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Beebe declares week 'State Employees Appreciation Week'

UNDATED (KTHV) -- Governor Mike Beebe has declared the week of August 7 through August 13, 2011, to be "State Employees Appreciation Week."

In a recently-issued Executive Department Proclamation signed by both Governor Beebe and Secretary of State Mark Martin, the Governor salutes state employees for their "outstanding professionalism and responsiveness," as well as their "exemplary dedication to the citizens of Arkansas."

"All state employees are to be commended for their commitment to the total process of making Arkansas government work smoothly for the benefit of all citizens," declares Governor Beebe. "I urge my fellow citizens to join me in expressing gratitude to these public servants for a job well done."

Governor Beebe presented the proclamation to Arkansas State Employees Association (A.S.E.A.) Executive Director Danny James in an August 2 ceremony. A.S.E.A. is a nonprofit organization working to improve state government and state employment.

Arkansas plant source of 36M lbs. of recalled turkey

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Meat giant Cargill is recalling 36 million pounds of turkey after a government hunt for the source of a salmonella outbreak that has killed one person in California and sickened dozens more. 

The Agriculture Department and the Minnesota-based company announced Wednesday evening that Cargill is recalling fresh and frozen ground turkey products produced at the company's Springdale, Ark., plant from Feb. 20 through Aug. 2 due to possible contamination from the strain of salmonella linked to 76 illnesses and the one death.

ER's seeing more heat-related cases

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- When the mercury rises, so do the number of people heading to the emergency room for heat-related illness.

At the Baptist Hospital Emergency Room, they had five heat related cases Tuesday; UAMS had around the same.

The Centers for Disease Control says the best defense is prevention. Here are some prevention tips:

Drink more fluids (nonalcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink. Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask him how much you should drink while the weather is hot.

At 6:30: Happy sales tax holiday

UNDATED (KTHV) -- Amidst the sour economic news over the last few months, comes a first for Arkansas: The Sales Tax Holiday. Enacted in the state legislature in February of this year, it exempts certain items under $100, from local and state sales taxes.

Alicia Easley, marketing specialist with Park Plaza, was a special guest on Today's THV at 6:30. She told us the merchants at Park Plaza expect a weekend similar to black Friday (the Friday after Thanksgiving).

Easley said that merchants have been holding special meetings in preparation for the big weekend. On Wednesday there was a Mall-wide meeting that was well attended as anticipation grows.

It all begins at 12:01 a.m. Saturday morning. It goes through Sunday at 11:59 p.m.

Entergy asks customers to reduce power usage

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Entergy Arkansas, Inc. is asking its customers in central Arkansas to voluntarily reduce their usage of electricity until 9 p.m. tonight.

The unusual appeal is the result of extremely hot temperatures that are causing increased electricity usage. This could potentially overload electrical lines, which could in turn cause power outages.

Entergy has already curtailed certain industrial and wholesale customers.

Electrical power demand has continued to increase. If electricity usage continues to increase and electric facilities become overloaded, periodic temporary power outages could begin among residential and commercial customers.

These are expected to be short power curtailments that affect different groups of customers at different times. Any temporary outage would typically last from 30 minutes to one hour, but could be shorter or longer, depending on the situation.

Diaper drive success and continued need

Our monthlong effort to bring awareness to families struggling to provide diapers for their little ones wrapped up but you can still help. Check out the highlights and learn how.

Keeping kids cool while playing in the heat

LITTLE ROCK (KTHV) -- It's hot and it's affecting everyone from adults to children, but do you know how to beat the heat?

The summer months mean kids playing sports outside. When temperatures reach extreme highs, it's important to keep tabs on those kiddos.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate - that's what the trainers and physical therapist at D-1 Sports preach to every kid that comes into train.

"We make sure they know it's not just in here they need to drink water, but when they are just playing around outside it's important to keep water near you," says Anthony Lucas, facility coordinator of D1 Little Rock.

According to KidsHealth.org:

Our bodies, which create a tremendous amount of internal heat, are normally cooled through sweating and radiating heat through our skin.