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In This IssueFALL 2017


Special Section The Opioid Epidemic in Arkansas..................................................27


AAC forms Opioid Task Force.........................................................28 Arkansas at front line of U.S. opioid epidemic............................30 President declares a public health emergency ...........................32 President’s opioid commission issues recommendations .......33 Over 100 counties lining up to sue big pharma..........................34


Features Counties receive Digital Transformation Awards.....................24


AAC Board Profile: Saline County Coroner Kevin Cleghorn.......36 AAC Board Profile: Stone County Assessor Heather Stevens....37 AAC Profile: Sheriffs’ Association Director Scott Bradley..........38 Bradley County Courthouse towers above...................................40 Reconstruction of courthouse facade was ’tricky’......................42 AAC Staff Profile: Mary Edwards....................................................52


Inside Look Assessors elect new executive board............................................43


Coroners cover crime scene photography....................................44 AAC seminar focuses on public speaking...................................45 Roads seminar covers payment assessment, road solutions...46 Circuit clerks talk e-filing, swear in slate of officers...................47 More than 100 gather for jail law seminar..................................48 Logan County hosts county clerks.................................................49 Judges hold Fall meeting in Sebastian County...........................50 Treasurers meet in Logan County.................................................51


Departments From the Director’s Desk...................................................................7


President’s Perspective.....................................................................9 From the Governor............................................................................11 Attorney General Opinions ............................................................. 12 Research Corner...............................................................................14 Governmental Affairs.......................................................................17 Legal Corner.......................................................................................18 Seems to Me.....................................................................................19 Savings Times 2................................................................................22 NACo News Update...........................................................................54


Cover Notes: The Opioid Epidemic in Arkansas


nity across the country, according to the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. The commission further states that more than 175 Americans die every day due to opioid drug overdose. Arkansas is not immune. A Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report ranks Arkansas second only to Alabama for the average number of prescriptions written per 100 people — the average is 114.6 in Arkansas vs. 121 in Alabama. The national average is 66.5 prescriptions per 100 people. Many of our county-by-county averages are even higher than the state’s average. This epidemic is stretching county resourc- es. As a result, the Association of Arkansas Counties has created a statewide Opioid Task Force comprised of county elected officials to explore solutions to a crisis that promises to continue to grow. In our special report, “The Opioid Epidemic in Arkansas,” we aim to provide further insight into how this crisis is affecting our counties, our state and our country. Turn to Page 27 to read more.


A


n opioid epidemic has taken our country by storm. In fact, the problem has become so widespread that President Donald Trump declared a national public health emergency on Oct. 26, 2017. It is a crisis of “epic proportion” that impacts nearly every commu-


(Cover photo by BackyardProduction/istock.com)


Photo from pixabay.com


COUNTY LINES, FALL 2017


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