Martha Shoffner
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

Former Arkansas Treasurer Sentenced To 30 Months In Prison

Former Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison following her conviction last year on federal bribery and extortion charges.
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On this week's podcast, we discuss Governor Asa Hutchinson's Summit calling on the faithful to help address a lack of foster care beds and the difficulties parolees face in the state. We look at the strategy of state regulators tasked with implementing the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan. We talk about the visit to Little Rock of Dr. Ben Carson, the fourth Republican Presidential candidate to come through Arkansas. And there's a new state Supreme Court Justice in town, who is he?

Gov. Radio Address: Fishing Tourism Big Business

12 hours ago
Office of the Governor

    

The following is a transcript of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's Radio Address for the weekend of Aug. 28, 2015:

Some folks say Arkansas is a football state, or a Razorback state. In Northeast Arkansas, they may say we’re a Red Wolves state. During the winter, we may be a basketball state.

But you know what Arkansas ALWAYS is? We are always an outdoors state. We are always a hunting and fishing state.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge says a 2013 law allows someone to openly carry a handgun as long as they don't plan to illegally use it against another person.

The Republican said in an advisory opinion Friday that the law generally allows "open carry," but cautioned that other laws limiting handguns such as a ban on them on Capitol grounds and at schools are still in effect. She also noted that private property owners can still prohibit open carry of handguns.

As Arkansas contends with overcrowded prisons, high rates of recidivism among parolees, and the potential resumption of executions, a conference this weekend at the UALR Bowen School of Law is focusing on findings of a report by the Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System Project.

Average U.S. gas prices this week are at the lowest levels for this time of year since 2004 due to the steep decline in the cost of crude oil, according to AAA.

Gas prices have dropped recently despite ongoing refinery problems, and prices should continue to fall this autumn due to declining demand and the switchover to winter-blend gasoline. Today’s national average price of gas is $2.53 per gallon, which is 12 cents less than a week ago and 90 cents less than a year ago. Pump prices are now 33 cents per gallon below the 2015 peak price reached on June 15.

Ben Carson
KARK-TV 4

Presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson touted his biography and called for a more self-sufficient, less dependent America, which he said is an “exceptional country” that, 200 years after its founding, put men on the moon.

“There’s a whole lot of people trying to get in here, and nobody trying to escape,” he said in a speech on the steps of the Arkansas State Capitol on Thursday.

The Arkansas Parole Board has adopted changes in which parole violators might not be automatically arrested for some violations.

The board announced Thursday that arrest warrants will be automatically issued for parole violators who are charged with a violent felony or sex-related crime or any crime involving use of a weapon. Arrest warrants will also be issued for parolees who evade supervision for 180 or more days.

Other requests for an arrest warrant will be reviewed by a parole board member as the board seeks to help reduce prison overcrowding.

Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

Local advocates for public schools held a protest in front of the Little Rock School District’s headquarters Thursday to a call for a return to local control and an end to charter schools in the state.

Anika Whitfield with the Coalition to Reclaim Our Schools in the Little Rock School District said she believes the state takeover of the district and the increasing presence of charter schools in the state will negatively impact minority students.

Representatives from the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System say they've hired more staff, streamlined services and decreased wait times for specialty care by an average of 12 days per patient.

System officials held a media round table Thursday with representatives of the Little Rock Veterans Affairs Regional Office to discuss how both agencies are working to improve access to health care and benefits for the region's veterans. The federal Department of Veterans Affairs has required facilities across the country to reduce veteran wait times for those services.

Arkansas’ private option has reduced the state’s uninsured ranks, reduced uncompensated care, and strengthened the overall insurance marketplace serving other insurance recipients, a new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation says.

The report, released on Wednesday, drew on data and on interviews conducted in April and May with state officials, medical providers, insurance carriers and advocates. The foundation analyzes national and global health policies.

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KUAR's Ben Fry Joins Speakers At "Lights! Camera! Arkansas!" Seminar

KUAR General Manager Ben Fry will be among the speakers on Saturday, Aug. 29, at the Old State House Museum's "Lights! Camera! Arkansas" seminar. The day-long seminar will explore Arkansas's connection with the film and television industry, presented in coordination with the museums "Lights! Camera! Arkansas! exhibit.
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