YOUR LOCAL AND REGIONAL NEWS
The National Weather Service advises that strong to severe storms are possible today (Friday) across much of the Mid-South.
The most likely time frame for the storm activity will be during the late afternoon and early evening hours.
The most likely threat will be damaging winds, although conditions are also favorable for tornadoes.
This hazardous weather outlook is for portions of East Arkansas...
the Missouri Bootheel...North Mississippi...and West Tennessee.
ARK VIRUS UPDATE
The Arkansas Department of Health is continuing to monitor the spread of Covid-19 and providing daily updates.
The ADH reported 781 new Covid cases on Thursday (10/14). That brings the cumulative total since March of 2020 to 505,297.
Health officials also reported 6,820 active cases and 10 new Covid-related deaths on Thursday.
Hospitalizations across the state were down by 26 to 505. That number included 153 patients on ventilators.
There were 6,369 Covid vaccine does administered Thursday. That brings the number of fully immunized people in Arkansas to 1,367,271. The number of partially immunized persons stands at just over 286,000.
MODERNA BOOSTER UPDATE
An independent advisory panel to the Food and Drug Administration on Thursday unanimously recommended a booster dose of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine.
The recommendation is for people 65 and older and for adults who are at high risk of severe illness because of underlying conditions or exposure on the job.
The recommendation mirrors the eligibility criteria for the Pfizer booster, which was authorized in September.
Nearly 70 million Americans have been fully vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine, and millions of them would be eligible for a follow-up dose six months after vaccination if the agency authorizes the extra shot, which would be half the dose initially given.
The recommendation will now be considered by FDA officials, who are expected to reach a decision on the Moderna booster within days.
An advisory committee to the CDC that makes recommendations on how vaccines should be used is scheduled to meet Wednesday.
VOTING RIGHTS CONCERNS
Voting-rights advocates gathered at the state Capitol Thursday (10/14) to speak out against Arkansas' recently enacted congressional redistricting plan.
The group of more than 100 people included leaders of the Arkansas Legislative Black Caucus and the state Democratic Party.
They called the map that the Legislature passed last week blatant racial gerrymandering.
The plan splits the state's most populous county between three congressional districts, shifting 21,000 Black residents of Pulaski County out of the 2nd Congressional District and into the 1st and 4th districts.
Speakers at the rally argued that the move is designed to dilute the voting power of Black and brown Arkansans.
Multiple speakers noted that Arkansas is the only Southern state to have never elected a Black member of Congress, and that the new map would ensure that would not happen.
Phillips County attorney James Valley commented that "it’s not by accident that it hasn’t happened in Arkansas”, saying that “it's by design,"
One Democratic Party leader stated that the issue will ultimately be decided in the courts.
Butterball is recalling some of its ground turkey products due to possible contamination concerns.
The company says small pieces of hard blue plastic may have ended up in some of the products.
The recall affects more than 14,000 pounds of ground turkey sold in BJ’s and Kroger grocery stores.
It includes 40-ounce trays of “farm to family Butterball all-natural ground turkey” with a sell-by date of Oct. 18 and 3-pound Kroger fresh ground turkey with sell-by date of Oct. 17.
People who still have the products in their freezers are urged to throw them away or return them to the store.
For more information on the recall, go to Butterball.com.
SENATOR INGRAM REPORT
In his radio address this week, State Senator Keith Ingram talks about the recent legislative session on redistricting and vaccination mandates.
Here’s Senator Ingram:
Thanks Senator Ingram.
SFC JAIL UPDATE
St. Francis County officials are now estimating that the new county jail project will be completed around May 1st of next year.
County Judge Gary Hughes told Forrest City Radio that the project is about 30 days behind schedule:
Thanks Judge Hughes.
FC CLEAN-UP CAMPAIGN
The Keep Forrest City Beautiful campaign will be held next week, October 18-23.
The city alderman from each Ward will be leading clean-up efforts in their area of the city and invite volunteers to meet them on the following schedule:
Ward 1: Aldermen Ronald Willaims and Marvin Metcalf
--Monday (10/18) from 9 a.m. to 12-noon
--Meeting place: old Ridout building
Ward 2: Aldermen Jason Evansingston and Louise Fields
--Tuesday (10/19) from 9 a.m. to 12-noon
--Meeting place: Blue Flame Parking Lot (Grant Street)
Ward 3: Aldermen Danny Capps and Justin Reeves
--Wednesday (10/20) from 9 a.m. to 12-noon
--Meeting place: Civic Center
Ward 4: Aldermen Lowry Astin and Chris Oswalt
--Thursday (10/21) from 9 a.m. to 12-noon
--Meeting place: Jodan’s Mobil/Exxon on East Broadway
An “open” clean-up effort for citizens will continue Friday (10/22) in all four Wards. Dumpsters will be set up at the following locations:
Ward 1: old Ridout building
Ward 2: Blue Flame parking lot
Ward 3: Civic Center
Ward 4: old Boys & Girls Club (Forrest Hills area)
The campaign will wrap up with a city-wide clean-up effort that’s open to the public, that’ll be Saturday (10/23) from 9-12. Supplies can be picked up that morning at City Hall.
Call Kinyuana Smith at City Hall at 870-633-1315 for more info.
ARK DISTRACTED DRIVING CAMPAIGN
Arkansas law enforcement agencies will unite next week for the “U Drive. U Text. U Pay” campaign.
The initiative is aimed at stopping the dangerous practice of distracted driving.
Starting Sunday (10/17), Arkansas State Troopers, joined by local police officers and sheriff’s deputies across the state, will begin a week-long intensified patrol effort to stop drivers who are distracted and fail to keep their eyes on the road.
Of course, one of the leading factors contributing to the epidemic of distracted driving is the simultaneous use of cell phones and other electronic devices while driving.
In recent years, young drivers have become the largest segment of offenders. During 2018, 8 percent of the people killed in teen driving crashes (ages 15-19) died when the drivers were distracted at the time of the crash. That number rose to 10 percent in 2019.
Cell phones aren’t the only cause of distracted driving. A driver who takes their eyes off the road to speak to a passenger, adjust entertainment programming or temperature controls, even eating while driving are all examples of distracted driving.
For more information, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov.
--Graveside service for Carlene Harris Smith, 81, of Conway, formerly of Caldwell will be Friday (10/15) at 2 p.m. at Lindsey Cemetery in Forrest City. Visitation will be Friday starting at 1 p.m. at Stevens Funeral Home, which is in charge of arrangements.
--Funeral service for Leola Tate-Thornton, 84, of Moro will be Saturday (10/16) at 11 a.m. at New Hope MB Church in Moro. Burial will follow at New Hope Cemetery. Visitation will be Friday from 1-5 p.m. at Marianna Funeral Home, which is in charge of arrangements.
--Funeral service for Cleaster Broadway, 60, of McKinney, Tx., formerly of Marianna will be Saturday (10/16) at 11 a.m. at New Bethel Church in Marianna. Burial will follow at Mt. Moriah Cemetery. Visitation will be Friday from 1-5 p.m. at Marianna Funeral Home, which is in charge of arrangements.
--Funeral service for Ruby Mae Smith-Mosby, 97, of Carlisle, formerly of Hazen will be Saturday (10/16) at 11 a.m. at the Carlisle Civic Center. Burial will follow at Prairie Chapel Cemetery in Hazen. Visitation will be Friday from 6-7 p.m. at Mt. Canaan MB Church in Carlisle. Branscumb, Johnson and Gilchrest Funeral Home of Brinkley is in charge of arrangements.
--Funeral service for Mack Thomas Mathis jr., formerly of Cotton Plant, will be held at 11 Saturday morning October 16th at Ash Grove M.B. Church in Cotton Plant. Public viewing will be Saturday from 10 am until the 11am service at Ash Grove. Burial will be in Ebenezer Cemetery in Cotton Plant. McNeal-Coleman Funeral Home of Brinkley is in charge of arrangements.
--Funeral service for Margaret Ann Brown, 64, of Marianna will be Saturday (10/16) at 3 p.m. at Spring Grove MB Church in Haynes. Burial will be held Tuesday (10/19) at 10 a.m. at Paradise Gardens in Edmondson. Visitation will be Friday from 1-5 p.m. at Marianna Funeral Home, which is in charge of arrangements.
--Funeral service for Ms. Ora Lee Eubanks-Farmer, age 100, of Cotton Plant will be Saturday (10/16) at 3 p.m. at First Baptist Church-James Addition in Cotton Plant. Burial will follow at Ash Grove Cemetery in Cotton Plant. Visitation will be Friday from 7-8 p.m. at the church. Branscumb, Johnson and Gilchrest Funeral Home of Brinkley is in charge of arrangements.
--Funeral service for Tyola E. Roby-Sawyer, 78, of Wynne, formerly of Brinkley will be Saturday (10/16) at 3 p.m. at Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church in Brinkley. Burial will follow at Haven of Rest Cemetery in Brinkley. Visitation will be Friday from 6-7 p.m. at Branscumb Chapel. Branscumb, Johnson and Gilchrest Funeral Home of Brinkley is in charge of arrangements.
--Funeral service for Betty Sue Matlock Nichols, 74, of Colt will be Monday (10/18) at 10 a.m. at New Prospect Missionary Baptist Church. Burial will follow at Loughridge Cemetery. Visitation will be Sunday from 6-8 p.m. at Stevens Funeral Home, which is in charge of arrangements.
SFC VETERANS OFFICE CLOSED
The St. Francis County Veteran’s Office will closed for training October 13-18.
You may still call the office and leave a message during that time and Veteran’s Service Officer Wilbert Dawson will return your call when the office reopens on Tuesday, October 19th.
The number for the Veteran’s Office is (870) 261-1702.
SFC JR. AUXILIARY ANGEL TREE
Good thru Nov 5
The Junior Auxiliary of St. Francis County is preparing for their annual Angel Tree project.
Angel Tree enables individuals and organizations to help provide clothing and toys to children in need in our community during the Christmas season.
For those wishing to participate, the Campbell House at 305 N. Forrest Street will be open to the community during the week of November 1-5. Angel Tree hours will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 5-7 p.m.
The Angel Tree will be set up for you to choose a card that gives each child’s gender, age and clothing needs with sizes. You will choose which child to buy for, fill one or more of the child’s needs, wrap the gifts and return them to the Campbell House with the card that you chose.
For your donation of $20 or more, you will receive one of their angel ornaments.
If you are unable to come during that week, you may write to:
St. Francis County Junior Auxiliary c/o Angel Tree
P.O. Box 1340
Forrest City, Ar. 72336
You will then receive information about a child’s needs.
Angels will also be available at the Forrest City Area Chamber of Commerce and at Palestine City Hall.
SFC VETERANS 5K
Good thru Oct 30
The St. Francis County Veteran’s 5K Walk/Run and 10-mile Bike Race will be held Saturday, October 30th.
Registration will begin at 7 a.m., with race starting at 8 o’clock at the Forrest City Chamber of Commerce at 203 N. Izard St.
The entry fee is $20. Proceeds will benefit the St. Francis County Veterans Services.
For more information, contact Wilbert Dawson at 261-5465 or Joey Astin at 270-7573.
The Forrest City Jr. Mustangs defeated the Paragould Rams at Mustang Stadium Thursday night (10/14) by a final score of 40-0.
The Mustangs improve to 5-2 on the season and 3-1 in conference play.
Up next, the Jr. Mustangs will travel to Craighead County next Thursday (10/21) to take on the Nettleton Raiders.
In other action Thursday night, the Wynne Jr. Yellowjackets defeated Batesville, 28-0.
In high school football action tonight (Friday):
--Forrest City at Paragould (KXJK)
--Cross County at McCrory (KBFC)
--Manila at Palestine-Wheatley
--Helena-West Helena at Hamburg
--Barton-Lexa at Smackover
--Desoto at Delta
--Lee Academy at Prairie View Academy
--Brinkley at Decatur
--ACCS at West Memphis Christian
--Manchester at Marvell-Academy
--Marvell-Elaine at Spring Hill
--Hazen at Clarendon
--Wynne at Batesville
--Earle at EPC
--Marion at El Dorado
--West Memphis at Jonesboro
--Greene County Tech at Nettleton
--Brookland at Valley View
All games kick-off at 7 p.m.
--Cardinals Manager Fired--
The St. Louis Cardinals fired former National League manager of the year Mike Shildt Thursday, reportedly over organizational differences. The firing comes just one week after St. Louis lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL wild-card game.
Cardinals’ president John Mozeliak said the firing was “something that popped up recently,” but he refused to expand on what he called “philosophical differences” between Shildt, the coaching staff and the front office.
Mozeliak met with Shildt and the rest of the coaching staff Friday, but the two did not meet again until Mozeliak informed Shildt of his firing. When asked about the manager’s response, Mozeliak replied: “He was very shocked.”
Mozeliak declined to discuss possible replacements, but he did say there are plenty of internal candidates. He said the coaches who remain under contract are expected to return next season.
Shildt’s record of 255-199 gave him a winning percentage better than such luminaries as Branch Rickey and Tony La Russa.