Local & Regional News

Arkansas local and regional news

The Arkansas House of Representatives chamber.
arkansashouse.org

The Arkansas House of Representatives is getting upgrades to its historic chamber and committee rooms at the state Capitol building. New desks, carpeting, chairs and voting machines will feature prominently in the House chamber, which is already undergoing renovations.

Gary Clements of North Little Rock-based Clements & Associates is serving as the consulting architect on the project. He said the upgrades are the final steps in a larger project for the chamber.

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

Following a disappointing 7-25 season, fans of UA Little Rock’s men’s basketball team are getting their first look at its new head coach.

Former Razorback Darrell Walker was announced as the university’s pick to lead the Trojans on March 27. He comes from back-to-back seasons as head coach at Clark Atlanta University, taking away an overall record of 45-18.

Voter ID Vote photo ID
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas is asking the state's Supreme Court to compel a judge to decide whether to block enforcement of a voter ID law.

In a motion filed Thursday, Secretary of State Mark Martin asked the court to require Pulaski County Circuit Judge Alice Gray to rule whether she'll grant a motion to block the law's enforcement in Arkansas' May 22 primary.

The motion is part of a lawsuit filed by a voter who contends the law, enacted last year, circumvents a 2014 Arkansas Supreme Court ruling that struck down a previous voter ID measure.

Opioid Attorney General Leslie Rutledge
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas is suing three drug makers claiming they’re at fault for the opioid crisis that has caused a drastic increase in the number of overdose deaths in Arkansas.

Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola comparing the city to a glass of water half full.
YouTube

Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola is calling for city infrastructure improvements, while likely candidates to challenge his reelection bid this fall say changes should have been made long before now. Stodola delivered his annual State of the City Address Wednesday, which covered everything from the fire department’s new International Accreditation Designation, to new bikeways and outdoor sculptures. 

Arkansas farmers who grew cotton in 2017 will be getting rebate checks this spring from a boll weevil eradication program that’s been considered a success.  The rebate is 75 cents per cotton acre.

Regina Coleman, Arkansas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation’s executive director, said the rebate is possible because the foundation was able to pay off a federal loan for the program early and currently holds a cash reserve. 

Farmers paid into the program at a rate of three dollars per acre last year.  The 2017 assessment was lower than a previous rate of four dollars per acre.

Former President Bill Clinton
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Former President Bill Clinton and bestselling author James Patterson will visit Little Rock this June to promote their new novel, called "The President is Missing."

The Clinton Foundation and the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service say the event will take place June 9 at the Statehouse Convention Center.

The book has been described by publishers as a thriller that includes "details that only a president can know." It's set for release in June.

One of five companies that had been slated to receive Arkansas' first licenses to grow medical marijuana has asked a state judge to lift his order halting the permitting process and declaring it unconstitutional.

Natural State Wellness Enterprises LLC asked Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen on Wednesday to vacate his order preventing Arkansas from issuing its first medical marijuana cultivation licenses. Griffen last week ruled that the licensing process violated a 2016 voter-approved constitutional amendment legalizing marijuana for patients with certain conditions.

Jan Morgan
Talk Business & Politics

Jan Morgan jumped into the Arkansas governor’s race on New Year’s Eve and threatened to be a disruptive force in the GOP primary. For incumbent Gov. Asa Hutchinson, she’s had that effect by traveling the state accusing the governor of not being conservative enough and allowing state government to grow too much under his leadership.

David Monteith / KUAR News

Making communities in Arkansas more successful when competing with other states for industries and jobs is the goal of a new program announced Monday by Governor Asa Hutchinson.

The “Competitive Communities Initiative” is an evaluation process developed by the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. It’s intended to help cities identify assets that companies look for when selecting new host sites. Governor Hutchinson spoke to over 100 city leaders at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center in Little Rock about the need for the initiative.

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