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Friday, June 29, 2012

Fires in nearby counties blowing smoke into Garland County

Residents seeing large amounts of smoke in the south and southwest portions of Garland County should not be alarmed. The smoke is coming from large fires in Clark and Hot Spring Counties and is being blown into Garland county. Fire departments are on the scene and battling the fires in both counties.

Water Usage Emergency in Village

Due to a large water main break that was discovered early on Friday morning, the Hot Springs Village water distribution system is in critical condition.  It is estimated that more than one million of gallons of water was lost through this leak – on top of the Village’s largest daily consumption level ever, with 3.95 million gallons of water used on Thursday. 


All large POA water uses are also closed until further notice.  This includes the DeSoto Pool, Coronado Pool and showers at the Coronado Fitness Center. 

The Department of Public Works is working to find and repair all leaks to the existing water distribution system and to restore water service as soon as possible. To report a leak, call the Department of Public Works at 501-922-5524. 

For additional information, contact Randy Noles, Director of Public Works, at 922-5522.

Village paving schedule

The first phase of the Hot Springs Village Property Owners' Association Road Paving Program will continue through July 6. The contractor is Cranford Construction of North Little Rock.

Plans are underway to pave the following roads by Friday, June 29: Alicante Road, Alba Lane, Alba Circle, Plana Place, North Badalona Drive, Badalona Circle, Badalona Lane, Cantalejo Lane and Tarrase Lane.

Next week, the paving crew will work Monday, July 2; Thursday, July 5; and Friday, July 6. Plans are underway to pave the following roads by July 6: Malaga Way, Alcanara Lane, Matamoroe Way, Durango Way and Behaira Lane.

The crew will return later in the summer to finish paving.

The POA will distribute flyers to residents in the affected areas in advance of the paving. Please observe all posted signs and avoid roads to be paved, if possible.

Weather and contractor availability determine the paving schedule. All streets and dates are subject to change.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

US Supreme Court health care decision

828 days ago Congress passed health care legislation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed by President Obama. The legislation was examined by the US Supreme Court at the request of 26 states arguing Congress exceeded its power in passing the law, which compels people to buy a product.

The Court reviewed four questions:

Was it within Congress’ constitutional powers to impose an individual mandate to purchase health insurance?

Would all or any additional parts of the law be struck down if the mandate is rejected?

Was the expansion of Medicaid unduly coercive on the states?

And, could all these questions be reviewed before the mandate takes effect?

The individual mandate issue under the commerce clause argument was rejected by the Court, but the Court ruled Congress has the power to impose the mandate because it can be considered a tax.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was upheld by the US Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision. Headlines say the Supreme Court backs all parts of President Obama’s signature health care law.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Special weather statement for Garland County

Issued by The National Weather Service
Little Rock, AR

Wed, Jun 27, 2012, 6:29 AM CDT


Fireworks canceled in the Village

Scott Randall, POA general manager in Hot Springs Village announced today that the fireworks display set for July 4 has been canceled. Randall attributed his decision to the burn bans and fireworks bans in place in both Garland and Saline Counties.

The Village had a permit for a fireworks display over Lake Balboa in the Village. Randall decided to err on the side of safety, rather than risk life and property.

The Village has many events planned for the week of Independence Day. All other activities will take place, only the fireworks have been canceled.

State weeks in the Village

Share the fun during your state week! Visitors play at resident rates with a valid driver’s license. Upcoming state weeks are listed below:

July 1-7: West Virginia

July 8-14: Virginia

July 15-21: Maryland

July 22-28: Indiana

July 29-Aug. 4: Utah

As a token of appreciation, Hot Springs Village Property Owners will receive one round of golf free in 2012 for bringing in a visiting guest. So “Share the Fun,” invite a friend or relative to play in the Village! (Limit one complimentary round of golf per resident in 2012. Residents sign in at any HSV POA Golf Pro Shop with your visitor and we will mail you a golf coupon. Please schedule your free round by calling 922-2858 or emailing

Phone book recycling in the Village

The Hot Springs Village Property Owners’ Association will begin accepting telephone books for recycling on July 9. The program runs through August 31.

Telephone books may be taken to the recycling center on Cloaca Lane, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. or the recycling drop off point near the lawn bowling area, Wednesdays, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Bins for telephone book recycling will also be available in the lobby of the POA administration building.

Newcomers' coffee tomorrow

The Hot Springs Village Property Owners’ Association invites new residents to attend a newcomers' coffee, tomorrow, Thursday, June 28 at 9 a.m. in the Ouachita Building of the Ponce de Leon Center.

Coffee and donuts will be available at 8:30 a.m. and presentations will begin at 9 a.m. The meeting gives new residents an opportunity to hear about the Property Owners’ Association, organizations and activities in Hot Springs Village.

Newcomers' coffees are usually held the last Thursday of even months, except for December, when the event will be held the first Thursday of the month.

The Ponce de Leon Center is located at 1101 Desoto Boulevard. For more information, call 922-4231.

Village lakes and water committee reschedules July meeting

The July meeting of the Property Owners’ Association lakes & water committee will be held Wednesday, July 11 at 1:30 p.m. at the Coronado Community Center in Room 3. The change was a necessity because the Board of Directors Work Session was rescheduled for July 11 due to the July 4 holiday. 

Village trash pick up and more during Independence Day holiday

The Property Owners’ Association administration building will be closed on Wednesday, July 4 for the Fourth of July holiday. The lobby will be open on Saturday, June 30 from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. for property owner services, including ID cards, parking passes, etc.

If you have any questions, contact property owners’ services at 501-922-5556.

The Coronado Fitness Center will be open from 6 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Wednesday, July 4. Open swim will be available during that time. No classes will be held on that day.

The following schedule will be used for trash and recycling pick up for the holiday.

Monday, July 2 and Tuesday, July 3 – Trash will be picked up as scheduled.
Wednesday, July 4 – Trash will not be picked up.
Thursday, July 5 – Trash will be picked up for Wednesday customers.
Friday, July 6 – Trash will be picked up for Thursday customers.
Yard waste will not be picked up on Friday.

If you have any questions about trash pickup, please contact the Public Works Department at 922-5524.

Villagers wanting glow-in-the-dark t-shirts should apply

Volunteers are needed to assist the public relations officers at the east and west entrance gates to Hot Springs Village, due to the growth of Hot Springs Village and increased traffic volume.

Volunteers are requested to work a three or four hour shift every other week. Schedules are very flexible. Duties include taking telephone calls, informing the gates of guests who will be entering, logging the names and addresses of callers and guests, and assisting the public and PRO with information and directions.

Please call the department of public safety at 922-0011 or 922-5060 or visit the police department at 113 Calella Road, to volunteer or to learn more about the program.

Two of ten POA committees have openings

The Hot Springs Village Property Owners’ Association is soliciting interested applicants to fill existing vacancies on its trails and golf committees.

Property owners who are interested in serving on these committees may fill out an application at Click on About Us | Committees and scroll down to the Committee Application.

The POA currently has 10 advisory committees: architectural control, common property & forest, food service, golf, governmental affairs, lakes & water, public works, recreation, research & special projects, and trails.

Plastic welcome for some Woodlands events, buy online

The Hot Springs Village Property Owners’ Association is pleased to announce that tickets for three upcoming events at the Woodlands Auditorium are now available for purchase online at

The Kiwanis Club of Greater Hot Springs Village presents Ken Goodman in concert Tuesday, Aug. 7, at 7:00 p.m. at the Woodlands Auditorium. Goodman, who is owner of the Vienna Theater in Hot Springs, will perform nostalgic songs and Broadway melodies. Tickets are $10.00.

Country music performer Mickey Gilley will be in concert at the Woodlands Auditorium Sept. 8 for performances at 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Reserved seating for both performances is $25.00.

Colt and the Old 45s will perform at the Woodlands Auditorium Nov. 24 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20.00.

To purchase tickets for the shows, go to, call 922-4231 or go to the Woodlands Box Office at 1101 DeSoto Blvd., from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information, call 922-4231.

Funding available for low income housing

The Arkansas Development Finance Authority (ADFA) Board of Directors today approved 14 applications to develop or rehabilitate 747 affordable multifamily rental units across the state for families, individuals and persons with special support needs.  Eleven of the projects approved are to acquire and/or rehabilitate existing properties and three are for new construction. 

For the 2012 multifamily funding cycle, ADFA awarded $6,555,264 in Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), $250,000 in State LIHTCs, $1,220,445 in HOME Program funds, $900,000 in HOME Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) funds, and $750,000 in Finance Adjustment Factor / Below Market Interest Rate Program (FAF/BMIR) funds. 

It is important to note that a project’s tax credit award is received each year for the first 10 years of a development’s operating period.  For example, a $500,000 reservation results in a total tax credit award of $5 million. 

Developments are structured so that the sale of a project’s housing tax credits and other tax benefits provides a source of capital for the development of affordable rental housing.  This equity investment reduces the need for financing thereby reducing operating costs, which is passed along in the form of reduced rents. 

The following developments received 2012 funding in Congressional District 4:

Development and City  / LIHTC / HOME FAF/BMIR / # Units 
Park Place, Hot Springs / $600,000 / $250,000 / 71
River Oaks, Arkadelphia / $209,849 / $210,000 / 24

More information about ADFA and its affordable housing development programs can be found on ADFA’s website

Bird season discussed at Arkansas Game and Fish Commission meeting

Commissioners with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission recently discussed dove season, the unofficial opening of Arkansas’s fall hunting season, at its monthly meeting in Stuttgart.

Early-season migratory game-bird season selections must be reported to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by Aug. 1. Approval for the early seasons will take place during the Commission’s July meeting. Changes from last season are minor.

Mourning Dove and Eurasian Collared Dove
Sept. 1-Oct. 25 and Dec. 26-Jan. 9

Teal Season
Sept. 8-23

Rail Season
Sept. 8-Nov. 16

Woodcock Season
Nov. 3-Dec. 17

Common Snipe Season
Nov. 1-Feb. 15

Purple Gallinule and Common Moorhen Season
Sept. 1-Nov. 9

Early Canada Goose Season
Sept. 1-15

Northwest Canada Goose Zone Season
Sept. 22-Oct. 1
During last Wednesday’s committee meetings, late migratory bird regulation proposals, including potential WMA regulation changes, were discussed. The Regulations Committee accepted the recommendations of AGFC staff to discontinue regulation exceptions that had allowed leaving decoys overnight and possessing permanent blinds on three WMAs. These proposals will be discussed at the July Commission meeting with final approval at the Commission’s August meeting.

In other business, the Commission:

*Approved policy revisions for the agency’s state record fish.

*Approved a list of Commission committees and chairmen for the coming fiscal year.

*Approved the AGFC budget for fiscal year 2012-13, totaling $72,950,869.

*Approved a budget increase of $90,349 for purchase of office furniture, temporary rent and moving expenses for the new AGFC Jonesboro Regional Office.

*Elected Ron Pierce of Mountain Home chairman of the Commission to replace George Dunklin Jr. Dunklin’s term on the Commission ends June 30. Rick Watkins of Little Rock was elected vice chairman.

*Passed a minute order requesting that AGFC Director Loren Hitchcock postpone his June 30 retirement effective date and continue as the agency director until the search and hiring process for a new director has been completed.

Heat tips for the Arkansas Department of Health

Hot temperatures and high humidity are a dangerous mix that contributes to illness and death each year. Seventeen Arkansans died due to heat-related illness in 2011. On average, there are 400 heat-related deaths a year in the U.S.  While the elderly, people with health problems, and very young children are the most vulnerable, heat can affect anyone—even strong, healthy athletes can be stricken. Our bodies are cooled primarily by losing heat through the skin and perspiration with evaporation. When our core body heat gain exceeds the amount we can get rid of the body’s natural defense fails and heat-related illness may develop.  The following heat disorders are progressive and should be attended to immediately:

¨     Heat cramps.  These are prolonged muscle pain that result from severe salt and magnesium depletion due to heavy sweating. Treatment includes salt replacement, cooling down and gentle massage.

¨     Heat exhaustion.  This is the most common illness caused by heat and often occurs while the person is working outside or attending outside events in extremely hot, humid
weather. The victim may complain of weakness and feel faint. Other symptoms include dizziness, nausea, headache and confusion. The person should be moved to a cooler place, and wet cloths applied for cooling down. Fluid and salt should be replaced.  Depending on the severity of the illness, hospitalization and intravenous fluid replacement may be necessary. This condition usually comes just before heat stroke.

¨     Heat stroke (also called sunstroke).  This is a life-threatening condition in which the
victim’s temperature-control system stops working.  Sweating is ineffective or stops completely, and the body’s temperature can rise so high that the nervous system, the brain and other organs can be damaged permanently.  Death may occur if the body is not cooled quickly. The symptoms of heat stroke include sudden high fever, dry skin, delirium, convulsions and seizures. Heat stroke is a medical emergency—call 911 and

cool the person as fast as you can. Ice, a cold bath, and wet sheets are recommended until medical help arrives.

Those who work, exercise, or participate in strenuous activity, such as football practice, for an hour or more during intense heat may lose or sweat up to two quarts of water. If you must pursue intense activity during hot weather, follow these safety tips.

¨     Drink plenty of water; fluid replacement is crucial to avoid heat risks. Drink more water than usual before exercising or working in the heat. Schedule breaks with fluid replacement. If you are elderly or taking medication, ask your doctor about fluid intake recommendations.
¨     Schedule your strenuous activity during the coolest time of the day.
¨     Monitor how you feel. Watch for feelings of weakness, confusion and rapid breathing.           If you have difficulty maintaining your regular pace, slow down.
¨     Wear a broad spectrum sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher to protect skin from sunburns and skin cancer.

Elderly people should avoid staying indoors during heat waves without using air conditioning.  More than half of the 700 heat-related deaths in the 1995 Chicago heat wave could have been prevented with an air conditioner in the home, according to a published study. If you cannot afford an air conditioner for your home, spend more time in other air conditioned environments.

During the hot and dry weather in Arkansas, public water is high in demand. Many water systems in the state struggle to maintain normal tank levels in the face of heavy demand.  However, the individual water customer can have the single greatest impact on a water system’s ability to keep up with consumption. Wise use of water by individual customers can make a dramatic difference in whether shortages are experienced.

The following is a list of suggestions how homeowners can cut water usage.

·        Water your lawn only when it needs it.
·        Deep soak the lawn rather than sprinkling lightly which tends to evaporate quickly.
·        Water during the cool part of the day such as early morning.
·        Don’t waste water on gutters, driveways, and sidewalks.
·        Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants. Mulch will hold moisture longer and slow evaporation.
·        Use automatic dishwashers and washing machines only with full loads.
·        Don’t let the faucet run when cleaning vegetables or washing dishes. Rinse them in a stoppered sink or pan of clean water. Similarly, don’t let the water run when brushing your teeth or shaving. Keep a bottle of drinking water in the refrigerator. Running tap water to cool it off for drinking is wasteful.
·        Check faucets, pipes, and toilets for drips or leaks.
·        Install water-saving showerheads or flow restrictors.

By practicing good water conservation efforts and by adhering to heat-related illness prevention guidelines, Arkansans can stay healthy and safe during the hot, summer months.

For more information visit

Red Cross warns of blood shortage

The American Red Cross blood supply has reached emergency levels with 50,000 fewer donations than expected in June. This shortfall leaves the Red Cross with half the readily available blood products on hand now than this time last year.

The Red Cross is calling on all eligible blood donors – now more than ever – to roll up a sleeve and give as soon as possible. All blood types are needed, but especially O positive, O negative, B negative and A negative in order to meet patient demand this summer.

An unseasonably early start to spring may be a contributing factor to this year’s decrease in donations. Many regular donors got an early start on summer activities and aren’t taking time to give blood or platelets. In addition, this year’s mid-week Independence Day holiday has reduced the number of scheduled Red Cross blood drives. Many sponsors, especially businesses, are unable to host drives because employees are taking extended vacations.

Unfortunately, patients don’t get a holiday from needing blood products. The need is constant. Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs a blood transfusion. Blood and platelets are needed for many different reasons, including accident and burn victims, heart surgery patients, organ transplant patients, premature babies – when there are complications during childbirth – and for patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease.

“Every day, the Red Cross must collect more than 17,000 pints of blood for patients at more than 3,000 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country. Of that, the Greater Ozarks-Arkansas Blood Services Region must collect approximately 400 pints per day,” said Vincent Edwards CEO of the American Red Cross Greater Ozarks-Arkansas Blood Services Region. “We need donors to make appointments in the coming days and weeks to help us ensure that all patient blood needs can be met. Each pint of whole blood can help save more than one life.”

“There is always the chance that a physician could postpone an elective surgery if the needed blood products aren’t readily available or, in a worst case scenario, have to forego a more serious procedure because of a shortage of blood.” Edwards added. “Our goal is to ensure that doesn’t happen.”

Call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit to make an appointment or for more information. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at

There will be an opportunity to donate blood to Red Cross in July at the Village United Methodist Church in Hot Springs Village.

Rabid skunk confirmed from Garland County

For the first time this year, a skunk was confirmed positive for rabies east of Hot Springs, on Malvern Highway near the Hot Spring County line, according to State Public Health Veterinarian Susan Weinstein.

In an email last Tuesday to Hot Springs Animal Services Director Dan Bugg, Weinstein reported confirming the rabid skunk the day before.  It was caught by a homeowner who had set out rat traps in his barns.  There was no exposure to other people or animals.

Weinstein noted that this case was not anywhere near the others reported thus far this year.  “All the others so far have been west of Lake Hamilton and the city of Hot Springs itself, and all within a 5-7 mile radius,” Weinstein reported.  “The ones this year in Hot Spring County have been east of I-30 and south of Malvern, with two being very close together, 2 others being very close together, and the last one fairly distant from the others.”  The attached map from Weinstein shows confirmed animal rabies cases by Arkansas county, as of June 19.

A total of more than 900 area dogs and cats have been vaccinated at free clinics held on June 2, 9 and 16 in school parking lots.  The Garland County Quorum Court and City of Hot Springs have approved a combined total amount not to exceed $8,500 for the cost of the vaccines.  Donations from many clinic attendees have covered more than half the clinic costs to date, and volunteers have helped staff the clinics.  The date and location of a final clinic to be held in the south Hot Springs area have not yet been confirmed.

Area residents are reminded not to approach a skunk or bat that is active during the daytime, as both are nocturnal animals.  If daytime activity is observed, call Animal Services promptly at 262-2091.

Bugs camp at Lake Catherine

When you think of bugs, if the first thing that comes to mind is slimy, then we have just the program for you! The Outdoor Adventure Series: Bugs, Slugs and More Weekend is July 13-15 at Lake Catherine State Park in Hot Springs. By the end of the weekend, participants will understand Arkansas’s creepy crawlies a little bit more. During the program, park rangers will highlight all the great aspects about these misunderstood creatures through nature-related games, hikes, and crafts. If you can’t make this one, another interesting program is Adventurers’ Day Camp, which is designed to introduce kids that are 10-12 years old to the wonder of the natural world through outdoor adventures that include hiking, kayaking, nature programs and more. The camp is July 24-26 and the deadline to register (which is $50) is July 13.

Lake Catherine State Park
Phone: 501-844-4176
Go to Website:

Energy Efficiency Arkansas advises homeowners on how to stay cool and save money this summer

Summertime in Arkansas can result in higher than average energy bills, but beating the heat and saving money can go hand-in-hand. Energy Efficiency Arkansas, a partnership among the Arkansas Economic Development Commission’s Energy Office and Arkansas’s investor-owned electric and gas utilities and electric cooperatives, has consulted with leading energy experts to identify practical, cost-effective ways to stay cool while using less energy.

“There are many ways Arkansans could actually save money during the hottest months of the year,” says Scott Hamilton, director of the Arkansas Energy Office. “Closing the shades and turning off heat-generating sources when you’re not using them are just a couple ways to keep your home cool and money in your pocket.”

The organization has compiled hundreds of recommendations and tips, ranging from no-cost reminders to long-term investments, on its website, Highlights to maximize efficiency for the summer include: 
  • Remember to turn off the lights and ceiling fans when not in a room. Light fixtures not only use energy, they generate heat and therefore add to cooling costs.
  • Install a programmable thermostat if one is not already in place. This simple $100 investment can save up to $115 annually. The recommended minimum thermostat setting in the summertime is 78 F. When away, set the thermostat 5 to 10 degrees higher.
  • Shut the shades and drapes on the sunny side of the home to keep out the sun’s heat. For the most benefit, drapes should be made of a tightly woven, light-colored, opaque fabric.
  • Plug electronics into a single power bar and switch off the bar when not using them. TV’s, DVD players and home stereos still use energy when in standby mode.
  • Seal around windows, doors, electrical outlets and openings or holes in exterior walls.
“Our partnering energy companies also offer great incentives to help you realize the benefits of energy efficiency. Visit our website or contact your provider to learn more,” says Hamilton.

Partnering agencies include Entergy, American Electric Power, CenterPoint Energy, Arkansas Public Service Commission, Arkansas Oklahoma Gas Corporation, Arkansas Energy Office, Empire, Oklahoma Gas and Electric, Arkansas Western Gas Company and Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas.

10th Annual Mountainside Methodist Church Golf Tournament this August

The 10th Annual Mountainside Methodist Church Golf Tournament will be at Diamante Country Club, ranked sixth in the state, on August 20 at 9 a.m.







7. $5000.00 HOLE IN ONE




More information about the extended Village celebration of Independence Day

A Radio Control Airplane Fun Fly event, parades and a Big Band Concert are among highlights of Village Summer Fest, the Property Owners’ Association’s Fourth of July festivities, Wednesday, July 4 – Saturday, July 7.

On Saturday, July 7, a Radio Control Airplane Fun Fly event will be held at the Magellan Driving Range. The free event, which is sponsored by the Hot Springs Radio Control Flying Club, will be from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

A Decorated Golf Cart Contest and Parade will be held Saturday evening at Balboa Pavilion. The event, which includes a $5.00 entry fee, will be held from 6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. In addition, the Village Big Band will be in concert from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at Balboa Pavilion. Both events are sponsored by Summit Bank.

The final event of the evening, a lighted boat parade, will also be held at Lake Balboa. The parade will begin at 8:30 p.m. at Balboa Marina. For more information, contact Craig Annen at the Coronado Community Center (922-5050). 

Cool off at the DeSoto Pool from 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. and slide on the giant water slide.

Guns and Hoses blood drive in Village July 5

Hot Springs Village fire department and law enforcement staffs are asking all area residents to come to the Guns ‘N Hoses blood drive with Arkansas Blood Institute (ABI), 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday, July 5, at Balboa Baptist Church Fellowship Hall on 415 Ponce de Leon Drive. To fuel a little healthy competition, donors will choose which department to support by donating on behalf of law enforcement or the fire department.

Not only will each blood donor save up to three lives with their donation, they’ll also receive this year’s Guns ‘N Hoses T-shirt. 

Anyone who is healthy and 16 years of age can donate*, and donations can be made every 56 days.

Arkansas Blood Institute is affiliated with Oklahoma Blood Institute, the ninth largest, non-profit blood center in America.   For more information or to make an appointment, contact Arkansas Blood Institute at 877-340-8777 or visit us at 

* 16 year olds must weigh at least 125 and provide signed parental permission, 17 year olds must weigh at least 125 pounds, 18+ year olds must weigh at least 110 pounds.

All holiday fireworks shows within Hot Springs' city limits cancelled due to high risk of fire danger

All upcoming Independence Day-related fireworks shows within Hot Springs’ city limits, both public and private, have been cancelled as of today due to the extremely high risk of fire, according to Assistant Fire Marshal Tom Braughton. 

“Based on low fuel moisture levels, low humidity and elevated winds, the current conditions do not call for a safe shoot,” Braughton said. “The major concern is fallout from the aerial shows igniting dry ground fuels. As a department, we are trying to be proactive towards safety for the citizens and not reactive should the event occur throughout town.”

Arkansas Forestry Commission crews suppressed 21 wildfires that burned 915 acres over last weekend and threatened eight homes and outbuildings. Burn bans are currently in effect in 43 of Arkansas’ 75 counties, with no rain in the forecast.

AFC issues the following tips:

× Sparks from lawn mowers and hay baling equipment can start fires.

× Never park vehicles where grass or other vegetation can touch the exhaust system.

× Never discard cigarettes from vehicles.

To report a wildfire, call 9-1-1. For tips on protecting one’s home from wildfire, visit

This is Lightning Safety Awareness Week

In conjunction with Lightning Safety Awareness Week (June 24 -30), the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) urges home and business owners to protect their property from lightning strikes.

“Lightning strikes are one of the major sources of external power surges that can severely damage electronic equipment and cause fires – either of which can be a huge disruption to a family or business,” said Julie Rochman, IBHS president & CEO. “Fortunately, relatively simple, inexpensive steps can be taken to substantially reduce the chances of lightning-related destruction and interruptions.”

For lightning protection, a whole-house/building surge protector is the best starting point for reducing the risk of damage. The utility company may provide and install whole-building surge protection systems. If not, consult a licensed electrician about having one installed.

It is important to note that a whole house/building surge protector will not protect against a direct lightning strike. Lightning protection systems are designed to protect a structure and provide a specified path to harness and safely ground the super-charged current of a lightning bolt. The system works by receiving the strike and routing it harmlessly into the ground thus discharging the dangerous electrical event. IBHS recommends that lightning protection systems be installed by a UL listed installer and meet the requirements of NFPA 780 and Lightning Protection Institute (LPI) Standards.

In addition to whole-building surge protection, IBHS strongly recommends the following:
  • Unplug electronic equipment. It is the most reliable means of protecting that equipment from a power surge.
  • Know the important difference between a surge suppressor and a power strip. A power strip plugs into your wall outlet and allows you to plug in multiple electronic devices. However, a power strip does not protect equipment from being damaged by a power spike. A surge protector also gives the user the ability to plug in multiple electronic devices, but it also serves another very important function in that it also protects your electronic devices from a power spike.
  • Connect telephone, cable/satellite TV and network lines to a surge suppressor.
  • Make sure the surge suppressor has an indicator light so you know it is working properly.
  • Ensure the surge suppressor has been tested to UL 1449.
  • Purchase a surge suppressor with a Joule rating of over 1,000. The Joule rating typically ranges from 200 up to several thousand – the higher the number the better.
  • Look for a surge suppressor with a clamping voltage rating (voltage at which the protector will conduct the electricity to ground) between 330 v, which is typical, to 400 v.
  • Purchase a surge suppressor with a response time less than 1 nanosecond.
  • Do not cut corners. You don’t want to protect a $1,000 television or computer system with a $10 surge protector, for $25 and up you can provide much better protection
  • Have a licensed electrician or home/building inspector review the power, telephone, electrical and cable/satellite TV connections to your building. Have them check to make sure that you have adequate grounding of the power line connection and your power distribution panel. All of the utilities should enter the structure within 10 feet of the electrical service entrance ground wire and be bonded to that grounding point.
For additional guidance, please visit
IBHS is a leading national expert on preparing for, and repairing and rebuilding structures after a catastrophe to make them more disaster-resistant. To arrange an interview with IBHS, contact Joseph King at 813-675-1045/813-442-2845, or via direct message on Twitter @jsalking.

Visit for more information about how to make your buildings more resistant to a variety of disasters, big and small. Follow IBHS on Twitter at @DisasterSafety and on Facebook.

Rabid dog and skunk in Saline County

Misinformation about the proper timing for vaccination has led to the loss of a family pet and more than 17 possible human exposures to rabies in Saline County. The Arkansas Department of Health has confirmed cases of rabies in both a family dog in Saline County and in a skunk living less than a mile away. This brings the total number of animals that have tested positive for rabies this year to 83, well above average.

The dog became ill around June 13, and progressively declined until it was euthanized and submitted for rabies testing. A number of people exposed to this dog will be undergoing a series of rabies vaccinations to prevent the development of the disease. The dog had killed a skunk approximately six weeks prior to getting sick, and had likely been bitten by the skunk at that time. The dog was not vaccinated against rabies because it was still a puppy and the owners mistakenly thought that it could not receive a rabies vaccine until it was six months old. Rabies vaccines generally are administered by veterinarians at 12 to 16 weeks of age for a dog or cat.

State law requires all dogs and cats to be vaccinated by a licensed veterinarian by 4 months of age. This not only protects the animal, but also acts as a barrier between the wildlife exposures of rabies and people, as our pets are more likely to be exposed to a rabid skunk directly than we are. The veterinarian also is the best person to give advice about timing of rabies vaccinations in pets. Susan Weinstein, DVM, state public health veterinarian, said, “It is sad to lose a pet, but having people exposed to rabies could potentially be fatal to humans.”

Rabies is a virus that attacks the brain and spinal cord and is a fatal disease. It is most often seen in animals such as skunks, bats and foxes. Cats, dogs, ferrets and livestock can also develop rabies, especially if they are not vaccinated. In 2011, Arkansas had 60 rabies positive animals, including 53 skunks, six bats and one cat. So far in 2012, we have had 83 rabies positive animals: 69 skunks, 11 bats, one bull, and now two dogs. The rabies virus lives in the saliva (spit) and nervous tissues of infected animals and is spread when they bite or scratch. The virus also may be spread if saliva from an infected animal touches broken skin, open wounds or the lining of the mouth, eyes or nose.

The first sign of rabies in an animal is usually a change in behavior. Rabid animals may attack people or other animals for no reason, or they may lose their fear of people and seem unnaturally friendly. Staggering, convulsions, choking, frothing at the mouth and paralysis are often present. Skunks may be seen out in daylight, which is an unusual behavior for them, or they may get into a dog pen or under a house. Many animals have a marked change in voice pitch, such as a muted or off-key tone. An animal usually dies within one week of demonstrating signs of rabies. Not all rabid animals act in these ways, however, so you should avoid all wild animals – especially skunks, bats and stray cats and dogs.

If you think you have become exposed to an animal with rabies wash your wound thoroughly with soap and water and seek medical attention immediately. Contact your physician and county health unit immediately and report the incident. The animal in question should be captured, if possible, without damaging its head or risking further exposure.

If an apparently healthy domesticated dog or cat bites a person, it must be captured, confined and observed daily for 10 days following the bite. If the animal remains healthy during this period of time, it did not transmit rabies at the time of the bite. The brain tissue of all wild animals must be tested for rabies if human exposure has occurred.

What can you do to protect yourselves against rabies?

Be sure your dogs, cats and ferrets are up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations
Do not feed, touch or adopt wild animals
Keep family pets indoors at night
Bat-proof your home or summer camp in the fall or winter (The majority of human rabies cases are caused by bat bites.)
Encourage children to immediately tell an adult if any animal bites them
Teach children to avoid wildlife, strays, and all other animals they do not know well

Report all animal bites or contact with wild animals to your local county health Unit. Do not let any animal escape that has possibly exposed someone to rabies. Depending on the species, an animal can be observed or tested for rabies in order to avoid the need for rabies treatment.

For more information, call the local health unit in your county, or Susan Weinstein, DVM, state public health veterinarian, at 501-280-4136.

A message from the Catfish Institute

Fraudulent labeling of imported seafood is a growing economic and health problem. A report by conservation group Oceana shows that as many as 7-in-10 American orders for grouper, red snapper, or other popular wild seafoods, actually receive cheaper farmed species imported from Asia.

Such seafood fraud is a health concern. Consumers may unknowingly expose themselves to dangerous chemical and drug additives illegal for use in the United States --- or unwittingly eat fish they are allergic to.

Although 84 percent of the seafood eaten by Americans is imported, only two percent is inspected for safety, and less than 0.001 percent is checked for labeling fraud. In 2010, for example, nearly ten million pounds of a cheap, catfish-like species imported from Vietnam was sold in the U.S. as grouper and sole. Consumers in several cities paid as much as $25 a plate for this $3 per pound fish, which was mislabeled as grouper.
Bait and Switch: How Seafood Fraud Hurts Our Oceans, Our Wallets and Our Health

For More Information:
The Catfish Institute

Street closure

Lockhaven Point, in Hot Springs, from Albert Pike west for approximately 900 feet to the curve in the road, will be closed to through traffic on Wednesday, June 27 and Thursday, June 28 for a force main sewer project.  The closure will include overnight hours.

The southbound lane of Malvern Avenue between Convention Boulevard and Church Street will be closed to traffic from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Thursday, June 28 to set up a crane for repairs to the former Entergy building.  Signs will be posted and flaggers present.  Motorists are advised to seek an alternate route during closure.

Garage sale this Saturday

The One-Stop HomeOwnership Center will host a benefit rummage sale from 6 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 30 at 410 Grove Street, in Hot Springs, at the intersection of East Grand and Crescent avenues.  Proceeds will help defray the down payment costs for potential first-time homeowners.  For information, call Shirley Greathouse, 609-9411.  

Suspect nabbed

A joint operation between the Hot Springs Police Department, Garland County Sheriff's Department and Pine Bluff authorities, results in the successful arrest of 30yo Lester Phillips on Capital Murder and Weapons charges.

Pine Bluff authorities received information that Phillips was staying at a house in Hot Springs on Hagen Street. The Hot Springs Police Department set-up surveillance on the residence and were able to confirm that Phillips was there. A secure perimeter was established and PD Officers maintained surveillance up to, and after, the SWAT team arrived on scene, at which time they began assisting with evacuation of surrounding houses.

The Garland County Sheriff's Department SWAT team and negotiators were utilized to introduce a communications phone into the residence and establish contact.

At approximately 6:30pm, power was cut off to the residence and shortly after Phillips exited and was taken into custody by the SWAT team, without incident.

The coordinated efforts of all agencies involved resulted in the safe apprehension of Phillips, with only a few SWAT members suffering from very minor heat related concerns.

Rabid bat found in Garland County

A rabid bat collected from the interior of a residence at the Indiandale Apartments on Malvern Avenue tested positive for rabies yesterday by the state health lab.

The bat, still alive, was found clinging to the dining room rug.  The resident used an oven mitt to put it in a container and submitted it to Hot Springs Animal Services for testing.  No exposure to humans or animals occurred, since the occupants sleep with their pets in bedrooms with closed doors.  The dog was already vaccinated for rabies, but the two cats, who were not, will be vaccinated today.

Animal Services Director Dan Bugg emphasized that all cats and dogs, whether kept strictly  inside or not, need to be vaccinated against rabies for their protection.  A rabies vaccination clinic in the south Hot Springs area will be announced as soon as it is confirmed. Rabies vaccinations are also available from local veterinarians.  To report daytime activity of skunks or bats, both of which are nocturnal and which are the most prevalent carriers of rabies, call 262-2091.

Three sought in grave thefts

Garland County Sheriff's Investigator is asking for your help in locating Dereck Loy, Steve Loy and Mary James.

Investigative Corporal Angie Graybeal has warrants on each of these individuals for 22 counts each of Destruction or Removal of a Cemetery or Grave Marker, Theft of Property over $1,000.00 and Theft by Deception.

Using an online investigative tool, Inv. Graybeal was able to determine that these individuals had sold grave markers and vases to salvage yards for scrap.

If you know the whereabouts of any of these individuals, please contact Investigator Graybeal at 501-622-3690.
Contact Information:
Corporal Angie Graybeal

June is adopt a cat at Village Animal Shelter

There are just a few days left to participate in adopt a cat month at the Village Animal Shelter on Cloaca Lane in the east end of the Village.

The Animal Welfare League has a wonderful selection of kittens, teens and adult cats. Here are photos of just a few.

Sable is a four year old domestic short hair spayed female.

Emma is a one year old domestic long hair spayed female.

O J is a four year old orange tabby neutered male.

Visit the Village Animal Shelter today to pick up one of these beauties.

Independence Day in Little Rock

Celebrate the Fourth of July on the river in Little Rock. A Kid’s Pavilion full of free activities is going to be a part of the 29th Annual Pops on the River, July 4 in downtown Little Rock. There is also going to be a car show featuring the new lines from Bale Chevrolet and Kia of Little Rock. A marketplace will have shopping, food truck and other attractions. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s “Oh Say! Can You Sing?” top five finalists perform at 5:30 p.m. followed by the Happy Tymes Jazz Band and the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. Fireworks are at 9:30 p.m. Reserved seating in the Riverfest Amphitheatre is available for $10 or you can bring your own chairs and blankets. Admission is free. The River Market Pavilions and Riverfront Park are where the events take place.

River Market Pavilions and Riverfest Amphitheater, Little Rock
Phone: 501-378-3807
Go to Website:

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Fourth of July schedule in the Village

A miniature golf tournament and fireworks display are among highlights of this year’s Village summer fest, the Hot Springs Village Property Owners’ Association Fourth of July festivities, Wednesday, July 4 through Saturday, July 7.

A miniature golf tournament will kick off the festivities on Wednesday, July 4. Held at DeSoto family recreation at 10 a.m., the tournament entry fee is $4.00 per person.

Wednesday’s events will end with fireworks at 9 p.m. on Lake Balboa featuring the KVRE Patriotic Music Presentation. Arrive early to listen to the DJ at Balboa pavilion. This free event will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Cool off at the DeSoto pool from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and slide on the giant water slide.

Get your tickets today for the Village summer fest BBQ dinner and old-fashioned ice cream social, which will be held at the DeSoto club event center on Friday, July 6 from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Tickets for the BBQ dinner from Whole Hog BBQ are on sale for $9.50 and must be purchased in advance at the following locations: Coronado Community Center, Coronado Fitness Center, Ponce de Leon Center and the East and
West branches of Summit Bank.

July 5 also a celebration day in the Village

A flag golf tournament, canoe and paddle boat races, a beach party and Ping Pong Ball Derby are among activities scheduled for Village summer fest, the Hot Springs Village Property Owners’ Association Fourth of July festivities, will be Wednesday, July 4 through Saturday, July 7.

A flag golf tournament will start off Village summer fest activities on Thursday, July 5. The entry fee for the event, held at DeSoto Golf Course, is $10.00. Tee times, begin at 7 a.m., are available by calling central tee time reservations at 922-2858.

Canoe races and paddle boat races will also be held on Thursday at DeSoto Marina. The canoe races will begin at 9 a.m. Paddle boat races will be held at 10 a.m. Both events are free.

Be sure to head to Balboa beach Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the beach party, which features a DJ. Food vendors will also be available for partygoers to make food purchases.

Cap off Thursday’s events with a chicken/ribs dinner at Tanner’s at Granada and a waterfall ping pong derby party. Dinner, begins at 6 p.m. includes chicken and ribs for $12.95 per person. At 7:30 p.m., participate in the waterfall ping pong waterfall race. Entry fee is $5.00.

Cool off at the DeSoto pool from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and slide on the giant water slide. Also participate in the big splash contest, a free event, at 3 p.m.

Coronado restaurant re-opens today

The Coronado Pro Shop women’s restroom will be undergoing repairs during the week of June 25. During this time, the women’s restroom will be closed. Women will use the men’s restroom and a portable restroom will be on site for men.

CASA Coronado Restaurant will re-open today, Tuesday, June 26.

Paving in the Village to be completed today

The Hot Springs Village Property Owners' Association is continuing its 2012 Road Paving Program, invests
$1.5 million to maintain the HSV street system.

Below is a list of roads that are scheduled to be paved by June 26: Caribe Lane, E. Andalusia Way, Cartaya Way, Sentido Lane, Pyrenees Way North, Maya Lane, Jalisco Circle.

The POA will distribute flyers to residents in the affected areas in advance of the paving.

Please observe all posted signs and avoid roads to be paved, if possible.

Weather and contractor availability determine the paving schedule. All streets and dates are subject to change.

Please contact the Public Works Department at 501-922-5524 for the most up to date changes.

July 6 lots of fun in Village

Village summer fest, the Hot Springs Village Property Owners’ Association Fourth of July festivities, will
be held Wednesday, July 4 through Saturday, July 7, will include several events including a fishing tournament and a BBQ dinner and old-fashioned ice cream social.

Land a big one during the fishing tournament for adults (ages 17 and older) held on Lake Balboa Friday, July 6. The event, sponsored by the HSV Anglers Club, will be held from 6:30 to 11:30 a.m. Each two-person team must include at least one person 23 years old. Weigh in will be from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Entry fee is $20 and the tournament will include 100 percent payout to the top three teams. Please register prior to July 6 by contacting Don Langston at 501-922-3263 or>. Entry fees will be collected just prior to the tournament.

A fishing tournament will also be held for children (16 years old and under) on Friday, July 6. The event is also sponsored by the HSV Anglers. Children may fish on any lake in Hot Springs Village but they must bring their fish to the Lake Balboa boat ramp between 10:30 a.m to 12:00 p.m. for weigh in. Trophies will be awarded for the biggest bass, bream and catfish. Every child who brings a fish to be weighed will receive a certificate.

Get your tickets today for the Village summer fest BBQ dinner and old-fashioned ice cream social, which will be held at the DeSoto club event center on Friday, July 6 from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Tickets for the BBQ dinner from Whole Hog BBQ are on sale for $9.50 and must be purchased in advance at the following locations: Coronado Center, Coronado Fitness Center, Ponce de Leon Center and the East and West branches of Summit Bank.

The event will feature a lighted night putting contest, BAGGO yard games, a dunk tank, a moon bounce and live music.

Cool off at the DeSoto Pool daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and slide on the giant water slide.

Save the date

The Chamber of Commerce sponsored Fantasy Derby is back on Saturday, November 17, 6 to 10 p.m. at the Diamante Country Club in Hot Springs Village.

July 7 in the Village a celebration day

On Saturday, July 7, a radio control airplane fun fly event will be held at the Magellan driving range. The free
event, sponsored by the Hot Springs radio control flying club, will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A decorated golf cart contest and parade, which includes a $5.00 entry fee, will be held from 6 to 6:30 p.m. that day.

The Village Big Band will be in concert from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Balboa Pavilion. Both events are sponsored by Summit Bank.

A lighted boat parade, will also be held at 8:30 p.m. beginning at Balboa marina. For more information, call 922-5050.

Get your tickets today for the Village summer fest BBQ dinner and old-fashioned ice cream social, which will be held at the DeSoto club event center on Friday, July 6 from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Tickets on sale for $9.50 and must be purchased in advance at the following locations: Coronado Community Center, Coronado Fitness Center, Ponce de Leon Center and the East and West branches of Summit Bank.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Overnight earthquake


Preliminary Earthquake Report

Magnitude 2.7 M

25 Jun 2012 00:27:38 UTC
24 Jun 2012 19:27:38 near epicenter
24 Jun 2012 18:27:38 standard time in your timezone

Location 35.476N 92.289W

Depth 6 km

12 km (8 miles) NNW (329 degrees) of Quitman, AR
13 km (8 miles) SW (216 degrees) of Higden, AR
14 km (9 miles) S (189 degrees) of Fairfield Bay, AR
82 km (51 miles) N (3 degrees) of Little Rock, AR
395 km (245 miles) SSW (208 degrees) of St. Louis, MO

Location Uncertainty Horizontal: 0.9 km; Vertical 4.2 km

Parameters Nph = 23; Dmin = 21.0 km; Rmss = 0.33 seconds; Gp = 68°
M-type = M; Version = B

Event ID NM 062512a ***This event supersedes event USb000apuj.

For updates, maps, and technical information, see:
USGS Earthquake Hazards Program

Center for Earthquake Research and Information
U.S. Geological Survey
University of Memphis

Friday, June 22, 2012

Six months since Dawna Natzke disappeared

Yesterday marked the six month anniversary of Village resident Dawna Natzke's disappearance from a Christmas party at the home of Village general manager Scott Randall.

Natzke left the party with her boyfriend Kevin Duck. She left without her purse and without her mother. Her mom had gone to the party with the couple.

Natzke's car was found burned out in the Ouachita National Forest before she was officially reported missing. Her body was found partially in a lake in the woods of rural Garland County over a week later.

Garland County took over the murder investigation after Natzke's body was found out in the county. The county named Duck as the person of interest in this matter. At one point Duck fled from Arkansas to Louisiana and was arrested in Lake Charles on probation violations from Hot Spring County. He spent a little time in the Garland County Detention Center before he was released on bail. Duck has not been arrested for Natzke's murder as of this time, no one has.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Village paving program update

The Hot Springs Village Property Owners' Association is continuing its 2012 Road Paving Program, which invests $1.5 million to maintain the HSV street system.

Below is a list of roads that are scheduled to be paved by June 22: Sandez Lane, Para Lane, Ciervo Way, Collado Way, Tenerife Way, San Sabastian Way (Partial), Surtido Lane, Cancion Way, Ola Way, Ola Lane, Doblez Circle, Majorca Drive, Pyrenees Way North, Maya Lane, Jalisco Circle.

The POA will distribute flyers to residents in the affected areas in advance of the paving.

Please observe all posted signs and avoid roads to be paved, if possible.

Weather and contractor availability determine the paving schedule. All streets and dates are subject to change.

Please contact the Public Works Department at 501-922-5524 for the most up to date changes.