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J.W.’s News Update: Thursday February 9, 2012

Two Texarkana men are running for political office in Southwest Arkansas. Democratic State Senator Steve Harrelson has announced his intention to run for re-election.

Meanwhile John Cowart who is a Texarkana , Arkansas Police officer and a military reservist has thrown his hat into the ring in the 4th District U.S. House Seat that is being vacated by Democrat Mike Ross’s retirement. Cowart will run in a crowded Republican field in the May Primary in Arkansas.

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The Texas Department of Transportation continues to survey the damage to two overpass bridges over Interstate 30 near New Boston in Bowie County. The bridges were damaged by an oversized loaded 18 wheeler on Tuesday Night.  The FM 992 bridge may be partially re-opened soon but the one at County Road 2003 sustained heavy damage and is closed indefinitely until repairs can be made.

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The Oaklawn Horse RacIing Park in Hot Springs Arkansas is increasing its purse this year thanks to warmer weather that has drawn more people to visit the track and place bets. The racetrack says purses will go up $5,000 per day beginning today. Oaklawn says it will increase purses by $200 dollars for claiming races, $1,000 for maiden special weight and starter allowance races and $1,500 to all allowance races. The racetrack has seen a 42% increase in attendance compared with a year ago and well as a 40% increase in on-track wages. The nice weather has allowed Oaklawn to race 16 days so far this season compared to only 10 days at the same time last year. The track is gearing up for the $250,000 Southwest Stakes on February 20th.

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