Arkansas Outdoors

Forecasters say Arkansas is still at risk for wildfires despite chilly temperatures with subzero wind chill values in some areas.

A red flag warning is in effect in Carroll, Benton, Washington and Madison counties. The National Weather Service says northwest Arkansas will see strong and gusty winds of up to 35 mph on Friday, along with low humidity values of 15 to 25 percent.

Forecasters warn that the dry vegetation and windy weather will combine to create dangerous wildfire conditions through Friday afternoon.

Buffalo National River Increases Camping Fees

Nov 15, 2013
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.

State and federal authorities say several marijuana plants have been seized from the Ouachita National Forest in Arkansas.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission says its officers worked with the Benton Police Department, Saline County Sheriff's Office and U.S. Forest Service to seize multiple marijuana plants found growing in the Winona Wildlife Management Area about 30 miles west of Little Rock.

The Winona WMA is managed in cooperation with the Forest Service and the AGFC.

Arkansas transportation officials say work to replace a bridge will limit boat navigation on Greers Ferry Lake in Cleburne County.

Crews are replacing the Highway 225 Bridge, which is located just east of Hill Creek Recreation Area. 

The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department says navigation will be closed near the bridge as workers move large equipment and conduct small controlled explosive blasts at the bottom of the lake.

Transportation officials say the temporary closures will be in effect from now through Nov. 8, except for Sundays.

diamond
Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

A 14-year-old girl from Oklahoma City has unearthed a 3.85-carat diamond at Arkansas' Crater of Diamonds State Park.

Tana Clymer discovered the canary gem Saturday at the park, which is the only diamond-producing site in the United States open to the public. 

Tana says she'd been digging in the dirt for about two hours when she discovered the gem on the surface of the search field.

The yellow diamond is teardrop-shaped and about the size of a jellybean. Tana named the diamond "God's Jewel."

Greers Ferry Dam To Mark 50th Anniversary

Oct 3, 2013
Greers Ferry Dam
US Army Corps of Engineers

Former President Bill Clinton is to top the list of speakers at an event marking the 50th anniversary of the dedication of the Greers Ferry Dam.

The event begins at 11:30 a.m. Thursday and is expected to draw a large crowd. The Heber Springs Area Chamber of Commerce says an overflow parking lot will be opened at 9:30 a.m.

It's been 50 years since President John F. Kennedy stood at the dam and praised the programs of President Franklin Roosevelt as a way of bringing prosperity to the nation.

Fort Smith To Open Urban Deer Hunt Season

Sep 4, 2013
A deer in the woods.
nps.gov / National Park Service

Fort Smith is joining the list of cities that allow properly licensed hunters to kill deer within the city limits. 

A special bow-hunting season opens Saturday at Chaffee Crossing and ends Jan. 31.

To qualify for the hunt, archers are required to pass the International Bowhunter Education course, have insurance and pass a shooting proficiency test.

City leaders say as many as 100 people could hunt during the five-month season.

The Arkansas Public Service Commission is allowing further information to be presented by both sides of a dispute, concerning a transmission line in the northern part of the state.

Southwestern Electric Power Company has construction plans for a 60 mile line in Benton and Carroll Counties. Doug Stowe, a Save the Ozarks board member, says the utility companies saw the previous hearing as a meeting to determine which route would be used.  He says the opposition saw things differently. 

Lane Of Road In Maumelle To Close For Construction

Jul 31, 2013

Arkansas highway officials say the construction of a new bicycle and pedestrian path will mean a lane closure on Highway 100 in Maumelle.

The State Highway and Transportation Department says the eastbound, outside lane of Highway 100 will be closed from Arnold Palmer Drive to Crystal Hill Road.

The closure will begin Wednesday and will continue weekdays between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., weather permitting.

The lane closure is expected to last for about four months.

At Least 2 Cows Die Due To Blackleg Disease

Jul 19, 2013

A drought-related disease known as blackleg is blamed for the deaths of at least two cows in Arkansas.

University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture officials say the disease has caused the deaths of cows in Lonoke and Sebastian counties.

Agricultural officials say the bacterial disease typically appears during drought because the dry conditions reduce forage for cattle - and the animals then graze close to the ground and ingest small soil particles that contain the bacteria.

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