Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Tuesday summary

An Arkansas National Guard Soldier participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom is dead. Spc. Erich S. Smallwood, of Trumann died near Balad, Iraq, on May 26, 2007, of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle

Julie Roehm, the marketing chief fired by Wal-Mart for alleged conflicts of interest, accused executives of accepting free plane travel, concert tickets, and, in the case of Chief Executive Officer H. Lee Scott, discounts on yachts.

Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton visited a woman’s college that is considering a sale of more than $100 million of American art to raise funds, the New York Times reported, citing a director of Walton’s museum. The collection of the Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, Va., includes paintings by George Bellows, Edward Hopper, William Merritt Chase and Georgia O’Keefe.

With maintenance costs outpacing revenue, the U.S. Forest Service wants to turn seven campgrounds and one group-use facility in the Ouachita National Forest over to private operators. The U.S. Forest Service will continue to operate the 1.8 million-acre forest’s remaining 52 sites, which include campgrounds, picnic areas and other facilities.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will build a clinic in Pine Bluff to treat 1,012 current patients and 338 new ones on an outpatient basis. The clinic will provide primary care as well as routine and urgent procedures. Mental health services will also be available.

Television commercials for unhealthy foods continue to use jingles and animation to attract children despite an industry's promise to limit such ads, a new study by the University of Arkansas shows.

Gov. Mike Beebe is asking President Bush and Congress to investigate skyrocketing gas prices.

The University of Arkansas board of trustees approved tuition and fee increases at all of its four-year campuses.

Jay DeHaven, a real estate developer known for building much of Maumelle, will bring a proposal to poison Little Rock’s main source of drinking water before the Pulaski County Planning Commission. Earlier this year, Deltic Timber reached an agreement with Central Arkansas Water on nearby property.

Seminars designed to help businesses implement the reduced sales tax on groceries that goes into effect July 1 are planned in each of the state’s 75 counties, according to the Department of Finance and Administration.

The seminars are free and no registration is required, but they will be conducted on a first-come, first-served basis, said Tom Atchley, excise tax administrator for the state Department of Finance and Administration.

A five-student team from Little Rock Central High School won the 2007 National Fed Challenge, an economics competition sponsored by the Federal Reserve System in Washington, D.C.

Arkansas State Police seized a hard drive from one of the city of Helena-West Helena’s computers. Mayor James Valley stated that state trooper Dell Arnold aided state legislative auditors as they secured the electronic media dealing with payroll records for 2006 and 2007.

Craighead County Sheriff Jack McCann, the sheriff of the northeast Arkansas county where Andrew Golden and another boy killed four classmates and an English teacher in 1998, warns he can't guarantee his safety. Golden turned 21 Friday and is presumed to have been released from federal custody.

The Pine Bluff Commercial reports charges have been filed against a Rison man for allegedly trying to hire someone to “take out” Cleveland County Sheriff’s Department investigator Gary Young.
James A. Bowling is charged with solicitation to commit capital murder after an investigation by the Arkansas State Police revealed Bowling had allegedly asked others to help find “someone with a bow to take Gary Young out,” according to the probable cause affidavit.

A Conway man already on probation for misdemeanor domestic battery is facing further charges for allegedly pushing a woman from a rooftop. Alan Dewayne Randall was taken into custody on suspicion of felony third-degree domestic battery.

A Rogers woman faces second-degree domestic battery after biting off part of her new son-in-law’s ear. Police say Julie Lynn Jenkins bit Leland Knighting’s ear. Knighting married Jenkins’ daughter, last week. Julie Jenkins, who also had an outstanding warrant for failing to pay a fine for disorderly conduct, told officers Knighting had pinned her down and she had bitten part of his ear off in self-defense.

Anchor Packaging will expand its manufacturing operations in Paragould and create up to 69 new full-time positions over the next 18 months.

As Searcy moves forward with plans to ask residents for a 1 percent sales tax increase to fund infrastructure improvements and help hire and keep employees, leaders of other White County communities say any new levy should be imposed countywide.

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