Local & Regional News

Arkansas local and regional news

An agricultural business major at Southern Arkansas University has been elected national president of the FFA.

Taylor McNeel was elected Saturday during the 88th National FFA Convention & Expo in Louisville, Kentucky.

Also elected were Nick Baker of Tennessee as secretary; Sydney Snider of Ohio as eastern region vice president; Abrah Meyer of Iowa as central region vice president; Abbey Gretsch of Georgia as southern region vice president; and Sarah Draper of Utah as western region vice president.

KUAR Week-In-Review Podcast
Michael Hibblen

Listen Here to KUAR's Week In Review Podcast.   

Topics on this week's program:

* The Little Rock City Board of Directors considers whether to oppose I-30 expansion.

*Politicians promise statewide broadband access will be 2017 legislative focus.

*The Arkansas Supreme Court throws out a suit against the LRSD takeover.

*The state launches a new health insurance marketplace.

Gov. Address: Economic Growth

Oct 31, 2015
Gov. Hutchinson radio
Office of the Governor

The following is a transcript of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's media address for the weekend of Oct. 30, 2015:

Last week I was in Fort Smith talking to the Regional Chamber of Commerce about my favorite topic: economic growth.

In Sebastian County alone over the last five years, 15 new and expanding companies have created over 1,400 new jobs and brought an investment of more than $238 million into the county.

healthcare accelerator warwick sabin troy wells asa hutchinson
KATV, Channel 7 News

A joint effort by Baptist Health and the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub has been formed to accelerate the development of up to 10 health care-related startup companies.

skippy peanut butter

Hormel Foods Sales LLC is recalling 153 cases of peanut butter made at its Little Rock, Arkansas, factory because of the potential for metal shavings in the jars.

The company issued a statement Thursday saying 153 cases of reduced fat creamy Skippy brand peanut butter may contain small pieces of metal discovered during an in-line magnet check. The products were inadvertently shipped to Publix, Target and Wal-Mart distribution centers in Georgia, Virginia, Alabama, North Carolina, South Caroline, Delaware and Arkansas.

Arkansas Rice Board Learns About International Trade Possibilities

Oct 30, 2015
rice fields
Mickey Liaw / Flickr.com

The international market for Arkansas rice producers is teeming with possibilities, an industry official told the Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board Thursday.

Chuck Wilson, director of Arkansas Field Services for the USA Rice Foundation, said Mexico figures to be the number one market in the world in the next few years due to a young population, inability to grow rice due to water issues as well as good export and trade in the region. Wilson said the dropping of a tariff from Mexico in 2008 helped open the market, with rice going into the country.

Arkansas’ two U.S. Senators voted against a bipartisan budget agreement that passed the Senate early Friday morning and now heads to the president’s desk. 

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 passed the Senate, 64-35. It passed the House earlier this week, 266-167. President Obama is expected to sign it.

An Arkansas university is investigating after a white student dressed as a rapper and wore blackface at an on-campus Halloween costume contest.
Arkansas Tech University says the contest took place Wednesday on the school's campus in Russellville, about 75 miles northwest of Little Rock. The school said in a statement that a white female student dressed as the rapper Lil Wayne and used blackface as part of her costume.

Planned Parenthood
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

Arkansas officials are asking a federal judge to reject an effort to expand the lawsuit over the state terminating its Medicaid contract with Planned Parenthood.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge's office on Thursday asked U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker to deny Planned Parenthood's request seeking class-action status for its lawsuit challenging the termination.

Four hospital providers, including Baptist Health and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, and Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield are creating a shared services organization to reduce duplication, share costs and improve care.

The Partnership for a Healthy Arkansas also includes Jonesboro-based St. Bernards Healthcare and Fayetteville-based Washington Regional Medical System. Washington Regional President and CEO Bill Bradley was elected chairman.