Friday, April 19, 2019

Southeast Intermodal Discusses Track Crossing and Sewer

Members of the board of the Southeast Arkansas Intermodal Authority meet Wednesday April 17th in Warren for their April board meeting.  Minutes of the previous meeting and the financial report were approved.  The board approved paying the monthly bills

According to the financial statement, the organization has a balance of $78,571.48 on hand.  The report list accounts receivable from the two cities and and two counties as follows:
-Monticello $27,009.66
-Warren $22,520.31
-Drew County $9,618.35
-Bradley County $156,413.22
There was discussion among board members that due to the Authority currently being debt free, they might write off some of the receivables listed as owed by eliminating the $9,618.35 listed as owed by Monticello and reduce the other entities amounts by the same.  Some concern was voiced that there may be a need for future expenses and the money may be needed.  No action was taken.

The ongoing issue of getting railroad approval to cross the tracks was discussed again.  The board was informed that the Arkansas Highway Department will be getting involved.  Board Member Dr. bob Smallling stated that the board has been nice and it may be time to do whatever it takes to get some action.

Chairman of the Board, John Lipton talked about the need to market the site.  He stated some of the other intermodals in Arkansas have hired directors to market and run the intermodal site.

There was discussion relating to the issue of Monticello's sewer system not being currently able to handle a substantial wastewater load from the intermodal site.  All water and sewer is provided by the City of Monticello.  Several board members representing Monticello and Drew County indicated that sewer improvements is a priority for Mayor Chase.  No information was provided on the time frame for the improvements and when the intermodal will benefit.

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Eddie Cheatham

April 19, 2019

LITTLE ROCK – During the recent regular session, the legislature referred three proposed constitutional amendments to Arkansas voters.

One would limit terms of legislators to 12 years. Another would permanently extend a highway program that is now scheduled to expire in 2023. The third would make it more difficult to change the constitution. The proposals will be on the general election ballot in November of 2020.

The current half-cent in state sales tax was approved by Arkansas voters in 2012 by a 58 to 42 percent margin. It took effect in 2013 and is scheduled to expire after 10 years. It raised the state sales tax from 6 to 6.5 percent.

If extended, the half cent would generate an estimated $293.7 million a year, of which cities and counties each would receive $44 million, and the state Transportation Department would get the remaining $205 million.

A second proposed amendment would limit terms of lawmakers to 12 years, although it grandfathers in current office holders. They could serve 16 years, which is the limit under current law.

Used County Trash Cans for Sale

The Bradley County Solid Waste is in the process of replacing county residents’ trashcans.
The used can will available for purchase in the amount of $35.00 each. They are 96-gallon cans with lid attached.

These cans are not for county solid waste use.
To purchase the cans call the Judge’s office
870-226-3853 or go to the landfill
1424 Bradley 25 North


The Cooperative Extension Service of Bradley, Calhoun, Dallas, and Cleveland Counties is once again sponsoring The Great Outdoors Youth Day on Saturday, May 4th, at the Bradley County Park.  Registration starts at 9:00 a.m. and events will include Fishing Derby, Learning Stations, and other special activities.  Lunch is sponsored by L’Aigle Creek Conservation District.  All youth ages 5-14 years old are invited.  Youth under age 9 will be required to have a parent present, however, all parents are encouraged to attend.  Bring your own fishing poles and bait for catching catfish.  For more information, contact John Gavin at the Bradley County Extension Office at 870-226-8410.  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.

Flood Closures at Moro Bay State Park

A facebook post from Moro Bay State Park early Friday morning, April 19, 2019, notified the public that the park "will have to close the campground due to flooding."

The post continued with: "At this point it is difficult to say exactly when that will be but it could be as early as tomorrow (Saturday April 20th). The park is watching the River level closely and we will be cancelling all reservations Monday – Thursday of the coming week. We are notifying everyone arriving today or tomorrow that they can cancel and refunds will be provided. Those who choose to come may be required to leave early (as early as tomorrow) if water comes over the road leading to the campground. Cabin guest can also cancel without charges but we will not require those coming into the Cabins to cancel for this weekend or the coming week at this point. However, certain areas of the park will soon be inaccessible (including the trails, the playground, the ferry exhibit, and the Marina). For more information contact Moro Bay State Park at 870-463-8555 extension 2.
It is difficult to say if the water will continue to rise, stay the same, or start falling before the weekend of April 26th-28th. On Wednesday April the 24th the park will make a decision about whether we can reopen the campground or need to remain closed."

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Holy Week Services Continue

Ministerial Alliance Pastors
Holy Week services have continue with Wednesday's activities being conducted at First Baptist Church of Warren and Thursday's services being held at Immanuel Baptist of Warren.

At First Baptist the welcome was given by Br. Russell Rhoden and the scripture waqs read by Br. Felton Savage.  Prayer was rendered by Rev. Eddie Hampton and the message was presented by Rev. Henry Cox, Pastor of Union Hill Baptist Church of the city.

Thursday's service at Immanuel began with the welcome by Immanuel's Pastor Bro. Matt Overall and scripture reading by Bro. Wayman Mann.  Prayer was given by Rev. Vernon Colvin.  the message was provided by Bro. Russell Rhoden. The Benediction was prayed by Warren Police Chief Shaun Hildreth.

There have been large crowds at all services and excellent special music provided by each church.

Gina Richard Named 2019 Middle Level Principal of the Year

Bradley County native and former Hermitage High School graduate Gina Richard has been named Arkansas Middle School Principal of the Year for 2019.  Mrs. Richard is the principal at Star City Middle School.

"Shred Day" Set for April 26

With the ever-rising rate of identity theft, it is more important than ever to properly dispose of all papers that may contain information such as your bank account numbers, credit card numbers, old tax documents, social security numbers, insurance numbers, etc.  Keeping personal information out of the hands of would-be thieves is just one of the priorities of Union Bank.  To better assist you with protection from identity theft, Union Bank will once again host "Shred Day".  Bring your papers to the bank located at 201 North Martin in Warren, Friday, April 26 where they can be shredded in a commercial shredder at no cost to you.
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Wednesday, April 17, 2019


Fred's announced recently that the corporation was closing a number of its stores.  They also announced that all stores would be liquidating their stock.  They put out a list of stores closing, and Warren is not on the list.  The FRED'S STORE IN WARREN IS NOT CLOSING.

WHS and SEACBEC Were on Lockdown for Short Period Today

Warren High School and SEACBEC were briefly on lockdown today for approximately 30 minutes.  The lockdown was precautionary measures due to a threat that was reported to the Warren High School Administration.  The threat was thoroughly investigated by the Warren High School Administration and the Warren Police Department.  After it was deemed to not be an imminent threat,  the lockdown was lifted.   The safety of students and staff is a top priority in the Warren School District, and the district will continue to take precautionary measures when necessary.

Community Action Chairman Resigns From Board

After a lengthy meeting that conducted some important business and continued to experience conflict among board members, the board chairman, Rev. Arthur Haney of Chicot County tendered his resignation from the position of chairman and from the board.  Much of the conflict over the past few months has been aimed at Mr. Haney.  Daryl Johnson of Crossett, in Ashley County has led the charge with a list of allegations and complaints.  During the meeting Board Secretary Angela Meeks of Bradley County submitted a letter requesting Mr. Haney to step down.  The board has rocked back and forth for the past three years between trying to address issues and being at times dysfunctional.  The organization has lost the Head Start program and could be in danger of losing other programs.  Mr. Haney told SRC that he had tried to move the board forward, but it was time for him to remove himself.  Rick Matheny of Ashley County is the Vice Chairman and would normally move up to the Chairman's position.  He has been experiencing health issues and has missed several meetings.  It is uncertain who will become chairman.

The board approved three sets of old minutes that had been pending back to September of 2018.  The board has been unable to agree on approving minutes.  Several past minutes remain for final approval. 

Reports were given concerning the Head Start Program, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and the Community Service Block Grant Program.  It was reported that a private nonprofit company will take over the Head Start Program in July and operate it one year.  At that time the federal government will award the program to another nonprofit or community action agency to operate.  Services will continue to be provided in all five counties of the Southeast Region.

The current Acting Interim Director of Southeast Community Action is Carolyn Davis.  The agency is advertising for a new director and a new finance director.

There was yet another argument over which set of bylaws are in force.  Mr. Johnson continues to allege that the bylaws dated 2017 are not legal.  The State of Arkansas Department of Human Resources has ruled, and so informed the board by phone during the meeting that the 2017 version of the bylaws are legal and are to be followed.

Tuesday Holy Week Service

Tuesday's Holy Week service was conducted at Union Hill Baptist Church located on West Central Street in Warren.  Rev. Henry Cox, Pastor of Union Hill gave the welcome and Riley Hudson sang two songs.  Rev. Gary Harrison of First United Methodist of Warren read scripture.

Prayer was rendered by Rev. Ricky Rawls, Pastor of First Free Will Baptist of Warren.  The message was presented by Rev. Matt Overall, Pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church of Warren.
A wonderful meal was provided by Union Hill.

Wednesday's service is set for First Baptist Church located on Main Street in Warren.
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New City Treasure Appointed

The Hermitage City Council met April 15th in regular session.  Present were council members Matt Huitt, Annette and Randy Gorman, Jr.  Also in attendance were Mayor Tonya Kendrix, Chief Ben Poole, George Smith, Anglea Dawson, Daphne Hargis and Jesus DeLaCruz.

Chief Poole reported 11 citations were issued in March.  No fires were reported. Reports were provided on water samples, sewer facilities and street work.  Jesus DeLaCruz reported he caught three dogs.  One was adopted and two escaped.

The council then voted to name Angela Dawson city treasure.

Mayor Kendrix presented the "Disaster Response Plan."  Robin Scott, OEM Coordinator for Bradley County discussed the steps necessary when requesting mutual aid response from outside resources and what grants and funding were available for disaster preparations.

Hermitage Selects Girls and Boys State

Madison McGhee and Genesis Garay
Hermitage High School has selected delegates for the 2019 Arkansas Boys and Girls State on the University of Central Arkansas and Harding University campuses respectively May 26-May 31, 2019.  Representing Hermitage High School are Cole Pennington, son of Mark and Tiffany Pennington; Cristian Castro, son of Antelma Garay; Genesis Garay, daughter of Angela Ramirez and Jose Garay; and Madison McGhee, daughter of David and Mistie McGhee.  The American Legion Martin Tate Post sponsors these students.
Cole Pennington and Cristian Castro

Clint Rhoden to Speak to Retired Teachers

Bradley County Retired Teachers' Association will meet Monday, April 22, in the First United Methodist Church.

Clint Rhoden, the new administrator of Teacher Retirement, Senator Eddie Cheatham, and RepresentativeJeff Wardlaw will be guests at the meeting.

A silent auction will begin at 11:00 with lunch at 11:30, followed by the speakers at 12:00.  The auction will end at the end of the business meeting, which will follow the speakers.

All members who have not received a call by Friday should register with Glenetta Burks at 226-2317 for the $10 lunch.

Discussion Of Flooding At Quorum Court Meeting

During a relatively short Quorum Court meeting Monday, April 15th, County Judge Klay McKinney informed the Bradley County JPs that heavy and extended rains have caused serious issues for a number of county roads and in some cases the county made repairs only to have the problem reoccur within a few days due to additional rainfall.  He said the county is having trouble keeping up and is working as fast as possible.  He said it is also costly.  At this time, according to the Judge, crews are trying to keep the roads open and safe.

The Judge also reported that the county has begun replacing garbage containers with new ones that will be emptied automatically.  He plans to collect the current cans and offer them for sale for personal use.  He also stated he had received at least one call complaining about the new solid waste rates, and was told the property owner would not pay the increase.  He went on to say Bradley County's rates are among the lowest in the region.  Some counties use a sales tax to finance solid waste collection and disposal.

Judge McKinney indicated the legislature took some recycling money and moved it to an unpaved street fund. He also stated, a new law will require quorum court meetings to be recorded in full.

The Court approve the minutes of the previous meeting and reviewed the Treasurer's report and the Sheriff's report.  The Judge indicated work is underway on Bradley Road #5. 

Festival T-Shirts Set for Sale on April 22nd

Volunteers met at BCEDC Board Room Monday to sort the shipment of festival shirts.
Mayor Denisa Pennington, 2019 Festival Chairperson Vicky Tapia,
and James Wells-2020 Festival Chairman.
Beginning Monday, April 22, the 2019 Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival T Shirts will be available for purchase at the Bradley County Chamber of Commerce in Warren, and the shirts will also be available at the local banks in Warren and Hermitage Monday.

The 63rd Pink Tomato Festival shirt design was chosen from entries submitted earlier this year.  Haley Raney of Hermitage submitted the winning design.  Shirts are $15 each except for 2X, 3X, and 4X which will sell for  $20.

For more information, contact the Bradley County Chamber of Commerce Office at 870-226-5225.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Blake Harris Memorial Scholarship Applications Due May 1

The Blake Harris Memorial Scholarship is now available. Applications are in the Warren High School Library Media Center. The application is due May 1.

First Holy Week Service Held At First United Methodist

The first Holy Week Service for 2019, sponsored by the Bradley County Ministerial Alliance, was held at the First United Methodist Church in Warren.  The service was conducted Monday, April 15th.  Scripture was read by Rev. David Richey, Director of the Donald W. Reynolds YMCA of Warren and Bradley County and a prayer was rendered by Dr. Clarence Lucky, Pastor of Bethel AME Church. Special music was provided by Brent Mann.

The sermon was given by Bro. Jim Bales, Pastor of the First Assembly of God Church of Warren.
Bradley County Sheriff and Collector Herschel Tillman gave the Benediction.

A large crowd was present from throughout the Warren area.   First United Methodist served a free meal to all in attendance.

Frank Spain Announces for Tenth Judicial Circuit Judge Division 2

Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Frank Spain announces his campaign for Tenth Judicial Circuit Judge Division 2.

Frank Spain moved to Crossett with his parents, Thomas and Marguerite Earnestine Spain in 1990 when his mother was appointed to the position of Postmaster. He attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and graduated from the University of Arkansas School of Law in 1997. Frank began his legal career as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the 15th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. In 2001 he was hired by the then newly elected Prosecuting Attorney Thomas Deen for the 10th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney's Office.  In 2004 he married LaDonna (Hundley) the daughter of Larry and Linda Hundley, and they have raised three daughters:  Kendal Wilson Noble, Klaire Wilson, and Caroline Wilson. They attend First United Methodist Church in Monticello. With the marriage of his daughter Kendal to Brent Noble, his family has grown. In October 2018, LaDonna and Frank became grandparents to a baby girl.

Frank has been serving the citizens of Ashley, Bradley, Chicot, Desha, and Drew counties in multiple roles. As a deputy prosecuting attorney, Frank has prosecuted over 2800 felony cases in circuit court ranging from Capital Murder to Driving while intoxicated. Frank has extensive jury trial experience including 11 Capital Murders, and multiple Murder in the First Degree, Aggravated Robbery, Rape, Sexual Assaults on minors, and Cocaine and/or Methamphetamine Manufacturing, Delivery and Possession with Intent to Deliver trials. He also has served as a county attorney and filed civil cases on behalf of the prosecuting attorney’s office and local law enforcement agencies. Frank has helped  families by pursuing mental health, drug, and alcohol commitments.

“It is my belief that everyone is entitled to fair and impartial justice regardless of income, race, gender, or faith.  It is my desire to continue to serve the citizens of this judicial circuit with the same dedication and diligence that I have for the last 19 years. “

Arbor Day to be Celebrated

GFWC Warren Woman’s Club members invite you to join them in celebrating National Arbor Day 2019.  The event is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Friday, April 26th at the newly constructed Bradley County Medical Center Family Care Clinic located on Central Street directly behind the Hospital.
The Bradley County Medical Center has been a vital part of the community since the early 1950s when the main building was constructed.  Through the years, there have been several additions to the facility, with the new clinic being the latest.
A memorial tree will be planted at the north east corner of the new facility in observance of this year’s Arbor Day celebration.  National Arbor Day is observed each April as we celebrate the role trees play in our environment and as we encourage planting and protecting trees.
Warren Woman’s Club members are committed in their efforts to preserve our environment and make Bradley County cleaner and greener by planting trees.
City and county leaders, along with other groups and organizations, will join club members for this special tree planting celebration.
Make plans to join our organization and others in the community as we observe this special day on Friday, April 26.

Union Bank Feeds Incoming Freshmen

Warren seniors who plan to attend UAM this fall were among the 145 fed by Union Bank Monday.
Union Bank fed the incoming freshman to UAM on Monday, April 15th. There were approximately 145 students many of which were right here from Bradley County.
Union Bank employees who worked to feed the incoming freshmen

Monday, April 15, 2019

McGehee College of Technology to Host Hiring Fair

McGehee, Ark. - The UAM College of Technology - McGehee will host a hiring fair Thursday, April 18 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.  The event is part of the Career Pathways Initiative and will be held in the Large Conference Room of the UAM-McGehee campus. A number of door prizes will be awarded and at least six food trucks will be on campus starting at 9 a.m. for the celebration. Employers set to attend the event include:

A-Team Staffing Agency (Pine Bluff)
Arkansas Department of Corrections: AR State Police
Arkansas Department of Corrections: Cummins Unit
Arkansas Department of Corrections: Varner Unit
2020 Census
Drew Farm Supply (Monticello)
ESA Staffing & Screening (Monticello)
ESS (Educational Support Staff)
Evergreen Packaging (Pine Bluff)
Express Employment Opportunities (Pine Bluff)
Head of the Class Childcare & Learning Center, LLC (Monticello) ➢ Human Development Center (Warren)
Key Employment Inc. (Monticello)
Lake Village Nursing Home & Rehab (Lake Village)
Louis Dreyfus Company (Memphis)
Mainline Health Systems (Dermott)
McGehee Hospital
McGehee School District
Ryburn Motor Company of Monticello
Southeast Arkansas AmeriCorps
Shipping Freight 4 Logistics (Little Rock)
Arkansas Department of Workforce
UAM Adult Education/WAGE
WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) (Monticello)
Workforce Mobile Unit
Wal-Mart (McGehee)

For more information, contact Cortez C. Smith, Career Pathways Program Director at (870) 460-2102 or or Justin P. Carbage, Community Outreach Coordinator at (870) 460-2129.

Crews Puryear Announces Intent to Run for 10th Judicial Circuit Judge

Crews Puryear has announced his intention to seek the 10th Judicial Circuit Judgeship, Division 1.  The 10th district includes Ashley, Bradley, Chicot, Desha and Drew Counties.  The current Judge, Sam Pope, is not seeking re-election.

“I am very excited about having the opportunity to run for Circuit Judge.  I believe my combined experiences as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney and as an attorney in private practice have prepared me for this important office.  Currently as deputy prosecuting attorney, I am responsible for felony cases and my jury trial experience ranges from capital murder to drug crimes.  Additionally, for the last 8 years I have been responsible for handling civil drug forfeitures throughout the district. When in private practice, I handled a variety of cases including civil, domestic and probate matters, including divorce, child custody, guardianships, wills, deeds and real estate transactions.”

Puryear has worked with the 10th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney’s office for 11 years.  As a deputy prosecutor, he has also served as the attorney for the Chicot County Quorum Court.  He is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville School of Law and obtained his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas at Monticello where he was a member of the UAM baseball team.  Puryear is past President of the Southeast Arkansas Legal Institute and is a member of the Arkansas Bar Association.  He also holds memberships in the Dumas Chamber of Commerce and Dermott Rotary Club. 

Puryear and his wife, Kara, have been married 10 years and have two sons. They are active members of the First Baptist Church of Dumas where he serves as a Deacon and Sunday School teacher.   Both are involved with Operation Christmas Child and the FBC-Dumas Explorers Program.  Puryear is a member of the 5th generation of his family to reside in Desha County.  He is the son of Ladd Puryear and the late Debbie Puryear and grandson of Glynn and Doris Puryear and maternal grandmother, Marilyn Pfaffenberger.  He has a brother, Calvin (Kathleen) and sister, Katie Hill (Daniel). 

Vehicle Fire Near Pine/Martin Intersection

Warren firemen were called to the old Piggly Wiggly parking lot on martin Street just before 3:00 P.M. Monday, April 15th to extinguish a small truck fire.  Several fire fighters and one fire engine were there quickly to put out the flames.  The cause is unknown at this time.

There appeared to be no injuries, but there did appear to be some damage to the vehicle.

County Roads Flooded

As a result of the heavy rain over the weekend, several Bradley County Roads flooded for periods of time.  Included were 65 S, 96, 67, 360 and 362.  County crews worked from around 4:30 P.M. till 9:00 P.M. Saturday.  Several trees were also downed.  While there were some minor washouts, all roads are passable as of Monday, April 15th.

Water is expected to be over the highway at Moro Bay by Tuesday, the 16th and folks are boating in at Mitchum Landing.

Vehicle Fire Near Pine/Martin Intersection

Warren firemen were called to the old Piggly Wiggly parking lot on martin Street just before 3:00 P.M. Monday, April 15th to extinguish a small truck fire.  Several fire fighters and one fire engine were there quickly to put out the flames.  The cause is unknown at this time.

There appeared to be no injuries, but there did appear to be some damage to the vehicle.

City, County, Warren Schools Closed Good Friday

The City of Warren Municipal Offices will be closed Friday, April 19th in observance of Good Friday.  There will be no city garbage collection on the 19th.  The City Emergency Services Center will be open and fully staffed.

Bradley County will also be closed on the 19th.  The Courthouse and County Landfill will be closed for business and there will be no county garbage collection.  Friday's garbage routes will be picked up on Thursday, the 18th.

The Warren School District will be closed Thursday, April 18th for professional development day and Friday, April 19th for Good Friday.

Starbucks Coming to UAM This Fall

Monticello, Ark. - University of Arkansas at Monticello Chancellor Karla Hughes announced Monday that it will partner with food service vendor Aramark to bring a Starbucks Coffee experience and convenience store option to campus this fall.

At the annual UAM Scholars’ Day event on campus, Hughes announced to incoming freshmen and their families that food service vendor Aramark won the latest bid to provide catering and dining services to campus. A major piece of that contract was continuing to expand dining options for students. "We are extremely proud to continue our partnership with Aramark. Their team was instrumental in bringing one of the first Chick-Fil-A locations of its kind to our campus last fall," said Hughes. "We are thrilled that this year, we will build on that momentum by adding Starbucks and a grab-and-go store to a fully renovated space.” Plans to bring a Starbucks to campus initiated from student feedback. “We survey our students often, and this is one of their top requests- major brands right on campus,” Hughes said.

The two new dining options will replace the "Java City" and "Sandwich Shack" facilities located inside Taylor Library. A rendering provided by Aramark shows a Starbucks-branded space that will remove a wall and add completely new finishes. According to Thomas Bedward III, director of campus dining, the Starbucks is considered a "We Proudly Serve" location. This means that while it is not a full licensed franchise, its products and overall customer experience will be almost indistinguishable from a Starbucks Coffee location. The convenience store, "Provisions on Demand," will be located next to Starbucks and will offer light grab-and-go meal options, snacks, and beverages.

"Prospective students expect to see a number of dining options, including familiar brands,” Hughes said. "When premium brands like Starbucks and Chick-fil-A open on our campus, it comes with a lot of planning on their end. They are choosing to invest in our campus, because we're a good investment. And with Aramark, we can continue to invest in our students."Bedward says they plan to have both new dining options open for the fall semester. Aramark has served as the provider of campus dining and catering services since 1999.

Arrest Report: April 15, 2019

The following are innocent until proven guilty:

Christopher Glover, 404 W. Pine St., Warren, Ar, age 35, Charged with domestic battery, 3rd (4-8-19)

Justin Hines, 505 York St., Warren, AR, age 30, charged with contempt of court (4-9-15)

James M. Raper, 37 Rea Circle, Warren, AR, arrested on bench warrant, charged with forgery (4-11-19)

Devon A. Hampton, 311 Shelby St., Warren, AR, age 43, charged with violation of protection order (8-14-75)