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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Today's news

The Lily Alert for the two year old male Pomeranian that disappeared around Herencia has been canceled. The dog is back home.

More than 180 bicyclists will be be routed through the Village as part of the Rock'n Hot Bike MS 150 Group on September 6 and 7. The cyclists will begin their ride in North Little Rock on the morning of September 6 will ride to the east gate, enter the Village and ride the length of DeSoto Boulevard and out of the west gate to the Village Inn behind Cranford's. They will spend the night at Village Inn and make the return trip on the morning of September 7.

Bike MS raises money for multiple sclerosis. Villagers are asked to carefully share the road with the cyclists next weekend.

A public auction for the sale of tax delinquent land in Saline County will be held at the Benton Municipal Complex on Tuesday, September 16 at 10 a.m. Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m.

Recent legislation has affected the procedures for the sale of tax delinquent properties, and purchasers should take the time to review the changes prior to the auction dates. The Commissioner of State Lands provides a catalog of tax delinquent lands containing the current statutes governing the sales, auctions dates, times, location and other pertinent information regarding parcels being offered. The catalog can be found on the Commissioner's website at or is available in print by mail.

"Properties at auction no longer have a minimum bid of the assessed value of the property," Commissioner Thurston said.  "Bidding begins at the moment of taxes and fees that are due."

The redemption period has also changed. Owners of properties sold at auction now have ten days to redeem the property following the sale. Delinquent property owners may call the office at (501) 324-9422 to request a petition to redeem, or they may look up the delinquent parcel on the website and print the form there.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Today's news

The Coronado Fitness Center will be closed September 14 through 17 for annual maintenance.

Villagestock was supposed to take place today, it has been postponed due to possible inclement weather. Today showers and thunderstorms are likely, mainly after 1 p.m. The event is sponsored by Boomers Rock and the Hot Springs Village recreation department. A new date will be announced after the Labor Day holiday.

There will be a forum for Jessieville school board candidates at the Coronado Center on September 11 at 7 p.m. Early voting for the school board starts September 9 and election day is September 16.

A two year old Pomeranian named Jabacca was lost yesterday. Jabacca was last seen near Herencia Circle yesterday morning. Jabacca is a reddish-tan color male and has a red collar without tags. If you see or catch Jabacca, call Krystal at (870) 919-7799.

Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin announced that the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment met the signature requirements of Article 5, Section 1 of the Arkansas Constitution. The constitutional amendment needed 78,133 valid signatures; the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment sponsors turned in 127,265. At this time, the proposed amendment has at least 87,102 valid signatures and the count continues.

The Secretary of State has certified the proposed amendment to the County Board of Election Commissioners. It will be Issue No. 4 on the November 4 ballot.

Registered voters will decide on the proposed amendment that if approved, would legalize the sale, manufacture and transportation of alcohol statewide. The deadline to register to vote in the general election is October 6.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Today's news

The Arkansas Crime Victims Reparations Board awarded $232,649.89 to victims of crime in July. Awards were made in 102 new cases. Additional expenses were paid in 49 previously submitted cases.

Victims of violent crime in Arkansas may submit claims to the program to help defray the costs of medical treatment, mental-health counseling or other unexpected expenses associated with the crime. Most awards are limited to $10,000 or less, although the maximum award may be as high as $25,000 for a crime victim who receives catastrophic injuries.

In 2013, the Crime Victims Reparations Board awarded a total of $3,910,389.92 in reparations.

For July there was one new award in Garland County totaling $837.88 and there was one new award in Saline County totaling $395.91.

Over the summer tow educational exchange delegations visited Hot Springs' sister city. In early July, four teachers traveled to Hanamaki. They stayed with host families, visited area schools and had opportunities to exchange with teachers and even a parent teacher organization. Teachers scholarship recipients taking part in the exchange were Bruce Orr, assistant superintendent at Lakeside School District; Lorri Saracini, elementary math coach at Gardner STEM Magnet School; Lindsey Waddell, Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts geology instructor and Shannon Michelle Geoffrion, biology teacher at Hot Springs High School.

The Hot Springs Village Police Department is participating in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over mobilization that started August 15 and will run through September 1.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is leading the effort to stop drunk driving. You can help spread the word and save lives. And the word is Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

Hot Springs Village administration building will be closed Monday, September 1 for Labor Day. Property owner services will be open on Saturday, August 30 from 8 a.m. to noon.

Trash will be picked up one day after the normally scheduled time. For more information, see the holiday sanitation schedule on the POA website. There will be no yard waste pick up on Friday, September 5.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Today's news

Lake Isabella is being treated for blue green algae. It will take about 10 days for treatment and the lake to return to normal. Villagers are not to swim in the lake and the boat ramp will be closed during this time. The public will be notified when swimming in safe waters can be resumed.

The Hot Springs Hanamaki Sister City program was one of only four American cities' programs to receive a commendation from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The commendation will be presented, along with commemorative gifts at a ceremony on November 1.

According to the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the commendation is awarded to individuals and groups with outstanding achievements in international fields to acknowledge their contributions to promotion of friendship between Japan and other countries.

Con artists who perpetrate the "secret shopper" scam entice consumers with promises of cash payments if a consumer will evaluate the customer service at store or restaurant while acting as an ordinary customer. This and similar scams have been around for years, but a number of incidents have been reported recently in northwest Arkansas.

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued a consumer alert yesterday to remind Arkansas consumers about the "secret shopper" scam and to again warn consumers not to become victims of wire-fraud schemes.

"For the handful of actual secret-shopper jobs, employees are not required to wire money to their bosses in order to get a paycheck," McDaniel said. "Even though a con artist may go to great lengths to convince a consumer that a ruse is legitimate, the good advice that is always worth repeating is that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

Follow these guidelines to keep safe from scams.

* Throw away any unexpected or unsolicited checks that come in the mail from an unfamiliar person or business. If a consumer wants to take the check to the bank anyway, then he or she at least should ask that the check be verified and funds from it not be withdrawn unless the check has cleared. This process can take days or weeks.

* Be careful about employment opportunities in which the employer uses no screening process for applicant or guarantees a job.

* Be leery of outfits based in Canada or overseas that claim to have secret shopper or work-at-home jobs available.

* Never wire funds or provide information from a MoneyPak card to an unknown person or business.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Today's news

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel filed a consumer-protection lawsuit yesterday against the makers of identification cards that are advertised as being "legally issued" or "required by law" even though there is nothing official about the cards.

McDaniel said Connecticut-based AmeraCard Enterprises, Inc. and its owner, Joseph Cassara of Stamford, Conn., produce and sell ID cards that are designed to resemble state-issued driver's licenses and ID cards, except that the ID's produced by the defendants have no official function or legal significance.

Some Arkansas consumers paid $70 apiece for the bogus ID cards that offer no real value to consumers. The cards are not acceptable as government identification, and many private companies will not accept the cards as proof of identity.

The Arkansas Department of Health, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has concluded that unaccompanied children who have arrived in the state from Central America pose little risk of spreading infectious diseases to the public.  There are no U.S. Health and Human Services; shelters housing unaccompanied children in Arkansas, but children have been placed with family members or sponsors in the state.

In Hot Springs all city offices, except public safety and the airport, will be closed on Monday, September 1 in observance of Labor Day. Residential sanitation collection and Earth Angel recycling routes will run one day behind schedule for the remainder of the week. Commercial collection, rolloff and downtown routes will take place as scheduled on Monday. All other services will not operate, and the offices will be closed. Hot Springs Intracity Transit bus and paratransit routes will not run, and the office will be closed. Paratransit cancellations may be left on the answering machine at 321-6625. The city compost facility will also be closed.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


It's been a long time and I am hoping to be a more faithful blogger. So much has happened since my last entry.

The vote for increasing assessments on homeowners in the Village will go forward on November 21. Ballots will go out in October. The POA is pushing education meetings between now and then to get Villagers on board with the increase.

Troon will become a part of our golfing lives here in the Village. The best hope is that Troon will bring golfers from around the world into the Village, they will golf, fall in love and invest. A big part of the three prong approach to setting the Village on a firm positive financial future.

East and west gate projects are near completion.

Andy Curry's last day as Jessieville School Superintendent is over this weekend. Interim Superintendent Ron Looper has already started. The school district is in very good shape unlike many of Looper's past assignments. Jessieville school board elections are coming up on September 16, early voting starts September 9.

The Hot Springs Village Area Chamber of Commerce and Executive Director Cindy Wagstaff have parted company. No interim has been named.

The trial of alleged murderer Kevin Duck has been re-set to November 4th through the 7th. Duck is accused of the murder of Hot Springs Village Police Dispatcher Dawna Natzke.

There was another murder in the Village. This one, William Scott Murry. His accused murderer, Brent Hile, has been charged with murder in the first degree but there is a gag order on his case and no trial date has been set.

Infrastructure in the Village has been showing its age. There have been several water outages due to water main breaks. Some outages have dragged on for nearly a week.

Former POA general manager Scott Randall got his due. He was fired from his job as town manager for Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation for a DUI and alleged domestic violence.

We survived last winter when polar vortex became a familiar catch phrase. Unfortunately, the Farmer's Almanac is forecasting similar weather patterns for the upcoming winter.

We also survived political primaries. Elections will be upon us again with the final votes this November.

A new musical group was born in the Village. I will be singing with Scherzo this Saturday at Village United Methodist Church at 7 p.m. There are 14 members of this singing group. We will be doing a variety of music including Broadway highlights. I might even be singing a solo. Hope to see you there.

On a personal note, I am still with KVRE, 92.9 FM. I stay busy covering the news. I hope to find the time to adapt my radio news to the blog. I was hoping we would have our KVRE website up by now but Polly's stroke this summer has put that on hold.  I have had some health issues as most of us have when aging.  I have a tumor about the size of a 3D quarter in my parotid gland. These tumors are usually benign, so I am not too worried. When cat-scanning the tumor the radiologist found a funky lymph node in my lower neck, that is of a little more concern. Biopsies are set for next week.

Thanks for continuing to check for updates on the blog. I promise to try to give you more substantive news in the future. Thanks again.