Local & Regional News

Arkansas local and regional news

U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

Arkansas workers are seeing significantly lower-than-average growth in personal income, according to findings published this week by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, which examined growth over the first quarter of the 2018.

Arkansas saw a growth of 2.5 percent, the same as New York. Only Idaho had slower growth at 2 percent. The national average was 4.3 percent.

The Arkansas Supreme Court today overturned a lower court's ruling, and thus, an appointed commission and a state agency may resume rollout of the state's medical marijuana program, stalled since March.

But the court's majority opinion hewed closely to a procedural consideration, and its chief justice appears to be cautioning the Medical Marijuana Commission to re-evaluate its procedures.

The whole scene may end up back in court before long, says one lawyer close to the process.

rohwer
astate.edu

A day after President Donald Trump reversed his administration's policy of separating undocumented children from their families at the border with Mexico, officials from the United States Department of Health and Human Services were in Arkansas Thursday visiting two government-owned facilities as possible detention sites for unaccompanied migrant children. 

One facility, a former United States Department of Agriculture facility in the Delta town of Kelso, sits less than two miles north of the former Japanese-American internment camp in Rohwer. 

Arkansas Supreme Court Lee Rudofsky
courts.arkansas.gov

The Arkansas Supreme Court has cleared the way for the state to launch its medical marijuana program.

Justices on Thursday reversed and dismissed a judge's ruling that prevented officials from issuing the first licenses for businesses to grow the drug.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen ruled in March that the state's process for awarding medical marijuana cultivation licenses was unconstitutional.

He said the process violated constitutional amendment that voters approved in 2016 that legalized marijuana for patients with certain conditions.

Rev. Betsy Singleton Snyder of First United Methodist Church calls for compassion for migrant families during Wednesday's press conference.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Midway through a press conference with the Arkansas leaders of several religious denominations who were calling for an end to separating children from their parents at the U.S. border with Mexico, David Cook’s phone vibrated. The legislative director for Faith Voices Arkansas read a news bulletin that said President Donald Trump had reversed his position on families caught crossing into the U.S.

Cook then stepped to the podium to share the news.

Mary Hightower / University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture

With talk of tit-for-tat and trade wars dominating national business headlines, the impact of retaliatory tariffs on American products and commodities is giving some Arkansas agriculture officials pause.

Marquita Little with Arkansas Advocates for Children says she is concerned about how work requirements will impact beneficiaries.
Sarah Whites-Koditschek / Arkansas Public Media

As work requirements are being implemented for Arkansas's Medicaid expansion program, training sessions are being launched to let recipients and trained assistants know how to meet the new guidelines. One session took place Tuesday at the Our House shelter in Little Rock where more than a dozen social workers sat in on the presentation.

Rep. Mat Pitsch and former Rep. Frank Glidewell will face eachother in the Republican party runoff on Tuesday, June 19, 2018.
mathewpitsch.com and glidewellforsenate.com

Primary runoff elections will be held across Arkansas on Tuesday.

There are two state legislative races. One is to fill the vacated seat of former Sen. Jake Files, who pleaded guilty to bank fraud and was sentenced to 18 months in prison on corruptions charges. The Republican primary runoff for the seat in western Arkansas, Senate District 8, is between two Fort Smith denizens: Former Rep. Frank Glidewell and current Rep. Mat Pitsch.

Department of Veterans Affairs

The details surrounding the discovery of an impaired doctor at the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks were made public Monday at a press conference .

At least one death appears to have resulted from the physician's behavior and thousands of patients might be at risk.

Three members of Arkansas's congressional delegation stood beside regional and federal officials from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The discovery by the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks of an impaired pathologist on staff last autumn was finally made public Monday morning at a hastily called press conference inside the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks auditorium.

Three members of Arkansas's congressional delegation, regional and federal Veterans Administration officials, and myriad veterans group leaders were present.

Officials say after an internal investigation it has been determined that the medical records of more than 19,000 veteran patients from across the country treated at the Fayetteville VA will have to be externally reviewed for errors.

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