December 16, 2015 Edition

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Board lifts county jail probation

A meeting with Arkansas Jail Standards last week brought good news for the jail operation in Lawrence County as the probation held on the current jail was revoked so it may be used until the new facility is built.

"Jail Standards has a job to do and they did it well," Sheriff Jeff Yates said. He added that they were very fair with the county throughout the probation process and because of them, the county was allowed enough time to develop a plan.

Angel Tree project serves 371 children

Christine Wall (left) and Farrah Matthews work to sort a stack of presents collected for the Lawrence County Angel Tree project. Several volunteers worked in the Lawrence County Meeting Room Tuesday to prepare hundreds of gifts for children in the county.
TD Photo ~ Megan Heyl

The Lawrence County Angel Tree project collected gifts for 371 children from 145 families in the county this year.

While the number if children benefiting from the program stayed similar to previous years, the donations both in purchased gifts and monetary gifts this year were wonderful, according to Lawrence County Assessor Farrah Matthews. The support the county has for this project could be felt in the Lawrence County Meeting Room where hundreds of gifts were spread out, including 17 bicycles, an unheard of amount according to Matthews.

JP bonuses brought into question

For more than 10 years, Lawrence County justices of the peace have received year-end bonuses, however, after Delbert Robins presented information from Arkansas attorney generals at the Dec. 7 special Quorum Court meeting, the legality of such bonuses has been brought into question.

Several justices were quick to brush off Robins' concerns as opinions and not law, yet A.C.A. 14-14-1205 requires justices to be paid per diem, a payment made for each meeting. Neither salary pay nor payment beyond that received for meetings attended is allowed.

Intermodal's Wayne Gearhart resigns

Northeast Arkansas Regional Intermodal Facilities Authority Executive Director Wayne Gearhart announced his resignation from that position to the Intermodal Board of Directors on Thursday.

A reception for Gearhart, whose resignation will be effective Dec. 31, will be held Friday from 3:30-5:30 p.m. in the Richard Gaines Technology Center Conference Room on the Black River Technical College campus in Pocahontas.

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