Friday, February 15, 2019

City and County Schedules for President's Day Announced

The Warren Municipal Building will be closed in observance of President's Day Monday, February 18.  The City will not pick up garbage on the 18th.  The City of Warren Emergency Services Center and police and fire personnel  will be open and working.

The offices in the Bradley County Courthouse will also be closed.  Garbage will run but the landfill will be closed on the 18th.

AHF Products Donates To YMCA

AHF Products, manufacturers of hardwood flooring, with a  plant located in Warren, has contributed $5,000.00 to the Donald W. Reynolds YMCA of Warren and Bradley County.  The donation by the company is on behalf of the Witt Plant, that operates in Warren. AHF Products employs approximately 260 workers at the Witt Plant.

Presenting the check from AHF Products were the following:
Doug Bohlinger, Plant Manager
Marty Reep, EHS Manager
Keith Van Dee, HR Manager

Accepting the donation on behalf of the Y were:
David Richey, Ex. Director of the DWR YMCA
Stacie Stone, Business Manager/Fitness Director for the Y
Bart Goodwin, Sports Director for the Y

The contribution will assist with the daily operations of the YMCA in Warren.  The Y runs off of membership fees and donations from individuals and businesses in the Warren community.  Ex. Director David Richey, expressed the thanks of the YMCA Board and participants for the generous donation of AHF Products.

Lions Cub District Governor Encouraged Club to Continue to be Active

Lions Club District Governor Visits Warren

District Governor Gloria Montgomery was guest speaker at the February 13th meeting of the Warren Lions Club.  The meeting was held at Molly's Diner.  The District Governor encouraged the club to continue to be active and to work at recruiting new members.

The Governor gave her testimony as to how she became a Lion.  She lost her eyesight and the Lions World Services for the blind helped her learn to deal with her handicap and she strongly supports the efforts by Lions to help the blind, to aid those in need and to give to their local communities.

She talked about another project the state Lions are supporting to purchase equipment to better test for eye disease in close proximity to South Arkansas.  The Warren Club voted to make a contribution.

Hermitage Jr. High Quiz Bowl Team Advances to Finals

(back row starting left: Coach Ginnie Sellers, Captain Braden Harrod, Rodrigo Matamoros, Alan McGhee, Sutton Nelson)(Middle row starting left: Ericca Corker, Kristin Blankenship, Olivia Pierce)(Front: John Robert Ellis)

Hermitage Junior High Quiz Bowl team recently competed and placed in two separate tournaments. The Southeast Arkansas Educational Co-op Tournament where they competed against local schools in the Co-op area finishing in 2nd place with a 5-1 record. The only loss was to 1st place team Monticello. They also competed in the 1A regional at Emerson High School where they placed 3rd finishing 3-2, and qualified for the Junior High Finals to be played in Morrilton on February 23, 2019. Team members Braden Harrod(Captain) and Alan McGhee made the All-Tournament team.

Alumni Associations Seeking Nominees

We are now accepting nominations for the UAM Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna Award.  This award is presented annually at commencement for outstanding service to one’s profession, community and alma mater and is the highest honor the University bestows.  This year's recipient will be recognized on Friday, May 10, 2019, at the spring commencement activities.  Below are the details on eligibility, selection criteria, and selection process.

Eligibility: All living graduates and former students of the University of Arkansas at Monticello and Arkansas A&M.

Selection Criteria: The award honors those alumni who have made significant contributions to society, and whose accomplishments, affiliations and careers have honored the legacy of excellence at the University.  Nominees will be accomplished in three distinct areas as outlined below.

Professional Achievement:  The recipient will have demonstrated achievements in their vocational field bringing distinction to themselves and formed a record of accomplishment.
Service to Community: The recipient exhibits integrity and a demonstrated commitment to service and bettering the lives of others through volunteer efforts.
Service and Support to UAM:  The recipient's deeds and actions reflect the importance of his or her educational training, pride in alma mater and loyalty to UAM, as demonstrated through their interest in and support of the University.

Selection Process:  A review panel from a student-at-large, UAM Alumni Association Board of Director’s President, and university officials will review the nominations and make recommendations to the University Executive Council who will make the final decision.

Nomination Process:  All nominations must be in written form.  Include the name of the nominee, with any other available details such as graduation year, or years attended UAM, hometown, place of residence currently, employment, etc.   Also please include any other information which you feel demonstrates the worthiness of the nominee for this honor.  Please submit your nomination by email to alumni@uamont.edu or by postal mail to UAM Alumni Association, Attn: Lisa Jo Ross, PO Box 3520, Monticello, AR 71656-3520.

Nomination Deadline: All nominations must be received by March 15, 2019, for consideration.

For questions please contact Alumni Affairs at 870-460-1028.
(nominations will not be accepted over the phone)

PESTICIDE APPLICATOR TRAINING

The Bradley County Cooperative Extension Service will be conducting a Private Applicator Training for agricultural producers on Thursday, February 28th, at 6:00 p.m. at the Bradley County Extension Office, located at 100 E. First Street (behind the Courthouse) in Warren.  Agricultural producers must be certified by training to be eligible for a Restricted Pesticide License in order to purchase and apply restricted-use pesticides.

There is a $20.00 fee for the pesticide applicator training.  You will pay at the door on the night of the training.  The training is approximately three hours long, and producers must attend the entire training to be certified.  If you have any questions, please contact John Gavin 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.

Youth Attend 4-H Day at Capitol

The Bradley County 4-H Program had ten youth to attend the 4-H Day at the Capitol in Little Rock on February 12th.  There were approximately 800 youth from 74 of the 75 counties.  Pictured are front row:  Rylie Hill, Precious Thomas, Mayli Castleberry;  back row:  Michelle Carter, Weston Gavin, Aidan Weaver, Raven Harris, Michaela Stanley, Avery Weaver, Hunter White, and John Gavin.


Eastern Star Visits Residents of Chapel Woods

Members of the Eastern Star visited with residents of Chapel Woods Nursing Center Tuesday, February 12th to help the residents celebrate Valentines.  The ladies were presented flowers and the men given cards. 

Chapel Woods routinely holds special events for the residents and organizations and churches visit and provide services and programs. 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Pickens and Ray Discuss Their Plans for Their Faility in Warren

On February 12th, Justin Pickens and Adrian Ray, co-owners of the Arkansas Patient Services medical marijuana dispensary being built in Warren, gave a presentation about their business to the Rotary Club of Warren as part of their efforts to reach out to the community. In the presentation, the two men shared the research done on the benefits of medical marijuana, gave a rundown of what exactly led them to want to own a dispensary and what they plan to do here in Warren, and they answered several questions to try to address any concerns.

Pictured are: Pickens, Ray, Rotarian and Warren Mayor Denisa Pennington, and Rotary President Sam St. John.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Job Openings at New Surgery Clinic

Dr. Roger Mason, Board certified in General Surgery and Board eligible in Vascular Surgery, will be opening a new surgery office in Warren soon. There are two job openings currently. There will be a full-time position for a front office receptionist. Hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday. The ideal candidate will have a warm and compassionate personality, along with basic computer skills. Duties will include: patient registration, answering the phone, and scheduling appointments and tests. Medical clinic experience is desirable, but not required.
The other position will be for a nurse at the new surgical office. Hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday. Duties will include: assisting in physical exams, ordering tests, and performing basic medical tests. The ideal candidate will have a warm and compassionate personality and some travel may be required.

If you are interested in either position please schedule an interview with Bradley County Medical Center’s Human Resources by calling 870-226-4346 and be prepared to bring a résumé with references for your interview.

S.Ad

Celebrate Black History Month

Celebrate Black History Month at the Bradley County Genealogical Society meeting at the Bradley County Veterans Museum, 210 North Main in Warren,''Gwen Garrett-Bullard will present a program on the history of Elm Street, "Catfish".

The program will begin at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, February 24, 2019.

Bring a Friend!

Tour the Museum!

Fire Rekindles and Destroys Home

An house fire,  which had been extinguished during the night by the Bradley County, rekindled early Wednesday morning and totally destroyed the home which was located at the corner of South Martin Street and the Riley Subdivision.  At this time, no further information is available.  We will report more when the fire report comes in.


Arrest Report: February 11, 2019

Smitty Davis, 406 So. Martin Apt. 2, Warren, AR, age 52, arrested on City of Warren warrant (2-4-19)

James Hendricks Morman, 12 Sylvan Hills Dr., Warren, AR, age 34, charged with terroristic threatening (2-8-19)

Mark Lopez, 800 Woodlawn, Warren, AR, arrested on warrant fromBradley County (2-10-19)

Truck Burns Up

Warren firemen were called out Monday night, February 4th, around 10:43 P.M. to put out a truck fire on the Timber Logistics property on West Pine Street.  The department responded rapidly and was able to extinguish the blaze.  No other property was damaged and there were no injuries.  The truck was destroyed.  The cause remains under investigation.  There is no evidence at this time of foul play.

Civil Service Hires Fireman

The Warren Civil Service Commission has hired James Camp to fill a position as a full time fireman for the City of Warren.  He is set to begin work March 3rd.  Mr. Camp previously served as a city fireman before taking another job.  He is well qualified for the position.

Aspiring Artists Attend Class

Warren School District Gifted and Talented:  The Aspiring Artists, 4th and 5th Grade Gifted and Talented students at Brunson Elementary School, recently attended a painting class at Rob Reep's Art Studio.  The students learned about various aspects of art, and painted their very own art pieces.
Pictured: (front) Kelby Robertson, Angel Herron, Spencer Garner, Gabby Corcules, Julisa Jaimes
(back) Shyla Triplett, Livi McKinney, Kalees Lewis, Addison McDougald, Russell Gavin, Ghianna Ortiz, Damien Vironche

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Anti-bullying program presented to Warren Middle School

Warren Middle School students and teachers were the recipients of a passionate and well presented program on the issue of bullying, during an assembly conducted Tuesday, February 12th.  On hand to make the presentation was Fox 16 Anchor Kevin Kelly.  He stated he had begun presenting the program five years ago and has spoken to thousands of students.

Mr. Kelly stated there are three major types of bullying.  They consist of physical bullying, verbal bullying and cyber bullying.  He told the students all three types are harmful and can lead to physical, mental and emotional harm.  He asked students to admit if they have been bullied or have bullied others.  Many held up their hands.  He then ask the kids to make a personal promise that they would not bully anyone and if they were bullied or saw bullying, they would report it to adults and when necessary, step in to oppose bullying in the appropriate way.  He stressed the seriousness of the problem.

To finalize the presentation, he showed a short video, written and produced by a young student from Little Rock, demonstrating  a fictional case of bullying and a proper response.  The entire program was well received.

Fire Destroys Home -Two Dogs Rescued From Home

A fire was reported by the public on highway 8 near the Bradley, Cleveland county line. County Line Fire Department was the first to respond and Bradley County Rural Fire Department was dispatched as automatic aid. CLFD attacked the fire on the rear of the structure and when BCRFD arrived they started to check the interior of the home. No one was located in the home but during the search two dogs were located and removed. Both dogs received burns. The fire started on the back deck near a warming lamp and proceeded up the wall into the attic. The fire on the outside was extinguished and firefighters were attempting to extinguish the fire in the attic when the ceiling collapsed and the wind aided fire then burned through the roof.

Warren City Council Conducts February Meeting

Five of the six members of the Warren City Council were present Monday evening, February, 11th to conduct the City's monthly business meeting.  Mayor Denisa Pennington presided.  The members approved the minutes of the January meeting and City Clerk Helen Boswell presented the January, 2019 financial report.  The report was reviewed and approved by the council members.  Mrs. Boswell reported that the city received $76,507.06 in city sales tax revenue in January and $51,619.32 in county sales tax revenue.  She also gave the council a copy of the District Court Clerk's report.

Mayor Pennington nominated Rose Rochell to another five-year term on the City's Fair Housing Commission and the council confirmed the appointment.  The Mayor submitted a copy of the city's annual report for 2018, in accordance to state law.

The council then approved the low bid of Bill Dawson to mow city property for 2019.  This includes the baseball complex.  Mayor Pennington announced the city has secured grants to purchase defibulators for the Municipal Building and the Fire Department.  The city will go after additional grants for the Westside Pool and other city facilities.

Reports were then given by Police Chief Shaun Hildreth, Acting Fire Chief Mike Ashcraft, Sanitation Manager/Building Official Mike May and Street Foreman Ricky Joe Davis.  The Civil Service Commission has granted a six months extension to the agreement with Acting Chief Ashcraft to continue serving as Fire Chief while efforts continue to hire a permanent Chief.

Council Member Moseley, Chairman of the Street Committee, informed the members that another committee meeting will be held and she hopes to have a recommended list of streets to be paved, ready at the March City Council meeting.

Council Member Tolefree, Chairman of the Community and Economic Development Committee, reported the committee had a productive meeting and will continue working on a proposal to move the city forward with an industrial development program.

Minutes of the Planning Commission, Aviation Commission, Water and Sewer Commission and the Housing Authority Commission were submitted for council information.  Mayor Pennington told the council members that longtime Planning Commission Chairman Tommy Burrow is stepping down.  He was praised for his service by the council and Mayor.   The Mayor stated that she is to begin reviewing applications for a new Parks and Recreation Director.  The monthly report for the Cultural Center was reviewed and Mayor Pennington stated some repair work has been completed on the Center and she is discussing with the school district plans for further repairs and improvements.

The council and Mayor discussed securing additional security cameras for the city park and the Railroad Depot.

The council members then voted to pay the January bills.  The next meeting  is set for Monday, March 11th at 5:30 P.M. in the Municipal Courtroom.  The Agenda meeting will be conducted on March 7th at 7:00 A.M., also in the courtroom.

The Leader in Wood Flooring Hires Veteran Industry Executive

LANCASTER, PA – AHF Products today announced that Brian Carson has been appointed as the company’s first President and Chief Executive Officer. Carson also has been elected to AHF Products’ Board of Directors. Mike Bell, previously the Chief Transition Officer for the company, will assume the role of Chief Operating Officer.

Carson is a veteran executive with over 28 years of experience in the flooring industry, including the last seven as President of Mohawk Flooring North America. In this role, he generated hard surface growth through acquisitions, productivity and operational improvements.  Prior to joining Mohawk, he spent 16 years in operational leadership roles with Armstrong World Industries, including the role of Senior Vice President of North American Flooring for Resilient and Hardwood Operations.

“As AHF Products pursues a strategy of innovation, customer responsiveness, operational excellence and rapid growth, we are thrilled to be partnering with Brian.  Brian is a uniquely capable and proven leader who joins AHF with highly relevant experience to accelerate the company’s strategy,” said Rick Hoffman, Partner with American Industrial Partners.

“This is an exciting time for AHF Products,” said Carson. “In its inaugural year as a standalone company, we are pursuing a transformation of AHF Products, including launching a record number of new products and operational streamlining initiatives. I look forward to working with the company’s outstanding customers, distributor network, employees and management team to leverage the strongest brand portfolio in Wood Flooring.”

For more information, visit www.AHFProducts.com.

About AHF Products

AHF Products is the leader in hardwood flooring with a family of strong brands serving the residential and commercial markets. With decades of experience in award-winning wood flooring design, innovation, product development, manufacturing and service, we improve the quality of people’s lives through great products and a deep commitment to outstanding customer service. Our hardwood flooring brands include Bruce, Armstrong Flooring, Homerwood, Capella, T. Morton and Robbins. Headquartered in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with manufacturing operations across the United States, AHF Products employs over 1,700 dedicated team members.

About American Industrial Partners

American Industrial Partners is an operationally-oriented private equity firm that makes control investments in industrial businesses serving domestic and global markets. The firm has deep roots in the industrial economy and has been active in private equity investing since 1989. To date, AIP has completed over 90 transactions and currently has $4 billion of assets under management on behalf of leading pension, endowment and financial institutions. For more information on AIP, visit www.americanindustrial.com.

School Board Accepts Resignations/ Retirements, and Approves Transfers

The Warren School Board met Monday night for their regular monthly meeting.  After minutes were approved, the Board heard minute messages from administrators.  The board moved into executive session and upon returning they approved the following personnel actions:

Resignation:
   Certified
   Ellatrice Whitmore- (at the end of her contract year)
   James Camp- SEACBEC Instructor(effective January 28)
Retirements:
   Certified
   Felecia Bennett- Kindergarten Instructor 38 years (effective at the end of her contract year)
   Ricky Banks- Music instructor 33.5 years (effective February 28
   Cecilia Whittemore-Math Facilitator 38.5 years (effective end of contract year
Transfers:
   Maria Thomas from Eastside Cafeteria Manager to High School Cafeteria Manager
   Becky Forrest from Warren Middle School Cook to High School Cook
   Christa English from High School Cook to Eastside Cafeteria Manager
Certified Hir::
   Chad Greenwood JROTC
Classified Hire:
   Amanda Doggett- Warren Middle School Cook (5 hours)
Addendum to Contract:
   Hannah Richey-Athletic Aid (as needed with additional 5 hours per week)

The Board then approved the School Board Legal Liability & Employment Practices Liability General Liability Coverage.

Superintendent Bryan Cornish told the board that teacher were present4ed with two possible calendars for the coming year and that Option 2 was their choice.  The board approved Option 2.

The board was informed that the emergency repairs to the gymnasium were complete which included the replacing of a beam with a steel beam at a cost of $64,018.99.  He told the board that the Tuesday night game will be played in the Warren gym.

The board approved the proposed budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

After the school treasurer gave the financial report, the Superintendent.  In his report he noted pending legislation that could increase teacher salaries and the increase in minimum wage which will affect classified staff.

The board adjourned.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Chamber of Commerce Board Meets

The Bradley County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors met Monday, February 11, inthe BCEDC Board room.  It was called to order by Chairman Patrick Marshall.

Prior to the meeting the Board had been made aware of the passing of the Chamber President Sarah Wehland Friday.  They voted to send a memorial to honor Ms. Wehland.

A statement was read by Patrick Marshall: “Bradley County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors expresses it's condolences to the Wehland family in the passing of our Executive Director, Sarah Wehland. In her short time with us, she worked tirelessly to promote the ideals of our organization. This included supporting existing businesses, attracting new businesses, and giving assistance to Chamber special events. The Chamber will continue to support these aims as it moves forward.”

The Board members were told that visitation for Ms. Wehland will be Wednesday night and Funeral Serviced will be Thursday.

When the Board continued with discussion of what direction to take now, Mayor Denisa Pennington
asked the Board to not rush into any actions.  She told them the the Chamber needs to determine what we want and where they want to go from here.  The board agreed.

Minutes were approved of the last meeting, and an update on the new copier/phone system was also given.

Logan Adams has been a volunteer in the Chamber office for several month.  He will be continuing to volunteer, however it was noted that Logan attends classes at UAM most mornings.  The chamber called for volunteers to help.

It was suggested that Logan be paid $10 an hour for compensation for his work.  The Board approved this issue.

The by-laws of the organization have been shared with each board member for review.  A committee was selected to review the by-laws, make recommendations, and present them to the Chamber of Commerce.  The committee will consist of Jenelle Lipton (Chairman), James Wells, and Curtis Blankinship).

A motion to donate $500 to Make Warren Shine (a group that is not affiliated with the Chamber) toward the purchase of new flags for downtown.  The funds would come from a special events fund set up earlier by the Chamber.  After some discussion, which yielded a misconception of some Board members about the relationship of the two organization, the motion was tabled.

Logan Adams asked the Board for their guidance in handling thank you and welcome letters for those paying Chamber dues or making contributions.  It was noted that  Ms. Wehland had been signing them.  The Board instructed him to continue sending out the letters with the salutation being from the Bradley County Chamber of Commerce instead of an individual.

The financial statement was reviewed with a few questions but was approved by the group.

All Board members were presented with confidentiality statements to sign.  This came as a result of the board training session held in late January.

Chamber dues have been mailed out.

It was reported that the Pink Tomato Festival Executive Committee has met.  They have the Friday night entertainment worked out but are still working on the Saturday night lineup.  As soon as contract negotiations are concluded, the information will be made public.

Warren Community Lunch-And-Learn

A presentation will be made to the residents of Warren February 14th, that will be of interest to anyone interested in entrepreneurial opportunities, business development strategies, leadership capacity building and growing community sustainability in Warren.  The event will be held in the Multi-Purpose Room of the Donald W. Reynolds YMCA of Warren and Bradley County, located on N. Main Street and will run from 12:00 noon till 1:00 P.M.

Everyone is welcome to attend.  Lunch will be served.

Governor Hutchinson and Legislative Leadership Announce $300 Million Highway Plan, Largest in State’s History

Plan protects education, prisons, and public safety from funding interruption

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson joined legislative leadership this morning to announce details of a proposed $300 million, long-term highway plan. At $300 million in increased annual revenue to State Highways, this plan would be the largest in Arkansas’s history.
[For a breakdown of the funding, click HERE. For key points, click HERE.]
The plan is broken down into two parts, the first of which is an extension of the half-cent sales tax of 2012 through a Referred Amendment for 2020. This would generate $205,590,000 a year for highways.
A large portion (roughly 28 percent) of the current half-cent sales tax will go toward paying off bonds for road projects. By extending the half-cent sales tax, the state would be able to shift to a “pay as we go” system.
The second part of the plan would produce $95,071,995 in additional, ongoing funding. That legislation will include:
New index on gas (+$0.03) and diesel (+$0.06) prices = $58,097,076 (net to State)
Additional registration fees for hybrid and electric vehicles = $1,974,919
Dedicated casino tax revenues and Restricted Reserve Funds or other General Revenue = $35 million minimum, guaranteed
In addition to the extension of the half-cent sales tax, other components of this plan, such as the registration fees on hybrid and electric vehicles and the casino tax revenues, have future growth potential. This upward trajectory in funding will provide certainty for our highway program where none previously existed.
In addition to the $300 million to the Highway Department, cities and counties will receive $110 million annually to help maintain local streets and roads.
Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement:
“I’m delighted to detail this plan that is both a prudent and a responsible approach to establishing a historic, long-term highway plan for our state. I appreciate the spirit of cooperation from legislative leadership in working with my office to come up with a plan that can capture a majority of support from both chambers.
“While the state is providing additional funding from General Revenue for this plan, it is important to note that the long-term funding will come from the new revenue stream provided by the passage of the Casino Amendment. By dedicating casino tax revenues, we are able to protect other essential services, like education, public safety, and prisons from any funding interruption.”
The new index on gas and diesel prices is commonly referred to as a “user fee.” That means that those who use state highways most often will pay more than those who use the highways less. Unlike the income tax, which is taken directly from a person’s income, a “user fee” focuses on those who use our road system.
Over the past four years, Governor Hutchinson has cut more than $150 million in income taxes for low- and middle-income categories, including a $100 million cut for middle income in 2015 and a $50 million cut for lower income in 2017.
Even with the increase in user fees from this highway plan, all taxpayers will have an overall tax reduction this year and next with the decline in the grocery tax and the $50 million low-income tax relief that goes into effect this year.
NOTE: Charts used by the Governor in this morning’s news conference are HERE and HERE. You can watch the news conference in its entirety HERE and view photos HERE. Media outlets are welcome to use photos and video. Please attribute credit to the Governor's Office.

State Capitol Week in Review From Senator Eddie Cheatham

February 8, 2019

LITTLE ROCK – The legislature advanced a series of tax cuts, including the signature bill of this year’s session, to lower personal income taxes by about $97 million a year.

The Senate passed SB 211 to reduce income taxes for individuals in the middle and upper brackets of the tax tables.

The top marginal rate would drop from 6.9 percent to 5.9 percent over two years, and other rates would also go down in other brackets. In all, about 579,000 Arkansas taxpayers would benefit from the lower rates in SB 211.

After its approval by the Senate, the bill now goes to the House of Representatives.

The House passed HB 1321 to increase the homestead property tax credit from $350 to $375. The credits are paid each year on about 700,000 parcels of land.

According to revenue officials who spoke on the bill in committee, the fund from which the credits are paid is financially sound. The last time the credit was raised was in 2007, when the legislature passed Act 142 to raise it from $300 to $350.

The Senate approved SB 196 to provide tax incentives to businesses that invest in “Opportunity Zones,” which are designated to be in economic distress based on results of the U.S. Census. It now goes to the House.

There are 85 opportunity zones in Arkansas, and if a business moves in and stays for 10 years without re-locating, it will not have to pay taxes on any capital gains.

A bipartisan coalition of legislative leaders from both the Senate and the House presented a package of six ethics bills they will support. The coalition includes the President Pro Tem of the Senate, Speaker of the House, the Senate Majority Leader and the Senate Minority Leader.

SB 249 would increase the maximum fines that the state Ethics Commission could impose for violations of ethics laws, from $2,000 to $3,500.

SB 256 would prohibit any state elected official from registering as a lobbyist in any jurisdiction.

SB 258 would increase the penalties for candidates found guilty of spending campaign funds for their personal use. If the amount of misspent campaign money is more than $2,500 the offense would be a felony.

SB 259 would prevent constitutional officers and lawmakers from forming more than one political action committee. The bill would include judges and members of the citizens commission that sets legislative salaries.

SB 260 would prohibit political action committees from making contributions to other political action committees.

SB 238 would prohibit an elected official from collecting retirement benefits if they are convicted of a felony arising out of their official actions.

A subcommittee of the Joint Budget Committee approved a proposal to increase the budget of the Ethics Commission so that it can hire two more employees, thus increasing its enforcement capabilities. It has nine employees now.

The Senate also approved SB 152 to make broad changes in how juvenile offenders are sentenced. It would require juvenile judges statewide to use the same risk assessment model. It would not allow judges to sentence juveniles to a lock-up for minor offenses unless they made a specific determination that the juvenile was a high or moderate risk.

Governor Hutchinson to Unveil Details of Long-Term Highway Plan Today

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson will hold a news conference today to discuss details of a long-term highway plan.

WHAT:            Governor Hutchinson to Announce Details of Long-Term Highway Plan
WHEN:           11 a.m. | Monday, February 11, 2019

WHERE:        Governor’s Conference Room
                         Arkansas State Capitol
                         Little Rock, Arkansas

WATCH:         The news conference will be live-streamed here:
                         https://www.youtube.com/c/GovernorAsaHutchinson/live

House Votes to Raise Teachers' Salaries

This Week in the House:  Representative Jeff Wardlaw


This week, the House voted to raise teacher salaries, increase a tax credit, and increase fines for distracted driving in school zones.

HB1145, titled the Teacher Salary Enhancement Act, would raise the minimum teacher salary by $4,000 over the next 4 years.  The House voted 91-0 in favor the legislation.  The bill now heads to the Senate Education Committee.

The House also voted in favor of increasing the Homestead Property Tax Credit. HB1321 raises the credit from $350 to $375 a year.

In a vote of 89-7, the House voted in favor of HB1182. This bill makes it a primary offense to use a handheld wireless device in a school zone.

Other legislation passing the House this week include:

HB1006-This bill raises the penalty for passing a stopped school bus.  It raises the minimum fine to $500 and the maximum fine to $2,000.

HB1176-This bill allows the Department of Health to set standards and goals to create human breast milk banks & depositories in Arkansas.

HB1246-This bill changes the date for run-off elections of county and municipal offices.  Currently, run-off elections are held three weeks following the date of the general election. This extends it to four weeks after the general election.

HB1225-This bill requires the Department of Human Services to post all the regulations and necessary information to start a child care facility in one central location on the agency’s website. This creates a one stop shop online in hopes of opening more childcare facilities in the state.

HB1128-This bill allows the Governor to call the Arkansas National Guard into active service to address cybersecurity threats.

HB1296-This bill prohibits an occupational licensing board from revoking licenses specifically for a defaulted or delinquent student loan.

HB1249-This bill allows the Department of Community Correction to donate the former site of the Southeast Arkansas Community Correction Center in Pine Bluff to a non-profit organization helping veterans.

According to testimony, there are currently 1,200 veterans serving a sentence in the Department of Correction.  This new facility would help veterans re-enter society after their sentence is served.  The non-profit group says it will also assist homeless veterans, those with substance abuse issues, and those coming home from war zones.

In the upcoming week, we expect to address the Governor’s tax cut proposal and hear more proposals regarding highway funding.

We are also approaching the deadline to file proposed Constitutional Amendments. That deadline is February 13.

We will continue to keep you updated.  You can watch all committees and House floor proceedings at www.arkansashouse.org.




Repairs Complete to Gym-Games to be Played at Warren

Great news for Warren basketball fans-The repairs have been made to the gymnasium and the final home game will be played in the Warren Gymnasium Tuesday evening.  There will only be two games:  Sr. Girls and Sr. Boys.  The first game will tip off at 6:00 p.m. against the Monticello Billies.  Come out and support the Jacks.

BRADLEY BLOCK BUILDERS PRESENT QUILT

At a recent meeting of the Bradley Block Builders Quilt Club, Amy Harper of Monticello was presented with the club's 2018 Christmas quilt.
Mrs. Harper's winning ticket was drawn following the Bradley County Christmas parade.
Proceeds from ticket sales will be used to fund the many community projects of the quilt club.
The Block Builders Quilt Club is a project club of the Bradley County Cooperative Extension Service. The members meet monthly to plan projects and share quilting techniques.  Persons interested in quilting or becoming a member of this group may contact the extension office at 870 226-8410.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Project Safe Prom Looking for Volunteers

Project Safe Prom is looking for volunteers, donations, and community support for the upcoming after prom activities on Friday, April 26, at Macedonia Baptist Church.  Our mission is to provide a safe place for students to gather and have fun once the prom has concluded.   We need support from parents and others who are willing to get involved to help make this an annual event that our youth can look forward to each year.  Our first  planning meeting will be on, Monday, February 11 at 6:00 PM at Macedonia Baptist Church, 768 Hwy 63 North, Warren.  Those who are willing to help are ask to attend this meeting.  For more information or to make donations contact Rhonda Gorman at 870-820-2007.