Tuesday, January 22, 2019

National Signing Day Ceremony Set For February 6

Circuit Court Cases Plead Guilty

Bradley County Circuit Court has recently approved three felony plea bargain cases.  Judge Sam Pope presided over two cases and Judge Quincy Ross presided over the other.

Ruperto Hamid Rodriguez was sentenced to 24 months in prison with 36 months suspended for theft of property.  He will pay court cost.

Kristy Michelle Hooper received 36 months probation and must pay court cost for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Gerry Allen Lephiew was convicted of two separate matters related to delivery of methamphetamine or cocaine.  He must pay court fees and a fine and received 36 months in prison with 24 months suspended on one charge and 60 months in prison with 36 months suspended on another charge.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Former First Baptist Pastor and Evangelist Passes Away

Rev. Bailey Eugene Smith, former pastor of First Baptist Church and longtime evangelist passed away January 14 and will be buried at Moseley Cemetery.  The full obituary can be read on the Obituary Page of salineriverchronicle.com.

Music on Main to Feature Danny Williams

Come out Saturday night and enjoy the gospel sounds of Danny Williams as he performs at Music on Main in Rob Reep Studio.  Music will begin at 7:00 and conclude at 8:00 p.m.  There is no admission.

City Painting Water Tank

If you have driven down South Main Street over the past several weeks, you will have noticed several workers hanging off the side or the top of the water tank near the intersection of U.S. 63 and U.S 63B.  They are busy painting the city's water tank.  It has been fascinating to watch the workers as they paint the tank from top to bottom and even enter the inside of the tank to refurbish it in accordance to Health Department regulations.

Several of the men working on the project have been frequenting local eating establishments such as Molly's Diner. They have stated they have enjoyed working in the Warren community.

According to Tenay Reep, Manager of the Warren Water & Sewer Department, the cost of repainting the tank is around $228,000.00.  Tanks have to be painted about every twenty years.  This tank was last painted in 1999.  The City of Warren owns and operates three elevated water tanks.  Warren's water comes 100% from deep wells.

City Council Committees For 2019

During the January 14th Warren City Council meeting, the members voted to set the standing committee assignments for the city's fiscal year of January-December, 2019.  The committee make ups are as follows:
Police Committee-Chairman Zachary Burks, Dorothy Henderson, Memory Frazer
Fire Committee-Chairman Memory Frazer, Angela Marshall, Joel Tolefree
Sanitation Committee-Chairman Angela Marshall, Zachary Burks, Emily Moseley
Street Committee-Chairman Emily Moseley, Zachary Burks, Joel Tolefree
Community and Economic Development Committee-Chairman Joel Tolefree, Angela Marshall, Dorothy Henderson
Ways and Means Committee-Chairman Dorothy Henderson, Emily Moseley, Memory Frazer

Each council member chairs one committee and serves on two others.  The committees make recommendations to the full council for consideration for final action.

The Mayor may assign issues to a committee or the full council can vote to place a matter in a committee for review and action.

Arrest Report: January 21, 2018

The following are innocent until proven guilty:

Markus Powell, 800 Chestnut St., Warren, AR, age 37, arrested on parole warrant (1-9-19)

Amia N. Jacobs, 1018 Brown St., Warren, AR, age 22, arrested on warrant (1-11-19)

William Leeper, 1554 Hwy. 83 N, Monticello, AR, age 39, charged with driving on suspended license, no proof of insurance (1-12-19)

Brian Lambert, 322 Birch St., Hermitage, AR, age 55, charged with shoplifting, arrested on probation parole warrant and warrant from Warren PD (1-12-19)

Nichole McClendon, 759 Bradley 38, Warren, AT, age 20, charged with no driver's license, no insurance, fictitious tags (1-13-19)

Blake Pope, 603 Clio St., Warren, AR, age 33, arrested on warrant (1-14-19)

Michael Kentrell Jones, 900 E. Cedar, Warren, AR, age 30, arrested on warrant (1-14-219)

Cecilia Deoine St. John, 312 W. Pine St., Warren AR, age 22, arrested on warrant from City of Warren (1-14-19)

MacKenie Nichols, 40 Brookridge Dr., Warren, AR, arrested on warrant (1-15-19)

Clark Goudy, 6200 Olloway Rd., Sheridan, AR, age 51, arrested on warrants from the city and Drew County (1-16-19)

Grey Bucttner, 2500 West Fluker Ave., Pine Bluff, AR, age 43, charged with possession of a controlled substance - crack, , parole hold (1-16-19)

Steven R. Rice, 299 Bradley Rd. 30, Banks, AR, age 26, arrested on warrant from City of Warren (1-17-19)

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Hermitage School Board Holds Monthly and Special Called Meetings

The Hermitage School Board met January 14 for a special called meeting as well as their regular monthly meeting in the boardroom in Hermitage.

Members present included Russell Richard, Mary Hamilton, Dorothy Davis, Harold Hampton, David Wilkerson and Kevin Reep.

Also in attendance were students from the Hermitage GT program.  They gave a presentation on their recent work in the Stock Market Game.

The Board reviewed and accepted the minutes from the December 4 and December 10, 2018 meetings as well as the financial report.  They were presented reports representatives from grades Pre-K through 12th and the Superintendent's report given by Superintendent Dr. Tracy Tucker.

Board training for 2018 was approved, as was out of state travel by school personnel and students.

In other business, the board took the recommendation to hire Samantha Newton and Liz Richey for 21st CCLC after school work.  They also too the recommendation to change Russell Woodard's route to a longer route.

The special called meeting held on the same day was for purposes of an employee hearing.  Still present were members Russell Richard, Mary Hamilton, Dorothy Davis, David Wilkerson, and Kevin Reep.  Harold Hampton was also present, but excused himself.

During the special called meeting, Earnest James Green requested to have a public hearing.  After making a statement about an apparent incident on one of the Hermitage buses, the Board entered Executive Session.  After the Board emerged from Executive Session, Dr. Tucker made the recommendation to uphold the recommendation to terminate Mr. Green from his bus driving position.  With a motion made, the board voted 5-0 in favor of upholding the termination.

Friday, January 18, 2019

City and County to be Closed for Martin L. King, Jr. Holiday

The County and City will both be closed in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.  There will be no garbage pickup.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

GFWC Warren Woman's Club Update

Clydine Davis and Glenda Cross
GFWC Warren Woman’s Club gives an update to some more items that made 2018 fantastic..  At the May meeting, then, President Glenda Cross presented Clydine Davis with her 25-year pin for her dedication to the club.  She has fulfilled many hours beyond her duty and position.

In December, President Judy Gibson, is shown welcoming Fran Nutt as a member of GFWC Warren Woman’s Club by presenting her with a GFWC membership pin.  The members are proud of these two ladies: for Clydine for her past services and for Fran for wanting to join in wit our future endeavors.
Judy Gibson and Fran Nutt

Rotary Donates to Renaissance Program

On January 15th, Rotary Club of Warren presented Rotarian and Warren School District Superintendent Bryan Cornish with a $100 donation to the Warren Renaissance program. Pictured is: Rotary Club President Sam St. John and Superintendent Cornish.

A Night to Remember-Valentine's at the Trotter House

Renee Harper Speaks To Warren Rotary

On January 15th, Renee Harper spoke to the Rotary Club of Warren about the Client Employment Programs at the Southeast Arkansas Human Development Center. Mrs. Harper, along with SEAHDC Superintendent and Rotarian Mark Wargo have several programs that are helping developmentally disabled people learn different skills and feel the accomplishment of earning a paycheck.  Pictured are (l-r) Wargo and Harper.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Arrest Report: January 14, 2019

The following are innocent until proven guilty:

Markus Powell, 800 N. Chestnut St., Warren, AR, age 37, arrrested on parole warrant (19-19)

Amia W. Jacks, 1018 Brown 8A, Warren, AR, age 22 arrested on warrant (1-11-19)

William Leeper, 3554 Hwy. 83 N., Monticello, AR, age 39, charged with Driving on Suspended License, , no vehicle license, and no proof of insurance (1-18-19)

Bivian Lambert, 322 Birch St., Hermitage, AR, age 55, charged with shoplifting, probation  parole warrant and warren pd warrant (1-12-19)

Michael McClenden 759 Bradley 38, Warren, AR, charged with no driver's license, no insurance, fictitious tags (1-13-19)

Blake Pope, 603 Clio, Warren, AR, age 33, arrested on warrant (1-14-19)

Michael Kentrell Jones, 900 E. Cedar, Warren, AR, age 30, arrested on warrant (1-14-19)

UAM to Close in Observance of MLK Jr. Day

MONTICELLO, AR – The University of Arkansas at Monticello will be closed on Monday, January 21, 2019, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. All classes and offices will resume normal business hours on Tuesday, January 22, 2019.

 UAM Student Programs and Activities will be honoring Dr. King’s legacy by hosting a dinner on Tuesday, January 22, 2019, from 5 pm to 7 pm. The buffet-style dinner will be held in the Gibson University Center’s Green Room. The price for dinner is $10.15 per person which will be collected at the door. All students with a university meal plan can eat free of charge. UAM’s Vice Chancellor for Student Engagements, Dr. Moses Goldmon, will be the guest speaker at the event.

For more information please contact Student Programs and Activities, 870-460-1396.

 Also, the Tunican Chapter of the Arkansas Archeological Society and the University of Arkansas at Monticello are hosting the second annual cemetery cleanup on Monday, January 21 from 8 AM to noon. Participants will learn about cemetery maintenance and help clean up two cemeteries associated with the Hollywood Plantation, or the Taylor House, near Winchester, Arkansas as a morning of service to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Jodi Barnes, an archeologist with the Arkansas Archeological Survey - UAM Research Station, will give an overview of the proper removal of invasive vegetation in cemeteries and provide a brief overview of the history and archeology of the Taylor House. Participants will help remove brush and clean up the Taylor family cemetery and the Valley Farm cemetery, the African American cemetery nearby.

Outdoor clothing and work gloves are recommended. The address is The Hollywood Plantation/Taylor House, 112 Plantation Ln, Tillar, AR  71670.

Contact Dr. Jodi Barnes for more details, jabarnes@uark.edu or 870-460-1290.

UAM Board of Visitors to Meet Jan. 22

MONTICELLO, AR — The University of Arkansas at Monticello Board of Visitors will meet Tuesday, January 22, 2019 at 4 p.m. in the Student Success Center, Room 208.

 The meeting is open to the public. For more information, contact Jeff Weaver (870) 460-1328.

Spots Available For Tuesday Night Paint Class In Warren

If you would like to sign-up for tonight's 6pm to 8pm paint class at Rob Reep Studio, you can either do so online or in-store at 225 S Main St. in Warren.

The class tonight will be painting a snowy country barn.  A $35 course fee provides all of the necessary supplies as well as each student getting to carry home their finished painting.  Sign-up now online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/barn-in-the-snow-january-15-beginner-painting-class-tickets-54316811044?fbclid=IwAR0KYshF_k0eloflUs7mths5h3DeXbAC9gc0x5mWrE8YzugP6-1wqXSFczI

First City Council Meeting Of 2019

Mayor Pennington presides over her first council
All six Warren City Council members were present for the first council meeting of 2019, conducted January 14th in the Warren Municipal Courtroom.  It was the first meeting for new Council member Memory Frazer and the first one to be presided over by Mayor Denisa Pennington.  The council approved the minutes of the December 10, 2018 meeting and the financial report as reported by City Clerk Helen Boswell.  The clerk informed the council that city sales tax revenues ran $72,963.89 for the month of December, 2018 and the final sales tax number for the year 2018 amounted to $885,126.97.  This is a 4% increase over 2017.

Council Member Joel Tolefree informed those present that former Bradley County Chamber Manager Harry "Buddy" McCaskill past away earlier in the day.  Council Member Dorothy Henderson moved that a resolution honoring Mr. McCaskill be prepared for adoption at a future meeting.  The motion was approved 6-0.

Leah St. John, with the "Make Warren Shine" organization made a presentation to the council updating the members on activities of the group over the past year.  She ask the council to consider making improvements to the wooden covering the city built several years ago to protect the sidewalk in front of the building, commonly referred to as the "Old Hankins Building" on Cedar Street across from the courthouse.  She indicated the group is concerned with the appearance. Editor's Note: The structure was built by the city to protect individuals walking along the sidewalk due to the  deterioration of the building.  The building is privately owned.

Council Member Tolefree stated that he was concerned that we are not addressing the real problem, which is the condition of the building.  Mayor Pennington stated the city would look into the issue and try to decide what needs to be done at this time.  She thanked the "Make Warren Shine" organization for the work they have accomplished in the downtown area.

The council then adopted Ordinance # 916, to amend Ordinance #905 to reconcile the city's 2018 budget as a result of the final expenses for 2018.  This is done as needed each year in January for the previous year in order to comply with state law.

Mayor Pennington announce that the Civil Service Commission has named Mike Ashcraft, Acting Fire Chief.  She indicated she is reviewing the job description for the position of Fire Chief, prior to beginning the process of advertising the job for a new permanent Chief.  Any change in job description will require council action.  The Warren Civil Service Commission will ultimately hire a new Chief.

A motion was then made to approve all city council permanent committees for the year 2019.  All committees will remain as is with Council member Frazer being assigned to the positions held by her predecessor in 2018.

Reports were then given by each department head.  Acting Fire Chief Ashcraft indicated a lot of cleanup work is ongoing in the fire station and city wide inspections are back on track.  Police Chief Hildreth indicated the department is at full strength and the officers are very grateful for the raise given by the council.

Council Member Frazer reported that Dale Gilbert and Steven Stain have been approved as new volunteer firemen.

Sanitation Manager/Building Official Mike May gave updated reports on both departments.  He stated work should begin this week on the tearing down of two dilapidated houses, one on N. Martin and one on N. Walnut.  He also stated the sanitation workers did a good job getting a heavy volume of garbage collected during Christmas.

Council Member Burks made a motion to assign the matter of an economic development  program to the Community and Economic Development Committee and to ask them to research the matter and put together some specifications.  Council Member Tolfree, Chairman of the committee had previously stated he planned to call a committee meeting after visiting the Arkansas Municipal League meeting this week.  Mayor Pennington stated she was already looking into the issue as well.  The motion passed 5-1, with Council Member Frazer voting no.  This led to a rather intense discussion between Council Member Tolefree and Council Member Frazer, as to reason for her voting against sending the matter to the committee.  Council Member Tolfree then began a heated discussion about the location of the 'Agenda" meeting having been conducted in the upstairs conference room.  Mr. Tolfree, who was not in attendance at the "agenda" meeting, was very critical of the meeting having been held in the upstairs conference room.  Note; There is nothing illegal about meeting there and it is handicapped accessible.  Editor's Note: The issue of the vote concerning the economic development effort and the location of the agenda meeting had nothing to do with each other. Additionally, Council Member Frazer had nothing to do about the agenda meeting being held in the conference room.  Mayor Pennington had to call for order and get the discussion back on target.  She did state that future agenda meetings would be held in the courtroom to provide more room for the public.  She said agenda meetings are open to the public. She indicated the agenda meeting was held in the conference room to give the council a look at the rearranged Mayor's Office.  The conference room has been relocated to the former mayor's office and the mayor's office is now in the former conference room.  They are adjacent to each other.  Council Member Frazer, went on to say she voted against assigning the matter to the committee at this time because she thought some other ideas would be brought up in the future.  It was obvious that she accepted the full councils' decision and she told SRC after the meeting she was supportive of looking at new ways to recruit industry.

Reports were then submitted by the various boards and commissions that met during December, 2018.  Council Member Tolefree suggested that the vacant position of Parks and Recreation Director should be contracted out instead of hiring a new director for the city staff.

Mayor Pennington announced the next city council meeting will be held Monday, February 11th at 5:30 P.M. in the Municipal Courtroom and the agenda meeting, to set the agenda for the the 11th, will be held Thursday, February 7th at 7;00 A.M., also in the courtroom.  Both meetings are open to the press and the public.  No votes are taken during the agenda meeting.  

School Board Hears Report From Architect About Gym Situation

The Warren School Board met Monday, January 14 for their regular monthly meeting.  After approving the minutes, the building principals and Assistant Superintendent gave short reports of highlights and events taking place on their perspective campuses and within the district.

Darrel Odom of Odom Architect PLLC addressed the board to explain the situation with the gymnasium and why it had to be shut down for repair.  He informed the board that there had been a roof leak that ran down the back side of one of the arched laminated beams which ran down to the floor.  The area was behind the pull-out bleachers and was undetected.  The water rotted out the beam about 6" high.  These beams support the roof.  He informed the board that three companies have been asked to submit prices on what it would take to correct the situation.  One of those companies is local.  He expects the prices to come in Wednesday or Thursday of this week.  The gym has been in service to the district since 1963.

Later in the Superintendent's report, Bryan Cornish thanked the Hermitage, Drew Central and Monticello school districts for reaching out to Warren offering the use of their facilities.  He indicated that Fordyce was chosen due to the schedules of the two schools better meshing.

The board moved into executive session and returned with the recommendation to hire Jacob Midyett to fill a vacancy as an instructor and assistant high school football coach (Defensive Coordinator).  This vacancy was created when Clark Watkins took the position of Middle School Assistant Principal.

The board reviewed the 2017-18 Legislative Audit.  Superintendent Cornish complimented the Bookkeeping Department and District Treasurer, Debbie Hargrave, for their excellent work.  The audit had zero findings.

The board approved an addendum to the Eastside, Brunson, and Middle School Building Level Improvement Plan in order to address the needs of a new subpopulation that came to light in the last round of testing.

The financial report was approved as presented by the District Treasurer.

The Superintendent gave his report informing the board of important dates of testing, professional development, and graduation activities.  He told them that asphalt will be laid on the track the day after graduation.  He reminded them of the AMI packets which are used in the closing of the school for inclement weather and reported that the handicapped bus ordered after the wreck last year has arrived.

McKnight Commits To Ouachita

Monday, January 14, 2019

Bradley County Chamber of Commerce Board Hears About New Event

The Bradley County Chamber of Commerce board met Monday, January 14, at noon in the board room of the Bradley County economic Development Committee.  Board Chairman James Wells called the meeting to order.

The first item of business they discussed was the purchase of a new printer.  The board voted to accept a proposal from Univodata which will save them approximately $200 per month and will be from the same company that will be installing the chamber's new phone system.  Mr. Wells explained that the cost can be spread over a 12 month period and that once the payments are made, the printer would be owned, not leased, by the Chamber.

Minutes from the Dec. 10 General Board meeting were approved as presented.

It was noted by Chamber President Sarah Wehland that a meeting is scheduled for January 28th in which Shelly Short, Vice President Programs and Partnerships  of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce will speak to those in attendance.  President Wehland encourage all to attend as well as other Chamber members.  The meeting will be held at the Warren Country Club at noon.

President Wehland also noted that work is in progress for the annual Chamber Gala.

No financial report was given.  However, the board voted to move 1/2 of the Special Events funds raised ($3000), as previously agreed upon by the volunteers of the events such as the widely successful Halloween and Christmas events to the Chamber's funds.

A question was asked about the mailing out of Chamber dues and due dates.  President Wehland explained that invoices will be sent and that the date due will depend on the month in which the membership began.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Fire Department Called Out Sunday Morning

The Warren Fire Department was called to 425 Oak Street in Warren around 11:34 A.M. Sunday morning, January 13 to a reported attic fire.  Nineteen Warren fire fighters and equipment rapidly responded and took care of the fire.  There were no injuries and according to a fire spokesman, little damage.

A cause of the fire has not been determined.  It remains under investigation.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Meet Warren's Animal Control Officer

For may years the city of Warren has had an ordinance on the books requiring all dogs to be on leashes or properly maintained on the property of the dog's owner.  Put simply, it makes it a violation of the law for a dog to run free in the city limits of Warren.  Since the law was adopted by the Warren City Council in the 1970s, the city has employed an animal control officer ( dog catcher).  It is a difficult job because dogs are often hard to catch, whether they belong to an owner or are strays that are running free.  The job of the animal control officer is to try and catch free running dogs and when caught, place them safely in the Animal Shelter located West of Warren on U.S. Highway 278 West.  The dogs are kept fed and watered and sheltered and efforts are made to get them to their rightful owner or adopted if need be.  The animal control officer is in charge of the shelter and receives a lot of volunteer assistance.

The current animal control officer is Holly Curry.  She has been on the job just a few weeks.  She patrols the city and responds to calls from the public.  The animal control officer reports to the Warren Police Chief and is an employee of the Warren police Department.  When tickets must be issued against a person violating the law, the ticket must be issued by a deputized law enforcement officer.  When tickets are issued, the charged party must appear before the Dstrict Judge.

Note the following information:
1. Arkansas State law governs animal cruelty.  This requires all domestic animals to be properly feed, watered and sheltered.  It requires them to be treated humanly.  The animal control officer of the city has jurisdiction to enforce the state codes.

2. City ordinance #381 governs the dog leash law.

3.  There is no ordinance that restricts cats in the Warren city limits.  If the cats are causing a nuisance or destroying property, a complaining party can issue a complaint against the owner in District Court.

4.  The following animals are not allowed in the city limits: hogs, chickens, reptiles and alligators.  Check with the Warren police department if there are questions concerning the legality of housing an animal or the requirements of doing so.  Do this before you take ownership of an animal.

5. If a dog or any animal, belonging to a resident of Bradley County, even if residing just outside the city limits, enters the city limits, the owner is responsible and is subject to being issued a citation or being charged in court.  This includes dog running free and entering the city or any other animal violation within the city.  The state cruelty laws are applicable to people inside and outside the city limits.

6. Any dog that attacks a person or other animal, the owner is subject to criminal charges.

7. Owners of dogs that bark excessively are subject to citations being issued.  A judge would have to determine if the barking is excessive and creating a nuisance.  Just barking from time to time is not a violation.  

Crime Stats Released by Warren PD for 2018

The Warren Police Department has released a report on the number of arrest made in 2018.  This is not a record of the final adjudication of each case and it does not include all tickets issued.  It lists the cases that resulted in an individual being booked into the Warren city jail.

Aggravated assault-2
Aggravated assault on law enforcement officer-1
Breaking & entering-2
Battery 1st-1
Battery 2nd-4
Battery 3rd-5
Bench warrant-4
Battery domestic 2nd-2
Battery domestic 3rd-14
Capital murder tampering with evidence-1
Capital Murder-1
Careless driving-1

Friday, January 11, 2019

Health Fair Committee & Health Coalition Meet

Members of the Bradley County Health Fair Committee and the Bradley County Hometown Health Coalition met Thursday, January 10th in the conference room of the Bradley County Medical Complex located on N. Bragg Street.  Many of the same individuals make up both groups.  The Health Fair met from 11:00 A.M. to 12:00 noon and the Health Coalition met from 12:00 noon to 1:00 P.M.  The Health Fair committee spent their time planning for the Bradley County Health Fair to be conducted March 2, 2019 at the Donald W. Reynolds YMCA of Warren and Bradley County.  The Fair will take place from 9:00 A.M, to 12:00 noon.  The Fair will consist of numerous vendors  and health test.  It will also have may activities for the children.

The Health Coalition then took the floor and talked about several activities they are pursuing.
Coalition members discussed disease prevention, seeking grants, events for kids and other programs such as opioid addiction.

Visiting the Health Coalition meeting and presenting a program on the opioid crisis was Cara Cox, Arkansas Delta Opioid Project Director for UAMS.  She showed a short flash drive presentation on the problem and handed out several fact sheets and information concerning opioids.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

26th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Banquet

St James A.M.E. Church will again host the Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Banquet January 26th, with the program starting at 6:00 P.M.  Tickets are $15.00 each.  This will be the 26th annual MLK Banquet in Warren.  The public is invited to attend.

Rev. James R. Hooper is Pastor of St. James.  The guest speaker will be Judge Marion Humphry, retired judge of the Sixth Circuit of Arkansas.  He is Pastor of Allison Presbyterian Church of Little Rock, Arkansas. 

St. James is located at 915 St. James Street in Warren.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Hospital Administrator Addresses Lions Club

Bradley County Medical Center Administrator Steve Henson was the guest speaker for the Warren Lions Club during their Wednesday, January 9th meeting at Molly's Diner.  Mr. Henson was invited by Lion member Karen Rawls.

Mr. Henson presented a very informative presentation on the status of rural hospitals in America, in Arkansas and the financial condition of Bradley County Medical Center.  He pointed out that over the past number of years more and more rural hospitals have struggled and many are closing at an accelerated rate.  According to Mr. Henson some 600 small hospitals in America are facing difficulties.

The club was told that several issues are creating the problem, but the top three are: technology that provides for treatment without needing a hospital along with more and better drugs, a large number of people who do not access health care due to the cost and lack of insurance and the reduction in the availability of medicare coverage.  He stated the states that refused the expansion of medicare have suffered the most.  This includes Texas, Tennessee and others.  In Arkansas, where the program was adopted, it has helped keep the hospitals operating, but the changes that have been made by the state have reduced the number of people covered.  He went on to say that BCMC is working hard to keep the hospital afloat, but it is losing money on daily operations.  The one cent county sales tax is allowing the hospital to modernize and purchase new and improved equipment and the board and local doctors are working hard to recruit new physicians, which is vital to the hospital's future.  He said the medical business is changing and we have to provide after hours access to doctors care and provide in- hospital physicians care.

Mr. Henson stated the difficulty in meeting the hospital's financial needs is a steep hill to climb, but he, the staff, the board and the doctors are working hard to deal with the issues and assure quality and sufficient quantity of medical care in Warren and Bradley County.  He went on say there is a shortage of family physicians and nurses nation wide, and it is getting worse.  He said the pay requirements to hire medical professionals is escalating.

When ask about the impact the hospital has on the economy in Warren, Mr. Henson said it is substantial.  He also indicated the percentage of uninsured in the county has dropped from 30% to 15% since the medicare expansion was implemented.  This has been a major benefit to BCMC.  He remains concerned over the changes in the program in Arkansas that is reducing the number covered.

Mr Henson stated he loved being in Warren and Bradley County and working with the people of the community. 

Warren Gym Closed for Remainder of Season

According to Warren School Superintendent Bryan Cornish no more basketball games will be played this year in the Warren Gymnasium due to structural impairment.  The district is looking at alternatives for the home games.  We will provide information as soon as it is available.

Delta-Centered Earthquake Felt In Parts Of Bradley County

The ground throughout South Arkansas rumbled Tuesday, January 8, 2019 just after 6pm CST as a magnitude 3.9 earthquake shook from a central location six miles from Hollandale, Mississippi, a town located almost 100 miles from Warren, Arkansas.

Residents closer to the epicenter reported the small quake which lasted around 30 seconds.  In Bradley County the effects were much less prevalent, but still could be felt.

According to earthquakenewstoday.com, the quake's epicenter was about 3 miles deep.

Drama Club to Host Mini-Camp