August 10, 2016 Edition

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Court approves raises
for county employees

Megan Heyl
Staff Writer

The Lawrence County Quorum Court approved a three percent raise for county employees on its second and third readings during Monday night's meeting.

The raises will be paid retroactively from the beginning of 2016.

In regard to raises, District Court Clerk Joyce Roberts spoke out during the meeting stating she wasn't paid in 2012 and 2013 for raises that were approved by the court at that time. The raises did get corrected but she asked why she hasn't been paid retroactively for the previous years.

County Clerk Tina Stowers said she isn't sure it is required as the district court is a split entity and isn't solely an employee of Lawrence County. Justices said they would look into it and pay her any unpaid raises they were required to.

Also at the meeting, County Judge Dale Freeman addressed Justice Junior Briner, who is chief operating officer at the Lawrence Memorial Hospital, about issues with how hospital board appointments are being handled.

Freeman said there have been numerous reappointments that have been approved without going through him.

Briner and Stowers said that each appointment is reflected in the minutes of the quorum court meeting in which they were approved.

Freeman argued that he hasn't approved the appointments and claimed the county is crooked.

"The people elected me to get it straightened out," Freeman said.

He also added that the appointments have not been handled properly by the county clerk's office as they haven't been sworn in. Briner said he wasn't aware of swearing in being required for hospital board members but he'd do some research.

In other business:

Freeman said he is still concerned money from the state half-cent sales tax is not being appropriated to his budget correctly. He added that the road department may not meet budget this year, and the court will have to look at it in the fall when they are working on the budget.

the court passed an resolution of support for the proposed disaster training facility to be built as part of an Arkansas State University program. Justice Lloyd Clark said letters of support help in grant writing and encourages any citizens to send letters to the airport commission or to Dr. Deborah Persell, director of Disaster Preparedness & Emergency Management at ASU, P.O. Box 910, State University, AR 72467.

Sheriff Jeff Yates informed the court that Sloan-Hendrix has hired a new resource officer through his department. The sheriff's department will supply a vehicle and the school will cover salary and maintain the vehicle.

the court passed an ordinance authorizing an exception to motor vehicles on the Rails to Trails walkways that allows maintenance and emergency vehicles to use the trail. Other vehicles on the walkway will be in violation and charged with a misdemeanor and be fined up to $500.

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