Alma native to head state Labor Department

Alma-native Ricky Belk has been named director of the Arkansas Labor Department. Belk’s appointment was one of several announced Thursday (Jan. 24) by Gov. Mike Beebe.

Belk, 56, serves on the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board. Since 2005, he has been the Secretary-Treasurer for the Arkansas AFL-CIO. Previously, Belk also served on the boards of the Fort Smith United Way and the Alma Community Outreach Center. Belk replaces James Salkeld, who retired earlier this month.

Beebe also announced that Preston Scroggin will be the new director of the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission.

Scroggin, 46, and from Vilonia, is the Faulkner County Judge and president of the County Judges' Association of Arkansas. A fifth-generation cattle rancher, Scroggin grew up on farms with chicken houses, as well. He also served in the Arkansas House of Representatives and on the Vilonia City Council. The Commission’s previous director, Steve Bryles, passed away in December.

Beebe also announced that he is appointing Shelia Vaught of Little Rock to the University of Central Arkansas Board of Trustees. Vaught's appointment expires on Jan. 14, 2020; she replaces Rush Harding on the board.

In addition, Beebe has reappointed Ron Rhodes of Cherokee Village to a second term on the Arkansas State University Board of Trustees. Rhodes' appointment expires on Jan. 14, 2018.

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Beebe has also reappointed Leigh Whiteside of Russellville to the Arkansas Tech University Board of Trustees. Whiteside's appointment expires on Jan. 14, 2018.

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