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SGL Carbon to expand operations in Arkadelphia


ARKADELPHIA — SGL Carbon, a provider of carbon- based solutions for automotives, aerostructures, and other sectors, today announced that it will expand its operations in Arkadelphia, Ark. in order to increase its carbon composites production. The company plans to invest approximately $4.5 million at its existing facility and increase its workforce by 35 full-time employees within three years.

“Composite battery enclosures fit perfectly to the specific needs of modern ecar chassis,” Steve Swanson, Vice President of Operations at SGL Composites Inc., said.

“Thus, with the ongoing enhancement of our Arkadelphia operations, we also support the great trend towards more e-mobility in the U.S. In addition, our facility produces a variety of carbon and glass fiberreinforced products for a wide range of industrial applications within the automotive and aerospace industries as well as the energy sector.”

The company’s Arkadelphia facility currently produces a variety of carbon and glass fiber-reinforced products that have a wide range of industrial applications within the automotive and aerospace industries as well as the energy sector.

SGL Carbon will expand its Arkadelphia operations by ramping up production of carbon composites to be used primarily in electric vehicles.

“SGL Carbon is not only a global leader and innovator, it is also a valued member of our state’s business community – a position it has held since it began production here in 1996,” Governor Asa Hutchinson said. “It’s a pleasure to congratulate the company for its continued investment in Arkadelphia.

We look forward to many more years of partnership in the future.”

For decades, SGL Carbon has served as a leading producer of unique graphite and composite materials and manufacturer of products known for their versatile industrial applications.

Arkansas Department of Commerce Secretary and Executive Director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) Mike Preston praised SGL Carbon’s decision to expand its Arkansas operations.

“The strength of our workforce in southwest Arkansas, partnered with our low cost of doing business, makes Arkadelphia a prime location for SGL Carbon’s new production processes,” Secretary Preston said. “We look forward to our continued partnership with the company as it embarks on this new endeavor.”

The project also received support from local community partners.

“The Economic Development Corporation of Clark County is pleased to partner with one of our local industries to promote job creation and expan-

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sion,” said EDCCC Chairman Celya Taylor.

“This announcement shows our local tax dollars play an important role in encouraging job creation in Clark County.”

Arkadelphia City Manager Gary Brinkley said, “We are thrilled about the news that SGL will be ramping up its production and hiring additional employees.

SGL’s corporate philosophy of partnering with their customers is the same philosophy we follow in Clark County, partnering with our industries for job retention and expansion. The soundness of the Arkadelphia workforce coupled with the quality of life we enjoy in southwest Arkansas is truly a win-win scenario for everyone.”

County Judge Troy Tucker said, “We are excited about the future expansion of SGL Carbon in Clark County and with the future possibilities of this company.”

The company anticipates that the production expansion will be fully operational by the end of 2021.

Employing around 5,100 people, SGL Carbon is a global company with more than 31 high-performing production sites in Europe, North America, and Asia.

The company is a world leader in the development and production of carbonbased solutions. Its highquality materials and products made from specialty graphite and composites are used in industrial sectors that determine the future: automotive, aerospace, solar and wind energy, semiconductor and LEDs as well as in the production of lithium-ion batteries, fuel cell and other energy storage systems. In addition, SGL Carbon develops solutions for chemical and industrial applications.


Former police chief faces felony gun charge

LAWRENCE COUNTY— A Lawrence County circuit judge found probable cause on Jan. 12 to charge former Hoxie Police Chief Glen Junior Smith (right) with theft of property/firearms valued at less than $2,500.

Third Judicial Circuit Judge Rob Ratton released Smith on his own recognizance on the charge.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Smith told investigators during an Aug. 25, 2022, interview that he purchased a tactical semi-automatic shotgun for use by the police department from the Highway 67 Guns and Gold pawn shop.

Witness James Ditto of Barnhill Glass and Collision in Hoxie told investigators in the spring of 2021 that Smith contacted him about purchasing a shotgun for the department. Ditto told Smith that Michael Skeet owned the pawn shop in Pocahontas.

Ditto said Smith bought the gun for $600 and that Skeet requested a documentation from the city of Hoxie with its letterhead on it.

Ditto said he was shopping in Russell's Pawn in Walnut Ridge on Aug. 2, 2022, and saw the same shotgun for sale on the gun rack at the store.

According to the affidavit, Ditto recognized the gun from markings on the magazine tube clamp. He called Hoxie Mayor Dennis Coggins and told him the shotgun the city had purchased was in the possession of the pawn store.

Ditto stated Coggins called him as liar, the affidavit states.

Coggins also said he contacted Hoxie City Attorney Nancy Hall, some members of the Hoxie City Council and Lt. Brant Tosh of the Arkansas State Police.

Ditto said he was told by Hall that on the day he saw the shotgun at Russell's that Coggins went to the pawn shop and gave $600 for the shotgun and then Smith came and retrieved it that day, the affidavit states.

ASP Special Agent David Moss said he interviewed Coggins at Hoxie City Hall on Aug. 25, 2022. Coggins told him Smith wanted to purchase the shotgun to use for shooting beanbag rounds.

Moss' affidavit states that Coggins said when he was told by Ditto that the gun was at Russell's in August 2022, he went to the pawn shop and purchased the gun for $600. Coggins stated to Smith that the gun belonged to the city and that the shotgun was never listed under the city's inventory.

Coggins said Smith told him that he “was under the influence” when he sold the shotgun to Russell's, according to the affidavit.

On Nov. 2, 2022, Moss interviewed Smith. “On or about June 16, 2021, the city of Hoxie paid $800 for a Remington 12 gauge 1100 tactical shotgun bearing the serial number R296968V from Mike Skeet. On September 29, 2021, I pawned the shotgun for $300.00 at Russell's Pawn Shop in Walnut Ridge,” Smith wrote. “On August 2, 2022, Hoxie Mayor Dennis Coggins paid $600 for the shotgun at Russell's. The next day I paid him back and went and picked up the shotgun and took it back to the Hoxie Police Department. I

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pawned the shotgun because I needed money for a cell phone bill. I had intentions of retrieving the shotgun from the pawn shop but could never come up with the money to get it out of pawn. I knew the shotgun belonged to the cit of Hoxie and I knew it was not mine.”

After returning from administrative leave on Aug. 22, Smith submitted a retirement resignation effective Sept. 13, 2022.

Smith is charged with a Class D felony, which is punishable by up to six years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

Smith's next court date is March 27 in Lawrence County Circuit Court.


Special prosecutor sought in lawyer probe

JONESBORO — The Craighead County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a Harrisburg attorney on allegations of engaging in criminal activity, according to a court document filed Thursday by Prosecuting Attorney Sonia Fonticiella(below). She made a motion for a special prosecutor to be appointed to handle the case against Jarrett Cobb.

The motion stated, “Jarrett Cobb has been investigated by the Craighead County Sheriff’s Office for the allegations consisted with A.C.A. 5-27-602, 5-53111(B)(1) and 5-18103(2).”

Fonticiella said a special prosecutor is needed because “the above-stated Prosecuting Attorney, as well as the Deputy Prosecuting Attorneys of the 2nd Judicial District, have a specific and unavoidable conflict in this case.”

“Specifically, Mr. Cobb is an attorney practicing law in the 2nd Judicial District and has a relationship with most of the deputies in this district. Additionally, one of the deputy prosecuting attorneys is a fact witness to the allegations,” Fonticiella wrote in her request.

Attorney Zach Morrison of Lake City, who represents Cobb, said in a statement on Friday, “Other than denying any criminal responsibility in this matter, I have no further comment on behalf of Mr. Cobb at this time.”

As of now, Cobb has not been charged with any crimes.

The sheriff’s office has been investigating the allegations, Chief Deputy Justin Rolland said Friday. The investigation has been ongoing since Nov. 1, Rolland said. The report will be handed over to the 2nd Judicial District’s Prosecuting Attorney’s Office next week, he said.

Rolland said that he’s unsure of a timeline for the prosecutor’s office since a special prosecutor is being requested from the Office of Prosecutor Coordinator.

“The selected special prosecutor should have full discretion in said matter,” Fonticiella wrote, “and should be vested with all constitutional and statutory powers possessed by the duly elected Prosecuting Attorney for the 2nd Judicial District of Arkansas in both circuit and district courts.”

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