UPDATE: Beebe names new Ark. Game and Fish commissioner - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

UPDATE: Beebe names new Ark. Game and Fish commissioner

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© Arkansas Game & Fish Commission © Arkansas Game & Fish Commission

LITTLE ROCK - Gov. Mike Beebe has named a Texarkana man to replace a member of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission who resigned after a misdemeanor arrest last month.

Beebe on Friday announced he had named Ty Patterson to fill the vacancy of Vice Chairman Rick Watkins, who left the panel in January. The 35-year-old is a partner in the Orr/Patterson Automotive Group who grew up hunting and fishing in southwest Arkansas.

"It truly is a dream come true for someone like myself who is passionate about hunting and fishing," Patterson said during a ceremony at Little Rock's Witt Stephens, Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center.

A graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, Patterson is particularly fond of duck hunting and spring turkey hunting. He is the second commissioner from Texarkana - Henry Moore, III, was appointed in 1975 - and he is among the youngest commissioners currently serving.

Along with current memberships in Ducks Unlimited and the National Wild Turkey Federation, Patterson is a board member of the First Tee of Texarkana and volunteers on committees for Opportunities, Inc.

"Ty has a lifetime of outdoor experience, particularly in southwest Arkansas," said Gov. Beebe. "His enthusiasm and experience will serve him well as he represents that region of our State on the commission."

Rick Watkins resigned after a misdemeanor arrest for allegedly firing a gun into the ground while drunk. The Lonoke County Sheriff's Office arrested Watkins on Jan. 22 for public intoxication and disorderly conduct. He has a March 5 court appearance. Watkins apologized in an emailed statement last month.

Beebe appointed Watkins to the commission in 2007 so Patterson's term will expire July 1, 2014.

Governor Mike Beebe has named Ty Patterson of Texarkana as the newest commissioner of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Patterson will serve the remaining 16 months of a term vacated by the resignation of Rick Watkins. The announcement was held today at the Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center in Little Rock.

"Ty has a lifetime of outdoor experience, particularly in Southwest Arkansas," Beebe said. "His enthusiasm and experience will serve him well as he represents that region of our State on the commission." Patterson is the second commissioner from Texarkana to serve. Henry Moore III was appointed in 1975.

Beebe pointed out that Patterson's term, which is far short of the usual seven years, carries as much weight.

"It's no less important, it's no less significant and it's no less an opportunity for you to leave your mark to help in conservation, to help in hunting and fishing, to help in young peoples' education, to help across the board in this natural treasure we call Arkansas," Beebe said. "I know from your background that you will do a great job."

Patterson, 35, is a partner in the Orr/Patterson Automotive Group in Texarkana. "It truly is a dream come true for someone like myself who is passionate about hunting and fishing," said Patterson, who's among the youngest appointed commissioners. "I look forward to joining forces with current commissioners, the director and all the staff at the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission in an effort to protect and preserve the abundance of wildlife and natural habitat we have here in our state.

A graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, Patterson grew up hunting and fishing in Southwest Arkansas. He is particularly fond of duck hunting and spring turkey hunting.

Along with current memberships in Ducks Unlimited and the National Wild Turkey Federation, Patterson is a board member of the First Tee of Texarkana and volunteers on committees for Opportunities, Inc.

Patterson's term will expire July 1, 2014.