The Arkansas Board of Corrections announced new policies last week to improve the monitoring and disciplining of parolees accused of new crimes or parole violations. These range from better documentation of requests or denials for revocation hearings to requiring automatic revocation hearings for parolees who accrue new felony charges. Along with this, the board said that they were having an extensive investigation into the case where a parolee in Little Rock, who despite at least 14 arrests and multiple felony charges and violations, never saw a revocation hearing until after his May arrest for murder. Legislators and prosecutors took turns at sounding off to the state parole and corrections leaders about the procedural and philosophical problems regarding the system. Some legislators questioned whether we had the right leaders in administration to take this and to follow through. The committee will have another informational hearing August. 1st. All legislative meetings are open to the public. You can get on the Arkansas legislature site and it will give you meeting dates and times for various meetings taking place. Ticket sales for the Arkansas Lottery dropped by $33 million in fiscal 2013 so the amount for college scholarships dropped by $7.6 million to $89.9 million. Attorney General McDaniel last week talked about the death penalty system in Arkansas and basically said it was broken because of the endless challenges to state statutes and unavailability of the drug required for executions. He said that the state needs to either abolish the penalty or find an alternative execution method. He said that no death row inmate has been executed since 2005.The appeals of seven death row inmates have been exhausted, yet no execution date has been set because civil lawsuits challenging the death penalty statutes have become more prevalent. He said that even if all the challenges were put aside, the state still could not carry out any executions because of the lack of drugs designated for executions. None will be scheduled according to the Governor’s office until the Correction Department creates a new death penalty protocol. The highway department announced that the latest edition of Arkansas state map has QR codes that allow map users who have a smartphones or computer tablets and the proper app to access more information at the websites for the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, and the Arkansas Parks and Tourism Dept. QR is the abbreviation for quick response codes, which are similar to barcodes in that they contain additional information that can be “read” by computers and other devices. More than 75% of the state is now considered in some form of drought. Moderate drought means the areas have a deficiency of 2-3 inches of rain over a 30 day period. Everyone needs to be aware of conditions and be careful about burning or see if your county has issued a burn ban. If you would like to contact me, please email me at or call my office at 650-1884 or write me at P.O. Box 2387 Greenwood, AR. 72936. Have a good week.