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Highway 110 inquiry continues

Prosecuting Attorney Cody Hiland announced at last week’s Van Buren County Quorum Court meeting that the investigation into the Highway 110 Volunteer Fire Department’s expenditures is continuing.

Hiland said the investigation is in the hands of the Arkansas State Police and few details can be released at this time.

Earlier, Hiland had asked the Legislative Auditing Committee to look into the situation that was brought to his attention by Lucas Emberton, the current treasurer of the organization and also a sheriff’s deputy.

Also at the July 19 Quorum Court meeting, justices of the peace voted to allow the county judge to sign a consent agreement to the extension and assignment of a lease with Ozark Health Inc.

In Resolution 2012-12, the justices of the peace voted unanimously to authorize Judge Roger Hooper to sign the agreement.

JP James Kirkendoll had the only comment, noting that the county was trying to negotiate a deal with Ozark Health for county prisoners’ medical care and saying this might be a good bargaining chip.

However, the agreement is for bond purposes, not actually a lease extension, according to other JPs.

The JPs also passed a resolution adding three new members to the County Equalization Board. Those members are Sonya Washington, Sherrin Richardson and Bob Patterson. They resolution also reappointed Don Hensley to the board.

The JPs heard a pitch from local businessman John Hastings to convert county-owned vehicles to run on natural gas.

Hastings said he is now installing natural-gas conversion kits and said the savings potential for fuel costs is substantial. He said it costs about $6,500 per vehicle and that the mayor has already ordered one for the city.

Hastings said he is also looking into opening a station to sell natural gas for vehicles.

Hooper suggested the county convert one vehicle and see how they like it. He then said the vehicle that would be converted will be the pickup he drives.

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