WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal policing of oil and natural gas drilling on public lands is lax and inconsistent, with only 6 percent of violations resulting in monetary fines over 13 years, House Democrats said in a report Wednesday.
Fines over that time totaled less than $275,000, an amount that the Democratic staff of the House Natural Resources Committee characterized as little more than “pocket change” for oil and gas companies. The report said federal regulators issued no fines in the period studied, February 1998 to February 2011, in eight of the drilling states.
Pain, pressure, fullness, discomfort or squeezing in the center of the chest
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Stabbing chest pain
Radiating pain to shoulder(s), neck, back, arm(s) or jaw
Pounding heartbeats (palpitations) or feeling extra heartbeats
Upper abdominal pain
Nausea, vomiting or severe indigestion
Sweating for no apparent reason
Dizziness with weakness
Sudden extreme fatigue
Panic with feeling of impending doom
ASH FLAT — An inmate on the Sharp County work release program walked away from a work detail at the Cherokee Village Animal Shelter between 2 and 3 p.m. Wednesday and was seen getting into a vehicle driven by his wife, Sheriff Mark Counts said.
The inmate, Adam Leroy Mathis, was working off fines from district court.
Mathis was still at large this morning, Counts said, adding that Mathis had only a few more days to work until his fines would have finished his sentence of community service.
A faulty gas line is blamed for a fire that destroyed a mobile home at 120 Audobon off Highway 167 South.
Southside Fire Chief Jeremy Loggins said James R. Johns was in the process of moving into the trailer Wednesday afternoon and had some of his personal belongings inside when the fire started.
Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of stories about women’s heart health. February is American Heart Month.
Many women will die of a heart attack simply because they don’t seek treatment, according to Jennifer Coleman, cardiac rehab supervisor at White River Medical Center (WRMC).
“Women die because a lot put themselves on the back burner. Women don’t have the classic symptoms like chest pains,” Coleman said.
Toi McMullin, registered nurse at WRMC, said women should watch for shortness of breath and extreme fatigue.
LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Fifteen firefighters who were laid off by the Arkansas Forestry Commission will go back to work this month following a shift in the state budget that will pay for the positions annually, Gov. Mike Beebe announced Wednesday.
Beebe’s office said the governor ordered the Arkansas Agriculture Department to reallocate $550,000 in annual funds from its budget to the Forestry Commission, a move that will allow the firefighting positions to be restored in 11 counties on Feb. 21.
LITTLE ROCK (AP) — The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department is studying whether speed limits on some rural highways should be increased above 55 mph.
On Wednesday, the state Highway Commission instructed the department to study the issue. Commission Chairman R. Madison Murphy says it’s time to revisit the issue after an earlier plan to raise the speed limit was scuttled because of high gas prices.
FORT SMITH — A high school cheerleader in Fort Smith is recovering after she was struck by a stray bullet that went through her bedroom window.
Fort Smith police say 17-year-old Ronniesha Forrest heard people arguing outside her window before she was hit by gunfire. Ronniesha’s aunt, Lavonda Thompson, said the bullet struck Ronniesha’s neck. She says the injuries aren’t considered life-threatening.
FAYETTEVILLE — The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville is creating regional groups for parents of students so they can meet other parents and cheer on the Razorbacks.
The school says the first parents’ club will be in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, with plans to open additional groups in northwest Arkansas and Little Rock. The university also hopes to eventually open clubs in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, southwest Arkansas, Kansas City, Mo.; and Memphis.
BLYTHEVILLE — Blytheville police are investigating a suspected homicide after a man was found dead in a puddle of blood.
Matthew Driver, 37, was found dead Tuesday night at a home in Blytheville. Police discovered his body after a 911 call was made reporting a disturbance at the home.
When officers arrived, they saw the front door slightly open and Driver slumped over the arm of the couch. Police say Driver was pronounced dead at the scene. His body will be sent to the state Crime Laboratory for an autopsy.