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Late afternoon Saturday, Benton School District Superintendent Jeff Collum sent a message via telephone to hundreds of local residents to assure them that school district officials take the safety of their children seriously.
Collum was aware that many were focused on news accounts from Fridayâ€™s school shootings in Newtown, Conn., which took the lives of 20 children.
The tragic mass murders at Sandy Hook Elementary, which also cost the lives of six adults, once again put the issue of school safety back into the spotlight, and Collum realized the importance of communicating with residents.
Linda Montalvo made local history recently when she became the first woman to become Saline County clerk.
Montalvo's term in office has been a short one, however, as she will be retiring from county employment at the close of the month.
She was honored Friday at a reception held in the upstairs courtroom at the Saline County Courthouse.
Attending the event were several hundred people, including local county and state officials.
Montalvo was appointed to the clerk's office by the Saline County Quorum Court after the former clerk, Freddy Burton, retired for health reasons.
Nearly a year after the homicide of a Hot Springs Village dispatcher, authorities say the investigation is still active.
A reward of $11,000 has been offered "for any information that would assist in the arrest and prosecution of the person or persons responsible for this murder."
The Arkansas State Board of Education confirmed to The Saline Courier today that a former band teacher at Bryant High School had his teaching license revoked during a Monday meeting.
The 36-year-old James Chad Green resigned from his position with the Bryant School District on Oct. 24 and voluntarily surrendered to authorities on Oct. 31. He was charged with first-degree sexual assault and was released from the Saline County jail under a $25,000 sheriff's bond.
Construction at the new Benton Athletic Complex is on schedule, according to information given to the Benton School Board on Monday night.
David Dominguez of Nabholz Construction said the bleachers are completed "and are all up except for the chairs."
"The building under the bleachers is done," he added.
He further noted that additional work at the site has included installing an elevator, completing masonry columns and decorative fencing.
"We're continuing concrete work," he said.
He also noted that the band structure has been relocated from C.W. Lewis Stadium to the new complex.
An argument at a home in Bryant late Sunday allegedly led to a man fatally stabbing another, authorities said.
Itzamanna Jiminez-Jasso, 34, of Bryant is being held in the Saline County jail facing a charge of second-degree murder and is scheduled for a bond hearing Wednesday in Benton District Court.
According to Bryant police, about 9:40 p.m. Sunday, officers responded to a home in the 100 block of SE 3rd St. after receiving a call concerning a physical altercation involving a knife.
A lawsuit accusing a Bryant police officer of unlawfully arresting a county resident following a motor vehicle accident involving the plaintiff's wife has been filed in U.S. District Court, Western Division of the Eastern District of Arkansas.
The plaintiff, Robert Burdett of Bryant, cites nine specific counts related to the alleged incident. Named as defendants are the city of Bryant and Police Officer Michael Turner.
According to the complaint filed Dec. 5, Burdett requests a jury trial.
The complaint stems from an incident that allegedly occurred on Aug. 18, 2011.
Sunny Red left her mark in many areas of the community, but perhaps no place more significantly than on the area's older population.
Red, who died recently at the age of 91, served as director of the Benton Senior Activity Center for 12 years. During her tenure, from 1976 to 1986 she led the program through many changes and expansions.
A Benton man was arrested for allegedly breaking into a home in the city, authorities said.
Roderick Spears, 19, is facing charges of residential burglary and felony theft of property. As of press time, Spears is being held without bond in the Saline County jail, pending a bond hearing Monday in Benton District Court.
Officers of the Benton Police Department reportedly responded to a report of a home burglary in the 100 block of Windstone Drive on Nov. 30 and found that an estimated $1,300 worth of items had been stolen.
Santa Claus will be visiting the Saline County Courthouse gazebo Tuesdays and Thursdays starting at 6 p.m., until Christmas.
Santa Claus can also be seen at the Shannon Hills Christmas parade Saturday.
In addition, Salem United Methodist Church will host Breakfast with Santa on Saturday.
Another Breakfast with Santa is scheduled at 9 a.m. Sunday at the Saline County Moose Lodge.
Photo sessions with Santa and the Chick-fil-A cows will be available Tuesday, Dec. 11 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.