Friday, October 19, 2018

Intermodal Receives Excellent Financial Report

The Southeast Arkansas Intermodal Authority met Wednesday, October 17th in Monticello.  The board conducted routine monthly business including approval of the financial report.  The boards's
bookkeeper, Bob Milton, informed the members that the authority is now debt free, having paid off the note to Commercial bank.  According to Mr. Milton the authority has cash balances of $88,908.68 and owed just over $200.00 in unpaid invoices for September.  The financial statement listed city/county receivables as follows:

*Monticello-$21,062.93
*Drew County-$1,682.78
*Warren-$26,875.85
*Bradley County-$174,925.37-

Mr. Milton stated that Bradley county has conducted $22,458.97 of work on the industrial site and that amount will be deducted from the county's balance. Bradley County crews and equipment and some materials have been used to conduct cleanup and drainage work on the site and the county keeps records of labor, equipment usage and materials used and utilizing FEMA rates is contributing to the intermodal with in-kind work instead of cash.  This work is being paid for with Bradley County funds.

Mr. Milton stated that the cash balances of the organization reflect a $75,000.00 payment by the State of Arkansas as appropriated by the state legislature.  The seven intermodal authorities in Arkansas, each received $75,000.00 from the state and will continue to do so, as long as the legislature continues to appropriate the funds annually. 

Bradley County Judge McKinney told the authority board that a good deal work needs to be done on the site to improved drainage and standing water.  He said there is work needed both north and south of the railroad track

The long running issue of the railroad crossing continues to be discussed and debated.  The board reviewed a letter to be sent by the authority's engineer to the railroad in an attempt to move the issue forward.  The matter concerns the proximity of a rail switch line to the geographic location of the crossing of the authority's onsite road that will cross the tr ack.  Either the switch or the road must be moved.  There is the question of who will pay for the work.  The railroad will not allow the crossing to be completed until the matter is settled.

Other issues were discussed concerning charging rent on use of the authority's side rails and problems with the lack of a qualified work force, especially CDL drivers in the region.

State Police CID Makes Arrest In Murder For Hire Case In Monticello


Official Press Release From the Arkansas State Police:

Stephanie Rogers, 48, of Monticello was arrested yesterday (Thursday, October 18, 2018) by Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division.  She is charged with Conspiracy to Commit Capital Murder and Solicitation to Commit Capital Murder.

On October 16, 2018 officials of the Monticello Police Department contacted the state police criminal investigation division requesting assistance in a case involving information that Rogers wanted a particular individual killed.

Special Agents presented their findings yesterday to Prosecuting Attorney Thomas Deen who subsequently charged Rogers.  She was later arrested and placed in the Drew County Jail.  A first appearance court hearing is expected to occur today.

Supreme Court Derails Issue One, Upholds Issue Five

The Arkansas Supreme Court has ruled that Issue One, to be voted on during the upcoming election, is disqualified from being considered.  This means the votes for or against will not be counted and the proposed amendment is dead as currently proposed.  Issue One dealt with contingency fees, lawsuit damages and rules of the court.  It was commonly referred to as "tort reform."  Among other things it would put caps on personal liability lawsuits.

The Court also ruled that Issue Five, the increase in the state minimum wage, was constitutional and the votes will be counted.  If the issue passes it will increase the Arkansas minimum wage over a three year period.

salineriverchronicle.com Endorses Denisa Pennington For Mayor Of Warren

Early voting begins Monday, October 22nd and will be available right up until election day.  If you do not vote early, then vote Tuesday, November 6th.  The race for Mayor of Warren is critical to the stability, good management, and growth of our City.  This is an important election and the voters of Warren should make the effort to vote.

salineriverchronicle.com believes strongly that the voters of Warren should vote for Denisa Pennington as the next Mayor of Warren.  We believe this for several reasons.  She is the most qualified by every measurement that exists.  She has the education, the experience, the temperament and the heart for Warren that are essential for anyone seeking the office of Mayor.  This is not even a close call.  Denisa grew up in Warren in a working class family. She went to school in Warren and she has worked for years in a paid and volunteer capacity to help Warren progress.  She moved for a few years and worked in state economic development, but her family and her heart were always here and she moved back and got right back into volunteer work.   The future of Warren is important to her and she understands the job is to manage several million dollars of local and state money, as well as grants and to manage the some 50 plus city employees.

Being Mayor is about leading and working with the six member city council, who sets the budget and sets the policies.  It is about doing the job correctly every day and making sure the city operates by law and in fairness to all the people of Warren.  It’s about management and the law.  It is about telling the truth and not making up ridiculous facts and making brash statements and belittling certain groups of our citizens.  It is about skill and care.

Vote for Denisa Pennington for Mayor of Warren!  She is "Dedicated to Progress."  This is a serious and important vote.

SE Community Action Board Meets In McGehee

The Southeast Arkansas Community Action Board meet in McGehee, Arkansas Tuesday, October 16th for their monthly board meeting.  The board was presented numerous financial and program reports.  A great amount of time was spent talking about the hiring of a consultant to help the agency create improvements to the Headstart and CSBG programs.  The agency needs  to work on doing an improved job of striving to help families and individuals, who need services, to move out of poverty and into the work force.  The consultant is to help develop ideas and strategies for moving people into the middle class economically.  The board voted to move forward with the consultants work.  Some board members voiced concern that the effort began without the board's vote of approval.

Three new board members were seated.  Those include:
*Andrew Tolbert-Bradley County, Private Sector
*Rick Matheney-Ashley County, Low Income Sector
*Dr. Chris Allen-Drew County, Private Sector

The board has decided to continue the board meeting October 30th in the conference room at the headquarters in Warren at 1:00 P.M. to continue several items of business.

Hermitage Mass Flu Shots

The Hermitage Mass Flu event will take place Monday, October 22nd from 2:30 to 8:00 P.M. in the Hermitage High School Cafeteria.  This will be during parent/teacher conferences.  The public is welcome to come by and get their flu shot.  There is no out of pocket expense and no deductible for getting the shot.  If you have insurance, please bring your card, but there will be no charge. 

Parents of students should get their flu forms submitted by the twenty-second.  If a new form is needed either call or visit the school. 

The Bradley County Health Department urges everyone to get a flu shot.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Don't Miss Out...

Don't miss out on the news.  Be sure to read all of salineriverchrnonicle.com's pages.

Warren Band Earns Superior Rating at Region III Marching Contest...Read about this on the Schools page.

Catch Coach Hembree's Weekly Interview on the Sports Page.

Read them all!

Hermitage City Council Spends Money On Sewer Plant

Members of the Hermitage City Council meet October 15th and conducted the city's monthly business.  The minutes of the previous meeting and the financial reports were approved.  The police reported six citations issued in September and the hiring of Ben Wood as a reserve officer.
It was reported that one fire was responded to in September.

The council then voted to purchase two "reliant lagoon master sludge activating aerators" and other equipment for the sewer plant at a cost of $35,058.00.  The expenses will be paid for from the city's depreciating fund.

Community Action Holds Public Meeting

Over twenty people, mostly from Bradley County, were present Monday night, October 15th to receive an update on the status of the programs managed by the Southeast Arkansas Community Action Agency, meet the headquarters staff and to select a private sector representative from Bradley County to serve on the board of directors.  The Southeast Arkansas Community Action Agency operates several programs in the five counties of  Ashley, Bradley, Chicot, Desha and Drew.  The programs are aimed at helping the elderly, the low income and children.  The agency operates the Head Start program, the CSBG program, distributes commodities and provides other assistance and education for those in need and who qualify.  The Headquarters for the agency is located in Warren.

After hearing from the interim executive director and introduction of the headquarters staff, those present were allowed to asks questions and make comments.  The group then turned to election of the new board member from Bradley County.

Each county get three board members.  An elected official or his/her representative, a representative of the low income community and a representative of the private sector.  Currently Bradley County is represented by Mrs. Angela Meeks ( on behalf of the low income community ) and Angela Marshall for the elected official position ( serves on the Warren City Council and Warren School Board). 

Joel Tolefree, a Warren City Council Member and a member of the Warren School Board, nominated Andrew Tolbert to serve as the private sector representative.  Mr. Tolbert has an extensive background in education, having served as a Superintendent.  There were no other nominations.  Those present unanimously elected Mr. Tolbert.  He goes on the board immediately.

The board meets monthly rotating the meetings among the five counties, with ever other meeting being conducted at the Headquarters in Warren.

Tricia West, Phil Wallace, Tim West, And Tyler West Set To Play A Free Concert October 27 At Rob Reep Studio On Main Street

Members of the band Fortunate Sons +1, Tricia Vanderzwalm West and Phil Wallace, along with musicians Tim West and Tyler West are set to play a free concert Saturday, October 27, 2018 from 7pm to 8pm at the Rob Reep Studio at 225 S. Main St. in Warren as part of "Music On Main."

"Music On Main" is an increasingly popular event that has developed at the new art studio of artist Rob Reep which opened in July.  The event is put on monthly in an effort to provide artistic entertainment to the local community.  "We want people to know that there are things to do on Main Street in Warren on a Saturday evening," said owner Rob Reep.  "I know there is still a lot of work to be done to revitalize the Main Street area, but events such as "Music On Main" and the Halloween Trunk Or Treat(set for October 31) are a good start," he continued.

The musical event being put on October 27 is the third installment of the monthly program.  In the first two months over 40 people have attended each event, with even more expected for the upcoming concert.  It feels like a coffee house type show, with a relaxed atmosphere.  Popcorn and drinks are available for purchase, but attending the concert is completely free.  Attendees are encouraged to tip the musicians.

If you would like more information about this free "Music On Main" concert, please visit the facebook event page by CLICKING HERE.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Mike Nichols To Auction Contents Of Building

Paid ad

LifeShare Brings Blood Mobile To Warren

The LifeShare Blood Mobile was on hand at the Bradley County Medical Center Friday afternoon, October 5th to give local individuals the opportunity to give blood.  Hospital staff and the Hospital Auxiliary assisted.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Hospital Board Members Appointed

In a brief meeting of just over 15 minutes, the Bradley County Quorum meet October 15th and disposed of county monthly business.   Judge McKinney reported on construction of a new box culvert on Bradley Road 11.  He told the Justices the work was near completion.

The Judge also informed the court that the ordinance for levying a local tax on liquor is still being reviewed by the county attorney and should be ready soon.

The Judge submitted the names of Kenneth McDougald and Freddie Mobley for re-appointment to the Bradley County Medical Center Board.  The re-appointment is for three years.  Both men were approved.

Justice of the Peace Pat Morman asked the Judge about the status of the prison/jail.  The Judge stated he had not heard anything in about a month.  He stated he was waiting on further information.  It was noted that recent reports indicate that certain  members of the legislature have just learned of the proposal by the state and have voiced concerns.

Jr. Rotarians for October Announced

The Junior Rotarians for October 16, 23, and 30th are (l-r): Grace Adams, Jovankah Rodriguez, and Jacob Shipp.

Local Banker Travels to DC

Back Row Left:  Local banker Randy Rawls travels to DC with Arkansas Bankers Association
Local banker Randy Rawls along with the Arkansas Bankers Association recently traveled to Washington DC to meet with regulators and lawmakers to discuss their views on the state of the banking industry today and the direction it is heading. They also sat down with Senator Tom Cotton and Senator John Boozeman to express their thoughts on the same subject.  The House was in recess so no representative were in town.

Update on Prison/Jail Status

Information continues to trickle out relating to plans that have been under discussion for over three years, to build a private prison that could be utilized as a jail by Bradley and Drew Counties.  Just to remind our readers, the original plan was to have five southeast Arkansas counties go together and form a regional jail commission.  A private company from Louisiana was to construct a prison to house several hundred state inmates and then add some beds to be rented by the counties.  The company was to finance, own and operate the facility.  The quorum courts of Bradley and Drew Counties adopted ordinances creating the commission.  No reason was given why the counties had to form a commission to individually rent bed space.  That plan was scrapped.

Next the counties were told the private company would finance, own and operate the prison and would contract with the state for housing state inmates and would then contract with the counties for a set number of beds for each county.  The county contracts would be renewable on an annual basis.

Now, another plan has been brought up that calls for the county where the prison is built  to contract with the private company for housing of the state inmates as well the local jail inmates.  The State of Arkansas would then contract with the county to house the several hundred state prisoners.  When a local county official ( not from Bradley County ) was asked why the change, he stated there was no change and it is being done so the state does not have to take proposals for a contract with the private company.  This is a major alteration from the previous two plans. 

Microfilm Conversion Complete at Library

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Eddie Cheatham

October 12, 2018

LITTLE ROCK – Depending on the outcome of legal challenges that are being considered by the state Supreme Court, Arkansas voters could decide five ballot issues at the November 6 general election.

The legislature referred Issue One and Issue Two to the ballot during last year’s regular session. The other three issues were brought to the ballot by citizens’ groups that gathered signatures of registered voters on petitions.

The first four issues are proposed amendments to the state Constitution. The fifth is a proposed initiated act; approval by voters would place it in the statute books but not in the Constitution. The process of changing a statute is simpler than changing a constitutional amendment. It is less time consuming and less expensive, too.

Issue One would cap attorneys’ fees and the amounts that plaintiffs can be awarded in a civil case. Contingency fees for attorneys would be limited to a third of the net recovery for plaintiffs. Punitive damages would be limited to $500,000, or three times the amount of compensatory damages, whichever is greater.

Parent Teacher Conferences Set for Next Week


Public Service Announcement

Monday, October 15, 2018

Union Bank Donates Tent to Band

Union Bank donates tent to the Warren Lumberjack Marching Band. Pictured are Tricia Wilkinson, band director Kevin Dunn, band parent Jeff Adams and Randy Rawls

Hospital Hires Public Relations Specialist

Bradley County Medical Center announces the hiring of Dennen Cuthbertson as the Public Relations Specialist for the Hospital.  Mr. Cuthbertson's duties will include maintaining the hospital's website and social media, setting up events, designing and securing advertising as approved by the board and issuing news releases as necessary.  He will also attend events representing the hospital and will be involved in community activites for the medical center.

Dennen Cuthbertson is 30 years old and is an honor graduate of Warren High School, class of 2006 and holds a B. S. degree in Sports Management from Arkansas State University,  He graduated from ASU, Cum Laude, in 2010.  He received his Master in Sports Administration from ASU in 2014.  Mr. Cuthbertson comes to BCMC from the Athletics Media Relations Department of ASU.

He told salineriverchronicle.com that he was excited to be back home in Warren and looks forward to working in the Warren community and assisting Bradley County Medical Center in providing quality services.  He stated he hopes to see the hospital grow and prosper.

Mr. Cuthbertson was named a National Society of Collegiate Scholar, was a member of Alpha Lambda Honor Society and was a member of the Arkansas State University Sports Mamagement Club.  He was named an 8AAA  All-Conference Baseball Player for the Warren Lumberjacks in 2016.  He has extensive family in the Warren area.

Workforce Services Speaks to Rotary

On October 1st, Nancy Jones and Lindsey Crawford from the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services in Monticello spoke to the Rotary Club of Warren. They spoke of the low unemployment rates and of the many services that they offer to both employers and job seekers.

Pictured are (l-r):Crawford, Jones, and Rotarian Denisa Pennington

Southeast Arkansas Political Animals Host Statewide Democratic Party Candidates October 24th

The Southeast Arkansas Political Animals Club is pleased to announce it will host Democratic candidates for statewide office at its upcoming meeting. The meeting will take place Wednesday, October 24th at the Monticello Western Sizzlin at 12 p.m. The forum-style meeting will include several Democratic candidates running for state constitutional offices such as the party’s gubernatorial candidate, Jared Henderson, as well as Hayden Shamel, candidate for the 4th U.S. House District of Arkansas.

“We are pleased to serve as an outlet for these candidates to communicate with the people of southeast Arkansas,” said John Davis, chairman of the Southeast Arkansas Political Animals Club. “The SEARK Political Animals Club is and always will be non-partisan and aims to raise awareness of political issues and enhance civic engagement in our region. In addition to inviting Democratic candidates, we have also reached out to Republican candidates for the same offices, but they have not yet been able to settle on a date during this busy time of the campaign season.”

The Southeast Arkansas Political Animals Club is a non-partisan group for individuals in Southeast Arkansas who seek civil discussion of political and policy issues impacting our region, state, and nation. There are no membership fees to join the Southeast Arkansas Political Animals Club, and all are welcome. If you are planning to attend, RSVP by emailing John Davis at searkpoliticalanimals@gmail.com or call (870) 460-1189.


Warren Fire Department Responds To Several Calls

During the past week, the Warren Fire Department responded to several calls within the city limits.
October the 9th  a gas line was damaged on the West Side of town.  There were no injuries and the gas company was called to make repairs.  Also on the 9th another gas line was damaged on McCauley Street.  Again no injuries or serious danger occurred. On October, 10th the department was called to 427 Halligan Street due to smoke in the house.  There was no serious damage or injuries.  Firemen were summoned to 407 Cook Street for a vacant house fire on October 11th.  This fire  has been previously reported by salineriverchronicle.com.  An accident at the intersection of Martin and Pine Streets in the early morning hours of October 13th has also been reported and is on the SRC website.

Sunday, October 14th, the city responded to another accident at 801 Fullerton Street.  There were no serious injuries.  It was a one vehicle incident.

Arrest Report: October 15, 2018

The following are innocrent until proven guilty:

Jhony Penister, 7 Bryant Ct., Warren, AR., age 30, arrested on warrant (10-9-18)

Jimmy Forrest, 2 Robin St., Warren, AR., age 43, arrested on warrant (10-10-18)

Anthony Smith, 903 Cobb St., Warren, AR., age 51, arrested on warrant (10-12-18)

James Woods, 305 Watts St., age 45, charged with DWI, refusal to test (1014-18)


Sunday, October 14, 2018

Early Voting Begins in 9 Days

In just a mere 10 days, October 22, voters in Warren, Bradley County and Arkansas will be able to vote for their preferred candidates and for or against several constitutional amendments.  The time is upon us and it is important that all registered voters make the effort to cast their ballots.

Early voting will be conducted in the Bradley County Clerks Office in the Courthouse.  Early voting will be available from Monday through Friday 8:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. and from 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. on Saturdays up till election day, November 6th.  On Monday, November 5th, the day before the election, hours for early voting will be 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.  On the sixth, voters will go to their appropriate voting location to cast their ballot.  For information on the hours or where to vote on November 6th, call the County Clerks Office at 870-226-3464.  Voting is a right and privilege and all citizens should take part.

The following are local city and county races that will be on the ballot:
*County Clerk
Tanya Renee' Gardner-Republican
Karen H. Belin-Democrat, current County Clerk

*Circuit Clerk
Cindy Wagnon-Republican,  No opponent but must be on ballot by law.
                                             Number of votes cast determine the number of
                                             signatures needed for certain local issues to be
                                             placed on ballot.

*County Treasurer
Diane Wesson-Democrat, current County Treasurer
Stephanie Bigham-Republican

*Banks Mayor
Shirley K. Smith
Keeton Hudson

*Banks Alderman, Position 2
Bobby Hagler
Whitney Matthews

*Banks Alderman, Position 3
Gary P. Smith
Ronnie Via

*Banks Alderman, Position 4
Kayla Adams
Kathy Hall

*Warren Mayor
Denisa Pennington
Donn Baker
Carlos I. Yepes

*Warren Alderman, Ward 2, Position 2
Emily L. Moseley, currently appointed to fill out unexpired term
Tommy McLemore

All Banks and Warren candidates run non-partisan, not affiliated with a political party.
Alderman terms are for two years.  Terms for Mayor run 4-years.  Alderman make up the city councils of the respective municipalities.  The councils set the city budget and make policy.  The mayor serves as the chief executive officer of the city and manages the day to day operations.

   

Lions Club Paints City Gazebo

Members of the Warren Lions Club gathered Saturday morning, October 13th and painted the Gazebo in the City Park on Martin Street.  Some repairs had previously been completed by the city and the club power washed and painted the structure as a community project.

The Gazebo was originally constructed by the Lions Club a number of years ago and has been repainted by the club in the past.  It is a major feature of the park along with the train engine, playground equipment and walking track.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Nineteen Firemen Respond To Cook Street Fire

Nineteen Warren Fire Fighters responded Thursday, October 11th around 7:00 P.M. to a fire at 407 Cook Street.  The house has experienced a fire in the past and was being remodeled.  It was currently vacant and damage from this fire was minor.  The cause of the fire is uncertain, but no foul play is suspected.

Car Wrecks At The Intersection Of Martin And Pine Early Saturday Morning

A vehicle involved in an early Saturday morning accident at the intersection of Martin and Pine is towed away from the scene.
Around 3:30 a.m. Saturday morning, October 13, a car wrecked at the intersection of Martin and Pine Streets in Warren, sending one female to the hospital.

At this hour details are still unconfirmed, but based on the account of several eyewitnesses at the scene, the single vehicle sports car, was traveling north on Martin Street about to go through the red light when the car struck the concrete island just in front of First State Bank's Martin Street drive-through branch.  Veering across the street after the initial impact of the concrete island, the car hit multiple vehicles sitting in the South Ark Auto Sales dealership lot.  At this point multiple eyewitnesses say one of the car's wheels popped off and rolled across Martin street striking and damaging a gas pump at Day and Night.  Several people at the scene indicated the female driver got out of the car, but fell down moments later.  Eyewitnesses stated that ambulance services arrived on the scene shortly afterwards and transported the driver for medical attention.

The Warren Police Department and Bradley County Sheriff's deputies were all on the scene securing the crash site and investigating.  The Warren Fire Department was also on the scene.

No other information is available at this time.  We will follow up on this story when more information becomes available.


Friday, October 12, 2018

Telephone woes again...

Once again, the area is having telehone difficulties.  It seems as though cell phone to land line connections are having difficulty in the Warren and Monticello area Friday afternoon and evening.