The Daily Press The Saline Courier | AP iAtom feed Copyright The Daily Press 2014-07-31T17:36:03-04:00 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 Viewer Reaction: Sharknado 22014-07-31T15:20:55-04:002014-07-31T15:20:55-04:00The Saline CourierBenton, ARNo author availableVIDEO: Viewer Reaction: Sharknado 2No source vows to destroy Hamas tunnels 
2014-07-31T13:56:03-04:002014-07-31T13:56:03-04:00The Saline CourierNetanyahu's vow came as international efforts to end the 23-day-old conflict seemed to sputter despite concern over the mounting death toll, with more than 1,300 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and more than 50 Israelis, almost all of them soldiers, killed since July 8."We have neutralized dozens of terror tunnels and we are committed to complete this mission, with or without a cease-fire," Netanyahu said. "Therefore I will not agree to any offer that does not allow the military to complete this important mission for the security of the people of Israel."An initial Israeli aerial campaign against Hamas was widened into a ground offensive on July 17. Since then the campaign has concentrated on destroying more than 30 cross-border tunnels that militants have constructed to carry out attacks on Israeli territory.Israel says that most of the 32 tunnels it has uncovered have now been demolished and that getting rid of the remainder will take no more than a few days.The new reserve call-up follows another day of heavy fighting, in which tank shells struck a U.N. school where Palestinians were sheltering and an airstrike tore through a crowded Gaza shopping area. At least 116 Palestinians and three Israeli soldiers were killed Wednesday.Speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to discuss the matter with the press, an Israeli defense official said the purpose of the latest call-up was to provide relief for troops currently on the Gaza firing line. However, Israeli officials have also said they do not rule out broadening operations in the coming days.Fifty-six Israeli soldiers and three civilians on the Israeli side have been killed since the offensive began, as Palestinians have fired hundreds of rockets at Israel -- some reaching major cities -- and carried out attacks through tunnels beneath the heavily guarded frontier.Israel has called up a total of 86,000 reserves during the Gaza war, which it launched to try to end rocket fire from Hamas and other armed groups.Israeli attacks in the strip continued Thursday, with witnesses saying that munitions struck the Omar Ibn al-Khatab mosque next to a U.N. school in the northern town of Beit Lahiya. Israeli fire near another U.N. school in Gaza killed more than a dozen people the day before, drawing international condemnation.The strike in Beit Lahiya early Thursday damaged water tanks on the roof of a building near the mosque, sending shrapnel flying into the adjacent school compound, where dozens of Palestinians displaced by the fighting had taken shelter."The shrapnel from the strike on the mosque hit people who were in the street and at the entrance of the school," said Sami Salebi, an area resident.Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra said at least 15 people were wounded, with three of them in critical condition.Kifah Rafati, 40, was being treated for shrapnel injuries at the nearby Kamal Adwan Hospital. She said she and her six children had been sleeping in a classroom facing the mosque when the explosion went off. "There is no safety anywhere," she said.On Wednesday Israeli tank shells struck a U.N. school in the Jebaliya refugee camp where some 3,300 Gazans had crammed in to seek refuge from the fighting, killing at least 17 people. The military said it was responding to mortar fire coming from the area of the school.But Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the deadly school shelling "outrageous" and "unjustifiable," and demanded an immediate humanitarian cease-fire."Nothing is more shameful than attacking sleeping children," the U.N. chief said.The White House also criticized the shelling of the U.N. school in Jebaliya."We are extremely concerned that thousands of internally displaced Palestinians who have been called on by the Israeli military to evacuate their homes are not safe in U.N. designated shelters in Gaza," said Bernadette Meehan, a spokeswoman for the White House's National Security Council.Later on Wednesday, an Israeli airstrike hit a crowded shopping area in the Shijaiyah district in Gaza City, killing at least 16 people, including Palestinian video journalist Rami Rayan, who was wearing a press vest at the time, and wounding more than 200 people, al-Kidra said.Thursday marked a third day of particularly heavy Israeli air and artillery attacks, at a time when Egyptian cease-fire efforts appeared to have stalled. Israeli media said late Wednesday that Israel's Security Cabinet decided to press forward with the operation.Egyptian officials, meanwhile, met with an Israeli envoy about Israel's conditions for a cease-fire, including disarming Hamas, according to a high-ranking Egyptian security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to discuss the delicate diplomatic efforts.Hamas has said it will only halt fire once it receives guarantees that a Gaza border blockade by Israel and Egypt -- tightened after the Islamic militant group seized power in Gaza in 2007 -- will be lifted.Israel says it wants to decimate Hamas' rocket-launching capability, diminish its weapons arsenal and demolish the tunnels. It has launched more than 4,000 strikes against Hamas-linked targets, including rocket launchers and mosques where it says weapons were being stored.Israeli strikes have also hit dozens of homes. Mahmoud Abu Rahma of the Palestinian human rights group Al Mezan said nearly half of the Palestinians killed so far died in their homes.Israeli officials have said Hamas uses Gaza's civilians as human shields by firing rockets from crowded neighborhoods. Palestinian militants have fired more than 2,600 rockets at Israel over the past three weeks.However, Pierre Kraehenbuehl, chief of the U.N. aid agency for Palestinian refugees, said Israel must try harder to ensure that civilians are not hurt, especially in Gaza, where 1.7 million people are squeezed into a small coastal territory. His agency has opened 80 of its schools to more than 200,000 Palestinians fleeing the violence.Benton, ARAssociated PressIsrael vows to destroy Hamas tunnels 
No source Arkansas man tried to mail meth to jail 2014-07-31T13:54:32-04:002014-07-31T13:54:32-04:00The Saline CourierThe Jonesboro Sun reports that 27-year-olds Brandon and David Buck were charged July 2 for meth possession. David Buck posted bond, but his brother remained incarcerated with a parole hold.Craighead County Deputy David Bailey says he was monitoring inmate phone calls Sunday when David Buck told his brother he was going to mail him meth. Bailey says the drugs would be hidden under the label on an envelope.Authorities say they intercepted the letter that contained suspected meth Tuesday.Drug Task Force Agent Charles Garr says he plans to seek an arrest warrant for David Buck.Benton, ARAssociated PressPolice: Arkansas man tried to mail meth to jail No source ask judge to keep marriage ban in place2014-07-31T13:53:40-04:002014-07-31T13:53:40-04:00The Saline CourierAttorney General Dustin McDaniel's office asked U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker to reject the motion for summary judgment filed by two same-sex couples challenging the ban. The couples earlier this month asked Baker to rule immediately and find a 2004 constitutional amendment and any related laws barring gay marriage unconstitutional. The couples sued the state over the ban last year.In the filing, McDaniel's office said the summary judgment request was premature because Baker hasn't ruled on the state's motion to dismiss the lawsuit. He also defended the constitutionality of the ban."Amendment 83 and Arkansas Act 144 of 1997 are rationally related to numerous conceivable rational bases, and are there constitutional," the filing said. "Plaintiffs' summary judgment motion should be denied."The couples argued earlier this month that Arkansas' ban doesn't serve any purpose other than discriminating against same-sex couples. The lawsuit also seeks to require Arkansas to recognize same-sex marriages from other states.The immediate ruling is being sought as Arkansas' highest court is also considering the constitutionality of the ban. Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza struck down the ban earlier this year, which led to 541 gay couples receiving marriage licenses before Piazza's ruling was suspended by the state Supreme Court.McDaniel, a Democrat serving his last year in office, has said he personally supports gay marriage but will continue defending Arkansas' ban in court. The state Supreme Court on Wednesday set a Sept. 8 deadline for the state to file its brief in that case.Gay marriage is legal in 19 states and the District of Columbia. Bans that have been overturned in some other states continue to make their way through the courts.Benton, ARAssociated PressArkansas ask judge to keep marriage ban in placeNo source of Bryant hires two new firefighters2014-07-31T13:50:21-04:002014-07-31T13:50:21-04:00The Saline Courier Bush said he chose to become a firefighter because he "wanted to help people without being a police officer like the rest of my family," he said. He says he enjoys being involved with the community, fighting fires and responding to medical calls, he said. "He is quiet and respectful and quickly learning," said Fire Chief J. P. Jordan. "He is built like a bull and just as strong." Valdez worked as a facility operator for the Bryant Parks Department before becoming a firefighter. "I enjoy helping people and always have," he said. He says he enjoys everything about the job and said he works with a "good group of guys."Valdez has two children — a daughter, Makayla, 7, and a son, Nathan, 4. Benton, ARSarah PerryCity of Bryant hires two new firefightersNo source filings continue; Aug. 15 is last day to file2014-07-31T13:42:40-04:002014-07-31T13:42:40-04:00The Saline CourierThe 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.Benton(All races are nonpartisan.)•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, no filings to date.•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, Lori Beaty Terrell, incumbent.Bryant(All races are nonpartisan.)•Mayor, Randy Cox and 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, Janie Lyman, Jayme Watson-Bruton, Jerry D. Tittle.•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.Alexander•Mayor, Corliss Jerry Ball and Farren Wadley. •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 dateShannon Hills•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•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 filings continue; Aug. 15 is last day to fileNo source Futures Campaign kicks off for local youth clubs2014-07-31T13:41:21-04:002014-07-31T13:41:21-04:00The Saline CourierIn an announcement on the organization's website, the group notes: "America's kids are in crisis. Our nation's state of poor academic performance, obesity, drug use and youth-related violence are cause for alarm and national action. A key component of the solution is out-of-school time. Yet every day, 15 million kids, 1 in 4, leave school with no place to go, putting them at risk of being unsupervised, unguided and unsafe."Today, Boys Emmy Rogers, director of development for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Saline County, says the facilities in Benton and Alexander are on board with the national effort; and Karissa Stephens, resource development coordinator for the Boys "Through this national campaign, Boys "We see these success stories every day because we are immersed in our members' lives," Rogers added. "The Great Futures campaign is going to bring this awareness nationwide so everyone understands the important role that Boys As examples, she mentioned Jamol and Jamel Jones. "Jamel is in the Army now, and Jamol works in the corporate world for Walmart. Their sentiments say it better than we ever could. The impact is right here in our backyards, right where the need is. You can join the Great Futures movement and make a difference."Jamol Jones is a regular member of the club on Cox Street in Benton.“I am a product of the Saline County Boys His brother, Jamel, also says the club was crucial to his development as an individual.“Thank you, Saline County Boys and Girls Club, for investing in me. You not only helped me grow, but you gave me life," he said. "I am forever grateful.”Stephens recently conducted a tour of the Bryant facility in Bishop Park. "We have several activities and programs for our members." she said. Recently, through GIF funding, the concessions area of the club was renovated."The work began at the beginning of the summer. With the assistance of GIF (Growth and Innovation Fund) funding of obtained through Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson, Rep. Ann Clemmer and Rep. Kim Hammer, we are able to add new flooring, create a divider wall and increase the capacity to serve members in the room by 30 percent."Stephens reports that the club has more than 700 members enrolled and serves an average of 450 youth at the club each day.On the upper floor of the Bryant club, a computer room renovation has been completed."We are grateful to Chris and Adelle Holmes for sponsoring the renovation and the computer room," Stephens said. "It is a quiet place for members to use the computers and learn new skills."Down the hall from the computer room is an art room where pottery classes were being held on the day of the tour. A team room for members in grades 6 though 8 was filled with members dancing to a video game, playing pool and talking in groups."There are kids who come through the doors of the club and their stories touch your heart," Stephens said. "We have kids who may not have food when they go home each day, so we do what we can to help them. We have the support of a wonderful community and with their assistance, we are able to do the extra things that make a difference with these kids."The Boys At the banquet, a new video with the Great Futures theme will debut. It will be broadcast on social media the following day.In December, a celebration is planned for the organization's 45th anniversary in Benton.Both organizations feel the work done at the clubs is a great benefit to the county. However, both groups also note that the support of the community is appreciated and crucial for continued success.Benton, ARBrent DavisGreat Futures Campaign kicks off for local youth clubsNo source Dispatch July 302014-07-31T13:39:13-04:002014-07-31T13:39:13-04:00The Saline Courier•The manager at O'Reilly's Auto Parts reported an individual used a check from a closed account to purchase items. •The owner of Olde Towne Benton on South East Street reported a woman stole a purse. •Timothy Jones, 30, of Malvern was arrested on Reed Street for allegedly being disorderly. •A woman on Chatfield Road reported a residential break-in. •Charles Ross, 19, of Broken Bow, Okla. was arrested near Hazel Street and charged with driving while intoxicated and criminal trespassing. •Cassie Harris, 31, of Benton was arrested on Fairmont Drive and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a controlled substance, possessing prohibited article, tampering with physical evident, possessing instruments of crime and criminal trespassing. She was also named on an active warrant. Saline County Sheriff's Office •A woman on West Main Street report jewelry was stolen from her home. •A man on JBW Road reported his trailer was stolen. •A man on Sleepy Village Road reported a dog killed his chickens. •A man on Sioux Valley Cove reported an individual threatened him. Benton Fire DepartmentNo reports were submitted. Bryant Fire DepartmentBenton, ARSarah PerryDaily Dispatch July 30No source leads to break-in arrest2014-07-31T13:38:23-04:002014-07-31T13:38:23-04:00The Saline CourierDevin Weston, 30, of Hot Springs National Park is accused of committing12 vehicle break-ins that occurred April 21 near Millbrook Drive and Heritage Farms neighborhood.During the investigation, various items that included DNA evidence were collected and submitted to the Arkansas Crime Lab for processing, said Lt. Kevin Russell, Benton police department spokesperson. All of the officers are trained to process a vehicle during similar incidents to collect items as evidence, he said. Weston is currently detained at the Garland County Jail on three failure to appear charges for prior incidents and will be returned to Benton, he said.Benton Police Department will charge Weston will 12 counts of breaking or entering and four counts of theft of property, Russell said. Benton, ARSarah PerryDNA leads to break-in arrestNo source