Local & Regional News

Arkansas local and regional news

emerald ash borer
Forest Service, USDA

An invasive beetle known for destroying ash trees has been discovered in three more Arkansas counties.

The Arkansas State Plant Board said Tuesday that the emerald ash borer has been discovered in Garland, Montgomery, and Pike counties in southwest Arkansas. The beetle has now been confirmed in 17 Arkansas counties and the board has established a quarantine in those counties and 16 counties adjacent to them that prohibits the movement of ash items including nursery stock and firewood in hopes of preventing the spread of the beetle.

Chris Hickey / KUAR News

Voters in Arkansas's largest school district will get to decide Tuesday on a proposal to extend 12.4 mills of property tax for 14 years beyond the current expiration date in the year 2033. The issue has divided Little Rock's leaders. On one side: those who say the resulting $160 million in refinanced bond money would help bring the LRSD's facilities up to date.

David Monteith / KUAR

The Little Rock School District millage extension will be decided by voters on Tuesday.

One focal point of opponents and supporters is a promise made over two years to build a new high school in southwest Little Rock. Greg Adams was president of the Little Rock School Board when the state took control of the district. Under his tenure the district completed a plan, which included building new schools in west Little Rock and southwest Little Rock.

Arkansas Capitol
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Ten Republicans and six Democrats have been named to serve on a legislative task force that will recommend tax cuts before the 2019 session.

House Speaker Jeremy Gillam and Senate President Jonathan Dismang on Monday named their appointees to the Tax Reform and Relief Legislative Task Force, created as part of a $50 million income tax cut plan approved by lawmakers this year.

Little Rock School District Superintendent Mike Poore (file photo).
Chris Hickey / KUAR News

Voters in Arkansas's largest school district will get to decide Tuesday on a proposal to extend 12.4 mills of property tax for 14 years beyond the current expiration date in the year 2033. The issue has divided Little Rock's leaders. On one side: those who say the resulting $160 million in refinanced bond money would help bring the LRSD's facilities up to date.

Flooding
Twitter

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue took an aerial tour Sunday over flood-ravaged Northeast Arkansas. Perdue promised the federal government would provide resources to help residents and farmers put their lives back in order.

“The president asked me to come down and take a look … I was happy to do it,” Perdue said.

Three big topics on KUAR’s Week-In-Review Podcast:

-Record flooding in northern Arkansas prompts a big response to save lives and property. We talk with KASU reporter Johnathan Reaves about what he has seen and calls for improvements to the state’s levees after another failure leaves a town flooded.

-The Arkansas General Assembly hold a special session approving changes to the state’s Medicaid expansion program and talking about impeaching Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen for demonstrating against the death penalty.

-And reaction to news that former evangelist Tony Alamo, convicted of sexually abusing children at his compound in southwest Arkansas, has died in prison. Sabrina McCormick with KTXK has been talking with many in southwest Arkansas, while we’ll air segments of a 1982 interview former KUAR news and program director Ron Breeding recorded with Alamo and his beliefs.

An Arkansas judge is asking a disciplinary panel to dismiss a complaint concerning his participation in an anti-death penalty demonstration the same day he blocked executions.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen is calling the investigation an effort to punish him for exercising his First Amendment rights. In a filing Friday he said the demonstration didn't violate any judicial rules and was constitutionally protected.

Federal prosecutors say three former Arkansas juvenile detention officers have been indicted for allegedly conspiring to assault at least four juvenile inmates.

Acting U.S. Attorney Patrick Harris announced Friday that a grand jury had indicted 26-year-old Will Ray, 47-year-old Thomas Farris and 42-year-old Jason Benton.

Investigators say the assaults took place at the White River Juvenile Detention Center in Batesville between 2012 and 2013.

Flooding Lawrence County Farms agriculture
Arkansas Farm Bureau / Twitter

At least 10 percent of Arkansas’ rice crop could be lost as historic floodwaters wash through northeast Arkansas and head south in the coming days. The University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture estimates 100,000 rice acres have probably been destroyed or significantly impacted, and that number could rise dramatically by this weekend, U of A rice extension agronomist Dr. Jarrod Hardke told Talk Business & Politics.

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