*Published in the Courier Friday. A small selection of articles is available online, but for full access to content, subscribe to our print edition today.
Nearly 18,000 ballots have been cast from early voters in the Nov. 6 general election, according to tallies from the Saline County Clerk's Office.
The exact total thus far is 17,952, which included 1,826 ballots on Wednesday.
Broken down by specific sites, that number included 941 in Benton, 664 in Bryant and 221 in the Lonsdale area.
A Benton woman was arrested on Friday for 23 counts of animal cruelty, authorities said.
As of press time, 48-year-old Dorothy Rhonda Braithwaite remains in the Saline County jail with a $2,500 sheriff's bond. She is expected to appear in Benton District Court on Nov. 13.
Lt. Kevin Russell, public information officer for the Benton Police Department, said there is no indication that Braithwaite was selling the animals or part of an illegal "puppy mill." He said authorities do not anticipate any more arrests; however, the investigation is continuing.