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Arkansas House of Representatives Weekly Post 11-25-2021

Small businesses are the heartbeat of our neighborhoods and the lifeblood of our local economy. 

In Arkansas, small businesses make up the majority of the business landscape, at 99.3% of all businesses in the state. This equates to 258,552 businesses. Small businesses can be found in every corner of our state. 

Small Business Saturday is the day after Black Friday. It is a day to celebrate and support small businesses and what they do for communities. If you are looking for a way to find unique gifts while also supporting the local economy, Small Business Saturday is the perfect day to do so. Continue Reading →

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Arkansas Needs Tim Griffin

Opinion: When it comes to candidates for Attorney General in the State of Arkansas, none can rise above or outshine Tim Griffin. To be frank, Tim Griffin will be the Attorney General Arkansas is going to need for the foreseeable future.

Few would argue with the statement, “There is no substitute for experience” and Griffin’s resume is a sounding board of experience. However, he is not only experienced in state law and politics, but he also has a background extending from federal law to Washington D.C. and into the heart of the United States Military.

Starting in 1995 Griffin gained experience working on an investigation into the former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.  He served as the Senior Investigative Counsel for the House Committee on Government Reform.  In 1999 he was the Deputy Research Direct for the RNC and worked directly with George Bush on the election campaign. In 2005, Griffin worked directly with the White House as a Special Assistant to the President.  By 2006, Griffin was appointed to serve as a United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas. 

Tim would go on to run for Congress and win. He served two terms before deciding to come home to Arkansas and raise his family. In Arkansas, he has served two terms as the Lieutenant Governor. While serving and working in D.C. and Arkansas, Griffin also managed to serve in the United States Army Reserve where he currently holds the rank of Colonel. Tim served in the Iraq War and earned numerous awards for his service.

Arkansas faces an unprecedented time of potential and outright overreach from the federal government.  That overreach has gone into schools, challenged the rights of the Second Amendment, included vaccine mandates, and regulations put in place which directly hurt Arkansas families and workers.  We need Griffin to face these challenges. The Arkansas Attorney General’s office is the largest staffed state office serving the citizens of Arkansas.  There are more than 100 attorneys working directly under the Attorney General to ensure the rights and liberties of Arkansas citizens are not violated.  There is simply no better person than Tim Griffin to lead this fight.  He knows Washington, he knows Congress, he knows the law, and he knows the plight of our veterans.  Tim Griffin has the background, the experience, the knowledge, and most importantly the dedication to lead Arkansas as we face these challenging legal times ahead. 

When you go to the polls in May and again in November, remember Arkansas is in a fight for the future of your children. The battles in the court systems today will determine the freedoms, the rights, and the future for all of us in Arkansas. The choice can not be any clearer. The only person prepared to fight for us in the next four years is Tim Griffin. Tim’s experience, leadership, and skill will propel us into positions of victory for Arkansas. You must cast your vote for the future of Arkansas and that means you must vote for Tim Griffin as your next Attorney General of Arkansas. Tim’s campaign is online: Tim Griffin
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“This is Home” -Sixty years of Scissors, Succession and Service in Sevier County, Arkansas

Jeff and Gehri in front of Jeff’s Barber Shop

DE QUEEN, AR— After finishing High School, Gehri Packnett was looking for a job when he discovered an opportunity that ended up lasting him a lifetime.

In February of 1962, he walked into a Barber shop in De Queen, Arkansas and he hasn’t had any other job since being given a chance that day. After completing barber college in Little Rock, Gehri began his career at the shop that was then called “George’s,” and after 10 years he bought the business and changed the storefront’s name to his own in 1972. The shop changed ownership again 36 years later in 2008 when Gehri’s stepson, Jeff purchased it and gave the store his name. Now, the duo work side by side together and provide services for a faithful base of clients who have counted on them since the days of their first childhood trims.

 Cutting hair on the Downtown Square in De Queen was the first job Gehri ever got, the only job he has ever had, and the only job he says he ever wants. In February 2022, the Oklahoma native will celebrate 60 years of visiting with customers, sharing stories, preparing locals for special occasions and “making those guys look good.”

For six decades, Gehri has watched the community change and grow as businesses in the Southwest border town have come and gone over the years. Continue Reading →

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Community Organizers Announce Rural Resource Roundtable Event in De Queen

DeQueen, Arkansas

A local Non-Profit is holding a free resource event for the community in De Queen this month. 

The MAC group of Southwest Arkansas will be hosting the “Rural Resource Roundtable” panel discussion and community information session on Thursday, November 18th from 6-8pm at Party Room Candela, 110 North 3rd Street in Downtown De Queen. 

Door prizes, including multiple $50 gift cards will be given out at the conclusion of the event and free drinks and snacks will be available. The purpose of the panel discussion is to hear from experts on important categories for rural communities. Healthcare, Business Development, Diversity, Disability Inclusion, Local Government, and infrastructure will be featured subjects. Each panelist will be asked questions in their field of expertise and the information will be shared to the public who attend in person and on the Facebook Livestream. 

Participating panelists include Lori House, CEO of the Sevier County Medical center, John Caver, Director of the Arkansas Small Business Development and Technology Center, Tony Soto of the National Guard and De Queen School Board, and Evelyn Beasley, an Education leader with the De Queen Public Schools. 

Lorena Esquivel, a local business owner and community figure of Iglesia Centro Cristiana de De Queen will be hosting the event and Josiah Matthews of the ARPPC will serve as Keynote-Speaker. The program will be guided in Prayer by Lewis Temple of De Queen and everyone is welcome to attend this evening of community education. 

Social distancing and Mask use is encouraged for in-person attendance and viewing on livestream will be available through the MAC Facebook page. Continue Reading →

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Miller County Republican Committee to Host Former State Chair Doyle Webb

Former State Chair Doyle Webb, candidate for Arkansas Lt. Governor will speak at the November Republican Meeting. Miller County, AR: The Miller County Republican Committee (MCRC) will hold their monthly meeting Tuesday, November 9, at Reggies Burger on Stateline. The meeting will start at 6:30 and feature guest speaker Doyle Webb. Webb is a former Chair of the Republican Party of Arkansas and a candidate for Lt. Governor of Arkansas. Webb will speak first, followed by a ten-minute recess to allow guests and members to talk directly with Webb. Continue Reading →

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Westerman Delivers Remarks at The Unveiling of Arkansas Quartz

Berns Quartz

WASHINGTON – October 27, Congressman Bruce Westerman attended the unveiling of the Berns Quartz in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, the largest quartz crystal specimen ever to go on public display. It weighs more than 8,000 pounds and stands six and one-half feet tall. The quartz was discovered at the Coleman Mine in Arkansas’ Ouachita Mountains in 2016. “It is great to have a little piece of Arkansas in Washington, D.C. where visitors from all over the world can see the beauty of Arkansas and learn more about all our state has to offer,” said Congressman Westerman.“I am honored to witness the unveiling of such a magnificent specimen found right in our backyard. Arkansas is truly blessed with incredible resources. Continue Reading →

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Arkansas House of Representatives Update 10-29-21

According to the American Diabetes Association, approximately 363,781 people in Arkansas, or 14.8% of the adult population, have diabetes. 

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States and the number one cause of kidney failure, lower-limb amputations, and adult blindness. In the last 20 years, the number of adults nationwide diagnosed with diabetes has more than doubled. November is National Diabetes Month, a time when communities across the country team up to bring attention to diabetes and its devastating consequences. People with diabetes have medical expenses approximately 2.3 times higher than those who do not have diabetes. Diabetes and prediabetes cost an estimated $3.1 billion in Arkansas each year. 

In the most recent legislative session, we passed Act 643, which mandates that the Arkansas Medicaid Program cover a continuous glucose monitor for an individual if the individual has either a presence of Type 1 diabetes or any other sort of diabetes with the use of insulin more than two times daily. Continue Reading →

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Arkansas House Delegation Opposes a Federal Vaccine Mandate on Schools

Washington, DC—On October 20, 2021, Congressman Steve Womack joined Congressman Bruce Westerman, Congressman Rick Crawford, and Congressman French Hill in sending a letter to Department of Education (DOE) Secretary Miguel Cardona opposing a federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate on public schools. “Education policies are best handled at the local level – not by Washington bureaucrats,” said Rep. Womack. “We don’t need the federal government inserting itself where it does not belong. Our school leaders and families are more than capable to work together and make choices that are best for students. Arkansas will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our children.” Continue Reading →

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Lawmakers Call on Biden to Put American Energy First

Washington, DC: In light of rising gas prices, Congressman Steve Womack (R-AR) joined Congresswoman Carol Miller (R-WV) and other members in sending a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to reverse his anti-American agenda of emboldening adversarial foreign energy producers and empower American energy producers instead.

The letter, which was signed by more than 140 House Republicans, comes after the Biden Administration’s recent request to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and 10 other oil-exporting nations, known collectively as OPEC+, to produce more oil to fight rising gas prices for American consumers. In part, the lawmakers wrote, “Your assessment that increasing oil supply is necessary to reduce prices at the pump is valid, and we agree with National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan who said that rising gasoline costs will ‘risk harming the ongoing global recovery.’ However, we disagree with your Administration’s efforts to decrease access to American energy resources while soliciting OPEC+ nations to increase production of their resources. As you are aware, OPEC+ includes nations that are known American adversaries, such as Russia, Iran, and Venezuela. Continue Reading →

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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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