Arkansas

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Arkansas House of Representatives Update 10-15-21

According to the Arkansas Department of Health, 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer. It is the most common form of cancer and the second leading cause of death among women. In 2018, there were 2,339 new breast cancer cases and 368 cancer deaths in the state. 

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to raise awareness about the impact of breast cancer and the importance of early detection. In 1997, the Arkansas General Assembly passed the Breast Cancer Act, which led to the ADH’s BreastCare program. The BreastCare program coordinates efforts with providers to offer no-cost screenings and follow-up services to eligible women who are uninsured or underinsured. 

Last year, the program served 8,403 women in fiscal year 2021. Continue Reading →

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Chris Carnahan Visits Texarkana on the Campaign Trail

Judge Chris Carnahan is a candidate for the Arkansas Supreme Court, Position 2

Judge Chris Carnahan

Texarkana, AR: Judge Chris Carnahan visited the Miller County Republican Committee in Texarkana Tuesday evening to present his case for election to the Arkansas Supreme Court, Position 2.  He was accompanied by his father, a retired Arkansas State Trooper, and welcomed by the committee for his second visit.  Judge Carnahan presented facts about his history as a lawyer, a Circuit Judge, a Special Associate Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court, and his current position as Divisions One State District Court Judge. 

Judge Carnahan has a long history of trying to assist defendants to reclaim their own lives rather than having them spend time in the Arkansas overcrowded prison system.  For nonviolent offenders and traffic offenses, he often seeks community service instead of fines.  Carnahan stated that if a defendant cannot pay their fine, then a court imposing a fine is simply a way to return the defendant time and time again to the same courtroom setting.  By providing alternatives to fines, the community has benefited and the defendant can often avoid a second round in a courtroom over unpaid fines. 

Carnahan currently presides over a Sobriety Court with a target of treating people with alcohol and addiction problems.  One rumor concerning the judge which has followed him into the campaign trail is that he is more likely to sentence a misdemeanor defendant to school.  Often he is faced with misdemeanors where it is apparent to the court that the defendant does not have the means to lift themselves out of the cycle of crime.  Access to a GED and other educational and service-related sentencing has allowed people to find employment and leave criminal activities behind. 

Carnahan has a past history of serving as an Executive Director for the Republican Party of Arkansas.  He is a member of the Gun Owners of American and the National Rifle Association (NRA).  He believes in the rule of law and in providing a fair and open trial for any and all defendants.  Perhaps most importantly in the Judge’s life is his relationship with Christ.  He expresses not only to be a follower of Christ during conversations, but he also proudly proclaims this relationship in his campaign material.  When asked about the Constitution, Carnahan referred immediately to a quote he has on his flyers.  He says, “I will protect the entire Constitution and promise you that I will not legislate from the bench.”  Several legislators were present for the visit Tuesday evening, and Carnahan referred to them for issues of legislation and law-making.  He stressed that was not the job of a judge, an attitude he promises to carry to the Arkansas Supreme Court. Continue Reading →

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Arkansas House of Representatives Update on New Congressional Boundaries

This week, the House passed legislation outlining new boundaries for Arkansas’ four congressional districts.  

HB1982 and SB743 are identical bills that divide the state into the following districts:

The first congressional district includes the counties of Arkansas, Baxter, Boone, Chicot, Clay, Craighead, Crittenden, Cross, Desha, Fulton, Greene, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Lawrence, Lee, Lincoln, Lonoke, Marion, Mississippi, Monroe, Phillips, Poinsett, Prairie, Randolph, St. Francis, Searcy, Sharp, Stone, and Woodruff. It also includes and a portion of Pulaski County. The second congressional district will include the counties of Cleburne, Conway, Faulkner, Perry, Saline, Van Buren, White, and a large portion of Pulaski County. The third congressional district will include the counties of Benton, Carroll, Crawford, Madison, Washington, and a portion of Sebastian County. Continue Reading →

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Local non-profit and businesses give thanks to De Queen Officer for Hispanic Heritage Month

DE QUEEN, AR— In celebration of Hispanic Heritage month, a local inclusive group teamed up with area businesses to show appreciation for one stand-out officer in De Queen last week. 

The Minority Affairs Council of Southwest Arkansas (MAC) partnered with local companies who donated certificates and items that were collected for a gift basket and presented to Patrolman Gilberto Elizondo of the De Queen Police Department Friday, October 8th. 

The group selected Gilberto because of his dedication to helping the community and the positive example he has set for others. Prior to working for the De Queen Police Department, he was employed at the Sevier County Sheriff’s Department as a Detention Officer. For both agencies, Gilberto has assisted with translating Spanish and English when a language barrier occurs between law enforcement and residents. In addition to helping translate, the patrolman also serves as a role model for younger generations to look up to, as he graduated from both De Queen High School and Southern Arkansas University before becoming a public servant in his hometown. 

As many cities note rising tension between community members and law enforcement agencies, MAC is working on efforts to connect groups and individuals in the Southwest Arkansas area. The non-profit’s first community project was commissioning the “Welcome to De Queen” mural painted by Artist Darlene Taylor on the Eastern Edge of town. Continue Reading →

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Republican Women to Host Social at Crossties Event Center

The Miller County Republican Women will host a social event on Tuesday, September 28, from 4-6 pm at Crossties in Texarkana. Texarkana, AR: The Miller County Republican Women (MCRW) will hold a membership social on September 28th at Crossties in downtown Texarkana. The social event will feature a key speaker, the Republican Chair of Arkansas, Jonelle Fulmer. In addition, several outstanding guests are expected to attend, including chairs from surrounding counties in Arkansas and Texas. According to MCRW member Diana Lowe, elected officials from the area have been invited as well as fellow Republicans from Texas. Continue Reading →

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Arkansas House of Representatives Update 9-18-21

In the United States, someone dies by suicide approximately every 11.1 minutes, and in Arkansas, on average, every 16 hours. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10–34 and the 10th leading cause of death overall in the U.S.. The overall suicide rate in the U.S. has increased by 35% since 1999. September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. It is a time to raise awareness on this stigmatized and often taboo topic. Continue Reading →

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Westerman Statement on President Biden’s Vaccine Mandate on Private Businesses

Congressman Bruce Westerman

WASHINGTON – Reacting to President Biden’s executive order mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for private businesses with over 100 employees, Congressman Bruce Westerman (R-AR) released the following statement: 

“This week, the Biden Administration and Democrat leaders in D.C. have illustrated misguided priorities, out-of-touch policies, and incompetency,” said Congressman Westerman. “They ignore the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and on our southern border. They ignore inflation and double-down on it by supporting $3.5 trillion in radical spending that will increase consumer prices and our national debt doing considerably more damage than good. Instead of solving problems, this Administration pushes another ill-conceived, divisive executive action. Biden’s vaccine edict on private businesses is just another example of government overreach in Americans’ lives and does nothing to combat vaccine hesitancy.”
Continue Reading →

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Womack Statement on 20th Anniversary of 9/11

Washington, DC—September 11, 2021….Congressman Steve Womack (AR-3) released the below statement on the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks:

“20 years ago, terrorists attacked our nation because of the freedom and ideals it embodies. We will always honor the innocent lives taken from us and the heroism shown in the immediate moments—and years—since that fateful day. The loss we relive is a reminder of everything we must never forget to protect. On this solemn anniversary, we hold our fallen and their families in our hearts and remember the unyielding resolve that carried us forward. United, we will always stand stronger. Continue Reading →

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Arkansas House of Representatives Update 9-10-2021

There are three legislative meetings scheduled this month to review proposals for congressional redistricting. Arkansans are welcome to attend these meetings and comment on the proposals. The proposals will be outlined in bills drafted by legislators. We have provided a link to the bills at www.arkansashouse.org. The House and Senate State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committees will be meeting jointly in the MAC building located directly behind the State Capitol. Continue Reading →

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A Working Memorial in Arkansas Twenty Years After 9/11

For the witnesses of September 11, 2001, it is hard to believe it has been twenty years now after those shocking and horrific morning hours when the United States was attacked.  Since that time, we have spent twenty years hunting down those responsible, waging war on terrorism, grieving, rebuilding, and building memorials.  There are countless memorials across the nation and the world commemorating those who died that day.  The memorials celebrate the lives, the heroes, and the legacy of those lost. However, in a small town in northeast Arkansas, one memorial serves as a reminder of the loss of one of their own and functionally serves the community. 

While most memorials remember the person, the moment, or an event, the memorial to Sara Low serves the community as a dog park.  Sara Low was a native of Batesville, Arkansas.  Batesville is the oldest city still operating in Arkansas, and it was the home where Low grew up.  She attended school in Batesville, her family worked and lived there, and she left to work for the airlines.  On September 11, 2001, as her parents watched Sara’s beloved cat at their home in Batesville, Sara, at just 28 years of age, boarded a flight as a member of the crew of Flight 11 from Boston to California. 

In the aftermath of the attacks, it is believed that Sara worked to help passengers remain calm on the flight, but she is also credited with providing the telephone calling card used to give important information to the ground.  Later as America moved to find those responsible, Sara’s wings were sent to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. So while Sara could do no more after September 11 for her country and citizens, her wings were carried into the battles against terrorists as a reminder to the troops and as a small way she could continue to make a difference. In February of 2020, the city of Batesville broke ground on a project for their own memorial for Sara Low and September 11.  Sara had a long history of love for animals.  She was known to take in strays, help them, and care for them as a child.  Her parents and the community decided that they wanted a functioning memorial.  They wanted something to celebrate Sara, her love of animals, and to serve the community where she was raised.  The groundbreaking was the first step in the building of what would become The Sara Low Memorial Dog Park. 

Today the park can be visited along the walking path near Riverside Park.  The Sara Low Memorial Dog Park has been featured nationwide in articles, news reports, and shows.  It is built with rock from Batesville with sitting spaces, off-leash areas for dogs, and other amenities associated with a park to serve dogs and their owners. 

For a  community that still mourns Sara Low after twenty years, the park serves as a reminder that the good of the many people that died on September 11, 2001, can never be forgotten or taken for granted.  Sara Elizabeth Low will forever be remembered as one of the victims of 9/11. Continue Reading →

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