Thursday, January 23, 2020

Union Bank Hosts rive for Hope Place

Union Bank recently held a drive for The Hope Place of Warren. They collected diapers, bottles, wipes and children’s over the counter medicine. Mike Zieman and Reid McKinney with Farm Bureau donated car seats to the cause as well. Union Bank employees and their customers also collected $1,140.81 in cash to donate as well. Pictured accepting the donations is director Wendy Curry.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Warren City Council to Meet in Special Called Meeting

There will be a special called meeting of the Warren City Council Thursday, January 23, at 4:30 p.m. in the municipal courtroom.

Lions Club Hears Update On 2020 Census

Charlotte Brown, Administrative Assistant to Warren Mayor Denisa Pennington and Debra Joyner, Partnership Specialist with the United States Census Bureau were guest speakers for the January 22nd meeting of the Warren Lions Club, held at Simple Simon's.  They provided information about the upcoming 2020 census to be taken nation wide.  the Mayor's office, along with others in the city and the county are working to educate the public on the importance of every person living in our community.  A nation census is taken every ten years.  The population figures are used to set up congressional and legislative districts, city wards, justice of the peace districts, school zones and determines the distribution of more than $675 billion dollars in federal funds and millions in state funds.  Private business and industry also use the figures to plan new stores, factories and other businesses.  It is vital to get a complete count of every person who resides in Warren, Hermitage, Banks and the entire county.  All ages are included.

Information will be mailed out in March informing the public how to respond to the census.  It can be done by computer and phone.  Census takes will go door to door to count people who have not responded.  For more information go to 2020census.gov.

There will an educational meeting held at the Warren Municipal Building starting at 5:00pm Thursday, January 23rd to answer questions and provide information.  the public is invited to attend.

Karen Rawls Appointed To Quorum Court

Quorum Court members were notified Tuesday , January 21st during their regular monthly meeting that Karen Rawls has been appointed by Governor Hutchinson to fill a vacancy on the court created when Justice Mike Gorman resigned due to moving from his District 5 residence.  Mrs. Rawls will serve the remainder of the current term which runs through December 31, 2020.  Mrs. Rawls husband, Randy Rawls is an unopposed candidate for District 5 Justice of the Peace on the ballot in November.  He will take office in January, 2021. 

In addition to various reports being approved and reviewed by the court, members elected Justice Jim Anders to represent the county on the Quorum Court State Association.

No other action was taken.  The court usually meets the third Monday of each month, but moved the January meeting to Tuesday, due to Monday being the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. 

Hillman Elected President of Arkansas Farm Bureau

Rich Hillman of Carlisle, recently elected president of Arkansas Farm Bureau, was selected Tuesday for a two-year term on the American Farm Bureau board of directors.

He was elected to represent the Southern Region by delegates serving at the organization’s 101st annual convention in Austin, Texas.

The board guides the direction of the nation’s largest farm advocacy organization, which represents almost six million members in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

A sixth-generation farmer, Hillman served 11 years as vice president of Arkansas Farm Bureau before being elected as president by the membership of ArFB in December. He raises rice, soybeans and wheat in Lonoke and Arkansas counties.

“Agriculture is vitally important for our country’s economic and cultural wellbeing,” said Hillman. “I look forward to serving the members of this organization and providing a voice for the concerns for our farmers and ranchers.”

The 2020 Oaklawn Live Meet Starts This Friday

Submitted by Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort

HOT SPRINGS, AR (Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020) – Oaklawn kicks off its 116th live racing season this Friday, January 24 with a special 12:30 p.m. first post. The 57-day season is highlighted by a record $35 million in total purses, 33 stakes races, including four $1 million stakes, new promotions, and more infield days.

Opening Day Friday will feature the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes, the first of four rich Kentucky Derby preps that culminate with the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) on Saturday, April 11. On Saturday, Jan. 25, the 2020 promotions schedule begins with the traditional offering of $.50 corned beef sandwiches and $.10 soft drinks as an homage to Oaklawn’s rich history. Also, on Saturday, will be the 31st running of the $100,000 Fifth Season Stakes, which has been split into two $100,000 races based on demand along with the running of the $100,000 Pippin Stakes.

Presidents’ Day weekend will include the start of the popular “Dawn at Oaklawn” program hosted by racing analyst Nancy Holthus on Saturday, Feb. 15; the annual Oaklawn Free Cap Giveaway on Sunday, Feb. 16; and a special Monday of holiday racing on Feb. 17 highlighted by the $750,000 Southwest Stakes (G3), the $500,000 Razorback Handicap (G3), and the $200,000 Bayakoa Stakes (G3).

Chamber of Commerce to Conduct Annual Meeting


The Bradley County Chamber of Commerce will hold its Annual Meeting Thursday, January 30 at 5:30 pm at the Warren Country Club.  Chamber members and friends are invited to attend.  Please RSVP at www.bradleychamber.com/rsvp so we can plan accordingly.

Local Man's Truck Vandalized

Greg Harton's truck was vandalized Monday night at the back door of his Shelter Insurance office. He locked the truck and went inside to take care of an insureds policy. He was in the office less than 40 minutes. They broke out the passenger side window of his Toyota Tacoma and took his wallet that was in the middle compartment.

The incident is still under investigation.



Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Weight Management Make and Take Class to be Held at Library

Do you have an intention to uplevel your physical and emotional health in 2020?

If so, join us at the Weight Management Make & Take Class at the Warren Branch Library from 6pm to 7pm.

Learn how essential oils can support healthy weight release, detox, hormones, exercise, stress reduction and restful sleep - all key areas to creating a healthy lifestyle and to releasing weight!

Get hands on experience in creating your own essential oil blends.

Make & Take options include:

💧Happy Mood Blend
💧Detox
💧Appetite & Metabolism
💧Belly Buster
💧All The Things

$5 per item. Make as many as you want. RSVP at 870-226-2536 or 115 W. Cypress St. Warren, AR to attend.

Lions Club Provides Vision Test For Youth

Skyline Stewart takes part in vision screening being done by
Lions Club members.
Members of the Warren Lions Club have recently provided eye test for young students at the Presbyterian pre-school and the Head Start Center in Warren.  Delbert Zimmerly and Harold Mitchell of the Warren Club are in charge of implementing the  program.  Tim Kessler is the President of the loal club.
Other members help from time to time.

Test are conducted using a special camera that takes a picture of the eyes and indicates any potential sight issue.  If a problem is detected, the parent or guardian is notified and urged to have the students eyes examined by a professional.

Tests were conducted January 16 at the Presbyterian school.  Eighteen students were checked and four were referred for an exam.  At the Head Start Center, six students were checked and two were informed to get an exam.  The test were administered at Head Start January 21.

Plans call for additional testing in Bradley, Drew and Ashley counties.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Jersey Fire Department Responds to Wildland Fire

Jersey Fire Department responded Sunday afternoon, January 19 to a fire on Hwy 63 S near Hilo. The fire spread from a smoldering two-day-old leaf pile which allowed burning embers to spread the fire to an adjacent field of dry grasses.  Approximately five acres burned very quickly due to a steady wind gusting to 15 mph and a 31% humidity level. The fire was quickly brought under control with five Jersey Firefighters, one brush truck, Bradley County Forestry Rangers and forestry equipment.
As a reminder this wildfire was a prime example of a typical winter/spring wildland fire scene in that the ground beneath the burning grasses and natural fuels were actually muddy. Low humidity, gusting winds and abundant natural fuels combine to produce the perfect conditions for a quickly spreading,

Arrest Report: January 20, 2020

Th following are innocent until proven guilty:

Rebecca Jennings, 204 S. Bradley St., Warren, AR, 2-24-84, arrest on warrant-theft of property (1-13-20)

Philip Earnest, 713 Earnest Loop, Hampton, AR, 1-6-75, arrested on warrant x2 (1-13-20)

Justin Hines, 405 West Elm St., Warren, AR, 4-30-88, arrested on warrant x2 (1-14-20)

Donovan Clary, 1414 Old Monticello Highway, Warren, AR, 11-19-93, possession of defaced firearm (1-18-20)

Lukisha S. Davis, #8 Bryant Ct., Warren, AR, 3-26-75, arrested on warrant (1-19-20)

Commercial Supporting Hunting Filmed On Warren Square

A company out of Greenville, North Carolina was in Warren Saturday, January 18 filming a commercial to be aired as a 30 second spot on the Outdoor Channel in February.  The commercial is being financed by the Safari Club international, an organization that supports hunting rights and advocates for hunting.  The commercial is aimed at pointing out the unreasonableness of individuals and organizations that oppose hunting.

According to SCI, hunters are among the most dedicated to conservation and to the protection of the environment.  It is an educational commercial.

David Smith, the CEO, CCO and Founder of Immortology is producing the commercial.  It is directed by Wayne Gibson and was filmed by Burt Young.  A large group of actors, some from Warren, were involved in staging a scene of radical activist protesting against the hunting of animals.

Mr. Smith was working with Gary Smith to shoot the spot in Warren.  David Smith has done previous filming in Bradley County.  He told SRC that he can get more done at less cost in the area and there is excellent scenery to be used.  This  includes buildings.  He said the City of Warren and Mayor Pennington were supportive and easy to work with.  He jokingly stated that he calls the area Arkansollywood.

The filming was so real that some people driving by thought a real protest was underway.  The crew spent some time including having lunch at the Taste and See Bakery.

Hermitage School Board Meeting January 13

The Hermiatge School board met January 13 for the regular monthly meeting of the board.
Minutes of the December 9, 2019 meeting and the financial report was approved.  Reports were then presented by Mistie McGhee and Superintendent Dr. Tracy Tucker.

Board members voted to accept the board training hours report, approved out of state travel for the band, FFA and coaches and approved the financial services contract in the amount of $20,000.00.

Next the board went into executive session to discuss personnel.  After the session, the board voted to hire Lacey Hollingsworth to work in maintenance as needed.  

Friday, January 17, 2020

Mark Your Calendars


27th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Banquet

St. James A.M.E. Church will present the 27th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Banquet January 25, 2020 beginning at 6:00pm.  The event honors the life of Dr. King.  The Church is located at 915 St. James Street in Warren.  Tickets are $15 and may be purchased at the door.

Guest Speaker for the banquet is State Senator Stephanie Flowers of Senate District 25.  She is a former member of the Arkansas House of Representatives and now serves in the Senate.

Bro. Everett Wallace is Chairperson of the event.  Rev. James R. Hooper, Sr. is Pastor and Presiding Elder.  The Rt. Rev. Michael Mitchell  is Bishop.

City/County MLK Schedule

The Warren Municipal Building will be closed January 20, 2020 in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  The city will not collect garbage on the 20th.  All other days will be collected as scheduled.
The City of Warren ESC Building ( Police and Fire Services ) will be open and fully staffed.

The Bradley County Courthouse will be closed January 20th.  County solid waste will be collected as normally scheduled.  The monthly Quorum Court meeting will be conducted Tuesday, January 21 beginning at 6:00pm.

Arkansas Rural Health Partnership Awarded $750K Opioid Grant

The Arkansas Rural Health Partnership (ARHP), a public nonprofit comprised of 14 rural hospital members spanning south Arkansas, is one of 21 sites selected to receive the Rural Responses to the Opioid Epidemic grant. ARHP will receive $750,000 over the next two years to design and implement an intervention to bridge the gap between healthcare providers and the judicial system, seeking to expand access to therapeutic services for individuals with opioid use disorder.

This grant, co-funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the State Justice Institute, is designed to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with opioid overdoses among individuals who come in contact with law enforcement or are involved in the criminal justice system in high-risk rural communities and regions.

As a first step, ARHP recently hired Robert Dean to serve as the project coordinator for the Rural Response to the Opioid Epidemic grant. Deen, a Southeast Arkansas native, attended Monticello high school, graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello in 2015 and the UA Wiliam H. Bowen School of Law in 2018.

According to the Arkansas Drug Director’s office, Arkansas is 2nd in the U.S. for over-prescribing opioid medications at an average of 114.6 opioid prescriptions per 100 people (the national average is 66.5 prescriptions per 100 people). There are more opioid prescriptions than people in Arkansas. Opioid use disorder reaches into every community in Arkansas, affecting individuals, families and workplaces across the state.

"The Arkansas Rural Health Partnership has been working closely with my office as well as other community and state partners to address the Opioid Epidemic in South Arkansas. We know that there are gaps involved in this rural area that needs to be desperately addressed,” said Arkansas State Drug Director Kirk Lane. “The ability to utilize available funding from the Rural Responses to the Opioid Epidemic grant, provided by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), is having a significant impact in building collaborative partnerships and opening lines of communications towards resolving this issues and reducing the stigma caused by substance misuse. I am encouraged by this great effort to date and look forward to the achievements of this working group, as a model for other parts of our state and country."

Enhancing collaboration between local law enforcement and healthcare services is key to meeting the initiative’s stated goals of preventing and reducing overdose deaths associated with opioids, and advancing a shared understanding of the patterns and characteristics of problem drug use in a local community. According to ARHP executive director Mellie Bridewell, “The funding through this project will enable ARHP to respond to their respective communities’ requests to provide and increase needed resources for South Arkansas judicial and law enforcement agencies to address this issue.”

“We are excited to partner with Arkansas Rural Health Partnership, the collaboration of local and state leaders is paramount for the safety of the citizens of Arkansas,” said John Carter, Commander of the 10th Judicial District Drug Task Force.

The Arkansas Rural Health Partnership (ARHP) is an organization of 14 non-profit south Arkansas hospitals including Ashley County Medical Center, Baptist Health Medical Center-Stuttgart, Bradley County Medical Center, Chicot Memorial Medical Center, Dallas County Medical Center, Delta Memorial Hospital, DeWitt Hospital & Nursing Home, Drew Memorial Health System, Helena Regional Medical Center, Jefferson Regional Medical Center, Magnolia Regional Medical Center, McGehee Hospital, Medical Center of South Arkansas and Ouachita County Medical Center. For more information on ARHP, please visit our website at arruralhealth.org.


Thursday, January 16, 2020

Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas to sponsor State Spelling Bee

Little Rock, Ark. — Jan. 16, 2020 — The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas will sponsor the Arkansas State Spelling Bee on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020 at Cabot High School. The event begins at 9 a.m.

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

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

Storm Damage From Last Weekend

While Bradley County experienced some storm damage from the storms that rolled through last weekend, our neighbors to the south and east appear to have been hit harder.  The University of Arkansas at Monticello was hit by what is being referred to as severe high winds.  Maxwell Hall, the Chancellors residence and some trees were damaged.  One large tree was blown down adjacent to Willard Hall.  The damage to the structures was overall relatively minor, although power was off for some time and classes had to be canceled for a couple of days.  Just south of the campus on Bowser Road, there was extensive damage to trees and some out buildings.  A number of homes received roof damage.

Crossett, Hamburg and some of the delta areas suffered damage to buildings in several areas.  According to the weather service several tornadoes were involved in the damage caused.

According to the Warren Fire Department a couple of power line in the city sparked but no damage was done and we are unaware of power being lost for any length of time.  There was power outages in the county.

English as Second Language Classes Resume

English as a Second Language (ESL) classes will resume at SouthArk College Adult Education on Tuesday, February 4th from 5-7:30.

Regular class hours will be Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5-7:30.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Beginner Quilting Classes Offered

The Bradley County Extension Office will be offering beginner quilting classes.  Each participant will need to have basic sewing skills and provide their own sewing machines in good working condition. Dates and times will be determined at a later date.  If enough interest is shown, classes will be scheduled. Anyone that is interested needs to contact Michelle Carter at 870-226-8410 by January 28th.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.  If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact your Bradley County Extension Office as soon as possible.  Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.

Governor's School Application is Open


The application is open for Arkansas Governor's School which will be held June 5-August 1, 2020 on the Arkansas Tech University campus. Students who are residents of Arkansas and who are presently in junior classes at a public or private high school or are homeschooled are eligible to apply. These must be students who are entering into their senior year of high school. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, January 21, 2020.Visit ATU.EDU/AGS for more information.

High School Asks for Parent Participation

Warren High School is asking all parents/guardians to participate in our 3 question HRS survey. Please use the following link to complete the Level 1 survey: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe8M01bmUQjN52B7ghg0-txYDdWdRdxCSkphYR1bpUIbgK4wQ/viewform?usp=sf_link

UAM School of Nursing Recieves $150,000 Blue & You Grant

Will be Presented Friday, January 15, 2020

Monticello, Ark. - The University of Arkansas at Monticello School of Nursing secured a $150,000 grant from the Blue & You Foundation, which will be presented at an event Friday on the UAM campus. The grant was one of 40 selected across the state out of more than 260 applicants. “Our grants this year went to programs across the state that address issues and needs that organizations have identified as important to their communities. These include physical and mental health programs for all ages, opportunities to participate in exercise and good nutrition, and building the future medical workforce that will care for all of our citizens,” said Patrick O’Sullivan, executive director of the Blue & You Foundation.

The award enables UAM to enhance the nursing simulation laboratory, an essential part of the nursing curriculum, according to Dr. Brandy Haley, dean of nursing. “In a state where there is often a nurse shortage, our faculty strive to continue our history of graduating extremely well-prepared and successful nurses. A large part of that preparation includes offering our students high quality equipment for practical hands-on training,” she said. Specifically, funds will enhance the lab by adding simulation equipment, laboratory furnishings, manikins and first-aid responder training equipment. Haley praised faculty members Karen Hyatt and Sharon Walters for being instrumental in securing the $150,000 grant. “Their dedication to nursing education has been made even more evident by their impressive ability to increase the resources available to our students,” Haley said. “I am grateful to work with faculty who are able to offer so much to the future nurses of our state.”

In addition to educating UAM students, simulation equipment on campus can be used for community education, when instructors in the Nursing faculty offer trainings on effective use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs), Stop the Bleed kits, and first aid/CPR certification.
Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield established the Blue & You Foundation in 2001 as a charitable foundation to promote better health in Arkansas. The Blue & You Foundation awards grants annually to non-profit or governmental organizations and programs that positively affect the health of Arkansans. To date, the foundation has awarded more than $36 million to 1,922 health improvement programs in Arkansas, located in 248 communities and in every county in the state. This funding cycle awards total $3,467,872. The UAM nursing program received the largest amount available for an individual grant.

The grant presentation will be held at noon on January 17 at the UAM Fine Arts Center Spencer Gallery and will include representatives from the Blue & You Foundation and the university. A small reception will follow. The event is open to the public.


Special Called School Board Meeting Announced

There will be a special called Warren School Board meeting Thursday, January 16th at 6:30 p.m. at the central office.
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Public Notice

The 2020 Census Bureau Complete Count Committee of Bradley County will be having a Public Awareness Meeting Thursday, January 23, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. in the Municipal Courtroom.  Please come out and ask any questions you may have regarding the 2020 Census.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

BCEDC Holds Special Meeting To Discuss Private Prison

This map shows the general area for a potential private prison to be located in Warren.  The area in red is the general location.  Please note: This map does not indicate the exact boundaries of the possible deal, it is only the general location within Warren's Industrial Park.
A quorum of board members of the Bradley County Economic Development Commission met Monday, January 13 in a called meeting to discuss the land swap with the City of Warren that has previously been reported by SRC.  The stated purpose of the meeting was to act on a proposal that was approved by the Warren City Council on Thursday January 9, 2020.  It was suggested that the BCEDC Executive Committee meet with city officials as soon as possible to work out the details as to what part of the 20 acres of the Griggs property would be best suited for the city and the BCEDC.  The proposal is for the city to give the BCEDC twenty acres of property in the industrial park and in return the BCEDC will grant ownership of 20 acres of the Griggs property, owned by BCEDC, to the city.  The Griggs property is located on the bypass that circles Warren on the northeast.

The discussion then turned to the proposal the BCEDC is making to get the private prison to build in the city industrial part.  Rep. Jeff Wardlaw indicated that the BCEDC has a memorandum of agreement with the private company to give them some 20 acres in the industrial part and the existing spec building in return for a guarantee of a minimum of 78 jobs for 15 years.  He went on to say the company is requesting a reduction in the 15 year time period if more than 78 jobs are created at any point.  This was approved.  Wardlaw indicated a decision should be known within a short period of time.

School Board Accepts Resignations and Hires Personnel


The Warren School Board met Monday night for its regular monthly meeting.  They opened with the approval of minutes from December 9 followed by a group of third graders presenting a learning activity demonstration along with their teachers.

After minute messages by administrators, the board moved into executive session to deal with personnel matters.  Upon returning, the following actions were taken:

-They accepted the resignations of WHS World History Instructor David Yates, Cody Jones as WHS Beta Club sponsor, Blake Washington as head boys basketball coach, and George Shelton, Warren Middle School Interventionist and Assistant Football Coach.

-They accepted the classified resignation of Russell Rhoden as full-time bus driver.

Hired Bo Hembree to fill the position of Head Boys Basketball Coach and Blake Washington as Head Girls Soccer Coach.

-They hired Danny Kelley as bus driver contingent on a background check.

The Superintendent's contract was extended for one year, and the financial report was approved.

Superintendent Bryan Cornish gave his report which included a note that January is National School Board month.  He commended the board for their work.  He reminded the board of the dates of a number of upcoming events through May.

When it came time at the end of the meeting for public comments, which are limited by set policy to three minutes, a representative of the NAACP, Shonda Belin, addressed the board.  She spoke to them of things she has seen improve and happen in the district as she carries out her duties through a position with DHS.  She continued beyond the allotted time limit as she discussed an issue with her daughter.  Board President Jerry Daniels politely called the time limit to her attention and tried to point out to her that due process should be followed and that the matter would need to go before the high school principal first.  Ms. Belin refused to stop, and a board member made the motion to adjourn.  The meeting ended.

Council Sets Salary For Part-Time Fire Chief And Local Citizen Speaks Out Against Prison-Video Sponsored By First State Bank

The Warren City Council met for its regular monthly meeting Monday, January 13 in the Warren Municipal Building.  After being called to order and approval of past minutes, City Clerk Helen Boswell presented the statement of revenue and expenditures.  She reported small net gains in the general and street funds and informed the council that sales tax revenue remains up over last year.

WATCH THE FULL JANUARY 2020 CITY COUNCIL MEETING SPONSORED BY FIRST STATE BANK,
OR CONTINUE READING THE STORY BELOW.

Mayor Pennington submitted her recommendation for standing committee assignments for 2020.  The committees were approved on a 3-2 vote as follows:

Community & Economic Development
Angela Marshall, Chairman
Dorothy Henderson
Memory Frazer

Fire Committee
Joel Tolefree, Chairman
Angela Marshall
Dorothy Henderson

Police Committee
Memory Burks Frazer, Chairman
Zach Burks
Emily Moseley

Sanitation Committee
Zach Burks, Chairman
Joel Tolefree
Angela Marshall

Street Committee
Emily Moseley, Chairman
Zach Burks
Joel Tolefree

Ways & Means Committee
Dorothy Henderson, Chairman
Memory Burks Frazer
Emily Moseley

Reports were presented by all department heads and city boards and commissions that met during December, 2019.  Police Chief Shaun Hildreth reported the department is one officer short and he hopes to present a potential hire to the Civil Service Commission soon.  Fire Chief Mike Ashcraft informed the council that the department needs volunteer fire fighters and to urge anyone interested to apply.  He also stated the Warren Fire Department is 100 years old in 2020 and a celebration is planned for the annual Firemen's Ball.

The Fire Committee recommended a salary of $24,000.00 annually for the newly hired part-time Fire Chief.  The council had previously added the job to the city's pay plan and the Civil Service Commission hired Mr. Ashcraft.  The salary was approved on a 3-2 vote.  The city is retaining the position of full time fire chief for future utilization if the council so chooses.

Street Committee Chairman Emily Moseley reported that the Street Committee will conduct a public hearing February 11 at 5:00 pm to hear street improvement requests from citizens.  The hearing will be held in the Municipal Courtroom.

The council then adopted ordinance 923, reconciling the city's 2019 budget as required by law.

There was discussion about the process to advertise for an economic development consultant.  Council Member Zach Burks asked the status of the actions previously approved by the council.  Mayor Pennington stated advertisements are being planned.

During the public comment portion of the agenda, Michael Weatherford, who resides on Forrest Road, spoke voicing his opposition to the proposed private prison that he believes will be built in the city industrial park.  You can watch and listen to Mr. Weatherford's comments in the video below this article.

The council then voted to pay all bills for December, 2019 and set the next meeting for February 10, 2020.  The agenda meeting is set for February 6 at 7:00 am.