Wendell Griffen
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

A federal appeals court ruled Monday that a lawsuit filed by an Arkansas judge against members of the state Supreme Court should be dismissed.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen originally sued the sitting justices of the Arkansas Supreme Court after he was barred from hearing cases regarding the death penalty.

Counties in yellow are under "moderate" danger for wildfires as of July 2.
Arkansas Forestry Commission

Rain is in the forecast for much of Arkansas for July 4th, but the potential for wildfires still exists.

Meteorologist Jeff Hood with the National Weather Service said showers should pass through before the evening fireworks shows begin.

"It doesn't look like a rainout, but some parts of the state are going to be dealing with scattered showers and thunderstorms," said Hood. 

The annual Kids Count report released Wednesday offers mixed news about life for Arkansas’s very youngest residents. 

The state’s overall child well-being index, which is based on a number of education, health and economic factors, improved from 43rd among the 50 states in 2016 to 41st last year.

The number of Arkansas kids living in poverty has declined by 28,000 since 2010, according to the report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.  Today, 24 percent of Arkansas kids live in poverty; in the nation it's 19 percent.

KAAY Barry McCorkindale Arkansas Sounds John Miller
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A legendary Little Rock radio station will be celebrated with an event Friday night. In its heyday during the 1960s and '70s, KAAY-AM 1090 played top 40 music during the day and progressive rock at night. With a powerful signal that reached most of Arkansas during the day, at night KAAY's secondary pattern reached much of the U.S., as well as other counties.

Sarah Whites-Koditschek / ARKANSAS PUBLIC MEDIA

Arkansas has received a federal stamp of approval to make permanent standards the state has been operating under for nearly a decade.
 
Air quality changes made in 2010 lowered the bar for how much air pollution a company can emit without a permit. On Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency finalized those changes.
 

University of Arkansas

Shennel Douglas is a nursing student at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. She says she hesitated when deciding to study in the U.S. after watching U.S. police shootings of unarmed civilians on television at home in the Caribbean.

"Coming to UCA, my main concern was being, what should I say, marginalized? Because not only am I an international student, but also I’m a black international student." 

There are now less international students on American college campuses than any time in the last decade.

State Sen. Missy Irvin, R-Mountain View.
Arkansas Times/Brian Chilson

The freshly minted Select Committee on Senate Ethics held its first meeting Thursday and elected its leadership. The Senate last week approved rule changes creating the committee to hear and investigate claims of corruption. Its formation comes on the heels of federal investigations that have led to five former lawmakers being convicted.

State Sen. Missy Irvin, R-Mountain View, was confirmed as chair. She says good ethics rules aren’t partisan.

Cheryl May
Karen Tricot Steward / KUAR News

After the shooting deaths of 17 students and adults at a high school in Florida earlier this year, Gov. Asa Hutchinson formed the Arkansas School Safety Commission to research how to protect the state’s students and school staff from violence.

The Arkansas School Safety Commission was formed in March. The chair of the 18-member group is Cheryl May, the director of the Criminal Justice Institute in Little Rock. The institute is part of the University of Arkansas system. 

May says the makeup of the commission represents a variety of stakeholders.

Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

The latest effort to combat public corruption in Arkansas is coming from the state’s top law enforcement official.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced Wednesday her office is forming a Public Integrity Division under the existing Special Investigations Department to investigate claims of corruption against public officials.

Rutledge noted the division’s creation is not intended as a direct response to a slew of convictions of former legislators and lobbyists for misdirecting or misusing state general improvement money.

Arkansas Razorbacks Blaine Knight
University of Arkansas

The Arkansas Razorbacks baseball team could win its first national championship Wednesday night. Arkansas faces Oregon State beginning at 6 p.m. after winning the first game Tuesday 4-1. If Arkansas loses Wednesday night, a decisive game three will be held Thursday.

KUAR spoke with veteran Arkansas sports writer Harry King about what has put the Razorbacks in such a strong position this year. You can hear the interview above.

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