Archive - News Article
June 28th, 2012
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.
Saline County's burn ban means that the individual use of fireworks is prohibited anywhere in the county, according to a spokesperson for County Judge Lanny Fite.
In Benton, vendors may not sell fireworks during this period, but their sale is still allowed in the county for now, Fite said.
"The county ban doesn't prohibit the sale of fireworks, but it does prohibit the discharge unless a permit has been issued by the Office of Emergency Management," the county spokesperson said.
Saline County is among 52 in the state that have outlawed fireworks during the hot, dry weather.
Local law enforcement officers will put down their badges, guns and Tasers late Thursday to don aprons and street clothes while holding drink trays, all in the name of a good cause during the annual Tip-A-Cop.
The event will be held from 4 to 10 p.m. at Colton's Steakhouse in Benton and 100 percent of the proceeds benefit Special Olympics of Arkansas. Colton's is at 1929 Landers Drive, just off Interstate 30 and past the Walmart Supercenter.
The Independence Day celebration will come a few days early in Haskell and will include a large fireworks display to end the evening festivities.
The free event â€” including parking and admission â€” is scheduled from 5 to 10 p.m. on Friday at the Arkansas Health Center, located at 6701 U.S. Highway 67. From Interstate 30, take the Exit 114, drive past the Big Red Valero gas station and head straight past the first traffic light until reaching the sign for the Arkansas Health Center on the left.
Saline County residents already are under a burn ban issued Friday by Saline County Judge Lanny Fite, but additional restrictions have been imposed on Benton residents by Fire Chief Bill Ford.
On Monday, Ford issued a ban on the sale and use of fireworks in the city until the countywide burn ban has been lifted.
Fite's ban, which includes Benton and all of Saline County, will be enforced until lifted by Fite.
Benton City Council members once again discussed an ordinance that in its present form revises the customer service rules, regulations and fees for Benton Utilities, but the ordinance still has not been adopted.
In a meeting Tuesday night, attempts were made to revise the ordinance, but these suggestions were not approved.
Efforts also were made to approve the ordinance as it now reads on all of its three readings, but this didn't happen either.
Also thwarted was a motion to send the ordinance back to committee for further study.
A Benton judge set a $200,000 sheriff's bond for a former Benton firefighter arrested on Friday for allegedly having child pornography on his home computer, according to staff at the Saline County jail.
Timothy Ryan Bodkin, 38, appeared via satellite in Benton District Court on Monday facing 1,000 counts of felony possession of child pornography. He reportedly is scheduled to appear back in Benton District Court on Aug. 7, at which time where he could enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.
A Benton man â€” a former firefighter for the Benton Fire Department â€” was arrested on Friday for allegedly having child pornography on his home computer, according to the Saline County Sheriff's Office.
Timothy Ryan Bodkin, 38, faces 1,000 counts of felony possession of child pornography and is being held without bond pending an appearance via satellite in Benton District Court later today.
Benton City Council is expected tonight to consider the second reading of an ordinance that amends customer service rules, regulations and fees for Benton Utilities customers.
The ordinance previously been presented for its first reading.Three are required before a vote can be taken.
If the ordinance is approved, it will amend the amount charged to commercial customers that are delinquent on their accounts.
Benton Public Utilities Commission recently addressed the matter, which also came under the review of the council's Community Services Committee.