The Daily Press http://bentoncourier.com http://bentoncourier.com/apfeed.xml--1 The Saline Courier | AP iAtom feed Copyright The Daily Press 2014-08-01T14:44:56-04:00 urn:publicid:dailypress.com:10531U.S. employers add 209K jobs, rate rises to 6.2 pct.2014-08-01T14:44:56-04:002014-08-01T14:44:56-04:00The Saline CourierStill, July's gain was less than in the previous three months and probably wasn't strong enough to intensify fears that the Federal Reserve will soon raise interest rates to curb inflation.In early trading Friday morning, stock averages were mixed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell, suggesting less concern about a Fed rate increase.The unemployment rate ticked up in July to 6.2 percent from 6.1 percent as more Americans started looking for work. Most didn't find jobs, but the increase suggests that they're more optimistic about their prospects. The jobless aren't counted as unemployed unless they're actively seeking work.Average job gains over the past six months reached 244,000 in July, the best such average in eight years."Job growth slowed in July after heated gains in the past three months," Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets, noted in a research note. "But hiring trends remain solid, reflecting a strengthening economy."The pickup in hiring has yet to translate into larger paychecks for most Americans, a key factor that has hobbled the recovery. In July, average hourly earnings ticked up just a penny to $24.45. That's just 2 percent higher than it was 12 months earlier and is slightly below current inflation of 2.1 percent. In a healthy economy, wages before inflation would rise 3.5 percent to 4 percent annually.Weak pay gains are restraining the housing market, usually a key driver of growth. A measure of signed contracts to buy homes slipped in June, the National Association of Realtors said this week. That suggests that home sales will decline in coming months.The weak pay growth suggests that "the labor market still has far to go before it is fully healed," Michael Dolega, senior economist at TD Economics, wrote in a note to clients. "Lack of wage gains leaves the Fed with a strong case for keeping rates low for the next several quarters."Still, Friday's report echoes other data that point to an improving economy. Growth accelerated during the April-June quarter, the government said Wednesday, after contracting sharply in the first three months of the year. Last quarter's bounce-back assuaged fears that growth was too weak to support this year's rapid hiring.And on Friday, the government said consumer spending and income picked up in June.Investors remain anxious about whether the broad economic gains will lead the Fed to raise its benchmark short-term rate sooner than expected. Such fears likely contributed to Thursday's 317-point plunge in the Dow Jones industrial average — its worst day since February.In addition to reporting July's solid gain, the government on Friday revised up its estimate of the job increases in May and June by a combined 15,000.Higher-paying jobs showed strong increases in July. Manufacturing added 28,000 jobs, the most in eight months. Construction added 22,000 and financial services 7,000, its fourth straight gain.In the April-June quarter, the economy expanded at a seasonally adjusted 4 percent annual rate after a steep 2.1 percent contraction in the first quarter. Americans stepped up their spending, particularly on autos, furniture and other big-ticket items. Businesses also spent more on plants, office buildings and equipment.Benton, ARAssociated PressU.S. employers add 209K jobs, rate rises to 6.2 pct.No source availableurn:publicid:dailypress.com:10531Change0Usable2014-08-01T14:44:56-04:00 urn:publicid:dailypress.com:10530Beebe: No special election for state Senate seat2014-08-01T14:42:16-04:002014-08-01T14:42:16-04:00The Saline CourierBeebe spokesman Matt DeCample cited the potential cost and timeline for a special election to replace Republican Sen. Johnny Key, who is stepping down effective Thursday to begin work as the UA system's associate vice president for university relations.DeCample said in an email that the earliest a special election could be held would have been during the November general election, if Democrats and Republicans selected their nominees via convention. The election results wouldn't be certified until mid-November, and DeCample said the governor has no plans to call a special session during the holiday season.If either party asked for a primary, the election couldn't be held before Key's term ends in 2015."For these reasons, Governor Beebe sees it as prudent to avoid the costs and logistical hurdles of a special election to briefly fill the vacancy caused by Senator Key's departure," DeCample wrote.Benton, ARAssociated PressBeebe: No special election for state Senate seatNo source availableurn:publicid:dailypress.com:10530Change0Usable2014-08-01T14:42:16-04:00 urn:publicid:dailypress.com:10529Police searching for suspects who robbed woman at gunpoint2014-08-01T14:41:01-04:002014-08-01T14:41:01-04:00The Saline CourierThe incident happened around 4:40 p.m. Wednesday, authorities said.Hazel Gilson, 74, told Bryant police that she responded to a knock at the door. When she opened it, the men forced their way into her home, pointing a gun at her.One struck her on the head with the pistol, said Sgt. Todd Crowson, Bryant Police Department spokesperson. When Mrs. Gilson's husband, Thomas, arrived home, the suspects also threatened him with the weapon, Crowson said. The men stole several items from the home including a gun, Crowson added. No suspects have been named in this case thus far, he said. "The Bryant Police Department is following up on leads in this case but is asking the public, if they have any information regarding this incident, to please contact the Bryant Police Department Criminal Investigation Division," he said. Benton, ARSarah PerryPolice searching for suspects who robbed woman at gunpointNo source availableurn:publicid:dailypress.com:10529Change0Usable2014-08-01T14:41:01-04:00 urn:publicid:dailypress.com:10528No charges in 'attempted kidnapping' case; language barrier leads to misunderstanding2014-08-01T14:39:44-04:002014-08-01T14:39:44-04:00The Saline Courier"After extensively interviewing the victim, a possible suspect and witnesses, it was determined that no charges were warranted in the case," said Lt. Kevin Russell, Benton Police Department spokesperson. On Monday a 16-year-old girl reported that she was walking near the intersection of South and Main streets when an Hispanic man approached her and attempted to get her into his vehicle. She also noted that he was speaking Spanish and she did not understand what he was saying, Russell said. The man was only offering the girl a ride, but there was a miscommunication between them because of a language barrier, he said. Benton, ARSarah PerryNo charges in 'attempted kidnapping' case; language barrier leads to misunderstandingNo source availableurn:publicid:dailypress.com:10528Change0Usable2014-08-01T14:39:44-04:00 urn:publicid:dailypress.com:10527Nice Kiks! Student helps others have new shoes2014-08-01T14:34:00-04:002014-08-01T14:31:07-04:00The Saline CourierEthan will be collecting new tennis shoes and monetary donations to purchase shoes for members of the Boys Residents can stop by the Alcoa Exchange near Shoe Carnival to make donations from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday.Girls shoe sizes 13 through 2 are most needed, said Carla Harris, Ethan's mother. "It's difficult to pinpoint a specific size when so many children, of all sizes, need them," Harris said. Harris and Ethan came up with the idea for the shoe project after they heard many stories of children not having money to buy shoes for the start of school.They will be taking advantage of the upcoming tax-free weekend by purchasing the shoes Saturday afternoon, Harris said. Benton, ARSarah PerryNice Kiks! Student helps others have new shoesNo source availableurn:publicid:dailypress.com:10527Change0Usable2014-08-01T14:31:07-04:00 urn:publicid:dailypress.com:10526Municipal races continue to draw local candidates2014-08-01T14:29:00-04:002014-08-01T14:29:00-04:00The Saline CourierThe recent filing period opened at noon July 25 and closes at noon Aug. 15.As of mid-morning today, the following individuals have filed as candidates. The candidates listed here also include those who previously filed for county positions before the preferential primary election, but will be included on the Nov. 4 general election ballot.Alexander•Mayor, Farren Wadley; Corliss Jerry Ball. •Alderman, Ward 1, Position 1, no filings to date.•Alderman, Ward 1, Position 2, Jean Cummings Fisher.•Alderman, Ward 2, Position 1, no filings to date.•Alderman, Ward 2, Position 2, Andy Mullins.•Alderman, Ward 3, Position 1, no filings to date.•Alderman, Ward 3, Position 2, Harvey C. Howard.•Alderman, Ward 4, Position 1, no filings to date.•Alderman, Ward 4, Position 2, no filings to date.Benton(All races are nonpartisan.)•Mayor, Mayor David J. Mattingley, incumbent.•City Clerk, Cindy Stracener, incumbent.•City Attorney, Brent Houston, incumbent.•Alderman, Ward 1, Position 1, no filings to date.•Alderman, Ward 1, Position 2, Charles Cunningham, incumbent.•Alderman, Ward 2, Position 1, no filings to date.•Alderman, Ward 2, Position 2, no filings to date.•Alderman, Ward 3, Position 1, Bill Donnor, incumbent.•Alderman, Ward 3, Position 2, Jerry Ponder, incumbent.•Alderman, Ward 4, Position 1,Brad Moore, incumbent.•Alderman, Ward 4, Position 2, James A. Herzfeld.•Alderman, Ward 5, Position 1, Steve Lee, incumbent.•Alderman, Ward 5, Position 2, Alderman Lori Beaty Terrell, incumbent.Bryant(All races are nonpartisan.)•Mayor, Randy Cox; Alderman Adrian Henley.•City Clerk, Heather McKim, incumbent.•City Attorney, Doug Mays.•Alderman, Ward 1, Position 1, Lorne Gladden.•Alderman, Ward 1, Position 2, no filings to date.•Alderman, Ward 2, Position 1, Mike Chandler, incumbent.•Alderman, Ward 2, Position 2, Rae Ann Fields.•Alderman, Ward 3, Position 1, no filings to date.•Alderman, Ward 3, Position 2, no filings to date.•Alderman, Ward 4, Position 1, Brenda White Miller, incumbent.•Alderman, Ward 4, Position 2, no filings to date.Haskell(All races are nonpartisan.)•Mayor, Jayme Watson-Bruton; Jerry D. Tittle; Janie Lyman.•Alderman, Ward 1, Position 1, no filings to date.•Alderman, Ward 1, Position 2, Dallas Wright.•Alderman, Ward 2, Position 1, no filings to date.•Alderman, Ward 2, Position 2, no filings to date.•Alderman, Ward 3, Position 1, no filings to date.•Alderman, Ward 3, Position 2, Roy H. Carman.•Alderman, Ward 4, Position 1, no filings to date.•Alderman, Ward 4, Position 2, no filings to date.Shannon Hills•Mayor, Mayor Mike Kemp, incumbent.•Alderman, Ward 1, Position 1, James M. Frala, incumbent.•Alderman, Ward 1, Position 2, Sue Skipper, incumbent.•Alderman, Ward 2, Position 1, no filings to date.•Alderman, Ward 2, Position 2, Alderman Jill Hatcher, incumbent.•Alderman, Ward 3, Position 1, no filings to date.•Alderman, Ward 3, Position 2, no filings to date.Saline County(All races are partisan.)•County Judge, Mayor Jeff Arey, Republican; Shawn Hipskind, Libertarian.•County Clerk, incumbent Doug Curtis, Republican.•Sheriff, Rodney Goshien Sr., Democrat; Rodney Wright, Republican.•Assessor, Bob Ramsey, Republican.•Collector, Collector Joy Ballard, Republican.•Circuit Clerk, Myka Bono Sample, Republican.•Treasurer, Treasurer Larry C. Davis, Republican.•Surveyor, County Surveyor Aaron Rasburry, Republican.•Coroner, Kevin Cleghorn, Republican; Sam Ballard, Independent.•Justice of the Peace, District 1, Justice of the Peace Pat Bisbee, Republican.•Justice of the Peace, District 2, Everette Hatcher, Republican; Mel Kirby, Independent.•Justice of the Peace, District 3, Steve Gladden, Republican.•Justice of the Peace, District 4, Justice of the Peace Barbara Howell, Republican.•Justice of the Peace, District 5, John Kimbrough, Republican.•Justice of the Peace, District 6, Justice of the Peace Tammy Schmidt.•Justice of the Peace, District 7, Justice of the Peace Josh Curtis, Republican.•Justice of the Peace, District 8, Edward A. Albares, Republican.•Justice of the Peace, District 9, incumbent Greg Thomas, Democrat; David Gibson, Republican.•Justice of the Peace, District 10, Justice of the Peace Jim Whitley, Republican.•Justice of the Peace, District 11, Mike Creekmore, Republican.•Justice of the Peace, District 12, Justice of the Peace J.R. Walters, Republican.•Justice of the Peace, District 13, Justice of the Peace James Zahnd, Republican.•Constable, District 1, Constable Paul Viner, Republican; Glenn A Thompson, Democrat.Benton, ARLynda HollenbeckMunicipal races continue to draw local candidatesNo source availableurn:publicid:dailypress.com:10526Change0Usable2014-08-01T14:29:00-04:00 urn:publicid:dailypress.com:10525Wet/dry option to get vote; Issue narrowly slips into November ballot2014-08-01T14:27:35-04:002014-08-01T14:27:35-04:00The Saline CourierThe required number of signatures on a petition to allow the sale and manufacture of alcoholic beverages in Saline County has been met, according to County Clerk Doug Curtis.Curtis reported late Thursday afternoon that 31,528 signatures were processed and 25,653 were accepted after 5,875 were rejected.He said 25,580 signatures of registered voters were required to place the measure on the general election ballot.No additional steps are necessary for this to occur, Curtis said.Jay Allen, president of Our Community, Our Dollars, commented on the situation shortly after learning that the signature requirement had been met."We just received word from the County Clerk’s office in Saline County that we have turned in a significant amount of signatures — enough to put the wet/dry issue on the ballot in that county," Allen said."Assuming the issue ultimately makes the ballot, we will now focus our attention on encouraging Saline County residents to get out and vote in support of turning Saline from dry to wet," he said.Allen contends there are "significant economic benefits to this change" and said his organization looks forward to continuing to educate residents about the issue.Similar campaigns in Craighead and Faulkner counties have been suspended, he said."Effective today, the Our Community, Our Dollars ballot question committee will no longer pursue our initiatives in Craighead and Faulkner counties to provide voters there an opportunity to vote on whether the counties should be wet or dry," Allen noted."Given the strong support we have received from voters in both of these counties during the last several months of gathering signatures, we greatly regret that they will not have the opportunity to decide this issue through the democratic process," he said. "It has been decades since voters in these counties have had such an opportunity."However, given where we stand today on the requirement that 38 percent of voters in each county must sign a petition to place this matter on the ballot, we have decided to discontinue our efforts in Faulkner and Craighead."Members of Our Community, Our Dollars operate key businesses and employ more than 2,500 people in these two counties, he noted.Benton, ARLynda HollenbeckWet/dry option to get vote; Issue narrowly slips into November ballotNo source availableurn:publicid:dailypress.com:10525Change0Usable2014-08-01T14:27:35-04:00 urn:publicid:dailypress.com:10524McMahan responds to dismissal of lawsuit2014-08-01T14:26:05-04:002014-08-01T14:26:05-04:00The Saline CourierIn the complaint, Purifoy alleged that she was mistreated during an incident in 2010.The dismissal notes that on Sept. 11, 2010, Michael Turner, a defendant in the suit, was working as a Bauxite police officer and was called to the home of Gary and Peggy Hula in response to a domestic disturbance call. Purifoy is a neighbor of the Hulas.The document notes that "when Turner arrived at the Hula residence, Purifoy was there and Turner asked her to leave so he could talk to Gary. Purifoy began questioning Turner and, at one point, told Gary to go inside his house because Turner's investigation was over. Turner warned Purifoy several times that she needed to return home or risk being handcuffed and placed in his patrol car. Purifoy eventually left the scene. Turner directed Peggy to stay at another neighbor's house and not to return home that night because she and Gary were both intoxicated." Turner left the scene and reported the incident to Chief of Police Jimmy Hood, the suit noted.The suit further states: "Shortly thereafter, Purifoy called Turner and told him that Gary was at her home because Peggy had returned to the Hula residence. Turner went to Hula residence, and when no one answered, he drove to Purifoy's home. When he arrived at Purifoy's home, Purifoy attempted to aid Gary to walk to his home, but Turner ordered her to stay at her house and stated he would help Gary."According to court documents, Purifoy refused and followed Turner, talking to him as he walked. Turner attempted to handcuff Purifoy, but she resisted and they engaged in a struggle. Purifoy was arrested and later convicted in city court of obstructing governmental operations and refusing to submit to arrest.Purifoy appealed the conviction to the Saline County Circuit Court, which upheld the city's position. On Nov. 27, 2012, Purifoy filed her suit, in which she alleged "constitutional violations pursuant to the Arkansas Civil Rights Act and Arkansas common law" against McMahan, Officer Turner, former Police Chief Jimmy Hood and former Bauxite Police Officer Ron Parsons.When reached for comment regarding the dismissal of the suit, McMahan said: “I was elated when I got the news that all claims in the Purifoy lawsuit had been dismissed by U.S. Federal Judge Brian Miller. I thought her allegations were bogus, frivolous, a waste of time and taxpayers' money, and obviously the judge agreed. "Her claims offered no credible evidence and were outrageous. I thought Judge Miller was correct when he stated that she did not prove any of her points – they were merely misguided allegations wrapped around bogus statements. This lawsuit was her standard operating procedure – make a lot of 'over the top' charges and hope somebody will believe her and maybe something sticks to the wall. This time it did not."A couple of weeks ago an ethics complaint that she filed against me was dismissed 4-0 because it was also trivial and worthless," he said.McMahan also pointed out that the cost of defending the lawsuit put a strain on city finances. "It cost the taxpayers $3,000 to hire the Municipal League attorney, Mike Mosley – which we didn't have to spare – and I appreciate his hard work and due diligence in his efforts. "Mike told me he would have carried it to the U.S. Supreme Court if he had to in order to prevail," he said.McMahan noted that Purifoy turned down a $6,000 settlement offered by Bauxite City Council members Karen Brooks, Paula Matthews and Mona Struble at a May 27 settlement conference held at the federal courthouse in Little Rock."Those three started out offering $1,500, quickly went to $3,000 and finally agreed to pay Purifoy $6,000 to settle," McMahan said. During the conference, Purifoy said she wanted either $9,500 and 15 acres of land that Bauxite owns or $25,000 cash to settle."Mike Mosley said it was not acceptable and we went home. She rolled the dice and got nothing, which is what she deserved – nothing. I believe it's safe to say that she has those three council members in her back pocket and is doing the thinking for them, and they follow her marching orders."McMahan added, "Our one intelligent council member, Brenda Haney, stated that Purifoy didn't deserve a dime and held out through the whole ordeal. I can safely say that I have one council member that thinks like a federal judge and three that think like the Three Stooges."I still contend that Brooks, Matthews and Struble cooked up the settlement amounts on the way to the conference as they all rode together that day. It was too easy for them to agree exactly on all the amounts. And they wonder why I want to cut their salaries from $175 to $50 per month. I don't know if they are earning $25 a month."McMahan noted that about a month ago his office received an email from Struble "saying we needed to go ahead and settle the lawsuit and turn over the 15 acres to Purifoy. I thought Mona was nuts then and I still think she's nuts now.""In my opinion, Purifoy is pulling her strings along with the other two and they are causing havoc in city affairs.” Benton, ARBrent DavisMcMahan responds to dismissal of lawsuitNo source availableurn:publicid:dailypress.com:10524Change0Usable2014-08-01T14:26:05-04:00 urn:publicid:dailypress.com:10522Front entrance to Saline Memorial closed for renovation2014-08-01T10:49:55-04:002014-08-01T10:49:55-04:00The Saline CourierBenton, ARBrent DavisFront entrance to Saline Memorial closed for renovationNo source availableurn:publicid:dailypress.com:10522Change0Usable2014-08-01T10:49:55-04:00 urn:publicid:dailypress.com:10518BREAKING NEWS: Wet/dry vote to be on Saline County ballot in November2014-07-31T17:36:03-04:002014-07-31T17:36:03-04:00The Saline CourierThe required number of signatures on a petition to allow the sale and manufacture of alcoholic beverages in Saline County has been met, according to County Clerk Doug Curtis.Curtis reported late Thursday afternoon that 31,528 signatures were processed and 25,653 were accepted after 5,875 were rejected.Benton, ARLynda HollenbeckBREAKING NEWS: Wet/dry vote to be on Saline County ballot in NovemberNo source availableurn:publicid:dailypress.com:10518Change0Usable2014-07-31T17:36:03-04:00