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Arkansas Department of Agriculture plans to improve safety for producers

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Arkansas Department of Agriculture plans to improve safety for producers


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KATV/KAIT) – The Arkansas Department of Agriculture plans to expand its law enforcement department to ensure more safety for producers.

According to our content partner KATV, the ADA said that it would have Kenneth Booth serve as a special agent for the department as he has had previous law enforcement experience.

Two flatbed trailers were reported stolen in Pulaski County on Tuesday, May 28 and agents including Lonoke County Sheriff’s office located them in Lonoke County.

Another incident happened May 29 when a 24-foot cattle trailer and seven heads of cattle were reported stolen. The White County Sheriff’s Office, Damascus Police Department, and Rose Bud Police Department helped arrest the suspect after he admitted to the theft.

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“We exist to serve Arkansans and work collaboratively with other agencies to investigate crimes that impact agriculture, our state’s largest industry,” said Law Enforcement Chief Billy Black.

The ADA recently had its law enforcement department investigate foreign land ownership across Arkansas.

Following the efforts of Act 636 of 2023, Booth will join the department and help agents protect more Arkansas producers.

For more information, visit KATV’s website.

To report a typo or correction, please click here.

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Arkansas

Talented DT London Simmons at Arkansas, will return for OV

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Talented DT London Simmons at Arkansas, will return for OV


FAYETTEVILLE — Flowood (Miss.) Hartfield Academy Class of 2025 three-star defensive tackle London Simmons was at Arkansas on Wednesday with his teammates for a 7-on-7 tournament and then he will return soon for an official visit.

Simmons, 6-3, 300, has an official visit set to Arkansas on June 21-23 along with his teammate defensive lineman Reginald Vaughn. Simmons has a long list of offers including one from the Hogs. Simmons talked about why he was at Arkansas on Wednesday.

“I’m just here to support my teammates and maybe get a little tight end work done,” Simmons said. “Just here to support my teammates and cheer them on.”

While at the 7-on-7, Simmons said he’s excited to get back in 10 days for an extended look at Arkansas.

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“Yes sir, I’m definitely looking forward to it,” Simmons said. “I love the coaches here. It’s like a family environment That’s what I’m usually from. I love like family environment coaches.”

Simmons got a chance to get a early look at some of the facilities and he was impressed.

“Me just being here and the weight room is just like right up here,” Simmons said. “You have a view down on the field. It’s amazing.”

When it comes time for Simmons to pick a school he has a few particular things he’s looking for. He feels Arkansas checks plenty off of that list and he will know much more after his next visit.

“Yes sir, this is my first time visiting here so I have to see it some more,” Simmons said. “Just go around and see the campus more and talk on my official visit.”

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Simmons said he likes Alabama, Florida State and more in addition to Arkansas. All three of those schools plus LSU and others have offered this talented lineman. If Simmons attends Arkansas he would play for Deke Adams.

“Coach Adams and Coach (Sam) Pittman are amazing,” Simmons said. “They are good guys to talk to. They are around like a family environment.”

As a junior, Simmons finished with 80 tackles, 25 tackles for loss, 15 sacks and three forced fumbles.

Click here for highlights.

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Republican IVF bill fails in U.S. Senate • Arkansas Advocate

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Republican IVF bill fails in U.S. Senate • Arkansas Advocate


WASHINGTON — Alabama Republican Sen. Katie Britt’s efforts to pass legislation that would block Medicaid funding from going to states that ban in vitro fertilization were unsuccessful Wednesday when Democrats blocked the bill from advancing.

Britt, who introduced the legislation earlier this year alongside Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, said during brief debate the bill would assuage concerns about couples losing access to IVF, though Democrats said the measure fell short of providing real protections.

Debate took place shortly after the Southern Baptist Convention, the United States’ largest Protestant religious organization and one with significant influence in conservative politics, voted to condemn IVF.

It also came one day before the entire U.S. Senate is set to vote on a bill from Democrats that would provide nationwide protections for IVF. That measure also lacks the bipartisan backing needed to advance to final passage.

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“For the millions of Americans who face infertility every year, IVF provides the hope of a pathway to parenthood,” Britt said on the floor. “We all have loved ones — whether they’re family members or friends — who have become parents or grandparents through IVF.”

Britt said that ensuring access to IVF is “fundamentally pro-family” and that the legislation should provide couples with “certainty and peace of mind that IVF will remain legal and available in every single state.”

Washington Democratic Sen. Patty Murray said the Britt-Cruz bill would still allow states to “enact burdensome and unnecessary” regulations on IVF that could lead to the kind of “legal uncertainty and risk” that forced IVF clinics in Alabama to close temporarily earlier this year.

“Even though it is an inherent part of the IVF process that families will make more embryos than they need,” Murray said. “This bill does absolutely nothing — not a single thing — to ensure families who use IVF can have their clinics dispose of unused embryos without facing legal threats for a standard medical procedure.”

Murray said GOP senators were completely ignoring the issue of what happens to frozen embryos and using the bill as a “PR tool.”

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“The stone-cold reality is that you cannot protect IVF and champion fetal personhood,” Murray said.

State access

The Britt-Cruz legislation would prevent a state from receiving Medicaid funding if it barred access to IVF, though the bill didn’t say anything about states that define life as beginning at fertilization.

The Alabama state Supreme Court ruling earlier this year that frozen embryos constituted children didn’t explicitly ban IVF, but all of the state’s clinics stopped operating until the legislature provided civil and criminal protections.

Cruz sought to pass the bill using the unanimous consent process, where any one senator can ask for approval and any one senator can block that legislation from moving forward. Murray blocked Cruz’s request.

Unanimous consent requests don’t include a recorded vote.

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The legislation had three additional co-sponsors — Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Roger Wicker of Mississippi and Roger Marshall of Kansas.

Democrat bill

The Senate is set to take a procedural vote as soon as Thursday on legislation from Democrats that would bolster protections for IVF, though that bill isn’t expected to get the GOP support needed to move forward.

That bill is more detailed and broader than the Britt-Cruz bill, which has received criticism from Democrats as being insufficient.

New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker said Wednesday during a press conference that access to IVF shouldn’t be turned into a political issue and called on GOP senators to back the bill.

“We can’t make this seem like a left-right issue. It’s absolutely not,” Booker said. “This is an issue that’s overwhelmingly supported in America by Republican families, Democratic families and independent families. And so trying to make this into some kind of typical political debate in Washington is just wrong.”

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Booker said protecting access to IVF is, instead, “about protecting fundamental rights, expanding opportunity, taking care of our military families.”

Illinois Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth, the bill’s lead co-sponsor who has been open about using IVF to have her two daughters, threw cool water on working with Republicans on a bipartisan bill when asked about the possibility during the press conference.

“Well, they’re welcome to join ours and make it bipartisan. We’ve got 47 co-sponsors thus far and it’s a very simple piece of legislation,” Duckworth said. “I can’t see why they wouldn’t join it.

“In contrast, 90% of Republicans have not signed on to Senator Britt’s bill,” Duckworth added.

Southern Baptists’ resolution

Senate debate on in vitro fertilization is taking place the same week the Southern Baptist Convention meets in Indiana for its annual convention.

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During that two-day gathering more than 10,000 Baptists, called messengers, voted on official policies of the SBC, which included objecting to how IVF is practiced now.

The SBC wrote in its resolution that IVF “most often engages in the destruction of embryonic human life and increasingly engages in dehumanizing methods for determining suitability for life and genetic sorting, based on notions of genetic fitness and parental preferences.”

The resolution on IVF “resolved” that members of the SBC should “only utilize reproductive technologies consistent with that affirmation” as well as several other affirmations within the document.

The resolution was titled, “On the Ethical Realities of Reproductive Technologies and the Dignity of the Human Embryo.”

Kristen Ferguson, from 11th Street Baptist Church in Upland, California, who announced the resolution before the vote, opposed an amendment that would have made several changes to the text.

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Ferguson said during a brief debate the committee that wrote the resolutions for the SBC to vote on wanted to make sure it addressed IVF “with the utmost sensitivity.”

She added that members of the resolutions committee did “not take this topic lightly and we want to make sure that we’re speaking carefully about it.”

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Arkansas AD Once Damaged PGA, British Open Trophy While Disrespecting Golf Legend

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Arkansas AD Once Damaged PGA, British Open Trophy While Disrespecting Golf Legend


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – It’s no secret that former Arkansas athletics director Jeff Long wasn’t exactly loved during his tenure with the Razorbacks. Yet, until now, the disdain shown by former alums, players and staff was a consistent bubble just beneath the surface out of the public eye.

Former Arkansas golfer and PGA legend John Daly spent Tuesday morning on 103.7 “The Buzz” making sure there was no doubt how disliked Long was and still is while talking about an incident of ultimate disrespect by the former Razorbacks AD. For him, the final straw ties directly to his beloved PGA and British Open trophies and the physical damage done to these revered artifacts at Long’s direction.

Arkansas athletics has always meant a lot to Daly, as have its historic artifacts. Former Hogs basketball coach Nolan Richardson once sent him a picture of the floor from the 1994 national championship game and former athletics director Frank Broyles once sent him the Razorback rug that resided in his office for a long time. Both are proudly on display in Daly’s office to this day.

So, in reciprocation of the historic items that had been provided to him, Daly decided shortly after former football coach Houston Nutt finished a rough season that he would show support by donating his PGA and British Open trophies to be put on display as a reminder of what Razorbacks athletes can accomplish.

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As time went on, the trophies made their way to The Blessings, which serves as home to Arkansas men and women’s golf. Daly trusted they were in good care until he found out one day that definitely wasn’t the case.

He was scheduled to do an event with the Golf Channel alongside David Faherty and wanted to have his trophies be part of the festivities as well. So, he called up a driver he often uses from around the Fayetteville area whom he refers to as Limo Joe and asked if he could swing by the University of Arkansas to grab his trophies and bring them to him.

“And he looked all over the place for them,” Daly said. “Apparently Jeff Long didn’t like alumni stuff or whatever. The PGA trophy was in a closet and the top of it was broke. I had to get it fixed. The British Open trophy was out of the case, and it was thrown in a closet as well. It was half dented up. Limo, it took him literally three hours to find it. Jeff didn’t want any alumni stuff, so he threw it in a closet, and thank God, Limo found them, and I did the show.”

To add insult to injury, it turns out British Open trophies not only are borderline impossible to earn, they aren’t free when they are earned.

“But, you know, I had paid for that British Open trophy,” Daly said. “It cost me 7,500 pounds. The PGA I got for free, but you talk about disrespect what Jeff Long did. He had no clue what those trophies meant to me, but I had donated them to the University of Arkansas, and Limo found them in a closet.”

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The damage to his trophies were simply the cherry on top of a long list of reasons why Daly never found a soft spot in his heart for Long. It takes more than that to develop the strong feelings he willingly shared without hesitation.

“Jeff Long was the worst thing that ever happened to the University of Arkansas,” Daly said. “I’m sorry. He sucked and he was a jerk.”

It was the first of six times Daly referred to Long as a jerk in a four minute span. And he didn’t limit his perception just to Long’s time at Arkansas.

“He’s the worst athletic director that ever came to Arkansas and the worst one that ever went to Pittsburgh, the worst one that ever went to Michigan State, and then he goes to Kansas and tries to fire the basketball coach,” Daly said. “Tried to get rid of the basketball coach that’s getting paid more than any basketball coach – well, maybe [Arkansas coach John Calipari] is now – but he just was mean. He didn’t like alumni.”

David Bazzel, a Razorbacks legend himself who was conducting the interview, referenced a conversation with former Arkansas communications director Rick Schaeffer that showed there were issues with Long from the beginning.

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“[Schaeffer said] it was not a pleasant transition from Frank to Jeff, and that Jeff never communicated effectively with Frank,” Bazzel said. “It was just a tense situation, and he didn’t feel comfortable with following the legacy of Frank, and that there were tensions there right off the bat.

Daly had serious contention with how out of touch he felt Long was with the people of Arkansas. One particular sore point was one that made general fans see Long in a negative light without knowing much of what was going on behind the scenes.

“You know, when he was there, he made our stadium Pepsi,” Daly said. “Who in the hell drinks Pepsi in Arkansas?”

While there are always incidents of adults trying to smuggle in alcohol to Razorbacks games over the years, Daly painted a picture of desperate boys and girls trying to find creative ways to get past security with Coca-Cola products.

“All the time that he was there, the most things that kids smuggled in were Diet Coke and Coca-Cola,” Daly said. “You’re gonna make a kid take a Diet Coke and a Coca-Cola out of his boot or or her purse or his jeans or whatever? Oh my God, it’s like a crime. Somebody brought Coke and Diet coke to the University of Arkansas football stadium.”

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The trophies now travel with Daly in his bus where they can receive proper care and respect. Still, they serve as a constant reminder of an AD who once had no use for them nor the man who brought attention to the Arkansas program by winning them.

“All I know is thank God we got [current athletics director] Hunter Yurachek,” Daly said. “That’s all I could say. I love him. He’s unbelievable for our program.”

HOGS FEED:

• Hogs’ freshman touted as impact newcomer

• Calipari’s prime point guard target dominates international tournament

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• Timing on Texas game will mean celebration for Hogs fans…or wake

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