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Burn bans, Wildfire alerts issued in south Arkansas

Burn bans, Wildfire alerts issued in south Arkansas

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LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Forestry commission has issued burn bans on three Arkansas Counties, and much of the southern half of Arkansas under moderate wildfire danger.

Ouachita, Hempstead, and Ashley counties are currently under a burn ban after lack of rain and hot temperatures has left many of these southern Arkansas counties dry and hot.

Little to no rain is expected in these areas for up to the next 5 days. As this goes on the dryer these counties becoming raising the level of wildfire danger.

Last year, all but three Arkansas counties were under burn bans at some point during the summer. This year, higher than average rainfall totals have resulted in less need for concern. However, as temperatures in September have been higher than typical and rainfall totals have decreased, there has developed a higher likelihood for cautions as dry conditions could last into the fall.

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Former Tennessee cop faces up to 20 years in prison after admitting to 3 rapes

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — A former Tennessee police officer could face up to 20 years in prison after reaching a plea deal Wednesday in which he reportedly admitted to raping three women in his custody and using a stun gun to hold a fourth against her will.

Desmond Logan, 33, pleaded guilty to two counts of deprivation of rights for a case surrounding a 2018 rape, a separate incident at the University of Tennessee at Chatanooga involving a Taser, and two additional rapes from 2015 and 2016 which were listed as “relevant conduct” under the agreement terms, according to the Times Free Press.

Logan was accused of raping a woman in June 2018 after she was placed under arrest early one morning. Instead of taking her into custody, he reportedly drove her to an empty parking lot and proceeded to sexually assault her.

The former Chattanooga police officer also pleaded guilty to using a Taser to threaten a young woman when he worked security at the University of Tennessee.

In January 2016, Logan reportedly got into the passenger seat of the victim’s car and held a Taser to her leg while he directed her to an empty parking lot.

Two other women accused Logan of rape but those incidents were listed as “relevant conduct” under the plea agreement. According to the station, one victim said she was raped in July 2015 while the other said Logan forced her to perform oral sex on him in May 2016.

“Desmond Logan is not what the men and women of the Chattanooga Police Department represent,” said Police Chief David Roddy.

Earlier this year, two retired Chattanooga officers were accused of helping suppress allegations against Logan.

The women say they notified police, but an official probe wasn’t launched until the county sheriff was notified.

Logan resigned in February before he could be fired. He faces up to 10 years in prison for each charge and $250,000 in fines.

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WAVELAND, Miss. — Beaches along coastal Mississippi remain closed due to an explosion of blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, that has shut down virtually all of Mississippi’s beaches since July 4.

No one knows when the algae will disappear, and many wonder how many businesses that operate in the region will survive the hit. Scientists have never seen anything like this before. Mississippi officials say the bloom is the result of record flooding this year in the Midwest, which has pushed a deluge of polluted, nitrogen-rich water down the Mississippi River. It has forced state officials to issue water and health advisories warning people to stay out of the water and to avoid contaminated seafood.

Exposure to the algae can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and kidney and liver damage, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Hotels, restaurants and other coastal businesses who depend on summer tourism to get through the year are facing big losses, said Coastal Mississippi, an organization that tracks business development.

The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources reports that 90 to 100% of the state’s oyster reefs are dead. The reefs will take years to rebuild. Mississippi shrimp, crab and finfish catches are all down this year, according to state officials.

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