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Arkansas Lawmakers Called By Governor For Special Session

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Courtesy: Chuck Smith / Red River Radio News

EMERGENCY DECLARATION - Arkansas has reported 42 new COVID-19 deaths and its biggest one-day spike in hospitalizations since the pandemic began. The Department of Health on Monday reported 81 new COVID-19 hospitalizations, bringing the state's total to 1,220.   The department said 451 of those patients are under intensive care and 250 are on ventilators.  The state's coronavirus hospitalizations are nearing the high set last January.  Gov. Asa Hutchinson HAS DECLARED a state  emergency  AND  has called  for  Lawmakers to return to the Capitol this week for a special session to take up his emergency  proposal amend a recently passed law that prohibited local school boards and other government agencies from enacting mask mandates. Hutchinson says the session is to focus only on the face mask ban in K-12 schools .

"This is a discussion about the school environment where schools can make decisions to add to the public health for their own school environment and for the children that they have a responsibility to protect." Governor Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas

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Credit Courtesy: Office of the Governor of Arkansas
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Courtesy: Office of the Governor of Arkansas
Governor Asa Hutchinson holds an emergency declaration he made recently due to the rapid increase in Covid-19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths in Arkansas.

"This is not about a debate about mask mandates or those who can make their own decisions and have means to get vaccinated," Hutchinson explained. "This is a discussion about the school environment where schools can make decisions to add to the public health for their own school environment and for the children that they have a responsibility to protect." 

Hutchinson has invited Federal Covid Crisis Surge Teams to come to Arkansas to assist with evaluating hospital capacities as more patients fill beds and ICUs.

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' experience to Red River Radio having started out as a radio news reporter and moving into television journalism as a newsmagazine producer / host, talk-show moderator, programming director and managing producer and news director / anchor for commercial, public broadcasting and educational television. He has more recently worked in advertising, marketing and public relations as a writer, video producer and media consultant. In pursuit of higher learning, Chuck studied Mass Communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.