Local & Regional News
3:02 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Task Force Mulls Considerations for New Veterans Home

The Little Rock Veterans Home that closed last November.

A 22 member legislative task force is crafting recommendations for a new Arkansas Veterans Home to replace one that closed down in Little Rock last November due to disrepair. Four cities were named as possible sites: Fort Smith, Russellville, Jacksonville and Benton. Little Rock was not on the list.

The group met at the Capitol Monday to review criteria such as size, location, and funding. Several members brought up assisting veterans who might not fall under existing funding structures. 

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Local & Regional News
1:08 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Farmers: More Storms May Damage Arkansas Crops

Heavy rain in Arkansas over the last three weeks has improved drought conditions and provided necessary irrigation for crops in dry pastures.

However, agricultural experts are concerned that if thunderstorms continue fields could become oversaturated. Hank Chaney works with the Faulkner County Extension Service.

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Local & Regional News
7:49 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Arkansas Organizations Urged To Join Summer Feeding Program For Children

According to the Arkansas Department of Human Services, less than 15 percent of children who qualify for free or reduced-priced school lunches in Arkansas are getting nutritious meals in the summer.

Though the summer will soon come to a close, efforts are ramping up to encourage local organizations to join the Summer Food Service Program.

Kevin Concannon is the undersecretary for USDA Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services.

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Local & Regional News
7:41 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Jonesboro Council To Vote On Unilever Expansion

The Jonesboro City Council is considering a plan this week to authorize up to $41 million in revenue bonds to help Unilever complete an expansion at its plant, which makes hair-care products.

The council is set to vote Tuesday night on the plan. Unilever announced the expansion in 2011, shortly after the company acquired Alberto Culver.

Unilever has said the company has already hired many of the 125 new employees it planned to add with the expansion.

The Jonesboro Sun reports that the city will have no financial obligation but will own the facility.

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Local & Regional News
5:56 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Meeting Set On Arkansas Veterans Home

A legislative task force is scheduled to meet to discuss the location of a proposed home for Arkansas veterans.

The group is scheduled to meet at 10 a.m. at the Capitol.

The panel is to make recommendations on the size, location, design and funding for a new facility.

The 22-member group is looking to replace a Little Rock home that state officials closed because of deteriorating conditions.

Legislators earlier set aside $7.5 million from the state surplus to help pay for the new facility.

Local & Regional News
5:54 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Freight Company Expanding At Fort Smith

A facility that moves freight between big rigs and train cars is expanding in Fort Smith.

Ozark Transmodal Inc. spending $1.5 million to add 60,000 square feet of floor space to its center on Fourth Street.

The Southwest Times Record reports that Ozark Transit and it sister company, Arkansas and Missouri Railroad, moves freight from truck to rail and from rail to truck.

The firms have locations in Fort Smith and Springdale. The company says the new space will mainly be used for shipping rolls of paper.

Local & Regional News
5:51 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Effort Underway On Arkansas Health Care Expansion

Officials have begun making presentations to inform businesses and individuals about how expanded availability of health care insurance coverage will affect people in Arkansas.

Instead of expanding the Medicaid program, the Legislature opted to use federal money to enable poorer residents to buy health insurance.

The Arkansas Center for Health Improvement held a presentation Friday in Fort Smith to explain how the program will be put into action.

Open enrollment for people eligible for the program begins Oct. 1.

Local & Regional News
5:48 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Wind Main Threat From Arkansas, Oklahoma Storms

The National Weather Service says wind is the main threat from storms forming in western and central Arkansas and into eastern Oklahoma, though some flash flooding is also possible.

The weather service said Sunday that the threat would continue overnight and persist into this morning.

A flash flood watch was in place Sunday for much of northern Arkansas. Thunderstorm chances are forecast to decrease Monday and Tuesday.

A weak frontal boundary will bring increased storm chances by the middle of the week into the weekend.

State Highways
4:54 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

I-40 Widening Project Wrapping At Conway

Arkansas highway officials say construction is approaching completion near Conway to widen Interstate 40 but will continue nearer to North Little Rock.

The state is widening 23 miles of I-40 from four lanes to six lanes between Conway and North Little Rock.

Work on an eight-mile segment in Conway is to be completed by the end of the year but it will take several more years for the entire $135 million project to be finished.

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Constitutional Initiatives
4:50 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

Group Resubmits Proposal To Legalize Pot In Arkansas

Supporters of a proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize marijuana in Arkansas have submitted a revised plan to Attorney General Dustin McDaniel.

The proposal was revised and submitted Friday by Arkansans For Medical Cannabis after McDaniel in July rejected the wording of the proposed initiated act as ambiguous.

The proposed ballot measure would leave it to voters to decide whether to legalize marijuana, including for medical, industrial and recreational use.