LOCAL AND REGIONAL NEWS WITH RICK HOLT
Local and Regional News 120623
Ark Severe Weather Possible
A strong storm system is expected to impact much of the Natural State this upcoming weekend, likely moving in early Saturday morning and moving out by Sunday morning. (Channel 4, Little Rock)
Though this storm is already several days away, it has already generated a lot of buzz in terms of winter weather.
Weather officials are hinting at some snow accumulations on the backside of the system Saturday night. But the latest information suggests that any winter impacts will be very minimal.
Forecasters say that the focus should be on the possibility of severe weather.
During the overnight hours Friday into Saturday, showers and storms will gradually increase, with wind ramping up from the south, importing more warm, humid air into the region.
The earliest showers and storms should be mostly non-severe, though they may produce some small hail at times along with gusty winds. These should become a bit more widespread through mid-day Saturday as a cold front moves in, pressing the severe risk a bit farther east into the Delta for the afternoon.
The highest instability will likely be found across south Arkansas, and perhaps parts of eastern Arkansas early Saturday afternoon. This could result in stronger storms that are more capable of producing large hail, damaging winds and perhaps even tornadoes.
Officials say the risk of severe weather should be over by Saturday night. At that point, colder air will be spreading across the Natural State.
Any moisture that wraps back around the system into northern Arkansas could briefly change over to a few light snow flurries or showers. But due to the fast-moving nature of this system, this should be minimal.
FC Shots Fired
A Forrest City man told police that his vehicle was hit by gunfire as he was traveling in the downtown area last (Tuesday) night.
A Forrest City patrol officer was stationary at the Shell Superstop on East Broadway around 10:15 p.m. Tuesday when he reported hearing gunshots.
The officer looked around and saw that someone in a dark colored vehicle was firing gunshots at another vehicle near the intersection of North Division Street and East Broadway.
The vehicles fled in different directions, with the officer pursuing one of the vehicles as it fled east on Broadway.
The officer followed the vehicle to 826 Sherwood Drive where the driver, later ID’ed as 18-year-old Malik Long, jumped out of the vehicle and ran into the house.
Long came out of the residence a short time later and talked with the officer. He stated that he was driving by the Superstop when two men in a passing vehicle started shooting at him.
The officer checked Long’s car and found that the back driver’s side window had been shot out and found several bullet holes in the back of the vehicle. A total of seven spent shell casings were later recovered at the scene of the shooting.
Long was able to identify the two subjects in the other vehicle, stating that the shooting was part of an ongoing dispute.
No injuries were reported. Arrests are pending.
SFC Man Sentenced to ADC
A St. Francis County man was sentenced to the Arkansas Department of Corrections this week.
Court records show that 44-year-old Robbie Lee Mitchell of Colt was sentenced to 30 years in the ADC.
The sentence was handed down by Circuit Judge Christopher Morledge during a revocation hearing Tuesday (12/5) in St. Francis County Circuit Court.
FC Woman Charged
A Forrest City woman was arrested a felony drug and weapon charge following a routine traffic-stop Tuesday afternoon (12/5).
A Forrest City patrol officer was patrolling in the area of Dillard and Washington streets in the noon hour Tuesday when he stopped a Nissan Altima for displaying a fictitious tag.
The officer approached the car and noticed a strong smell of marijuana coming from inside, giving cause to search the vehicle.
The search uncovered a black backpack which contained 3.7 grams of marijuana, a handgun and a green pill, which later tested positive for Ecstasy.
A passenger in the vehicle, 27-year-old Mia Goodwin of Forrest City, claimed ownership of the backpack.
Goodwin was taken into custody and booked at the county jail on a felony charge of simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms.
She was later released on bond.
FC Fire Report
A Forrest City area residence was destroyed in a two-alarm fire early Tuesday morning (12/5).
Forrest City firefighters were dispatched to a structure fire on SFC road 762 (off Hwy One South) around 6:40 a.m. Tuesday.
Firemen arrived at the scene to find that the structure was already about 40 percent involved with fire.
Firefighters battled the blaze for about two hours, using approximately 15,000 gallons of water to extinguish the fire. Tankers from Forrest City, Palestine and Newcastle were in service.
The house sustained about 75% fire damage, with smoke, water and heat damage throughout the structure.
No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
FC Arson Fire
Forrest City firefighters have responded to three arson fires at an abandoned house on North Rosser Street within the last month.
In the most recent case, Forrest City firefighters responded to a structure fire at 617 North Rosser Street around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.
At the scene, firemen found that two exterior walls were on fire. They quickly extinguished the fire and were back in service within about half an hour.
Fire investigators say the house was originally damaged in a kitchen fire several years ago.
Before Tuesday’s incident, someone had set fire to the house on two other occasions back in late November of this year.
No suspects have been identified in the string of arsons. The investigation is ongoing.
ASP Drug Bust
At 8:19 p.m. on Monday, December 4, an Arkansas State Police (ASP) Trooper made a routine traffic stop on Interstate 40 near the 173-mile marker in Lonoke County.
The Trooper detected the strong smell of marijuana, searched the vehicle, and discovered six suitcases filled with a total of 869 pounds of illegal, high-grade cannabis.
The estimated street value of the illegal, black-market marijuana is $3.6 million.
The driver of the vehicle, 33-year-old Rene Rodriuez of Brazil reported that he was driving from California to Miami, Florida. He was taken into custody and transported to the Lonoke County Detention Center and charged with drug trafficking, possession of drug paraphernalia and other charges.
Additional charges may result from an investigation being conducted by ASP’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID).
--Funeral service for Mrs. Dorothy L. Beanum, 82, of Crawfordsville will be Saturday (12/9) at 11 a.m. at Pilgrim Rest Christian Church in the Jeanette Community. Burial will follow at Pilgrim Rest Church Cemetery. Visitation will be Saturday from 10 a.m. until the time of the service at the church. Miles Mortuary of Forrest City is in charge of arrangements.
--Funeral service for Carolyn Denise Williams-Britt, 58, of Little Rock, formerly of Marianna will be Saturday (12/9) at 11 a.m. at Walnut Grove MB Church in Marianna. Burial will follow at Mt. City Cemetery. Visitation will be Friday from 1-4 p.m. at Marianna Funeral Home, which is in charge of arrangements.
--Funeral service for Anthie Marie “Tina” Dawson-Jones, 55, of Clarendon will be Saturday (12/9) at 11 a.m. at the Clarendon/Holly Grove School Auditorium in Clarendon. Burial will be private. C.J. Williams Funeral Directors and Cremations of Brinkley is in charge of arrangements.
--Funeral service for Mother Myrtle White, 91, of Forrest City will be Saturday (12/9) at 1 p.m. at Stanley Grove Missionary Baptist Church. Burial will follow at Casteel Cemetery. Miles Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.
PLUM Foundation Event
The PLUM Foundation will be giving away Christmas Toy Boxes on the following schedule this holiday season:
--Monday, Dec. 18, 3-5 p.m., Greater Powerhouse & Adams Temple Church, 531 Ladino Street in Helena-West Helena
--Tuesday, Dec. 19, 3-5 p.m., Nineveh Cathedral Church, 600 Thompson Ave. in West Memphis
--Wednesday, Dec 20, 3-5 p.m., Nineveh Temple Church, 208 West Broadway in Forrest City. The event will feature free sleigh rides for children under 12.
Call 888-215-4513 for more information.
Marianna Christmas Parade Info
The Marianna/Lee County Annual Christmas Parade is coming up Friday, December 8th starting at 7 p.m.
This year’s theme is “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”.
Prizes will be awarded to the top bands and floats:
--1st place: $300
--2nd place: $200
--3rd place: $100
Trophies will also be awarded to Drill Teams.
Everyone is invited to participate. There is no registration fee for parade entries. The deadline to enter is December 1st.
Organizers will also pay bus expenses for bands, up to a maximum of three buses.
If you’re interested in the bus package or to sign-up for this year’s parade, contact Event Coordinator, Nancy Blount at 870-295-4440 or stop by her office at 28 Court Street in Marianna.
Participants are asked to arrive one hour before parade time. The location of the line-up will be at the corner of Marne and Chestnut streets.
The PLUM Foundation is hosting a series meetings for farmers, growers, producers or landowners who may have been discriminated against due to unfair lending practices before January 1st, 2021.
The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, December 7th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Brinkley Convention Center.
The meeting will feature informational sessions to help attendees understand the discrimination financial assistance program (DFAP), learn how to apply and receive assistance with their application.
To register for the event, call 888-215-4513.
Priority registration for East Arkansas Community College’s Spring semester is underway.
The Spring semester’s schedule of classes is available online at EACC.edu, click on the Course Schedule link.
Students will have the options of on campus, online/virtual, and blended classes for the Spring semester. Spring classes will begin on Tuesday, January 16th.
Students are encouraged to register early. Advising and testing for new students are available on campus in the new Welcome Center and virtually by appointment.
Call 870-633-4480, ext. 252 or email email@example.com to schedule an appointment for testing or to meet with an advisor.
Current students can register for Spring semester classes online through the myEACC portal.
Financial aid opportunities and assistance completing the FAFSA are available by contacting the Financial Aid office at 870-633-4480, ext. 302 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Financial arrangements must be made with the EACC Business Office before registration is completed.
For more information, contact the Admissions Office at 870-633-4480 ext. 226, visit EACC.edu, or stop by the Welcome Center on EACC’s campus in Forrest City or the EACC Wynne Center in the Technology Center for the Delta at 1790 Falls Blvd. in Wynne.