April 14, 2010 Edition

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Sheriff addresses justices
about stopping sale of K2

Leslie Ginn
Staff Writer

Lawrence County Sherriff Dan Ellison informed the Quorum Court on Monday night about proposed local legislation to stop the sale and use of a hallucinogen product called K2 in the county.

"Although it is clearly marked on the package that it is not for consumption, users of K2 have found themselves in the hospital emergency room," Ellison explained. "Missouri is already passing legislation against this drug."

Ellison has prepared an ordinance that will be reviewed by the county lawyer before presentation to the Quorum Court in May for anticipated approval.

"We don't know the medical ramifications from the use of this dangerous drug," Ellison continued. "We need to stop the sale and use of it here in the county."

Dale Freeman suggested that the court prepare a grant proposal for a skeet shooting and archery range to be developed on county property. A million dollars in grant money is anticipated to be available in August for counties in $100,000 increments per county for such developments. Court members passed a resolution to develop a grant proposal for this purpose.

Three pass-through grants from the Arkansas Department of Rural Services were approved by court members. The Lawrence County Fair Association was awarded $12,000 to be used to improve the bleachers at the fairgrounds. Clover Bend received $20,000, and another $20,000 was awarded to The Children's Shelter Inc.

Ellison informed the court that a temporary position has been created and filled for a person to oversee the collection of $500,000 in outstanding fines assessed through circuit court. The necessity for this position will be re-evaluated in July.

"This is an ongoing need. People are getting fined through the court weekly," said Ellison. "Although we will incarcerate if necessary, we are trying to give individuals every opportunity to pay their fines rather than be put in jail."

Funds were appropriated by ordinance and awarded to and from the county general fund in the following amounts: the general fund was raised by an anticipated $120,000 because of tax collections and income from fines; the E-911 office received $108,000 for 2010; $50,000 was appropriated to the sheriff's department to be used to purchase a fingerprint machine; and $873.10 was appropriated to the sheriff's budget for an insurance reimbursement.

Bids will be accepted for another phase of the Rails to Trails project. A pavement overlay measuring eight feet wide and two inches thick for one mile is required. Those interested are to contact the county judge's office for information.

It was announced that Rebecca Jones and Renee Bland have been appointed to the Lawrence County Library Board. Their terms will end in 2014 and 2013, respectfully.

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