YOUR LOCAL AND REGIONAL NEWS
SFC JAIL ELECTION
Today is Election Day in St. Francis County.
Voters are being asked to approve a one cent sales tax to build a new county jail.
The one cent sales tax will be broken down into three separate items on the ballot:
5/8 cent for the construction of a new county jail
¼ cent for maintenance and operation of the facility
1/8 cent for juvenile programs and services
A total of 716 ballots were cast during the five-day early voting period, which ended Monday.
The 13 polling sites around the county will be open today from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
MARIANNA HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION
A Lee County man was killed in a shooting in Marianna Friday afternoon (12/6). A suspect is in custody.
The Marianna Police Department identified the victim as 25-year old Derek Granville of Marianna.
Marianna Police responded to a call on Jordan Street around 3:30 p.m. Friday where they found the victim lying on the ground with multiple gunshot wounds.
Arkansas State Police was called in to assist in the investigation which led to information about a possible suspect, ID’ed as 46-year old Jeff Allen Tucker Jr. of Moro.
A warrant was obtained later that night and Tucker was located by State Police early Saturday morning. After a six-hour stand-off, he surrendered without incident.
Tucker is currently being held without bond on a charge of capital murder.
FC SHOTS FIRED INVESTIGATION
Forrest City Police responded to a report of “shots fired” in the Forrest Hills area last night (Monday).
A patrol officer was called to a residence in the 700 block of White Oak Drive just after 9 o’clock Monday night.
At the scene, the homeowner said that she was standing outside her home when someone fired several shots in her direction from a passing vehicle.
The woman was not injured, but a bullet did go through the back glass of her car.
Police searched the area and found four shell casings on the roadway in front of the house.
Police have the name of a possible suspect in the case. An arrest is pending.
MEETINGS AND EVENTS
--The Forrest City Civic Center Commission will meet Tuesday (12/10) at 5 p.m. at the Civic Center.
--The City of Forrest City will hold a budget meeting Tuesday (12/10) at 5 p.m. at City Hall.
--The Forrest City School Board will meet Tuesday (12/10) at 5:30 p.m. at the Jr. High School Library.
--The Forrest City High School Fine Arts Department will hold its annual Christmas Concert on Thursday, Dec. 12, at 6 p.m. in the Forrest City Junior High School auditorium. The concert will include performances by the Mustang band, concert choir, and Der Singkreis.
CYBERSECURITY COURSES OFFERED
Arkansas high school students will be able to take courses in cybersecurity starting next fall.
According to the Democrat-Gazette, the courses could prepare students to attempt industry-level certification out of high school or continue their cybersecurity education in college.
The courses can be provided on high school campuses or through Virtual Arkansas. Three will be developed by May 30 and teacher training will begin in the summer.
The program is part of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's coding initiative, funded annually at $2.5 million by the State Legislature.
Cybersecurity is a high-paying career field with not nearly enough candidates for employment. About 5,000 jobs exist in Arkansas, and more than 1,000 are unfilled. Average starting salaries range from $90,000 to $125,000.
Students are not guaranteed certification or jobs upon completion of the high school courses, but students who do well in all of the courses should be prepared to attempt certification, which could lead to employment right out of high school.
Graveside service for J.W. Bell, 79, of Brinkley will be Saturday (12/14) at 11 a.m. at Haven Rest Cemetery in Brinkley. Visitation will be Friday from 10 to 5 at McNeal-Coleman Funeral Home in Brinkley, which is in charge of arrangements.