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County looks at juvenile jail options

TEXARKANA — The Miller County Quorum Court is discussing whether to continue funding a county juvenile lockup or find another use for the building. Justice of the Peace Ernest Pender said last week the city helped pay for the Lantz Lurry Juvenile Detention Center, at least as far as into the late 1990s, but he’d been notified it didn’t have the money to resume payments. “We are really going to have to take a hard look at our finances and look at perhaps putting the building to other use,” Pender said. “It’s basically a solid building, but it has started to run down on the inside in recent years.” Justice of the Peace John Haltom and others said the center has been able to hold out-of-state juvenile offenders in recent years, but the county wasn’t able to continue that this year mostly because of covid-19. The center is holding six juvenile offenders. It’s able to hold up to 14 and has held as many as 32 when it was new in 1995. The youth jail has 22 employees and costs the county about $1.2 million to operate annually. Pender and other Quorum Court members said the building could be used to house the Office of Emergency Services, as well as serve as a sub-office for the county coroner. “We don’t want to abandon the building. We are looking at putting it to alternate use if we can,” Pender said. However, Justice of the Peace Jimmy Cowart said it will take time and careful thought before deciding on the building’s future use, adding that it would be a mistake to shut down the center. “I don’t want us to just rush into making any decision just yet,” he said.

— Texarkana Gazette

Motorcyclist held in two-state pursuit

MOUNTAIN HOME — A 19-year-old motorcyclist was arrested after he led officers on a high-speed chase through parts of Arkansas and Missouri on Monday, according to authorities. The Baxter County Sheriff’s Office was notified just before 8 p.m. a Gassville officer was in pursuit of a man, identified as Noah Lee Lawhead of Mountain Home, who was riding a Kawasaki Ninja at a high rate of speed, a Sheriff’s Office release states. Officers from various agencies joined the pursuit as the motorcycle sped through Mountain Home on U.S. 62 and onto Arkansas 201 North before crossing into Missouri, according to the release. Authorities said the pursuit continued for several miles until Lawhead reached an unfinished bridge and was arrested about 8:15 p.m. Lawhead reached speeds of up to 115 mph during the chase, the release states. The motorcyclist was initially taken to the Ozark County jail in Missouri, but he agreed to waive extradition proceedings and later was transferred to the Baxter County jail, according to authorities. An online jail roster showed that he remained there late Tuesday morning. Lawhead faces charges that include one count of fleeing in a vehicle, reckless driving, speeding, five counts of running red lights and one count of no liability insurance, authorities said. His bond was set at $15,000, and he’s scheduled to appear in court Aug. 6.

— Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Hot Springs business announces merger

HOT SPRINGS — Trader Bill’s Outdoor Sports on Monday announced a merger with Southern Reel Outfitters of Little Rock. Trader Bill’s was established in 1983 by local business owner Bill Elliott and acquired by Mandy and Reji Short in 2000. Southern Reel Outfitters was established in 2014 by local business owner Rodney Thomason. In the works for about two years, Trader Bill’s Owner and CEO Mandy Short said “it just made sense” to merge with a company that is a lot like theirs, in order to offer a larger variety of products to customers. “We make a good team and we’re able to offer more sporting goods, more selection, more products,” she said, noting additional clothing lines will also be available. The two companies merged under the name “Innovative Outdoor Management.” In addition to the two locations, which will keep their names, Innovative Outdoor Management plans to open a third location in Little Rock under the name “Trader Bill’s Outdoor Sports,” according to a news release. “The new location will be a combination of each business’ unique strengths, and will include a boat dealership as well as an expanded offering of sports and outdoor equipment and clothing,” the release said. “This location will be in Little Rock near the intersection of I-30 and Otter Creek, and is expected to open in summer of 2021.” Short said in the release Trader Bill’s is pleased to combine their strengths to meet the demand of the marketplace. “Together the two businesses bring unparalleled industry experience and expertise to deliver one of the largest outdoor sports dealers in Arkansas,” the release said.

— The Sentinel-Record

Police say meth, pot bags discarded

SHERWOOD — Police arrested a woman on a charge of possession of drugs with purpose Tuesday after officers responding to a disturbance discovered drugs on her, according to an arrest report. Responding to calls of people screaming in the yard at 508 Wildwood Ave. at 3:30 p.m., police contacted Jessica Baldwin, 35, who started acting strangely to officers, the report said. When police told her they were going to search her, Baldwin resisted and tossed away bags of methamphetamine and marijuana, according to the report. Baldwin was taken to the Pulaski County jail but was not listed on thee jail’s roster. She is charged with felony possession of methamphetamine with purpose and three misdemeanors.

— Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

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