AAA: Gas prices, outlook and tips

There’s a lot of discussion around gas prices, especially as we near another holiday. But, there could be some slightly good news.

AAA is expecting gas prices to dip slightly ahead of the July 4th travel weekend. But, the company states price fluctuations are still possible as the busy Independence Day weekend gets closer.

“Drivers are seeing minor relief at the gas pump with prices dropping an average of nine cents a gallon compared to last week,” said AAA Spokesperson Nick Chabarria. “Prices could fluctuate as the busy Independence Day holiday approaches. Despite unusually high gas prices, automobile travel is expected to set a new record with 42 million Americans driving to their holiday destination. The record travel could put more pressure on demand at a time when supplies are very tight.”

AAA states crude oil prices recently declined slightly, but they’re still above $105 per barrel.

4-State Gas Price Averages (AAA) (June 23)

Missouri Average Regular Gas Prices

  • Current Avg. $4.641
  • Yesterday Avg. $4.651
  • Week Ago Avg. $4.683
  • Month Ago Avg. $4.157
  • Year Ago Avg. $2.750

Kansas Average Regular Gas Prices

  • Current Avg. $4.629
  • Yesterday Avg. $4.639
  • Week Ago Avg. $4.671
  • Month Ago Avg. $4.046
  • Year Ago Avg. $2.836

Oklahoma Average Regular Gas Prices

  • Current Avg. $4.615
  • Yesterday Avg. $4.622
  • Week Ago Avg. $4.665
  • Month Ago Avg. $4.037
  • Year Ago Avg. $2.775

Arkansas Average Regular Gas Prices

  • Current Avg. $4.489
  • Yesterday Avg. $4.500
  • Week Ago Avg. $4.536
  • Month Ago Avg. $4.115
  • Year Ago Avg. $2.768

The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded is $4.94, which is seven cents less compared to this day last week and $1.87 more than the price per gallon at this same time last year, according to AAA Gas Prices.

Gas Tax Holiday Proposal

The Biden administration has been discussing a possible gas tax holiday.

> Read More about the Proposal: EXPLAINER: How Biden’s proposed gas tax holiday would work

As a result, the impact of gas tax holiday proposals, whether at a state or federal level, may be limited because any price reduction from the lack of taxes can be quickly offset by a steady increase in oil prices. According to AAA, in addition, if a gas tax holiday is implemented, it is unclear to what extent any savings would be passed along to the consumer or if there would be an impact to funds that are usually allocated for much needed infrastructure improvement, maintenance, and safety.

AAA Tips to save money on fuel

Bad driving isn’t just unsafe. It’s expensive. Studies have repeatedly shown that personal driving habits are the single biggest factor that affects vehicle fuel consumption. Adopting new and improved driving behaviors can contribute to significant savings at the gas pump. Here are some simple ways drivers can improve fuel efficiency:

  • Slow down and drive the speed limit. Higher speeds result in more aerodynamic drag.
  • Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and hard accelerations. These actions greatly increase fuel consumption.
  • Use cruise control on the highway to help maintain a constant speed and save fuel. However, never use cruise control on slippery roads because a loss of vehicle control could result.
  • Minimize your use of air conditioning.
  • Avoid extended idling to warm up the engine, even in colder temperatures. It’s unnecessary and wastes fuel.
  • Maintain your car according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Regular service will ensure optimum fuel economy.
  • Make sure your tires are properly maintained and inflated to the correct level.
  • When driving in town, adjust your speed to “time” the traffic lights. This reduces repeated braking and acceleration that consume additional fuel.
  • When approaching a red light or stop sign, take your foot off the gas early and allow your car to coast down to a slower speed until it is time to brake.
  • Download the AAA App to find the cheapest gas prices near you.

Information about AAA Approved repair shops can be located at AAA.com/repair or by calling your local AAA branch.


Beaver Lake swim beaches close due to E. coli levels and debris

BENTON COUNTY, Ark. — According to a release from the US Army Corps of Engineers at Little Rock, several swim beaches at Beaver Lake have been closed due to a combination of:

  • high E. coli levels
  • submerged debris and obstacles.

The following swim areas are closed until further notice:
Dam Site Lake Campground
Dam Site Lake Day Use Area
Indian Creek
Lost Bridge North
Prairie Creek
War Eagle
Hickory Creek
Horseshoe Bend Day Use
Lost Bridge South.

These swim areas will re-open after USACE receives follow on testing that shows the water is safe and water levels have receded enough to allow for the cleaning of debris from the beach areas. Both of these steps ensure the safety of our guests and staff.” — USACE

They apologize for any inconvenience this may cause those looking to enjoy time at the lake this weekend.

For more information visit their website.

Stay with Joplin News First on KOAM News Now as we continue to learn more. Scroll below to sign up for our JLNews1st email alerts so you don’t miss an article.


More Power tower project exclusive interview

KOAM’s General Manager Brook Arnold sat down with Tawnya Bach during the KOAM Morning News On Fox 14 to talk about the More Power tower project.

> You can find updates on the More Power project here!

KOAM is replacing its old transmission tower antennas and many people have had some questions about the transition. Brook addressed many of the concerns and questions people have had, from the reasons behind the new tower to digital transmission and on-air signals.

She also addressed details about the transition process and what a viewer will need to make sure they receive a clean KOAM signal when the time comes.


News to Know: Oklahoma Gov. Stitt’s campaign ad under investigation, and new legislation pushing for safety in schools

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Oklahoma County’s top prosecutor says he’s investigating whether a recent campaign ad by Governor Kevin Stitt violates state law and ethics rules. David Prater says he launched an investigation after a bi-partisan group of house legislators suggested the ad violates state law. The 30-second spot titled “Track Record” touts Stitt’s appointment of Attorney General John O’Connor, who is prominently featured in the second half of the ad. State law prohibits a candidate from knowingly making or accepting a contribution of more than $2,900 to another candidate committee. Stitt’s campaign says it will pause airing the ad.

JOPLIN, Mo. – A Joplin woman is dead after a crash Wednesday. It happened at Missouri 66 at Central City Road, west of Joplin. Missouri State Highway Patrol says 71-year-old Cynthia Myers failed to yield to another vehicle. Myers was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead. The driver of the other vehicle received moderate injuries. You can view the crash report here.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Roger Marshall and U.S. Congressman Mike Garcia introduced a new legislation to provide more safety to schools. The safe schools act allows covid relief dollars to be used towards providing schools in the elementary and secondary school emergency relief more physical security. The security could range from locks, panic buttons, and hiring armed school resource officers. School systems across the county received a combined $180-Billion dollars in relief and only used $30-Billion of those funds.

PURCELL, Mo. – Missouri State Auditor Nichole Galloway gives one Jasper County City the lowest audit rating obtainable. Galloway identified significant weaknesses in Purcell, Missouri that led to missing money. This comes after former Mayor Pro-Tem Nancy Wilson pleaded guilty in January for misdemeanor stealing from the city. Authorities say Wilson wrote checks from the city and deposited them in her own bank account in March and April of last year. Galloway said, “Our audit found a lack of oversight and segregation of duties by the former board of alderman in Purcell that directly contributed to public funds being misappropriated.” She said the current board has their work cut out for them to earn the trust of residents and that the audit has provided recommendations. For more details on the audit click here.


Semi-truck crash with school van kills 5 and injures 5 more in Arkansas

DERMOTT, Ark. – Police say five are dead and five others are injured after a semi-truck collided with a school van in southeast Arkansas.

Police say the crash occured Monday afternoon on U.S. 65 in rural Chicot County.

According to the crash report, a semi-truck carrying cooking oil struck a van that failed to yield while crossing the highway. Police say the van belonged to C.B. King Memorial School, an organization that serves disabled adults in southeast Arkansas.

Officers stated the five people killed in the crash ranged from 19 to 73. The drivers of both vehicles were injured, along with three other passengers in the van, state police said.

The National Transportation Safety Board says they are coordinating with Arkansas State Police Officers to conduct a safety investigation.

The crash occurred south of Dermott, which is about 100 miles (160 kilometers) southeast of Little Rock in the Mississippi River Delta region.



Father drowns after trying to rescue son who jumped from Flint Creek Dam

SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. – A father drowned last Saturday, May 28 after trying to save his son who jumped from the top of Flint Creek Dam.

News on 6 reports that Jose James-Flores, 42, of Tyler Texas jumped in when he saw his son enter the water from the dam.

Authorities say the father and son were underwater for five to seven minutes before citizens rescued them.

Quick-thinking individuals revived the boy using CPR, however, the man later died at a local hospital.

This is an active investigation. GRDA Police will provide more information when it becomes available.



Missing woman found in Fayetteville, Ark. creek

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Friday afternoon about 1:30 p.m. the Fayetteville Fire Dept recovered the remains of a woman missing since May 5 after a night out in the entertainment district.

Fayetteville PD confirm they have located and recovered Shelby Ratliff’s remains from the Town Branch Creek.

“Initial investigation leads us to believe that this was a drowning incident directly related to the severe weather last week.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Ms. Ratliff.” — FPD


Originally Shelby Ratliff, 28, was last seen leaving the entertainment district at approximately 2 AM, Thursday May 5, 2022. Shelby was dropped off at a local apartment complex a short time later by a local ride share service.



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Arkansas rockhound finds 2.38-carat brown diamond

PIKE COUNTY, Ark. – A rockhound in Arkansas found a 2.38-carat brown diamond at Arkansas’s Crater of Diamonds State Park.

Adam Hardin found the gem while sifting soil at the park on April 10th.

Park officials say it is the biggest diamond found at the park this year.

“It was right in the middle when I flipped my screen over,” Hardin said. “When I saw it, I said, ‘Wow, that’s a big diamond!’”

Hardin began searching for diamonds over a decade ago at Arkansas’s Crater of Diamonds State Park. Hardin said he had found hundreds of smaller gems previously, but this was the first diamond over 2 carats he’d found.

“Mr. Hardin’s diamond is about the size of a pinto bean, with a coffee brown color and a rounded shape,” Park Interpreter Waymon Cox said. “It has a metallic shine typical of all diamonds found at the park, with a few inclusions and crevices running all along the surface.”

Finders of large Crater diamonds often choose to name their gems. Hardin named his diamond Frankenstone, park officials say.

“I thought of the name because it has a pretty and kind of not-so-pretty look to it,” Hardin explained. “Us diamond miners call that ‘character!’”

Hardin typically sells his diamonds locally and said he also plans to sell this one, according to Arkansas State Park Personel.

To find out more about Arkansas’s Crater of Diamonds State Park, click here.


Tractor trailer overturned blocking all traffic at I-49 Bobby Hopper Tunnel

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ark. — Monday just before 7:30 a.m. ARDOT reports on I-49 a tractor trailer overturned blocking southbound I-49 at the Bobby Hopper Tunnel.

This is south of Fayetteville, Ark. on the way to Fort Smith, Ark. area.

Details are known however visible on the IDrive ARDOT app show southbound traffic 7:55 a.m. at a standstill going into the tunnel.

Check the latest traffic updates before traveling through the area. Download the app for free from ARDOT.

Incident I-49

  • Washington County
  • Incident Type: Crash
  • Description Overturned tractor-trailer.
  • Location: Mile Marker 41.2
  • Nearest City: 7.5 m N of Mountainburg
  • Travel Dir: Southbound
  • Lane(s) Impacted: All
  • Reported By: ARDOT
  • Date / Time: May 2, 2022 at 7:20 AM

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