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Local & Regional News
9:05 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Workers Sent To Hospital After Leak At Arkansas Plant

Authorities in northeast Arkansas say 18 people were sent to hospitals after a suspected chlorine dioxide leak at a steel mill in Blytheville.

Blytheville Fire Chief Mike Carney says the fire department responded to Nucor Steel at about 10 a.m. Sunday.

Carney says the department's hazardous materials team decontaminated the workers and contractors who were exposed to the gas before sending them to a hospital.

Local & Regional News
6:36 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Capitol Building Being Prepared For Christmas Decorations

A worker positions lights outside the Capitol building.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

An extensive cleaning is underway at the Arkansas Capitol, in advance of the holiday season.  Work is costing the state $800,000. Ornaments and lights will be ready for viewing by December 1st.

Work to string over 100,000 lights on the outside of the building began over two weeks ago, while hanging banners, bows and wreaths on the interior started just last week.

Alex Reed, with the Secretary of State’s Office, says December 7th is the official lighting ceremony, along with Little Rock’s Christmas Parade.

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Local & Regional News
6:01 pm
Sat November 16, 2013

Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport Posts Record Profits But Loses Passengers

Credit Jason Burt / Arkansas Business

Despite being ranked America's worst airport by Travel and Leisure, Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport saw revenue increase over the last year.

Passenger traffic is down from last year, but the airport is still on track to earn a record amount of net operating income. Through October 31, the airport had total net income of nearly $9 million, or about 4 percent ahead of what was collected in the same period last year.

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Local & Regional News
6:35 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Deal To End Desegregation Payments Nearly Complete Despite Reservations

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel testifies before the Arkansas Legislative Council on Friday
Credit Chris Hickey / KUAR News

The Arkansas Legislative Council on Friday heard details of the agreement reached between the state and central Arkansas school districts to end desegregation payments and approved the terms of the proposed settlement.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel spoke to lawmakers, calling it a “historic milestone,” and praising efforts by the legal counsels of all school districts involved.

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Local & Regional News
4:28 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Company Identified In Arkansas Chicken Blood Spill

The chief of a company whose tank truck leaked chicken blood for 20 miles on U.S. Highway 71 near Greenwood says he'll pay for car washes for motorists whose vehicles were fouled.

The Arkansas highway department on Friday said a truck owned by MKJ trucking of Springfield, Mo., leaked the animal product while hauling it to a Danville pet food plant.

Fort Smith television station KHBS reports MKJ managing partner Rick Johnson says he doesn't know how a valve on the truck opened while it was moving.

Local & Regional News
4:12 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Proposed Prison Healthcare Delivery Arkansas's Largest Contract Ever

Rising Prison Healthcare Costs
Credit pewstates.org

The future of the largest contract with a private entity in state history was the center of discussion over prison healthcare in Friday's Arkansas Legislative Council meeting. The proposed 9 year, $92 million contract drew questions over its size and the search process selecting Correct Care Solutions as the best company for comprehensive medical and pharmaceutical services.

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Local & Regional News
2:16 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Killer of Arkansas Store Clerk Wins Hearing On Appeal

Andrew Sasser
Credit Arkansas Dept. of Correction

A man convicted in the rape and murder of a Miller County store clerk 20 years ago has won an appeal ruling that will let him argue he shouldn't be executed because he has a low IQ.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that Andrew Sasser should have a hearing to determine whether he is mentally unfit to be put to death.

The panel also ruled that the 49-year-old Sasser also gets a hearing on whether he was effectively represented at his trial.

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Local & Regional News
2:09 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Committee Assembled To Review Public Notification Process

A committee tasked with reviewing the public notification process for concentrated animal feeding permit applications in the state, will have its first meeting this week. 

Public notice is given when a general permit is issued, and anyone can apply for CAFO coverage under that permit, as long as the applicant’s nutrient management plan is published on the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality website for a minimum of 30 days.

Ryan Benefield, deputy director of the ADEQ says this process is being reviewed by a committee formed during this year’s legislative session.

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Local & Regional News
1:53 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Buffalo National River Increases Camping Fees

Credit Buffalo National River

Fees for some campground sites along the Buffalo National River have officially increased, effective this week.

The park conducted a comparability study to determine between a 2 and 5 dollar increase for some drive-in and walk-in sites.

Public Information Officer for the national park, Caven Clark, says the fee increases are comparable to other options in the area,  and that camping at the Buffalo River is still a bargain.

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Local & Regional News
5:53 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

U.S. Supreme Court: Arkansas Inmate Can Grow Beard, For Now

The Supreme Court says an Arkansas prison inmate must be allowed to grow a short beard in accordance with his religious beliefs, at least temporarily.

The justices said in a brief order Thursday that state corrections officials may not enforce their grooming policy prohibiting beards against Gregory Holt, who says his Muslim beliefs require him to grow a beard.

Holt filed a handwritten plea to the court asking that he be allowed to grow and keep a half-inch beard, at least until the justices decide whether to take up his full appeal.

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