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Teen charged with murder of high school senior at Prom Party


HELENA-WEST HELENAA teenager in Arkansas has been charged with the murder of a High School senior at a prom afterparty.

On April 21, Arkansas State Police revealed that 19-yearold Donterious Stephens had been charged with first-degree murder and possession of firearms following the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Lorenzo Harrison III in West Helena.

“Helena man now in custody for killing a teenager outside a party following Helena-West Helena’s Central High School prom,” a police spokesperson said.

“West Helena homicide suspect, Donterious Stephens, 19, is in custody of the Phillips County Sheriff’s Office, and being charged with First Degree Murder and Possession of Firearms by Certain Persons in the death of Lorenzo Harrison III, 18,” the statement added.

Per the initial press release from the police, Phillips County Sheriff’s Office were alerted about the shooting at around 1 a.m. on Sunday, April 21.

The incident happened after students attended the CHS Prom and moved to an afterparty held across the street from Ater Warehouse, at 3235 Highway 49 in West Helena, the police added.

The victim’s body will be transported to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for an autopsy, the statement continued. Stephens was described by police as a “previous graduate” of CHS while Harrison was a senior.

“On the behalf of the Helena-West Helena School District Administration our hearts ache for the tragic loss of our beloved 12th-grade student at Central High School, and our deepest sympathies extend to his grieving family, classmates, friends, and our entire school community impacted by this senseless act of violence,” the Helena-West Helena School District said in a press release posted on its website.

“As we come together to mourn this heartbreaking loss, let us fortify our commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of all students and staff. In times of such profound grief, it is essential that we offer not only our empathy but also tangible support,” they continued.

“Therefore, the district’s crisis team will be onsite tomorrow morning at Central High School to provide immediate counseling services for all who need it. During this time of immense sorrow, let us lean on one another for strength and solace. Together, may we honor his memory and work towards healing the wounds inflicted by this tragedy.”


UAMS receives Blue &

You grant to fund mobile vision screening unit

LITTLE ROCK — The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) received a $175,000 grant from the Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas to support GoVision AR: Mobile Vision Screening for Underserved Children Across Arkansas.

GoVision AR, a project of the UAMS Department of Ophthalmology, aims to address the significant disparities in access to vision care and unmet vision care needs for

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underserved children in Arkansas through the implementation of a mobile vision clinic program.

“In light of the many health care gaps in Arkansas, the Go-Vision AR program is an essential tool in providing eye care services directly to underserved children at their schools,” said Paul H.

Phillips, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and the director of the UAMS Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute.

“By combining a mobile vision clinic with a parent-focused needs assessment, our project presents an innovative solution to the challenges faced by underserved children in Arkansas.”

“As always, we would like to greatly thank the Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas for its support of vision care in Arkansas,” Phillips said. “This program will save vision and reduce blindness for many Arkansans.”

Based on research conducted by the Department of Ophthalmology, there are significant nationwide disparities in access to vision care and eye health among children, particularly in low-income families and minority groups. Additionally, rates of childhood vision impairment were highest in Southern states, including Arkansas. Findings indicate that children in Arkansas who fail school vision screenings have significantly inadequate follow-up eye care. The study also found that follow-up rates were associated with key indicators of socioeconomic status, such as race, poverty, insurance coverage and academic achievement.

“GoVision AR goes beyond traditional vision screening by incorporating a comprehensive program that includes instrument- based vision screening, health needs assessments and the provision of free glasses to children who demonstrate need,” said Zain Chauhan, M.D., M.S., resident physician and lead grant writer for GoVision AR. “This comprehensive approach ensures that children in Arkansas receive follow-up care and appropriate interventions to address vision issues.”

The mobile vision clinic will improve access to essential eye care services for underserved children in Arkansas, leading to better vision health outcomes and reduced disparities in vision care, including improved follow-up rates and better vision outcomes, identification of barriers to care and strategies to address them, reduction in preventable vision impairment in children, and enhanced understanding of the impact of social determinants of health. To ensure successful implementation, the program will also collaborate with various community partners including school districts, community health centers, nonprofit vision care organizations, local optometrists and ophthalmologists, and parent-teacher associations.

“The GoVision AR program will help fill a vital gap in care for Arkansas’ young people,” said Blue & You Foundation President Rebecca Pittillo. “Various social determinants of health such as where you live or your family’s income level can prevent children from receiving the care they need, and this program will remove that barrier, not only allowing children to better excel in the classroom but throughout their lives.”


Pair facing charges in

Jonesboro court

JONESBORO — A Pulaski County woman, already facing charges in Randolph County in connection with a theft case, now faces at least seven felonies in Craighead County after her arrest in connection with a vehicle breakin.

Cleisha Simone Martin, 27, of Little Rock was arrested Sunday on suspicion of engaging in a continuing criminal gang, organization or enterprise, breaking or entering, theft of property-credit or debit card, theft $5,000 or less but greater than $1,000, theft of a firearm, criminal mischief-1st degree and fraudulent use of a credit card in the Jonesboro case.

A $50,000 bond was set for Martin by District Judge David Boling Monday during a probable cause hearing.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Jonesboro police went to Walmart in the 1800 block of East Highland Drive on March 19 after finding a vehicle involved in a breaking or entering in Pocahontas where a gun and other items were taken.

'When Jonesboro officers arrived, (Pernetra) Hill was on her phone, warning someone else that the police were there,' Jonesboro police said in the affidavit.

Hill, 30, of Little Rock is also facing felony first-degree mischief, four counts of breaking or entering, five counts of theft of debit or credit cards and two misdemeanor counts of theft charges in Randolph County.

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