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Arkansas Court Asked To Block Measure On Medical Lawsuits

A group opposed to a ballot proposal that would place limits on damages in medical lawsuits is asking Arkansas' highest court to block voting on the proposed constitutional amendment in November.
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-Arkansans will see a rise in insurance rates this year. But it could have been worse? Meanwhile, thousands more enroll in the state’s private option.

-The Republican candidate for a state house seat in south Arkansas faces jail time. 

-A Sherwood court comes under pressure from the ACLU: A story of hot checks, court fines, and debtors’ prisons.

-Arkansas’s struggle with high rates of incarceration rates is nothing new, but a recent report may offer a guide for how the state deals with overcrowding. 

File photo. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge (R).
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is asking the nation's highest court to weigh in on whether a 1994 federal law prevents Arkansas State Police from releasing all driver and survivor information on accident reports.

The Victory Building across from the state Capitol hosts the state Board of Election Commissioners.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge's office is asking a federal appeals court to allow the state to enforce its restrictions on the abortion pill, saying the law protects the integrity of the medical profession.

Broadway Bridge
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas highway officials say the nearly 94-year-old bridge connecting Little Rock and North Little Rock will close Sept. 28 as crews demolish the span and work on its replacement.

State Rep. candidate Jim Hall (R-Monticello).

Republican Party of Arkansas Chair Doyle Webb is calling on state House candidate Jim Hall "to resign his candidacy" following an appeals court ruling affirming harassment charges. Hall, a Republican from Monticello, maintains his innocence and says he won't step out of the race even though he faces jail time.

"I am not guilty and if I have to vote absentee from the jail I will do it. But I refuse to withdraw from this race," Hall told KUAR News.

In a statement, Chair Webb said Hall should get his personal life in order.

A Little Rock woman has pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud a federal government food program. Court records show that 50-year-old Maria Carmen Nelson pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiring to commit wire fraud.

In exchange, 20 additional counts of wire fraud were dismissed. U.S. Attorney Christopher Thyer says Nelson defrauded nearly $576,000 from a U.S. Department of Agriculture program intended to feed children in low-income areas during the school year and is administered by the state Department of Human Services.

Supporters of legalizing medical marijuana have asked Arkansas' highest court to dismiss an attempt to block their ballot measure, saying opponents haven't cited facts in their complaint.

Arkansans for Compassionate Care asked the state Supreme Court on Thursday to dismiss the complaint over the group's proposed initiated act, which would allow patients with certain medical conditions and a doctor's recommendation to buy marijuana from dispensaries.

Candidate Jim Hall filing paperwork to run for an open state House seat covering parts of Ashley and Drew counties in south Arkansas.

Republicans hoping to further erode Democratic seats in the Arkansas Legislature may have hit a stumbling block in candidate Jim Hall. The House candidate from Drew County is facing jail time for harassment after losing an appeal on Wednesday.

Arkansas Capitol
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

State and public school employees will make bigger contributions for their health insurance in 2017, but the big increases are coming in later years, legislators were told Wednesday.

At a State & Public School Life & Health Insurance Task Force meeting, John Colberg with the independent actuarial firm Cheiron told legislators that public school employees and retirees will see a 2% increase in 2017, while state employees and retirees will see a 3% increase.

wet/dry map of Arkansas

So far, voters in Johnson and Little River Counties and in the city of Farmington will get to decide on allowing alcohol sales in their areas in the November 8th general election. But voters in other areas of Arkansas with similar drives may not, as various alcohol petition campaigns have been beset with organizational or statutory challenges.

Petitioners for wet-dry local option drives needed to successfully submit signatures from 38 percent of registered voters in the areas affected to their county clerks in order to get the alcohol measures on the ballot.


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