RSS Feed

Posts Tagged ‘Justin Harris’

  1. Responding to Growing God’s Kingdom Complaints, State Proposes Clarifying Rules


    January 25, 2012 by wcobserver


    WEST FORK –Rep. Justine Harris may have to consider altering some of his preschool’s practices if recently proposed rules are approved by the State Board of Education. Following complaints filed by the D.C.-based Americans United that Harris and his wife’s partially state-funded preschool, Growing God’s Kingdom, violates state and federal laws, the Arkansas Department of Human Services proposed new rules that would clarify what actions constitute an illegal use of tax-payer dollars for religious instruction. Religious instruction includes songs and prayer. And as noted by the ADHS’ evaluator back in Novemeber, Growing God’s Kingdom had featured religious-themed posters on the wall, as well as Bible Study held after regular school hours. As Harris did when the story first broke on Nov. 1, the West Fork resident defended the school’s practices, saying that religious instruction does not coincide with classroom time and that the proposed oversight runs against his freedom of religion. Harris, who recently announced his intent to run for the redistricted seat covering both Washington and Madison County,  raised concerns of his own when interviewed by the Northwest Arkansas Times: [Harris] objects to being unable to pray with parents or others who come to the school needing counseling, sometimes …


  2. A Legislator’s Year-in-Review


    January 8, 2012 by Justin Harris


    As you have heard it said before, this was a Historic Year. The largest number of Republicans was voted into the State House and Senate, and 2012 looks to be an even bigger year for gains because of the Conservative Movement. Voters, in the state and in the nation, want to get back to the basics of what our government is supposed to do. I will say, I’m honored to be one of the first Republican Legislators to serve from the city of West Fork. Of course, along with changes, there were many difficulties. The witness of change has brought a “Changing of the Guard.” This past year has brought on some of the worst political and personal attacks on legislators that have taken place in the State’s history. Being one of them, on the receiving end, we have taken it all in stride. One realizes that it has little to do with them, and it has more to do with the bigger picture of “How will this State be governed in the next decade?” We are currently headed for an economic crisis in Arkansas, and that is why change must come. The Forestry Department is currently in the hole …


  3. Eatery Gets Accolades, Alley Gets Avoided


    December 23, 2011 by Steve Winkler


    By Steve Winkler/WEST FORK — West Fork’s downtown dining spot, Lobo’s Deli, got high marks and permanent status from the Planning Commission at its Dec. 15 meeting. The concession trailer has been operating with a six month temporary placement permit from the city. Owner Justin Harris reported that the business has been “very successful” with income in the$6,000 – $7,000 a month range paying over $600 in monthly sales taxes. He said the business, operated by his father-in-law Troy Fredericks, plans to remain open during most of the winter and will be adding pizza to the menu. Commission members complimented Harris on the responsible operation of the business noting the lack of citizen complaints regarding parking and appearance. Commissioner Larry Vail commendedHarris for keeping the trash under control which was a major concern for some when the businessopened in May. Home owner David Wells appeared before the commission requesting that the city abandon an alley adjacent to his property at 282 Bloyt Street. He informed the commission of his plans to build a shop on his property. After some discussion, Chairman Mike Landa suggested the commission “give it to Butch [Michael Bartholomew] to make a decision.” A motion was made and passed. Commission members were given a copy of the municipal code section referring to Occupational Licenses, which Landa suggested was problematic. The code …


  4. Campaign Season Has Begun – Local candidates begin their 2012 run


    December 23, 2011 by wcobserver


    By Jeff Winkler/WASHINGTON COUNTY — There are still about 330 days left until voters go the polls, but like their national counterparts, county-wide candidates for local office are already gearing up for the 2012 elections. As reported in the Observer on Dec. 1, Cristi Beaumont has been running hard against Amy Turner and Bob Lambert in the special election for the Washington and Madison County Circuit Judge – recently vacated by Mary Ann Gunn — which will take place on May 22. Candidates for the general election in November, however, are also greasing the wheels. First-term incumbent State Representative Justin Harris (R-West Fork) recently announced his reelection campaign with a detailed press release stating that “jobs, tax cuts, education reform, and illegal immigration” would be his top priorities once returning to the House. “Businesses create jobs when government gets itself and heavy taxation out of the way,” wrote Harris. “I am currently working on changing the tax codes to make them more friendly to the business community.” Harris is seeking reelection amidst the minor controversy surrounding the preschool, he and his wife own and operate. Harris was investigated by the Department of Human Services after complaints were filed against Growing God’s Kingdom, for alledgedly promoting religion while receiving significant state funds  – a possible violation of state laws and guidelines. Like …


  5. WATCHING GOD’S KINGDOM: Rep.’s preschool investigated for mixing religion, state-funding


    November 10, 2011 by wcobserver

    By Jeff Winkler WEST FORK – Rep. Justin Harris’ kingdom is under attack as the Department of Human Services investigates whether his preschool center uses state funds to promote religion – a possible violation of guidelines and laws. On Nov. 1, the Washington D.C.-based Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed a complaint with the DHS against Growing God’s Kingdom Preschool, run by Harris and his wife Marsha in West Fork.


  6. Voice From the Right: Healthcare Exchanges — A Contentious Issue


    October 22, 2011 by Justin Harris

    The determination of the Governor and state health officials to jump into the murky waters of deeply flawed and misguided federal legislation is why House and Senate Republicans recently opposed the establishment of a federally mandated health insurance exchange, a key provision in President Obama’s health care law.


  7. Editorial: Harris (R) Thankful for Welfare Programs


    June 19, 2011 by wcobserver

    Praising God is always a good thing to do, but partisan warrior Justin Harris (Rep. District 87) might at least give just a little credit to the Democrats and beer-drinkers in the state.