Arkansas agency seeks grant to expand veterans cemetery
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs is in the preliminary stages of obtaining a federal grant to expand a North Little Rock veterans cemetery following an uptick in burials.
An evaluation determined the Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery, which expanded last year, would run out of certain types of graves in four years. Oversize, in-ground graves would run out by 2020, and there would be no columbarium space for cremated veterans by 2021. More additions weren’t expected until 2019.
Bill Wussick, assistant director of cemeteries for the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs, said department officials hope the grant can fund several infrastructure improvements, including an expanded roadway and an addition to the administration building.
“We are experiencing an increase of interments but have not done an analysis to determine the cause,” Wussick said. “However, I would not rule that out.”
The department of veteran affairs said in its request that it needs $750,000 to pay design fees and $20,000 for startup costs, such as an environmental assessment.
“The state needed to show a commitment very soon to provide matching funds in order to receive federal funds,” said Duncan Baird, state budget administrator. “That’s why we wanted to act quickly on this.”
Wussick said any state funds spent at the beginning of the project will eventually be reimbursed.
Arkansas medical marijuana group names board chairman
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Association has named a Fayetteville physician as the chairman of its board of directors.
The association says in a statement Monday that Dr. Regina Thurman would replace Dr. Steve Cathey on the board.
The group says Cathey chose not to serve on its board to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest with his