Saturday, May 10, 2014

Law and Order in the Ozarks (Part CXXIII): Serious crimes reported in recent weeks

The Newton County Times has reported various significant crimes in my home town in recent weeks.  Most are the predictable drug-related crimes, but one is a rape and another is residential burglary.  Here are the details from the front page of the April 30, 2014 issue of the Times.
  • A 26-year-old man, Jeremy Ryan Freeman, was arrested in relation to charges of three counts of rape, a class Y felony, and false imprisonment, a class C felony.  Bond has been set at $1million.  Deputies also arrested a 23-year-old man and an 18-year-old woman for harboring Freeman.  They face charges of hindering apprehension or prosecution, a class B felony.
  • In other news, Dennis Waggoner, a 33-year-old man from Marble Falls, was arrested on suspicion of a residential burglary where a video game and a set of speakers were stolen, along with a receipt for purchase of the items from Wal-Mart.  Deputies were able to secure video evidence from Wal-Mart showing Waggoner's return of the times.
March 12, 2104:  A search warrant executed on March 8 at the home of Jerry Collins (46) , Carol Mathis (48) and Rocky Mathis (23) in Jasper turned up "more than four ounces and less than 25 pounds of suspected marijuana" along with "numerous firearms and cash."  Each of the three has been charged with simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms, "possession of a schedule vi controlled substance with intent to deliver," and possession of drug paraphernalia.  Bond was set at $75,000 each.

April 9, 2014:  Caleb Campbell, 29, was sentenced to three years of probation and fined $1000 for charges arising from possession of a glass smoking device, "several small plastic bags containing apparent pills and other drugs" and two guns.
  • A 22-year-old man was fined $500 and ordered to pay other court costs and fees after he was found guilty of several charges related to possession of controlled substances and drug paraphernalia.  
  • A 46-year-old man was sentenced to five years probation on each of several felony drug counts and one year on each of several misdemeanor counts to which he pleaded guilty.  He was fined $750 plus costs and fees.  
  • A 51-year-old woman pleaded guilty to various drug paraphernalia possession charges and was sentenced to a year of probation.  She will have to pay $250 in court costs and fees.  
April 2, 2014:  A 34-year-old man and a 22-year-old man were arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine, associated paraphernalia, and numerous firearms.  Among other charges they face are those for simultaneous possession of the drugs and guns.

In other March and April news:
  • The Newton County Special Service Corporation announced the impending closure of its Early Head Start program at Deer, effective March 28.  Children will be transferred to programs at either Western Grove or Jasper.  The Corporation cited "maintaining compliance with strict federal regulations (enrollment), changing demographics, and high costs of utilities in the [Deer] building" as "primary factors" driving the closure.  
  • A public health preparedness coordinator with the Northwest Region was in Jasper to train health professionals, government officials, and others who would "spearhead the local response to any major emergency."  
  • The Newton County Election Commission has announced the need for four poll workers for the Plumlee Precinct at Compton.  
  • The driver of a pickup truck was rescued after he drove the truck into the rain swollen Little Buffalo River.  
  • Marble Falls' new waste water treatment system has been completed.  The work ended a leak of effluent into Mill Creek, which is a a tributary of the Buffalo National River.  The Arkansas Dept. of Environmental Quality had threatened a lawsuit over the lead.  Almost half of the total cost of $620,000 was paid by the Arkansas High Department which agreed to provide the funds as part of its expansion of the department's right of way for widening and improving a stretch of state Highway 7 in that area. The new system can handle about 30,000 customers (a figure which is about 4 times the entire population of the county!), and should last for two decades.  

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