Friday, December 30, 2005

First thing Friday morning

Neither the state Adult Protective Services worker nor the Meals on Wheels delivery people who entered the apartment of Shirley Chittum in the weeks before the elderly Bentonville woman’s death could tell that beneath her blankets, maggots and flies had been growing amid her bedsores, a Division of Aging and Adult Services official told legislators Thursday.

The case file into an investigation of an Oct. 13 incident involving the injury of an 12-year-old girl and alleged inaction by Caraway Police Chief Jerry Vaughn afterward has been turned over to Brent Davis, second judicial district prosecuting attorney, officials close to the investigation told the Jonesboro Sun. Vaughn was suspended with pay Nov. 10 after a Caraway City Council meeting in which residents stated that Vaughn allegedly refused to conduct a blood alcohol test on driver Sammy Hicks.

The state's chief fiscal officer argued Thursday that it's unconstitutional to divert any of the 25-mill property tax that Arkansas law mandates for schools, to fund a tax increment financing district in Fayetteville.

The Morning News of Northwest Arkansas had this one too. Additional impact fees are needed to cover the cost of growth, according to Siloam Springs city officials. The city needs to charge at least $3,000 per new residential lot to expand electric, water, sewer, sanitation, police, fire and park and recreation services because of growth and population increases, City Administrator David Cameron said.

A British newspaper says that Merle Haggard will be the opening act for the Rolling Stones in their March 9 stop at Altel Arena.

Today will be last call for greens, pork chops, sweet potatoes and boiled cabbage as Brother T's in Conway serves up its last helpings of authentic soul food.

Federal prosecutors have taken over the case of a Pennsylvania man accused of child pornography. Motivational speaker Michael Fortino was arrested by Fayetteville police Nov. 30 after sexually explicit pictures were found by employees at a local electronics store on a computer he'd dropped off for repair. Over one-thousand pictures involving children were reportedly discovered.

Two occupants of a Middle Road home were arrested by the Faulkner County sheriff's office on suspicion of obstructing government operations. They tired to re-enter the home and rescue their pets, including dogs, squirrels and birds. 25 snakes were reportedly killed and several goats outside the home escaped injury.

Drought conditions have cancelled many fireworks celebrations set for new Year’s Eve.

FROM THE SOUTHWEST TIMES RECORD: About 15 fire departments battled more than a dozen grass fires that burned over 200 acres in Crawford and Sequoyah counties and destroyed several out buildings, but no occupied structures were damaged and no one was injured in the fires. Sequoyah County saw most of the damage with six separate grass fires that destroyed more than 150 acres, according to the Oklahoma Department of Forestry.

According to the special census, Centerton has doubled its’ population to over 5-thousand and that means more state money and a full-time mayor. The Mayor’s salary goes to 40k.

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