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BREAKING NEWS: Little Rock Air Force Base on lockdown

July 23, 2014

The Little Rock Air Force Base in Jacksonville was placed on lockdown at 11:45 a.m.

An official statement was released by the base:

"The base is on lockdown as of 11:45 a.m. this morning in the interest of protecting all base members and resources from a suspicious individual. Emergency personnel are responding to the scene. For safety purposes, bases gates are closed at this time. Further details will be provided as they become available."

Kerry cites progress in Gaza cease-fire talks

July 23, 2014

JERUSALEM — Offering the first glimmer of hope for a Gaza cease-fire, the United States on Wednesday said negotiations to broker a truce between Israel and Hamas militants are making some progress even if an end to more than two weeks of bloodshed is nowhere near.

"We certainly have made steps forward," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in Jerusalem, where he met for the second time this week with United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon. "There's still work to be done."

2 men charged in western Arkansas shooting death

July 23, 2014

RUDY — Two men face capital murder charges in the shooting death of a 19-year-old in western Arkansas.

Jonathan Bridgewater, 27, and Nicholas Barrows, 19, half-brothers from Rudy, are accused of fatally shooting Jamison Lee Plum, 19, the Southwest Times Record reported. Barrows also faces a charge of criminal use of a prohibited weapon, after police said they found pipe bombs during a search of his home.

Plum's body was discovered last month with multiple gunshot wounds in a shallow grave on property owned by the suspects' grandmother. Both men lived on the property in separate homes.

Police probing switch of flags on Brooklyn Bridge

July 23, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) — Police are searching for four or five people they believe scaled to the top of the Brooklyn Bridge's two towers in the dead of night, disabled lights illuminating two large American flags and then replaced the flags with bleached-white ones.

The security breach at one of the city's most secured landmarks didn't appear to be the work of terrorists or even a political statement, said the police department's deputy commissioner for counterterrorism and intelligence, but was likely done by people familiar with climbing or bridgework who may even have scaled the bridge before.

Residents of Bauxite face possible hike in current rates

July 23, 2014

Josh Freeman of the Arkansas Rural Water Association reviewed problems and possible solutions regarding water and sewer rates currently being charged to Bauxite residents during a City Council meeting Monday night.

Based on information obtained in a rate study Freeman conducted on Bauxite rates, his recommendation to the council is that an increase in water and sewer rates is necessary in order to maintain the systems in the city and to prepare for unexpected emergencies.

Theater group to mark anniversary with Thornton Wilder classic

July 23, 2014

Twenty years ago four Benton residents called a meeting to form a community theater organization.

Those founders — Gayla McCoy, Ray Baxter, the late Bob Carson and the late Fred Wingfield —believed that such an organization was needed in Benton and that with the right leadership, it could succeed.

Previous efforts to form such a group had not been successful, but Carson especially was certain that the timing was right to form the group.

The founding members' determination paid off and in August 1994 the first meeting of the Central Arkansas Community Players took place.

'No confidence' in McMahan; Bauxite Council vote ends 3-1 against mayor

July 22, 2014

At the close of a council meeting that included accusations of illegal activity from council members toward Mayor Johnny McMahan, aldermen ended the two-and-one-half-hour session with a vote of "no confidence" in the mayor.

During the comments section at the end of the meeting, Alderman Mona Struble called for the no-confidence stance against McMahan and his ability to lead the city.

Voting for Struble's motion were Struble, Karen Brooks and Paula Matthews; Alderman Brenda Haney voted against the action.

Panel approves leasing space for state prisoners

July 22, 2014

LITTLE ROCK — A state panel finalized a deal Monday to move up to 250 inmates into an unused Pulaski County facility as part of a plan lawmakers approved earlier this month to ease overcrowding at local jails across Arkansas.

Afghan vet who fought wounded gets Medal of Honor

July 22, 2014

WASHINGTON — Bleeding from both legs and his arm, Ryan Pitts kept firing at about 200 Taliban fighters, even holding onto his grenades an extra moment to ensure the enemy couldn't heave them back. On Monday, President Barack Obama draped the Medal of Honor around his neck, in a White House ceremony that also paid tribute to his nine platoon comrades who died that summer day in Afghanistan.

Arkansas AG rejects medical pot measure wording

July 22, 2014

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has rejected the wording of a proposal to legalize medical marijuana by a group that is trying to put the measure before voters in 2016.

McDaniel's office on Monday rejected the wording of the proposal by Arkansans for Compassionate Care, which had tried unsuccessfully to get medical marijuana legalization on this year's ballot. The group had been unable to gather the 62,507 signatures from registered voters needed by the July 7 deadline to submit petitions to qualify for the November ballot.

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