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55 flu deaths reported in the state of Arkansas

55 flu deaths reported in the state of Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – The number of flu deaths in Arkansas have gone up in the past two weeks.

According to the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH), 55 flu deaths have been reported—10 of those reports have been submitted within the past two weeks.

Although this year's strain has mutated, making the vaccine only 23 percent effective, officials still stress the importance of getting the flu shot.

ADH is posting the weekly 2014-15 Flu Season reports on their website: http://on.kthv.com/13TsxgE

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Cabot student raising awareness for Special Olympics Ark.

Cabot student raising awareness for Special Olympics Ark.

CABOT, Ark. (KTHV) - A junior at Cabot High School is raising awareness for Special Olympics Ark. by holding a "Spread the Word" campaign Friday, March 13.

Trea Kiser, who is an ambassador for the Special Olympics Arkansas, is holding a "Spread the Word to End the Word" to raise awareness of the derogatory use of the r-word (retard/retarded). 

Banners for people to sign will be set up during both lunch times on March 13, times include 10:54 a.m. to 11:26 a.m. and 11:51 a.m. to 12:23 p.m.

For more information on Kiser's efforts, click here

Marketing board sets meeting, facility tour at searcy

SEARCY, Ark. (ADEQ) - The Arkansas State Marketing Board for Recyclables will meet March 25, 2015, at the Searcy Chamber of Commerce, 2823 S. Main, Searcy, after touring a local recycling center the day before. The meeting will start at 9:30 a.m.

The board will hear reports on recycling programs operated by the City of Searcy and the White River Regional Solid Waste Management District from Searcy Mayor David Morris and the District’s Sarah Sexton, recycling program coordinator and solid waste educator, respectively.

In addition, Jimmy Swain, site director of manufacturing for the Bryce Corp. in Searcy will present a history of the company’s recycling efforts. The Bryce Corp. produces plastic packaging for the food processing industry, along with plastic sheeting.

Also, the board will tour the Searcy Sanitation and Recycling Facility, 409 W. Beebe-Capps Expressway, Searcy, beginning at 1:30 p.m. March 24, 2015.

Soon to be closed Batesville ConAgra plant to be purchased


BATESVILLE, Ark. (AP) - The soon-to-be-closed ConAgra Foods plant in Batesville is to be purchased by Ozark Mountain Poultry.

ConAgra announced Friday that it will close the plant in July, leaving 250 employees out of work. ConAgra spokesman Dan Hare said the chicken-making operations at the plant will be moved to improve efficiency and competitiveness.

Ozark Mountain marketing director Melinda Acoach told The Batesville Daily Guard (http://bit.ly/1ExevRW) that Ozark Mountain Poultry will purchase the building for use as a processing plant and will create 225 jobs, but won't keep ConAgra employees because what OMP will be doing is different from ConAgra's operations.

Hare said ConAgra employees who are losing their jobs can apply for positions at other ConAgra facilities or will receive an unspecified severance package.

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Sheriff: Man tried to force child to drink infected blood

Sheriff: Man tried to force child to drink infected blood

A 41-year-old Oxford man was arrested Feb. 25 after he allegedly attempted to infect a child with hepatitis C during a domestic disturbance, according to Izard County Sheriff Tate Lawrence.

James Filchak was arrested on three charges of endangering the welfare of a minor and three charges of third-degree domestic battery. Filchak was taken to the Izard County jail where he was held in lieu of a $5,000 bond.

Drug & firearms violations, abuse of power allegations uncovered in Searcy PD chief investigation

Drug & firearms violations, abuse of power allegations uncovered in Searcy PD chief investigation

SEARCY, Ark. (KTHV) – On Tuesday, Jeremy Clark resigned as Searcy police chief amid an investigation being conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

On Wednesday, officials with ATF shared the following information with THV11:

According to the press release, in March 2014 Arkansas State Police began investigating an arson that occurred on the 400 block of Pollard St. in Bradford, Ark. It is still an ongoing investigation.

A review of property records reportedly revealed that Clark was the owner of the residence. During the course of the investigation, ATF reports that agents uncovered evidence pertaining to possible violations of Federal firearms and controlled substance laws, as well as abuse of power allegations.

Students from all over Ark. will compete in State Spelling Bee

Students from all over Ark. will compete in State Spelling Bee

CONWAY, Ark. (KTHV) - The best spellers in the state will come together to compete at the Arkansas State Spelling Bee, which could take the winner to nationals in Washington D.C.

The competition will be held Feb. 28 in the Reynolds Performance Hall on the University of Central Arkansas campus in Conway. Registration will start at 7:30 a.m. and the competition will begin at 9 a.m. 

The competition will consist of 60 county spelling bee winners in second through eighth grade that will be competing for an all-expense-paid trip to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C., in May. 

The other prizes will be Kindles for the top three finishers, Amazon gift cards and Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionaries.