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Quakes

An earthquake last week jarred some folks at the Clinton Senior Center.

About 2:15 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27, rumblings from a 2.7 magnitude quake were felt by after-lunch domino players at the center who were at first puzzled by the shaking.

The quake was the third in Van Buren County within five days. A 2.0 temblor struck Fairfield Bay about 6:30 a.m. on Jan. 22. On Jan. 20, a quake, also a 2.0, jarred Fairfield Bay at 5:05 a.m.

Skyrocket

The Arkansas Attorney General’s office has received dozens of calls from people worried about the dramatically rising prices of propane. Many rural Arkansans use the liquefied gas to heat their homes and this year’s colder than normal temperatures are hitting hard. The state’s poultry and livestock industries – largely dependent on propane for heat – are also adversely impacted.

“The retail price of propane is based largely on supply and demand, just like any free-market commodity,” said Attorney General Dustin McDaniel. “However, we will continue to monitor propane prices for possible price gouging and look for other ways to assist consumers.”

According to the National Propane Gas Association, a number of factors have led to a scarcity of available propane and delays in making deliveries to customers in some areas. Those factors include pipeline disruptions in the Midwest and an increase of U.S. propane exports. More significantly, demand has soared because of the cold weather across the country.

Last week, Gov. Mike Beebe declared a state of emergency in Arkansas because of the propane shortage. During the state of emergency, the state’s price gouging law is in effect. That law prohibits businesses from increasing prices more than 10 percent unless the increased price is directly related to costs imposed by a supplier or because of higher labor and materials costs.

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