The Friday afternoon open line | Arkansas Blog

The Friday afternoon open line


SNOW DAY WORK: A creative snowman at Knoop Park, with Little Rock skyline in the background. - MARIAN BERRY
  • Marian Berry
  • SNOW DAY WORK: A creative snowman at Knoop Park, with Little Rock skyline in the background.

No video and no podcast today. Though the streets are clear downtown now, they weren't this morning. So here's the week-ending open line. And some final news on the criminal front.

* FEEDING PROGRAM FRAUD: More evidence of fraud in federally sponsored feeding programs for the underprivileged, this from the Western District of Arkansas. Acting U.S. Attorney Kenneth Elser announced guilty pleas from Ronald Murphy, 70, and Domanique Robinson, 40, both of El Dorado for fraud-related charges. A news release said Murphy owned the South West Economic Development Association, which provided afterschool and summer food through the 2nd Chance at Life program from 2011 through 2014. Robinson was program director at 2nd Chance. An investigation found inflated claims on the number of children served and employees at DHS conspired with them to overpay, an estimated $250,000. A number of other indictments preceded this case in the Eastern District of Arkansas and named as co-conspirators former DHS employees. They'll be sentenced later.

* CHILD PORN IN FAYETTEVILLE: Elser's office also announced another child porn case in Fayetteville. Jeremy Kelley, 42, of Prairie Grove was found guilty at trial of four counts of receipt and one count of possession of child pornagry. Images were found on a computer at his home. He was indicted last June. Sentencing will be later, with a maximum sentnece on each charge of 20 years.

* CHILD PORN IN LITTLE ROCK: In Little Rock, the attorney general's office announced a conviction in Pulaski Circuit Court of Roberto Almaraz, 49, of Little Rock, for 10 counts of distribution, possession or viewing matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving children. He was sentenced to 30 years. Materials were found after investigators served a search warrant at his home.

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