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Federal disaster declarations made for 10 Arkansas counties

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has made Secretarial disaster declarations for farmers and ranchers in 10 Arkansas counties that suffered losses due to flash flooding, excessive rain, high winds, hail, and dangerous lightning beginning on June 29, 2014, and continuing. Qualifying farmers will be eligible for federal aid, including emergency loans.

Responding to requests from Governor Mike Beebe, Vilsack issued disaster declarations in response to flood conditions in Cross, Independence, Jackson, Lee, Lonoke, Monroe, Prairie, St. Francis, White, and Woodruff Counties.

MoneyPak scams becoming more common in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – The only things between a criminal and someone else's money are a 14-digit number and a good lie, as too many Arkansans are learning.

Criminals are increasingly turning to items such as Green Dot MoneyPak cards as a means to steal. Criminals trick consumers into believing that sweepstakes winnings await, that they can avoid jail time or they can pay their overdue utility bills with payments from these types of cards. Once criminals have the number from the back of the card, it's almost impossible for a consumer to ever recover money.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued this consumer alert today to warn Arkansans about potential scams and to offer tips on how to avoid fraud when using MoneyPak or similar products.

Dyslexia testing to begin in public schools

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Schools in Arkansas are now following through with new requirements for all students with dyslexia.

This comes after Arkansas lawmakers approved a measure ensuring that all children with the disability would have proper resources in public schools.

This fall, every child in Kindergarten through second grade will get tested for dyslexia. The tests determine if a child may be at risk for literary problems.

"I've had a lot of parents tell me their kids are seeing success in reading. Some of them were already at a point where they hated school and hated reading and once they started in the program, working with one of the intervention programs we use, than they start liking to read," said Lynn Cooper, Nettleton Special Education director.

New Pulaski County jail payment system meeting

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Pulaski County leaders have another jail concern to work out on Tuesday night. It's all part of the overall efforts to ease jail overcrowding.

The quorum court will vote Tuesday night on whether or not to approve a new payment system to house jail inmates if they cannot agree on a new contract with the county's cities.

Currently, cities pay $2.9 million collectively to house inmates. If they don't make a deal by August 1st, it could reach $6 million.

Tuesday night's meeting starts at 7 p.m.

Group asks state to block alcohol measure

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A group opposed to a proposal expanding alcohol sales in Arkansas is asking the secretary of state to not certify the measure for the November ballot, claiming it missed a deadline to submit petitions.

An attorney for a group called Let Local Communities Decide For Themselves asked Secretary of State Mark Martin's office to not accept any more petitions for the proposal, which would legalize alcohol sales in all 75 Arkansas counties. Thirty-seven counties currently prohibit alcohol sales.

The group claims the petitions should have been submitted by July 4, which would have been four months before the November election. The state deadline was July 7.

The group favoring expanded sales is gathering additional signatures after Martin's office said it had fallen short of the 78,133 needed to qualify.

Walmart executives dominate list of top-paid executives

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - They are the top-paid public company executives in Arkansas, and one company dominates the top of the list, this time with a new face at Number 1.

Arkansas Business Online Editor Lance Turner has the latest list of the state's top-paid executives.

Top executives at the world's largest company continue to dominate Arkansas Business' annual list of public company executive compensation, starting with the new CEO, Jonesboro native Doug McMillon.

McMillon, who succeeded Mike Duke as CEO at the start of the current fiscal year on February 1st, also succeeded him at the top of the list with total compensation in fiscal 2013 of $25.6 million.

The bulk of that package, $23 million, came in the form of stock awards. McMillon's base salary is $950,000.

103 rabies cases reported in Arkansas this year

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - More than 100 rabies cases have been reported in Arkansas through the end of June - a figure nearly double the norm of just 54 cases in a year.

State health and animal science experts say that of the 103 cases, 86 have been confirmed in skunks. Experts say most of the rabies cases are found skunks and bats.

Pulaski and Lonoke counties have the most cases, with 26 for Pulaski and 13 for Lonoke.

Tom Troxel, associate head of animal science for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, says the reason for the outbreak is unknown.

Rabies is a deadly viral disease that affects the nervous system of mammals. It's considered one of the most infectious diseases and is fatal for both animals and humans.