According to the Humane Society, the animal abuse charges are against workers at a Wyoming-based pork facility with connections to Tyson Foods. The charges stem from undercover video that surfaced in May showing facility employees punching and kicking pigs there. Since the incident, Tyson asked a subsidiary to end its business relationship with Wyoming Premium Farms. Both Tyson Foods and the Humane Society have issued statements since the latest charges have been filed against nine workers, including two managers. You can read those statements at nwahomepage.com.
Powerless in Arkansas
Severe weather is still leaving thousands of Arkansans powerless since the winter storm that hit the Natural State on Christmas. Governor Beebe has made an "emergency declaration." According to Beebe's office, there is still no written declaration because of the lack of personnel. Ahead of the storm, the governor ordered all "non-essential" employees to stay home. Meanwhile, Entergy power says it's called in hundreds of workers and contractors to help turn the lights back on.
National Guard Weather Cleanup
Arkansas has called on the National Guard to help with winter weather clean up around the Natural State. The severe Christmas storms knocked out power to more than 200-thousand Arkansans at one point. So Wednesday, more than a dozen National Guard personnel and seven military ambulances headed out to help first responders in Conway, Little Rock, and Jacksonville. There is also a team in Hot Springs helping to clear the roads by cutting down trees in the way. They will be on the ground most of the day Thursday.
Flue Fire Damages Home
An out of control house fire in Rogers is serving as an important reminder to keep an eye on your fireplaces as the temperatures drop. According to Rogers fire crews, the fire started in the fireplace flue and somehow quickly spread throughout the home on LazyL Street and 12th Street Wednesday. Crews quickly got it out, but walls, a ceiling, and the home's attic are damaged. The Rogers fire department says all area departments have been stressing the importance of watching out for fires that may start out in a fireplace flue. No one was hurt in the fire.
Gas Prices on the Rise
You might want to fill up your gas tank now, before prices go back up. Despite seeing gas dip below 3 dollars in some areas, the national Lundberg Survey says that's about to change. It predicts a 5 to 10 cent jump in the next few days. The national average is still up 2 cents a gallon from this time last year.
Fiscal Cliff Fears
Money is on the minds of many Americans, as President Obama heads back to Washington to try to make a fiscal cliff deal before December 31st. No deal means everyone will pay more in income taxes. More than 2 million people will also lose their jobless benefits. The President does have a new plan that would keep tax cuts in place for families making less than $250,000 a year. But to get that done, Democrats would need 10 senate Republicans to vote to increase taxes on the top 2%.
Starbucks Gets Political
Java giant Starbucks is joining the political push to get a fiscal cliff deal done. Company CEO, Howard Schultz, wants baristas at Washington, D.C. area stores to write the words "come together" on cups served Thursday and Friday. In a letter to employees, Schultz wrote, "rather than be bystanders, you and your customers have an opportunity and I believe we all have a responsibility to send our elected officials a respectful message, urging them to come together to find common ground." The messages will be sent out by employees at about 120 starbucks around the nation's capitol.