As Memorial Day weekend approaches, there is new frustration with gas prices.It now costs 30 cents more per gallon than it did at this time last last year. The average price is $2.65 per gallon. The increase is alarming for some, but it doesn’t seem to be enough to keep people  more at…..

Construction Nearly Complete At Prairie Creek

A popular beach and swimming area at Beaver Lake is about to reopen.The Prairie Creek area has been closed so that crews could perform some repair work. Park officials said they have fixed picnic tables, added some additional tables, removed some damaged trees and leveled out the shoreline.Work crews said they expect to have the swimming beach ready to reopen by Friday, but it will open on Thursday if it’s ready.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 ~ Updated 2:39 PM

CARROLL COUNTY — The quorum court passed an ordinance to establish a public facilities board to bring water to rural parts of the county.

The ordinance will still need to be read and approved at two subsequent meetings, but the last county in the state without some form of rural water system took a major step at Friday’s meeting of the quorum court.

The ordinance, originally introduced in March, was tabled twice because of major objections. A committee met April 29 to add specific language preventing condemnation of private wells or forced participation in the rural water system. The committee also suggested allowing users of the water system to vote on replacement board members, rather than having them selected by the quorum court.

During Friday’s meeting, the ordinance was further amended to remove any references to the Carroll Rural Water Association. The CRWA was formed two years ago, with Jimmy Jones at its head. The CRWA had not proceeded with any concrete steps toward providing rural water.

Justice of the Peace Frank Renner cited sources which he said gave a public facilities board the power of eminent domain. Although the ordinance under consideration includes explicit language preventing the exercise of eminent domain, Renner said state laws regarding public facilities boards would override a local ordinance.

Renner also claimed a public facilities board would have the power to levy taxes, and he suggested forming an agency under full county control.

JP Larry Swofford said the county could never incur any debts from an independent board, nor could the county be sued because of anything done by the board. “We can’t keep control over the board and then say we don’t want to take any responsibility for that,” he said.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Devon Closser said she did not think a public facilities board could levy taxes, but she promised to check further before the June meeting.

“I don’t see where this can harm the county,” Swofford said. “Everyone who owns land in rural areas will profit because their property values will go up.”

JP Ron Flake cautioned that a public facilities board will operate under state law, and any changes to those laws will take effect without any input from the quorum court, but he joined the remaining JPs in passing the ordinance on its first reading.

Renner cast the only negative vote.

Oak Ridge Park

Life Jackets for Recreational Water Sports
Today’s life jackets may not be what you think – many are lightweight, easy to move in, and come in many sizes, styles, and shapes for every person and every sport.  There are even ones for pets!

The U. S. Coast Guard requires recreational vessels to have a wearable life jacket for each person aboard. These life jackets must be:

  • U. S. Coast Guard approved
  • The proper size for the intended wearer
  • In good and serviceable condition
  • Properly stowed (readily accessible)

As per USCG rule, all persons under 13 years of age must wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket, while aboard recreational vessels underway, except when below decks or in an enclosed cabin. This rule affects only those states that have not established requirements, by statute or rule, for children to wear life jackets. For the remaining states, the rule recognizes and adopts the existing state regulation, even if it is less stringent.

Note: Boating out-of-state? There may be a different age requirement. Check with that state’s boating authorities before heading out on the water.

The U.S. Coast Guard has more life jacket information here.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Free boat inspections will be performed by members of the Beaver Lake Sail & Power Squadron from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Arkansas 12 bridge, east of Rogers.

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