Local & Regional News

Arkansas local and regional news

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.

Eclipse
NASA

Arkansas will join much of the U.S. Monday in seeing a partial eclipse of the sun for the first time in almost 100 years. Local experts say the state will see a lot of sun coverage, producing unusual sights in the daytime sky.

Dr. Tony Hall, an astronomy professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, says people all over the nation can see a partial or full eclipse.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today has asked Gov. Asa Hutchinson to set the next execution, this after the state made international news for scheduling eight executions in 11 days in April in order to make use of a lethal injection drug set to expire May 1.

Arkansas's three-drug execution protocol calls for midazolam, vecuronium bromide and potassium chloride, in that order. The state's supply of midazolam expired May 1. The state doesn't have any alternative protocol to execute anyone sentenced to death. 

In the aftermath of the white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville, Va., many civil rights activists took to Twitter and shared photos of people who allegedly were at the march. The idea was to identify who they were and shame them. But identifying someone from a photo can be tricky — and the activists managed to make at least one mistake.

A federal appeals court has sided with the state of Arkansas against Planned Parenthood, saying it can block Medicaid payments to the medical provider. It reversed earlier injunctions that forbade the state from suspending the money in the wake of a controversial leaked video of Planned Parenthood staff.

Planned Parenthood
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that Arkansas can block Medicaid funding for healthcare services conducted by Planned Parenthood. The 2-1 decision lifts preliminary injunctions issued by U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker after a class-action lawsuit was filed suit over the state's 2015 decision. She had ruled Medicaid rules allowed recipients to choose among any qualified provider.

Hope Union Pacific
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Union Pacific Corp., which operates more than 1,300 miles of railroad track in Arkansas, announced plans to cut up to 750 jobs that will impact management and administrative positions across the company’s operations.

According to an 8K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Union Pacific’s board of directors approved and initiated the personnel reorganization plan to further its “ongoing efforts to increase efficiency and more effectively align company resources.”

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

Supporters of a program that allows undocumented children to stay in the U.S. are urging Arkansas’s Attorney General to change her position on the issue.

A large group of supporters and recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program crowded into the Little Rock office of Attorney General Leslie Rutledge on Tuesday. They met with Carl Vogelpohl, Rutledge’s Chief of Staff, and presented him with a petition organized by the Arkansas United Community Coalition.

This is press release from Jonesboro Attorney Bobby McDaniel: 

A judge in northeast Arkansas has awarded $150 million in a civil lawsuit to the families of five people who were fatally shot outside an Arkansas school in 1998.

The families' attorney, Bobby McDaniel, says they probably won't ever see the money, but hopes the Monday ruling will prevent Andrew Golden and Mitchell Johnson from profiting from the shooting.

Golden and Johnson set off a fire alarm at Westside Middle School in Jonesboro and shot at people as they evacuated the school.

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