I was appointed to serve as co-chair of the legislative task force of Intermodal transportation last week. This task force will work on many issues but one of the most important to our area will be trying to get navigation opened on the river. This would involved getting the Federal Government to allow the river dredged to at least a 12 foot level to safely open to full barge traffic. Most of the river is but there are tree locations that are not. This would be an important economic boost to the area. Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department has moved the District 4 administration office from Fort Smith to Chaffee Crossing in Barling. District 4 serves Sebastian, Crawford, Franklin, Logan, Polk ,Scott and Washington Counties. Last Friday hearings began in federal court in a suit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and the New York based Center for Reproductive rights to delay the new state abortion law from taking effect in August. They are asking to stop enforcement until the constitutional challenges in the lawsuit filed in April can be decided. Whatever the outcome, it is expected that the subject of abortion will go before the U.S. Supreme Court later. Arkansas school districts applied for state aid in paying for 381 capital projects over the next two years, and 263 of them were approved. The Public School Academic Facilities and Transportation Commission distributed more than $212 million to Arkansas schools for projects such as new roofs, heating and air conditioning systems, building renovations and additions. Schools will match the state aid with revenue from local sources, with more prosperous school districts matching at a higher rate than poorer schools. The legislature has been closely involved, not only in distributing state funding for operations and maintenance of schools, but also in distributing “one time” money for capital projects. The goal is to ensure that all children in Arkansas have equal opportunities to get a good education whether they live in poor or prosperous areas. Arkansas law enforcement agencies collected more than nine tons of expired prescription drugs in the National Prescription Take Back Initiative. !22 Arkansas Law enforcement agencies took part. It is estimated that more than 26.1 million pills were collected. Unused drugs in the home are more likely to be abused and increase the danger of accidental overdoses and poisonings. It is not a good idea to flush them because many of the prescription drugs do not break down and create a health risk in public waterways. The drugs are taken to an incinerator in Tulsa, where they were destroyed. If you would like to contact me, please email me at bruce.holland@senate.ar.gov or call my office at 650-+1884 or write me at P.o. Box 2387 Greenwood AR. 72936. Have a good week and a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend. But while enjoying Memorial Day please remember its meaning. This is a day of remembering the men and women who have died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. Our freedoms are because of them and those who have served. God Bless them and their families this Memorial Day.