Local & Regional News

Arkansas local and regional news

National Weather Service

As Arkansas prepares for the possibility of heavy rain and high winds from the remnants of Tropical Storm Harvey, many farmers are harvesting crops that are most sensitive to storm damage.

According to the National Weather Service, rainfall totals expected in Harvey’s wake could range from two to three inches in Arkansas, though some areas could see higher rainfall totals and there is the chance for flash flooding, especially in the southeastern part of the state. Jarrod Hardke with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture says it's a preventative measure.

Power Bar and Ultra Lounge Mass Shooting
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

One of 28 people injured when gunfire erupted during a concert at a Little Rock nightclub last month has sued the club's manager and the owner of the building where it occurred.

An attorney for Patrick Hardy filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Pulaski County Circuit Court against Herman Lewis. Lewis manages the Power Ultra Lounge where the July 1 shooting occurred during a performance by Ricky Hampton, a rapper who goes by the name Finese2Tymes. The lawsuit also names 6th and Center LLC, which owns the building where the shooting occurred.

Facebook

The Jewish Food and Cultural Festival, held annually in Little Rock, is taking a year off. The Jewish Federation of Arkansas voted to take time to review the festival and bring it back in two years, on April 14, 2019. JFA Director Marianne Tettlebaum made the announcement on Monday afternoon.

Arkansas Department of Transportation

UPDATE: Tuesday afternoon, the Arkansas Department of Transportation announced stationary traffic cameras can now be viewed on the traveler information website www.idrivearkansas.com. Visitors to the website will have to click on the traffic light image on the right side of the screen, make sure "traffic cameras" is clicked, then can select any camera to view from a map of the state.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Facebook is expanding a partnership with Arkansas and will donate virtual reality kits to every public high school in the state.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Monday the state and the social media giant are expanding the TechStart Partnership, which was announced earlier this year to generate interest in computer science careers and instruction.

Facebook originally donated 400 virtual reality classroom kits, including computers, cameras and Oculus Rift equipment, to approximately 250 schools.

Members of the Arkansas National Guard preparing to deploy for Texas relief efforts.
Arkansas National Guard

A band of Arkansas National Guardsman is set to arrive in Houston this afternoon to assist in recovery efforts related to Tropical Storm Harvey. 14 guardsmen set out for Texas early Monday morning for about a week-long hazmat stint. Governor Asa Hutchinson deployed the team.

Public Affairs Officer Major William Phillips says the Arkansas contingent is focused on next-stage recovery and not immediate water rescue efforts.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson has spared the life of one death row inmate on the same day that he set an execution date for another.

Following a routine 30-day comment period, the governor announced Friday that he’ll grant clemency to Jason McGehee.  McGehee was one of eight Arkansas inmates scheduled for execution in April, and the first to have his lethal injection stayed by a court.

Anti-death penalty activists argued that McGehee’s age (21) at the time of the crime ought to be considered, as well as the fact that two alleged accomplices in the beating death of John Melbourne, Jr., 15, in 1996 were given life sentences and not the death penalty.

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

Conflicting messages of success and dissatisfaction were the predominant themes of a town hall meeting with officials from the Arkansas Department of Education, state lawmakers and the Little Rock School District Thursday. The optimistic assessments of the state of district schools by Superintendent Michael Poore and Education Commissioner Johnny Key contrasted with vocal opposition from the public.

The latest numbers from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show Arkansas had the second-highest opioid prescribing rate in the nation in 2016, after Alabama. There are enough painkiller prescriptions being filled for every Arkansan to have a bottle.

The rates reflect the number of initial and refill prescriptions dispensed per 100 people at retail (non-hospital) pharmacies, which represent 88% of prescriptions in the United States. For Arkansas, the rate is 114.6.

Deputy Timothy Braden
Drew County Sheriff's Office

An Arkansas sheriff’s deputy has died after an accident that  authorities say occurred during a police chase. Arkansas State Police identified the deputy as 29-year-old Timothy Braden who was with the Drew County Sheriff’s office.

A report says he tried to stop a vehicle early Thursday near Monticello, with the driver refusing to stop. Both vehicles were then involved in an accident.

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