September 15, 2010 Edition

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LCSD preparing for
communication change

Leslie Ginn
Staff Writer

The Lawrence County Sheriff's department covered three different topics at the Quorum Court meeting Monday night.

Sheriff Dan Ellison discussed the federally mandated emergency services broadcast changes, which require all who use emergency communication to alter their radio transmissions to narrow-band frequencies by January 2013.

This includes all hospitals, fire departments, police and any emergency related personnel. All equipment, even pagers, must be updated to the same frequency, while non-compatible equipment must be replaced.

"The frequency will be squeezed into a smaller space while offering double the channels," Ellison said. "It will cost about $25 per piece, unless it needs to be replaced."

The sheriff's department received a $50,000 grant to purchase and implement an Automatic Fingerprinting System (AFS). The quote for the system was $43,000. The sheriff's department will use the remaining $7,000 for other equipment needed in the unit.

Ellison said, "The AFS can scan fingerprints and, in less than a minute, can tell the police everything known about you in the system nationwide."

Justice of the Peace Junior Briner told the court that a meeting to discuss jail overcrowding was held last month at Captain Catfish. Officials from surrounding counties were invited to discuss the overcrowding issue and to investigate options for solving the problem.

Lawrence, Sharp, Jackson and Randolph counties are interested in working together to find a solution. Ellison said that another meeting will be held in the next 60 days for these four counties.

Dan Watson, vice president for finance at Williams Baptist College, reported on bonds issued for WBC in 2003.

Watson said, "We are in a position favorable to refinance the bonds that have already been issued. This will help with two buildings that are already built. Those are the administration building and the bookstore."

Justices approved the refinancing of the bonds.

The following individuals were appointed, or reappointed, to the Arkansas Public Education Facilities Board of Williams Baptist College: Tom Sloan until January 2011, Lewis Slaughter until January 2012, Opal Mullen until January 2013, Dale Freeman until January 2014 and Geraline Rider until January 2015.

Bob Dixon term on this board has expired.

It was announced that County Clerk Tina Stowers is in the process of filing for election refunds.

"The county is reimbursed for expenses paid out in both the primary and run-off elections," Stowers said. "This includes poll workers' compensation, ballot printing and costs associated with resetting the ballot machines."

Briner announced that a letter was sent to all elected officials advising them that the budget process for 2011 has begun. The preliminary budget paperwork is to be returned by the last week in September.

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