Local & Regional News

Arkansas local and regional news

Senator John Boozman
Talk Business & Politics

Arkansas’s senior senator applauded former FBI Director James Comey’s service, but understands he was a lightning rod for the criticism that led to his dismissal. That said, Sen. John Boozman, R-Arkansas, wants a more complete explanation.

Sen. Boozman appeared on this week’s edition of Talk Business & Politics. Saying he’s a “transparency guy,” Boozman said he wants a full explanation of Comey’s firing “the sooner the better.”

Union Pacific
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Union Pacific, which is the largest railroad operating in Arkansas, is working with local law enforcement agencies in an effort to crack down on drivers going around lowered crossing gates in front of approaching trains. They also watch for people trespassing by walking on railroad tracks or doing anything else considered unsafe.

About a dozen Little Rock Police officers took part in an operation this past week in the southwest part of the city. It was the latest effort in an ongoing campaign.

For lawmakers, caregivers and patients  a solution to the state legislature’s multi-year process of bringing a new type of coordination to a traditional Medicaid population is set to be finalized this summer.

PASSE, or Provider-led Arkansas Shared Savings Entity, will be a new oversight entity made up of nonprofit and for-profit health providers to manage the care of the state’s medically needy Medicaid population. It includes the elderly, developmentally disabled and mentally ill. The deadline for these companies to apply to be in PASSE is June 15, according to the Department of Human Services and the Arkansas Insurance Department.

Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The concrete base of a popular memorial at the Arkansas State Capitol in honor of the nine black students famous for integrating Little Rock Central High School is literally falling apart, a top official with the Secretary of State’s office said Thursday.

Kelly Boyd, chief deputy with Secretary of State Mark Martin’s office, told members of the State Capitol Arts and Ground Commission panel that nearly $8,000 will be spent to repair the memorial, one of the most visited memorials on the State Capitol grounds.

Authorities say an Arkansas man faces three counts of capital murder in the killing of three people, including a sheriff's deputy who was fatally shot during a traffic stop.

State Police said Friday that 42-year-old James Arthur Bowden was jailed Thursday afternoon after a five-hour standoff at a home in a rural area near Dardanelle, about 65 miles (105 kilometers) west of Little Rock.

10 Ten Commandments monument
Wesley Brown / Talk Business & Politics

The State Capitol Arts and Ground Commission on Thursday unanimously approved a proposal to place a Ten Commandments monument on the west side of the State Capitol grounds, setting up a legal showdown on the constitutionality of religious monuments on public property.

Bill Sadler Arkansas State Police
KATV, Channel 7 News

UPDATE 3:30pm: The Arkansas State Police say the suspect in the killing of a sheriff's deputy and two other people has been taken into custody.

The agency did not release details about the suspect or how the suspect was captured.

Authorities say the suspect is believed to have killed Lt. Kevin C. Mainhart, of the Yell County Sheriff's Office, early Thursday during a traffic stop he made near Dardanelle, which is about 65 miles (105 kilometers) west of Little Rock. He had been heading to check on a call about a disturbance.

http://www.faulknercounty.org

A prosecutor that found a central Arkansas city in violation of the state's speed trap laws has ordered the city to cease patrol of all highways.

The Log Cabin Democrat reports that in February, Prosecuting Attorney Cody Hiland found Damascus was in violation of the Arkansas speed trap statute because the city's revenues from fines exceeded 30 percent of the city's expenditures for two years.

Chris Hickey / KUAR News

After a divisive ballot item to extend a Little Rock School District millage tax to fund facility improvements was handily rejected by voters Tuesday, state and city leaders are offering different views about what should happen next. Local activists who campaigned against the millage extension in the state-controlled district gathered near Little Rock’s Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary a day after the vote offering a renewed call to action.

Chris Hickey / KUAR News

A Chinese textile company is planning to open a cotton spinning facility in Forrest City, with the expectation of creating 800 new jobs. Representatives from Shandong Ruyi Technology Group made the announcement alongside Gov. Asa Hutchinson Wednesday.

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