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Tyson Foods to close four processing plants across state


Tyson announces plant closures

Tyson Foods will close four chicken processing plants, including facilities in McDonald County, Missouri and North Little Rock. Talk Business and Politicsreports the closures represent the loss of about 2,800 jobs, including about 1,500 jobs at a plant in Noel, Missouri. Noel is fewer than 20 miles north of the Arkansas and Benton County borders. The Noel and North Little Rock plants are scheduled to close in October. Also on Monday, Tyson reported a quarterly net income loss of $417 million.

DHS settles lawsuit with disabled Arkansans

The state Department of Human Services settled a lawsuit with three disabled Arkansans for loss or reduction of home-based Medicaid services.

DHS paid $460,000 to resolve the federal lawsuit filed by Bob Taylor of Fayetteville, Ginger Elder of Jonesboro and Jacquelyn Dearmore of Yellville. Each received $120,000 and their representation, Legal Aid of Arkansas, will get $100,000 for legal fees.

Kevin De Liban, director of advocacy for Legal Aid of Arkansas, said normally people on public benefits do not have the option to sue state governments for money.

"Here, our clients suffered for two or three months without the care that they need and that was just such an awful time for them," De Liban said. "And so, I'm just so thankful and happy for them that they can have some money as a result of that suffering."

The plaintiffs sued in 2019 after DHS changed its eligibility requirements, and De Liban said the action left them without services. He said the settlement also requires DHS to improve the ARChoices program for the nearly 11,000 people enrolled.

"One, DHS has to update its appeal procedures so that this problem does not happen again to other people," De Liban said.

He said the plaintiffs plan to use the money for functional items like medical beds, motorized wheelchairs and modified vehicles to help them get around.

Gov. Sanders appoints state's new Chief Fiscal Officer

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders is appointing Jim Hudson to be the next Chief Fiscal Officer and Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration. He replaces Larry Walther who is now the state treasurer. Hudson worked at the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and the Arkansas Department of Commerce. Before that, he served for 11 years in pastoral ministry at Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock.

Arkansas law mandating overdose rescue kits gains national attention

A bipartisan law in Arkansas regarding the opioid crisis is gaining national attention. Rep. Tara Shepard, D-Little Rock, appeared on KARK's Capitol View program this weekend to discuss her legislation mandating all schools and colleges to have "overdose rescue kits" containing naloxone.

Shepard's law gained the attention of U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Georgia. Shepard said she met with Carter in Washington to discuss a similar bill to be implemented at the federal level.

Kirk Lane, leader of Arkansas' Opioid Recovery Partnership and former state drug director, also expressed his support for the legislation. Money for the legislation will come from a legal settlement Arkansas won against drug companies to fund programs battling the opioid crisis.

Arkansas women's soccer starts season in top 10

The University of Arkansas women’s soccer team will start the season ranked eighth in the nation.  The ranking in the preseason United Soccer Coaches Poll is the second straight preseason top 10 ranking for the program and it is the fourth consecutive year the program has started the season ranked in the top 15.

Arkansas women's basketball in Europe

Yesterday the Arkansas women's basketball team defeated InCroatia All Stars 124-to-12. The team also had a chance to tour Split and has exhibition games scheduled in Dubrovnik and in Athens. The University of Regina from Saskatchewan will play the UofA in Athens.

NWA Naturals return to Arvest Ballpark as No. 1

The Northwest Arkansas Naturals are returning to Arvest Ballpark tonight as a first-place team.  The Naturals have a half-game lead over the Springfield Cardinals in the Texas League North. The Naturals have won three straight and start a six-game home series against Wichita tonight.

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Jacqueline Froelich is an investigative reporter and news producer for <i>Ozarks at Large.</i>
Kyle Kellams is KUAF's news director and host of Ozarks at Large.
Matthew Moore is senior producer for Ozarks at Large.
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