Local & Regional News

Arkansas local and regional news

Facebook Not Friends With Legislature's Social Media Privacy Bills

Mar 9, 2015

Facebook doesn’t “like” two bills being considered by state legislators – one that would allow certain employers to require access to their employees’ social media accounts, and one that would give personal representatives access to a deceased person’s digital records, Talk Business & Politics reports.

Officials with a newly formed Pulaski County school district have picked a plan for how to select new leadership.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports interim Jacksonville/ North Pulaski school district officials chose to create a seven-member board. Five of those members will come from single-member zones and two will be elected at-large.

The districts will be used during the September election.

Jacksonville and north Pulaski County voters overwhelmingly approved the creation the 4,000-student school district in September.

The legislature heads back to the capital Monday for a ninth week of this year’s session as lawmakers prepare to make key decisions.

Members of the House and Senate State Agencies and Governmental Affairs committees will likely spend the week going over proposed constitutional amendments, while the task force looking into the Private Option will start its meetings Tuesday.

Also, lawmakers face another deadline – a 5 p.m. Monday deadline – to file non-appropriations bills for this session.

Office of the Governor

The following is a transcript of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's radio address for the weekend of March 6, 2015:

Four years ago, a promising young student named Austin Nelson of Little Rock was considering going out of state for college. His work in high school earned him scholarship offers from universities in neighboring states and in the Ivy League. And he needed those scholarships. As any parent knows, the best universities and colleges aren’t cheap.

The issue of "rehoming," or allowing parents to place adopted children with non-relatives, has surfaced in a dramatic way this week. Republican Representative Justin Harris, who owns a religious daycare, was found by Benji Hardy of the Arkansas Times to have sent three adopted daughters out of his home. Two of the daughters went to a daycare employee who is now serving 40 years in prison for sexually abusing one of the girls.

The Arkansas House has voted to prohibit the state from administering a test linked to the Common Core education standards. The bill passed by the House on an 86-1 vote Friday would end the state's participation in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers after June 30. The bill now heads to the state Senate.

The Little Rock, North Little Rock, and Pulaski County Special School Districts will all be closed on Friday. UALR will also be closed. 

Here is a more complete list of schools, government offices, and other organizations that will be closed on Friday, March 6, 2015. 

Governor Mike Beebe Portrait
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Roberts Law Firm P.A. in Little Rock announced that former Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe has officially joined Roberts Group, which includes several legal and consulting entities tied to the firm.

On its Facebook page, the firm said: “Roberts Law Firm announces that Governor Mike Beebe has officially joined Roberts Group (Roberts Law Firm, PA, Roberts GR Strategies, LLC, Made in USA Works, LLC, and Roberts International, LLC), effective March 1, 2015. Governor Beebe will not engage in lobbying activities. We are thrilled to have him on board!”

Forecasters say an overnight storm dropped up to six inches of sleet and snow across central Arkansas and more than eight inches in the northeast part of the state.
The National Weather Service in North Little Rock has issued a hazardous weather outlook for most of the state. The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department reports that every highway in the state is covered in snow or ice with the exception of some routes in northwest Arkansas, which are only partly covered.
Snowfall across the state should slow at sunrise and finish around noon.

Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

The Arkansas Times reports State Rep. Justin Harris, R-West Fork, and his wife Marsha, gave their two young adopted daughters away to a 38-year-old employee of their preschool, Growing God's Kingdom, named Eric Francis. Francis was fired from the preschool and was eventually convicted of sexually assaulting one of the girls.

KUAR’s Sarah Whites-Koditschek spoke with Benji Hardy of the Arkansas Times about his story on the little known practice of “rehoming.”