Monday, July 02, 2007

Monday summary

Arkansas defensive end Donnell Sanders is free on bond after he was arrested early Saturday on charges of public intoxication, disorderly conduct and third-degree assault.

The biggest tax cut in Arkansas history is now in effect, halving the state sales tax shoppers pay on groceries from 6 percent to 3 percent.

On Saturday, a 3-cent excise tax on retail beer sales enacted to raise money for early childhood education programs expired. The Legislature narrowly passed a 1-cent tax originally intended to replace it the next day, but it won't go into effect until July 31.

The state departments of Health and Human Services is now separate agencies again, ending a two-year merger.

Unashamed self-promoter, Rev. Al Sharpton, urged those incensed by the June 22 police shooting of a 12-year-old boy to curb their anger and instead focus on community action. More than 1,500 people attended the funeral service for DeAuntae Terrell Farrow who was fatally shot by a West Memphis police officer.

Members of the U. S. House of Representatives have voted to give themselves a pay raise of about $4,400 for next year. All four members of the Arkansas congressional delegation voted against the automatic increase.

A handful of Democratic senators have blocked the legislation sponsored by Sen. Blanche Lincoln to prevent livestock and poultry waste from being classified as a toxic pollutant. Environmental groups who oppose the legislation say it protects large-scale poultry operations like those associated with Tyson Foods.

A judge will not prohibit the prosecution from telling jurors in a forthcoming murder trial about a bloody palm print it contends Kevin Jones left on a light bulb during the killing of his girlfriend, Nona Dirksmeyer, at her Russellville apartment in 2005.

Retired Arkansas State Police Trooper Larry Norman opted to stay in jail and finish a 90-day jail sentence for the killing of an unarmed retarded man believed to be a prison escapee from Michigan, rather than take a 10-day reprieve offered by a judge,

An investigation has begun into a plane crash at the Conway airport. Firefighters worked frantically Saturday to contain a house fire that claimed two lives caused when a small Cessna jet crashed into a home near the Conway Municipal Airport.

A tractor-trailer hauling pig innards ditched part of its bloody load on Interstate 40 Friday, serving up an afternoon nightmare for commuters and a feast for some buzzards.

The Welspun Group from Bombay, India plans to open a $100 million tubular steel pipe plant near the Little Rock Port by next spring.

Arkansas’ urban interstates are surprisingly crowded compared with freeways in more populous areas of the nation, according to a new study conducted by the University of North Carolina in Charlotte.

Baptist Health officially opened the doors of its new $21.4 million Heber Springs facility on Friday. Baptist Health officials have acquired an additional 15 acres adjacent to the 44-acre site for future growth, if necessary.

Pine Bluff’s population is down and White Hall’s is up. The latest numbers by the U.S. Census Bureau show a decrease in Pine Bluff’s population by nearly six percent.

A proposed contract between the city of Pine Bluff and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff that would allow students and faculty members to ride city buses at no charge, beginning in September, will be considered by the city council when it meets tonight.

A Pulaski County circuit judge quickly sided with a Little Rock parent who claimed the fundraising arm of another circuit judge’s probation program is subject to the state’s Freedom of Information Act. Cycle Breakers Inc. will have to turn over records she requested by Friday.

Jerre Van Hoose, mayor of Springdale, was injured during the first parade of the 63rd annual Rodeo of the Ozarks in Springdale. Van Hoose fell or was thrown from his horse and was taken to a local hospital where he was to be kept overnight for observation.

Farmers have planted the most corn since World War II, outpacing already high expectations for the crop, according to a federal report issued Friday.

The founder of a charter high school plans to apply for a second charter to open a math and science middle school in 2008. Martin Schoppmeyer Jr. has filed a letter of intent with the Arkansas Department of Education, announcing his plans to establish the Northwest Arkansas Math and Science Intermediate School.

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