The Daily Press The Saline Courier | AP iAtom feed Copyright The Daily Press 2014-08-27T11:59:02-04:00 invokes Ebola outbreak in new TV attack ad2014-08-27T11:59:02-04:002014-08-27T11:59:02-04:00The Saline CourierThe Arkansas senator's campaign has been running a new television spot that opens with TV news clips about the outbreak, which has killed more than 1,400 people in West Africa. Health officials say an outbreak in the U.S. is unlikely.The spot criticizes Republican rival Tom Cotton, a freshman congressman from south Arkansas, for a vote last year against legislation reauthorizing pandemic response programs."Tom Cotton voted against preparing America for pandemics like Ebola," a narrator says in the ad before another voice adds, "Congressman Cotton voted to cut billions from our nation's medical disaster and emergency programs."Pryor's campaign would not say how much it's spending to run the ad or where it's running the 30-second spot, which it said began airing over the weekend. It's part of an escalating ad fight between the two candidates and outside groups in a race that could determine which party controls the Senate. Combined, the candidates and groups have spent more than $19.7 million on the race, according to the nonprofit Sunlight Foundation.Cotton spokesman David Ray ridiculed the spot and said it ignores a vote the congressman cast in favor of a later version of the legislation."Senator Pryor's desperation is comical," Ray said in a statement released by the campaign. "In Senator Pryor's world, he doesn't have to take responsibility for rubber-stamping the Obama agenda over 90 percent of the time, but wants Arkansans to believe Tom Cotton is responsible for everything from Ebola to crabgrass and male-pattern baldness."Pryor's campaign defended the spot and accused Cotton of trying to make light of the issue.Janine Parry, a political science professor at the University of Arkansas, said the ad is "pretty alarmist.""There's no getting around it, almost cartoonish in its insistence of tying a candidate for political office to global misfortune," Parry said.She said it fits in with the general theme Pryor has been using to cast Cotton as extreme by citing his votes against government programs.The spot also criticizes Cotton's vote against pediatrician training at children's hospitals, which has been the focus of two ads that are part of a $3.6 million ad buy by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Pryor on Tuesday appeared outside Arkansas Children's Hospital to emphasize his criticism of Cotton.Benton, ARAssociated PressPryor invokes Ebola outbreak in new TV attack adNo source Jermain Taylor accused of shooting cousin 2014-08-27T11:57:49-04:002014-08-27T11:57:49-04:00The Saline Courier"Mr. Taylor was arrested for domestic battery, first-degree, and aggravated assault," Pulaski County Sheriff's Office Lt. Carl Minden said Tuesday. "It was his cousin and another individual that came over to his house, an altercation ensued, he (Taylor) grabbed a weapon and opened fire."The cousin was hospitalized in serious condition with an apparent gunshot wound and the other man, described as a friend of the cousin, was not injured, Minden said. The two drove away from the home and were found at a Dollar General discount store several blocks away, Minden said. A woman believed to be Taylor's wife called 911 shortly before 6 p.m. to report an intruder and a shooting at the home.The names of the cousin and other man were not released.Taylor, 36, was being held in the Pulaski County jail without bond, according to online jail records. His attorney did not immediately return an after-hours phone call seeking comment.Taylor is expected to appear in Pulaski County District Court via video from the jail on Wednesday morning, Minden said.Minden said the nature of the altercation was still under investigation and that Taylor was arrested without incident."He was very calm and very cooperative with our investigators," Minden said.Benton, ARAssociated PressBoxer Jermain Taylor accused of shooting cousin No source resident caught in Napa quake2014-08-27T11:56:40-04:002014-08-27T11:56:40-04:00The Saline CourierThe magnitude-6.0 quake, centered near the city of Napa, an oasis of Victorian-era buildings nestled in the vineyard-studded hills of northern California, ruptured water mains and gas lines, hampering firefighters' efforts to extinguish the blazes that broke out after the temblor struck at 3:20 a.m.Dazed residents who had run out of their homes in the dark and were too fearful of aftershocks to go back to bed wandered through Napa's historic downtown, where boulder-sized chunks of rubble and broken glass littered the streets. Dozens of homes and buildings across the Napa Valley were left unsafe to occupy, including an old county courthouse, where a 10-foot-wide hole opened a view of the offices inside.Among the residents caught by surprise was a former Benton resident, Jerry Medlin, who said the 20-second quake was unexpected."I was absolutely terrified," Medlin said. "You have no idea how violent a large quake can be. It felt like our house had been grabbed by a large, angry fox terrier. My first thought was of the 4,700-pound Tesla parked 8 feet above our heads, hoping it wouldn’t come for a bedroom visit."We used our phones to find flashlights and went upstairs," he said. "Our house overlooks the city of Napa. All power was out and it was eerily quiet. It was still dark and we could see several fires burning across the city. Our power was out for about three hours."Medlin said the Aug. 24 quake was not the first he has experienced. "We had just finished the house when the Loma Prieta quake occurred in 1979. Because we were closer to the epicenter, this one felt much stronger."He noted that here was no damage in Napa from the 6.9 Loma Prieta quake. "I’ve experienced numerous smaller quakes during my 48 years in California," he said.Medlin's home is built 200 feet up on a large outcrop of bedrock immediately east of downtown Napa. The area is called Alta Heights."The house sits on 10-foot concrete pilings drilled in to the bedrock," he said. "Our architect said we would get only one-tenth of the horizontal motion experienced by residents on the valley floor. We had a few overturned vases and lamps, but no major damage."The house was built exceptionally strong, with 2-by-6 exterior walls, extra-thick sheetrock and cross bracing," he said. "All of our pictures are hung on earthquake-resistant hangers and all free-standing shelving is attached to the wall. After all, we live in earthquake country."Surveying the damage from the recent quake, Medlin photographed what he saw."I walked downtown later in the day. Brick buildings are rare in California and I could see why. Most of the old brick buildings downtown have been damaged, some beyond repair. There are at least 20 satellite trucks downtown all with accompanying reporters.  "Cleanup has started and many shops and restaurants are open for business. Ironically, the tornado damage you risk in Arkansas is covered by insurance, but earthquake insurance is a large, extra charge and only about 5 percent of California homes and businesses are covered."He noted that most restaurants and wineries are open for business. "The most severe economic damage to Napa Valley will be lost tourism because most people have been led to believe otherwise."Medlin lived in Benton from birth to age 22. He graduated from Benton High School in 1961. He also lived in Little Rock while attending UALR from 1943 through 1966, earning a degree in industrial engineering. His father, Lee Medlin, owned and operated Easy Way Tire Co. on East Street in Benton.He is the owner and CFO of Medlin Accounting Software, "the world's oldest shareware company," according to Medlin, who noted that he is semi-retired."I moved to California because there were few job opportunities for industrial engineers in Arkansas. I have lived in California since January 1967. I moved to San Francisco at the beginning of the 'summer of love.' I also worked at Alameda Naval Air Rework Facility during the Vietnam War."Medlin said not much will change for him because of the earthquake. "Since we have no damage, our plans really haven’t changed. We wouldn’t even think of moving from Napa. After all, we have survived the largest earthquake Napa has experienced since it was founded in 1947.Benton, ARBrent DavisFormer resident caught in Napa quakeNo source investigating BHS vandalism; authorities say glass was shot out2014-08-27T11:53:48-04:002014-08-27T11:53:48-04:00The Saline CourierOn Monday, school staff reported some of the glass in the rotunda area at the school had been broken. "The glass was broken by what appeared to be two bullet holes through it," said Lt. Kevin Russell, Benton Police Department spokesperson. A surveillance video showed "the suspect in the case driving a small motorcycle and firing two rounds toward the rotunda area before speeding off at approximately 12:23 a.m. on Saturday," Russell said. Benton, ARSarah PerryPolice investigating BHS vandalism; authorities say glass was shot outNo source Court meets second time to vote on ordinances2014-08-27T11:52:05-04:002014-08-27T11:51:12-04:00The Saline CourierA previous meeting failed to draw a quorum and the eight justices of the peace in attendance at that session could not legally vote on ordinances. Nine members of the 13-member body are required for such votes.The JPs had initially believed they could vote on the ordinances by suspending the rules, then taking three separate votes on readings of the ordinances while eliminating an emergency clause. They later found out this does not meet the requirements. "Nine votes are actually required to suspend the rules," County Clerk Doug Curtis explained.On Tuesday night, the JPs approved an ordinance related to the election process.The ordinance, which was recommended by the court's Finance and Personnel Committee, notes that on Election Day paper ballots and IVotronic voting systems will be in place at each polling site.Voters with handicapping conditions governed by the Americans with Disabilities Act will have the option of using either system to cast their ballots, according to the ordinance.Curtis pointed out that the ordinance amends a prior ordinance requiring paper ballots only on election day.The other ordinance that came before the court transfers $7,932 in jail construction funds and $10,000 in sheriff's retention funds to the jail fund.The JPs also voted to approve resolutions authorizing the acceptance of continuation funds for the 2014-15 STOP grant program, which provides funds to investigate domestic violence cases; and authorizing the acceptance of continuation funds for the 2014-15 VOCA grant program, which provides funding for victim justice and assistance and certified law enforcement personnel.The county match for both is met primary with volunteer hours.The court failed to approve an ordinance that would have appropriated $80,000 in county road funds.Voting against the ordinance were JPs James Zahnd, Dr. Allan Dabbs and Mark Kizer; and JPs Jim Whitley, Josh Curtis, Tammy Schmidt and Jim Whitley were was not present for the session.The county clerk presented the JPs a copy of the Election Commission's certification of a petition showing that the required number of signatures were obtained to allow an issue on the November election ballot.The measure asks county residents to vote on whether to allow the sale and manufacture of alcoholic beverages in Saline County. The law states that 38 percent of the eligible voters in a county must sign the petition before it can become a ballot issue.The commission's document notes that 25,653 valid signatures were obtained. No action from the JPs was required, but the document becomes part of the court record.Benton, ARLynda HollenbeckQuorum Court meets second time to vote on ordinancesNo source board votes to change drug policy2014-08-27T11:49:31-04:002014-08-27T11:49:31-04:00The Saline CourierThe policy changes were presented by Randy McFarlin, athletic director.According to McFarlin, the revised policy would allow for random drug testing of all students involved in athletic/spirit groups/band and place a strong emphasis on confidentiality.The new plan will require all students who wish to participate in sports, spirit groups or band to sign an informed consent form along with their parent or guardian before the student will be eligible to practice or participate in the activity. The form will be filed with the athletic director. The form will be valid until a parent or guardian requests removal in writing or the student is no longer participating in the activity. All student participants' names will be placed in a testing pool and will be subject to random urinalysis testing throughout the school year. Medical Laboratories in Little Rock will provide the testing and will arrange a day and time with the athletic director to perform the tests. Participating students selected for random testing shall be chosen from a pool that includes all participating students. A minimum of 10 percent of students from both the junior high and high school pool will be selected to be tested. Students who are selected will be required to provide a urine sample and the testing will be administered by qualified laboratory staff. Any student selected for random testing who is not in school on the day of testing will be tested at the next testing regime. Any student failing to provide an adequate specimen will be subject to retesting at the next testing regime. Any student refusing to take the test will be placed on a 30-day suspension from the activity and will be tested at the end of the suspension at the expense of the student's parent or guardian and the student must test negative to return to the activity. Students who receive a positive test result once will be required to attend a conference with a parent or guardian to discuss the results. The student will be retested at each subsequent random testing day for a minimum of one calendar year from the receipt of the positive test result. If a second positive result is acquired within any two consecutive calendar years the parent or guardian of the student will be notified and requested to attend a conference to discuss the test results. The student will be immediately suspended from practices, contests and other activities in all competitive athletic/spirit/band activities for a minimum of 30 days.A letter of intent to remain in any activity will be signed by the student and parent or guardian. To be reinstated in the activity, the student must be retested at the end of the 30-day suspension, receive a negative test result, complete the school drug counseling program approved by the athletic director and receive verification of all sanction requirements by the athletic director. The student also will be retested at each subsequent testing for a minimum of one year.If a third positive test is acquired within any two consecutive calendar years, the parent or guardian will be notified, the student will be suspended from practices and activities, sign a letter of intent to remain in the activity and participate in all testing regimes for a minimum of one year and receive a negative result at each. McFarlin said his intent is not just to punish the students. "I want to give them a reason to say 'no,'" McFarlin said.The board members voted unanimously to waive the 30-day read on the changes and approved the policy and lab that will complete the testing. Benton, ARBobbye PykeBenton board votes to change drug policyNo source councils partner for upcoming bike-a-thon for Imagination Library2014-08-27T11:46:35-04:002014-08-27T11:46:35-04:00The Saline CourierThe event, sponsored by the youth councils of Benton, Bryant and Haskell, will be raising funds for the Imagination Library of Saline County.Riders from throughout the area invited to participate in the bike project, which is billed as "a family-friendly event."The ride will begin and end at Benton's Tyndall Park.The 2015 event will include a half century 50 mile-bike ride, an intermediate 10-mile ride, and a children's ride around Tyndall Park.Additional information is available at the website (including a map of routes),"The bike ride will follow roads throughout the county that show off its natural beauty," Villines said.He noted that the bike ride will include periodic rest stops and sag (support and gear) vehicles that will follow the riders.Registration is $25 for the half-century (50-mile) and intermediate rides while the children's ride is only $10.Forms are available on the website, or at Benton City Hall and Bryant City Hall.Riders will need to turn in their forms to Benton City Hall, Bryant City Hall, or to P.O. Box 607 Benton, AR 72018.In addition, onsite registration will be available on the day of the event. The entry fee includes a T-shirt.T-shirts are guaranteed only for early registrations. Onsite registration participants are not guaranteed a T-shirt as they will be in limited supply and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.Last year's race raised $4,500 which went to Benton Care Center, which provides a hot meal every Thursday night for those with low or no income and provides food from their food pantry and clothing to those in need.This year race proceeds will go to Imagination Library of Saline County. Dolly Parton's Imagination Library is a not-for-profit program that sends reading material to children from birth to age 5 once a month.All a parent or guardian must do to receive the books is to promise to read the books to the child. The books are age appropriate for each child. The Saline County program has around 750 kids in the program but has another 150 kids on the waiting list."We hope to raise enough funds to get the kids off the waiting list and get more kids in Saline County involved in the program," a program spokesperson said.MYAC members encouraged riders to participate in this year's eventMore people should do it next year!""We from all Mayor's Youth Advisory Councils of Saline County cannot wait to see you there," Villines said.More information about the project may be found on Facebook at "The Saline County MYAC's Bikeathon" or on Twitter at @SalineBikeRace.Click the link below for more information and a downloadable registration form:Benton, ARLynda HollenbeckYouth councils partner for upcoming bike-a-thon for Imagination LibraryNo source Dispatch, Aug. 26, 20142014-08-27T11:38:28-04:002014-08-27T11:38:28-04:00The Saline Courier•A man on Hickory Ridge reported his credit cards were stolen from his residence. •An employee at Dollar General on Benton Parkway reported a woman stole a package of cigarettes. •A man on Cherry Lane reported another person head-butted him. •A woman on Hobbs Drive reported her wallet was stolen from her vehicle. •Bailey Christopher Parker, 18, of Benton received a citation on Chris Drive for criminal mischief. •Henry Asher, 43, of Alexander was arrested on South Street and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. He was also named in an active warrant. •Lafe Drew Roller, 41, of Benton and Krystal Hopkins, 32, of Redfield were both issued citations for harassment at Alcoa Exchange. Saline County Sheriff's Office•A caller on Riverside Drive reported a theft. •A man on McPherson Springs Road reported another man was harassing him. •A man on Crawford Lane reported his vehicle was stolen. •A woman on E. Kildeer Road reported her daughter's cellphone was stolen. •A man on Bream Road reported a break-in at his residence. Benton Fire DepartmentBenton firefighters responded to a medical call, a motor vehicle accident and a call to assist a person. Bryant Fire Department Benton, ARSarah PerryDaily Dispatch, Aug. 26, 2014No source Suspect caught breaking into vehicles2014-08-26T14:58:15-04:002014-08-26T14:58:15-04:00The Saline CourierOn 8/24/14, at approximately 3:22 AM, officers with the Benton Police Department responded to 2013 Military Road on report of a suspicious person. Upon officer’s arrival, they located a truck with a window busted out and the steering column torn apart. Officers made contact with witnesses in the area who gave them information on a subject they saw near the vehicle who fled prior to officer’s arrival. Officers conducted a search of the area and were able to locate a suspect matching the description nearby. Contact was made with the suspect, identified as Matthew Kyle (30 YOA), who was subsequently placed under arrest. Kyle is charged with Breaking or Entering, Criminal Mischief, Possession of an Instrument of Crime, and Battery 2nd Degree. The Possession of an Instrument of Crime charge stems from tools located that were used to gain entry into the vehicle, and the Battery charge was for a minor injury the officer sustained when the suspect kicked him. Additionally, Kyle is an active parolee out of the Arkansas Department of Community Corrections. The investigation is on-going, but anyone with information about this crime is encouraged to contact the Benton Police Department at 501-778-1171 or 501-315-TIPS. Individuals also may send an anonymous crime tip about this incident to CRIMES (274637) with the keyword BNPD in the body of the text or go to to leave a tip. A crime tip can also be submitted via the official Benton Police Department app found on ITunes and Google Play. Any suspects listed are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. Follow BNPD on Facebook:, ARNo author availableBNPD: Suspect caught breaking into vehiclesNo source County inmate escapes during transport 2014-08-26T12:28:40-04:002014-08-26T12:28:40-04:00The Saline CourierSheriff's Lt. Carl Minden says 30-year-old inmate Anael Castro-Hernandez escaped about 8 a.m. in downtown Little Rock. Minden told reporters that Castro-Hernandez escaped while being escorted with other inmates from a van into the courthouse about 8 a.m. Monday, but details of how he escaped were not released.Minden says a shirt believed to have been worn by the inmate was found a few blocks from the courthouse and that a man matching his description was later seen near railroad tracks, but got away.Benton, ARAssociated PressPulaski County inmate escapes during transport No source