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Saline Courier wins General Excellence, 27 awards at Arkansas Press Association Super Convention

July 12, 2014

The Saline Courier took home 27 awards, including the General Excellence award, at the Arkansas Press Association's annual Super Convention on Saturday, July 12. Earlier in the year The Saline Courier also won the General Excellence Award, the Sweepstakes Award and 36 other awards at the Associated Press Media Editor's banquet.

The list of category and winners are as follows:

News Story: First place, Lynda Hollenbeck; Second place, Brent Davis.
Feature Story: First place, Lynda Hollenbeck; Second place, Brent Davis.

Agriculture industry seeks to create right to farm

July 11, 2014

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — In the nation's agricultural heartland, farming is more than a multibillion-dollar industry that feeds the world. It could be on track to become a right, written into law alongside the freedom of speech and religion.

Some powerful agriculture interests want to declare farming a right at the state level as part of a wider campaign to fortify the ag industry against crusades by animal-welfare activists and opponents of genetically modified crops.

Garth Brooks going digital, announces new album, tour

July 11, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Garth Brooks is finally embracing digital music, but he's doing it his own way.

Brooks, one of the last holdout big-name musicians still refusing to put his music on iTunes, said Thursday he will make his back catalog of hits and his new music available for download, but only through his own website. He said the digital downloads of previous music would be available in a few weeks to tide fans over until a new album comes out later this year.

SMH lauded for patient safety; judge presents award

July 11, 2014

In a special ceremony Wednesday, Saline County Judge Lanny Fite presented a prestigious award to representatives of Saline Memorial Hospital.

For the second consecutive year, the hospital received the Healthgrades Patient Safety Excellence Award.
The distinction places Saline Memorial Hospital within the top 5 percent of all hospitals for its excellent performance in safeguarding patients from serious, potentially preventable complications during their hospital stays, according to Healthgrades, the leading online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals.

Man charged with burglary for break-in at local church

July 11, 2014

A Little Rock man has been charged with commercial burglary in conjunction with a burglary early Thursday morning at Cornerstone Church of the Nazarene.

Michael Lyn Jones, 46, is charged with commercial burglary and breaking or entering.

Saline County deputies received a report of the break-in at the church via a security system. When an officer arrived at the scene, he observed a man, later identified as Jones, climbing out a broken window of the church, said Lt. Scott Courtney, spokesperson for the Saline County Sheriff's Office.

School board filings end; 2 districts to have races

July 10, 2014

When the filing period for local school board positions ended Tuesday, one person had filed for the open seat on the Benton School Board, the incumbent was the only one seeking the seat on the Bryant board, and both the Harmony Grove and Bauxite board incumbents had drawn challengers.

In Bauxite, Frank Torres is seeking another term, but he is being challenged by Ryan Jacks.

In the Harmony Grove district, Andy Kelloms and Jordan Abels are seeking the position Kelloms now holds.

Reward offered in death of endangered terns

July 10, 2014

LITTLE ROCK — An $8,500 reward has been offered for information on the deaths of several Interior least terns found on a small island in the Arkansas River.

The endangered birds are protected by federal and state endangered species regulations. They are found anywhere along the Arkansas River, from the Oklahoma state line to the Mississippi River. Their main nesting area is a section of the river from Clarksville downstream to Pine Bluff.

Wet/dry petition filed at clerk's office: alcohol push close to being on ballot

July 10, 2014

Our Community, Our Dollars has filed its initial petition bearing the signatures of nearly 26,000 individuals who indicate they want voters to decide Nov. 4 on whether retail alcohol sales should be legal in this county.

Saline County Clerk Doug Curtis said 2,888 pages of signatures were turned in to his office at approximately 4:10 p.m. Monday.

In the next 10 days, Curtis' staff will be reviewing the signatures to validate that they are from registered voters.

Statewide alcohol issue gains steam

July 10, 2014

Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin announced Wednesday that the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment, a proposed constitutional amendment to allow retail alcohol sales statewide, has met the initial signature count requirement.

The amendment needed 78,133 signatures to appear on the November general election ballot.

The initial count performed by the Secretary of State's office reportedly exceeded 84,000. The office now will move to the signature verification process to determine how many of the signatures are those of registered voters.

Obama urgently asks for $3.7 billion for border crisis

July 9, 2014

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama appealed to Congress on Tuesday for $3.7 billion in emergency spending to deal with the immigration crisis on the nation's southern border, where unaccompanied children have been showing up by the thousands in a human drama that's causing a political storm in Washington and beyond.

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