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Caddo Country 98.9 News

Thursday November 16, 2017

MONTICELLO, Ark — An Arkansas pre-school student has been suspended after a gun was found in their backpack, Tuesday.

The Drew Central School District posted about the matter on its Facebook page Wednesday. The post read that a handgun was found in a 4-year-old pre-schooler’s backpack on a bus ride to school Tuesday morning.

Alexia Lewis’ 6-year-old son rides the bus.

“It’s just a scary feeling. That shouldn’t happen” said Lewis. “It makes me want to drop off my son at school from now on.”

She isn’t the only parent worried about their child’s safety.

Sabrina Liechty commented on the post and said in part:
 “With there being so many shootings around the country, reading about this has brought me to tears this morning.”

Superintendent Billy Williams said someone tipped off school administrators about the gun being in the 4-year-old’s bag.

“I just couldn’t believe it,” said Williams. “You think of that in older teens or possibly adults, but never someone of that tender age.”

Williams said the pre-schooler told an older student, on the bus, about the weapon.

“It concerns me, not only for their safety, but the safety of others,” said Williams.

The older student called the 4-year-old’s mother, who Williams said met the students when they got off of the bus at school and took the gun.

“I’m real thankful we had a student that made a responsible decision,” said Williams.

Williams said the school will talk to the mother about exactly how the gun got in her child’s bag, hopefully giving parents like Lewis some peace of mind.

“It’s a great opportunity to share a life lesson,” said Williams.

“Put it up. Lock it up. Hide it, if you have to,” said Lewis.

Monticello Police are also looking into the matter to see if any charges will be filed.

Wednesday November 15, 2017

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. — Sen. Greg Standridge, R-Russellville, died at the age of 50 on Thursday morning, officials say.

A legislative source confirmed he died around 7 a.m. after battling cancer.

Humphrey Funeral Service said he was moved into hospice care on Wednesday.

The legislator was elected in 2014, and represented Senate District 16. His district stretched from Green Forest to Russellville.

Rep. Steve Womack, R-Arkansas, released the following statement upon learning of Standridge’s death, “Our hearts are broken to hear of the passing of Greg Standridge. This is a great loss to both the City of Russellville and our state. My thoughts and prayers are with Greg’s family and friends during this difficult time.”

“I am saddened by the passing of Sen. Greg Standridge—a friend and dedicated public servant. I recently visited with Greg in his home, and even with his illness, he was a source of encouragement and strength. Greg served his community with distinction, and he loved his family most of all. Greg’s passing is a great loss for our state, and he will be missed,” read a statement issued by Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

“I am deeply saddened by the passing of my friend Sen. Greg Standridge after his courageous battle with cancer. My thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time. Greg was a tireless advocate, and this is a tremendous loss to our state. My heart also goes out to his friends and colleagues in the Senate as we grieve the loss of one of our own,” read a statement issued by Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin.

Tuesday November 14, 2017

PULASKI COUNTY, Ark. – Oak Grove Road is your normally quiet neighborhood.

“Our Neighborhood Crime Watch meetings, we do them first of the month,” says Kelly Tendall, who lives near Oak Grove Elementary.

Talks are brewing over Randy Bradley.

“I made a bad decision,” says Bradley. “I feel like I’m rehabilitated.”

Bradley is a registered Level Three sex offender. He was released from prison October 27th.

The home he returned to is the same home he says his family has owned for generations.

“We realized it was too close to a school and we gave him notification he needs to move,” says Pulaski County Sheriff’s Lt. Cody Burk.

The place he’s called home for nearly two decades on Aldridge Lane is a block away from Oak Grove Elementary.

“I’ve stayed here for a long time. I stayed with my sister for a long time out here and it’s been my home for a long time,” says Bradley.

Deputies have given him until November 30th to find a new place.

“I’m trying to find me a residence or a camper I can stay in, you know what I mean, that’s legal,” says Bradley.

Even though he’s being allowed to stay at the home in the mean time, Pulaski County deputies did not notify neighbors when he returned.

“If something were to happen to my niece and she was here I’d be furious that we weren’t notified because I wouldn’t know to protect her from that,” says Tendall.

County authorities say by the time they made proper notifications, Bradley would be gone.

“We haven’t had time to notify everybody in the neighborhood — it takes time,” says Lt. Burk.

Bradley says he’s in the process of finding a new job.

“I’ll do anything to find me a place and stay under the radar,” he says.

He says he will continue on with life.

“No one will ever have any problems out of me,” says Bradley.

But for some, that’s not good enough.

“I don’t really like it. It’s kind of an uneasy feeling,” says Tendall.

Bradley says he’s looking into getting into a halfway house just up the road but says he would prefer not to live there because he says it’s like going back to prison.

He was convicted on Rape charges in 2003. Bradley says he raped a 12-year-old girl.

Click here for the state’s sex offender registry.

Monday November 13, 2017

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Two arrests have been made in the investigation of an Oct. 23 homicide.

The Hot Springs Police Department (HSPD) says Steven Wood, 42, of Hot Springs, is charged with Murder 1st Degree in the death of Cory Richardson, whose body was found at Greenwood Cemetery. Wood is also charged with and Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution.

Also arrested in the case is Stephanie Shell, 21, of Malvern. She is charged with Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution.

The HSPD says it made the arrests in conjunction with Arkansas Community Corrections Response Team, U.S. Marshals Service, Arkansas State Police, Malvern Police Department and the Hot Spring County Sheriff’s Office.

Wood is being held at the Garland County Detention Center without bond.

Shell is also being held at the Garland County Detention Center on a $25,000 bond.

Police say additional arrests are anticipated on this case.