Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe says his proposal to boost funding for the state's prison system will be threatened if lawmakers halt a compromise Medicaid expansion approved last year.
Beebe told members of the Arkansas Sheriffs' Association on Tuesday that the new money he's proposed to build new prison beds and reimburse county jails for housing state inmates could be at risk if the private option isn't renewed during next month's legislative session.
As temperatures continue to change drastically from day to day, people are bundling up to fight the cold. But what about their pets?
Leaving pets outside in this weather is considered abuse and under city ordinance owners can be taken to court and charged with animal cruelty. Tracy Roark is asking pet owners to keep animals indoors.
"Pets should be part of your family, and you should treat them as part of your family. They have feelings, and they have a heart. When it is cold like this bring them in," said Roark.
The end of 2013 saw a drop in the unemployment rate in Arkansas. The state Department of Workforce Services released numbers showing the unemployment rate dropped one tenth of a percentage point in December, to 7.4 percent. Over the same period, the national rate dropped to 6.7 percent from 7.0 percent. The total civilian labor force rose by 2,600, according to the report.
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.
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.
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.