Hibernating bats showing signs of white nose syndrome.
Al Hicks/New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation

A Breakthrough In Helping Bats With White-Nose Syndrome

For the first time, scientists have treated and cured bats infected with White-Nose Syndrome. That's the devastating infection that is decimating bat colonies in the U.S. and Canada, including in Arkansas.
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graduation cap degree diploma
www.uaccb.edu

The number of degree seekers at the state's public universities remains steady, but those students are now graduating more quickly.

The Arkansas Department of Higher Education says statewide, the average percentage of students graduating in four years has risen from 21.5 percent of 14,305 first-time students entering a public university in fall 2007 to 25.7 percent of the 16,032 students entering in fall 2011.

Office of the Governor

 The following is a transcript of Governor Asa Hutchinson's Radio Column for the weekend of May 22, 2015:

Sometimes being governor is a bit like being a farmer. Especially when it comes to economic development. You plant seeds — water them, nourish them, tend to them — and hope the effort pays off at harvest time.

Last week, we planted seeds from Arkansas all the way to California.

As part of the review process under Amendment 82, the state’s superproject amendment, lawmakers have received an independent consultant’s analysis of the proposed $87 million Lockheed Martin  Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) bond issue that will be at the center of debate in next week’s special session.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson made the official call for legislators to meet in special session beginning Tuesday, May 26 to vote on helping lure the military’s new JLTV production facility to Camden. The new military vehicle will replace the long-running Humvee vehicle.

Private option eligibility by county.
Arkansas Department of Human Services

The number of Arkansans approved as eligible to enroll in the state’s expansion of Medicaid, known as the private option, has surpassed 250,000 people. That’s an upward tick of 8,696 people deemed eligible from March 31st to April 30th.

A release Friday by the state Department of Human Services reports 234,791 people have actually been enrolled, up from 229,599 in the previous month.

walmart wal-mart
Walmart

Walmart, the nation's largest food retailer, is urging its thousands of U.S. suppliers to curb the use of antibiotics in farm animals and improve treatment of them.
 
That means asking meat producers, eggs suppliers and others to use antibiotics only for disease prevention or treatment, not to fatten their animals, a common industry practice. The guidelines also aim to get suppliers to stop using sow gestation crates and other housing that lacks sufficient space.
 

Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

A measure filed Thursday by Arkansas's Fourth District Representative would direct expanded Medicaid funds to the ailing Federal Highway Trust Fund. Republican Bruce Westerman's bill would direct expanded medicaid funds to the Fund. The bill would lower the amount the federal government contributes to state Medicaid programs, expanded under the Affordable Care Act, by returning the federal matching rates to pre-expansion levels.

Governor Asa Hutchinson
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

Governor Asa Hutchinson is asking the Arkansas Legislature to approve an $87 million dollar bond package to help Lockheed Martin secure a multi-billion dollar federal military contract. 

Hutchinson held a press conference at the Capitol Thursday to release more details about the special session that convenes next week. 

Lockheed Martin Bonds

The Arkansas Supreme Court has upheld a man's driving while intoxicated conviction, saying his argument that a blood sample was taken illegally was an "absurd" interpretation of state law.

In an opinion released Thursday, the court affirmed the DWI conviction of Ernie Charles Metzner.

Arkansas' highest court has upheld the conviction of a doctor serving a life sentence for killing two men at a Conway home in 2002.

The Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the 2013 capital murder conviction of Richard Conte in the deaths of Carter Elliott and Timothy Robertson. Prosecutors charged Conte in 2011 as he was being released from prison in Nevada, where he was serving time for kidnapping his ex-wife, who was once married to Carter Elliott.

Hytrol Conveyor Co. in Jonesboro has announced plans for a $12 million expansion that will include at least 36 new jobs.

The company said in a news release Thursday that the project includes a 62,000-square-foot expansion of its manufacturing facility, a new paint system, lasers, brake presses and computerized numerical control equipment.

Hytrol designs and manufactures advanced conveyor systems and currently has about 800 employees.

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Special Session Of The Arkansas Legislature

Lawmakers are considering three key items this week: an $87 million bond package for a superproject, moving up the state's presidential primary and merging some state agencies.

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