The Broadway Bridge spanning the Arkansas River between Little Rock and North Little Rock is one of twelve projects that have been named finalists in the 2017 America’s Transportation Awards competition.

The competition is sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), as well the AAA motor club and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Fayetteville-based Arvest Bank is acquiring Little Rock-based Bear State Bank in a deal valued at $391 million that is expected to close no later than the first quarter of 2018, and will push Arvest to almost $20 billion in assets.

The deal was announced early Tuesday and equals $10.28 per share of Bear State stock.

Thinly-traded Bear State shares (NASDAQ: BSF) closed Monday at $9.20 and were up almost 11% in Tuesday morning trading. During the past 52 weeks, the share price ranged between $8.65 and $10.95.

David Monteith / KUAR

Even though Arkansas wasn’t in the path of totality for Monday's solar eclipse, people in the state came together at different locations and took joy watching as the moon covered much of the sun.

Phil Stein was among the hundreds who gathered at Riverfront Park in Little Rock at one of several watch parties organized by the Central Arkansas Library System.

marijuana
npr.org

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Association has named a Fayetteville physician as the chairman of its board of directors.

The association says in a statement Monday that Dr. Regina Thurman would replace Dr. Steve Cathey on the board. The group says Cathey chose not to serve on its board to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest with his position as chairman of the Arkansas State Medical Board.

The group says it'll be a "leading voice" for cultivators, distributors and business serving the medical marijuana industry.

Rockabilly Pioneer Sonny Burgess Dies In Arkansas At 88

Aug 21, 2017
Sonny Burgess
Colinedward828 / Wikimedia Commons

When Henry Boyce entered kindergarten, he instantly befriended a boy named Payton. The two rode bikes, went fishing, and on occasion stayed the night together.

Hidden within Payton’s house was an array of expensive musical instruments and equipment. Payton’s father, Sonny Burgess, didn’t allow the boys to play with the equipment. Burgess didn’t play music in those days, but Boyce knew he was a musician. He saw his name on records in their house.

solar eclipse 2017
NASA

Tales of viewing solar eclipses are passed down through the generations. In Arkansas they have made their way into family histories and narratives of identity, even for those who were too young to understand it. That has helped build the anticipation about Monday's rare eclipse.

Michael Hibblen
Governor's Office

Gov. Asa Hutchinson shared his thoughts with a national audience on President Trump's response to violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. In an interview Friday on NPR's All Things Considered, the Arkansas Republican said the president needs to send a clear message that "white supremacy, neo-Nazism has no place in American values."

But Hutchinson also spoke against the removal of Confederate statues and monuments, saying it would be dismantling history.  

Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

An attorney for an Arkansas death row inmate is asking Gov. Asa Hutchinson to deny Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s request to set a date for his execution. Jack Gordon Greene was sentenced to death for the 1991 murder of Sidney Jethro Burnett at his home in Johnson County.

Greene’s court-appointed attorney is John C. Williams with the office of the Federal Public Defender. He argues that Greene’s declining mental state could render his execution unconstitutional.

A monument to the women of the Confederacy on Arkansas's Capitol grounds.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Events in Charlottesville, Virginia have sparked discussions in Arkansas about the proper response to Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan, as well as renewed debate about the meaning of Confederate monuments. Take a listen to KUAR's interviews with state Rep. Bob Ballinger and pastor, judge, and author Wendell Griffen.

The Confederate soldiers monument at the state Capitol.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

The Democratic Party of Arkansas is calling for the removal of all Confederate monuments on public grounds. The state Legislature is not currently in session and no Democrats have volunteered themselves to lead any such effort. But the state party said in a statement that Confederate monuments only belong in museums and on private land.

“The time has come for these symbols of our past to be placed in museums and privately owned spaces rather than to continue to occupy public lands.

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