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Texarkana Arkansas Police Offer Car Seat Exchange for Warrant Amnesty

Texarkana, AR-Currently, Texarkana Arkansas Police Officers locate many drivers who do not provide proper car seats for their children.  Arkansas Child Restraint Laws state that;

Infants from birth to at least twenty pounds should be restrained in a rear-facing or convertible seat rear-facing, and children from twenty to 60 pounds are required to be restrained in a convertible seat forward facing or forward facing seat or booster seat as applicable. Because motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children younger than 13 years of age we want to ensure that every child is properly restrained in a vehicle.  In an effort to raise awareness of the Arkansas Child Restraint Laws and reduce injuries due to motor vehicle crashes, the Texarkana Arkansas District Court and the Texarkana Arkansas Police Department will conduct a car seat exchange warrant amnesty period beginning May 15th through May 26th, 2017 for people who have outstanding warrants for Contempt of court for not paying fines.  By bringing in a NEW, in the box, car seat, the Texarkana Arkansas District court and the TAPD has agreed to waive the warrant fee and reset a payment arrangement without penalty. The upcoming car seat exchange warrant amnesty period was announced today by District Court Judge Wren Autrey, who said the amnesty program would enable those being sought on warrants to avoid being arrested, avoid being assessed additional court costs and resolve their case entirely.  Judge Wren Autrey said, “These individuals have had their driving privilege suspended and clearing these fines will also enable them to regain a valid driver’s license”.  Judge Wren Autrey will waive the $350.00 warrant fee and release your driver’s license for reinstatement. Pe’Tree Banks TAPD Dockets Coordinator says, “Many individuals in Texarkana, Arkansas unfortunately have outstanding warrants that could benefit from this.  Instead of being locked up in jail away from your families, bring in a car seat.  You will not only help yourself, but you will also be contributing to the safety of a child in this community.”

All donated car seats will be utilized by the Southwest Arkansas Prevention Taskforce to support the Safety Baby Shower program in the area.  The seats will be provided to parents completing the Safety Baby Shower program and installed by a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician. The seats can be donated at the Texarkana Arkansas Police Department located at the Bi-State Justice Center, 100 North State Line Avenue, 8:00am-5:00pm, beginning May 15th through May 26th, 2017. Continue Reading →

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Ratcliffe Announces Major Economic Development for Texarkana

TEXARKANA, Texas – Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) announced a major economic development win for the greater Texarkana region at a ceremony Thursday in New Boston, Texas. The TexAmericas Center will receive a designation by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as a Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone), which will bolster its ability to attract new businesses and create jobs. “I’m incredibly pleased that my congressional staff and I were able to secure HUBZone designation for TexAmericas through our work with the Department of Defense and the Small Business Administration over the past year,” Ratcliffe said. “Given the enormous potential for increased job creation in this region, I’m very optimistic about the bolstered economic growth this HUBZone designation will bring.”

 

Through its HUBZone status, tenants at the TexAmericas Center will have preference for award of federal contracts to small businesses. They will also gain access to federal set-aside contracts and sole source contracts, as well as a price evaluation preference in full and open contract competitions. Continue Reading →

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Help Needed for Northeast Arkansas Flood Victims

 

Texarkana, USA – Representative Carol Dalby issued a call to help flood victims in Northeast Arkansas yesterday on her Facebook Page.  Assistance is needed for the Northeast Arkansas Flood victims in several areas.  Dalby is the District 1 Representative for the Arkansas House of Representatives.   Dalby has joined with many of representatives and senators, including Senator Jimmy Hickey, to issue this call for assistance.   Former Arkansas House of Representative and Former Arkansas Highway Commissioner Mary “Prissy” Hickerson is also helping with the campaign. Representative Dalby’s message in it’s entirety is here:

As you know, NEArkansas has been devastated by flooding. Continue Reading →

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For the Children: Free Comic Book Day Helps to Boost Reading and Literacy

 

Oklahoma – I am taking a week off from discussing the Oklahoma Legislature and politics to share some important news: May 6 is Free Comic Book Day in the United States! As a collector of comics, I am excited about this day for obvious reasons. But as the CEO of the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, I am excited about the way in which it can be used to jump-start our children’s interest in reading, their imaginations, and ultimately their literacy levels. If you were not aware before, you are now: I collect comic books. When I was running for governor in 2014, my staff was actually afraid it might cost me votes. Continue Reading →

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Save our State by Balancing the Budget Responsibly

Oklahoma – We are approaching a critical deadline in Oklahoma as we near the end of the legislative session. No comprehensive budget solution has moved forward to address the roughly $1 billion shortfall facing our state. Both Governor Fallin and the House Democratic caucus have released plans to balance the budget by raising new revenues, but the House of Representatives as a whole has not unveiled their solutions at this point. Legislative leaders in the majority are working to find consensus within the body to provide the necessary 76 votes needed to pass any revenue raising measures, but time is running short. This state budget deficit is not a new problem. Continue Reading →

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For the Children: A Cost-Cutting Measure That Hurts Kids

With a $900 million budget shortfall dominating this year’s legislative session, many lawmakers are looking to balance the budget by cutting government spending. As advocates for children, our job at OICA is to shield Oklahoma’s youngest and most vulnerable residents from any “cost-cutting” measures that would adversely impact them and, in some cases, negatively change the trajectory of their entire lives. One of those measures is Senate Bill 81, which seeks to lower the grade level at which a student can be suspended from school. Currently, out-of-school suspension is only allowable at the 6th grade level and above. SB 81 would allow children as early as third grade (only 8 or 9 years old) to be suspended.  In addition, the bill would reduce the requirements for counseling programs available to these children, who are the ones who need it the most. Continue Reading →

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ICYMI: Reimagine the Alamo Unveils Proposed Master Plan Design

SAN ANTONIO – After nearly two years of intense work, the Alamo Master Plan Management Committee, which is comprised of representatives from the Texas General Land Office, the City of San Antonio, and the private Alamo Endowment, unveiled detailed design renderings of the proposed master plan for the Alamo Complex and surrounding area. The spectacular images depict a vision that restores reverence and dignity to one of the most historic battlefields in the United States while capturing the imagination of all ages and all cultures, for generations to come. Working in close collaboration, the Committee and the Master Plan Team, led by Dr. George C. Skarmeas of Preservation Design Partnership, LLC, undertook the first ever systematic study of the history and the physical evolution of the Alamo site from the arrival of the Spanish missionaries in 1724 to the present time, and conducted archaeological research in the summer of 2016. The resulting bold and visionary ideas are based on evidence and the best principles and practices of heritage conservation planning and design. “Today marks a major benchmark in the nearly two-year mission to restore a sense of dignity and decorum to our Shrine of Texas Liberty,” Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush said. Continue Reading →

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Be a Part of the Solution During Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is national Child Abuse Prevention Month, and I believe child advocates must use this as an opportunity to advance two important goals: first; to help our friends and neighbors fully grasp how widespread and terrible the problems of child abuse and neglect are; second, to encourage them to be part of the solution. When it comes to evaluating the prevalence and impact of child abuse and neglect, the numbers tell a frightening tale. The KIDS COUNT Data Center, a joint research product of OICA and the national Annie E. Casey Foundation, reports that of the more than 200,000 children in Oklahoma County under the age of 19, 41 percent have had an adverse childhood experience

On a statewide level, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services’ statistics paint an equally grim picture. Since 2014, over 363,000 cases of alleged abuse and neglect have been reported to the agency. More than 44,000 were eventually confirmed. Continue Reading →

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Legislators Urged to Support Efforts to Modernize Oklahoma Alcohol Laws

OKLAHOMA CITY — With less than two months left in the Legislative session, lawmakers in the Oklahoma House of Representatives will soon be voting on a flurry of bills that would further update the state’s alcohol laws. Modernize Oklahoma, a group supporting consumer choice and local businesses, is encouraging legislators to vote “yes” on these proposals and continue the push to end prohibition era rules and regulations. Modernize Oklahoma Executive Director Alex Weintz said his organization was originally formed to promote State Question 792, the successful initiative petition to allow the sale of cold, regular strength beer and wine in grocery stores, liquor stores and convenience stores beginning in October 2018. After the law’s passage, however, it became clear that several smaller reforms would be needed to ensure a level playing field for alcohol vendors, support consumer choice, and ensure the implementation of SQ 792 went smoothly. “When State Question 792 passed by a margin of two to one, the people of Oklahoma spoke very clearly,” said Weintz. Continue Reading →

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For the Children:   The Good, the Bad and the Ugly After Key Legislative Deadline

Oklahoma – Last Friday marked the end of what political insiders call “deadline week” at the Oklahoma State Capitol. It is the last opportunity this year for legislation to pass in the chamber (House or Senate) where it was originally introduced. Legislation that fails to advance is “dead” in 2017. It is a major turning point in the session, as it gives us an opportunity to evaluate what ideas and reforms are gaining traction and which have fallen by the wayside. The House of Representatives, for instance, began with 1370 bills and resolutions, but only 316 made it past deadline week and remain active. Continue Reading →

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