Monday, June 21, 2010

Law and Order in the Ozarks (Part LVIII): Deadbeat parents targeted

The June 9 and June 16 issues of the Newton County Times recently arrived, and one interesting front-page story is about a new alternative sentencing program for those who fail to pay child support. Rather than be incarcerated, the individual may do community service while wearing a pink T-shirt with "Deadbeat Parent" in large letters on both front and back. The story is accompanied by a photo of a youngish man in a baseball cap and hot pink t-shirt washing a county law enforcement vehicle.

Also, the Quorum Court (like Board of Supervisors) adopted an ordinance that will raise funding for the Sheriff's Office by imposing a 10% surcharge on the fees associated with certain warrants and charges. "The money will help defray the sheriff's office's booking and administrative costs," the Sheriff explained. This is similar to what many counties and other local jurisdictions are doing around the country to generate additional revenue in these tough economic times, when property tax revenue tends to fall shorter than ever.

In other law enforcement news, the paper reports that the county paid $5,425 to other counties for use of their detention facilities to house 14 inmates for a total of 155 "inmate days" in May. Such fees are making the county anxious to get started on the new county jail, and officials now expect a ground-breaking for the new facility in mid-August. It will be a 6,000 square foot building with a capacity for 24 inmates.

Here are the sheriff office's statistics for the month:

Total miles patrolled: 14,688
Money turned over to circuit court: $1,331.49
Money turned over to district court: $7,838
Citations issued: 99
Warrants served: 16
Number of outstanding warrants: 270

A back-page story reports that a 33-year-old Mt Judea man was arrested in Boone County for conspiracy to deliver marijuana. A press release indicated that investigators had been tracking shipments of narcotics from California to Arkansas for about four months, and several of these were delivered to the man's home in Mt. Judea.

In other news, two brothers, aged 8 and 11, drowned in the Buffalo National River above the Ponca bridge. The National Park Service noted that the river was quite low given the time of year and that river conditions were such that "they are not believed to have contributed to this tragic incident."

Also, ground was broken for a new business plaza in Jasper. A Subway sandwich franchise will be among the businesses housed there.

The Quorum court voted to distribute $2768.50 in fine money the county received from the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission to the three county schools that have archery teams.

1 comment:

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