Arkansas Safety

The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded Arkansas a grant of up to $2.3 million to create temporary jobs for cleanup and recovery in areas affected by floods and storms earlier this year.

The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services says the grant will support recovery efforts in 28 Arkansas counties that were hit with severe storms, tornadoes, powerful winds and flooding from May 7 through June 15.

Officials Stress Importance Of Water Safety For Kids

Jun 29, 2015
Arkansas Children's Hospital

Arkansas has the 7th highest drowning rate in the nation according to findings released by the Arkansas Infant and Child Death Review program, which is made up by representatives from legal, law enforcement and health agencies.

With the abundance of open water in the state and sometimes a lack of supervision, parents need to be certain they are aware of their children’s location and basic water safety skills, says Dr. Pamela Tabor, the director of the ICDR.

Even water levels that seem low, they can still pose a risk to children.

The Washington County quorum court in Arkansas is set to investigate claims that the Harvey Dowell Bridge in Fayetteville, as well as other bridges, were improperly built.

KHOG-TV reports George Braswell, who works for the county road department, sued the county last December alleging that reinforcing steel was improperly used in the Harvey Dowell Bridge's construction. He said crews dangerously deviated from the original engineering plans in order to meet deadlines.

Republican Attorney General-elect Leslie Rutledge at KUAR during the 2014 May Primary run-off.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Arkansas attorney general's office has referred a request to investigate the construction of two Washington County bridges to the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department.

In a letter to Washington County Judge Marilyn Edwards, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge says she does not have jurisdiction to investigate concerns the Stonewall Bridge and the Harvey Dowell Bridge are unsafe. Rutledge referred the request to the Highway Department and noted other concerns should be addressed in court.

Washington County Judge Marilyn Edwards has asked the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department to inspect all county bridges built in the last 20 years.

Edwards sent a letter to Highway Director Scott Bennett asking for the inspections, her office confirmed Wednesday. KHOG-TV reports that Edwards also sent a letter to Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, asking her office to investigate the safety of the Stonewall Bridge and the Harvey Dowell Bridge.

David Monteith

Speaking from the intersection of Capitol and Broadway Monday morning, Mayor Mark Stodola joined a variety of organizations to announce the Heads Up Downtown campaign. The initiative is part of Pedestrian Safety Awareness Month.

Representatives from the organizations each spoke about pedestrian safety from their perspective.

Active Shooter Simulator
KUAR

The 10th annual Arkansas Safe Schools Conference is underway in North Little Rock presenting law enforcement and education officials with information to improve safety.

The conference had a few hands-on tools including a firearms training system allowing participants to virtually go through a school shooting as a police officer. Charles Ellis with Camden’s Law Enforcement Training Academy walked officers through the training.

He says some educators are also taking interest.

The city of Little Rock Wednesday announced dates for public receptions to meet the three finalists to become Chief of the Little Rock Police Department. 

City Manager Bruce Moore said the public's opinion is needed.

“We learn a long time ago that the city can’t do this by themselves, we need the community involved, we need the business community involved,” Moore said.  “Public safety remains the city’s top priority and obviously this person leads the largest department in the state, the largest department (that’s) part of the city government organization.”

Kezia Nanda

Families of firefighters who died in the line of duty gathered Saturday for the dedication of the Arkansas Fallen Firefighters Memorial. 

The ceremony included the marching of colors by bagpipers, drums and honor guard, the unveiling of the statue, reading of the 1958 A. W. "Smokey" Linn's Firefighter’s Prayer, the ringing of bells for each fallen firefighter and the laying of a rose on top of memorial wall for each name.  

Governor Mike Beebe was on hand and thanked the families of fallen firefighters.

Fallen Firefighters Memorial
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

After 28 years of work and fundraising to make it a reality, the Arkansas Fallen Firefighters Memorial will be dedicated this Saturday at the state Capitol.  It pays tribute to the 104 firefighters who gave their lives in the line of duty.

Their names are engraved at the 50-by-70 foot circular memorial, which features a bronze statue in the center with four firefighters, each representing the different kinds of work fire crews do.  Two are holding fire hoses, another equipment, while the fourth is treating a wounded child.  Flowing underneath the statue is a fountain.

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