June 7, 2017 Edition

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SUMMER READING PROGRAM UNDERWAY - The Lawrence County Library's Summer Reading Program in Walnut Ridge kicked off Tuesday with a registration event. More than 100 children were in attendance. Dana Watkins (above) with Girls Scouts came and spoke to the group about their theme, Building A Better World. She also read them the book "My Lucky Day" by Kieko Kasza. Those interested in registering for the program can visit the library or come to next week's session, Tuesday at 2 p.m.
TD Photo ~ Aubree Hughart

'Future I-57' designation
beneficial for LawCo.

With the passage of the Fiscal Year 2017 funding bill, Highway 67 from North Little Rock to the Walnut Ridge/Hoxie area in Lawrence County, has been designated as "Future I-57."

The provision was authored by U.S. Senator John Boozman. Resolutions in support of the designation had been passed by several Chambers, including the Lawrence County Chamber. State and local officials from along the corridor also shared their support for this step in bringing Highway 67 into the interstate highway system.

"The presence of an official interstate highway is one of the key factors that developers consider when determining where to make major investments, such as building new factories," Boozman said. "This designation is an important step to make Arkansas a better-connected state that is open for business."

Clover Bend recovery will be lengthy

For most Lawrence County residents, the flood of 2017 is a thing of the past, but for some the effects still linger.

County Judge John Thomison said several homes in the county received extensive damage, including homes in Sedgwick, Portia and near the county line north of Walnut Ridge. He said one of the hardest hit areas was Clover Bend, with extensive damage to roads and homes.

"This was angry water," Thomison said, noting that the water not only got inside of buildings, it also moved items with its sheer force.

Road fund hit by floods, new jail finances assessed

With road repairs still underway from the recent flooding, the Lawrence County Budget Committee reviewed the state of the road fund at a meeting Monday.

While spending more than projected, Treasurer Marilyn Crafton said it will likely catch up in the fall as property tax comes in. FEMA relief is uncertain as the county still awaits a federal disaster declaration.

On Monday, Gov. Asa Hutchinson submitted a request for a federal disaster declaration for 31 counties, including Lawrence County.

Stewart Park to see summer renovations

Stewart Park recently received a 50-50 matching grant from the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism in order to make improvements to the park's playground. Other improvements at the park are also ongoing.

Mechelle Davis, chairperson of the local park committee, stated that the project cost is $20,000; $10,000 of which will be reimbursed with the grant assistance. Improvements are set to begin in mid-June, although some base work has already begun.

Bateman named as LHNC administrator

Lawrence Health Services has named April Bateman as the new administrator of Lawrence Hall Nursing Center.

Bateman has more than 18 years of experience as a nursing home administrator in the long-term care field. Excelling in her field, she has served as vice president for District 5 of the AHCA for two years.

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