Arkansas revenues in March of this year dropped below last year’s figures. However, individual income tax refunds were up last month at $10.1 million and that’s $5.4 million above forecast.
John Shelnutt, an economist with the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, says income tax refunds are finally catching up after being low in January and February. He says figures aren’t where they were in 2012, but that should even out in April.
Three days after an Exxon pipeline in Central Arkansas burst and soaked the town of Mayflower in thousands of barrels of crude oil, the cleanup is ongoing. At last count, 12,000 barrels of oil and water have been dumped on the small town.
Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is going to open an investigation into the cause and impact of last week's ExxonMobil pipeline rupture.
McDaniel's office said Tuesday that they're asking ExxonMobil to preserve all documents and information related to Friday's oil spill and ongoing cleanup efforts in Mayflower, about 20 miles northwest of Little Rock.
Crews have recovered about 12,000 barrels of oil and water since the Pegasus pipeline ruptured on Friday afternoon. Oil spewed onto lawns and roadways and nearly fouled nearby Lake Conway.
A resident who lives close to the scene of the oil spill gives this account:
"I live on Highway 365, adjacent to the interstate, in Mayflower. First of all, I feel thankful that the men and women of my community, who have no special training or local oversight, were able to work together and pull resources to contain the oil. When I exited the interstate on my way home on Friday at around 3:30 pm, the oil smell came on all at once.
The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences has renamed its eight Area Health Education Centers across the state. The centers known as AHECs provide health education programs and some also have primary care clinics.
Leaders of the Arkansas House and Senate say they support a proposal to expand health insurance to low income workers by purchasing private coverage with federal Medicaid money.
House Speaker Davy Carter and Senate President Pro Tem Michael Lamoureux said Monday they support the so-called private option lawmakers are considering as an alternative to expanding Medicaid enrollment under the federal health care law.
Under the proposal, the private coverage would be purchased through an exchange created under the federal law.
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- A case of E. coli has been reported in Arkansas. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has reported 15 cases of E. coli, including one in the Natural State. An investigation led officials to believe the source of the outbreak is from "Farm Rich" brand frozen food products, including chicken quesadillas, mozzarella bites, mini pizza slices, and several other frozen, partially cooked snacks.