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Fair Board to host Auction
The 2016 Scott County Fair Political Pie Super and Chili Dinner will take place on Feb. 20, 2016 at the Home Economics building on the Scott County Fairgrounds. Dinner will be served for $5.00 a plate, all you can eat chili, drinks, and crackers/corn bread. All proceeds will go toward the 2016 Fair.



Legislative officials discuss Scott County healthcare
Based on the population of Arkansas in 2014 of 2.966 million that is almost an additional 434,000 people in Arkansas with health care coverage. The big question becomes - who is going to provide this care? This was just one of the questions in which Wade Smith, RN asked local legislative officials, city officials, and the Scott County Industrial Board during a round-table discussion held at City Hall this past Monday.
The answer to the question is nurse practitioners (NPs) are available to provide this care. NPs are trained, skilled and ready to move into the role of provider. There are 22 states plus Washington DC where nurse practitioners have full authority to practice, without mandatory written agreements with physicians - but Arkansas is not among the 23 listed. “If Arkansas were to become one of these states, then I feel that we would be able to get the nurse practioners to practice in rural health care areas,” said Smith.
Smith continued to explained the advantages in having a clinic with an NP. “Nurse Practitioners are cost effective. Four decades of research on NP practice consistently support the high quality and cost-effective of NP care. In the 2010 Institute of Medicine report, "The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, Safriet described the "proven track record" of APNS such as NPs, to provide care across populations and settings and they are resourceful.”




Police continue to investigate burglary
No suspects have been apprehended in the recent burglary of Walgreens Pharmacy according to Waldron Police Detective Horacio Gonzalez.
“A large amount of narcotics was taken from the pharmacy in just 10-12 minutes around 3 a.m. Jan. 30. We have video surveillance but are not able to make a positive identification,” stated Gonzalez.




SBA Disaster Assistance Available to Scott County
Low-interest federal disaster loans are now available to certain private nonprofit (PNP) organizations in Arkansas following President Obama's federal disaster declaration for Public Assistance as a result of severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding that occurred December 26,2015 - January 22,2016, announced Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). PNPs that provide essential services of a governmental nature are eligible for assistance, SBA disaster assistance is now available in Benton, Boone, Bradley, Calhoun, Carroll, Clay, Crawford, Dallas, Drew, Franklin, Greene, Independence, Izard, Lawrence, Little River, Logan, Madison, Marion, Mississippi, Montgomery, Ouachita, Perry, Pike, Polk, Randolph, Scott, Searcy, Stone, Washington, White, Woodruff and Yell.
"PNP organizations should contact the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management's Recovery Branch at (501)683-6700, online at http://www. adem. arkansas, eov/ADEM/Drvistons/DM/Recoverv/mdex. aspx or emailing RecoveryBranchdcbjadem.arkansas.sov to obtain information about applicant briefings," said Director Tanya N. Garfield of SBA's Disaster Field Operations Center-West. "At the briefings, PNP representatives will need to provide information about their organization," continued Garfield, FEMA will use that information to determine if the PNP provides an "essential governmental service" and is a "critical facility" as defined by law. If so, FEMA may provide the PNP with a Public Assistance grant for their eligible costs, If not, FEMA may refer the PNP to SBA for disaster loan assistance.




Preparing for Spring Travel
Exploring new sites in Arkansas or abroad is a great opportunity to meet new people and learn about the world. I believe that you change the world through personal relationships and traveling is an important component. 
I know that many Arkansans share my interest in traveling because my office sees an increase in requests for help with passports during this time of year. The closer we get to spring break, the more urgent they become. However, there are a number of ways to minimize the chances for a passport disaster. First, apply as early as possible. Passports normally take four to six weeks to receive. Expensive expedite fees and mailing costs can be avoided by planning ahead. Please call my office so I can help track down passports that have not been received after six weeks. You can find the forms and all of the information you need to apply at: travel.state.gov/passports.
For emergencies, we are fortunate to have a U.S. Passport Center located in Hot Springs. This facility can help process a passport request quickly. For Arkansans traveling within the next two weeks or in need of a foreign visa within the next four weeks, call the office for an appointment at: 1-877-487-2778. 




Earthquake Awareness Week began on Sunday
The Department of Emergency Management will observe its annual Earthquake Awareness Week February 7-13, 2016. Governor Hutchinson released an Earthquake Awareness Week Proclamation encouraging citizens and organizations to develop an emergency preparedness plan and work together to create a more prepared society. An ADEM representative will speak in Jonesboro elementary schools February 23 and 26 on earthquake preparedness.
Arkansas is a high-risk state for high-magnitude, high-impact earthquakes, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The New Madrid Fault Line runs along parts of Northeast Arkansas extending from Marked Tree, Ark., to Cairo, Ill. This seismic zone is the most active in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains, according to geological surveys.




Sealed and Guaranteed
God has given us the book of Ephesians because He wants us to see the riches He has bestowed on us in the Beloved (Eph. 1:6) God wants us to enter into a life of living within this wealth.  We are blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ (1:3).  God chose us before the foundation of the world (1:4).  God adopted us as sons (1:5) God freely bestowed His grace on us in Christ (1:6).  God has forgiven us for our sins and freed us from the penalty of those sins (1:7).  God has revealed something to us that was a mystery in Old Testament times, namely the gospel of Jesus the Christ (1:8-10).  God has provided us with an eternal inheritance that will surely be delivered to us at the end (1:11).  That delivery is as sure as the certainty of the Creator of heaven and earth being able to do what He purposes to do (1:11).  The Christian’s wealth that is based on these marvelous truths comes from both God the Father and God the Son.
God the Holy Spirit comes into view in Ephesians 1:13-14, “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation — having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory.” (NASU)  These two verses are a marvelous assurance that this wealth is already ours.  The believer’s place in the eternal presence of the Living God is already as sure as if we were already residing in heaven.  God the Holy Spirit has come on us and in us to effectually seal us and to serve as a guaranteeing down payment that assures the rest of the payment.




Criminal Justice Reform
In his State of the Union address earlier this year, President Obama asked Congress to heed his longstanding call for criminal justice reform. His allies are now pushing the Senate to pass the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act. But this bill isn’t a criminal justice reform bill. It’s a criminal leniency bill that will make Arkansas and America less safe. 
The call for criminal justice reform at the federal level is born out of false stories of young, first-time offenders sentenced to decades in federal prison for minor drug offenses because of mandatory sentencing requirements. Supporters of the bill say this ultimately leads to unnecessary mass incarceration and prison overcrowding. But the numbers tell a different story: only one-eighth of all prisoners in America are in the federal—as opposed to the state and local—prison system, and less than one half of one percent of those prisoners are there for drug procession charges.  Those who are most likely pled bargained for a lesser charge to avoid a longer sentence for drug trafficking or other violent crimes. 
The reality is that those in prison for federal drug crimes are almost certainly drug dealers or traffickers—participants in an illegal industry built on an entire edifice of violence stretching from the cartels of South America to drug-related killings in our communities. This bill would substantially reduce mandatory minimum sentences for these types of criminals and narrow the range of predicate offenses that can be used to make a case for harsher sentences.  It would also lead to the release of thousands of other criminals convicted of a wide array of armed crimes.  The result would be devastating: the release of thousands of violent felons across the country.




Earth News: Flat Earthers
In a 2013 speech President Obama compared climate change deniers to flat earthers. He said there were multiple solutions to the "very hard problem" of climate change but he would not waste time debating those who denied it was happening at all. "We don't have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society," he said. "Sticking your head in the sand might make you feel safer but it's not going to protect you from the coming storm."
When I came across this I puzzled over the term “Flat Earth Society.” Did it really exist? The ancient Greeks made observations that convinced them the earth was a sphere. They saw that travelers going south see southern constellations rise higher above the horizon; and the shadow of Earth on the Moon during a lunar eclipse is round. And Galileo knew from observation that the earth was one of the planets that circles the sun.
But there it was in Wikipedia, the Flat Earth Society founded in the 1800s and still accepting members to this day. They believe in a flat earth with a firmament 3,000 miles above containing the sun, planets and stars. They claim that the Apollo moon landing was staged in a studio and that all photos of the earth from space are faked.




Boys and Girls Club banquet deemed a success
With over 66 tables sold, the 2016 annual Scott County Boys and Girls Club banquet was deemed as a success by board members.
“To believe is to affirm and this has been done by each of you who have chosen to be a part of tonight’s event,” stated David Hawkins, President of the club. “The club would not exist without you and we are most appreciative for all of the support we have received over the years.”
Throughout the course of the evening, the club was able to raise over $5,550 in table sales as well as $5,341 in auction sales according to club executive director, Lorlla Wallace. “We are still tabulating the numbers since donations continue to come in and we have a donor who has agreed to match up to $2,000 of money raised at the night of the auction. We were able to raise $2,250 so that has put us at $4,250. We are just $750 shy of completing our $15K match goal to the $202K grant we had received last year. None of this would have been possible without the on-going support of the community and the businesses and our government officials of Scott County,” shared Wallace.




Inspiring Thoughts
When I have a short break during my volunteer work at school, I love to walk around the hallways and look at the inspiring phrases posted on the walls.  Here are some that I’d like to share with you:
•Parents-the most significant people in our students’ lives;
•Don’t be afraid to achieve your goal;
•Reading lifts you higher; it’s the most powerful skill of all!
•There’s no failure except in no longer trying;
•Give to the world the best you have, and the best will come back to you;
•Happiness is NOT a reward; it is a consequence;
•If you always tell the truth, you never have to rely on your memory; •We can all live without violence:




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LOCAL HEADLINES
Fair Board to host Auction
Legislative officials discuss Scott County healthcare
Police continue to investigate burglary
Razorback’s loss to Bulldogs “most galling”
Razorback’s loss to Bulldogs “most galling”