by Carrie Johnson
On Thursday, January 5 at approximately 7 a.m., an SUV attempted to pass a stopped bus and struck a child causing minor injuries.
Tyler Little, age 28 of Mount Pleasant, was headed south on State Highway 69 in Mount Pleasant, South Main Street near the intersection of West Road and Pearl Drive, in a 2015 black Jeep Grand Cherokee. Little struck a pedestrian, a seven year old child, that was crossing the highway to board a Melbourne Public School bus driven by Angela Fleming.
Izard County Sheriff’s Department’s Deputy Rusty Ford, Chief Deputy Earnie Blackley and Lt. Charles Melton responded to the scene.
According to Melton’s narrative, “He [Little] stated he was heading south on Highway 69 and the bus was heading north with its yellow lights on, but that it did not have its stop sign or yellow arm out. He said he looked up from the bus and the little boy ran right in front of him.”
When Deputies left the scene of the accident, Melton went to Melbourne Public School to speak with Fleming. “She stated she was stopped with her red lights and stop sign flashing…”
Izard County Deputy Matt Churchwell interviewed several older children that were passengers on the school bus when the accident occurred. According to the report given by Melton, three minor witnesses gave reports which stated that Fleming did in fact have the stop sign flashing, and the black vehicle did not stop.
Little was charged with passing a stopped school bus and first degree assault. He has a February 2 court date.
The minor child struck by Little’s vehicle was transported by Vital Link and Survival Flight to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock and was treated for minor injuries. Neither Little nor his minor child passenger sustained injuries.

by Karen Sherrell
Izard County Officer Cody Cruse was dispatched to Calico Rock on August 21, then again the following day, in response to a woman claiming her vehicle had been shot at.
Willa Lester, of Calico Rock, stated she was following a vehicle on Hwy. 56, going approximately 20 miles per hour near the intersection of Red Lane, when she heard a loud noise and her vehicle was hit.
“I heard a loud pop on my windshield and then saw a crack in my windshield,” Lester wrote on a statement form to the sheriff’s office. Lester’s children stated it looked like the vehicle had been shot with a shotgun. According to his incident report, Cruse stated that the chip may have been caused by a rock, with two small chips on the window.
Family members discovered other damage on the 2011 Nissan Altima, and Lester contacted the sheriff’s office again that same day. Cruse made arrangements to come back the next day to look at the vehicle. Additional damage was discovered on the driver side of the hood, consisting of deep scratches. Cruse’s report states, “It did indeed look like the vehicle was shot with some kind of object but was unsure with what.” Another set of scratches was located in the center of the hood close to the front windshield. Cruse took additional photos at that time.
Lester, at the time of the incident, was able to write down the license plate of the vehicle she was following, hoping they too may have some information about the incident.

franksDanny Franks, age 39 of Blytheville, formerly of Melbourne, remains at large following a July 12 call to Fairview Street in Melbourne, in reference to a domestic violence complaint.
As Cpl. Richard Williams was responding, dispatch advised the officer that the alleged perpetrator had left the residence driving a small tan Toyota truck. Cpl. Williams attempted to initiate a traffic stop. Franks sped away and continued to Lacrosse Road, then west of Highway 56 to Johnsonview Road. He then abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot. Deputies were unable to locate Franks, and his vehicle was towed and impounded.
On July 13, a Johnsonview Road resident reported that his truck was missing. Investigators learned that Franks was residing in Blytheville and a BOLO was issued on the stolen vehicle.
Mississippi County authorities advised local authorities that the stolen truck had been located by a farmer in a cornfield. They further advised that no one was in or near the truck and that the vehicle engine was still running.
Franks remains at large. Anyone having knowledge of his whereabouts is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Department at 870-368-4203.

THREE CAR COLLISION: Charles Southerland, of Horseshoe Bend, was driving his white Ford F250 Lariat through the road work on Hwy. 289 S. in Horseshoe Bend on Tuesday, July 5. According to reports, he rear-ended two parked vehicles at the stop light set up for road construction. Southerland hit a white GMC Sierra driven by Ronnie Ford of Mountain Home, which in turn caused it to hit a black Ford F150 truck driven by Robin Vasey of Horseshoe Bend. Izard County Deputy Mike Smith worked the accident. There were no injuries substained from the accident. Photos/C.Stafford

Joseph Perry Morfield, age 31 of Horseshoe Bend, was charged October 12 in Izard County Circuit Court with rape and incest following a August 15 complaint by a female relative.
According to Sheriff Tate Lawrence, while the female relative and her children were residing in a home occupied by Morfield and others family members, Morfield is alleged to have awakened the victim in the earlier morning hours on August 17 while he was violating her sexually.
The Arkansas State Crime Laboratory recently completed DNA testing and the results showed DNA swabs from the victim showed to be consistent with the DNA of Morfield who is the uncle of the victim.
Rape is a class “y” felony while incest is a class “c” felony.
Morfield remains in the Izard County Detention Facility in lieu of a $50,000 bond set by District Judge David E. Miller.
Morfield’s initial court date is Tuesday, November 17.

A Calico Rock woman who has been in jail since October 13, 2014 in lieu of $500,000 bond on charges of sexual indecency with a child, sexual assault fourth degree, and rape now faces additional child sex related charges.
According to Izard County Sheriff Tate Lawrence, 32 year old Beth Dickerson, was additionally charged January 16 with another sexual assault in the fourth degree, a class “d” felony; and distributing, possessing, or viewing of matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child. These additional charges stem from the forensic analysis of her computer by the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory.
The computer was seized at the time of Dickerson’s original charges. Bond for Dickerson was increased to $510,000. She remains in the Izard County Detention Facility.
In other reports, Blake Lawrence, age 31 of Norfork, was arrested January 12 on charges of harassing communications- six counts, and terroristic threatening first degree. The charges relate to phone calls Lawrence is accused of making to officials of the Eagles in Horseshoe Bend. Lawrence was released with a court date the day of his arrest.

by Karen Sherrell
The City Council of Horseshoe Bend voted to continue the City’s contract with the Izard County Sheriff’s Office (ICSO) during the December council meeting.
The contract with ICSO will continue for four years, through December 31, 2018, at an annual cost of $243,600 for 2015, or $20,300 a month; $247,254 for 2016; $250,962 for 2017; and $254,726 for 2018. Contract rates reflect a 1.5% annual increase as called for in the contract.
ICSO took over the jurisdiction of Horseshoe Bend in September of 2013 signing a 16 month contract at that time, for $240,000 a year. One of three Horseshoe Bend officers hired by ICSO still remains employed by the county, Michael Smith. City Council voted 6-2 in July 2013 to approve the county contract, following a heated discussion, with over 150 residents attending that meeting.
The new agreement was signed on December 15 and ICSO will continue to provide 24/7 full public safety services for the city of Horseshoe Bend, with the county furnishing and supplying all necessary labor, supervision, equipment, communications and dispatching facilities necessary to maintain the level of service to be rendered.
The city will provide utilities for the sheriff’s substation located downstairs at city hall.
The agreement between the city and ICSO may be terminated by either party upon a 60-day written notice. Future contract agreements will be for a period of five years.

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