The Daily Press The Saline Courier | AP iAtom feed Copyright The Daily Press 2014-09-23T13:52:29-04:00 bulb sale generates $2,300 for area projects2014-09-23T13:52:29-04:002014-09-23T13:52:29-04:00The Saline CourierRichard Bondurant said the sale of iris bulbs brought in $2,300 for community projects the church members will conduct.More info can be found in today's issue of The Saline Courier.Benton, ARLynda HollenbeckIris bulb sale generates $2,300 for area projectsNo source filed to remove minimum wage initiative from '14 ballot2014-09-23T13:50:01-04:002014-09-23T13:50:01-04:00The Saline CourierThe suit asks the Arkansas Supreme Court to block the "Act to Increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage" from placement on the Nov. 4 ballot. The issue, if approved, would incrementally raise the state's minimum wage from $6.25 to $8.50 an hour by the year 2017. Benton, ARBobbye PykeSuit filed to remove minimum wage initiative from '14 ballotNo source finance director runs for alderman2014-09-23T13:47:33-04:002014-09-23T13:47:33-04:00The Saline CourierThe position is currently held by Steve Gladden, who is not seeking re-election.Benton, ARSarah PerryFormer finance director runs for aldermanNo source OK after falling ill during meeting2014-09-23T13:44:35-04:002014-09-23T13:44:35-04:00The Saline CourierThe mayor was reading a proclamation related to the 40th anniversary of Old-Fashioned Day when he closed his eyes and slumped to his right side.Benton, ARBrent DavisMattingly OK after falling ill during meetingNo source men killed in separate accidents2014-09-23T13:42:16-04:002014-09-23T13:42:16-04:00The Saline CourierBenton, ARSarah Perry2 men killed in separate accidentsNo source foliage: Chilly nights in Northeast set stage for striking display2014-09-23T13:39:10-04:002014-09-23T13:39:10-04:00The Saline Courier"The weather between mid-September and mid-October is critically important to fall colors," Dr. Marc Abrams, professor of Forest Ecology and Physiology at Penn State University, said. "The period is often more important than all the preceding weather." Coupled with other factors, temperatures around 40 F are ideal for boosting the vibrancy of the foliage.With a frost and freeze occurring in parts of New York and areas farther north early in September and a few chilly nights forecast in the near future, the Northeast will be in 'good shape' for leaf-peepers across the region, Dr. Michael Day, University of Maine research professor of Physiological Ecology, said.According to Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski, "While there can be a touch of frost in the coldest spots of northern New England and upstate New York at midweek, lows most nights through the remainder of the week will be in the 40s in the central and northern Appalachians and will trend upward into the weekend."The vibrancy of leaves in the Northeast typically peaks in late September through early October, depending on the state; however, Day believes peaks could occur slightly later than normal this year."Only the most moisture-stressed individuals have started turning in central Maine, with about 10 percent color in northern Maine," he said.While early-season tourists and locals who venture out for foliage tours this weekend may not see the 'exceptional' colors Day has forecast for the region, they will get a rare opportunity to view the sights while leaving their coats and hot cocoa at home.Temperatures will rebound from the chilly lows in the upper 30s to highs in the 70s for much of the interior Northeast.The highs won't challenge records, but they will make spending the day outdoors more comfortable."Early indications suggest that this weather pattern may persist all the way into the first days of October before cooler, more fall-like conditions make a return to the Northeast," Meteorologist Brian Lada said.Benton, ARSpecial to The Saline CourierFall foliage: Chilly nights in Northeast set stage for striking displayNo source eyes alternative fuel source for trucks 2014-09-23T11:28:20-04:002014-09-23T11:28:20-04:00The Saline CourierThe Conway City Council is set to vote Tuesday night on whether to spend $100,000 to drill pilot wells in the landfill. If enough methane is present in the landfill, it could be used to fuel the city's garbage trucks or as a heating source.Benton, ARAssociated PressConway eyes alternative fuel source for trucks No source Arkansas man jailed after animals starved 2014-09-23T11:27:34-04:002014-09-23T11:27:34-04:00The Saline CourierKATV-TV reports the suspect was arrested on 27 counts of aggravated animal cruelty after deputies raided his Royal home on Sunday. The sheriff's department says a neighbor complained about a bad smell coming from the property.Deputies found three dogs and one horse dead. They say 13 dogs and 14 horses were starved and some had matted fur and visible sores.Benton, ARAssociated PressSheriff: Arkansas man jailed after animals starved No source held for new Arkansas steel mill2014-09-23T11:26:58-04:002014-09-23T11:26:58-04:00The Saline CourierThe ceremony at the Big River Steel site marks the beginning of work for the state's first "superproject" under a 2004 amendment that allows Arkansas to borrow money to help lure major employers. The state has issued $125 million in bonds for the project, which is also receiving millions in other public funds for its construction."Welcome to steel mill heaven," John Correnti, Big River Steel's CEO and chairman, said at the ceremony.More than 2,000 people are expected to be hired to work on constructing the plant, which will take about 20 months to complete. Once finished, the plant is expected to employ more than 500 people with an average annual pay of $75,000.Local leaders say the influx of jobs will be a major boost for a county suffering from an 11 percent unemployment rate. Osceola Mayor Dickie Kennemore said his city is already seeing new homes being purchased and firms looking at building additional homes for the workers expected."It's going to positively affect citizens of all of northeast Arkansas for years to come, directly and indirectly. You get more workers, you get more school teachers, more grocery stores," Kennemore said. "We went through the downside of the domino effect, and now we're coming to the upside of the domino effect."Gov. Mike Beebe said the 1,400-acre site for the mill makes sense given its proximity to a major interstate, the Mississippi River and a major railroad. But he said the start of the project is more a testament to the county's workers."All of those issues are significant and important to make it happen, but you know what trumps it all? What trumps every bit of it is the quality of the workforce," Beebe said.The Arkansas Legislature approved financing for the Big River Steel facility last year. The company officially closed on financing necessary to build it this year.In addition to the bonds, the project is receiving $14 million from local government, and the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System has committed to investing $125 million in it. Big River Steel is also receiving $10 million in training funds from the state and other incentives including sales tax refunds on building materials and equipment.The project still faces a legal hurdle. Nucor Steel, which operates two steel mills in Mississippi County, has filed a lawsuit in federal court aimed at blocking the project and revoking the company's air permit issued by the state. Big River Steel has until Oct. 10 to respond to the lawsuit, which Correnti has previously called frivolous.Benton, ARAssociated PressGroundbreaking held for new Arkansas steel millNo source Paul Ryan to speak at fundraiser2014-09-22T12:50:58-04:002014-09-22T10:53:36-04:00The Saline CourierBenton, ARNo author availableRep. Paul Ryan to speak at fundraiserNo source