Arkansas Safety

Arkansas State fair
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

The Arkansas State Fair kicks off next month on October 12 and this year will be using a new carnival company to manage the rides.

"It’s a company called North American Midway Entertainment," says Ralph Shoptaw, general manager for the Arkansas State Fair. "They’re big; all of their equipment is big. Most of the rides that come in with this carnival are what we call two-trailer rides."

Kenton Buckner LRPD Little Rock POlice CHief
Michael Hibblen

Little Rock's Police Chief is reaching his second anniversary on the job.

With crime rates at their lowest in decades and use of force incidents dropping in the city, Kenton Buckner explains his views on policing, race, use of force, and his goals for Little Rock.

Authorities say two people have been injured in an explosion and fire at a defense technology manufacturing plant in southern Arkansas.

Ron Nash, assistant chief of the Camden fire department, says a report of a possible explosion at Esterline Defense Technologies came in just before 7 p.m. Monday.

Nash says the blast affected only one building and firefighters were able to contain the blaze.

He says two people were hurt. It wasn't immediately clear if they were employees, and Nash didn't know the extent of their injuries.

A deer in the woods.
nps.gov / National Park Service

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission says that the first phase of chronic wasting disease sampling of deer has revealed a 23 percent prevalence rate in Newton and Boone counties.

Animals with the neurological disease often stay away from herds, may lose their fear of humans and can eventually lose bodily functions.

Vilonia tornado president Obama
Tamara Keith / NPR News

The central Arkansas city of Vilonia is set to open its first above-ground storm shelter later this month, two years after a deadly tornado swept through the town.

KTHV-TV reports that the city was granted $28,000 to put toward the construction of a safe room in the aftermath of the 2014 tornado.

Arkansas Guns
Talk Business & Politics

Fresh new polling from Talk Business & Politics in conjunction with several partners presents attitudes from Arkansans on a variety of gun-related topics. TB&P, Hendrix College, Impact Management Group, and KATV Channel 7 partnered on the survey, which was conducted Tuesday, March 15, 2016.

wikimedia.org

 A correctional officer assigned to the Varner Unit in Grady has been injured in an attack by an inmate.

Solomon Graves with the Arkansas Department of Corrections said that the officer, who has not been identified, was taken to a hospital Tuesday with injuries that were not considered to be life-threatening and was released.

Authorities say another officer and another inmate intervened in the altercation. Graves said the second inmate suffered injuries that were not life-threatening.

Wildfire
Arkansas Forestry Commission / Twitter

Forecasters say Arkansas is at risk for wildfires Monday because of dry, windy weather.

The National Weather Service says winds of 20 mph to 30 mph are predicted for Monday with gusts possible of 40 mph or higher. A wind advisory is in effect until 6 p.m. Monday.

Forecasters say that the windy weather mixed with dry conditions will raise the risk of wildfires. The Arkansas Forestry Commission says the entire state is at moderate risk for wildfires, with burn bans in effect in four northern Arkansas counties.

Fellowship Bible Church

An Oklahoma man has pleaded guilty to falsely reporting that there might be a bomb at a northwest Arkansas church.

Court documents show 51-year-old Allen Ward of Muskogee pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court in Fayetteville to one count of maliciously conveying false information. Ward admitted he called Bentonville police in October 2012 and said there might be a bomb at Fellowship Bible Church in Rogers.

He faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

A sentencing date was not immediately set.

The City of Little Rock is recommending a 2.5 percent salary increase to city workers including police, firefighters, and 911 call center staff as part of its 2016 budget. 

A recent consultant’s review of the city’s 911 call center found staffing issues are leading to a weaker 911 service. The report said calls to 911 regularly go unanswered.

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