The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

August 24, 2013

Public hearing on controversial transmission line scheduled

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Arkansas Public Service Commission will hear from those opposed to and those in favor of a proposed high-voltage transmission line during a public evidentiary hearing slated to begin at 9:30 a.m. Monday in Little Rock.

The 345,000-volt transmission line, proposed by Southwestern Electric Power Co., or SWEPCO, would be 48 miles long with 150-foot-tall towers. Attractions that would be affected include Inspiration Point at the White River, Pea Ridge National Military Park, the Razorback Greenway, Thorncrown Chapel, views from the Historic Beaver Town Bridge, Lake Leatherwood, Beaver Lake, the Christ of the Ozarks statue and other highly scenic viewpoints, in addition to several hundred privately owned properties.

The proposed line has generated heated controversy in the Ozarks, particularly in the Eureka Springs area, where opponents mobilized and waged a vocal campaign against it this summer. Public hearings were held in Eureka Springs and Rogers, Ark., where hundreds turned out to give comment in opposition to the line.

Those who are against the line say it will spoil the beauty and grandeur of the Ozark Mountains permanently and will hurt the environment and tourism.

A common refrain during the hearings was “it’s not needed.” Many who protested the line said it would not serve the 10,000 households in Carroll County but instead was designed by SWEPCO as a connection to Springfield, Mo.

In a previous interview, SWEPCO spokesman Peter Main said the Southwest Power Pool, of which SWEPCO is a part, mandated the utility build a line from Benton County through Carroll County by June 2016 to improve reliability.

“We recognize that any transmission facilities are going to have impacts,” Main said. “It’s a balancing of those impacts and our job in recommending a route and identifying alternates is to look at those criteria and take them into consideration.”

Administrative Law Judge Connie Griffin, who presided over the public hearings in Eureka Springs and Rogers, also will preside over the hearing on Monday. It is expected to continue for several days if not the entire week, officials said.

People who offered comments at public comment meetings in Eureka Springs and Rogers will not be allowed to comment again at Monday’s hearing; those who do make comments will be limited to three minutes.

According to the hearing’s schedule, Southwestern Electric Power Co., the Southwest Power Pool and the Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. will present their case and expert witnesses, who will be subject to cross-examination by other intervenors.

Slated to testify after the public comments are those approved as official intervenors. They include representatives with Save the Ozarks; numerous individuals who live on or own property along the proposed routes; several municipalities along the proposed routes including Gateway, Garfield, Springdale and Cave Springs; Spider Creek Resort; and Wal-Mart.

Final decision

ACCORDING TO the Arkansas Public Service Commission, Administrative Law Judge Connie Griffin’s decision is required to be issued within 60 days following the hearing. But the final decision will be made by the three-member commission, which can adopt Griffin’s decision as its own, overturn it, modify it or take no action. If the APSC takes no action, Griffin’s decision will become final after 30 days.

Text Only
Local News
  • r072814dogbike.jpg Cross-country trip promotes animal adoption

    Where’s Bixby? Not the town in Oklahoma, but the dog on the back of a bicycle ridden by Mike Minnick. On Monday, the two were in Joplin, one stop on a cross-country bike trip to promote the adoption of dogs and cats from local shelters.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Seneca man draws concurrent term in sexual abuse case

    A 39-year-old man who sexually abused a girl over a four-year period in both Joplin and Seneca received a 15-year sentence Monday in Newton County that will run concurrently with a term he received earlier this year in Jasper County.

    July 28, 2014

  • Defendant who pulled knife on ER doctor sent for treatment

    A man accused of pulling a knife on a Freeman Hospital West emergency room doctor pleaded guilty to a reduced charge Monday and was sentenced to the state prison system’s Institutional Treatment Center.

    July 28, 2014

  • Judge lifts seal on records in Parsons quadruple slaying

    A judge has rescinded his order sealing court records in the case of David Bennett Jr., who is accused of killing a Parsons woman and her three children.

    July 28, 2014

  • Wal-Mart to build second local Neighborhood Market

    A second Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market store is planned for Joplin. The company has filed an application with the city to rezone nearly six acres of land on the west side of town in the tornado zone to build a new Neighborhood Market and gas station.

    July 28, 2014

  • r072814mailcar.jpg VIDEO: Train mail car trailered on Joplin's Main Street to Redings Mill

    With a police escort leading the way Monday, postal car No. 34 breezed through downtown Joplin en route to its new home in Redings Mill, where it was greeted by a welcome party of local residents and railroad enthusiasts.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • Anti-landfill group seeks grand jury probe

    As more than 200 people filed into Riverton High School on Sunday to attend an anti-landfill group meeting, many stopped to sign a petition asking the Cherokee County District Court to summon a grand jury to investigate how land was acquired by the city of Galena for a proposed landfill.

    July 27, 2014

  • 072814_jd anderson.jpg VIDEO: Noel strongman advances on talent show

    The past week has been busier than normal for Noel resident J.D. Anderson. Members of the production crew for NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” told him they have shot more footage of him than of other contestants for the next episode. “They said I have the busiest schedule of anyone this week,” Anderson told the Globe in a phone interview Friday. “There’s so many fun things you can do with B-roll as a strongman.”

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • AndraBryanStefanoni.jpg Andra Bryan Stefanoni: ‘Annie’ production is a family thing

    There’s a twist to this week’s production of “Annie” at Memorial Auditorium. The show, a beloved classic tale of an orphan girl in search of a family, is full of real-life family members.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072514 Band Box.jpg Jo Ellis: Carthage icon continues to play in local restaurant

    Chicago Coin’s Band-Box, also known as “Strike Up the Band,” has been a Carthage icon since the mid- to late 1950s. Any customer who frequented Red’s Diner, or Ray’s Cafe, and now the Pancake Hut is familiar with the pulsating rhythms and movements of this mechanical device.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

Must Read


Given that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that electronic devices and communications are protected from searches and seizure without a warrant, do you think Missouri needs Amendment 9 added to its constitution?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter