March 25, 2020
THE POLK COUNTY
1168 Hwy 71 S ● Mena, AR 71953 ● 479.243.9600
Your DAILY News Sources: KENA 104.1 FM & MyPulseNews.com Courthouse Operations Reduced Due to COVID-19 As of March 18th, and until further notice, operations in the Polk County Courthouse will be extremely reduced. We will be operating under a contingency of operations plan that will require many employees to work from home. This practice will allow us to have a replacement should a co-worker(s) become quarantined. To be clear, the courthouse is open, but, we are discouraging visitors for every reason, except urgent business. If you happen to have urgent business, we are asking you to call that respective office in advance so that you can be advised of protocol. The COVID-19 Pandemic is a serious threat and the measures we are taking should ensure that there is not a lapse in the urgent business of the people of Polk County. Many items of business can be done by telephone, email, or US mail.
Mena School Board Accepts Weston’s Retirement Recommendation The Mena School Board met Tuesday, March 17, and in the Superintendent’s Benny Weston’s report, he presented a Mitigation Report to the Board per guidance and direction of the Governor, DESE, and CDC. Board members approved Weston’s recommendation to renew the Arkansas School Boards Association Model Policy Service Contract effective the first day of February, 2020 and terminating on the last day of January, 2022, in the amount of $2,850.00.
Board members unanimously approved the School Choice Capacity Resolution for school choice applicants for the 2020-2021 school-year under the provisions of policy 4.5 - School Choice and applicable Arkansas Law. Following a presentation by Ray Bearrdsley of First Security Beadsley, board members approved a motion to submit an “Application for a Permit to Issue Bonds”, with related documents, for $14,830,000 in Refunding Boards to the State Department
of Education and to employ First Security Beardsley as Fiscal Agent, and to authorize the Superintendent of Schools to accept or reject the best bid submitted in connection with the publics sale of the proposed bonds in consultation with the fiscal agent. Susan Rowell seconded the motion and motion carried unanimously. The board also approved a motion to submit an “Application for a Permit to IsSCHOOL BOARD CONTINUED ON PAGE 15
Daughters of the American Revolution Program Shines Light on Patriotic Symbols A "Patriotic Symbols" presentation was given during the regular meeting of the James K. Polk Chapter March 12, 2020. Presenters were Regent, Cortez Copher, and Photographer, Kay Dye, who ran a
power point and youtube videos on a tv screen. First, the group took a recognition test of 10 patriotic symbols. Next was recognition of the first five Founding Fathers and a historic symbol for each one. A brief
history of the "WAR of 1812" was given to lead into the next group of symbols. At first, no one recognized a picture of SamDAR CONTINUED ON PAGE 6
COURTHOUSE CONTINUED ON PAGE 15
Meeting Held for Polk County Providers and Local Leaders
Dr. Joseph Aldrich, Mena Regional Health System Chief of Staff, called a special meeting for all Polk County providers and local city officials to collaborate community-wide measures that have been implemented to safeguard our residents and minimize the possible impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19). In addition to health care administrators and providers, those in attendance included: Seth Smith, Mayor; John Maddox, State Representative; Melinda Wise, Elite Home Health; Robby Hines, Southwest EMS; Brandon Ellison, Polk County Judge; Doreen Tapley and Phyllis Cunningham, Healthy Connections, Inc.; and Dr. David Brown, Rich Mountain Nursing and Rehab. “We were very pleased with the level of participation at the meeting and the MEETING CONTINUED ON PAGE 11
Group picture of the James K. Polk Chapter with speaker, Cortez Copher, who presented “Patriotic Symbols” for program.Submitted photo by Kay Dye.
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March 25, 2020
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If you are a business owner struggling to meet payroll or if you have recently become unemployed due to the response from COVID-19, we want to direct you to state resources that Representative John Maddox may help. Earlier this week the Governor announced that Arkansas will tap Community Development Block Grant funds and the state’s Quick Action Closing Fund to support small businesses and nonproﬁts that are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. The state will allocate $12 million in block grant money and up to $4 million from the quick-action fund to provide bridge loans to help midsize companies and nonproﬁts remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge also announced the transfer of $3 million of settlement funds from her ofﬁce to the quick-action loan fund for small businesses. The Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan program has been made available to eligible businesses and private non-proﬁts that were impacted.
These working capital loans of up to $2 million can be used to pay ﬁxed debts, payroll, and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Businesses and employers can access information on the grants and loans at www.arkansasedc.com/covid19. The Governor has also directed Division of Workforce Services to waive a number of restrictions for workers who have lost employment to ensure that the Unemployment Insurance Program (UIP) can provide needed assistance in a timely manner. Unemployed individuals will be able to collect beneﬁts immediately upon application approval rather than the typical weeklong waiting period. In addition, for the next 30 days, unemployed individuals will not be required to meet job search requirements. In person application requirements are also waived. Arkansans can apply at www.ezarc. adws.arkansas.gov The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will suspend the work requirement through the end of April. DHS also will expedite decisions about SNAP eligibility for those who lose income because of COVID-19 www.access.arkansas.gov. We will continue to update you daily on new developments concerning the state response to COVID-19 at www.arkansashouse.org.
Bid for Street Overlay Project Approved The Arkansas State Highway Commission has approved a bid for improvements to roadways in Polk County, the Arkansas Department of Transportation announced Friday. The purpose of this project is to overlay 0.84 miles of various streets in Cove to include East Barton Avenue, East Street, Old Cove Road, Depot Street, Main Street, and Middle Street.
The project also includes the overlay of 0.83 miles of various streets in Mena to include Janssen Avenue and Reeves Avenue. Crow Group, Incorporated of Morrilton was awarded the overlay contract at a cost of $561,921.37. Construction is scheduled to begin in two to four weeks, weather permitting. Completion is expected in mid 2020.
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March 25, 2020
Reflections from History and Faith By Jeff Olson One of the strengths of America has been the individual freedom and economic opportunities and incentives she has provided for men and women to utilize their intellect, abilities, faith and determination to pursue their dreams, ambitions and goals - not only for themselves but for the good of society. This has been especially true through creative and innovative advances in the field of medicine. Case in point: Poliomyelitis, better known as polio, is a serious infection caused by a virus which may attack the nerve cells of the brain and spinal cord. It is known also as Infantile Paralysis because it often would strike infants or children and lead to paralysis. Although major epidemics of Polio were unknown prior to the twentieth century, the disease has caused paralysis and death throughout much of human history. In the 1880s some epidemics began to occur in
Victory Over Polio, COVID-19 and Ourselves
Europe and soon after in the United States, beginning around 1900. At its peak, in the 1940s and 1950s, polio would paralyze or kill hundreds of thousands of people worldwide yearly. The fear and public reaction to these epidemics gave rise to mobilization in research and development of new methods to prevent and treat the disease. At the forefront of this effort was Dr. Jonas E. Salk, an American research scientist. Salk was born in 1914 in New York City, the oldest of a garment industry worker's three sons. He helped pay for his education by working after school and earning scholarships. He graduated from the New York University School of Medicine in 1939, where he did research with viruses in the laboratory of Dr. Thomas Francis Jr.. In 1942, he went to the University of Michigan on a research fellowship, and advanced to the position of assistant professor of epidemiology. There, Salk worked again with Dr.
Parks and Tourism Instituting Closings, Limiting Access at Parks and Museums
LITTLE ROCK—Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism (ADPHT), today announced that ADPHT is instituting closings and/or limited access to some of its parks and museums in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, effective March 20. Welcome Centers – Lobbies of the 13 Welcome Centers located around the state, which serve the traveling public, will close until further notice. Heritage Museums – The Division of Arkansas Heritage’s Little Rock museums will close to the public until further notice. This includes Historic Arkansas Museum, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center and Old State House Museum. Arkansas State Parks – Access to certain park facilities will be limited, effective March 20. Below is an overview; for detailed information visit ArkansasStateParks.com. • Park visitor centers are only accessible for camping/lodging check-in, and trail access, but exhibits and gift shops will be closed. • Lodges, cabins, and camp sites remain open. Daily housekeeping will not be provided. After a stay is over, the room will be
cleaned and sanitized for the next guest, using Centers for Disease Control guidelines. • Restaurants are open for carry-out only. • Restrooms – Parks will continue to provide some access. Per the discretion of park superintendents regarding labor and supplies, some restrooms may close. • Trails, picnic areas, and outdoor pavilions remain open. • Groups holding reservations should contact the park. Group size, meeting location, etc., will affect the ability for events to proceed. • Museum parks with trails restricted to trail access only. Museum parks without trails will provide limited access to exhibits. Gift shops are closed. • Playgrounds are closed. • Marinas and boat ramps remain open with availability of rental equipment that will be sanitized following each use. Gift shops will be closed. • Golf courses remain open. Pro Shops open to accept golf fees only. Gift shop and club rentals are closed. Cart rentals continPARK CLOSINGS CONTINUED ON PAGE 6
Francis (then head of Michigan's School of Public Health) to develop influenza vaccines. In 1947, Salk began teaching at the University of Pittsburgh and in 1948 he undertook a project funded by the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (NFIP) to determine the number of different types of polio viruses. This gave him an opportunity to extend this project towards developing a vaccine against polio. Sixty-seven years ago this week, March 26, 1953, Dr. Salk announced that he had successfully tested a trial vaccine against polio. Among the first to receive it were Salk, his wife, and their three sons. Having found the vaccine safe, it was further tested in 1954 during a mass trial on 1,830,000 schoolchildren. The trial was sponsored by the NFIP (later becoming the March of Dimes). The vaccine was announced safe and effective sixty-five years ago in April 1955. In countries where Salk's vaccine has remained in use, polio has been virtually eradicated. Salk received many honors, including a citation from President Dwight Eisenhower and a Congressional gold medal for "great achievement in the field of medicine." He refused all cash awards and when asked in an interview who owned the patent to the vaccine, Salk replied "There is no patent. Could you patent the Sun?" In 1963, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies was established in La Jolla, California. Dr. Salk spent his last years searching for a vaccine against HIV. He died of heart failure in 1995 at age 80. I cannot end this article without returning to my opening paragraph and comment about the creative and innovative advances in medicine in the United States and
elsewhere where freedom and opportunity have fostered such. The Coronavirus, like Polio was, is being subjected to the highest intensity of research by some of the best medical minds on the planet in seeking a vaccine. However, medical solutions cannot alone solve this, just as they couldn't for Polio. Just as important will be the determination, patience, resilience, responsibility, and care for others required of the American people to provide the time necessary to contain and control COVD-19. In other words, it comes down to how many of us understand and will practice the self-discipline always required for a self governing nation, one where individual freedom and love for one's neighbor are paramount. In such a nation, a vaccine will have a reasonable chance to treat and save as many lives as possible, especially the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. Finally, let us be inspired by Dr. Jonas Salk and his successful work in the victory over Polio. If that victory can be achieved, and nearly seventy years ago at that, then it is well within the possibilities of twenty-first century medicine to win a victory over COVD-19. Again, what modern medicine cannot fix is perhaps the biggest hurdle and likely even a more consequential pandemic in the long run: uncertainty, panic and disregard for others. It is also timely and prudent that we come to understand just Who our provider really is (Matthew 6: 25-33) and Who may be trying very hard to get our attention (II Chronicles 7:13-15). Victory over ourselves through God: This may be the most difficult (but winnable) battle of all, that is until we recognize who the enemy really is.
MENA REAL ESTATE
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March 25, 2020
The following information was received from Polk County law enforcement agencies. The charges against those arrested are allegations and the cases are still pending in the courts. Individuals charged and whose names appear in this column may submit documentation to us at a later date that the charges have been dismissed, or that they have been found innocent, and we will include that information in this space in a timely manner.
POLK COUNTY SHERIFF’S REPORT
MENA POLICE REPORT
March 16, 2020 Report from complainant on Polk 417 near Potter of a vehicle driven into a pond led to Citations for Careless and Prohibited Driving, No Seat Belt Use, and No Vehicle License being issued to Taylor Higgins, 25, of Mena. March 17, 2020 Report from complainant on Polk 92 near Shady Grove of being harassed by an acquaintance. Deputy responded. Information has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Ofﬁce for further consideration. March 18, 2020 Report from complainant on Hwy 71S near Hatﬁeld of damage to a sign valued at $500.00. Investigation continues. Report from complainant on Polk 167 near Potter led to the arrest of William T. Smith, 40, of Mena on Charges of DWI, Refusal to Submit, Careless and Prohibited Driving, No Seat Belt, and Open Container. March 19, 2020 No reports ﬁled. March 20, 2020 Report from complainant on West Johnson near Hatﬁeld of a trailer license plate being removed. Deputy responded. Report from complainant on Hwy 71N near Acorn of a theft. Investigation continues. Report from a complainant on Dover Street near Hatﬁeld of a domestic disturbance led to the arrest of John A. Davis, 31, of Hatﬁeld on a Charge of Domestic Battery 3rd Degree. March 21, 2020 No reports were ﬁled. March 22, 2020 Report from complainant on 71S near Cove of an accidental shooting. Deputy responded. Polk County Sheriff’s Ofﬁce worked no vehicle accidents this week. Polk County Detention Center Jail Population: 10 Incarcerated Inmates , with 11 Inmates currently on the Waiting List for a State Facility.
March 15, 2020 A harassment complaint was taken at a residence. Ofﬁcers responded to a disturbance call a department store. A harassment complaint was taken at a motel March 16, 2020 A forgery report was taken from a convenience store. A report of a stolen credit card was taken A suspicious person report was taken at a residence. A theft complaint was taken from a walkin complainant. March 17, 2020 Billy Fletcher, 33, was arrested for Criminal Trespass, Disorderly Conduct, and Resisting Arrest after a call to a residence. Travis Parker, 39, was arrested for Theft of Property, Driving on Suspended License, and No Liability Insurance. Also, Misty Arceneaux, 41, was arrested for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. These arrests were made after a complaint from a convenience store and a trafﬁc stop. Both suspects were issued citations and released. March 18, 2020 A harassment complaint was taken at a residence. An assault report was taken. March 19, 2020 A report of battery and criminal trespass was taken at a residence. March 20, 2020 Jimmy Davis, 44, was arrested for Theft of Property (Shoplifting) after a call to a department store. Tyler Kamm, 23, was arrested for Theft of Property (Shoplifting) after a call to a department store. Cathy Singleton, 59, was arrested for Theft of Property (Shoplifting) and Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor after a call to a department store. (All subjects should be considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law)
Waldron Homicide Suspect in Custody Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division are investigating a homicide in Waldron (Scott County). Agents were requested to conduct the investigation by local authorities. The homicide victim has not been positively identiﬁed. A woman’s body was found about 9:30 AM today in a rented room at the Southern Nights Motel, 1622 Rice Street in Waldron. During the investigation special agents have found sufﬁcient evidence to obtain an arrest warrant for Jared Tyler Briley, 25, of Waldron. Authorities felt Briley ﬂed the area in a silver 2013Dodge Durango, displaying Arkansas license plate number 332-XTM. About 6 pm Sunday evening, authorities suspected Briley was hiding in the Boles community. He was reportedly last seen on Dooley Road near Barker Loop. The suspect, Briley was taken into custody and has been charged with ﬁrst degree murder. The Waldron Police Chief thanked the Scott County Sheriff’s Department, Ar-
Jared Tyler Briley
kansas State Police, Arkansas Game and Fish, U.S. Marshals and the U.S. Forestry Service in assisting in the investigation, search and apprehension of Briley.
TEMPORARY CHANGES SET FOR DRIVER LICENSE TESTING OPERATIONS The Arkansas State Police will implement a temporary and limited adjustment in Class D (conventional motor vehicle) driver license testing effective Wednesday, March 18th. There is no change in any testing procedures at this time for commercial driver license applicants. As a result of decisions this week by local government ofﬁcials across the state to temporarily close or limit public access to city and county owned buildings where the state police uses space to administer driver license knowledge tests, the state police will continue to offer the testing services, but the knowledge testing will be limited to Arkansas State Police Troop Headquarters. Driver license knowledge testing in the River Valley region of the state will be administered at 765 Hob Knob Road in Russellville. The change in schedule begins at 8 AM tomorrow. A directory of
Arkansas State Police Headquarters with addresses and telephone numbers can be found at https://asp.arkansas.gov/divisions/highway-patrol/ As a result of an anticipated increase in the number of knowledge testing applicants inside troop headquarters, testing agents will limit the total number of applicants to ﬁve at any given time. The temporary change in driver license testing operations will continue through March 27th, at which time state police commanders will re-assess the changes. Additionally, no skills testing will occur for Class D license applicants. Being conscientious of the growing concerns among Arkansans to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19, the state police testing agents will be using sterilizing wipes to clean the computer keyboards at the testing sites after every test is completed.
March 25, 2020
UA Rich Mountain Moves to Online Instruction for Remainder of Semester [March 19, 2020 | MENA, Ark.] UA Rich Mountain Chancellor Phillip Wilson announced today that all campuses will move to online instruction for the remainder of the semester. “In the interest of the continuity of course delivery and for the protection of our community, we have made the decision to remain online until the conclusion of the semester.”
The announcement follows a week of unprecedented measures to contain the community spread of the coronavirus. “Making this decision now will allow all of our students, whether local, out of state, or out of country, to return home to practice social distancing and minimize the risk associated with this terribly contagious COVID-19,” Wilson added.
AG&F Waives Fishing License and Trout Permits Cortez Copher presented “Patriotic Symbols” as a descendant of Josiah Earp, her 4th G Grandfather who guarded British troops at the Battle of Yorktown. Submitted photo by Kay Dye.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has waived all fishing license and trout permit requirements for residents and nonresidents starting this weekend at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, March 21 through 11:59 p.m Sunday, March 29. The special waiver
is in response to the extended spring break by many schools and voluntary measures suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to practice “social distancing” to slow the spread of the Novel Coronavirus currently affecting the world.
Faculty and staff will remain at work. “Our commitment to our students during this transition is unwavering,” said Wilson. Students are encouraged to call with any questions or issues. A complete employee directory is available at: http://uarichmountain.edu/departments-and-staff. “The library, which will remain open to currently enrolled degree seeking students beginning March 30, will offer limited access. Call 479.394.7622 ext. 1371 for those details. In addition, our student support service is available to provide tutoring… know that we are here for you every step of the way.”
Polk County Births Mena Regional Health System March 12 - March 20, 2020
Amanda & Claude Thompson of Waldron, Arkansas are the proud parents of a baby boy born March 12th Tamara Thomas & Daniel Whitehead of Mena, Arkansas are the proud parents of a baby boy born March 16th Kathleen & Steven Johnson of DeQueen, Arkansas are the proud parents of a baby girl born March 17th Courtney & Christopher Thrailkill of Mena, Arkansas are the proud parents of a baby girl born March 17th Tanisha James & Taylor Hicks of Mena, Arkansas are the proud parents of a baby boy born March 18th
Group picture of James K. Polk Chapter with speaker, Cortez Copher, who presented “Patriotic Symbols” for the program. Pictured from left to right: Left to right- Ann Garrett, Era Looney, Shelly Collins, Jane Simmons, Dotty Kinnun, and Cortez Copher. Submitted photo by Kay Dye
Alicia Lowrie & Timothy Land of Hatfield, Arkansas are the proud parents of a baby girl born March 19th
Gary Lee Thomas
Gary Lee Thomas, age 78, of Mena, died Saturday, March 14, 2020 at his home. He was born on Thursday, April 24, 1941 to Robert Lee and Ada Maxine Beck Thomas in New Market, Missouri. Gary loved the Lord and attended the Salem Baptist Church in Mena. Throughout the years he was very involved in helping churches he attended with administrative duties and financial guidance. He graduated from Weston High School in 1959. For several years he was a part owner of the Lakeside Speedway in Kansas, after serving as a security officer at the Fort Leavenworth Penitentiary. From there, most of his career was spent working as a bank officer for many banks in the Missouri and Kansas area. Gary relocated to Mena in 2006 with his wife, Renita, and worked for Nidec as a security officer for six years. Gary loved life and was a dedicated husband as his wife PARK CLOSINGS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 ue and are cleaned and sanitized between rentals. • All interpretive programming, events and workshops are canceled until further notice. “We believe the closing of welcome centers, heritage museums and some limiting of access and services at our parks is the best thing to do for our visitors and our staff,” said Secretary Hurst. “People can still come enjoy our beautiful state parks, where social distancing is achievable; but they can also get some great stress relief by hiking or biking our trails, enjoying our lakes, or just sitting still and taking in the great outdoors.”
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March 25, 2020 meant the world to him. He enjoyed watching anything to do with cars, NASCAR, and was a fan of the Kansas City Chiefs. In his free time, he liked to listen to old country music, church hymns, classical music as well as read historical books. Gary was proud of his career and the time he spent as part owner of the Lakeside Speedway. He was passionate about any because that helped children and animals, and absolutely loved his two dogs, Dakota and Jake. Gary was a loving husband, father, brother, uncle, grandfather and friend and will be missed by all who knew him. He is preceded in death by his parents. Gary is survived by his loving wife of 23 years, Renita Thomas of Mena; two daughters, Valerie Roys of Arkansas, and Wendy Andrews of Arkansas; three stepchildren, Bill Gittings of Florida, Trisha Jackson of Iowa, and A.J. Gittings of Illinois; one sister, Sue Hewitt of Weston, Missouri; many grandchildren; And a host of other relatives and friends. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Cremation arrangements are entrusted to Bowser Family Funeral Home in Mena, AR. Online Guestbook: www.bowserffh.com DAR CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 son, the meat packer, who supplied the Continental Army with barrels of salted meat stamped U.S. until ...Cortez held up a bobble-head of Uncle Sam. She showed a burned "People's House" as she told a brief story about Dolly Madison grabbing important papers and George Washington's picture off the wall before leaving the White House as the "Red Coats" were coming. Pots of food were left behind which the British enjoyed before burning the White House and the National Capitol building. Next, a picture of Francis Scott Key on board a British Ship was shown . As he was watching Ft. McHenry being bombarded by the British, he wrote the poem, "Defense of Ft. McHenry" later written with music and became the national song in 1931. "The History of the Star Spangled Banner" from youtube was then played. The presentation ended with a story about the Battle of New Orleans, pictures of Jackson standing on a cotton Bale, and Singing the song, Battle of New Orleans."
Governor Hutchinson’s Weekly Address Tough Time Calls for Telemedicine
LITTLE ROCK – The COVID-19 pandemic has required us to rethink how we do things in our personal lives from education to our business, and how we entertain ourselves. The same is true in government. We have suspended a number of regulatory hurdles in order to navigate this uncharted territory. Today I’d like to discuss the steps we have taken to expand telemedicine. Telemedicine is especially important at a time such as this when we are dealing with a fast-moving virus that threatens a large part of our population. Telemedicine allows a sick person to communicate with a doctor without having to go to an office and put other patients and health care workers at risk of infection. Telemedicine is not new in Arkansas. Since 2017, patients have been able to consult with doctors and counselors about certain issues using various internet and telephonic technology. But that access was limited. Under the law, a doctor or counselor could not accept and consult with a firsttime patient by telephone. As we realized how easily the coronavirus spreads and that the number of cases likely would increase rapidly, we knew we needed to temporarily allow health care providers more ways to treat patients. So based on the wisdom and counsel of doctors and other leaders in health care, I issued an executive order suspending the provisions of the Telemedicine Act that require an in-person encounter or a face-toface examination using real time audio and visual means to establish a professional relationship. In other words, now a doctor can establish a new patient in his practice over the
telephone. This will minimize the number of people in waiting rooms, which, of course, will minimize the spread of the coronavirus as well as flu and other contagious diseases. The other significant element of the order is that it allows reimbursement to health care providers who take advantage of this provision. This is especially important for rural clinics that depend on income from patient visits. The reimbursement provision prevents economic harm to the doctors. The order also suspended the Rules and Regulations of the Arkansas Board of Examiners in Counseling to allow licensed counselors to treat their clients by telephone. Word of the order is still making its way to the insurance companies. We’ve heard reports that some companies have denied payment, but in cases where that has happened, it’s because the memo hasn’t worked its way down to the agents who work directly with customers. Leaders in the insurance industry generally have embraced this temporary solution. They know that we are in a crisis and that this shortterm benefit will shorten the duration of this pandemic. Whether we are facing a natural disaster or a medical crisis, Arkansans always run to the fight with courage and creativity. COVID-19 has upended life for many and forced us to change the way we do things, at least in the short term. The leaders in health care and all the personnel on the front lines are fighting this pandemic around the clock, which is why I am confident we are going to get through this as we always do.
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7 news Mena Regional Health System Implements Visitor Restriction Policy March 25, 2020
Mena Regional Health Sytem announced a visitor restriction policy today that will be in place until further notice. The notice is below. Infection Prevention Visitor Restriction Policy - To protect residents of our community, our patients, and our healthcare workers, the following visitor restriction policy has been implemented beginning March 20, 2020 until further notice. Visitation is restricted to 8:00 am – 7:00 pm using Main Entrance only. Visitation is restricted to one (1) single visitor per day per patient choice, non-transferable. Visitors must stay in the room and not make multiple trips to decrease traffic through the hospital. If you leave the patient care unit, you will not be allowed to reenter. Exceptions to the number of visitor restriction are as follows: Labor/Delivery patients will be allowed a visitor and labor coach during the Labor/ Delivery process. The Post- Partum Unit will allow only
one (1) visitor. Senior Behavioral Health unit will not allow visitors at any time. Pediatric patients may have two (2) parents or legal guardians present. Emergency Department will be limited to one (1) visitor of the patient’s choice, is non-transferable, and must stay in the room and not make multiple trips in and out of the unit. Ambulatory Clinic may have only (1) visitor present. Others must wait outside of clinic. Diagnostic Testing and Therapy (Radiology, Laboratory, and Rehabilitation Therapy) may have only one (1) visitor accompany the patient. All others must wait outside of facility. All visitors will have their temperature checked prior to entry. Those with fever will not be allowed to enter the premises. Visitors must be healthy and not have any of the following symptoms: fever shortness of breath
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tions. Overnight visitors are required to stay in the patient’s room at all times and not leave the hospital from 7:00 pm until 8:00 am. Exception to this policy will be made for end-of-life clinical situations and approved by the Clinical Director. Comfort Café Cafeteria will be closed to the public until further notice.
Governor Hutchinson Authorizes $30 Million For Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has authorized the release of $30 million to the Department of Finance and Administration for the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care professionals and first responders as they test and treat patients who have contracted COVID-19. Since the state’s first case of coronavirus was confirmed on March 11, it has spread rapidly through Arkansas. In order to ensure that the supply of protective gear is sufficient, Governor Hutchinson sought emergency approval for a Various Temporal Appropriation Request. Larry Walther, secretary of the Department of Finance and Administration (DFA), submitted the request to the co-chairs of the Legislative Council and the co-chairs of the ALC PEER Subcommittee, who approved the request on behalf of the Legislative Council.
Now g n Offeri
1411 Hwy 71 N, Mena, AR
cough symptoms of respiratory illness close contact with someone who has tested positive or is under quarantine for COVID-19 illness. Children under the age of 15 years will not be allowed – no exceptions to age limitations for visiting. Patients in Isolation Precautions will not be allowed visitors at any time. No excep-
The $30 million is being allocated from the Budget Stabilization Trust Fund to a Disaster Assistance Grant, which will go into the Governor’s Disaster Fund. DFA will find and purchase the PPE, and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences will distribute based upon priorities set by the Arkansas Department of Health. Local hospitals will participate in the bulk purchase and each will pay its portion of the overall purchase. “The testers, first responders, nurses, and doctors are our first line of defense in the fight against this aggressive virus,” Governor Hutchinson said. “They are risking their lives in the same way as firefighters who run into a burning building. We must provide them every piece of protection they need as they test and treat the Arkansans who have contracted COVID-19.”
FIND YOUR LOCAL NEWS IN PRINT, RADIO & ONLINE
March 25, 2020
3357 Hwy 71 N
to our area
Farmers & Ranchers
We salute the farmers and cattlemen of our area! Did you know that in Polk County.....
• • • •
Nu mbe r o f F ar ms - 793 F ar m Ac r e s - 1 40,2 1 0 Av e r ag e F ar m Siz e (ac res) - 17 7 Br o ile r s an d o the r me a t- t ype chickens 5,842 ,3 90 • C attle an d c alv e s - 37, 916 • Liv e s to c k, P o u ltr y, an d Products
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owner: Robbie Dixon
Call or Come By For a Tire Quote Proudly Supporting Agriculture! For all of your residential and commercial needs.
We Support Agriculture!
2201 Hwy. 71, Mena, AR (479) 394-5900 • 800-394-6695 WWW.SOUTHERNLPGAS.COM
To tal Sale s - $1 57 , 315, 0 0 0
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March 25, 2020
March 23rd - 28th is National Agriculture Week
Proud Supporters of Agriculture!
309 S. Morrow, Mena
109 South 5th Street Cove, AR 71937 870.387.3790
J&A Truss and Lumber, LLC
Proud Supporters of Aggriculture!
Mena Feed & Supply Baby Chicks
Garden Seeds & Plants
Sprays & Herbicides
479-394-3800 South of Town on Hwy 71
515 Janssen, Mena
Ouachita Equine Clinic Serving all your small & large animal needs.
Hours: Mon. Tues. Wed., and Fri. 8am-5pm Closed on Thurs.
Randy J. Burgess D.V.M. 2920 Hwy. 71 N, Mena, AR 71953
March 25, 2020
Little Rock District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Announce Additional Campground Closures The Little Rock District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have received additional guidance from USACE Headquarters and at this time, campground reservations scheduled between March 23 and June 1 will be cancelled. Refunds will be provided through Recreation One-Stop (1877-444-6777 or recreation.gov). Reservations after June 1 will be reevaluated at a future date. This decision was made with an abundance of caution and is intended to protect guests, volunteers, and staff. The COVID-19 situation is fluid and fast moving, as it affects the safety of citizens nationwide, so we thank you for your understanding and patience as we work to bring you information as quickly as possible. #COVID19 #lrcorps
Celebrate National Agriculture Week March 22-28
a n c i n gs . n i F % 0 Month 6 3 r o f WAC Hunter Computerized 4-Wheel Alignment & Wheel Balancing TIRES BRAKES CUSTOM EXHUAST SHOCKS & STRUTS Hours: Mon.- Fri. 8 am - 5:30 pm 1500 Hwy 71 South, Mena
Owner: Stacy & Julie Nash
Consider this: just about everything we eat, wear, and use comes from American agriculture. That’s why we celebrate agriculture’s importance in daily life as part of National Agriculture Week March 22-28. Pulse Multimedia and our sponsors encourage everybody to understand how food and fiber products are produced. We salute the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy. We appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant, and affordable products. The American farmer feeds more than 165 people. That’s a dramatic increase from 25 people back in 1960. Agriculture is our nation’s number one export, making it vitally important in sustaining a healthy economy. County Extension Agent Sherry SulliLICENSED RESIDENTIAL van provided The Pulse with agriculture AND COMMERCIAL data for Polk County from the U.S.D.A. CONTRACTOR There are 793 farms in Polk County. The average size of each farm is 177 acres. Farmland in Polk County totals 140,210 acres. The net cash income per farm average is $78,142. The total market value of agriculture products sold in Polk County is $158,999,000. Here’s the breakdown of livestock inNEW CONSTRUCTION, ADDITIONS, AND ventory in Polk County: Broilers and other REMODELING FROM DESIGN meat-type chickens 5,842,390; cattle and TO COMPLETION. calves 37,916; goats 674; horses and poCONCRETE, DECORATIVE CONCRETE, nies 940; layers 104,738; pullets 267,218; PATIO COVERS, CARPORTS, SHADE and sheep and lambs 352. STRUCTURES, RETAINING WALLS, Here’s the breakdown of top crops in RV COVERS. acreage for Polk County: forage (hay/ WE CAN DO IT ALL haylage) 27,415; vegetables harvested 7; land in berries 4; and blueberries 4. LIKE US ON FACEBOOK National Agriculture Week March 22-28 WWW.GLENNAIRECONSTRUCTION.COM is a great time to be grateful for American INFO@GLENNAIRECONSTRUCTION.COM and Polk County Agriculture! JAMES EARL TURNER (479) 234-6244 ERIC TURNER (479) 243-5549
March 25, 2020
CDC and Other Health Officials are NOT Going Door-to-Door Performing Tests While Arkansans are staying home in an attempt to prevent infection and spread of the COVID-19 virus, con artists are out and about going door-to-door targeting frightened senior citizens. Posing as employees of the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these scammers knock on your door and offer to scan you for the COVID-19 virus at a cost of $50. These
con artists, who are not licensed medical professionals, swab your nasal cavity and pretend to perform a medical test while you watch. To obtain your “test results,” the scammers ask for your banking information, including credit and debit card numbers, and social security number. “It is unbelievable that con artists use the fear surrounding the COVID-19 pan-
demic to target Arkansans, especially senior citizens,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The CDC and other health officials are not going door-to-door and performing tests. Arkansans should consult their trusted health care provider or the Arkansas Department of Health regarding COVID-19 testing.”
The Attorney General’s Office confirmed that the CDC is not going door-to-door for testing. Arkansas residents encountering someone at their door stating that they are there to test them for the COVID-19 virus should immediately call local law enforcement and file a consumer complaint with the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office MEETING CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
extensive preparations communicated among our medical community and local officials. Advantageous protocols were shared as attendees coordinated a specific plan for our city and county. Mena Regional Health System pleads with individuals who believe they have contracted COVID-19 or are experiencing shortness of breath, fever greater than 100°, and/ or cough to refrain from presenting to the Emergency Room for the protection of our current patients and their families. In the city of Mena, the three screening locations for COVID-19 include Mena Medical Associates and the Walk-In Care Center, 1103 College Drive; First Care Family Health and Walk-In, 1706 N. U.S. 71 and Healthy Connections, 136 Health Park Lane. The hours of operation at Mena Medical Associates, 1103 College Drive, have been extended to 8:00 a.m. to midnight until further notice. We request the use of the extended hours, 5:30 pm to midnight, be reserved for those who are experiencing respiratory illness and/or other symptoms relating to COVID-19.” - Jay Quebedeaux, CEO. Healthy Connections reported that all clinic entrance doors will be locked and pre-screenings in place before patients are allowed to enter. Patients who qualify for COVID-19 screening will be escorted
to an isolated, covered tent area for testing. Schedulers are now phone screening for all patients who need to schedule appointments. Patients with scheduled wellness exams, follow-ups or dental appointments are being advised not to come to the clinic for those needs at this time. Due to a limited number of supplies, drive-through screenings are not yet available. First Care Family Health and Walk-In offers drive-through screening following a pre-screening protocol. If you present to their facility, a buzzer has been installed at both entrance locations. Clinic staff will don in proactive gear and provide masks for patients before screening. A pre-screening for fever and symptoms will be implemented before allowing a patient to enter the building. Elite Home Health is now pre-screening all employees and patients daily while following the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines to care for patients in their home. Due to the high demand and shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), they are providing patients with needs as supplies become available. Robby Hines, Southwest EMS encourages individuals to stay at home during the next few weeks and limit out of town travel during this period of uncertainty to lessen
the possibility of spreading the virus to our area. There is no need for individuals to call 911 if they feel they have contracted COVID-19, however, If emergency medical service (911) is called due to a related medical emergency, screening will be done on the front end. “I appreciate the candid information that was shared in the special called meeting. It is apparent that every organization that was represented has similar obstacles. We all need scarce personal protective equipment and are just competing with each other as it becomes available. Knowing each other’s plan will make all of us more effective as we assist each other. There is no doubt that we will have to be innovative and unorthodox at times as we deal with this coming crisis.” – Brandon Ellison, Polk County Judge Mayor Seth Smith responded, “I have great confidence in our local medical community. They are all taking necessary steps to provide the best care possible in this evolving situation. I’m grateful for the cooperative effort, sharing information and contingently working to protect and care for the citizens. I strongly discourage any non-essential out of town travel. I urge citizens to adhere to all warnings publicized by MRHS, ADH and CDC to lessen the ex-
posure and/or spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the community.” “I appreciate the opportunity to be involved in this meeting with our healthcare workers and providers. They are the front line of defense and I am very impressed with their preparedness and attention to detail. I will let them know that I will be glad to contact the Arkansas Department of Health or any other state agency that I can on their behalf. I will also provide any other services that they request. This is a very trying time and I would advise everyone to adhere to the guidelines and recommendations being made by the Governor and his team. We will get through this and we when we do we will come out of this even stronger that we are now.” – John Maddox, State Representative. “It was truly wonderful to see our medical community and leaders come together to serve the needs of Polk County. We will continue to communicate updates with our citizens during the rapid involvement of the coronavirus COVID-19 regarding the safety and protection of this area. Thank you those who have been diligent in following the recommended guidelines in an effort to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in our community.” – Jay Quebedeaux, MRHS CEO.
MILES CONSTRUCTION & HANDYMAN SERVICE OWNER - JASON MILES
“We’ll go the extra mile for you!”
* Custom Homes * Remodels * Window Replacement * Additions * Vinyl Siding
479.394.4248 104 Port Arthur Avenue Mena, AR 71953-3344
March 25, 2020
ANSWERS FROM PUZZLES ON 03.25.20
Humane Society of the Ouachitas PET OF THE WEEK
This girl is very attractive! Cypress has beautiful tricolor fur in beautiful patterns that give her a very regal look. Cypress is a young lady looking for a place to call home! She is a nice medium size at 44 pounds. Cypress is happy and very friendly and is really good with other dogs too. She walks well on leash and uses a dog door. Celebrate her birthday in May (05/09/2018). Cypress is a real princess! ALL ANIMALS AT HSO ARE SPAYED/NEUTERED AND ARE CURRENT ON THEIR VACCINATIONS PRIOR TO ADOPTION.
HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE OUACHITAS TUES. THROUGH SAT. 10 A.M. TO 2 P.M. 368 POLK 50, MENA, AR 479 3945682 WWW.HSOMENA.ORG
CANCELLATIONS AND CLOSINGS Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism announced Saturday that to ensure the safety of guests and employees during the COVID-19 public health emergency, Queen Wilhelmina State Park Lodge will be closed effective 8:00 A.M. Monday, March 23, through Friday, April 17. Other state park lodges to close include DeGray Lake Resort State Park, Mount Magazine State Park, and Petit Jean State Park. Cabins and campgrounds will remain open, and carry-out service at park restaurants will remain available. Guests will still be able to enjoy park trails and other outdoor amenities. Guests will receive cancellations by email. Any deposits to the parks will be refunded and any lodge-based fees will be waived. Mena Elks Lodge 781 - Governor Hutchinson has mandated closure for 30 days effective March 20, 2020. All schools in Arkansas closed until April 17th due to coronavirus. The Cove branch of the Polk County Library is closed. They will reopen April 20 unless conditions dictate otherwise. The Cove Town Hall lobby is closed to the public. If you need to have a copy made, send a fax, or if you need a rotary, please call 870-387-5791, first. To make a payment for your water bill, please use the drop slot on the door. Polk County Housing Authority lobby closed. For questions call 394-1569. Acorn Rural Water office is closed to the public until further notice. You can drop your payment into the drop box, mail it or pay it at the Union Bank of Mena. For more information call 479-3941025. All activities at Arkansas State Parks at Queen Wilhimena State Park and Cossatot River State Park cancelled until May 13th. Hatfield Lions Club is cancelling their Easter Egg Hunt.
March 25, 2020 Contact Zona Fuchsburger at 479-2162241 for more information. All OLT shows and activities cancelled or postponed due to Covid-19 Pandemic. The OLT office will also be closed until further notice. All scheduled shows will ultimately be performed at dates compatible with the current health emergency. American Legion Bingo Saturday and Monday Cancelled TFN. FROM THE EXTENSION SERVICE OFFICE: We are having to suspend all 4-H, EHC, Master Gardener, & educational activities for the time being due to COVID-19. The Mena 1st United Methodist Church has suspended all church activities like mens breakfast, youth group, kids club and Sunday services until further notice as per the CDC. All services at Hatfield Methodist Church cancelled TFN. Christ Community Fellowship has cancelled weekly Wednesday and Sunday Services from March 18th through March 29th. Sunday Services will be “Live Stream” via CCF Facebook each Sunday morning around 10:45am. Will resume normal schedule as soon as possible. Dallas Avenue Baptist Church will be live streaming Sunday services at 10:30am. All services cancelled on campus. Bible Believers Baptist Church has cancelled services Sunday. Christ’s Church at Mt. Fork has cancelled services until April 5th. Grace Bible Church has cancelled services until further notice. There will be a video posted on social media later in the week and at least weekly afterwards. To contact the church dial (479) 394-4092. First Baptist Church of Mena will not have Sunday worship service. Sermon will be streamed on FBC Facebook page only and on KAWX there will be a sermon broadcast. All events at FBC are cancelled through the coming week. We will not have Sunday School, Children’s
Church, nursery, or evening activities. We will also not be running vans until further notice. First Presbyterian church services are being filmed and put online. No in person service until further notice. The Union Bank lobby. First Financial Bank lobby and other banks lobbies in the area are closed until further notice. In keeping with the state and national guidelines regarding COVID-19, Board Camp Annul Pancake Breakfast has been postponed until further notice. Announce - Congregate meals at Cossatot Senior Center will be closed till further notice. Will do drive up/pick up from 10am11am. also will continue home delivered meals as normal. contact 479-234-3503 to be included or for more details. The Mena Polk County Senior Center will NOT be open for daily activities thru March 31. We will still be serving the current home delivered meal participants as usual. We are going to stay operational with meals as long as possible. The building will be closed for activities and in house dining. If you are currently a participant and would still like a meal, you may call the senior center between 9 and 11:00 to placean order to be picked up. The Grab & Go meals are still suggested donation price of $3.00 each. Any extra monetary donations are greatly appreciated!! The number to call is 479-394-5459 to order a meal. No meals after 12 noon. Stay tuned to this facebook page and also local radio stations for further announcements.
fice lobbies are closed to protect health of members and employees. We will operate business as usual through the drive through. Members may report outages by call toll-free 1-877-828-4074 or call the Mena office at 479-394-4140. Payments can be made at the Drive Thru, Night Deposit or website www.rmec.com of by phone at 1-844-849-1513. Polk County Quorum Court meeting has been postponed and no new date has been set. Mena Art Gallery announced there will be Art Day on Tuesdays until further notice. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, in an effort to protect our customers and employees, the lobby of the Mena Water Utilities will be closed. Payments can be made through the drive-thru or on-line at www.menawaterutilities.org. There is also a locked payment box in the drive-through for after-hour payments. If you would like to minimize your wiat time to make a payment without a payment slip, call 479-394-2761 during normal business hours and the staff can have your payment slip ready. There will be no disconnecting of water service for non-payment to households during the month of March. If you need assistance with setting up a new service, transferring service, or other services please call 479-394-2761 during regular business hours so that we can get the necessary paperwork completed. Freedom Water office is closed until further notice. You may drop your payment in the drop box at the office, mail it or pay at First Financial Bank. If you need to know your balance or have any questions you may call the office 479-394-7500 during business hours, 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.
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THE POLK COUNTY PULSE
classifieds CLASSIFIEDS - SERVICES -
Need your land cleared? Let me mulch it for you! RC Customz Land Clearing, Mulching & More. Some services (but not all) include: Fence lines, cleaning of lots, bush-hogging & fencing. This is a great solution for clearing overgrowth while leaving desirable trees. We service both residential & commercial customers. Military discount available. For more info & estimates contact Russell Lane at (479) 216-2976 T040120 ARKANSAS TREE CARE for all of your tree removal, tree trimming, and brush clean up needs. Experienced and FULLY insured. Free estimates. Call (479)216-4328 T04082020 Complete Yard Care, mowing, weed eating, hedge trimming, and more. When you need an extra hand. Free estimates. Mena and Polk County (479)234-0509. T07292020 Tree removal and trimming. Experienced and fully insured. For ALL your tree needs. Call Wendell’s Tree Service (479)394-0227 or (479)216-4328 T04152020
March 25, 2020
MRHS Vistor Policy Alert, COVID-19 Screening Update Please read and share the MRHS visitor policy and COVID-19 screening update below. "Mena Regional Health System continues to implement extreme safety measures in an effort to protect our patients and staff. A new visitor infection prevention policy was announced and posted last Friday. Our MRHS staff, along with any visi-
tor or patient that enters the facility, will be screened before allowed beyond the front entrance. All other exterior doors will be locked at all times. Exemptions to the number of visitors allowed will be based upon the unit in which the patient has been admitted. There will be no visitors allowed for patients in isolation or Senior Behavioral
Health. The Mena Regional Comfort Café is closed to the public until further notice. Mena Medical Associates has updated the clinic hours to 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. through this Wednesday, March 25. Determination regarding hours beyond Wednesday will be based upon patient volume and will be posted for the public.
Thousands of Fake COVID-19 Websites Created to Take Advantage of Arkansans AG says, ‘must weed out these fake websites, only relying and sharing verified information’
LITTLE ROCK - While taking extra precautions to prevent infection and the spread of the COVID-19 virus, don’t forget to be safe online. Con artists have been creating thousands of websites daily, knowing that Americans are turning to the internet for news and information about this pandemic; making it a ripe place to infect your device, steal your information and spread malware. “Arkansans must weed out these fake websites, only relying and sharing verified information from reliable sources,” said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “Cyber criminals are spending time creating fake websites, emails and ads that look like they are from legitimate sources to take your money.” Attorney General Rutledge has provided the following tips to protect Arkansans from con artists: Get information from well-known or government sources and websites that end in .gov. Resources include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Arkansas Department of Health. Beware of requests that ask for your personal information, credit card information, social security number or banking information. Check the URL link for a "lock" icon before you proceed. Look for generic email greetings like “Dear Sir or Madam” and delete emails that insist you act now.
The Attorney General’s Office has created a page that links to state and federal government resource pages for COVID-19
at ArkansasAG.gov/COVID19. Contact the office with any questions or concerns at (800) 482-8982.
OLT Suspends All Activities Due to COVID-19 In cooperation with the CDC, Presidential and State guidelines, board members of Ouachita Little Theatre voted to suspend all programs, rehearsals, concerts (including competition rehearsals for young playwrights) until further notice. The office on Main Street will be closed beginning March 20 for the time being. The musical “BIG,” as well as other future productions, will be rescheduled. Season tickets will be honored for all shows covered by your original purchase. Your media copies from Memory Makers are still being processed and you will
be notified when you order is ready. Memberships are still available online. OLT encourages you to support your local theater by becoming a member or donor as many of their expenses continue while receiving no revenue from shows in the coming weeks. The Board is monitoring the current health situation and will keep you updated as decisions are made. OLT expresses thanks for your patience and wishes all in our community good health during this difficult time.
Queen Wilhelmina State Park Lodge Closed Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism announced Saturday that to ensure the safety of guests and employees during the COVID-19 public health emergency, Queen Wilhelmina State Park Lodge will be closed effective 8:00 A.M. Monday, March 23, through Friday, April 17. Other state park lodges to close include DeGray Lake Resort State Park, Mount
Magazine State Park, and Petit Jean State Park. Cabins and campgrounds will remain open, and carry-out service at park restaurants will remain available. Guests will still be able to enjoy park trails and other outdoor amenities. Guests will receive cancellations by email. Any deposits to the parks will be refunded and any lodge-based fees will be waived.
Department of Ed Seeking Waiver for Testing Commissioner Johnny Key announced today that Arkansas will be seeking the waiver to cancel the Spring State ACT Aspire Testing as well as the K-2 Assessment for this year, Here is the official statement! Due to the extraordinary circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting school closures, states have been provided flexibility regarding the assessment and accountability requirements under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by
the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Given the widespread, extended school closures, and the interruption in school operations and on-site classroom education, Arkansas will cancel administration of state testing for the spring of 2020. This includes the Act Aspire and the K-2 assessments. Arkansas will participate in the U.S. Department of Education’s expedited waiver process and will be seeking broad flexibility from both assessment and accountability provisions. COURTHOUSE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
Assessor 479-394-8121 Circuit Clerk 479-394-8100 Circuit Judge 479-394-8107 Collector 479-394-8110 County Clerk 479-394-8126 County Judge 479-394-8133 Treasurer 479-394-8150 District Court 479-394-8140 Emergency Mgt. 479-394-8142
March 25, 2020
Juvenile 479-394-8145 Veterans Service 479-394-8147 Prosecuting Atty. 479-394-6114
It is our duty to prepare for this crisis as if it is imminent. For your protection and in particular, the protection of our seniors and health compromised, we ask you to stay home or away from close contact with others.
SCHOOL BOARD CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Bonds”, with related documents, for $5,650,000 in Refunding Bonds to the State Department of Education and to employ First Security Beardsley as Fiscal Agent, and to authorize the Superintendent of Schools to accept or reject the best bid submitted in connection with the public sale of the proposed bonds in consultation with the fiscal agent. The previous two items will only occur as the market improves and an agreement
is reached between the Superintendent and the fiscal agent. First Security Beardsley was employed as the district’s Financial Advisor for a period of three years effecitve as of the date of adoption. Board members then accepted the resignation of Geraldine Krudwig - Secondary English, Mena High School and Weston’s retirement recommendation.
Prescribed fire activity temporarily suspended by USDA Forest Service in southern states The Southern Region of the USDA Forest Service announced today that all new ignitions for prescribed fire have been postponed until further notice. The Ouachita and Ozark-St. Francis National Forests are within the Southern Region. “Health and safety are our top priorities,” said Shardul Raval, director of Fire and Aviation for the Southern Region. “This decision respects people in our communities
who are medically fragile and it supports social distancing because our fire crews won’t be out traveling to prescribed fire sites.” The Forest Service always considers the potential impact of smoke on the community when managing prescribed fires and wildfires. Forest Service officials will coordinate with local and state health organizations to adapt if conditions evolve.
Polk County Housing Authority 509 South Morrow Street, Mena, AR
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“Smoke Free” and well maintained. The cooking and heating in most apartments is natural gas which is paid by the housing authority. Water, sewer and garbage pick-up are also paid by the housing authority. You will be responsible for your own electric service. Rent amount is based on income. Lawn mowing service is provided to elderly/disabled residents and available for a fee to all other residents. Apartments have washer and dryer hook-up and are equipped with a range and refrigerator as well as central heat and air conditioning. PCHA also has an income based rental assistance program for housing anywhere in Polk County. or visit our website at www.polkarhousing.com
Soliciting agent for Arkansas Blue Cross, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Plans available only to residents in Arkansas.
March 25, 2020
James K. Polk Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution Swears In 48th Member Wendy Syfrett, was sworn in as the 48th member of the James K. Polk Chapter NSDAR on March 16, 2020 by Chapter Registrar and Honorary Regent, Dotty Kinnun, and Chaplain, Jane Simmons. Wendy's mother, Ruth Gray, was sworn on February 20. The next scheduled DAR meeting is May 21, at 5:30 p.m. to be held in Fellowship Hall of the First United Methodist Church. The JKP Chapter has planned refreshment and visit time before the meeting at 6:30. An exciting program in "Lineage Research" will be presented by Dotty Kinnun before the new officers are sworn in for 20-21. All ladies interested in the Daughters of the American Revolution are invited. If you have questions, send email to (email@example.com).
Income Tax Filing Deadline Moved to July 15th The income tax filing date has been pushed back from April 15, to July 15, the federal government announced at President Trumpâ€™s direction on Friday. All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties. President Trump said that if people are expecting refunds, they should go ahead and file now so that they can get their refunds from the IRS more quickly. The administration used authority under Trumpâ€™s national emergency declaration. The delay is available to people who owe $1 million or less and corporations that owe $10 million or less. It is expected that many states will follow the lead of the federal government and delay their tax filing deadlines as well, but that will be a state by state decision. The payment delay is expected to provide $300 billion in temporary support to the economy by giving households and businesses the ability to use money they would have paid to the IRS as financial support to meet other needs during the economic emergency created by the efforts to contain the coronavirus.
Above: Dotty Kinnun swears in Wendy Syfrett. Also pictured Jane Simmons. Submitted photo by Kay Dye. Below: pictured from left to right: Dotty Kinnun, Ruth Gray, Wendy Syfrett and Cortez Copher. Submitted photo by Kay Dye
Weekly free news publication for Polk County Arkansas and surrounding communities.