The Daily Press The Saline Courier | AP iAtom feed Copyright The Daily Press 2014-08-21T13:38:43-04:00 group: U.S. doctor who had Ebola has recovered2014-08-21T13:31:39-04:002014-08-21T13:31:39-04:00The Saline CourierAlison Geist, a spokeswoman for Samaritan's Purse, told The Associated Press she did not know the exact time Dr. Kent Brantly would be released but confirmed it would happen Thursday. Emory University Hospital planned to hold a news conference Thursday morning to discuss both patients' discharge.Franklin Graham, president of North Carolina-based Samaritan's Purse, said in a statement that the group was celebrating Brantly's recovery. He has been in the hospital's isolation unit for nearly three weeks."Today I join all of our Samaritan's Purse team around the world in giving thanks to God as we celebrate Dr. Kent Brantly's recovery from Ebola and release from the hospital," Graham's statement said.Brantly was flown out of the west African nation of Liberia on Aug. 2, and Nancy Writebol followed Aug. 5. The two were infected while working at a missionary clinic outside Liberia's capital. Writebol was working for North Carolina-based aid group SIM. Representatives for the group did not respond to messages Thursday morning.The Ebola outbreak has killed 1,350 people and counting across West Africa.On Thursday in the Liberian capital of Monrovia, calm set in one day after residents in a slum that was sealed off in an effort to contain the outbreak clashed with riot police and soldiers. World Health Organization officials were visiting two hospitals that are treating Ebola patients and struggling to keep up with the influx of patients.The death toll is rising most quickly in Liberia, which now accounts for at least 576 of the fatalities, the WHO said. At least 2,473 people have been sickened across West Africa — more than the caseloads of all the previous two-dozen Ebola outbreaks combined.Benton, ARAssociated PressAid group: U.S. doctor who had Ebola has recoveredNo source paper says police chief bullied reporter 2014-08-21T13:30:17-04:002014-08-21T13:30:17-04:00The Saline CourierIn a story published Wednesday, Sun Publisher David Mosesso said Chief Michael Yates had maligned Sunshine Crump's character and was interfering with The Sun's ability to conduct its business."Any other entity would have already fired or suspended an employee who made these types of vindictive comments," Mosesso said.City Attorney Phillip Crego said an investigation had started "but we need all the facts before we decide if disciplinary action is warranted." Mayor Harold Perrin declined comment.Yates did not return a call from The Associated Press, but told the newspaper he was exercising his free speech rights."Wonder if ole Sunshine (reporter) could pass a drug test," Yates wrote on one post. "Why yes, she has been arrested before."Another compared her to dog excrement and one mentioned a lapsed law license in Texas. The newspaper said Crump gave up practicing law of her own accord and stopped paying fees; Texas court records aren't as specific, showing her as having an administrative suspension that could be due to a failure to pay fees.The newspaper said the trouble began when Crump wrote a story that said Yates taught at Arkansas State University without having a proper permission form on file with the city.A lawyer for the newspaper, John E. Tull III, wrote to the city attorney saying Yates' remarks were unprofessional at the least."As you can see, even without any knowledge of Ms. Crump, Chief Yates has made several false and defamatory statements of fact concerning Ms. Crump," the letter said.Yates also had posted that he intended to hurt The Sun's business: "I intend to help that ship sink ... torpedoes away!" The city recently began delaying when it releases its daily log of police activity.Benton, ARAssociated PressJonesboro paper says police chief bullied reporter No source, McCarthy praise Arkansas GOP hopefuls2014-08-21T13:28:50-04:002014-08-21T13:28:50-04:00The Saline CourierRomney, the former Massachusetts governor who won more than 60 percent of the vote in Arkansas in his unsuccessful 2012 White House bid, touted Republican gubernatorial hopeful Asa Hutchinson's tax cut and education plans as the two appeared at a fundraiser in northeast Arkansas. Earlier that day, McCarthy campaigned with the party's nominees for two open U.S. House seats in central and southern Arkansas."You have a choice of someone who has a plan to actually help the people of Arkansas and that will have an impact across the nation," Romney told reporters at a news conference before the fundraiser at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.Hutchinson sought to use the visit to try to portray Democratic rival and fellow ex-congressman Mike Ross as too closely allied with President Barack Obama, who remains deeply unpopular in the state, and other national Democratic figures. The two are running to succeed popular Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe, who is barred by term limits from seeking re-election."I think it's a good reminder to the people of Arkansas that there's two different choices as to what team you're involved with," Hutchinson said. "We've made a point that Mike Ross has been involved with the (House Democratic leader) Nancy Pelosi team."Ross accused Hutchinson of focusing on divisive politics."I'm not interested in playing Congressman Hutchinson's divisive, partisan games to try and divide this state into red teams or blue teams," Ross said in a statement released by his campaign. "We are too small a state to bring that type of Washington-style deadlock and dysfunction to Arkansas."McCarthy, meanwhile, campaigned for the Republican Party's nominees for open U.S. House seats in central and southern Arkansas. Speaking at Welspun Tubular in Little Rock, McCarthy touted banking executive French Hill's bid for the 2nd Congressional District and accused his Democratic rival, former North Little Rock Mayor Pat Hays, of not supporting the Keystone XL pipeline.McCarthy and Hill's campaign cited a letter Hays signed in 2011 along with 22 other mayors expressing concerns about the project."We want to move forward to actually have an energy policy that makes us energy-independent, and that starts right here in Arkansas," McCarthy said. "It starts right here at Welspun and it starts right here in November in the election, the difference between a job creator and someone who wants to stop it."Hays' campaign dismissed the criticism, accusing Hill of relying on the leader of a "broken Congress" for his campaign."Mayor Hays initially had some questions on the impact of the pipeline, received an evaluation and now supports it — which French could have found out by going to his website," Hays campaign manager David Furr said.McCarthy also headlined a rally for state Rep. Bruce Westerman, the GOP's nominee for south Arkansas' 4th Congressional District. Westerman is running against Democratic nominee James Lee Witt, who headed the Federal Emergency Management Agency under former President Bill Clinton.Both parties are focusing on the races, which have been mostly overshadowed by the increasingly expensive Senate race between Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor and Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton.Benton, ARAssociated PressRomney, McCarthy praise Arkansas GOP hopefulsNo source student injured at fraternity house 2014-08-21T13:26:51-04:002014-08-21T13:26:51-04:00The Saline CourierAuthorities say a female student was taken to a Memphis hospital after she was impaled by broken golf club on Tuesday night.Jonesboro television station KAIT reports the student's condition has not been released.University police say a 19-year-old man threw a football to another man, who was using a golf club as a bat. The golf club's shaft broke after it struck the football.Authorities say parts of the broken golf club traveled about 30 feet before a piece stabbed the female student.Benton, ARAssociated PressA-State student injured at fraternity house No source offender arrested after entering school2014-08-21T13:38:43-04:002014-08-21T12:42:48-04:00The Saline CourierRobert Warford, 39, of Saline County allegedly entered Ringgold Elementary School with his child on the first day of school. "Warford did have a legitimate reason to be at the school, but violated his terms of release by not notifying staff and requesting an escort while on school premises," said Lt. Kevin Russell, Benton Police Department spokesperson.Warford is a level three sex offender, Russell said. Warford entered the school on the first day of school with other parents who were escorting their children to the classrooms. On a normal day of school, the doors of the school are locked so no one can enter the school without checking in, Russell said.Warford was charged with being a registered sex offender who is prohibited from entering a school campus. He is still being detained at the Saline County Detention Facility and his bond has been set at $2,500, according to the Saline County Sheriff's Office inmate roster. Benton, ARNo author availableSex offender arrested after entering schoolNo source announces candidacy for Bryant City Council2014-08-21T12:00:24-04:002014-08-21T12:00:24-04:00The Saline CourierThe position currently is held by Randy Cox, a candidate for the mayoral seat. Billingsley, a long-time resident of Bryant, says he cares about the community and seeks "an opportunity to lead the community in a positive direction for all residents in the city of Bryant."Billingsley said he cares about each resident in Bryant and hopes to make the city better for everyone. "I'm looking forward to the opportunity to bring new ideas," he said. He hopes to "lead in a positive direction for the city that will encourage unity in offering the best for each individual resident, economic growth and development for our business community, safe activities for senior adults and kids growing up to be an integral part of the community." Billingsley has served on the Bryant Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors since January 2012 and has been secretary since 2013. He also has served on the chamber's Civic and Government Affairs Committee, Bryant Recycling Committee, Bryant Economic Development Corp. and the Saline County Economic Development Corp. He currently serves as the chairman of the Monster Madness event and is a member of the Bryant Fall Fest Committee. Along with city committees and programs, he also serves on various professional committees. For the last two years, he has been nominated for the Man of the Year award that is presented during the Bryant Chamber of Commerce Annual Winter Banquet. Billingsley is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock where he earned a degree in U.S. history and minored in religious education.He and his wife, Kim Adams Billingsley, have three sons who attend school in Bryant.Benton, ARSarah PerryBillingsley announces candidacy for Bryant City CouncilNo source wrecks, charged with DWI2014-08-21T11:56:27-04:002014-08-21T11:56:27-04:00The Saline CourierAccording to an incident report from the Saline County Sheriff's Office, Shelnut was westbound on West Longhills Road in Benton when he lost control of his 1998 Chevrolet Z71, crashing into a telephone pole on the north side of the roadway. The crash occurred 453 feet from the intersection of West Longhills Road and Gabby Lane.The road was closed to through traffic for nearly two and a half hours while workers from Benton Utilities replaced the snapped power pole and restored electricity to the area.Shelnut was held in the Saline County jail overnight, but was released on a signature bond Wednesday. The report said that approximately $10,000 in damage was caused during the accident. Benton, ARJosh BriggsDriver wrecks, charged with DWINo source bond issue back in discussion2014-08-21T11:50:09-04:002014-08-21T11:50:09-04:00The Saline CourierSarah PerryBryant City Council will be meeting in a special session at 6 tonight tonight to discuss a bond proposal previously rejected by voters. This issue, which was voted down in May, has been revised to include only the park section of the bond, said Mayor Jill Dabbs. The meeting was requested by Aldermen Wade Permenter, Brenda Miller, Rob Roedel and Scott Curtis. Alderman Mike Chandler also said he is in favor of the meeting but will be out of town, she said. Dabbs also not be able to attend the meeting because she will be attending the Executive Committee Planning Meeting in Jonesboro. She did release this statement about the issue:"I am not aware of the circumstances prompting this meeting so soon after the residents voted this issue down. I'm not sure of the benefit to holding this meeting until the residents and elected officials have had a chance to regroup and address the concerns the citizens of Bryant have expressed during our community assessments," she said.Roedel said he requested the meeting because he has received several calls from residents about the council discussing this issue again, he said. To meet deadlines and to get the issue on the Nov. 4 general election ballot, the council will have to pass an ordinance by Monday, Dabbs said. During the Bryant Parks Committee meeting, all of the committee members voted against placing the bond issue on the November ballot if the street improvement projects are not part of the bond proposal, said Committee Member Lisa Meyer in an official statement. Benton, ARSarah PerryBryant bond issue back in discussionNo source encourages residents to run for office2014-08-21T11:48:57-04:002014-08-21T11:48:57-04:00The Saline CourierAccording to McMahan, the letter was sent out to about 15 residents.The letter stated: "I am asking you personally to consider becoming one of these candidates as I believe Bauxite needs intelligent, serious and dedicated people to help our town through the next two to four years."The letter went on to explain that the filing period for municipal office would close on Aug. 15 and a 10-signature petition, signed by registered voters who vie in Bauxite, was required of each candidate. The letter stated: "In my opinion, only one current alderman (Brenda Haney, Position 3) is taking her job serious and probably won't run for re-election. The other positions that need to be filled with opponents are: Position 1: Karen Brooks; Position 2: Paula Matthews; Position 4: (vacant, Allison Cain resigned) and last, but not least Position 5: Mona Struble. (I believe Brooks, Matthews and Struble are not up to the task and believe they are "running amok" with mischievousness and need to be replaced).""There are many issues facing our town and I believe the continued survival of Bauxite hangs in the balance, and will be crucial as the town faces many financial issues that need to be addressed," he sated."In my opinion, unless a core group of enlightened citizens steps forward and runs for office, the Town of Bauxite may cease to exist in a few years and by necessity will be absorbed by Benton or Bryant."The letter concluded by saying; "Time is running out for you to make a decision. If you do become a candidate, I will help you as much as I can."McMahan said in an email to the Bauxite aldermen, "I could have said a lot more, but I didn't. I tried to keep it to one page, which I sent out with my personal funds. I sent it to about 15 persons and not one wanted to get in this 'hot mess' and I believed they were 'intelligent, smart' and didn't need the $175 a month."He added, "Even though I did not run for re-election, I still want the best for Bauxite and I believe that the next group that comes in will not be any improvement, as it looks like the 'old' will be the new 'new' and you know what the 'old' did."McMahan continued by saying, "The general public is not used to an elected official 'telling it like it is' as most officials try to be 'politically correct' and don't want to step on anybody's toes for the fear of 'offending them.' "If you are offended by the letter," McMahan added, "that's your fault. If the shoe fits, wear it."He concluded by saying, "One reason I didn't run for re-election is I'm tired of dealing with persons that have, in my opinion, a 'sub-standard' intellect. One person pointed out to me that smart people are not 'offended' easily; it's the other side that is offended at the drop of a hat."Alderman Karen Brooks reacted to the letter by saying, "It is very sad we have come to this, but I have to just laugh and joke about it." Brooks wished Struble and Matthews the best in their next terms on council; neither faces opposition in the upcoming November election.Brooks said she hopes the Town of Bauxite can move forward adding, "Not sure if this is even possible?" Brooks also said, "Funny thing is he could not come up with anyone who wanted to run and put up with Bauxite politics"Alderman Mona Struble also reacted to the letter saying, "Advice to you (McMahan), I'd try to make the best of the bad situation you created. Stop pointing fingers. You knew the problems when you ran and fought to keep it. Shut up.... Quit complaining and work with us to help Bauxite."She added, "We are strong in Bauxite. We don't give a flippidy-flop what you think of us. You don't like us (Bauxite). Pack up and move! I'm sure you would get along just fine somewhere else. I promise we will do fine without you."Benton, ARBobbye PykeMcMahan encourages residents to run for officeNo source involving school bus, car reported in Bauxite2014-08-20T17:17:12-04:002014-08-20T17:17:12-04:00The Saline CourierChildren were on board the bus at the time of the accident, but only three minor injuries were reported, Courtney said.Benton, ARNo author availableAccident involving school bus, car reported in BauxiteNo source