Arkansas State Capitol building.
Chris Hickey / KUAR News

Arkansas Lawmakers Approve Incentive Package And Moving State's Primaries

Lawmakers have given final approval to an $87 million incentive package intended to bring a military vehicle assembly plant to south Arkansas.
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Arkansas lawmakers have given final legislative approval to a change in the state's driving while intoxicated law that's intended to prevent the state from losing more than $50 million in federal highway funding.

The House on Thursday approved by an 80-2 vote a proposal to make DWI an offense for which prosecutors don't have to prove intent. The measure would apply only to alcohol-related DWI offenses.

The measure now heads to Gov. Asa Hutchinson's desk.

Jermain Taylor
Pulaski Co. Sheriff's Office

Boxer Jermain Taylor is facing a new charge after he was accused of hitting another resident at the rehabilitation center where he has been confined since he was charged with shooting his cousin and threatening a child with a gun.

A Pulaski County District judge issued the second-degree battery warrant Thursday. Sheriff's Office spokesman Carl Minden said the charge is connected to a report from earlier this month that Taylor hit a resident at the Oasis Renewal Center in Little Rock.

The Arkansas Supreme Court says it won't hear new arguments over whether to legalize gay marriage, but will leave a ban in place until it rules.

In unsigned orders Thursday, justices refused to lift a year-old stay. They also won't hear new arguments even though two of its seven members joined the court this year.

arkansashouse.org

The Arkansas Senate has approved the House version of a bill to award an $87 million incentive package intended to bring a military vehicle assembly plant to south Arkansas.

The Senate Thursday approved the measure 30-2. The plan calls for issuing bonds if Lockheed Martin wins a defense contract to assemble a new tactical vehicle at its Camden facility that will replace the Humvee.

Former President Clinton: Energy, Broadband Would Help Delta

11 hours ago
Bill Clinton
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Former President Bill Clinton said Wednesday that alternative and more efficient energy, New Markets Tax Credit loans, and more broadband access would help areas along the Mississippi Delta enjoy more economic growth.

Clinton addressed by telephone the Delta Grassroots Caucus, a seven-state coalition of advocates and legislators meeting this week in Little Rock.

The Oxford American

The editor of the Little Rock-based Oxford American literary magazine is leaving to become the national editor of the online publication The Intercept.
 
The magazine announced Wednesday the departure of Roger D. Hodge for the publication founded by journalists Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Jeremy Scahill. Greenwald and Poitras are known for reporting on National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.
 
Hodge has been editor of the magazine since September 2012.
 

Congressman Crawford: Highway Bill Just Needs Funding

May 27, 2015

A new version of the 2012 federal highway authorization law quickly could be passed with few changes out of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Ark., a committee member. The problem is finding a way to pay for it.

The forced relocation of Native Americans is considered by historians to be one of the darkest periods for America. In a new book released this month, NPR Morning Edition co-host Steve Inskeep  digs into the back story of what led to the 1830 Indian Removal Act, which started the process of tribes being moved to undeveloped western parts of the country.

Senate State Agencies Committee before a split vote on the primary election bill.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

An $87 million economic incentive package to bolster Lockheed Martin’s bid for a federal defense contract in south Arkansas is headed for a final vote Thursday with broad support, while an attempt to move the state's primary elections slowly overcame a bastion of resistance in an amended form. The change from late May to early March would expire after just one election cycle, 2016.

State Department of Education Building in Little Rock.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

The Arkansas State Board of Education took a step to divide the Pulaski County Special School District Wednesday.

The board approved an amended version of a report recommending the cities of Sherwood and Maumelle form their own districts.  Western portions of Little Rock would move from the PCSSD to join the Little Rock School District.

PCCSD Superintendent Jerry Guess told board members he thinks the changes will lead to greater inequity in schools.

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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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