Post date: Feb 26 2015 - 4:22pm
LITTLE ROCK — Across the country, Farm Bureaus are making safety a top priority this spring through the Agricultural Safety Awareness Program (ASAP). As a part of ASAP, March 1-7 has been designated as Agricultural Safety Awareness Week.
This year’s theme, “Ride Like A Pro…Wherever You Go,” will focus on ATV safety and helmet usage. All-terrain vehicles are used on most farms and ranches in Arkansas, but despite the availability of good safety equipment and training programs, injuries and fatalities involving ATV operators happen much too frequently.
According to the latest figures from the Consumer Product Safety Commission:
• There are 804 ATV related deaths nationally on average.
• Fifty-six percent of these deaths occur in May through September.
• One-third of these deaths occur on paved surfaces.
• Arkansas averages 12 ATV related deaths per year, and three of these are children under 16.
• According to the Arkansas Childrens Hospital Trauma Department, 101 of its admissions in 2014 were ATV-related.
“It doesn’t take very big investments of time or money to make a big difference in the level of safety on most farms,” said Jason Kaufman, safety coordinator for Arkansas Farm Bureau. “ATV safety is a big part of farm safety because so many farms use these vehicles for work and recreation.”
Many simple, inexpensive tips can increase any ATV rider’s safety. For example, users can “get dressed to ride,” using helmets, safety glasses, long sleeves, gloves, long pants and boots with heels to reduce the risk of injury. ATV drivers shouldn’t carry passengers, either, and should only ride ATVs of a size that fits the operator according to the ATV manufacturer’s recommendations. It’s important to operate at safe speeds as well, especially when turning or near hazards. Most injuries are caused from overturned ATVs. Stay off public streets and highways as the law requires.
It’s especially important for ATV users to take an approved rider’s training course.
The Cooperative Extension Service of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture provides these through the ATV Safety Institute’s 4-H ATV RiderCourse. The agency has trained 24 county agents and state faculty as licensed instructors. For more information, visit www.uaex.edu/4h-youth and select the ATV Safety link listed under Activities and Programs, phone 501-671-2053 or contact your local Cooperative Extension Office.
Arkansas Farm Bureau has two full-time safety coordinators on staff who offer 14 different safety and informational programs, including ATV safety, free of charge.
“The safety coordinators at Arkansas Farm Bureau are dedicated to educating Arkansans about safety concerns,” said safety coordinator Amanda Williams. “We not only offer ATV safety programs, but programs on farm and tractor safety, distracted driving prevention, drinking and driving prevention, and more.”
For more information, visit the “Education and Youth” section of Arkansas Farm Bureau’s website, www.arfb.com.
Arkansas Farm Bureau is a nonprofit, private advocacy organization of more than 190,000 families throughout the state working to improve farm and rural life.
Post date: Feb 25 2015 - 11:27am
NASHVILLE - A former area youth minister who since relocated to Illinois was arrested Tuesday on charges of sexual assault.
According to a statement issued by Assistant Chief Amy Marion, Nashville city police took 31 year old Jonathan Neeley into custody as a result of an investigation into reports made by three of the alleged victims in August of last year. Marion said Neeley was in charge of the youth at the Mineral Springs Church of Christ at the time of the incidents.
"These incidents occurred during 2009 and 2010. Victim A was 17 years old, Victim B was 18 years old, and Victim C was 18 years old at the time of the abuse," Marion said in the statement. "All three victims stated that the incidents occurred primarily at the residence of the youth minister in Nashville."
Neeley faces a single charge of first degree sexual assault stemming from alleged sexual contact with the underage victim. He was extradited back to Arkansas and remains in Howard County Jail on a $100,000 bond.
Post date: Feb 24 2015 - 2:08pm
Post date: Feb 24 2015 - 1:59pm
Three area churches honor their heritage
Post date: Feb 24 2015 - 1:49pm
Sheriff: deputies spent close to 500 hours investigating leads