Arkansas’s U.S. Senators Boozman and Cotton say they both support repealing without immediately replacing the Affordable Care Act. That comes as support for GOP-crafted healthcare legislation tears apart at the seams. Meanwhile, Gov. Asa Hutchinson suggests it may be time for a bipartisan approach.

An Arkansas mother whose 5-year-old son died after being left in a day care van for almost nine hours in hot weather is suing the facility.

In the civil lawsuit filed Thursday, Ashley Smith says Ascent Children's Health Services failed to provide adequate care for her son. The suit says the day care was "indifferent in the recruitment, hiring, training, supervision, discipline of employees," and showed a "callous disregard."

Smith says she wants the day care closed.

A former Arkansas Senate president who admitted spending more than $150,000 of campaign funds on personal items has been released from federal prison.

The Jonesboro Sun reports that former Sen. Paul Bookout was released from federal prison earlier this month and will complete the remainder of his sentence at his home in Jonesboro.

Bookout pleaded guilty to one count of federal mail fraud and was sentenced to 18 months in prison. He began serving his sentence in May 2016 at a minimum-security prison in Illinois.

The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services says the state’s unemployment rate remained stable in June, at 3.4 percent. That rate remains lower than the national unemployment rate, which ticked upward by a tenth of a percent to 4.4 percent for the month.

The DWS says the civilian labor force grew by about 9,000 in June to 1.36 million people—which also represents an increase of about 20,000 over the same period last year.

City of Little Rock

Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola on Thursday outlined a plan to reduce violence in the city. The “Little Rock for Life” plan (available here) addresses ways to improve the police department, invest in violence prevention programs, expand job opportunities, and revitalize neighborhoods, among other areas.

CLARKSVILLE — Before a gathering of Rotarians enjoying corn on the cob and barbecue pork, inside a cool room at the University of the Ozarks, the state’s former lieutenant governor and the city’s utilities manager explain the prescience of a 20,000-module solar array in 20 slides.

 

Voter ID Vote photo ID
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A legislative panel has cleared the way for Arkansas to begin enforcing its reinstated voter ID law later this year.

The executive subcommittee of the Arkansas Legislative Council on Thursday approved the state Board of Election Commissioners emergency rule enforcing the new law requiring voters to show photo identification before casting a ballot. Those without photo identification can sign a sworn statement saying they're registered to vote in the state.

https://twitter.com/EPAScottPruitt

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt visited Little Rock Thursday and met with state and agricultural leaders. He attended meetings with Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and other agricultural stakeholders.

According to an EPA spokeswoman, Pruitt was to talk about the agency’s partnerships with the state. But a local chapter of the Sierra Club suggested his visit was "to promote the Trump Administration’s anti-environmental agenda."

Cotham's Mercantile in Scott, Arkansas before it burned to the ground on May 30th.
Kat Robinson / Arkansas Times

The cause of the fire that destroyed an iconic, 100-year old Cotham's Restaurant has been left undetermined, with investigators closing the case. The Pulaski County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday there were "no signs of arson" and that all leads had been followed. Officials say the case is closed unless "further information is developed."

whitehouse.gov

An Arkansan from Forrest City who sits on President Trump’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity says he wants the group to look at a “myriad of issues” to determine whether there are problems involving voting in America. Speaking at the group’s inaugural meeting Wednesday, the former Democratic state lawmaker David Dunn also said the commission’s recent request of states to submit publicly available information on their voter rolls “raised concerns.”

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