Work begins on Oaklawn’s $100 million expansion
HOT SPRINGS — Construction is now underway on a $100 million expansion at Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs.
The expansion was announced shortly after Arkansas voters in November legalized casino gambling at four sites in the state, including Oaklawn. The planned expansion includes adding a hotel, an event center, and an additional 28,000 square feet (2,600 square meters) in the casino area.
The Arkansas Racing Commission approved casino licenses March 23 for Oaklawn and for Southland Gaming and Racing (now Southland Casino Racing) at West Memphis. Two additional licenses will be issues for the other two sites, likely in the next few months.
Oaklawn spokeswoman Jennifer Hoyt said that work on the expansion began shortly after the end of the live racing season earlier this month. The project is expected to be complete before the start of next year’s live racing season.
The Oaklawn expansion will go hand-in-hand with the $250 million expansion currently underway at Southland Casino Racing in West Memphis to exponentially increase the state’s revenue from gaming taxes.
GARLAND COUNTY — Hundreds made the drive from all corners of the state on Monday to get their hands on some of the first legal medical marijuana to be sold in Arkansas — with some suffering from sticker shock after seeing the cost.
In the first three days of sales, 1,137 individual cannabis purchases were made. The first official sale was this past Friday, and by Monday afternoon, a total of 13.76 pounds was sold, according to the Department of Finance & Administration.
People from as far away as Wynne, Jonesboro and Fayetteville drove several hours, all to wait in line to get inside one of the dispensaries. Some medical marijuana patients waited as long as five-and-ahalf hours before being able to make a purchase. The first dispensary to open in the state, Doctor’s Orders Rx, was handing out clipboards with forms for patients to fillout in order to help expedite the process.
Prices were high as the cost of a half-ounce of medical- grade marijuana was around $220. Prescription holders are hopeful once more cultivation centers begin turning out product and dispensaries begin to open, the price will tick downward. Insurance companies typically do not cover medical marijuana.
As many as three dispensaries (of the 30 still yet to open) could be ready for inspection within the next month.
Scott Hardin, spokesperson for DF& A, said as the Alcohol Beverage Control enforcement arm begins to schedule inspections and approve dispensaries to open, the department will announce the updates to make sure Arkansans are aware of the latest developments.
Bryant High School includes K-9 cop in yearbook
BRYANT — Thumbing through the 2019 Bryant High School yearbook, one photo on the faculty page might catch your eye.
Mya The Bryant police dog, who serves along with her handler Sgt. Paul Tarvin as a school resource officer, had her tongue out and her ears perked up for her photo, which was featured among faculty members in the Bryant High School yearbook this year.
The Belgian Malinois started working as a school resource officer on campus last fall, and the yearbook staff thought she deserved a little recognition for her efforts.
The Bryant police posted her yearbook photo on Facebook on Thursday. “So it looks like one of Bryant PD’s finest School Resource Officer’s made the Hornet Yearbook this year,” the post says. “Good job Mya, you are representing the PD with pride…..Hornet Pride!!!”
Mya is primarily a narcotics dog but is also trained for tracking and recovery. And she takes a pretty good school photo.