August 30, 2017 Edition

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Commission approves lease
on disaster training facility

The Walnut Ridge Regional Airport Commission approved a lease agreement between the city of Walnut Ridge and Arkansas State University on land to be used for a disaster training facility.

The facility will be used to train law enforcement and emergency responders and is expected to bring in hundreds of people in the area weekly.

"I believe this has the most potential that any business has for economic development," Walnut Ridge Mayor Charles Snapp said.

Last week, the Walnut Ridge City Council approved appropriating $25,000 to use in a lease agreement with ASU. The money will be used to pay for the land while ASU secures the funding for the facility. Snapp said this was necessary because the Federal Aviation Administration wouldn't let the airport release a revenue stream.

Walter settling in as Chamber director

Lawrence County Chamber Director Lesa Walter (right) looks over the agenda for the Arkansas Economic Developers and Chamber Executives conference with Suzy Griffin of the Russellville Area Chamber of Commerce.

Lesa Walter, who is wrapping up her second month as the new Lawrence County Chamber director, spent Sunday through Tuesday in Hot Springs for the Arkansas Economic Developers and Chamber Executives annual conference.

The event included breakout sessions on a variety of topics, as well as luncheons with Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Elise Mitchell, CEO of Mitchell and Dentsu Aegis Public Relations Network, as keynote speakers.

"Now that I am getting settled in at the Chamber office, I have been attending regional and state meetings with focuses on membership, economic development and site selection," Walter said.

One candidate withdraws from school board race

In the time period since the filings for school board ended on July 11, one candidate for the school board has withdrawn.

Incumbent Ronald Ingram of Walnut Ridge has withdrawn his name from the ballot for re-election on the Lawrence County School District's board. Doyne Davis of Walnut Ridge had also filed and is now unopposed in seeking the five-year term.

No other school board candidates in the county are opposed, and no school is seeking an increase in millage; therefore, the school districts have opted to conduct their elections solely through absentee and early voting. No polls will be open on the date of the annual School Election, Sept. 19.

Hoxie adds school resource officer position

TJ Marlin was recently hired as the new school resource officer at Hoxie School. A 1993 graduate of Hoxie High School, he has a long career in law enforcement, mostly in Lawrence County.

In 1997, he began working at the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department as a jailer. He worked his way up to a deputy in 1999 and went to the police academy at Black River Technical College in 2000.

He specialized in K-9 and drug and narcotics investigation both at the LCSD and at the Craighead County Sheriff's Department, where he worked from 2009-2011.

Hoxie EAST lab up and running

Students at Hoxie High School have been presented with an opportunity to learn first-hand about new technology thanks to a new EAST lab that was funded through a grant as part of the EAST initiative.

Keith Westbrook, who serves as facilitator, said the lab was set up on Tuesday and Wednesday of last week and then the learning began for both the teacher and the students.

"They come to me and ask me how something works, and I have to say, I don't know but we will figure it out together," he said.

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