Little Rock

The Little Rock Zoo has announced the death of its male orangutan.

The zoo said in a news release Monday that Rok died last week after failing to recover from anesthesia following a medical procedure. The zoo says the medical procedure included a dental evaluation and an echocardiogram to check for signs of heart disease.

The zoo says Rok was 30 and had lived at the zoo since 1988.

The zoo says the median life expectancy for orangutans in zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums such as the Little Rock Zoo is just more than 28 years.

Chris Hickey / KUAR News

The Little Rock Fire Department is now among a top tier of departments in the U.S, according to a company that assesses community fire prevention and readiness for insurance companies. 

The City of Little Rock's proposed 2016 budget includes increased training courses and municipal funds to replace previously grant-funded positions at the Little Rock Police and Fire Departments.

According to City Manager Bruce Moore, public safety is a priority for the city's more than $250 million budget next year. 

"We're ensuring we fill those positions as soon as they become vacant. On average we lose about 25 positions to retirements and transfers and so on," said Moore. 

Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department

A public comment period is drawing to a close on the proposed widening of Interstate 30 through Little Rock and North Little Rock, known as the "30 Crossing" project. Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department Officials are accepting public input through Sunday on the expansion, estimated to cost about 600 million dollars. 

Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department

The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department is reconsidering an 8-lane option in its proposed widening of Interstate 30 through Little Rock and North Little Rock.

I-30 interstate 30 construction
AHTD

The Little Rock Board of Directors is to hear from the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department Tuesday evening on the Department’s plans for a proposed $600 million expansion of Interstate 30 through the city. 

The project has attracted criticism in recent weeks for what opponents say will hurt development in the city’s downtown. Ward three city director Kathy Webb plans to eventually introduce a resolution opposing the plan.

I-30 interstate 30 construction
AHTD

A nearly half-billion dollar highway construction project to widen a section of Interstate 30 running through Little Rock and North Little Rock is the focus of a public meeting scheduled for Thursday night in North Little Rock. KUAR's Chris Hickey recently spoke with State Representative Warwick Sabin of Little Rock who raises objections about what the project might do to the social and economic climate of the city.

 

Chris Hickey / KUAR News

Top Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy was in Little Rock Wednesday, touting the city's water quality project along Main Street's Creative Corridor.

The project, completed earlier this year, was largely funded through a 900,000 dollar grant from the federal agency. McCarthy also visited with science students from eStem charter school and with city officials. She said the water quality project shows a commitment by the city toward sustainable development.

 

David Monteith / KUAR

Revitalizing the downtown Main Street area by making it a hub for arts organizations is a project first conceived by Mayor Mark Stodola in 2007. Eight years in the making, he looks forward to announcing the completion of the first phase.

Chimp chimpanzee Little Rock Zoo
Little Rock Zoo

The Little Rock Zoo has announced the birth of a chimpanzee.

The zoo said Monday that the male chimp was born July 18 to Mahale. The father has not been identified, but the zoo said officials believe it is Kijana - the alpha male chimpanzee of the group.

The zoo is also asking the public to help choose a name for the baby chimp.

The staff has selected three names - Jumoke, which is Swahili for "everyone loves the child;" Kgosi, which is Setswana for "king" or "chief;" and Kibale for the Kibale National Park in Uganda.

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