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Rutledge, Educators and Doctors Discuss Dangers of E-Cigarettes at Bentonville Youth Vaping Summit

Rutledge, Educators and Doctors Discuss Dangers of E-Cigarettes at Bentonville Youth Vaping Summit

Wed, Oct 9, 2019

Focused on practical solutions for positive change

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today hosted the Youth Vaping Summit at Bentonville High School, welcoming more than 150 educators, physicians and parents. By partnering with Arkansas Children’s and University of Arkansas Medical Sciences (UAMS), participates received first-hand information on the health risks and long term dangers e-cigarettes and nicotine can have on children and teens.

“I often hear the misconception that vaping is safer than cigarettes for children and teens. That’s simply not true,” Attorney General Rutledge said. “I am grateful we could hear the scientific facts directly from the medical leaders in our State who see the negative impact nicotine has on our impressionable children and their future.”

Participants heard from a panel of physicians who spoke on the dangers of vaping and who have experience with the impacts of vaping on youth. They specifically addressed the damage caused to children’s lungs and overall health concerns triggered by e-cigarettes.

E-liquids are under regulated and can be cut with other dangerous products that consumers are unaware of, such as toxic THC. Dr. Joe Thompson, the former Arkansas Surgeon General, spoke on the popular yet poisonous trend of using vape pods and e-cigarette devices to consume marijuana-based products.

Rutledge moderated a panel that included a lawmaker, consumer protection expert and school leaders who also discussed what can be done at the State level to help educate Arkansans on the risks of vaping, enforce the law and find solutions to better serve communities.

Earlier this week in Little Rock, General Rutledge hosted the first Youth Vaping Summit in the State. She announced a new initiative calling on e-commerce retailers including eBay, to be aware that selling tobacco products and devices to Arkansans is against the law and can subject them to fines up to $10,000 per violation. There are additional penalties for products sold to children.

For more information on the dangers of vaping in children and to view Rutledge’s new public service announcement, please visit ArkansasAG.gov.

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Youth Vaping Summit Highlights Dangers and Ease of Access to Nicotine Products

Youth Vaping Summit Highlights Dangers and Ease of Access to Nicotine Products

Mon, Oct 7, 2019

Focused on dangers and identifying solutions to the epidemic

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today hosted the first Youth Vaping Summit in the State, welcoming over 200 to Children’s Hall at Arkansas Children’s Hospital Monday. By partnering with Arkansas Children’s and University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), participants received first-hand information on the health risks and long term dangers e-cigarettes and nicotine can have on children and teens.

“I often hear the misconception that vaping is safer than cigarettes for children and teens. That’s simply not true,” Attorney General Rutledge said. “I am grateful we could hear the scientific facts directly from the medical leaders in our State who see the negative impact nicotine has on our impressionable children and their future.”

Participants heard from a panel of physicians who spoke on the dangers of vaping and who have experience with the impacts of vaping on youth. They specifically addressed the damage caused to children’s lungs and overall health concerns triggered by e-cigarettes.

E-liquids are under regulated and can be cut with other dangerous products that consumers are unaware of, such as toxic THC. State Drug Director Kirk Lane spoke on the popular yet poisonous trend of using vape pods and e-cigarette devices to consume marijuana-based products.

Rutledge moderated a panel that included a lawmaker, consumer protection experts and school leaders who also discussed what can be done at the State level to help educate Arkansans on the risks of vaping, enforce the law and find solutions to better serve communities.

Prior to the Summit, General Rutledge announced a new initiative calling on e-commerce retailers including eBay, to be aware that selling tobacco products to Arkansans is against the law and can subject them to fines up to $10,000 per violation. There are additional penalties for products sold to children.

Rutledge will host the second Youth Vaping Summit at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, October 9 at Bentonville High School in northwest Arkansas. Seats are limited, but registration for the free event is available at ArkansasAG.gov/vape.

For more information about the dangers of vaping in children, please view Rutledge’s new public service announcement at ArkansasAG.gov.

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At Youth Vaping Summit, Rutledge Announced Letter & Enforcement Advisory Sent to eBay and 100 Online Retailers Warning if Vape Products Sold to Teens; Launches Anti-Vaping PSA

At Youth Vaping Summit, Rutledge Announced Letter & Enforcement Advisory Sent to eBay and 100 Online Retailers Warning if Vape Products Sold to Teens; Launches Anti-Vaping PSA

Mon, Oct 7, 2019

Says, ‘if you are selling illegal products to Arkansas children, prepare to face consequences’

LITTLE ROCK ­– Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced educational and enforcement initiatives in advance of the State’s first Youth Vaping Summit held at Arkansas Children’s. Rutledge sent a letter to eBay demanding the removal of all electronic nicotine devices and products from its online sales platform and urging it takes steps to enforce its own policy against the sale or advertisement of tobacco products. In conjunction with Rutledge’s letter to eBay, she issued an Enforcement Advisory to 100 online e-cigarette retailers, warning these retailers that it is illegal to sell or ship any tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and e-liquids, to consumers in Arkansas. The advisory warns of potential legal action if businesses are found selling to minors over the internet. Today’s announcement is a multifaceted approach also includes the statewide public service announcement educating Arkansans on the dangers of vaping.

“Misinformation and opportunities for youth to illegally buy vaping products online have contributed to the vaping epidemic across the nation and our State. It is my responsibility to educate our youth on the dangers of vaping and hold those accountable who break the law,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “With more children and teens becoming sick and addicted to nicotine, we cannot stand idle and watch a health crisis fester within our State. If you are selling illegal products to Arkansas children, prepare to face consequences.”

Attorney General Rutledge is warning online retailers against shipping tobacco products into the State as it could be considered a violation of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and violators could face civil penalties up to $10,000 per violation. This prohibition exists in order to keep these products out of the hands of Arkansas’s youth, but sellers will face additional penalties if products are sold to children.

The letter sent to eBay Inc. President and CEO Devin Wenig by Rutledge urges the company to comply with its own policy banning the sale and advertisement of tobacco products on its site. A review of eBay.com shows an extensive list of e-cigarette related products and no age verification process. In June 2018, similar action was taken when Rutledge successfully sent a letter to eBay and other retailers in banning the online sale of the extremely potent unwashed poppy seeds on their websites.

Along with the enforcement advisories and communication with eBay, Attorney General Rutledge has released this public service announcement addressing the dangers and damage caused by vaping. The public service announcement can be viewed on various networks and cable stations throughout the State and can be found on Rutledge’s YouTube page.

Attorney General Rutledge is hosting the Youth Vaping Summit for parents, medical professionals, educators and legislators at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and Bentonville High School to discuss how to stop the youth vaping epidemic in Arkansas. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 27.5 percent of high school students used e-cigarettes, often referred to as vaping, in 2019.

Arkansans who have questions can email the office at oag@ArkansasAG.gov or call (800) 482-8982.

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Rutledge’s Youth Vaping Summit Agenda Announced

Rutledge’s Youth Vaping Summit Agenda Announced

Fri, Oct 4, 2019

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the agenda for Youth Vaping Summit in partnership with Arkansas Children’s and University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) to be held on Monday, October 7 at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Children’s Hall. The event is a free educational opportunity for medical experts, educators, parents and law enforcement.

“As I travel the State, I’ve heard from school administrators, medical experts and parents about the dangerous and rapidly growing trend of vaping by our children,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Thanks to the partnership with Arkansas Children’s and UAMS this event will be the first of its kind in the State where experts will bring a broad and insightful perspective to how this crisis is impacting Arkansas’s youth.”

Those attending the Youth Vaping Summit will hear from Arkansas Children’s President and Chief Executive Officer Marcy Doderer, as well as physicians from Arkansas Children’s and UAMS who have experience with the impacts of vaping on youth. The first panel, Doctors on Dangers of Vaping, will be moderated by Arkansas Surgeon General Dr. Greg Bledsoe, and panelists will include Dr. Tamara Perry, Arkansas Children’s/UAMS; Dr. Robert Pesek, Arkansas Children’s/UAMS; Chancellor Cam Patterson, M.D., UAMS; Dr. Matthew Steliga, UAMS and Dr. Margaret Kulik, UAMS.

Arkansas State Drug Director Kirk Lane will present on the Toxic THC in Vape Pods. Rutledge will moderate a panel on Vaping Solutions from the Schoolhouse to the Statehouse to discuss education, enforcement and solutions. The panel will include State Representative Dr. Lee Johnson, Cabot Assistant Superintendent Michael Byrd, and Saline County Sheriff’s Deputy and Bauxite School Resource Officer Deputy Jennifer Tarvin.

A full agenda is included at the bottom of the email. For those interested in registering for the Youth Vaping Summit in Little Rock or Bentonville, please register at ArkansasAG.gov/vape.

Youth Vaping Summit - Little Rock
Monday, October 7, 2019
9:00 AM-12:00 PM
Arkansas Children’s
Children’s Hall

8:30 Doors Open

9:00 Welcome

  • Arkansas Children’s President & CEO Marcy Doderer, FACHE
  • Attorney General Leslie Rutledge

9:15 GenZ Nic Free Video

9:20 Doctors on Dangers of Vaping

  • Moderator: Arkansas Surgeon General Dr. Greg Bledsoe
  • Chancellor Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA, UAMS
  • Tamara Perry, M.D., Arkansas Children’s/UAMS
  • Robert Pesek, M.D., Arkansas Children’s/UAMS
  • Matthew Steliga, M.D., UAMS
  • Margaret Kulik, M.D., UAMS

10:25 Toxic THC in Vape Pods and Devices

  • Arkansas State Drug Director Kirk Lane

10:40 Break

10:55 Vaping Solutions from Schoolhouse to Statehouse

  • Moderator: Attorney General Leslie Rutledge
  • State Representative Dr. Lee Johnson
  • Chuck Harder, Deputy Attorney General, Public Protection Department
  • Michael Byrd, Assistant Superintendent, Cabot School District
  • Deputy Jennifer Tarvin, SRO, Bauxite School District, Saline County Sheriff’s Office

12:00 Closing

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Law Enforcement Summit Highlights Legal Challenges of Medicinal Marijuana

Law Enforcement Summit Highlights Legal Challenges of Medicinal Marijuana

Tue, Oct 1, 2019

Recognized Washington County Officer as Law Enforcement Officer of the Year

BENTON – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today hosted the 2019 Law Enforcement Summit at the Benton Event Center, where she announced Washington County Sheriff’s Office Corporal Brett Thompson as the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. A record 672 law enforcement personnel from across the State attended the 17th annual summit and heard from experts on recent issues facing the law enforcement community, including medical marijuana and eyewitness identification.

“It is extremely important to provide opportunities that bring together law enforcement officers from across the State, to recognize these heroes and dedicated servants, while also discussing pressing issues facing their communities,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The implementation of Arkansas’s medicinal marijuana law has brought forward many questions and uncertainties for our officers, and today’s summit was a chance to provide vital resources to take back to their respective agencies.”

The 2019 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year recipient, Corporal Brett Thompson, was recognized for an incident on November 11, 2018, when he stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation in Tontitown. As the suspect stopped the vehicle, he immediately began to fire at Corporal Thompson as he was exiting his patrol vehicle. The two engaged in an extended gunfight with the suspect advancing on Corporal Thompson. During this incident, two other civilian vehicles approached the scene before the drivers recognized the dangerous situation and safely left the perimeter of the gunfight.

Corporal Thompson was able to stop the advancement of the suspect through directed fire. Ultimately, the suspect retreated and fled in his vehicle where he later engaged in a pursuit by neighboring jurisdictions in Springdale and Fayetteville, and he exchanged fire with those officers. The suspect was taken into custody shortly thereafter.

Thompson was nominated by Washington County Captain Ti Augustine who stated, “It was through Cpl. Thompson’s training, tactical mindset, and courageous actions that he was able to survive the encounter, protect himself and others and give good information out over the radio, in a calm and understandable tone, to other officers which led to them locating and apprehending (the suspect).”

Regional Officers of the Year recognized during the luncheon included: St. Charles Police Chief Jamie Forbes, Guy Police Department Senior Corporal Steven Rayburn, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission K-9 Handler Corporal Gary Stell, and Arkansas State Police Corporal Robert Stewart.

A list of the outstanding officer winners from each county can be found at the conclusion of this release.

Rutledge also presented a VALOR tribute, which is given in honor of members of the law enforcement community who tragically lost their lives while in the line of duty this past year. This year’s tribute was presented to the family of Stone County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Michael Stephen.

Participants in attendance listened to a presentation from Colorado legal experts, David Blake, Chris Halsor and Cory Amend where they addressed the many challenges law enforcement experience with legal medicinal marijuana, including issues involving, possession, paraphernalia, open container, transportation and driving under the influence.

The summit was kicked off by Norwood, Massachusetts Police Chief William Brooks III discussing eyewitness identification. According to studies, it is estimated that approximately 70 percent of persons who are wrongfully convicted in our nation are convicted on the basis of erroneous eyewitness identification.

Rutledge welcomed Lauren Wagner, a High-Tech Crime Training Specialist who coordinates and provides training on high-tech crime investigations and forensics to local, state and federal justice and public safety agencies. She spoke on Online Investigations: Tools, Tips, and Tricks.

Assistant Attorney General Jill Irwin presented on Monsters behind the Machines, a look into some of the cases that have been investigated by the Attorney General’s Office Special Investigations Department.

County Officers of the Year

Arkansas County

Chief Jamie Forbes, St. Charles Police Department

Ashley County

Jail Administrator Nicole Carter, Ashley County Sheriff’s Office

Baxter County

Corporal Doug Small, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Benton County

Sergeant Matt Nading, Benton County Sheriff’s Office

Boone County

Corporal Wade Grayson, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Bradley County

Officer Alex Meeks, Warren Police Department

Calhoun County

Trooper First Class Wade Schanzlin, Arkansas State Police

Carroll County

Sergeant Craig Hicks, Berryville Police Department

Chicot County

Captain Bob Graham, Lake Village Police Department

Clark County

Chief Deputy Raymond Funderburk, Clark County Sheriff’s Office

Clay County

Chief Jeremi Wicker, Piggott Police Department

Cleburne County

Lieutenant Bryon Rushing, Cleburne County Sheriff’s Office

Cleveland County

Captain Jake Dunn, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Columbia County

Trooper First Class Bryan Christenson and Trooper Lucas Talley, Arkansas State Police

Conway County

Sheriff Mike Smith, Conway County Sheriff’s Office

Craighead County

Sheriff Marty Boyd, Craighead County Sheriff’s Office

Crawford County

Trooper Matt Price, Arkansas State Police

Crittenden County

Trooper Dustin Arnold, Arkansas State Police

Cross County

Trooper Tanner Hess, Arkansas State Police

Dallas County

K-9 Handler Corporal Gary Don Stell, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Desha County

School Resource Officer Toni Stafford, Dumas Police Department

Drew County

The Late Officer Iciephine Green, University of Arkansas Monticello Police Department

Faulkner County

Senior Corporal Steven Rayburn, Guy Police Department

Franklin County

Trooper Ben Ibarra, Arkansas State Police

Fulton County

Sheriff Al Roork, Fulton County Sheriff’s Office

Garland County

Officer Cash Murray, Hot Springs Police Department

Grant County

The Late Deputy Keith Wright, Grant County Sheriff’s Office

Greene County

Corporal Todd Harris, Arkansas State Police

Hempstead County

Corporal Jeffery Neel, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Hot Spring County

Trooper First Class Terry Sawyer, Arkansas State Police

Howard County

Sergeant John Partain, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Independence County

Deputy Bobby Tate, Independence County Sheriff’s Office

Izard County

Sergeant Ronnie Stewart, Arkansas State Police

Jackson County

Corporal Robert Stewart, Arkansas State Police

Jefferson County

Sergeant Kimberly Fontaine, Arkansas State Police

Johnson County

Patrolman Nathan Warren, Clarksville Police Department

Lafayette County

Wildlife Officer Andrew Watson, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Lawrence County

Senior Special Agent Creston Hutton, Arkansas State Police

Lee County

Special Agent Jason Martin, Arkansas State Police

Lincoln County

Lieutenant Kenneth Keough, Star City Police Department

Little River County

Wildlife Officer Cody Standifer, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Logan County

Trooper Jed Bolyard, Arkansas State Police

Lonoke County

Sergeant Virgil “Calvin” Thomas, Cabot Police Department

Madison County

Sergeant Michael Sloan, Madison County Sheriff’s Office

Marion County

Sheriff Clinton Evans, Marion County Sheriff’s Office

Miller County

Detective Brian Tribble and Detective Jason White, Texarkana Police Department

Mississippi County

Corporal Rockey Rapert and Corporal Brandon Bennett, Arkansas State Police

Monroe County

Special Agent Brandon Chandler, 1st Judicial Drug Task Force

Montgomery County

Sheriff David White, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office

Nevada County

Chief Joey Beavers, Prescott Police Department

Newton County

Trooper First Class Jason Baethke, Arkansas State Police

Ouachita County

Deputy Adam LaDuke, Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office

Perry County

Sergeant Keenan Carter, Perry County Sheriff’s Office

Phillips County

Sheriff Neal Byrd, Phillips County Sheriff’s Office

Pike County

Sergeant Ronnie White, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Poinsett County

Captain Jeremy Lally, Poinsett County Sheriff’s Office

Polk County

Chief Deputy Sheriff Randy Jewell, Polk County Sheriff’s Office

Pope County

Deputy Thomas Gibson, Pope County Sheriff’s Office

Prairie County

Investigator Courtney Kocourek, Prairie County Sheriff’s Office

Pulaski County

Investigator Cardarious Walker, Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office/ Task Force Officer U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

Randolph County

Corporal Jeff Dalton and Corporal Brett Ditto, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

St. Francis County

Captain Eddie Adamson, St. Francis County Sheriff’s Office

Saline County

Special Agent Ryan Jacks, Arkansas State Police

Scott County

Trooper First Class Mike Lance, Arkansas State Police

Searcy County (TIE)

Lieutenant Billy Cordell, Searcy County Sheriff’s Office

Wildlife Officer Ken Nelson, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Sebastian County

Officer Wesley David Sawyer, Fort Smith Police Department

Sevier County

Wildlife Officer Sydney Grant, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Sharp County

Sheriff Mark Counts, Sharp County Sheriff’s Office

Stone County

Corporal Chad Cruce, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Union County

Officer Logan Owens, El Dorado Police Department

Van Buren County

Wildlife Officer Brian Tatum, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Washington County

Corporal Brett Thompson, Washington County Sheriff’s Office

White County

Trooper Andrew Pannell, Arkansas State Police

Woodruff County

Sheriff Phil Reynolds, Woodruff County Sheriff’s Office

Yell County

Captain Mark Frost, Dardanelle Police Department

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J Boys Blacktop to Pay Over $188,000 for Unfinished Driveways & Sidewalks

J Boys Blacktop to Pay Over $188,000 for Unfinished Driveways & Sidewalks

Fri, Sep 27, 2019

Says, ‘should be ashamed of stealing from hard-working Arkansans’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced securing over $188,000 in penalties and restitution against Allen Jeffery, owner of J Boys Blacktop of Pine Bluff, for 18 violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Jeffery solicited Arkansas consumers using door-to-door tactics, where he offered to repair sidewalks and driveways with leftover asphalt or cement from previous contracts. Arkansans would pay up front with cash or checks, but Mr. Jeffery had absolutely no intention of completing the services or delivering the promised goods.

“Allen Jeffery should be ashamed of stealing from hard-working Arkansans and trying to get away with it,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Con artists like J Boys Blacktop must not be allowed to operate and take advantage of consumers.”

The judgement found that J Boys Blacktop committed 18 violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and must pay $180,000 in civil penalties, including $50,000 in enhanced penalties for targeting seniors over the age of sixty. J Boys Blacktop has also been ordered to pay $8,100 in restitution and all of Jeffery’s Arkansas business or professional licenses are suspended.

To file a consumer complaint, contact the Attorney General’s Office at (800) 482-8982 or oag@arkansasag.gov.

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