Arkansas Law Enforcement

Law enforcement agencies across Arkansas are joining a national effort to stop texting while driving.

Arkansas State Police said Monday that the crackdown is part of a six-day national program that begins Thursday.

The U Drive. U Text. U Pay. campaign combines officers watching for drivers who are texting along with a national advertising and media plan designed to inform the public about stepped-up patrols and a driver's responsibility to obey the law.

A prosecutor has cleared the Bald Knob police chief in a shooting that wounded a woman at a convenience store. Prosecuting attorney Chris Raff says Chief Tim Sanford was justified in his use of force in the March 24 shooting of 34-year-old Amy Renee Collins of Cave City. Authorities say Sanford was investigating a reported stabbing when he shot Collins after she allegedly ran toward him with a knife in her hand. Collins was shot in the shoulder area and is in White County Medical Center in stable condition.

Kezia Nanda

Families of firefighters who died in the line of duty gathered Saturday for the dedication of the Arkansas Fallen Firefighters Memorial. 

The ceremony included the marching of colors by bagpipers, drums and honor guard, the unveiling of the statue, reading of the 1958 A. W. "Smokey" Linn's Firefighter’s Prayer, the ringing of bells for each fallen firefighter and the laying of a rose on top of memorial wall for each name.  

Governor Mike Beebe was on hand and thanked the families of fallen firefighters.

Fallen Firefighters Memorial
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

After 28 years of work and fundraising to make it a reality, the Arkansas Fallen Firefighters Memorial will be dedicated this Saturday at the state Capitol.  It pays tribute to the 104 firefighters who gave their lives in the line of duty.

Their names are engraved at the 50-by-70 foot circular memorial, which features a bronze statue in the center with four firefighters, each representing the different kinds of work fire crews do.  Two are holding fire hoses, another equipment, while the fourth is treating a wounded child.  Flowing underneath the statue is a fountain.

Gov. Mike Beebe has announced his intent to grant seven pardons.

Beebe's office said Tuesday that each of the seven have completed all jail time, fulfilled all parole-and-probationary requirements and paid all fines related to their sentences. 

State and federal authorities say several marijuana plants have been seized from the Ouachita National Forest in Arkansas.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission says its officers worked with the Benton Police Department, Saline County Sheriff's Office and U.S. Forest Service to seize multiple marijuana plants found growing in the Winona Wildlife Management Area about 30 miles west of Little Rock.

The Winona WMA is managed in cooperation with the Forest Service and the AGFC.

Adjoa A. Aiyetoro
Malcolm Glover / KUAR

Efforts are underway to examine the criminal justice system in Arkansas and eventually come up with recommendations to improve state prisons.

UALR Bowen Law School professor Adjoa Aiyetoro is overseeing the project. She’s been working with elected officials and community leaders for nearly a year on research concerning racial disparities in sentencing and treatment at Arkansas courts and prisons.

Missing Arkansas Boy, 5, Found Safe In New Mexico

Oct 11, 2013

A 5-year-old boy who disappeared from his grandparents' home in western Arkansas has been found safe with his non-custodial mother in Albuquerque, N.M.

The Sebastian County Sheriff's Office says Quinn Whitsitt was recovered and that his mother - Rainy Whitsitt - was arrested Thursday afternoon about one mile from where his mother was living in Albuquerque by FBI agents who had the home under surveillance.

Quinn was reported missing from Central City just east of Fort Smith about 6:30 a.m. Thursday by his grandparents, who authorities say have custody of the child.

FBI Offering Reward In Lonoke County Incidents

Oct 7, 2013

The FBI is investigating after an electricity substation was set on fire and a power line was intentionally cut in Lonoke County. 

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information about the incidents. Authorities say Entergy Arkansas reported a fire at its substation in Keo on Sept. 29. 

The FBI says the blaze was intentionally set and someone scratched "YOU SHOULD HAVE EXPECTED U.S." into a metal control panel outside the substation.

Man Who Escaped California Prison Arrested In Arkansas

Sep 25, 2013

Authorities say an inmate who escaped from a California prison in 1977 has been captured in Arkansas, where he was living under an alias.

The Garland County Sheriff's Office says 69-year-old Michael Ray Morrow was arrested without incident Monday in Jessieville.

Deputy Scott Hinojosa says Morrow gave details of his escape from the California Institution for Men in Chino.

Morrow was serving a sentence of 5 years to life in prison or 10 years minimum for a robbery conviction.

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