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Beebe Retirement Center up to 17 COVID-19 deaths

Beebe Retirement  Center up to 17  COVID-19 deaths


WHITE COUNTY — As of Tuesday, White County has recorded 32 COVID19 deaths. According to the latest information from the Arkansas Department of Health, the Beebe Retirement Center now has 17 COVID-19 deaths.

The nursing home report that comes out twice weekly shows they have 71 positives residents, 50 recoveries and 4 active cases plus 44 positive staff, 39 recovered staff and 5 active staff cases.

On the COVID-19 Educational Report, also issued by the Arkansas Department of Health, Searcy School District has 9 active cases, 6 cumulative faculty and staff cases, 25 cumulative student cases and a cumulative total of 31.

Harding University tops the University list with 82 active cases, 14 cumulative faculty/staff cases, 128 cumulative student cases and 169 cumulative total.

Arkansas State university Beebe is new to the list with 5 active student cases and 18 cumulative cases.

Beebe First Baptist Church reported on its Facebook page Tuesday that a few members have tested positive for COVID-19 and as a result some others have had to quarantine. 'Please rest assured that none of the positive members attended church services this past Sunday (10-11-19). As a precautionary measure, Bro. Bob and the deacons have decided to cancel ALL services Wednesday (10-14-20) and ALL Sunday services (10-18-20).'

Harding Academy tops the list of Private Schools report with 13 active student cases, 7 cumulative faculty and staff, 26 cumulative student cases and a cumulative total of 33.

NEWPORT — The United States Economic Development Administration has awarded a $2.5 million grant to Newport’s Tech Depot IT Apprenticeship Academy.

The grant will be matched with $625,000 from the Newport Economic Development Commission to build a 12,000-squarefoot, state-of-the-art facility to house Tech Depot.

“This is a huge day for economic development in Newport,” said Mayor David Stewart. “The new Tech Depot facility will allow our citizens to access the training and skills to work with any company in the world, and often they will be able to work remotely and continue to live and raise their families here.”

About three weeks ago, Gov. Asa Hutchinson cut the ribbon on the Tech Depot collaboration in downtown Newport. The first apprentices and participating companies are currently being established by the Arkansas Center for Data Sciences (ACDS) and the curriculum is being finalized by ASUNewport.

“This is another huge step forward for apprenticeship programs in Arkansas,” said Bill Yoder, executive director of ACDS. “We have experience in IT and apprenticeships, and ASUNewport has experience in technical curriculum development and delivery, and now with this facility we have all the tools for world-class IT training in Newport, Arkansas.”

Tech Depot is beginning its operation in the historic Iron Mountain Train Depot in downtown Newport and will move to the new facility upon its completion.

“The partnership between the Newport Economic Development Commission, ASU-Newport and the Arkansas Center for Data Sciences is allowing us to support our existing industries by helping them grow the information technology talent they need right here in Arkansas,” said Jon Chadwell, executive director of the NEDC. “In addition, we believe that having this resource to develop IT talent will attract other companies who are having challenges finding

Continued on Page 11 STATE NEWS (cont.)

qualified employees for these positions.”

The new Tech Depot facility will contain apprenticeship training rooms, an IT co-working space, an IT incubator for entrepreneurs, shared office space for companies who use the facility and an apprenticeship testing center.

Anticipated construction time for the building is 18 to 24 months.

Sandra Massey, chancellor of ASU-Newport, said, “ASU-Newport is proud to be part of this great new opportunity for Newport and all of Northeast Arkansas. We welcome the opportunity to support and develop the technical skills of the incredible people who call Arkansas their home.”

The Arkansas Congressional Delegation worked with the City of Newport and the grant writing team at White River Planning and Development District to secure the grant from the Economic Development Administration.

“The CARES Act continues to provide vital support and assistance to Arkansas as our state deals with the effects of COVID-19,” said U.S. Sen. John Boozman.

“This grant will help Newport and the regional economy by training residents to fill in-demand jobs and creating further opportunities for economic growth in the community.”

Arkansas’ leaders understand that developing highskill talent in rural communities will help preserve these cities in an everchanging world.

U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford said, “The demand for a highly skilled information technology workforce is only growing, and it is vital that we are providing the proper education and training for students to fill this demand. This investment not only helps provide a critical resource to local Arkansans in the technology field, it creates an innovative training program that will attract business professionals nationwide.”

The inaugural classes in the Tech Depot will have more than 40 apprentices participating and will support companies located in Newport, Batesville and Jonesboro. The partners anticipate classes growing to support more than 100 apprentices every six months by the end of the third year.

Any company with IT employee needs can either send a worker for apprenticeship training or work with the Arkansas Center for Data Sciences to locate an apprentice to hire and train at the Tech Depot.

Individuals interested in IT careers can put their names into the apprenticeship pool of candidates that will be offered to companies for consideration. For more information visit

Tech Depot is the centerpiece of Newport’s Downtown Technology Park, known as DTech Park. DTech Park, operating out of the Newport Economic Development Commission offices, will assist technology companies in securing a remote work location, finding office space, securing a partnership with the Tech Depot or in locating incentives to start or expand their technology-based business.

“Rural sourcing, which to me means finding our talent in rural America rather than offshore, can help companies with security and profitability while also growing the small towns and cities that have been America’s backbone for centuries,” said G.B.

Cazes, principal of the Emory Group, which is consulting on the project and assisting with development and logistics. To learn more about Newport’s Downtown Technology Park visit

Tech Depot and DTech STATE NEWS (cont.)

Park are bringing IT opportunities to rural Arkansas.

To get involved please complete the contact form on the website or call the Newport Economic Development Commission at 870-523-1009. Further questions and inquiries can be forwarded to Jon Chadwell at [email protected] org.


JONESBORO — A 911 call regarding an Oct. 13 home invasion on Highway 135 South has led to several felony charges against a Jonesboro man.

Sheriff's deputies arrested Quinton Joseph Lee Ray, 24, on charges of three counts of first-degree battery, a Class Y felony; and two counts of residential burglary, a Class B felony.

According to information made available by the Greene County Sheriff's Department, Ray's arrest proceeded from a 911 call at 1:38 a.m. regarding the home invasion, which reportedly took place as the suspect, identified as Ray, allegedly entered the home through the carport door.

The family being asleep at the time, Ray reportedly picked up a knife from the kitchen and went to the bedrooms, where an altercation ensued. During the altercation with the suspect, two children and the father received stab wounds from the knife: one child had injuries to the neck and arm, the other had an injury to the leg, and the father was stabbed in the face. However, the father was able to grab a rifle from his bedroom and fired five or six rounds at the suspect while Ray was allegedly running from the living room. Ambulance personnel took the father and the two children to Arkansas Methodist Medical Center.

While Sgt. Justin Jackson of the Greene County Sheriff's Department was at the scene of the incident, another 911 call came in reporting another home invasion just north of his location. Jackson reportedly said that he could hear screaming coming from North of his location. So at that time, he diverted another deputy to the location just north of him from where the screams were coming. Jackson also asked for assistance from the Paragould Police Department.

When Emergency Medical Services personnel arrived, they told Jackson that they saw a naked man walking North down the highway.

Deputies took the suspect, Ray, into custody and booked him into the Greene County Sheriff's Department. The department's Criminal Investigation Division arrived on the scene and the case is still under investigation.

Ray is currently being held without bond.

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