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Students pitch proposals during Congressional Youth Cabinet



Senator John Boozman (RAR) applauded his 2021-2022 Congressional Youth Cabinet on Friday as participants presented their legislative proposals regarding student loan debt, minimum wage requirements, laws governing alcohol and tobacco anf more.

The 54 high school juniors shared their ideas with the senator during presentations at the Arkansas State Capitol. The students selected issues to address at their first meeting in the fall and collaborated throughout the year to create their recommendations.

In addition to policy suggestions, the students had to describe how their proposal would be funded and implemented.

“I am proud of these young leaders for their hard work, dedication and interest in learning about and developing public policy solutions,” Boozman said.

“These students balance a lot of priorities and I am pleased they put such great effort into their presentations. I am confident they will continue to be leaders who give back to their communities and hope their participation in the Congressional Youth Cabinet has given them a valuable window into public policy and public service. This is something they can point to in the future as having helped them become better students and more informed, engaged citizens.”

Sabian Murry, Bryant High School student who served as the 2nd and 4th Congressional Districts group leader, said, “I am very fortunate to have been selected to become a member of the Congressional Youth Cabinet. It has truly widened my perspective on what it means to not only be a part of a team that has to make difficult decisions for complex issues, but also how to communicate with people who view issues differently from me. I’ve learned that it’s effective to have a diverse selection of individuals when confronting issues, so that as many groups as possible receive representation in life-altering law changes.”

“Being on the Senator’s youth cabinet has made my childhood dream of being active in politics a reality (I wrote several stories about being president in the 6th grade),” The Academies at Jonesboro High School student and group leader for the 1st Congressional District Webb Storer said.

“It has also given me the opportunity to present ideas in a meaningful and impactful way which is unique to such a forum. meeting new people has allowed me to see multiple

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perspectives on the issues at hand much easier and make friends along the way.”

“I have learned so much from being on Senator Boozman’s Youth Congressional Cabinet these last few months, most notably, that all topics and issues are vastly more complicated than one would originally think. All the amazing people I have met and worked with have really shown me how to be part of a team, and how to tackle complicated issues that apply to the world.

Although it has been hard, the values and knowledge I have learned through this will help me for the rest of my life,” said Tyler Wirthlin, Bentonville West High School student and 3rd Congressional District group leader.

The Congressional Youth Cabinet is designed to give students first-hand experience with the democratic process and an opportunity to learn how public policy impacts them, their families and their communities.


JONESBORO — KLEK’s Juneteenth in Jonesboro will return in 2022 bigger and better than previous years after a pandemiccaused a two-year hiatus.

This year’s theme is “Overcoming Obstacles through Courage and Joy.”

Special events will include the first-ever Juneteenth parade, which will step off at 11 a.m., June 18.

The parade will be hosted by KAIT News Anchor Jurnee Taylor and the Rev.

Dr. Ray Scales, emeritus pastor of New Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church and founder of the Craighead County Dr.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Parade Committee.

Grand Marshals will be the first African American professors at Arkansas State University: Dr. Wilbert Gaines, Dr. Herman Strickland, Earline Smith, widow of Dr. C. Calvin Smith, and Velmar Richmond, widow of Dr.

Mossie Richmond.

Organizations still have time to sign up to either walk or have a float in the parade.

General registration is $30 with registration for nonprofits at $20. Parade registration is available online at

Continued on Page 14 STATE NEWS (cont.)

teenth. The last day to register is June 4.

Organizations still have an opportunity to receive naming rights to the Parade Grandstand, as well as other events for the Juneteenth in Jonesboro Celebration.

The Jonesboro Advertising and Promotions Commission is sponsoring the first-ever Juneteenth Fireworks display, which is set for the night of June 18. Other events include a Sweet Potato Pie Baking Contest sponsored by Kool Kutts Enterprises, which is set for the evening of June 17. The entry fee for the contest is $10 per pie and registration is due by June 1. Registration forms and additional information are available on the KLEK website.

Those interested in having a vendor booth or being a sponsor should also register online. Vendors must register by June 1.

The Juneteenth in Jonesboro celebration is still evolving with updates and additional events to be posted on as they are organized.


MULBERRY — A wrongway driver on Interstate 40 in western Arkansas collided with a group of motorcyclists, killing three people from Louisiana and injuring six others, according to Arkansas State Police.

Patricia Lemar, 44, of Slidell, Louisiana; Leonard Lemar Jr., 46, of Slidell; and Malinda Shano, 50 of Terryton, Louisiana, died in the crash near Mulberry on Thursday, according to a preliminary report from police.

The injured were hospitalized in undisclosed condition, according to the report.

A group of motorcyclists were westbound on the interstate about 115 miles west of Little Rock when they collided with an eastbound pickup in the westbound lanes.

The truck was driven by Ivan Santos of Norman, Oklahoma, who, along with a passenger in the vehicle, was among the injured, according to the report.

The report does not state whether Santos was cited.

Jail records do not show Santos to be in custody and court records show no charges filed against him.

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