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Local & Regional News
12:17 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

UPDATE: ExxonMobil Blames Original Manufacturing Defect For Pipeline Break

Crews cleaning up the Mayflower neighborhood in April, a week after the spill.
Credit Michael Hibblen/ KUAR News

ExxonMobil released a statement late Wednesday afternoon saying an independent assessment has found that "original manufacturing defects" were to blame for the March oil pipeline rupture in Mayflower.

An estimated 150,000 gallons of tar sands were spilled in the residential neighborhood.

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Local & Regional News
5:58 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Backers Line Up For Deepening Arkansas River

The Arkansas River in Little Rock, as seen from a streetcar.
Credit Michael Hibblen/ KUAR News

Economic Development officials in Arkansas and Oklahoma are endorsing a proposal to deepen the shipping channel in the Arkansas River by three feet.

Officials said this week that deepening the river from nine feet to 12 feet will enable barges to carry 40 percent more cargo.

The Southwest Times Record reports that some sections of the river are less than nine feet deep in parts of Oklahoma.

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Local & Regional News
5:53 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Delay In Civil Case Over Alamo Ministry Properties

Credit Coconino County Sheriff's Office

A U.S. magistrate has indefinitely postponed a hearing in a lawsuit over ownership claims to properties associated with Tony Alamo Ministries members.

The properties include the church building, a gym building, a warehouse, a restaurant parking lot, a restaurant and a home in Fort Smith.

Alamo was convicted on federal charges that he transported young girls across state lines for sex and is serving a 175-year prison sentence.

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Local & Regional News
5:46 am
Wed July 10, 2013

State Hospital Worker Fired For Hitting Patient

The Arkansas Department of Human Services says a worker at the State Hospital has been fired for hitting a patient with a closed fist.

The hospital on Tuesday dismissed the worker for failing to follow proper guidelines.

Officials say the worker was hit by a patient last Wednesday. The worker responded by punching the patient, who needed a trip to the hospital for stitches.

DHS didn't name the worker because he can still file an appeal. The employee was placed on administrative leave the day of the incident, pending the outcome of an investigation.

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Local & Regional News
8:17 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Plan For The River Trail Is Approved By Little Rock Officials

The Little Rock Board of Directors has approved a plan to build a connecting section of the River Trail for bicyclists, which would help them navigate a section of Cantrell Road.

The connector section includes a loop behind the old marina building just west of the Dillard's corporate headquarters.

Dillard's has not yet agreed to allow the trail to extend behind its property, so the trail will wind in front of the building and connect with the sidewalks along Cantrell for a stretch.

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Campaign Contributions
5:54 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Pryor 3rd In Nation In Receiving Lobbyist Money

Mark Pryor
Credit AP/Photo

A new ranking compiled by the nonpartisan “Center for Responsive Politics” shows that in the first quarter of 2013, Senator Mark Pryor is third in the nation for members of Congress receiving donations from lobbyists.

Arkansas’s lone congressional Democrat, who is seeking reelection, has amassed $85,100 from lobbyists so far this year, putting him behind Democrats Max Baucus of Montana and Ed Markey of Massachusetts.

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Local & Regional News
5:21 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

USGS Studying New Madrid Earthquake Seismic Zone

The U.S. Geological Survey is conducting low-level flights across sections of Missouri, Arkansas and Tennessee this week looking for clues about the New Madrid earthquake fault zone.

The USGS begins conducting the flights Wednesday over a 1,400-square-mile area across southeastern Missouri, northeastern Arkansas and western Tennessee.

Crews will be measuring the magnetic field of the earth and underground rock formations to help locate concealed faults associated with the New Madrid seismic zone.

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Local & Regional News
4:15 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Arkansas Group Submits Gay Marriage Proposal For 2016

A group has asked Arkansas' attorney general to approve the wording of a measure legalizing gay marriage for the 2016 ballot.

The Arkansas Initiative for Marriage Equality on Tuesday asked Attorney General Dustin McDaniel to certify the proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize same-sex marriage.

If McDaniel certifies the measure, the group can begin gathering signatures needed to place it on the ballot.

If approved by voters, the amendment would state that the right to marry shall not be abridged or denied on account of gender and sexual orientation.

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Local & Regional News
4:13 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Ex-Arkansas Treasurer's Trial Delayed To 2014

Credit Pulaski County Sheriff's Office

A federal judge Tuesday agreed to delay the trial of former Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner who is facing charges of extortion and bribery charges.

U.S. District Judge Leon Holmes granted Shoffner's request to delay her trial, which had been set to begin July 29th. It’s now scheduled to start on March 3rd, 2014.

Her attorney said last week that they needed more time to prepare her defense.

Shoffner was indicted last month on 14 federal counts of extortion and bribery.

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Local & Regional News
2:38 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Arkansas Is Drying Out, With Fire Danger Increasing

Weather forecasters say Arkansas is showing signs of a developing drought and the state Forestry Commission is warning of a heightened fire danger.

After ample rainfall in the cooler months, precipitation levels have fallen below normal in recent weeks.

The National Weather Service on Tuesday issued an advisory that moisture levels in vegetation have dropped to the point that the danger of wildfires is heightened.

The Forestry Commission lists all of the state except northeast Arkansas at a moderate danger of wildfires.

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