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LITTLE

Arkansas ex-lawmaker’s family saddened, angered by her death

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – The family of a former Arkansas lawmaker whose body was found at her home last week say they’re saddened and angered by her death, and are confident authorities are using all their resources to solve her killing.

Dozens of Arkansas lawmakers and others gathered at the state Capitol on Tuesday to remember former state Sen. Linda Collins, whose death is being investigated as a homicide. The body of Collins, who went by Collins-Smith in the Legislature, was found June 4 outside her home in Pocahontas, about 130 miles (210 kilometers) northeast of Little Rock.

Police have not named a suspect or announced an arrest in Collins’ death.

The statement was released by Collins’ two adult children and her father. Collins’ funeral is scheduled for Saturday morning in Pocahontas.

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Thieves reportedly waded through flood water after stealing over $14k from Cajun's Wharf

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Police in Little Rock are looking for the suspects responsible for burglarizing what used to be Cajun’s Wharf.

The owner of Cajun’s Wharf, Marybeth Ringgold, said it happened early Wednesday morning.

According to the police report released by Little Rock police, $14,546 were taken from the safe room. The thieves also took $5,000 worth of alcohol from the liquor room.

Ringgold said this loss could not come at a worse time, especially after the restaurant was forced to close its doors for good one day early due to the flooding.

“To know that we’re shutting down a business after 44 years, and come in to rob somebody, that in itself is really unsettling to me,” said Ringgold.

Ringgold said she noticed the restaurant’s front doors had been broken into on Wednesday morning and after looking around, it was clear her business had been burglarized.

“They were focused pretty much on as much money as they could get and as much in the way of spirits they could get,” Ringgold said. “Cleared out several shelves of high dollar bourbons, cognacs, gins and vodkas.”

She said the three thieves broke into the front door, loaded bags of liquor and cash and waded through floodwaters to get it all out.

“They brought duffle bags in, and as they were leaving they had big duffle bags for their backs and they were carrying duffle bags, and they actually used one of our kitchen carts to load that because it was so heavy,” Ringgold said. “Then they took it outside and down the handicap ramp and out into the floodwaters and out to the back of the building.”

“The fact that they waded through water moccasin infested water, up to knee high, in some places more, to rob a place…” Ringgold said. “These guys are something, I can’t wait to meet them.”

Ringgold only has one message for the three suspects.

“Spend enough of that kind of energy doing positive things rather than being hurtful to other people,” Ringgold said.

Ringgold said even though she might not get her belongings back, she remains hopeful the three suspects will be caught and that it’s just a matter of time.

If you have any information you are urged to call the Little Rock Police Department.

Officials: Arkansas River levels drop, but still not safe

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – The Arkansas River is receding and conditions are improving, but boaters should stay away because the water is still dangerously fast, authorities said.

The river has dropped below the flood stage in in Van Buren, Ozark and Dardanelle but remained unstable in Pine Bluff and Pendleton, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported .

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a small-craft warning for the Arkansas River in April . The Corps typically issues such a warning when a body of water reaches a speed in excess of 70,000 cubic feet per second. The river was flowing at two or three times that speed in parts in late May .

Jeff Hood, a meteorologist with National Weather Service in North Little Rock, noted that even though the river is below flood stage at Dardanelle, it’s still moving at 250,000 cubic feet per second. He added that the water won’t be safe until at least July.

“The water is moving fast, and debris is also in there,” Corps spokesman Laurie Driver said. “If your boat isn’t larger than a tugboat, then you shouldn’t be on the water.”



Faulkner County officials were worried about a breach of the levee at Lollie Bottoms on Thursday. But during the weekend, the levee held its ground.

“The water is off the levee,” County Judge Jim Baker said. “The grand ole levee held.”

But the flooding inflicted more damage than expected.

“There is so much destruction there,” Baker said. “It was bigger than anything we could have anticipated. Nobody saw it coming.”

President Donald Trump on Saturday approved Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s request for more than $27 million to meet housing needs across eight flooded counties .

In a letter Gov. Hutchinson sent to Trump on Friday, the governor estimated the state will need more than $8 million in cleanup funds and $100 million for infrastructure repairs. He added that those figures could change as water levels continue to drop and reveal damage.

The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management urged those affected to record their damages.

“Contact your local emergency management agency because we are in the process of getting federal assistance,” agency spokesman Melody Daniel said.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com

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President Approves Request For Major Disaster Declaration For State of Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A Facebook post from Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that President Trump approved a request for a major disaster declaration for the state.

Hutchinson said that he submitted his request Friday (June 7) and received the approval today (June 8).

The post continued that the quick action would allow FEMA to provide assistance to affected communities.

“This is the 1st step in our recovery,” he wrote.