Saturday, April 20, 2019
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An attorney for Little Rock police officer Charles Starks says that his client has been cleared by the Pulaski County prosecuting attorney and will not face criminal charges for the fatal shooting of Bradley Blackshire.

On February 22, Blackshire was shot and killed by Starks during a traffic stop near the intersection of 12th Street and Rodney Parham Road.

In dashcam footage released to the media, Starks asked Blackshire to exit the car. Starks continued to tell Blackshire to exit the car while the car moved forward. 

That’s when Starks shot at the driver side of car while in front of the moving vehicle. Starks shot several more times while on the hood of the car, firing more than 10 shots.

Attorney Robert Newcombe said he “felt from the beginning that there was no criminal conduct.”

“It’s unfortunate that a man had to die, but he made a choice,” Newcombe said. “If he had just gotten out of the car like he was ordered, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”

Newcombe said Starks is “relieved and pleased” with the decision.

In a letter to Chief Humphrey, Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley said the woman in the car with Blackshire told police that he was “digging around in his pocket” where she said he normally keeps his gun. Starks says he saw Blackshire move his hand down to put the car in gear, but said he “couldn’t tell if Mr. Blackshire was reaching for something.”

The woman also reportedly told police officers that Blackshire told her he shot “at the police on a previous occasion.”

Jegley said that Starks had “reasonable cause to believe that” Blackshire committed a felony.

“Even though Starks is backing up, the car does bump Starks before a shot is ever fired,” Jegley said.

Jegley said in the letter that Starks said officers are “trained to seek cover behind their vehicle’s engine block to avoid getting shot.” Starks explained that he was terrified Blackshire had a gun and Starks believed the “only safe place for him to take cover was behind his vehicle.”

“Without question, Mr. Blackshire’s vehicle is a deadly weapon,” Jegley concluded. “It is also obvious that it was moving in Stark’s direction. It will be argued that the vehicle was moving too slowly to be a threat. But the fact that it is moving at all indicates that Mr. Blackshire had his foot on the gas (at the very least it was not on the brake).”

Jegley said Blackshire’s “use of deadly force” was “as imminent as a stepped on accelerator and no different from a pulled trigger.”

Police reportedly found a loaded .45 caliber handgun inside the vehicle and .45 caliber cartridges were found in two of Blackshire’s pockets.

READ | Little Rock Mayor Scott announces LRPD, FBI investigating fatal officer-involved shooting

On Tuesday, a group protesting the officer-involved shooting spoke with Chief Humphrey on the issue. Organizers called for Starks’ termination from the police force as well as the use of body cameras by LRPD.

“I just pray that there are charges filed against the officer that killed my son because we feel that it was unjust,” said Kim Blackshire-Lee, the mother of Bradley Blackshire.

In a press release, the Little Rock Police Department said an internal investigation has been completed and will be delivered to Chief Keith Humphrey. The final decision will take “approximately” two weeks.

We will continue to update this article with new information.

LITTLE ROCK — The storm system that moved through Northwest Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma early Thursday, dropping heavy rain and hail, moved on to cause chaos in central Arkansas, as torrents of rain flooded highways and closed schools.

According to our content partners at KATV, Little Rock broke a 108-year-old daily rainfall record Thursday as more than 4 inches fell at Adams Field at the Clinton National Airport. The previous record for April 18 was 1.74 inches in 1911.

The rapid onslaught of heavy rain led to severe flash flooded that covered streets and highways, as well as parts of Interstate 30 near Alexander, during the height of rush hour. Cameras from showed traffic backed up for miles as I-30 became nearly impassible due to high water. It was hours before the water receded and the road reopened completely.

In addition, parts of the area received hail, some as big as golf balls. In all, 10 highways in seven counties were closed because of high water, KATV reported.

The flooding also led to several school districts closing for the day, including Benton, Bryant and Lonoke schools, and the largest district in the area, the Pulaski County Special School District. Schools in Sheridan also closed, and Malvern schools dismissed early.

Once the front passes through the state this evening, a much better forecast is predicted with several days of sun to help areas dry out before the next system hits sometime early next week.

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LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has signed legislation that increases the state’s marriage age to 17.

Under the previous law, 16-year-old girls and 17-year-old boys could get married with the consent of their parents. If the girl was pregnant, a judge could approve a marriage regardless of her age.

The legislation signed Wednesday raises the marriage age to 17 regardless of circumstances, and parental consent is still required.

Democratic Rep. Vivian Flowers of Pine Bluff sponsored the bill. She says Department of Health statistics show that more than 8,200 girls and 1,300 boys who were 17 or younger have been married in Arkansas since 1999.

Last year, Delaware became the first state in the U.S. to ban marriage for anyone under 18.


FORT SMITH (KFSM) — Americold Realty Trust announced Tuesday (April 16) that they have acquired Cloverleaf Cold Storage, a company merging with Zero Mountain Cold Storage.

Americold purchased Cloverleaf for $1.24 billion and is expected to finalize the deal in the second quarter of 2019, according to a press release.

In January of this year, Iowa-based Cloverleaf announced they would be merging with Zero Mountain. Zero Mountain employs 427 people and operates five facilities in Arkansas including Fort Smith, Johnson, Little Rock, Lowell and Russellville, our partners at Talk Business & Politics (TB&P) reports.

Bill Feiges, Co-CEO of Cloverleaf, told TB&P, “The Cloverleaf team has long admired Zero Mountain, which has been built over generations by the Rumsey family upon business values similar to our own. Zero Mountain is highly respected in the cold storage industry, and the Rumsey family is known for its longstanding relationships and dedication to customer service. Its geographic footprint is a strong complement to that of Cloverleaf, and we believe that this combination will create significant value for our customers.”

Zero Mountain Board Chair Mark Rumsey says the merger with Cloverleaf will help them create a larger footprint within the industry, and benefit the company’s customers by allowing improved supply chain seasonal needs.

President and Chief Executive Officer of Americold said, “We welcome Cloverleaf to the Americold family. We have long admired Cloverleaf, the families that founded them and the associates that helped earn them a great reputation in our industry. We have a similar degree of respect for Zero Mountain, which was recently acquired by Cloverleaf. We will accelerate and enhance Cloverleaf’s recently implemented initiatives by leveraging Americold’s commercial platform, institutional quality management and the Americold Operating System (AOS), in a press release.

“This acquisition enhances the Company’s position as the leading global owner and operator of temperature-controlled infrastructure while expanding relationships with existing high quality customers. Upon closing, Americold’s portfolio will consist of over one billion refrigerated cubic feet, which provides the Company with greater density and diversification to better service its customers.”

It’s still unclear how the acquisition of Cloverleaf by Americold will impact daily operations at Zero Mountain.

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colorado — The FBI Denver office confirmed Wednesday morning that the threat to the community was over after they found an “armed and dangerous” woman at the base of Mount Evans.

Sol Pais, 18, has expressed infatuation with the Columbine school shooting, according to FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Dean Phillips. She was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, law enforcement confirmed to 9NEWS.

RELATED: All major Denver-area school districts cancel class Wednesday

Law enforcement in Denver were first alerted to Pais on Tuesday morning from the FBI office in Miami. The Denver FBI office then started assessing the threat and determined it was credible. 

“She departed the airport and went to a store, where she did procure a weapon,” Phillips said. “She obtained a pump-action shotgun and ammunition. She was then taken to an area where she was last seen out towards the foothills and we’ve been trying to find her ever since.”

Under Colorado law, individuals need to be at least 18-years-old to buy a shotgun. They must be 21 to purchase a handgun. 

In a press conference Tuesday evening, Phillips described the search effort as a “massive manhunt,” involving multiple law enforcement agencies from across the Denver metro area. 

Pais was last seen in the foothills of Jefferson County and was wearing a black T-shirt, camouflage pants and black boots, law enforcement said. Police have been instructed to detain Pais and evaluate her mental health status if they contact her.

Sol Pais

Courtesy Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office

Phillips said law enforcement did not have information about specific threats made against any particular school, but that Pais’ actions, comments and travel to Colorado made law enforcement consider her a credible threat to the community.

Several school districts, including Jefferson County, announced classes are canceled Wednesday as schools are still on high alert as this investigation continues. 

“We take these threats seriously,” Jeffco Sheriff Jeff Shrader said. “It’s not the first threat we’ve had that involves Columbine High School. In that regard, I know this opens a wound…especially for those families most deeply impacted by this.”

RELATED: All major Denver-area school districts cancel class Wednesday

The threat prompted the Colorado Department of Education to tweet a recommendation that all area schools should go on alert on Tuesday. 

“The Department of Public Safety recommends all schools in the Denver metro area conduct a lockout and controlled release immediately,” the tweet said.

A lockout means that it’s business as usual inside the buildings, but that entry and exit to the buildings are restricted. A controlled release means parents must show their ID when they pick up students.

In general, lockouts are ordered when there is an issue outside the building, and it’s most often related to police activity that could pose a threat, according to the district’s website.

NBC Miami reports that detectives have also been seen at a home in Surfside, Fla. where Pais lives, according to neighbors.


WANTED | The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and FBI are looking for Sol Pais, who is accused of making the possibly credible threats that prompted lockdowns and lockouts at schools around the…


SUGGESTED VIDEOS | Local stories from 9NEWS

FORT SMITH (KFSM) — The driver of a car that crashed into a Fort Smith transit bus at an intersection, which caused a compressed natural gas tank in the bus to explode, has been cited for not having a drivers license, according to an incident report from the Fort Smith Police Department.

When officers arrived on the scene of the crash on Thursday, April 11, they observed a green Honda Accord in the roadway, and a Fort Smith city transit bus burning following a collision.

The driver of the Honda Accord, 20-year-old Deshon Smith, and all the passengers on the bus were transported to a local hospital to be treated for minor injuries.

Officers spoke with the bus driver Andy O’Brien, who told them he was heading eastbound on Zero St and got into the turn lane to turn left onto Jenny Lind Rd. He stated he had a yellow flashing arrow and didn’t see any on-coming traffic, so he began his turn.

While the transit bus was in the intersection, it was struck on the right side by the Honda being driven by Deshon Smith, and a compressed natural gas tank powering the bus was hit. The crash caused the natural gas tank to be torn from the vehicle, and catch on fire.

O’Brien told police the fire started in the front of the bus around the engine area and quickly spread into the passenger compartment.

Officers also spoke with Smith while he was in an emergency room.  He stated he was westbound on Zero St in the right lane and was being followed closely by a black Hyundai Sonata. He claimed the Hyundai was very close to the rear of his vehicle and he had to accelerate to keep the vehicle from running into the back of him.

Smith told officers he was unable to stop before striking the bus in the intersection. He received minor injuries in the crash and was treated and released.

Smith was cited for not having a drivers license, according to an incident report.

“It’s tough to verify everything that you’re told on those things, but as far as citation go we can only issue what we can know for sure,” said Aric Mitchell, Fort Smith Police Department Spokesperson.

Thus far, no charges have been filed for the incident.

“It’s important to note that we as a police department do not determine fault, that usually lies with the insurance companies, ” said Mitchell.


LITTLETON, Colo. (AP) – The Latest on threats that put Denver-area schools on alert (all times local):

12:40 a.m.

Education officials say Denver-area public schools will be closed Wednesday due to the an ongoing safety concern as authorities search for a woman who they say is armed, making threats and “infatuated” with the Columbine High School shooting.

Authorities say 18-year-old Sol Pais made undisclosed threats that prompted Columbine and more than 20 other schools outside Denver to lock their doors for nearly three hours Tuesday afternoon.

Denver Public Schools said all facilities and programs will be closed Wednesday, and there will be no afternoon activities or athletic competitions.

The district said the decision to close campuses was in collaboration with other Denver metro-area school districts.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI say Pais traveled to Colorado from Miami on Monday night and bought a pump-action shotgun and ammunition.


10:15 p.m. Tuesday

Schools in the Denver area are on heightened alert after authorities say a woman who is “infatuated” with the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School made threats just days before the 20th anniversary of the attack that killed 13 people.

Authorities are looking for 18-year-old Sol Pais after undisclosed threats prompted Columbine and more than 20 other schools outside Denver to lock their doors for nearly three hours Tuesday afternoon.

All schools in the Denver area were urged to tighten security, and some canceled evening activities or moved them inside.

Investigators say Pais traveled to Colorado from Miami on Monday night and bought a shotgun and ammunition. Police who might come into contact with her were told to detain her and evaluate her mental health.

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Update: Hot Springs Police Department says that the 21-year-old Trace Andrew Keeney has been located safe and sound.

Original story:

According to the Hot Springs Police Department, 21-year-old Trace Andrew Keeney is missing. Trace Keeney is autistic and has the mentality of a 14-year-old.

Keeney is 5’6” and 185lbs, has red hair, blue eyes and a tattoo on his left bicep. He was last seen on Friday, April 12, 2019 at 8:43 p.m., at his residence.

He last seen wearing a short sleeve purple shirt with “Taco’s for Life” on it, sweat pants and high top lime green and black shoes. Keeney always has his Beats headphones on. They have green stickers on the side. He also always wears Oakley sunglasses.

Trace has possibly been picked up by an unknown subject and we believe he could be in danger. He could possibly be in route to Colorado.

We encourage anyone that has any information to please call the Hot Springs Police Department at 501-321-6789.

Please share this post and help us.

After a gorgeous Friday it may be difficult to believe that severe weather is expected for parts of the state on Saturday.

First is important to note that there will be a sharp cut-off on where the severe weather is possible and it is all dependent of the track of the low pressure and position of the warm front. No severe weather is expected to the northwest of Little Rock.

Check out the map below for which parts of the state could see severe weather starting early as 1 p.m. Saturday for south Arkansas and expanding north through the day until as late as 11 p.m.

Severe wx threat


RED ZONE: (Camden, Monticello, Warren, El Dorado)  Severe Weather Likely, with storms in the afternoon and evening possibly producing large hail, damaging winds, and tornadoes (including strong and long-tracked).

ORANGE ZONE: (Pine Bluff, Arkadelphia, Stuttgart)  Severe Weather Possible with storms in the afternoon and evening capable of producing damaging winds, large hail and a weak spin-up tornado.

YELLOW ZONE: ( Hot Springs, Little Rock) Low risk of severe weather but some storms in the evening could produce damaging winds and large hail. Tornado threat low.


Stay weather aware.

Download the THV11 app and make sure you have settings to allow weather alerts.

Make sure your NOAA radio is good to go.

If you live in a mobile or manufactured home have a place to go that is much safer, a shelter, another home that is well constructed and anchored to the ground with interior rooms that do not have windows.

Below is some advice from the National Weather Service on tornado safety.

Wx safety



A low pressure system will develop in east Texas and swing across central Arkansas through the day on Saturday dragging a cold front through the area Saturday evening. As the low develops it will pull in warm and moist air from Louisiana into southern parts of the state. This will set the stage for the potential of severe weather in this area.

The tornado risk is high in southeast Arkansas because there are high winds about 5,000 feet that will cause the storms to rotate in this region.

Wx graph 1


Wx graph 2



Heavy rain through the day could cause smaller creeks and streams to rise out of their banks. Water could also pond in low lying or poor drainage areas. Rainfall totals from this event will range from 1 to 3”. Isolated locations could see more if heavy rain falls in a location for a long period of time.



FUTURE RADAR: The time could be off a couple of hours.

Below shows what the radar is expected to look like through the day. We will be watching the potential of supercells developing in the RED ZONE ahead of the cold front as it charges through Saturday afternoon and evening. The threat of severe weather should be done for Arkansas by 11 p.m.

If there is sunshine in southeast or south Arkansas, the threat of severe weather will increase. Sunshine in this set-up is like adding fuel to the fire.

8 a.m. wx


12 p.m. wx


3 p.m. wx


5 p.m. wx


8 p.m. wx



SEARCY, Ark. — On Thursday, April 11, the Arkansas Crime Lab confirmed through dental records that the remains found on the Riverview School property were that of 26-year-old Larry Don Madden.

RELATED: Student finds human remains behind Riverview High School in Searcy

According to the Searcy Police Department, officers were contacted in reference to human remains being found on the Riverview High School campus. The remains were located in a wooded area just off of Moore Street south of the school’s building.

Madden was reported missing in 1999 out of Lake Charles, Louisiana. He was in the Searcy area working and staying with a friend at the time his disappeared. 

This case is under investigation.