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Craighead finds 51 new COVID cases

NEWPORT — Jackson County reported a total of 42 confirmed cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, according to Arkansas Department of Health figures.

As of Tuesday, there were 14 active cases of COVID-19, 28 recovered patients, 1,416 negative test results, and no deaths reported for the county.

Testing in Craighead County found a record 51 new coronavirus infections, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Tuesday, bringing the statewide total for the day to 794.

At least 29,733 people in Arkansas have contracted COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. Statewide, 445 patients were hospitalized, including 91 on ventilators. The death toll rose by eight to 331.

It’s unknown when exactly the 51 local residents contracted the disease because of delays in getting results back from out of state commercial labs. The number of active cases – people who haven’t recovered or died – rose from 87 to 113.

Testing delays have prompted the governor to seek to expand state government’s own testing capacity, as the commercial labs have focused priorities on large outbreaks in Arizona, California, Florida and Texas. Hutchinson said the commercial labs have made it possible for Arkansas to triple its testing capacity, but delays in receiving the results is hurting the fight against the spread.

“But because the whole nation depend them, there’s a greater time lag which renders so much of the testing almost ineffective and frustrating and costly,” Hutchinson said.

By expanding the Arkansas Department of Health labs, Hutchinson said the state can better control its own destiny.

Tuesday Northeast Arkansas COVID-19 cases by county:

Craighead – 610 confirmed (up 51 from Monday, with 113 still active, 487 recovered, 12,292 negative tests, 7 deaths.

Lawrence – 123 confirmed (up 8), 23 active, 91 recovered, 1,810 negative, 9 deaths.

Greene – 154 confirmed (up 4), 24 active, 130 recovered, 4,471 negative, 0 deaths.

Poinsett – 78 confirmed (up 2), 20 active, 55 recovered, 1,879 negative, 3 deaths.

Randolph – 80 confirmed (up 2), 27 active, 51 recovered, 2,153 negative, 2 death.

Clay – 84 confirmed (up 2), 16 active, 65 recovered, 1,762, 3 deaths.

Mississippi – 349 (up 12) confirmed, 116 active, 230 recovered, 4,428 negative, 3 deaths.

Cross – 102 confirmed (up 1), 16 active, 85 recovered, 1,595 negative, 1 death.

Sharp – 69 confirmed (unchanged), 13 active, 51 recovered, 1,249 negative, 5 deaths.

Crittenden – 879 confirmed (up 14), 101 active, 764 recovered, 6,501 negative, 14 deaths.

St. Francis – 920 confirmed (up 9), 39 active, 878 recovered, 4,602 negative, 3 deaths.

Monster Beats returns Saturday

NEWPORT — Monster Beats Concert series resumes Saturday when Northeast Arkansas favorite Tim Meitzen and Band take the stage in downtown Newport.

Featuring a wide variety of country, rock and folk music from some of the finest musicians in the state, Tim Meitzen and Band will perform from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on the Terry Scoggins Memorial Stage, as part of the M&P Monster Beats series, sponsored by Merchants and Planters Bank and M&P Insurance services.

“We believe in and are proud to sponsor events like this, now more than ever. No, we can’t sit together or even physically greet each other like we would have last year, but we can have a night out, see each other in a safe, large, outdoor area, and enjoy a few hours of good music without spending a dime,” says Jim Gowen, Jr., president and CEO of Merchants and Planters Bank. “That’s pretty good therapy to me, and a nice reminder that our community is still here, still vibrant, and full of good.”

The four-concert series brings state-wide talent to the Terry Scoggins Stage at 412 Front Street in downtown Newport.

Monster Beats successfully kicked off its first concert on June 27 with Bad Habit, a rock and roll band from Little Rock and a great turn-out from the community.

Two other dynamic, family-friendly acts are scheduled for the series later this year.

The Salty Dogs, a nationally acclaimed eclectic country quartet from Little Rock that has shared the stage with Willie Nelson, Hank Williams, Jr., and the Old Crow Medicine Show, will perform on Aug. 8 in Newport.

The Karla Case Band will take the stage Oct. 10 for the last Monster Beats show of the year.

The Karla Case Band is one of central Arkansas’ top bands and a local favorite, playing a wide variety of rock, pop, dance, and country.

All performances start at 7 p.m. and are free to the public. Guests are encouraged to bring a chair, sit under the stars and enjoy the music. Face masks must be worn to enter and exit the stage area and social distancing between groups must be practiced. Guests may also sit in their cars and listen.

M&P Monster Beats is part of the Monster Nights Downtown Entertainment Series, a 38-event family fun, free series held in Newport between May 1 and Oct. 31. The series is presented by the Downtown Revitalization and Improvement Volunteer Effort, The Newport Chamber of Commerce, and numerous community and business sponsorships.

Visit or the Monster Nights page on Facebook for more information.

Batesville and Beyond

Evelyn Brown was born in Newport and grew up in Batesville.

“I graduated from Batesville High School in 2008,” Brown stated. “After high school I went to UACCB and obtained my associates degree in General Education in Arts.”

Brown currently works as a Quality Assurance Technician at Peco Foods.

“I have been at Peco for 11 years,” Brown said. “I love everything about my job. It’s not too stressful, I get to learn new things and I get to meet new people.”

According to Brown, family is everything.

“My parents are my biggest role models,” she said. “They are also my biggest support system, and help me out so much with my girls.”

Brown is the proud mom to two daughters who keep her going nonstop.

“I could say so much about these two,” Brown said with a laugh. “Juliana is six and we call her ‘Ana’ for short and Milania is four. They’re both spoiled and keep me going each and every day. They are some lucky little girls and they get whatever they want. They are also the reason I get up everyday.”

Brown is excited to see both girls dance this fall when they start at NADT and for Ana to start first grade while Milania begins Pre-K.

Brown enjoys party planning in her spare time, and has planned and decorated baby showers and birthday parties for her friends and family.

“I love to decorate for these type of events,” Brown said. “I started doing it when people kept asking me to help them come up with ideas so I started creating centerpieces. Then I started to create more things from that idea, but have had to cut back due to work and COVID-19.”

When Brown gets some downtime she hopes to take a vacation to Bora Bora, but will always love the small town feel of Batesville.

“Even though, it’s a small town, it’s constantly growing and changing,” Brown said. “I always wanted to move away when I was younger, but then I grew up and see how awesome this town is. It’s a great place to raise my girls and they will get to go to the same schools that I attended as a child. I don’t see myself living anywhere else. I absolutely love it here.”

BAAC to host 'take home' summer art camp

The Batesville Area Arts Council will host a “take home” summer art camp for kids this month. Art kits include all supplies needed to create five outlined projects and many more. Students will learn about a variety of artists and practice different art techniques throughout the week.

All students are invited to participate in an exhibition highlighting their work at the BAAC Gallery on Main Aug. 4-15.

Summer art boxes are available for two recommended age groups, kindergarten through second grade and third through sixth grade. The cost of the box is $50, and BAAC is offering a buy one, get one 50 percent off deal for those with multiple children at home.

Art boxes may be pre-ordered now and picked up from BAAC starting Tuesday.

Visit www.batesvilleare for more information and to purchase the kits.

This program is sponsored by The John Herman Hickman Foundation.

Community Calendar

The Newport City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 3, at city hall.

The Jackson County Library has reopened. The library is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday. Masks are required and there is a one-hour time limit. The library will be closed on Friday, July 3 for the Fourth of July holiday.

The Jackson County Courthouse has reopened. The back door is for handicap access and employees only. There will be a two-person limit for each office. Online Services and the drop box is available. Curbside service is available. Everyone must have a mask before entering.

Monster Nights – Saturday, July 18: Monster Beats Concert featuring Tim Meitzen and Band, a northeast Arkansas favorite featuring a wide variety of country, rock and folk music from some of the finest musicians in the state. Bring your lawn chair or blanket. Coolers welcome. From 7 to 8:30 p.m. on the Terry Scoggins Memorial Stage, 412 Front Street in downtown Newport. Free admission.

Monster Nights – Tuesday, July 21: Monster Groovez Concert featuring Cliff and Susan, a married international touring duo armed with a piano, fiddle and guitar based in Little Rock. Their high energy, all-request, interactive show keeps crowds entertained. From 7 to 8:30 p.m. on the Terry Scoggins Memorial Stage, 412 Front Street in downtown Newport. Free admission and kid friendly. Bring your lawn chair or blanket. Coolers welcome.

Monster Nights – Saturday, July 25: Monster Fun Nights featuring Zinse Agginie’s Drums of Africa. People become characters – big cats, reptiles, birds, insects, spiders, etc. – in Zinse Agginie’s stories and learn about simple life lessons. His audience is taken on a cultural, geographical and anthropological tour of the deserts, savannas and rain forests of Africa. Using his djembe and odono drums, Africa’s number one storyteller adds song and rhythm to his tales. Participants get to learn to play the African drums at the end of the performance. From 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Newport Business Resource Center, 201 Hazel Street in Newport.

Monster Nights – Tuesday, July 28: The Artist in U Adult Art Class with Artist Carol Davis from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Newport Business Resource Center, 201 Hazel Street in Newport. While the class is free and all supplies provided, space is limited so registration is required by calling 870-523-1009. Come learn from one of our area’s wonderful artists.

Monster Nights – Friday, July 31:Literary Friday featuring 20 authors at the Newport Business Resource Center, 201 Hazel Street, from noon to 8 p.m. Authors Registered to date are Bonnie Best, Nancy Browning, Mary Cambron-Collard, Rebecca Ann Ivy Gorrell, George Jared, Susan Johnson, Katie Lewis, Donna Nelson, Kathy Parish, Melanie Parnell, Sherri Phelps, Martha Rodriquez, Debbie Teague and Cheri Wright. Three different bands will be planning in downtown restaurants in the evening. Musicians registered to date include the McCuin Band at Frankie’s Place and Casey Sparks at Postmaster Spirits. Free admission at all venues, all within walking distance. Call 870-523-1009 for more info. Hosted by Monster Nights: Newport’s Downtown Entertainment Series.

Kamoga named director of internal medicine residency program

BATESVILLE — White River Health System announced Wednesday the appointment of Dr. Gilbert-Roy Kamoga, Internal Medicine, as the new internal medicine residency program director.

As an Internal Medicine Residency Program Director, Kamoga will be responsible for ensuring the quality and effectiveness of instructions and scholarly activity conducted within the program. He will oversee recruitment, evaluation, promotion, and supervision of the residents.

The IM Residency Program was accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. The three-year program at WRMC accepts 10 residents a year. WRMC is the primary inpatient training facility for the program.

Members of the WRMC medical staff in the specialties of cardiology, emergency medicine, internal medicine, oncology/hematology, neurology, pulmonology and rheumatology provide educational support and training to residents. Members of the UAMS medical staff provide education and training in the fields of geriatrics, gastroenterology, nephrology and endocrinology.

“I am proud to be working with our residents at WRMC,” said Kamoga. “My position will allow me to be a resource for these brilliant physicians as they learn more in Internal Medicine and the fields that they are most passionate about.”

Kamoga joined the medical staff at White River Medical Center (WRMC) in 2017 as a Hospitalist. Prior to his position at WRMC, he practiced at Hays Medical Center in Kansas.

Kamoga received his medical degree from Mbarara University of Science and Technology in Mbarara, Uganda. He completed his internship at Mulago National Referral Hospital in Kampala, Uganda before relocating to the United States. He then completed his Internal Medicine training at University Hospitals Case Medical Center from 2006 to 2009.