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Pretrial services approved, $550K grant for Mental Health Court, and we continue to fight for AFOIA


The CJCC voted to move forward with pretrial services


The Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee (CJCC) met and voted FOR a proposal for pretrial services on Thursday 9/28. After a great discussion, Ms. Whitney Payne and Judge Christi Beaumont are going to make some tweaks to the proposal and try to get it ready to be on the Finance & Budget’s agenda for the next meeting.


Co-chair Nick Robbins, who has served on the committee since it was created in 2020 resigned. It will be up to Judge Deakins to appoint someone to fill that post.



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WC receives $550,000 grant to support a mental health court


This grant will help WC create a mental health court. Judge Terra Stephenson has already been working diligently on policies and procedures for the mental health court. Officials estimate it may take a year to get the program up and running. Jail is the last place someone going through a mental health crisis should be, and with a mental health court, we will be better positioned to help those in need.


Both Washington and Benton Counties are set to receive $550K each from from the Bureau of Justice Assistance/Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program.


The new mental health court will need to work closely with the Crisis Stabilization Unit and it is more essential now than ever that we keep the CSU properly funded and open.


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WC Planning Board unanimously votes to approve Steve Wilson Minor Subdivision with one contingency


There was only one agenda item discussed at the planning board meeting on Thursday, 9/28. The item was the Steve Wilson Minor Subdivision. The request was to split approximately 12 acres +/- into four parcels for residential use. This is contingent upon satisfactory “perk” tests by the State Health Department for septic approval. Some neighbors had asked (via letters) for Mr. Wilson to fence the area, but the Board did not include that recommendation in its contingency approval.



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Where we need YOU this week!


WC QC COUNTY SERVICES COMMITTEE MEETING, Monday, 10/2 @ 6:00 PM, Quorum Courtroom, WC Courthouse. IN PERSON ONLY. It will also be live streamed here, but to participate, you must attend the meeting.


Here’s the full meeting agenda, but I’ll be keeping my eyes on these items:


Item 6: “A RESOLUTION SUPPORTING THE ARKANSAS FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT.” Sponsored by JP Evelyn Rios Stafford. This resolution calls on the county to “support the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act…and support ongoing and periodic FOIA training and education, either mandatory or voluntary, by all county staff and elected officials who are custodians of records.” Want to learn more on FOIA? Read this...


Item 9: “AN ORDINANCE UPDATING THE FLOOD DAMAGE PREVENTION PROGRAM…” This ordinance is requested by Judge Deakins. I have no additional information to share on this at this time. The ordinance is several pages long and you can read it in the agenda.


WC ELECTION COMMISSION meets Thursday, 10/5 @ 9:00 AM at the Road Department, 2615 Brink Drive, Fayetteville, Arkansas. The meeting is

IN PERSON ONLY, but you can watch the livestream here. No agenda is posted at this time.


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We NEED Your Help!


  • ATTEND the County Services meeting Monday evening. Speak up about AFOIA and that you want the county to abide by it. If you’re comfortable sharing, tell us of any experiences you’ve had obtaining information from the county. Maybe you’ve been successful, maybe not. We need to know.

  • There will be a twelve minute public comment period before we vote on any ordinance or resolution and an additional twelve minute public comment time period at the end of the meeting where you may address the court. That’s 24 minutes of public comment time. Very important to use it all.

  • Contact your JP and set up a time to meet them for coffee or just to get together. Become a regular voice in their ear and urge them to vote for criminal justice reform and be good stewards of taxpayer dollars. I write this each week, but it really is important. That’s how I got started advocating to the court back in 2019.

  • Share this Newsletter with your friends and neighbors!

  • Write letters to the editor.


I welcome your questions and comments, also suggestions you have for any county related business. You can reach me at ejcoger@gmail.com or text or call 479-306-9994.

Here’s the link to email addresses and telephone numbers for JPs, County Judge, and others.

See you at the courthouse!



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