Archive - News Article
July 6th, 2012
Dan Smith, a technician with the City of Benton, is urging Benton residents to be aware that the city is under a level three energy alert. He said the alert means there is a risk of the power grid overloading because people run a lot of electricity during this time due to the heat. Smith said people should conserve electricity, such as turning off lights and other electrical equipment when not in use.
A former administrative assistant for the Benton Parks Department was arrested Thursday on charges of fraud and theft of city funds, authorities said.
Just after 1 p.m. Thursday, Kitty Smith, 57, with hands cuffed behind her back, repeatedly said, "I have nothing to say" and that she had "no response" to questions by a reporter of The Saline Courier outside the Benton Police Department.
The continued hot, dry weather has resulted in another cancellation: the fireworks extravaganza that was to be the concluding event of Benton's first Freedom Fest.
Benton Fire Chief Bill Ford announced late Monday that the fireworks display has been canceled out of safety concerns.
"As everyone should know, the state of Arkansas is under severe drought conditions," Ford said.
"Over the weekend the Arkansas Forestry Commission upgraded the status from 'high fire danger' to 'extreme fire danger,'" he noted.
Three Benton residents were arrested recently for allegedly forcing their way into a home for a robbery and later shooting a gun near the area, according to a Benton police report.
Arquis Jones, 28, whose listed address is in the 200 block of Valley Street in Benton, faces charges of felony aggravated residential burglary, felony possession of a firearms by certain persons, third-degree battery and fleeing. Jones is also a parolee.
"A complete street is designed for everyone: vehicles, bicyclists, pedestrians," says Michael Oaks. city engineer and director of public works for the city of Russellville.
Oaks, along with Russellville Mayor Bill Eaton, spoke to members of Bryant city government and residents about the efforts their city is taking to improve congested roads and traffic flow.
Three restaurants in Saline County recently were cited for failing an alcohol compliance check, authorities said.
The undercover compliance check of restaurants was made by the Benton Special Investigation Unit, which is comprised of officers from the Benton and Bryant police departments. Authorities said the checks were made to ensure local establishments are not serving alcohol to minors.
Possible naming rights for the Benton events center and advertising and promotion tax collections were addressed Thursday afternoon in a meeting of the Benton A & P Commission.
Commission Chairman Mark Fikes told the council that the events center project is ahead of schedule.
The commission recently approved an initial site plan and conceptual drawing of the center. A groundbreaking ceremony for the project is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. July 3 at the Hickory Square Shopping Center site.
Robert Edwards has been named interim director of the Benton Parks and Recreation Department.
Mayor David Mattingly announced Edwards' appointment late Monday at a Benton City Council meeting.
Mattingly said he had selected Edwards to serve in this position and that he expressed appreciation to Edwards for the willingness to serve the city in this manner.
Edwards, in turn, expressed appreciation to the mayor for the confidence placed in him and said it was his pleasure to serve Benton residents.
Edwards is retired from the Federal Aviation Administration.
When Easton Lee Martin was born June 22 at Saline Memorial Hospital, he was following a family tradition.
Easton's mother, Melanie Martin, was born at Saline Memorial in 1984, and both of her parents also had started life inside the Benton hospital.
Martin's mother, Vicki Steele, was born at the hospital in December of 1957, and the birth of her father, Jeff Steele, occurred there in September of 1958.
The family's connection to the hospital goes even deeper.
As strange as it may sound to some Saline County residents, the level of ozone readings this summer poses a real threat to the local community.