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Two Arrested After Lengthy Pursuit That Started In Tontitown; 1 Officer Receives Minor Injuries

TONTITOWN (KFSM) — Two people were arrested Thursday night after a 30-minute police chase that ended in Washington County just south of Savoy.

Capt. Corey Jenison with the Tontitown Police said the pursuit began at 9:53 p.m. Thursday when officers tried to stop a vehicle for traffic violations.

The vehicle fled, and Tontitown officers pursued it for more than half an hour through the city, then into Washington County. The pursuit was joined by officers from Farmington and Elm Springs, as well as Arkansas State Police and Washington County Sheriff’s deputies.

During the pursuit, Jenison said, a woman began throwing items out of the vehicle. Those items were later recovered and included 29.42 grams of methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and stolen property.

“It was miscellaneous items,” Jenison said of the stolen property. “It may be a while before we figure out where it all came from.”

The officers finally used a Precision Intervention Technique, or PIT, maneuver to bring the chase to an end at Viney Grove Road and Goose Creek Road in Washington County. The man and woman inside the vehicle were then arrested.

The man was identified as Frankie Deckard, 38, of Bentonville, and the woman was identified as Rachael High, 42, of Jonesboro.

They each face charges of felony fleeing, second-degree battery, first-degree criminal mischief, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, tampering with physical evidence and financial identity fraud. Both are being booked into the Washington County Detention Center, Jenison said.

One injury was reported from the chase, when a Tontitown officer was involved in a collision and received minor injuries, Jenison said. The officer was cleared by EMS  workers who responded to the scene.

“He was given the night off to go home, because he’ll be sore,” Jenison said. He said the “minor injuries” were from the airbag deployment, but since it was the officer’s “Friday,” he’ll be off his standard two days and return to duty as normal.

Arkansas State trooper resigns after attempted hit-and-run cover-up in Faulkner County

An Arkansas State Police trooper resigned June 7 and now faces felony hit and run charges after a crash that left a woman injured.

Trooper Clint Vaughan, 34, turned in his resignation a day after the crash.

The crash happened late Thursday night on Highway 65 north of Conway.

According to an affidavit obtained from the Faulkner County Prosecuting Attorney, police were dispatched to a reported hit and run at approximately 11:18 p.m. on Thursday night.

Police found a woman injured in her car, which had “significant damage” on its passenger side, and took the victim to the hospital, according to police.

RELATED: Health care executive pleads guilty for bribing Gov. Hutchinson’s nephew

According to the affidavit, witnesses described the vehicle that left the scene as a white pickup truck that had sustained damage to its passenger side and was “throwing sparks as it left the scene.”

Police found that truck about a mile away, noting that there had also been damage to the right side passenger wheel and axle.

As police were investigating the vehicle, a tow truck driver approached and told authorities that Vaughan had told him that someone had stolen his truck and to tow it back to Quitman, where Vaughan lives, according to the affidavit.

Early the next morning, officers found Vaughan at Quality Inn in Conway, which is a short walking distance from where police found his damaged vehicle that he claimed had been stolen.

RELATED: Police find estimated $700K worth of meth and oxycodone during Conway County traffic stop

Vaughan confirmed he was traveling on Highway 65 the night of the hit and run, but said he thought he hit a curb and admitted to “consuming alcohol prior to the crash.”

The former trooper now faces one count of 3rd-degree battery and one count of leaving the scene of an accident with injury, which is a felony.

AR River Flood relief | Where to donate, where to find assistance

Local businesses, organizations, and churches are working to assist victims after this devastating flood. Many places are taking donations, so they can continue to assist. Below you can find where to donate, as well as where to receive help.   

Arkansas Realtors Association  

U-Haul   

Red Cross   

Arkansas Bar and the Young Lawyers’ Section, the Arkansas Emergency Management Agency, the American Bar Association, Center for Arkansas Legal Services, Legal Aid of Arkansas, and Arkansas Access to Justice   

Goodwill  

  • Drop off emergency supplies at Everette Infinity in Benton and Conway Bank OKZ locations; Outlets of Little Rock Customer Service (inside the food pavilion), Auntie Annie’s, Book Warehouse, Christopher and Banks Outlet, Converse Factory Store, Corky’s Footwear Outlet, Francesa’s, GNC, Lids, Lucky Brand Outlet, Starbucks, Loft, Tommy Hilfiger, Uniform Destination, and Wilson’s Leather. Online donations can be made at https://goodwillar.salsalabs.org/goodwillfloodrelief   

  • Donations are currently going to first responders as they assist flood victims.  

Air BnB   

  • Open Homes Program to provide free housing to displaced residents and disaster relief workers, click here to receive help.   

  

New Life Church  

  • New Life Church is accepting donations for relief efforts. This is a helpful way to serve those affected, but no less powerful than praying and serving. If you would like to donate to the flood relief, you can text ARFLOOD and the dollar amount to 74483. (Ex: Text “ARFLOOD $20” to 74483 to donate $20)  

  • To receive help, call New Life Church at (501) 812-5433.  

  

Rainbow International of Little Rock  

  • They are a turnkey company and have all the equipment needed to handle any damage. They can assist with the dry out, the demo and the rebuild.  

  • Residential services offered: Water damage mitigation, fire and smoke restoration, mold remediation, contents inventory & pack-out, biohazard cleanup  

  • Cleaning Services offered: Carpet cleaning, spot and stain removal, air duct cleaning, tile and grout cleaning, odor removal, power washing  

  • To receive help, contact Rainbow International at 501-214-0220.  

  

FLOOD CLEAN-UP INFORMATION FOR FAULKNER COUNTY  

SANDBAGS:  

1. Break them and distribute the sand through your yard  

2. If you do not do #1, you must treat dry (did not touch floodwater) sandbags differently from wet (touched floodwater), as the wet ones are considered hazardous waste.  
a. Return dry sandbags to the place where you picked them up.  
b. Place wet sandbags in the right of way for the County to pick-up.  

3. If you cannot return the dry sandbags to the pick-up spot, place them on the right of way, but SEPARATE FROM THE WET ONES.  

DEBRIS:  
1. If you have flood insurance, contract with a reliable company to repair your property and remove the debris.  

2. If you do the work yourself, place the debris on the right of way, but do so with patience and an understanding that it may be weeks before all the debris in the county is picked up.  

FLOOD CLEAN-UP INFORMATION FOR PULASKI COUNTY   

SANDBAGS:  

1. Residents can use sand from sandbags to fill low areas of their yards, flower beds, or gardens.  

2. Take empty sandbags to locations and put the empty bags in the destinated dumpster on site.   

  • Locations are: War Memorial Park Parking Lot, Intersection of East Roosevelt and Fourche Dam Pike, and End of Chenal Valley Drive at Chenal Parkway  

3, Dispose of sand in creeks, ditches, storm drains, and other waterways.   

For more information click here.   

Please contact THV11 at news@thv11.com if you have any resource information that we may have missed   

RELATED: Flood insurance scams you need to know about

RELATED: If your home was damaged during the Arkansas River flood, here’s what you can do

Bella Vista Residents Relieved Former Stump Dump Fire Is Finally Out

BELLA VISTA, Ark. (KFSM) — After what’s been close to a year people living in Bella Vista can soon breathe easier, now that the smoldering stump dump is no longer burning.

The Bella Vista Property Owners Association (POA) said the fire on Trafalgar Road is out and there is no fire or smoke at this site.

“The air quality has improved greatly. My family is extremely happy that is the case. We can breathe either, we can go out and do things in the yard. We are no longer hostage,” said Bella Vista resident Aaron DeCelle.

DeCelle is one of many Bella Vista residents who are happy the POA stepped up to put out the fire. He said community involvement was critical in seeing the end of this fire.

“On December 1st we had our town hall meeting and had all the major players from city and state officials from the ADEQ, ADH and five weeks later the Governor was here declaring a state of emergency on the fire, freeing up funds,” DeCelle said.

If you drive by the site on Trafalgar Road right now you may see smoke, but the POA says that is from burning the organic material found at the dump site. Chris Nelson thinks the POA did a really effective job at extinguishing this fire in a rapid time frame.

“I’m pleased that they stepped up and somebody owned it and started taking action on it,” Nelson said. “They have been very transparent through this, very informative and open to suggestions from the general public.”

The POA said no hazardous substances or waste have been found at the site. They have found tires, a mattress, metal and concrete.

Nelson said he feels relieved to know the end is in sight.

“That’s just a huge sigh of relief for me and my family and most of my neighbors to know that this isn`t going to go on for another year, we`re not going to have to endure another winter,” Nelson said.

From this point forward the POA expects the air quality index around this site to just be “unhealthy for sensitive groups.”

The latest date from the Arkansas Department of Health said the air quality surrounding the area has been in the “good” range.