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Local & Regional News
1:56 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Osceola Approves Revenue Bonds For Steel Mill

The Osceola City Council has unanimously approved the issuance of $1.5 billion in industrial revenue bonds for the planned Big River Steel mill.

The council approved the ordinance Monday night. Under the agreement, the city will take the title for the property then lease it back to Big River Steel for $1 a year.

According to the Blytheville Courier News, the agreement also calls for Big River Steel to pay 35 percent of regular millage taxes to the city annually for 20 years.

Local & Regional News
1:25 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Vilonia Couple Whose Kids Killed In Tornado In Stable Condition

After a deadly tornado ripped its way through central Arkansas, the mother of two boys killed in the storm and her husband are in stable condition in a Little Rock hospital.

A family friend says that Daniel and April Smith suffered multiple injuries caused by last week's EF4 tornado, but are in stable condition.

Friend Jessica Sowards says Daniel has a skull fracture, deep cuts and a shoulder injury. April has a broken pelvis, hairline fractures in both of her legs, minor lacerations and had suffered a collapsed lung.

Local & Regional News
1:14 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Deadline for Arkansas Financial Aid Extended In Counties Hit By Tornado

The Arkansas Department of Higher Education is extending the deadline to apply for and accept financial aid for students in five counties with tornado or flood damage.

The department says students in Faulkner, Independence, Pulaski, Randolph and White counties have until July 1 to apply for and accept financial aid, including the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship.

Each county has been declared a disaster area by Gov. Mike Beebe following tornadoes and flooding. The deadline for students in all other counties remains June 1.

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Local & Regional News
12:20 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Governor Makes Pick For Arkansas Education Leader

Officials say Arkansas' current deputy education commissioner is the top pick to lead the department when Tom Kimbrell steps down next month.

A spokesman for Gov. Mike Beebe says the governor is recommending that James "Tony" Wood succeed Kimbrell, who is leaving the agency to become superintendent of the Bryant School District.

According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the state Board of Education hires the education commissioner and the governor confirms the appointment.

Local & Regional News
9:13 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Central Arkansans Can Pre-Register For Food Aid

The state Department of Human Services says residents in a central Arkansas county affected by last week's severe weather can pre-register for disaster food assistance.

Officials say starting Tuesday, Faulkner County residents can pre-register from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at a Conway mobile unit - located at 1000 East Siebenmorgen - for the Disaster-Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Local & Regional News
9:11 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Senator Mark Pryor Staffer Named As UA Lobbyist

The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville says it has selected the state director for Sen Mark Pryor's office as its new lobbyist.

The college announced Monday that Randy Massanelli won the position over two other finalists to serve as the next vice chancellor for governmental relations starting July 1st. The university's current lobbyist Richard Hudson is retiring July 31st.

The two other finalists for the position were Mac Campbell, a former aide to Sen. Blanche Lincoln, and Republican state Sen. Johnny Key of Mountain Home.

Local & Regional News
5:00 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Democratic Primary Governor: Mike Ross

Mike Ross with KUAR's Jacob Kauffman
Credit Mike Ross Campaign

This discussion with Mike Ross is the second installment of KUAR's interviews with gubernatorial candidates in the Republican and Democratic primaries. 

See here for the interview with Mike Ross's opponent in the primary Lynette Bryant.

Joshua Drake has already secured the Green Party's nomination. Frank Gilbert was nominated by the Libertarian Party.

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Local & Regional News
4:29 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Pulaski, Randolph, White Counties Declared Federal Disasters

A damaged car from last week's tornado.
Credit National Weather Service

Gov. Mike Beebe says Pulaski, Randolph and White counties have been declared federal disasters and people with storm damage are eligible for individual assistance.

Faulkner County, where most of the 15 who died April 27 in the EF-4 tornado were killed, had earlier been approved for assistance.

Beebe's office says Independence County also sought a federal disaster declaration but did not meet damage thresholds to qualify.

President Barack Obama is scheduled on Wednesday to tour areas with tornado damage.

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Local & Regional News
3:51 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

President Obama's Arkansas Trip Mentioned in White House Press Briefing

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney speaking to reporters during Monday's briefing.
Credit C-SPAN

President Barack Obama is planning to visit tornado ravaged areas of the state Wednesday. On Monday White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked during a regular briefing why the President has not previously visited Arkansas while in office.

“I don’t even know how to respond to that except to say the President has focused and will be focused when he visits on Wednesday on the families of victims, and on the first responders, and on the efforts underway to help Arkansas rebuild,” said Carney.

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Local & Regional News
2:23 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Official Attributes Baby's Death To Last Week's Tornado

Faulkner County officials are attributing an infant's death to last week's tornado that killed 15 people in central Arkansas.

County spokesman David Hogue says Monday that a mother, who suffered injuries from last Sunday's tornado, gave birth to a baby.

Hogue says the newborn took a breath, and died. Hogue says the baby's death is attributed to the tornado because of the mother's injuries. The infant's exact time of death and how far the mother was along in her pregnancy were not immediately known.

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