April 13, 2016 Edition

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Michael Cochran, a member of the Walnut Ridge Volunteer Fire Department, helps man a roadblock on Highway 412, near Walmart in Walnut Ridge, Sunday afternoon, as vehicles are seen emerging from a wall of dust. Traffic was only allowed to flow eastbound, due to the dust storm, but even with the preventative measures, an accident later in the day resulted in one fatality.
TD Photo ~ John Bland

Dust storm causes
accidents, fatality

For the second time this spring, strong winds stirred up dirt from fields causing a dust storm on Sunday that resulted in near zero visibility. Two multi-vehicle accidents occurred as a result of the storm, with numerous injuries and one fatality.

The National Weather Service issued a dust storm warning for six northeast Arkansas counties, including Lawrence County, on Sunday. The most affected areas in Lawrence County were a section of Highway 63 near Portia and a section of Highway 412 near Walmart in Walnut Ridge.

Quorum court discusses 2016 budget, raises

Lawrence County Judge Dale Freeman insisted that the county budget, including several department budgets, is not being handled properly during Monday night's quorum court meeting.

Freeman voiced concerns about money not being split out into proper line items and also how County Clerk Tina Stowers adjusts department budgets after they have been turned into her.

Stowers confirmed that adjustments she makes are based on auditors' recommendations or changes that have been made since the budget was set.

WR Airport seeking new manager

The Walnut Ridge Regional Airport is seeking applicants for a new airport manager after current manager Michelle Anthony turned in her letter of resignation on April 4.

Commission Chair Don Cavenaugh said Anthony has offered to help during this transition time until a new manager is hired. There are also a few open grants that Anthony helped to coordinate that she will consult on.

"I will complete my time here with the same dedication that you have come to expect from me," Anthony wrote in her letter of resignation. "I am happy to help train my replacement and answer any questions you or they may have."

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