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This is the 6:04 KASU newscast for Wednesday, September 20th.  

Vietnam veteran James Kaelin stands on a dirt road staring into an empty scrub forest once part of Fort Chaffee, a U.S. Army Training camp east of Fort Smith, Arkansas. 

“They won’t even admit to this being a test site to anybody,” Kaelin says. “But I have information showing the Army tested Agent Orange, Agent White and Agent Blue on seven different locations on Fort Chaffee in 1966 and 1967 without knowledge to the general public. It was top secret.”

Would-be growers and distributors of Arkansas' initial medical marijuana crop have flooded a state office building waiting for their turn to submit applications.

Ahead of Monday afternoon's deadline, there was about a three-hour wait for applicants at the Department of Finance and Administration Building. Agency spokesman Scott Hardin said that before noon, the office had distributed paperwork to more than 100 groups or individuals. Fewer than half the applicants had been called in for clerks to review paperwork to ensure it was in order.

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers will all be carrying an opioid overdose reversal medication once they complete training.

The News-Press reports troopers, park rangers and conservation agents gathered at the patrol's headquarters on last month for training on how to use Naloxone, also known as Narcan.

This is the 6:04 KASU newscast for Tuesday, September 19th.  Here are the stories reported this morning:

This is the 6:04 KASU newscast for Monday, September 18th.  Here are the stories reported this morning:

NPR

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A government agency survey says the percentage of Arkansas residents with health care insurance is on the rise, putting the state above the national average.

The number of uninsured residents dropped last year by almost 46,000 to nearly 231,800, according to the survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.

This is the 6:04 KASU newscast for Friday, September 15th.  Here are the stories reported this morning:

Arkansas Licensed Lay Midwives are regulated by the Arkansas Department of Health. Current rules require mothers to prove they are medically fit to endure a midwife-assisted birth by undergoing two medical assessments with a qualified medical provider or public health clinician. Midwives must relinquish care of any client found to be at risk, or risk losing their license.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A Kentucky woman was sickened by Legionnaires' disease after staying at a hotel near the Tennessee home of famed singer Elvis Presley, and an autopsy says the pneumonia caused her death.

pixabay stock photo of obese women
Pixabay

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A report released by two nonprofit groups shows West Virginia has the highest rate of obesity among adults in the nation.

The report released Thursday by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation analyzed figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and found West Virginia had an obesity rate of 37.7 percent. Mississippi was second at 37.3 percent and Alabama and Arkansas were tied for third at 35.7 percent.

More than 13,000 Arkansans identify as transgender, according to a recent report by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law. That's a larger percentage of the population than the national average and puts Arkansas 18th in the nation.

Barriers to healthcare for these Arkansans remain a significant struggle. That’s especially true for those who want sex reassignment surgery, are on hormone therapy, or are seeking mental health services.

Willie Freeman says he used to avoid smiling, and if he did, it was in a way almost no one could see, with his mouth closed. He was embarrassed of his rotten teeth.

“I wouldn’t go around people and if I did smile, you know, nobody would see me smile,” said Freeman. “My teeth was so messed up, you know, I had gaps everywhere,” he said sitting in an office at Little Rock’s low-income, non-profit Harmony Health Clinic, waiting for an appointment.

About one in three Arkansas residents is obese, and doctors say it’s leading to people dying much younger than they need to, and leading unhealthier lives in the meantime.

“They have more co-morbidities, which means they have other disease processes that basically can shorten their lifespans, such as diabetes and hypertension and heart disease,” said Dr. Shane Speights, dean of the New York Institute of Technology's College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University.  He said since the human body is not meant to carry hundreds of extra pounds, morbidly obese humans may suffer severe hip, joint, knee or ankle pain.

U.S. Senator Tom Cotton is in favor of a Republican plan for a straightforward repeal of the Affordable Care Act without a replacement. Both of Arkansas's Republican senators, Cotton and John Boozman, have long favored ending the Affordable Care Act, but neither has spoken publicly about the now-flopped repeal and replace plan.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Arkansas’s congressional delegation is returning to Washington D.C. following a July 4th recess and the state’s U.S. Senators are as tight lipped as ever about the GOP’s stalled bill to end much of the Affordable Care Act.

Does Senator Tom Cotton support the healthcare plan he helped draft with 12 other white male Republican Senators? Does Senator John Boozman support the plan backed by the majority of his party? These are basic questions Arkansans don’t have answers to.

A recent report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation Kids Count data center finds that heart disease is the fifth-highest cause of death for children and teenagers in Arkansas. 

At five-percent, heart disease is dwarfed by other causes, such as accidents, which account for 34 percent of childhood deaths. But doctors say heart disease can still endanger kids and put many others at risk for problems in adulthood and lead to heart attacks under the age of 40.

Summer vacation season is heating up with residents venturing into woodlands to hike and camp, but danger may be lurking in the forest, in the form of infected ticks.

Arkansas has some of the highest rates of tick-borne illness in the country. And this summer a new disease has been confirmed by state health officials: the Heartland virus, so-named because it’s spreading across America’s heartland.

The Heartland virus was first detected eight years ago, in Missouri, after two farmers were hospitalized with a mysterious debilitating illness.

The Arkansas Department of Health will begin accepting applications for medical marijuana patient cards at the end of the month, according to an agency news release. The cards will be distributed to qualifying patients and caregivers in order to allow the purchase of medicine from licensed dispensaries. The Health Department says it will distribute the cards approximately 30 days before medical marijuana is available for sale in the state. That could be next year.

U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin in early June pronounced the American veterans health care system to be in “critical condition.” 
 
One northwest Arkansas VA hospital, however, appears to be thriving, and that prompted U.S. Rep. Steve Womack (R-3rd District) to invite Shulkin to take a look.

After an early morning tour of the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks in Fayetteville Monday, Shulkin, at a press conference on the grounds, characterized the forested campus facility as extraordinary.

 
 “It is a five-star facility. That means it is the very top of performance across the country in VA’s.”
 

Wikipedia

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri lawmakers are returning to the Capitol for a special legislative session on abortion.

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Walmart and other major corporations are asking a federal court to dismiss a lawsuit filed against them by the Cherokee Nation, which argues that the companies have not done enough to stop prescription opioid abuse.

The Oklahoma-based tribe filed the lawsuit in April in tribal court. On Thursday, the companies argued in federal court that the case doesn't belong in tribal court and should be dismissed. Along with Walmart, the lawsuit names CVS, Walgreens and major drug distributors in the U.S.

Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission meeting veterans might have looked around the board room inside the Alcohol Beverage Control Division last week and wondered where the dreamers went. Gone were the cowboy boots and branded T's, the men (some women, not many) who clearly are interested in marijuana and, if given the chance, the business of growing it and selling it — legally. They were replaced by lawyers and other men and women in suits.

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas will soon begin taking applications from those who hope to grow and dispense medical marijuana, though the state's strong religious heritage and restrictions imposed by the Legislature will limit where greenhouses and distributors can operate.

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