Local & Regional News

Arkansas local and regional news

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission says a piranha has been caught at Lake Bentonville.
The commission brought in a state biologist to confirm the species last week after a Bella Vista woman posted pictures of the fish on Facebook.
Assistant Chief of Communications Keith Stephens tells KATV-TV that piranhas are caught occasionally in Arkansas. He says people typically release them from aquariums.
Stephens says piranhas can't survive winter water temperatures.

billboard racist pro-white
Russellville Courier

A billboard with a pro-white message erected earlier this week in Russellville is drawing criticism from city officials.

The billboard, which states "It's Not Racist To Love (heart symbol) Your Own People," is the second with a pro-white message to be displayed in the state. The first billboard was erected in Harrison.

Governor's Office

The following is a transcript of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's weekly column and radio address for the weekend beginning May 1, 2015:

In 1993, doors opened at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts in downtown Hot Springs. One of its required courses from the very beginning was computer science. Or as its current director, Corey Alderdice, says, “computer science was baked into the school.”

Back then, it was rare for any school to have a computer lab or Internet access, much less offer a credited class on computer coding.

University of California Irvine Southeast Asian Archive

Fort Chaffee in northwest Arkansas once played an important role at the end United States' official involvement in the Vietnam War after the fall of Saigon to North Vietnamese forces on April 30, 1975. From May until December of that year, Fort Chaffee became the temporary home to more than 50,000 Indochinese who had sought refugee status.

The resettlement process was known by the U.S. Military as “Operation New Life.” It was brought about when Congress enacted the Indochina Migration and Assistance Act of 1975

Martha Shoffner
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

An attorney for former Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner is objecting to a presentencing report that suggests she spend at least 15 years in prison for bribery and extortion convictions.

Attorney Chuck Banks filed an objection Friday to the report in U.S. District Court. Banks says a more appropriate sentence would be about 12 to 18 months, with half served in home detention.

Shoffner was convicted last year on 14 bribery and extortion charges. Prosecutors say she illegally steered state business to a bond broker who gave her cash.

You Tube

In advance of next Tuesday’s announcement by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who is to say whether he’ll make another run for president in 2016, a video that will introduce him at the event was released Friday.

It opens with footage of nails being driven into a door, then transitions to a photo of Bill and Hillary Clinton from his first presidential campaign. Then former Huckabee advisor Rex Nelson says, "On his first day in office, Governor Huckabee’s door was nailed shut. It was in Bill Clinton’s Arkansas." 

Police in Little Rock say a suspect in one of the two fatal shootings in the city this week has surrendered. Police say 22-year-old Kevious Montrell Foster gave him self up Friday morning.

Foster was wanted for first-degree murder in the Wednesday afternoon shooting of 25-year-ld Ladarrious Galbruth in east Little Rock. Galbruth was found dead in the driver's seat of a vehicle that crashed into a parked vehicle.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson says he's forming a 20-member working group to look at ways to address a shortfall of funding for the state's highways.

Hutchinson told the Arkansas Trucking Association on Thursday in Hot Springs that he signed an executive order earlier in the day to create the group. He told reporters he hopes to soon name his appointments to the group.

Hutchinson promised to create the working group after he opposed an effort during this year's Legislative session to gradually transfer tax revenue from automobile-related items to the highway system.

Arkansas prison and parole officials say about 70 percent of the state's more than 52,000 parolees and probationers have signed up for the state's compromise Medicaid expansion.

They told the Legislative Criminal and Justice Oversight Task Force on Thursday that enrollment in the 'private option' Medicaid program could reduce recidivism in the state's overcrowded prison system.

Republican state Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson chairs the task force and said providing medical insurance provides parolees and probationers with mental health or substance abuse treatment at lesser costs.

Food Distributor To Build New Regional Headquarters, Add Jobs

Apr 30, 2015

A project that was first announced in December 2013 is finally shovel-ready.

Food distributor Ben E. Keith Company will break ground Thursday at 11 a.m. on its new North Little Rock distribution center.

The 72-acre site should begin construction in July 2015, according to the company. It should be completed by the spring of 2017.

When it was first announced, the project was slated to be a $60 million, 300,000 sq. ft. investment that will add 74 jobs.