Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Wonderful Wednesday!

The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for 32 counties in Arkansas - an indicator that wind, temperatures, and dry conditions could combine to cause a potentially explosive fire. The counties are concentrated in western Arkansas. More than two-thirds of Arkansas counties – currently over 60 - are under burn bans.

Arkansas Forestry Commission firefighters have battled more than 60 fires since the new year began, and although all are under control, fire officials say the potential for a major blaze remains high.

The National Park Service says arson is to blame for wildfires sparked across the Buffalo River area over the weekend. Nearly 2,000 acres have been burned as of late Tuesday afternoon.

A Pulaski County judge is the second in the country to grant class-action status to uninsured patients alleging they pay a higher price for care at nonprofit hospitals than most insured patients.

Sequa Corp. of New York said Tuesday that beginning this month its ARC Automotive unit, which makes components for airbag inflators at a plant in Camden, will move production to plants in Reynosa, Mexico, and Xi'an, China, leaving 300 Arkansas workers in Camden jobless.

A national study conducted by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Arkansas Children's Hospital Research Institute of Little Rock shows that many public school districts have deficiencies in their emergency and disaster plans. The report is in the current issue of “Pediatrics,” the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The Morning news of Northwest Arkansas reports that Martha Laughlin flagged down a motorist in Madison County early Tuesday after being lost in the woods for six days She was 18 miles from where she parked her car to go for a walk last Wednesday at the First Assembly of God Church on Arkansas 74 in Huntsville.

A judge ordered a longtime Fayetteville lawyer arrested and brought to court after he missed a contempt hearing. Richard L. Wommack was ordered in November to repay $36,568 to the estate of a Madison County man after Circuit Judge William Storey found Wommack had taken money from the estate without permission for his personal use.

According to the Democrat-Gazette, a former clerk for the Union County town of Smackover pleaded guilty Tuesday to felony charges stemming from the misappropriation of public funds and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Alice Ann Wilkins of Louann pleaded guilty to second-degree forgery and theft of property in Union County Circuit Court, and was ordered to make restitution of $275,209.96.

A winning Powerball ticket worth $800,000 has gone unclaimed after being bought Dec. 10 in Memphis.

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