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Local & Regional News
2:28 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Arkansas Forestry Commission Warns Of High Wildfire Danger

Red counties are those with burn bans in place, as of 2 pm Monday
Credit Arkansas Forestry Commission

The Arkansas Forestry Commission says brisk winds and low humidity have combined to create a high wildfire danger across the state.

Winds exceeding 10 mph are forecast for most counties Monday. Humidity levels will also be below 40 percent, which makes grass, shrubs and trees even more combustible than they already are.

The commission says the wildfire danger is forecast to continue through the week.

Burn bans are currently active in 49 Arkansas counties, and state foresters advise against any outdoor burning to reduce the wildfire threat.

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Local & Regional News
11:50 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Arkansas Sees Drop In Students Needing Remediation

The Arkansas Department of Higher Education says the number of students who aren't academically prepared for college continues to drop.

According to the department, 8,667 out of 20,064 students needed to take a remedial college class in 2013. That's a rate of 43.2 percent - and it's down from 55 percent in 2009.

The report tallies the number of first-time students who scored below 19 in at least one area of the ACT college admissions test.

Local & Regional News
3:51 pm
Sun January 26, 2014

Smoke From Wildfire Problem for Jessieville, Hot Springs Village

The U.S. Forest Service says smoke from a 200-acre wildfire northwest of Lake Ouachita State Park could affect residents of Jessieville and Hot Springs Village.

Officials said Sunday that residents who are sensitive to smoke should remain indoors and keep their windows closed to minimize exposure. The fire was being allowed to burn to existing barriers such as roads or creeks, resulting in less damage to natural resources. But forecast changes in wind patterns prompted officials to try to contain the wildfire using trails, roads, lake shore and natural barriers.

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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.

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