Local & Regional News

Arkansas local and regional news

An electric utility that serves about 113,000 customers in western Arkansas says it plans to buy a significant portion of the nation's largest wind farm, currently being built in the Oklahoma panhandle and scheduled for completion in 2020.

USDA / United States Department of Agriculture

A group hoping to address the food insecurity, which affects nearly 1 in 5 Arkansans, is scheduled to stop in Little Rock this weekend.

The “This Is Hunger” exhibit, most recently in Fayetteville, began its nationwide tour in California in late 2016. Little Rock will be the 47th stop in the 35th city in the 25th state of the tour.

Mark Martin
Arkansas Times

Arkansas has again submitted some of the information sought by a commission formed by President Donald Trump to investigate allegations of voter fraud in the 2016 election.

Secretary of State Mark Martin's office said it had submitted the information Thursday afternoon to the panel after it renewed its request for publicly available information about the state's voters. The state had submitted identical information to the panel earlier this month, but the data was deleted as the commission held off on its requests from the states due to a legal challenge.

The Arkansas Legislative Black Caucus will be holding the final in a series of town hall events Thursday night at the Harry R. Kendall-Nugent Center on the campus of Philander Smith College in Little Rock. The fifteen members of the ALBC have been traveling the state this year hearing from constituents and explaining the state legislative process at the town halls. Democratic State Rep. Vivian Flowers of Pine Bluff is the chair of the caucus.

About one in three Arkansas residents is obese, and doctors say it’s leading to people dying much younger than they need to, and leading unhealthier lives in the meantime.

“They have more co-morbidities, which means they have other disease processes that basically can shorten their lifespans, such as diabetes and hypertension and heart disease,” said Dr. Shane Speights, dean of the New York Institute of Technology's College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University.  He said since the human body is not meant to carry hundreds of extra pounds, morbidly obese humans may suffer severe hip, joint, knee or ankle pain.

Raul Fernandez / KUAR News

More than 13,000 Arkansans identify as transgender, according to a recent report by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law. That's a larger percentage of the population than the national average and puts Arkansas 18th in the nation.

Barriers to healthcare for these Arkansans remain a significant struggle. That’s especially true for those who want sex reassignment surgery, are on hormone therapy, or are seeking mental health services.

Levon Helm
Kevin Kresse

A fundraising campaign has been launched to create a permanent memorial in east Arkansas for Levon Helm. The legendary drummer and singer, who was best known for his work with The Band, grew up in the Phillips County community of Turkey Scratch, helping his family pick cotton.

Plans are to finish restoring the sharecropper's house his family lived in, which has been moved to the nearby town of Marvell. A statue of Helm is also to be completed and placed downtown.

Chris Hickey / KUAR News

Forums, concerts, exhibitions and other events will be held this fall to mark the 60th anniversary of the integration of Little Rock’s Central High School.Reflections of Progress” is the slogan for commemorative activities. 

On September 25th, 1957, troops from the 101st Airborne Division escorted nine black students into the once all-white school. That followed after an angry white mob and Governor Orval Faubus’ National Guard preventing the students from attending class, nearly three years after Brown v. Board Supreme Court decision.

insurance.arkansas.gov / Arkansas Insurance Department

Health insurers have proposed rate increases ranging from nearly 8 percent to 22 percent starting in 2018 for thousands of Arkansans covered through the marketplace set up under the federal health care law.

Arkansas State Police say a teenager has died after he was shot by officers outside of a youth shelter in eastern Arkansas.

State police said Wednesday that the 16-year-old died at a hospital overnight in Memphis, Tennessee. Police say the shooting occurred Tuesday night shooting outside the East Arkansas Youth Services in Marion, a city about 10 miles (16 kilometers) northwest of Memphis.

The boy's name has not yet been released, pending notification of family members.

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