FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — A prosecutor has cleared a western Arkansas police officer in the fatal October shooting of a man who was holding a woman at knifepoint.
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — It could take more than a year to come up with the $15.3 million needed to complete construction of the U.S. Marshals Museum after Fort Smith voters rejected a temporary...
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — Voters in Fort Smith have rejected a temporary sales tax increase that would have paid for the completion of the U.S. Marshals Museum now under construction in the...
First 100 Families initiative launches in Fort Smith
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — Collaboration is key in the Fort Smith region's latest initiative to help struggling families.
The First 100 Families initiative formally commenced in late February...
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — For the first time since 1898, the Scottish Rite Center downtown has sold.
Arkansas-based Beaty Capital Group formed BCG Historic Wichita to buy the building at the...
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — Investigators say the 2018 death of an Arkansas jail inmate found unresponsive in his cell has been ruled an accidental drug overdose.
Arkansas acquires files of so-called ‘hanging judge’
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas has acquired about 6,000 documents on Judge Isaac Charles Parker, the so-called "hanging judge" of the late 1800s.
Fort Smith directors back funding push for Convention Center
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — The Fort Smith Board of Directors previously questioned the value of subsidizing the Convention Center. It was worried about supporting the facility with other things in...
Marshals Museum pushes back opening date to 2020
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — The planned opening of the U.S. Marshals Museum in Fort Smith has been pushed back to next year.
The facility was set to open this fall. But museum president Patrick Weeks says officials couldn't plan for the opening without knowing the results of next month's special election in Fort Smith, when voters will consider a temporary sales tax increase to support the museum.
Group opposes sales tax for Arkansas Marshals Museum
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — A group in Fort Smith has announced its opposition to a proposed temporary sales tax to help finance exhibits in a U.S. Marshals Museum in the western Arkansas city.
The Times Record reports that Citizens Against Unfair Taxes met Thursday with about 90 people to discuss the proposed 1-cent sales tax increase for nine months.
US Marshals Museum defends non-renewal of tax
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — A fully funded U.S. Marshals Museum expects to attract about 125,000 people per year and generate about $1.8 million in annual revenue with general admission tickets for adults set at $12.50.
While admission prices make up a majority of the $1.8 million, the remaining balance of revenue would be made up in food and beverage sales, merchandise and space rental.
Arkansas woman charged in death of her child’s father
VAN BUREN, Ark. (AP) — Investigators say an Arkansas woman has been charged in the fatal shooting of the father of her 3-year-old child and leaving the man's body in a cemetery.
Crawford County jail records show 24-year-old Jessica Ann Howard of Van Buren was being held Saturday on a capital murder charge. Jail records do not list an attorney to speak for Howard, who's charged in the death of 49-year-old Gabriel Ricardo Quispe of Fort Smith.
Man found shot to death in western Arkansas cemetery
VAN BUREN, Ark. (AP) — Authorities say a man has been found shot to death in a cemetery in western Arkansas.
Crawford County Sheriff Ron Brown says 49-year-old Gabriel Ricardo Quispe of Fort Smith was found dead Wednesday at Dripping Springs Cemetery near the unincorporated community of Uniontown, about 1 mile (1.6 kilometer) east of the Oklahoma state line.
Brown said the man had a gunshot wound to the abdomen and the body was sent to the state crime lab for examination.
ArcBest: 4Q Earnings Snapshot
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) _ ArcBest Corp. (ARCB) on Wednesday reported fourth-quarter profit of $15.3 million.
On a per-share basis, the Fort Smith, Arkansas-based company said it had net income of 57 cents. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs and restructuring costs, were $1.01 per share.
The results topped Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 92 cents per share.
Fort Smith medical college pays tribute to body donors
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine students perform anatomical studies on donor bodies as part of their education. While it might not seem like a beautiful ending to a life, a donor's brother says it is.
Grand jury session scrapped in west Arkansas due to shutdown
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — The U.S. attorney in western Arkansas has canceled this month's grand jury session because of a lack of funding caused by the government shutdown.
U.S. Attorney Duane Kees says cases that would normally be presented to a grand jury in the western district will be resolved in other ways. Kees says his office could also impanel a new grand jury later in each division of the district, so travel expenses wouldn't be incurred.
Opioid confiscations in Sebastian County rise in 2018
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — Opioid seizures in the Fort Smith region have risen, and authorities are taking steps to address it.
Members of the 12th and 21st District Drug Task Force, which includes Sebastian and Crawford counties, took more pharmaceutical pills and heroin off the streets in 2018 than in 2017. The jump has prompted officials to enhance their enforcement efforts while still recognizing the issue is not entirely a criminal one.
Fort Smith board supports sale tax for US Marshals Museum
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — A city board in western Arkansas has decided to support a temporary sales tax to help finance a museum for the U.S. Marshals Service, which museum officials said will help revitalize the area.
The Fort Smith Central Business Improvement District Board on Tuesday endorsed a 1-cent sales tax, The Southwest Times Record reported.
Fort Smith police investigate death of 5-year-old
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — Police in Fort Smith say they're investigating the death of a 5-year-old and the child's stepmother has been charged with endangering the welfare of a minor.
Police on Friday responded to a hospital regarding a suspicious death. Police do not yet know the child's cause of death, and the body has been sent to the Arkansas Crime Laboratory.
Details on the nature of the child's death have not been released.
Arkansas won’t issue medical marijuana cards until February
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas' health department has yet to issue licenses to the thousands of residents approved to buy medical marijuana in the state, which is affecting patients' ability to get temporary licenses in neighboring Oklahoma.
Arkansas residents can obtain Oklahoma marijuana license
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — Thousands of Arkansas residents with valid medical marijuana licenses can receive a temporary medical marijuana adult license in Oklahoma, authorities said.
Girls Inc. after-school programs in Fort Smith empower girls
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — Who runs Howard and Trusty elementary schools when classes end? Girls.
Girls Inc. began on-site after-school programs at both schools this fall, allowing students to participate in the tutoring, lessons and fun activities offered by the organization without ever having to leave, Executive Director Amanda Daniels said.
Howard Principal Velmar Greene said her daughter was a previous participant in Girls Inc. and was excited to have a program at the elementary school campus.
Former police chief pleads not guilty to felony charges
LINCOLN, Ark. (AP) — A former police chief in northwest Arkansas has pleaded not guilty to felony charges of tampering with evidence and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Brian Key was arrested earlier this month on the charges. He was fired in October as the police chief of Lincoln, a town in Washington County about 145 miles (230 kilometers) northwest of Little Rock.
Fort Smith police vacancies fund equipment upgrades
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — Unfilled vacancies in Fort Smith's police department have freed up about $1.4 million that will be used to buy new vehicles and equipment, officials said.
The money for the purchases is coming from the department's personnel budget, which was reduced because of about 20 unfilled vacancies this year. Fort Smith City Administrator Carl Geffken says the vacancies occurred because of attrition and because space is limited at the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy.
Fort Smith OKs special election for temporary tax increase
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — Leaders in Fort Smith have approved a special election so voters can consider a temporary tax increase that would pay for the completion of the $50 million U.S. Marshals Museum.
The Fort Smith Board of Directors voted 6-1 on Tuesday to call an election for March 12, 2019. If approved, the 1 percent sales tax would be in effect from July 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020, and generate an estimated $17 million for the museum, which is currently under construction.
Fort Smith church donates gifts to children of inmates
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — Community Bible Church's partnership with Angel Tree in recent years has reached new heights in giving the children of federal prisoners a merry Christmas.
Fort Smith eyes temporary tax to help Marshals Museum
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — Leaders in Fort Smith are considering whether to call a special election for a temporary tax increase that would help pay for the planned U.S. Marshals Museum.
The Fort Smith Board of Directors decided Tuesday to put the sales tax item on its Dec. 18 agenda. If approved by the directors — then passed by voters in a special election next March — the sales tax proceeds would go toward the $50 million museum that is currently under construction.
Arkansas medical student reflects on family legacy
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — At the start of their medical careers, Meredith Grey and Jackson Avery weren't exactly forthcoming about their families, coming from world-renowned surgeons and all.
Grey didn't want her class to know her mother was one of the most successful female surgeons, winning multiple Harper Avery awards for surgical innovation. Avery, likewise, didn't want his colleagues to know his grandfather was the founder of the award.
Arkansas collects thousands of unused prescription drugs
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — Statewide participation in the last semiannual Drug Take Back Day differed heavily across the Arkansas-Oklahoma border.
Drug Take Back Day, held by the Drug Enforcement Administration in April and October each year, aims to lead people across the country to take unused prescription drugs to their nearest drop-off sites in hopes of combating opioid abuse.
Arkansas sheriff retires after 3 decades in law enforcement
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — Bill Hollenbeck's eight years as sheriff have almost come to a close, and he's grateful for every one of them.
Hollenbeck is stepping down as sheriff of Sebastian County, closing out 28 years at the Sheriff's Office and 36 total years in law enforcement. Hollenbeck at his recent retirement reception reflected on his time at the helm of the Sheriff's Office.
Audit: UAMS budget adopted before layoffs had incorrect info
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — A budget adopted by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences before nearly 260 employees were laid off included revenue projections unsupported by calculations or health care trends, according to a recent audit.
The academic medical center's internal audit report was made public Thursday, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.
Muralists travel to Fort Smith to transform downtown area
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — Whether they're home grown or from the other side of the world, the muralists in The Unexpected this year are excited to bring their art to the streets of Fort Smith.
Acclaimed muralists from all over the world each year travel to Fort Smith during The Unexpected to beautify the outsides of buildings in the downtown area. Though they greatly differ from each other in style, this year's muralists are enjoying changing the appearance of the town.
ArcBest: 3Q Earnings Snapshot
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) _ ArcBest Corp. (ARCB) on Thursday reported third-quarter net income of $40.8 million.
The Fort Smith, Arkansas-based company said it had net income of $1.52 per share. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring gains, came to $1.44 per share.
The results surpassed Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.10 per share.
Electronic counters track data at Fort Smith outdoor trails
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — While many people who walk trails around Fort Smith have devices to count their steps, the Frontier Metropolitan Planning Organization's transportation planner now has something to count both walkers and mountain bikers.
Fort Smith hospital uses beads to help mothers feed newborns
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — Mercy Hospital in Fort Smith started using a handy tool in early August to help mothers feed their newborn babies.
Officer fatally shoots suspect in Arkansas hostage situation
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — Authorities in western Arkansas say a police officer has fatally shot a 27-year-old man who allegedly threatened another person with a knife during a domestic disturbance.
The Fort Smith Police Department identified the man who died in Saturday's shooting as Samuel Morris.
Authorities say the shooting occurred at an apartment complex where officers responded to reports of a domestic disturbance in which someone was threatened at knife point.
Man released from hospital after Okla. canal electrocution
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Arkansas man who was electrocuted last month after he jumped into a canal in Oklahoma City's downtown entertainment district to try and save another individual who had fallen in has been released from a hospital.
Brandon Gann, of Fort Smith, Arkansas, had been at OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City since he was shocked Sept. 30 while trying to help Wesley Seeley.
Seeley, from Tuttle, died after he was electrocuted by wires from a broken lamppost.
University of Arkansas announces $10.8M estate gift
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — Myles Friedman liked to challenge himself, and his $10.8 million estate gift announced last month will give honors program students at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith the opportunity to do the same for themselves.
Belle Starr’s reputation as an outlaw lives on in Fort Smith
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — While several historic figures are known for executing justice from Fort Smith, one is known for making trips into the town for her illegal actions.
Belle Starr, dubbed the "Bandit Queen" in 19th century pulp novels and newspapers, was tried in Fort Smith twice during the 1880s. Her reputation as a no-nonsense outlaw has left a mark on the city still evident today.
Father-daughter duo broadcasts Arkansas high school football
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — In the midst of calling play-by-play for Northside football games, Buzz Sawyer will periodically throw it over to the reporter stationed on the Grizzlies' sideline.
That sideline reporter will offer updates on such events as injuries or a word of advice from a coach to a player prior to a big play.
The reporter is someone Buzz Sawyer knows very well. It happens to be none other than his daughter, Sarah Sawyer.
Oklahoma court upholds conviction in Arkansas woman’s death
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has upheld the murder conviction and life without parole sentence of a man in the death of an Arkansas woman in eastern Oklahoma.
The court on Thursday rejected appeals by 30-year-old Elvis Aaron Thacker of Cedarville, Arkansas, in the September 2010 death of 22-year-old Briana Ault of Fort Smith.
Schools turn to technology to monitor e-cig usage
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — Fort Smith schools expanded anti-tobacco policy to include vaping and e-cigarettes "a number of years ago."
Schools around the country are beginning to install sensors in bathrooms, locker rooms and stairwells to detect and alert administrators when vaping occurs.
The sensor, Fly Sense 2.5, is installed using a wired school network or through Wi-Fi in various locations where vaping typically takes place. It then looks for chemical compounds found in e-cigarette vapor.
Arkansas governor appoints justice for lawsuit limits case
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas' governor has appointed a Fort Smith judge to fill in for the state Supreme Court's chief justice in a challenge to a ballot measure that would limit damages awarded in civil lawsuits.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Monday named Sebastian County Circuit Judge Stephen Tabor to serve as a special justice in the case over the proposed constitutional amendment on the November ballot. The Supreme Court is considering the appeal of a judge's decision to disqualify the measure.
Arkansas residents seek to preserve Civil War battlefield
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — A group of local residents is looking to preserve a Civil War battlefield in Sebastian County.
Arkansas inmate dies after being found injured in his cell
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — Authorities in Sebastian County are investigating the death of a disabled jail inmate who was discovered severely injured in his cell.
Officials say 25-year-old John David Davenport was declared dead on Saturday, three days after he was taken to a hospital in Fort Smith.
Arraignment set for suspect in Arkansas double slaying
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — A suspect in the slaying of two Arkansas residents is scheduled to appear in a western Arkansas courtroom following his arrest on first-degree murder and other charges.
US Marshals Museum searches for Bass Reeves’ relatives
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — The U.S. Marshals Museum in Fort Smith has an impressive collection of guns and documents related to famed Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves. Almost a year out from a planned opening of the new $60 million museum, it's the lawman's family tree the curator wants most.