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So far so good

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Izard judge, sheriff find first month on job smooth sailing

It has been a smooth transition for new Izard County Judge Rayburn Finley and new Sheriff Tate Lawrence.

In their first month of office neither has faced a major crisis, and the good will extended to the two by Izard County residents in the November General Election has continued -- for now.

"Well it has been a good experience so far," said Finley. "We've moved a lot of rock and filled in mud holes (on roads) all over the county."

Finley said he has been fortunate through his first month in office. He said winter weather in Arkansas is unpredictable and the county has been spared from any major weather events during his short tenure.

"I'm glad we haven't had any ice, snow or flooding yet," Finely said. "I know Charles (Willet) has already had to deal with some of that."

Willet, the new Fulton County judge, has had to deal with the aftermath of a Jan. 13 flood that damaged roads in western Fulton County.

Finley said he is going to apply for state grants to improve several roads within the county. He did not specify how much money he was seeking or which roads would be improved.

Besides working on the roads, Finley said county workers have been painting the courthouse and replacing plumbing pipes.

Lawrence said his first month as sheriff has been exciting.

"It's definitely been an experience," Lawrence said. "Joe (Martz) was a good sheriff and I appreciate how much he has helped me adjust."

During Lawrence's first month in office the Izard County Sheriff's Department has issued citations, worked several wrecks and handled an accidental death investigation.

Lawrence said one of his goals is to improve the flow of information between the sheriff's office and the public.

Each week Lawrence releases a report to the media detailing police activity within the county.

"It's important for the people of the county to know what we're doing to protect them," Lawrence said.

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