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Local & Regional News
5:27 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Arkansas AG: Judge Orders Travel Agent To Pay $4 Million

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel says a judge ordered a travel agent to pay more than $4 million in penalties and restitution after he allegedly took money without providing a promised trip to Hawaii for two Arkansas marching bands.

McDaniel's office said Thursday that a Pulaski County judge ordered Ope Saaga to pay more than $400,000 in restitution and $3.86 million in civil penalties.

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Mayflower Oil Spill
3:56 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Group Of Arkansas Residents Sue Exxon After Oil Spill

Dozens of residents and property owners are suing ExxonMobil Pipeline Company two months after a pipeline ruptured and spilled thousands of barrels of oil in the central Arkansas city of Mayflower.

Attorneys for a number of residents and property owners filed the lawsuit in Faulkner County on Tuesday seeking damages after the company's Pegasus pipeline ruptured on March 29 and spilled the oil in Mayflower.

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Local & Regional News
3:35 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Start Of Wakarusa Postponed As Weather Looms

The threat of severe weather has led to the postponement of the start of the outdoor Wakarusa Music Festival on Mulberry Mountain in the Ozarks.

The Southwest Times reports that an estimated 15,000 in attendance sought shelter in their vehicles Thursday because of lightning and wind.

Festival director Brett Mosiman told the newspaper he doesn't know when the festival will resume - but said it will continue.

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Local & Regional News
2:21 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Ex-Administrator In Faulkner County Pleads Guilty

Former Faulkner County administrator Jeff Johnston has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor theft charge after prosecutors accused him of using county money for an asphalt project at his home.

Johnston entered the plea Thursday before Faulkner County Circuit Court Judge Mike Maggio.

The Log Cabin Democrat reports that Johnston was sentenced to one year of probation and fined $1,000.

Johnston was fired as county administrator earlier this month.

Prosecutors alleged that he used nearly $3,900 of county money to pay for an asphalt project on his driveway in 2008.

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Agricultural Research
9:36 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Grants For Sustainable Strawberry Projects Awarded

Credit flickr.com

Close to $3 million in grant money is being awarded to 16 agricultural researchers to develop more sustainable methods for growing strawberries.

The project is funded by the Walmart Foundation and the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture's Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability is administering the awards. Winners were announced Wednesday.

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Mayflower Oil Spill
10:29 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Lawsuit Against Exxon Claims Company Knowingly Concealed Pipeline Defects

Spilled crude oil is seen in a drainage ditch near evacuated homes near Starlite Road in Mayflower, Ark., on March 31. An Exxon Mobil pipeline carrying Canadian crude oil was shut off after it ruptured March 29, causing an evacuation of 22 homes.
Credit npr.org (Jacob Slaton/Reuters/Landov)

A lawsuit has been filed against Exxon Mobil Corporation, Exxon Mobil Pipeline Company, and the planners and developers of the Mayflower subdivision where a pipeline ruptured and spilled almost 150,000 gallons of oil into a neighborhood on March 29, 2013.

The lawsuit was filed by a group of Mayflower residents affected by the oil spill. 

Claims made in the lawsuit include:

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Economic Development
4:34 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Little Rock Jet Facility Announces $60 Million Expansion

Officials with Dassault Falcon Jet say the company will invest $60 million to expand its Little Rock jet completion center over the next three years.

President and CEO John Rosanvallon calls it the next big step in the company's presence in Arkansas's capital city.

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Local & Regional News
3:28 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Beebe Names New State Treasurer After Former Treasurer Resigns Amid Scandal

State Treasurer Charles Robinson
Credit youtube.com

Governor Beebe has named Charles Robinson as his appointment to fill the office of State Treasurer. The office was vacated last week when Martha Shoffner resigned amidst federal charges of extortion.

The 66 year old Robinson, of North Little Rock, received his MBA from the University of Arkansas and has been a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. 

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Local & Regional News
8:21 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Man Dies After Train Collision In Pine Bluff

Authorities say a pedestrian is dead after a train collision late Tuesday in Pine Bluff.

Little Rock television station KATV reports that the collision happened at about 9:30 p.m. at 17th Avenue and Miramar Drive. 

Authorities say a man was found lying on the railroad tracks about 25 yards north of the intersection. 

Investigators are still looking into what happened. The victim's name has not yet been released.

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Local & Regional News
6:16 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Arkansas Fire Boat Training Set For DeGray Lake

Degray Lake

More than 350 people and about 40 watercraft are to take part in a fire boat training exercise set for DeGray Lake. 

Departments from Arkansas and Texas are signed up for the Saturday event. The Arkansas Forestry Commission organizes the sessions with other agencies to put fire crews through different emergency scenarios, including evacuating victims by air and water. 

The training is designed to challenge boat crews with situations based on actual emergencies. One scenario is based on what crews had to handle during Hurricane Katrina.

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