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News and information from Arkansas government agencies and officials.

BENTON COUNTY MAN WOUNDED IN OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING

Published: 01/20/2018

A Benton County man was wounded this afternoon (Saturday, January 20, 2018) after he reportedly pointed a gun at local law enforcement officers who had responded to a disturbance call in Gravette at 407 2nd Avenue, Southeast.

Benton County Sheriff’s Deputies, Gravette Police Officers, and Sulphur Springs Police Officers responded to the disturbance call.  The initial call to Benton County authorities was received at 3:41 PM.

As officers arrived, they encountered Eulas Linwood Hughes, III, age 40, outside the residence.  Officers and deputies reported that Hughes was armed with a handgun and long-gun.  As negotiations between law enforcement personnel and Hughes occurred in an attempt to have him drop the guns, Hughes began to attempt entry into the home.  At that time he is said to have pointed one of the guns at officers who then fired wounding Hughes.

Hughes was transported to an area hospital where he is reported to be in stable condition.

The Benton County Sheriff’s Department and local authorities requested the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division to conduct an investigation into the use of deadly force by a law enforcement officer.

Upon completion of the investigation, a case file will be submitted to the Benton County prosecuting attorney for review.

Any questions relating to the identity of the deputies and police officers, as well as their administrative status, should be directed to the local law enforcement jurisdictions.


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Accomplishments of the Hutchinson Administration and the General Assembly Since 2015

Published: 01/19/2018

Accomplishments of the Hutchinson Administration and the General Assembly Since 2015


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Accomplishments of the Hutchinson Administration and the General Assembly Since 2015

Published: 01/19/2018

Accomplishments of the Hutchinson Administration and the General Assembly Since 2015


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Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: January 21st – January 27th

Published: 01/19/2018

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Sunday, January 21, 2018, through Saturday, January 27, 2018: 

Sunday, January 21, 2018

CHARLOTTE
John 3:16 Graduation of 1,000th Man
Speaking 
11:00 a.m.
John 3:16 Ministries
75 Holmes Road
Charlotte, AR

LITTLE ROCK
40th Annual March for Life
Speaking 
2:00 p.m.
Arkansas State Capitol
Little Rock, AR

Monday, January 22, 2018

PARIS
Grand Opening of the Tyson Foods
Logan County Career Center
Speaking 
10:00 a.m.
Tyson Foods-Logan County Career Center
2008 E. Wood St
Paris, AR

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

LITTLE ROCK
AR Adult Education Employer Appreciation Celebration
Speaking
10:00 a.m.
Arkansas State Capitol Rotunda
Little Rock, AR

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

LITTLE ROCK
National School Choice Week Rally
Speaking at 1:15 p.m.
(event starts at 11:30 a.m.)
Arkansas State Capitol Rotunda
Little Rock, AR

Friday, January 26, 2018

LITTLE ROCK
Ind. Living 2nd Annual "Circle of Service" Awards
Speaking 
11:30 a.m.
Arkansas Governor's Mansion
Grand Hall
Little Rock, AR

Schedule is subject to change. For further updates from Governor Hutchinson, follow on Facebook or Twitter (@AsaHutchinson).

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3642)


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Governor Hutchinson Hosts Roundtable with USDA Secretary Perdue and Arkansas Agricultural Leaders

Published: 01/19/2018

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson hosted a roundtable discussion with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and agricultural leaders from across the state today. Attendees also participated in a Q&A session with Governor Hutchinson and Secretary Perdue. Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement after the event:

"The first time Sonny Perdue visited Arkansas as the secretary of agriculture, he was here to fly over the thousands of acres of farmland that were under water after the devastating storms last spring. Today, I’m thankful that Secretary Perdue was able to visit on a more pleasant mission as he met with some of our leaders in agriculture. Secretary Perdue understands that farming isn’t just a pastime for Arkansans but rather a vital part of who we are as a state.

“We discussed a series of substantive issues with the Secretary today, including the future of NAFTA and the importance of Arkansas’s ability to access North American markets unimpeded by unfair trade barriers. We, as a nation, must be careful not to impair global trade, otherwise there will be tremendous harm to Arkansas agriculture. The Secretary understands those concerns, and I greatly appreciate his commitment to our farmers—here in Arkansas and across the country. Secretary Perdue and his team are always welcome in the Natural State.”

To view the photo album of today’s roundtable discussion with Secretary Perdue, go HERE. Media outlets are welcome to use photos. Please attribute credit to the Governor's Office. 

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3642)


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Arkansas State Offices will be on a Two-Hour Delay Wednesday

Published: 01/16/2018

LITTLE ROCK – Due to icy road conditions, Governor Asa Hutchinson will implement a two-hour delay for state offices in affected areas tomorrow, Wednesday, January 17, 2018, for non-essential personnel. Agency directors may implement liberal leave policies for their employees.

If you are a state employee outside the affected areas, please contact your supervisor for further instruction.


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Governor Discusses NAFTA, Effects on Arkansas Agriculture and Need for Modernization

Published: 01/16/2018

Agriculture is Arkansas's largest industry

ROGERS, AR – Governor Asa Hutchinson joined local farmers, elected officials and business leaders at the World Trade Center Arkansas today in support of continued access to the markets of Canada and Mexico, free of unfair trade barriers.

Agriculture is Arkansas’s largest industry, and farmers are the backbone, exporting billions of dollars worth of food and consumer products to Canada and Mexico, creating and supporting thousands of local jobs across the state. Canada and Mexico are also Arkansas’s first and second largest customers. 

Additionally, a free North American marketplace allows Arkansans to enjoy a wide variety of healthy fresh fruit and vegetables from Mexico year round, such as berries and avocados. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans consume twice as much fruit and three times as many vegetables from Mexico and Canada, today as they did two decades ago. 

“As the United States considers the future of NAFTA, the nation must be careful that it does not harm global trade,” said Governor Asa Hutchinson. “Arkansas must be able to continue its access to North American markets unimpeded by unfair trade barriers. Otherwise, there will be serious harm to Arkansas’s agriculture and retail and manufacturing sectors.”

Jeff Lindsey, an Elkins, Ark., turkey grower whose Double L Farms supplies turkeys to Cargill, voiced his concern at today’s event.

“Farming requires a lot of hard work every single day, but I love what I do,” Lindsey said. “Thanks to NAFTA, Mexico has become the No. 1 export market for U.S. turkey products, taking delivery of more than half of all our turkey exports. If the U.S. were to walk away from NAFTA, the price of those products would take a serious hit, and my family’s farming operation would be hard-pressed to absorb the economic consequences that would bring.”

Continued cross-border trade has proven to be very important to local farmers and businesses.  As President Trump considers trade agreements and works toward fairness and modernization of the pact, the administration must be mindful of the basic principle that we do no harm to our global trading relationships. It is clear that there is great potential for harm in Arkansas, especially to our farmers, if the United States reverses course regarding cross-border trade.

Doug Ramsey, group president of poultry for Tyson Foods, Inc., joined the Governor in support.

“Good trading relationships start with our neighbors and NAFTA is a key to our export success,” Ramsey said. “A healthy export industry benefits independent farmers like those who grow chicken, cattle and hogs for our company, as well as the communities where they live.”

Prices will inevitably rise in all three countries as local businesses work to reorganize their supply chains. Significant price impacts on staples such as apparel, fruit and vegetables and electronics are anticipated.  

“We believe free and open trade is good for our suppliers and our customers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico – the demand for U.S. products and produce is strong in our North American corridor markets,” said Arjan Both, Vice President of Global Sourcing for Walmart. “Our stores offer a significant export platform for U.S. farmers and manufacturers and NAFTA has helped to lower costs of essential products, like food for our customers, and helped to create U.S. jobs through exports.” 

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3642)


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Arkansas State Offices will be Closed Tuesday in Weather-Affected Areas

Published: 01/16/2018

LITTLE ROCK – Due to inclement weather, Governor Asa Hutchinson has closed state offices in the weather-affected areas for non-essential personnel today, Tuesday, January 16, 2018. Agency directors may implement liberal leave policies for their employees.

If you are a state employee outside the affected areas, please contact your supervisor for further instruction.


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Governor Hutchinson Issues Statement on Historic Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Published: 01/15/2018

LITTLE ROCK – In March of 2017, Governor Asa Hutchinson signed into law Senate Bill 519, which eliminated the dual holiday status and concurrent commemoration of General Robert E. Lee and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Today marks the first Dr. King holiday since that historic separation. 

Governor Hutchinson issued the statement below in honor of Dr. King and this historic day in our state.

“I’m proud to be able to say that today, for the first time, Arkansas is celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on his own day. Join me as we reflect on the courage of a man who marched for equality; the vision of a man who, in the face of hate and hostility, saw what could be; and the legacy of a man who brought a nation together.”

Senate Bill 519 received wide, bipartisan support in both chambers of the legislature.

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3642)


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Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Appointments

Published: 01/12/2018

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced the following appointments:

Christy Clark, Little Rock, to the Board of Trustees of Arkansas State University. Appointment expires January 14, 2023. Replaces Ron Rhodes.

Christy Clark graduated from Arkansas State University in 1992 with a bachelor's degree in accounting. She has been with Clark Contractors, LLC, since 2009. Clark resides in Little Rock with her husband, William. 

Stephanie Duffield, Russellville, to the Board of Trustees of Arkansas Tech University. Appointment expires January 14, 2023. Replaces Leigh Whiteside. 

Stephanie Duffield graduated from Arkansas Tech University in 2005 with a bachelor's degree in international studies. Duffield serves as Special Projects Coordinator for Blackstone Construction, LLC. She lives in Russellville with her husband, Luke. 

James Barnes, Little Rock, to the Board of Trustees of Henderson State University. Appointment expires January 14, 2025. Replaces Mike Myers. 

James Barnes graduated from Henderson State University in 1992 with a bachelor's degree in business management. Barnes is the CEO of BBA Solutions, which he founded in 1996; BBA Solutions is one of the largest textbook companies in the United States. Barnes resides in Little Rock. 

Monty Harrington, Magnolia, to the Board of Trustees of Southern Arkansas University. Appointment expires January 14, 2023. Replaces W. Steve Keith.

Monty Harrington graduated from Southern Arkansas University at Magnolia in 1993 with a bachelor's degree in business administration. Harrington has been with Farmers Bank and Trust since 2000 and currently serves as Magnolia Market President. He resides in Magnolia with his wife, Janet. 

Kay Hinkle, Mountain View, to the Board of Trustees of the University of Central Arkansas. Appointment expires January 14, 2025. Reappointment. 

Kay Hinkle graduated from State College of Arkansas, now the University of Central Arkansas, in 1970 with a bachelor's degree in business. She has served on the University of Central Arkansas Board of Trustees since 2004. Hinkle resides in Mountain Home with her husband, James. 

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement: 

“It is a pleasure to appoint this slate of trustees to serve on the boards of our universities. I am confident that the background and experience of each will serve them well on their respective board and lead to even better days in Arkansas’s higher education.”

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3642)


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Governor Requests Public Service Commission to Pass Benefits of Corporate Tax Cuts on to AR Families

Published: 01/11/2018

Also Praises Walmart for Forwarding Savings on to Associates

LITTLE ROCK – The Arkansas Public Service Commission (PSC) should “as expeditiously as possible,” take the necessary steps to pass on the benefits of the recently passed corporate tax cut to Arkansas ratepayers, Governor Asa Hutchinson said today in a letter to PSC Chairman Ted Thomas.

In December, Congress passed and President Trump signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, and energy providers will benefit from the corporate tax cut included in that legislation.

“The purpose of this letter is to request that the Arkansas Public Service Commission, as expeditiously as possible, take whatever steps are necessary to pass the benefit of the corporate tax cut to Arkansas families and businesses in the form of lower utility rates,” wrote Governor Hutchinson.

“Investor-owned utilities have a monopoly, regulated by the Public Service Commission, on providing electricity and natural gas services to Arkansas’s families and businesses. Arkansas law allows utility providers to charge rates that recover the cost of providing utility service plus a rate of return on investment. Federal income taxes paid by the utility are one such cost.”

Governor Hutchinson’s letter to the PSC can be found HERE.

In addition to the letter, Governor Hutchinson released the following statement praising Walmart for its plans to raise its starting wage, offer new employee benefits, and pay bonuses to employees:

“Walmart’s quick reaction to the new law is exactly the response we expected under the tax cut,” the Governor said.  “I am proud that Arkansas’s largest corporate citizen is leading the way in putting more money in the pockets of its hard-working employees.”

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3642)


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NEW DIVISION COMMANDERS AND ASSISTANT TROOP COMMANDER NAMED IN STATE POLICE COMMISSION MEETING

Published: 01/11/2018

  Captains Jeffrey Drew and Charles Hubbard were promoted to the rank of major today during a meeting of the Arkansas State Police Commission.  The promotions were presented to the commission for consideration by Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police.

  Major Drew, 47, of Searcy, will command the department’s Crimes Against Children Division.  He most recently commanded Troop B of the Arkansas State Police Highway Patrol Division and is a twenty-two year veteran of the department.

  Major Hubbard, 44, of Warren, will command the department’s Administrative Services Division.  He most recently commanded Troop F of the Arkansas State Police Highway Patrol Division and is a twenty-two year veteran of the department.

  Sergeant Jamie Gravier, 41, of Texarkana was promoted to the rank of lieutenant.  He will assume new duties as assistant commander of Arkansas State Police, Highway Patrol Division, Troop G.

  Lieutenant Gravier most recently served as a post supervisor in Troop G.  He is a nineteen year veteran of the department.


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Governor Asks Universities to Freeze Tuition at Current Level

Published: 01/09/2018

LITTLE ROCK – In a letter that went out to the presidents and chancellors of Arkansas’ four-year universities today, Governor Asa Hutchinson challenged them to freeze in-state tuition at its current levels for the 2018-2019 academic year.

You can read the entire letter HERE.

Governor Hutchinson announced his request today in his address to state legislators who were meeting in a joint budget session in preparation for the 2018 fiscal session, which opens February 12.

“It’s time to give our students a break,” the Governor said in his remarks to legislators.

In his letter, the Governor acknowledged the efforts of universities to reduce “the cost burden on our students.”

“Our mutual goal is to serve students to increase the number of credentials earned and in a more efficient and affordable manner,” the Governor wrote. 

“Controlling costs for students sends a strong message to students, taxpayers, and legislators that we are serious about making a college education obtainable for everyone and that our institutions of higher education can be trusted with their investment.”

He also is requesting that two-year colleges limit their increases to the Consumer Price Index or below.

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3642)


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Governor Hutchinson Announces $100 Million Cut In Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2019

Published: 01/09/2018

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has cut $100 million from his proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2019 and projects a surplus of $64 million. 

The Governor reported the reduction and projected surplus to legislators today at a joint budget committee hearing as they prepare for the 2018 Fiscal Session, which begins February 12.

“This budget reflects real spending cuts in a number of agencies that we achieved through efficiencies without cutting services,” Governor Hutchinson said. “This budget shows a slower growth in Medicaid spending. It meets the requirements of education adequacy. It increases funding for public safety. And of great significance, the budget reduces our historic reliance on surpluses to fund ongoing budget needs.”

The Governor cited a few areas in which the state has improved as a result of the state’s growing economy: 

  • The lowest level of unemployment in Arkansas history. 
  • A record number of Arkansans in the workforce.
  • Increased wages.
  • Decreased Medicaid enrollment.

“The $100 million tax cut we enacted in 2015 – which is fully in place now – has put more money in consumers’ pockets.  And because consumer confidence is high, the extra money is in the stream of commerce,” the Governor said. 

The Governor listed other highlights:

  • The Education Adequacy Fund is sufficient to meet the legislative mandate for education spending in order to achieve adequacy without relying on general-revenue transfers.  This eliminates the need for the transfer of $50 million from General Revenue.
  • Transformation efforts in the Department of Humans Services has reduced the number of Arkansans on Medicaid by more than 117,000 in the past year.

In a break with tradition, the Governor has not incorporated any of the surplus into the budget. Instead, the surplus will help safeguard state operations against an unexpected economic downturn and could set the foundation for potential cuts to the state’s income tax. In addition, a portion of state surplus funds will be earmarked to help fund future highway construction in the state.

The Governor used two graphics in his presentation today. You can find these graphics HERE and HERE.

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3642)


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Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule:  January 8th – January 13th

Published: 01/05/2018

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, January 8, 2018, through Saturday, January 13, 2018: 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018:

LITTLE ROCK
Governor Hutchinson Addresses Joint Budget Committee 
at Pre-Fiscal Session Budget Hearings 
9:00 a.m.
Big Mac Building – Room A
1 Capitol Mall
Little Rock, AR

Friday, January 12, 2018:

FORT SMITH
Arkansas Municipal League Winter Conference
11:45 a.m.
Fort Smith Convention Center Theater
55 S. 7th Street,
Fort Smith, AR

Schedule is subject to change. For further updates from Governor Hutchinson, follow on Facebook or Twitter (@AsaHutchinson).

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3642)


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Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Intent to Grant Executive Clemency

Published: 01/05/2018

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced his intent to grant 12 pardons, 2 firearm rights only and 1 commutation. An additional 62 clemency requests were denied and 0 had no action taken upon them. These include requests from both inmates and non-inmates.

The applicants intended for pardons have completed all jail time, fulfilled all parole and probationary requirements and paid all fines related to their sentences. There is a 30-day waiting period to receive public feedback on the notices before final action is taken.

Governor Hutchinson intends to grant pardons to the following people:

Jessie G. Allbright (Grapevine): Possession w/Intent to Deliver Controlled Substance (C Felony) (CR-2003-8-2).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2003 – Grant County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Lee Collins (Pine Bluff): Delivery of a Controlled Substance (C Felony) and Possession of a Controlled Substance w/Intent to Deliver, 2 Counts (C Felony) (CR 84-31-1).

This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (1984– Jefferson County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application. 

Brenda Allen Dean (Fulton): Burglary, 4 counts (B Felony) and Theft under $100, 4 counts (A Misdemeanor) (CR-80-55, CR-80-58, CR-80-59 and CR-80-60).

This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (1980 – Hempstead County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. The Sherriff has raised objections to the applicant’s request.

James C. Dean, Jr. (Fulton): Burglary (B Felony) and Theft of Property (C Felony) (CR-83-148).

This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (1984 – Hempstead County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. The Sherriff has raised objections to the applicant’s request.

Bobby J. Fairrow, Jr. (Carlisle): Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card (C Felony) (CR 99-2670); Theft by Receiving, 2 Counts (B Felony) and Felon in Possession of a Firearm (D Felony) (CR 2000-12).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1999 – Pulaski County; 2000 – Prairie County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

William Garrison (Star City): Burglary, 2 counts (B Felony) and Theft of Property, 2 counts (B Felony) (CR87-541-1) and Burglary, 2 counts (B Felony) and Theft of Property, 2 counts (C Felony) (CR87-537-1); Burglary, 2 counts (Probation Revocation) (B Felony) and Theft of Property, 2 counts (Probation Revocation) (B Felony) (CR87-541-1) and Burglary, 2 counts (Probation Revocation) (B Felony) and Theft of Property, 2 counts (Probation Revocation) (C Felony) (CR87-537-1).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1988 and 1989– Jefferson County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further felony criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application. 

Johnathon D. Griffin (Roland): Hot Check Violation (C Felony) (CR 2004-151-3).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2006 – Marion County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application. 

Kimberly Davis Schneider (Malvern): Criminal Attempt to Manufacture Methamphetamine (A Felony) (CR-2002-094-1); Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (C Felony) (CR-2002-57IV); Criminal Attempt to Manufacture Methamphetamine (Probation Revocation) (A Felony) (CR-2002-094-1); Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (C Felony) (CR-2003-163-2).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (2002, 2003 and 2003 – Hot Spring County; 2002 – Garland County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Charles Srader (Elkins): Burglary and Grand Larceny (Felony) (CR 74-29); Burglary (C Felony) and Grand Larceny (D Felony) (CR 74-5).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1974 – Washington County; 1974 – Madison County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application. 

Antonio Steele, Sr. (Jonesboro): Delivery of Cocaine (Y Felony) (CR 1994-292).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1995 – Mississippi County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application. 

Dickie D. Vosburg, Jr. (Mabelvale): Armed Robbery (Felony) (CR-76-65); Robbery (Felony) (CR-76-890).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1976 – Faulkner County; 1976 – Pulaski County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further felony convictions. The Faulkner County Prosecuting Attorney, the Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney, and the Faulkner County Sheriff have raised objections to applicant's request. 

Robert A. Stout (Monticello): Aggravated Assault (D Felony) (CR 1992-39).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1992 – Lonoke County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further felony convictions. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Governor Hutchinson intends to grant the restoration of firearm rights only to the following people:

Ray Bogard (Carlisle): Manufacturing a Controlled Substance (C Felony), Possession of a Controlled Substance (C Felony), and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (C Felony) (CR-96-167).

This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (1997 – Lonoke County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. The Sheriff of Lonoke County has signed the Recommendation of the Chief Law Enforcement Officer as required by law. The Judge has raised objections to applicant's request.

Rodney G. Vaile (Oxford): Possession of a Controlled Substance-Methamphetamine (C Felony) (CR-2004-41).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2005 – Izard County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. The Sheriff of Izard County has signed the Recommendation of the Chief Law Enforcement Officer as required by law. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Governor Hutchinson intends to grant a commutation of sentence to the following person:

Leon Hardin, III (ADC #136011): Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Deliver (Y Felony) (2005-102).

The governor has given notice of his intent to commute the sentence of Leon Hardin, III, who was convicted in Drew County in 2006 for the above offense, from a total of 660 months to serve in the Arkansas Department of Correction to 240 months in the Arkansas Department of Correction with all counts concurrent. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3642)


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HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION UNDERWAY IN MONTICELLO

Published: 01/05/2018

    The Arkansas State Police has been requested to assist in the investigation of a homicide reported last night (Thursday, January 4, 2018) by Monticello Police Officers.  Special Agents of the state police Criminal Investigation Division have been assigned to the case.

    Local police officers responded at approximately 6 PM to Turtle Creek Apartments at 113 Oakland Avenue.  Inside an apartment, police found the body of a woman who appeared to have been beaten to death.  Public identity of the victim is being withheld at this time until next of kin can be notified.

    The woman’s body has been transported to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory to determine the exact manner and cause of death.

    A 28-year-old suspect in the case has been identified in the investigation and is currently being held pending the filing of formal criminal charges.


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Program Integrity Efforts and Strong Economy Help Shrink Medicaid Rolls by 117,000 Over Last Year

Published: 01/04/2018

DHS will ask for $477 million less for its Medicaid budget than it originally expected for SFY’19

LITTLE ROCK – Efforts to improve the accuracy of the Arkansas Medicaid rolls and transform its programs have helped create a drastically different program than the state saw a year ago with 117,260 fewer enrollees and a need to spend nearly a half billion dollars less than anticipated in State Fiscal Year 2019.

“This Medicaid news from the Department of Human Services is exactly the kind of cut in government spending I knew was possible when I took office in 2015,” Governor Asa Hutchinson said. “Director Cindy Gillsepie and her team have been diligent in ensuring the integrity of the Medicaid rolls. They have implemented changes that the Health Care Task Force recommended. As a result, DHS has cut its budget needs substantially even as it improved services. 

“The department has trimmed its needs by half-a-billion dollars. This is the sort of work that will keep Arkansas on track for an even better future. I am grateful for Director Gillespie’s leadership.” 

On January 1, 2018, there were 931,006 people enrolled in Medicaid programs in Arkansas, including 285,564 in the Arkansas Works program. That compares to 1,048,266 enrolled overall on January 1, 2017. That includes the 344,289 people enrolled in Arkansas Works at that time. 

Over the past year, the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) pushed efforts to improve the accuracy of the Medicaid rolls, to improve program integrity and to begin efforts to transform many of the underlying programs and services of the Arkansas Medicaid program. 

That work included implementing recommendations made by the Health Care Task Force. The net savings for those changes through SFY’17 was $77 million, and DHS expects to meet its 5-year, $835 million saving targets resulting from those efforts. 

Due to that and other work by DHS as well as the reduction of the number of people on Medicaid, DHS is now projecting that it will spend $477.9 million LESS on Medicaid in SFY’19 than was anticipated at this time last year in the biennium Medicaid budget appropriations bill.

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3642)


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BRINKLEY SHOOTING LEAVES ONE DEAD, THREE WOUNDED

Published: 01/04/2018

   Special Agents with the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division, along with officers of the Brinkley Police Department, are investigating a deadly shooting that occurred at approximately 7:15 AM today.

   Brinkley officers responded to the Pinewood Apartments, located at 615 West 6th Street, where they found four adult victims who had sustained gunshot wounds.  Xavier Parish, 33 of Brinkley was dead at the scene.  Two other shooting victims were transported to area hospitals and one was treated at the scene for non-life threatening injuries.

   James Frost, 43, of Brinkley, was taken into custody by the Brinkley Police Department in connection with the shootings.

   The investigation is continuing and information from the state police investigation will be turned-over to the prosecuting attorney for consideration of formal criminal charges.


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DEATH INVESTIGATION UNDERWAY IN OZARK FOLLOWING OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING

Published: 01/03/2018

    A domestic disturbance call to 1004 West School Street in Ozark (Franklin County) has ended in an officer involved shooting.  Ozark Police received the call for help and dispatched an officer to the home around 10:19 PM last night (January 2, 2018).

    Ozark Police Chief Devin Bramlett has asked Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division to conduct an investigation of the shooting incident.

    Witnesses reported that Ronald Elliot, age 49, was armed with a gun and had locked himself inside his bedroom.

    Prior to an Ozark police officer arriving at the home, a woman had entered the bedroom in an attempt to disarm Elliot.

    When the local police officer entered the bedroom, witnesses heard the officer instruct Elliot to put down the gun, followed by the sound of a gunshot.

    Elliot was taken to an Ozark hospital where he died.  His body has been transported to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory to collect forensic evidence and confirm the manner and cause of death.

    Inquiries relating to the identity of the Ozark police officer who fired his weapon or his current administrative status should be directed to the Ozark Police Department.

    The state police investigative file will be turned-over to the Franklin County prosecuting attorney to consider whether the use of deadly force by a law enforcement officer was consistent with Arkansas laws.


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Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Appointments

Published: 12/29/2017

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced the following appointments:

Michael Willhite, Hamburg, to the Arkansas Fire Protection Services Board. Appointment expires October 14, 2020. Replaces Shane Dallas.

Gary Lawrence, Huntington, to the Arkansas Fire Protection Services Board. Appointment expires October 14, 2020. Replaces James Sullivent, Jr.

David Dayringer, Prairie Grove, to the Arkansas Fire Protection Services Board. Appointment expires October 14, 2020. Reappointment.

Duane Logsdon, Huntington, to the Arkansas Fire Protection Services Board. Appointment expires October 14, 2020. Replaces Shelia Magness. 

Dr. Terry Fiddler, Conway, to the State and Public School Life and Health Insurance Board. Appointment expires December 1, 2021. Replaces Dr. Andrew Kumpuris.

Cindy Gillespie, Little Rock, to the State and Public School Life and Health Insurance Board. Appointment expires December 1, 2021. Replaces Dr. Joe Thompson.

Dori Gutierrez, De Queen, to the State and Public School Life and Health Insurance Board. Appointment expires December 1, 2021.

Rett Hatcher, Little Rock, to the State and Public School Life and Health Insurance Board. Appointment expires December 1, 2021. Replaces Katrina Burnett.

Melissa Moore, Charleston, to the State and Public School Life and Health Insurance Board. Appointment expires December 1, 2021. Replaces Dr. Tony Thurman. 

Herb Scott, Little Rock, to the State and Public School Life and Health Insurance Board. Appointment expires December 1, 2021. Replaces Janis Harrison. 

Lisa Sherrill, Harrison, to the State and Public School Life and Health Insurance Board. Appointment expires December 1, 2021. 

Dr. Lanita White, Little Rock, to the State and Public School Life and Health Insurance Board. Appointment expires December 1, 2021.

Carrie Hollis-Anthony, Royal, to the Arkansas Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. Appointment expires December 1, 2022. Reappointment. 

Kimberly Horton, Malvern, to the Arkansas Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. Appointment expires December 1, 2022. Reappointment. 

Annette Mencer, Benton, to the Arkansas Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. Appointment expires December 1, 2022. Reappointment. 

Christopher Tebbetts, Mountain View, to the Arkansas Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. Appointment expires December 1, 2022. Reappointment. 

George Ellis, Benton, to the State Library Board. Appointment expires October 18, 2022. Reappointment. 

Donna McDonald, Charleston, to the State Library Board. Appointment expires October 18, 2023. Replaces Martine Ferguson.

Donnette Smith, Harrison, to the State Library Board. Appointment expires October 18, 2024. Replaces Dr. Josephine Bell. 

Dr. Joey Odum, Little Rock, to the Arkansas State Respiratory Care Examining Committee. Appointment expires August 7, 2020. Replaces Dr. Robert Dalby. 

Dr. Nancy Rector, to the Arkansas State Respiratory Care Examining Committee. Appointment expires August 7, 2020. Reappointment. 

Angela Sanders, Benton, to the Arkansas State Respiratory Care Examining Committee. Appointment expires August 7, 2020. Reappointment. 

Neldia Dycus, Cabot, to the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. Appointment expires October 1, 2021. Replaces Karen Holcomb. 

Dr. Marsha Boss, Little Rock, to the State Board of Health. Appointment expires December 31, 2021. Replaces Dr. Gary Bass. 

Vanessa Falwell, Newport, to the State Board of Health. Appointment expires December 31, 2020. Replaces Peggy Walker. 

Dr. Antony Hui, Fayetteville, to the State Board of Health. Appointment expires December 31, 2020. Reappointment. 

Thomas Jones, Little Rock, to the State Board of Health. Appointment expires December 31, 2020. Reappointment. 

Dr. David Kiessling, Bigelow, to the State Board of Health. Appointment expires December 31, 2020. Replaces Dr. Anika Whitfield.

Dr. Mike Riddell, Russellville, to the State Board of Health. Appointment expires December 31, 2020. Replaces Dr. Clark Fincher. 

Catherine Tapp, Little Rock, to the State Board of Health. Appointment expires December 31, 2020. Reappointment. 

Dr. James Zini, Mountain View, to the State Board of Health. Appointment expires December 31, 2020. Reappointment.  

Anthony Martin, Jonesboro, as a Justice of the Peace for the Craighead County Quorum Court, District 3. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces J.P. Bryant.

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3642)


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Arkansas Military Retirement Income Tax Cut To Go Into Effect in January

Published: 12/28/2017

LITTLE ROCK – The Military Retirement Income Tax Cut, which Governor Asa Hutchinson signed into law in February, will go into effect January 1, 2018. The tax cut, which eliminates state income tax on military retirement pay, was one of Governor Hutchinson’s priorities for the 2017 legislative session. The bill passed through the General Assembly with wide bi-partisan support in both chambers.

Arkansas has now has joined the majority of southern states in exempting state income tax on military retirement pay. Governor Hutchinson prioritized this initiative in an effort to recruit more military retirees to the state.  

“The average new military retiree is 38-44 years old with another 20-plus years in the workforce,” Governor Hutchinson said. “The skills and experience our military retirees offer are invaluable resources for our state. This tax cut creates tax relief for Arkansas’ 22,000 military retirees, and will encourage veterans to start their second careers in Arkansas.”

Representative Charlene Fite of Van Buren, author of the bill: “I am really proud of this legislation. I have received more than a hundred emails, notes and private messages from people thanking me and saying they were not considering staying in Arkansas but now they are. It is also important to note that many of these retirees are in their late 30s and early 40s. They will be starting second careers, opening businesses, buying homes and investing in Arkansas in other ways.”

Senate President Pro Tem Jonathan Dismang of Searcy: “These are exactly the type of individuals we want in the state of Arkansas, and this tax cut gives veterans one more reason to live here.”

Frequently asked questions regarding the Arkansas Military Retirement Income Tax Cut:

1.  Who gets the tax break? 
Veterans who are receiving military retirement income qualify for the tax break.

2.  Do survivors qualify?
Yes. Surviving spouses and/or minor children who are receiving Survivor Benefit Pay qualify

3.  When does the tax break become effective?
The tax break goes into effect on January 1st, 2018.

4. Will I see more money on my January check?
No. The first adjustment will appear on the February checks of those who have adjusted their state income tax withholding in January.

5.  Will Defense Finance and Accounting automatically adjust my deductions?
No. To adjust your state income tax withholding, call DFAS at (800) 321-1080 or go to https://mypay.dfas.mil.

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3642)


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Gov. Hutchinson Applauds Veterans Affairs for Increasing Veteran Resources and Services

Published: 12/28/2017

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today applauded the significant increase in services that have become available for Arkansas veterans since 2015. 

Since the launch of its five-year strategic plan in 2015, the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs (ADVA) has opened eight additional District Veteran Services Offices, completing its goal three years ahead of schedule. Until recently, Arkansas’ nearly 250,000 veterans had to travel from across the state to North Little Rock to receive VA assistance. With the opening of the new Veteran Services Offices in Fayetteville, Jonesboro, Mountain Home, Fort Smith, Forrest City, Monticello, Russellville and Hope, Arkansas’ veterans now have regional access to these services. In addition, this year, ADVA offered eight Saturday events in various locations across the state, assisting nearly 400 veterans with claims, healthcare and other needs.

Last year, Governor Hutchinson also announced the grand opening of the Arkansas State Veterans Home in North Little Rock, which accepted its first veteran residents in January of this year. The 31-acre site includes a community building and eight cottages, which can house up to 12 residents each. The home received its VA accreditation, and other long-term care accreditations, and is now more than 50 percent occupied. 

The Fayetteville Veterans Home has likewise provided essential services to veterans in northwest Arkansas. In Fiscal Year 2017, the average occupancy rate was 95 percent, significantly higher than state and national averages. The facility earned a Five-Star quality rating award from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as well as other awards in Fiscal Year 2017.

“In Arkansas, we want to do everything we can to support our veterans,” Governor Hutchinson said. “We owe them a great deal. They are an important part of our state, and they provide essential contributions to Arkansas’ workforce. I am pleased by the efforts of the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs under the leadership of Col. Nate Todd. ADVA has done a remarkable job ensuring that our veterans receive the services they deserve.”

"With every passing year, Arkansas has become more and more friendly to veterans," ADVA Director Col. Nate Todd said. "Governor Hutchinson is grateful for the contribution veterans have made in serving our nation. He continues to express his gratitude through his leadership in making Arkansas a great state for veterans. Our governor also recognizes the value that veterans add to Arkansas.

"As a veteran myself, I am grateful to God for the opportunity to work with the governor to make Arkansas a veteran-friendly state. So many others are diligent in working for veterans as well, including the Arkansas Veterans Commission; our federal partners in the Veterans Health Administration, the Veterans Benefits Administration and the National Cemetery Administration; our congressional delegation, their staff; and the veterans service organizations.​"

In an effort to recruit more military retirees to Arkansas, Governor Hutchinson also signed the Military Retired Pay Tax Cut into law in February of this year. This tax cut, which eliminates state income tax on military retirement pay, was one of his priorities for the 2017 legislative session. 

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3642)


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Governor Hutchinson Issues Statement on Pre-payment of Arkansas Property Taxes

Published: 12/27/2017

LITTLE ROCK — In response to inquiries into the possible pre-payment of 2018 property taxes, Governor Asa Hutchinson released the following statement:

“Recently, a number of states have allowed property owners to pre-pay their property taxes for 2018. Here in Arkansas, responsibility for the payment of taxes is handled at the county level,” Governor Hutchinson said. “Property owners wishing to pay in advance are advised to contact the county officials where the property is located.”

“Under the constitution of our state, property taxes are purely local in nature and the decision on when and how to accept pre-payment of property taxes must be posed to local officials, who can best judge whether they have the authority necessary to accept early payment,” the governor said.

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)


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Gov. Hutchinson Announces Completion of Statewide Mapping Project,

Published: 12/27/2017

Hands Off Last of Updated Aerial Maps to Madison County

HUNTSVILLE – County officials now have the most up-to-date aerial maps of Arkansas, which will, among other things, better prepare counties for future infrastructure and economic development projects, as well as provide for faster response times from local law enforcement and emergency personnel.

At a news conference Wednesday morning in Madison County, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced the completion of a project initiated by the Arkansas Geographic Information Systems (GIS) earlier this year. 

The project, a new digital map of the state detailing each of the 75 counties, will provide updated and important information for each county—including roads, new developments, and other infrastructure projects—through aerial images.

Following the announcement, Governor Hutchinson handed over the last set of county maps in a ceremony at the Madison County Courthouse in Huntsville. Shelby Johnson, director of the GIS Office, joined the governor as he delivered the thumb drive with the digitial aerial images.

“The face of Arkansas is changing rapidly,” Governor Hutchinson said. “Counties all over the state are building new roads, widening existing highways, adding businesses, homes and developing entirely new neighborhoods. Having an up-to-date detailed map of our state is a key tool for economic development and expanding infrastructure as our state continues to grow.

“Additionally, these updated maps will greatly assist first responders in emergency situations when a speedy response by law-enforcement agencies and rescue crews can mean the difference between life and death. This is a much-needed upgrade to our system of state maps, and I applaud Shelby and his team for completing the project in such a timely and efficient manner.”

The images, taken from the air, were captured with digital orthophotography, which encodes latitude and longitude coordinates into images for use in geographic imaging.

In addition to showing roads and buildings, the images are the foundation for maps that pinpoint the location of water, power and gas lines, and administrative boundaries such as school districts or city boundaries.

“I’m proud this project came together so smoothly,” Director Johnson said. “We know our partners in local and state government needed new imagery for their mapping purposes, and as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.  It is especially rewarding for me to know this imagery will be put to work in 9-1-1 systems all over the state and save lives.”

The new mapping can now be viewed online at http://gis.arkansas.gov/. Once you’ve reached the homepage, click “Maps” then “Map Viewer.” Once the map loads, you will find a list of the different layers. Scroll to the bottom of that list to find "2017 Aerial Imagery." Simply check the box and the imagery will activate for the user to explore.

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3642)


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STATE POLICE REQUESTED TO INVESTIGATE BATESVILLE OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING

Published: 12/17/2017

  Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division are investigating an officer involved shooting that occurred at approximately 7:15pm yesterday evening, (Saturday, December 16, 2017) off of US Highway 167 in Independence County.

   Andrew D. Hatley, 28, of Batesville, has been identified as the individual who was injured after he reportedly pointed a weapon at local law enforcement officers.

   Two officers with the Batesville Police Department were conducting a traffic stop on US Highway 167. Hatley, who was a passenger in the stopped vehicle began to resist the officers, and fled on foot. According to initial statements, Hatley ran a short distance then turned and pointed a handgun at the officers.  Both officers fired their weapons, striking Hatley, who was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

    No law enforcement officers were injured during the incident. Questions relating to the identity of law enforcement personnel or their administrative status should be directed to the Batesville Police Department.

    Upon completion of the investigation, state police special agents will submit an investigative file to the Independence County prosecuting attorney for consideration to determine whether use of deadly force by a law enforcement officer was justified as defined by state laws.


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ARREST MADE IN ARKANSAS COUNTY HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION

Published: 12/12/2017

  Kirkland Warren, 22, of Pine Bluff has been arrested and is being held at the Jefferson County Detention Center on 1st degree murder charges in connection with a homicide investigation being lead by Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division. 

  The Arkansas County Sherriff’s Department contacted state police yesterday afternoon (December 11th) requesting assistance with a death investigation.  A deceased male, identity unknown, was found in a roadside ditch off Highway 79 and Gingrich Road, near Stuttgart with an apparent gunshot wound to the head. 

  The body has been sent to the Arkansas State Medical Examiner’s Office for positive identification of the individual, and to determine manner and cause of death.

  The Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division will prepare an investigative file and submit the findings to the Jefferson County prosecuting attorney for review.


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“DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER” FOR SAFE HOLIDAY TRAVEL

Published: 12/11/2017

(LITTLE ROCK) – During the upcoming holiday season Arkansas State Troopers along with other state and local law enforcement officers will step-up their patrols to keep motor vehicle drivers and passengers safe.  Stopping and arresting impaired drivers will be a top priority.

  Arkansas law enforcement agencies are partnering with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in a special year-end Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement mobilization to get drunk drivers off the street and to spread the word about the dangers of impaired driving.  Increased patrols will begin December 13th and continue through January 1st.

  “Drivers will notice increased enforcement patrols watching for anyone who is driving impaired,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “It is vital that we keep travelers safe, not just during the holidays, but every day.  With an increase in traffic on the roads, and people attending holiday parties, we will likely see an uptick in drunk driving. We’ll be arresting anyone who breaks the law by driving impaired.”

  The holiday period is full of festivities that often contribute to an increase in the number of drunk drivers on the road.  Nationally during 2016, traffic crashes killed 37,461 people.  Twenty-eight percent (10,497) died in impaired driving crashes where a driver had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over the limit of .08.

  “This should be a time of peace and happiness as friends and families come together,” said Colonel Bryant.  “Choosing to drink and drive is a selfish choice that often results in harsh consequences.”

  Driving while impaired can lead to an arrest and jail time, loss of a driver’s license, higher insurance rates, and unanticipated expenses ranging from attorney fees, court costs, car towing, vehicle repairs, and lost wages due to time off from work.  But the ultimate cost of drunk driving is causing a traffic crash that injures or kills.

  Follow these tips to stay safe on the road this holiday season:

 If you plan on drinking, do not drive.  Plan ahead and designate a sober driver before you get in the vehicle.  Even one drink can impair your judgment and increase the risk of getting arrested for drunk driving, or worse, risk injury or death to someone in a crash.
 If you have been drinking, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member or use public transportation to get to your destination safely.
 Download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app, available on Google Play for Android devices and Apple’s i Tunes Store for iOS devices.  SaferRide allows users to call a taxi or a predetermined friend and identifies the user’s location so he or she can be picked up.
 Promptly report drunk drivers to law enforcement.
 Always wear your seat belt or use protective equipment while on a motorcycle.  These items are your best defense against an impaired driver.

  For more information on the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov or call the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136.  For information on Arkansas’ “Toward Zero Deaths” campaign to eliminate preventable traffic fatalities, visit www.TZDarkansas.org.

Additional Information Contact:
ASP Highway Safety Office – Ann Whitehead

(501) 618-8133 – ann.whitehead@asp.arkansas.gov


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ARKANSAS STATE POLICE INVESTIGATING FATAL STUTTGART SHOOTING; SUSPECT IN CUSTODY

Published: 11/27/2017

Special Agents with the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division, along with the Stuttgart Police Department, are investigating a deadly shooting that occurred at approximately 3:20 yesterday afternoon (Sunday, November 26th, 2017) at 400 North Lowe Street in Stuttgart. 

   Stuttgart Police Officers responded to the above address where they found Charles Lindel Ice, 39, of Stuttgart, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.

   Ice was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The body was transported to the Arkansas State Crime Lab to determined manner and cause of death. 

   According to initial witness statements, Ice was involved in a physical altercation with Morgan McDonald, 30 of Stuttgart, before the shooting occurred. McDonald was located late yesterday evening, and taken into custody by the Arkansas State Police and the Stuttgart Police Department. McDonald is being held at the Arkansas County Detention Center on charges of First Degree Murder and Felon in Possession of a Firearm.

    The investigation is continuing.


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SEAT BELTS: A TOP PRIORITY FOR ARKANSAS LAW ENFORCEMENT ON PATROL THIS THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY

Published: 11/15/2017

Additional Information Contact:
ASP Highway Safety Office – Ann Whitehead
(501) 618-8133  –  ann.whitehead@asp.arkansas.gov

(LITTLE ROCK) - Traveling during the Thanksgiving holiday will be on the rise and more state troopers, county sheriff’s deputies, local police and officers of other departments will be out to make sure drivers and passengers are properly using their seat belts.

  Arkansas law enforcement officers will participate in a holiday Click It or Ticket campaign.  The stepped-up enforcement covers a seven day period beginning Monday, November 20th.

  Seat belt usage has been proven to save lives and with millions of Americans on the road during the holiday, law enforcement officers want to make certain everyone gets to their destination and returns home safely.

  The Click It or Ticket campaign is designed to save lives by combining powerful messages to the public about seat belt safety with increased law enforcement patrols aimed at unbuckled motorists.

  “More than half of the people who died in fatal traffic crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday period of 2015 were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “This year we’ll be out in full force looking for drivers and passengers who are not buckled up.  Violators will be pulled over and ticketed.”

  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), during the 2015 Thanksgiving holiday period (6 p.m. on Wednesday, November 25, through 5:59 a.m. on Monday, November 30), there were 301 passenger vehicle occupants killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes nationwide, and 53 percent of those killed were not wearing seat belts.

  Many of these tragic deaths could have been prevented by seat belt use.  According to NHTSA research, proper seat belt use reduces the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers by 45 percent and the risk of moderate to serious injury by 50 percent.

  During calendar year 2015, nationwide, seat belts were credited with saving the lives of 13,941 passenger vehicle occupants.

  For more information about the Click It or Ticket Thanksgiving campaign, visit trafficsafetymarketing.gov or call the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136. For more on Arkansas’ ongoing Toward Zero Deaths campaign to eliminate preventable traffic fatalities, visit TZDArkansas.org.


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STATE POLICE INVESTIGATING MONTICELLO HOMICIDE

Published: 11/14/2017

Arnold LaRon White Sr., 55, of Monticello has been arrested and is being held at the Drew County Detention Center on manslaughter charges in connection with a homicide investigation being lead by Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division.

 Authorities within the Monticello Police Department contacted state police today (Tuesday, November 14, 2017) requesting assistance in the investigation into the death of Harold Miller Jr., 54, also of Monticello.

 A shooting incident involving both men was reported to Monticello Police about 12:25 PM today at 513 West Shelton where officer found officers found Miller dead.

 Miller’s body will be transported to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory for purposes of an autopsy.  The state police will prepare an investigative file and submit the findings to the Drew County prosecuting attorney.


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STATE POLICE COMMISSIONERS APPROVE SERGEANT PROMOTIONS

Published: 11/09/2017

    During a meeting of the Arkansas State Police Commission today, commissioners approved the following recommendations for promotion presented for consideration by Colonel Bryant: 

    Corporal Bobby Clemence, 45, of Boone County, has been promoted to the rank of sergeant and will assume duties as assistant commander of the department’s Aircraft Division, headquartered at Little Rock.

    Sergeant Clemence is an eighteen year veteran of the department.  

    Corporal Jeffery Plouch, 37, of Saline County, has been promoted to the rank of sergeant and will assume post supervisor duties within Highway Patrol Division, Troop A.

    Sergeant Plouch is a nine year veteran of the department.


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ARKANSAS STATE POLICE INVESTIGATING CLARKSVILLE OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING

Published: 11/04/2017

   Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division are investigating an officer involved shooting that occurred at approximately 6:36 this evening, (Saturday, November 04, 2017) in the city of Clarksville, Johnson County.

    Nyung Kyee, 56, has been identified as the individual who died after he reportedly brandished a knife at a local law enforcement officer. 

    A Clarksville Police Officer was attempting to make a traffic stop on the vehicle driven by Kyee at the intersection of Taylor Street and Cline Road in Clarksville. According to initial statements, upon Kyee coming to a stop he immediately stepped out of the vehicle and brandished the weapon. The officer fired their weapon striking Kyee, who was pronounced dead on scene.  The body will be transported to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory for examination.

    No law enforcement officers were injured during the incident. Questions relating to the identity of law enforcement officer or their administrative status should be directed to Clarksville Police Department.

  Upon completion of the investigation, state police special agents will submit an investigative file to the Johnson County prosecuting attorney for consideration to determine whether use of deadly force by a law enforcement officer was justified as defined by state laws.


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BATESVILLE OFFICER INJURED IN OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING; ASP INVESTIGATING

Published: 11/04/2017

   The Batesville Police Department has asked for the assistance of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division after an officer involved shooting that occurred last night that left one of their own injured. 

    Around 7:40 PM yesterday evening (November 3rd), a Batesville Police Department officer responded to a residence located on Neeley Street in Batesville. 

    The officer made contact with Marvin Stair, 44, who immediately fired a gun at the officer striking him multiple times. The officer returned fire, retreated to cover, and called for assistance. 

    According to initial statements, as additional officers were arriving at the residence, Marvin Stair appeared from the front door of the home and pointed a rifle at them, leading police to fire on the suspect.  

    Stair was pronounced dead at the scene. His body will be turned-over to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory for examination.

    Questions relating to the identity or administrative status of the injured officer or other officers involved in the shooting should be directed to the Batesville Police Department.

    Upon completion of the investigation, Arkansas State Police Special Agents assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division will present an investigative file to the prosecuting attorney for determination of whether use of deadly force was consistent with Arkansas laws.


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DIS Honored with Governors Digital Transformation Award

Published: 11/01/2017



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THREE STATE POLICE PROMOTIONS APPROVED BY ASP COMMISSION

Published: 10/12/2017

  The Arkansas State Police Commission today approved three recommendations for promotion presented for consideration by Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police.

  Sergeant Michael Moyer, 42, of Faulkner County, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant.  He will serve in an assistant command role within the department’s Regulatory and Building Operations Division.

  Lieutenant Moyer is a thirteen year veteran of the department.

  Corporal David Jones, 45, of Independence County, was promoted to the rank of sergeant.  He will serve as a post supervisor within the department’s Highway Patrol Division, Troop B.

  Sergeant Jones is a seventeen year veteran of the department.

  Corporal Kevin Brown, 38, of Van Buren County, was promoted to the rank of sergeant.  He will serve as a supervisor within the department’s Criminal Investigation Division, Company D.

  Sergeant Brown is a twelve year veteran of the department.


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CONWAY COUNTY DEATH UNDER INVESTIGATION

Published: 10/08/2017

  Officials of the Conway County Sheriff’s Department have asked the Arkansas State Police to conduct an investigation involving an in-custody death that occurred Sunday, October 8, 2017.

  During the 4 AM hour sheriff’s deputies responded to a disturbance call outside a residence at 29 Oliger Drive, near the Springfield community, north of Plumerville.

  As deputies approached the location they encountered Regina Twist, 36 of Hot Springs.  An altercation reportedly began involving Twist and the deputies.  In an attempt to gain control of Twist, deputies used chemical agent and a Taser.

  Twist was subsequently handcuffed and became unresponsive.  Twist was transported to a Morrilton hospital where she later died.

  Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division will collect evidence and statements of witnesses.  The woman’s body is being transported to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory for purposes of an autopsy to determine the manner and cause of death.

  An investigative file will be submitted by the state police to the prosecuting attorney.

  Questions relating to the identities of sheriff’s deputies present at the time of the arrest and their administrative status should be directed to the Conway County Sheriff’s Office.


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ARKANSAS PHARMACISTS READY WITH NALOXONE PROTOCOL; STATE TROOPERS EQUIPPED & TRAINED TO ADMINISTER NARCAN

Published: 09/11/2017

  The Arkansas State Police recently distributed to each trooper two doses of Narcan that can be used as any trooper encounters a victim of an opioid overdose.  Now, the Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy and the Arkansas Pharmacists Association have developed a Naloxone protocol that can be used much like the protocols for administering immunizations with any prescriptions initialized being in the name of the prescriber on the protocol.

  Whenever an individual presents at the pharmacy and is individually at risk for an opioid related overdose due to current prescription therapy or other drug use, the pharmacist may initiate a prescription for that individual and bill the patient’s insurance if available for the Naloxone being provided. If insurance is not available in this instance then it would be a cash pay (credit) transaction.

  Whenever an individual presents at the pharmacy who is a family member, friend, or other person who is in a position to assist an individual with an increased risk of an opioid overdose (which could include Law Enforcement, First Responders, teachers, school nurses…), the pharmacist may initiate a prescription for that individual to be used for anyone they come in contact with that is experiencing an opioid overdose. This would likely be a cash transaction unless there is other guidance from an insurance provider allowing for billing in this scenario.

  It is important to read not only the clarifying language in the act but also the related statewide Naloxone Protocol and counsel patients on how these products are used. It is also important to note that the Naloxone protocol can serve as a fact sheet to be provided to patients as required in the law and finally, if for an individual person you must ask if they have a primary care physician and notify them of the purchase of Naloxone when using this protocol. If they have a primary care physician and a secondary provider that is writing for opioids it would be useful to notify them as well.

  Finally, we would suggest looking at the Naloxone PowerPoint that the Board of Pharmacy and State Drug Director’s office has been using as an educational tool as well as looking at options for smartphone apps such as OpiRescue and NARCAN Now that can walk patients through the process of using Naloxone for a potential opioid overdose. The most important point you can make to each person counseled on Naloxone use is to emphasize that this is a temporary fix that requires further medical attention due to the fact that Naloxone will wear off before the opioids on board and a patient can go back into overdose as the Naloxone wears off.  Always seek further medical treatment to keep the patient stabilized. Also know that there is an immunity protection for individuals who are both supplying as well as administering Naloxone to a person suspected to be in an opioid overdose situation.

Click here to download a copy of the Naloxone Protocol.

Click here to download a copy of Act 284 authorizing pharmacists to initiate therapy and administer and/or dispense Naloxone.

Click here to download a copy of the Naloxone PowerPoint (10 MB) or here for a pdf version of the presentation.

Click here to see Governor Hutchinson's press conference announcing the Naloxone protocol initiative.


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STATE TROOPERS PREPARING FOR CHALLENGE OF WEEKDAY RAZORBACK GAME TRAFFIC

Published: 08/29/2017

Arkansas State Troopers are preparing to meet the traffic challenges of a weekday Razorback football game at War Memorial Stadium located in central Little Rock this week.

  Beginning at 3 PM Thursday (August 31st) troopers will implement game day changes at major intersections in the vicinity of War Memorial Stadium along Interstate 630. 

  • Traffic will be blocked from entering the westbound on-ramp of I-630 at the Pine/Cedar interchange.  Pine and Cedar Streets (north) will be used by drivers exiting I-630 to access stadium or nearby parking.
  • The northern-most lane of I-630 westbound from Pine/Cedar west to Fair Park will be restricted for use by traffic destined for stadium area parking only.
  • The eastbound exit ramp from I-630 onto Fair Park will be closed.

  While no changes in traffic routes are planned for I-30 or I-430, motorists should expect traffic volume to be at, or near capacity. 

  East and westbound traffic along Markham Street between downtown and Rodney Parham Road is expected to be particularly impacted during the rush hour as business and government employees leave work.  Motorists who do not plan to attend the game are encouraged to find alternate routes traveling north or south of their usual routes of travel.


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POLICE OFFICER AND BYSTANDER WOUNDED IN OVERNIGHT SHOOTING; SUSPECT DEAD

Published: 08/26/2017

   Michael Malik Kawon Lee, 18, of Little Rock was fatally shot by a Pine Bluff Police Officer earlier today following a disturbance and fight that left one police officer and a bystander wounded by gunfire.

   Pine Bluff Police and Kyle Hunter, 11th Judicial District (west) Prosecuting Attorney, requested the incident to be investigated by special agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division.

   Witnesses stated that several individuals had gathered outside the Harbor Oaks Restaurant about 12:30 AM.  The restaurant is located along the northern edge of the city within the Pine Bluff Regional Park.

   Pine Bluff Police Officers intervened as an altercation erupted on the restaurant parking lot.  One police officer attempted to pull Lee from the fight.  Lee then shot the officer, wounding him in the leg.  The wound is not believed to be life threatening.

   Lee then reportedly attempted to flee from the area when a second police officer fired his weapon striking Lee who died at the scene.

   Asia Amos, 19, was also wounded by gunfire during the incident.  Her wound is not believed to be life threatening.  State police special agents will attempt to determine the source of the gunshot that wounded Amos.

   Lee’s body will be transported to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory for purposes of an autopsy and forensic examination.

   Upon completion of the investigation by state police, the investigative file will be turned-over to Prosecuting Attorney Hunter for review and consideration of whether the shooting by police was consistent with Arkansas laws relating to use of deadly force by a law enforcement officers.

   Public inquiries regarding the identities of the police officers and their administrative status should be directed to the Pine Bluff Police Department.


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DREW COUNTY DEPUTY KILLED IN CRASH; ARKANSAS STATE POLICE INVESTIGATING

Published: 08/24/2017

  Drew County Deputy Sheriff Timothy Braden, 29, was killed in the line of duty this morning following a motor vehicle pursuit that ended in a crash just outside Monticello along Barkada Road.

  At approximately 1:35 AM (Thursday, August 24th), Deputy Braden initiated a traffic stop involving a vehicle driven by Samuel Vincent, 24, of Monticello.  Vincent refused to stop and fled.

  Both vehicles were subsequently involved in a crash resulting in the death of Deputy Braden and injuries to Vincent.

  An investigation of the crash and pursuit is underway involving both the Arkansas State Police Highway Patrol Division and Criminal Investigation Division.  The Arkansas State Police investigation is being conducted at the request of authorities within the Drew County Sheriff’s Department.

  Vincent has been taken into custody and is being held at the Ashley County Detention Center on the authority of Thomas Deen, 10th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney. 


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Foodborne Illness Investigation Update

Published: 08/23/2017

Little Rock, Ark. Since Friday, August 18, the ADH has received and is investigating approximately 30 reports of people ill with what is likely a foodborne illness. To date, we have four confirmed cases of salmonella. At this point, epidemiological information suggests that the Chuck Wagon Restaurant in Stuttgart, AR is the likely site of the outbreak. The ADH is taking steps to address this ou...

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Safety First for Solar Eclipse 2017

Published: 08/16/2017

Little Rock, Ark. On Monday, August 21, 2017 all of North America will experience an eclipse of the sun for the first time in 99 years. Arkansas can expect a partial eclipse where 80 to 97 percent of the sun will be covered by the moon. The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) wants to inform Arkansans about how they can safely view the solar eclipse. “It is never safe to look directly at the...

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West Nile Virus Disease Still in Arkansas, New Cases in 2017

Published: 08/15/2017

Little Rock, AR. The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are urging people to take steps to prevent West Nile virus infections. Outbreaks of West Nile virus disease occur each summer in the United States. The first two cases of 2017 were identified in Arkansas late last week. West Nile virus is transmitted to people by infected mosquitoes...

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Arkansas Food Inspection Portal Live on ADH Website

Published: 08/04/2017

Little Rock, Ark. Today, the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) hosted a media briefing and training to support the launch of the Arkansas Food Inspection Portal. This portal contains electronic copies of retail food inspection reports. To access the portal directly visit: https://foodserviceprod.adh.arkansas.gov/Web/inspection/publicinspectionsearch.aspx or visit the ADH website at www.healthy.a...

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Breastfeeding Significant for Optimizing Health

Published: 08/03/2017

Little Rock, Ark. Breastfeeding provides an important foundation for healthy eating, growth and development for babies. August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, and this year the focus is to reinforce the connections between breastfeeding and a broad spectrum of other health topics and initiatives. Breast milk is the most nutritious food for infants, and it plays a significant role in...

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Partnership to Stop the Bleed

Published: 08/02/2017

Little Rock, Ark. The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) has partnered with the Metropolitan Emergency Medical Services (MEMS), the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE), and Arkansas Children’s (ACH) to offer the “Stop the Bleed” Train-the-Trainer (T3) course for Arkansas School Nurses. The program provides bystanders the skills and basic training to stop uncontrolled bleeding in emergenc...

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Deputy Director, Chief Data Officer Added to Information Systems Leadership

Published: 08/02/2017

LITTLE ROCK-The Arkansas Department of Information Systems (DIS) announced the addition of Carder Hawkins and Dr. Richard Wang as deputy director and chief data officer (CDO) respectively. The announcement was made by DIS Director Yessica Jones, Monday, July 31, during an agency-wide employee meeting. Hawkins comes to DIS from the Arkansas Insurance Department (AID) where he served almost five ...

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Governor Joins DIS, ADE to Announce Completion of Arkansas Public School Computer Network High-Speed Broadband Upgrade

Published: 07/20/2017

LITTLE ROCK-Internet connectivity in the state’s K-12 school system has been catapulted to the top of the nation upon completion of a two-year project to upgrade the Arkansas Public School Computer Network (APSCN) to a highly secure, all fiber, high speed broadband network delivering internet speeds 40 times faster than the previous network. Governor Asa Hutchinson joined Yessica Jones, dire...

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Rabid Dog in Mississippi County

Published: 07/13/2017

Northeast Arkansas. For the first time in more than two decades, Mississippi County has a confirmed case of rabies. A dog from Mississippi County, Arkansas has tested positive for the virus. The dog was exposed to a skunk in mid-June of this year. All those who may have come into contact with the dog have been contacted for follow-up. Residents are reminded to keep pets up-to-date on rabies vaccin...

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Case of Heartland virus found in Arkansas resident

Published: 07/07/2017

Little Rock, Ark. Arkansas has identified its first case of Heartland virus, a relatively new tickborne disease, in an individual living in the northwest part of the state. People become infected with Heartland virus through the bite of the Lone Star tick. Patients are most likely to be diagnosed with Heartland virus from May to September. Heartland virus causes a flu-like illness, including ...

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DIS Kicks Off Data Center Optimization Initiative

Published: 07/07/2017

LITTLE ROCK-The Arkansas Department of Information Systems kicked off an initiative to maximize the capacity of the state’s data center assets and unify the state IT infrastructure by hosting educational sessions for state agency directors and chief information officers June 29, 2017, at the Arkansas Real Estate Commission. “The first step is an assessment of the IT landscape to include inf...

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Cross Receives Leadership Award from Technology Society

Published: 07/06/2017

LITTLE ROCK-Krissy Cross, field support technician, with the Arkansas Department of Information Systems (DIS), received the 2016 Leadership Award from the Arkansas Society for Technology in Education (ARKSTE), during the annual Hot Springs Technology Institute Conference, June 14-15, 2017, in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The award recipient is nominated by a peer for demonstrating leadership in infor...

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Fireworks, Food and Swim Safety

Published: 07/03/2017

Little Rock, Ark. With the Fourth of July approaching, now is a good time to learn about firework, food, and swim safety. Fireworks-related injuries are most common on the Fourth of July. Improper use of fireworks can lead to death and injury, including burns, cuts, and foreign objects in the eye. To prevent injury, keep these safety tips in mind: • Read all labels and instructions before ...

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Department of Health to issue same-sex birth certificates

Published: 06/29/2017

Little Rock, Ark. After conferring with the offices of the Governor and the Attorney General, the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) will now begin issuing birth certificates for same-sex couples who utilized artificial insemination and were married at the time of the birth of their child. Amended birth certificates will only be issued in cases where the birth mother is listed on the certific...

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Medical marijuana patient card applications available June 30

Published: 06/21/2017

Little Rock, Ark. The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) will start accepting applications for medical marijuana registry identification cards on June 30. These cards will allow patients or caregivers to purchase medical marijuana at a licensed dispensary. Currently, there are no licensed medical marijuana dispensaries in Arkansas. Cards will be issued to qualifying patients and caregivers ap...

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PCR test for Lyme disease is not FDA-approved

Published: 06/19/2017

Little Rock, Ark. Certain tests have not proven to be reliable for use in the diagnosis of Lyme disease and are not recommended by ADH or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), even if they are promoted by some labs or doctors. Tests that have not been approved include: Lyme Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests, capture assays for antigens in urine, reverse Western Blots, and measu...

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Rise of Shigellosis in Northeast Arkansas

Published: 05/23/2017

Northeast Ark. The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) is continuing to see cases in Northeast Arkansas of Shigellosis, an infectious disease that commonly causes diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps. Shigellosis is caused by the Shigella bacteria and is very contagious. The ADH urges residents to wash their hands and take other protective measures to keep Shigella from spreading. Shigella is spr...

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Health Department Urges Safety During Flood Clean-Up

Published: 05/11/2017

Little Rock, Ark. As residents and volunteers clean up after flooding in the state, the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) urges anyone involved in clean up to be aware of the health risks. Flood water and sewer overflows can contain bacteria, viruses and other organisms that cause disease. Tetanus Due to the likelihood of a debris-related injury after a flood, it is recommended that all resp...

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DIS Leaders, K-12 Broadband Upgrade Receive Top 50 Awards

Published: 05/01/2017

LITTLE ROCK-Executive leaders from the Arkansas Department of Information Systems (DIS) and the project to upgrade the Arkansas Public School Computer Network (APSCN) to high-speed broadband were recognized with top awards from StateScoop, a government information technology media company in Washington D.C., Tuesday, April 23, in Crystal City, Virginia. The state received a total of seven nominati...

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Healthy Active Arkansas Hosts Community Ambassador Training

Published: 04/25/2017

Little Rock, Ark. The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) hosted a training event on Saturday, April 22 about Healthy Active Arkansas (HAA). Attendees were community youth leaders and pageant contestants who learned how to incorporate HAA into their civic and community platforms. HAA is the 10-year initiative that the Governor endorsed to increase the percentage of Arkansans who are at a healthy w...

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Radioactive Gauge Recovered

Published: 04/20/2017

Little Rock, AR. The Arkansas Department of Health Radiation Control Section received notification that the Troxler Electronic Laboratories Gauge (Model 3440, Serial Number 15160) reported stolen on April 19, 2017, was recovered. There is no evidence to indicate that the gauge posed a health risk to anyone this time.

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STOLEN RADIOACTIVE GAUGE

Published: 04/19/2017

(Little Rock) The Arkansas Department of Health, Radiation Control Section received notification that a gauge containing radioactive material has been stolen from a business in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The device contains shielding and is not dangerous if it remains intact. However, the device could present a radiation hazard if it was damaged and the radioactive sources were exposed or removed from...

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Arkansas Department of Health Recognizes Hospitals for Stroke Care Performance

Published: 04/19/2017

Little Rock, Ark. The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) will formally recognize 12 hospitals for excellence in stroke care performance at the Arkansas Chronic Disease Forum and Cardiovascular Disease Summit April 20, 2017 at the Benton Events Center. The 2017 Arkansas Chronic Disease Forum and Cardiovascular Disease Summit aims to integrate health systems and communities by bringing together ...

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ADH Celebrates Public Health Week April 3-7

Published: 04/04/2017

Little Rock, Ark.--The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) is celebrating National Public Health Week (NPHW) April 3-7. NPHW is observed during the first full week of April each year. During the week, health professionals connect with individuals and communities to show how public health helps Arkansans improve their own health, protects them from epidemics and provides preventive health servic...

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DIS Director Yessica Jones Selected Among Top Women in Technology

Published: 03/23/2017

LITTLE ROCK�"Arkansas Department of Information Systems Director Yessica Jones has been named among the Top Women in Technology for 2017 by StateScoop, a leading Government IT media company in Washington, D.C. Jones was selected for an inaugural list of an elite group of women across state and local government created to recognize their efforts for working to improve government and the lives...

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Gov. Hutchinson Appoints Yessica Jones Director of DIS

Published: 03/17/2017

LITTLE ROCK-Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced the appointment of Yessica Jones as the Director of the Department of Information Systems (DIS). Jones served as Deputy Director of DIS before being named Interim Director after the departure of Mark Myers in November of last year. Governor Hutchinson released the following statement: “I am pleased to announce Yessica Jones as the Direct...

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DIS Announces Launch of Technology-Focused Internship Program

Published: 03/09/2017

March 9, 2017 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Janet Wilson, Public Information Manager Arkansas Department of Information Systems 501.683.1791 Janet.wilson@arkansas.gov DIS Announces Launch of Technology-Focused Internship Program LITTLE ROCKâ€"University students enrolled in an information systems or computer science-related field of study now have the opportunity to gain hands on j...

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Tickborne Disease in Arkansas

Published: 02/23/2017

Little Rock, Ark. - Recently, the Arkansas Department of Health determined that two cases of tickborne disease met the surveillance definition for Lyme disease. A case in Arkansas has not met the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) surveillance definition since 2007. Arkansas is considered a low-incidence state for Lyme cases by the CDC. Arkansas is in the low-incidence catego...

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Flu Cases On The Rise

Published: 02/17/2017

Little Rock, Ark. - The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) is urging Arkansans to get their flu shot this flu season. ADH is now reporting “widespread” flu activity around the state to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Clinics in Arkansas are experiencing a high level of flu and flu-like illnesses in the state, which is consistent with the high level of flu being seen t...

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Legislature Begins 2017 Session With Income Tax Cuts and Medical Marijuana

Published: 01/18/2017

LITTLE ROCK - The Arkansas legislature convened the 2017 regular session with tax cuts, Medicaid and medical marijuana are at the top of its agenda. Also, legislators will consider a package of bills that would change the state's child welfare system and how neglected children are placed in foster care. Two types of tax cuts have been proposed. The governor wants to lower individual income ta...

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Fiscal Policy Will Take Priority During 2017 Legislative Session

Published: 01/04/2017

LITTLE ROCK - When the 91st General Assembly convenes on January 9, lawmakers will quickly take up fiscal policy because the outcome of many proposed bills will depend on how much money is available. That means one of the major questions for legislators will be how much of a tax reduction is possible, and which types of taxes will be lowered. The governor has proposed a drop in individual incom...

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2016 Brought Personal Income Tax Cuts

Published: 01/04/2017

LITTLE ROCK - One of the most important developments in state government in 2016 was the full implementation of lower personal income taxes for about 688,000 middle class Arkansas taxpayers. Combined with other tax cuts approved by the legislature in 2015, the reduced income taxes will save Arkansas families about $100 million a year. Even taking into account lower revenue due to the tax cuts...

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Christmas at the Capitol

Published: 12/15/2016

Governor Asa Hutchinson and members of the Arkansas legislature will collect gifts for children in the state's foster care system between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. today, Thursday, December 15, in the Old Supreme Court Room of the State Capitol. Please bring your gifts unwrapped.

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Legislators Face Uphill Battle Improving Juvenile Detention Facilities

Published: 12/14/2016

LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas lawmakers face an ongoing challenge to improve the state juvenile justice system. The latest issue arises from a contract that the state Division of Youth Services wants to sign with a private company to operate seven secure detention facilities for youths. After the division announced that it would award the contract to an Indiana firm, two Arkansas organizations that pre...

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First Meeting of Medical Marijuana Commission to Be Monday, December 12

Published: 12/09/2016

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission will meet at 2 p.m. on Monday, December 12, in the Alcoholic Beverage Control Conference Room of the 1515 Building at 1515 West Seventh Street, Little Rock, AR 72201.

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Foreign Trade Is Growing in Importance for Arkansas Businesses

Published: 12/07/2016

LITTLE ROCK - Businessmen and state economic development officials understand that Arkansas is part of a global market place, and that many of their customers and much of their competition is overseas. Last year Arkansas companies exported $5.9 billion worth of products and services. Since 2010 the value of Arkansas exports has risen 12.5 percent. Over a three year period the average rate of gr...

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Committee Assignments for 2017 Legislative Session

Published: 12/06/2016



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Governor Designates Jones as Acting Director

Published: 11/30/2016

Yessica Jones, deputy director of the Arkansas Department of Information Systems (DIS), was designated by Gov. Asa Hutchinson to serve as acting director when the position was vacated by former director, Mark Myers, Wednesday, November 23, 2016. “I am honored for the full support and confidence of Governor Hutchinson in my ability to lead DIS through a time of transition,” Jones said. “I ...

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Division of Children and Family Services Wants to Add 228 Employees

Published: 11/30/2016

LITTLE ROCK - Adding 228 employees is one of several strategies proposed by the Division of Children and Family Services to improve the state's child welfare system, which division officials say is in crisis. In a recent report, the Division outlined several problems and proposed solutions. High employee turnover, high caseloads and lack of experienced staff were factors in most of the critical...

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Legislative Joint Audit

Published: 11/21/2016

LEGISLATIVE JOINT AUDITING COMMITTEE Hickey, Jr., Jimmy, CO- CHAIR DISTRICT MEMBERS 1ST 1. Williams, Eddie Joe 2. Ingram, Keith 3. Johnson, Blake 4. Collins-Smith, Linda 2ND 1. English, Jane 2. Sanders, David 3. Bond, Will 4. Elliott, Joyce 3RD 1. Bledsoe, Cecile 2. Lindsey, Uvalde 3. Standridge, Greg 4. Eads, ...

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Legislative Council

Published: 11/21/2016

The Senate members of the Legislative Council Committee shall select one member of the committee as Co-Chair and one member of the committee as Co-Vice Chair ARKANSAS LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL Sample, Bill CO- CHAIR VICE-CHAIR DISTRICT MEMBER 1ST ALTERNATE 1ST 1. Irvin, Missy Williams, Eddie Joe 2. Caldwell, Ronald Johnson, Blake 3. Cooper, John Collins-Smith, Linda ...

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Joint Budget Committee

Published: 11/21/2016

The Senate members of the Joint Budget Committee shall select one member of the committee as Co-Chair and one member of the committee as Co-Vice Chair. JOINT BUDGET COMMITTEE Teague, Larry Co-Chair _______________________ Co-Vice Chair JOINT BUDGET COMMITTEE MEMBERS 1st Congressional District 1. Irvin, Missy 2. Williams, Eddie Joe 3. Caldw...

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Committee Assignments for 2017

Published: 11/21/2016



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Senate Standing Committee Assignments, 91st General Assembly

Published: 11/16/2016

Public Health, Welfare and Labor: Cecile Bledsoe, Chair Eddie Cheatham, Vice Chair Stephanie Flowers John Cooper Scott Flippo Lance Eads Missy Irvin David Sanders Revenue and Taxation Jake Files, Chair Larry Teague, Vice Chair Jonathan Dismang Bruce Maloch Keith Ingram Jimmy Hickey, Jr. Jason Rapert Bill Sample Education Jane English, Chair Joyce Elliott, Vice Chair Linda ...

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Governor Presents Balanced to Legislature

Published: 11/16/2016

LITTLE ROCK - As required by law, the governor proposed a balanced budget for state government for the next two fiscal years and presented it at legislative budget hearings. The recommendation will be the starting point for the legislature to use for adopting state agency spending levels. Lawmakers are meeting in budget hearings now, in preparation for the regular legislative session that begin...

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Senate Education Committee Recommends 1 Percent Increase in School Funding

Published: 11/09/2016

LITTLE ROCK - The Senate Education Committee voted to recommend an increase in state funding of public schools next year of about 1 percent. The vote culminated months of work during which the committee met 20 times and staff surveyed administrators of dozens of school districts and conducted on-site interviews with principals. Their purpose was to determine what level of funding is needed to p...

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Election Officials Expect Increased Voter Turnout in Arkansas Because of Presidential Race

Published: 11/02/2016

LITTLE ROCK - When there is a race for president on the ballot, voter turnout in Arkansas goes up. This year it looks as if voter turnout is going up even more than usual for a presidential election year, according to estimates by officials in the Secretary of State's office. Based on turnout in past elections and in this year's primary in March, election officials estimate that voter turnout w...

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State Supreme Court Strikes Two Ballot Issues

Published: 10/26/2016

LITTLE ROCK - The state Supreme Court has stricken Issues Four and Five because of legal questions about their ballot titles, so any votes cast for them on November 8 will not be counted. Issue Four would have limited the amount of damages that could be awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits. Issue Five would have authorized private companies to open casinos in Washington, Boone and Miller ...

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Task Force Recommends Criminal Justice Changes

Published: 10/19/2016

LITTLE ROCK - A legislative task force on criminal justice has recommended changes in sentencing laws with the goal of controlling overcrowding of jails and prisons. The legislature will consider the recommendations during the 2017 regular session, which begins in January. Some proposals would require additional state funding, so the preliminary work on prison reform will necessarily take place...

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Mumps outbreak in northwest Arkansas continues to grow

Published: 10/12/2016

Little Rock, Ark. - The northwest Arkansas Mumps outbreak continues to grow, with 492 individuals involved in the outbreak as of today. Cases have been seen in the Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville, and Huntsville school districts. The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) is urging residents in these areas to make sure they and their loved ones are up-to-date on their Mumps, Measles, Rubella (MMR) va...

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Legislative Budget Hearings Begin

Published: 10/12/2016

LITTLE ROCK - Legislators are beginning a lengthy and detailed review of all state agency spending requests in preparation for the regular session that begins in January. Setting a balanced budget for state government every year is the most time-consuming duty of the legislature. Budget hearings begin October 11, and the process of reviewing government spending will continue through the sessio...

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Governor Proposes Using Tobacco Settlement Money to Remove People with Developmental Disabilities from Waiting List

Published: 10/05/2016

LITTLE ROCK -From 500 to 900 people with developmental disabilities would move off the current waiting list and receive home-based or community-based services under a plan announced by the governor. He proposed allocating about $8.5 million from the state's tobacco settlement revenue to provide the services and shorten the waiting list, which now has about 3,000 people on it. Under the formula ...

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Arkansas's Gov2Go Personal Government Assistant Wins National Innovative Technology Award

Published: 09/20/2016

LITTLE ROCK-The state of Arkansas’s citizen-centric personal government assistant, Gov2Go, won top honors from among four award finalists in the category of Emerging and Innovative Technology in the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) 28th consecutive State IT Recognition Awards at its annual conference this week in Orlando, Florida. The prestigious award program...

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Myers Elected to Executive Committee of National Association for State Government Information Technology Executives and Managers

Published: 09/19/2016

Arkansas Department of Information Systems (DIS) Director Mark Myers was elected to serve as a director on the executive committee of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO). Myers was elected during NASCIO’s annual conference, Sept. 18-21, in Orlando, Florida. “I am honored for the opportunity to serve alongside an esteemed group of chief information officers ...

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Arkansas Hospitals and EMS Recognized at State Capitol for Stroke Patient Care

Published: 09/15/2016

Little Rock, Ark. - Governor Asa Hutchinson and Arkansas Surgeon General Greg Bledsoe joined officials with the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) to recognize healthcare teams for their commitment to excellent stroke patient care. Today, nine medical facilities received designation as Arkansas Stroke Ready Hospitals (ArSRHs) and eight Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agencies were recognized...

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Three Proposed Amendments Referred By Legislature Will Be on November Ballots

Published: 09/14/2016

LITTLE ROCK - Depending on the outcome of multiple legal challenges now being considered by the state Supreme Court, as many as six proposed constitutional amendments and one proposed initiated act may be on the November 8 general election ballot in Arkansas. Four of the proposals are being challenged by advocacy groups that oppose them. However, three of the measures were referred by the legisla...

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Lawmakers Tackle Problems of Restitution for Crime Victims

Published: 09/07/2016

LITTLE ROCK - Making criminal offenders pay restitution to their victims is politically popular. However, Arkansas and other states have run into obstacles when they have tried to put in place effective systems for collecting damages. One problem is that offenders often have little or no money when they're released from prison and their prospects of getting a good job are severely diminished beca...

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Mumps outbreak in northwest Arkansas

Published: 08/31/2016

Little Rock, Ark. - The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) is investigating an outbreak of Mumps in the Springdale area after two cases have been confirmed and several suspected cases have been identified. This is the largest cluster of mumps cases that Arkansas has experienced since 2010. In response to the outbreak, ADH is requiring students in the same school with vaccine exemptions for th...

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State Police to Continue Traffic Safety Campaign Through Labor Day Holiday

Published: 08/31/2016

The State Police will continue its traffic safety campaign through the end of the Labor Day weekend. The State Police Highway Safety Office is partnering with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to stop drunk driving and save lives. Drinking alcohol was a factor in 162 traffic fatalities, or 40 percent of all deaths on the highway over the Labor Day weekend of 2014. Every year for...

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