the single digits will create dangerous wind chill values overnight tonight and into Tuesday. Dangerous wind chills will again develop Wednesday morning as cold air remains over the region. 

Bitterly cold air will spill into the state behind the arctic front moving through Arkansas later today. Windy conditions accompanying these cold temperatures will produce wind chill values between zero and roughly negative 10 degrees for northern and western Arkansas late this evening through Tuesday morning. 

13.5% of Arkansans Considered "Food Insecure"

Nearly one-fifth of Arkansans often don't know how they'll get their next meal, according to a recent report from Hunger Free America.

Thousands of them are working people. About 13.5 percent of the state's working population -- 165,659 -- is considered "food insecure," according to the report. That's fourth-highest among the 50 states and Washington, D.C. In Louisiana and Mississippi, that percentage is 14, and in New Mexico it's 15.3.

The report uses data reported to the U.S. Census through the Food Security Supplement of the Current Population Survey from 2014-2016. Nationwide, 15,113,314 employed adults were in the food-insecure category, or 10.3 percent of the working adult population.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as a household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food.

The economic condition is hazardous to health, according to Feeding America, a nonprofit that coordinates food banks across the country. Often, people must choose between food and health services, such as medicine. Hunger is often a result, which can impede children's growth.

The nonprofit organization recommends addressing causes of poverty, unemployment, underemployment and limited access to nutritious foods to aid the hungry.

Arkansas is a high poverty state, but its rate of poverty and that of the nation decreased from 2015 to 2016, according to U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey's one-year estimates. 

Officials attributed the improvement to drops in the state's unemployment rate to record lows, but the kind of job a person has can make a difference when it comes to rising out of poverty and attaining adequate food, experts say.

Arkansas' large rural population may explain the state's worsening performance, said Gregory Hamilton, senior research economist at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock's Arkansas Economic Development Institute.

Area Fire Departments Assist with Tyson Green Forest Plant Fire

A Tyson Foods spokesman said no one was injured when a fire broke out Thursday afternoon at the new Tyson plant in Green Forest. Most of the plant was evacuated as a precaution.

Firefighters from across Carroll County were being paged out to the plant just before 4 p.m. Thursday.

By 4:30 p.m., several fire trucks and at least one ambulance were visible from the street on the east side of the new plant, which opened only a few weeks ago.

Tyson spokesman Worth Sparkman said the fire was reported in a maintenance room, an area where food products weren't present.

Sparkman said the plant was evacuated and most of the fire was put out with fire extinguishers, but firefighters were called in. Green Forest, Berryville and Oak Grove were called to assist. The fire is under investigation.

Two Arkansas Students Chosen as Delegates to U.S. Senate

U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton congratulate Celia Kreth of Little Rock and Pablo Manon of Springdale on being selected as delegates for the United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP). Kreth and Manon were chosen from hundreds of applicants across Arkansas to attend the 56th annual Washington Week.

This is a great opportunity for them to experience how policies and laws are created first-hand. We look forward to welcoming these talented students and recognize their accomplishment. We hope this program will help them continue their drive to be leaders in the future,” Boozman and Cotton said.

Kreth attends Episcopal Collegiate School and serves as the National Honor Society president-elect. She also serves as honor council secretary, art club president and cross country team captain. 

Manon attends Har-Ber High School where he serves as the Senior Class president. He was elected senator at Boys State, is a National Merit semifinalist, National Honor Society vice president, Legacy Bank Junior Bank Board president and is also captain of Mock Trial and the swim team. Manon is also a member of student council, Future Business Leaders of America and the speech and debate team. 

While in Washington, Kreth and Manon will join other student delegates in meetings with the president, Members of Congress, a Supreme Court Justice, leaders of cabinet agencies, an ambassador to the United States and senior members of the national media. The students will also tour many of the national monuments and several museums.

Sexual Harassment Training Available for State Representatives

State representatives will soon have the option to take sexual harassment training.

The Arkansas House will conduct mandatory training for its staff next week. It will then offer the same course on a voluntary basis to lawmakers during next month's fiscal session.

"I've often said that people may not like all the things that we do, but they can at least be proud of how we carried ourselves and how we conducted business," said House Speaker Jeremy Gillam, R-Judsonia. "I think this is just a component of that."

Gillam anticipates full participation from his members. 

The House is paying a Little Rock law firm $2,500 to conduct the training. 

The Senate is considering whether to offer similar training when lawmakers convene for the 2019 legislative session. 

75th Annual Gillett Coon Supper Draws Hundreds

According to the professionals, it takes the better part of a week to make a raccoon fit for eating; acquiring a taste for the critter takes a while longer, if ever.

Last Friday morning, in Gillett, Chad Philipp and Kevin Murphy stopped by the town's volunteer Fire Department to check on how 29 beef briskets totaling 405 pounds were faring over smokers set at about 250 degrees. The briskets were doing fine and, in less than 24 hours, they'd be wrapped up and replaced over the coals by 400 pounds of babyback ribs.

About a mile north, the star of the show -- 800 pounds of raccoon -- was soaking in large vats of brine.

By 9 tonight, all the ribs, the brisket, a variety of side dishes and desserts and, presumably, the coon will have been devoured by some 650 people attending the 75th annual Gillett Coon Supper in the gymnasium that was the home of the Gillett Wolves until the school was consolidated with DeWitt in 2009.

The supper got its unofficial start in about 1935 by a group of men who decided fellowship could somehow be had through the hunting and eating of coon.

The Gillett Farmers and Businessmen's Club turned it into a communitywide event in 1943, mainly to raise money for the school's sports teams. At $25 a ticket, proceeds will go toward scholarships for seniors graduating this year in the Gillett area. This year's event, as in most years, is sold out.

Sometime in the 1970s the supper became a must-attend event for politicians and those who wanted to be one.

That is still the case, said Philipp, the club's president the past six years. This is his 16th coon supper.

20 Year Old Floridian Wins Mega Millions

A young Florida man just became millions of dollars richer. 

Shane Missler, 20, of Port Richey, Florida, claimed last week's $451 million Mega Millions jackpot Friday. 

He says he hopes to use the money to pursue a variety of passions and do some good for humanity. 

Missler first told his brother of his winnings but waited until the next day to tell his father. 

He selected to receive the prize in a single lump-sum payment of almost $282 million. 

The 7-11 where he purchased the quick pick ticket will receive a $100,000 bonus. 

Florida lottery officials say this jackpot generated $23 million for the state's schools.

Kenny Chesney Coming to Fayetteville July 12th


Country star Kenny Chesney is returning to Rogers. 

He'll perform at the Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion on July 12 at 7 p.m. Special guest Old Dominion will also perform, the AMP announced. 

Tickets can be purchased only at Ticketmaster here or by calling 800-745-3000. They cannot be purchased at the Walton Arts Center or Walmart AMP. 

Prices range from $60 to $109 plus fees, the AMP said. 

Friday, January 12, 2018

BIG NEWS for Berryville Schools

Big News was received from the Arkansas Activities Association for the Berryville Athletic Department as they received word that Berryville Schools was awarded the winning bid for hosting the 4A North Regional basketball tournament this February 21-24. KTHS received the news from Berryville Athletic Director Brent Compton who expressed the whole school is very excited for the opportunity to host this major event for the first time, that will benefit the entire community. KTHS will have more, as this story develops. Congratulations to Berryville Schools!

Gubernatorial Candidate Visits Area

A Republican challenging incumbent Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, Jan Morgan, says she is running for Governor because she feels the people of Arkansas aren't being properly represented.

She plans to travel the state, hoping to better understand the needs of the people. Morgan came to Carroll County Wednesday and made several stops at area businesses and talking to the media. Morgan was at KTHS Wednesday and we got to ask her several questions, including why she is making a run for Governor...........

The Republican primary election is May 22.

(Listen to Audio Below)

Special Called Board Meeting at Berryville

There will be a special called School Board Meeting for Berryville School on Friday, January 12th at 5:01 p.m. in the High School Library. The purpose of the meeting is Personnel.

AMMC Releases Application Report

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission has released the application report that details the names and locations for cultivating facilities and dispensary applicants.

There are 58 applications for Northwest Arkansas with the top two locations being Fayetteville with 18 and Fort Smith with 13. In Carroll County Eureka Springs shows seven applicants. Six dispensaries and one cultivating facility. Madison County showed one application for a cultivating facility.

Eureka Springs: 7 applicants (6 Dispensaries, 1 Cultivating Facility)

Eureka Green Dispensary, Zone 1

Interurban Capital Group Dispensary, Zone 1

New Leaf Cannabis Company, LLC Dispensary, Zone 1

Northwest Arkansas Solutions Cultivating Facility, Zone 1

Ozark Mountain Greenery Dispensary, Zone 1

Ozark Organics Dispensary, Zone 1

The Eureka Dispensary, Zone 1

Boozman Recognizes Arkansas Korean War Veteran

U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) recognized the service and sacrifice of Korean War veteran E.L. Heffley in ‘Salute to Veterans,’ a series recognizing the military service of Arkansans.

Heffley, the youngest of seven siblings, grew up on his family’s farm in Newton County.

He worked in a factory, earning 40 cents an hour, but he wanted something better. So, he and a friend went to Russellville to look for work. “We were going down past the courthouse and they had a sign out [that read] ‘Uncle Sam needs you.’ That’s what got us,” Heffley said.

As a 17-year-old, Heffley needed the permission of one of his parents to enlist in the Army. After his dad signed the paperwork, he was sent to Camp Chaffee, now known as Fort Chaffee, before basic training at Fort Ord, California. “It was eight weeks of pretty hard training,” he recalled.

Less than two years later, in 1950, he was training to deploy to Korea. Heffley attained the rank of sergeant during his one year deployment in Korea. For his service, he was awarded several military medals including the Korean Service Medal with six bronze service stars.

Boozman will submit Heffley’s entire interview to the Veterans History Project, an initiative of the Library of Congress’s American Folklife Center to collect and retain the oral histories of our nation’s veterans.

ADEQ Denies Hog Farms New Operating Permit

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality has denied a northern hog farm's request for a new operating permit in the Buffalo National River's watershed.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that the department cited a lack of critical information provided in C&H Hog Farms' permit application in their announcement Wednesday.
C&H Hog Farms applied almost two years ago for a new permit on liquid animal waste systems for the farm near Mount Judea.
Farm officials say they sought to increase the number of on-site hogs but didn't anticipate a difference in the amount of waste produced. The farm has been operating on an indefinite extension of its expired permit.
The farm's attorney, Bill Waddell, says the decision is "incomprehensible." He says the farmers made every effort to ensure the department received the necessary information.

The Attorneys have filed a request to stay the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality's decision to deny the farm a new operating permit to replace its expired one and effectively shut down the farm.

The farmers will file a request for a hearing before the Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission, the department's appellate body, the stay request reads.

The request for a stay was filed with the commission.

Oklahoma Man Goes to Prison for Sexual Abuse of Arkansas Boy

An Oklahoma man will spend decades in prison after sexually abusing a Northwest Arkansas boy, according to a news release sent by Kenneth Elser, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas.

Brandon Jackson, 32, of Proctor, Okla. was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison, followed by 20 years of probation, for aggravated sexual abuse of a minor, the release states.

He faced charges of rape and second-degree sexual assault.

An 11-year-old boy told police in June that he was molested for three years by Jackson, according to the release.

Jackson pleaded guilty to the accusations. He also pleaded guilty to trafficking the boy across state lines for “sexual activity”, according to court documents.

He was indicted on the federal charges during July 2017. He pleaded guilty to the charges against him during September 2017, court documents state.

Lawmakers Discuss In-State Tuition Freeze

Lawmakers wrapped up the final day of budget hearings ahead of next month's fiscal session. 

Members of The Joint Budget Committee asked The Department of Higher Education about the in-state tuition freeze Governor Asa Hutchinson just requested of all four-year institutions in 2019. 

Lawmakers wondered if fees would be included and about a potential extension of the tuition freeze.

The Arkansas State University system president says that would be difficult with the state's new productivity funding formula. 

The governor is seeking $10 million in the budget to implement this model that emphasizes student progression over enrollment. 

If approved, the $10 million would be split up between select two and four-year institutions.

Policy Shift in Medicaid Could Affect Millions

In a major policy shift that could affect millions of low-income people, the Trump administration said Thursday it is offering a path for states that want to seek work requirements on Medicaid recipients.

Seema Verma, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said work and community involvement can make a positive difference in people's lives and in their health. Still, the plan probably will face strong political opposition and even legal challenges over concerns people would lose coverage.

Medicaid is a federal-state collaboration covering more than 70 million people, or about 1 in 5 Americans, and that makes it the largest government health insurance program. It was expanded under President Barack Obama, with an option that has allowed states to cover millions more low-income adults; many have jobs that don't provide health insurance.

People are not legally required to hold a job to be on Medicaid, but states traditionally can seek federal waivers to test new ideas for the program.

The administration said 10 states — mostly conservative ones — have applied for waivers involving work requirements or community involvement. They are: Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin. Advocates for low-income people say they expect Kentucky's waiver to be approved shortly.

A study from the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation found that a surprising number of working-age adults on Medicaid are already employed. Nearly 60 percent work either full time or part time, mainly for employers that don't offer health insurance. Most who are not working report reasons such as illness, caring for a family member or going to school. Some Medicaid recipients say the coverage has enabled them to get healthy enough to return to work.

The debate about work requirements doesn't break neatly along liberal-conservative lines. Kaiser polling last year found that 70 percent of the public support allowing states to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients, even as most people in the U.S. were against deep Medicaid cuts sought by congressional Republicans and the Trump administration.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Crash Kills Blue Eye Man

The Missouri Highway Patrol reports a man from Blue Eye, Mo., was killed in a single-vehicle crash Wednesday night, around 10:20pm.

The accident report said, a 1997 Mitsubishi Mirage driven by Michael Clarke, 57, ran off Ridgedale Road in Taney County, returned to the road, began skidding, and slid down an embankment and crashed into two trees.

Clarke was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Dog Pack Killing Livestock in Newton County

Newton County Sheriff's investigators are looking for a pack of dogs that is killing livestock and are reminding farmers that they have a right to protect their animals - even if it means killing the canines.

Newton County sheriff's investigator Glenn Wheeler says deputies believe they've identified the owner of the lead dog and hope to stop the attacks.

He told the Harrison Daily Times that some farmers initially believed their cattle had died of a disease and scavengers had found the carcasses - until someone reported seeing dogs attacking recently weaned calves. Nine died.

The attacks stopped for three weeks late last year but recently resumed. One family has lost 31 calves, and other attacks left cattle and pigs dead.

Blood Drive Set for Berryville Friday

Community Blood Center of the Ozarks (CBCO) is the sole local provider of blood for patients at 40 area hospitals in southwest Missouri, northwest Arkansas and southeast Kansas. Sick and injured hospital patients depend on CBCO donors to provide the lifesaving blood they need.
O negative blood is in short supply, with less than a two-day reserve level for this types. O negative donors are strongly urged to give soon at a CBCO blood drive or donor center. 

You can help by giving blood at this upcoming blood drive in Berryville, Friday, January 12th from 2:30-5:30pm at the Berryville Walmart Supercenter.

Each donation will be awarded LifePoints as a part of CBCO’s donor rewards program. LifePoints may be redeemed online for a variety of gift cards, or points may be assigned to other meaningful causes or charities.

To be eligible to give blood, you must weigh at least 110 pounds, be in good health, and present a valid photo ID. For more information about sharing your good health with others, please visit our website at, or call toll-free 1-800-280-5337. Thank you for giving life to your community. 

Arkansas Woman Sentenced to Prison for Stealing from Children's Food Programs

Dorothy Harper, 52, of England, was sentenced to prison on Tuesday for her role in a multi-million dollar scheme to steal money intended for feeding children in low income areas.

Judge Moody sentenced Harper to 33 months’ imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release. She was also ordered to pay $1,300,702.29 in restitution. Harper pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud on March 24, 2017.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) feeding programs in Arkansas are administered through the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS). Sponsors who want to participate in the feeding programs must submit an application to DHS for approval. After they are approved, they can provide meals as part of the feeding programs, and they are reimbursed for the eligible meals they serve.

While Harper was in the program, approximately 15 inflated claims for Harper’s sites were submitted to DHS. The inflated claims reported to DHS higher numbers of children fed than the true number of children who were actually fed. Because of the inflated claims, Harper’s program received just over $1.3 million.
Harper is the 14th defendant to be sentenced for their involvement in a scheme to fraudulently obtain USDA program funds intended to feed children in low income areas.

Phil McGarrah Considered for Arkansas Country Music Awards

Phil McGarrah has traveled the country, played music with both his band, Runnin’ on Empty, and a large handful of country music legends, but there’s one more prize he has his eyes on, the inaugural Arkansas Country Music Awards.

Nominations are being accepted for the awards through Feb. 14, and can be submitted through Then, final voting on the nominations will begin March 17 and run through April 7, and will culminate in a “red carpet event” in Little Rock in June.

McGarrah and his band – which is comprised of members of several different locations, depending on where they’re booked on a particular night – already have a busy 2018 planned.

Hogs Football Coach Completes Defense Staff

Arkansas head football coach Chad Morris finished off his coaching staff on Wednesday, announcing the hiring of four assistants on defense. On Tuesday, Morris announced the addition of SEC veteran John Chavis as the program’s defensive coordinator.

Steve Caldwell – Defensive Line
Recently the assistant head coach/defensive line coach for four seasons at Boise State, Caldwell returns to Arkansas for the second time in his career and reunites with defensive coordinator John Chavis, who he spent 15 seasons with at Tennessee.

Ron Cooper – Secondary
A former head coach and a longtime defensive assistant coach, Cooper spent the 2017 season at Texas A&M as the secondary coach under Chavis.

John Scott Jr. – Defensive Line
Served as defensive line coach at Arkansas in 2017 and has 15 years of experience at the college and NFL levels.

Mark Smith – Secondary
The Director of Recruiting for three years for coach Morris at SMU, Smith also served as the program’s defensive analyst in 2017, and was a Texas high school head coach for four seasons from 2011-14.

Missouri Senator Proposing Computer Science Requirement for Students

Missouri is one of ten states that does not require high school students to pass a computer science course to graduate. State Sen. Doug Libla, R-Poplar Bluff, is proposing to make completion of the course a requirement because he thinks it’s a serious oversight.

“I’m of the impression that over 90% of the schools in the state of Missouri does not computer science,” says Libla. “That’s sad.”

Libla says teacher training of computer science isn’t costly. He says training could be completed in a matter of days through

“We’re 18 years into the 21st century and computer technology and those who understand computer technology is a high-paying job. It’s the fast-growing career choice, even past healthcare,” says Libla. “So when you’re talking about jobs and economic development in the state of Missouri, how can we let that stand. No matter what career you’re going into, you don’t necessarily have to be a programmer or coder, no matter what career, technology is going to effect your job description.”

Libla says offering computer science classes, even in elementary school, would help kids to become better all-around students because computers make school fun.

Notable Drop in Some Cancer Death Types

Better cancer detection and treatments, not to mention lots of people quitting smoking, have fueled a 20-year drop in deaths from the disease, a new report shows.

That means more than 2 million lives have been saved, the American Cancer Society statistics indicate.

"It's pretty staggering that 2.4 million deaths have been avoided over the past 20 years," said Dr. Eva Chalas, director of NYU Winthrop's Cancer Center in Mineola, N.Y. 

"It's exciting to see the numbers coming down. We're making strides, and we have much more to offer people," added Chalas, who was not involved in the study.

From 2014 to 2015, the cancer death rate went down 1.7 percent. The decline in cancer death rates began in 1991, and since that time it has dropped by 26 percent, the study found. 

Still, more than 1.7 million people are projected to be diagnosed with cancer in 2018, and almost 610,000 people will die from the disease this year, the researchers said. 

The decline in death rates was largely caused by drops in deaths from four main cancers, including:

A 45 percent drop in lung cancer deaths for men from 1990 to 2015.
A 19 percent decline in lung cancer deaths for women from 2002 to 2015.
A 39 percent decrease in deaths from breast cancer in women from 1989 to 2015.
A 52 percent drop in prostate cancer deaths in men from 1993 to 2015.
A 52 percent decrease in colon cancer deaths from 1970 to 2015.
During the past 10 years, cancer death rates in men dropped by about 2 percent per year, but they remained steady in women. 

Senior study author Dr. Ahmedin Jemal, vice president of surveillance and health services research for the American Cancer Society, said this difference in death rates by sex is likely due to the reduction in smoking rates happening sooner for men. He said he expects that there will be a larger decrease in lung cancer rates among women in the future. 

Arkansas Is 2018’s 8th Worst State to Raise a Family – WalletHub Study

With fresh starts being top of mind – hiring and single-family home starts are expected to grow in 2018, for instance – the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2018's Best & Worst States to Raise a Family.
To determine the best states in which to put down family roots, WalletHub compared the 50 states across 42 key indicators of family-friendliness. The data set ranges from median family salary to housing affordability to unemployment rate.

Raising a Family in Arkansas (1=Best; 25=Avg.): 

· 37th – % of Families with Young Kids 

· 45th – Infant-Mortality Rate 

· 37th – Median Family Salary (Adjusted for Cost of Living) 

· 45th – Violent-Crime Rate 

· 45th – % of Families in Poverty 

· 16th – Housing Affordability 

· 42nd – Separation & Divorce Rate

For the full report, please visit: 

More Work Crews Headed to Puerto Rico

Officials say efforts to fully restore power to Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria should get a boost with more work crews and more equipment in upcoming weeks.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it is getting its own barge to ship items and says that materials it requested several months ago have been manufactured and are on their way to the U.S. territory.

Federal officials also told The Associated Press on Monday that they discovered some needed equipment in a previously overlooked warehouse owned by Puerto Rico's Electric Power Authority. They said lack of some of those hard-to-find pieces had delayed energizing certain lines.

More than 40 percent of Puerto Rico's power customers remain in the dark.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Another Round of Winter Weather Expected

Weather forecasters are saying most of Arkansas could see a wintry mix as much colder air arrives later this week.

Accumulation would be likely light and is not expected to create significant issues, said John Lewis, senior forecaster with the National Weather Service’s.

A system entering Arkansas late Wednesday into Thursday will bring gusty winds and potentially hazardous conditions on bodies of water, according to the latest outlook. 

Highs Wednesday and Thursday are set to be in the mid-50s to mid-60s statewide. By Friday, a significant temperature drop will leave highs in the mid-30s to low 40s across much of the state, and those temperatures will linger into the weekend.

Widespread rainfall is expected to change over to wintry precipitation — first as a mix before eventually falling as only snow — Thursday night into Friday. Temperatures then are forecast to be in the low 30s.

Less than 1 inch is predicted, with higher amounts possible in the state's east and northeast.

Still, uncertainty remains as to the location, timing and accumulation amounts.

Temperatures in Arkansas over the weekend and into next week are forecast to be below average for this time of year.

Green Forest City Council Report

The Green Forest City Council met Tuesday for their first meeting of the new year. Green Forest Mayor Charlie Reece usually begins the meeting with an update and Tuesday was no exception. Here he reminds residents and cites some city codes about unsightly property....

(Listen to Audio below)

In other business, the bid for a new 14" water line on S. Michael Goins Avenue for Tyson's was awarded to L.E. Davis Construction with the low bid of $377,775. 

The Police Department will be getting new hand-held Radar units for $600 a piece, and new vehicles for the Police Department have been ordered. The Fire Department should get the chassis for the new truck next week according to Tim Hatman with Clay Maxey Ford Berryville. 

Mayor Reece reported that a new Community Center is being looked at by Josh Siebert with Modus Architecture. The Mayor says it would be built right behind the new City Hall to be constructed and would be two story. Mayor Reece said the city already had $75,000 grant from the state, and another $7,500 grant. Two local banks offered to help with funding if necessary.

The 2018 budget was approved for $13,362,000. The Mayor noted the city's year end report indicated $1.1M was not spent from the 2017 budget and will be carried over. 

Mayor Reece said he had been approached by the Masonic Lodge about the city taking over management of the Glenwood Cemetery. He took an informal count of Council and nobody thought it would be a good idea for the city to take it over. 

The next meeting of the GFCC will be Tuesday, February 13th at 8:30am.

Parton Named Senior Vice President Chief Operations Officer

Jason F. Tennant, President, Cornerstone Bank, is pleased to announce the promotion of Donna Parton to Senior Vice President/Chief Operations Officer of the bank. Mrs. Parton has been the Vice President/Retail Services manager since 2015. Mrs. Parton has been greatly responsible, along with her team, for the bank’ success and deposit growth in all of the markets that the bank serves.

Donna is a 30 year veteran of the banking industry and has extensive knowledge in all areas of banking. Prior to joining Cornerstone, Donna spent over 20 years with Arvest Bank’s Berryville office as a founding officer for the bank. Donna is a graduate of Flippin High School, numerous courses in banking, and leadership training. She has been very involved in many civic organizations in Carroll County, including Berryville Chamber of Commerce and the Berryville Kiwanis Club. Donna and her husband, Marty, reside in Berryville and have three children and one granddaughter.

Tennant stated, “Promoting people within our company such as Donna gives me great pleasure. Donna has been instrumental in helping guide our institution as we have grown our franchise in all of our markets the three past years. We feel fortunate to have her as a leader of our team of professional bankers and look forward to her continued leadership, as our bank continues to grow its client base.”

Federal Judge Blocks Ending DACA Program

A federal judge on Tuesday night temporarily blocked the Trump administration's decision to end a program protecting young immigrants from deportation.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup granted a request by California and other plaintiffs to prevent President Donald Trump from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program while their lawsuits play out in court.

Alsup said lawyers in favor of DACA clearly demonstrated that the young immigrants "were likely to suffer serious, irreparable harm" without court action. The judge also said the lawyers have a strong chance of succeeding at trial.

DACA has protected about 800,000 people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children or came with families who overstayed visas. The program includes hundreds of thousands of college-age students.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced in September that the program would be phased out, saying former President Barack Obama had exceeded his authority when he implemented it in 2012.

On Tuesday, the Department of Justice said the judge's decision doesn't change the fact that the program was an illegal circumvention of Congress, and it is within the agency's power to end it.

DACA recipients will be allowed to stay in the U.S. for the remainder of their two-year authorizations. Any recipient whose status was due to expire within six months also got a month to apply for another two-year term.

Governor Proposes Increasing State Spending

Gov. Asa Hutchinson proposed an increase in state spending by more than $170 million in FY19 to pad DHS, higher education and public safety.

It's part of a $5.6 billion budget the governor introduced to lawmakers Tuesday morning ahead of next month's fiscal session, which starts Feb. 12. 

His revised budget is an increase compared to 2018 spending, but Hutchinson emphasized it's still a $100 million cut in the original proposal. 

"Wage rates are up, Medicaid enrollment is down and SNAP benefits are the lowest in nine years," Hutchinson said as he began his presentation at the packed joint budget committee meeting. 

The governor kicked off the series of FY19 budget hearings by touting last year's successes. A year ago, his administration outlined a budget that allocated nearly $5.7 billion in total expected revenue.

CWD Found in Three More Counties

Chronic wasting disease, detected in Arkansas almost two years ago, has been found in three more counties.

Four white-tailed deer in Benton, Washington and Sebastian counties recently tested positive for the deadly disease, according to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

Test results have not been received for all samples that have been collected; it’s possible more deer and elk could test positive for the disease. Since these positive samples were detected outside the current CWD Management Zone, the AGFC will continue their review to ensure all information is accurate.

CWD was first detected in Arkansas Feb. 23, 2016, when a hunter-harvested elk in Newton County tested positive. The first Arkansas deer with CWD was verified March 3, 2016, also in Newton County.

Public meetings in the area will be scheduled as forums to discuss plans and to answer questions.

Rogers Man Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering in Dog-Business Scam

A Rogers man who bilked investors out of as much as $1 million in a dog-business scam pleaded guilty last Friday in federal court.

Darrell Fred Rosen, 59, a business coach and consultant, pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering and one count of filing a false income tax return. The guilty pleas are part of an agreement with federal prosecutors.

Ten other related counts in the indictment, including wire fraud, are expected to be dismissed as part of the deal, but evidence of those wrongs can be used at sentencing and in determining the amount of restitution Rosen will be required to pay.

Losses are estimated to be between $500,000 and $1 million and will be determined by the court. There could be a money judgment in lieu of forfeiting illicitly obtained property.

Rosen, a former Procter & Gamble Co. executive over the Iams division, owned dog-care businesses Rover Oaks and Mountain Creek Kennels. He also has experience training and selling hunting dogs, according to the indictment.

Rosen used the money for personal expenses, according to court documents. He filed a federal tax return in 2013 and did not include the money he took from investors.

Steve Womack Gets Influential House Committee Chair

Republican congressman Steve Womack has been tapped to chair the House Budget Committee.

The House Republican Steering Committee chose Womack to replace congresswoman Diane Black, who has stepped aside to focus of a gubernatorial run in Tennessee. The steering committee is a leadership group generally aligned with top Republicans like House Speaker Paul Ryan.

The budget panel's chief job is to draft an annual budget document that outlines GOP priorities and can set a fast-track path for legislation such as last month's tax overhaul.

Womack acknowledges that chairing the committee is "a huge challenge."

Womack is a member of the Appropriations Committee, which focuses on writing agency budgets. Previous GOP chairmen such as Black and Ryan, have hailed from the powerful Ways and Means panel, which has jurisdiction over taxes.

Boozman Calls on Attorney General to Issue Law Enforcement Grants

U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), a member of the Senate Law Enforcement Caucus, led a bipartisan letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking the Department of Justice (DOJ) to reconsider its decision to withhold funding for the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) program to states in compliance with federal requirements.

The Byrne JAG program was created in 2004 to provide federal, state and local governments the tools to prevent and combat crime and keep their communities safe. Arkansas is eligible for more than $2 million in funding from Fiscal Year ’17 funds to support training, personnel, equipment, supplies and information sharing.

“The Department’s decision to withhold all FY17 Byrne JAG awards has left our states short of the resources they need to be a partner with the federal government on shared law enforcement responsibilities,” the senators wrote.

The bipartisan group supporting Boozman’s letter include Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John Hoeven (R-ND), James Lankford (R-OK) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO).

Dixie Stampede Taking on New Name

Dolly Parton's 'Dixie Stampede' in Branson will have a new name for the 2018 season. 

The dinner attraction will simply be "Dolly Parton's Stampede." Parton says the change streamlines the name, and removes any concern or confusion visitors may have.

Plans were also announced to expand into new places around the world this year. Branson's "Stampede" reopens February 23rd.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (L.E.A.D.)

Today (January 9th), partnering organizations in support of law enforcement officers nationwide will promote National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (L.E.A.D.). In light of recent negativity directed toward law enforcement nationally, there is a need to show law enforcement officers that our citizens recognize the difficult and sometimes impossible career they have chosen, in public service to us all.

On January 9th of each year, our nation’s citizens are called to action in support of law enforcement. Those citizens who appreciate law enforcement and are discouraged about the negative attention being given to law enforcement are encouraged to take time on January 9, to show their support. Our citizens can show their support in a number of ways:

• Wear blue clothing in support of law enforcement.

• Send a card of support to your local police department or state agency.

• Share a story about a positive law enforcement experience on social media.

• Ask children in your community to write letters in support of law enforcement.

• Participate in Project Blue Light - Proudly display your blue light in support of law enforcement.

• Organize an event or a rally in support of your law enforcement officers.

Most importantly, if you see a police officer, thank a police officer.

Quorum Court Approves Purchase of Wireless Recording System for Courtroom

The Carroll County Quorum Court met Monday for their first meeting of the New Year. All J.P.'s were present except for Chuck Olson and John Howerton.

J.P. Jack Deaton asked that a new item be added to the blank agenda, making it the only item of business. Deaton has been working on finding a company to get a new security system installed in the Courtroom, especially for Circuit Court. In this soundbite, Deaton and Asst. Prosecuting Attorney Devon Goodman explain the needs and why..........

J.P.'s approved the $16,229 Supplemental Appropriation Ordinance for the new wireless recording equipment and installation.

(Listen to the audio below)

Jasper Residents Evacuated Over Truck Spill

The Newton County Sheriff says a tanker truck flipped leading to a short evacuation in Jasper.

The crash happened around 2:20 p.m. Monday on Highway 7 near the Newton County Library in Jasper. Ferric chloride acid spilled in the area. Investigators closed the highway so crews could clean up the spill.

The sheriff tells us there are no injuries from the crash or the spill cleanup.

Bob Ballinger Won't Have Douglas as Opponent

Rep. Charlotte Douglas, R-Alma won't challenge Rep. Bob Ballinger, R-Berryville, in the race for Senate District 5.

Douglas confirmed she wouldn't be entering the race on Monday evening. 

Sen. Bryan King, R-Green Forest currently holds the seat, and he's not seeking re-election, citing party frustrations. He refused to endorse Ballinger, instead saying he'd back Douglas if she chose to run.

In 2017, Douglas also announced she wouldn't seek reelection for her current seat in House District 75. 

Senate District 5 stretches from the Missouri border down to Alma. 

UAMS Cuts 600 Jobs

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) announced Monday it would cut 600 jobs to meet its budget.

UAMS said it must cut more than $30 million in expenses for the fiscal year.

“Over the last several weeks, UAMS leadership has been conducting a comprehensive review of all programs to identify cost savings and make adjustments,” said Leslie Taylor, UAMS vice chancellor in the Office of Communications and Marketing. “However, personnel is our largest expense and we have come to the extremely painful realization that we can’t meet our budget without also eliminating jobs.”

Of the 600 positions it plans to cut, the school said 258 are currently occupied.

Those whose jobs will be eliminated were notified Monday. 

UAMS is the state’s largest public employer with 10,900 employees working in 73 Arkansas counties, including several in Region 8.

C & H Hog Farm Request Under Review

Operators of a hog farm are unclear when they'll learn the outcome of their request for a new permit for their concentrated animal feeding operation.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that C&H Hog Farms applied in April 2016 for a permit on liquid animal waste systems for the farm near Mount Judea. The farm has been operating on an indefinite extension of its expired permit, which is similar to the new requested permit but has different notification and periodic renewal requirements.
C&H has become the target of groups who fear the farm is an environmental risk to the Buffalo River due to the amount of manure produced by the operation.
A spokesman for the Department of Environmental Quality says the permit is still under review.

Babe Ruth Descendants Coming to Hot Springs

Descendants of Babe Ruth will be in Hot Springs in March for the dedication of the final two markers in the Hot Springs Historic Baseball Trail that traces the birthplace of baseball spring training in the Spa City.

The two-day celebration, which also will feature baseball legends Ferguson Jenkins and Al Hrabosky, will be held March 23 and March 24.

“We will be joined at this celebration by three generations of the Babe Ruth family, including his grandson, Tom Stevens, great-grandson, Brent Stevens, and the Babe’s great-great granddaughters,” said Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs. “Babe Ruth’s daughter, Julia Ruth Stevens, was invited but will be unable to attend. She will celebrate her 102nd birthday July 17.”

Arrison said, “On Friday, March 23, we will unveil the final two plaques on the Hot Springs Historic Baseball Trail honoring the pitchers and catchers who trained and sharpened their skills in the Spa City.”

One plaque will honor legendary catcher Bill Dickey of Little Rock and the other will honor pitcher Lefty Grove.

On Friday evening there will be a panel discussion with Baseball Hall of Famer Ferguson Jenkins and former Major League player Al Hrabosky the “Mad Hungarian” of St. Louis Cardinals fame and a current television personality. 

On Saturday, March 24, there will be a ceremony at Whittington Park celebrating the 100th anniversary of Babe Ruth’s massive home run at Whittington Park, Arrison said. “It was a home run that was even longer than his St. Patrick’s Day shot that was the first home run over 500 feet.”

At the ceremony, the Ruth Family will be joined by the noted Babe Ruth and baseball historian/author Bill Jenkinson and the Babe Ruth expert and historian Tim Reid.

Computer Hacking Likely Widespread

Almost every computer, tablet, smartphone and even cloud server may have been exposed to hackers for years.

Researchers found security flaws in computer processors.

These bugs could allow hackers to grab personal information from millions of devices.

However, companies kept it quiet for several months until a fix was developed so hackers couldn't exploit the flaw.

Now, companies are racing to get software updates out.

But experts say it's not the end of the world. .

Tech giants like Google, Microsoft and others already have a fix in place or are putting one out soon.

Experts say it's extremely important you run the latest software updates on your devices to make sure your information stays safe.