KATV in Little Rock is deferring to its corporate owner Sinclair Broadcasting Group over criticism that the station is participating in a concerted nationwide effort to integrate conservative talking points into news coverage. While nearly every Sinclair owned station has opted-out of responding directly, this morning the station in Madison, Wisconsin announced it did not air a recent Sinclair must-read script, saying it “stayed true to our commitment” to viewers.

Picture of a tractor on a farm
Creative Commons

Corn and rice planting is underway in the Natural State but it’s a slow go in Northeast Arkansas. Rains and cold temperatures have stymied farmers’ efforts to get seeds into the ground, Craighead County extension agent Branon Thiesse told Talk Business & Politics. Less than 400 of the estimated 338,000 agriculture acres in the county have been planted, he said.

“We need to see some warm weather to warm the soil. … They (farmers) are getting concerned,” he said.

Elsbeth Kittinger
Arkansas State Police

Authorities say an Arkansas State Police trooper was shot and wounded during a traffic stop in southwest Arkansas.

State police say Trooper Kyle Sheldon remains hospitalized in stable condition after the shooting Sunday night in Rockport, about 40 miles southwest of Little Rock. State police say Sheldon's injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

According to state police, a driver opened fire on Sheldon during the traffic stop. Officers with the Malvern Police Department, who were nearby and responding to an unrelated call, returned fire on the suspect.

Farmers around Arkansas are feeling optimistic about the chances of corn producing a healthy harvest this year.  Nationally, corn hit a record yield in 2017 and prices averaged $3.50 per bushel, making corn among the best paid of the major row crops.

Arkansas may not be part of the traditional corn belt of the U.S. but still makes a great place to grow corn, according to Bono farmer Tyler Nutt.  He said much of corn’s success is due to Arkansas’s status as the second most poultry-producing state with almost unlimited demand for corn to feed chickens.

“You put a pencil to it, and whatever pays out better, that’s typically the crop you plant,” Nutt said.

He said corn is also good for the soil, and needs far less water than rice.

The Arkansas House of Representatives chamber.
arkansashouse.org

The Arkansas House of Representatives is getting upgrades to its historic chamber and committee rooms at the state Capitol building. New desks, carpeting, chairs and voting machines will feature prominently in the House chamber, which is already undergoing renovations.

Gary Clements of North Little Rock-based Clements & Associates is serving as the consulting architect on the project. He said the upgrades are the final steps in a larger project for the chamber.

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

Following a disappointing 7-25 season, fans of UA Little Rock’s men’s basketball team are getting their first look at its new head coach.

Former Razorback Darrell Walker was announced as the university’s pick to lead the Trojans on March 27. He comes from back-to-back seasons as head coach at Clark Atlanta University, taking away an overall record of 45-18.

Voter ID Vote photo ID
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas is asking the state's Supreme Court to compel a judge to decide whether to block enforcement of a voter ID law.

In a motion filed Thursday, Secretary of State Mark Martin asked the court to require Pulaski County Circuit Judge Alice Gray to rule whether she'll grant a motion to block the law's enforcement in Arkansas' May 22 primary.

The motion is part of a lawsuit filed by a voter who contends the law, enacted last year, circumvents a 2014 Arkansas Supreme Court ruling that struck down a previous voter ID measure.

Opioid Attorney General Leslie Rutledge
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas is suing three drug makers claiming they’re at fault for the opioid crisis that has caused a drastic increase in the number of overdose deaths in Arkansas.

U.S. Representative French Hill walked through his thoughts on mass shootings, student demonstrations, the National Rifle Association, and variety of proposed solutions to gun violence in this conversation with KUAR's Jacob Kauffman. Take a listen to the audio above.

Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola comparing the city to a glass of water half full.
YouTube

Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola is calling for city infrastructure improvements, while likely candidates to challenge his reelection bid this fall say changes should have been made long before now. Stodola delivered his annual State of the City Address Wednesday, which covered everything from the fire department’s new International Accreditation Designation, to new bikeways and outdoor sculptures. 

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