IMMIGRATION OVERLOAD-MAINE SENATORS
Maine senators visiting US-Mexico border
WASHINGTON (AP) - Seven U.S. senators, including Susan Collins and Angus King of Maine, have visited the Texas-Mexico border on a fact-finding mission focusing on the immigration crisis.
The group met Friday with Customs and Border Patrol Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske during a visit to a border patrol station, port of entry and centralized processing center. They also visited a military base that's housing thousands of unaccompanied children from Central America who have crossed the U.S. border.
Collins organized the trip. Other participants were Senators John Cornyn of Texas, John Barrasso of Wyoming, John Boozman of Arkansas, Deb Fisher of Nebraska and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota.
Congress has been stymied in attempts to pass legislation to address the border crisis. House Republican leaders on Thursday abandoned a vote on a $659 million bill.
Lanes of Interstates 630, 30 to be closed briefly
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Separate work projects will require the closing of lanes of Interstates 630 and 30 in Little Rock.
The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department says crews will be painting the steel on the Interstate 430 south to I-630 east bridge. The westbound outside lane of I-630 will be closed from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Monday through Thursday from the I-430 southbound on-ramp to the I-430 northbound on-ramp.
AHTD crews will also be inspecting the bridge over the Union Pacific railroad tracks that will require closing the outside lanes of both eastbound and westbound I-30 just north of the I-30/I-440/I-530 interchange.
The eastbound outside lane will be closed Tuesday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and the westbound outside lane will be closed Wednesday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.
LIGHT-US 412 BYPASS
Arkansas officials suggest south bypass of Light
LIGHT, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas highway officials are suggesting that road crews build a bypass around the south side of Light in Greene County rather than improve U.S. 412 through the center of town.
The state Highway and Transportation Department said it reviewed potential bypasses to the north and the south, along with a wider route through town, and decided going around Light to the south is the better option.
Going through town would force many residents and businesses to move. The highway department also plans further improvements to U.S. 412 that could increase heavy-truck traffic.
A southern bypass was said to have a smaller impact on the community and cultural resources.
A public hearing will be held in the fall.
The 14-mile project will complete a widening project between Paragould and Walnut Ridge.
BAXTER COUNTY DEATH
Baxter County woman, 33, found dead in home
MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. (AP) - Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery says a 33-year-old woman has been found dead in her home.
Montgomery says in a news release that 33-year-old Shannon Elaine Drewry was found about 11 a.m. Friday by a member of the household who had returned to the home south of Mountain Home. Montgomery says Drewry was later pronounced dead at the scene by the coroner.
A suspected cause of death was not released and the woman's body was sent to the state medical examiner's officer for an autopsy.
Counterfeit bills quickly changing hands in Conway
CONWAY, Ark. (AP) - Merchants and shoppers have been encouraged to examine their money after a recent surge of counterfeit bill circulation in central Arkansas.
The Log Cabin Democrat reports that many counterfeit bills have changed hands and been passed successfully in Conway throughout the past few days.
A Conway detective says fake bills are fairly easy to spot through close examination. He says most of the counterfeit money has been printed on office paper, while real money is printed on plant-based paper. But some were small bills that have been bleached and reprinted as larger bills.
Police are collecting counterfeit bills as evidence. The detective says the U.S. Secret Service has been made aware of the current problem in Conway.
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