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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Registration deadline now

Time is running out for registering with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) if you sustained damage in the storms, tornadoes and floods that hit Arkansas from April 14 to June 3. The deadline is Monday, August 1, for residents in the 37 disaster-ravaged counties designated in the May 2 presidential disaster declaration.

To register for assistance or check on your registration status, go online to www.disasterassistance.gov, via web-enabled phone at m.fema.gov, or call 1-800-621-3362 or TTY 1-800-462-7585. FEMA phone lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week; multilingual operators are available.

To date, nearly 10,300 Arkansas individuals and families in the 37 designated counties have registered with FEMA. More than $33 million has been approved for Individual Assistance grants from the state and FEMA or low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

September 6 is the registration deadline for residents of Franklin and Johnson counties, which received a separate disaster declaration on July 8.

West Nile expected in Arkansas this summer

Positive lab results for human cases of West Nile virus (WNV) have been reported in Texas and Mississippi so far this year, and the virus is probably on its way to Arkansas, health officials say.

The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) has not recorded any cases of WNV infection so far this year, but ADH officials say that it is only a matter of time.

According to James Phillips, MD, Infectious Disease Branch Chief at ADH, it is not surprising to see illness from mosquitoes at this time of year. “We are concerned that people may have forgotten that WNV is a problem in Arkansas, but the fact is, we have had the greatest number of cases in the months of August and September over the last few years,” Phillips said.

“We want people to remember to take their mosquito repellent with them when they go outside this summer,” Phillips added.

In Arkansas for 2010 there were seven cases of WNV and one fatality recorded. In the United States last year, there were 1,021 cases and 57 fatalities recorded. The elderly and those with chronic illness are at greatest risk for WNV infection.

To protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites, make sure all windows and doors have screens which are in good repair. You should also stay indoors when mosquitoes are more active—from dusk to dawn. When it is necessary to be outdoors during this time of the day, wear protective clothing with long sleeves and long pants legs and use mosquito repellent.

Use the following precautions when using insect repellents:

• Do not apply insect repellents directly to children. Apply to your own hands and then put on the child, avoiding the child’s face and hands.
• Do not allow young children to apply insect repellents themselves.
• DO NOT use insect repellent on infants younger than 2 months of age.
• Use concentrations of DEET that are no higher than 30 percent for children up to 18 years of age.
• Concentrations higher than 50 percent DEET do not further decrease the risk of mosquito bites above and beyond that of lower concentrations, but do have a longer duration of effect.
• The American Academy of Pediatrics has not recommended using picaridin or oil of lemon in children under 18 years of age.
• Store out of the reach of children and read all instructions on the label before applying.
• Avoid prolonged and excessive use of insect repellents.
• Do not apply insect repellents in enclosed areas.
• Do not apply insect repellents directly to your face.
• Wash all treated skin and clothing after returning indoors.
• If you believe you or your child are experiencing an adverse reaction to an insect repellent, wash the treated area immediately and call your health care provider.

Here are some facts about mosquitoes and the risks they pose to Arkansans:

• When mosquitoes feed on an infected bird or mammal, they may pick up the virus. The virus is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Not all mosquitoes have the virus in them, but certainly, the more mosquito bites one gets, the greater the risk of becoming infected. Most people infected with WNV do not get sick. Less than one percent of persons bitten by an infected mosquito develop severe illness. Older individuals (fifty years and over) are at greater risk of developing severe illness and encephalitis.
• There is no specific treatment for WNV infections; avoiding mosquitoes is the best prevention.
• Symptoms of infection typically begin within 14 days following the insect bite and consist of fever, headache, rash, muscle and joint aches, listlessness and possibly encephalitis (swelling of the brain which is the most dangerous symptom).

WNV was first recognized in the Western Hemisphere in the summer of 1999. The virus spread quickly across the country. During the year 2002, there were over 4,000 human cases in the US that resulted in 284 deaths.

Important Facts About Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes breed in standing water. This includes water in small containers, such as tree holes, cans, and large bodies of water like lakes or marshes. These breeding places create a variety of mosquito problems. To help stop mosquitoes from breeding, Arkansans should:

• Dispose of cans, plastic containers, ceramic posts or similar water-holding containers.
• Remove discarded tires from surrounding property.
• Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers that are kept outdoors. Make sure roof gutters drain properly and clean clogged gutters in the spring and fall.
• Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use. Change the water in bird baths frequently.
• Clean vegetation and debris from the edges of ponds.
• Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs.
• Drain water from swimming pool covers.
• Use landscaping to eliminate stagnant water that collects on your property.

To learn more about the West Nile virus, visit the Department of Health website at www.healthy.arkansas.gov.

Arkansas redistricting


The state Board of Apportionment has approved Gov. Mike Beebe’s redistricting proposals for the state House and Senate.

The board that is made up of Beebe, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel and Secretary of State Mark Martin voted 2-1 Friday for Beebe’s plan. Beebe and McDaniel voted for the plan while Martin cast the no vote.

See the plans.

Beebe and McDaniel are Democrats. Martin is a Republican.

Among the features of Beebe’s plan is a reduction in the number of majority black House districts from 13 to 11 and keeping the number of majority black Senate districts at four. Martin’s plan would’ve increased the number of majority black districts to 15.

Beebe and McDaniel argued that increasing the number of majority-black districts could dilute the black vote in majority white districts.

The board meets every 10 years after the Census to determine new districts based on population changes.

Martin said redistricting coordinator Joe Woodson would spend the next 30 days breaking the data down to the block level for the benefit of the counties.

Feel better, give blood

Conclude the summer season by giving blood with Arkansas Blood Institute (ABI), 1635 Higdon Ferry Road, Friday, Aug. 12, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Those who are healthy and age 16 or older* are encouraged to donate blood and in return will receive collectors’ edition M*A*S*H Bash Blood Drive T-shirts, while supplies last.

“For patients in need of blood, there’s no summer vacation,” said John Armitage, M.D., Arkansas Blood Institute president and chief executive. “M*A*S*H Bash provides a fun way to finish off the summer and save lives. The lives of our friends, co-workers and neighbors may depend on it. That’s why it’s crucial that blood donors take just an hour to donate blood.”

Donations can be made every 56 days. M*A*S*H Bash donors will also receive a hamburger or hot dog with sides, health screenings and Donor Rewards Points, redeemable for merchandise and gift certificates at ABI’s online store.

Arkansas Blood Institute provides every drop of blood needed by patients in 16 hospitals in western Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma thanks to its volunteer donors. Since 1958, those needing blood in the area have counted on mobile blood drives and donor centers in Fort Smith and Hot Springs to ensure there is an adequate blood supply. In October, it became an affiliate of Oklahoma Blood Institute after previously partnering with United Blood Services. Oklahoma Blood Institute is the ninth largest, independent nonprofit blood center in the nation. Arkansas Blood Institute was formed at this time to reflect the local commitment to providing for people in the region.

For more information, contact Arkansas Blood Institute at 877-340-8777 or visit us at www.arkbi.org.

New law proposed by Senator Pryor



U.S. Senators Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) and John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.) today introduced legislation to improve the safety of drivers and their passengers who travel on our nation’s highways.

Mariah’s Law reauthorizes highway and vehicle safety programs under the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This agency is charged with ensuring compliance with safety standards, investigating safety defects and working with automakers on recalls. Additionally, its highway safety mission consists of safety and research programs designed to decrease vehicle deaths and injuries by changing driver behavior regarding drunk driving, distracted driving and child seats. Current authorization will expire on September 30, 2011.

The legislation is named after Mariah West of Rogers, Arkansas. A day before her high school graduation in 2009, Mariah was texting while driving when she lost control of her car, clipped a bridge, flipped back into oncoming traffic and passed away five days later from her injuries. In part, Mariah’s Law will prevent similar loss by concentrating resources to prevent distracted driving. In 2008, more than 5,800 people died and more than half-million were hurt in crashes involving a distracted or inattentive driver.

“This bill is about saving lives,” said Pryor, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance. “We’ve strengthened programs designed to stop dangerous driving behavior, and we’ve stepped up vehicle safety so that families are protected by strong safety standards and devices when an accident does occur.”

“The number of deaths that occur on our roads is far too high,” said Rockefeller, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. “We have given the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration the essential and difficult mission of reducing this number and making our roads safer. This legislation will strengthen NHTSA and focus attention and resources on the most pressing safety problems.”

Mariah’s Law would:

Reauthorize, update and consolidate highway safety programs. NHTSA programs include research within the agency as well as grants to states to conduct efforts to reduce drug and alcohol impaired driving and take other steps to improve safety. The bill would update these programs, consolidate portions of them, and add in additional accountability measures. It would also create a new grant program specifically targeting distracted driving.

Strengthen vehicle safety. NTHSA would continue to establish federal motor vehicle safety standards and test vehicles and replacement equipment for compliance with those standards. Additionally, NHTSA would continue investigations into possible safety defects in vehicles and work with automakers to recall vehicles that contain such defects. Under this authorization, NHTSA is also responsible for overseeing issues related to fuel economy, child car seat performance, and tire safety.

Enhance Safety Authorities. Provides NHTSA with additional authorities to develop and enforce strong vehicle safety regulations, conduct motor vehicle safety research, and monitor the safety of vehicles and motor vehicle equipment imported into the country.

Improve Transparency and Accountability. Following last year’s Toyota investigation, this legislation establishes new requirements on NHTSA and the auto industry to increase transparency, and provide additional information to the public and to consumers about vehicle safety and pending safety recalls. It would also hold auto companies accountable by requiring a senior official to certify to the accuracy of certain submissions to NHTSA and provide whistleblower protections to industry employees.

Address Emerging Electronics and Technologies. Requires NHTSA to focus research and rulemaking efforts on electronics and other emerging technologies.
Prioritize Child Safety. Prioritize child safety rulemakings at NHTSA, and require new research into emerging child safety concerns.

Animal Welfare League has cats, cats, cats


Sylvester is a three year old neutered male. Sylvester loves to be petted.


Pogo is a four month old neutered male. Pogo is very playful.


Pandora is a year and a half year old spayed female. Pandora is sweet and quiet.

The Animal Welfare League August special is half off adoption costs when you adobe any black or black and white dog or cat. There is a wonderful selection of cats and dogs looking for a loving home.

Input requested by Health Facility Services

TO: Interested Parties

FROM: Connie Melton, MBA, FACHE
Section Chief, Health Facility Services

SUBJECT: Proposed revisions to the Rules and Regulations for Perfusionists in Arkansas

DATE: July 28, 2011

The Arkansas Department of Health will hold a public hearing on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 9:30 a.m. in the Freeway Medical Tower, 5800 W. 10th St., Room 801, Little Rock, Arkansas, to allow interested persons to comment on the proposed revisions to the Rules.

The proposed revisions: (1) specify that Arkansas license qualification is ABCP certification; (2) specify the number of continuing education units (“CEUs”) and clinical activities required for license renewal; (3) eliminate full text of statutes from the regulations; (4) standardize formatting into separately paged sections; (5) update citations of authority; (6) add “Authority” and “Purpose” sections; (7) specify fees for provisional license; reciprocity; extension; and replacement license; and (8) add “certified mail” as an option for hearing notice procedure.

Copies of the proposed revisions are available for public inspection and copying at the Arkansas Department of Health, Section of Health Facilities Services, Freeway Medical Tower, 5800 W. 10th St., Ste. 400, Little Rock, Arkansas. The proposed revisions are also available for inspection online through the Department of Health website at www.healthy.arkansas.gov “ Rules and Regs” link, as well as the Secretary of State website at www.sos.arkansas.gov “Administrative Rules” link.

The public may submit written comments regarding the proposed revisions to Connie Melton, Section Chief, Health Facilities Services, Freeway Medical Tower, 5800 W. 10th St., Ste. 400, Little Rock, Arkansas, 72204-1704, or in person at the same address, no later than 11:00 a.m. on September 22, 2011.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Street closure next week in Hot Springs

On Monday, August 1, the 300 block of Highland Street, between Sellers and Ewing Streets, will be closed to through traffic for installation of a sewer force main. Signs will be posted, and motorists are advised to seek an alternate route.

Tickets for Karen Lauck's retirement party

Karen Lauck is retiring after 20 years as the one and only Manager of the Ponce de Leon Center. There will be a retirement party for her on Wednesday, September 14 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Coronado Center. Hors d'oeuvres will be served, and there will be a cash bar. A program will begin at 6:00 p.m.

Tickets are $12.50 each, and will be on sale beginning July 26 at the Ponce de Leon Center and at the Coronado Fitness Center.

Pryor's a house divided

Senator Mark Pryor yesterday made the following statement on the Senate floor to urge his colleagues to work together on a debt ceiling solution. His statement is below:

Our greatest Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, in his drive to end slavery, said “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” With these few words, Lincoln is calling to us through the echoing halls of history. He is calling for us to put aside our differences and to become unified into one people, one nation, one common purpose.

Mr. Lincoln recognized that the issue of slavery was tearing this great nation apart and that it could not survive half slave and half free. Slavery was the great unfinished business of our founders. The institution of slavery was so ingrained in the infant country’s past and future that even Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison and Franklin could not disentangle it. Madam President, I am not trying to equate carrying too much debt with slavery, please understand that, but the truth remains. A house divided against itself cannot stand.

This house, this nation, this republic, is divided against itself. Our founders called their effort at establishing a new nation “a great experiment” – and it has been. Nothing like it had ever been tried and America has been the unequaled success in all of world history. Truly, we are the envy of the world. We began as thirteen weak and barely united states but quickly became the strongest country in the western hemisphere. About seventy years after we adopted the Constitution, we survived a deadly civil war. All the while we grew in stature and in favor with other nations. Our economic power grew rapidly. American influence grew as we became the agent of democracy and capitalism for the entire world. Although our military power was slow to develop, we fought on the winning side in two world wars and we grew into an economic, military and cultural super power.

We are a nation of immigrants, of many faiths, of many races and our national call to union is E Pluribus Unum. Out of many, one. Out of many states is forged one nation. Out of many races is forged one people. Out of many, one. The founding fathers had to balance the agrarian interests of the south and west with the industrial and shipping interests of the north and east. They balanced small states and big states. They balanced regions dominated by the frontier with regions dominated by the old world. They balanced Catholicism and Protestantism and Judaism. They balanced English culture with German culture with French culture. Out of many, one. Had previous generations of leaders not achieved oneness, we would not be, could not be, the great nation we are today. The Senate was added to the Constitution as a compromise. Washington, D.C. was placed on the banks of the Potomac as a compromise. States were added to the union as the result of compromise. In this sense, America’s ability to find compromise has always been our pathway to greatness. Our founders established this more perfect union with the clear-eyed knowledge that came from experience that a house divided against itself cannot stand.

Division leads to failure. To make our democracy work, we all must work together. We must acknowledge that we have differences of opinion and differing points of view, but we must commit to unity. The floor of the United States Senate is the marketplace for ideas and it is a window into democracy that is a living testimony to the greatness and diversity of our nation. The floor of the United States Senate should not be a graveyard for ideas or innovation or promise. Campaigns should stop at the threshold of this chamber. What happens in this chamber is much greater than any single senator’s political fortunes and it is much more important than a political party’s fate at the next general election. We have a sacred responsibility to the people through the Constitution and if we orient ourselves to the next presidential election, we are failing in our duty. The United States Senate, at its core, by its nature, is where decisions get made. We have our ideological battles here, that is certain, but this is where consensus should be achieved. The Senate should fuel the engine that propels us to a better future, not stall that engine.

All Americans should fully participate in our government. We should register to vote and serve on the jury. We must volunteer in the schools and pay our taxes. We must teach our children about our country, their country, and prepare them for their time to lead. We must tell them that our system of government is the best that man ever devised and that it works. It works very well if we allow it to work.

This moment in history is a day where we can show our children, as well as our founding fathers, that this is no longer a house divided. We can show the world that our parents instilled in us the value of E Pluribus Unum. America’s best days lay ahead if we are mutually committed to that future. It is, however, not possible unless we set aside our differences and work together for that common goal. My fellow senators, please heed the words of Abraham Lincoln and understand that there is truth of what he said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.

Street closure in Hot Springs

Today, Friday, July 29, the 300 block of Highland Street, between Sellers and Ewing Streets in Hot Springs, will be closed to through traffic for installation of a sewer force main. Signs will be posted, and motorists are advised to seek an alternate route.

Street closure next week in Hot Springs

Construction on the Belding Street crosswalk at the bridge between Valley Street and Shady Grove Road will begin Monday, August 1 and continue through Wednesday, August 3. The crosswalk connects different portions of the Hot Springs Creek Greenway Trail. One of the lanes may be closed periodically during daytime hours while the contractor pours concrete. Signs will be posted. Motorists may encounter delays and are asked to use caution when traveling in the area.

Now is the time to get National Flood Insurance

The recent flooding in Arkansas has underscored a painful truth: flooding can occur anywhere, at any time. And with hurricane season already under way, Arkansas could be at risk of flooding again.

In fact, flooding is America's most common natural disaster. Yet homeowner insurance policies do not cover flood damage.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) offers federally backed insurance to property owners and renters in Arkansas communities that participate in the NFIP. Those communities have agreed to adopt and enforce floodplain ordinances that meet or exceed FEMA building requirements in the Special Flood Hazard Areas to reduce the risk of flooding.

Nationwide, nearly 21,000 communities participate in the NFIP, with 403 of those in Arkansas. As of May 31, more than 19,660 flood insurance policies were in force in the state. The NFIP is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and policies are sold through private insurance agents throughout Arkansas.

Many people decline to buy flood insurance because they believe they cannot qualify for it, or that it will cost more than they can afford.

"We understand people's concerns, particularly in this tight economy, but you can buy flood insurance, and it doesn't have to be expensive," said Diana Kidder, a FEMA insurance specialist now working in Little Rock.

Others mistakenly believe flood insurance is not available to them because their neighborhood has never flooded. That is not the case.

More than 25 percent of claims paid are from areas at medium or low risk of flooding. In these areas, NFIP flood insurance can be purchased for as little as $129 a year for a building and its contents or $49 for contents only.

"Don't let anyone tell you that you can't buy flood insurance unless you live in a high-risk flood zone," said Linda Delamare of FEMA's Floodplain Management and Insurance Branch in Denton, Texas. "Everyone lives in a flood zone to one degree or another."

Homes can be insured against flood damage for up to $250,000 and commercial buildings insured for up to $500,000. Policies can be written to include contents coverage up to $100,000 for homes and $500,000 for business owners' contents. Renters can insure their personal property for up to $100,000. The average homeowner's premium for flood insurance is less than $570 a year - a bargain considering that just five inches of water in a home can cause more than $11,000 in damage.

"It's important to note that federal disasters are declared in less than half of flooding events," Delamare said. "NFIP claims, on the other hand, are paid regardless of whether a disaster is declared."

Due to the 30-day waiting period, NFIP policies become effective 30 days after the premium is paid and will remain in effect for a year.

"Don't wait until the weather forecast calls for flooding before you decide to buy," Kidder cautioned. "By then, it's too late. By purchasing an NFIP policy now, you'll have peace of mind knowing your property is covered when the next flood event occurs."

Calling all churches to help keep citizens cool

Area churches are asked to consider joining the rotating group of facilities volunteering as cooling centers from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on days when the Weather Channel forecast is 100 degrees or higher. Interested churches can contact Hot Springs Fire Marshal Nate Schanlaber, 321-6971.

Street closure in Hot Springs

The west side of the southbound lane of Central Avenue at Trivista Street in Hot Springs is closed until the end of the day today, Friday, July 29 for a gas line project. Signs are posted, and motorists are advised to use caution when traveling in the project area.

FEMA spending in state

In Arkansas neighborhoods hit hard by back-to-back storms, tornadoes and floods this spring, state and federal Individual Assistance grants and loans are helping eligible residents meet their urgent storm-related needs and get back into repaired homes.

But another element of disaster assistance affects entire communities, although usually not in the immediate and direct way Individual Assistance programs do. This form of assistance makes a difference to the state, state agencies, local governments and certain nonprofit organizations.

That form of aid is the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Public Assistance (PA) Grant Program, and it is available in 58 Arkansas counties under the presidential disaster declarations of May 2 and July 8.

To date, more than $1 million in grants has been obligated to eligible applicants, including:
$360,000 to the Arkansas National Guard for emergency protective measures
$278,000 to Garland County for storm debris removal
More than 90 smaller grants totaling about $300,000 for road and infrastructure repairs and debris removal

The PA reimbursement program benefits everyone — neighborhoods, cities and states. PA dollars help clean up downed trees and other debris, repair the roads and bridges people use every day going to work and school, put power poles back in the ground, repair schools and emergency services and put playground equipment back in public parks. The funds benefit facilities and services used by the entire community.

“We’re pleased that Public Assistance funds are coming to Arkansas to help relieve local communities of the enormous burden of paying to clean up and repair the storm damage,” said State Coordinating Officer David Maxwell of the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management.

Types of entities that may be eligible for Public Assistance in Arkansas include:
State government agencies
Local governments
Certain private nonprofit organizations, including rural electric cooperatives

“PA grants are obligated to government entities and nonprofits, but their intent is to ensure the roads, facilities and services people use every day are safe and functioning,” said Deputy Federal Coordinating Office W. Michael Moore.

FEMA Public Assistance funds are available to Arkansas communities through a partnership of cost sharing. FEMA picks up 75 percent of the eligible cost of putting a community back on its feet, and the state and the applicant share the remaining 25 percent.

The 58 designated counties are: Arkansas, Baxter, Benton, Bradley, Boone, Calhoun, Carroll, Chicot, Clark, Clay, Cleburne, Cleveland, Conway, Craighead, Crawford, Crittenden, Cross, Dallas, Faulkner, Franklin, Fulton, Garland, Greene, Hot Spring, Howard, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Johnson, Lawrence, Lee, Lincoln, Lonoke, Madison, Marion, Mississippi, Monroe, Montgomery, Nevada, Newton, Perry, Phillips, Pike, Poinsett, Polk, Prairie, Pulaski, Randolph, Saline, Searcy, Sharp, St. Francis, Stone, Van Buren, Washington, White, Woodruff and Yell.

Street closure in Hot Springs

Hobson Avenue, between Central and Linwood Avenue, in Hot Springs will be closed periodically today, Friday, July 29. The existing asphalt surface will be recycled in preparation for paving. Detour signs will be posted during closures, and motorists are encouraged to seek alternate routes.

Street closure in Hot Springs

Beech Street, between Spring Street and Convention Boulevard, in Hot Springs is closed to through traffic until the end of the day today, Friday, July 29 for gas line construction. Signs will be posted, and motorists are advised to seek another route.

MPO meeting next week

The Hot Springs Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Transit Coordination Committee will meet at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, August 3 at the Transportation Depot, 100 Broadway Terrace. The agenda will include a review of the current Garland County Coordinated Transit Plan. The public is encouraged to attend. For more information, contact Dianne Morrison, MPO Study Director, 321-4804.

The Arkansas Democrat Gazette explains the gas drilling ban instituted earlier this week

EL DORADO — The Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission has voted to shut one natural gas drilling disposal well and to ban others from being drilled in a large swath of central Arkansas where hundreds of small earthquakes have been recorded.

Quakes spur AOGC action
Watch Video Commissioners voted Wednesday afternoon 6-0 to close a well owned by Deep Six Water Disposal Services between Greenbrier and Enola and then 7-0 to establish a moratorium on future disposal wells in an 1,150-square mile area mostly north of Conway.

The votes came after two days of testimony that centered on whether injection operations could be contributing to seismic activity. The wells are used by natural gas drillers for dumping pressurized wastewater from hydraulic fracturing.

"The decision we made is basically based on the fact that you just can't put the citizens of the state of Arkansas at risk," said Commissioner Mike Davis. He noted that there was not hard scientific evidence confirming the correlation, but said the possible risk was too great.

"This was a decision that I personally made more with my heart than my head."

The commission staff announced last month it was seeking the ban, which at that time would have shuttered four wells. Companies operating three of them agreed before the hearing to plug their wells by Sept. 30, but Deep Six contended its disposal well between Greenbrier and Enola wasn't causing the seismic activity.

The Deep Six vote shuts down the well immediately and orders it plugged, but allows for a delay in the latter if the company appeals.

The moratorium vote establishes the area where no new disposal wells can be drilled. It will then be presented as a general rule, along with additional parameters, at the next commission meeting. Commission director Lawrence Bengal said those parameters might include more rules that would set disposal wells away from known faults and "take into account the potential of wells to induce" quakes before they are issued permitted.

Commissioner Charles Wohlford, who voted for the moratorium and abstained from the Deep Six vote, warned just prior to the action that the moratorium area is seismically active anyway, so drilling needs to be done with caution.

"We are in a region that says 'be careful,'" he said.

Chairman Chad White said the moratorium area could be enlarged in the future in order to "protect the public" from earthquakes.

Staff of the commission said all four wells may have been contributing to the earthquakes, including a 4.7-magnitude tremor in February that was felt in neighboring states. No serious damage or injuries were reported from it or any of the other small quakes, which number more than 1,000 since September.

Bengal testified Wednesday that the Deep Six well is within the "geologic fabric" of the region, meaning it could contribute to the Guy-Greenbrier earthquakes despite being several miles from the fault.

He added that not all the faults in the area are known, but the patterns within the earth suggest there may be one near the Deep Six well.

"As director, it is not my desire to permit another Guy-Greenbrier swarm to occur," Bengal said. "I have made my recommendation on a proactive effort in the case of Deep Six that that not be allowed to occur."

Haydar Al-Shukri, director of the Arkansas Earthquake Center at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, testified next, telling an attorney for Deep Six that he designed an "extremely sensitive" array of seismic stations to monitor events within 3 miles of the disposal well. He said more than 95 percent of earthquakes caused by injection wells occur within that distance.

Al-Shukri said his array recorded nearly 10,000 very small seismic events - most of them imperceptible to humans - within about 12 miles of the Deep Six well. But he said only 280 of them were within 3 miles of the well, a strong majority of them occurred higher in the ground than the fluids were being injected and they didn't seem to occur in correlation with the injection activity.

"Because of this, I believe at this point, with this data that there is no correlation" between the seismic activity and the Deep 6 well, Al-Shukri said.

He also disagreed with an estimate made in testimony Monday regarding the size of potential quakes in the region. Steve Horton, a research scientist with the Center for Earthquake Research and Information at the University of Memphis, estimated the fault between Guy and Greenbrier could trigger a damaging, 6.0-magnitude tremor.

But Al-Shukri said that figure is based on tectonic quakes, not ones induced by injection, and assumes the entire fault would rupture at one time.

"This is a very strong assumption," Al-Shukri said.

On Tuesday, the first day of testimony, Horton and a geologist from the Arkansas Geological Survey presented evidence suggesting disposal well operations in the area could trigger a potentially damaging quake.

The seismic activity has been continuing in the region in recent days. Several small tremors were recorded in Conway County last week and a preliminary 2.6-magnitude quake was felt 3 miles east of Guy shortly before 8 a.m. Wednesday. A temporary moratorium on the disposal wells near Guy and Greenbrier has been in place since January as geologists investigated the possible correlation.

AARP petitioning Congress not to abandon retirees

AARP Arkansas leaders and volunteers announced Wednesday that more than 10,000 petitions from AARP members and local constituents will be delivered over the next few days to district offices of Arkansas’ members of Congress. The petitions call on these elected leaders not to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits as part of any deal to reduce the nation’s deficit.

The petitions are part of a larger effort on behalf of AARP Arkansas and AARP nationally to take Social Security and Medicare benefits off the table for any deficit negotiations that are happening on Capitol Hill.

In Arkansas, 635,031 people rely on Social Security and 536,817 rely on Medicare. Additionally, more than 62,000 older Arkansans rely on Medicaid, which also has been targeted for cuts under various proposals. Of the 62,000 older Arkansans who rely on Medicaid, more than 18,000 require nursing home care. Thousands more stay out of nursing homes through Medicaid funded in-home care programs.

During an event this morning at the Jacksonville Senior Center, AARP Arkansas volunteers and leaders announced the pending delivery of the petitions and urged Congress and the President to cut waste and close loopholes instead of cutting critical Medicare and Social Security benefits that millions of Americans have earned through a lifetime of hard work. Tax breaks and loopholes cost the federal government an estimated $1 trillion each year.

“AARP Arkansas is proud to deliver the real voices of people who live here in Arkansas who are united in their opposition to cutting the hard earned benefits that they have paid into for their retirement for any debt deal,” said AARP Arkansas State Director Maria Reynolds-Diaz.“These petitions represent Democrats, Republicans and independents who oppose any cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits as part of any deal to pay the nation’s bills.”

AARP Arkansas leaders recently returned from Washington, D.C. where they delivered the same strong message to Congress. Along with the petitions to be delivered in the coming days, thousands of Arkansans have made calls, sent emails and attended town hall meetings over the past several weeks to tell their elected representatives not to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits. AARP also launched a new direct-message television ad recently (www.aarp.org/protectseniors) that urges Congress and the President to cut waste and close loopholes instead of cutting critical Medicare and Social Security benefits that millions of Americans have earned through a lifetime of hard work, and reminding elected officials that seniors are “NOT Pushovers!”

By the numbers, Social Security and Medicare in Arkansas:

· 635,031 Arkansans receive Social Security. That’s 21.8% of the state population. Only West Virginia (24.3%) and Maine (22.8%) have higher percentages of the state population receiving Social Security.

· 58 percent of Arkansans receiving Social Security count on it for 50% or more of their income.

· 34 percent of Arkansans receiving Social Security count on it for at least 90% of their income.

· The average Social Security retirement benefit is only about $14,000 a year. The average annual benefit for retired women is even less, about $12,000.

· 536,817 Arkansans (18.4% of the population) count on Medicare for access to health care, from prescription drugs to visits to their doctor’s office.

· $22,000 is the average income for half of all Medicare beneficiaries. Today's Medicare beneficiaries already pay an average of $5,500 each year out of their own pockets for their medical expenses.

Social Security did not cause our nation's budget problem, and Social Security should not be weakened to fix it. There is no immediate crisis. Social Security can pay 100 percent of benefits for the next 25 years. With modest, gradual changes, Social Security can stay strong for decades after that.

While Medicare provides critical health care security for more than half a million Arkansans, the high costs of premiums, cost-sharing requirements, and gaps in the benefit package can result in beneficiaries spending a significant share of their household budgets on health care. AARP believes that the best way to hold down costs in Medicare is to hold down costs throughout the health care system, with a particular emphasis on delivery system reform.

Other steps that can be taken to reduce Medicare costs are cracking down on costly hospital readmissions, overbilling by providers and standing up to the drug companies, which are costing Medicare billions of dollars in high-priced drugs and by preventing less costly generic drugs from coming to market. Simply shifting costs on to other payers of health care services, particularly older Americans and their families, would do nothing to reduce the overall costs of services and would undermine current and future retirees’ access to quality care.

“Cuts to critical programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will impact real people in Arkansas by reducing benefits they have earned and shifting health care costs onto people who can least afford it,” Reynolds-Diaz said. “Congress and the President need to make tough choices to address our growing debt, but they should make responsible decisions without hurting seniors and cutting the benefits they earned after a lifetime of hard work.”

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Another heat advisory day

... HEAT ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM CDT THIS EVENING...

A HEAT ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM CDT THIS EVENING.

* EVENT... DANGEROUS OUTDOOR CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED... AS HEAT INDEX VALUES REACH OR EXCEED 105 DEGREES.

* TIMING... THESE HIGH HEAT INDICES WILL OCCUR DURING THE AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING HOURS TODAY.

* IMPACT... HEAT RELATED ILLNESSES BECOME MORE LIKELY WITH PROLONGED EXPOSURE TO HOT AND HUMID CONDITIONS. EXTRA CAUTION SHOULD BE TAKEN TO MINIMIZE THE EFFECTS OF THE HEAT.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A HEAT ADVISORY MEANS THAT THE COMBINATION OF HEAT AND HUMIDITY WILL CREATE DANGEROUS CONDITIONS OUTDOORS. IF YOU MUST BE OUTSIDE... TAKE FREQUENT BREAKS IN A SHADED OR AIR CONDITIONED ENVIRONMENT. STAY HYDRATED BY DRINKING PLENTY OF NON-ALCOHOLIC FLUIDS. IF POSSIBLE... RESCHEDULE STRENUOUS ACTIVITIES TO EARLY MORNING OR EVENING. REMEMBER... HEAT IS THE NUMBER ONE WEATHER RELATED KILLER IN THE UNITED STATES. HEAT STROKE IS AN EMERGENCY... CALL 911.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Arkansas earthquake down .2 points

2.4 Md - ARKANSAS
Preliminary Earthquake Report Magnitude 2.4 Md
Date-Time 27 Jul 2011 12:51:15 UTC
27 Jul 2011 07:51:15 near epicenter
27 Jul 2011 06:51:15 standard time in your timezone

Location 35.329N 92.287W
Depth 5 km
Distances 4 km (3 miles) E (83 degrees) of Guy, AR
9 km (5 miles) SW (227 degrees) of Quitman, AR
12 km (7 miles) ESE (111 degrees) of Damascus, AR
66 km (41 miles) N (3 degrees) of Little Rock, AR
409 km (254 miles) SSW (207 degrees) of St. Louis, MO

Location Uncertainty Horizontal: 1.1 km; Vertical 1.2 km
Parameters Nph = 12; Dmin = 4.0 km; Rmss = 0.09 seconds; Gp = 129°
M-type = Md; Version = A
Event ID NM 072711b

Another very hot one

Issued by The National Weather Service
Little Rock, AR
Wed, Jul 27, 2011, 3:35 AM CDT
... HEAT ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM CDT THURSDAY...

THE HEAT ADVISORY IS NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM CDT THURSDAY.

* EVENT... DANGEROUS OUTDOOR CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED... AS HEAT INDEX VALUES REACH OR EXCEED 105 DEGREES.

* TIMING... THESE HIGH HEAT INDICES WILL OCCUR DURING THE AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING THROUGH THURSDAY.

* IMPACT... HEAT RELATED ILLNESSES BECOME MORE LIKELY WITH PROLONGED EXPOSURE TO HOT AND HUMID CONDITIONS. EXTRA CAUTION SHOULD BE TAKEN TO MINIMIZE THE EFFECTS OF THE HEAT.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A HEAT ADVISORY MEANS THAT A PERIOD OF HOT TEMPERATURES IS EXPECTED. THE COMBINATION OF HOT TEMPERATURES AND HIGH HUMIDITY WILL COMBINE TO CREATE A SITUATION IN WHICH HEAT ILLNESSES ARE POSSIBLE. DRINK PLENTY OF FLUIDS... STAY IN AN AIR-CONDITIONED ROOM... STAY OUT OF THE SUN... AND CHECK UP ON RELATIVES AND NEIGHBORS.

TAKE EXTRA PRECAUTIONS IF YOU WORK OR SPEND TIME OUTSIDE. WHEN POSSIBLE... RESCHEDULE STRENUOUS ACTIVITIES TO EARLY MORNING OR EVENING. KNOW THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF HEAT EXHAUSTION AND HEAT STROKE. WEAR LIGHT WEIGHT AND LOOSE FITTING CLOTHING WHEN POSSIBLE AND DRINK PLENTY OF WATER. TO REDUCE RISK DURING OUTDOOR WORK... THE OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION RECOMMENDS SCHEDULING FREQUENT REST BREAKS IN SHADED OR AIR CONDITIONED ENVIRONMENTS. ANYONE OVERCOME BY HEAT SHOULD BE MOVED TO A COOL AND SHADED LOCATION. HEAT STROKE IS AN EMERGENCY... CALL 9 1 1.

Another earthquake this morning

2.6 M - ARKANSAS
Preliminary Earthquake Report Magnitude 2.6 M
Date-Time 27 Jul 2011 12:51:12 UTC
27 Jul 2011 07:51:12 near epicenter
27 Jul 2011 06:51:12 standard time in your timezone

Location 35.328N 92.284W
Depth 5 km
Distances 5 km (3 miles) E (86 degrees) of Guy, AR
8 km (5 miles) SW (225 degrees) of Quitman, AR
12 km (8 miles) ESE (111 degrees) of Damascus, AR
66 km (41 miles) N (4 degrees) of Little Rock, AR
409 km (254 miles) SSW (207 degrees) of St. Louis, MO

Location Uncertainty Horizontal: 0.8 km; Vertical 0.8 km
Parameters Nph = 16; Dmin = 4.0 km; Rmss = 0.13 seconds; Gp = 111°
M-type = M; Version = B
Event ID NM 072711a ***This event supersedes event USc00054uw.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Street closure in Hot Springs

Emory Street at Prichard Street, between Higdon Ferry Road and 7th Street, will be closed to through traffic from 7:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Thursday, July 28 for tree removal. Signs will be posted, and motorists are advised to seek an alternate route.

Pryor's letter to the USPS

In a letter to the United States Postal Service (USPS), U.S. Senator Mark Pryor today called on USPS to follow the law when deciding which post offices it intends to close as part of cost-cutting measures.

While Pryor agrees that USPS needs to implement cost-cutting measures to reduce its deficit, he urged the agency to closely adhere to the law and proper procedures when making decisions that will negatively impact communities in Arkansas. According to USPS documents, 179 post offices in Arkansas have been slated for possible closure or consolidation. Nationwide, 3,700 post offices are being considered for possible discontinuance.

The USPS has not requested or received an advisory opinion from the Postal Regulatory Commission, a step that requires substantial documentation and justification, before the agency can move forward with closures. Additionally, Pryor requested a detailed breakdown of the criteria and process that USPS is using to assess closures.

“Post offices play an important role to keep rural communities connected to commerce and news. That’s why it’s critical a full and fair assessment is completed before USPS closes any doors. Instead, we’re seeing the postal service fail to deliver both on our expectations and the law,” Pryor said. “I will continue to work with other rural-state Senators until the process is done right.”

THA meeting cancelled

The Hot Springs Village Townhouse Association Working Board Session schedule for 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, August 2 has been cancelled.

Lock car doors

Tuesday July 26, 2011 3:06 PM CDT

Garland County Sheriff's Investigator's have started seeing reports again on Breaking or Entering cases to vehicles on the east side of the county. Most of these thefts have been the result of valuables being left in plain site, in unlocked vehicles.

The Sheriff's Office would like to remind citizens to remove all valuables; cell phones, laptops, cameras, etc., and lock your doors, when leaving the car unattended.

Temperatures tomorrow will be even higher, expect another advisory tomorrow

HEAT ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM CDT WEDNESDAY...

THE HEAT ADVISORY IS NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM CDT WEDNESDAY.

* EVENT... DANGEROUS OUTDOOR CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED... AS HEAT INDEX VALUES REACH OR EXCEED 105 DEGREES.

* TIMING... THESE HIGH HEAT INDICES WILL OCCUR DURING THE AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING THROUGH WEDNESDAY.

* IMPACT... HEAT RELATED ILLNESSES BECOME MORE LIKELY WITH PROLONGED EXPOSURE TO HOT AND HUMID CONDITIONS. EXTRA CAUTION SHOULD BE TAKEN TO MINIMIZE THE EFFECTS OF THE HEAT.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A HEAT ADVISORY MEANS THAT THE COMBINATION OF HEAT AND HUMIDITY WILL CREATE DANGEROUS CONDITIONS OUTDOORS. IF YOU MUST BE OUTSIDE... TAKE FREQUENT BREAKS IN A SHADED OR AIR CONDITIONED ENVIRONMENT. STAY HYDRATED BY DRINKING PLENTY OF NON-ALCOHOLIC FLUIDS. IF POSSIBLE... RESCHEDULE STRENUOUS ACTIVITIES TO EARLY MORNING OR EVENING. REMEMBER... HEAT IS THE NUMBER ONE WEATHER RELATED KILLER IN THE UNITED STATES. HEAT STROKE IS AN EMERGENCY... CALL 911.

Trauma advisory council meeting

WHO: Finance subcommittee of the Governor’s Trauma Advisory Council

WHAT: Scheduled Meeting

WHEN: Tuesday, August 2, 2011, 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.

WHERE: Freeway Medical Tower
Room 906 (Board Room)
5800 West 10th Street,
Little Rock, AR 72204

WHY: This is a scheduled subcommittee meeting for general business related to state-wide efforts to build a trauma system in Arkansas.

Note: The meeting is open to the general public.

Conference Call: For members and guests to attend by conference call, follow these steps:
• To access the conference call, please phone 1-800-390-5809.
• Once you have reached the conference call center, you may use participant code 6612744 to join the meeting by phone.

For more information on the trauma system in Arkansas or the Trauma Advisory Council, go to http://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/

Pryor's actions today

U.S. Senator Mark Pryor today introduced legislation to reauthorize a popular program that allows states to quickly receive or provide trained first responders and other assistance to neighboring states when tornadoes, flooding, or other disasters strike.

“When severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding swept through the south this spring, more than 600 first responders stepped in to clear debris, fix power lines, and provide shelter,” Pryor said. “The Emergency Management Assistance Compact enabled this immediate and effective response by removing legal and financial barriers. My legislation ensures neighboring states can continue to help neighbors in need when disaster strikes.”

The Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) Reauthorization Act will enable first responders to continue providing emergency services to a neighboring state that has exhausted its own capabilities. The current compact provides reciprocity in recognizing professional licenses and permits for professional skills and also provides liability protection.

Second, the EMAC Act will authorize up to $2 million a year from Fiscal Year 2012 to Fiscal Year 2016 to provide training materials and courses for first responders; conduct cross-state exercises and after-action assessments; and to establish a tracking system of deployed assets. These provisions will address recommendations by the Government Accountability Office and the 9/11 Commission that called for mutual aid enhancement and stronger administrative capacity of the EMAC network.

Since the Emergency Management Assistance Compact’s inception in 1995, states have requested assistance 179 times. The compact has enabled over 83,000 first responders to assist neighboring states, including 2,057 first responders deployed from Arkansas.

Pryor weighs in on Ross announcement

I will miss having Mike Ross as a partner in Congress. He has been a tireless advocate for Arkansas, representing the values of the people in his district and bringing common-sense solutions back to Washington. He has shown tremendous leadership for more than a decade while fighting for Arkansas’s seniors and working families, and I know he will continue serving out his term with the same zeal and commitment. I wish my friend Mike Ross the very best in his future endeavors.

Mike Ross makes assurances after his announcement yesterday to pursue other goals

Congress continues to negotiate a solution to the nation’s impending debt limit crisis. Without a solution, the Department of Treasury has said the federal government can continue to pay its bills until August 2, 2011, when the United States would begin defaulting on its financial obligations here at home and around the world. As we approach this deadline, Congress must stop the partisan games and work together to find a practical solution that strengthens our economy and protects America’s place as the world’s superpower.

Last week, I voted against a Republican spending package called Cut, Cap and Balance, H.R. 2650, because it would have forced radical spending cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. It also included a balanced budget amendment that would have imposed a spending cap of 18% of GDP within the decade. Federal spending has not been 18.0% or less of GDP since the 1960s, when both Medicare and Medicaid were just beginning. Given our struggling economy and the rising number of seniors retiring, capping spending at 1960s levels would only lead to drastic cuts in Medicaid and Medicare.

I have long supported and voted for spending cuts and a balanced budget amendment, but this bill was crafted with pure political motives and is not a real or practical solution to our nation's fiscal crisis. We must pursue a fair and balanced approach. Any proposed spending cuts must not punish working families, seniors or veterans in the process. They did nothing to get us in to this fiscal crisis. They are barely getting by as it is and we should not balance the budget on their backs.

Instead of trying to legislate pure ideology, let’s stop the partisan bickering, work together and find a fair and reasonable solution to our fiscal crisis.

Fortunately, a bipartisan, practical plan has emerged from the so-called “Gang of Six” in the Senate – a bipartisan group of Senators who have been working for months to find common ground on a way to address the national debt.

This plan is a two-step proposal that would immediately reduce the deficit by $500 billion and place our nation on a stable, fiscal path. The plan would slash our nation’s deficits by $3.6 trillion over ten years and stabilize our publicly-held debt by 2014. The plan would also impose unprecedented budget enforcement rules, so if Congress does not meet certain spending targets, across-the-board cuts would be automatically made to reach those targets. Finally, once the plan has passed in the Senate, the Senate Finance Committee would be required to report a Social Security Reform plan that ensures the life-saving program’s solvency for at least the next 75 years.

While this may not be the final plan, it demonstrates that we can find a reasonable, balanced and bipartisan solution to one of our nation’s biggest crises by simply working together. I remain very optimistic about the Gang of Six’s plan, because it’s a practical approach that doesn’t cater to the extremes of either side. It also ensures that Social Security and Medicare will be around for generations to come.

As your Congressman, I will continue to be a moderating force in this debate, working with the House and Senate to find practical solutions to address our nation’s debt limit and fiscal crisis. We must get this done now, because it’s past time that we stop deficit spending, get our fiscal house back in order and start focusing on how we can revive our economy and put more Americans back to work.

Ross has eye on Governor's mansion

U.S. Congressman Mike Ross of Prescott on Monday announced he will not be seeking re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives. Ross, who won re-election in 2010 by 18 points and has no announced opponent, has represented Arkansas’s Fourth Congressional District in Congress since 2001. A fifth generation Arkansan, Ross is a former state senator and former small business owner.

Statement from U.S. Congressman Mike Ross:

Representing my home state of Arkansas in the U.S. Congress for the past eleven years has been a real privilege and honor. It is a job that I take very seriously and one that I love. However, as I reflect on turning 50 this year, I believe it is time for me to begin a new chapter in my life by spending more time with my family and exploring new opportunities here at home in Arkansas.

That’s why I have decided not to seek a seventh term to the United States House of Representatives from Arkansas’s Fourth Congressional District. This was not an easy decision and one that I carefully made after a lot of reflection, thought and prayer.

Last year was a tough political environment to seek re-election. Yet, I won by 18 points—one of the largest margins of any member of Congress in a swing district. The trust and confidence the folks here at home have continually placed in me is something I will never forget. The people of Arkansas’s Fourth Congressional District are good, decent, hard working people and I am proud to serve and represent them in the U.S. Congress.

A lot has changed since I was first elected to the U.S. Congress in 2000. Congressional campaigns have gone from several months in length to never-ending, costing millions of dollars every two years. As a result, fundraising never ends nor do the political attacks. While I have worked hard to bring folks to the middle to craft commonsense solutions to the many problems that confront our nation, Washington is mired in gridlock, gamesmanship and constant partisan bickering. Too many issues and votes are based on partisan politics rather than good public policy. Despite our many challenges, I remain optimistic that America’s best days are still ahead of us.

I never believed that my service in the U.S. Congress should become a permanent career. This seat never belonged to me—it belongs to the people of Arkansas. And I know there are many bright people in Arkansas ready to step up, go to Washington and offer a new generation of leadership. Simply put, it is someone else’s turn to represent our state in the U.S. Congress.

I have many good memories of my service in the U.S. Congress, and we have helped thousands of people. None of this would have been possible without the support of the people here in Arkansas, and for that, my family and I will always be grateful to them.

I look forward to serving out the remainder of my term in the U.S. Congress, which doesn’t end until January 2013. I will continue to work each and every day on behalf of the people I represent, just as I have faithfully tried to do from the beginning.

I have received a lot of encouragement to run for Governor of Arkansas when Governor Beebe's term ends in 2014. I've always been very upfront and honest in the fact that, as a fifth generation Arkansan, I love our state and would like very much to help lead it at some point in the future. Whether I run for Governor in 2014 is a decision I have not yet made and won't make until sometime after my term in this Congress ends.

But I do know if I was re-elected to the U.S. Congress next year, my term in the Congress would overlap with the Governor's race. I believe it would be impossible to successfully run for Governor here at home, while effectively carrying out my congressional duties in Washington. That wouldn't be fair to the people who elected me to Congress and it wouldn't be fair to my supporters in a race for Governor. That certainly factored into my decision not to seek re-election to the U.S. Congress.

I don’t know what my future holds, but I am hopeful it involves us continuing to work together to build an even brighter future for our state and its people.

One more day for HUD help

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and NeighborWorks® America announced that the deadline for the Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program has been extended to Wednesday, July 27, in order to give homeowners at risk of foreclosure in the participating 27 states and Puerto Rico more time to apply for the program.

The Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program (EHLP) will assist homeowners who have experienced a reduction in income and are at risk of foreclosure due to involuntary unemployment or underemployment, due to economic conditions or a medical condition.

Eligible homeowners can qualify for an interest free loan, which pays a portion of their monthly mortgage for up to two years, or up to $50,000, whichever comes first.

Homeowners are encouraged to visit www.FindEHLP.org to find contact information for participating agencies, the Pre-Applicant Screening Worksheet and more information on the EHLP assistance and its eligibility requirements. Homeowners may also call the toll free hotline -- 855-FIND-EHLP (346-3345) – for this information as well.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Lauck leaving Woodlands

I've known about Karen Lauck's retirement for a long time but have kept my silence. Karen gave the POA more than four months to interview her replacement and for her to train the new person. Unfortunately, The POA is not traveling that path. Karen is leaving the first of September.

When Karen leaves her position managing the Ponce de Leon Center, the loss will be devastating to Villagers interested in music and the arts. She has been the manager since the facility opened. I will miss her greatly.

Karen has graciously agreed to assist the Concerts Association for the next three years continuing to book its programs. The Concerts Association will take advantage of her offer to train someone to select shows each season.

Too bad the POA is letting all her knowledge and experience walk out the door and will probably replace her with someone with little or no knowledge of the product produced by the Woodlands.

Since the cat is out of the bag I am breaking my silence.

There will be a retirement party for Karen Lauck on September 14 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Coronado Center. Meet and Ggreet 5 to 6 p.m., program starting at 6 p.m. There will be nibbles and a cash bar. Tickets $12.50 each.

Message from POA board member Tom Bryant

One of the major items that HSV property owners have asked for is better communication. We are using a website www.hsvpoa.org, the local radio station KVRE, the local newspaper. The Hot Springs paper has a Village section twice a week and a new mass email is now in development.

It is asked that all property owners that wish to receive communication please let us know. Go to the website, click on “Subscribe to our email” and note the types of communication you would like to receive.

You can receive information on events, board meetings, POA news, lot auctions, closings and notices such as the recent water rationing program and closing of Ponce for construction reasons. This is a tool developed for you but we need your help to include you in this communication.

Senator Pryor's Friday statement

Senator Mark Pryor on Friday made the following statement on the Senate floor to encourage his colleagues to end the budget gimmicks and move forward with a comprehensive debt-reduction plan as part of a debt ceiling solution. His statement is below:

Mr. President, Abraham Lincoln once said, “I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.”

We need to bring people the facts about our nation’s debt. People in my state see through the games being played in Washington. They want solutions, courage and leadership – the kind that puts us on a more secure fiscal path for the future.

Mr. Bryant of Hot Springs Village, Arkansas writes: “We know we have to increase the debt ceiling so let’s get serious about finding a solution….Why is this a problem for our politicians? The public expects responsible leadership not the demagoguery we are getting from both sides of the aisle.”

So here are the facts. For over 230 years, the United States government has honored its obligations. Even in the face of a Civil War, two World Wars and the Depression, America has paid its bills. Yet, now we stand on the brink of tarnishing the full faith and credit of the United States. And we stand here because Congress has failed to bring the American people the real facts. The easiest thing for a politician to do is to say they are for lower taxes and increased spending. This mind-set has rung up a $14.2 trillion debt. We now borrow 41 cents of every dollar we spend.

Now, under this debt, combined with the theatrics playing out in the House and Senate, the unthinkable could happen. The 80 million bills the federal government pays could come to a screeching halt. That means millions of seniors may not receive their Social Security checks in the mail, troops may not receive paychecks, Medicare patients could be denied care and the stock market could significantly drop.

Moreover, credit rating agencies have warned us that we will likely lose our AAA credit rating without immediate action. Interest rates would permanently rise, piling on additional costs for families. The cost of owning a home, buying food, filling a gas tank, sending kids to college and buying a car will become even more expensive.

There’s one more real fact I want to highlight. A default adds heavily to our deficit. For every 1 percent increase in the interest rates we pay, it adds $1.3 trillion to the debt. It is no wonder Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff last summer said, “Our national debt is our biggest national security threat.

The Gang of Six offers an alternative – a comprehensive roadmap that allows us to tackle the debt in a reasonable, responsible and fair manner. I applaud Mark Warner, Dick Durbin, Saxby Chambliss, Kent Conrad, Tom Coburn and Mike Crapo on this bipartisan effort. By leaving out political agendas, these senators, these statesmen, produced a plan to slash deficits by $3.7 trillion over 10 years. This plan follows the blueprint put forth by the fiscal commission following a year’s worth of study and collaboration.

In addition to an immediate $500 billion down payment, the plan puts everything on the table. It balances the need to reduce spending, adjusts entitlement programs and reforms our tax code. While I may not agree with every provision, I do like that it calls on every citizen to contribute to debt-reduction. It allows us to achieve measurable results without jeopardizing safety-net programs meant to protect the most vulnerable among us. Furthermore, it avoids gimmicks such as a constitutional amendment or cut, cap, and balance which offer a nice sound bite, but falls short.

I am hopeful a Gang of 60 will embrace this plan, and that we can include it as part of the final debt ceiling solution. Congress has created this cliffhanger moment. Americans and leaders all over the world are now watching. The question for Congress remains, will we rise to the occasion or will we fail?

Ross telephone town hall meeting set

U.S. Congressman Mike Ross of Prescott will be holding his eighth in a monthly series of telephone town halls on August 2, 2011. Ross said these telephone sessions build on the town halls he is already hosting throughout his vast congressional district so that he can listen to the people he represents on the issues that matter most to them.

The next call will be held on Tuesday, August 2, 2011, at 7:10 p.m. CT and should last approximately 60 minutes. Any resident throughout Arkansas’s Fourth Congressional District can connect into the telephone town hall by dialing the following toll free number at the designated time and using the included PIN code: Phone: 1-877-269-7289, PIN: 14573. Anyone may listen to the call and specific instructions will be given to callers if they would like to ask Congressman Ross a question.

“The feedback from these calls has been very positive and constituents from all over the district have asked me to continue holding these important events,” said Ross. “Unfortunately, people who work during the day, parents of small children or senior citizens have difficulty leaving work or home to attend a town hall meeting. So, I host these calls because I can bring the town hall right to them, even when my duties require me to be in our nation’s capital for votes. They are an easy and convenient way for people I represent to ask questions, get updates on activities in Washington and hear my position on the issues all from the comfort of their own home.”

Working like a large conference call, constituents will have the opportunity to ask Ross questions and voice their concerns on an array of issues. As on previous calls, Ross will ask a series of survey questions throughout the call to gauge the feelings of the callers toward several issues. Callers will be able to respond by pressing the numbers ‘1’ or ‘2’ on their phone and the survey results will be announced live throughout the call.

“The live surveys provide a way for each caller to share his or her attitude toward a particular issue,” said Ross. “This is an interactive way of allowing all of the callers to participate in the call and share their thoughts as we discuss the important issues facing our nation today.”

Some residents in Arkansas’s Fourth Congressional District may receive an automated telephone call from Ross’s office that will give them the option to be automatically connected into the telephone town hall. In addition, Fourth District residents may dial into the call themselves using the following toll free number and the included PIN code: Phone: 1-877-269-7289, PIN: 14573.

In addition to the August 2nd telephone town hall, the next three calls will be held on Tuesday Sept. 20; Tuesday, Oct. 11; and, Monday, Nov. 14. Details for these calls and all future calls for the rest of 2011 will be announced in the media and posted online at ross.house.gov/events. Constituents can also sign up for e-mail news alerts to be notified of each telephone town hall event at ross.house.gov and by clicking on the e-news signup icon.

“I look forward to hearing from people throughout Arkansas’s Fourth Congressional District on these calls and at my town hall meetings. It’s these type of public events that help people stay informed, have a direct line to their congressman and share their own ideas on the great challenges that face our nation,” said Ross.

Garland County arrest



Friday July 22, 2011 10:32 AM CDT

Garland CountySheriff's Investigator's arrest 3, including 2 juveniles, in Commercial Burglary at Fountain Lake School.

On July 20th a burglary report was filed with the Garland County Sheriff's Department, on behalf of Fountain Lake School. The complainant said that someone had broken in and stolen laptop computers, a docking station and other miscellaneous items.

Investigator's retrieved the security video and a school employee was able to identify the two juveniles, a 12 year old female and 16 year old male, but not the adult. Employees were also able to give our Investigator's an address where the two juveniles lived.

On the evening of the 21st Investigator's Ware, Henry and Threadgill went to the area of Fountain Lake School, in an attempt to locate the subjects. The two juveniles were located on a sidewalk at Fountain Lake Shopping Center and were placed into custody. The male was in possession of one of the laptop's that was reported stolen as well as a laptop bag with medical supplies, which was also stolen from the school. Both juveniles said that they, along with their roommate Vince, had stolen the laptop's, but did not know where the second one was.

Investigator's went to the address where they stated they lived, 4228 Park Avenue #14, and located the roommate, 21 year old Vincent Gabbert. Gabbert told them that he was drunk when he went into the school, could tell them where the other computer was and asked what type of charges he was facing.

Gabbert took Investigator's to 284 Bryant Road where they located the other laptop, along with a docking station that was stolen at the same time.

All three were arrested and charged with Commercial Burglary, a class "C" felony.

Trauma council meeting

Arkansas Valley Regional Trauma Advisory Council To Meet

WHO: Arkansas Valley Regional Trauma Advisory Council

WHAT: Scheduled Meeting

WHEN: Wednesday, July 27, 2011, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

WHERE: Sparks Hospital-Shuffield Education Center 1st Floor
1001 Towson Avenue
Fort Smith, AR 72917
WHY: This is a scheduled meeting of the Arkansas Valley Trauma Regional Advisory Council as we work to build a trauma system in Arkansas.

Note: The meeting is open to the general public. If you have any questions or need directions please contact the Trauma Section at 501-671-1428.

For more information on the trauma system in Arkansas or the Trauma Council, go to http://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/

FEMA offers seminar for business recovery after tornadoes

After a disaster hits, businesses need help too, either with recovery or with preparations to better withstand the next disaster. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is bringing together a team of federal and state specialists to inform businesses and nonprofits of the various programs designed just for them.

A "Back-to-Business Workshop" is scheduled for July 26 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the NorthWest Arkansas Community College's Shewmaker Center For Global Business Development in Bentonville. Hosted by the Business Emergency Operations Center and the Benton County Department of Emergency Management, the workshop has two objectives: addressing issues involved in disaster recovery, and exploring how state and federal agencies can help businesses prepare for future disasters.

"Businesses have a major role to play in restoring Arkansas to health. Getting businesses up and running is a vital part of helping the entire community recover from a disaster," said Deputy Federal Coordinating Officer W. Michael Moore.

This free workshop will offer pointers on mitigation that will aid the business community in improving their strategies for handling the next disaster. It will feature the U.S. Small Business Administration, FEMA's Hazard Mitigation, National Flood Insurance and Individual Assistance programs, the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Department of Farm Services, the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center and the Arkansas Insurance Department. Each agency will provide experts for one-on-one exchanges with workshop participants.

"Every business owner can benefit from this workshop, whether their business suffered losses this time or not," said State Coordinating Officer David Maxwell of the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management. "If they suffered losses, they'll find the information on recovery resources useful. If they escaped damages, they can learn how to help others get back on their feet."

For further information about the workshop, or to register, email Raymond.Palmer@fema.gov.

Get a pet from the Animal Welfare League


Tinker Bell is a three month old spayed female with beautiful tabby markings.


Gypsy is a three yearl old spayed female yellow Lab. Gypsy is delightful, friendly, with nice manners.


Willy is a three year old neutered male black LAB mix. A real clown, Willy loves tennis balls, walks well on leash. A real delight.

There is still time to get a great deal on an adult cat at the HSV Animal Shelter, half off the adoption fee till the end of the month.

Cooling center opened in Hot Springs last Friday

The First Church of the Nazarene, 3804 Central Avenue just south of the MLK Expressway, is serving as a cooling center as part of the Hot Springs Fire Department’s cooling center program.

The Fire Department, Hot Springs Convention Center and area churches partnered to open cooling centers from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on days when the actual temperature is forecast to be 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher by The Weather Channel, according to Fire Marshal Nate Schanlaber.

Those needing a place to cool off can call the city’s Action Line, 321-6808, after 12 noon on the same day. The Action Line will contain a recording with further instructions, including the name and address of the cooling center for that day. Gospel Light Baptist Church, Hot Springs Baptist Church, First Church of the Nazarene, Hot Springs Convention Center and the Central Fire Station have volunteered their facilities on a rotating basis at no charge.

Attend computer club breakfast meeting

The Computer Club Breakfast Meeting is Fri., Aug. 12, at a new location – Debra's Restaurant (Carmona and DeSoto) and at the old time – 8:00 am. Please make note of these changes.

Make reservations by Wed., Aug. 10, on our web site www.cchsv.com, click on Breakfast Meetings, then the RESERVE button.

Make sure you have registered for every available source of tornado recovery funds

You have to register for everything, from dating sites to auto clubs. If you confuse the two, you won't get the results you're hoping for.

It's the same with disaster assistance. You may have registered with the state or one of the volunteer aid groups working in Arkansas, but if you didn't register specifically with FEMA, you won't be eligible to tap the assistance resources provided by either state or federal sources.

Registration with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is simple. It's also the first step in establishing your eligibility for federal and state help. You can call FEMA at 1-800-621-3362, TTY 1-800-462-7585 daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.; multilingual operators are available. Or, register online at www.disasterassistance.gov or via a web-enabled phone at m.fema.gov.

The registration deadline is August 1 for residents of the 37 counties designated under the May 2 presidential disaster declaration. Meanwhile, the registration date for residents of Franklin and Johnson counties, which received a separate declaration on July 8, is Sept. 6.

This year, more than 10,000 Arkansans have registered with FEMA to determine their eligibility for Individual Assistance grants from FEMA or low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

So, don't confuse signing up with a volunteer agency or anyone else with registering with FEMA, or you won't get the results you're hoping for!

Unusual bipartisan cooperation

U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine), Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee), Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana), Mark Pryor (D-Arkansas), and Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania) today introduced bipartisan legislation that would allow the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the time it has said it needs to adequately consider new boiler MACT rules.

In April 2010, pursuant to court orders, EPA first announced new Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) regulations on many fossil fuel and biomass-fired boilers in the United States. Recognizing that it needed more data and time to write the rule, in December 2010, EPA requested a 15-month extension to rework and finalize the rule, and to receive further public comment, which was rejected by a court. When EPA issued the rule in February of 2011, it immediately proposed that it be open to comment and revision. The bill would establish a clear timetable and conditions for reissuance of the regulations.

Specifically, this bipartisan legislation would:

* Give EPA 15 months from the bill’s date of enactment to re-propose and finalize the Boiler MACT regulations.

* Extend compliance deadlines from three years to at least five years which would allow facilities adequate time to comply with the new standards and install necessary equipment.

* Clarify that renewable and carbon-neutral materials remain classified as fuel and not solid waste.

* Direct EPA to ensure that the new rules are achievable by real-world boilers, process heaters, and incinerators, and impose the least burdensome regulator alternatives consistent with the President’s Executive Order.

“The EPA performs vital functions in helping to protect the public health by ensuring that the air we breathe is clean and the water we drink is safe. We need, however, to make sure that as the EPA issues new regulations, it does not create so many roadblocks to economic growth that it discourages private investment, which is the key to maintaining and creating jobs,” said Senator Collins. “At a time when manufacturers are struggling to retain jobs, it is essential that this rule not jeopardize thousands of jobs in manufacturing, particularly in the forest products industry, by imposing billions of dollars of new costs. Our legislation provides common sense solutions to the challenges the EPA is facing in attempting to implement these complicated rules, which if written without proper data, analysis, and consideration, would cost the industry billions of dollars and potentially thousands of jobs.”

“EPA itself has admitted that its boiler rules need to be fixed,” Senator Wyden said. “As they are written now, the rules will stymie the burgeoning biomass energy industry and make it very difficult for existing lumber and wood products mills to operate. This legislation directs the EPA to go back to the drawing board and craft boiler rules that are more in line with what is realistic for mills and factories and does not restrict future use of biomass energy.”

“The EPA’s current boiler MACT rule is unrealistic, unreasonable and unachievable, and will send the cost to American businesses into the stratosphere,” Senator Alexander said. “This bipartisan bill would give the EPA clearer and more reasonable guidelines for creating a rule that would help clean the air without hurting the businesses we count on to create more jobs.”

“With manufacturing being one of the bright spots in our economic recovery, we cannot afford to jeopardize the industry’s health and the high-paying jobs it supplies to this country. This legislation will give the EPA the time extension it needs to craft a balanced approach that not only keeps our environment clean, but also our economy strong,” said Senator Landrieu.

“The pulp and timber industry in Arkansas want certainty so it can plan for the future, something that continuous litigation and unpredictable regulations currently do not provide,” Senator Pryor said. “This legislation provides the EPA adequate time to work with industry and establish sensible and achievable regulations, once and for all.”

“I have been very worried about what the EPA’s new Boiler MACT rules will mean for Pennsylvania’s manufacturing companies and their employees,” Senator Toomey said. “From paper mills, to steel mills, to many other industries, there are thousands of jobs at stake in Pennsylvania. This bill would give many manufacturers immediate relief from overreaching, burdensome regulations at a time when we need them hiring and expanding.”

This legislation is supported by the American Forest and Paper Association, National Association of Manufacturing, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Federation of Independent Business, Business Roundtable, Biomass Power Association, and approximately 25 other national associations.

Earthqauake last night

2.6 Md - ARKANSAS
Preliminary Earthquake Report Magnitude 2.6 Md
Date-Time 24 Jul 2011 02:27:39 UTC
23 Jul 2011 21:27:39 near epicenter
23 Jul 2011 20:27:39 standard time in your timezone

Location 35.224N 92.376W
Depth 6 km
Distances 1 km (1 miles) ESE (117 degrees) of Greenbrier, AR
8 km (5 miles) ENE (70 degrees) of Wooster, AR
11 km (7 miles) NW (310 degrees) of Holland, AR
54 km (34 miles) N (356 degrees) of Little Rock, AR
423 km (263 miles) SSW (207 degrees) of St. Louis, MO

Location Uncertainty Horizontal: 0.7 km; Vertical 0.6 km
Parameters Nph = 21; Dmin = 3.0 km; Rmss = 0.11 seconds; Gp = 72°
M-type = Md; Version = A
Event ID NM 072411a

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Earthquake report

Preliminary Earthquake Report Magnitude 2.1 Md
Date-Time 20 Jul 2011 12:57:54 UTC
20 Jul 2011 07:57:54 near epicenter
20 Jul 2011 06:57:54 standard time in your timezone

Location 35.340N 92.691W
Depth 7 km
Distances 20 km (13 miles) NNW (348 degrees) of Plumerville, AR
21 km (13 miles) NNE (13 degrees) of Morrilton, AR
24 km (15 miles) W (276 degrees) of Twin Groves, AR
75 km (46 miles) NNW (334 degrees) of Little Rock, AR
425 km (264 miles) SSW (211 degrees) of St. Louis, MO

Location Uncertainty Horizontal: 3.3 km; Vertical 7.5 km
Parameters Nph = 15; Dmin = 29.0 km; Rmss = 0.16 seconds; Gp = 158°
M-type = Md; Version = A
Event ID NM 072011b

Arkansas senators endorse judge

U.S. Senators Mark Pryor and John Boozman today recommended three individuals for Arkansas’s U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Arkansas.

“The “advise and consent” role in the judicial process is more personal and challenging when it involves your home state,” Pryor said. “Arkansas has many well-qualified candidates who could fill this position. I am proud to put forth these individuals who I strongly believe would serve the bench with integrity, fairness and the proper judicial temperament.”

“I congratulate the individuals that Senator Pryor has put forward to the White House to fill this vacant seat,” Boozman said. “I am confident that the Senate will confirm an experienced candidate who is honest and will uphold our nation’s laws to successfully serve on the bench.”

For the vacancy created by the Honorable James M. Moody assuming senior status, Pryor and Boozman have recommended the following Arkansans as candidates for U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Arkansas: Kristine G. Baker, Jane W. Duke, and Colette D. Honorable.

Once nominated by the President, the candidate for a federal judgeship must testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee and be confirmed by the entire Senate.

Online support to understand new traffic signals in Hot Springs

Motorists are noticing a significant change in the design of the protected left-hand turn signals along the newly-widened stretch of Higdon Ferry Road, from the MLK Expressway south to Central Avenue. The new signals are now in operation along Higdon Ferry at the intersections of the MLK Expressway; Temperance Hill Road; and Central Avenue. The signals, which are being introduced nationwide, are the result of a study conducted by the Federal Highway Administration, which shows that the new signals help to prevent crashes, move more traffic through an intersection, and provide additional traffic management flexibility for road agencies.

The new, four-arrow display operates according to the following cycle:

1. Steady Green Arrow – allows you to make a protected left turn.

2. Flashing Yellow Arrow – allows you to turn left after yielding to oncoming traffic.

3. Steady Yellow Arrow – warns you that the left-turn signal is about to change to red. Prepare to stop.

4. Steady Red Arrow – requires you to stop.

Motorists are advised to use caution when traveling through the new traffic light displays until they become familiar with the new pattern. A short video showing how the new signal works is posted on the Traffic Services page of the city’s Web site, cityhs.net.

Another earthquake this morning

Preliminary Earthquake Report Magnitude 2.3 Md
Date-Time 20 Jul 2011 11:32:09 UTC
20 Jul 2011 06:32:09 near epicenter
20 Jul 2011 05:32:09 standard time in your timezone

Location 35.321N 92.566W
Depth 2 km
Distances 13 km (8 miles) W (272 degrees) of Twin Groves, AR
15 km (9 miles) WSW (250 degrees) of Damascus, AR
17 km (10 miles) NW (323 degrees) of Wooster, AR
68 km (42 miles) NNW (342 degrees) of Little Rock, AR
422 km (262 miles) SSW (210 degrees) of St. Louis, MO

Location Uncertainty Horizontal: 1.1 km; Vertical 1.2 km
Parameters Nph = 14; Dmin = 18.0 km; Rmss = 0.07 seconds; Gp = 82°
M-type = Md; Version = A
Event ID NM 072011a

Burglary at Ponderosa Center early Tuesday morning

Early yesterday morning, 2:16 a.m., a burglary involving four businesses at the Ponderosa Center on Ponderosa Lane was reported to the Hot Springs Village Police.
According to Lt. Ricky Middleton of the HSV Police, the four businesses vandalized included Village Day Spa, Mary White Massage Therapy, Fletchers Barber Shop and Drakes Optical Center.
Village Day Spa was vandalized with no theft.
Mary White Massage Therapy was vandalized, at this time it is unknown if anything was taken.
Fletchers Barber Shop was vandalized and money was missing from the register.
Drakes Optical Center was vandalized, a small amount of cash is missing and possibly sunglasses.
There are no cost estimates of the overall damage available at this time.
If you have any information concerning the burglary, please contact the HSV Police Department at 922-0011 and ask for Sgt. Brian Nickles.

Heat advisory again today

HEAT ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 1 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 7 PM CDT SATURDAY...

A HEAT ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 1 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 7 PM CDT SATURDAY.

* EVENT... DANGEROUS OUTDOOR CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED... AS HEAT INDEX VALUES REACH OR EXCEED 105 DEGREES DURING THE AFTERNOON.

* TIMING... THE HEAT WILL BE PERSISTENT IN THE COMING DAYS... OR AT LEAST FROM TODAY THROUGH SATURDAY.

* IMPACT... HEAT RELATED ILLNESS BECOMES MORE LIKELY WITH PROLONGED EXPOSURE TO HOT AND HUMID CONDITIONS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A HEAT ADVISORY MEANS THAT THE COMBINATION OF HEAT AND HUMIDITY WILL CREATE DANGEROUS CONDITIONS OUTDOORS. IF YOU MUST BE OUTSIDE... TAKE FREQUENT BREAKS IN A SHADED OR AIR CONDITIONED ENVIRONMENT. STAY HYDRATED BY DRINKING PLENTY OF NON-ALCOHOLIC FLUIDS. IF POSSIBLE... RESCHEDULE STRENUOUS ACTIVITIES TO EARLY MORNING OR EVENING. REMEMBER... HEAT IS THE NUMBER ONE WEATHER RELATED KILLER IN THE UNITED STATES. HEAT STROKE IS AN EMERGENCY... CALL 911.

Arkansas Earthquake last night

2.1 Md - ARKANSAS
Preliminary Earthquake Report Magnitude 2.1 Md
Date-Time 19 Jul 2011 23:43:25 UTC
19 Jul 2011 18:43:25 near epicenter
19 Jul 2011 17:43:25 standard time in your timezone

Location 35.349N 92.672W
Depth 9 km
Distances 21 km (13 miles) N (353 degrees) of Plumerville, AR
22 km (14 miles) NNE (16 degrees) of Morrilton, AR
23 km (14 miles) W (279 degrees) of Twin Groves, AR
75 km (47 miles) NNW (336 degrees) of Little Rock, AR
424 km (263 miles) SSW (211 degrees) of St. Louis, MO

Location Uncertainty Horizontal: 3.5 km; Vertical 6.6 km
Parameters Nph = 14; Dmin = 28.0 km; Rmss = 0.26 seconds; Gp = 176°
M-type = Md; Version = A
Event ID NM 071911d

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Heat advisory

HEAT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 1 PM WEDNESDAY TO 7 PM CDT SATURDAY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN LITTLE ROCK HAS ISSUED A HEAT ADVISORY... WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 1 PM WEDNESDAY TO 7 PM CDT SATURDAY.

* EVENT... DANGEROUS HEAT STRESS CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED... AS HEAT INDEX READINGS OVER 105 DEGREES WILL BE COMMON IN THE AFTERNOON HOURS. OVERNIGHT LOWS WILL ONLY FALL INTO THE MID TO UPPER 70S... WHICH WILL NOT PROVIDE MUCH RELIEF FROM THE HEAT.

* TIMING... DANGEROUS HEAT STRESS CONDITIONS WILL DEVELOP MID DAY WEDNESDAY... AND CONTINUE THROUGH SATURDAY. PERSISTENT... AND CONTINUOUS DAILY HOT CONDITIONS HAVE... AND WILL CONTINUE TO... PROMOTE DANGEROUS HEAT STRESS CONDITIONS.

* IMPACT... THE CHANCES FOR HEAT RELATED ILLNESS INCREASES GREATLY WITH PROLONGED EXPOSURE TO THE HOT AND HUMID CONDITIONS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A HEAT ADVISORY MEANS THAT A PERIOD OF HOT TEMPERATURES IS EXPECTED. TAKE EXTRA PRECAUTIONS IF YOU WORK OR SPEND TIME OUTSIDE. WHEN POSSIBLE... RESCHEDULE STRENUOUS ACTIVITIES TO EARLY MORNING OR EVENING. KNOW THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF HEAT EXHAUSTION AND HEAT STROKE. WEAR LIGHT WEIGHT AND LOOSE FITTING CLOTHING WHEN POSSIBLE AND DRINK PLENTY OF WATER. CHECK UP ON RELATIVES AND NEIGHBORS.

TO REDUCE RISK DURING OUTDOOR WORK... THE OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION RECOMMENDS SCHEDULING FREQUENT REST BREAKS IN SHADED OR AIR CONDITIONED ENVIRONMENTS. ANYONE OVERCOME BY HEAT SHOULD BE MOVED TO A COOL AND SHADED LOCATION. HEAT STROKE IS AN EMERGENCY... CALL 911.

Adoptable pets from the Animal Welfare League


Willie is a three year old neutered male. Willie is leash trained, calm and a loveable pal.


Blake is a ten week old neutered male orange tabby. Blake is very active and playful.


Alexa is a two year old spayed female Siamese mix. Alexa is a real beauty.


Pearl is a three year old spayed female tabby. Pearl is sweet with gorgeous markings.


Abigail is spayed female Tortie kitten. Abigail is a sweetie.

Cats are 1/2 off adoption fee duirng July. The Animal Shelter is on Cloaca Lane. Call 915-9337 to adopt a pet.

Park closure in Hot Springs

The Kimery Park Soccer Field in Hot Springs, 271 Kimery Park Lane, will be closed beginning July 22 through August 15 for renovations and repairs in preparation for the upcoming 2011 fall youth soccer season. Linden Park, 309 Linden Park Lane, may serve as a convenient alternative for park users. For information, call 321-6871.

Street closure in Hot Springs

Olive Street in Hot Springs between Ouachita and Central Avenue will be closed to through traffic all week from 7 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. daily, beginning today, Tuesday, July 19 for sewer main repair. Only emergency vehicles will be allowed to pass through the closed street. For the same time period, the southbound lane of Central Avenue will be closed beginning at the intersection of Olive Street. Vehicles will need to merge to the inside lane. Signs will be posted and motorists are asked to use caution when traveling in these areas.