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Accused killer given additional court dates

August 20, 2014

Abel Enriquez, 65, who was arrested in connection with the death of his 22-year-old neighbor, Anthony Ballentine, appeared in Saline County Circuit Court on Monday morning.

During the proceeding, Circuit Judge Grisham Phillips set two new court dates for the defendant.

On Sept. 4, Enriquez is scheduled for another bond hearing, and on Oct. 20 he is scheduled for plea and arraignment.

Days after his arrest, his bond was set at $500,000, but recently his attorney, Bobby Digby of Little Rock, filed a motion to reduce the bond.

Daily Dispatch, Aug. 19, 2014

August 20, 2014

Benton Police Department
•Employees at Benton Middle School and Ringgold Elementary reported a child's parent, who is a registered sex offender, entered the schools without an escort from a police officer.
•Employees at Walmart reported a man stole a cell phone case.
•Alexander Hoover, 25, of Benton was arrested on River Street and charged with assault and false imprisonment.
•A man on Grayson Drive reported a gun was stolen from his residence.

Saline County Sheriff's Office
•A man on Highway 5 reported his brother's trailer was stolen.

Area residents encouraged to enter annual fair parade

August 19, 2014

Members of the Saline County Fair Association Board of Directors remind area residents of the upcoming 2014 Saline County Fair and Rodeo Parade and encourage participation in the event.

The parade will take place at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2, in Downtown Benton.

This year’s theme is “Blue Jeans and Country Dreams."

"If you are interested in participating as a school group, marching band, horse and rider, church group, civic group, classic car, old tractor or politician, you are encouraged to do so and help make this the best parade ever," said Mollie Wright, a member of the board.

Bauxite Superintendent served with order of protection

August 19, 2014

Bauxite Superintendent Matt Donaghy has been served with a temporary order of protection by his wife for alleged domestic abuse.

The order was served Monday and will remain in effect until the matter is addressed in court. A hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Sept. 8.

Judge Christopher Palmer of Pulaski County signed the order.

Matt Donaghy was married to Misty Donaghy on July 17, 2013, in Las Vegas, Nev., and the two separated on July 15, 2014.

Matt Donaghy filed for divorce on July 30, 2014. At the time the divorce was filed, he also put a restraining order on Misty Donaghy.

County's armyworm population unusually large

August 19, 2014

This year Saline County residents have had to fight an unusually large population of armyworms (caterpillars).

Armyworms eat grass and can especially affect hay farmers.

Billy Grace, who works on a farm near the Saline and Grant countyline, said he has spent about $1,000 lately just on poison to kill armyworms.

His 30-acre farm with 88 rows only had 33 rows after the armyworms started eating, he said.
He has had to spray the farm twice.

"It's just part of (being a farmer)," he said.

Daily Dispatch, Aug. 18, 2014

August 19, 2014

Benton Police Department
•An employee at Simmons Bank reported an individual wrote a forged check using a customer's closed account.
•A man on Watts Street reported a break-in at his residence.
•A man on Burton Street reported an individual wrote a forged check on his account.

Saline County Sheriff's Office
•A woman on Lucinda Lane reported the theft of her vehicle.
•A woman on Whitney Lane reported a theft.
•A man on Shaw Washout Road reported a theft.

Benton Fire Department
Benton firefighters responded to two rescue calls and a service call.

Bryant Fire Department

Humanitarian effort turns into robbery on interstate

August 19, 2014

A local man reported that he was robbed Saturday after stopping on Interstate 30 near mile marker 111 to help another person.

Israel Zelada, 47, was driving home when he said he noticed a gray vehicle on the shoulder of the road with its flashers on and he stopped to help. Two men attacked him and eventually he was knocked unconscious, according to the police report.

When he awoke, his company cellphone and money in his wallet were missing, he said.

After the incident, Zelada drove home and was taken later by his wife to Saline Memorial Hospital for treatment.

More signatures submitted for minimum wage act

August 19, 2014

Supporters of an act that would increase Arkansas' minimum wage submitted an additional 69,070 signatures to the Secretary of State's office Monday.

The petition fell short 15,107 valid signatures after the initial verification process and supporters were given an additional 30 days to collect signatures. The initiative needs 62,507 verified signatures to appear on the November ballot.

Mayor Mattingly calls press conference for Wed., Aug. 20

August 18, 2014

Benton Mayor David Mattingly has called a brief Press Conference at 8:30 A.M., Wednesday, August 20, 2014, in Council Chambers at the Benton Municipal Complex to announce a new program being added to our Park’s system, a link to an online disaster alert system, a plan to address property assessments in the City of Benton and the proposed new Benton Fire Station location.

KATIE CLIFTON: A mother's prayer for the first day of school

August 17, 2014

Dear First Day of School,

I cannot believe you are back so soon. I mean, didn't we just end our last school year?! I can't really decide if I am happy to see you or if I want you to stay away a bit longer. But since you are rapidly approaching, in spite of my preparations (or lack thereof, whatever) there are some things we need to talk about. I think it is time for you and I to have a heart to heart.

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