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Local & Regional News
1:49 pm
Sun April 6, 2014

Fruit Trees, Row Crops May Be Affected By Recent Weather

Up and down temperatures across Arkansas may affect Arkansas fruit trees and a wet spring could delay planting of row crops in the state.

Benton County extension agent Neal Mays says northwest Arkansas went through "brutal" temperatures recently with several nights of temperatures at or below zero. Mays says it will soon be known just how much damage was done to fruit crops and said he expects at least some fruit buds were killed.

Local & Regional News
1:45 pm
Sun April 6, 2014

Poll: Ross, Hutchinson In Virtual Dead Heat In Governor’s Race

A new Talk Business-Hendrix College Poll shows the race between party front-runners Mike Ross (D) and Asa Hutchinson (R) to be a virtual dead heat, with the Democrat up by one point – 44-43% – over his potential GOP rival.

“This is not where this race will end up, but it is a representation of where it is today,” said Talk Business & Politics editor-in-chief Roby Brock.

“The anticipated match-up between Mike Ross and Asa Hutchinson appears to be very close. Against their underdog rivals, these two front-runners appear to be in solid shape.”

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Local & Regional News
4:22 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Prosecutors: Ex-Treasurer Martha Shoffner Was Properly Convicted

File photo of Martha Shoffner leaving court after last month's conviction.
Credit Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

Prosecutors say former Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner was properly convicted on 14 bribery and extortion counts over payments she received from a bond broker to whom she steered state investments.

Federal prosecutors on Friday asked U.S. District Judge Leon Holmes to deny Shoffner's motion to acquit her conviction last month over the $36,000 in cash payments she received from bond broker Steele Stephens.

Shoffner's attorneys have argued prosecutors failed to prove that the former treasurer harmed the federal government.

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Local & Regional News
4:15 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Repairs To Continue Through The Weekend After Storms Cut Through Arkansas

Cleanup continues after a powerful storm system moved through Arkansas overnight. The hardest hit areas were in south Arkansas.

At Camden Fairview High School, part of the roof was ripped off. Classes were cancelled and school officials have been working to assess damage and determine the quickest ways to make repairs.

Power crews have also been busy. At its peak, Entergy Arkansas spokeswoman Sally Graham says more than 51,000 of its customers were without power.  By mid-afternoon Friday, that was down to about 17,000.

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Local & Regional News
4:15 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Trial Delayed For Former Ouachita County Judge

A federal judge has delayed the trial of a former Ouachita County judge accused of awarding a disaster-relief contract in exchange for a campaign contribution.

Mike Hesterly was set to go to trial Monday on bribery and fraud charges, but a judge on Friday delayed the trial until July 8.

Hesterly's lawyers had sought a delay, saying that Hesterly was recovering from a recent back surgery.

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Local & Regional News
12:30 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Judge Addresses Issues In Central Arkansas Desegregation Case

A federal judge says a panel that reviews magnet school programs for three central Arkansas school districts involved in a long-running desegregation battle will cease to exist this summer.

U.S. District Judge Price Marshall also said at a hearing Friday that he may dissolve the Office of Desegregation Monitoring.

The office has reviewed the racial balance of the Little Rock, North Little Rock and Pulaski County Special school districts for decades. Its work would then be done by a court-appointed expert.

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Local & Regional News
5:52 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

National Weather Service's SkyWarn Program Trains Citizen Scientists

Volunteers at a recent Sky Warn meeting in Ozark, Arkansas.
Credit Jacqueline Froelich / KUAF

With an increase in the potential for severe weather in the Spring, the National Weather Service is holding training programs in Arkansas to educate citizens on how they can serve as severe weather spotters.

Jacqueline Froelich with Fayetteville station KUAF sat in on a training session on the Sky Warn program and has details on the valuable information it provides to forecasters.

Volunteers learn about seasonal trends, review past storms events, learn spotter safety, understanding how storms move and act, and how to securely position themselves outdoors.

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Local & Regional News
5:01 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Pulaski County School District Desegregation Efforts To Be Assessed In Court

Credit www.pcssd.org

The Pulaski County Special School District will be in court Friday to argue progress has been made in resolving long-running desegregation issues.

Since 2011, two of nine problem areas have been declared unitary and the district hopes to have two more ruled to be in compliance by federal Judge D. Price Marshall, Jr. Superintendent Jerry Guess said when the remaining desegregation obligations are resolved he expects the district to operate under the same conditions as the county’s other two districts.

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Local & Regional News
4:37 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Judge: No Pine Bluff Mayoral Election Until 2016

A circuit judge says Pine Bluff shouldn't have its mayoral election until 2016, ruling in favor with the city's mayor.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported Thursday that Circuit Judge Ted Capehart granted a request by Pine Bluff Mayor Debe Hollingsworth to keep the city's election in 2016.

Hollingsworth was elected to a four-year term in 2012. She sued last month, after the Jefferson County Election Commission decided to add former Mayor Carl Redus to the May primary ballot for his old job.

Local & Regional News
4:34 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Tonadoes Possible As Severe Weather Develops

The Storm Prediction Center says a line of storms near the western Ozarks could develop tornadoes.

A tornado watch was in effect Thursday afternoon for western Arkansas, western Missouri and eastern Oklahoma.

A line of storms had developed, and forecasters said any thunderstorm that evolve by themselves should be watched for a possible tornado.

According to the severe storms forecasters, the atmosphere is ripe for weather to worsen away from the line of thunderstorms.

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