Trial has been scheduled in July for Jason Hodge Rider, 40, of Sallisaw. Rider is facing charges of two counts of lewd molestation, which reportedly happened between Labor Day and December 2009. He was arrested January 1st, 2010 after two juveniles reported he touched them during a camping trip. Rider was a former science teacher at a public school in Stilwell.
Dylan C. Able, 22, of Pocola was injured in a one vehicle accident Saturday June 15th, one mile west of Fort Smith. Able was west bound in a 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser, when he fell asleep according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. Ables vehicle left the road veering to the right, hitting a guardrail then swerved to the left. It broke through the guardrail, falling about 30 feet into the ravine below. The vehicle then rolled twice before being up-righted on its wheels. Able was admitted to Fort Smiths Sparks Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Friday, June 14th, Sequoyah County Sheriff, Ron Lockhart was voted Oklahoma Sheriff of the Year. Lockhart was honored at the 2013 Oklahoma Sheriff Conference at the Hard Rock Hotel in Tulsa, OK. Lockhart is in his fifth year as Sequoyah County Sheriff.
Tuesday, the City of Sallisaw voted on a special one-half cent sales tax. The tax was approved by voters. The tax will be used to help fund phase one of a new youth complex in Sallisaw. The complex will have eight fields, four for baseball, four for softball, along with concession stands and parking areas. The complex will be ready sometime after next baseball season. This leaves the question, "Where will the kids play?" With the new middle school being built beside the current high school, the current complex will have to be moved. The City of Sallisaw is currently in works on some areas around the city. One area in particular is the open 20+ acres around Immanuel Baptist Church located in Sallisaw. The pastor of Immanuel, Greg Burnsed says, "It's a tremendous opportunity to scene our community while while the new complex is being built." He also hopes the temporary field could be put to use as permanent practice facilites programs. After the youth complex is built, talks with the city about the possibility of using Immanuel's land are still underway.
A Huntsville man will face many charges after he pulled a toy gun on Springdale officers Wednesday, June 12th. Rainbow Kilo Rasphoumy is charged with aggravated assault, assault in the first degree, and resisting arrest. It was around 7:47am Wednesday morning when police received a phone call from the man's niece saying she had been outside for almost an hour and that Rasphoumy has mental problems and often bothers hers. After she gave a description of the van, officers tried later that morning to stop the van when the van pulled into a Springdale. Wal-mart parking lot on Robinson Ave. He initially got out of the van when officers asked, but then got back in his truck. He grabbed an object and raised it as though to hit officers. Rasphoumy then pulled out what appeared to be a handgun. He barricaded himself inside his van as one of the officers took shots at the van. Police took him into custody around 9:00am. No injuries were reported and no one was hurt
It was announced Monday, June 10th that University of Arkansas Vice Chancellor and Athletic Director, Jeff Long, was selected as the Under Armour Athletics Director of the Year. Long, now in his sixth year with the University has hepled put Arkansas athletics in the national spotlight year in and year out. In this year alone, the University of Arkansas athletic programs have brought home 4 SEC Championships and one NCAA title in men's indoor track and field.
It's been three years since the Deep Water Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. BP, the company held responsible for the spill, has announced as of yesterday that the U.S. Coast Guard is ending its clean up effort along Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. BP has spent more than 14 billion dollars on the clean up effort, and 70 million personnel hours in response to the spill that happened in April of 2010. The spill occurred after an explosion on the oil rig. The fire could not be put out and the rig sank, causing the largest oil spill in American history. The well that was connected to the rig spewed out an estimated 172 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf. Maintenance efforts will continue along 84 shoreline miles of Louisiana. Efforts of the clean up have much of the Gulf back to normal or at least the same as before the accident happened.
Wednesday afternoon in the Waldron High School Football Stadium, thousands of men, women, and children gathered to pay their final respects to Scott County Sheriff, Cody Carpenter. It was early Friday morning, during a swift water rescue attempt in Scott County, that 41 year old Cody Carpenter lost his life along with Arkansas Game and Fish officer, Joel Campora, and the two women they were trying to save. Carpenter was a man of God, who leaves behind a wife and four children. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all families involved.
Clear Channel Outdoor in Fort Smith has donated two billboards along Interstate 40 in Van Buren that feature Morgan Nick and the Help Bring Morgan Home message. It's been 18 years since Morgan Nick was kidnapped from a little league baseball field. Through the years Nick's family has kept the hopes of finding her alive. They are hoping the new billboards will continue to raise awareness about her disappearance. Colleen Nick, Morgan's mother' has founded the Morgan Nick Foundation, which is aimed at spreading information about missing children, bringing them home, and educating children about the safety issues they may face. For more information you can visit www.MorganNickFoundation.com
Nutritious and well balanced meals can be in short supply for some area children when schools let out for the summer break but schools in the River Valley and Northwest Arkansas are opening their doors this summer to ensure that no child under 18 goes without a good meal. Nine elementary schools in Fort Smith including Ballman, Carnall, Morrison, Spradling, Trusty, Barling, Howard, Pike, and Sunnymede will all be serving lunch weekdays. Lunches are free for children under 18 and $3.25 for parents. Breakfast will also be served from 7:45am to 8:30am at five elementary schools in Fort Smith including Howard, Pike, and Morrison. Northwest Arkansas schools to serve lunch will include Owl Creek in Fayetteville with lunch starting at 11:00am. Parson Hills and Elmdale, both located in Springdale will begin serving lunch at 11:15am . Parents are encouraged to bring their kids out for a nutritious, well balanced meal.