US slaps sanctions on Russia

President Barack Obama has imposed sanctions on Russian officials and intelligence services in retaliation for Russia’s interference in the U.S. presidential election by hacking American political sites and email accounts.

The State Department also has kicked out 35 Russian diplomats from its embassy in Washington and consulate in San Francisco, giving them and their families 72 hours to leave the U.S. The diplomats were declared persona non grata for acting in a “manner inconsistent with their diplomatic status.”

“All Americans should be alarmed by Russia’s actions,” Obama said in a statement.

Obama said Russians will no longer have access to two Russian government-owned compounds in the United States, in Maryland and in New York.

A spokesman for Russia President Vladimir Putin told the Associated Press Moscow will consider retaliatory measures in response to the sanctions.

Russian officials have denied the Obama administration’s accusation that the Russian government was trying to influence the U.S. presidential election.

U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Russia’s goal was to help Donald Trump win — an assessment Trump has dismissed as ridiculous.

“These actions follow repeated private and public warnings that we have issued to the Russian government, and are a necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm U.S. interests in violation of established international norms of behavior,” the president continued.

The president further authorized the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI to release declassified technical information pertaining to Russian civilian and military intelligence cyber activity in the effort to “identify, detect, and disrupt Russia’s global campaign of malicious cyber activities.”

“These actions are not the sum total of our response to Russia’s aggressive activities. We will continue to take a variety of actions at a time and place of our choosing, some of which will not be publicized,” the statement reads. “In addition to holding Russia accountable for what it has done, the United States and friends and allies around the world must work together to oppose Russia’s efforts to undermine established international norms of behavior, and interfere with democratic governance. To that end, my Administration will be providing a report to Congress in the coming days about Russia’s efforts to interfere in our election, as well as malicious cyber activity related to our election cycle in previous elections.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Obama’s were “overdue,” before criticizing the administration’s “failed policy with Russia.”

“Russia does not share America’s interests,” Ryan began. “In fact, it has consistently sought to undermine them, sowing dangerous instability around the world. While today’s action by the administration is overdue, it is an appropriate way to end eight years of failed policy with Russia. And it serves as a prime example of this administration’s ineffective foreign policy that has left America weaker in the eyes of the world.”

U.S. Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who have been pushing for action against Russia in recent days, called the sanctions “a small price for Russia to pay,” in a joint statement.

“The retaliatory measures announced by the Obama Administration today are long overdue,” the statement read. “But ultimately, they are a small price for Russia to pay for its brazen attack on American democracy. We intend to lead the effort in the new Congress to impose stronger sanctions on Russia.”

Courtesy of KATV Channel 7

This story will be updated.

Garland County Residents Walk Out On Hot Springs City Board Meeting (video)

Tammy’s Story

If you would like to help Tammy, she can be found most days standing on Central Avenue in front of the Exchange Street parking garage.                                                                                                                  
Gifts for Tammy can also be mailed to the Five Star Theatre ,710 Central Avenue, Hot Springs Arkansas, 71901, in care of
Tom Wilkins.
Any checks given, should be made out to
Tammy Miles.

In the spirit of giving, no gift is too small.

Thank You and Merry Christmas

BRIDGES SELECTED FOR 2016 NSPRA 35 UNDER 35

The National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) recently announced its third class of 35 under 35 awardees recognizing young professional members who are making a difference for their school districts or education-related employers. All awardees were 35 years old or younger on May 1, 2016. Nominations were made by current NSPRA members.

Lake Hamilton School District Communications Coordinator, Brian Bridges, was chosen as a recipient of this award. He is the only recipient from Arkansas. Brian is currently the treasurer/secretary for ArkaNSPRA. ArkaNSPRA is the Arkansas chapter of the national association consisting of communications and public relations directors throughout the state.

“The face of NSPRA is changing. Many new leaders in our profession are young people who are proving that strategic school communication is timeless and translates easily to this next generation of NSPRA’s Leaders in School Communication. It is exciting to see these young professionals step up to meet the challenges of our school communication profession. They continue to grow and also have much to share with all NSPRA members.” NSPRA Executive Director, Rich Bagin, APR

The 35 under 35 program was started in 2012 and many of awardees continue to provide leadership for their state chapters and NSPRA. Each awardee’s profile will be featured in NSPRA’s e-newsletters during a span of 35 weeks in 2017. The awardees also receive a $100 discount for NSPRA’s Annual Seminar to be held in San Antonio, Texas this July.

For a complete list of the 2016 NSPRA 35 under 35, visit the following website:

https://www.nspra.org/files/docs/35under35-2016.pdf

“I am honored to receive this recognition from the national association. Through my active membership in ArkaNSPRA and the NSPRA, I have gained many valuable and useful skills that have helped me become a better communicator for the Lake Hamilton School District. I am thankful that the Lake Hamilton administration and school board saw the need for this position three years ago. When I was selected for this position, I immediatley became involved with ArkaNSPRA and the NSPRA. Over the past three years, our ArkaNSPRA organization has grown dramatically since each district in the state is realizing how important it is to have a designated communications and public relations officer. It is truly an honor to be in the position of promoting the Lake Hamilton School District. Lake Hamilton is my home. After being a student at Lake Hamilton from kindergarten thru 12th grade, it was always my goal to return home and work at this district. Communication and public relations is ever-changing. That is one of the things that I love most about this position. No two days are the same. Whether I am setting up interviews with media outlets, working on graphic design for the web and social media, attending events throughout campus, representing Lake Hamilton at career fairs, working on weekly web newsletters, and more, I have enjoyed building relationships with all of our employees, community organizations, and media outlets!” Brian Bridges, LHSD Communications Coordinator

Golf Links Road to be Closed Today, Wednesday December 21

HOT SPRINGS – Golf Links Road, from Winans Street to 552 Golf Links, will be closed from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday for right-of-way repairs. The detour signs will be in place. Motorists are asked to use caution when traveling near the work site.