Deputies arrest two for attempting to stop pipeline work in St. Francis County

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PIPELINE PROTEST: Photo from website of a group formed to stop pipeline construction in Arkansas. Synmpathizers reportedly have disrupted construction in East Arkansas today.
  • PIPELINE PROTEST: Photo from website of a group formed to stop pipeline construction in Arkansas. Synmpathizers reportedly have disrupted construction in East Arkansas today.

AT THE SCENE: Sheriff's vehicle at scene of today's arrest. - FACEBOOK/ARKANSAS RISING
  • Facebook/Arkansas Rising
  • AT THE SCENE: Sheriff's vehicle at scene of today's arrest.
Arkansas Rising, a group working to stop construction of the Diamond oil pipeline across Arkansas, reports on Facebook that two protesters had locked themselves to a track hoe and forced at least a temporary halt to work on the pipeline near Forrest City.

We'd mentioned earlier that the group hoped to capitalize on the success of demonstrations against a line across the Standing Rock Sioux reservation.

The pipeline is to carry crude from Cushing, Okla., to Memphis. It crosses several bodies of water, including the St. Francis in eastern Arkansas.

A video on the Facebook pages shows the county sheriff has responded.

UPDATE: The St. Francis sheriff's office arrested the two on criminal trespass charges. They were identified as Frank Klein, 61,of Mount Ida, and Amber Stolebarger, 24, of Jonesboro. Maj. Gene Wingo said both unshackled themselves when deputies said they would be arrested. He said they posted $1,000 cash bonds and said on leaving the jail that they'd be back.


Wingo said the pipeline work had recently begun on private property and the sheriff's office was called about noon today. He said roughly two dozen protesters were in the vicinity, with cars bearing license plates from as far away as Iowa. He said the others didn't attempt to enter the worksite after the two were arrested.

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