Friday, September 16, 2016

TOP STORY >> Governor names Byrd to quorum court

Leader staff writer

The Lonoke County Quorum Court had a new face at the meeting on Thursday. Darlene Byrd of Cabot was appointed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson earlier in the day to represent District 12. She replaces JP Matt Sanders, who moved out of the district.

Byrd’s appointment expires on Dec. 31. Patty Knox was elected to the position during primary election in March. Knox ran unopposed.

Byrd has lived in Cabot for 19 years. She is an advanced nurse practitioner. She holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in nursing science from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and a doctorate in nursing practice from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

Byrd has 26 years of nursing experience and is the owner of APN HealthCare, a company where she fills-in for a physician or a nurse practitioner when they are out of the office.

Byrd was appointed by then Gov. Mike Huckabee to the State Board of Nursing for eight years. She was appointed by U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt to the National Advisory Committee for Rural Health and Human Services.

Byrd ran for state representative in 2014 and lost the Republican primary to state Rep. Tim Lemons (R-Cabot). They ran for the seat held by Rep. Davy Carter (R-Cabot), who was term-limited.

“It is an honor to be able to do this. I thank Matt Sanders for his service to the county and the quorum court. He did a good job representing the district. I’m appreciative of the governor and his trust in me to appoint me to the position,” Byrd said.

The quorum court approved four appropriation ordinances amending the operation budget for 2016. One ordinance was to appropriate $63,800 from the county general fund to repairs to the Lonoke County Detention Center roof.

A second ordinance was approved to appropriate $5,000 for web service and computer equipment for court automation fund for Divisions 1, 2 and 3 of the Lonoke County Circuit Court.

A third ordinance was approved for the election commission’s reimbursement of $69,890 during the primary election in March from the state board of elections. The funds will be used for the general election in November.

A fourth ordinance was approved to appropriate $13,939 to the Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office’s special crime unit.

The funds are overtime reimbursement from the Drug Enforcement Agency’s drug task force for the use of a narcotics sheriff’s deputy.

Lonoke County Museum director Sherryl Miller gave an update on two projects at the museum.

In 1994, two books were completed of the marked headstones in all 80 cemeteries in Lonoke County. The museum is updating the books with all the people who have been buried since ’94.

She said the museum has published a book, “Dr. Ross’s Ledger from Prairie County,” which includes the land now part of Lonoke County. He practiced medicine in 1864 after the Civil War. The ledger records who he visited, the medicine he gave them and how much he charged them.