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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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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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Nominations Open for Child Advocacy Fall Awards

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Nominate Your Choice at OICA.ORG

OKLAHOMA CITY – During its annual Fall Forum meeting, to be held on Wednesday, October 20th – Friday, October 22nd and culminating on Monday, October 25th, the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) will announce winners of three awards recognizing excellence in child advocacy and philanthropy.

Nominations from members of the public are now being accepted for these awards, which can be submitted on the organization’s website at http://oica.org. The three awards are the Steven A. Novick Child Advocacy Award, the Laura Choate Resilience Award, and the Jasmin and Melvin Moran “Kidizenship” Award. “Each of these awards represent something special about those who fight for Oklahoma’s children,” said Joe Dorman, OICA’s CEO. “Steven Novick dedicated much of his legal career to improve the lives of youth in state custody. Laura Choate was one of those for whom Steven fought and she has dedicated her life to that same cause. 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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Oklahoma Optometrists Offer Complimentary Vision Exams on Giving Sight Day: October 2, 2021

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The Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians and its participating members will be hosting the second annual Giving Sight Day on Saturday, October 2. Giving Sight Day is designed for families and individuals in-need to receive complimentary vision care at participating clinics. “Clear vision and healthy eyes are gifts that all Oklahomans should enjoy,” said OAOP President Dr. Randi Day. “That’s why we are committed to providing complimentary services to those who would be otherwise unable to access optometric care. This is a great way for optometric physicians to give back to the communities and the people that we love. The first ever “Giving Sight Day” in 2020 saw OAOP members performing over 350 free eye exams and donating $32,400 of frames and lenses to patients. Participating optometric physicians and clinics are listed below. Continue Reading →

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