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Local & Regional News
12:45 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Arkansas Agency Reviews Plan For Closed Whirlpool Site

Credit Arkansas Times

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality is reviewing a plan to deal with a degreasing solvent that was detected in groundwater at a recently shuttered Whirlpool plant in Fort Smith.

A company called ENVIRON submitted a final remedy work plan to the state environmental agency this week on behalf of Benton Harbor, Mich.-based Whirlpool Corp.

The plan comes decades after Whirlpool ceased using trichloroethylene at the Fort Smith site.

The Environmental Protection Agency says inhalation exposure to trichloroethylene can affect the human central nervous system.

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Local & Regional News
12:42 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Arkansas Lawmakers Back $1.1Million For Scholarship Program

Arkansas lawmakers have approved tapping $1.1 million in reserve funds to make up for a shortfall in a program that helps students pursuing medical degrees that Arkansas schools don't offer pay for tuition at schools in other states.

The Arkansas Legislative Council on Friday approved transferring money from the state's Rainy Day Fund to the Health Education Grants program.

The grants help students pay out-of-state tuition for medical programs not offered at Arkansas schools, including veterinary medicine, dentistry and optometry.

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Local & Regional News
12:40 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Feds Arrest Arkansas State Trooper On Drug Charge

Sedrick Reed
Credit Pulaski County Sheriff's Office

A former Arkansas State Police lieutenant is in jail after he was arrested on federal drug charges.

FBI spokeswoman Kimberly Brunell says agents arrested Sedrick Reed on Thursday afternoon at state police headquarters.

Court records show that Reed was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of less than 500 grams of cocaine.

State police spokesman Bill Sadler says Reed was fired shortly before 5 p.m. Thursday.

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Local & Regional News
5:42 am
Fri July 19, 2013

At Least 2 Cows Die Due To Blackleg Disease

A drought-related disease known as blackleg is blamed for the deaths of at least two cows in Arkansas.

University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture officials say the disease has caused the deaths of cows in Lonoke and Sebastian counties.

Agricultural officials say the bacterial disease typically appears during drought because the dry conditions reduce forage for cattle - and the animals then graze close to the ground and ingest small soil particles that contain the bacteria.

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Local & Regional News
5:55 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Rep. Griffin Bill On Mandate Passes House, Not Expected To Be Considered By Senate

Rep. Tim Griffin

Two bills challenging mandates that are part of President Obama's health care law now move to the Senate, after passing in the House Wednesday.

Congressman Tim Griffin authored one of the bills, which delays the requirement that businesses provide employee health insurance or be penalized.

Thursday, Griffin spoke about the bill with KUAR during All Things Considered. You can listen to the interview above.

The bills come after the Obama Administration announced a one-year delay earlier this month for the employer mandate.

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Local & Regional News
5:27 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Federal Judge Recuses From Arkansas Gay Marriage Suit

A federal judge is recusing from a case challenging Arkansas' ban on gay marriage, citing friendships with supporters of the amendment that voters approved banning same-sex unions.

U.S. District Judge Leon Holmes on Thursday ordered that the lawsuit challenging the ban be assigned to another judge.

Holmes cited personal and professional relationships with leaders who drafted and campaigned for the ban that was approved by voters in 2004.

Holmes wrote that the relationships developed in 1980s working on issues similar, but not identical, to the gay marriage ban.

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Local & Regional News
2:18 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Drug Czar: 'Treat Addiction as Public Health Issue'

R. Gil Kerlikowske addressed an Arkansas forum today regarding the dangers of prescription drug abuse.
Credit WhiteHouse.gov

The director of the nation's drug policy office says treatment and education are the most effective tools to combat drug abuse. 

Drug czar R. Gil Kerlikowske said Thursday in Little Rock that law enforcement is also part of the equation but said addressing addiction as a public health issue is the main focus of his mission.

Kerlikowske told about 700 people gathered for a state conference on prescription drug abuse that abuse rates nationally are showing some improvement.

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Local & Regional News
2:12 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Worker Dies After Fire at Springdale Plant

Officials say one worker is dead after a fire at a northwest Arkansas recycling plant.  

The fire broke out Wednesday afternoon at Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies' plant in Springdale. The company says three workers suffered burns in the fire and all were taken to area hospitals.

The company said Thursday that one of the workers died at a hospital in Springfield, Mo. AERT President Tim Morrison says the company is providing support to families and employees during "this very difficult time."

Local & Regional News
2:08 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Arkansas Highway Chief Says Roads Face Funding Gap

Arkansas' highway chief says the state still needs an additional $200 million a year over the next decade just to maintain its roads, despite extra money coming in from a half-cent sales tax voters approved last year.

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Local & Regional News
11:04 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Drought Conditions Worsening in Arkansas

Credit U.S. Drought Monitor

Drought conditions are worsening in Arkansas as summer starts to heat up.  

New U.S. Drought Monitor data released Thursday show that severe drought has cropped up in a small section of northwest Arkansas and southwest Arkansas.

Nearly all the state is experiencing drought or abnormally dry conditions.  

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