Arkansas

Recent Articles

Miller County Delinquent Business Tax List Hits Social Media

Miller County, AR – Some are calling it “Public Shaming,” but for the Miller County Tax Collector, she is calling it “Public Accountability.”  What is that “Public Accountability”?  It’s a list of  over $200,000 of taxes owed to the county that is hitting social media today.  Several media outlets have already published the list.  Most of the responses from the public have been supportive so far; however, there have been a few that prefer to call it all “Public Shaming” and feel that it should not have been done. Continue Reading →

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Gov. Hutchinson Approves Arkansas Participation in National Emergency Communication System

Arkansas Joins Virginia and Wyoming as one of the first states to officially “opt in” to the FirstNet and AT&T plan

PROVIDENCE, RI – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced that Arkansas will opt in to the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) and AT&T plan to deliver a wireless broadband network to the State’s public safety community. The Governor made the announcement from the National Governors Association’s Summer Conference in Providence, Rhode Island. With the announcement, Arkansas joins Virginia and Wyoming as one of the first states to officially declare their intention to participate in the program. The Governor’s official letter can be found HERE.  
“After an in-depth review of the FirstNet and AT&T plan by the appropriate state agencies and stakeholders, I have decided to approve their recommendation to opt in to the program,” Governor Hutchinson said. Continue Reading →

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July 4, Fireworks, Shows, Parades, and God

It started with a suggestion in June, followed by a meeting on July 2, and finally a formal signing on July 4, 1776.  From that moment on, the cry would go up around the world that the colonies of the North American Continent, all thirteen of them, had declared independence from Great Britain.  Like any country, Britain would not take kindly to losing the colonies.  In fact, no country in the history of the world has ever simply said, “Sure, go ahead and leave us and take all the investments we made into your area with you.”  No, instead the greatest empire in the world set out to reclaim the colonies and force them back into the British realm.  The rest of the story, you know as the United States won independence in the war that followed.  To this day, we still hear our friends across the pond in England wish us a “Happy Traitor’s Day.”  Naturally, this is done more in good humor now that we are friends so many years after the revolution. The founding fathers were by no means blind to the fact that they were setting in motion something that would be celebrated for years, and perhaps forever.  John Adams wrote to his wife of the importance of the entire event that officially started on July 2 and ended on July 4.  He sent his letter on July 3, 1776 that included the following statement:

“The second day of July 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.” Continue Reading →

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Thrifty Bird Brings Walmart Markdowns To Email

A few months ago a friend of mine shared a new business he has running with me called Thrifty Bird (Thriftybird.com).   He signed me up with my permission and I started to receive daily emails at roughly 3 a.m. each morning.  By the time I would stumble out of bed, I could pull my Thrifty Bird email and see all the latest mark downs at my local Walmart stores. Now I’m sure that a lot of folks are thinking, “Big deal, I can see the sales paper or go see the mark downs myself.”  Yes, that’s one way of doing business, but then you miss the bigger picture.  Thrifty Bird does something that sale papers cannot do.  It captures daily mark downs.  Did you know that Walmart marks prices down daily on many items?  With such a large inventory, they have clearance items, stock reduction items, and even outdated items – think digital copies free with a purchased DVD or Blu-ray that have expired.  These items do not always make the local sales paper because the item or items may be exclusive to one or a few stores.  Let’s say that all the Walmart stores nationwide sell out of a “Top Notch” television sets – don’t worry, there is no such thing to my knowledge as “Top Notch” – but the store in Texarkana, Texas still has three units on the shelf.  The main Walmart sales paper- which goes nationwide – is not going to advertise that those “Top Notch” televisions are about to be marked down.  You cannot have people in Dallas running to a store, searching for a “Top Notch” and then not finding one!  So, “Top Notch” never makes the main sale paper.  If you happen to go into Walmart in Texarkana, Texas, then you find “Top Notch” televisions have been marked down from $300 to $75 and they only have three of them left.  Because you happened to go into the store, you lucked out and got a “Top Notch” television for a great price.  But, what if you don’t go to the store that day?  You miss out and there’s no “Top Notch” television in your future.  Enter Thrifty Bird! Thrifty Bird will send you an email with your selected store – in this case Texarkana, Texas – and you’ll see a post that says something like this:  “Top Notch” Television set, 3 in stock, Reg. price $300, marked down $75 in electronics row 33”.  Now you know how many sets are there, what the mark down price is, and where to find the television once you get to the store.  You’ve received your email early in the day – remember, they just marked it down around midnight – and you can quickly run to the Texarkana, Texas Walmart and buy your set.  Thrifty Bird brings you the clearance or reduced prices before anyone else gets them…. well, before anyone other than other Thrifty Bird uses. Continue Reading →

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Miller County Receives “Turnback” Check From Arkansas

Miller County, AR- When land and/or homes in a county go tax delinquent it cuts into funds needed for the county to operate efficiently.  Money that would normally go for schools, county pay raises, road improvements, sheriff patrols and many other areas needed stops when a land or home owner does not to pay the taxes.  There can be any number of reasons that an owner may not pay, but regardless of the reason, it affects everyone in the county.  When an owner does not pay the taxes, they become delinquent and eventually the County Tax Collector must certify the property and send it to the State Land Commissioner.  Once there additional attempts are made to collect the taxes, fines and other penalties.  If the State Land Commissioner can not collect, the property goes to auction.  The auction recovers the taxes, fines and fees from bidders.  If the property has multiple bidders, an overage is created.  After four years on the books, that overage, called “Turnback” and is sent back to the county. Today State Land Commissioner John Thurston came to Texarkana and presented the check for the Miller County Turnback.   Today’s check brought a Turnback, or overage, of $338,839.  This means that not only did the county receive the delinquent tax funds, but it also received the money from the auction in the form of the Turnback. While the state conducted the sales, the bottom line is Miller County would never have seen this Turnback without the work of Cathy Hardin-Harrison, the County Tax Collector, and her staff at the county.    Cathy’s office maintains the records, reviews the tax rolls, and certifies the delinquent taxes before turning them over to the state.  Without this operation, not only would Miller County be missing delinquent taxes, but the county would never have seen a Turnback check.  Today a few pictures were posted on Facebook about the check and the Turnback, but the citizens of Miller County deserve to know that those funds came to the county only through the hard work of the Tax Collector’s staff and Cathy Hardin-Harrison. Continue Reading →

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MILLER COUNTY PARTNERS WITH ARKANSAS SECRETARY OF STATE FOR NEW VOTING EQUIPMENT

Miller County, AR- At the June meeting of the Miller County Quorum Court, Linda Crawford, Miller County Election Coordinator, informed Justices of the Peace that County Judge Roy John McNatt signed a contract for new voting equipment with the state vendor, Election Systems and Software (ES&S) of Omaha, Nebraska. The Quorum Court has been working for the past several months to secure the County’s portion of funding in the event the Secretary of State’s office had additional funding available.  In April 2017, The Secretary of State’s office sent a letter to each of the 63 counties who did not have new voting equipment.  The letter stated that limited funds were available to counties on a fifty percent partnership with the Secretary of State paying 50% and each county contributing the remaining 50%. Because of the foresight of Election Coordinator Linda Crawford, the Miller County Elections Commission, the Quorum Court and the County Judge, Miller County was able to immediately send a return letter to the Secretary of State confirming Miller County’s 50% share of the funding was in place.  The total cost of new voting equipment for the thirteen poll locations, early voting at the Courthouse, and the new system for election night reporting is approximately $400,000.00. The new machines will be used during the 2017 School Elections. The equipment will arrive in approximately 200 boxes which will be unloaded, assembled, tested, and stored with the assistance of ES&S. Continue Reading →

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Emergency Responders Working Together in Miller County

Miller County, AR-On June 15, 2017, the four states region received news from the Miller County Sheriff’s office that the body of Ryan Shane Johnson of Fouke, Arkansas had been recovered from the Sulfur River at the Smith Park Landing.  While the news was devastating to family, friends, and the community, there was a positive side regarding the efforts that were made to find Mr. Johnson.   The search for Mr. Johnson was not an exclusive Miller County Sheriff’s Office operation.  The fact is, much like any disaster or search to take place in the area, the entire region came together. For the search for Mr. Johnson, there was no concerns about state boundaries, districts, county lines, city or county officials.  There was only a concern to search and find Mr. Johnson.  That concern transcended boundaries not because of pay, or legal standings, but because Mr. Johnson needed people to care and search for him, and they did just that.  People came from the city, from Texas, from other areas of Arkansas and all around to help.  In the words of the Press Release from the Miller County Sheriff’s Office “Each of these entities devoted many hours assisting in the recovery.”

Too often we limit ourselves to our own cities, towns, states, or counties.  People sometimes think in terms of “Well that’s a county problem” or “That’s a Texas side problem” or “That’s an Arkansas side problem,” but we forget that the people acting as responders do not think that way.  Their thought patterns are different and instead they think, “Someone needs help.”  These people, regardless of boundaries or their assigned areas, are the ones you see running toward a disaster, or a need when others are running away.  When the call goes out for help, they are the ones who come. When the call went out for help to find Mr. Johnson, true to their oaths, their dedication, and their training, they came.  Below is a list of those who crossed the lines and boundaries because someone needed them.  They are owed a huge amount of gratitude from everyone in the area and especially from Miller County, Arkansas:

Corp of Engineers

Texas Parks and Wildlife

The Salvation Army

Red Cross

Bowie County Sheriff’s Office

Genoa Volunteer Fire Department

Boggy Creek Volunteer Fire Department

Mandeville Volunteer Fire Department

Doddridge Volunteer Fire Department

Bowie County Dive Team

Miller County Office of Emergency Management

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Pleasant Valley Volunteer Fire Department

Bright Star Volunteer Fire Department

Many volunteers from several communities

 

We should all be thankful to know that living in this region affords us access to some of the finest emergency response people in all the country.  The groups above dedicated many hours and for that the entire community should show gratitude and thanks.   Continue Reading →

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Four States News Expands Social Media Reach

The Four States News (FSN) is proud to announce we have added additional Facebook Groups online. The FSN is a “Community Journalism site.”  We focus on events in communities such as church happenings, school events, and other issues often not covered by mainstream media.  We are not looking to cover the latest wreck or the latest Congressional issues.  Instead of a broad focus, we might focus on a Congressional leader who visits the four states area, or we might focus on the impact someone had on others who happened to pass away from injuries of a wreck.  We want stories based on what’s important to you and your community.  Anyone can write that a great citizen passed away at a certain age and left behind a list of relatives, but we want to know and share how that great citizen changed his family, his or her friends, and touched the lives of those she may have known.  Community Journalism is driven by two factors – contributors or people taking time to write something and submit it, and the community’s desire to know more, understand what’s happening on a deeper or more “hometown” level. We also recognize that we can not possibly cover all the stories.  In our area we have several outstanding, online publications.  You may have seen Texarkana Today or Jeff Easterling’s outstanding Texarkana FYI  .   You have also likely seen the long-standing, now-online also publication for the Texarkana Gazette .   It also seems like new publications are popping up daily like the new  ArkLaTex Post. Because we focus not just on Texarkana, but on the surrounding area of the four states, we thought it was time to allow those areas to have a reference point for articles directly related to them and to share articles.  These new groups will allow people to easily share post from any news outlet with links back to the original publication.  Together we can share news not only published from FSN, but also from any major or minor publication touching on important events or happenings. Currently we have Four States News Community Post  our first set up to allow sharing of news from around the Texas and Arkansas.  We have just added Oklahoma Four States News Community Post  and Louisiana Four States News Community Post. Continue Reading →

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State Now Accepting Applications for Regional Crisis Stabilization Units, Gov. Hutchinson Announces

Interested Governmental Entities Encouraged to Apply

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Hutchinson today announced that the application process for Crisis Stabilization Units is now open. Crisis Stabilization Units (CSU) were a major part of Governor Hutchinson’s 2017 legislative agenda after they were recommended by the Criminal Justice Task Force. Act 423, establishing the CSU pilot program, received strong bipartisan support in both houses of the legislature and was signed into law by Governor Hutchinson on March 8, 2017. CSUs are short term clinical facilities that provide assessment and treatment services for individuals with behavioral health conditions. The goal of these centers is to reduce the number of mentally ill and others with behavioral health conditions who enter jails and emergency rooms; these facilities are not designed or equipped to handle individuals with these conditions. Continue Reading →

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Texarkana Arkansas Yard of the Month Nominees Needed

Texarkana, AR – The Texarkana Arkansas City Beautiful Commission is looking for the best, brightest, and most beautiful yards in the city.  Each year as flowers bloom, trees fill out, and the grass grows green, the commission attempts to find and recognize the hard work, clean-up, and beautification of Texarkana yards.  This year the commission is turning to you for help and nominations! Do you know someone with a fantastic yard?  You know the kind of yard the commission is looking for; it’s the yard that makes you slow down when you drive past and say, “Wow”.  Texarkana has beautiful yards all over the place….in fact, there are so many that there is no way commission members can find them all.  So, your City Beautiful Commission needs your help.  The commission needs you to find the yards, and send them in for review by the commission. If you know of a yard that should be “Yard of the Month” or you stumble across one while driving around, send a note on the commission’s Facebook page.  The commission will take all nominations, review them, and vote.  Pictures would be helpful, but are not necessary.  The address will be needed for review. Send nominations online to Texarkana Arkansas City Beautiful Commission.  Continue Reading →

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