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Body camera grant discussion put off

LITTLE ROCK — The Pulaski County Quorum Court Budget Committee pulled two items from consideration during a meeting last week. In September, the Pulaski County sheriff’s office took heat for unpaid debt resulting from some financial errors at the department, which left a grant of $420,000 for body cameras in limbo. Justice of the Peace Phil Stowers kept that grant from being included in the budget with the rest of the items, and asked for the committee to revisit it during the Nov. 5 meeting. Justice of the Peace Luke McCoy requested that discussion about the Election Commission’s general fund budget be removed from the agenda, which was approved. The remaining items are set to be discussed at the next full Quorum Court meeting.


Small Business Awards event canceled

EL DORADO — The El-Dorado and Union County Chamber of Commerce will not be having its 2020 Spirit of South Arkansas Small Business Awards due to the ongoing pandemic according to Jaren Books, membership and events coordinator. The event was slated to take place at the El Dorado Conference Center. This year would have marked the fifth awards ceremony. “Unfortunately it (the awards) is among a bunch of events that we have had to cancel. We canceled our Business After Hours, annual Banquet, Administrative Appreciation Luncheon, Economic Outlook Luncheon and a few other events,” Books said. Currently, there are no plans to reschedule the awards.


Southern Arkansas Tech announces grant

CAMDEN — Southern Arkansas University Tech announced the college is the recipient of a US Department of Labor and Delta Regional Authority Grant-Workforce Opportunities in Rural Communities. SAU Tech’s project — Expanding the Healthcare Workforce in South Arkansas — includes developing sonography and medical assistant programs and the consistent delivery of nursing assistant classes. These programs add to the line-up of the school’s nursing programs, including practical nursing, registered nursing, public health, phlebotomy, sports science, and pharmacy tech. The project provides $940,569 to hire instructors, purchase equipment, provide student support, and more. Chancellor Jason Morrison said, “This is just a tremendous opportunity for people to obtain the skills to work in other areas of healthcare in addition to nursing. I am excited about this project, and we are eager to start work.”


Arts district celebrates Halloween

EL DORADO — The Murphy Arts District has announced plans to host a Halloween-themed movie night featuring “Hocus Pocus,” starring Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker. The one-night movie event will be in the First Financial Music Hall on Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to wear a costume and participate in an all-ages costume contest. Costumes will be scored as attendees enter the hall with the winners announced after the movie. Doors will open at 6 p.m. with first come, first served limited seating. Admission is free and, Arkansas covid-19 guidelines will apply.


One year left until Real ID enforcement

MAGNOLIA — Open up your wallet and pull our your Arkansas Driver’s License. Look at the top right corner of the ID. If you see the phrase “Not For Federal ID”, that means you will have have to make a trip to the DMV to purchase a “Real ID.” According to the Department of Homeland Security, the Real ID Act sets minimum-security standards for state-issued driver licenses and IDs and prohibits federal agencies from accepting IDs from states not meeting the standards. The purposes for Real ID are boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft, entering nuclear power plants and accessing federal facilities. Without a Real ID or passport, residents will be unable to fly commercial aircraft after the enforcement date. This goes for both foreign and domestic flights. Without a Real ID, residents will be unable to access federal facilities such as military installations. The Real ID enforcement date is Oct. 1, 2021. Proof of legal presence, proof of identity, proof of social security number and two proofs of residency are needed in order to receive your Real ID.


School board discusses truancy

CAMDEN — The Camden Fairview School Board discussed approaches to student truancy and late assignments during its meeting earlier this month. Superintendent Fred Lilly said he knew the School Board had concerns about the subject. He said some of the online students are doing little to no work and the principals have been trying to track down those students’ parents to stress the importance of doing their assignments. “We are trying to let them know that the students are going to have to do a better job of doing their work or they may need to come back (to in-person instruction),” Lilly said. “Because some of them are really struggling.” Lilly said North Little Rock’s district is trying to account for 400 students but Camden Fairview is trying to track down 21. He added the teachers have been calling and parent coordinators have been going by to try and find the parents. “We’ve been to homes where you could hear the air conditioner running and the TV on, but no one comes to the door. We might have to get a resource officer or something.”


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