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June 18

Like most areas of the country, the city of Forrest City continues to be plagued by the problem of gun violence.

Police records show that the city recently recorded its 7th homicide of the year.

Add to that, countless incidents of gun violence around the city that have resulted in personal injuries and property damage.

Forrest City Police Chief Deon Lee reached out to KXJK Radio this week to talk about some of the challenges and possible solutions to this problem:

                (Click here to listen)


June 18

Forrest City Police recovered drugs, stolen guns and made two felony arrests Thursday afternoon (6/17).

A Forrest City Police investigator was patrolling on Hwy 70 around 1 p.m. Thursday when he spotted a 17-year-old Forrest City juvenile in a vehicle at the Shell Superstop on East Broadway.

The officer was aware that the teenager had active felony warrants with Forrest City PD on three counts of attempted murder.

The officer called for back-up and just moments later police had the 17-year-old and the driver of the car in custody. The driver was ID’ed as 31-year-old Christopher Tripp of Forrest City.

The officers found that the juvenile was in possession of 2.8 grams of crack cocaine, a small amount of marijuana, some clear plastic baggies and $433 in cash, believed to be proceeds from the sale of narcotics.

Officers also searched ChristopherTripp and recovered 7.1 grams of crack cocaine and a small amount of marijuana.

Police also recovered two handguns inside the vehicle. One was a Glock .9mm with an attached laser and a 33-round extended magazine. A check of the weapon revealed that it had been reported stolen out of Murfreesboro, Tenn. and had been used in a violent crime there.

Officers also found a .9mm handgun that had been reported stolen out of Wynne.

Both suspects were arrested at the scene on numerous felony drug and weapon-related charges.


June 18

By the end of 2023, all Cablelynx internet customers in Marianna, Forrest City, Wynne, and Palestine will have access to gig-a-bit broadband service. This will represent an increase from the current 250 megabits per second to a thousand megabits per second for East Arkansas Video Cablelynx customers by the end of 2023. This represents a 1.6 million dollar investment from the Wehco Company and require the rebuilding of over 300 miles of the system and is expected to take almost two years to complete. In making the announcement Thursday company owner Walter Hussman Jr. the increase in broadband capability will benefit families, schools, businesses, and the recruitment of industries to this area. Hussman also said the gig-a-bit broadband service will be available in all neighborhoods of the cities served by East Arkansas Video, not just a few. Company officials said they hope to get the project started by January of 2022 in order to get it finished by the end of ’23.
The Hussman family has owned East Arkansas Video since 1973


June 18

In his radio address this week, State Senator Keith Ingram talks frankly about some of the failures of lawmakers, especially when it comes to passing legislation that advances the causes of education and social justice.

Here’s Senator Ingram:

                (Click here to listen)

Thanks Senator Ingram.


June 18

The number of covid-19 patients in Arkansas hospitals, on ventilators and in intensive care units all rose to their highest levels Thursday since mid-March, while the state's count of cases rose by 288.

With new cases outpacing recoveries, the number of cases in the state that were considered active topped 2,300 for the first time since March 22, rising by 83 to 2334.

The state's death toll from the virus, as tracked by the Arkansas Department of Health, rose by two, to 5,869.

The number of virus patients in the state's hospitals rose by eight, to 219, while the number who were on ventilators rose by six, to 56.

The number of covid-19 patients in intensive care units rose by four, to 116.

The number of cases that were considered active rose by 83, to 2,334.

Health officials say that the causes for the recent uptick in some categories include infections of unvaccinated people during gatherings over Memorial Day weekend, the spread of more-transmissible variants, and the lifting of mask requirements and other preventative measures.


June 17

The United States will soon have a new federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the nation.

The House voted 415-14 Wednesday to make Juneteenth, or June 19th, the 12th federal holiday. The bill now goes to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law.

Juneteenth commemorates when the last enslaved African Americans learned they were free. Confederate soldiers surrendered in April 1865, but word didn’t reach the last enslaved Black people until June 19, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to Galveston, Texas. That was also about two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves in the Southern states.

Under the legislation, the federal holiday would be known as Juneteenth National Independence Day.

It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983.


June 17

The number of new covid-19 cases in Arkansas rose by 288 on Wednesday (6/16).

Already at its highest level in more than a month, the number of active cases in the state rose by 107, to 2,251.

There were no covid-related deaths reported in Arkansas on Wednesday marking the second day this month, and just the seventh this year, that the state didn't report any new deaths from covid-19.

The official death toll in the state actually fell by two, to 5,867, reflecting deaths that were reclassified as being from causes other than covid-19.

The number of people hospitalized rose by seven, to 211, its highest level in a week.

The number of vaccine doses administered across the state, including second doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, rose by 5,928.

That was more than 1,000 fewer than the increase the previous week.


June 18

--Funeral service for Shannon Parchman, 26, of Forrest City will be Saturday (6/19) at 11 a.m. at the Larry S. Bryant Multipurpose Center. Burial will follow at El Cannon Cemetery in Palestine. Miles Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.

--Graveside service for Jayla Jackson, age 12, of Brinkley will be Saturday (6/19) at 11 a.m. at Pilgrim Rest Cemetery. A public viewing will be Saturday from 10 a.m. until the time of the service at the cemetery. McNeal-Coleman Funeral Home of Brinkley is in charge of arrangements. Masks are required.

--Funeral service for Derrick DeShawn Barnhart, 44, formerly of Augusta will be Saturday (6/19) at 11 a.m. at the Holy Ghost Academy Church of God in Christ in Augusta. Burial will follow at Buckeye Cemetery in Gregory. Brancumb, Johnson and Gilchrest Funeral Home of Brinkley is in charge of arrangements.

--Funeral service for Shelia Whitley Johnson, 57, of Forrest City will be Saturday (6/19) at 12 Noon at the Forrest City Civic Center. Burial will follow at Casteel Cemetery. Miles Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.