LOCAL AND REGIONAL NEWS WITH RICK HOLT
Local News 060623
AR Weather Discussion
Most of Arkansas has a chance to see pop-up showers and storms during the afternoons and evenings for the upcoming work week, meteorologists with the National Weather Service said Monday.
Justin Condry, a meteorologist with the weather service in North Little Rock, said that most places have at least a 20 to 30% chance sometime in the week to see a storm.
Some severe thunderstorms flared up across the mid-south region Monday afternoon, with storm warnings issued for areas of eastern Arkansas, western Tennessee and northern Mississippi.
There was no measurable precipitation in the downtown Forrest City area, but some areas did receive some rainfall as a storm system brewed over the area for a brief time Monday afternoon.
Weather officials say that pop-up storms can produce more than a quarter inch of rain, small hail and damaging winds on occasion. They say that wind gusts with these storms are not high enough to be considered severe, but could still be as strong as 40 mph.
SFC Theft Investigation
The St. Francis County Sheriff’s Department recovered a stolen boat Monday afternoon (6/5).
A sheriff’s deputy responded to a residential property on SFC road 340, northeast of Caldwell, around 5 p.m. Monday at the request of Arkansas Game & Fish.
At the scene, the deputy spoke with Travis Anderson, who stated that he’d acquired a boat about a month ago and just now noticed that the boat’s VIN number had been removed, leading him to believe that it had been stolen.
The Game & Fish officer was able to run the boat’s VIN number, which revealed that it had been stolen out of Craighead County.
A suspect has been identified in the case. An arrest is pending.
SFC Theft Reports
The St. Francis County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a break-in at a storage shed out on SFC road 314, located off Barrow Hill Road, east of Caldwell.
Property owner Earl House told the deputy that someone broke into his shed and stole a shotgun and a 3-ton jack. Mr. House said that they also tried to steal his 4-wheeler but were unsuccessful.
No suspect has been identified in the case. The investigation is continuing.
In other news:
The St. Francis County Sheriff’s Department reports that an industrial size AC unit was reported stolen this week from a commercial property in Hughes.
Mr. Christopher Bynum from AT&T called the sheriff’s office Monday afternoon (6/5) to report that that a 5-ton Trane AC unit was stolen from the top of their building at 204 Maple Street in Hughes.
The value of the unit was estimated at around $8,000.
No suspects have been identified in the case. The investigation is ongoing.
AR LEARNS Update
Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin on Monday (6/5) certified ballot language for a proposed referendum to repeal the LEARNS Act.
The decision clears the way for Citizens for Arkansas Public Education and Students (CAPES), the group behind the repeal effort, to start gathering signatures to get their proposed referendum on the 2024 ballot.
Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed the LEARNS Act, her education overhaul bill, into law in March.
The Attorney General’s office had rejected two prior attempts by the group, saying their proposed ballot language was insufficient and misleading.
The legislation is a wide-ranging piece of legislation championed by Sanders, which includes raises for teachers, a new voucher program to allow students to use state dollars to attend a private or home school, a ban on Critical Race Theory and new literacy standards for elementary school students.
Monday’s decision was only the first hurdle the group had to clear to get their proposed referendum on the ballot. The group has until July 31 to collect about 54,000 signatures from registered voters which will have to come from voters in at least 50 different counties according to a new state law.
SBA Program Implemented
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) on Monday (6/5) announced full implementation of the Disaster Assistance for Rural Communities Act.
The Act states that “rural communities often face more severe impacts from natural disasters due to limited access to resources and infrastructure, which limits a community's ability to recover and avert long-lasting economic hardship.”
The Act authorizes the SBA to remove burdensome requirements for declaring disasters in rural communities.
The law authorizes the SBA to simplify the process for a governor or tribal government chief executive to request an agency disaster declaration in counties with rural communities that have experienced significant damage.
With the agency declaration, SBA is able to provide disaster assistance, including low-interest loans to individual renters and homeowners as well as nonprofit and for-profit businesses.
Prior to the Act, the SBA could only make an agency declaration based on damage to at least 25 homes or businesses, but now a declaration can be made with only one damaged property in a rural area when the county has received a major disaster declaration.
Since January 2021, SBA has supported federal response efforts and approved over $5 billion in disaster lending alone.
SFC Roundtable Event
A Prescription Drug/Opioid Overdose Community Roundtable event for St. Francis County will be held Wednesday (6/7) at 12:00 p.m. at Arisa Health, located at 4451 North Washington in Forrest City.
The purpose of the Roundtable event is to discuss the Prescription Drug/Opioid Overdose Crisis in St. Francis County and across the entire state of Arkansas.
The event will be hosted by the Criminal Justice Institute and will also be available for viewing on Facebook Watch Party @ Arkansas Overdose Program Don’t Run Call 911.
For more information contact Latrese Atkins at 501-570-8000.
AR Gas Prices
The average price of gasoline in the Natural State fell 2.6 cents in the last week. (Channel 8, Jonesboro)
GasBuddy.com reported Monday that the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in Arkansas fell to $3.09.
That’s 2.8 cents less than motorists paid a month ago and $1.30 less than a year ago.
The national average fell 3.9 cents last week to $3.51 per gallon. National diesel prices also fell 3.4 cents to $3.88 a gallon.
Despite the early summer respite, Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, warned the drop could be temporary after OPEC+ and Saudi Arabia recently announced production cuts.
He said that “as a result, oil prices are likely to see upward pressure as global supplies, which have remained tight, promise to become even tighter as a result.”
De Haan said that “any rise in average prices should be fairly small,” adding that “we’re still extremely unlikely to make a run at record prices anytime soon.”
--A book sale is going on all this week (June 5-9) at the Forrest City Public Library. Bag of books, $3. Audios/DVD’s, $1 each.
--The City Council of Forrest City will meet Tuesday (6/6) at 6 p.m. at City Hall.
--A free wellness screening event will be held Thursday, June 8th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Ferguson Room at the Forrest City Civic Center. Screenings will be conducted by clinical staff with the Lee County Cooperative Clinic. Anyone can participate in the screenings; no insurance information or pre-registration will be required.
--A Kids Fishing Derby is coming up Saturday, June 10th at the Ranger Pond at Mississippi River State Park in Marianna. Registration is at 7 a.m. with the Derby starting at 8 a.m. The free event is open to ages 12 or under. For more information, call park office at 870-295-4040.
--A Love Program in honor of Ornetha “Neicey” Anthony will be held Sunday, June 11th starting at 2:30 p.m. at Mt. Moriah M.B. Church in the Oak Forrest Community. Everyone is welcome to attend.
--A Mobile Food Distribution for St. Francis County is scheduled for Thursday, June 15, from 9 a.m. to 12-noon at the Larry Bryant Multi-Purpose Center. This is a drive-thru distribution. Recipients must stay in their vehicles. Commodity foods are distributed on a first come, first served basis.
--Funeral service for Hazel E. Kelso, 92, of Forrest City will be Tuesday (6/6) at 2 p.m. at New Prospect Missionary Baptist Church. Burial will follow at Loughridge Cemetery. Visitation will be Tuesday from 1 p.m. until the time of the service at the church. Stevens Funeral Home of Forrest City is in charge of arrangements.
--Funeral service for Jimmy F. Luttrell, 69, of Forrest City will be Wednesday (6/7) at 11 a.m. at Stevens Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will follow at Lindsey Cemetery. Visitation will be Wednesday from 10 a.m. until the time of the service at the funeral home. Stevens Funeral Home of Forrest City is in charge of arrangements.
--Graveside service for Virgina Marie Saylors, 73 of Helena will be Wednesday (6/7) at 11 a.m. at Marianna Memorial Cemetery. Visitation will be Wednesday starting at 10 a.m. at Marianna Funeral Home, which is in charge of arrangements.
--Funeral service for Robert Louis Orr Jr., 59, of Marianna will be Saturday (6/10) at 11 a.m. at Sequell MB Church in Rondo. Burial will follow at St. Mark Cemetery. Visitation will be Friday from 1-4 p.m. at Marianna Funeral Home, which is in charge of arrangements.
--Funeral service for Herman L. Reeves, 75, of Forrest City will be Saturday (6/10) at 12 p.m. at Salem Missionary Baptist Church in Forrest City. Burial will follow at Shady Grove Cemetery. Visitation will be Friday from 4-7 p.m. at Shady Grove Missionary Baptist Church. Miles Mortuary of Forrest City is in charge of arrangements.
Arkansas’ baseball season came to an end Monday as TCU won the NCAA Fayetteville Regional with a 12-4 victory over the Razorbacks at Baum-Walker Stadium.
The Horned Frogs (40-22) won their ninth consecutive game and advanced to play Indiana State later this week in the super regional round.
Arkansas (43-18), which was the No. 3 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, failed to make it out of the regional round for the first time since 2017.
The Razorbacks became the fifth host to lose a regional this week, and the third team to lose when it stood a chance to host a super-regional.
TCU became the first opposing team to beat Arkansas twice at Baum-Walker Stadium in 2023. The Razorbacks finished the season with a 32-6 record at home.
--FC Cheerleading Tryouts--
Forrest City Junior High School will hold a Cheerleading Tryout Clinic for students in the 6th through 9th grades today (Tuesday) and Wednesday (6/7), both days at 4:30 p.m.
The clinic will be held at the Jr. High School. The cost is $30. Students must have an updated sports physical and must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
The actual tryouts for the Jr. High cheerleading team will be held Thursday (6/8) at 4:30 p.m.
For more information contact LaSandra Bean by email at email@example.com.
The Forrest City Mini-Mustangs will hold a try-out clinic Friday, Saturday and Sunday (June 9-11) for girls in Kindergarten through 5th grade.
The cost for the clinic is $20 and all three sessions will be held in the Central Wellness Center on the following schedule:
*Friday, 2-4 p.m.
*Saturday, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
*Sunday, 12-2 p.m.
The girls will learn a cheer, a chant, and a dance during the Friday and Saturday sessions. On Sunday, they will showcase what they've learned for the judges.
Returning team members are expected to participate in the tryouts as well.
For more information, text 870-317-0572.
SFC Extension Report
Father’s Day is coming up Sunday, June 18th.
In her educational report this month, St. Francis County Family and Consumer Science Agent Marla Lane talks about the critical role that Dads play in the family unit:
Thanks Ms. Lane.
June is National Men’s Health Month.
St. Francis County Family Consumer Science Agent Marla Lane has some tips to help men live longer and healthier:
That’s Marla Lane, Family and Consumer Science Agent from the St. Francis County Extension Office.
FCF FC Hiring Event
The Federal Correctional Complex in Forrest City will hold a job fair in West Memphis on June 8th.
FCC Forrest City is currently hiring Correctional Officers, a Psychologist, a Dentist, Registered Nurses and a Vocational Training Instructor.
The job fair is coming up Thursday, June 8th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at West Memphis High School. Interested persons are advised to bring a resume.
For more information, call 870-494-4271.
FC Summer Youth Work Program
Forrest City Mayor Larry S. Bryant has announced that the city’s Summer Youth Work Program will be up and running soon.
The program is expected to begin July 1 and run for approximately six weeks.
To be eligible for the program, interested persons:
--must be 16 to 18 years old
--must meet income eligibility
--must be eligible for TANF funded services or programs and/or receive free lunches
--must live in St. Francis, Lee or Monroe counties
--students will be required to provide copies of their driver’s license/school ID, birth certificate and social security card
Mayor Bryant is asking area businesses to help with the program by hiring youth participants, who will be paid $12 per hour through the grant cycle.
Call City Hall at 633-1315 for more information.
FCSD Summer Meals Program
The Forrest City School District will offer breakfast and lunch at three different locations this summer as part of the Summer Meals Program.
The sites for this year's program are:
--Forrest City High School Cafeteria
Monday – Thursday, June 6 - July 13
Breakfast: 7:30 to 9 a.m. and Lunch: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
--Central Elementary School Cafeteria
Monday – Friday, June 7 - July 19
Breakfast: 7:30 to 9 a.m. and Lunch: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
--Forrest City Junior High School Cafeteria
Monday – Friday, June 12 to July 12
Breakfast: 7:30 to 9 a.m. and Lunch: 10:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.
All meals must be eaten on site. The service is open to anyone 18 & younger.
For more information, contact the district’s Child Nutrition Department at 870-633-5668.
Lincoln HS Reunion
The 2023 Lincoln High School Reunion is scheduled for July 28-30th.
The deadline for payment of fees without a late fee is June 23 and the deadline for placing an ad in the reunion souvenir book is May 25.
Contact one of the following 2023 Reunion Committee members for more information: Rose Gatewood Ballard, Rosetta Conway Cochran, Connie Gates Cochran, Dorothy Clayborn Faulkner, Brooxine Cross Greene, Lena Davis Hutchins, Delois Cole James, Lawrence Love, Delores Farr Morelon, Nathaniel Murray Jr, Elizabeth Gregory Ray, Harold Rogers, Johnnie Toney, Dr. Theodis Thompson, Jacqueline Tabron Wade, Rene’ Jenkins Ward, Ruthie Cochran West and Rev. Ronald Williams.
All friends, students and faculty of Lincoln High School are welcome to attend this year’s reunion.
EACC Golf Tournament
East Arkansas Community College will host their twelfth annual EACC Golf Tournament, Monday, June 12th at the Forrest City Country Club to benefit the EACC Foundation.
This year’s co-sponsors for the tournament are Arkansas Concrete Co., Boar’s Head and Forrest City Medical Center. Hole sponsorships are still available.
The tournament will follow a 4-person scramble format. Entrants in the tournament may form their own teams or enter individually. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three teams in each flight.
A lunch buffet will be provided and check-in for players will begin at 11:30 a.m. The shotgun start begins at 1:00 p.m. The entry fee for players will be $125 for each player or $500 for each team of four, payable to the EACC Foundation.
All entries may be dropped off at the EACC Fine Arts Center or mailed to EACC Foundation, 1700 Newcastle Road, Forrest City, AR 72335. To ensure a tee time, register by Wednesday, June 8th. Registration forms are available online at EACC.edu or by calling 870-633-4480, ext. 352.
Red River Ford Toyota is sponsoring Hole-in-One Contests on three par three’s. Golfers will have a chance to win a 2023 Ford F-150. ‘Closest to the Pin’ contests on three holes will be sponsored by SFC Farm Bureau. There will also be a Putting Contest with a potential $5,000 cash prize.
For more information, contact Niki Jones at 870-633-4480, ext. 352.
MightyMite Volunteers Needed
The 2023 MightyMite Triathlon will be held on July 15th, 2023.
Volunteers are needed for the following areas:
• Swim Start Water Handout
• Transition Area 2 - EACC college. Water and monitoring
• Run Course Water Stop
• Post Race Food and Beverage
If you are interested in helping out, you can register online at https://mightymitetri.raceroster.com/ or email Adam Shelton, firstname.lastname@example.org
FC School Activities
The Forrest City School District is pleased to announce its Summer Enrichment Freedom School Program.
Students will be engaged in a four-week program from June 12 - July 12, each day from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The program is designed to strengthen academic skills in reading in a fun and interactive way. Students also engage in other afternoon activities that will help stimulate learning in the arts and physical activity.
The district provides transportation for students if needed and will provide access to two nutritious meals each day. The program is facilitated by trained Teachers and Servant Leader Interns.
Throughout the summer, students will also participate in field trips, celebrate their culture through music, and various enrichment activities.
Space is limited. To enroll, use the following links which can be accessed on the district’s Facebook page:
• K-3rd - https://forms.gle/HGCtXFCMQ9AzRuXr6
• 4-8th- https://forms.gle/8XPPmtNbEqEYpzuA7
EACC Summer Programs
The Community Education and Workforce Development programs at East Arkansas Community College have announced the Summer Schedule of classes for students of all ages.
The schedule offers a wide variety of unique Kids on Campus programs and camps including, Children’s Theater Camp, Pickleball Mania, Junior Golf, Basketball Camp, Youth Horseback Riding and Gymnastics.
Students in grades 3-5 will learn to design, build, program, and test their own custom robot.
Kids entering Kindergarten – 2nd grades should leave with new skills like milking cows and picking vegetables in the Let’s Go Farming class.
Preschool boys and girls ages 3 and 4 will learn about all about pirates, how to read a treasure map.
The Personal Interests and Senior Sage classes for adults age 50-plus include Yoga, Water Aerobics, Conditioning, Applied Piano, and more.
The schedule for Professional Development classes includes Healthcare Provider CPR intended for participants who provide healthcare to patients in a variety of settings.
The complete schedule of summer classes is available online at EACC.edu. Pre-registration is required for all classes and events.
For more information about classes, fees, and locations please call 870-633-4480, ext. 333.