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How to keep food, water safe during a power outage

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- It is the time of year to prepare for storms and possible power outages. Maintaining proper refrigeration of food is a concern during power outages.

Frozen and refrigerated food supplies need to be evaluated carefully during and after a power outage to make sure that the food is safe to eat. Water safety could also be a concern. Boil orders are a precautionary measure due to the possibility that contaminated water may have entered the distribution system as a result of losing pressure.

The U. S. Food and Drug Administration offers the following tips on keeping food safe following a power outage:

Be Prepared:
• Have a refrigerator thermometer.

• Know where you can get dry ice.

• Keep on hand a few days worth of ready-to-eat foods that do not require cooking or cooling, which depend on electricity.

IRS warning of phony tax refund scheme

WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service has issued a warning for senior citizens and other taxpayers to beware of an emerging scheme tempting them to file tax returns claiming fraudulent refunds. 

The scheme carries a common theme of promising refunds to people who have little or no income and normally don't have a tax filing requirement. Under the scheme, promoters claim they can obtain for their victims, often senior citizens, a tax refund or nonexistent stimulus payment based on the American Opportunity Tax Credit, even if the victim was not enrolled in or paying for college.

In recent weeks, the IRS has identified and stopped an upsurge of these bogus refund claims coming in from across the United States. The IRS is actively investigating the sources of the scheme, and its promoters may be subject to criminal prosecution.

Consumer Report: Preventing telemarketing calls

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (March 6, 2012) - It's been almost a decade since the Federal Government created the Do Not Call registry and many people still don't use it.

In this month's Consumer Report, Dr. Jane Wayland, Dean of the UALR College of Business, explains how the Do Not Call Registry works.

The registry is a list that consumers can join for free to reduce unwanted telemarketing calls to their home and cellular phone numbers. Consumers can register their telephone numbers at no cost for five years.

Most telemarketers will be barred from calling any phone number registered on the list within 30 days of the date the number was registered, unless the telemarketer has written permission to call that number.

You can register using the Internet or call toll-free:

ASP increasing sobriety checkpoints

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Beginning this week the Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office will join state, county and city law enforcement agencies to increase the number of sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols on state highways and local streets and roads.

State troopers, sheriff's deputies and police officers across the state will ramp-up their efforts to identify and arrest drunk drivers of all ages, but with a special emphasis directed toward impaired teenage drivers.

The 20-day special enforcement operation will begin March 9th, and continue through March 18th, then again on April 13th - 22nd.

The campaign purposely coincides with the spring season when many teenagers are on school breaks, celebrating proms and attending graduation parties.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), alcohol related fatalities involving individuals under the age of twenty-one increases during this time of the year.

IRS offers incentive to first-time homebuyers in Arkansas

IRS offers incentive to first-time homebuyers in Arkansas

The Arkansas Development Finance Authority (ADFA) recently introduced a program that offers a Federal Tax Credit for First-Time-Homebuyers.  It is called the Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) Program.  The MCC Program is offered by the Internal Revenue Service to encourage borrowers to buy their first home. 

For borrowers that qualify, if offers them up to a $2,000 Federal tax credit for each year that the house they are buying is used as their principal residence.  To qualify borrowers must be first-time-homebuyers, except in targeted counties; must meet household income limits, which vary by county; and not exceed a purchase price of $225,000.  The MCC is not part of the home financing, but rather an incentive the IRS offers to get first-time-homebuyers to buy a home.

Forestry Commission warns of fire danger

Forestry Commission warns of fire danger

LITTLE ROCK, ARK. – Arkansas Forestry Commission crews have suppressed 26 wildfires that burned 490 acres  across the state on Thursday.

High winds of 15 to 30 MPH today…with gusts to 40 MPH in parts of the state coupled with lowering relative humidity between 25 to 35 percent will create elevated fire danger today.

Outside burning is not recommended under these condition. Searcy County is currently under a burn ban.

For details concerning the location or status of fires in all Arkansas counties, homeowners may call the AFC Dispatch Center at 1-501-332-2000.

Should the warm temperatures and gusty wind continue, there are a few things to remember:

Malvern Daily Record: Funk comes full circle

Malvern Daily Record: Funk comes full circle

John Allan Funk didn’t always know what he wanted to be when he grew up. He was 10 years old before he knew that without a doubt he wanted to be involved in the funeral industry.

Funk’s father, Bill Funk, was the Malvern Police Department chief from 1948 until 1962, at which time he got involved in the funeral home business.