Local & Regional News

Arkansas local and regional news

Asa Hutchinson governor
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday announced a plan to increase highway funding by $750 million over the next 10 years, making the state eligible for an additional $2 billion in federal matching funds over that time period that was made available by the federal highway bill passed by Congress in December.

Clark County authorities and Arkansas State Police say a 5-year-old girl has died after being found not breathing in a home near Amity by deputies investigating a report the child was "possibly" poisoned.

State police spokesman Bill Sadler told reporters that deputies were called to the home Sunday and found both the girl and a woman with a gunshot wound. Sadler says the girl was pronounced dead at a hospital and the woman is hospitalized in undisclosed condition.

U.S. Supreme Court
Wikipedia

The Supreme Court is refusing to revive an Arkansas law that would have banned abortions after the 12th week of pregnancy if doctors can detect a fetal heartbeat.

The justices did not comment Tuesday in rejecting the state's appeal of lower court rulings that struck down the law. Federal judges called the law inconsistent with Supreme Court rulings that generally tie restrictions to the fetus' viability, not the presence of a heartbeat.

Highways traffic Big Rock Interchange interstate
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Gov. Asa Hutchinson is to announce his plan Tuesday to address a shortfall in highway funding for Arkansas. Vehicles getting better gas mileage has led to a decrease in fuel tax revenue.

A task force Hutchinson appointed to study the issue recently recommended raising state fuel taxes or moving revenue from elsewhere in the state budget. The governor said earlier this month that all recommendations are on the table, though he wants it to be a revenue neutral approach that won’t increase state spending or increase taxes without cuts elsewhere.

Chris Hickey / KUAR News

Many gathered for events throughout Little Rock celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Day, from the annual "marade" organized by the Arkansas chapter of the NAACP, to a day of service at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

While Arkansas also marked Robert E. Lee Day Monday, few events around the state honored the Confederate Civil War general. Supporters, including the state chapter of the Sons of the Confederacy, say they will celebrate Lee's actual Jan. 19 birthday Tuesday.

Angelsharum / Wikimedia

The Arkansas Public Service Commission will meet Tuesday to consider a settlement with Entergy Arkansas over a rate increase.

The agreement could result in an 8.3 percent increase to the monthly bills of the utility's customers. Entergy says the rate hike would allow it to improve its electrical infrastructure and purchase one-fourth of the Union Power Station natural gas plant near El Dorado. 

Hot Springs will soon have a new Civil War museum that will focus on the Trans-Mississippi Theater of the 1861-1865 American conflict.

The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports (bit.ly/1n4xqgu) that The Civil War Museum West is expected to open later this year and will feature a collection of artifacts, flags, photos and other items.

The museum will offer tours through 10 areas of various subjects about the war. Visitors will see collections of swords, guns, bullets, flags, and various other artifacts and Civil War relics.

Snow
Lesa Taschetti / KATV, Channel 7 News

Light snow and ice has left roads in much of the northern half of Arkansas slick in spots and numerous auto accidents are reported in the Little Rock area.

The National Weather Service says one to two inches of snow fell Sunday night and Monday morning in an area from Harrison and Jasper to Clinton and Searcy. Police in Searcy, about 50 miles northeast of Little Rock, compared some city streets to ice rinks.

On Monday, several events around central Arkansas are commemorating and celebrating the work and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

--At the UALR Jack Stephens Center, the state Martin Luther King Jr Commission is holding a "Mega King Fest" from 7am to 3pm. Doors Open at 6:30am. The day will start out with an interfaith prayer breakfast lasting until 8:30am. It's expected to be attended by Governor Asa Hutchinson, Senator Tom Cotton, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and others. 

March for Life pro-life anti-abortion abortion
Talk Business & Politics

Several thousand people, along with most of the state’s leading elected officials, marched in opposition to abortion Sunday at the 38th Annual March for Life at the state Capitol.

The marchers wound behind the Capitol and then gathered at the steps, where they heard short speeches by Gov. Asa Hutchinson, U.S. Sens. John Boozman and Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and U.S. Reps. French Hill, R-Little Rock, and Bruce Westerman, R-Hot Springs.

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