Local & Regional News

Arkansas local and regional news

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has approved the wording of a proposal to impose stricter term limits on legislators, giving supporters an opportunity to place the measure on next year's general election ballot.

Rutledge's office on Thursday certified the proposed constitutional amendment which would reduce the maximum amount of time lawmakers can serve in the Legislature from 16 years to 10. The proposal would limit lawmakers to three two-year terms in the House and two four-year terms in the Senate.

Jacob Trieber
Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture

The U.S. Senate has approved legislation co-sponsored by Republican Arkansas Sens. John Boozman and Tom Cotton to name the federal building in Helena-West Helena after federal Judge Jacob Trieber.

Trieber was appointed by President William McKinley and served from 1900 to 1927 as the federal judge for the U.S. Circuit Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas. He was the first Jewish federal judge and also served on the Helena City Council and as Phillips County treasurer.

Eugene Ellison
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

A federal appeals court says the family of a 67-year-old man shot to death by an off-duty police officer in his Little Rock apartment can proceed with a lawsuit.

An initiative to help kids exposed to violence and crime will be implemented in 13 schools in six counties in western Arkansas.

U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge announced the A-Chance Initiative in a news release Wednesday. The program, which is to begin when school starts on Aug. 17, is meant to ensure that when children are present at a violent, criminal or traumatic event, police will notify the school the next morning. The news release says the school will then be able to better interact with and educate the child.

Clarendon Bridge
Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department

A historic bridge near Clarendon is scheduled for demolition soon as the state Highway and Transportation Department is replacing it with a newer span. However, a group of citizens hopes to turn the old bridge into a pedestrian and cycling thoroughfare they say would be an economic boon for the region.

Asa Hutchinson unveiling his thoughts on Medicaid expansion in early 2015.
Arkansas Times

Non-profit workers in Arkansas who assist people with sorting through healthcare options are experiencing a rise in calls following a push by the state to re-determine Medicaid coverage. By the end of this month 48,000 people could lose coverage through the verification process.

Circuit Judge Wade Naramore

A special prosecutor says his office is reviewing information already collected into the death of a judge's young son, who was left in a hot car.

But Scott Ellington adds his office is still waiting for more details in the case, including the medical examiner's report. He was officially appointed Monday to examine the late July death of Thomas Naramore, the child of Garland County Circuit Judge Wade Naramore.

Leslie Rutledge Attorney General
Talk Business & Politics

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge says it's unclear whether courts would require county justices of the peace to officiate same-sex weddings, even though clerks are required to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

The Republican attorney general said in an advisory opinion issued Wednesday that JPs could use the state's new religious objections law as a defense if they refused to preside over a gay wedding ceremony. But she said it's unclear whether such a defense would prevail in court.

Dustin McDaniel
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The city of Osceola has retained former Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel to look into the actions of Mississippi County over the city possibly losing its historic courthouse.

County Judge Randy Carney and several quorum court members are leading an effort to consolidate the county's two courthouses, located in Blytheville and Osceola, into one larger courthouse in Blytheville. The county has purchased land intended for a new courthouse, and has hired an architectural firm to begin drafting plans.

Power Lines

A day after President Obama unveiled the centerpiece of his climate change proposal, representatives from Entergy Arkansas Inc. and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. (AECC) are taking a wait-and-see approach before responding publicly to how they will deal with the historic environmental mandate.