Friday, June 22, 2007

Friday summary

An agreement has been reached in principle by the University of Arkansas and KATV, Channel 7, to name Chuck Barrett play-by-play announcer for Razorbacks football radio broadcasts.

The state Health Department has issued a statewide heat-water conservation advisory as the first day of summer arrives and temperatures soar into the mid and upper 90s.

The death of a 7-year-old boy who fell off a carnival ride in Hope has been ruled an accident. The Arkansas Department of Labor found that Marcial Alvarado-Mendoza stood up and fell out over the back of the Sizzler ride, which was operated by Jelly Saunders Original Razorback Amusements. Carnival manager Ann Saunders was fined $10,000 for several amusement park violations. Problems included worn parts, a broken lap bar, missing bolts and hydraulic leaks. And the ride’s emergency stop button did not work.

The Supreme Court has allowed a lawsuit accusing a Batesville nursing home of being understaffed and failing to provide a safe and clean living environment to proceed as a class action. The unanimous decision allows a woman suing Beverly Enterprises, former owner of Batesville Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, to pursue the case on behalf of more than 400 people who lived at the home in 2000 through 2004.

The state Supreme Court has upheld a $3.5 million award to a Sebastian County couple in a medical negligence case. The high court affirmed a Sebastian County jury's March 2006 verdict in favor of Paul and Caroline Montgomery, who claimed in a lawsuit that Dr. Mark McCoy was negligent in treating Paul Montgomery for peripheral vascular disease, eventually resulting in the amputation of Montgomery's right leg.

Students participating in the nation’s first federally funded kindergarten through 12th-grade voucher program did no better academically in their first year of study than their public school peers did, a report released by a University of Arkansas at Fayetteville researcher shows.

Arkansas is among the top 10 states in percentage of per capita income spent on gasoline, making the state's residents especially vulnerable to high prices at the pump, a national report released Thursday showed. The report by the Natural Resources Defense Council was released the same day the U.S. Senate voted to increase fuel-efficiency standards for automobiles

Arkansas Farm Bureau President Stanley Reed reaffirms his organization’s support of the comprehensive immigration bill in the U.S. Senate.

Legislation introduced in the House would give satellite and cable companies the opportunity to offer customers in-state television stations, even if those stations are outside a subscriber's area. Rep. Mike Ross says many of his constituents receive broadcasts from Shreveport, La., stations, though they might prefer Little Rock channels.

Tighter ozone standards proposed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency will pose a challenge to two Arkansas regions already struggling to meet current air-quality standards as well as a third, more rural county that hasn’t had issues with air pollution. Pulaski and Crittenden Counties would be joined by rural Newton County, which is not even required to have a ozone monitor.

Expanded drug courts and more parole officers are on the way, thanks to an 18 percent increase in the Department of Community Correction’s current budget, administrators told the Board of Corrections Thursday.

Wildlife managers for the state Game and Fish Commission on have proposed a special hunt to reduce the number of Canada geese in parts of the state.

A House subcommittee this week authorized $5 million for biofuels research at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

A group of Trumann residents are attempting to remove Mayor Sheila Walters. Jay Paul Woods, a member of the Trumann Parks and Recreation Commission, said at least a dozen residents in the Poinsett County town are circulating a petition to remove Walters.

Couples hoping to register their relationship on the Arkansas' first domestic registry will have their chance today beginning at 9:30 a.m. in Eureka Springs.

A North Little Rock man is behind bars for allegedly kidnapping his nine-month-old daughter at gunpoint. Arkansas State Police cancelled a Morgan Nick/Amber Alert after the father surrendered to authorities. Nine-month-old Catina Williams was unharmed and is now back at home with her mother.

Authorities in Sevier County have issued an arrest warrant for an Oklahoma man who is accused of throwing an 8-pound hammer at his ex-girlfriend’s head, putting her in the hospital. Misty Tucker of Mountainburg reported that Brian Joiner of Eagletown, Okla., chased a vehicle she was a passenger in from Oklahoma into Sevier County.

Little Rock would restrict the size of new homes in its historic Hillcrest neighborhood under a measure headed to the city’s Board of Directors.

It has taken five months longer than anticipated, but Welspun Pipes Inc. will announce in about a week that it will spend more than $80 million to build a plant near the Little Rock Port that will employ as many as 250 workers.

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