Monette City Council OKs drug dog purchase

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Town Crier News Staff

Monette council members discussed training and purchase of a new drug dog for use in Craighead County's Eastern District, during the meeting Monday evening, March 26.

Patrolman Aaron Davis has layed the groundwork to purchase a German bred drug dog, by asking the cities of the Eastern district to donate money to have a drug dog in their area.

"Merchants and city officials are interested in getting a drug dog for this area," Davis said. "They are willing to help on the cost of the German Shepard dog, which should run about $5,500. It will be trained for drug detection and tracking. Having the dog in this area would enable their officers to locate drugs in vehicles they stop, when they suspect some are hidden. It will be able to get to them within the 15 minute time range before they have to let the suspect go."

"Aaron has an interest in getting a drug dog," Monette Mayor Chub Qualls said. "It will take a lot of work on his part, but he is willing to train with the dog and keep it at his residence. It will be an asset to our town and others around us.

"Aaron is a very thorough officer," Qualls said. "Two weeks ago he was north of town late at night, on Highway 139, and noticed a flicker of light out of the corner of his eye at the Justin Gathright home. He turned around and went back to the Gathright home. He discovered flames coming from a light fixture and the ceiling had already caught on fire. He beat out the flames with his flashlight and notified the sleeping family inside the home. He could have possibly saved their lives."

The Monette council voted to pay for the training of Davis and the drug dog, plus purchase a dog cage with fans for the police car. The dog will be national and state certified.

The city passed ordinance 2007-1, which is an amended animal ordinance making it unlawful to keep, maintain or house swine, horses, mules, cows, sheep, goats, and fowl, including but not limited to chickens, geese, and pigeons within the corporate limits of the city.

Other city business included:

* Discussion of newly proposed city museum and need for roof repairs.

* Approval of use of the city park by Dante Rodrigues for a Christian concert on May 5. Time limits will be set for use and special restrictions. Curfew at the park is 10 p.m. Rodrigues will be responsible for clean up.

* Donation of $500 to "Relay for Life."

* Proposed city street paving projects include: 1. Dewey from South Williams to Finley; 2. Fisher from Edmonds Street to just around curve at UAP sign; 3. Patch only on South Reeves Street, past cemetery entrance; 4. Southwest Main from highway right of way to Flagger; 5. Carruthers from highway right of way to past Flagger; 6. Patch only East Main hole in front of Ellen's Beauty Shop; 7. Fraser from East Main to Larrison; 8. Industrial Park Street; 9. Patch only intersection of Stewart and Carol Street; 10. Ball Street; 11. North Reeves: 12. alley behind Monette Drug Store; 13. alley behind and beside Citgo Station; and 14. alley beside Market and behind Farmers Insurance Building.

* Animal Controller Connie Maki has been replaced by Bill Benham.

* Unsightly properties listed for review included Tool Tech on Highway 139 and property on Highway 18, across from the car wash.

* Alderman Jamie Strickland requested $550 of city maintenance money be used to reimburse the Monette Youth Association for the cost of tarps. After a brief discussion the council voted to pay half the cost of the tarps, which will be $275.

"Thanks for your support," Strickland said.

* The council agreed to talk with Entergy about placing two street lights in the Pitts Addition, south of town.

*Alderman Joyce Read reported on training and City Beautification projects.

"We have new criteria for judging Yard of the Month," Read said. "We also received a $500 donation from Liberty Bank for landscaping at the intersection.

* Mayor Qualls, along with aldermen Byron Sparkman and Tom Carroll, will meet with the BIC school board on April 9 to discuss easements on the south end of the school grounds and proposed improvements to the ball fields.

"Hopefully the school and MYA can come to an agreement so the fields will look like one large park," Qualls said. "Something needs to be done soon, as the girls' teams are playing all their games on the road."

The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be on 7 p.m. April 23.

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