Local & Regional News

Arkansas local and regional news

A Confederate flag merged with the flag of the League of the South flag.

Tens of thousands of Southerners rallied this year in defense of an identity they believe is under assault: a veneration of a Confederate heritage. It’s difficult to parcel through just who comprises this movement but some say extremists within it are finding a voice.

Mike Huckabee
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The candidate filing period for the 2016 elections got underway Monday at the state Captiol, with presidential races dominating attention.

The first person in line was former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who is making his second bid for president. He was greeted like an old friend by many in the Rotunda, before signing the necessary paperwork alongside his wife Janet. 

Afterward he told reporters that while other Republicans have been leading in national polls, that’s no indication of how things will be when the first caucuses are held in Iowa in February.

Arkansas Arts Council / Arkansas Arts Council

Nominations for the 2016 Arkansas Arts Council’s “Living Treasure” award close this Friday. Each year the Arts Council bestows the Living Treasure award on an Arkansas artist “who excels in the creation of a traditional craft and who actively preserves and advances his or her craft”.

“It began in 2002 with Bea Stebbing who was a stained glass artist,” said Robin McClea of the Arts Council. “And it’s included quilters, and fiddlemakers, basketmakers, and a maker of traditional wooden planes, bladesmiths, woodworkers, potters, and last year Lorrie Popow was the recipient.”

Conner Eldridge
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Former federal prosecutor Conner Eldridge has made his bid to unseat Republican U.S. John Boozman official, saying he believes Arkansas voters are ready for new leadership in Washington.

Eldridge filed paperwork Monday at the state Capitol to run for the Democratic nomination to challenge Boozman. Eldridge is the only Democrat who's announced he's running against Boozman, who is seeking a second term.

Eldridge told reporters after filing that he believed voters are frustrated with Washington and ready for a change.

Martha Shoffner
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

A former Arkansas treasurer convicted of bribery and extortion charges is scheduled to begin her 30-month federal prison sentence.

U.S. District Judge Leon Holmes allowed former treasurer Martha Shoffner about 60 days from her August sentencing to get her affairs in order and report to Carswell federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas, by Monday.

I-30 interstate 30 construction

The Little Rock Board of Directors is to hear from the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department Tuesday evening on the Department’s plans for a proposed $600 million expansion of Interstate 30 through the city. 

The project has attracted criticism in recent weeks for what opponents say will hurt development in the city’s downtown. Ward three city director Kathy Webb plans to eventually introduce a resolution opposing the plan.

A small town in northwest Arkansas has annexed the 300 acres of land a developer hopes to use for Arkansas' first wind farm.

Two aldermen and the mayor say the city council voted 4-2 to annex the land during its Oct. 19 meeting.

Dragonfly Industries International has said it wants to use the land for a shrouded wind turbine design that would provide 80 megawatts of power to the area.

Central High School

A new mobile app providing users with a tour of Little Rock’s civil rights history is launching Monday. The city of Little Rock partnered with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Institute on Race and Ethnicity to develop the app. It features information on 35 stops with stories of people and places important to Arkansas’s civil rights history. 

Faulkner County Clerk Margaret Darter has been charged with tampering with a public record.

The felony charge was filed in Faulkner County District Court by special prosecutor Frank Shaw following an investigation by Arkansas State Police.

Faulkner County Prosecutor Cody Hiland had requested the investigation before recusing from the case. Hiland says he received information that statements of financial interest from some county officials were filed after the legal deadline - but that they were improperly stamped as being filed on time.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge says her office will help distribute information cards to abuse victims and help develop courses for students on dating violence as she ramps up a focus on domestic violence during the coming months.

Rutledge said her office is working to help enforce two new laws intended to reduce abuse in Arkansas.