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Murder suspect scheduled to appear in court Thursday

September 2, 2014

Abel Enriquez, who has been charged with first-degree murder, is scheduled for a bond hearing Thursday.
Enriquez, 65, of Sardis was arrested in June in connection with the death of his 22-year-old neighbor, Anthony Ballentine. Shortly after his arrest, his bond was set at $500,000.

He remains in custody at the Saline County Detention Center.

In August his attorney filed a motion requesting a reduction in bond.

Daily Dispatch, Aug. 29-Sept. 1

September 2, 2014

Benton Police Department
Friday
•A man on Columbia Avenue reported his vehicle was stolen.
•A woman on Church Street reported an individual attempted to break into her vehicle.
•Shelia Smith, 55, of Benton was arrested at Walmart and charged with shoplifting. She was also named in two active warrants.
•Cara Head, 42, of Traskwood was arrested at Dollar General on Military Road and charged with shoplifting. She was also named in two outstanding warrants.
•Sam Buchanan, 60, of Benton was arrested on Cox Street and charged with domestic battery.

Man shot in Benton

September 2, 2014

James Toland, 62, of Benton was arrested by Benton police officers Monday for allegedly shooting a man on Latimer Drive.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found the victim with a gunshot in his back. The victim was transported via MedFlight to Baptist Health Medical Center. He is currently in stable condition, said Lt. Kevin Russell, Benton Police Department spokesperson.

Toland has been charged with first degree battery and is being detained at the Saline County Detention Center, Russell said.

More details about this incident will be released at a later time.

Gentry withdraws, Mattingly unopposed for Mayor

September 2, 2014

At the end of the municipal candidate filing on Aug. 15, every mayoral race in Saline County drew at least two candidates. Two weeks later on Aug. 29, one of the candidates dropped out of the race.

Gene Gentry had filed to challenge Benton Mayor David Mattingly in the November general election.

Gentry was contacted this morning and confirmed that he has withdrawn from the race, but added "I'd rather not comment right now." Gentry said he filed paperwork to drop out of the race on Aug. 29.

Board tells yoga training schools to get licensed

August 29, 2014

LITTLE ROCK — An Arkansas state board says schools that train yoga teachers will soon need to attain a license.

The Arkansas Board of Private Career Education oversees private, postsecondary career schools for fields, such as real estate, bail bonds and tattoo piercing.

The board's director, Brenda Germann, says that yoga teacher-training schools in Arkansas should've been licensed sooner. But she says she had little knowledge of their existence until recently when a national group asked each state about licensing for the facilities.

Amped up for Amplify; third annual Christian music festival starts today

August 29, 2014

The third annual Amplify Christian Music Festival begins today on the grounds of Holland Chapel Baptist Church in Benton.

The two-day festival opens its doors at 3 p.m. today and again at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

The festival will feature top contemporary Christian music artists including Jeremy Camp, Big Daddy Weave, Sanctus Real, Jason Gray, Rhett Walker Band, Citizen Way, MIKESCHAIR, The Museum, Drew Cline, Spencer Lloyd, who competed in this season's "American Idol," and others.

Bryant Council approves billboards, new gated community

August 29, 2014

A rezoning ordinance permitting a new gated community and a billboard ordinance drew the approval of the Bryant City Council in a meeting Thursday night.

The gated community, which will be located on Mt. Carmel Road south of Hurricane Creek, will be an upscale neighborhood similar to Midtown and will be built in three phases.

Developers have been working with every city department to make sure this is the best project possible, said Dee Fiser, one of the project coordinators.

2 nights of rodeo performances on tap for county fair.

August 29, 2014

The Saline County Fair is about to get under way and with the fair comes the annual rodeo performances.

The first activity for fair week on Tuesday will be the annual parade at 6 p.m. in Downtown Benton, but that's not all residents can enjoy during the annual event, said Mollie Wright, a member of the Fair Association Board of Directors.

This year two nights of rodeo shows are scheduled, Wright said.

"The Saline County Fair Association is excited to announce we will once again be hosting the annual rodeo produced by H & H Rodeo Company out of Vilonia," Wright said.

Final suspect in robbery case apprehended

August 29, 2014

The final person being sought in conjunction with a July 30 robbery was arrested Thursday.

Coytrell Harris was arrested in the Otter Creek area by officers of the U.S. Marshals Service, said Sgt. Todd Crowson, Bryant Police Department spokesperson.

The victim told officers that three men came into her home and held her at gunpoint, Crowson said.

Harris was charged with kidnapping, theft of property, aggravated assault, aggravated assault, battery and interference with emergency communication.

Four other people previously were arrested in connection with this incident.

Daily Dispatch, Aug. 28, 2014

August 29, 2014

Benton Police Department
•A woman on Brenda Drive reported her GPS was stolen.
•An employee at First Security Bank on Military Road reported receiving a fraudulent check.
•A woman at Benton Middle School reported her son's trumpet was stolen.
•Debra Ortiz, 30, of Benton was arrested on South Third Street and charged with assault on a family or household member.
•A man on South Market Street reported three guns were stolen from his residence.
•A man on Columbia Ave. reported the theft of a 2001 Black Toyota Tacoma.

Saline County Sheriff's Office

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