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YOUR LOCAL AND REGIONAL NEWS

WEATHER ADVISORY

July 5

A heat advisory remains in effect for the mid-south region until 9 p.m. on Thursday (7/7).


The National Weather Service says that heat index values are expected to be at or above 105 degrees each day.


Some locations along and west of the Mississippi River will likely

experience dangerous heat indices of 110 to 114 degrees during

the mid to late portions of this week, which would upgrade the Heat Advisory to an Excessive Heat Warning.  The advisories and/or warnings will likely be extended through Friday.


Weather officials warn that hot temperatures and high humidity may cause heat illnesses to occur.


Area residents are advised to drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors. Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances.


Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When

possible reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or

evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke is an emergency! Call 9 1 1.


This hazardous weather outlook is for portions of East Arkansas...

the Missouri Bootheel...North Mississippi...and West Tennessee.

ARK COVID UPDATE

July 5

Nearly 400 Arkansans tested positive for the coronavirus on the Fourth of July holiday, an increase from those new cases reported on Sunday.


The state saw an increase of 386 new cases Monday; 165 reported Sunday and more than 1,400 Saturday. Since the pandemic began in March 2020, there have been 868,770 cases of covid-19.


Deaths from the virus increased by four Monday, bringing the total in Arkansas since the start of the pandemic to 11,589.


As of Monday, the Health Department reported 11,986 active cases, a notable decrease from the just over 12,000 cases reported the day before.


Hospitals across the state tallied 249 covid-positive admissions Monday, a slight up-tick from the 245 patients reported over the weekend.

FC SHOTS FIRED

July 5

 A Forrest City woman told police that her vehicle was hit by gunfire as she was driving through the Beech Grove area Sunday evening (7/3).


Ms. Jennifer Daniels told police that she had just turned onto Traylor Street around 7:30 p.m. Sunday when a man ran out to the street and fired five gunshots, hitting the truck’s left rear tire.


No one was injured in the shooting.


Police have the name of a possible suspect in the case. An arrest is pending.

FC MAN CHARGED

July 5

Forrest City Police arrested a convicted felon on a weapon-related charge Monday morning (7/4).


A patrol officer responded to 203 Mississippi Street just after 9 a.m. Monday after the PD’s “Shot Spotter” system indicated that gunshots had been fired in the area.


At the scene, officers came into contact with 41-year-old Chadwick Mathis, who was in possession of a .22 caliber revolver. The handgun was loaded and had two spent casings.


Mathis was taken into custody and charged with possession of a firearm by a certain person (felony) and discharging a firearm within city limits (misdemeanor).

FCPD FELONY ARREST

July 5

A fugitive wanted on several felony charges out of St. Francis County was arrested in Forrest City early Sunday morning (7/3).


A Forrest City Police officer was on routine patrol on East Broadway around 2 a.m. Sunday when he stopped to question 37-year-old Justin Smith of Forrest City on a possible curfew violation.


During questioning, Smith took off running, but was found a short time later hiding under a sheet of plywood behind an abandoned house at 688 East Broadway.


The officer searched Smith and found that he was in possession of 14 baggies of marijuana (15.2 grams) and a clear plastic baggie containing an unidentified white powdery substance weighing in at 2.3 grams.


A background check showed that Smith had several felony warrants with the St. Francis County Sheriff’s Department for aggravated robbery, 1st degree battery, possession of a firearm by a certain person, simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms and 2nd degree escape. The charges also carried a habitual offender enhancement.


Smith was later booked at the county jail and was given a court date of July 6th at 1 p.m.

FC FIRE REPORT

July 5

The Fourth of July holiday period is typically a busy time for the Forrest City Fire Department and this year was no exception.


Here are just a few of the calls that firefighters responded to on just Monday alone:


--3:53 p.m…..structure fire at 1309 Culley Street. Fire investigators say it appears that fireworks caused some pine needles on top of the mobile home to ignite. The fire caused only minor damage to the structure.


--10:13 p.m…..vehicle fire at 1906 Haywood Street. Fire investigators suspect arson. The vehicle was a total loss.


--11:52 p.m…..car fire on Fletcher Road. A background check of the vehicle determined that it had been reported stolen. The vehicle sustained only minor damage to the interior.



Forrest City Fire Chief Shane Dallas stated that the dry conditions and the fireworks combined to make for a busy time for firefighters over the past week or so:

                (click here to listen)


Thanks Chief Dallas.

ARK TEACHER TRAINING

July 5

A final group of 22 teachers are being trained for placement in high-poverty schools as part of a University of Arkansas, Fayetteville program funded by the Walton Family Foundation.


Teachers participating in the program work full time while also taking classes that go toward a UA master’s degree in educational equity.


The teachers will be placed in various schools, including in Forrest City, North Little Rock and Hope.


Kendall Owens, a spokesman for the Forrest City School District, in an email said many schools “across the state and across the country” as well as in Forrest City “face an issue” with finding “qualified, trained teachers.” At Forrest City High School, about three out of every four students in the approximately 600-student school are considered low income, according to state data.


Owens said that the district has “taken many diverse measures over the years to provide opportunities for new and experienced educators.”

ARK TEEN DROWNS

July 5

A teenager drowned in Greers Ferry Lake Sunday afternoon (7/3).


According to a Facebook post from the Cleburne County sheriff’s office, the teen was seen jumping into the lake from Trouble Island and did not resurface,


Around 12:35 p.m., dispatch was notified about the teen’s disappearance. Authorities said divers arrived on scene and recovered his body.


The victim’s identity has not yet been released.

ARK GAS PRICES

July 5

This holiday weekend, it cost drivers about 50% more to fill up their gas tanks than during July 4th road trips last year.


The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas was just over $4.80 on Monday, according to AAA. A year ago, it was $3.13 per gallon.


The biggest factor causing the spike in the cost of gas is the price of crude oil.


As of May, crude accounted for nearly 60% of the price of a gallon of regular gasoline, according to the Energy Information Administration.


To address rising prices, the Biden administration has urged Congress to temporarily suspend the federal gas tax. It has also chastised oil companies for profiteering off high prices and encouraged them to boost their refining capacity.


Experts say that neither move is likely to bring gas prices down any time soon.

SFC JAIL TOURS

July 5

County Judge Gary Hughes has added one more day for the public to tour the new St. Francis County Detention Center. This is to accommodate those who wish to go by after work.


The remaining tour date is:

--Thursday, July 7th from 4-7 p.m.


Call the County Judge’s office at 261-1708 for more information.

MEETINGS AND EVENTS

July 5

--The City Council of Forrest City will meet Tuesday (7/5) at 6 p.m. at City Hall.


--Trinity All Nations Church in Memphis will host their 23rd Pastoral Anniversary honoring Pastor Theodis Cochran Jr., Sunday, July 10 at 12 p.m. Guest speaker will be Pastor Evenly Hubbard. Psalmist will be Crystal Smith out of Tuscaloosa, AL.


--The Forrest City School District and the district's Summer Feeding Program will be closed again today (Tuesday) and will reopen on Wednesday, July 5.


--The St. Francis County Housing Authority will meet Wednesday, July 20th at 6 p.m. at the Housing office at 116 S. Izard Street in Forrest City. Call 633-2781 for more information.


--The Pink Ladies of the Forrest City Medical Center Auxiliary invite you to join them each week for exercise classes that can help all ages and levels of activity. The classes are FREE and are held every Tuesday and Thursday at 9 a.m. in the hospital cafeteria.

TRANSPORTATION FOR VETS

June 29

The DAV (Disabled Arkansas Veterans) is providing transportation to area veterans twice a week from St. Francis County to the VA in Little Rock.


The DAV van will pick-up veterans in Forrest City and Palestine every Monday and Wednesday.


The van will stop at the Shell station on Holiday Drive in Forrest City at 7:05 a.m. and at the Love’s truck stop in Palestine at around 7:10 a.m. Again, that’s every Monday and Wednesday.


To reserve a space on the van, veterans are advised call 870-932-1052 as soon as they get an appointment with the VA. 

SFC EXTENSION REPORT

July 1

Many people struggle with financial problems and also battle to maintain a healthy lifestyle.


St. Francis County Family Consumer Science Agent Marla Lane has a few tips to help area residents achieve both their financial and health related goals: 

                (click here to listen)


That’s Ms. Marla Lane, Family Consumer Science Agent for St. Francis County.

SFC JOB OPENINGS

June 16

The St. Francis County Sheriff’s Department is now accepting applications for deputy sheriff positions.


The Sheriff’s Department is also looking for qualified applicants to fill jailer and dispatcher positions.


Applications can be picked up at the sheriff’s office.


Call 870-633-2611 for more information.

 

LOCAL AND REGIONAL NEWS WITH RICK HOLT