• 3.3 magnitude quake recorded

    GREENBRIER (AP) — Another in a series of small earthquakes has been recorded in central Arkansas.
    The U.S. Geological Survey reports a preliminary magnitude 3.3 quake was recorded at 2:56 p.m. Tuesday about one mile northwest of Greenbrier. The location is about 35 miles north of Little Rock.
    No injuries or damage is reported.
    There have been more than 1,000 quakes in the area since September — including the largest quake to hit the state in 35 years — a magnitude 4.7 on Feb. 27.

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  • Human remains found

    SEARCY (AP) — White County authorities are investigating the discovery of a body in a garbage bag.
    Two people found the body about 4 p.m. Sunday just off Dripping Springs Road.
    Regina Dale said she had seen the bag on her fiancé’s property earlier and decided to check it out on Sunday. Dale and fiancé Charles Pruett looked in the bag and discovered hair, the shape of a human skull and a rib cage.
    Pruett says that’s when he called authorities.
    Cpl. Steve Hernandez with the sheriff’s department says officials don’t know the gender of the victim.

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  • Man accused in hate crime remains jailed

    LITTLE ROCK — A judge on Tuesday ordered a man accused of throwing a Molotov cocktail at an interracial couple’s home in Hardy to stay in custody while he faces charges of violating the couple’s civil rights.
    U.S. Magistrate Judge Beth Deere denied Jason Barnwell’s request to return home to Evening Shade, after prosecutors argued he poses a threat to the community.

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  • Rape alleged in Sharp Co.

    ASH FLAT — A 50-year-old Sharp County man was arrested Tuesday for rape, Sheriff Mark Counts said this morning on the sharpcountysheriff.com website.
    The site states that the arrest followed a complaint received Monday night at the county’s 911 dispatch center of a sexual assault that allegedly occurred at a rural Mammoth Spring address in Sharp County.

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  • Guard staff wins awards

    LITTLE ROCK — The Batesville Daily Guard won several awards, including Best of Division, in the Arkansas Press Association 2011 Better Newspaper Advertising Contest. The Guard competed in the Medium Dailies division.
    The Best of Division first-place prize was awarded to the Guard’s Rebecca Payne and Kelly Stephenson for E.J. Jones, MD, “Ready for Botox.” The duo also won a first place for that ad in the Single Ad Ten Inches and Under category.
    The Guard also brought home second place in Sweepstakes.

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  • Crews battle more Arkansas wildfires

    LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Firefighters have contained at least one of about a half-dozen wildfires burning in parts of Arkansas.
    Arkansas Forestry Commission spokeswoman Christina Fowler said she had received no reports of injuries or damage to homes or other structures with Tuesday’s fires.
    Officials said a 150-acre wildfire north of Batesville had been contained, and crews were working to control a fire that burned about 200 acres near Kingston.
    Fowler said other fires were reported in Columbia, Independence, Lafayette and Madison counties.

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  • Ark. House committee backs English-only driver’s exam

    LITTLE ROCK (AP) — A House panel has advanced legislation that would bar Arkansas from administering its driver’s license exam in any language other than English.
    The House Public Transportation Committee on Tuesday approved the proposal by Republican Rep. Jon Hubbard of Jonesboro and sent it to the full House for a vote. Hubbard’s proposal requires that the written exam only be administered in English.

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  • 80 co-sponsor grocery tax cut

    LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Eighty members of the Arkansas House are signing on as co-sponsors of the half-cent grocery tax cut advocated by Gov. Mike Beebe.
    The proposed tax cut was amended on Tuesday to add the members as co-sponsors. The move assures the proposal will likely see easy passage in the 99-member House when it comes up for a vote this week.
    The chief House sponsor of the bill had delayed a vote on the measure in order to add the co-sponsors. The bill has already been approved in the Senate.

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  • Cyberbullying targeted

    LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Cyberbullying would become a crime in Arkansas under a bill that at House committee has advanced.
    Sen. Linda Chesterfield of Little Rock explained Tuesday that the bill is necessary because of how rapidly a person’s reputation can be ruined by deliberate false information placed on the Internet.
    Last year in New York a 17-year-old girl killed herself after she became a target for brutal insults on the Internet. A similar fate befell a 13-year-old girl in St. Louis several years before.

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  • Diesel tax proposal advances

    LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Senate Transportation Committee Chairwoman Sen. Linda Chesterfield says she saw a quorum when she quickly called for a vote on a bill by House Speaker Robert Moore to put a 5-cent hike in the state diesel fuel tax to a public vote.
    The committee quickly gathered after the Senate adjourned Tuesday afternoon, while members were also scrambling to get to the ground floor of the Capitol for a joint meeting on constitutional amendments.

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  • House panel approves unemployment freeze

    LITTLE ROCK (AP) — A House panel has recommended freezing Arkansas’ unemployment benefits to help the state repay the more than $346 million it owes the federal government.
    The House Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee on Tuesday advanced a proposal to remove the indexing formula for minimum and maximum unemployment benefits. It sets the weekly minimum benefit amount at $81 and the maximum at $451. The proposal also would reduce the benefit period for regular unemployment from 26 to 25 weeks.
    The legislation has already been approved by the Senate.

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  • Beebe signs prison bill

    LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Gov. Mike Beebe on Tuesday signed into law an overhaul of Arkansas’ sentencing and probation programs aimed at reducing the state’s growing prison population, but he was uncertain how much of an impact the reforms would have.
    “This is kind of new territory. We don’t know if this is going to work for sure,” Beebe said after signing the 167-page bill at the state Capitol.

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