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Earth News: Frontier Justice
When a gang of armed men took over the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, the law treated them with uncharacteristic restraint. Maybe it was the guns. They surrounded the refuge and negotiated for forty one days while the facility was trashed and employees could not report to work. And when they were brought to justice and tried for their trespass they were found not guilty. Maybe it was the guns.

Now we have unarmed Native Americans protesting the construction of a pipeline that will run through their source of drinking water and their ancient burial grounds. It wasn’t originally routed that way, it was supposed to go through Bismarck, N.D. But the governor didn’t want a leaky old pipeline near his precious city and municipal water supply, so he had them give it to the Indians.




Overtime Rule
Last month, a Federal Judge granted an injunction against the Department of Labor's Overtime Rule which was scheduled to go into effect December 1. This rule would raise the threshold to qualify as a salaried employee from $23,660 to $47,000— substantially higher than the median income in Arkansas. This increase would have a devastating impact on businesses, employers, and workers across the Natural State.

Currently, employees can become salaried professionals as long as they earn at least $455 per week or $23,660 annually. But under this new regulation, anyone making less than $47,000 per year would be considered an hourly employee. This means many salaried employees would be eligible for overtime, but they would have to return to their hourly wage which could result in less responsibility, base pay cuts, less flexibility, and fewer hours as employers struggle to afford this new compensation scale.




State Capitol Week in Review
LITTLE ROCK – Businessmen and state economic development officials understand that Arkansas is part of a global market place, and that many of their customers and much of their competition is overseas.

Last year Arkansas companies exported $5.9 billion worth of products and services. Since 2010 the value of Arkansas exports has risen 12.5 percent. Over a three year period the average rate of growth in Arkansas exports was 2.8 percent a year. People in foreign countries represent 95 percent of the world’s customers and 70 percent of its buying power.

Arkansas ranks 37th among the 50 states in the value of exports, according to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC). Canada is our top trading partner. Canadian companies buy about a fifth of all Arkansas exports. Mexico is our second largest trading partner and buys about 14 percent of all Arkansas exports, valued at $837 million.




Red Letters
Long before “Red Letter Christianity” became a catch-phrase or a movement, I was uncomfortable with the concept of having some words of the Bible in a different color than others. To the best of my recollection, I first selected and purchased a Bible of my own using my own money was about 1973. Then and ever since, I have avoided purchasing a Bible with “red letters”. It always seemed to me that coloring some of the words of the Bible increased the danger of elevating some words of the Bible above the other words of the Bible.

That has always been an unacceptable proposition. I am dismayed that I am just now discovering this movement that has been developing for it seems at least ten years now. That is frightening to me. I certainly do not live under a rock but I was not aware of this. Reading just a bit revealed the founders of this movement to me. That in itself is reason enough to be wary of it. Furthermore, this movement seems to be inspired by politics rather than theology. That is great reason for concern as well but there is much more to be concerned about.




Scott County man charged with murder
An argument on the evening of Sept. 18, 2016 within the Nella community may have been the cause of the fatal stabbing of Hugh F. Strozier, according to an interview conducted by Arkansas State Police investigator, S.A. Patrick A. Schmidt. The affidavit, signed by Schmidt, demonstrated reasonable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest for Jeffrey William Newell, 36, of Nella. According to the affidavit, the Scott County Sheriff's Office (SCSO) received a 911 call from Newell in which Newell was heard yelling and breathing heavily before telling the dispatcher he "was in an altercation with a guy and had to stab him." Soon after the call, law enforcement officers were dispatched to the scene, as well as the Department of Children and Family Services due to juveniles being at the location.
Based on the circumstances of the case, Schmidt stated in the affidavit that the interview with Newell was conducted as the SCSO.




Voters elect new Sheriff for Scott County
"To say the least, I was pleasantly surprised," shared Scott County Sheriff-Elect, Randy Shores. "When we were headed into town, I was thinking if I received 100 votes, then that would good. As soon as we arrived at the courthouse, I already knew I was at a disadvantage. They announced early election results with my trailing Terry by 93 points. Soon after, they were apologizing to me, and said I was actually ahead by 93. At that point, I was hopeful." Within hours, the final results came in pronouncing Shores as Sheriff-elect with 1,039 votes and Terry Staggs at 538 votes. "I appreciate Scott County coming out and voting. I am excited for the opportunity they have afforded me in being their Sheriff," Shores said. He continued, "I initially ran for the Sheriff's position in 2014.



Jones pleads guilty to all charges
A Sebastian County man, Billy Monroe Jones, pleaded guilty to all charges in the death of Sebastian County Deputy Corporal Bill Cooper in the Sebastian County Circuit Court on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016.



Dave’s 10 Foundational Principles of Disaster Preparedness Part II
Two weeks ago I started a series on my 10 Principles of Disaster Preparedness.  It is my sincere belief that your efforts to prepare should follow a plan.  Being prepared is more than a full pantry of Spam, rice and beans.  Preparedness begins with a mindset that says, “No matter what happens, we’re going to get through any disaster thrown at us!”  Accumulating extra stores and planning ahead is all part of the overall picture, but there should be some guiding principles behind how you prepare and for what reasons.  In case you missed the first three principles, see last week’s column or check it out on my blog.  



Scott County Boys and Girls Club launch ‘It Just Takes One’ letter campaign
The Scott County Boys and Girls Club will kick-off their annual “It Just Takes One” letter campaign this week. “Through our letter campaign, individuals as well as businesses have an opportunity to assist with the operational cost with the Club. We average around $5,500 each year through the campaign and look toward increasing that amount this year,” shared Lorlla Wallace, Executive Director of the Club.



The Forester Herald: Remembering Norma
We have no problem remembering this lady, who was small in physical stature, but extremely great in every other way, loving, friendly, helpful, loyal and tho not born at Forester, was a "Forester Person " by choice, in all the ways that really count.



Materialize
We live in the 21stcentury. We have more than we need in life and we are spoiled by the high valued, the very fancy, and the most elegant materials available to us as long as we can afford to buy them.
    
The Christmas holidays are here, and so is the shopping season with a HUGE SALE going on. It’s good for the consumers to buy Christmas presents for their love ones, but some people might get carry away when it comes to their own shopping with to buy first and pay later attitude. And they feel they like to take advantage of low prices and to buy what they want instead of what they need.




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LOCAL HEADLINES
Earth News: Frontier Justice
Overtime Rule
State Capitol Week in Review
Bulldogs fall to Eagles in tourney finals
Bulldogs defeat Tigers in semifinal at Booneville tourney