Saturday, May 30, 2020

Watch historic Saturday SpaceX launch of two Astronauts

After standing down from launch on Wednesday May 27, SpaceX is now targeting Saturday, May 30 for Falcon 9’s launch of Crew Dragon’s second demonstration (Demo-2) mission from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This test flight with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley on board the Dragon spacecraft will return human spaceflight to the United States.

The instantaneous launch window opens at 3:22 p.m. EDT, or 19:22 UTC, with a backup instantaneous launch opportunity available on Sunday, May 31 at 3:00 p.m. EDT, or 19:00 UTC. Tune in here to watch the launch webcast. Coverage will begin about 4 hours before liftoff.

Demo-2 is the final major test for SpaceX’s human spaceflight system to be certified by NASA for operational crew missions to and from the International Space Station. SpaceX is returning human spaceflight to the United States with one of the safest, most advanced systems ever built, and NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is a turning point for America’s future in space exploration that lays the groundwork for future missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Awareness & Recognition Days For June

Each month of the year there are several days or weeks designated for awareness or recognition.
The following have been designated for the month of June, 2020
*National Safety Month
*National Nursing Assistants Week, June 11-18
*Flag Day, June 14
*National Men's Health Week, June 15-21
*Father's Day, June 21
*Public Service Appreciation Day, June 23

It should be noted that during May there was a designated period to provide awareness of ALS.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis ( ALS ) is a rare neurological disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement.  Voluntary muscles produce movements like chewing, walking, breathing and talking.  The disease is progressive. There is no cure at this time. For more information on the disease and treatment contact the following:
ALS Association
275 K Street N.W., Suite 250
Washington, DC  20005
202-407-8580
www.alsa.org

Warren School District campuses given date for reopening

The following is a statement released by Warren School District Superintendent Bryan Cornish:

On June 1st,  the Warren School District will be reopening all of its campuses.  All visitors will be screened prior to entering and required to wear a mask while visiting. Visitors are encouraged to make appointments to help adhere to CDC guidelines. To schedule an appointment, please call the appropriate campus (see contact numbers below) between 8:00-3:00 Monday-Thursday. The multi-purpose facility will remain closed to the public until further notice. At this time, only Warren School District staff and students will be allowed to enter the multi-purpose facility. The track will be open to the public beginning on June 1st. Please adhere to the social distancing guidelines while using the track.


Arkansas State Parks to Re-open Tent Camping June 1

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Tent camping will open in all Arkansas State Parks beginning on Monday, June 1, announced Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism.

“Whether frequent guests or those new to our Arkansas State Parks, Arkansans have made clear their desire to resume tent camping in our parks,” said Hurst. “I am happy to be able to tell them that our campgrounds will reopen to tent camping on Monday, June 1. Also included in reopening will be the bathhouses and restrooms that support campgrounds and day-use visitors. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we have worked to make sure that we are providing the safest possible way for our guests to enjoy our state parks system.”

The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has advised about proper cleaning techniques to ensure maximum safety for park guests, as well as the staff who will be doing the cleaning.


“We have been diligently working towards this goal for weeks,” said Arkansas State Parks Director Grady Spann. “We were first able to open camping back to RVs with self-contained bathrooms on May 1. Now, with proper PPE and training, our parks staff are able to keep the bathhouses and restrooms sanitized according to ADH and CDC standards. Our main concern continues to be the safety of our visitors and staff during this public health emergency.”

Lodges, cabins, YURTs, and Rent-A-RV had been limited to Friday through Monday only rental. They will now be available for weekday reservations with some restrictions to ensure proper cleaning.

Guests are reminded that while camping they still need to follow the recommended guidelines of keeping a physical distance from others not within their family or group; wearing a face covering when physical distancing cannot be maintained, and washing hands or using hand sanitizer frequently. Park rangers and staff will remind campers of these guidelines so stat


e parks can remain open for our visitors to enjoy.
 
Campground reservations may be made online by going to www.ArkansasStateParks.com or by calling a specific park. Campers may check in at the Visitor Center (cloth face-coverings or masks are required inside public buildings) or by calling the park directly. Park staff will check-in campers remotely prior to their arrival when possible. Visitors from New York state or any international location are advised to self-quarantine according to ADH guidelines.
 
About Arkansas State Parks
Arkansas State Parks is a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism. Arkansas state parks and museums cover 54,400 acres of forest, wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat, outdoor recreation facilities, and unique historic and cultural resources. The system includes 1,100 buildings (including 183 historic structures), six National Historic Landmarks, a National Natural Landmark, 16 sites on the National Register of Historic Places, and War Memorial Stadium.

The state parks have 1,800 campsites, 1,050 picnic sites, 208 cabins, five lodges, and 415 miles of trails. Eight million visitors annually come from all regions of the country. Park staffs provide over 42,000 education programs, activities, and special events to more than 700,000 participants each year.

Established in 1923, Arkansas State Parks preserve special places for future generations, provide quality recreation and education opportunities, enhance the state’s economy through tourism, and provide leadership in resource conservation. Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and visit ArkansasStateParks.com and ArkansasStateParks.com/media to learn more about everything we have to offer.

BC Sheriff's Department makes statement on scam

To the citizens of Bradley County,

On May 27, 2020, the Bradley County Sheriff's Department was made aware of a scam where two people are identifying themselves as Deputy Gates and Deputy Sellers of the Bradley County Sheriff's Department stating that they have a state warrant and a county warrant for the people they are calling and are telling the people they want money put on, like a WalMart card before the warrant will be cleared.  Please do not fall for this scam, these people are not employees of the Bradley County Sheriff's Department.

 If the Bradley County Sheriff's Department has a warrant or paperwork for people we will ususally come to your residence with that paperwork. If you get a call like this and people say they are with Bradley County Sheriff's Department, and you don't know the names of everyone at the sheriff's department don't hestitate to call and ask or verify if someone is a employee of the Bradley County Sheriff's Department or any department someone is claiming they are employed with or representing.

If you have any information on this particular scam please contact Investigator Josh Bolland at the Bradley County Sheriff's Department at (870) 226-3491. These cases are difficult to work because the suspects use burner phones that are difficult to trace. If something doesn't sound right please call us to verify the situation and don't give them any personal information.

Thank you,
Investigator Josh Bolland



Comment on proposed Arkansas fishing regulations changes

LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is asking for public comments on possible changes to fishing regulations for 2021. Changes to general fishing rules, rules for commercial anglers and fish farms are all being evaluated before the Fisheries Division formally proposes them to the Commission in August. A survey will be available at www.agfc.com for the next 45 days to gather public input. 

During the May 21 Commission meeting, Ben Batten, chief of fisheries for the AGFC, said many proposed changes are the result of a continued effort to engage the public and modify fishing regulations to suit their preferences.



Thursday, May 28, 2020

Covid-19 positive cases surge in largest seen increase in Arkansas since the pandemic outbreak

Once again, Arkansas surpassed a record, as Thursday afternoon Governor Asa Hutchinson announced the State had sustained its largest visible increase in Covid-19 cases in a 24 hour period with 261 new positive cases.

That brings the total number of cases so far in the State to 6,538 people.  Five additional deaths occurred since yesterday from the virus, and there are currently 104 citizens hospitalized.

The biggest jump was seen in Benton County, where 85 individuals have tested positive since Wednesday.  Washington County saw 25 more cases, Pulaski 22, Crittenden 17, Craighead 12, and Sevier 11.

There are currently 1,830 active cases in the Natural State, and 125 people have died statewide.

Bradley County has suffered one death due to Covid-19.  Five people within Bradley County are still positive for the virus.  There have been 18 total cases throughout the County, with 12 people recovered.

To the Southwest, Union County has been hit fairly hard, with 164 total cases.  To the west, Calhoun County, the least populated County in all of Arkansas, remains the only County in the State of Arkansas yet to have a single positive case.

During the Thursday news conference, Dr. Nate Smith stated that “of our total 6,538 cases, half of them reported no symptoms at the time of testing.”


Courthouse reopening June 1

According to Bradley County Judge Klay McKinney, the Bradley County Courthouse will reopen Monday, June 1.  The sole entrance into the building will be through the Sheriffs Office on the west side.  All other doors will remain locked.  To gain access each person must wear and mask and check in with the Sheriffs Office.  You will be required to tell which office or offices you will visit and upon leaving, check out from the Sheriffs Office.  A limited number of people will be allowed within the Courthouse at any time. 

According to the Warren Mayor's Office, the Mayor and City Council will consider a schedule for reopening the Municipal Building at the June 8 Council Meeting.  The Municipal is currently staffed daily to do business by phone or internet.


Bradley County Medical Board meets May 28

Member of the Bradley County Medical Center Board met May 28 for their regular monthly meeting.  The meeting was held at the Brunson Medical Complex located on N. Bragg Street in order to take advantage of a larger conference room that allowed Board Members, staff and guest more room to distance from each other.  The meeting lasted just over an hour.

After approving the minutes of the last meeting, Leslie Huitt, the new hospital comptroller gave a detailed financial report.  She told the members that April was likely the worst month for patient usage of the Hospital in history, due to Covid-19.  She state over all the hospital lost around a million dollars.  Ms. Huitt went on to provide information on state and federal funds that have been received, which has helped the hospital greatly.  She discussed changes that are needed in the financial reports to provide a more accurate pictures of the hospital's finances and to meet federal regulations.  The board seemed very pleased with her report.

The following medical staff recommendations were approved:
*Jodi Barboza, MD, RAPA
*Scott Claycomb,MD,Ophthalmology
*Debasis Das, MD, Cardiology
*Jheanelle Dawkins, MD,, ER/Family Medicine
*Micah Fritsche, MD, RAPA
*Michael Huber, MD, Cardiology
*Joshua Jabbar, MD, ER/Family Medicine
*Emmanuel Obi, MD, ER/Family Medicine
*Shyann Renfroe, MD, RAPA
*Stephen Sturdivant, MD, Pathology
*William White, MD, RAPA
*Mazen Zawaideh, MD, RAPA
*Janice Brooks, MD, RAPA-moved to inactive status
*Mary Henderson, MD, OB/GYN-moved to inactive status

CEO Steve Henson gave an executive report. He provided more detail on the stimulus funds the hospital has received and discussed possible future funding and the sometimes complicated reporting requirements.  He went on to report that no hospital staff has tested positive for covid-19 and talks are ongoing to attempt to recruit another doctor to Warren.  

CNO Sarah Tucker reported on the nursing staff.  She indicated turnover is very low but she is needing to fill a couple positions.


Wednesday, May 27, 2020

County Park to Reopen Thursday

According to a facebook post by Bradley County Courthouse account, "the Bradley County park and all of its facilities will reopen tomorrow(Thursday, May 28, 2020) from 8:00 until 7:00 daily." Use of this facility will be at the visitor's own risk. People are urged to continue to use CDC social distancing guidelines and clean your hands frequently.

Bradley County Hospital Receives Stimulus Funding

Bradley County Medical Center has received $6,273.962.00 from the federal and state government as a result of the stimulus funding appropriated as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.  The Hospital is expecting some additional funding to help with the shortfall being experienced by all hospitals during the health crisis in the United States.  

For a number of weeks hospitals were prohibited from conducting surgeries and had very few patients due to the efforts of doctors to keep people from contracting or spreading the virus.  Revenue for most hospitals was severely limited.  Smaller, rural hospitals were badly hurt.  Many smaller hospitals were already hurting prior to the pandemic.  

Bradley County Medical Center has been considered one of the hospitals doing better than many others, but the health crisis hit it very hard.  The federal and state funding is essential to allow the hospital to maintain quality staff and facilities.

Changes Underway For Trees On Main Street

The City of Warren has begun taking down the large trees that are located along Main Street.  As of last week, three trees have been cut.  Two were very large and causing damage to the sidewalk area.  Another one had a dead limb and was not healthy.  Plans call for the stumps to be removed and a different species of tree planted that will not grow so large and can be maintained easier.

According to the Mayor"s Office eventually all the current trees will be removed and new trees planted.  It will likely be done in phases as the city has available funding.

The current trees were planted a number of years ago when the downtown sidewalks and benches and lights were installed to improve the downtown business area. Grants funds were used for most of the initial construction.



YMCA Fitness Center Reopened

The Donald W. Reynolds YMCA of Warren and Bradley County has reopened as of Tuesday, May 26.  The fitness center is the only program that is open for public use at this time.  All operations are being managed in accordance to state requirements. 

While touring the set up in accordance to state recommendations, it was noticed that all fitness equipment has been separated to meet distance requirements.  Some equipment has been moved to the gym to assure distancing.  All those entering must have temperature tests and wear mask until they begin working out on the exercise machines.   All equipment is being sanitized regularly.

The Y is working on the swimming pool to have it ready when safe to use.



Warren native retires from two boards in April

FAYETTEVILLE – Maylon T.  Rice, a native of Warren, who has lived in Fayetteville for the past 25 years, recently was “retired” from two boards due to term limits for service in late April.

Rice has been a member of the Fayetteville Public Library Board of Trustees since April 2010 until April this year.

A city ordinance prohibited Rice from serving more than two consecutive terms. As the 2020 rolled around, Rice was “retired” from the FPL Board. He served one year as secretary of the Board and eight of the last 10 years as Treasurer of the library.

He was awarded a framed color print of the library upon his retirement back in mid-April.

Rice was also retired from the Arkansas Historical Association’s Board of Trustees, where he served two consecutive three-year terms, from 2014 to 2019. He headed the Memorials and Awards Committee; the Finance Committee and was a juror on the recent John G. Ragsdale Book Award committee, selecting the best of Arkansas’s many history books submitted for the award each year and the Walter Brown local history awards committee for several years on the AHA Board.

Rice was only the third Bradley Countain to serve on the Arkansas Historical Association Board of Trustees.

The previous two were: State Senator Lee Reaves of Hermitage and James Paul Beachboard, of Warren.

Reaves was the 6th Congressional District appointee to the history board back in 1948. Senator Reaves was reappointed to a second term in 1951 and served until 1953, when he was term limited by the Arkansas Historical Association’s By-laws.

Beachboard, a graduate of Warren High, was an attorney in Little Rock, when he was appointed to the AHA Board in 1999. Beachboard was reappointed in 2002 and served until he was term limited in 2005.

Rice remains active as a  Life Member of the Arkansas Historical Association.

The Fayetteville Public Library is in the midst of a $52 million dollar, 88,000 square foot addition to the library in Fayetteville. The Fayetteville Public Library was established in two basement rooms in the Washington County Courthouse in 1916.

Rice, as a trustee, has overseen the recent library millage increase to over 3 mills of a library tax, to help fund the new construction as well as maintenance and operations of the city library’s functions. Rice is a Life Member of the Friends of the Fayetteville Public Library.

The Fayetteville Public Library has a collection of almost 300,000 items and a yearly circulation over 1 million a year in recent years.

Prior to the virus pandemic, the Fayetteville Public Library with a staff of 43 full time positions, saw almost 185 patrons each hour the library was open or almost 12,000 patrons per week, using the library. 

The annual budget of the Fayetteville Public Library is in excess of $15 million each year.

The new 88,000 square foot edition is being paid for by the millage or $26 million with a $26 million private campaign to fund the balance. The new addition is expected to open in October with a formal opening in December 2020.

Rice who has served as President of the Washington County Historical Society during this same times period, still serves as Past President of the WCHS.


Arrest Made In Residential Burglary Case

On May 21, 2020, a report was taken in reference to a residence located at 1042 Bradley 52 West Hermiatge, Arkansas, being burglarized. It was reported that a small amount of jewelry, a silver Tashiba laptop computer, and a Canon Rebel EOS 35 mm camera was stolen.

As a result of the investigation, Tommy Joe Ashcraft, W/M, date of birth: 06/09/1982, was developed as a suspect, and was arrested on May 22, 2020 for Residential Burglary Class B felony, and Theft of Property Class D Felony. The Bradley County Sheriff's Department was also able to recover some of the stolen property.

On May 26, 2020, Ashcraft was taken before Bradley County District Judge Bruce Anderson, and is currently out on bond.


National News: Watch the first ever private sector launch of American Astronauts live Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. CST(weather permitting)


Josh Hays Family Named Bradley County Farm Family

The 2020 Bradley County Farm Family of the Year is Josh and Krystle Hays and their sons Brandon and Tyler.  They reside at 959 Bradley Rd. 32.  It takes only minutes talking to any member of the family to become convinced they love farming and have a passion for the farm lifestyle. 

Josh said his grandfather started him out at age six riding on the tractor with him cutting hay.  Josh says he is humbled by being chosen and is grateful for all the farmers that came before him in the county and those that continue to farm.  He credits Krystle with dong the hard but essential work of keeping the books and records.  She says Josh works hard and takes pride in operating the farm and producing quality products.  Both say the boys do their share and also enjoy farming. 

Josh said his mother helped him get started years ago by assisting him with securing a loan and putting up some of her land as collateral.  He is quick to say many people have helped one way or another in making the farm a success.  Josh has been farming for 21 years.

The family raises the following crops:
Tomatoes 7 acres
Watermelons 2 acres
Cantaloupe 1/2 acre
Squash/Zuccini 1 acre
Peppers 1 acre
Cucumbers 1/2 acre
They have 115 acres of pasture land and custom bale hay on 300 acres.
The farm runs about 25 head of cattle.
 In addition the family owns 6 quarter horses.

The Hays' self market all vegetable and tomato products.  They sell cattle at the Saline and Ouachita Valley Livestock Auction.  They do outside labor jobs that include harvesting and planting.  The goal of the farm is to always increase yields and have better production, quality and flavor.  They work hard to assure a safe product at all times.  Work is always ongoing to improve the physical condition of the farm.

Son Brandon attends Warren High School.  He works for Robert's Welding and has duties on the farm.  He loves to hunt and fish.  Son Tyler attends Warren Middle School.  He enjoys hunting and fishing riding horses and has won two belt buckles riding.  He also works on the farm.  Both boys like to ride four-wheelers. 

Krystle is Bradley County Assessor and is a member of IAAO and the Arkansas Assessor Association.  She not only keeps the books but also works on the farm.

Josh is a member of the County Extension Council and the family is active in the County Riding Club.  All are active members of Harmony Free Will Baptist Church.

It was a joy getting a tour of the farm and cattle operations and talking with them about the methods they follow in farming and the obvious enjoyment they get in doing it.  No question it is hard work and subject to many adversarial factors.  This family does it right and are a credit to Bradley County.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Warren Fire Department Called To Park Lane For Structure Fire

From May 18 to May 25, the Warren Fire Department responded to 12 calls.   the Department covered four calls May 18.  One was a structural fire at 323 Park Lane.  Eighteen fire fighters responded.  The house suffered minor damage to the kitchen area.  It was caused by an electrical short in the attic/ceiling and wall of the kitchen. The same day the Department worked a vehicle accident at N. Martin and Central Street, provided a public assistance on E. Cedar and went to a false alarm on McCauley. 

On the 22nd they went to Rea Circle for a public service assist and worked an accident on S. Myrtle.  On the 23rd, there were tow false alarms, one on Melrose Dr. and one on Cherry Street.  The Department then sent a rescue truck to Hwy. 160 E. near Longview to work an accident.

May 24 there was a false alarm on N. Martin Street and a violation of the city's burning ordinance at #1 Blankenship Court. 

May 25, the department worked another accident on Hwy. 63 N.

Community Action Board Trying To Move Ahead

Members of the Southeast Arkansas Board of Directors of the Community Action Agency met May 19 by conference call.  Carol Hooper of Bradley County is the Chair-person and presided.  While the board has several vacancies, all three positions are filled for Bradley County .  Bradley County is represented by Ms. Hooper, Angela Meeks and Carolyn Harding.  There was a legal quorum present.

After the minutes of the last meeting were approved, staff of the State Department of Human Resources discussed several items the board needed to do and discussed a technical assistance plan.  It was reported to the board that the 2019 audit is being worked on.

Board Member Darrell Johnson continued his long standing complaint that too many things are not being tended to properly or timely.  He voted against approving the minutes because he did not think they were clear enough or recorded enough discussion and comments.

The board did vote to approve applying for the next CSBG and Cares Act grants.  Members were told the agency should get some money form the Covid-19 legislation recently approved by Congress.

A intense discussion occurred concerning renewing a credit card through Simmons Bank.  In order to secure the card, all board members have to vote to approve.  Mr. Johnson refused to do so sighting past issues and lack of controls.  It was stated that the lack of a card can cause issues with providing services.

Watch Governor's Tuesday, May 26, 2020 Covid-19 press conference

Public Service Announcement from District Court, Warren Department, 28th State District Court

District Judge Bruce Anderson has announced that the District Court office will reopen on Monday, June 1, 2020. The District Court office will be open during regular hours, which are 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday. City Hall will observe the guidelines announced by the Arkansas Department of Health to prevent spread of the coronavirus. All persons entering the building will be required to wear face coverings and to maintain 6 feet of distance from other persons. Persons should not attempt to enter the court building if they have a fever of 100.4° or higher, if they have a cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, or other symptoms typical of Covid-19, or if they had been diagnosed as having Covid-19 or exposed to a person who has been diagnosed as having Covid-19. Persons who are unable to enter the court building may contact the court office by telephone at 870-226-2567.

The Court will resume having scheduled hearings in June. Health Department guidelines, as set forth above, will be followed during hearings. All persons will be required to wear a face covering. Only persons who are appearing to answer a criminal or traffic charge will be admitted. Spouses, significant others, friends, etc., will not be admitted. Persons who are aged 65 or older, who have chronic health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, or lung disease, and persons with a compromised immune system should not attempt to enter the court building on days when court is in session. Persons attending court should be prepared for delays caused by observance of Health Department guidelines.

Anyone who had a court date canceled in March, April, or May and has not been given a new court date by the Court should call the court office for a new court date. A warrant of arrest or summons will be issued for persons who do not call for a new court date by June 15, 2020.

District Court has started a new procedure concerning citations issued by law enforcement.

Beginning immediately, anyone who receives a citation for violation of the criminal or traffic laws should contact the District Court within 21 days from the date the citation is received.

Judge Anderson asks for the understanding and patience of the public as the court seeks to protect the health of the public and court staff as we all deal with combating the spread of the coronavirus.