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In brief: Arkansas to require voter identification

Tue., April 2, 2013

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas legislators passed a law Monday requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls, overriding Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe’s veto of the bill, which he called an expensive solution to a nonexistent problem.

The Republican-led state House voted 52-45, largely along party lines, to complete an override that started in the GOP-led Senate on a 21-12 vote last week. A simple majority was needed in each.

“We are trying to protect the integrity of one of the most fundamental rights we have here in America,” said state Rep. Stephen Meeks, a Republican from Greenbrier and the bill’s House sponsor. House Speaker Davy Carter, a Cabot Republican who did not vote for the bill when it passed the House last month, supported the override.

First oil leak issues show up with birds

MAYFLOWER, Ark. – The environmental impacts of an oil spill in central Arkansas began to come into focus Monday as officials said a couple of dead ducks and 10 live oily birds were found after an ExxonMobil pipeline ruptured last week.

Officials are urging people in Mayflower, a small city about 20 miles northwest of Little Rock, not to touch any injured or oiled animals as crews clean up Friday’s spill.

About 12,000 barrels of oil and water have been recovered since ExxonMobil’s Pegasus pipeline sprung a leak, spewing oil onto lawns and roadways and nearly fouling a nearby lake.

Car plows into busy Las Vegas restaurant

LAS VEGAS – A car plowed through a restaurant’s patio during the lunch hour Monday, injuring 10 people before it came to rest with its engine revving and its hood inside a shattered window, authorities said.

Firefighters had to extricate four people from beneath the vehicle after the 12:30 p.m. crash at the Egg & I restaurant several blocks west of the Las Vegas Strip, witnesses said.

The injured were taken to two hospitals, and some were hurt seriously, Las Vegas fire spokesman Tim Szymanski said.

Two men inside the Lexus sedan sat for a moment and then tried to run, a patron said. Several men jumped over a short wrought-iron fence and caught them to hold them until police arrived.

Manager Sarah Gehringer said the restaurant may have had 150 people inside and on the patio before the crash.

America’s oldest person dies at age 113

CLEARWATER, Fla. – The oldest person in the United States has died at age 113, just weeks before her 114th birthday.

A spokeswoman from Elsie Thompson’s church in Clearwater, Fla., said she died March 21.

The Gerontology Research Group, which verifies age information for Guinness World Records, listed Thompson as the oldest living U.S. citizen.

Thompson was born April 5, 1899.


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