Category Archives: Local News

Dr. Vic Ford and Staff of Southwest Research and Extension Center Attend Kiwanis Farm-City Week

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Dr. Vic Ford, Director of the University of Arkansas Southwest Research and Extension Center brought the program at the Hope Kiwanis Club’s annual “Farm-City Day” program on Tuesday November 25th.  Dr. Ford brought a number of the staffers from the SWREC to the program.  The Kiwanis Club enjoyed having these fine folks as guests at the annual event.

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot like Christmas Downtown

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Kirk Gray of the city of Hope Parks Department smiles down from a light pole on Main Street as the parks department began hanging Christmas banners on the lightpoles downtown.  In addition to banners and some lighted decorations on the poles, this year poles have been wrapped with white lights which match the traditional white lights on the shrubbery downtown.  The downtown area has the best decorations it has had in many years and the merchants are quite pleased with what the city has done.

Kiwanis Club Hosts “Farm – City Day” hears from Dr. Vic Ford

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The Hope Kiwanis Club held its annual “Farm -City Day ” on Tuesday November 25th. Numerous local farmers were guests of the club and the program was brought by Dr. Vic Ford,, Director of the University of Arkansas Southwest Research and Extension Center. Dr. Ford noted agriculture is a $20 billion dollar business in Arkansas and is responsible for 1 in 6 jobs in the state. He talked about the importance of agriculture in meeting the need for food for the growing world population. Dr. Ford also noted the importance water supplies will play in Arkansas in the next 15 years. 

Chief JR Wilson Addresses Hope being the Ninth Most “Dangerous City” on Home Security Shield Website

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Recently I became aware of information posted on the website of Home Security Shield entitled “15 Most Dangerous Cities in Arkansas.”  Hope was listed as the ninth most “dangerous” city by this company based on a composite score of selected property and violent crimes listed on the FBI Uniform Crime Report site. Obviously, I am not writing to dispute the numerical data provided to the FBI Uniform Crime Report.  This data is provided by the Hope Police Department and the numbers are what they are. I am writing to challenge the inference drawn from the data that characterizes cities on the list as “Most Dangerous”.  Home Security Shield’s conclusion is misleading, incomplete and inappropriate. Statistics, in practice, can be divided into 3 areas:  Data Analysis; Data Production; and Statistical Inference. “Statistical Inference moves beyond the data in hand to draw conclusions about some wider universe” (David S. Moore; The Basic Practice of Statistics).  The FBI UCR website clearly warns, “UCR data are sometimes used to compile rankings of individual jurisdictions and institutions of higher learning. These incomplete analyses have often created misleading perceptions which adversely affect geographic entities and their residents. For this reason, the FBI has a long-standing policy against ranking participating law enforcement agencies on the basis of crime data alone. Despite repeated warnings against these practices, some data users continue to challenge and misunderstand this position… the FBI cautions and, in fact, strongly discourages, data users against using rankings to evaluate locales or the effectiveness of their law enforcement agencies.” Based purely on UCR violent crime data measuring Murder, Rape, Robbery, and Aggravated Assault for 2012 and 2013, citizens of Hope had a statistical chance of .95% and .82% (less than 1%) respectively of being a victim of a violent crime.  For 2013 this is a 25/100ths of one percent difference from the mean for all departments in Arkansas submitting data to the UCR program.  Taking into account that approximately 73% of all violent crime in Hope, Arkansas is committed by a family member, friend, or acquaintance, this means that a citizen of Hope has a .22% chance (less than 1 quarter of one percent) of being a victim of a violent crime by a stranger. The data suggests that your chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime is more strongly correlated to whom you marry, befriend or associate with as opposed to your geographic location. Even greater correlations may exist with education, employment, poverty, etc.  These figures do not even attempt to address repeat offenders involving the same victim, such as is more common with domestic matters.  Does this justify labeling a city as “Most Dangerous?” Considering property crime data measuring burglary, theft, auto theft and arson for 2012 and 2013, citizens of Hope had a statistical chance of 6.7% and 5.4% respectively of being a victim of a property crime.  For 2013, the mean for all Arkansas submitting agencies was 4.59%; this is a .81 % difference.  Based on this standard alone, Hope would rank as 10th and 21st respectively.  The largest data set in the property crime data category is theft.  Hope reported 420 and 340 thefts for 2012 and 2013 respectively. Did you notice the approximate 20% difference in the two years?  When you take into account that approximately 75% of all thefts and 50% of all property crime in the City of Hope are misdemeanor crimes (22% of which are associated with shoplifting or theft of motor fuel), the chance that a citizen will be the victim of a felony property crime is approximately 2.73%.  Misdemeanor crime by its very descriptive nature is “minor” or “not serious.”  These are crimes for which a person cannot be imprisoned.  I think any serious thinking person would be hard pressed to call a city “Most Dangerous” based on this information. Data users must consider the common sense interpretation of data and be careful drawing conclusions.  For example, the City of Hope had no homicides for a 4 year period, 2008-2011.  In 2012 we had 1 homicide.  Would an article entitled, “Hope Homicide Rate Increases 100% for 2012” properly convey to data users useful information?  Of course not!  While the number is true mathematically, it does not convey useful information to the average reader.  This often occurs in the world of small numbers.  It has been my experience, and I am sure it is your experience, that citizens of Hope can go anywhere in this city without fear of being assaulted, molested, or abused in any way.  Do we have crime? Yes.  What increases our statistical chance of becoming a victim: our association with disreputable people, our choice to remain in abusive family relationships, specific locations and time, lack of education, poverty, etc. In the above paragraphs we have looked at UCR crime data.  Another data set, known as NIBRS (National Incident Based Reporting), measures 23 offense categories made up of 49 specific crimes.  Hope would rank 17th among all cities reporting this information in Arkansas for 2012. Had this data set been used in the same misleading manner, cities such as Caddo Valley, Paragould and Alma would be listed above Hope. How absurd to use these numbers in this way.  All of us common sense folk can understand this. I like to think of UCR and NIBRS data as a quick look at the health of a city.  Much like a doctor looks at numbers associated with blood work and talks with patients about their symptoms. Data can help establish baselines and bring attention to areas of concern for diagnosis and treatment. You may have a cough, feel bad and have some abnormalities in your blood work, but there is a big difference in diagnosing these symptoms as a cold, flu, respiratory infection or cancer.  If you provide a diagnosis of cancer, you certainly want to be sure to some scientific degree of certainty that your diagnosis is accurate. In the case of Home Security Shield, it is my belief they have diagnosed the situation incorrectly and unfortunately caused confusion and worry on the part of some of our citizens.  I hope I have been able to shed some light on these numbers to help you see them in a more balanced way. As citizens, we have a responsibility and moral obligation to work together to bring about a better, more prosperous, and generous city for all. I personally am very proud to live in Hope, Arkansas and work toward this goal.  Is there room for improvement, certainly!  But make no mistake, we live in a safe community with many opportunities.

Driving on Suspended License and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

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On Friday the 21st day of November Deputy Cole Hillery and Tim McBrayer made a traffic stop on a blue passenger vehicle on U.S 371 South of Prescott. The driver was identified as Ashley Toland from Hope. Toland’s driver license showed to be suspended at the time. Contact was made with passenger John Marsh. Deputy Tim McBrayer asked Marsh to exit the vehicle. After exiting the vehicle, Marsh stated that he had a Marijuana pipe in his right pants pocket. Ashley Toland was charged with driving on suspended license. John Marsh was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

Possession of a Controlled Substance and for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Jeremy W. Morrow

Deputies were dispatched to 228 Nevada 66 West in reference to a disturbance. The caller advised that his son Jeremy Morrow was causing a problem and that he believed Jeremy was under the influence of some type of drugs. Deputy Cole Hillery and Tim McBrayer arrived making contact with the individuals. Jeremy Morrow was acting erratic and as if he was intoxicated on some type of substance. Chief Deputy Larry Miller and Deputy Preston Glenn arrived on scene making contact with Jeremy Morrow outside. Jeremy Morrow entered an extended cab pickup parked at the back of the residence. Morrow identified this vehicle as belonging to him. While inside of the vehicle Morrow kept removing a black travel bag from the console and replacing it back inside of the center console of the vehicle. Chief Deputy Miller asked Morrow for consent to search this vehicle. Morrow consented to the search. Chief Deputy Miller entered the vehicle retrieving the black bag finding drug paraphernalia and a plastic baggie with an off white colored substance believed to methamphetamine. Jeremy Morrow was placed under arrest for possession of a controlled substance and for possession of drug paraphernalia. Morrow was transported to the Nevada County Detention facility.

Possession of a Firearm by Certain Person

Nicholas Dale Waid

Deputy Preston Glenn went to 2635 Hwy 67 Prescott attempting to serve a warrant on Roger Waid. Deputy Glenn made contact with Chris Waid at the residence whom stated that Roger was not there. Deputy Glenn asked Chris Waid for consent to enter the residence to make sure Roger Waid was not inside. Deputy Glenn entered the residence and was met by a white male identified as Nicholas Waid. Deputy Glenn opened a bedroom with Nicholas Waid stating that this bedroom belonged to him. Deputy Glenn observed a lever action rifle hanging on the bedroom wall. It was later determined that Nicholas Waid was a convicted felon. Nicholas Waid was arrested for possession of a firearm by certain person and was transported to the Nevada County detention facility.

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