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Local & Regional News
4:48 pm
Sat January 25, 2014

Wildfire Touches Trails Near Lake Ouachita

The U.S. Forest Service is battling a 50-acre wildfire northwest of Lake Ouachita State Park near Hot Springs. Forest Service officials say the blaze began about noon Friday and has closed all trails within the Little Blakely Trail System. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The fire is located in a remote location and away from private lands or structures. Officials say it is expected to burn over the next several days.

Local & Regional News
2:46 pm
Sat January 25, 2014

Central Arkansas Library System Introduces Instant Video And Music Streaming

The library is making access to films and music easier for the public. Beginning Monday, the Central Arkansas Library System will offer instant streaming of TV shows, movies, music, and audio books through Hoopla Digital.

The program comes at no cost to those using it and it can be accessed via www.cals.org or the hoopla app on a smart phone. Lee Ann Blackwell, with the library system, says it is important to mix books with the latest technology.

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Local & Regional News
5:13 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Federal Judge May Consolidate Lawsuits Against Whirlpool

Credit Arkansas Times

A federal judge is weighing whether to consolidate two lawsuits against Whirlpool Corp. over pollution at its former factory in Fort Smith.

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Flu Season
3:44 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Arkansas Flu Deaths On The Rise

Arkansas's number of flu deaths this season is now 25.

Doctor Dirk Haselow, the state's epidemeologist says he thinks the state's flu season has peaked, but total deaths could top 50 before the season is fully over. He says with more flu season ahead, it's not too late to get a flu shot if you haven't had one already.

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Local & Regional News
3:05 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Wildfire Danger For Arkansas Elevated To 'High'

Map showing wildfire danger in Arkansas.
Credit Ark. Forestry Commission

The Arkansas Forestry Commission has elevated the risk of wildfires to "high" for the entire state.

Burn bans are in place Friday for almost all of northwest and north-central Arkansas, with dozens of counties banning outdoor burning.

A red flag warning is in effect for a number of northern counties, including those north of a line from Fayetteville to Russellville to Batesville.

The National Weather Service says the region is experiencing strong and gusty winds of up to 35 mph, along with low humidity values of 15 to 25 percent.

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Local & Regional News
2:13 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

UA Trustees Laud Gearhart Amid Budget Flap, Affirm Support

File photo of current and former University of Arkansas officials during a legislative hearing on Jan. 7. From left to right, Vice-Chancellor for Finance and Administration Don Pederson, Associate Vice-Chancellor for Financial Affairs Jean Schook, Chancellor David Gearhart, former Vice-Chancellor of Advancement Brad Choate, former Associate Vice-Chancellor of University Relations John Diamond (behind Choate) and former Advancement Division Budget Director Joy Sharp.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

Trustees of the University of Arkansas have expressed support for Fayetteville Chancellor G. David Gearhart for his leadership amid a budget crisis in one division.

At their meeting Friday in Little Rock, board chairman Jane Rogers read a letter lauding Gearhart for taking "full responsibility" after the school's fundraising arm showed a multi-million deficit. Rogers said the school is committed to financial accountability and the freedom of information.

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Local & Regional News
11:54 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Worker Killed When Tank Explodes In Johnson County

The Johnson County Sheriff's Office says one person was killed in an explosion Friday morning at a trucking company in Knoxville.

The sheriff's office says workers were using a propane torch to thaw out a tank when the tank exploded.

Authorities say 33-year-old Daniel Rice died when he was struck by a metal hatch plate that was blown off the back of the tank. No one else was injured.

The sheriff's office says the tankers are designed to haul wastewater from drilling sites.

Authorities say it appears methane gas built up in the tank, causing the explosion.

Local & Regional News
10:54 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Arkansas Lawmakers Look At Rules For Abortion Ban

Arkansas legislators aren't raising any objections about the rules for enforcing a law approved last year banning most abortions at 20 weeks into a woman's pregnancy.

Members of the House and Senate Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee on Friday didn't ask any questions of state Health Department officials as they reviewed changes in the rules for abortion facilities that will incorporate language from the 20-week ban.

The Republican-led Legislature enacted the restriction last year, overriding a veto by Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe.

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Local & Regional News
10:52 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Arkansas Health Official: Deaths From Flu Could Top 50

An Arkansas health official says he believes the state has hit the peak of this year's flu season, but wouldn't be surprised if the number of deaths in the state exceeds 50.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Dirk Haselow told a legislative panel Friday that officials have confirmed 25 people in Arkansas have died from the flu this year, and are investigating several more to determine the cause.

Haselow said the age of those killed by the flu in Arkansas has ranged from two months to 77 years.

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Local & Regional News
10:50 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Pine Bluff Officer Shot By Fellow Officer, Expected To Recover

Authorities say a Pine Bluff police officer has been treated and released from a hospital after he was accidentally shot by a fellow officer while conducting surveillance.

Pine Bluff Police Lt. David Price says officers were conducting surveillance Friday morning outside the Tobacco Outlet on Camden Road because of recent burglaries at the business.

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