Drew Memorial named ‘Small Hospital of the Year’ by Arkansas Business

Drew Memorial Hospital in Monticello has been named “Small Hospital of the Year” by Arkansas Business. “We have an award-winning team at Drew Memorial, and I look forward to bringing this back to them,” Drew Memorial Hospital CEO Scott Barrilleaux said as he accepted the award at Arkansas Business’ annual Health Care Heroes luncheon on Wednesday in Little Rock. Arkansas Business Health Care Heroes program honors individuals, companies and organizations that are making a significant … Continued

Update: Suspected car thief captured

3:45 p.m. Orlando Lowe of Monticello was arrested Friday at 3:30 p.m. in southern Drew County about two miles from where he abandoned a car believed to have been stolen Friday morning in Monticello, according to Drew County Sheriff Mark Gober. Lowe’s female companion is also being held for questioning. Law enforcement officials initially believed Lowe’s passenger in the vehicle was a male. While conducting a search of an area west of U.S. 425 South, … Continued

Voter turnout in Southeast Arkansas down from previous presidential election

Voter turnout in Southeast Arkansas was down from the 2012 General Election in all counties except Chicot County which saw a slight increase, according to numbers from the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office. Ashley County saw the most significant decrease, followed by Drew County. Voter turnout in Ashley County was down by more than 12 percent from the 2012 General Election, while Drew County saw a decrease of more than 10 percent. In 2012, 7,967 … Continued

State Rep. Jeff Wardlaw switches parties

State Rep. Jeff Wardlaw, of Hermitage, released a statement Thursdaysaying he will represent his constituents of District 8 as a Republican effective immediately. “With much thought and consideration, I’ve decided to join the Republican Party of Arkansas,” Wardlaw said in a news release dated November 9. “Over the last few years my constituency has gradually changed and I have found the issues that are important to them, which I share, such as protecting our 2nd … Continued

1 killed, 1 injured in 2-vehicle accident in Ashley County

A Hamburg man was killed and another was injured Monday evening in an automobile accident on U.S. 425, north of Hamburg, according to an Arkansas State Police preliminary accident report. Steve Dustin Reed, 38, of Hamburg was killed when his southbound Buick Regal crossed the center line of U.S. 425 and struck a Ford F250 head on. The driver of the Ford, Jason Birch, 33, also of Hamburg, was injured in the accident. Birch was … Continued

Update: Drew County Sheriff’s Office arrests Winchester shooting suspect

Update (Friday Morning): The Drew County Sheriff’s Office arrested Jesse Lee Farmer, Jr. Friday morning at approximately 9 a.m. Original Story (Thursday Night): The Drew County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a Thursday afternoon shooting in which both the suspect and alleged victims fled before law enforcement officials arrived. Two women who were in their vehicles on Thomas Street in Winchester reported seeing Jesse Lee Farmer, Jr., 49, of Winchester, standing in the street arguing with … Continued

$500K bond set for suspect in Monticello homicide

Circuit Judge Sam Pope on Monday set a $500,000 bond for a man suspected in the weekend shooting death of a Pine Bluff man on the parking lot of a Monticello gas station. Charlie H. Dobbins, 37, of Monticello, likely will be charged with first-degree murder, first-degree battery and felon in possession of a firearm in connection with the Saturday morning shooting death of Hunter Laney, 25, of Pine Bluff. A female was wounded in the … Continued

Pine Bluff man killed in Monticello shooting

A Pine Bluff man was killed and a woman was wounded in an early Saturday morning shooting outside a gas station in Monticello, according to Arkansas State Police. Hunter Laney, 25, of Pine Bluff was shot and killed around 2 a.m. Saturday as he sat in the driver’s seat of his vehicle at a gas station on U.S. 278 West. A female in Laney’s vehicle was wounded in the gunfire and taken to Drew Memorial … Continued

Brad Hunter Smith capital murder trial set for Jan. 23-27

Brad Hunter Smith, one of three suspects charged in the December 2015 death of a pregnant Cleveland County woman, will be tried in January. Smith, 20 at the time of his arrest in December 2015, is charged with capital murder, kidnapping, and abuse of a corpse in connection with the death of 22-year-old Cherrish Faith Allbright of the Randall community in Cleveland County. Capital murder is a Class Y felony punishable by life in prison … Continued