March 28, 2012 Edition

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McDaniel speaks to
Chamber, tours sites

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel (left) visits with Charles Snapp at Beatles Park in downtown Walnut Ridge Monday afternoon. McDaniel spoke at the Lawrence County Chamber's quarterly meeting, as well as touring several facilities and learning about local revitalization efforts.
TD Photo ~ Gretchen Hunt
Gretchen Hunt

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel spent Monday in Lawrence County with a full day of activities, including speaking to local Chamber members.

He began the day with a visit to the new Walnut Ridge Police Complex, then toured the campus of Williams Baptist College and the Wings of Honor Museum, located at the Walnut Ridge Regional Airport.

The museum was the site of the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce's quarterly meeting, which was well attended. Those attending had an opportunity to view the museum's exhibits and also hear a few words from the museum's board president, Harold Johnson.

McDaniel complimented the museum and its founders saying it is really extraordinary, with exhibits rivaling those he has seen in Little Rock museums.

"I will become a missionary for you," he said addressing representatives of the museum.

He also expressed appreciation to Chamber leadership and those who support the Chamber of Commerce.

"I sincerely appreciate small business owners and those who support the Chamber," he said. "It is a labor of love."

McDaniel gave a brief report on happenings in the state and specifically within his office.

"Things in the state right now are really quite good," he said. "We have a lot to be proud of, a lot to be hopeful for looking forward and a lot to be proud of looking back."

He shared that Arkansas continues to be one of only four states in the union to not go into deficit spending.

"This is not by accident, but very diligent work," he said.

In addition he cited Arkansas' ranking as sixth in the nation in public education policy.

Within the Attorney General's Office, he said the development of a Cyber Crimes Unit has been of great value to rural areas that cannot afford the same resources as the larger cities in the state.

He said his office is also working on a major case regarding Medicaid fraud.

"I remain your top consumer advocate," McDaniel said, encouraging anyone with an issue of any size to contact his office.

He commented on a lady who called him regarding a 48-cent charge on her phone bill.

"When we got to digging we realized a lot of people were being charged this same fee, and it started adding up," he said. "Small things can be big things."

He said he wants the people of Arkansas to think of his office just like they do their local fire department.

"You pay your taxes and your taxes fund our office," he said. "If you need us, call. I'd rather you call and it be a false alarm, than not call at all."

Following the Chamber meeting, McDaniel toured downtown Walnut Ridge, Lawrence Memorial Hospital and The Children's Shelter. He concluded the day with a brief visit with county officials and employees at the Lawrence County Courthouse in Walnut Ridge.

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