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Lake City man sentenced in negligent homicide case

Lake City man sentenced in negligent homicide case


ADH following spread of Hepatitis A in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Department of Health is continuing to track a Hepatitis A outbreak in northeast Arkansas.

An employee at a McDonald’s in Trumann caught the virus. The Health Department is now urging anyone who ate at the fast-food restaurant on Industrial Park Drive between the 19th of July and the 26th to seek vaccination immediately.

Greene and Craighead counties have 100 or more cases of Hep A each, according to the Health Department. The virus causes inflammation of the liver and is spread through contaminated foods and fecal matter.

“This outbreak is actually more associated with people with high-risk behaviors. People who are homeless, or transiently homed, people who have recreational drug use as a risk factor,” state epidemiologist Dr. Dirk Haselow said.

If you are unfortunate enough to catch the virus, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and yellow skin are all symptoms you should be on the lookout for.

Hep A among Arkansans has cost the Health Department $2 million in response to the outbreak. The virus takes about a month to run its course. There is a vaccination for it, and you can contact the Health Department for that.


Kindred at Home launches food drive to help feed the needy

BRINKLEY — Kindred at Home Brinkley and Forrest City team members will be canvassing the area throughout the month of August, distributing food collection bags and gathering donations for the ARcare Warehouse & Mobile Food Pantry, one of many benefactors of Kindred at Home’s 15th Annual Food Drive.

Kindred at Home employees across the country are placing the food collection bags at various locations in their respective communities and will collect their “harvest” during the entire month of August.

The company aims to beat the amount collected in 2018, when the food drive yielded more than 300,000 meals for donation to food banks and charitable organizations across the country.

Kindred at Home’s Brinkley and Forrest City locations are collecting food for ARcare Warehouse Mobile Food Pantry to help support that organization’s work on behalf of individuals and families in the community unable to afford or access an adequate amount of food.

Kindred at Home provides in-home skilled nursing, physical and occupational therapies and related services to residents all across the state.


JONESBORO — A Lake City man involved in a 2017 fatal car accident in Craighead County, pleaded guilty to manslaughter Monday and will serve three years in the Arkansas Department of Correction, Craighead County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Charlene Henry said.

John Ridge, 35, was originally charged with negligent homicide and second-degree battery and was scheduled to be tried this week. He entered his plea Monday afternoon in Craighead County Circuit Court.

Police said Ridge was traveling east on Arkansas 18 in Craighead County on June 24, 2017, when his car crossed the centerline and collided with a vehicle driven by Kenneth Jackson. A juvenile in Jackson’s vehicle was injured, police said.

A state Crime Lab report indicated Ridge’s blood sample taken after the crash tested positive for several controlled substances.

Ridge’s attorney, Arlon Woodruff of Lake City, sought suppression of the result of Ridge’s blood test, saying it was taken illegally. He argued that the defendant was not advised of his rights by the Arkansas State Police. The court agreed with the defendant’s motion and suppressed the evidence of intoxication. Jackson was a leader in the Blytheville arts community “This crime robbed a family of a beloved husband, father, brother, uncle and grandfather,” Henry said. “Even though the evidence was suppressed, our office did not give up prosecution of this crime. The Craighead County Prosecuting Attorney’s office hopes the plea provides some closure to the family and community of Kenneth Jackson.”

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